Lew Pitcher's blog

Savon de Castile

Ok, so we are socially distancing, wearing masks, and washing (always washing) our hands to keep COVID-19 at bay. Last Christmas was... odd, and with all these COVID precautions, we didn't get to Montreal to visit with Terry's family. But, I sent soap (of course I did). The easiest soap to make, the one I began with, was "Savon de Castile", the same Castile soap I started with last summer.

Exposed Roots

I grew up in surburban Toronto, in a home that my parents built. I have old black-and-white photos of the construction; my carpenter father framing out what he intended to be his "forever" home, and my mother taking the role of assistant and apprentice. We left that home late in the '70s, after mom and dad divorced, and I understood that the new owner removed the building and transported it Barrie-way to be used as a cottage. I've often thought of that house, and the effort, hardships and sacrifices that my parents made to construct it.

A modern day gospel song

"Give Me That Old Time Contagion"

sung to the tune "Give Me That Old Time Religion"

Give me that old time contagion
Give me that old time contagion
Give me that old time contagion
It is good enough for me

It was good for the Sturgis Rally
It was good for the Sturgis Rally
It was good for the Sturgis Rally
And it's good enough for me

It was good for senior care homes
It was good for senior care homes
It was good for senior care homes
And it's good enough for me

Soap Story

While up at the cottage with Terry, Katherine and Rob, I fell into another "craft/hobby": making homemade soap.

Katherine had commented that Castile Soap would have less of an environmental impact than the soap I use at the cottage. Of course, this intrigued me. I had heard of Castile soap, but did not know much about it. So I did some research.

Let the sun shine in! (Solar System Step 4: The Solar Panels)

This week, with the extensive and energetic partnership of Rob Adamson and Katherine Robbins, I we installed the long anticipated solar panels and made the final connections to the cottage solar power system.

As of 5pm on July 3, 2020, Fugawee has functional LED lighting in all the rooms, powered by a 12V battery which is recharged daily from electricity generated by two solar panels. Now, I can reduce my generator usage, and mothball the kerosene lamps.

Sheltering at the Cottage

COVID-19 has played havoc with schedules and intentions this spring, but it cannot stop me from taking time at my log cabin in the forest. I intend to, this year, complete the installation of my solar-electric system, and then take a much-needed break at the cottage.

Long time absent

I've not added anything to this blog in quite a while. Since August, 2019, I have been quite busy.
So, let me catch you up.

Hot Tub Gone

At my home, a quarter century ago, I built a deck and installed a hot tub. The deck has well withstood the test of time, but the hot tub not so much. It's been showing it's age, with leaks and broken parts, and when the pump died last summer, I decided to shut it off permanently.

Solar system, 2019

So this is the year. I've cleaned out fifty years of cruft around my cabin at the lake, started some much needed repairs, remodeled the kitchen, and repaneled the bedrooms. This year, I add (drum roll, please) electricity.

OK, so it's not as dramatic as all that. After all, I've had a generator at the cottage for about a decade. But, what is dramatic is that, for most purposes, I'm about to replace that noisy, costly, polluting generator with silent, inexpensive, eco-friendly solar power.

Morse Code Snowflakes (a Christmas hack)

Another Christmas has come, and that means another trip to Montreal, laden with presents, luggage, and people. And, so I prepare to use my trusty, home made, cargo box. And, this year, I intend to adorn that cargo box with some Christmas cheer.

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