Saturday, May 12, 2012



Had ourselves a mighty fine weather morning so figured I'd better spend a few hours on the bike before some predicted grumpy weather reaches us shortly.  Again, just a nice  Saturday morning cruise through the quiet countryside taking in all the Spring scenery.  Noticed some farm fields with corn already sprouting up about 3" already.  We are fortunate here in southern Ontario to have so many paved back roads criss-crossing our forested rural farm fields.  Spent some time in the afternoon cleaning more chrome on the bike.


Motorcycle helmets are mandatory here in Ontario & probably all across Canada.  I’m sure there are countless Sons, Dads, Brothers, Uncles, & friends alive today because someone or a group of someone’s in our Government were wise enough to push for that law.  Having survived a motorcycle crash in the summer of 95 I well understand the importance of wearing a helmet.  When in the States I constantly see motorcyclists riding with no helmets.  In fact, I would say the majority of riders I see, do not wear helmets.  I wonder how many Sons, Dads, Brothers, Uncles, & friends would still be with their families today if they had just simply wore a motorcycle helmet on what turned out to be their last ride.  What is so hard about understanding that.  Why is it so hard, for so many men, to understand some of the simplest logical things…………….


Commenter Pat B had a question a few days ago about finding the Blog Follower list on this site.  All the thumbnails underneath our top header photo were not showing up for her.  Only thing I can think of is, you probably have a slower connection Pat & it will take longer for those Blog Follower thumbnails to load.  I didn’t include a lot of big photos tonight so maybe that Followers list will open for you now:)) 


Yes, I know it would take less time for the list to load if I were to return it to our sidebar where I used to have it.  I could eliminate the large header photo at the top, get rid of all the colored text & change my wider blog template back to a narrow white background with smaller black print & just include maybe half a dozen small photos.  That would certainly speed up the download process & solve problems for folks with slower speeds.  It would also be a help to folks with air cards with limited bandwidth.  That is how I started out & if I went back to that format…..well, it just wouldn’t look like my Blog, would it.  I have my finger’s crossed that speeds will get faster & bandwidths will get larger:))


Commenter Butterbean landed some questions on me tonight as well so let’s see what I can come up with in the way of answers for him.  Butterbean asks:   “How does Kelly work from Arizona & then have to work 10 hours a day when she's at 'home'?? I thought Mennonites were like Amish, they worked in wood not plastic”!! ----- Deer Park Lodge where Kelly works is basically closed for the winter season.  Guests generally begin booking their cottage rentals for the following summer during the winter.  This is where Kelly comes in.  All incoming phone calls to Deer Park Lodge are forwarded to Kelly’s Deer Park telephone.  She has the registration books with her & arranges all the bookings as to who is going to stay where, for how long, & when during the summer.  She also fields general questions anyone may have about Deer Park as well.  Many times at the end of a call the caller will ask, ‘how’s the weather there today?  Kelly always checks Bayfield’s weather every morning so without missing a beat she will give them a weather report.  Little does the caller know they are actually talking to someone in Arizona, California, New Mexico or wherever.  Her work phone can ring at any time.  We might be up a mountain trail hiking when the phone rings or maybe in Walmart picking up a few groceries.  One time we were walking in a cemetery in Pearce Arizona.


I remember another particular time this past winter when we were nearly to the top of  HARQUAHALA MOUNTAIN in our Jeep.  We were struggling over a real tough rocky section of road beside a very steep drop off.  Just as I halted the Jeep to regain a lower gear, the phone rang.  Yikes!!!!  I had to hold that position with my foot hard on the brake while Kelly took the call which turned out to be lady in Montreal with a whole bunch of questions about the cottages, beach, the town of Bayfield etc.  Had I moved forward the call could easily have been dropped.  We were surprised to get the call in the first place considering our location.  Seemed like that conversation went on forever as our brakes held us from tumbling backwards down the road.  in fact, I took a picture of Kelly while on the phone and you can see that photo on my post for that day detailing our rough & tumble drive.  JEEPING TO HARQUAHALA PEAK .


Now, to answer Butterbean’s second part to that first question.  Because Deer Park Lodge is in the summer cottage industry in our touristy area, it has to deal with the public on a daily basis, so basically there are no real set hours because public needs change from day to day.  Hour to hour at times.  It was Kelly’s first day back & she had a lot of re-organizing to do.  Also, the comfort of guests always comes first with her & she will work long hard hours to satisfy people’s needs.  She is jack of all trades there & wears many varied work hats in any one given day.  She is the Manager.  Sometimes our phone here at home might ring at 11 at night because somebody has locked themselves out of their cottage.  Kelly will get up & drive over to let them in.  And, probably asks if there is anything else she can help them with while there.


Butterbean’s last question might have me on the ropes.  First, I made an assumption  the Mennonites had made those colorful plastic chairs in the blog Friday.   But, second guessing myself now, I am wondering if the chairs are maybe made in a factory somewhere & the Mennonite folks have agreed to sell them.  Yes, yes, I know what it means to ass-ume something.  I will try to find out the correct answer to that question.  But I know the words Mennonite & plastic just don’t seem to look right in the same sentence.  I do think they make wooden furniture right there in St. Joseph though.


Now, to the last part of the question.  Mennonites & Amish are basically the same thing.  In the States they are called Amish & here we call them Mennonites.  Also, there are varying degrees of Mennonites here.  The old order folks have no electricity, transport themselves around in horse & buggy & have their own schools & churches.  Another order has electricity & modern conveniences but will only drive black cars & some will even paint the chrome on the cars black.  The newer order of Mennonite folks live among the rest of us, dress like us & have all the modern conveniences.  They do stick to their own religious beliefs & churches though.  Now, hope I have that all right or I am going to have a horse & buggy roll up to my door with some angry folks in it to straighten me out..again:((


JANNA'S experience with ‘feeling sick’ over the thoughts she may have lost a customer’s quilt, rang a bell for me this morning. Back in the mid 80’s I had a small business called, ‘Memories’. Customer’s brought me their old black & white priceless aging family photographs. Using a very sharp lens I re-photographed those old prints, processed the film in my darkroom & went on to laboriously hand make new prints (no easy computer stuff in those days) for folks, which in essence extended the life & memories of older faded & deteriorating photographs for many decades to come. I also gave customers the new negatives as well.
A friend of mine brought in a small black & white print his Mother had reluctantly given him. It was the only picture of a family member she had. In the 5 years I had my ‘Memories’ business & out of countless old photos I re-did for folks, that was the only photograph I ever lost. That was about 27 years ago & I can tell you, I still sometimes think about, & feel bad about, losing that lady's one single irreplaceable family photo to this very day.


A cold front brought in a rainy drizzle this afternoon & that pretty much ended my outside Saturday afternoon.  Upside of to watch 2 Family Guys back to back.  Yaaay Jimbo.    Is it October yet:((


WHAT!!!!!!!      WHO SAID THAT??

GROANER’S CORNER:((   Dear Child,
I am writing this slow because I know that you can't read fast.
We don't live where we did when you left home.
Your dad read in the paper that most accidents happen within 20 miles from your home so we moved.
I won't be able to send you the address, as the last family that lived here took the house numbers when they left so that they wouldn't have to change their address.
This place is real nice. It even has a washing machine. I'm not sure if it works too well though.
Last week I put a load in, pulled the chain, and haven't seen them since.
The weather isn't too bad here. it only rained twice last week, The first time it rained for three days and the second time for four days. The coat you wanted me to send you, your Uncle Steve said it would be a little too heavy to send in the mail with the buttons on, so we cut them off and put them in the pockets. We got another bill from the funeral home.
They said if we don't make the last payment on Grandma's grave, up she comes. John locked his keys in the car yesterday. We were worried because it took him two hours to get me and Shelby out.
Your sister had a baby this morning but I haven't found out what it is yet, so I don't know if you're an aunt or an uncle. If the baby is a girl, your sister is going to name it after me, she's going to call it Mom.
Uncle Pete fell in a whiskey vat last week. Some men tried to pull him out but he fought them off and drowned. We had him cremated and he burned for three days.
Three of your friends went off a bridge in a pick-up truck. Ralph was driving. He rolled down the window and swam to safety. Your two friends were in the back. They drowned because they couldn't get the tailgate down.
There isn't much more news at this time. Nothing much has happened.
PS, I was going to send you some money but the envelope was already sealed.

- Tourists see the world, travelers  experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right  now...AL.


  1. Love the paved back roads here in rural Ontario.

    A pretty good quick summary of the Mennonites, my wife and her family are Mennonites, right from Old order to New order and I have been part of the family for over twenty years.

  2. We have a mandatory motorcycle helmet law here in Oregon. Bicycle helmets are also required for riders under age 16. It's a state by state thing. Wish everyone had that law.

    Got a kick out of tonight's groaner.

  3. I do our family genealogy research on is the Mormons , I believe, and that site is fabulous..

  4. When we were coming up from Texas last July, we actually saw alot of women also riding bikes with no helmet. Hair flowing in the breeze. Just sayin' it's not just men that are doing that.
    Lady bikers are doing it too.

    I guess I just notice the ladies more, as I too, ride a bike.


  5. Al!!! Are u really comfortable sitting/kneeling on that gravel??

  6. great job answering the commenter questions..just think of the time you saved..and you got a blog post out of it!..I like the black background of your blog by the way..but then mine is black too.

  7. I have Comcast Infinity so very fast and I also sometimes have trouble loading your blog. I just keep trying and it finally works. Below is the message I get in a big white box were all the followers pictures are. (hope you understand that)

    The webpage cannot be found

    HTTP 400

    Most likely causes:
    •There might be a typing error in the address.
    •If you clicked on a link, it may be out of date.

    What you can try:

    Retype the address.

    Go back to the previous page.

  8. I saw the same chairs at a Home Depot today. Same colors, same plastic, not displayed nearly as well!

  9. I, for one, would not be a happy camper if you change anything about your blog. Love it the way it is. It ain't broke, so please don't fix it! Rose in Texas

  10. Two episodes back to back. Amazing!

    By the way I enjoy your blog just as it is.

  11. I also vote to leave your blog the way it is!!

  12. The Amish and the Mennonites had common origins, but are no longer the same group. While the Mennonites have branched further, and accept differing degrees of "modernization," the Amish retain fairly constant modes of life. Mennonites have churches, Amish meet in homes. Some Mennonites proselytize, Amish don't.

  13. Here in New York, we also have mandatory motorcycle helmet laws. We were also surprised to see people riding without helmets last year on our trip to Tennessee.

  14. I really like those photos of you and bike!

  15. Love following your blog, wish we could be so prompt with updates!

  16. No helmet law in AZ and I hope it stays that way. I use my helmet sometimes but most of the time I don't. It should be a personal choice, not one forced on me by state or federal government. I had a bad accident years ago (no helmet) and I still choose to ride without one, in the end the only person I hurt or kill will be myself. I feel the same way about seat belts too....I don't wear one, simply because the government tells I have to....we need less government/people telling us how to live our lives. IMO

    As usual, I really enjoyed today’s blog. Take care Bayfield/AZ Bunch. Bring that bike down to AZ and I'll show you some awesome rides around Prescott, AZ and I'll even wear my helmet:)

  17. As a redneck greener, I too wish the gubmint would stay out of our personal lives. If someone doesn't want to wear a helmit, that's fine, they souldn't have to.

    What those who choose not to wear helmits should be required to do, however, is to contribiute to a fund to help those who clean up the wreck get over the resulting PTSD.

    My nephew was the first upon a motorcycle wreck in Hawaii where the guy had his leg severed. It really tramatized him, so you can imagine what seeing a head injury would do. Sorry to be so graphic here, but we forget about those who have to come in after the wreck. I used to be on search and rescue - a friend was the one who went back for Aron Ralston's arm (27 Hours movie or whatever it was called, never saw it). He still has issues after doing that, not much fun.

    So, it's not just about the rider, there are others to consider.

  18. The thumbnail pix finally showed up...I have joined ur blog