Look… First…

Whew!  We had a fabulous Thanksgiving get-away.  I don’t have many photos, so I’ll share more about that tomorrow.  In the meantime, I did do some reading while we were at the beach.  I’d packed books to read and had a plan, but I got distracted immediately Thursday morning by the fabulous bookcases my aunt keeps well-stocked in the beach house living room.  I do believe just about every visit introduces me to a new author/book!

This time, it was First Dogs that distracted me.  In fact, for the first time I can recall, I didn’t watch the Macy’s parade or the dog show that follows, because I had my nose in the book and then took my own leading ladies for a long walk on the beach.

I can’t say enough about this book.  In fact…  I might feel another bulk purchase for gifts coming on.  It’s not political at all, and if you have any interest at all in dogs or history, you’ll love it.

After that very delightful distraction, I did turn to my reading list.  Marjie had gifted me Taylor Caldwell’s To Look and Pass earlier this year, but I’ve been on a reading hiatus. 

Shame on me!  Had I known it was such a study of human nature and small town dynamics, I would have jumped in right away.   It is NOT a light, cheerful book.  It is dark, stark and deep.  I found the opening to be a little awkward and slow, but that’s really just the narrator establishing his own voice, and given that I am a stream of consciousness writer, talker, emailer, who am I to judge?! 

The book is out of print, but given Caldwell’s popularity, it shouldn’t be hard to find.  If you count To Kill a MockingbirdOf Mice and Men or The Great Gatsby as a favorite, you need to read this one.  (And yes, those are three of my favorites, to be sure.)

What are you reading?

Think Small!!

Don’t forget that tomorrow is Small Business Saturday

To help you out, I’m going to share some of my favorites, all of which are almost sure to have a local counterpart in your area, but before I do that…

If you didn’t click over, all you need to know is that while black friday seems to be about the big box, national chains and their ridiculous deals to get you out of bed and in their stores at insane hours of the morning, Small Business Saturday is just a simple campaign to support small businesses.  All you have to do is wander into your local not-national chain coffee house and buy your favorite drink, or slip into your favorite local small business and make any purchase…

So.  My favorites!  All have an online presence, so even if you’re not from podunk, you can shop like a native… 

Rock Paper Scissors.   If you are so on the ball you already have all the holiday cards and such you need, you can still snag cute note cards or note pads from your own local spot for someone(s) on your list!  Or here’s an idea… return address stamps?


Towle 2010 Bell

Chimney Corner.  Every town has one… a cute gift shop!   Ornaments are always fun to give and receive.  One of my friends collects bells… 

The Pink Palm, which is of course, my locally owned Lilly Pulitzer store.  Yes, some department stores carry some Lilly P., but I like the personal service at my local boutique.  (Plus… podunk is short on department stores and selection.)

Naturally, no list would be complete with something for the fur-girls.  Sammy Snacks is our favorite (also available at some of your local pet shops or via Amazon)… so don’t forget to support your local pet shops too.

Of course, there’s always Etsy, your local yarn, fabric or other hobby shop…

What small business(es) are you supporting?

Preparing for Thanksgiving

October 2011 007
Doesn’t Sis appear to have bowed her head in prayer?

Tomorrow’s a busy day for most of us here in the States, so I wanted to get our Thanksgiving wishes out early.  Of course… as usual… the fur-girls are ahead of the game and have their wishes up already!

Today’s actually the end of the work week for a lot of folks, and tomorrow is kinda’ the queen of Thankful Thursdays, so short of a doggy photo, this post is focusing on the THANKS part.

I’m the first to admit I lead a charmed life.  Most of us have our ups and downs, our trials and tribulations, but I truly feel blessed.   We’ve overcome several health challenges, and we continue to battle Sissy’s glaucoma and food allergies daily, but at the moment the sun is shining and life is good.  We don’t take it for granted though…

We give thanks for the lack of want in our lives.

We give thanks for the friends and relations who laugh and cry with us.

We give thanks for our health.

We give thanks for our freedom.

We give thanks for our military folks and their loved ones who continue to secure that freedom with blood, sweat and tears both here and abroad.

We give thanks for the love and light our pets bring to our lives.

We give thanks for being born in a nation where we are free to bow our heads in prayer – or not… 

We give thanks for all who volunteer their time, talents or treasure to make this world a better place.

And most of all, we give thanks for all the love in our lives.

We’ll be celebrating quietly with friends.  How do you honor the day?

Watch or not?

My dream watch - Philip Stein

Quick little curiousity here. 

Do you wear a watch daily?  Is it jewelry or equipment?

See…  in my former life as a firefighter-medic, my watch was an essential tool, and it had to have a second hand.  (… and the nurses and such nod…)  But the Knight and many of my friends don’t wear a watch; they simply peek at their cell phones when they want to know the time and no wall clock is in plain sight.

I’ve heard it said that watches will soon be obsolete, except purely as a fashion item.  I get that…  I love bracelets and always have something on each arm, generally a watch on the left and at least one bracelet on the right.  However, I almost never consult my watch anymore, and I favor “dress watches” that don’t have numbers even, much less a second hand.

I guess that puts me in the fashion category, but I probably do look at the time on my wrist at least once daily…

And yeah, I love that PANK Philip Stein watch.  If it came with just one “face” I’d be even more tempted to try their Frequency Technology.  Anyone know anything about the claims of better sleep, less stress, etc.?  (Don’t quote Oprah for me…  I’ve read/heard her testimonials.  I want to hear from someone I kinda’ know…)

What say you?  Fashion, function or technology?


It’s the most…

… hectic time of the year!

I like to blog regulary – every weekday – but every now and then, life gets in the way.  I feel that’s about to happen again… maybe through mid-February.  (Seriously.)  So don’t worry if I’m quiet for days at a time, okay?

We did meet gMarie and her husband yesterday and we had a lovely time.  THEY have photos, so when she blogs our visit, I’ll let you know and you can pop over and visit, okay?  I also have a finished object report to share with you… when I can get photos AND have time to compose a post. 

J Crew Mona in spicy cinnamon patent leather

Saturday, I spent the day going through an old closet of mostly dress clothes.  I only kept a handful of things from a 12′ row, and I suspect some of those won’t make it to the tailor for alterations after all.  The good news is, I have two FABULOUS dress options for the League’s gala, Vintage Vegas, so I just need to buy shoes, and the same fab pair we saw at J Crew yesterday will work for both dresses… maybe.  (Definitely one, but it might be too … intense for the other.)

Did you do anything exciting this weekend?

Love is Blind

Has everyone been following the story of Lily and Maddison?

Photo courtesy of Daily Mail UK

Obviously, Lily is blind and Maddison is her seeing eye dog.  You have to read the story though.  It warmed me all the more because their new dad is a retired firefighter… 

Click over.  I’ll wait. 


Leave me alone. I'm hunting.

I love the joy in Lily’s face.   If you’re new here, you might not know that our own Sissy has lost her left eye to glaucoma and we’re fighting daily to maintain a healthy pressure in her right eye, to keep her comfortable and to retain her sight.  But because she was so very young and the glaucoma was so very aggressive, we know we have an uphill, life-long fight at best. 

So Lily’s happy face is an extra gift to me, because it helps me have true peace…  No matter what, Sis will always be beautiful, loved, and have a face full of expression… and know no boundaries.

October 2010 028
October 2010


I can’t lie… I miss that left eye rimmed in brown fur, but it hasn’t changed our girl and if anything, we love her all the more for her pluck and perseverance.   Thanks Sis, for being so resilient and for making us better for all of it. 

What does your weekend hold?

Mistletoe Market Report

Happy Thorsday, little friday, thankful thursday and more!  Do flip over to the girls’ blog for more photos.

On Sunday, I got to enjoy the Junior League of Charlottesville‘s Mistletoe Market.   While there were over 50 fabulous vendors, I dropped all of my money with just two, but I won a door prize, so a third is mentioned below. 

November 2011 013I’m kinda’ proud of myself…  I went with a plan – to find necklaces.  See, I don’t wear ’em.  I don’t like the dainty gem on a fine chain I seem to have so much of in my jewelry chest.  Despite being petite, I love chunky jewelry.  

I wasted no time wearing my turquoise and coral piece from Bling Around the Collar.    Yes, it’s very appropriate that I’m sharing all of this on Thorsday, because her company name was inspired by her dogs, who are featured on her business card!

This piece literally caught my eye as soon as I walked in the door, and I bought it after my first loop through most of the vendors.  I knew then that I’d wear it on Monday with my safari shirt dress, and I knew I’d be headed to the mall to find some teal/turquoise or coral flats…

November 2011 006

Don’t look too closely…  the Knight wasn’t home and daylight is scarce after work in the woods.  Luckily, the dress has a VERY full skirt… Shoes are Nine West.  I normally stay far away from suede, but I was short on time, they were cute and on sale, so… (My shoes are more teal than the color on NW’s website.  The bit you can see above is accurate on my monitor.)

November 2011 003

I love this necklace.   I could build an entire wardrobe around it and be very happy… at least until I woke up one day and never wanted to see coral or pale turquoise again. 

November 2011 010Ironically, the other necklace I scored is also blue and coral.  It came from J Ryan Jewelry.  I’m pretty sure she put it together for the UVA crowd… of which I am not a part, but I have promised to loan it to a loyal alum friend next year! 

This is big and chunky even by my standards, but see…  my good friend and current JLC president owns a very similar piece and every time she wears it, I covet it.  Or did.  Past tense.  The vixen twisted my arm and made me buy this one, and I know I won’t regret it for a minute.  We schemed several outfits it will work well with while I tried it on, along with the other two VERY similar (different ribbon colors and slightly different coral) designs…  (Click on the link at the top of the post to see Sissy kinda’ modeling it for me.)

November 2011 012As I mentioned, I also won sauces from Palcha.   I believe they’re a local company, but their website says Whole Foods carries them in many markets.  Evidently we live a sheltered life – we truly do – because a few of my friends are already familiar with their sauces and assured me the Knight will have big fun with them.  I’m eager to try some of their recipes too!

One of the members working the prize table joked that I was banned from entering contests for a while.  Hrmph.  Win some earrings in February and some sauces in November and a girl gets a bad rap!   To quote the Virginia Lottery’s Lady Luck, “You gotta’ play to win.” 

So, I’m thankful I’m lucky, I’m thankful to be a part of such a dynamic, inspiring group of women who really are changing our community, and I’m thankful for my little helpers, even when they aren’t truly helpful and send me off to my evening meeting with drool on my dress and dog hair everywhere it can stick.

And I’m absolutely over the moon because in just a few days, we’ll get to meet the awesome gMarie and her Jaybird in person!!  Can’t wait!!   (Please don’t try to make me promise to get photos.  Pop over to her blog and see if she’ll vow to do such a thing.  Me and my good intentions get lost in these moments and I really do simply forget!)

What are you thankful for today?  And where will you be shopping locally on Small Business Saturday?   (Next week… so you have time to make a plan if you don’t have one!)


Tignanello Bag courtesy of QVC

No typo.  Best friend forever BAG.

You heard it here, folks…  I’ve found the bag of my dreams, one I like so well I’m pondering asking Santa for another in a different color. 

It’s a Tignanello.   I ordered from QVC, but I know the brand is available in other retail options as well.  

What I love: 

  • The color.  It is really a little … browner? than the green shown above on my monitor.
  • The size.  It is just right for the Tign. wallet I carry and my Vera sunglass case.   It weighs just over a pound empty, which is pretty light for a leather bag.
  • There are just enough pockets… two outside-side for my keys, two zips outside for gift cards I’ve just purchases or receipts, two slip pockets inside that are ideal for smart phone “drop-in”, and another zip pocket inside for lip stuff and the keys I don’t use regularly but need to have with me.
  • The shoulder strap is a great length.  It doesn’t tuck the bag into my arm pit, even now that I’m sometimes wearing a sweater and a jacket or a jacket and an overcoat.
  • Pebble leather.  Love it. 
November 2011 001

Too dark on my monitor...

I knew it existed… it was just harder to find than I imagined.

Philanthropy Day

Today is National Philanthropy Day



Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending our local celebration for the day.   We had quite an inspiring speaker, but one of the phrases that stuck with me is that philanthropy is about giving time, talent and/or treasure to change the world, your community… lives.

I’ve always liked the very word – philanthorpy – but I must admit I don’t consider myself a philanthropist, even though I’ve been giving my time, talent and treasure to one non-profit or another since I was a small child, but I thought that’s just what we do…  as kind, compassionate citizens.  I do consider myself a volunteer, but I confess I feel a bit like a little girl playing dress-up with this new mantle of “philanthropist” draped around me.

Likewise, I have accepted myself as a leader in the non-profit community, but I do not think of myself as a civic leader.  Splitting hairs?  Perhaps.  What say you?

Are their words that might define you that challenge you a bit?

Pin here, pin there…

I have fallen down a rabbit hole.  Its name is Pinterest.  I might never tweet again, and will definitely be on Facebook even less.  Le sigh.  Recipes, fashion, home decor, cute doggies… what’s not to love?!

Planet Dog Feedbag

I had a fabulous time at Mistletoe Market, but I’ll have to report on my purchases later.  It was too dark/cloudy yesterday when I got home.   In the meantime, toodle over to Nichole’s latest review and check out the fab Planet Dog Feedbag and its matching bowls.  I think lots of our doggy friends and relations might get a Feedbag for Christmas…  The fur-girls are definitely getting one, in PANK of course. 

Oh — and it’s a contest.  The more of us who enter, the more Planet Dog and Lapdog Creations will give away!  See the original post for details.

How was your weekend?  Do you have any fabulous finds?