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i woke up at 8am to get my day started. this was going to be another very busy wednesday of running errands. i started by literally running, heading out at 9am, jogging around the charles river, before returning home an hour later. i was listening to the latest happy endings podcast, this one with damon wayans jr.

i took a quick shower and then biked to the cafe round 10:30am. i strapped my vevor meat grinder - still in the box - onto the back of my bike. i figured if i was going to use it, it'd most likely be at the cafe anyway. i didn't stay long, just long enough to borrow the car.

i drove to the community garden to drop off a grow bag of potting soil and to water my garden. i then headed to medford to harbor freight tools. there was road construction after road construction, and i kept detouring. i ended up getting there via union square, didn't arrive until 11:30am.

i was getting some harbor freight sawhorses. the cheapest ones they carried - plastic ones - normally cost $14/each but i had a coupon that made it $10/each. i ended up getting 4 - the maximum you're allowed to get. i figured two of them would be used for our outdoor plant stand, so we needed another pair for wood cutting purposes. i also got a 1/2 gallon pump sprayer ($5). i have a 2 gallon one but it's too large, since normally i just made 1/2 gallon of what solution i happen to be spraying.

next i went to aldi's on the other side of the strip mall. here i picked up some baby cucumbers, cilantro, scallion, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, and milk. a gallon of milk costs $2.92, while a half gallon is $1.75.

coming back, i stopped at the somerville market basket to get some fennel sausages and bean sprouts. i also checked the milk prices: $2.59 a gallon, but a half gallon costs $1.89.

i went to the UPS store on somerville avenue to drop off a temu return package. 3 dresses my mother wanted to return. instead of allowing her to keep the items, temu asked her to return them before issuing a refund.

i was back at the cafe by 12:40pm to drop off the supplies. it was so busy, i ended up staying and helping out for 20 minutes before leaving again at 1pm.

i drove to my parents' place. i gathered up some plants and went to my aunt's house in arlington to drop them off. even though it was still early, the traffic was a mess. it took me 15 minutes to drive there and 15 to drive back. i delivered 3 tomatoes, 4 bitter melons, 3 hyacinth beans, 2 potted rudbeckia, 1 potted goldenrod, and a bag of lily-of-the-valley plants i dug up fresh from our shady perennial bed. i rang the doorbell but there didn't seem to be anyone home. i left the plants on the patio table under the shade of the umbrella. i also refilled the bird bath before i left, the solar fountain was gurgling dry.

back at the house, i spent the next 1-1/2 hours doing garden work. i started by mixing half a gallon of fungicide spray: 1.2 tbsp (18ml) of immunox liquid combined with 0.75 tbsp (2.25 tsp) of captan powder. this was for the grapes, which were long overdue for spraying. i'm supposed to spray every 10 days, but the last time i sprayed was may 20th more than 3 weeks ago. since that time not only have the grapes flowered, but they're also now setting fruits. the vines themselves need to be pruned, like leaving only a single cluster of grapes per shoot, and trimming off the suckers. i also need to get mesh fruit protection bags to prevent birds from eating the grapes before they're ready to harvest. grapes require a lot of work! now every time i eat grapes i appreciate how much it took to grow them.

i used the new 1/2 gallon sprayer. it doesn't have a wand, but instead you spray directly from the handle which has a built-in pump and spray head. i like that the spray nozzle is metal, makes it sturdier, compared to the 2 gallon sprayer which has an all-plastic spray wand assembly. another great thing about this 1/2 gallon sprayer is the pump has a metal spindle. the one that i saw at lowes that i almost got ($8) has a plastic spindle which might break if you pump the bottle too hard. anyway, the spray bottle worked very well, the spray came out very well atomized. 1/2 gallon is just large enough to hold with one hand without it feeling too heavy. i also like that there's a continuous spray switch (which i didn't use). it took just a few minutes to use up the entire bottle of fungicide.

next i tried out the sawhorses. i used two to hold up the two 2x8" 8ft planks that used to be my sister's raised bed frame, to make a makeshift plant stand. the sawhorses seemed very flimsy - all plastic like it'd break easily - but it felt very sturdy once i opened it up. supposedly each sawhorse can hold 350 lbs, so two of them should support 700 lbs., more than enough to hold the wooden planks with a few grow bags. how they'll withstand the element is the big unknown: i watched a video where somebody's sawhorse cracked after being weathered by the sun. that these sawhorses are all plastic means there's nothing to rust, but they're also not designed to be sitting outside all summer long. their saving grace is they're cheap and can be used as makeshift table legs for outdoor plant stands.

after planting some zucchini seeds (4) in the empty grow bag, i watered the garden. while watering, i noticed one of the tomatoes we planted on monday had already been defoliated by rabbits. i ended scrounging up some chicken wires and creating temporary fencing. i also noticed rabbits had defoliated the columbine hidden underneath the honeysuckle (which by the way are now all blooming and fills the backyard with its fragrance). i didn't know they eat columbines but apparently they do. one of the projects this weekend will be to install wires along all fencing bottoms to keep the rabbits out.

i finally lef by 3:30pm. my parents' new neighbors across the street are doing major landscaping work, hiring contractors to rototill their lawn with machines and plants a bunch of shrubs and trees. we still don't know too much about them, and i don't think my parents have said hello even. it's apparently an older couple and a younger couple. a single family or two families? who knows.

i returned the car at the cafe before going home. my sister told me i got a ticket on my bike. reason? because i locked it to a sign post. the ticket said if i didn't remove my bike within 72 hours, the city would remove my bike.

i took another shower when i got home. for a late lunch i had an asian salad mix that i got from aldi's. i've had it before, it's actually pretty good. afterwards i just lounged on the couch. having accomplished most of what i set out to do today, there was nothing left but to relax for a bit. i fell asleep at 6pm, waking up an hour later.

game 3 between the celtics and mavericks was tonight. i timed my dinner so i could eat and watch during the start of the game at 8:30pm. once more i had a gyro.

the start of the first quarter was the best the mavericks played in the series so far. they quickly got out to a 15 point lead. everything was falling for dallas, nothing for boston. but midway through the quarter, the celtics made a run and erased that lead, got the game to within 1 point. the whole second half was a close rock fight, mavericks leading half the time, celtics leading the other half. the third quarter started even more intense, the lead alternating something like 10 times, changing with each possession, as the two teams took turns scoring, match each other's intensity. it was the celtics to finally pull away, building up their lead so they were up 15 points at the end of the quarter. in the start of the final fourth quarter, celtics continued applying pressure, pushed the lead to 21 points. it looked like game over for the mavericks. i was starting to celebrate.

but then the celtics crashed, as their lead quickly diminished. they seemingly lost their ability to score and defend. there was a stretch where the celtics only scored 2 points in 8 minutes as dallas went into overdrive offensive mode. but this is typical of the celtics, they're not killers, and it's common knowledge they'll let you back in the game after building a big lead. mavericks got the game to within one point with something like 4 minutes left in the game. but no sooner had that happen did they loose a key player: doncic fouled out. they still had kyrie, but the celtics is his kryptonite, and he was ineffective, at least not when it counted the most. boston clamped down on defense to make stops, and scored just enough to keep dallas away. final score 106-99, boston now leads the series 3-0.

no NBA team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit. the only question now isn't if the celtics will win a championship, but rather will they sweep the mavericks friday night in game 4? i failed to mention that porzingis didn't play. but they didn't need him. yes, the game would've been easier for boston had they had porzingis (his rim protection and his 3-point shooting), but the celtics have more than enough talent to win without him. horford took porzingis spot, with xavier tillman as backup. why kornet wasn't the backup is a mystery, but tillman held his own, even shot a 3-pointer from the corner that pumped up the celtics bench. tatum played better tonight, the best this series with 31 points, while brown contributed 30 of his own. tatum didn't have a monster game like many fans were hoping, but he was a solid contributor. jrue holiday though, i think he deserves final MVP. he's kind of like a more consistent derrick white, making hustle plays, timely shots, grabbing rebounds, creative passes.

i woke up early to go water my community garden plot before heading to the cafe. this early in the morning the kids are still arriving at school so my route to the garden is a little congested. while the children are getting their education, the adults take the opportunity to use their playground field as a dog park, so a lot of barking this morning. all my seedlings look okay, though the middle eggplant seem a bit stunted. i'm tempted to pull it out and plant something else in its place. at this point i don't have time to grow anything from seed and need to just buy something from the plant store. i finally planted the red-veined sorrel in a clay pot. a lot of my nigellas have also bloomed, they self-seed, so they're practically a weed at this weed, like my striped mallows.

when i got to the cafe by 9am, i turned on all the ordering tablets and cooked 6 cups of rice. afterwards i went outside and opened the cantilever umbrella before bringing out the tables and chairs. i started simmering the old batch of tea eggs before making another new batch. i also refilled the drink refrigerator. i told my father about the $10 harbor freight sawhorses and he thought it was a good idea to get some.

today was a slow and steady trickle of customers, nothing crazy, a good day to start off the work week. my father found some old school sawhorses in the basement that use 2x4's for the legs and the tops. i moved them to the truck of the car and managed to cut my finger. afterwards my father and i moved the large metal storage chest into the basement (for the stone rubbing books). much later i managed to smash a porcelain bowl onto the corner of the work table and gashed another finger (all on my left hand). not a good day for job safety. for lunch i ate a savory zongzi.

in the afternoon i biked to the porter square post office to mail off two quarterly tax payments for my parents. i also got some forever stamps (68¢): sea turtles, carnival nights, ansel adams, and celebration blooms. i noticed some pretty wildflowers growing underneath a sidewalk tree outside the post office.

my parents kept telling me to go home early, especially after i showed them the list of things i had to do tomorrow on my one day off. they doubled their call asking me to leave after i injured my hand. but i stuck around until closing time.

porzingis' injury report was released today and it wasn't good: he suffered a torn medial retinaculum in his left leg. it's so rare, in a 2006 study there has only been 32 documented case of dislocation of the posterior tibialis tendon. it's an injury that may require surgery, or it may just fix itself (tendon popping back into place). his status for tomorrow is questionable, but realistically it looks like he'll at least miss game 3. celtics can still win without him (they did it for most of the playoff run), but porzingis is the team's cheat code, without him winning will be less easy.

for dinner i fixed myself a gyro, washed it down with some lemonade, had an apple for dessert.

even though i could've slept late, i woke up at 9am. i had a relaxed morning, showered, processed some photos, updated some blog posts. i could see that my parents went to baifu for supplies; i planned on rendezvousing with them at the cafe so i could help them unload. i headed to the cafe around 11am. my sister was about to leave. earlier she told me that esmei found a rabbit nest in the backyard and was playing with a bunny as if it was a toy. my sister didn't know if the bunny was hurt, but she put it back in its nest. anyway, my sister gave me a ride to pick up a collapsible shopping cart i saw a few blocks ago. she left after dropping me off back at the cafe. the cart was in pretty good shape - just a little dusty. it had a pretty large capacity with actual wheels with rubbers and spokes - not cheap plastic. it had a porter square tag hardware label but when i went to the website i couldn't find this particular cart anywhere.

my parents finally showed up. i helped them unpack the car before we left for belmont around 11:30am.

my mother made wonton soup for lunch, sprinkled with some garlic chives i got from chinatown on saturday.

i replaced the blade on our 7-1/4" circular saw. i got a 60 teeth ultra finish diablo blade. the circular saw we have (master mechanic brand) was a hand-me-down so we don't have the manual and wasn't sure if we installed the blade correctly. it also had a busted cord (previous owner accidentally cut through it) so my father patched it up with a piece of garden hose and some black electric tape.

after lunch my father and i went to home depot to buy some lumber for my plant bench project. the watertown home depot is probably the worst home depot within the area. it's smaller than most HD so things sometimes aren't in stock. their lumber department is especially lacking, only carrying the most common sizes. i was in search of treated 1x4" and 2x4". i needed 6ft 1x4" but they only had 8ft and 12ft. we ended up getting the 12ft and cutting them in half. their cutting machine wasn't working, so my father had to manually cut the planks (thankfully only three). as for the 2x4", they had them in 8ft length so that's the one we got. i also picked up some 2" deck screws (expensive, $11.50 box, even though i only need 8 screws). i also got a plastic watering can.

back at the house, we finally dug up the western bed so we can plant our bitter melon seedlings. my father was very keen to add his food scrap compost, as a base for the bottom of every hole dug, as well as in buried plastic containers that act as active compost fermenter. i'm just worried they might attract vermins. he ended up planting 10 bitter melons - protected by a ring of chicken wires each - and 3 tomatoes.

i was busy preparing pots for planting some remaining plants. we got 3 medium-sized plastic pots from costco last weekend, 2 of which i used to plant a saved hot pepper from last year and a chinese lantern. i sprinkled some rocks at the bottom for drainage, filled half with homemade compost, filled the rest of miracle-gro potting soil. i also filled 5 10 gallon grow bags: 1/3 compost, 2/3 potting soil. one of them i'm taking back to my own community garden, the remaining 4 we planted 2 tomatoes, 1 eggplant, and one more for a future zucchini. my father had the bright idea of using two outdoor table bottoms as legs and making a makeshift table with two 8ft wooden planks from my sister's backyard. this gave us enough space to put all the grow bags as well as additional potted plants in the center of the lawn where it'd receive the maximum amount of sunlight.

my father also noticed how green our seedlings have become ever since we planted them into the ground. when they were in their container pots the leaves were turning yellow. now the squash and bean plants are happily green and thriving in this warm temperature (70-80's) despite still dipping into the 50's at nights. the buttercup squashes seem to be especially well, even though we just started to train them to grow up garden stacks. maybe the simple fact of elevating the growing stem allows each leaves to receive more sunlight thereby growing faster. squashes are just naturally fast growing (case in point: zucchini). even though they don't look like anything now, in a few weeks, hopefully the squash plants will have reached the top of our raised bed cages. bitter melons are also fast growing, as well as our blue beans. we should be able to harvest blue beans in RB4 in a few more weeks. what's growing slow? luffas. eggplants. peppers.

finally i moved out all our remaining houseplants. they'd been living in the sunroom ever since i shut down the basement grow room. putting them outside clears up space in the house, reduces pests due to natural outdoor predators, and makes taking care of them easier since they get watered naturally whenever it rains or when we happen to be watering our garden.

for dinner my father cooked up some ready made frozen korean fried chicken strips in the air fryer. it's basically a general tso's chicken recipe, just with spicy korean sauce that was neither very korean nor spicy. we could probably make a better version from scratch. my mother cooked up some garlic chive with eggs and a chicken with homegrown garden pea pod stirfry.

i headed home around 7pm.

the next finals game isn't until wednesday night, so there's a few days of waiting. in the meantime i continued to consume celtics game analysis videos. game 3 is just as pivotal as game 2. it's a must-win for dallas, so they'll be playing with extra desperation motivation. it'd be an easy game for the celtics to lose, having already beat the mavericks twice. but if they can game 3, they will all but guarantee themselves a championship as no NBA team has ever come back after being down 3-0 in the playoffs. i'm hoping tatum has a superstar quality game. his offensive has been off during the whole playoffs, though he does make up for it elsewhere, like drawing double teams (opponents still game plan around him), elite defense, and racking up assists/rebounds.

the forecast for this morning was a brief period of torrential rain. my father was going to give me a ride at 11am, but i looked at the weather and decided if i leave early enough, i can get to belmont before the rain starts. 10am was when it was supposed to start raining, but to be safe i planned on leaving before 9am. already when i woke up at 8am the sky was ominously dark. doppler showed rain clouds right above us yet it was still dry. as soon as i left the house around 8:45am, i felt sprinkles. i stopped at the cafe first to put the tea eggs in the fridge before continuing to my parents' place. by then the sprinkles were getting a little more intense, but i was already pretty close so i didn't get too damp. it did however give my parents a scare, not expecting somebody to come into the house so early.

usually my parents have breakfast before i arrive, but since i was there, breakfast sort of became lunch. my father my some fried eggs and we ate it was some leftover zongzi and some mung bean soup.

my father brought up the stone carving booklets from the basement (三希堂石渠寶笈法帖). they belonged to pansusu, a family heirloom purchased by his grand father. his son albert is looking to get them back this month, so my father was getting them ready, having been at their house in storage for 10+ (?) years. these were made from imperial stone carving made during the qing dynasty (1644-1911). the stones were carved in 1747, the rubbings were made in the early years of the 20th century after the fall of the emperor. they're made using a thin wet paper technique that's pressed on top of the stone before inking the surface. my father and i were trying to guess how much it was worth. the original stones still exist though not on public display. digital copies of the rubbings can also be found (like this version in the harvard library) as well as print versions.

i was busy doing some retroactive blog updating. the problem is until i finish a blog post, the photos for those days sit on my laptop until they get used. since i have such a long backlog, they take up most of the storage space on my computer. i need to free up some space so i can download all the photos i took from yesterday's pride parade (2000+).

it stopped raining by the early afternoon. it wasn't much, and we never got that forecasted downpour, just some light drizzle at best. it did however topple several tall foxgloves, which i then supported with stakes.

later in the afternoon the sun even came out. that's when my father and i went outside to put wiring fencing over some raised beds. using 7ft u-posts as support, we cut 4x8ft length of 2x3" galvanized wire fencing and clipped them on top of the posts. they look pretty makeshift and amateur, but once our vining plants (squash, beans, gourds) climb over them, they'll get covered up. we put fencing on top of RB1 and RB2. RB0 also got some fencing but we used some scrap fencing we found. afterwards i put stakes by all the squash plants. my father tied the buttercup squash to the stakes with hemp string, but left the kabocha squash growing on the ground so they can set more roots before we train them to grow up. my mother came out briefly to harvest some snap peas.

my sister showed up unexpected in the late afternoon. she kept esmei outside because she rolled around in something smelly (my sister said it was dog poop). my sister tried to wash off the stink, but we discovered that esmei seems to be afraid of the water, running away immediately when i turned on the hose to rinse her house. she was smart enough to try running back into the house (but the door was closed). so she ended up coated in soapy water, the stink partially covered up.

my mother made fried rice and a tofu-hot pepper-kielbasa stirfry for dinner. i went home soon afterwards, got back around 7pm.

i took a shower and settled in for game 2 of the NBA finals between the mavericks and celtics. this was a key game for boston. lose, and the series become a best out of 5. win, and they put the mavericks in an 0-2 deficit. dallas started out strong, had a single digit lead for most of the first quarter going into the second quarter. porzingis once again came off of the bench, though adjustments made by dallas curtailed him more unlike game 1. celtics battled and got the lead going into halftime. in the second half it was all celtics. boston only lead by about 10 points, but managed to stave off any mavericks runs. tatum wasn't shooting well but keeping passing to jrue holiday for layups, who finished the game with a team high of 26 points. holiday was essentially the MVP of game 2, making key plays both offensively and defensively. i wouldn't mind him getting finals MVP, just so there won't be any jealousy between jaylen and jayson. pritchard scored his first point of the finals, a buzzer beater 3-point at the end of the 3rd quarter. porzingis left the game in the 4th quarter after landing awkwardly and played a few minutes with a noticeable limp (hope he's okay). it was a close game throughout but celtics managed to win in the end, 98-105. boston is now up 2-0 going into game 3 on wednesday in dallas.

i went to bed soon after the game, didn't even bother making a blog post. i don't have to wake up early tomorrow, so if i get a head start going to sleep, i can basically maximize my sleep time.

i took the day off from cafe work to go see the pride parade in boston. i packed my dSLR with just the 55-250mm EF-S lens. i figured if i needed to shoot wide angle, i could always just grab my camera phone. i also brought my 3D camera and my insta360 camera. in fact, when i bought the insta360 back in early march, it was exactly for this purpose: to film crowded parades. i couldn't quite figure out the logistics though, how i'd take photos while at the same time film 360° videos. i also brought along a tumbler filled with ice water. the last thing i did before leaving was to spray sunblock in the tub. that smells reminds me of summertime fun.

i left by 10am. weather was in the 70's, blue skies, clouds, sunny. it was also surprisingly windy. it took me just a bit over 20 minutes to arrive at copley square. police had already blocked off major roads, but it wasn't off limits to bicycles. i actually attached the insta360 camera to my handlebar before i got into copley square so i could shoot a few minutes of video. i rode uphill on clarendon street and locked my bike near the backbay MBTA exit. i then walked downhill towards copley square again to check out the action. the local NBC affiliate was broadcasting the pride parade live for the very first time. they had two broadcasts, one in english, the other in spanish for telemundo. they even had a helicopter hovering overhead to provide aerial shots. i then climbed back up the hill and stood at my usual spot, outside of the clarendon street garage, next to the mailbox, right on the crest of the hill. here i waited for the parade to start at 11am.

i saw a few insta360 cameras. someone had it mounted on their motorcycle handlebar; another person had it poking out of his backpack mounted on a selfie stick. all ideas i can try on my next parade. the first politician i saw was senator elizabeth warren in a rainbow feathered boa. i spotted boston city councilman ed flynn. that was followed by mayor michelle wu wearing celtics green flanked by a marching band and a police detail. i didn't see governor healey in her own procession until a minute later when she ran up the hill by herself waving hello to her constituents. i saw senator ed markey who looked like he needed a haircut.

last year's parade was sort of lackluster, after a 3-year hiatus due to the pandemic and in-fighting amongst the parade organizers. this year seemed like there was three times as many participants. the parade was so long, at one point i walked down to copley square again to see if i could see the end (i couldn't). i actually found myself growing bored and thinking, when is this going to end? there was a taiwan procession (missing from last year), as well as a chinese procession. i waved to both but didn't get anything special (i don't think they were handing anything out). speaking of freebies, besides my share of informational postcards, i also got stickers, pins, rubber bracelets, and candy. delta once again gave out biscoff crackers, and tj maxx handed out those large tote bags (i got two). i also got a pride flag (the newest iteration, with the progressive chevron) and of course beads. i was hoping to get one of every color so i could complete a rainbow. i stood next two these two girls (high school age?) who got a lot of attention and people handed out so much stuff to them they needed a bag to carry everything.

recently i've been shooting parade events in shutter priority mode with a speed of 1/1600s. i've found the results to be pretty good with such a fast shutter speed, no blurs, crisp sharpness, very few bad photos. the only times i get a dub is if somebody walked in front of the lens, causing a momentary focus confusion. because i only had my telephoto, a few times i resorted to my phone camera to shoot a quick wide shot, and i also use the phone camera to take an occasional quick video.

favorite procession? anything with choreographed dancing. at one point la roux's "bulletproof" started playing and i got goosebumps. i really like the one for realm cannabis featuring male and female dancers clad in silver outfits along with a performing pole dancer. i also love seeing drag queens, but there weren't as many as in years past. bubbles seem to be all the rage, as well as color balloons. because it was so windy, it made for very dramatic photos. flags were fluttering, costumes were billowing; a few times i saw people chasing down hats that'd been blown away.

the parade finally ended at 1:30pm. i returned to my bike and headed towards chinatown to get a few things. i mounted the insta360 camera, hoping to capture some good footage. a woman sitting in a car shouted, "is that a microphone?" but i told her it was a 360° camera.

i went to ming's market wearing my full assortment of beads. i got mostly produce, so much so i couldn't carry them all in my little shopping basket. napa cabbage, long horn hot peppers, bokchoi, garlic chives, chinese celery. i left chinatown around 2:30pm.

i attached the insta360 camera onto my bike handlebar one final time, as i made my way across boston to cambridge. i was afraid i wouldn't be able to cross boston common; the last time i came during the pride parade, the street was filled with people. this time around the street was blocked off but empty. i acrossed the fiedler pedestrian bridge then made my way across the longfellow back to cambridge. i finally got home around 3pm.

i took a shower mainly to wash off the sunblock, which was greasy and hard to remove. even though i wore protection, being out in the sun all day still increased my tan. i packed up my things and left around 3:30pm for the cafe.

the cafe was about to close. i got there right in time to drop off the chinatown supplies. my aunt invited us to arlington for a barbecue. after we closed, my parents and i first stopped off at belmont to drop off a few things before continuing to arlington. this was a particularly special occasion as my aunt agreed to allow esmei to come as long as she stayed outside. this dispensation made sure my sister would be there as well.

we had grilled chicken and beef, smashed cucumbers, fried cauliflower, saffron rice, grilled zucchini, grilled onions, and grilled peppers. there was some also cheese and crackers but only my sister and i seemed to be eating it. my sister brought a fancy bean and grain salad. she brought a length of dog fence to keep esmei on the patio. even though, esmei spent all her time exploring the new area.

after we finished eating, my aunt brought out a wild blueberry crumble served with vanilla ice cream. esmei managed to get a drop of ice cream on her snout but she couldn't reach it until we wiped it off. we finally left around 7pm.

we returned to belmont, where i retrieved my motorcycle and rode home. even though i showered, i could still smell sunblock on my skin.

i went to the cafe a little late this morning because i needed to pick up my walgreens prescription and the pharmacy doesn't open until 9am. i went to the community garden beforehand to water my plants. what little rain fell yesterday was substantial enough that the soil in several grow bags were still damp. afterwards i went to walgreens. besides my prescription, i also picked up some mango gummy candy and almonds. a friendly teen worked the cashier, too affable for so early in the morning. i made it to the cafe by 9:30am.

i noticed the box for the 10ft square cantilever umbrella we got from costco was on the ground by the parking lot patio deck. how my parents managed to unload the 100lbs. container from the car was a mystery. since it wasn't busy yet, my father and i quickly assembled the cantilever umbrella, being careful not to damage the packaging in case we wanted to return it (though costco has a pretty lenient return policy).

first we had to decide where to put it. originally i thought of mounting it on the patio deck itself, but the entire umbrella including the base has a length of 12ft, and the longest side of our deck was only 11ft. the only other place it could go was on the east side of the deck, the side without a railing.

the umbrella assembly looked daunting at first, but it wasn't too hard to put together. start with the base, which is your typical metal cross brace stand. on top of that we screwed in the holder pole, which also contained the mechanism for panning the umbrella 360 degrees. next we filled in the 4 molded base weights with water. they fit together over the cross brace, securely holding the base in place. finally we inserted the umbrella assembly, attached to the holder pole with two screws. with that we were done.

opening and adjusting the umbrella was a breeze. canopy crank handle opens up the umbrella. the 360 degrees crank handle at the bottom of the pole turned the umbrella side to side. the canopy glide handle slides the umbrella up and down. finally the umbrella itself can be rotate left and right using the rotation handle mechanism. speaking of breeze, there was some wind today, and the umbrella moved a little bit, but nothing that would be worrisome, far less than our previous cantilever umbrella that was basically a dangling umbrella attached to a fixed on the top. my father seemed to really love the new cantilever umbrella, said it was perfect, just what we needed.

so i like that the umbrella is large, big enough to cover our roughly 9x11 ft patio deck. i don't like we can only put in on the east side of the deck; ideally it should be placed on the south side, so it can give total coverage throughout the day. we also have to be careful about swinging the umbrella 360 degrees; it's possible to accidentally swing it into the wall. the $500 umbrella also comes with solar-powered led lights, but we didn't install those, since the umbrella is only ever used during the daytime. maybe in the fall, when we get those early sunsets, but usually by then it's too cold for anyone to be sitting outside anymore, especially in the dark.

we left the cantilever umbrella outside and monitored how much shade the patio deck was getting. throughout the day, 4 customers sat outside: our friday regular (an old guy who comes in and plays with his phone for an hour before leaving), a couple with a dog (i saw them two weeks ago, hoping to sit outside but the deck wasn't assembled yet), and a girl who brought a bubble tea and then sat outside for hours using her laptop. they all sat happily in the shade, oblivious to our new umbrella providing them with complimentary shadow. the only time the umbrella didn't work was in the late afternoon, when the sun is in the west. tables on the western side of the deck will be in the sun, while everywhere else is still shady. there's nothing we can do about that since our umbrella sits on the east.

my sister eventually saw the new cantilever umbrella by late morning. she came in with a scowl on her face, immediately said she didn't like it. but i showed her how easy it was to operate, and the amount of shade it'd provide. the fact that she didn't say anything else meant even she could see the advantage of the cantilever umbrella. all she added was the umbrella needed to be coated with scotchguard in order to keep it from fading and waterproof.

like everyday this week, my mother continued making zongzi. customers kept coming in to pick up their orders. zongzi sales alone gave us a big boost of profit today. when my aunt showed up she had a few different varieties of zongzi. when closing time came, i left with 2 savory zongzi for dinner.

taking down the cantilever umbrella was just as easy as opening it up. the important thing is to remove all deck furniture first, otherwise the closing 10ft umbrella will act like a giant claw and envelope all the furniture. we left the umbrella outside, too burdensome to remove. we figured nobody was going to steal it (difficult, but not impossible), and we'll buy some kind of security cable to lock up the umbrella (and deck furniture) hopefully by next week (that way we don't have to bring in the furniture either).

i went to the community garden straight after work. ann had contacted me earlier, wanted my help in planting two more bitter melon seedlings, as she can't bend over to do i herself. i didn't realize she was waiting for me and got there a little late. i planted her bitter melons before she left. elsewhere in the garden was wayne, waiting until the last possible day to work on his garden plot. i still don't think he recognizes me, even though i thought we had a breakthrough last summer when he saw me riding my motorcycle and i found out he used to ride a lot before he got into a serious accident that broke his body in several pieces.

i didn't have my zongzi for dinner until almost 9pm. with no NBA game until sunday night, i got my celtics fix by watching game 1 breakdown videos on youtube. that post-victory high is going to last me all the way through the weekend.

it was supposed to rain today but it was much ado about nothing. there was a sprinkle at best. it wasn't raining yet when i made it to the cafe this morning. my mother made another batch of zongzi, like she's been doing every day this week. today it was savory zongzi (yesterday as well). we boiled it in the thick bottom stock pot i brought over yesterday, it worked well, the induction cooktop didn't throw an error like it does when we use the thin-bottom stock pot.

after making a new batch of tea egg spices, i cooked a new batch of tea eggs in the afternoon. the spices should like me 3-4 weeks, depending on how busy we get. i thought about creating more than my usual 10 packets, but i needed more fennel and cinnamon bark.

for lunch, i had some leftover chicken fingers and fries my sister had bought a few days ago. i also sampled one of the savory zongzi, made sure to have some yeo's sweet chili sauce.

my sister threw another tantrum when we told we wanted to try out the cantilever umbrella we got from costco. her 3-tier market umbrella worked when the patio deck was a square, but with the recent expansion to a longer rectangle, that round umbrella can no longer provide enough coverage. her solution is to add another smaller umbrella, so you have a bigger umbrella on top of a smaller one. it's a weird solution and still doesn't give good coverage.

i also made a new batch of boba. we had two ubereats orders, once in the morning, once in the late afternoon near closing time. i thought i recognized the name, turns out it was the same person. she also ordered deliver yesterday as well.

i returned home after we closed. my mother made me a bento box of stirfry tofu with hot peppers and leftover barbecued chicken with a bonus spicy italian sausage. there was no rain but the air was humid. what little rain that fell earlier did concentrate all the pollen and there seemed to be yellow dust everywhere. i took a shower before eating my dinner.

the main attraction of the day was game one of the NBA finals between the mavericks and the celtics. i was a little nervous until i reminded myself it's just a game. sports pundits seemed split on who would ultimately win, although i favored the celtics. the game marked the return of porzingis, after he'd been missing from most of the playoffs due to a calf injury. he actually came off the bench, with horford starting in his place. when porzingis did come on the court, there was no rust, as he shot long threes and blocked shots. in the second quarter the celtics smothered the mavericks, leading by as much as 29 points. to dallas' credit, they came back in the 3rd quarter, cutting the lead down to just 8 points. but boston weathered the run and pushed the lead back into the 20+ range. the game was pretty much settled by then to the point where i wasn't even paying attention anymore, as bench players got some playing time. boston wins, 107-89.

as happy as i am to win game 1 (70% of game 1 winners end up winning the finals), i'm reminded of the 2022 NBA finals when the celtics faced the warriors. celtics won that first game as well (in california no less), and won the 3rd game when the series shifted to boston, leading the series 2-1. things looked good until the warriors evened the series at 2-2, making it a best out of 3 series. golden state ended up winning the next 2 to win the NBA finals. so the lesson here is be happy to have won game 1, but it's a long series, and anything can still happen. ask me again how i feel after game 2, or even game 3.

i had a full day today, couldn't afford to waste any time. i woke up at 9:30am and was out the door around 10am for my wednesday morning run. i listened to the happy endings podcast on spotify. the run took a little over an hour to complete. i found a meal pot organizer that i brought back. i didn't bother visiting the community garden as i planned on doing some work here later in the afternoon.

after a shower and resting up a little bit, i was out the door again before noontime. i went to harvard vanguard to pick up a prescription for my mother, before going down cambridge street to the galleria mall. bath & body works was having their semi-annual sale on hand soaps and i wanted to replenish my stock. i parked on hurley street and walked to the mall. my last visit to the galleria was last october, when i accompanied LSH to the apple store to buy a new ipad and he also got a slice from the cheesecake factory. since then they closed their food court for renovations, replacing it with a more upscale food court coming soon. the galleria is a shell of its former glory, the third floor converted to office space (though i'm not sure if it's even occupied currently), the mall mostly empty.

the bath & body works sales was underwhelming. mostly their seasonal scents were on sale ($4), their more popular fragrances still at full price ($8). after sampling the different smells, i left with just 4 hand soaps.

i left the galleria by 12:30pm. from lechmere i crossed the gilmore bridge and traveled north on 99 all the way to lowe's. along the way i passed through charlestown, everett, malden, and finally saugus. route 99 is the most straight forward but slowest route, but i took it because it was the easiest, less chance to get lost. it took nearly 40 minutes of riding to finally arrive at lowe's.

i took the time to travel all this way to get this: a 36-inch orbit max 8-pattern rear trigger zinc garden hose hand ($21). it's more expensive than the melnor watering wand ($15) we use, but the 3rd one i bought just 2 weeks has broke as well, leaking from the handle. at this point i want to spend the extra money and buy something that can last at least a few seasons. even then i have my doubts about the orbit: some reviews on the lowe's site seem to show it too has some quality control issues, but it does offer a lifetime warranty, so we'll see how it goes if it does break.

i also got an 8oz. container of valspar semi-transparent exterior wood stain and sealer ($5.50), for a wooden bench project i'm working on. though designed as a bench, i'm actually building it to serve as a portable plant stand. i got the stain in cedar color. afterwards i went and check out the lumber prices. the bench uses 2x4 and 1x4. 8ft length of treated 2x4 costs $5.58, while treated 6ft 1x4 costs $3.72 each.

i left lowe's around 1:30pm. i strapped the watering wand to the back of the motorcycle with some bungie netting. i called my mother to see if she needed anything from the 99 asian supermarket. i was relieved when she said no, which meant i could come straight home.

coming back was quicker - just 30 minutes - but it also felt quicker because i was basically jut retracing my steps. i cut through union square and made a stop at market basket to get some gyro ingredients and some pork butts for my mother. i had to bring in the watering wand because i didn't want to leave it on the motorcycle.

i finally made it home by 2:30pm. just enough time to drop off some groceries and head down to the cafe. this time i strapped a large 20qt heavy bottom stainless steel stock pot to the back of the motorcycle with bungie netting. i had a spare i found a few years back, good condition (with lid) except it has a dent in the side. but i figured it'd be better served at the cafe. there was a crowd of people at the cafe: besides my parents, my 2nd aunt was there, as well as my godmother. my sister was there too, supervising the handyman who came today to extend the patio deck. earlier my mother had made a batch of savory zongzi with salted pork and mushrooms. she offered me some, but i told her i'd eat it tomorrow when i'm back at work.

i also brought some unused bike lock cables, that i was thinking we could use to secure the patio umbrella and the furniture, so we wouldn't have to bring it inside all the time.

my original plan was to take the car to belmont so return a few things at home depot then go to my parents' place to do some gardening before hauling a potting soil filled grow bag to my own community garden plot for more gardening. but i was already pretty exhausted by then, not to mention i hadn't eaten or drank anything all day, even though i went running this morning. it was also getting late - 3pm - probably wouldn't be until 5m that i got back home. so i abandoned the car idea, and decided to just go home instead, where i could spend the rest of the afternoon working in my own garden.

i stayed at the cafe a little bit helping out when it suddenly got busy. i didn't leave until 3:40pm.

after returning home, i walked down to the community garden around 4pm. most of the garden - including mine - were already in the shade, so it wasn't so hot anymore (temperature today in cambridge reached 87° according to my weather station). i spent the next hour working on my plot. i trimmed off all the chive flowers. they were all too dry to have any use. i dug up some garlic chives so i could weed them of grass before planting them back. i found a spot for my found milk crate, had to relocate some nigella in order to make room. afterwards i watered. what's new this year is the spigot how has a splitter so two hoses can be attached. unfortunately i didn't realize the other hose was on, so after i finished watering, i discovered the whole pathway flooded.

i came home by 5pm. while taking a long-deserved shower, i also did two loads of laundry: shirts, socks, underwears, followed by pants. i needed to do a third load - bedsheets - but figured i could do that some other time.

for dinner i fixed myself a gyro: lamb/beef gyro meat from costco, gyro bread from restaurant depot, some chopped lettuce, sliced onion, tzatziki, and feta cheese. it was pretty good though messy to eat.

close to 9pm i moseyed my way down to star market to pick up some things: fig newton, potato chips, frozen pizza. the sky still wasn't dark yet, with an interesting mix of clouds.

i woke up a bit early this tuesday morning so i'd have time to go down to the community garden and water my plants before starting my cafe shift. along the way i picked up a milk crate from the curb, i will use it as a plant stand for a grow bag. i watered around the plants in order to preserve as much diatomaceous earth powder as possible so i wouldn't have to reapply.

heading to the cafe, i heard a car honking. it took me a few seconds to realize it was michael driving his faded red car. i waved back before continuing. i got the cafe a bit after 9am. my parents had been there since 8:30am, prepping to make a batch of sweet zongzi, as well as cutting and marinating some pork for the savory zongzi that will be made tomorrow. there didn't seem to be any takers last week, but we got a bunch of new orders zongzi. even that weirdo beef noodle soup girl called to make an order this morning (i thought she was calling to order her beef noodle soup with extra beef).

i restocked the drink fridge before we opened. i made a list of what was missing, then went down to the basement to collect the inventory. i ended up making 3 up-and-down trips as the fridge was pretty empty since nobody bothered to restock the missing drinks.

it's been on my mind for a while but i finally got around to updating the bubble tea chalkboard menu. a few things wrong with the old existing menu: we no longer carry ice cream, and the bubble tea flavors are so tiny they're hard to read. the updated menu i removed ice cream and i enlarged the flavors so they'd easier to see. even though i did draw out some grid lines, i did most of the writing by hand using the chalk markers. they dry up quickly so i had to depress the tip periodically to draw out the "ink." yes i made mistakes, but they were easy to fix with a wet magic eraser and some paper towels. the final result wasn't perfect, but good enough.

my sister was hovering around the cafe today, in her capacity as unofficial "come when i feel like it" worker. i helped her set up one of the umbrellas she bought, a 10ft round 3-tier market umbrella (purple) with led solar lights ($120). we were careful not to damage the umbrella or the base ($70) in case we wanted to return them. instead of a metal cross base like the one on our old cantilever umbrella, the bottom of this umbrella was just a straight pole that inserted into a plastic base that can be filled with water/sand. the base also has wheels to make moving easier. filled with sand, the base weights 123 lbs, while with just water its 81 lbs. there was a bit of a breeze today, but the market umbrella held up remarkable well. it was shaking a little bit, but nothing like our previous cantilever umbrella, where it'd be spinning and rocking like a sail. i think the 3-tier helps a lot, as well as the fact that the umbrella sits on a central axis and not cantilevered out (cantilever load was something i learned about in engineering school).

we left the umbrella outside to see how it'd handle the weather conditions, going out periodically to see where the shadow was moving. the parking lot patio faces directly south, so it gets the full brunt of the sun's angle all day long. there's only so much we can do. the umbrella doesn't have any adjustments other than the ability to tilt it 45 degrees, but then it starts acting like a cantilever and the umbrella has a tendency to rotate in the breeze. just minutes after we set up the umbrella we already had two customers trying out the new shady patio.

the 3-tier umbrella worked well enough that we'll probably keep it. it's a shame, because the cantilever umbrella we got yesterday from costco is so much better, with the ability to adjust in 3 directions. but realistically, would we be outside every few hours adjusting the umbrella so the patio is always in the shade? the cantilever umbrella is also takes up more space. and finally, the cantilever cost $500 while the 3-tier market umbrella is just $190 including the base. a part of me still wants to assemble the cantilever umbrella just so we try it out, but it'll be much easier to return if we don't even open the box. that umbrella currently sits inside the car, as it's too heavy to move out.

as i mentioned earlier, my mother made sweet zongzi today. in taiwan we normally eat savory zongzi. sweet zongzi is more common with mainland chinese. that's actually how we can different if a customer is chinese or taiwanese, by what kind of zongzi they order. after wrapping them up, she boiled the zongzi for several hours to cook them.

my 2nd aunt showed up today. ever since my mother asked her to come help out at the cafe on wednesdays so i could have one day off, my 2nd aunt only comes on the days she's working (wednesdays and saturdays). so today was a rare appearance. turns out she was here because she needed my help to call the laundromat service in her apartment. apparently the machine ate her money ($25) but never added it to her laundry card. i called and got them to issue a special code so she can punch it in the vending machine and get her money back. she ended up staying until closing time, working on a crochet/knitting project, asking my mother for help.

i didn't have lunch until almost 3pm, a leftover barbecued italian sausage with sauerkraut on a hot dog bun. i was looking to grab a fennel sausage but got a spicy italian instead. the sauerkraut had a slight metallic taste after coming out a can.

i adjusted one of our webcams. previously that camera was pointing to the kitchen, but now i have it pointed to the patio. one thing i noticed is the market umbrella is actually pretty tall (8ft), so even though it's fully opened, i still have an unobstructed view of the deck. that wasn't the case with our cantilever umbrella, where it sat low enough that it obstructed the view of the deck.

while my father and i were out inspecting the umbrella in the late afternoon, i found a $10 bill in the parking lot. i have an unusual ability to spot money on the ground. most likely it belonged to a group of boys we stopped by on their bikes to get some bubble tea and sit out on the deck enjoying their beverage before leaving.

i made a list of the things i need to do for tomorrow. despite it being my day off, i'm actually busier than any other days, as i try to cram in as much errands as possible. the only thing i didn't put on their was going out for a morning run. i'm still debating if i should or not. can i honestly spare an hour to exercise, when i have so many other things to do?

we didn't beat last tuesday's earnings, but we still made a decent amount. it was one of those days where we had a steady stream of customers. if we can finalize our parking lot patio, it might be able to draw some more customers. my sister wants to expand the patio deck - which i've said on the record to be a bad idea - but my parents don't want to get into an argument with her so that project is going forward (i think the contractor has already been paid and building the addition remotely). at this point i don't care either. my sister's been acting smug ever since her 3-tier umbrella looks to be working out okay. just because she had one good idea doesn't make all her ideas good.

i left after we closed. my mother packed me some leftovers, some stirfry my 2nd aunt made, along with a bonus sweet fennel italian sausage. i didn't go home but instead went to the community garden to dust some diatomaceous earth. surprisingly there were a lot of gardeners there, but most of them i didn't recognize, except for annemarie and maureen. maureen said she wanted to show me something, and brought up a photo of chive-flower infused vinegar. she seems to have a problem with my chives, the fact that i still haven't cut the flowers even though they're all dried up. the photo is a not-so-subtle reminder to get me to trim my chives.

i ate soon after i got home, even though i was feeling sticky with sweat from working all day. only later did i take a shower. the NBA finals isn't until thursday, so there's still nothing good to watch. instead i pulled up a few celtics-related youtube videos, which now seems to be in abundance with the celtics in the finals.

i played grocery scavenger hunt this morning, visited 3 different star markets to look for lamb loin chops on sale ($6.99/lbs). my local store didn't have it, the porter square store only had only package, and finally the mt.auburn store had a bunch but they were packaged differently and it took me a while to find them. my local store actually did have it, but the price was slightly different so they weren't on sale, even though the display ad said they were: you had to read the fine print, only those marked $9.99/lbs were on sale while the $10.99/lbs weren't not even though they're exactly the same. there's just something really suspicious how star market prices things, or the fact that they make you jump through hoops (needing to clip an online coupon to get the deal) in order to get the sale price.

i also went to market basket to get some sweet italian sausage with fennel with my mother. it didn't seem like they had it at first, but the butcher was just restocking the sausages, so when i asked him, he gave me two from the box.

on top of all that, i went to the community garden and watered my plants. once more, because i dusted with diatomaceous earth last night, my plants escaped the slugs and snails. unfortunately the weather forecast for this week calls for wet rainy days beginning on thursday. all my hard work might be in vain, as the night rains will allow them to go where ever they like.

i didn't get to my parents' place until 12:20pm. while my father and i were out in the backyard surveying, my mother made some wonton soup for lunch.

afterwards my father and i went out by 1pm to buy the cantilevered umbrella we saw yesterday at costco. we first stopped at the waltham home depot to get some chainsaw oil (for our pole saw) and garage door tension springs. the oil we got was a biodegradable ryobi-brand oil. the extension we got was the blue-colored 140 lbs. version. when we replaced the broken spring 3-1/2 years ago, i got the wrong type (yellow-colored 130 lbs. strength). it still works, but due to the lack of proper spring tension, the door is harder to open, and quicker to close. my father's been wanting to replace the springs for a while. the last thing we got was a 17 gallon plastic tub my father wants to use to store soil.

we finally made our way to the waltham costco. i was afraid the cantilevered umbrella would be sold out, because it's $100 cheaper at the store ($500) than online ($600). my fear wasn't entirely unfounded, as they were just two boxes left, one seemed a bit beat up, the other one still good. we came in pushing a flatbed cart and my father and i lifted the long box onto the cart.

getting it inside the car was a challenge. the honda element is surprisingly roomy for a compact crossover SUV. my father originally thought we'd have the box stick out of the back, but i told him we might be able to fit the whole thing inside the car. the trick was to fully recline the front passenger seat and the right rear passenger seat. this allowed the box to rest on both seats and to fit completely inside the car. i sat in the left rear seat behind my father. everything worked out great, except the weight of the box engaged the seat belt warning sensor so it beeped annoyingly every few minutes. i was finally able to find a hack by inserting the dog seat belt into the passenger seat belt buckle.

i casually sent my sister a few photos of our latest umbrella, figuring she'd be happy to see this purchase as she'd been pressuring us to set up the outdoor umbrella. but she called back angry, said she'd already bought *three* umbrellas off of amazon for testing, and told us not to set up our umbrella because we might be returning it.

we returned to belmont by 2:30pm. we left the umbrella in the car, since it'd live in the cafe parking lot if we do set it up. my father and i went to the backyard to test out the EGO pole saw now that we got some chainsaw oil. we filled the oil tank with the oil. it was thicker than i expected, almost like a syrup. i accidentally got some on my finger and there was no smell.

i put on the shoulder strap, extended the pole saw, and went to trimming. its heavy, but the shoulder strap and front handle alleviates some of that weight, as well as bracing the end of the pole saw against my lower torso. cutting branches was a breeze. just a light touch with cut the branch, almost like pruning a very tall hedge. maybe it doesn't cut as cleanly as a pair of pruning loppers, but for trimming work it's more about quantity than quality. the 10" chain supposedly can cut through an 8" diameter branch.

we started by opening up the canopy in the southwestern corner of the yard. the maple branches have spread so far it's shading the hawthorn and small kwanzan cherry. just a few simple cuts suddenly allowed sunlight to shine into an area that was previously in the dark. at one point i managed to get the chain caught by a pinching branch. my father held the pole saw as i grabbed the ladder so i could pull the branch off of the pole saw. no damage, though the chain was a little loose on the bar, which we easily adjusted with the quick adjustment dial.

in a matter of minutes we cut piles of leafy branches. i also tried to reduce the height of the tree, particularly on the northern side, where it blocks a lot of afternoon sun, putting raised beds 2 & 3 in the shadows. i did some cutting from the top of a ladder for extra reach. it was mostly removing suckers that i should've cut off back during late winter. now we have this portable pole saw, we'll give it a better trim next season. there were points where i switched to a lopping pruner for precision cuts. even after all that cutting, there was still a full charge on the battery.

cutting was the easy part: the hard and more tedious part was cleaning up all the cut branches. originally i was just putting them into refuse bins, but we didn't have enough bins. my father ended up cutting them to similar lengths and tying them into bundles which hemp string. we made good process and soon had a pile of bundled branches standing up against the maple tree trunk. that maple has given us a lot of pruning practice. it honestly should be dead by now given how much abuse it's taken over the years. the center of the tree is all rotted out, yet it still not only survives, but thrives. it's not a bad tree if we can prune and shape it into something more compact.

there was also a fledging grackle up in the tree. i saw it yesterday on the lawn, seemingly fearless until it hopped away into some understory. early this morning it was at a different part of the lawn before short flying into the fence. but the whole time we were trimming, nearby adult grackles were busy making noises. what's confusing is other birds joined in as well, a cacophony of bird clicks and tsks. it finally stopped when we were no longer by the maple tree.

the last thing we did was to empty the basement grow room. i took out all the holiday cactuses, and my father and i moved out the water reed and the dragonfruit cactus. i moved a bunch of pileas outside on the old picnic table, partially shaded by the maple canopy. i hung two holiday cactus off of the branches, and hung two potted caladiums, one of which have already shown some sprouts. i also planted those 2 strawberries in a hanging basket as well, up high away from the rabbits.

there was still other gardening tasks - like preparing the bitter melon bed and spraying the grapes with fungicide - but i'll leave that for wednesday when i have the day off.

we went inside the house to rest but not for long, as my mother called us to start the barbecue. once again we were grilling some lamb loin chops, but today we also had some sweet italian sausage with fennel and some chicken. this time we only grilled the lamb 5 minutes per side, and i used a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature (145°F is done for lamb), so they came out more tender at medium-rare.

i finally left by 7:45pm. i went to the cafe to take out the trash and to move some frozen items into the fridge to thaw overnight. it's going to be a busy week as my mother makes zongzi for the duanwu festival.

then i went to the community garden to dust my plants with diatomaceous earth before finally returning home.