Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Off the Grid Float Cabin YouTube Video Reaches Over One Million Views

You may have read about this on my Margy Meanders blog, but I think it's amazing enough to share again here.

Back in 2012, I sent pictures and video clips about living off the grid in our float cabin home to Kirsten Dirksen in Spain. She has a YouTube channel that focuses on tiny homes, simple living and other interesting topics. Kirsten took the raw images I sent and put them together into a video for her channel.

A look at the YouTube page with our 1,000,000+ views.

Little did I know that the video she created would become so popular. This month it crossed the 1,000,000 views mark and is still climbing.

In case you haven't seen it yet, here it is. You can view it right here or go to YouTube for a larger version.

Thanks Kirsten for sharing our story with so many people.

Do you want to learn more about our float cabin home and off the grid living? Click on the Float Cabin Living topic in the sidebar or visit my Margy Lutz YouTube page. You can also visit the Powell River Books website and check out some of Wayne's Coastal BC Stories books that are available in print and eBook formats.  -- Thanks, Wayne and Margy

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Woodstove Safety

When we first got our float cabin, I was a little afraid of the wood burning stove. It was hard for me to get used to a fire burning in a small metal box in the middle of my living room. I had no prior experience with such a thing in my Los Angeles city-folk life. But when the nights (and days) got cold, we quickly overcame our trepidation and started using our Kozi stove.

Wayne's chimney pipe cleaning tools.
When our friend John built the cabin he installed our stove to minimize fire danger, but it's up to us to keep it that way. We watch the stove's components to make sure they are in good condition and replace any that seem worn or damaged. So far, we've replaced the door gasket twice. Fortunately, stove supplies can be found in most hardware stores, at least here in the north.

Wayne on the porch cleaning out the horizontal wall and exterior chimney pipes.

Cleaning the inside chimney and sealing a joint.
Chimney sweeping is crucial for safe wood stove use. Even with our thermometer to monitor fire conditions, creosote and ash build up in the chimney pipe and on our stove's smoke shelf. On a sunny fall day (at least a non-rainy one) we don't build a fire.

First, Wayne goes up on the porch roof to clean the exterior pipe and chimney cap. Next, we go indoors to disassemble and clean the interior pipe and the stove's smoke shelf.

I'm amazed how much buildup there is in just a few short winter months. But on the other hand, our trusty stove is running almost 24/7 that time of year.

If you have a woodstove, do you have any installation, care or maintenance tips? Any funny, or even scary stories? Let's hear them.

Want to find out more about our float cabin living? Try reading Up the Lake. If you use a Kindle or e-book you can get a copy for free at Amazon or most online booksellers.

For more information about all of the Coastal BC Stories books visit our website at -- Margy

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Cabin Baking: Banana Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Getting organized.
I wanted something sweet for dessert using two things from the freezer, grated zucchini and a mashed banana. I found a recipe online that looked perfect. A bonus was I had everything else I needed on hand. Running to the store isn’t easy to do from up at the cabin.

Banana Zucchini Cake

I used a recipe from Real Housemoms. It was called bread, but easily doubled as a cake. My modifications are in italics.


Beat wet ingredients together first.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup mashed banana (about 2)
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup zucchini shredded
Mix dry ingredients and stir together.
1 cup walnuts chopped


Beat oil and sugar together. I don’t have mixer so I used a whisk.

Add the mashed banana, egg and vanilla. I only had one mashed banana in the freezer but the batter was plenty moist.
Blend in nuts and raisins (optional).

Mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt then add them to the wet ingredients. I’m lazy. I mix my dry ingredients together on top of the wet before combining wet and dry.

Using a spoon, fold in the zucchini and walnuts (I used pecans). 

I used a baking dish not a loaf pan.
I had 2 cups of frozen grated zucchini. By the time it thawed and I discarded the water it was one cup. I also added one cup of soaked raisins.

Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and pour in the batter. I wanted to frost it as a cake so I used a baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting

I chose a frosting recipe from All Recipes.


Cream the ingredients together.
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Cream together the butter and cream cheese. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. I didn’t have enough cream cheese so I made half a batch.

All dressed up and ready to enjoy. Yummy!

I let the cake cool and then spread the frosting on top. Because of the butter and cream cheese, I kept the leftovers in the fridge. But they weren't left over for long. -- Margy

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Guest Blogger at Terra do Milho in Portugal

The Terra do Milho website.
My digital world reaches far and wide. One stop is the Homestead Blogger's Network,  a community of bloggers writing about self-sufficiency. I found a post about the chop and drop method of dealing with garden waste in a positive way. I left a comment and was surprised to get a personal email from Monique, the author. If you are interested in chop and drop, you can read her post at her Terra do Milho website in Portugal.

A garden image from Monique's blog.
Monique is a farmer and homestead consultant. Her partner Tom is a comedian, farmer and homestead host at Terra do Milho in Portugal. They share their knowledge and experience with others in person with organic farm-stay holidays, consulting services, permaculture design courses, blog and social media publications.

Here are links for more information about Terra do Milho:

Terra do Milho Website
Terra do Milho Blog
Terra do Milho Facebook Page
Monique's Posts on Homestead Blogger's Network

Monique visited my blog and was intrigued with float cabin living and gardening. She invited me to write a guest and I was glad to share a bit of my world with her readers. Here's a sneak peak and a link to the whole article on her blog.

Go to the Terra do Milho blog to read the whole story.

One thing I love about the Internet is being able to travel the world at the click of a key. How about you? -- Margy