on a day where we should be celebrating the near completion of our solar panel project and receiving our permission-to-operate letter from belmont, why does it feel so sad?

that's because my father received word today from the head nurse at sancta maria that the test results for my grand uncle came back and his organs (particularly his kidneys) are failing. he also hasn't been eating for the past 4 days. the nurse doesn't expect him to last another week and told my father to get ready for that eventuality. in the meantime, tomorrow he'll be moved to the hospice care ward of the building, and my father is looking into funeral homes.

while it's true we're family, my grand uncle's immediate family - his 3 daughters - haven't come by to visit him, not since i wrote the middle daughter that her father was in the hospital nearly 2 weeks ago. she did call my mother when i first contacted her (which is unusual, nobody has my mother's phone number, why didn't she call my father instead?), who told her not to worry, that it was only because he couldn't walk anymore and we didn't have time to attend to him 24/7, so it was better to move to a hospital (mt.auburn) where they had a staff to do that. but the fact that her father had to be moved at all should've concerned her. but it didn't. and nearly 2 weeks later, still no visit. family drama is a complicated thing and it's not my place to say anything, but i'd feel sorry for them to miss an opportunity to say good bye to their father.

it's weird, because just 2 weeks ago when my grand uncle was first admitted to the hospital he seemed fine. well enough to feed himself anyway, despite not being able to walk or use the bathroom. but that all quickly changed when he started needing help eating, and now my father doesn't even understand what my grand uncle is saying anymore. it really began after thanksgiving, when my grand uncle could no longer get out of bed to use the bathroom. he didn't want to wear the adult diapers, and insisted on using his cane instead of the walker, and managed to fall a few times climbing out of bed, to the point where my father ended up staying with my grand uncle throughout the night so he could wake up every 3 hours to help him use the bathroom.

everything else sort of pales in comparison to the eventual passing of a loved one. there's a lot of emotions, like sadness, but also happiness that they're no longer suffering. there's also a feeling of relief, which then turns to guilt, that perhaps we could've done more.

as befitting the somber occasion, today was an extremely cold day. in the morning when i woke up the outdoor temperature was 5°F, with a wind chill that made it feel like -14°F. i went outside to bring in the trash, then later went to star market to get a few things, including hazelnuts ($2.99/bag) and crab spread ($3/container) and rice crackers ($1.99/box), all on sale. it was a day for the heavy duty columbia interchange jacket, which kept my body warm. however i couldn't say the same to any exposed skin, which began to hurt in less than a minute.

lucas actually called me today at 11:30am, without any prompting. he said he was still waiting to hear from back the town of belmont because he hadn't received the permission-to-operate (PTO) letter yet. however, if we had the time, he had some SREC paperwork he'd like my parents to sign. i told him they would be available at the cafe at 1pm. my father wasn't there at the time so i left a message with my mother.

when 1pm came around my father still wasn't back yet from sancta maria. lucas had already arrived so i ended up calling my father, who was on his way. while he was waiting, lucas sent me a text letting me know he finally got the PTO letter. the new plan was for him to go back to the office so he could prepare the SREC's, monitoring, and mass solar loan documents, and then come back tomorrow to go over everything with us. my father got back in time to sign some paperwork before lucas left. we scheduled a meeting at the cafe for tomorrow 11am.

for some reason there are 3 houses within eyesight of mine that all have solar panels despite camberville being so thickly settled. i keep on looking at them, partly wishing i could have solar power as well, but also to see if the snow on the panels have melted, figuring the conditions would be similar for belmont. the one house at the end of my street has clear panels, but only because their roof is so steep. the house across the street from mine (nearly 40 panels) has a little bit of clearing, but most of their panels are still covered up.

in the early evening i received a bunch of documents from lucas via e-mail: registration to the solaredge monitoring portal, signing up for an SREC trade account, and a security signature completion document from MassCEC for the mass solar loan. i forwarded everything to my father, and then registered for a solaredge account.

as somebody who loves data, having solar panels is a data lover's dream. the solaredge monitoring app is full of timelines and charts and diagrams. the panels officially came online just today, so the electricity we generated last sunday are not accounted for. i was curious to see the panel layout diagram to see which one of the panels is the missing one, but because it was dark, they all read zero, and none of the panels generated enough electricity today anyway to show me any activity when i scrubbed the timeline bar. it's just a shame that our panels are still covered up, because otherwise with all this cold winter sun, we could be making some good electricity even with the limited daylight hours. i thought it was cute they even took a photo of my parents' house with solar panels to be used as the cover image.

i've managed to lose some weight within the past few days, despite gaining so much weight after that monday christmas turkey. i'm now down to 147 lbs., while just a few days ago i think i was at 153 lbs. (though not an accurate measurement after a large dinner). for lunch i had some granola and yogurt, then snacked on a homemade blueberry muffin throughout the day. i thought about making another batch of muffins but got lazy and decided to do that tomorrow. for dinner, 4 turkey rollups with the final leftover turkey and tripe. i was afraid that wouldn't be enough and was prepared to heat up some canned soup but felt pretty full afterwards. i did roast up another pan of hazelnuts. for some reason they weren't as good as the last batch, despite the last batch being slightly rancid.

i only had to turn the heat on to 65°F in the evening to keep the house warm. though it seems counterintuitive, when the outside temperature is so cold, the furnace fires up more often, which in turn makes the house warmer.

i bought a xiaomi mi band 2 fitness tracker from gearbest.com for $20. i've never ordered from them before, but it's a chinese company with warehouse in china so i imagine it's going to take at least a few weeks before it arrives. typically these go for $30 but they were on sale today. i've heard good and bad things about the mi band 2, figured i'd give it to my mother to try.