Frankincense and Myrrh Perfume winners!

The winners for the Frankincense and Myrrh perfume sample set from the Guide to Frankincense and Myrrh Perfumes are:

  • Ninara Poll
  • Bev Fredrickson

If you don’t know the drill, click on Drop Us a Line clear at the top of the page, send me your mailing address, remind me what you’ve won. I’ll send you a quick “got it” e-mail so you know you didn’t get caught in the spam filter, and I’ll get you shipping your sample set!  Congrats, and I hope you enjoy them when they show up.

Oh, hey, look!  Old comments are back!   Since the old-new theme blew up a few weeks ago – the thing causing the problem with the old commenting system that required the change to Disqus just so we had comments –  it’s been possible to revert, but I had to first take the required few hours to import all the Disqus stuff back in, catch it at a time when we didn’t have a big ongoing post with a lot of comments and I also had some time to pay attention to it, and then just do it.

But it’s back!!!!  Easy peazy commenting with notification sign-up, and you can still use your Facebook sign-in to comment if you like, or you don’t need to sign in at all, I hope this is a feature and not a bug for most of you.

Those of you super-happy with this change may go ahead and send me presents!  

It was a really crappy week.  Training all week, which is just hard because it exhausts me trying to transfer stuff I know to other people.  

My regular day job is working with television news, the company I work for provides closed captioning to television stations around the country. So when some shitstorm breaks out – hurricane, earthquake, war, snowstorm, kidnapping, buildings being blown up, compounds full of men, women and children being burned down – we wind up working around the clock to cover it.

I’ve done this job for over 20 years.  No matter how many tragedies I’ve worked, there is always a lower level of hell available for a news story to descend to.  Natural disasters are bad enough – listening for hours/days/weeks to misery, fear, loss and pain.  The man-made disasters are so much worse. We had to work 9/11 for weeks, listening over and over to unimaginable loss and grief.  You want to hide from it, steel yourself so it doesn’t get past your exterior, but if you’re ever successful at that, you will lose a part of your soul.

After Columbine, I didn’t think it could get worse, but, you know what?  It can.  Sandy Hook was something my mind wasn’t ready for, nor were the people I work with.  They are all struggling to work through listening to 6-year-olds describe the sounds they heard as those children were being slaughtered.  My heart goes out to those parents, all of the children, the community.  I’m not sure if having an entire nation grieve with you helps or not. I hope it does.  I know when Columbine happened here in Colorado, my kids were in junior high and high school, and I freaked out that day and for days after.  I didn’t know anyone from the Columbine community then.  I’ve since met people who were there that day. They still bear the scars of shocking loss and sorrow unique to survivors of random terror. As will the entire community of Sandy Hook.

Like Precious says, “Fuck this day, that’s why God gives you a new one.”


Knitting bag - carpet bag, Mary Poppins Bag

Now can we talk about knitting while I’m working on the next Guide that will go up Tuesday (psst, it’s Tea!)?  The bag? That was my birthday present to myself this year.  It’s a big old carpet bag, Mary Poppins bag, knitting bag, whatever. It’s HUGE and sturdy, and I can fit in about 4-5 knitting projects.  An excellent thing because I lost a knitting project I was well into when it fell out of my other bag in the parking lot last week – yeah, add it to the shit week list.  It did get found, yeah!!  Nevertheless, a great knitting bag went even higher on my list.  This came from Elsie Rose at Etsy. and it is amazing in person!  Yes, they are expensive for the great big ones, but if you have ever had a yearning for a Mary Poppins bag, just go get one.  The large one is big enough for a great carry-on for travel, and you can get everything into it.

Now, my knitting, what am I working on?  I’m a new knitter – well, I knitted when I was young, but had no one to teach me more than the basics.  If you can’t move beyond the basics, you eventually lose interest.  This was way before YouTube videos and thousands of GREAT knitting books.  I’m trying to limit myself to no more than three projects on the needles at a time.  If I want to start a new project, something has to come off the needles.  I’m only one project over now!  That’s because the project I thought I lost was a Christmas present, so I started another one. Then the lost one was found. Now I have two. One for me.  

I had no idea knitting was so zen.  Maybe I knew it back when I did it before.  Every time I sit down with something, I decide if I want something to focus on, and that requires a project where I am counting stitches and tracking patterns.  If I want mindless knitting, I grab a straight up knit until your fingers bleed project. These are, well, interesting.  When I am having a meltdown or am angry or sad or whatever, I pull one of those out and just knit furiously for hours with tears streaming down my face or raging about something.  A day later I pull it back out and wind up frogging more than a few rows.  

When you are disturbed, your mind doesn’t communicate well with the rest of your body. Missed stitches, weird stitches that I can’t even tell you what happened, holes.  None of these things I even noticed while I was working on it.  There you go.  A disturbed mind misses much and works not very well at all.  Now I use those times to knit until I work myself out of my upset, carefully tending what I’m doing until I let go.   Useful thing for personal development – who knew that about knitting?  What hobby do you use/like to distract you? Knitting is really helping with normalizing and restoring my sanity.

  • Farouche says:

    Watched a lot of the coverage yesterday but got quite a bit of knitting done on a baby blanket, one of a set of two for twin grandchildren of a favorite friend. Knitting is a very zen activity and helps calm the mind during tragedies such as Sandy Hook Elementary.

  • cynpathy says:

    The non-stop coverage is horrible. So, I knit, too. It really does calm the mind.

    • Patty White says:

      Another knitter, yeah! I think there area quite a few. It does let you just work things out and keep you focused on something while all that crap swirls around in your head. It’s amazing therapy.

  • Poodle says:

    The holidays are supposed to be happy but every year it seems there’s a cloud over them. When I was an EMT I remember dealing with far more psych patients this time of year. Shorter days, higher depression? Who knows? I escape by reading the fume blogs and spritzing, avoiding the news, and I do love crocheting and knitting. A good book is also a nice escape. Playing with the dogs and the parrots helps. Poodle kisses always help.

    • Patty White says:

      Yeah. I haven’t even put up my tree yet, not sure why. I think it may just wait until Christmas Eve. This week I need to call and order a goose or two or a pork roast, I haven’t decided what yet, maybe on of each? It’s so warm here and just doesn’t feel like Christmas at all.a good foot of snow would help get me in the holiday spirit, but I don’t want to drive in it!

      I wish I were young enough to have a parrot. The knitting interfered with my reading, so I got a subscription to Audible and now listen to my books while I knit. Perfect!

      I avoid the news all the time, which is probably not the best way to go since it’s my job. 🙂

      do you like crocheting or knitting better? I used to crochet, and I intend to take that back up too once I get some of the elements of knitting more fine tuned. or do you just like doing both for different things. I want to do an afghan with the Saharan colors and waves in it, but I can’t figure out if crocheting or knitting would work best on it, nor do I have any idea how to design it. I might need a longer life to figure out all this stuff. I’m still just mad at myself that I haven’t been doing this for the last 30 years.

      • Jackie b says:

        Sorry to butt in here!
        I would knit this, make it in squares and sew them together. You would sketch the waves etc on graph paper first…it sounds like a great project!

      • Poodle says:

        I really like crocheting because it’s faster and I’m likely to actually finish a project before it goes out of style. I am not a fast knitter at all but I guess that comes in time. My mom can knit and crochet insanely fast. She’s knitted tons of sweaters, afghans, and even bedspreads. I’m hoping I pick up some speed eventually with it because I do enjoy it.

  • Jackie b says:

    Even in Oz we are hearing about your awful tragedy, I find it so sad and incomprehensible, but know that the world is thinking of you. Stay strong, I guess keep knitting!
    I used to knit for a living, it becomes a bit addictive, just one more row, OK just one more row!
    These days zoning out is walking the dogs every morning and organising my head.
    And perfume every single day!

    • Patty White says:

      Okay, how did you make a living knitting? I keep thinking about it, not that I’m interested in doing it for money, but how can one actually make any money on knitting? I’m not a fast knitter, I guess, because it takes me forever to do stuff, so I start calculating hourly rates for my time and wind up with an $800 dish towel? 🙂

      It is addictive. I get into the just one more row all the time, sometimes until 2 in the morning, which is weird because I”m not a night owl anymore. But it does give me something to do when I have insomnia and helps put me back to sleep.

      • Jackie b says:

        There was a fashion house here that made hand knits and I answered an ad. I made some weird stuff for them…knitted hot pants, (for the very young and thin?)
        Anyway it passed the time on public transport and I now can knit like a dervish!

  • Heather Wood says:

    My heart goes out to everyone affected by this horrible tragedy, which I think in a way is all of us. Patty, thanks for reminding us all of Zen activities.. After I read the latest news tonight I went and sprayed myself with Musc Koublai Khan, which smells of the best part of humanity. Now I need to knit until my brain works again. Glad that lovely things like the Posse and all kinds of happy community are out there.

    • Patty White says:

      And I’m glad that you are a fellow knitter! I love my elf slippers. 🙂 They make me happy when I got jingling through the house. I am going to sit down and talk with you when I get ready to tackle socks. I keep thinking about socks, I keep dreaming of wild colored socks because nobody makes the socks I want to wear, and then I freak out because I want to do the two socks at a time method, and I started the youtube videos for them and couldn’t follow and thought mmmmmm, maybe I should learn one sock at a time or just to knit a sock before I try two at a time?

      • tammy says:

        Patty, I am in no way affiliated, just a mega happy customer… check out Sock Dreams!

      • Heather Wood says:

        I do them one at a time and was never happy with the two at once method because it limits the kind of pattern work you can do. But learn one good sock pattern and you can do absolutely anything with it, which is a blast. Let me know when you want to make a sock and we can talk. Then you can go to town and make the socks of your dreams. Just out of curiosity, what do your dream socks look like?

  • Ann says:

    Hi, Patty! I sympathize completely with you on your job; I was in the newspaper biz for more than 25 years (DH is still in it) and I know it wears on you a lot. At times like these, despite our collective hearts breaking, I hang on to my faith, keep on praying and try to remember that there are far more good people out there than bad.
    As for hobbies, I used to cross-stitch up a storm in my younger days. And once, for about a week, tried knitting. But I’d get confused about where I’d left off and the whole knit one, purl two thing just threw me, so I threw in the towel. Wish I hadn’t, though; with some good training/instruction, I might be making some holiday gifts this year, too. And BTW, what’s the latest on the elf slippers?
    BTW 2, can’t wait to read the tea guide next week — whoo-hoo!!

    • Patty White says:

      Tough business to be in these days, even without all the tragedies.

      Oh, you should pick it back up again! Start with something easier that’s a whole row of knit, no purling, then a whole row of purling. I just practiced those making dishtowels for a while. Plus you need one of those counter thingies. You just click when you get to the end of a row so you don’t lose track which row you’re on! when I”m doing like a P4, K4 or some other pattern, I just decide where I will pause, if I need to take a break for the whole of the piece. If it’s P4, I always pause and put the piece down once I finish P4. Plus that book, Stitch n/ bitch tells you how to recognize a purl or knit stitch so you’re not guessing.

      I still get it wrong and can’t follow the damn pattern, but, hey, I’ve just been in it for a while.
      I got the elf slippers! Arranged a swap for them, they are adorable. But that didn’t do anything to take away my wanting to knit. It was weird. Seemed like I knew what I needed, regardless.

      Tea guide seemed perfect for next week after you did the tea drinking piece! I loooooove tea perfumes, and there just aren’t enough of them, which irritated me when I did the darn thing.

      • Musette says:

        Do NOT forget my beloved Agraria, okay? Pleeeze? It needs some love! Constant Comment in a bottle, sweetie, and the application of Agraria Bitter Orange will cause you to immediately lose 2 dress sizes.

        • Ann says:

          You’ve probably already got it, but that Cartier L’heure one, 13 I think it was, has a hit of lapsang souchang in it. Funny, I like that scent, but to drink the tea? Nope, just too smoky for me. Ha!

  • Musette says:

    Hey, honey! I walk. And I clean. A lot. When I’m rageful or hanging by a thread I do what I can to restore my physical order. Right now my closet is ripped completely apart. I will put a 60 min CD on and at the end of that CD I will have an organized closet and my BP will be way down.

    I always think about knitting but I only know how to straight-knit; and I only know how to cast on. Casting off is a mystery. So until I learn that part I guess…..well I shall be knit-free!

    I don’t know if tammy is right about the Mayans but she sure is right about ‘something in the air’….. It does feel as if we’re at the edge of some cliff…and it ain’t fiscal. Whatever it is, I will go forth with a clean closet and, I hope, smelling great!!

    For all that, though, I do still hold hope for us, the species with whom we share this precious planet and the planet itself.


    • Patty White says:

      Ack, cleaning just doesn’t do it for me. i remember having a fight with my ex-husband when I was pregnant, and I wound up cleaning out a bathtub trying to work it out, and it just wasn’t very effective. 🙂

      Um, honey, that’s all knitting is. Knit, purl, cast on, cast off. Casting off is easy! Youtube video. I looked at the pictures in the books, and I totally did not get casting off). Youtube video cleared it right up! That’s all there is to knitting, those four things. Eveyrthing else is some variation of that and has a youtube video for clarity.

      I’m at the edge of a tooth that I think is going to come out. It’s been a problematic tooth since I was a child. I bit on something recently that sent it over the edge, adn now it’s just a matter of time. This is new! so I need to schedule an appointment with the dental implant guy and see if that’s what I should do when this sucker decides to vamoose. I swear, I’m surprised I still have it! This was a tooth that was sideways. I finally fixed it with veneers like 15 years ago so it looked okay, and now it does this to me? Damn thing. 🙂

      • Musette says:

        Get thee to the dentist NOW! And once you do, make sure you do the salt-water rinses, etc. Remember what happened with my old, icky tooth – well, actually not the tooth. The gum. Of course, I got an entire vegetable garden laid out because of that damn tooth/gum. But I’d rather have avoided that pain.


      • Ann says:

        Ooh, poor baby! Seconding Musette here. Please try to see the dentist this week, if you can. From personal experience at our house, it never fails that the dental woes seem to rear their ugly heads right in the middle of the holidays when the dentist’s office is closed. Then you have to suffer through until Jan. 2 or 3 or whenever they reopen. Arrrghh … teeth. Can’t live with ’em, sure can’t live without ’em, ha!

      • Poodle says:

        I’ll be calling my dentist this week too if that’s any consolation. I have a filling that’s been giving me troubles and I think it really needs to be replaced. I hate the drill. Hate it!

  • HemlockSillage says:

    I’m with Tammy! Bless you for all you do to keep this blog running. It makes me laugh. It’s a community, and a warm, rollicking, silly and cozy place to visit. Thank you for creating it. When my work life blew up recently, I would at least take a few minutes each day to stop by and read the post and comments. It took me out of the yuck I was feeling. Thanks. I may have to look into this zen of knitting thing–I know nothing about it, but I’ve learned so many other cool things here, it’s worth a try 🙂 (BTW I still love Amazing Grass, and I’m trying to remember if it was you (Patty) or March who taught me about that) Hang in there!

    • Patty White says:

      Oh, thanks! It’s really not that much most of the time. It’s only when I’m accidentally breaking things that it becomes a problem, and usually I only have myself to blame!

      I do love this community all of you have created.

      Knitting shocked me with how zen it was. It was those stupid elf slippers. Weird thing, the lovely Heather made me a pair, and we did a great swap for them – I’ll post pictures – but I was still obsessed with something, so I got needles, yarn, and it appears to be a hobby that sticks. It’s portable and scalable, my two requirements for any OCD activity.

      There are a few books about how meditative knitting can be, but I haven’t bought or read any of them. I sorta laughed at them when I saw them. Now I’m not really laughing. it’s even helped my regular meditation practice, which was sporadic and close to nonexistent at some points! Stitch ‘n Bitch, great book to start with, and lots of youtube videos because pictures just don’t always quite show you where the damn needle goes!

      • Heather Wood says:

        I know what you mean. Somewhere in our swap correspondence I think I mentioned that I have a knitted jacket covered with elaborate cables that I started on September 12th, 2001, and finished exactly a month later, knitting for hours every night as I listened to NPR and tried to comprehend what had happened. It did help to pull my thoughts toward more orderly lines and it helped to see something useful become more whole as I worked. There is so much we have no control over; thank goodness we can restore our closets and our knitting and things like that. Not that I myself have ever, ever cleaned my closet or anything else to relieve stress, so kudos to Musette.
        Oh, and as she says, whatever happens, we’ll smell great.

        • Patty White says:

          I know, I need to invite Musetter over, piss her off and then open all the closet doors. 🙂

          • Heather Wood says:

            Wow, you are a born manager of people! Now I’m trying to think whether I have any order-freak friends who would clean my place if I annoyed them enough. Unfortunately, my guess is that, if they’re real order freaks, they don’t visit me much any more 🙁

          • Musette says:

            Ha! You should SEE THIS CLOSET! El O really chapped my cheese right before he went out on his ‘date’ with our lead welder…..I ripped that closet to shreds. It now looks like an Elle Decor spread (except for the icky work shirts on the left side). I can’t wait until we get the second floor done (new master suite)- El O was shocked! to find out I fully expect separate closets.

  • tammy says:

    Thank you for all you do for us! I’d have deleted the blog in a fit of rage a long time ago. Do you drink iced tea at all?

    I am beginning to think the Mayans were right and have been utterly dousing myself in perfume, wearing every scrap of my fun jewelry for any reason whatsoever and telling every single loved one how much they mean to me. I’ve always been pretty good about making every day count, but there is something in the air theses days that has me increasing my efforts.

    • Patty White says:

      I do drink iced tea! Just not in winter usually.

      There is something up, mercury in retrograde or some other big change thingie. I don’t know that the world will end, but maybe we all have a new beginning coming?

  • kathleen says:

    I can see you!