Our little piece of the world

A mother, wife, and teacher aims to make life simple

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This is why I don’t have a cell phone

My decision to not have a cell phone does come with many disadvantages. There are often times when I’m downtown picking something up, or I’m going to be late, or I’m not near a phone, that I would love to just be able to take my phone out of my pocket and make the call.

I have never been happier about my decision than I am after reading this post entitled “How to Miss a Childhood”.

Let’s face it: that title tugs at the heartstrings before you’ve even read the blog.

I am a very distractable person, and I’m often guilty of messing around on my computer while my son is finishing his lunch (and I feel guilty enough about that). Thank goodness I don’t have a cell phone to distract me while I’m grocery shopping with him, or playing outside with a ball, or picking him up from daycare. Instead we talk about what we’re buying at the store, kicking a soccer ball back and fourth, or having a big hug after not having seen each other all day.

I am not a perfect parent, but I am so grateful that I’ve somehow been wise enough to see that making my son my number one priority is so important. Perhaps it’s because I see kids every day whose parents don’t.



Sorry for the lack of activity…

I’m headed out of town for work this week, and will likely not be in action until at least next week.

On the plus side- we’ve finished the stairs at our house. A move in date is looking closer and closer (but not too close)!

Vinegar is a wonderful cleaning tool if you’re trying to get rid of all the harsh store-bought cleaners.


There are so many household cleaning uses for vinegar.

Incredibly affordable and environmentally safe, vinegar is an ideal product for your home.  I love using vinegar to clean and disinfect the whole house and office.

Use these tips and enjoy the benefits of vinegar in your life.
1. Cleaner and Disinfectant
From countertops and windows to bathtubs to hardwood floors, countless household surfaces can be cleaned with vinegar. You can clean and disinfect just about anything with vinegar and water.   You can use pure vinegar or a diluted solution, depending on the severity of the dirty situation: Use vinegar full-strength for tough cleaning jobs and to remove lime or hard water stains. Look for a higher percentage of vinegar – that works great as a deep cleanser. I found mine in a European Deli.
2. Fabric Softener
 1 to 2 oz of vinegar works well to remove detergent from…

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A wonderful list of organic pest control ideas! Will be putting this to good use 🙂


One Million Gardens can change the world

Start a Garden… why is the garden so important? It teaches us all in what we can do Now! Break free from the dependency from Big Agra, and take out the guest work of knowing that the food you grow will be safe to eat! An organic garden also helps restore and repopulate the bee colonies. In this video noted physicist & recipient of The Right Livelihood Award, Dr. V. Shiva simplifies what we’re all trying to do.

Extensive List of Organic Pest Control Remedies

List compiled by Australian Organic Gardening Posted on Wake Up World


You can make your own organic bug spray from kitchen leftovers! Simply save your onion skins, peels and ends then refrigerate in an empty margarine-sized tub or ziplock bag until the container is full. Once you have enough, place the onion…

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Progress is progress, even if it’s slow.

We hit a big step with our house today: we completed some very important inspections for interior partitions as well as electrical and plumbing rough-ins. This means that we can finally get drywall and tile taken care of over the next 6 weeks or so.
My husband and I had a good talk about the progress on the house, and it came out how frustrated we both were with how slowly things have been going. I think I have mentioned that my husband is doing the majority of the work on our house himself, with the help of his uncle and his dad. I consider building your own home to be the ultimate in self-sufficiency- so there’s no question that we’re jumping in with both feet here.
Naturally, since so much of the work is being done by my husband and not by professionals- things are going slowly. It’s actually a miracle that we’ve moved as quickly as we have been.
It’s easy for us to get frustrated- but often doing things yourself from scratch and learning along the way is the slow way.

Love this- couldn’t agree more.


Sorry for the unscheduled break…

I mentioned last week that my husband had hurt his hand working on the house. Unfortunately the hand became infected and we’re dealing with a slew of Dr’s appointments and other fun stuff. Hopefully I’m back here soon- stay tuned!

The downsides of doing it yourself

As I’ve mentioned here a few times, my husband and I are in the process of building our own home. We’ve been working on it in earnest for about almost a year now (the foundation went in last june). Though we’re certinaly not done, we’ve come a long way.

I’m off work for a week right now for march break (yay!) and my husband is off for a few weeks… so we got down to work. I took the day on monday and cleaned the place from top to bottom. I swept up sawdust and used the shop vac to get as much of it as possible. I did a run to the dump, and burned a ton of scrap lumber in the woodstove in the garage. It was a rainy day, but it felt great to get the place tidied up.

For the rest of the week my husband and his uncle (who does this kind of thing for a living) continued working on framing interior walls, and getting ready for the plumber to come finish up the rough ins. We really want to get some inspections completed over the next few weeks so that we can have the drywaller and tilers come and do their jobs.

Yesterday I left to go pick up our son from daycare, and we went home and made dinner for us and the guys working on the site. When I came back with dinner I found out that my husband had hurt his hand on a grinder when the blade broke, and had been driven to hospital to get stitched up.

Oh boy.

So we drove to the hospital and he was just having the stitches done. We waited around a bit (amid chaos in the emergency department- I am so glad I don’t work in health care and am so grateful for those that do), and finally drove home once a tetnus shot was had.

Unfortunately my husband now has one hand out of comission for the next little while (I say this as he’s currently out at the house, lifting plywood with one hand) as his hand is so swollen he can’t move his thumb.

So, is doing it yourself worth it? There is an immense satisfaction that comes with building your own home, and it’s a level of customization that you can’t get from just paying someone to do it for you. Not only that, but you do save so much money as well, and we’ve been able to build a home that we would never have been able to buy otherwise.

Of course things move more slowly, and it is exhausting. I would be lying if I said that I haven’t wished that someone else could just make the decision for me, or book the electrical inspection, or dig the hole, or clean up the sawdust. All that being said, even considering my husband’s injury- I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world (and I know hubby would say the same).

Infographic: How big a backyard would you need to live off the land?


I came across this on pinterest this weekend and was very surprised by it. I would be interested to hear if anyone reading this has any insight on this. My husband is a hunter, so we won’t be raising livestock for meat, but I do have it as a long term goal to try and raise chickens and goats in the future (for eggs and milk).

Why be self-sufficient?

Last week some collegues and I got to discussing the idea that solar flares could potentially knock out the power grid. This particular idea has been all over the news here over the past few days and has certainly got people talking. Despite the fact that the solar storm knocking out power is extremely unlikely, it’s one of many way that our dependance on the power grid could all come to a crashing halt.

The most uttered point from my colleagues was about how much we rely on technology and electricity, and how the majority of us would,essentially, be helpless without it. In the group that I was talking about, no one had a garden, no one had a means of heating their house other than an electric-furnace, and no one had a means of cooking food that didn’t rely on electricity. The general sentiment was that there would be chaos, but no one seemed all that concerned about it.

That’s when I realized what being self-sufficient is to me: not being helpless.

A long time ago I came across this great TED talk (if you haven’t seen the TED talks you should check them out when you have a spare couple… days… there is a ton of great ideas from some of the most brilliant minds in the world).

Obviously a toaster isn’t the most important thing in the world if the electricity goes out, but this serves as an excellent example of how helpless many would be when left to their own devices. We rely so much on other people and companies to help us live our day to day lives, and we rely on technology to link us together.

What would happen if the power went out? It’s hard to say. I’d like to think that people would band together and find a way to survive, but I’m sure that there would be panic, looting, chaos (just like there is in so many disasters throughout history and the world). I’m not advocating paranoia by any means, but I do think this is a great argument for being prepared and being capable of doing simple tasks like cooking, keeping yourself clean, and cultivating food without the help of electricity.

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