as soon as i arrived at the cafe (10:20am), the shelf my father build on top of the basement staircase came crashing down. half a dozen nails were used to secure the wood brace to the wall but it finally failed after a few decades. good thing nobody was using the staircase when it happened. casualties included an old toaster oven that tumbled to pieces, and the two flowering cactuses that'd been living there for a year. ironically, i was about to ask my father this weekend to bring the cactuses to belmont for better growing conditions. their pots were totally smashed, broken cactus branches and potting soil everywhere. it took me the next hour to clean everything up. it was long overdue, the staircase has never been cleaner. we were also lucky in that the heavy mirror hanging in the back had fallen off the wall as well, but miraculously it managed to lodge itself and didn't fall down into the basement, avoiding having to clean up smashed mirror glass as well. another silverlining is those cactuses needed to be pruned anyway, so now we have a good reason to repot and repropagate.
my sister took the day off today, even though she spent it at home. nobody else in my family needs to take a day off, but apparently she does. that meant one of my parents had to come to the cafe today, a saturday. my mother arbitrarily decided it should be my father. they were supposed to go to their framingham massage appointment and then go to baifu afterwards for supplies, but their masseuse cancelled on them (he went camping instead). not only did they not go to framingham, they also didn't go to baifu either. instead my father went to the cafe around 9am to meet up with xiaowu, who finally decided to show up after last night's no-show. he took a look at the hoshizaki-brand ice maker (model IM-212U-21) and said the actuator was busted. the machine is from 1985, and he said even if we could find a replacement part, it'd cost a few hundred dollars, easier and cheaper just to get a new ice machine. my father also went to the liquor store and bought 7 bags of ice, which should last us into mid-week.
fortunately today wasn't very busy so i could spent all that time cleaning up the mess made from the shelf collapse: collect the large debris, sweep the soil with a dustpan, finally pass with the vacuum. my 2nd aunt also showed up, so she could help my father while i was occupied. labor day weekend is no joke: i never gave it much thought, but apparently people do take this long weekend serious, and seems like much of cambridge cleared out, including the newly-moved-in college students. we averaged a little over a customer per hour. during those spare times i heated up some leftover pizza in the breville oven for lunch. i also installed netflix onto my 2nd aunt's ipad so she could finally experience it for herself. finally, we bought a new replacement ice maker from vevor: VEVOR 110V Commercial ice Maker 155LBS/24H with 39LBS Bin and Electric Water Drain Pump, Clear Cube, Stainless Steel Construction ($510).
even though it was a slow day, 4pm came pretty quickly. my 2nd aunt had already bolted 15 minutes earlier. my sister showed up unexpectedly to clean the cafe while my father and i left for belmont. i came via bicycle today, and i put my backpack in the car while i rode the bike so i wouldn't have to carry it.
my father and i were doing yardwork. he was busy hooking up the pump so he can water the front lawn. he's trying to use up as much of the rain water before the all-day rainstorm arrives on monday. i was busy pulling up weeds and making a makeshift stand for our potted plants. for the first time in a long time, it felt like normally gardening, none of that drought despair.
i visited the grow room to check up on my mustard seedlings. they seem to be doing well, all of them have developed their true leaves. the seedling in the large jar surprised me the most, when i saw it on thursday it was just unfurling its baby leaves but now those leaves have gotten really big. if this is a glimpse of what's in store for the future, i can't wait to see our monster mustard greens.
my parents cooked up a jar of fermented long beans that'd been sealed for nearly 1-1/2 years. the long beans were sour but not very salty, so in a weird way they tasted bland. we still have another jar that i bottled a month ago, i think that one will taste better. my father stir fried some shrimps out on the barbecue side grill.
after dinner my father and i checked out vevor's selection of 12v portable freezers. by the time i left it was nearly 9pm. i brought my bike lights but i haven't used them in a while and didn't bother recharging them. sure enough, the rear light ran out of power. given the choice though, i rather have my front light working than the rear light (i have reflectors on my backpack anyway, so cars still could see me).
after a shower (drain still working!), i settled in to watch some more shining girls. i'm nearly done, middle of episode 7, with a total of 8 episodes. pieces are starting to come together, it's taken this long to finally figure out what's going on.