i looked out my window this morning, 3 blue cars parked outside. obviously a glitch in the matrix. it's rare enough to have just one blue car, even more so with two, but three? all next to each other? it was weird to say the least.

i haven't been to my community garden since wednesday (today being saturday). that bitter melon? it burst, spilling its seeds onto the ground. that was actually a good thing, because the slimy red seed coat seemed to have washed off and all i had to do was collect the seeds themselves. i seem to have a profusion of violet colored flowers in my plot: the hyacinth beans, the chinese asters, the regular asters (a migrant), and my striped mallows (which miraculously continue to flower). there are also white garlic chive flowers (though they're season are coming to an end), yellow goldenrods, and red nasturtiums. late in the season, my garden seems to have a second life. the hyacinth beans are doing especially well, a happy accident. i believe i'm the only gardener who's growing these beans this year. i wasn't planning on eating them, but i'm growing enough that i'll have more seeds than i know what to do with, so if i collected some to eat i still have plenty left over.

getting ready to leave for belmont, franz chatted with me. they're thinking about doing a big condo renovation and he asked if he could see my place one of these days because he really liked the open kitchen layout. so in a short period of time i'm getting all these visitors.

i arrived in belmont around noontime. my mother was out, taking hailey out for a while, while my sister and 2nd aunt were working at the cafe. the thing i noticed first about the backyard was the abundance of jasmine flowers. flowers bloom every night, but sometimes there's an explosion of flowers, especially on an overcast day like today, when the flowers keep on for a bit longer.

for lunch i had some tangbao and then later we tried a bubble milk mochi.

rest of the afternoon my father and i were outside dethatching the lawn, starting from the back, working our way to the front. he used a metal rack with thin arms that was better at uprooting the bottom thatch, while i used a plastic rake, which pulled out in bigger clumps, but i raked so vigorously, i still managed to remove a lot of thatch. i threw all the thatch into the compost bin, which surprisingly didn't smell since i filled it up with grass clippings on tuesday. i did hollow out the center to give it more circulation, but my father thinks it's because of the cooler and wetter weather that kept the grass from rotting.

i also moved the pure white violets from the eastern side of the house to the southwestern corner, near the garlic chive patch. we're going to prune more of the maple tree in february-march, to give that corner of the backyard more sunlight, so it'll be a good spot for the violet.

i noticed the paocai jar had a layer of mold floating on top. most likely because my mother added some more long beans, and they weren't all submerged, which caused the breakout. it's not actually mold, but a layer of yeast, which occasionally happens during fermentation and it's harmless, though it looks gross. i mixed 3 cups of boiling water with 1 ounce (measured) of sea salt. once the brine cooled to room temperature, i poured it into the jar to submerge the beans. i then skimmed off the yeast as much as i could.

my aunt told my parents yesterday that today is russo's last day. my mother kept wanting to go to pick up some bargains, but we couldn't leave until my sister came to pick up hailey around 4:30pm. leaving hailey home alone now that her hearing is starting to go makes me scared and liable to barking.

we got to russo's in watertown by around 5:10pm, less than an hour before those close for good. a nondescript sign outside casually said there was a store closing customer appreciation sale 50% off. i didn't believe it at first until i asked another customer who confirmed it. inside was mobbed with customers. everyone had a shopping cart filled with food. the line stretched from one of the store to the other, but it moved along very quickly thanks to an open register director. my mother and i kept getting the same thing: she picked up a jar of salsa, i did the same; she grabbed some asian pears, so did i; she bought some dried cherries, i did too. $170 worth of groceries ended up costing just $85.

our shopping spree wasn't over, as we continued to nearby ocean state job lot. my mother primarily wanted to come to check out their yarn selection on sale. i didn't get anything other than a bag of spicy pork rinds.

afterwards we went next door and got some subs from subway with an $18 coupon for 3 foot-long subs. at that price, i can't imagine they'd be making any money, since we didn't order anything else. i got the chicken teriyaki, my mother the spicy italian, my father the steak and cheese. the weakest sub was the steak and cheese, since there's barely any steak and barely any cheese. the best S&C is still from any greasy local pizza & sub shop.