after taking some time to pack up my saddlebags (crammed with frozen meats and haymarket produce haul), i rode the motorcycle to the cafe to help out my sister and 2nd aunt for the day. my sister opted not to open up the patio umbrella in the parking lot deck because she said it was too windy. my mother stopped by and stayed for nearly 3 hours, dropping off the supplies she and my father got from the waltham costco and market basket after they came back from their framingham acupuncture appointment.

it didn't feel like it because the customers came in a steady stream (so it never got crazy) but we actually made the most today this week (based on credit card transactions). not bad on a saturday that's only opened for half day compared to the rest of the week.

around 2:30pm - during a lull at the cafe - i went over to my sister's place to fix the yellow bicycle feifei rides to get groceries. this bike belonged to my mother before she gave up cycling, so it has sentimental value to me and i hate to see it not functioning in optimal condition. i noticed it 2 weeks ago when i got the ladder from the shed to prune the rhododendrons: the stainless steel rear back on the bike was loose, the bolt on the left side had fallen off. feifei tried to fix it by tying the rack bracket in place with a strip of cloth. it's an easy fix if you have the parts and tools, and just so happens i do have all those things, because i was the one who originally restored this bike. it took a while to get the rack bracket eyelet to align with the dropout hole.

i was actually called away before i could complete the fix, because suddenly it got busy at the cafe (4 bento boxes). after all the orders were fulfilled, i returned to the bike to complete the fix. once i got the screw through the eyelet and the hole, it was a simple matter of adding a washer and securing everything in place with a nylon locking nut. i also tightened the right break lever because it was loose. i wonder what feifei will think about these fixes, like some elves magically fixed her bike.

i also let hailey into the backyard to pee before i returned to the cafe for the final hour.

i watched a video of an orange tabby cat late last night hanging around our backyard patio deck. i thought it was a little weird that a cat would be out so late at night, but thought nothing more of it, until i saw a "lost cat" flyer on a utility pole with a cat that looked remarkably like the one i saw on the video. so i called the number and spoke with the owner. she said her cat didn't have a collar while the one i saw looked like it was wearing one. she also asked if noticed if the cat had white paws, but i wasn't able to resolve that level of detail on a 2K video shot at night. i ended up getting her to send me her e-mail address so i could send her the video so she could look herself. after seeing the video, she said it didn't look like her cat, but she wasn't sure, and would put up more flyers in the hopes of locating her feline. her cat's been gone a week, and with coyotes roaming the empty cambridge streets at night, i'm not very hopeful.

my 2nd aunt was the first to leave after 4pm, and after doing some cleaning, i left around 4:30pm. my sister stayed at the cafe another hour to clean up.

i rode to my parents' place. with about an hour before dinner, i made the most of my time: i watered the pileas and prayer plants; nobody watered my resurrection plant so it dried up again - i read you're not supposed to revive it so soon after it goes dormant, so i'm waiting before watering it again; noticing mealybugs on the jasmines and gardenia, i sprayed with neem oil; the 2 gardenia flower buds have started to swell, i'm hoping at least one if not both will blossom; i watered the reed plant, which my father had also neglected; that's when i discovered the rain barrels are essentially empty again; i relocated our oldest jasmine to the firepit platform so i could properly inspect it - this plant had the most mealybugs, i gave it a thorough spray.

i also saw the "damage" my father had made by pruning our grapevines. i can understand pruning when the grapes are out, but you can prune when they're just developing. i don't know how much grapes we can get this season. my father said he only made some light pruning but it seems like he removed half of the vines during the peak growing period.

around 5:30pm my father started grilling some lamb steaks on the barbecue. my mother also salted and oiled some surplus long-horn peppers to be cooked over the grill, as well as a package of fennel italian sausages.

this gave me a chance to try out my chimichurri sauce. originally i made it for (beef) steaks, but lamb steaks are just as good, if not better. my mother liked the sauce, i thought it was okay. i like the additional flavors it imparts to the lamb, but i can't get over how much it tastes like italian dressing. maybe i didn't make it right, and i still have another batch of parsley i can use for a second attempt. my mother also steamed some asparagus with cauliflower, but the stars of tonight dinner was definitely the lamb steaks, sausages, and grilled peppers. the long-horns reminded me of grilled shishito peppers: most of them were mild, but occasionally you'd bite into a spicy one.

my father assembled the second lithium battery box this afternoon. now we just need to find things to use it for (besides the 12v thermoelectric cooler). the next step is to connect it to the solar panel via the MPPT controller. to do that, my father needs to crimp some 12-10 heat shrink ring terminals. he tried to do it with the tools he had, but none them could crimp 12-10 terminals. so we ended up buying a heat shrink terminal crimper ($17), arriving on monday.

i left before 8pm. it was a cool day today. wasn't so bad this morning and afternoon, and i could get by in just a t-shirt, but came evening the temperature dropped into the lower 60's, heading into the 50's overnight. luckily i brought a jacket for the ride home.