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 January 2016


Our daughter does a feature on her blog and she call it "Pictures of the Week" I like the idea so plan to do the same at the end of most weeks.

Here we are almost finished the first month of 2016 and I can't believe how quickly the weeks have flown.

The big projects this week were the blinds, keeping the wood stove going and building a frame for a "picture quilt"Mary wants to hang.

Very happy with our blinds and how that project turned out.

Our wood stove is a trooper and does an excellent job of keeping us cozy warm. We even cook on it sometimes.

Just need to glue and nail this together and the frame will be ready for Mary's quilt.

Thanks for stopping by and safe travels Carol and Don.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016


We love the view and really have no need for blinds as there are no neighbours close enough to worry about. 

However there are days when the sun blasts in and Mary needs to protect the furniture, so blinds seemed the obvious solution.

First task was to locate the position and attach the clips provided.

These clips make the job of hanging the blind a snap. (no pun intended)

Place the blind into the bottom lip of the clip and "snap" into place. The blind is held securely and operates freely thanks to the attached pull-cord.

With the blind down, the sun is diffused enough to prevent Mary's hanging quilts from fading. 

I should mention that the last blind was the most challenging. All others went together no problem. This one required a shim and three attempts before I found a secure anchor spot for the screws. Now it's in and done and I'll leave it alone.

Can you guess how long it took us to hang five blinds? 

Safe travels everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, 25 January 2016


We had a wonderful three days with Owen, Sherri and Rob and attended Neal and Blaze's wedding on Sunday. We took so many pictures because we were having such a great time. I'll add captions as I find time but we must soon leave Bolton and head back to Bancroft. Enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed the celebration.

Leanne and Margaret chatting.

Sarah, Paul, Jane and Andrew.

Rory,Olga and Mary.

Gathering before the ceremony.

Andrew and Mary

Leanne and Sherri enjoying some time with their aunt Olga.

The ceremony, Blaze and Neal sharing their vows.

Mary surrounded by her nieces. It was so much fun getting caught up on their busy lives.

The men found a quiet corner and shared a few laughs.

This special occasion was celebrated at the fabulous Pangaea restaurant on Bay street. Loved the interior decor and the food was over the top delicious.

Neal chatting with a few of the guests.

Uncle Andrew entertaining Rebecca and Jason.

Blaze on the dance floor.

Lining up for dessert. 

It was a fabulous evening enjoyed by all.

Friday, 22 January 2016


Trail maintenance is like home  maintenance, it needs to be done regularly if you want excellent trails.

Besides clearing and trimming the trails in the summer we need to do it in the winter as snow often brings the branches closer to the ground.

We mark our trails with tape. Without tape it is impossible for us to find the trails on our first winter hike. I know, tape isn't very pleasing but getting lost in the bush isn't either; so we use tape.

Time for our porridge then out for a hike.

Safe travels and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 21 January 2016


Yesterday was a busy day in the kitchen.

After eight hours in the "instant pot" it was time to put the yogurt through a sieve.

Here is what we ended up with; three quarts of yogurt and one quart of buttermilk. 

Of course with all that buttermilk Mary had to make biscuits. They were light and delicious.

Time now for our morning snowshoe hike. I need to take the trimmer and cut back some branches.

Back from our hike and we just enjoyed a bowel of berries, homemade yogurt topped with granola. The yogurt exceeded our expectations, good consistency, and delicious with a little vanilla mixed in. I'm sure making yogurt will become a weekly event.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016


Today we are making yogurt. We are using our new "Instant Pot" an electric pressure cooker which is extremely easy to use and needs no nursing as it cooks whatever you have in the pot.

First Mary looked on-line for a recipe. The recipe book that came with the cooker isn't very detailed in many ways.

First step was to add four liters of homogenized milk and three tablespoons of powdered milk.

This will cook for an hour and then cool down to 115*F before adding half a cup of yogurt. I'll add more pictures and instructions as we go through the process today.

We are expecting another cold sunny day here which is great for our batteries. Yesterday they were filled to 100% which was a first in many weeks of overcast days.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016


Arctic air has arrived and our lakes and streams are frozen. I suspect that we will see ice-huts out on the lakes soon. Most fisherman are now using a light weight tent structure for shelter when they go fishing. I'll try and get some pictures later this week.

We try and get a snowshoe hike every morning before the day gets too late. We have an excellent trail system through the bush and the snowshoes are super easy to put on.

Our neighbour built this bridge which makes our trek so enjoyable.

We do have some obstacles to avoid but for the most part the trail is clear and easy to navigate.

Almost time for lunch and then into town.

Safe travels everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, 18 January 2016


First job each morning is to check our solar panels and clean them off if necessary.

Not a perfect job but sufficient to allow them to warm up and melt the rest off.

It was the type of morning begging for a hike ........ crisp, cold and crunchy snow underneath.

The sun was just above the horizon and the scenery was beautiful.

Our shadows kept us company.

Home before 9.

Looks like a great week ahead for our batteries; lots of sunshine in the forecast.

Safe travels everyone.

Saturday, 16 January 2016


It all started last Saturday when I decided to clean our battery terminals. This needs to be done from time to time as corrosion builds up on the terminals.

Everything was working fine but corrosion impedes the current flow and creates inefficiencies in the system.

I removed the cables with visible corrosion and Mary cleaned them with baking soda while I cleaned the batteries. 

Once cleaned I re-assembled everything making sure all connections where clean and tight; flipped the switch and nothing happened. 

Time to get out the instruction books and check the troubleshooting page. 

I suspected the inverter wasn't working and tried to restart it but the light still didn't come on; maybe there was another issue. 

As the day turned into night and we still didn't have power it was time to call Mike (our solar guy) and get some professional help.

Of course it was Saturday night and no one was at the store so we left a message and turned on our generator to keep the house systems working.

Sunday night Mike called back (he had been away all weekend) and walked me through what to do. Yes, push the button to restart the inverter. OK, done, no change, push again, no change, Mary push, voila ..... lights. We were back in business.

Another learning experience and a simple solution to the problem.

We are so grateful to have Mike just a phone call away. He is always so very helpful and patient with us as we troubleshoot a problem.

Now if I can just get my truck back on the road, life would be back to normal.

Thanks for stopping by and safe travels everyone.

Friday, 15 January 2016


January is turning out to be a month of repairs. It started with my truck, moved to my computer, then my generator and finally my solar charger. I'm sure that is about all I have that needs professional attention from time to time; I just prefer to spread it out.

Monday morning before the sun was barely up Tyler was here to look over the generator. On Sunday it would start but stopped within seconds and I couldn't figure out why.

Tyler soon had the cover up and panel off and was busy checking circuits and components.

Within minutes he had it running smoothly again. Seems the throttle linkage was stuck which can happen in extremely cold mornings especially right after mild wet days.

Once again we are enjoying the view out our windows knowing that our backup generator is working properly and ready to go when needed.

Got my computer back from the repair shop yesterday but after leaving it plugged in all night it won't turn on. Strange. Guess I'll be calling Costco support after breakfast.

Safe travels everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 14 January 2016


Just got my computer back, delivered right to my door by UPS. Now I just need to re-install a few programs and I will be back posting as usual.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016


I thought you might enjoy some winter scenes from yesterday's drive to town.

We are 10 km from town and the municipality does a fantastic job of keeping our roads open and well maintained.

This isn't our trailer but we drive by it on our way to town. It was used once last year. Such a shame for such a beautiful vintage Airstream trailer.

Our route curves past many ponds and lakes and we enjoy them all regardless of the season.

My favourite view on Bay Lake Road.

Ten minutes and we are in town ready to shop for groceries or other supplies.

Home again and what a beautiful sunny day we enjoyed.

Our view this morning as we enjoyed buckwheat pancakes and home-made maple syrup.

My computer is going in to the service department today, not sure when I will get it back.

Thanks for stopping by and safe travels everyone.