my parents went on a chinatown supply run so i didn't leave for belmont until the early afternoon. the day was surprisingly cloudy when i thought it'd be a mostly clear day, large patches of cumulous clouds covering the sky, threatening rain when none was in the forecast.

a candidate for lotus aerial leaf has emerged. all these recent large leaves are coming from the center potted lotus, the only one i fertilized because it was the only one to form an aerial leaf. there's been other contenders in the past, and all failed except one. this one looks promising with a thick stalk but it doesn't seem like it's able to stand up on its own so most likely it will just become a large surface-floating leaf. the weather is changing anyway, it won't be too long before all the leaves die naturally from the cold and i'll have to put the lotuses away for winter storage.

the squash growing season is coming to a close. not so much the days getting shorter and colder, but rather most of the leaves have succumbed to powdery mildew, brown and shriveled. all the developed buttercup squashes (ranging in size from grapefruit to small pumpkin) are ready to harvest, their skin a dull matte finish, which is one of the signs they've ripened. at one point later in the day my father and i didn't think about collecting all squashes so we can clean up the dead leaves and vines, but i suggested we leave them for now so if my aunt and uncle come over next weekend, they can see our squash growing efforts. there are a few smaller immature squashes the size of plums to oranges, but the chance of them reaching maturity is slim.

elsewhere in the backyard: hyacinth beans are producing flowers now. so far just a few on the very top tendrils, obscured by other tendrils looking for things to climb. the bigger show will be on the lower tendrils, where plenty of flower buds are set to open. hopefully we'll be able to collect some seeds this season and regrow them next year. my father suggested raising them in pots indoors before transplanting, to give them a headstart, since they're sort of late bloomers when we grow them naturally outdoors, outgrown by other climbing plants (like peas). one of our medium sized bottle gourd has started to shrivel, which is not a good sign, and probably means it won't reach maturity to dry out. in the end we decided to cut it down to eat instead of saving it for decoration.

my parents returned home a bit after 2pm. even though i didn't eat yet today, i wasn't particularly hungry, but my parents made some buttercup squash porridge with some egg pancakes.

after the late lunch my mother gave me a haircut. the last time was back in february, so it's been nearly 7 months. my hair has gotten long enough that i can tie it up into a small undignified manbun, which i sometimes do when i take a shower so i don't get my hair wet. this cut will last me throughout winter, as i usually keep my hair long during the cold months to keep warm. i'll get it cut again in late spring, and repeat the cycle once more.

later in the afternoon my father and i went to home depot to look for screws to mount the cast iron backboard on my parents' bed that my mother wanted installed. i didn't think it was a good idea because it's not so much a board than a skeleton frame you couldn't really rest up against. also the upper posts protrude out, and if lean hard against the head board, it'd dent the wall behind it. we also looked for pipes for the gutter downspout that will divert the water away from the house.

back at the house, we attached the head board to the frame of the bed. my mother kept on reminding us she paid $500 for the head board nearly 3 decades ago but nobody ever helped her to install it. it was a pain to install - a 2 person just at least - but we finally managed to get it attached.

a change from the usual, my mother made wontons for dinner. afterwards i returned home to watch two monday night football games: texans vs. saints and broncos vs. raiders.