Tuesday, December 31, 2013


I've been thinking about a word to live with in 2014 and this is the one that keeps coming back. Persevere. I was hoping for a happier word but a happier word didn't find me.

2013 was a year of change for us. I still feel strongly that the change was a good one but it hasn't been easy. I don't expect 2014 to be any easier.

Winston. Perseverance incarnate. He's at a difficult age and some days I just don't have the energy to deal with his antics. I know there is a sane brave horse who wants to get it right underneath his six year old skin, its just hard to see right now. I am going to work with him on the lunge line before riding. I can effectively deal with naughty moments from the ground. If he is naughty while I am on his back and I get dumped, that is encouraging/rewarding the behavior. I will ride him but only when he is relaxed, focused and obedient. Only then. I will continue to have Katy work with him as well. Her approach is kind but firm and she is strongly rooted in the basics.

Sedona. We will continue to give her pain pills and as many table scraps as she wants. As long as she eats and trots with her tail in a happy curl, she will continue to bury her bones and sleep on the porch and chase squirrels at Oak Creek Ranch. I hope she perseveres a long time. I'm not ready to say good-bye. I'm not sure I ever will be; she's the best dog I've known.

Fences. The pasture fences are brittle and breaking. It is going to take a lot of time and effort -- not to mention money -- to replace and reinforce all of them. This is Brett's project, but its a fund sapping one and not very exciting.

Finances. An ugh category for sure. My new job pays significantly less than my position in Southern California. Brett is fully retired. Both of these were planned and done with no regrets. Learning to live on less with two kids in college and a money pit property is difficult. No vacation in 2014.

The job. I have no regrets about taking my new job. It's interesting and I love working for an organization with faith based values. I've been in the position for eight months now and the learning curve is still steep. Some days I feel completely out of my comfort zone and like I will never understand the Sacramento market. Other days, I get it right all by myself. I'm going to persevere and hope I get there. ...that the "feeling competent" days outnumber the "feeling stupid" days.

The house. This part is going well. There are a few things, such as curtains in the kids' rooms, that still need to be done but the house is very comfortable. I still love, love, love this house.

Garden. Oy, lots to do here. When I look at the garden with its dead fruit trees and weeds, it is overwhelming. Brett built me a beautiful planter box. I ordered new fruit trees. I will slowly remove the debris and a garden will emerge. I'm going to try to enjoy the process and the journey.

As I try to persevere, I will continue to be thankful for all of you who comment and encourage me. I rely on your advice and wisdom more than you can imagine. Thank you so much. I wish all of you a happy New Year.


  1. Annette and Brett...you guys have our my utmost empathy. Our words weren't as positive as yours so we've just stayed quiet. We're raising a beer in your direction in the hopes that we all find a way to settle in to our new homes sooner rather than later ;) Special hugs to Sedona!

  2. Annette-I send blessings for the new year my friend. My word was curve this year and I needed perseverance to survive. I have not decided on my word even now for 2014- and it is 10:30 PM!! I see you have taken a new job. Now I am going to have to read back and find out about that! All the best. Teri

  3. Annette, love reading about your journey and the food and the insights and of course the horses - especially love to hear how Jackson is doing! I think your word for 2014 really fits the challenges ahead for all of us perfectly. Wishing you and yours a wonderful new year!

  4. Annette you chose a great word for 2014 that fits the challenges facing all of us perfectly! Thanks for sharing your life journey - the food - the progress at your new place - the horses (of course I love to hear how Jackson is doing!)....Happy New Year to you and yours - 2-legged and 4-legged!

  5. Annette and Brett... I do believe you have made it through the hardest part even tho it has been financially draining...not to mention back breaking. Many obstacles have been thrown your way and somehow you have managed to deal with them. Hopefully you have made the house livable to your satisfaction, Winston will grow into the horse you want, Sedona will continue to have a good quality of life and you and Brett won't have to work so hard. You deserve to have a very Happy and Healthy New Year! Getting to know you has been an absolute pleasure...two very special people! I know a place you can go to for a vacation if you ever need a break. A nice B and B with good food and nice old barns...no charge....

  6. Slow & steady wins the race. You'll get there in the end.

  7. Persevere perfect:) You are doing well it has been a year of many changes for you and you have certainly perservered:) Happy New Year HUG B

  8. I really enjoyed reading and appreciate your honest, from the heart post. You're doing incredibly well with Winston! Don't sell yourself short. I bet the same is true of your work,
    Doug and I have also chosen a path that requires perseverance, at a tme in life when many chose to scale back on work. I'm glad there are other crazy people out there! :)
    Happy New Year!

  9. awww, brett... yeah, he doesn't have an easy role in this.

    i think the garden should be your therapy - not a project unto itself but an escape from other worries where you can work in the dirt and make things beautiful. all the other stuff can bring the stress into your life. the garden will work it out. :)

  10. We know what you're talking about here at Edgewood. (((♥♥♥)))

    One day at a time, one foot in front of the other... we'll get there.

  11. I think that perseverance is a great word- it has strength. You guys have had a lot of changes over the past year. If we were closer we'd help with the fencing because i know how much work it is! My only advice is to plan and prioritize. Not everything has to be done tomorrow.

    2013 was a year of change so 2014 will be a year of consolidation.

    Based on my early years with Irish I can relate. I was off more times than I can remember. Then one day someone told me I was 'lucky' to have such a quiet and well behaved horse. I almost died.
    Happy New Year!

  12. Do you have to do everything right now? Stand back and see if there are projects that can wait a bit. It's hard to persevere when your energy is sapped in so many ways.
    List "achievable goals" rather than perceived obligations. Your spirits sound as though a weekend away together might be a good investment.
    Moving is traumatic and a lot of work. Imagine if you didn't speak the language how much worse it would be.
    Two of my rescue dogs are in Auburn now and one in Jackson. I'll ask that they send some Collie Magic thoughts your way.

  13. Way to embrace your new word, in spite of the challenges it seems to promise. I know how scary this word is. I changed my word - again - for the 3rd time. *snort* It was there the whole time and I couldn't see it. No...it's not Flakey. *grin*

    Wishing you a year of abundant blessings!


  14. I loved this thoughtful and honest post - also Brett's comment : )
    You have had a year that probably and hopefully won't be matched in change for awhile anyway. But you have stood strong and moved forward with your spunky, positive attitude.
    I admire you both immensely

  15. Wishing you a happy new year for sure!!!


Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.