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Christina’s Corner: June 16, 2023

I think I suffer from something I call “Recovering New Jersey Kid Summer Syndrome.” We never got out of school until late in June – I think I graduated high school on something like June 22nd? – so you basically get 9 weeks of summer, fewer if you have an activity that started before the academic year. I’d find myself at Fourth of July anxiously crying to whoever would listen “summer’s basically over already!” Now that I’m an adult, and no longer teaching at a school, the year progresses differently. It’s less about the days remaining until the school bus pulls up and more about the seasonal joys.

This weekend’s suggestions are simple, but I think that’s okay. The best parts of any season usually are.

Eat: It’s blueberry season here in New Jersey, and I can’t wait to grab a pint at one of the local farms. There’s so many delicious ways to eat blueberries: cobblers, muffins, with yogurt, but one of my favorite ways is to eat them frozen. They’re especially good when frozen and then added to a bowl of cereal. The milk freezes around the blueberry in a little tiny lil snow jacket and slowly colors the milk purple-blue when defrosting. Try it: you can thank me later.

See: I am a card-carrying member of the Outlander fan club. After starting the television series during chemo, I am now all-in on this wild journey through Scotland in the 18th century. I’m entirely caught up on where the book and the series aligns, which is perfect timing, because season 7 premieres at midnight tonight on Starz. (Thus ending the time that devoted fans deem “droughtlander.”) If you are not into all things Scotland, may I recommend choosing a series to get fully immersed into with multiple seasons? Series I have watched and loved in the past include: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Queer Eye, and Jane the Virgin. Others with many episodes that are available to stream include Grey’s Anatomy, Walking Dead, and American Horror Story.

Do: Even if you’re not into gardening, consider the benefits of planting things for the pollinators in your life. Why are pollinators so important? Almost all of our food depends on pollination to grow. (According to the US Department of Agriculture, around 80%.) If you have a windowbox, a fire escape, or a porch, you can plant some things in a small planter: milkweed for monarch butterflies to eat, zinnias, or lavender are ideal and can be planted in a small space. Worried about your ability to keep a plant alive? You can grab these really cool products called Bee Cups and pop them in a terracotta pot with soil! Bee Cups provide a spot to drink and rest for pollinators like bees. It collects the perfect amount of water, which keeps the insect from drowning and also evaporates overnight. You can also buy a pack with “bee vision,” which uses a special UV glaze on the interior of the bee cup, developed by the ceramic artist: this way, bees can find them at night. Genius.

Have a blue, long-running, pollinated weekend,