The untimely death of super stallion and sire of American Pharoah, Pioneer of the Nile, shocked the horse world yesterday. He was only 13, ironically dying at the same age of Justify's sire, Scat Daddy, who also died of an apparent heart attack.
My lone trip to Winstar was highlighted by a visit with this incredible horse. He had the temperament of a pony and we were allowed to feed him peppermints. He was en route to the vet when he died. Condolences to the Winstar family. The devastation of a loss like this cannot be put into words.
Life is just so fragile. Cherish the positive moments.
There are some great old linen finds right now on Etsy. Some are quite reasonable. The linen tea towels can be used in the kitchen, make pillows out of them, save them for gifts (your horsey hostess will love these). They don't make linen like this anymore. The table cloths can be used on card table sized tables or even as a runner or a table topper. Be creative! Love them too.
There's a lot going on this weekend in Virginia and elsewhere.
Here's what's on my radar this almost spring weekend.....
1) Winter Bargains
Spring is peaking it's pretty head out every once and while and then we are reminded that it's not quite here yet. There is still time to pick up some very good bargains on winter clothing that you can use this year, still (sigh) and certainly for years to come. I'm a big "off season" shopper who loves a good bargain. Here are a few if you you need to pad your winter closet.....
When you think of Barbour coats come to mind - those fabulous waxed jackets worn by British royalty, riders of all disciplines, and the "country set" - whether they really live in the country or not. But there's much more to Barbour than just coats. Have you tried their clothing? Their sweaters?
In a world where quality seems to be fading fast, you can get really good stuff at Barbour that lasts. You aren't paying for "fast fashion" - these babies will still be in your closet 15 years from now.
This sweater is fabulous. I tried it on and its very heavy but lightweight at the same time and comfortable. The arms have padded areas (it's hard to explain). I saw it in navy. The sizing is very unusual - so read the reviews before you pull the trigger. I think I tried a 6 or an 8 and I am usually an XS or 0. Highly recommend this one as a winter wardrobe staple for someone who spends time outside. Dover Saddlery tried to make a knock-off of this one and it did not work.
I don't know if you have been reading about the issues at the Santa Anita Racetrack lately. It's a sad state of affairs there, after the deaths of 22 horses over the past few months. You can read about it here.
3) The Derby Trail
The two undefeated Bob Baffert colts, Game Winner and Improbable, are undefeated no more after both finished second in their races on Saturday at Oaklawn. The Derby trail is muddled more now than ever before. Stay tuned! It looks like both may need another race before May.
4) Vineyard Vines Derby Collection
Speaking of the Derby, Vineyard Vines is slowly releasing their new Derby Collection on their website like this tote bag. I love to see their collection each year.
5) Alfie's 2019 Debut
My black boy made his horse show debut this weekend after a long hiatus. We had not jumped a course since October but he did not disappoint. Even with a bit of rust, we pulled three 2nds and Reserve honors. He's 18, not easy in any way, but still going. (This is an old photo from our 3' days). We are tackling the 2'6/2'9 division these days.
It's time to think about spring cleaning, that dreaded duty that awaits us at the end of winter. My window washer comes every other year to spend an entire day taking off every screen and hand washing each window. The home seems to come back alive once this is done.
I am tackling the inside room by room this year, with a list to mark off to make me realize that yes, I am making some progress.
It's warming up in Virginia and we started pulling out the patio furniture over the weekend. Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. I've always wanted to add a chaise lounger to my patio, to curl up with a great book on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The Palm Beach vibe is what I am always drawn to but unfortunately the white chippendale look does not vibe with my current furniture. But I love this look from Miles Redd for Ballard Designs.
If minimalist is your design choice then you'll love this one from Serena & Lily:
I know it's two months away, but that's not a long time to plan a great party. One of these days I am going to host a Derby Party or a Belmont Bash - Derby Weekend is a huge horse show weekend for me - but I love to plan "what if?"
I have Derby flag and a Keeneland flag but I'd love to add one of these door hangers to my wreath collection and use it for all of the major races. So adorable. See it here.
You can easily kill a day perusing Etsy. Whether you love vintage or handmade, there's always something to love on Etsy and some of the very best gifts I have found there. And as a side note, your not filling the coffers of corporate America either, you're helping the small business owner make a living.
Here's a few finds for this Friday in March.
Love this! There are so many things you can do with this French tapestry. Pillow, wall-hanging, cover a chair cushion?
The iconic Imperial Hunt Scene glassware was produced for a short period during the 1920's and 1930's. It remains highly collectable today and is hard to find. When I see it I try to add to my collection. Glass shows are the very best source (and those that specialize in Cambridge Glass, which was located in rural Ohio not far from the West Virginia border). A shop on Etsy has it from time-to-time.
The bowl below is not Cambridge but the etch was made by Lotus. I have a set of Morgantown Glass glasses with this etch. It's not as collectable as Imperial Hunt Scene but it's lovely (and usually less expensive).
The glass was made only in a few colors-clear, peachglow (which is a pinky peach color, more pink than peach), green, light blue (very rare), black (even rarer). The color will dictate price and if etched in gold, even pricier.
I have a few pieces that you would not even think about having today - a cigarette box, a console bowl (see above), a handled sandwich tray and finger bowls. The world was so much more civilized way back when. People set tables, dined, had parties, dressed up. That's one thing I love about collecting old glass - envisioning where the pieces have lived, the parties they have been a part of, the homes they have lived in.
Here is a blue piece. It's quite expensive and the color is much more beautiful than this picture:
Imperial Hunt Scene is by far my favorite glass. Lovely is not the word for it. I enjoy owning it, using it and thinking about where it's been. Savor the finer things in life. Relish the past and use it for the future.
I recently discovered WH Hostess. As someone who still writes notes via snail mail, my stash of stationary and pads can never be too big. This is the cutest brand and makes great holiday and hostess gifts. Who wouldn't love this?