Thank You !

I recently thought about one of the first lessons I had as a ballet student–a lesson on falling. The idea is that the fall will be inevitable and that without falling, you will never learn to dance. Even when the solid earth vanishes from under your satin clad toes and you find yourself falling, you should retain your center of gravity.

So, thank you for being my center of gravity. I was so touched by all of your incredibly moving and supportive comments and emails in response to my Perfumed Comfort post. I read and re-read your comments, made lists of your various suggestions and before I knew it, I felt less disoriented. Many of you have been following my adventures and perfume explorations since the inception of Bois de Jasmin seven years ago; some of you have discovered me fairly recently, but all of you are the reason I enjoy writing and sharing on these pages.  I guess I’m feeling a bit too emotional right now to write a coherent Saturday post, so I will just say again, a big thank you to all of you!

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, a towering pile of fragrant peonies at the market–for you!



  • Christine Funt: I recently found your blog and look forward to reading it each day. I enjoy the images and the info on perfumes. I’m learning a lot. And I’m going to make your chicken meatballs this weekend. July 21, 2012 at 9:20am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you so much, Christine! Please let me know how the chicken kebabs turn out. Hope that you enjoy them. July 21, 2012 at 1:28pm Reply

  • Alyssa: Hooray! I’m glad the post and comments helped and that you are finding some comfort in your days. Your lovely note about learning to dance makes me think of the Rogers and Astaire movie where Astaire pretends to need a dance lesson from Rogers and they end up on the floor and then sing, “Pick yourself up/Dust yourself off/Start all over again.” July 21, 2012 at 9:26am Reply

    • Annie: Alyssa, what a great book! I hope Victoria has a copy as that will refresh her as well. Honestly, I haven’t had more pleasure from between two covers since . . . But truly, thank you for that offering. July 21, 2012 at 10:17am Reply

      • Alyssa: Thanks so much, Annie, I’m glad you enjoyed it! July 22, 2012 at 10:03pm Reply

      • Victoria: I do! And I agree with you, Annie! 🙂 July 24, 2012 at 4:03am Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, how much I love their duo. They’re simply perfect, an ideal dancing match.

      By the way, I was once shopping for shoes at the Saks5thAvenue store in NYC and complained that my arches are too high and as a result, it’s very hard for me to find comfortable shoes. The elderly sales associate remarked that it’s a common complaint that he hears from dancers. Then he mentioned that he used to sell shoes to Ms. Rogers and that she was the loveliest, sweetest customer he had. Saks would do a special insert for her shoes to support her arches. July 21, 2012 at 1:31pm Reply

      • Alyssa: What a fantastic, quintessentially New York story! I keep a photo of Astaire and Rogers on my laptop just touching down from a big leap for inspiration. July 22, 2012 at 10:05pm Reply

    • annemariec: Coincidence – I took my 9yo daughter to see that movie (Swing Time) on the big screen just last week. We both loved it. That scene is so charming. July 21, 2012 at 6:02pm Reply

  • marsha: I’m very happy the post and comments helped too. But you are a really intelligent woman, so you will turn around and make this another wonderful experience in what, I’m sure, has been an extremely interesting life. (It sure sounds like it has been up to this point!) July 21, 2012 at 9:49am Reply

    • Victoria: Marsha, thank you so much. I’ll try to make the best of it, even of my current “lost and bewildered” state! 🙂 July 21, 2012 at 3:44pm Reply

  • Pierre: Thank you Victoria, I loved your post & the comments as always… (you once helped me source AG Eau de Monieur!). I hesitated this week to tell you about 2 comfort scent I’ve been dearly missing for years until my brother brought them on his visit to Montréal this month: Cypress Rigaud candle (they invented ambiance bougies in 1852). I also got a bottle of EDT Bonpoint (created by Annick Goutal in the 80’s for her sister’s children clothing boutique). These fine scents are no longer available in Canada, but they exist in Bruxelles where coïncidentally my brother lives… and I have yet to visit him there… (you almost make me want to go!) Take Care! July 21, 2012 at 10:05am Reply

    • Victoria: Pierre, you should definitely visit! There are lots of wonderful things to discover in Brussels, and I’m sure that you will enjoy it.

      I haven’t tried Bonpoint EDT, but since I love AG line overall, I really need to give it a try. Thank you for mentioning it. July 21, 2012 at 3:58pm Reply

  • Zazie: Thank you for the daily inspiration, the beautiful reviews, and all the interesting information and mouthwatering recipes!
    I’m sure you’ll find your way in your new country and that you’ll feel at home soon! Just let time do the work for you!
    And if you miss sunshine and heat, the mediterraneo is just a couple of hours flight away!!
    Hugs, Z. July 21, 2012 at 10:19am Reply

    • Zazie: Oh, and I love those peonies!
      My colleauge brought me a small variety that had the most wonderful citrus-rosy smell, and such a vivid fucsia color!
      I was surprised because I thought peonies smelled like faint, watered down roses.
      Anyway, I love the flower. July 21, 2012 at 10:22am Reply

    • Victoria: So glad that you liked the peonies! When I saw this huge pile at the market, I was mesmerized. The scent was very strong too.

      Thank you very much for your kind words. You can be sure that the moment the paperwork allows me, I will be booking a short trip to your part of the world. 🙂 July 21, 2012 at 4:04pm Reply

  • Brooke: Victoria,
    I don’t post often but have been following you for years. I want to thank you for all the hours of pleasure you have given me, not to mention the information. I have learned so much from you and many of my full bottle purchases started as lemmings after reading your colorful reviews. I look forward to your posts and I await them with anticipation as your writing is so evocative and resonates with me. July 21, 2012 at 10:46am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you so much, Brooke! This means so much to me. July 21, 2012 at 4:24pm Reply

  • Anne Sheffield: Oh Victoria! It more THANK YOU TO YOU! I love reading you, i live your insight on Life, i live your émotions and your humour. Life is full of ups and down, nothing but linear. I hope Bruxelles is softer on you now. And i wish you à fabulous week end. Thank you! Anne July 21, 2012 at 10:53am Reply

    • Anne Sheffield: Well typing my comment on my French IPhone, means that my already disastrous written English has been auto- corrected . So it was meant to say “I love your insight on life, I love your emotions”. Hugs to you all. Anne July 21, 2012 at 12:33pm Reply

      • Victoria: 🙂 Today Bruxelles was sunny and lovely (I might even have gotten a suntan!) You should see the parks here on a sunny day–people start shedding clothes and stretching out on the beach towels. July 21, 2012 at 4:25pm Reply

        • solanace: That’s funny. In Brazil nobody cares much about the sun, it is just too assertive! We are mostly scared of its force, reaching for a shadow. But I once met two girls from Siberia, and man, were they ‘sun worshippers’! I even got a sunburn hanging out with them… July 22, 2012 at 5:52am Reply

          • Victoria: 🙂 One of my Russian teachers told me that when she went to Brazil in the middle of what passed for winter there, she shocked her hosts by walking around very lightly dressed.

            I’m not a sun worshiper at all. I wear sunscreen year around, even inside the house. My skin is far far too sensitive to appreciate the sun. But I enjoy the sunlight. Here, on some days there is no sun at all. And this is summer. I’m already dreading the winter. July 22, 2012 at 6:57am Reply

            • Nikki: You definitely have to prepare for winter, starting November the weather is gray and rainy, and it is quite depressing. Plus the sky seems so low in that area! Find some groups to join and meet in coffeehouses, it is nice and cozy. You will also have a new appreciation for the Dutch early painters depicting small rooms with people and fireplaces! It can be quite cozy with the right mindset, but it is not an easy time. Christmas is fun, but then the months until spring are hard which is why people light candles and bring in forsythias and bulbs of paperwhites and hyacinths. Only because of this long and dark winter, will you be so joyful of the first narcissus…as always, positive and negative in a balance. July 22, 2012 at 12:37pm Reply

              • Victoria: All great suggestions, Nikki! I might have to get creative. I love the idea of scented spring plants at home. Paperwhites have a wonderful, rich scent. July 23, 2012 at 5:01am Reply

  • silverdust: V, I didn’t get a chance to post a response in a timely fashion the other day, but the song “Lovely Day,” by Bill Withers, never fails to get me to adjust my attitude.

    There are two other thought tricks I’d venture to offer for your dilemma.

    1. Imagine you were back in the States, bored and longing for adventure and wishing you were in Europe and how grand and exotic it would be!

    2. When I went away from home for the first time (college), I told myself, “How hard can it be? Thousands and thousands have done it before me and thousands more will do it after me.”

    Hope this helps. July 21, 2012 at 11:03am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for these fun ideas! 🙂

      Lovely Day is such a wonderful song, isn’t it! July 21, 2012 at 4:26pm Reply

  • Apollonia: I have an idea! Let yourself go a little crazy – when you’re all alone, of course, so the hubby doesn’t suspect a thing. Talk to yourself out loud about the nuttiness you see around you as you witness it. You’re great with words anyway, so you’d crack yourself up at the total lunacy of the government offices, for example. And muttering to oneself can be a sign of genius, if you choose to see it that way, can’t it? In any case, you touched my heart this morning with the gorgeous picture of peonies – my favorite! Thank you so much and be well! July 21, 2012 at 11:15am Reply

    • Victoria: You made me laugh out loud. You know, there is something good about not repressing one’s emotions. July 21, 2012 at 4:30pm Reply

      • marsha: Amen to this! July 22, 2012 at 8:24am Reply

  • Nikki: That is exactly what it is all about: falling! That is what I meant when I said, you have to feel Sehnsucht, Saudade, “Nostalgia for what was”, before you really know. One has to leave family, country, before one really knows what home is or was because one can never go home again. Home is a spiritual place, is the center of gravity one takes with wherever one goes. This is why I believe that unhappiness is important in life, there always will be negative and positive, but without one one can’t know the value of the other. No other factor is more relevant than living in a “foreign” country, speaking another language. That is the tipping point, the point of ultimate growth or failure as with the German speaking writers who had to flee the Nazis and came to the USA to lose themselves, many did, some didn’t. i.e. Brecht and Thomas Mann. Living in a different country is the ultimate test and obviously, dear Victoria, you have found not only your center of gravity but an additional inner strength. You go, you did it! July 21, 2012 at 11:22am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s a learning curve, that’s for sure. Some things come easily, others take time. You’re a very wise woman, Nikki. I have a lot to learn from you. July 21, 2012 at 4:33pm Reply

      • Nikki: Hello Victoria! So glad you are getting back on your feet! I have found in my astrological consulting practice that certain aspects in one’s horoscope make one pre-destined for leaving one’s country and becoming an ex-pat AND enjoying it. It is not the same for each and every one of us, but does depend on our inner make-up. Not everybody can or is supposed to uproot, many are destined to stay where they were born and they will die there, achieving good around them right then and there. We are all different which is the spice of life…Carpe Diem, V! July 22, 2012 at 11:03am Reply

        • Victoria: Believe it or not, my mom doesn’t remember what time I was born. At all! Oh well, I guess I will just have to figure out on my own what I’m destined to. 🙂 July 23, 2012 at 5:00am Reply

  • Roberta: Victoria, thank YOU! I am so happy I found your blog. You are such a good writer and your knowledge about perfume is really inspiring. Every week I look forward to reading your articles.
    Have a wonderful, restful weekend!
    And thank you for the sweet post and the lovely picture. Peonies are my favorite. July 21, 2012 at 11:39am Reply

    • Victoria: Have a wonderful weekend, Roberta! Hope that it’s sunny and warm there. And thank you for your sweet words. July 21, 2012 at 4:41pm Reply

  • Anna Minis: I agree completely with Roberta: thank YOU. And if you have these days not enough time to write a post (the Belgian bureaucracy!) please don’t write it! Take your rest and your time, you wrote so many beautiful articles that we can read again. July 21, 2012 at 12:44pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Anna! And I will try not to let Belgian bureaucracy to get the better of me. 🙂 July 21, 2012 at 4:42pm Reply

  • Lucas: I’m happy to be here with you Victoria, to be a small part of Bois de Jasmin.

    You’re my perfume blog guru, I hope one day my blog will be so enthusiastic and well known as Bois de Jasmin is here, and I’m sure there are still many new people to come here July 21, 2012 at 1:01pm Reply

    • Victoria: Gosh, Lucas, that’s so nice of you to say. Of course, your blog will grow and it will be everything you wish it to be. Plus, it’s already full of enthusiasm! July 21, 2012 at 4:44pm Reply

      • Lucas: You’re a great model to follow! And I really can’t wait to meet you one day, hopefully sooner than we’re expecting 🙂 July 22, 2012 at 7:13am Reply

      • Lucas: Yaay! I got a green light to organize my 1st perfume split! It’s so great! A new perfume will join me. And splits mean less perfume and more bottles, lovely! July 22, 2012 at 9:54am Reply

        • Victoria: Great news! Splits are such a great way to make the perfume hobby more affordable. July 23, 2012 at 4:59am Reply

  • Austenfan: I have been keeping track of the comments on your post this past week. Hoping it would cheer you up.

    Wearing La Haie Fleurie today, a lovely airy jasmine; it suited both my mood and the weather. Wasn’t the weather glorious today?
    Enjoy the best of Brussels! July 21, 2012 at 1:07pm Reply

    • Victoria: Ah, yes! And today was the National Day in Belgium. There was a parade and there will some fireworks later tonight. The most unexpected thing is that it didn’t rain at all.

      La Haie Fleurie is gorgeous! I can imagine how beautifully it bloomed in today’s warm air. July 21, 2012 at 4:46pm Reply

  • Terry: Sending good thoughts and wishes for lovely days, V….I thank you for your beautiful writing on a subject so dear to all our hearts! What would life be without gorgeous fragrance to perfume our hearts? Let happy music, good food, wonderful reading and beautiful scent, cheer you through your days and evenings. Hopefully, each day will be easier than the last, until you feel completely at home… July 21, 2012 at 1:31pm Reply

    • Victoria: So true! All of these things make life so much better, so much happier. The best thing is that it doesn’t take much effort to surround yourself with beauty–you can just rub a few drops of perfume on your wrist. July 21, 2012 at 4:48pm Reply

  • Daisy: Even though I have only just recently started following, I have come to look forward to every new post you put up! You spirit, taste and sense of humor is super inspiring and I am so glad that blogging lets you share them with your readers.

    So really, I should be the one thanking you for brightening my day!

    It’s never easy to pack up and pick up you life to re-establish yourself somewhere else. It definitely takes me a while to get acclimated. I remember something a friend told me once about what was the best part about going “home” (a strange concept since it he had lived abroad for years). And he said that best thing was that you are where “everything works.” I could understand that. However, I am confident that everything will “work” in Belgium too.

    The photo of peonies is gorgeous. Peonies are my favorite flower and I would mind doing a graceful ballerina plummet into a pile of them 🙂 July 21, 2012 at 1:38pm Reply

    • Victoria: Daisy, I’m glad that you found BdJ. So much fun to meet more people who share my passions.

      Your friend’s comment is spot on! Things go work here, but when you don’t know how to get them to work, it can so frustrating. Every place has its own quirks, and it takes time to figure out. I’m sure that you’ve experienced this when you moved to France. July 21, 2012 at 4:57pm Reply

  • Undina: Thank you for peonies – they are beautiful.

    Maybe next Saturday you can tell I what interesting, amusing, beautiful, etc. things you came across during the week at your new place of living? July 21, 2012 at 1:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: Peonies are my favorite spring flowers. I think that because of the cool weather their season is longer here.

      I will definitely share more of my discoveries! July 21, 2012 at 4:58pm Reply

  • Cristina: I believe I could say *we* but I’ll take the safe route. *I* am very grateful for your blog. I hope you have a soothing, scented evening. July 21, 2012 at 2:32pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Cristina. Wishing you a nice weekend. July 21, 2012 at 4:59pm Reply

  • Ari: You are so sweet, Victoria. Since starting Scents of Self, I have been nothing short of astonished by how generous and supportive our fellow perfume lovers can be. I’m so glad that we can offer you some encouragement during your time of transition, and can’t wait to hear about all of the fantastic Belgian adventures that I know you will have. July 21, 2012 at 3:21pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s the best part of blogging for me too, Ari.
      And yes, you’re being a wonderful support. July 21, 2012 at 5:22pm Reply

  • Suzanna: The group of friends at Bois de Jasmin, of which I was one before becoming a contributing writer, is lovely. Thanks to everyone for being so supportive of dear V., who has made such a beautiful gathering place for us to share our love of fragrance. July 21, 2012 at 3:49pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m wearing Rose Intense right now–a perfect, quiet rose, just as you’ve described the other day. Not intense at all, but the combination of rose and chamomile is so beautiful. July 21, 2012 at 5:23pm Reply

  • annemariec: What lovely picture. Thank you! I never see flowers like where I live, but I should test out the local markets some more. Your picture reminds me of that film with the chase through the flower market – is it To Catch a Thief? Something like that. Imagine filming it!!

    Glad to hear you are smiling a little. July 21, 2012 at 6:08pm Reply

    • Victoria: This was the first time I’ve seen flowers sold in a big, colorful pile. Usually, they are tied into bouquets. But this was just a riot.

      Oh, I remember that scene. You’re right, it was in To Catch a Thief. When I was in Nice, I went to the Flower Market, but I couldn’t recognize the location. Much later I learned that in order to avoid big crowds, Hitchcock created his own flower market set on the Boulevard Jean Jaures, which runs around the old town. July 22, 2012 at 7:03am Reply

      • annemariec: Oh good, I’ll keep that in mind when I watch it next. Loved the quiche Lorraine scene too. July 22, 2012 at 7:24am Reply

        • Victoria: By the way, here’s a fun article from the Guardian called “Dial F for Food.” It lists various food related scenes in Hitchcock’s movies:

          “Hitchcock, who was the son of a greengrocer, also used food as a means to drive the plot. Witness, they say, how key scenes happen around food: a policeman getting frustrated over an overcooked bird in Frenzy, the family meal in Young and Innocent, the picnic scene in To Catch a Thief or the dinner party at the house of writer Isobel Sedbusk in Suspicion.” July 22, 2012 at 7:37am Reply

  • Natalie: I didn’t see your original post until today, but I’m sending belated good wishes your way, too. I have also been through the experience of moves (and international moves), and while they are different for each person, I can imagine a little of what you’re experiencing. I’m glad you have found some perfumed comfort, and I hope things begin to look up soon. July 21, 2012 at 6:22pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Natalie! I very much appreciate your kind words and your good wishes. The early stages of the transition are the hardest ones, I think. July 22, 2012 at 7:03am Reply

  • Andrea: I’ve been following Bois de Jasmin since 2005. I rarely comment, but this seems an appropriate time to say thank you! You introduced my to my ultimate comfort scent Ambre Narguile, (I believe that first year I found you) it saw me through the last couple of years of an abusive marriage. I still remember trying to sleep on the floor of a relative as I fled 1200 miles with what I could fit in the car and my children, and searching for AN in my bag so I could cuddle up with the reassuring scent. I’ve since remarried, and still enjoy reading your beautiful writing and being inspired to try an occasional scent or recipe. I read the perfumed comfort post, and refrained from commenting as usual, but this post and all the comments on both posts have reminded me how important it is to know you are appreciated! July 21, 2012 at 7:38pm Reply

    • Victoria: Andrea, I’m so touched by your comment and your story. I read your comment this morning, and I kept thinking about your story for the whole day. I appreciate you sharing it with me. I admire your strength, and I wish you and your children lots of happiness and love. July 22, 2012 at 7:12am Reply

  • Naheed: It is such a pleasure to have found you in this perfume world and read your writings, dear Victoria. Whenever I visit your blog and read your post, I am always sure to check back to read your reply, for I know that you reply to every comment heartily. So very glad to meet such a wonderful soul. 🙂 July 21, 2012 at 8:38pm Reply

    • Victoria: Dear Naheed, I enjoy interacting with other perfume lovers here as much as I love writing. Thank you for your kind words. Very happy to have met you as well. July 22, 2012 at 7:15am Reply

  • ariane: Discovering your blog a few years ago was like finding a treasure. I love your insights and information about perfumes and I admire your beautiful writing, but most of all I appreciate your charm and civility and the courtesy of the dialogue you establish with your readers. You have created a precious place, and I hope that the love of your many readers is a comfort as you confront new experiences and tell us about them. July 21, 2012 at 11:08pm Reply

    • Victoria: Ariane, it is! As I discovered, it’s definitely become my oasis, my reminder that my old life wasn’t washed away completely (as it feels at time these days). I appreciate your lovely words very much. Thank you for saying this. July 22, 2012 at 7:16am Reply

  • Ariane: If I listed all the things I have learnt here and been inspired to find(including the film “The Earrings of Mme de…”),the comment would get too long,so I just want to join the others in thanking you for everything!I am in Barcelona,the heat is oppressive at the moment,and I am thinking of a student I had for a year who was from Brussels and who told me,that the weather there made people more creative!Have you seen any interesting performances?The teatre de la Monnaie as an antidote to buraucracy?Best wishes! July 22, 2012 at 4:18am Reply

    • Victoria: A great advice! I haven’t explore that enough yet, mostly because of the time spent doing the paperwork. I usually get very tired by the end of the day to do anything. But I know that it will end at some point, so I will listen to your advice and check the theater schedule.

      Thank you, Ariane! I’m so delighted that I helped you discover “The Earrings of Mme de…” By the way, it was one of the few DVDs that I packed when I came here. My luggage allowance was very limited, but I made space for that film. Might watch it again tonight. July 22, 2012 at 7:34am Reply

  • solanace: Dear V,

    As many said, WE THANK YOU. We all go through our rough patches, but the work you do is like dancing or filming a good movie. You bring art and a bit of sorcery to our lives, and that’s what ultimately makes this world of ours a good place to live. I loved the phrase about Paris lights in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, and that’s how I feel about your writing: in the middle of these particles and fields and brownian motions we Believe, you are a scentend candle, calmly doing your thing to remind us there is beauty. July 22, 2012 at 7:37am Reply

    • Victoria: Trust me, A, if up till now I was able to retain my composure, reading this made me tear up. And thank you for such lovely words. I’m not sure I deserve them, but I try to do my best to make these pages enjoyable for all of us. July 22, 2012 at 7:40am Reply

  • Annunziata: You’re a lovely, erudite woman and I have enjoyed reading your blog for a while now. It’s an oasis of civilization in an often rude and harsh world! I wish you the best as you adjust to life in Brussels… ‘all places that the eye of heaven visits are to a wise man ports and happy havens’. July 22, 2012 at 6:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you so much for your warm words, Annunziata. Also thank you for this quote. Ah, one can read and re-read Shakespeare and never fail to find something new. July 23, 2012 at 5:04am Reply

  • Rose D: These are the loveliest peonies I have seen recently! Usually L´Occitane Pivoine soap is as close as I can get to them 🙁

    Pink is always a joyful color; but pink shades in flowers are unparalleled! I discovered this on a trip to the Mayan Riviera, where the most beautiful orchids and bromeliads grow. It was not easy to say good-bye, but it will be the perfect excuse for returning.

    No matter what, fresh flowers always make me feel better; and so do my favourite perfumes! July 22, 2012 at 9:10pm Reply

    • Victoria: Yves Rocher Pivoine shower gel is excellent. They also have a perfume, but the last time I smelled it was 10 years ago. I bet it changed since then.

      I love fresh flowers too. At home I had 3 jasmine plants and 2 citrus plants that I grew from seed. I was so proud of being able to grow them in the first place, and I hope that the new owners are taking a good care of them. July 23, 2012 at 5:06am Reply

  • hongkongmom: Hi Victoria
    You are a very special person and I am 150 percent you will be better than great. And that you will ride the storm and climb the ladder. July 23, 2012 at 1:40am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you so much! I’m taking it all one day at a time, and I’m trying to keep a healthy perspective. 🙂 July 23, 2012 at 5:09am Reply

      • hongkongmom: You seems to be doing a pretty good job of it 🙂 July 24, 2012 at 2:59am Reply

        • Victoria: You guys are the best spirit lifter imaginable! 🙂 July 24, 2012 at 4:02am Reply

  • Andrea: Hi V! I have been praying for you, as I know how hard change can be, particularly when you are beginning anew in a different place. When I moved from FL to TX knowing no one (at age 19), I took comfort in knowing that God was with me, that I am never truly alone and that He could help me through anything if I just asked. Somehow, getting out in nature also helped, connecting me with the special sights that my new home had to offer (unfortunately no beach, however, in Austin!):-)

    Another tip, from my mother, is that “one day I will look back on this”. It is an encouraging thought which has given me hope that “this, too, shall pass”, and in the 23 years since I was that 19-yr-old newcomer, it still helps me in times of distress.

    May God comfort you and give you His peace, may the fragrance of His presence be sweet to your soul. July 23, 2012 at 6:46am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Andrea! Always comforting to know this. Your mother is very wise. Remembering this, “one day I will look back on this,” can provide a good perspective. July 23, 2012 at 9:42am Reply

  • Amy M.: Victoria,
    I wanted to tell you after your first post on this subject about how much joy and connection you bring to others. It is a rare gift.
    I couldn’t have said it better than solanace.

    So many love you! xx July 23, 2012 at 9:42am Reply

    • Victoria: Amy, thank you! I really appreciate all of these kind words, and I’m really touched by everyone’s generosity and warmth. July 23, 2012 at 10:12am Reply

  • fleurdelys: Your blog brightens our days, so it’s only right that we should try to brighten yours! July 23, 2012 at 10:03am Reply

    • Victoria: 🙂 Thank you! You do, very much so! July 23, 2012 at 10:13am Reply

  • behemot: Victoria, sorry fot not commenting earlier. I am really surprised that you permanently moved to Belgium. I can imagine how tough moving can be. I moved from Poland to the US (east Coast), then to West Coast, to Poland again and finally, I retirned to pacific Northwest ahere I feel at home now. I remember how tough it was. I I was always moving with pets. During my firstmove to the US I was on the plane with a 1year old daughter and a cat. We all shared just one seat:) July 23, 2012 at 12:57pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, wow, you must be an expert traveler/mover by now. That’s really impressive!
      Your cat moving adventure reminded me of my friend’s story. She moved from Spain to Belgium with a cat and at the customs, she asked whether she needed any special documents for the cat. The officer looked at her and said, “No, Madame, your cat is a citizen of the European Union. He doesn’t need any documents.” July 23, 2012 at 2:54pm Reply

  • behemot: How fun with the EU citizenship! My cat who immigrated with me to the US was going back and forth 4 times! At some point, he received an EU Pet Passport, blue, with EU logo. Sadly, he is not with us anymore.. The new cat I adopted in Poland has such passport, too:) July 23, 2012 at 4:40pm Reply

    • Victoria: This story made me laugh out loud. Your cat probably can travel easier within EU than I am right now. 🙂

      My mom adopted a cat in Ukraine, but she didn’t need a passport. Considering that our cats go nuts in a car, I can’t even imagine how they would behave on an airplane. July 23, 2012 at 4:45pm Reply

  • MB: V, When I realized you had moved from NYC, I felt something like a physical pang. Having lived there myself fifteen years ago, I could imagine you in the daily to-ing and fro-ing you frequently referred to – going to Aedes, Chinatown, Caron even. I’m on the West Coast but I assumed my next trip to NYC, I would seek you out! Your blog has been a daily pleasure/addiction to me for years. My wonderful ex-brother in law had to move from San Francisco to Antwerp for work. It was very difficult for him but he visited a few months ago and his spirits were high, his business is thriving, most importantly, he’s creatively inspired. He has created a life for himself. Curiosity is something that those of us who are innately and almost patholigcally curious, take for granted. Embrace yours, when you are down. Your words and your insights have awakened my own awareness of my surroundings and my senses – Thank YOU!!! July 24, 2012 at 12:24pm Reply

    • Victoria: Please let me know when you’re going to be in NYC. I know that I will have to return for work time to time, and who knows, maybe we will be there at the same time. I doubt that with your brother-in-law being an ex- you visit him often, but if you do, I would be happy to show you around.

      Thank you! It’s really a comfort to come and read everyone’s warm comments and great suggestions on days when nothing goes right. 🙂 July 24, 2012 at 2:15pm Reply

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