Snips and Snaps

drone2  OMG!  It’s ANOTHER ‘Hibernation’ post!  Sorry.  But I, too, am in the scent doldrums; not the perfume per se, more my inability to focus long enough to do a perfume justice in any sort of review.  I’m sloooooowly coming out of those trials and tribs I’ve been hinting about – it’s still a bit dicey but some changes made allowed me to drop a boatload of stress.  Here’s hoping the rest of the summer turns around.  Seems the best I can do these days is use my phone (notes/alarm clock) and Google Alarm, to try to keep everything organized.   Otherwise I tend to just sit in my chair, watch hummingbirds…and miss meetings.  Which wouldn’t be a bad thing…if I had a hefty trust.  Alas,  those meetings must be attended to, so I set the alarums.

Patty already asked you guys about Summer Hibernation, so I won’t.  Instead I’ll ask what you’re doing/reading/eating/thinking about.

Here’s what’s going on with me:

Bees:  my bees seem to be doing okay.  Unlike El O (who would open the hive once a week if I let him) I tend to leave ’em alone, figuring they know what they’re doing.  I see them all over my buddleia  and buzzing through the bolted broccoli like they’re getting paid (and I suppose they are).  It’s too hot for  .  I have them in various states of growth.  The one that is 7′ high is in bloom and covered in bees (few butterflies, though – wonder if the excessive rain has anything to do with that?)

Japanese Beetles.  Abound!  I’ve been gathering them for my chickens who are just now, at 3mos old, learning how to eat bugs!  I didn’t know they had to ‘learn’.   Patty says we’ve been babying the girls, which is why they are so slow to pick up what should be a Natural Chicken Trait.  Right now they are a bit scared of the bugs – all except Leg (the Leghorn) – she has figured out that Bugs Is GOOD Eatin’.    So now I’m turning the goils out of their pen to start foraging.  Day One was hysterical, with these CAPs (Chicken-American Princesses) squawking and rushing back to the pen at every breeze that ruffled their feathers.  Locked ’em out of the pen.  Ha!  Get to work, you fowl things!  We’re on Day 4 and they’re starting to get the hang of it, especially as I’ve cut their feed rations.  As my dad used to say “root, hawg or die”.   I had some trouble with slugs on my outside broccoli – the girls quickly put a stop to that!  Hungry chickens wise up fast!  My friend’s flock is omnivorous – pretty much anything that doesn’t eat them, gets eaten.  They took out a pretty good-sized snake!

Peaches:  remember my lovely peaches?   All gone. Alas.  From succulent bits of promise to  little shriveled disasters.  Every stone fruit tree around, that wasn’t sprayed, succumbed to the dreaded fungus that attacks when there is too much water.  Tree will be fine but this year’s crop is gawn!  Sigh.   I’ve been having fun playing at homesteading but disasters like this bring to light just how fragile the balance must’ve been, back in the days before readily obtainable food. My bees, my chickens, my kitchen garden, my peaches…all that could mean a bountiful harvest or extreme deprivation, depending upon the vagaries of Nature.  The Watermelon Man will shortly drive back up from Southern IL , with sweeet watermelons, cantaloups and peaches.  For that alone, I’m grateful for the internal combustion engine.

Stress & Scent.  I think I might’ve mentioned this before but in case not, when I’m under what my friend Flora calls ‘crushing stress’, I tend to stay away from complex scents.  At those times, it seems soliflores work best for me.  If not a soliflore, then a lighter set of notes than I am usually wont to wear.  Marc Jacobs Lemon – the essence of ‘crisp and refreshing’ (TJ Maxx in Naperville for about $11.  Read it and weep, babydolls!)  It smells persackly like the lemon Italian ice I used to get on Armitage Avenue (around the corner, on Bissell), with the little bits of lemon.   In the summer, I could just live in their freezer and nosh until they hauled my frozen, sugared-slobbering self out of there (can you imagine the Health Dept Drama? LOL!)..another simple one – though ‘simple’ isn’t really the right word – what am I looking for….relaxed!  Yesh.  Relaxed.  It’s too hot and crazy for me to have to wrestle with any diva scents (oh, get up off the floor!  I’m coming around, I promise, and by August will be awash in Tribute and Epic and Fracas, just like the old days!).  Rosine’s Rose d’Ete has that sunny, relaxed feel of a day on a deep, cool front porch, surrounded by beds of linden/lemon-scented roses.  Coty Sand & Sable is a day at the beach.  I wore that to bed last night for dreamless, sound sleep.  Not ‘dreamless’ persackly – I dreamt of Ipanema and lying in a chaise longue under a blue umbrella.  Vintage Chanel No 5 perfume.  Heresy!  Simple?  No.  But there’s something about it that is just so simple, like those swans, whose webbed feet are viciously paddling under the surface.  Like Mme Chanel’s suits – there’s a whole lotta lotta going on underneath all that stunning simplicity.  Doubt it?  Deconstruct a vintage Chanel suit.  It’ll take you a week.


Are you all reading anything right now?  I’m reading such goofiness – it’s all I can manage right now (too hot/too busy/too nuts)…MaryJanice Davidson wore me out with the last few Vampire Queen books (I LOVED the early ones – the first book caused me to nearly miss a dinner in San Francisco!)…but she has redeemed herself with the perfect Summer trilogy – a multiple personality FBI agent.  Her partner is a sociopath.  I love them already!

Food.  Are you kidding me?  It’s too hot to eat.  If you are not a fish taco or a green smoothie, you are not in my kitchen!


So!  Whazzup wich YOUSE?   Tell Musette!

  • rosiegreen says:

    Musette, glad things have calmed down for you. After your description I am really lemming the MJ Lemon; I have the fig,grapefruit and rain and they just hit the spot for uncomplicated fumes. I just finished a really great book by Anna Badken – The World is a Carpet – about a year in a tiny (less than 50 people) in Afghanistan. It is a real eyeopener. I also want to recommend that you read the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs about a Native American skinwalker, the stories are great fun, and since you enjoy Longmire you will definitely enjoy Justified. It is a series set in Harlan county KY inspired by an Elmore Leonard short story, great stories and great acting.

  • Beth says:

    Musette, I love reading your posts. I’m so sorry to hear things are so stressful for you right now. I can certainly identify. If it’s really hot I go for the simple scents, and the Lemon sounds amazing. However, stress brings out in me a need for a comforting scent. Doesn’t really matter if that translates into simple or complex, comfort is the key. I’ve been reaching for a lot of vanilla lately with that going on. So luckily for me, my perfume fairy last month went wayyyy out of her way to send me a care package of vanilla decants and samples. I’ve been living in those for the last month.

    I’m starting to think I could use some chickens! Would they chase the bunnies do you think? Darn bunnies, eating all my lillies.

    Oh, and thanks for all the reading suggestions in this thread. I’m a voracious reader, especially with stress. You can just disappear in a book. I used to eat when I was stressed, but that had to change, so now I read. And I agree, I don’t want a biography or true crime, or something “worth while”… I want to be whisked away and entertained! Bring on the fun books!

  • FearsMice says:

    I’m happy to hear that the CAPs are learning to thrive out in the real world! I wish your girls could be set loose on the critters eating up my hostas…
    I just finished reading “The Sugar Queen” by Sarah Addison Allen; am now on the lookout for her first novel, “Garden Spells.”
    Mals’ “humoggity” is the perfect description of the weather here, too, and it is making me grumpy and discontent: I don’t seem to have the right carefree, refreshing perfume that I want, and there’s not much that seems appealing to eat, either. What a mood! (I started a response to Patty’s post yesterday, but my inner critic demanded that I delete it…)
    So glad to hear that your stress is easing up, though!!

    • Musette says:

      LOL! on the hostas. FM, my girls took out a hosta yesterday. Took. It. OUT! I dunno why (or what was under/on it) but it’s ripped to shreds. Right now they’re hanging out under the huge log (actually 1/8 of a tree trunk) on the lawn – if you are a bug under that trunk piece, you are gawwwwn!

      I’ve been kicking them out of the pen, usually around 9a. Back in the pen at night. Get to work, girls!

  • Mals86 says:

    Darlin’, I love hearing from you whether there’s anything significant going on or not.

    It is full-on summer around here. Taz JUST NOW got up and came in for his morning hug (I love those, but you gotta take ’em when he offers, otherwise they’re off the table), at 9:24 am. Gaze started band practice this week; Bookworm had a fight with her boyfriend and then made up (just before the band trip to the National Independence Day Parade in DC last week, thank goodness.) We got fireflies and heat and humoggity and rust hitting the apple trees – yeah, it’s been rainy here too – and my purple clematis looks beeyootiful but the weeds in the garden are wearing us out. The CEO’s being home and not doing a lot of farming stuff is wearing me out too; he’s grumpy in the summers.

    Wearing Rose d’Ete myself. And Hanae Mori Haute Couture (aldehydes, fruit, jasmine, all friendly smiling uncomplicated), and Moschino Funny! (grapefruit and tea and rosewater) and Silences (cool contemplative mossy rosy irisy GALBANUM, galbanum rules the world, or it should). And using up my sample of Le Labo Lys 41, which am gorgeous but which am not gonna get replaced because of $$$. Think I might check out that Montale Intense Tiare that somebody mentioned…

    Not reading anything because I’m writing, instead. Mwah.

    • Musette says:

      Oooh! SO glad to hear you’re writing – you’re so damned GOOD!

      I would kill El O sebenty-leven times over, were he to be in my space in the daytime. Luckily he is fully engaged at work so I don’t see him until the close of biz. Bliss!

      Weeds! LOL! We’ve had FEMA-level rains (truly – they declared us a disaster zone) – I am trying to keep up with them in general but have given up the whole HG look for this year. If I can keep the thistles under 5′ tall, I’m feeling pretty grand about the whole thing! xoxoA

  • Portia says:

    Have you read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce? Laughed, cried, enjoyed EVERY PAGE! Could not put it down. AWESOME EASY $10 READ!
    Love and hugs,
    Portia xx

  • Dina C. says:

    Dear Musette,
    I’m sorry to hear that stress has been crushing you this summer. And what a bummer about the rain doing away with your peach crop via fungus. I get a kick out of your farm girl ruminations because I’m in a air-conditioned, sanitized suburban world. Loved the image of your pampered chicken gals finally getting the hang of eating bugs.

    I’ve been at the beach recently, read more Georgette Heyer novels, and have moved on to the latest Lindsey Davis mystery, “The Ides of April.” Her stories are set in ancient Rome and are filled with rollicking humor, great characters and engaging storylines that continue from book to book. These ones I buy in hardback the minute they are published…no waiting for the library to acquire it. And that’s my highest praise.

    Down at the Outer Banks, Hermes L’Ambre Des Merveilles was a beauty. The salty amber and ambergris was great. Otherwise, I’ve been wearing a lot of cologne-y ones like Escale a Portofino, Miller et Bertaux No. 3 Green, Green, Green and …Green, and today it’s 4711.

    • Musette says:

      Just Amazon-ed Lindsey Davis. I’m in! LOL! You people – I swear. I really do need a hefty trust fund so I can take time to read all these phenomenal books (and still have time to watch Longmire, Person of Interest and Crossing Lines – I seem to have developed a taste for tv shows with mumbling actors)

      I’m in Jean Nate today, with a light topping of Amorvero (sample from Luckyscent) – it’s tuberose/jasmine/rose atop a light citrus base (now how often do you hear THAT?) – and it’s a perfect complement to the musky citrus of Jean Nate.


      • Caroline says:

        oh, another Longmire fan…hope there are more of us! I’m also into Under the Dome, which I’m praying is just a miniseries. Need to find some summertime Jean Nate…

        • Ann says:

          Oooh, oooh — I like “Person of Interest” as well. Jim C. is such a cool good-bad guy. Not much reading for me, but maybe when school goes back in session. Glad the little feathered ladies are learning to get their own dinner — you go, girls! And hang in there, sweetie, one day at a time. The craziness must pass …

  • Tom says:

    I feel you on the stress thing. I’m hoping mine dials down soon.

    I plowed through Scotty Bowers’ memoir “Full Service” this past couple of days recounting his time from the 50’s to the 70’s being a procurer for apparently half of Hollywood. I’m looking forward to the new Christopher Rice novel as well.

  • Jackie b says:

    Oh how I laughed at your chicken Princesses, I can just see them wrinkling their beaks up at slugs!
    Books in my house now include Game of Thrones and have just discovered Stephen Lawhead who is writing about parallel universes and different concepts of time.
    Stay cool.

  • eldarwen22 says:

    It’s either hot and rainy or hot and humid in Cleveland. It’s to the point of eating is not an option and it’s exasperating everyone around me. Well, you try and eat with busted teeth and hot weather, let’s see how you do. I’ve developed a real liking for Jicky in EDP form for hot weather. I’ve finally gotten around to reading the huge stack of books that I’ve been meaning to read.

  • Heather A says:

    I love soliflores and I tend towards stress. I never saw the connection before!

    I am reading teen series. I am under a hundred pages in to “City of Bones”. I feel I will enjoy this world very much. I read “Divergent” and “Insurgent” in a heartbeat and screamed at the Amazon page telling me the end of the trilogy is due in October. So that’s a rave review.

    I’m also reading and loving George Saunders’ “Tenth of December”. I know I read his work differently than many of my friends. They see a lot of it as being in a voice that satirizes America, and I see it as a pretty good representation as the actual voice of America. A good read, either way.

  • Ncmyers says:

    Funny, right before I got this via email I was feeling stressed and reached for Montale Intense Tiare. Just wanted a massive sweet gardenia soliflore blast to take my mind off things. I keep it in the fridge, so it was nice and cool. Thanks, I needed that!

  • tammy says:

    Girlfriend, about those gawt damned Jane Austen vampire monstrosities you suckered me into….. the stress is really affecting you! If I didn’t know better, I’d have sworn it was Debbie Macomber writing under an alias to cash in on the recent fangy trends. 😛 I did like the covers and they were far cheaper than all the musk based perfumes Tom has lured me into buying samples of over the years, so I bear you no ill will, but do allow me to suggest some other books!

    Not saying they’re any better, but they are surely no worse.

    The Flavia de Luce series, by a Canadian man whose name escapes me at the moment, but perhaps Alan Brady? No vampires, but our heroine is a 10 year old lass who loves to make poisons and solve murder mysteries. These are top-notch.

    The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
    The Edge series, also by Ilona Andrews

    Enjoyable and the writing is good. Supernatural beings, sassy heroine, sexy hero but not sickly sweet. More action than romance; urban fantasy I think is what they call the genre.

    Night Huntress Series, Jeniene Frost
    Charley Davidson series, Darynda Jones

    Had these been written by high school students, I’d have been impressed; as it is, the actual writing consists of way too many instances of pages of dialogue between characters telling what happened instead of the writing actually showing you, but the stories are kind of fun. There is a fair amount of sex, nothing too racy, but don’t lend them to your maiden aunties. ( How DO you say maiden auntie in Spanish?! I drew a blank. Tia Inocente? Is there even a comparable term?) And don’t get your hopes up; I suspect you and I both could write better scenes!

    And finally, one of my all time faves… Handling Sin. Nothing to do with anything vampy or supernatural at all, just some crazy Southerners, but I always get a huge kick out of it.

    • tammy says:

      PS, all kidding aside, I”m glad you’re getting some relief from all the stress you’ve been under. And please send me some rain.

      • Kandice says:

        The author of the wonderful Flavia de Luce series is Alan Bradley. (He started this series when he was in his 70″s, and I hope he lives long enough to write this series for a long time to come!) The first book in the series is “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.” I absolutely love this series. I also love to read so I’ll have to check out some of your other suggestions – thanks!

        • Musette says:

          LOL! when I am stressed I read the most ridiculous things. Usually cozies or lite fiction (I’m not much for romance, unless it’s Georgette Heyer’s fabbo Regencys (Regencies?)….but you are the second (or possible the first, who is reiterating) to recommend the Flavia de Luce series. I’mo check it out! I LOVE that he started writing this series in his 70s. Gives a gal hope!

          Btw – I have the Posse to thank for so many great reading recommendations. Sharon C hooked me on the incredible Louise Penny. I love her forever for that!

          You didn’t like Jane Austen as a 300-yr old vampire, being stalked by Charlotte Bronte? Whyever not? ;-D


          • tammy says:

            No, no, I LOVE the idea of Miss Austen being stalked by Miss Bronte! Love the idea of who turned her even more! I just didn’t think the writer pulled it off. YOU should have written it!

            You will adore Flavia, you have my personal guarantee on that.

            Kandice, the others I recommended don’t hold a candle to Mr Bradley’s work, although the Ilona Andrews are by far the best written.I have read them to stay current with my nieces…and I enjoy them, don’t get me wrong, but they are NOT in Mr. Bradley’s league by any stretch of the imagination!

            Handling Sin is awesome, though.

            We need a book thread! And a music one; I am looking for some new things.

          • tammy says:

            Oh, another fun series is Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid. I am behind on that one. He turned into a bit of an Enviro-weenie around the 4th one and I got annoyed with it, but they’re fun reads, although I think the whole talking to his dog thing is also getting annoying.

          • Kandice says:

            Oh, I love Louise Penny! You might also want to try Deborah Crombie. Her first book in the series is “A Share in Death.” It’s best to read them in order as the growing relationship between her two main characters is an important part of the story development. Tammy – I agree. We need a book thread 🙂