Musette’s Musings – The Friday Edition

August is a BEAST!  Tom’s got nothin’ – and I don’t blame him.  We had a heavy rain here today and the ragweed count is stupid-high.  It’s actually at that ‘alert’ status!  I couldn’t smell a perfume if you mainlined it into my sinuses!  Not Even Angel.

So Tom bailed and I am jumping in here for another whack at y’all.  I’m  going to blatherate; having one of those days – my papi used to say ” he’s got what the Good Lord gave the lizard: a rusty ass and a ramblin’ mind”….. my mind may be ramblin’ but my hindquarters, Blessed Be, are rust-free, courtesy of Monica Miller’s Aromatic Healing Balm.  I have no idea why but I have the equivalent of diaper rash on ONLY ONE SIDE – and only in one spot (I blame my Hi-Cut Rio briefs  – but the one side thing?  That’s all me – some weird physical anomaly, I’m sure!)  Anyway, I originally got this for El O who has a spot of eczema on his leg (you would’ve fainted laughing – it took me FOUR TRIES to spell ‘eczema’ – Monica spells it xxxema which is way easier…anyway, this stuff?  He’ll have to pry it out of my…hands! LOL! (you know I wanted to say ____).   I’d been using one of those filthy-smelling diaper rash creams – they work but ew, lordie, do they stink!!!  Monica’s balm smells heavenly – and it works, too!  I even used it on my poor, busted face.  I’m always going to have a jar of this handy.  (btw – I bought mine retail, no affiliation, etc…it’s just good stuff y’all need to know about. fwiw you FBers will know her as Perfume Pharmer)

Prairie plants.  So….more gardens.  My neighbor(ish – she lives on the ‘north’ end of town and I live at the western edge – the whole town is 4miles square so make of that what you will)…Kay has SUCH a garden.

little slice of heaven

little slice of heaven

A year ago I glimpsed the kitchen garden and made ‘assumptions’ that the visible space was the entirety and that it was probably ‘just a kitchen garden’.  Haw.  I walked over to her house and rang the doorbell and this lovely, gracious woman took me on a tour of Paradise.  O.M.G.  My eyeballs!  Dry from bugging out at the beauty!  My jaw is sore from constantly hitting the ground.  I couldn’t figure out where to look first!!!  I thought I hated coleus.  O.M.G.  (sorry – I …..y’all just don’t know!)  she grows these absurdly gorgeous coleus!  So I was thinking ‘oh, she’s an Annuals Gal’.  I really have to stop doing that, y’know?  This is a ‘science-y’ woman, with extensive horticultural experience and an almost encyclopedic knowledge of flora.  And she’s successfully integrated local, native plants into her gorgeously designed landscape.  She introduced me to Cup Plant, which grows to extreme heights (well over 6′ tall ) – the name comes from the configuration of the leaves, which allows the plant to collect water which is utilized by tiny wildlife (insects/birds)…….around the corner from that huge patch sits a heavenly nicotiana, which self-sows (we LOVE our volunteers!), aromatic fennel (now that I could smell! 😀 )  ….a whole patch of Bells of Ireland, with their lemon-eucalyptus aura…we spent 3 hours wandering through this garden and, had I not had to get back to the shop (and my mama taught me about not overstaying my welcome) I could’ve spent another 3 hours, easily.  I hope she doesn’t get sick of me because, honey?  I’mo spend a lot of time over there – I have been gardening for over 30 years…and today I just realized:  I have a lot to learn.



Speaking of learning:  I am Lazy when it comes to learning (stupidly tiny bits of a lot of languages, little bits of arcana and a whole lotta foolishness)  and I take for granted what I have learned.  I never stopped to think about what a privilege it is to learn.  Until yesterday.  I was talking with our lead guy –  a very, very talented machinist and all-around accomplished person…and we were going over some detailed project notes.  I quickly read the notes, then passed on to him…and something unusual happened.  He read it aloud, in somewhat halting fashion, really focusing on the paper I’d so casually perused and tossed over to him, he focused, almost with reverence, on the words on that paper.  Once finished, he said ‘you know, 5 years ago I couldn’t have done that – I would’ve had to have you read that to me.  But I decided that I didn’t want to not be able to read, so I went back to school – and it was hard! But I got my certificate.  And now I can read.  It’s still a bit tough  – I watch you speed through stuff like it’s nothin’ and I wish I could do that – but at least I can read.  And that’s somethin’ I didn’t think I would ever be able to do.”   He is 62yrs old.   And once again I am humbled by the gifts I’ve been given.  Reading?  pfft!  Everybody can read.  Guess what, Musette?  Not everybody can.  Perhaps I’m just slowing down/growing up and really starting to pay attention but all around me are little lessons that force me to stop and reflect on the wonders in my life and the gifts I’ve been given.

Which brings me to part 2 of that story.  I am so grateful to you all for your reading suggestions – there have been some incredible gems (I owe Sharon C a HUGE debt for introducing me to Louise Penny’s work; I’m going up to Naperville next week for her book signing and my liver is so aquiver, you’d think I was going to meet The (early) Beatles!)…a few weeks ago one of you mad lot recommended the Flavia de Luce series; I took a gamble and I’m so thrilled I did!  It took me a few pages to get into 11yr old mode but once I did, I was hooked.  Poison, bicycles, chemistry, mystery, delight.  I couldn’t be happier!


So….gratitude.   It’s a lovely thing to experience.  Gratitude is a divine gift (whatever/however your version of ‘divine’).  I am awash in gratitude every day now.  Weird as the days can be, I’m determined to be grateful for each and every day!  I’m also grateful for all your suggestions and Floyd knows I’m grateful for you!


Oooh!  and I’m also grateful for these!  Check it OUT!  My gurrrrrlz!  They is LAYIN’!  Wheeee!  I opened the laying box this morning and one of the hens was in it!  She gave me such a LOOK!  I apologized and quickly closed the door.  I almost blushed!DSCF3271So what’s got your Gratitude going these days?


  • maggiecat says:

    Grateful for my husband, grace, perfume, friends, this blog, my job, cooler weather on the way (I hope) and a whole bunch of other stuff!

  • Kandice says:

    What a lovely post!. And I love your dad’s quote at the beginning. Like everyone lately it seems life has been very difficult. However, whenever I get in a “poor me” frame of mind I remember that many people in the world live on less than $1.25/day, and I feel rich beyond measure. Have you read Deborah Crombie? If you like Louise Penny you’d probably enjoy her as well. Enjoy your richness 🙂

  • Late commenting here, but when I saw the butt rash discussion, I had to chime in! My employer, a woman in her late 60’s, gave me an adorable gift: Lady Anti Monkey Butt powder, no lie! It comes in a pink canister with a funny label, but it works GREAT for that friction &/or heat rash on thighs, under boobs, wherever. You can find it online and it is not expensive. Seriously, Google it. Works great, smells good. God I love that woman.

  • edpgypsy says:

    I am grateful for so much! Today we had glorious rain showers that made my grass, flowers and garden so happy! Also, grateful for my wonderful family being all together for dinner, and some new friends around me!

    This is such a fun hangout and I’m thrilled to be here (special thanks to leathermountain for the address)!

  • Sally McSweeney says:

    Here I am again -after reading all of the above posts it occurred to me that I was feeling grateful right here and now for stumbling upon this blog. I’ve only been reading for a few days but my heart has been warmed by all of the sincere, wise, funny and caring people in this little community. .. thank you all.

    • Lisa D says:

      Sally, welcome! It’s this funny, heartwarming, snarky, informative and irreverent just about every day at the Posse.

  • Dionne says:

    These blather-y posts are delightful, Musette, and very apropos to my life right now. I got my gallbladder out last week, and it’s been a time to contemplate just how fortunate I am. The timing was great (the Wild Things are home and helping out), the laparascopy went smoothly, I didn’t have to be on a waiting list for a procedure that’s a lot less invasive than old-fashioned surgery , and it was removed *before* a rather sizeable stone got stuck. Really dodged a bullet on that one. And as I’m in the hospital giving my own history as well as that of my parents, it hit me that this is only my third time under anaesthesia in my entire life, and my parents have very few health problem as well. Not bad for 41.

    I’m reading a book right now called “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” and am humbled by my own opportunities. That I can read and went to university, that I chose my husband and how many kids I wanted, that I can vote and have my own bank account, that I am safe.

    • Dina C. says:

      I’ve read “Half the Sky” too, and it’s a really mighty book. Covers women’s issues globally in a very even-handed way. I recommend it very highly to anyone who wants to be better informed about injustice in our world and what you can do about it. Dionne, I hope you recover quickly and completely. God bless you! 🙂

  • poodle says:

    I’m grateful for a bunch of perfume peeps that have shown me that there are still some really nice people out there in the world. I’m grateful for you, Musette, for always making me laugh or at least smile. Your glimpses into your life are always a fun read. If we ever meet face to face, and I hope someday we do, I’m giving you a big hug.
    Also, I’m grateful for having a pretty wonderful husband.
    I’m glad your rash is gone. Summer and skin issues seem to go hand in hand. I did a number on my arms the other day splitting up an ornamental grass. There’s a reason they call the leaves blades. Those things can scratch you up pretty good.

    • poodle says:

      Wait, I take part of that back. I no sooner give him a compliment and what happens, he does something to make me mad. So right now, I’m not thinking my husband is all that wonderful. 😉

  • Lynne Marie says:


    I am grateful for my sweet loving husband (who puts up with a whole lot of “smell my arm!!”) and all my amazing children – even when they drive me bonkers, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

    I LOVE your blatherings – they make me laugh out loud and I always learn something. Louise Penny is just the loveliest person. I work in a bookstore and a few years ago she came for a talk and signing – she was gracious, smart, and funny – no haughty author airs for her!! Her new book is released this coming Tuesday. Three Pines is ( fictionally) supposedly just over the Canadian border from my state and she has said it is a composite of three towns – we all go nuts here trying to figure out which ones 😉 ! If you like her, you should try Julia Spencer Fleming, another mystery series I adore, with great central characters.

    • Musette says:

      Her FB page alludes to a town (one of them is Sutton, Quebec but there are a couple of others)…I know this is absurd, but I see Three Pines as a sort of Brigadoon and I can never seem to see it in 360o – it only appears, though the trees, like a vision.

      I’ve got JSF on my radar now. Thanks!!! xoxoA

  • aparatchick says:

    Musette, I’m grateful for tap water. Yes, tap water. Every time I step over to the kitchen sink and turn on the tap and out comes clean drinking water delivered right into my glass I am extremely grateful. It seems like a little thing, but it’s not. 800 million people don’t have access to clean water, much less clean water coming right into their homes.

    I’m envying your neighbor’s patch of nicotiana. Can’t grow it here, and I miss that wonderful scent!

    • Musette says:

      Weirdly enough aparatchick, that is one of my biggies, too! Perhaps because water is stupid-expensive here and …..I don’t know – maybe because we now have access to the globe and with that access comes the realization that we who have easy access to clean water are very, very fortunate. I spent a small bit of time driving through Kenya and Tanzania and it is just so different – and availability of clean water is one of the huge differences.

      I couldn’t smell the nicotiana, alas. I can’t smell much of anything right now. Between that stupid ragweed and last week’s cats……..


      • tammy says:

        Oh, yes and AMEN to tap water. (And inside bathrooms!) We had no indoor plumbing til I was 8 years old.

        There are many people in rural areas in this very country who still don’t have it. Some by choice; I have an elderly great aunt to whom the idea of a toilet inside the house is the very height of disgusting! But many young folks in the Deep South start off with very little but a few acres of inherited land; they can afford enough to maybe buy some lumber if they can’t cut their own, but it’s expensive to have wells dug, so that usually comes along later!

        • Dionne says:

          Count me in as another person who is very, VERY grateful for clean drinking water and indoor plumbing. The Engineer’s field is water for municipalities: tap water, storm sewers and sewage, and I learned from him that after a major disaster, the very first priority is water and sewage before anything else. Having doctors on the ground ready to go means squat when the water isn’t safe. (And I have a personal pet peeve about advertisements that imply that tap water isn’t good enough ie. “You’d drink the stuff you use to mop your floors?” Nooo, it’s just that we mop our floors with drinking water.)

          Some day after the kids are gone and we retire, we’d like to go on some missions for our church, and we don’t care where they send us. I expect they’ll look at The Engineer’s career in water and mechanical systems and send us to Africa building wells. I’m totally cool with that.

          • Ann says:

            Amen to all of us who mentioned that we are grateful for clean drinking water — it really is such a gift! And Dionne, I love that you guys want to go on a mission trip and help out with that very thing — wonderful! I work with many women who go on annual church mission trips and they come back feeling so rewarded AND super-grateful!

  • tammy says:

    My Daddy made it through the Korean War, two recording contracts with RCA, and several decades of general contracting before he taught himself to read AND write at 58. He wanted to read the Bible all the way through. I had no idea he couldn’t read til he told us about his plans, but it sure made me understand why he was so proud of my love of reading and gave added piquancy to my memories of him walking all day over the mountains of northern Georgia to get me library books. He’d walk all day to get to town, spend the night and walk all day back. With God as my witness, I am not sure they make men like this any more.

    As you see, I have a lifetime of things to be grateful about…right up to you dear, dear “perfume people”, as my husband calls you. I cannot tell you how many have blessed me over the last few years.

    I do hope all y’all one-sided ass-rashers can find some relief! I hope it isn’t shingles; I had a severe case in my late 20s ( from my waist down to my ankle on the left side) and it got so bad I begged the doctors to amputate my leg. ( Thankfully, they did not) The neuralgia lasted a few years after.

    God bless and keep everyone of you!

    • Musette says:

      Holy cats and crackers!!! I don’t know where to start.

      Well, let’s start with your daddy. No, honey. They do NOT make them like that anymore. Great gravy! I’m not sure they made them much like that even when he was Like That. There are good men, who do Very Good Things…but there’s something different about the generations that have come after. I’m really not dissing my generation or those who have come after. But it just feel different.

      Your dad sounds like all kinds of Fabulous! What kind of music did he record?

      LOL! on the ass-rash. Mine is just garden-variety Sweatybutt v. the seam edge of the Panties, which is why the whole one-side thing is just weird. But maybe I’m cranked sideways a bit. Who knows? Your shingles sounds godawful!

      But I can’t focus on that for still marveling at your dad. Day-um! He sounds amazing!!!!!


      • tammy says:

        Thank you, he was pretty amazing and I miss him yet, though it’s been 12 years since he passed. He was a country singer; the liquor he started drinking when he was 4 (or did he start smoking at 4 and drinking at 7, I can never remember and yes, hillbilly stereotypes are often true!) ultimately cost him his recording career, although he was a studio musician in Nashville for years.

        Would cornstarch help your schwetty issue??

  • solanace says:

    Eggs! I’m grateful for your eggs, Musette, as I know how hard you and El O, a.k.a. The Butt Wisperer, have worked to keep these birds healthy and happy.

    • Musette says:

      oh, darling! thank you! I’m grateful for your good wishes!!! They are laying small – but they’re laying. We got four! in the past 24 hrs! YAY!


  • Dina C. says:

    Dear Musette,
    I’m so grateful for my house and that we’ve lived here almost 20 years. Just this past week, we had old friends call to tell us their new address and info. They have moved around many times over the last 20 years and are openly envious of our stability. I never thought of it that way, so I have a new appreciation for being in this one place for so long.

    This summer I’ve been teaching life skills to my teens. I’ve been supervising as my son cooks dinner twice a week, and I’m teaching them how to do laundry, too. I’m grateful that they are good kids who want to grow up and be fully-functioning, successful adults someday. My gratitude list could go on and on, but these are the two things that are top of mind today. Thanks so much for your post. I loved the chicken update. So funny!! 🙂

    • Musette says:

      Dina, on behalf of the world let me thank YOU for raising your kids thus. Not only will they know how to get on in the practical world but I suspect they’ll have a better sense of how the world works – and they’ll know how to be sensible people within that world! Kudos to you (and to them)


  • wefadetogray says:

    I am grateful for the patience and support my husband has shown me in a time of my life when everything seems to get darker and darker. Thanks for this inspiring lovely post 🙂

    • Musette says:

      Those dark times are tough, indeed, honey. Keep that gratitude going, like a little drumbeat, as it marches you through. Remember what Winston Churchill (no stranger to Dark Times) said: “If you’re going through Hell, keep going”


  • rosarita says:

    Hugs, hugs, hugs. I have loved your posts this week Ms A and my gratitude list knows no bounds, just can’t type much. Maybe next year I can plant.

    • Musette says:

      Angel, you don’t have to type much – it’s just great to know you’re here! (this is your hand injury, right? are you going to be able to get it fixed?) xoxoxoA

  • Barbara says:

    Will have to order the balm for my husband’s eczema. And while I’m at it, a sample of fuzzy blue blanket which Victoria at EauMG recently reviewed.

  • Tiara says:

    Trudged on over to Monica’s Etsy site and ordered some balm. No butt rashes here but winter is coming and one son still is messing with an odd spot on his arm that nothing else has yet helped, including some prescriptions.

    Love that the guy in your company learned to read at such an advanced age. Says much about his determination and proves you’re never too old.

    • Musette says:

      Let me know what you think of it. I’m using it on a rough patch on my cheek (a bug bite. I scratched it. It’s a mess). It seems to be helping, where all the other cosmetic-y stuff just made it worse!


  • KirstenMarie says:

    I am grateful for my nose with which to smell perfume and Yankee candle’s fall scents (try apple pumpkin and gingerbread together – I swear it drops the temps by 15 degrees!), my eyes with which to see the first leaves turning, and for friends here on the Posse that warm my heart! Aunt M, you are unabashedly outstanding! Here’s to learning for a lifetime!

    • Musette says:

      Hang in there, KirstenMarie – Autumn is almost here! Thank you for being here – you are part of what makes the Posse so special! xoxoA

  • Martha says:

    I was near tears when I read the section about your machinist. He must be a man among men. The things I take for granted…

    • Musette says:

      Martha, it was one of the most amazing moments of my life – truly. For him to be confident enough to share that, for him to be so proud of what most of us take for granted. I was truly humbled, especially because I’d just spent 5 minutes bitching about the lack of a frivolity (shoes, of which I have many – but I wanted MORE). xoxoA

  • Michelle says:

    You are such a dear!

  • Ann says:

    Oh, darling M, what a lovely post! We all have so much to be thankful for, and it’s good to be reminded of that. I try to have an attitude of gratitude, but some days it gets obscured by the little dark clouds of life. I am grateful for my precious son, my wonderful DH, a nice job and co-workers, a kind and loving God, and of course, you, Musette, and all our lovely Posse folk! On the really rough days the Posse and perfume help get me through. Thanks to all of you!

    • Ann says:

      P.S. Congratulations on the eggs! Maybe you need an Occupied / Unoccupied sign on the laying box, so you’ll know when not to disturb, ha!

      • Ann says:

        Or better yet, a “Do Not Disturb” sign!

        • Musette says:

          I like the occuped/unoccupied sign! Now…I just have to get them to flip it over. But first, I have to teach them to read! LOL! xoxoA

          ps. your gratitude list is profound. I’m so glad you still have your wonderful son! xoxoxo

    • Gwenyth says:

      I’d like to say “Ditto” to everything Ann so eloquently wrote. (except I need to add that also I’m supremely grateful for my dear daughters)

  • ncmyers says:

    What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it. Right this minute I’m grateful for the migraine medicine I have access to and the health insurance and the transportation to get it and the fact that I don’t have to choose between it and food for my family or some other basic need. I am grateful for my life, I’m very lucky. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Nancy H. says:

    Wow I have the rash on only one side too. Isn’t that weird? I am grateful that it isn’t on both sides!

    • Musette says:

      LOL! that made me blart! out my coffee, all over the place. I’m grateful it was just a little sip and didn’t soak the keyboard. xoxoA

    • Gwenyth says:

      I had a similar episode several months ago. My Doctor told me it was probably a mild case of Singles. What??? But, that is what she said.
      The rash was bothersome and painful, but after a time it went away. I hope…..never to return. 🙂

      • Dina C. says:

        I sympathize. I had Shingles 8 years ago, and both of my kids caught the Chicken Pox off of me (same Herpes Simplex virus) in spite of having the Chicken Pox vaccination. (I originally typed Hermes Simplex virus. I guess that’s the virus where you are fatally attracted to all the Hermes bags, scarves and scents, right?!?) I’m grateful that those days are long behind me, and that I’ve got a sense of humor to lighten my days. 🙂

        • Lisa D says:

          Hermes Simplex? I think I just snorted coffee out my nose!

          Nah, what you’re describing is Hermes Complex. Simplex would be just the bags. 🙂

  • Portia says:

    I am grateful for Musette, who lightens my weeks and makes me laugh, who nearly squeezed the shit outa me when we met in LA and who is good people. Thanks Gods, or whatever it is I should be thanking, for YOU MUSETTE.
    Portia xx

  • patriciaC says:

    I am greatful for alot of new things. I’m empty nesting and am greatful for the quietness and peacefulness and new computer room because of it. I’m going to be a grandmother, i’m greatful for that!

  • Wow. I’ve been a reading tutor and it’s truly amazing what people do to conceal that they can’t read. One individual wanted to learn not because of work but because he wanted to read to his grandchildren. I started on this because of a friend in high school who told me she hid herself in a closet and learned to read because she wanted to talk to me about “the Lord of the Rings”. We do take for granted this basic skill. No, not every one can read. You know what you still have to read to use the internet.

    • Musette says:

      Your comment just hit home: why am I not a reading tutor? My lead guy’s story should’ve triggered that – I could really help make a difference to someone(s). (headsmack) I’m going to investigate that NOW! (or as soon as I finish commenting here). Thanks for the push. xoxoA ::Blushing:: A

  • Sally McSweeney says:

    I’m grateful for the fact that after 57 years on this orb, I have finally accepted that its mostly all small stuff and I really DO know what is important and when to just let it all just flow on by…

  • Lisa D says:

    I’m really grateful that you no longer have ass-rash, and that you posted about it, and we all had a good giggle. These days, a good giggle goes a long way. I get a lot of mine here at the Posse.

  • FeralJasmine says:

    Musette, I am grateful for the lovely realm of the senses that perfume provides, grateful for the huge number of people who are getting in touch with where their food comes from, grateful for my loved ones, and grateful that I have more patience now than I had two years ago. Still a very small amount, but more than before ;-).

    • Musette says:

      FeralJ, those are all wonderful things to be grateful for. I’m with you on the patience. Each day seems to bring a bit more to my impatient soul!