Musette’s Musings, Winners & a Giveaway

Darlings!  It’s been awhile since I just …rambled..hasn’t it?  Well, I hope so because omg has my skittery little mind been on a ramble lately!  So buckle up, buttercups, it’s probably going to be a wiggly ride!

Gardens.  This time of year is really precarious.  Don’t fall down – but right now I’m sort of OVER the whole thing.  The delights of Spring gave way to the lushness of Summer.  Then …then.  HOT.  And the Japanese Beetles ate pretty much everything but my globe thistle and the dog.  My gorgeous nectarines, always fragile, were destroyed by those vicious thugs.  The last peach tree started to blush and we made a mad dash to strip it and bring the peaches in to finish ripening.  ugh.  Years ago I read an article about peach harvest/canning and how, for quite awhile after, the author couldn’t stand to even think of peaches (skins all over the kitchen and the sticky-sweet smell of hot peach syrup permeating the house).  At the time I thought the author was crazy.  After all, it’s PEACHES.  Now?  Now I understand. And omgosh.  Hot?  HOT!.  So I did nothing but stand at the kitchen window, watching the foxtail grass take over and try not to cry.  Finally got out there a few days ago and ripped a path to the rest of the tomatoes.  And found a nest of cucumbers!  I must’ve been drugged-up on seeds – I don’t even like cucumbers, though I love the smell of cucumber, which I get more from borage than I do cucumber.  Which is just another one of those inexplicable things.  Remember, about a decade ago when everything smelled of cucumber?  What happened to all that stuff?  Lots of cucumber-melon now.  Which is NOT the same thing.  How did all that cucumber disappear?

Tomatoes.  I am actually laughing at I write this because…well, so far?  I have 40quarts of meat sauce and El O informed me that we have at least 3 batches of tomatoes left before the end of harvest.  Now I know that, come December, I’mo be a happy hippo to have all that stuff just ready to pop in the pot (I freeze it in quart bags, which is perfect for two people) and spaghetti with meat sauce is my default dinner selection at least 2 (okay 3) nights a week in the Carby Winter.  But right now, I am over tomatoes.  O.VER. Funny Tomato Story: My poor neighbor got hosed this year – he planted what was labeled Brandywine…but ended up being Cherry.  Now.  Just stop and visualize this:  12 Cherry tomato plants.  Fully fruited.  He’s so disheartened – especially since his wife makes their ketchup and pasta sauce from those tomatoes.  And he hates raw tomatoes.

This is the time of year when everyone carries produce to other people…and then they leave with produce from those people!  if you have ever grown a zucchini plant you know:  after the delight of the first couple of veg you’re desperate to give some of that away.  Lots of little tables with “Free” signs….and boxes and boxes of tomatoes & zucchini.  Every other garden I pass has row after row of glistening ruby orbs and the Long Green.  In the coming weeks we’ll see tables full of squash.  Let’s face it, nobody who isn’t feeding 10 kids needs 5 squash plants.   But still they get planted…and then August comes.

Song Lyrics.  I miss the olden days where, if you didn’t have actual sheet music with lyrics you had to mostly guess and hope for the best (ex-DH has a great story about harshing a friend’s fantasy re a Paul McCartney tune – the friend had created an entire Secret World about a mystical land called Moregetar.  He was devastated to find out McCartney was saying “more guitar“) Well…now, with the Internets, all the mystery is decoded – and sometimes not for the better.  Take the lovely tune “Just the Way You Look Tonight”.  I have loved that tune ever since I watched Fred sing it in ‘Swing Time’ – then Sinatra and others…but I mostly was just enchanted by the whole Astaire/MGM thing.  Fast forward to 2016, menopause and the Internet.   Such a pretty tune about how warm her smile is and the softness of her cheeks (which cheeks? (wink, wink).  Sailing along with the tune…The last couple of lines always glided past my ears but one day I decided to really pay attention



Never, ever change.
Keep that breathless charm.
Won’t you please arrange it?
‘Cause I love you…Just the way you look tonight.

Wth? ‘Never, ever change’?  Like…um…she’s supposed to be in that dress and makeup Ever. Stankin’. Moment?  You only love her the way she looks TONIGHT?  What about when she gets up in the morning?  Or is pregnant? Or… is processing tomatoes?  (okay – maybe not with the tomatoes;  I don’t recall Fred & Ginger doing more than shaking a martini)   Or is 85?   And why should SHE ‘arrange it’ – how ’bout YOU get up off your bony behind and make sure she has a full household staff, a room full of money and nothing else to do but sit around in those shoes and that gown all damn day.   I got a mad-on for Jerome Kern & Dorothy Fields, figuring they were misogynists and Just Plain Evil, hatin’ on Ginger and wanting her to stay in makeup and uncomfortable shoes for the duration of her life (or at least the duration of that film).  Then my meds kicked in and I remembered:  It’s a freakin’ SONG!  From 1936.  And they probably just needed something to rhyme with ‘change’.  And so I got over it and went back to blanching tomatoes.  In my makeup and uncomfortable shoes because Lovely, right?  I need to stop researching stuff.

Okay – y’all have been such good sports about reading through my ramblings – tell me what’s going on in your end-of-Summer lives (or, if you’re on the Other Side, your end-of-Winter lives).  I’ll pull a couple of winners and send you some fun stuff from the Messy Armoire.  I have lots of good stuff in there – new stuff I haven’t even sampled yet! 


And the winners of the CREED Aventus for Her:  Patty Pong & Nadine Barrick !!!  Gmail your ol’ Evilauntieanita with your details and I’ll get it out to you. 


  • Sherry B. says:

    I always happen to find your musings refreshing! lol My DH tells me that it’s been horribly hot here, but I wouldn’t know as I have not left my AC’d house for over a week. See, I check the weather channel in advance!

  • Kismet says:

    Hey Musette – I ALWAYS look forward to your posts, perfume-related or not!

    Beastly hawt, and humid too here in the South–August has become my least-favorite month. But we’ve had a couple of days this week that hint of better things to come. Ah, fall!

    After an insanely busy spring and summer, my (non-edible) garden is in awful shape–dead shrubs amid the general overgrown mess. Hope things slow down enough to get things back into shape this fall. I love gardening and have missed it after the last few months.

  • Ann says:

    Howdy, darling! I love, love, love your ramblings and you always seem to have me rolling on the floor. I know you’re overwhelmed with ’em, but I sure wouldn’t mind some of your ‘maters. We never seem to get enough of them during the summer. I’ve even been known to eat one simply out of hand, with a little dab o’ salt and LOTS of paper towels. And no quicker way to remind me of my childhood. Yum! And thanks!

  • Dina C. says:

    My postage stamp backyard is completely overgrown with weeds, and the hedges in the front yard need pruning. I got one done, but now I need to do two more. I don’t relish the job because it’s hot, sticky work. Fortunately, our heat and humidity have gone down a bit this week. So, I hear you on the gardening bit. It’s lovely in spring, but by August I’m all “meh.” And how come the weeds grow great, but the plants that I WANT to grow just kind of dwindle into nothingness.

  • Pam says:

    Your song analysis made me laugh out loud for sure! Sometimes it’s better to have mysterious lyrics going round and around in my head (like the bubbles ….). And has anyone really figured out Louie Louie? This has not been a gardening summer for me. We just moved, and it has been twenty years since the last move. So planting will have to wait until Spring.

  • March says:

    Heh, I just took two loads of tomatoes into the office. It’s a great way to get brownie points, as there are still tons of people who don’t grow their own! I think next year I’m going to skip the red tomatoes entirely and just grow the golden ones. The little pear-shaped ones are super-abundant. Forty quarts! Isn’t that… ten gallons?!?!!?

  • I keep trying to grow veggies, and the weather here in Texas keeps killing them! One day it’s blisteringly hot and then shrivel up. The next day there’s a thunderstorm, and they get flooded. Sigh. Maybe I should switch to indoor plants.

  • Southern Arizona here. It’s under 100 all week and I *think* I can start to feel a bit of crispness in the air early, early in the morning. Been sick, though, and it’s a shame since this is my last week before my final semester in grad school. Lots of knitting time, though, and I can revisit my garden when the awful day star loses its intensity in fall

  • The Perfume Baby says:

    Astaire sure did have a bony behind. Lining up my Fall animalics; LM Hard Leather, Chypre Palatin, Encens Mythique D’Orient.

  • PJ says:

    As soon as I can flip the calendar to August, I can think, “this is the beginning of the end” of summer. And down here people get desperate for the end of summer. So in August I allow myself to start taking peeks at fall projects. Looking longingly at heavier fabrics and sniffing perfumes with tobacco and leather and bourbon, picturing bringing out the Kantha quilts and pillows and on and on. Trouble is, September is likely to be just like August. Still, a girl can dream.

  • maggiecat says:

    Oh, I’m very much over the unbearably hot North Texas summer (temps in the 100’s – ack!) I love Fall and can’t wait. And one of these days, I WILL have a garden, but right now it’s just a small back yard. And dogs.

  • Bastet says:

    I don’t grow any vegetables but have huge flower gardens surrounding my house, so I sympathize with your TOO HOT! sentiments. The weeds have completely taken over because it is just TOO HOT to work outside. I will have so much work to do cleaning out the garden when it finally cools off.

  • mikasminion says:

    I’ve probably told this story before, but when I was a kid the only time anybody locked up their cars and houses in our small town was July and early August. If you were foolish enough to forget, you would end up with boxes of zucchini or occasionally tomatoes, okra, and yard-long beans. Men would borrow the wife’s car or SUV to go to town because truck beds were fair game for produce-bombing. We only had trucks and a large garden of our own, so I have fond memories of my mother yelling at me to park behind the EMS shed and walk the rest of the way to my destination.

    This year, as usual for the past decade, we have very little produce. We did have a few full-sized tomatoes (Cherokee Purple, my second favorite) for tomato sandwiches, but we mostly got bushels of Juliets and tiny wild tomatoes. Tomato sandwiches are on the relatively short list of things I like about summertime.

    I love your ramblings. They’re always interesting and it gives me an excuse to bore you with mine!

  • rosarita313 says:

    Oh Ms A, I LOVE your rambling posts! The peach canning story takes me back to my grandma’s kitchen making grape jelly, picking the grapes and fighting off wasps, the heat and sweat and sweetness with that massive cheesecloth thing hanging over the sink….and then she never let us eat the fresh jelly because there were always a few pints left from the year before that had to be eaten first! As a side note, while Japanese beetles are a scourge, I have always wanted to find a way to make earrings or something out of those beautiful iridescent wings 🙂

  • dinazad says:

    Oh sweetheart, believe me, I am soooooooo envious! Spring and summer here have been both too wet and cold and too hot and dry, with temperatures vacillating wildly and everything rotting away and then – should something have survived – getting burned to a crisp. The zucchini plants are trying to crawl back into the ground, the kohlrabi have been destroyed by slugs, the roses have black spot, the beans never sprouted, and the only thing looking normal are the leeks (some of them, anyway) and, curiously enough, the tomatoes, although they’re still green. But then, I need green tomatoes for everybody’s favorite relish, so that’s alright. Sage and rosemary are trying to be tree-sized, though. They’ve already managed a pretty good bush-level.
    And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go beg for the recipe for the maple-pecan cheesecake I ate during my holiday in Yorkshire. Divine!

  • pats133 says:

    I’m having a smoked chicken and cucumber sandwich as i read through your blog – de.lish.ous! 🙂

    My summer would be better if i could get a mattress which feels ‘just right’ and is comfortable to lie on. The old one was much the worse for wear and tear and had to be discarded. New mattress is so high, i feel like the princess and the pea! It is also way too hard to be comfortable. Fingers crossed folks that i manage to get it exchanged for something a little springier. Its really hard to figure how to pick the perfect mattress after only trying it for a few minutes in the shop…. 1st world problems, huh!

  • Queen Cupcake says:

    Musette, I cherish your ramblings! We didn’t grow as many vegetables this year as we usually do. There are only two of us, and we always have way more than we can eat and give away. I do no canning! Something about the hot, muggy, end of summer. Yes, grass is growing up in all of the garden beds. I do make an awesome roasted tomato sauce, which I then freeze in big zip-lock bags. (Quartered tomatoes & sweet onions, and maybe peppers and definitely garlic, splashed generously with olive oil and roasted in a big pan at 450F for 45 min, then 30 for another 30-40 min., stir occasionally. Oh, hell, roast ’em as long as you want. It is yummy when you have a few caramelized skins in there.) Also, I grow lots of basil and make pesto, which I mostly freeze. Often mix arugula in with it–the wild, perennial variety. This year we grew Mortgage Lifters, Cherokee Purples (OMG!) and Jet Stars–very good; also Juliet salad tomatoes–way too many of them, but they cook up well. I won goodies from you recently, so don’t include me in the draw, but thanks. I have way too many ‘fumes as it is!

  • rickyrebarco says:

    Hi, I’m in Florida and I don’t have a garden. I’ve spent the summer trying to keep weeds and vines off my live oak trees and from taking over my patio and deck. It’s the tropics down here! But I spend time at the local farmers’ market at least 2 times a week, fresh picked arugula- peppery heaven- and great tomatoes and yes, zucchini! And Florida strawberries! I’m in for a giveaway.

  • Connie says:

    Hi Musette- our tomatoes are coming in strong, and I’m also getting ready to go to my last year at university. Wow.

  • greennote2 says:

    It’s spring. Daffodil yellow and forget-me-knot blue at my front door spring. So FM En Passant yesterday and Le Labo Iris 39 today. Perfect. Love your rambling Musette, love it. Finally finished pruning the two apple trees. It only took me three goes over about 2 months. Winter blues and apathy. But the sun’s here and the world is a better place.

  • Ellen M says:

    I didn’t do a vegetable garden this year and it was sooooo hot that I’m glad I didn’t. We badly need rain. I do miss all the veggies, but I’ll just have to hit the farmers’ market. You sound all in. Be better soon

  • this is an interesting post..

  • Tiffanie says:

    Out for a walk this evening through my suburban neighborhood where everyone has small gardens and very few grow fruit or veggies, I saw a big basket on someone’s front steps filled with very large zucchini and a sign that said “Please Take (but leave the basket). I didn’t take any as I didn’t want to walk a mile carrying a big zucchini. I can’t imagine what passersby might think. 😉

  • Eldarwen says:

    It’s been a long summer and a hot one. I’ve been dealing with some new technology and resetting passwords and stuff. Forgot how annoying this stuff is. I kind of miss the whole cucumber melon thing. It’s funny that one of Bath and Body Works’ biggest seller is only sold online.

  • Maya says:

    I love your ramblings. This August has been awful in the Northeast, mid 90s, “feels like 100++”, muggy, humid. This weather sucked the energy out of everyone. As to your tomatoes, I’m not a big fan. Can take ’em or leave ’em. I perked up at the mention of your nest of cucumbers though! That sounds like a treasure trove to me. I love love love cukes, but not in perfume – the opposite of you. 🙂

  • HeidiC says:

    Japanese Beetles are unholy. And honestly, I feel for Ginger — she put up with a great deal. At least she looked fabulous while putting up!

    We moved this summer, so I didn’t get to do any gardening, though I did learn how to do some mushroom foraging in Minnesota, so not a total loss.

    I’m not prepping to teach college classes for the first time in almost 20 years, so the last few weeks has me feeling a little lost, like I’m not sure who I am and what I’m supposed to be doing. But I’ll figure it out.

  • Claudia S says:

    I live in Southern California and we have those Japanese Beetles. They scare me to death. You can hear them buzzing a mile away and I think they like my perfume! Thanks goodness they don’t sting (I hope!)…I made a BLT with my tomatoes for dinner tonight. Take care!