my father was coming to pick me up this morning for a supply run. my mother was waiting for the housecleaners to arrive so she couldn't come. for some reason my father always seems to arrive early, no matter what time we agreed to meet. i was just getting out of the shower when my father called me around 9:30am, said he was outside. we agreed to meet at 10am. i quickly got dressed.

first stop today was the everett costco, where we got 15 dozen eggs. we were also searching for potting soil but looks like they stopped carrying them in order to make room for other merchandise.

next was super 88 in malden. bok choi, the last 2 cans of bean sauce (for our beef noodle soup recipe), dumplings. we also checked out mixing bowls. i wanted to get an extra large (30qt) stainless steel bowl from restaurant depot. but my father suggested i get a plastic one, which they carried in various sizes. they all seemed to be made in korea for some reason too, maybe because they're typically used for making large quantities of kimchi. i ended up getting a large bowl with a 63cm (25inches) diameter ($28.99). i also got a pair of plastic strainer bowls at $7.99 a piece. of course i won't be using any of this new equipment until next month when i make a new batch of taiwanese paocai.

third stop was bianco & sons to get some chinese sausages. we were only going to get 4 boxes of sausages but the cashier told us there was a sale this week (memorial day related) so we ended up buying two cases - 6 boxes.

last stop was ocean state job lot where i got 4 6ft tall garden stakes ($2/each). they weren't the kind i was looking, as these were too bumpy for my garden stake clips - but i got them anyway since i could always tie them together using wires.

we left by 11:30am. my father was heading back via tufts/davis square before he realized he had to drop me off at my place first. so he detoured on mystic avenue, traversing somerville via school street. i jumped out of the car at a red light and ran the rest of the way home, about a block distance.

i set out my seedlings on the back porch before gathering my things and heading to the cafe to help my father unpack. turns out he didn't have a key and needed me to get inside the cafe. we unloaded the supplies before arriving at belmont around 12:30pm.

the house looked cleaner, but my mother said the housekeepers hadn't arrived yet. anxiously waiting for them to show up, my mother basically cleaned the house without them. she contacted my sister to ask her to get in touch with the housekeepers. apparently they've been so busy they forgot about the appointment. in disgust my mother vacuumed the rest of the house.

while she was doing that, my father and i were outside mowing the lawn. it'd only been 2 weeks since we last mowed, but the grass had gotten tall enough that they were already going to seed. my father started with the front yard. i was in the back, pruning the cherry and plum cherry trees. my mother went outside at one point, yelling my name. i thought it was some emergency, turns out my father couldn't get the mower to restart with the pull string. i restarted the mower but my mother said we needed to get a new one to replace the aging craftsman gas mower.

my father stopped mowing after he finished the front yard. we went inside for lunch, my mother made beef noodle soup with thin noodles. my sister showed up with esmei. after we finished eating, we were going to keep esmei inside so she wouldn't run into the mower, but she insisted on going outside. she'd never seen a mower before, so when i started it up, she was quite taken with this loud machine. she didn't charge it, but was curious as to what it was, anxiously looking it at from a distance. eventually she did start barking at the mower, at which point i turned it off. esmei eventually ran back inside the house and i could mow in peace.

we also mowed over the vegetable stems collected from the raised beds. for the most part it worked, and i could smell the pulverized cilantro. it did leave behind some large stems, but we kept rolling over it with the mower until they mostly disappeared.

my sister kept insisting we go to home depot to help her get more mulch. my father suggested i go with my sister, but i refused. so in the end my father drove while i sat in the passenger seat and my sister was in the back with esmei. we got two bags of potting soil, two bags of cedar mulch, and two bags of organic mulch. my sister also got a shovel and some WD-40 spray. why esmei was there was a mystery. i didn't realize dogs could go inside of home depot, but then i saw about half a dozen other dogs there. at least esmei was well behaved and didn't try to bite anyone. the last thing we did was check on the availability of 2x6 wood that we need to repair our rotted picnic table. there seemed to be a lot in stock, in both untreated and treated.

esmei slept in the back of the car as we drove home. she sensed when we got back and woke up. my sister brought her home soon afterwards.

i still had plenty of gardening things to do. i watered the plants in the grow room. it'll be another week or two before it'll be hot enough outside and i can finally move out all the plants and close down the grow room. i then watered the orchids with fertilizer-spiked water. i noticed mealybugs and sprayed with some alcohol. i prepared 1/2 gallon of fungicide spray for the grapes by mixing 1.2 tbsp (18ml) of immunox liquid with 0.75 tbsp (2.25 tsp) of captan powder. it's been 2 weeks since i last sprayed and the grapevines have grown a foot longer. i still had half a bottle of fungicide spray left over and ended up dumping it into the toilet. afterwards i did some watering, managed to break the melnor spray wand. we've repaired them the best we could, but i think this one is permanently broken. fortunately we have an older one that also leaks but not as much. i can use that until i can buy a new replacement from home depot.

my mother made steamed eggs with pork for dinner. it was good, i finished before anyone else did. afterwards i tried to get my father to buy some stuff online. like a new wheelbarrow. we checked out some earlier today both at OSJL and home depot, but they were either too cheaply made or too expensive. there was a well reviewed 5 cu.ft. plastic 2-wheeled wheelbarrow on amazon that i recommended, but in the end we decided we could live with one. the one that we have is all rusty and basically disintegrated. i tried getting my father to buy an electric meat grinder. actually i wanted to get it for myself so i can make sausages. we said we really didn't have a use for it, as we get our meats grinded at the super market butcher department. finally we got the aolithium 600 portable power station (560Wh). i'd contacted customer support to get a copy of the manual. the specs look good, this was something my father wanted to get and i gave him my approval. aolithium for some reason was looking to liquidate their stock of power stations and dropped the price down to $180 from $634. we also managed to find a $20 coupon online and got the final price down to $160.

i finally left around 8:20pm. i only had on a t-shirt so the ride back was a little chilly but it wasn't too bad, the windshield protected me from the brunt of the cold breeze. cleaning on the other side of the street tomorrow so once again there was no place to park except 2 blocks away.