the first thing i did when i woke up this morning was bike down to market basket to get a few barbecue ingredients (italian sausages, corn). both entrances were now open and they got rid of the one-way aisle stickers (nobody was following them anyway). maybe by next weekend they'll get rid of the mandatory mask rule as well, although i could also see them keeping it, since the place can get a bit crowded, and you just know not every customer will do the right then and get vaccinated.

back at home, i discovered that my 4 buttercup squash seeds have germinated, trying to poke through the syran wrap. i removed the plastic film and relocated them so they'll get more light. i put back together my sofa cushion. i sniffed everywhere, the unholy kimchi smell has been exorcised completely thanks to oxiclean. i vacuumed the crumbs underneath the sofa and then vacuumed a bit of the living room. i walked to the corner liquor store to pick up a 6-pack of beer for my father (kirin ichiban this time around).

i biked down to the community garden to water my plants. that couple who have the plot next to mine were there planting their dahlias. they were standing in front of my plot, speaking with anne marie. i waited finished for them to finish before i could water. returning to the house again, i used the bathroom and took a shower before cutting up 6 cara cara oranges and squeezing out a fresh container of juice. i packed up my saddlebags and finally left for belmont around noontime.

my father had also just gotten back. he was at the cafe this morning, supervising some contractors who were installing a new AC unit on the former florist shop. i thought my mother was going to make some lunch but she said since we were having the barbecue at 3pm, it was better not to eat anything and save our appetites.

while my mother brewed a pot of sour plum drink, i was outside helping my father assemble the multi-tiered stepped plant stand. after we finished, we moved all our jasmines and gardenia onto the new plant stand. i noticed the gardenia had shed some flower buds. upon closer inspection, it aborted nearly a dozen buds, some of them quite large. it definitely did not like living outside. not sure if the other flower buds will survive, but we moved the gardenia into the sunroom for the time being. it's either too hot, too cold, or who knows. just another season where we won't get a flower show.

as for the stand, it works, made entirely from leftover pieces of wood, including the two staircase stringers we used to make the tiers. we discovered it's difficult to fill the stand with 9 potted plants, as the middle row can get pretty crowded. instead, 3 large potted plants on the top, 3 large potted plants on the bottom, and smaller plants on the middle step. one advantage of having the plants be up higher is its easier for me to inspect them for mealybugs. also thing we noticed is many of the jasmines are losing their leaves, especially the bottom leaves. they too did not like the transfer to being outside.

i also mixed half a gallon of neem oil and sprayed the cherry plum. i sprayed 4 days ago, but we have to do it a few times a week in order to keep the aphids under control. my father showed me that all the japanese red mustard seeds in RB0 had germinated. we planted them on monday, the same day we planted the seedlings in RB4. now that the weather has turned hot though, i don't know if the mustards will bolt or not. if so, at the very least we can collect more seeds when we sow again in late summer for a fall crop.

my father also showed me that something (most likely slugs) had been feeding on the bitter melons. one of them lost its tip, while two others are still okay. i have a backup bitter melon seedling in my grow closet, if the damaged seedling doesn't make it, we can always swap it out.

elsewhere, soon the foxgloves will be flowering. just last week they were all leaves, but this week most of them have formed flower stalks with many buds. foxgloves are weird in that the buds initially appear yellow, but over time they'll turn pink. we've got a few really healthy foxglove plants, it's going to be a good year for them. i'd love to grow some different kinds in the backyard. right now we just have pink, sometimes a little deeper pink than some others, but still pink. i see foxgloves can also come in cream yellow, peach, red, white, and purples.

we started grilling around 2:30pm, before my sister showed up with her godmother and my 2nd aunt around 3pm. today was a hot day - in the 80's - but there was no rain, even though my father was hoping for a shower to replenish the rain barrels. we got maybe about 2 days left of water before the barrels will run dry. the long range forecast doesn't show any significant rain.

we grilled the drumsticks first. i manned the grill for most of the time, to ensure we get that crispy crust before we turn the grill down to low heat. after the drumsticks were done, we grilled the sausages on high heat. there was a small grease fire as the oil from the sausages dripped down into the gas turrets. my father took over as i went to go eat.

my sister's godmother bought some taiyaki fish ice cream sandwiches from h-mart, because she heard my sister mention the brown sugar boba fish sandwich i gave her a few weeks ago. unfortunately they were out of the brown sugar boba flavor at h-mart, so they just got green tea and adzuki beans. i had a green tea fish ice, everyone sat outside enjoying dessert. my nose was a little congested due to the high pollen count, so my sense of smell was a bit dulled, but the brown sugar boba flavor is still the best.

afterwards while everyone else were chatting outside, my father and i pruned a little bit of the kwanzan cherry tree. up on the ladder, i discovered some black aphid colonies on the very tip of a few high branches. i grabbed some insecticidal soap and sprayed them. they seem to be the handiwork of ants, which makes me think i might need to do something about the colony setting up a nest below the tree. i also got some soap in my eye. afterwards we moved onto the lilac bush. all the flowers had already wilted, so it was time to prune. we cut a great deal, nearly half, the lilac looking very sparse now. but it's for the greater good, new branches will develop during the summer, along with new flower buds for next season. we're hoping to get even more lilacs in 2022.

around 6:30pm everyone moved inside. partly because we were done eating, but partly because it looked like it might rain, with the sky looking very ominous. i decided to go home by 7pm, to beat the storm. but already the sun was coming out, and once again, it didn't look like it was going to rain today.

after using the bathroom and taking a shower, i settled in for a night of NBA playoff basketball, the first game between the celtics and the nets. to be honest, i haven't been paying attention to brooklyn. i knew both kyrie irving and kevin durant were on the team, but was surprised to see james harden and blake griffin. it was an all-star starting lineup. celtics played well in the beginning, had the lead much of the time, but in the second half, the nets started chipping away and once the regained the lead boston couldn't make up the deficit. celtics need to just win one game, so they can say at least they didn't get swept. the nets are the odds favorite to win the NBA finals this year, with so much star power.

later in the evening i watched the season finale of SNL, with guest host anya taylor-joy. the sketches were dumb, but anya seemed game.