Upstairs Bathroom Complete

November 14, 2017

Now that winter has arrived in Manitoba, we have time to work on indoor projects – like the upstairs bathroom.

For a long time, we didn’t have an indoor bathroom. Instead we had an outhouse (and still do) and in the summer, used the bath house  (a separate building containing a sink, tub and sauna, see Bath House post here) for washing up. In the winter, we bathed and washed our hair in a basin using snow heated on the wood stove.  Some would wonder why anyone would want to live without such basic necessities as running water and an indoor toilet. However, living with just the mere basics – a washbasin in this case –  gives you a real appreciation about how little you really actually need. Plus it gives you a true appreciation of the luxuries we take for granted. After getting by just fine with a basin, having a fully working bathroom seemed like a real luxury. We completed the main floor bathroom in August 2015 (see Main Floor Bathroom post).

I guess you can say we are slow builders, as two years we have finally finished the upstairs bathroom. But we were not really in a hurry. One bathroom worked just fine for us. Now that the upstairs bathroom is finished, it is nice to have a washroom off the master bedroom.  Not sure why, but I seem to like the color purple for a bathroom. The bathhouse and main floor bathroom are purple, and now the upstairs bathroom is also purple. I love the clean crisp look of the purple against the white trim.

The bathroom features a single sink with a large counter area.  Ken built the cabinet under the sink – 3 drawers and 2 cupboards out of the same rough cut birch that he made the kitchen and living room cabinets from (see Kitchen Update post).

The main floor bathroom has a shower, so we decided on a tub for the upstairs bath. In hindsight, we really did not think through the logistics behind this tub. When are we ever going to have enough hot water to fill this big tub???

In our previous house in the city, we had a large double jet tub that we loved. Every Sunday after coming home from a weekend of working on this property, we enjoyed a long soak in the jet tub while we discussed our progress over the weekend and planned for the next weekend. However, we failed to consider that our water situation would not the same as it was in the city. (see Off Grid Hot Water post)  In the summer, we generally have lots of water from rains, but hot water is limited (water is heated by solar generated electricity). In the winter, we have lots of hot water (as it is heated by a coil in the wood stove) but we are in water conservation mode. Once the fall rains stop and winter freeze-up comes, we need to get through to the spring melt with the water stored in the basement cisterns.  Filling this tub and using the jets will be limited to spring or fall when the cisterns are full, it is raining out and the wood stove is in use. But who is to say you need to have a full tub of water. The tub will be great when the grandkids visit – no more kitchen sink baths, and all three can fit in this tub!

The bathroom has a rather unique construction, with the toilet being separated from the main bathroom area by a wall.  The toilet is a low flush Sealand Traveller toilet which uses about 1 cup of water per flush. It is hooked up, along with the toilet on the main floor, to the central composting unit in the basement. The waste is mixed with sawdust and peatmoss, rotated in the composting drum and composts down to a hummus rich substance that we spread around the fruit trees.

Frodo Baggins house

The bathroom ceiling is sloped, with a high ceiling over the sink area sloping down to about three feet high on the other end. To compensate for the low ceiling, the tub was moved out three feet from the wall and a small storage area was built behind the tub. Its a perfect area to store our suitcases and I am pretty sure the grandkids will love this hiding space. Ken even made a cute hobbit door for it, complete with name plate. The ability to create these little whimsical features while building is what I love the most about this building process.

Since the house does not have a linen closet, we added a wall of shelves for storage. For the shelves, Ken built a bunch of boxes – about 18 inches by 36 inches – which we stacked crate-like on the wall to create shelves. I love the look.

Almost all of the fixtures in the bathroom (and throughout the whole house) we purchased off Kijiji – the Corian sink/countertop, corner jetted tub, sink and tub taps, a large 3 foot by 6 foot mirror, tiles around the sink and tub areas, vinyl flooring, cedar around the tub base, doors, low flush toilet and light fixtures. If you are patient and diligent, you can get some really super deals on great quality items, either lightly used or leftovers from building projects. Most of this stuff was purchased over three years ago, before I retired. I was living in the city so could easily pick up Ken’s finds. However, you do need to either know your stuff or be prepared to trust the sellers. We have gotten burnt on a few items that were either not working properly or missing pieces.  But even with the occasional dud, we saved a bundle buying used and its a good idea to Re-Use rather than buy new.

While it is hard to believe it, we are coming close to finishing this house! Other than a few smaller jobs, basically all that is left is the hardwood floor on the second level. We have finally purchased all the hardwood (yes, on Kijiji – so the floor will be a mixture of different woods) so that will be our next project. However, as in every home, there is always no shortage of projects to undertake. So while the main build will be complete, we still have lots of projects we want to tackle. I have my fingers crossed that the flooring will be in before Christmas.


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Ready for Winter

October 26, 2017


We are ready for winter – rain barrels are emptied, eaves troughs cleaned, equipment put away and wood sheds stocked. And just in time, too. We awoke to a blanket of white this morning and the forecast is for -10C tonight. There is a good chance the snow will disappear tomorrow (fingers crossed!), as the forecast is sunny and +3C. While I would be more than happy with a few more weeks without snow, its nice to know that we are ready when it does decide to stay.

Garden update:

The garden has been put to bed for the winter. After everything was harvested, which was not until mid October this year, Ken tilled the soil. If you remember in the spring, when I planted the garden, I planted in large 5 foot wide beds, with walking rows in-between. I removed the top 6 inches or so of soil off the walking paths and put it onto the garden beds. Then I mulched the paths as well as the beds. As planned, we tilled under the beds only this fall, leaving the walking paths.  We will see how it works in the spring when he tills once again before planting time.

Our expanded garden area is coming along nicely. The Forage Radishes we planted in the space this fall are growing nicely. The roots can grow to 6 feet long, opening up the soil as they grow. I pulled out several of ours and the main root is over 6 inches long, with small roots going even deeper. And they are good to eat too. Hot and spicy. I even pickled some for winter eating and they are delicious.


Instead of hauling off the garden scraps at the end of the year- carrot tops, tomato greens, etc – and making a compost heap that takes years to compost down, I like using the sheet composting method. I leave all the scraps on the garden beds after harvest and then we till them into the soil. I also empty the compost bin directly onto the garden beds as well. The bin is generally full by the fall with kitchen scraps and partially decomposed. It gets tilled into the soil to fully decompose. The soil then has the fall and spring to compost this organic matter. I love this method of composting and found it works well if you have a good tiller. We have a 5 foot wide rototiller that pulls behind our tractor. It does a great job but is not fond of vines – cucumber or squash. They get twisted round the blades then have to be cut off. However, I found if I used the machete and chopped up the vines into 1 or 2 foot sections, the tiller would work them in just fine. By spring most of this organic matter will be decomposed. In the spring, I empty the compost bin with the kitchen scraps accumulated over the winter and this all gets tilled in again. By planting time there are few remnants left, and those left will compost over the summer. Its the lazy man’s compost but it works so well. I rotate my compost bin around the garden each spring and fall to spread the wealth. (If you have pests or disease, you will have to cart away that vegetation to compost elsewhere so it doesn’t spread. ) The only thing we haul off to a separate compost area is the corn and sunflower stalks.

I was using one of those black plastic compost bins for my kitchen scraps, but it got pretty beat up in a wind storm this fall. We are currently brainstorming ideas for constructing a new one.  One that is a little bigger but still easy to empty and move around as I move it each spring and fall.

Fall Planting:

This year I tried a fall planting of spinach, onion and garlic. After the garden was tilled, I planted a section that could be left undisturbed in the spring. After the October long weekend, I planted. Firstly I planted garlic, lots of garlic – some cloves I bought from a market in BC (hope they survive a Manitoba winter!), some cloves I grew myself this year (I planted purchased cloves in the spring and got a couple dozen small heads. I planted the big cloves hoping to multiply my harvest), some cloves that a local garlic grower gave me (Thanks Olive)  and some garlic seed bulbs (from the seed heads that form on the garlic as it grows). The seed bulbs will take 2 years to fully mature. Next summer these bulbs should form large garlic ‘onions’ –  it looks like one large solid garlic, not split into cloves. I plan to dig them up them next summer (August) and store them until the fall. In the fall, you plant the garlic ‘onions’ and the following year they should form large garlic heads. I have been taking lessons from some local garlic growers and am determined to learn to grow great garlic.

I also planted a few ‘Multiplier’ onions. I had some left over from this spring that I forgot to plant and my local source (Olive) told me that she often plants them in the fall for early onions in the spring. I am always willing to try something new!

And I planted spinach. I have tried this before with mixed success. This year I planted two ways – a few small rows that will be within a cold frame and a few rows out in the garden. My plan is early next May I will cover the cold frame with the glass cover (right now only the wood frame is in the garden) and hope that the sun will warm up the soil and the spinach will germinate and come up early. The spinach planted in the garden, I am thinking, should come up a bit later. Then I can plant more spinach when I plant in the spring for a later crop. Spinach loves the cooler weather and my spring planted crop often bolts before it gets a chance to develop well.  This year, I did a second planting of spinach in August and it was just getting nice in October. I got a small harvest off it. I will likely try a late summer planting next year as well and try for a better fall harvest.

Hothouse Update:

Hothouse with peppers, eggplant and basil

The little greenhouse/hothouse Ken built for me this spring worked out really well.  After my transplants – tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, etc, were planted out in the garden, I planted the peppers, eggplant and basil directly into the soil in the hothouse opening the windows as needed to prevent overheating. The plants loved the hot environment and grew like crazy. I had buried a soaker hose in the soil and kept the hothouse watered through the soaker hose attached to a rain barrel.

Some of the peppers grew right out of the hothouse and the plants had to be trimmed down in order to close the windows. I had a few peppers sunburnt but only a couple. I had a banner harvest, picking a big bowl of red, orange, green and purple peppers. I had planted a couple peppers in the garden and from those I got 1 green pepper. The difference was obvious and I will continue to grow peppers this way in future years. The fruit was large and fleshy – just like store bought, but better!

The eggplant on the west side produced 2 big eggplants. My first ever produced. The one on the east side did not produce. The basil did incredibly well. I was able to have fresh basil early, all summer long and well into October. The last leaves I harvested in late October and froze as pesto. The basil grown in the garden did well for July and August only. We had plenty for fresh eating and I dried some for winter use.


Brassica Cages:

The net cages that Ken made for the cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and kale worked like a charm. I got 4 large cabbage heads, 3 cauliflower, several cuttings of broccoli and tons of kale. I planted kale around the edges of the cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli so that once they were finished producing and were pulled out, the kale could take over the cage. I will do this again next year. I also planted kale in the garden and it produced well early in the year, until August. Then the cabbage butterflies got the best of them and ate them up. Good thing the kale in the cages was doing well by then. We harvested kale right up to mid October when I finally cleaned it all out so that Ken could till the garden under.

Harvest Update:

What a great garden year 2017 was. My best garden to date, and I have been gardening for over 50 years! In most part, I think it was because I finally had time to devote to the garden. With most of the house building done, I had time for mulching, weeding, watering, harvesting and preserving. And we made such good use of the produce. It helps that we had our Workawayers here for part of July, all of August and part of September. These volunteers not only helped in the garden but really appreciated the fresh produce. Everyday we would see what it had to offer and plan our meals around its bounty. And they helped me preserve what we couldn’t eat. Nothing wasted this year.

The basement storage rom is loaded with jars of dill pickles, sauerkraut, tomatoes, tomato sauce, salsa, corn, pickled radish, relish, and apple sauce. As well, I have jars of dried herbs and greens. This winter I am going to try making green smoothies out of dried greens – kale, spinach, beet greens, parsley, nettle, lambs quarters, etc.  Dehydrating is a great way to preserve produce for the winter. I also have dehydrated apple chips, kale chips, rose hips, and mushrooms.


The root cellar has pails of carrots, beets and potatoes. I have difficulty keeping carrots all winter long. The potatoes and beets seem to keep well, but the carrots get mushy. Everyone I asks says they keep theirs in a spare fridge, I luxury I don’t have. Last year I tried storing them in wood ashes, something I have lots of. Not a success. They still got wet and I ended up with wet ashes on them. This year, I am trying sawdust, also something I have lots of. Both the beets and carrots are stored in pails layered with sawdust. So far I like it. Much nicer to dig through than ashes and I can use the pails sawdust after for feeding the central composter for the composting toilets (it gets fed a weekly diet of sawdust and peat moss).

The geraniums are also stored in the root cellar. I bring the geraniums in in the fall and store in the root cellar. In April, I bring them upstairs and start watering them again. By end of May they are ready to go back outside for another season.

Bench seat removed and cover off the dumb waiter

We have a trap door in the front entrance that leads to the root cellar. It has been great for bringing in the produce and getting the geraniums in and out of the root cellar. Open the trap door, hook the hook on the rope onto your pail and lower it down to the person in the root cellar. Unhook the pail and send the hook back up for the next pail. Geranium pots are put into pails to move them up and down. So much easier on your back. A simple dumb waiter.

Our freezer is packed with frozen garden produce as well – corn, snow peas, green beans, kale, green broad beans, local cherries, choke cherries, cranberries, sea buckthorn, raspberries, and strawberries. In fact, our freezers were packed to capacity. We had a small apartment sized chest freezer and the 3 freezer drawers in our Vestfrost fridge. We decided to replace the chest freezer with a larger more efficient one and found a great Danby Premiere Energy Star upright freezer with 8.2 cubic feet of storage. I found boxes to fit on the shelves and you can pack a lot of produce into this baby. The boxes help keep the cold air in when you open the door and allow you to pack a lot more stuff on each shelf. It uses just a touch more electricity than our small chest freezer did, and provides a lot more room. We keep it out in the unheated porch so it doesn’t  run much in the cold weather when power is less abundant. We moved the chest freezer to the garage, and I will be able to freeze more garden produce next year.

I still have some garden produce in the sunroom right now. All my squashes are being stored there while they ripen and harden for storage in the basement. I have some tomatoes still ripening for fresh eating and canning. And I have some late harvest herbs drying.


Although I am sad to say goodbye to the nice fall we were having, its kind of nice to start a new season. We have been working outside since the spring and now its time to concentrate on indoor projects. The upstairs bathroom is next on the list, then the upstairs hardwood floors.

Today was a snow day, our first snowfall of the year. We enjoyed our morning and evening walks, using the bush trails to avoid the brisk north wind. The scenery has changed. No more walking on crunchy leaves.  Hanna (German Sheppard) loves the snow, Sox (the cat) not so much.

The solar panels were covered in ice and snow this morning. Ken cleaned off the snow and although it is cloudy out, there was enough sun to burn off the ice layer and let in a bit of solar power. Not enough to fully charge the batteries but enough to top them off. Today we watch our electricity consumption. Enough for the necessities – fridge and freezers (both in cold rooms so not running much)  and computers LOL,  but not enough for power tools, blenders or electric mixers. However, the local town was without power this morning for over an hour. So while we have to watch our consumption, we still have power.

Today we relax and live simply. The wood stove is on so we have heat and hot water. I mixed up a batch of dough (by hand, no electric dough mixer today) for a nice garlic, olive focaccia bread and made a big pot of Red Lentil, Carrot and Coconut Milk Soup. A pot of Chili Non Carne is simmering on the stove for supper. Life is good.



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October 17, 2017

Balcony Railing Complete – the siding on the house is actually green, but looks yellow in this picture

The balcony railing is now up. Another project complete – well almost complete. The facia around the balcony still needs to go up.  As a bonus, although it is already mid October, the weather has been nice and we were able to sit on the balcony today and enjoy a smoothie – a great break from splitting wood.

The balcony decking is the same gray composite (Timberteck) as on the lake deck and veranda. We debated on what to do for the railing – log posts and spindles like the inside railing, glass panels or composite. In the end, the composite won out – less maintenance and we got a real good deal on it. The railing is also from Timberteck, the same company as the composite decking.  Another bonus of using a manufactured product is that it was super fast to put up.

The balcony deck is 8 feet and 20 feet and also serves as the ceiling of the outdoor kitchen. Since there are spaces between the deck boards, some rain does drip down, but not much.

And the view is great from above.

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Drone Pictures

October 13, 2017

In September of this year, brother-in-law Dennis brought over his drone for some aerial shots of the property. The view from the sky provides a different perspective of the property.

View of the East side

The picture above gives a bird’s eye view of the garden and the turnaround as well as giving an idea on the size of the lake.

View from the South

Sweeping over to the south, you get a view of the solar panels on the shop. You can see the difference in the roof color between the shop and the garage, which was attached later.

South Side

In this close up view from the south side, you can see the hot house, the herb garden and the hill of squash vines covering the slope on the south side of the house. You can also see the mulched paths in the garden and the four brassica cages.

West side

This view of the west side of the house, shows the balcony (railing was not up when this photo was taken), deck and patio.

West side

In the above view, you can see the start of the west side landscaping. A path has been constructed running from the garden around the house to the shop. On the south side you can see where we have started laying rock on the corner. The area of grass between the lower path and the deck will eventually have a couple of garden beds and a path. On the north corner of the path you can see the small dark circle which is our fire pit.

West side

The view of the west side shows part of the bush area that makes up our property.  The small blue spot on the lower left is the kayaks, ready for a ride on the lake.

Workawayers Charlie and Stevie, Darlene and drone pilot Dennis

Thanks Dennis for the great shots!

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October Garden Update

October 1, 2017

Living in Manitoba Canada, it seems surreal to be able to post an October Garden Update. However, during my lifetime I have seen the frost free season extend longer and longer. I am sure this is due to global warming; however, it is hard not to like the longer season. It is October 1 today and we still have not had a frost and my garden is still producing.

We harvested part of the garden before leaving to BC September 11 for the birth of our newest grandchild Nora. We pulled out all the tomatoes and brought the green tomatoes into the house to ripen while we were gone. However, since much of the garden was still doing well, we decided to leave it until we returned.

Charile and Hanna

Thanks to Charlene aka Charlie, our Workaway housesitter, for watching over our property and pets while we were away. She made good use of the garden produce and made sure the hothouse plants stayed watered. We returned this week to find we still had a bounty of produce in the garden to use and preserve.






Yesterday, September 30, I harvested:

  • 3 potato plants which yielded a 5 gallon pail full of large russet potatoes. I still have lots more potato plants to dig but they will have to wait for another day.
  • a big tub of cucumbers. Yes cucumbers! I pulled all the plants out yesterday and found enough cucumbers, big and small, to make 6 litres of dill pickles, 15 half litres of relish and still have a dozen or so left for fresh eating.
  • a big tub of parsley which I have put to dry for winter use. I still have another big batch to harvest before the frost comes. The dried parsley will be used in soups and casseroles as well as green smoothies. Since we buy a lot of fresh greens over the winter for smoothies, I have decided to try drying as much as possible this year. I am storing a variety of dried greens in sealed glass jars and planning to use them much the same as the green powders you buy in the health food store. Drying is a great way to preserve when you are off grid and freezer space is limited.
  • about 2 dozen cobs of corn. When I picked the cobs I didn’t have any expectation that they would still be young tender and sweet; however, I was surprised to find they were. We enjoyed corn on the cob for supper last night and the rest I stripped from the cobs, blanched and froze for winter eating.
  • A big tub of kale. This year we experimented with growing the kale under netting to keep out the cabbage butterflies. What a huge success. We still have lots of beautiful kale growing in the garden. I harvested the large leaves off one bed, leaving the plants to grow some more. Since kale will withstand some frost, I hope to have fresh kale for a bit longer. The kale I picked made a great big Kale and Apple salad for supper and the rest I blanched and froze for winter eating.
  • several squashes. The 2 big ones in the picture I pulled out before leaving for BC, but I was astonished to find so many more now. I picked a bunch of Patty Pan (aka scalloped) squash which I think I will try to stuff.

The garden still has lots more produce for eating and preserving, although we could get frost any day now. In the upcoming week I will try to get the rest off.

  • lots of potatoes, carrots, and beets to be dug and put away in the root cellar
  • Green curly and dinosaur kale

  • Kale – which I will leave in the garden until a heavy frost threatens. We will eat as much as possible in the upcoming week, and I will freeze and dry the rest.
  • Swiss Chard

  • Swiss Chard (also know as Silver Beet in some parts of the world). Since this will also survive a mild frost I hope to have this around for a while as well for fresh eating. The rest I will freeze or dry.
  • Romaine

  • Romaine – I experimented with a late planting this year and it was a total success. We come back to find it flourishing in the cool September weather.  Harvesting lettuce in September and October is a first for me. If a frost threatens I will be out there picking it all and storing it in the fridge.
  • Parsley, Thyme, Sage, Oregano, Rosemary . I have already dried enough for winter use but will likely dry a bit more this week.
  • Basil – Basil does not like the cold and any plants left in the garden are turning black. However, the plants in the hothouse are still doing nicely. This week I will make a huge batch of pesto to freeze..
  • Cilantro – I planted a bunch late in the year and it is small and tender right now.
  • Eggplant – We have 2 big eggplants growing in the hothouse. Another first for me!
  • Hothouse with peppers, eggplant and basil

  • Peppers – There are a big bunch of red, orange and purple peppers still growing in the hothouse. I plan to harvest and freeze them. And while cleaning out the garden I found one plant hiding amongst the flowers that had a big green pepper on it.
  • Green onion

  • Green onion – the bunching onion I planted this spring is finally coming into its own and I have lots of green onion to use up.

The tomatoes we brought in before leaving for BC and now almost all red and ready for preserving. Today was salsa day and I did up 9 litres for winter. Tomorrow is tomato sauce day and the rest I will can as plain tomatoes.

So while the calendar shows October, my garden still thinks it is August! I will be busy for the next few weeks making good use of the late bounty.


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Nora Joyce

September 24, 2017

Newborn Nora


Nora Joyce arrived safely on September 24, 2017. A little sister for Jacob. She weighed in at 7 pounds 9 ounces and 21 inches in length. She was 10 days late but made up for her tardiness with a very speedy birth, arriving after only 1 hour of labor. Happily Matt got Kelsey to the hospital with a few minutes to spare.

Kelsey Jacob, Matt and baby Nora

Ken and I traveled to BC, arriving September 12, and stayed until everyone was settled at home. We had a great time as Jacob, who is almost 2, was so much fun. We even managed to sneak in a quick trip to Vancouver to visit Christopher, Emily and our granddaughter Astrid, who is now 15 months old.

Nora Arrives!

Jacob meets Nora

Nora 1 day old

Kelsey and Nora

Matt and Nora

Baba and Gigi with baby Nora















Baba and Gigi with Jacob and Nora
















Fun and games with Jacob

Matt Kelsey and Jacob waiting form baby Nora’s arrival

Matt Kelsey and Jacob still waiting for Baby Nora’s arrival

Jacob playing with Gigi

Jacob loves to swing

Hiking with Jacob

Jacob loves the Fair

Jacob enjoying fresh corn on the cobb

Momma and Jacob

































Visiting Astrid

Baba and Gido with Astrid

Christopher and Astrid at the park

Astrid at Science World – budding scientist

Astrid loves her food




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Workaway 2017

August 31, 2017

Darlene and Ken with Andrea, Cristiana and Stevie (and Hanna)

Earlier this year, we signed up for a program called Workaway. Workaway promotes volunteering, work and cultural exchange around the world. In a nutshell, as a Workaway host, we can host visiting travelers at our property and in exchange for 20 to 25 hours of work a week, we will provide them with a room and board. To date, we have hosted four travellers interested in experiencing off grid living and a vegan lifestyle.

Our first Workaway was a young man from Great Britain – Shahyan. He housesat for us while we were visiting the kids this spring. In exchange for watching our pets, taking care of the garden, and doing some chores, we provided him with a stocked pantry and a selection of frozen home cooked plant based meals. The experience was very positive. He did have a bit of bad luck hauling in some trees with the tractor (blew a tire) and working the water pump for the garden (put in diesel instead of gas – but not his fault, the gas can was not labelled); however, he did manage to split a whole pile of firewood for us and took great care of Hanna and Sox.

Making beet salad is bloody work!

Our next Workaway was a young lady from New Zealand – Stevie -who contacted us because she was interested in learning more about the Whole Food Plant Based way of eating. While  not a vegetarian, she had no problem adapting to our vegan lifestyle. She has been a great help with the garden – weeding, harvesting and preserving – and with the cooking and landscape projects. I have really enjoyed her company. She hates to follow a recipe and constantly challenges me to step outside my comfort zone. She is also crazy about beets (or beet root as the Kiwis call it) and I have really made great use of the beets in my garden this year. Stevie is still with us for a few more weeks when she moves on to her next adventure.

Building a stone retaining wall for the Patio

Our last Workawayers were a couple from Italy – Andrea and Cristiana. Andrea is a vegan and Cristiana agreed to give it a try for the two weeks she was with us. There was no shortage of fun and laughs while they were with us. Andrea was a great help to Ken on various projects including splitting and stacking wood and building a stone retaining wall for the patio.

Yoga on the deck





Cristiana served as our yoga instructor, spent countless hours washing dishes and tried her hand on creating vegan desserts, including Energy Balls and a No Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Pie.

Our outdoor kitchen got used a lot this August. Ken got the water hooked up to the sink and we had a professional hook up the propane to the gas cooktop. So nice to enjoy the outdoors while cooking.

Andrea is an accomplished Italian vegan cook  and I enjoyed learning from him. He cooked us Potatoes, Pasta e Pesto; Pasta Salentina; Pomodoro e Basilica; and Potatoes with Crema de Fava.

Chef Andrea






Making Pysanky





While Stevie, Andrea and Cristiana were here we also enjoyed showing them our Ukrainian Culture and the best of the Canadian prairies. They tried their hands at making pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Eggs), borshch (Beet Soup) and bread. They biked and ran the quite country roads and kayaked on the lake. They saw bison up close, as well as numerous other wild life. And they had the opportunity to see up close how grain is swathed and combined.

Baking Bread

Andrea catches a garter snake








Bison up close


Enjoying a picnic at the lake








Thanks to our workawayers help, our woodshed is stacked with wood for the winter and the wood for the following winter is split, stacked and drying. And we have a good start on the landscaping on the lake side.

Filling the woodshed for the winter

Laundry day – Hanging clothes to dry

‘Top and Tailing’ green beans for freezing while sitting on the front porch swing.

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