What is the Perfume Project?

This blog is a constantly evolving forum for thoughts on perfume, perfume-making, plants (especially orchids and flora of the Pacific Northwest) and life in general. It started out chronicling the adventures of Olympic Orchids Perfumes, established in July 2010, and has expanded in other directions. A big part of the blog is thinking about the ongoing process of learning and experimentation that leads to new perfumes, the exploration of perfumery materials, the theory and practice of perfume making, the challenges of marketing perfumes and other fragrance products, and random observations on philosophy and society. Spam comments will be marked as such and deleted; any comments that go beyond the boundaries of civil discourse will also be deleted. I am grateful to all of you, the readers, who contribute to the blog by commenting and making this a truly interactive perfume project.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

WHY CAN WE NEVER CATCH UP? (AND A PERFUME GIVEAWAY)

Saturday a week ago  was commencement at the university – the usual herding of students, threat of rain alternating with sunshine (both prompting umbrellas to be hauled out), thousands (or millions?) of dendrobium flowers sacrificed for leis, the usual speeches complete with exhortations to conserve resources, and after it all, mounds of plastic trash littering the stadium. 

I was ecstatically happy to have another academic year over with, looking forward to getting caught up on deferred tasks related to orchid husbandry and perfume-making, but the following Monday the friend/contractor who is rebuilding the whole back deck area and floor and support structure for the warm grow area showed up to start demolition. We have been helping with the project, so spent most of last week removing rotted decking, replacing some bad joists, and replacing the surface of the deck. It’s finished, and it’s beautiful. 

This past week the really nasty job started. The back of the house has a semi-attached solarium that we use to grow Phalaenopsis and other warm-loving orchids, and that also serves as a work room and family gathering room. Last winter someone’s foot almost went through the floor, and at that time we discovered that the entire wooden structure under the tile was nearly destroyed by rot. We did an emergency fix and scheduled the real repair at that time, but it was a shock to actually have June roll around and to have to evacuate the plants and other items from the space so that it could happen. To my relief, it was not the plants that had caused the rot, but rather leaks in the outside flashing that allowed rain water to seep between the untreated wood base and the tile. 

The first bit of tear-out revealed that the entire structure had become a giant ant colony, so as a biologist, I was the only one other than the contractor who could deal with mass quantities of insects. I was told that I moved 1000 pounds of debris from the demolition site to the truck that would take it to the dump (they weigh material to be dumped). The flooring has all been replaced correctly, and the tile goes in tomorrow. The poor plants have been scattered outdoors where they’re getting too much light, and indoors where they get none. I expect to lose some – that’s just life. But at least we do not have ants any more. 

It seems that there’s always some crisis begging for our attention, so we can never get caught up on the things we want to do. I’m still plugging away on clearing out things that get in my way, giving away another batch of 100g of excess perfume samples, so please leave a comment on how you catch up on daily life and find time to do fun things and be entered in the drawing.

The winner will be posted at the end of next week. 

[Dendrobium photo from a retailer's website, deck corner and wood damage photos are mine, ant photos are from Wikimedia, but show ants that are half red and half black like the ones we had] 

13 comments:

  1. OMG! You tackled a huge project. So glad you're making progress. Me? Catch up? That'll never happen. I thank God, every night, for what I was still able to accomplish throughout the day. Peace and quiet is all the "fun" I need. LOL!












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    1. Mary, progress is great. Everything is rebuilt and the tile is going in today. Then it's just finishing. There's something to be said for being thankful for what we can accomplish during the day even if we're never caught up. You're in the drawing.

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  2. That is a big project. When I first saw the damage I thought it was termites. Those buggers are everywhere here in Florida. Hope the demolition and re-installation goes as smooth as possible. How do I get caught up? Sometimes I don't. But small things like cleaning the dishes in the sink the next morning instead of that night, blogging on the weekend and publishing throughout the week, and then using the "extra" time to hang with my girls and husband or take an evening walk. <3

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    1. Julie, it was like termites, but not termites. Definitely ants. You're right that not obsessing about getting everything done helps a lot. You're in the drawing.

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  3. You tackled all of this and I still got my order, that's fantastic! I like to utilize scent and aromatherapy when I'm so busy that I can't take a time out. Really boosts confidence and grounds me.

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    1. Jolene, we're still getting orders, filling them is the challenge! You're right that enjoying scent is a good "time out" and way to relax. You're in the drawing.

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  4. That is a big job! I’ve started projects before that I thought would be difficult, but manageable and got that sinking feeling as I began to realize the extent of the problem. I’m an organized person, so I like to make lists and set small goals for myself. Delegation helps a lot.

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  5. Anne, delegation is key! You are in the drawing.

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  6. An interesting question. A few years ago I just didn’t seem to get enough done in a given day. I thought I had a time management problem so I started to keep notes of things done and for how long and it certainly has allowed me to fine-tune and focus myself.

    I do set aside an hour a day for hard cover book reading and once, every two weeks, I give myself a completely unscheduled free day to do whatever grabs my interest; be it walking though an overgrown park, taking a boat ride, or consignment store shopping. It is a good way to clear the mind and recharge.

    Congrats on the new deck.

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    1. Martin, I like your system! I always do a lot of book reading, and this summer am making time to go out and run a little every day, even if it's just 20-30 minutes. Getting outside is absolutely necessary. You're in the drawing.

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  7. We had to have a structure removed on our property a few years ago and hired a local handyman. About 15 minutes into the job, he informed us we "had a big problem" which turned out to be an infestation of fire ants. Our one day demolition turned into a one week clean up. More expensive than we bargained for and no fun for the workers! I definitely need some alone time to catch up on things and collect my thoughts. There's always that unexpected crisis that throws a monkey wrench into your plans.

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    1. Triniti, the fire ants sound terrible. It seems like no matter what you do there's always some unforeseen problem. You're in the drawing.

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