Whenever I leave my compound, I feel dismal about climate change. Absolutely dismal.

Being that meal time is every 2 hours, it's impossible to go anywhere without bringing provisions or stopping for food. This stop at Phi Vietnamese restaurant was planned. The pho was as delicious as our last visit. We opted for the pricier entree rather than the cheaper lunch special pho to get more of the unusual cuts of meat we like.

Next stop was the crowded Mercer Museum to see the Lego exhibit. We had to get out of the house. Had to. This is where we ended up. Most trips to museums are just ok. I'm optimistic at the start of each foray, but a couple hours in I'm doing CPR on my positive mental outlook.

Parents coaching kids on how to properly use the jousting area - chill out, who the h*ll cares? Parents nagging kids to hold still for barrages of iPhone photos. Good grief.

A bold kid dressed in knight's costume met us at the entrance to a small slide and presents a riddle: "What's round and orange?" he asks in a knoghtly tone. Does he work here? I wondered. Beren and I stare. Beren begins to shrink. "And, is a fruit?" "Can you think of anything Beren?" I ask. Pause. I answer, "An orange?" "YES!". It's amusing, but Beren is still getting used to the crowd. We move on.

We find the Lego building stations for bigger kids. Beren and Jared dig in. I go off to check out the bookstore and exhibits, but I leave the camera with Jared. "Offer to take a photo of the building. It might make parting ways easier." (see above)

Jared and Beren met me in the another exhibit hall. As we passed by a vending machine, I asked, "Anyone hungry." Yup. We spent $1 for a small bag containing three or four medium sized pretzels.

Moving on we explored the museum's collection of old implements and, ah, stuff - candle holders, tortoise shell combs, wagons, barrels, shovels, etc. We went up several flights of stairs so that most objects were a blur until height-related dizziness set in. Down the steps we went.

We check back in on Beren's building. Completely gone. Beren begins to protest briefly but then says, "Well, we have a picture of it."

Outside, the retaining wall proved to be worth the 45 one-way minute trip and price of two adult tickets.

The above image is blurry to due my startle reflex as I watched Beren roll off the wall and onto the grass through my camera lens. The dismount was purposeful and graceful.

"Take a picture of the moss," Beren said. The little shred of nature, also worth the trip.

After the museum experience, we decided to stay out and attempt to find chair cushions at a nearby box store. Before going inside, we ate our day's snack as a dinner placebo until we got home for actual dinner. Grapes, chips, and two pears.

We hustled into the store. The demo automated chair massager made us all giggle and gave Jared and I a moment to consider a display of humidifiers ranging from $29.95 to $329.95.

"This is junk," I said. "Could we use the diffuser instead?" Jared mused. I could have said, "Dehumidifying all summer, humidifying all winter. It's crazy." But, that would have been the 568th time I would have uttered that sentiment.

As usual, we walked away from the display, empty-carted. We'll be back in the summer, looking for window fans. Just as we note the dry air from the woodstove all winter, we'll note the stillness of summer nights, until one season passes to the next with us willing to complain but unwilling to remedy the issue with plastic goods (bads).

We found cushions and meandered pausing to look at cheap pillows (looking to get rid of that uncomfortable couch and replace it with stumps and rugs - gypsy meets eastern woodland) and forks with blah modern styling (where do our forks go?). 

Near the exit was a wall of plastic winter-related items. Shovels, sleds, de-icers, and a curious red plastic case. Ah ha, a mold in which "you" can produce 6 football-shaped snowballs. It's called Touchdown Snowball Mak'R, just in case you want one for yourself.

Whenever I leave my compound, I feel dismal about climate change. Absolutely dismal.