The song was written when half of the Mamas & Papas were living in New York City during a cold east coast winter. Apparently, the flute solo was an impromptu addition, as the performer had been laying down his own tracks in another studio down the hallway and the band didn’t want the usual guitar solo. The flutist, Bud Shank, nailed it on the first take. Let the impromptu be your guide this week....
A Reason to Get Outside
February certainly hasn’t disappointed on the storm front this year (nice to meet you, Polar Vortex). So far this month we’ve been about making the house cozier, but this week is a little reminder that the great white outdoors isn’t so bad, especially if you’ve got a purpose to be outside.
You might start with some particularly Canadian pursuits, either invented or mastered in this fair land, such as…
Ice Hockey I mean, obviously. Yes, there are super serious leagues and super serious parent referees and billion dollar franchises that haven’t won a Stanley Cup since the 1960s (ahem), but there’s also probably a nice little game of shinny at the local rink in your neighbourhood, where your friends would be delighted to laugh with you about how long it’s been since you were last on skates.
Although there are records out of Britain that Charles Darwin was a fan of playing hockey on ponds as early as the 1820s, the first indoor, professional hockey game was in Montreal in 1875.
Tobogganing City officials might forbid it, but there’s nothing like whooshing down a decent hill over freshly-delivered powder. You can also use one to ferry your supermarket shopping back down the street instead of expending that energy on scrapping ice and snow off your car.
It's a great sport which requires minimal equipment and maximum delight. While hockey and curling and both team-oriented and more competitive by nature, tobogganing is for any number of people and guarantees at least a smile and a feeling of youthfulness.
A word known around the world wherever it snows, it was recorded in Canada as early as 1856, derived from an Algonquian word, probably Mi'kmaq 'tepaqan' or Abenaki 'dabôgan', and influenced by similar words in other Eastern Canadian Algonquian languages.
Emma's favourite tobogganing memory is the year that her dad built a luge in the back yard. He took a small tool shed and placed it next to the house so we could pile up a ramp of snow and get a good sharp angle on the launch. A few hundred jugs of water later, we had the thrill of our own little winter rollercoaster.
Curling While this wasn’t invented in Canada, we have embraced it as our own. Invented in Scotland around 1511(!), it was first played on ponds and lochs in the winter. Currently, there are about 25 curling facilities across the United Kingdom, while there are more than 1500 in Canada. Don’t worry about equipment, usually there’s a brush to borrow at the rink. All you’ll need is a grip and a slider for your shoes and you’ll be hurrying - HARD.
The Outfield There are a bunch of sporty country adventures to partake in that are not far from Toronto, including trail skating, fat bikes, and ice fishing!
Fat bikes are an awesome alternative to snowmobiling in the winter. Their oversized tires are perfect for crushing trails, of which there are an increasing number across Canada.
Go ice fishing! While you could give your kid a taste for fishing by participating in the totally weird annual Scadding Court fishing day where they stock the public pool with fish… you could also try taking them ice fishing! No boat required, just some good cold weather gear, an ice auger, and snacks. Emma’s favourite kind of fishing - you’re not stuck in a boat, you can have a bonfire and roast marshmallows while you wait for the fish to bite!
Did you miss that one weekend in the city where there was enough snow for tobogganing with enough sun to enjoy it? Check out this winter tubing park in Kitchener!
Back to The Clubhouse Not feeling so sporty right now? You can still get some self-care outdoors with these activities:
Nordic Spas are the perfect indoor/outdoor, appreciating winter ‘for what it’s worth’ type of activity. Check out the Millcroft Inn near Toronto, or find a friend with a sauna and hot tub at the cottage - and make sure to incorporate a jump in the snowbank as part of the rotation.
Does none of that tickle your fancy? Then perhaps you’d better go hibernate for a few more weeks!
Dentists have an opinion about weed too
Not to be left out of the party, the most staid profession had to pipe up about when consuming cannabis is appropriate.
Lack of focus’ is one of the reasons they ask us not to be ‘impaired in the chair’. Sorry, but lack of focus is EXACTLY the state I’d like to be in when you’re poking around my mouth with sharp objects.
Last time one of us had a cleaning, we apologized for smelling a little weedy and the dental hygienist wasn’t bothered at all - makes us wonder if this is just another group jumping on the news bandwagon for some minty fresh press.
Stay in your lane dentists! (Ahem...unless you are a dentist...in which case, thank you for doing your job, we appreciate you and would love to hear your thoughts on the matter!)
Diary of a pot plant
Successfully got rid of those GOSH DARN fly mites. Sacrificed two medium-sized palm trees in the process, but it was worth it to keep my bebes alive. Lesson learned, those palm trees were gifted to me - always look a gift palm in the mouth, as it were. Free plants are not worth it if they infect the rest of your house.