Artists Are Awesome, Pom Pom Edition


Awareness of the outside world. Fashion & Textile Museums.


Pom poms created by weaving wonder woman Jan Priddy, who blogs at Imperfect Patience.

The green ones are left overs from a pair of shawls with Canadian merino yarn by Koigu. The red ones are blanket with mostly handspun from NW and Canada. All hand dyed. The shells are from a genus of limpet that the artist finds onshore.

The pom poms are hanging by my front door. I enjoy them each time I walk out. I am wearing one of her shawls as I type.

Yay for handmade art!

Shawl Posts
[Useful Art for Everyday, New Shawl]
[Introducting Shawlene, Handmade, Wearable Art}


Cooking Up Another Holiday Movie


Awareness of the outside world. Rotten Tomatoes: The Best Thanksgiving Movies.


Writer: Hello, Muse. Here we are. It’s that time again. [Creating A New Classic]

Muse: What time would that be?

Writer: Time to think about next year’s movie.

Muse: Thanksgiving?

Writer: Yep. While everyone is burping turkey.

Muse: What is your first thought?

Writer: Any holiday lends itself to a repeating plot device. Thanksgiving meals over the years. Kids grow up. New spouses. Empty seats at the table. Same bat time. Same bat channel. See you next year.

Muse: But?

Writer: It’s too predictable. Time passes. People change. Yeah, yeah. It’s just telling people what they already know.

Muse: The point of story-telling is to tell people what they already know.

Writer: Okay, so it’s telling people what they already know in an overly-obvious, uninspired manner. It’s also sad. Tempis fugit and all that. It’s too maudlin.

Muse: Stories are allowed to be be sad.

Writer: Point. The problem is that maudlin is easy to do; it is hard to do well. Plus, I’m not feeling it.



Muse: Focus on the individual?

Writer: Hmm. … follow one person … instead of one place … gives us possibilities for changes of scene … family one year, in-laws the next … friendsgiving one year … have to work over the holiday … comedy or drama … frame as flashback so you know the main character lives … we can introduce the historical dilemmas of the holiday without turning it into sermon …

(Sounds of rapid keyboard clicking.)

Muse: I’ll see myself out.

Writer: hmm-mm

Muse: Happy Thanksgiving.

~~~ curtain ~~~

Seeing The Other Side, Doors & Windows


Awareness of the outside world. AD: 15 of the World’s Most Historically Significant Doors, Brown 2019.

Note. Post was originally planned as fill-in for the holiday break of the architecture photography class. Unfortunately, the class was cancelled. Since the post was already done, I let it stand. Also, considering staying with architecture as a photography project. Buildings make nicely predictable photo subjects. [Architectural Photography Linkfest]

Back to the originally scheduled post.

A trip down memory lane turned up an old photo. Pretty enough that I wanted to share it. To keep it company, windows and doors from previous posts.

Cote d’Ivoire in 1986

[Foto Friday: Stella] Different window, same storm. Not mine, neither snow nor window nor photo.

[Ready For Their Roadtrip Buddy Movie]

[A Door Between Me and the World]

[Milton Behind Bars]

[Art Foto Friday: Stall Door]

[The Grass Was Greener]


Thanksgiving Thursday is Driving Thursday


Awareness of the outside world. “The First Thanksgiving is often portrayed as a friendly harvest festival where Pilgrims and generic, nameless “Indians” came together to eat and give thanks. In reality, the assembly of the Wampanoag Peoples and the English settlers in 1621 had much more to do with political alliances, diplomacy, and a pursuit of peace.” Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian: Rethinking Thanksgiving Celebrations: Native Perspectives on Thanksgiving.



Milton hitched at home!

We have now hitched three times in the backyard.

First time, a week ago, much concern on everyone’s part: header, driver, & horse.

Second time, last weekend, smooth as silk. Strolling in the park.

Third time, also last weekend, went so well that there was a small hint of work being done. Milton was a star about it but he did stress eat cookies after.

For some reason, both of these horses have always found working at home to be more worrisome that working away. Hence all the trailering to other barns. Maybe the footing. Maybe the rings. Maybe the attitude of the people.

The facilities are more basic chez nous, but we can work more often if it doesn’t mean shipping every time we want to hitch.

Photo is screengrab from video I took to show the driver how the harness was fitting.


The Return of the Son of Cookie Monster


Awareness of the outside world. “Sesame Street” debuts.


Milton came with us to the SLEC fun show. [Shadows at Silver Lining]

Same Cookie Monster costume as before. [C is for Cookie, The Return of Cookie Monster, Guest Photos]

Tidied up felt blanket & added cookies.

Yes, I am spreading the costume class peanut butter to the edges of the blog bread slice. Much work went into costume. Want to get much mileage from it.


That Noise Is Me Stomping My Feet


Awareness of the outside world. Gerrymandering backfires. Eventually. “Gaming the system sets up a structural problem for democracy, of course, but also for the party in power … they become so extreme they lose even members of their own party.” HCR: November 9, 2022

“In that year (1884) the Republican Party had become so extremist that many of its members, disparagingly called “Mugwumps” by party loyalists, jumped ship to vote for a reformer, Democrat Grover Cleveland. It was a chaotic and consequential election, for it showed those Republicans who stayed with the party that they must moderate their stances or become a permanent minority. HCR: November 8, 2022


I have let annoyance get the better of me.

Silver Lining fun show. Home horses said no. I hadn’t ridden in enough lessons to show a school horse. So, went down to help out.

The show was nicely organized. They would have been fine without me.

Still, a show can always use an extra hand. I’ve run enough horse shows to be able to tell where a hand is needed. Leadline. Horse holding. In gate. Jump crew.

I’ve said this before. [Shadows]

I bring it up again because working at the show caused me to have thoughts. Being able to step in where needed reminded me that I am actually good at this horse stuff. It also made me realize that I am tired.

I’m tired of messing around over crossrails.

I’m tired of beginner classes.

I’m tired of other people’s horses.

Just want to ride my horse. Why is this so hard?

I realize my own choices got me here. Doesn’t mean I have to like it.

It’s one thing if you have a young horse, or are getting acquainted with a new horse. I don’t and I’m not.

I want to go places and do things. I want to ride at the Kentucky Horse Park. I want to have stellar cross-country rounds. I want to ride side-saddle again. I want to lay down fast jump-offs. I want to go on trail rides. Truthfully, I harbor holodeck fantasies of winning everything in sight, but going places and doing things would be a good first step.

I feel like an an actor who wants to be in movies but only gets offered home shopping commercials. Truthfully, I want to star on Broadway, but I’d be happy with a supporting role in a sitcom.

I’ll get over myself in a bit. Just having a moment over here.


My New Elevator Speech


Awareness of the outside world. Why raising awareness helps, “Scientists, she said, were spending too much time trying to get what little funding was coming into the The Frates family always knew the Ice Bucket Challenge would result in hope and treatments for ALS patients. It has. Dwyer, November 7, 2022.


Question: What kind of riding do you do?
My new answer: This & that.

In the past, I have been stumped by this question.

“Questions like this take me back. I don’t have an elevator speech for where I am with horses. Wanna know how I feel? Here is 11 years of column, monthly blog, & daily blog tracing every step from buying Rodney to now. Read that. That’s how I feel.” [No Stirrup November, In Which I Complicate An Introduction]

“The poor lady at the store asked, ‘What kind of riding do you do?’ A simple question with complicated answer. More of a fraught question than she was intending.” [Tennessee Travels, Shopping]

Thanks go to a rider at the Silver Lining fun show. We were chatting, as one does standing around at a horse show. She asked what kind of riding I did. After my initial vague-it’s-complicated noises, she said, ‘Oh that usually means little of this, a little of that.’

Ding. Ding. Ding.

Actually, a belated ding.

She said what she said. I proceeded to give a hyper-condensed version on the state of my barn.

Upon reviewing the conversation (mostly to see if I had said anything unbearably stupid. Anyone else do that? Fun, right? But I digress.) I realized that people posing this question are not asking for my life story. Neither do they want 12 years of frustration dumped in their lap.

We are chatting. We are being polite. In the case of the Dover saleswoman, she wanted to know what she could sell me.

What is called for is a pleasant, non-committal answer. This & that. True enough and sufficient to the moment.

If the conversation continues, chime in with a few quips, still on the theme of this & that. I’m taking some lessons. I have two horses at home. I’d like to jump more. Accurate but not belaboring the point. Keep it light. Find out what they are really asking. Are we passing the time until the next class? Are we sitting over a get-to-know-you lunch swapping in-depth bios?

Then, and only then, if they end up wanting the details, I can provide those. Lots and lots of details.

So, with luck, if you meet me in the future, I should be better prepared to interact with society.