i woke up this morning with mysterious back pains, must've slept on it wrong. i was planning on waking up early to retrieve the plants i dug up from the garden before the harsh midday sun cooked them to death, but i ended up not leaving until 11am. i brought my largest plastic bags to carry the plants, but i must've forgotten how large they were and none of them would fit. the fern and solomon seals looked okay, but some of the tall phlox stalks were wilting.

so i got back on my bike and went to the cafe to borrow the car. i came back with the vehicle, grabbed the plants (a little self conscious, it probably looked like i was stealing plants), then drove to belmont.

i planted the large group of phlox in the western perennial bed. i found a spot that didn't look too crowded, dug up the few rhizome irises and foxglove seedlings, added some new garden soil. i examined the phlox, making sure to pull out the "weedy" plants (mints, periwrinkle) and checking there were no pests like snails or slugs. finally i planted the phlox. it was surrounded by a carpet of small crocus bulbs, which i also planted.

my father sent me a photo this morning, the few hours of rain we got last night managed to fill up all the rain barrels by 60%. we're due for another inch of rain friday night followed by more rain sunday. we're not going to be able to handle all that rain, it's either zero rain for a long time or several consecutive days of rain. alas, we can't control the weather, and at the very least we won't have to water the plants, although i heard the long weekend temperature will drop into the 40-50's.

it's only been 2 days since i last visited my parents' backyard, but there's a few new additions: the white columbine in the western perennial bed have blossomed, and so has the behind-the-garage peony with 3 flowers. in the southern bed, aphids have returned to the lupines, instead of spraying with insecticidal soap or neem oil, i decided to dust some diatomaceous earth this time. as long as the plants stay dry, the DE will work their magic hopefully.

i left belmont by 12:30pm. i could've easily stayed longer, but my father needed the car for a 1:45pm doctor's appointment. back at the cafe, i helped my sister plant the solomon's seals and ferns i decided to give her, since she has a shady backyard. in return she gave me some ground covers. since i was there, i also helped my father fill the sandbags that arrived yesterday. we filled one to the 50 lbs. capacity, but they were not only hard to close after that but also way too heavy. since we had 10 sandbags, we decided to fill each one halfway, to 25 lbs., which is a lot easier to lift. while filling the sandbags that when i realized my i have back pains, from hauling all that bags of sand and mulch from home depot yesterday.

i got back home by 1:45pm, where i promptly planted the groundcovers in my little strip of front yard. i also trimmed the ivy so it doesn't grow onto the house. after a shower, i made myself a cold matcha latte and ate the last of the leftover drumsticks for a late lunch.

i went out again at 3pm, to pick up my ibersartan prescription from walgreens. while i was making that request yesterday online, i also had my doctor prescribe me another bottle of fluticasone nasal spray. i probably don't need it now as the pollen level seems to be decreasing and we're heading into a rainy period that will limit the amount of pollen in the air anyway, but it's always nice to have some prescription-strength nasal spray. i asked the pharmacists if they ever did manage to give out their remaining pfizer vaccines, they said no, so all that vaccine simply expired. what a waste!

after walgreens, i biked down to my sister's godmother's apartment in central square. she was already waiting outside, i was delivering her clear samsung A11 phone case, somehow sent to my place instead. i also taught her how to answer phone calls, she doesn't get a lot, but when she does get them, she doesn't know how to answer. the secret is to swipe up the answer button, not just click on it. i think at one point i had that confusion as well, it's not very intuitive.

from central square i headed northeast to the twin city plaza. i was visiting the dollar tree there to find a baby nasal aspirator, which i discovered is a perfect way to deliver diatomaceous earth powder. i already checked the one near me, they don't have it, and unfortunately neither does this store. next i searched for spray bottles. dollar store sells these small ones (6 oz.) but i was looking for something 24+ oz. i almost gave up when i finally spotted them, a large box of unassembled spray bottle. i grabbed three - one of each color. also while browsing the aisles, i came across some squeeze bottle applicators in the tools and car equipment aisle. i think they're meant to hold oil or glue, but they looked like they might serve as good DE applicators so i grabbed the only package i found.

i left twin city mall by 4pm. i wanted to get some woodchuck hard cider at the nearby savemor, or even visit a mcdonald's to satisfy my fast food cravings, but i simply returned home instead. i noticed the midwest grill - the brazilian skewer buffet place - is now a korean barbecue restaurant.

as soon as i got home, i went out once again, this time back to my community garden. earlier i grabbed the potted thai chili pepper plant from belmont and brought it back to my place so i could plant it in my garden. i also filled one of the squeeze bottle applicator with DE using a funnel and a spoon. i tested it in the bathtub, it sprayed out a plume of fine dust particles, i think it'll work.

i planted the pepper plant. while i was tending to my garden, lynn came by along with her friend frank. it's weird that we have almost the same schedule when it comes to visiting the garden. she came by to check up on her plants and take some photos. she gave me two bokchoi seedlings because they were growing too close together. i barely have anymore room in my plot, but still managed to find two spots for the bokchoi. lynn told me about her favorite tree (possibly elm), at the foot of the longfellow bridge near MGH. i told her i'll check it tomorrow. in return i told her about one of my favorite elms, on rc kelley street. afterwards i used the squeeze applicator to apply the DE. it worked great, better than the baby aspirator, which is more designed to suck in instead of spit out. the best thing about the squeeze applicator is the twist cap, something i can't do with the aspirator. i also destroyed some cucumber beetle eggs i found on my potted ground cherry plant. the eggs look just like ladybug eggs, and when i spotted them yesterday i couldn't be sure and wanted to find out. when i realized there were cucumber beetles, i made sure to destroy them.

it seems only now - 5:30pm - was i finally able to stop and relax for the day.

so i finally made my buffalo chicken wrap tonight (partially following this recipe). i feel like it's the first time i've cooked in a long time. i drenched the chicken breast in buffalo hot sauce first, not exactly a marinade, but i let it sit for half an hour while i squeezed 6 cara cara oranges into juice. i then cooked the breasts in the pan, 4 minutes per side. the breasts must've been too thick because they were still raw in the middle. i cut them into slices and cooked them until they were all done, adding more hot sauce as well. i made two wraps, and remembered not to put too much ingredients. the first wrap i microwaved for a minute, that was too much because it came out crispy. 30 seconds is the ideal microwave time. also two wraps is way too much, i was already full after eating just one. cooking the chicken this way left them juicier and more tender and not rubbery like when i cook with the foreman grill. i wonder how it'd taste if instead of buffalo hot sauce i used korean gojuchang? something to think about for the future, but i'm pretty wrapped out for the time being.

later in the evening i performed a water change on my lotus seeds. i was super careful this time, didn't want to dislodge another seed stalk from the seed pod. all 3 seeds seem to be at some stage of germination. 3 lotus seedlings is a good number for me to play with. they should be ready for transplanting outdoors in a few more days.