This blog is about our travels in our solar powered "Airstream" and living off grid, in our passive solar home, near Bancroft, Ontario, Canada.

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Saturday, 30 August 2014


The Bancroft Quilt Show will run September 20th and 21st which isn't that far away.

As expected this is a busy time for Mary. She has a number of quilts ready for the show but would like to get this one finished and entered as well.

The quilt is now on the quilting frame which allows the quilter to quilt or attach the top, bottom and middle together by stitching a pattern into the quilt top.

The pattern can be seen by clicking on the picture above. Many quilters use a machine that runs off a computer program to complete this stage of the project. A computerized quilting machine isn't cheap so I guess we will stick with this setup. My grandmother made quilts by hand with a group of friends sitting around the frame stitching the pieces together; slow meticulous work.

Here Mary guides the machine back and forth and side to side as she does the pattern freehand on the quilt.

She is able to do about 14 inches of quilt at a time before she needs to stop and roll the quilt for the next pass.

Be sure to stop by the Bancroft curling club to see all the quilts on display September 20th and 21st.

Thursday, 28 August 2014


When you walk the trail around Little Lake in Peterborough you have lots to see and enjoy.

Sand and water and little kids are happy. Campers at Beavermead campground can enjoy this beach just a short walk from their campsite.

Walking a little further one can sit and watch the pleasure boats go through this lock on the Trent Severn Waterway. This waterway was built back in the 1800 as a way to open up southern Ontario to settlement and economic development. Unfortunately by the time it was completed railroads had been built and could handle more goods and move people faster than the boats on the canals. There is one lock on the system that is a rail line actually taking the boats out of the water and lifting them up to the next lake by rail car.

New this year is a water park located at the far end of the path up on Maria Street. It's the perfect place to spend a hot summer day with little children.

Take some time to explore Peterborough; it has a lot to offer and don't forget the Farmers' Market every Saturday morning.

Enjoy these last few days of summer.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014


We enjoyed a lovely evening walk along the shoreline while camping in Peterborough last weekend. It was quiet, peaceful and relaxing with new sights to see as the sun began to close another day.

 We stopped and chatted with a retired gentleman who lives nearby. They moved from a lake north of the city to be closer to their doctors as his wife has developed some severe health issues and they spend many days just waiting to see a doctor. He walks the path two or three times a day just to get out of the house.

 Health, it is the cornerstone that dictates our quality of life. If you can ride a bike, walk around the block or go sky diving then enjoy the day and find something to celebrate. Once breakfast is done it's time for my walk. 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014


Peterborough is one of the few municipalities to operate their own campground and we spent last weekend enjoying this beautiful location.

Our view looking across the campground. This was Monday morning after most folks had left.

There are rigs for all tastes and budgets, large million dollar motorhomes and tiny teardrop trailers like this one. Although small, two people can sleep comfortably in the trailer and there is a kitchen under the door on the back roof. As you can see they have their bicycles with them along with two kayaks and a dining tent. The folks in this trailer looked to be in their late 60's early 70's so camping is for all ages.

This park is perfect for canoeing and kayaking and it's right in the heart of Peterborough. Cost for full hookups was $50.00/night and the campground was almost full when we arrived. 

If you know of other municipal campgrounds in Ontario let us know. We enjoy visiting small towns and their farmers' markets this time of year.

Monday, 25 August 2014


We are still in Peterborough after having a lovely weekend with family some we hadn't seen in over 20 years.

Here are a few pictures from the pig roast. I'll post more when we get home.

Thanks Connie and Andrew for a great weekend.

Saturday, 23 August 2014


Today we head to Peterborough and the family gathering. We are looking forward to seeing everyone and enjoying the pig roast.

Rather than continue with our daily blog I'm taking a break and will write at least once a week or as interesting events happen.

Thanks for keeping an eye on us and safe travels wherever you go.

Friday, 22 August 2014


Yesterday Owen was up at 5 and driving the bobcat at 7:30. Today he is still asleep and it is 6:30. I guess we tuckered him out yesterday.

Owen loves to help Oma drive the bobcat.

They moved some dirt and smoothed out the road.

Then it was time to go to town for groceries and a walk through the "Dollar" store. Every two year old loves the Dollar store.

Before we got to town Owen fell fast asleep. I drove Mary around and stayed with Owen while she did the shopping. We didn't come home until Owen woke up and we could take him to the Dollar store. 

Back home it was playtime.

If we see the sun today we are going down to the lake. Owen loves to play on the beach and throw sticks into the water. Doesn't take much to entertain little ones, just sand and water and they are happy.

Enjoy the day and safe travels Tony.

Thursday, 21 August 2014


Spent most of yesterday trying to repair our RV refrigerator.

We haven't used it for two years but when I first turned it on it did cool things down but now it does nothing.

I removed the igniter,  cleaned out the rust and used an emery board to clean the tip. 

Owen came out to see what grandpa was doing and offered to help. I wish he knew what the problem is.

Still checking things out before we leave on Saturday.

At 7:30 am this morning this is what Oma and Owen were doing.

Owen had to get a ride before breakfast today. He has been waiting very patiently for the bobcat and it was returned last night. I think Owen must have been dreaming all night about the bobcat. He was up before five and his first words were "BOBCAT"

Wednesday, 20 August 2014


We met Sherri and Owen in Peterborough yesterday and had a picnic lunch at the Peterborough zoo. This is a small zoo perfect for little children complete with a train ride and lots of climbing equipment.

Oma is happiest when she is snuggled up with Owen. 

Today we will enjoy time together playing on the porch and looking after the chickens.

Grandkids, they make life special.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014


In preparation for the big party on Saturday Mary made sauerkraut last week.

It looks rather easy to make: cut the cabbage, put it into the jars with the brine and let it ferment for 10 days. (I think that's what she did)

The whole process went smoothly and quickly.

I'm hoping we can give it a taste test before letting the family try it.

Have you ever made sauerkraut? How was it?

Off to Peterborough soon to get Sherri and Owen. Fun days ahead.

Monday, 18 August 2014


Fixed our bathroom light. Took it down, checked the connections, made sure everything was clean and reconnected the wiring for the third time.

Voila! We have a light that works and we are happy.

Next on the to do list was the trailer. I backed it up against the house so it was convenient for cleaning and loading and we got to work. When you haven't used something for two years there is a lot of cleaning, organizing and a few repairs to do.

Saturday we pull out and head to Peterborough for a family reunion. Our favourite camp spot behind Annie and Marvin's isn't available anymore so we will use the municipal campground.

We are looking forward to seeing family and friends at the pig roast; but before we do that, Sherri and Owen are coming for a few days. 

Looks like a busy week ahead. Stay tuned for more pictures.

Sunday, 17 August 2014


Bought blinds last week. They will cut them to the length you need, don't even have to take them out of the box.

We bought the room darkening shades that have the honeycomb type construction. They keep the room dark and help to save some energy as they act like insulation over the window. Very easy to install, much easier than I was anticipating.

Looks good. Functions as it should. Comes with a lifetime warranty.

Safe travels everyone. 

Saturday, 16 August 2014


While we were in Belleville last week we picked up a light fixture for our bathroom.

First job was to get my tools and protect the sink as I don't need to damage it while working to get the light installed.

I had to install an electrical box and run the wire over to it. This is where I needed my brother-in-law, Don, as he is very handy and comfortable doing electric circuits.

I had to fish for the wire which left a little damage to our drywall which Mary will fix later.

The fixture was assembled and connected 

but we have a problem ...................... only two lights function. I switched bulbs, no help. I checked the wires, all connected. Now do I take it apart and try to fix it or back to the store to get a replacement?  ................... By the way, it's an hour and a half drive to the store. 

Decisions, decisions ........... always something to fix.

Friday, 15 August 2014


Decided to take a drive to Belleville this week as we've had nothing but cold weather and rain. Looking for blinds was a good excuse to get out of the house.

First stop was the farmers' market. I always enjoy strolling through the vendor's stalls admiring all the local produce and crafts one finds.

We plan to do some canning this fall and these beans will be delicious preserved for a winter meal.

Mary's dad grew flowers for a living and he would have admired these glads someone had at the market.

Today we have our first fire of the season. Mary ate too much wheat yesterday so she is enjoying a book and the warmth of the fire stretched out on the couch.

Hope you are staying warm.

Thursday, 14 August 2014


Sold the steel shed the other day. Not really a shed as it is a steel building 25x40 feet. The municipality wouldn't let me erect it until the house was up and then my chosen location was in violation of their bylaws. So after sitting under tarps for four years it was time to let it go.

Jim from Cobalt which is a five hour drive north of us came down with his trailer and we loaded it up. Over 5,000 pounds of steel.

Loaded, secured and ready for the trip north. Our yard is slowly getting cleaned up of left over building supplies. 

Thanks to Kijiji our stuff is selling fast.

Safe travels Jim and send me a picture when you get the building completed.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014


During the summer months we have church in the park on Sunday evenings. Different churches from the community take their turn sharing the gospel message in song and word.

Last week the local Mennonite choir blessed us with their voices. It was a delight to sit and listen to their melodies float across the lawn.

There was a good number in attendance which doesn't show in this picture as most were sitting further back. 

After the adults the children had a chance to perform and they are a very musical group as well. All signing was acappella.

A few boys in the audience had other ideas of entertainment. They tried a variety of ways of sitting in their chairs. Here one tries the feet in the air approach.

It was a beautiful way to spend a summer evening followed by a chance to chat with many friends after.