one of the side effects of claritin is it's supposed to make you drowsy. however, when i took it last night, it actually did the opposite, it made me stay awake. it was a different kind of wakefulness though, not the twitchy anxiousness of caffeine; instead i felt tired but my mind wouldn't let me fall asleep completely. finally when the sun rose i managed to fall unconscious, but only for a few hours.

today was hot and humid and stepping outside was like stepping into a furnace compared to the coolness inside my house. i did go out in the afternoon to water the garden. my sunflowers are about 4 feet tall now and they're starting to make the flowers. there are at least two different varieties i can distinguish.

elsewhere, i have a small perennial chinese lantern plant but it's often buried beneath the morning glory vines. once in a while i'll dig it some space. i was surprised to find one of the small lanterns changing to an orange color. these are beautiful plants but they grow too small (at least mine does) and they have rather delicate tuberous stems. i was surprised to find some semi-developed tomatillo balloons. i thought they didn't self-pollinate so i already gave up on the idea of seeing anymore tomatillo fruits, but maybe something else is happening with this plant.

tomatoes are still green, although one or two have started to change colors now. i have some small tomatoes which my father don't think they'll live long enough to mature but i'm optimistic that there's still plenty more weeks left in the growing season.

i confirmed it today: those mystery plants growing at the edge of my plot are definitely ragweed. their flowers aren't very impressive but they're sort of the cheap date of the plant kingdom, having all their pollination done by the wind instead of insects. i took a big sniff of a flower but nothing happened - maybe it hasn't matured yet.

leaving the community garden i ran into mariana, who has the raised plot with the flowering zinnias. she saw me taking photos of her plants and offered me some of her zinnias.

in the early evening i went to the cafe to have dinner with my grandmother before she returns to california tomorrow morning.


today (friday)

my father has been growing 2 large containers of hot peppers all summer long in the cafe parking lot. my mother told me the mother of the lady who runs the yoga studio next door asked her if she could have some hot peppers for pickling. my mother said sure. moments later the yoga studio woman came to the cafe slightly embarrassed and paid my mother $2. my mother didn't understand until she went back and saw that they had stripped the plants of all the red peppers (between 20-30). they didn't just take a few, they took EVERYTHING. to their credit, they left the green ones, but those take a while to turn red so in the meantime we don't have anymore hot peppers. when i heard the story i was so incensed i almost couldn't eat. who has the chutzpah to doing something like that? even if they took most of them but left a few that wouldn't be as bad as taking every single one. could they have been more selfish? or lacking in basic manners? maybe because i knew how much TLC my father has put into these plants: bringing them indoors during the winter (kept alive under grow lights), feeding them special fertilizer, pruning them to maintain shape and vigor, and watering a few times a day. the cherry on the cake was the $2 "payment." even at market value, 20-30 bhut jolokia peppers are worth a lot more than $2, if you can even find them being sold anywhere. that's just adding insult to injury. i told my parents they should go next door and demand their peppers back, but they didn't want to make a big deal over it.