Exciting News about the Shop!

To all friends and supporters of Little Mysteries,

Sandra and I have some big, exciting news and it’s now time to share it with all of you.

After 18 years at the helm of Little Mysteries, we have decided to sell the business.

Exciting and big news, I did warn you!

“But why?!”, I can hear some of you saying. Well, Sandra (the mother in the mother/daughter team) is approaching retirement and I’m interested in pursuing my education full time in the United Kingdom in the next few years. Amanda, the other daughter and the shop’s stone buyer, has become a full-time mother to her growing family.

Therefore, it seemed a reasonable time to start the search for a new owner or owners for the shop. I very much want to see the business continue to thrive under new ownership and we’ll be doing everything we can to ease the transition when the time comes. Our hope is to find someone(s) with a passion for conscious business, who can bring fresh enthusiasm to the store and continue the Little Mysteries tradition into the years to come.

Perhaps that someone might be you or someone you know. I certainly imagine that a person already fond of the Little Mysteries experience would be an outstanding candidate to carry the store forward. If you would like further information about the sale of the business, please contact us at mail@littlemysteries.com (to keep the inbox manageable, let’s keep this to serious inquiries).

Now, this likely won’t be a speedy process and we’ll certainly keep everyone posted as things move forward.

Sandra and I are enthusiastic about this new direction and hope you’ll share in our excitement.






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The Value of Patience

For those of you who’ve shopped at the store in person, you may know that our Visa/debit machine runs a little slowly. I’ve taken to joking that this delay teaches us the value of patience. And jokes aside, a little patience can be a powerful blessing our busy lives.

I’ll give an example from my world. I’m in the middle of a kitchen renovation at the moment. Everyone who’s been there, done that is already shaking their heads, I’m sure. In the on-going juggling of contractor schedules, changing delivery dates for materials and the assorted “interesting surprises” that arise when you start tearing walls and floors out of an older home, all of these highlight that the ability to be patient is an essential skill. Sometimes, things just don’t go as planned, or run on the schedule I’d hoped. Becoming angry, anxious or upset will bring me no closer to finishing a task or get my lovely slate tile here any faster. The only things it does change are my physical, mental and emotional well-being, raising my heart rate and making me cranky with loved ones. Not good or useful. A dose of patience allows me to better see the big picture and realize that these are truly minor annoyances, not worthy of the energy I’m spending fretting and frowning. I’ve found that simply asking myself, “is this something that will matter in a year?” helps me reign in emerging impatience.

I’m certainly not arguing that every delay be met with patience. There are circumstances that arise where the best course of action is neither patience nor impatience, but action. Making needed changes, taking charge or speaking aloud what you want to happen. This is the big stuff, the things that will matter in a year. But truly, when we consider the plethora of interactions each day that make us impatient, they simply aren’t major issues, no matter how we feel in the moment. It’s the traffic line up, slow service in a restaurant or delivery failing to arrive. In most cases, things would go better (for us, for those around us) with a liberal application of patience.

How about you? Do you count to ten, breathe deeply or use some other strategy for dealing with impatience?


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Something to consider

I realize it’s been quite a while since my last posting and I’m going to get the ball rolling with a post that’s a bit outside of my usual fare. I debated whether it was appropriate to use this forum to discuss what could be considered political matters. Until now, I’ve steered away from introducing topics beyond the spectrum of the shop but after some pondering, I’ve decided to jump in with both feet.

You see, this is an issue that’s near and dear to my heart, whether I’m counting myself as a Maritimer, local business owner, aspiring archaeologist or general history buff. It affects my experience in all of these roles and more. It affects us all as a country in our ability to tell the story of our past. I believe that many of you reading this, whether here in Nova Scotia or elsewhere in the country (or the world, for that matter) are also keenly aware of the value of history and hold knowledge of the past as critical to living in the present.

I’m very concerned about the recently announced cuts to Parks Canada. These cuts affect this venerable institution’s ability to discover, protect and share our collective past. While Parks Canada venues across the country are feeling the effects, close to home, the Parks Canada lab in Woodside will be closed and their collections will be shipped to a central facility in Gatineau, Quebec. This removes a huge array of artifacts and resources from use by the region’s archaeologists, researchers and students. As well, it takes these cultural items out of the very communities they represent. To affect this move, the federal government will need to buy out the remaining 17 years on the (purpose-built) building’s lease as well as cover the costs of packing, moving and unpacking the collections. I don’t believe any figures have been released for this undertaking but they will surely be substantial.

Others with greater experience in the field and deeper personal knowledge of the issues have shared their understandings and I encourage you to explore this material if you share my concerns. Visit the Canadian Archaeological Association’s page on the cuts or Miriam Fry’s posting in the Grand-Pré Archaeological Diary.

As well, members of the local archaeology community have been doing a top-notch job communicating with various media outlets. You can view the stories here, here, here and here.

As a shop owner, I regularly encounter visitors who are enthralled by the rich heritage of the area, presented through local Parks Canada sites like the Halifax Citadel and Grand Pré (just recently named as a UNESCO World Heritage site). I fear what will happen to that stream of interested visitors when the storytelling and presentation of information at these sites is undermined. I understand that various sites will replace human interpreters with smart phone apps and self guided tours. A particularly cynical part of me imagines that somewhere out there, a bureaucrat is weighing the cost savings in  replacing the daily firing of the Citadel’s noon gun with an interactive video of the event. Alarmist? Hopefully, but in this climate of disregard and devaluing of history, it doesn’t seem wholly out of line.

If you feel so motivated, please consider writing or phoning your federal representative, one of the relevant ministers and/or Stephen Harper himself to express your concerns. The CAA page has all sorts of relevant contact information.

We’ll be back to our regular programming with the next post but I do encourage anyone to share their thoughts here (as well as with appropriate officials).


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Heads up – Price of Silver Going Up, Up, Up

I know many of you love the magical qualities and visual beauty of silver jewellery. Some of you may also be aware of the dramatically rising cost of silver on the world market. We’ve certainly been keeping a close tab on it as it creeps up month by month. This chart (from kitco.com) shows it’s sharp rise in the past year.

We and many of our suppliers have been trying to hold the line on our prices, but in recent months, our costs have notably jumped and we’ve begun to increase prices on some of our regular pieces.

But fear not, we bought many of our lines in large quantities before the price spike and still have a good selection of pendants, earrings and rings priced according to the lower cost.

If you’ve been pondering a special piece, act soon! If it sells out, a re-order will likely bring new stock in at a higher price. Don’t forget that we do offer layaway to help your budget for a bigger piece.

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2012 Calendars and Datebooks are arriving

I know, I know, it seems way too early to even be considering the new year (it’s just begun to be summer here!). And yet, the boxes of calendars have started to arrive.

Now, if you just don’t want to think about it, not to worry, there’s still time. But don’t wait too, too long because popular designs do have a way of selling out (and once the publisher’s print run is gone, many of them don’t reprint, given that calendars are such a time-sensitive product).

For you early birds (or anyone who’s started to book dentist appointments six months ahead – which would be into January or February!), we’re ready for you!

A few of our popular styles are yet to arrive (Eckhart Tolle and Pema Chodron calendars, I’m looking at you) but other hot sellers like the crazy popular Witches’ Datebook and Witches’ Calendar are indeed here!

And, I should definitely mention that not only do we have both the spiral bound We’Moon datebook and the We’Moon on the Wall calendar, this year’s wall calendar features a painting by local artist and shamanic practitioner, Beth Lenco!

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Used Book-o-Rama

Well, the used book section is bursting! Some of the great titles that are waiting for new homes:

Drawing Down the Moon (Adler) $11.00
Eat, Pray, Love (Gilbert) $9.00
How to Hear the Voice of God (with meditation CD) (Shumsky) $10.00
The Barddas of Iolo Morganwg (Williams ab Ithel) $25.00 (this is a BIG hardcover in perfect shape)
Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries (Budapest) $12.00
Northern Magic – Rune Mysteries and Shamanism (Thorsson) $10.00
Way of the Green Witch (Murphy-Hiscock) $9.00
Making Ritual with Motherpeace Cards (Noble) $10.00
Celtic Myth and Magick (McCoy) $13.00
Visions of the Goddess (Milne) $12.00 (gorgeous photographs of Goddess sites around the world)
Tarot Spells (Renee) $9.50

And of course lots more (even the $5.00 Bargain Book Bin is pretty full).
Wander out in that sunshine and have a gander!

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Where’s Vanessa?

In the next few months (May and June specifically), you’re going to be seeing a lot less of me around the shop. Since you never know what the rumour mill might generate to explain my absence, I thought I’d best make sure things were clear from the start (one person, on being told of my time away, has already assumed I’m having a baby).

So, in brief, I’m NOT:
- pregnant
- ailing
- dead

In fact, I’m participating in Saint Mary’s archaeological field school at Grand Pré which is pretty demanding time-wise. Some of you will know/remember that I’ve gone back to university part time and this is an important, hands-on aspect of my education. I’m quite excited, for all that I’m going to be starting my days VERY early and ending them likely very tired and probably dirty.

In my absence, the rest of the Little Mysteries team will be taking on many of my duties and can likely answer any questions or queries you might have. I’ll, of course, be checking in regularly to deal with any only-Vanessa-knows-what-to-do sorts of business; I just won’t be around on a regular schedule.

I think going off to dig up old bits is pretty nifty but we pondered coming up with some alternate reasons for my disappearance.
If you’d prefer something a little more mystical or sensational, here are a few options:
- Vanessa is trekking in Peru
- Vanessa is partaking in a solitary vigil in the Hebrides and communing with lichens
- Vanessa has returned to her home planet to visit relatives
- Vanessa is running with the bulls in Pamplona
- Vanessa is in rehab to deal with her incense addiction
- Vanessa never really existed, she was just a fictional persona created by the staff, sort of like Remington Steele (who remembers that show?)

Feel free to spread any of these around or make up your own, just be sure it’s fabulous.


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