i juiced 6 oranges before i left for belmont. the oranges this time had an amazingly dark color, and for a second i thought they were pink grapefruits instead of navel oranges. my mother called to ask if i had an cilantro. i took a quick trip to star market to get some ($1.50/bunch).
this was my first time riding to my parents' place after getting the motorcycle out last weekend. MA lifted its mandatory outdoor mask mandate yesterday, but i still wore my mask out of habit. plus it kept the pollen out. when i arrived i noticed two large holes dug into the front lawn. they didn't look man-made, more like the work of some animal. the holes were deep, almost like the animal was trying to dig a tunnel. i filled it up with some extra dirt and tried replanting some of the grass sods.
my mother had a bowl of wonton soup waiting for me by the time i arrived. my parents also made chinese-style pancakes which we ate with braised beef. after lunch we cooked up the corned beef in the slow cooker. it came with a small packet of pickling spices but i added more of my own. later the kitchen would be filled with the scent of delicious corned beef.
in the early afternoon my mother and i went for a walk around belmont. we went maskless, and the people we met on the streets, half of them still wore their masks, while half didn't. we went up to burbank school, went behind it to see a large tent with socially distant desks for students. from there we climb the hill and went down to concord avenue near the high school, before coming back up along orchard street and stone road. my mother had never walked here before but i was intimately familiar with this route since this used to be how i'd walk to the high school.
i helped my father set up our portable battery case so it could run our old 12v transfer pump so we could use it to draw water from the rain barrels located at the front of the house. instead of a 100ft hose we used a shorter length, which gave us more pressure at the output end. we attached a rotating sprinkler as a test, it worked well enough to water a quarter of our front lawn.
the next problem was where to mount the 50w solar panel. since this was the north-facing front of the house, our options were limited. my father originally wanted to just put the panel on top of one of the bushes, but i thought it was a bad idea since it'd block the bush from getting any sunlight. the cord for the solar panel was too short anyway, so we decided to swap it out. about 2ft of the cord was also damaged; at first we thought maybe some animal had chewed through the cable, but it was actually from the wire fence that sliced through the rubber coating. we made new cables, reusing our old MC4 waterproof solar panel connectors but using new leads. the new wires for the solar panel was long enough that we simply placed the solar panel at the back of the house and ran the cable along the ground out from the garage.
we turned off the slow cooker by 6pm and started making reuben sandwiches with our corned beef. i tried toasting the rye bread in some butter in a frying pan but it was taking forever - it would've been easier to toast them in the toaster oven. my sister dropped by to pick up hailey and managed to have a reuben sandwich as well before she left.
i was preparing to go home but i noticed there was some really good light 30 minutes before sunset so i went into the backyard and released the drone into the air. the trees during springtime are just as colorful as autumn trees, in various shades of yellow and green, with flowers adding oranges, reds, and pinks. it was easy to spot the kwanzan cherries from the sky, differentiated from pink dogwoods in that dogwoods are more transparent. that fun was spoiled once the DJI fly app began crashing. i couldn't regain control of the app and i ended up force restarting my phone at least 3 times. finally the battery was so depleted the controller started beeping to warning me to return. the app froze once again, but i could see the drone above me and i brought it down for a landing manually.
the first day of may - may day - we had the most production so far this year at 54.43kWh. i returned to cambridge around dusk, got by back 8:30pm. i heard the furnace fire up and i turned off the heat. not just for tonight, but for the season. i can't stand the fact that the heat has been on since october, nearly 8 months. if it gets cold i'll just wear more clothes, but the heat is off until the fall.