Musette’s Musings – Diurnal Style!

Well!  It’s a rambling kind of day, with my brain feeling a bit untethered and skritchy, so let’s ramble together, shall we?  There will be a quiz, later. 😉

Diurnal!  With the increasing light I’m waking up even more disoriented than when the darkness of Winter hits.  It takes a bit before my internal clock resets and I can process what time it actually is.  Last Tuesday I woke up in a panic, thinking I’d slept through a 7:30a conference call (construction starts early!!) only to find out it was..5:49!?  Wow.  Light at 5:49.  Who’dathunkit.  It’ll be like this, the confusion, until mid April – come May I’ll be up and out in the garden by 6a.  For now, though, it’s a struggle.   You’d think it would be the reverse but I think we’re still atavistically wired to simply sleep in the cold/dark.  At least I am.  It’s no problem  for me to pass completely the hell out, come 7p, in February.  How does it work for you?

Nocturnal.  Even weirder.  This is the time when, for me, the veil is very thin.  It’s the only time of year, this pre-vernal pausing, where I feel as if I have a foot between worlds (normally I’m a pretty corporeal being).  And never more so than when night seems to just clumsily plonk itself into the waning day, willy-nilly, like an elderly dog who’s lost his balance.  I do fine once it gets solidly dark – nobody is confused at 9p.  But… 6p?  A bit unsettling.

It’s all resolved by 9p, though.  Fully dark, I’m greeted by a stunning night sky.  There’s a cluster that appears only this time of year that looks almost exactly like an arrow and FINALLY! there are user-friendly apps that will help me identify it. (update:  it looks to …maybe.. be part of Orion.  I should’ve paid more attention in astronomy class.  Heck, I should’ve actually taken astronomy). I frequently moan about living at the back of beyond… but the night sky in near-complete darkness is a reward of considerable measure.  Longtime Posse might remember my musing about the parking lot at Ventana, in Big Sur…

Oh, my stars.

Well.  Behind my little shack here in Hooterville, in the pitch black, gives that parking lot a major run for its money.  Oh, my stars..

Krav Maga.  Once we get back to safe levels for interaction, sign me (back) up!  I do not fetishize conflict, nor am I attracted to the overt ‘high and tight’ warrior ethos but I do love learning the skills of close combat. Alpha, with control/trust issues, my chemical makeup keeps me thrumming at Defcon 3, with terrifying forays into Defcon2.  Daily.    Good times.  Since I am rational (and not stupid) I try to do everything I can to mitigate this.

Dogs.  Awhile back I started taking a very close look at my dog breed preferences and what I find most attractive about them.  I love all dogs but have the closest connection to larger Working/Guardian breeds.  One of the reasons I love them is their behavior dovetails with mine, as regards discipline, understanding chain of command & communication (hang in there, we’re getting to Krav Maga in a minute, I promise)… but what really resonates is their complete and utter self-possession, that lack of posturing.  A well-trained Guardian knows who they are, what their job is, and they have nothing to prove to anyone… until it’s necessary to prove it.  And then they do.

I love that.

I strive to be more like them but the undercurrent of organic rage (born of fear – being a woman (and a POC woman at that) in this world means I am never at the top of the predator chain and being aware of that 24/7 (again, the chemical makeup), keeps me and my cortisol levels at an uncomfortable pitch and makes me feel more like one of those little yappy dogs, all aquiver.

Back to (toldja we’d get there)- Krav Maga skills put it all in perspective and helps lower the cortisol, the organic rage, the Me… and makes a good argument for playing the hand you’re dealt.  Puts me on a closer wavelength with my Guardian dogs.   And it really does ramp my bp way the hell down.  The more I develop those skills, the less I focus on needing to focus on them (does that make any sense?). Funny that something born of such bloodthirst actually makes me less bloodthirsty.  I have several friends (all female, alas) who bemoan my physical and psychological focus on close combat, strength/flexibility training, the development of the strategic bent of my nature as decidedly unfeminine… I used to argue against that but now I wonder… perhaps I am not considered feminine in the traditional sense.. but I can tell you, were I to attempt to bury the ‘unfeminine’ aspects of my personality I would soon be in the back of a SWAT van, which is a decidedly unfeminine place to be.  Then again I wonder: why on earth is femininity so often associated with helplessness?   And in the fight or flight scenario flight is not always an immediate option anyway.  Nor am I wired for flight.  Though I am not a fool, nor am I ever looking for a fight, I’m specifically wired for fight.  Unless the fight is with a velociraptor.  Or an AR-15.  Then, yeah.  My dogs and I are gonna leg it.

Anyway, that’s a roundabout way of saying that it’s been awhile but I’m eager to re-enter Krav Maga and get these cortisol levels even lower.  Another question for you:  do you consider close combat training to be unfeminine?  What an odd question to ask on a perfume blog, but y’all are used to it by now.   These are useful skills and Floyd knows I love me some Useful Skills. I can break a man’s arm in two places without breaking a nail.  And I can do it awash in the girliest perfume imaginable.  That counts for something, doesn’t it? /s


Okay – talk to me.  I’m eager to learn what’s on your mind and if you have an opinion on anything I blathered about today.  Dissenting opinions are cheerfully welcomed. TGirl just got a girly pawnicure, so she can hit the randoDOTorg button and choose a winner for some goodies.



  • crikey says:

    “I can break a man’s arm in two places without breaking a nail. And I can do it awash in the girliest perfume imaginable”

    If I wasn’t a fully-fledged card-carrying musette fan before, I’d be one now.

    Combat/martial arts are not an option for my body–which makes me grumpy because I think I’d love them. But strength training is a form of magic. Gaining that sense of power and control over your own body, and pushing its capabilities? Wonderful. So much more satisfying than aiming to be decorative. (I can’t wait till we are out of lockdown and the gyms open up again.)

    I just don’t understand the “but it’s not feminine” train of thought. I absolutely reject the idea that femininity can’t include everything that women do. Why should we limit ourselves?

    (If I could have a dog, it would be a staffy)

    • Musette says:

      I’m needing to go more towards flexibility than contact sport now, as I am old as snot and pretty banged-up; but the… emotional resonance of close combat keeps me grounded, so even if I can’t do it anymore I’ll probably always stay connected to it.
      Staffs are magical!


  • JonT says:

    After I lost my beloved Aziza (the Wonder Dog) I did not want another dog; I wanted her back. She was my first dog ever and I got her in my early 40s so we went to obedience school and did everything we were supposed to do. And it all worked. A beautiful Bouvier, she was. I always thought it was funny that strangers automatically referred to her as “he” just because she was big and bearded. If you are big and bearded, does that make you masculine or male? I think not.

    • Musette says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss, JonT, but please know that each dog brings with it such a wealth of love and in no way diminishes the love that came before. I’ve fostered 10(?) in my life and each one brought so much love and joy to that life. Hurts like knives to release them, though.

      TGirl is 130lbs of predator, with a gorgeous PINK collar and a gorgeously feminine face… and nearly everyone calls her ‘he’. Sigh.

  • Shiva-woman says:

    I love big dogs! We have a hundred pound black-and-tan hound/dobe mix. We are fortunate and he–and we have 10 acres in rural Cali (burned from a fire, but still a few trees standing, and even more nightsky now). So stargazing on a quiet Sunday night in the hot tub is our thang. I’m woefully out-of-shape and running is probably my more often- turned-to workout, but I’ve wanted to do a martial art of some sort, and in this world, I think it should be some sort of extra PE for girls and young women. It is mental strengthening as much as physical. I have had broken wrists and torn tendons in both wrists, knee, shoulder, foot, and elbow surgeries, and I think it “disqualifies” me from martial arts; I can’t do the rigorous poses of yoga now that I did before without major modification. Because of my body’s scars, wounds, and “weak spots,” I wish I could do a martial art so as to better prepared. I’m already tough (I use a chain saw on the weekends with my husband and do masonry and other non-trad “fem” activities), but I’d like to be better able to defend myself. I think women are tough. I don’t define women or men by what they do. If a woman rows across the Atlantic, then that’s what women can do. And the same goes for my scents: I like the oudy heavy woods and tobacco.

    • Musette says:

      you know…. I’ll bet there are modified self-defense courses out there for folks like us (I, too, have injuries) who would like to stay fit but cannot transition through traditional classes. And if there aren’t, I’ll bet there will be some set up soon, as we age.

      Your dog sounds magnificent. I’ll bet he and I would get along just fine! xoxoxo

  • Cinnamon says:

    My sleep rhythms are crap during winter. Days get very short here but for reasons I don’t understand at all I generally start waking from around 1 AM and then that happens every few hours. I’m much better once the sun comes up before 6 and goes down after 9 PM. Sleep much better. Stars, night sky — it’s quite decent here as we don’t have a huge amount of light pollution. Ah, femininity … women tend to be far more fierce than men in my experience. So, I associate femininity with fierceness and the idea of Krav Maga makes perfect sense within that context to me. But I’m a yogi — three times a week at least. Really hoping that once the weather gets warmer the outdoor pool will open again and I can swim a couple of mornings a week with the Nutters club. Ah, dog claws. Joe the lab isn’t fierce and doesn’t enjoy having his claws clipped. I’ve managed one dew claw but not the other. Oh, and he really needs a bath.

    • Musette says:

      the saying ‘shoot the women first’ exists for a reason 😉 I would fight 5 men before I would come between a woman and someone she loved.
      Jane’s claws are too dark for me to cut (can’t see the quick) – that’s a process I’m happy to let another do. She couldn’t care less, which is a great blessing. xoxoxo

  • Dina C. says:

    Our family dog is an American bull terrier mixed with several different breeds, maybe English pointer, lab, Jack Russell, etc. and we love his mix of protective and goofball clown. As for martial arts, my son, husband and daughter have all taken classes in them at various times, especially my son, but not me. I’m not cut out of that cloth. My husband is from a back-of-beyond part of upstate New York, and one of our favorite things to do when we’re up there is go outside at night and stargaze. It’s incredible to see all the stars that we normally can’t see in our light-washed suburbs. Our living room faces full west, and around 4 pm until sundown the sun’s rays burst through the windows in a very moody, atmospheric way. I always think of Lady Catherine DeBourgh and all her snarky complaints about Longbourn at the end of “Pride and Prejudice.” Just read a Georgette Heyer mystery last night: “The Unfinished Clue.” Have you read that one? I’d be glad to send it to you if you haven’t.

    • Musette says:

      omg. when you said ‘faces full west’…. you know I totally heard that in Lady Catherine’s voice.

      LOL! I gotta get out more 😉


    • Musette says:

      and yes, thank you – I have read it (and have a copy); if this is your first Hemingway/Hannasyde foray, may I suggest ‘No Wind of Blame’ as your next? I think you will like it – a lot! And there is SO much hysteria therein. I laugh like a lima bean every time I read it. xoxoxo

  • Kathleen says:

    Strength, training, big dogs (I have a well-trained Guardian as well), night sky. All the things I admire! Strength is extremely feminine in my opinion and I work on this daily. Best wishes with your Krav Maja training; self-defense and self-confidence are admirable and feminine traits.

  • Bastet says:

    If a female chooses to do something then it is not “unfeminine”.

  • March says:

    Ha! We have mulled soooo many of these issues. 1) I envy you your night sky, I never see good clear sky around here, and it still blows my mind if/when I’m on a trip away from city lights. 2) Krav maga — love this discussion! I’m always interested in what forms of workouts people choose, and what they’re getting out of it mentally, not just physically. I have friends — some of them pretty “girly” — who get not just a sense of … empowerment? out of tough workouts like krav maga and various martial arts but also a sense of calm relaxation, where my (gut) response is LOOKOUT AAUUGH lol. And yoga, which should be perfect for me, drives me RIGHT up the wall, SO irritating. I joined Classpass in the Before Times (I live in a quasi-urban area with lots of options, it was great!) and am still mad that I lost that, I was really making strides! Pilates on one of those stupid, terrifying reformer machines was KICKING my ass AND I loved it! LOVED IT. SUCH a high. Same thing with a Barre class up the street w a lot of women of various ages and sizes, not just skinny former ballerina wannabees. Another surprise. I’m terrible at doing my own online workouts, too lazy I guess. When life reopens I’m gonna join up again while I can, I’m wildly out of shape right now, which I think is going to be a huge national concern as things reopen, I know it’s not just me.

    • Musette says:

      I remember your delight with that reformer machine. See, that would be the thing that would probably best me. Dunno why. But.. maybe not. Krav Maga and yoga help get my gyroscope back on track, both physically, mentally and emotionally.
      And barre class is extremely good for your core. There will come a time when I cannot easily (or happily) do more extreme forms of exercise – and I’ll be on the barre. Heck, I may be on there sooner v. later.

  • Portia says:

    This post was so good. On International Women’s Day. You are a business owner, home owner, traveller, writer, friend, inspiration and person of fragrant intent.
    Why can’t you add some self defence that is also strength, centre, speed and reflex training?
    They can never take away your woman card.
    Go hell for leather my love. Enjoy every minute.
    Portia xx

  • Janet in California says:

    I love the visual of you doing Krav Maga while wearing Kilian’s Love don’t be shy. You are a strong ass woman and that is my ideal type of feminine!
    As for dogs, I am a lab person. They sound big and tough and would defend me as needed but are giant lap dogs on the inside.
    I am counting the days (months really) until my dahlias are blooming again.

    • Musette says:

      Labs can be pretty tough. I love them. I try not to be so berserker but as it happens, it always seems to happen when I am dressed to the nines and wearing some foofy perfume. I once pulled a cabbie through his (open) window, dressed in a pale lilac suit and bone kid stilettos. In front of the Schubert Theatre. At a matinee.
      It was surreal.


  • Pam says:

    I love the clear winter nights for seeing the stars. And no, combat training etc is not unfeminine. Women can be warriors! I believe I am one, but am physically past the age to train. Yeah, yeah some of you still can. But my arthritic frame can’t handle it.
    As to dogs, mine is large but not the guard type. A hunter.

    • Musette says:

      I’m old as dirt so I do a much more fluid and modified exercise. I am NOT about getting thrown down because Old.
      And Old Women are terrifying. I love us.


  • Tara C says:

    I loooove super dark places in the back of beyond where I can see a million stars at night. Some day I will live in one of those places. The first time I experienced it was at 16 in an empty field out in rural Ireland and it marked me for life.

    As for martial arts, I did Aikido for several years but eventually gave it up as I wasn’t sure how long my old bones could take the twisting and being thrown vigorously to the floor. I switched to yoga.

    Finally with dogs, I like the small fluffy kind who live for pets and cuddles. They reflect who I am: a spoiled princess. 🙂 LOL.

    • Musette says:

      I don’t think anyone realizes how magnificent the night sky is until they experience it. Breathtaking.
      I have unintentionally ruined several small dogs. I end up ‘training’ them, by accident – and it freaks their owners out. I’m currently working with a young Great Dane whose people can’t manage within the pack – that’s more to my speed, working with a larger dog – but all dogs, even damaged dogs, want to be part of a pack so they will work with a pack leader.