Last updated on April 21st, 2021 at 01:54 am
This is your house.
This is your house after a 2-year-old’s birthday party.
I suffered a little burn-out after Little Man’s party, on the tail end of pushing ourselves for months with a busy schedule of family events. After the party—pretty much the last major event ’til Christmas—went off without a hitch, we could rest in what felt like the first time in ages, and my digital self slowed down the rest of me no longer keeping up with the frenetic pace of the #BloggerLife.
But that doesn’t mean I didn’t do anything at all in The Week That Was #6!
The week started out with a project bigger than I’d imagined—building a toy kitchen for Little Man’s birthday gift! Online reviews claimed it only took an hour to assemble, but 4 hours and hundreds of parts later, I had a shiny new retro kitchen complete, ready for the kiddo’s first look!
Mission: Happy Birthday Boy a success, I had a little time to take an experience in before calling the day a wrap!
Surviving the WinterLab!
There’s not a lot you can get Canadians to agree on, but if you polled them all on their feelings about the wonderful season called “winter”, I’m pretty sure the sane ones would reply with a lengthy, exasperated SIGH.
But it could be worse—you could be one of the more than 21,000 people in Ontario alone who visit emergency rooms each winter due to slips and falls on ice. Or maybe you’re elderly—60% of people who’ve had a stroke are likely to fall and cause serious injury to themselves! People use wheelchairs and walkers, having to traverse surfaces that’re normally safe but become downright perilous under icy conditions, like ramps, roads and bus stops!
Fortunately, someone’s trying to make things better!
Located several storeys below street level, the WinterLab—found in the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute’s iDAPT* Centre for Rehabilitation Research—is a 6m x 6m cube of Canadian winter that can reproduce the harsh weather we know and love in a controlled and repeatable manner for researchers and their measurement tools to glean better insights into what it takes to survive winter without nasty spills.
In short, it’s a tilting cube with a really icy floor that can throw just about anything winter can offer all in one, impossible little space!
I’d later discover that the iDAPT research staff went really easy on me—they easily could’ve
- Made the cube move and shake to simulate slips, trips and falls
- Added falling snow and gusts of heavy wind to trip me up, or even
- Make the ground a whole lot wetter, making it a lot harder to scale the inclines as well as I could in the winter gear Mark’s lent me!
Ultimately, I managed to ascend 11° inclines with minimal problems (which evidently made me an “anomaly”, as most people are a degree apart in their tolerance for ascent and descent, and I struggled with 8° downhill…), and with the research staff strapped inside the cube and a robotic harness snug around me, I was confident that the WinterLab wouldn’t claim me as its first untimely victim!
So was it a fun experience? Definitely—you’d never expect a lab like that right under University Avenue with all sorts of experiments going on inside! But it’s all backed by a very hard-working team, led by Dr. Geoff Fernie, PhD, PEng, CEng, FCAHS, who’s the Institute Director for Research at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, in partnership with Mark’s! I got to sit and chat with him on the importance of the WinterLab and how it can help make winter a tad more bearable!
And the best part? Mark’s wants to help one of you out there prepare for the harsh weather ahead with a $100 gift card to buy something nice! A valid email address and a mouse click are all you’ll need for an entry, but there’re plenty of additional options if you want to increase your odds! Feel free to enter below! (Open to Canadians outside of Quebec, ends 12/8.)
A Day Off From Parenting
My job’s one of the few with Remembrance Day as a statutory holiday, so Sarah and I took the rare opportunity to spend some time focused less on parenting and more on ourselves by doing some of the things couples without kids often take for granted!
First on the list was shopping like the fancy do, strolling through Yorkville without its usual things that usually make shopping unbearable—no impatient crowds; no rushing to get home; no pushy salespeople trying to hit their quotas in the year’s busiest shopping season. If I could shop like this all the time, I most definitely would.
But then I’d have no job, so I’d have no money to shop… perhaps I’d better curb my expectations.
Steve Jobs was the film du jour starring Michael Fassbender, and though I was later miffed to discover that it’s a director’s dramatic interpretation of events in Jobs’ life, it made for interesting watching. Its opening sequence gave me the same feeling I had from The Social Network, wanting the same unwavering drive I’d seen in Jesse Eisenberg’s Mark Zuckerberg. I’d probably give Steve Jobs a 3-3.5/5, but I’m no film critic.
Returning to the Danforth for a late lunch before picking Little Man up from daycare, we hit Il Fornello, whose pizza specials made a meal for two highly affordable—probably helped that my date was in no state to drink, though 😉
All in all, it was good to remember what life was like with a little less responsibility, if even only for a few hours.
We ended the week much as we’d started it, hanging in our ‘hood as we kept it local and connected with our neighbours. We stopped in some houses at the 7th Annual Open Rhodes Art Show & Sale, catching up with people we hadn’t seen in a while (or in some cases, a decade), and looking for some new things to decorate our walls. We tackled the ever-present to-do list, re-caulking the bathroom (way easier with a caulking gun, just saying); packing the freezer, prepping for more sleepless nights and temper-testing days; and doing everything we could to keep our heads attached to our shoulders!
The week that was the second week of November was no blockbuster by any means, but it’s the moments between the major events that define who we are—not just the ones we choose to share on Facebook.
May all your weeks turn out to be great ones, and we’ll see you at the next post,
*Intelligent Design for Adaptation, Participation and Technology
Disclaimer: Mark’s was kind enough to give me a gift card and some thermal socks for my time in the iDAPT WinterLab, which I will likely use to buy the fanciest underwear I can find. (Not even kidding.)
If you want to get more information about Mark’s, you can check them out on their website, Facebook or Twitter accounts!
As for me, I’m looking forward to the weeks ahead, but if you haven’t yet got enough of your Casey Palmer fix, you can still find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube!
81 replies on “The Week That Was… November 8th – 14th, 2015.”
I would give it OR buy some stuff for my hubby! 🙂 Some new overhauls and socks. Thanks!
I would give this to my husband to go towards new boots! Thanks for the chance.
how did you like the kitchen. i was deciding if i should get that exact one for my son. what do you think about it
It’s pretty cool, but SO MANY PARTS. If you have two sets of hands to work at putting it together, it’s far better. We got pots and pans and a lot of food separately to go with it, so he’s been having a ball for… two weeks now?
I’d but the warmest boots possible for my daughter! 🙂
I would keep this gift card and get me a nice new robe and slippers.
I would definitely gift this to my brother
I’d give the gift card to my father-in-law so he could treat himself to something that fits him properly!
I would buy something for my husband and hopefully a sweater for me too 🙂
I would gift it to my bother and his wife
I would give it to my husband since he needs a new pair of boots.
I would like to gift this to myself. I am doing a lot of renovations and could use it 🙂
I would use it towards a new jacket or winter boots for myself.
I would gift it to my wife!
This is the perfect gift for my mom. Marks is her favourite place to shop.
I would give it to my husband..he loves that store
I would give it to my hubby. I just beat cancer and funds are very tight so this would be great
I would love to win this and give it to my dad! He buys all of his clothes at Mark’s
I would gift this to my hubby!
I would love to win this and buy myself a great pair of jeans
I would gift it to my husband so he can buy some new work shirts! Thank you!
I would get a few new shirts for my boyfriend for christmas
I would use it for myself,my hubby and son to get some new winter sweaters.
I sure could use a new pair of winter boots!
I would buy myself some nice boots
I’d give it to my brother to buy work boots
I would give it to my husband to buy new shoes 🙂
I’d give the gift card to my Dad for Christmas.
I would give it to my bro in law as he’s always helping me with stuff around the house.
I’d probably gift this to one of my sons if I was lucky enough to win that is 🙂
I would gift it to my husband who does all his clothes shopping at Mark’s.
I would share this with my hubby. We both spend plenty of time outside working so perhaps a set of thermal underwear for the whole family.
Okay, that winter lab sounds REALLY cool. I’m more than a little jealous. I’ve got to google this and see if they allow the random public in there.
As for the gift card, I’d totally use it for myself. Winter is cold! *laughs*
I would keep the gift card for myself and buy some new sweaters.
I would give it to m husband and he would buy some of Mark’s wonderful plaid work shirts.
I would share with hubby as we both need new sweaters!
I would totally give this gift card to my hubby! he buys all his work clothes there 🙂
I would give this to my husband to go towards new boots
I’d give it to my Dad
give to family member who works outside and needs new all-weather clothes. thanks
I would treat myself to a new pair of winter boots
I would keep the gift card as I need a new pair of boots.
I’d give this gift card to my boyfriend – he needs new work boots!
I’d give the card to my husband, he has a weird obsession with needing really good quality socks.
I would use it to buy Christmas gifts for my family
I would like to buy myself some new jeans.
I would give it to mu hubby to buy boots
i think hubby and i would share it to buy ourselves some new clothes maybe during awesome boxing week specials
I need new jeans, a new bathrobe and tops
I recently purchased several jackets for the 3 eldest family members. I was delighted to find that my eldest girl (11) fit their small winter coat – she is tall! Not so delighted that she picked the one I wanted and apparently we are not allowed to purchase the same clothing. I would use the mark’s gc to let her pick a nice light weight jacket.
LOL — there’s usually no “apparently” there; that was around the same age where I was aghast that my Mom had the same rap CD in her collection that I had ?
My daughter flaunts the ample zippered pockets. So cruel.
Id give this to my hubs- he could use some new winter boots
For moi-winter clothes!!
It would be for my boyfriend , thats the only place He can find clothes 🙂
I would give to my son, he needs some work clothes for the new job.
I would give this to my husband, who loves Mark’s!
I would give this to my son , he could really use some quality clothes ,
I would keep it and buy some jeans
I would use it to buy a new winter jacket!
I would buy socks for all the men in my family.
I would give it to my husband to use for some new casual or work-wear.
I’d give this card to my hubby as he really needs some thermal winter gear this year. Whoa that rhymed lol
Rhyming is 100% encouraged on this blog! Good luck 🙂
I would give a Mark’s gift card to hubby, he is a huge fan of their stores.
I’d gift this card to my dad. He just loves shopping at Marks.. and he’d probably buy a jacket.
I would give it to my hubby so he can buy some new pants.
I would give the Mark’s gift card to my dad – he buys a lot of his clothes there and has recently lost weight so needs to update his wardrobe!
I would give it to my Husband.
I would share the gift card with my mom! I would buy her a nice top and jeans as well as something for myself!
I would buy a pair of Kodiak boots!
I would buy some heated socks and clothes for my wife for Christmas
Wow, thanks for this chance! I’ve been wanting buy boots from Marks since we’ve had below 40 C temps two winters now. I thought my toes would get frostbite when I was waiting for the bus outside Victoria Park Village Library. The foot warmer wasn’t really helping. I can layer on clothes to keep warm but, you can’t with footwear so, a new pair of boots is in order. More than ten years ago, I slipped backwards to the canal at the bottom of the hill facing Eglinton due to black ice. I’ve been very wary since that accident that got me a fever and a bruise that lasted a week. I got cleats from Canadian Tire but, they keep coming off when I walk. I saw that Marks has Wind River cleats, so, it would be great to pair this with the boots to avoid slips and falls. My neighbour slipped this Feb on the sidewalk and her foot was in a cast for more than a month. Wearing the right footwear is essential for winters in Canada, not just in the Arctic.
Stories like this are a key reason why the research they’re doing over at the iDAPT Centre for Rehabilitation Research! You’re totally right, Meg — Toronto winters can get utterly horrific and we need the right gear to make sure we don’t cause permanent harm to ourselves =/
Good luck to you, and maybe you’ll win this so you can be better protected against the elements!
I would use it to buy hubby fave Denver Hayes shirts.
I’d buy some cool boots!
I would give this to my brother…He’d definately find something at Mark’s he’d really like!
I would give it to my husband. He likes shopping at Mark’s.
I would gift this to my daughter so she could buy some nice warm winter boots at Marks. Love doing my Christmas shopping at Marks.
I would give it to my brother.
I give a Mark’s gift card to my dad. He loves Marks clothing