When is a politician not a politician? When he's a newly minted author! Come on out to the Barley Mow in Almonte on March 8 from 6:30pm to hear councillor Shaun McLaughlin read from his two brand new books.

McLaughlin's first history book, The Patriot War Along the New York-Canada Border, balances politics and culture with military history, and the storytelling style makes the Patriot War accessible to casual readers and history buffs alike. Counter Currents, his first self-published novel, is a story about smugglers, river pirates, romance, war, and freedom fighters. Spanning 1837 to 1845, most scenes are set against the beauty and grandeur of the Thousand Islands during the drama of the Patriot War. Presented by Mill Street Books, this literary event is free and open to all.

When is a restaurant not a restaurant? When it's a live music venue! Almonte's own Café Postino now features Carleton Place's own Peter Brown on piano every Thursday from 5:30-8:30pm. A feast for the palate and the ears!

 When are bored kids not bored? When they visit Fulton's Pancake House and Sugar Bush for fabulous March Break events, of course! Have fun in the snow with sleigh rides, face painting, nature talks and more things maple. You might even catch a glimpse of the elusive Maplelope

When is a river not a river? Can't think of an answer to that one? Neither can I. So let's just all plan on attending the next MVFN Lecture, at which the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists present "The Great River Project" — a lecture by Meredith Brown, Ottawa Riverkeeper. All are welcome on Thursday, March 15 at 7:30pm, at the Almonte United Church.

And on good old St. Paddy's Day, you can take your pick of musical genres and venues. For the classically-minded, Almonte in Concert presents the Cecilia String Quartet at 8pm at the Almonte Old Town Hall. Also in Almonte, and also at 8pm, but more along traditional Irish lines, the Barley Mow presents Corkery Road. And in Carleton Place, you can choose between solo Celtic singer and musician Blaine Broderick at St. James Gate, or the Retro Rockers at the Valley BBQ (or check them both out, but make sure you have a designated driver who can resist the lure of green beer…).

Have a great couple of weeks!