Top Three Winter Staycation Ideas

This past weekend was supposed to be our get-away weekend.  Stan had asked my mom and dad if they could look after Belén and Susanna so we could go to a nearby resort to celebrate life, love, and frankly, that we had all survived the last few months with me as a working mama.   Our bags were packed, and we had already driven out of town when we decided (or the weather decided for us) to stay put.  With strong winds and heavy snowfall, the three hour drive was growing less appealing with every flake that hit our windshield.

The view from our back door

And so, instead of checking into a hotel room we checked ourselves back into our own home, and started our winter stay-cation.  Although I was looking forward to a spa treatment, and exploring a new town, being snowed in turned out to be just as good.

People may complain about the wintery weather, but I think there is something festive about it, besides reminding us that Christmas is coming.  Once the snow arrives, it is as if the earth is comfortable with herself again.  The post-fall season of wind, rain, slush, sleet, and heavy skies is enough to push just about anyone over the mental edge we all sit on so precariously.  These weeks of weather-limbo take their toll, and remind me of an awkward adolescent child who doesn’t know what she wants.  And then, the snow finally comes and graciously covers up the muddy earth.  The sun re-appears, like the matured child who eventually comes out of her room, and everything is much more pleasant.

Our backyard is no longer unkempt now, but one giant marshmallow, hiding all the toys, hula hoops, chairs, and garden tools that were left strewn about, waiting for someone with some extra time to tidy them up.  The snow beat me to it.  Now we will just have to wait until March/April to find what has been buried.  Perhaps the snow melt will coincide with Easter and I can substitute the egg hunt with a “let’s go see what we left in the yard last November” hunt.

But you were here for the stay-cation ideas, right?  Well, here’s my list:

1.  Buy something small, but luxuriousFor me, this weekend, it was a pair of socks, and a latte.  My husband ordered a coffee.  We sat in our parked car listening to the radio, hot drinks in hand, while the snow blurred our view.  The drinks weren’t the luxurious part, and neither was the radio show, but somehow doing both together seemed special.  Maybe just having the uninterrupted time to sit and laugh at the Debaters, while cocooned in our vehicle was the extraordinary element.  Anyway, I recommend the activity.  The Debater’s, hosted by Steve Patterson on CBC Radio One, airs at 1 pm every Saturday, (in case you have a sense of humour like ours).

The warmest, cuddliest, softest socks I could find in town: a winter’s worth of pleasure for $10!

2.  Read something

Currently on my book pile:


Wonder, by R.J. Palacio:  I plan to read this novel out loud to my grade six class.  It’s on my book pile, but I’m not reading it.  Stan is.  I like to be surprised and entertained right along with the students as I read to them.

Sabbath:  Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest by Wayne Muller

I recently ordered a pile of books from the library about sabbath/rest because I wanted to find out about different religious traditions (besides my own) that honour this principle.


This one was recommended to my by the literacy coach at school.  I am convinced, more than ever, that reading, and not worksheets, vocabulary exercizes, or comprehension tests, is what I need to do more of in my class.  It is an inspiring teacher/home-schooler read.


I’m reading this with my book club, and can’t wait to discuss it with a diverse group of women!   My favourite thing about the book is the insights into French culture/language.  Her self-deprecating humour is easy to swallow, too.

3.  Make a little…


I found this top at Value Village and bought it with out trying it on.  I knew it was much too big for me, but I thought I could take it in.  I later realized that no amount of tailoring would fix it.  Staring at my pale face in the mirror, washed out by the cream fabric draping around me like a tent, I knew I needed to reconsider my plan.

I decided to turn it into a skirt/apron to wear on top of tights or skinny jeans.  I cut it off at the armpits, threw in an elastic waistband and voila…

My motto at value village is: “Buy the things you are attracted to, even if you don’t know how you will use it.” The reason for buying it often reveals itself later. 🙂

Stan and I also spent a good part of the weekend…

Nope, guess again…

Yes, shoveling.

One day, we spent nearly five hours outside, shoveling out our vehicles, building this mold, and then shoveling the snow into the mold.  The snow was incredibly light and fluffy so we had to haul ourselves up on top of the snow, wallowing waist deep at first, to pack it down.

It is now overflowing with snow and resting/curing/hardening.  In a few weeks (months?) this block of snow will be transformed into something.  We’re just not sure what, exactly, but we have some ideas.

Stan is the master carver. He tries designs out with play-dough first, before touching the snow.  (Guess how much he liked having the camera lens over his shoulder while doing this?)

Gathering and packing snow for a sculpture unleashes some childlike tendencies.  Suddenly, you begin to see snow, and it’s value, with new eyes.  Kind of like Susanna.

Susanna:  Mom, will you be very angry with me if I tell you something?

I stop washing the dishes, whirl around and kneel low, instantly my heart jumps up into my throat.  Has someone violated her in some way that she feels ashamed about?

Me:  Oh no, Susanna, you can tell me anything.

Susanna’s voice is barely audible as she explains…

Susanna:  This afternoon, I went over to Helen’s (our neighbour)… and stole… some of her snow…  I just wanted to have a little more for our slide.  She tags this on quickly as if to justify her awful deed.

Whew!  I’ll take that kind of a confession any day.   And I actually understand where she’s coming from, after all the stockpiling we did this weekend.

Wishing you a lovely, full-on winter, week!


6 thoughts on “Top Three Winter Staycation Ideas

  1. Your Grandma would have loved that skirt — she loved butterflies and now I think of her everytime I see one! Good job, Tricia!! Have fun with the snow!

  2. How could you answer so fast, Erika??? Great article, as usual. What creativity!
    As proven by you, having a great time tog. with hubby doesn’t need to cost much.
    Keep it up!

  3. I just picked up The Book Whisperer from the library….hoping it gives me some ideas to inspire Sascha and help her move past the cringing when I ask her to read!! Your library finds are inspiring: I admit to suffering a mild addiction to!

    • Now I’m nervous, as I always am when someone picks up something I’ve suggested. I found it very inspiring for my grade six class. Yesterday I presented them with a reading challange and the class started buzzing (a good buzzing)! I hope there will be a few nuggets in there for you…

  4. Pingback: Gallus Probus* | Experimenting as we grow

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