with the price of oil on the high, i did some heating oil research for my mother, calling a few companies: go green biodiesel (medford), northeast oil delivery (revere), johnson fuel co (stoneham), and firemans fuel (melrose). the criteria was most of these had the cheapest prices. neither go green or northeast oil delivered to belmont (i'd later find out i was looking at the wrong section, north of boston instead of west of boston). johnson fuel did service belmont, and at $2.799/gallon they were the second cheapest. the company we've used for the past 2-3 years has been firemans fuel, and their price was $2.950/gallon. at 150 gallons minimum, the difference was just $23. in the end my mother decided to go with the company we know instead of a new company. the woman i spoke with on the phone said they'd make the delivery tomorrow.
after heating up 2 slices of frozen pound cake for lunch along with a glass of hot black tea (first time this season i'm starting to drink tea), i left for belmont by noontime. my plan for the day was to mow the lawn and dogsit hailey. when i arrived, the first thing i did was to look for the duracell flashlight my father gave me. i could've sworn i put it in my motorcycle saddlebag, but when i checked yesterday i couldn't find it. i was hoping maybe i accidentally left it behind in belmont, but i couldn't find it. that could only mean the flashlight fell out of the gap at the bottom of saddlebag. i was a little dejected, but when i looked again in the saddlebag, the flashlight mysteriously reappeared. it was tangled up in my bungie netting apparently, that's why i didn't see it.
there wasn't a lot of fuel left in the plastic gasoline can so i was worried i might not be able to mow the whole lawn. i started with the front yard first, trying not to double track to save on dwindling fuel supply. i was nearly done mowing the backyard when my sister showed up around 1pm to drop off her dog. hailey stayed with me while i finished mowing the rest of the yard. she wasn't as needy today, and even decided to go inside and sleep on the couch while i continued working outside.
fi reseeded the patch of bare lawn next to RB3, that was formerly covered up by overgrown zucchini plants. i do some quick dethatching first, then hand sowing the grass seeds, raking them into the soil gently, before hand sprinkling some all-purpose lawn fertilizer. i then barricaded the area with some spare tomato cages before watering. i think mid-october is a little late to be reseeding the lawn, since typically we get our first frost around october 21st, so really just another week left in the growing season. but the seeds that don't germinate will lay dormant and sprout come springtime.
i did the same with the bare patch of grass underneath the plant stand and display table. i first relocated all our potted plants, which have just this week to enjoy the outdoor weather before we move everything into the basement grow room this weekend. i then moved the stand and the table, before reseeding/fertilizing/watering the bare spot.
i also relocated any errant foxglove plants i came across. sometimes they'd be growing on the lawn along the borders, or growing in the raised beds. i moved them all underneath the grapevines. i took the cages off of my lotus barrels. alas, this will be my last year growing them. after 3 years i haven't had any luck getting them to flower, nor can i keep them alive over winter. the past 2 years i've used lotus seeds from china, which are smaller and don't even produce any aerial leaves. if i ever try raising a lotus plant again, i'll just buy a healthy adult rhizome online instead (which i may do for next season, but definitely not growing them from seeds anymore). i saw a blue morning glory flower for the very first time this season. too bad the growing season will soon be over for a flower show.
while planting some money plant seedlings in the back of the grapevines, i noticed bamboo roots. curious, i kept on digging until i hit something hard that felt like an underground pipe but from personal experience i knew it was a bamboo rhizome. i traced the underground root, it stretched all the way to the other end of the grapevine. the only way i could dig it out was to cut the root into segments and pull them up by hand. there must've been 10ft worth of rhizomes. that makes me think that once the growing season is officially over, we might want to deepen the "moat" around our bamboo grove, to make sure it doesn't try to escape elsewhere.
my sister came back right when i was about to collect some concord grapes to turn them into grape jelly. at first i was only picking the purple grapes, but that was getting tedious, and i noticed that the green grapes were also sweet, so i ended up picking everything. after my sister took hailey home, i left belmont around 4pm.
my sister had bought me some pastries from h-mart which i ate one when i got back to cambridge. i also washed the concord grapes. i wasn't ready to start making the jelly just yet, hopefully tomorrow. i weighed the grapes: including stems, i have a total of 5lbs. worth of concord grapes.
i also washed my old merrell hiking shoes, which stinks something fierce. washing them isn't a problem; lacing them back up is the hard part because the aglets (stiff ends) have become frayed to the point where i can't relace them again. so after filling up my shoes with baking soda, i went online and ordered a new pair of hiking shoelaces. i also soaked the insoles in oxiclean. the laces won't arrive until thursday, but i don't think the shoes will be dry by then anyway.
while browsing amazon, i came across a deal on a 6-pack of 2ft barrina led grow lights for $50. i was surprised i wasn't notified but apparently i never bothered to set an alert on camelcamelcamel. this will replace the set i gave to my father to set up the basement grow shelves. half a dozen is enough to start seedlings, but once they start to mature, this isn't enough light, and i was actually hoping to double up my total number of 2ft lights but now i'm back to square one. at least i got a good deal. during the pandemic of last year, with supply chain issues causing prices to skyrocket, i paid $70 for those exact same lights.
around dinnertime i had another korean pastry. it wasn't enough and i still felt hungry afterwards, so i had a bowl of instant tonkotsu ramen along with a few stripes of anchovies.
i ordered some canning jars from walmart tonight. even if i had them shipped, they wouldn't get here until next week, and i need those canning jars for my concord grape jellies, so i need them by tomorrow. the fastest option is to go pick up them, and for that i'll need to ride up to lynn tomorrow. fortunately the weather will be nice, in the 70's like it was today.
finally, i wadded up some newspaper earlier today in the hole of the bathroom plumbing pipes that look into the basement. when i checked the newspaper tonight, it was already wet, so there's definitely something else that's leaking.