Happy Monday

Can I just tell y'all that I had a perfect weekend?

'Cause I did.  It was perfect.  The weather was perfect.  I slept.  I hung out with friends.  I shopped a little, puttered in my house and smooched up two Beans and played a lot with them in the sun.

It was really, really beautiful in Charlotte this weekend.  Saturday was a perfectly wonderful spring day and Sunday was even better - 80 degrees and beautiful.

I hope it will be a great week.  The car is mostly fixed but has to go back for a couple of 'tweaks' which I hope they can do in a day.  If not, I may vomit.  Think of me?  Thanks.

Oh - and Ms. Natalie Portman won the Oscar last night and gave a shout out to Mary Helen Bowers!!! That's the only time that somebody that I 'kind' of know has been mentioned on the Oscars!

Thank you all for dropping by!  Let's hope for a great week.


Image: Beginnings by Tracey Capone Photography.

Happy Anniversary, Chateau Bee Charmer

Today is the third anniversary of the day I bought Chateau Bee Charmer... an exhilarating,  frightening, and fateful day - which capped off a week of crazy packing, sick puppy dogs and freezing cold air.

We went from cold, muddy and barely here...

To an empty shell...

To home...

We celebrate every year.

It was a day of dreams coming true and answered prayers and our home has been a joy and a blessing to us - everyday.

Happy Anniversary, little house.

Sunday Afternoon

Lounging in the sunbeam.

The Bee Charmer Loves Paris

Image from here.


Happy Friday!

Hi, everyone!

I just wanted to drop a little note to everyone to have a great weekend. 

I'm a little tired and really, really, really have no plans this weekend other than to sleep and read and have no plans.  I know it's boring - but that's all I want to do.  My plan is to be planless. 

I have been promised that the car will be ready today and I believe that it will.  I will feel better about it once the repairs are done and the bill is paid and the whole mess is just over.  Things like this stress me out and I haven't been sleeping all week from worry.  So I'm looking forward to having it behind me. 

So have a great weekend.  Get some good sleep and have some good fun.

And I'll see you on Monday.
Image:  Spring is Coming by Saramontour.


The Weekly Bean

My beautiful boy.

And a baby girl hangover....

Song of Solomon

My next book is Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison.

Although it is not on my "New Years Resolution List" - I've found that I'm doing so well with it and my book club list that I've decided to start a third reading list - one that is less rigid.

Song of Solomon was given to me as a gift by a dear friend and I have not yet read it.  This week, I started it.

I'm a little afraid of it because Toni Morrison is not easy to deal with.  She may be the only person in the world who has ever made me feel stupid.  I believe that she has been touched by God.  I am astounded that anyone has this kind of talent.

Wish me well?

The Post Where Tonya Whines A Lot

I dropped my car off on Tuesday morning and they told me it would be ready on Wednesday at 3:30 or so.

Do you think that happened?

Um, no.  That did not happen.  Now they think it will be Friday.

Now, I knew when they told me that it would be ready on Wednesday that it would not happen.  But I maintained positive thoughts.  I was zen Tonya.

But when they called me with the news, I degenerated into 3 year old, pouting Tonya.  And Walter, the car guy, talked to me exactly like I was 3 years old ....

"You don't want us to rush on something like this and have it not be right, do you?"

No I don't want you to rush, but I want my car back NOW damn it!

I didn't say that, though.  But internally, I was slinging a fit. Internally, I was quite a sight.

You know, I've been really non-committal about the Infiniti up until now.  I kept telling myself (and others) that after the lease was up that I was going to 'go back' to something less fancy.

Well, darling readers, I have a Toyota Yaris rental car out there and I am here to tell you - you can't go back.

pout pout pout

whine whine whine

snivel snivel snivel

Please don't feel bad if you don't feel sorry for me.  Nobody else does, either.  But I just thought I would share my trauma.

So, my darling friend felt a tiny little teensy bit sorry for me and agreed to go to the mall with me after work to visit the handbags.  That usually makes me feel better.

We went by Neiman to visit the really nice bags - whereupon I met the Saffiano Lux Tote by Prada. 

Heavy sigh....

It occurs to me that I might be able to arguably buy it if I didn't have to pay for the car.
Image:  Better Car Care by Ydnar Imaging.

This Charming House

So, I finally broke down and bought some new flatware...

You know, when you get married, this is the kind of thing you 'register' for.   And when you're unmarried,  you're generally just screwed until you break down and buy it yourself.

That's one of the hardest things about not getting married.  As a girl, you dream not only of 'Prince Charming' for lack of a better term, but you also dream of the house you'll share and the lovely things that your loved ones will buy you as wedding presents.  The china.  The crystal.  The silver.  The primo coffee maker.

When Prince Charming didn't show up for me (or rather is just unpardonably late, as I prefer to think he is) you have to come to terms with the loss of all those other happy dreams.

After the 'divorce' and when I was coming to terms with all that, I also came to terms with the fact that if I was going to have a beautiful house, I was going to have to put it together without the showers and gifts that other people have gotten the benefit of.  Gradually, I've gotten the bar ware, the serving plates, the nice china and lately, the glasses, but the silver has been elusive.

What I had came in a box from K Mart.  Martha Stewart.  And I really loved it for a really long time.  Like the rest of the stuff I bought during that dark time, I was immensely grateful to have it and it represented a step forward and a building block to me.  But I only had 8 place settings to begin with and over the years I'd lost a few of those pieces.  I have actually spent a fair amount of time going around to K Marts and trolling eBay looking for another set of the pattern I had.  But to no avail. 

About three years ago I began to look around in earnest for replacement flatware but really couldn't find exactly what I wanted (which, frankly was pretty close to what I already had, just more of it and a little heavier).  I was unwilling to plunk down the dough for something that I liked less than my existing Martha Stewart K Mart stuff. 

Then I found the Cirrus flatware at my happy place, Crate and Barrel.  (Y'all can feel free to make fun of the fact that my house looks like a Crate and Barrel catalog - I know.  I can't help it. But again, feel free to mock me.)


I love it and it came 8 place settings to a box for $89.99.  So I bought 2 sets.  It was the cheapest I've found and it's exactly what I wanted.  Now I have too much flatware and had to put some of it in the upstairs closet.


Wednesday - Run Away Without Leaving Home

Image:  Zhouzhuang by Barbara Carter.

Live the Language - Paris


I know this is everywhere right now, but I love it and I'm going soon so we're having it here, too!


In my continuing efforts to watch more movies I sat down last Sunday to watch Summertime, a 1955 movie starring Katharine Hepburn and man, am I glad I did.  

I've long been a Hepburn fan but this is a movie that I had never seen before.  She is beautiful, the clothes are beautiful, Venice is beautiful and Rossano Brazzi (one of the sexiest, most gorgeous men you've never heard of) is totally beautiful, too.  

Frankly, I spent most of this movie lusting for Mr. Brazzi and wishing that he was still with us today in all his hotty hotness glory.  But Venice in all it's most beautiful glory certainly was a treat, too.  

This was a lovely little escape.

If you want to get away and enjoy an entertaining, beautiful film go out and rent Summertime. 

Charming Words

Vi-brant [vahy-bruhnt]

- adjective

1.  pulsating with vigor and energy

2.  exciting, stimulating, lively
Image:  Lemon Yellow and Fez Blue by World Tree Photography.


Tuesday's Girl

"Beautiful things happen when you break the rules and go for it."
Kelly Wearstler

Random Pretty Man

The other day I rewatched one of my favorite movies:  Something's Gotta Give.  

And I just have to say this:  Who would choose saggy Jack Nicholson over this?  I mean, my God.  

I know he's probably not all that smart, but he's just so pretty.

The Long And Winding Road

Mr. Robert Palmer....

He left us way too soon.

This Charming House

For a while now, I've been thinking of replacing my little wine bar that I've been using as an entry table.

Here's a shot of it in case you don't remember:

I love it and it fits in this little nook so well, but it doesn't work for me.  That is to say that it's not long enough to be what I need (a landing strip) and what it is doing - housing wine and wine glasses - isn't helpful either because I don't drink enough wine to support it and it just ends up being a cute dust collector.

But I love it (for sentimental reasons) so I've been living with it.  Lately, though, I've really started to want more of a landing strip.

My search for a longer table of the same width has been fruitless.  Generally, the stuff that will fill out the length of this little nook is too wide and ends up jutting out in the way.

So I turned my attention to the hallway and began to look for a narrow table or console for over there.  This was pretty difficult.  Even the most narrow consoles that I found were around 15 inches deep, which was too wide for the space.

Then I noticed this little thing at CB2:

It's the Gear Console Table and it's only 10 inches wide (but 54 inches long).  I like the simplicity of it and since it's forged metal I figured it would stand up to the activities of two less than skinny corgis tearing down the hallway. 

And here it is all dolled up:

I have to say that I really, really like this.  It's always amazing to me what can be accomplished by just moving furniture (or light) around. 

Now that the console is in place, the hall is more of it's own room, instead of just a wasted space.  And the dining room is more separate and doesn't feel so much like a weigh station when you come into the house.

The console is narrow enough not to be in the way but long enough to hold the lamp, the mail, the keys and a vase of flowers (and soon) some pictures of the nephews.  I also added some more art to the hall which I'm super happy about.



Happy Monday


How was the weekend? 

Mine was OK.  I got a lot done. 

I took Friday off from work so that I could deal with my life.  Sometimes, you need a day for that.  And I picked a doozy because it was in the mid 70's and absolutely beautiful. 

First up, Lola had to go to the Vet for her annual checkup - with predictable behavior.  More about that later. 

Then, we had a little furniture delivery and I'll tell you all about that later this week, too!

Then - well then I decided to run over to my favorite second hand store to mess around for a little bit and when I was leaving I backed the car into a pole. 

Yeah - I cussed. 

What I haven't mentioned here yet is that last Sunday I went out to run some errands and somebody hit the side of my car and drove away - leaving me with a check to write. 

And after Friday - I have two checks to write.  Dang!  I'm beginning to think I should stay home. 

I've never had two dings in my life, let alone two in a week. 

And I have to tell you that after I backed into the pole I spent a fair amount of time on Friday castigating myself, for which I am now sorry and ashamed. 

I wonder why it's so hard for us to forgive ourselves.  Nobody's perfect and I dinged the car.  But I yelled at myself as I would never have yelled at anyone else.  So I had to apologize. 

So on Saturday I took the Beans to the spa, ran to Target and Petco and then up to B & R Body Shop for an estimate.....


I had to take a migraine pill. 

But, you know it is what it is.  They do great work (they fixed my Mazda after some idiot hit me) and did an excellent job.  I think they've given me a fair estimate and they're throwing in a rental car for me - which I appreciate.  I'm dropping it off on Tuesday morning and he thinks they can get it back to me by Wednesday afternoon.  So keep your fingers crossed that all goes as planned.  I'm ready to get the problem fixed and behind me. 

I've been a little blue this weekend.  Not sure why.  But I'm hoping it passes.  I think I've spent enough time being sad. 

And I'm ready for full blown spring. 
Image:  Pink Bloom by Keep the Sugar.

On Living

"Expect to have hope rekindled.  Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways.  The dry seasons in life do not last.  The spring rains will come again."
Sarah Ban Breathnach
Image:  Reaching for the Sky by Emmes Photography.

A Little Bean Update

So -

Somebody went to the Vet for her annual checkup on Friday and was - how shall we say this?

Less than fully cooperative.....

When she arrived she caused a commotion in the waiting room trying to get a rather large Labrador Retriever to play with her....

And then she refused to hold still when they tried to draw blood. 

You know it's bad when they Vet tech brings her back to you, opens the door, thrusts the leash at you, says "HERE" and leaves.... 

*heavy sigh*

Dr. Estes pointed out to her that they don't have this kind of trouble with Finn and Lola pointed out to Dr. Estes that Finn is a pansy and a suck up....

And she wasn't the least bit repentant.

Sunday Evening

Diet coke is so much more attractive and elegant in a pretty glass, no?

Happy Birthday

Friday was my Grandma's birthday. 

Because it was in February, I always sent her spring flowers - which she loved in the depth of the West Virginia winter. 

I miss her.  I miss her company. 

And I promised God that if she didn't have to suffer, that if she wasn't afraid, that I would not act like a monkey when she left.  And she didn't and she wasn't and I've kept my promise to God.  I haven't acted like a monkey. 

But I miss her.  And I hope that there is a Heaven so I can see her again. 
Image:  Blue Bell by Keep the Sugar.

The Bee Charmer Loves Paris

I've started official Paris training....

I am mere weeks away from departure!
Image:  Paris in Spring Time by Velvet Images.


Happy Friday!


Have a great weekend, everybody!

And I'll see you on Monday!
Image from here.

Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger

It's the honey badger!

Honey badger don't care.

Honey badger don't give a shit....


The Weekly Bean

The TV installation support team included 2 Beans and a large Diet Coke.

Look at this baby girl with the little pink ears! Couldn't you just eat her up?

An Education

I've just finished reading "An Education" by Lynn Barber.

Some of you may have seen the movie, which was based on this book. 

I did see the movie and enjoyed it so when I found out there was a book I went ahead and got it. 

I'm glad I did.

This is a quick read and is set up more like a series of magazine articles than a heavy autobiography.  I have to say that I skimmed through a couple of the chapters dealing with her career as a journalist but I very much enjoyed the chapters dealing with her life at Oxford (after the movie ended), her first job with Penthouse Magazine (what a way to start!) and I cried during the last chapter, which deals with her beloved husband's sickness. 

If you're looking for something funny and moving and true, check this out. 

This Charming House

And here's the new TV!

It's very nice and I'm very blessed to have been able to get it.

My brother and I hung it on Sunday - but it's too low.  And since my brother and I were at the end of our collective patience by the time we got it up I figured the best thing to do was have my charming handy man come over here and scootch it up for me.

My brother - such a guy - looked at me and said "You mean you're willing to pay somebody to come over here and move the TV up 2 inches?"

"Yes.  Yes, I am."

What you can't really see in this picture is that the top of the outlet and the conduit for the cords can be seen - which isn't cool.  My brother and I used one of the holes that was drilled for the previous bracket and the TV just ended up too low.  So on Saturday it's moving up 2 or 3 inches which will make it look better.

So now all my friends who told me to buy the bigger TV can relish in knowing that they were right and I was wrong.....

And the 'old' TV is now upstairs in the guest bedroom.....

This Charming Closet

This is the Mod Dress from Emerson Made.

I want it.  I think it's pretty much perfect and that I will literally live in it all summer.....  I'm even willing to pay full price for it - which almost never happens.

Yeah - the damn thing is sold out.  Damn it.  Double Damn it.

*heavy sigh*

I'm on the email list - if it ever comes back into stock.


Wednesday - Run Away Without Leaving Home

Something about winter always makes me want to run away to the desert....
Image:  Desert Lodge by El Garbo Art.

Single Girl Wisdom

So I thought I'd talk a little bit this week about my little book (which I've talked about before) Victoria Moran's Creating a Charmed Life

As I've said before, this is a little 'how to' book that I took to heart and it has sustained me through some hard times over the years and really given me guidance when I needed it most.  It's at once lofty and down to earth.  It's practical and easily digestible and I refer to it again and again.   It has truly, truly assisted me - oftentimes when I've felt the most lost. 

One of my favorite chapters is called "Play Your Free Square". 

Ms. Moran believes that just as all Bingo players get to play the "Free Square" so, too in life, everybody has certain abilities, aptitudes and talents that they are just naturally good at - free squares, if you will.  Since everybody in Bingo sort of takes the Free Square for granted, she believes that we, in life, take our 'Free Squares' for granted.  Some things are just naturally easy for each of us and we tend not to think much of them, whether it's singing or math or cooking or whatever.  And because we take these things for granted, we don't utilize them to our full advantage. 

As I said, one of the things I love about this book is that it gives you concrete little lessons in living a better life and I've taken most of them to heart.  I love to play my free squares.  

Most notably to me, and the free square I play to my greatest assistance, is the one I usually play at work. 

I think you all know that lawyering is not always very easy for me.  It's stressful.  And I have a lot of balls to keep in the air.  Sometimes (or maybe I should say often) I feel overwhelmed. 

Since being a lawyer is sort of crazy - oftentimes my desk and office will look like some sort of file cabinet explosion.  Files stacked everywhere.  Correspondence.  Emails.  Voicemails.  Paperwork.  

And messes absolutely stress me out. 

But I'm really good at organizing. 

So - when I'm feeling overwhelmed and crazy and full of anxiety at work I stop whatever I'm doing and play my free square and spend a few minutes organizing the mess. 

It certainly doesn't result in less work or make what needs to be done any easier. 

But it makes me feel better. 

And as the mess becomes organized, my stress and anxiety drop and my ability to concentrate and focus becomes easier. 

That little trick makes my life easier and more charmed. It helps me be a better lawyer.  It helps me stay sane and maintain control when I want to throw up my hands and hide under the bed. 

Pretty cool, huh? 

The first time I consciously tried this was at my old job (where I was unhappy) and I just didn't think I could go on for one more minute.  I had just read this book and I thought 'Well, I'm good at organizing, so I'll organize this mess.' 

So I did. 

And I felt better and then I got some work done. 

I thought 'I am really on to something here.' 

So there's one of my little tricks to leading a happier life - I play my free squares with joy. 

What about y'all?  Have you played your free squares today?
Image:   Bingo Through the Magnifier by Jessa Mae Photography.

Lawrence of Arabia

So - in keeping with my New Year's Resolution, this month's classic movie was Lawrence of Arabia.

It's funny - going into it - I had heard about it for so many years and I don't know what I was really expecting but it ended up being a very ornately filmed character study of Major Lawrence.

The desert was beautiful.  Lawrence Olivier was pretty.  I enjoyed the camels.

But it was reallllllllyyy lloooooonnnnnggggg.

It is NOT a chick flick.

So I can now say that I've seen Lawrence of Arabia.

I guess that's something, huh?

Charming Words

Tu-lip [too-lip]

- noun

any of various plants belonging to the genus Tulipa, of the lily family, cultivated in many varieties, and having lance-shaped leaves and large, showy, usually erect cup-shaped or bell-shaped flowers in a variety of colors.

Image:  Tulip II by Green Fuse Photography.


Tuesday's Girl

"I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us."
Anne Lamott

Kate Spade Sample Sale

The Kate Spade Sample Sale is up and running - through the 18th....

Go.  Shop.  Be Happy.

Is This Love

Check out Corinne Bailey Rae's new L.P.

I couldn't find the video but I love the song...

This Charming Closet

These little babies make me long for spring!


Happy Monday!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Here's what happened here this weekend:

On Saturday I went to West Virginia to see my family (including our new little one).  It was a fun but very long day.....

Finn and Lola stayed behind to guard the house and were well loved and tended by their babysitter, Beth.

On Sunday my brother and I installed the big new TV.  It took most of the day and I was exhausted by the end of it.  So exhausted, in fact, that I had very little energy to blog about it....  Pictures on Thursday, though.

Sunday also included a long walk (in the morning) and a VERY long walk (after Teeter bones were eaten).  Said walks resulted in very snoozy Beans on Sunday evening.

And there was a little laundry and a little reading and a little picking up the house.

I have Court today.  Not my favorite way to start the week but hey, I am a lawyer.  What else am I going to go with myself?

Have a great week and smooch your loves. 
Image:  More than Words by Seeds Studio.

Saturday Night

On the way home...

This Charming Nephew

The Liam....

Looking out the window from the papoose sack on the way to lunch.

The Bee Charmer Loves Paris

Image:  La Rue by Nan Lawson Photography.


Happy Friday!


Man, it's been a long week.  I think I'm at the place (which I reach about twice a year) where I need to walk away from my law office for a couple of days.  It's either that or kill some of my clients! 

I think you know you're a grown up when you can say - in a pleasant voice "Thank you for your input, Kitty.  I really appreciate it." 

When you really want to say "F*ck you, Bitch."

But I don't like feeling that way and it's just legal exhaustion.  As I think I've told you all before, law is not easy for me.  It is my job to be contentious, but it is not my nature and it weighs me down.  And I just need to step away.

I'm not sure when I'll be able to, though.  I'm thinking the last week of February I may take a couple of days off and have a long weekend.  I've been thinking about repainting my guest room and maybe my bathrooms and that may be a good time.  I closed on this place on February 28 - so it feels like a good time to celebrate out 'anniversary'.

On Saturday I am (once again) going to see my nephews.  I wasn't able to go last weekend because my sister had pestilence in her house.  I have been given the 'all clear' for this weekend so hopefully we'll have cute baby nephew pictures next week.  My sister does not take pictures and if she does she cannot download and email them.  I told her it was a sad state of affairs when our Mom is more technically proficient than she is - but that is the truth.  My Mom's got an iPhone and she knows how to use it!

Speaking of my Mom, tomorrow is her birthday so:  Happy Birthday, Mom!

On Sunday my brother is going to help me hang my big, new TV in the living room.  I cannot believe how excited I am about this.  But more about that next week. 

So have a great weekend.  Thank you all so much for stopping by.

And I'll see you on Monday.
Image:  Beginnings by Tracey Capone Photography.

This Charming Handbag

I've been looking for a simple, luggage brown bag for years.

It's not as easy as it really ought to be.

I really like this one, the Robinson Tote from Tory Burch.

My problem is that I'm a little on the fence with Tory Burch.  I just can't quite commit to it. 

I'm thinking of stopping by and checking this one out, though.
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