the squash plant, which weeks ago seemed to be the most robust vegetation in all of the garden kingdom, now seems to be diminishing in its output. some leaves have succumbed to disease: first white, then yellow, and finally brown and dead. the few immature zucchinis seem shriveled and dried (we decided to pull them off). now all our zucchini hope is on the 2nd zucchini plant. unconstrained by tomato cage, it seems to be doing better.
the vining cucumbers follow a different strategy: they don't produce as many leaves but rather devote all their resources into making cucumbers. not all cucumbers come out looking fine though, sometimes they're slightly misshapen. tastewise though, they're all the same. cucumbers can teach me a lesson about judging things by their covers.
elsewhere in the garden: i turned the compost, relocated the russian olives to wooden planks above the basement (to prevent animal damage and to keep them dry), and my father picked a pair of red tomatoes (first red tomatoes of the season, not counting the cherry ones) and cucumbers.
my mother was still busy knitting more flowers, while my father organized the cluttered sun room. i found my kill-a-watt and tested the AC in the basement: when it's on the cooling cycle it uses 400 watts. compare that to the dehumidifier, which uses 500 watts (and makes the basement hot as well). on a whim, i also checked the 40" HDTV in the living room: on the average, 160 watts.
it wasn't supposed to rain until later tonight but it started drizzling in the early evening. all i could think about was my living room window back at home which i left open. i don't like riding the motorcycle in the rain but i've done it before. it makes something that's already kind of dangerous just a bit more so (slippery roads and all). when i got back, my arms were wet, my t-shirt a little damp, but otherwise i was relatively dry. in the mail was the replacement 3-speed bell crank i ordered, finally arriving from montreal.
somebody was knocking loudly on my door. i opened it up to find a young man asking for my help. he's one of my next door neighbor renee's new tenants (jordan was his name-o), and was having issues with his gas stove. renee wasn't home but she told him to get my help. so not only do i help renee with her unceasing barrage of computer problems, but now i'm helping her tenants with appliance troubles? since he already had my undivided attention, i put on my shoes and followed him. the concern was he smelled gas in the house after using the stove. it's a gas stove, dummy, you're supposed to smell gas. i noticed the stove top was an oily mess. does nobody know how to keep the kitchen clean? 2 of the burners weren't working, i told him not to use them until renee got back. just a little gas smell had freaked him out so much that he opened all the windows in the house. despite my reassurance, he said he still wanted to call nstar, just to be sure. thankfully he's only here for a few more weeks. a cook he is not.
finally, once the storm stopped, i went outside, dried the motorcycle, then put on the rain cover. maybe it's too little too late but it couldn't hurt if we suddenly have another shower in the middle of the night.