Carstairs Golf Course Swings into Action!

The Carstairs Golf Course is now open. Call the Pro Shop today for a tee time, they are offering discounted spring rates but the course wintered very well.

Carstairs Golf Club is a Member-owned Semi-Private Golf Club with a maximum of 500 Shareholders.  This beautifully maintained course is bounded on two sides by an architecturally controlled Estate home community (Stonebridge Glen).

Upcoming Events

Men’s League: Members $135/Non Members $415 (Includes Green Fees)

Ladies Night every Wednesday:

Bob Clark Tournament – June 10, 2013 9:00am – $400/team (taxes not included)

For more information check out their website

Restaurant is open for lunch & dinner. They also have some new things on the Menu!


holiday safety tips

Here are some great holiday safety tips from our friends at the Calgary Fire Service regarding Christmas trees:

  • Get a freshly cut tree. It stays green longer and is less of a fire hazard
  • Consider an artificial tree, they don’t smell as nice, but they are a lot safer
  • Always test for freshness before buying.  A tree with high moisture content is safer.  Very few needles should fall when the butt of the tree is tapped on the ground.  Needles should bend, not break, and the stump should be sticky with resin.
  • Use a tree stand with a broad base for better balance and a large water reservoir to immerse the tree butt.  Make sure the base of the tree is always in water
  • Do not set up your tree near a heat source such as a radiator, TV, fireplace or heating duct
  • Never use lit candles on a tree
  • After the holidays, properly dispose of trees as soon as possible.

4 things to do with your Pumpkin after Halloween!

Pumpkin Purée!

Pumpkin purée is the No. 1 use for the fleshy insides of your pumpkin, and it’s super easy to make. Start by cutting your pumpkin down the middle. Scoop out the seeds and guts, and set them aside for later.

Place your pumpkin cut-side down in a baking dish with about a cup of water, and bake for about 90 minutes or until the flesh is tender. Then, simply scoop out the flesh and puree in a food processor.

Once you’ve made your pumpkin purée, it’s ready for use in all your favorite pumpkin recipes, from pies to pancakes. Any extra can be stored in the freezer for several months, which means you can ditch all that canned pumpkin when Christmas comes around. Continue reading

Have a happy HallowGREEN!

This Halloween can be less scary for the environment when you make a few simple changes to your spooky traditions.

Halloween gear is often used only once before being tossed. Here are a few earth-friendlier options:

• New Halloween costumes are fabulous because they’re on trend and ready to wear. On September 1, why not donate these gems to friends with younger children for next year. They also make great clothes for everyday dress-up!

• You can also spruce a homemade costume up with brand new accessories. A witch with sparkly makeup, a brand new wand and broomstick is a very happy witch!

• Get creative and put together a costume with items that you can reuse when Halloween’s over. This could be the opportunity to buy that great striped sweater for fall that you can use to dress up as Freddy Krueger!

• Celebrate National Costume Swap Day on October 8 by attending one of the many swap locations across Canada. Or why not host your own private swap? Tip: Pick up Halloween makeup items to give out as party favours for your guests!

Eco-Haunted House

Here’s how to keep holiday decor creepy without scaring the environment.

• Turn off all the house lights and light your porch or walkway with lots of candles. Candlelight indoors will also add to the ambience and spooky decor while saving energy. Tip: Put tea lights in tall glass vases or containers to keep them flickering in those cold autumn winds.

• Support your community of produce growers by picking your pumpkins from a local farm or farmers’ market. Make it a day trip with the kids and let everyone in the family choose the pumpkin that they like best. Tip: Shop for fun accessories to give pumpkins a personality punch, like a bow tie, fake moustache or even a pair of specs!

• When Halloween’s over, remember to compost those jack-o’-lanterns. Instead of throwing away those scrumptious pumpkin seeds, you can clean, season and roast them in the oven on baking trays for a healthy and delicious snack.

• If you’re hosting a grown-up get-together, you can create a chic Halloween theme by setting a sophisticated table that still screams fun. Mix black, white and orange accessories – black tablecloth, white plates, orange placemats and linens – to evoke the spirit of the season. Look for various spooky tabletop items to add to the theme, like a small ceramic black cat or raven and spider-shaped wine glass tags! Tip: Add orange roses in black-and-white patterned vases for instant elegance.

Trick-or-Treat Tips

There are plenty of ways to make this tradition a little more earth- and health-friendly. Remember, a treat is a treat, so challenge yourself to find ways to cut down on the sugar and candy wrappers!

• A reusable trick-or-treat bag is a must. There are loads of environmentally friendly options on the market. Why not get creative and let your kids create their own designs with paint or iron-on patches on a simple monochromatic sack?

• Taking squeeze or shake flashlights on the trick-or-treat route is a great eco-alternative to using battery-powered versions. Look for choices in cool shapes and styles that can complement your child’s costume.

• Invite your neighbourhood friends for some treats and bake your own Halloween goods using cookie cutters in scary shapes. Try nut-free recipes using wholesome ingredients to keep kids happy and healthy.

• Have a Halloween party for both kids and grown-ups. Plan ghostly games with prizes, spooky crafts and activities to keep kids in the seasonal spirit. Don’t forget to keep it green by sending out invites printed on recycled paper. Party tip: Carry the theme into the bathroom with spooky soaps to thrill your guests!

Bill and his children are one of our new Habitat families

This weekend I had the pleasure of meeting a father of four, who will be taking possession of one side of the duplex Gold Seal Homes is building for Habitat for Humanity (Southern Alberta region).  Bill was seen on site all weekend with other volunteers building fences , installing siding and painting walls.  We also had volunteers from our local Lions club and members of the Town of Carstairs staff.

Bill has 5 children, Jasmine (12), Josh (11), Brandon (11), Keira (6) and daughter Paige (4). Paige lives with the family part-time. Bill is a single father from Didsbury that looks forward to providing a stable and secure environment for his children. Bill works for Mountain View County in waste management and looks forward to a career that will see him rise to management one day.

Bill seen here building his fence

The home the family currently lives in is small and in need of repairs, Bill sleeps on the sofa so his girls can have their own room. Bill is concerned about safety for his family as the area they currently reside in is not the safest.

His partnership with Habitat Mountain View County Chapter in Carstairs now has Bill hopeful about his children’s futures and they are all very excited that they will finally realize their dream of having a home they can call their own. The kids look forward to having their own rooms and a play space and look forward to getting a new puppy and friend for their pet turtle Iris, who is named after their great-grandmother. Bill’s family and friends are excited and supportive with this new step on the family’s journey to a brighter and better future.

With the help of Habitat for Humanity, a home will provide this wonderful family with the stability they need to achieve their goals and dreams.

Meet one of our Habitat Families

This weekend I had the pleasure to meet and work with our two families that have been selected for the Carstairs Habitat homes that Gold Seal Master Builder is coordinating on Mackenzie Way in the Havenfields community.  Our first family is a young mother of two:

Amanda has two children, Landon (5) and Emily (3). Amanda is a hometown Carstairs girl who has recently come home from Texas. Her family and friends are overjoyed to have her back home and are excited that she now has the opportunity to provide stability and security for her young children after a difficult few years. Amanda is now on a journey to improve and change her and her children’s lives, and is currently enrolled in a Teacher’s Aide program which she will finish in June.

Amanda lives in fear that she and her children will be homeless as they are currently renting month- to-month and the owners are looking to sell the home. She is unable to afford to move into another rental as her income is limited at this time due to attending school. Amanda volunteers at the local Baptist Church and believes in giving back to the community, believing that that ability to give to others is a wonderful gift to both her and to the people she helps.

The ability to partner with Habitat Mountain View County Chapter in Carstairs is very exciting for Amanda and her family; she is full of gratitude for her family’s new home and is excited to start a new chapter in their lives.

How to create a child-friendly home

Here is a great article I found that was originally posted by Safe Kids Canada

How to protect your baby from falling

Babies’ heads are large compared to the rest of their body. This affects their balance and makes them more vulnerable to falls. Also, as babies can wiggle, kick and roll, they can fall from high surfaces, such as change tables, cribs, high chairs or counters. Falls can cause serious injuries.

Stay close to your baby. You are your baby’s best defence against injury. You can reduce the risk by staying close to them.

Keep one hand on your child while they’re on the change table. Your baby can wiggle, kick and roll. This can cause them to fall from high surfaces such as change tables. Make sure to keep one hand on your baby while changing them to prevent them from rolling off the table and falling.

Place car seats, carriers, and rockers on the floor. Placing car seats, carriers, and rockers on furniture can result in a very serious injury to your child. Because your child can wiggle, kick and roll, they can cause these carriers to move and fall off the furniture.

Bolt safety gates to the wall at the top and bottom of the stairs Pressure gates can easily become separated from the wall if a baby or toddler pushes on them. Make sure to use gates that come with screws and bolts at the top and bottom of the stairs. For more information, read safety gates

Place cribs, beds and other furniture away from windows and balconies. Babies are always curious. They have climbed onto window ledges, pushed out window screens, and climbed over balcony railings. Placing furniture away from windows and balcony railings will help reduce the chance of your infant falling. Make sure to install window stops or guards on windows above the second storey. For more information, read window and balcony falls .

Safety gates keep kids safe

In Canada, about 40 per cent of the injuries that involve baby gates involve children younger than one year. Safety gates are used to prevent infants and toddlers from falling down stairs, or as a barrier between rooms. There are two types of gates: hardware-mounted gates and pressure-mounted gates. Hardware-mounted gates are secured to door jams or walls with screws and plates. Pressure-mounted gates are held in place by a pressure bar applied to a door frame.

Here’s how using gates can help reduce the risk of falls to your child:

Install safety gates properly. Gates should always be installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The locking mechanisms should always be placed on the side away from the child. Hardware-mounted gates should be installed at the top and bottom of stairs.

Use the correct gates. Once your child’s chin is in line with the top of the gate or when he or she is two years old, the gate is no longer effective. A child may attempt to jump or climb over the gate. Teach children, two years and older, to climb stairs and practice with them until they are able to climb independently. Remind family members and friends to close the gate. For more information on gates visit Consumer Product Safety, Health Canada or call 1-866-662-0666.

Protect your child from window and balcony falls

Young children can easily fall from open windows and off balconies. They are curious and don’t understand the risks of falling from heights. Falls from windows have caused serious injuries and death.  Window screens are not designed to prevent falls. Screens can easily give way under the weight of a small child.

Here are some safety tips to prevent your child from a window and balcony falls:

Keep your young child away from open windows and balcony railings. Always place cribs, beds and other furniture away from windows. Make sure that doors to balconies are kept locked. Furniture or other objects on balconies should be arranged away from railings.

Use window guards and stops on windows above the first floor. Window stops prevent the window from opening more than 10 cm. Window guards are a barrier in front of the window. They are available at local hardware, home renovation or home safety stores. For more information, please read window safety devices.

If you live in an apartment, landlords may be required to provide window stops or guards. Tenants living in apartment building should check with their municipality to see if there is a window safety by-law. This may mean that a landlord must provide window stops or guards for you.

Window safety devices

Window guards act as a barrier, like a gate, in front of the window and can be found at hardware and specialty stores. They are available with both horizontal and vertical bars. Make sure to purchase window guards that have a release mechanism so that they can be fully opened in case of an emergency. Window guards have bars spaced no more than 10 cm (four in) apart.

Window stops are small devices that prevent a window from opening more than 10 cm (four in), so that a child cannot fall out. Wide varieties of window stops are available and can be found at hardware stores. Check your local hardware or home renovation store for window guards and stops. An internet search will also find on-line stores that can ship the products to you.

Window blind or curtain cords

Between 1989 and 2009, 27 children died and 23 children were injured by becoming entangled in window blind cords as reported by Health Canada.

Here’s how to help reduce the risk to your child:

Cut the cords short and tie them out of reach. Young children find window blind or curtain cords interesting and are attracted to them. Cut the cords short and tie them high to help keep blind cords out of reach.

Cribs, beds, high chairs and playpens should not be placed by window blind or curtain cords. Putting your children’s furniture at the level of the window, especially at times when they are not constantly supervised, makes it easier for children to reach the window blind or curtain cords.

Use cordless window coverings. Different window coverings, such as drapes without cords or roller blinds, are safer for children. For more information on the hazards of window blind cords visit Consumer Product Safety, Health Canada or call 1 866-662-0666.

Locks and latches

Check your locks and latches. Locks and latches need to be changed as your child grows and starts to become more active and better at opening locks.  Latches should be checked periodically, as mechanisms can break down when used often. This is especially true of plastic locks.

Placement of locks and latches. Locks and latches fit more effectively if there is a lip on the underside of the cabinets and drawers to hook on to. If your cabinet does not have a lip, place a lock around the handles on the outside of the cabinet instead. Placing latches on cabinet or furniture drawers also will prevent your child from using the drawers as a means of climbing up onto counter tops and furniture.

Prevent your television from toppling onto your child More than 100 children visit hospital emergency departments every year in Canada due to toppling televisions. Older models of televisions are bigger in size, but they are not heavier in weight. A 33-inch screen can make a television set 50 per cent heavier than the older 27-inch screens.  Even the newer designs of televisions have a large screen and can easily be tipped over.

Here’s how to help reduce the risk to your child:

Keep your televisions on low, sturdy furniture. The newer designs of TVs have bigger screens and smaller backs, which makes them heavy in the front and easier to tip over.

Use safety products to secure the television set. Television sets are heavy and hard and if they fall on children, can result in head injuries, broken bones, crushed nerves, and internal injuries. Anchors, angle-braces or furniture straps can be used to secure televisions to the wall.

Remind children not to climb on the furniture. Children love to climb and use furniture in creative ways, which can become very dangerous.

Keep your child away from fireplaces

The glass barrier on your fireplace can heat up to over 200 °C (400 °F). For gas fireplaces this can occur in about six minutes during use. It takes an average of 45 minutes for the gas fireplace to cool to a safe temperature, after the gas fire is switched off.

Place a barrier around your fireplace. Install safety gates around the fireplace or at doorways to the room that has the fireplace. Young children, under five years of age, and especially those under two years, are most at risk. When young children are first beginning to walk, they often fall. Hands and fingers are burned on the glass and metal parts of the door as young children raise their arms to stop their fall. Also, young children are attracted to the flames and want to touch it.

Supervise your child. Never leave a young child alone near a fireplace; they can be burned before, during, and after use of the fireplace.

Teach children about the dangers of fire, along with supervision. Teach your child the dangers of fire. However, teaching alone will not prevent your child from an injury. Young children, especially toddlers, can know a safety rule, but will not necessarily follow it. See our scalds and burns section for more detailed information.

Poison prevention tips

Keep all potential poisons locked up and out of reach of children. As your child grows, he becomes increasingly active and can more easily reach and open cabinets. Medicines, cleaning products and other poisons need to be locked in a place high up and out of your child’s reach.

  • Keep all potential poisons locked up and out of reach of children.
  • Store poisons in a cabinet that is high up and can be locked using a lock or latch that cannot be opened by a child.
  • Place all medications in a locked box and put it in a place that is high up and out of your child’s reach.

See our poison prevention section for more detailed information.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Install smoke detectors on every level of the home and in each sleeping area. Smoke detectors save lives. The risk of fire-related deaths is three times higher in homes without smoke detectors than those with smoke detectors. Most children who died in residential fires were in homes without smoke detectors or without working smoke detectors. Alarms should be tested every month and batteries changed annually.

Carbon monoxide detectors can save your child’s life. Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, toxic gas, produced by sources such as defective appliances, clothes dryers, furnaces, or exhaust fumes from cars in garages. Breathing this gas can cause a coma or death. A carbon monoxide detector can alert your family to the presence of the gas in your home. Detectors should be tested monthly and batteries changed annually.