Devilled Sausages

As we look to do more travel again, having a copy of favourite recipes online is much easier to refer back to, than carrying around my recipe book. All measurements are guides. As previously mentioned, I rarely measure anything when I cook.

This is a great recipe to use cooked sausages if you have left overs too

500g beef or pork sausages (I typically do about 6 for our family of 4)
1 large onion sliced
2 apples peeled, cored & cut up
A decent handful of raisins (1/4C?)
1/2C water
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 heaped Tbsp Mustard (Dijon)
1 heaped Tbsp Tomato paste
1 Tbsp Brown sugar
Cayene pepper to taste

Brown the sausages until mostly cooked through, set aside & chop up
Use the oil in the pan (if too much drain some) to cook the onion
Once Onion is cooked, pop the cooked & cut up sausages back into the pan (with the onion), add the apple, raisins & sauce.
Bring it all to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes or so

We serve ours with mashed potato & some veggies

Devilled Sausages
Devilled Sausages
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End of the season

What an amazing year we have had on the boat this season, with things opening up as they have, it allowed us the opportunity to really enjoy the boat & try a few things.

Last year, we installed solar panels, lithium batteries and a new inverter. It all comes off at the end of the season, but during the season we love that we can go off the grid with our set-up. This year, whilst we were in NYC, Starlink sent out an email letting people know that you could order an RV version, which we did & it was a game changer. Between the solar panel set-up & our Starlink dish, we took remote work to a whole new level. In fact, the connection we have on the boat is better than what we get at home with our local ISP. This just justifies the need to live & work remotely on a boat, which is supported by those that we work with (which is nice, not that we really need that stamp of approval, but it makes life easier). Once word was out that we had Starlink, a few people that we know then went out to get one too. The great thing about the RV one is that you can switch it on & off as needed (a little more expensive, but when you aren’t going to use it for several months it helps, plus it’s supposed to move around, which it clearly does).

The boat that we have at the moment is a little cozy for 4 as a live-aboard, being a Catalina 30 MkII, but it’s not bad & didn’t stop us from making memories & taking a few longer trips this year than last year on it.

This year we joined our club in going on a couple of cruises, one was to Alexandria Bay & the other one was to Henderson Harbour. Alex Bay was a lot of fun, we almost gave up in going when we had some issues with the CBP ROAM app, but it was user error in the end, as we had lodged our application to come over the border a little too early for it to be approved (you need to be fairly close to US waters to have them approve). For both trips they did a little zoom chat with us on the boat, making sure that we were indeed on a boat & that there were 4 of us.

Coming back from both trips, one had to wish that Canada would have the same option in terms of an app, as you have to call Customs 1 888 226 7277 (1888CANPASS) & wait in a queue, often for an hour for someone to talk to you. You still have to do the ArriveCan app, but that isn’t something used to declare “officially” that you are back in the country. You are required to contact CanPass & give them all the details of the boat that you are on (registration, make & model) as well as passenger details (passports & DOB’s) & give them the code for your ArriveCan declaration. As much as it takes a little bit of time to get through to someone here in Canada (shortest wait for us was 40 minutes), at least you can use that time to tidy & sort out the boat & run off to the toilet (although, I pass the phone over to G to look after, because the last thing I want is to be on the phone on the toilet, especially with customs & immigration).

Alex Bay was quite a lovely town to pull up into, the town is a little tired in places, but quite the happening place (at least it seemed that way to us). The mayor & deputy mayor come out to see us all at the marina & make sure we knew that we were welcome & to please come back. People from town also came down to see all the sailboats, with many remarking on how they hadn’t seen so many sailboats in one place before. It was quite a surreal experience. The kids loved the scavenger hunt that Kelly, who is social director for the club, organised, which also encouraged everyone to spend a little money & support the local economy. I loved the art shop & of course got something small to support a local artisan. The kids on the other hand loved the popcorn shop.

The Henderson Harbour trip was a little different. HH Yacht Club is similar to the current club that we members of, although HH isn’t quite so far away from the town as our current club is. We had a lovely welcome from members of the club & enjoyed chilling out in the clubhouse with everyone else who came from Trident. The Christmas in July celebrations (a happy coincidence), in the area were a particular favourite, with fireworks that went on 20-30 minutes (just as you thought they were done, you realised they were just ramping it up another level). On Sunday night a taco dinner was organised for everyone, which was lovely & they were so good at catering to all my food allergies.

Besides those cruises, there has been time out to the islands to anchor out on weekend’s with other friends from the club, and to take a few friends out on the boat for a day trip here & there, as well as staying at the club on the boat whilst the kids did a sailing class in Kingston for a couple of weeks & attending a few other social events at the club.

It’s been a really lovely summer. I’m sad to see the season ending a little earlier for us than originally planned. Given issues with water levels dropping as they have & our personal circumstances, I am also glad that we aren’t pushing the season as long as we normally do. Extremely grateful for all the memories and fun that we had this season on our boat, Can Knot Agree. Rest well little boat & we look forward to seeing you back in the water again very soon.

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Figured it was time that I wrote about homeschooling. There are a lot of sterotypes about homeschoolers, some of which certainly apply to some, but as with sterotypes, they do not apply to all.

We are the “Covid homeschoolers”, the ones who started our homeschooling journey in part, because of Covid. Homeschooling, quite frankly seemed like the best path to take as the shitshow unfolded & schools shut down in March 2020 & didn’t open until later in September. I decided over the summer of 2020, that I wanted to give homeschooling a go. It wasn’t a decision that I took lightly, but I am so glad I did, as we were able to maintain a fairly stable learning environment, unlike their peers.

The 2020/2021 school year was a rollercoaster, one day schools were open, the next they were closed, guidelines changed constantly. I don’t really fault the policy makers for the rollercoaster ride that it was, I mean no-one really had experience in dealing with a global pandemic before, but I was glad I could sit out the ride that I saw friends go through.

Those who find out that we homeschool & are still doing so in 2022, have mixed reactions, some think it’s really cool & others have a noticable change in demeanor, as they try to assess what level of crazy we are.

For the record, we believe in science (we vaccine including for Covid & mask), actually believe that Covid exists & are not religious fundamentalists. Homeschooling is something that we have stuck with because for the most part it works for us & the lifestyle that we like to live. Even before Covid we had a reputation at the school for being travellers, just because the kids were in school it didn’t mean that you couldn’t do anything. We joke that they probably have more stability now than they did at school (at least now, I actually make sure they do school work when we are travelling). It’s easier in some ways, whilst harder in others.

Easier, in that you don’t have to deal with other parents, or beaucratic school “stuff”. Towards the end of the kids stint in the public system there were issues with bullying & a “prank” by another student, resulted in months of recovery, which I admit had a role to play, but mostly it was Covid. I get it, the education system is massively underfunded & honestly I don’t have any issues with the educational instruction that the kids were getting, but sometimes change is good, especially when you realise that, that change is working for you.

Homeschooling is hard though. You are responsible for what your kids learn in the end, which can be a daunting reality. At first, I looked after all of it, but now we (G & I) share more of the responsibilites, which helps. Whilst the responsibility to teach the kids is sobering (it can be really stressful sometimes), it’s also incredibly rewarding to see growth & know that you were a part of that, more than you would have been if you had just sent them off to school like their peers. I feel way more involved in their education than I ever was when they were in school, because I am “in the classroom” every day. The classroom varies too, it can be done pretty much anywhere & we take excursions with more focus than we did before.

Society really needs to get past the idea that kids must be sent out of the house in order to receive an education with 20-30 other peers. That type of learning doesn’t work well for everyone, infact it works for less kids than people might realise. I get it though, it’s hard to take on that responsibility as a parent & it doesn’t work for a lot of families. Just don’t vilify those that chose to do it & equally so, homeschoolers need to back off with their judgement towards those that have their kids in the school system. We are all doing the best that we can.

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Worcestershire Sauce

This is a gluten free version of Worcestershire sauce that I have been making for years, before you could find some Gluten Free options on the market. I like it so much though, that I haven’t bothered to try the commercially made versions on the market. I usually make large batches of it, which I bottle & gift (usually around xmas).

Measurements are approximate, like all good recipes are. Sometimes I throw in more molasses, plum jam etc, it just depends on my mood (and lack of attention to any kind of measurements on the day I am making it).

3 C white vinegar
1/2 C treacle / molasses
1/2 C plum jam
1 small onion finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Stir over heat until mixture boils, simmer, uncovered, for an hour, stirring occasionally. Poor into hot sterilized jars (make sure to stir mixture to make sure you get the lovely chunky bits of onion etc evenly spread between your jars). You can strain it, but I don’t, I like the chunks in whatever I am cooking

This recipe as is, makes about 2 cups. I typically don’t do anything less than batches that are 4x this recipe at a time. It lasts a long time in the fridge once open (so long as you don’t cross contaiminate it)

Here’s a picture of some in the making from a while ago

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Don’t be afraid to ask

We live in a world that is full of plastic, some of it is incredibly hard to avoid, but a great deal of the plastic waste we encounter in day to day life is entirely unnecessary. Plastic is cheap & has become a such a convenient material to use, that many cannot see a way around using it.

Whilst it is lovely to see more organisations making changes to show more of an environmental awareness, I feel that as consumers we need to do more to encourage those changes to stick & increase further change.

Our family doesn’t eat out a lot, but when we do, I have started to ask more about packaging, because I have learnt that just because you see biodegradable packaging , doesn’t mean that what you order will come in it or that they won’t throw in plastic cutlery. I have asked not to have plastic cutlery & still had it thrown in with a meal or had my reusable cup used, but had the beverage measured out in a plastic one, that they threw out, before they put it in my cup. I very rarely return to places that don’t seem to get it, but on occasion, I have returned & taken the opportunity to practice being more clear with my requests, because it’s all about education too, if after that chance they still screw it up, that’s it. That “little bit” of plastic might seem fairly insignificant, for what is usually a few minutes of convenience, but it really isn’t.

Convenience should not pollute long term

I have found more often than not when you ask & state your reasons for asking, people are generally receptive & supportive. There are of course the eye rollers, too, but mostly I find it emboldens others to show their support.

A few weeks ago when we were at Upper Canada Village, I was really disappointed to find that the lemonade that used to be in jars pre-covid, was now being served in plastic cups. When I enquired, I was told that the plastic cups were made from corn, but after being given the details of the company, I did a search & discovered that they could only be composted where facilities exist. Do you know how many commercial composting facilities there are that can break down the cups appropriately? Me neither. So, I politely refused, stating why & in the end was able to get the lemonade in our own metal cups. The two women that I was speaking with actually commented on how much they appreciated that we are obviously trying to do our part & whilst they aren’t as hardcore as we are (all a matter of perception) they shared how they are also trying to reduce waste themselves & how nice to it was to see someone else doing so too.

In the end our “voice” is not only our literal voice, but where we spend our money. Support those that support the environment so that it encourages them to continue to do so & improve on what they are doing, whilst also encouraging others to do what they can too.

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e-readers & travel

A couple of years ago a friend gifted us an older kobo e-reader for kidlet1. It it was a perfect xmas gift. Kidlet1 is a voracious reader, so having one, gave us a way for him to read books, at a time when libraries were not an option (2020, COVID).

Now, both kids love both reading on an e-reader & physical books. G & I are still trying to get used to using one, but the connivence in being able to “carry”/ access so many books at once can’t be beat, especially when space is a consideration.

After much research we settled on Kobo Libra2’s. There are lots of reviews out there & of course I can’t find the actual article that cinched it for me, however here are few that might be of use, which compare the two types of e-readers; techrader, ny times wirecutter, engadget.

With us spending so much time on the water, being waterproof was more of a necessity than a want & having the flexibility to download books different formats easily, including EPUB format, was useful for us. We don’t subscribe to Kobo for books, but we do use OverDrive as well as downloading books & copying them across to read via Calibre.

Unlike the kids, I have only used the e-readers a handful of times, opting for the more traditional book format instead, but am switching over to doing more reading on the e-reader in an effort to not only save space (when travelling especially), but for my physical copies of books to retain a more pristine appearance (yes, I am one of those book owners). This is in stark contrast to any of the books that the kids have read, which have the “well loved” look to them, everywhere they go, even if it’s a quick trip to the shops, books (yes that is plural) follow.

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Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango

One of our favourite desserts is sweet sticky rice with mango. We were originally taught how to make it on a trip to Thailand (prior to the kidlets) & have since adapted the recipe to the one that follows. If you are from Thailand or Laos, this is not a post or version you want to see;


5 Cups long grain sticky rice (soaked in water for at least 4 hours or overnight)
3 ripe mangoes (or more especially if you have anyone who likes to “sample”_
2 Tbsp sesame seeds

1 Cup coconut cream (DO NOT get any with Guar Gum)
1 Cup white sugar
½ – 2 tsp salt
10 pandanus leaves or 1 Tbsp vanilla extract


Soak rice for min of 4 hours or overnight (more than 4 hours soaking is fine)

Line steamer with pandanus leaves or muslin cloth if no pandanus leaves.
Place soaked sticky rice in steamer & steam for 10-15 minutes, until cooked

NOTE: You can also skip using a steamer, if you have a rice cooker, just make sure you measure out everything appropriately for your rice cooker & cook it on the right setting (ie not just on a normal rice setting)

Mix the sauce coconut cream, sugar, salt & vanilla extract together and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes

When cooked remove the rice from the steamer and cool on a tray for a few minutes until still warm but not hot

Add HALF the coconut cream mixture/ sauce to the rice, mixing thoroughly.
Leave the rice and sauce mixture aside for 20-40 minutes (let it rest)

Combine the Serving Sauce mixture in a pot, heat until sugar/ salt is no longer visible

When ready to serve, divide the mixture into servings
(this size mixture should serve 8 people – but for our family is just enough for 4)

Pour Serving Sauce on top
Peel and slice mangoes and arrange on top of sticky rice
Sprinkle sesame seeds on top (if desired) and serve

Bowl of sweet sticky rice with mango
sweet sticky rice with mango
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Many who have followed me for a while, have likely noticed that my posts are sporadic at best. It wasn’t always like this, but of late, it has been more the norm.

I love to create the things that I do, but I am also aware of how consumerism, amongst other things, is ruining the planet. My guilt that I am a part of the issue, is part of why posts on some of the social media accounts that I manage have become so seldom. We are all bombarded with messages telling us to BUY BUY BUY, so why add to it?

Everyone wants your money & most don’t care if that means that an impulse buy today, ends up in landfill or at a charity shop in a few months or even after a short time of ownership, they got your cash.

This isn’t the image that I wish to have or even the message I wish to encourage & this is why I will be sharing more posts that are focussed on things that interest me, such as the environment, travel, homeschooling & of course some of my artistic creations, including my favourite creations, my scrappie critters.

For those that don’t know what a scrappie critter is, they are my own creation, made using “scraps” of fabric that are upcycled into cute little critters. They’re all made to be uniquely imperfect just like all of us & are simply a joy to create. Art, after all, is a part of my life & also a means to earn money to cover the expenses of life. Yep, even artists have to earn a living.

Final note:
At the moment I am keeping my twoemu creations webpage, but I am considering eventually consolidating that page & having a “shop” on this site for my art. That won’t happen immediately though, as I am only one person managing it all (at least until the kidlets are a little older & I have more confidence in their abilities not to accidentally delete large sections of websites).

Posted in Art, Environment, Fibre Art, Homeschooling, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair, Scrappie Critters, Sustainability, Travel Adventures | Leave a comment


For decades now, the planet has taken a back step to profits & the greed of many, a sad but true reality. I wish that all leaders woke up to the fact that our choices as a society are destroying our planet. The one planet that can sustain life, is being trashed & climate change is abundantly obvious to most, but those in positions of power seem to be deaf to the calls for climate action NOW.

Despite the knowledge that plastic waste is out of hand, with so little of it actually being recycled (9% of over 3 million tonnes a year in Canada), companies still like to espouse the value of it. Many point to the value of plastic in terms of food, but ignore the fact that much of the packaging will continue to pollute the planet past their lifetime & how much of that pollution affects the food that they are reportedly “protecting”.

I still can’t wrap my head around why supermarkets have to have so much produce wrapped in plastic. Even when we have had farm shares, we were shocked by the amount of plastic that was still a part of it, so it’s not a transportation issue per-say, I think it’s often just a convenience thing. Change is hard, more than necessary, but hard for many to do.

One knows that it’s possible to buy fresh produce without plastic when you go to somewhere like Farm Boy or your local farmers market, but for many to take advantage of those options requires a degree of privilege. Often buying farm fresh or loose produce is more expensive, either due to geographic location (which can also include a lack of viable transport to get to those places) & or the actual cost is increased. People are literally being forced to support the pollution of the planet because they see no other viable options for their families. We all need food to survive & corporations know that they have most of us over a barrel to just continue as it always has been for some. There needs to be more drastic changes sooner than later, because the planet has taken a back seat for far too long.

Despite this belief, we (as a family) try to appreciate all the little changes companies etc make. In the end all the little changes & actions that happen, add up & often have a snowball effect, encouraging others to do something too. One of the little changes that I have appreciated this year is watching as different places switch to cardboard bread bag tags. The other spells the end of cucumber dido’s. A company called Apeel makes an edible coating that eliminates the excuse that cucumbers “need” to be wrapped in plastic in order to curb food waste. I am sure that there are others, but these are things that stood out for us. Last year it was bags of potatoes that were all paper without the plastic mesh window (which seem to be strangely harder to find this year).

We are firm believers of supporting those that support the environment, even in small ways to encourage them & others to take it further. For example if I need to buy bread in a plastic bag ( the bag, I then reuse for rubbish, as I don’t buy bags) I will search out a brand with a cardboard tag, v’s a plastic one. I also actively avoid buying cucumbers in plastic too & of course there are the bags of potatoes as mentioned (we actually buy most of of our potatoes from a local grower in the fall, we get 3x 25kg bags, which gets us through most of the winter).

As a family we try to restrict our plastic consumption, but we are NOT hardcore zero wasters. I wouldn’t even say that we are even aspiring to be so, some of the hardcore zero wasters have hangups about solar panels & that’s definitely not us. We are simply try to live as sustainably as possible on our life’s journey. I firmly believe that more people need to share their “imperfect” journeys, as it encourages others to make changes too. Doing a little is way better than throwing your hands in the air, calling it too hard & doing nothing at all.

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New Focus

This website has gone through a few changes over the years. Initially it started as a site that just G & I had, where I would blog about what was happening & keep track of our travels & some of my artsy stuff. Then I changed over to just the blog & more recently, I decided to consolidate some of my content & sites to the one, where we could combine a lot of our interests, sharing our travel adventures as a family, talk about homeschooling, art & how we try to make sustainable choices along our journey. Note: we are not zero waste & we certainly aren’t perfect, but we do try to do what we can do reduce our waste & are improving every day.

My goal is for readers to see posts from all of the family eventually, but for now, most will come from me (author: Emuu)


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