i got some gas this morning before heading to belmont. prices continue to increase, it was $3.159/gal and i paid $7.66 to fill the tank. temperature was in the 60's, not cold, but also not warm enough so that i still needed a light jacket to stay comfortable.

i finally got to see the new osmanthus fragrans from home depot. actually, i'm not exactly sure if it is an "osmanthus fragrans" because it's simply advertised as tea olive, but i'm assuming it's osmanthus fragrans. anyway, it wasn't that much bigger than the first one we got, maybe a thick stem and slightly taller. the leaves were more oval and a neutral green compared to the fudingzhu that had thinner leaves that were darker green. there were insect damage on the top leaves but i didn't see any insects. home depot has a pretty good policy for plant returns, it's either 90 days or as long as a year, but this osmanthus isn't in that bad a shape that we'd want to return it. it also had no flowers, but there were lateral buds on the stems and terminal ends that might be future flowers, it'll 2-3 weeks before we'll know for sure. same thing is happening on the fudingzhu, if those turn out to be flower buds, but these will likely be the same.

my mother made thin noodles for lunch, mixed with some leftover minced beef with fermented long beans.

my father and i cut the long rose stem he collected from the cafe parking lot into cuttings and planted them in makeshift containers made from either a 2 liter soda bottle or boba ice tea containers. fall rose cuttings can be a challenge because the roses go dormant during the winter. it won't be until spring before we'll see any growth action. we've never propagated rose before so this is a first. we shaved off a bit from the end before dipping it in root hormone and then plant it in a 3/4 potting soil 1/4 perlite mix.

i also brought out the 5 orchids and gave them the full treatment: spray neem oil extract on the leaves to get rid of mealybugs then soak the grow medium in orchid fertilizer solution before pouring the back into the bucket. i poured the leftover acidic fertilizer into the gardenia pot. i think i might try making a solution of imidacloprid (systemic pesticide) and giving the orchids a thorough drench.

when we used the cast iron griddle last weekend, we didn't clean it but left it inside the barbecue grill. that turned out to be a mistake because the salt we used to spinkle the shishito peppers ended up rusting the cast iron. my father had to wash the griddle then reheat it in the grill before reapplying a layer of cooking oil.

the gardenia has been yellowing, it doesn't like it when the temperature dips below 60 degrees, which compelled us to re-open the grow room for the winter season. we decided for this year to keep some smaller plants on the adjustable wall using either my strip grow lights or a large 100W LED grow light suspended from the ceiling. we decided not to bring the plant stand into the basement grow room because it'd take up too much space.

for dinner my mother cooked up some hyacinth beans. i've been waging a battle for weeks now, asking her not to pick the beans so we can have some seeds to grow for next season, but she thinks we have plenty of seeds as it is. i do have two hyacinth beans in my own community garden which i haven't visited in weeks. i can harvest the seeds from those. the problem is once the weather turns cold and we have a killing frost, all those beans will die, and i don't know if we can get any viable seeds after that. my mother also cooked up some salted mackerels. they tasted pretty good, but i think they'd be even better if cooked outside on the griddle.

i returned home afterwards. after using the bathroom, i took a shower, and settled in to watch the season finale of ted lasso, followed by the alabama-texas A&M college football game. i know nothing about college football and normally i wouldn't watch it, but i know alabama because of the saban-belichick connection, so maybe there's some talent the patriots can poach some draft season. alabama trailed early, but clawed their way back and took the lead, but texas tied and had the ball in the final drive and managed to win the game with a field goal kick.

feeling a bit hungry, i had a shin black instant cup of noodles. i add a few strips of anchovies into the soup to enhance the umami. despite a bit of a fishy flavor, it was actually pretty good, i think i discovered another ramen hack.