Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020 Year in Review

2020 has been like no other year, filled with stress, fear and isolation worldwide. After an Arizona RV trip, Wayne and I chose to self-isolate in Bellingham until July. Many of my posts included "throwbacks" to better times in our float cabin home on Powell Lake. 

Click the titles to read the complete posts.

1. Dancing in Gumboots by Lou Allison and Jane Wilde -  I read more in 2020. Did you? I like books written by women who homestead or live off the grid. Dancing in Gumboots is an anthology of stories by women who came to live in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island during the 1970s.

Related post: Gumboot Girls by Lou Allison and Jane Wilde was the first anthology of stories by women who settled in Haida Gwaii (formerly Queen Charlotte Islands) and Prince Rupert in the 1960s.

2. Throwback: A Perfect Day Up the Lake -  We finally got back to our float cabin home in mid-July. We were in Bellingham when the U.S./Canada border closed due to COVID. Getting home was wonderful even with a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

Our Powell Lake float cabin home.

Related post: Goin' Home, I'm Goin' Home tells about our most unusual border crossing and the COVID quarantine we completed up the lake.

3. Throwback: Spring Gardening - We missed spring planting up the lake this year. I shared a throwback post about how my floating garden started.

My floating garden in late spring from a previous year.

Related post: What a Difference a Year Makes shows how overgrown and gone to seed my floating garden was when we returned home in July.

4. Refreshing Sourdough Starter - In the first days of the pandemic and yeast was in short supply, making sourdough bread was big thing. I left my starter in the Powell River condo fridge. It had to wait six months for a proper feeding. Amazingly, it refreshed easily and was ready for a new batch of tasty bread.

Active yeast bubbles formed while warming in the kitchen. It's ALIVE!

Related post: Improved No-Knead Sourdough Bread gives you tips I've learned to make easy and tasty sourdough bread.

5. Do you have a kicker?  We made it to Powell River in time for some summer cruising. We socially distanced at marinas and on shore. But we had a few challenges: a leaky new head (toilet), I broke my little finger, and the leg that propels our Bayliner 2452 malfunctioned. Six hours later, and after dark, we limped into Powell River using our emergency kicker motor. Due to COVID back orders, we are still waiting for a replacement.

Putting along at 4.5 knots with the kicker.

Related post: September Cruisin' takes you along on some of our successful summer cruises and a peek at my "busted wing."

2020 was hard, but we had each other for support. We hope 2021 will bring better times for all. -- Wayne and Margy

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Book Review: "Christmas in Newfoundland" by Mike Martin

Christmas is approaching, so I'm sharing a Christmas book written by my favourite Canadian author, Mike Martin. I discovered his Sgt. Windflower mystery series through Linda at Crafty Gardener. Here's a guest post Mike did for her blog.

Christmas in Newfoundland: Memories and Mysteries is part of the Sgt. Windflower series. It includes heartwarming stories with the series characters, and personal memories about Christmases past.

The theme of each story is the wonder, spirit and caring of the Christmas season. I enjoyed hearing how Sheila and Sgt. Winston Windflower celebrated the season in Grand Bank, but I found the chapters about Christmas remembrances from the perspectives of children and seniors who lived in Newfoundland the most interesting. I'm pretty sure some came right from Mike's own life.

I've been to Newfoundland twice. I've been to St. John's but never Grand Bank. It was heart warming to read about how families celebrated this special time of the year in times past and small towns.

I'm an only child and grew up in Compton, California. We always traveled to Modesto to spend Christmas week with my grandparents. I loved visiting their country home and learning about our family's Swedish and Norwegian heritage through foods and traditions.

Christmas Eve is very special for us. Wayne and I were married in front of the Christmas tree at my parent home in Sun City. What could be a better present to give and receive?

Mom and Dad taste testing the turkey in 1990.

Wayne made a childhood Christmas dream come true soon after we were married. As a child, I always hoped to find a pony on the front lawn. At 35 years of age, Wayne walked me to the stable near our Pomona home on Christmas morning to introduce me to my very own Christmas horse, Misty. What a huge surprise.

Thanks Mike for inspiring me to think back to Christmases past to find and relive the joys they brought in my own family.

Enjoy the season by curling up with an inspiring Christmas book. You can find Christmas in Newfoundland in print and Kindle formats at and  -- Margy