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

If you have any questions send us a comment; we love to hear from our readers.
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Saturday, 23 April 2016


Mary planted a lot of garlic in the fall and  and we will enjoy a bountiful harvest this July. It is one crop the deer and mice stay away from and we use a considerable amount in our cooking. It has a lot of health benefits including: boosting your immune system, full of antioxidants, anti-           inflammatory properties as well as other benefits.

Slowly we are seeing spring arrive. 

Are the tulips up where you live? Let us know.

Safe travels and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 22 April 2016


We've had several deer up close to the house this past week. They are looking for anything green to eat and came close to nibbling the fig tree Mary puts outside each day.

I thought you might enjoy seeing yesterday's visitor who stood motionless as I clicked away. He was munching the grass just outside our bedroom window.

In another few weeks the turtles will be up by the house looking for soft sandy soil in which to lay their eggs. Spring is a wonderful time to be here.

Thanks for stopping by. Time for my morning smoothie.

Thursday, 21 April 2016


Mary is using an "Aircast" to help relieve her back pain. It looks like a large thermos, filled with ice and water. There is a small DC motor which pumps the cold water through a belt worn against the pain area on the body. So far it has helped considerably. 
We are counting the day until May 16th when we will see Dr Das at St Michael's Hospital and learn what type of operation Mary will undergo. In the meantime life goes on and Mary is working on a new quilt. That's a good sign.

Safe travels everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 16 April 2016


The warm weather has finally arrived. Looks like spring is here to stay. I think this will be the last bag of birdseed I put out.

We have over 100 Pine siskins at our feeders each morning.

One orphaned purple finch is also in the crowd.

Our resident red-squirrels are usually first to the feeding trough.

We've are enjoying the sunshine on our deck most afternoons. So good to be outdoors again without the heavy coats and boots.

Enjoy the day and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016


The doctor's office called today and we have a date. Mary will see Dr Das at St Michael's Hospital in Toronto, May 16th. He will review the results from all her recent tests and hopefully decide on a plan of action. Our hope is that her operation can be done before the end of June, (being optimistic, maybe overly optimistic). 
Mary really wants to be well enough to help Sherri as September approaches and the new baby arrives; and surgery in June should allow sufficient time for recovery. We will see. 
Thanks to everyone who wrote words of encouragement and for your prayers. We are blessed to have such a supportive family and network of friends.
We will continue to share news and keep you in the loop.
Safe travels everyone and thanks for keeping an eye on us.

Monday, 11 April 2016


The house has become very quiet since Owen left. We miss his morning hugs as he climbed into bed and snuggled up against his Oma; we were spoiled.

I'm not posting as frequently these days and to be honest there just isn't a lot of new information to share. We have very easily slipped into this "off-grid" lifestyle and feel blessed to be living in such a rich and healthy environment.

Another reason is Mary's health. She has been suffering from back pain since last August. She tried chiropractic care, physio care but neither relieved the pain. Finally in December she sought the advice of her nurse practitioner (NP) 

For the next few months we were back and forth to Peterborough and Belleville getting MRIs, bone scan, Ultrasound, blood work, thermal imagining, you name it she had it.

Last week we met with the oncologist and he has referred her to a neurosurgeon at St. Michael's hospital in Toronto.

Mary has a couple of growths on her spine at L2; one is a hemingioma and just behind that another called a"meningioma". The vertebra is fractured there as well.

From our research it seems to be successfully treated with surgery but we won't know the plan of action until we meet with the neurosurgeon. 

Until then we are keeping our calendar cleared so we can go when they call. We won't be doing chickens or planting a garden as any activity that puts a strain on Mary's back is painful.

Fortunately Jamie and Leanne have offered a place to stay when we go to Toronto.

Our bags are backed and we are just waiting for the phone to ring.

Until then, things might be quiet here for a while.

Once we have a date and plan we will pass on the news.

Thanks for keeping an eye on us. Safe travels everyone.

Saturday, 9 April 2016


Although it's cold this morning (-15*C) that didn't stop us from having fun. First job was to blow bubbles and watch them float away on the crisp morning air.

Oma got out the dish-soap so Owen could paint the snow blue. No problem if he got the "paint" on his clothes, just toss them in the wash and it comes right out.

Then they hung thread on the bushes so the birds can decorate their nests this spring; if it ever comes.

Look what Owen found in the wood pile ......  a snake skin. You never know what you will see or find up here.

If you can't get your boots wet in the puddles then you can smash ice instead. Every four year old boy loves to play in the puddles.

Wish Owen could stay longer but this wonderful visit will soon be over.

Thursday, 7 April 2016


Owen and Sherri are here for a few days and since we won't be down for Owen's birthday later this month decided to celebrate today. First job was to help Oma ice the cake; chocolate cake Owen's favourite, and mine too.

Don't forget the sprinkles Oma.

Time to blow out the candles; then came the best part, eating birthday cake.

A few presents were opened even some for the new baby, due in September.

Then it was time to help grandpa build a fire. Owen is such a good helper and he always wears his safety glasses whenever he helps grandpa.

Saturday we will go to town and get some decorations and celebrate some more. Birthdays need to last more than a day when you are turning four.

Happy Birthday everyone!

Monday, 4 April 2016


It's a cold morning here but we dodged the snow they got in Toronto. Our pond last week was almost ice free but as you can see the ice has returned.

We seem to be the preferred dining establishment for the local bird population. Most days we have over 100 pine-siskins and finches at our feeders. From the first rays of the morning sunshine until the sun sets in the evening they are devouring our seeds. 

Thanks for stopping by and keeping an eye on us.