Happy Friday


And I mean that, sincerely....

Yesterday, I packed up a box of work and came home from my office a couple of hours early because I was feeling achy and crampy.  I decided to lie down on the bed in the air conditioning....just for a few minutes.  Anywho..... four hours later, I woke up feeling a little dazed.  I think I really needed to rest.  The funny thing is that I wasn't all that aware of feeling tired.  I mean, I've been feeling overwhelmed this week but I had no idea.  I'm hoping this bodes well for my work productivity tomorrow.

And I'm happy for the weekend.   

Big doings here at Chateau Bee Charmer this weekend.

Tonight my friend and I are going over to check out Bistro La Bon, about which I've heard good things.  Then my friend is staying all night here and we are going to Asheville tomorrow morning to see what kind of trouble we can get into up there.  We have no real plan, other that to walk around downtown and be tourists all day.  We are also hoping it will be cooler up there than it is here - ON THE SURFACE OF THE SUN!  It is so freakin' miserable in Charlotte right now.  Hopefully, the mountains will be more pleasant. 

This trip is made possible, in part, by the darling people at Wags in the City, who will be stopping by to take care of Finn and Lola while I'm out of town for the day.  They have been a great blessing to me, as they have really enabled me to free up my weekends for day trips.  I don't trust just anybody with Finn and Lola and Wags in the City are great!!  If you're in Charlotte and you need pet sitting services, please check them out. 

So y'all all have a good weekend and try to stay cool, wherever you are.

And I'll see you on Monday.
Image:  Green White Orb by Inlet Images.

Procrastinators Anonymous

One of the things that I really dislike about myself is my tendency to procrastinate. 

I know that I do it.  I know that I get stressed out when I do it.  Then I get stressed out.  And I procrastinate.  And the more stressed out I get, the more I procrastinate.  And the more I procrastinate the more stressed out I get.  And that stresses me out even more. 

Damn it.  

*heavy sigh while blowing my bangs out of my face*

It's really bad when you're annoyed with your own self, isn't it? 

I'm trying to cut myself a little break because I really have PMS and I look and feel like I would imagine a three months pregnant water buffalo looks and feels.  

Only with cuter shoes.

I'm just gonna go to bed and start again in the morning....
Image:  Industrial Throwback by Ardent Photography.

A Little Extra Pretty for the Weekend

Image:  Quattro Stagioni: Autunno 1993-95 by Cy Twombly.

Bleed to Love Her

Fleetwood Mac is gonna play us out this weekend.....


The Weekly Bean

Don't you love it when you get your pillow and your blanket just right?

Nicole Kidman and her Kitten Heels

Kitten heels piss me off.

Either commit to a heel or put on a pair of flats but leave the kitten heels at home.  

I mean, I can't even tell you how much I hate them.  

Nicole is a repeat offender, I suppose because she insists on marrying men who are shorter than she is, but there is really no excuse for it.

If you're out there and you're wearing kitten heels, I'm sorry, I love you, but quit it. 

Transfer of Grace

If you're a fan of the low country of South Carolina, which I am, you may want to check out this book of photographs by photographer Gary Geboy.

I was able to see an exhibit of his work at Plum Elements when I was in Charleston a couple of years ago.  Unfortunately, I couldn't afford to actually buy any of his photos, but I was able to pick up this book, which I think really captures the beauty of the region.

Feeling Lonely

Did you ever feel lonely in a room full of people?

Sometimes I wish I knew at least one other person who I felt feels the same way I feel.

Sometimes I can't figure out if people don't understand me because I'm not understandable or because I'm inarticulate.  

Sometimes I get incredibly tired of feeling like I'm alone.

I'm sure everyone goes through this from time to time.

I went through it on Wednesday.
Image:  Love that Lily by Hedy Grant Photography.

The Charming Closet

I want this whole outfit, from Talbots.

I also want it to be cool enough outside to need to wear this coat.

Seriously, y'all, this heat is killing us right now.  We are beginning to lust for fall. 


Wednesday - Run Away Without Leaving Home

" True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself.   It is equal and pure, without violent demonstrations; it is seen with white hairs and is always young in the heart."
Honore de Balzac 
Image:  True Love Never Fades by Ivy.

Charming Words

Coctail [kok-teyl]

- noun

any of various short mixed drinks, consisting typically of gin, whiskey, rum, vodka, or brandy, with different admixtures, as vermouth, fruit juices, or flavorings, usually chilled and frequently sweetened

Image:  Pink Champagne by Hannah Saks-Murdoch.

A Little Extra Robert Redford for the Middle of the Week

Image:  Robert Redford by Ron Galella, 1974.

A Helpful Hint...

If you're having a little informal party and you need to serve a little something sweet, get a bag of M & Ms and put them out in a pretty bowl.

Everybody loves M & Ms.  They can't help it.  And it's hard not to have fun when you're eating a handful of M & Ms. 

I'm just sayin'.


Tuesday's Girl

"I am not a strict vegan because I'm a hedonist pig.  If I see a big chocolate cake that is made with eggs, I'll have it."
Grace Slick

This Charming Kitchen

Hey, everybody!

Head over to Lilac & Ivy for my recipe for Pork Loin Chops with Red Wine Sauce.  Thanks to Sarah for asking me to contribute!

Image:  Leaning Tower of Pyrex by Kitsch Corral.

Boys of Summer

On the short list of songs I will never tire of - it feels nostalgic in the winter and luxurious in the summer.

This Charming House

"Let us save the tomorrows for work."
Mark Twain


Happy Monday

Y'all, it's been a hot weekend.

Saturday morning my Mom and I got up bright and early to go to Hilton Head, South Carolina to pick up some nightstands that my Mom bought at a consignment store when we were down there last month.  At the time, my parents didn't have a vehicle large enough to carry them home, so Mom and I had to go back.

The point of this story is that as soon as I opened the car door to get out, it was like stepping into a sauna!  Seriously, it's like we're living on the surface of the sun.  I was out walking the dogs on Friday afternoon and I thought I'd die.  I'd really rather walk them in a freezing rain than be out in this mess.  It's too hot to live.

Speaking of too hot to live, some woman in Charlotte left her 2 month old baby alone in a closed car for 45 minutes while she shopped at WalMart.  She was charged with misdemeanor child abuse and released on $2500 bond.....

Yeah, slow roast your baby in a car and get charged with a misdemeanor and then put back out.  There is something deeply wrong with that.....

And then Sunday was like slogging through mud all day.  Seriously, nothing would work for me.  My computer and my camera were full of gremlins, my household projects fell flat, I absolutely feel as if I got nothing done.  At 6:00 o'clock, after waiting 10 minutes for the computer to download a photo for this blog, I had to get up and walk away and pray to God to bless me because I was at the end of my rope.

I rebooted and mixed a French Martini.  And then I felt better.  Ever notice that a martini glass always makes you feel better, even if it's just full of milk? 

Anyway,  I hope it's a good week, and I hope the heat breaks soon!
Image:  I Can Taste a Rainbow by Cassia Beck.

This Charming Toad

So y'all remember that we named the Patio Toad, right? 

The results of the poll are that her name is "Mathilda".


And she left the day I posted that poll and I haven't seen her since.

I don't think she wanted to be a famous toad......

The Target Dress - Part 2

So, I hope y'all remember the Target dress that I posted about here....

I now own three of them in various colors, I get complemented on the dress whenever I wear one and several friends have purchased one and been unabashedly thrilled.  In fact, we're actually calling "dibs" on who gets to wear it when we get together.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to inform everyone that I washed the dress this weekend, with no small amount of trepidation.  After all, it's a $15 dollar dress and I was worried that it would shrink, loose it's shape, fall apart, etc.

Well, I am pleased and happy to report that the little darling washes up beautifully!

Just in case anybody was worried....

Random Pretty Man

It's Mark Harmon Monday!!!

The Bee Charmer Loves Paris

"A breath of Paris preserves the soul."
Victor Hugo

Sunday Evening

The mess....

And those responsible for making it....


Happy Friday!


Oh, wow, I've been busy this week.  I think I've eaten my way from one end of Charlotte to the other in celebration of restaurant week.

I just wanted to post a little bit and tell everyone to have a great weekend.  I have to make a furniture run to Hilton Head with my Mom on Saturday and then I don't know what I'm doing the rest of the weekend.

It's kind of nice not to have a plan, idn't it?

So have a great weekend!

And I'll see you on Monday.
Image:  Straight up Sunflower by Natalie's Art.

Random Pretty Man

It's Mr. Aldis Hodge - from Leverage on TNT.

I don't like Leverage very much, but I watch it because of Aldis.  He's pretty and his character always makes me laugh....


So I was standing in line at the Teeter the other day and I looked over and saw one of these magazines.  You know, the ones with the perfect, skinny women on the cover. 

For the first time, in my life, I didn't have the thought of "Oh, I wish I had her body." 

I thought "Oh, I'd rather be me than have that body.  I'm slim.  I'm healthy.  I make healthy choices.  I don't want to work out two hours a day.  I don't want to be hungry all the time." 

Is this progress or have I started down the slippery slope of letting myself go? 

Work That

This should be our anthem.....


The Weekly Bean

Kicked back.....

The Hotel Pastis

It was, everybody said, the most perfect evening, windless and warm, the sky flushed with the last of the sun, the mountains a hazy dark mauve.  The terrace was filling up, locals and foreigners circling each other with polite interest as Ernest, resplendent in pink linen, encouraged them to mingle.  Nicole and Simon, armed with bottles of champagne, moved slowly through the crowd, topping up glasses and eavesdropping on fragments of conversation.  The French talked of politics, the Tour de France, and restaurants.  The advertising group talked, as always, about advertising.  The expatriates and owners of holiday homes compared plumbing disasters and, with a mixture of disbelief and secret satisfaction, shook their heads at the latest excessive leap in property prices. 

String Cheese Mistake

Y'all, this is what good cheese looks like. 

I am not here to talk about good cheese.  I am here to talk about acceptable cheese and that which cannot be eaten. 

I've been buying string cheese lately to snack on.  It's filling, it's good for me, it's portable and I need the calcium. 

Last week, I did something stupid, and when faced with a choice, I picked the string cheese made with 2% milk. 

In a word:  Blech. 

I had to throw it in the garbage.  It was vile.  It was like eating bad plastic. 

Let this be a lesson to you all.  Get the low sodium.  Pass by low-fat cheese.  And while we're at it, pass by the low fat mayonnaise and the low fat ranch dressing.....  Wait a minute, that's a whole other blog post.
Image:  French Cheese by Fab Prab Photos.

This Charming Closet

I fell victim to the Nordstrom sale this weekend......  (it was Sarah's fault).

I couldn't help it, they were soooooo cute and they were on sale!  And I saw a girl who was much less cute than me *wink* trying them on and I just had to have them....

The "Maryn" boot by Steve by Steve Madden.


Wednesday - Run Away Without Leaving Home

'the world is mud-lucious and puddle-wonderful.'
e e cummings
Image:  Soft Pink Peony by Arteycological.

The Boy

It occurs to me that I've been waxing sentimental about Lola Bean lately and may have given the impression that Finn is a second class citizen around here.

Well, in case anybody has that impression let me just put it to rest.

There are two precious little beating hearts at the center of my universe and one of them belongs to this boy.

What could I possibly say about him that would be enough to convey how utterly, completely and totally I adore him?

I can tell you that when he came to me I was fresh off a 'divorce' and utterly lost.

I would like to say that one look from him healed me and transformed my grief into happiness but that would be a lie.  The fact of the matter is that I was in love with Finn and also in love with a guy who didn't love me.  And when the man you love looks at you and tells you he doesn't love you and doesn't want you, it is devastating.  And it took a long time for me to get over it.  Longer than I wanted it to but it was what it was. 

But Finn came.  In February.  The worst month.

And what he gave me, what we made, was a family, when I desperately needed to build one.

I didn't know what I was doing and I walked in circles for a long, long time.  And he was with me.  He was the reason I got out of bed.  He was my baby.  He needed me.  It was him and me.  We were us.  And even after Lola came, even after all this time, sometimes I still look at him and say "Remember when it was just us?"

He is the first face I see in the morning, when I lean off the bed so he can lick both my ears (one is not enough).   Every day when I come home at lunch I have to roust him from his upstairs in the air conditioning nap.  And he is the first one to greet me when I come home from work - he hurls his little fat self up up up with his little short legs outstretched.  So my ears can get kissed again.

He is, in the words of a past acquaintance "needy".  He is spoiled.  He is stubborn.  He is contentious and sometimes cranky.  He was an incorrigible puppy and had to go to puppy school.  He cried at least three times a night for the first 6 months of his life.  He hated his crate and had to be chased nightly to get in it.  He ate every shoe in the house.  He once ran across the room, launched himself into my lap and buried his face in my wine glass before I even knew what happened.  He was half lit before it was over.

He has a weight problem and hates all forms of exercise except swimming and used to regularly avail himself of the fountain at Talbot's in South Park, where he would take a leisurely dip before towel drying himself on the Talbot's welcome mat.   If I can get him to walk a loop around the neighborhood a couple of times a week in this heat, I call it a great accomplishment.  He trudges along, 10 feet behind me, tongue hanging out.  Utterly bitter and offering up just enough cooperation for me not to threaten to kill him.  Nonetheless, he gets at least one nose-to-snoot talking to on just about every walk.  I think after all these years he takes my threats of death and stick beatings with a certain amount of eye-rolling "whatever, mom". 

He is ridiculously beautiful and he knows it.  People have chased me down the street to meet him.  They have run out of banks and restaurants.  A city bus once stopped to say hello to Finn.

He is well adjusted and happy.  He tells me what he wants and isn't shy about it.  Lola is mysterious.  Finn is, well, Finn is a guy.  If he's hungry he tells me.  If his belly needs to be scratched he rolls over and presents it like a birthday present.  If he wants to go out he says so.  I don't have to guess with Finn.  I don't have to beg him for his affection, which he dishes out freely to me and anybody else who will have him.  

He is my Butterbean.  He is my darling love.   And along with Lola, we are a family.  Whole and complete.

Charming Words

Wit  [wit]

- noun

the keen perception and cleverly apt expression of those connections between ideas that awaken amusement and pleasure.
Image:  Swirl by Valeria H Photography.


I took my first knitting class last night. 

There were 2 people in my class and I was the "slow" person.  Believe me when I tell you that physical coordination is not my strong suit.

Still, I had a good time and I was pretty good at it after I got the hang of it.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm still really bad at it.  But not as bad as I expected to be.  Which is something.  And I found it relaxing, which is what I had really hoped to feel. 

I am told that I can start a dishtowel at the next class, but I have to practice in the meantime. 

I'll have to let y'all know how it goes.  I aspire to knit the expensive throws that I see laying around the homes of rich people in Elle Decor.  Specifically, I want to make this throw:

I think it would be tedious and that I will lose every single ounce of my religion...but how cool would it be to have this on the bottom of the bed?

This is why I'm so stressed out all the time.  I've been a knitter for an hour and a half and I already have an ridiculous goal!

But I'm gonna start with a dishtowel and work my way up to scarves.  I figure the throws will come. 
Images:  Simple by Raven Colours and Elle Decor.

On Being A Person Of Character

'Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not."
Oprah Winfrey
Image:  Viridiflora by Judy Stalus Photography.


Tuesday's Girl

"There's something liberating about not pretending.  Dare to embarrass yourself.  Risk."
Drew Barrymore

Nesting - And Other Coping Mechanisms

I had a morning yesterday.

And I wonder if sometimes I sound smug on this blog - like I know anything or have any insight or have figured anything out. 

Well, if anyone has ever gotten that impression, I'm sorry.  I haven't figured everything out.  Sometimes I think I don't really know anything. 

I mean, I have learned a few things along the way and I try to use them to help me and if possible to help others.

But yesterday I was reminded that my bullshit is still with me.  It's still there, just below the surface waiting to rear it's ugly little head and cause a weight in my chest and a feeling of dread for no good reason.  It will always be there.  Sometimes (maybe even most of the time now) I can make it lie down and be still.  But it's still with me. 

I wanted to draw the shades and snuggle down in my bed and hide from the world.  Of course, this desire was not compatible with my job responsibilities.

*heavy sigh*

So I put my lawyer clothes on and I took deep breaths and I went to my office and I practiced sitting with the uncomfortable.  And eventually, my bullshit did lie down and was still.

But man, while I was getting dressed (at the height of it), I thought "you still just don't know a thing". 

So I hope you've never gone away with the impression that I have some smug belief that my life has arrived anywhere.  I'm still very much on a journey. 

And sometimes the journey is more than a little bumpy.
Image:  Empty Nest by Integrity Studio.

The Roots

Y'all, The Roots are playing at my house this week!

This Charming House

1.  Get this for hand washing in the guest bathroom....

You can buy it here, or if you're in Charlotte, you can pick it up at Isabella in Myers Park.

2.  Throw it into one of these little horn "nut" bowls from West Elm -

And you make happy people with clean hands in your house!


Happy Monday


I had a great weekend.

Friends, fun, new restaurants, shopping and a 90 minute massage.  What's not to love?

Saturday was one of the most perfect summer days.  I slept in.  I hung out with a darling friend.  Went to a cocktail party and met cool people and then had dinner at a new restaurant over in the 'hip' part of town.  It was like being on vacation in another city, except at the end I got to come home and sleep in my own bed.  Isn't that great?  

I had high hopes for this post, but now it's late and I feel sleep coming on.  So I'll let y'all go at this and tell you all to have a great week.
Image:  Pink Dahlia by Tah Groen.

Sunday Morning

What will the past remember?  What will be future bring?  When you walk out?

A LIttle Extra Audrey to Start off the Week

Audrey Hepburn by Cecil Beaton, 1960.

Hey, Lizard!

So I went to a little cocktail party on Saturday night and met a new friend.

How exciting!  

She and I were discussing the travails of being rednecks in a strange land - she being from the Tennessee mountains and me being from West Virginia. 

Teeth - or the lack thereof - is a wonderful example of our ease and understanding of redneck culture.  It was so nice to bump into someone who spoke the same language....

She related the story of visiting her old home and the conversation involving her acquaintance, Lizard, who had just gotten new dentures and the quote - priceless - of "Hey, Lizard!  I haven't seen you since you got your new teeth!  You look great!" 

And how flattered Lizard was that people noticed.

I told her that I usually have this conversation with people at wakes when I go home to West Virginia.

I'm not sure if y'all know this, but in certain segments of Appalachian society, teeth are optional and ofter saved for special occasions.   Since people generally dress up for wakes, they will put their teeth in as a show of respect for the newly departed. 

At other times, the non-dressed up times at home, teeth are often reserved only for - you know - eating. 

My papaw, for example, would routinely leave his laying around the house when they were not in use and it was not uncommon for him to say "Honey, go out on the swing and bring your papaw his teeth."

These were my formidable years - fetching false teeth off the porch.
Image:  Dentures by Damaged.

The Bee Charmer Loves Paris

"She felt a little betrayed and sad, but presently a moving object came into sight.  It as a huge horse-chestnut tree in full bloom bound for the Champs  Elysees, strapped not into a long truck and simply shaking with laughter - like a lovely person in an undignified position yet confident none the less of being lovely."
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night, 1934
Image:  If I Were a Flower, Let Me Bloom in Paris by Alicia Bock.


Happy Friday!

Oh, my goodness. 

I'm so happy it's Friday. 

I'm gonna hunker down a little bit this weekend, although I do have a few plans.  Mostly, I have to handle what my best friend calls "personal maintenance", which means I need a haircut, a pedicure and a 90 minute massage.  Well, maybe I don't 'need' the massage, but I'm getting one anyway.  I'm hoping it will restore my spirit a bit. 

I also want to scrub. my. house.  Seriously.  I'm in the mood to move the furniture around and vacuum underneath it.  You just know a person means business when she starts moving furniture.  

In any event, I hope y'all all have a wonderful weekend. 

And I'll see you on Monday.
Image:  Captivated by Inspire Somebody.

Public Enemy

This is Pepper (our neighbor's c.a.t.)

He is our arch-nemisessisieisieesss.   And when we say 'our', we mean Finn. 

He's Finn's arch-nemisessisieisieesssss.....  Lola and I don't so much care, we just want to be supportive.

*Lola just looked at me and nodded while I wrote that*

Almost every evening now Finn and Pepper have a Mexican Standoff from opposite sides of the fence.  Each of them is just convinced if it weren't for our fence or Pepper's harness (which, by the way, he hates and is obviously bitter about) they would kick each other's asses... 

This is Finn, keeping an eye on the c.a.t.

Charlotte Restaurant Week

Charlotte Restaurant Week starts today!

OMG! I'm so excited!!

In case you don't know about it, for the next 10 days many great restaurants in Charlotte are participating in Restaurant Week.  Three courses for $30!  It's a wonderful opportunity to try some new places and eat some great food.

My only problem is where to start. 

One thing is for sure, though.  I AM going back down to Sante, where I had the best caprese salad in the history of the world last weekend.  It ought to be a sin to have tomatoes that good.  And I can't wait to go eat some more!! 

If you're around Charlotte, please participate.  Your stomach will thank you. 


This never fails to make me ridiculously happy.
Image:  Diving Pig by Michael Sowa.
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