Saturday, August 19, 2023

Summer 2023 Update

It's amazing how fast Summer 2023 is flying by. We're back to our regular summer schedule here at our float cabin on Powell Lake. We arrived mid-May and plan to depart in mid-October. That gives us enough time to prepare for our winter Snowbird trip to Tucson, Arizona.

I've been remiss in writing blog posts regularly, so here is a recap of summer highlights to bring you up to date.


Getting home is always exciting. The days were sunny but cool and mornings called for a fire in the woodstove to take the chill off.

Spring flowers that reseeded themselves including Poppies and Penstemons gave us a riot of colour to enjoy.


By June we settled into a routine. Each morning we had coffee on the porch to watch the sun rise over Goat Island backlighting tall trees.

Weekly town trips included stops at the condo to check mail, shopping for groceries and a few special events like the "Paint and Sip" party led by local artist Ursala Medley at the historic Old Courthouse Inn.


July brought warm weather to enjoy outdoors. Summer concerts at Willingdon Beach included the PRISMA music academy and a fund raiser for River City Kids.

Our Xplore satellite internet went out in May. It took until July to get a repairman up the lake. We are happy Lee is now available locally for future needs.

I harvested my red currants to make a small batch of jelly.

 Up the Lake by Wayne Lutz

 If you are interested in learning more about float living, use the category list on the right to select topics of interest. You can also get a free e-book or Kindle copy of Wayne's first book in the Coastal BC Stories series titled Up the Lake. It tells about how we discovered our float cabin home and introduces you to the region where we live. It's a great holiday destination in all seasons.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. -- Margy

Monday, August 07, 2023

FREE E-Book: "Up the Lake" by Wayne Lutz

The book that started it all!

Up the Lake
Coastal BC Stories


Head up Powell Lake to experience life in an off the grid float cabin, take a boat to world famous Desolation Sound, ride a quad into the back country and fly overhead for a unique view of this incredible place. Read Up the Lake by Wayne J. Lutz and see how much fun it can be.

Print for $9.95
Kindle for Free
E-Book for Free
(prices may vary in Canada)

for more information and 
additional titles in the Coastal BC Stories series.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Summer Sunrise Up the Lake

Wednesday is the first day of summer, a time of year we look forward to with much anticipation. One reason is long sunny days. Here's a wide angle shot to show you the difference between winter and summer sunrise at our float cabin at Hole in the Wall on Powell Lake.

Sunrise over the peak on Goat Island on the first day of summer is at 7:54 a.m. Sunrise on the first day of winter was well to the south and at 9:45 a.m.

Summer sunset over the Bunster Range to the west is at 5:34 p.m., making our summer sunlight last for nine hours and forty minutes. Compare that to less than two hours in December. Like Goat Island, the Bunsters are pretty tall. Even though direct rays of the sun are gone, it is light until well after 10:00.

What are you doing with all your glorious summer sun? -- Margy

Monday, January 09, 2023

AC/DC Portable Electric Cooler

Wayne and I are on a short winter trip to the cabin. It's quite cool, but we are staying warm thanks to our trusty woodstove

Normally, we use our propane refrigerator for fresh food, but because this is a short trip we are using ice chests.

To maximize space we are using a variety of containers. For ice cubes and drinks we are using insulated coolers with blue freezer packs. For fruits and vegetables, a plastic tub. These remain outdoors where it's cool.

Indoors for dairy, meats, cheese and condiments we are using our new knox gear (k-box) electric cooler (it also has a warmer feature that we don't need right now).

It's well insulated on all sides and the lid. The cooling unit on top runs with either a 110V AC cord or 12V DC cord and power adapter plug. 

For ease of use, we have ours connected directly to the cabin's battery bank.

It could also be used with a vehicle power port. 

The inside fan distributes cold air throughout the interior. 

It works best with pre-cooled groceries. For extra cooling, I froze large water bottles and two blue freezer packs.

One of two large water bottles I froze in town to augment cooling.

During our six day cabin trip, all of our foods stayed cool and fresh. I even had ice cubes left on the front porch for my last evening cocktail. 

The 48-quart model has plenty of room. They also have a smaller version.

I would say this has been a successful test of our short-term winter refrigeration needs. What kinds of strategies do you use on camping or off-the-grid trips? -- Margy

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

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

And Sunday Sunshine Blog Hop at Ridge Haven Homestead.

Friday, January 06, 2023

Float Cabin Living Series: Tiny Home on the Water

Float Cabin Living Series
Tiny Home on the Water

In 2018, I wrote a series about float cabin living. Below you will find links to each of the posts. I invite you to visit (or revisit) the articles to see why Wayne and I love float cabin living so much.

Wayne and I purchased our float cabin home on Powell Lake in BC in 2001. It was the best decision we ever made.

Our float cabin fits the tiny home definition. In fact, it was featured in Lloyd Kahn's book Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter.

Our float cabin is past First Narrows at picturesque Hole in the Wall where we pay annual lease and property taxes.

Click on the links below to go to the posts. If you have questions, please leave a comment.

  1. Float Cabin Living: The Series (an overview)
  2. Does the cabin move around the lake?
  3. What is the weather like?
  4. What happens during storms?
  5. How do you stay warm?
  6. How do you get power? Propane, Solar, Alternatives
  7. Do you have a telephone, television and the Internet?
  8. How was your cabin built? Float, Cabin
  9. Why did you choose to live in a float cabin?
  10. Can you have a garden?
  11. How can you live in such a small space?
  12. What do you DO with all your time?
  13. How do you handle waste?

For more information there are posts under Float Cabin Living in the sidebar. You can also visit the website for information about my husband's Coastal BC Stories series of books. Many include chapters about cabin life and Powell Lake.

If you have questions, please leave a comment or use the email link in my profile. I always enjoy sharing about our life up the lake. -- Margy

Sunday, December 04, 2022

Book Review: "Murder Rides a Gale Force Wind" by Yvonne Maximchuk

The author/artist in action at our float cabin.
This month I'm reviewing a new book by my favourite local author, Yvonne Maximchuk. I've read all her non-fiction books about the people and places near her off-grid home in Echo Bay on Gilford Island in Coastal British Columbia. Murder Rides a Gale Force Wind is her first novel.

Yvonne is an author and artist. She's a master at capturing the beauty of Coastal BC in images and words. You can see more at her website.

Murder Rides a Gale Force Wind is set in Echo Bay, nearby islands and North Vancouver Island. If you've read any of Yvonne's other books, you'll recognize her inspiration from real-life people and places like the Echo Bay Marina and Lodge and legendary Billy Proctor.

Review of Murder Rides a Gale Force Wind

Echo Bay is a small hamlet of cabins in a protected cove cut off from Vancouver Island by kilometres of sometimes dangerous ocean. Like all small villages, everyone knows everyone, sometimes too well. Woody's lodge and marina is the heart of the community. It's usually a quiet place, except when summer boaters come to cruise the nearby scenic waterways. In all seasons, it supplies residents and fishermen with fuel, mail, supplies and gossip.

Tim is a colourful character. He's settled into being a government agent checking prawn boats for legal catches. He has conflicting love interests, Margaret an RCMP Sargent in Port McNeill on Vancouver Island, and Kit who runs a boat taxi service out of Echo Bay. There's also a tangled web of other characters from Echo Bay, the First Nations village, and recent arrivals to this isolated region.

Several story lines unfold to introduce the characters and the beautiful land and sea. They come together crashing together when a body is discovered washed up on the shore of a neighbouring island. The big question, is it murder or something else.

Yvonne knows this area well.  It's been her home for many years. Her extensive knowledge of boating, off-grid living, commercial fishing, logging, painting, First Nations, hiking and exploring shows in her descriptive narration. I'm amazed at how much I have learned over the years by living in the region. For some readers, a few terms might be unfamiliar, but add to the authenticity. 

Congratulations to Yvonne on an exciting novel. You are a master of words to paint pictures in the minds of your readers.

Murder Rides a Gale Force Wind is available in e-book and print formats from a variety of online booksellers plus several Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland bookstores. Watch her Facebook page for upcoming in-person readings and presentations.

Posts I've written about Yvonne and her books:

Yvonne Maximchuk: Painter, Potter, Author and her visit to our Powell Lake float cabin

Her memoir Drawn to Sea

Books co-authored with Bill Proctor: Full Moon, Flood Tide and Tide Rips and Back Eddies


Would you like to own a piece of historic and scenic Echo Bay? Yvonne's custom, state-of-the-art off grid waterfront home is for sale. For details visit


Visit the monthly Book Review Club for teen/young adult and adult fiction over at Barrie Summy's blog.

Also shared with Your the Star at Stone Cottage Adventures.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Growing and Preserving Garlic

Cabin life changed during Covid. Getting home for spring planting was difficult. Either we couldn't get here, or our timing was too early. In September, I cleaned my float garden, covered parts to prevent unwanted weeds, and planted flower bulbs and garlic.

At first I grew garlic in containers.

I've grown garlic for years. In the beginning, it was in small containers. I got plenty, but the bulbs were on the small side.

Now I grow it in my float garden. Garlic takes little attention. Plant cloves with the point up, mulch, water, feed periodically, dig, dry, and enjoy.

I purchase garlic bulbs good for my climate at the nursery. I also save my best bulbs for future planting.  A few bulbs go a long way. You separate the cloves and plant them seven inches apart. I plant in fall, mulch through winter and harvest in early summer.

Flower and garlic bulbs (in the front) sprouting in early March.

When the tops wilt, brown, and fall over, it's time to pull the bulbs. 

Tulips have died back and garlic approaching maturity.

If the weather is sunny and warm, I leave them on the cabin deck to dry.

Garlic drying on the deck on a sunny summer day.

After the surface of the bulbs has dried, I brush off any dirt and tie the tops of several together for hanging. Nothing goes to waste. I saved the trimmings for garden mulch.

Processing garlic for storage: Trimming and tying in bundles.

I hang them in a protected spot outdoors to continue drying. This starts the preserving process.

Garlic hanging to dry in the floating woodshed.

I leave them outdoors until the skin on the bulbs is dry and flaky. I then hang the bundles in the cabin's storage room. By this time there's no odour, and they're handy to grab for cooking.

Dried garlic hangs in our storage room ready for use.

If you live in an apartment with a balcony, or a home with limited garden space, you can grow garlic in a container and have plenty left over to share with friends and family. -- Margy


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

Visit Simple Life Mom for ideas about homesteading and simple living.

And Sunday Sunshine Blog Hop at Ridge Haven Homestead.

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