It is beginning to get a bit busy at work. We have had our big Fair, which kicks off the Back to School shopping season the way that the Friday after Thanksgiving kicks off the Christmas shopping season. It isn’t as busy yet as we would like it to be.

The new girl and I (and I really cannot call her the new girl any more — she is older than I am — but she still doesn’t have a nickname) watch anxiously for signs that the busy season is beginning. “It’s been pretty brisk this morning,” we tell one another. “We’d better get that order cleared up,” I say, “before we get busy.” “I’ll vacuum,” she says. “We might not have a chance later.” We say these things in solemn voices.

The new girl is a seriously good worker, and doesn’t mind doing manual labor, of which our job includes a lot. She carries Clorox wipes around with her (truly — in her car and her purse) and enjoys vacuuming and doesn’t care to be idle. I must see if I can’t get her to come and spend a week at my house. She also, since she is a math teacher, is capable of converting measurements for laminating and bulletin board paper, and doesn’t get flustered by all the numbers we have to deal with.

She is also really funny. The Empress and I simply hang on her words.

“My water broke when I was eating a bowl of Rice Krispies,” she says in her rather high-pitched voice. She bustles around, telling us the story. It is not intended to be funny, and she isn’t witty. She reminds me, in terms of humor, of Roseanne Barr. Not in any other way, but there is something about her voice and her delivery… The matter-of-fact plonking down of these statements. I can’t describe it. But we are fascinated by her.

When you walk outside, you feel as though you are being gently steamed. Like green beans. It has rained a little bit each day for the past several days, so the humidity is higher even than usual, but the heat has not abated. Or perhaps it has. Perhaps it would have been in three digits rather than just in the 90s if it had not been for the rain. You never can know what dreadful thing you have been rescued from.

This weather is not ideal for people, but it is just the thing for tomatoes. I have already been out to pick some from my garden this morning. We also have lots of peppers and herbs. I have been taking some to That Man and The Empress for the sake of their nervousness. I don’t know whether garden vegetables are a recognized specific for nervousness or not, but they can’t hurt.