i woke up at 8am to drive down to market basket to get a few things before continuing to the everett michael's to pick up the yarn my mother ordered yesterday. that early in the morning there was still plenty of parking at MB (though still surprisingly crowded, but i shouldn't be too surprised since they're opened at 7am on saturdays). google map told me of a shortcut from quincy-prescott to get onto highland then route 28. michael's opened at 8am today and there was hardly any people there. i went to the online order pickup at the back of the store but there was nobody there, so i asked for help from a pretty employee in glasses and a white sweater. when i went back to the pickup location i noticed a buzzer button; seconds after i pressed it somebody finally came out. i also picked up a black wool yarn for my mother with a 25% off everything everything coupon i just happened to have. i asked the cashier if it was going to get crazy today, she said she hoped not, and that it wasn't so bad yesterday (black friday).
in all my little expedition took just over an hour. i could've driven directly to belmont, but i returned home to coil up the garden hose in the basement. i used the bathroom, showered, then drove to belmont. from the webcam i knew my parents were up early watching live overseas coverage of the taiwanese election. some results were already in from earlier this morning, i knew a lot of mayorships had flipped from independence party to KMT. there were also several referendums on the ballot, including whether gay marriage should be banned, and whether or not taiwan should compete in the olympics as "taiwan" or "chinese taipei".
when my mother saw the yarn she ordered she immediately said they were the wrong color. actually, when i looked at them in the car, i had a feeling they were wrong. she wanted some brown yarn but the ones she got were more beige (to be fair, the online photo did look a lot darker). i wanted to go back to michael's immediately to get the right yarn but also to cash in another 25% off everything coupon before it expired at noontime. but first i ate a bowl of noodles.
my mother and i left a bit after 11am. it took us 25 minutes to drive back to everett via route 16. when we got there we still had about half an hour to take advantage of the black friday weekend deal. we ended up not using that particular coupon but instead used a pair of 60% off one regular price item coupons because the brown (heather) patons classic wool yarn my mother wanted wasn't on sale.
before we left i checked out the new below five store, kind of like the same principle as a dollar store except everything is $5 or less. they had a lot of toys and novelty items, the kind of store children and teenagers love browsing. i almost bought some stickers but my mother decided not to get any gift bags so we left empty-handed. next we went to the wellington circle plaza, where we visited the newly-opened ac moore.
when the assembly square ac moore closed back in 2016, it left a crafts store vacuum that meant michael's was the only game in town. michael's okay, but it'd be nice to have some variety. gone were those halcyon days of riding my bike to assembly square to pick up some yarn for my mother (though the october 2012 opening of the porter square michael's meant i didn't have to ride far to get yarn anymore). we figured ac moore was gone for good, so imagine my surprise when i spotted an "ac moore coming soon" sign when i visited wellington circle back in september. not only that, besides this new medford store, another ac moore is coming to the fresh pond mall in cambridge, even closer to where i am. suddenly it seems like there's a new golden age of crafting.
we missed ac moore's noontime deadline of everything 30% off, but we did come with 55% off one regular price item coupons. my mother left with some more yarn and a scarf, while i got a pair of pretty aztec patterned gloves. afterwards i made my mother visit aldi next door, since she's never been. she wasn't planning on getting anything but ended up with a handful of groceries anyway. she would've gotten more except we couldn't carry them all but they don't give out bags at aldi's.
finally, we stopped at the dollar tree near my house because my mother wanted to get some gift bags and picture frames. like every other place we visited today, they were doing some brisk business. for some reason the inside of the store was crammed with boxes, like they didn't have time to stock the shelves yet and ran out of storage room in the back. we had to climb over mountains of boxes just to dig through the shelves. we also briefly checked out forge bakery before we finally returned to belmont. by then it was nearly 2pm.
my sister called in the early evening, said the restaurant people had poured oil all over the front steps of her house. this is in retaliation for her calling the health department on them for having leaking oil storage bins. things have been escalating for a while. the thing is we don't know if the restaurant people actually did it or not, but it's highly suspicious. originally i told my sister to call the police to report it, but my parents said just to clean off the oil (it's going to be raining for the next few days anyway), call it even. in the meantime, install a webcam so if they do it again we can have some proof next time.
in the basement my father and i drained the boiler expansion tank a bit more, as it continued to nearly fill the catch bin almost daily. we ran into a problem because we couldn't turn off the expansion tank feed pipe because the valve handle had corroded away years ago. we could try turning it using a wrench, but was afraid that there's so much corrosion the valve itself would completely disintegrate, which would be a big problem. this seems like the work for a future plumber's visit. we drained a few bins of water until i started to get that feeling that we were draining the water in the radiator as well so i turned off the spigot. i'll check back tomorrow to see if there's any improvement.
for dinner i had more turkey rollups along with a bowl of rice. my mother was shocked that i managed to eat everything. i returned to cambridge around 7:30pm. my upstairs neighbors were back, with their heavy steps and loud television noises.