Sappy, dreamy, or quirky – your Valentine personality will help you determine where you’re spending your time this February in Saskatoon. From an ode to the vagine (Vagina Monologues) to a sausage party (King of Kovbasa) and everything in between… Okay, get your mind out of the gutter! It’s happening this month.
This February, find
Do Sask at Book Club. Look
for details to all of these events in the massive monthly listing below. Check
the Do Sask Facebook group for daily updates.
Today is #BellLetsTalk day, so I’ll explain how the first time I took myself solo dating totally changed my well being.
“Table for one, please.”
After surviving a particularly awful breakup, I was looking for moments to feel happy again. So I chose one of my favourite restaurants – a Greek spot called Spiro’s in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan. I put on a fancy dress, did up my hair and makeup, and went out for the evening to dine alone.
Solo dating is ≠ to doing something alone
This solo dinner wasn’t the first time I had done something on my own. For example, I drove a moving truck over seven hundred of kilometers for a job opportunity at 18 years old. But taking myself on a date was different. It took place long before ‘solo dating’ and ‘self-partnered’ became buzzwords. At the time, a solo date wasn’t your run-of-the-mill singles activity.
When I arrived at the restaurant, I sat in my car contemplating the choice to walk through the front doors. Somehow I made it through the doors and I felt anxious waiting for my table. I immersed myself in the menu. Then, I went about my night quietly enjoying the delicious meal – a plate of Spiro’s famous Greek ribs. My anxiety decreased and I relaxed while observing other diners chatting with their friends and family.
I don’t remember having a smartphone to drown out my own thoughts or to fill the silence that was coming from the other side of the table. I can’t remember what else I’d planned for myself that evening after dinner, either. But I remember the moment I decided to take myself on a date very clearly. It was an internal transformation. I decided to stop waiting for people to show up for me and started showing up for myself. The self-esteem boost transferred into other areas of my life.
Later that same year, I took a solo trip outside of Canada with a group travel company. It was the first of many annual single travel adventures.
I find it much easier to meet new people when I’m alone. There’s a connectivity that develops when you meet other people who are also riding solo. When I’m with someone, establishing a connection to others isn’t always easy.
Learn to master your relationship with yourself
Solo dating helped me set new expectations for future suitors and gave me the confidence to love myself first. Learning how to master a healthy relationship with me trickled through to other relationships.
The capacity to love my alone time has affected my mental health throughout my life. It’s become a sacred part of who I am. Now, I’m more likely to choose things I want to do rather than waiting for someone else who may or may not join me. As an extrovert, being alone gives me an opportunity to interact with others which is key to filling up my energy.
Treating yourself to solo dating is a positive experience, not a lonesome one. Even if you have a spouse, spending time out of the house alone could change your well being, too.
Solo dating ideas in Saskatoon
So where are you going to go on your date for one in Saskatoon? Here are a few ideas:
Reserve a table at one of Saskatoon’s many fine restaurants
Take photos along the Meewasin Trail with a fresh perspective
Give yourself time to digest a new book at McNally Robinson Booksellers
Check out live theatre, concert, a festival, or a movie
Sign up for a DIY workshop
Book a night in a luxurious Saskatoon hotel room
Do you have other ideas for solo dating in Saskatoon?
Please support #BellLetsTalk day to end the stigma surrounding mental health.
This week, Western Canada is in the midst of an extremely cold winter vortex that’s keeping most of us indoors. Temperatures are diving as low as -51 C with wind chill in Saskatoon. But a snowpocalypse isn’t keeping one Canadian dad from inspiring all of us with a creative winter project in his own backyard.
Igloos are temporary snow huts historically tied to the Inuit peoples who craft them out of hard-packed snow. Chris Schrettlinger of Edmonton, Alberta started building ice igloos for his family last winter.
“When you get older there’s not a whole lot of fun in winter anymore. It’s miserable to drive to work. But my three young kids aren’t bothered by the cold.
I was so sick of being inside dreading the cold. I remembered the forts we tried to build when I was a kid that never really worked out. And I saw someone make something similar on Reddit years ago. So I made a small one last year and then decided to make a bigger one this year.
Our Edmonton winters haven’t been as bad as they were in the past and there hasn’t been a lot of snow. You would need a massive amount of snow to make a proper igloo. We don’t have that hard packed snow to make that style.”
How many hours of
labour did it take to complete it?
“I started freezing the ice five weeks ago at the beginning of December. It took about an hour or two at night on working days and about five or six hours on weekends. I’d say it took about 100 hours total. Just making the ice takes a lot of time.
The last time it was -36 C they froze in a few hours. It usually takes two days to freeze. And it needs the time to set in between the rows, so you can’t finish it with friends that help in a day. If I could sit on the edges of it, I’d start the next row.
It’s a time-intensive project. The kids get stuck with hauling all of the ice bricks over the backyard. I put a spotlight up and work at night until midnight.
I get obsessed with the project. My only caution is that it’s going to take a while. And you will get slightly depressed at least a few times. “
Do you have
experience working outdoors during the winter?
“I try to get outside and go to the rink or skiing. It’s hard to find a reason to go outside when it’s so cold. And I’ve built fences and such in the past.”
How big is the final
ice igloo of 2020?
“It’s 16 feet
across and seven feet high at its tallest point. There are about 300 ice
blocks. The bottom row is 56 blocks. It can probably fit 10 adults in there.
It’s taller than the fence. If you walk down the alley, you’ll see it. I’m the
only guy that has a canopy of lights and a massive igloo in the backyard.
What do you use to
stick the blocks together?
“You mix a mortar-consistency slush in a large plastic tub full of snow with about 20 litres of water.”
How were you able to
work in -30 C weather?
“Many, many layers of clothes. Long underwear, two pairs of sweatpants, snow pants, -50 boots, a parka, toque, and four layers of work gloves. I change gloves every 20 minutes. I have a surplus of gloves.”
What kind of pans do
you use to freeze the ice blocks?
“Disposable lasagna trays you get at any supermarket. It cost us about $50 in supplies from The Wholesale Club.”
I’m guessing you use
food colouring to make the colours. Is that correct?
“Yes. The food colouring is already in the tins. My wife runs a hose out the basement window and I fill up all of the tins with water. I don’t bother mixing the food colouring and water beforehand.”
How long do you hope
it will last?
“Last winter, it was melting during the first week in March. You could see the mortar start to melt. Then a huge section fell in and collapsed.”
Did your family make
igloos when you were a kid?
“I always made forts in the snow with my friends. I had two sisters and didn’t want to hang out with them all the time. And I made another massive snow fort during a few slow days at work when I was 24.”
Any plans for 2021’s
“No plans for next year. Usually by the time it’s done, I don’t want to think about it for a long time. Around September to October, I’ll start thinking about it again. “
What kind of
impression do you hope building the igloo will leave on your kids?
“Don’t be scared of winter and the cold. I want them to be the envy of their friends and classmates and remember having fun with their dad. I hope they appreciate all the time I spent out there. ”
Have you been
hanging out in it during this cold snap?
“We’ve been out
there this week. I tried to put a propane fire inside, but it’s too hot and the
air is too cold. The ice was starting to crack.
I’m planning a weekend camp out in it, but the ice is a terrible insulator. We’ll dress really warm. If it’s -35 C outside, it’s -30 C in there. I have to research what to do to insulate it properly.”
It’s easy to feel miserable when the mercury dips to extremely low levels. Chris has inspired everyone to see the positive side of our cold prairie winters with his massive ice igloo of 2020. Thank you for sharing your creation with Do Sask!
How are you embracing the extreme cold weather this winter? Join the Do Sask Facebook Group to have your say in the discussion.
In my opinion, adult friendships contribute to the magic of being alive. But the challenge of organizing different, fun hangouts together while respecting both friends’ schedules can be enough hassle to let the relationship go for months without seeing each other face-to-face.
I’m an extrovert which means I get energized in the company of people. That’s why I started making regular commitments with friends who wanted to hangout more. Together, we’d commit to doing something every week or month.
I’ve been experimenting with different regular hangouts for over two years. Usually, I find something I’m interested in and then ask some of my friends if they want to join me. They take turns and ask me if I want to join them at something. I’ve tried a lot of things that are totally out of my comfort zone by accepting a friend’s invitation.
The secret to making it work is actually pretty simple: stick with it. Stick with the same day, stick with the same time, and stick with the same activity. If you switch it up from week to week or month to month, there’s an opportunity to flake out… and then you both lose.
Now, you could still leave room for spontaneous gatherings. However, I find that these types of events happen less often as I grow older.
Here are my favourite go-to friend dates in Saskatoon:
There’s something about challenging friends who can climb to the top of the walls the fastest that makes this one of my favourite hangouts. That and I’m usually totally exhausted by the end.
As a beginner climber, I have only ever been to Clip ‘n Climb in Saskatoon (I’ve been bouldering in Calgary prior to moving here). It’s newb-friendly with auto-belay on every wall. They also have two timed walls which track your race to the top. Go later in the evening to avoid scads of children.
So far, I’ve taken hip-hop, belly-dance, swing, and ballroom dancing with friends. There are social dancing groups if you want to meet other people. Sign up for a half session to see whether you want to go deeper.
You’ll find dance companies all over the city with options that will suit your individual tastes and location preference. I’m still waiting on someone to bring a twerk-out class to Saskatoon.
Meet once a week to work on your projects for an hour or two. Making a commitment to craft means you’ll actually accomplish projects you start. Being part of a crafting group is always the most productive I’ll ever be with my hobby.
Join the Saskatoon Craft Guild, Saskatoon Potters Guild, drop in to any of the studio workshops in Saskatoon, or set up your own Stitch ‘n Bitch.
If you have a competitive streak, invite your buddies to a regular game night. My husband and I played Catan quite often with one of my cousins who kicked our butts regularly – he’s a Catan savant. We played regularly until he got bored of beating us.
Play at home, or hit up one of the city’s two board game cafes. Usually, game cafes have all sorts of options depending on the size of your group.
Dive into a swimming date with your friend to escape from the cold of winter. You may feel good enough after the hot tub or sauna to save yourself a trip south of the border.
Plus, going to the pool is one of the most affordable dates around!
Asking a friend to volunteer with you can be a vulnerable moment. You tell them what you care about and why it matters, hoping that they’ll give a hoot.
Saskatoon has so much opportunity to give back. Many non-profit organizations need committed volunteers. Why not join one with a friend to socialize while giving back?
Bonus: volunteering is usually completely free.
Join a Club or League
I wanted to start a book club, but not many of my friends could commit to one. So I started one through Do Sask. Book club helps me read more for fun than I ever would on my own. My friends may have passed on joining the club. However, I’ve met people who have become friends.
This month, I saw an idea for a cookbook club and now I can’t stop thinking about how to make it happen.
Whether you just became an official adult, or have been an adult for years – it’s a lot more work than many of us bargained for. Between managing bank accounts, staying away from full Amazon shopping carts, trying to keep a semi-involved social life, pleasing your boss and higher-ups, and making sure your love life is taken care of – the everyday experiences of adults can sometimes be overwhelming.
Keep in mind that most adults actually have no idea what’s going on.
The Saskatoon Public Library recognizes that we may need some help learning the basics. This winter, they’re offering a free program called “Adulting 101”. Open to teens and adults, their seminars are focused on providing practical advice for new or burgeoning adults. Topics span from renting and budgeting to vehicle maintenance.
The first set of seminars took place on January 11 at the Alice Turner and Mayfair Branches in Saskatoon. There will be a new set of seminars each month, with the program concluding in April.
These seminar topics are a good start. However, since Do Sask is all about leveling up, I believe there should be another tier of the program: Adulting 201. This is for those of who have mastered… er… managed to maintain the basics.
Here’s a list of next-level Adulting topics that most adults contemplate at some point or another:
Is This Love: How to decide if the guy/gal you’re currently seeing is worth your time
Living with Roommates: How to choose a good roommate and get rid of bad ones
Learn to Like Yourself: How to do things on your own
Turning 30: It isn’t a big deal and here’s why
Turning 30: It is a big deal and here’s why
Success: What does it mean to you?
Decluttering: How to avoid starring on an episode of Hoarders
Planning Ahead: Make responsible life decisions before you get stressed af
Plan B: (In case you missed Planning Ahead)
Family Rifts: How to manage dysfunctional relatives
Frienemies: Dealing with fake friends
Housework Hustle: Fair project management strategies for the home
Toxic Bosses: Know the signs before accepting that job offer
My Style: What is it?
Choose a Religion: How to live a good life according to Jesus, Buddha, Allah and more
Kids: To reproduce, or not to reproduce, that is the question
Death: Pondering your own mortality
When to Quit: Some things don’t need finishing
All that aside, if you’re looking for some beginner hints for life as an adult, you should probably check out the free program at SPL.