• Walking Through Winter

    January…the first month if the year. So full of promises and wonder. On the South Shore of NS, this is when the temperatures usually get cold. The colder mornings, we huddle by the fire wrapped in blankets to warm ourselves. For some reason my nose always seems to take forever to warm up. It’s on these days I wish I could stay snuggled under my blankets just a little bit longer. However, promises of a hot cup of coffee makes it a little bit easier to brave the chilly mornings.

    Our mornings are so different now that Pete has an “office” job. Up till now he had primarily worked in the truck driving field. His mornings were always so early. Now, we all have time to wake up and have breakfast together. Slow mornings are my happy place. Feeling rushed to get out of bed and run out the door is definitely not my cup of tea.

    January came and went. It was the usual south shore winter… snow, ice and rain coupled with days of sunshine and the feelings of spring. We had settled into a routine of bringing in wood for the fireplace, waking up in the middle of the night to stoke it, and keeping it going during the day. Most evenings up to this point were not lower than -5°C (the odd -10°), and days usually stayed above freezing. However, we were in for a doozy com February!

    We had a forecast of -19°C with a windchill of -35°C!

    February came in with a drop I’ve never seen before. We prepared as best we could at the time and prayed really hard that it wouldn’t be as bad as they were predicting. Guys it was cold! We kept the fire as hot as we could, waking up a few times through the night to keep the fire going. If it was just -20°C without the windchill it wouldn’t have been so crazy, but the wind made it that much harder to keep the yurt warm.

    This was the temperature right before we went to bed.
    Our dome was pretty frosty…
    This was the temperature come morning,
    It was an extreme cold warning. Nova Scotia had warming shelters open all over the place for people.

    Thankfully, after such a crazy cold snap, the only nuisance was a frozen water pipe. And as you can see by the weather report, we had that sorted out by Sunday. We also had some ideas about how we can make sure that the waterline doesn’t freeze again. Unfortunately those adjustments would have to wait for the mail man to deliver them. Lol! Good old Amazon…

    I’ll have to say one of the most amazing things living close to a lake in the winter is hearing the sound of it freezing. It’s a sounds like no other… If you have never heard this sound before check out this LINK. This YouTuber has other videos that are hours long of the sound recordings she has collected. It’s beautifully paired with her amazing videography.

    We are approaching the end of February now. March is around the corner and I’m getting the itch for spring! Most of March will likely be a mix of snow, ice, rain and sunny days. Much like December and January, but unlike December and January in that there are longer days that are generally more sunny than cloudy. The sun starts to feel warm again… and you can feel the forest start to wake up from its slumber. Soon we will have the song birds retuning and the bullfrogs will wake up. The quiet stillness of winter will be over and the beautiful songs of spring will be sung.


    Alas, I must be patient and wait. And as I wait for spring to come, I’ll be as snug as a bug in a rug, in my yurt on a hill, with a view of the river…. Hibernating just a little bit longer.

    ‘Till next time. ☺️

  • Bathroom update!

    Bathroom update!

    Happy New Year everyone! Today we find ourselves a week into January. Already!!! I’ll never get used to how fast time seems to fly by. We had a good time over the holidays. Big plans were made to finish off the bathroom. We made the trip to Ikea to get the boxes for the vanity and I had the floor sitting in the container just waiting for It’s time to shine. Pete just had to mud and sand the room, then I could paint it! Like I said; big plans. However, when do things ever go as planned?

    The weather turned out to be SO nice! Above freezing temperatures for half of the week! Therefore, we chose instead to work on cleaning up the brush on the side of the drive way.

    Pete was finally able to finish up the mudding and sanding. Now, it was my turn to get in there and work my painting magic. Primer and 2 coats of paint later…

    Then the floor and the vanity!!! Yay!

    The transformation is so exciting to me! There is still trim work and boarding to put up, as well as get a counter and a sink for the vanity. Im still undecided on the type of counter top I’d like. Wondering about maybe a live edge slab with a vessel sink? We are accenting with black hardware. (I already have black hardware in the shower. I have my tap ordered. (Pictured below.) I’ve always wanted a facet like this! 😁

    So yeah! If you all have any thoughts or ideas on what type of counter I should do… let me know in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you. Until next time folks!

  • The happenings between the lines

    The happenings between the lines

    Life never seems to go as planned. A yurt that once only took 3 months to get cozy and complete, now is into it’s 7th month. It’s definitely harder this time around. The land was raw and untouched, supplies haven’t been as easily available, and I don’t have access to any machine I need when I need it (oh the perks of living close to mom and dad). Therefore, like I’ve said before, things are slow. But between the slow putter of construction, life is bustling along at a speedy pace.

    Every morning is filled with learning. Since the beginning of the school year we have studied all about insects, bugs and arachnids, the viking era, and now Christmas around the world. I cannot believe we are already into Christmas! The kids and I are excited to see what different traditions and folk tales we will discover in this new unit study. Maybe we will find some fun new traditions to add to our own celebrations.

    Speaking of Christmas celebrations, December 6th was St. Nickolas Day! My parent immigrated from the Netherlands when they were young and brought the tradition of celebrating St. Nicks Day. In this tradition, on the eve of St. Nickolas day, children put their shoes by the door with a treat for St. Nick’s horse. The next morning the horse treat is replaced by treats and small gifts in their shoes. (Click the following links to find out more…Who is St. Nick? Traditions!) Below you will see what the kids got in their shoes…

    However, December 6th is even more special to our family…. we also get to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday, as well as my in-law’s anniversary. This year mom turned 60 years young! Me and some of her friends planned a big surprise party for her. We had it 2 weeks early so that one of her close friends could attend. She was so surprised! It was a great success! 🙌🏻 She is not an easy person to surprise.

    Momma Heidi with the cake I made for her.

    I also had the privilege of making a birthday cake for my friends son. He turned 12 on the 3rd of this month. We had fun dreaming this one up.

    Yes, there is still cake under all that candy!

    There are so many things to celebrate this month and its just the beginning! I hope you all have a lovely time celebrating with your family and friends this season. Enjoy all your traditions that make this time extra special.

    Weather big events or days in between, there is always something to celebrate and be thankful for…. Have lots of happy days!

    Zahra made an Advent wreath

    P.s. if you have a special family tradition that you’d love to share in the comments below… I’d love to hear about it!

  • Details Take Time

    Details Take Time

    Hey everyone! We’ve had another productive few weeks here at the yurt. The bathroom wall got closed in for Zahra’s birthday weekend. We were able to bring in the composting toilet inside! No more cold morning runs to the bathroom for us.

    Pete was able to get all the wiring, plumbing, framing and insulation done in that 9×8 bathroom.  It was a complicated few days. One day was spent entirely trying to install shower mixers! Another was spent re-routing everything for the hot water tank because he changed his mind on where to place it. There is so much getting packed into this small room that it’s important to get all the details right before we close it up.

    Pete and his friend, Brad, started tiling the shower last weekend. They hope to finish it this weekend. It will be glorious to have a shower in the house again. Outdoor showers haven’t been an option since my parents came back in September. Since then, we have been using our friends’ shower. We are beyond blessed to know such amazing people.🥰

    These little details seem to take the longest. They aren’t big builds that give immediate satisfaction. They take a lot of time to get just right and much of the time these little details get lost in the big picture–never to be noticed again. However, it’s these little details that make the big picture work and function. When it’s not done right, that’s the moment people take notice.

    Until next time folks!

  • Wired


    Electrical wires are making it through the house! Kids have lights and plugs in their rooms,we have a lovely ceiling fan to move air around the house, and lights working in the kitchen. The dishes are coming out much cleaner these days! There is no longer a need to run extension chords to run lights or small appliances. So thank for electricity!

    L. Messy wires ready for sorting. R. Nice and neat!

    Till next time!

  • Digging Deep

    Digging Deep

    Hello everyone! Today my Dad surprised me with a stash of pictures he took while he was here with my Mom back in September. He took on the huge job of digging in our waterline. It was such a big job! We couldn’t have gotten it all done without him. So thankful!

    Here is the recap of that week.

    Dad had just finished up the day digging from the yurt down the first small hill. From here it doesn’t look that steep. Believe me when I say, it doesn’t matter how fit you are, you will be out of breath by the time you climb back up!
    Digging the ditch for the waterline.
    Halfway down the hill!
    Finally! He made it to the bottom of the hill. This is when it got tricky… about 50ft or so of rocks and tree roots from this point to the river.
    Rocks and trees…and trees and rocks…
    Here, Dad is digging our make-shift well.
    This is the 8ft Culvert that was installed for our DIY well. It has holes drilled around it to allow water to flow in. Pete wrapped it in heavy felt to help filter the water.

    Dad captured one of the prettiest sunsets! #nofilterneeded

    It was such a joy to have my parents down for the week. They got to use their camper for the first time. We got to enjoy hot showers in the shower tent they brought with them. Together we accomplished so much! But best of all, we got to be together… hang out… eat yummy food… sip on coffee/tea… enjoyed good conversation as we watched the sunset. Good times and great memories. Can’t wait till next time!

  • Much Accomplished

    Much Accomplished
    Fall is here!

    This past week so much has been accomplished! Pete had the week off work, and my parents came up for a visit from Ontario. With the extra help, we were able to get much farther than expected. My dad took on the project of burying the waterline. Pete brought our waterline inside and hooked up some plumbing. He also worked on routing electrical from the container into the house. Today we got working plugs inside! No more extension chords.

    I, on the other hand, took on installing my kitchen!!! The day my parents were scheduled to arrive, I sanded and painted my kitchen wall. Then my son and I went to work on putting the Ikea cabinets together.

    Mom helped organize the drawers.

    Progress was happening quickly. By Tuesday I had a countertop! This was a huge improvement from the slightly broken folding table I’ve been using as a kitchen counter. And then… something amazing happened!!! Thursday morning Pete brought in my fridge. No more trudging back and forth when I have to make food.

    There are still a lot of things that need to happen. However, I’m so thankful of how far we came the past two weeks. We have a warm fireplace, an almost finished kitchen, an insulated waterline, and electricity in the yurt. Life is good!

    Until next time…

  • It’s been weeks!

    It’s been weeks!

    3 weeks and no post. I really should set a schedule to make sure you all stay up to date. Things around here are going slow. With Pete working, projects take a lot more time. On my end, the kids and I have gotten busy with getting back into a school routine. But seriously, it’s close to the end of September!!!

    October is just around the corner. The wind is reminding me that the season is changing. Mornings are chilly now. It’s time to get our wood stove installed!

    Here is Peter working on tiling the pad for the stove.

    Pretty tiles!
    This is the special flange for the pipe to fit through the lattice.
    Looking good!

    We couldn’t install everything over the weekend. Time got away from us yet again. Saturday and Sunday flew by. Monday was now upon us again.

    In other news, we passed the second scheduled inspection this week!!! We were so excited! The pressure for this one was huge! What if it things were not up to code? What if they decided to make us redo everything? We have never done this before and have been doing our very best to research and find out what our local codes are. This has been so frustrating. You’d think the townships would have documants posted or something. But no! It’s been such a struggle.

    Seeing these green letters was a HUGE relief!

    Screen shot from our inspection.

    We have so much planned this next week. My parents are coming Sunday. Dad plans to help us dig in our well and water line. Hopefully, I remember to catch it on camera as we go.

    Thats it for now…Until next time folks!

  • Stairway to Where?

    Stairway to Where?

    It’s been 55 days of climbing up and down a ladder to get to my loft. 55 days of balancing, scooching, & hoping I wouldn’t have to pee in the middle of the night. But then everything in life finally aligned! And finally we got the stairs put in!!! Yahoo!!!

    Just look at those beautiful steps! You wouldn’t even know that these used to be ugly rough cut boards. Pete and I took a good afternoon planing down the treads and risers. After the guys finished the stringers, I sanded and sealed the treads. And boy, did they turn out nice! I did 3 coats of varnish with a light sand in between. They feel so soft.

    This week while Pete was off to work, the kids and I spent time working on the posts for the railings. They too needed to go through the process of sanding and varnishing.

    Hopefully, with the long weekend we can finish off the railings and get the last of the plumbing sorted. Love seeing things get done, even if they are small.


  • Starry Sky

    Starry Sky

    The night sky has always been an interest of mine since I was a young girl. I’d pour over astronomy books and magazines about all the different types of stars; Red giants blue dwarfs, red super giants, and yellow dwarfs just to name a few. Pictures of colourful galaxies would spark curiosity and wonder in my young mind.

    Once, for one of my birthdays, my parents bought me a telescope to help me peer deeper into the vast expanse of space. Dad would take me and my sisters out on warm summer nights and spend hours trying to see if we could spot anything interesting.  Sadly, the light pollution from all the greenhouses and cities in our area made it difficult to really see much. My interest soon faded becoming a distant memory of my childhood.

    That is, until I moved out here…

    In Nova Scotia we have a large area that is free of light pollution. You can see it here in the picture below. The big marker is Kejimkujik National Park. If you are ever in Nova Scotia, it’s definitely worth the visit! Great camping sites for star gazing, not to mention lakes for swimming and beautiful hiking trails.


    Now, I don’t live right in the middle of the dark area… more like one of the blue spots… but it’s still a big enough difference from where I grew up. It’s truly breathtaking to be able to see the milky way with my own eyes!

    It has been fun learning how to photograph the night sky. I only use a small camera– a Canon M50 with its stock lens. These shots require a long exposure to capture all the stars. The naked eye can only see so many stars at once, so when you use a long exposure, it captures the light from stars that are even further away.

    Here is how it works. First, I try my best to focus to infinity, then I click the shutter button and wait 15 seconds. Next the stunning picture pops up on the screen. I then check for clarity, adjust my focus a smidge and try again. It’s like opening a present every 15 seconds!

    Hope you enjoyed this post and the pictures. I plan to continue to practice and get better at capturing the stars. 😊 Until next time, keep on star gazing!