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September 17, 2019; Birthday Dispatch

We have now been home a month and two days. Admittedly, most days I wish that I was still out on the trail. But there are also days like today, when I’m glad to have the element of stability that a home provides.

Today was my birthday. I am not yet primordial, nor am I ancient. I have decided that for now, my age is immaterial. If I tell people my age, the expectation will be that I act that age. I refuse to do this. I’m even putting out of mind my exact age.

The day began with my walking into the kitchen and seeing a coffin shaped box with a bow on the kitchen table. I had no idea what it was. I opened it and discovered that this box contained a ukulele. I was blown away. I did not expect this. I had in passing mentioned learning to play the ukulele to Pete, who then decided I should have one.

It is a beautiful instrument. I don’t know how to tune or play it. I have decided that I will find someone, somewhere, to give me lessons. There are a lot of string instrument players in Sutton – all day I envisioned myself joining one of their bands and playing tunes. I can hardly wait. The question is, is someone who is tone deaf able play a musical instrument? I have to find this out.

Alys and Marianne near Grizzly Camp

Before leaving this morning Pete and I cleaned out the front area of what I’m now calling the Goatel. It’s a nice space. Stormy is going to enjoy being milked.

Our good friend Claudia Sihler called as we were eating breakfast. She said she wanted to come over and do agility and go for a ride. I barely had time to clean up the mess Tyra made when she pulled apart the shanty before Claudia arrived. Indeed, we did do agility, first with her yearling Fonix, and then with Tyra.

Claudia and I worked together – it was way fun since we both are into positive reinforcement training. She wisely kept Fonix’s session short – and mainly showed him a few obstacles. Next Tyra indicated to me (by coming to me in the pen) that she wanted to do agility. She was a little goofy but every so often focused on the task at hand.

We had pizza and cheesecake for lunch – birthday fodder.

We went for a ride in the afternoon, on our trails. Raudi told me that she wanted to go. So, two chestnut mares (the other was Claudia’s mare Ketla) and one chestnut gelding went on an outing. Raudi, in the lead, seemed to me to be mystified, I presumed that this was because there was another lead mare in the mix.

I took Raudi and Tinni out after Claudia left, then took Hrimmi on the trails, then took Tyra on Siggi’s Trail and on the Loop Road. All I could think was – wow – I own four riding horses.

Bill Schmidtkunz came over, got manure, and gave flowers, red carnations. He also gave me a bag of animal crackers.

It was a truly wonderful birthday – I think one of the best ever.

Next: 258. 9/18/19: Dialed In

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