we sold big green

Friends, last week we officially handed over the keys to Big Green. After owning it for (one week shy of) three years, it became the longest that we had owned any home. So much happened during that time. We moved in when Remy was six months old. We said goodbye to a dog. We said goodbye to a baby. We welcomed a baby. We celebrated birthdays, wedding anniversaries, Christmases, Easters, and more. Geoffrey changed careers. I became a stay-at-home parent. We made friends. We vacationed a little. We learned a lot.

Mostly, I would say that we did renovations. Oh my goodness, how we renovated. It began with a new mailbox. That year, we also put wallpaper in the back porch and made over Remy’s room.

In 2017 we attempted Remy’s room again, revamped the bathroom, renovated the upstairs hallway, did Remy’s room for the third and final time, our front porch, the main floor hallway, the back porch again, and backyard.

In 2018 we started by redoing the dining room, living room, kitchen, then a little of everything when I was pregnant and nesting, and finally our master bedroom. We ended up tackling every room in our home, as well as the exterior. The only area we didn’t get to was the unfinished basement. Hopefully the next owners can renovate it, thus completing the total home makeover.

In 2019, when Wilder was only three months old, we listed Big Green and moved into our current home. In the end we realized that we are not city people. We both grew up on acreages and farms, moved back to an acreage after getting married, and then finally bought our own this year. We belong in the country.

I will forever love Big Green for what it taught us- even though we experienced hardships within its walls. However, it was a good home and such an incredibly fun project. I will especially miss playing with Remy in her cozy little room.

These were the final listing photographs of our beloved home. I hope that it’s as treasured by its new owners as it was by us. Goodbye, Big Green!

Emory

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nine months old

My darling son is now 9 months old. 9 months (minus 1 day) of carrying him inside of me, and 9 months (plus 4 days) of holding him on the outside.

Wilder had a big month of milestones. Here are some of them:

HE LEARNED TO CRAWL! Last month I thought that it could happen any day, and it did at 8.5 months exactly. He finally crawled on the day that Bridget passed away, sadly. He has certainly been keeping us busy ever since.

In addition to crawling, he can now pull himself up to a standing position. By using anything that gives him support, he hoists his booty off of the ground and stands up, then gently sits back down again.

He waves hello and goodbye! It is the cutest thing ever, and something that I don’t think Remy ever did. The brat. He loves waving and gets excited when you clap and cheer him on.

Unfortunately, he became pretty ill with a high fever for 3 days, which inevitably turned into roseola. He sported full-body rash for 2 more days after that, and only started to feel better on day 6. Remy had roseola at 10 months. It’s awful.

I can only imagine what next month will bring. Fingers crossed he gets his first tooth or two!

Emory

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in memory of bridget

It is with absolute sadness that I write today that my beautiful soul of a sister-in-law passed away. I cannot imagine what it will be like without her. She was always there when we went to visit Geoffrey’s family, and came to every event and occasion that we invited her to. She was one of Remy’s favourite people, and had already spoiled Wilder rotten in the few months that she knew him. We will certainly continue to always talk about her and keep her memory alive.

Here is a snippet of Bridget’s short but full life, as taken from her memorial card:

“Bridget was an A+ student throughout her school years and received a scholarship to the U of S. She worked very hard on continuing her education via online learning and studied many different areas including Art, Environmental Science and Nutrition.

“As Bridget’s health began to fail she was less able to be away from their family home, so she developed her passion for horticulture … Bridget was very successful in planning small and large gardens on the farm and these became her haven of peace and tranquility.

“Bridget was addicted to the Food Network and spent many hours planning and preparing exotic meals and snacks … She would not miss the annual Taste of Saskatchewan food festival on Saskatoon’s riverbank and always tried as many new dishes as humanly possible.

“Bridget took some beautiful pictures and was so good at editing photography and creating movies that she was the extended families expert. She loved paper crafts, scrapbooking and making personal cards for every occasion and would send unique works of art to her relatives and friends … She had many pen pals all over the world that she kept in contact with through hand written letters.

“Bridget’s quiet and dry sense of humour kept everyone on their toes.

“In restaurants Bridget always took note of people who ate alone especially seniors or those who appeared to have less than her. She would pay for their meal anonymously. She always put everyone else first. She always stood up for the underdog and advocated and supported them. Bridget might have been small but she had a huge heart.

“The love of her life was her 3 year old niece Remy. Bridget had an amazing relationship with her, and Remy was very much in love with “Aunty B” as they spent time playing, crafting and laughing. Bridget’s life may have been short lived on earth but the lives she touched in her short time was awe-inspiring.

“Bridget struggled with her health since she was 5 years old. Her complicated medical condition was so rare; one doctor said that if the cause were ever discovered, they would probably name it after her … She was very strong willed and determined not to let any obstacles get in her way and had proven the doctors wrong many times.

“Bridget taught us so much; Love one another- Do not judge others- Be humble- Treat everyone with patience and kindness- Don’t dwell on what you can’t control- If it doesn’t help, don’t say it- Forgive each other and lastly- Consider organ donation, talk about it and let your family know your wishes.”

You can get a better sense of Bridget by visiting her colourful and creative blog here.

Rest in peace, Bridge. We miss you.

Emory

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our acreage: gardens

When we first moved out here, we didn’t have a garden. Geoffrey and I talked about making a large vegetable garden somewhere in our yard, but we couldn’t agree on where. What we did agree on was waiting at least a full year to think about it and get a feeling for where it would work best before we went ahead and dug up the grass. Then the snow began to melt.

What we noticed first was a small square perimeter of wood in our front yard. As the snow melted more, we began to see sand. Once it completely disappeared, we were left with an old 8′ x 8′ sandbox that had clearly been neglected. Not wanting to keep it a sandbox because of all the stray cats and wildlife around here, I eventually chose for it to become my rock garden.

I envisioned a desert-inspired garden with lots of cacti and rocks. I asked many people what I should do to transform this sandbox into a usable, grow-able space and was given lots of ideas. My sister-in-law was the most knowledgeable, so I listened mostly to her. The first thing I did was stain the wood. I chose a darker colour called “Coffee” thinking that it would contrast our light grey house nicely. I went in blind since I had no idea what exterior theme we would eventually go with- modern, western, etc. I therefore aimed for a slightly more modern look.

Next I dug several 1′ x 1′ holes. I think I started with around seventeen. Then I filled them with soil. It was still too cold to plant anything, so for days I just stared out the window at these holes. To me, it looked much too cluttered. I decided to fill those holes back in with sand and dig new ones. This time I ended up with ten. Much better.

Over the next few weeks, I set about getting everything planted in my garden. I started by propagating a few cacti that were growing in our home. Right away it was clear that they weren’t going to survive. (I was too excited and planted them too early.) Then my next door neighbour gave me thyme to put in my garden. I thought, ‘OK, this will be a thyme and cacti rock garden’. A few days later I went to a greenhouse and came back not with cacti but bell peppers, white onions, succulents, and red Canadian roses. Clearly my desert-inspired garden was slowly becoming a vegetable/flower garden. Oh well!

Have you ever tried growing green onion in water from food scraps? It is ridiculously easy, even for a brown thumb like me! After you buy some from the grocery store and consume the dark green part of the vegetable, take the leftover part (the white bulb with roots attached) and put it in a glass of water. Be sure to change the water every day or every second day. Almost instantly you will see new growth occur. I did this for about two weeks before I transplanted them into my garden. That’s when they really took off! They are over 3 feet tall. I have never seen green onion quite like this before. Geoff and I still laugh about how massive they are.

To finish it off, I purchased large river stones to cover the sand. I think that it took around eight bags. Then I bought small smooth pebbles to fill in the gaps. I found the large rocks to line the plant holes along the dirt roads that we walk on everyday.

After filling my rock garden with all of the plants and vegetables that I could think of, I felt like that it began to look a little disorganized. Somewhere along the way I lost my vision of a minimalist cacti haven. Following advice from my mother-in-law and mum to start a garden along the garage, I decided to do just that. I removed the rhubarb from the rock garden, then the sunflower plant, then the white onions, then the peppers, and put them in my new garden that Geoff made for me by rototilling a long and narrow patch. We also added the peonies that we took from our other house. Garden thieves.

I tended to that second garden for a few weeks before I began to notice that every night animals were digging in it. After a lengthy search on Pinterest, I found simple and practical fence options that one could DIY in a matter of a few days. Back I went to Geoffrey, asking him to now build a fence around our spontaneous little garden. He was probably hesitant at first, but once I showed him the pictures, he became very excited and said that he would love to do it.

As an added treat, I took the kids to visit an out-of-town friend for two days. Armed with music, beer, and hot weather, he constructed the cutest darn fence that we have ever had. He used cement, chicken wire, and treated 2′ x 4’s and posts. Then I laid down mulch.

We finished it off by adding hinges and a latch on the gate. Beautiful and practical. Yet, we weren’t done.

Once I saw how lovely the treated lumber looked, I knew that my slightly-modern outdoor theme was now out the window. Rustic was the way to go for our acreage. This meant that I wanted to change the stained wood that housed my rock garden. I sent Geoffrey back to Home Depot for treated 2′ x 6’s. He went and picked them up, then came home and replaced the wood, making it much taller as well. I love the way it turned out. This rock garden will forever remind me of my sister-in-law.

Next year we have plans for raised flower beds in an enclosure along the sunnier side of the garage. Until then, these are our acreage gardens.

Emory

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (two on earth and one in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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