In which we play along with a blog hop, and you readers can play too

No new, cool photos of bears today, 
so I'm going to join a blog hop.  
This one originated with Rocking E Cowgirl
and I picked it up over at Dom's blog.

You can join the fun by inserting answers in the "Comments" section below, or by doing a copy/paste to your own site.

1.  What is your earliest, clearest horse memory?

I'm sure there were "pony rides" at the fair, but my earliest clear memory is riding double with my dad at Ocean Shores.  The horse we had (a grey) plodded out to the turn around point and then...well, you know.  Took off like a rocket towards home.

As far as I can recall, we stuck.  I must have been 4 years old or so.

Pony camp: age...9 or 10?

2.  Describe the perfect summer day.

Years ago, Madeline and Jill and I rode horses down to the river.  The water was low and slow and warm--probably not more than 4 feet deep.  We tied the horses to trees in the shade, took off our helmets and halfchaps and boots and dove in fully-clothed.  Lycra tights dry fast on hot days :-)

Madeline and Hana...but not summer.

It was the perfect ride with those two girls who have since grown up and flown away to far away.  

3.  Are you reading anything right now?  Tell me about it!
I'm always reading 5 or 6 books at a time.  Open at my elbow right now is Illuminae by Amie Kaufman, a story set on spaceships with a crazy genocidal computer that puts HAL to shame, a bunch of zombies, and a computer hacker in a hazmat suit.  At the moment, she's hiding in the closet with a fire extinguisher.  Things do not look good.

I'm also reading The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein, which is a prequel to Code Name Verity, the book that topped my best-of list for a couple of years.  Scottish aristocracy falls on hard times, noble tinker lad to the rescue, and also a dead body.  What's not to love?

And because I love graphic novels, The Time Museum by Matthew Loux, which is time travel and science and excellent female friendships and the library of Alexandria (swoooooon!)

4.  Do you follow a celebrity (horsey or non) that you're embarrassed to say fascinates you?  Tell me.  NOW.

Not really.  I'm overly-geeky in my admiration for author Neil Gaiman, I think that's as close as I get.

5.  What is your single most biggest horsey dream or goal?

Tevis, no doubt.  

Fiddle is not a good candidate for Tevis, so I won't be doing that for a while.  I am toying with the idea of doing a local 100-miler with her next year, but we need to get through this year first.

6.  If you were at Starbucks right now, what would you order?

I love SBX hot chocolate, but only in winter.  In summer I go to this neat little locally owned coffee stand for an iced latte.

7.  What is your biggest equine pet peeve?

It drives me crazy when people say (usually when a horse is being an idiot) "oh, he's a rescue."  

Sorry: if you've had him for more than 2 years, he's not a rescue anymore.  He is now a horse who is allowed to act like an idiot.

8.  With everything going on politically and in the media, tell me, do you follow it religiously?  Tune it out?  Or something in between?

I duck in-and-out of connectivity with the news.  I try to pay close attention to local issues (county, state, region).  Stories further away from the Swamp do not hold my attention as readily.  It's often hard for me to remember that Washington DC really is part of the same country as Washington State--the worlds are very different.  In general, Canadian news and issues are often more relevant to my daily life.

That said, I read the BBC news a few times each week, and I check in with the New York Times and NPR.  I spend a lot of time at work poking holes in fake news (I'm a librarian, it's part of the job) so I consult Politifact several times daily to check on stories that fascinate other people but if I'm away from my desk, the radio is tuned to classical music.

9.  If you had to show your horse to a song, what would you choose?

Hard to choose!  Maybe something from Harry Belafonte?  Jump in the Line ("When she wind up she bottom / she go like a rocket!") or Turn the World Around because I love the rhythm.  

But I also love I'm Going to Go Back There Someday  from the Muppet Movie.  I sing this song to Fiddle at almost every endurance ride.  

And I love Your Personal Penguin for so many reasons.  It's kind of our theme song.

10.  What are you most looking forward to this summer?

Riding!  Sunshine!  Friends!  

The usual stuff

All that good stuff.


  1. I've never heard that phrase about a horse being a rescue, but I'm sure I'd also roll me eyes!

    I feel like I've read The Pearl Thief. Hmmm, either way it sounds interesting!

    Thank you for joining the blog hop!

  2. Code Name Verity is one of my all-time favorites! I started Illuminae but didn't make it very far - for some reason I had a hard time following it - maybe it had an unusual format?

    1. If you lived Verify (as I did) you will also love the prequel.

      I stalled on reading Illumimae until my colleague gave me the audio book. That got me into the story, and I leapfrogged between print and audio to the very end. Wowza.

    2. Hmm, I may give the audiobook a try - I like to listen to books when cleaning stalls, and I am in need of a new one!

  3. Just ordered Illuminae to my Kindle, looking forward! I was getting desperate for a good book lately and reading Twilight again. Ugh, that chapter-long make-out session was hard to get through a second time.

    I had finished World without End and was disgusted by it, but it was so cool to read about places in Europe I've been, and buildings I've been in from that time, and to think that it all happened here, those wars, the Black Death, etc. I'd love to read more books like that with less rape/violence/animal abuse. Have you got any suggestions?

    1. Illuminae does (as kaity noted) have an unusual format: the story is told via video transcript, email, and messaging, and ALL the cussing is bleeped. As it says on the first page, thousands of people die horribly but at least there's no foul language. It's bleeped in the audiobook too, so there are whole conversations (during crises) where characters are yelling "F**king s*** you m************ a****." To cuss when being clobbered by zombies is understandable, but it would have been unreadable to leave it all in, and ridiculous to leave out just some of it.

      More suggestions: Have you read Pillars of the Earth (part one before World without End)? I liked the plague book better, but then, I like plague books. And also Fall of Giants by the same author--another "epic", this time taking place in the runup to WWI. There are two followups to it, but book 2 was too violent, I couldn't read it.

      If you like historical novels, I'm fond of Jean Plaidy's books. Good history, lots of topics. I'm a big fan of stories about Eleanor of Aquitaine, she was fascinating.

      And then there's my favorite historical fiction author Elizabeth Weir. She writes mostly about girls and airplanes (the author is a pilot) during WWII, Code Name Verity is her best. She has a new prequel out that stands alone well and takes place in Scotland, The Pearl Thief.

  4. I wont' read Fowlett again, but now know I'd love to read more European historical fiction. I learned things about architecture that I never knew, and I've been in those buildings - one church in our neighborhood is from 1158, that's older than the Cologne Cathedral! Oh, and I feel so much more informed now about the Reformation. Germany is celebrating 500 years of Reformation this year, it's a big deal, it makes me so glad to be protestant.

    Thanks for the recommendations.


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