Hellish Holiday & Horses


mine is in a pretty purple bottle

Well!  And Happy Post-Labor Day to you and yours.  I hate traveling on holidays, preferring to stab myself, repeatedly, in the head with a rusty fork.  But Labor Day is Britt and Britt calls.  And I answer.  Because…well, who wouldn’t drive SIX HOURS to go see the back end of a bunch of Percherons, right?  This trip started out lovely – we got in the car at o’dark-thirty on Friday because I Had a Plan.   Our first stop was Mason City, to see the lovely Camille Lee at Soyphisticated Candles.  I love all her stuff – especially her lip balms  – the peppermint is my favorite – but I’d never been to her little shop.  O. M. G.  What an absolutely adorable place – all lavender and taupe, like a quiet little jewel box.  Her workshop is in the back and it’s even cooler!  I met her by accident, several years ago, on the way to Britt and I’ve been a loyal customer ever since. It was a quick, delightful visit, grabbed my lip balms, some lovely-smelling melts and an unscented oatmeal and honey body lotion – so soothing!

And I’m glad it was soothing because that visit was the last thing that went according to plan.  I won’t bore you with details except to say Couple + Travel = YIKES!  El O and I don’t do car travel well – in fact, had we dated via car instead of motorcycles it would’ve been a very short-lived affair.  Highway construction meant rest of Friday’s plans went to hell in a handbag, amidst much yellage…then the rains set in….remember when you were a kid and your mom (or dad) said “don’t make me turn this car around”?

Mama turned that car around.

And instead of Minneapolis we went back to Forest City so  the Staties wouldn’t find us on the side of the road, hands clutched around each others’ throats in a death grip…..folks got to know their limitations, right?

Dinner + Morong Musette = YIKES!  Fettucini Alfredo FAIL.  Really? It’s a pretty simple dish…still not sure how they managed that – oh, what am I saying?  I was in a little town in Iowa, not Italy.  It’s like expecting a restaurant in Umbria to nail the whole Brats ‘n Beer thing….. I ate the salad and vowed to get a burger next time…but we were relieved to find out Forest City has a really cute breakfast cafe.  Something to look forward to on the way to Britt for a day of sun, fun and HORSES!

Saturday am.  Awaken to thunderstorms.  Ah.  Okay.  But! Breakfast Cafe.

It’s closed.  Not supposed to be.  But it is.

This is Forest City, IA, folks.  Not Chicago.  Not even Des Moines.  Sally’s is closed means You Are Squooed.  And I’m kinda scary when I’m hungry – especially in the early morning.  Driving around like a demented velociraptor, I drag our sorry,starving asses all over Forest City and – HALLELUJAH!  Cabin Coffee! Breakfast Bagels!!  God Bless America! Crisis averted..  Britt!  Here We Come!

Um…yeah.  About that… Thunderstorm + Horses = YIKES!  Normally placid drafts snapping, sidesteppin’ and whinnying and pretty much NOT IN THE MOOD.  And here’s the thing:  if a 2000-lb horse is not in the mood, it’s gonna get shaky – for everybody.  And only a psychopath would hitch 1-6 horses to a wagon and try to navigate a dangerously muddy track.  Hitch People are not psychopaths.   Even the Halter class (1 horse shown in halter) was Crazy- normally held in the arena with plenty of room to strut (and run) their stuff,  heads held high, these ginormous. athletic horses were reduced to this:

Horse Master (to halter presenter):  okay ‘ trot them right in the middle and keep their heads down – BE CAREFUL they don’t hit their heads.  right in the middle.  RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE.  WATCH THEIR HEADS!!!  BE CAREFUL. KEEP THEIR HEADS DOWN!  WATCH THEIR HEADS!


Because Giant Draft Horse + little covered show area, normally used for pigs and cattle = OW!   Seriously Lame Halter Show.  So off to the barns we went, so I could smooch my boys.  Alas. The barns held super-crabby horse-butt, unwilling to engage with puny humans such as myself.  The few who did condescend  to say hello seemed  pleased with my choice of perfume:  Liz Zorn’s Amun Re The Tears of Ra.  amun-re-insetSweet Honey in the Ra!   Liz, you have done it again.  This is a rich, honeyed, mead, awash with a citrus sparkle.  I need another full bottle of perfume like I need to get bitten by a draft ..but I think I might have to spring for this one.  The backstory is fascinating: The God RA is said to have cried tears of honey or honey bees that after falling from the heavens, turned into the first humans when reaching the earth. Cool.

Notes are Citron, Linden Blossom C02, Hawthorn, Henna Leaf, Honey, Ylang Ylang, Amber, Guaiac Wood, Botanical Musk and Vanilla, perfectly balanced.  It’s just gorgeous.  And crabby drafts like it, too!  “So what?” you ask?  “Mitsouko” I answer.  Mitsouko + Drafts = green snot all over Musette. So…if you’ve stuck with me through this Mad Crazy so far, you are eligible for a giveaway of the Ra sample.  Just drop me a comment – but add “Mad Crazy” in a sentence so I know you are actually reading this insanity! LOL!   Yeah, I know.  Indulge me.  You won’t regret it.  This is beauty!

So!  Show Time!  Um. Crabby horses + Soaked Track = Maybe No Show.  Britt is a solid 6 hours  from home, so when word came down it was going from 2P to 4P to…I dunnoP…we headed out.  Blasting down I-80 like somebody was after us, it turned into a glorious day the further south we went.  sob!  But all’s well that ends with El O making up for me having to turn the car around  – yesterday and today was Work City! he got the bat house up, fixed the gutters and is installing the new furnace!   I channeled my Inner Ant and cleaned out the pantry shelves.  Whoo-hoo!  And I got a brand-new (to me) washer and dryer.  Craigslist+ El O = YAY!  We got a Maytag Bravos set for $350!  I am unworthy of the washer.  I think I need to get an engineering degree to run the thing.  But I have to ask:  is there really such a difference?  I’m thrilled with the idea, don’t get me wrong – but the old, crappy washer washed clothes.  What would make this washer worth almost $900 retail?  Doesn’t it…wash clothes?  I’m not washing the space shuttle.  Do any of you have newfangled sets?  Do they wash different? Better?  I figure any washer is better than beating clothes on a rock in the stream…but for $1000+ for a washer, I want that damn thing to fix me lunch.  AND clean up the kitchen when it’s done!

The dryer will have to wait – we have to pipe in gas lines (YAY, El O!) and fix the ‘cosmetic damage’ – apparently the husband of the previous owner was cleaning his gun (world serious here!) and didn’t realize there was still a round in the chamber.  Shot the dryer right in the ass!  LOL!  It’s a tiny little ‘through and through’, bless its hort.  I love it! Who shoots a……dryer?!!?

What say you?  Epoxy it or keep the bullet hole?

Good Grief! but I’m glad to be home! and …check it OUT!  I got not one but TWO leetle reviews in here!  Way to go, Musette (ya loser! LOL!)


I hope you guys had a less insane hollerday than I did.  What’dja do?


  • Diana says:

    Wow. My weekend was spent cleaning the dog and washing sheets, towels, etc…. after said dog’s run in with a skunk. He did this around the same time last year. Why can’t he learn that those nasty little things have built in pepper spray?! Anyhow, as aggravating as it is to have skunk smell all over him and the house, I still think I’d rather have dealt with that then your MAD CRAZY trip. Long car rides and rain on my parade make me quite sullen and grouchy indeed.!

  • ggs (gail scott) says:

    Oh my. What a holiday weekend for you.
    RE: expensive washer/dryers. They suck. All the computer electronics just gives them more parts to go bad. Our pricey Maytag high end set became part of a class action lawsuit for design problems and excessive breakage, in fact. We replaced the computer board multiple times. (This pays the lawyers well, but the consumers? When the lawsuit it settled, we get a coupon for a discount on a …. wait for it…. another Maytag. Great!)
    The bullet hole story is kind of awesome.
    RE: my mad crazy Labor Day. Emergency appendectomy on Wednesday night and subsequent lying around the house all weekend recovering, instead of working on all the projects I had thought I would do. Fun times.
    Liz’s new Amun Re sounds lovely! I wore Kilian Taste of Heaven the day I headed to the hospital. The terrific lavender essence in this makes it very comforting to me, and it seemed right for a bad day…

  • Julie Ohara says:

    My most recent big fragrance revelation is that I love Mitsouko. Really love it (I’ve got current edp), but I could see how it would drive the horses MAD CRAZY!!! I had a lovely quiet weekend at home with lots of tasty food. But yours was infinitely more interesting!

  • drummagick says:

    The perfume sounds wonderful! I am MAD CRAZY for the scent of henna leaf!! What a weekend!!

  • Tena says:

    Never a dull moment with you, is there Musette?? We are not having our mad crazy vacation till Nov ( Madrid – squee) so the long weekend was spent cooking and eating yummy things,reading books and puppy cuddling. It was our 20 year anniversary too.

    You must leave the bullet hole. As a Canadian, I am simply gobsmacked at the thought of someone toting a gun into the laundry room, so milk that story for all it is worth.

  • shira says:

    What a story Musette! This one goes way beyond the chickens 🙂
    I decided to stay home for the weekend with my husband and let the Mad Crazy world turn around around us.
    I have heard good things about Amun Re so thanks for the draw and the reminder to check it out!

  • Kandice says:

    I’m with all the other mad, crazy people posting here – I say keep the bullet hole. What a story! My weekend was so low-key as to be non-existent compared to yours! Sounds like quite the adventure you had. The Amun Re sounds truly beautiful. Thanks for giving us a chance to win some. And thanks for the entertaining tale about your holiday which may have been much more entertaining to us in the telling than it was for you in the living 🙂

    • Musette says:

      Honey. Yew. Jes. Don’t. KNOW! We stayed in a Super 8. In Forest City. Super 8s are fine – except there’s nowhere to go (no real lobby and certainly no restaurant, etc). El O clambered into the recliner, snapped on the TV…hey did I mention I abso-freakin’lutely HATE being in a motel room with a TV on?

      it was …..challenging.


  • Tom says:

    I say keep the bullet hole. You can dine out on that story for years.

    Bad fettuccine alfredo should mean jail time. Where you have to eat bad fettuccine alfredo. Bad carbonara is worse..

    Went to a friends house on Saturday to watch the USC/Fresno game. I can’t believe I am typing this as what some would call a resolutely gay (and not sports-minded at all) man but I am actually enjoying football. Even though I went to college 3000 miles from USC. I also enjoyed chatting with my friend’s grandson, who is having his Bar Mitzvah next month. A teenager who’s bright, witty and interested in hanging out with his elders. He should be cloned.

    Sunday I cleaned a little and napped.

    Labor Day I did absolutely nothing. Didn’t leave the house except to go to Gelson’s and buy food. Watched “Written on the Wind”, “Harper” and “How to Marry a Millionaire” for Lauren Bacall, had a white wine spritzer or three and a long hot bath in a too small tub. Absolute Heaven. Except the tub could be bigger. I think the owner would be pissed if i put Mr Bubble in the pool though..

    I loooove to drive. If ever I won PowerBall I’d buy a 450SL and cruise to all the architectural hotspots in the US I’ve always wanted to see (and likely visit every one of you as well.) What I hate is to commute, and to do so with the rest of the world on the road. Add in bad weather and I’m ready to bite someone, and not in a fun way.

    • Musette says:

      Niiice! I like the sound of that weekend. I love a good road trip meself, Tom. Just not with El O. Or maybe with El O….but prolly not. I don’t recall it ever really working that well……


  • Donna Spiegel says:

    Wow that’s some set of traveling. MAD CRAZY that you had to drive around hungry for a bit of breakfast. Love the fettuccine Alfredo. Iowa is known for it you know! Lol. By the way the newer machines I find don’t come close to the machines of old. I’m always finding I miss my old washer/dryer. The Ra sure sounds lovely 🙂

    • Musette says:

      it does seem like a lot of hoo-ha over not much of a muchness, doesn’t it? I’m thrilled with the new one, of course, but I confess to not ‘getting’ it.

      and yeah, a sportsbar in Iowa is the PERFECT place for fettAl! Everybody knows that! 😉


  • MikasMinion says:

    When I started reading I was wondering how you were going to work a review in, then I hit the horse snot and remembered why I love you. Mitsouko+horse boogers =Mad Crazy storytelling skills.
    Leave the hole. Could make for good conversation and if you ever need to call a plumber you can show him ’round first, “this is where the last plumber was standing when he presented his bill…”
    Sounds like your weekend was even more of a cluster f. than ours. We got by with no yelling (at each other, the guy at Sam’s took a beating when the tires we had driven 90 miles for hadn’t been ordered) but we do OK in a vehicle together. Hanging shelves on the other hand…we did that together once when we were dating and contemplated putting it in our wedding vows..in sickness and in health and as long as you aren’t in the room tellin’ me that shelf isn’t straight.

    PS. I usually post as Liz K but didn’t want anyone to get confuzzled with all the Lizs lately so I’m changing back to MikasMinion which is my handle almost everywhere else.

    • Musette says:

      Welcome to BOTH of you! LOL! Holy cats and crackers! You are so right – that should be in the vows for sure! And I spit out my lemonade on the plumber ‘hint’! xoxoxoA

  • Liz Krusenstjerna says:

    I hope you never stop writing Mad Crazy posts like this, Musette! Team bullet hole, all the way.

  • ElizabethC says:

    Our holiday was much less….Mad Crazy. Going out to fun restaurants and visiting with friends and family. Usually, on long holidays, everyone goes out of town and we get an uncrowded downtown Seattle to play in. Not this holiday weekend – it was full of people! Would love to try the Liz Zorn – I have a fantasy perfume designed in my head that sounds almost exactly like that (except for the C02, Hawthorn and Henna Leaf).

  • Maya says:

    Keep the bullet hole. Mad Crazy about ancient Egypt and their gods and bonkers about your post. Would love to try this fragrance. There, have I got it all? LOL

  • SallyM says:

    Oh yes – keep the bullet hole. I have fond memories of going to the Tate Gallery years ago with hubby and guffawing with Mad Crazy laughter (much to the annoyance of other patrons) at one of the exhibits in the modern section – an old fashioned twin tub washing machine with a guitar welded on to it. Brilliantly named “Washing Machine with Guitar” – I kid you not. So – *your* washing machine could be famous one day.

    We spent the weekend camping at a friends beautiful property with whom we have recently connected after a 15 year absence. Lots of mutual dear friends came and we had a blast. I sat by the river and watched the sun come up, lazed around in the hammock, stuffed marshmallows at the camp fire, soaked in the wood fired hot tub overlooking the river, went to a fun ceremony in the woods at the Buddhist Temple he goes to, played with guns (target shooting), helped paint a handmade kayak and made hand puppets with 3 kids. Good times.

  • stina says:

    I love drafts… I spent some time at a friend’s place this weekend and got to meet a new horse in their barn, a Belgian-Haflinger cross. Basically a little bitty draft with enormous manhole-cover feet and off-the-chart cuteness! There was much skritching and feeding of carrots. No cranky draft-butt, thank goodness; sorry to hear about your hellish weekend!

    And I vote to keep the bullet hole in the dryer too. After all, when you have people over and tell them the story, you need to be able to take them in the laundry room and say “Proof’s right there!”

    • Musette says:

      oh, he sounds SO cute. I’m a huge fan of hugeness (or ‘substance’ as my bfffe says) – geldings are my faves, looking like a mid-sized bus, but ittybitty? I could LOVE that!


  • jirish says:

    Love your review and your mad crazy trip. Ah, vacations. Anything can go wrong and sometimes anything does. But it could have been worse! For years I was put off the idea of long week-end holiday travel, when a canoeing trip on Labor Day weekend started out with the car breaking down, which meant having to hitch to a motel that looked like it was run by Norman Bates’ sloppier brother, and ended with the canoe trip being canceled because of a flash flood that had drowned a young boy in the river. Couldn’t even bitch about what was happening to me when I was living so obviously on the periphery of someone else’s real tragedy. Truly horrible. This year we went to the Lincoln Park Zoo and ate at the lovely little cafe there, before walking on the lakefront. Now I wish we had been more productive – my house needs me to channel my Inner Ant as well!

    • Musette says:

      Your weekend sounds LOVELY! House can wait! You’ve got a whole month before it becomes ‘iffy’, weatherwise. El O goes in fits and spurts – I held my breath, lest I deflect his attention from his Antness (or Antifyin’ Ways?) The furnace is at the top of the stairs and the old furnace is out – so, obviously………..

      pray for me, okay? xoxoxoA

  • einsof says:

    *coffee + your post = mad crazy mess on my desk.
    *so someone shot the dryer… jerry blank stole the tv.
    *horse butt. well, having been around morgans most my life, i can tell you that’s like trying to talk to the hand. not. gonna. happen.
    *still, there must have been magic afoot with Ra in the rain.
    (btw, mom just replaced her space age front loader with a new, white version of the thing i could fit into in 1972. i don’t know that all those bells, whistles and super specific setting DID anything. (well, except pass for R2D2 in the dark.))

  • Cynthia Mc says:

    I LOVE your mad crazy travel story. With Percherons? Perfect. I’m with you – something about not being home/travel requires one to start the day officially. Must have BREAKFAST when I’m traveling. As far as bullet holes go, if it isn’t hurting the dryer anymore (through and through right?) I would also vote to keep it.

    • Musette says:

      Something about Getting Up, Period requires breakfast! I am pretty okay the rest of the day but no brekkie? Bad Bad BAD things will happen – and There Will Be Blood. xoxoA

      and yes, through and through! I am hoping we can keep it! xoxoA

  • Janice says:

    I so agree about not traveling on holidays, it tends to make me completely Mad Crazy and a hazard to others on the road… but I can understand why you would do it. And now I know what not to wear if I ever have a chance to visit with a barnful of lovely Percherons.

    Our old washer died last year and I checked out all the new super-expensive ones and finally bought the simplest, cheapest, as-close-to-the-old-one model I could find. Washing clothes is not an activity in which I need more complexity or adventure… I would vote to keep the bullet hole, though.

  • Lynne Marie says:

    Good Lord, Musette, my weekend was downright calm compared to your Mad Crazy trip. I laughed so hard and had fond memories of when I lived out west and our town celebrated “Fandango Days” – rodeos, horse shows, tractor pulls, the whole shootin’ match. Who knew horses didn’t like Mitsouko? As for the dryer – well maybe it insulted the guy’s truck or something, ya never know, but you HAVE to keep the bullet holes, just to be able to point to them and tell the story! Ra sounds amazing, I love Liz Zorn’s scents…

  • Jamie says:

    Percherons! My brother had three of them. He usually had Quarter Horses, but somehow he got hooked up with an organization called (I think) the Foal Train, and they needed homes. They were big, beautiful beauties. :):)

  • Bridget B says:

    I went to the NY renaissance fair this weekend. It was time travel themed weekend. Fairies, steampunk, renn people, Trekkies and bronies were all there. MAD CRAZY! ‘Nuff said!

  • Vanie says:

    I feel your pain! I get “hangry” (mad crazy, even!) if I can’t eat, especially before coffee!
    My weekend feels pretty much uneventful now that I have read yours

    • Musette says:

      I love ‘hangry’. In the am, I STAY hangry. Until I am fed. Then I am just at a low simmer of incipient rage. Poor El O. 😉 xoxoxoA

  • rosarita says:

    Yeah, I’m on Team Bullet Hole. That’s not something that everybody has. I’m sorry about your weekend, but then again it makes a great story, mad crazy or not. Ra does sound beautiful. My husband and I went to the Yoop for the long weekend and we had the rain, too – the little motel was right on the water with a common grilling area. Now, I’m not a camper, but we had a packed cooler and utensils and I washed the utensils in the bathtub so that counts as camping, right? I wore my sample of Imaginary Authors Yesterday Haze the whole time and I really want a bottle.

    • Musette says:

      YOOOOOP! One of my favorite places to go – except in the Summer when the blackflies is bitin’. I love crossing over the Bridge in Autumn. Oooh! Road Trip!

      And I do NOT camp. Tents do not keep out bears. Or zombies.


  • poodle says:

    Mad Crazy indeed. Traffic. Weather, a desperate search for breakfast. That has the makings of a horror movie.
    Keep the bullet hole. It gives it character. Hope you and the chickens are well.

  • Peggy McMillan says:

    Coffee coming out of my nose when I got to ‘squooed’…I also think you should feature the bullet hole! Great review of Amun Re The Tears of Ra –as always, I love your writing! My mad crazy holiday involved an opera and a mud race, wearing my new bottle of Mitsouko!

  • Dina C. says:

    Loved your mad crazy Labor Day travelogue, Musette! It read way more funny than it was to live it, for sure. 🙂 Sorry the horse show was such a disappointment this year. I’ve got a front loading HE washer, and I think it gets clothes cleaner while using less water. But essentially you’re right. Definitely keep the bullet hole. It makes for a great story. The Liz Zorn sounds pretty. She is so good at coming up with cool names for her scents.

    • Musette says:

      Turns out the show DID go on but for us it was better to bag it. Britt is not somewhere you want to wander around for 4-5 hours on a ‘maybe’. You can do the whole town in 20 minutes. Tops. xoxoxoA

  • Irina says:

    this was really, really MAD CRAZY- so glad you’re home
    as much as I’d love to meet you in person, I wouldn’t go for a drive with you on a crazy day….

  • Portia says:

    Love the SOIVOHLE stuff, Liz Zorn sure knows how to blend them.
    Portia xx

    • Musette says:

      I wish you had a bit more than a minute here – I would take you to meet her. She is one of ‘those’ people. People You Need to Know. People like You! xoxoA

  • jillie says:

    You mad crazy thing, I love you and your adventures! I feel exhausted reading about your whirlwind of a holiday. But, as Dorothy said, there’s no place like home.

    It’s funny that fall inspires me to do “autumn cleaning” each year. I cleaned the cupboards only last week (and put things in cute little baskets that have handles so I can reach items on the top shelves more easily) and today it’s yet more windows. At the moment we live in a rented house that has super-duper appliances that we could never afford to own for ourselves; I don’t think that they wash or dry any better than my old cheapies but they are certainly quieter and I don’t any longer think that a rocket is about to launch from the utility room!

  • Eloquaint says:

    Hey yeah, you keep the bullet hole. You want the other washer/dryer sets in the ‘hood gettin’ all uppity with your new baby? Oh no you don’t! That scar says “I am MAD CRAZY and you do NOT want to be scammin’ on my bleach!”

    I gave the dogs a bath on Labor Day. It’s a paradox: for several hours after you wash a dog, he smells a lot worse than when he was dirty.

  • Spiker says:

    I enjoyed hearing about your holiday, but frankly words fail me. How do you respond to dryer shooting? My mad crazy holiday was spent at work. Less drama, but less fun too.

    • Musette says:

      LOL! Spiker, the holiday part was No Fun. The getting back and getting stuff done = O-TAY! fun! 😉 That bat house had languished in the garage for over a year! xoxoA

  • Brandi Carlisle says:

    Whoa, Nellie! That does sound mad crazy! Ah, vacays. Whatcha gonna do? The best laid plans, ect… We honeymooned on St. Martin for 10 days back in May. Sounds great, right? Monsoon-like rain for at least five days and apparently I am very allergic to sandfleas. But, it had it’s moments even if it didn’t quite live up to expectations. For the Labor Day Holiday hubby and I are taking a few extra days to methodically tidy the house and its surroundings. Playing it safe. Just relaxing. However, my poor man managed to really bang his noggin just locking up our back gate. I have a theory that things start getting pretty hectic around the changing of the seasons. So better to lay low, but I still love an adventure! Wearing Cafe Rose today and investigating other rose perfumes, along with wood and incense. I am very excited about the season changing. At least you had some honey and linden blossom to keep things light. Sounds lovely! We had fresh sopapillas with honey yesterday and roasted a chicken with honey, lemon, and thyme today. It is the simple pleasures in life that keep us sane.

    • Musette says:

      Oh, ouch! Poor sweetie! Tell him to take it easy with the noggin. I am with you on the seasonal changes. And Summer-Autumn gets me channeling my Inner Ant big time. xoxoxoA

  • Rina says:

    Wine Spew when I got to the poor dryer getting shot in the patoot, which made my DH (….wait for it..) MAD CRAZY! Totally worth it, wiped him off and went about my bidnezzz. Sorry your trip was less than fab but you smelled awesome!

    • Musette says:

      Rina, this dryer is so cool! I am not much for ‘street cred’ but c’mon! Think of the stories he’ll have to tell all the other dryers, right? xoxoA