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2008-07-19 - 8:52 a.m.

...aahhhh, WEEEKEND....

Conference is over, and Susi is back to sleeping 9 hours per night!! (or at least, she did last night...) She woke up at 6:15 this morning, and so did I. Not exactly how I wanted to spend my first morning after the conference, but hey. And in fact, in the end, it was a WONDERFUL way to spend my first morning after the conference. Because Susi and I came downstairs and had a grand ol' time for two hours. I didn't have to worry about showering, pumping, typing, or anything apart from watching her flop around on the floor like the big baby fish that she's become. (her favorite thing these days is to roll from back to tummy to back to tummy again.) We sang songs, chatted about her plastic shakey wormy toy, studied the coffee machine (lots of buttons and lights) and inspected the garden.

THE GARDEN! Wow. There are several garden successes this year, and as I blinked in the other direction this week, my garden has grown unbelievably! One of my tomato plants has grown almost as tall as I am, and is bursting with green fruit. The green beans just exploded with little purple flowers, and have stretched a full two feet high. Susi's willow tree is a bushy green wonder. There are huge, plump STRAWBERRIES turning red as I type this. And about six little banana peppers that have snuck out from under those tiny little pepper blossoms.

The herbs have already provided us with two amazing green pestos. I don't have enough basil to make a pure pesto, but I've made this mix of cilantro, basil, oregano, parsley, chives, marjoram, and lemon-scented thyme, pureed with olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and parmesan - a taste of heaven on pasta. Another time I omitted the nuts and parmeson and added lemon and pepper and used it as a marinade on organic chicken strips.

The flowers are amazing, too. I smell marigolds when I step out the door. I've found several renegades from last year's plantings - the snap dragons, ground flowers, and creeping susan, some little purple thingies, the white senator begonias, the sun rose, and a sweet pea, and of course the wild pansies that I've managed to sprinkle all over the place. The lavender is blooming, and so I love to rub my hands across it each time I leave the house, and take the smell of lavender with me to start the day. The greatest pleasant surprise of the year is the light purple heliotrope, which has a sweet, spicy cinnamony scent. I love to bury my nose in it, and you can be sure that I will be replanting it in larger quantities next year.

What a reward it has become. And you know, there still is nothing better than coming in the house with the smell of fresh tomato leaves on your hands. I love it.

Okay, time for me to get myself moving. Bandy is showing up in less than two hours to work on the manuscript-from-hell, (or rather, to sit on our front porch in peace with beer n chip and the manuscript from hell) and I still need to shower and print out said taste of the devil for him.

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