nothing like sleeping on fresh sheets, makes me not want to wake up in the morning. but i got up anyway, partly because sunmeng wanted to video chat for a little bit (10am). afterwards i set out my plants outside.

i've been using a bar of handmade hawaiian lavender-rose soap manny's sister sent me a while back. smells great, good lather, but looks a little weird because of all the bits of plants embedded inside. i don't mind, the ruffage adds some exfoliating benefits! it does makes me want to make my own soap this year. glycerin soap was a project i'd researched in the past, just because it looks pretty, but i think an opaque bar looks just as good.

since tomorrow is trash day, i was in the basement looking for things to throw out. in order to create more space, i relocated 3 of my bikes onto my backyard deck. on the actual day of insulation work (next friday), i'll move them inside the house temporarily to give the installers more space to work. with the bikes gone, i was able to move the old foosball table and gain access to my shelves. this also allowed me to finally throw out that rug that's been in the basement. there was a bit of mildew, but not as much as i'd imagined. in the next few days i'll continue to sort through my things and began to move the shelves away from the walls so the insulation guys can get access to my rim joist.

in the afternoon i packed up my things and drove to the wellington circle plaza shopping mall in everett. i went to harbor freight to pick up a moving blanket, some machine oil, a box of rivets, a pair of gardening gloves (nitrile working surface), and a can of okeefe's working hands hand cream. the hand cream was the main reason for being there: i saw a commercial for it on television while i was watching the price is right this morning, then went to their website to get more info. a hand cream that cures dry work hands? that's me! hundreds of positive amazon.com reviews had me sold and i knew i had to try it for myself. while dropping off the items in the car, i tried the hand cream. it's not greasy like some creams, but it did leave my hands a little sticky and the cream didn't actually dissolve as some reviewers had stated. i don't doubt it works, but there are other creams that are probably just as effective.

i went next door to ocean state job lot (OSJL), where i got some more gardening gloves ($2/each). i was also looking for some seedling starter trays, but they don't carry those anymore. i wanted them to start my foxglove seeds, but i'll just use some plastic food package boxes instead. i discovered that OSJL also carry freia brand chocolates, imported from norway. i recognized the brand right away from the chocolates frances sent me from oslo.

afterwards i skirted by tufts university to get onto route 16 to arrive in belmont. i didn't get back until 3:30, my sister had already dropped off hailey who greeted me as i opened the door. i hadn't been in belmont in 5 days, so i was horrified to discover that the 3 rosemary plants i bought were already all dried up. i quickly took them outside to water them, not sure if they can be revived.

in the garden, all the radish seeds i planted in the raised beds had emerged, little green lines of seedlings. the snap peas have finally emerged as well, about a 70-80% germination rate. in raised bed 4 there are some small seedlings that might be dill, i'll leave them along for the time being to see what they are. around the maple tree are seedlings that look similar to dill as well, not sure what those are. in raised bed 3, some unknown seedlings that i thought were snapdragons at first, but most likely they're hollyhocks, self-seeded from the main plant that sort of just appeared a few years ago. in the patch of perennial flowers at the end of the staircase are in fact actual snapdragon seedlings, identified by the reddish underleaf. in that area as well a lily has sprouted, protected by a tomato cage. and all the peonies have sprouted as well, including the perennial bed and the peony patch on the western border.

i got a chance to use the new spray nozzle i bought last friday. i ended up connecting two segments of rubber hoses so i can reach everywhere in the backyard. elsewhere, a second orchid flower bud had blossomed, as i watered the remaining plants. noticing a large patch of dandelions got me patrolling the backyard lawn doing some weeding.

i also brought home the dozen perennials (delphiniums/lupines) that i will eventually plant. since it was there first day in belmont, i didn't want to set them outside too soon, so i moved them into the sunroom after i finished working in the garden.

i had some ramen for dinner. my sister returned around 8:30. i returned to cambridge by 9:00. by then it'd started to rain. my aunt called me at 10:00pm, something about the backroom/kitchen sink in the cafe getting clogged and wanted me to take a look at it tomorrow morning.

i played around with my idol after reading about how this chinese-language iOS-exclusive app has been trending recently. my first avatar was an abomination: i didn't realize you had to get your whole head, not just your face, so my creation had no chin and a massive forehead. the second attempt was much better, but the software had problems recognizing the area of my chin where i have some stumbles: my idol does not like facial hair. i then made my avatar dress up in different outfits and perform in one of many scripted animations (sexy strut, pole dancing, etc).