Tuesday, January 14, 2014


I have never been one to make New Year's resolutions.  It's always just seemed like another day to me.  The horses still want to be fed, the barn still needs to be cleaned, the dishes washed, etc.  I have been sort of drifting this past year though.  Granted, the last few years have been very demanding and draining.  Buying and selling property, building a house, retiring long term equine partners, finding new ones, donkeys, Ramsey(!)...it has been a busy few years and I kind of took 2013 off.  I needed it, but I don't want to get lost in the drifting either so I decided to try to make a list of some of the things I hope to get done this year:
  • Plant a decent garden.  This has suffered the most in recent years, being totally overshadowed by other projects.  I'd like to grow some real food. 
  • Make a container garden on the deck away from marauding deer and moles.  This has been part of the plan all along and I would like to make this happen this year.  I think I have finally figured out how I want to do it, I just need to get it done.  The most frustrating part of gardening is dealing with the damned thieves.   
  • Ride more.  My horse and I both need this. 
  • Get a saddle that fits both Tessa and I so that the above might be possible.  I wish I could just go bareback, but my knees can't take it. 
  • See the orthopedic specialist to find out if anything can be done to help bad knees.  I have an appointment the end of Jan.  Those will be some interesting x-rays.
  • Get a harness for Emma and train her to actually pull something.  Not anything real heavy, she is too young for that, but she she is certainly ready to move up to the next level and actually start driving. 
  • Keep studying and working on hooves and nutrition.
  • Build the steps off my back deck.  This is something that should already be done, but has been pushed back repeatedly.  For whatever reason, it feels like an overwhelming task now.  The longer I put it off, the bigger the job seems.  If I could just start it, I think I'd be 90% done.
  • Finish interior of house.  This is the other job that keeps getting bigger the longer I put it off.  The biggest problem here is that I just don't want to deal with the mess and upheaval that comes from any interior building project. 
  • Add a second coat of paint to upper story of house.  The original coat was sprayed on by the building contractor and it is already in bad shape. 
  • Fix trim around doors.  This is one thing that the building contractor really screwed up.  All the exterior trim around the doors was improperly installed and has already disintegrated.  It needs to be redone completely before the doors themselves become damaged. 
  • Figure out how to fix the other mistakes that the building contractor made, such as the leak under the west wall in heavy rains and the electrical outlet that does not work.  These things drive me crazy, not just because they are a real problem, but because they are the things I decided I should leave to the "professionals".  
  • Don't leave anything up to the "professionals" without making sure I understand exactly what is happening.
  • Plant more trees, mostly more evergreens that will act as a windbreak, but I'd like some other species as well.
You know, I think I should stop there.  Goals are good, but now that I am actually writing out a list, I keep thinking of more things to add to it and this could get out of hand in a hurry.  One of my other goals for the year is to try not to expect quite so much out of myself and be a bit more forgiving towards myself.   I think that will be the toughest thing on the list.  It will be interesting to look back at the end of the year and see what I think of this list then.


  1. You are going to be very busy, but it sounds doable.

  2. Yeah sounds like you could easily become overwhelmed with that lot! One step at a time. Wish I could take my own advice.

  3. Goals are admirable like these. I usually add one huge thing a year to look forward to. I have the same goals, ride Siera more, hike more, photograph more, get hubby to have a contractor fix the house!!! New roof, windows addition and so forth.
    Trees: How about some kind of fruit trees? Apples too? They are yummy for your critters and useful for jams, jellies, and applesauce...not to mention good donkey/horse treats.

    1. I planted 10 apple trees a few years ago, but they are not doing well. They don't like the soil here. I need to rethink their location and figure out if there is something I can do for them.

  4. Treat yourself as you would your animals...you have expectations of them, but I bet you would never push them too hard.

  5. Your last paragraph is the most important one. Don't expect so much and be more forgiving towards yourself. That is one impressive list. I try to keep mine shorter, if I don't I'll spend all my time beating myself up for not meeting my 'goals'. Pick 6 and have a real go at them, leave the rest for later. Mentally you'll be better off

  6. That last resolution should be at the TOP of everyone's list!! I say, start small and fun on the rest of them and definitely find out about those knees!! (from someone who waited too long) :)

  7. Lots of goals! I am excited to see how Emma does with driving :)

  8. From what you write on your blog it doesn't appear that you took 2013 off! Your last goal is a good one.

  9. That is a lot to get done. You seem like someone who could accomplish all that and more!

  10. Good grief, woman! You could use a "little" help with these projects.

  11. One thing at a time. You look at the whole list and "Ugh!" it's too overwhelming! Prioritize. Whats most important/making you craziest? Deck stairs would probably help your knees.

  12. Oh boy! Not much room for mischief in that list! LOL

  13. I did this about five years ago, and we have accomplished about half of what we wanted to do back then.
    In fact... now I'm constantly revising because I realize it's okay to do without some of the things I thought we HAD to have. Cutting back in some corners is helping... and I no longer feel like I must get everything done. I think your hoof care and your care of your animals has been wonderful this past year... what a blessing to have you as their caretaker!

  14. I love your donkey pictures!! You have a lot of goals, I find that if I don't keep an ongoing list of goals I don't accomplish as much! Love your pictures!

  15. Those are some great goals - look forward to seeing your progress over the year. Let's hope 2014 is a little gentler on you and your gang :-)

  16. Other people have some of my same ideas and prioritize is the main one. I keep crazy long lists, too -- just so when I have time, I can chip away at the projects. Make sure to keep your eyes on what you accomplish and not what is left to do or it can be overwhelming. Take pictures, too, of before and after - - even if you don't publish them. It is a record of how far you have come and gives you a good feeling of satisfaction.