there was no hurry to get to belmont, since my father would be at the cafe a few hours this morning helping out my sister and her godmother. instead i forced myself to finally do my taxes using turbotax deluxe on a bootable thumb drive with macOS catalina. it was actually pretty easy and quick - not sure why i put it off for this long. it was even easier since i already done taxes for my 2nd aunt and my sister's godmother. i'm getting a small federal refund and a slightly larger state refund. i e-filed my federal tax (which is free), but will print out my state taxes and send it by mail (otherwise it's $20 for e-filing). so now i'm going to hand over the thumb drive to my sister, so she can do her taxes. i had a copy of her taxes from last year and already migrated a lot of her info into a new 2021 document.
i left my house a little bit before 1pm. today was supposed to be a nice day - sun and a cloud in the sky - but it was actually cold and breezy, with temperature in the 50's, cold enough that i wore my gloves while biking. also i've been riding angry these days, since my bike has only one working gear, and the whole transmission seems like it's about to fall apart completely. i stopped by the cafe first, to drop off the taxing thumb drive. i was surprised to see my father still there. they were starting to get busy, i didn't stick around for long and quickly left.
when i arrived in belmont, my father had the heat turned off but 3 space heaters running at various parts of the house. with heating oil as much as it currently cost (my father says around $5/gallon), and with spring weather slowly warming up, my father thinks he can go through the rest of the reason without needing to refuel (the tank is currently at 1/4 full).
going into the backyard, i saw a large rabbit. i slowly followed after it to see where it'd go, before it bolted across the lawn and JUMPED OVER THE LOW FENCE by the quince bush. if i didn't see it for myself i wouldn't have believed it. this is basically a game over situation because there's nothing we can do about the fence other than to put in a taller one. so all that time i we around the backyard looking for places where rabbits might be getting it, i didn't even think they could simply hurdle the fence like it was nothing.
i did a bunch of gardening chores. i moved the infested jasmine outside into the backyard and sprayed it down thoroughly with neem oil. i box-sprayed it on monday, and already there are new mealybug infestations. a lot of the lower leaves - the ones near the soil - had the back of their leaves covered with bugs. i'd really like to quarantine this jasmine but we don't have any other place in the house where we could keep it. hopefully in a week or two it might get warm enough that we can move it outside into the basement stairwell with the clear tarp covering.
i raked the shady eastern perennial bed. we don't have anymore garden refuse bins, so i used some rubber bins as a temporary solution. nothing has emerged yet (no lily-of-the-valley, no hostas) with the exception of a small dutchman's breeches plant.
i saw that the cherry plum was starting to leaf out a little bit, so i decided to spray it with fungicide to prevent potential black rot infection. i mixed a tablespoon of captan powder to 2/3 gallon of water and sprayed both the cherry plum and the kwanzan cherry. captan is supposed to be safe, but could be an eye irritant. i made to spray when it wasn't windy and i wore a mask. even though the powder was white, the solution i made had a milky yellow color. my father came home around 2:30pm right when i finished spraying.
we dug out the hardy chrysanthemum from the southern perennial bed and moved it to the western perennial bed, where we'd reserved a spot for it from last season. that's because the southern bed doesn't get a lot of sun, so we're hoping by moving it to the western bed, it will do better. we also dug up a few more stray foxgloves and my father planted them in individual pots to be transplanted around the cafe.
we at the large grapefruit i bought from haymarket yesterday. it was okay, a little bland, kind of on the dry side, slightly sweet, not sour, but no real fragrance, not like a pomelo. it seems like maybe it was sold back in early february for chinese new year, and these were just the leftovers.
my mother called us on line, because she saw on the living room webcam. it was still early morning in taiwan, but she wanted to tell us something that'd happened. she tried calling my father earlier at the cafe but they were busy and didn't hear the ringing. so yesterday my mother and 2nd aunt went to go get their PCR test. later in the evening - around 10:30pm - my mother heard the doorbell buzzing. she ignored it at first - didn't even know what the sound was - but whoever was ringing wouldn't go away so my mother buzzed them in. turns out it was two police officers coming to investigate the whereabouts of two quarantine travelers. they said they've been calling all week but nobody answered, which forced them to make a house call. my mother showed them their papers, everything was in order, so after checking, they left. my mother actually thought maybe it was the covid police coming to take them away after a positive PCR test. they didn't come into the apartment - where probably afraid to anyway. but good thing my big aunt didn't try to sneak back home early, otherwise she'd have been found out and fined by the police for breaking quarantine regulations.
around 5pm we barbecued the drumsticks and the corn. i didn't realize my father already used 3 of the drumsticks to make chicken soup, that's why the count seemed low. second time around the barbecued drumsticks didn't taste as great as the first time, they seemed a little slimy to me. i also grabbed a deformed ear of corn which had an earthy flavor. i ended up eating one corn and 3 drumsticks (2 garlic parmesan, 1 sweet chili).
my father had a 2nd pfizer booster vaccination appointment at the watertown main street CVS at 7pm, but left by 6:30pm. i left soon afterwards as well, early enough that i didn't need to put on my lights (sunset wasn't until 7:10pm).
when i got back home, i noticed my baby bokchoi seeds had already sprouted. i uncovered the plastic wrap and sprayed the soil again, this time with some mosquito bit infused water (nothing attracts fungus gnats more than wet soil). they germinate so fast, at this rate i might be able to start a second and third crop of bokchoi (i have plenty of seeds).