Tag Archives: marching band


Random Thoughts, early August 2015


Categories: Family, The scented life, Tags: , ,

I have yet to get my paws on The CEO’s SD card and post some of his gorgeous pictures from our New Zealand trip, but maybe I can pin him down soon.

I still hate August.

Around here, cornbread is properly made in a cast-iron skillet. God forbid you present Bookworm with any other kind... it offends her delicate sense of order.

Around here, cornbread is properly made in a cast-iron skillet. God forbid you present Bookworm with any other kind… it offends her delicate sense of order.

Bookworm is home for a few weeks! Summer session at Yale ended this past week, and she got home on Sunday evening. Fall classes start on September 2, so she has a little bit of time to breathe and soak in some farm-fresh air.  We made cornbread and pinto beans and country ham – foods she can’t get in CT. Well, they sometimes have cornbread in the dining hall, but it’s made with sugar and a much higher proportion of flour to cornmeal, so that it tastes like cake rather than the coarse savory skillet cornbread she prefers. (The addition of sugar to a cornbread recipe is a much-debated issue among Southern cooks, but of course the American South is such a wide area that “real Southern cornbread” has immense variation. I won’t be insulting and state that a recipe containing sugar can’t be “real Southern,” but my mother’s recipe doesn’t contain any. The first time I ever ate sweet cornbread was at the historic Michie Tavern, near Monticello, when I was seventeen, and I was horrified.)

Gaze started his classes at the Southwest Virginia Governor’s School for Science and Technology last week. Bookworm went through the program, which coordinates its classes through Virginia’s community college system, and found it valuable in teaching her study skills and in preparing her for college. It is a challenging curriculum, but I feel sure Gaze is up to it. SWVGS pulls from the surrounding seven counties, but it is located within a ten-minute drive of our high school, so that’s fairly convenient. Classes run from 7 am to approximately 10 am, and then the students return to their own high schools for the remainder of the day.

This year's marching band show shirts.

This year’s marching band show shirts.

We had a very successful two weeks of band camp (including a week of “pre-camp,” which focuses on fundamental marching techniques). It’s a difficult program this year, all original music, and the marching drill is challenging as well. The show title is “The Insanity of an Imaginary World,” and it is an Alice in Wonderland theme.

Taz has been helping on the farm quite a bit lately, and every time I look at him I think he’s a little bit taller! Can’t believe my baby will be a 9th-grader this year. School starts on Thursday. He’s running cross-country and doing well so far.

Don't know what I'd do without one of these.

Don’t know what I’d do without one of these.

If you ever entertained the notion that Pyrex dishes are indestructible, put it out of your head now. Here’s the transcript of a recent conversation I had with my mother:

Me: I could use another big measuring bowl – you know the kind with the handle and the measuring lines on the side? Mine broke. Do you know where I could find one?
Mom: It BROKE? It was Pyrex! I didn’t think Pyrex could break.
Me: Well, apparently if you drop one Pyrex dish onto another one, it breaks.
Mom: (stunned silence)

And now you know. (I found another one at Wal-Mart.)

Stay tuned for the Aotearoa-New Zealand travelogue.



Scent Diary, Sept. 1-7, 2013


Categories: Scent Diary, Tags: ,


early autumn pippin hill farmSo I’m hoping to return to regular Scent Diary postings… seems that I’ve missed writing them. Which is the way it ought to be.

Sunday, Sept. 1 – Sick. Sick sick sick. Probably a summer cold, but I feel just awful. Missing a really good church service, too. The CEO is sick as well, so we’re no comfort to each other, and both of us are grouchy. SOTD: L’Arte di Gucci edp. Gosh, this is good stuff. A very classic rose chypre.

However, if you are currently eyeing that $400 bottle of it I’ve heard that Amazon has for sale, forget it. At that price, you should go buy either F. Malle’s Portrait of a Lady, or Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Lumiere Noire pour femme. No, they’re not exactly the same, but quite similar to my nose. PoaL lacks the cat-pee blackcurrant and the aldehydes up top in L’Arte, and it carries a wallop of Youth Dew balsams in the base along with its green patchouli. Also, it is way radiant and lasts for weeks; I am Not Kidding. I put a dab from a sample vial on my wrist, and my black wool winter coat ten minutes later – and my coat still smelled of PoaL three weeks afterward, to the degree that the clerk at the pharmacy commented on how wonderful I smelled. Lumiere Noire also lacks the high-pitched opening of L’Arte, and it like PoaL uses a deeper rose (the rose in L’Arte seems bright neon pink to me) plus some narcissus and a tiny hit of cumin, the effect of which is to dirty up that rose to boudoir behavior. If you’re pining for L’Arte, try those two and see if either one does the trick for you. (Report back, I’d love to know what you think if you’ve tried any of those three.)


Empereur du Maroc rose

Empereur du Maroc rose

OOH! Forgot a couple more: Olympic Orchids Ballets Rouges. It’s not Kathleen-Battle-diva pink like L’Arte, but it’s less dark than PoaL and rosier than Lumiere Noire. Really lovely. Also, Ungaro Diva (preferably the edp) is a lovely rose chypre. It reads a little more old-fashioned to modern noses, since it has that 1980s kitchen-sink notes list, including aldehydes, leather and civet, but it is well-done. It can still be found on eBay and discount retailer sites for under $40 for a 100ml bottle, too.

Monday, Sept. 2, Labor Day – Still sick. Grouchy. More L’Arte di Gucci today. The CEO managed to drag himself to Va Tech this afternoon to hold office hours and teach a class, but he wasn’t enjoying it. Sadly, we did nothing fun. The boys just hung out at the house, watching TV and riding bikes.

Tuesday, Sept. 3 – Fed the orphan calf, Rachel, her bottle. Napped a lot. When I got up, I felt considerably better (but then was late making dinner, and had to settle for quickie microwave meatloaf). Missed small group Bible study because of the band booster meeting being put off a day due to the Labor Day holiday. We’ve got a great band booster organization, very devoted parents – but of course you get thirty people in one room and at least one of them is going to be annoying. In this case, it’s that one parent whose two older children went through the band program and now this is her youngest, and everything out of her mouth was, “We used to do THIS,” or “When [Daughter] was in the band nine years ago, we did it this way,” frequent and extremely detailed and on-and-on… grrr. I might as well get used to it, though, she’ll probably be involved with boosters as long as I will be, assuming Gaze sticks with it. SOTE: Mary Greenwell Plum. Mmm. Still love the Plum, though I wish it were a bit stronger on me.

Wednesday, Sept. 4 – Fed Rachel her bottle. Picked some sweet corn – the only thing the garden has produced this wet summer. Did some laundry and mowed the grass. Borrrrrring. SOTD: Jolie Madame parfum. Gosh, that stuff is da bomb.

Thursday, Sept. 5 – More laundry. Lovely weather over the past few days, and looks like it will continue for the next few – perfect early fall! Foggy and cool in the mornings, sunny and warm but not hot in the days, cooling off by early evening. SOTD: Silences eau Sublime.

My favorite trombonist (photo courtesy Susan Slade).

My favorite trombonist (photo courtesy Susan Slade).

Friday, Sept. 6 – Another gorgeous day! This evening we all went to the high school football game, this one hosted by the nearest rival school. There’s a bridge across the river between the two schools, so the ongoing series is called the Battle For The Bridge. Despite our team not being particularly good this year, we did win – but take that for what it is. Our high school is considerably larger than the rival one, and although their team played very well, they weren’t able to substitute in players, and they were tired by the end of the game. Our band looked great, by the way! All four pieces have been blocked out in practice, and the band performed their full show. First Friday in September, and the entire show is ON THE FIELD?? Fabulous progress. And they sound good, too. The rival high school performed two pieces on the field, which they did well, but I know that can’t be their entire show. SOTD: Tom Ford Tuscan Leather, yum. That one’s delicious in crisp weather.

Saturday, Sept. 7 – Cleaned up. Did laundry. Fed the calf. Took the recycling to the town center. The CEO took Gaze to his cross-country meet, where he ran on the JV team and did well, lowering his PR to 21:00 (the best JV time was 18:22 minutes). SOTD: Escada Margaretha Ley. This one’s discontinued and hard to find, but a very nice white floral that I ought to review soon. Grilled barbecue pork ribs for the first time ever. The CEO loves them, but I’ve never been much partial to them, I think they’re too much work for the amount of meat you get, and I am somewhat creeped out by the concept of gnawing stuff off a bone… they tasted good, though. I used Jamie Deen’s recipe from the Food Network – the sauce is tomato-based but strongly vinegary, kind of a Memphis-style sauce. If you’re used to Heinz and KC Masterpiece, you’re going to find it too acidic, but this is my favorite kind of BBQ sauce. I like the North Carolina vinegar-based sauce too, but prefer it with a little tomato.

Sunday, Sept. 8 – Good church service today; SOTM was the light and pretty PdR Rose d’Ete. That is probably its last gasp of the season – it is really too light for autumn, and so I have put it away, with a few other summer-only fragrances. Have gotten a few autumn ones out, though I haven’t done the full seasonal rotation yet.

What I put away:

Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete (summery, light, apple/yellow rose scent with some cool powder in the base)

Cristina Bertrand #3 (white-floral blend heavy on the jasmine)

Moschino Funny! (grapefruit/tea/rose, very energetic)

Hanae Mori Haute Couture (aldehydes, fruit, and jasmine)

Kenzo Parfum d’Ete (greenish lily-of-the-valley floral)

Somehow I never got out my mini (10ml) of Annick Goutal Eau du Ciel – which smells very much like sheets dried outside in the sunshine – this summer, so it may sit in the cabinet for another nine months, awaiting its turn. Or perhaps I’ll find it a new home since I haven’t been missing it.

I loved wearing another Goutal, Petite Cherie, this week. My mini bottle (15ml) of this lives in the fridge due to its notorious instability, and despite being more than four years old still smells lovely. I’d forgotten how nice the light, rosy musk drydown is.

So now what’s in the hatbox on the dresser is this:

Jacomo Silences parfum de toilette

Jacomo Silences eau de parfum Sublime

Escada Margaretha Ley

Dior Poison

L’Arte di Gucci edp

Ines de la Fressange (the first one, aldehydes and peach over rose and sandalwood)

Terre d’Hermes mini

Ineke for Anthropologie Sweet William

DSH Perfumes La Fete Nouvelle

Penhaligon’s Violetta

Donna Karan Gold edp

Smell Bent One

Balmain Jolie Madame parfum

Coty Chypre vintage parfum

Parfums de Nicolai Le Temps d’une Fete

Coty Emeraude vintage parfum de toilette

Mary Greenwell Plum

The last four in particular never leave the hatbox, they’re too important to me to accept a place in the cabinet.



Scent Diary, Nov. 12-18, 2012


Categories: marching band, Scent Diary, Tags: ,

my perfume collection -?????? ????? Monday, Nov. 12 – Veterans’ Day. This holiday always makes me think of The CEO’s dad, Bill, who was in the hospital recovering from a heart attack on this date six or seven years ago. When a nurse asked him if he knew what day it was, he said “Armistice Day,” causing her to question his mental capacity. An older nurse happened to be walking by to hear him say it, and she had to explain to the younger one that Bill was right.

SOTD: Organza Indecence, nice spicy-woody-vanilla for this fall day.

Tuesday, Nov. 13 – The orphan calves, Jacob and Esau, are doing pretty well on sweet feed and the remaining grass in their enclosure. (No, they’re not twins. They just arrived at the same time and Taz named them.) SOTD: testing incensey stuff. It’s very not-me. Dinner was good, though: Chicken Saltimbocca with garlic spinach and cheese rolls. Continue reading →



Scent Diary, Nov. 5-11, 2012


Categories: marching band, Mini reviews, Scent Diary, Tags: , ,

Sorry for the delay in posting – people have been sick here and I’m busy with other stuff… also, no photos or links today. They take TOO MUCH DANG TIME.

Monday, Nov. 5 – Gah, it is Monday. Gah, I am so far behind on NaNoWriMo that I don’t think I’m going to catch up, and I am strongly tempted to bail on the whole thing. Probably should. SOTD: Le Temps d’une Fete.

Tuesday, Nov. 6 – Another frosty day. I am really going to have to cut and cart away all the dead annuals in the front yard; they look terrible. SOTM: Comme des Garcons Eau de Parfum, the newish one in the bottle that looks like a melted light bulb and purports to contain notes of packaging tape (I love the smell of packaging tape). Actually, it is a) sort of nauseating, in that I-can’t-identify-this-but-it’s-making-me-sick sort of way, and b) boring. Essentially, it’s a dull floral. Reminds me somewhat of the dull floral hiding under the skeevy stuff in Secretions Magnifiques. And why bother with that? Bleargh.

I voted. It took me longer than it’s ever taken me before: 35 minutes from the time I walked out of the house until the time I walked back in. I had to wait in line for awhile. I’ll confess: I wasn’t happy with either one of the major-party candidates for President, and don’t feel compelled by any one of the minor parties on my ballot (Libertarian, Green, Conservative). I voted for the candidate who has slightly more in common with my values and stance on issues, according to my conscience. That’s all I can do.

Looking at the news on TV and Internet, and reading comments by friends on FB, it seems that the country is more divided than ever (well, since the Civil War, anyway, and see how much fun THAT was? At least SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND soldiers dead, not including civilians who starved to death) ideologically. And I’m wondering: is victory sweeter when the margin is closer? Is it more fun to win when there are so many people who disagree with you? You’d think so, given the gloating. (I already knew, from watching The CEO’s thirty-five-year devotion to the Red Sox, that losing stings worse when winning is juuust outside your grasp. And the losers are being pretty gosh-darned whiny about it.) #sosickofpolitics!!

SOTA: DSH Prophecy, a nice incense-amber thingy cushioned with Dawn’s usual soft musk base, which I tend to like. It’s in oil format, and I’m wondering if it would be more forthcoming in EdP. At least I smell good. Continue reading →



Scent Diary, October 22-28, 2012


Categories: Scent Diary, Tags: , ,

grandma's perfume collection

Monday, Oct. 22 – Took Gaze to the doctor – he’s been getting these awful headaches and throwing up, but not in a pattern which would suggest a stomach bug. Doctor thinks perhaps migraine. We’re going to cut out nitrites (bacon!) and see if that has an effect. Poor Gaze is bummed about no bacon. SOTD: Amouage Ubar, the newer release. Several of my friends in a Facebook perfume-head group raaaaave over vintage Ubar, and I think it’s lovely but it doesn’t really make me swoon. I actually prefer the rerelease, which is strongly floral where the older one was more woody. That’s me, the Floral Gal.

Tuesday, Oct. 23 – A surprisingly warm day, in the middle 70s today. Cleaned up the sewing room, which was quite a mess – I’m very untidy when I sew – and Bookworm’s room, which I would normally leave to her to do, but she’s sooo busy. The child is barely getting six hours of sleep a night. SOTD: Cuir de Lancome. Love the stuff, especially in fall.

Wednesday, Oct. 24 – Not feeling so great today. Cleaned out fridge, finished cleaning out Bookworm’s closet, wrote some, planned a little for the new novel I’m going to start next week when NaNoWriMo begins. SOTD: testing various things, none of which are really pleasing me. Continue reading →



Scent Diary, October 15-21, 2012


Categories: marching band, Scent Diary, Tags: , ,

Bizzy bizzy week this week – full of band stuff and sick kids and sewing.  Skip Saturday’s entry if you’re totally sick of my going on and on about marching band. The season isn’t all that much longer; we’ll be done by the middle of November.

Monday, Oct. 15 – As has been common over the past week, we had a chilly morning followed by a sunny afternoon. It was terribly windy today, though. SOTD: Jo Malone Vintage Gardenia, tons of it because I accidentally spilled the entire vial all over my arms and decolletage OOPS. Of course, since it’s a Jo Malone, this did not asphyxiate me the way it would have if I’d spilled, say, Giorgio.

Gaze stayed home today, since he threw up after dinner last night. Slept until nearly noon, ate applesauce and cinnamon toast, and then ate a real dinner of roast chicken.

I worked on Bookworm’s purple jacquard shrug, then planned meals for the week and did the grocery shopping. Fed the calves; we just started them on “sweet feed” – a grain supplement augmented with minerals and molasses – over the weekend, so I’ll be gradually weaning them off their bottles this week.

It’s Spirit Week at the high school, and Bookworm, who has never participated in the activities before, has thrown herself into it this year. I think she’s realizing that a) this is her senior year and she won’t get another chance, and b) it’s actually fun. Today was Twin Day, so she and PETBoy got out the matching patriotic flag t-shirts that they both just happened to have owned before they even started dating. Continue reading →



Scent Diary, October 1-7, 2012


Categories: Family, marching band, Scent Diary, Tags: , ,


Happy 12th birthday to Taz!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Scent Diary, September 17-23, 2012


Categories: Family, marching band, Scent Diary, Tags: ,

THANK GOODNESS THESE TWO SCENT DIARIES ARE FINALLY POSTED. I warn you, though, this was a Marching Band Week…

(All band photos in this post courtesy of Band Mom Extraordinaire, aka Nicole Ward. Thanks, Nicole.)

Monday, Sept. 17 – Rain most of the day. Another wearing of that 1990s Mitsouko parfum, which I am finally appreciating. STILL do not love it. Just… dunno, just not my thing. But I finally see why it is adored. SOTE: DSH Perfumes Chypre oil, which does really make my eyes roll back in my head, and also is autumnal and rounded and elemental and so gorgeous in the rain, and I love it so much more than I have ever enjoyed Mitsouko.

Tuesday, Sept. 18 – Writing a lot these days. I don’t like what I’ve done, when I’ve finished with it, but I’m doing it. SOTD: Prada Infusion d’Iris. Why do I want such a wallpapery scent? Not sure, but something about that cool reserved drydown appealed to me.

Wednesday, Sept. 19 – Cool again, but dry. We had really needed that rain… Packed up, finally, a fumie-friend goody bag and that bottle of vintage Femme that I did not love which I sold (at cost, natch) to a different fumie-friend. SOTD: Caron Parfum Sacre. Gosh, Parfum Sacre is wonderful! Glad I ran across it in the cabinet while looking for my decanting supplies. I had put it away for the summer and not gotten it back out with my autumn scents. I have several fragrances that only seem right in fall or transitional weather, so I don’t usually get out the colder-weather ones until about November, and PS had been waiting its turn. No more, though: that baby’s out of the cabinet now and in the Hatbox of Current Rotation.

It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which I’d forgotten until quite late in the day, so I had to wait for my Parfum Sacre to vacate the premises… which it never did entirely but that’s okay, it played pretty nicely with my Pirate Perfume, Havana Vanille. I love the boozy rummy stuff in the top, don’t like the flat tobacco bit in the middle quite as much, and adore the clear liqueur-like vanilla drydown that has absolutely-zero hint of powder in it and lasts forrrrrevvvveerrrrrrr. (Or at least eight hours, just for the drydown. Which is forever on scent-eating skin.)

I’d been planning to go to church small group Bible study after picking Gaze up from football practice, but he came out of the locker room looking not so good. Said he didn’t feel so good. And we didn’t make it out of the parking lot before the contents of his stomach made their way out (thank goodness, mostly onto the gravel instead of on him). So I stayed home with him, poor baby, and The CEO went to small group without me.

Thursday, Sept. 20 – Gaze feeling much better. In fact, he insisted on going to school today because there was a football game. (Away. Which they lost, 32-16, ouch. Poor baby.)

Marzipan Almond Muffins, German StyleWas planning on wearing Amouage Memoir Woman, but got distracted by a Shiny: a sample of Montale Amandes Orientales. I’ve tried several almond scents looking for ALMOND and gotten CHERRY instead (or in the case of Madonna of the Almonds, a teeny slice of almond over a cologne background), but this is actual almond. Plus some vanilla. And, unless I miss my guess, a bit of heliotrope too. I like.

And probably better to wear to choir practice than Memoir Woman, which is just freaky. I mean, I lurves Memoir all to little pieces, but it is weird and somewhat loud, and the “Perfume makes my throat close up” first soprano sits behind me. So I put Memoir Woman on when I got home. 🙂

Friday, Sept. 21 – Band did not go to the football game; this was probably the farthest away our team ever goes for a game, and it’s about 2 hours by bus. There’s a band competition tomorrow, so between the competition and the probability of a very late return to school after the game, the band director was able to get the band out of this one. SOTD: various samples. Weather is flat gorgeous: cool foggy mornings, warm breezy afternoons, cool evenings. I LOVE FALL. In other news, I just won an auction for a vintage 1 oz bottle of Dior Poison, which my husband likes, for about half of what a new bottle would cost me, even at a discounted price. This despite the fact that perfumistas are all mourning over the blandness of the reformulation of Poison, which was in its day pret-ty darn divisive. In fact, back when it was new and the standard practice was to spray eight spritzes of any perfume, I hated the stuff and the way it haunted every single college dorm hall I ever entered. Haaaaaated it. These days, though, and applied delicately, it’s really nice. Not at all the beast I had remembered it to be.


Saturday, Sept. 22 – Warning: today’s entry will be about marching band, and it will be extensive. Once a band geek, always a band geek, they say. And even though I was only on the drill squad and not playing an instrument, it must be true. I love marching band. I’ll stick the perfume info up here in the first paragraph, and if band bores you, skip down to Sunday. SOTD: Dior Dolce Vita edt from a sample sent to me by a friend, probably from an older bottle because of the woody character and pronounced resemblance to Feminite du Bois. I had one of those once, a small 1oz bottle, that I almost never wore and swapped away. (I kept the tiny parfum bottles. Dolce Vita in parfum is awesome, gorgeously rich; I just don’t crave it very often.)


PETBoy salutes, looking appropriately fierce n’ all pirate-y n’ stuff.

Long day. I mean, loooooonnnnng. Dropped Bookworm off at the band room at 8:30 this morning for pre-competition practice, came home and finished a few house-cleaning chores. At 10 am, got back to the high school in time to see the last run-through of the marching show and then help load the buses. (I was chaperoning.) Buses pulled out at 10:45, we arrived at George Washington High School at 3:00. We unloaded, the band warmed up, we sat in the sun and got sweaty. Some of the chaperones watched a few bands and then went back to the equipment trucks to make sure everything was going well. The band took the field at 5:15, and it promptly started to rain. As soon as they left the field, the rain stopped and there was a rainbow, which was awesome.


Bookworm leads the band in a threatening march toward the podium. Mutiny, geddit?

Our band’s show, with a pirate theme, is called “Mutiny!” It features an arrangement of the Introit from Mozart’s Requiem, two concert pieces called “Swashbuckler” and “Water,” followed by the piece “Up Is Down” from the third Pirates of the Caribbean Movie and then another concert piece called “Blackbeard,” ending up with a small portion of the theme from the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It went well, no major mistakes, and the humor written into the show really comes through.


Bookworm leads the band in a pre-show warmup.  (Do pirates French-braid their hair?)

However, all season I’ve been commenting to Bookworm that the music performance seems to be suffering somewhat this year. It may be because we have very few trumpets this year, with only one of them very good and only one more quite good (I’d put PETBoy in the very good category, but of course he’s conducting instead of playing), and the other four seem terrified of playing loud. And to my mind, the trumpets – since they often carry the melody – are the soul of the band. You got bad trumpets, your sound will suffer. Period. Our percussion’s really good, especially the “front ensemble” (essentially the mallet instruments), and our low brass is excellent. But the trumpets, as a section, are just mediocre this year. In any case, if everybody is standing still and playing, which does happen a few times during the show, they sound great. If they’re moving… well, it’s not great.


Opening of the show. It’s a rare moment in which no one is moving, simply playing some measures from the Introit to Mozart’s Requiem. Look for Bookworm at the back podium and PETBoy at the front, just having set down his hat after saluting.

I managed to watch four of the six bands in our size class, missing two in the middle when I went back to the buses to help out if necessary. The other three bands in our size class that I saw spent a lot of time moving from one position to the next and then staying in that position to play, say, sixteen bars before moving again. That’s pretty old school, and is far easier than the almost continual motion that’s a hallmark of our band’s recent shows. The Blues Brothers show from Band #2 in our class sounded terrific, but featured very little motion. I missed the shows from Bands #3 and 4. Band #5’s show focused on, of all things, zombies, with a mixture of music from a modern rock band I’ve never head of and music by Beethoven. I’m not sure zombies was a good choice: lurching like the undead across the field is not going to win you any marching-and-maneuvering points with the judges. Band #6 was a traditional local rival of ours, from a college town that has a much, much bigger budget than our county, where the residents seem very happy to make fun of county denizens as being lowlife idiot yokels. So of course we secretly hate them. (Jealousy? Partly. I admit it.) In any case, their show featuring music from Carmen was somehow much less exciting than it could have been. Carmen’s one of the most listenable operas there is, if you ask me – the music is varied and strongly melodic, and it’s got a terrifically dramatic story. There were some nice moments from the color guard here, but by and large the show was unexciting. Playing was uneven and marching an afterthought; this band has a long tradition of scoring Superior ratings at the official Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors’ Association competition, and of boasting about it. (Unless their show improves a great deal in the next month, I very much doubt they’ll get a Superior this year. But we’ll see.)

Drum majors and section leaders, L-R, with trophies: Bookworm, Katlyn, Michael, Alex, PETBoy, Emily, Tristen, Jamie, Kalep (making bizarre face and crouching; he’s actually as tall as Dakota on his right), Amy, Dakota, Courtney, Britney, Peyton, Ben, Holley, and Kaitlyn.

It started to rain when the host band was performing their exhibition show, as the last performance of the day. The weather went from “miserably hot and humid” to “cold and wet” in about sixty seconds: Brrrrrr. When awards were announced, our band had placed 2nd for drum majors (yay for Bookworm and PETBoy!), 1st for percussion, 3rd for color guard (amazing, since only 3 of the 12 guard members are returning and the rest are completely new), 1st in marching and maneuvering, and 2nd overall in class. The only award our secretly-hated rival won was drum major (which, c’mon, judges – she was good, but it is infinitely harder to score well when you have multiple drum majors), so that made us pretty happy. Unfortunately, the other band that scored well and came in first in Class AAA was one whose show I had missed, so I don’t know what they excelled at. Their show featured music from the Foo Fighters, and that’s all I know about it.

So it was a good night, and a long bus ride home. Poor Bookworm and I walked in our front door at about 1:25 am, exhausted and hungry.

Sunday, Sept. 23 – Cooler than Saturday; I wore a 3/4-sleeve sweater and Parfum Sacre to church. Mowed. Cooked steaks. Showed off the band pictures and the short news report on the band’s upcoming trip to DC to participate in the Independence Day parade to my mother-in-law. Went to bed in (of all things) Dior Poison.



Scent Diary, July 30 – August 5, 2012


Categories: marching band, Scent Diary, The scented life, Uncategorized, Tags: ,

Sorry for delay!  Laptop was wonky.

Monday, July 30: Took the boys for their annual eye appointments. Gaze’s vision has changed only a little, but Taz’s has improved considerably. They both need new glasses, so we stopped by Wendy’s for fast food and then by Wal-Mart, which I’ve found to have a good/cheap eyeglass service (Consumer Reports agrees with me, by the way, if you want to look it up). Gaze ate a burger called Son of Baconator – I think it’s two patties, with bacon. No cheese, because he hates cheese – one of these days I’ll make sure to have his DNA checked, since both The CEO and I love cheese! – but extra bacon. Gaze loooooves bacon SOTD: Silences. Wonderful stuff. Gaze started Official Football Practices for the middle school team this evening… all 92 pounds of him, sigh. Because of the eye appointments, I missed helping with band camp today. Thunderstorms this evening.

Pirate deck at Club Earl

The marching band show this year is called “Mutiny!” and includes the Introit from Mozart’s Requiem, snippets of soundtrack from various “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, and other songs called “Swashbuckler” and “Water.”

Tuesday, July 24 – A little cooler today, which is good because we’ve got band camp the rest of the week. In the past, band camp has been “away,” either at a college campus or something like a church camp site, but for the past two years has been held at our high school, on the band practice field, for financial reasons. That is, we’re saving money for band trips rather than spending it on band camp housing and meals; the kids sleep at home, of course, and because of the lunch program through the school, lunch is provided. (When I was in marching band, eons ago, we always did band camp at our high school as well. However, instead of a nice grassy practice field, we marched ON THE ASPHALT PARKING LOT. In AUGUST. These kids don’t know how lucky they are – we only got onto actual grass for two hours on the very last day of band camp, after the football players went home.) Continue reading →



Scent Diary, Dec. 26, 2011 – Jan. 1, 2012


Categories: Family, Holiday, Scent Diary, Tags: , ,


Image from lorislighteddlites.com

Monday, Dec. 26: Busybusybusy, mostly cleaning up from Christmas. SOTD: Um… nothing. Forgot. (Forgot! That’s just crazy.)

Bookworm was packing up her stuff for the marching band’s trip to the Champs Sports Bowl in Florida, where they’ll join several other bands to provide the halftime show. They’re also going to see the Blue Man Group, eat dinner at Medieval Times, go to the Universal Studios themepark and Islands of Adventure, and march in the Mini Macy’s Day Parade at Universal, as well as attend the bowl game and play the halftime show. Fun trip – for them, anyway. (You could not pay me enough to induce me to go as a chaperone to 72 teenagers, but there are plenty of parents going, such that there is one parent for each group of four kids. Better them than me, I say.)

Curiosity and Primrose came over and spent much of the day here with us, the kids playing football out in the yard with their cousins. That was lovely. Bookworm and PETBoy went out on another of their mysterious outings in which they go to visit his mother’s grave, and then they came back to have dinner with us and watch a DVD on the new big-screen TV.

I did put on a bit of B&BW Dark Kiss lotion before bed, which I like very much but have to limit my access to since it’s become Bookworm’s default fragrance. Had to get up at 2:20 a.m. to take Bookworm to the high school; the band bus was scheduled to leave at 3:30. Aargh.

Tuesday, Dec. 27: Slept late. Who wouldn’t? Broken night, and rain in the morning… good sleeping weather, as they say around here. SOTD: Amouage Memoir Woman. I had been considering Bottega Veneta. I’m determined to finish this darn review, even though I keep getting stuck on it. Is it better to review something new and well-done I don’t particularly like, or to go back into my stash and talk about something that isn’t all over the other blogs? I think it depends. I think I should discuss Bottega Veneta and how nice it is to see a mainstream release that’s not mindless – and also why I don’t like it.

I have something of the same feeling about Prada Candy. Although I like it, it doesn’t induce rapture, and I don’t think I have much of interest to add to the discussion of it. I think perhaps instead of separate reviews, I may do a post on gourmand fragrances in general, with mini-reviews. I love writing mini-reviews anyway.

I packed up all the Christmas wrapping stuff and put it in the attic. I reuse gift bags and tissue paper and bows if at all possible, only throwing them away when they’re irretrievably battered. This approach is slightly greener than wrapping everything in paper and throwing it away when used, but then I’m not terribly green (as in environmentally conscious) except where it is economically sensible and/or convenient. I recycle, of course, which involves taking paper/plastics/aluminum to the town recycling center once a month, which is neither convenient nor economically sensible, but rather a civic duty, in my opinion. But I won’t go so far as to insist on wrapping everything in dish towels. I like gift bags.

Wednesday, Dec. 28: SOTD: Champagne de Bois. Gaze helped The CEO move a bunch of cows and then doctor them (anti-pest pour-on medication to get them through the winter without worms and lice, and the annual disease-preventing shot).

Watched part of “Men Who Stare At Goats” (George Clooney, Ewan MacGregor) with The CEO. We’ve seen it before, and it’s just So Bizarre that I couldn’t take it and went to bed. SOBedtime: Havana Vanille.

Thursday, Dec. 29: Frosty-cold. Happy 17th birthday to PETBoy! SOTD: Amouage Memoir Woman. I must have worn this thing six times by now, and I still can’t figure it out. It’s wackalicious.


PCHS marching band in Orlando, photo by Nicole Ward. Bookworm's fourth from the left in the front row, with her gloves tucked up in her left epaulet strap.

We watched the Champs Sports Bowl (Florida State vs. Notre Dame) to see if we could get a glimpse of Bookworm and the PCHS marching band, but no dice. I hate it that you never get to see the halftime show when you watch a televised football game – except for the Super Bowl, but that’s not my kinda halftime show. You know me: I like marching bands, not the Black Eyed Peas.

The CEO and boys took down the Christmas tree today, because it was starting to get a little crunchy. We left up the garland and the electric candles in the windows, as well as the nutcrackers, which I usually leave on display until the second week of January because I lurves them so much.

Read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and enjoyed it very much. A strange novel, but delightfully strange (like Memoir, perhaps). Detractors on Amazon’s review pages don’t seem to like it because it “doesn’t make sense,” but it’s fantasy, people, it’s not supposed to “make sense.” The story’s coherent; just because you can’t explain what happens in it doesn’t mean it’s worthless. I was reminded of the bizarre and inexplicable and wonderful things that happen in Roald Dahl’s delightful classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Have these people never read Dahl? Probably not. Or they excuse the fantastic elements by saying, “Oh, it’s a kids’ book.” In any case, the author mentions Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab on her acknowledgements page, and I found that delightful as well. I hope that doesn’t mean that I’ll have to go and snap up BPAL imps now, which I have been avoiding doing. It would be so much better to go and sniff those in person. If they’ve got a Night Circus sample, I might have to get it. I’m guessing it would have notes of caramel apple and bonfire and popcorn, maybe the candles from the Wishing Tree, or the roses from the Ice Garden…

Friday, Dec. 30: My little desk, the one I keep my laptop on? It’s walnut. Well, it smells like Memoir Woman. Not surprising, of course, since I’ve worn it several times this week, but nice.

We took delivery of a new young bull today. The CEO wants to call him Hamlet, because his ear tag says… well, you guess.

I kept forgetting to put on perfume today, mostly because Memoir has stuck to me, even through a shower. Also, I am easily distracted when everybody is home. Aargh. The kids start school again on Jan. 2, so I won’t have to keep running the dishwasher twice a day. I finally put on a bit of Liz Zorn Centennial not long before bedtime. Cozy.

Saturday, Dec. 31: Warm today, in the low 50s. Fed the calf, cleaned the house. SOTD: Mary Greenwell Plum. The day’s mail contained a package from France (squee!), with a sample package of some of the L’Oeuvre Noire scents and all three of the Arabian Nights scents, because I had “liked” the By Kilian page on Facebook way back in October when they were offering this sample set. I’d been thinking about Sweet Redemption, so I nabbed that one right out of the package and spritzed it on. Whoa. Full review coming up (and I mean that this time, not like with Prada Candy and Bottega Veneta, which I really should review but can’t seem to find the enthusiasm for).

Bookworm came home this evening! So glad to see my girl; I missed her. Her brothers would say they didn’t miss her at all, but I notice they were pretty huggy with her.

Sunday, Jan. 1: Happy New Year! Church today, followed by the removal of most of the Christmas decorations, our New Year’d Day family tradition. SOTD: Sweet Redemption again.

My parents came by for a visit and took us all out for dinner, and that was lovely. SOTE: Mary Greenwell Plum. You know, I went back over the past year’s Scent Diaries and counted up the number of times I wore fragrances, and Plum was the thing I wore most often. (Duh, right?) The fragrance next on the frequency list was Alahine, and I wore Plum twice as often as I wore Alahine!



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


Categories: Scent Diary, Tags: ,

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, Aug. 29- Sept. 4, 2011

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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.