Thursday, March 8, 2012

Things I Love Thursday: Perfume

Ok, so I promised I would do better about posting to the blog. Problem is, even though I talk constantly with my Facebook friends, I get here and I can't think of anything interesting to say! Of course, it's entirely possible I don't say anything interesting on Facebook either! But I thought perhaps I'd start off with something fun. Perfume.

I love perfume. I think every woman ought to have a signature scent. I smell Emeraude and I think of my grandmother. White Linen smells like my mom. My best friend is Chanel No5. I spent much of my 20s looking for that perfect scent that said "me". If I found something I liked, they often discontinued it. Sometimes a scent that smelled wonderful on someone else, like Clinique's Happy, didn't smell as great on my own skin. And sometimes I fell in love with a fragrance and my boyfriend hated it... which sort of defeats the purpose, doesn't it? He and I went round and round about perfume for several years. Either I loved it and he didn't, or he loved it and I didn't. Victoria's Secret used to make a pear scent that one of my co-workers came in wearing one day. I thought it was wonderful and spent a good portion of my paycheck that week on Pear Glace perfume, lotion and soap, only to find that he couldn't stand the smell of it! (My co-worker's boyfriend had the same reaction to it, by the way... go figure!) Finally, I said, "It's Christmas. Go to Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works and pick out something YOU like the smell of. Anything but Happy Daisy. That smells like a funeral." Naturally, when he got there all he could remember was Happy Daisy and I got-- I kid you not-- a bucket-load of that as my Christmas present!

I had about given up on finding my own signature scent when I wandered into a little shop that sold handmade soaps and perfume oils. I always thought that perfume oils were used to make a fragrance and I had no idea that you could actually use them directly on your skin as perfume! I picked a lovely honeysuckle (always one of my favorite scents) and the lady showed me how to fill the roll-on bottle (like a lip gloss) and use it on your pulse points. A little bit goes a long way with perfume oil.

Honeysuckle, one of my favorite parts of spring on the farm.

My boyfriend loved it (finally! success!) and I got many compliments on it. I remember being in an auto parts store one afternoon and a man actually calling his wife over to smell me! That was a hoot and sent me right back to the store to buy an enormous bottle of this wonderful honeysuckle-- a wise move, since shortly thereafter the store went out of business and I have no idea who the manufacturer of my signature scent is! You don't have to use a lot when you use perfume oil, so that large bottle has lasted for years. I'm still on the hunt for a honeysuckle oil that compares and several years ago I started adding 1/3 sweet pea oil to the mix, partly to prolong my precious reserve of honeysuckle and partly to honor the passing of one of my favorite cows, Sweet Pea.

The scent from perfume oils lasts longer than spray perfume, it's far less expensive and one ounce can last you for years... but the best part is that you can play around and mix your own scent! I love the fact that no one in the world smells like me. I get the sweet pea for my mixture from Aroma Haven. They have hundreds of scents available and you can spend hours searching through their list! They used to sell the roll-on bottles, but for some reason they stopped carrying them. You can find them many places, though, including Amazon. I love the roll-on bottles because they're easy to use, you don't spray everyone when you put your perfume on, and they're small enough to slip in your pocket.

So, ladies and gentlemen, do you have a signature scent?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Where's Cin Craven?

Hello Everyone!

For those of you who don't follow me on Facebook, last September my 16-year-old Jack Russell, Piglet, fell ill. She was diagnosed with renal failure and I firmly believe she also experienced a series of small strokes.

I don't think she really felt bad most of the time, but she lost the instinct to lick and had to have her food and water given to her via syringe. Needless to say, taking care of her was the only thing I did and the only thing on my mind for three solid months. I couldn't concentrate on anything else. I lost her the day before Christmas Eve. She was the sweetest, most wonderful and generous dog I've ever had the privilege to know and I miss her like crazy. I had had her since she was 6-weeks-old and she was the mother to my other three Jack Russells. Her loss has left a very big hole in all our lives.

Add to that my debilitating writer's block and I'll be honest with you all, I have mentally composed a letter to my readers over the last several months saying that whatever talent I once possessed was just gone.

And then I was driving along last Saturday night, headed to Olive Garden for a dinner with my best friend to celebrate Singles Awareness Day (aka Valentine's Day), minding my own business, when I suddenly had An Idea. That Idea has percolated in my head this week into a full-blown story for book four! You have no idea how nice it is to finally have them running around in my head again. It's been kind of a shock and a little bit overwhelming!

I always basically knew what I wanted to accomplish with the next book, I just didn't have an actual plot. I had a whole lot of blank white screen, though, and absolutely nothing flowing to fill it up! At the moment I'm trying to figure out how all these new ideas fit in with the rest of the series and how I want everything to end up. I will never be a chess player because I can't think several moves ahead (in writing, or in life) but I've gotten far enough into this series that I have to stop and do that now. I don't want to get to book six and think, "Oh, crap, I shouldn't have done that in book four." Or worse, "I should have done that in book four and I didn't." But we finally have a story and the muse is talking to me! I just have to find the time to write now. Winter is a very hard time to do that with my farm chores. I'm at the barn taking care of my animals a good portion of the daylight hours and by the time the sun sets, I'm exhausted. My fingers are itching to get into this story, though, so hopefully I'll have some good news for you all soon!

As always, the best way to keep up with me is on Facebook. I'm going to try to do better about posting to the blog, but I am on Facebook every day. It's sort of my lifeline to the outside world and we have a lot of fun there.

Thank you so much to each and every one of you for your support and encouragement. You really do keep me going when I want to give up!!

Best wishes to us all for an early spring,
Jenna