The Quest for Clicks

I’m sitting at Starbucks with Robin Kaye, brainstorming ideas for how to get people looking at our website. We’re looking at great blogs by people in and out of the Romance industry.

Here’s a great one if you’re a working writer, or if you’re holding a manuscript in your hands and asking, “What next?”
We also really like Mia Marlowe’s Red Pencil Thursday.
Being a full time writer and editor is fun, fun stuff. In what other world could I spend a morning at Starbucks with one of my dear friends, reading blogs about writing?

Tomato Worms

We found these two fellas in our Tomato plant today.

We took a trip wherein our plants didn’t get any attention for about 48 hours, and then there was a massive, sideways-blowing storm; so where before our plants appeared to be happy and flourishing, they are now a little worse for the wear.
Our Sage continues to rage, but our tomato plant–on which we found considerable blight earlier in the summer, but which seems now to be under control–can’t catch a break. We found these dudes there today.


I bought some stuff from Dick’s Sporting Goods lately. Had my first experience with fitting a helmet, fitting a mouth guard, and signing a release form. Seriously. These activities clearly qualify me as an athlete.

It’s really difficult to explain to a five-year-old how it’s possible that you have money that you can’t spend on her.
Tonight is Fajita night.
It’s a good idea to get 2-step authentication for the google account.
Healthy lunch makes me too hungry too early as much as unhealthy lunch. Who can win? Not this guy.

A lesson on Basil

Front and Center, this is sweet basil; the basil that can be bought at the regular (non-specialty) grocery store. It is mild and complements tomatoes very well. It is also substituted quite a lot in Thai cooking and can be made into pesto sauce among thousands of other things. We will make it into tea later this summer.

This is the Thai basil. We have been curious about this one. We have not used it yet, but it has a nice, licorice/anise aroma to complement the expected sweet basil scent. We have been told that this is the basil that is used in authentic Thai cooking, though most of the Thai food I’ve had has used sweet basil.

Here is my little purple basil plant. It smells just like sweet basil. The seed pack (this being the thing that we grew from seeds) said that it was also used ornamentally. The interwebs told me that if we leave the plant alone, it will turn completely green. Shall I hover over it with my dropper of food coloring, I wonder?

And here’s our little basil corner of our container garden. Right to left: Sweet Basil, Thai Basil, Purple Basil.

On the Garden

This is my second year growing a garden with vegetables. We decided to grow a salsa garden + herbs. We have blighted tomatoes (sad, but that seem to be flourishing nonetheless), poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, green peppers. We have herbs: parsley (curly and flat), rosemary, sage, thyme, basil (traditional, Thai, purple), marjoram, oregano, cilantro. Some of our basil returned from the window box of herbs we grew last year.

We are growing it in containers on top of the defunct hot tub that our landlords have promised to take away for the last 3 summers. Last year, we tried to use the hot tub for summer water fun, but it has a leak and needs some restorative work, so it was basically a money suck.
I love the garden. I love it more with a partner. I love especially how the tiny, tiny jalapenos grow up into the large, hot ones; how the tomatoes swell a bit more each day; how the purple basil–the only thing we grew from seeds–has risen and flourished and gets more beautiful each day. I love looking at it three times a day, recycling the fish tank or beer ice water into water for our plants. It makes me feel maternal (without the adverse effects on my body) and like our household is more efficient.
Our rosemary is so giant, it tripled in size, we are going to try to get it big enough to make our Christmas tree.
Another nice thing about growing a garden on an elevated space is that the pest issues are diminished significantly. We have had a few beetles on our basil, but besides that, we have been pest and weed lucky.

More on Reptiland

This guy was cool. This picture is crappy, but he had stuff growing on him. Awesome.

This is Pearl in front of one of the rubber, animatronic dinosaurs
that she could stand to turn her back to.

This is my favorite butterfly. There were others.

These are my favorite snakes.

This is Pearl’s new Smile.
She’s standing in front of the turtles who we would later find doing the nasty.