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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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

No Pictures

I'm having trouble loading pictures to my blog my usual way. Must find time to discover another way. Be patient.

Wednesday 6 am

OK, been playing with the system and got this one loaded.

We have Elk in the area and last Monday Durl took me out to get some pictures. Two of the Elk in the top picture are wearing collars, which means they were part of the original herd that was re-introduced some years ago.

Thursday, 26 January 2017


Remember when you could do this?

Kate is just 4 months old but already in love with her toes.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017


Sherri originally planned the party for December but when Mary wasn't healing as quickly as we hoped, it was moved to last weekend. It was so good to see everyone and get caught up on all the news. It has been almost a year since we've all been together like this and it was so overdue.

Food was brought and shared by everyone. Paul did an excellent job on the turkey, Mary's bread tasted like it came from a bakery,  Margaret's apple betty was delicious and Andrew's cake disappeared too quickly. And Sherri outdid herself with a large platter of tamales. We all went away a little overstuffed.

The food was served buffet style which is great as one can return for seconds without being observed.

I wondered why Owen and Lionel were so quiet but then realized they were enjoying supper as they watched cartoons. What better way to entertain little boys.

Every family needs an uncle Paul who always has energy to entertain the kids. This little acrobatic stunt was performed right after eating without incident; much to my amazement.

Once uncle Paul needed a rest the boys decided to attack uncle Andrew who defended himself admirably.

Gifts were exchanged after the tables were cleared. We strive for homemade gifts when possible so the hats, chocolate, fire-starters, soap, and even a quilt, were all greatly appreciated.

Owen loved the skeleton jacket his aunt Margaret gave him and the pirate outfit from Oma was definitely a big hit.

The best photo of Katie's first party taken by Jamie who always captures his subjects at their best. Isn't she a cutie? . Hope you don't mind me sharing the picture Jamie.

Finally some quiet time with Oma before going to bed.

It was a great day thanks to everyone and a special thanks to Rob and Sherri for looking after hosting the party.

When's the next one?

Friday, 20 January 2017


This morning Mary baked four loaves of sourdough bread. She enhanced the flovour by adding flax, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.

She sliced across the top of each loaf before it goes into the oven and is baked at 475*F, 30 minutes with lid on, 15-20 with lid off.

It is delicious and she enjoyed a slice with a boiled egg fresh from our chicken coop.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on Sunday.

Safe travels everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017


January is a great time to experiment with new recipes. These are brownies made from sweet potatoes and dates.

Next Mary will add cinnamon, vanilla and more walnuts. Although no sugar was added they are still high in natural sugar. Not something we would serve at a party just yet.

Mary is also experimenting with sprouted grains. These are suppose to make a healthier bread. If you look closely you can just see the sprout starting to emerge from some of the seeds.

A sure sign of improved health is the creation of new quilts. Mary finally has enough energy and strength to allow her creative juices to work at the sewing machine. Each day gets a little better and she is able to see projects through to their completion.

No idea what she will be working on tomorrow. Maybe she will cut my hair.

Be sure to check out Sherri's blog (click here) for the latest pictures of Kate and Owen.

Thanks for stopping by and safe travels everyone.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017


Family and friends in southern Ontario report patches of green grass or no snow at all.

We have banks of snow over 6 feet in height.

Much of our road is now just a single lane. It has become difficult for the plow to make it much wider.

Time for Owen to bring his toboggan north. He would love playing in this stuff.

As you can see Mary is feeling better and strong enough to get a short walk in most days.  Not 100% yet but better than a month ago.

Thanks for stopping by and keeping an eye on us.

Monday, 9 January 2017


Every since I was a kid I've loved BIG winter storms. Maybe it was the hope that school would be cancelled, or the fun of catching a car's bumper for a ride down the street, but the bigger the storm the more fun for a kid.

Tomorrow we are to get another 20 cm of snow, we shall see but we are ready.

Today we took a walk down to the lake.

It was shrouded in mist from the storm passing through. Really just a dusting of snow compared to what we can expect tomorrow.

Lots of snowmobile tracks up through the boat launch. This is a popular trail in winter and it has been well used so far this winter.

Tomorrow I doubt we will see the far side of the lake.

Safe travels everyone and be careful on those roads tomorrow.

Friday, 6 January 2017


Sun is just breaking the horizon and the birds are already here enjoying their breakfast.

-18*C so the ice covered trees still look beautiful.

Chickadees don't stay still very long, in and out in the blink of an eye.

Love the long shadows across the snow.

We will walk later but for now just enjoying the view from my easy chair.

Time to throw another log on the fire.

Safe travels and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

DON'T FORGET .......

your chainsaw. Since our ice-storm last Wednesday we often find trees blocking our road to town. We could wait for the township to clear the debris but most guys up here carry a chainsaw so the job gets done and on we go. Don't forget your chainsaw.

Since Mary has been feeling much better we've been out walking this week.

The trees are under a tremendous stress right now but do look magical in the sunlight.

Not quite as enticing as a warm sandy beach but still a delight to be out enjoying the sunshine and countryside.

Thanks for stopping by and keeping an eye on us.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017


A tad icy this morning. I have an appointment in town at 10 so hope the roads are clear by then.

Right now the fire feels good and the birds are enjoying the food outside our window.

Enjoy your day and wear your clickers if going outside. Be safe!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017


Yesterday was a perfect day for a walk on the road.

We always meet neighbours and get caught up on the local news.

Today it is icy and miserable outside; a good day to bake bread.

Mary started the dough preparations yesterday and today we were up at 5 am getting the dough ready for baking.

We bake our loaves in cast iron pots which helps retain the moisture. Lids are removed for the last 15 minutes to brown the tops.

Not only do they look delicious but they fill the house with such wonderful aroma.

We also did a focaccia loaf but by the time you read this it will have disappeared.

Time for an early lunch of salad and fresh warm homemade bread.


Sunday, 1 January 2017


This morning Mary was feeling much better so out came the ingredients along with the recipe book. Guess what she was making?

First out of the oven was a delicious loaf of focaccia bread. It didn't even get a chance to cool.

Next was homemade pizza that we enjoyed along with Mary's  carrot soup.  With all these delicious breads we are enjoying I may soon look like the Pillsbury dough boy; hope not.

One happy chef!

Now if we could just get Jamie to build us an outdoor oven we would really be baking bread like the pioneers.

Enjoy the day and Happy New Year to all our readers.