wintertime can be a boring time for denizens of new england. confined indoors due to the cold weather, it can be hard finding something to do to pass the time. there are naturally winter sports like skiing, but it takes some resources to do, especially difficult if like me you don't own a car. however, i think i've found a new winter hobby: growing plants indoors. the idea of having a secret garden inside the house while just outside everything is frozen appeals to my appreciation of irony.

i actually managed to wake up at a reasonable time this morning, despite once more going to bed late (by late i mean i saw another sunrise). didn't have anything planned today other than to finish cleaning up the mess i left in my house after emptying out the storage closet. what i wasn't expecting was to see some neighborhood drama unfold before my eyes, as right down the street a couple had locked themselves out of their car and had to get a mechanic to come and get the door open with a slim jim.

my father dropped by briefly with some homemade chinese dumplings my mother had made. i revealed to him my plan of converting a part of the storage closet into a grow closet. all i needed was a shop light fitted with some grow bulbs and i'd be ready to go. he also brought some twin draft guards he'd purchased after seeing an informercial on television. we tried it on my drafty front door but it didn't work because the gap when i open the door is too big. the draft guard worked better on my back door, completely eliminating any signs of draft once it was installed. once my father left, i cooked up the dumplings and blended a smoothie with the new replacement blades that just arrived in the mail.

in the evening i got a ride from my parents to the waltham costco, with a home depot right next door. i went in and got a shop light ($29.97) along with two 40 watt fluorescent tubes: a philips plant and aquarium ($9.99 2700K 1600 lumens) and a philips natural sunshine ($5.97 5000K 2200 lumens). the shop light was a little bit more than what i expected to pay, but this model had the shiniest reflector out of all the other lights, so hopefully it'll be a good grow light.

we stopped off in belmont where i had some rice porridge for dinner before getting a ride back to cambridge. i took with me a box of seeds from all the many summers of gardening over the years in my parents' backyard.

my father helped me set up the shop light inside the closet. it was a little bit longer than anticipated, poking a few inches into the neighboring shelf. with both bulbs installed, it was so bright in my closet that it felt like daylight. i think i might replace the natural sunshine bulb however; i don't think it's blue enough (i want something in the 6700K range).