after trimming the ivy growing on the brick basement walls in front of the house, i biked to the community garden to water my plot. it's been a week since i was last there; after that bout of torrential rain on thursday, i figured the garden was watered plenty enough. when i went to the garden today, i was surprised by how well all my plants were doing, as my plot begin to get lush with vegetation. i thought all my tomato plants would be dried up, but they were all doing well, especially the ground-planted one on the western side, that was the biggest tomato i had, even surpassing the ones growing in grow bags. to think, at one point these seedlings were so stunted i almost wanted to just throw them out and buy new ones. raised indoors underneath led lights, they were still very healthy despite the aphid infestation that curled and stunted all their leaves and made the stalks spindly. i still don't have any peppers in my garden, there's a good chance i won't grow any this year; every year i have peppers, but i rarely get any that are edible, most succumb to slug attacks or get diseased before they're fully ripe.
after the garden visit i biked to walgreens to pick the three prescriptions i ordered online last night. due to the coronavirus, i should be able to get a 90 day supply, and walgreens also has free home delivery, but i guess i just enjoy coming in person. i should investigate the 90 day supply deal though, it's always better to be well stocked in my meds. i was switching back to valsartan 160mg from irbesartan 300mg after being on it for 6 weeks since the pharmacy were out of stock on valsartan until now. i was afraid there might be complications with that particular prescription but once again was surprised it went through without issues.
today was the first day i wore shorts this season, now that i can finally access all my summer clothes in the guest bedroom closet. i only took out one pair though, not yet ready for the full exchange between summer and winter clothes. i just happened to take out the one pair that's missing a button, a problem a simply belt can solve. i still have the button just need to watch a youtube video and learn how to sew it back on.
earlier in the day i saw my parents on the cafe webcam preparing the store for an eventual open. my father put up the plexiglass shields he'd been working on all last week. i thought they were going to get some supplies but both of them got hungry and returned home, where my mother called and said she had some avocado toast waiting for me.
i rode the motorcycle. today was originally supposed to be the day where they close off garden street to car traffic for an indeterminate length of time. i've been worrying about it ever since i found out the news because i cross garden street a few times a week to get to belmont. but maybe like the city's proposal to reduce the speed limit to 20mph, it was another bright idea that never panned out. the idea of shutting down 3 streets and have it be pedestrian only is a logistical nightmare, particularly if you have to live on that street or one of the side streets. i hope it doesn't happen, maybe too many abutters complained about it.
the 3/4" to 1/2" nylon hose fittings from QC supply was due to arrive today, but i knew it wasn't happening when as of last night it was still in transit from springfield when i tracked it via the USPS website. also mail at my parents' place gets delivered in the morrnings: if it doesn't arrive by then, it won't arrive. maybe it'll come tomorrow.
i applied the maxforce ant bait (which arrived on saturday). the only problem was the carpenter ant population seemed to have died down. without seeing where they are, without knowing their trails, i could only guess where they might frequent, and squeezed out small clear globs of gel bait. there were carpenter ants patrolling the milkweeds, and when i poked at one ant with the bait nozzle, it actually turned around and tried to eat some bait, so it does work. i'll take some back with me and put some bait around my house, where occasionally i see large carpenter ants.
while my father and sister went to the apartment to see what was wrong with the shower head, i was at home watering the plants and the front lawn from our rain barrels. i ended up using about 1/5 to 1/6 of all the rain water. we may not get rain until next week, but that's no reason to skimp on the watering. ideally, before the next big rainstorm, we use up as much rain water so the barrels are empty.
i pruned some of our backyard tomatoes. some bottom branches were getting so big that they're diverting resources always from the main stalk. it was a shame to cut them off - some of them even had flowers - but for the sake of overall stronger tomatoes, it had to be done. i wonder if i applied some rooting hormones if i couldn't have turned those tomato branches into additional plants?
when my father came back he said the issue wasn't the shower, but rather the entire water pressure for the apartment. both hot and cold water have low pressure. it's not something we can fix ourselves, so my sister called alewife co. to make a housecall on wednesday. i think their prices are fair and they're definitely professional but they can still be a little expensive. however, when it comes to plumbing, would you rather find a bargain basement plumber who might not do an expert job or a seasoned professional who guarantees his/her work? even inexpensive plumbers aren't all that cheap, pay a few hundred dollars more, make sure it's done right.
my father asked me to find him some rain barrel fittings so we can start using the 3 new rain barrels we bought from dedham last week. after inspecting our existing rain barrels (seeing how we installed the spigot and overflow valves 9 years ago) and seeing what leftover parts we have the garage, we decided to buy readymade fittings instead of rigging something up ourselves by mixing and matching plumbing and electrical conduit parts. we got the RAINPAL RBS005 brass rain barrel quarter turn spigot for $14.95; of the three barrels, only one of them needs a spigot as the other two will be used mainly for storage. then we got 2 RAINPAL BBF020 brass bulkhead tank fitting for $7.95 each. they can be turned into spigots by installing a hose shutoff valve, or more likely used in combination with a hose splitter valve, as these barrels will be linked with one another.
during dinner i finally spotted the rabbit in the backyard. earlier my father said he saw a rabbit today, not sure whether it came in from a hole in the fence, or maybe he accidentally left the backyard gate open. after dinner we tried to chase it out but it disappeared into some dense bamboo foliage. with a rabbit trapped in the backyard means we still need to keep our seedlings caged otherwise they might get eaten by rabbits.
it's the 4th consecutive day where we've had 50kWh+ production. the forecast for the rest of the week calls for sunny conditions, so there's no reason to think we can't continue this streak for a few more days. our current projection shows up beating the june production but it's going to be hard to beat the all-time single month production record set last month, both because of optimal sun angle temperature and because there's one less day in june.
with the change back to valsartan from irbesartan, i wanted to take a blood pressure reading just to see what my BP is like with irbesartan. when i first took it i took some measurements, there didn't seem to be any changes, so i stopped measuring. but with with sudden dizzy spell a few days ago, i was curious to know my numbers using my own BP cuff. i haven't used my omron reader in a while, so the LCD was only partially displaying the numbers. i took a reading and it looked like it said 110/70, which for me is low. maybe it actually reads "130/80" which sounds more normal but because of the missing digits i'm only getting a partial display. sometimes pressing down on the screen fixes it, but it didn't work this time. i ended up opening the case and discovering the tape holding the connection ribbon to the LCD was peeling off. after pressing the tape back down and heating the connectors with a blow dry, the reader started working again, with the exception of the bottom numbers (date/time) still missing the first digit.
i took another reading: 112/80. and another. and another. that systolic pressure is correct, it really is that low. since i still have a few tablets of irbesartan, i'm going to continue taking it and monitor my BP tomorrow. if it looks like my low numbers really are true, i'm going to write my doctor and ask if i can be kept on irbesartan, but maybe reduce one of my other HBP drugs (thiazide, amlodipine).