back to belmont this morning, to a shortened work week of painting preparation. morning clouds are the best, and the sky didn't disappoint today, showcasing a mixture of cumulus clouds, cirrus clouds, and contrails.
i was surprised to find most of the kitchen had already been cleaned up. if we really wanted to we could've started prepping the kitchen, but my father had some yard work for me to do. the biggest project: chopping down a rotting apple tree that'd collapsed on a fence. it was already leaning too far into the neighbor's yard for us to just cut it without some collateral property damage. instead i suggested we would pull the tree onto our lawn with ropes after cutting the trunk with a chainsaw to within an inch of toppling. what followed was several exciting minutes of tug-of-war between us and the tree as we finally brought it down. i think my father missed his life calling as a lumberjack; he seems to really love pruning and cutting wood with the chainsaw. as for the dead apple tree, it was infested with carpenter ants. shaking pieces of the trunk was like shaking ants out of a pepper shaker. i wasn't particularly worried even though carpenter ants have been known to bite when annoyed and these homeless ants were pretty angry.
afterwards we moved back inside the house, where my father wanted to treat the hardwood floor in the hallway with another coat of water-based polyurethane. the problem was the previous coat didn't seem to stick, and after some light sanding with 100 grit sandpaper, we basically stripped off the polyurethane and had to start over, beginning with another layer of stain.
after some lunch at the cafe i went to the garden and collected a big ziploc bag full of basil for my mother and pulled off 15 large red tomatoes. i almost crashed the motorcycle riding home, carrying a heavy plastic bag full of vegetables with one hand. my mother dropped by briefly, after taking my aunt to the nearby laundromat. after she left, i made myself some rice noodle soup for dinner. i watched a nova episode on samurai swords, followed by reaper then a new SVU.