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I made a point of watching this show last week as I’d seen it mentioned in TV Week. Jeffry Donovan and Sharon Gless star in it.

The basic premise is this: a forcibly retired CIA operative needs to find a new livelihood and try to figure out why he got the Burn Notice.

College Girl and her friend, as well as her other friends who happened to watch it also, all liked it. We’ll check it out tonight too.

It had humor as well as sleuthing, plus a sidekick friend, and an ex-lover, played by Gabrielle Anwar, who is herself an operative (?). At any rate, she knows how to protect herself.

Have you seen it? Last week’s opening show ran commercial free, which means tonight’s will probably be all commercials.
Karin

Today I’m going to write about two of SSS’s newer scents: Opal and Femme Jolie. As I’ve mentioned before, her descriptions are accurate, so if you know you like the notes and the description, give them a try!

I was drawn to Opal because it is my birthstone. I was intrigued enough to try a sample, even though generally I do not care for musk. I ended up buying a full bottle because it is different than anything else I own, and I think I could layer it to create interest with other fragrances, though I haven’t tried that yet.

If I were to liken this to an opal, I would say it is mostly opaque white, but in the right light it has small flashes of color. Over all it is sweet and powdery, but not too sweet and not too powdery. It is likely the skin musk and mandarin that cuts the sweetness. The other notes serve to soften the over all effect. They are not divisible from the whole.

I wondered if this might be similar to Femme because of the peach. It has some reminiscences, but it is wearable for me, whereas Femme is not one of my better fragrances.

At first scent, it is spicy and woodsy. It reminds me of something, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. As it enters into the drydown, the spiciness softens but is still there, and the woodsiness and fruits take over. Again, it is different than anything I own and would be FBW.

Her pricing is reasonable, but that doesn’t speak to the worth of her line. I wish all lines were as accessible in price: oil sample $2.75 edp sample $2.75 1/6 oz oil $18.00 1/2 oz edp $25.00 1 oz edp $39.00. Email her at info@sonomascentstudio.com. Visit her website for more fragrances.

Have you tried any from SSS? Which are your favorites?

What are you wearing today?

Karin

I’ve been fortunate to try several of Laurie’s newer scents. Bois Épicés and Bois Épicés Légère are two of my favorites. Of course, I knew they would be, as I like her fragrances very much and these have notes that I generally like on me.

What I particularly like, outside of Laurie’s service, is that none of her fragrances smell artificial or have that plastic scent that is off-putting to me. All that I’ve tried are as she describes them.

It’s very simple: if you like her description and the notes are what you can wear, you will love the fragrance.

The over all feeling to me of Bois Épicés is warmth. I even get a tiny bit of sweet patchouli notes when I wear it, though it is not listed as one of the notes. It is definitely woodsy in a good way.

Though I agree that it has a warm feel, it is a fragrance that could be worn in summer, as I am wearing it today. (It’s about 94 degrees here today.) I find the woods refreshing and cooling, as a forest would be, which is no surprise given my feelings about trees. I like green fragrances, but this is not green woods, this is a hint of autumn, without any smoke, because it is warmed by the spices.

This is a walk in the woods, sunlight filtering through the changing leaves, while wearing spices. I have yet to go wrong, on me, with spices.

Bois Épicés Légère is equally strong (I mean this in a good way — why wear a fragrance if you can’t smell it?) but it is less warm. The mandarin comes through brighter. I couldn’t tell you which one I like better. I like them both. It’s possible I might use one as a daytime scent, then layer it with the other for evening. And then the next day reverse the order.

Now that they’ve been on for a few hours, one on each wrist, the BEL is sweeter than the BE. BEL still has hints of mandarin, which is interesting, considering that mandarin is usually fleeting.

If you like woods in a fragrance, you can’t go wrong with either of these. If you’ve read my blog, at least the perfume portions, you know I like orange fragrances (but not so much orange blossom). These two combine the best of both worlds, to me.

I have to be careful with musks. Sometimes, on me (and to me on other people), musks can be scrubbers. I often wonder why someone wouldn’t notice that on themselves. But Laurie’s musks are not dominant, and the type(s) of musk she uses add to the fragrance, they do not detract.

Her fragrances are so well blended that the notes combine to be something more than they are on their own, so while you can pick out the notes if you know they are there, they aren’t so distinct that they feel staccato. And both of these fragrances have movement to them, something that I like. If a fragrance stays the same from top to bottom, it isn’t as interesting to me. When a fragrance moves, it holds my attention and keeps me aware of it. Each portion of the drydown of these works to give me new energy in a languid sort of way.

Her pricing is lovely: oil sample $2.75 edp sample $2.75 1/6 oz oil $18.00 1/2 oz edp $25.00 1 oz edp $39.00. Email her at info@sonomascentstudio.com. Visit her website for more fragrances. I will write about others tomorrow.

What kind of scents do you prefer and what are you wearing today? Have you worn any of SSS?

Karin

One of my favorite Bible verses is:

Isaiah 65:24 is sometimes called God’s phone number.

I’ve had a number (no pun) of occasions when what I needed arrived at the exact moment I needed it, sometimes even before I knew I even had a need. I always think of this verse during those times.

I’ve received phone calls just as I was needing support. I had a house guest who is a RN visit during a time in which a family member needed his services. Once we ran out of gas, in a new car in which the gas gage was not working properly, but someone stopped to help us quickly. They only asked that we pass it along. This was long before the concept of Pay it Forward.

How about you? Have you had occasions like this?

Karin

I think respite care begins with ourselves. We have to know (or seek to know) what we need, then take some steps, even baby steps, to find space in our lives for respite. We need to ask and let others know, if we need it.

Respite care is talked about in the adoption community, for some children have needs (or problems) greater than one or two parents could fulfill or even handle. It can be very tricky finding any kind of care, and it sometimes involves residential care for the child/teen.

Respite care is likely also talked about in other communities of folks dealing with specific health issues or other.

Of course, there are other kinds of caregiving and caregivers, but the bulk of caregiving still falls on a woman’s shoulders, whether she is caring for her or her spouse’s parents, for a child, a house, or for her husband.

The need to call 911 can be life defining whether it involves something as ’simple’ as lift support or as complex as emergency care or transport.

A friend writes:

I’m currently reading Inner Peace for Busy Women by Joan Borysenko. I’m a little put off by the cutsy green ink, but I like what she writes about, and it is another book that I will own.

I was surprised to find a chapter on caregiving. Again, I borrowed this book from the library, as I’m reading several of her books having just ‘found’ her as an author.

She writes:

I think especially this phrase stood out to me: warm embrace of one another. I suspect many of our homeless have been left to fend for themselves now that they have been de-institutionalized, but there wasn’t another embrace for them, nor a way to be sure they were sound enough to care for themselves wisely.

Contrast the scene in the Indian village with a trip my then 11 year old daughter and I took to Paris about 10 years ago. We were surprised to find in the heat of summer, in a new hotel, there was no air conditioning. Our first room was in the back among sheltering trees and whether it was hot or not, the trees made the heat bearable. Through the night there was a woman who yelled continually, but there was no traffic noise. It was impossible to sleep. At some point, a man yelled out the French equivalent of SHUT UP! The next day we moved to the front of the hotel, no trees, with tremendous road noise right up until about 3 am when it quieted down until about 5 am, and not a breath of air, but the sounds of the traffic muffled any noises she was making. I saw her on the street at one point later in the day. I think I prayed for her just about the whole night.

We could learn a lot from societies such as India. How many of us would long for a banyan tree, for the warm embrace of another to help us get through?

Take the time to figure out, if you can, what would nurture you, if you are care giving. Often it comes in unexpected ways, if we are open to it.

Karin

Laurie Erickson of Sonoma Scent Studio is a very talented perfumer. Additionally, she offers fast service (the exception has only been when she was working on her line and had disabled her website) and lovely products.

I heard about her first at POL, and I’ve purchased from her ever since. She ships very fast and you practically have it before you get off the phone/email.

Currently she is redoing her scent line, but if you have a favorite of hers from the past, it is possible that she can make it up for you if she still has the ingredients. At times she has disabled her shopping carts, but all you need to do is email her: info@sonomascentstudio.com and she will get it right out to you.

Also she is generous with her samples. If you purchase from her, you will receive samples of other scents. That is a help in knowing if something fits you or not.

I asked her how she got started making her own fragrances:

And I asked her to comment on why she has changed the number of scents she offers, if it had to do with the ingredients now allowed or disallowed in fragrances:

Over the next couple of days I will include fragrance reviews of some of her new fragrances that I have sampled. I find they are long lasting on me (I buy the edp, not the oils, so I can’t speak for the oils. I have yet to try any of her lotions. I’m a SSS edp kind of gal.)

Let me know if you’ve tried any of her lotions and if you prefer the oils over the edp sprays.

More will follow over the next couple of days. Stay tuned.

Karin

Here’s a story from the world’s oldest blogger, of how she was bullied and how she solved it.

Olive is 107 and as feisty as my grandmother was. I think I’d like her! What a gal! (I miss my grandma!)

I was once told by my older daughter’s school that bullying is just a natural part of junior high and high school. I think not! was basically what I said.

Now, of course, they take a no-bullying stance, but it was sure a long time coming. And I’m not sure they can solve what takes place after school.

Have you ever been bullied? how did you solve it? (Me, I left quickly the place where I should not have been alone. I never told my mother either!)

Karin

To read the entire message, go here.

Karin

I always liked this song from Claudine Longet.

Karin

I happen to like clouds, how about you?

As a child, I would lay in the grass face up looking at clouds and find pictures in them. Today, I’m more apt to just appreciate them as I drive along.

I like a cloudy day as it cuts the heat by 10 degrees, and it’s rare to have a day that is entirely cloudy. In Michigan, it would be cloudy for days, so we welcomed the sun. Now that I don’t sit out in the sun, the clouds are just fine by me.

I had a friend call about a week ago and ask me if it being overcast bothered me. Nope, I like it. (It was bothering her.) (We’ve needed rain, and it is such a blessing to have it.)

I know I’ve said before that I like storms. I don’t even mind hurricanes so much except for the aftermath with no electricity. (Obviously I take that back for the huge storms that cause loss of life or homes.) (And I don’t like wind swept fire, as a result of lightening strikes on dry flora.)

One of my children was very afraid of storms, the thunder especially. I doubt she’d ever been outside her orphanage until I adopted her. I don’t know what kind of storms they had there, if many, but her sense of hearing was acute, so she noticed all the sounds that we know to filter out, because she had never heard them before. Once in a while, even today, she’ll say, what is that sound, or look startled, and I’ll say, that’s the refrigerator, for example.

We would sit on either our front porch or our back porch, where I would rock her and we would watch the rain. I’d make a game of it so she knew I liked the storm and that it would hurt us.

Today, there was a line of black clouds lying low. At mid point there were some fluffs of white. Peaking at 12 o’clock was a tiny sliver of blue. It’s never rained, so far, but it sprinkled.

One time I saw a striking line of clouds, like a V pointed to the earth, but not a tornado.

If you’ve ever been around tornadoes (thanks to Michigan I have) you know there is a peculiar color to the clouds when one is near. One time I was struck by it here, and I said, there’s a tornado close by. Sure enough, there was. But I’m glad we don’t have as many as we had in Michigan. There we had a basement; here, we do not.

And one time I saw a fist above the road. It kind of went along with the news that day, which was interesting. I wasn’t looking for it, but you couldn’t miss it.

I can’t say I appreciate the darker clouds of life, when used in a metaphorical sense, but I do appreciate them in the sky.

Karin

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