i found both annie and her mother in the guest bedroom this morning. from the crack in the door i could see annie sitting in the chair looking at her mother in bed. they seemed to be talking but in a hush tone i couldn't hear. i went about my business, hoping they'd leave soon. i had some leftover maple ham in the fridge which i used up to a make an english muffin sandwich with some pepperoncini. i finally left by 11am, but not before knocking on annie's door to let her know i was leaving. she was sitting in front of her computer, looking at a calendar. i asked if they were going out today, annie replied "maybe, maybe not." on a nice saturday with this being the only weekend her mother is in town, i found her response unusual, and made me think that maybe there were fighting. i also asked her if she knew when they were leaving. august 10th, saturday morning. i used that as my excuse to bring up the rent and told her i'd figure out a number and send it to her.

nobody was home when i arrived in belmont. i called my mother who told me she was at yoga with my sister's godmother at the cambridge YMCA.

i made my rounds in the backyard, checking on the status of the buttercup squashes, but more importantly, making sure the few entry points around the yard perimeter hadn't been breached. no such luck, as the fencing and barrier in the southwestern corner was no match to whatever digging critter keeps coming into the backyard to feed on the squash plants. likewise, the seemingly impenetrable barrier by the southern fence behind the flowering cherry had also been dug apart.

i rebuilt the barricades, pulling down the chicken wires and added piles of stones and logs. with every rebuild i feel like there's no way they can get in, but time and time again they find a way. at least it might slow them down, maybe drive them away to some other yards besides ours.

around 4:30pm when i was in the backyard, i was shocked to see that the southern entry point had already been breached. breaking through the barrier is one thing, but what if the critter was still in the yard? i went around with a long stick thrashing the undergrowth, making sure it was gone, before i closed up the hole. this time i lowered the fencing so it was 6 inches underground, before piling back the rocks and logs. i also had the head of a used pitchfork which i drove into the earth. now i just have to wait and see. the frustrating thing is we don't know what animal is doing this. it's either the woodchuck or the skunk. one clue is i found droppings on the lawn, and after some internet sleuthing, it seems to be skunk poop, with all the embedded seeds.

i brought the thuricide today, so i could inject infected squash stems with Bt bacteria. i don't remember how thuricide smelled before, but it smelled something horrible, like something left to rot for years. i tried drawing raw thuricide directly into the syringe but it was too thick; i had to dilute it with some water. i find a few squash stems that looked infected, injected them with the diluted thuricide. i don't even know if it's still effective, might be better to cut the stem open and dig out the borer worms.

the weather was overcast for most of the day, with a forecast of possible thunderstorms. i felt some sprinkles when i rode to belmont, but the promise of rain never came, though at certain points throughout the day the sky did get dark.

my mother came home in the afternoon, riding one of the bikes (yellow), the first time this year. while my mother was getting ready to eat some food, my sister came home unexpectedly, bringing with her not only her dog but her godmother as well. my mother hates it when people come over unexpectedly, and was angry that my sister didn't at least call first. my sister dropped off some korean soondae blood sausages.

when my father came home later, we barbecued a few things on the grill: italian sausages and marinated drum sticks. he also pan-fried a fish on the side grill. my godmother gave us some flatbread she made, reminded me of the bread i had when i was in chongqing for two months back in 2016. the drum sticks came out well, my mother kept saying how good it was (she was the one with made the marinade).

when i came home i found annie's mother reading by the dining table. i asked her if they went out today, she said annie went to the office while she just wandered around the neighborhood. annie ended up not coming home until 11pm, i'm guessing she went out with friends afterwards, abandoning her mother at home, which seems like a cold-blooded thing to do, her mother coming all this way from china just to visit her. earlier i calculated out this month's rent and sent it to annie; to my surprise and relief, she paid her rent tonight.

i've been watching jett for the past few weeks, last night was the penultimate episode, next friday the series finale. one of the best shows this summer!