even though there was nobody home, my parents' place smelled like a pet store. i was there to dogsit while my sister did her nanny duty in the evening. nobody was home because my sister was out with hailey for a trail run. i dropped off my stuff and went to home depot to look for a shower valve socket wrench. my sister was home when i got back. i went to my godmother's place briefly to pick up some frozen beef she'd bought for my parents. i drop them off at the cafe (where my aunt was still working) before returning to belmont.

the weather today was not raining, which was already a vast improvement. later in the afternoon it did get a bit darker and there was a brief shower, but nothing like the torrential downpours from the past few days.

a few weeks ago i trash dived a spool of unused mesh wire fencing from a neighbor across the street. with a pair of wirecutters i cut out sections of fencing to create a protective barrier for some underground plants: gladiolas, caladiums, and sweet potatoes. i also cut out a large rectangular piece for a cucumber trellis.

one main reason why i wanted to put up some protective fencing was some of the caladiums have started to unfurl their leaves. so far just the white queens and a few candidums. i love the textures on the leaves; the veins remind me of pitcher plants. the john peeds have yet to open, although a few sprouts are already pokin out from the dirt. there might be more different varieties since i also planted an assortment of mixed by the ferns and hostas. i was showing my sister the pride of my shade garden; she seemed to recognize the caladiums but called them "angel wings," which is another common name.

elsewhere in the garden, bellflowers have started to bloom. they're one of my favorite backyard summer flowers. they appeared spontaneously one day a long time ago, just a few plants, in an area that was previously taken over by several large forsythia bushes. over the years i've kept an careful eye on these bellflowers, making sure they weren't accidently pulled out during weeding. nowadays there's a thriving population. one of the things i like most about them is they seem to do well in partial shade. the cucumbers have also bloomed, despite not even growing tall enough to twine on the trellis yet. these store-bought burpless hybrids may in fact be bush varieties that don't climb. these are also an early variety, requiring just 50 days to reach maturity (which would explain the flowers). as for the tomatoes, i gave all of them a trim, removing suckers and pruning some of the lower branches. the corn is the one garden vegetable that seems to be growing the best despite the overall lack of sunshine (maybe if we had sunshine for the month of june, it'd be even taller than it is now).

june 11

june 14

june 17

june 21

june 28

july 3

my sister cooked up a few hamburgers on the foreman grill for a late lunch. hailey was sleeping by the time my sister left around 5:00. she woke up like clockwork sometime after 6:00 since it was her dinner time. after i fed hailey, she went back to sleep, waking up a few times when she thought my sister had come home. for my own dinner i had some leftover lamb soup. i was passing the time watching the hundreds of cable channels and taking advantage of the faster fiber-optic internet speed with my downloads. a bug that'd landed on my keyboard upon closer inspection was actually a brown dog tick. that sort of made me paranoid the rest of the night (even though dog ticks don't transmit lyme disease). my sister didn't get back until almost midnight.

i think i lost my house key somewhere in my parents' backyard. i realized this right around midnight when i was about to head back to cambridge. my sister and i tried looking for it, but there's dew all over the grass so it's impossible to spot it. i even went back to my place in the off chance that maybe i left the key on the door. it's a weird feeling going home but not being able to go home. i have to spend the night here in belmont now and hope i find the key tomorrow morning, otherwise i can't get back into my own house until monday afternoon (my father has my other spare key, my sister and i tried looking for it at the cafe but couldn't find it, so he must be carrying it with him). what a great 4th of july weekend!