Signs That You Have Gotten Used To Having A Dog Around

Non-Horse Life

Awareness of the outside world. Lately the news seems both boring and dreadful. Boring, because it is the same stories over and over. Dreadful, for the same reason.


[Lady] 2013

When have been dogless since the middle of last month. [Celebrate Dogs]

It’s been weird.

For the first few days, I would do a quick pass through house looking to count noses. I don’t do that anymore, but other things keep tripping me up.

I can feed the cats on the floor.

I don’t have to leap out of the truck as soon as I get home in order to let the dog(s) out.

Standing in pet store. Think to self, ‘I need to text husband to see if we need dog food.’ No, I don’t.

On the weekends, getting ready to run errands, wondering if this is a good trip for the dog(s) to come along.

It’s not that I’m sad, so much as I keep acting as if we have a dog.

I’m not even the dog person in the household.

Dog Posts
[Barn Dogs]
[Surprise Attack]

Update. Title change. Old title, Signs That It Is Time To Get A Dog. A friend pointed out that having the habits doesn’t equal being ready for a new dog. They were right. That is a different discussion. Since the title was not a good match for the content, I changed it.


Art Deco Logo


Art of the outside world. World Bollard Association™ (@WorldBollard). Twitter only. If we must have a thing, why not make it pretty &/or interesting thing? Atlas Obscura: Meet the Boosters Celebrating the World’s Best Bollards, Laskow, 2018. eci-i: Is The Rumored World Bollard Association Fact or Fiction, Karson, 2018.


Process Notes. Memory says I’ve done this before, in pink & purple. Can’t find the post. So, here’s another. The Rs are different. Couldn’t decide which one I like/which one worked better.

Optical illusion. The crossbar of the X is a straight line.


The Unmagical, Magical Roommate, An Idea For A TV Reboot, Fiction


Words of the outside world. Free fiction. Clarkesworld: Bots of the Lost Ark, by Suzanne Palmer, Issue 177 – June 2021. Hugo Winner Best Novelette, Announcing the 2022 Hugo Award Winners, Sep 4, 2022.


Reboot of I Dream of Jeannie & Bewitched where the occult person is male.

Premise is that the charming but inept main character is must adapt to life as a vanilla human. He is magical/has magic but must not use it for undefined Plot Reasons. Since he is used to relying on magic, he has trouble with basic tasks of daily living. Hijinks ensue.

Since Occult Person is in hiding among humans, he can’t use magic or he will be discovered. However, he must use a small level of magic for phlebotinistic reasons. Perhaps magic is providing his disguise/covering his tracks. Therefore, he can’t go cold turkey and just be human, but he can’t use too much. Thus temptation is always present to just do a little but more, thereby creating a renewable source of narrative tension.

Since he is in hiding, he can’t/won’t discuss his past, which means show writers don’t have provide background or answer questions. Where is the rest of the Magical World? What are the capabilities/limitations of magic? What form of magical being is he, witch, genie, djinn, whatever?

Having the Occult Person as male removes the troublesome overtones of Berating the Little Woman in the predecessors.

Occult person could be Handsome Prince in Hiding.

Occult person could be Lovable Rogue getting What He Deserves.

Human partner is in the know. A member of a family that has an alliance with the Magical World. A body guard. An officer with Occult Witness Protection.

Human partner is not in the know. Occult Person must provide zany explanations when Situations Arise. Maybe he says he’s from France.

If human partner is male, buddy comedy.

If human partner is female, romance.

If show wants to avoid being hetero-normative, female human partner is gay. Folks within the show assume a romance but she is deeply uninterested. Actually this is possible if the female partner is straight but show runners do not seem capable of having a man and woman on the screen without them eventually falling into bed. A rant for another day.

Or go Left Hand of Darkness and have the occult person played by a man and a woman. Screen time is given to whichever actor is narratively useful at the moment, much to the confusion of the human partner. Gendered hijinks ensue!

—Roll Credits—

TV Shows
I Dream of Jeannie
My Favorite Martian
Mork & Mindy

What other shows would you put on this list?

Moonlighting Curse

“It’s perhaps best known for being the classic example of how a show can fall apart when Unresolved Sexual Tension is resolved (in fact, outside of this wiki, Shipping Bed Death will occasionally be known as the “Moonlighting Curse”,)” TV Tropes: Series / Moonlighting

Moonlighting‘s Dave and Maddie. Despite this trope occasionally being known as Moonlighting Syndrome, the show didn’t really suffer from the leads getting together, it suffered from the leads not being in the same room for about a year afterward. There was no point at which they were together as a couple at all.” TV Tropes: Shipping Bed Death, LIve Action TV

In case your coolness quotient is as low as mine.

Business Insider: ‘I ship them’ — the strange concept that’s changing the way people talk about relationships, Kircher, 2015.

Urban Dictionary: bed death.


Photos, Rural Sunset


Awareness of the outside world. PetaPixel: Conjoined Cats Win Comedy Pet Photo Awards, Schneider, Sep 21, 2022.


Sunset. Shelby County, Alabama. 22 September 2022. Manual (or possibly Aperture priority, many buttons where pushed and dials turned. It was an evening for fiddling). Auto-focus. f/20.0, 1/100 sec,, ISO 160. Tripod. No Cropping. No post-production.

Powerlines. Shelby County, Alabama. 22 September 2022. Manual (or Aperture priority). Auto-focus. f/16.0, 1/320 sec,, ISO 500. Tripod. No Cropping. No post-production.

[Archive and Project Explanation]


Driving Thursday Returns


Awareness of the outside world. Science Alert: Lupus Patients Go Into Remission in ‘Spectacular’ Immunotherapy Trial, Watson, 19 September 2022.


Driving Thursday returns!

For now anyway. Long may it continue.

Milton hitched twice last week at Stepping Stone Farm. We learned that hitching goes better with cookies. Good to know.

Check out the nifty, one-handed, Achenbach reinsmanship on the part of the driver!

Milton is actually lapping, which is a sign of relaxation. The freeze-frame makes it look as if he’s sticking his tongue out at me.


Chestnut Mare Honey Bear


Awareness of the outside world. Saddle & Bridle: When Two Worlds Collide, Moore, 2017.


Showed up for lesson at Stepping Stone Farm last week.

Was stressing about my event barn lesson the next day. [Chestnut Mare Fanfare]

Asked for fun and easy.

Coach Courtney suggest a new horse.

New horse!

What part of fun and easy do you not understand?!?

Of course it went great.

Peaches is an adorable little sports car.


Chestnut Mare Fanfare


Awareness of the outside world. YouTube: Horses like violin playing, 2019. Hat tip to J for the find.


Last week, I had what I hope is the first of many lessons at Silver Lining Equestrian Center in Auburn, Alabama. SLEC Facebook, SLEC Instagram. [Lesson Ahoy]

I went there years ago when the saddle seat riders of Stepping Stone Farm Advanced Camp went down for a jump lesson. No, I am not reposting the photo, once was bad enough. [Up & Over]

The People

Stephanie James Counts is the boss mare at Silver Lining. She takes the big horses and riders to the big events. Hanna Miller is the one who takes students to the schooling shows. Since a schooling show/event is far more likely for my immediate future, I elected to start with Coach Hanna. Her teaching schedule also works out better for us. Technically, it would be Instructor Hanna until we go to a show. I live in hope.

The Horse

Coach Courtney kept assuring me that the Silver Lining school horses were wonderful. The Silver Lining folks kept assuring me that Tuesday was wonderful. Sure, sure, everyone thinks their own horses are wonderful.

Tuesday was wonderful.

Stand quietly? Sure. Trot in a perky fashion? Sure. Pick up contact and motor around in a perfect intro dressage test frame? No problem.

Chestnut mare attitude? Myth.

The Lesson

The corrections Coach Hanna gave me were not a surprise. I am consistent and not subtle with my errors.

‘Thumbs up.’ If my hands are not up around my ears for saddle seat, they tend to drift down to the horse’s withers, which causes them to flatten. My hands to flatten, that is. Well, also the horse.

‘Sit up/shoulders back.’ Partly defensive hunch on a new horse, partly long-term bad habit.

‘More lower leg.’ Been a long time since I heard that. Coach Hanna explained that pinching with the knee takes the lower leg off the horse. I smiled and put my lower leg on.

For those not up on the nuances between English disciplines, saddle seat is all about driving your knees into the saddle and having your lower legs stuck out to the side like pontoons. Check out Reagan’s victory pass photo here. Different styles, different purposes. I pretty much fixed that with a reminder. In general, the transition back has always been easy. I revert to hunter/jumper(/dressage/eventing) as baseline. Re-establishing saddle seat takes effort. [Switching Gears]

My position at the canter was not lovely. I had to struggle to sit. Bit of a shock since the ASB canter is one of strengths. But then, that’s the whole point of the breed, a smooth, luxury ride.

By end, it was as comfortable I have felt in h/j saddle in a while. Can’t ask for more from a lesson that that. 100% success.

Tired after. Not so much the lesson as the stressing beforehand. Self-inflicted, but no less tiring for that.

The Point of it All

Point is to bring it home to my own horses, else why bother. [Why The Wait, Where Have Hunter/Jumper Lessons Been All My Life, Or At Least Recently]

When Tuesday accepted the contact and offered to pleasantly trot about the ring, the thought came unbidden, ‘Horses do that?!’ It made me realize how difficult Rodney is. No, that’s not fair. Difficult has connotations of resistance and disobedience. Rodney is complex.

Let’s say you want to type a sentence. You open a word processing program. You type a sentence. The sentence appears on your screen. That is a school horse.

Let’s say you want to type a sentence. You open a graphic design program. Where do you want the text? What font? What size? What kerning between the letters? That’s Rodney. Plus each button effects each other button and every so often one of the knobs turns itself up to 11.

I’ve made this analogy before. Still true. Still need to remind self. When you have an N of 1, you lose track of how extreme the situation is. I have to monitor my weight, my bend, where I’m looking, pace, direction, line, and so on. This feels too hard. Am I doing something wrong? No, it is hard. As I said before, “Way more ability. Way more powerful. Way more options for the operator.” [Finish Your Pass, um, Corner]