Sunday, March 1, 2015

7QT: Rinks Rule!

1. We have a winner!



Would Susan Kolosionek come on down! You have won the Blackberry Sage Dragon Soap from RobinsOwn (that I bought because Robin doesn't know me from Adam) and the teal soap dish (from TJ Maxx).

2. Have you seen this Reese Witherspoon movie, The Good Lie


So good.

Reese is not really the star of this film, but she is the headliner. The Good Lie, for those of you who live under a rock or in a cave as I do, is about three of the Lost Boys of Sudan, their journey to Kenya, and eventually to America.

There is one not great scene, the first scene with Reese. The movie is rated PG-13. I think the rating is spot on, though I did let my 12 year old watch it.

So good.


The Good Lie reminded me of the incredible children's novel I read and reviewed about the Lost Boys of Sudan by Linda Sue Park called A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story.

Edmund doesn't know it yet, but he's reading A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story in the near future.

3. Big skating party here yesterday. 


A (young, hip) seminarian-deacon came over as well as a dozen or so friends and family.

He said he couldn't skate, but he was skating backwards and whipping around the rink like nobody's business. I did hear that he can't stop though.


The little girls and I stayed in the warmth and made blueberry muffins.

It was picture perfect.


The rink definitely puts a positive spin on winter. Edmund uses the rink every chance he gets for recess and has neighbor kids or cousins over most days after school.


We've accumulated an enormous stash of skates so we can provide for just about any size, including Lucy's entire skating party of fifteen teens. We had enough hockey sticks for them all too.

I bet we have your size if you'd like to come visit!

Exercise, endorphins, and sunshine are just a few of the benefits. My kids are all good skaters now. Jill will get her first pair next year.

4. Some people have pools, some people have rinks.

Heather at Mama Knows Honeychild asked on my IG picture if it's difficult to build a rink.

Yes, Heather. It is difficult to build a rink, but if you live North of Arendelle, it's worth it.


First you need plywood and 4 by somethings to build your boards (sides). Wood is not cheap. We store our boards in our crawl space during the off season.


The boards go up Thanksgiving weekend or as close to it as we can get.

We buy a liner from Nice Rink in Wisconsin.  Patrick, or one of our rink building relatives with a large vehicle, will make the trek to the factory and pick up the liners for a few of us.

The liner alone costs about $400.  Ours is the biggest backyard rink we've seen, so it's the most expensive too.  Can't re-use the liner, because come spring, the sides are shredded and it's gross.


Then there's the water. We run a hose from our basement laundry sink to the rink for about 72 hours. It's a big rink. The deep areas fill first and the shallow areas fill last. The deepest part of our rink is 11-12 inches deep. We get billed for the water and the sewage/waste-water too, even though we put the water in the public drain. The water costs are about $200, much less for a smaller rink.

The next part is up to Mother Nature.  Zero degrees (Fahrenheit) for 24 hours makes 3 inches of ice. If the temps are above zero, but below 32, it takes longer. On average, our rink freezes in about 4 days. It won't be solid yet, but it will be skate-able.



Anytime we have a day above freezing, the rink starts to melt. It's too slushy to skate on, but a short thaw can re-surface it nicely.

Otherwise, Patrick re-surfaces the rink himself with a homemade device called a rink rake.

5. Other Important Rink Facts

Snow can ruin your rink, especially slushy, wet snow. If that slushy, wet snow freezes on your rink, the texture will be like a gravel road.


We never had a snowblower until we had to shovel our entire backyard.

Many people ask if the rink ruins the grass.


No. A thick heavy block of ice on top of the grass does nothing to it.

6. Pa! The Chinook Is Blowing!


When and if spring comes, the ice begins to thaw beyond all hope of recovery. We use an electric pump to pump the water to the curb so as not to flood our neighbors' yards.


Then we cut up the liner into manageable pieces and throw it away. This must be done as soon as possible because a heavy piece of wet plastic on a warm(ish) day will kill your grass.

Then the boards come down and go in the crawl space until next winter.

Patrick always gets sad when this happens, but SPRING!


7. Don't forget! This Wednesday is the March What We're Reading Wednesday Link-Up!


I'm late to the link-up party with Kelly and the Krew for 7QT Friday.

WWRW. 3/4/15. Must. Not. Forget.

15 comments:

  1. Wow...that's fascinating about the rink. I've thought about building one.. but wow.that's a lot of work. I can totally see how it would be worth it though,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We started small. Well, smaller anyway. Then we started moving the swingset for the rink. You may or may not have noticed that we don't have a garage. #supernutsabouttherinkspace Then he started rounding the corners. And the lights. It's an obsession.

      Delete
  2. Living north of Arendelle myself, I grew up with a back yard rink over here in the Minus 100 degree all winter Mitten! I can't wait until I have a backyard large enough for my boys. I'm interested in what a rink take is, because we used to have to flood and squee-gee (sp?) ours, and it was something...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah! The Rink Rake! I meant to have a link for that, but here is a youtube vid on how to make one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o189f7mBz1k
      It's sort of like a giant squeegee.

      Delete
  3. Wow, there is so much to living in cold-weather places that I never knew about. Your family is so cool (pardon the pun!) for building a rink! It looks like it's totally worth the expense, for all the exercise and social bonding it brings with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! We think it's "cool" too. ;)

      Delete
  4. Your rink is something my kids look forward to every winter!! It's the bestest!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw. Shucks. And the grown up company isn't half bad if I do say so myself.

      Delete
  5. As a Canadian who grew up on the ODR (outdoor rink), this makes me SO happy to see!! If winter happens for most of the year, a rink is definitely worth it. So much can be gained when a kid plays for hours out there.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This blueberry muffins look so yummy!! Do you have a recipe?

    Jamie

    ReplyDelete
  7. This blueberry muffins look so yummy!! Do you have a recipe?

    Jamie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just used the lemon blueberry recipe from the ATKFC, or the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. Yogurt in baked goods in the bees' knees.

      Delete
  8. This is so amazing to me.
    (I pinned this baby, just in case...)

    ReplyDelete

Sunday, March 1, 2015

7QT: Rinks Rule!

1. We have a winner!



Would Susan Kolosionek come on down! You have won the Blackberry Sage Dragon Soap from RobinsOwn (that I bought because Robin doesn't know me from Adam) and the teal soap dish (from TJ Maxx).

2. Have you seen this Reese Witherspoon movie, The Good Lie


So good.

Reese is not really the star of this film, but she is the headliner. The Good Lie, for those of you who live under a rock or in a cave as I do, is about three of the Lost Boys of Sudan, their journey to Kenya, and eventually to America.

There is one not great scene, the first scene with Reese. The movie is rated PG-13. I think the rating is spot on, though I did let my 12 year old watch it.

So good.


The Good Lie reminded me of the incredible children's novel I read and reviewed about the Lost Boys of Sudan by Linda Sue Park called A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story.

Edmund doesn't know it yet, but he's reading A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story in the near future.

3. Big skating party here yesterday. 


A (young, hip) seminarian-deacon came over as well as a dozen or so friends and family.

He said he couldn't skate, but he was skating backwards and whipping around the rink like nobody's business. I did hear that he can't stop though.


The little girls and I stayed in the warmth and made blueberry muffins.

It was picture perfect.


The rink definitely puts a positive spin on winter. Edmund uses the rink every chance he gets for recess and has neighbor kids or cousins over most days after school.


We've accumulated an enormous stash of skates so we can provide for just about any size, including Lucy's entire skating party of fifteen teens. We had enough hockey sticks for them all too.

I bet we have your size if you'd like to come visit!

Exercise, endorphins, and sunshine are just a few of the benefits. My kids are all good skaters now. Jill will get her first pair next year.

4. Some people have pools, some people have rinks.

Heather at Mama Knows Honeychild asked on my IG picture if it's difficult to build a rink.

Yes, Heather. It is difficult to build a rink, but if you live North of Arendelle, it's worth it.


First you need plywood and 4 by somethings to build your boards (sides). Wood is not cheap. We store our boards in our crawl space during the off season.


The boards go up Thanksgiving weekend or as close to it as we can get.

We buy a liner from Nice Rink in Wisconsin.  Patrick, or one of our rink building relatives with a large vehicle, will make the trek to the factory and pick up the liners for a few of us.

The liner alone costs about $400.  Ours is the biggest backyard rink we've seen, so it's the most expensive too.  Can't re-use the liner, because come spring, the sides are shredded and it's gross.


Then there's the water. We run a hose from our basement laundry sink to the rink for about 72 hours. It's a big rink. The deep areas fill first and the shallow areas fill last. The deepest part of our rink is 11-12 inches deep. We get billed for the water and the sewage/waste-water too, even though we put the water in the public drain. The water costs are about $200, much less for a smaller rink.

The next part is up to Mother Nature.  Zero degrees (Fahrenheit) for 24 hours makes 3 inches of ice. If the temps are above zero, but below 32, it takes longer. On average, our rink freezes in about 4 days. It won't be solid yet, but it will be skate-able.



Anytime we have a day above freezing, the rink starts to melt. It's too slushy to skate on, but a short thaw can re-surface it nicely.

Otherwise, Patrick re-surfaces the rink himself with a homemade device called a rink rake.

5. Other Important Rink Facts

Snow can ruin your rink, especially slushy, wet snow. If that slushy, wet snow freezes on your rink, the texture will be like a gravel road.


We never had a snowblower until we had to shovel our entire backyard.

Many people ask if the rink ruins the grass.


No. A thick heavy block of ice on top of the grass does nothing to it.

6. Pa! The Chinook Is Blowing!


When and if spring comes, the ice begins to thaw beyond all hope of recovery. We use an electric pump to pump the water to the curb so as not to flood our neighbors' yards.


Then we cut up the liner into manageable pieces and throw it away. This must be done as soon as possible because a heavy piece of wet plastic on a warm(ish) day will kill your grass.

Then the boards come down and go in the crawl space until next winter.

Patrick always gets sad when this happens, but SPRING!


7. Don't forget! This Wednesday is the March What We're Reading Wednesday Link-Up!


I'm late to the link-up party with Kelly and the Krew for 7QT Friday.

WWRW. 3/4/15. Must. Not. Forget.

15 comments:

  1. Wow...that's fascinating about the rink. I've thought about building one.. but wow.that's a lot of work. I can totally see how it would be worth it though,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We started small. Well, smaller anyway. Then we started moving the swingset for the rink. You may or may not have noticed that we don't have a garage. #supernutsabouttherinkspace Then he started rounding the corners. And the lights. It's an obsession.

      Delete
  2. Living north of Arendelle myself, I grew up with a back yard rink over here in the Minus 100 degree all winter Mitten! I can't wait until I have a backyard large enough for my boys. I'm interested in what a rink take is, because we used to have to flood and squee-gee (sp?) ours, and it was something...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah! The Rink Rake! I meant to have a link for that, but here is a youtube vid on how to make one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o189f7mBz1k
      It's sort of like a giant squeegee.

      Delete
  3. Wow, there is so much to living in cold-weather places that I never knew about. Your family is so cool (pardon the pun!) for building a rink! It looks like it's totally worth the expense, for all the exercise and social bonding it brings with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! We think it's "cool" too. ;)

      Delete
  4. Your rink is something my kids look forward to every winter!! It's the bestest!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw. Shucks. And the grown up company isn't half bad if I do say so myself.

      Delete
  5. As a Canadian who grew up on the ODR (outdoor rink), this makes me SO happy to see!! If winter happens for most of the year, a rink is definitely worth it. So much can be gained when a kid plays for hours out there.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This blueberry muffins look so yummy!! Do you have a recipe?

    Jamie

    ReplyDelete
  7. This blueberry muffins look so yummy!! Do you have a recipe?

    Jamie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just used the lemon blueberry recipe from the ATKFC, or the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. Yogurt in baked goods in the bees' knees.

      Delete
  8. This is so amazing to me.
    (I pinned this baby, just in case...)

    ReplyDelete