It can be hard being brave. It can be hard being yourself. But the little rewards that come, it’s just amazing. Like maybe — so me, I just helped my dad for something, then I rewarded myself ’cause I helped somebody who needed help, and so we have leather and we have to leather our couches so I also did that today. So I leathered a couch which was actually pretty tiring. I baked stuff. I rewarded myself because I baked something like for the first time. It was a mix, but I still baked something for the first time to surprise my sister who was having a competition, a debate competition. And I wanted to surprise her with the chocolate cupcakes.
This week I’m grateful for so many things, but I’m especially grateful for my teachers. Not just my current teachers, but my previous teachers as well. This weekend, I made it a point to contact some of my previous teachers and let them know that they made a big impact on my life and shaped who I am. I realized that me and a lot of other kids literally spend more than half of our lives at school, and so, the environment our teachers and our peers create at school makes a big difference in our lives. The responses I got from my teachers were very heartwarming. One of them said that being a teacher is a roller coaster of a profession. And sometimes teachers really ask themselves, especially in the pandemic, they ask themselves if what they does really does make a difference. And so my email to her really made her realize that, you know, what she does, does make a difference and it reminded her why she loves what she does. And that made me feel really happy because she was one of my favorite teachers and she definitely made an enormous difference in not just my life, but in the lives of all of her students.
This week’s theme is brown. So I’ll be telling you about my outdoors adventures as a kid. I grew up in a seaside town, but we moved to the city shortly after which means that my outdoor adventures were pretty much either swimming in the sea or, well they pretty much stopped when we moved to the city. But when we would go over to my grandma’s place for vacation and stuff, me and my brother would always have our little outdoor adventures there because she lived in a place just completely surrounded by hills. You have to — you had to travel a good forty minutes to see any kind of people besides us. So we would just climb in every olive tree we could find. We would roll down whatever hills it wasn’t too dangerous to roll down of. We would try to scale down just the steeper cliffs. We would go play with the chickens and go look for foxes in the forest. And it was just a really fun time. And I still remember it very clearly. This summer, since the pandemic restrictions lifted, we went back to my Grandma’s place and met our little cousins there, which are about five years old right now. And I really enjoyed it, cause I guess I could pass on our traditions to them as well.
When was the last time my power went out? I don’t, it’s been actually quite a while since my power went out. Knock on wood, I guess, right? Hopefully, it doesn’t go out anytime soon here. But I think that when I was in — I lived in Indiana for a little while and we had a tornado warning there. And the power went out and I was actually — I was at the library working, and we had to take all the patrons and staff that were in the building at the time into the bathrooms. And I, you know, I’ve never had to do anything like that before. I’ve never lived anywhere else where there’s kind of tornado warnings and tornado shelters, and things like that. And the power went out when we were in there, and I remember, kind of thinking “wow, this is a little bit bizarre.” And I think there were some sort of like, emergency lights or something that were in there. Or maybe people just had their cellphone lights. Now I can’t even remember that. But my mom was actually visiting from northern Michigan at the time and I remember, you know, she wouldn’t have had a clue what was going on. So I told her to go into, you know, the closet in my apartment you know and she, you know, she was at my house at the time and I came home and, you know, after everything had been cleared and she was still sitting, still sitting in the closet in my apartment. And I said, “Mom, you know, we’re safe, everything’s good.” But the power had come back on but she was still sitting in there. So I don’t know. That was — I think that was maybe the last time.
Have you ever tried to make yogurt or cheese? No, but my grandma does it all the time. She's from Jordan and she makes a Arabic or Middle Eastern yogurt called laban. It's a white yogurt. Kind of like Greek yogurt, maybe a little thinner. You eat it normally, on top of -- we normally eat it, like, on top of rice. She has a dish called maqluba, which is rice, chicken, cauliflower. I think there might be some onions in it too, and it's pretty good with yogurt on top that she makes, the laban. And then -- then the cheese is called labneh and it's thicker. It's kind of like cream cheese. I think it's a little more sour and that's pretty good in like a sandwich with -- on bread. You eat it with like, tomato and cucumbers and other, you know, vegetables, lettuce. And you can make a pretty good sandwich out of that. Or sometimes on za’atar bread. Za’atar is like a spice. And you can eat that with like tomato and labneh. And then there's a third type of yogurt called mansaf laban, which is made out of dried yogurt balls. You like mix it with water and it's kind of like a soup and you eat it on top of like a rice dish called mansaf, which is rice and then it has lamb meat. And then you drown it in the sauce made from the yogurt balls. And that's really delicious.