Sally’s View of the River

The Official Weblog of the Sunny Rock Bed & Breakfast

Minden, Ontario, Canada

Just 2.5 Hours from Toronto

Cell Phones and Sap Buckets: Six Years on Sapsucker Ridge written by Neil Campbell

Filed under: Friends of Sunny Rock,General Interest Newsy Stuff,General Interest Odd Stuff — Sally at 12:45 am on Thursday, December 23, 2010

CELL PHONES AND SAP BUCKETS tells stories of living in the Haliburton Highlands Ontario.

Not long ago, Neil Campbell and his best pal, The Brown Dog Jiggs, celebrated with champagne and liver treats when one of them was declared Ontario’s best weekly newspaper columnist.
These award-winning columns for the Minden Times (Minden Ontario) about their lives together in the Haliburton Highlands woods have been collected in a book called Cell Phones and Sap Buckets: Six Years on Sapsucker Ridge.

For a preview of the book, please click on:
Neil Campbell, retired from a long career at The Globe and Mail, typed the stories, however Jiggs is the real star of the book. Jiggs takes Neil on long walks and gives him little glimpses of the secret lives led by the creatures who live all around them.

They watch a romance between two snapping turtles and the unfolding of a sibling rivalry in a heron nest that turns fatal. A hungry fawn sucks on Neil’s pantleg and a bear swats Jiggs.

Jiggs noses out clues while Neil savours the changing of the seasons. Along the way, he deals with the challenges of living off the hydro grid on 50 acres of upland hardwood forest in the Haliburton Highlands Ontario two miles from the nearest public road.

When Campbell’s not being walked by the dog, Neil makes maple syrup, cuts his own firewood and works to preserve the Haliburton Highlands landscape as a member of the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust.

Also in the book are 15 original drawings by Haliburton artist Charlie Teljeur.

Campbell’s 40 year as a professional journalist included Ontario stops with the Richmond Hill Liberal, Oakville Daily Journal-Record, Oakville Beaver and Owen Sound Sun-Times, along with the Edmonton Journal, The Canadian Press, and 26 years with The Globe and Mail.

To contact Neil Campbell at for information on how to order directly and for Author signature.

Copies of Cell Phones and Sap Bucketscan be purchased from the following outlets throught Ontario

Bancroft — Ashlie’s Books.
Belleville — Greenley’s Bookstore.
Carnarvon — That Place in Carnarvon.
Gelert — Wintergreen Maple Products.
Haliburton — Country Rose, Foodland, Haliburton County Echo, Maple Moon, Master’s Books, Studio Rose, Undercover Books.
Kinmount — Artisan’s Market Place, Gateway Variety.
Lakefield — Happenstance Books & Yarns.
Lindsay — Joyce’s Place.
Minden — Dollo’s Foodland, The Fast Lane, Home Hardware, Organic Times, Pharmasave, R.D. Lawrence Place, Whispers North.
Orillia — Manticore Books.
Owen Sound — Downtown Bookstore.
Peterborough — Chapters, Titles Bookstore.
Rosedale — Kawartha Lakes Trading Post.
West Guilford — Cottage Country Log Cabin Trading.
Wilberforce — Agnew’s General Store.

Or, contact Neil Campbell at for information on how to order direct.

The True Story of Rudolph: I Believe its True

Filed under: General Interest Odd Stuff — Sally at 8:49 pm on Friday, December 17, 2010

The True Story of Rudolph
A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night.
His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bob’s wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer.
Little Barbara couldn’t understand why her mommy could never come home.
Barbara looked up into her dad’s eyes and asked, “Why isn’t Mommy just like everybody else’s Mommy?”
Bob’s jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger.
It had been the story of Bob’s life. Life always had to be different for Bob.
Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports.
He was often called names he’d rather not remember. From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived.
Evelyn’s bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums.
Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938.
Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn’t even afford to buy a Christmas gift.
But if he couldn’t buy a gift, he was determined to make one – a storybook!
Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animal’s story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope.
Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was the story all about?
The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form.
The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was.
The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose.
Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day. But the story doesn’t end there.
The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book.
Wards went on to print,_ Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer _ and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in
their stores. By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph.
That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book.
In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of War ds returned all rights back to Bob May.
The book became a best seller.
Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter. But the story doesn’t end there either.
Bob’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore, it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry.
“Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of “White Christmas.”
The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn’t so bad.
In fact, being different can be a blessing.

Sunny Rock makes a list of the top 100 Bed and Breakfasts in the World folks should take note of!!!!!

The Sunny Rock Bed and Breakfast has just recently been listed as one of the Top 100 Bed and Breakfasts in the world. Can you believe that…. the whole world. I took a break from strutted around for awhile with my fingers in my suspenders feeling very proud and with excitement forwarded this link to everyone i know. so important as it is I decided to record it here for all to follow also.

Top 100 Bed and Breakfasts in the world.