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January 1, 2013: Looking Ahead

Last night – a very Alaskan way of ringing out the old and ringing in the New Year. I liked 2013, was sad to see it end. But I’m now liking 2014. We went over to Vickie and Mike’s place and had dinner. We then went outside and hung out next to a burn barrel and shot off fireworks. It was windy, and sparks were flying. The barrel (which had lit logs in it) was in a safe place, so the sparks and fireworks did not float into the trees nor land on the nearby barn or house.

Afterwards, we went inside and watched the Breakfast Club, the audience for this movie being high school students. Our festivities were combined with a teen sleepover; there were three 16 year olds present. Their world is quite removed from my world and Pete’s. They spent considerable time doing things with their hand held devices. This made me wonder if technology is further distancing younger and older people. Need to spend

more time around teenagers accessing apps if I am to remain young.

Got to bed at 2:30 a.m. and so today I pretty much dragged my sorry ass hither and yon. Pete and I got the horses out early because the afternoon forecast called for a snow/rain mix. It was nice out, about 15° F, overcast, and (thankfully) windless. We first went for a trail ride. I first rode Raudi on the steeper part of the trail, and then at the bottom I switched over to Tinni. Raudi did fairly well going down – she did rush in one section, so we went back uphill and went downhill again. Then, while still on the trail, I had her back uphill to where Pete had discovered the feather remains of a dead grouse. The ride on Tinni also went well – he was quite chipper and moved at a brisk pace.

We returned home, put Tinni and Hrimmi away, and then took Raudi and Signy around the loop. We passed two moose lying down on Samovar. Then, on the final stretch home, I worked with Raudi on walking beside me. (Remember, this is a horse who early on used to run off when I was holding onto the lead rope).

Pete and I then ate lunch, and after took the dogs for a walk. On the homeward portion of our outing, I worked with Ryder on wait and sticking close to me.

This account of the day’s dog and pony training exercises seems like it’s of little consequence. But it is very consequential because it indicates that indeed, I am moving forward – recall that last year at this time I wrote about being stuck. I do not feel as stuck this year because I am doing so much with the dogs and ponies. Raudi and I have gone about as far as we can go together, but soon, we will be taking lessons again. And Ryder and I are making progress on many, many fronts.

As for my career – well, many things are up in the air. But I am guardedly optimistic that things will come together soon, and that I’ll find the writing/teaching balance. Again, as I have said before – doors are not going to be thrown open for me. Rather, I need to step forward and open them myself. And I can easily do this.

Once we finished exercising animals, Pete and I worked on the woodpile, him splitting wood with the maul, and me using the splitter. We didn’t say anything; rather, we just did what had to be done. Today this, and all the activities we did, we did together. Far more fun than divvying up the load, say, by his doing the wood and me taking the dogs out.

Indeed, if today (which was a day like any other) is any indication, 2014 is going to be a great year.

Next: 2. 1/2/14: Lifre