i went down to the community garden this morning to do my winter cleanup. most other gardeners have already tidied up their plots, i was one of the remaining few who still haven't gotten to it. there was no other gardeners there, but 1st grade children were playing noisily in the field behind the community garden, cambridge park service were raking the leaves, and a man came into the garden briefly to eat lunch before finally leaving.
i cut down all the hyacinth bean vines, pulled up all the dead tomatoes and basils, and chopped the chives down to the ground. i also stacked my tomato cages and laid them flat on the ground.
a lot of plants have died in my plot, but a few were still alive. some old striped mallows were still flowering on tall thin stalks, and two of the grow bags contained healthy mature mallow plants which i don't know if they'll survive into next year but i guess we'll find out. my white hydrangea is still alive: even though i planted it in a really bad spot behind a grow bag and surrounded by tall plants, it managed to produce a few branches, which produce next year's flower buds. as far as i know, i don't think anyone else in the garden has a hydrangea, and certainly not a white one. there were also stock plants in my plot. it made me remember that stock plants prefer the cold, so this late fall weather is ideal. can they survive the winter? i thought they were just annuals, but i planted them in the spring and they survived weakly through the summer (producing no flowers in my garden), and now seems like their time to shine. i also collected all the bokchoi seeds, maybe i can grow some bokchoi in the early spring.
the weather today was sunny for the first half, then got a little cloudy in the afternoon. it looked cold outside, but the temperature was rising steadily, in anticipation of the near 70's degrees day tomorrow, our very last day of warmth before we plunge into the cold darkness of another new england winter.
i was signed up for a zoom lecture titled, "early childhood development in rural china" given by scott rozelle, a stanford professor. the topic is sort of esoteric, and i was originally going to skip it and go do something outdoors, but when the weather turned a bit dark, i decided to stay and hear the lecture. it turned out to be a wise decision, as this was a great talk, rozelle was very animated and presented the info in a digestable manner. it opened my mind to one of the problems of china and i felt smarter afterwards.
following my to-do list, i got around to cleaning my living room windows. i like to apply a coat of rain-x to prevent rain from beading on the windows. but in order to do that, i first had to clean the windows, followed by 2 coats of rain-x spray, and finally wiped off with a cloth. i bought a bottle of glass plus for the very first time, i really like it. ammonia free and scented (spring waterfall), it dries streak-free.
at 3pm i rode my bike down to the cambridge library as they were having a compost bin giveaway event. it was kind of a mistake, because there's an online form where i can order free bins from the city, super easy, i did it when i replaced my broken blue recycle bin. it was also a mistake because 3pm is when the cambridge high school kids get out of school, so that whole area was mobbed with kids. when i got to the front of the library were the compost people had set up a stack of bins, i found out they were only giving out small bins, none of the medium-sized ones. i was about to leave and order one online, but one of the workers there told my info and said they'd get in touch with me regarding a new bin. it's not even for me, it's for my parents: the city gave them one of the large compost bins but it's simply too large, they rather have a medium bin. i also found out there are two sizes of medium bins, but they didn't have one available there for me to see. i left with a small bin and some compost bags.
for dinner i heated up a stouffer's chicken pot pie in the microwave. in hindsight i should've warmed it up in the oven, because the microwave dried out the pie so it was mostly crust with some dried filling on the inside. i couldn't even tell if it was good or not. luckily i have another pie in the freezer. i've made my own chicken pot pie in the past (2015, 2017), it's not that hard, and probably healthier and cheaper. i'll try that for next time. it'll give me an excuse to buy frozen mixed vegetables.
my new lepro dusk to dawn led light bulbs arrived today. these are 9W (60W equivalent) 806 lumens in soft white, while my previous dusk to dawn bulb was the lohas 6W (40W equivalent) 500 lumens. i tested the bulb with an indoor lamp, it turned on when it got dark, turned off when it was bright. i was going to install it on my front porch light but it needs screws to remove the housing and i rather do it during the daytime. my front light has always been dim, but now that my upstairs neighbors are back, they always have their front door light on, and that one is super bright, more than enough to shine on both our front doors. i'll install it anyway, but maybe leave it off for the time being.
one thing i don't like about my new fridge is the light. it has a 5000K blue hue which i might be able to live with if it weren't so dim. the led bulb is a 3.6W light. i've been meaning to replace it ever since i got the fridge. for some reason though i thought i could only replace it with something equivalent, but they don't make 3.6W led bulbs in a color other than blue. could i possibly replace it with a bulb with a slightly higher wattage? but i couldn't find any info to say if that was possible. the manual said 40W maximum, which was the first time i've heard of it. but when i looked inside the fridge, i saw the light housing also said 40W maximum, so i should be all set. i ended up getting a sunlite A15 refrigerator light, 5.5W (40W equivalent) 450 lumens in warm white for $2.83, the same one my parents got for their fridge, due to arrive friday.
while trying to figure out how to open the light fixture housing for the fridge, i ended up head butting the edge of the freezer door, leaving a reddish welt on my forehead. after a lengthy search, i finally found a video that showed the exact same whirlpool light fixture (though a different model fridge). to remove the clear housing, press on both sides then slide towards the back. i wish they told me that in the manual, there's zero mention of how to remove the housing.