ten months old

Our Wilder is now 10 months old! This was a month of many, many new things for him.

Wilder saw the ocean! And mountains! Plus two new provinces! We got out of our prairie routine and took a 2-week vacation to BC where we mostly stayed with family. There, Wilder saw landscapes that he has never seen before. I will be very excited to share that with him when he is old enough to understand.

He now points to objects. He also gives high fives. It’s the cutest dang thing.

He says “mama” on repeat. I swear he also says “hey dad” sometimes as well.

He is constantly standing with support and walks along furniture.

He is still breastfed but is beginning to not want it as much. He now only wakes once or twice during the night, and nurses for just a few minutes. He is growing up too quickly!

Only 2 more months until he is a toddler. My mama heart just isn’t ready.

Emory

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po the saint

We recently added a new member to our household! Friends, meet Po, our St. Bernard.

This little girl is my fourth Saint and Remy and Wilder’s first. I’ve waited many years to get her, having wanting to be settled on an acreage before we did. We knew that moving out here meant that we could finally get one, and so last week we did!

So far she is very quiet and very sweet. I have had a couple of friends with kids over on different days, and everyone can’t believe how good and calm she is. They have all said that she doesn’t act like a puppy and it’s like we don’t even have a dog in the house. I asked for a calm temperament (because of our children) and I guess it paid off!

Remy adores her and Truman has even warmed up to her as well. We hope that her mellow attitude will rub off on him. Nothing seems to phase her, which is the opposite of Tru.

For now, this is our life with Po.

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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zero waste (part two)

” … [W]hen we say ‘we threw something away,’ what do we really mean? … After all, our discards don’t just evaporate because the garbageman whisked them off. Our waste end up in our landfills, spoiling our precious environment, leaching toxic compounds into our air and soil, wasting the resources used to create the discarded goods, and costing us billions of dollars each year in processing.”

Zero Waste Home, Bea Johnson

Above is how the second chapter of Zero Waste Home begins, detailing why eliminating our waste output is imperative. As gathered by the title, this is my second post in my newest zero waste series. In the first post, I discussed composting for the first time, utilizing a clothesline, our septic field, and collecting rainwater. Looking back, I focused on reducing our waste outdoors. This time, I will examine bringing it indoors- from recycling, to phasing out paper towels, and cleaning products.

Let’s begin with recycling. I am fortunate enough to have access to bins in the city where we can take everything there to recycle without having to sort it out beforehand. This has made going from recycling nothing only a few months ago, to now recycling practically everything! Geoffrey and I always have cardboard boxes or reusable bags in our home that are dedicated to these items. A couple of times every month we drop them off at the depot on one of our trips into town.

These depots accept all paper, plastics, aluminum foil, tin cans, milk jugs, cartons, glass bottles, jars, and bagged plastic bags. The only items that they don’t accept are hazardous materials, electronics, clothes, food, and tires. Having a depot located on the side of town that are closest to makes this an incredibly easy and rewarding experience.

We also have a collection of recyclable bottles in the bottom of our pantry that we drop off at SARCAN.

Let’s move on to cleaning supplies- or more specifically, vinegar. Growing up, my mum had always used vinegar and water as a cleaner, so by default when I moved out on my own, I did as well. Yet, I didn’t realize the power of vinegar or how all-purpose it is until only recently! In Zero Waste Home, it lists what vinegar can be used for and how to use it. For example, vinegar can be used as: an adhesive remover, bathroom cleaner, colour set, drain cleaner, eraser sponge, flower food, glass cleaner, herbicide, insect repellent, jewelry cleaner, kitchen cleaner, laundry booster, mildew remover, nicotine stain remover, odor neutralizer, pet repellent, quick mop, rust remover, stain remover, toilet cleaner, upholstery freshener, vinyl cleaner, and wood renewer. Simply dilute 1/4 cup white vinegar with 1 cup water (for added scent, you can also add citrus peels to vinegar several weeks before diluting it).

Of those, I was using it as a bathroom and kitchen cleaner, pouring it down my drains with baking soda, pouring it over weeds to kill them, in my laundry to boost colour, in bowls to eliminate odors, on my floors when I washed them, and to clean my windows- all without a second thought. It really is just an incredibly simple and versatile cleaner to have on hand! (I will return to window cleaning in a moment.)

Now if I am writing about cleaning products, at some point I need to address the elephant in the room. That is the notion of paper towels. Paper towels are a huge zero waste problem. In my research I found that paper products account for roughly 25% of landfill waste. Additionally, the US produces over 3000 tonnes of paper towel waste each day, which significantly increases methane gas. Cutting out paper towel would save trees, water, the atmosphere, and us money!

Until very recently, I was horrible when it came to buying and using paper towels. Being somewhat of a germophobe, I proudly used an entire roll every two days. I used to think more paper towel equaled a cleaner home. I loved the idea of spraying something down, wiping it with those fresh white sheets, and then throwing them out and thus getting rid of the dirt. Now, I shudder at the idea.

When I began this journey a few months ago, I knew that I would have to eventually stop buying paper towel. I was anxious and a little grossed out at the thought of using rags to clean up my dirtiest messes, and then having to touch and wash said rags with our clothes that we wore. I know what you’re thinking, ‘princess, get over yourself’. So one morning I purchased one more six-pack of paper towel with our groceries, and announced to Geoff that it would be our last. I also told him to start collecting every piece of old clothing in order to cut it up into rags. We went through one roll, then two rolls, then slowly went through the third and fourth. Then somewhere along the lines, I completely stopped using them. In all honesty, I can’t even tell you when I did this. Opening our kitchen drawer and grabbing a rag to clean quickly and seamlessly became second nature. I thought that it would be such a hard transition having to break a thirty-year habit, but it really was one of the most natural things that I have done in a long time. We still have those last two rolls laying around our home, but I have no intention on ever using them.

So how do we keep our windows clean? Guys, have you ever used newspaper for this job? If you haven’t, please switch now! I didn’t believe people when I heard and read that it kept your windows streak-free. I thought that it would certainly leave ink or bits of paper behind. I was so wrong. It’s thickness and durability make for a wonderful texture to clean your windows (using vinegar and water for the cleaning agent, of course). I have never had clearer windows. Afterwards, you have the added bonus of throwing the newspaper in the recycling bin. I hope to never, ever return to paper towel and Windex.

If anyone was needing tips for ditching paper towel, you can find a cute and helpful website here.

Please join me on my next zero waste post in just a few weeks!

Emory

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happy canada day

Happy Canada Day, all!

Today we will be spending the day celebrating our beautiful country at Diefenbaker Park in Saskatoon, where they have concerts, food, bouncy castles, train rides, face painting, gifts, and more! Fingers crossed the weather holds up.

Oh, Canada. We are very lucky to live here.

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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