i haven't slept late in a while (although some would argue i sleep late everyday, since i don't wake up until 10am) so today i cashed it in and didn't get out of bed until after noon. as soon as i woke up though, it was non-stop errands. after some cereal for lunch, i stopped by market basket to pick up some corn ($4/10 ears) for the barbecue later today. i went to the cafe to borrow the car and drove out to wilson's farm in lexington to pick up a few bundles of hay (i noticed them yesterday coming back from assabet river). i figured they'd be something cheap, like $3-4 per bundle, but turns out they're $10 each and it's not hay, it's marsh grass. even though it was pricey, since i came all this way, i bought two bundles. next i went to the home depot in watertown to look for some plant fertilizer. i ended up buying the miracle-gro shake 'n feed continuous release plant food (19-6-12). it was the only thing that required the least effort, no messy solutions to mix, just time-release fertilizing pellets. was it organic? who knows, but it said it's for gardens so that's good enough for me. i also got some flower seeds ("evening sun" variety sunflowers and some shasta daisies), an iron shepherd's pole (for hanging my upside-down tomato planter), and an n:vision 14w bright white compact fluorescent bulb.
i went to my parents' place in belmont to drop off one of the hay bales (marsh grass, sorry) (listening to the red sox game all the while), where my father was already home mowing the lawn. i then returned to cambridge, where i went to community garden to do some work. i saw the woman who runs the program working on her plot. i gave her an enthusiastic "hi!" but she looked at me and groaned, either she didn't recognize me or i caught her at a bad time. maybe if i told her i was the wayward gardener who neglected his plot to run off to china for the summer, maybe then she'd remember who i was. anyway, i was there to fertilize my garden and them to mulch it over with the marsh grass. did i mention today was a very humid 80 degrees day? every though it wasn't a lot of work, i ended up covered in sweat. and the whole time mulberries continue to fall from above. i picked them up off of the grass and ate a few. i might collect some tomorrow, share them with people who've never tasted mulberry before. the marsh grass was old, and every time i ripped off a piece, there'd be some mildew dust, which can't be healthy.
after all that work, i went home briefly to take a shower before driving back to belmont. i have a garden in cambridge but i also have one in belmont, in my parents' backyard. it'd been neglected and weeds were growing were once a thriving garden used to be. i took a spade and uprooted everything. in no time i was covered in sweat again, beads of perspiration dripping down so much it clouded up my glasses.
with the garden work only half finished, i went inside to get a drink of water and to take a short break, taking another shower while i was at it. when my father came home from picking up my mother at the cafe, he and i worked the rest of the garden, transplanting some stunted tomatoes and cucumbers to more optimal spots, fertilizing the soil, mulching everything with a thick layer of marsh grass, then gave everything a nice watering. that whole time my mother and sister were barbecuing some dinner, corn, ribs, and chicken. after i cleaned up everything outside, i took yet another shower, before joining my family for dinner around 7pm. later in the evening i helped my father try to get our old NEC stylewriter 95 working (our attempts were unsuccessful, some sort of hardware issue, a phantom paper jam).
i came home to cambridge close to 10pm. looking at the empty fish tank sitting on my kitchen counter, i was inspired and decided to 1) do a water change on my 5 gallon minibow, and 2) set up the new aquarium. after i cleaned it in the tub, i put it on the stand (replacing the cracked aquarium) and started to fill it up. that always makes me a little nervous, like i think the tank will suddenly shatter from the water pressure. there was no mishaps though. i'm still not sure how i'm going to configure it. originally i thought i'd split the tank, but since the filter can only goes on one side of the divider, one side always ends up cleaner than the other. i may just install two filters, wait and see.
finally, i am obsessed with compact fluorescent lighting (CFL). after testing the bright light bulb at my parents' place, i was eager to see how it'd work at my place. the light isn't as warm as i'd like, but for a 14 watt bulb, it's blindingly bright. and even though it's rated as a 60 watt equivalent, it feels more like 100 watts. like i said earlier, the color is a bit on the cold side, but maybe i'm just accustomed to the yellow hue of traditional incandescent bulbs. n:vision also has "soft white" CFL's which are warmer. i'm so obsessed that as soon as i have time tomorrow, i'm going to home depot to get some more. CFL's cost more than traditional bulbs, but they last a bazillion times longer and use less wattage for the same amount of brightness (don't know how they do it, but it's probably some sort of magic). the amount of money i'll save switching to CFL's isn't very significant during the summer, but it'll be important come winter when there isn't as much daylight. plus, it makes me feel all superior going green.