When You Can’t Smell a Thing

My Dearly Beloveds,


I’m….sorry.  I am Just So Danged Sorry, Dagnabit!  But…..omg.  You wouldn’t believe how stuffed-up I am!   Between the ragweed and the weedweed (not that kind of ‘weed’ – just weeding and chopping out ‘stuff’ in my little acreage)…my upper sinuses (the ones right next to the eyebrow – owww!    I can clear them, for a minute (though it hurts like the dickens) but no matter what I do, I can’t smell anything.  Acupressure works to clear but, again, no smell.  Nada.  I sort of smell dog poop before I step in it, so there is that blessing.  But..really?  It’s come to Dog Poop?  Aiiiyy!

However, there is an upside to this – tomorrow we have to look at a bearing in the clarifier pit of a Wastewater plant.  That should be more than enough information for you, right there.


So let’s move on, shall we?  I will yark for a hot minute about The Homestead because…well, this is still gardening season and I’m ripping out old plants and prepping beds for Autumn planting.  I always say I’m going to do this but I rarely do – usually by September I’m heartily sick of the garden but I figure that must be some form of ADHD – Autumn is actually a great time for a lot of the chow I like to grow and eat, like spinach, collards, broccoli and root veg.    And I’m still harvesting from the Spring/Summer plantings.  Since I can’t smell much, most of what I am eating is HOT!HOT!HOT!  Tons of curry, which has manifold properties.  I made Catfish curry tonight, with my own basil (Thai and Italian pesto basil) and my own jalaps and tomatoes and garlic and onions. It’s fun eating what I grow.   Which brings me, again, to the subject of ‘choice’ – awhile back a friend mentioned how bemused our ancestors would’ve been at the notion of us buying dirt.  My first instinct was to envision them snarking – then I thought about it.  Folks who came here to farm were called ‘sodbusters’.  I don’t know if any of you have busted sod – I have.  I busted 26 fence panels ,ea 5′ long x 3′ wide border.  Each.   I would rather eat 1000 bugs than do that again and I’ll bet you that those forebears would’ve dropped to their knees in ecstasy at the sight of trucks and trucks of topsoil.  So..I’m Buying  Dirt.   That ‘clacking’ sound you hear is the Forebears, throwing their hand bones together in praise.  Cardboard, then dirt.  Next year I’ll have a whole new  NO DIG garden!  Busting sod is thankless work.   I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like, on some hostile prairie, with no rototiller and no lemonade…and Winter bearing down on you like a Dowager Who Wants a Word.


But what am I putting in that Dirt?  Well, since I can’t smell a blessed thing and it’s too late for flowers  (trying not to swear so much – how’mIdoin’?) I am focused on growing foods I love and I admit it:  like so many Americans, I Love CRUNCH!    When I can’t smell, I go for heat and crunch.  So the curry also had fresh green beans and lightly sauteed collards and chopped turnip (along with some turnip greens – I do love a bitter root!) The jalapenos were just ‘looked at’ with a touch of fire, in order to keep that ‘snap!’.  Bonus:  I can breathe again.  Can’t smell worth a damn – but at least I can breathe.


aren’t they adorable?

Wait to Slaughter.  Seriously.  I’m sooo glad I didn’t rush to the processor or the Sale Barn.  Chickens are a pain to sex; they all look pretty much alike, until way later (mine are just 5 mos old today – Happy Birthday, you Fiends!).  One of the Eggers we thought was a rooster blessed us with an egg today!  And we got our first White egg which means that noisy-assed Leg may be a hen after all!   Yet another lesson in patience.

I suck.  I’m sorry.  But I got nuthin’ else right now.  I can’t even smell Carnal Flower!  Serious.  I opened the jar of Body Butter and thought at first it had gone off – because it was totally devoid of scent.  Now…just try to imagine that for a minute.  Carnal. Flower.  = No Smell.  Yah.  Like that is gonna happen.  I sprayed the edp and I might as well have sprayed water.  Except – hey, guess what?  Everybody at City Hall now knows about Carnal Flower.  Alas, in my desperate attempt to get any – any at all!? – scent, I spritzed SIX times.  SIX!  This is a small town.  All 1,386 souls now know alllll about Carnal Flower.  Heck, their forebears  know about it, up in the cemetery!  Wonder if they’re laughing about me Buying Dirt?! LOL!

Thanks for sticking with me, here.  I know I stink at getting to actual perfume and I keep coming up with excuses (the dog ate my sample!) – I can’t wait for my nose to get back in order so I can talk to you about some extraits!

  • patriciaC says:

    Musette, Hope your feeling better real soon, It’s been a rouph time for you lately but you have kept your wit and humor. I truely enjoy reading this blog and your cornacopia of funnies. Note how i was able to use cornocopia in a sentance 🙂

  • You poor dear! There’s nothing worse than being unable to smell/breathe. I know exactly what you mean about busting sod. That dirt is TOUGH! Sending love and clear nasal passages Eastward to you xoxo!

  • CC ... says:

    I so enjoy reading your posts … especially when you are all worried it isn’t a perfume post… Love it!!! But I do hope you feel better soon. I love the photo with the basket of eggs and your new hen ! 🙂

  • tammy says:

    I’m so sorry you’re all honked up. You’ve had a rough go of it these past months.

    Hot food clears me right up in any number of ways, but it also gives me headaches! It’s worth it, especially if that’s all you can taste or smell, but I hope you don’t have that added misery.

    Consider yourself surrounded by good vibes and prayers!

  • Beth says:

    As much as I enjoy reading your postings about your homestead, I am sorry you are forcibly removed from sniffing right now. No fun not being able to clear your head. And I cracked up at not being able to smell Carnal Flower. That should be the benchmark, that or Fracas. If you can’t smell them, you know you’re in trouble! I would love to smell you drenched in Carnal Flower tho. Maybe that was the woman I was behind in the parking lot the other day. I stepped out of my car and immediately smelled her massive sillage, it was almost a cloud following her into Ulta. Not horrible, just tangible, almost a cloak you could wrap yourself in. I imagine that’s what you were like …. sailing across the town, lofting a pashmina of scent behind you.

    Hoping you feel better soon!!

  • eldarwen22 says:

    I’m sorry about your sinuses. It always sucks when you can’t smell due to allergies or being sick. I don’t suffer from seasonal allergies but get tons of sinus infections and stick to no 22 when that happens.

  • MM says:

    ack, i really feel for you! Having a stuffed-up nose is the worst. I hope you feel better soon.

  • rosarita says:

    I’m sorry about your poor smeller – the ragweed is taller than the corn, so I can only imagine the misery – but I LOVE the chicken/garden/homestead adventures. You are hilarious, m’dear. My husband drove a school bus for years and picked up some farm kids; one mom would regularly send eggs home with him, all different sizes and colors. Fresh eggs are the best! Hope you’re smelling better soon, heh. 🙂

    • Musette says:

      you know they say ‘once you go Black, you can never go back’? well, I dunno ’bout that 😉 but I do know that supermarket eggs have totally lost their allure. Even the ‘free-range/organic’ $5/doz Whole Foods eggs pale (literally) by comparison.


  • Melissa says:

    Sinuses are such a pain! I guess you’ve tried a Neti Pot. They help clear out some of the nasty stuff. The best thing I ever did for my sinuses was surgery. I had them all cleared out. No pain and no down time just relief. And it’s gotten better over time. I always recommend this to people who are always fighting their sinuses. It sucks not smelling when you have a passion for scent but it also sucks when it affects the taste of food! Hope you feel better soon. Cool weather would help. 🙂

  • Portia says:

    Get Well Musette. XXXOX

  • Michelle says:

    So sad that you are sans sniffer, but it sounds like good timing in regard to your wastewater project. My mom would say “everything happens for a reason”.

    I’m a little aroma-challenged right now myself with a cold & I totally get the itch for hot stuff. Instead of chicken soup, I asked BF to bring pho home last night, and liberally doused that sucker with sri racha. After a short post-prandial coma, I awoke feeling almost perky. Restorative food of the gods!

    Take care, XOXOX

  • Ann says:

    Poor, sweet baby! Here’s hoping the old sense o’ smell returns quickly. In the meantime, you gave the townsfolk a master class in classic perfume with your Carnal Flower — I would have loved to have seen some of their faces! Glad the eggs (and chickens) are coming along well. Hang in there and hugs to you!

  • Dina C. says:

    Oh Musette, your poor Shnoz! I’m sorry you can’t smell. But it sounds like you have gifted the surrounding community with a liberal dose of Carnal Flower, so they should all be smellin’ pretty by now. 😀 Your gardening and chicken-raising adventures are so fun to read about. I agree that we are very fortunate compared with our pioneer ancestors. It sounds like you could make some yummy stir-fry with your fresh veggies and eggs. I hope the ragweed dies down some so you can breathe and smell normally again. Can’t you train those sweet Chicken Gals of your to eat it up? 😉

  • poodle says:

    I’ve had a nasty sinus headache for days so I sympathize completely. I need to buy some dirt too but since my yard is hilly I still have to carry it up stairs which is no fun at all. I’m happy your chickens are laying. Part of me would love to have a couple but the other part of me thinks that’s just another thing I need to take care of. I think I’m going to put in a pond instead. Hope your sniffer starts working soon.

    • Musette says:

      I dunno, poodle…..my pal R has a pond and it is a constant source of worry (raccoons eating her koi, pond pollution, etc) – and no practical ROI (not that everything has to have a ‘practical’ ROI, of course – but right now I’m ALL about that). Each day, as I gather more and more eggs, I begin to appreciate the Fiends a bit more.


  • KirstenMarie says:

    You poor dear. I shouldn’t laugh. Really. But I did. Especially ’bout dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones…clackity clacking the praises of Carnal Flower to the town’s populous. Well done, thou good and currently anosmic servant! I hope it was a religious experience for all involved…bet you at least had them saying, “Oh GAWD.”

  • Elia says:

    I hope your sense of smell returns soon! And not only for perfume, it must be making food rather drab.

  • jilliecat says:

    Of course I hope you get better really soon, and that you recover your wonderful sense of smell, but I have to say I just love reading your tales about digging, growing, eating, chickens and everything, so am not missing perfume reviews at all. And your energy wears me out – if I was suffering sinus trouble I am sure I would take to my bed. So thank you for all your great stories and for inspiring me to potter around in my garden.

    • Musette says:

      Whew! I am SO glad, truly. Thank you! I do get the guilts, y’know? I mean, it ‘does’ say PERFUME Posse. Not Chicken Posse. Or Broccoli Posse! LOL!


  • Sally McSweeney says:

    You poor thing! Your sinuses may well be blocked but your wonderful sense of humour isn’t, praise be! Have you tried any sort of steam where you stick your head over a bowl and drape a towl over it, inhaling the moisture? You might be able to get at least some temporary relief. Eau de menthol isnt exactly Chanel, but it might reduce some swelling in them thar passages. Speaking of passages, I started thinking of those women who came out West all those years ago – back breaking work, readying the ground for their new homestead gardens. I bet most of them would have given a months worth of grits for a John Deere…
    And I *love* that little white egg!

    • Musette says:

      I’ve been steaming like a Christmas pudding, bay-bee! It works…then they slam shut again. But I love it while it’s working – great for the pores, too! xoxoxoA

  • Lizzy says:

    So congested you can’t smell CF = incredible!! I cannot even imagine. What I am imagining is some sort of reversal of the “Emperor’s New Clothes” principle: you’re cloaked in enough of the stuff to smother a horse and everyone can smell it BUT you.

    What a fun read. I have all the respect for your sod busting days and I’m with you completely on the value of a few truckloads of nice, fluffy topsoil.

  • Rina says:

    I ? you so hard, Musette! While I hate that you are sans smell, you are a great writer and hysterical to boot! I can smell your Carnal Flower all the way here in Sunny Cali! Hope you feel better soon!

    • Musette says:

      Thanks, doll!! I am still jammed to the gills today but that’s okay – the clarifier pit! Ew! At least this way it’s just ‘oh’. y’know?