Saturday, August 19, 2017

Off the Grid: Getting Started

The first night sleeping in a tent at our off-the-grid cabin.
Sometimes life presents opportunities that are too difficult to ignore. That's the way it was for us when we discovered British Columbia's Sunshine Coast. We came here on a flying vacation in 2000 and fell in love with the area. In 2001, finding a unique off-the-grid float cabin on Powell Lake sealed the deal.

John during construction of a bathroom addition.
We purchased a cabin built by a local named John. We knew very little about off-the-grid living, but were avid campers. In fact, we camped on the cabin deck until the transfer was final.

Wayne helps John install a new front dock.
We say that when we purchased our cabin, John came with it. Over the years he's been our off-the-grid living mentor and a good friend. By working along with John at our cabin and others around the lake, we've become more self reliant. Without his help, getting started would have been a lot more difficult for two "city-folk".

In Wayne's thirteenth book in the Coastal BC Stories series, he shares how we got started in making a home in a remote location away from public utilities and services.

Have you ever dreamed of moving off the grid and living in harmony with nature? What will it take? How do you get started? In Off the Grid: Getting Started, Wayne shares valuable insights from our experiences that will inspire and assist you in fulfilling your own dream of a major lifestyle change.

Newest Release

Coastal BC Stories

Check with your favourite online bookseller or go to for more ordering information.

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.

It’s time for “Outdoor Wednesday.” Click HERE for more outdoor pictures. -- Margy

Monday, August 07, 2017

How to Make a Twirling Bottle Bird Feeder

A little over a year ago I saved directions about how to make a twirling bottle bird feeder from one of my favourite blogs, Wanderin' Weeta (With Waterfowl and Weeds).

The twirling design was to make it squirrel proof. My problem isn't squirrels, but a Steller's Jay that is making a mess with my bird feeders. He's too big and knocks the seeds into the lake.

Here are the directions from Wanderin' Weeta's site, slightly modified:


  • Empty plastic pop bottle with screw-top lid
  • Clean thin twig about 8 inches long
  • Sturdy twine
  • A washer or nut
  • Duct tape
  • Sharp knife
  • Hammer 
  • Small nail, large nail and a straight pen
  • Choose a clean plastic pop bottle.
  • Remove the label.
  • Push a small nail through the plastic about an inch and a half up from the bottom. Use a large nail then a straight pen to make the hole fit the stick.
  • Make another hole on the opposite side of the bottle.
  • Use a nail and hammer to make a hole in the center of the lid.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut two inch horizontal slits about 1/2 inch above each hole. 
  • I used duct tape to cover the sharp lower slit edges.
  • Squeeze just above the slits to make U-shaped openings for birds to reach the seeds. 
  • Thread twine through the slits. Tie one end firmly around the top of the bottle just below the lid. Pull on the other end until the twine holds the two U-shaped sections permanently open. Tie firmly around the neck of the bottle. 
  • Force the twig (I used a length of bamboo plant stake) through the bottle. It should fit snugly. This will make the perches.
  • Thread another length of twine, about 3 feet long, through the lid. Tie the inside end around the washer or nut. Pull the washer tight inside the lid and tie a knot on the outside. 
Finishing Touches:
  • Fill your bottle with bird seed. 
  • Screw on the cap.
  • Hang the bird feeder from a tree or post. To keep squirrels off, hang it at least a foot away from any branch. 
I hung my new twirling bird feeder on the bridge railing.

Did it solve my Steller's Jay problem? Well, not completely. But with smaller holes in the feeder, the Oregon Juncos at least have a fighting chance to get something to eat before it all gets flicked out.

Thanks Wanderin' Weeta for giving me this great idea. And for my readers, I highly recommend visiting her website. She's a nature expert, superb photographer and takes us along to explore Vancouver Island's many trails and back roads.

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. -- Margy

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Old Timer

For more wordless pictures from around the world check out Wordless Wednesday.

It’s time for “Outdoor Wednesday.” Click HERE for more outdoor pictures. -- Margy