This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Tuesday 28 April 2020

Hiding behind my mask

There is so much coverage in the media about the Covit-19 that I personally would now really hear something positive. Following the news, some countries have eased up on the restrictions and opened up businesses and parks.  However, in Germany, who opened up yesterday, as an example, it is now mandatory to wear a facemask in public. This might not be a bad idea if we follow suit by opening more and more businesses here in North America. I have been wearing a dusk mask and latex gloves when grocery shopping. We also have a few N-95 masks but those I would like to hold onto and not wear until I really feel threatened to be infected. 

I have been wondering what material to use if I want to sew our own facemasks. Of course we want them to be pretty, but that is totally unimportant if the material turns out to be unsuitable and useless by letting those darn viruses through. 
Benno read on the Internet an article written by the US Army as they have tested numerous materials and found that using four-ply microfibre cloth to be the best for a facemask. Included is a link "best material for a face mask"

So we researched and found that Canadian Tire (a famous Canadian chain store) sells a microfiber cloth for glass cleaning by the name of “Frank” that is really tightly woven and smooth. It comes in a two-piece package, is turquois/green colored and costs $3.99. Walmart is also selling a microfibre cloth from Scotch-Brite, a 3M product that is $4.25 for a single piece in light blue color.

So I ordered the Frank product at Canadian Tire online and used the store-pickup option. The 3M product I got by going into Walmart, but had to search the store a bit before finding it. I figure if we don’t like wearing these masks I can always use them what they were intended for, cleaning my windows! 

Today I sewed two masks for starters. I folded the shorter side of the cloth in half but had to cut off a bit from the sides as it was to long and made three pleats. For the elastic pieces for the ears I had to experiment a little because the suggested length of 6.5 inches was too long. Benno’s mask is a little bit bigger than mine but has the format recommended in the instructions I found on the Internet. 

My mask is slightly shorter and the folds are larger so the side is narrower. I also inserted a metal nosepiece in mine by using a double strip from twist ties that are included when you purchase trash bags. It works great and so far I am happy with the outcome. The real test will be when I go shopping again wearing my 2-ply mask.

Today turned out to be a sunny day with temps at 17C/62 so no complaints. Just wishing we would have more of these balmy days. Benno added a tablet holder to his CJI Mavic Mini drone remote controller and tested the new gadget out by sending the drone high up above our property. He can now angle his iPad Mini better with this holder and see was the drone camera sees and attach a sun hood to it when needed. He finds it so much better than using the smartphone as a monitor. 

As you can see we need more warm weather to green things up around here. 

the bare spots need grass seed

view of our property and Lake Erie

part of a Lake Erie beach next to Wheatley Harbour

Hoping everyone is staying safe and healthy and thanks for dropping by.

Thursday 23 April 2020

What to do when boredom overtakes our lives

Even Reggy and Elsa are bored most of the day as I keep them inside.

Besides the repetitive everyday chores I have been doing like keeping a clean house, cooking meals, Internet browsing and a good dose of TV time, what else is there to do? Baking of course like this apple-walnut cake. But wait; if I keep baking cakes we’d be overweight by the time the Covit-19 restrictions are lifted.

For me it is still way too cold to go out into the garden. This springtime the weather here in Ontario is way behind the usual warmer temperatures we’ve had in previous years. Actually I think it is simply awful as I watched snow flurries yesterday evening twirling around the deck.

This is what it looked like last week

However, the local bird population is a tough bunch. They have been busy building nests through snow, hail and heavy rain. I am happy to report that all the birdhouses at our property are now occupied. So I started bird watching and have been trying to capture some pictures of the nesting process, which takes patience.

There is a Robin’s nest on the second floor window at our neighbor’s house that I can see from my kitchen window. It is quite a distance away but with my binoculars I can observe it quite well. However, my telelens on my camera is not as powerful, but I took some pictures anyway. The male and female Robins take turns feeding the young.

This is the actual distance to our neighbour's house

In the tree next to our neighbor’s house at the same height as the Robins nest, there is a Mourning Dove nest. I have been observing that the male and female Doves take turns breeding on the nest, but it is too far away for me to see if they already have chicks in them. I have felt sorry for those birds, as those nests are not very well protected from the elements. 

Mourning Dave nest in the tree if you look closely

The birdhouses at our garage wall are on the small side and I think those are House Sparrows breeding there, but I will update once I know for sure.

Lets hope we get some warm temperatures soon to enjoy some gardening, because I am getting restless.  

Birds eye views of our home from Benno's DJI drone

I heard the humming sound of the drone overhead

Thanks for dropping by.

Saturday 11 April 2020

Happy Easter to everyone

Easter 2020 at home in Leamington, Ontario

This year’s Easter celebration will be different than in previous years for a lot of people. Being restricted to travel or to socialize can be difficult for many and even grocery shopping for the special holiday has become a challenge.

Daffodils are blooming in my garden

Benno and I were cruising on boats full-time for a dozen years or so before jumping into RVing and there are many similarities for both so one lifestyle is not much different compared to the other. Planning ahead for travel meant for us that we had to shop for groceries that had to last for several weeks or sometimes a couple of months because either we were at sea or the unknown of where and what would be available at the next stop. Places like Patagonia in South America that are isolated. So this situation we are in at the moment where we are encouraged to stay home as much as possible is not so unusual for us. This also brings to mind a few incidents over the years where we had to make do with what we had on hand and also to learn to live without certain foodstuffs.

Benno, Harald and Jutta at the foredeck of Diesel Duck

Benno’s brother Harald and his wife Jutta flew in to Curacao, an island in the Caribbean, to visit us and to cruise with us for a few weeks. We planned a trip to Aves de Sotavento, a remote group of islands belonging to Venezuela. For the preparation of the trip we rented a car and all four of us went to the big supermarket in town to buy groceries that would last us for a few weeks, because the island we were sailing to only have a Coast Guard crew stationed there and nothing else. Jutta and I concentrated on meats and produce while the guys were in charge of beverages. As it happened, the store had a special price on Coors Light beer and we all agreed that the guys should grab at least two cases of 24 cans because the guys would like a cool one every now and then. We finished our shopping and piled everything and us into the car, unloaded it all at the boat and together stored everything away.

Supplies are stored away and we are ready to sail

Coast Guard boys are doing the paperwork to check us in

The Coast Guard is not very formal here as not many visitors come

The next day we took off. During the night watch, it was Benno’s and Harald’s turn at the wheel (but we were under autopilot anyway) the guys were looking forward to enjoy one of the Coors Light beers. As they were going to open one of the beer cartons they couldn’t believe their eyes and were at a total dismay. Somehow the boys had grabbed two cases of “Malt Beer” instead of the Coors Light Beer, which had been sitting side by side at the supermarket’s floor. None of us four had noticed it and on top neither one of us liked Malt Beer. Well, no beer for the rest of the trip!

What did we do with the beer? When we arrived at the island, the Venezuelan Coast Guard crew, who were pretty young lads and had been waiting for an overdue supply ship for weeks were grateful for our donation as well as a bottle of spiced tomato ketchup, which they asked for, and a large jar of honey roasted peanuts to go with the beer.
We didn’t tell these young 18 to 24 year old Venezuelan Coast Guard lads that Malt beer is known to be beneficial for breastfeeding women. HaHa!

The lads helped unload the beer from the dinghy

I guess the guys were expecting some different kind of beer :)

Hoping that everyone will stay safe and healthy at home this Easter weekend and to enjoy what you were able to obtain.

Happy Easter!