Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Virginia Under Siege

My beloved Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley, one of God's greatest gifts, is under siege.  A blog isn't a likely place to get on a soapbox, and it's not my style, generally, to preach from a pulpit, but enough is enough.

Some of you may have heard about the two pipelines going through (or being planned to go through) our beautiful  state, taking oil fracked out of PA, OH and WV and shipping it to the East Coast where it will more than likely be sold to China and Japan.  Pundits will say that this oil will only be used in the US and it will help lower your power bill (how many times have we heard this argument from our utility companies) but why then spend $5B (yes, billion) to build an unsightly pipeline,why not use existing methods like truck or train to ship it?  Transparency is not in Dominion and Duke Powers' DNA, as 60 Minutes and other reliable news sources have proved already more than once.  And then don't forget the "jobs" factor - this will bring in oodles of jobs to the state, most of which will be temporary and will not use local (read unskilled) labor. (Remember engineers and skilled utility workers are not in abundance in rural Virginia).

The two pipelines have been facing fierce opposition as you might expect. The map below shows the general directions of the lines.  And I should add that localities have been trying to beef up laws to allow local jurisdictions to have some say over the monitoring of this, all to be struck down in the Virginia legislature (surprise, right?).

The pipeline will impact private and public lands, including the George Washington National Forest, the Appalachian Trail, and the Blue Ridge Parkway. A permanent, 75-foot treeless corridor would be required for maintenance. No buildings can be constructed in the easement. 

While some may say that we all need cheap energy and this is just the price we have to pay, picture this.  Eminent domain is the process used to take over land unwillingly from the owner to build a road, a new school, a bridge, etc. something for the "public" good.  Why can these companies use the same process to take away someone's property or also to greatly devalue it by building something close by like a pipeline, just to enhance and increase company profits?  The only reason these pipelines are being built is to increase profits.  This pipeline will not benefit the average Virginia resident in any way.  Did you happen to know that Dominion Power is the largest single contributor to Virginia politicians?  Our Governor has clearly demonstrated that he is in Dominion Power's pockets and even as a Democrat embraced this plan before it even got off the ground.  So from the Governor to the local community politicians they can get whatever they want passed in our state. They have bought access. One well known Senator has said that if Dominion does not like a law they simply have it changed in the Legislature.  Why is this allowed to happen?

When things like this happen it is clear to me why people are uniting behind someone like a Trump and Sanders in droves. Enough is enough. Now we need to install a Trump or Sanders candidate at every local level.  I do believe this is coming and I sincerely hope that it is.  Please read about this even if you are not directly affected as this could just as easily happen where you live.  Won't this look lovely going through the Shenandoah Valley?  The view shed will be destroyed for generations to come. And what happens if terrorists decide to start igniting pipelines?  (Crazier things have happened, remember 9/11?) Is Dominion going to monitor the entire thing 24/7?  Will they even care?We are fighting Dominion Power on another issue here in Virginia and I can tell you that they cannot be trusted in any way!

Please read and learn about this in more detail here.  Virginia needs to be saved from this.  Other states need to be saved from this same sort of thing happening.  This pipeline benefits NO ONE except Dominion Power and Duke Power top brass and shareholders. Is our entire country for sale?  Yes, I believe it is. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A New Horsey Read

JOSIE PARKER lives to spend every moment riding and caring for the horses at Hidden Green Farm. Here, just a stone’s throw from her own back yard, she is part of a unique subculture that, aside from her family, is more important to her than anything else.  She and her best friend, Tessa, walk, talk, live and dream horses. They also do what best girl friends do best together - obsess over falling in love. At sixteen, Josie’s life is by all accounts perfect; she flits through every day happily, gently, inspired by her passion for horses and wholly intrigued by Cleve Gregory, the mysterious, handsome farm hand who kindles in Josie all the gut-wrenching qualities and curses that characterize a girl’s first love.
When her seemingly flawless life is rocked by family tragedy and a surprising turn of events that thwarts her blossoming romance, Josie devotes herself to Lars, a forsaken horse at Hidden Green. Hoping to find her lost joy, she is only to be derailed again.  Shattered and defeated, she turns her back on Hidden Green, and horses, and heads to New York City, her sights set on a career in nursing. Bravely and with good intention, she pursues a life absent of the people and the avocation she truly loves most.
Serendipity and kismet compel Josie, the young woman, to face her demons, bringing her full circle and to an unexpected partnership with John Courage, a quirky but talented show horse owned by Addie Crawford, a young girl who reminds Josie so much of herself. The bond between the Crawford family, Josie and this promising show horse is immediately strong. Garnering championship after championship for his angsty teen owner, John Courage also becomes the catalyst for a series of events that bring clarity to Josie Parker’s journey toward enduring, true love.
Ultimately challenged by the uncertainty of Johnnie’s fate, Josie finds herself again staring into the eyes of loss. She is confronted with decisions that are, at once, frightening and life defining. She finds insight and possibility in an abiding, inherited gift, and she makes a difficult choice that stands to significantly affect Johnnie’s, and her, future.
Based on a true story, JOHN COURAGE is written with detailed credibility and compassion. Horse lover or not, Josie Parker’s spirit will fill your heart with the feelings of joy, sadness, defeat and triumph we all experience navigating our way through life’s uncertainties.

You can order the book here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Needlepoint Wreaths

It's that time of year, when winter sets in, the clouds never seem to go away and the sun is hiding.  What better to do than stitch and I am loving these......

LOVE this new wreath from Susan Roberts, the spring version of the one I stitched last summer for the cabin (still waiting to receive it from the finisher). Contemplating this one too!  What do you think?  Po's Point has it in stock.

I love this one too.  This one is called "Rabbits in Spring Flowers"

In case you have not seen the cabin wreath here is a photo of the model, also available from Po's Point.  I did the background in a very pale yellow.

Love these don't you?  Family heirlooms for sure!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Recycled Ribbons

If you happen to have a stash of old horse show ribbons there are a ton of ways to put them to good use.

Ribbon wreaths are so easy to do with a glue gun and an old grapevine wreath (less than $5 at Walmart).

Monday, February 1, 2016

Early Spring Picks

The ground is still covered in snow but our 60 degree temps may melt this stuff now. With the warm breeze blowing in, it's time to think spring, well, maybe just a bit.  We still have a solid six weeks of winter left but a girl can dream can't she?

I am loving this shirt from J Crew, Thomas Mason. They make the best shirts and this will go with everything.  The pants in the picture below are new from J Crew, Teddy, and they remind me of my all time favorite, Campbell Capri.  The navy color is also a favorite.  See them here.  See the shirt here.

I also love this striped top which for me would be a wardrobe staple.  I would wear this for years. See it here.

Adore this shirt from Middy n' Me despite its insane cost.  This would look great with white jeans. See it here.

Friday, January 29, 2016

2016 Fashion Trends for the Rider

Riding fashion has changed so dramatically in the past few years with the advent of high-tech fabrics that are cooler, washable, fashionable but also very expensive. The good news is that you don't need a lot of clothes for showing, you can wear the same outfit to show in week in and week out, unless you show at the bigger shows, multiple days a week.  Two coats, two shirts, a few pairs of breeches and one hat.  That's all you need.  And the color options are endless.  And the Italians have finally arrived! 

Riding Coats
There are so many choices out there for coats at all price points but I am going to go high end as there is a difference in the look you'll get.  Tailoring is key.  You can also resell your used clothing easily and get a lot of your money back once your done.  What is acceptable to show in depends on whether you ride in the more traditional hunters or the wild and crazy jumpers.  Jumper riders have so many more options.



Charles Anacona

Grand Prix

Le Fash
These have been the rage for a bit now but I am just now starting to love them. They can also be worn with jeans and a nice belt for fun or even to work with wool pants or skirts.  You can find them on sale from time to time too.



I love these shirts and they are made in the USA.  They come in short and long sleeves.  Ece also makes riding coats.

Rebecca Ray

Tailored Sportsman
I love these quilted belts.  They come in many scrumptious colors too.


Love this brand but it is expensive. These breeches are seen everywhere now. Love the colors too!

Equine Coture

Hats, boots and gloves are more personal and the fit is so imperative.  Again, tons of brands now to choose from - Samshield and Charles Owen helmets, Boots -Ariats, Tucci, Parlanti, Der Dau and the old stand-by, Vogel.

Riding is so much more fashionable than it used to be.  

Friday Finds - More Steals and Deals

There's so much out there.  I am loving these winter steals and deals for riders and non-riders alike!

Missoni anyone?  No this is an ice-fill shirt made for summer weather and it's greatly reduced if you are a small or medium.  You can ride in this, bike in it or just wear all summer and be cool and also look good. See it here.

These Bette and Court high tech shirts were made for golf but they work for all kinds of sports or they are just great to wear and be comfortable.  They are hard to find and run small.  But these are greatly reduced and come in several colors. See them here.

Here is the same shirt with short sleeves. You can't see it well but there is trim in yellow and pink around the sleeves, neck and arms.  The shirt also comes in hot pink.  I have this one and I ride in it all summer long.  See it here.

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