i got in touch with my parents this morning, asked them if they'd taken care of my mother's health insurance information since the deadline is this friday (they didn't yet, but my father did make a call later and got everything sorted out). i also asked if they need to order ice cream for the cafe now that the weather is warming up. my father told me the camera repair shop said there was nothing wrong with my camera, so it will return unfixed.

for lunch i had a single serving of dannon greek yogurt (vanilla coconut flavor), a half-sour pickle (a weird choice but just felt like one), and a glass of orange juice. afterwards i packaged up frances' small package (child's suit and some swim trunks) and biked to the post office to drop off the box. a girl in front of me in line caught my attention, because we were the same height (usually i'm either shorter or taller). her iphone kept pinging to let her know she had a text message, she kept fishing it out of her back pocket to check.

i finally planted my cucamelons, 6 pots, 2 seeds per pot. i had 16 seeds total, but what would i do with 16 cucumelon plants? i also tended to the other plants in my grow closet, adding water to the dry gravel trays and watering any dry-looking pots.

i went out again, this time biking to market basket where my 2nd aunt called to ask me to get a few things for the cafe: head of lettuce, carrots, lemons, avocados, cilantro, celery.

i packed up my things and drove to the cafe to drop off the supplies. i also told my 2nd aunt about the possibility of picking up some ice cream tomorrow, but to first plug in the ice cream freezer and make sure it's working. as if on cue, a couple came in asking for ice cream but left when my aunt told them we didn't have any yet. she also asked me to make an additional stop at the restaurant depot to buy a large bag of carrots and some ice cream cones.

since it was a warm day, i wore the suit jacket i wore all the time when i was in china. somehow it felt a little tight on the back and in the sleeves when i put it on, testament to the fact that i put on some pounds since my return. i took out the hooded sweater on the inside which made it a little better. the suit jacket is good because it has pockets, which means i don't have to cram my phones into my pants. it does smell like old clothes because i've never washed it before (and at one point it even got moldy in the damp changshou weather). it also has large shoulder pads which looks anachronistically ridiculous.

finally i went to belmont to dogsit hailey overnight. turns out once again it was entirely unnecessary, because my sister ended up going home due to stomach issues, but decided to let my dogsit anyway, even though i would've rather be given the opportunity to return to cambridge.

i've got a busy day tomorrow, picking up the ice cream and additional supplies. i also need to revisit home depot to pick up some manure and lawn fertilizer.

i spent the afternoon in the belmont backyard doing a bit of yardwork. i emptied out the bag of dehydrated manure in raised bed 2 and 4. i don't know if i need to get anymore for the backyard, especially if i can get the compost bin to work. the hardest part is turning the compost, with everything packed down. the bin was also too dry, and after i gave it good watering the last time, the compost seemed to have reduced a bit. what we really need is one of those drum compost that we can turn easily. i think at one point my father and i were going to make one. there really is no good reason why we can't get a good compost system set up. the backyard generates plenty of organic material, from dry leaves in the fall to wet grass clippings in the summer. once i clear up the mess of dead logs and bamboo shoots beneath the pussy willow tree, there will be enough space to set up 2 or 3 bins.

i also did a lot of watering, the soil in the raised beds seem particularly dry.

there were a lot of bird activities in the backyard. i heard and spotted a singing male cardinal, a bluejay, a junco, robins, house sparrows, an unknown bird of prey soaring overhead (white wing patch, too small to be a vulture), and a pair of carolina wrens systematically investigate the understory perimeter of the yard.

tired, i crawled into bed around 5:30pm, hoping to take a short nap. i didn't wake up until 7:00pm, hailey coming into the room to remind me to feed her. for dinner, i cooked up some white cheddar shells with spinach. it was something i brought over on monday but never got a chance to eat it until now. i also got a chance to try out the hopsation woodchuck hard cider i got from the mt.auburn star market. i don't like it, it tastes too much like beer, which is the reason why i prefer hard cider in the first place, it's distinctively non-beer taste.

whenever i needed a break, i do a few chin-ups on the pull-up bar i installed in the kitchen doorway. i worked my way from just 2 to 4 (if i go fast). it also allows me to test my left shoulder since i broke my collarbone a few years ago. that whole area is a little stiff but the healed collarbone is in no danger of breaking anytime soon (not unless i fall off my bike again).