Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day): Happy birthday, Bookworm! 16 today.
Hot and hectic… I rushed around a lot and cooked a lot for the birthday dinner and had about six things go wrong, and it took foreeeeeeverrrrr… Dinner was pot roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions, with salad and rolls, and the birthday girl chose red velvet cake with cream cheese icing and vanilla bean ice cream. It was good – but who on earth wants pot roast in 88F weather?? SOTD: Lauren by Ralph Lauren, vintage used bottle via ebay. This is “80s week” for some perfumista friends on Facebook, and although Lauren was released in 1978, it smells like the 80s to me. I had college friends who wore Lauren, and if I tell you that I graduated from college in 1990, you can do the math there.
Tuesday, May 31: Can May really be gone already?? Guess so. It’s 91F today. The sun is shining, birds are singing, and it smells like grass and honeysuckle and locust blossoms outside. I hung out six loads of laundry, and it all got dry. SOTD: Yves St Laurent Paris, vintage mini via ebay. Boy, this thing is a humongous floral bomb. I like humongous floral bombs (you were not in doubt of this, were you?). The CEO has been waiting for pretty weather for weeks, and now that we’ve got sunshine, he’s makin’ hay.
We went to the band banquet this evening. Bookworm has been selected as one of next year’s section leaders for the alto saxes, and I’m proud of her. (Warning: Mom Bragging coming. Skip if this bugs you.) She started out on clarinet in 6th grade, but in 8th grade switched to saxophone because the only sax player in her grade moved away. Since then she’s also played bass clarinet in concert band. As a freshman, her section leader asked if she could march with a tenor sax because the band was short on tenors, so she tried it – but since she’s 5’1” on a tall day, the tenor kept hitting her in the knees. That didn’t work, obviously. This year, her 10th grade, she’s done the following: marching band, cross country, indoor track, concert band, outdoor track, and MACC Science (an academic competition). She’s maintained a 4.0 GPA in high school, and was selected to attend the magnet school for math and science next year. She’s done right good, I think. Also, she is terrific, and her dimples are sooooo cute I have to pinch her cheeks every now and then.
Oh, and we’ve got good news and bad news: The bad news is that one of the calves died for no apparent reason. The good news is that Sampson, the twin calf abandoned by his mama that we’ve been bottle-feeding, now has a new mama.
Wednesday, June 1: The 80s Scent Week just came to a screeching halt. I wore [Karl Lagerfeld] Chloe for a little while today, until it just got Too Hot. Too Darn Hot, people. I was outside most of the day, weeding and planting and mowing and hanging out laundry, and I have a headache and I want to cut my arm off. Gah. Washed. Contemplated some of the other scents on my potential list and couldn’t see trying any of them.
The CEO says that he’ll only have time to make two cuttings of hay this summer, instead of the usual three, because he’s mowing so late. The trade-off is that the hay’s very thick for a first cutting; I suppose all that rain was good for something.
Went to Gaze’s 6th grade awards assembly at school today. (You don’t mind if I brag just a little bit about him, do you? If you do mind, just go ahead and skip to the next paragraph.) He’s a good kid, and I’m very proud of him: Academic Achievement Award Silver Seal (GPA between 3.75 and 3.99), 20+ Accelerated Reader Quizzes Passed, and National Physical Fitness Award. He played the trombone in band this year and joined the track team as a distance runner, and is a terrific, likeable kid with a penchant for puns. Also, he has beautiful eyes.
Thursday, June 2: 80s Scent Week is back on, with Revillon Turbulences parfum. This one was released in 1981, and I bought a boxed mini for about $8 from parfum1 or one of those online places, because Fragrantica calls it an aldehydic floral. Had not yet worn it. As of today, I have, and I’m puzzled at the aldehydic part of the description: if aldehydes are there, they’ve decomposed into total baby powder. This is unusual, because my experience with older aldehydic perfumes with wonky topnotes is that they go to acetone (nail polish remover), not to powder. It’s nice. Not exciting, and I can’t see myself wearing it much, but nice. I think I might pass it on to my mom.
The CEO came home at lunch and tried to wheedle me into learning how to run the tractor with the rake, so I could rake hay for him before he baled it. I didn’t want to. I demurred on the same grounds with which The CEO himself, as a teenager, refused to learn how to milk cows (at one point, his dad and uncle were running a dairy as well as the beef cows): he knew that once he knew how to milk, he’d have to do it. I don’t want to become the backup tractor person if Jeff gets sick.
Also, The CEO seems to be concerned that I spend my time at home doing pointless tasks, since I left my paying job. He should be concerned that I’m spending enough time working on my writing, but he is obsessed with efficiency, and with packing every single moment with work. He gets like this in the summers. It’s almost like when he’s not working at the university, he thinks he’s bleeding money. True, the farm does spend money in the summers – there’s labor, and fertilizer costs, and animal meds, and baler twine and fuel for tractors and trucks, and not a lot of money coming in. But that’s why we have the cushion in the bank. Typically, he’ll get just a couple of big checks a year, when he sells yearling calves at the livestock market. Stretch the gross income, minimize the outgo, and whatever you have left over, well, that’s how much you made, and you never know how much you have left over until you finish the year.
This afternoon, Taz came home with a freshly-tie-dyed tee shirt that he just handed over to me to wash. “Here, Mom. Fix it.” (Good grief. Am I the maid-of-all-work, or the magician?) It’s come out looking pretty good, though.
SOTAfternoon: Retesting Laurie Erickson’s new “summer scent” for Sonoma Scent Studio, two versions (B and C). Last time, I preferred C; this time C is too incensey-woody and B is nicer. Weather might be playing a part here.
Friday, June 3: Last day of school. (Now, to plan the summer so that nobody kills anybody else…) It’s less hot and humid than the rest of the week has been, but still good hay weather, with temps in the mid-80s. Considered the big 80s fragrance Sand & Sable: no can do, too sticky outside. 80s Week is back off.
Chauffeured The CEO and helper Corey to a field today, and went out to lunch with The CEO after he finished baling one field. Our local gathering place has been the recently-opened Tha Dawg House, open for breakfast and lunch, with traditional Southern-style breakfasts (biscuits and all the accompaniments, such as sausage, sausage gravy, bacon, eggs, cheese, ham, grits, etc.) as well as burgers and hot dogs with homemade chili. Not the most romantic place, but it was nice.
Finally got round to testing Maison Martin Margiele Untitled. I had been enticed by the green notes but scared off my someone’s mention of an ashtray note. As it turned out, I found the fragrance a very pleasant smell – green, quiet, calm, reflective – but not what I would call a Proper Perfume. I might like to smell it in my house. Oh, well.
SOTEvening: Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur, gorgeous creamy tuberose fragrance. Ahhhh.
Saturday, June 4: Mid-80s again today, beautiful haymaking weather. In consequence I spent a good part of the day ferrying various people to and from various hayfields. Bookworm ran the rake under The CEO’s supervision, and field reports state that she did an excellent job. Still too hot for big 80s scents, so the SOTAfternoon was Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete, my answer to cologne wearers who cannot figure out what I do wear in hot weather – either that, or Moschino Funny!, or Annick Goutal Petite Cherie.
My parents happened to be coming through town, and suggested they take one or more grandchildren with them for a week of “Camp Nana,” but Bookworm is going to be busy this week with marching band leadership activities and with taking a math placement test at the community college for next year’s classes at the Governor’s School for Science and Math. (Good news: college credit in high school. And since it’s through a VA community college, these credits must be accepted at any Virginia college. They’re also accepted at many other colleges. The bad news: Classes start at 7:10 a.m., in the morning. I’ll be dragging her out of bed by her hair, poor baby…)
Sunday, June 5: Another not-too-hot day in which I considered several 80s scents, including the floral chypre Leonard de Leonard, and rejected them. Went with Mary Greenwell Plum.
Took cantaloupe to the church cookout (yum!), then took Bookworm to the University Mall to pick up a new pair of running shoes for her. After the sales guy (a runner himself) watched her jog around the store, he pronounced her an overpronator with a normal foot arch, and brought her six pairs of shoes to try on. She wound up with the same kind of shoe she bought last December. “It just feels right,” she said.
In the afternoon, Bookworm and I helped The CEO move a bunch* of cows with older calves from the Back Side Near Weston’s House field through the Back Side field, into the Whittaker Woods field, and from there into the Seven-Acre Field, in preparation for their receiving an anti-pest topical medicine (similar to Frontline for dogs, it keeps off the flies, fleas, and ticks) and other vaccinations tomorrow. This ought to be the last bunch that hasn’t yet had this treatment this season.
*Because this “bunch” is merely a subset of the entire group of cattle we own, it isn’t a herd. “Herd” tends to imply “the whole group.” But generally, our cows are separated out as to their stage on the reproductive cycle. This bunch was cows with calves who were born last fall.
After all that chasing cattle around the field, we watched “The King’s Speech.” I was dubious about it, first because of the swearing in it, and second because of Colin Firth, who is a fine actor but who for some unknown reason usually gives me the total willies. Bookworm assured me that she’d heard far worse swearing at school (probably true), and other than the swearing, there was nothing objectionable in the film. And Colin did not give me the creeps. I’ve never understood my aversion to him anyway, so the lack of aversion is just as baffling. SOTEvening: Ines de la Fressange (the Calice Becker one from 1999).