In one of the preschool grades of our children’s school there was a block on the curriculum entitled “TNT.”  Try New Things.  I thought it was delightful.  Then again, when one is four there are so many new things coming toward you that I imagine the idea behind this is as much acquiring coping skills as broadening one’s horizons.

In the last few weeks we have started a number of new things.  My oldest’s transition into high school has been remarkably smooth.  And busy.  I have started a couple of new projects at home and away.  And Mr. Blandings and I have started taking horseback riding lessons.  “Why?” seems to be the common response to this news and, as it was my idea, I feel the need to justify it somehow, but really it just sounded fun.

It is fun, but it is harder than I thought it would be.  I was aware that I usually don’t want to try something at which I don’t think I will be successful.  This doesn’t reflect well on me, I know, but there it is.  I was, let’s say, impatient at the first lesson.  I wasn’t getting it and Bill was and I found it annoying.  (Both my not getting it and his getting it.)  In addition, during the lesson I realized I don’t like it when people tell me what to do.  Even this perfectly lovely and capable woman whom I was paying to instruct me.   Who was helping me.  Obviously, there were lessons that needed learning beyond keeping my feet flat and my knees in.  TNT.

Thanks for your patience while I have patched things together over the last couple of weeks.  I am headed to Omaha today to try another new thing.  If you are anywhere near the area do come up, over or down to the Lauritzen Garden Antique Show.  Lauritzen is one of the best antique shows in the country.  Both Charlotte Moss and Suzanne Rheinstein will be there speaking and shopping.  I will be wandering around as well.  My second riding lesson was yesterday so if you see someone who looks like me with a little hitch in her get-along, please say “hello.”  More information on the show and its events here.

Image, the work of Roberto Peregalli and Laura Sartori Rimini, featrured in Vogue, October 2011; photography by Andrea Passuell for Rizzoli.

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24 thoughts on “Patchwork

  1. I can understand your annoyance with Bill getting it. Brett and his ex-wife had horses. I think riding sounds like a blast, but he's an old pro and I'd be totally clueless. Why would I go looking for that?

    Enjoy the antique show, now that really sounds like fun.

  2. If only I were a stable hand or a fly on your horse to watch you "giddy-up" – I am laughing (not at you) but I think I would be quite the same as you. I can totally relate to the TNT.
    Skiing is like this for me. I think Golf will be next.

  3. Please, which edition of Vogue features the Peregalli-Sartori design? Does the Vogue article mention if the image originates in the new book on Peregalli & Sartori (coming out this autumn, I think)?

  4. TNT—oh, geez–now you've said it out loud. I know that this is what I need to do…..(maybe tomorrow?) Do you have any idea of who the artist is that painted that gorgeous portrait? A Pre-Raphaelite? The light and her sweetness pull me to her. Good luck with the riding. Thanks. Mary

  5. Oh I am laughing! Learning to ride a horse now that is a treat. Have a grand time at the Garden Show + can't wait to read your report.

  6. I read your blog regularly, but rarely comment. But that image is simply stunning! It compelled me to read the post. I love the idea of TNT. It's a good one and I am likely to learn all kinds of things about myself putting it into practice. Cheers!

  7. My daughter took riding lessons for years. The best lesson I learned while hanging around the barn all those years is the horse has incredible strength, but the rider is the one with the brains (most of the time!). Strangely enough, this concept is applicable in many situations outside the arena.

    Also, you may not like this, but in our neck of the woods, one is not a real rider until thrown from the horse. The first time this happened to my daughter everyone in the barn ran to the arena and applauded. And no, they don't serve a shot of brandy to anxious parents when this happens, but I highly recommend they consider adding this to the tradition.

    And go ahead buy those beautiful riding boots!

  8. Good luck with your riding lessons.

    The patchwork wall is beautiful. it makes me want to go to Paper Source, buy a stack of beautiful handmade paper, and glue the pieces to the wall.

  9. The American Royal was where I grew up. The atmosphere of tanbark, horses, and crowds of people were not only thrilling they signaled my liberation from school for a week. Riding was second nature to me. The American Saddlebred gaited horses that I showed had all that high style and speed in the show ring. I ate it up.

    Learning how to compete in a horse show ring gave me confidence and stood the test of time. The lessons I learned and the friends I made at that time have lasted the rest of my life. I'm 76 years old now and still riding high.

    Do it because you love it. Ann

  10. adore that photo-Now that is a reason to crack open the Vogue that has been sitting unopen this week. I can only despair with you on not getting the riding lessons-I decided not only was I not getting it-I did not enjoy it! TNT gets even harder as I get older too.pgt

  11. We love that you have taken to horseback riding. What a fun new thing to try. So wish we could be there with you at Lauritzen, but we will be on a shoot. Have lots of fun! Can't wait to see what you find.
    xo E + J

  12. Same anon. again: Edition, not issue. I have never even opened an issue of Vogue, but I think it has different national editions (as in UK, US, French, Italian etc). I have no idea to what extent the same material is used in several of these.

    I really enjoy reading your blog and have seen you refer to The World of Interiors in the past, so I know that your horizon isn't limited to American magazines.

    Oh, and I also wasn't sure that there weren't special Vogues (like Elle vs. Elle Decoration, or for men's vs. women's fashion).

    What I really wondered was in which context the image occurred. An article on Peregalli & Sartori, a review of the book, or someting else. If I am interested in the work of Peregalli & Sartori and considering buying the book (a bit pricey, but not prohibitively so), would it be worth my while to actually look at the magazine.

  13. Anon – so sorry THAT was horribly rude. I can see I was being a little egocentric. It is American Vogue for women's fashion – unfortunately the other derivatives have gone by the wayside. The piece is a brief mention of the firm and the book. I am out of town, but would be happy to scan it for you if you will email me directly at the address in the right margin of the blog. World of Interiors? No way.

  14. Mrs. Blandings, sorry to be the one to say it but you and your husband are too old to start "horseback riding" lessons.

    Horsemanship is a high art; Sorry, I've seen many adults learn to ride, but I'm afraid that anyone who learns to ride as an adult will never be really be any good at it, and in fact, it can be quite dangerous.

  15. Anon – I agree that horsemanship is high art, but about the rest I think you're wrong. Our intent is not to be "good," but to enjoy it, to be able to ride with friends. And, life is dangerous. I could learn to knit or play bridge or tennis, all safer pursuits, but I have no interest. Yours is a very limited view.

  16. I know one of the cool things which just happened in "every thing is up to date in Kansas City" is the opening of the Kaufman Center. It sounded like a grand event w/Tommy Tune and Placido Domingo as well as Patti Lu pone. Pretty cool. Are you going to be attending the opening of the Premiere of the Tom Sawyer ballet.?I hear the costumes and choreography will be fab. I plan to travel from Denver to KC to see it for the 2nd week. What do you think of this new space? I have no idea what the interiors are like but think the whole thing is a definite coup for KCMO.

  17. Part of showing horses for me was "The Look". My hair combed back and in a bun, the black derby hat pulled down, my white high collored blouse, tailered riding habit with the long tails and shiny black boots finished off with tan leather gloves. I felt so elegant and it was a timeless elegantance. Young girls or older women, we all wore the same outfit and we all felt good about it. I quit showing horses around 1955 – today the same riding habit is seen in the same horseshow rings. Damn, it makes me want to do it all over again. I'm delighted to know you are going to learn how to ride, it is such fun. Ann

  18. Good for you in "TNT!" I'm glad you aren't dissuaded from any adventure just because someone else may proclaim you are too old to become any good at it. Being good at things is satisfying, but trying things and challenging oneself is more thrilling! Besides, in my case anyway, if I only did things I was "good" at, my world would be quite small. Thanks for the inspiration!

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