when i arrived at my parents' place, i saw that my father had already mowed the lawn. this was our last mow of the year, since we were prepared to add the final fall lawn food. our drop broadcaster was rusted shut, my father sprayed it with a generous amount of WD-40 to get it working again. the instructions for the scotts winterguard turf builder said to set the spreader at 6-1/4 size, which i thought was too much. those fertilizer instructions are always trying to get you to use more, then you'll have to buy more fertilizer. unfortunately i didn't have a record of what we set the spreader at last autumn, so we opted for size 4.
my father had the honor of pushing the fertilizer spreader. i kept asking him not to backtrack since i was afraid we'd run out of fertilizer, but he was confident we'd have enough. turns out he was right, we still had 1/5 bag left over when he was done fertilizing. he said we could probably go up to size 4-1/2 in the future. while he was doing that, i was clearing the backyard of obstructions. i also filled up 2 more buckets with rain water (for plant watering usage) before draining 2 of the remaining 3 filled rain barrels.
this was actually our second lawn feeding for autumn. the first was back in mid-september, when we overseeded the lawn then fertilized with a general purpose lawn fertilizer to give the seeds a little kick once they germinate. come spring we'll fertilize again, even though it's completely unnecessary. springtime is when we apply the crabgrass preventer, but for some reason it comes premixed with fertilizer as well.
we caught another mouse in the kitchen cabinet, my mother noticed the electronic mousetrap was flashing green. i was in charging of disposal, this mouse smaller than the one we caught yesterday. its body was also interred in the ivy patch. the backyard is like a graveyard for various critters, from mice, to birds (bluejay, robin, pigeon), to bunnies and squirrels, and even a few gerbils. i've even found cow teeth, back when the land was still a farm.
my father put out the stainless steel tent stove again. we have plenty of wood in the backyard but they've never been split before, and all of them are in various stages of decomposition as we never really made an effort to keep them dry until a year or two ago. instead my father found smaller branches (half dollar diameter) that he cut to size with a circular saw so they'd fit inside the stove. he asked me yesterday to look for a place where we could buy a piece of fire resistant glass, because he's thinking about installing a window in the door. i found a place that could cut a custom-sized piece of pyroceram for $36. we also watched a video where a guy did the same thing, installing a window in his wood stove.
new wood burns initially with black smoke that doesn't seem to want to rise up in the air, but after the flames pick up a bit (which creates an updraft), the smoke disappears and all that's left is warm air escaping from the smokestack.
around 1pm was when we stopped, as my mother called us in for lunch, some noodles. i was also coming inside to watch the titans-patriots game. this was an important game as new england was facing a worth opponent (8-3) for a change, although i heard tennessee's roster was depleted due to injuries. the first half ended with the score 16-13, though the titans would've been up 4 points had they not missed a field goal followed by a missed 1-point conversion. things turned in the second half, patriots dropped 2 dimes in the titans - one for each quarter - while tennessee never scored again. final score was 36-13. next week's game is going to be even more exciting, patriots face off against the bills in buffalo on monday night football.
i helped my 2nd aunt renew her MA id card, due to expire in a few weeks (they expire every 5 years, just like a driver's license). she gave me all her info but my mother had to call her to get her to send her passport info, in order to verify her citizenship status in order to register to vote. the id card can be easily renewed online for $25.
for dinner we had leftovers: squids, turkey, mushrooms. i ate quickly, almost to just get over it. i couldn't ride home with the riding gloves i had (my hands would freeze) so i searched the house for something warmer to put on my hands. i found some ski gloves that belonged to my sister that i could use. while i was searching, i also found some long lost car keys that'd gone missing, fallen behind the wicker stand by the front door.
i returned home by 7:45pm. the ski gloves - though warm - was too small, and i had a hard time gripping the clutch or brake levers. my body and legs were warm, but the bitingly cold wind made my eyes water and i grimaced the whole way home.
there was a browns-ravens game tonight. if baltimore lost, the patriots would get the number one seed in the AFC. unfortunately cleveland (6-5) is going through some issues at the moment, and although the ravens (7-3) didn't play well, they played well enough to win, on a low scoring 16-10 victory. new england's climb to the number one spot will have to wait until next weekend.