while my parents went out for a walk (one of the rare times my father has gone walking with my mother, maybe he's not feeling well and wanted the exercise), i moved all the orchids into the bath tub and sprayed them with neem oil after finding tiny mealybugs hiding behind the flower buds and one fat one wedges tight between the base of two leaves. i should've brought them out thursday when i sprayed all the jasmines and gardenia in the backyard, but since i just sprayed them on monday, i figured i was safe, but apparently i was wrong. earlier i saw a small potted orchid on the dining table, it already had a pretty pink flower. this was one we saved from binbin's place after discovering she had a few live orchid plants in the house.
there's another orchid with big swelling flower buds, it too will probably flower within the next few days. we had the orchids growing in my parents' bedroom this year, in one of the only two southern facing windows in the house (not counting the sunroom, which has plenty of windows but too cold to keep anything alive during the winter), instead of in the basement, with artificial grow lights and higher humidity. the drier air didn't seem to affect them, they still managed to produce flower stalks and flower buds.
i rolled my bike into the backyard to work on the rear wheel. that's when i realized i made a rookie mistake: i was so focused on finding tools to remove the freewheel, i totally forgot that i also needed to remove the tire and inner tube from the busted wheel itself, and i forgot my tire levers. with them it's still difficult to remove the tire, without them it's impossible. so there was nothing i could do but push my bike to the front of the house again, work on it tomorrow.
i did get a chance to inspect the new wheel. it's actually the same brand as the front wheel, weinmann . the front wheel is actually thinner, 26x1.5/1.95 559x19, while the new back wheel is 26x1.75/2.125 559x25. when i checked the old rear wheel it should've had the same specs, but i was surprised it was actually a 559x20 (XLC brand), making more like a 26x1.5 wheel. i should've checked the actually wheel before ordering, because i ordered it based on purchase history, and obviously they sent me a different sized wheel when i bought it the first time. i also realized the rear tire is a kenda K-193 26x1.5, i hope it can still fit the new 26x1.75 wheel.
my father helped me climb the backyard pussy willow tree so i can trim a few branches for my mother. we also lightly pruned the hawthorn (some inward growing branches) and made plans to cut the maple tree at some point.
my sister dropped off hailey in the late afternoon, said she was going to have dinner with her godmother, ordering thai takeout, asked us to feed her dog.
my father made chicken feet using the air fryer, a technique he learned from a youtube video. you first lightly boil the chicken feet, leaving them to dry, before tossing them into the air fryer. cook them for several minutes, flip the chicken feet, repeat again two more times so they're evenly crisped on all sides. then dunk them into an ice bath to cool for an hour, at which time they should get wrinkled and inflate. finally they're briefly simmered in a pot with some spices and sauce to absorb the flavors before they're finally ready to eat. it's still a little involved, but the fact that no oil frying meant less hassle and less danger (chicken feet have a tendency to pop in hot oil because of their moisture content). texture-wise they're good, very tender, though not as tender as steamed chicken feet (which is more fall-of-the-bone). i think we could've used a little more salt.
for dinner we had some chicken gizzards and hearts, a steamed bass, and some cauliflower. my mother insisted on having some baijiu with the chicken feet, so they opened the bottle of niu lan shan (牛栏山 陈酿白酒). distilled from 100% sorghum, it should've tasted like kinmen kaoliang, but the flavor profile was completely different. the smell of kinmen kaoliang reminds me of blow up bubble balloons, or nail polish remover, while niu lan shan smells like your typical fragrant chinese baijiu. it also has a smooth taste, very similar to wuliangye, and if you didn't tell me, i would've said it was distilled with multigrains based on the complexity of flavors, i wouldn't have guessed it was just sorghum. my father seemed to like it, poured himself two shot glasses, but he suspected they added additional flavors to the alcohol, while i believe it's just the natural flavor from the fermentation.
temperature today reached as high as the 40's before dropping back down into the 30's in the evening. it wasn't hard getting home, although i had to unmask a few times so i could breathe, something i didn't have to do when i was riding in the daytime.