Friday, July 3, 2015

Rose de Mai: From Dowdy to Delightful



Every time I wear Fragonard's Rose de Mai, it takes me five minutes to remember why I ever bought it in the first place. Top notes are soapy and dowdy... a little too 'Queen Elizabeth' if you know what I mean.  I bought Rose de Mai in Baltimore a couple of years ago as I was ditching attending a conference.  It seemed perfect then and provided a stark contrast to the salty, nutty smell of the air.  

Here at home, it takes a few minutes to get to the good part.  Luckily, just before the should I/shouldn't I scrub decision must be made, Rose de Mai changes and gets brighter with a little citrus (berries and a touch of lemon), complementary florals (lillies to my nose) and a lot less soap. In fact, the heart notes are downright fresh. The queen is nowhere to be found. 

In the end, Rose de Mai stays true to its muse and is appropriate in all settings.  At the office, its crisp, smart attitude sends a clear message that everything is perfectly pulled together.

Photo from fragrantica.com 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Chronicle of Motion Sickness



The world is divided into two kinds of people: those that suffer from motion sickness and those that don't.  I get motion sick as a passenger in cars.  And in planes, on amusement rides, on buses and in elevators. I've been like this for as long as I can remember, and motion sickness adds extra planning to all travel. 

Cruises are out of the question - just the thought makes me nauseous. 

Yesterday, B-man and I went to another family reunion...our second in just over a week.  Both events have included a drive of two or more hours.  Any time we take a driving trip, we plan ahead to decide who is going to drive and at what points.  Our conversation yesterday looked something like this:

Me: So, how should we do the driving?

B-man:  However - I'm always good to drive.

Me: Yeah, but I don't want to take a Dramamine at 10 am, so maybe I should drive on the way there and you should drive home.

B-man:  Okay, you drive up - that's great.

Me:  Yeah, but I kind of want to veg and relax today, so why don't you drive?

B-man:  Sounds good.

Right before we drop Paige at doggy daycare, and before I take my chewable Dramamine, the conversation starts again:

Me:  Okay, I'm going to need to drive 'cause I'm starting to feel sick.

B-man: That's fine, we'll switch when we drop Paige.

Me:  Could you smooth it out a little until we get there?

B-man: The brakes on your car are kinda touchy.

Me:  I know, but still...

Now I'm driving, but can't stop talking about it:

Me:  Okay, this is better...sorry that I suck as a passenger.

B-man:  You've always sucked as a passenger - I'm used to it.

Me:  Thank God for Dramamine.

B-man: This is great - now I can play on Waze and track your speed and tell you when there's a cop ahead...cause you're such a badass.

Me: Yeah, a real lead foot over here.

B-man: Gotta watch you every second.

Me:  Hey, you have to admit I'm a great passenger when I'm drugged on Dramamine and managing the munchies, right?

B-man:  You are the queen of munchie management, it's true.

Me:  Thanks, hon.

B-man: The exit you need is sneaking right up - you better change lanes.

Me: Thanks, Waze boy, but I've driven this route about a thousand times.

B-man:  And if I was driving like you're driving, I'd have to pull over so you could throw up.

Me:  Sorry, I'll smooth it out.

B-man: Luckily, it doesn't bother me, just making a point.

Me: It's those sensitive brakes.

B-man: I know.

What makes a successful trip?  Dramamine and a flexible husband.

Photo from amazon.com


Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Mourning Dove Kind of Day



Amazing days must be acknowledged, like a great meal paired with the perfect wine.  Today, in all aspects of my life, the universe opened. Obstacles disappeared.  Epiphanies happened. Opportunities materialized.

Mourning doves are cooing.

I wore a perfume combo of Versace's Crystal Noir and Jovan Musk.  Woody musk pinned down the precious nicey-niceness of Crystal Noir.  

A perfume epiphany.

Picture from wikapedia.org

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A CrankyTale of Hot Flashes




Feeling out of sorts and cranky.  Woke up at 2:30 a.m. and never did get back to sleep.  Tried to snuggle with B-man but got too hot. Because of hot flashes.  Hot flashes fan the flames of cranky. Say that five times in a row.  It will annoy you and bring on a hot flash. 

I'm having a hot flash right now.  Effing hell.

Just moved back into my newly remodeled office today.  So excited to be there until I realized that nothing was hooked up...not my computer, not my phone, nothing.  Which made me hot and sweaty and flushed and cranky.  

Here's the thing about hot flashes.  They can happen anytime and anywhere, but never when you need 'em.  Like when I'm freezing in one of our hospitals, there is no hot flash to be found. No, they wait around the corner like the restaurant server that suddenly appears and spews out an enthusiastic, 'how's everything tasting?' just as you stuff an oversize bite in your mouth.

Hot flashes do that too as they announce to the world that menopause has arrived and now you're a crone.  An old crone.  A old hot crone.  An old, hot cranky crone.

Don't mess with me.

Picture from charmedlegacy.wikia.com

Monday, June 22, 2015

You Smell Like Family


B-man and I just returned from a family reunion at a beautiful national park.  We loved it, which is saying something because I hardly ever love family reunions. Mostly because I'm an introvert, but also because there's too much time spent avoiding the family members we're supposed to love but don't even like.  You know it's true.

This time, all the good people showed up, like hand-picking who I would want to see at a family reunion.  Not all of my siblings could go, but my brother was there.  B-man says my brother and I are like 'bookends' because we both have a quiet demeanor and we share some physical characteristics.  Apparently, we walk alike, too. Mom drilled into all of  us, 'stand up straight, throw your shoulders back and don't slump like you're waiting to get slapped.'  So my brother and I walk like we're going somewhere very important to do things that are very important and we survey our surroundings as if everyone else is slumping around waiting to get slapped.

One of our cousins is living with a terminal illness. His cancer has run amok, out of the reach of chemo or any other treatment.  In spite of that, he was able to participate and join all of our activities.  Mom loved him and she and her sisters spoiled him as he navigated a rough childhood. He held a special place in her heart, and if she were alive today, it would hurt her see him so thin, struggling every day just to stick around a little bit longer.

Yesterday morning, the family met to have breakfast, close out this time together and say our final goodbyes.  I saved the last goodbye for my cousin, knowing I will probably never see him alive again. After expressing our love and filling in for my mother the best I could, he said one final thing, 'you even smell like our family.'

Jovan musk...the smell of family.

Photo from fragrantica.com


Saturday, June 14, 2014

My Mother's China



I still can't believe she left it to me.  Not that I didn't read her detailed, hand-written will, but for some reason, it just hadn't registered.  Not until several weeks ago when baby sis said, 'I'll be happy to take that china off your hands if you don't want it' did I understand that my mother's china - one of her most prized possessions - was now mine.

Growing up in poverty, Mom tried all of her life to escape its stamp on her identity.  She was beautiful, well read and gracious in ways I will never be, but growing up poor scarred her.  Marrying my dad was her ticket to a better life.  I can only imagine all of the hopes and dreams she had while working to save money for her wedding china.  Its pattern and functionality suited her well and she used the large casserole dish often.  The rest of the china rarely came out, but when it did, the occasion was instantly made special.  We grew up knowing that Mom's china, and all it represented, was treasured.


B-man went with me to pack the china and bring it home.  He owned this task as if he was born to do it, wrapping everything carefully before fitting it perfectly into small boxes.  Once home, we realized that some rearranging was in order before it would fit into our cabinet. So the china sat, still boxed, in our dining room as we planned one day after another to tackle the project together.


Yesterday, I arrived home from work to see towels spread all over the counter in our kitchen.  I knew immediately what had happened.  B-man had taken the afternoon to gently wash each piece of my mother's china and arrange it in our cabinet.  He was placing the last platter as I walked in.  It's even more beautiful than I remember.

I wish I could tell Mom how much her china means to me and how this last gesture of her affection touched my heart.  I wish I could express to my husband, beyond just words, how much he means to me and how deeply he has changed my life.  What I truly understand now more than ever before is both simple and profound: I am well loved.

Photos my own

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Gluten Free June

Today's gluten free lunch
 
My body likes it better when I don't eat wheat.  It's not that I have a gluten allergy, although I fake one to B-man occasionally just to get an extra back scratch, which he cheerfully gives even though we both know I'm bullshitting.  In my world, preference toward something is just a hop, skip and a jump from an allergy to something else.  For example, I prefer clothing that is comfortable, which is a pretty clear indication that I have a full-blown allergy to business suits. 
 
So yeah, let's run gluten allergy up the flag pole.
 
Last spring - then again last fall - I stopped eating wheat and felt so much better.  Apparently it didn't improve my memory, because I'm 'experimenting' with it again now.  Fortunately, it's easy because I love rich, oily, fatty food like cheese, olives, avocados and hummus.  Deprivation is not on my radar, so wheat is the only thing I'm eliminating in June and perhaps beyond if my theory holds true once again. Clearly, martinis and wine don't cause any allergic reaction.  B-man knows that, too.
 
So what perfumes go with gluten free eating?  Nomaoud by Comptoir Sud Pacifique is a clear winner with its perfectly non-sweet rose, oud and incense.  So is Un Jardin en Mediterranee by Hermes with it's fresh greens, mint & tomato vibe.  I guess that means June will be 30 days of Mediterranean food and Mediterranean perfume. 
 
Day 8 and all is well.

Photo my own




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