Friday, December 30, 2011

Things to Be Thankful For in 2011

As we bring 2011 to a firm close, it's time to get a bit insightful.  2011 wasn't a bad year.  In fact, it was a much  better year than some of those in recent memory, noteably 2009 and 2010.  Some really good things happened in 2011, so let's focus on those and look to an even greater 2012!

Sega is back.

I retired her in the summer of 2010 as she was not up to par and then took her out in the spring of 2011 when Alfie got hurt just to have something to ride.  Indeed, she was not ready the throw the towel in and she got better and better as the year went on.  Am keeping my fingers cross that my 18-year old mare will still have some more tri-colors and coolers in her future.  So far so good. What a gift!


Truman joined the family in the fall of 2010 after Carver died.  We got him from the local SPCA, and he would have been snuffed along with his sisters, so we helped save a wonderful animal.  He has become such a fixture around here and despite a few rough patches late this year with health problems, he is back to his old self.  He brings more joy to this house, and I could not imagine being here without him.  Keep it up gray boy! 

Being Healthy

Unfortunately I know too many young people that are not healthy.  Even money cannot buy good health.  My friends with ALS and MLS know this all too well.  And those who are overweight sometimes don't realize the health risks associated with being too heavy and diabetes.  One friend lost part of his leg last week.  Another had a heart attack but can't be operated on because his kidneys are too weak (all due to diabetes).  Take care of yourself. We exercise all the time around here.  A healthy active lifestyle is just a requirement for good health.  You have to make it a part of your life.  It is part of ours!  We are healthy and hope to stay that way and for that we are thankful. 

The Other Man in My Life

My husband kids me that he competes with the other "men in my life" noteably Alfie and Truman.  But I think he knows he is numero uno around here. I am blessed.  He is just a one in a million.

The Country Life

I am thankful to live in the country, where nature and being outdoors is part of our everyday routine.  The views of the mountains, the sunrises, the sunsets, the simplicity of it all is breathtaking.  You don't need a television, a computer, a video game or a shopping mall here to make life complete. 

Enjoy the waning days of 2011.  Have a happy and healthy 2012. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lafco House and Home Candle Collection

I discovered these fabulous candles while Christmas shopping.  The Lafco House and Home Collection of 18 different candles has been designed to complement the ambiance of every room in your home, from the foyer to the family room. With scents like Rosemary Eucalyptus (great for a home office) and Chamomile Lavender (perfect for the master bedroom), these beautiful and versatile candles can also be moved from one space to another to create you own personal fragrance aesthetic. These made Oprah's "Best of 2010 List" so you know these are really good.

They are larger than most candles  with a 90-hour burn time and at $55 each they don't come cheap but I imagine that they will last a long time.  I just ordered "Wheat Field" which is supposed to go in a Farm House so it should fit in just fine.  It smells heavenly.  The scents are marvelous and I am certain I will have these in my house from now on. 

Here are a few other scents. This one is "Fresh Cut Gardenia" for the Living Room.

And this is "French Lilac" for the Pool House.  I can smell it already!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

For the Child in All of Us

I'll admit to owning Hot Wheel Cars when I was a little girl.  So if I were young now, I would surely have these under my tree.

I am loving the Land Rover Defender Station Wagon with horse and trailer from Bruder Toys.  This can be yours on Amazon for a mere $62.99.  But I love it!

If you are not into British cars, you can go American and try the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (although I wouldn't want to be pulling a trailer behind a Wrangler), but who cares about reality?  This one is $51.24.  Comes with the horse too.

Still not impressed?  This one will appeal to the hunting type. If you are into the hunting scene, then you will have to get this one:

Here are a few more. I personally like the pick-up truck.

And if you only want the horse, then you can go that route too.

For the cow lovers, there's one for you too!

Wouldn't it be fun to be a child again?  Enjoy this last Wednesday in 2011!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Six Degrees of Separation, Equestrian Style

Ever played the game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" where you link most anything you can think of back to a movie that starred Kevin Bacon? It is a triva game based on the concept of the small world phenomenon and rests on the assumption that any individual involved in the Hollywood film industry can be linked through his or her film roles to actor Kevin Bacon within six steps. 

We're going to change the rules a little bit and link one equestrian thing, concept, idea, etc to another.  You'll see what I mean very quickly, up to six. 

Let's start with this Rinaldi Designs equestrian "Thoroughbred" handbag. Isn't it cute, great for spring? 

Thoroughbred yes!  We love them!  You can purchase your very own OTTB (Off the Track Thoroughbred) through New Vocations Horse Adoption.   This one is named "Teenage King." He can be yours!

Did I say "King" like in the future King of England, Prince William?  Did you know he plays polo, really well?

ABC news photo

His brother, Prince Harry, also plays polo, very well, and lost his beloved mount Drizzle a few years ago to a heart attack at the early age of 10, much like Canada's beloved Hickstead earlier this year. 

The Sun photo

Drizzle isn't the only "royal" horse to die an untimely death. Canada's Hickstead is one of the world's most famous (and likely was the best show jumper in the world) when he passed away from a heart attack earlier this year.  Eric Lamaza of Canada had the reins and their resume together is pretty impressive to say the least.


Canada's other equestrian claim to fame?  Spruce Meadows near Calgary.

Clearly the most impressive equestrian venue in North America, if not the world.  More to come on that...

See, it does work.  What if we had included Kevin Bacon?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Herend Holidays

I have been away for a few days over the holidays. Just getting back into the swing of things. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas.  While I did not receive anything from Herend, it is one of my all time favorites. Nothing sets a timeless table like Herend! 

Hope all your holiday wishes came true. Safe travels if you are not home yet!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas From Brownsburg

Wishing you and your family a merry Christmas - those with fur and without!  Enjoy these scenes from Brownsburg, Virginia!  Have a safe holiday!

The Night Before Christmas

Twas the Night Before Christmas And All Through the Barn…by Jackie Arns

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the barn,
All the creatures we sleeping, all safe, snug and warm.
The feed pails were hung by the stall doors with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas would soon be there.
The ponies were nestled all warm in their beds,
While visions of carrot cakes danced through their heads.
The Arabs, the Thoroughbreds and even the Apps,
The jumpers and hunters were all taking naps.
When out in the paddock there arose such a clatter
I awoke in my stall to see what was the matter.
I moved to the window quick as I could
To see where the noise came from, if I could.
The sight I beheld as I gazed out that night
Was a beautiful horse all whiter than white.
He wore a red blanket so nice to behold,
His hooves how they sparkled all glittery gold.
With swift certain motions to our barn he came,
And silvery moonlight danced from his mane.
More rapid than racers his hoof beats they came,
And he neighed and he snorted and called us by name.
He was our Christmas, a ghost-horse of white,
Who has come to all horses, since that one special night.
A gallant example who served man so well,
Especially those with whom a baby did dwell.
For those special horses who shared stable and stall,
To give comfort and warmth to the Savior of us all.
Now thinking of them, he entered the door,
To distribute among us his gifts and more.
Down the aisle he came, his hoof beats so light,
And he stopped by each stall in our stable that night.
Gifts he did give to all in our barn,
More heart or more courage, or to be free from harm.
He spoke not a word but went straight to his work,
And he filled all the feed pails then turned with a jerk.
And nickering softly on gold hooves so bright,
And giving a nod he went into the night,
And I heart him neigh as he went out of sight…
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Ni-i-i-i-ight!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Old Salem

I was in Winston-Salem, NC last week (where I grew up) and briefly visited Old Salem.  It is like a small Williamsburg of restored homes and gardens.  It was a lovely day, very warm and balmy.  There were children everywhere. 

Salem was founded in 1766 by the Moravians – a Protestant group of people that began in what is now known as the Czech Republic. The Moravians were missionaries who established an earlier settlement in Bethlehem, PA before beginning "Wachovia" in the North Carolina backcountry in 1753. In the Wachovia Tract of nearly 100,000 acres, Salem was the central administrative, spiritual, craft, and professional town surrounded by five outlying congregations.  The Moravians are still a very active congregation in the area and many of their Christmas customs are followed today in the community, as well as at other major holidays.

If you have never been to Old Salem, it is worth the trip, although the restored area is not large.  You can tour some of the homes, many are privately owned but managed by a very restrictive covenants to keep them in like they were in the 1700's.  No tomatoes, no geraniums (they did have these plants back then).

Salem Tavern is a fine place to dine for lunch or dinner.  My mother and I had a wonderful lunch there.

There is a collge (Salem College) in Old Salem and a girls' boarding school (Salem Academy) on the back side of the area.  I attended them both!  There is also a toy museum and MESDA (Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts) which is one the best furniture museums in the country. Highly recommend a visit there and reserve a few hours for your visit. 

My camera was not working well that day, but here are a few more shots of the beautiful area. This is a private residence. Notice there are no storm windows are doors (they are not allowed).

This is the town square.  The large building in the background is part of the college and the buildings to the right are dorms.

Here is the current exhibit at MESDA.  Can't wait to see this!

You can tour these houses:


Enjoy your Wednesday.  Plan a visit to Old Salem!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Visit to Gordonsville, Virginia

We spent the afternoon today Christmas shopping and exploring a new area - lovely Gordonsville, VA which is just outside Charlottesville, VA not too far from Orange, VA (home of James Madison's Montpelier).  Gordonsville is very small but charming nonetheless.  It would be fun to combine  a trip to Gordonsville and Orange and to stop by some of the many near-by wineries.  Horton and Barboursville are very close. 

Not much was open today but the town looked elegant in its Christmas decor.

Even the visitor center was well decorated.  The entire area exuded charm and sophistication as only the Virginia hunt country can. 

We ventured into this great gift/antique/lamp/home decor store that clearly was run by someone who loves dogs and horses.  In fact the owner's family once owned a store in Princeton, NJ for over 40 years so she has it in her DNA to pick out things that customers will like.  I picked out a few goodies that would good under the tree.  You can find out more about this great store on her web site.  If you need any last minute gift ideas, well I have a few.

This pillow is large, long and narrow, hand-painted.  Looks great!

Remember all of ranting about Rebecca Ray designs (see my earlier blog posts about her)?  Here it is and it looks even better in the store.

The jewelry, placemats, and other "stocking stuffers" were just delightful. Santa are you listening?

Here are a few more last minute ideas for the procrastinator Santas out there. 

This horse shoe cheese board is great.

This vintage picture would go well in almost any decor:

And this fox lamp was one of my favorite things in the entire store:

Here is the store's web site in case you need to call and pick up a few more gifts. 

Enjoy these wonderful days before Christmas. It will be here before you know it.  Hope you have a wonderful Monday!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...