Monday, February 28, 2011

Ode to Moschino Couture by Moschino


Triple Sec
Ponderosa Pine
Green Apple
Lemon Meringue Pie
Cedar Chest
Crisp White Linens

Image from

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What Is Our Fascination With Being Thin?

Super Skinny Women On the Fashion Runways

This was supposed to be a rant. It would have been a good one, too, if I had kept my focus.

In fact, I was on the road to Feminist Rantsville over pictures of emaciated women that make me gasp, like the ones above.

Then I got sidetracked.  Happens a lot.

As I looked for an appropriate picture for the post, I viewed a number of thin women from Jennifer Aniston to Victoria Beckham to supermodels like those featured in the picture above.

The more I looked, the more fascinated I became.  I even got sucked in and found myself thinking, 'I wonder how long it would take to get that thin?'

Me, an avid student of 'The Beauty Myth' and 'When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies.' 

I know, Bad Feminist! Bad Feminist!

Inner Critic has never been happier.

B-man and I talked about this, even though I was embarrassed to tell him I had been lured into thin thoughts.  

He pointed out that many of the male models in his Esquire magazine are also very thin.  We looked at his most recent issue and quickly went from 'ewww' to 'huh, interesting.'

As we opened our minds, I had to wonder, what is the line between thin and Too Thin?

And what is it about being thin that attracts us?

For me, it represents power and control. 

And also freedom.

During my thinner times I have felt, if not happier, certainly more energized.  And, of course, it's wonderful to wear anything in any style at any time. 

The power thing?  Maybe it's all in my head.

But today, instead of finding my inner rant, I found myself jonesing to be thin. 

Don't tell anyone.

Photo from

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sephora Floral Perfume Fest

I've fallen for a floral perfume.

A fruity-floral perfume.

And no, I don't have a fever.

Fruity-florals are So Not Me.  Usually, they just piss 
me off.

But not this time.

Monday, B-man's Droid dies.  Here we are, sucking coffee, and the damn thing quits working.  How are we supposed to go play if he can't call or text me, check his e-mail and download the weather report?

Seriously, how?

Luckily, the 'Droid Place' is located right by my city's new Sephora, so I decide to accompany B-man on this rescue mission.

As I begin playing with perfume, florals are attracting me, although I do get distracted momentarily by Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver.  Hmmm.

After spraying dozens of paper strips, my on-the-skin contestants are:

Calvin Klein Beauty - Eternity light
DKNY Pure - Heavenly's first cousin
Gucci Guilty - Yeah, okay
Tocca Bianca - Citrus, rosy, yummy!

When we get home later (Droid mission successful)
I also apply:

L'Artisan La Chasse aux Papillons - Nice Enough
Lismore by Waterford - Sure, why not?

Drum roll please...Tocca Bianca is the clear winner! 

Ironically, I have steered clear of Tocca perfumes because they are too...precious.

And Bianca is girly as hell, perfect for an outdoor wedding or attending a tea party in the garden wearing a flowered dress, white gloves and kitten heel sandals.

You will never again see me in a flowered dress. 

Shut up, it was just that once.

I'll visit Sephora this weekend to make sure I wasn't in some Droid-worry altered state of mind.

All I know is that, Monday evening, Bianca gave me exactly what I needed.

It made me happy.  

What perfumes have made you happy lately?

Image from

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ode to Knize Ten


 Red Carnation
Swim Cap
Granny's Attic
Dutch Pipe Tobacco
Riding Boots
Burnt Coffee Beans

Image from

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Looking Ahead Together

Dad opening gifts last night
My brother and his amazing wife
Baby Sis and T
Sharing a moment with Big Sis
Laughing hard together on Big Red
My sisters and me

Today marks one year since Mom died.  

Last night we thought about her, talked about her and shared joy with each other.  

Whatever the future brings, we will go through it together.

And Mom will always be with us.

photos taken last night by B-man

Saturday, February 19, 2011

To My Dad On His Birthday

Dad on the deck last summer

 Dear Dad,

It's been quite a year for our family, and especially for you.  At times, watching you walk through your grief has been excruciating. 

At other times, you have inspired me.

But whether you were devastated by grief or texting over coffee for a little smart-ass session, I could count on you to be consistently, and authentically, my dad.

Thank you for that.

Today, I'm thinking about the many ways we are alike:

*  We're anti-perfectionists, but persnickety about random things.

*  We hate cooked, whole raisins.  You're right, they do feel like bugs.

*  We have sensitive noses and feel cocky when we can smell things that escape others.

*  We think people should live their lives however they want. 

*  We're agnostics.  Whatever.

*  We're morning people.  Thanks for not calling me after 8:00 p.m.

*  We're fashion dolts.  You're worse, but just barely.

*  We like to laugh even when we're sad.

*  We're pragmatic to a fault.

*  We both enjoy a glass of Monkey Bay.

You called me after our most recent visit just to share a couple of memories that had popped into your mind.  

Like the time when I was little and I held my breath crying and passed out cold. 

Actually, I did that a lot...little drama queen.

This particular time, you remember being alarmed and carrying me to the sink to splash cold water on my face.  You told me about the relief you felt when I woke up and you realized I was okay.

You also asked me if I remember how you used to take me places with you and carry me everywhere as a little girl.  You said I was your 'lucky charm.'

Do I remember?

Those days are the highlight of my childhood that I could never forget and I will cherish them always.

And I still love you that much.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Photo my own

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rant: Don't You Ever Just Like It Quiet?

Years ago, B-man and I were on our way to a wine tasting or some such event.  He had picked me up from work after a crazy day and I desperately needed some decompression time.

B-man was talking my ear off.

I tried - diplomatically - to tell him that I couldn't interact right then and needed to be silent for awhile.

'Okay,' he said, and promptly turned on the radio.

Me:  'Don't you ever just like it quiet?'

This line has become a classic in our marriage.

Last weekend, B-man and I were out doing our usual Saturday thing; shopping for stuff we don't need and 'cracker-assing' together.

Cracker-Ass:  One who strives to make humorous and irreverent comments and then laughs at inappropriate one-liners provided by one's cracker-assing partner.

This routine must be practiced regularly to stay proficient. 

In TJ Maxx, after going our separate ways (me to the perfume and B-man to housewares), I am accosted by a woman sharing the details of her respiratory infection with someone on a cell phone.

First thought:  OMG take your infected lungs and leave.

Second:  Is it necessary to repeat everything?

Third:  It's a phone - you don't have to shout.

Fourth:  Are you trying to follow me around the store?

Fifth:  Homicide would probably ruin my weekend.

This isn't new (well, the infection was a new twist, but not annoying public cell phone conversations), and noise pollution is everywhere.

When did 'quiet' get such a bad rap?  Why is it that we can no longer tolerate the sound of our own thoughts?

My conspiracy theory?  All of this noise stimulation (cell phones, iPod, Wii, etc.) makes us numb - or oblivious - to our environment.

Bombarded with constant noise, it is harder for us to know ourselves, ponder an idea or be aware of what's happening in the world.

And after my experience in TJ Maxx, I'm convinced it also contributes to public violence.

What is your noise pollution annoyance?

Image from

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Incense Perfume Update: Complacency or Indecision?

You remember my desperate quest for the perfect incense perfume?  

Yeah, I'm over it.  For now, anyway.

My incense samples are strewn carelessly on the desk in the office, but I swear I will pick them up soon.  

Any day now.  

I mean it.

Maybe it was the Encens Flamboyant/Comet fiasco that took the wind out of my sails.  Or maybe I just lost interest, like getting half way through a boring book and thinking, 'why the hell am I even reading this?'

Although I suspect it's just another case of 'what mayonnaise really IS the best?'  

Picture this: B-man stands to one side of the aisle at the grocery store, patiently waiting, smiling at me when I look at him in humiliation because mayonnaise has become the biggest decision of my life.

And I am stumped.

However, I did manage to place a perfume order (15% off - and a free gift - gets me every time):

Eau de Merveilles  (wore it today - beautiful!)
Cuir de Lancome  (think I'm going to love this one)
Belle En Rykiel ( a bit sweet, but nice enough)

Incense shmincense.

I'll get back to it...any day now.

Image from

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ode to Habanita EdT by Molinard

Wood Stain
Just Lit Cigarette
ATV Exhaust
Root Beer with Dry Ice
Board Meeting
Fresh Laundry

Image from

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thank you for the support and just plain FUN you have offered me over the past year!

May Cupid touch your life today.

Image from yellow-net. com

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rant: My Five Communication Hot Buttons

My work entails a number of diverse responsibilities:

Oversight of multiple departments.
Partnership with corporate initiatives.
Hospital wide, regional and national presentations.

How do I spend the bulk of my time?  

Cleaning up messes of poor communication.  

Now, I kind of get off on this, as it adds spice to my work and taps into my experience as a therapist. 

But, honestly, I am Up To Here with the following:

1.  Absolute Lack of Self-Awareness

Personalities mirror each other and then conflict.  This is so predictable, it's almost funny if it wasn't so annoying. 

Whenever I hire a strong person who is smart, opinionated and verbal, I can count down from ten before the other smart, opinionated and verbal members of my team have a problem with this person.  

With no awareness whatsoever that they are alike. 

2.  You're Not a Child and I'm Not Your Mother

It doesn't matter how old people get, they still tattle on each other. Like I'm going to march right over to that person, wag my finger in their face and say they better stop doing whatever it is they're doing because so-and-so doesn't like it.  

Of course, each party claims that they can't speak directly with the other because they wouldn't be receptive.  

Have they ever tried?  Nope.  

3.  Passive-Aggressive Behavior

My Big Red Hot Button.

This is when someone is too cowardly to directly address a concern with the party involved, so they tell everyone else about it and covertly attempt to sabotage that person.  

Here's the thing:  if you lack the balls to be honest about how you feel, please don't scheme behind someone's back.  Because, whether it involves me or one of my directors, things will not go well when you and I finally meet face-to-face. 

You'll probably cry.

4.  Splitting

If you request something, and, after careful and fair consideration, I say 'no,' don't then go running to 'Daddy' (this figure could be almost anyone) to try for a 'yes.'  That's known as splitting and it's a cheap shot that will irritate me.  

Plus, Daddy and I have already spoken.  

5.  Whining

Oh. My. God.  

Stop it.  

For realsies.

What are your communication Hot Buttons?

Image from

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Anniversary Grief: The Loss of Innocence

I'm tired of writing about grief.

Perhaps I could fake my way through a perfume 
review instead.

Like I've ever written a respectable perfume review.

Still, I could give it my best shot. 

But I'm just too tired.

Mom's death anniversary is looming heavy and my emotions are all over the place.  I'm fatigued, distracted, irritated and everything makes me cry.

Like re-runs of Scrubs.

Memories of this time last year are excruciating as Mom was dying before our eyes.  Watching her process, I learned one thing: it's hard to die.

The will to live takes over after everything else is gone.

Not that Mom wanted to die.  She fought long after losing the ability to walk, to think and even to breathe.  Sadly, I was ready to let her go before she was ready to give up the fight.

She never gave up.

After each visit, I would fantasize that Mom could die peacefully in her sleep after she had said an eloquent goodbye.  Death wrapped up with a bow at exactly the right moment and in exactly the right way.

If there is such a thing, I wished it for her. 

And for us.

Instead, the day she died was spent trying to manage the situation with my father and my brother.  Later, when it was clear we were at the end, my sisters came, too.  Each detail of that day is etched in my mind forever. 

Some I hope will fade, some I hope never to lose.

Mom died on Saturday, February 20th at 8:20 pm.  I know this because I checked my watch after she drew her last breath.  This detail seemed really important at the time.

Here's the thing about grief: it traps you in a whirlpool of churning emotions.  I am exhausted from thinking about, feeling sad about and even blogging about my mother.  And yet, here I am, immersed in this reality, unable to step out of the pool just yet.

And grief has changed me.  Now, I worry more about losing those I love; my father, B-man, my son or one of my siblings.  This energy is unfamiliar territory and new to my radar screen.

Still, I hang onto the hope that the one year mark will bring a shift or at least a softening of the loss.  Perhaps it will even spark a new level of healing.

But part of grieving is losing one's innocence and confidence - at least temporarily - that life will turn out and everything will be okay in the end.

Oh, how I want that back.

Image from

Monday, February 7, 2011

Welcome To Martini Monday

Stressful day at work.

It's a blizzard outside.

The house is warm and so is B-man.

Inner Critic isn't happy with drinking on Monday.

Inner Critic is never happy.

Inner Critic can kiss my 'whatzit' (borrowing a word from Michael at Perfume Patter...)

Scent of the Day: Montale's White Aoud

Scent of the Evening: Serge Lutens' Fumerie Turque

Daphne is really happy. 

And, now, so am I.

Photo my own

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ode to Eau des Merveilles by Hermes

 Wet Beach Towel
Freshly Sharpened Pencil
Grated Orange Peel
 Bicycle Chain
Jam on Saltines
Iodine Suntan

Image from

Friday, February 4, 2011

Heavenly Friday

Last night was spent partying with my sisters.

Well, let me rephrase that.

Last night was spent drinking with my sisters.  

In about two weeks, it will be one year since Mom died.  My sisters and I continue to dog paddle around in conflicting states of mind: sadness and loss, relief and stagnation.  

And anger.  

Frequently, anger at Mom.

Drinking dulls the guilt of being angry at the dead.

Together, my sisters and I offered each other understanding and support.  We said things that can only be said inside the club of us and shared the frustration and indignity of this space we now occupy.  

The space between who we used to be and who we will become once the fog clears.

This morning - not exactly hung over, but emotionally and physically spent - I sat on big red with B-man, drinking coffee as we do every morning.  So much was churning in my mind that I couldn't engage in our usual chit-chat and couldn't imagine engaging in my work.

While ironing my clothes and pondering the scent of the day, I had an urge to wear something that had been left behind, something far outside of my regular rotation.

A perfume from another time.

First, I considered Rykiel Woman, then Incanto by Ferragamo. 

In the shower, it hit me: Heavenly by Victoria's Secret. 

Heavenly draws me in with a white floral top note in a cloud of fresh mint.  This stage is brief (especially the mint), but the white flowers linger, turning powdery, as if they have been dried, crushed and scattered.

From morning to evening, Heavenly continues to soothe, inviting an afternoon nap followed by a nice cup of tea.  The soft throw of its heart notes is as comforting as a pillow behind my back or a blanket over my legs. 

On a day like today, when emotions are raw and energy is low, Heavenly offers the silent reassurance that all is well, that this, too, shall pass and the time to dream again will return.

Image from

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Finally - A Fragrant February First!

Scent of the day?  

Eau du Soir by Sisley.

It was perfect; green and mossy, with a heart of 
yellow rose.

A 'peppy chypre,' you might say.  

What perfume marked February 1st for you?

Image from


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