Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Preakness is Coming

 In this crazy mixed up year it's hard to keep track of what is going on in the sports world. The French Open is going on now.  The Masters arrives in November and the last leg of the Triple Crown is this Saturday.  Despite this awful year, horse racing has managed to deliver and this race should not disappoint.  There are some good horses in the mix, several with a legitimate shot at winning a real classic race including a filly, Swiss Skydiver.

My picks are Authentic (who will be the likely favorite after winning the Derby), Art Collector (who missed the Derby due to a minor foot issue and would have been a factor IMHO), NY Traffic (who has strung together some good races and almost beat Authentic at Saratoga) and Swiss Skydiver (she was second to Art Collector in the Blue Grass at Keeneland so she's proven she can play with the boys).  

The others in the race - Excession, Mr. Big News, Thousand Words (who was disqualified after rearing up and tumbling in the paddock at the Derby), Max Player, Jesus' Team (I don't think his name will help him on Saturday), Pneumatic and Liveyourbestlife (a long shot who will need to run the best race of his life to win).  

You can buy a few souvenirs to mark the historic October running of this race (these trinkets will surely become collectors' items in a few years) like this poster:

Or a set of Triple Crown glasses:

Or a Preakness Hat:

Or you can order and download this printable roster of the horses in the race for the party we are not going to have this year:

Still love these:

And if you want to be totally authentic (no pun intended) then make your own Black Eyed Susan, the official drink of the Preakness:

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Making Your Own China Collection

My china fetish arrived very early in life when I worked as a part-time sales clerk in the china department of a local store.  Wedgewood, Lenox, Noritake, Spode, Limoges became part of my vocabulary early on and never left.  As my current china collection bulges with Lenox, Wedgewood, Kate Spade (Lenox), Herend, Williams-Sonoma, Juliska, Louis Lourioux and others, I think it's fun to find patterns you like and start collecting them. With Internet sites it's easy and often inexpensive.

Start with salad plates and mix and match them with dinner plates you currently own.  Create a new tablescape for fall, for the upcoming holiday or spring.  Love these plates from Fitz and Floyd (not as high a quality as I would generally pick) but love this pattern. 

I like to buy at least four and then add from there.  Pick patterns that you think you'll be able to find later on. 

Another pattern I've had my eye on is Woodland by Spode. You can buy this pattern new too.  Replacements, Ltd. is another source.  This pattern comes with various animals so you can pick the animals you like.  

This is a fancier pattern, but oh so classic.  Would be great to use in the fall and winter months pulling out the orange. See them here.

This is an old pattern by Royal Doulton called Coaching Days.  You could create a set of this one over time. You can read about the history of this pattern here.

Love this pattern by Limoges.  See it here.

Love these Juliska salad plates to add to white plates. These are perfect to spruce up your holiday table.  While not vintage, these are classic enough to be vintage. See them here.

This is a fun and easy pattern to collect, and quite inexpensive.   I have a large set of these collected over the years.  This do not mix well with other patterns (the plates are not white) but I use them as luncheon plates or by themselves to server dessert.  See them here.

Lastly, Tally Ho by Johnson Brothers is another fun pattern to mix and match with.  See this one here.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Fun Etsy Finds - Holiday Gift Ideas - Chinoiserie

 I've started my shopping for the holidays as the mad rush with UPS and FedEx will be huge this year.  Better start yours.  So I'm going to help out with a few ideas to get you started.  Better hurry.....

Love this ornament!  See it here.

For those of us who still use snail mail, love these note cards.

Love these note pads.  Perfect for the person who has everything. See them here.

Love this pillow.  Perfect for a bedroom.  See it here.

Love this door hanger for spring and summer months.  It will brighten someone's day for sure. See it here.

Love this vintage Limoges platter and it's a steal at $20.  See it here.

Love these vintage Herend salt and pepper shakers. See them here.

Love these earrings!  See them here.

Love this pattern from Fitz and Floyd. Maybe another china pattern?  See these here.

She'll love these monogrammed towels for Christmas.  See them here.

Old Timey Horse Remedies

I've been battling a deep stone bruise with Madison and it made me think of all of the old remedies that people still use, many from old timers at the track.   

Here are a few that I have discovered in no particular order:

1) Sauerkraut juice on scratches and a bit more modern but highly effective.

2) Listerine for itchy tails (add a little mineral oil to it).

3)  Had a mare develop a sarcoid inside her ear. Had it removed, but it grew back as vet said it would likely do. Researched other therapies, and an old timers treatment was simple crest toothpaste rubbed onto sacroid as often as possible.It worked!! 6 months later when vet came for vaccinations he asked about the ear, told him what I had done, and he was speechless!

 4) For a cut that won't heal or is very slow to heal, pick off scab. Pour some sea salt into a bucket and add some hot water to dissove salt. Cleanse wound with the salt water and let air dry. Repeat at least daily, more if you can. This works well on leg wounds that can't be stitched, or any other area. A fellow boarder had to have half her horse's tail surgically removed and the wound would not heal. She was a nurse and tried everything that she knew of to try to get it to heal and it was summer, so flies were landing in the wound and it was just a bad situation. I mentioned the salt water rinse and she finally tried it and it worked. I was very relieved for them both, as she was just beside herself over the whole situation.

5) For scratches, I was told to use Castile soap to wash the legs daily and then towel dry. Supposedly, this is used a lot at the race tracks. 


6) Bleach and water for thrush.

7) Preparation H for scaring.

8) Scratches - 2:1 mix of baby oil and bleach

9) Liniment: some mix Venice turpentine, eggs & something else, can't remember what

10) Vick's vaporub in the noses of the "too interested" colts.

11) To treat horses that hive up easily, either by bug bites or bedding: paste worm every other month or once a month if it gets bad. I had a qh that would hive up with bug bites in the summer. paste worm him and it would vanish and he wouldn't get it back. So in the bug biting season, he was paste wormed every other month if he didn't have problems. worked like a charm. (and after a couple years, horse wasn't so touchy with bug bites.) 

12)  Witch hazel, water and Absorbine...the ultimate body brace. 

13)  For Splints: 1 Gallon apple cider vinegar
1 small bottle of oil of wintergreen
1 small jar alum (the whole spice jar size)

Shake well, then paint on fat legs, splints, etc.
Wrap one hour.
Swelling gone.

Hardest part of this recipe is finding an apothecary that stocks oil of wintergreen. 

14)  For a fascinating and eye-opening historical perspective, I heartily recommend picking up a copy of "Every Horse Owners Cyclopedia" circa 1880, by Mssrs Fleming, Harvey, Walsh & Stonehenge. It's a comprehensive book of horse keeping, breeding and training. It has a whole chapter on remedies, including all manner of paints, drenches and horse balls (stuff mixed with treacle and then fed orally.) Interspersed are plates of the super horses of the day - Goldsmith Maid, Hopeful, Gold-Dust, Flora Temple, Hambletonian.

Friday, September 25, 2020

The Shack

 I discovered The Shack by accident, after reading about a restaurant in my own back yard in a glowing review in the Wall Street Journal.  Who knew?  When I finally made it to dinner (the restaurant only seats about 30 people) I was blown away and I am not a foodie.  But the foodies soon discovered this gem of a restaurant hidden away on a side street in Staunton, VA.  It's name The Shack is quite accurate.  

You don't go to The Shack for the atmosphere.  I must admit though that even this tiny spot where burgers and fries are served on cookie sheets (and you've never tasted fries like these) has it's own ambiance.  

The better news is that owner and chef, Ian Boden, is planning to open a store soon (hoping the pandemic has not changed his plans) next to the restaurant where he'll sell the unique items he uses for his recipes.  Like Keepwell Vinegar from York, Pennsylvania or salt from J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works, seventh generation salt makers from Charleston, West Virginia. He knows they have to use a natural solar evaporation process to extract the salt, which gives you a totally different taste flavor and texture.  This new venture will be called the Staunton Grocery.  Boden started his first restaurant under that same name which was closed during the Great Recession.  It was a gem too but I like The Shack much better.

The Washington Post called The Shack "sublime" in an early pre-pandemic review in February, giving it an excellent rating.  The restaurant was named one of the best new restaurants in the South in 2014.  Kinston, NC may have Vivian Howard, but Staunton, VA has Ian Boden. He's also a James Beard nominee.  Boden also changes his menu daily so you'll never know what you'll get but I promise it will be good.  And unique.  And probably not that good for your heart health.  But who cares?  We are living through a pandemic.

If you find yourself riding up interstate 81 in Western Virginia, not that far from Charlottesville, it's worth a detour. But plan ahead, those 30 seats go fast in normal times. Hoping for days when we can dine at The Shack again.  Maybe in late 2021?  It's on my new wish list. To be able to dine out again, without fear of getting Covid in one of the best restaurants in the South, in my own backyard.  Stay safe.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

My Christmas Wish List

In typical years I am a good early holiday shopper.  Usually by Thanksgiving I have much of my holiday shopping done.  But because all of our shopping will be online this year, it's harder to find that perfect gift that you just happen to see in a store while browsing for something else.  I hit the Lilly sale hard this year, so lots of my gifts will be Lilly.  But I also put a list together for hubby as he too will be shopping online this year.  Here are a few of the gifts on my own list:

I add a lot of vintage needlepoint books to my collection through the year.  I find great borders, alphabets, ideas for belts, hat bands, and even rugs, in these old books.  But I'd love to own this book of stitches, which is new.

This one is practical.  I need a very good waterproof raincoat for outdoor wear. When I steward, go to shows, or just for the farm, I don't own a raincoat that will keep me dry. This one will do it and I love it in dark blue.  It comes also in black.  If we ever travel again, this one is perfect for rainy days walking the streets of Europe.  See it here.

And I have always wanted one of these and now that we don't go out it's a perfect time to really cook.  Love the pistachio color and they are on sale right now at W-S.  

Now that our Dover Saddlery has closed I probably won't keep up my collection of Ariat clothing.  They had the best selection and I love the brand. But I found this one at Ariat and would likely add it to my bulging collection.  But I live in this stuff all winter long and never tire of it. See this one here.

This is the winter version for Ariat, their shirts that I also live in during the colder months. Love this pattern.  See it here.

Also like this one, to mix and match with a large collection of Ariat winter vests:

Would love to add to my pad collection (it is very low).  Monogrammed, not monogrammed, just fun.  Love these from Etsy:

Also love these in aqua.  See the pads here.

Or these.  See here.

Loving also this monogrammed stationary.  Some of us still use snail mail.  See it here.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Help Toni of Whimsy and Grace Needlepoint Rebuild

The devastating fires in Oregon have taken the home and business of fellow stitcher Toni Randall of Whimsy and Grace.  Her house was totally lost in the fires.  Stitch by Stitch Larchmont is participating in a National Trunk Show to help Toni rebuild.  Please make an effort to go to the Whimsy and Grace website and pick out an item that you might want to add to your stash. Then contact either your local store or Stitch by Stitch Larchmont (the end result is the same wherever you shop) and purchase an item from Whimsy and Grace. Because she has to completely rebuild her inventory it make be a while before you see your canvas but we can all wait, can't we?  All of her inventory and models were lost in the fire with her home.

There is also a GoFundMe site for direct donations:
click this link to go directly to her go fund me page.

Unfortunately, all of Toni's models were destroyed in the fire.  Toni and her family are looking for experienced stitchers who are interested in helping her stitch and replace her models.  If you are interested in stitching a Whimsy & Grace item to help her rebuild her inventory of display models, email Stitch by Stitch Larchmont and they will forward your information.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Toni during this difficult time!  Here is the link to Stitch by Stitch Larchmont's Web Site.  Here is the link to the Whimsy and Grace website.

 In the world we live in right now, especially in the US, let's renew our faith in people doing the right thing, helping our fellow citizens who are in need.  It used to be the America way to help others. Let's do our little part to restore that faith. Enjoy your day and stay safe my friends.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A Wasted Year?

2020 has been a terrible year for most everyone in the world who understands and comprehends science, pandemics, and human behavior.  It started out bad for me, before the pandemic.  In February I had a bad fall at a horse show and that set me back about six weeks, also taking away my confidence (as bad falls tend to do).  I could not ride, do barn chores or anything that required the use of my right shoulder.  But no surgery, so there was a silver lining to that story, maybe?

We recovered a little bit just before the pandemic hit in early March and Madda and I managed to show one more time and we actually won in a big division.  So the year was starting to look good for us again.  But then the pandemic hit so we were forced to stay on the farm like everyone else.  Given how our year had been so far, this was not a huge problem.

Like everyone else, we waited it out hoping that by early summer we'd be back competing again when things opened up in early July here in Virginia.  But then in very early July, a reckless driver took me out  - going 60 in a 25 mph zone - knocking me off the road (an 8000 pound truck with 1000 pounds of hay in the bed) and my truck was toast. So as I was getting ready to show again, I suddenly was without a vehicle.  Trucks are expensive and hard to find and my dilemma was that my gooseneck trailer is an older model that I was not willing to part with so that limited what type of truck I could buy. The newer trucks are much taller around the sides and many would not work with my trailer.  And I needed an eight foot bed too. It was not going to be a quick find.

Hubby searched high and low and we finally found a vehicle in August.  We went to Pennsylvania to see it and bring it home but then we had to reconfigure the trailer to make it all work.  And you can't get an appointment for the DMV for 2 1/2 months here in Virginia. So I have a truck and trailer now, but it is not yet licensed in Virginia (and won't be for over a month), the trailer is not inspected either.  So I was thinking that maybe by late October I will be showing again?

Then Madda came down lame.  She's a sound little mare as a general rule so I am not certain what the issue is but if she does not show improvement in a few more days, the vets will be called in. So what else could go wrong this year in this department?  So we have been set back at minimum a few weeks and at maximum, who knows......

So last night I was thinking and made the decision that we would just write this year off for horse showing. We'll wait until December and we'll pick it back up in the new year.  I needed a goal (I always need a goal when I ride) and I did not really have one this year.  I've worked at a few large rated shows this year and it inspired me to ride again at that level.  I missed my friends from that world and after watching some of the horses go that I would compete with, it made me realize that we can be in there again if we put the work in.  We just have to get going. 

So this is a wasted year in many respects but perhaps there is a silver lining somewhere.  Madda will be well-rested when we re-enter the horse show world, with a new focus and a new goal.  Stay safe!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Tory Burch Sale Picks

Tory Burch is my favorite place to shop but I almost always wait for a sale.  Her sale started early this year and there is a lot to love, as usual, in her collection.  While we aren't traveling or going places, you can still stock up on wardrobe staples that will last years.  My closet is full on Kendra cardigans, Tory loafers, wool cardigans and handbags. Here are a few of my sale picks.....

Love this cardigan. I wear these every chance I get and I always order one size larger in these.  The older models are lined in silk but these are still a favorite.

Love the fringed version of the Kendra in pink for spring. This would be a great save for next year.  

I loved this dress the first time I saw it online and my love for it has not diminished.  This is a perfect pandemic dress to wear right now. Not going anywhere?  Me neither but we can still look good.

This loafer is so versatile and will go with everything I own. Love the heel size (not too low, not too tall) and her shoes fit so well.

Ditto these, with a little higher heel.  See them here.

I own one pair of Miller sandals that I have had forever but they are very comfortable (not like Jacks which are not comfortable to me). Love these for next year (and many years after that).  Order a half size up at least in these.

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