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, 30 July 2015


Last winter my trailer batteries froze and burst; not a good experience. This week I opened up the electrical can of worms, got out the books related to all the components and started studying. It was a real head spinner.

Getting power from the sun isn't a simple case of panels, batteries and wires. This is a complex system that will function superbly if connected properly or fail miserably if just one step is sub-par.

After many hours of reading, evaluating, talking and making phone calls I believe I have uncovered a step or two that needs improving.

Unfortunately my electric guru won't be around until September so no boondocking for us this summer. We can travel but we will rely on shore power or a generator, neither option makes me happy.

Improvements will be easy to make and then we can roll down the highway totally self-contained, heading west to the mountains or east to the ocean; the road takes us in either direction.

If my grandmother could see how easy and comfortably we can travel across this beautiful country she would be amazed. What we cover in hours, she took weeks to do. It is a great age we live in.

Safe travels everyone. See you down the road.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015


Having Owen and Sherri for the past few days has been wonderful. Owen has grown at least 3 inches since we saw him in April and he is a non-stop talker. If he isn't talking he is singing while playing.

He has new confidence in his abilities often times telling us "I can do it my Big Boy Self" 

I've been working on the trailer this week and Owen climbed the ladder without hesitation, using that "Big Boy Self" confidence he tells us about. He is such a treasure to have in our lives. We are sorry he has to go home today.

The dust will settle and the place will be quiet but the joy only a three year old brings will be missing.

Enjoy your grandkids and spoil them rotten. It's the best way to spend a day.

Monday, 27 July 2015


Yesterday Owen was content to play on the deck while I worked on the trailer. Today we are heading down to the beach to enjoy the water again.

With all the heavy rain Saturday I discovered that we had a leak in the trailer. Time to get the fans out and open up the windows. Today I'll get back up on the roof and seal around the vent, hoping that will keep the water out.

I'm also in need of new batteries but before we spend that money I want to be sure the solar system is working properly.

Looks like a full day of troubleshooting and searching for answers on the internet.

As dad would say, "Always something"

Thanks for stopping by, time to get to work.

Sunday, 26 July 2015


Yesterday was playday. I guess when you are three every day is a play day. Oma was away so we stayed close to home and enjoyed the toys here.

I made this rocking horse for Owen's mom when she was just a little girls. Nice to see the next generation enjoying it.

A little nourishment was needed after being so active and ice-cream was the perfect solution. Can you tell Owen likes chocolate.

Everyone is still asleep so not sure what plans the ladies have for today.

Looks like another sunny day here.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 25 July 2015


Water, sand and sunshine, that's all little kids need to be happy.

Yesterday it was 27*C or 80*F, a perfect day to spend at the beach.

Owen had a great time playing with the Tonka truck his uncle Sean had when he was Owen's age. All toys should last this long. 

Of course every beach day needs food and we enjoyed lunch sitting in the shade by the water.

After lunch mother and daughter had some uninterrupted time while Owen was content to play in the water. I know when winter comes we will be looking back at these pictures or better yet heading south to find a warm beach.

Not sure what the plans are for today. Sometimes with little ones it's best not to plan too much.

Enjoy the day and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 24 July 2015


Owen arrived yesterday and his first request was to see "HIS" room. Then he hauled out the Lego and entertained himself for the next hour.

Oma had to join in on the fun. No better way for a three year old to spend an afternoon.

Took a break from the Lego and went down to see the chickens. They weren't too interested in visiting, just eating. Owen enjoyed walking behind them wherever they went.

Climbing the hills and chasing chickens was a great way to spend a summer afternoon at Oma's place.

We are looking forward to more fun with Owen and Sherri over the next few days. 

Thursday, 23 July 2015


Another beautiful summer evening of music in the park.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


Our trailer is thirty years old and any RV that old needs service. 

In a few weeks we are heading down to my sister's place for a family party and need to have certain systems working properly. Our propane heater won't light so I took it apart, cleaned the ignition sparker, blew out the lines and still no improvement. Guess a new one is needed as taking it to a repair facility would cost more than buying a replacement.

Cleaned the stove top and blew out the gas lines and now the burners work on the stove. At least Mary can fix her morning coffee. 

Checked the water pump and cleaned out the antifreeze from the lines.  Just need to fill the water tank before we leave.

Trailer lights work and brakes activate when needed so I think we are ready to roll. 

Looking forward to seeing everyone in a few weeks.

Safe travels everyone.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015


The second week in July is garlic harvest time in Ontario. We eat a lot of garlic and last fall Mary decided to plant enough to last us the year.  

Looks like an excellent crop to me. Some of this we will dry and attempt to grind into garlic powder. The rest will be added to a variety of dishes during the winter. This week we are enjoying fresh garlic with new potatoes fresh from our garden! Yumm.

The garlic is being laid out to dry in the shade, filling the breeze with its fragrance. 

After some consideration we moved the garlic to the deck. Here it can stay and dry for the next two weeks without being damaged by the rain. Once dry Mary will try braiding some of it. 

Stepping on to the deck this morning we could smell the garlic before we saw it.

The white hanging cylinder is Mary's herb drying rack. Living off grid we utilize as many non-electric devices as we can. It's doing a great job.

We love our garden and all it gives us.

Monday, 20 July 2015


It has been lovely having Leanne and Christiane here for a few days.  Time has passed quickly and today they head back to the city. The dust won't settle for long as we have a group of ladies coming this morning for a quilting class.

We've enjoyed some delicious meals on the deck and the girls have gone fishing and swimming so I think they have enjoyed themselves and the change of pace living back in the bush provides.

Not only did they bring fish home for supper they did the dishes too. Great having company like that.

Safe travels ladies and come back soon.

Saturday, 18 July 2015


Friday night we gathered around the campfire to start our weekend of fishing and fellowship. There is something special about men's voices singing out under the stars. Unfortunately the stars soon disappeared and rain clouds moved in. 

Saturday morning it was time to get out on the lake and see if we could catch some fish for lunch. Al, Liem and Brad get ready to climb aboard.

Glenn, Roger and Lloyd soon had three pike on the stringer and they were trolling for more. Now most fishermen avoid pike because of the bones but they are delicious and make an excellent fish-fry if filleted properly.

Lloyd was the resident expert and we all watched and learned as he made the job look so easy.

We also had burgers just in case the fish weren't biting. Here Durl makes sure they don't burn.

It was a perfect men's getaway and something I hope they do more often.

Thanks Lloyd and Rodger for organizing it.

Friday, 17 July 2015


I'm rollin north in a few hours, off to a fishing weekend with some guys. It feels good just seeing the trailer and truck connected ready to roll. Whenever I hear the hitch connect I'm like a team of horses ready to hit the open road. Even a short run brings a smile.

The "silver bullet" doesn't look too bad for her age. Built in 85 we've taken her to California twice and who knows where else she has gone with previous owners.

The box on the front holds 4 golf cart batteries but is empty for this trip. This is a shakedown trip to see how she pulls after sitting for over a year. We won't be far from home so help is at hand if I have a problem.

She has been a dream to tow, sitting back behind the truck never complaining or giving me concern. We've taken her down roads most trailers would refuse to go but she just rolls with the flow taking all my demands and never getting out of line.

Maybe we will just keep rollin and send Mary a ticket to meet us in Vancouver. 

If you see us coming just honk and wave, we won't be stopping, just rollin.

Enjoy your day.

Thursday, 16 July 2015


Yesterday was a very busy day and we were exhausted by the end of it. 

The birds are now frozen solid and we will enjoy them this winter.

Marvin and Annie were a big help and they have some ideas for making the process easier next year. We would like to do more birds and will investigate using a chicken plucker as that is the worst job on the production line.

Mary also bagged some heart, necks and feet to make chicken broth. We've never used the feet before so if you have any advice let us know.

Today we are looking forward to Leanne and Christiana arriving. Always a special occasion when company comes for a few days.

Thanks for stopping by and safe travels everyone.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015


Today is the day we put the meat birds into the freezer. They are big and not happy with these hot summer days. No pictures today. 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015


Morning is the time to get the outside jobs done on these hot summer days.

Weed-wacking is easy and you can cover a large area in just a few minutes.

In Mary's hands the weed-wacker is a weapon,  mowing down everything in its path.  She bobs right swings left as she moves the machine through the brush, dust and weeds flying in every direction; I call it "Dirty Dancing"

If you look closely you can just see the image of the fox as he was about to disappear behind our deck. You should be able to see his right ear (left side of photo) and the tip of his tail as well as a small part of his back. He was on the run.

About 8 pm last night I spotted him outside our patio door moving quickly towards the pond. He was on the run, likely motivated by our voices which I'm sure frightened him as much as he startled us.

By the time I got my camera up and focused this was the only shot I got off. A terrible picture but sufficient detail to know this isn't a fisherman's story.

Just a minute or two later a blue heron took off from the pond and flew north up the valley to the east of the house. (no picture this time)

Not a minute later we spotted this buck on the run down by the pond. 

Another poor quality image but sufficient evidence to know how quickly and frequently wildlife moves through this area.

Must keep a closer eye on the horizon from now on.

Monday, 13 July 2015


Throughout the summer different churches offer a service Sunday evenings in the park. 

Last night's service was extra special as we have many friends in the Mennonite community. Glenn leads the choir and they always do a magnificent job singing acappella.

We were blessed with their singing, the message and the visiting after. It was the perfect way to enjoy a warm summer evening.

Sunday, 12 July 2015


This beauty was in our backyard yesterday. We watched as he ate breakfast and wandered  the property unconcerned about spectators behind the windows. 

He was selective in what he ate, cleaning this bush in minutes, while leaving others alone. He really prefers Mary's rose bushes but we park the car up against them and so far he has left the roses alone.

Of course when hunting season arrives it's impossible to find one of these anywhere. I think they know it's time to hide and be quiet.

Hope he hangs around for a while.