LIVING OFF GRID

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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Thursday, 14 December 2017

COLD MORNING

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

A WINTER'S DAY

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

ACTION TRAILER Hwy 22

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

CLEARING OUR TRAIL

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.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

GARLIC PLANTED

Home and back at work. First job this morning was planting garlic. It was still too warm before we left and although the ground has started to freeze the job went very well.

We planted 100 cloves like this one and if they all survive we will have plenty of garlic next year. Last year only two survived but we didn't cover them with straw.

Each clove needs to be at a certain depth and with sufficient space. Mary made sure that was done. While she was planting I went and got a bale of straw. Hopefully this years crop will survive.

It's good to be home.

Friday, 10 November 2017

GOING HOME

Time for us to head home. The beach is empty.

Construction crews are repairing the boardwalk; it seems to be a constant job.

The only thing more active are the waves; lots of rollers coming up on the beach today.

It's been a great holiday but we are looking forward to getting home even if it's -13*C there.

Time to ditch the shorts.

Thanks for stopping by and keeping an eye on us.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

WINDY

Woke this morning to a frothy sea, wanted sun but got the wind. They are warning about flooding in low areas close to high tide but we will be fine and safe this far back from the beach. Might be a good day to watch the surfers from our balcony, no real plans for the day.

Time for breakfast then a walk.

Safe travels and thanks for keeping an eye on us.

Friday, 3 November 2017

UMBRELLA DAY

Had to get the umbrella out today ........... too much sun yesterday. Woke up this morning looking like the red lobster, so extra protection was needed on the beach; long sleeves, umbrella, sunblock all made for a safer day.

Tomorrow these beaches will be full. The temperature is forecast to be 21*C which will bring the crowds down to the water. Right now it is 26 out but feels like 30.

This trawler has been busy dredging the channel and depositing the sand along our shoreline. This must be a constant battle as we saw him here two years ago.

This afternoon it got much windier and the waves were rolling in constantly. Great weather for surfers.

One more week then we have to leave. We can't believe how warm our days have been and how much time we've spent on the beach. Hoping for more of the same next week.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

A PROMISE KEPT


The terrain is becoming familiar. It happens when one stays too long in one place. We no longer need the GPS to find the grocery store, the gas station or the fabric stores, we just know where to go.

We've fallen into a routine, another sign we've settled in. We walk the boardwalk before breakfast and after lunch we take our chairs down to the beach, take off our shoes and get a magic pedicure as we walk along the wet sand; it is glorious.

The fishing pier is a mile north of us, the statue to King Neptune a mile beyond; both easy destinations on a warm sunny afternoon. Yesterday we headed north to the pier and as we got close I watched a man walk down to the water's edge, take out a container and pour dust on the water. I knew immediately what he was doing.

When he finished he came over and we chatted briefly. His wife had passed away last December. They had met 62 years ago on this very beach. Yesterday was their anniversary and he fulfilled his last promise.

He turned and walked back across the beach, we continued walking north under the pier thinking of our own mortality. We talked, walked a little slower, held each other a little closer and silently wished the moment would last forever.

Chance encounters can have such a powerful impact.

Thanks for stopping by and safe travels everyone.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

AQUARIUM SURPRISE

Yesterday afternoon we took the boardwalk over to the second building at the aquarium. This boardwalk allows visitors an excellent view of the salt marsh without disturbing the vegetation or animals.

Further along the trail we were surprised to find these bridges high above our path.

It looked like a set from a Robin Hood movie but in fact was the most impressive rope course I've seen to date.

Opened just two years ago it is a popular destination for school groups and teenagers in the area.

I wonder if I could build this back home?

Always something new to learn when one travels.

Thanks for stopping by and safe travels everyone.

Monday, 30 October 2017

VIRGINIA BEACH AQUARIUM

Today was cool and overcast so we headed to the aquarium.

The first room highlighted life in the marshes and had a number of bird species enjoying the feeders.

Of course the larger tanks housing local sea creatures were most impressive. The sharks and otters moved too quickly but these turtles moved gently across the glass and were easy to photograph.

Walking through the glass tunnel was amazing with views from all angles as the fish swam by.


There were volunteers throughout the aquarium ready to explain the display and answer our questions. Everyone was friendly and helpful.


Watching the string-rays being fed was exciting as they became very frantic even before the food was available; they just knew it was time for lunch.

This is a place that easily takes a day to properly enjoy maybe two.

We will be back.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

HALLOWEEN RUN

Yesterday was the Halloween Run in Virginia Beach.

Over 7,000 runner passed us along the boardwalk.

The first group through were those pushing strollers.

Once across the finish line food and drink were available for the runners.

It was well organized and the crowd was quickly fed and serviced.

Even with 7,000 runners on the beach it wasn't crowded.

Some sat by the water........

others enjoyed the live music .......

and I enjoyed seeing all the costumed runners.

By twelve we decided to head home and walked the beach in our bare feet; felt like I was getting a pedicure.

Today they are calling for 20-30 mm of rain. Looks like a pool day to me.

Thanks for stopping by and safe travels everyone.