Monthly Archives: February 2014

Which Guy look trips your trigger? Series 1, 2 or 3?


Happy Guyday Friday, everyone! Yours truly is feeling a little on the rough side today, but I find Sir Guy is always good for what ails ya.  Whether he’s sporting black leather or a pirate shirt, nape curls or a glorious mane, he’s always a treat for the senses.

I think most of you know my favorite Sir Guy look was in Series 3. From the tortured, tangled-maned boozy Guy in his Floppy Black Pirate Shirt and Marvel of Engineering trousers, to resplendent Glamour Guy, fresh from Prince John’s Red Door Salon and Spa, glossy and brimming with confidence, I found the look sexy, compelling and suitable for the arc of  near-operatic grandeur provided for the ChARActer in the show’s final season.



1_165dddAs much as I loved his buttery-soft, clingy black leathers (and I do!), I also admired how his “Milanese Fantasy” costume from S3 emphasized his physical attributes– the jacket design playing up the broad shoulders, slim waist and that generous backside, the trousers showcasing the powerful thighs and teasing us with the contrasting laces . . . and all those buckles and straps looked as if they could be–fun. Challenging.


And while I have a soft spot for the “Guy Mullet” ( I have a soft spot for Richard’s hair, period), he worked those S3 hair extensions like nobody’s business. RA incorporated the extra hair into the character arc, using it in early scenes as a filthy curtain to hide his self loathing and shame, later flicking black the glossy strands with a proud, tempestuous toss of his head. A beautiful black stallion came to mind. *sigh*

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So how about you? What’s your favorite Guy look? Series 1 with the amusing mustard cravat and the fetching nape curls? Series 2 with the rocking all-leather ensemble? Or Series 3? Do tell! Happy Guyday Friday!!



For so much more than meals . . . remembering that dining room table.


My latest blog post over at Honeysuckle and Sweet Tea. ❤

Musings from a Mid-Century Modern Girl

It’s funny what one piece of furniture, a well-worn object of no particular value (save sentimental) can come to mean to you. The dining room table in the farmhouse in which I grew up was far more than just a place for us to eat together. 

Most of the family’s meals were actually served in the cozy nook of our big country kitchen. The dining room’s Duncan Phyffe reproduction table were generally reserved for Sunday meals after church, for holiday celebrations and when guests came.

Joe Ova Sara Christmasedit 1982

But it served so many other purposes for our family of five. That dining room table was a perfect place to draw and letter posters for school, church and community events. One had elbow room to ponder the difficulties of the “New Math” and the vagaries of irregular French verbs.

Imagine the pungent scent of Magic Markers mixed with the clatter of the Smith-Corona. Add…

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I really *didn’t* fall off the face of the earth, I promise.


But I *did* lose my internet last Thursday night and just got it back tonight. It’s been a long week in some ways. I did put the downtime to some constructive use–my laptop’s hard drive has some extra space it didn’t have before once I started clearing out graphics I no longer liked and deleting duplicate photos. I found some RA-related edits I had completely forgotten I had even done.  It’s sort of like going on a treasure hunt . . .




I also enjoyed doing more reading and, yes, even some writing, mostly memory pieces about aspects of growing up in the farmhouse. Posted one of them to “Honeysuckle and Sweet Tea” with more to come.

And of course, there is the pleasure of playing with Scarlett Kitten.  Who is currently using me as a cat bed. Should have seen her lolling on her dad earlier tonight, completely winding him around her adorable little paw.  As he says, “she’s a pretty decent cat.” 😉



And yes, I also did this. Shave my legs, that is. Although Stanley Stunning here hasn’t shown up yet, more’s the pity. *sigh*

Oh, YOU, Mr. Armitage. *thud*


The Accountant, the Kitten and the Sassy Ladywriter: Spring is Coming!


Scarlett Kitten was sitting in the open kitchen window at Ladywriter’s house, enjoying the balmy breeze periodically ruffling her silky fur. Something Mama called “Spring” was apparently in the air, and Scarlett had decided she liked it. The fresh air was wonderful after the long, cold, dreary winter.


“Scarlett Kitten! How are you this mild February afternoon?” A cheery male voice exclaimed. With a chirrup of clear delight, Scarlett bounded over the sink and straight into Harry Kennedy’s jumper-clad arms,  where she quickly wrapped her little body around his sleeve to do a bit of grappling. Scarlett loved to sleeve-wrestle with her favorite menfolk, the taller and looser-limbed, the better.

In spite of the warmth of the day, Harry was not overheated in his cozy knitwear; such was one of the benefits of being a ChaRActer.  He looked as boyishly appealing and infinitely cuddly as ever, irresistible to cat or cat mother.


“Harry! So good to see you again!” Ladywriter’s face was wreathed in a smile at the sight of the Handsome Not-Really-Stranger. “I see Scarlett has already made herself at home on your arm . . . ”

and she’s feeling quite frisky, it would seem.” Rubbing the purring kitten, he tilted his head, his brow furrowing just a little as he studied Ladywriter. She’d apparently been to Town. She was wearing her red lippie and her favorite teal blouse, the one that made her eyes look almost-green.


“I do believe you are sporting a new hairstyle, LW. A change for Spring?”

Yep.” She gave a sassy toss to her head. “A little shorter, a different shade for the new season. Spring is coming–can’t you feel it?–and I am feeling, I don’t know—hopeful again.”

LW shrugged her shoulders and gave Harry a wry smile. “It’s weird. I’m still poor, I still hurt, I still have a heck of a time getting up and down stairs. But that awful sense of complete despair has left me, for now, at least. I am reading more, writing more, taking more photos and doing edits . . . having fun being creative. Getting to know some of the folks commenting on my FB page for the CReAtor. Getting outside and playing with the dogs and getting some fresh air.”

She paused and gave him a flirtatious sidelong glance.

“Laughing a lot with my sweet, loveable Harry-like Benny.”


Harry, cheeks flushing at the compliment, gave LW one of those dazzling grins that simply melted a girl of any age’s heart.

“That’s wonderful. Sounds like you have a bit of Spring Fever, Ladywriter.”

She nodded. “I think you’re right.  Let’s hope it lasts for a while, darling Harry. Like my addiction to your CReAtor and his ChaRActers, this ‘illness’ seems to do me good.”  LW sighed. “If only dear Richard knew just how much he has positively impacted me . . .”


And here’s to the imminent arrival of a new season . . .

All photos taken and edited by yours truly. Vicar of Dibley screencap from Richard Armitage Net; my edit.

Have you joined the spReAd the love children’s book challenge yet?

Have you joined the spReAd the love children’s book challenge yet?

Hey, guys, I have my book and plans to write about it! I’d welcome Anyone who wants to SpReAd the Love with a wonderful children’s book and post about it here, let me know! 😀

Me + Richard Armitage

I’ve got takers for posts on my blog (will be in touch with you ladies shortly), but there’s still room for more!

Challenge is to find a children’s book that you loved or that changed your life and blog about it after giving a copy of it to a child you know or to a library, school, children’s hospital, etc. This is timed to coincide with the anniversary of Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

Every post yields (obvs) a donation of a book by you, and a point in the spReAd the love kindness campaign, as well as a matching $1 donation from an anonymous donor. Plus it gives us all a good feeling! More details here. Please be in touch if you’re interested.


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A spy for Sunday Brunch & a few thoughts . . . on the BBC’s insanity



Lucas won in a three-way battle between himself, Thorin and Thornton to be spotlighted at my Facebook page today.  I am posting Lucas pics there which differ from the ones I am posting here, so visit both and get a different and double dose of our favorite MI-5 agent. 😀

Last week Portah won over there by a handy margin–seems we are missing some of our old favorites, in particular our “action men” (sorry, JT, you’ve been coming up a bit short in the votes so far. Don’t give up–you’ll be in contention again with Thorin and a new contender next week!).  And after the pics–my fake letter to the BBC, expressing my not-fake feelings.









Dear BBC,
You had a great series with “Spooks.” I remember watching earlier eps of it as MI5 on US TV and really enjoying it. When Richard joined the cast for Series 7, I was thrilled. I recall watching it via YT as soon the eps were posted and being absolutely riveted. Nail-biting stuff. And I fell in love with Lucas North as soon as he stumbled out of that trunk, dark hair disheveled, dressed in that tatty jumper and track pants, determined to walk on his own two legs to freedom.

And then you gave us the ill-conceived character of Sarah Caulfield in Series 8. And saddled us with an actress whose bizarre accent (so different from her own pleasing natural voice) for the character was akin to nails scratching on chalkboard. An actress who seemed to have absolutely no chemistry with the delectable Mr. A, no matter how hard HE worked to manufacture it. You made Lucas look like a besotted numpty for ever falling for and/or trusting the Freezer Queen. Thanks a lot.

But that was minor compared to the horrendous character assassination you performed on Lucas North in series 9. Boy, did you jump the shark with that one. Our hero, flawed and damaged though he might be, turning out to actually be an amoral, mass-murdering creature named Bateman? Who murdered the “real” Lucas North (who looked more like Richard Hammond from “Top Gear” than he did Richard Armitage . . .)? Does MI-5 not have photos and get fingerprints of the people they hire?

The whole show turned into a turgid soap opera with me laughing at scenes that were supposed to be serious. Sometimes I had to laugh to keep from crying.

Was Richard’s performance great? Sure. I’d expect nothing less than for RA to rise to the challenge. But did I also feel at times even he was questioning whether anyone was buying what he was trying to sell? A certain strain I detected in those lovely eyes?

Sorry, Auntie Beeb, but you really dropped the ball when you let your new writers get away with that pile of steaming crap they served us. Maybe you were just sticking it to that uppity Armitage for going off to make big movie blockbusters. Anyway you look at it, I won’t be forgiving you soon for that.

Oh, and I hear you have a new Robin Hood production coming soon. With the Sheriff and Robin as one and the same, evil pawn of King John by day and daring crime fighter by night. *sigh* For the love of Pete . . .
Run out of ideas, have we?

May this version of Ye Olde Legende die a quick and likely well-deserved death.

Sincerely yours,

Love for MarieAstra

Love for MarieAstra

Hi, guys! This was my entry for the RA Secret Valentine Challenge–a ficlet with some familiar faces (or is it face?!) for fellow blogger and Ardent Armitage Aficionado, Marie Astra! Be sure to check it out! ❤ Happy Valentine's Day to all!

RAworld Secret Valentine 2014

It was Valentine’s Day morning in the Big Apple. And Marie Astra was about to get a big surprise as delicious as a slice of New York cheesecake . . .

“Wakie wakie, dear girl.” That voice sounded oddly familiar. And much nicer than her alarm clock.

Valentinedayformarieastra.jpgShe opened her eyes and looked up into a sunny, smiling face. A lock of floppy dark hair threatened to fall into his own eyes, a stripe in his cozy-looking jumper matching his peepers’ striking grayish-blue color.
“Harry? H-Harry Kennedy?”

Harry flashed a disarming grin and nodded. “The very same. We are here to wish you the happiest of Saint Valentine’s Days.” He held up a colorful floral tin with a fluffy pink bow tied around it. “My contribution—buttery shortbread biscuits, shaped like hearts. Made them with my very own hands.” Harry waggled his brows along with one set of long, elegant fingers…

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I Heart My Henchman: Guyday Friday, Valentine Style!


“What day is it, Ladywriter?”

Oh, yes, he was positively purring. Just as she expected.  He did so love being the center of attention.

“It’s Friday . . .”

An eager rumble. “Yesssss . . .”

“Which would make it–Guyday . . .”

And . . .” His eyes and teeth were gleaming in anticipation.

“Yes . . . it’s ‘I Heart My Henchman’ Day here at TAE, my dearest Dark Knight.”

Sir Guy gave a triumphant toss of his magnificent ebony mane and an equally triumphant sniff. He really did look the very image of a gorgeous black stallion, Ladywriter thought . . .

Happy Guyday Friday, Valentine Style! XOXOXO from the Hot Velvet Henchman and LW and her whole household!









What’s in a name? & other thoughts on TAE’s 2nd Blogoversary.


What’s in a name? Are you happy with the name your parents bestowed upon you? Do you believe that particular name has impacted how you see yourself and/or how others view you?

My name almost didn’t happen. My daddy had different plans. I was supposed to be “Angel Lamar” (Lamar was my father’s middle name). Now, when I think of that moniker, I find myself hearing a certain tune by David Rose . . . and a sultry voice saying, “Take it off. Take it ALLLL off . . .” (I could only think of fellow RA blogger AgzyM of I Want to Be a Pin-Up when I saw Miss Von Teese.)

However, one of my aunts by marriage (possibly envisioning the old bump and grind herself) made a suggestion. “Why don’t you name her ‘Angela Wood’ instead?” And so “Angel Lamar Killough” (Future Exotic Dancer?) morphed into “Angela Wood Killough” (Dreamy-Eyed Bookish Schoolgirl that I grew to be).


Baby girl Angela Wood. No stripper pole in her future.

Now, the “Wood” comes from my mother’s side–it was her maiden name. I loved my first name, but really disliked my middle name when I was growing up. My sisters called me (among other things) Woody (as in the cartoon character Woody the Woodpecker, as this was long before “Toy Story”). I pined for a “normal” middle name like “Leigh” or “Lynn.”


HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!! I heard Woody’s distinctive laugh a lot when I was a kid. *sigh*

Only when I was older did it sink in that my aunt’s suggestion was simply one following a “fine ole sutthun tradition” . . . of using a family name as a middle name. (It’s not unusual for them to be used as a first name, either. My dad had a cousin named “Killough Pollard.” I must say I am mighty glad I didn’t end up named “Wood.” I mean, do I look that thick?)

So while I eventually came to terms with my middle name, I never quibbled over my first name. I liked it, liked its classical roots.

Angela: from the Greek angelos, “heavenly messenger.”  It came into use in English in the 18th century, and is most commonly used in English, Italian, German and Romanian. Common pet version is Angie (btw, only my immediate family called me “Angie” until I went away to college. Then everybody called me that or “Ang.” And “Angie” I have been ever since . . .)

So “Angel” or “Angela,” my name means the same. I’ve been a teacher and a newspaper writer and columnist, so I suppose you could say I’ve been a messenger of sorts.  For the past couple of years here at The Armitage Effect, I’ve been preaching the gospel of TDHBEW, one might say. For the last few months, I have also been sharing the Armitage goodness at my RA Facebook page, “The Richard Armitage Effect.” I now have 426 “likes” over there–not bad. Of course, you have to blame it on the Beautiful One and the very real effect he has on so many of us possessing the Good Taste Gene.

Thank you to all who have supported this blog by reading, commenting, linking and reblogging. I don’t know everything year three will hold for me or for our wonderful fella. More Thorin, a big twister he’d BETTER survive . . . and what else? We may all be surprised along the way . . . come what may, thanks for being YOU, Mr. A.




Winter is still here–but so is Sir Guy! Feeling warmer now?


“Sir Guy, I feel ancient. And tired of the cold and damp . . .” Ladywriter sighed, then winced as she gingerly rotated her sore right shoulder and flexed her stiff right thumb. After falling two nights in a row, LW was, as her daddy used to say, “stove up.”  Grace was definitely not her middle name, especially not during this Endless Winter.

“But you have your lovely red and black-striped fingerless gloves given to you by your cousin,” said Guy. Tilting his dark head, he smiled, his kohl-rimmed azure eyes gleaming. “And–you have–ME.”

Waggling her fingers, LW nodded and returned his smile. “I appreciate so the kindness of others–and the sweet hotness of you, Dearest Dark Knight.”

A flash of white teeth and a deep, dark, delicious chuckle. “Well–naturally.”

Electric blankets, hot choccie, cuddly cats—and Sir Guy. Great winter warmers!  Happy Guyday Friday!






Signalboosting RAworld Secret Valentine


Hey, one more day to join the RA Word Secret Valentine project? Who will be mine?? ❤

Guylty Pleasure

heart 1

The e-mails have been coming in and the RAworld Secret Valentine is looming in a week’s time. I know that those who have already committed to taking part are impatiently waiting to receive an e-mail with the name of their Valentine partner. Nonetheless I have decided to extend the deadline for “application” for another day.

Valentine we want youSo, bloggers and commentators out there – wherever you blog or comment: As long as you comment and blog about Richard, please take part in our fun little community initiative. Please send an e-mail to guylty (at) photographer (dot) net, subject “Valentine”, if you’d like to take part. In case I don’t know you already, please enclose a link to your blog or mention your nick and let me know where you have commented so your prospective Secret Valentine can stalk read up on you!

If you’d like to know more about the RAworld…

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Wonderful Wednesday: A Gallery of RA’s Memorable ChaRActers


It hasn’t been a wonderful winter for me (nor for many more of you–curse you, groundhog, why must we have six more weeks of this!?) But I am beginning to see glimpses of light at the end of this long, cold, wet and dreary tunnel.  I got my first column of this new year for the paper written; nothing fancy but a sense of accomplishment. I’ve been playing with ideas for that story I promised dear Guylty.  In spite of brain fog and a fibro flare (not helped by slamming into the wall on the way to the bathroom early this morning), I am feeling–hopeful. 😀


Here’s what it looked like a week ago outside my house. It’s mostly ice with a little snow mixed in. The ice paralyzed the Deep South for a couple of days.
I’ve been doing a lot of posting of words and images–some silly and some serious and some simply beautiful–on FB in recent days on my regular page, and lots of images and some of my vids of Mr. A and his characters at

Yes, I whipped up some new photo edits I premiered at FB and I thought I would share them with you all, in case you aren’t on FB. And even if you are–do we need an excuse to peruse Mr. A’s lovely, expressive features and admirable physique? I think not . . . have a wonderful Wednesday, my friends and fellow RA well-wishers!










Sometimes we all need just a little light…Weekly SpReAd the Love Update


A moving story about SpReAding the Love . . . check it out! ❤

Ancient Armitage

Last week was thoroughly suckish for me.  I can’t pinpoint a single source…it was more like a pile up of unbearable levels of minutiae that need to be dealt with – insurance, taxes, 2nd quarter grades, rehearsal schedules, committee meetings, DRAMA, and on, and on and on.  Sometimes life just begins to feel like a dark room…you know there is a way out, but what you don’t know is how many times you’re going to trip, stub your toe, or whack your shin on the way to the door.  It is so easy to get lost without a light to guide us.  This week, light came to me in an unusual form.

As you know, I’ve been working with Jazzbaby to organize the SpReAd the Love kindness campaign.  I can’t tell you how uplifting it is to get a report of a kindness, and this week there was one that…

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Porter & North: Soldier & Spy Saturday (NEW edits/old vids)


Two men, intelligent, resourceful and quite ruthless when necessary. Both willing to put their lives on the line to save others. Both knowing the last bullet may be the one they have to use on themselves, their mission fully deniable by the government they serve. Men who have endured deprivation, torture and humiliation, haunted by their pasts, determined to reclaim their honor, to do their duty. Two men, tough and yet capable of great tenderness, too. Although flawed and damaged, they are still good, decent men. True heroes we can respect and admire. Thank you, Lucas North and John Porter, and thank you, Richard Armitage, for so beautifully and memorably bringing these two complex characters to life for us.