Musette’s Musings – October Edition

Ah, October.  I hate October.

Okay, that’s a bit harsh.  Let’s just say October is … challenging.  I’m diurnal, not a fan of the cold & dark (which is why I live in the balmy Midwest 😉  and the onset of the Autumn Equinox is a sure sign that we’re headed into the gaping maw of iron-hard Winter.

Other than that, October is fine.

I do have to say that this October is less stressful than a lot of past ones – we’re coming up on the Anniversary of Uncoupling – and I hope this first anniversary is the only one I mark; I’m looking forward to this becoming even more of a distant memory than it already is.  But it’s had some rocky moments, with me having nightmares about NOT being uncoupled.  I suspect it’ll pass.

I took all Summer to evaluate (and enjoy) the garden – the votes are in:  it was in dire need of ruthless editing.  So the last few weeks have been about digging up/moving/dividing..and I think I’m going to be much happier with it.  Last year a well-meaning friend gave me 8 (instead of 1) tomato plants.  Do you have ANY idea how many tomatoes that is?  Plus.. you do know tomatoes volunteer like crazy, don’t you?  The Girl does.  I would see one of the bigger cherry volunteers start swaying…and I’d know she was at the tomato buffet – it’s astounding that such a giant dog can ever so carefully pluck ONLY the ripe tomato in a cluster.   I keep thinking of Christopher Brosius (Memory of Kindness)  and March (and her love for this shimmering scent) as I rip out freeze-blackened plants.  But freeze notwithstanding they still have that tangy, vegetal scent that I always equate with carefree days of Summer.  Even in the most desperate days, pre-uncoupling, I could go in the garden, crush a leaf and soothe my raging soul.  Besides CB and Demeter (also CB) there is a lovely Tomato Leaf wax melt by my lovely pal Camille Lee @ Prairie Aromatics.  It’s the perfect antidote to a dreary Winter’s day (I confess to loving wax melts more than candles, since I’ve never really gotten the hang of how to ‘manage’ a candle – especially the giant, honkin’ ones that cost the earth and … I dunno.  Maybe I’m just Candle Incompetent.  I remember Tom P’s friend violetnoir teaching him the art of lighting, letting it melt a bit, then extinguishing the flame for a beautiful throw – but I still kind of ..don’t get it?  eh) – and yes, this is a Shameless Plug for Camille’s shop – these are hard, terrifying times for small business and her handmade goods are phenomenal!

Putting the Garden to Bed… and Moving Indoors. This is also a year of editing for indoors.  I’m still broke as a snake, having had 5 days to pay cash for this house, but that’s fine – I don’t really need anything.  In fact, I need to de-accession!  So I’ve been working, room by room, and also getting little ‘I Can Do This’ stuff done (like fixing a toilet so it doesn’t run) to make the Winter isolation less anxiety-inducing.  Here’s a question:  WHY DO I HAVE 3 GIANT TOTES FULL OF KITCHEN FOOLISHNESS?  Answer:  how the hell do I know??? – but the first crappy weekend I’mo ruthlessly cull those 3 totes. You know that adage ‘if you haven’t used it by X, you don’t need it?’  Truer words never written.  I’m missing some vintage Pyrex (GASP!) and I think it got taken out of here (an honest mistake – if you’re in a hurry, all moving boxes look alike) … but guess what?  It was in a box for over 2 years and I never really missed it.  If it’s gone, it’s gone. UPDATE:  Um.  Well, I guess I owe him an apology (lol!  no.)  – um  So.  You know that Pyrex?  All That Vintage Pyrex? that I thought was Lost Forever? 3rd tote down.  sorrynotsorry.  Now I have to find somewhere to display it – hey!  Maybe along with the other 94 pieces of Vintage Pyrex?

this is absurd!

Okay – I culled Box 1.  Found 3 strawberry hullers.  Wth?  I’ve never used a strawberry huller in my life – my mama taught me to hull with a paring knife and that’s good enough for me.  Who gave me these?  Which 3 Fiends?  Confess!   Oooh!  I found my 3rd Microplane!  Squee!  It’s the one for semi-hard cheese and chocolate!  oh, joy!

Well, this is going to be fun – it’s That Crappy Day and I found the ‘plane.  What other gems are hidden therein?  It’ll be nice to get this stuff – and these totes- sorted.  Ain’t nobody need 3 totes of kitchen foolishness.

Oooh!  Beach winner:  grizzlesnort.  gmail your evilauntieanita and remind me what you won. And Portia:  we must be Sisters from Another Mister because I. Am. You. with the sharks (even though I am one).  Happy to stay in my lane – Floyd made swimming pools for a reason!

Also: because you guys are SO PATIENT with my crazy:   if you leave a comment letting me know what you’re doing this October The Girl will pull a winner for some goodies from the Sorted Armoire (toldja I was on a tear, didn’t I? That Armoire is a Sorted thing of BEAUTY!!! 😉

I love you all – but I’ve gotta go – I haz 2 more totes to sort!


  • Ann says:

    I always look forward to your posts Musette ? I am trying to organize and D clutter as well, and it’s a process – I need to talk about it a lot and read about it and it takes a really long time – I appreciate Reading about your adventures in “too much”.

    I love you more for hating October! There is so much October love that always floods my newsfeed and text threads every. Single. Year. – get over it people, I’m with you – October stinks.

    • Musette says:

      October here (right now) is … bizarre! Yesterday was beautiful, near 80, with a balmy breeze. I got a lot of garden cleanup (pots in, etc) done – and glad of it – because TODAY is like October from Hell, with gales, biting rain and 30s temps! YOIKS!


  • NancyC says:

    I’m mostly doing the basics this month. I was walking the pupster late September and tripped and fell on my face. Broke two fingers but luckily didn’t land on the dog. She has excellent reaction skills.
    So, I’ve been keeping everyone fed and the house reasonably clean! I was in a snit recently cuz I couldn’t find something in a kitchen drawer, so I just drug everything out and bagged up the stuff I haven’t used. I did find a doodad I couldn’t identify. Small cylindrical thing with a red plastic handle on one end. Had to Google the brand name to figure out what it was. Yes, it was a strawberry huller. Yes, I kept it.

    • Musette says:

      LOL! Strawberry Hullers Unite! and JEEEEBUS! on the fall/broken fingers! I would ask if you’re okay but you’re on this fluff-fest, so obvs you are getting through. SO sorry about that fall – but glad you didn’t do more damage and glad you didn’t land on the dog!


  • Winter says:

    Well, what am I doing? I am obsessively scrolling through the news, I guess it’s called doom scrolling these days, looking for anything to make me feel better about what is going on in our country and around the world.
    When I go to work in the morning I find one of the forgotten or unloved, unused perfume samples I have in my drawer and spray almost that whole damn thing on me. I’m wearing a mask and everyone around me is wearing a mask and if I can get even the tiniest wiff of something I’m happy!
    At night, when I can’t sleep I imagine the things that I will plant and how I will rearrange the garden come spring.

    • Musette says:

      oh, honey! STAHP!!! go watch something fluffy! Gardener’s World? I gave up on the news and dropped about 20bp points! The plant-planning is good, keep at it! we’ll get through this! xoxoxo

      • Ariel says:

        I give myself one chance a day to read the news: on the toilet. Seems apropos.

        Otherwise, yeah, watch some Kipo or She-Ra. Or read “Darius the Great is Not OK” or “This Is How You Lose The Time War”… I dunno if my tastes will match yours at all, but seriously. Step away from the stress.

      • Winter says:

        YES! Love me some Monty Don!

  • rosarita says:

    Ms A! SELL that vintage Pyrex! It goes for crazy prices on eBay, Etsy etc – people are INTO IT. Just my two cents.
    October is my favorite month and it is so gorgeous this year that when I get out, I feel like I’m floating on big clouds of color. I like the snuggly feel of the dark evenings, getting out my sweaters and the Endless Fleece of the Midwest….I guess we all itched like crazy from wool before microfleece? What did we wear? At any rate, I love your words and I’m glad you are happy.

    • Musette says:

      you are nuts! (well, maybe not – it might not be 38F, with a galeforce wind and biting rain over by Goshen) But I love you! (no maybe about THAT!) xoxoxo

  • Portia says:

    HA! I love that you are a swimming pool girl Musette.
    Congratulations on clearing those boxes, amazing.
    Fingers crossed for your garden, I hope it’s more like how you envisage it next year.
    Portia xx

    • Musette says:

      My brother got stung by jellyfish tentacles that had been cut up coming over the coral reef… then BOTH of us got chased out of the FL waters by a sand shark that had also been cut up – but wasn’t quite dead (mostly bobbing on the waves)…. the sight of that dorsal fin was terrifying (we were both under 12) and the pain he experienced with those stings…yeah. I’ll take a heavily-chlorinated pool anyday. And none of these black pools, either. I want to see alll the way to the bottom, end to end, side to side. xoxoxo

      • Portia says:

        With you 100% on pale pools. We have a spider in Australia called the Funnel Web. It LOVES water and can live in a bubble of its own making for weeks before it has to surface. They are ferocious, long jumpers, deadly and common in home pools. In summer we used to fish anywhere up to a dozen out. So those black or dark pools are a big no no.
        Portia x

        • Musette says:

          Okay – I’mo just say this RIGHT OUT LOUD! How ANYBODY survives in AUS is a bloody miracle! I’m serious! See, this right here, with the Funnel Web (which I learned of from Miss Fisher) loving water and surviving in a swimming pool? eh… NO! They should at least have the good grace to drown, like other spiders! xoxoxo

  • VerbenaLuvvr says:

    I have been on a culling tear, too. Recently I got rid of some antiques–they mean nothing to my kids so why should I keep them. I also culled some fragrances and tossed them into a rolling box. Concerning kitchen gadgetry, I’ve already downsized and gave a bunch away. Also I flat refuse to attend any Pampered Chef and the like parties, I don’t need any more cabinet and drawer clutter.

    • Musette says:

      I feel you! That’s why I’m staying out of TJMxxxxx – I found a bunch of LeCreuset braisers in one, bought one… and I am still (2-3? years later) wishing I’d gotten Yet Another Color. Which is crazy!

  • Tara C says:

    I love the fall colours and cool air of October in Montréal. Now I’m in California where it’s still summer. After packing up my Montréal condo to sell it I am on a serious mission to downsize. Too much stuff!

    • Musette says:

      oh, if only! I love CA this time of year, wildfires and pending mudslides notwithstanding. Downsizing is good for my soul – sounds like it will be for yours, too! xoxoxo

  • Dina C. says:

    Great post Anita! Love reading about your home-based doings this October. I, unlike you, love October. In fact, it is my favorite month of the year. I love fall, the darkness closing in, finally some cool weather after all the hot humid summer here in Virginia. Maybe because of my migraines, which make me photosensitive, I really appreciate the peace of Autumn. Opening up those totes seems like Christmas or a Birthday, with all those unlooked-for gifts! Glad you found your precious Pyrex. I’ve been decluttering papers and files lately. Boring but necessary. Have you watched “The Home Edit” on Netflix? Eye candy for declutterers.

    • Musette says:

      omg! I have NOT! But I’m gonna! In ‘better days’ El O would always put some detritus on the DR table or floor when he saw me watching ‘Hoarders’, knowing that when I started scratching (that show always gives me hives) that I would need to throw something out! xoxoxo

    • Musette says:

      … and btw – I used to kind of like October, back when it eased a gal into Autumn. Now? It’s a crapshoot whether or not we’ll get through the month without a blizzard. For Illinois, that’s like… February. and it’s scary.

  • Cinnamon says:

    For me it’s January. Too dark, too cold, too wet. It’s a thing — why do our brains say ‘need to keep that’ when there’s no place to put it, you’ve two already, and it is surplus to any needs you might have? A conundrum.

    • Musette says:

      I think it’s the onset of that cold, dark time – I never think of collecting in the heat of Summer – but now? Yoikes! Maybe it’s our equivalent of what hibernation is for other creatures? plus, what Jennifer S said below about not having time (or inclination) to go hunting for what you already have…?

  • March says:

    Bahaha, the hullers! I’ve slowly been hauling stuff like that I never use to the thrift for someone else’s kitchen gadget drawer. Can’t remember if I told you this story but for years in my former life, my MIL would show up for a visit and then ask (she liked to cook) for some improbable gadget I didn’t have, and then act all shocked when it turned out I was living like a savage without a melon baller or corn cob holders or asparagus tongs. And that would be her house ‘gift’ to us, this thing I didn’t want anyway… good times. The only item (I think) I have left is the nutmeg grater which is actually a useful all-purpose grater. OTOH like the Pyrex there are a few items I can’t have too much of — cast iron is mine. I was at a (socially distanced) outdoor gathering recently when the group started talking about their “cast iron” — they all like to cook. At some point I realized they were talking about their ONE 10-12″ cast iron pan and how they made use of it. One guy was musing about how maaaaaaaybe he’d splash out on a second, larger one. Eventually I got the giggles and came clean — I must have eight or nine of them? From very small (great for butter melting or a single egg) to very, very large. They’re the only pans I own, and all I use on the stove and frequently in the oven. I said, I make cornbread in them! and their minds were blown. I mean … a life without cornbread in cast iron is not a life I want to lead.

    • Musette says:

      I have all my mother’s (and father’s) cast iron, which I use daily. Who are these fiends who cook cornbread in Not Cast Iron? Show them the way, March. Show. Them. The. Way. xoxoxo

  • Lemoncake says:

    I’ve always liked October – maybe because it is my birthday month and I love long walks in cooler air with the trees turning beautiful colors. But on the flip side, the increasing darkness puts me in a little bit of a melancholy mood. I’m sorting through things right and left. I don’t know how many trips I’ve made to Goodwill – and definitely more to go. Anticipating moving to a new house in a few months if it is ever finished. I’ve found stuff I had completely forgotten about, clothes that don’t fit or are hopelessly out of date….the edit continues!

    • Musette says:

      LOL! Lemoncake! I just wished Zazie a Happy Birthday on your behalf! Here’s a Very Happy Birthday wish DIRECTLY TO YOU!!! xoxoxo

  • Zazie says:

    Good luck with your sorting. Don’t know why, whatever the subject, your writing, your verve, always put a smile on my face.
    I love October, and anything autumn really, but this year everything feels bleak, as prospects of lockdown shed somber shadows on what lays ahead – for me, my loved ones, and my country.
    But yeah, here comes Musette and I am smiling again. Enjoying a good book during lunch break. Wafting Shalimar.
    All those great autumn perfumes… autumn make up (just bought too much Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona… so happy!!!! My eyelids are going to look like exotic butterflies for years to come).
    So yeah.
    October feels good enough, I suppose. 😉

    • March says:

      PMG Celestial Divinity?!?! It is GORGEOUS. I don’t own any of the Mthrshp palettes so I didn’t care there were repeats or no “special shades” — they’re special enough for meeeeeeee! I’m so glad I waited, none of her previous palettes have “spoken” to me in a way that I had to have them. I’ve also been playing w my Tati palette which I love, I’m glad I bought it even though I wasn’t sure it was “me,” and the Devinah Aurorae Flares… if you’ve not tried them, Devinah makes incredible eyeshadows, probably my fave indie brand even including the elusive Clionadh which I’ve ultimately decided isn’t worth the hassle and expense.

      • Musette says:

        LOL! You psychopath(s)!! Although I do confess to loving the living snakes out of PMG’s face stuff (I think they call it a serum, which is why I am calling it ‘stuff’) – there’s a perfect color for my Summer skin and a perfect color for my Winter skin! Perfection!! xoxo

      • Zazie says:

        He he… I knew we shared some make up loves!?
        (Actually it was an easy bet since you spoke about your Lisa Eldridge lipsticks recently! And I love the colors you chose. This time around I played it safe with velvet blush, but I am sooo tempted by velvet myth! I own and love velvet jazz. The name alone…)

        I have heard about those indie brands you mention, I shall check them out. I’m always a bit scared by the hurdles of international shipping, but I will bite the bullet eventually. Also curious about Sydney Grace. Most of these indie brands are women owned businesses and it would just feel right to show some support.

        As for Pat McGrath… I am ashamed by how much I own. I am a collector in denial, I fear!?Color, textures, and strange glittery transformative effects just make me happy… like perfume!?

        • March says:

          Sydney Grace Enduring Love was the first indie eyeshadow palette I bought after seeing rave reviews, and it is just lovely. Highly recommend if the color story appeals to you. I didn’t get Mel Thompson’s palette because I can’t deal with the bugs on the cover, hehe. I also have a number of SG singles but that’s a whole different rabbit hole.

        • March says:

          Also, I suspect that ND Glam palette will be my next spendier palette, I love me some cool toned neutrals.

    • Musette says:

      Well, first let me wish you a very Happy Birthday!!! Mine is in November (and July) and I really HATE November (hence July). Apparently it was 80F in Chicago the day I was born, which might explain the whole July thing. Second: I am SO thrilled that I can put a smile on your face – truly! These are weird, dark times and a smile is an excellent thing to see!
      and third: omg. Pat McGrath! Sweatergawd, that woman could take some mud out of my garden and make anybody look amazing! xoxoxo

      • Musette says:

        Oh… for the love of scabs! I swear… Zazie, hang on to that birthday wish for when it’s your actual birthday! LOL! I need to stop multitasking 😉 xoxoxo

        • Zazie says:

          Oh, I’ll keep those Bday wishes – thanks!!!!!! ?
          I’ll take any excuse to party!!!
          …hence my celestial divinity palette March was talking about!?
          Not that I have many real life occasions, especially since we ended up in the midst of a global pandemic, but I find that holding onto some everyday glamour, be it just a glorious perfume or a sparkling duochrome eye look, helps. You know, just to escape the mundane and the boring that lurks in a daily routine…even if the escape is only in my head!?

          I am also a November girl,
          I think we share our birthday, actually – or is it a few days apart? Mine is November 24.
          I think also Patty’s birthday close to ours?
          Not sure…
          Anyyyyway: sending you lots of love to get you through October and the cold months ahead. We can have make believe birthday parties every day until spring comes! ?? Then we can start preparing for your July birthday. So jealous you have two! ?

  • Jennifer S says:

    Believe me. I got totes upon totes stacked in my basement filled with….stuff. I know how you feel! I’ve gone out and re-bought things I know I already have, just cause I don’t have time to dig through umpteen totes looking. Someday I will be ‘tote-less‘ but then…what the heck am I gonna do with all dem totes?!

    • Musette says:

      omg! you made me spit out my coffee! becauuuuse…. that is PERSACKLY the Phase Two question. I’ve got them stacked in the garage because you KNOW the minute I thrift them I will need them. And they do come in handy….

      but yeah… alladem totes! xoxoxoxo

  • Kate Spritz says:

    Do fessing to huffing some tomato vines this year. A few tomatoes remain on the vines and the. It’s goodbye. I never sniffed the fragrance though. Glad I have them in situ.

    • Musette says:

      Kate – it’s … well, ‘shimmering’ is the only word I can come up with because it’s not just the leaf – Christopher has done the unimaginable (to this limited brain, anyway) – he’s captured both the tomato leaf and the essence of sunlight and stepping out of a loving space into an even more loving space. Sweatergawd, I do NOT know how he does it – but I’m glad he does it! xoxoxo

  • KimB says:

    Snowed all day here in the Twin Cities although not sticking as the ground hasn’t frozen yet. I, too, am sorting kitchen items after 3 moves in 4 years. How in the world did I end up with 4 slow cookers???

    • Musette says:

      I know, right? I have 7 Dutch ovens! How ridiculous is that? You guys and your snow… I sweatergawd! you’re supposedly looking at 6″ tomorrow? Yikes! I must say, though, I’ve a fondness for a Halloween blizzard, as it was blizzarding last Halloween, as El O was movin’ it on down the road. A thing of beauty, that. xoxoxo

  • Sarah says:

    Well it snowed here today, so I wasn’t prepared tp be dealing with that yet…

  • taxi says:

    Oh, I’m sorting moved bins too! Stuff wasn’t properly sorted before going into the boxes so every one is a real “mixed box.” Cannot believe that I have 11 silicon spatulas in various shapes & sizes.
    October in CA is quite nice, as long as everything doesn’t burn up. We’ve had terrible air quality from drifting smoke clouds.

    • Musette says:

      those spatulas make me SO happy!! Welcome to the family! and I agree, October in CA is marvelous (except for this Oct, which is fiery). Stay safe! xoxoxo