While I was at the planetarium

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.

Biologists believe that the large fruits evolved to be eaten and dispersed by the large herbivores, such as mastodons, which lived on our continent only 20,000–30,000 years ago.

Missouri Department of Conservation

Although I’m not in Missouri.

A Walk in the Park

After watching that mushroom show on Netflix, I wanted to visit the park to see if I could find any.

Fall colors
These are actually slime molds! Slime molds have a terrible name but they are incredibly fascinating (I’ll do a post on on them in the future).
This slime mold is known as wolf’s milk (the pink blobs).
More wolf’s milk
These look like some kind of berries, but I really don’t know what they are.
He (she?) jumped as I pressed the button!
This one was squished underneath the bark, which was peeled off
These are new growths whose caps hadn’t flared out yet

Getting enough protein: Cooking on the weekend

One of the things that’s difficult about watching one’s macronutrients is that it is harder to eat more than 100 grams of protein per day than one thinks. It’s easy to do this for 1 day, a week, but every day for weeks? That’s hard, even if you just focus on getting that protein first and maybe not looking at carbs and fat. If you’re also counting carbs, or limiting them, it gets even harder. This past weekend I attempted to cook protein rich meals (from scratch).

Saturday night: meat sauce (I didn’t get a final meat sauce picture, but I added sautéed ground beef and mild Italian sausage meat to this).
Sunday night: creamy chicken mushroom sauce (with spaghetti). There were 2 chicken breasts and 2 chicken leg meats in here. Plus a whole boc of sliced button mushrooms and a small box of sliced gourmet mushrooms.

Fart Squirrel

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.

A Small Afternoon Jaunt

A visit to a small town on an incredibly beautiful day.

A really cute section of town with small indie stores that sell odds and ends.
There was a swimming area further down.
There was a teeny tiny amusement park for what looks like ages 6 and under. That clown garbage can was slightly frightening.
Little rocket ship ride.
A tiny merry go round. The only amusement park we wanted to go to is a 6 hour drive away, and we decided (I guess) to wait until next year. There are adult sized amusement parks in our vicinity but they’ve lost their luster years ago.

Photo dump

We had some visitors once…
When you’re stuck and can’t find a good foothold
Too bad they don’t let you climb to the crow’s nest
Life rule: when in doubt, always choose chocolate!
The modern girls’ playroom.
Harvard: where people play chess at night for fun!
This is what happens when you let basil grow and grow and grow and grow…
10-year-old learning to crochet
Trash panda visiting my neighbor’s hot mess of a deck renovation

Workouts in the last month

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.

Climbing gym 1
Another climbing gym
Lots of walking (because we took the subway)
I was at my sister’s house (house sitting) and tried her spin bike, but the seat screw loosened and the seat started wobbling everywhere. I went to a nearby gym instead but didn’t bring my heart monitor.
At the gym near my sister’s house… A great workout!