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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I’m going to see if I can remember what it was I had written last night before I was so brusquely interrupted by my USB shutting down my computer. I DO save my work frequently but heck, last nights post (or what was GOING TO HAVE BEEN last nights post) was only about 2 paragraphs I had written and I wasn’t done! I still can’t figure out why plugging into my USB would restart my computer! Makes me nervous!

I think I had told you about the weather we had yesterday, which was bitterly cold, not much snow (I think it was too cold to snow!). OHHH!!!! I remember some more of it! Read on...

I was telling you about one of the “barometers” that I use to judge tourism in our area. Every year, usually in December, the Michigan EDC sends out the letter to businesses who have brochures or rack cards or other types of advertising material letting you know how many to send for the next year. This advertising material goes to the Michigan Welcome Centers.

Three years ago, Dan and I went to rack cards for our business. 3 years ago, the Michigan EDC requested 5000 of our rack cards, last year it was 4000. This year it is down to 2500. There are two positive things I can see with this drop; 1. At least they still need them! And 2. It isn’t as much of a cost out of our advertising budget to get them and mail them. That last thought is tongue in cheek. Pretty soon, someone in Schoolcraft, Michigan will “re-erect” that billboard that was up along US 131 years ago. that simply stated ‘WILL THE LAST PERSON LEAVING MICHIGAN PLEASE TURN OUT THE LIGHTS?”

Business this winter is turning out a bit better than Dan and I expected, but it sure is a FAR cry from years ago. Dan groomed the Falls trail last night (#45). This is about a 9 hour round trip. HE SAW ONE SLED THE WHOLE RUN. The other night he did the south trail, which was about a 15 hour trip and saw 4 sleds. At least we have guests arriving today that are renting the Little Lodge for a full week and others arriving this weekend for the cabins. It’s a 3 day weekend for some people.

One of the other groomer operators was headed up # 9 towards Pine Stump last night. When he got to where the Seney groomers meet up with our trail, President Bob told him to turn around and come back in. It was snowing SO HARD that Groomer Donnie was having a very hard time finding the trail. Dan said he had times that he had to stop on the Falls trail and get his bearings due to the snow coming down. Oh, in case you are wondering, all of the groomer tractors have a communications radio in them and there are two radios that are used as a “base” so the drivers have contact with “the outside world” in case something goes wrong while they are grooming or if they come upon an accident they can call for help, etc.

Monday afternoon, Dan and I had errands to run in town. Since neither one of us had had anything to eat yet that day (long story), we decided to splurge and go to Pizza Hut for a late lunch/early supper. I had been feeling kind of down that day because it was a year ago January 12 we had little Chewy put to sleep (I don’t know why it is the “exact year to date” tends to bother more than every other day of the year we think of a lost loved one). Anyway, we were parking at the Pizza Hut and I looked at the clock and realized it was just about the time that the vet had been here a year ago. The radio was still on and the song “Chewy, Chewy” by the 1910 Fruitgum Company (you are probably all to young to remember that, right??) came on. Dan remembered I use to sing that to Chewy (well, the stanza’s anyway) and he immediately shut the radio off. That was just such a strange coincidence, ya know?

Remember that cake I wrote about last night? The one that you are expected to wait 4 hours after frosting before eating it?? I took DVM wife’s advice (see the comments section on the previous story) and had a piece of it last night (with a big cold glass of skim milk). IT WAS SOOO GOOD. But now I know why you are supposed to wait 4 hours. It cut just fine, but then trying to get it out of the pan, well, that was a calamity. Let’s just say that it “weren’t purdy” by the time I got it on my plate! The frosting for this cake is so rich and thick (by that I mean there is plenty of it!) that you have to really clamp your lips around the fork to get the frosting off from it.

Well, I have hit the save button twice on this monologue, so I better post it before something else goes wrong!

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