Happy Friday!


Hey, Everybody!

I hope everyone has a good weekend.  

I'm still in a sloggy mood.  According to The Charlotte Observer this is the coldest winter in Charlotte in decades and I believe it.  And frankly, I'm sick of it.  After I walked the dogs last night my ears were so cold that they hurt.  Blech!

This weekend we are celebrating a couple of anniversaries at Chateau Bee Charmer.  Sunday is the two year anniversary of closing on the house.  Last year I threw a housewarming party and this year I think I'll settle for sleeping in.  I'm also going to buy the house a candle that I saw last weekend.  You know it gets so petulant when I don't buy pretty presents for it. 

This weekend is also the anniversary of Finn's adoption.  He was seven weeks and 4.5 lbs when I picked him up.  I brought him home and he cried all night.  And then he cried at least once a night for the next 7 months.  Ah!  My little problem child.  I do love love love him so. 

Saturday night I actually have a date, if you can believe it.  I won't tell you about it but I will let you know that I'm going, lest you all think I'm wasting away. I struggle with the revelation of details in this area of my life, basically because someone else is involved and I do not believe that the average person would be comfortable wondering if his actions would be blogged about.  So unless he's really horrid, which I am not expecting, you will read nothing else about him unless it gets serious.  

Oh, and I'm getting my little mushroommullethelmethead hair cut this evening.  I am hoping that Jeremy can work some magic and blend it in a little.  I'm feeling like one of the Golden Girls.  If I ever try to cut it again, y'all have my permission to smack me until I get that notion out of my head. 

Other than that, I got nuthin'.  

So have a good weekend and stay warm.

And I'll see you on Monday.  

Image:  Mums by Chris Hale Photography.

A Little Extra Bean for the Weekend

I know y'all are beginning to think that I play favorites, but I do not.  I was actually trying to get Finn to take a decent picture and he was being crotchety and then I turned around and took this, while she was sitting there.  Her butt is one step higher than the rest of her because I stopped half-way down the steps and she was trying to figure out which way I was gonna go.  It just kills me.

Look at her little pink velvet ears!!!   I want to fry them up and eat them with jelly!

This is why she's rotten.  She gives me this face and I melt.

Random Pretty Man

I know that there have been other men that I've said that I've wanted.

But I was wrong.

I don't want any of them anymore (except for maybe James Marsters).

This is the one that I want.

With the boots and the kilt and the red hair and the Scottishness.

Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Avedon


I found this last night while looking for something else and now I want it so much that my teeth hurt.  I want an enormous print of it to hang in my bathroom.  

Alas, it is a little bit out of my price range.  

I may try to print off some kind of bootleg version on my printer this weekend.  Would that be wrong?  Should I have just typed that out loud?  

Image:  Liz Taylor 1958 by Richard Avedon.


The Weekly Bean

Sometimes when the front door is open, they both hang out at the top of the steps and pretend to be a couple of lions.  And when the wildebeasts or the UPS delivery people come by our door, they swoop down the steps with their little short legs and bunny butts flying through the air and ATTACK!

Corgi viciousness is a scary, scary thing, y'all.

Eye Cream and other Necessities

When I was in law school, I was driving around in the car one day and I looked in the rearview mirror and for the first time, noticed all the lines around my eyes.  My God!  I was horrified.  A lifetime of squinting was already catching up with me.

Since then, I have been all about the eye cream but as I've gotten older the issues surrounding all my skin, including my eyes, have gotten more complicated.  When you're 25 skin care is a luxury.  After 35 it becomes an absolute necessity. 

Generally speaking, I use Skinceuticals products because they were recommended to me by my dermatologist's office and I find them very effective.  About six months ago I reordered the Skinceuticals eye cream that I wear during the day and the nice people at SkinCare RX sent me a sample of the Skinmedica TNS Night Eye Repair Creme.  I said "cool" and gave it a shot.

I really like it.

First and foremost, it doesn't irritate my eyes, which is huge.  In addition to being prone to puffiness and fine lines and wrinkles, they are also incredibly sensitive to irritations.  This stuff didn't make them swell shut, so it passed that test.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you that this cream contains "human fibroblast conditioned media".  This means that it makes use of the same technology that is used to grow new skin for burn victims and that at some point, was developed from human tissue cells, most likely from the skin of donated foreskins.

The use of this technology may be morally offensive to some, or at least icky.  It is neither to me.  I think that if parents want to donate their children's foreskins to research, we should accept the outcome of that research.  There are a lot of people on the web screaming that Skinmedica is packing it's products full of dead babies and that is just not so.  If you really believe that, please do not buy Skinmedica products and go read someone else's blog, because I think you are hysterical and reactionary.  I think that this type of research is really exciting, both for burn victims and for women over 40 who are just trying to hold it together.  Let's face it ladies, beauty is not cheap and it isn't pretty.  We need to take our help where we can get it.

Ultimately, this stuff makes my eyes look better and feel better.  It is great with lines and puffiness and I've noticed a real improvement.  Also, as an extra added super bonus, it appears to be making my eyelashes grow longer and thicker.  I thought it was just me but then my facialist noticed it, too. 

The price is a little bit steep, but a little goes a long way, and more importantly, it works.  If you're looking for a good night eye cream, you may want to check this out.

Bee Charmer's Closet

It's the Charm City Ostrich Maryanne by Kate Spade. 

Oh. My. God. Y'all!

It's purple!  It's faux animal skin!  It's charming!!

I think I shall have to part with money.


It's the Kate Spade Sample Sale

It's here

Go.  Shop.  Now.

Wednesday - Run Away Without Leaving Home

Oh!  You know I love pears.  I wish I was on vacation, eating some right about now.  With Gorgonzola and a nice white wine.

Image:  Green Pears by Pine Street Photo.

The Wall


Ok, so it's official.  

I have hit the wall.

My last extended absence from both my work and my domestic life was last April and I have to say that the well is very quickly drying up.

I wish I could say that my work energizes and renews me, but it doesn't.  Sometimes it just sucks every ounce of everything out of me and it's doing that right now.  Big time. 

And I'm ready to leave the care and feeding of my pups to their nanny and spend a few days without Mama responsibilities.  There, I said it.  Mama needs a break.  And a cocktail. 

I need to go off and be NOT IN CHARLOTTE for a week. 

Key West cannot come fast enough.

Image:  The World Blurs Through the Rain Drops by Levansphotography.

On Not Worrying

I have been asked to comment on the practice of not worrying.  I'm not sure that I can discuss the subject with any sort of authority or in any really articulate way, but I thought about it in the car for a bit on my way to Court (about which I was not worried) and then I thought I'd give it a shot.

Worrying for me is as natural and effortless as breathing.  I've always done it, it's always been so.  In the privacy of my own head, the worrying was going on and as far as I was concerned about it, I had as much control over that as I had over the placement of my freckles.  Absolutely none.  

As it turns out, I was wrong.  Worrying is, in essence, a bad habit.  The underlying premise of worry is that if we do it enough about something or try to imagine every possible doomsday scenario, we can either head off the bad outcome or at least fortify ourselves in case the worst happens.

Neither of these things is true.

The future is going to unfold in whatever way it will, whether you worry about it or not and you cannot "undo" a bad future outcome simply by worrying about it.  Furthermore, no matter how much you worry about something in an effort to prepare yourself, if the future comes and the worst does happen, you're still gonna take it in the teeth. 

If and when you decide to stop worrying, the thing you have to do, and I'm serious about this, is accept the fact that you do not have the power to change the outcome of reality with your mind.  If you are as neurotic and anal retentive and worry-prone as I am, this is a bit of a challenge.  Neurotics think that everything is their fault, and that is really me.  I used to absolutely believe that if I worried enough about something bad, it wouldn't happen and that if I didn't worry about something bad it would happen.

First, you have to say, out loud, to yourself "I do not have the power to control the future with my mind."

Stupid, but true. 

Then you have to practice.  To me it was like learning to rollerskate.  Not being very coordinated, I fell down a lot when I was learning to skate.  I fell.  I skinned my knees.  I failed.  But I kept trying.

When you first start not worrying, you have to mentally tell yourself "I'm not going to worry about that."  And then you just....don't do it.  It's really hard.  At first I could only not worry for a few minutes at a time.  But then I reminded myself that worrying wasn't going to change anything and there was no point to it.  And I started over.  It also helped me to mentally ask myself several questions.  These are:
Did you do anything to create this situation?

Do you have any ability to change this situation?

Do you have any responsibility to change this situation?
If I didn't make it, can't change it and/or have no responsibility for it, then there is, per se (to use a lawyer term) no reason to worry about it.  That right there will eliminate 50% of the shit that you worry about.

At some point, I read something that said that most things that we worry about never come to pass.

That really helped me.

It's comforting to know that the odds are in your favor.

What I started to notice is that when I wanted to worry about something, and then I made myself not worry, the odds were right.  Most of the time, what I wanted to worry about...never happened.  And even if it did, at least I only had to deal with a little aggravation when it happened, instead of the whole pile of worry combined with the aggravation. 

As time passed and I practiced, I began to really enjoy not worrying, not being upset.  The first time you make yourself not worry about something that you're worried will happen, and then it doesn't happen...man, are you glad you didn't worry about it.  And then, with a little positive reinforcement under your belt, you get better.

But platitudes are all fine and good when you're talking about issues that are relatively unimportant.  Sooner or later, life is going to throw you a doozy.

When my mother was first diagnosed, my first inclination, of course, was to go to the bad place.  My mind went straight to mental incapacitation and drooling and chemo and suffering and bed sores and wasting away and what in the world would we do with my Daddy.  And when I made myself stop it, I felt guilty.  But the fact is that I could have spent two months in absolute misery focusing and thinking and worrying about horror.....and......it didn't happen.  She doesn't have cancer.  She isn't having chemo.  She isn't suffering.  Her surgery wasn't invasive and went off without a hitch.  I would have wasted all that time and energy and emotional wherewithal for nothing.  No good purpose would have been served.  And even if she had had cancer, if I had worried and spent two months in mental and emotional anguish, it wouldn't have changed anything or lessened what we would all have had to go through.  I didn't make her medical condition and I didn't have a magic wand to waive to fix it.  I would have only made a horror worse by wasting good time based on what I thought would happen later.  Once you stop trying to mentally will things to be different than they are, then it's easier not to worry.

Looking back, I'm glad I practiced on little things.

Now, not worrying doesn't mean that you can sit on your butt and do nothing, trusting blindly that if you don't lift a finger everything will work out.  You have to do what you can do.  As Victoria Moran says, when faced with hardship or uncertainty or the unresolved future, you have to do "the next indicated thing." 

This means dealing with life, as it comes.  Sometimes, these tasks are easy, mostly they are mundane, occasionally they are terribly hard, but tending to them is necessary to a less worried life.  If you do the next indicated thing you head off many messes that would otherwise present themselves and give you opportunities to worry.  As I said,  worrying is a bad habit and I think it is particularly a habit of control freaks because the lack of control is what causes the worry.  So for me, a control freak, if I do what I can to control the things that I can do something about, then my opportunities for worry are decreased.  I guess it's like taking all the alcohol out of the house when you're a drunk.  You have to do what you can do. 

So you pay the bills, you read the files, you listen to the doctors and you do what you can do, you do all that you can do but then you have to just let it go.

Understand that you can't control everything.  Turn out the light.  Go play.  Let tomorrow take care of itself.

So there it is, The Bee Charmer's Guide to Not Worrying.  I hope it helps.  If not, I can give you my shrink's name.  She's much better at this than I am.

Image:  Buddha of the Simple Garden by Robert Crum.


Tuesday's Girl


Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. 
Gilda Radner

The Sound of The Smiths

I don't listen to The Smiths enough.

But they were perfect to listen to on Saturday morning while I cleaned the house and worked on my projects.  They make me feel nostalgic for the 80's, in a good way, which is fairly remarkable.

Something about Morrissey's voice just goes right through me and makes me wish that big hair would come back and that I had drank more in college.   I couldn't enjoy them, then.  Probably because I was poor and trying to get a degree and just didn't get it.  Now I can look back on that time with a certain amount of safety and appreciate and wish for it.  I guess it is, like many youthful things, something that is best appreciated from the prism of age and distance.

But for a little while on Saturday, I was back in a little apartment on Grant Avenue in Morgantown, West Virginia.  And I kinda liked it.

This Charming House

I painted stripes down the hall this weekend.   It was my big project and here it is!

I have to apologize because I know it's hard to see.  It was meant to be, like most things in my house, subtle. 

I have been seeing these types of stripes in numerous home decorating blogs and magazines for quite some time, most recently in this month's excellent issue of Lonny.  However, a few years ago I saw something on HGTV where this lady had painted a broad horizontal stripe down her hall using the same color paint in different sheens.  So that's what I did here.  I used "Tuscan Beige" by Behr.  The wall is a satin finish and the stripe is a high gloss. 

I really liked the way it came out.  I drew it out on paper first, to see how I wanted to go and I ended up with five stripes.  I left 24 inches at the bottom and then masked off an 18 inch stripe.  I left 12 inches between and them and then did another 18 inch stripe.  It ended up being balanced but not symmetrical, which I think made it seem really fresh and modern. I also really like the way my photos look against it. 

If you're planning on doing this, you need a pencil, some good painter's tape, a laser level and some patience.  I have to say, though, that it wasn't too hard to do, especially given my limited amount of 'handiness".


Happy Monday



I hope everyone had a nice weekend.  

Mine was lovely.  I did nothing of import.  I shopped without goals.  I cleaned the house and did the laundry and changed the sheets.  I painted a stripe down the hallway - a project that it's only taken me about 5 years to get around to, so you can imagine my sense of accomplishment.  I made myself dinner.  I walked and napped and took hot baths in my big garden tub.

The puppies were in a particularly delicious mood and I smooched them a lot.  We took long walks and enjoyed the weather.  On a whim, I bought them an expensive pet bed, which they have absolutely no use for.  That's the great thing about dogs.  They don't care how much something costs, they can take it or leave it.  

I found myself thinking about work a couple of times, with sort of a sense of dread.  However, I practiced not worrying, which is something my shrink taught me how to do and I have to say that it has made an enormous difference in the quality of my life.  

I am a worrier.  I come from a long line of worriers.  My Grandma actually won a gold medal in the bantam weight division of the 1928 Worrying Olympics, but we try not to brag about it.  She used to say that if she woke up in the middle of the night and wasn't worried, she'd lay there and think until she thought up something to worry about.  

I used to do that, too.  But then my shrink pointed out to me that I didn't have to let that part of my personality control me and I began to practice not worrying.  It was hard at first.  When you first start not worrying, you can only do it for short periods of time.  You know, whatever you are worried about will occur to you and you do your little mental exercise and put it off for 15 or 20 minutes and then it pops back up.  Gradually, you get to where you can do it for longer periods of time.  

I didn't really realize how good at it I had become until my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Now, don't get me wrong.  My first inclination is to say that I was worried but that isn't really what I was.  I was very concerned and did a lot of internet research on brain tumors in the cavernous sinus, but I have to say that I was not "worried" in the sense that I laid awake all night thinking about it.   I still slept.  I didn't come undone, although that was my first inclination.  If you can will yourself not worry about a possible life threatening illness, you can not worry about almost anything. 

So this weekend, when I thought about work and started to worry, I just decided not to.  And I didn't. 

But I think it's going to be a good week.  I'm going to a book club meeting on Tuesday night, even though I haven't actually read the book.  People who go to book clubs tell me that this is not uncommon and I figure if I can fluff my way through "Land Use Regulation" in law school, I can probably do a passable job at book club.  I'll just sit off to the side and drink my wine and say "I agree with Sarah" if anyone asks me. 

Image:  Solitude by Honey Tree .

Olympic Pretty Man

This week's Olympic Pretty Man is Mr. Bode Miller.


Yes, please. 

Saturday Night Dinner

We had a lovely warm weekend here in Charlotte and on Saturday evening I opened the patio door to enjoy the air and then turned on the fireplace. I love to do that. I love to have the fire on a day that's warm enough to open the door but cool enough to make the fireplace welcome.

And then I cooked dinner.

I made spaghetti with meat sauce. I used Dean and Deluca Marinara, with which I am desperately obsessed of late.

And I paired it with this:

A 2008 California Couvee Pinot Noir from Castle Rock.

And a fresh baguette, sliced thin.  

It was wonderful and I took perverse delight in not having to share with anyone.


Happy Friday!

Just a quick post to tell everyone to have a great weekend.

I am happy to report that I have absolutely no plans except to sleep in, drink coffee, read and hang out.

Doesn't that make me sound old?  I really don't care because I'm giddy with excitement about it.

I haven't had a weekend devoid of any plans in quite some time.  I've been feeling really run down and stretched thin this week.  Work has been really busy and it just never seems to stop.  I usually love the pace of my job because no matter what, it's not boring.  But this week the job and the cold weather have conspired to just wear me out, so for the next two days I just want to drift with the current and hopefully recharge a little bit.  No matter how much progress I've made (which, believe me, is a PHENOMENAL amount) I'm a bit of a solitary person and there are times that I need to go into my shell and be alone.  Those times are fewer and much farther between now, but I still need them from time to time and I am in desperate need of it right now. 

So stay safe this weekend and live your personal bliss. 

And I'll see you on Monday.

Image:  Well Read by JKL Design.

A Little Extra Bean for the Weekend


I am pleased and happy to report that this little Bean was a perfect, sweetheart, darling angel sugarcookie baby with jelly on top at the Vet yesterday.  

For the first time.

In seven years.  

It was almost like she'd been listening to her home training.  Or, you know, she had ulterior motives.

It was truly remarkable.  She actually laid down on her belly on the table like a little pinky princess and voluntarily let the vet look in her ears AND at her teeth.  Usually she hides her face in my arm and constantly tries to jump down. 

She got a clean bill of health and for her good behavior, two treats from the treat jar.   One Hundred and Eighty Two Dollars later, she came home and lorded over Finn because she got to go for a ride in the car.  And he didn't. 

Oh, and I got to pay for it.  In case you thought she left me out.


The Weekly Bean

I was trying to take a picture of Finn, who was lying by the door, looking out.

Of course, when I looked down, this was the little 'whatcha doin'?' face staring back up at me.

In case you guys don't know, I am not allowed to move about my house unchaperoned.  I am constantly shadowed by this Bean.  I don't know what kind of trouble she feels that I will get into if left to my own devices, but believe me, I am never allowed out of her sight. 

Also, she totally matches the dining room rug and if it weren't for her little pink tongue, she'd disappear entirely. 

She and I are going to the Vet this morning, where I predict she will be singularly difficult to get along with.  It's not that she's ugly, she just refuses to cooperate.  She is not of the mind to show her particulars to just anybody....

Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady


If you've never read this, I suggest you lay hands on it and get busy.

If you want to gain an understanding of southern-ness, of feminism or if you just want to laugh until you pee your pants you should read it. 

In the end, no matter what you think about Ms. King, just remember, no matter which sex she went to bed with, she never smoked on the street.

What's In Your Bag?

I've been thinking about doing this post since I started the blog because I've always loved reading "What's in your bag" posts from other people.  I think it's because I like bags so much and I love to see what other women carry around.  It's at once so personal and yet so universal and I always want to know. 

But then I thought it might be a little narcissistic.  But who am I kidding?  This blog is NOTHING if not narcissistic!

So, in the spirit of narcissistic entertainment, we have, today:  MY BAG!

Now I have to stop here and say that I have a lot of bags, but I carry this one about 50% of the time so it gets to star in the blog.  It's the Mulberry Bayswater bag in Black Patent Leather.  I bought this bag in Paris, which was a really stupid place to buy it, but when one is in love, logic often flies out the window.  I went over there with the specific intent of buying a black patent bag and spent the week looking.  And then I saw this one,  across the room at the Galleries Lafayette.  My face got hot and I knew I was a goner.  When I saw the price, I tried not to buy it, but it was for naught.  And my friend was no help.   ("Oh, for God's sake, Tonya, you make a lot of money.  Just buy the damn thing.")

But you know, I didn't want to buy it at the Galleries Lafayette so I made said snarky friend haul it over to the Mulberry store on Rue Saint-Honore' because that was just more fun.  In addition to being beautiful, it's also roomy and has three pockets inside, one with a zipper, one for the cell phone and one for the ipod.  I've had it for a few years now and it's one of those bags that I'll still be carrying when I'm 60 and beyond.  It's an investment bag and it's timeless.  It's also really heavy! 

I also bought my wallet on that same trip.  It's a Longchamp Roseau in black leather and as soon as I saw it, I had to have it.   It's several years old now and I love it just as much today as I did when I bought it.   In fact, it's one of my most favorite things, ever!  Ever since Kelly Garrett whipped out her little french wallet on Charlie's Angels, I've been looking for the perfect one and I think I found it.  It has a good amount of card slots, a place for your paper money and it does not have a big, bulky change compartment (which I find important).  I also like it's little silver embellishment and I think that it's sleek and beautiful.

As my little Charlie's Angels story shows, my love affair with small leather goods goes way back and I have loved bags and wallets for as long as I can remember.  I especially have a thing about wallets.  I always notice them and I am amazed by the number of chic, stylish and otherwise enviable women who will pull a wallet out of their bag and it will be the most horrifically shoddy mess one has ever seen.  These things cannot even be called "wallets" any more because they are falling apart, unable to close and crammed full of every credit card, discount card, kid's school picture and 100 year old receipt one has ever seen!  If this is any one of you, I am sorry, but clean that shit up! 

Also in my bag is my little cheetah print Kate Spade Henrietta make up bag.  I really like Kate Spade's bags and I never met an animal print I didn't like.  Kate's makeup bags are a little pricey but they are cute and well made and, importantly, laminated so they don't get schmutzy.  I think the Henrietta is a great size, not too small and not too big.  Mine is crammed full of a lot of stuff including my MAC compact, my NARS lip gloss (Risky Business), my carmax (total addict), individually wrapped wet ones, tampons, nail file, band aids, Advil, Neosporin, extra Imitrex, dental floss and Little Strips of Evil (otherwise known as Listerine Breath Strips, but I swear if evil has a taste it's those things).  My friends will say to me "Hey, do you have any evil in your bag?"  We've had more than a few quizzical looks over the years. 

Also with me at all times is my Ipod touch, my cell phone (a Motorola Droid from Verizon - more about that later), my keys and my fabulous fine point sharpie pens.

I also usually have my little leather date book because, try as I might, I just can't go completely electronic.  I need to write things down.  On paper.  And then refer back to them later.  I buy one of these every year at Borders.  They are made by The Gallery Leather Co. and they are just as chic as they can be.  Big enough to be useful, small enough to be portable.  Durable and the pages are thick enough that your sharpie doesn't bleed through, which I find important. 

And lastly, I always have my sunglasses.  I have eyes that do not like the light and it's almost impossible for me to be outside without shades.  Right now I have a pair of Michael Kors aviators but it's anybody's guess how long they'll last.  I abuse sunglasses horribly and they have a very short shelf life.  It's only a matter of time before I step on them, sit on them, drop them or they just fall apart in my hands from mistreatment. 

So there it is, The Bee Charmer's Bag.


Wednesday - Run Away Without Leaving Home

I'm really trying to embrace February, but I think that our Wednesdays are going to be devoted to my summertime dreams for at least a few more weeks. 
Image:  Summertime by Mary Mata at StudioMem

Mountain Stage - West Virginia Public Radio


Hey!  Are you listening to Mountain Stage?  If you're not, quit sitting there and go figure out a way to tune in.

If you don't know about it, Mountain Stage is a two-hour radio show produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting and distributed world wide on National Public Radio.  The show has been produced since 1983 and is recorded before a live audience, usually at the Cultural Center in Charleston, West Virginia.  Mountain Stage hosts diverse artists from the traditional to the very modern.  Over the years, the show has featured both established and up and coming artists, including Sarah McLachlan, Norah Jones, Barenaked Ladies, Ben Harper, Paula Cole, Nickel Creek, Cassandra Wilson, Counting Crows, Phish and R.E.M.  Compilations of some of the best performances are available for download on ITunes, as well as free podcasts of recent performances. 

If you aren't listening and you'd like to be kept updated on upcoming shows, you can become a Facebook fan

Tune in.  Support good music and support West Virginia Public Radio!

February Blues


I think I have officially reached the point where I am officially tired of winter.  I've actually been pretty proud of myself this year for not getting too bogged down in wishing for spring.  And I'm not nearly as miserable as I have been in the past.  But still.....

I'm ready for my flip flops.  I'm ready for warm air and long days and green grass.  I'm ready for dogwoods and forsythia and azaleas.  I'm ready for outdoor dining.  Dang!

I had to run errands (in the dark) after work last night.  I needed shampoo.  I needed a new watch battery.  I had to go to the dadgum Teeter to pick up a prescription and the pasta and diet coke that I forgot to get yesterday.  And you know I am cursed.  CURSED.  I have a preternatural ability to pick the most god forsaken checkout line and I did it.  Again.  On Tuesday night.  Hell, I tell you.  I was in hell!

How can it take more than 2 minutes to check out a frat boy who is buying a six pack and a bag of chips with a debit card?  How?  How is it humanly possible?  And yet, I stood there for 15 minutes while this checkout person managed to suspend the laws of physics and common sense.  She could not get the beer in the bag!  I watched her try again and again and again to put the BEER in the BAG and she couldn't do it.  How is that possible???  Isn't an understanding of putting the groceries in the bags sort of fundamental to the job? 

I finally gave up and went to another line.

But the next line wasn't any better.  There, despite a person in front of me with a bottle of wine, a rotisserie chicken and a People Magazine and despite 3 checkout people and a bag boy, I STILL had to stand and wait FOREVER.  They had to chat, they had to confer, somebody had to make change, there was a coupon and then, on top of it all, Rotisserie Chicken Girl had to write a brother puckin' check!  AHHH! I swear, I hope there is a special hell for people who insist on writing checks. 

*Heavy Sigh*

I tried to go to my Zen place, I really really did.  But I just wanted to throw a screaming, stomping fit.

So I decided to come home and vent on my blog.  'Cause if I can't vent every once in a while, what good is it?

At least NCIS is on tonight.

Image:  Ice and Lace by Abby Blaine


Tuesday's Girl

"The success of love is in the loving - it is not in the result of loving. Of course it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done."
Mother Teresa

Soldier of Love

Sade's new CD dropped last Tuesday and we downloaded it.  She's in regular rotation on our weekend brunch mixes here at Chateau Bee Charmer.

If you're a fan, as I am, you should pick it up.  Have a little slow groove with your coffee.

This Charming House

The Elliott Puckette is back!

Are y'all sick of it yet?  I don't care if you are.  I am excited about this. 

As I've told you before,  I bought an Elliott Puckette lithograph late last fall and immediately rushed it off to the framers.  And when it came back it was just ..... wrong.   I missed.   I don't often go wrong with my framing decisions but I just really messed up with the Puckette.   I think I overthought it.   You can go here and see what it looked like before.

But because I paid money for that frame job, I hung it in my bedroom and decided that I'd live with it for a while.  Well, last week I decided that I'd had enough and that despite a valiant effort on my part, I still hated it.  So back it went and today I picked up the re-framed piece and I have to say....


Here it is hanging in it's new spot in the entry hall. I just cannot get over how much difference the frame and mat color makes.  It literally made my heart skip a beat when I hung it on the wall.

And as an added bonus I moved the piece that was previously hanging here (an Imogen Cunningham print) upstairs to the empty spot in my bedroom, where it looks so wonderful and completely new. 

I need to thank the lovely and patient guys at my frame shop, Corners, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude.  If you're a Charlotte area reader, definitely give them your business.  There are no words to describe how great they are. 


Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and happy Valentine's weekend.   I found this beautiful picture of a camellia and I just love them.  They bloom all winter here in North Carolina and that just couldn't be nicer. I'm also happy that the days are getting longer.  I looked on the calendar and Daylight Savings Time begins in about a month.  It's official.  I'm lusting for spring, this despite my pleasure in not making myself miserable while I'm waiting for it.  I'm still putting my boots on everyday and enjoying my wool scarves and my camel coat.  Still....I'm really beginning to look forward to warmer weather and spring flowers.

We had a bit of a surprise snowstorm on Friday night and woke up to a really pretty snowy Saturday.  The snow was over and the sky was Carolina blue.  By noon I was able to go out and run all of my errands and I have to say that I had a really good time.  I got a new phone (see the post later this week) and did a little shopping, including buying myself some really nice tulips for Valentine's Day.   Oh!  And I picked up a faux sheepskin throw at West Elm for $19.97!  Marked down from $119.00!  I don't really know what I'm going to do with it, but I've long since thought that the glam quotient here at Chateau Bee Charmer could be improved by a little faux fur.   For that price, I should have bought 2 or 3.  But you know, that might have been a bit....much.

Also, on Saturday, I bought my plane ticket for Key West.  I'm really looking forward to it.  Last year was my first trip down there and it's really a great place to go and lay in the sun like a slug.  And the food is great.  And our hotel has a tiki bar by the pool and nice little girls who will bring you food and liquor while you lay there.   We were really thinking of going to Europe this year, but then neither of us wanted to deal with the plane ride or customs or the navigation of foreign culture.  We just wanted a short flight, warm weather, no plans and mudslides delivered directly to our chaise lounges.  So we're going back to Key West.  It really fits the bill. 

I have nothing to report about Sunday.  I had one of those days where I got out of bed before I wanted to and didn't recover from it all day.  I was just kind of a sleepy little crank pot.  I did manage to pick up the house, but I really didn't enjoy it.  And then I ordered pizza for dinner and watched the Olympics.

Image:  Rose of Winter by Mingtaphotography.

Olympic Pretty Man

In the spirit of the Olympics and our general commitment to patriotism here at The Bee Charmer, this week's Random Pretty Man is being pre-empted by the Olympic Pretty Man.

And who better to be an Olympic Pretty Man than the incomparable Mr. Apolo Ohno?  I know that he's a bit of a puppy but he's still a biscuit.

Isn't he?

We wish him well in these, his 3rd Olympic Games.

Lazy Friday Night in the Snow and a White Saturday Morning

So we had kind of a surprise snow storm on Friday night. Who knew?

When I left work at 5, it was just beginning to snow and by the time we had our walk and our supper, we were ready to settle in and monitor the accumulation!


It was very exciting!  Notice how the boy took his Nylabone over there with him so he could chew and monitor at the same time.


By 9 o'clock, we had about 4 inches and the Beans and I went out to play in it, in the dark.  We didn't take pictures, though, because we illegally ran off leash and we can't have that kind of incriminating evidence around....

By Saturday morning, our yard looked like this:

Lola went out and for the first time seemed to be investigating the taste of snow.  I think she was a little underwhelmed with it.  She kept looking at me like "why doesn't this taste better?"

Finn was very business-like about the whole thing.  He's gotta patrol the yard, no matter what the weather, ya know?


Happy Friday!

Hi everybody!

Just a quick post to say that I hope everyone has a good weekend and a Happy Valentine's Day.

And you know I just realized that The Olympic opening ceremonies are tonight.  How fun!  I love the Olympics and especially the opening ceremonies.  It's such a pretty thought to believe that we can all put aside our differences and share an experience in friendship.  When I was younger, I couldn't understand why so many people were afraid of peace and friendship and the celebration of our differences.  Now that I'm older, I understand it even less.  I think I love the Olympics so much because they always make me feel like we have a hope. 

So I hope for a happy and peaceful Olympics and I will warn you that it makes me cry.  I cry for the people who win, I cry for the people who lose.  I cry for two weeks.  You should all brace yourselves because any mention that I make for the next two weeks will be accompanied by my report of how much I cried and for whom.  It's a thing.  I'm weepy and sentimental - I personally blame my Irish grandfather. 

So have a good weekend.  Clap for our team.  Take your sweetest sweetie to dinner.  Have a little dessert.  In fact, have two.

And I'll see you on Monday.

Image:  Looking For Love by Irene Suchocki.

The Bee Charmer's Kitchen - Sur La Table

As many of you know, I have a weakness for kitchen stuff.   My friends refer to it as my spatula fetish.

Knowing this, you can understand how much fun I would have in kitchen stores.  I thought I'd put my lust to good use and report back to y'all about my recent trip to Sur la Table.

So many cool things!

First, did you know that Le Creuset is now doing purple?  Of course, they call is cassis.  Damn!  I already committed to the wheatgrass and NOW they bring out the purple.  Isn't it beautiful??

Next, I really love sweet smelling soaps for the kitchen.  Therefore, even though it's more expensive, I buy kitchen soaps made with essential oils.  Sur la Table was having a sale on their all-natural, earth friendly kitchen and hand soaps, including one that combined two of my favorite scents, bergamot and verbena.  Since I'm almost out of both, I picked some up.


I was also taken with these super cute Paris kitchen towels.  I didn't buy them because I am pretty sure there are enough Eiffel Towers in my house and I think that Lola would attack the pom-pom fringe.  Just so you know, all fringe, trim and decoration of any kind are referred to as "Bean food" here at Chateau Bee Charmer.

And, because I love to look at the shiny technology, I decided to have a look at the fancy coffee makers.  This one looked particularly nice.  My coffee maker is getting old and I think this one may be a contender if and when it needs to be replaced.  It's the Krups Precision Coffee Maker with the 12 cup carafe.  We try to drink good coffee here at Chateau Bee Charmer.  I think this would help us with that, don't you?  And you know, it would look sleek and pretty on the counter.

Etsy Purchases - Part II

I've already talked about Etsy art this week and you all know about my deep abiding love for it.

Here are two more pieces that I purchased last weekend.   They are coming to me all the way from Sweden!  How cool is that?  I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with them, but I think I have a little spot in my guest bathroom that will do...



Images:  Icicles (top) and Wintery Bokeh (bottom) by Maria Kallin.


The Weekly Bean

In honor of the upcoming Valentine's weekend, my little sweethearts, Finn and Lola, are making a joint appearance in this week's Weekly Bean and are modeling their new Valentine's Day scarfies, which they scammed from the nice ladies at the dog spa last week. 

Finn's is hot pink and has hearts and the words "Love", "Hugs" and "Kisses" written all over it, which is appropriate for him, because he's a big potato.  You can't actually see his scarf because of all the fuzz.  He's a big, fuzzy potato. 

Lola Bean's scarf is sparkly and has pink and black skulls and crossbones all over it (except instead of skulls there are hearts).  It kills me that the pet spa people know her personality.  If she were a teenager she'd have her snoot pierced and be smoking camel lights without permission.

Finn and Lola would like to send all their smoochiest corgi love out to all of you and hope that you all have a happy Valentine's Day!

Under the Tuscan Sun

Since I'm talking about stuff that I love this week, I thought I'd throw in Under the Tuscan Sun.

Honestly, I cannot tell you why I decided to read this book.  I can tell you that I read it several years before the movie came out so I probably found it in the "travel books" section at the bookstore.  In any event, I fell in love with it, not so much because she talks about a house in Italy, but because she talks about a house.

A house of my own is all I've ever really wanted in my whole life.  As a little girl, I remember loving it when my Grandma's Good Housekeeping came in the mail because there was always some sort of house tour in it and I loved them.  I would pore over them, studying them, going back to my favorites again and again.  Then, when I was about 10,  my Mom got a subscription to Southern Living and I was in heaven.  All the beautiful houses....

And then I finally got that house.  It wasn't even this house, even though this is the first house that I've owned and God knows that I love it.  My first home was the little townhouse that I rented after the divorce and after I decided to stop waiting for my life to happen and to start building the damn thing myself.  And that little townhouse became my home.  I stayed there for a long time, probably longer than I should have but I felt safe there.  I loved it and I cried and I grieved when I finally did leave it.

So the thing I love about this book is the talk about the house, the work, the furniture, the shopping, the cleaning, the cooking in the kitchen -  the process of taking an old, dilapidated structure and turning it into a home.  Reading it filled me with happiness.

When I moved into my little rental, I read this book and it gave me a goal.   When I was in the process of buying this house I re-read it again and again.  It soothed me.  It encouraged me.  When I envisioned everything that could go wrong, it reminded me to focus on what would happen if everything went exactly right.  And it was glorious. 

If you love houses or Italy or cooking or travel or any or all of these things,  I'd encourage you to pick this book up.  And don't judge the book by the movie.  Two completely different things.

The French Martini

My friend emailed me the other night and wanted my French Martini recipe. 

Since I talk about them ALL the time and they are the house drink here at Chateau Bee Charmer, I thought I'd post the recipe -  

So here it is:

1 1/2 oz vodka
1/4 oz Chambord® raspberry liqueur
1/4 oz fresh pineapple juice
1 twist lemon peel

Pour each of the above into a tall bar glass. Shake with ice, pour into a cocktail or martini glass, and serve.  I usually double or quadruple this, depending on how many I want to make. 

Go.  Mix.  Drink!


Wednesday - Run Away Without Leaving Home


Sunlight and tulips and sky blue sky!  

Oh!  It's almost spring!!!

Image:  Sunlit Tulips by Thingsthataremade.
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