Farewell Dear Bear

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Our dear friend Maurice Leger, also known as Bear the Tinker, left us a few days ago.

Bear was an amazing man whose spirit will live on in those who had the pleasure of knowing him.

He was a caravan dweller, a builder and a master of many things.  He was a gentle, capable man who will be missed.

My sincerest sympathy goes out to his family.

My hope for Bear is that he has a caravan in the sky.  Thank you for all you taught me, and others during this journey through life.

“… and where he’s gone to, but off he goes”

Categories: Tiny House Ontario | 8 Comments

Desecrated Graves

There is something that I have come across in my recent genealogical research that is really bugging me. You see, there sits an early graveyard on private property in which the current land owner’s parent was said to have smashed the graves in the earlier end of the 1900’s and left the bits of rubble laying around in the area. The adjacent property was for sale and thus I was finally able to get a look at the place and take some photos legally.

Not that I ever doubted, but indeed, what my grandmother told me is true.  There are most certainly graves there. I don’t know how many graves that are there but I am almost certain that Simeon Spooner (1802-1877) and his wife Jane Patton (1819-1894) are buried there along with several other decedents.  Some of the old timers have told me that there were many more stones, and bits of stone, once there and that two large head stones were also present.   Today there are just bits of gravestones and bases. I have exhausted what I can think to do.  I have followed the protocol suggested by the cemetery act, by calling the police, who called the coroner, then the cemetery regulation unit was called.  I even spoke with the manager for Cemetery Regulation Unit for Ontario: Michael D’Mello.  As well as this, I have called the County and the university to see if there is anything that can be done.  No one wants to do a damn thing. I traced the family line for the people who I know to be there and thought if I share the family names of those buried, just two generations down from Simeon and Jane that this might get others interested in pressing for South Frontenac to take care of this.  The families who are connected to this grave are those with the family names:

Spooner, Patton, Smith, McBride, Knight, McGrath, Hitchcock, MacCormick, Swan, Swain, Orr, Gibson, Toland, Elliot, Campbell, Sands, Moreland, Clark, Draper, Dixon, Jackson, Percy, Wagonner, Whitehorn, Wagner, Curran, Brown, Marshall and Gordon.

If you have one of these last names and have roots in the Kingston Area, these graves may well belong to your family. Imagine how you would feel if this were your child, or your mother.  I think that those who placed those graves deserve some respect in their final resting place. ImagineIMG_1669 IMG_1670 IMG_1671 IMG_1695 IMG_1696 IMG_1697

Categories: Tiny House Ontario | 13 Comments

A Growl in the Dark

I have just come back from THO.  For the first time since my health declined last fall, I spent three weeks there.  It was BEAUTIFUL and I think the first sign that I am finally healing.

I had a very scary experience one dark moonless night but first let me tell you about the evening.

I had been out visiting some family… well actually doing interviews and scanning photos for a branch of my family tree.  One of the most amusing things that I gathered this trip was a photo of my great grandparent’s cottage.  I had not been there since I was about 10 years old and I remembered it as being the grandest and most wonderful of Victorian houses.  When I was about 20 I was disgusted when the people who purchased the property tore down the old house and put up a new one.  It baffled me.  I thought it was a great waste of history and of a beautiful old historic home.  Now, I am in my 40’s and it is the first time that I have seen the cottage in almost 40 years.  I was surprised to see that the house that I recall as being so grand, was ever so humble.  I am including a photo of the cottage and also one of some family time there.  This is a generation older than me; however, the family gatherings remained the same.  Lots of kids, family, food and swimming out to the rock shoal.

Here is the cottage that I believed to be a regular palace.

Here is the cottage that I believed to be a regular palace.

A family gathering for my great grandparents, their children and grandchildren

A family gathering for my great grandparents, their children and grandchildren (summer 1954)

After the fact finding mission, I arrived back at the tiny house at about 10:00 pm.  It was so dark that I couldn’t really see where I was going and just as I entered the door, I heard a growl.  It made the hair on my arms and the back of my neck stand up.

Once I got safely in the door, I stood listening and again another growl, just as close and loud as the first one… and I wondered if the doors of the house would protect me from whatever it was that was out there.

I admit, I was feeling pretty scared.

I wondered if I should climb up the stairs or if the two door contingency would work better should I need to escape and as I stood there worried and trying to think it through, another loud growl.

It was then, and only then that I realized it was my own stomach protesting because I did not feed it since noon.

So I was safe.  But the cucumber on the counter met its fate.

Categories: Tiny House Ontario | 19 Comments

Laundry Soap

I am nearly out of laundry soap so I am going to have to mix up another batch.

It is super easy to do and economical too!

In a large pot (that will hold 7 litres/two gallons).  If you don’t have a pot this big divide the recipe in half

Add:

3.5 litres of tap water (about 1 gallon)

1 cup of borax

1 cup of washing soda

Grate in a bar of soap

10 drops of essential oil (*optional and whatever scent you like)

Place on medium heat and stir occasionally.  The soap will melt and just bring it to a boil.  

Here, I am heating to melt in the shaved soap and merge the ingredients.

Here, I am heating to melt in the shaved soap and merge the ingredients.

Remove from heat and let it cool for a while.  When no longer hot, warm or cold are fine but the soap will be very gelatinous.

Now I set this in the sink to cool.

Now I set this in the sink to cool.

Add:

7 litres of cold water

Wait about a half hour and it will be sort of a semi solid gel.  

Here is the gel ready to blend up

Here is the gel ready to blend up

Stir with a blender stick.  If you don’t have a blender stick but have a blender it is slower work.  You have to take a couple of cups at a time and add equal amounts of water, blending until it is well mixed.

The last bit of blending and the soap is ready to use!

The last bit of blending and the soap is ready to use!

If you are mixing it in a blender, pour each mixed batch into your jugs.

If you are mixing it in a pot, you can either leave it in there covered and use it as you need it, or pour it into jugs.  I prefer the later because while it is a big messy getting it into the jugs there is no mess using it.  From a dripping cup.

In either case, pour the mixture into laundry soap jugs.  I got four of these from a local laundromat and have been using the same jugs for 3 years or so.

As you see I blended it nice and smooth; however after it is in the containers for a bit, what it looks like is sort of translucent, and lumpy liquid soap.  

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PS: I use lemon scented soap and add lemon essential oil to mine because this is my favourite soap scent.

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I forgot to mention that this is a low suds soap which makes it ideal for HE or regular use.  I use about a third of a cup of the finished laundry soap per load of wash.

Categories: Simple living | Tags: | 8 Comments

Another Illegal Tiny House

Jay Austin’s Illegal Tiny House is, a new 10 minute video which is very much worth the watch.

I am sure you will all agree.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Building code, Community, Open your eyes, Tiny house, View | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

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