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Once I was Enlightened, and now I am selling out. July 23, 2009

Posted by dreamom in Uncategorized.
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Before moving to Guelph in 2007, I hated it.  We had lived there for a short time before, and my sister lived there for several years during University.  I hated the garbage system (I still don’t like it, but it is more of contradiction thing rather than a total hate of forced composting and recycling).  Guelph has a certain reputation for being hippy (not hip – hippy!), and being full of the granola types.  Those of you from SW Ontario will be nodding your heads saying “that’s true”, those from Guelph might be defensive, and those elsewhere will have NO CLUE what I am talking about…

Needless to say after 2+ years of residing in Guelph, and getting involved with groups and such from Guelph – I was starting to be ‘enlightened’.  I started to live harmoniously with the garbage system, ordered my Garden Fresh boxes, started biking as much as possible instead of driving, tried to maximize the local food (and don’t tell my pesticide researching hubby – but squeaked in the occasional organic food).  We stopped using disposable diapers, and switched to organic cloth.  I had started to live a life where there was more reliance on natural things, and a purposeful move away from the unnatural.  I was valuing community more, and trying to get involved and shed the typical ‘city’ attitude of existing in a bubble.  All this might sound drastic, but I can assure you that my efforts – in comparison to many around me – were barely evident.  Again, some of my Guelph friends might read this, and not realize that I was attempting natural/environmental awareness type of living at all!

You know what it feels like when you go from bright sunlight, into pitch darkness.  Your eyes tend to do this thing where the are opening more and more, searching for light.  Moving to Manitoba has been a bit like that…  For me anyway…

I recently got an email from the farmer I used to buy our organic free range chicken, and our organic pastured pork from.  They were sending out a newsletter to their mailing list letting everyone know when the next butchering date was.  How I miss that pork!  You have not tasted bacon until you have had Nick and Vera’s bacon!  I have been unable to source a farm to buy fresh meat from here, and we are again eating the cardboard pork chops that are available at the local Co-op grocery store, and the local Great Canadian Superstore (Loblaws).  It isn’t the same, and I miss it.  I miss the taste, I miss knowing the people who raised my food.  I miss knowing that I was doing something I could do for the environment and feeding my family the highest quality food available.

Every time I buy vegetables I mourn the Garden Fresh box where we had local (when possible) fruits and veggies delivered either to my place or that of my local GF Outlet friend, Birdy.  I didn’t pick what was in it, but that forced me to try new things, and learn that even I liked some things that I didn’t think I would.  The box came with a list of the contents, and some recommended recipes, along with storage and usage information so you got the most out of your box.  Now we are buying the same things over and over, and our diet is becoming as flat and uninspired as it was pre-Guelph.  The veggies we get are so tasteless compared to what we had.  Just crunchy water…  I don’t even know where to find locally grown vegetables here.  I know that there is a farmers market for about 2 hours a week, and I have yet been able to catch it in those two hours…  I know that Ontario is known for its vast range of agriculture, and here – I don’t know what I can expect to find in local produce.

When we were moving we got rid of our bike trailer as it was doubtful it would reattach to my bike after getting it off.  That has left me with no way of riding my bike.  I also have no intention of going cheap on our next trailer as that was the fate of the first.  As a result I am waiting until I have saved up for my Wike before replacing it.  I have seen and used other trailers in action, and am confident that it will give me the tough wearing, longevity, and quality that I am looking for.  If we were in Guelph I could be proud of the fact that it was a local product as well – but at least it is Canadian…

And now, the diapers.  Due to an unfortunate incident that resulted in a hot water heater replacement in Guelph – they had to install an anti-scald device that made sure that water never left the heater above 120 degrees (to comply with updated building codes).  That was not hot enough to properly wash cloth diapers, and that was the beginning of our persistent diaper rash saga.  We had hoped that when we moved here, that proper hot water would solve the problem.  It hasn’t.  Neither has getting new diapers.  We are at our wits end.  As a result I did the ultimate sell-out.  We caved and bought disposable diapers.  I am hoping that we can kick the rash, wash the living daylights out of the diapers (known in the CD world as stripping), and return to them once the rash is healed properly.  The other thing I was educated on before leaving Guelph that I would love to use is Elimination Communication – that would limit and eventually negate my need for diapers.  I have not been able to get Jordan to do this at all (I was starting very late), and thus the ultimate sell out to anti-environmentalism.

This has all been very hard on me.  I was enjoying getting into a more natural lifestyle in Guelph, and now I am one by one having to give all of that up.  This is on top of trying to make friends, trying to fit in, and trying to get organized.  At this point I am not feeling very successful at any of those goals – and feeling a total loss of control over the lifestyle I was attempting to piece by piece adopt in Guelph…

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Comments»

1. Shanta @ Natural Mom Loves Prada - July 28, 2009

Aw Sarah, I’m sorry to hear of your struggles.

I don’t know what i would do if Craig was asked to move somewhere that didn’t have the same access to the lifestyle choices we currently have…it would be really tough and I’m sorry you’re feeling discouraged.

When I feel like I am selling out, or not meeting my standards, I turn it around and try and focus on the positives – sure I used posies for a month, two months…whatever…but I have used cloth diapers for a year – that’s xxx diapers NOT in a landfill. Imagine if everyone just did that!!

(I am also dealing with diaper build up but it’s not resulting in a rash…yet.)

dreamom - July 28, 2009

We haven’t figured out the cause of the rashes – I have stripped, and stripped, and we went so far to replace the diapers – but nothing was working… I am hoping that I can get them straightened out and try again when the baby gets here…


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