i biked down to the cafe this morning at 10am to meet up with my sister so we could go to the stoughton ikea and get a few more wooden deck chairs. my father was already at the cafe since 9am this morning making vegetable buns, but when i got there he went on a supply run to market basket to get some ground pork.

my sister and i arrived at ikea around 11am, just in time for the cafeteria to open up. my sister wanted to get some food, but i thought it was a risky decision, especially if we both caught covid and my father had to work the cafe alone.

ikea on a monday morning was the emptiest i've ever seen it, which i already knew judging from all the empty spots in the parking garage. of the people there, half wore face masks (most of the employees did), while half didn't.

even though we already knew what we wanted to get, we still walked through the showroom, which is designed like a maze and makes you see all the furnitures and furnishings ikea has to offer before finally bringing you to the market place, where you wake through the maze of merchandise, all to entice you to buy something. my sister and i were pretty disciplined, i only got a plastic cutting board (to replace the mildew stained one i currently use), my sister some dish clothes. i was also going to get a push cart rack but they only had it in black or white, and i wanted moss green, so i didn't get it. we grabbed two wooden chairs, a matching wooden table, and a wooden chair with wire struts.

we tried to get some frozen vegetable medallions, but they didn't have any to sell. the cashier told my sister that their cafeteria was running low so they pilfered all the medallions. my sister wasn't into any of the swedish meatballs, but got some ikea pastries instead.

after one last bathroom break, we finally left ikea by 1:15pm. originally i was hoping we'd be able to get back home by 2pm, but after spending 2 hours at ikea, that wasn't going to be likely, especially since we had a few more stops.

i needed a 4-way hose splitter from ocean state job lot. fortunately there was one close by, just 2 highway exits away, near the westgate shopping plaza in brockton. i picked up the plastic splitter for $8, along with a bag of plant-tone fertilizer ($12). my sister bought 2 sets of wrought-iron fence dividers ($25/each). i also wanted to get two shepherd's pole (48" long), but my sister said they wouldn't fit inside her car.

we were done with OSJL by 1:40pm, but drove through the westgate shopping plaza to get to the chick-fil-a. i've eaten chick-fil-a a few times, but only as takeout; i've never actually visited a chick-fil-a restaurant before. honestly, i don't think they food is anything special, and given the choice of fast food joints, i prefer wendy's (which we did pass by one along the way). but because it's such a rarity here in the boston area, it has a undeserved aura of specialness. my sister and i were the only people at chick-fil-a wearing masks (although i did see a woman sporting one coming out of the place). ordering was fairly routine, until they asked me what sauces i wanted.

because there was an aldi's nearby, my sister wanted to stop in briefly to look for her favorite chips. we ended up spending more than 15 minutes browsing through the market, collecting a shopping cart full of food, on top of the chick-fil-a takeout waiting in the car.

we started heading back to cambridge by 2:20pm. you could probably spend the whole day here in stoughton-brockton, they have all the stores. did i mention there was also a market market? maybe that's why aldi's was so empty. jordan's furnitures, home depot, costco, walmart, lowe's, dick's sporting goods, marshalls, popeyes, IHOP, best buy, starbucks, old navy, buffalo wild wings, staples, and of course dunkin' donuts.

i could see my father was still at the cafe, so i called him to let him know we were on our way back with chick-fil-a food, and have him wait until we arrive. we didn't get back until 3pm. by then the chick-fil-a sandwiches and fries were cold.

we tested out the sur la table air fryer, replacing our small toaster oven. sitting on top of the microwave, the air fryer was heavy enough that it shook the whole table. my sister test fried a croissant which came out very crispy. we'll put it into service tomorrow, see it how well it works reheating things like fried chicken and pork. i made my spicy chick-fil-a sandwich; it was only good on the account that i hadn't eaten anything today, so everything tasted good when you're hungry.

we finally left by 4pm. my father drove back to belmont while i rode my bike. given the 2 hours we had before dinnertime, we went about doing some yard work. my father worked to reconnect the empty rain barrels in front of the house to the ones in the back. i mowed the lawn then sprinkled some crabgrass preventer and fertilizer. the old drop broadcaster we have is broken, no matter how i adjust the setting, it always drops the fertilizer at the same rate, which is only a sprinkle. last spring we went through nearly 2 bags of crabgrass preventer; this spring, not even half a bag. so now i'm in the market to find a used drop spreader and maybe reapply some more crabgrass preventer.

it was already after 6pm by the time i finished with the lawn. i had fresh blisters on my palm, to add to the ones i acquired when i worked on the front porch on saturday. my father made asparagus with bacon again, this time carefully washing the asparagus, but there was still sand in the vegetables. he also cooked up a pot of string beans and spareribs. the celtics-nets game was already starting before i finished eating, so i was watching that. i left right at halftime, so i could rush home and finish watching the rest of the game.

i kind of had the game in the background. celtics had the lead, and no matter what the nets did, they could never capture the lead, boston always had an answer. the game was close in the final minutes, especially after jayson tatum fouled out in the final 2 minutes. but everything the nets did seemed futile, and despite the game being close, the celtics were by far the more dominant team. brooklyn tied the game but the celtics quickly regained the lead, and then never looked back. celtics sweep the nets, 4-0. boston is the only team in this year's playoff to sweep their opponents.