Now that the mad rush to finish the course is over, and the time it takes to do daily instruction has considerably whittled down the time I spend on the computer, I can get back to the house! I've got tons of boxes to unpack, warranties to fill out and mail, repair issues to deal with, and a string of birthdays coming up. And the central valley here in California seems to have let go of summer, finally. Just in time, too, for the official change into fall. You know you've gotten way to used to hot weather when 90 seems like a pleasant break. That means moving around is easier in terms of what gets done inside and outside.
We've begun the back yard, but there's a lot of work left to do. The soil is what we here in the valley call hardpan. Basically, it's like cement. The builders removed the top layer of soft soil when they leveled the lot, exposing all that lovely red hardpan. It's a mess to deal with, and will take a while to get it in shape for planting. We'll have to add some lime, gypsum, and lots of organic compost and churn it all into the ground. This will take a few weekends of all day digging. Again, the cooler weather helps immensely. Then I can start bulbs in raised beds and get some other plants in the ground. And get some grass growing so the grands will have somewhere to play next spring.
I received a shipment of oils yesterday, and, man, there were some nice ones in this lot. Cardamom CO2 is exquisite, beautifully green and fresh, with lovely floral back notes, and a slight twinge of eucalyptus. The CO2 is deeper and warmer than the cardamom essential oil from Guatamala (also in the box). The Guatamalan sample is brighter and more green with more of those eucalyptus notes and less of the warm floral note. Oakwood CO2 is a revelation. It is gourmand, warm, edible, with vanilla and cognac notes. I really love this stuff! The blue Egyptian chamomile (matricaria chamomilla) is stunning! Sweet, herbal, fruity, and surprisingly warm. Coffee CO2 is like a strong cuppa joe. Another winner. A gorgeous floral/fruity clove bud oil also arrived, reminding me of the turning of the seasons from hot to cool and the long nights spent in my garage studio creating tons of soap for the holidays. The bergamot oil, traditional, non FCF, smells brightly citrusy and sweet with hints of those famous floral notes. This one smells absolutely delicious! And last, but not least, juniper berry oil. This one is sweet and breathy and warm and fabulously beautiful. It reminds me of making Kyphi, the moment after crushing the first berries in the mortar and the sharp, sweet sting of scent that bursts forth.
Speaking of Kyphi, we're finally going to start our Kyphi batch for the course tomorrow on the eve of the new moon. I'm really looking forward to beginning this project.