this morning the countertop company returned to treat the marble surface with some protective mineral oil. my sister had removed all the equipment yesterday - with the exception of the coffee brewer which is secured with plumbing. it needs to dry about a day before all the equipment can be put back for duty tomorrow when the cafe reopens.

when i arrived in belmont my mother told me they were going on a supply run to the restaurant depot to pick up some takeout containers. i didn't bother having any lunch before we left by 11am. we stopped by the cafe first to check what containers needed refilling, but somebody had locked the back door from the inside and nobody had the key to the front door, not even when my mother went to my sister's place to search for it (my sister wasn't home at the time). instead we went by my place to grab a copy of the cafe front door key before we continued to restaurant depot in everett.

monday is a bad time to visit the restaurant depot as it's traditionally a day off for restaurant businesses, so that means a lot of restauranteurs were out making supply runs like we were. practically nobody wore masks there - restaurant folks are a dirty bunch. both my parents had theirs on but i went maskless.

next we went to the nearby chelsea market basket, which is their flagship store. they carry everything, including the hard to find diet root beers one of our regular customers consumes on a daily basis. i went to go return some seltzer cans while my parents went inside first. surprisingly, they didn't have the boneless pork butts, which my parents use for their minced pork (ground up with sausage consistency); fortunately they carry it at the somerville market basket as well.

we left market basket by 1:15pm and didn't get back to the cafe until 2pm. my sister was there earlier and had unlocked the back door so we could get inside (which meant that brief stop at my house to retrieve the front door key was unnecessary). after unloading the supplies, we returned to belmont. i collected all the foxgloves around the parking lot patio, snipped off their seed heads, and returned them to belmont so they can live out their old age. i may go to home depot or mahoney's tomorrow and get a few more flowering plants to put around the patio deck.

my mother got some market basket wings which i had for a late lunch. they were super crispy to the point of being hard, but i didn't mind.

it was also supposed to rain today, but one of those shower bands that are notoriously hit or miss, and for some reason, there seems to be a rainfall force field around the greater boston area, such that when the rain clouds approach, they soon disappear. during our supply run, there was a bit of rain on the windshield at various times, but a light rain at best, and hardly enough to even soak the very top layer of parched soil. the weather for the rest of the day was cloudy and at times wet, but probably only 0.1 inches of rainfall fell total, enough to dampen the landscape, but hardly enough to increase our rain barrel level.

the rain finally stopped about 5:30pm, which allowed us to go outside and grill the 3 pieces of porterhouse steaks and 2 porkchops. we preheated the barbecue up to 550 degrees before adding the meats. earlier we'd taken out the steaks and i'd seasoned them with salt and pepper. my father also brushed some butter on the steaks before grilling, to additional flavor and to prevent them from sticking. we decided on 3 minutes per side for medium-rare, but added another minute to each side when it looked like they were completely done yet. that turned out to be a mistake, as the steaks came out medium doneness. next time, stick to the 3-minutes-per-side rule, and let the meat continue to cook in its own juices.

the steaks were good, but honestly, i'm started to get jaded, after we've had so much steaks within the past few weeks.

like i mentioned earlier, the rain barrel gauge hardly moved, we didn't collect any significant amount of rain. one of the new gardenia flower buds dropped off, the one with the yellow stem we noticed yesterday; the other flower bud seems to be okay for the time being. the home depot osmanthus is starting to form some flowers, which is unusual since i thought they didn't flower until the fall-winter seasons. a lot of our pruned potted plants are beginning to grow new leaves: the lemon verbana i noticed yesterday, but had we known we would've pruned earlier; the gardenia; and the jasmine. also all those plants absolutely thrive in the heat (as long as they get watered daily) and sunlight.

i left by 7:20pm, getting home in about 15 minutes. after a shower, i settled in to watch the MLB all-star homerun derby. a lot of the players i don't know, with the exception of albert pujols and kyle schwarber. shohei ohtani was in the derby last year (as well as being a position player in the all-star game and pitching as well), but i think it wore him out and he didn't do the derby again this year (even though i heard he was invited).