there was a lot more snow than i expected this morning. i went out to shovel the sidewalk, knowing full well that my upstairs neighbors would never do it. my next door neighbors margot and don were outside shoveling as well, so was a girl shoveling the sidewalk in front of renee's place whom i thought was renee's new downstairs tenants but i think she actually lived a few houses down and was only cleaning her car and simply cleared out some of the area around her vehicle. later i shoveled a path into the backyard.

i walked down to the cafe to shovel the sidewalk around my grand uncle's properties. under normal conditions it's a 25 minute walk (1.2 miles), but with many people not shoveled yet and trappled snow on the sidewalks, it was like walking in sand and took longer than usual. plus, i was wearing my rain boots, which weren't designed for walking long distances. i was so hot by the time i arrived that i stripped down to my dress shirt, rolled up my sleeves, then went out to shovel. a bit later i was back inside, putting on my jacket and hat. once i started heating up again, it was back to just a shirt. my father showed up, said he was going to get the small snowblower, but it took him so long that i was nearly finished shoveling all the sidewalk by the time he finally pushed out the machine.

we were finally finished by 1pm. i got a ride back to belmont. most of my clothes were soaked, and i had to change into a dry t-shirt.

birds were visiting the feeders, chickadees and juncos, and i spotted a male cardinal (but only in the trees). i didn't see any sparrows, courtesy of the microfilaments. my mother said earlier there were squirrels attacking both feeders, but she didn't manage to get any pictures.

i had some chicken broth noodles for lunch, with a dollop of my homemade scotch bonnet hot sauce. it was spicy, but not unbearably so, although the hotness stays and doesn't simply fade away. it has a strong distinctive odor and the sort of spiciness that makes your scalp sweat. my mother wants to add more salt to the sauce, since right now it's mostly spicy.

after dinner i took the 73 bus back to harvard square. according to the schedule, there was a bus every 14 minutes or so. people in the suburbs aren't as conscientious when it comes to snow removal; i saw plenty of sidewalks that were untreated. i suppose where i live in cambridge there's more foot traffic and perhaps the city is more vigilant about neglectful property owners who don't shovel their sidewalks (although i've never heard stories of people getting ticketed for not shoveling). anyway, it was quite the trudge trampling through snow to get to the bus stop. on top of that, i was profiled by a police when he stopped his SUV abruptly and high-beamed me, maybe thinking i looked suspicious, because honestly, who walks in the suburbs? fortunately as soon as i arrived on belmont street i saw the 73 up the hill. i made it back to cambridge in record time.

armed with my 28mm f/1.8 lens (although shooting at f/4), i took a few snapshots in harvard square as i made my way home. it makes me wonder why i don't use my tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens more often (the earlier version, without image stabilizer). instead my walk-around lens is the canon EF-S 18-200mm.

the sauerkraut is not leaking anymore on day 4. i'm noticing it's starting to lose more of its original green color as it turns a fermented yellow. supposedly you can begin tasting after 3 days, but i like my kraut extra sour so i want to wait longer. at least until it begins to look like the sauerkraut i'd buy in the stores.