My New Normal

Hi it’s Heather from Skate Helper. Like many small businesses my business has slowed considerably and understandably so. My manufacturer is closing temporarily and my customers have done the same.

I would like to say to all small businesses have faith and believe these difficult times will come to an end. Now is the time to focus on your health, your family and to be kind.

My husband Tony and I are at home with our two kids and like many families are trying to stick to a schedule and stay positive.

We decided that Tony should be the only person to go out and grocery shop. We have a dog Fritz who helps us remember to relax, and live in the moment. We take long daily walks and have kept busy planning meals and cooking together. The snow is melting so the bikes will be coming out soon. The basketball hoop is up in the driveway and the yoga mats are ready to go in the basement. Online schooling looks like it may be more of an option now so that helps parents everywhere.

Have Faith

This isolation is economically hard on everyone. For me, it has forced us to slow down and think about what is really important.

I have faith in government to figure this out. Many are unemployed and in need of financial assistance and I believe the government will find solutions. We could not stay in our homes and be safe if it weren’t for all the health care workers, first responders, essential service workers and all the workers whose services we perhaps took for granted in the past. We need to acknowledge all the workers that continue to do the critically important work that make our lives as normal as possible.

I think it’s important to remember that the World Health Organization says those who become infected generally experience mild illness and recover in about two weeks.

We Are In This Together

Tough days ahead for sure, but remember that you are not alone in this. Everyone is being affected in some way.

I want to thank all of my customers and the businesses that I work with. I look forward to working with you again when we are back up and running at our usual pace. We are all in this together and we will get through this together.

Stay Safe and Be Kind.

Heather at Skate Helper.

Creative Ways to Stay Busy

Right now, it’s mandatory that we slow down and relax. Staying at home and spending time with family will make all of us reflect and think about what is important.

To help navigate these unfamiliar circumstances and take everyone’s mind off the hourly news updates, we suggest tapping into your creativity. You don’t have to be creative, it’s fun, and may help you and your family see the world in a different way.

I have a nine and fourteen year-old and here’s how we are being creative in our home.

  1. We brainstormed what things we would like to do over the next few weeks. In ten minutes, we came up with 53 great ideas. Remember that brainstorming is all about generating ideas, so no idea is a bad idea…anything goes.
  2. We are meal planning and cooking together. We never had the time to do that before. My son and daughter have baked brownies together and want to bake more regularly.
  3. Each of us are writing in our journals daily. We want to capture how we are feeling and what we are doing each day.
  4. We set aside time everyday to read.
  5. We are walking for at least an hour every day. Walking in nature is a great way to recharge, get exercise and appreciate your surroundings.
  6. We listen to our CD collection (yup we still have them). My kids are interested in learning about The Jackson 5, The Beatles, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen. They are interested in what concerts we’ve attended and leads to great discussion.
  7. We’ve started playing cards after dinner.
  8. We dug out the Monopoly, backgammon, chess and crib boards.

When you actually have the time to slow down and think about what you would like to do there are loads of ideas. Make lemonade out of lemons.

Stay healthy and be safe.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

From Heather at Skate Helper.


Why is it called an ice rink and could outdoor skating become extinct?

Rink, is a Scottish word meaning ‘course’, it was used as the name of a place where curling was played. Early in its history, ice hockey was played mostly on rinks constructed for curling. The name was retained after hockey-specific facilities were built.

Variations of both curling and hockey had been played for many generations prior to the naming of the playing area, but the origins of the modern, indoor ice rink can be traced back to Montreal, where the first organized indoor game was played at the Victoria Skating Rink in 1875.

Outdoor Skating

It’s becoming a luxury to experience skating outdoors on a natural frozen rink in the wintertime. As of Feb 23, 2020 the Rideau Canal closed.  It was open for only 31 days from Jan. 18thto Feb. 23rd. More than 381,000 visitors enjoyed the canal in 2020. In a statement, the NCC says “the unusually warm weather earlier this week resulted in a significant degradation of the ice. With a major snowfall in the forecast, followed by higher temperatures, our mighty maintenance team can no longer ensure safe ice conditions.”  For the first time in the 50-year history of the Rideau Canal Skateway, the full length of the Skateway didn’t open for skaters.  Is this a sign of climate change?

Heather logan, creator of The Skate Helper, enjoys one of the final days of skating on the Rideau Canal before it closed early on Feb.23, 2020. 

Global Warming

RinkWatch is a citizen science research initiative that asks people who love outdoor skating to help environmental scientists monitor winter weather conditions and study the long-term impacts of climate change. Launched by researchers at Wilfrid Laurier University in January 2013, participants from across North America have submitted information about skating conditions on more than 1,400 outdoor rinks and ponds. In addition to contributing valuable data to environmental science, RinkWatch has become anonline community for people who love making backyard and community rinks.

Global warming is part of our life and major weather events are becoming a regular news item. Many people in the world will never experience outdoor skating on a natural rink. Skating outdoors in a natural setting is not only magical and awe-inspiring but it gives you a sense of freedom, it is also fun, and exhilarating.

The CBC has compiled an excellent list of scenic once-in-a-lifetime skating rink experiences in Canada check it out here.