i managed to sleep until 10am this morning, after having gone to bed last night at 2:30am - more than 7 hours of sleep for a change. i wasn't in a hurry to get anywhere so i could afford to sleep late sunday morning. i puttered around the house a bit before finally leaving for my parents' place about 12:15pm. the sky was filled with puffy white clouds but i wasn't sure if it'd rain or not - the forecast said no rain until late tomorrow.

i ate 2 leftover italian sausages when i arrived, and my mother made me some wonton soup.

i went out briefly to remove those squash bug eggs i spotted yesterday. in the process, i found another squash leaf that also had eggs, but these had just hatched. using a piece of duct tape, i trapped all the emerging bug nymphs, as well as any unhatched eggs. at some point - either tomorrow or tuesday - i need to do a foliar treatment for the squash vines. maybe it's the lack of water, but they don't seem to be doing as well as last season. i'm hoping some miracle-gro sprayed on the leaves might give them a production boost.

we were basically waiting until the afternoon, so we could go to burlington and visit bin bin and her family at 3pm. the plan was to go and chat, but knowing them, they'd invite us to stay for dinner. my aunt invited herself and matthew when she found out what was happening today. my parents brought a bottle of red wine as a gift.

i hadn't seen bin bin and jason in nearly 3 years, not since october 2019. they lost their visa under trump's restrictive immigration policy and had less than 2 weeks to pack up their lives here in US and return to china. we spent the next 2 years taking care of their empty house in burlington. they tried returning to boston but due to the pandemic (which started just months after they left) there was no travel between the two countries. it became a blessing in disguise for them, as they got to live their lives in china (which is probably what their parents wish for them anyway).

but bin bin wanted to return, so back in december 2021 they finally managed to get their visas and came back to the US. they've been back for nearly 7th months now but because of the pandemic i haven't seen them since (my parents saw them in december when their whole family briefly visited the cafe). anderson is now 8 years old (going into 3rd grade) and his brother lucas 5 (going into kindergarten). last time i saw lucas, he couldn't even talk. he talks now, but he only speaks chinese, having been brought most of his life in china.

their whole family also managed to contract covid with the exception of jason; they think anderson contracted it from one of his classmates then spread it to everyone else. they hardly had any symptoms, just some lethargy that lasted for a day or two, then they were fine. neither of them told their parents back in china, didn't want to worry them needlessly, since they already consider the US a very dangerous place with our much higher covid case and death numbers compared to china.

there was a lot of food, but much of it was raw seafood - oysters, salmon, shrimp - which are not my favorite to put it politely. i tried 2 oysters (drowned it in lime and cocktail sauce) and a piece of salmon but that was it for me. they also only seemed to have beer or harder alcohol, i nursed two cans, though i really wanted juice or soda instead.

they also got 3 cats and a large fish tank. i thought maybe it was 30 gallons but jason told me it was 55 gallons. jason revealed that the reason for the fish tank was feng shui for his business. there was a total of 9 fishes: 3 guppies, 1 dannio, and 5 glofish tetras. these were actually the 2nd batch of fish they bought, after the first batch all died (save one) when jason performed an 80% water change using untreated tap water.

anderson kept trying to impress us with magic tricks, while his brother lucas cried a few times because his older brother hit him, only to bounce back like nothing happened. my sister made a surprise appearance after she told me last night she wasn't coming. anderson impressed us with his piano skills, my while sister humblebragged her own piano playing prowess. jason kept refilling our beer glasses, and we found out later that he drank 3 cans before we arrived, and probably finished 7 more while we were there, turning a bright red and becoming more talkative in that way drunk people get.

even though it didn't feel that late (because it was still light out), we finally left by 7:35pm. we got back to belmont by 8pm. we left the AC on but it didn't feel particularly cool inside. my father did some watering in the backyard. he put up the 31ft solar light strand (with 10 LED edison bulbs, $25) by the bitter melon trellis but it wasn't dark enough for them to turn on yet. we might need to restring them because my father had the lights along one edge and i wanted the lights running in strands throughout the trellis.

i left by 8:30pm, stopping briefly to take some photos of the colorful sunset behind me.

when i got back home, the sewer stink had returned in my bathroom. i still don't know where it's coming from, it's hard to figure out the source of a foul odor because it's invisible. i only started noticing the stink ever since i opened up the walls last summer, so i wonder if it can fix it when i finally board up the exposed pipes in the bathroom.