Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

New Rule

If you know TV talk show host Bill Maher, you know his “New Rule” segment in which he pokes fun at whatever issue has caught his attention.

I’ve been known to declare “New Rule” around the house, too, though usually not at someone else’s expense.

For instance. Living here in Northern Ontario means vegetable gardening is a gamble. For the first few years, I faithfully planted tomatoes. Harvest was fair to poor to downright nil. Last year I didn’t even bother. Of course, it was warmer than normal last year. We would have had a bumper crop. New Rule #1 – always plant tomatoes – hope for the best, expect the worst. 

As I said, my rules usually don’t poke fun, but today I’ll make an exception. Or two.

New Rule #2 – keep folding chairs in the car. You never know when the urge to have a picnic will strike. Reiner used to turn up his nose at the idea of dining al fresco. But once he discovered how pleasant it is to sit and enjoy a pretty view, he became a dedicated outdoor diner. Since, in his opinion, very few stopping places offer a seat, he bought two chairs with swivel tables. (He has his limits – he won’t eat while perched on a rock, or on the ground, and never without a surface upon which to place his cup and plate.) Of course, the chairs have never been in the car when we needed them, because one of his rules states that the car shall be cleaned out after every trip.

Speaking of limits, hubby has none when it comes to the pursuit of minerals. He and a friend just returned from the eastern shore of Lake Superior – he described his trip to one particular site as “interesting.” My hubby. A man of few words.

According to his collecting buddy, the trip should have ended very, very badly.

You see, when the map didn’t take him to the correct spot, rather than retrace his steps, he decided the best way to his destination was to go cross country. Very rugged country. Some would say impassable without the correct gear. Massive, moss-covered boulders; towering trees; deep, steep crevasses. “Jurassic Park” is how Reiner described the terrain.

New Rule #3 – No scampering down 100-foot canyons not matter how badly you want that mineral specimen. Sure, sure, the views are spectacular. But stay on the $%#@ trail!

Categories: Husband, Mineral Collecting

Tags: , ,

39 replies

  1. Oh yes, don’t mess with Superior.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LOL!! Thank you for starting my day off with a laugh. And now you’ve made me think of a fee new rules I should probably implement myself. Love Bill Maher btw. Have been watching him for years.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The tomato rule is true. I’m at a new house without a garden but threw 2 plants in a pot. I’ve been delighted to get a couple dozen cherry tomatoes. Not the same crop as in a garden but I’m not complaining. Always have something in the car to sit on. Just always. That terrain, just wow! Glad no bones were broken.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I was spoiled in southern Ontario with the gardening conditions. Up here one needs to be more strategic. It is possible to have great results in the north, but gardeners need to be more vigilant than I am. Or lucky.

      And luck is what those two guys had that day. Unbelievable that they managed to come out of that more or less unscathed.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Doesn’t look like the chairs would have helped much on that adventure, should the need for lunch have come about while navigating the most dangerous terrain ever!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Every time (every time!!) we get ready to go somewhere, I know what my husband is gonna say: Should we bring chairs? Drive me nuts. He likes to go somewhere and sit. Me? I’m a moving target. I like to walk around and take pictures. Sure, honey. Bring the chairs. Just one will be fine.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good grief! The terrain they hiked through would have me backtracking faster than my feet could move! Nope! No chairs needed. No place to put one! 🤗 Beautiful terrain to look at, but I wouldn’t want to be in it.

    Vegetable gardening has been so hit and miss for me over the years I finally gave it up. There’s a roadside stand just before the market I go to, and that works for me. Although with the price of his produce, he must start out with 14 carat seeds!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally agree with you about the terrain. When he showed me the picture of that lake view, I was taken by the pretty blue water. But when he told me the size of the outcrops, my jaw dropped.

      I used to be quite fanatical about my gardens when I lived in Southern Ontario – but up here, with the short season and fickle weather, it is a real challenge. I garden to keep my thumb green and to have some fresh peas, spinach, and if I’m lucky, maybe a tomato or two. I’m certainly grateful that I don’t depend on my efforts to get my through the winter!


  7. Chairs – yes.

    Rugged hiking – yes. But only if I’m suitably prepared!!

    Gardening? Well, I think I’m going to leave that to others more talented than I.

    Rules? Where would we be without them! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rule or guideline? That is always our conundrum. However I’ll just go ahead and say my rule is no to rugged hiking, yes to vegetable gardening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good point, Ally – Especially with the gardening items, the “rules” are more like policy, really, apt to be revised as necessary. But with Mr. Maher blaring in the background, “New Rule!” became my catch phrase for “take a memo!”

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Maggie,
    we had to smile about your rules. We just stopped planting tomatoes as to get them nice and tasty we need too much water with special tomatoe fertilizer and have to watch them all the time. When they are ripe in the end you can buy them on the front of people’s houses for nearly nothing.
    We know climbing big rocks from the Cornish coast, we always loved it. Our two Bookfayries Siri 🙂 and 🙂 Selma love climbing such rocks, well, they are survivers.
    Thanks for sharing
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. We decided not to plant tomatoes this year because we thought we’d be re-doing the deck which would make it hard to get to our garden. Once we saw the Covid price of lumber and composite wood, we decided to put the project off. Now: no new deck and no tomatoes. Fortunately, our blueberry bushes produced a bumper crop. 🙂 I like your rule about the chairs… you never know.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I lost the battle to grow tomatoes years ago! Too many critters to contend with. We always store magazines we haven’t read in the car just in case we have to wait somewhere. But folding chairs are also a good idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Bill’s “New Rule” segments always have me pissing meself ! 😀 But Reiner needs a stern talking to, Maggie – you up for that ? [grin]

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “Let’s go explore where the ship sank…” I think there’s a rule buried in that statement.

    Yours are good rules, Maggie.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Those sound like good rules to me!


  15. I hope he listens to you! I love the New Rule concept. Mine would be to keep the small cooler we own in the car rather than always in the closet where it never does any good. We just came back home from a long road trip and could have used it many times over. Oh, and don’t forget to grow tomatoes next year. 😉 – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I love your rules! I too have chairs in my car just incase!!


  17. Does that chair situation ever sound familiar to me. I am the type to come up with an idea like keeping the chairs in the car for that very reason. But the Gardener always has to have an opinion that means that I can’t follow through with what I want. Usually it’s because he doesn’t like change.


  18. I always like learning something new so I googled folding chair with table. Who knew? I didn’t. I have a couple of large resin Adirondack chairs that have cup holders, but those folding chairs are definitely a must have especially during Covid.

    Liked by 1 person

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