Tuesday, July 01, 2014



Luckily I checked the weather map before going to bed Monday night.  I could see a storm front over Michigan headed our way & it looked like it was going to roll into our neighborhood earlier than expected.  Slipped outside in my jams & rolled up the Jeep windows, closed the Motorhome door plus 2 shed doors.  Quick look around to make sure we hadn't left anything out & that was it.  Thunder, lightning & rain woke all 3 of us up about 4:30 in the morning.  Not having to lay awake wondering if I had left anything open outside I was able to grab another hours sleep.

Humidity was heavy again this morning so we cut our walk short.  Mosquitoes drove us right back out of the Pine forest anyway.  Knew I only had until about 9 a.m. to get anything done outside I was going to do so I spent some time on one end of the weed whacker.  With this hot damp greenhouse weather of late weeds have been springing from the ground all over the place.  There are many nice things about living in a pine forest but one down side in this hotter weather is that we do not always get the cooling breezes coming in off the lake.  The breeze is out there but it just does not penetrate the forest leaving us with still air & mosquitoes.
A few comments of late in our Shout Box about my Archive Memories idea.   One comment asks why would I do that?  Well I guess my answer is 'why wouldn't I do that.  Thought I had explained my reasons a few days ago for including an Archive Memories segment in some of my posts.  Besides the fact many new readers have come aboard these last bunch of years many things I have written over the years are just as fresh today as they were years ago.  I am not using my entire daily blog to tell an old story, I am rather using an occasional old story to add variety to my usual blog.   Any by the way I am not re-posting old posts I am only occasionally using excerpts from previous posts. It is always a challenge for any daily Blogger to come up with new ideas everyday & I struggle not to get myself caught up in the daily blow by blow repetitions.  I try to intersperse that with a creative writing style.  Old stories, new stories, some humor, some sadness, occasionally some anger, lots of thoughts & ideas about things.  Sometimes it's my head writing & sometimes it is my heart.  Sometimes I accidentally, unintentionally, or semi-accitentionlly  step on people's nerve ends & sometimes I can hear people laughing at my Groaner's Corner.  I try hard to keep my blog varied & interesting.  I know some will say, 'well if you don't have anything interesting to write about then why sit down & write about it.  I understand that thought & answer it by saying, I enjoy the challenge of trying to come up with ways of making the uninteresting…..interesting.  It's the way a creative mind works.  It has to be challenged, it has to be creative.

That creativity manifests itself in my photography each day as well.  Again, another great challenge coming up with photos I feel would be of interest & enjoyment to readers.  I often use my photos to tell a story as well so the writing & photos are often connected.  The majority of my photos are daily but there are times at the end of the day when I just come up short.  On these days I like to use file photos.  Is a photo taken in 2009 any less of a photo than a paragraph or story written in 2008, 2010 or whenever.  I think not. DSC_7498 
I have said many, many, times before how much I enjoy writing & photography & through the wonderments of computers, the digital era & a blogging platform what a great opportunity for a creative inverted personality like mine to express itself.  Writing & photography ( & travel) are an enjoyment for me now at this later stage of life when enjoyment does not always seem to come as easily or frequently as it once did.  I think that has to do with losing interest in things that were once thought of as interesting.  I also know it to be a normal progression of aging.  And we do not all age at the same rate by the way.  But getting back to the comments in the Shout Box.  Are these a concerned & well meaning reader or two or as commenter Bev suggests, something to do with jealousy.  Perhaps yet another case of 'sour grapes.'  Whatever it is I will continue to write my blogs the way I enjoy writing them.  And by the way Archive Memories will continue, but not on a daily basis.  Hadn’t planned one for tonight but in lieu of the recent comments here is one entitled ‘Ode To My Coffee Cup’ written back in 2008.  Remember, you do not have to read this…….now how easy is that eh:))

ARCHIVE MEMORIES::  It happened so quickly, & my old friend was gone in the twinkling of an eye. In a hurry with coffee in hand I headed out the back door to-day to see what the doggy guys were barking at. Not wanting to put my coffee cup in harm's way I reached out to set him on the deck railing whilst I headed down the steps to do battle with what was probably a chipmunk making faces at little Cora. It was the "crash" behind me & the tell tale sounds of breaking pottery that reached my ears before my brain did. I knew instantly, my favorite coffee cup had just bit the dust. No point in even looking back as I continued out into the back yard to have words with the furry cast of noisy characters. It was good I had something to focus on for a few minutes before returning to....pick up the pieces:((

ImageProxy 7

My old friend & I first met in the Apache Canyon Trading Post near New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns back on December 22, 2006. The Bayfield Bunch had stopped in to have a look around after exploring the Caverns earlier in the day. I'm not much for hanging around in gift shops too long so after a quick amble through the place I was headed back for the door when I spotted him sitting quietly with a bunch of his brightly painted pottery friends on a shelf by the window. He had a tanned adobe look with colorful markings & a name that read, New Mexico. And I liked his black glazed interior. A handsome devil indeed. I knew right away we were made for each other as I gently lifted him up off the shelf & headed for the counter.

DSCF2227 ImageProxy 4


It was the beginning of a friendship that would last nearly 2 years with many memorable moments spent to-gether relaxing hand in hand. Sometimes beside me as we enjoyed many desert campfires, sometimes riding for endless miles up on the dash of the Motorhome scouting the way ahead. There were times he helped me outside in my various projects around home, & other times rode with me to work. Occasionally he went missing for a day or two until I was able to locate him again sitting on a stump in the garden or a rock out in the yard someplace, just where I had carelessly left him. But most often as not, he was right here on my desk beside the computer as I plunked away at my keyboard churning out yet another blog post at the end of many a day.  I am going to miss my old traveling buddy. I am going to miss him a lot:(((((

ImageProxy 6


ImageProxy ImageProxy 5

GROANER'S CORNER:((  Paul was not the brightest guy around. Every day, when he walked home from work, he would get stopped by three nasty men and they would beat him up and steal his money.  Finally, Paul decided that it would serve his best interest to walk a different route, but also take some self-defense classes so this wouldn't happen again. He joined a karate class and soon was doing very well with it.   One day, on the way home from work, Paul confidently decided to take his old route home and, sure enough, there they were. He walked up to them and the battle ensued.   The next afternoon, Paul went to his karate class with a black eye, a broken nose and a busted lip. His instructor was shocked and asked for an explanation.   "Well," explained Paul, "I took my old way home last night so I could beat up those guys who used to steal my money."   His instructor said, "What happened?"   Paul replied, "They jumped me before I could get my shoes and socks off!"


  1. Lovin' those memories...After all is said and done, that's exactly what we have to do..remember the great times and try to make just a few more of them!

  2. Hey, Al, it's your blog. You enjoy the memories and there's nothing wrong with putting them in as you see fit.

    I like all of your blog: groaners, memories, photos, ideas, travels. Keep up the good writing.

  3. I hate it when someone publicly criticizes a blog or its writer. My feeling is that if you find a blog/author is irritating, then simply DON'T READ IT! How difficult is that to understand. Keep on doing what you are doing, Al, and do it any way you like.

  4. Bravo, Al! As those above have said, it's your blog, and if someone doesn't like the Archive Memories or whatever, just move along, move along. There are several of us who like listening to your thoughts. I can go back only three winters, so it's all new to me.

  5. This is why I read your blog, Al. It says what so many of us think but don't know how to put into words. I have been known to have inanimate "pals", too, and it really is a true feeling of loss when we are parted.

    Don't ever let anyone change the way you choose to write your blog. You are the master of blogs, in my opinion.

  6. Its always nice to bring up some old memories.
    And like you said nobody is being forced to read our blogs.
    Keep up the good work.

  7. Keep the archieves coming .. love 'em. A photo is good no matter how old it is. I was looking through some of my 35mm slides the other day, 30 years old, and they looked good enough to print and frame.

    Maybe due to my lack of blogging those same commenters came over here to have something to do. :)

    Keep doing what you're doing ... it's a great blog!!

  8. Ditto, Ditto, Ditto, Ditto, Ditto, and Ditto! I'm trying to limit my time on the computer so only read current posts. It's great to read your archived posts...news to us!!!

  9. Nice post Al! and sweet story about your coffee mug. Pictures are lovely as always...really like the frog.

  10. Whatever you decide to do with your blog is fine with me (except shut it down). Can't go wrong with the interesting tales and fantastic photos, whether they're from today or way back. Always good reading.

  11. First and foremost it is your blog and you can write whatever you want on it. Second reading the memories insert brings back the same chuckle I had when I first read them years ago.
    Third it is quite a chore to come up with fresh material to write about when posting on a daily basis.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  12. It is fun for me to remember your memories, too. I read about your cup when it happened, but the message is the same. You loved that cup and were so sorry to lose it. I broke the lid to a favorite candy dish a few months ago. Can identify well with the sinking "oh, no! " feeling between the time I saw that lid fall, and I knew I couldn't stop it. That post of yours was from the heart.
    The few people who whine are far outnumbered by those of us who know what a treasure we have in your blog!

  13. I enjoy your blog..I was worried last week when you missed a few days, thought you were ill. I came here via RV sue's blog so your archives are new to me. Your photos are wonderful and the groaners corner gives me a laugh. Don't change a thing.

    Val, Lakefield Ontario

  14. such 'sad cup story'..funny how we get attached to things..Doug's favourite glass got broken a while ago..it was a sad day! :)

  15. Love the "home town" feel of your blog and photos. I like it best when you are on the road....I feel like I am travelling with you.
    You never seem to mention printing pictures. Do you ever make prints? How big. I have been thinking about a printer that will print a 13" x 19" print. Then I thought about the cost of ink, and the interest disappeared.

  16. I started reading your blog daily a little over a year ago. Since you started the "ARCHIVE MEMORIES" I have found out items about you and Kelly that I had no idea had happened. There is "no way" that I have the time to go through your many years of posts....although I have looked at a few here and there. These ARCHIVE MEMORIES give me more insight, and an opportunity to learn from another person's mistakes, and more than that, help me put my mistakes in better perspective. I "touched" a guardrail going into a rest area, and beat up on myself for days and days. I got distracted and headed off with the tow vehicle still in park...again, beat up on myself for days. I can go on, but enough said...and I too told everything in the blog for others to learn from. Thanks for all you write about....and you best keep them jokes at the end coming, that really brightens up our day. --Dave (GoingRvWay.com)

  17. Although I have been reading your blog for a while, it is still nice to hear about your early adventures. Keep doing it your way. Ray

  18. I'm witha the crowd. I enjoy your stories of now and the past. Recently I had a few very sad days when I thought I had left my cup at an Oklahoma campground. I knew about your broken cup, so I didn't feel ridiculous mourning the loss of my favorite mug. You can appreciate the joy I felt when Three days later I found it hiding under the front seat!

    We can share the good and the bad. Isn't that what it's all about?

  19. broke my favorite cup over 6 months ago and have yet to find a suitable replacement - here is hoping you have better luck than I...

  20. You are so right that writing a blog requires coming up with a lot of material on a regular basis. I love your photos and your format is unique and entertaining while still informative.
    Your blog reflects who you are and people will either like it or not. When I started doing our blog we were getting around 8-10 readers a day because we did it mostly for family and friends so we could stay in touch. I then started writing for Mother Earth News magazine and our readership went to 500 to 900 per day. Staying on top of topics and providing factual and meaningful blogs is hard to do. You are doing very well and I wish you continued good luck.
    I did just find out that my blogs for MEN gets up to 3500 readers a day and world wide. Trying to write for such a diverse audience can be intense. I have more freedom writing our personal blog site and after all these years enjoy it just as much as when I started. I'm sure you enjoy it too as your writing reflects that you do..Nice job.

  21. I have followed your blog for years and yours really stands out as one of the best. Don't change anything! I enjoy your archived memories. Too bad about your favorite cup. Most people probably don't get it, but I sure did. I put my favorite cup down somewhere on my farm and could find it for days. When I was out doing chores I moved a cabinet and then heard a crash. I knew at once that I had found my favorite cup, but alas, now it was in pieces. I still miss that cup and still to this day I haven't found a suitable replacement. I feel for ya. Keep up the great blog and don't be discouraged by someone with negative thoughts. Again, thanks for spending so much time putting together such a wonderful blog.

  22. As you know, I have been around for a long time.... And as such remember all of the older posts... But can you go back to blogs you posted before you were on google... They would be fun reading, since most of us never knew you then...

  23. Love your blog - every word (and picture) of it!