Hey, it’s Saturday morning – early. And, a good morning to all. Coffee is on so my day has begun. Maybe my early start is in sympathy with the grandkids since most started school this week and an early daily start is now part of their life. Summer 2018 is quickly showing up in the rear view mirror.  

However, we’re still enjoying the warm days. Last Sunday at the nearby Wharncliffe Community Hall we joined area neighbors for an outstanding Pig Roast and meal. The video below shows us patiently waiting for the spit to finish rotating.

Afterwards neighbor Bulent and I had a ten ‘point wins’ game of horseshoes. Bragging a tiny bit here, but I was losing 9 to 1 then pulled it out and won 11 to 9. This week André and I have sweated a bit building proper horseshoe pits at the Hall and I have to meet him at 9 this morning to finish up – another trifling reason for being up early. 


The trend here in Ontario for the past decade has been more government and more rules. Taxes have kept on rising especially on ‘sin’ items to a point where the cost for regular big-brand beer is $37 per case (my neighbor says that $20 of that amount is taxes). That aside, this week I ran squarely into the liquor authority’s bizarre doings. Hence this quote from yesterday’s copy of the National Post newspaper:

”The rules and regulations surrounding alcohol are relics of a distant past, when temperance marches filled the streets” ~ Kelly McParland – National Post

LCBO – is the Provincial government entity which handles all alcohol sales. By agreement with ‘The Big Five’ there is one other entity which handles some of the beer sales and it’s simply called The Beer Store. During the past year 174 grocery stores across the province have been allowed limited beer sales with wacky conditions such as the need for a beer only checkout cash register.

27 miles south of us in town is a LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) location. But, by dispensation our nearby Trading Post is a lesser, private, subset of the aforementioned LCBO store – after all, tourists need their beer. 

A couple of weeks ago I had a delightful craft beer brewed on nearby Manatoulin Island, an English Ale called ‘Cup and Saucer’ – and yes it’s carried by the LCBO facility in town. So, I asked Keith at the Trading Post to order me a case. So far so good.

The other day he apologized for not having it. Seems that the LCBO manager was on ‘holiday’ and the regular clerk needed permission from her to allow the Trading Post to sell this beer since he hadn’t ordered it before (and yes, they had it in stock).

Just a wee bit of inconsequential nonsense. But, it describes perfectly what life becomes with more and more overbearing government oversight and involvement especially if you multiply it with instance after instance.

And, I won’t even go into a rant on the rationale why the government owned electric company, Hydro-1, has seen fit to replace my electric meter for the fourth time in less than eight years (and yes, they were all metering perfectly well). But I could.

Phrenology – Mid 1800s and into the early 1900s round was in. Apparently, since most everything in the universe was round, it became the shape of choice. That was more than just skulls, planets, and things, even barns became round – mostly round (they were ‘roundish’ in that they were between 12 and 19 sided).

Over the years use and weather took their toll. I am told that in all of Canada only 11 remain, and three of these are in this region. Yet, they were amazing structures. We were told that a round barn can handle 20% more feed than their rectangular counterpart. Although the vertical slats creating the wall were originally all abutted when built, as they dried a space opened up between them. It was pointed out that being ‘round’ there is no air pressure differential between the outside and inside. Hence even with daylight peering through these walls rain and snow don’t come through (though some mosquitoes do).

Fifteen years ago one of the nearby barns was on its last legs. Some area visionaries got involved and with a $250,000 grant, a lot of private donations and labor a project was undertaken. First a new site was selected and secured. The old barn was taken apart, piece by piece, and reassembled on the new site. Where new was required it was made to exact specifications. To meet today’s fire codes and wanting to keep a wooden floor a new floor was built – 4” thick.

The original structure was prepared to have a cupola but none was ever built. This time a 7,300 pound cupola was built and proudly hoisted in place. Now, this community project is a wonderful asset to a little area called Sowerby (maybe a 100 people tops). Weddings, community meetings, musical events and even funerals are held in the barn. Weekly some Amish farmers sell produce from the barn’s basement. The original funds found $60,000 remaining, these will be used as an ongoing maintenance fund. It’s always amazing what a community with some vision can accomplish.

Marcia, Marlene, Donn, and I along with sixty or so others spent a wonderful Tuesday evening in the place – the coffee, tea, and deserts also added.

Finis – Bulent had an old Laser sailboat, leaky beyond further use. We even tried ‘sailing’ it in the trees – all for naught. So, earlier this week it found its way to the dump. The whole event was slightly clandestine and Marcia was half prepared for a call from one of the local gendarmes. All went well. 


Now; ready to post, add the accompanying photos and then load tools so that when André arrives work can get started. Bulent and Barb have family here. Assuming the wind dies down I have promised a Pontoon loop of the lake. I am hoping that the wind does die down this afternoon.

The dump is like the old corner grocery store or barber shop. It’s where news is shared and acquaintanceships renewed. It’s also a place where nails are found, especially by tires. This ‘necklace’ cost me $33.00 for retrieving it from my rear tire.

Congratulations to Kellen and Derek for completing Band Camp – practicing outside in the 100-degree Austin heat is some feat. Also, a special kudos to Derek for completing his written exam and obtaining his Learners Permit.


Make it a great week.


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