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.
Click on pictures for larger view

Thursday, 29 December 2016


Every day Mary gets a little stronger as the pain slowly subsides. Yesterday she wanted fresh homemade bread. Here the dough is ready for baking. It has been sitting in the basket called a "proofing basket" for an hour.

The dough is placed in a bowl covered with a cloth and allowed to rise in a warm room for three hours. It is then removed, folded and moved to the proofing basket to rise for another hour before being ready to bake. It takes all day but is so worth it.

Here the dough has been gently placed into a hot cast-iron pot ready to be baked at 475*F

An hour later you have this perfect loaf cooling on a rack filling the house with its delicious fragrance.

It exceeded our expectations in taste and texture, truly the best bread we've eaten in a long time. I think this is just the start of a new hobby for Mary.

Thanks for stopping by, time for another slice of bread.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016


Our snowshoe trail meanders though the bush close to home. It changes elevation frequently and makes my legs work to get through the course in twenty minutes.

The trail is within view of the house which makes it extra safe just in case I need help while out exercising. Yesterday we had an ice-storm but I haven't been on the trail. If the sun shines to day I'll be out taking more photos. Now it's time to bake a fresh batch of cinnamon buns.

Sunday, 25 December 2016


They're out, they're delicious and they're almost gone.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, 24 December 2016


A tradition my Mom started was cinnamon buns for breakfast Christmas morning. That alone was worth getting out of bed for.

Today we are making sourdough cinnamon buns, a first for us.

All the ingredients are carefully weighed, even the sea salt.

Eggs collected this morning were added.

Added by weight and not by number.

Sourdough, eggs, milk and sugar ready to be added to the dry ingredients.

I'll add more pictures once the dough is ready to be rolled out.

Update - 4:30 p.m.

The dough spent the day fermenting or whatever it does before we could actually roll it out. This afternoon we added the cinnamon and brown sugar

along with the cherries which I requested.

We now have two pans of eight buns each. One pan is in the fridge and will be baked tomorrow. The other was placed in a warm room for two hours of rising before we bake them. So, sometime around 7 pm we should be enjoying fresh out of the oven sourdough cinnamon buns.

If any survive the first assault I'll post a picture.

Until then I'm watching the clock.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016


Did you see the sunrise this morning?

So beautiful.

Wood stove is keeping us warm. Muffins will soon be coming out of the oven. Time to go down and feed the chickens.

Safe travels everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 18 December 2016


I find it very easy to stay indoors, enjoy the fire and read a book on these cold winter days up here. I also know it isn't good for me. Too many days of sitting at the computer with the occasional relocation to enjoy Mary's cooking makes me into a grumpy fat bear, and I don't need the grumpy ............... or the fat.

So yesterday I strapped on the snowshoes (so easy to do these days) and tramped out a circuit that takes me 20 minutes to complete. If I do that twice a day I'm exhausted. Hopefully when I go for my cardiac stress test in October I will be jogging this circuit in under 10 minutes, striving for 8. Good to set goals, must remind myself to keep them realistic.

Lots to see and enjoy even in the middle of winter. Here a thistle waits for me to pass and carry some seeds further down the trail.

Our bunkie sits patiently waiting for new guests next summer.

New growth decked out in their winter best keep an eye on me as I pass. Hard to imagine these trees 20 years from now.

My trail meanders along by the pond for a while where the pussy-willows and cat-tails have shut down for the winter ready for the spring and their daily cleaning of the water as it drifts slowly down to the lake.

Eventually home comes into view and I'm ready for a seat by the fire and a cup of hot chocolate.

Enjoy your day and your travels. Winter isn't that bad ....... so far.

Friday, 16 December 2016


When the sun came out yesterday we wanted to dance; the place looked that good. The sky was blue, the air crisp in your lungs and every time you took a step the snow crunched. It was magical!

Even the chickens were dancing in their solarium. On a cold day it gets surprisingly warm in their run if the sun is shining.

It got windy in the afternoon and the temperature continued to drop, down to -31*C (-23.8*F) last night the coldest night this winter.

Don't think we will see blue sky today as it is snowing as I type. (4 a.m.) So many cloudy days means we run the generator more often. That's the reality of life off grid here in the north.

Up-date 8:30 am

I was wrong. The sun did appear and will charge our batteries today. Yea! No generator.

Safe travels and enjoy the day.

Thursday, 15 December 2016


Last night we got another 6-8 inches of snow. It looks so beautiful this morning with the sun sparkling off the ice crystals.

This will give you a better idea of how much snow we have. This will be a busy weekend for the ski trails and snowmobile trails for sure.

First job is to feed the chickens, then start the bobcat and while it is warming up I clean off the solar panels. The sun is shining and we are putting in more than 30 amps into our batteries.

After breakfast I'll go back and clear off our airstream. It really prefers to be in Arizona but that won't happen this year.

My view from the driver's seat. It is so easy to clean up after a storm thanks to the 6 foot bucket I use to lift the snow and pile it out of the way.

Living back in the bush keeps us active and healthy. These jobs make us realize how important our health is and how careful we must be to maintain it.

Enjoy the day and safe travels everyone.

Monday, 12 December 2016


Like most of southern Ontario we got a dump of snow last night. First job this morning was to get busy with the bobcat. Unfortunately I got stuck at the bottom of our hill.

It doesn't look too bad in the picture but the ground here was soft and my wheels just kept digging deeper.

After trying to get out using the bucket, then the truck my last resort was some old tile lath under the wheels for traction.

Free at last and ready to get back to work.

Couldn't have done it without Mary's help. That's life back in the bush, you need the two of you and sometimes good neighbours to get yourself out of some nasty situations.

Time for lunch then back to clearing the driveway.

Enjoy the afternoon and stay inside where it's warm.

Sunday, 11 December 2016


Today Mary felt like getting outside, a very good sign after a week of pain and discomfort. We bundled up after lunch and walked our driveway. As you can see we have snow and are expecting another 10 inches this week.

At the bottom of the hill you can see the orange snow fence that forms the chicken yard. We have six layers but once the snow arrived they decided to stay indoors. They are still giving us 6 eggs a day.

Walking was good and we headed out to the road being careful to walk where we wouldn't slip.

This hill was more of a challenge than Mary was ready for but each day there is less pain and more strength in her. Maybe we will conquer this hill next week.

Thanks for all your notes of encouragement and prayers. Mary feels she has turned the corner and she is at her sewing machine as I type ............ a true sign of improvement.

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

Wednesday, 7 December 2016


Not much to report. Mary continues to be in pain and eating is mostly soft foods. Fortunately it is quiet here and she can rest, read or relax by the windows as she pleases. Thank you for writing and asking. Hopefully in another few days the swelling will diminish along with the pain.

I'll update progress in a few days.

Thursday, 1 December 2016


Just a quick update on today's treatment.

 They were running about an hour late so it was almost 5 before Mary was finished. WE are at our hotel and Mary is sleeping. Tomorrow's appointment as been moved to 8 am so we will head home once done.

Mary is looking forward to her own bed.

Thanks for your prayers and words of love.

Safe travels everyone.