my father called me at 9am this morning, while i was still in bed. he said something about i needed to go to lowe's with my sister to meet the contractor to find a new sink to fit the new countertop. that was all a lot of information to process. i had to remember that the contractor came to the cafe this morning at 7:30am to demolish the rest of the old cabinets (including an old dishwasher and the sink) and install the new countertop and cabinets. unfortunately they couldn't do that because they didn't have the right size sink (?) so they left. but what they didn't tell me and what i found out later was they couldn't continue working not because of the sink but because the plumber had to run some new water lines, and he wasn't coming until tomorrow at 9am.

the sink itself was a whole other problem. we decided yesterday to reuse the old sink, after seeing the tiny new replacement sink my sister had bought online. however, it seems the contractor didn't want to reuse the old sink because it was a hassle to remove from the old countertop, and they couldn't guarantee it'd be in one piece afterwards. plus the old sink had rust spots, and it was just easier to install a new sink - provided we can get one the right size.

my brain still couldn't process why i needed to go to the saugus lowe's with my sister, why we couldn't just get the specs and order one online. even then, there was zero chance it'd arrive by tomorrow morning, so the only option was to find a new sink locally, where ever that may be. my brain couldn't process all this info when just a few seconds ago i was still asleep, but i finally said yes and told me sister to come and get me.

i waited nearly 30 minutes and my sister still wasn't here yet. i checked the webcam and saw her car was still in the parking lot. i called my mother who called my sister to tell her to come pick me up immediately. for some reason she was still waiting for confirmation, even though if it was so urgent why wasn't she in more of a hurry to get it done?

it took us 30 minutes to drive to the saugus lowe's. we met up with the plumber friend of the contractor who happened to live nearby. he showed us which sinks were compatible with our new countertop. there were only two choices, both out of stock. i'd find out later that not only were they out of stock, but lowe's didn't even carry them anymore on their website, that's how hard it was to find a suitably-sized sink.

we left lowe's by 11:15am, decided we should visit a nearby home depot first to see what kind of small stainless steel sinks they had in stock. my sister said we should check the website first, but the mobile version of the home depot website is a stripped down version and i had a hard time navigating. just a bit further north - a few miles away off of route 1 - was the saugus home depot. we went there and checked out their sink selection. that area of route 1 seems to have every store imaginable: walmart, target, OSJL, dollar tree, macy's, kowloon, hooters, wendy's, buffalo wild wings, fuddruckers, bernie & phyl's, and a home depot.

the saugus home depot had 2 bar sink selection but they seemed too small. the size we wanted was one that wasn't longer than 20". these bar sinks? only 15", and that's not including the sink basin itself, which is even smaller. we ended up deciding on getting an elkay-brand (even though for some reason it was advertised as glacial bay) 15" bar sink kit that included a matching 2-hole faucet and drain for $120. worst case scenario we don't like it, we can simply return it at a nearby home depot.

we returned to cambridge, driving a google map recommended route that took us through middlesex fells. we passed through areas of lynn, melrose and medford i'd never see before, lined with tall trees (lynn fells parkway). i got back home by 12:20pm. i told my sister to go to my parents' house to show them new the sink, and maybe find something better online that can hopefully be delivered or picked up either tomorrow or tuesday at the latest. i used the bathroom and took a quick shower before gathering up my things and heading to belmont via motorcycle.

i got there by 12:45pm, immediately went online in search of a better sink. once again i was waiting for my sister. i had to call her (she was eating lunch, wasn't in any hurry) and asked her to come right away so we could decide on a sink and order one right away. she finally showed up 30 minutes after i arrived. my parents saw the new sink. they said it was okay, but more just to get the contract work done instead of waiting another day or more for a new better sink to be delivered. the new elkay sink was okay, albeit small, just 6 inches deep. i was happy at first, but figured if we didn't like it, we could always install a new one, as long as the new sink was larger in size (you can cut a sink hole to make it bigger but you can't make it smaller).

with the whole sink issue finally settled for the time being, i could finally finish the bowl of wonton soup my mother had made for me earlier.

i replaced the old shower head in my parents' bathroom with a large new spare moen-brand shower head that belonged to my sister. no tools were needed - just some plumber's tape - and the new shower head seems to work well, i kept asking my parents all day if they were going to take a shower today, to test out the new shower head.

i installed a circular polarizing filter on the eufy 2k indoor cam that faces out into the backyard. it did remove some of the glare on the leaves, but it didn't really do anything to improve the washed out colors, which is a side effect of the camera being mounted with the pale khaki sunshade behind it. i used a few pieces of clear double-sided nano-tape to secure the filter. it's kind of an inelegant solution but seems to work.

my parents stewed up some pork with a collection of blue beans from the backyard. those blue beans are more of a novelty than anything i'd consider edible, but there's enough of them of a decent size that made my parents decide to cook them. they said it was very delicious, i thought they didn't really taste like beans, more like eggplants.

as is my weekend routine, i went through the squash vines checking for borer eggs. i always find a bunch, which makes me worried about the ones i might miss. the one spot on a vine that i injected with Btk last weekend seems to be doing okay in that i don't see any frass, which is a sign that the borer (if there really was one) is dead. i'm not so much afraid of squash vine borers as i think they're just kind of a nuisance. i have multiple ways of defending again them and making sure the squashes stay alive. when i first encountered SVB's, it was a really nightmare as i didn't quite know how to prevent them.

my father and i pruned the gardenia. we trimmed about 50% of the plant, trying to shape it to have a more compact and round form. during our pruning, we discovered two new flower buds. will they survive long enough to blossom, given that we've removed so many leaves? who knows. at this point any more flowers is just a bonus. this is the only time we'll prune the gardenia this year; now we let it grow, and the new growths will produce the flower buds for next season.

elsewhere in the garden: the hop bines are doing well, a lot of tiny immature future hops flowers. they seem to be found at the very top of the bines, where they can get the most sun. we'll have so many hops, we don't know what to do with them. what else can use hops for besides making beer? there were 8 pots with tiny seedlings in them. i thought it was something my father did and asked him what he was planting, until he reminded me those were the pepper and eggplant seeds i started using wet napkins to germinate them. i don't remember which is which, and i'm not sure if there's still enough time in the season for these to reach maturity, but we'll see what happens. there are a few long beans of impressive length, nearly 3ft - now that the pressure is off to eat them since we don't know if we have enough this season because rabbits all most of our young long bean seedlings. the nigellas have started to bloom! two blue flowers so far. powdery mildew have returned to the peony plants, even though i sprayed with chemical fungicide last weekend. does it mean the fungicide have no use? or maybe the mildew is bad enough that no amount of spraying with cure it now. i ended up respraying the leaves with neem oil, which seemed to have worked better in the past.

my mother didn't want to make dinner again so instead we got some takeout from burger king. there didn't seem to be anyone in the drive-through, so my order today was quick. the fries were fresh but the burgers seemed already made since they were slightly cold. i finished a whopper, my mother ate half of hers, while my father ate both a whopper and a cheese burger.

afterwards my father and i tried to fix the free-standing oscillating fan that one of the upstairs tenants broke. there were one remaining security screw and we didn't have the tool to remove it, but my father figured out that a long thin flat-head screw scriver could grab inside a tamperproof torx screw and find enough purchase to twist it off. opening the fan itself took some time as the body is clipped together from the inside. but we worked at it methodically, and finally got it opened up. we could see the problem right away: the plastic bracket holding the oscillating fan mechanism in place had broken off. it was made so cheaply, we couldn't really fault the tenant for breaking the fan as it seemed it was just a matter of time before it broke. i glued it back with superglue gel, but my father said we should get some epoxy glue tomorrow to make it even more secure, as its liable to break again.

i finally returned home around 8pm. after a shower, i settled in for another evening of baseball, yankees vs red sox on ESPN, so once again i could watch it (no blackout). boston was down when i started watching - 6-3 - but they managed to tie it and then open up their offensive over some timely new york fielding errors and pro-red sox pitching calls - with a final score of 6-11. yesterday jeter downs was called up from the minors and was instrumental in that win, and he performed well again tonight, definitely someone to watch. later i checked the standings: even after this victory, the red sox are still 14 games behind the yankees, but first place in the wild card chase (though just 2 games ahead of the mariners, also chasing the wild card spot). not sure how the baseball playoffs are going to work this year - will there be multiple wild cards?