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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Tuesday, 30 September 2014


This is the best time of year to take a walk in the woods, made even better when you walk with family or friends.

Leanne and Jamie were up last weekend and it was the perfect time to be out for a walk.

Mary walking with a cane (stick) to assist her broken toe. She did very well and we simply adjusted our pace to her speed.

We even found time for a campfire which we love but just haven't done many of this year.

It was a great weekend and the time flew. Thanks for the visit Jamie and Leanne. Hope to see you up here when we do the maple syrup.

Monday, 29 September 2014


Some folks are content to camp out under the stars with just a tent and sleepingbag; other have to have everything.

Can you see what these guys have? .............

A hot-tub! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw them inflating this portable hot-tub. Blow it up, fill it up, plug it in and you are good to go.

When we started camping 50 years ago I was glad to have a tent trailer and be off the ground. Now campers want everything and it looks like they can have it.

Safe travels everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 28 September 2014


Fall mornings are mystical around a lake in the north country. The cool morning air descends across the warm water and shrouds everything in a cloud of vapour; a perfect time for an investigative stroll along the water's edge.

Mary keeps the fire going making sure we can sit outside and enjoy the fog.

Children dressed for the cool morning come down to look across the lake.

As each minute passes, the light changes and we begin to see the distant hills.

Once the air warm arrives we open the windows allowing the air to flow in and take away the moisture inside. Our trailer is cool but thanks to Marvin and Annie's heater we slept well through the night.

Soon the mist is gone and the kids can run and explore to their hearts content. Mornings at the lake, a magical start to the day.

Saturday, 27 September 2014


Last Wednesday we hooked up the trailer and headed to Algonquin Park an hour north of Bancroft. Our first stop was the information building just inside the east gate. 

Mary loves the north; the rock-cuts, lakes and pine trees combine to make this a magical place to visit.  Traffic was light and the views around every bend in the road were spectacular.

By one o'clock we were set up on site 14 looking at the lake through our front door. We had booked on line as the campsites are very popular this time of year. The reservation system is excellent. You type in the length of your vehicle, arrival and departure dates, campground name. One click and it will show you the sites available for your size of RV based on the dates requested. We were lucky, getting a non-electric site adjacent to the beach. 

Photos don't begin to capture the majesty one sees looking across the water to the distant hills. This has to be one of the best times of the year to be up north.

Mary, enjoying the sunshine and a good book with our trailer hidden in the trees. We did a lot of this as Mary's broken toe needed time to heal. She tried to stay off it as much as possible and by Friday the swelling had gone down considerably.

The weekend weather looks perfect and we are looking forward to having Leanne and Jamie visit for a few days.

Thanks for stopping by and safe travels everyone.

Friday, 26 September 2014


If you are thinking of heading north this weekend to view the fall colours you won't be disappointed.

We just returned from three days of camping in the park and I believe the leaves are at their peak.

I'll share more tomorrow but now it's time for supper.

Pack a lunch and head north, the views are spectacular.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014


Yesterday we were invited to join Durl and Linda cranberry picking. This was something Mary has wanted to do for ages so she was eager to get out and start picking.

We loaded their boat then headed up river to find that secret spot where cranberries grow.

Our equipment was rather basic, a few plastic buckets, hip-waders, rain jacket and we were set to pick berries.

Off we went across the bog, sloshing through the water looking for the illusive little red berries that grow close to the ground. 

Although the picking was slim and it rained off and on we thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Cruising down river we enjoyed the fall colours which are nearly at their peak so soon in the season.

Late in the afternoon it was time to head home and get the berries into the freezer. This Thanksgiving we will make our own cranberry sauce, yummy. 

Now if we can just remember the location of that cranberry patch next year.

Thanks Linda and Durl for introducing us to another great northern experience.

This morning we are hooking up the Airstream and heading north to Algonquin. There we will enjoy the fall colours, sitting around the campfire and listen for the loons calling across the water.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

North Hastings Quilt Show 2014

This is the first quilt show I have been involved in. The ladies of Bancroft and area sure now how to put on a great show. Everyone involved from the kitchen to the actual show, gave it all they got. 

The result was excellent. We had a steady number of visitors both Saturday and Sunday. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The large quilt display was beautifully hung with an excellent variety of works. 

This is the miscellanious area, where placemats, pillows and much more were displayed. The club challenges were here as well. The one you see here is the shape challenge. Can you figure out which shape dominated in each one of the above 5 quilts?

Here I am chatting with the club president Marion Heasman. She can be very satisfied with how everything went as chair of the show. 

Here is the challenge for 4. Each person was given a panel of a tree and were to bring it back completed after 6 months. Exceptionally beautiful works..........and such creative ways to use a panel!

Here I am looking at one of my personal favorites in the large quilt section. No its not my own but sure wish it was!

A number of the quilts were for sale. I put one of my 11 quilts up for sale and sold it! The pink and green one is it. So happy to send it along to a little girl who loves pink.

And the winner of this year's raffle quilt is..........a lady from Manitoba. We make a quilt at the club (this one is hand quilted) and raffle one off at each show. 100% of the monies made goes back into the local community. You can see by the tickets in the large box to the left that we sold lots of tickets!
What a show. Thanks to all who could make it out to enjoy the show. Already thinking ahead to 2016.

Monday, 22 September 2014


If you are thinking of heading north to see the fall colours plan to do so in the next two weeks. We are starting to see more reds and oranges as the maples begin to display their fall colours.

On October 5th we will be part of the Natural Home Show Tour. You can click on this link House Tour to see a map of all the homes available to go through that Sunday. Click on the bottom green balloon on Bancroft to see our home or the sixth address on the white box to the left.

For more information about the tour check out this site Tour Poster

Hope to see you up here enjoying the fall colours and the homes on tour.

Thanks for stopping by and keeping an eye on us.

Sunday, 21 September 2014


Mary had a fabulous day yesterday at the quilt show. She came home very happy with the interest people showed in the quilts and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities to chat with visitors throughout the day.

She was so busy talking she didn't have time for pictures but that will be corrected today. 

After the show closes we are looking forward to supper with Annie and Marvin. They have so much happening in their lives and it will be good to have a chance to get caught up on their latest news.

Our church is having a Harvest Weekend with plenty of delicious BBQ beef and music from many of the talented folks in the congregation. After our beef supper last night we went into the sanctuary for an evening of music and testimonies. What a blessing to hear how lives have been changed because of the love and forgiveness of Jesus. The place was silent as Dan and Theresa shared the struggles they had inflicted on their marriage and the change that occurred when Jesus came into their lives. It was indeed a time to celebrate. Thank you Dan and Theresa for having the courage to be open and honest with us. You spoke to our hearts.

Time to bake some pies and start the day. 

Thanks for stopping by and keeping an eye on us.

Thursday, 18 September 2014


I'm lazy. I prefer to have my firewood as close to my front door as possible. When it's -32*C I don't want to spend a lot of time outside getting firewood, matter of fact I prefer someone else go and get it but that's not about to happen.

So to minimize my time outside I stack our firewood on our front porch. It's sheltered, steps from the comfort and warmth of the house and well lit at night.

This year we are placing skids of firewood behind the stacked wood on the porch. The thinking is we should now have a sufficient amount of wood within easy reach of the front door for the entire winter. I'm still working on the elevated base for the skids.

The base is topped with two logs to allow drainage and provide support across the entire width of the base. Before the end of the month I want to have all the skids in position for the winter season.

It is a small challenge moving the skids into place, being careful not to hit the well pipe or bump the stones and knock the wall loose. 

Knowing that we have 4 cords of wood just outside our door makes it easy to sleep at night.

Looking forward to lots of snow that we can enjoy from the window by our stove.

This morning it is 3*C and our fire is crackling softly as we enjoy breakfast.

Stay warm and enjoy the day. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014


Today I need to change the oil and filter in the generator and skid-steer. These are seasonal jobs that need to be done before winter arrives. 

I use synthetic oil and a lighter grade for easier winter starting.

This Saturday is Hazardous waste collection up here which means I can get rid of the oil and filters without having to safely store them for the winter.

Paul and Connie are visiting. They will be busy with Mary back in the bush clearing more brush for us.

In just a few weeks we expect to be seeing these beautiful mornings. The colours will be at their best in another two weeks. This photo was taken October 2/13

Thanks for the comment on yesterday's blog Don. Hope you like the above photo.

Enjoy your day and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 14 September 2014


It's a misty morning here. The sun is trying to burn through but so far it's just a dull mist that greets us for breakfast.

Yesterday was rain typical fall weather. Our days are often cool and wet with the sun showing up in the late afternoon.

On our way to the Maynooth market we stopped at the plant sale in town. Mary was happy to get a lavender plant.

Company is coming tomorrow, yea! Always a delight to have family and friends drop by. 

Safe travels everyone and thanks for keeping an eye on us.

Friday, 12 September 2014


Two signs winter is coming; our hummingbirds have left and the road graders are out.

You can tell summer is over and we are into fall. Every day a few more leaves have lost their green and are showing us their colours. Always a delight to drive into town and spot the new patches of reds and oranges starting to tinge the edge of the forest.

Yesterday our road was graded, a sure sign the municipality is starting to think snow. They prepare the roads as best they can, ready for the plows that will be out on them in just a few weeks. We often see our first snowfall before the end of October.

But the change that heralds the new season is our loss of hummingbirds darting about our feeders. They've left. It's natural, part of their life cycle but sad none the less. We've enjoyed their colour and their antics all summer and now they have left on their long journey south. We miss them and come April will be watching again for their return.

New season are always a mixed blessing. Some familiar sights disappear and new chores are added to the menu of  jobs needing to be done. We are cutting more trees, clearing more bush and Matthew is back helping us accomplish these tasks. The days are cooler, the wind stronger and the rain more frequent. It's fall.

We love the seasons, just need to accept the need for warmer clothes, rain boots and shorter days. Soon the forest will be silent and we will enjoy the view across our pond as the wood crackles in our stove.

Thanks for stopping by. Time for me to start a fire.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014


Yesterday was a very busy day here. Peter and Dave arrived early and built a shelter for our firewood.

We used maple logs we had cut back in the spring as our uprights.

Here Peter trims off one of the posts.

Those air-guns make the job so much easier.

The strapping for the steel is just about done.

Finished and ready for the steel roof. We have about four years of wood cut and drying and now it will be protected.

Thanks Dave and Peter, very happy with the shelter.