my parents picked me up in the late morning for a costco errand run, then later in the afternoon we'd pay a visit to our relative zhangyu and his wife, back in burlington for the next 6 months to take care of their grandsons.
it rained over night but stopped by early morning. it was still wet outside but increasingly warm, with temperature already in the upper 60's, approaching the 70's in the afternoon, with an unfamiliar humidity. i didn't even bother with a jacket.
there wasn't much to get at costco, just a few things for the cafe before my mother leaves for taiwan monday morning. we briefly flirted with the idea of getting some more peonies on sale (including a yellow variety) before deciding against it. as i didn't have lunch yet, we got some hot dogs and finished eating them before we left. i finished eating a whole hot dog in the same amount of time it took my parents to both just eat half. since we didn't have to be in burlington until 2:30pm, there was still plenty of time for us to visit harbor freight to pick up a garden sprayer (for the fungicide i plan on spraying the cherry/plum trees and the grapevines) then OSJL for some plant-tone fertilizer.
we stopped at the cafe to unload the supplies then briefly visiting belmont before leaving for burlington after 2pm.
it was supposed to be a brief visit but zhangyu's wife ended up making a bunch of dishes and we ended up having an impromptu early dinner. anderson (still in kindergarten) was being particularly naughty, climbing all over matthew, and no amount of coaxing from his grandfather or mother had any effect. he was like this with me on a previous visit, but the trick is to not get too friendly with him, this way he doesn't get too comfortable and will see you as an adult instead of a toy.
as is customary, zhangyu brought out a bottle of baijiu he imported from china, a luzhou laojiao. i'm intimately familiar with this drink, having visited the factory itself in luzhou and seen how they make their baijiu. i volunteered to be the designated driver so my father could join zhangyu in sampling the baijiu. even my aunt tried some, and wanted more, despite being the designated driver for their car.
bin bin went out for a meeting at 4pm, at which time her husband came home. we finally left by 5:30pm. it's been a while since i drove, with my mother remarking she was afraid of my driving before we left. but i feel like i'm a pretty safe driver, and it's when i ride in cars with other people driving that i think they're unsafe. we made it back home without my mother making any additional comments.
the sprayer came with instructions that were unhelpful in trying to figure out how to use it. there were also picture based instructions printed on the container, but i couldn't figure it out. i finally had to go onto youtube to look for the answer: the green funnel cap itself can be twisted off entirely. once i knew that, it was an easy matter of filling up the tank with a gallon of water and about an ounce of concentrated copper solution to make the fungicide mix. we pumped the handle until it wouldn't pump anymore and went ahead with the spraying. so much easier than using a handheld spray bottle. copper is effective against black knot on prunus species, but only so-so for grapevines. it's still a bit early for grape spraying, as none of the buds have emerged yet. once the buds are of a certain size, that's when it's important to spray to hopefully keep the black rot at bay.
because of the increased daylight and having spent most of the afternoon in burlington, we didn't realize how late it was as it was already 7pm by the time we finished spraying (my father was also fixing the 100ft backyard hose, replacing the attachment, before watering the trees). my mother said she wasn't doing anymore cooking tonight so i decided to go back home, figured i could have an instant cup of korean ramen if i get hungry. my father gave me a ride home even though it was a good night to be biking, the temperature outside still warm and balmy.