From The Sidelines


Awareness of the outside world. MakerBot: MAKERBOT LIVE WEBINAR SERIES, Launching into Space with 3D Printing & the James Webb Telescope, 1PM Eastern, January 26th. Today. Free. Registration required. If you can’t make the time, “All registrants will get a recording after the webinar.” ibid

I call this ‘Three Feet.’

Milton and his rider (husband Greg) have some adventures lightly penciled into their schedule. Went to Stepping Stone Farm for ring practice. Those are my feet in the foreground. Supervising is a tough job.


Mindset Monday, The Mental Side Of Sport


“He (Gallwey) soon discovered that if he simply invited his students to focus their awareness on their strokes as they were, technique evolved naturally and seemed to self correct.” The Inner Game: About

I’ve sent in payment for an appointment to talk to someone about my ability to spin myself into a swivet before getting on a lesson horse. As always, will give more detail once I ascertain their level of comfort. [Lessons, Theory Vs. Reality]

These are ongoing, long-term issues. Why now?

My horse has promoted himself to uninjured reserve, which is a good trick if you can manage it. I’d like to take riding lessons. I have stopped doing so. I am so *%$^# tired of being nervous. [Taking A Hunter Break]

Second Thoughts

Of course I’m having second thoughts.

Just get over myself. This is not a problem. Deal with it.

The person in question has written a book. I have it. Read it. Costs way less than an appointment.

Why have lessons on other horses? Plenty of people do just fine just riding their own horse.

Pricey. The cost for a series of eight sessions is startling. That is why I am starting with a single session as a test drive. I will be annoyed with myself if nothing comes of this.

Counter Thoughts

Get over myself. Doesn’t work. If I could have, I would have.

Read a book 1. As with many (most?) areas of my life, I don’t need more theory. I’ve read the books. I’ve interviewed big name sports psychologists. I need someone to help me apply the general theory to my specific circumstances. Much like riding. We all know your heels should be down. We need an outside eye to tell us, ‘Your heel is here. It needs to be here.’

I need help getting out of my own head.

Read a book 2. I haven’t found much sports psych that address my particular set of neuroses.

A lot of what I’ve read is about nerves while riding. Mine is all pre-ride. Once I’m on the horse and in the ring, I’m fine. Maybe some nerves in the warm-up at a show. That’s normal. Maybe a few laps on a new horse. Once I’m up and going, I’m good.

I know with 100% certainty that I’ll be fine once I get on. No, I will not suddenly develop the internal fortitude to jump a five-star. I’ll ride as well as I am capable of. I know this. Does not help in the slightest.

Before class: Why? Why do I do this? Never again.
[The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly, Show Report]

Lessons. You always learn from riding other horses. Or maybe, possibly, just do it because it’s fun? [Lessons, Theory Vs. Reality, Further Considerations]

Price 1. Expertise is expensive. As it should be.

Price 2. I’m cheap … um … thrifty. Unless it’s for the horses, but we won’t go there.

Price 3. I wouldn’t be so shocked by the cost of everything if I didn’t insist on looking at the world in 1980 dollars. Seriously. I will use an online inflation calculator to translate backwards. Oh, that’s not too bad.

If it works, priceless.

Final Thought

Had to do something. This is something.


The Illustrated Month, January



(because my art does not speak for itself)

J – New Year

A – named after Janus

N – snow (3 Jan)

U – Drum Run [Traipsing With A Tempo]

A – Janus, facing the other way

R – family birthday

Y – sun, longer days

All original, both letters & shapes. Go me!

I whine a lot on here, therefore to balance the karmic scales, I’ll say I am pleased with how this came out. Sure, I’d love to be a gifted artist who could make each letter a magical vignette. I’m not. So. … what to do … need an art idea … what to do … use the name of the month? … draw it up pretty … oooh, with a month-relevant color scheme … and month-relevant illustrations. The result is darn close to what I had in mind. Yay.


PSA, When A Human Is On Stall Rest



A friend is scheduled to have surgery later in the year. (Waves hi!). They will be on injured reserve for a while. We got to talking about post-surgical logistics. After the conversation, I had thoughts. Many, many thoughts. I decide to make them into a post.

One. You know how I hate to waste text. [Horse Sports I Have Known]

Two. I won’t flood their inbox as I think of things.

Three. As an appeal to the hive mind. Any advice to add? Tips? Words of solace?

Backstory I

My grandmother lived on her own in a different state from any other family member. She had several surgeries. While she was rehabbing, we would visit in shifts. First, my mother would go. (Waves hi!) She would take care of the bed-bound days. Making meals. Tempting a post-surgical appetite. Then, other family members would take a turn. Finally, I would go down. I was the one who set her up for being on her own again. What do you need to get on with your life? That part I’m good at.

Food? I can’t even feed myself.

Clever solutions? I’m your gal. Woman. Person. Widget-maker.

Backstory II

As an adult, my medical crises tend to be dental. Draining, painful, and requiring emergency room visits (yes, plural), but not affecting one’s ability to manipulate the activities of daily living.

Once, I had a dislocated finger from being kicked. My hand was in front of my face at the time, so it was quite dramatic. Total exposure was a bruise on my forearm and my pointer finger in a splint for a few weeks. Imagine throwing your arm up to protect your face. That’s why pointer finger got shoved sideways. It was my non-dominant hand, so my biggest problem was barnwork without a glove.

Then, I broke my ankle foxhunting. Crutches & casts for weeks. That’s why my advice tends toward foot-related.

General Questions

Get info from doc ahead of time. How long? Probable abilities? Need for attendant?

Will you be able to bend over? If not, get a picker-upper. Also good if you won’t be able to reach up.


What will the weather be? Cold? Hot? Rain? Will your fingers/toes get cold? Will you need oversized sox? Will you sweat under the cast?

Will you be able bend over to tie your shoes? Will you need slip-ons?

Will you be able to pull pants or shirts over the cast? Will you need stretchy sweats? If presenting as female, consider skirts/dresses/sundresses. If male, consider taking up kilts for the duration.


How will you carry a glass/mug of liquid? Thermos or travel mug.

How will you carry a plate of food? I made my Grandmother a plate carrier from a shallow bin & string.

Move pans, plates, & food to counter/top shelf of fridge. Lifting is not your friend right now. If the injuries is in an upper extremity, grasping & carrying & such will be the issue. If in a lower extremity, you don’t want to risk overbalancing & falling.

Consider smaller, light-weight, single-serve items, for the duration.


Shower chair. I suspect people rent these things.

Handrail if you have a step-in.

Extra bags & tape for waterproofing relevant area.


Small box for a tent to keep covers off whatever. I was surprised how much of a production rolling over turned out to be.


My grandmother couldn’t bend over. Hence the picker upper. For her mail, I bolted a tray under the flap so she didn’t have to bend over. She liked it so much that it stayed.

Does anyone get mail through the door anymore?

Getting Around

Despite what seems obvious, one does not hang from one’s armpits when on crutches. I was told that upper ends should be braced on the sides of the chest as a counterbalance for the hands. The Internet, which didn’t exist when I was hobbling around, is full of advice on how to fit, use, & move around with crutches. Also, ask doc &/or PT person.

My injury was to my left foot, so I was able to borrow my then-boss’s automatic automobile. When it came to switching back to my manual shift, they made me wait. Really, really wait. Wanted to be sure I would stomp the clutch without hesitating.

Knee scooter. I wish these had been around when I was on crutches. Add a basket to the front & your carrying issues are solved. More useful for city living than out in the boonies. I wonder if they make an all-terrain version.

Other Things to Do Before

As you go thru your day beforehand, consider how you will do this task when you will be limited.

Lay in books, movies, puzzles, whatever entertains you.

Pay bills ahead of time, if feasible. One less thing on your mind.

Lay in food, both prepared and treats. Now is not the time to start a diet.

Get up to date on laundry.

Clear the decks. When I was on crutches, I was amazed at how much crap was on the floor and therefore in my way. Stuff I hadn’t even seen when I was able-footed.

One Thing I Learned

As you might expect, I was excited to go from crutches to walking cast. I quickly learned that just because they say you CAN walk on your foot, doesn’t mean you WANT to. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.


To my friend, (waves hi again!) good luck, be well, & thank you for the blog post.

Useful tips moved here from comments. Thank you.

Additional thoughts
– Do you need in home PT? How will that be arranged?
– Plans for getting places if needed before you are allowed to drive
– Pets? How will you take care of them? For my knee replacement, I placed my youngest dog in a home boarding situation for a variety of reasons. The older 2 stayed at home. Another thought with pets depending on the type of surgery, how will you keep them from interfering with your recovery (jumping on you, tripping you, etc).
– Will you be icing and how, do you need wraps or machines or ice ready
– What kind of medication regiment will you be on? If it’s as complicated as mine was, consider making a chart with times/days on it.

… arriving early to become acquainted with his pets.


Traipsing With A Tempo, Walk Report, MLK Day 5K Drum Run

Fit To Ride

Awareness of the outside world. Monday was MLK Day of Service. I didn’t. In my defense, bad weather was predicted for that weekend. But mostly I dropped the ball. Vow to do better next year.

The start.

MLK Day 5K Drum Run – Birmingham
Birmingham AL, USA
Saturday, January 15, 2022

Time – 52:59.0 (official), 52:34 (my time)
Pace – 5.8 kph, or 3.6 mph
Place – 232 (official) out of 268 (my estimate)
Gender/Age Group – 10 out of 15

As before. Walk. Drums. Awesome. [Strolling To A Soundtrack]

The most masked activity I have been to yet, despite being outside. Spotted my first N95 in the wild. Some folks walked with masks. As with previous IRL walk, I wore mine in the – very loose- crowds at the start and finish. During the walk itself, I removed them and then made sure I stayed at least 10 feet from another person. I do have N95s to wear. I’m saving the fancy masks for indoor situations that I can’t avoid. My reading of the charts says cloth + surgical works well enough for outside. [Magic City 5K 2021]

The finish.

Previous Posts

2020 IRL [Strolling To A Soundtrack, Walk Report, MLK Day Drum Run 2020]

2021 Virtual [Percussion in the Pasture, Virtual MLK Day 5K Drum Run, Walk Report]

As of today, soundtrack still available from last year, “Listen to and Download the 2021 MLK Day 5K Drum Run – Birmingham Soundtrack/Score below. Featuring Freestyle Percussion All-Stars, Sahi On Ko Djony, Exposure Community Development Corporation and Ramsay High School Drumline.” Drum Run Bham

Props to Red Diamond for the free après-walk hot chocolate.


For The Love Of Variables


Awareness of the outside world. Free tests, Free masks coming to your local pharmacy, NPR: The Biden administration will give out 400 million free N95 masks. Treisman, January 19, 2022.

At our lesson, Moseley recommended putting Milton on GutX for hind gut ulcers. [Rodney & Milton’s Excellent Instruction]

We were dubious. The main ingredient seemed to indicate a joint supplement. Oh well, if you are going to work with someone, you need to give their advice a try.

Milton has been on it over a month. Has shifted to the maintenance dosage. His coat is smoother and he has lost his beer gut. Although not the change in attitude that he had with magnesium. [Milton’s Meals]

Try it on Rodney? Why not. He’s been on every other stomach-related fairy powder.

Rodney has been on it for over a week. Still on the introductory double dose.

Possibility. A mild tummy disturbance was causing him to be stressed. Making him feel better would give him a sunnier disposition about work. Result. No notable change in work, although he is quite chipper otherwise.

Possibility. Hind gut disturbance was affecting his nutritional uptake. Fixing this would improve his weight gain. Result. Definite increased padding on horse.

Is it the GutX?

Is it increased feed?

Is it more time to eat hay?

Is it increased alfalfa?

As an owl once said, “The world may never know.”


Photography note. The gray border is the label color from the manufacturer’s website. Bottle is shiny. Took photo into barn aisle for shade. This caused the phone camera to render the grey label with a blue tone. Weird.