saturday was a washout. sunday was foggy. and today we had more rain, especially in the early morning, but i managed to sleep through it. today's weather was just weird. intermittent periods of overcast, sun, and the occasional sudden showers. it wasn't a day for painting but i could still do some yard work.
after lunch i drove to the cafe to drop off a few things i bought in boston yesterday. my aunt told me some more things she needed from chinatown; fortunately i'd be going again on wednesday.
i drove to belmont. i checked the status of my charging motorcycle battery in the garage: 2 steady greens and 1 flashing blue means the charger is in maintenance mode with desulfation. i emptied the bin of excess radiator water in the basement. i opened some blinds to warm up the house.
i switched to the larger car (difficult, because the opposite property contractor had parked another flatbed semi directly across from the drive way) and drove to hillside garden shop to buy a bale of salt marsh grass ($11) and 4 3.8 cu.ft. bundles of peat moss ($16 each). the same giant sleepy-eyed teenage assistant helped me load my purchases into the car after i finished paying.
squirrels had dug up at least one of my garlic cloves, and there were signs that maybe they'd eaten a few other garlics as well. i put down that thick layer of straw hoping to prevent squirrels from getting to the cloves but a layer of salt marsh grass is no match for the digging power of hungry squirrels. they don't particularly like them it seems, at least judging from the one they left behind where it was just chewed up a bit. i was a little disappointed, but i still have plenty of bulbs left. but what the squirrel did allowed me a peek at the progress of my garlic. here's the amazing thing: i planted these almost exactly 2 weeks ago, and in that short amount of time, the clove has grown roots. not just a little but a lot. i would've never imagined it could grow so quickly. it gives me confidence that my next summer i will have a large crop of red korean garlic to eat.
my yard work was suspended briefly as i waited for a patch of rain clouds to pass by. into each raised beds (RB1, RB2, RB4) i'd add a whole bundle of peat moss. i've worked with peat moss in the past, but more as a mulch. i finally realized that one of the most useful things i can do with peat moss is adding it to preexisting garden soil to make it fluffier, less compact. peat moss itself has no nutritional value, but it gives soil more body and better water retention. with the addition of peat moss, the soil level in the raised beds came up almost to the edge of the wooden box frame. i also nailed together a few of the looser planks; it's only a temporary fix, eventually they'll need to be replaced as the wood has rotted from both disease and past termite infestation.
once the soil was properly amended, i created two new garlic beds in RB1 and RB2, as deep as the beds and about 18" wide. i used wooden boards to create boundary walls. into these beds i then planted the rest of my red korean garlic as well as leftover smaller garlic cloves harvested from the garden over this past season. the RB2 bed i only added some bio-tone organic fertilizer. the RB1 bed i added not only the organic fertilizer but also a few scoops of homemade compost (from the black beehive bin); i'm hoping this bed will give me the largest garlics.
while i was finishing up, i noticed a medium-sized buttercup squash hanging from the bamboo grove. my father and i must've missed it when we cleared the squash vines almost a month ago. this particular squash had a more well-defined turban bottom, while most of the other buttercups we harvested didn't have this.
i was finally done with yard work by 4pm. i drove to the cafe to deliver the salt marsh grass and one bundle of peat moss for my sister. i also checked the status of the porch columns. i didn't find any water seepage (good) but at least one strip of caulk was still soft and didn't seem like it cured properly. a combination of wet and cold weather the past few days wasn't good for caulking. hopefully given it a few dry days it will finally cure; otherwise i'll need to remove the old caulk and apply some fresh caulk. i left with some scallion pancakes my aunt had made along with a leftover piece of boneless pork chop. i returned home and found a parking spot right in front of my house.
i noticed it earlier: i have a crack on my oneplus one screen. actually it's just the glass screen protector, which can be easily replaced. there was already a nick on one of the sides, and when i dropped the phone face down onto the driveway earlier, it must've propagated a tiny crack all the way across the entire screen.
i did a load of laundry. some things - like my wool blend cap (which i left outside in the belmont backyard over the weekend) - i had to wash by hand. i washed that and some gloves in the bathroom sink and was amazed by how dirty the water was. i should wash those more often, instead of once every few years or so. at the very least once per season, like when the cold months are over.
i heated up my sister's leftover chicken pho broth for dinner and combined it with some chinese noodles. even though i defrosted the broth the entire day in the fridge, it was still an icy block and look a long time to render into liquid, my noodles had already finished cooking and i was still waiting for the broth to be ready. there was a mess of ingredients (chicken, mushrooms, carrots, radishes? spinach?) but i still prefer my parents' simple beef broth better. tomorrow if i'm still feeling lazy i can have some frozen leftover chili for dinner.
i watched the patriots-bills monday night football game. why the powers that be picked this game for MNF i really don't know, because it turned out to be pretty boring. a low scoring game, the patriots seemed to be dominating yet buffalo's defense was such that new england could only ever score field goals and not touchdowns. the bills never led but were never out of it either until the 4th quarter, when the patriots finally scored 2 touchdowns (including a pick six interception from devin mccourty) and the game was out of reach for buffalo. before the game started there was breaking news that josh gordon would be reprimanded for being late and not play in the 1st quarter, but he started the game so who knows what happened.