Happy Friday!

Hey!  Happy Friday.  

I took the day off from work today, fully expecting to wake up to nasty weather but as it turns out, it's pretty gorgeous outside.  It's not gonna last, though.  We are planning to hunker down for a winter storm that's going to start tonight.  We're forecasted for a mixture of sleet, snow and ice.  Charlotte is on the cusp of something, I don't know what.  Since I live in the southern part of the city, I will probably just get rain and a little sleet and the people a little more north of me will get six inches of snow.  I'm not sure how that works, except to say that I live on the border of where water gets frozen.  Go figure.

In any event, we're waiting it out and I really hope that we'll get some snow.  I love a good snowy weekend.  And the Beans love the snow, too.

In the meantime, I'm gonna head out for provisions and make some French lentil vegetable soup because that sounds like a good thing to eat on a nasty weekend.  I'm also going to head over to the Sleepy Poet Antique Mall and shop for some inexpensive flea market bling for a project I'm working on.  If all goes well, I'll update you next week.

So have a snuggly weekend, y'all, wherever you are.  Have a little drink.  Sleep a little late.  Tell somebody that you love how much you love them.  In fact, tell them twice.

And I'll see you on Monday.

Image:  Bauble by Anne Kristoff

A Little Something Pretty for the Weekend

Isn't this cute?

My mom loves butterflies so I got one of these for her upcoming birthday.

You can order yours from Terrordome  over on Etsy.


The Weekly Bean

I told her that if she would wear this scarf, she would look like Grace Kelly.

You can see what she thought about that.....

Bel Canto

Have you read Bel Canto?

I picked it up in the bookstore and put it back down about 5 times before I actually bought it. The blurb on the back didn't sound like anything that I'd be interested in....people get taken hostage by rebels during a dinner at a South American President's home....

No thanks.....

But then I bought it because I read several good reviews and the picture on the book kept sucking me in.

And I read it.

And I'm in love with it. They fell in love with each other. And then it ended.

Ann Patchett's writing is lyrical. She can suspend time, reason, move us somewhere else and make us go along. You don't know what year it is, or what day it is or even what country you're in.  All you know is the situation and the characters and what happens between them. 

If haven't read Bel Canto, I think it'd be worth your time.

The IPad. Or How Steve Jobs Got All My Money

This is the Ipad!  OMG!!!!

I want one!  I don't care!


Wednesday - Leave Home Without Running Away

My thoughts have turned to spring lately.  Warm air, longer days and budding flowers....

Image:  Spring Blossoms by Zee Longenecker

On The Loveliness of Lists

Oh, you know I love to make lists.  Detailed lists.  Lists of the mundane and lists of the ridiculous and lists of dreams.

And the best thing about having a list is the satisfaction that one gets from marking out the things on that list that you've accomplished or finished or overcome.  The ingredients for the salad.  The dry cleaning picked up and dropped off.  The grocery store and the post office and Target and the Pharmacy.  The last 8 classes before you get your degree.  The things you need to buy for your new house.  The places you want to go.  The things you need to see. 

I have blank books for lists.   I love them.  I think everyone should have one....

Image:  Writer's Block by Lea Seguin

West Virginia is Not Cool

How's everybody doing?  Still with me?  It's Wednesday.  We're halfway through to the weekend.

I forgot to mention the whole Andy Dick in West Virginia sexual battery episode.  I feel compelled, as an emissary of my people, to comment on most things West Virginian.

Why, exactly, is Andy Dick famous, again?  I can't remember exactly what he did to get famous but it seems that he keeps his name in the headlines through outrageously inappropriate behavior.  I assume he's on drugs, I think that's usually what he claims to be the problem when he acts like this because I think he's sexually attacked other people before.  I have to say that I find drug use to be a lame excuse when people behave this badly.  In fact,  it pisses me off when people waste their lives being addicts.  I know it's a disease but it's a disease you have a choice about.  As hard as it must be to stop using, I'm sure people with terminal cancer would love to have the option.  You can choose to stop killing yourself using drugs, you can't choose to stop having cancer.  I've been told I have a naive view of addiction, but I really don't give a shit.  I think everybody's responsible. 

Anywho, if you haven't heard, apparently Andy was in town to perform at the Funny Bone Comedy Club (I'm not making that up) when he threw himself at a male person and kissed him in the mouth while groping the poor guy's crotch and then was arrested - in Barboursville, West Virginia.

Again, the Funny Bone in Barboursville.  I'll bet that guy's bone didn't think it was funny.

And ya know that's where you wanna be in jail for sexually battering another man - Barboursville, West Virginia.   Over to the Funny Bone. 

"Whut'er you in fer?"

"I grabbed a guy's dick over to the Funny Bone..."


Y'all, I grew up in West Virginia and I can tell you that that kind of thing is - how shall we say this?  Well, it's frowned upon in the mountains.  Now, I have never been in jail in West Virginia, but you know, I think I can safely say that Mr. Dick will probably not enjoy his sojourn there, as a Yankee, a junky and/or a sexual predator. We've all seen Deliverance.  We know how it goes.

In other West Virginia news, Leonardo Dicaprio was photographed wearing a WVU cap.  What's up with that?  My brother said that Leonardo's sister's boyfriend plays golf for WVU or something.  Still - I'm not sure how I feel about him representin' - if you know what I mean...  That's my mountain coming out there.  I have a deep seated distrust of outsiders in WVU paraphenalia.  And God help us if we become cool or anything.  I don't really see that happening but still - the thought of it is deeply, deeply disturbing.  Unless you're from West Virginia or you went to WVU,  you ain't got no business wearing WVU hats.   We don't need to be cool, we just need to be us. 

Jennifer Garner?  She's from West Virginia.  She can wear her WVU hat.

Oh?  And that picture up there?  That's WVU's Mountaineer and his loaded musket.  We have the only armed mascot in the NCAA.

And ya gotta admit, that's pretty dang cool.


Tuesday's Girl

"Only if we understand can we care. Only if we care will we help.  Only if we help shall they be saved."
Jane Goodall

Crowded House

I listened to Crowded House all weekend. I don't know what it is about them, but I never grow tired of listening.

They're erotic without being sexy. They're dirty without being vulgar.  They're unexpectedly sweet without being cloying.   They left when I wanted more. 

I love them because I never feel like I've figured them out.   

I love it when their music fills my house.

This Charming House

I love these!!  It's the Ula Green Multi Napkin from my happy place - Crate and Barrel.

They would be lovely this summer in my black and white dining room.....


Happy Monday


I hope everyone had a good weekend.

I didn't really do ANY of the things that I had planned.  But I guess that in some ways that makes a good weekend.

One of the best things about this past weekend - for me - is that I didn't wear an ounce of makeup for the duration.  It was probably pretty ugly for all the innocent bystanders, but that's the way it goes sometimes.

I got up early Saturday to take the Beans to the spa but Lola woke up squicky so we postponed until next weekend.  One thing you don't want to take to the dog spa is a squicky Bean.

My friend came down for dinner on Friday night and decided to crash.  Somewhere along the line she decided that my house is her pied-a-terre.  It was great, though.  We love guests here at Chateau Bee Charmer.

On Saturday morning we had coffee and then went to get pedicures before heading over to a fabulous breakfast at the Charlotte Cafe.  Two eggs, bacon, home fries, toast and coffee for $4.99.  Can't beat that with a stick, y'all.

On Sunday morning, I finally made it to Target.  I went early while it was sparsely populated.  And I had to get done and out so I could make it to my noon massage appointment.

And that was GREAT.  I love my massage therapist.  She's really good and she always finishes by cleansing my aura.  I'm not sure if I believe in all that stuff but I like that she does it.  And you know I figure it couldn't hurt - one less thing and all.

In less mundane and more mental news, I thought about Paris all weekend.  It was cold and rainy here this weekend, as it was the first time I went to Paris.  I loved that week.  I was so in love with Paris I didn't care that I cold and soggy.  So I thought about it and remembered those feelings and felt them in Charlotte.  I'm sure there's a word for that and it bugs me that I don't know what it is.....

I'm not sure how much I talk to y'all about Paris. You know I just love it.  It changed me in profound ways and I carry it around with me every day.

I also thought a lot about my house this weekend.  I actually think about my house a lot.  Almost more than anything else.  It is so deeply important to me.  It is my dream and my life and my safety.  It's clean and it's safe and it's mine.  I don't know if I can every really express what that means to me.  And I want to make it feel like Paris.  I want it to be cozy and warm and elegant and welcoming.  French and deeply, deeply southern. 

I watched a couple of episodes of the Barefoot Contessa this weekend.  One I've seen before and the other was new.  They both inspired me to cook so I think I may do that this week.  I used to cook all the time, but since I've moved I've gotten away from it.  I am beginning to miss it, though, so I'll let you know how my roast chicken and tomato gratin dinner turn out.  The gratin looked divine and reminded me of summer.  I want those aromas in my house!! 

You know, I think we fill our houses with the things we love and it gives them life.  Our art, our books, our things, our pets, our perfume, our music.  The smell of coffee and lavender bath salt and peonies in the spring.  Roast chicken.  U2.  Steely Dan.  People Magazine....

And in case you're wondering, I didn't touch the damn closet this weekend.  Didn't even think about it. 

Image:  Monday in Paris by Hilary Upton

Random Pretty Man

Mr. Marsters.....

We do miss you so.

Erotique Picasso and the Borders Romance Aisle

The first time I was in Paris, in 2001, my friend and I went to an exhibition at the Musee Jeu de Paume called Erotique Picasso.

It was interesting. It was filthy. I think it was banned in America.

At some point, my friend and I got separated, as we often do at these times, and I was left to wander around alone. For an artist known for his abstract paintings, these works were straightforward.  Literal.  They were profoundly graphic.

Most pointedly, there were several works, like the one featured in this post, that depicted women having sex with Minotaurs.  At the time, I have to say that I found it strange and thought provoking. Or you know - freaky and weird - depending on who you're talking to.

I had never given much thought to Minotaurs before, but I haven't thought about them in the same way since. 

When I met up with my friend again, she said "What do ya think?"

And I said "I think Pablo was a freak."

And she said "Word."

'Cause that's how little white girls from West Virginia talk to each other in France.

I thought about Erotique Picasso this week while I was over at the bookstore browsing around in the romance section.

What is going on out there? There are romances about women and vampires, women and warewolves, women and centaurs. Even Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility has been reimagined and Colonel Brandon has been turned into some sort of sea monster.  There very well may have been a Minotaur section that I just missed. 

Is this what we're doing now?  Are we getting turned on to the idea of sex and romance with men who may or may not be entirely human?   Are real men so infernally boring that we have turned our lustful dreams towards vampires and men who are half horse?  Half sea monster?

Although I haven't actually read any of these books, I have been noticing their proliferation for a while now, mostly involving the vampire romances.  I, myself, am no less guilty of this, having had a long and happy lust affair with both James Marsters and David Boreanaz during the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" years.

What is it about a man with the soul of a human and the raging instincts of a beast?  Does this feed our desire to save or be saved?  Is it wrong for us to talk about the female urge to be so beautiful, so sexy, so unforgettably desirable that our love can transform a man from tortured monster to monogamous minivan dad? 

I don't know the answer to these questions.  I guess I was hoping that I'd throw it out there and maybe someone would have some thoughts or insights as to what exactly is going on here. Are we over the sensitive man?  We we ever really under him? 


Image:  Dora et le minotaure by Pablo Picasso


Happy Friday!

Happy Friday!

It's rainy and nasty here in Charlotte.  Early in the week it was in the high 60's and beautiful, but now we're back to winter.  Gray, leafless and raining.

Wouldn't it be fabulous if all rainy days looked as beautifully romantic as this picture?  I hope the people in Bruges appreciate it.

Nothing much going on this weekend.  The Beans are going to the dog spa to get de-stinkified and de-fuzzed.  Right now they are shedding like monkeys and smell like wet worms.  They enjoy being stinky, but I don't enjoy it with them.  I also don't enjoy bathing them anymore because it turns into a two day ordeal, the details of which I will blessedly spare you.  A while back, I decided that from now on I would deal with the issue of stinky Beans by throwing some money at it.  This way, I drop them off and have a day to myself and when I pick them back up they will have been relieved of about 5 pounds of hair and smell like cinnamon biscuits.  At least for a day or two.

While the Beans are spa-ing, I have a bunch of errands to run, including a trip to Home Depot for new air filters. 

I LOVE to change my air filters.  I feel like such a grown up homeowner!

Then it will be on to Target for Sharpie Pens and batteries for the remote control and the smoke detectors.  Also on the list this weekend, I really, really hope that I can make a dent in my spare room closet, but I'm not optimistic.  Right now that closet functions as a halfway house for all the stuff I need to take to Goodwill.  It's starting to overflow so I'm gonna have to do it soon, but I'm thinking that I won't get to it this weekend.

On Sunday I'm going for my bi-weekly massage.

Stop it.  It's therapeutic!  I swear!

Anywhoooo... I hope everyone has a happy weekend.  Have a little drink.  Sleep a little late.  Run a little errand.  Run two.

And I'll see you on Monday.

Image:  Rainy Day Path in Bruges by Momentary Shutter.

Random Pretty Man

A friend said the other day:

"I was watching LL Cool J the other night.  He was just standing there, wearing his shirt, completely covered up and he was just .....  you know..... just...."

And I said:

"One with the hotness?"

And she said:


It's a good thing he had his shirt on because I'm not sure we're equipped to deal with the shirtless LL.

Help Haiti

This is a picture of the Artibonite Valley in Haiti.

As you all know, Haiti has been devastated by an earthquake.  Their people need our help and we are uniquely able to help them.  Even your pocket change can be the difference between life and death for so many suffering people.

Please give your cash donation to the American Red Cross in support of Aid to Haiti.  You can do so here or by texting "Haiti" to 90999.

Image:  Sunset in the Artibonite by Sander-Martin Photography

A Little Pretty for the Weekend

It's the L.A.M.B. signature coated canvas tote for the MacBook.

Isn't it pretty?  Wouldn't my little MacBook be happy riding inside?


The Weekly Bean

If I had been trying to take this picture, he never would have put up with it....

But if I'm trying to take a picture of something else, he's perfectly content to pose for super close ups as long as he is in the way while he's doing it.

He's such a guy.

He was, however, a perfect angel baby at the vet on Monday, so I'll forgive him.

A Spring Holiday

We booked Key West this week.

*Happy sigh*

Image:  Duval Street by hhhilaryyy

The Bee Charmer's Closet

I'm thinking of getting this watch.

It's fun.

It's big.

It's ....... sparkly!


Wednesday - Leave Home Without Running Away

What could be happier on Wednesday than pink tutus?

Nothing, I tell you.  Absolutely nothing.

Image:  The Pink Tutus by LeSophie

Nook Review

As I mentioned last month, I bought myself a Nook as a Birthday/Christmas gift and my parents got me the lovely hot pink Kate Spade Nook cover to go with it.

I was super excited when I ordered it and couldn't wait to get it.  I wanted to write a glowing review.  I wanted to love it to death.

That didn't happen.

Here's the scoop:

First - the good:

The Nook is pretty cool.  It's light, it's pretty and so far it's glitch free.   The books download quickly and easily.  I was able to go to my Barnes & Noble account and register gift cards so that my Nook purchases can be charged against them.  The Nook itself is easy to navigate and I actually like reading with it.  It's easier to hold than a real book, the pages flip easily and it looks like you are reading a real book.  And I love my Kate Spade Nook holder.  LOVE.  IT.

Now - the bad:

Book selection is still limited and if you're looking for something that it not mass marketed or on the best seller list you're kinda SOL.  This is only a minor gripe because I feel that books will become increasingly available via download and I don't think that it's anything that Barnes & Noble has control over.  The screen is only black and white so I don't think reading magazines would be much fun with it. 

Finally - the ugly:

Getting this thing was a bitch and Barnes & Noble was horrible.  I pre-ordered mine on November 16 and was told at that time that it would ship on December 18 and be at my house by the 22nd.  I took this into account because I knew that I was leaving to go spend Christmas with my parents.

The 18th (a Friday) came and went.  The Nook didn't ship and Barnes & Noble did not communicate with me about it.  On Saturday morning, the 19th, I got up to an email from the "President" of Barnes & Noble telling me that there had been a "little" delay but that I shouldn't worry because they were going to upgrade me FREE to overnight shipping and I'd have it by the 24th.

GREAT!  Except no one would be at my house on the 24th. 

I called customer service immediately, but since their coward of a President sent his email on Saturday I couldn't get through because they are CLOSED on Saturday.  And this pretty much sums up most of the problem here.  Throughout this mess, the communication from Barnes & Noble was either nonexistent, late or insufficient.  They have computers and email addresses, it shouldn't be that hard.

When I called them Monday morning, I got transferred around several times to whoever was dealing with "the Nook".

Now I'm going to stop here for a minute and say that I feel sorry for the poor schmucks stuck working in Barnes & Noble's customer service department.  Their company hung them out to dry.  I talked to several people and they were all very polite and helpful to the extent that they could be but the bottom line is that they were not given any thing to tell me or any way to make me happy.  I apologized for yelling at them and if they would have given me the telephone number of the smug son of a bitch who ran the company, believe me, I would have called him.  He was the one I wanted to speak to. 

But I was stuck talking to Customer Service and the standard line from everyone I talked to was that due to "unforeseen demand" they were having delays.  Unforeseen demand?  They marketed the hell out of this thing and people ordered it and that is their excuse for not being able to timely deliver it? It's our fault for buying something that they sold? 

They told me that they were pretty sure they could have it here by the 24th but they couldn't guaranty anything.  

They did finally get it here on the 24th but by the time it was delivered, I was on my way to West Virginia.  I had to have a friend come by and pick the damn thing up and put it in the house so it wouldn't get stolen.  If I had purchased it as a Christmas gift for someone else, I wouldn't have had a gift for them, something that Barnes & Noble didn't really seem to care about. 

The communication did not improve and they have not followed up since the thing was delivered.  Not one mass market email.  Not one 15% off coupon. 

In a word, their customer service on this product sucked.  

Sucked donkeys, sucked lemons, sucked rhinos.  Sucked from the top down. 

It sucked.

I would like to say that the Nook is SO COOL that it outweighs my feelings about the company that sold it to me.

Well, it isn't and it doesn't.

The only reason I didn't cancel the whole thing is because I wanted the Kate Spade cover and I thought that once I got the Nook  I'd forget about all the crap.  Well, I haven't.   I am certain that I will switch from the Nook at my first opportunity.  If Apple rolls out it's fabled Tablet at the end of the month, I think it's safe to say that my business with Barnes & Noble will cease pretty quickly.   One thing I've learned with Apple is that they take care of their customers. 

If you buy from Barnes & Noble, please don't expect much. 

I'm a Junkie!

My darling friend and I went shopping at Z Gallerie last weekend.  I wanted to swing by there to see if they had any of their mercury glass votive holders left over from Christmas.

They did - so I picked one up, along with another little sparkly candle thing.  I was still browsing around when, from behind me, I heard a male voice, very close to my ear.  He said:

"I see you like the bling."

I turned around and it was a Z Gallerie salesman.  In his hands he held a little black box which he opened to reveal a sparkly crystal candle stick. 

He whispered:

"I thought you might like this.  I can give it to you for a very nice price."

So I bought it.

I fell victim to a bling pusher, y'all!

The next thing we know I'll be buying cheap, common street bling!!

I need help.


Tuesday's Girl

"I don't pretend to be an ordinary housewife."
Elizabeth Taylor

This Charming House

I worked on the office this past weekend.

The whole work area is a little bit schizophrenic. Target desk, vintage lamp, vintage chair, ubiquitous "Keep Calm" poster and state of the art computer.

In this picture, it looks a little bit like an Apple Shrine.

Strangely, even though it doesn't go with the rest of the house, I like my little desk area.  I think it's got pizzazz and it makes me happy to sit there and work.  Which may be half the battle.

As for the main mess in this room - I spent several hours cleaning out and organizing the office closet  in order to accommodate my printer and all my office stuff.  I put it all in the closet because it's a small room and I had room in the closet and even though it looks nicely organized, I still don't want to look at it all the time. 

I am really happy with it!

Two days and $40 worth of Ikea organization boxes makes a HUGE difference!  And now that I can actually FIND all the stuff that used to be piled on this shelf in no particular order - for two years - well, I just love it and I wish I had done it before now.  The only bummer is that I really wanted pink boxes but they don't have them anymore, at least not at my Ikea. 

Here's a close up of the new wireless printer.  I'm getting an outlet installed in the closet so I can plug it in without a hassle.  Notice all my pretty sharpies in their cups.  I have a friend who used to work for Newell Rubbermaid and she hooked me up! Now I can write boldly in any number of colors!

And just so ya know, we listed to ADELE while we put boxes together... I'll just say that her CD lent itself to that kind of work.

Random Pretty Man

I know that he's trouble on a stick.

But ya know, the fact is that I'd do him. 


Happy Monday!

Doesn't the thought of a nice cup of coffee make getting out of bed on Monday morning a little less painful?

I woke up this morning to three of my most favorite things:

Full pot of coffee -

Full tank of gas in the car -

All my towels are clean and folded and put away.

Seriously, nothing makes me happier or gives me a greater sense of well-being than having a full tank of gas and a closet full of clean towels.  It makes me feel both grounded and full of possibilities.

And when you open your eyes and know that the coffee is brewed and hot and already waiting for you downstairs - well - what could be nicer than that?

I hope y'all all had a good weekend.

I didn't do much ... Friday night I finished my book on Elizabeth Taylor, which I found incredibly interesting.  She's lived a lot of life.  Then I started The Fixer Upper  - which I downloaded to my Nook.  It's a fluffy romance that revolves around the renovation of an old house.  Two of my favorite things!!  It's going like a can of Pringles so I will be on to something else by Tuesday.  

Oh, and I'm gonna talk about the Nook and Barnes and Noble later this week.

On Saturday I went to Ikea for supplies so I could organize my little home office (more about that later this week, too).  I met my darling friend and we shopped and hung out for most of the day.   After Ikea we decided to eat chili for lunch and then we did a full sweep of Crate and Barrel.  I got some Crate gift cards for Christmas and suddenly, they were burning a hole in my pocket.  I left with a few things for the office, the kitchen and the living room.  Gotta love Crate!

Sunday was gray and lazy and I finished the office and then I finished my taxes.  Yay for Turbotax!  They'll be filed next week as soon as one of the forms is available from the IRS.  Come February I will be a little more debt free than I am today.  Then I went up to On the Border and met another friend for dinner.  My guacamole obsession shows no signs of abating.  In fact, I think it may be worse. 

This morning Finn and I are off to the Vet for his annual checkup.  He loves to go to the Vet.  He gets to go by himself for a ride in the car and once he's there, all the pretty girls make over him.  It's Finn heaven!  

Image: No Sugar Tonight by Little Gray Pixel


Happy Friday!

Hey!  It's Friday!  Thank God!

I have no fixed engagements on Sunday, but I am hanging out with my darling friend on Saturday and hopefully - fingers crossed - getting my home office organized at some point. 

I know!  You're all stunned!  It's only taken my 2 years to get around to it!

What can I say?  I've been uninspired, y'all.

I am inspired now because, as previously mentioned, I bought a new IMac.

And with that expenditure, it became official:  I am a technology whore.

No, really.  I am in love with my MacBook Air, but I have found it insufficient even for my paltry home computing needs.  It does what I want it to, and what I fully expected it to do, which is surf the internet and travel wonderfully.

The problem is not entirely the fault of the Air, although its periferal limitations have exacerbated it.   I've been a laptop only household for years.  Mostly because I think desktops are so ugly.  But I'm sick of the hassle and it has become increasingly apparent over the last few years that a larger set up will be helpful for word processing, photo management, running my house and blogging.  And you know, the IMac isn't ugly....

But speaking of the blog,  I hope you've noticed that I've been working on it a bit.  I had been thinking about it for a while - in terms of it's structure and content - but I think the New Year gave me the final push that I needed.   And looking around, it seems like a lot of other bloggers did as well.  At least I'm in good company.

So have a good weekend.  Have a little drink.  Smooch the dogs and smooch your love.  Smooch them twice.  And I'll see you next week.

Image:  The Light in the Darkness by Michael Cargile

A Little Pretty for the Weekend

I love this.

It's little.

It's sparkly.

It's completely impractical.

All the things that I wish I was, in one little minaudiere.

And you should also probably know that although I can type the word "minaudiere" and I can see it and read it and know what it means, I am, after all, from West Virginia, so I can't actually say "minaudiere.'

This does not in any way affect my enjoyment of this bag.   


The Weekly Bean

Enjoying the sunbeam on Sunday morning before going outside to the frozen tundra to bark at the Hottentots.

Bee Charmer's Closet

Part of me wants to become a devotee of yoga.

And wouldn't this little top be cute for that?

Part of me would like to think that she could make it as a"hippy".

And wouldn't this little top be cute for that, too?  

Most of me, though, including the part who is willing to spend $58 on this tank top probably couldn't make it in the average hippy community.


Wednesday - Leave Home Without Running Away

It's Wednesday!

A little peony.  Because it's winter and it's January and we all need a little - something pretty.

Image:  Peony Shadow by Judy Stalus

Tire Trauma

So, last week, I mentioned, briefly, a little thing about having a blowout on the side of I77 South on the day after Christmas.

And I did.

I was one of those poor, unfortunate people that we all see, from time to time, broken down on the side of the Interstate during holiday travel.  We all see them, we think "poor bastards" and hope against hope that it will never be us.

Well, dear little readers, I was the poor bastard on the day after Christmas.

It didn't happen the way I always thought it would.  It wasn't dramatic.  I was driving along, listening to the Ipod, the Beans were in the back seat and I hear this thumping.

And I had this little minute where I felt TOTALLY like my friend, Alicia, because I know that I had the same look on my face.  Incredulous.  In denial.

I thought:

"Is that my car?"

"Do I have a flat TIRE?"

So I pulled over and I got out and I looked and I could not believe what I was looking at - A FLAT TIRE!

So I stood there for a minute sort of mentally willing it not to be.

That was absolutely no help.

Then I decided I would fix the damn thing.  So I opened the trunk, pulled out the spare donut, and managed to extricate the jack.

The whole time I'm just doing it to look like I'm doing something because I just KNEW that some guy would stop to help me.

Yeah, that didn't happen.

So I got the jack in the right place and then couldn't figure out how to work it.   So I got in the car and got the book out of the glove box and figured out how to work the jack.  All the while, I'm just biding my time until some nice guy stops to help me.

Still didn't happen.

Then I got out and successfully jacked up the car and got the hubcap off.

Y'all I was so proud.  Aggravated.  But proud.

Then I tried to take off the lug nuts.  No dice.  I could not do it.

So I unjacked the car back down and I got in the car and I did what any self-respecting, highly educated girl does in these situations.

That's right.

I. called. my. mother. 

My mother, long a proponent of nonchalant overreaction says, without irony "call 911".

And that's what I did.  And the State of Virginia sent a state trooper out about 15 minutes later and he changed my tire.

And just as a little aside at this point, but also a point of pride to me and my mountain upbringing, I knew what mile marker I was at.  Just. Sayin.

But back to the tale -

I felt a little guilty but then I figured  - 'I pay a bunch of taxes.  Somebody should have to come and help me every once in a while.' 

So then I was mobile, but still about 130 miles from home and driving on a little donut tire with a recommended high speed of 45 miles per hour.  My problems were not over. 

So I drove about 15 miles to Hillsville, Virgina, where the trooper told me I could buy a tire at WalMart.

And that's EXACTLY where I wanted to be on the day after Christmas.  WalMart.

I refused to accept my fate and I figured that if Hillsville, Virginia were like every similarly sized town in North Carolina, there would be an easy to find and prominently located Autozone.

I was not wrong.

I drove into Hillsville and got to the top of the hill (not kidding) and there on the left was the Autozone.  I was SAVED!

Not quite.

Autozone doesn't sell tires, but they directed me to a garage about one block down.  He said "we just talked to them, and they're open and they sell tires."

So I went down to Auto Alignment & Service Center of Hillsville, where I was confronted by three guys, none of whom had any teeth.  Again, I was undaunted.  My papaw didn't have any teeth.  I am down with that. 

But they were sweet and kind and I, conveniently, speak superfluent Redneck.  It is my native tongue.

He said "you've got sixteens on there and I only got seventeens, but they'll work and you really need two".  I pretended like I cared about any of that and said "Sir, I am here to give you money.  Just fix it."

And he did.

I was in an out in 20 minutes.

The memorable quote of the day was from "Seth" the guy with 9 fingers and no teeth who came out to jack up the car and remarked, upon seeing Finn and Lola -

"Them's purdy dawgs."

And I said "Thank you.  They are, aren't they?"

So my trip back to Charlotte that day was delayed, but I got home safely and I was reminded that there are helpful people in the world and that I can handle the challenges.  I also think that I've had my holiday car trauma.  I'm bullet proof for a while. 

And now I know where to go if I need help in Hillsville, Virginia.

Image:  Remember What it is Like to Fly by Tiffany Teske.

Heavenly Day

If you haven't gone to download this CD yet, what are you waiting for?

She writes words that I understand all the way down to the center of my soul.  She breaks my heart.

Go.  Download. Now.


Tuesday's Girl

"Everything about mediocrity kills me."

Ivanka Trump

Gay Marriage

This is from Newsweek.

And I think it's excellent.  As a lawyer.  As an American.  As a Christian.

Image:  Cupcakes by Alice B. Gardens

This Charming House

My friend, Sarah, thinks that I should win the award for loving the most impractical desk.

I love this desk.

So I think she's right.


Manic Monday


I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Me - not all that great, but it got better by Sunday morning.  I will spare you the sordid details but it is sufficient to say that I had a little bit of a breakdown on Saturday and my darling friend was lovely enough to come and sit with me while I had my crying, ridiculous, anxiety driven fit.  There are still days that I'd love to take the easy way out and just pop a nerve pill - which is West Virginia colloquial for "xanax". 

I don't really know what caused it and I really don't think it matters.  I think that sometimes, even the best of us just have to have a day.

And I had one on Saturday.  But I took a lot of deep breaths and practiced sitting with the uncomfortable. 

Anyway - I think this is gonna be a good week.  No court.  No conference calls.  No visiting relatives.  No (fingers crossed) swine flu.  The bills are paid, the Beans are well and I have an appointment to get my hair cut on Tuesday.

Ah, the hair.  I haven't mentioned it in a while because I'm just trying to ignore it as much as possible while it grows out.  It's in the worst part right now.  The part where it looks a little bit like a mushroom/mullet.  It's killing me.

My mother said to me over Christmas - 'I love your hair.  I want mine to look like that - like Suze Orman'.

I threw up a little bit in my mouth.   

Yeah, that did not help me feel better about it.

So Jeremy over at Varji and Varji is going to shape it up a bit and cut some of my little mullet tail off while the rest of it catches up.  I keep telling myself that I'm almost through the worst of it, but it's not much comfort at this point but I do think that by the summer it'll at least be to the point of a short bob.  

And that's where we are on this Monday, dear readers - happy that the breakdown is (mostly) over and with a goal for the summer - enough hair for a short bob....

Image:  Coffee Break by Leslie Thomson

Random Pretty Man

My best friend thinks that I should do a weekly post here at The Bee Charmer called "Mark Harmon Monday."

I'm not sure we're quite there yet, but Mr. Harmon is back this week, by popular demand.

Single Girls of a Certain Age

I had dinner at The Pancake House with my dear friend the other night and we were talking about sex.

Yes -

Women get together, have breakfast for dinner and talk about sex.

And I told her that I don't think that I'm having enough lately and I'm a little concerned.

Now, let me be clear - 

We were talking about sex and specifically, the kind of sex that only needs one participant.

Taking care of your business - as Janet Jackson may say.

I told her that lately, I haven't found it to be worth the trouble.

She said:

'Oh, my God!  I thought exactly the same thing the other night!'

The conversation went something like this....:
Me:  '...And you know, I was laying there and I thought 'maybe I should do it.  I haven't in a while.'  So I laid there for another minute or two, assessing my interest and I thought 'well, I'll have to roll over and get in the drawer and get the thing out, take off my underwear, fumble around....'

Friend:  'You take your underwear off?'

Me:  'sometimes' (you know 'cause I figure I'm worth it...)
*heavy sigh*

But then I thought - 'nah, maybe tomorrow'.   

I was, dear readers, too tired to have sex with myself - and I generally show myself a good time!

It is at this point that I think that I have zero hope of ever finding a man. 

Now, before we go any further here, let me say this before anybody out there gets on her high horse:  If you say you don't masturbate, you're either lying or something is wrong with you.

Masturbation is the best thing - EVER!  It doesn't give you diseases, it doesn't make you pregnant, you do it, you ALWAYS have a good time and then you go to sleep.  There is nothing not to love about it and after 4 years of mediocre sex with The Love Maker I can say, without reservation, that it is often an infinitely more satisfying alternative.   If you happen to be a person who actually doesn't do it, then I will tell you that I think you should buy a book and go to your room. 

But I digress  -

Should I be a little easier on myself because I'm in a lull? Should I focus on that time before Thanksgiving when I was sitting at my desk drafting affidavits and thought "HEY! I know what I can do when I get home!" or should I turn my gaze from past activities and focus on the issue at hand, rent some porn and spice up my life?  What is the answer to this question? 

In general, I think that we would all like to think of ourselves as a little more sexually active than maybe we are.  Our culture would have us believe that if you're single your life should be a never ending series of crazy sex with a parade of partners and if you're married you are supposed to be hot for each other and going at it like bunnies well into your 15th year of marriage - or something is wrong with you.

Apparently, it's not sexy to admit that you have a demanding job, a lot on your plate, kids - whatever - and sometimes you just want to go to sleep.

But I admit it, y'all.  Lately, I've just wanted to go to sleep.  Sorry if I've crushed any "single girl" or other illusions.  But that's the way it is here and although I am happy to talk about things that I'm not doing, your chances of ever hearing about the things I am doing are just about....zero.

But I will let you in on the girl chat, from time to time.  And y'all can feel free to comment on the matter.

Image:  Rustled Beds by Ashley Summer


Happy Friday!

The weather here in North Carolina is FREEZING in case you haven't heard.  I know that a lot of you don't feel bad for us, but we live in the South for a reason and that is this:  We are not equipped to deal with cold.

I used to have more tolerance for it, back when I lived in the mountains, but since moving here 20 years ago, I have lost that tolerance.  Basically, I find 55 degrees and drizzling to be largely intolerable.  You can, therefore, imagine what I've been going through with temperatures in the 20's at night since LAST WEEK! 

The trauma!

Oh, well. 

I hope that everyone has a good weekend.   I have a couple of matters of personal maintenance on my plate, namely, getting a 90 minute massage and a pedicure.


There has to be some upside to not having children to send to daycare.

I also need to finish setting up my new IMac computer, which I just bought as a compliment to the MacBook that I purchased in November.  That could take all weekend because I am not all that computer friendly. 

Anyhoo - I hope that you all do something fun this weekend.  Sleep late.  Have a little drink.  Kiss somebody you love. 

In fact, kiss them twice and I'll see you on Monday.

Image:  Graceful by Mary Carroll.

A Little Pretty for the Weekend

This room was designed by Carrier and Company for a home somewhere in Connecticut.

I have two things to say about it.

It's pretty.

That's an Elliott Puckette hanging over the fireplace.


The Weekly Bean

A boy.

And his pillows. 

Bee Charmer's Closet

I bought this sweater for myself for Christmas.

Because it's lavender and the buttons are sparkly.

Sparkly, in my opinion, is always better.


Wednesday - Leave Home Without Running Away

My best friend and I have been talking about pink.  Neither one of us can get enough of it lately.

So we have luscious, luscious pink for Wednesday this week.

Image:  Sweetheart by ImaginePhoto

Rule Number Ten

I don't think I've ever mentioned it, but I am one of the happiest little Presbyterians in the world.  I wasn't raised Presbyterian, I adopted them in adulthood.  My mother thinks I've joined a cult, if that tells you anything about how I was raised.  But they are, from what I can tell, a "live and let live" bunch and they think that God loves us and that He wants us to be happy.  And I can obviously get behind that. 

Given that I am a Christian, and a lawyer, I don't think it would be wrong for me to tell you at this point that I think the Ten Commandments are a fine piece of work.

Our law here in the Western world, is, for the most part, directly derived from the Ten Commandments and I think they are remarkable both for their brevity as well as for their comprehensive scope.  If nothing else, they are, even if you don't believe, a short guide to a happy life.

I think that one of the best, most unappreciated and subtle of the commandments is the tenth one:  "Thou shalt not covet..."

When I was little, not coveting was the one commandment that I just didn't get.  I mean, when you really get down to it, the other nine commandments fall, roughly, into three easily understandable categories if you're a kid (or an adult clinging to small mindedness):  Honor God, Mind Your Parents and Stuff You Go To Jail For.   The issue of coveting doesn't fit into any of these categories and was always sort of glossed over in Sunday School and tacked on to the end as an afterthought.

As in: "don't steal, don't kill people and oh, yeah, don't covet."

I remember asking my Sunday School teacher what "covet" was and she told me it meant not to want to take things that didn't belong to me.  Then she changed the subject and we moved on to coloring the picture of Moses in our little "Ten Commandments Bible Lesson" paper.  Coveting just didn't get much play.  Looking back, I think that God's inclusion of the proviso about not "coveting your neighbor's wife ... or his ass" sort of gave this commandment a sexual overtone that made it uncomfortable to discuss in the average West Virginia Sunday School, but that is neither here nor there.  The point is, we didn't talk about coveting very much and I think that's a shame.    

Now, when I think about it, I just have to give it up for God, because practicing the tenth commandment is, I think, the easiest way to avoid what I call garden variety unhappiness. I mean, you won't go to jail for coveting, but it sure can make your everyday life pretty miserable.  And God knows that.

In my opinion, peace and contentment come from looking at what you have and being thankful for it.  Unhappiness comes when, instead of focusing on what you do have, you spend all your time lusting for what you don't have.  You know, coveting.  And then nothing is ever good enough, or pretty enough.  You're never skinny enough or rich enough or .... whatever enough.  When you covet, you always loose.   

And I just can't help but think how cool it was for God to know that and for it to be so important to Him that He included it as one of the top ten things He really wanted us to know.

I think that God loves us.  I think He really wants us to be happy in this life.

So the next time you find yourself comparing your thighs unfavorably to the thighs of Charlize Theron or the workout slut at the gym, remember this and be happy that you have thighs, and that they are strong enough to carry you around and be thankful for them.  And then take the opportunity to get on the stairmaster and work on making them better and know that even if you'll never have Charlize's thighs, yours will serve you just fine. 

Image:  Covet by Alicia Bock


This Charming House

I dropped by Anthropologie last night and discovered that they are now carrying Murchison Hume eco-friendly cleaning products.


I think these were previously only available online and in Australia but the West Virginian in me won't buy expensive, untried cleaning products on line  Just won't do it.  And going to Australia for it really wasn't an option, either.  Go figure - 

But .... from what I can gather, this stuff has some pretty good support.  Apartment Therapy posted sometime last year that the products were coming to Anthropologie but this is the first time I have actually seen them in captivity.   I haven't tried any yet, so I can't recommend them for their actual power to clean, but I can report that they smelled really good.   Yep, I stood in Anthropologie and unscrewed all the caps and smelled the Murchison Hume, and the whole time I'm thinking "I'm gonna BLOG about this"!  Oh, and the bottles are really, really pretty.

Y'all know I'm such a pushover.  Something about having a pretty 'under the sink' area really trips my trigger.  And when my lust for the pretty collides with my anxiety driven urge to clean....

Wait a minute....where was I?

Oh, yeah -

Back to the topic - if you are in need of bathroom cleaner or hand soap and are eco-minded you might want to swing by and check these out.  They are a little pricey but we're saving the environment here.  If you have used them and you want to comment and share with the class, I would love to hear from you.
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