i found myself in haymarket once more, drawn to the cheap produce. i had my eyes opened for pluots, but they didn't have any last weekend, nor this week. bing cherries still seem to be in season, with the common asking price of $2/lbs. i ended up buying from the same seller last week, a man with an earring who handed me some extra cherries to taste when he gave me my purchase. i also bought 2 bags of corn at $1 a bag, 3 boxes of strawberries for $2, 3 large tomatoes ($2), and a few avocados ($1 each).

i biked back home across the longfellow bridge. i upgraded the bicycle to the motorcycle, which started without hesitation with a newly recharged battery. i went to the cafe to drop off the fresh fruits.

my father and our relative had left for new york yesterday afternoon. this morning they were to rendezvous with the daughter and bring her to boston for the weekend. they left chinatown via fung wah by 2:00, but due to weekend traffic, they wouldn't arrive in boston until 8:00.

instead of waiting at the cafe for my father to get back from new york, i decided to wait in belmont. i hadn't seen the garden since last sunday. the squash vines seem to be maintaining the status quo, with no further wilting due to borer damage. some leaves are exhibiting yellow fringes, which may be some squash disease, or a byproduct of the copper spraying i did a week ago. the bottle gourd plants are showing fresh signs of powdery mildew, so i'll need to whip up another batch of fungicidal spray.

apparently it doesn't take very long for a fancy gourd to get big. a high hanging gourd i saw just emerging 5 days ago is now a plump fistful of gourdy goodness. however, it does seem to take a considerable amount of time for them to fully mature, or at least the few that have sprouted so far. i also saw another different kind of gourd, one that's covered in warts. i've always been sort of grossed out by these warty types, but not so much in this case; they kind of give it some character.

other than the weeds, the plants in the garden fall under two categories: those i grew on purpose, and those that sprouted on its own. those that self-emerged are progenies of last season's crops. for instance, there are 2 "wild" tomatoes which grew from discarded tomato fruits. and then there are the sunflowers, which germinated from dropped seeds from last year's sunflowers. i'm not even sure what variety these are, but they're very tall and grow multiple flowers per stalk. i ended up climbing a ladder just to get some better photos.

before our house guests could arrive, i helped my sister clean out the small bedroom. this used to be my sister's bedroom before she converted into a seldom used study. it's now essentially a room-sized hoarding closet. we tossed out the queen size mattress a few weeks ago which opened up a lot of space (like for one thing, we can access the closet again, although it's so packed with stuff, there's no more room left). the father was already staying over in the computer room which used to be my bedroom. the daughter would stay in the small bedroom once we were done cleaning. we cleared it out in under an hour. it hadn't been this clean in probably a decade.

back from new york, my father and the relatives made their way to harvard square and finally to the cafe. my mother called asking my sister and i to meet them at alewife station, where we'd be having dinner at bertucci's pizza. the only good thing there is the tuscan chicken wings. everything else is sort of meh. perhaps better than your local pizza and sub shop, but still nothing very memorable. we made an ordering mistake when the father told us he doesn't eat chicken or seafood, but we already got him the shrimp pasta. he was a good sport and ate around it.

after dinner we all returned to belmont. hailey barked when the guests entered the house, but more so at the father, and less with the daughter. after a few minutes of getting used to the new people, she calmed down. i returned home by midnight.