mostly a day of domestic choirs: performed a quick water change on both aquariums (the minibow has started to get thread algae); arranged frances' purchases into a single box (although more items are supposed to arrive, and i may have to do 2 boxes this time); did a load of laundry; watered the plants; dusted the floors (particularly underneath the sofa chairs); fixed myself some french toast and kielbasa sausages for lunch; and organized my bedroom bookcase (now with more clementine boxes filled with bike parts).

the biggest project was dividing my flower seedlings. milkweeds, snapdragons, shasta daisies, delphiniums - i didn't have the heart to thin any of them so i ended up with containers crowded with plants. at first i tried to be all surgical about it, cutting around the seedlings with a small knife and then trying to spoon it out. that just made a big mess so in the end i just decided to grab firmly and pull out the seedlings. those that came out minus roots were beyond savings; those that did have some roots i repotted in new containers. hours later when i checked some of the new transplanted seedlings were already wilting, which means they may not survive. at least i tried. good thing is i have more daisies and delphiniums growing at my parents' place (although it'll take 21 days for germination).

i debated whether to go to the super market but decided i had enough food in the fridge to postpone a grocery run until tomorrow at the earliest. mostly i just need to stock up on drinks.

in the afternoon i went to visit my community garden for the first time in a long while. it was another hot day with temperature hitting 85°F in cambridge (thankfully it wasn't humid). helen - one of the gardening veterans - was there testing out the faucets (one of them still wasn't working). i was surprised when i saw my plot completely covered in a green/purple carpet of ground ivy, dotted with spreading raspberries, chinese lanterns, and mint. it's like a war between invasive plants and looks like ground ivy is the clear winner. the garlics i planted a year ago are doing surprisingly well and so have the scallions i raised from saved roots.

this early in the season i can still see the ground so it's easier to imagine a prospective layout. it was just too hot to work though, and i scratched up my arm from a rampant blackberry bush so i definitely wasn't in the mood for gardening. i pruned off the dead raspberry branches, took some measurements (my plot is 12'x14', much bigger than i thought), then left with the promise that the next time i return i'll do a massive cleanup.

in the early evening (7:15) i had an appointment to meet a craig's list seller in the south end selling a used aroma electric kettle for $10. i was reluctant to go during that time because of the rush hour traffic and the darkening skies. but sunset today wouldn't be until almost 7:30, so it'd only be dusky on my way back home.

"electric kettle" is one of the few things i periodically search for on craig's list. the one that i have is one of the most useful appliances i own. even during the summer when i prefer cold drinks over hot drinks, i still use it to quickly boil water which is much faster than doing it on the stovetop. used in conjunction with a well-insulated thermos and i have hot water 24/7.

i almost didn't find this posting because the seller listed it simply as "stainless steel kitchen kettle," which usually means the kind used for stovetops. when i saw the photo i couldn't believe it because looked exactly like my aroma electric kettle, which is exactly the one i wanted. at $10 it was more than i paid for my first one ($8) but still a bargain (the aroma currently sells for $30.99 on amazon).

the posting was made a few days ago and i was afraid it was already sold and the seller just forgot to delete the posting. so i was surprised this morning to see an e-mail from the seller; she wasn't available during the day but would be home tonight if i wanted to swing by.

once again google map directions suggested a much longer route; i went to the most straight-forward, across the MIT bridge into back bay and then the south end. i don't think i've ever biked down to the symphony hall area but i have been here a few times via motorcycle so it wasn't that unfamiliar. definitely not a ride for the faint hearted, dodging traffic congested cars and pedestrians. i rode my trek because it's the most maneuverable bike i own. i also wore a helmet as an added insurance just in case. the address was in concord square, a really nice street with a manicured garden island flanked by historical brownstones. i was there 10 minutes ahead of schedule and had a chance to take some photos and walk as slow as possible to my destination.

i rang the doorbell and a girl answered over the intercom. she didn't seem to know who i was until i realized it was the roommate. my seller wasn't home yet, so i told the roommate i didn't mind waiting outside. minutes later my seller called me to let me know she'd be late getting home by half an hour, and then told her roommate to simply sell the kettle for her.

i was relieved to discover it was indeed an aroma brand electric kettle. there are a some imitation models, but aroma is the best (in my opinion). the kettle was a little dirty but there were no dents and nothing i couldn't clean up. i wrapped the kettle in a bath towel and put into a canvas shopping bag. for my return trip i strapped on my lights. it never got that dark, just a bit dusky, by the time i made it home in the convoy of other cyclists commuting out of the city.

my roommate was already home making dinner. "you're all sweaty," he said. i tried to explain to him that i just raced back from the south end but he didn't seem to understand. i got some cotton balls and alcohol and swabbed clean the electric kettle so it looked as good as new. i then test boiled some water just to make sure it actually worked (it did). i'll probably give this 2nd kettle to my parents, since i don't need 2 electric kettles. they have one already but it can only boil 2 cups (this one can do at least 6 cups).

for dinner i boiled some fresh (not frozen) grilled chicken and mozzarella raviolis mixed with some barilla montanara mushroom and garlic sauce.