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What We've Been Up To During Quarantine

Even though we've kept busier than some with classwork and converting the van, being in quarantine has given us some extra time at home. Here's a little summary of what we've been up to. If you happen to be bored, maybe there some ideas here for yourself.

What We've Been Doing In Quarantine:

Building a backyard climbing gym: Kalem has gone up the canyon behind his house with a Pelican case full of trad gear, a rock hammer drill, and some bolts and built himself an at-home climbing gym. He's rated this route that you can see him cleaning here with his brother Eli in the picture a 5.10A.

Learning to embroider on Skillshare: Greta got a free Skillshare trial, and while her political economics class isn't any fun from home, learning how to embroider, watercolor, take better iPhone pictures, etc. on Skillshare is something she's willing to sit down for. She's about done with this rendition of a picture Kalem took when they met at Havasupai last year.

Lots and lots of YouTube workout videos: We have big plans for things we want to do this summer, and most of them involve being in some form of good physical condition. With the gym being closed, Greta's been finding Youtube videos to train to. Some of our favorites recently have been this ski conditioning workout, Heather Robertson's 12 Week Program, Yoga with Adriene flows, and Outside magazine's fitness videos.

Playing Settler's of Catan: Nights at home with family mean movies and board games. We've gone back to the perennial favorite Settlers of Catan. Greta was on a winning streak for a bit, but Kalem won the last game they played before Greta left to go spend time at her parent's house.

What We've Been Reading and Listening To:

Circe: Greta's been reading Circe, a sort-of retelling of the Odyssey from the female perspective. Greta grew up reading modern retellings of mythology (Percy Jackson) and calls it a "grown-up" version of the fun YA fantasy novels of her youth.

S-Town: An oldie but a goodie. From the creators of Serial, and hosted by This American Life producer Brian Reed, S-Town pulls you in with the complex, brilliant, ugly, but beautiful world of Woodstock, Alabama and John B McLemore. When Greta first listened to the 7-part series two years ago, she didn't think it could be real. She turned it on for Kalem as they've been working on the van and it sucked him in too. If you enjoyed watching Tiger King, you'd like S-Town.

Kafka on the Shore: Okay, Greta read this one back in October, but Greta's Dad found it on their family Audible account and started listening to it last week and hasn't been able to put it down. It's a "page-turner and metaphysical mindbender" as the New Yorker review of the book calls it, but the fantastical way that Murakami blends the real world and the imagined with his descriptive writing transports you into the world of Kafka and the others who narrate the novel.

What We've Been Cooking:

Chocolate Sourdough Bundt Cake: As the picture points to below, this was a little bit of a failure. After Greta's mom received a sourdough starter from a neighbor last week they've been baking up a storm, and to break up the neverending delicious sourdough loaves Greta decided to try this recipe for a bundt cake. It tastes like a sum total of the parts- chocolate, sugar, butter, etc., but was kind of a failure on the execution part, as it didn't turn cleanly out of the pan and kind of fell apart. We aren't all perfect. But, as you can tell from the picture, we've still enjoyed it. And as Kalem texted Greta yesterday "Well it ends up in the same place anyway haha".

Mango Salsa: Kalem's dad has been bringing home mangoes with him when he makes the grocery store run for the family. We always are fans of lots of fresh produce, but trying to only head into town when necessary has made fruits and veggies that much better. Greta decided to make some mango salsa last month after seeing some that someone had on Instagram and it has been a snack staple since. The salsa can be thrown together in minutes and is great on its own or adorning tacos or microwaved nachos (also a quarantine staple when topped with canned beans, green chiles and Greta's mom's salsa verde).

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