while going to star market this morning to get some frozen orange juice for my parents, i saw the line outside of petsi's pie: they're reopening! just last week zoe's also opened their doors for pickup only. both businesses have been closed since march. small signs of things trying to get back to normal.

i thought the weather for memorial day weekend would be warm but temperature was just in the upper 50's and dropping as the day wore on. it was also surprisingly windy, which made it feel even colder.

it's been so dry our barrels have ran empty. the last time it rained was the night of the 15th, when the hot and humid weather triggered some thunderstorms beginning at 9pm. in order to water the lawn and the plants, we had to use the faucet for the first time in a long time. the forecast shows it won't be raining anytime soon, with the earliest possible rain not coming until next friday. the lack of rain might be terrible for plants and rain barrels, but it's been a boon for solar production, as we head into record setting territory. we've also been lucky this month that for whatever reason, most of our rain has come at night, when it won't affect the panels. how considerate!

while inspecting the backyard, my father noticed what appeared to be aphids on the row of lupines behind the garage. i didn't believe him at first, but he pointed out the wet stains on the leaves. i touched them and they were sticky. i still wasn't convinced. then he pointed to the stalks, which were completely covered in aphids. the aphids were so large - nearly the size of grape seeds - that at first i thought they were scale insects, or maybe mealybugs. but they were aphids, waxy and pale white. immediately i grabbed my spray bottle of insecticidal soap and sprayed all over the lupines. checking the lupines elsewhere in the garden fortunately revealed the aphid infestation was only confided to this bed. afterwards we spray with water to rinse off any remaining aphids.

my mother saved some homemade chinese dumplings from yesterday and cooked them for lunch. afterwards i went outside to check on the lupines. i noticed a jumping spider eating some of the aphids. i was worried that the insecticidal soap would hurt the spider, but when i looked it up online, i couldn't find anything that said they are affected, so i think they're safe.

the watering only rinsed the aphids off the lupines but now they were crawling back. many had also hid underneath the leaves where i couldn't easily get to them. i made a new solution of insecticidal soap (1tbsp to a 24 oz. spray bottle) and sprayed one more time; water might only just rinse them off but the soap definitely kills them by drying them out. i noticed because i saw some aphids on the leaves but when i went to go touch them they were all dried up and dead.

my father hooked up the pressure washer and cleaned the backyard steps. the water reeds have turned yellow from the cold so i moved it into the sunroom, as the night time temperature this weekend looks to drop into the 40's. we also moved all the cactuses back into the basement with grow lights on. while we were at it we decided to move the jasmines and gardenia as well, just to be safe.

my mother has been scraping the bottom of the netflix barrel in terms of what to watch, now watching a bunch of indian movies, none of which have chinese subtitles. i opened up netflix in my laptop browser and did a search for "chinese subtitles". one of the choices was kim's convenience, a canadian sitcom about a a korean-canadian family who owns a convenience store. i didn't think my mother would be interested but she was intrigued, especially since there was chinese subtitles. the showed turned out to be pretty funny and well-made, my mother found something new to watch for the next few days.

a little bit after 11pm i went out for a walk to tag a pokemon gym so i could earn my 50 coins. night time is best time for gym tagging activity since most likely people will be sleeping so no opposition teams are attacking the gyms. passing by the burger joint, an asian girl wearing a miniskirt startled me as she appeared out of the dark. we awkwardly navigated around each other, social distancing and stranger danger rules in effect.