Last Horse Show of the Year

It was bittersweet, but this weekend concluded my 2014 horse show year! And while I do like to win, if I have to “lose,” I am so happy it was to my best friend, Rachel Black.

Joelle Pittman, Reserve Champion of the Adult Amateur Hunters 18-35
Joelle Pittman (right), Reserve Champion of the Adult Amateur Hunters 18-35

Rachel Black, Champion of Adult Amateur Hunters 18-35

Joelle Pittman, Reserve Champion of Adult Amateur Hunters 18-35

The Perfect Sunday

A few Sundays ago, I had the perfect Sunday. I woke up, cuddled in bed with my pups and then met my best friend for brunch at Booksellers Bistro, which is attached to my favorite bookstore, The Booksellers in Laurelwood.

After devouring French Toast, we browsed among the aisles and I decided upon Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell, an astrology guide for 2015, and the latest dating book. Pretty much sums up my life…mixing the serious with just plain silliness, which is what keeps life interesting.

The Booksellers Bistro and The Booksellers at Laurelwood
The Booksellers Bistro and The Booksellers at Laurelwood

Afterwards, I set off to meet my other best friend at the Brooks Museum to see their new exhibit, Soulful Creatures: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt. I was a Greek & Roman Studies major in college and took a million Egyptology courses so to say I geeked out over this exhibit is an understatement. It is incredible and I encourage anyone in the area to go see it. They even have a children’s exhibit with an incredible interactive map of the Memphis in Egypt. You do know that Memphis is named after the city in Egypt, right? Which is why we have the Pyramid…that Bass Pro just bought

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and Overton Park

To conclude the day, we walked through the Rainbow Lake Playground and around Rainbow Lake in Overton Park. I had forgotten how amazing this place is and really need to take my pups to their dog park. This is the perfect example of one of the many gems I know about in Memphis, but don’t visit nearly enough. There are so many special things in this city.

Fall Into Winter

I realize it is now November…but it still feels like October to me (or perhaps I’m just clinging to it). So, here is my favorite October picture and my favorite October/autumn quotes.

Joelle Pittman and Yelp, ©Amanda Hill with Amanda Hill Photography
Joelle Pittman and Yelp, ©Amanda Hill with Amanda Hill Photography http://www.amphotography.us

“There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir: We must rise and follow her, When from every hill of flame She calls, and calls each vagabond by name.”
William Bliss

“After the keen still days of September, the October sun filled the world with mellow warmth…The maple tree in front of the doorstep burned like a gigantic red torch. The oaks along the roadway glowed yellow and bronze. The fields stretched like a carpet of jewels, emerald and topaz and garnet. Everywhere she walked the color shouted and sang around her…In October any wonderful unexpected thing might be possible.”
Elizabeth George Speare, The Witch of Blackbird Pond

“Ah, September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul… but I must confess that I love you only because you are a prelude to my beloved October.”
Peggy Toney Horton

“October had tremendous possibility. The summer’s oppressive heat was a distant memory, and the golden leaves promised a world full of beautiful adventures. They made me believe in miracles.”
Sarah Guillory, Reclaimed

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
Albert Camus

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”
Lauren DeStefano, Wither

“Autumn is the hardest season. The leaves are all falling, and they’re falling like
they’re falling in love with the ground.”
Andrea Gibson

Victorian Mourning Tea at the Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum

Victorian Mourning Tea at the Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum, Joelle Pittman
Victorian Mourning Tea at the Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum, Joelle Pittman

This past Sunday I spent a wonderful afternoon with my mother and girlfriend at the Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum for their Victorian Mourning Tea.

I think by now, everyone knows that I am completely obsessed with anything history…especially clothing, which is why this was such a treat. They had the most beautiful, authentic Victorian mourning clothing on display during a mini lecture before tea and a tour of the house.

Victorian Mourning Tea at Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum

The process women had to endure during mourning was incredible. They could not leave their house for a year and a day (with the exception of church) in addition to wearing all black for at least 2 1/2 years. I think I might have just moved to a different city where no one knew who I was…just saying.

Now, a little history on the house. This French Second Empire mansion was built in 1870 with handmade bricks on “Millionaire’s Row” in what is now known as Victorian Village for a carriage maker from New Jersey, Amos Woodruff (whose daughter is one of Memphis’s most famous ghosts - Mollie! And for you ghost hunters, a second ghost also supposedly haunts the home on the 3rd floor – Elliot Fontaine, who died at 34 during the influenza outbreak in 1918.).

Noland Fontaine bought the home in 1883 and his family lived there for the following 46 years. The home briefly became the site for the James Lee Art Academy. After which the home was vacant and at one point set for demolition until the Memphis Chapter of the APTA saved it and then opened the doors in September 1964 as a museum. And thank goodness they did because I absolutely love this house/museum!

My favorite part? It is decorated every holiday as it would have been during the Victorian era. It is also has one of the largest 1920′s clothing collections in the South with over 1,000 pieces! Those clothes – so gorgeous! And I can’t believe how tiny they were!! They are smaller than size zeros!

It never gets old. I became a member for $30 and can’t wait to come back throughout the year as they change the furnishings seasonally. They also host multiple lectures, teas and other parties throughout the year…very fun stuff and definitely unique! Great change of pace from the same ole same ole on the weekends.

Museum Hours: Noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday with the last tour leaving at 3:30 pm. Tours last about an hour.

Oh, and all three floors are covered in the tour but it should be noted there is no elevator!

The Victorian Village website is also a treasure trove of information!

Victorian Mourning Tea at the Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum, Joelle Pittman

2014 Ronald McDonald House CharitiesⓇ of Memphis Radiothon

The 2014 Ronald McDonald House CharitiesⓇ of Memphis Radiothon is underway!

Joelle Pittman at the 2014 Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis Radiothon
Joelle Pittman at the 2014 Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis Radiothon

I answered phones this morning to take donations for this awesome cause and cannot encourage you enough you to give your monetary support! Just listening to 98.1 The Max for five minutes will warm your heart when you hear how much good RMH does. Please call 1-800-230-5437 or go to http://bit.ly/DonateRMH. Every little bit helps!

They also have awesome items on their online auction. I’m ready to go to war for that Autographed Josh Pastner Basketball! The Radiothon ends tomorrow so don’t delay!

Wondering what the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis does? Here is their mission statement from their website:

“Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Memphis, at no charge to our guests, provides supportive services and a “home-away-from-home” for St. Jude families and their children receiving treatment for cancer and other catastrophic childhood illnesses.

Since opening its doors in 1991, Ronald McDonald House® of Memphis has provided a home for more than 7,000 children from nearly every state and 45 countries.”

Costume Twilight Tour at Elmwood Cemetery

I do something weird for a 29 year old…well, it might be slightly odd for anyone…but I hang out at cemeteries…a lot. It is kinda my thing. I know, I know, most people don’t like cemeteries or may even be scared of them but for some reason they are comforting to me. I used to avoid them at all costs (and even superstitiously held my breath when I drove past one) but that all changed after my dad died.

Joelle Pittman at Elmwood Cemetery for the Costume Twilight Tour
Joelle Pittman at Elmwood Cemetery for the Costume Twilight Tour – I love that that kid has his ears covered…haha

I started visiting his grave frequently and it brought me an overwhelming sense of peace. Then I went to Elmwood Cemetery because it was on my Memphis Bucket List (ironic, right?) and discovered they host amazing tours, lectures, and book clubs…but most importantly it gave me the same serenity. Here is their calendar of events so you can take a sneak peek of what you’re missing.

Joelle Pittman at Elmwood Cemetery for the Costume Twilight Tour
Joelle Pittman at Elmwood Cemetery for the Costume Twilight Tour

But my favorite thing to do there is volunteer. This Saturday I got to dress up in Victorian clothing and talk about the Women’s Suffrage Movement to approximately one thousand people (mostly Memphians). And if there is one thing I’m passionate about it is Memphis history…and letting Memphians know how cool are city is and was.

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