October 24, 2009

The falling leaves drift by my window...

Autumn leaves, a wonderful ballad originally written in 1945 by two Frenchmen, Joseph Kosma (music) and Jacques Prevert (lyrics), with English lyrics by the great Johnny Mercer.  My neighborhood is now a sea of golden, orange and russet leaves.  On my way home from errands this afternoon, I spotted this stand of maples that I pass routinely, but today they were so striking in their autumn attire, all golden with dark trunks soaked from the day's rains.

The falling leaves drift by my window,
The autumn leaves of red and gold.
I see your lips, the summer kisses,
The sun-burned hands I used to hold.

Since you went away, the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song,
But I'll miss you most of all, my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall.

My little neighborhood street kind of looks like a boulevard in Paris, doesn't it?  I love autumn.

October 16, 2009

A Chill in the Air

Autumn has surely arrived - the colors on the trees are brilliant - and the weather has been unseasonably cold.  It's gorgeous, but I've paid the price for the weather and the season, I fear.  I came down with a typical cold myself, so I've been out of commission, I'm afraid, or I'd have done an autumn tablescape for Tablescape Thursday, and tried to write a bit about some other things.  Instead, it's mostly been five days of sneezing, sniffling, aches, coughing, and all that nasty stuff.  I promise I'll get back to posting more often as soon as I catch up on life in and around the house, but in the meantime, just enjoy the music I added to the blog a week or two ago.  It's some of my favorite music, musicians, and composers.  In fact, I think I'll pour myself a little glass of sherry and have a sip while I enjoy the sounds, too. 


October 1, 2009

Tally Ho! Tablescape

Taking a cue from yesterday's post about my trip to Kansas and chance encounter with a majestic grey horse in the heart of the hunt countryside, I pulled a few things together to mark the start of autumn with an equestrian themed tablescape for Tablescape Thursday (see Susan's Between Naps on the Porch - linked here and also found in my list of links - for more of the Tablescape Thursday tradition she started, along with links to lots more that other bloggers have submitted this week).

I've pulled together a red and black buffalo plaid placemat, which always makes me think "hunting," over a red/black woven mat (sources unknown) and a Royal Worcester bone china English teacup and saucer with horses and hounds and inscribed on the inside of the cup with "To A Very Important Person." I found it several years ago at a horse event trade fair from a Vermont antique dealer, I think.  It's always fun to celebrate and honor a special dinner guest by serving them with this unique teacup.


To the left of the cup is a lovely crimson cotton napkin with a contrasting beige cotton binding from Martha Stewart Everyday for K-Mart that I picked up at a tag sale (!).  Holding the napkin is the piece I initially thought of when envisioning this tablescape vignette.  (I know it's not quite a full-blown tablescape, but I'm gradually working my way up to that, while trying to do something applicable while squeezing in myriad other demands on my time.)  It's a bone china foxhunter napkin holder, one of a set of four greys and four bays (brown) horses, each with a red-coated rider, by RPA (Phillipines).  I know I mail-ordered them some years ago, but I can't recall who the retailer was - probably one of the equestrian gift shops in the mid-South.  These rings are such fun and always inspire comments at dinner parties when I set the table with them.

Beyond the napkin holder is a crystal decanter that I inherited from an aunt who also was an avid horsewoman.  The decanter label, a wonderful little Coalport bone china piece made in England and purchased from Thomas Goode & Company in London, indicates the vessel is filled with sherry, so I think of this setting as an afternoon tea - a bit of tea to warm weary bones and a sip of sherry to warm the soul and ease the transition to evening as the sun sets on a long day of riding to hounds in pursuit of "reynard" (the wily fox).  To the right of the teacup is a beautiful etched sherry glass, one of my grandmother's glasses.  She was the original horsewoman in the family, having ridden in Ireland as a child - the tradition continues!

The small, wrought iron candle holders were a housewarming gift many years ago and the fanciful hunting print with a charming little verse shown in the right corner used to hang in my bathroom (!) when I lived in the country.  (It already had some water damage when I bought it, so I had it framed and matted to mask the damage and withstand the intrusion of moisture.)  Fortunately, it didn't suffer from the exposure and it's now out of the bath and awaiting a decision on where to re-hang it.


The verse reads:

See the hounds begin to feather:
There's a touch by all that's good!
Hark! they're getting fast together;
Now they thunder down the wood.
Leap oe'r the brook; don't stay to look!
Ride at the gate; you'll be too late.

Cheers!  And tally ho!