I don’t know what makes me notice things. Every day some little detail catches my eye and I have to go exploring. So I went to the planetarium last month because the telescopes were open to the public to view Jupiter and Saturn. I’ve never seen any planets through a telescope, because I didn’t know anyone with a great telescope, so all the telescopes I’ve peered through have been $5 second-hand ones that didn’t work or weren’t operated correctly. I have seen a solar eclipse though. My high school let everyone outside, mid-day, to see the solar eclipse in the 90s. Anyway. The planetarium had two telescopes, and they were a lot more than $5. They were with the wait, and not only that, a giant falling star shot directly between the two planets (they looked like stars in the sky) while we (about 100 people) waited for our turns. Everyone went “Oooo” like a Gary Larsen cartoon. What brings people together: planets and meteors.
Afterwards, in the parking lot, I caught a glimpse of these weird, weird things on the parking lot ground. They looked like baseball-sized brains. If you stepped on them, they squished in a splotchy, uncomfortable way. One post to Reddit (although I could have just Googled but what the hell) later, I found out it’s the fruit of the Osage orange tree.
Over the summer my mom found that some animal dug holes/tunnels under our house. Eventually someone spied said animal and identified it as a hedgehog or woodchuck (big, brown, furry angry looking creature). Then my sister brought a trap over to the house and we ended up catching 3 small ones, 2 of which my brother-in-law took 30 miles away to be let go. The 3rd one died before he was able to come get it. Then all was quiet, until the morning of 9/9/22.
While my mom stood there in shock, I yelled that it was a SKUNK and that if it sprayed on her, she’d be bathing in tomato juice for a week. (Is that how you get rid of skunk smell?) When we told my sister, she just about died laughing… And sent her husband to just let it go. I hope it’s a smart example of its species and doesn’t get caught again. If not, there’s an increasing possibility that someone in my family will get a blast of one of nature’s special perfumes.
Boston, especially in Cambridge right next to Hahhhvahhrd, is beautiful. It was nice feeling safe enough to walk around at night every night along with tons of other pedestrians. Using Harvard Yard as a short-cut to get to Harvard Square, literally walking around on campus, brought me back 20 years to my college days.
Driving in Boston and its vicinity, however, was a nightmare. I swear that Boston city streets look like one of those particle pathways:
GPS was on, but it usually said things like “Use the right hand lane to turn left at…” and by that time… a turn was mistakenly missed and the car got force-merged somewhere else.
This picture was an example of an EASY intersection. Elsewhere, there were roundabouts. I don’t know why Europeans are good at roundabouts but Americans seem never to be able to adapt. On the positive side, I got to see a lot of areas of Boston, by accident.
This picture is of the type of intersection of all roads that lead everywhere. Also, the image in the GPS was never clear enough – it showed a thick line until the last second, and if you happened to be in the wrong lane when the GPS zoomed in to show the actual turn, it’s too late.
Not including the climbing days and any walking/hiking. Also, I went to the Boston area to tour the climbing gyms in that area and those weren’t included either, but I’ll include a picture that captures what physical activity I did.
It calls for dried blueberries. I had fresh blueberries because it’s summer and they’re in season. My mom has a dehydrator. Little did I know, it took the dehydrator 18 hours to dry a pint and a half blueberries HALFWAY. 18 HOURS. So I said, F*** that, and put them in the toaster oven at 225°F for 5 hours and I got my cup of dried blueberries. The rest of the recipe was at least easy to get.
Since I had a bad start to cookies by baking them flat, touching, and burnt a couple of times, I shaved off 25°F from the official temp. I baked mine at 325°F for 15 minutes and they turned out golden tan with a chewy middle. And they did NOT flatten out to the extent that they touched each other! I also hand mixed in the milk crumb and blueberries instead of using the mixer.
Speaking of milk crumb, it is delicious on its own. I’m attempting to make vanilla protein milk crumbs with rolled oats (original recipe plus vanilla protein powder, rolled oats, and a tsp of milk), so I don’t have as much of a guilt trip, but we’ll see.