the floor guys came by my sister's place this morning at 9am to apply one final layer of polyurethane. she'd sent hailey to my parents' house. when they finally finished with the floor, my sister called asking me if i needed a ride, because i told her yesterday i had to go to the cafe to defrost the freezer and then to OSJL to get some seeds and potting soil.
my sister she came by around 10:45am and we went to the cafe first. it'd only been 3 days since i last defrosted, and there just was a little bit of ice build-up in the freezer. i was expecting 20 minutes with a blowdryer but it only took a few minutes to clear what little ice had formed on the radiator fins. my sister had gone out to buy some breakfast, so i took the time to water the plants as well.
heading to belmont, my sister told me she turned on the space heater earlier to keep hailey warm. i didn't know that since i also turned on the heat via nest thermostat. fortunately it was a sunny day and we were generating enough kW of power. today was a good production day, the productive day this month, at 34.76 kWh. like yesterday, the morning production was strong, but unlike yesterday, today we maintained a high production until the afternoon when enough clouds began to form that production took a sharp nosedive. but by then we'd made enough electricity to be 30+kWh at least. had there been no cloud interruptions today, we would've reached 40 kWh for the very first time in production history.
it was my sister who first noticed that the tall neighboring pine tree seen from our backyard had snapped in half. i of course was happy because that meant less obstruction and more sun for our panels. the biggest tree obstruction however is a gigantic oak, perhaps the largest tree within many blocks. the fact that nothing's ever happened to that tree before is a testament to its strength/health. i'd imagine should even one branch break off, it'd damage a lot of neighboring properties.
i had my sister help me upright the collapsed fence. it's a two-person job, my sister to hold the fence up while i tied a rope from the fence to a tree to keep it upright. it's not the most elegant solution, but at least it'll keep the snow off until we can replace the broken posts when my father gets back.
the electronic mouse trap caught nothing, but i knew there were still mice around because i saw some fresh droppings in the below counter cabinets. how exactly are they getting in? anything, i decided to switch out the bait. the large crumb of dried peanut butter from an expired reese's pieces cup was not enticing enough apparently. my sister had some expired almond butter she let me use. it was not good, the liquid and solid had separated, the mixture too hard to stir. we tried our best and she managed to get out enough to form a small ball which we placed back in the trap.
we went to the waltham OSJL. i was there to pick up some new seeds as well as potting soil. originally i wanted to go to home depot, but the price difference was just a few cents, not worth the extra trip. it took me a while to find the soil. they seemed to have a limited supply (unlike the mulch and garden soil, bags of which were piled outside the store) and only a few bags were left, seems like i'm not the only one growing my own garden plants from seeds. as for the seeds themselves, there was a 40% off sale (typical of OSJL), mostly park seeds. they changed the packaging, and now there are also organic seeds, which cost more, and i don't think it makes any difference, because whether or not your vegetables are organic depends on how to raise them, not the seeds themselves.
there was a loud chinese man, who just happened to come across a chinese woman working at the store. he wanted to find LED light bulbs, and purposely sought her out for help in chinese. if it was me i'd just pretend i only spoke english, especially since the guy was obnoxious and used her as his personal valet simply because they're both chinese. at first i didn't even think she was chinese, because when i meet an asian person, i don't automatically assume they can speak mandarin. later we saw the man again at a checkout line, who just happened to get the same chinese woman now working the register. he seemed to be haggling with her over price, holding up the line, enough so that those behind him switched to different lines. of course he thought nothing of inconveniencing others, and even joked with the woman that chinese people are better at math.
we stopped in belmont to pick up hailey before my sister gave me a ride back to my place. she asked if she could drop hailey off at my house for a few minutes while she went to the neighboring thai restaurant to get some noodle takeout. i myself had a hankering for general tso's chicken but decided against it since it was a different restaurant. while my sister was gone, hailey was anxiously waiting for her in the living room, crying a bit and looking out the window. when my sister came back so also brought an order of satay chicken for me. i waited for them to leave before digging into my meal.
as we get closer to the next nor'easter, the forecast gets more accurate. it looks to be a large dumping of snow, possible a foot, possibly more. i heard it's going to be a dry snow, which will be good, not as back breaking. it will start late monday night, snow for the entirety of tuesday, and finally stop sometime wednesday morning.
that satay chicken i had for a late lunch was so filling that i wasn't hungry for the rest of the day. in the evening however i made some baked potato wedges. i made it last fall but forgot about it, until i saw the potatoes on sale and rediscovered the recipe. it involves a 30 minute ice bath, following by 45 minutes at 450°F in the oven, flipping them at the midway point. i didn't eat until after 10pm. i used some of the leftover peanut and fish dipping sauce from the satay chicken.