we went to the waltham costco primarily to stock up on eggs. we can easily go through 5-6 dozen eggs in just a week, and costco's the only place we can get them in bulk quantity (but they have a two package limit). at this rate we may need to buy eggs elsewhere though, can't be going to costco every week to get eggs. we were there for less than half an hour, before heading to our next destination. it was actually kind of busy, and i think mondays are a busy time for costco - all the people who didn't bother going over the weekend thinking it'd be busy, but then we all show up on monday, making it just as busy.
waltham market basket was next. here we got a potted chrysanthemum to replace the dying ground cherry outside the cafe patio. we also picked up some additional supplies, before leaving by noontime.
it took use 30 minutes to drive to the cafe to drop everything off. from there we went back to belmont. we bought a frozen pizza (screamin' sicilian mother of meat) for lunch to test out the breville oven. we put it on the pizza setting and cooked it according to the carton instructions, 425° at 18 minutes. the pizza was only 12", the breville can accomodate up to 13". it was fun watching the pizza cook, like watching a cooking show. we left it to preheat, which only took a few minutes to reach 425°. the timer started counting down, we put the pizza into the oven. when the pizza was almost done, the oven light turned on followed by a 3-beeps alarm.
i thought the pizza was pretty good, or just as good as domino's, which i know isn't a high bar for pizza authenticity. my mother said it was too salty and didn't eat any of the crust, throwing them away. my father sliced the pizza into 8 pieces, we both had 3.
tax-free weekend purchases from amazon continue to arrive. early this morning the tayama 10 cups rice cooker arrived. for $32, it was your basic no-frills rice cooker, very similar to the zojirushi rice cooker my parents use now. later a box arrived containing an assortment of items: the tubshroom drain protector; bonide 8 oz. pyrethrin presticide; and my lawnful-brand pH and TDS meters. my father's wantjoin-brand commercial milkshake mixer arrived too; he tested it out, seems to work well, has two speed settings, the low is fast enough. i tested my hydroponics meters: the TDS worked fine, but the pH meter seemed to be dead on arrival. i even replaced the two watch batteries with a spare set that came included, that didn't work either. i contacted amazon for a replacement.
i went into the backyard in the afternoon to fly my drone, it's been weeks since my last flight. i wanted to check out the extent of the extreme drought we've been experiencing, and the view from 400ft was not disappointing. most lawns were yellow, glad to see we weren't the only ones. a few houses still had green lawns, those are probably the ones with sprinkler systems, they must be spending a fortune on the water bill. i flew the drone over the oakley country club. i went too far - all the way across the golf course - and lost my signal. the drone issued an automatic return to home, and once it was back within range, i regained control of the drone. i also flew it to the fresh pond golf course. because it's a public course, the green isn't as well maintained, and there were much more yellow patches compared to private oakley.
in the late afternoon i was outside again, this time dousing our backyard vegetables with miracle-gro fertilizer. while i was doing that, my father was collecting all the dried up long beans and blue beans seed pods, followed by some jasmine and gardenia pruning. my father gave the gardenia a severe pruning, i'm worried we'll go another season without ample flower buds, since we already pruned a few months ago after the plant finished flowering. after i finished fertilizing, i watered all the plants again (my already father watered once early this morning). i didn't do a foliar treatment, partly because it was so late in the day (best time is the morning), and there weren't plants that needed it, most of our squash plants have already died.
back inside the house, i shelled the bean pods to collect the beans. i noticed many of the long beans were smaller than before, stunted by the drought. as for the blue beans, some were blue, but there were also many biege beans, and most seemed smaller than before. but we should have enough beans for next season.
since we drained the LiFePo4 battery yesterday, my father has been recharging it back up. this time we went through the hale sensor meter, and could see the Wh decreasing into the negative territory (which is normal). the battery total however doesn't change - remains fixed at 100Ah - since we reset the meter before recharging.
for dinner my mother made a salted pork pepper onion stirfry, as well as a simple broccoli stirfry. my father reconstituted a "3-cups chicken" dish that my sister tried to make but turned out to be a failure; he recooked it but it tasted off (he said something about my sister soaking the chicken in baking soda), had a fishy taste, and an unsettling sweetness.
i returned home after dinner. i was eager to try out the tubshroom. it seemed to fit the tub okay, and the drain didn't clog after my shower - although ever since my haircut yesterday, i don't think i'll need to worry about clogging the drain with hair anytime soon. the design is pretty clever - and the shiny chrome makes it look like it's a part of the tub hardware.
i had half a bowl of cherries while watching nothing in particular on tv. i was surprised to discover that shannon mulaire was fired from NBC10 boston last month. i've always liked her, even though WCVB channel 5 is my usual news source. i'm surpised pete bouchard is still there though. i've always thought of him as somewhat creepy, just a vibe i get.
speaking of surprises, my upstairs neighbors finally returned from california this morning (i know this from the stomping of the steps and bathroom flush noises). i was beginning to get worried, they said they'd be in california for 3 weeks, it was starting to get close to 4 weeks. i still have questions though: what happened to their car? and what happened to their little dog?