i had another early start, hopefully the last one for the rest of the week. i went down to MGH this morning to see the orthopedist. i basically spent 3+ hours waiting around just so i can see the doctor for about a minute so he can tell me i was fine. i had more words with the resident, who told me my clavicle wasn't totally healed yet, but that it was quite normal. anyway, since i got up rather early, i'm just really tired at the moment and want nothing more to crawl into bed and go to sleep. i'll write more tomorrow, including kombucha updates, yard work, kefir, frost advisory, credit card refund, bruins miracle finish against the toronto maple leaf, and grow closet progress.
i left early so i could get some x-rays done before my 10:45 orthopedic appointment at the MGH yawkey building. for some reason i decided to dress up a bit, putting on pants that weren't jeans and wearing a shirt that i had time to iron. i arrived at 10:30 and was promptly sent for x-rays. in the waiting room i talked with an old lady who broke her arm (humerus) 2 weeks ago. she must've been really old because attendant behind the desk involuntarily gasped when she heard her birthdate. the lady came with an even older-looking man whom i thought was her husband, but turned out it was her son. he obviously didn't inherit her youthful genes.
after putting my things away in a locker (taking off my shirt my leaving on my undershirt), i was taken into one of the many x-ray rooms. this wasn't the one i was in the last (with the cool blue LED lights) but similar. i was in so much pain the last time i was here, the nurse had to help me off the gurney. this time i could position myself painlessly.
i was out in the waiting room by 10:45, the time of my appointment. little did i realize i'd be waiting there for more than an hour. fortunately i had the foresight to bring my kindle, and passed away the time learning about alcohol distillation while watching a little girl play catch with a piece of tissue paper and his baby sister shrieking every so often. at the one hour mark i finally had enough of waiting and went to ask them if they forgot about me. "no, you're next," one of the secretaries told me.
a friendly woman came out and brought me into one of the exam rooms. i was already in a foul mood so made no effort to reciprocate her hospitality. after some more waiting, an attending physician came in to talk with me. he showed me my x-rays. he said ideally he'd look to see more healing, which hasn't happened yet, and that i might have to come back in another 6 weeks just to make sure everything was okay. regardless of what you can and can't see from the x-rays, i feel fine myself. i have full articulation of my shoulder and arm now with just a little soreness, and if i had to put a number on it, i'd say i'm probably 85% healed. i also asked about the bump. he said that was normal, that it'd go down over time, but there'd always be a small bump there. he also told me my clavicle would be about a centimeter shorter than before, which gave me some concerned, but said my body would naturally adjust and i wouldn't know the difference.
the attending left and told me doctor vrahas would come by to say hi. i ended up waiting some more, and by that point i'd lost count. i did have time to browse a town & country magazine, the one with gretchen mol on the cover and an article about rich society ladies falling in love with their trainers (including swedish crown princess victoria marrying daniel westling her personal trainer). when doctor vrahas finally did show up, he had on hospital scrubs like he just got out of surgery. he pressed down on the bump on my clavicle then braced my collarbone as he pulled on my shoulder. i didn't feel anything. he said i was fine, and didn't have to come back, and wished me luck followed by a firm handshake as he hurried off to his next patient.
by that point it was already 1:00. i biked home along the charles river bike path then across the MIT bridge into cambridge. back at home i made myself a bagel egg prosciutto sandwich for lunch. i also had time to call focus camera to ask about the double billing. ken apologized and said he'd issue a refund right away.
tired from all that biking, i rode my motorcycle instead to belmont. i saw a chevy spark for the first time. it's a cool looking car, but i don't like the 2-doors. i wanted to compliment the driver on the car, but anytime a guy on a motorcycle says about your car, it comes off sounding sarcastic. i stopped briefly to admire the clouds and take some photos.
i was out in the backyard watering the raised beds when my parents returned home. my father beated me to the punch and began to mow the lawn, starting from back to front. he dumped the grass clippings in the compost bin and later i added a barrel of dead leaves (saved up from the fall) and mixed everything. i planted the geranium behind the garage, while my father planted some ground cover (not sure what they're called, they have small pink flowers but aren't dianthus) near that same area. in the patch of backyard where some of the bamboos were cut, i discovered a few new shoots emerging from the ground. in a matter of weeks we may have a new bamboo screen again! inspecting the peonies, i noticed something had chewed eaten some of the flowerbuds. fortunately there are a lot of buds this year, so not a great loss. normally there are ants crawling all over the plants, i figured they'd defend the peonies against invaders. some of the buds were release small droplets; i tried one of them, it tastes like sugar water (no wonder ants love peonies).
i also did some bike work, added a quick-release seat post clamp to my father's schwinn 7-speed. my mother prefers the yellow ross 7-speed over her smaller ross 10-speed. she doesn't mind that she can't put her feet down when she's sitting on the seat, as long as she can pedal without any problems. compared to the schwinn though, the yellow ross is still smaller, with its reportedly 26" tires compared to the 28" tires of the schwinn.
another day of kombucha fermentation. a layer of semi-transparent jelly has formed on the surface of both jars of tea. the smell is a little stronger too, like being in a brewery (from the yeast) but also at the same time the strong odor of vinegar (acetic acid made by the bacterias). my father was going to mix the bottled leftover kombucha juice to drink with some sugared jasmine tea, but when i checked the bottle, he noticed there was a new baby scoby already forming on the surface! so instead he brewed a small batch of sweetened oolong tea cooled down with some cold spring water and combined with the small scoby and leftover kombucha juices into a small glass jar (1/3 gallon).
with a frost advisory for eastern MA, my father and i covered up the tomatoes (6) and peppers (2) planted in the raised beds with large plastic pots. i wore my wind-blocking biking jacket so the motorcycle ride home was comfortably warm. my father asked me to stop by my grand uncle's place and bring in the tomatoes but i forgot and only remembered when i was almost home. i u-turned back for the tomatoes before finally going home.
2 more korean melons germinated, bringing the total to 10. the remaining 4 pots might sprout as well. that one mysterious seedling that i thought was a cucamelon? that was a cucamelon after all. and then this weekend a few more sprouted, bringing the total to 8 seedlings (out of 17 planted). more might germinate this coming week. my new batch of thai basils have also sprouted, as well as the snapdragons. these seedlings are so, i'm not sure how to separate them, but they have a pretty high germination rate and it seems like all the little tiny seeds sprouted.
i don't normally watch ice hockey, but with the bruins facing a game 7 elimination against the toronto maple leaf, it was worth watching for curiosity alone. when i tuned in to the game the score was already 2-1, toronto leading. then in a matter of minutes, the score became 4-1 in the third and last period. even i knew that was the death knell. i switched channels. later, while browsing boston.com to see sad headline, i was greeted instead by a scorebox that said the game was tied and heading into overtime. i quickly turned back to hockey. i'd forgotten that in hockey overtime it's sudden death and the first to score wins, so when boston scored a goal, i didn't realize what i meant until a few moments later.
in doing my research for kombucha, the name "kefir" comes up all the time as well. i learned that kefir is actually a lot like kombucha, but instead of a reusable scoby mushroom, kefir culture is created through kefir "grains." and instead of sugared tea, kefir is created using milk, so it's more nutritious, and more similar to yogurt. i know we haven't brewed a single batch of kombucha yet, but already i'm thinking about creating some kefir as well. i know i can probably buy a bottle from a health food store, so maybe i should do that first, see if i like it or not before investing in some kefir grains (which is just $5-6 online).