Scent Diary, Sept. 25- Oct. 2, 2011 (with gratuitous and mostly-unrelated marching band photos)

PCHS band in competition Saturday. Alto Sax-playing Bookworm is standing on the 40-yard line, second person back.
Monday, Sept. 26: Cloudy and windy. Dropped the boys off at school, Bookworm having driven herself (argh, my baby is driving!) in the Ranger earlier this morning. Did the grocery shopping, and on the way managed to spritz a bit of Lady Stetson, which Tania Sanchez praises pretty highly in P:TG. I think I’ll do an aldehydes review series. Seems that I’ve already reviewed a buncha aldehydies, and I own minis or decants of a buncha others, so getting review material should be a snap.

SOTAfternoon: Divine L’Ame Soeur. Either it’s giving me a headache, or my sinuses are getting really bad… hard to tell. I don’t usually have aldehydic headaches, and I know my sinuses are blocked up. (I can still smell things at the moment. However, that will probably change tomorrow. The usual ragweed allergy progression is that my throat gets sore first from drainage, then my sinuses get blocked, then snot runs down my nose for three days, and it may or may not clear up.)

I kissed Taz at bedtime and realized he was running a fever. Gave him some ibuprofen and told him not to get up in the morning.

Tuesday, Sept. 27: Taz was feeling better today, so we cleaned out his closet of numerous boxes of outgrown clothes I’d been saving for my nephew… who now lives in Texas. I don’t suppose it’s worth shipping hand-me-downs, so out they went, to the Goodwill collection box.

Too busy for a SOTD (how often does that happen? not very), but the SOTEvening is Parfums DelRae Amoureuse. Yum.

I had been planning of getting some photo prints made of Bookworm and PETBoy at Homecoming – especially for The CEO’s mother, who doesn’t have a computer I can email them to – but Bookworm came home from band practice with a framed 8×10 of the two of them. Supposedly, PETBoy’s dad accidentally ordered one print too many, but this smacks of planning to me. It’s only Tuesday. Not that I’m annoyed; in fact, I think it was pretty thoughtful. So: a thoughtful, organized, and generous gesture? Yep, that was definitely PETBoy’s idea.  What a sweetie.

Wednesday, Sept. 28: SOTMorning: Vintage Robert Piguet Baghari eau de cologne on one wrist, modern Baghari eau de parfum on the other. Each one only lasted about 2.5 hours, even spritzed wet. Arrrrgh. Was going to review these for the AldeHo series, but I’m just not. The vintage is more face-powdery and the modern more woody, and that’s all I have to say about them. The rest of the day was taken up with laundry and generously-spritzed PdN Le Temps d’une Fete.

Thursday, Sept. 29: Beautiful weather today!! Gorgeous, in the mid-70s, sunny. Wore Chanel 31 Rue Cambon to the awards assembly at the high school this morning. Really nice to see a goodly percentage, about 40%, of the band kids honored for academic achievements (3.6 or above GPA, no grade below a B).  Mowed the grass this afternoon, and then put on some more 31RC.

Friday, Sept. 30: The kids are out of school for a “faculty development day.” (Small rant: why don’t they do these during the summer? I’m fine with paying the teachers for these continued-education seminars, and I’m glad such things are available to them, but I wish these classes were not scheduled during the regular school year. The breaks already existing for teacher workdays and parent-teacher conferences are hard enough on working parents.)

We’re still cleaning out Taz’ cluttered room in preparation for painting it. He wants green, John Deere green in honor of the farm tractors, despite not having any curtains or bed linens that would look well with that color. Grrrr. SOTD: Sonoma Scent Studio “Classic” tester. I wore this last week and didn’t like it, and then once again and did. Didn’t like it again today: celery and vanilla and jasmine. Made me queasy.

Did some normal-Saturday cleaning ahead of time. SOTEvening: Parfum Sacre.

Saturday, Oct. 1: Finished the Saturday cleaning and helped Taz get the little bits-o’-stuff that were hiding behind pieces of furniture (tiny Legos, broken crayons, torn tissues, etc.) into the trash. Then fed everyone lunch. Bookworm and I went to the high school and got on a bus to go to a marching band competition. Three and a half hours’ ride each way… arrrgh. Cold and windy today, with rain showers. I chose Givenchy Organza Indecence as the SOTD. Yum.

PCHS band in competition, Oct. 1. Wide shot showing the military photo props being turned forward.
The PCHS band scored fairly well, though it was hard for me to judge how well it went since I was on the field, steadying one of our show props against the wind.  (A word about the show: it’s called “American Faces,” and features music ranging from the folk song “Simple Gifts” to “American Elegy,” with bits of “The Star-Spangled Banner” scattered through the medley.  The props depict four former band members who are currently serving in the armed services; we’ve got their band photos next to their military photos.)

A closer shot of the props. That's my hand there at the right side of Alex' band photo, and my (wet) jeans-clad legs underneath.

It was cold enough to give most of the brass and woodwinds tuning problems. This might not have mattered so much, except that we have sideline percussion instruments such as marimbas, and they are not as affected by temperature, so the contrast between the sideline percussion and the rest of the instruments was pretty bad. However, it’s not a thing that can be controlled, and I think the judges took this factor into account. It was approximately 42F when we hit the field, and it only got colder from that point, especially after it started, yes, raining.

PETBoy's trumpet solo.
(Poor PETBoy’s lips were actually purple with cold. I saw them.) And then, the host high school band boosters’ concession stand ran out of the delicious-smelling grilled burgers and hot dogs we’d been tantalized by all afternoon, while getting ready to take the field and then while we were putting away the equipment. So we headed home at 9:45 pm, all of us cold, wet, tired, and hungry, but carrying a “Superior” rating and several awards. Bookworm and I got home after 1 am, made ourselves a couple of quickie quesadillas to stave off starvation, and went to bed.

Sunday, Oct. 2: At breakfast, outside temperatures were 39F/4C, chilly enough to encourage The CEO to finally turn on the heat in the house! (European readers are probably laughing at me right now.) The CEO and the boys and I got up early, ate cereal and went to the 9:00 am church service, leaving poor exhausted Bookworm to sleep a little later and go to a 10:45 am service at PETBoy’s church. SOTMorning was Rose Kashmirie, which reminds me of a raspier Tocade. Tocade is already plenty raspy-smoky for me, and I don’t think I could wear RK often.

When PETBoy brought her home, he stayed and ate Breakfast for Lunch with us (bacon, scrambled eggs, blueberry muffins, and blackberries). High temps for the day were in the mid-50sF – that’s 13C for you metric-minded – and it did finally become rather pleasant though still windy. Gaze and Taz got in a fight following a game of one-on-one football in the front yard, which ended in name-calling and stomping into the house.  Sigh.

My throat is sore.  So is Gaze’s, and he’s running a fever, poor baby.  SOTAfternoon: ultra-comfy Shalimar Light.

All band photos by Band Booster President Extraordinaire Nicole Ward, proud mother of a tuba player.  Photo of PETBoy and Bookworm by The CEO.


Scent Diary, Sept. 19-25, 2011

Fall Leaves 1 by C.A. Mullhaupt at flickr

Monday, Sept. 19: Chilly. SOTD: the wonderful, happy-making Parfums de Nicolaï Vanille Tonka. (I got it on my sweater, squee!)

Tuesday, Sept. 20: Cloudy and chilly again. SOTD: Liz Zorn Centennial, the floral chypre Musette was raving about over on Perfume Posse last week. I nabbed one of the last ones while they were on sale and still available. It’s gorgeous.

Wednesday, Sept. 21: Rainy. The yard needs mowing, but of course I can’t mow in the rain. This is a boring week, so far… which is okay, the weekend is likely to be crazy busy. SOTD: Soivohle (Liz Zorn) Centennial again, with a tiny test patch of her Love Speaks Primeval on the back of one hand. It’s easy to tell that LSP grew out of Centennial, which was formerly known as Historical Chypre; they blend very nicely together, but LSP is spicier, slightly less floral and peachy, and it has that drrty-grindy thing (fossilized hyrax droppings, a sort of substitute for civet) in there that is sort of deliciously disgusting.

We finally have a plan for Bookworm’s Homecoming hairstyle, and it’s one I can do myself. Whew. She didn’t want a hairstylist to do it, and she’s all stressed about getting back from the track meet on time to get ready for the dance anyway.

Thursday, Sept. 22: Warmer today, and after the fog burned off this morning, the afternoon has been sunny and pleasant. SOTD: Liz Zorn Centennial. I think I’m addicted…

Mowed half the yard before I had to go pick Bookworm up from band practice. Gaze went out to feed the calf and then found out that Jeff the hired guy had taken her to a new cow mama whose calf had come too early and died. SOTEvening: Mary Greenwell Plum. The more often I wear it, the more “pink” it seems – but not in a stupid Barbie-pink sort of way, more of a romantic pink glow.

Friday, Sept. 23: Rain rain rain. Hope it clears up before the Homecoming game… SOTD: DSH Chypre layered with Mary Greenwell Plum, yummy. Good writing session today. The rain left around noon, and I mowed the rest of the yard. It looked like beautiful weather for the football game, and I left the house with Bookworm’s dinner (on Fridays she goes to cross-country practice before the band convenes for the game and has no time to come home), it was sunny. By the time I got to the high school, almost ten minutes later, it was starting to rain again. It bucketed down, and then cleared up in time for me to go help set up the visitor’s side concession stand. At halftime, we were down 7-21, and of course the band played for the announcement of the homecoming court, and it started raining again. The uniforms are completely soaked… not to mention the instruments. Aargh.

Saturday, Sept. 24: Homecoming dance tonight! Bookworm was off early to her cross-country meet two hours away, and the rest of us cleaned house. SOTD: Shalimar Light. The CEO went out to canvass for support in the School Board election, and I picked up her date’s boutonniere at the florist, and IT RAINED. I was feeling dire about the weather and Bookworm’s bare shoulders. She got back from the meet pleased with her race – she’d come in 21st in a large field, and one of her teammates finished tenth. So then we did her hair and got her all dressed and made up and scented in Hanae Mori Butterfly without messing up the hair (I’d forgotten how difficult that is!). And then the sun came out, and she and PETBoy put flowers on each other and headed off in his white pickup to meet friends for dinner and then the dance…

Putting flowers on each other, photo by The CEO

Sunday, Sept. 25: Cloudy cool day, perfect for Liz Zorn Centennial. Bookworm doesn’t like it. Gaze and The CEO both do, The CEO commenting that “it’s just pretty. A Miss America contestant should wear that, just to remind everyone how pretty she is.” I’m definitely getting addicted to it the way I am to Mary Greenwell Plum; they’d probably play nicely together, by the way.

The CEO and I made sure to be out of range of the front porch last night when Bookworm came home, but after I heard the door close and her date’s truck leave, I came upstairs to find out how the evening went: great, apparently. I kissed her cheek, expecting to smell her Hanae Mori, but instead smelled PETBoy’s cologne, probably transferred to her cheek during some slow dance or other. (By the way, early scouting reports say that it is True Religion, which Fragrantica calls an aromatic fougere. It’s a classic Guy Smell, quiet and reliable and pleasant. I approve.)

My allergies are killing me. I’ve had that icepick-to-the-sinuses kind of headache all day. I am so grateful for Sudafed!


Scent Diary, Sept. 12-18, 2011

John Deere 4440 and round baler, seen behind the Morning Glory Vine That Ate the Porch

Monday, Sept. 12: Another beautiful day. I finally finished sewing the ribbon trim to Bookworm’s Homecoming dress, yay! She’s going to be so lovely in it. SOTMorning: a test sample of Sonoma Scent Studio’s upcoming scent which goes by the working name of “Classic.” It was gorgeously floral for some time, and then went all celery-vetiverish and vanilla. I’m betting it’s me, because on paper it is stunningly sandalwoody.

SOTE: Le Temps d’une Fete, beautiful. Attended Band Booster meeting… SO MUCH WORK goes into what happens on the field at the football game; most people have no idea. (Okay, to be fair, I have no idea what the football parents of the Touchdown Club do – they probably do fundraisers, too, and help haul around the equipment. But the football team is better funded, that much I know.)

Update: Oops, misjudged the strap length on one side. Must fix. Also, the shoes she liked two weeks ago no longer suit her: too unstable, and they’re going to rub her pinky toes. Arrrrrrgh. Really, she just needs practice walking in heels! I started wearing heels to church when I was, oh, 11 or 12, and was awkward in them for awhile, but I wanted to learn. She doesn’t want to practice, and she thinks the problem is in the shoes. They aren’t even high heels – they’re 1 ¾” tall, and they’re on the chunky side, somewhere between “kitten” and “court” heels.

Tuesday, Sept. 13: SOTD: Vintage Balmain Jolie Madame extrait. I’m spoiling myself. This vtg extrait is both incredibly floral and incredibly leathery, and completely ladylike in an unpowdery way. Also retesting SSS “Classic” on the back of my hand. No celery today, yippee.

SOTEvening: Cuir de Lancome.

Did a little sniffery with Taz before dinner, and gave him several so-called masculine scents to sniff, trying to find out his preferences. He’s got a birthday coming up in a few weeks (as does Gaze, 8 days later). C&S No. 88 he didn’t like; nor did he like DSH Lucky Clover. He said Acqua di Gio and Dior Homme Sport were just “okay,” and he did not like Hermes Bel Ami and YSL M7 at all. What did he like? Shalimar Light and Chanel Egoiste. Wonder if I could find an Egoiste smell-alike for him… there’s no way I’m buying a Chanel for an 11-year-old! Maybe I could search Fragrantica for a woody-spicy fragrance that isn’t expensive. Hmm.

Wednesday, Sept. 14: Mowed grass. There won’t be too many more times to do that; the growth has already slowed quite a bit. SOTD: Champagne de Bois.

Thursday, Sept. 15: Cool front moving in! SOTD: Coty Chypre on wrists, and DSH Chypre on inner forearms. Lovely stuff. Finished hemming Bookworm’s new jeans. After her conniption fit ther other day about her Homecoming shoes, I bought a different batch of shoes for her to try. She likes one pair that has heels a trifle lower, and thinks she might choose them instead of the other pair. I like them both, and although I think the first pair is slightly prettier, I’m not the one wearing them… sigh. I should be glad she’s in any heels at all.

(Thank goodness for Zappos and OnlineShoes! She has teeny feet, and nobody in this area carries size 5 for women. Any size 5s I can find locally – and there aren’t many! – tend to be little-girl shoes. Luckily, she takes a size 6 in running shoes, or we’d be in trouble there too.)

Community Chorus rehearsal went pretty well. SOTEvening: Caron Parfum Sacre, lovely cozy stuff.


PCHS tubas rockin' it to "Hey, Baby," at the football game, photo by Nicole Ward
Friday, Sept. 16: Did some bookkeeping stuff and laundry and a bit of cleaning, since I’m planning to be gone all afternoon Saturday. SOTD: SSS Champagne de Bois. Also, got called in as a substitute band chaperone for the away football game tonight, so I was gone from 3 pm to past midnight. (And we lost, 38-28. Ow. The football team is now 0 for 4. The band, OTOH, was great.)

Saturday, Sept. 17: Cleaned house – well, to be honest, I gave it “a lick and a promise,” as my grandmother always called any half-hearted attempt. After lunch, I dropped Bookworm off at school for marching band quick rehearsal before they left for their competition. The CEO managed to score two tickets to the Virginia Tech football game, and it was Taz’ turn to go, so those two headed off for the game while Gaze and I went to my parents’ house. He stayed to watch the game on TV with my dad (another VT alumnus), while Mom and I went to watch the band competition, which was being hosted by my own high school. SOTD: SSS Champagne de Bois, still on my band shirt from last night, with a tiny layering of Tabac Aurea as well. Nice.

It was actually tough to be there at my old school, hearing cadences played, and not marching. I don’t miss high school much. But I miss marching band. I had terrific friends there, even better maybe than my choir friends or youth group friends. And I always loved cadence; it still makes my blood itch and my feet want to move.

Bookworm’s school did very well. The show was the cleanest I’ve seen it performed yet. This competition is early in the season and designed as a clinic – i.e., for the purpose of providing bands with judging and constructive criticism to help shape the rest of the competition season. We were gratified to notice that PCHS received the highest score of the day, a quarter of a point better than that really big band from North Carolina. I’m so proud.

Sunday, Sept. 18: Since we didn’t actually take a family vacation this summer, we’d promised the boys that we’d take them to the amusement park (Carowinds, on the border between North and South Carolina, about two hours’ drive away). Today shaped up to be really great for it: temps in the 70s, mostly cloudy. Very comfortable weather, and the park isn’t crowded in the fall, so you can ride pretty much anything you want, with very little waiting in line. PETBoy went with us, and honestly, deserved a gold star or two for hanging with Bookworm, who is a roller coaster fiend. I like roller coasters myself, but there are a couple that I don’t enjoy at this park. PETBoy rode them with her, and even rode once with Taz, just so I could sit out the wooden coaster that gives me a headache. SOTD: Balenciaga Paris, which is quite nice: violet leaf, violet, comfortable tonka-musk drydown. I’ll probably use up my sample (thanks, Undina!) and enjoy it, and never give it another thought.

Got home very late and gratefully collapsed into the sheets wearing Shalimar Light.


Scent Diary, Sept. 5-11, 2011

Monday, Sept. 5: Rain, rain, all day. Thank the Lord! We had been dry for a long time. I know it’s Labor Day, but The CEO had to work and we had no family gathering scheduled, so it was a routine sort of day except that school was out. Took Bookworm to do her final day of behind-the-wheel instruction and driver’s test today; she passed. Her driver’s license will actually become valid on Sept. 21 (and she can drive her own self to school at 6:15 am, and her own self home from school at 5:30 or 6:15 pm, depending on whether it’s a cross-country practice day or a marching band day). SOTD: TeoCabanel Alahine. Wonderful.

My parents came for a visit, bringing some pictures and souvenirs from their trip to the Rockies. Sounds like they had a terrific vacation. Took Bookworm to cross-country practice (yes, in the rain) and bought groceries. Tested Heidi Klum Shine at Wal-Mart – it’s a floral oriental with orange notes, jasmine, woods, benzoin and a nice cushy musk, very synthetic but pleasant and fairly long-lasting. I’ve smelled a lot worse at this price point, and even at higher prices at the mall.

Bookworm and her pretty-eyed trumpet boy went out for dinner at the local Mexican place. Her first official date! Ever! She looked cute. (Hey… I think I just discovered his nom de blog – Pretty-Eyed Trumpet Boy, or PETBoy for short…) I made Tuscan chicken and fettucine with peas for us – yum – and chocolate lava cakes for dessert.

Tuesday, Sept. 6: SOTD: Amouage Lyric Woman. It was windy and raining buckets today, and I nearly put on the vintage Magie Noire, but I decided I wanted noble beauty instead of wild exhilaration. It occurs to me that up to now I have not written a review of Lyric, and I should remedy that. It was the first expensive bottle split I participated in, with some friends from Now Smell This, and I am thoroughly glad that I did.

Wednesday, Sept. 7: Rain clearing up today. Feels like fall. Due to the rain, at my own high school (60 miles away), a huge sinkhole has opened up at the entrance to the school! Holy moly. SOTD: SSS Champagne de Bois. Spritzed a bit in the car to make it smell great. SOTEvening: Smell Bent One, which reminds me of the way the long-gone Books, Strings & Things store smelled – spices and old books, the packaging on new CDs, and the faint smell of paint from the art supply section… Sigh. I miss BS&T.

Thursday, Sept. 8: Absolutely beautiful weather!! Upper 70s, with a breeze. It was a rare day when I was really craving a sweet scent, so I snuck a spritz of Bookworm’s Hanae Mori(Butterfly), and some of herBath & Body Works Dark Kiss lotion.

Potluck dinner with the community chorus and practice at the Methodist church picnic shelter. SOTEvening: Tauer Une Rose Vermeille, to continue the berry-vanilla gourmand theme.

Friday, Sept. 9: The CEO isn’t feeling well. Neither am I, but I think my issue is allergies. Guess I should go pop a Sudafed and just get on with enjoying the fall weather. SOTD: Arpege, a layering of modern EdP and vintage extrait.

Football game was disastrous… our high school lost, 31 -7. Aargh. It’ll be a short football season, but it’ll feel like an excruciatingly long one. The band was good, though. SOTD: Cuir de Lancome, which went well with the barbecue the Band Boosters were selling.

Saturday, Sept. 10: Cleaned up, as usual. Weather is incredibly gorgeous – 78F, low humidity, big fluffy clouds in the sky. Bookworm went to a large cross-country meet today, and out of 193 runners in her race, came in 37th, with a personal record 48 seconds faster than her previous best time. Very, very proud of her!

Went to the county Farm Bureau annual picnic and business meeting, wearing Mary Greenwell Plum. I love Plum. Bookworm skipped the picnic to go see a movie with PETBoy. Her face was just glowing when she came in.

Gaze went squirrel hunting with our farm helper, Jeff, and his six-year-old daughter Makayla, today. I don’t think they got any squirrels, but Jeff let him fire the shotgun at a pop bottle on a fencepost – and Gaze hit it! Amazing.

Sunday, Sept. 11: Early church. Biscuits and bacon and scrambled eggs for breakfast. Apple slices, spinach, and mozzarella sticks with marinara for lunch. Yum. SOTD: Mary Greenwell Plum again. Can I just repeat myself and say “I love Plum” again?

Ripped out a lot of the Morning Glory Vine That Ate the Porch, as well as some of the black-eyed Susans encroaching on the brick walkway, and a whole lotta weeds. Arrgh. We’re also taking out the sandbox, since the boys seem too old for it now. Ah, those were good times, with kids in the sandbox.

Dinner: sirloin steak (from a cow that broke her hip and has since been in the freezer), baked potatoes, my grandmother’s mother’s recipe for corn-stuffed green peppers, and green beans.  We’ve eaten well today.


Scent Diary, Aug. 29- Sept. 4, 2011

PCHS marching band, pregame 9/2/11, photo by David Gravely Photography

Monday, Aug. 29: Absolutely gorgeous weather! SOTD: Liz Taylor Violet Eyes. Wrote some today, did some laundry, finally finally finally sent out a couple of swap packages (it helped that I finally figured out how to do a Paypal shipping label so I could just dump the envelopes in the mailbox!!). SOTE: Shalimar Light, which might be too heavy, but it just feels right. Gaze likes this one, and so do I. It was nice for a dinner at Hotel Roanoke with the Virginia Cattlemen Board – which, yes, does include female members. The CEO has been at this convention all day, and will stay overnight for tomorrow’s meetings, but I just got to drop in for a filet mignon dinner and nice conversation. I got to go home and sleep in my own bed, because somebody has to take the kids to school tomorrow.

Tuesday, Aug. 30: SOTD: Violet Eyes again, for review. Nice. Not groundbreaking, but very pleasant. Bought Bookworm some shoes for Homecoming, which are just the cutest things I’ve ever seen, silver sandals with a court heel, size 5. The boys got home late from school; their bus was late because of wasps. I’m not sure, exactly, how the wasps come into it, but that’s what they said, “because of wasps.” Eek. Shalimar Light again for bedtime. In terms of smell, it was a repeat of yesterday, but that’s okay.

Wednesday, Aug. 31: Did some laundry and worked on Bookworm’s Homecoming dress most of the day. It’s pretty, a short teal strapless dress that she wanted me to add straps to; I found this gorgeous teal mesh ribbon with silver embroidery and silver sequins, to make straps out of. She’s going to look so beautiful in it. SOTMorning: Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds, in parfum. I’ve worn it several times before, so I’ll be posting a review Thursday. Took Taz for his haircut. SOTEvening: Citizen Queen. Delish, as Rachael Ray says.

Thursday, Sept. 1: It’s been hot today and the previous couple of days. The yard needs mowing because of some timothy and other grass heads poking up, but it’s very dry so I think I’ll wait. There will not be a family get-together on Labor Day this year. This is making me sad – we didn’t do Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, or Independence Day either, all holidays that my extended family usually celebrates together. Aunt Doris and Aunt Becky usually plan it and let everyone know a few days ahead of time what to bring and where we’ll be. This year, though, in the wake of my grandmother’s death, nobody seems to want to do anything. And since my usual habit is to wait to hear from the aunts, it didn’t occur to me to ask if I could arrange something, even just a sandwiches-and-lemonade lunch. It’s a bit late now. Then, too, my parents and aunts (and spouses) just returned from a ten-day tour of the Rockies and points west, and my mom told me she and Dad were just “so tired,” it may be that nobody feels up to it. Sigh.

SOTD: Shalimar Light. Again. First day back to Community Chorus since spring. We’ve got some good music for the December concert, and some that I’m not so crazy about, but that’s par for the course.

Friday, Sept. 2: Another hot day. I did not mow. SOTD: Aftelier Amber. I don’t think I’m really much of a dry-incense amber person. This smells fine but is just… not-me.

It was very, very humid. The CEO was busy fixing a leaking water line in one of the fields, and wasn’t sure that he’d be able to make it to the football game, so I went without him. It started to sprinkle on me as I left the house, but then it seemed to clear up and I was looking forward to seeing the band. (I could not possibly care less about the football, I love band.) This is the first time the band would be in full uniform this year, and I had planned to take some pictures. SOTE: Le Temps d’une Fete. As it happened, just as the band marched onto the track and around the field for the pregame show, there was lightning. So of course the game had to be postponed half an hour. I called home to tell The CEO that he might make it if he came later. And then there was more lightning, so the game was postponed again. The third time the game was postponed, the band went back to the school to get under roof, so some of the other band parents and I went with them. Of course, by then all the kids were wet to some degree, and those wool-and-polyester uniforms don’t smell great when wet. Not to mention the sweat. Our poor drum major, Cody, was dripping with it. (Our other drum major, Charlie – Charlotte – was smart, and stripped down to shorts and tank top immediately so her uniform wouldn’t get sweaty.)

Then we got word that the game would be postponed to Saturday, either at 1 pm or 7:30 pm. An evening game made sense to me and most of the other parents, but then the announcement was made that the game would be played at 1:00. This is Virginia Tech country, and since VT had a game scheduled at that time, an afternoon game was going to be problematic. So many of the band members were not going to be able to attend the Saturday game that the director decided they would not march. Dang. The CEO came over to talk to me while we were waiting for the announcement, and told me that I smelled great. The man has good taste!

Saturday, Sept. 3: Cleaned house again, the usual Saturday thing. The CEO went to Bookworm’s cross-country meet. (She did well, placing 13th in a field of about 60 girls.) I went to the make-up football game to help work the concessions stand with the Band Boosters, and it was so hot and humid that we thought we might DIE in that little booth. We weren’t even cooking hot dogs – they’d all been thrown away after the previous night’s game, because the health inspector doesn’t allow us to keep and refrigerate them. All we had was pizza, nachos, popcorn, drinks and various types of candy, and we sold out of everything except candy by the end of the game, since we hadn’t had the chance to restock drinks after the first game attempt. (The football team fumbled on the 1-yard line near the end of the game, and lost by a touchdown. And there was no band. Grrrrr.) SOTD: Elizabeth Taylor Violet Eyes, nice and light so it didn’t interfere with food, but musky enough to stick around for several hours.

Came home and took a shower, after my four hours in 91F heat and 87% humidity. SOTEvening: Le Temps d’une Fete again. It started raining at about 5:15 pm, so I suppose the decision to play at 1 pm was not as boneheaded as it appeared to be.

Bookworm and I have been fiddling with her hair, trying to find a hairstyle she can wear to Homecoming. She wants to wear it up, but she’s got a cross-country meet about two hours away that morning, and she won’t get back in time to have a style done professionally; it’ll have to be something I can do myself. What we tried tonight stayed in place for a couple of hours, but the hairpins were showing. Back to the drawing board.

Sunday, Sept. 4: Got up early to fill a vacancy in the preschool class at church. Wore Le Temps d’une Fete again since it just seems right. Came home, made lunch, cleaned up kitchen, mowed grass.   Booooring.


Scent Diary, Aug. 22-28, 2011


Apple tree in the Pond Field, photo taken by Gaze in August 2009

Monday, Aug. 22: The CEO started back to classes at VA Tech today. His mood always takes an immediate turn for the better when he’s teaching instead of farming. My parents and my dad’s sisters and their husbands are off on a week-long jaunt to the Rocky Mountains; hope they’re having a good trip.

This is going to be DSH Perfumes Week in honor of Dawn Spencer Hurwitz and her commitment to putting out wonderful scents. SOTD: Essense Oils reproduction of classic vintage fragrance Faberge Aphrodisia. I have tried several of Dawn’s “duplicate” fragrances and mostly enjoyed them, even if they turn out to not be my style. This is another of those “great but not really my thing” ones, a big kitchen-sink-y oriental with a rich floral heart.

It was Open House at the middle school, so I spritzed a bit of Cuir de Lancome to cover the remains of Aphrodisia (which goes a little too Youth-Dew-ish in the drydown to suit me) and took Gaze to get him set up for classes. Luckily, his locker is pretty close to his homeroom class this year, up on the second floor, and he should be all set. Then we got his hair cut, and he looks great.

Tuesday, Aug. 23: SOTD: DSH La Fete Nouvelle, another one from the Essense Oils side of her prolific website. I ordered a sample because I’ve been on a search for an almondy scent lately, something that would go well with my almond hand cream. I do really like this one, though not specifically for the almond note. It smells more like drying hay and the way your skin smells after the old-school suntan lotion, the cocoa butter kind, has worn off. It’s sweet and grassy and makes me think of warm meadow breezes, when the sun has sort of cooked the grass seeds and made them smell almost like bread baking.

Taz’s turn to go to Open House at the elementary school… this is the last year I’ll have a kid there! Next year, both he and Gaze will be at the middle school, and Bookworm will be a senior. Whoa. Time sails by like a ribbon on the wind. Well, when it’s not draggin’ through the mud like a turtle.

My beautiful daughter, leaning on Eddie Van and frowning at the reception bars on her cell phone

I am burying the news flash here in Tuesday’s entry, although this is actually news from Saturday, in hopes that Bookworm doesn’t see it and attempt to kill me: shhhh… she has (really, shhh! Don’t squee out loud, she’ll hear you)… a boyfriend! He’s a terrific kid, a friend of hers from band. He needs a blog nickname – any suggestions? I’m tempted to call him “Smiley” because his usual disposition is such, but that’s a pretty lame moniker.

Wednesday, Aug. 24: SOTD: another DSH “skin scent” called Au Lait. It smells sort of milky and sort of nutty-coconutty at the same time. When I first put it on, I immediately thought, “Zagnut bars!”

Last day before school starts. Eek, hope we’ve got things organized properly. Lessee, Bookworm needs a check for lunch money, and the boys have to take boxes of tissues… I think we’ve got it under control.

Had The CEO’s mom, B, over for a birthday dinner. Her birthday was actually last week, but we were hectic-busy and then she was gone to spend the weekend with The CEO’s older sister, so tonight worked pretty well. Ate roast pork loin, stuffing, gravy, steamed broccoli, mushrooms, and rolls; dessert was a rich chocolate cake with cherries, ice cream optional. Yum. SOTEvening: YSL Paris Pont des Amours – aha! Back to the summery powdery florals I was mentioning not wanting in my Summer Picks post.

Thursday, Aug 25: SCHOOL IS BACK IN!!! Wooo hoooo! Mothers all over the county are clicking their heels as the bus drives off, and making plans for celebratory lattes… or cocktails. I have a busy day scheduled:

  1. Make Bookworm breakfast. Take her to the high school to meet the bus that will take her to Gov School (and back to the high school at about 10 a.m.). We leave the house at 6:15 a.m.
  2. Make sure Gaze and Taz wake up and get up; make breakfast for them and The CEO.
  3. Take the boys to school. Leave no later than 8:05 a.m, first dropping Gaze at the middle school, then Taz at the elementary school. (They could ride the bus, which would pick them up at 7:15 at the road half a mile from the house, but riding the bus both ways means two complete dead hours for each of them during the day, and they are bored enough. Also, it’s no big deal to run and catch the bus on a slightly-late morning if it stops in front of your door, but that’s not the case for us. We tried the morning bus for three weeks, and we were killing ourselves to do that. It’s just not worth the trouble.)
  4. Heave a big sigh of relief.
  5. Go by the Wal-Mart and pick up hot dogs for the band picnic, as well as a plain black t-shirt for Bookworm to wear under her uniform tomorrow night. She had been wearing one of several black shirts with graphics on them (C-O-O-L in sign language, or her Women in Computing one, or the running camp one), but this year the director is specifying PLAIN BLACK. In all caps, so I know he means it. I think he’s actually discouraging the tubas from wearing their “Low Brass kicks…” shirts.
  6. Go home and clear up the breakfast dishes.
  7. Feed the orphan calf.
  8. Take B to get her repaired car from the garage.
  9. Do some laundry.
  10. Write a little, if possible.
  11. Eat lunch. Wait for the boys to get off the bus (it’s an early release day), then give them a snack and instruct them to fold some laundry and feed the calf again before their dad gets them and my MIL to take them to the band picnic.
  12. Go to the band practice field and help set up for the meal. Take a change of clothes, because I will almost certainly get dirty.
  13. Enjoy the hot dogs and the band performance.
  14. Take tables and tent down and put them away, then help prepack bag dinners for band members for Friday evening (everything except the sandwiches).
  15. Make sure everybody gets home and clean and set up for school on Friday. 

Guess I’ll get to relax tomorrow after everybody’s off to school… SOTMorning: DSH Rose Vert. SOTAfternoon: DSH 1000 Lilies. Both of these are just flat gorgeous. It’s why I have multiple samples of them! It’s hot today, too: mid-90s and humid.

Finally, back from band event… tired. Hot. Headachy. Still got stuff to do. Bookworm got sunburned at band practice today, she looks a little bit like she has a reverse raccoon mask – white around the eyes where her sunglasses were, pink on the rest of her face.

Friday, Aug. 26: A bit cooler today. Did some laundry today. Wrote awhile. SOTMorning: DSH Chypre. (Wow, great stuff.) Poor Bookworm was on her way to Gov School this morning when she realized she’d forgotten some stuff she’ll need this afternoon – after GS, after school, after cross-country practice, before the marching band suits up and leaves for the football game at the adjacent town’s high school. Poor baby, such a long day. I took her those items and picked up her enormously heavy backpack to bring home.

The boys said school was “boring” today. I suppose they’ll spend their first couple of weeks doing the old paperwork-and-review shuffle. SOTAfternoon: Cuir de Lancome. And I finally, finally got my sister’s birthday present in the mail, only two weeks late. Bad me.

Saturday, Aug. 27: Cleaned up, as usual. It smells like fall’s coming; I can’t exactly pinpoint why. It’s still warm and humid, so the air’s not crisp. There’s just a… dustiness, a slow languor, a weight to the air, that says the growing season is at an end. A few leaves have begun to fall already, too. SOTD: DSH La Fete Nouvelle again, because it’s so pretty and the summer is really ending.

The Salem Red Sox’ last home stand is this weekend, and since we can’t go to tomorrow’s game, we’ll go use up the fan pack tickets tonight. Bookworm’s friend is going with us, and so is my MIL B… Game went into extra innings. (“Free baseball!” The CEO exclaimed.) Home pretty late. SOTEvening: Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur.

Sunday, Aug. 28: Slept late; went to the 11 am church service instead of the 9. SOTD: DSH Cielle, which has underwhelmed me, probably because it’s a jasmine-and-iris scent. I often wonder if I’m needlessly avoiding certain scents because I don’t love certain notes (jasmine, iris, and orange blossom come to mind here). And then I wonder, with all the wonderful scents in the world that focus on notes that I already love (tuberose, rose, aldehydes), whether it matters all that much that I don’t totally dig those certain notes. After all, lots of people adore iris, even if I prefer it as a supporting cast member. Lots of people love jasmine. I think I’ve decided that it’s not necessary that I be one of the people that love jasmine.

About the only thing that I really cannot stand is that resiny core accord in Youth Dew. Test Tabu, Youth Dew, and Opium on the same arm, and whatever-it-is they have in common (I have yet to figure out exactly what it is!), well, that’s my bête noire.

SOTAfternoon: Ines de la Fressange, the first one in the octagonal bottle. I should review it. Haven’t worn it much this summer, but I’m not feeling all that bubbly and romantic lately, either. In fact, I wanted something else in the evening, so I went for DSH Chypre again. Rrowr, come to mama…  Just went out to give the calf a bottle.  She was a twin (cows usually can only keep track of one calf, and one twin will typically be abandoned), so we’ve got her in the small lot by our yard and we’re giving her milk replacer twice a day.  As I was coming back into the house I realized how lovely the sounds are out here on the farm: cicadas, cows munching grass, birds calling, and the faint zoom of traffic from Rt. 100.


Scent Diary, Aug. 1-7, 2011

Perfume Shelf, from Wikimedia Commons

Monday, Aug. 1: First day of band camp. Hot. The CEO left for his trip to Orlando for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Board, the second meeting of the year. (Florida in summer, Denver in winter… what are these guys thinking? Besides, “Hey, off-season rates!”?) SOTD: Uh, nothing. In a hurry to leave and late and busy, I forgot. Ever forget? Happened to me. SOBedtime: Shalimar Light.

Tuesday, Aug. 2: Temps in the high 80s, and humid. Gah. One case of skin rash on a student, soothed with hydrocortisone cream. Looks like she might have sat down in a place with itchy plant life, just after the grass was mowed. It took a few days to disappear, but she’s fine now. SOTD: Comptoir Sud Pacifique L’Eau du Gouverneur, nice nutmeggy thing borrowed from the absent CEO’s dresser. It cut through the sweat, sunscreen, and mildewed tent smells, and lasted many hours.

Spent the evening at a nearby high school football stadium, watching a Drum Corps International competition with my parents and the boys. Taz kept complaining that he was “going to be bored,” and then, despite his obvious enjoyment, telling me that he didn’t like it. I suspect he didn’t want to be proved wrong. The rest of us thought it was a great show, lots of fun to watch.

Wednesday, Aug. 3: Hotter today and humid. Bleargh. Busy band camp day. SOTD: Guerlain Idylle EdT. Pleasant in the heat, that nice high-pitched rose-lily of the valley-patchouli sharp and bright over unpleasant odors. CEO home tomorrow.

Thursday, Aug 4: Gosh, I’m tired… this getting up at 6:15 am is wearing on me. I’ll have to get used to it again, though, because Bookworm will be starting classes in A WEEK (yes, one week from now!!) at Governor’s School, the magnet school for science and technology. Regular county classes begin the 25th. SOTD: Balenciaga Paris – nice but barely perceptible.

Had one of the trumpet players come out at Gatorade time with incipient heat exhaustion. Turned out she hadn’t been eating or drinking properly at home, and the morning’s two water breaks weren’t enough to keep her hydrated. She’s fine now.

CEO home, and sick. Seems like every time he gets on a plane that happens.

Friday, Aug. 5: Hot again for the last day of band camp. The senior prank this year was to blow up balloons and stuff the top of the director’s platform, then wrap it all up with shrink wrap. It was wildly amusing to them, particularly when Mr. Butler (who forewarned him?) pulled a pair of scissors out of his shorts pocket with a flourish and shimmied up the ladder just as usual.

Had one of the bass drum players come out early in the morning practice with stomach pain; had to take him to the ER to rule out appendicitis. I knew this kid had a digestive-system issue because of his dietary restrictions, but I didn’t know how serious it was. Turned out he had a minor blockage and was fine after a few hours, in a situation strikingly reminiscent of when we thought Gaze had appendicitis a few years ago. This kid is a die-hard band geek, and when he broke his toe last year, it took him three days to tell somebody because he didn’t want to miss a competition, so you know if he was sitting out a drilldown, he was really in pain. He’s fine now.

SOTD: Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur. I love it, but now I might love it more for having received two compliments today. The cafeteria lady helping us serve lunch exclaimed, “I like your perfume! What is it?” and we had a nice conversation about fragrance; she likes Avon and Bath & Body Works scents. Wish I’d had a sample in my purse to give her, but I didn’t think of it. And then one of the students passing by me said, “Wow, somebody smells really good!” Scent of Bedtime: Shalimar Light. Man, am I tired…

Saturday, Aug. 6: Another warm but really humid sort of day. Took Bookworm down to the high school early (this is getting to be a habit!) to pick up her cross-country uniform and have team pictures made. Then we took advantage of Virginia’s tax-free weekend to buy school supplies and a few items of school clothing for her. I’m still trying to pry her away from the Jeans Every Day mindset, but I don’t know that that’s going to happen. SOTMorning: SSS Jour Ensoleille, which is gorgeous and floral and sweet and just a wee bit drrty. I want a little 5ml purse spray, whenever they show up on the website again.

National anthem at local minor league baseball game

Mowed the grass, cleaned the house, took the fam down to our local Rookie League baseball game. The PCHS band was playing the Star Spangled Banner – which Bookworm tells me is always referred to among band members as “SSB,” which surprised me, because we always called it “Banner” – for the game, and that was fun to watch. SOTEvening: more Jour Ensoleille. Trivia: Eddie Van was selected as the “Dirtiest Vehicle in the Parking Lot,” and I won a free car wash at a local establishment… thing is, you know the car wash will only last until I get to the driveway, which is half a mile long and gravel.

Sunday, Aug. 7: Helping with preschool age kids at church today. Eleven kids, one adult… I’m so tired! I need a nap! SOTD: Mary Greenwell Plum.


Scent Diary, July 18-24, 2011

So this has been a really frustrating week…

Monday, July 18: Considerably hotter than yesterday; by 1 pm the upstairs floor was completely miserable, several degrees hotter than the 80F downstairs. I turned the air conditioning back on. Went to fetch The CEO from a field he was mowing, and realized that Eddie Van’s left rear tire was absolutely flat, so I put the spare tire on. I got Bookworm to help me, because one of the things my dad never taught me how to do was to change a tire. Everyone should know how to change a tire. Bookworm may be small, but she’s strong, and she needs to be able to do it, so I made her do at least a piece of every single step. SOTMorning: Love, Chloe, which was an utter disaster. People recoiled from my arm in horror.

SOTAfternoon, when I thought we would have time to get the tire fixed or replaced and then get to the theater to see Part 2 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: a combination of Cristina Bertrand #3 and Samsara, both of which are strongly jasmine. I had put on the CB3 first, and found it a little too chilly, so the Samsara warmed it up. I don’t usually like to layer, but this one worked out fine. In any case, the tire guys finished with the van after the movie had started, so we decided to try again on Tuesday.

Silvia, The Queen

My mother-in-law Barbara has gone out of town for a few days, to a conference, which means that I am currently in charge of feeding her rotten cat, Fidel. (Fidel is not noticeably more spoiled rotten than Queen Silvia.) Fidel is mostly white, with gray tabby markings on his flanks and tail, and a mark on his face that looks for all the world like a mustache! He was mostly Bill’s cat and spent a lot of the day sleeping on Bill’s lap, so he’s been lonely lately.

Tuesday, July 19: Miserably hot again, 90F and very humid. SOTD: several, actually! I was mostly wearing Lumiere Noire pour femme, but also put on, for comparison’s sake, Agent Provocateur DD and Une Rose. It rained a little past noon, and then The CEO’s uncle called to let us know that there were several calves out on his road. Because The CEO was gone to a New River Land Trust meeting, and we were here without him, the kids and I had to go and get them back into the field. Actually, Bookworm did most of the work. There were six heifers who had jumped the Front Field cattle guard, and it was the second time they’d gotten out today, so we were instructed via cell phone by The CEO to put them into the Airport Field instead since they had figured out how to defeat the cattle guard. However, when Bookworm and Gaze went to get behind them and drive them toward the open gate into the Airport Field, two of them turned around and jumped the cattle guard to get back into the Front Field with the rest of the heifer calves, and one jumped the (really bad) fence into the Pond Field with the cows. Two came down the road nicely and went into the Airport Field as calmly as you could wish for, but one of them went through the fence into the Pond Field at another location, breaking at least two strands of barbed wire. Then she stood there looking at her friends on the other side of the road in the Airport Field, so we opened the Pond Field gate and let her walk across the road into the Airport Field.

And all of this during a thunderstorm, with buckets of rain…

After which, since I was already wet, I took a shower and got ready for our second try at seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. Put on La Myrrhe. I let Bookworm drive the 10 miles to R—-, for the 3 pm showing. We were very disappointed to find out that a local summer camp had bought all the tickets for the 3 pm showing for both today and tomorrow, and the theater was sold out! It’s also playing at 6 and 9pm, but the 9 seemed too late to Bookworm to stay up, and she had cross-country conditioning every day at 6, so that one’s out too. Looks like we’re out of business until Thursday.

When The CEO got home from a Land Trust meeting, he went out to check on a small group of cows in the Dobbins Pasture field, and found a really tiny premature calf. It was alive – unusual for such an early calf – but its mama was too excited to stand still and make it easy for him to nurse. So The CEO came home to thaw out some colostrum (I’ll bet you didn’t know we had that in the freezer!), and when he went back, he found that the calf had rolled under the fence and into the creek. This was not good – a newborn calf’s temperature needs to be kept up for several hours after birth, and being in the creek was dangerous both because of the body chill and the danger of drowning. However, the calf did take the bottle of colostrum and stood up again. He’ll have to be watched, and if his mama is still freaked out, we may have to feed him supplemental bottles.

I just hugged Taz good night, and it made him burp. Which made me laugh.

Wednesday, July 20: The CEO left this morning on a trip to visit all the Agricultural Technology students’ summer internships. I went outside to get into Eddie Van and go over to Barbara’s house to feed Fidel – and found that the front left tire was flat. Really, really flat. So I took the Ranger (his name is Walker, for reasons that should be obvious). Now I need to change the tire agaaaaain, which I’m not happy about, so I can get it fixed. Grr.

SOTD: Jour Ensoleille. Hot again. Mid-90s today, and humid. It must be July. Been watching Season 2 of Glee on Hulu with Bookworm… oh boy, the romance drama! Also, some embarrassing songs.

CEO took off today for his jaunt around the state, checking on the department’s summer internships. He’ll be back on Saturday. Jeff the Hired Guy reports that the preemie calf is standing up and making a good effort at nursing.

Thursday, July 21: Mowed the grass and got horribly sweaty. Did four loads of laundry. SOTD: Mary Greenwell Plum. Finally, finally took Bookworm to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II. It’s a pretty good adaptation; I could quibble to a small degree, but by and large, we were pleased. My opinion on movies based on books is generally that the closer the movie is to the book, the better, but often I’m disappointed.

(Cases in point: Smilla’s Sense of Snow and Billy Bathgate – both great books, not-so-great movies. The only two cases in which I like the movie better than the book: The Wizard of Oz and Forrest Gump. The book Wizard of Oz involves spunky, 20’s-slang-spouting nine-year-old Dorothy in a weird world – there’s no epiphany for her that home is wonderful. And I’m not fond of satire as a genre, as inForrest Gump – a cynical romp through a ridiculous world. Many people would say it is a ridiculous world, and I’m not arguing that it isn’t… exactly… I’m just saying that I am not a big fan of satire, except for ThePrincess Bride, which is actually only satirical in parts, and if you’re just after the “good parts,” you can skip the rest of it. The movie, by the way, is the “good parts,” plot-only version. I adore the movie, but the book is excellent as well.)

SOTEvening: Cuir de Lancome. Man, I ought to take every one of my usual “summer” scents out of the hatbox and pack ’em away. They’re not doing me any good at all. Too light, too chilly, too… somethin’. And when I’m not craving galbanum and fresh florals in hot weather, there’s something wrong with me… I’m not sure what.

Friday, July 22: Hot again. This is the week of the fair, and none of us is the least bit interested in going – it’s just too hot. Testing today: Tom Ford Champaca Absolute, and Shalimar Parfum Initial, neither of which are doing it for me. Champaca Abs is pretty for ten minutes and then unpleasant. Parfum Initial is dreadful for two hours and then nice. Guess it evened out. Sort of.

Saw The CEO’s sister E and her daughter, Primrose, who are visiting while Curiosity and his dad are at Boy Scout camp. They’re leaving after the family reunion tomorrow. Went to see Cars 2 – I’d thought it would be silly, but I enjoyed the light-hearted take on James Bond films.

Black calf from Wikimedia Commons (not ours!)

The CEO called and asked us to go give the premature calf at the Dobbins pasture field half a bottle. It took longer than usual to get the bottle ready – Taz snuck up on me and hugged me while I was putting milk powder into the bottle, and it spilled all over the work surface in the laundry room. So I had to clean it up, because that stuff is sticky. Then Bookworm came in and I told her to, I quote, “put the lid on that bottle and shake it up, while I put on my shoes.” I handed her a half-full bottle with half-a-bottle’s worth of milk powder in it, and sat down to put on my shoes… only to look up and see that she’d filled it full to the brim with more water. Bad. Essentially, she’d watered down the bottle such that this calf (only as big as a medium-small dog) would only get half the nutrition that he really should be getting. So we had to start over. And then we got to the field and found that the mama cow (ear tag X13) was standing over something black and lumpy on the ground.

Yep, dead calf. Really, really dead. Then we had a concern that the cow might have had another twin, and I had to go and look closely at the dead calf to see if it was the one that had been born on Tuesday. If it had an ear tag in its left ear, it was the one that fell into the creek. However, the dead calf was lying on his left side, so that I had to get really close to it to try to lift its head and see if it was the creek calf. The mama cow objected, so Bookworm grabbed the Hot Shot out of the back and waved her off with it while I grabbed a stick and lifted the calf’s head up. It did have an ear tag. We left the calf there so that The CEO and Jeff could do a Weekend at Bernie’s with the calf and convince the cow to walk onto the cattle truck to be hauled to the hay shed and checked by the vet.

Saturday, July 23: Yet again, hot and humid. Bleah. SOTD: uhh… I don’t think I even put any – wait. Yes, I did. It was L’Artisan Mon Numero 8, and it was gone in ten minutes, leaving a slight faint smell of baby powder on my arm.

It threatened to rain, but did not actually do it here. After The CEO got home, he took the boys to an autograph signing and Salem Red Sox baseball game. I think they had fun – they came home with a Kris Negron bat and cap from a silent auction ($23). Kris played for the Red Sox a couple of seasons ago, and is now on the roster for the Cincinnati Reds, playing AAA ball with the Louisville Bats. He seems to be a nice guy; he was always pleased to throw used balls up into the stands where the little boys stand with their mitts, begging.

Bookworm would have gone with them, except that she had promised to volunteer at the table for our local Congressman at the fair. When she got back, she and I watched another episode of Glee. Seems like we’re doing a lot of horrified shrieks while watching Season 2, as in “I cannot BELIEVE that just happened!” or “I cannot BELIEVE how stupid these people are! The adults are worse than the teenagers!” or “Did they REALLY put this on TV???” We were particularly appalled by the alcohol awareness (cough, cough) episode.

Went to bed in Shalimar Light. Yes, the Blue Juice. I don’t apologize for it.

Sunday, July 24: Warm and humid in the morning. SOTD: PdN Le Temps d’une Fete, which I lurve beyond all reason. We got home from church, had lunch, and then The CEO and Bookworm took off to rake and bale a small field, hoping to get done before the storms came. Didn’t happen. It rained buckets.  I’m tired…  Scent of Bedtime was Shalimar Light again, yum.


Scent Diary, July 11-17, 2011

Monday, July 11: Hot today – 95F – and humid. I’m enjoying my new haircut. SOTD: Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur. I noticed on Saturday that Eddie Van’s inspection sticker has expired, and I’ve been driving around in an illegal vehicle for more than a week! Went straight down to the auto service today and waited while they took care of him.

Bookworm and Gaze went out in the Gator to feed the weaned calves some grain this morning. I think The CEO is relieved to be able to turn over some tasks to them. Gaze is getting cash in consideration. Instead of paying Bookworm directly, we’re putting her wages into her band trip account. The marching band will be playing for the All-American Bowl in Orlando in December, and of course there are hotel fees and food and bus expenses and tickets to the amusement park associated with the trip. Luckily, they’re doing band camp as a day camp at the high school, instead of going to a college or summer camp as they’ve done in the past.

I’ve been teasing Bookworm because every band camp I went to was at our high school – and we didn’t have a nice cool grassy field to practice on, as her band does. We practiced on the asphalt parking lot. In August. Talk about hot – I might have mentioned before that the town where I grew up is, on average, about five degrees cooler than here… except in August, when Roanoke gets temperature inversions due to the bowl-like configuration of the mountains, and it gets even hotter. It is not unheard-of for summer temperatures in Roanoke to top 100F, with 90% humidity. Gah. Bookworm’s lucky and doesn’t even know it.

Tuesday, July 12: Miserably hot, 98F. SOTD: Moschino Funny! Spent part of the day quite upset because WordPress had suspended my blog due to “concerns about some of my content.” Worse, the supposed 24/7 Support was offline due to an upgrade until the middle of the afternoon, so I didn’t even know why there was a concern. Turned out that I had used a copyrighted image on one of my older posts. WordPress removed it and unsuspended my blog. In the past six months or so, I’ve been very careful about using only my own, public domain, Wikimedia Commons, or permission-with-attribution images, but in earlier posts I wasn’t so careful. I’ll probably need to go back through my blog images and replace ones that might be under copyright.

The CEO and kids watched most of the All-Star Game, which I avoid because it is So Darn Boring. Went to bed in vintage Emeraude.

Wednesday, July 13: Bookworm and Gaze went with their dad again this morning, to give the weaned calves a pour-on dewormer. I mowed the grass, wearing DSH Chypre (in oil). Gosh, I love the stuff. I don’t know why I do, because it really isn’t my taste at all and I don’t know if I’d ever wear it out somewhere. I like to keep it for myself. It is bitter, green, sour, and amazing. I do wonder if it would be easier to wear if it were diluted in alcohol, but I’m a little afraid to try, lest I waste the little bit I have. I do have a couple of samples of the (reissued) Coty Chypre, which is a little purring kitten next to the DSH beast.

It’s a lot cooler today, 82F, but very very humid. According to the National Weather Service, our current humidity is 74%. Even though the house is 78F, it is heaven after you’ve been outside. SOTA: L’Artisan Mon Numero 8, which I’ll be reviewing soon.

Took the kids to the library and watched the librarian’s eyes goggle as we put book after book after book on the desk to be checked in. I think we had maybe thirty books for four people. We’d finished reading them before the two-week checkout period was over, but I hadn’t had a chance to return them before today. Taz is currently into the Hardy Boys series, as well as Harry Potter (since starting Sorcerer’s Stone on Saturday, he’s now in the middle of Book 3, Prisoner of Azkaban – but of course those are Bookworm’s copies, not library books). I just finished Prayers for Sale, by S Dallas.

We made an afternoon of it; after the library, we dropped off some items at the Goodwill collection box, then went by the fruit stand for some tomatoes and peaches, mailed Bookworm’s Governor’s School forms and a swap package at the post office, and then went to Wal-Mart for water softener salt, water pitcher filters, and milk, as well as a new bike helmet for Gaze. (Poor Taz is wearing Bookworm’s old helmet, blue with pink flowers on it, which doesn’t seem to bother him.) While we were there, I had to dodge a Youth Dew-wearing woman you could smell from, I swear, fifteen feet away. Gah.

Small rant: Why is it that nobody ever wears that much Chanel No. 5 parfum? No, it’s always the stuff you hate that other people are wearing too much of. I’d certainly notice if someone was wearing enough, say, No. 19 or Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur or Knowing (which I like on other people, just not on me) to be smelled from that distance. It’s just that the people who are wearing enough perfume that you can smell them coming around the corner are always, always wearing something I despise.

SOTEvening: Maison Francis Kurkdjian Lumiere Noire pour femme, another one I must review soon.

Thursday, July 14: Not quite so hot today – though humid enough, with the power going out for about three hours in the middle of the day. SOTD: Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune. I had given my sister-in-law a miniature of this, and she loves it. I wangled another one in a swap, so I could enjoy it myself. Luckily, it’s not cat pee on me.

Also received my little miniature of Love, Chloe in the mail, so I’ll have to try that one soon.

Friday, July 15: Lower temperatures today – cool, cloudy and windy, but no rain. The windchimes are going crazy this afternoon, and we turned off the A/C. SOTD: Le Temps d’une Fete, which I totally adore, with a squidge of SSS Tabac Aurea. They’re playing nicely together, though I know that if we were having hot humid weather as we did earlier in the week, they’d be conspiring to asphyxiate me. I wonder how it would be to live in the same kind of weather from day to day. Weird, I’m guessing.

Have been trying to catch up on Glee Season 2 with Bookworm – but since the full Season 2 is not out on DVD yet, we’re watching it on Hulu, on my laptop. Which stinks because a) my laptop screen is weensy, and b) there are commercials, and c) you can’t fast-forward through the galling parts, like the Finn-and-Rachel “Born Again” duet, or the Brittany-and-Santana smoochfest (which I did not think was appropriate for 12-year-old Gaze, and I made him leave the room, and he’s still mad about it). Plus, we’re trying to catch up on this free trial – and if we don’t finish soon, we’ll wind up either paying $9 for it, or making up new email addresses and doing multiple free-trial weeks. Granted, $9 for 23 episodes, lasting about 45 minutes each, is not all that bad a deal, given that sooner or later, she and I will also be shelling out for the last installment of the Harry Potter movies. But still, I think The CEO would object. Netflix does month-long free trials, but they don’t offer TV shows not out on DVD yet, not even for streaming. Grrrrr.

Saturday, July 16: The CEO is planning to run for the School Board. Lord have mercy.

It’s raining. My stargazer lilies are starting to pop open, so I took some photos from cover of the porch. Silvia, our cat, refuses to pose for photos: she’ll look right at me, and then just as the flash goes, she’ll turn her head. Ever the we-are-not-amused queen, that one. SOTD: Cristina Bertrand #3.

Bookworm cooked dinner: steak, baked potatoes, salad, rolls. It was delicious.

Sunday, July 17: Warm today, in the mid-80s, but not too humid. Air conditioning is still off, but we’ve got the fans going and it’s nice. SOTD: DelRae Amoureuse, which Bookworm hates but everyone else seems to enjoy. The Bright Futures kids from Atlanta are visiting today, so I’ve got four gallons of lemonade in the refrigerator and three pans of brownies made. Those kids can eat – no matter that they just finished a potluck lunch at the Church of God on Bobwhite Boulevard and they’ll be eating again at 6 pm or so, the brownies disappeared.

We always look forward to the kids coming. The Church of God in P—- sponsors them to come and spend a week staying in the area, going to the county recreational park and the pool and hiking and rock-climbing, just seeing things you can’t see in inner-city Atlanta, widening their horizons a bit. Essentially, Bright Futures is an after-school program for youth at risk, helping kids live safe and work toward better futures. A lot of them live with grandparents or foster parents because their parents have drug problems. They’re great kids. The CEO likes to take them on hayrides through the fields and past the cows; he says that for some of them, it’s the first time they’ve seen farm animals up close, and he might as well be taking them on safari, for the wonder in their faces.

If I had the opportunity to do perfume sniffing with them, I’d do it. Unfortunately, there are too many of them. Sigh. I’d send them all home with samples if I could.

It was chilly when I went to bed – The CEO was still up watching the Red Sox – Yankees game, which went 16 innings, with the Sox winning 1-0. I was craving something potent and warm, so I dug the Alahine out of the cabinet. It was delicious.


Scent Diary, July 4-10, 2011

Green selection from Nat at FragranticaMonday, July 4 (Independence Day): Nice relaxing day at home, mostly. The CEO was working (cows don’t take holidays, you know), and we did laundry and finished straightening up the house. Asked The CEO’s mom over for hot dogs and potato salad, since for the first time in a couple of decades, there was no large family gathering. I think organizing one was just beyond my aunts’ powers this year; they’re getting my late grandmother’s townhouse ready for real estate showings. SOTD: Guerlain Terracotta Voile d’Ete.

The CEO wanted to go hear a beach music concert at the local (rookie-league) ballpark before the game started, and nobody wanted to go with him, so we stayed home and played Family Trivial Pursuit with Barbara. It was fun, and we laughed a lot. Then, just before we had to decide whether we would go to the ballpark to watch the game – Taz didn’t want to go, but the other kids did – it started raining. Nay, pouring.

Nay, bucketing. It was so windy, and it was raining so hard, that you couldn’t even see the trees in the yard. We decided quickly that a baseball game would be A Bad Idea in this weather, so we called The CEO to tell him so. He was surprised to hear that it was raining, because he was completely dry there in the town of P—. We got two inches of rain in about an hour. We had needed it badly; the grass in the yard was getting crunchy, and the gravel road was dusty.

By the time dinner was over, it was clear again, and we went to the nearby town of R— to watch fireworks, since our own county decided not to celebrate with fireworks again this year. (Budget cuts. It’s a relatively poor county, sandwiched in as it is between two college towns.) We had barely gotten to R— when we found out that due to the rain, the fireworks display had been put off until Tuesday. So we went home via Wal-mart, picking up a(nother) gallon of milk and the movie “True Grit” from the Redbox kiosk out front.

Tuesday, July 5: SOTD: Esprit d’Oscar. I rather like the face-powder aspect. Hot and muggy today, with thunderstorms in the early afternoon. Bookworm started conditioning for cross-country this evening, and then the boys had swim lessons, and we also had to watch the movie before we took it back – a hectic day.

Fireworks in San Diego from Wikipedia

SOTE: Guerlain Terracotta Voile d’Ete. We all piled into the car and drove first to the redbox kiosk (we made it there at 8:53 pm!) and then to R— to see the fireworks. We wound up standing on the bridge over the river to see them, and they were very nice. Standing on the bridge is not nearly as nice as sitting on the hill near the public library, but it wasn’t all that bad, either, and the traffic wasn’t all that dreadful, either.

The CEO found a calf in the field who had gotten some wire tangled around his foot; the calf had managed to pull the wire tight enough to start cutting off the circulation to his foot. CEO got him into the hay barn and into the head chute so he could cut off the wire and doctor the foot. Hope the calf makes it.

Wednesday, July 6: Bookworm and Gaze went to help their dad work cattle this morning. There were some cow-calf pairs to separate for weaning, and then the calves needed a pour-on insecticide. I don’t think they expected to be out all morning, so they didn’t take the sunscreen, and poor Bookworm is rather pink around the neck and shoulders. SOTD: Esprit d’Oscar.

About the time that The CEO and Bookworm were coming home from cross country conditioning, our neighbor’s older son came by to tell me that one of his cows had gotten out in the road and that he’d run her into our shop lot and closed the gates. He asked if that was okay, and if we could help him get her back into their field. (This is the same field that holds the donkeys that annoy me so much.) I told Thomas sure, and then we all wound up in the yard trying to get this one large, panicky heifer to make a slight left turn out of our driveway and into theirs. Thomas had a friend with him, and the guy seemed to think it was a good idea to chase the heifer. This tactic, let me tell you, is sadly mistaken. You want calm, you want order, you want purpose. If you pursue a cow, particularly one on her own, too vigorously, she thinks she’s being chased by a predator, and she is likely to panic, run away, jump gates, kick, and go anywhere except where you want her to go.

Ideally, the cow-driving situation you want is this: a fence along which the cow can walk, with the gate you want her to go through at some point along the fence’s length or at its corner. Then you need two people, one to walk behind the cow and keep her from any ideas about turning around and going the other direction, and the other person to walk to her side and just a bit behind her, just so she can see you out of the corner of the eye that’s away from the fence. Then, you walk, without chasing her. You want her to move steadily and warily but not in fear. The CEO is excellent at this.

SOTEvening: Mary Greenwell Plum.

Thursday, July 7: Kept a friend’s daughter this morning and took the boys for their summer haircuts (finally!). They look cute. After yesterday’s downpours, the air is humid but not all that hot, in the low 80s. SOTD: vintage Oscar de la Renta parfum on left wrist, sample of Esprit d’Oscar on the right. I have a clear preference.

Friday, July 8: Low 80sF again, and humid again too. Kept Makayla again while her dad, Jeff, was helping on the farm again today. Turns out she loves perfume. She must have smelled every single mini she could get her five-year-old hands on, as well as several samples, and loved most of them. What she didn’t like was old-school chypres like vintage Miss Dior and DSH Chypre, as well as Parfums de Rosine Folie de Rose, and I didn’t try her on any aldehydic scents, but she loved every Big White Floral scent I showed her, as well as some patchouli-heavy florals. Her favorites were Guerlain Idylle edt, Lanvin Rumeur, and Michael Storer Stephanie. I sent her home with the Rumeur sample and a few others… hope her mother doesn’t mind! I let her pick my scent of the day, which turned out to be Nobile 1942 Chypre (which isn’t, if you remember, a chypre – rather, a powdery vanilla).

Myriad thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. It rained at 2:30 and at 5:00 – big downpour-type storms. Luckily, The CEO had gotten back from bushhogging a rented field 8 miles from the house at that point, and the storm let up long enough to allow Bookworm to go to cross country conditioning at 6:00 pm. However, it started raining again just as she finished, and the boys’ last swim lesson was postponed until the following morning.

Dinner was carryout pizza and green beans, which excited the kids, at least. I just found out that our favorite “date” restaurant, the Oriental Crown Chinese Buffet and Mongolian Grill, has closed. I’m stunned. We don’t go out on dates often, perhaps every month or so, and the last date The CEO and I went on was a lunch date, on a weekday, at Tha Dawg House (not exactly the sort of dress-up place that thrills a lady’s heart). I think the last time we hit the Oriental Crown was in April, and it seemed to be thriving then. What happened?

Saturday, July 9: The CEO took Gaze and Taz to their swim lesson because he wanted to see what sort of progress they’d made; I think he was pleased. Bookworm went off to a carwash/bake sale fundraiser for the band, which turned out to be less successful than the boosters had hoped, but every little bit counts, right? SOTD: Annick Goutal Eau du Ciel. It smells like laundry drying on the clothesline, in the sun – a happy, calm, domestic smell.

Normal clean-up Saturday chores today. It is a gorgeous day: very clear, with low humidity and lots of sunshine. I spent a good twenty minutes sitting on the back deck with a pair of scissors and a ratty old comb we (attempt to) use on the cat, getting hair out of the brushes of the sweeper. There was a gentle breeze, and I could hear birds and cicadas in the woods near the house, as well as the occasional small airplane coming in and out of the airport near the house. This airport is strictly for private-use planes and cargo planes, no commercial flights, and summer Saturdays are probably its busiest days of the year. There might be as many as thirty small planes using the airport on Saturdays when the weather is pretty; most other days there might be one or two at the most. Occasionally we see military planes or helicopters land there, presumably for refueling, and since the airport is less than a mile from the house, it’s easy enough to hop in the car and go see what’s going on. It was particularly exciting for small boys, though they seem to have become less interested as they’ve gotten older. SOTEvening: Ferre 20. Watched “The Black Swan” with The CEO and found it disturbing. Eek.

Sunday, July 10: Late for church today because The CEO took Bookworm and Gaze with him to feed that calf with the wounded foot and to give the weaned calves some grain. Then Gaze fell in the creek, and everybody was hot and sweaty and dirty and had to take showers, and we had to pack up clothes for after church… ergo, thirteen minutes late for church. SOTMorning: Marc Jacobs Daisy. I don’t ever get the red berries people are complaining about in it – it’s three minutes of grapefruit, followed by soft white florals and a woody-musk that I find creamy and pleasant. I planned to wear something quiet so I could do some sniffage later.

After church, The CEO dropped by his office to leave some reimbursement forms for the time he was in Canada at a conference. Then he went by the men’s clothing store to buy some new khakis for work while they were on sale, while the rest of us hit the bookstore. (Bookworm can do some damage in a bookstore, if you let her loose… she did spend $6 of her own money on Ender’s Shadow. Gaze picked up a book about Robin Hood with his own money, and Taz debated buying a book but decided not to spend his money.  Instead he’ll continue reading Bookworm’s Harry Potter novels. After years of declaiming that Harry Potter was “stupid” and “annoying,” and entirely his sister’s province, he’s suddenly gotten interested. I have no objections. He read through Sorcerer’s Stone in two days, so I think I need not say anything else to  him!)

After lunch and returning the disturbing “The Black Swan” to the Redbox outlet, we drove to Salem for the (single-A) Red Sox game. That is, everybody but me went to the game. I went to the mall for, yes, free sniffies.

Sadly, there is nothing new to report at the mall. I went by Bath & Body Works first, to see if there was a decent deal on liquid hand soaps. There wasn’t. (Sorry, I don’t really neeeed four hand soaps for $15. I don’t mind picking up 4 for $10.) The Tangelo Orange ones smell great, though – they smell like Guerlain Pamplelune on steroids, actually. I thought about grabbing another Dark Kiss hand lotion for Bookworm, because it smells so good on her, but they didn’t have a special on those, either. Then I smelled nearly everything that Macy’s and Belk had testers for. (Look for a separate post on mall sniffery, probably tomorrow. It’s a whole ‘nother world from niche samples.)

After that I dropped by Hair Plus and got my hair cut, for only $4 more than my local hairdresser, who was busy when I had time to get my hair cut this week, so I don’t feel too badly about it.  It looks nice.

I now have about five scents up and down my arms, none of them really doing it for me. On my left inner elbow is Estee Lauder Private Collection – I know, I know, Lauders never work for me. They just don’t. Even PC, which is beautiful for two hours, finally develops the Lauderade that nauseates me. I also went a little mad and tried a half-spritz of Cinnabar on my left wrist. It is about a quarter-spritz too much, and also, duh, Lauderade. On my right wrist, Jessica Simpson Fancy Love, which was a mistake. Also a mistake, to my surprise: Chanel No. 5 EdP on my right forearm. It doesn’t smell right.  I am most familiar with No. 5 in vintage EdC and parfum, and have smelled it pretty frequently in the EdT.  You know how when you smell a modern version of an older scent, the modern is usually missing something? Well, the EdP of No. 5 has something, and I don’t like it. 

Top image from Nat at Fragrantica.  Image of fireworks from Wikipedia.


Scent Diary, June 27- July 3, 2011

Monday, June 27: Monday is grocery day, as always. The efficiency experts say you’re supposed to get through the week without having to go back to the store, and I try. It usually works, except for milk. We usually kill four gallons of milk a week, and sometimes five in the summer when everyone is home; there’s NO WAY I’m getting four gallons of milk in the fridge along with everything else that has to be in there… yogurt, cheese, fresh broccoli, sweet tea, grapes… leftovers…

Gaze and Taz started their intermediate swimming lessons today. They can sort-of swim, but Gaze doesn’t like to have his face underwater, and Taz flails around like his goal is to splash every drop of water out of the pool, and they need a little guidance. I think it went okay. The instructor, Derek, looks like a college kid, and he’s very patient. SOTD: Mary Greenwell Plum.

The CEO was going ballistic because he had mowed some hay on Saturday, expecting that it would be ready to bale Sunday, but it got rained on in a surprise shower. And it was damp and foggy this morning. However, it finally cleared up and he was able to get the hay baled. (Thing is about hay, you want it dry enough that it won’t mold, and not so dry that it’s had all the nutrients baked out of it. The sooner you can get it dry after mowing it, the better quality the hay. Rain leaches nutritional value.) SOTEvening: Guerlain Samsara.

Tuesday, June 28: Brief rainshower today; otherwise just humid. Ferried The CEO around for a while this morning, as he went by the Farm Service agency office, stopped to get minerals at Southern States, and then went on to the John Deere dealership to pick up the tractor that had been in for repairs. (Looks like the service guys didn’t quite finish the job, or something else happened that they didn’t check for: the tractor started leaking something else on the way home.) SOTD: DSH Perfumes‘ oil recreation of Coty Chypre. Stuff blew my mind the first time I tried it – even more so than the 80s EdT version of the real Coty Chypre. I snagged a tiny bit from the DSH Perfumes website today, after hearing that Dawn’s version is being discontinued. I wish I had an alcohol version rather than the oil, which I find less diffusive than I would prefer. I’m not a fan of huge sillage, but I do like some. On the other hand, I enjoy huffing DSH Chypre straight from my wrist, like a delicious secret I’m keeping. That is some dangerous-smelling stuff!

I really needed that “Mom’s Taxi” keychain today; after the morning’s trip, I took Bookworm to band practice this afternoon, then went and picked her up and took her home, whereupon I picked up the boys and took them to swim lessons. While they were there, I zipped over to Wal-Mart to buy our third gallon of 1% milk of the week, as well as cat litter and paper towels.

I do not apologize for shopping at Wal-Mart, although unlike the people in this painful-to-watch video, I make sure I have proper clothes on when I go. (Well, really, I try to dress appropriately for all occasions, including getting cows up.) My other options are the local grocery chain, which I visited yesterday, or Target, which is 20 miles away. It does not make sense to drive 20 miles to get to Target when I can get to Wal-Mart within 5 miles, now, does it?

Wednesday, June 29: Can I just say? I kind of miss my aldehydies. Haven’t worn one in at least a week or so and I don’t feel quite like myself without them. Working on a review of Samsara, so I’m wearing that. Hot and dry. Spent the day doing laundry and ferrying various people to various commitments: took Bookworm to B’burg in the morning for her internship and dropped her off. Picked up summer help Sam on the way back home, because his truck’s in the shop, and took him to the barn lot. Went back to B’Burg to pick Bookworm up again right after lunch. Took Gaze and Taz to their swim lesson at 7:30 and then brought them home when it was finished.

Whew. Mom’s Taxi Service again today. (Nobody ever tips me, though. Darn it.) Oddly, this Samsara keeps disappearing on my skin. I spritzed it four times over the day, just to be able to smell it. Weird, since everybody talks about how powerful and persistent it is… I’m not getting that. Maybe it’s been refo’ed. Or maybe there was something wrong with this batch, and that’s why it ended up at Elizabeth Arden’s warehouse sale for half price.

Went to the local library today; currently reading Adriana Trigiani’s latest, Brava, Valentine. It’s good. It didn’t grab me and shake me around the way her Big Stone Gap novels did, but I do like her writing style.

Thursday, June 30: Hot and dry. The grass in the yard is getting crunchy. Luckily, though, the zinnias in the front garden seem to be thriving. SOTD: Samsara. Spritzed twice. And then the partial bottle of DelRae Amoureuse that I swapped for at the Posse arrived, so I wore it to sleep in. This bottle’s juice seems a bit strange – the green topnotes are missing, but the rest of it smells great. Yum. Honey and flowers and a bit of exotic cardamom. More taxi service: took The CEO to pick up a vehicle, took Bookworm to band practice at 5:30 and then took the boys to their swim lesson.

Friday, July 1: Cleaned up the house a bit, because my MIL Barbara was coming for dinner. She’s great, by the way, a real sweetheart. However, since The CEO’s dad died in May, Barbara has been cleaning out the house – and she keeps coming over and giving us boxes and boxes of The CEO’s childhood stuff. Aarrgh. I didn’t even know most of it existed. Now where do I put it – the attic? I mean, my mom has archive boxes, neatly labeled, for each of her kids, containing our high school transcripts and childhood photos and the like, and I had to get the rest of my stuff out of her house long ago. Seems like Barbara’s determined not to keep a single thing from the past, as of right now, and I wonder if she’s just in the middle of a violent emotional urge to purge everything old. Huh.

Did some laundry, watched some Glee with Bookworm. We keep finding incongruities to make fun of, though we’re enjoying the musical numbers. SOTD: Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur – so pretty.

Saturday, July 2: Bookworm has been neglecting her room, and now she’s paying for it. Got in trouble with her dad. I think she just has too many things in her room, so she doesn’t know where to put anything else. Books, craft projects, outgrown clothes… Looks like that’s our project for the next couple of weeks. SOTD: Mary Greenwell Plum, followed by DSH Chypre. (Wow, that stuff is just amazing. I can’t call it pretty – it’s compelling.)

The CEO has been spraying pesticides on hayfields, attempting to kill broadleaf weeds. (Don’t worry, he’s got an applicator’s license; he has to take a class every other year in order to renew it.) The sprayer attachment for the tractor has the ability to spray a dye marker line, to show where the spray has already gone, and it’s pretty common for The CEO to come in from this job with his hands covered in purple dye. He was pretty purpled up when he came in today.

Sunday, July 3: The CEO was still purple-handed when we went to church today. He was teaching the elementary age kids today (Bookworm, Gaze and I had the preschoolers the two previous weeks), and of course they had to ask what happened to his hands… the most common guess was “Playing with markers!”

SOTD: Tauer Une Rose Vermeille. Turns out I just wanted to smell like dessert today … yum. And I noticed this afternoon that the handset of the phone has little purple fingerprints on it. Where’s the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser?

Read a Ruth Rendell mystery novel this afternoon, Master of the Moor. I love her books – the sense of atmosphere is always just right – but they scare me, too. A common theme of hers is characters trying to live normal lives while under the influence of a disturbed individual. And, of course, since she’s English, there is under everything the keen observance of social class.

I cherish my quiet summer Sundays. Sometimes the stereo is on – Celtic music, or Chopin, or maybe Crowded House (one of these days I’m going to “lose” that Doobie Brothers CD…) – and often the TV, especially if there’s a baseball game on. Sometimes the kids are playing in the yard, and sometimes you can hear cows munching and birds in the trees, and there’s always the faint noises of traffic from the four-lane road running about half a mile from the house. But mostly, it’s quiet. I love it that way.


Scent Diary, June 20-26, 2011

Perfume Convention 2010 from parfumgott at Flickr

(It was a boring, news-less week. Sorry. On the plus side, I worked a bit on my novel and did two reviews. Also participated in a massive swap at Perfume Posse, which, honestly, is kind of a PITB. I do like finding new homes for my unloved scents and coming across something I’ve been looking for; I don’t like haggling. Probably reminds me too much of going to garage sales with my grandmother when I was a kid.)

Monday, June 20: Back to hot weather again, in the 90s. Took the boys to their half-day summer day camp; apparently it was a big hit. Gaze is taking “Field Trip to the Moon,” “Military Strategy,” and “Living in the Civil War.” Taz is taking “Governor’s School Apprentice,” “Military Strategy,” and “Living in the Civil War,” as well, though they only have the Civil War at the same time. SOTD: Nobile 1942 Chypre, which I’ll be reviewing soon.

SOTAfternoon: Michael Storer Stephanie – another one due for a review. At this point, all I am going to say is “Wow.” The boys went outside and had an hour-long water gun battle.

I finally broke out the Season 1 Glee DVD that The CEO gave me for my birthday. I had heard good things about it, but hadn’t seen it on TV, and was hesitant to pick up watching it after it had been running for three (three? Two?) seasons already. But I’ve been singing in one kind of choir or another since I was, no kidding, five years old. I was figuring this up the other day: barring three semesters when I was pregnant, I’ve been a member of at least one choir for more than thirty-five years running. I’m a Choir Person. I did all kinds of singing in high school choir, ranging from Handel and Mendelssohn to six-part arrangements of folk songs to Broadway-and-pop show choir stuff. News flash: Glee is good. (Why do I hear echoes of Gordon Gekko in my head?) Glee, the show, is very good. Sure, there are holes in the plot big enough to swing Mary Martin through on a trapeze, but still: good.

(What holes, you ask? Well, for one, apparently the marching band at this mysterious high school in Lima, Ohio, does not play for football games. However, they manage to show up for a cheerleaders’ performance later in the season, in full red-wool-and-brass-buttons glory. And there’s a jazz band that manages to show up and perform with the glee club without ever rehearsing. Or talking. None of them ever talk, which is totally unrealistic, because as everyone knows, drummers never shut up. Never. Srsly. Also, there is this amazingly good piano/keyboard accompanist – who is paying him? Is this why the vocal coach has to cough up $60/month? Further, what self-respecting pianist is going to live on $60/month? – who seems to live at the school, available to provide background to any sort of vocal soliloquizing by teenagers in emotional drama.)

(Also, the writers of this show don’t appear to be aware of any commonsense football rules. If there is one second left on the game clock, the team with the ball may not, in fact, break into a Beyoncé dance routine before snapping the ball, without running out of time. DUH. Also also: why do the cheerleaders wear their uniforms to school every day? Also also also: does anyone in this school go to any classes except glee club and Spanish? Ever? And I’m not even going to bring up the inexplicable steel drum band.  In OHIO.  This high school has money to support a steel drum band, but not a glee club?  PUH. LEASE.)

The Awesome Kurt Hummel, image from freewallpaper4u

(But: Jane Lynch plays my new love-to-hate-her character, Coach Sue Sylvester, with an amazing blend of arrogance, insult, insanity and humor. Wow. And Kurt Hummel [Chris Colfer] is awesome. I’ll say it again: KURT. IS. AWESOME. Every time he sings, he makes me cry. I am willingly suspending my disbelief.)

Tuesday, June 21: Another hot one – 96F, with a big thunderstorm in the evening. We had several tree branches down – in our yard, and all down our tree-lined lane. And of course, smaller branches and twigs all over the yard too. The boys are still enjoying their summer camp classes. SOTD: Chypre 1942, followed by Michael Storer Stephanie in the evening.

Wednesday, June 22: Cooler today, only in the low 80s after the storm. SOTD: Shiseido Inoui on one arm. Interesting thing – I know very little about it, except that it’s a green floral. I had Stephanie on the other arm. SOTEvening: vintage Emeraude. I haven’t worn it in forever.

Thursday, June 23: Picked up sticks in the yard, then mowed. SOTD: Stephanie. SOTEvening: DSH Chypre (recreation of Coty Chypre).

I’ve been having to give the Hayley dog antibiotics, following her unwise provocation of our neighbors’ German Shepherd last week. She spat out the pill the first couple of times I gave it to her, so finally I wised up and started rolling up the pill in a pepperoni before asking her to “shake” and giving her the pepperoni-wrapped pill. It works pretty well; she’s only spat the pill out once since I started trying the treat idea. (That day she got an extra pepperoni.) She’s healing well, but she’s going to be sad once the pills are gone.

Friday, June 24: Cleaned the house because The CEO is due home tomorrow. SOTD: Annick Goutal Rose Splendide – a pretty, light, friendly fresh-rose scent. Last day of Governor’s School summer camp. Apparently there was a giant-marshmallow battle in their Civil War class (no, no marshmallow stickies on the clothes. I checked.) and Gaze brought home his data-gathering “robot” from his Field Trip to the Moon class. He named it George.

Took the boys with me to the mall to pick out a few things that The CEO had asked for for his Father’s Day present, and then we stopped by the shoe store. Gaze has been wearing his good track shoes for everyday, and they had suffered. Taz, meanwhile, tromps through every single puddle he can manage to find. Also, he never ties his shoelaces well enough to keep them tied, so the laces drag and make the shoes look worse than ever. Seriously – after four months, his shoes look like six other people have worn them first, thus making his entire look reminiscent of “refugee.” SOTEvening: Mary Greenwell Plum.

Saturday, June 25: Bookworm returned from her week at Camp Nana. Hayley was particularly glad to see her; the boys, not so much… And The CEO got home from his Canada conference/trip through the Canadian Rockies. Of course, he wasn’t home long before telling us that we had not done things to his satisfaction. (Which I expected: he can be something of a control freak, not so much over people but over situations.) SOTD: Cuir de Lancome. Went to bed in vintage Emeraude.

Sunday, June 26: Still somewhat cool – it rained on hay at lunchtime. We went to a local baseball game anyway. SOTD: PdRosine Rose d’Ete. We got rained on at the ball game too, and the home team lost 4-1, but Gaze and Taz picked up a couple of free posters for the team’s left-handed pitcher, and managed to get them signed after the game. It was a nice afternoon, if a bit soggy.