Scent Diary, August 20-26, 2018

Monday, Aug. 20: Taz started his senior year of high school last Thursday; Gaze and The CEO started classes at Virginia Tech today. (Means I get the house to myself again. 😀 Maybe I can get some writing done now.) SOTD is Guerlain Elixir Charnel Floral Romantique. I always feel like I have to justify loving this thing. Yeah-yeah, derivative overpriced pink mall juice, yada yada whatever, I don’t care. It’s a floral with a deliciously bitter edge and I love it. Besides, I got a slightly-used bottle at deep discount on teh ‘Bay. Nyah nyah.

Tuesday, Aug. 21: Intermittent thunderstorms all day. SOTD was Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere. It had cleared up by 5 p.m. and the sun was shining, so I left beef-veggie kabobs in the fridge for Bookworm to cook when she got home and went on to deep water aerobics. We’d only been in the pool for about 18 minutes of class when lightning struck nearby and we had to get out. Sad — especially because by the time I got dried off and in the car to leave the YMCA, skies were clear again. I had thought I might go for a walk after dinner, but it got dark while we were eating. The kabobs were SO GOOD.

Wednesday, Aug. 22: Again, intermittent showers. I managed to do a ton of errands and wash two loads of towels. SOTD was Chanel No. 19 edp, which I love. I had planned to go do exercise bike at the Y, but then I ran across a low-impact high-intensity interval (HIIT) workout on Youtube for people with wonky knees, and decided to do that instead. WHEW. Hard. Really hard. I liked it, though.

Talked to Gaze recently. VT is so packed with new students that dorm space is extremely limited and there was talk of moving noncadet students into any extra rooms in the cadet dorms… but there’s no room in the cadet dorms. The Corps is so full that most cadets, even upperclassmen, are jammed with four people in triple rooms and three in doubles. Gaze is one of three in a double room in the basement, and Housing even had to convert the study lounges to sleeping spaces. Yikes. All this because Tech’s president is making a push to “grow the university.” Which would be fine, except that the infrastructure to do that is not yet in place. Dorm space doesn’t spring up out of the ground overnight, and although there is plenty of apartment housing in Blacksburg, freshmen and cadets, as well as the honor dorm residents like my nephew, perforce must live on campus. I hear that the dining halls are particularly crowded at midday, as well. (There are four main dining halls plus several snack places, and at least five food trucks.) Grr.

Thursday, Aug. 23: Sunshine! That means laundry! I washed six loads and hung them out on the line, brought them in, and folded them. Yay me. Also, Deep Water Aerobics this evening, which I have decided to call Happiness Time. SOTD was Hanae Mori Haute Couture, big friendly citrusy jasmine fruit thing. (Discontinued, probably because it smells nothing like the original Hanae Mori berry-‘nilla scent.)

Friday, Aug. 24: Showers again. I had two loads left from yesterday, but managed to hang them out in between the rains. SOTD was softly powdery Rose d’Ete, my first niche purchase and still a love. Delicious New York strip steaks for dinner, plus mushrooms, cauliflower rice, green beans, roasted chunky potatoes (which I didn’t eat), and grilled zucchini. Yum.

Saturday, Aug. 25: Taz overslept and missed the 6:45 a.m. bus to his cross-country meet; I wound up driving him to Blacksburg. Once I was in Blacksburg, of course, the only sensible thing to do was to . . . go to Aldi. 😛 I did some grocery shopping before coming home and doing some cleaning. SOTD was Leonard de Leonard.

There are cows in the 20-Acre Field behind the house, so we are right now suffering a Plague of Many Flies. UGH. You swat one and three more come in the door.

Sunday, Aug. 26: I don’t feel well. Went to church anyway and was glad I went. Then after a quick lunch, we all went to see a local production of “Chicago.” One of Taz’s classmates was in it, and she was fabulous as Velma Kelly. (Frankly, I wondered why she wasn’t cast as Roxie — who was also good, but in my opinion, less fabulous than Velma.) So I was glad we went to that, too! SOTD was Lubin Epidor, which is somehow both golden and dusky-plummy. I like it very much.

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Jumping Through The Hoops

(If you’re here for the perfume, you’ll be disappointed today.)

Photo by Julia Maudlin at Flickr, Creative Commons license, some rights reserved. Photo may only be used with attribution and a link to the source. Click through for link.

My last post was about Essure and my gradual realization that many medical problems I had dismissed under the rationalization, “I’m just getting older,” or “I’m just fat,” may actually have been caused or simply worsened by a medical device that was rushed through FDA approval without adequate studies beforehand.

This post is about the timeline of hoops that I have begun jumping through, in order to reach the goal of having Essure removed.

1) In September 2017, after I find out that the FDA has recommended a black box warning for Essure, I decide to get rid of these things which have caused me so much insidious trouble. The doctor who placed my Essure (and delivered my first baby via C-section), retired seven years ago and I haven’t been to see another since. I call to request an appointment with another GYN, who is well-regarded, who used to practice with my implanting doctor, and who delivered my third baby, but it takes THREE MONTHS to get on her schedule. It’s now December 2017, and when I go in, she refuses to consider the possibility that all might not be well with my Essure. To humor me, she orders an ultrasound to locate my coils. I ask for a hystero-salpingogram (HSG) or an x-ray, so we can be sure they’re where they’re supposed to be. “They don’t move,” she says flatly. “Ever. Put that right out of your head. But I guess we can do an US, to make you feel better about it.”

2) I have the ultrasound in January 2018. It doesn’t locate my coils.

3) I see another doctor in my GP’s practice in March, for a sore throat that hasn’t gone away in two weeks. Unlike my usual GP, Dr. Kelly actually listens to me, considers a concern I have, and answers my questions without making me feel like an idiot and a fussbudget, instead of a woman with a bachelor’s degree who can understand some basic medical science. It is a revelation. There are doctors who do this? I NEED ONE OF THESE.

I notice that when The CEO began having pain in his ankle, Dr. Kelly prescribed an anti-inflammatory and sent him straight to physical therapy. Did I get PT for my foot and ankle pain? Did I get meds? I did not. I got the standard “Lose some weight and don’t wear those shoes.” I begin to realize that it might not just be me: my doctor might be part of the problem.

4) In May, I schedule a regular checkup and request to see Dr. Kelly instead of my regular doctor. The office manager tells me I can’t see him because he’s not my primary physician, and he’s not taking new patients. I’ve been seeing him, and other medical practitioners in this “family medicine practice,” for the past 20 years. How am I a new patient? “He’s not taking new patients, period,” the office manager says. I agree to see the female physician’s assistant. I weigh the most I have ever weighed, and I know I’m going to get fussed at for it.

5) I have my checkup with the PA. She listens. I think she’s skeptical, but she listens. We talk about Essure and my ongoing foot pain and my diet. She agrees to refer me to an allergist so I have testing done to see if I’m allergic to the materials in Essure. She agrees to test me for thyroid issues. She puts me on 9 Advil a day for 3-4 weeks, to combat my foot pain and inflammation. She suggests low-carb dieting, particularly because my blood pressure is creeping up. She suggests checking to see if my insurance will cover the new shingles vaccine, and she strongly suggests I get a screening colonoscopy. My blood work indicates no pre-diabetes or other issues. It also indicates that my thyroid is normal.

6) Into June now. The 9 daily Advil help so much that I actually do not feel like crap every day. The whole time I’m on them, I’m feeling good. I buy Chaco sandals. I put fresh plantar fasciitis-fighting insoles in my shoes. I don’t walk much, but I start water aerobics with the Fabulous Old Ladies at the Y, and sometimes I use the exercise bike. The pain in my elbow goes away. The pain in my right foot goes away. The pain in my left foot (always worse) is greatly lessened. I lose four pounds. I schedule my colonoscopy for the end of July.

7) I finish 3.5 weeks of daily Advil. The pain in my left foot is still there. I make another appointment with the PA. My appointment with the allergist will not be until August. I ask about the endocrinologist, and the PA sighs and says that if I really want an appointment she’ll try to get me one, but she doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with my thyroid. I ask about a referral to the podiatrist, and she says she’ll order one. She also orders an x-ray of my left foot, to see if I have bone spurs. My BP is up to 140/103, so she wants to put me on lisinopril.

8) In June/July, 10 mg lisinopril makes my BP go down to 120/85 most days.  I read on the Essure Problems group site about a woman who had been suffering for days with pain in her pelvic area, until she was taking a shower and felt a sharp pain in her vagina. She reached down and found… yep. One of her Essure coils. Go right ahead and tell me “they don’t move,” Dr. Howell. Sure, they’re not supposed to. But that doesn’t mean they can’t.

9) In May, Carilion’s medical records archives unit cannot locate any records of the placement of my Essure, which is part of what Dr. Monteith in NC needs in order to talk about scheduling Essure removal. I call the office twice in June and get a response of, “Oh, sure, I’ll call the archives in Roanoke and tell them what we need. We’ll call you back,” both times. Neither person calls me back. In July, I go to the hospital for my x-ray, and stop by the medical records office to ask one more time. I get, “Oh, sure, I’ll call the archives in Roanoke and tell them what we need. We’ll call you back.” I also get a printout of the doctor’s transcribed notes from the procedure, which might be most of what I need, but it does not contain any of the pictures taken with that teeny camera, showing the coils in place. I do not get a call back, either. (Third time. Carilion medical records, you suck.)

10) July. The x-ray of my foot indeed shows bone spurs. Yay. (“Don’t wear those shoes” seems horribly callous to me right now. I’ve been having pain for three years. Did I get sent to physical therapy? Noooooooo.) The pelvic x-ray shows two Essure coils that seem to be intact and approximately in the right place. (Which is relatively reassuring, but also a potential block to getting someone other than the elective surgeon to remove them.) I talk to Dr. Monteith’s office staff about sending them the disk with the x-ray results on it. I fill out the preliminary form and email it to the office. The scheduling nurse calls me back and says that my BMI is too high for the surgery there.

11) The endocrinologist’s office in Salem is overwhelmed because another specialist in the area retired, and they refuse to see me for a full thyroid panel, saying I can just see my GP. (Who thinks my thyroid is fine, and never mind that my mom needed a full panel to be diagnosed.) Also, I am too fat for the surgery to remove the thing that made me too fat in the first place.  If this is not discouraging, I do not know what would be.

12) I will keep my appointment with the allergist August 31. I may have recourse to removal if my tests show sensitivity to nickel. My dad says he will ask his endocrinologist if he’ll agree to see me since I’m getting the run-around.

13) I decide to try to lose the 50 pounds it’s going to take to get my BMI low enough for Dr. Monteith’s surgery. I may fail — Lord knows I’ve failed to lose weight often enough in the past — but I am going to try, and try really hard. It’s not going to be fun.

I check out the Paleo diet my college friend Heidi says works well, but it doesn’t allow cheese. That’s not going to work for me. I check out the ketogenic diet that a friend from church is on for his diabetes, but I do not think I could manage that food plan for the time it’s likely to take. I decide to do South Beach (the original reduced-carb/low-fat one from cardiologist Dr. Agatston’s book, not the new one where they sell you food like Nutrisystem) again. I lost about 20 pounds on SB a few years ago, but as soon as I started eating carbs again the weight came right back. I am going to have to say goodbye to favorites like mac-n-cheese and cake, like, forever. I mean, I can live without fruit for the first two weeks, and I can skip carrots and corn and beets for a while, and I can live indefinitely putting my fish tacos and burgers and sandwiches on lettuce leaves instead of tortillas or bread. I can probably live with pizza made on a cauliflower crust. (Although I LOVE beets.) But no baked potatoes? ever? 😥

14) I go for a walk the third day of my diet. My feet feel okay, and I go fairly slow for forty minutes. The next day, my left foot is killlling me, and I’m limping around as badly as I ever did. It occurs to me that the GP’s office has never gotten around to referring me to the podiatrist and I will have to call myself. AGAIN. I need a new doctor.

15) I call Dr. Monteith’s office back and ask if I can stay on their list. Sure, the scheduling nurse says. They’re expecting a rate increase (up from $7500) next spring, but they hold on to records for at least two years, so if I want to start an account I can do that. I say yes, please.

16) In late July, I see the podiatrist. Yep, I’ve got plantar fasciitis. I get new insoles and a prescription for anti-inflammatory meds. The insoles don’t really help. The hard massage ball does. The stretching does, a little.

17) On August 10, I manage to get in to see my dad’s endocrinologist in Roanoke. Dr. Bivens says that while I do have some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, he doesn’t think that I have it, but we’ll wait for the labs to come in. My full thyroid panel comes back normal. Dr. Bivens suggests a sleep study; I could have sleep apnea. (The sleep tracker on my Fitbit seems to fit a fairly normal pattern most nights, but it’s not a real medical diagnostic tool. We’ll see, I guess. As of now the sleep study is not yet scheduled.)

Summary to date: There are likely more hoops to come. I am very lucky that The CEO has good health insurance.

I have currently been on the original South Beach Diet for one month now, and I’ve lost eleven pounds — that’s 15 pounds down from my heaviest. I’ll need a lot of support, but I continue to press toward a lowered BMI so that I can have surgery. That will be forty pounds from now.

(As a show of support for me, please do not send me chocolate. Or chocolate-scented perfume, for that matter. I will take commiseration, prayer, and hugs.)

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In Lieu of Recent Scent Diaries

So, heads up: medical stuff goin’ on, y’all. Life stuff, really. Sorry, no perfume at this point, though I hope to get back to it eventually.

A few years ago, I stopped getting regular checkups. I got discouraged at hearing my doctor say to me, “There’s nothing wrong with you. You just need to lose weight. Eat less. Exercise more.”

And when I would say to him, “Look, my feet hurt. I’m tired all the time. I’m not eating burgers and ice cream every meal; I eat grilled chicken and veggies; I try to eat healthy. I’ve been on a diet. I’ve been exercising,” he would say, “Well, eat less. And exercise more.”

I asked for a thyroid test, since I have a strong family history of thyroid disorder on both sides. “Your tests are normal,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with you, except you weigh too much.”

The pain in my feet and ankles? “Lose some weight. And don’t wear those shoes.” (The shoes in question were not flip-flops or flats; they were a sturdy pair of leather mules with 1 1/2″ heels and arch support.)

The numbness in my hands? The brain fog? The constant fatigue? Could I please have a referral to the endocrinologist, because I’m the same age my mom was when she was finally diagnosed after 8 years of symptoms and “normal” test results, with a full thyroid panel? “Your thyroid is normal. No.”

The intermittent pain in my abdomen on the left side, the one that felt like something inside pinching me? “I can’t feel anything there. There’s nothing wrong with you.”

What about this rash on my upper arms, that I keep getting especially in summer when I’ve been outside? “Sun sensitivity. Cover your arms up. Wear sunscreen.”

And so my doctor secretly labeled me a complainer. A fat complainer. A fat, lazy complainer. A fat, lazy, non-compliant complainer. I got used to asking questions and being told not to worry about it. It was all in my head. There was nothing wrong with me.

Just lose some weight, and don’t wear those shoes.

I was tired of the not-so-secret judging. I quit seeing the doctor, unless I had a illness that needed medication. I do realize that this was an ostrich kind of move, but I don’t know if I can explain how much it affected my confidence, knowing that my doctor thought I was a big fat whiner and didn’t believe my pain or concerns were worth investigating.

Then I got a big wake-up call last August from an unlikely source: Consumer Reports magazine. See, I thought the vacuum cleaner was dead (as it turned out, it had just gotten too hot). I had gone to CR’s website to find their vacuum ratings — and found a gigantic ominous banner across the top of the website saying something like, “Essure Black Box Warning.”

My immediate reaction: Oh gosh. I have Essure. I’ve had it for, what, 10 years? What’s wrong with it? I haven’t had any problems with it.

So I go read the brief article, which says something like, “The FDA has recommended a black box warning for the Essure device. A black box warning is the strictest warning put in the labeling of prescription drugs or medical products by the Food and Drug Administration when there is reasonable evidence of an association of a serious hazard with the drug or product.”

My immediate reaction: Oh wow. Serious hazard? Well, I knew that it might not work, and I did have to sign a waiver thingie before Dr. Young put it in, about understanding that it might lead to complications. But he said that complications were super-rare, and that this was a good option for me, given that I was aging out of birth control pills and I had a history of IUD failure¹.  Essure wouldn’t involve surgery or hormones; it was all done in the office, so that must’ve been safe, right?

¹And thank God for that, or we wouldn’t have Taz. He was an unexpected blessing.

So then I go read this article, “The Consumer’s Guide to Essure Birth Control,” at Consumer Reports, which details the serious complications many women have with Essure. (It’s short. Go read.) I’m not convinced yet — but I’m wary. So then I go and look up the Facebook group called Essure Problems. I ask to join. I read the posts. I’m thinking, Wow, these ladies are very quick to say that Essure caused all their health problems. Gynecological ones, sure, that makes sense. But other stuff? I don’t see the correlation. And I have not had any serious gynecological problems.

There’s a frequent commenter on the page who says, “If you didn’t have it before Essure, it’s because of Essure,” often, probably at least once a day, and I still think that’s too simple. It’s bad science to rely solely on anecdotal evidence; commonality is not causality. Women who have never had Essure do develop illnesses, after all. I had my gallbladder out before I had Essure, for example, so I’m not sure we can say that every single case of gallbladder disease developing after Essure is definitely due to it. I am skeptical.

Two days later, someone posts, “Anyone having pain on the tops of their feet? Like the tendons on the tops of their feet are strained and inflamed?” and my jaw drops. I have that. Sure, Dr. Kincaid said not to wear those shoes, but I get those pains even when I wear good supportive athletic shoes, with good supportive insoles. And in real time, within 20 seconds twelve people reply, “Yes. I have that.”

The next day, two other people are talking about how their upper molars are just crumbling in their mouths, and how their dentist thinks they grind their teeth at night, and that they must never brush or floss. Eight others mention a metallic taste in their mouth. A doctor in the group comments that he thinks that Essure changes the chemistry of saliva.  And my jaw drops, because I have that. I’ve had that metallic taste in my mouth since 2006! Less than a year after I had Essure put in, I lost two upper molars which just cracked for no apparent reason. My dentist has given me a night guard, which probably saved a third upper molar via a crown procedure last year ($1200, thanks very much).

So I read some more, and I research some more, and it becomes clear to me that Essure is at the very least an agent provocateur in kick-starting medical problems that might not have developed, or might have developed later in life. In particular, it seems to be associated with problems in a few broad areas:

1) Gynecological. Heavy and too-frequent menses, early menopause, cysts, pain with sex, uterine/cervical/vaginal atrophy or enlargement, ectopic pregnancy, device migration, endometriosis, unexplained sharp pains in the abdomen, puncture of uterus or fallopian tubes, frequent UTI’s, repeated yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis resistant to treatment, etc.  I have some of these symptoms.

2) Auto-immune and unspecified inflammatory. Auto-immune, Hashimoto’s, thyroid, Crohn’s, gluten sensitivity, IBS, gallbladder disease, allergies (particularly to metal), weight gain resistant to diet and exercise, tendonitis, etc. I have some of these symptoms.

3) Dental. Severe cavities, teeth crumbling, gum disease. I have these symptoms, too, after decades of good dental hygiene and good teeth.

You can read more about Essure and its incomplete studies here, in an article from the New England Journal of Medicine.

If you have Netflix, you can check out a documentary called “The Bleeding Edge,” beginning July 27, about how the Essure device was rushed through FDA approval and how it has ruined thousands of women’s lives. As of a few weeks ago, Bayer — which bought Conceptus, the company that originally produced Essure, in 2013 — announced that they would end sales of Essure in the United States as of the end of this year, due to declining profitability. (Interestingly, or maybe suspiciously, the current head of the FDA, Scott Gottlieb, was a significant investor in the company that originally brought Essure to market in 2002 without a study of its long-term effects.)

So once I figure out that my Essure coils might be contributing to health problems, I get to researching how I can get them removed. Typically, a doctor would do some laparoscopic surgery, reach in with forceps or whatever, and pull out the thing that’s causing problems and then sew you up — but that would be a disaster. If Essure coils are cut or pulled or tugged in any way, that is likely to leave both metal fragments and PET fibers behind, and many women who had their coils removed have had excruciating medical problems dating to the improper removal. If you want to have them out, and they are “in the right place,” that is, mostly inside the fallopian tubes with a small portion trailing into the uterus, you will need at the very least a bilateral salpingectomy (both tubes removed) with a cornual resection (upper part of the uterus removed), or salpingectomy with hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and possibly the cervix as well).

Removal is a big problem for me. I don’t have any of the gynecological disorders that would induce an OB-GYN to agree that I need a hysterectomy.

Then I found out that there’s a doctor in North Carolina who, though primarily focusing on reversing tubal ligations in order to restore fertility, also removes Essure using microsurgery. He’s had good results in getting all of the coil without leaving fragments behind, and without needing to take any part of the uterus out.

So what do I do now?  I start jumping through the hoops. That’s been my year since last August, pretty much, and I’m going to detail it in the next post.

 

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Scent Diary, July 2-8, 2018

Not literally my class at the Y, but yeah, it pretty much looks like this with all the fabulous old ladies (including my wonderful MIL, who is about to be an octogenarian). Stolen from Faster In Water blog, click through for link.

Monday, July 2: Overcast today, but humid. I think it’s definitely going to rain. I made it to water aerobics with the fab old ladies; I’m still finding it very easy and trying to really work hard at it. Afterwards I like to swim for 15 minutes or so — I started with 200 meters, then went to 300 meters, and now I’m up to 400 but it makes me winded so I need to keep working and move up. I have no memory of how fast I used to swim a 400, back in the day, but I know for sure it was faster than this.

Post-shower, SOTD is Moschino Funny! It is so muggy, and the zippy grapefruit-rose-tea-cassis of Funny! is helping.

Tuesday, July 3: It never rained yesterday. Heard thunder, saw lightning, saw rain over toward Parrott and Fairlawn, but it never rained on us here at the farm. Today is just as muggy. Ugh. (To all those people who were posting pictures of the beach on Facebook in January, and talking about how much they missed summer: I kinda hate you a little bit right now.)

Stationary bike at the Y today, plus a short stint on the Nautilus machines that work arms. My high school friend George, who runs a gym, would sneer because there are only a few free weights, but hey. It’s what the Y has, so it’s what I have.

SOTD was Arquiste Flor y Canto, which is just the prettiest perfume name, “Flower and Song.” Gorgeous tuberose with a dash of marigold; a sunny, happy perfume.

The CEO water-sealed the deck, porch, steps, and porch swing, plus his mom’s brand-new birthday-present porch swing! By dinner my back was stiff. Clearly I need to be doing the weight machines more.

Wednesday, July 4: Happy Independence Day! We went to a nice cookout/potluck gathering with some friends from church. Wore Van Cleef & Arpels California Reverie, because I’m still trying to love it, and I still don’t. I really enjoyed my sample of it, and I remember the gorgeous orange topnotes taking my breath away, but this bottle is mostly jasmine with a tiny edge of citrus — nice, but nothing compelling, or at least not to me. I wonder if this got seriously reformulated before they discontinued it; my bottle from Fragrancenet was deeply discounted. Shrug. Dunno.

The CEO got tickets to the local baseball team, so he took Bookworm and Gaze. I was completely exhausted for no good reason, so I stayed home with Taz and rested.

Thursday, July 5: Hot again. Muggy. Exercise bike at the Y again today. Did 40 minutes and 8 miles but no weights. My feet hurt. I am unaccountably tired. SOTD was Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Yuzu. Which is nice, yeah, but honestly? far too much in the line of a traditional eau de cologne like 4711 Kolnwasser for my taste. I mean, sure, it smells good, but I frankly find it pretty boring. Maybe this one needs to get pushed over to my eBay sale too. (Wonder if I still have the box…)

Friday, July 6: Muggy again. SOTD was Guerlain Floral Romantique (Bookworm said, “Ooh, you smell pretty.” That’s what I go for most days, I tell you: to smell pretty. I’m not judging those of you who want to smell like a smokehouse or vanilla cupcakes or a garden overlooking the Nile  😉 but I am nearly always a sucker for just smelling pretty.)

Grilled some chicken and veggies for dinner, while the air became increasingly humid. We had a free HBO weekend, so we sat down as a family to watch “Dunkirk” again. And then, finally, rain. Pouring rain. So glad!

Saturday, July 7: Still cloudy and humid, but I think we got all the rainfall we’re going to get. You value every drop you get in July! Hay is up in the Pond Field; it smells wonderful.

Testing Oscar Flor, which was one of the Calice Becker frags given a 4-star rating in the 2018 Perfumes: The Guide. My initial opinion was that it’s nice, and it smells a lot like Tommy Girl, when it’s not smelling like Moschino Funny! Not that that’s a bad thing at all, but why wouldn’t you just buy Tommy Girl or Funny! instead?

My revised opinion, two hours after the single spritz, as I left the produce stand with a Vidalia onion, two garden cukes, four Better Boy tomatoes, a pint of blueberries and an enormous canteloupe, is that the drydown is extremely attractive and quite fresh, in a real, just-picked, melon-and-cucumber sort of way. I was nearly home when it finally dawned on me that I wasn’t smelling the produce, but myself.

I didn’t get tired of that ubiquitous melon-cucumber thing in the 1990s, probably because our budget was limited and I wasn’t buying anything scented at all back in the day, though I expect people who were into it at the time are probably really tired of it now! IMO, Oscar Flor is excellent for summer, y’all. Also likely to be a cheap thrill like Tommy Girl and Funny!, so that’s a plus.

I am unaccountably tired again. Doctor visit on Monday, a follow-up about my feet (and also, probably, a mini-rant about the lack of referral to the endocrinologist).

Photo from JapanConsidered.com blog; click through for link.

Sunday, July 8: Cooler than it’s been lately, and that’s awfully nice. Week 2 of Worship at the Lake this month, which usually I suffer through because where we have set up in past years — near the gazebo — doesn’t have enough shade to suit me, though it’s pretty and you get a great view of the lake. However, this year we’ve been at two different shelters at the state park, both of which had more shade, so hallelujah! Paleskins like me rejoice. Besides, I could still see the lake. SOTD was DelRae Wit, another one of those just-pretty florals I can’t resist.

The boys tended to mowing and weed-whacking today; The CEO tended to laundry. I tended to some sewing. All in all, a nice relaxing day.

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Scent Diary, June 25-July 1, 2018

Capitol Hill; photo by JW Guthrie

Monday, June 25: A little cooler today, overcast, and it’s supposed to be cooler over the next few days too — which bodes well for the Washington DC trip. The CEO and other elected county boards of supervisors members in Virginia* have been invited to the White House for a tour and a conference, so we drove up (5 hours) to stay in the city this evening. Two other supervisors and the county administrator drove separately, so that the journey itself couldn’t be called an illegal private meeting. SOTD was sparkling, spicy DelRae Wit.

Had dinner at a restaurant owned by the brother of a guy who works in business development in one of the nearby towns — Brookland’s Finest was terrific. The guys all had T-bones, but I ate catfish with spicy greens and polenta. Yum.

Tuesday, June 26: After a delicious hotel buffet breakfast, The CEO and his compatriots headed off to meet with the National Association of Counties and then do their tour and conference, which was going to be followed by a private tour of the Capitol building led by our Congressman. * As it turns out, all county supervisors are being invited to the White House on a state-by-state basis; it just happened to be Virginia’s turn.

I, on the other hand, eschewed perfume for the time being and drove out of the city to meet a college friend I hadn’t seen for years. Our plan was to have lunch, talk, do a little shopping, talk, visit Arielle Shoshana in the Mosaic District, talk, and walk around Holly’s yard where she’s been trying to shift over to all native species plants. Oh, and talk, of course. We managed to fit in coffee/tea and excellent cupcakes, too.

I sniffed a lot of things at Ari’s shop (which is amazing, and you should go visit if you possibly can manage it). It was a thrill to meet her in person! I left with a sample of Vilhelm Parfumerie’s Poets of Berlin — not my usual sort of thing, but very nice stuff. Notes include blueberry, lemon, bamboo, vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla; the overall effect is a powdery, fruity wood, not really edible. Holly was quite taken with Maison Francis Kurkdjian A La Rose, which I think is very pretty. (I’m already stocked up in the very-pretty rose department.)

Wednesday, June 27: Cloudy and rainy early in the day — especially leaving D.C. — but then the sky cleared up as we were approaching home. The Hunter-doggle was super-pleased to see us. The kids seemed happy to see us, too, or at least Bookworm and Taz were. Gaze was gone most of the day.

SOTD was Hermes Kelly Caleche edp, pleasant summery citrus-rose-leather. I like it.

Thursday, June 28: Hot. Humid. I’m sure it’s nothing compared to the weather in DC today, but still, summer in Virginia. Went to the Y for some quality time with the bike; it’s getting easier but today my feet are hurting. The fragrance I was testing today was House of Matriarch Two of Cups, an aldehydic floral with a jaw-droppingly animalic aspect. There’s jasmine in it, I’m guessing probably the French ho-panties kind, and cassie (acacia), which can sometimes smell, um, ripe and maybe a tad decayed. Then there’s honey, which can sometimes go really wrong on me as well. I don’t know that I’d ever be able to wear this in public, but it is lovely and the drydown is wonderful.

SOBedtime: Lubin Epidor. I don’t care if 2018 Perfumes: The Guide (Turin/Sanchez)* gave it two stars, called it “plum jasmine” and said, “I cannot bring myself to like this fragrance, which strikes me as an overly loud 1980s heavy, somewhere between Loulou (Cacharel, 1987) and Poison (Dior, 1985), but less confident than either.” LT
*
Yep, this dropped for Kindle today — and I bought it today. And read it today. Review of the book coming.
Also, Luca is wrong on a few counts: Epidor is more hay than jasmine on me, it is definitely not loud, and to me has little to do with the bombastic LOOK AT ME SMELL ME NOTICE ME attitude of Loulou (which I hate. which I always hated.) and Poison (which I worked around to enjoying but still didn’t want to own). Epidor doesn’t lack confidence; it just doesn’t scream or do cartwheels wearing sequins. It’s relaxed.

Friday, June 29: Even more hot and humid, and we’re supposed to have temps in the upper 90s over the weekend. YUCK.

I frequently see mentions, on blogs or Facebook groups, of oriental fragrances being at their best in the heat. I cannot imagine. Now, big white florals blooming in heat? Yup. They are at their most seductive, their most heady, their most attractive, when they bloom big on summer skin. Incense scents? Yeah, I can see those being great when it’s warm. But orientals? Heavy fur-rug and chenille-blanket things like, God forbid, Amouage Memoir Woman in the heat — I just shudder, imagining. And I LOVE Memoir, but not in 90F weather.

SOTD is Jacomo Silences parfum de toilette, eerie meditative cool green thing.

Saturday, June 30: HOTTT. Bleargh. All you people who were posting things like “I want summer” and “Life is best at the beach” back in the fall and winter? I’m kinda mad at you now. June just finished and I am officially DONE WITH SUMMER. I want nothing else to do with it.

Silences pdt again, because it’s like liquid A/C, and I need it.

Taz mowed, Bookworm vacuumed and cleaned bathrooms, Gaze ran the power washer and cleaned the deck. And in the afternoon, we went to see Incredibles 2. We liked the first one, and in some ways the update is even better. (Jack-Jack vs. the raccoon is worth the price of admission, IMO.) Also, this clip IS TOTALLY BOOKWORM AND TAZ. Literally, I have witnessed this exact conversation between the two of them more times than I could count.

After that, a rare meal out for the five of us, at Sal’s Italian restaurant. The boys ate pizza with pepperoni and Italian sausage; Bookworm and The CEO ate calzone. I ordered my favorite Sal’s dish: Godfather Ravioli. Three big round ravioli with crab filling, and three with spinach, and all topped with a creamy pink sauce containing tiny shrimp and baby scallops. It is THE BEST, y’all. It may not be authentic Italian — it probably isn’t — but I do not care. Delish.

Sunday, July 1: Church at the lake again. I think some people like this arrangement a lot more than I do. But under the shelter was nice, because we had shade.

Worship at the lake; photo by Dave Farris.

SOTD was Carven Le Parfum. Most of the time I think it’s very pretty, and then sometimes the patchouli in it bothers me, like today. Sigh. I went to a bridal shower after church and came home to a pressure-washed porch! Thanks, Taz and Bookworm. And then… I NAPPED. It was awesome.

 

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Scent Diary, June 18-24, 2018

Monday, June 18: A nice day, with temps in the mid-80s and not much humidity.  The CEO had expected to be in the hayfield (with the boys) today, but apparently it’s supposed to start raining on Wednesday and stay rainy for a few days after that, so they did some other stuff around the house/shop today. Poor Gaze, I think he would rather have been mowing.  SOTD was Silences pdt, which is pretty much liquid air-conditioning.

Tuesday, June 19: Warm. Not terribly humid. Really nice, for June.  Worked hard on the stationary bike at the Y today and went 7.2 miles in 35 minutes . . . then I noticed that my Fitbit was fussing at me for getting my heart rate up too high (and that’s a clear indication that my heart is not all that healthy).

SOTD was samples that I will speak more about later. There’s a company that’s planning to rerelease one of four classic scents that they’ve updated, and I got in just under the wire with ordering samples of the four. I’ll post my feelings about these sometime soon, probably before they announce which one of the four was chosen, based on the votes of those who have tried them.

Wednesday, June 20: Hotter and muggier than the last two days. I worked my tail off in Water Aerobics today and actually managed to sweat while standing in the water (okay, so the sun was shining through the big window onto me too). Gaze moved bales today and Taz cleaned out the farm shop; I did some laundry and worked on my eBay sales (which are going okay, thanks. Not ‘going gangbusters,’ as my dad would say, but I am selling some stuff I don’t want, and generally for a fair price. I’m really happy to be sending these unloved bottles to new homes).

My elbow is not hurting me anymore. Neither is my right foot. The left, though, is still quite painful, and not just during or after walking on it. Sometimes I get sharp shooting pains in the heel for no apparent reason. Gah.

It did not rain today. SOTD is once again Silences. #notsorry #greengorgeousness

Thursday, June 21: Good stationary bike workout today; I only went 6.4 miles in 30 minutes but I kept my heart rate in the “cardio zone.” Also went about 3 minutes on the elliptical, and now my foot is killllling me. Dangit. Really no more elliptical for me; I need to quit trying.

SOTD was Chanel No. 19, and a tiny bit of vintage Max Factor Epris, which wears like a classic chypre formula with an oriental growl in the base. I think the citrus notes up top are gone with this one (first released in 1981).

It only rained a little bit today, so The CEO was saying that he could have mowed hay on Monday after all. Oh well.

Friday, June 22: Summer solstice! It crept up on me! I usually do notice.  It was sunny, then overcast, then it rained hard, then it rained steadily, then the sun came out. Weird weather.  SOTM was sunny Chanel 1932, glorious citrus-jasmine-iris.

Went to the Y to try their Deep Water Aerobics at 2 pm, but lightning closed the pool so I went to the cardio room for more stationary bike. Went the same distance over the same time as Tuesday, but kept my heart rate mostly in the “cardio” range, with only a few forays into “peak.” Which is probably the zone I should be in, anyway. SOTD post-shower was vintage Fendi. (That’s tautological, isn’t it? All Fendi by Fendi is vintage because they haven’t made it since, gosh, the mid-1990s or so.)

First local minor league baseball game of the season! The CEO got four tickets from a friend, so he took Bookworm and Gaze and Gaze’s friend and fellow cadet LM who is spending the summer away from home, in Blacksburg, taking some courses. I think he’s an engineering major, and it usually takes those students 5 years to finish the degree. Taz and I stayed home.

Saturday, June 23: Got up early and did Father’s Day Version 2.0, because for various scheduling reasons, The CEO didn’t get the FD meal he’d requested last week. We had French toast with real thick-cut bacon and mixed berries. Yum.

I am for some unaccountable reason exhausted. Cleaned up some today, but I’m soooooo tiiiiired.  No SOTD.

Sunday, June 24: Church. (Blue maxi dress, white crochet shrug. Chacos. SOTD was the friendly Rome souvenir Ferre 20.) Baby shower for a church member in the afternoon.

Sooooo tiiiiired again. Need to go see my doctor again. I don’t think she wants to send me to the endocrinologist, but I also think I really need to.

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Mini-Review Roundup June 20, 2018

Here’s today’s collection of reviews of some new-ish mainstream fragrances. (I dunno, is Guerlain mainstream? The only Guerlain you can buy in a department store around here is Shalimar. On the other hand, none of the department stores in my area would carry Prada or Tiffany either.)

Mon Guerlain – This was a freebie tossed in by the eBay seller because she was out of one of the carded samples I had bid on. I wouldn’t have chosen it on my own (as you might remember, I am truly not much of a Guerlie-girl). In any case, without checking the notes, I threw the sample in my gym bag and spritzed a bit on after my shower. Within three minutes I was sporting a massive lavender hangover headache.

Which is pretty much a deal-killer for me. I shriek NO LAVENDER!!! the way Faye Dunaway shrieked NO WIRE HANGERS!!! as Joan Crawford in “Mommie Dearest.”

And I can barely tell you anything else in there except the flat powdery vanilla (also a note I dislike) and that weird powdery-chalky baby-aspirin orange thing (double-hate), because I scrubbed. Bleargh. I’m sure there are people who love this thing, but the only way I would have hated it more would be if they crammed it full of fig leaf, too.

Tiffany & Co. – I liked the first Tiffany fragrance. It was a 1987 release, and it smelled like an 80’s release: a jam-packed, rich floral, the opposite of “light.” This one was getting some decent reviews so I thought I’d give it a shot. The first sniff was not promising: some screechy Coco-Mademoiselle-type patchouli, a high-pitched citrus, plus the clean and quiet iris-musk familiar to us from Prada Infusion d’Iris, which should surprise no one because Daniela Andrier did the Prada as well. Within a few moments, though, it settled down into a very pleasant blackcurrant-peach-rose floral not all that far from my beloved Ines de la Fressange. Too bad the drydown isn’t nearly as good, but I swear I think there’s real sandalwood in the Fressange. This one eventually subsides into a lighter, sweeter Coco-Mademoiselle-ish drydown, which is still fairly pleasant. I give this one a B-minus because it could have been much worse, and because it is such a no-brainer pleasant thing. The drydown, which is my favorite part, lasts several hours on me and stays pleasant, reminding me just a tad — in feel, not smell — of another no-brainer just-pretty that I love, Carven Le Parfum. I won’t buy this, but I won’t mind smelling it on someone else.

Prada Infusion Amande –  This smells like they started with Infusion d’Iris and added a clean, sweet heliotrope. It’s soft, powdery, not quite sweet. Listed notes are almond, heliotrope, tonka bean, musk, and anise, and I smell all of those plus a dry satiny iris, and just mayyyybe a bit of orange blossom. It’s fairly linear in my experience. However, it’s very nice stuff, and for an almond/heliotrope scent, seems to avoid all Play-doh references, which is unusual and refreshing. I don’t need it, but I enjoyed it.

 

Have you smelled anything mainstream-ish lately that’s good? Tell us about it!

 

 

 

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Scent Diary, June 11-17, 2018

Monday, June 11: Cloudy and warm; muggy after yesterday’s late-afternoon thunderstorms. Water aerobics again, plus 12 laps of swimming. I smell like chlorine, but I’m happy. Grocery shopping. Post office. Bookworm’s new mattress was delivered. SOTD was the lovely and discontinued Leonard de Leonard, a green floral chypre from 1989 — about 15 years too late to be in fragrance fashion, actually! It is in the vein of Balmain Ivoire, actually. But where Ivoire is very soapy on me, L de L just smells great! The notes list doesn’t seem to include tagete (marigold), but I swear I think I smell it in there, along with the galbanum and moss and hyacinth and various other stuff. (Bonus: it also disguises the smell of chlorine to some extent.) Ivoire’s notes list does contain tagete, but I never smell it in Ivoire. I do in Leonard.

And Gaze sold his sheep today. He hasn’t had time, obviously, to monitor the flock while he’s been at college, so he felt it was time to find a new owner who would be better able to manage the sheep. I’m proud of him. He started with 5 ewes and a borrowed ram in 2014, and just sold a total of 25 animals, four years later.

Tuesday, June 12: Cool and cloudy again. I wore Chanel 31 Rue Cambon to the doctor’s office (a consultation for the colonoscopy my GP says I need, now that I’m 50). When I got back home, I found that I’d sold another couple of items on eBay: one perfume bottle and one other item. EBay is kind of a pain, but also kind of necessary at this point, if I want a little cash for things I need to discard. Facebook Marketplace is kind of scary (a friend selling her washing machine had a very sketchy guy come to her house) and Craigslist is kind of weird, so eBay is really the only option I am ready to pursue.

Voted in the Republican primary for Senator candidate. Very low turnout, and I’m sorry to report that Corey Stewart, whom I regard as a Certified Nutjob Racist, has won the right to run as a Republican against Democrat incumbent Tim Kaine. And look, as a conservative-leaning moderate, I’m not much of a Kaine supporter* — but if it’s him against the Nutjob Racist, I’ll give you one guess which way I’m voting in November.  I SWEAR, I am pretty much done with the Republican party. They keep showing me they’re done with me, by picking candidates whose values I don’t share.
*I have much less problem with Kaine’s fellow Virginia Democrat Senator, Mark Warner.

Local writer’s group meeting this evening; my 31 RC had worn off and I topped it with some 1932 edp, because I think they play nicely together. Same house, obvs, but I think they share several angles — the pretty jasmine, the bergamot, the elegant and un-rooty Chanel iris.

Wednesday, June 13: Beautiful day! Sunny, warm, low humidity. Water aerobics again plus some paddling around in the deep end; lanes were unavailable for lap swim. Then post office and recycling. Gaze is on a tractor moving freshly-made hay bales from one field to another; Taz is mowing and weedeating.

SOTD is some DSH Chypre, which is a bit heavier on the labdanum than the Real Deal Coty, plus a light overlay of California Reverie. Me likey.

Another good Bible study at the park. My feet are not bothering me much this week; in fact, my right foot doesn’t hurt at all.

Thursday, June 14: Warm, and the last day of low humidity for as far as the weather guys are willing to forecast. I went to the Y and used the stationary bike. Started slow, did 6 miles in 30 minutes, but I did sweat. (Thank goodness there’s a little fan thingie built right into the console! Literally, that’s cool.)

SOTD was Mary Greenwell Plum, a modern chypre that actually smells chypre-ish (i.e., it has moss and amber in it, not just patchouli) under the beautiful fruits and flowers. Worship team practice tonight.

Friday, June 15: Muggy again. Water aerobics again. I really went at it, and could feel the effort, but maybe that’s leftover from yesterday’s stationary bike? Not sure. I may go another week with it, because honestly, these old ladies are fun. I can always swim laps afterward if I want.

Gaze and Taz are moving bales again. I should be cleaning up, but I’m doing laundry instead.  SOTD is Pierre de Velay Extrait No. 11, which I love and would like to have a bottle of, BUT I would have to phone London to get it.

The CEO went to an outdoor concert with beach music, a fundraiser for the local Fine Arts Council. With my dislike of outdoor concerts I couldn’t face it, frankly, so Bookworm and I hung out and watched Jeopardy and then American Ninja Warrior. I’m not sure why ANW fascinates me, but it does.

The view from Angels Rest Mountain in Giles County, VA, with rain coming on. Pic by Cody Hopper at trover.com; click through for link.

Saturday, June 16: Hot and muggy. No SOTD. I managed to go to the post office and mail an eBay item, then Wal-mart for a last-minute Father’s Day gift (since the thing I ordered for The CEO won’t show up until Tuesday). Wal-mart was jam-packed. Ugh. I got tired and didn’t want to do anything all afternoon. None of us have done anything today, with the exception of Bookworm, who went hiking up nearby Angels Rest Mountain with a friend. (Short and very steep trail, she says, but lovely view from the top.)

Someday I’m going to work Angels Rest Mountain into a book. I love the name.

SOTE, post-bathroom cleaning, was Fendi. Gosh, Fendi is just so good.

Sunday, June 17: Warm and muggy. I was singing at church, and Bookworm and Taz were scheduled to help with children’s ministry, so we went early. SOTD was two spritzes of Byredo Flowerhead, which lasted most of the day. (At some point, Bookworm hugged me and said, “Ooh, you smell nice.”)

The CEO got his Father’s Day tribute at breakfast: some new running shorts, a Pocket Juice cell charger, and the Dire Straits double album Alchemy on CD that Bookworm had to order all the way from England, to replace his old vinyl recording. We went to an early dinner with my parents for Father’s Day, where my dad got his tribute: a DVD of “Dunkirk,” and a restaurant gift card. (He’s going to enjoy the movie, I’m pretty sure.)

Thinking of and missing my FIL Bill today too.

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Scent Diary, June 4-10, 2018

Pic from stayblueridge.com; click through for link

Monday, June 4: Warm, almost like spring. First day I used my new YMCA membership, starting out with a Shallow Water Aerobics class (full, as I guessed it would be, of spry old ladies and and another woman about my age who’s also battling foot problems). It was fun but fairly easy, even for someone who’s been out of the habit of exercise for a long time, so I may move into the Deep Water class in a few weeks.

SOTD is Silences pdt. Gaze was sniffing that bottle today and I asked him what he thought of it. He said it wasn’t very floral and there was something that was dominating the smell. Something woody, he thought, like when you’re cutting weeds. AHA. The boy can pinpoint galbanum. 🙂 Though I find Silences quite floral, myself: lots of rose.

I ordered some sport sandals from Amazon the other day, to try to find SOMETHING that wouldn’t hurt my feet. See, I have alll kindsa problems finding shoes that fit. My feet are wide (they were always kind of that way, but having babies squooshed them out farther, and gaining weight since then has made them wider) and I have high arches and insteps, annnnd, as if I needed more foot issues, really narrow heels. If I get something to fit across my instep correctly, it’s going to flap up and down on my heel and rub blisters, and it might also be rubbing my pinky toe into the bargain. It is difficult to find shoes anyway — I actually wore corrective shoes as a kid! — but with this plantar fasciitis giving me constant pain, I knew I was going to have to spend some serious bucks on this project.

So anyway, the Keen Newport H2s and Chaco Z2s I ordered showed up today. I put a Keen on one foot and a Chaco on the other, and sat at my desk doing some research. 20 minutes later the Keen foot was in serious pain, but the Chaco foot felt great. So I packed the Keens back into the box and put the other Chaco on while walking around the house. As of now, they’ve been on my feet for nearly five hours and they don’t hurt.

They don’t hurt! It’s a Christmas miracle!!

Tuesday, June 6: Another warm but not hot day (what is so rare as a day in June, one that feels like spring instead of the south side of the sun?) Took the boys with me to my parents’ house so we could weed the flower bed and trim the weeds with the whacker (Gaze kindly took that task over), and help her go through some old stuff in the basement. There’s still a long way to go with clearing out old things, but I keep hoping we’ll make a dent in it someday.

Took Taz to the eye doctor for his annual checkup today. He’s doing fine. However, they were running way behind at the office today, and we didn’t get called back to a patient room until 50 minutes past his appointment time. Which put us pretty late getting home. Grr.

SOTD was the sunny citrus-jasmine-iris-ambreine Chanel 1932. Oh, and I wore my Chacos all day and my feet still didn’t hurt.

Wednesday, June 7: Pretty outside again — mid-80sF and low humidity. Another session of water aerobics was the plan for today. As it happened, my MIL came to pick me up for the class, and then her car wouldn’t start once it was parked in our driveway. We took The CEO’s car, but when we got back he had determined that MIL’s car needed a starter.

So it had to be towed. Much grumbling about how this was NOT how he had planned to spend his day. I think, however, this might have been the Last Straw with regards to MIL getting a new car to replace this one, which is 21 years old and has needed some fairly substantial repairs over the past six months or so. She chose a late-model used Nissan Sentra that I think is a nice car. So, yeah, it was inconvenient timing, but if this gets her into a more reliable vehicle, I think it’s all good.

SOTD was Mary Greenwell Plum, which I still love but which seems to damp down to a whisper pretty soon (either that or I’ve developed a partial anosmia to it). Nice Bible study at the park picnic shelter this evening, what our church calls Big Small Group.

Thursday, June 7: Yet another moderate-heat/low-humidity day! I rejoice. SOTD is Van Cleef & Arpels California Reverie, sunny orange-jasmine. Went to the Y to use the cardio room, since the pool is closed for cleaning today. I tried the elliptical, to try to keep weight off my painful heels, but after 15 minutes they were hurting and I figured it would be better to go slow at this stage of healing. Tomorrow I can swim again, and the waterproof sandals came in the mail today too.

Taz’s grades came in the mail from the high school and he had all A’s for the year. This is an improvement from the previous two years, and I am very proud of him.

This shot was taken and created by Dieter Spears for Inhaus Creative

We have young bunnies around the yard! Not sure where they’re sleeping, but I keep seeing them running down the road, up the road, from our yard to the neighbors’ yards… there are four of them and they are adorable and Hunter longs with all his being to go and play with them. Curse the electric fence! Curse the electric fence!

Friday, June 8: Still warm rather than hot, but the humidity is creeping up. Water aerobics again, and this time with the waterproof Tevas I found on clearance in my size. These not only protected my feet, but provided more resistance in the water, so that the session was a little more work than last time. That’s a good thing. I still think I need a bigger challenge, but my feet are killllling me today, so the bigger challenge cannot be the elliptical, not yet. Maybe swimming laps would do. Maybe I can use a stationary bike?

Took Taz to get his new glasses. His prescription changed a little bit, and in any case it had been three years since we bought his current pair, and he moves into adult pricing in October — so we bought two pairs. He looks distinguished in them. SOTD was DelRae Wit.

Saturday, June 9: Hotter today. The CEO took Taz with him to do some baling, while the rest of us cleaned house and did laundry. SOTM was California Reverie again. Taz mowed the grass yesterday so I could hang laundry on the line, and I was noticing that at least two of the apple trees have lots of small apples on them. (Wonder if I should remove some of them, to coach the ones remaining to get bigger?)

Then Bookworm and I went to buy her a mattress, her belated birthday present. Success! Watched the Belmont (yay for Justify!) and ate ham, mac & cheese, and green veggies for dinner. My feet still hurt, probably from Thursday’s elliptical escapade. 😥

Sunday, June 10: Feet still hurting. Boo. I’m using one of those round ball massagers, rolling my feet over it one at a time. It borderline hurts, but my feet do feel a little better after I’ve done it.

Warm and muggy; SOTD is beloved Iris Poudre.  Went to the Y to swim laps, but didn’t leave enough time before the pool closed to do much. I managed to get in twelve laps. (Really slow. I’m in such bad shape. But hey, it’s a starting point, and I love being in the water. I miss swim team. I miss being fit enough to do swim team, too!)

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Scent Diary, May 29-June 3, 2018

Tuesday, May 29: Overcast and muggy, which looks to be the forecast all week. Sigh. The weeds are getting away from me, but I just don’t feel like weeding them. I’m so tired. Went to a funeral today for the spouse of a good childhood friend. I wish I’d known him better, and my heart’s broken for the family. Chanel No. 19 was again my Invisible Armor today.

When Mom and I got back, a doe went streaking down the side yard and Mom speculated that her baby must be over in the neighboring lot, in the bushes. (This lot never passed the “perk test,” so was unsuitable for building a house on, and it’s grown up in black locusts and paradise trees and thornbushes and the like, ideal for wildlife.) Instead, though, we found the fawn lying on her back deck, and it stayed there long enough for Mom to go inside and get her camera, then get a couple of pictures, before it bounded off. So pretty!

Bookworm, 2 months old. That grin!

Wednesday, May 30: Bookworm’s birthday. I’m so glad I’ve gotten to be her mother. Such a blessing.

Had a checkup with the physician’s assistant at my doctor’s office, and I dumped out all the symptoms that my doctor has been ignoring for the past several years (plus a few other issues). I’m not sure that anything positive has happened yet, but at least the PA listened to me and was able to take my concerns seriously. I hope that something will change soon. SOTD was beautiful and grounding Chanel 31 Rue Cambon.

We ate calzones and salad and apple pie for the girl’s birthday. Delish.

Thursday, May 31: Took Bookworm’s car to the lube shop for an oil change, and worked on some mending. Ignored the weeds (again) because I just. don’t. feel. like weeding. I will probably be sorry about this someday soon, but right now I just can’t. I also haven’t filled my hanging baskets with any plants. I’m just… I don’t know. I don’t think I care. The front porch needs painting so badly.

At least I do smell good, in Crown Bouquet. Another greenie, but who’s surprised by that? Now Smell This’s community project this week is to wear a scent with a creamy or milky component, and I’ve been thinking about Hilde Soliani’s Il Tuo Tulipano, which smells not like tulips, but like those frozen creamy fruit salads people used to bring to church potlucks.

Friday, June 1: Hot and muggy weather. Errands. Paid the real estate taxes, mailed some stuff, hit the grocery store, went by the bank, and stopped at the YMCA at about 4:45 to get my first Y membership in… oh, 20 years? 24? it’s been a long time, obvs. I have GOT to get my feet recovered from this plantar fasciitis. No more walking until I do… so. Swimming. Maybe some water aerobics (with all the spry old ladies!) or stationary bike.

SOTD is Guerlain Charnel Elixir Floral Romantique. I wound up bagging the NST challenge and going with one from a Facebook group, to wear something “swoony.” Floral Romantique, despite its cheesy name and its pretentious packaging, makes me swoon. When it first came out, everybody who was reviewing it said something like, “This is boring, derivative, smells like the same-old department store juice they’ve been shilling since 2008. Also, WAY overpriced for what it is, another floral woody musk. Unworthy of Guerlain.”

For one thing, I don’t revere Guerlain. Generally speaking, my reaction is Meh. (Go ahead and toss the tomatoes, I know I’m in the minority.) I mean, I like Chamade. But I only LIKE it. I like L’Heure Bleue in parfum, sorta. I like Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune, too. But I could live without them, if I had to. I nearly always prefer the Coty version of the classics, anyway: Emeraude over Shalimar, Chypre over Mitsouko. Nyah.

But this? I really like. Sure, it’s just another soft white floral (tiare, jasmine, ylang, lily) and it’s pretty sweet in that sense. But there’s a thread of something bitter and refreshing running through it, too, and it dries down just lovely on me. The notes list includes cedar, chestnut, maté, and smoked tea, so I have no idea what that bitter note is but I love it. Also, The CEO once told me, “This smells like your skin, only a little more perfumey.”

Saturday, June 2: Cooler and cloudy today. I managed to take a big box of stuff to Goodwill, and then zip over to Target to pick up some stuff, before grilling some burgers. Dinner table discussion concerned Stevie Ray Vaughan, Texas blues guitarist. I’m not a big blues person, unless it’s Chicago blues, which I sort of enjoy if I’m in the mood. But The CEO is a fan. (We once named a minivan Stevie Ray Van. Stevie Ray’s predecessor was Eddie Van, for Eddie Van Halen, so I guess you know what kind of guitarists I like…)

SOTD was the first niche thing I ever bought — Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete. Supposed to be based on the smell of a yellow rose, and darn if it doesn’t smell like one to me! A little fruity, a little powdery, a light and uncomplicated rose. So pretty. I still love this one, and FYI, yellow roses are my favorite.

On the negative side, I just got the response to my  request for medical records in the mail — the ones having to do with my Essure implants, from my GYN who has since retired. And apparently, these medical records do not exist. Which seems super-fishy to me. Because, you know, I was there. It happened. I just don’t quite know where to go next.

Sunday, June 3: Warm early-June day. Outside, it smells like either manure or honeysuckle, depending on which way the wind is blowing! I will be VERY glad when The CEO’s cousin finally gets his dairy manure lagoon empty and stops spraying it on all the fields around.

SOTD was Teo Cabanel Early Roses. After church, the family went to see Solo: a Star Wars Story. It’s getting a lot of complaint (from my friends, at least) so we were a little apprehensive. Especially after The Last Jedi, which we all enjoyed in the theater and then immediately started finding things we thought were badly written in the car on the way home. (We liked Rogue One — a lot.)

We liked Solo, too. Not as much as Rogue One, which was an extremely tight plot, both simple and tremendously emotionally affecting — but we liked Solo. There were things we’d have done differently, and things that confused us, but generally speaking we thought it was a creditable effort. What didn’t we like? All the explosions and flying through the air on dodgy platforms: basically all the superhero movie crap that has been done to death. And the ending, that bothered us too. Possibly it’s setting up a Solo II sequel? I don’t know, but there were a LOT of loose ends there. Also, sticking some young actor in front of a camera and telling him, “Be Harrison Ford,” is a very tall order, because so far as I know, there’s only one Harrison Ford. All the same, I thought Ehrenreich did a decent job. Watching him fall in love with the Millennium Falcon was almost worth the price of admission in itself, and when you add on Donald Glover’s slick-as-snake-oil Lando Calrissian, that filled out the rest of the ticket value.

Anybody have a differing view of Solo?

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Scent Diary, May 21-27, 2018

Ah, lilacs. Too bad we’re not getting any sunny weather.

Monday, May 21-23: Um. I can’t remember. Too much stuff going on, and I got distracted and didn’t journal. I think I wore No. 19 one day, and Silences another, and Safari the third. I think. All greenies, of course. Rainy and muggy, bleagh.

Thursday, May 24: Warm, sunny, on the verge of “too hot.” Went to my old high school, which was hosting the regional track meet, to watch Taz run. Gaze went with us and wound up doing some assistant coach stuff, like calling splits. The CEO does that at every meet already.  Taz ran well but not enough to lower his PR time. Came in 10th in a very strong field of 24, and that despite running in the slower of the two heats (i.e., his time was better than some of the times run by guys in the fast heat).

And my parents got to drive the few miles over from their house to see him run, which was pretty awesome. I smelled good, in Tauer Carillon pour un Ange.

In other news, I am again making the unpleasant discovery of a truth I prefer to forget about summer: I must choose to either be sunburned or pimply. It is always one or t’other, y’all, always one or t’other.

Unless it’s both. The worst of both worlds!! Like if I put on sunscreen (pimples) but not enough of it (sunburn). Or if one day I remember the sunscreen (pimples) but the next day I forget it (sunburn). Or if I forget the sunscreen one day (sunburn) and remember it the next day (pimples AND stingy pain on the sunburn). Which is just unfair, world, and stoppppittttttt. You’re annoying me. Only the zinc-y stuff seems to not break my face out, but that’s in a little tub you have to smear on with all your fingers, and often that’s an inconvenient package. Whine.

Friday, May 25: It is cloudy, but cooler than yesterday, and I am wearing YSL Paris parfum today. (Because PARIS, that’s why.) I am resplendent in neon-pink roses.

Graduation at the high school this evening. The CEO attended, as a member of the Board of Supervisors, and Gaze went to see some friends graduate. Bookworm and Taz and I went to a showing of Jumanji — the new one, with Dwayne Johnson — at the local revival theater instead. We laughed our heads off.

Saturday, May 26: Hot and humid BUT also raining. Ugh. Wearing a tad of Delrae Wit today for the Cleaning of the House. The CEO, Bookworm, and Gaze decided to go visit nearby Dismal Falls (on Dismal Creek, apparently, and no one is certain why it’s called Dismal. We’re nowhere near the Dismal Swamp), and then it started pouring down the rain, while Taz and I went around frantically shutting windows.

Sunday, May 27: wearing the never-wrong Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere today, for church. The fans were going full-tilt in the YMCA gym where our church meets, so it was hard to hear the sermon until the sound guys turned everything up. Contrarily, the band was FREAKISHLY LOUDDDD this morning. Like, hurt-your-ears loud.

At least it’s not raining.

Photo by the Southwest Times.

Monday, May 28: Memorial Day. Gaze went to the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery to lay a wreath with a few other cadets from Virginia Tech; The CEO attended as local elected official.

Everyone else stayed home and got ready for hosting a birthday lunch for darling Bookworm, who is about to turn 23. Roast chicken, baked potatoes, fresh spinach, Nana’s scalloped apples, plus cake with strawberries and ice cream. Yummy. SOTD was a tad of Carillon pour un Ange again.

After lunch, my mom was asking about perfumes so I took her in my room and horrified her with some of them: Soivohle Centennial, Cuir de Lancome, MDCI Rose di Siwa. And as I could have postulated, she absolutely hated Carnal Flower. The beautiful floral-chypre Fendi was, in truth, just awful on her, but at that point I was wearing about four other things so I didn’t put it on for her to smell.

Heard some terrible news, that the husband of a childhood friend of mine has died. So very sad.

 

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