Recent Reads, Mostly Memoir


Awareness of the outside world. The Verge: Welcome to hell, Elon, Patel, Oct 28, 2022. Aside from the amusingly hyperbolic language, the author raises interesting points about the problems facing a global social media platform.


Blog humming along. Nothing pressing to say for the monthly State of the Blog post. [STOB archives]

So, here are a few books.

“Not reviews. Imagine we are in a bookstore. I wander up to you, hand you one of these books, say ‘Have you read this one?’, then wander off. Whereupon you look at the cover, turn it over, look at the back cover, read the blurb, flip through the book, and decide for yourself if you are interested. It’s like that. Enjoy.” [Have You Read This?]

Finished all of these, which is a recommendation in itself. I am bad about getting distracted by shiny objects books. These retained my interest sufficiently to keep me from wandering off to other books.

Two are from Book Culture, one of my fav bookstores. Their book selection most definitely has a bias, which leans the way I do, which I don’t find often where I live. I always wish I had more room in my luggage when I shop there.

Enough blather. Here are the books.

Declassified: A Low-Key Guide to the High-Strung World of Classical Music, By Arianna Warsaw-Fan Rauch (Putnam 2002). Publisher’s book page. Music guide interspersed with author’s experience as a top violinist.

Along those lines, A Enter Spooking: I Quit. Author talks about walking away from competitive dressage. Your ideas get more cred when you have a USDF gold medal in your back pocket. It’s not like me declaiming what I don’t like about dressage as I potter around the Intro ring.

Border Crossings: A Journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway, by Emma Fick, (Harper 2022). Publisher’s book page. I have ordered the author’s other two travel books, Snippets of New Orleans & Snippets of Serbia.

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, by Nathaniel Philbrick, (Penquin 2000). Publisher’s book page. What happened after the whale hit the boat. Non-fiction. If you search on this, add “book” or the author’s name otherwise you will get the movie. Read for class. [36]

Images from publisher pages. No deals or affiliate links. Bought books. Like telling people about stuff to read. [Have You Read This? archives]


Rearranging the Admin, State of the Fitness

Fit To Ride

Awareness of the outside world. My choices for travel. Masked: door to door for airport & flights, at service, shopping in big stores. No mask: outside, in private house (small group & felt rude, which is NOT a good reason but it was family and I’m human), in restaurants (because eating). Inconsistent masking: quick stops in small stores, i.e. gas station food mart, and walking through hotel lobby. I was very much in the minority, but I was never the only person masked.

I’ve had all my shots, including second booster and flu. Since I don’t get out much, I have the immunity exposure of a kid starting day care. I like the idea of not breathing in everyone’s germs.


Thoughts at top. Scroll down for pretty pictures.

I’ve started something that is hard for me.

Drumroll …

I will NOT keep track of my daily walks. (Breathe. Breathe.)

Seriously, the idea of having facts and not putting them on a list is anathema to how my brain works.


The point is to walk *today* for my physical and mental health. Whether or not I walked yesterday is irrelevant.

Therefore, fitness post format will change.

Dropping. Repeat places. Assume pasture, local park, and so on.
Dropping. Data Dump. No numbers.
Keeping. New places. Because interesting.
Keeping. Data Dump. I’ll keep track of type of activities, see below, but will try not to be too tight on how often.
Keeping. Mississippi River mileage. Because also interesting. Not exact mileage. Not places unless different or notable. Will change to weekly logging. This may mean I lose a mile here or there or overestimate my virtual progress. It’ll be fine. I’ll be fine. (Breathe. Breathe.)

One-Mile Walks, New Places

Moundville Archaeological Park

Walmart. Also walked around outside of building this time. Amazing the difference in the size of the loop.

Erie Canal towpath
Pittsford NY
Photo taken at green dot next to canal.

Charlotte Pier
Ontario Beach Park
Rochester NY

A pier that sticks out into Lake Ontario. While I don’t usually keep track of the mileage outside of my daily walks, I credited myself with second a mile for the day because the pier is so freaking long. [Walking With Intention]

Democrat & Chronicle: Photos: A day at the Charlotte Pier, Tina MacIntyre-Yee, 2019

Activities Last Month
Biking, once
Riding Lessons


Virtual Places. Minnesota [Biking and Walking Virtually, Mississippi River, Part One]

Last month [Humming Along, State of the Fitness]


Bollard Posse [Art Deco Logo, Art of the outside world]


Losing the Light, State of the Now


Awareness of the outside world. Horrible headlines from Indonesia & Korea.

The Conversation: Ten tips for surviving a crowd crush, Moussaid, 2019, Updated: October 31, 2022.

“My name is Mehdi Moussaïd. I’m a research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, in Berlin … My research is about any kind of collective behaviors in human crowds.” Fouloscopie: About Me.


Updated the Now page.


State of the Now, as of 1 November 2022.

Milton is driving.

Rodney is ground-driving.

I am trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I may have left this a little late.

But seriously folks, we are entering the fallow season. The resultant inactivity would be easier to endure had one accomplished anything noteworthy during the non-fallow season.

That was gloomy. What can I say? The end of October was gloomy and exhausting for non-horse-related reasons. I’m having trouble gamboling about the lea.

Rodney picked a poor time to become an acute source of frustration rather than his normal state of chronic frustration and intermittent joy. Of course, Rodney could pull his socks up and become the horse he was hired to be. But I digress. [Rodney Is Sent to the Horse House]


November has a few possibilities. With luck, I will be a perky ray of sunshine next time.

Until next month.


Last month [A Disturbance In The Force]


Finishing Out The Year With A Blue, Show Report, SSF Fun Show 2022


Awareness of the outside world. Alabama News Center: Alabama Power’s Baker selected Wildlife Biologist of the Year, Chandler, October 24, 2022. Photos by Meg McKinney.


Stepping Stone Farm Fun Show
Transformer (Optimus)
10. Academy Adult WTC Showmanship – 1st of 2
11. Academy Adult WTC Equitation – 2nd of 2

Stepping Stone Farm
Chelsea AL
Saturday 29 October 2022

No show media from me. Did not have phone on me for an ears pic. No time to retrieve it. Show was moving quickly and I needed to get aboard.

Had a blast. Blew into the first class at a trot, which is tricky given the approach to the ring at SSF. You want showmanship? I’ll give you showmanship.

Did an unplanned, early seque back to trot in the first direction of the second class.

Me: (Floating along in happy canterland.)
Opt: If you aren’t going to participate, I’m not going to either.

When I haven’t ridden saddle seat in a while, I forget how much support ASBs get from the outside rein at the canter. Yeah, even unto tipping slightly to the outside.

I am now 3 for 4 with 2 horses for not keeping the canter at shows this year. Starting to think it might not be the horses.

In other news, Optimus was three different horses for this three riders.

With me, he could tell that I’d signed on for the low-drama ride. [The Comfort Ride]

Me: Go fast.
Opt: You don’t really mean that.
Me: Okay.

With his junior rider, he picked up his feet and positively sparkled. With the walk/trot beginner, he had the most adorable soft, quiet trot so as not to jar his jockey.

Optimus is such a good dude.

Milton came with for a) socialization, b) the costume class, & c) hitching. Stood by the trailer like a champ. Had a short screaming fit when he decided one of the pasture horses was his new best friend, but kept his feet in order. Stellar for costume and hitching.


A Bout of Bodywork for Both Horses


Awareness of the outside world. Gothamist: Creatively costumed canines at NYC’s 2022 Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Festival, by Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky, Oct 22, 2022.


Horses got bodywork from Anita A. Miller & Michaela E. Miller of Robin Hood Therapy, LLC. Social media & website coming soon.

Rodney. MagnaWave & massage. Color him dubious. We are taking this as a good sign. Rodney has had so much bodywork that he usually very accepting of it. He loved the massage part. MagnaWave is supposed to get deeper than other modalities. The fact that he thought it was weird might mean that it was reaching new places.

Milton. BEMER & massage. Much yawning and relaxing during. Appeared not happy to have it end. All good. The next day, went terribly. Refused to trot. Much swearing and lifting of hip by horse. Stayed at a steady walk, just completely refused to upshift. Driver maintained an admirable calm. Eventually coaxed horse into decent trot work. The following day? The best Milton has ever gone in harness. Correlation? Causation? Unrelated training moment?

We hope to make Robin Hood Therapy a regular visitor to our barn.

Both are CESMT (certified equine sports massage therapists), CMWP (certified MagnaWave practitioners), Bemer specialists, trained infrared and red light therapists, and headed for equine accupressure training in December. Anita is currently in training for essential oils therapy in animals and herbology.


C is for Cookie, C is for Costume Class, Halloween 2022


Awareness of the outside world. Does anyone else remember Trick or Treat for UNICEF? Do kids still do that? I wonder what they did with all those pennies we collected. I looked. The Internet was not forthcoming on either question (gasp!).

Update. Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF. It was right there when I searched. Dunno why I didn’t find earlier. Hat tip to K for the heads up.


Cookie Monster with Chief Cookie Dispenser
Costume Class
Stepping Stone Farm Fun Show 2022



Muppet Wiki: Cookie Monster

Smithsonian: Cookie Monster’s First Name Is Sid, And Other Icon’s “Real” Names, Colin Schultz, 2014

C is for cookie.
C is for cookie.
Cookie starts with C.
That’s good enough for me.
Milton’s abridged version of the Cookie Monster song.
Muppet Wiki: C is for Cookie (song)

SSF Costume Class
[Neither Sound Nor Light, Halloween 2019]
[Minions of the Night Unicorn] 2018
[It’s a Rat Race, Halloween 2017]
[Macho Dresses Up As Dr. Whooves] 2016


A Plentiful Postcard Parade


Art from the outside world. MFA Boston: Postcards at the MFA.


World Postcard Day was October 1. Through Postcrossing, I sent out five postcards and received 8. Woot!


Interesting things I discovered from the postcards & postcard messages.

Syksy-terveisiä is Finnish for Autumn Greetings.

“Olomouc Zoo, is a Czech zoo, located in Svatý Kopeček, Olomouc in Czech Republic. Olomouc Zoo is one of the largest breeders of South African Gemsbok in Europe and the stud book keeper of the East Caucasian tur.” Wiki: Olomouc Zoo. Website, Zoo Olomouc.

Hohenschwangau Castle

How’s this for a subway stop? Metro In Moscow: Station Komsomolskaya

Live Science: Who invented the bicycle?, Palermo, March 04, 2022

Atlas Obscure: Tampere Cathedral Frescoes

Royal Delft Museum. Switch to English, as needed. Click on Museum collection > Visit the museum online. In Dutch, “Bezoek het museum online.”

[Postcrossing & postcard post archive]