Ice Ice Baby.
You guys. I was going to save this until we fully finish our current project, but I’m just so flipping stoked about it that I can’t wait.
Last week (when it snowed for the second time this year) I started getting all bummed out about the everloving winter, and how it lasts for like a billion months (roughly), and I suddenly had a thought. When life gives you lemons, blah blah blah. But when life hands you a cold-ass winter, you make a motherflipping ice rink in your backyard.
I read dozens of articles and watched youtube videos, debated using boards vs. frame, liner vs. no liner, how to measure the pitch of your yard… and finally decided eff it. I’d go with the simplest form of rink construction- flatten down some snow and start filling it with water that the freezing air will turn to ice. So we went and bought a sled, dragged the kids around the yard in a circle to pack down the snow, built up the sides with more snow, and busted out the hose. I continued watering it in thin layers all evening into night, dragging the hose outside (had to bring it inside in a bucket between layers so it wouldn’t freeze) every couple hours, my sketchy neighbor vibe getting stronger and stronger the later it became. I put down the final layer at 12:30am. Thought I shouldn’t push it any later, as we’ve already received some passive aggressive hate mail from an anonymous neighbor earlier this month who was less than pleased with the level of priority we gave sweeping some leftover sand out of the alley. (Because yeah. Cleaning dirt off the ground is pretty damn low on my list of priorities. Sorry neighbor.)
Then this morning I threw down a couple more thin layers of water, and hoped that the couple degrees above freezing that were in today’s forecast wouldn’t completely undo all our hard work. (That’s the downside to the no-liner approach- if it gets too warm, you’re s.o.l. and all your water is getting reabsorbed into the yard. It’s actually supposed to be weirdly warm all week, with even some rain tomorrow. Fingers crossed that weather.com is super wrong and we don’t lose it all.)
The surface is still really uneven and bumpy, it needs a couple more coats, and then we can begin surfacing it for smoothness, so we were going to have to wait a few more days to get out there. Buuuuuuuut I have exactly zero patience, and so this afternoon the girls and I all laced up and headed outside for like an hour and a half of icy winter (mostly) fun.
Fiona and Violet wobbled around on the bumpy ice, while Bianca resolutely sat in a chair and declined to try it out. It is a small rink, but plenty big enough for these three to learn on. And no driving to the rec centre! I cannot wait until we get the surface right, and hang some lights, and get a fire pit set up… man. So stoked. You understand why I couldn’t wait to post this, right? I’m so in love with our backyard!