End of August, 2017

Along the road to Hana, on Maui. Photo by The CEO. Yes, the water really is that shade of blue.

Well, here we are approaching the end of summer (goodbye, good riddance, don’t let the screen door hit ya in the butt on the way out, August), and I’ve been shockingly remiss in not posting for the last, what, 7 weeks.

There will be a little bit of perfume stuff in this post. There will be some family stuff, some vacation stuff, and some maybe-future stuff. Read on. 🙂

So back in the early part of the summer, The CEO was invited to do a seminar through the Extension office of the University of Hawaii on the island of Kauai, in July. We had visited Kauai following his NACTA (National Association of College Teachers of Agriculture) convention in Honolulu last summer, and fell in love with the place.

Beach near our rental condo, Kapaa, Kauai. Photo by The CEO.

We’ve now been to four of the five populated islands of Hawai’i (well, okay, we did actually set foot on Molokai during our recent trip from Oahu to Maui, when our little inter-island plane set down to let a passenger off), and Kauai is the place where we felt most comfortable. It is considerably more rural/small-town than the other islands, even the non-resort area of Big Island, and there is a general friendliness and a regard for island life (culture, ecology, conservation, a spirit of aloha) I didn’t notice elsewhere. There is, I don’t know, a gratitude for Kauai, on Kauai.

Hanalei Bay, Kauai. Photo by The CEO. Beach on one side, beautiful mountain on the other…

In case you are wondering, the perfect fragrances for Hawai’i seem to be Big White Florals such as Frederick Malle Carnal Flower and Byredo Flowerhead — surprise, surprise — and Arielle Shoshana’s delightful passionfruit-focused fragrance, Arielle Shoshana eau de parfum. (Go order a sample here, stat. You won’t be sorry.) I also discovered the wonders of fresh island-grown papaya, and we revisited my favorite Kauai restaurant, Verde, for the best fish tacos I’ve ever had.

That trip took up the last part of July. The day we got home from Hawai’i, Bookworm got home from New Haven, and she’s here for the time being.  She’d still like to go to grad school, I think, but she wants some time away from school and is planning to get a job or long-term internship while she figures out where she’d like to focus her efforts next. I’m just glad to have her home for now.

L-R: Bookworm (22), Ian (13), Ian’s baby brother Erich (9 months), Taz (16), Airin (7), and Gaze (18). Incidentally, this is one of the last pics of Gaze before his hair got buzzed off.

We got to have a little family reunion with my sister and her family, and my brother and his family, at my parents’ house recently. With A in upstate NY and P in Florida, it’s hard to get everyone together. But here are all my parents’ grandchildren in one spot! Mom was thrilled.

New Cadet Gaze at the top of the rappelling tower. This face either means, “I really didn’t want to be up this high,” or maybe, “Get that stupid camera out of my face, I’m doing something here!” Also, notice his distinct lack of hair. Photo via the Commandant’s Facebook page.

Gaze is off to college himself. He is, as I’ve mentioned before, a part of Virginia Tech’s Corps of Cadets program, and he has just completed New Cadet Week, the week-long “boot camp” for incoming freshman. This is the time when new cadets are issued their uniforms, get their hair cut, learn to make their beds military style, learn to march, begin learning rifle drill, do physical training (PT), and become familiar with the training facilities (the rappelling tower and the obstacle course). Other than letters they might receive, there’s no outside contact for the cadets during NCW: no TV, no internet, no phone. Lights out at 10 pm, room inspections at 6:15 am. That will relax at the end of NCW, after the parade demonstration tomorrow.

Gaze at the obstacle course. Photo via the Commandant’s Facebook page.

Fortunately, the Commandant’s office posts photos (many, many photos!) of New Cadet Week on their Facebook page, so that parents can see what’s going on, and hope to pick out their own cadet by playing “where’s Baldo?”

Taz has started school as well, driving himself to and from with, so far, no issue. He’s a junior, which I can hardly believe, and it looks like he’s going to have a good cross-country season based on his times so far.

I am not quite ready to publish my first e-book; I need to do some hole-patching subsequent to a major overhaul of the original draft. However, I created its digital cover last Thursday and I’m ridiculously excited about it. I’d like to be putting it out around December 1. Stand by for further announcements.

Stuff I’ve been wearing this past week:
Chanel 1932. So pretty. Just so gosh-darn pretty! Delightful citrus with jasmine and, I swear, the lightweight version of its fellow Chanel Les Exclusifs 31 Rue Cambon’s beautiful iris-amber drydown.
Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete. Fruity yellow rose with a bit of talcum powder. I especially love its gentle simplicity.
Carven Eau de Parfum. I can’t really define it, but this is easily identified as a Francis Kurkdjian composition. I like FK’s stuff. I like this. It’s commercial and contemporary, a pinkish floral with patchouli. I’m not sorry I like it.
DSH Chypre. Mostly to bed, because the labdanum is a little disturbing during the day, but yummy.
Leonard de Leonard. Discontinued aaaages ago; I snagged a decant of it from a friend. Remember how vintage Ivoire de Balmain annoyed me because it was both soapy and mossy? This is soapy, mossy, and floral, and apparently that makes the difference for me. The patchouli in this is aged to almost a candy sweetness next to the dry richness of oakmoss; the orange blossom makes it Dove-soapy; the carnation and rose keep it from having that discord that Ivoire strikes me as having. This thing is very very green and very flowery. I go through occasional stages where nothing else suits me.

Share

Scent Diary, July 3-9, 2017

Monday, July 3: SOTD was Hanae Mori Haute Couture. This one is completely unlike the brand’s eponymous “berries with sugar and cream” fragrance in the butterfly packaging. Instead, it’s like a homemade spritzer drink — tart mixed fruit juices livened by sparkling tonic water.

Tuesday, July 4: For the first time in years we’re not having an extended family gathering. One aunt has moved to Florida, one aunt is ill, my mom’s still recovering from surgery and not up to helping yet, and my other aunt felt it was too much for her to handle alone. We took my sweet MIL to visit my parents and ate a nice meal there. It was not terribly hot, but it was so humid that once you stepped outside, you began to sweat immediately. Ugh. SOTD was DSH La Fete Nouvelle, drying hay and sweet musk.

Wednesday, July 5: SOTD was Silences pdt. Spent an unbelievable amount of time gathering things on Gaze’s “New Cadet Packing List” for August (I know, I’ve been working on it for at least three weeks now. I still haven’t bought his computer, either.)

Changed out the “spring” current-season fragrance rotation for the “summer” one. As it turns out, I have a lot of frags I only wear in summer… I highlighted the ones that only come into rotation between June and September.
Front row, L-R: decant of By Kilian Sweet Redemption, Marc Jacobs parfum, Bvlgari Omnia Paraiba, Hermes Kelly Caleche edp, Chanel 1932 parfum and edt, Ines de la Fressange (Calice Becker), and DelRae Wit.
Middle row: Cuir de Lancome, Donna Karan Gold edp, Chanel 1932 edp decant, DSH La Fete Nouvelle, Carven Le Parfum, Mary Greenwell Plum.
Back row: Parfums de Rosine Rose D’Ete, Jacomo Silences pdt, YSL Paris Pont des Amours, Moschino Funny!, Hanae Mori Haute Couture, and Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Yuzu.

Thursday, July 6: Took Taz to driving lessons and then to the orthopedist, in order to rule out possible arthritis in his hip, which his primary care doctor thought was a long shot anyway. (Back in May when the school offered sports physicals staffed by local doctors at $10 a pop, Taz answered a “Do you ever have any pain?” question with “Sometimes my hip pops and hurts,” so he was ordered to have this occasional mild pain evaluated before he could participate in school sports again.) We can consider it ruled out; it appears to be a tight IT (iliotibial) band — common in runners — that’s making his hip pop with certain sideways motions. He’s supposed to do some exercises, but that’s all.

It’s hot. It’s muggy. I hate July. I did manage to go for a quick walk down the gravel drive, then up the paved road to the airport and back home, something like 1.7 miles, and was drenched in sweat by the time I finished.

Then shoved off to a cookout for the church worship team, which was quite nice although the smoke from the fire pit kept drifting over us. SOTEvening was a small spritz of Wit.

Friday, July 7: Last day of driving class, and Taz passed the test so he can legally drive alone now.  Rain in the morning, tapering off in the afternoon, left the air still warm but considerably less muggy. The CEO left on a quick visit to three of his students’ summer internship posts.

SOTD was Mary Greenwell Plum.

Politician George Fox (Jim Carter) speaks to a throne-coveting Prince George (Rupert Everett), in a still from the film set in 1788.
Prince George IV, Prince of Wales, as painted by (the perennially optimistic) Thomas Gainsborough in 1782.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, July 8: Cleaned house with the boys until The CEO got home. Went for a short walk with my MIL, then a longer one in the cool of evening, and watched “The Madness of King George” on TV. Good story, but I admit I’m a little skeptical of Rupert Everett as a young Prince of Wales (later Prince Regent, then King George IV): he’s far, far too slender. Even when young, Prinny had nascent jowls.

Hit 9733 steps before bed. I’d set my goal at 8000 (look, it was just too difficult to get 10K, and it was depressing, so I nudged the goal down to 7500 and then to 8000 when I was starting to hit 7500 consistently) and it was fun to feel the Fitbit buzz at me.

Sunday, July 9: Church at the lake — pretty but really hot, and I got a massive headache in a short period of time. Should’ve taken the umbrella and used it to shield myself — tell me again, why did we give up sunshades? Oh yeah, Coco Chanel and the now de rigeur tan. SOTD was gorgeous Ines de la Fressange, the Calice Becker version.

I’m behind on revising the novel. Again. 🙁

Share

Scent Diary, Feb. 13-19, 2017

Monday, Feb. 13 – Warm (upper 50sF) again. Taz was sick and stayed home from school; I went to pick up his classwork. I worked on revising — no, let’s call it what it is, rewriting the 250K behemoth novel.

I’m trying to wear rose fragrances this week. Today it was Le Galion La Rose, which I really must at least mini-review soon.

Tuesday, Feb. 14 – Colder than yesterday, but not February cold. More like November cold. Dangit. SOTD was Lyric Woman, very lovely. There’s just something about incense fragrances that seems to create a — well, an uncluttered space in the mind, is the closest thing to what I mean. A meditative attitude, maybe.

I am sick. I’ve probably got Taz’s bug.

Happy birthday to my favorite brother!

1982 Shalimar ad

In the evening, I was chatting on Facebook with a writer friend who is working on a novel set in Prohibition-era Chicago, with a protagonist who is a singer in a speakeasy nightclub. We were talking about the general friskiness of young ladies in that time, with music and dress, and smoking in public and short hair, all radical changes from pre-WWI, and I mentioned that you see this radical change in perfume about this time as well. We go from florals and soft florals on oriental bases to bold chypres, leather and tobacco scents, and those full-on, all-out orientals like Shalimar. Long story short, she’d like to smell some of those classics, so I’m going to send samples to her. Can’t wait for the book! Also, this sounds like a whole blog post: Flapper Perfume.

Wednesday, Feb. 15 – This would have been my father-in-law’s 92nd birthday. I miss you, Bill.

Temps in the 40s today, and I’ve resorted to a sweater. This is good. SOTD was going to be a tad of My Sin before I send it to Wynter, but I hate it (maybe it’s gone off? it’s quite vintage), and it is in no way a rose scent, so I washed it off. Wearing By Kilian Rose Oud, which is a jammy rose-vanilla with a bit of wood, nothing particularly oudy about it. Yum. Now I want raspberries.

I managed to get to Bible study in the evening, but I sat there feeling chilled and feverish, so it was not a good idea. When I got home I had a cup of hot tea, took a hot bath with the last of my Arabian rose oil (gosh, I bought that little 3ml bottle years ago on Ebay), put on some Tauer Rose Delight body oil, and went to bed.

Thursday,  Feb. 16 – Still sick. Yuck. Parfum Sacre today, for comfort.

Friday, Feb. 17 – Feeling somewhat better today; did all the normal Saturday cleaning chores. The boys went to play Capture the Flag with the rest of their church youth group – in the dark – and The CEO and I went out for Italian. SOTD was Shalimar Light, since I’ve been writing about flapper perfume and no longer own any actual Shalimar. This is good stuff.

Saturday, Feb. 18 – Gaze left early to go to Regionals indoor track meet. The CEO left around noon to watch him run. Taz and I went shopping for a new bookcase for him, since he has outgrown the one he has. (Yeah, Taz and his books. Eye roll. I just want them up off the floor!) When we got home I was exhausted; maybe I’m not so over this sick as I thought I was. SOTD was Cuir de Lancome. Every time I wear it I think, “Gosh, this is pretty.”

Gaze did very well at the meet. Didn’t win anything, but cut his 3200m time by 9 seconds! Most of our school’s athletes had a good meet, with new PRs popping up all over the place. I’m proud.

Sunday, Feb. 19 – I feel awful again. Stayed home from church. Napped. No perfume. Finished “Flapper Perfume” in the afternoon, though.

 

Share

Scent Diary, Feb. 6 – Feb. 12, 2017

February Roses

Monday, Feb. 6 – Funny how everything appears really bleak at home when you’ve been spending your days in a literal bubble decorated with exotic plants, waterfalls, and strings upon strings of Christmas lights. A sad side effect of vacation. (Luckily, the Drab at Home effect has no effect on people. The boys and the dog look as good to me as ever. :))

Keeping on with the Month of Roses project at Chemist in the Bottle, SOTD was L’Arte di Gucci. The CEO did laundry all day yesterday, but there is STILL a large pile of dirty clothes in the laundry room.

Gaze came home by himself after track practice. “Where’s your brother?” I asked him, confused.
“He’s at a MACC [academic challenge] match. Auburn HS. Should be home by 8 or so.”
“Wait, there was MACC and you didn’t go?” Gaze is captain of the Social Studies team.
“Needed to go to track because we have the conference meet on Wednesday. Besides, I wanted to see how they would do without me.”
As it turned out, they LOST. Boo. Taz is going to have to step up his MACC game next year.

Tuesday, Feb. 7 – Like yesterday, it’s warmer than it should be for February, in the upper 50sF. This is wrong in all kindsa ways. The CEO can cheer about warmer weather all he likes, but I want my winter! Testing Neela Vermeire Rahele this morning, roses later. (Rahele review later, too.) SOTE was Caron Parfum Sacre. So good.

My dad has been in the hospital with breathing difficulties. As it turns out, it’s just bronchitis, but he needed some breathing treatments and heavy-duty meds before they let him go home. Now Mom is sick too. Boo.

Wednesday, Feb. 8 – Warm again. Bleah. At least the kids can go outside to warm up before their races at the track meet today (yeah, they CALL it Indoor Track, but there isn’t enough room to warm up inside, so you just hope it’s not snowing). SOTD was Iris Poudre.

The CEO went to the meet to cheer on the boys. Our teams did unexpectedly well, the girls’ team finishing third by only six points (two points behind the runner-up) and the boys’ team coming in second by one point. ONE. Gaze finished 5th in the 3200M, right behind teammates finishing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th; he’ll go on to the regional meet. Taz finished 8th, not high enough to advance, but he cut his time from last week almost nine seconds, so we’re super proud of that. He barely qualified for conference with a time of 11 minutes 22.77 seconds. His new PR is 11:13.88, go Taz!

They didn’t get home until late, after 1 a.m., poor guys.

Thursday, Feb. 9 – The rain that started last night dried up, but the wind has not abated and it is COLD. This really stinks, because if we’d gotten the cold front before the precipitation, it would have been snow. Grr. Annnnnyway, SOTD is Lolita Lempicka Eau de Minuit, from that bottle I got in Nashville last week. Nice.

SOTE wound up being a dab or two of Tauer Une Rose Chypree, from a sample I’ve had, like… at least seven years. I think it’s going off; it smells a bit like used cooking oil. I never needed any more than a sample of URC because it’s such a powerhouse and I don’t, after all, love it. I just like it. But I think this particular sample, which I’ve used and enjoyed probably a dozen or more times already, should probably be jettisoned.

Friday, Feb. 10 – Had conferences with the boys’ teachers for this semester, except Taz’ drama teacher. It’s okay, I’ll catch up with Mr. McCoy later – he was holding rehearsals for the “Love the Bus” bus-safety presentation that the drama class puts on for the elementary school students in the county. The script changes every year, but it’s meant to be a fun and funny reminder of how to be safe on and around school buses, and what to do in emergencies. Gaze is doing well. So is Taz, except that nobody can read his handwriting. This is a perennial issue. I think his brain works faster than his hand can write. SOTD was the pleasant, pretty Cuir de Lancome.

Bookworm did not get rain in New Haven. Bookworm got snow. Here is a picture of her, at left in the turquoise and gray jacket, in the middle of a friendly snowball fight.

Saturday, Feb. 11 – Went to a gathering of church ladies (nice ones!) for a cupcake-decorating event. That was fun. We didn’t even eat the cupcakes until we were all finished. 🙂 SOTD was again Lolita Lempicka Eau de Minuit, probably too much of it, but it was okay with all the sugar in the air. It’s warm again. Taz is sick: stuffy nose, headache, fever. He’s staying in his room and reading.

My refurbished wind chimes (Grace Notes Earthsong Medium, tuned to a mellow pentatonic scale – click here to listen) came home yesterday, all shined up and repaired! The CEO gave them to me twelve years ago, and they had needed repair. I’m glad to have them back. When Gaze and I took them out of the box and they rang out in the house, Hunter started singing with them. He’s so funny!

Sunday, Feb. 12 – Taz is better today. The bottle of Le Temps d’une Fete was calling to me, and it’s still warm, so I got a good three spritzes in. I’m going to be so sad when it’s all gone.

Share

Scent Diary, January 31-February 5, 2017

Monday, Jan. 30: We got about 3 inches of snow last night, and the word went out that school would be delayed two hours. Seemed reasonable for this amount of snow. Then the phone rang at 6:37 this morning (!!!) with a robocall message that school would now be closed. So the boys were home all day, except for taking the opportunity to get their hair cut (it’s tough to manage that when they’re busy from 8 am to 6 pm every day). I tried to prepare for our upcoming trip.  SOTD was the never-wrong No.5 Eau Premiere.

Tuesday, Jan. 31: The CEO, looking a bit haggard, told me at breakfast that the control panel for the dog’s Invisible Fence was beeping intermittently last night, and it had kept waking him up. He was hoping that I wouldn’t have to stay home this week and take care of getting it fixed because we cannot let Hunter run free. There are too many sheep and goats in close proximity, and then there’s a four-lane highway about 500 yards away (over a rise and past the neighbor’s field). I checked with Invisible Fence and found that the beep means our backup battery needs replacing, but everything should be okay unless we lose power for some reason. Whew.

The Opryland Hotel (uh, sorry, the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center) Cascades Atrium.

We left around 10:30 a.m. and headed for Nashville, TN. This is The CEO’s last year on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (an advisory committee for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association), so his attendance at the annual convention is all paid for by the CBB. I tagged along. The convention is being held at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville this year. I’d never been here before. It is GIGANTIC. I mean HUGE ENORMOUS. I mean, the thing has nine acres of indoor gardens under roof, and that doesn’t include the convention center or the many (expensive boutiquey) shops or the (expensive delicious) restaurants included at the hotel. I keep getting lost. Luckily, the views are lovely even if you have no idea what you’re looking at or how to find your room.

SOTD was the lovely and comfortable Cuir de Lancome, but that had worn off by the time we wanted dinner. I brought a few decants and samples with me, and picked Teo Cabanel Oha because rose chypres go well with food. Dinner at Ravello’s (two floors down from our room) was delicious: lobster and shrimp tortellini, plus homemade bread with fresh-tomato topping, and a glass of Riesling. The bill: $101, with tip. Ouch.

Wednesday, Feb. 1: Much warmer here than at home, though we’re only 1 degree of latitude farther south. The altitude here is just under 600 feet above sea level; home sits at 2103 feet, so maybe that’s the big difference. We ate breakfast buffet at Shoney’s, and then I dropped The CEO off for meetings and went looking for a Wal-Mart, in order to pick up a few things we managed to leave behind. It was an adventure.

Tennesseans are known for driving fast. My aunt lives in Knoxville, TN, and I well remember my dad’s hatred of driving in the area when we visited her; you can be motoring along at what you think is a pretty decent clip, maybe 5-7 miles over the speed limit, and cars with TN plates are whooshing past you, a good 10mph faster. I’ve been driving for a little over thirty years, and Virginia-Tennessee traffic overlaps a good bit — but I can count the number of times I’ve passed a car with Tennessee plates ON ONE HAND. Truth.

Screencapture from the YouTube video for Psychostick’s “Dogs Like Socks” – click through to view it.

I found the cutest coral faux-leather tote at the Mart of Wal, for $8. It reverses to a light peach-pink. Up close, you can tell it’s not leather, but you know what? I like it anyway. DON’T JUDGE ME.

SOTD was Chanel Les Exclusifs 1932 EdP. I’ve mentioned this before – the new version has less of that glorious happy-happy citrus topnote, but the drydown is a lot like a lighter 31 Rue Cambon, so I’m okay with the new stuff. I smellz gud. Dinner was Fajitas for Two at Chuy’s at the nearby Opry Mills mall: $40, including drinks and tip. That’s more like it.

Thursday, Feb. 2: Luncheon honoring the advisory board members who are rotating off their terms of service. While The CEO was in meetings during the afternoon, I went back to the mall and shopped. I bought a nice businessy skirt to go with my black blazer, and a blouse to go with both. Then found Bookworm some “interview clothes” at the Ann Taylor shop, and some jeans for the boys, and then I found myself a $24 bottle of Lolita Lempicka Eau de Minuit. I’ve been waffling on buying a bottle of Lolita Lempicka since Rome; this one (a 2013 LE) was on clearance.

Walked a lot more than I usually do; my Fitbit hit 10K steps before dinner. We ate with the guy from Meat Importers Council of America, and some other CBB members as well as two Kiwis and an Aussie from MICA. Yummy food, good conversation. The LL EdM goes fine with dinner, btw.

Friday, Feb. 3: More meetings for The CEO. I walked some, wrote some, walked some more and wrote some more. SOTD was more LL EdMinuit. Lunch was a salad, and by 6 pm I was utterly starving. And grouchy.

The grouch really did not go away until we ate at Mission BBQ, one of those “upscale fast food” places where you order and pay at the counter just like you would at McDonald’s, but the food is less junky. I had the pulled pork, The CEO had brisket. We had cole slaw and green beans and mac-n-cheese, too. There were six  — count ’em, six! — separate pour-on sauces on the table, as well as a big dousing bottle of “Carolina Vinegar Mix-it-up Sauce.” I tried them all: Bay-B-Que (tomato-based with Old Bay seasoning), Memphis Belle (smoky and sweet red), Tupelo Honey Heat (honey and hot peppers), KC Classic (thick ketchup-based, like Kraft bottled sauce), Texas Twang (classic red sauce darkened by black pepper, Worcestershire and A1), and Smoky Mountain (little bit-a-tomato, lots of black pepper, smoky flavor, thinned by vinegar). They were all good, but my favorite was Smoky Mountain; I really love a vinegar-tomato sauce for pork barbecue.

I find it endlessly fascinating that “barbecue” means different things in different places. For example, there are places where that word means what we southerners would call “cook on an outdoor grill.” I’m not going to say that’s wrong, it’s just not what barbecue means around here. And the variants on BBQ are as different as they are definitive! Virginia isn’t one of the places where people are adamant about their barbecue being done Just So. It isn’t Eastern North Carolina, where if you suggest that the vinegar/spice sauce could use a mite bit of ketchup, you’ll get shunned. It isn’t Texas, where “barbecue” just means beef, brisket and/or ribs, with not an oinker in sight.  It isn’t dry-rub-only, red-sauce-only, Alabama horseradish white sauce, hickory-smoked-only, pork-shoulder-versus-whole-hog, chopped-versus-pulled, “you can’t call it barbecue unless it’s pit cooked for two days,” “our way is the only right way and the rest of y’all are HEATHENS.” Nope. We Virginians might have preferences* with regards to our barbecue, but we’re too busy sampling alllll the forms of barbecue to fight over them. Virginians are the United Nations of BBQ, if you will, and we’re probably happier for it. Red Hot & Blue Memphis-style? East Carolina chopped? Dry-rubbed Texas short ribs? We’ll take whatever ya got.

If somebody says “BBQ” around here without further description, this is likely what they mean, with or without bun. Pic courtesy of Southern Plate (click for link).

(* My BBQ preferences are rather catholic for this area: pulled pork, please, preferably pit-cooked, with a Western North Carolina tomato-vinegar sauce. Pass the Texas Pete hot sauce, and don’t forget the cole slaw. That’s good eatin’. Bookworm loves to come home from Yankeeland 😉 and get her some pulled pork, and my sister would get cravings for pork barbecue that couldn’t be satisfied in the Land of Beef BBQ.)

Saturday, Jan. 4: We checked out of the hotel around 9 a.m., grabbed breakfast at Shoney’s, and got on the road. SOTD was Le Galion La Rose, a pretty almost-soliflore with an ambered woody base. It’s a dull drive, except for going up the western side of the Appalachians near Knoxville. I got hungry again (surprise!) near Bristol, around 4:30 p.m., so we ate late lunch/early supper then, and were home by 7 p.m. The dog was so happy to see us that he wigglebutted his way around the house for a good half-hour!

The boys did well at their track meet today; both of them qualified (Taz by a margin of .04 second) for the 3200M run at their conference.

Sunday, Jan. 5: Got up in time for church, but couldn’t get everybody out the door to be on time. Grr. SOTD is Parfum Sacre because it’s comforting. I’m exhausted, didn’t sleep well, and my ‘puter just ate a gigantic chunk of my Scent Diary. GRRR. I’m not even interested in the Super Bowl. I hate the Patriots. I’ve hated them since the 1980s, when some of their players were bent on embarrassing female sports reporters and the front office had nothing to offer but “boys will be boys, and if you don’t want to be bothered, don’t go in the locker room.” Uh, NOPE. In my opinion, the Pats have never been a classy organization, and Deflategate did nothing to change my opinion. I don’t have an opinion on Tom Brady one way or another, except that he works for some trashy people.

I can’t believe they won. Again. Bleargh. I’m taking a hot bath and going to bed.

Share

Scent Diary, Jan. 15-22, 2017

Monday, Jan. 16: Martin Luther King Junior Day. No school. Last day of The CEO’s winter break. Gaze’s sheep have new lambs. SOTD is Iris Poudre. birthday-present DVD of “The Sting” came in the mail the other day, so we watched it after dinner. Gosh, it’s a good movie, and the performances in it are good… but I can’t help wondering how it would have been with different actors in the lead roles. It seems clear that the Redford role, Hooker, was meant for a young guy, not the 30-something Redford was at the time. Also, just in case you’ve never noticed, the guy playing Hooker’s fellow con man Luther at the beginning is Robert Earl Jones, father of James Earl Jones. Yep, that’s Darth’s dad! I hadn’t noticed it myself, until a couple of years ago. The movie was on, but I was only listening to it while I did some other things, and that voice sounded so familiar…

Tuesday, Jan. 17: Rain. Bleargh. Also, I miss Bookworm. Testing various samples today. Kind of nice to have the house to myself again, though. Gaze got a letter from our Congressman, nominating him to all three of the service academies, so that’s pretty awesome! Went to bed wearing Le Temps d’une Fete.

Wednesday, Jan. 18: Rain. The boys are sick and stayed home from school today, Taz with a stomach bug (he woke me up last night to tell me that he’d thrown up, and then threw up again while I was getting him some anti-nausea medication) and Gaze with a fever and nasty cough. I am very very lightly scented in Mariella Burani.

a

This was the big snow of January 2013. The boys look so small here! and that was such a good, good day for Hayley-dog. I miss her.

Thursday, Jan. 19: Lots of errands, busy day. Too warm for January. The boys are feeling better, so they went back to school today.  SOTD was Pierre de Velay Extrait No. 11, a classic floral chypre from Roja Dove.

Friday, Jan. 20: Wish it would quit raining.  I tested some samples in the morning, then put one tiny spritz of DK Black Cashmere on. Dinner was fabulous Mahi Mahi with Cajun seasoning, topped with Shrimp Creole. Yum.

Saturday, Jan. 21: The boys headed off to their indoor track meet in the morning. Except that this meet is actually a “polar bear” meet, held outside. It was a last-minute replacement for a meet that got canceled last week, and the school hosting it doesn’t have an indoor track. Most of the indoor tracks in the area belong to universities. So: they ran outside in 50F and light rain, and we parents tried to avoid walking anywhere on the ground, which is saturated with recent rain. My feet were wet by the time I had been there for five minutes. Grr. Gaze, still fighting off a nasty cough, didn’t run. Taz missed qualifying for Regionals in the 3200m by 5 seconds. It was kind of a bust.

And I rushed out the door without perfume, which didn’t help. After we got home at 4:30 p.m., starving, I made Breakfast for Dinner (pancakes, bacon, some leftover sausages, and fruit) and put on some Organza Indecence for warmth.

Sunday, Jan. 22: Ugh, this rain. You know how whatever the weather was when you were a kid becomes “normal” weather in your mind? The 1970s were an unusually cold and snowy decade, compared with the rest of the 20th century, and my childhood Januarys were full of sledding and snowmen and days off from school. (They were also full of birthday parties postponed for inclement weather, but still. Snow.) Away with this abominable rain!

SOTMorning: Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur, BWF with a creamy feeling and a dark balsamic thread at the base. The afternoon I spent testing Serge Lutens Cedre, and then that made me want Memoir Woman, so I spritzed some of that.

Hope it stops raining soon. Or gets cold enough that the precip turns to snow. HMPH.

Share

Scent Diary, Jan. 9-15, 2017

Monday, Jan. 9: No school because of the snow. We started the Traditional School Snow Day Lord of the Rings Movie Marathon (we have the extended versions. Of course we do.) and ate meals in front of the fireplace. Temps were below 20F. SOTD was Donna Karan Black Cashmere, which despite its edgy spices and incense is extremely cozy. Somehow the whole of it isn’t edgy at all, but creamy and comforting.

Tuesday, Jan. 10: Still below freezing, but slightly warmer. School was on a 2-hour delay schedule today, so the boys were gone, but Bookworm and I continued the TSSDLOTRMM with The Two Towers. (Interestingly, I find the soundtrack for this movie the best of the three, though I’m not quite sure why that’s so since many of the musical themes are consistent throughout. Maybe there is too much ominous Mordor stuff in the third movie soundtrack for me, but I do love this one. I bought the soundtrack the week after seeing this movie in the theater, and Taz practically wore it out.)

SOTD was Ferre 20, which I bought in Rome in 2010 as a souvenir of a lovely trip. If I try to describe it, I come up with something like “aldehydic fruity floral musk,” which to be honest sounds just awful. However, it isn’t. It’s really pretty, something along the lines of Iris Poudre but easier. We had a lovely dinner with my parents to celebrate my birthday, and they gave me a pretty garnet pendant necklace.

Wednesday, Jan. 11: Yep, so I’m another year older today. It rained and temperatures rose into the low 40s overnight, so the snow is almost gone. My sweet MIL came by and picked Bookworm and me up to take us out for breakfast, which was a real treat. I wore Iris Poudre for real today; it’s such a cashmere scarf of a scent.

Bookworm helped me make a cake, and we ate lasagna for dinner. I worked on finishing up some alterations and hemming of her clothes since she’s planning to leave for spring semester later on in the week. (We always buy her petite sizes, but I always wind up cutting 2-3 inches off her pants and jeans anyway!)

Thursday, Jan. 12: It’s actually warm today! In the mid-50s, if you can believe it. SOTD was a tad (you only need a tad) of MFK Lumiere Noire pour femme, that dark Gothic rose scent.

The community chorus’ spring concert will be pop music from the 50’s and 60’s, which is not exactly my favorite (c’mon, I did enough of this stuff back in high school choir), but everybody else seems to be having fun. And we will be in costume, so that ought to be fun for me. It can’t always be “Messiah,” I guess.

This kind of thing. Half of it’s gone already! You can reach the link to this recipe, which seems similar to Aunt Becky’s, by clicking on the pic.

Friday, Jan. 13: Bookworm has been dithering about going back to New Haven either today or tomorrow, but since she doesn’t HAVE to be there until Monday evening, for a FroCo informational meeting before classes start on Tuesday, she decided to stay until Saturday. YAY!  We had a nice lunch with my parents and some of my aunts and uncles. (Aunt Becky made us a cheese ball, yum… someday I’ll get her recipe.) SOTD was beloved Le Temps d’une Fete.

Poor Gaze went to the first day of a two-day indoor track meet and got home hoooooours later. The varsity team left the high school at 11:30 a.m. and drove two hours to Lynchburg for this massive meet. Gaze was supposed to run his event at 9:30 p.m. (which is bad enough), but he ran at 12:30 a.m. Yes, that’s right: half an hour after midnight. Ugh. He didn’t do well — you’re surprised, aren’t you?? 😉 — and the team didn’t get home until 3:30. GAH. I stayed up until 1 a.m., waiting to hear from him, but then I went to bed.

Saturday, Jan. 14: Since the varsity team got back so unbelievably late last night, the junior varsity team went to their meet today on the bus, and the varsity team wound up in various parent-driven vehicles. Taz did fairly well at the JV meet, coming home at 7 pm with a 3rd place (3200m) and a 6th (1600). Gaze, at the varsity meet, again had a rough time. The meet timeclock wasn’t working, he barely got any sleep, ate poorly during the day, and then somebody cut in front of him and caused him to stumble during the race… he missed the qualifying time for regionals by 1 second. One second! Grrr.

Bookworm and I finished the TSSDLOTRMM and ate leftover chili, and snuggled a lot. I really miss her when she’s gone. She’d planned to drive back today, but since an ice storm hit a long portion of the country she must drive through, she decided to wait until Sunday. Oddly enough, the forecast for here was clear, and the forecast for New Haven was as well, but Pennsylvania got hit with the ugly weather stick.

Sunday, Jan. 15: Bookworm headed out about 7:30 a.m., and I snuck in another hour of sleep before getting up for church. SOTD was Mary Greenwell Plum. I need a nap.

Share

Scent Diary, January 1-8, 2017

Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017: Chilly. Rainy. My thought on 2017, as it begins, is that it would have to work really hard to be worse than 2016, so let’s be good to each other this year and see how it goes. SOTD is Cuir de Lancome and I smell nice.

We went to see Rogue One (Star Wars) at the movie theater today and had a great time. I practically had to twist The CEO’s arm to go — he’d heard that it was “not a real Star Wars movie,” and he usually hates to spend the money to go see a film in the theater unless he’s really excited about it. As it turned out, we all thought it was enjoyable: a tight, exciting story exploring the history of how the Rebel Alliance actually got hold of those Death Star plans in the first place. We went to the “good” theater, too, which is a half-hour’s drive away via Interstate but modern, comfortable, uncrowded and quite reasonably priced ($6.75 for matinee tickets, wow).

Monday, Jan. 2: Warmer and dry today, and I’m glad the weather is more comfortable for our trip to see my parents. They were gone over Christmas, visiting my sister and her family (including that new baby!), and Mom’s back is still bothering her. SOTD is Caron Parfum Sacre.

Kids and Hayley, Christmas 2010

Tuesday, Jan. 3: SOTD, the golden and joyous and Christmassy Teo Cabanel Alahine. It’s time to take down the Christmas decorations. We usually start decorating about the second week in December, and then unless there’s an event we need to schedule around like there was this year, we un-decorate on New Year’s Day. That’s about as long as I want the Christmas stuff up, honestly. I’m not judging folks who put their tree up at the beginning of November…

Kids and Hunter, Christmas 2016

… well, okay, maybe I’m judging them a little bit, but in an “I just don’t get it,” sort of way and not a “That is so trashy,” sort of way. I love decorating, but I really don’t want Christmas stuff up while I am still enjoying the end of autumn. If you are perfectly fine with celebrating Thanksgiving with a Christmas tree and a Nativity set up, good on you, but my preference is generally to finish up one season before I start on a new one.

Wednesday, Jan. 4: SOTD is Ferre 20 by Gianfranco Ferre, which I bought from a little shop in Rome; I was just in the mood for this comfy aldehydic floral musk. The CEO came home from his checkup and said, “Hey, you know we’ve been talking about trading in your minivan for a small crossover SUV, right? They’ve got a couple of nice ones at the certified-used dealership…”

We are typically the kind of people who consult Consumer Reports and shop around for sales and good deals over a couple of months, whether we’re buying a car or a dishwasher… but somehow we wound up buying a 2013 Kia Sorento, after test-driving it and having our mechanic check it out. I’m still shocked at the quick decision! I was okay with continuing to drive the 2007 Grand Caravan, but the low gas mileage (20-22 mpg) was starting to feel like a burden, especially since we’re not hauling around multiple kids in car seats anymore, and the van wasn’t getting any younger. I’m very pleased with the Sorento.

Thursday, Jan. 5: No scent of the day today. Bookworm has a cold and feels yucky, and I’m hanging out with her, so I just skipped fragrance today.  We watched The Commitments and I ironed clothes: boring, low-key, nice.

Friday, Jan. 6: SOTD is Dior Poison. I really used to hate it back in the day, when everybody was wearing six spritzes too many, and you couldn’t walk through a girls’ dorm without needing a gas mask to survive the Poison fumes… now? potent but cuddly dark-berried white floral. My bottle is ca. 2003, and it’s missing that truly toxic vibe it used to have; I don’t know what that is. Brian at I Smell Therefore I Am thinks it’s the old musks… well, maybe, but that resinous cough-syrup-of-death thing that used to scare me so much seems to be missing as well. In principle, that might be good, but I notice that I hardly ever wear Poison, and I think that’s because it’s both nicer and less interesting than it used to be.

Since we’re supposed to get snow over the weekend, the boys’ indoor track meet has been canceled so they’ll get to stay home tomorrow. We stacked up a big pile of firewood and I’ve made cider for tomorrow, and we’re ready.

I’ve been playing around at Allrecipes.com and saving my favorite recipes there, since Bookworm has expressed a need for a cookbook with all the family specialties in it. I figure this ought to work just as well as a paper cookbook.

Saturday, Jan. 7: SNOW! Not enough to go sledding in, unfortunately, and with the wind, it feels like 4F outside BRRRRRRRR. We drank hot chocolate and cleaned up the house, and then when the boys went over to a friend’s house in the evening, The CEO and Bookworm and I watched Birdman. (My thoughts on it: How on EARTH did this pretentious, artsy-fartsy, depressing nonsense win awards? Gah. There’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back.)

SOTD was Amouage Gold, and I know I’m going to horrify at least one person, but — I don’t like it. I know, I know! I’m the AldeHo, I should like Gold. I kinda like Dia, though I wasn’t tempted in the least to buy it, and the Gold body lotion is wonderful on my mom. I had tried it from a sample someone sent me back in, oh, 2010 maybe?, and I didn’t like it then. My notes say it was “too big,” and I don’t think that anymore, but like vintage Arpege parfum, Gold is… thick. And heavy. And animalic. I didn’t feel elegant in it, I felt stinky. (And also like I ought to lose my AldeHo card.)

Sunday, Jan. 8: All the local churches were canceling services today, and I expected ours would as well, since we meet in one of the local elementary schools and there’s no guarantee the school system will scrape the parking lot before Monday. However, we all overslept, and when we woke up with half an hour to eat something, get dressed, and leave the house, the NOAA website said that the temperature with wind chill was -8F. That’s -22 Celsius, btw. DOUBLE BRRRR. So we decided to stay home. I made choc-chip pancakes for breakfast, chili for dinner, and put on some Soivohle Centennial for the warm fuzzies effect.

 

 

 

 

Share

No Scent Diary, Oct. 7-13, 2016

No diary this week. Just nope. Come Wednesday night, I couldn’t manage to focus long enough to write about the week.

Though I will tell you that I wore Chanel No. 19 EdP on Election Day. And that I was very proud of Gaze for giving up a free day to go and hang out at the polling place to distribute literature for our Congressman running for reelection. As for the current political situation, I’m not happy.

George is TICKED OFF.George is ticked off.

(I would probably have been about 80% this unhappy had Hillary Clinton been elected. I’m embarrassed by the whole thing. Couldn’t we have managed to find people more qualified to run the country than an egomaniacal, disgusting boor with no experience and a person ambitious enough to use her office to excuse away her extremely poor judgment with regards to the security requirements of her job/borderline-treasonous acts? But enough about the mess here, except to say that if we don’t at least start trying to understand each other’s concerns, we’re gonna make it worse.)

I wore Sonoma Scent Studio Tabac Aurea and Teo Cabanel Early Roses and Le Galion La Rose (yeah yeah I promise I’ll get around to reviewing that one soon), as well as Frederic Malle Iris Poudre – a no-brainer comfort scent for me – and a dab of FM Musc Ravageur. I wanted the cinnamony goodness of Organza Indecence at some point, but it seems to be still packed away in the bedside chest, so I didn’t go digging for it.

I did notice, however, that I still have a few “end-of-summer/early fall” frags in the Hatbox of Current Rotation, so I should probably put them away and go digging for some cooler-weather scents now.

belize-by-f-ermert-creative-commons-1200x640Want to hear some good news? We leave on Friday to drive to my sister-in-law’s house near Dulles, and on Saturday, we’ll fly to Belize for a week. The whole family this time, because it’s been seven years since we vacationed with all three kids; summer internships and college tours and summer school have all interfered with taking a trip together. But since The CEO and I got booted from not one, but two flights on our trip to Hawai’i in July and had vouchers of $2600, we were able to swing the airfare for Belize.

One of the three (four?) sets of Mayan ruins in Belize. This is Lamanai Archaeological Refuge.
One of the three (four?) sets of Mayan ruins in Belize. This is Lamanai Archaeological Refuge.

We will snorkel over a reef, visit a tropical-animal zoo, and make a trip to some Mayan ruins. I hope the AC in the hotel rooms works as promised. I may or may not get a chance to post or check in via internet there; we’ll have to see how things go.

I’m sorry to be missing Thanksgiving at home; that’s Gaze’s favorite holiday, and one of my favorites as well. We may have to come home and do a family meal the next weekend!

 

Share

Scent Diary, Oct. 31 – Nov. 6, 2016

416743892-endora-2t
Those false lashes tho

Monday, Oct. 31 – It’s never very Halloweeny around here. The CEO doesn’t enjoy the holiday, and we no longer have little ones to dress up in costume and take trick-or-treating, and living out here in the boonies we don’t get trick-or-treaters coming to the door. So, no Halloween. (Could have gone to our church’s block party at a member’s house, but I was just Not In The Mood.) Wore L’Arte di Gucci, which smells like I imagine Endora would: loud, proud, colorful, in-your-face witchy.

Tuesday, Nov. 1 – First day of NaNoWriMo. I was seriously on the fence about doing it again this year, given my recent lack of success in revising an earlier novel, but I did decide to go ahead and write a story that’s been in my head for years. Switched it up, though: instead of writing it from the perspectives of the college lovers, I’m now writing it from the POV of the wife of one of them. She’s going to be absolutely blindsided by her discovery of the 20-years-ago affair.

It’s gloomy and windy today, perfect for vintage Magie Noire. My mini is super-old and still smells amazing, but it sort of eats my head and I can hardly think of anything else while I’m wearing it, so it’s a rare occasion when I do.

Wednesday, Nov. 2 – Very foggy in the morning, gorgeous later. I only managed to get 932 words down yesterday, so I had some catching up to do today. Getting excited about this one, now, so I got up to 3759 before the end of the day. Working title is “Personal Injury,” because two of the characters are lawyers, but I may not keep that.

Mowed the grass for what might be the final time this year. The lawn is decorated with scattered fallen leaves, but I never mind that; they’re not thick enough to kill the grass, and I figure the soil can always use the organic matter, once I crunch them into bits with the lawnmower. SOTD probably should have been Arpege, because it’s amazing in the fall, but I wound up testing a bunch of samples. Bedtime scent was Le Galion La Rose, which I thought was going to be a soliflore. It’s a warm woody rose, though, pretty and comforting.

The boys went off with the cross country team to the Regional meet today, after last week’s triumphant Conference 24 win. They were, however, non-triumphant today. Nobody on the boys’ team ran well today. We did have two girls qualify for State, but that was it. Bummer.

The newly-painted bathroom, with new bronze accents and framed mirror. I might replace the faucet as well, because this one is a)builder grade and b)the chrome is pitted and flaking. Photo via my terrible cell phone camera.
The newly-painted bathroom, with new bronze accents and framed mirror. I might replace the faucet as well, because this one is a)builder grade and b)the chrome is pitted and flaking. Photo via my terrible cell phone camera.

Thursday, Nov. 3 – Warm again. The bathroom is finished TA-DAAAA!! and I’m pleased with it. SOTD was samples in the morning, and Le Temps d’une Fete in the evening.

Friday, Nov. 4 – Met my parents and aunt and uncle and we drove two hours to Bristol to meet another aunt and uncle for lunch. Nice. I wore sunny Chanel 1932 edp, and my mom told me I smelled good (well, she would, she’s a Chanel girl). Chatted with Bookworm and my sister A while we were there together, too.

Senior Night, 2012, with Bookworm.
Senior Night, 2012, with Bookworm. Photo by David Gravely.

Then home and a few chores before it was time to go to the high school for Senior Night. Before the football game starts, the seniors participating in fall sports (football, volleyball, golf, cross-country, cheerleading, and marching band*) are introduced and walk, escorted by parents and/or other significant people from the end zone near the field house down the track, in order to be recognized for their efforts. *Yeah, band. A couple of years ago — oh, I guess this was after the year that booster parents wound up taking five kids to the ER during band camp — the school began requiring that band students take the annual sports physical as well.

This final game of the regular season was against Salem, our school’s traditional rival, and a bitter rivalry it is. (I didn’t attend this school; the two of my cousins closest to me in age went to the rival school and I didn’t have a poor opinion of it until I got fed up with the treatment the band received every time we played there. Typically, the on-field nastiness does not reach the band, and there is friendly feeling between fellow musicians. Not at Salem, and that’s all I have to say on the subject.)

Senior Night, 2016, with Gaze.
Senior Night, 2016, with Gaze. Photo by David Gravely. (New band uniforms arrived at the end of marching season 2015, which is why Gaze’s looks substantially different than Bookworm’s.)

Salem returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, and the game went south badly from there, ending up with a score of 56-14. Worse, the band seemed to be having a very off night. Star Spangled Banner sounded awful, the stands tunes were rough, and the halftime show lackluster. I don’t know why. It was an emotional time for me, seeing my band kids together for the last home game. Some of them I’ve known for five years, and I’ll miss them very much. I was kind of a wreck; it’s Gaze’s last year at home full-time, and since Taz quit band, this is the end of an 8-year run as Band Mom for me. Stupid thing to be sad over, but there it is: I was very sad.

Saturday, Nov. 5 – The CEO and Gaze went off to watch Virginia Tech play football at Duke. Taz had declined a ticket, so he and I stayed home, cleaned the house, planted two chrysanthemums, ate pizza, and hung out together. It was pleasant.

SOTD was Pierre de Velay No. 11 extrait – one of those creations based on a recipe book from defunct French perfume house active in the early 20th century, given new life by Roja Dove’s perfumery in the UK. It’s very much a classical chypre: the bite of bergamot, some beautiful rose and jasmine, patchouli and oakmoss and amber to ground it. It reminds me a great deal of Coty Chypre parfum, except it’s sharper, not nearly as soft as Chypre smells now (after a good 50 years of maceration, of course). It’s also similar to Soivohle Centennial, also based on a classic chypre recipe, but Centennial has a peculiar and lovely animal fuzziness I can’t pin down. The de Velay No. 11 has no fuzz at all. It’s toothy and joyous and very, very retro. I love it. Picked it up at Surrender to Chance, which I think is the only place that has it (unless you want to contact Roja’s place and see if they’ll ship to you).

My Low Brass boys! I'm going to miss them. L-R back row: Isaac, Jeremy, Jake, James, and Gaze. Right in the center there is rookie Branden (whose big sister taught Gaze to march!), then Briggs and Lakin on the front row. Photo by Stacey Utt.
My Low Brass boys! I’m going to miss them. L-R back row: Isaac, Jeremy, Jake, James, and Gaze. Right in the center there is rookie Branden (whose big sister taught Gaze to march!), then Briggs and Lakin on the front row. Photo by Stacey Utt.

Sunday, Nov. 6 – GAH I AM SICK OF POLITICS. Sick, I tell you. I think the worst part is that after one of the candidates wins the election… that person has won the election. And then we have to live with him or her.

SOTD was By Kilian Sweet Redemption. Taz told me I smelled like lollipops. I’d roll my eyes, but the thing is, I do smell kinda like lollipops.

Share

Scent Diary, Oct. 24-30, 2016

In the instrument closet, post-concert: Cowboy Gaze on the left; French-horn-player Soren on the right, as "French Kiss." (Clever!)
In the instrument closet, post-concert: Cowboy Gaze on the left; French-horn-player Soren on the right, as “French Kiss.” (Clever!)

Monday, Oct. 24 – Busy week ahead. It’s windy and chilly (which I happen to love in the fall), and I wore Samsara to the high school’s fall band concert. The kids can choose to dress in costume – poor Gaze was so flustered at forgetting, after cross country practice, that he had to just throw together a cowboy costume. He has a pair of hand-me-down boots that he hardly ever wears; the jeans and hat were easy. He added an old suit vest and a kid’s metal badge saying “TEXAS RANGER” I bought in San Antonio, and a big buckle belt he borrowed from a friend. Looked pretty good! Sounded good, too, during his solo. He gets a really beautiful tone out of his baritone horn.

Tuesday, Oct. 25 – More chilly-windy. Neb’mind, I’m painting the bathroom. Looks pretty good. No scent today because the smell of paint (even the low VOC stuff) covers up everything else.

Wednesday, Oct. 26 – The boys headed off early from school to the Conference 24 cross-country championship meet, hosted by Bassett HS. (Pretty place, but a huge pain to get to from here because you either go over a couple of mountains on small twisty backroads, or you go 50 miles out of your way to Roanoke so you can drive on something that’s paved the whole way. I’m not even kidding! We played a football game there earlier in the season, and I went with another band mom who was driving separately from the bus. Her GPS was set to “shortest distance,” and boy, lemme tell you: an hour and forty minutes of potholes and mountainsides each way, not to mention getting lost on the way home in the dark.)

In any case, the varsity boys won their second C24 title in a row, and the girls came in a good solid third. However, Gaze had a horrible race and ran his slowest time of this season, and didn’t make the all-conference team (the top 15 runners). He was pretty disappointed, because if he’d run his average time, he would have been 12th, and this was his last chance for the honor since he’s a senior. I’m disappointed for him – sometimes these things just happen and you have a bad day for no obvious reason.

Back-to-back champs! L-R: Sam, Gaze, Cade, Nathan, Jake, Shaun, and Noah. Gaze is the only senior. Sam and Jake are juniors, and the rest are sophomores, so they'll be back strong next year.
Back-to-back champs! L-R: Sam, Gaze, Cade, Nathan, Jake, Shaun, and Noah. Gaze is the only senior. Sam and Jake are juniors, and the rest are sophomores, so they’ll be back strong next year. Photo by Tasha Myers Cox.

Scent of this sunny, chilly day was DSH Perfumes Giverny in Bloom. Gosh, it’s good. If you love galbanum or green florals, snap some up.

Thursday, Oct. 27 – The CEO and Gaze went to a local Republican dinner meeting, while I skipped out of choir practice to stay home and hang out with Taz instead. (I try to stay away from political stuff whenever possible, even if food is involved. I just don’t enjoy these things at all. Wouldn’t enjoy this kind of event if they were Democrats, either. Just no.) Taz and I ate leftovers and watched “Apollo 13” together. He put his head in my lap and asked me to rub it, which was nice… gotta get those teenage boy snuggles when you can!

SOTD was Iris Poudre, because it was easy. (I usually don’t feel that aldehydes are too dressy for normal wear; I’m comfortable in them. Your mileage may vary.)

Friday, Oct. 28 – No football game tonight! Our opponent shares a field with another high school in Roanoke, and the other team was playing on it this evening. Game tomorrow; the band can’t go because they’ll be hosting a competition.

Instead, we had The CEO’s birthday dinner. His mother came and brought shrimp cocktail, and I made his favorite broiled herb chicken. Good times. SOTD was Cuir de Lancome.

Saturday, Oct. 29 – Gaze and I were gone all day to the competition (a success, though there were fewer bands than last year). We had beautiful clear, sunny, warm weather. I’m going to miss being a band mom. Never put any perfume on because I was too busy, and then I was too tired.

Sunday, Oct. 30 – another lovely day. SOTD was Mariella Burani, because it’s an easy aldehydie. Did some cleaning, did some cleanup-touchup on the freshly painted bathroom (pics to come soon). Man, I’m tired.

Share

Scent Diary, Oct. 17-23, 2016

autumn-leaves-light-wallpaperMonday, Oct. 17 – It was downright warm for October today, into the low 80s. Indian summer, I suppose… I went out to do errands, and had to roll the windows down for comfort. Among other places, I went by TJ Maxx to see if they had any more of those Paddywax Pumpkin & Spice candles that are a gorgeous mix of PS and mellow tobacco, but of course they’re gone. Did some grocery shopping, had the MDF molding boards for the bathroom mirror-framing project recut to the CORRECT SIZE 😳 , and picked up a pair of black dress pants for Gaze since he’s been wearing his suit pants for every. single. FFA activity (he’s an officer). As I came home, I could smell that beautiful dry-leaf scent, as my tires crunched over them.

Sigh. Autumn is wonderful. Annnnnd – I later found a couple of those candles for sale on eBay, too. Yay me. 😀 SOTD was Le Temps d’une Fete, because I can’t resist it on sunny fall days.

Tuesday, Oct. 18 – ‘Nother warm one in the low 80s. I don’t particularly enjoy it. In some ways, I wonder if I should just move to England and live most of my life in weather between 32 and 65 Fahrenheit, except of course I’d have to learn that in Celsius. (The quick-and-dirty formula for F to C is: Subtract 30 and divide by two. That’s not entirely accurate, but it’s close enough for government work, as they say. So, 5C to 20C. Once I’d spent a few months living with Celsius, I’d probably be okay; I just don’t have the reference points, such as 17C feels like 65F.)

SOTD is Amouage Myths Woman, which I like just fine, and which feels like Le Temps d’une Fete and Jolie Madame extrait made a baby. I adore LTdF, and I have five little bottles of JM parfum stashed away because it is just. so. good, but somehow I don’t love Myths. It is maybe too dry for me? Maybe not quite floral enough (the narcissus is there, but not very petally)? Dunno. The drydown does last for hours, even on me.

Wednesday, Oct. 19 – Warm again. Dang it, I want my sweater weather back! And by “sweater weather,” I mean the kind of weather in which one only needs a light cardigan or jacket outside. Like, 65-75F, or late August in Kensington. 😉 SOTD was a sample from SIXTEEN92, one of six that I’ll be reviewing in two batches soon.

ja-frisbee-9-16Bookworm was supposed to be driving home for Fall Break today, but she fell during an Ultimate Frisbee tournament on Sunday evening, and hit her head. They didn’t think she had a concussion – she had no memory loss, no nausea, no changes in vision or eye focus, no passing out – but she’s had some headaches since then, and I insisted she go to student health yesterday to get it checked out. We decided it would be best for her to stay in Connecticut and just rest as much as possible instead of subjecting herself to a 10-hour drive home and another one back on Sunday. Which is fine. I want her to feel better, and we’ll see her at Thanksgiving when we take that family trip to Belize. But I’m bummed. (But I’m FINE.)

Apparently, this is AN ACTUAL CAT, despite looking like a fluffy stuffed toy with gigantic sad eyes.
Apparently, this is an actual cat. It just LOOKS like a stuffed toy with gigantic sad eyes.

Thursday, Oct. 20 – I miss my girl. Snif. I’ll see her in a month, when we go on our family vacation to Belize(!), but I would love to hug her now.

Today: warm again, though it’s supposed to start raining tomorrow. Wearing another SIXTEEN92 sample.

Friday, Oct. 21 – Aaaaaaand fall is back! We had an ugly storm this morning: torrential rain, plus wind whipping through the trees and ripping off leaves everywhere. It was gone by noon, and the weather was back to chilly, windy October. The rain was gone by late afternoon, in time for the stadium to dry out for the football game. SOTD was Tom Ford Tuscan Leather, sweet coziness that kept me warm in the concession stand. (Or maybe that was the heat lamps.) We ran out of hot chocolate before halftime, and for some unknown reason, the athletic department had failed to stock the always-popular Dr. Pepper, but we sold tons of popcorn. Taz came and helped; he isn’t allowed to handle food because he’s not 18, but he can take money and pass prepared food across the counter. He did a great job, not only distributing drinks and foil-wrapped hot dogs, but also keeping the stations stocked between customers. Proud of my boy.

Saturday, Oct. 22 – Went to my cousin’s renewal of wedding vows ceremony. The boys were at a cross-country thing, and The CEO had a work thing, so I went on my own. Susan and Richard started dating in high school and have now been married almost 26 years, with three lovely daughters and a son as well as a granddaughter. Congrats to them! The weather was far nicer than yesterday – windy and chilly but at least there was sunshine.

SOTD was Teo Cabanel Early Roses over a small application of Tauer Rose Delight body oil. Nice. On the way home, I stopped to sniff things at Macy’s and was disappointed to see that the perfume department at the Roanoke store seems smaller than it was a few years ago. It’s now about the same size as the one at Belk’s, and while there are a few differences in the fragrances stocked, there still aren’t many interesting scents there, and only a few that Belk doesn’t carry – Armani Sì, for example, and the Vince Camutos, nothing that caught my attention.

Having tested No. 5 L’Eau from a manufacturer spray sample the Belk SA gave me a few weeks ago, I wasn’t tempted by that tester. (I’m currently working on a review.) No. 5 always smells like its wonderful self, and Eau Premiere is still lovely, so I grabbed the EP tester and gave myself a spritz for the drive home. It was still great when The CEO and I went out to dinner at the Mexican restaurant.

Speaking of our Mexican restaurant: El Ranchero has upscaled since they moved out to the strip mall near Wal-Mart, just off I-81, a couple of years ago. They’re not just offering that list of numbered specials consisting of various combinations of burritos, tacos, and chimichangas; now they’re doing seafood and steaks, too, as well as mixed drinks they didn’t serve when they were in the old building. I mean, I don’t kid myself that it is Real Authentic Mexican like you would get in Mexico (or in Texas, for that matter!), but they’ve made a move toward higher-quality ingredients. I’m so glad to see that they’re thriving. The restaurant is clearly a family enterprise, too. All members of the service staff speak English, but most of them have noticeable accents except the two younger guys who must have grown up here, given their Southwest Virginia drawls. There’s this one guy who has been there since the restaurant opened sometime in the early 2000s, and he regularly carries six plates at once. Six!! He puts a long hot mitt on his upper arm and one on his left hand, and loads that side up, then gets another plate in his right hand. Now that is some skill.

Sunday, Oct. 23 – Looks like we’re settling back into the normal October weather I love so much: clear, bright, cool. SOTD was Cuir de Lancome. Gosh, this is good stuff. I’m sad it’s discontinued (and feeling juuuust a little bit smug about the two backup bottles in the bedside cabinet).

Share