What’s Going On?

Okay, guys.  I’m going to ‘fess up.  I was going to try to fake my way through some really lame psuedo-perfumeish post (something about fidelity and blahblahblahGingerblahblah)  but you know what?  I’m going to just suck it up and tell you the truth.

I’m not really feeling it right now.

I think I have some second-stage grief going on, as well as some massive anxiety.  The grief is understandable (I miss Bruno.  I miss Carmine.  I miss having a dog).  The anxiety?  I dunno.  Let me just say:  Everything is fine.  Really.  Our business is going well, my health is okay (and getting better), nobody close to me is in dire straits (and let’s face it – parts of the world are in serious turmoil but not everyone has Ebola nor are they getting bombed out of their lives – and for that I am extremely grateful)……anyway, nothing is WRONG.  I’m just a bit..off.  Some of it’s hormones – you know Patty’s got that weekend post “Menopause sucks” – and she’s right – it messes with you much the way puberty does.  And having the 30+ years, post-puberty, doesn’t mean you’re any more prepared for the wackitude of menopause than you were for puberty.  Mine is pretty benign but every now and then WACKITUDE!  The rest is just little bugs, biting my psyche.

So.  There.  So.  What am I doing about all this?  Well!

heading collards

pretty! rareseeds.com

1. I am not wallowing in my Maggot Broth of Memory.  When I get crazy I get off the computer, I let voicemail pick up my calls (yes, even my business calls.  Customers do NOT like Crazy-sounding folks)…and I go out in the garden and dig some holes or plant some seeds (I do succession plantings of dark leafy greens.  I eat kilos of collards/kale/spinach/etc during the year and from May-November I can harvest those and have enough until the next planting season!).  It’s fun to sow the seeds and then, a few weeks later, move the seedlings around and let them grow.  I’m experimenting with a new ‘heading’ collard Because I Can.  After a very arid July we were deluged so it’s now the perfect time to sow.

2. Weeding.  C’mon.  Like you didn’t know that! LOL!  Weeding is DA BOMB!  Here’s why:  you look at, say, your kitchen garden.  Six fence panels long x 3 panels wide.  It’s a freakin’ MESS!  Big early rains followed by extreme heat has caused it to become Weed City.  Here’s what you do: you fix a pitcher of martinis (or margaritas.  or lemonade).  You put a sum of money on the planting table ($10? $100?  whatever floats your boat).  You ‘hire’ yourself.  Get all your tools, set an alarm and Get To Work.  At the end of the time you should have the garden done (mine takes about 90minutes, if I don’t get distracted.  If I get distracted, I don’t get the money.  Or the martinis).  You pay yourself, take a shower, pour a martini and become the Lady or Lord of the Manor and admire what your ‘hired person’ did .  Weird.  But it works.  Same with vacuuming.  Doesn’t seem to work with laundry, though.  Dunno why…

photo stolen: hgtv.  No way those would still be undrunk :-D

photo stolen: hgtv. No way those would still be undrunk 😀

This is going to happen soon, as I have to rip out the vines, etc on the kitchen garden fence and clear everything for fall planting.  I am looking forward to it, as Mama needs a new jar of Amouage Dia cream.  And a martini.

3. Exercise (beyond the garden).  I am back to walking, as much as my back allows.  Walking is great therapy, releasing some endorphins and also taking you out of yourself.  You cannot stay in your own Crazy if your neighbor is sharing his!  Trust me.  And people around here izz bonkers as hell!  And they will tell you ALLL about it!  Bless ’em!

4. Don’t. Borrow. Sadness.   No sad music  – Gladys Knight & Joni Mitchell nearly ripped my liver out!  No ‘challenging’ films or TV for me.   You know what I’ve been doing for stress relief?   Watching the hysterical Dawn French & Co in The Vicar of Dibley!  (Last Tango in Halifax is next on the list)  and struggling through Will Shortz’s idea of a Fun Sunday – he and his are strange folk – and I’m enjoying getting buzzed by my hummingbirds.  My table is on the flight path from the side feeder to the monarda.   They zip under the umbrella, stop for a second to check me out (saying hello?  saying GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE?  who knows?) then on to get drunk on monarda juice.

5. Eat well.  One of the simplest fixes (along with Get Some Sleep) in the Be Kind to Yourself Rulebook.  But you know?  It can really be tough when you’re all Ennui and everything.  Put down the Oreos and pick up a peach.  You’ll notice the difference.  You cannot get better if you are constipated.  Trust me.

6. Let Nature be the Perfume.  Right now it’s hard for me to focus on perfume, what with a 100-ton press in the making and  ennui in my bones.  A gorgeous Gardenia standard and my Julia Child rose and the scent of Purple Wave petunias outside my office window…heavenly!

6. Find joy in Life.  I recognize this for what it is and while I respect that it’s got me in its grip I also know that grip isn’t permanent.  But Life is uncertain so even as I wrestle with this foster Black Dog I know I have the power to move him – he’s no Mr Chartwell – and I’m grateful for that.  I can garden, walk, crossword my foster dog right the hell out – and I know that’s not the case for so many others.

7. Let It Be.  You know…this is one of the simplest.  and it’s one of the most difficult.  We’ve gotten so we have a pill, an app, a ‘thing’ for every glitch in our emotional lives – but you know what?  Life is not like that.  Sometimes it’s just ‘meh’ – and that’s okay.  Truly.  Now, I’m not talking ‘meh’ for years – or even a whole lotta months or weeks.  But Life is comprised of a lot of ups and downs and sometimes, for no apparent reason, we are down.  Let it be.


So!  That’s my story for this week.  I am Fine.  Tell me how YOU are! What’s Going On? with YOU?  When/if you get like this what do you do to stay sane?  How’s the weather in your neck of the woods?  (one of the ennui-makin’ things is the weather.  It’s been raining and grey and feels like late September.   Beats a drought but I’m hoping we get some higher temps, soon.  I have about 100 tomatoes that need to be all ripened-up and everything.

  • Kismet429 says:

    Love this post and agree wholeheartedly with your recommendations (note to self: get a timer). I think it’s so important to live surrounded by beauty–whatever your concept of that may be. For me, it’s my house and garden, and although his aesthetic is not mine, I love Jonathan Adler’s statement that “your home should be like a good dose of Zoloft” (from Adler’s book, My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living).

    For more blues-beating suggestions go to YouTube and see:

    How to Live Glamorously (When You’re Feeling Anything But….) by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti–for more glamour, check out her blog, “A Bloomsbury Life.”


    Cheers – KMc

  • imapirate007 says:

    Great Post! I can’t tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog. It really makes my night! I used to be such a music person, but I think somewhere along the way, musicians started believing their own hype, and forgot about telling a great story. Same with movies. I think tv and perfumes are way more interesting than anything else right now, as are the perfume blogs.
    Since you like Dawn French, might I recommend her sometime creative compatriot Jennifer Saunder’s show “Absolutely Fabulous” for a pickup? That and a glass of wine, and a chat session with a good old friend? Your right about nature, I love the beach. I think there’s sometime about salt water and waves that charges your energy.

  • solanace says:

    Just get that Dia cream already, you totally deserve it, Musette!
    I´ve been doing great now, thrilled about my husband, my kids, pilates, my work and my severe pefume addiction. Not to mention the lemon tree. 🙂 But I was worse than meh for quite a while, life just got too hard. I was lucky to find (thanks to Chandler Burr) this wonderful perfume community, yourself included, which was decisive in my trip back to happy world.

  • Shirley Munoz says:

    No sweat. Sometimes you just need a break. I’ve been wanting to write you a thank you note. In the last few months I have enjoyed exploring new scents. I haven’t liked the newer scents and I have stayed within the bounds of the house of Caron which I still do love. However with-your guidance I have recaptured the joy of exploring new scents, hello Tuberose Criminelle, Black Orchid etc. I have also gotten some great bargains; Sira des Indes, and Mahora. Thank you so much I’ve learned a lot and look forward to reading your posts.

  • Sarah says:

    Truth just makes my ears ring, my lungs breathe and my heart beat. Thank you for your true self and all the folks that blessed us further with their comments.
    You rock.

  • Orkidguy says:

    Try some clary sage essential oil in your bath. It has an Earl Grey type of scent and is good for relaxation.

  • rosepotpie says:

    Thank you so much for this beautiful, moving, and helpful post; full of truth and grace. And martinis. 😉

  • Bastet says:

    Thank you for your wisdom, especially the “let it be.” Sometimes you just need to allow yourself to feel bad for a while and it will pass. I have a shoulder injury that I thought was corrected by my last surgery a year ago, but now it looks like I won’t be able to use my right arm again for awhile, and will probably have to have surgery again. Somehow your post really helps so thank you again and I hope things look up for you soon.

  • Michelle says:

    Hey hey Miss A, lovely post!!! Also love reading about what’s going on with the posse peeps. One of the biggest sacrifices I’ve made (wittingly or unwittingly, not sure) to get or just survive the big 5 changes in the past 10 years or so (divorce/moving out from home/neighborhood of 10 years, college & grad school, buying a house by myself, children from baby/toddler to teens, BF health catastrophes) is connection and time spent with friends & peers. & by that I mean wimmins of a certain age. Let’s just say the community you round up here is very appreciated!

    Last week, BF & I brought darling teen daughter up north to camp, and took the time to bike and tent for 5 days. I’m thrilled to report that having an air mattress is the magic formula for sleeping well in a tent after 40. The downside of BF surviving against all odds is that he needs 1.5-2x as much sleep as I do, plus many hours after getting up and in the day to just sit and fight nausea. It’s easy to ignore this when I’m at work all day, but on vacation it’s glaring and saddening. The upside is that I read novels in the woods. Novels! Not papers, manuals or books I look at hundreds of times to somehow try to understand theory based on quantum mechanics and math way beyond ‘I scraped through calculus’. I love reading novels! Plus, we biked a ton and got to smell wildflowers galore. Best perfume ever!

    My 19 y.o. son, boy genius, who started college at 16 & basically declared that I totally suck and moved to his dad’s, is now working with me at the lab. I get to bring lunch and feed him, train him in to the vagaries and black magic of experimental biochemistry, and comfort him through the devastation of being “bitch-slapped” by science. Incredibly precious and healing.

    Take care & love to you & all the fragrance-crazed cohorts.

  • Liz K says:

    It is hot here. Summer always makes me feel like crap because it doesn’t rain sufficiently here and gets too hot to have a productive garden. The only things that grow at this time are weeds (hello, pigweed) that make me not breathe.
    We are moving from the home and neighborhood I love to an unknown address 100 miles north and an extra two and a half hours of driving time for my aging mother. I hate moving. I will probably have no garden, be leaving a job where I am very spoiled, and finding my way around by myself. My husband has been there six months so has a routine down but I am already feeling overwhelmed, particularly at the prospect of getting the entire house packed and moved while job hunting.
    Leopold’s (the cat) cancer is getting bigger again. It is only a matter of time before he starts feeling bad. He was a feral rescue so treatment is not an option, he’s still too wild to handle trips to the vet. I just did this at Christmas time with one of my other babies and pray that my third will not develop this curse. Folks, ask your vet to use adjuvant-free vaccine. For a rare cancer I sure have seen it a bunch (two out of three of my cats in two years, haven’t had an adjuvant added vaccination for 5 years, my current vet doesn’t use them and says the official statistics seem to be very flawed).
    Huh, guess I’m pretty stressed too – I mean actually about stuff, not my usual “giant ball of stress about nothing” that my husband complains about.
    I do the gym thing for weights and walk every day which helps and weeding the garden is healing. I will probably feel better when I get to the point in my packing where I’m really cleaning stuff out. We have a lot of crap. I was feeling blue the other day and forced myself any time I could to focus on whatever I was looking at and find something beautiful about it. It really helped a lot.
    Thanks for giving me a place to vent. Hope everyone who is having a rough time gets through it soon!

  • jaime says:

    Love the idea of setting a time and rewarding yourself at the end of a weeding session!

    Excellent advice. This is just what I needed to read right now.

  • Dina C. says:

    August has always been my least favorite month, so I totally get the summer ennui thing. I’ve been tackling projects around the house like taking a huge comforter to the cleaners, then a huge drapery. Pruned a couple of overgrown bushes and have one more hedge to do. Still need to do weeding in my backyard and a pile of mending. I managed to finish a sewing project for DD — a Victorian corset with boning, interfacing & lining, the hardest thing I’ve ever attempted. So glad that is done. I like the reward system; I respond well to incentives like that!

    For fun this summer, I’ve been watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on PBS. They are set in the late 1920s in Melbourne Australia and based on books by Kerry Greenwood. So in addition to watching the two seasons of episodes that I’ve missed, I’m also finding the books in my public library and reading them, too.

    As for health and wellness, I made one important connection back in July. I was feeling like I’d been hit by a Mac truck for no particular reason one week, and then I remembered reading that eating lots of sugar causes inflammation throughout the body. Sure enough, I cut back my sweets intake, and I started feeling much better in just a day. This is kinda sad since I have developed a raging sweet tooth in the last few years, but it’s For My Own Good.

    Thanks for a great post, Musette. I’m thinking of you and hoping the sun peeks out soon for the sake of your tomatoes. 🙂

  • dinazad says:

    Just recently I read about a little boy who complained that he was bored. When his mother proposed a number of things to do, he answered “I can’t. I’m bored.”. Maybe that’s what we should do in situations like these: live our boredom, live our ennui, live our melancholy. No time for other things, there’s ennui to taste to the last drop! Yay!

    It’s been raining the entire month of July and sunny days are few and far between. I miss my summer wardrobe. On the other hand, there’s time to clear out and clean the entire kitchen (I found a hitherto unknown drawer! Very practical indeed!), catch up on sewing and mending or just plonk down on the sofa and finally watch “How to train your dragon”. Or to savor that ennui.

    • Musette says:

      J, it’s weird that we’ve come to that point in our lives where both grief and ennui are looked at askance. There seems to be no time for anything not peppy/perky or vested in the pursuit of making money or gaining fame. Sad. I think it’s a good thing to live our melancholy – as long as it doesn’t take over our entire existence. I’m fine feeling as I do. In fact, I think it’s a natural reaction to the past couple of years’ experiences. I don’t want to live this dream out forever, of course, but a little bit of downtime is fine.


  • foxbins says:

    After living in this house for 14 years, I am going to move 700 miles north where it rains. I love rain and this drought has made me cranky for a few months now. Selling this place, coordinating all the bits and pieces of overlapping two addresses for a short time, packing and eliminating—it’s making me grind my teeth a bit. I keep reminding myself that This Too Shall Pass. Somehow it will all get done because it must. I booked myself a facial and massage for next week as a reward and I may buy myself a bottle of Wit too.

    Musette, I think you are doing amazingly well. I miss my Luna too. It has been nine months but the hole hasn’t filled in yet.

    • Musette says:

      The hole will never fill. It just won’t be as deep, which is all any of us can ask. And that’s fine – and it’ll happen when it happens. Georgie has been gone for 3 years (El O would say 4 but he won’t because I would then burst into tears and he would freak out). There are still moments when it’s like missing that last step in the dark.

      Whereyagoin’? Rain…..hmmm….we have rain here. But…you aren’t moving here because You Are Not Crazy.

      Wit! Get it. You deserve a little treat.


  • JanLast says:

    Laughter, lots of laughter. It’s what gets me through. Refusing to let life take the smile from your face is not the easiest thing do, but it works. As a worrier, this is my medicine…
    I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can’t put it down.
    I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.
    Broken pencils are pointless.
    Look at all those birds flying south. Migratious!

  • Elena says:

    I get me to the gym, and do some lifting! Never fails. I am going to steal your idea about setting a timer and paying myself to vaccuum. Something needs to happen to get that done around here…

    • Musette says:

      Something about ‘gettin’ PAID’ takes the crabby out of it – at least for me. I’ve always done that, which is weird because I actually LIKE to clean) xoxoxooxA

  • rosarita says:

    I am so down with setting a timer and rewarding yourself, it’s what I do for housework: when I start fearing that I’m going to wake up to a Febreeze focus group blindfolded in the living room, I set the alarm and start cleaning. When the alarm goes off I can choose to continue or stop – usually I’ve gotten into it and keep going. Haven’t tried it with martinis but it sounds good.

    When you are processing lots of Life stuff, it helps me to remember that there’s no way out but through.

    • Musette says:

      As Winston Churchill said “if you’re going through Hell, keep going”. And he orta know! What a hellish thing to have gone through, shepherding a nation through some of its darkest hours….all while fighting his own darkest hours! YIKES! xoxoxoxoA

  • Have I told you lately that I love you?
    Because I do.
    And you are spot on, my love <3

  • poodle says:

    Hummingbirds and fresh veggies are the best part of the summer. I’m glad your little feathered friends are bringing some smiles to you. Reward based weeding is very therapeutic too. I’m out of sorts myself lately for lots of reasons and I’m tired. I’m not sure who came up with that “lazy days of summer” idea but I find summer to be freakin exhausting. Come August I’m looking forward to fall and winter when I can catch a break.

    • Musette says:

      I’m with you, sweetie. I just spent the morning at my friend Mary’s, canning salsa. 3 hrs of fellowship and hot, hard-assed WOIK! Came back to a boatload of GREAT business stuff but….yikes! WORK!

      Lazy days of summer. sigh. xoxoxoA

  • jillie says:

    Yep, there’s no cure for life and we have to take the rough with the smooth Can’t appreciate the one without the other, and an entire population on anti-depressants is a depressing thought. You are simply great, Musette – I want to be like you!

    Say hi to your dear little hummingbirds. I am now off to work out how much I should pay myself for cleaning the windows …… and looking forward to a long margarita afterwards.

    • Musette says:

      You want to be like me, only thinner, richer and a lot less bitey. Trust me. 😀 Heck, I think you want to be just like YOU! which is perfect!

      Windows. Ew. Make that TWO margaritas! 😀 xoxoxoA

  • Audrey says:

    It’s dry. It’s hot. I’m 43 and feeling it. But I ‘m exercising. And I’m fit , and I feel good. I find myself at that ‘no BS’ point in my life . If I like something …….great. If I don ‘t that’s fine too. I ‘m finding I am grateful for this stage and am enjoying it. So….my check in: an Asperger’s child who’s doing well. A high energy kid who’s doing well. A husband who travels a lot. A crazy remodel. Summer winding down. Seeing good friends. Laughing. Appreciating the seeds I’ve planted in my life and watching them grow , and revelling in the joy. And buying GREAT perfume after spending years weeding out the mediocre. :). Feeling good. Love your post.

    • Musette says:

      DAY-um! You have a LOT going on. But you seem to be handling it well! Good for you!!! And isn’t that Life? Planting those ‘seeds’ and watching them grow, helping when you can and getting the hell out of the way when you can’t (or when it’s time).

      Good luck on the remodel. Ours (which El O could’ve finished with not one but BOTH hands tied behind his back) is in ‘stalled’ stage. sigh. xoxoA

  • Rina says:

    The Hummers are spot on! They zoom under my canopy and look me right in the eye! And they get all minds of butthurt if I let the feeder run out! They amaze me! Glad they bring a bit if levity to you as well! XOXO!