Saturday, April 30, 2016

If Paige is Happy, Everyone's Happy

Paige with her favorite toy, Hedgie

B-man and I are looking forward to taking a few 'let's break out of our homebody routine' trips this year, which means leaving our doggy, Paige, for several nights at a time.  For years, we have taken her to a boarding company that employs young people tattooed from head to toe to care for the dogs that run free in an indoor/outdoor playground.  Paige insists on herding everything and when we check on her by webcam to see how she's doing, we get mere glimpses of her running back and forth with her tongue hanging out. Other dogs are lounging on their sides and watching her like, 'who's the crazy bitch?' 

Last time we boarded Paige, she came home an absolute mess.  She had scratched the skin above her eyes until it was infected, she was anxious (howling in the car on the way home), and she smelled bad, like stressed out doggy B.O.  Think Muscs Koublai Khan with more ass.

After a bunch of research, we just found a new place...a family that will involve her as their own and work her into their busy lives.  Yesterday was Paige's first trial daycare at her new home away from home.  Even though she was a bit 'skittish' according to her new family, we all feel confident that she will settle in nicely as she gets to know everyone.  When she got in the car to go home, she settled right onto her blanket without a peep. Best of all, she smelled like her sweet doggy self.  

Mission accomplished.

Photo my own

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hyacinth in the Air

Every day this week, I have walked outside. This was a ritual for years, walking alone, walking with my sister, walking with B-man...negotiating the hills and staring at the mountains that have seen endless lifetimes and still remained the same. 

Lately, though, I've become a treadmill girl, logging necessary workouts early in the morning before trudging into the office. But this week, I've come home early to walk in my neighborhood again. Water bottle in hand, I take off up the hill, breathing in the scents of leaves, fresh dirt, geranium and...hyacinth.  Stopping to smell them is never the same as passing their scent in the breeze. Hyacinths were meant to sway back and forth, filling the air with their sillage.

At the end of every walk, I return home and shop my perfume cabinet to find something that best matches the smells of the outdoors.  I know I've found the right one when it is such a perfect replica that I can hardly detect its scent when holding it up to my nose.  Yesterday, as soon as I got home, I started searching for a perfume that carried the hyacinth magic.  One after the other, I opened the box, sniffed the nozzle and replaced it on the shelf. Then, like the thought of a familiar face, I remembered a perfume that was tucked away in the sock drawer B-man recently donated to hardly-worn-but-still-admired perfumes: Josephine by Rance.

Josephine is not a perfume I reach for, and honestly, I bought it for the name alone. But yesterday, its sweet, tweedy hyacinth extended the pleasure of my walk and helped me remember what I'd been missing.  Josephine presents hyacinth combined with orris, which emphasizes the old fashioned powder of the dry down and then gently fades away in a cloud of dusty vanilla.  

Josephine by Rance: I bought it for the name, never suspecting that spring lived inside.

picture from

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Ode To Oxygene by Lanvin

Pencil Lead
Orange Rind
Prom Corsage
White Chocolate
Amusement Park

Picture from

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Oh, To Have A Mother Again

I just finished watching, 'Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper.'  The prevailing feeling I'm left with is...jealousy.  I would give anything if my mother and I could have had a similar conversation; an honest reflection on her life, her challenges and her loves...what an absolute treasure that would have been.

As I watched this documentary, all I could think was, 'he has no idea what it will be like when she's gone.'  Children imagine the loss of their parents and talk themselves into thinking they will grieve briefly and then go on with life, resilient and whole.  But the absence of a parent is profound, and it leaves a permanent hole in the fabric of life, regardless of closeness or conflict.  It is the death of one's roots, and if the truth remains unspoken, it is forever haunting.

The truth is, I don't know much about my mother. Her fear of transparency and my insensitive response to her honesty left us virtual strangers.  Now she is gone, and the authenticity of her life died with her.  This loss will always be with me.

Dear Anderson Cooper: I hope you treasure the great gift of your mother's story.  In the end, it's the only thing that matters.

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Rant: Conference Food Is A Bitch

Richard Pryor nailed it when he said, 'I'm in love with a bitch I can't stand.'  That's exactly how I feel about conference food.

Last week, I attended a conference with two lunch options: chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies, or Alfredo bow-tie pasta with veggies and sun dried tomatoes. In the picture, it looked delicious, so I chose the pasta. Soon a plate was slapped down in front of me so fast that the bottom spun like a top. On the plate was cooked bow-tie pasta with no sauce, three steamed pieces of broccoli and not one effing sun dried tomato. I glanced around the table, hoping to catch someone's eye and give the look that says, 'can you believe this??'  But like pod people, they were forking the crap into their mouths as if it was the best meal they had ever eaten. Then I realized all the plates looked alike - there wasn't a sun dried tomato anywhere on the property.  

Those. Lying. Bastards.  

Even if I wanted to throw a fit, which I was THIS close to doing, they couldn't have fixed it. Instead, I put leftover salad dressing on the pasta, added salt and pepper, and started forking the crap into my mouth like a good little pod person.

Next week, I'm going to a conference in Dallas. Honestly, it doesn't matter whether it's Dallas or New York City, I'm convinced event planners all refer to the same manual, Food For Constipation and Bloat. Of course, there's the token yogurt in big bowls of ice placed strategically at break time - probably to avoid a lawsuit - but let's get real, no one eats yogurt at a conference.  And speaking of real, if you eat real food on a regular basis, and then eat conference food for a few days, your body will rebel by puffing up like a blow fish and slamming your ass shut. I have learned to wear comfy, stretchy clothes at conferences to accommodate the walking fat suit I've become while I'm there. 

Worst of all, the effects of conference food last way beyond the conference itself.  It takes at least two days to recover from these processed sodium and sugar debacles. Every time, I swear that I'll do it different.  That I won't even eat the food.  That I'll fill my purse with Kind bars, nuts and other healthy options.  But as soon as I get to the conference hotel, I put the snacks on top of the dresser and think, 'I'm not eatin' that crap.' Stuffed from the greasy breakfast buffet, before the keynote speaker is even introduced, I have only one burning question on my mind: what are we going to eat next?

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Aura by Jacomo: Perfume Pacifier

My nose, Daphne, is a bratty little kid.  She wants what she wants when she wants it.  The problem is, as soon as she gets it, she doesn't want it anymore.  I cannot tell you how many perfumes I have bought (because of Daphne's whining) that ended up in the 'rejected until I figure out what to do with it' box in the spare bedroom downstairs.  Kind of like the Island of Misfit Toys.

Last week's perfume shopping frenzy wore me out.  The fresh, springy scents I tried left a screechy after-smell, and Daphne would not stop badgering me about her craving for a sweet floral perfume. So I started sniffing through the perfumes I already have. Smelling one after the other, Daphne said, 'no!' just like the annoying toddler she is.  After plundering through my cabinet, I went downstairs and started on the box of misfits.

The moment she saw the yellow package, Daphne gasped and pointed so I knew it was the one: Aura by Jacomo.  It's a sweet floral perfume with freesia, mimosa and honeysuckle, finished by sandalwood and musk.  And butter.  Yes...melted butter.  Aura was an inexpensive add-on to qualify for free shipping, which might explain why I set it aside.  Now, a forgotten treasure suddenly found, it has assumed a prominent spot in my cabinet with the more popular perfume crowd.

Changing into my sweats after work last night, I noticed that my weekend 'lounge on the deck' cami still reeks of Aura from the clothes hamper.  And finally, Daphne is down for a nap.

Photo from


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