The Muse in Wooden Shoes

Exploring a Scented Life: a blog about perfume, cooking, literature, family

The Muse in Wooden Shoes - Exploring a Scented Life: a blog about perfume, cooking, literature, family

Scent Diary Summary, most of May 2014

Scent Diary, Summarized, May 7 through June 3, 2014

I have not been keeping a good diary recently. It has been pretty busy here, with attending end-of-school activities and planning for some summer ones, so I’ve only got some “here’s what’s going on around the place these days” notes.
HOME:
As for the house and yard, they look pretty good. We’ve been getting some good rain interspersed with sunny days, so the grass is thick and green and the trees are beautifully full of leaves. The fruit trees are leafed out well, and there are even baby apples on one of the trees – I think it’s the Gala. I got the annuals (pink zinnias and those tall Mexican orange marigolds) planted in the front bed, and the hanging baskets (pink and red geraniums and hot pink vinca) up on the porch, too.

The peony bush we planted near sweet Hayley-dog’s grave seems to be thriving. We all miss our doggie. It’s the little things, you know? Like I’ll be getting home in the evening and thinking, “Look at the time, it’s Food the Dog O’Clock – oh, wait. No, it’s not. Sigh.” Or we miss the thumping tail on the landing in the morning, or we don’t hear barking when someone pulls up in the driveway… We miss the canine affection, too.

We do want another dog, but not yet. Probably by the end of the summer we’ll start looking; I’ve already been looking online at the animal shelters to see what’s available right now. There are a few dogs close by but nothing that automatically jumps out to me to say, “I’m your new dog!” We have set some criteria: House-trained (that one’s non-negotiable). Not a puppy, and not a senior dog (I don’t think we could stand to lose another one within a couple of years). Medium size, between 25 and 45 pounds – Hayley was on the upper end of that range. Not a yapper. MAN, I hate a yappy dog. Barking is one thing, but a high-pitched constant yap? NO. Absolutely not. We’re flexible on breed; we’d probably rather not have a purebred dog, but we wouldn’t turn a shelter or rescue dog down if we had a connection to one that happened to be a purebred.

We decided last year when Silvia died that we would not get another cat; Taz is allergic to them. While we wouldn’t get rid of a cat (particularly an elderly one) for that reason, it’s enough of one that we felt we wouldn’t add a cat back to the household.

We do need to pull out that dogwood tree in the front yard that struggled for a few years and then finally gave up the ghost last summer. It’s the middle one in a row of five, so I think it would look odd to put in something else there, but that means getting as much of the old root system out as we can since the dogwoods are at least eight years old. I also lost one of my Knockout roses over the winter. One of them was pretty stressed by Japanese beetle attack, and didn’t survive the cold. The other one? Looks great. Go figure. I did buy another Knockout – the standard color one, instead of the pink it will replace, but I think they’ll look nice together.

SCHOOL:
It ended yesterday. Graduation for the high school was actually last Friday, because that date was set early. However, due to some late bad weather, the superintendent was forced to add a couple of days of school for everyone not graduating. I notice that the high school parking lot was pretty empty Monday and Tuesday, though, so I bet a lot of kids just skipped those last few days.

Gaze had a good year both academically and with regard to extracurriculars. He was selected as trombone section leader for next season’s marching band, and was also voted “Outstanding Trombone Player” and “Outstanding Rookie” by his peers. I was very proud. He’s only a rising sophomore, but the band had a run of several years with no trombone section marching – I think because Mr. Butler, our previous director, didn’t want to have only a few trombone players. He opted to have those few switch to baritone horn, which has a similar range, instead. There was no trombone section all the years Bookworm was in band. But now there is – and that means that Gaze is one of the oldest players in that section. I think he’ll do fine as he’s very responsible. In any case, his FFA team was successful, his academic challenge team (social studies) was the champion, and he was a member of successful cross-country and track teams as well. Also, this year he’s grown several inches.

I must say, it’s awfully nice to look at the mantel shelf and see Gaze’s Outstanding Rookie trophy right next to Bookworm’s.  We never expected that, and there for awhile Gaze was pretty insistent that he wasn’t going to march, that was Bookworm’s thing, he didn’t want to put that much work into it… Well. He thinks he made the right choice now.

Taz struggled to some degree academically this year. Partly that was due to his lack of interest in organization, and partly that might have been due to his having to face some challenges that neither his brother or sister faced. It’s a good thing that his school now offers Algebra I for those 7th graders who might benefit (that was not available for Bookworm in middle school) and an online language course (not available for either Bookworm or Gaze), but it’s the first time he’s ever had to really put some effort into school, and, well, in a lot of cases he just didn’t. He pulled several B’s this year. However, he ran track, and came in second to a very accomplished player in the school’s chess club tournament. He’s grown too – Bookworm might have half an inch, or maybe even less, on him now.  The CEO and I were (pleasantly) surprised to find, at Taz’ 7th grade award ceremony, that he’d been voted “Most Attentive Boy” by his peers.  All I can say is, they sure don’t live here.  Good to know that he pays attention in class, though!

Bookworm herself had a good year as well. She would tell you that she wasn’t happy with her grades, but The CEO and I were fine with them. I think her current GPA is approximately 3.65, somewhere around there. She seems to have decided that she will be majoring in chemistry, and I think she’s on the right track. When your college freshman kid complains about Spanish and Calculus, but says that Chemistry is “easy” and “fun” – and comes home talking excitedly about all the “cool things” they did in class and lab? Well, that’s a good indicator that she may have found her niche. She got plugged in with Yale Students for Christ, which is the campus branch of Cru (which used to be known as Campus Crusade) and a church she likes in New Haven. She loved playing with Yale Precision Marching Band for football, basketball and hockey, and she had a total blast with her buddies on the ultimate Frisbee team.

Bookworm, we just heard yesterday, will be doing a summer internship in Louisiana, for a paper mill there. She’ll be assisting one (maybe more) of the chemical engineers at the plant in conducting efficiency testing on some of the equipment used, and hopefully will be able to either assist in a research paper or present her own. I’m a little bit nervous about her being 14 hours away for eight weeks, but I think it’s a terrific opportunity. She’s really excited about the possibilities. She leaves on Sunday.

FARM:
It’s hay season. Ergo, it’s busy. Not just with racing the weather, either – The CEO has spent a lot of time fixing tractors that got through the winter fine. Haymaking seems to put more demand on them, and since almost all of our tractors are approximately my age, they need a lot of maintenance. Bookworm and Gaze have been helping Jeff work some cattle (treating them with dewormer, giving them their shots and ear tags and the like).

The cows look good. There’s lots of grass.

SUMMER PLANS:
Gaze will be attending Camp Cougar this summer, which is an intensive four-week physical education course that can take the place of PE during the school year. Drivers’ Education class time is included, as well as a ropes course at the nearby Boy Scout camp, white-water rafting, caving, and some other fun activities. However, if you miss any part of any day – you can’t receive academic credit for the course, so he’ll be BUSY.

Then, of course, there will be summer band practices which he will need to attend. And pre-camp (for section leaders and rookie marchers). And band camp itself. ACK.

The CEO has to go to Denver for another National Cattlemen’s Association meeting, so this summer we will be joining him there in Montana to do a little exploring at Yellowstone and Glacier. That ought to be fun. We made plans before we knew about Bookworm’s internship, but we might be able to change her flight ticket and allow her to join us for at least part of the trip, assuming that she could get a few days off around July 4th.

I’ll be keeping Taz as busy as possible.

PERFUME:
I have been wearing my spring scents and testing some new things, but just yesterday I got out some of my summer-only fragrances. Things that went INTO the bedside cabinet: DelRae Amoureuse, Chanel No. 19 EdP, Jacomo Silences PdT, Deneuve, Guerlain Chamade, Penhaligon’s Violetta, Crown Perfumery Crown Bouquet, DSH White Lilac, L’Arte di Gucci EdP, vintage Jolie Madame parfum, Amouage Memoir Woman, Ralph Lauren Safari, and my vintage Emeraude PdT. I’ve been rather addicted to Safari recently, by the way – it is a warm green as opposed to a cool green like No. 19 or Silences.

Things that came OUT of the cabinet and into the hatbox on the dresser: Ines de la Fressange (the first one), Hermes Kelly Caleche EdP, YSL Paris Pont des Amours, Donna Karan Gold EdP, Hanae Mori Haute Couture, Cristina Bertrand #3, Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Girl, Moschino Funny!, Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete, Annick Goutal Petite Cherie, and DSH La Fete Nouvelle. The current rotation also includes Le Temps d’une Fete, Ferre 20, and Mary Greenwell Plum, as well as my vintage Chanel No. 19 EdT, because those only go into the cabinet in the winter. I’ve also got decants of DelRae Wit, Chanel 1932, and Hilde Soliani Il Tuo Tulipo for summer use.

I have a whole set of 7 Oriza L. LeGrand fragrances still to review as well.

And, oh yeah, I still hate purple.

What’s in your seasonal rotation, if you have one? I know you blokes and sheilas Down Under are heading into winter…

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Hayley Elizabeth Wigglebutt Hoover Dog WoodenShoes

Rest in peace, dear Hayley Elizabeth Wigglebutt Hoover Dog WoodenShoes, July 2003 – May 2014. Introduced to us as “the perfect dog,” by Elizabeth, the woman who ran the rescue dog organization, she turned out to be exactly that. Part beagle, part lab, 100% wonderful.

Hayley, summer 2009

Hayley, summer 2009

For the first six months we had her, she wouldn’t go any farther than four feet from her Favorite Person, The CEO. She loved Gator rides, chasing Frisbees, wandering and sniffing the 20-Acre field, bacon, getting ear scritches and belly rubs, 6-mile runs with Bookworm and Gaze, and playing in the snow with her people. She was famous for greeting her family with enthusiasm, shamelessly begging for pats, getting into the kitchen trash, vacuuming up crumbs from the table and unattended cat food, jumping into cattle waterers, never bothering the cows, showing doggy sympathy to anyone sick or sad, ripping out the window screens (twice!) and opening the basement door with her teeth to get into the house. Identified 24 of the past 3 potential intruders by barking at any vehicle or person approaching the house – including Jeff the farm guy and The CEO’s mother, both of whom she liked very much once they were close enough to be identified as friends.  She barked like a bigger dog than she actually was, but if she got really excited you could hear the beagle in her voice. She liked to sleep on “her” couch in the family room, on top of the woven afghan that we designated as the Hayley blanket.

Going for a run with Gaze, March 30, 2014. (This was a day or two after she killed a groundhog on one of their runs.) Check out those ears flopping!

Going for a run with Gaze, March 30, 2014. (This was a day or two after she killed a groundhog on one of their runs.)

A slight limp that developed last weekend after a run with Gaze turned into a bigger one.  We took her to the vet’s office on Wednesday, where they did a physical exam and some blood work, and gave her some pain meds.  On Thursday she was mopey and in pain, and she slept a lot; the vet had warned us that the medication might make her dozy. By Friday she was in a much better mood, and thoroughly enjoyed her treat of deli ham (rolled around a pill) and her bacon-flavored treat. She wanted to go onto the porch and smell things and bark at squirrels, and she was as always delighted to get to go for a ride in the van, where she sat on Bookworm’s lap wagging her tail and sticking her nose out the partly-opened window.

They did x-rays at the vet’s office, and the initial diagnosis was bone cancer. Three to six months, the vet said, unless chemo helped. But they also tested some fluid from the lump on her elbow as well as from her lymph nodes, and those tests indicated lymphoma, which has a one-to-two-month course unless we decided to treat that with chemo. I called The CEO and we decided not to treat the cancer. Instead, we planned to manage her pain and make her last weeks or months as happy and comfortable as possible.

Snuggling with Bookworm on the porch, Feb. 2013.

Snuggling with Bookworm on the porch, Feb. 2013.

Then Hayley’s lymph nodes began to swell dramatically, right there in the vet’s office, and she began to have trouble breathing.  Mast cell tumor, the vet guessed, although that usually does not cause such drastic swelling, and she didn’t respond appropriately to antihistamine or steroids. They sedated her and gave her oxygen, and she was relatively stable when Bookworm and I took her to the vet school at Virginia Tech, which offers a critical care unit and round-the-clock care.

By the time we got to the vet school hospital, she was struggling to breathe, and the vet in charge there told us that if – if – they could stabilize her condition, we would need to decide how to treat her. I called The CEO, who brought Gaze and Taz with him, and when they arrived, we made the decision to not continue to try to save her. We did get to go back to the ICU and pet her, stroke her soft ears and tell her what a good dog she was and how much she loved her.

Our thanks to the folks at Radford Animal Hospital and the VA-MD School of Veterinary Medicine for doing their best for her.  Special thanks to Dr. Hansen and Dr. Bisoski, and all the techs.

On Saturday, Bookworm and Taz dug her grave, near dear Silvia kitty’s resting place and near where Hayley would wriggle under the fence to go play and sniff in the 20-Acre Field.  When The CEO came home from Virginia Tech’s graduation, we gathered around and lowered our sweet puppy into the grave on her favorite blanket, folding it around her.  Yesterday, I planted a peony bush as a marker.

Hayley, August 2013

Hayley, August 2013

We will miss our Thump-tail, the Flop-ear, the Underfoot, Canine Security, the Frog-dog, Official Greeter, the Insatia-Dog, the Pupful, sweet Hayley.

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Scent Diary, Mar. 31 – April 6, 2014

Daphne odora

Daphne odora

Monday, Mar. 31 – Gorgeous weather today! Springy and sunny… some breeze… so nice.  Testing Oriza L. LeGrand Deja le Printemps, which is purportedly a green floral. It’s not. More about that soon.  Also testing the brand-new thing from Parfums DelRae, a floral based on the flowering shrub daphne odora, called Wit. Wit is gorgeous. Wit nearly made me cry.  More about that soon, too, but there’s a persistent yet gentle lemony cast to the flowers here, and particularly in the early stages, it reminds me quite a bit of the floral overlay of my favorite Le Temps d’une Fete. The drydown is considerably different – no woods/moss/patchouli in Wit, which is simply light musk with a touch of vanilla. (It’s the kind of musk that tends to disappear into skin on me, not the aggressively “clean” laundry type.) But the jasmine/narcissus heart shares some DNA with LTdF. I need some Wit.

Parfums DelRae is very much a hit-or-miss house with me. I like the brand’s aesthetic and philosophy, and I love it that DelRae Roth didn’t bring out a huge collection to start with, but the company seems to focus on fragrances that mean a great deal to its founder. Several of the DelRaes I don’t like – Emotionnelle is garbagey melon, Bois de Paradis’ citrusy top notes smell like turpentine on me (I’m not kidding. My grandmother painted china, and she used turps all the time. I know whereof I speak.).  Some of them I like but they’re too soft – Coup del Foudre is unbelievably lovely for two hours, and then shrinks down to a skin scent, no matter how much I ply the spray-until-wet technique. Mythique, too, is really wonderful, a leather/iris scent with the gentle fuzziness of apricot skin, but it’s barely noticeable until I’m snorking my wrist into my nostrils. I still have not tried Debut as it is focused on linden (which tends to smell like toilet cleaner on my skin), and Eau Illuminee is a cologne. I don’t do cologne. I have not tried, nor am I interested in, Panache. I do love Amoureuse very much. On me, it sings.

Tuesday, April 1 – April Fools’ Day. I’d been worried that Taz would pull something mean on me, but he didn’t.  Beautiful weather again today, too – with the windows closed, it got up to 74F inside the house toward the end of the day, and I had to open a window. Tested two more Oriza L LeGrand scents today: Horizon, and Jardins d’Armide. Hated both of them, for different reasons. Dreadful.

Got out the spring/Easter décor items, including Easter baskets, today – except Bookworm’s. I miss her. I am going to miss seeing her at Easter.

Also, was working on the novel, using the Write or Die app (which I love, in general), but about the time I got to 5700 words, it failed to save. I can’t find that stuff ANYWHERE on my laptop.  GAHHHHH. The WoD website does state that some people are having trouble with the save function – I’ve used it several times, but hadn’t had any problems before now. Am DYING of frustration.

Taz had a middle school track meet this evening, and got home past ten pm. They didn’t even stay for the entire meet – for some reason, this particular meet is always so large and so (apparently) disorganized, with four middle schools involved, that in the past the students haven’t gotten home until nearly midnight. This year they left early.  Taz only ran one event, and his time was slower than usual: he ran a 7:33 mile (1600m). His fastest time so far has been 7:14. He was disappointed to not get to run the 3200m.

Wednesday, April 2 – another gorgeous day. Hung the laundry on the clothesline to dry (ahh, the smell of line-dried clothes). This morning I tested Esther P Queen of Persia, which might be my favorite of the Esther P’s. All the same, it is nothing particularly special. 

SOTA is Jolie Madame extrait, the only version I really like. The EdT is too sharp for me, but the extrait is so beautifully floral atop the leather and moss. They haven’t made the extrait in a couple of decades now, so if you find it it’s de facto vintage, and it’s gorgeous. Bonus: those funky catercorner Balmain extrait bottles.

Thursday, April 3 – I really have to get the fans out of the attic. By 7 pm it’s 76 degrees in the house, even with the heat off and the windows open, and it stays that way until past midnight. Gah. Can’t sleep in that.  Tested the last Esther P, L’eau d’Emma – which is nice cologne, but you know me and cologne (yawn).

Mailed Bookworm a box with the stuff she left at home after Spring Break, plus a few things for Easter: her Bible, a book, some clothes, a towel, candy… and a cute little stuffed bunny. Eleven pounds worth, eep.  SOTA was Le Temps d’une Fete again, because I love it.

Community Chorus rehearsal was very up-and-down this evening; parts of it were very good, and parts of it were really awful. This would happen within one piece, the veering from good to bad, and that’s atypical for us – usually we’ve either got a piece down or we don’t. I have no idea what’s going on.

Daffodils-HyacinthsFriday, April 4 – gosh, it’s pretty out! Not too hot, but sunny and breezy. My daffodils and hyacinths are blooming.  Side note: I usually buy potted hyacinths in bloom, and then plant them after the blooms die, but when they bloom in the ground, they are neither as tall nor as heavily laden with florets as they were, grown in a pot. Wonder if I’m supposed to be fertilizing them or something.

SOTD: Cacharel Anaïs Anaïs EdP. I snagged a mini bottle labeled as “vintage” off eBay, cheap, and I think it must be at least early 90s. The top notes have gone a little funky – I think this may have had a touch of aldehydes, and of course they, like citrus, are the first to decay – but within ten minutes, it’s the smell I remember. My mother used to wear this, in the late 70s and early 80s, and the way I remember it smelling was “relentlessly clean.” That, I am convinced, is the reason my mom wore it. (Donna/Flora, over at Perfume-Smellin’ Things, counts this fragrance as a favorite and has stashes of bath oil and parfum as well as the more readily-available EdT. The EdP was discontinued at some point in the 90s, if I remember correctly. Donna says that the parfum is richer and less high-pitched.) In any case, it’s a soft white floral highlighted with steely hyacinth, muguet, and lily, with honeysuckle, jasmine, and orange blossom keeping the scent from getting too acerbic. The basenotes are very soft, powdered woods.  Lasting power from this vintage mini is very good, sticking around for a good eight hours on me.

Saturday, April 5 – it rained last night, and it’s considerably cooler, though sunny and breezy, today. Which is probably all to the good, because of two big local events taking place today. First, there is the Color Me Cameron Fun Run, being held in downtown Pulaski. It’s the second annual running of this event honoring a friend of Bookworm’s, Cameron Fitzwater, who was killed in a car accident just two months before graduation. I remember him quite well, as he was a jumper on the track team and a student at the Governor’s School. He was a year older than Bookworm, but they’d gotten to be friends since they were at one point the tallest and the shortest members of the track team, respectively. Cameron was a Boy Scout, and a genuinely delightful person. His mother organized the Color Run (in which participants of the 5K run/walk are pelted with powdered color) as a way to remember him with joy and to fund scholarships given in his name. Bookworm, of course, could not run this year, and Gaze was busy with the other local event, but some members of our church ran, and Taz ran too.  Sirak, the track coach, and many of the runners from the high school track team participated as well. Taz didn’t get as color-pelted as SOME people did… here he is with some people from our church.

That's Taz just to the right of the stroller. Photo by Dave Farris.

That’s Taz just to the right of the stroller. Photo by Dave Farris.

The CEO and Gaze, however, were involved with the other event which was the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain. This was a small Civil War battle that took place about two miles north of our farm, on May 9, 1964. The celebration date for the reenactment was moved from the actual date because the battle at Spotsylvania Court House also took place on that date. That was a much larger battle, very close to Washington, DC, and involved Generals Lee, Grant, and Meade. “Our” little battle, though it was proportionately one of the very bloodiest of the war, concerned lesser officers and many fewer men, and was the only one that took place in Virginia west of the Shenandoah Valley.  

Union cannon firing. Photo by The CEO.

Union cannon firing. Photo by The CEO.

I could talk about the Civil War and why it still interests Southerners for… well… weeks, probably. But for now, let me just say that one does not have to admire the moral stances of the Confederates to find their doings significant. Briefly, this was history. It took place right here. Members of my family and The CEO’s family were directly involved in it, and that makes a huge difference. My mother’s great-uncle served as part of the Pulaski Home Guard in this battle, leaving home with a Revolutionary-War-era smoothbore musket and a powder horn, and without the benefit of shoes, to defend his home. As for The CEO’s family involvement, the old homeplace (his great-aunts lived there until the early 1970s, and the house still stands) served as a hospital for Confederate officers, and the women of the family served as nurses.  I won’t tell the story again – see this post if you want to read it – but it really is a fascinating story.

Reenactment of the Battle of Cloyd's Mountain. Photo by The CEO.

Reenactment of the Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain. Photo by The CEO.

The reenactment, headed by the 24th Virginia Rifles and the 1st Stuart Artillery, took place for the first time ever on a part of the actual battlefield. It was the first time I’d ever been to a reenactment, as well. I had been a little bit leery, to be honest, of people who focus so much on the Civil War, to the point of spending weekends dressed up in period clothes, sleeping in tents, firing reproduction weapons… but seeing it gave me chills. To people accustomed to modern war – automatic weapons, guided missiles, firing from a long distance – it was a shock to see how close the combatants got to each other. And indeed, in this particular battle, when weapons failed, there was very close hand-to-hand fighting, leading to heavy casualties. The Union side, numbering about 6100 troops, lost 688 men (approximately 11%). The Confederate strength ran about 2400 men, including Home Guard as well as regular Army, lost 538 (23%).

We met some really lovely people at the reenactment, and I’m hoping the event will take place there again. SOTD was Chanel No. 19 EdP.

Sunday, April 6 – I got sunburned yesterday. Really sunburned, and I feel awful. I even stayed home from church and did a bit of laundry and took a nap. Ugh.  SOTD: nothin’. Nada. Didn’t wear a THING until bedtime, and by then I wanted the coziness of Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur, which is a beautiful tuberose-ylang-and-cream fragrance, with a dark thread running through its base.

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Scent Diary, Feb. 10-16, 2014

ice_heart_1__by_mikrox-d5l0kduMonday, Feb. 10 – Chilly, but not so bad as it has been. I got a perm (which my dear FIL used to call “a temporary”), and now I’m curly again. No SOTD in the morning – there was no point – but later in the day, I went with Memoir Woman, the only frag I’m reliably craving lately.

Tuesday, Feb. 11 – Not horribly cold. Taz started Chess Club at the middle school this week (they will meet every other Tuesday), and we had a good Bible study this evening. SOTD is DvF Tatiana, vintage parfum, deliciously spicy white flowers.  SOTE, after my Tatiana left, was Vamp a NY.  I am attempting to organize and track my perfume collection (again).

Yay, look, you get gratuitous Tom Hardy (as Raumont in "Marie Antoinette")! Twice in a week!

Yay, look, you get gratuitous Tom Hardy (as Raumont in “Marie Antoinette”)! Twice in a week!

Wednesday, Feb. 12 – Cold. No school today as it is supposed to begin snowing by 1pm; Gaze went out to do his running before the snow started, as the district indoor track meet is scheduled for Saturday. I went to the grocery store just after lunch, and sure enough – by 1:15 it was coming down heavily. SOTD: PdN Vanille Tonka, which by the way is lovely with snow coming down outside and a fire in the fireplace… and “Marie Antoinette” on TV.  Had a discussion with Gaze about how much better Marie Antoinette’s life might have been had anyone bothered to teach her (or her husband, who honestly seems to have been something of a dolt on his own) about budgeting.

Took The CEO 90 minutes to make the 35-minute drive home, because he didn’t leave Virginia Tech at 1pm as he’d planned to do. He left at 2:15, and by then the snow was really piling up. We watched some Olympics, and I made a prediction that Shaun White, one of my favorites, would not medal this go-round. I hadn’t seen any of his practice runs, I hadn’t seen anything of him at all except a three-second clip of him watching Russian Iouri Podladtchikov (who eventually won the gold for halfpipe), but in those three seconds I realized that White was looking far too intense. Intensity does not seem to pay off for snowboarders or freestyle skiers; they seem to perform much better when they can have fun.  SOTE: L’Arte di Gucci.

Thursday, Feb. 13 – More snow. And more Olympics. SOTD: Soivohle Centennial, which I adore. So cozy.  I wrote, we maintained the fireplace, we ate chili. The boys sledded and drank hot chocolate; The CEO bladed part of the road.  We watched an edited-for-TV version of Black Hawk Down (ooh yay more Tom Hardy!).

valentineFriday, Feb. 14 – The snowfall has stopped, but nobody can get out.  The CEO made me a valentine; I got him a six-pack of Reese’s Cups. More Olympics, more fire, more writing. The neighbor kid came over and sledded with the boys all day; they made a giant snowball and snow chairs. SOTD: Coty Aspen for Women, a fragrance I adored circa 1990… unlike the men’s version, this one’s been discontinued for years and I can’t find any notes for it. I bought “new old stock” on ebay and I still think it’s rather good.  SOTD: L’Arte di Gucci. Man, this is great stuff.

It’s my brother’s birthday.

Saturday, Feb. 15 – Warm, all the way up to 50F! Snow is melting. However, since it’s still difficult to get around, the district indoor track meet has been postponed until tomorrow. We cleaned up the house, and I managed to get out and buy some groceries (as usual, we had exhausted two gallons of milk in three days).  SOTD: Parfum Sacre. Yum.

This would have been The CEO’s father’s 89th birthday.

Sunday, Feb. 16 – Warmish, in the upper 40sF. SOTD: Serge Lutens La Myrrhe. I really should be wearing more aldehydes; this is so lovely.  I dropped Gaze off at the high school and went on to church, where we did a baby dedication for the 16-month-old daughter of our minister and his wife.  Wrote some more in the afternoon, while The CEO went to Tech and graded papers. Then we decided to go out for dinner for Valentine’s Day, to the Chinese buffet in Radford that we like. My La Myrrhe was gone, so I nabbed a spritz of Enchanted Forest – because blackcurrant goes pretty well with Chinese.

Gaze, being helped with his bow tie at District Band concert a few weeks ago. So handsome.

Gaze, being helped with his bow tie at District Band concert a few weeks ago. So handsome.

While we were out, Gaze texted me that he would be returning to the high school in 15 minutes (why, oh why does the child never let me know when he LEAVES someplace? I’ll say, ‘hey, let me know when you might be back,’ and ‘please let me know how the event went’ and things of that nature, but he never does), and then was surprised when he had to wait for us to get there. The CEO had estimated by the number of schools participating and the number of events to be run, it would take them until at least 8pm to return.

We were wrong. And thennnnnn… then, we found out that not only did Gaze not run any events, it was because his coach did not enter him in any events.

??!??!

IT’S DISTRICTS. How do you not enter your athletes? He wasn’t the only one, either. We have an excellent hurdler on the girls’ team, someone with a legitimate shot at placing at the state level… and she didn’t run. Because she wasn’t entered.

I am upset. I don’t know how a coach can do that to her kids, I just don’t get it at all. I know this teacher is new to coaching, but she did fine as a co-coach of the cross-country team in the fall along with the previous year’s assistant (the head track/XC coach left for a job with a larger program near his hometown last summer). It is just unbelievable to me.

This is my sister-in-law’s birthday. (The one that’s married to my brother. Yes, their birthdays are two days apart. Which is kind of cool.)

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Christmas 2013

Okay, so this is my house. This is my house at Christmas. As you can clearly see, it is being guarded by a demon dog with glowing eyes.rsz_dec11_jan_12_012(Okay, not really a demon. It’s our Hayley-dog. But she looks scary enough here.)

Christmas was lovely. Got to see my parents, and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Sunday, we had dinner with my aunts and uncles and my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew Doodlebug, who is really growing!

Got a nice little ELPH camera for Christmas so I don’t have to keep asking to borrow The CEO’s big fancy one. A nice sweater, a scarf, some books, a cute pair of sterling silver & cubic zirconia earrings, a trial size of LUSH Rose Jam shower gel, some Amouage Memoir lotion, and a 15ml bottle of Hermes Kelly Caleche EdP.  A nice haul!

I’ll be reviewing Kelly Caleche soon, the EdT as well as the EdP if I can find my sample of the EdT.

Hope everybody else who celebrates had a lovely Christmas as well.

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Replacement Bed

So I’m replacing my bed.

Big whoop, you say.

BUT IT IS. It SO IIIIIIS. If you know me at all, you probably know that I have had this bed, this full size bed handmade in solid maple, since I was ten years old. It’s a weird bed – bedskirts don’t fit it because of the way it’s made, and it is so high that you really have to “climb” into bed. I used to keep a little stool in the bedroom so our toddler-age children could get up onto the bed with us.

This bed used to be my dad’s. Before it belonged to my dad, it belonged to some person or persons unknown whose ancestors probably made it out of necessity, and the ancestors did as good a job as they possibly could on it, smoothing the wood and making it pretty, and the inheritor(s) then looked at it, circa 1951, and said, “Good Lord, who on earth needs a freakin’ ROPE BED?? Better sell it to this nice lady with four kids.”

These are the pieces of my old bed. See the holes where the rope goes?

These are the pieces of my old bed. See the holes where the rope goes?

If you have never seen a rope bed, well, here ya go. The way these were supposed to work is that you attached a rope at the head or the foot, and then snaked it through all the little holes, like lacing up a shoe: head to foot to head to foot. Then you put your mattress tick on top of the ropes. But what do ropes do? Of course, they stretch. So if you had a rope bed, eventually you were going to wind up with your butt on the floor. This is why people started connecting headboards and footboards with siderails instead, and laying slats across so that the mattress wouldn’t fall through. Smart, see?

So my grandmother bought it, and had siderails made specially for it. Now, more than 60 years later, the metal pieces of the siderails have dug into the wood of the head- and footboard so that now they don’t fit squarely, and the bed creaks ominously, rocking back and forth, when you crawl into it, or, if you are The CEO, when you HEAVE YOUR BODY OVER IN A VICIOUS WHIRL, SEIZING ALL THE COVERS IN THE SAME MOTION.

It is scary.

Furthermore, we have been unable to find anybody skilled enough and/or willing to repair the bed.

So I looked at replacing it. But it took forevvver, because 1) nobody but nobody makes really nice bedroom furniture out of maple now. There’s boring plain “natural maple,” which looks like BREAD instead of wood, or if you go “vintage maple” you get this weird orange-tinged wood that looks like somebody baked orange Play-Doh, which was apparently common in the 1940s.  Nice Maple, the color you get when you take the time to hand-rub tung oil (no, not tongue oil, that’s gross) into maple wood, looks sunny and golden. Like honey, or light maple syrup for that matter. All my other bedroom furniture, except my bedside cabinet which is oak, is Nice Maple.  Matching it up was gonna be tough.

Reason 2) is that I told The CEO how much it was likely to cost to buy a new bed, and his head literally hit the ceiling.

Well, no, not literally literally.  But still. He was aghast.

So. After much searching, I found a sort-of-nice-looking bed for cheapish on the Internetses. Head-and-footboard, standard metal rails, adjustable from full to queen. (Which was good, because The CEO did not want to buy a new mattress as well, even though the mattress on our bed I BOUGHT MYSELF before we got married… 21 years ago… $600 well-spent, if you ask me. It’s still comfortable.)  Anyway, it was purportedly “solid hardwood,” but the company wouldn’t tell me what kind of hardwood, with a finish they called “Salem Maple.”

It is not quite the same honey color as my dresser and chest of drawers, but it is close to Nice Maple, perhaps a bit paler, with very little visible wood grain. I was distressed, however, to find a big ding on the footboard. I reported my complaint (the gouge was not noticeable until I tried to put the bed together, and then it was really noticeable!). The company has now shipped me an undamaged footboard in exchange for the old one, and for the first time in 35 years I have a new bed.

New bed. Not too different from the old bed.

New bed. Not too different from the old bed.

It looks pretty good. I bought risers for it, because it was 6-7 inches below where (at least in my mind) a bed should be, practically like sleeping on the floor. Now it’s maybe an inch or so lower than I’m used to, but it’s quite manageable. And yeah, the risers are 5″ tall ugly black plastic. But they work. I have only stumbled out of bed once, when my foot came to the floor quicker than I expected.

And we sleep okay in it. The mattress is still in good shape, and the bed frame does not move when we move.

Pray God it doesn’t fall apart.

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RANDOM: TRACK MEETS, MAYFLOWER SOCIETY LUNCHEON, RAIN, AND THE LOVE FANTA

Gaze coming in 2nd in the 800m last week.  His hair even looks great when he runs, doesn't it?

Gaze coming in 2nd in the 800m last week. His hair even looks great when he runs, doesn’t it?

Gaze and Taz had two (middle-school) track meets last week, and then their season was over.  Gaze, an eighth-grader, has done well, finishing anywhere from 2nd to 6th in his 800m and 1600m races, depending on how many teams were participating in the meets. Now that the middle school season is done, he’s returned to practicing with the high school team after school, where he’s keeping up very nicely.  The high school coach says he’s a hard worker and is poised to turn in some good performances next year, particularly as he’s coached in race-running strategy (a thing the middle-school track coaches never seem to address).

Taz, armed and dangerous, May 2010

Taz… okay, let me tell you about Taz. Taz, in general, has two speeds: snail’s  pace, or the speed of light in a vacuum, depending on whether he wants to be doing whatever it is that he’s doing.  When he’s racing his brother, or to be more specific, when it’s his idea to be racing his brother, he’s pretty focused. He can actually beat Gaze, who’s two years older, at shorter distances.  However, when Taz is running in a meet, he’s not completely engaged. He goofs off, swings his head, looks around, yells back at his parents encouraging him to run faster. (“I AM RUNNING FASTER!”) And with all of this, he was still finishing smack in the middle of the pack,  not at the rear where you’d expect him to be considering his goof-off running style and his 6th-grader leg length. Thing is, The CEO (a standout distance runner himself in high school) thinks he might actually become a better runner than his brother at some point – if he decides he wants to be. Taz is one of those people who will be wildly successful once he finds something that really engages him.

Scents worn this week: Cuir de Lancome, several times (I’ve been spritzing more heavily than usual, and in the far drydown discovered a lovely cool benzoin, along with the iris and leather, hawthorn and creamy saffron, that I had not before noticed). Chanel 1932, the newest boutique fragrance, which is fleeting but just so so so pretty.  Crown Perfumery Crown Bouquet, which just makes me happy! Le Temps d’une Fete, of course, and the first Ines de la Fressange, which is a beautiful peachy-rose aldehyde atop a real-sandalwood base. Shame that one’s discontinued.

Bookworm participated in a large meet on Saturday morning, where she turned in a personal-best time in her leg of the 4 x 800m, anchoring her team in qualifying for the regional meet even though the first two runners (one with a stomach bug and one still learning how to pace) finished with times almost ten seconds slower than their best.  Kudos to Erin, Emily, Anne Kelly and Bookworm! Interestingly enough, each member of that team belongs to a different graduating class: Bookworm’s a senior, Erin’s a junior, A-K’s a sophomore and Emily’s a freshman. That bodes well for the future, I think.

Then we packed up and drove 40 minutes up the interstate to a lunch meeting of the Virginia Mayflower Society, where Bookworm accepted a scholarship award for her essay. I may have mentioned this before, but we found out about the scholarship a few months ago when The CEO’s mother found some old documents belonging to her mother-in-law. The CEO’s grandmother, a descendant of John Alden, had applied for membership to the District of Columbia Society of Mayflower Descendants in 1923, which we thought was odd since she was a lifelong resident of Virginia. As we discovered with some internet research, the Virginia Society did not exist until 1950 – and also, they offer an annual essay scholarship.  (Applicants need not be members of the society, but they must be residents of Virginia.) We were very proud of her, particularly since we heard from one of the scholarship judges that the decision was unanimous, even before they knew that Bookworm can claim relationship to one of the Pilgrims.

Michael York as Tybalt, 1968

Michael York as Tybalt, 1968

Then we changed out of our dresses/suit-and-tie and returned to the meet so that she could run a 3200m race. Before she even started, she was feeling vaguely queasy, so I wasn’t terribly surprised when her coach pulled her out after the first mile for abdominal cramps. (Both The CEO and I shared the headache/stomach upset symptoms over Sunday, so she may have had some touch of a virus.) When we got home, she and I watched the gorgeous 1968 Zeffirelli production of “Romeo and Juliet” while she rewrote some Physics notes. (She likes Leonard Whiting’s Romeo; I’m partial to the mellow-voiced Michael York as Tybalt, myself.)

It started raining yesterday afternoon, so of course now my internet capability is slow. We have DSL, and normally it’s fairly fast, but rain seems to play havoc with our telephone service on a consistent basis (the trunk lines are old, and Verizon has said they have no intention to replace them). Everything is beautifully spring-green outside due to the rain, though.

As you might expect, Taz and Bookworm have frequent run-ins. Partly it’s the difference in their personalities: she’s disciplined, he’s not; she’s easily-annoyed by noises and he loves making them; she’s bossy and he’s stubborn. Part of it may be their age difference. I’m four and a half years older than my sister, and until we were adults we had our own difficulties. My sister’s five and a half years older than our brother (yes, that means I’m ten years older than my brother!), and they had their own difficulties too. Bookworm’s got five and a half years on Taz, and I’m convinced that’s just an awkward variance in terms of development.  Ah well.

Because Taz came home from the end-of-season track team party on Thursday with a special gift for his sister, who had the evening before been vocally annoyed with her father for having consumed the last of the root beer without leaving any for her.  Taz even put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold, with a note attached so that no one (ahem) would mistake his intent.

"Do not drink it Dad"

“Do not drink it Dad”

I have hope for their loving sibling relationship, yet.

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More Bookworm: prom 2013

Yeah yeah yeah, it’s a Bookworm-fest over here this week.  A few pics for you, and a review of Jacomo Silences eau de parfum Sublime coming on Monday.

Bookworm and PETBoy.  It was windy yesterday, can you tell?

Bookworm and PETBoy. It was windy yesterday, can you tell?

SOTE: her favorite Bath & Body Works Dark Kiss.

THE HAIR. And a closer look at some of the lace and beading on the dress.  If any of you know Ruth K (Dear Daisy) - she made those earrings, and they were a perfect match!

THE HAIR. And a closer look at some of the lace and beading on the dress. If any of you know Ruth K (Dear Daisy, the Queen Enabler of Perfumedom) – she made those earrings, and they were a perfect match!

Bookworm ran a 4 x 800M relay race at a track meet in the morning (her team won – big) and then a 1600M in the early afternoon (she finished 6th, not a great race for her but respectable), and was home at 3:15pm. She was showered and dressed and made-up and bejeweled and shod and coiffed by 4:45pm, which was astounding if you ask me.

Pinning on boutonniere. Doesn't PETBoy look handsome?

Pinning on boutonniere. Doesn’t PETBoy look handsome?

Bookworm and PETBoy met up with some friends – several of the same ones they went to the Homecoming Dance with last fall – and had dinner before going on to the prom.

Another look at the dress, because she was just so pretty in it.  (Squee!)

Another look at the dress, because she was just so pretty in it. (Squee!)

And after prom, they went to a local community-sponsored after-prom party (games, snacks, movies – all supervised fun designed to prevent unhealthy post-prom choices).

PETBoy's grandfather's restored 1961 Ford Galaxie Starliner.  (I myself went to prom in 1986 in a 1967 1/2 Galaxie 500. Sigh.)

PETBoy’s grandfather’s restored 1961 Ford Galaxie Starliner. (I myself went to prom in 1986 in a 1967 1/2 Galaxie 500. Sigh.) Admit it, you want to ride in this thing, too…

Home at 5:11am this morning, tired but happy, which is the way you should feel after senior prom.

 

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Scent Diary, Jan. 14-20, 2012

Well, finally, Scent Diary returns. Can’t really explain why it took a hiatus, except that writing it was boring me to tears and then when you stop writing it for several days you can’t go back and remember what went on… so I just picked up again on a Monday, and now it’s back.  BTW, all photos except the hot chocolate one (which has a Flickr link) are mine.

Snow Jan 2013Monday, Jan. 14 – Wet, raining buckets. If it were colder, we’d be getting snow. We’ve had warmer-than-usual temperatures all winter, and I for one do not like it. The CEO’s happy; the warmer weather is easier on cattle since they don’t have to eat constantly to keep their body temperatures up. But I like my couple of months of cold weather. I was a kid in the 1970s, which was one of the coldest decades of that century, and of course cold winters seem normal to me. SOTD: Guerlain Metallica, which I see that I have never reviewed… it’s nice. I have a decant.

Tuesday, Jan. 15 – Wet, still raining buckets. SOTD: Jacomo Silences edp Sublime. I like it a lot; it reminds me of Chanel No. 19 in the current edp version. (Well, I say current. It’s not available in the US, but I ran across it in the Rome airport Duty Free shop when we went to Malta in 2010, and I spritzed some on both times we were there. I don’t even know if Chanel still makes it or not, but I found it far preferable to the current edt, which seems thin and sharp.) It lasted very well through my eye appointment, the first in about six years.

Regarding that checkup: my eyes are in good health, but I have a small amount of myopia in addition to the age-related close-up focusing problem that has been annoying the pants off me for at least three months now. So my prescription is for, get this, bifocals. Gah. I won’t have to wear them all the time, but for any task where I’m reading and doing something else at the same time (say, cooking from a new recipe, or crocheting on the couch while watching TV). Bleah. In any case, I went ahead and ordered my new glasses, thin metal frames with no rim on the bottom of the lenses. I rather like them.

The other fragrance that new Silences reminds me of is Deneuve, so I pulled that out once the Silences wore off and wore it.

Wednesday, Jan. 16 – Wet. Still raining buckets. SOTD: Chanel No. 19. Wearing this, and discussing it with friends on Facebook, made me want to get out all the green-floral-almost-chypres I know and test like side by side on my arm, so I could run my nose up and down my arm as if it were a smell-harmonica. Weird, I know. But wearing Silences edp Sublime yesterday made me think of No. 19 EdP, which I don’t own (and which is d/c at least in the US, though they had it at the Rome airport Duty-Free in 2010). And I was also thinking of L’Eau de Chloe, Deneuve, and Silences. Oh, and AG Heure Exquise as well. Very similar compositions those.

Not feeling so awesome today. After dinner (yummy leftover pasta), I took a bath and went to bed. SOBedtime: Shalimar Light.

Thursday, Jan. 17 – Wet. Supposed to snow later today as temperatures drop. The CEO snurfled my neck this morning and said, “What are you wearing? You smell smoky.” SEEEE? Shalimar, even Shali Lite, SMELLS LIKE WOODSMOKE. On me, anyway. SOTD, post-shower: Black Cashmere.

Poor Bookworm is driving herself crazy with the statistics for her Science Fair Project. Each Virginia Governor’s School student must prepare one, and it’s a grade. Last year was bad enough, but this year she’s supposed to do something different with her survey statistics and she says she doesn’t understand how to interpret them. The snow will prevent her from going to school tomorrow to use the school computers, so I’ll have to download the software so she can do it here.

It did snow – we got maybe 6-7 inches! It was supposed to continue snowing through the night, but it had stopped by 8pm. More Black Cashmere for bedtime.

Hayley and kids Jan 2013Friday, Jan. 18 – Snow on the ground, sun in the sky. It’s lovely. The boys were up early to put on snow gear and go out into the pasture behind the house, where there’s a slope that’s good for sledding. The dog was absolutely beside herself with joy. She likes to roll around in snow, and she loves playing with the kids, and both at once is her personal (canine-al?) idea of heaven. Neighbor kid, Makayla, came over to sled as well, so there were plenty of people for Hayley to chase around.

Bookworm was feeling sorry for herself this morning at breakfast: beautiful snow she doesn’t have time to play in, and this Science Fair project that she hates is driving her crazy, and she wishes she had never done Governor’s School in the first place, and if high school is driving her crazy how is she going to manage college? Poor baby. The CEO spent some time commiserating about Science Fair and talking to her about the benefits of taking the hard classes now and getting used to what will be expected from her in college, and I think it helped. Eventually, she did go outside and sled for about an hour, and it seemed to do her good.

Bookworm sleddingSOTM: Vintage Coty L’Aimant PdT. After lunch, performed all manner of embarrassing beauty rituals, such as coloring my hair (I am getting a few gray hairs here and there, but mostly what bothers me is the way my hair goes a dull light brown in the winter and takes color away from my face) and neatening my brows. Showered. SOTA: Antonio Visconti Alhambra, a sample sent by a friend. I know very little about the line and the few notes I remember from looking up the fragrance online include classic florals on an oriental base. It’s got some nice orange blossom and rose and a raspy, Shalimar-like opoponax/vanilla vibe.

Picked up my new bifocals today. I’m getting used to them. My sister-in-law E and her kids are visiting her mom, so they all came over to have dinner with us.

Saturday, Jan. 19 – Still snow on the ground but a clear sky. My niece and nephew came over and played in the snow with the boys and Makayla. They made a snowball five feet tall and then had to quit because they couldn’t roll it anymore, and after that my nephew Curiosity made a snow chair, complete with ottoman, side table, and cup holder… so of course he had to come up to the house and ask for a cup of hot chocolate to PUT in the cup holder! It amused me no end. SOTD: Organza Indecence.

The CEO took Bookworm to a track meet today. She was only running one event, the mile, and she hadn’t run that since she was a freshman! She placed 10th, not fabulous, but decent. Her time was maybe 6-7 seconds slower than she’d wanted, but it was a PR for her.

I ran out of the prepackaged hot cocoa mix packets, so I dug around and found a recipe for my own. Here it is, adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe:

Hot Chocolate
Hot Cocoa Mix

2 cups powdered sugar (I didn’t have any, having finished the bag making icing for my birthday cake last week, so I threw 2 cups of granulated in the blender and spun it around for about twenty seconds. That makes it “superfine” and more dissolvable. Works just great.)

1 cup cocoa (Alton recommends Dutched cocoa, but I didn’t have any of that either. The Hershey’s Dark cocoa I had on hand worked just fine.)

2 cups powdered milk

½ cup dry coffee creamer (I had plain, but you could probably use flavored if you want)

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cornstarch (optional, I didn’t use it)

Mix all ingredients together and store in jars. (Alton also recommends a pinch of cayenne pepper, which Bookworm and I would probably like, but I left it out because Taz and The CEO don’t really care for spice heat.) To prepare, spoon 2-3 heaping tablespoons into a mug and add 6-8 ounces of hot, not boiling, water. Stir thoroughly and top with mini-marshmallows if you wish.

We made so many mugs of hot cocoa that I RAN OUT of clean mugs!! All 13 of them (yeah, I have a lot of mugs) wound up in the sink or the dishwasher.

Sunday, Jan. 20 – Good church service today. SOTD: Dior Dolce Vita edt. I sold the bottle I had because I just wasn’t wearing it often, but some kind soul sent me a 2ml sample. I do still have two tiny 5ml parfum bottles – so pretty, and the juice is incredibly rich.

Bookworm discovered that she had a crucial error in her raw data, so she and The CEO spent most of the day correcting the error and re-running her statistics tests. The boys and I went to see my parents, who’d wanted to have us over to celebrate my birthday. Mom fed us turkey breast, broccoli with cheese sauce, re-stuffed potatoes, strawberry pretzel salad, fresh rolls, and scalloped apples, with chocolate cake for dessert. YUM. We Skyped with my brother in Florida and then my sister in Texas. (My brother-in-law is due back from Afghanistan sometime in the 1st or 2nd week of February, and my sister will be SO GLAD to have him home.)

On the drive home, I discovered an absolutely delicious smell clinging to the sleeves of my leather jacket, which I hadn’t worn in several days at least. Couldn’t identify it at first, which was frustrating because it smelled so wonderful. But finally it came to me: a bit of Cuir de Lancome, plus some Amouage Memoir Woman. So when we got home, I spritzed a bit of each. Wow, it was fabulous!

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Scent Diary, Nov. 19-25, 2012

Monday, Nov. 19 – A nice warm day, for mid-November. Testing Donna Karan Black Cashmere and Tauer Perfumes L’Air du Desert Marocain. LAdDM is very nice, but perhaps the Tauer base (characterized by labdanum and Ambroxan, I think) is too thick and sweet. I think it’s a little too assertive for what I was looking for. But Black Cashmere could very well be the eye-opening, “this-can’t-be-perfume!” smell that captivates my shy character in one of my novels, the thing I’ve been looking for.

Noticed today that one of the houses on Maple Street in town, close to where we lived before moving to the farm, is ALREADY decorated for Christmas. Already! It’s SIX WEEKS until Christmas! It looks nice, actually: two 7-foot artificial trees on either side of the front door, trees and front porch decorated with white lights and gold ribbon, eye-catching but not garish. All the same, I do not get it. The town put up Christmas decorations last Thursday, and I don’t get that either. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t enjoy Christmas decorations or Christmas music or Christmas anything until about the first weekend in December, and we don’t start decorating the house until about Dec. 10. We don’t get our tree before the 15th! I find that when I start seeing decorations this early, I’m extremely tired of them before Christmas even shows up, and what’s the point in that? I know people like to do it, and there’s nothing wrong with it exactly, I just don’t understand how they don’t get completely sick of trees and wreaths and garland and ribbons and what-not in about three weeks. Maybe I have low tolerance, I dunno.

Bookworm had a relaxing night, very little homework. So glad for her. She watched part of “Chicago” on TV with her dad and me (and was shocked by the women’s costumes, judging by her frown) before going off to bed at a decent hour.

Tuesday, Nov. 20 – Another warmer day, in the mid-50sF. Virginia Tech is on Thanksgiving break, so The CEO is home, doing laundry and entering grades online. I’m home, doing some straightening up/cleaning, some mending, some holiday planning, some online Christmas shopping, and a teensy bit of writing. SOTD: YSL Nu EdP, another floral incense. Nu is… well, weird. I like the cardamom-incense, but there’s a strange dry-sour uncomfortable thing in there that I don’t like. Could be vetiver, I’m not sure.

Nu, I have to say, makes me think of the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” the part where Sir Arthur and Sir Bedivere run into the threatening Knights Who Say Ni! in the forest, and they ask for a shrubbery… Arthur and Bedivere torture an old lady in a nearby town for information about shrubberies, by saying, “Ni!” to her. That is, Arthur says ni to her, but Bedivere can’t quite get it right at first. He says “Nu!” and Arthur has to coach him. (Watch it at Youtube here, if you like – the part I mean runs from about 2:47 to 3:00.) Continue reading

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Scent Diary, October 29 – November 4, 2012

See? SNOW. In October. Granted, wimpy snow, but still, SNOW.

Monday, Oct. 29 – We did get some inclement weather, thanks to Hurricane Sandy: some snow (blowing, not sticking), some rain, lots of wind. I kept expecting to lose power, because we frequently do (mountains are full of trees, ya know, and trees lose limbs, and limbs fall on power lines), but it may be that we already lost all the vulnerable tree limbs during the derecho earlier in the year, or Appalachian Power Co already did the necessary maintenance on getting tree limbs away from the power lines. Electricity is out in several of the surrounding areas.Doing a “frankenfume” – a layering experiment with the loudest perfumes one owns, proposed by a friend on my Facebook perfume group – with vintage Dior Poison and the similarly-freaky Tableau de Parfums Loretta. Whoa. People can probably smell me in town, three miles away.

Working on helping Bookworm edit her college application essays. Grrrrr. She’s so exhausted – I wish all her extracurriculars would end soon. At least she got to stay home from school today.

Tuesday, Oct. 30 – Another Hurricane Sandy day, with wind and rain. I’m planning for a semi-historical novel for NaNoWriMo – set here in a nearby town, beginning in the early 1930s and continuing to follow the same family into the 60s. SOTD: vintage Bellodgia “parfum de cologne”, which is really lovely, decant sent to me by a generous friend.  Continue reading

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Scent Diary, October 1-7, 2012

 

Happy 12th birthday to Taz!!

This has been a terribly boring week. The laptop has behaved, but now the desktop computer is being strange…

Monday, Oct. 1 – Rain. SOTD: Soivohle Centennial.. Did the usual weekly grocery shopping… holy cow, Taz will be twelve this Friday! Gaze was supposed to have a football game this afternoon, but rain has delayed it to next week.

Tuesday, Oct. 2 – Rain in the morning again, gradually clearing up toward afternoon. SOTD: PdN Vanille Tonka. VT was one of the very first niche scents I fell for, in early 2009, and I still love it. The CEO went out of town this evening in order to do a presentation for the Agricultural Technology program at Virginia Tech, so he was gone and I watched Something That Was Not Football on TV. Made chocolate chip cookies after dinner, too.

Wednesday, Oct. 3– Sunny. Finally made it to the salon to get that haircut I’ve been needing for a couple-three weeks now! Got a longish shag which I don’t like much… it’s too flat. And dull. Should I color?? SOTD: Carthusia Lady, from a sample. I’m a little on the fence with it, but will discuss further in a mini-review.

Gaze was late getting out of football practice and Bookworm was having a how-can-I-get-all-this-homework-done? panic, so we skipped small group tonight, and I missed it. There was going to be a bonfire. SOTE: Deneuve.

Thursday, Oct. 4 – Nice weather today! Beautiful fall. SOTD: Tabac Aurea, the epitome of autumn for me. Good rehearsal at community choir, too. I am kind of getting sick of testing new stuff… I want to just wear and enjoy my standbys. I’m not bored at all with perfume, but I want to have fun with it instead of analyzing the heck out of it. Sigh. This feeling comes and goes.

If I goop up my hair with gel and curl it a bit, it’s much more attractive. More work, too, but since my hair looks awful when it’s flat, I suppose I’ll keep doing it.

 

Tuba Dakota running around hugging EVERYBODY and mugging for the camera. The kid has so much fun, it should be illegal. PETBoy is a tolerant soul, isn’t he?

Friday, Oct. 5 – Brrrr. Chilly today. I did some cleaning and some laundry. It’s Taz’s birthday; he turns twelve today. I am having a hard time encompassing all the time that’s gone by since he was born… sigh.  SOTD: I’m testing some new Micallefs.

Chaperoned the band to one of our few Away games that we don’t have to travel far for. The team we played tonight was runner-up for state champion last year in our size division, so we were expecting to lose big. Instead, we won, 17-14. Surprise! The band did not perform a pregame show because it was Recreational League Recognition night, so the kids just wore their official warmups instead of uniforms. I think they enjoyed not having to worry about keeping uniforms clean, especially since they’ll be spending most of the day in them tomorrow for competition. SOTE:Organza Indecence. I smell nice.

 

The tubas escort the “tied-up” color guard across the field. Note the color guard member (it’s PETBoy’s sister Haley) in borrowed band uniform. She’s going to “cut” the color guard loose in a moment, so that they can escape to begin the mutiny.

Saturday, Oct. 6 – Cloudy at home. Got up early, cleaned house, grabbed quick lunch for myself and Bookworm on the way to the high school, where she had been taking SATs. SOTD: Vanille Tonka again, and it lasted most of the day – which is good, because the day was looooong. Another marching band competition today. We got there too early and then had delays getting on the field, so Bookworm was sort of going crazy with all that time on her hands and no way to spend it doing physics homework. It was hot in the afternoon, followed by chilly-windy weather, and the concession stand was mobbed… I stood in line 28 minutes and moved forward about six feet; I think the kids ahead of me kept letting their buddies cut in line. Eventually I gave up, and after the competition we went for fast food on the way home.

 

PETBoy prepares to spin the “ship’s wheel” attached to the drum major’s podium, near the end of the show.

The show went well; some new elements were added that add to the effect, and the music was better than it was at the last competition, but the marching was a little sloppy. I don’t know why. We came in second (a very close second, apparently, according to the score sheets) overall in our size class, but won percussion, color guard, and general effect. Three more competitions this season…

I had some vintage Caron Poivre (Thanks, Daisy!) in a little spray bottle in my purse, so I spritzed some of that to help on the chilly ride home, which was punctuated by Dakota the ADHD trumpet player’s constant talking. Constant loud talking. He may have been due for another Adderall dose, or maybe it was the large chocolate milkshake he had for dinner, but the kid Would. Not. Shut. Up. And I did have to break up a too-cozy couple, too – PDA is frowned upon by both the director and myself, so I did manage to tell Alex and Becka to keep it appropriate. Alex is a section leader and should know better, but he is also a teenage boy.

In bed by 1:30 a.m. Exhausted.

Sunday, Oct. 7 – Chilly-cloudy again. Looks like our lovely autumn weather is over – it’s getting down to upper 30s at night and not getting above 65 in the afternoons all this coming week. SOTD: Parfum Sacre. Which seemed sort of faint to me, and I wonder if the weather was affecting my nose. Nothing had much of a smell at all.

In the afternoon, we had family members over for birthday cake and presents. It’s been nice to celebrate both boy birthdays on the weekend between the two, when that’s possible. Taz requested red velvet cake, so we had cake and punch and ice cream. Yum.

SOBedtime, after bath: B&BW Velvet Tuberose body cream. Still nice stuff. I like the fragrance better in the bath products than in the EdTs.

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