Friday, July 12, 2019

Cabin Journal: Bumblebees in Daffodil Tents

B is for Bumblebees in Daffodil Tents

Bumblebees come early each spring to my floating garden. Their arrival coincides with the blooming of my daffodils. The bumblebees like them for two reasons. First, they have pollen available when most other flowers haven't bloomed.

Second, the conical centres provide a protected spot for the bees to rest overnight in the cool weather.

A bumblebee waiting out the cool morning weather in its daffodil tent.

April 2, 2019

Out in the float garden my daffodils are in full bloom. I was afraid we'd miss them. The smaller ones on the cliff have seen their prime, but the large ones are a beautiful sight looking out from our cabin porch. And we aren't the only ones enjoying them, the bumblebees are all over them, even resting inside like before - bumblebees in daffodil tents.

As you can see, I use photographs to guide my drawings. In this illustration, I tried adding shading to the image.  Do you use photographs as a reference for drawing and painting?

If you would like to see my RV travel Friday Paint Party journal entry for today, please click here.

For the artist in all of us, visit Paint Party Friday.

For ABC pictures from around the world, stop by the ABC Wednesday blog. This is the twenty-fifth round.

Visit Letting Go of the Bay Leaf for more Mosaic Monday.

Shared with Your the Star at Stone Cottage Adventures. -- Margy

Monday, July 08, 2019

Cabin Baking: Pineapple Banana Bread with Pecans

All of my ingredients ready to go.
I had bananas going brown. At the same time we ran out of bread and breakfast rolls. A town trip wasn't on the horizon. What to do? Make Pineapple Banana Bread. Now that we have Xplornet satellite Internet, I went online and found a recipe using items I had on hand at Taste of Home.

Pineapple Banana Bread with Pecans


A measuring cup for wet ingredients.
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 egg
• 1/3 cup canola oil
• 2/3 cup sugar
• 2/3 cup mashed banana
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
• 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)


Combine wet and dry ingredients.
Note: My recipe modifications are in italics.

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients.

Combine the egg, oil, sugar, banana (about one) and vanilla. I used a large measuring cup.

Add to the dry ingredients just
until moistened.

Greased pan with parchment paper.
Fold in pineapple and nuts. I diced pineapple tidbits and used pecans. I like their flavour.

Pour into two greased and floured 5-3/4x3x2-in. loaf pans. I used a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray and a piece of parchment paper to make removal easier.

Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

With fruit, hard-boiled eggs and coffee (with lots of 18% coffee cream) we had a nice late morning breakfast.

What do you do with your over-ripe bananas?

For homesteading, homemaking, DIY and self-sustaining posts visit Farm Fresh Tuesdays at The Self Sufficient HomeAcre.

Hop on over to the Simple Life Mom and see some great ideas for homesteading and simple living.

Want more ideas? Try Nancy's Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop.

Head over to Blogghetti for Happiness is Homemade to see more recipes, crafts and DIY projects.

And a new Thursday site to visit, Frugal Living on the Ranch's Bloggers Pit Stop. - Margy

Friday, July 05, 2019

Cabin Journal: First Narrows

I've kept journals about life at our water access only float cabin on Powell Lake in Coastal British Columbia since its purchase in 2001. We began as occasional "cottage" dwellers while still working as educators in Los Angeles.

After retiring in 2005, as U.S. citizens we could spend six months a year up the lake. In 2008, we became Canadian permanent residents with no time restrictions. Now as Canadian citizens, our float cabin is an all-seasons home.

Now that you have a bit of the backstory, here's an excerpt from my most recent cabin journal. Starting with Volume 12, I'm including ink and watercolour pencil illustrations.

March 27, 2019

We woke to a light southeast breeze coming through the bedroom window. I checked the weather and it was going to increase by 11:00. That would be the time we would arrive at the Shinglemill Marina on Powell Lake after a quick grocery stop at Quality Foods. I suggested we stay one more night in town. Coming home after a long stay in the States is always hectic. It would give us some extra time to get caught up on mail, town chores and shopping.

It was a good decision to wait a day. The lake was calm and glassy smooth. The sun was low for a good picture of the cabin, but I got a good shot entering First Narrows.

I think the illustrations add a lot to my journal entries and will be great remembrances in years to come.

This is the first time I'm participating in Paint Party Friday. Thank you to Jenn at Cottage Country Reflections for the introduction.

For the artist in all of us, visit Paint Party Friday.

Shared with Your the Star at Stone Cottage Adventures. And Tuesdays with a Twist at Stone Cottage Adventures. -- Margy

Monday, July 01, 2019

Update: Float and Land Cabins for Sale on Powell Lake BC

Wayne and I love living in our float cabin home on Powell Lake in all seasons. Summer is here and it's the best time of the year to enjoy the lake. Boating, swimming and fishing are incredible on warm, sunny days. Right now there are several float cabins and land properties are on the market, but don't wait too long. They could be gone in a flash. Purchasing our float cabin home was the best thing we ever did. Why don't you come up and see what Powell Lake has to offer.

Powell Lake Cabins and Properties

Are you interested in getting a cabin of your own? Here's an updated list of cabins and properties up the lake that are for sale. Some are through real estate agents, so you can get more information via their websites. Other cabins are for sale by the owners with information on Craigslist or Facebook pages.

Powell Lake Cabins and Properties For Sale

MLS LISTING: 14131 Powell Lake is beautiful float cabin in a bay of its own with sandy beaches near Olsen's Landing.  The large float cabin is ready for you to use in all seasons. It has two stories with plenty of room for family and friends to visit on a warm summer day for sunning, swimming and fishing. It has 3 bedrooms plus extra space upstairs for guests, full and half bathrooms, and a large open concept living area downstairs with a pellet stove to keep you warm. Solar panels for power are quiet and efficient. In back there is also covered boat parking. All of this for $199,900. For more information contact Warren Behan of Royal LePage at 604-485-2324 or click here.

MLS LISTING:  12940 Powell Lake is a float cabin with lots of deck space for outside summer fun, and a swim platform for the little ones.  The open concept cozy cabin has one bedroom downstairs and a sleeping loft. Features include vaulted ceilings, tongue and groove pine ceiling, tongue and groove yellow cedar floor, wood stove, propane fridge, on-demand hot water, stove and freezer. Also included are a generator, solar system and a composting toilet. All this in a great location that's very protected now for $109,900. Click here for more information and pictures, or contact Warren Behan of Royal-LePage at 604-485-2324.

MLS LISTING:  10100 Powell Lake is a large 1200 sq ft float cabin for sale for $134,900. The cabin has 3 bedrooms that can sleep eight comfortably plus a hide-a-bed for 2 more.  Amenities include an on-demand hot water heater and all the bells and whistles. Custom work throughout must be seen to be appreciated. Click here for more information and pictures, or contact Warren Behan of Royal LePage at 604-485-2324.

FACEBOOK LISTING: This Powell Lake owner is taking offers for a 680 sq ft two bedroom float cabin. I comes furnished, has a water supply from a glacier fed waterfall behind the cabin, an on-demand hot water, and a new composting toilet. All remediation for the upland has been finished with a letter being sent. The cabin will be sold with full approval. Lots of winter sun, zunga tree, year round use. It is located just past the hiking trail to Beartooth water fall. Reduced asking price of $85,000. Click here for more information.

MLS LISTING: Here's an A-frame Powell Lake float cabin in a sunny location on Goat Island just 20 minutes by boat from Shinglemill Marina. Amenities include solar power, composting toilet, shower, on-demand hot water and a new propane cooktop. It has a sleeping loft plus a bunkhouse. The large deck has stairs into water. Everything is in compliance with new water lease rules. Send a pm to the owner on Facebook for more details. The asking price is $128,500. Click here for more information, or contact Harry Zroback of RE/MAX at 604-483-3333.

MLS LISTING: 9742 Powell Lake is a newly built float cabin on the first point past Henderson Bay that just needs a bit of finishing. Large covered walk around deck, great access to shore and bluffs. Two level with 1 bedroom on main and 2 bedrooms up plus a large loft. Wood stove, metal roof and loads of skylights. New "eco john" sewage waste combustion system plus an extra float to build a small shed. The asking price is $179,000. Click here for more information, or contact Don McLeod of RE/MAX at 604-483-8044.

MLS LISTING: 9428 Powell Lake is a two year old float cabin only 15 minutes by boat up the lake in popular Henderson Bay. All new from the cedar log float upwards: new cedar decking, anchors and ropes, 2 x 6 construction, insulation, wiring with full solar power, on demand hot water heater, tub with shower, composting toilet, wood stove for heat and a kitchen with a solar powered fridge and gas range. Cedar and metal siding, metal roof and thermal windows. The asking price is $184,o00. Click here for more information.

FACEBOOK LISTING: Here's a 12-year new float cabin on Powell Lake. It is located on Goat Island before Cassiar Falls and straight across from Fiddlehead. A boat is required to reach this location. Pictures on the Facebook post show that it's beautiful and well-maintained inside and out. The asking price is $185,000. Click here for more information and to contact the seller.

MLS LISTING: 9242 Powell Lake is a land cabin on a half acre waterfront lot with a beautiful sandy beach. It has two bedrooms, a bath with a shower, a large living room with a cozy woodstove. The little kitchen is a perfect .place to prepare meals to enjoy in the glassed-in breakfast room.  A covered front deck is the perfect place to relax on a warm summer evening. There's a lovely garden, a waterside deck and fire pit on the beach, plus a handy sheds for storage and firewood. It’s all ready and waiting for you to enjoy for $279,900. For more information contact Warren Behan of Royal LePage at 604-485-2324 or click here.

MLS LISTING: Freehold land cabin in Henderson Bay, only 10-15 minutes from the marina on a gentle sloping 0.69 acre lot with dock and ramp. The 16' x 24' cabin was built to lock up in 1998 but never finished. On main the level there's a 16' x 12' deck, kitchen and living room area, 1 bedroom with another bedroom on the upper level. The lot is mostly in its natural state for privacy. The asking price is $219,000. Click here for more information, or contact Don McLeod of RE/MAX at 604-483-8044.

FACEBOOK LISTING: Boat access only freehold land cabin on Powell lake 12 mins from the boat launch. It's a furnished 2 bedroom, 800 square foot cabin with solar system, gravity water system, wood heat, propane appliances and 2 large outer decks. There's an 8 x 60' floating dock with metal shore access ramp. Land size is approximately 100 ft of water front by 300ft long. The asking price is $290,000. Click here for more information and to contact the seller through the Facebook Marketplace link.

MLS LISTING: BC Land Professionals is offering a lakefront lodge. The property is 8.35 acres of Crown lease land (renewal due in 2021) with 1300 feet of lake frontage. There are 5 self contained cedar cottages: 3 two-bedroom and 2 one-bedroom. Each has a full bathroom with showers, sinks, toilets, and full kitchens with brand new appliances. Living and eating areas are fully furnished with wood stoves for heat. The fridge, stove, hot water and lighting are propane. Other buildings includes a wood fired Sauna and tool shed. The foreshore and docks are protected by log breakwater. The complete package is priced at $379,000. Click here for more information and pictures. For more information call toll free at 1-866-558-5263, the office at 604-694-7626 or mobile at (604) 483-1605.

MLS LISTING: BC Land Professionals is offering a stunning 1.7 acre island with two cabins that's only a 20-30 minute boat ride from the Shingle Mill Marina. It includes a main cabin, guest cabin, outbuildings, foreshore license and dock. The asking price is $275,000. Click here for more information and pictures. For more information Jamie Zroback at (604) 483-1605 or Jason Zroback at (604) 414-5577.

Powell Lake Cabin Services

Powell Lake Cabin Services: Already have a cabin up the lake? We are always looking for help with projects around ours. Our good friend (and float cabin neighbour) Justin Behan offers services such as cargo delivery, lumber packages, cubes, propane tanks, wood stoves, and anchor and rope supply. In addition, Justin is now a distributor for Sun-Mar composting toilets just like the one we installed in our new bathroom addition. For more information, call Justin at (604) 483-6527.

Powell Lake Real Estate: Want a real estate agent that really knows float cabins? That's Harry Zroback (our man Harry who helped us get our cabin) from RE/MAX. Harry owns a cabin himself, so he's an excellent person to contact for all your "up the lake" real estate needs at 604-483-8333 or

Powell Lake Stories

Want to know more about life up the lake. Check out these books from Wayne's Coastal BC Stories series:

Up the Lake (Free for Kindle and e-books)
Farther Up the Lake
Cabin Number 5
Off the Grid
Off the Grid: Getting Started
Powell Lake by Barge and Quad
If you have any questions about Powell River, Powell Lake or cabin living, I'd be glad to help out. Just leave a comment or use the e-mail link in my profile to send me a message. -- Margy

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Summer Cabin Visitors

Winter is very quite up the lake at our float cabin home. By late spring, birds and critters start to return. Then as summer starts to settle in, so do they. They come to eat from the abundance in our forest and to raise their young to start a new generation. Two of my favourite visitors are the chipmunks and Oregon Juncos.

An Oregon Junco eating seeds on the bridge to shore

The chipmunks and Oregon Juncos have a symbiotic relationship. The birds flick seeds from my feeders that they don't like down onto our bridge to shore or into the lake.

One of the two resident chipmunks enjoying a snack.

The chipmunks (there's a pair) feast on the fallen seeds in two ways. The easiest is to eat the ones that land on the bridge. They also run along the breakwater logs floating nearby to scoop up the tasty treats that cling at the water's edge. They are so much fun to watch.

Do you have any special animals around your home? Which are your favourites?

Thanks for visiting my post this week. I'm linking up with Camera Critters and Saturday's Critters. Check them out for more great animal pictures.

Thanks for visiting part of my world this week. For more great posts from Our World Tuesday, click here.

And also a meme called Through My Lens by Mersad.

And Tuesdays with a Twist at Stone Cottage Adventures. -- Margy

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Flowering Dracaena Spike Plants

Repurposed BBQ planter in 2010.
In 2010, I repurposed a BBQ into a planter to put under the kitchen window at the cabin to give the side of our home a bright focal point.

I planted geraniums for colour and wanted something to give it height. I picked out two small grass-like plants at Canadian Tire.

Over the years, those spiky little plants (you can barely see them in the picture on the left) grew until their roots took over the whole planter.

The Spike Plants take over in 2015.
Consequently, in 2015 I relocated them to deck pots of their own.

I went back to Canadian Tire to talk to the nursery expert. She wasn't sure what I had, but thought it might be a plant called Dracaena. I looked it up online and that made sense.

The Dracaena indivisa plants get pots of their own.
I believe mine are Dracaena indivisa also known as a Spike Plant. It's commonly used in planters and gardens to provide height and interest. Websites say to bring it indoors for winter, but mine survive outdoors without extra protection even here in Coastal BC.

One Spike Plant developed a floral spike in 2016.

Flower cluster closeup.
In 2016, I was surprised to see one of the plants develop a large central spike. It opened to a massive bloom. It beautiful, fragrant and provided bees with a source of nourishment.

Branching Spike Plant.
Each time a Dracaena blooms, it causes the plant to branch. The plant that bloomed in 2016 now has three branches, and it's partner that started blooming in 2017 has two.

In 2017, I transplanted my Dracaena Spike Plants into larger pots and moved them down in front of the float cabin on our new deck.

2019 plant with two flowering spikes.

This year I was very surprised to find that my late bloomer is trying to catch up. It has two floral spikes rather than one.

2019 plant with one flowering spike.

The Dracaena Spike Plants continue to give us a beautiful focal point. Who would have guessed that those two small grass-like additions to my repurposed BBQ planter would develop into such interesting specimens.

Hop on over to the Simple Life Mom and see some great ideas for homesteading and simple living.

Want more ideas? Try Nancy's Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop.

Head over to Blogghetti for Happiness is Homemade to see more recipes, crafts and DIY projects. -

And another site, Frugal Living on the Ranch's Bloggers Pit Stop. - Margy