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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Thursday, 31 December 2015


First winter hike. We have about 10 inches of ice crusted snow in the bush.

Mary took this with her phone. I left my camera at home.

Last day of 2015, enjoy the evening.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015


We are definitely into the "Dog Days of Winter". It has been months since we've had any substantial days of sunshine. We've had rain and overcast days since the end of October and today looks much the same. This winter we've run the generator more than any of the past three.  Maybe it's time to hook up the trailer and head south to Arizona. Winters in the desert were great.

Yesterday we had freezing rain followed by 6 inches of snow. I plowed our laneway with the skidsteer which makes the job so easy and keeps me warm inside the cab. This was our first major snowfall of the year and the first time I've used the skidsteer in months. Fortunately I have chains on the back tires so the ice under the snow wasn't a problem.

Today I think I'll get out the travel books and do a little dreaming. 

Safe travels everyone.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015


Any idea what this is? It's a high potency herb that has many excellent properties. It's also very easy to grow and harvest indoors.

What you see Mary holding are the roots from one stem of the plant grown in our kitchen over the past 8 months and harvested yesterday. Know the answer? If you guessed turmeric, you are right.

Mary boils it on the stove along with some ginger to make a morning tea. She adds a teaspoon of raw honey and some lemon to the tea. It is delicious and oh so healthy.

Turmeric production is far easier than ginger and as shown here yields much more produce for the same space. I think we will switch to growing more turmeric and buy our ginger at the grocery store where it is plentiful and inexpensive.

Finally starting to get some winter weather today. Snow is falling and I may need to plow the driveway later.

Safe travels everyone.

Monday, 28 December 2015


Yesterday was Christmas at Connie and Andrew's.

It was a time for the cousins to be together. Although the youngest are too young to play together it was fun watching them interact throughout the day.

This is Lionel, Rebecca's son who will be two next month.

Uncle Sean was kept busy helping Owen build Lego.

He also did an awesome job carving the turkey.

The food was excellent and the time together precious.

Now it's time to hunker down and get ready for some serious snow plowing.

Safe travels everyone.

Sunday, 27 December 2015


Winter has finally arrived and we are off to Peterborough this morning. I'm sure the sanders have been out and our roads will be fine. This is Canada and we do expect this weather. I said "expect" I didn't say embrace.

Safe travels everyone.

Thursday, 24 December 2015


Just harvested our first ginger root; rather small but it is our first attempt.

Mary started these plants back in July and today we decided to see the condition of the ginger roots. We will leave the plant for another month and hopefully get a larger root.

Monday, 21 December 2015


Saturday night we enjoyed an early Christmas dinner with the kids. Leanne did a great job of decorating the table and everyone brought food for the meal. It was such a good time to be together.

Sean made tamales which we had never eaten before and all disappeared they were that good.

OK so Owen wasn't the only one having fun at the table; the kids had a great time with the fake mustaches from their Christmas crackers. 

The meal was delicious and Owen was delighted to help his uncle blow out the candles as we cleared the table. 

Thanks Sherri and Rob for a wonderful weekend and all the delicious food we shared.

Looking forward to seeing everyone next weekend in Peterborough.

Sunday, 20 December 2015


Yesterday we had Christmas with the kids and Owen helped pass out the gifts. He did a great job........

and always offered to help open the gift just in case you didn't have the strength to pull the ribbons and tape off.

Once all the gifts had been delivered and opened he got his Dad to help him build Lego; a perfect gift for a 3 year old.

This was our driveway when we pulled in this afternoon. Nice to see the white stuff.

Thanks for stopping by and safe travels everyone.

Saturday, 19 December 2015


Today we have gathered at Sherri and Rob's place to celebrate Christmas together. Unfortunately Owen has come down with a fever so he is spending lots of time in Oma's arms.

Owen's aunt Leanne and Uncle Jamie brought him this bowling set. He seems to be getting better the more he plays.

Spending time sharing and getting caught up.

The guys are busy in the kitchen ...........

and Leanne and Mom are busy decorating the table. Can't wait to eat.

Thursday, 10 December 2015


Owen loves to help his parents and his Oma. Here he is  preparing to thread a needle so he can fix the owl.

First he needs to measure then cut the thread. 

Full concentration is needed to fit the thread through the eye of the needle. I wasn't any help as I can barely see the needle let alone the tiny opening for the thread. 
Owen kept saying he was making a Christmas present for his aunt Leanne but his Oma reminded him that it was gifted to her from her friend Ruth Williams; so the pincushion stayed here.

Looking forward to seeing everyone during the holidays. Safe travels and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015


This weekend is the Trek to Bethlehem. Our church puts on this pageant every other year. 

It's a guided walk through the bush stopping at different stations to hear the story of Joseph and Mary's trip to Bethlehem and the birth of their son Jesus.

Of course the birth of Jesus is central to the message of Christmas and why we celebrate the season.

The pageant is held in L'Amable and uses live actors and animals in the telling of the story. 

If you are in the area come out Saturday or Sunday night after 6 and enjoy the Trek to Bethlehem. Meet at the L'Amable Bible chapel for a wagon ride to the site of the trek in the woods. Don't forget your flashlight and maybe your umbrella.

Monday, 7 December 2015


Community suppers are very popular up here. Last weekend we took Sherri and Owen to McArthur's Mills for their annual Christmas supper. It was our first visit and the food was "homemade" and delicious.

Owen was well behaved and enjoyed supper along with us. After he was done eating he took my camera and walked around taking pictures, that was a first.

This is Owen's picture of the serving table. Lots of choices and everything was hot. You served yourself and could go back for seconds if needed. It wasn't needed but I went back anyway.

Another Owen shot. I need to teach him not to cut off people's heads. I think he must have taken 30 pictures which is no big deal, unlike the old slide film I grew up on where every click meant a processing fee. 

It was a great evening and now it was time to kiss and go home.

Another mild foggy day here. We are off to town shortly to get supplies and visit the doctor. 

Enjoy your day and safe travels.

Sunday, 6 December 2015


It doesn't feel much like Christmas; no snow, temperatures way above freezing, rather unusual. Yesterday while Mommy and Oma did some Christmas baking, Owen and Grandpa went for a hike.

Our first stop was the pond where the ice has melted and all the turtles are safely in their winter homes.

Next we checked out the creek and walked across the bridge.

We were surprised at how much water was flowing in the creek.

From the creek it was a short hike down to the lake to throw stones and get our boots wet along the shoreline.

Back home it was time for some heavy work, moving dirt and rocks to fill in some holes. Owen likes dirt.

It was a wonderful morning spent with the best grandson anyone could have.

Saturday, 5 December 2015


Owen and Sherri arrived last night for a weekend visit. This morning Owen showed me his Advent Calendar.  It is from Lego and each day he gets to build another Lego toy. Here he lines up the ones he has built so far.

Owen woke me up at 5 a.m. and crawled into bed with us for a few snuggles then he convinced Oma to help him do "construction" in his bedroom. This is what they built, a new room full of decorations and hanging walls.

It will be a busy weekend full of fun and later a trip to town to watch the Santa Claus parade.

Watch for more pictures as the weekend progresses.

Thursday, 3 December 2015


We have a "Road Elf".

 He or she appeared yesterday and has been moving up and down our road since first spotted.

Mary, the queen decorator of our cottage road has been placing large bows on trees to give our road a Christmas flavour.

Last week she found this elf in town and decided it needed to be outside having some fun.

Now our neighbours move the elf each time they add a decoration to the road. 

No snow yet but we are having fun.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015


I've always regretted we didn't get lights installed on the east side of the house. I don't know how that happened but it did and to do it now is difficult and much more costly. Last week I think I found an easy solution.

These little LED lights are solar powered and throw a considerable amount of light.

They use a lithium battery and have 8 tiny LED lights to illuminate the area. That little white ball contains the motion sensor which acts like a switch turning them on when anyone passes. You can set them to come on under three different conditions; a) High Light mode, b) Dim Light mode, c) Sensor mode, the one I use.

The installation was very simple. I removed a screw from a steel panel and ran the screw through the light housing and then back through the steel panel. Can you see the two lights in the picture above?

So now our driveway is well illuminated and we can safely and easily load or unload the car at night.

You can find these lights on under MPOW solar motion sensor lights.

I'll report again on them after 6 months or if issues appear sooner.

Safe travels and thanks for stopping by.