Thursday, April 19, 2018

3 FREE Kindle e-Books from April 20-24

As a special thank you to all of our blog readers, here are three Kindle e-Books just for you.

Pick one or all, they're FREE
from April 20-24 

and you don't have to own a Kindle to enjoy them. Just get a free Kindle app for your smartphone, pad or computer.

Check here if you need a free Kindle App.

Flying the Pacific Northwest 

Description: Airports of Western Washington and Oregon form the backdrop for adventures in the Pacific Northwest. Take the controls of a Piper Arrow, as your personal flight instructor leads you to out-of-the-way spots. For armchair pilots and experienced pros, this book is an escape so realistic you’ll swear you’re airborne.

Click here for your FREE copy of Flying the Pacific Northwest.

Up the Inlet

Description: Come boating up the inlets of coastal British Columbia, where the mountains drop into the sea, and lifestyles focus on self-assurance and a different sense of purpose. Follow along as we cruise northward from the Strait of Georgia, to Cortes and Quadra Islands, and beyond.

Click here for your FREE copy of Up the Inlet. the Galactic Sea

Description: Spaceship Challenger is on mankind’s first galactic voyage using a high-tech blend of space jumps and cryogenic hibernation. Captain Tina Brett leads her ship towards the ultimate goal, first contact with alien intelligence, until a navigational glitch changes everything. Then there's a mutiny, or is it something more? Six individuals on an epic journey for the good of mankind.

Click here for your FREE copy of Across the Galactic Sea

Happy reading from Wayne and Margy

Monday, April 9, 2018

Author Yvonne Maximchuk Presents: Memoir Writing Workshop

Heart to Heart ~ Writing Your Story

Author, Yvonne Maximchuk
Have you wanted to write your memoir or the story of your life to leave for the family, maybe even to publish to the world at large?

Author and artist Yvonne Maximchuk shares the first steps on the long journey of turning your memories into words on paper.

Let the power of the group help you move forward swiftly by arriving prepared to engage in short writing exercises. 

In two, 2-hour long sessions, participants will acquire all the tools necessary to get started on this fulfilling enterprise.

When ~ Wednesday May 9, 9:30-11:30 and
Friday May 11, 9:30-11:30

Where ~ Soroptimist Room, Filberg Centre
411 Anderton Ave, Courtenay BC

Cost ~ $95.00 in advance. (Sorry, no drop-ins)
Limited to 15 participants

Pre-registration required ~ Phone Yvonne at 250-974-8134 or email (Not the Filberg Center)

Bring your computer or paper and pen or pencil, your notes and ideas. Bring as well, a willingness to share your own words and offer respectful comment to others, in a mutually supportive atmosphere.

I'm going, how about you? -- Margy

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Stuffed Acorn Squash

While the weather is still cool and I'm inclined to use my oven, I decided to make some stuffed acorn squash to go along with a roast for dinner. This recipe takes a short cut using Kraft Stove Top Stuffing.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Cut a large acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  Slice to make six lengthwise sections.

Place the squash slices a large baking dish with 1/2 inch of water in the bottom, then sprinkle with salt and ground cinnamon.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until fork tender.

I start with a box of Savory Herb Stove Top Stuffing, then I like to doctor it up a bit.

Dice 1/2 cup onion, 1/4 cup celery (including leaves), 1/4 cup bell pepper, 1/4 pecans and 2 cloves of garlic.

Saute in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until tender.

Add salt, pepper and crushed dried thyme leaves (or poultry seasoning) to taste.

Mix sauteed vegetables with bread crumbs from the mix box.

Boil 1 cup of water with 4 tablespoons margarine.  Stir the hot liquid into the bread crumb and sauteed vegetable mixture. 

Remove any remaining water from the baking dish. Cover acorn squash with the stuffing mix.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes to brown the top of the stuffing.

This makes a great side dish or a hearty vegetarian entree.

Do you have any vegetarian or side dishes you would like to recommend?

Hop on over to the Not So Modern Housewife and see some great ideas for homesteading and simple living.

Want more ideas? Try Nancy's Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop.

Head over to Blogghetti for Happiness is Homemade to see more recipes, crafts and DIY projects. -- Margy

Saturday, March 31, 2018

"Gumboot Girls" by Jane Wilde and Lou Allison you ever feel out of step with time? My grandmother said I was born a generation too late because I enjoyed visiting her on the farm so much. But it took me thirty-five years to get in the spirit of the hippie back to land movement.

I enjoy books about women who live in remote locations. I found such a book in a BC Ferries gift shop. Gumboot Girls: Adventure, Love and Survival on British Columbia’s North Coast is a collection of thirty-four short memoirs that was compiled by Jane Wilde and edited by Lou Allison (Caitlan Press, 2014).

Jane was among many adventurous women who came to Coastal BC in the 60s and 70s. This book highlights the lives of fifteen women who landed on the remote islands of Haida Gwaii (known then as the Queen Charlottes). Nineteen of the women made their homes in or near Prince Rupert on the mainland.

Prince Rupert waterfront cafe in 1994.
From all across Canada, the United States, and even France they came. Many were drawn north because of the desire to live a self-sufficient lifestyle away from the pressures of society.

Some of the women followed men avoiding the draft and Vietnam War, some followed family and friends who had gone before them, and some came just for the experience of a lifetime.

Most lived in abandoned cabins or built their own during a time when restrictions were minimal or not enforced. Gardens were planted, chickens and goats raised, food canned for winter. For money, some fished with their men, worked seasonally in canneries, or took traditional nursing or teaching jobs. But getting to work was anything but traditional. Life on the north coast required boating skills and crossing dangerous waters in all kinds of weather.

Prince Rupert fishing boats in 1994.
Living near like-minded people resulted in communal activities and support. It was a time of free love, living simply off the land, and few responsibilities (except for their own survival). Fresh seafood that we consider expensive delicacies was free for the taking.

Some of the women stayed, but most moved on to finish their education or return to larger cities. Even so, their north coast experience shaped their futures and those adventurous years were never forgotten.

The Gumboot Girls stay in contact and have occasional book readings. Find out more here:

Caitlin Press - Gumboot Girls
Facebook - Gumboot Girls - Gumboot Girls
Goodreads - Gumboot Girls

These were my formative years too. But it took me a much longer time break my bonds with city life and follow my dreams to Coastal BC. What were these years like for you? more exciting book reviews, head on over to Semicolon's Blog each weekend.

There's also the monthly Book Review Club for teen/young adult and adult fiction over at Barrie Summy's blog.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Spring Fl(y)ing in the Pattern

Piper Arrow 997 outside her hangar at BLI.
On the first day of spring, Wayne and I decided to celebrate with a spring fling up in the air in our Piper Arrow 997.  We joked and called it our spring fl(y)ing.

We headed over to 997's hangar at Bellingham International Airport (BLI) and pulled her out to enjoy an afternoon with a mix of sun and cloud with us.

The calendar may have said it was the first day of spring, but the weather wasn't so sure.

We decided to do some pattern work and practice take-offs and landings.

On our base leg at Bellingham International Airport on the first day of spring.

Come along with us and fly around the pattern.

After several circuits, we landed and returned to the hangar.

Final approach for our last landing.
Getting up in the air on such a wonderful day gave us hope that sunnier skies and better weather are just around the corner.

And when that happens, you know where we'll be, flying the skies of the Pacific Northwest.

You can fly along with us here at Margy Meanders by clicking "Flying" in the sidebar. And you can read more about our aviation adventures in Wayne's book Flying the Pacific Northwest. It can be found in print and e-book formats at most online book sellers including

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. -- Margy

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Cranberry Pineapple Bread

We've been doing better with our meals at the cabin. To keep from eating out too much when we're in town, I got breakfast foods to eat at the condo.

I made homemade Cranberry Pineapple Bread to go with our bowls of fresh fruit using a recipe from Leigh Anne Wilkes at Your Homebased Mom. It was originally for muffins, but I chose to bake it in a loaf pan.

Cranberry Pineapple Bread


Chopping cooked fresh pineapple.
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 egg
1/2 milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple
Combining dry ingredients.
1 cup whole fresh cranberries chopped
   or rehydrated dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)


Rehydrate dried cranberries with hot water if you are using them rather than fresh ones.

Grease a loaf pan (unless you are making muffins) and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Stir in pineapple, cranberries and nuts.
In a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a separate bowl combine egg, milk, melted butter and vanilla.

Blend the flour and wet ingredients until well moistened.

Gently stir in crushed pineapple, cranberries and chopped nuts. (I cooked fresh pineapple in water then chopped it to make my own crushed pineapple.)

Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for one hour in an oven preheated to 350 degrees or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy right away warm with lots of butter, then toast some the next morning for breakfast. 

Hop on over to the Not So Modern Housewife and see some great ideas for homesteading and simple living.

Want more ideas? Try Nancy's Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop. - Margy

Saturday, March 3, 2018

"Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart" by Carrot Quinn

My reading this month has taken me on quite the adventures, from outer space, to life on a small island, to a thru-hike on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Carrot Quinn was living in a little trailer surrounded by the bustle of city life in Portland, Oregon. She was a self professed internet addict, making a meager living online and dog walking. Her life felt aimless. Then she discovered the online trail journals of people thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mexican to the Canadian borders.

With little experience and preparation she embarked on her quest to complete the 2660 mile grueling hike following a narrow band of dirt through scorching desert, rolling foothills, and the formidable Sierra Nevada range. Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail is the account of Carrot's physical, mental and emotional journey in 2013.

A section of the Sunshine Coast Trail.
Quinn's book is self published. It didn't have the publisher polish of books like Wild by Cheryl Strayed or A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, yet it was a compelling read for me. You can feel the pain of Carrot's blisters, the pervasive thirst between water stops, the days of hunger followed by binging in nearby towns, the desire to connect with other hikers, and the glee at finding "trail magic" left by volunteers including snacks, drinks and even hot meals.

Just a little warning. Carrot is straight forward and blunt at times about her personal and trail life. I didn't find it off-putting but some might.

Reading books like this has inspired my husband to try hiking the Sunshine Coast Trail here in Powell River, BC. He's researched gear and is starting to put together what he'll need for a summer adventure. There are many entry and exit points along the Sunshine Coast Trail, so he's going to start small and complete the 180 kilometres (112 miles) a section at a time.

Margy (me) checking out backpacks.
I don't hike well, so I'll be Wayne's ground support. I'll drop him off and pick him up farther along. I may camp out with my truck while I wait for him to arrive. If I get into better shape by July, I may even try an easy leg.

If you are interested in the Pacific Crest Trail, here are some references:

Pacific Crest Trail Website
The Pacific Crest Trail Association Facebook

A clerk at REI shows Wayne a new tent.
For the Sunshine Coast Trail check out:

Sunshine Coast Trail Website
Sunshine Coast Trail Facebook
Tourism Powell River
Terracentric Coastal Adventures
The Sunshine Coast Trail by Eagle Walz

Have you tried any overnight hiking? What have your experiences been like? -- Margy more exciting book reviews, head on over to Semicolon's Blog each weekend.

There's also the monthly Book Review Club for teen/young adult and adult fiction over at Barrie Summy's blog.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Margy's Multigrain Muffins

I'm not a big breakfast person (unless we go out), and that isn't healthy (either way).

I'm trying to do better. We have a fresh fruit bowl every other day and healthy muffins go nicely with that for a well rounded morning meal.

I researched bran muffins online, and came up with my own multigrain version.

Margy's Multigrain Muffins

2 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
2 tablespoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 orange zested and juiced

Lightly beat eggs.  Add brown sugar and blend.  Add milk, oil, molasses, vanilla, orange juice and zest.

1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup wheat bran
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flax
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix dry ingredients and blend into wet ingredients.

1 apple with skin, grated
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Stir in grated apple, soaked cranberries, and chopped pecans to the muffin mix.

Coat muffin pans with cooking spray. Fill 3/4 full for expansion.  Bake f20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until lightly brown.  Remove from pans while still warm with knife. Makes 21 medium muffins.  Freeze extras.  Warm in a toaster oven for an easy breakfast.

What are some of your favourite easy breakfast foods? -- Margy

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

BC Ferries in the Fog

This time of year you don't know when you'll get a sunny day. You look at the weatherman's forecast and it says sunny. But if it's after a rainy spell, it just might mean fog instead.

Leaving Earl's Cove on the Sunshine Coast

After all, this is known as Foguary around these parts.

Good thing they have excellent navigation instruments on BC Ferries. Otherwise we would get stuck en-route. -- Margy

Saturday, February 3, 2018

"Artemis" by Andy Weir

I'm best known for reading and reviewing books about Coastal British Columbia and off-the-grid living. But once in a while I break the mold and read science fiction (Wayne's favourite).

Several years ago we read The Martian by Andy Weir. At the time Weir was an upcoming independent self-published Kindle author, but was quickly picked up by a traditional publisher (Crown, 2014) and his book was transformed into a blockbuster movie.

The most recent novel by Andy Weir is Artemis (Crown, 2017). The setting is earth's moon in the not too distant future. Space exploration has resulted in a permanent colony near the Apollo 11 landing site at the Sea of Tranquility where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first touched down in 1969. Tourism is a large part of the moon's economy. Mining is another.

Jasmine (Jazz) is an entrepreneurial delivery person trying to break into the Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Guild to offer high paying tourist trips on the lunar surface to the historic landing site. She fails her test, but has learned the specialized skills needed for surviving outside of the colony's protective structures.

Jazz was born on the moon and has transformed her delivery job into a profitable smuggling operation.

Links she has forged with the colony's business and political leaders draws her into a scheme that could either get her deported to earth (a sentence almost worse than death) or the savior of the fragile colony.

It was a fun, thrill packed read, especially on my Kindle with it's built-in light. That's the best way to read at the cabin during long, dark winter nights. Artemis is also available in hardcover, paperback and audible versions.

Do you read science fiction? What are some of your favourite books? -- Margy

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Make Ahead Breakfast Enchiladas

I find lots of interesting recipes following blog parties and hops. Here's one from the Belly Full blog. It's a great site with lots of ideas for home cooking. Here's the recipe as it appeared on Belly Full.

Make Ahead Breakfast Enchiladas


• 2 cups chopped deli ham
• 1/2 cup diced green onions
• 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
• 10 (7-8 inch) flour tortillas
• 1 1/4 cups half-and-half
• 4 large eggs
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon flour
• salsa, sour cream, and extra green onions or cilantro for serving

  1. Coat a 9×13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Mix together ham, green onions and 2 cups cheese. Scoop 1/3 cup of the mixture onto each tortilla, roll and place seam side down in the baking dish.
  3. Whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, salt and flour. Pour over rolled enchiladas. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  4. In the morning, preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Bake covered for 35 minutes. Remove cover and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over the enchiladas. Bake for 10 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
  5. Serve with salsa, sour cream and green onions or cilantro.
My Modifications:

I followed the directions with the following modifications:

I made only four enchiladas. Two were with flour tortillas and two were corn. Both kinds were good.

I crumbled and cooked the meat from two chorizo sausages instead of ham. I also substituted diced yellow onion.

I used two eggs, a third of the half-and-half, 1 tsp flour and less salt.

The ingredients were easy to prepare, and having it ready to go in the oven the next morning made for a no fuss meal. We enjoyed the enchiladas and they were very filling.

A hot breakfast got us off to a good start to a full day of float cabin living and chores -- more wood for the stove and a batch of no-knead sourdough bread. -- Margy