Archive for February, 2010

I LOVE perfume. From the early days of my youth when I wore (along with everyone else in the world) Love’s Baby Soft,

and later, Electric Youth,

an adoration for beautiful perfumes was born. To this day, one of my creeds remains this – I can be faithful to one man, but one perfume? Never!

These days, I have about five that are current favorites…

Femme by Hugo Boss (my new favorite for spring….)

Omnia Crystalline by Bvlgari (I could drink this right out of the bottle!)

Max Mara (which is a bit heavier and works wonderfully in winter)

and Guess by Marciano (another lovely one for winter, but too heavy for summer)

Tonight, I found another one that I loved, light and airy, that I may have to look for at TJ Maxx for summer:

Light Blue by Dolce and Gabbana

 My perfume history includes Safari by Ralph Lauren (the first really nice perfume I ever bought – in my late teens), Oui by Lancome (for my wedding),  Pure by Alfred Sung (in the early part of my marriage), Portfolio by Perry Ellis, SOo de La Renta by Oscar de la Renta (a present from Jonathan during our courtship), Cool Water (worn through my courtship with Jonathan and still his favorite to this day) and Echo by Davidoff (bought for my sister for her wedding – I loved it so much I had to have some), Pleasures by Estee Lauder, and Miracle by Lancome. Many of these I continue to wear, although when it comes to purchases and gifts, I usually try something new. I used to really like the idea of a signature scent – something people would smell and associate with me, but there were just too many lovely perfumes! Hence, the idea of perfume wardrobing – wearing perfumes to match my moods, the seasons, even my clothes…(I wear pink pefumes with pink clothes, blue ones with blue, you get the idea…I know, I take this to new heights of craziness…) Maybe that’s why I love the Omnia so much – it goes with everything!

There are, of course,  perfumes that I cannot abide.. and  I’m not a perfume floozy. While I won’t name them here, many of them don’t work well with my body chemistry. Some give me headaches. Some are just plain stinky. There are a couple that I associate with certain people, and now I dislike the perfume (Red Door is a prime example of a perfume that was ruined by a person back about 15 years ago..) Truth is, I only wear a perfume if I really love it. How do you feel about perfume? If its been a while since you tried something new, go to TJ Maxx (my favorite place for a great deal on perfume) and pick one out…







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I must confess that I am a social drinker. No, nothing alcoholic…just coffee! Somehow, coffee has become associated with good memories and good friends. In my late teens, it meant a visit with my Aunt on a Saturday afternoon. Now, it means time with best friends, relaxing with my husband, vacations….things like that. I don’t have Starbucks every day – even if I could, I don’t think I’d want to….. because I love for it to be a treat. I did spend some time studying at Starbucks while I was in nursing school, and the atmosphere and wonderful aromas made an unpleasant task much more bearable. I have to drink a little coffee at work these days – one cup between 11 pm and 2 am keeps me awake until shift change at 7. I look forward to it every night, and  I think it’s just because of all the wonderful memories associated with coffee. Our sense of smell is our most potent, and coffee packs a punch for me! I have very dear friends who are tea drinkers, and I drink a LOT of hot tea. Tea has gotten me through some very rough times, and I’ve drunk teas with names like “Tension Tamer” and “Sleepytime.” Tea is a drink that I need. Coffee is mostly frivolous.  If I’m missing a friend, I can brew a pot of coffee and give her a call…it’s almost like having her right there. If I’m having a rough day, just drinking a cup of coffee with all its wonderful associations, reminds me that there will be better times just around the corner….

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The Daily Grind


Sometimes, despite your best efforts, homeschooling is hard. Sometimes we just have bad days. It started with correcting Kate’s math. We have been working on multiple digit multiplication for several weeks, and she still continues to get many wrong. Not because she doesn’t know how to do the problems, but because she is not careful. She doesn’t line things up carefully, she doesn’t add carefully – in fact, they were mostly what I used to refer to in myself as “stupid mistakes”. Of course, I never used this term with her…although I had to talk to her about being careful. Then I looked at all her problems with area and perimeter. All her answers for area and perimeter are the same, and I knew I had at least a small problem. This is frustrating because I very carefully explained to her how to do the problems the other day. But the problem is that she doesn’t care. I can’t figure out how to make her care.

So, she was working on her math at the dining room table. I was sitting beside her, checking her work as she went, keeping her accountable. Alexander needed to work on his reading. We’ve been using “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” which is a wonderful resource with an optimistic title. The lessons are not difficult, but he hates reading the story – perhaps because it’s five to seven lines long and he knows it’s going to take a few minutes to read it all. He was  sitting on my knee, and while I was listening to him painstakingly sound out words, I was dealing with math issues with Kate on the side (being a homeschooling mom who works full time nights, our school days begin at unorthodox times of the day, and time is greatly of the essence).   Kate’s attitude was less than pleasant, shall we say, although it was more frustration at having to re-do her math than true rebellion. Then Alexander elbowed me in the face – mostly due to proximity, and partly due to wigglyness. 

 And then I had one of those “Why on earth am I doing this and why is laundry sounding better all the time?” moments….

But we pressed on. Recognizing that everyone was losing their patience, we stopped and prayed a minute. Nothing majorly spiritual, just asking for a bit of help to get over a hump, and to change the atmosphere a little.  We tried  to finish the tasks at hand, and then we took a little break. This is often hard for me to do as I feel the time crunch, but I’m learning that few minutes of productive schooling is a lot better than an hour when everyone’s frustrated.

At that point, things changed. No, the math was no easier, and the words did not miraculously reveal themselves to Alexander. But we all felt that we were better prepared to face the tasks that we had before us….and the day turned out much better than it started.

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So, Kate and I were doing her history lesson the other day, learning about Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. “Who on earth?” you wonder….well, Shah Jahan (who titled himself “King of the World”) built the Taj Mahal to the memory of his dearly departed Mumtaz Mahal. They were married when she was 21. She bore him 14 children, and travelled with him everywhere he went, acting as his political advisor as well as his beloved.  So far, so good. Very romantic.

Then she died in childbirth, bringing child # 14 into the world. She was 39.

Shah Jahan about lost his mind. He pretty much locked himself in his room for two years. Cried his eyes out – literally – he had to wear glasses for the rest of his life because of the damage done. There were no celebrations, no parties, no good food, no gorgeous clothes for two years. His hair turned completely white. Then he decided to build the Taj Mahal. Unfortunately, he became so engrossed in its construction (which took 20 years) that he failed to see the growing bitterness between his four sons, which led to their destruction and his later imprisonment. By today’s standards, his grief would have been considered dysfunctional. What do you think? What do you think Mumtaz Mahal would have thought of it? If she was half the woman she’s been made out to be, I think she would have wanted him to dry his eyes, see to the well-being of the living children, and to the running of the country that she had encouraged in life. As a wife and mother (and Honey, if you read this, listen up!),  I really believe that I would feel more proud of my husband for finding a way to keep on going, for his sake and the sake of the children. I know I am loved as much as Mumtaz Mahal. I know that were anything to happen to me (God forbid), Jonathan would be beyond devastated….but I would rather he kept on going instead of ruining his life in the process of  monumentalizing mine.

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