This time of year always feels like a busy time for celebrations. My birthday was yesterday, my Mom’s was last week, my Dad’s is next week. Their anniversary was thrown into the mix, too! For my birthday, Jonty and I started off with breakfast on the beach, then went climbing (obviously), moved on to one of our favourite places for nibbles and drinks, and finished off the day with a slice (or two) of the birthday pie he made me! It was a good day 🙂
Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 29.July.2017.
The West Coast typically gets a few really hot weeks every summer, starting about now. So, it’s the perfect time of year for ice cream! We love making our own small no-churn batches. Here’s 48 fantastic ice cream recipes to try, if you need some inspiration. Ours is the Balsamic-Roasted Cherry Ice Cream, if you’re interested 🙂
We may not own a cast iron skillet, but I’m quite sure this blueberry cobbler would be just as tasty in a regular glass baking dish 🙂
I finished reading Night Film last week. It was a long book, but it’s been on my to-read list for quite some time, and I’m glad I finally opened it up! It’s a mystery / suspense novel, and there were quite a few tense moments when I wondered if I should be reading it with the lights on… But all good in the end. Honestly, it has been one of the best books I’ve read in a while!
On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):
The platform bed is thiiiiis close to being done! We’ll have the bulk of the pictures for you next week. For now, here’s a little sneak peek.
Pictures from the week of 29.July.2017:
I have a bunch of pictures from my weekend in Saskatchewan, but this week has slipped by me in a blink of an eye, and I haven’t had a chance to properly go through all of them. So, for now, here are a few pictures until I get the rest edited!
Today my Mom is turning the big 6-5 (Happy Birthday, Mom!!), and I’ve flown back home to help her celebrate. She doesn’t know I’m coming, though. So if all goes according to our plan, and nobody slips up, I’m hoping she will be suitably surprised. I’m pretty excited to see the look on her face 🙂
Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Our Saturday Snippets for 22.July.2017.
On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:
The BC Wildfire situation is still a major concern in our province. There are now over 45,000 evacuees displaced from their homes and communities (that may not even exist anymore), and the province has brought in numerous wildfire fire fighters from Australia to help with containing the blazes. Every summer brings wildfires in this province, but this year seems to be extra sever. At the time of writing this, there are over 180 fires burning, and apparently over half of them have been started by humans. People – stop throwing your cigarette butts on the ground!!
If you’re not living in a furnace, I think this Turkey Pesto Meatloaf would be worth turning the oven on for. And if you ARE living in a furnace, making them into burgers for grilling on the BBQ.
The original thought was to use aluminum angle to form a frame (with a centre bar) and then to use wooden slats (like the Ikea kind) to form the platform. The reason for using aluminum (instead of steel) was to minimize weight issues. The reason for using wooden slats (instead of a solid wooden base) is for ventilation.
We purchased and installed aluminum angle along the sides of the van. That seemed to go forward without a hitch.
Jonty still had concerns about the strength of the aluminum. Because this is a platform frame, it is kind of free-floating and isn’t directly attached to the floor. Deflection and bending of the frame could be a real concern. So he did a few deflection calculations, based on the grade and thickness of aluminum we were planning on using. And, yup, the frame wasn’t going to be strong enough, with the intended design.
In order to make the bed frame strong enough, we could either use a lot more aluminum (which would then negate any weight-saving benefits), or we could use steel. So, steel it is! We’re keeping the same design, but using Unistrut steel framing for the cross-bars of the bed.
So the framing will continue, and hopefully next week, we’ll be able to show you a finished platform bed!
Pictures from the week of 22.July.2017:
We had to pick up more electrical wire for the van (story of our lives) on Monday, so made a pit stop down to Granville Island for a coffee and stroll. As long as we get there early enough (and not on a weekend day), we can always find a place to park Moby 🙂
On Tuesday, we headed to a new climbing crag. It’s only about 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver (which is nice) but it does require walking along the highway for a few hundred meters (not that nice). While it didn’t smell smoky, the air quality was definitely compromised in the morning. It still looks kind of pretty, though!
By the end of our climbing day, the air had cleared, and we had a nice view of Howe Sound.
Happy Weekend! Hope your week was a good one, and your weekend is even better! Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 15.July.2017.
My birthday is in a few weeks, and Jonty’s been asking what kind of cake I might like. I think I might go rogue, and one of my requests was a peach pie (I love pie). But this blueberry pie is pulling at my birthday strings… 🙂
Quantum Physics for babies! I know what all of our nephews are getting for Christmas 🙂 They can grow up to be rock-climbing physicists, like their auntie and uncle.
This is one of my favourite Canadian instagram account. He’s based out of Regina, and does a lot of Saskatchewan photos, and they’re all gorgeous!
On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):
Well, the closest we got to working on the bed frame, was bringing down our bikes and bouldering pads, to see how much room we were going to have under the bed. Spoiler alert – we’re too tall for our orignal plans :/
When we travelled in our rental RV a few years ago, we had to take the front wheels off, seats out, and stack the bikes on top of each other. It looks like we may have to go that route again. If we do, however, at least we’ll be able to design a box that will hold the bikes without damaging them and will be more accomodating for our needs.
As for the bouldering pads, we might end up attaching them to the back doors! They will fit where we first intended them to go (standing up, behind the wheel wells, along the side of the van, like in the picture below). But seeing as our original bike storage design isn’t going to work, the original bouldering pad location might not be ideal, either. We shall see!
Jonty started (and finished) wiring up the galley appliances!
Both the induction cooktop and fridge now work off our inverter as well as shore power, and the fridge is wired to work off of our 12V supply when not hooked up. This means we can start planning our first meal in the van, and then come home to do dishes 🙂
The lights are all wired into zones. Yes, we have zones in our sprinter 🙂 There are 4 zones in total: The ceiling lights are separated into the bedroom lights + kitchen lights, and the under-cabinet LEDs are also separated into the bedroom + kitchen. All are dimmable, and are remote controlled. We love how it’s turned out!
The fridge is cold inside!!
Pictures from the week of 15.July.2017:
We had to take my bike into the shop on Monday so while we were waiting for the store to open, we took a meander down Spanish Banks West beach. The tide was waaaaay out, and it was kind of neat to have so much extra “beach” to walk on!
As we were walking back to the car, we stopped at these old driftwood trees that had been carved into furniture. I nudged Jonty to go and sit on one, so I could take an artsy-fartsy picture for my July photo challenge. This woman walked by, and offered to take a picture of both of us sitting. It through me for a loop! I’m pretty sure we couldn’t have been sitting together more platonically, if we had tried 🙂
However, these pictures… I’m pretty sure this is more representative of us:
“Jonty, let’s pretend we’re looking up at how high the rock is that we just climbed, okay?! Keep looking up! Keep looking up!!”
“Darn it, the picture didn’t take. Keep looking up!! You’re still looking up, right??!”
I feel like it’s been awhile since I posted a food recipe (and with this post, I’m using the word recipe quite loosely). It’s not that we haven’t been cooking, it’s just that our food choices have been pretty basic and routine. I suppose that’s what summer time is about, though. More time spent outside, less time around the stove 🙂 We’ve been eating a version of this Greek salad for quite a few weeks now, so I thought I would share it.
This Greek salad doesn’t deviate much from the classic version. Sharp red onion becomes mellow in the balsamic vinegar, crunchy cucumbers and peppers add a sweet bite, and juicy tomatoes round out the salad combo. We add fresh mint, too, because it’s a great way to use up the monster bushels that currently seem to be in the markets.
What makes our version different is our secret high-protein ingredient. Dry curds! Have you ever had them? It’s cottage cheese, but without the milk fat. When you open the tub, you’re staring at… you guessed it… dry curds.
So, why go this route, instead of using the standard feta cheese? Well, we often try to limit our intake of super-salty foods, and we’re always looking for ways to add more protein into our meals. This power-house source of protein gives you a whopping 22 grams of protein in half a cup. This is a win-win addition, in our books!
I won’t lie – the dry curds don’t taste like feta cheese (they actually don’t have much taste on their own). But with a really flavourful balsamic vinegar and copious amounts of fresh herbs, I would argue this salad doesn’t need the extra salt.
This high-protein Greek salad has found its way into many of our meals. We have it alongside chicken or tuna sandwiches, it gets topped with perfectly poached eggs, and we’re not opposed to using it as a makeshift salsa with our salmon tacos! And it still tastes really good as leftovers a day or two later.
Welcome to the first week of July! The weather has been unusually warm. For us, it means early climbing days and warm evenings on the balcony, and we’re loving it! Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Our Saturday Snippets for 08.July.2017.
Compared to the last few weeks, where we were cutting, staining, epoxying, OSMOing, this week felt like a slower week. BTW – we finished the sink cover / tray, and it’s turned out really good! I think it’s definitely going to be a functional piece in the kitchen.
We’ve finished the lighting in the van! We installed LED strip lighting underneath all the cabinets (in the kitchen and bedroom areas).
One of the great things about using 80/20 for all the cabinet framing is the ability to use the channels for multiple purposes. On one side of the frame, we’re able to hang curtains. On the other side, we’re able to slide in thin LED strips! We’ve placed a diffusing strip (opaque plastic) on one side of the LEDs, so you can’t see the individual lights, and it gives a nice warm glow to the spaces.
All of the wiring runs through the 80/20 channels and up into the ceiling, so we don’t have any wires visible. Cool!
And all of the lights are on dimmer switches, so mood lighting is available at the push of a button 😉
Since we had to take all the cabinets down (yet again) to install the LED lights, we figured it was a good time to make and install the cabinet dividers. We’ve got one divider per cabinet, giving us 6 separate compartments. We kind of like the way the holes turned out! A bit of functionality (can see through them, which is nice, and good for air-flow) and a bit of peek-a-boo eye candy (because, why not!)
Other bits and pieces:
We’ve ordered a 45-gallon fresh water tank this week, and it should be here in about a month. So once that comes, we’ll be able to cut more holes in the floor, and get our van water-ready!
Next on the list is designing and making the bed frame. Jonty is starting to have a better idea of what that might look like (what materials to use, how to attach it to the van, what height we want the bed to sit at, etc).
I’m slowly getting my ducks in a row for making the curtains. I’m still on the hunt for the “ideal fabric”. I can’t really describe what I want, but I’ll know it when I see it (are you like that, too?!) Wish me luck on my hunt 🙂