i checked the rain barrel gauge when i arrived in belmont, it was at full capacity. the overnight rain meant we wouldn't have to water today. my father harvested all the "honeysuckle" squashes - so called because these buttercup squashes were growing all over the honeysuckle vines. there was one hanging across the doorway that my father said looked dangerously close to fall because the stem was rotting, so we decided to harvest all the squashes. initially we just saw two - including probably the largest squash we grew this season weighing 5.3 lbs. - but he ended up finding a third squash, about the size of a softball.
i went with my mother on her daily walk, grabbing some naan bread to go as my lunch. we went on a cambridge loop (which we did back in may to see the spring flowers) because i wanted to check out some autumn flowers.
i introduced my mother to pokeweed, and asiatic dayflowers, as well as sour crap apples, and strawflowers. coming back, we saw a massive (by new england standard) fig tree growing outside of a house on belmont street. it doesn't seem like the owners even wrap it up (too big anyway), but instead leave it to grow. it has an amazing spot, southern facing, a full day of sunshine, with the house behind it to give it some residual heat and shelter. i was tempted to try one of the ripe figs but there was somebody outside who looked like he might live at the house. maybe another time!
i also saw a flower i'd never seen before, something called a liriope. they look like ornamental grass but have purple flowers on stalks that resemble lavender.
we got back to the house just in time to watch the saints-patriots game starting at 1pm. in hindsight it wasn't a game worth watching, as new orleans dominated new england. there was a point in the game after mac jones scored his first touchdown that we were another possession from tying the game. unfortunately things got off course after that, and mac jones ended the game with 3 interceptions, including a pick-six. the only good thing football-wise that came of this day was tom brady losing as well.
the rest of the day:
my father and i installed the new freezer gasket ($30) that arrived today. at first it didn't seem to work as there were gaps, and even after we flipped the gasket over, the gaps were still there. but after fiddling with the gasket some more (my father discovered some magnetic clip that was preventing the door was closing all the way), we finally managed to get a tight seal. either way, we're just extending the life of this old fridge, which should be replaced at some point. i got my electric bill today, and normally it's $40/month, but ever since i got my new fridge more than a month ago, it's now down to $30/month, a savings of $120/year.
squirrels tore through the raised beds again (as well as the lawn), burying nuts for the winter. while patching the holes, i uncovered something that looked like an alien seed pod, with bright red seeds on the inside (like a bitter melon). i didn't know what it was but only later when i searched for it online did i discover it's a magnolia seed pod. i don't know any magnolia trees on our street, so not sure where it came from. it might be fun trying to germinate the seeds though. we also put chicken wires over RB1, to prevent squirrels from digging it up again.
my parents harvested nearly half a dozen bitter melons. these aren't very good, all irregular sizes, either too small, or too fat. now that the weather is turning cooler and there's less sunlight to be had, the bitter melons seemed to have slowed down drastically.
ever since we saw that osmanthus (sweet olive) at the watertown garden tour, i've been online looking to see where i can buy one. i found a seller on etsy of all places. they sold various gallon pots of osmanthus, from classic white/yellow, to orange, to red. we decided to get a traditional white 'fudingzhu' osmanthus for $31.50 with free shipping (6" diameter standard gallon pot). the only other place i knew that sold them was logee's, and theirs was a small 2.5" pot for $15. now's the perfect time to buy one because it isn't too cold yet and they can be shipped without frost damage.
the sofa slipcover ($20) i ordered from amazon yesterday arrived today. my father and i put it over our old sofa. it actually fit pretty well (thanks to the stretchy spandex fabric), especially after we realized the foam tubes that came with the slipcover was intended to act as light weights to be wedged between the cushions to give the slipcover some shape instead of an amorphous blob. it worked so well my mother asked me to buy another one as a backup. the grey color we got is the cheapest, while all other colors are $34-36.
i returned home after dinner. there was the red sox game, a crucial matchup now that boston and new york are tied for the first wild card slot. yankees were leading 2-1, until boston scored 2 runs in the 7th to take the lead 3-2. that didn't last very long, when in the 8th inning the yankees managed to score 4 runs, including another homer by stanton (DH), who hit a grand slam last night. i was so sickened i turned off the game. the red sox are done. even if they make it into the post-season, they won't advance.