my mother's always getting summoned for jury duty. in the mail today was another postcard telling her to report to the woburn court in june. a few years back the same thing happened to her. since she couldn't drive there and the only public transportation option is the commuter rail, she applied for a hardship. instead of letting her off the hook, they simply relocated her to a nearer court, this case somerville. then by pure luck, the jury duty appointment was cancelled. we figured she'd be off the hook for a while, but that wasn't to be the case. we were looking to file another hardship, but it turns out one of the reason to get out of jury duty is if you're 70+. my mother just turned 70 back in december, which meant she didn't have to serve jury duty.
although the temperature never broke 40 degrees, it was still a nice day with plenty of sun, so my mother and i went out for another walk. we'd go over watertown hill, and then travel down mt.auburn street in the direction of watertown center to check out some persian restaurants i saw on the map.
my new nature obsession are conifers. my mother collected a bunch of pipe cones whenever i stopped to take photos of an evergreen, trying to figure out what it was. i'm starting to recognize norwegian spruces, but i'm still very spotty when it comes to pines, spruces, firs, and their ilks.
we came across a crabapple that still had most of its berries, juicy red ones that looked too delicious to pass up. i tried one, it tasted a lot like chinese hawthorn, sweet and tart. my mother said the same when she tried a berry, and picked a few for my father to try.
the restaurants turned out way farther than i realized, and instead of trying to reach them, i decided to head back, essentially walking a big loop around oakley country club. walking uphill on quiet streets, these watertown houses were mansion-style single family properties, real fancy residences. we found some more yard art, which apparently is a watertown project.
i spotted an old air raid siren (marcia road), and we even walked by that old lady's house whom we visited back in the fall during the watertown garden tour.
climbing over the crest of the hill along common street, we arrived at belmont cushing square. we continued walking the perimeter of oakley country club before crossing belmont street and taking some side roads back to the house. it was here we spotted a titmouse, that one elusive bird that's supposedly common to backyard bird feeders but i've never seen around our backyard. it was just a little thing flitting through the trees but i grabbed my camera right away and began snapping photos. later we also saw a large hawk high on a branch feeding on something. it was the size of a turkey, large enough that we though maybe it was an eagle. from the telephoto lens i could tell it was shredding a dead squirrel. later when i studied the photos i determined it was just a red-tailed hawk, maybe a female based on its larger size.
my parents and i are not fast food snobs: sometimes it's just easier to buy something cheap and fast than it is to make. when we do do fast foods, it's basically what's nearby: burger king, subways, domino's. we decided to get some subway sandwiches for dinner, since we had a 3 for $18 coupon. i made out the order online, each of us carefully crafting our sandwich. when i went to go pay however, i realized none of the subway shops near us were accepting the coupon. i kind of don't blame them, since without the coupon the sandwiches would be $30, so it was a 40% discount, these franchises wouldn't make any money. the only place that was accepting the coupon was the subway shop near where i live, and it would've taken us 30 minutes round trip just to go and pick up the order.
so in the end we decided to do domino's. the only really good pizza at domino's is their everything extravaganzza, but we usually get their $7.99 3-toppings large pizza carryout deal. my mother always insists on getting hawaiian pizza, while i like a combination of meats, garlic/onion, and spicy peppers. my father and i went to go pick up the pizzas, i ended up eating 4 slices.
i biked back to cambridge, bringing with me the xiaomi mi body composition scale 2. i'd already tried it in belmont, managed to sync it to the mi fitness app on my phone. it's smart enough to know when a different person is standing on the scale and will ask in the app who this new person is and whether you want to sync the data or not. a lot of that body composition stuff i think is nonsense, i just need it to accurately weigh me and automatically send that data to my phone. i weighed myself a few times, there was some fluctuation at first (could be temperature or vibration related, since it had been in the back of my rear bike basket), but seemed to have settled down. i noticed it seemed to read me about a pound less than my previous bathroom scale, the ozeri precision ii (which i paid $27 for back in september 2012).
around 9pm i started making some glutinous rice balls. i used up the entirety of an old package of glutinous rice flour - around 360g - to make the dough. instead of measuring the water, i just added enough water while mixing the flour until it formed into a dough. i also did the trick where i cooked a tiny amount of dough and then added it to the rest of the dough, to make it more elastic. i then started dividing the dough into nuggets and rolling them into the balls. it took a while, and the dough was starting to dry up as i worked, i definitely need to cover up the dough next time to prevent drying. but the whole process from beginning to end took nearly an hour, i put the rice balls in the freezer to freeze them before putting them into containers.