11-15-21 Updates

The Gathering Place

I crossed another item off my #30 before 40 list! Yesterday, Shari and I met up with our friend, Mel, to take an aqua fitness class at Mel’s gym. Shout out to Mel for offering to go with me. And to Shari for going too. Having them with me made me feel less nervous, and thus, I, unsurprisingly, enjoyed myself. I might go again this upcoming Sunday since the 7 day free trial for the gym will still be in effect. And if I don’t end up going then, no biggie, the class is $10 a session for non-members, which honestly isn’t bad. I never do cardio when I exercise, so getting a bit in at the pool was great. Plus, I got to chill in the hot tub afterward, a decent reward for working out. I feel like I’m on a good pace for completing tasks. Especially since another is currently in the works. On Saturday, Shari and I went to our friends’, Jason and Amanda’s, house where Jason taught me more about the bread baking process and I tried out a vegan milk bread recipe from Freya, a contestant on the most recent season of Great British Bake Off. I made two loaves instead of the stuffed rolls of the recipe and ya’ll, they came out so nicely! I think this is the recipe I will be going with in the future. The flavor is legit good and it’s soft exactly how I wanted it. I think this is the best tasting bread I’ve made thus far and I think it’s passing the “Is it good with butter and applesauce test?”, which was really my secret, second goal all along. If I can find a bread recipe that’s good with applesauce, I think I’m golden. I realize basically no one has ever topped fresh baked bread with cold, basic applesauce, but it’s a favorite of my childhood and I’ve been doing it for a long time to no regrets. If you haven’t tried it, get on that! Once I’ve made this loaf 2 more times (maybe 3), I will cross that task off my list, assuming I plan on baking it over and over.

Slide at The Gathering Place

Looks like I will need to complete 7 tasks a year if I’m going to meet my complete 30 tasks before I’m 40 years old challenge. I’m so grateful to those of you who have already reached out and offered to help me with different numbers. I have a feeling I’ll be able to complete at least 7 by the end of next year and I so look forward to completing some of them with you! It’ll really be the travel ones that take the most time and money, but I bet I can do those before my time is up.

Other than crossing items off my list, I visited my friend, Edward, in Tulsa, OK two weekends ago. That’s two vacations to see friends this year, I feel very privileged. While Tulsa is not a vacation destination I would recommend to anyone, I did enjoy getting to visit The Gathering Place, a giant park inspired by New York’s Central Park. This place is beautiful and so well designed. Multiple mini playgrounds and swing areas scattered throughout the space, along with water features, make it so there is always something up ahead to check out. There is a large playground section that has multiple zones dedicated to different age ranges and each playground is so pretty and interesting. All the equipment is clearly intentionally chosen and placed. There’s also a building that houses a café and plenty of comfortable and stylish seating for those who want to look out over the park as they read, write, or contemplate life. Honestly, I wish we could transplant this park and all its pieces to Denver. I would go here all the time.

Philbrook Museum Grounds

I also got to visit Philbrook Museum, an art museum situated in a mansion in the middle of a neighborhood (Tulsa is odd). While much of the art was not my style, I found a few items I liked and it’s never a bad idea to explore art and history that you’re unfamiliar with. It was also fun to appreciate the mansion itself, and all its little details (and not so little – one room’s walls were painted with people and animals lounging around). We walked around the grounds afterward which were just as lovely and expansive as the building. Plus, there were bench swings in one part of the “backyard” so you know I found joy in swinging for a bit.

Overall it was a good visit and I’m glad that I went. It had been almost 20 years since I had been back to Oklahoma (I lived there in elementary school). I got to see the outside of my old house and the school I went to. I got to see Edward’s family.

The end of the year continues to be busy and packed with fun. Let’s see what else I can fit in before 2022 comes!

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