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 December 2017


When you have a five year old in the house things are constantly under construction. Owen is always building, designing, or learning about new things to do up here in the bush.

This wooden highway appeared down the hall one afternoon. Wooden blocks have been a kids toy for generations and Owen still uses them for his own creativity.

Oma gave him some large sheets of paper so he could design the tree-fort he wants grandpa to build next summer. He also made a list of who was invited in and who had to stay out ....... dogs have to stay out.

This morning he is working on his telescope for his tree-fort. Yesterday he made a pulley and a basket so he could lift things up into the tree-fort rather than try and carry them.

Owen has spent many hours keeping the fire going.

Grandpa taught him how to load the firebox first thing in the morning so the house would soon warm up. (Note Owen's yellow flashlight just above his elbow)

Safety is very important so he knows to wear leather gloves when adding wood or paper.

Now it's time to get outside and hike down to the pond. Always something new to see and learn about. He has so many questions whenever we go for a walk.

We certainly are more active when Owen is here.

Thanks for stopping by and safe travels everyone.

Friday, 29 December 2017


Yesterday we bundled up and took Owen down to the lake.

First he had to spend some time on our driveway enjoying his new sleigh.

He never complained about the cold or hauling his sled back up the hill.

He did enjoy the times I pulled him along the road and spun him around just for some added excitement.

There were lots of trails across the lake which made for easy walking for Owen.

Can you see his red cheeks? He didn't want to go home even though we were getting cold. He just ran and slid and jumped in the snow, just like the "Energizer" bunny.

Back home he still had energy to help us bring in some firewood.

This morning he wants to build the fire in the wood stove so we are waiting for him to wake up.

Grandchildren  make your heart sing.

Thursday, 28 December 2017


Owen came home with us last night. We are delighted we can have a few days together. The snow is deep and Owen brought his toboggan so I guess we will be outside for part of the day. He also wants to build some things from wood.

Yesterday we gathered at Connie and Andrew's place in Peterborough for our family Christmas get-together.  Jamie took some excellent photos as he always does and I hope he doesn't mind me sharing a few here. They might have my name on them but that's because they were uploaded from my computer.

Mother and daughter.

Oma and Kate.

Grandpa and Owen.

We are blessed. It was so good to get together and see everyone.

Thanks again Jamie for letting me share your photos.

Friday, 22 December 2017


Making gifts for Christmas has been a tradition in our house since we were first married. It cuts down on the stress of shopping, dashing all over the place seeking the right gift for everyone and it is also a lot more fun to do.

This little adorable guy emerged from an old pair of Jeans. Under Mary's talented and skillful hands she quickly put together this special gift for a very special little girl in our lives.

Just waiting for that special hug from our adorable granddaughter. Hope Kate loves it as much as Mary enjoyed making it. It even has a pocket for a love heart.

Safe travels everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017


It's a busy time in Mary's sewing room. She has been creating fabric toys for some of the wee ones in her life.

This is a road system which can be arranged as your imagination allows and all the little trucks and cars can roar along the roadway on their own side of the dotted line.

Here is an old favourite X and O's. The nice thing about these toys is they fold up and tuck away in little spaces; great for travelling and no sharp corners.

Each piece fits into a back pocket and the whole game can be rolled up and put away.

Now it's time to think of something for Kate.

Always something happening in Mary's magic shop.

Thanks for stopping by and safe travels everyone.

Thursday, 14 December 2017


First job this morning was to get the fire going. At -27*C we definitely need the wood stove working.

Breakfast was almond pancakes, bacon, fruit, yogurt and our own maple syrup a meal perfect for getting us ready to hike the bush.

Our trek through the bush took us over this little foot bridge built by our neighbour Kim.

The creek was still open in spots but not many.

Back home the sun was just peeking over the ridge.

Now it's time to get more wood and check on our solar panels.

Safe travels everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017


Today winter arrived full force. I've plowed our driveway twice and it is still snowing. This is the way I like to spend winter,

Most of the day has been spent indoors. Here chaga tea is boiling on our wood stove.  You can also see a pot full of soup and a kettle for dishes (my job).

While the tea steeped and the soup simmered Mary was busy on the sewing machine. Now she is roasting nuts and melting chocolate as I type.

Outside our firewood for next year is stacked and ready when needed;

our trailer waits for warmer days when a new floor will be installed 

and our lane-way has been plowed twice and ashes scattered on the hill. 

Of course the best job of the day ............................... licking out the chocolate bowl.

Hope you are warm and safe.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 9 December 2017


Brought our new trailer home yesterday. It's an all aluminum cargo trailer, 7x16 with duel axles and brakes on every wheel.

The walls and ceiling are insulated and it has a 30 amp shore power connection.

Right now it is just an empty box but over the winter we will install the kitchen cabinets and counter, bed platform and vinyl flooring. Hopefully come May we are on the road heading somewhere.

We bought our trailer at Action Trailer near Strathroy, Ontario; great folks to deal with and Brad made sure everything was secure before we left. It was bitterly cold that day so I was glad to get back in the truck and on the road home.

Farming is the main occupation and the area is flat, reminds me of driving across the prairies.

I took the slow route home which sent me through many small towns. This is typical view of many older downtown main streets throughout Ontario.

Do you recognize this structure? At one time they dotted the landscape but today they are a relic of the past. This was called a Drive-In and was popular in the 50s and 60s when people got in their car and drove over to the "Drive-In" to watch the latest movie.

By the time I got home I was driving in this. Our cottage road was the worst and the trailer started to go sideways but I got it straightened  and home safely. Always good to have a new winter project.

Monday, 27 November 2017


This morning we headed out to the back pond to clear a tree that had fallen across our snowshoe trail.

We've walked past this tree a dozen times but today it caught our attention. A large chunk of bark had been pealed off and sap escape. A closer look revealed a huge claw print. Click on the picture to see for yourself.

This is the obstruction we needed to remove.

In a few minutes we had a clear path to the pond and

a sled full of logs and branches. Sherri wants her mom to bring some down this week so she can make a display by her front door.

Still not cold enough to freeze the stream.

When it gets too cold Mary simply moves into her quilt room for inspiration and projects to be completed.

Life is quiet here ........ and will get even more so as winter slowly takes over.

Thanks for stopping by and keeping an eye on us.