A Greener New Year

The coming of the New Year lends itself to contemplation and the hope of new beginnings. Over the past few years, I have gradually stopped making New Year's Resolutions, at least in the proper sense. This year, however, I have resolved to commit myself more seriously to green living. I am sort of a newbie at this so I am making baby steps. I have figured out a few things that I can do immediately to start making a difference.

Since my townhouse is a new construction, I feel good about its overall energy efficiency. It is well insulated. We have the low flush toilets and aerators on the shower heads. The appliances that came with the place are also fairly energy efficient for the most part, although I have questions about the dishwasher in terms of both it's energy and water efficiency (not to mention that it is very loud) so I am going to see about replacing it in the next 6 months or so. The main culprit of waste has been my old washer and dryer, so this weekend I purchased a new front loading washer and matching dryer. These are super energy and water efficient and I also hope will last for a very long time. And in the interest of continued recycling, I have given my old machines to a friend. Here are the new machines, safely ensconced in their little laundry closet.

I am going to install programmable thermostats. I am cautiously investigating compact fluorescent light bulbs but I am not sure that I will be able embrace them, given my overwhelming love of the GE Reveal Light Bulbs - but that's a WHOLE other post.

Since my investigation into this subject has revealed to me that the disposable plastic water bottle is apparently the equivalent of the devil incarnate, I ordered myself a nifty stainless steel water bottle from Kleen Kanteen ...

This refillable and dishwasher safe bottle holds 27 ounces of liquid, weighs only 8 ounces and fits a standard cup holder. I feel like this will enable me to drink more water (another resolution) and do so in an earth friendly way (no more plastic bottles in the landfill).

I am going to continue recycling the regular paper, magazines, plastic, glass and cardboard and I have purchased nifty reusable tote bags for groceries and Target.

Finally, I am going to see about using more earth friendly cleaning products but I don't know enough about that to discuss it at all. But stay tuned, I will post recommendations of stuff that I like!


Go To Hell, Carolina!

House Tour Part V

Welcome to the living room. This is our fire place and we love it. It has been especially nice to have since the weather has turned drab and rainy. I also really like it on spring mornings when it is warm enough to open the patio door but just chilly enough to make us appreciate a nice fire.

Across from the fireplace we have our little sofa. The framed art above the sofa turned out really well and is a testament to the versatility of the humble Ribba frame from Ikea. The photos are from "Deep South" by Sally Mann. I like them because they are southern and moody and slightly abstract and they remind me of home. The sofa itself came from Storehouse a million years ago and it's lesson to us all is this: When they ask you if you want to pay extra for the scotch guard treatment, say yes. A house guest recently spilled red wine all over it (and I do mean ALL over it) and it wiped clean. We also enjoy our little throw pillows. They are most commonly utilized by napping Beans.

And finally we have our fabulous Jasper entertainment center from Crate and Barrel. I love it because it has drawers and shelves and hides books, magazines, DVDs and all of the electronic junk. Those of you who know me, know that I am all about the hiding of the technology. I want it, I just don't want to look at it. I also have to take a moment to say that I think hanging flat screen TVs are just the greatest thing ever. Now we don't have to have a whole piece of furniture devoted to holding a TV. Also, I think they look very "Star Trek" which isn't really a bad thing. The other cool thing about this is that I have digital phone through my cable company and when the phone rings the caller ID pops up in a little box on the TV. I know I am geeky but that so totally rocks!



I watched Casablanca last night.

One of the pure joys of this movie, at least for me, is how well dressed the refugees are. Yes, they are running from the Nazis, but is that any reason to let themselves go? No, my friends. These people fled with formal dinner attire.

The best example of this, is, of course, Victor Laszlo, leader of the Czechoslavakian Resistance and Concentration Camp Escapee (he's got the scar over his eyebrow to prove it). He's been sick, he's been imprisoned, he's been on the run all across Europe, and yet he's got a white dinner jacket and a silver cigarette case. When he sidles up to the bar in his white tuxedo, lights a cigarette and orders himself a "champaigne cocktail", well, the Bee Charmer just has to take a minute to say "go on ahead with your bad self, Mr. Laszlo".

Please do not take this post to be an endorsement of the Bee Charmer's belief that Ilsa made the right decision. Victor Laszlo could dress for dinner, but in the end, no woman in her right mind would have picked him over Humphrey Bogart. After all, Humphrey had his own white dinner jacket.


The Parsons Desk

One of the major issues with my bedroom was a large open space on the far side of the room and a dearth of furniture to put in it. I had hit the limit on the matchy matchy bedroom furniture and knew that I needed something to break it all up. Practically speaking, I also needed a place to put a lamp and to pile the stacks of books that I seem to keep accumulating. These are the "official" reasons the Parsons Desk was purchased. The real reason is that I have been jonesing for one for a long time and finally found a place to put one.

I actually did research in advance of this post because I felt strongly that I needed to say something more about the Parsons Desk than "I love it, I love it, I love it."

According to the New York Times, the Parsons Desk is to decor what the Little Black Dress is to fashion: a decorating staple that can be dressed up or down. The original Parsons table was designed in the 1930's by French designer Jean-Michel Frank and a group of design students at Parson Paris, and from that it takes it's name. When I fell in love with it, I didn't know it was French, I swear.

In keeping with the French theme on the far side of the room we have, hanging over the desk, a portrait of Coco Chanel by Marie Laurencin. The last time I was in Paris, I actually got to see the original of this painting hanging in the Musee de L'Orangerie, which I found pretty cool.

So, we have a French desk, a French chair and a French painting of a French person all tidily arranged together on the far side of the room. I did all of this quite by accident, but I have to say, I love it when a French Plan comes together.


My Kingdom For A Key

The Bee Charmer locked her silly self out of the house tonight. Why is it that I only do these things when it's 22 Degrees outside? Or monsooning?

So ... one hour, a call to Pop-A-Lock and $65 later we were back in our house. I suppose we should add a locksmith to the staff. We'd all like to think this is the last time this will happen to me, but we all know it wasn't. Special thanks to our neighbor, Tom, for his lifesaving phone call and the cute guy from Pop-A-Lock who took the opportunity to admire my dining room while I wrote him the check.

And while we're here, if you are searching for a gift for yourself or someone else, check out the Coach keychains. They are quite lovely.

House Tour Part IV

Today we are going to tour the sunroom. I have some issues in taking pictures of the sunroom because when it's sunny, all of my pictures are overexposed. However, I did have an opportunity to snap some at sundown on Friday night, so here we are.

This is my Barcelona Chair. I love it. I bought it from a guy on Craigslist who had decided to redecorate his uptown condo. My original hope was that Finn would adopt it as his "man chair" but so far his attention has been limited. Of the two of them, Finn definitely gives it more attention than Lola does as she will sit in it only if I sit in it with her. It needs a little TLC and it is going off to the upholsterer in January to have some of its straps reinforced, if nothing else. I had thought I might have the cushions redone, but I am currently rethinking that decision. If I go through with it I'll be sure to post update pictures. The important thing to remember in all of this is that it is a boon to everyone when bachelors redecorate.

Here is a shot of the full room. I like the way it turned out. The pillows were a little dicey for a while and let me tell you, the humble throw pillow can really be your friend. This room was OK until the pillows came but they really pulled it together for me and the lesson to be learned is that accessories make all the difference! The other big element is the Noguchi coffee table! I was lamenting ordering one from DWR (for reasons previously noted) but then I stumbled upon this one at Metro over on Morehead Street. It was the last one in captivity so I snapped it right up. And if you haven't been over to Metro you should go check it out. They are closed on Sunday, which is a little bit of a bummer, but they have incredibly cool mid-century modern pieces, including very cool lamps and pillows, so its worth a drop by on a busy Saturday or maybe during lunch.

And finally, here is a shot of the Beans lounging by the door. It was almost 70 degrees here on Friday so we took the opportunity to enjoy the air. They really like to lie around in doorways and watch what goes on outside, for reasons I don't really understand. I suppose it's sort of like Corgi television. Suffice it to say that it keeps them occupied and out from under foot for long periods of time, and like any good mother, I employ it to my advantage.


But I Don't Have a Housekeeper

Some of you have pointed at that there is a glaring absence on my staff.

Where, you've asked me, is your housekeeper?

Well, dear ones, I don't have one. I clean my own house. It feeds my control freak nature and allows me to impose order on the world.

P.S. I also didn't list a plastic surgeon but I strongly suspect I will need to hire one in the very near future.


Birthday Boy

Oh, Hello. I just thought I'd stop by for my birthday and be gorgeous!

Happy Birthday To Finn!

Happy Birthday to Finn - Seven year old boy!!


The Single Girl's Guide to Life

I should have called this blog "What I Really Need is Wife" but then I thought that might be sexist.

Being single is hard. Basically, I have to bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan, clean up the mess afterward and somehow find the time to get the tires rotated, not to mention the time that goes into hair maintenance. What is a single girl to do?

You have to get yourself a staff. That's right.



Right now, I employ the following people, on some level: A hairstylist, a colorist, a nail technician, a facialist, a waxer,a dermatologist, a gynecologist, an optometrist, a dentist and a guy who I go see when I get sinus infections.

I have a dry cleaner, a tailor, a mechanic, some yard guys, a shoe repair person, a framer, a decorator, an upholsterer, and a seamstress.

I have Auto Bell, Stanley Steamer and Express Lube.

I have a personal banker, an investment consultant, a caterer, a printer, a photographer and, that most elusive of all possible staff members, a reliable and trustworthy handyman.

The handyman and the mechanic are the two most valuable players, basically because those are the easiest places to get taken advantage of by the unscrupulous people of the world. However, my facialist is divine, my hairstylist is worth her weight in gold and ya'll, if you don't have a waxer that you can trust, you are in for a world of hurt. That stuff ain't for the faint of heart.

And then there is my colorist. My God! My colorist! The last time I was there I said "I want it blonder and redder, does that make sense?" And he looked at me as only your gay colorist can look at you, with a mixture of annoyance, disdain and absolute understanding and said "Ok, fine." Then he stomped off to "mix up the color" which I think is code for "smoke a cigarette".

I have a shoe guy at Nordstrom,a shoe guy at Bob Ellis, a chick who knows me at Coach and a close, personal relationship with "my" salesman at Crate and Barrel, Scott. Come to think of it, I think Scott may be coming to Christmas dinner this year.

I have a veterinarian and an emergency veterinarian. I have a dog nanny, a dog groomer, a long term boarding facility, a short term boarding facility, a back up short term boarding facility and a back up dog walker.

I also know the best place to go if you need kosher cupcakes, the best jeweler to take your wedding rings so you can have them soldered together (against advice of counsel) and when and why you should bite the bullet and take your stuff to Long's Dry Cleaning.

If you think this list is long, you are absolutely right. It takes a village to keep me, my Beans, my house, my car, my wardrobe and my hair looking and running as smoothly as possible. If you happen to be a girl without a staff, go and start hiring one as soon as humanly possible. And for the love of Pete, the next time your car breaks down, call me before you take it back to the dealership. Those people will rip you off every time.

House Tour Part III

I have never been a person who saw the world in terms of black and white but I have never met a black and white print that I didn't L.O.V.E. Proof of this love is on full display in my dining room.
My father is absolutely bumfuzzled by this room. Apparently, it has never occurred to him that a person would do this, let alone one that grew up in his house. This is not the first time I have defied his expectations but it's the first time it has been so graphically displayed (he also doesn't understand why I'm not married, but that's a whole other enchilada). The first time he saw it, he just stood in the door way and stared at it for a long, long time. Then he asked me why I would do such a thing and didn't I think it needed a little "color". Now when he visits, he always spends some time pondering the dining room. Mom says he tells everyone about it. Go figure.
This is my little wine caddie which I got at Target many many years ago. I am ridiculously in love with it for reasons that I don't quite understand.
Here's a nice picture of my lamp and mirror. The cost of the lamp made my stomach hurt from the time that I bought it until I got it home. Once it was sitting on my sideboard, I no longer cared how much it cost.


House Tour Part II

Welcome to our guest room! Won't you drop by and stay for a while?

The Bee Charmer and her little Beans really love company and if you drop by to stay with us, odds are we'll put you up in the "official" guest room. I really like how this room came out. I think everyone has a room where all of their mismatched furniture goes to live and more often than not, its your poor little guest room. The Bee Charmer is no exception. With the exception of the bed, all of the furniture here was either inherited or handed down. The cedar chest and the dresser are from my Grandmother and the side tables came from Mom. But somehow, when thrown all together and combined with a couple of really cool mercury glass Crate and Barrel lamps (which we scored on Craigslist) it works and doesn't feel like a mismash.

I am particularly happy with the dresser in this room. When Grandmother died, this was the only piece of furniture in her house that NOBODY else wanted and my father asked me to take it - I think because he felt sorry for it. And to be fair, it was pretty pitiful. It's mirror was attached to it's back and it had the ugliest Early American hardware on it that you have ever seen.

But it's lines were good. So we unhooked the mirror and hung it on the wall, shined it up with a little Pledge, switched out the ugly hardware for $35 worth of sleek brushed nickel pulls and it looked like a whole new piece. In fact, my Dad didn't even recognize it!
While we're in this part of the house, I'll go ahead and show you the hall and landing outside of the bedrooms. It's not all that exciting but I am really happy with the art on the wall outside of the guest room. While on a family trip in Charleston, South Carolina this summer I picked up a few postcards featuring the Charleston iron work. When I got back to Charlotte, I took my little post cards to my framer, along with some frames I had picked up long ago at the Pottery Barn outlet. A few bucks later, we had beautiful pictures framed in snazzy lavender mats. It turned out to be unexpectedly fabulous because the lavender mats are neutral enough to be neutral but unexpected enough to stand out in the best way. Remember, no decision is too small when you're talking about your beautiful house!

Stay tuned, later this week we're going downstairs. Next up: the Black and White dining room that still has my Dad completely bumfuzzled.

Welcome to Iraq, Mr. President

George W. Bush visited Iraq. Somebody threw a shoe at him.


House Tour Part I

Welcome to our home! One of the reasons I started this blog was to share my ongoing obsession with all things related to my house.

For those of you who don't know, I purchased my first home, a townhouse, last February. Since our little community was in the early development phases when I signed the contract, we endured many many months of inactivity before construction finally began in December last year. All that time just gave me an opportunity to save, shop, plan, scheme and drive all my friends crazy discussing whether or not they thought my kitchen counters would be too "heavy". But all that planning involved the first floor of our new home. I barely gave a thought to the three bedrooms upstairs, not to even mention the two full baths.

Two months after the move, my obsession turned upward. When I moved in, I brought with me my old bedroom furniture. I got it in the "divorce" and it seemed so....foreign, for lack of a better word, in the new place. Don't get me wrong, the whole "divorce"disaster was over long ago, but furniture is furniture and it didn't seem misbegotten in my old place. Well let me tell you, it didn't belong here. It rankled me. Thee weeks after it moved in, I placed a call to the Salvation Army and just like that, I had an empty canvas.

It is because I thought of the upstairs last that I have decided to feature it first in the house tour. So now, after a few months of fiddling and moving things around upstairs, we are ready for the big reveal.... Voila!

I found the bed first, at my happy place, Crate and Barrel. I swear to you, those people over there think I am insane. I either spend nothing or I just randomly drop by and buy a bed. And it just happened that way. I really didn't go in there for a bed, I just saw it, fell in love and the next thing I knew they were ringing it up. The other thing about this picture is the two new frames on either side of the bed. These were given to me for my birthday by my dear friend and they were the final piece of the bedroom puzzle.

This is my dresser! I love it because it has drawers for all of my stuff. My old bureau was sorely lacking in storage space and when I saw this I almost passed out, my head spinning from the very thought that my socks could have their very own drawer! If you've noticed, I purchased a bedroom suite (save for the bed). I know that this is frowned upon in decorating circles and I generally avoid the matchy matchy. However, in this room it really worked for me so I ran with it. I also want to mention the gorgeous lavender lamp on the dresser. It's vintage and I paid $27 for it at a flea market. Many of you are jealous of my lamp and I just have to tell you - um, you still can't have it. The best part about it is that it matches my lavender paint.

Yes, my friends, I painted my bedroom lavender. French Heirloom by Behr, to be precise. I was a little afraid that it would look too "Easter egg-y" but thankfully it turned out to be interestingly neutral and I think, quite sophisticated with my dark furniture.

And here's a close up of my new desk chair. As you saw before, I bought a really cool white lacquer parsons desk from West Elm to anchor the far side of the room. I love the contrast of the desk's clean lines with the dark wood and traditional style of my other furniture. And the traditional style of the chair combined with the modernity of the clear plastic perfectly ties it all together.

Stay tuned, tomorrow we're going to tour the guest room! And later this week we're going to spend a little more time with that West Elm parsons desk. I love it so much it merits its own post.

Happy Christmas Surprise

I headed over to Joseph-Beth Booksellers yesterday to check out their 2009 Calendar selection. I swear I didn't go there to look at the coffee table books. But, circumstances being what they are and things happened and why go to a book store if you aren't going to browse??? And I found this. Oceanscapes by Debra Bloomfield.

Ya'll, I think these are some of the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen. And I've seen a lot of pictures.

I love the ocean but I have never been able to find many photographs that capture the feeling that I get from looking at the water, until now. Ms. Bloomfield's photographs are of the ocean and the sky. No land, no people, just glorious water and air. They are breathtaking.

I was so in love with these photographs that I decided to check out some of Ms. Bloomfield's other works and discovered that she published a book of photos of the desert southwest a few years ago. Luckily for me, if was on sale at Amazon. I will let you know how I feel about it once it arrives. In the meantime, I thought I'd show you a little bit more of Ms. Bloomfield's work...

Don't You Just Love Presents?

December is a busy time for many of us and the Bee Charmer is no exception. In addition to Christmas and New Years, December is also my birthday month. This year I bought myself a little joint birthday/Christmas present - a Victoria Ghost Chair for my bedroom. I have been lusting for this chair for months but sort of balked at ordering one from Design Within Reach. I have a bit of a problem with DWR because most of their prices are so not within reach - but I digress. Having said this, you can imagine my joy when I was able to find my chair on sale (if you can believe that) and I got free shipping via Fed Ex Ground. I hate to say that I am taking advantage of the abounding deals brought about by the crummy economy, but I did it. The source of this bounty was High Brow Furniture, located in Nashville. I highly recommend them. If finding out they were having a sale wasn't enough, check out the fun box that my chair came in, complete with a happy little note inside.

Here's a close up:

The chair is fabulous and works well with both my modern parsons desk from West Elm as well as the more traditional style of my bedroom furniture. So without further ado, here is the new chair in its new home.....


To Market, To Market

It has occurred to me that if Carrie Bradshaw had any scrap of reality associated with her HBO existence, we would have had at least one episode where somebody went to Target. Didn't these women need tampons? Toilet paper? Tylenol? These are the necessities of the mundane side of life. We can't all be fabulous all the time. At some point, the makeup comes off, the sweatpants are required and one has to stop blogging in order to prevent one's little corgi girl from eating the stuffing she has just ripped out of her expensive new stuffed toy from Target.

After much considered reflection and at least one very serious (if alcohol fueled) dinner discussion, the Bee Charmer decided that her kitchen garbage can just had to be replaced. Poor little thing. It wasn't clean, it wasn't chic, it was starting to fall apart - it could no longer be supported. Certainly Carrie Bradshaw never had this problem, but there you go. My biggest concern was how to dispose of the old one. It seemed wrong to just throw it away and I tried to find a way to recycle it. Apparently it is made of the kind of plastic that cannot be recycled. It's that old. So after tonight's trip to Target to get a new one, we gave our poor little old can a little funeral and sent it on its way and now we have a new, taller and cleaner kitchen garbage can. It was not made by Rubbermaid and I know that this will disappoint some of you. However, Target does not carry Rubbermaid garbage cans and I am not going to Walmart, not for ya'll, not for anyone.


A Few Little Things

Hi guys. Sorry I have been out of pocket. I didn't feel so charming last week.

First, I got a new phone last week. It is an LG Voyager from Verizon. I find it very, very cool. I took it with me to pick up my Beans from the Dog Spa on Saturday and when I left it unattended in the car with my newly married friend, she molested it. Yes, my friends, in her never ending quest to obliterate all references to her maiden name she went into my phone without my permission and changed her listing to her newly married name! She's reading this right now and I will tell you she feels no shame about it. She's proud of herself! Those of you who have known the Bee Charmer for a while know that I learn one name and that's it. I have friends from college, from law school, they have married and have MULTIPLE children but I still refer to them by their maiden names.

Second, as previously mentioned, I took the Beans to the dog spa this weekend to be buffed, fluffed and puffed. They were returned to me with ten pounds less hair and smelling like cinnamon biscuits. They are still sleeping it off because, let me tell you, the spa exhausts them.

Third, and this is just a personal observation, I am sure that if I die and go to hell, "The Little Drummer Boy" will be playing in the waiting room on a continuous loop.

Fourth, I will preface this by saying that I have no objection to filth as long as its witty. Having said that, if you haven't seen "I J*** in My Pants", go to http://www.hulu.com/ and watch it. Now. It's the Pet Shop Boys thing that kills me. And while you're there, watch "Obama Plays it Cool". Because that's what he is. He's Cool.

Fifth, JustJared posted pictures of Rachel Zoe in a spaghetti strap dress and I have to say that she's not thin, she's anorexic! It kind of scares me that she's sort of an arbiter of style because it's not attractive, it's not healthy and it's not to be emulated.

Lastly, last week I downloaded "Hope for the Hopeless" by Brett Dennen. According to Wikipedia, Rolling Stone named Mr. Dennen one of its "10 Artists to Watch" in 2007 and here I am, a year later, finally arriving late to the party. I find him groovy without being pretentious about it and I also like the nasal quality of his voice. I listened to "You're Gonna Miss Her" at least 45 times today but I like the whole album.


Nail Envy

I left work a little bit early so that I could get my nails done. I am currently in love with the Black Onyx nail lacquer by OPI. Go. Try it. Be daring!


My darling friend asked me to blog about Nordstrom. Ahhhh, Nordstrom. How do we love thee? Let us count the ways.

First, your shoe department is divine, completely stocked with beautiful shoes and fully staffed my hordes of helpful assistants. These people are there to help you and they will. They bring you the shoes you ask for and shoes that you didn't ask for but that they hope you'll like. You like them more often than your American Express bill might like.

Then, we have the handbags, the Bee Charmer's personal downfall. Oh, I love the shoes. The shoes are sublime, but the bags, the bags, the bags, the bags. The bags make me weak in the knees. I was over there this weekend and became particularly infatuated with a lavender Marc Jacobs. Perhaps it will be mine?

We also love the live piano because its just nice. It makes you feel cosmopolitan, it makes you feel nostalgic. Oh, how we love the piano.

And most of all we love the people who work at Nordstrom. Nordstrom is the beginning and the end of customer service. They treat you the same whether you're spending $5 or $5000 and that is Nordstrom's greatest treat. They make you feel special and they make you feel valued.

Thank you Nordstrom for all you do for us. We love you!


The Sexiest Man Alive

No offense to People Magazine, Hugh Jackman or any of the other perfectly lovely men who were featured in this year's Sexiest Man Alive issue. I mean, Hugh Jackman is a pretty, pretty man. However, THIS is the sexiest man alive. Who else can be this sexy, convey menacing danger with such proficiency and be such a dork at the same time? Only you, Mr. Boreanaz. And we applaud you.


The Hotel Pastis

I love this book. Peter Mayle is an expatriate Brit who lives in Provence. This book is pretty old but I have to say that I love love love it. It is the story of a middle aged advertising executive named Simon who sells out and moves to the South of France to open a hotel. He is assisted by Nicole Bouvier, a beautiful French woman who Simon meets on a holiday after his 2nd marriage has ended in divorce. Simon starts to fall in love with Nicole when he visits her home.

Nicole's house, the highest in Brassiere-les-Deux-Eglises, was at the
end of a cul-de-sac, a narrow, three-storey building of weathered stone with
wooden shutters painted in a color somewhere between gray and faded green.
Stairs led up to a carved wooden front door with a knocker in the form of a hand
holding a ball, and the leaves of an old wild-grape vine flared autumn red
against the wall.

"This is lovely," said Simon. "How long have you had it?"

"Ten, eleven years." Nicole turned the key in the door and nudged it
open with her hip. "One day it will be finished. The top floor is
still to do. Be careful with your head."

Simon ducked inside. At the far end of the long, low room, through a
glass door, he could see a small terrace with blue hills beyond.
Comfortable, slightly shabby armchairs were arranged in front of a
cut-stone fireplace that had been laid with vine clippings. On the other
side of the room, the wall had been knocked away to waist height to make a bar,
with a gap at one end leading through to the kitchen. Books were
everywhere, books and flowers. The air smelled faintly of lavender.
I love this passage because it has always been my dream of my home. The Hotel Pastis is a lovely place to visit. Make a reservation and stay for a while.

The Humane Society of Charlotte

As many of you know, the Bee Charmer has been blessed with two of the sweetest, fuzziest and fattest little babies that anybody could ever have. Finn and Lola Bean have always been loved, doted upon, cared for and, believe me about this, fed. This time of year we are all reminded that charities need our help. One of the charities that I'll be supporting this year is the Humane Society of Charlotte. Please join me in donating to this very worthy cause. Our pets provide all of us with love in its purest and more selfless form. Please help less fortunate pets find the loving homes that they all deserve.

Andy Warhol is a Star

The Mint Museum is currently hosting an exhibit of Andy Warhol portfolios. I have to admit that I have seen a number of Warhols over the years, in New York, Chicago, Paris and even The North Carolina Museum of Art. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the bulk of the Mint exhibit featured pieces that were new to me. I was particularly blown away by the Endangered Species portfolio as well as the Myths Portfolio. I have featured a piece from the Myths Portfolio called "The Star". Warhol was inspired by Greta Garbo when he created "The Star" and in my opinion it's worth the price of admission all by itself. The Warhol Exhibit runs at The Mint through February 15, 2009.


Meet the babies! This is Finn (on the right) and Lola Bean (on the left). They may be making appearance in this blog, from time to time. They mostly contribute when food is involved, but they also like to butt in when pictures of the house are being taken.


Sweet Potato Love

Have ya'll been over to The Counter? I avoided it for a while. The Bee Charmer has always successfully limited red meat. Once a month. TOPS.

Well not anymore. The Counter has turned me into a raging carnivore. I couldn't practice law today because my brain was fixated on The Counter.

In case you haven't been, you should run over there. The toppings! The cheeses! THE FRIES! Whatever you do, get the sweet potato fries. Don't think. Just go.


Single Girls of a Certain Age

Part of the reason I started this blog was to discuss the goings on of singlehood after a certain age. I suppose, in the Old South, I would have been relegated to the list of "Spinsters" and volunteer a lot at church and grow tomatoes in the back yard. Almost every girlfriend I have had from high school, college and law school has married and, in most cases, had children. And yet there is something in me that just won't do it.

My best friend tells me that I just haven't met the right guy yet. My mother says "I just don't understand what is wrong with you".

I tried to get married. It didn't work out. After that relationship ended there were years of heartbreak. Not so much because of him. Frankly, I was relieved he was gone. I mourned the failure of it. I mourned the life of normalcy that I would not have. But I also mourned, more than anything, the loss of myself. I lost myself in that relationship. I tried to be what he wanted and in the end he didn't want me in any incarnation and when the door slammed behind him I didn't even have myself to rely on. I literally would pass a mirror and catch a glimpse of my reflection and my mind wouldn't know who it was. I would stop and stare at myself. Trying to see who was there.

I got over it but really, it took a while. I needed to sift through all of it. Ultimately it caused me to become more of myself. I am not the girl who fell in love with that guy. She is gone. I am the woman who survived it and frankly, I like her better. What I came to thereafter is this and not many women will say this out loud but here goes: I like being single. I like it. I like not having to consult with somebody else. I don't like to compromise and I don't like to sleep with other people. (Not sex. Sex is one thing. Sleeping is an entirely different ball of wax.)

Notwithstanding the all of the above, I am trying to date. I think it would be fun to get out of the house sometimes. I am hoping to meet a guy who thinks it would be nice to buy adjoining townhouses and live happily ever after in adjoining homes. If you know a guy like that tell him to email me.


On This Earth

I dropped by the new Barnes & Noble in SouthPark last week. If you haven't been over there you should go check it out.

I was thrilled with the selection of coffee table books on display, I suppose in preparation for the Christmas gift crush. Those of you who know The Bee Charmer are well aware of my love of coffee table books. I think that there is a perception that coffee table books are frivolous and have no real purpose. I disagree strongly! First of all, they are, if nothing else, beautiful and bring beauty to one's home. Beauty is often underrated and if anything should be beautiful, it is your home. Secondly, pictures have the ability to convey people and places in a way that words often cannot. My case in point is the stunning On this Earth a new book by Nick Brandt. Mr. Brandt's photographs have captured the landscape and wild life in East Africa and remind us of the power and beauty of these animals and this land. The introduction by Jane Goodall reminds us that the Earth is in peril and we must do what we can to save it, for ourselves and those who are to come. Go. Look at this book and be reminded of the "beauty of creation and the sacredness of life".


Today's Surprising Recommendation

Have ya'll ever met Glen Campbell? If not, you should introduce yourselves. It is a little known fact that that the Bee Charmer has always had a bit of a thing for him. My mom had one of his albums when I was a little girl and I confess that I, at the tender age of 4, thought he was pretty cute. But I digress.
Glen had a few rough years but this album is stellar. He is, at 73, in very fine voice. The album consists solely of covers from the likes of Tom Petty, Jackson Browne, Foo Fighters, U2, and Green Day. I know, you think that Glen Campbell couldn't possibly do justice to Green Day. Believe me, he will wipe the smirk right off of your face. Go. Download. Now.


It is November and I am in denial.

Winter is coming and I can't seem to accept it. Granted, winter in Charlotte is a lot better than winter in say, Chicago, but still. Winter is winter and for reasons that I don't understand, my mind just won't wrap itself around it this year. I mean, I checked in at weather.com this afternoon and it informed me that it was 56 degrees outside. I thought "What is up with THAT?" and then I remembered it is November. I think I'll wear boots to work tomorrow.
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