Friday, July 31, 2020

Friday Musings

It's been a busy week since returning from my hastily scheduled beach vacation.  Wish I could go back!  Escaping from reality is important every now and then.  My busy week hasn't enabled me to blog much but here are few tidbits this Friday morning.

If you need a good summer read, please try this book.  What an incredible life this lady has had. If Princess Diana had not married Prince Charles and instead had lived a "normal" life as an aristocrat, this would have been her:

Great vintage needlepoint find on Etsy:

Great deal on this vintage tapestry if you have the right place for it. See it here.

Love this vintage needle case.  See it here.

Another great vintage canvas.  See it here.

Love this one!  So preppy and cute.  See it here.

Or this one.  See it here.

J Crew is offering 72% off already reduced sale prices.  There are some real bargains here folks. Hoping that they survive as I do love some of their clothes like this adorable dress.  See it here.

Love this vintage Wedgewood bowl.  See it here.


Thursday, July 30, 2020

Apollo Turns Two

"My Royal Cuteness" or Apollo reached a new milestone this week, turning two.  He is starting to look more like a horse and less like a "colt" (although he is gelded) and like last year, I marked this year's date with a photo op.   He was not measured but suspect he is around 14'3 or 15 hands right now but built like a little tank.  Thinking he's going to be 15'2 or 15'3 when he is done.  He is getting very light too but he still oozes cuteness and has more personality than the knows what to do with.

Here is a photo from a few months ago. He is much lighter now but darkens considerably in winter.

These are from last year, when he turned one:

Next spring or early summer he'll go to real school but for now, he's just being a boy.  Love having him here.  He has brought so much joy and happiness and he loves Sega.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Horse Racing - My Summer Salvation

The one bright spot this summer that has kept me going is horse racing.  I am already a racing fan but as most other sports that I love are out of commission - professional tennis, The Masters, horse showing - racing has kept going and even without spectators, the sport is great to watch.  And while the Derby trail was turned upside down, it has allowed for more late-bloomers to enter the mix.  

In the next few weeks, there will be a few more good races in the run-up to the Derby as well as prep races for the Breeders' Cup in early November.

Some highlights to watch........

Maximum Security just won his first race last weekend under new trainer Bob Baffert with also with a new jockey (his regular one is out with Covid).  He's likely pointed to the BC Classic and would expect him to run another G1 race between now and then.  He won. It wasn't pretty but he won as great champions tend to do.

Tiz the Law is going to be the Derby favorite and the accolades he receives are well-deserved.  He won the Belmont easily but expect more competition in the Derby from a few he hasn't raced against yet and post position will be key.  He'll run next week in The Travers at Saratoga but likely won't be tested.

Honor AP is another favorite who could give Tiz the Law trouble when they finally meet.  He's going to run again on the West Coast where he is based but I was hoping to see him in The Travers.  He'll run next weekend in The Shared Belief Stakes.

(Benoit Photo)

On Saturday be sure to watch The Whitney from Saratoga.  There are some very nice horses in this race and I am not sure who to bet on - Code of Honor or Tom's d'Etat. Tom's d'Etat will be the heavy favorite if he runs.
  • 2020 Whitney (G1)
  • 1 1/8 m, Dirt; 4+ M
OwendaleB. CoxProbable 
Mr. BuffJ. KimmelProbable 
By My StandardsW. CalhounProbable 
BodexpressG. DelgadoPossible 
Code of HonorC. McGaughey IIIProbable 
Improbable B. BaffertProbable 
Tom's d'EtatA. Stall, Jr.Probable 

Another horse I have my eye on is Art Collector who won the Blue Grass at Keeneland in July. He's on a roll and is peaking at the right time so I would put him in the Derby mix for sure.  I was hoping he'd also go to the Travers but instead will run next weekend at the Ellis Park Derby on August 9th.  

And what would a summer of horse racing be without mentioned the great Enable.  The great horse became the first three-time winner of Ascot's showpiece llast weekend, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes (G1).

After her eleventh success at the top level, Enable now boasts three King Georges, an English and Irish Oaks, two Yorkshire Oaks, two Arcs, a Coral-Eclipse (G1), and a Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1T).  But the real goal is a third Arc which has never been done before.  Stay tuned for the fall to see what happens. There is nothing better than a great mare.

(NYT Photo)

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Vacation Hangover

I've been offline for about a week, taking a quick vacation to my family spot at the beach.  It was a tough day yesterday having to leave this paradise returning to reality.  This was my view all week, complete with several porpoise sightings, a fun day sailing and kayaking, great seafood,  and a week with family during the pandemic.  Doesn't get much better than that. It was hot but there is almost always a breeze on the water. 

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Post Pandemic Self Reliance That Would Make Emerson Proud

The last five months have taught us all a lot of lessons in self-reliance, self-discipline, and just making do.  Ralph Waldo Emerson would be proud.   It's amazing how adaptable the human spirit is and while we are not "roughing" it in any way, some of us have changed the way we live for good.

For instance........

I'm not sure I'll use a commercial laundry much in the future.  There is no reason you cannot hand wash your delicates with the exception maybe that fabulous silk dress (who is wearing that right now anyway).  This is a great product that does the job nicely and can be ordered from Amazon or directly from the manufacturer if you're not in the mood to add a few more bucks to Jeff Bezos' bank account.  And the pineapple grove scent? How cute is that?  Use this tidy guide from the NYT on how to wash your delicates going forward. Or this one.  Commercial laundry is for sissies.

Another pandemic find is a clothes steamer. Let me add that I have not bought one yet but plan to do so. Someone in the needlepoint world put me onto this as a way to clean and block needlepoint projects for those of us who choose not to use those horrid stretcher bars when we stitch.  A steamer can clean your needlepoint pillows too.  Rowenta is the brand of choice.  If you have not bought one of their irons, also treat yourself.

And then there is hair.  Let me start by saying that I am not a "parlor person."  Going to the hair salon is right behind the dentist in my book.  Having someone "mess" with me is way down my list and if I never have to go to a salon again I would be totally fine with it. I don't color my hair, yet.  Hubby has been cutting my hair since March and my hair is fine, thick and straight, so not an easy hair cut for a real amateur.  I have zero plans to go back to the salon until the pandemic is over.  What you need is a really good pair of scissors. Someone gifted me a really fine pair about 30 years ago and I would not trade many things for them.  A good pair can be sharpened and will last a lifetime.  And they can be used to cut hair, even straight hair like mine.  And while not cutting hair, these little contraptions can do things like cut fabric for your needlepoint projects.  This is a household "must have" for the self-reliant.. Wonder how many pairs Joanna Gaines has? Buy a good pair. 

And for those of us who dread salons we are using this inexpensive product to spiff up our locks.  I highlight my blonde (I mean gray) roots every few months.  When the pandemic started I hoarded a few months supply just in case.  A lifesaver for anyone on a budget. 

Not going out, even for takeout, since March has not been a struggle as I enjoy cooking and have the tools (very good pots - All Clad and Le Creuset), a gas stove, enough china to outfit those still left in Manhattan with linens to match.  But not everyone loves Julia Child like I do.  Cooking for many is a struggle or a bore, but it does not have to be.  And we all need to stamp out processed food, chicken and pork raised in factory farms, and go organic, IF we really know that the food is in fact organic (as many times it is not). Off my soapbox now.  You can order almost everything online now even good food to cook.  Start with great pasta.

Good spices make a dish and you can't buy most of this stuff at a typical grocery. Spicewalla or Penzey's are good sources.

You can also buy very good quality meat online. And why not support local businesses over corporate America right now?  Polyface Farm is another option. Supporting sustainable farming will also help save the planet!  Win win win.

Cooking can be fun. Have an international night once a week.  Explore different regions of the world, assigning a new country to your kids. Pair the Korean dinner with special wines or pair it with an exotic drink. There are ways to make cooking at home and dining at home fun and even educational!

And dress for dinner!

Ralph Waldo Emerson might be proud of what some are doing right now......

Friday, July 17, 2020

TGIF - Friday Finds

It is really is TGIF for me as I am headed to the beach tomorrow for a quickly planned trip to my family's beach house with my sister and mother. These spur-of-the-moment trips are few and far between given the pandemic so I am grateful for the opportunity.  So here are a few fun finds this Friday morning. Enjoy!

Love this vintage Pierre Frey bag or totebag. 

This would be perfect for my beach trip!

I am a sucker for anything with an animal on it so I love this new print from J Crew!

Would also love to take this tunic to the beach with me.  See it here.

This is the cutest top!  It's silk and it is greatly reduced.  Comes in pink too. At this price order them both.

And surprise royal wedding announcement this morning. Some good news for a change. And congratulations!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Thursday Tidbits

This week has flown by and the July heat has finally arrived in Virginia. It's hot outside baby!  Even my early morning Madison ride was heat induced. Here's what's on my radar this Thursday.......

Loving these adorable table lamps - battery charged - no cords - and they come in fun colors. The pink one is my favorite and would love to have it for my upper deck (for stitching after dark with wine).  Who says you can't shelter in style?  See them here.

Would love to add this to my stash. The pink ones are my favorite (and I love my pink and white Belgians). Add this one to your stash and make it into an ornament for the tree.  See it here.

It's a sticky subject but my horsey friends recommend these fly traps for the barn. The flies seem to be worse than usual this year for some reason so I am trying them out for the barn and the patio.  See them here.

2020 is certainly the year of the dress, the casual, comfortable, cotton dress.  This new style from India Armory is right on target but I wish they came in smaller sizes. These will sell out quickly for sure. These are fully lined and come in several colors and patterns. See them here.

Love this decorator show house that just opened near Chicago after many months of delays due to Covid. It was certainly worth the wait.  This dining room is stunning.  See more photos here.

There are more Derby prep races in store starting this evening and on Saturday.  Today the Peter Pan Stakes (G3) will be run at Saratoga. Look for several Derby hopefuls to emerge including Modernist, Chestertown, and Country Grammer.  Stallion Uncle Mo is well-represented with three of the nine colts.  And on Saturday, the Haskell runs at Monmouth Park with 7 in the race including Baffert-trained Autentic and Dr. Post, an up-and-coming three-year-old, both running from inside posts. Both races should be worth watching.  Enjoy your Thursday!  Stay in and stay safe!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

More Needlepoint Bargains

If you are filling your stash just in case, here are some great bargain finds to assist you this Wednesday morning in July....... You can make an offer to a seller even on Etsy.  All they can do is say no.  I have done this successfully in the past.

Love this kit from the 1970's complete with satin thread.  This is so old that it's in again and a real bargain. See it here.

Love this needlepoint canvas, an ornament (it is round when it is finished) for the classical music lover and for $14 it's a bargain. See it here.

Here is how it looks when finished:

Love these rabbits.  See this canvas here.

Love this one too! 

This is a very good buy on an Elizabeth Bradley kit.  See it here.

Love this kit.  See it here.

Very cute flowers complete with wool thread. See this one here.

Love these bunnies. Complete with thread.  See them here.

Pretty flower canvas.  See it here.

Another rabbit and this one is so Mario Buatta.  See it here.

And lastly this is a set of 8 canvases for $25.  This is only one of the eight.  See them here.

Enjoy your Wednesday. Please stay home if you can.  And wear a mask!
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