after some avocado toast for lunch, my father and i went to bin bin's house in burlington to pick up her mail. it's been more than a month. the house was in pretty good shape. we'd turned off the central air and though maybe the house would be hot inside but it was actually kind of cool. upstairs was a little warm but not uncomfortable, i opened a few windows during the time we were there to ventilate the house. i also adjusted the timers so the lamps wouldn't turn on so early, now that day lengths have increased.

i didn't do much in the garden today, just a bit of weeding in the raised beds, pulling up some crabgrass and their ilks. there's a bunch of purslanes that i decided not to remove, maybe fatten them up and try them in salad. i did some spraying, first with insecticidal soap - aphids have finally made it to the basement lupines. i also sprayed the jasmine by the coiled garden hose, i continue to find mealybugs on some tender tips. i also dusted the eggplants and tomatoes with diatomaceous earth powder to kill the flea beetles.

the wait for lotus aerial leaves continue: none of the emerging leaf stalks i saw days ago turned out to be aerial leaves. all the lotus plants range from 3-5 coin leaves. only the lotus by the basement has all green leaves; all the rest, they have a mix of green and light maroon, which seems to be the initial color of new coin leaves before eventually changing to green. last year it wasn't until mid-august that i got my first aerial leaf; but that's also because i didn't start germinating my lotus seeds until june and ran into raccoon mishaps and had to start a second batch 2 weeks later.1 i'm more than one month ahead of schedule (didn't plant that second lotus batch until close to the end of june), and the lotuses have much better growing conditions, so i'm hoping aerial leaves will be appearing soon.

the dragon fruit cactuses that had to be trimmed back due to cold damage are all now forming tiny buds on the ends, which will develop into full-sized cactuses. a few cactuses even have buds forming at the base, burst with new buds.

good news today is with my sister's help we finally managed to drive the last remaining rabbit out of our backyard. i was trying to catch it with the jumbo net but slowly walked it until it was cornered on the eastern side of the house. my sister had already opened the fence and the rabbit simply slow hopped out of the yard. it wasn't that big a deal since we'd already put chicken wires around all our most sensitive seedlings. but with the rabbit menace finally gone, we can remove some of those wires once the ground-planted squash seedlings start getting bigger.

my parents made handmade noodles for dinner. my sister stayed to eat even though she has gluten allergies (noodles being one of the things she's not supposed to eat).

earlier i'd soaked 3 heaping tablespoons of rosebuds in boiling water to make rose-flavored tea. my rose supply is actually quite old, from 2014, and doesn't really taste that rosy, but definitely still herbal with a slight fragrance. when i got back home the tea has already cooled, so i strained out the rosebuds and poured the tea into a glass pitcher. it was okay, you wouldn't know it was rose tea though.

it didn't take long for kevin to start complaining: tonight he told my sister the water pressure in the shower was so low he could barely wash. most likely he adjusted the already-delicate shower head and ended up breaking it. now nobody can shower until it gets fixed.

1 i originally bought the 2nd batch of seeds not because of raccoons but because only 2 of my original batch of lotus seeds managed to germinate successfully, maybe because i cut too deeply into the seed case. it was just a happy accident that raccoons ended up ransacking that original batch but i still had a 2nd batch of seeds to germinate.