Sunday, July 31, 2011

Food I Love That Loves Me Back

Today's breakfast - my absolute favorite

Finally, I'm in a groove with healthy food that I love.

And I eat a lot - no daintiness here.  Probably 1600-1800 calories a day.   

Remember the 3-day cleanse I did weeks ago?  Well, even though parts of it were difficult, the experience taught me a thing or two.

For example, I've always had a hard time eating fruit.  But the cleanse introduced me to a breakfast with fruit that I look forward to every morning.

Plus, I learned how to make a lunch salad that is satisfying, delicious and beautiful (we do eat with our eyes first, after all).

Here is a typical day's menu (quantities are flexible, depending on my mood and hunger):

Granola with berries and coconut milk.

Huge salad with spring blend greens, cucumber, tomatoes, snow peas, garbanzo beans and avocado.  Dressed with lemon or lime, lots of olive oil and hot sauce (a personal favorite).

Nuts or rye crackers with almond butter.

Salmon, chicken or other lean meat with steamed broccoli, plus whole wheat angel hair pasta with olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

Every Saturday, I deem 'Free Day,' which allows me to eat and drink whatever I want.  Of course, I take full advantage, pulling out the cave-aged gruyere, crusty bread, hummus, dolmades, olives and any other snacky delights I want. 

Add wine (or martinis) as desired.

But here's what I find surprising: when Free Day is over, I'm excited to get back to my normal eating. 

Now that's a first.

Photo my own

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Didn't I Say I Was Bored With Perfume?

I'll be damned if I didn't buy a $12.00 bottle of Jovan Musk today.

First, I sprayed it on the back of my hand, then walked through the store enjoying great flashbacks of 1976.  That's the year my Serious High School Boyfriend gave me a bottle for Christmas.

Jovan Musk still smells as delightful as I remember, like Muscs Koublai Khan, neutered and declawed.  

When I put my hand up to B-man's nose, he said, 'oh, that's nice.'

And now, it's mine once again.

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Crowded Mind

At any given time, a hundred random thoughts are floating through my mind.  I'm not unique, this happens to everyone.

But lately, I seem to have less space to simply focus on one thing with any depth at all.  Nor do I have any desire to focus on just one thing.

Here's a sample of my thoughts today:

What am I going to do with the rest of my life?
Should I color my hair?
What am I going to wear to my big meeting on Monday?
We really should plant flowers this weekend.
I hope Dad's okay.
Wow, I have a waist again.
Are my library books overdue yet?
Am I really almost 52?
What's the Next Big Thing?
I should probably order more Rose Essentielle.
Maybe I'll take treats to work on Monday.
Can't believe it's going to be August.
When can we go to Seattle?
I'm starving - what should I eat for lunch?
Paige, quit laying on my feet whenever I sit down.

My big accomplishment will be to focus long enough to put together a grocery list.  Well, not a serious list (B-man does the grocery shopping at our house), but the Fun Food list. 

I focus better when food's involved.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Notify The Perfumista Police

Someone call the authorities: suddenly, I am bored with perfume.

I can't get excited writing about it and can't even bring myself to read passionate, well-written reviews by other bloggers.

Looking at my cabinet, with rows of untouched bottles, I am filled with thoughts of WTF?

Get this: over the weekend, I considered boxing up all my perfumes, except for the current top five (yes, I'm the nerd that keeps the original packaging), and putting them in the wine cellar until they appreciate in value.  

Then I'll sell them for a small fortune on eBay.

Retirement income.

So, until I am compelled to twirl again about perfume, you'll be reading about my day-to-day life; oceans of mundane peppered by moments of high drama. 

Go ahead.  Cuff me.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ode to Soir de Lune by Sisley

Dried Figs
Wood Stain
Puppy Breath
Forest Fire
Honeydew Melon

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Our Family Puzzle: Who Are We Now?

Last night, B-man and I went to a party at Baby Sis and T's place with siblings, children and Dad.  

We are all different now.  Since Mom's death, seventeen months ago, we have been searching blindly for that elusive new normal.

Like every other family on earth, my siblings and I were assigned certain roles and attributes through our history together:  The Smart One, The Pretty One, The Funny One, The Quiet One, The Talented One, The Artistic One, The Troubled One, The Loud One, The Perfect One, etc.

We all moved through different stages and probably wore each label at least once.  But some labels stuck, even when they no longer fit, defining us and limiting our ability to be seen outside of that role.

After Mom died, we entered a 'free fall,' uncertain about the new structure of our family.  Honestly, I welcome this because there is greater freedom for everyone to be who they are and to step outside of their traditional roles as they see fit. 

I wish Mom could have been part of this process.

For others, however, the lack of structure, and the loss of closeness with Mom has been devastating.  They are left with questions of identity within our family and beyond.  

And my father, who always took a backseat to my mother's more dominant role, has been thrust into the forefront of parenting, which must feel overwhelming.

The good news is that we are together now more than before, and the desire for closeness is strong for all of us, even if the path to reaching that goal is unclear. 

I trust we will ultimately find our new normal and come to terms with this dramatic change in our lives.   The question is, how do we best support each other between now and then? 

Many of you have experienced the loss of a parent and the resulting shift within your families.  Any words of wisdom?

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Help - I Can't Stop Wearing The Same Perfume

Like a moth to the flame or flies on sh bees on honey, I'm stuck on Bvlgari Rose Essentielle.  For the past week, I have worn this perfume every day. 

Like Every Single Day.

Not since my Borneo 1834 phase has a perfume lured me into its spell and refused to play nice and share my attention with all the others.

I'm not sure how this happened.

My morning routine is still the same. I visit my perfume cabinet and think through what goes with the day's wardrobe, events and weather.  Same old, same old.

But then, before I can stop myself, I reach for Rose Essentielle.  And at night, I apply it again.

I'm out of control. 

In my defense, Rose Essentielle is perfect with my chemistry, plus it has exquisite sillage and amazing staying power.  Everything about it just works for me right now. 

Honestly, I enjoy being recognized by a scent.  People make comments like, 'mmm, you're wearing that perfume again - it's so nice.'   They should know better than to feed the compliment monster.

So, until this phase is over, Rose Essentielle is Eau de Josephine.

What was your last I-can't-stop-wearing-it perfume?

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Perfume Layering and The Library

Yesterday, B-man and I completed our usual Saturday run around that included Macy's, my favorite liquor store (B-man has dubbed this store 'The Princess' because it's the only one I want to go to anymore) and the library.

Ahh, I love the friendly smell of a library; that compelling mix of nostalgia, leather and books that have been touched by multiple hands. 

My nose, Daphne, had previously suggested that I layer L'Occitane's Iris with Chanel's Sycomore.  This makes sense because a vetiver vibe runs through both (heavily so in Sycomore, and in Iris as an accent).  

As it turns out, they are lovely together from top notes to drydown.  Iris softens the green bite of Sycomore, and Sycomore adds a nice smoky depth to Iris.

Accidentally perfect for the library.

Believing that my perfumes could have a dual role makes me feel they each have a purpose, on their own or in partnership with another.

Suddenly, this matters. 

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Why Is It?

For the record, I don't feel inspired at all.  No perfume thoughts, no touching life moments (the puppy picture's as good as it gets).

So today, I offer a trip inside my mind. 

Welcome to my world.

Why is it that really large people often drive really small cars?  A simple fender bender and they will squish out the windows like a marshmallow. 

Why is it that, out of the millions of black camisoles I own, the one I am most likely to grab and put on is the light lavender.  This emphasizes my love handles, plus I can't take Paige outside to pee because the neighbors will see my nipples and belly button through the cami.

Why is it that apples, with all their nutritional value, just make me want to fart?

Why is it that the new administrative intern thinks he knows everything there is to know about the hospital?  He's like...twelve.  Eat a Popsicle, shut your mouth and you might learn something.

Why is it that the meetings I bust my ass to attend on time are always the ones that are ten minutes late getting started?

Why is it that a stylist can be superb at cutting hair, then style it like a 1950's shampoo set?  Just cut it, then hand me the blow dryer and no one gets hurt.

Why is it that B-man and I don't fight about big stuff, but about meaningless stuff, like the smell of bratwurst?  Eww.

Why is it that families donate hideous artwork to the hospital - that they spent thousands to have created - instead of just donating the thousands, which could actually help another child?

Why is it that the fabric flaw in my great new pair of sale pants is always discovered after I've removed the tags and thrown away the receipt?  Why can't I notice that in the store?

Why is it that, during the 5 minutes I'm enjoying my afternoon pear, Stinky Guy from engineering drops by my office to tell me about a new remodel project?  For the next hour, my office smells like feet.  

Why am I sharing these random thoughts with you?

Just because.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Great Perfumes I Don't Have The Guts To Actually Wear In Public

Many perfumes I wear boldly, giving no thought to what people might think, because I love them.

Others?  Not so much.  Even if I love those, too.

Sure, I'll wear them around the house, out on the deck and sometimes on the back of one hand to add interest to my evening workouts.  

But venture out into the world?


What are these hidden monsters treasures?

Rumba by Balenciaga - Spicy and sweaty and sexual and...trashy.  Like a woman wearing a form fitted, off the shoulder top with a full, boldly flowered skirt and 5-inch stilettos.  She and Tino made out in the backseat of his car and now, she's ready to dance. 

L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain - I love this perfume, but it's so melancholic that I have a hard time focusing when it's on my body.  I'm afraid of making everyone cry.  So far, my life has not included events for which this is the perfect perfume.  L'Heure Bleue is always alluring, but slightly out of step with the rest of the world.

Habanita by Molinard - My first encounter with Habanita was during a trip to Seattle.  B-man and I were walking together and he was not enamored with the smell.  Let's face it: Habanita smells old and musty and smoky and weird.  Which is why I could not get it out of my mind until I purchased it last year.  The question is, where the hell am I going to wear it?

Mitsouko by Guerlain - Classic, but so loud and bold and rotten fruity that I always have to fight scrubbing until it settles down.  I love it like I love caviar; only in theory and for what it represents.

Safari by Ralph Lauren - A beautiful perfume, but so Not Me that I'm afraid people would simply point and laugh as I walked by.  Plus, it burns my nose a little.  Ultimately, I don't have the wardrobe to pull it off.  And if I did, the pointing and laughing would get worse.

Niki de Saint Phalle - Not exactly a chypre or a floral or an oriental, NdSP is hard to categorize.  I admire its uniqueness and its power, but have yet to determine how to apply it so that it doesn't cause brain damage (mine) before it dries down.  Better than pepper spray.

Femme by Rochas - Heavy on the vajayjay.  Not that there's anything wrong with that - in private.  I'll play with this one at home... 

What perfumes are too scary for you to wear in public?

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Friday, July 8, 2011

The Space Between

Everything in my life seems to be stuck somewhere 'in between:'

*  At work, I am wading through some challenges that are leading to exciting options.  But they are not clear, only ideas to take form.

*  My body is moving toward fit and feisty, but I'm only half way there.

*  I'm in between loving the perfumes I have and deciding upon my next purchase (Dzongkha by L'Artisan keeps calling).

*  B-man and I are in between having planned a trip on one date and deciding upon a new date so that others can join us.

*  I'm in between haircuts.

*  I know what my life has been, but can't clearly visualize what lies ahead.

*  My pedicure is too old to look fresh, but not old enough to do again.  

*  It's dark and muggy outside, threatening rain, but the storm is not yet here.

*  Since Mom died, our family is no longer what it was, but not  what it will ultimately become.

Perhaps the bulk of our lives is spent in this place.

The space between.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ode to Black Aoud by Montale

Licorice Nibs
Camera Film
Rose Stems
Charcoal Briquettes
Fountain Pen
Laundry Soap
Garden Nursery

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Monday, July 4, 2011

My Top Three Perfumes

Like many of you who commented on this post, I have dithered, changed my mind and even pulled out a few hairs trying to decide on my top three perfumes.

Sorry about that, Paige.  They'll grow back.

If I had to - absolutely HAD to - choose three perfumes from my collection to live with forever, they are:

1.  Un Jardin en Mediterranee by Hermes
2.  White Aoud by Montale
3.  Rose Essentielle by Bvlgari

Criteria I used in making this decision:

*  Perfumes that are consistent, 'go to' choices.

*  Those that I consume more (I will soon begin my third bottle of Mediterranee, which is extraordinary given the number of perfumes in my collection).

*  They must draw positive attention from others.  You know it matters.

*  All occasions are covered.  Whether I'm going to the office, a wine tasting, a holiday party or an outdoor wedding, my perfumes work for them all.

*  Perfumes that span every season.

*  They make a statement, but avoid monster sillage.

*  Perfumes that lift my spirits and make me happy each time I wear them.

Favorites that I cannot believe I didn't choose:

Black Aoud by Montale
Borneo 1834 by Serge Lutens
Sycomore by Chanel
Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens

What can I say?  They don't meet all the criteria.  

On one hand, I'm really proud of making this top three selection.  On the other hand, Inner Critic keeps bugging me about why I keep accumulating perfume if, in the end, I really could live with just three.

None of his beeswax.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Bringing In The 4th of July Early

Last night, Big Sis had a party at her house.  We ate great food, drank wine, played Frisbee and talked.

A lot. 

Later, there were fireworks.

B-man, always the photographer, candidly snapped these pictures of JD, his wife Sammy and me.

My son, JD and Sammy, enjoying a light moment

Sometimes, it's fun just to watch
JD sharing his views on life, love and everything in between
Hope you're making the most of your weekend!

Friday, July 1, 2011

She's Near - I Can Feel It

Mom has been near me for the past couple of weeks.  

In addition to the many signs - mourning doves and bumper stickers and random feelings of connection - I just know it in my heart.

I feel it.

Plagued by self-doubt and disappointment, I have needed my mother's love and reassurance.  Now that the raw pain of her death has softened, I can embrace her presence and be comforted. 

I hope she stays close.

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