Blog Vacation


I'm taking the week off. 

I'm so boring right now.  And I don't want to inflict myself on anyone!

I'm gonna step away and get a little rest and hopefully, think up some stuff to talk about....

And I'll see you next week.
Image:  A Place to Rest on an Autumn Afternoon by Penny Pixel Photography.


Happy Weekend!


The Beans and I are cutting out early this week.  My work is killing me now, y'all.  It's such a bummer.

Like a major bummer.

*heavy sigh*

Anyway, have a great weekend.

And we'll see you next week.
Image:  Cocktails Neon Sign by Friendly Made.


Wednesday - Run Away Without Leaving Home

Image:  New Mexico Old Church by Wild Wilderness Photos.

Out and About in West Virginia

Last week, my mom and I headed over to visit Lewisburg, West Virginia - the coolest small town in America.

Look - they even have flags to prove it -

Now, y'all may not know this but West Virginians don't really DO the things in West Virginia that regular people (read non- West Virginians or tourists) do. 

We don't ski.  We don't white water raft.  We don't stay at The Greenbrier....  you get the gist....

But casting caution to the wind, Mom and I decided to go to Lewisburg and act like tourists.

It was very beautiful.

We had lunch at Food and Friends.  Good food.  Great service.  Really crowded.  If you go for dinner, make a reservation.

Really cute buildings with great architecture:

Antiques, art galleries -

What looked to be a decent place to get a facial -

And you know, the requisite kitchen/cheese/coffee shop - Bella the Corner Gourmet.

If you are headed to West Virginia you may wanna stop on by.

Charming Words

hide [hahyd]


to conceal from sight; prevent from being seen or discovered
Image:  The Trunk Part One by The Photo Zoo.


Tuesday's Girl

"I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in."
Virginia Woolf


The big 80's are still going on over here....

This Charming Closet

Do you have ANY idea how many J. Crew cardigans I have? 

Well - it's a lot.

And I want this one, too.


Happy Monday

Here's what happened here this weekend:

Well, we weren't actually here this weekend.....

Here's what happened with us out of town this weekend:

We drove to the mountains.

We hung out with my family.

Finn and Lola surveyed the property, sniffed the various smells very carefully.  The also chased a stick, herded the nephews and (Finn especially) rolled in many stinky things.  All in all, a very satisfactory vacation to the country for two city dogs.

My Mom and I drove over to Lewisburg, West Virginia - the Coolest Small Town in America - no shit.  We had a great time.  And other than lunch, I spent no money....  More about that later this week.

I finished my latest book.

I enjoyed LOTS of cool weather while soaking happily in my parents' hot tub.  It was very nice.

I did very few chores.

All in all, a great weekend. 
Image:  Flower by Can't Buy Me Love Photography.

Saturday Night

Live from West Virginia --- It's Saturday Night!!!

Nana has a big king sized bed in our room and we took advantage of it.

Being "Mountain Doggies" takes a lot out of us...

The Quotable Steely Dan

I heard it was you
Talkin' 'bout a world
Where all is free
It just couldn't be
And only a fool would say that
Song Lyrics:  Only a Fool Would Say That by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker
Image:  Summerlove by Susigrafic.


Happy Friday

Have a happy weekend, everyone!

The Beans and I have travelled up to spend the weekend at my parents' house in the mountains. 

Stay cool this weekend.

And we'll see you on Monday.
Image:  Summer Road by Jude McConkey.


The Weekly Bean

Little pink tongues are sooooo cute!

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

September's book on my New Year's Resolution reading list is The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. 

When I was picking books for that list, I picked it partially because it was partially written in Charlotte, partially because I just wanted to read it and partially because it was written by a woman. 

Here's the blub:
With the publication of her first novel, THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER, Carson McCullers, all of twenty-three, became a literary sensation. With its profound sense of moral isolation and its compassionate glimpses into its characters' inner lives, the novel is considered McCullers' finest work, an enduring masterpiece first published by Houghton Mifflin in 1940.
At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s. Each one yearns for escape from small town life. When Singer's mute companion goes insane, Singer moves into the Kelly house, where Mick Kelly, the book's heroine (and loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music. Wonderfully attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated -- and, through Mick Kelly, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.
I really liked this book - although it came at the tail end of a 'Southern Angst" reading jag that included this as well as Light In August, The Moviegoer and To Kill a Mockingbird

Although Heart certainly considers issues of poverty, racism, bigotry and discrimination (of all kinds) the book is really about loneliness - and self-imposed loneliness at that.  All four main characters are suffering from discrimination of one kind and another - due to race, disability, gender and socio-political standing.... but what they really are is lonely in their hearts. 

For whatever reason, they all find solace in Singer, the deaf mute.  But although he brings comfort to the others, they bring none to him. 

Ultimately, I didn't find this to be an uplifting book, but it is not without hope and somehow, the spiritual isolation and economic squalor which overwhelm the characters rather limits any belief that the book would have a happy ending.  The ending felt 'right' to me and I hoped that the surviving characters were able to find comfort and peace as they continued to search for an end to their loneliness. 

So I'm glad I read it. 

In case you're keeping up, I have three books left on my 'official' list:  The Invisible Man, The Assistant and Blood Meridian

This Charming Handbag

Helloooooooo Gorgeous!

The Preppy Faridah by Marc by Marc Jacobs.

This may be it.  I need to inspect it in captivity.....


Wednesday - Run Away Without Leaving Home

Image:  Torn Poster 1 - Hull by Gill Ford Photography.

Out and About in Charlotte

I love Cafe Monte.

Any place where I can get French food and a Paris vibe is on my list.   The fact that its in my neighborhood is gravy.  The fact that they will give you such a good weekend brunch just knocks them out of the park!

A Little Extra Big 80's

I saw this album (that's right - pure - T Vinyl) for sale at the Antique Mall last weekend.....

It made me ridiculously happy. 

It's just SOOOOO Nineteen Eighty One!

Charming Words

Piv-ot [piv-uht]


a whirling about, on one foot
Image:  The Twist 2 by Julie Linz Photography.


Tuesday's Girl

"Yet while I was surrounded by love, the journey through a harsh and unforgiving landscape of pain and disability was mine alone to make. That I lived, that I narrowly escaped the fate of so many others that day, is a humbling reminder of both the extreme fragility and the surprising courage that exist within all of us. What I know for certain is that there would be no story at all if I hadn't somehow held a deep faith in myself or understood the beauty and power of a simple word: commitment. Commitment to all that is worthwhile in life: to the people who are most important to us; to the endeavors that will yield the most good; to the acts of kindness or courage that reflect our deepest values. Commitment, I've learned, brings focus and direction, an innate sense that guides us from within, providing a compass for our lives. It also brings responsibility, most especially the requirement that we keep our word and always give our best."
Lauren Manning, 9/11 Survivor, from her book, Unmeasured Strength

Random Pretty Man

Mr. Harmon is back tonight with all new episodes of NCIS -

Or you know - "More Opportunities to Lust For the Hotness" as it were, here at Chateau Bee Charmer.

Her Town Too

Besides the obvious fabulosity of Mr. James Taylor, there is a lot to love about this video, not the least of which are the beards!

Moreover, although this is the original video for the song, they are singing live - so cool.  

Also -

I have always had a little crushy-crush on J.D. Souther - who also sang with the Eagles (and co-wrote many of their songs, including 'Best of My Love').

'Nuff said.

This Charming House

This weekend's scores for Chateau Bee Charmer.....

More candles (since power outages around here are getting a little common....)

And a new coffee scoop from The Container Store.  $3.99 of pure happy.


Happy Monday

So - yeah - I read this weekend......

I know, I know, I know.

I'm boring.  I'm a boring reader....

Actually, the books I'm reading aren't boring.  It's the fact that I'm spending so much time reading them that's making me boring.

What can I do?  It's what I want to do and it keeps me out of trouble.  And by trouble I mean shopping for handbags in the mall.

*heavy sigh*

I actually did do more than read this weekend.

On Saturday I took myself to lunch, bought new running shoes at Run For Your Life and got my toes done and my hair highlighted....  I read through the pedicure and hair part but still - what else are you going to do?  May as well improve your mind....

On Sunday I hung out for most of the day with my darling friend.  We had brunch and then shopped at The Container Store, Sleepy Poet and Crate and Barrel.  And we may or may not have had chocolate milkshakes but if asked, we plan to deny it.

Just sayin'.

I also was also pretty tearful this weekend.  9/11 upsets me.  I'm not sure if I'm the only one, but it upsets me and my heart is just still so, so broken.  And I'm not sure that I'll ever not feel this way or that I want to feel otherwise.   I prayed for us all.

I'm having a short week this week.  I am headed to deepest, darkest southern redneck West Virginia next weekend.  Gonna get a little nephew smooches.

Do you think it's possible to finagle a four day work week until January?  Nah.  I didn't think so, either.

Still - a girl can dream, right?
Image:  Only Your Friends Steal Your Books by The Other Room.

Sunday Afternoon

Chocolate milkshakes.....

A Little Extra William Faulkner

"Some days in late August at home are like this, the air thin and eager like this, with something in it sad, and nostalgic and familiar."
William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury, 1929.
Image:  Road to the Sun by Birdies & Peppers.

The Bee Charmer Loves Paris

Image:  Paris, Pink Door by Lafayette Place.


Happy Friday

Hey, everyone.

Have a happy and safe and (hopefully cooler) fall weekend. 

Take care.  Stay safe.

And we'll see you on Monday.
Image:  Sunflower by First Light Photography.

In Rememberance

Go here and watch this.


The Weekly Bean

Lola - in my bed with the computer riding out the storm while I read.....

The Great Man

So - I needed a little break from my current reading list - or as I am now calling it 'The Year of Reading Dangerously'. 

It's great - but it's heavy.  And I wanted to mentally rest a bit.

So I picked up 'The Great Man' by Kate Christensen and I loved it!

Here's the blurb:
Oscar Feldman, the "Great Man," was a New York city painter of the heroic generation of the forties and fifties. But instead of the abstract canvases of the Pollocks and Rothkos, he stubbornly hewed to painting one subject—the female nude. When he died in 2001, he left behind a wife, Abigail, an autistic son, and a sister, Maxine, herself a notable abstract painter—all duly noted in the New York Times obituary.

What no one knows is that Oscar Feldman led an entirely separate life in Brooklyn with his longtime mistress, Teddy St. Cloud, and their twin daughters. As the incorrigibly bohemian Teddy puts it, "He couldn't live without a woman around. It was like water to a plant for him." Now two rival biographers, book contracts in hand, are circling around Feldman's life story, and each of these three women—Abigail, Maxine, and Teddy—will have a chance to tell the truth as they experienced it.

The Great Man is a scintillating comedy of life among the avant-garde—of the untidy truths, needy egos, and jostlings for position behind the glossy facade of artistic greatness. Not a pretty picture—but a provocative and entertaining one that incarnates the take-no-prisoners satirical spirit of Dawn Powell and Mary McCarthy.
I really, really enjoyed this book.  I loved the female characters and it was so lovely to visit with these women.  All were aging rapidly (the youngest, Teddy, is 74) but they were wild and funny and wise and they still wanted things.... which was so wonderful for me, the reader. 

I laughed out loud and although this book was an easy read, it's not a bag of cheetos, either.  The novel won the Pen/Faulkner Award, so it's not without weight - but it's an easy weight to carry. 

I am hoping that this will be picked for my book club next year because I would love to discuss it with others. 

This Charming Closet

Y'all!  I am loving these pants from Talbots! 

Long and flowing and sexy yet perfect for work and appropriately named The Hepburn Pant (after Kate, not Audrey).

This week they were on sale, too!


Wednesday - Run Away Without Leaving Home

Image from Matchbook Magazine.

Random Pretty Man

I know Mr. Newman was with us last week - but I'm not over it yet....

And I KNOW none of y'all are sad to be looking at this picture... so don't EVEN act like you are.

Out and About in Charlotte

Did you know that Carson McCullers wrote part of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter while living in Charlotte?

She did.  She wrote while living in what is known as The Mayer House, over on East Boulevard.  It is now home to an Indian Restaurant called Copper..... 


Tuesday's Girl

"Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world."
Marilyn Monroe


I have a little thing for Elvis Costello - which I cannot explain other than to say that I am a sucker for a sexy voice.

And he's got one. 

This Charming Closet

Y'all - it is with a great deal of happiness that I welcome the return of the stacked heel loafer - or as I like to call them 'stomp around shoes'....

They look as good with my court suits as they do with my jeans and they are hella comfortable to boot. 

These are also very affordable - from Nine West.


Happy Friday

Have a happy and safe Labor Day Weekend, everyone!

And we'll see you on Tuesday!

Image by ME!.


The Weekly Bean

Somebody is fighting hot spots again.... 

She is in the inflato-collar until further notice.

To The Lighthouse

August's book on my New Year's Resolution Reading List was To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.

Here's what Time Magazine had to say about it:
After Woolf published her breakthrough novel Mrs. Dalloway, she raised the stakes and broadened her focus. To the Lighthouse is a stately dance of time, hope and art, as performed by the Ramsay family and their immediate friends as they vacation at a house in the Hebrides. Mrs. Ramsay is a housewife and hostess; her husband is a cold, analytical philosopher; drawn in their wake are, among others, a struggling young painter named Lily Briscoe and their little son James, whose dearest wish is to take a boat ride to a nearby lighthouse. The novel begins as a poignant portrait of family dynamics, but Woolf sets the second half of the book a decade after the first, and that allows her to turn To the Lighthouse into a study of the damage that time and history inflict on the Ramsays' hopes and dreams, and a celebration of what endures.
I am big Virginia Woolf fan and I loved "Three Guineas" and "A Room of One's Own", both non-fiction.

I guess the groundbreaking thing about this is that it really has little plot to speak of.  Its sort as if you had a secretary in your head just recording your thoughts as you went through your day - the plot actually becomes unnecessary for the author's purposes, we're just sort of eavesdropping in the characters' heads.    I think the payoff in the book does come from the passage of time and we see the way the characters have changed and the way Mrs. Ramsay's thoughts, fears and aspirations for her family have ultimately played out over time.  

I thought the book was interesting and moving.  I didn't love it the way I had perhaps wanted to, but it was well worth the time. 

Out and About in Charleston

Did I mention that, while in Charleston, I ate at my favorite place in the world? 

Well I did. 

And Slightly North of Broad did not disappoint me!!!

A Little Extra Pretty

Husk featured the work of artist John Thompson - throughout the restaurant.

It was absolutely beautiful and added so much to the experience.  Modern yet traditional and (I thought) a little edgy.  We definitely noticed it and commented on it as we were shown to our table and as we were eating.

Image 1:  Combahee 10, 2010 by John Thompson.
Image 2:  Waban, 2007
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