Sunday, November 22, 2009

Friday nights

On Friday evenings, I knead the dough alone. But by the time it has risen and the pizza needs topping and baking, he is usually home. We talk about the week. He spreads the cornmeal on the pizza peal carefully, and I give it the final olive oil drizzle before it goes in the oven. We've got a comfortable rhythm going.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Another hunting post

How charming the sight when Aurora first dawns,
To see the bright beagles spread over the lawns;
To welcome the sun, now returning from rest,
Their mattins they chant as they merrily quest.

Then hark in the morn, to the call of the horn,
And join with the jovial crea,
While the season invites, with all its delights,
The health-giving chace to pursue.

Well, this was a very different meet than the last Thursday meet I wrote about, and not very much in keeping with the sun-filled verse above. We met at a misty Oakland Green. The field was small, and since the corn's been cut and turned under, the pack was a little slower in finding a scent. Still, we were on our way and I was breathing deeply. And then. We went by Dr. Marion's and two of his family's horses jumped a coop to follow the field. So there was a long period of cowboy/cowgirl work to get the loose ones contained before we could be on our way again.

Then, almost immediately as we moved off, it started to really rain. The whole time we had been out, the cloud ceiling had been slipping down in the sky, until it felt like it was sitting on our shoulders. But then, from the clouds, steady rain. Most of us headed for home. Something about this fixture this year. It really rained the last time we met there, in October. I didn't get quite as soaked this time.

Still, it was beautiful. I always think that the damp in the fall makes the colors more clear and bright and crisp, set off as they are by the dark black branches of wet trees. Until next time.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy H-owl-oween!

Our little family had a pretty low-key and very nice Halloween. H happily went as an owl in the felt costume I constructed with this Martha Stewart "tutorial" as a guide. I use the term tutorial very lightly as there was much filling-in of the blanks. It was a good costume for a wee one, however, because all of the annoying pieces were easily removed and nothing about the costume hindered crawling.

On Halloween day, lucky Henry got to see both sets of his grandparents and his great-grandparents. We ate North Carolina barbecue on a Virginia back porch and went to a baby party to see our buddies, baby Raggedy Ann and the Cowardly lion. There were many trick-or-treaters to greet at the door, and the weather held out long enough for baby H to visit all of the important neighbors. I think having a baby really enhances my experience of the changing seasons and the holidays. Something about the wonder in his eyes prompts me to experience everything anew.

A Hunting Song

Away to the field, see the morning looks gray,
And, sweetly bedappled, forbodes a fine day;
The hounds are all eager the sport to embrace,
And carol aloud to be led to the chace.
Then hark in the morn, to the call of the horn,
And join with the jovial crew,
While the season invites, with all its delights,
The health-giving chace to pursue.
We had a great day's cubbing from the Glebe a couple of Saturdays ago. We began the day with a viewing-- the youngest riders saw him first across a hilly field. We lost the pack a little bit in the middle of the first run, but recovered nicely and covered a lot of ground. Up Mount Gilead and then down to the swinging bridge through vineyards. Back through the bottom to Askari's, where we ran through fields of wild mint, that lovely scent wafting up from fleet hooves. Crossed the Goose more than once, wading at one point, pony riders picking up their knees. Even on a less-than-eventful day, this is a sport that makes me feel alive and connected. Beautiful day.

The verses above come from a very old book that my mom put in my Christmas stocking several years ago. I don't know anything about it, except that it is a book of songs titled "Roundelay, or the New Soren, a Collection of Choice Songs including the Modern," and was published by Sondon, and "printed for W. LANE, Leadenhall Street", maybe in London? It's about a quarter of the size of a piece of typing paper (trigesimo-segundo, or thirty-twomo size, google tells me) and bound in leather. There are many other verses to this song, and many other songs about the fair sport of foxhunting, so you may see more here in the future. I wish I knew what tune this song might have been sung to!