Wednesday - Run Away Without Leaving Home

Don't you love Rome?

I sure do!
Image:  The Tiber by Marisa Allegra Williams.

Wednesday West Virginia Pretty Man

It's Kevin Jones!

This is what he looks like.  The whole game.



Joyous and smoochy.

Fears for Finn (And Lola)

Monday night I dreamed that I boarded Finn and while he was there, somebody came in the middle of the night and shot him in the head and killed him.  When they told me, they took me to the place where he had been sleeping and his little blanket was there, smeared with blood and blood was splattered on the wall.

I woke up with my heart racing, hot and terrified.  I listened for a minute and I could hear the soft little rumbles of them both snoring (they both snore) and so I calmed myself down and tried to go back to sleep.  It didn't really work and I had unsettled dreams for the rest of the night.

I tried to give extra love and kisses to Finn all day on Tuesday and he kept giving me the same look that they give me when I watch Dogtown (because seeing other dogs mistreated makes me want to love on my own).  Being kissed and loved on and picked up is not necessarily a good thing if you are a Bean and they give me the "Oh, God, she's been watching Dogtown again" looks. 

I'd like to say that my bad dreams were brought on by alcohol or spicy foods or watching horror movies or the nightly news or the Discovery Channel before bed, but I did none of those things.  The truth is that I am (often unreasonably) terrified that something bad will happen to Finn and/or Lola.  I constantly worry that everything they eat off the ground will somehow be toxic, that they will develop some untreatable disease, that they will be dognapped from the backyard or that somebody, somehow, someway will get to them and hurt them.   I pay extra money to my security company for fire monitoring, not because I am the least bit worried about the loss of all of my possessions, but because if the house does catch fire, I want the rescue squad to come get my Beans.  I once rushed them both off to the emergency vet on Sunday afternoon because I had it in my head that they may have eaten rat poison while visiting another house (don't ask, it's a LONG story.)  I knew in my head that it couldn't be, but the unreasonable crazy worry wouldn't stop.  They were fine and the blood tests only cost me $500. 

I know, it's not quite normal.  I've actually discussed this propensity toward irrational fear with trained professionals.

Partly, I think it's because I was the first baby of fearful and overprotective parents.  The world is a scary place to them and until I was around 33, I always walked around with a sort of nebulous fear that "something" would happen.  Some nameless, faceless, unknown danger has always been lurking around the perimeter of my life, just waiting to jump out and snatch me as soon as I let my guard down.  When my "babies" came, my fear extended to them. 

Once, when I had just gotten out of law school, the law firm I worked for hired a new receptionist who was a part-time Psychic.  She took one look at me, touched my hand and said "You know, you are safe in this world."  I wrote that on a sticky note and at one time or another it has been hanging around my house.  Even today, when my anxiety starts going over to the bad place, I chant it over and over in my head.  My father once, while visiting me, noticed my sticky note and asked me just what it was that I was so afraid of.  When I told him it would be easier to tell him what I wasn't afraid of, he looked a little stricken and then quickly changed the subject.  My father thinks that unpleasant things will go away if he just ignores them long enough or with enough discipline.  In his defense, his entire side of the family practices the same avoidance, so I'm not so sure it's his fault.

But, you know, then I went to therapy and became "Zen Tonya" as we refer to me now, and I have to say that much of my fears have subsided.  Even with respect to Finn and Lola they are much less ridiculous than they used to be.  But they still pop up, from time to time.  And when they pop up, I always come back to this idea that something is going to happen that will snatch away my happiness, starting with Finn and Lola. 

Finn woke up on Tuesday morning, just like he always does, happy and having slept through the night.  He was walked, made potty, had his usual healthy Eukanuba for breakfast and then lazed around until I loaded him and his stinky little sister into the car and hauled them both off to the dog spa to be buffed and puffed.

He doesn't share my fears.  He thinks the world is grand and it has really never occurred to him to be afraid of anything except errant plastic shopping bags which get stuck in the trees and move strangely, or the average thunderstorm.  When these things come up in his life, he comes running to me or hides in the upstairs bathroom.   All is well with him, as it should be, as I have carefully insured that it will be, because he has never wanted for or done without anything or been mistreated in his life.  There has never been a time of crisis with him that I haven't swooped in and fixed.  He is a loved little guy (as is Lola Bean).  It makes me happy to take care of them.

But sometimes my worries sneak in and Finn and Lola have to endure a little extra smoochies. They also enjoyed the organic peanut butter dog snacks and the two new squeaky toys that I brought home for them from Petco on Tuesday night.  They'll put up with my occasional freakouts anyday as long as they get peanut butter dog treats at the end of it. 

Or we can only hope. 

Now That's Classy!

I joined the Facebook group "Intelligent, Classy, Well-Educated Women Who Say "Fuck" a Lot."

I think that tells you about everything you really need to know about me.


Tuesday's Girl

"There is no such thing as natural beauty."
Dolly Parton as Truvy in Steel Magnolias

Tuesday's West Virgina Pretty Man

Ladies, Devin Ebanks is back.

He's my new sweet babboo.  

And he still ain't nothin' but pretty.

Steely Dan - Hey Nineteen

You know that I am, among many, many other things, a child of the seventies.

My best friend from law school Facebooked me this weekend, while out on a date with her husband and said "I just heard 'Hey Nineteen' on the radio and I thought of you.  Remember how Steely Dan got us through law school?"

That made me really happy.  Both that she thought of me and that she thought of us.

And I did remember, too.  Steely Dan got me through law school and more than that.

Carolina Cottage

I was fiddling around on Etsy last night and came upon Carolina Cottage.

Talk about super cool stuff!

If you're interested, you can check it out here.

This Charming House

This is what it looked like on my first walk through after it was framed in.  You know when it actually had walls and windows.

And on the final walkthrough.

And this is what it looks like now.

I read last week that Sandra Bullock had said that she didn't have a home until she met Jesse James.  And she married him at 40.

That just makes me sad.  Not just because it turns out that he appears to have been a less than faithful husband, but also because I don't think you should wait to have a home or to make one.

The dirty little secret of my existence is that I'm pretty much sure that I was born to be a homemaker.  Nothing makes me happier.  I love to do laundry.  To fold sheets.  I love taking care of Finn and Lola and spoiling those I love when they are in my home.  I want my guests to feel welcome and I want my home to be my place.  My safe, happy place.

And it is.

Don't wait to have a home.  Make one today.  No matter what.


Happy Monday!


I could sit here and act like I have anything to say right now that is the least bit UN-related to West Virginia's win this weekend, but it would be shallow and a lie.

I am overjoyed with this team.  This means so much to us.  As a school, as a state.  I think I can speak for West Virginia when I tell you how very proud we are of this team and how much their sportsmanship and joy and confidence has meant to us all.

West Virginia LOVES it's Mountaineers.

And the Bee Charmer loves them, too.

I think it's going to be a great week and I can't promise that I'll be able to tone it down very much.  If we actually win this thing, I may very well become unbearable!

But for now, I'll thank you all for bearing with me.  This is a momentous occasion and deserves to be celebrated!

So Let's GO MOUNTAINEERS!  All the way to Indianapolis!!!
Image:  Choose Happiness by Sweet Blue Photography.

Monday's WVU Pretty Man

Today's West Virginia Pretty Man is Joe Mazzulla, who came off the bench Saturday night and skinned some Kentucky Wildcat!

It's West Virginia!

I have a confession to make.

Going into last weekend's game against Kentucky, I knew in my head that Kentucky was supposed to win.

But in my quiet little heart, I thought we would win.  I expressed this secret thought to a few close friends, who looked at me with a mixture of love, skepticism and pity. 

It turns out that I was right.  WVU beat Kentucky.  And not by a little bit.

As you all know, I've been following this team pretty closely in March.  I sat through three nail biting games with them on their way to the Big East title.  I paced.  I fretted.  I buried my face in my hands.  I confess that I had to walk away and go upstairs during the final seconds of the Big East final (because I was sure we were going to overtime and I needed a minute to prepare myself).  I watched Da'Sean Butler's game winning basket on instant replay. 

And now I've sat through all the games of the NCAA Tournament.  I've been a mess.  My friends are making fun of me.

Now that we've made it to the Final Four, I am here to brag a bit and to bitch a lot.

First, the bitching:

Throughout this whole thing, I've been STUNNED by the lack of decency and basic respect that is shown not only to this team, but to our whole state.

Even in the victory over Kentucky, Dick Enberg stumbled over our name, almost forgetting to put the "West" in front of the word "Virginia".  Last weekend, during the Missouri game, the announcer referred to us as "Western Virginia".  Until very recently, our team was regularly (and incorrectly) referred to as "The University of West Virginia" as opposed to West Virginia University (here's a hint, if you can remember "WVU" you can use it as a mnemonic tool to put the words in the right order).  The articles that came out after last night's game initially referred to our campus being located in Huntington (it's in Morgantown, about 200 miles NORTH of Huntington, where it's been since 1867).

You know, nobody deserves to be treated this way.  West Virginia itself has been a state since 1863.  It's not asking too much, even of sportscasters, to get the name right or to know where the campus is located.  

So for the record, let me just say that this team has been monumental throughout the Big East Tournament and throughout the NCAA Tournament.  They've never quit, they've never stopped, they've never lost their heads.  This team is tough.  It is experienced.  It is disciplined.  And I think they're not done yet.  They have played with joy and quiet confidence.  As the sports article read West Virginia had the stage Saturday night, after Kentucky had the spotlight all season. 

Whatever happens from here on out, I think that people need to figure out how to get the name right.

I'll bet they can remember it in Kentucky now.

The Must Haves

I've given a lot of stuff up over the years, in search of health and slimness.  And if I haven't given it up, I've limited it.  You know.  Alcohol.  Caffeine.  Red Meat.  Snickers, Twinkies and Chocolate Shakes. 

I've never been able to give up French Fries, and to tell you the absolute truth, I've never even tried.

I just don't think that there is anything better and I have to have them.

And if you're ever in Charlotte and you want the best fries in town, you have to go to Frank Mazetti's in South Park.

Just sayin. 
Image:  The Perfect Compliment by Disney Mike.


The Daily Athenaeum!

I am so in love with these guys right now!!!



Way to go Mounties!!!!!

Final Four here we come!!


Happy Friday!

Thank GOD it's Friday!

Has this been a long week for anyone else?  It seems to me like it's gone on forever.  I don't know whether it's my upcoming vacation or a longing to be playing in the spring weather, but my days at work this week have been interminable!

I am shopping this weekend.  I need to look for some shoes.  I need some spring tops.  I think I want some colored cardigans from Ann Taylor.

I also have a bug up my butt to shop for silver rings this weekend.  I may run over the Handpicked and see what they've got.  Do y'all have Handpicked where you live?  I know that they are in Charlotte and there is one in Charleston, South Carolina.  I'm not sure how wide spread they are.

Yesterday I made the mistake of going to the Kate Spade website to look at the sale merchandise.  They were having an extra 25% off the final sale price, which was bad enough, but then I found a coupon code online and got an additional 20% off and ended up buying 2 leather Kate Spade bags for $250.00.  With free shipping.

How are you gonna turn that down?

I submit to you that you would be crazy to say no to that deal.

So I bought them.  A gold metallic Wellesley Quinn and a white patent leather Tutti Frutti Maryanne.

I'm pretty excited about it.

I'm also going for my massage tonight, which I'm pretty pumped about.  My hip is bugging a little bit lately and the massages seem to be getting it under control.

So have a good weekend and I'll see you on Monday.
Image:  Pink Shoes Green Bench by Vicinity Studio.

The Elite Eight!!!

Let's Go Mountaineers!!!!  Bring on Kentucky!!

A Little Something Pretty for the Weekend

Snow Pines by Helen Frankenthaler


The Weekly Bean

Enjoying a spring day in the back yard. 

And a nap after a long walk.

New for the Coffee Table! Or How I Gave In to the Pretty Again

I fell off the Coffee Table Book wagon this weekend.

This is what I get for surfing Amazon.com when I'm bored.

I get this:

And this:

And this:
In my defense, they were all on sale and they are all beautiful.

And I asked for the Frankenthaler book for Christmas but it was on back order. 

And there we have it.


The me.  And the sucker.

And the pretty.

And more books.

The Bee Charmer's Closet

It's the straight destructed jeans in medium wash from The Gap.

I've tried all the other jeans.  I have a bunch of really expensive ones that I almost never wear.  The Gap fits me best and these look so easy for the summer. 

I also want the shoes.  That's a whole other ball of wax....


Wednesday - Run Away Without Leaving Home

Can you tell that my thoughts have turned away from Charlotte and law and everyday life?

I need to go away for a while.

I always love my home so much more after a week away from it.

But I love the world, too.

Skinmedica TNS Recovery Complex

I just have to tell y'all that I love this stuff.

I have only been using it for two weeks or so, but my skin looks amazing.  It feels amazing.  I hope that the improvements continue.

Two drawbacks:  First, it's expensive.  I shopped around and still paid more for it than I would have liked,  but then you know I'm over 40 and childless - what else do I have to spend my money on?

Second, it stinks.  As in it smells like feet or moldy socks or a combination thereof.  It's just putrid.  It seems to dissipate pretty fast, but you should prepare yourselves for it if you try it.  Then again nobody ever said that looking good was pretty or smelled good. 

But I wear it at night, underneath the retinol complex and the hydrating B5 gel and the moisturizer and my skin just looks amazing.  I can't get over it.  Here's hoping it continues to improve, as I have read good reviews to that affect.  Or is it effect?  Hmmm.....


Tuesday's Girl

"I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught."
Georgia O'Keeffe

Ryan Adams - Hearbreaker

I have lately become a huge Ryan Adams fan.

I think that Come Pick Me Up is my current favorite song.

Ryan.  Emmy Lou Harris.  Banjos and harmonicas.  The blatant and sexy use of the word "fuck".

What's not to love?

This Charming House

Here's my new little bowl that I bought at a second hand store a couple of weeks ago.

Isn't it cool?  I paid $11.00 for it.

I bought it because I like it and I also because I thought it was Blenko Glass, which I support because it's made in West Virginia.  It is signed on the bottom so I figured I'd check it out.

It turns out, it's not Blenko.

According to the mark,  it is Orrefors and it was apparently made by Vicke Lindstrand in Sweden in 1940. 

It is marked with the number 2235/5 on the bottom.

I went online and found the one that was marked 2235/3.  It sold at auction for $450.00.

I guess this means that my $11.00 investment was quite astute, no?  It always makes me happy when I get something very cool for a steal!


Happy Monday!


I hope everybody had a great weekend.

I didn't do much of anything, unless you count watching NCAA Basketball.  If you count that, then I did a lot.

My friends are a bit shocked, given my firm "anti-sports" stance.  However, I get swept up in it and especially this year, when my team is doing so well.

Saturday was absolutely the most perfect spring day and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  Lola and I took a walk through the neighborhood and at some point I went and got my toes done, during which I finished last month's Vogue.  The Tina Fey article is entertaining and the Grace Coddington shoot in Jamaica was thought provoking (especially the Alexander McQueen Armadillo shoes).  And that's about all I have to say about it.  The rest of the weekend was spent puttering around the house, sitting in the yard, napping and doing laundry.   Oh and there were lazy mornings with lots and lots of peace and coffee. 

Some would call that boring.

I call it absolutely wonderful.

I wouldn't want to spend every weekend with so little to do, but sometimes, there is nothing better.

I didn't even shop for cheese and chocolate because I didn't want to drive and deal with parking and crowds.  The upside of that is that I didn't spend much money!

Back to the basketball, Wake Forest (my other school) is out.  Pitt (WVU's arch-nemesis) is out.  And my darling West Virginia Mountaineers are through to the Sweet 16.  Way to go Mounties!!!

I think it's gonna be a good week. 
Image:  Sweetness and Light by Gabrielle Kai.

Random Pretty Man

I'm having WAVES of James Marsters lust lately.

WAVES, y'all. 

The Must Haves

Have you ever given any thought to the things that you absolutely couldn't live without?

I couldn't live without hot water.  Bubble baths.  Long Hot Showers.

I swear if the terrorists ever get me, they don't have to do anything except deprive me of hot water for 8 hours or so.  I'll tell them anything they want to know.

In fact, the main reason that I wouldn't want to go to prison is the lack of a private bathroom.

What?  You think you're any different?  I'm a spoiled little white girl.  I know my limitations. 
Image:  English Bathtub by Matt Allen Photography.


Happy Friday!

It's Friday!  Yay!

I have Court this morning, which is a little unusual, but it happens.  Hopefully, it will be brief.  The good thing about it is that it's in Charlotte so at least I didn't have to get up early and drive to Timbuktu.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.  It's supposed to be beautiful here and other than cheese and chocolate shopping, I really don't have any plans.  I hope to get some exercise for me and for the Beans and maybe get lost in the bookstore for a while.

I'm also going to really start the vacation countdown.  Three weeks or so until Key West!  This is going to say a lot about me, but I don't just go on vacation.  I have to get ready for it.  I have to plan.  I have to think about clothes that I will need and books that I want to read and plans that need to be made for the Beans and the house while I'm gone.  I'm even anal and controlling when I go on vacation.  It's ridiculous but I'm too old to lie to myself (or y'all) about it.  It is what it is.

So that's what I'll work on this weekend, too.

So have a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday.
Image:  Pont Marie by Elisabeth Perotin.

On Doing What You Can

I read this blog.

I don't really know how I found it, but it is written by a person who is sort of my polar opposite.

She is 27 years old, she's been married since she was 21.  She has 2 kids.  She and her husband are very well off, they live on a golf course in Texas.  They have a large house that has been professionally decorated by a person with a tanker truck full of French Provincial and a fire hose.  Although she is educated, she is a stay at home mom who spends her days shopping and playing with her kids.  She calls herself a "retro housewife".  She is a conservative, Bible beating Christian who refers to the President by his last name only and who hates all things which she had determined are "liberal".

I read her blog out of morbid fascination. 

I think she's a little twit and her attitude is one that can be had only if nothing bad has ever happened to you.  She firmly believes that she has pulled herself up by her own bootstraps but it is clear that her path has been bulldozed by wealthy parents who have given her every advantage and opportunity.  It's not hard to do well under those conditions. 

Despite her proselytization, it does not appear that she has any love, empathy or sympathy for those who are less fortunate than she is.  She speaks openly of her many blessings, but her selfishness is staggering.  Her scorn for those with less than she has is unbelievable.  Despite her firm "pro-life" stance, I'm sure she'd be OK with the babies of illegal Mexicans dying in the streets because they don't "deserve" the benefits of American health care or education.   Apparently, God only loves the lives of American fetuses and babies.  Everybody else should "go back to where they came from" and let "their own people" take care of them.

Can you imagine Christ saying that to the masses who came out to see him?  "I'll need to see your passports, first.  If you're here illegally, you'll have to go back to where you came from."

But I digress.   

Yesterday she posted a blog about her absolute refusal to embrace anything "green". 

In the past she has railed against the movement.  She thinks global warming is a lie.  She thinks we have nothing to worry about.  She thinks it is all a "liberal" smokescreen.  She has bragged about how she and her husband went out and purchased the two largest, most gas guzzling SUVs they could find because they can afford them and they don't care about emissions.  Yesterday she blogged about how she refuses to recycle, that it's just not "her".  She just cannot be bothered with something so tiresome, so pointless, so liberal.  She called her city and asked them to come and get the city issued recycling bin because she doesn't want it wasting space in her garage.  It's all a big joke and she refuses to be pushed by a liberal government to do something that she finds ridiculous. 

Now, I'm not the "greenest" person in the world.  I don't compost.  I don't wear organic makeup or buy organic sheets or worry about VOC's in my paint.  I don't think that I, alone, can make much of a difference.  But I do think that I can do what I can do.  I can throw the diet coke bottles and the beer bottles and the old magazines into the recycling bin.  I can turn off a light.  I can buy a fuel efficient car because, ultimately, it saves me money.  If my clothes are clean and my dishes are clean and my bathroom is clean, why does it matter that they got that way with earth friendly products?  It's just as easy to buy them as it is to buy the harmful ones.  I know that I can't change the world, but I can do what I can do.

Which brings me back to the Little Miss Twit (which I will call her for lack of a better name).  Why wouldn't she do what she can do?  What would be the harm?  And how can you be so self-involved that you don't care to lift a finger for a better world?

I grew up in Southern West Virginia.  I know what pollution looks like.  I have seen garbage in the streets and the streams and the ditches.  I've seen the harm of chemicals and smoke and corporate negligence.  I know what communities look like when no one there gives a shit.  I know what the garbage dump looks like, even if she doesn't. 

And having seen what a community of do-nothings amounts to, I have also seen what an involved community can accomplish.  I guess I think our individual contributions matter more that we might think they do.  

It makes me sad that this person who could help, won't.  That this person who could use her advantages for good, doesn't.   And it bugs the crap out of me that she carries out her life believing that invoking the name of God makes her unassailable.  I can't help but think that He would be so disappointed. 

But then, what do I know?  I'm just a big ol' pinko commie liberal. 

Image:  The World's a Bubble by Green Island Studios.

A Little Extra Bean for the Weekend

Corgis are famous for their "mascara".

Lola's is pretty fantabulous!


The Weekly Bean

He was completely asleep until he heard the camera click on.  And then he was all about posing for his public.

Cheese and Chocolate

I have decided that I don't eat enough good chocolate.

I love chocolate but I feel strongly that I am a lightweight and this is no longer acceptable.  So this weekend, I am going to go forth and search for decent chocolate here in the Q.C.

I'm not real optimistic, but at least it'll give me something to do.

I am also going to recommit myself to good cheese.  I just don't eat enough good cheese.  I would like to reach the point where I have cheese and fruit for lunch every day.  I don't think it will ever happen, but I'm gonna start moving in that direction.  Maybe just on the weekends.

I do think that I can achieve having a piece of chocolate every night before bed.   It'll feed my sweet tooth and make me feel French.

The Bee Charmer's Closet

I want all of this. 

From Talbots.  I know it makes me boring.  But I'm a lawyer.  It goes with the territory....


Wednesday - Run Away Without Leaving Home

I need to go to D.C. 

This makes me wish I was there now.

Image:  Chairs, Dumbarton Oaks, Georgetown by Cherie Lester

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day.  I hope you all wore your green and got lots of kisses today!

Image:  Luck of Green Love by g(ART)en.


I have a confession to make.

All that "zen Tonya" "stay positive" stuff that I talk about on this blog?  That all leaves me the moment that I get behind the wheel of a car.  In fact, not only does "zen Tonya" not drive, she's not usually even there.  In her place, her evil twin, Skippy, takes over.

Skippy is not happy.  She is not gracious or patient or kind.  She is screaming, bitching, seething and full of rage. 

I had court uptown yesterday morning.  I took Park Road all the way up and it was a total nightmare.

Why can't people turn right on red?  Why do they putter along in the fast lane?  Why can't they get the hell out of my way? 

And then, on the way back?

Tell me what is worse:  Being stuck in the lane behind the bus or being in stuck in the other lane behind the moron in the minivan who's afraid to pass the bus?

Either way, you're fucked, it's just a question of how aggravated you're going to be about it.

I decided that it was worse to be behind the moron. 

I try to take deep breaths.  I try to sing along to the Bee Gees.   But yesterday morning I was just in my car, trying to get back to my office, full of aggravation and longing for a bazooka.

Image:  The Renault by Alicia Bock.


Tuesday's Girl

"Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace."
Amelia Earhart

The Outfield - Play Deep

I'm continuing with my 80's nostalgia thing by reminding everyone of this CD, which came out my junior year in high school.  I listened to it then, I listened to it in college.

I listened to it all last week.

Although the band hasn't really stuck around, their songs have stuck with me and I don't ever hear one without turning up the radio or singing along or being happy to have heard it.
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