Saturday, January 7, 2012

Team 70: Follow Your Dreams


Marvel and Star


My name is Marvel and I live in Northeast Nebraska.  I ride Paints and Quarter Horses and am looking forward to making 2012 a great trail riding year!




Follow Your Dreams said...

6.09 miles on 1/5/12 at Willow Creek near Pierce, NE. Thanks to Tammy Alexander and Lisa Harder for making it an even better day! It was an awesome 70+ degree day riding Star with friends!

Anonymous said...

love your horse,

Follow Your Dreams said...

Thank you!

Follow Your Dreams said...

Just reading the blogs TV posted ... A special award should go to Machismo Morgan for logging ANY miles after just having a baby three weeks ago! You go girl ... and congratulations on the birth of baby Ruby!!!!!

Follow Your Dreams said...

7.73 miles today, March 14th, 2012 riding Star. Joined up with Sam (TA) and Apache. Found some great routes to take close to home. Stopped to visit Tina B. and hoping she can join us on the trails soon! Haven't mastered the Garmin (downloading and posting) yet but got the miles and that's what counted today! Gorgeous day ... great getting away from the office ... Star needs to learn to leave home alone more often so it was great practice ... and another perk was not having to spend gas money! (Now up to 13.82 miles year to date and proud of it!)

Follow Your Dreams said...

7.90 miles after work today, March 21st, 2012 riding Star. Rode to Tina's (Joe) and Joan (Ace) met us there. The three of us headed out at 5:30 and headed north to meet up with Tammy (Dawn). Safety in numbers is great motivation for each of us to ride when we otherwise would find reasons not to. We will be changing the routes as needed to accommodate each other's schedules. First chance we get to ride earlier we'll be exploring more minimum maintenance roads. Star is learning that leaving home is fun and is not permanent. lol (21.72 miles year to date!)

Follow Your Dreams said...

11.3 miles in four hours riding Star!!!! Off work even earlier today. We are the FOUR musketeers. LOL Tammy, Tina, Joan and myself on our trustee steeds. Mixing it up each week on starting points and routes taken. Looking forward to PRR rides but immensely enjoying riding near home for now. Another awesome day with sunshine and low wind. (33.02 miles year to date)

Anonymous said...

Hello Marvel, Mickee from team giddy up. Thank you for introducing yourself! It's always fun to meet another horse lover. I'm hoping to do a few for PRR this year maybe we will meet in person. I ride with team Seefus we have our horses at the same barn. She gets me off the couch! ha ha See ya on the trail! Mickee

Follow Your Dreams said...

Hi Mickee! Thanks for responding! I do hope we get to meet in person too. I'm glad we're all making it a great trail riding year! Marvel

Follow Your Dreams said...

9.61 miles last night on Star (4-5-12) for a total of 42.63 MILES YEAR TO DATE. Twister is still at the trainer until mid-April then I'll ride her on Wednesday evenings. She and Star are "two peas in a pod" to ride. I love my "Thunder" babies.

Follow Your Dreams said...

4.06 miles in 1.75 hours on Star (4-11-12) on the first North Platte River Riders outing for 2012 at Powder Creek WMA north of Martinsburg, NE. We sacrified miles and riding time by hauling but it was worth it, of course! (46.69 MILES YEAR TO DATE)

Tammy rode Dawn and Tina rode Joe. Others wimped out because they thought it would be cold and because of a last minute change of plans. Their loss. The evening was perfect. Who could ask for more than a ride around a peaceful lake with ducks on the water, Canadian geese swimming and some flying right overhead, a variety of other birds including one nesting in the rocks near the trailer (she let us know she was NOT happy), Ringneck Pheasants, and other wildlife. There were a few "mini spooks" when pheasants flew up here and there. We found huge buck tracks (I'd like to see that buck) and finally saw three deer as we left Powder Creek.

In a word, "AWESOME!"

Follow Your Dreams said...

6.79 miles in exactly two hours at Willow Creek WMA near Pierce, NE on Star (4-18-12) at 3.5 mph average. (53.48 MILES YEAR TO DATE)

Follow Your Dreams said...

5.01 miles in 2.75 hours at Big Bear Hollow east of Winnebago, NE on the Omaha Indian Reservation. The old logging roads made for an awesome afternoon ride out of the wind with plenty of shade.

I rode Twister for the first time this year and she was true to form ... AWESOME! She will be my horse of choice now since she needs the miles but I always miss Star when I'm riding any of my other horses.


Follow Your Dreams said...
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Follow Your Dreams said...

6.24 miles on Wednesday, May 2nd in 2.00 hours at Maskenthine Lake near Stanton, NE on Twister. We beat the storm that rolled in after 9:00 p.m. There were five of us last evening and we had a blast!


Follow Your Dreams said...

5.08 miles on Wednesday, May 9th in 2.00 hours at Turkey Creek near Newcastle, NE on Twister. 17 riders, if I counted right, and perfect weather. (Twister is a speed walker so I didn't get a chance to look back to double check the count.)

We finished the evening by giving our friend, Dee Cross, a surprise bridal/bachelorette (horse themed) party. She was thrilled and we all had a great time! I hauled Star for Dee to ride. It was great having her join us. It's been a while since her work schedule allowed the time.


Anonymous said...

6.10 miles in 2.50 hours on Wednesday, May 16th at Powder Horn near Scribner, NE. Eleven riders including several Distance Derby riders. Leland Miner rode my Star. We're glad he could finally join us.


kristy said...

Hi Marvel
Glad to meet you and now I can put a name, with a horse and a face! I didn't get to talk with you much as we were at the end of the ride most of the time. I read some of your postings and I would be happy to meet you some time and ride together. I am about an hour from Willow Creek (I like to camp there also). Never heard of Big Bear Hollow but I used to ride at Big Elk when it was open years ago.


Anonymous said...

15.8 miles in four hours on Friday, May 18th on Twister at the Friday After Mothers Day Ride at Valparaio, NE. Can you say, "tired"?? But it's a good tired. Twister is my new endurance horse. That girl can move. I immensely enjoyed loping with her. It was good to see old friends.

3.9 mph moving average. 15.9 mph maximum speed. 3.3 mph overall speed.


Anonymous said...

5.27 miles in 1.75 hours on Saturday, May 19th on Star at Powder Creek Recreation Area near Martinsburg, NE. This was our first Allen Golden Spurs Saddle Club ride for the year with 14 riders in attendance. We had a great ride with a potluck afterwards. We had time to visit after supper and then the rain drops came. Perfect timing!

I set no personal "number" goals (horseback riding related) this year. I simply vowed to ride. I rode as many times this WEEK (3) as I did ALL of 2011. My annual average prior to 2011 was usually only 50 hours per year. I have already almost doubled that. I am having a blast with great friends and great horses. Who could ask for more?

13 rides YTD (8 on Star, 5 on Twister). STAR: 20.5 hours, 58.75 miles. TWISTER: 13.25 hours, 38.23 miles. Average hours per ride is 2.6. Average miles per ride is 7.46. Average MPH per ride is 2.87. Interesting.

NOW I am thinking of setting some goals for the rest of the year. Regardless, I am taking great personal satisfaction for progress made.


Tammy A said...

Congrats Marvel! You are so close to 100 miles! You should get there at the PRR on Wednesday. We will have to have a drink to celebrate :)!

It has been great sharing the trails with you this year and there is MORE TO COME! We are both going to have an awesome year!!

HUGS girlfriend, we have just begun!!

Tammy A (Sam)

Anonymous said...

Hi Sam, Thanks for the congrats, encouragement, and friendship. We started out the year on the right foot ... exercising and pursuing better health and growing our friendship. Can't go wrong with that!

Two sayings stick with me .... "Life is what happens when you're making plans." and "There is no remedy for love but to love more." They are helping to keep me sane if nothing else. ha ha

Looking forward to crossing the 100-mile mark!!! I went from 41st to 37th place which is pretty cool. I don't even care if I go back down. It's just fun trying.

Talk soon!


Anonymous said...

3.18 miles in 2.5 hours on Twister at Wilson's indoor arena near Emerson, NE on Thursday, May 31st. Sam, riding Apache, and I were having withdrawal symptoms from lack of riding so this was a great alternative to looking out the window at the mud. Riders and horses got a great workout. We mixed it up by playing follow the leader, walked, trotted, loped, worked on side passing, backing, opening and closing gates, backing, and then did it all over again. Looking forward to getting back on the trails soon! Meanwhile, we are thankful for the rain!

100.16 MILES YEAR TO DATE ... a personal milestone!

Tammy A said...

Woohoo! Congrats on your 100 mile personal milestone!! It has been fun ticking off these miles with you. Thanks for being my friend, my drive & my partner in crime :).

Hope to share many more miles with you!

Tammy A

Anonymous said...

4.78 miles Tuesday, June 5th in 1.75 hours on Twister. We rode at Tammy's in the pen, pastures, and then down the road. Tammy rode Apache. Karen joined us for the first time and rode Star. This was her first ride in five years so we started slow. Star is a good lesson horse and she enjoyed riding him. I'm thankful to have friends keep him ridden for me and happy to share him. Karen will be hitting the trails with us next week!!


Anonymous said...

5.44 miles this evening in 2.25 hours on Twister. PRR at Powder Creek WMA north of Martinsburg, NE. Six riders and awesome weather! Tammy (Apache), Leland (my Star), Joan (Ace), Connie T. (bay), Jenny Y. (Paint).

The resident Plover defended her nearby nest of four eggs with zeal as usual when we parked too close for her comfort. We also saw a deer, three turkeys, a coyote, geese and goslings, rabbits and quail.


Anonymous said...

7.88 miles this evening in 2 hours on Twister at Tammy's. Awesome weather, dirt roads, little traffic (only saw 3 cars), and speed. Getting to know Twister even more and loving every minute riding her.

14.4 mph maximum, 3.7 mph overall, 3.9 mph moving average


Anonymous said...

10.60 miles on Wednesday, June 13th in 3.75 hours on Twister at Willow Creek WMA near Pierce, NE.

Seven riders (Tammy, Joan, Joyce, Lisa, Seth, Kirk, and me). We saw four baby raccoons, one turkey, many birds and butterflies and gorgeous flowers, two frogs, two turtles, and many rabbits.

Taking an alternate trail allowed us to catch a glimpse of one horse-eating beaver. LOL Shortly after that we found a small beach area and all of the horses approached willingly. Several entered the water. Twister stood quietly by the edge watching the water lap toward her feet. A couple of snorts could be heard from the horses but all handled the adventure well. Some of Twister's early training took place at Willow Creek and it showed. There is a water crossing not far from the parking area and she crossed it easily and willingly three different times.


Anonymous said...

2.48 miles in 1 hour on 6/15/12 on Star. First official ride in our new outdoor arena (still under construction). It is fitting that Star should be the first horse to ride in it! I also rode in the south pasture.

.64 miles in 15 minutes on 6/16/12 on Star in the arena before it started to rain. I should have gotten up earlier.

6.63 miles in 2 hours on 6/16/12 on Twister on the Golden Spurs Saddle Club Ride. It turned out to be a gorgeous day. Twelve riders enjoyed open CRP grassland and a great sand road. I saw one deer and two turkeys.

Happy Father's Day Terry. No riding Sunday because we celebrated his special day then worked on projects and fencing. By 7:00 p.m. I was too pooped to ride.

1.35 miles 1/2 hour on 6/18/12 on Star in the arena. It had finally cooled off a bit and was less windy when I started riding at 8:45 p.m.

No riding Tuesday because the old people fell asleep after work. It was 8:00 p.m. by the time supper was over so we worked on the arena until dark.

2.84 miles in 1 hour on 6/20/12 on Star in the arena, south pasture, and on the road near home. Kelly K. rode Star for a few minutes too. We only got .10 inch of rain so after supper I did yard work and then rode at 8:30 p.m.


Anonymous said...

8.36 miles in 2.75 hours tonight on Twister at Willow Creek WMA near Pierce. Lisa rode Pal and we had a blast. Three minutes into the ride a turkey flew up out of the tall grass within ten feet of Twister and she didn't even flinch. A moment later we reached the beach we found last week and both horses entered the water willingly. Fun!

We explored some new trails we'd never been on before, ending up in the same place, of course, but it added a great twist to the evening. Lots of shade, great company, and lots of wildlife. We saw one turkey, one deer, six quail, a squirrel, many rabbits, and a baby Bluejay that had fallen from its nest and was very angry at us for passing by so closely. Lucky on the way home I missed a deer as it ran through the intersection 15 miles west of Wayne on Hwy 98. ugh

Hoping you'll post miles before Team Alexander and Team Maiwald return from their SD trip. Like you being temporarily ahead of Team Pinky and the Boys after FAMDR, I'd like to be in 33rd place on the board even though, in reality, Maiwald is ahead of me and will post miles when they return. LOL I'm having fun!


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

5.56 miles in 2 hours this morning on Star at home. We rode in the arena, north and south pastures, and on the road. We even did some arena exercises.

I fully intended to ride Twister this evening, however duty called and we had to prepare for baling hay. First things first!


Anonymous said...

3.32 miles in 1.25 hours this evening on Star at home. (Arena, south pasture, road, around the place) The neighbor girl and a friend came over to ride Star for 30 minutes so I figured as long as I had him saddled I may as well take advantage of it after they left. Occasional shade and a light breeze helped.


Anonymous said...

14.2 miles in 4.5 hours Sunday, July 8th on Twister. (Awesome road riding with Tammy on Dawn. Lots of dirt roads and only four cars. Did see one raccoon.)

Immensely enjoyed the temperature, cool breeze, and great company.


Anonymous said...

#15 on my Bucket List ... See the Grand Canyon ... CHECK.

Terry and I are mid-way through a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. What better way to celebrate 35 years of marriage! (June 4, 1977). NE to CO, thru NM and AZ. First time inside CA And NV. Vegas Strip does not impress this Nebraska girl in the least but the annual Scentsy Convention was AWESOME! (We somehow forgot to see Hoover Dam ... Oops.) Zion
Canyon is a must for all to see! Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell then on to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Encountering a 5x7 bull Elk In velvet a mere five yards off the roadway was no less spectacular than The Canyon. If I had to sum all in one word ... WOW!

On to the North Rim tomorrow and a night's stay in the famous Grand Canyon Lodge then on to my brother's in UT. Later through CO on the way home. Blessed to be able to visit other family members in AZ and CO. Do wish Nebraska could experience at least some of the rainfall and lower temps We've had along the way.

Turned our non-horse vacation into another part of my bucket list to check off (Ride a horse in 5 or more states). NE, IA, IL and now UT ... SD is next.

2.51 miles on July 29th in 1.25 hours at Zion Canyon near Springdale, UT. Chili Pepper (Aka "Pepper"), a Blue Roan QH gelding, was my horse. Besides the beauty of the surrounding canyon walls we also saw a 3x3 and a spike mule deer. What a ride!! I will post photos when we return next week.

176.75 MILES year to date

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

YES! By all means, please do the Distance Derby again in 2013! It has been the single greatest motivation in riding this year, except of course knowing that I needed to put some serious miles on my horses. They (and I) aren't getting any younger!

My only suggestion is to NOT split the leader board. I believe it conveys a feeling of "winners vs losers" (top/bottom) which is unnecessary. I would rather just look at which "place" everyone is in. Sound silly? Not to others. :)

I truly appreciate your hard work and dedication to put this together and stick with it throughout the year!!!! I look forward to the rest of this year because we still have lots of miles yet to log. I, for one, welcome another year of the Derby and know it will be interesting and exciting to see how differently some may motivate next year now that we have had this year of wet saddle blanket time!!!

Thanks for all you do!


Anonymous said...

Sorry ... I forgot that the leader board was split due to technical issues. My bad. :-(


Anonymous said...

10.4 miles in 3.5 hours on Star on 08/16/12 with Tammy and Apache. 3.2 mph average.

This was a much-needed trail ride for all of us, people and horses alike. "Life is what happens when you're making plans." Enough said. When one chapter of my life closed, another one opened. Ride on.

NOTE: Haven't had time to do anything with vacation photos yet.


Anonymous said...

8.14 miles in 3.5 hours on Star this morning at Turkey Creek. 2.7 mph average. Tammy on Apache and I were trail guides for three new friends from Kansas. Saw lots of deer and had a great time!

5.45 miles in 2.25 hours on Star this afternoon with Tammy and Brenda W. at Turkey Creek. 2.8 mph average. Saw more does and fawns. What a great day to ride!

200.74 MILES YEAR TO DATE!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

6.29 miles in 2.75 hours on Star this evening at Maskenthine Lake near Stanton, NE. 2.8 mph average. This summer it has been rewarding to reminisce over years past. He is now 11 years old. I raised him (and Twister, Rain, and Sandy Fox). It used to be Star that wouldn't load in a trailer, Star that wouldn't cross a bridge, and me that struggled frequently with him. Now it is Star leading trail rides more easily, Star crossing a bridge first, Star crossing water easily, and both of us enjoying each adventure immensely. We've both come a long way.

There were eight riders tonight (Tammy, Joyce, Lisa, Seth, Mark, Joan, Robin, and myself). Another great evening with great friends and great horses. Memories!!! We saw five deer ... always a highlight!

We were all thrilled to discover the new outhouse and pole light recently installed! We were told they are creating a horse obstacle course on the north trail! Can't wait to see it upon completion! The year just keeps getting better and better.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

6.65 miles in 1.75 hours on Star on 09/05/12 at Willow Creek near Pierce, NE. Duty called so we couldn't start with the other riders so we had to speed up to catch up. At the end of the ride we wished for a full moon for some light but made it safely back to the trailers in the dark. Star is a trooper.

Seven riders and great company as usual.

Moving average 4.0 mph. Maximum 10.7 mph.


Anonymous said...

6.22 miles in 2.25 hours on Twister near home. (Hadn't ridden her since July 8th ... time flies! Geesh!) Tammy and Apache joined me and we took a new route around the west sections. Encountered a herd of ferocious Longhorns! Yikes! LOL

This was Twister's first time leaving home on foot. She survived but she was wondering at first. ugh How often do we do the "easy" things when what the horses need is to do the hard thing?s Star progressed nicely this Spring doing the "hard" things. Twiter will progress too if I remembered to not take the "easy" way out.

Meanwhile, Sandy Fox is home at last. She's been away since April. We are all thrilled to have her home, especially Katie the pony.

3.0 mph moving average, 8.4 mph maximum, 2.7 mph overall


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

5.25 miles in 2.25 hours this morning on Star (with Tammy on Apache and Lisa on Pal).

3.71 miles in 2 hours this afternoon on Star (with Tammy on Apache). All at Turkey Creek near Newcastle, NE.

We set no speed records but then again, we weren't trying. Relaxing, refreshing, awesome!


Anonymous said...

2.00 miles in 2 hours September 22nd on Twister at Willow Creek near Pierce, NE. The morning was spent watching and participating in a mini trail riders' challenge hosted by Purina. It was relaxing to just ride around some, and sit on Twister just talking with friends.

8.01 miles in 3 hours on Twister on the afternoon Annual Purina trail ride. Willow Lake is VERY empty in many spots, however the east end was a beautiful sparkling blue where we saw two Blue Herons. I enjoyed the changing Fall colors. Although crisp and chilly in the morning the afternoon weather was PERFECT! I met up with old friends and made some new ones. There were 33 in attendance this morning and an estimated 50 for the afternoon trail ride.


Anonymous said...

Finally back to riding after stuff to do and a week-long trip to Wisconsin to see family and enjoy the awesome Fall colors. I wish we had more trees here!

22nd ANNUAL FROSTY PUMPKIN TRAIL RIDE hosted by Sid & Karen MacLaren at Ponca, NE:

8.24 miles in 3.5 hours October 13th on Twister at Ponca, NE. There were 22 riders. I saw one deer (well two including one deceased unfortunately). This ride was a little more challenging than normal but we immensely enjoyed riding in the ravines as well as some open areas. Twister is a trooper. (2.9 mph moving average)

12.00 miles in 4.5 hours today on Star at Ponca, NE. There were 47 riders. Tammy joined us today and rode Apache. Star and Apache are best buddies. More miles were covered today because we were in more open areas. There were plenty of miles through the trees too. We saw two deer. 3.l mph moving average, 11 mph maximum, 2.7 mph overall


Anonymous said...

2.4 miles in one hour today on a 23-year-old bay QH named Bill near Allen, NE. Trying out the horse for my great niece from SD at a friend's house. Wish I could have ridden at Turkey Creek all weekend but weather, a vendor show, and our granddaughter's volleyball game prioritzed my time. I was happy to get to ride today in this gorgeous 72-degree October weather!


Anonymous said...

4.22 miles in 1.25 hours today on Star at home. I couldn't pass up the chance to ride in near perfect weather. The only thing missing was the sun but it didn't matter. Star was a good boy as usual. 3.5 mph average, 3.3 mph overall, 12.3 mph maximum


Anonymous said...

.48 miles in 20 minutes Friday, October 26th on a 14-year-old QH/TB cross named Banco near Wakefield, NE. Trying out another horse for my great niece.


Anonymous said...

4.04 miles in 1.25 hours this afternoon on Star at home. After finishing a project outside I just HAD to ride! The wind had subsided and I had been working outside all day without a coat. I did put on a jacket and wish I had put on my new "beanie" that I bought to use with my helmet but I didn't. I WILL next time.

Within 10 minutes of starting to ride it began misting. Oh well, I didn't get wet enough to melt and we need the moisture. The only hazard was a very loud, too close for the horse's comfort, gun shot from over the hill west of our place when I was almost done riding. I'm glad I had ahold of Star. 3.3 mph average, 3.2 mph overall, 13.4 mph maximum


Anonymous said...

6.45 miles in 2 hours 11/14/12 on Star at home. We rode in the corn field east of our place, with permission of course. 3.3 mph average, 3.1 mph overall, 13.0 mph maximum

6.84 miles in 3 hours 11/19/12 on Twister at Turkey Creek with Tammy A. and Brenda W. As usual it was a gorgeous ride with great friends and awesome horses. We saw 15 deer. 2.9 mph average, 2.2 mph overall, 8.0 mph maximum.


Anonymous said...

5.64 miles in 2 hours 11/20/12 on Star at home. 2.9 mph moving average, 2.7 mph overall, 11.0 mph maximum

5.68 miles in 2 hours 11/21/12 on Twister at Tammy's. Despite the high winds we enjoyed the ride in bean fields and on the roads. 3.2 mph moving average, 3.0 mph overall, 11.9 mph maximum.


Anonymous said...

9.37 miles in 3 hours this afternoon on Star at home. 3.3 mph moving average, 3.1 mph overall, 12.3 mph maximum

Another goal was achieved for 2012 as I passed the 300 mile mark! I am still amazed that 100 of those miles was ridden in June. I'm still having fun and am eager to see what my total miles for the year will be.


Anonymous said...

Correction to a statement I made on 12/2/12 posting. I did not ride 100 miles in June. It should have said that it took until the end of May to accumulate the first 100 miles. I must have been tired. ha

Anonymous said...

4.50 miles in 1.5 hours this afternoon on Star at home. We had to play cat and mouse with the farmer disking his field but it broke up the monotony of riding alone. Star will walk up to a loud tractor sitting still in the same yard but the idea of having the monstor following him unnerves him. LOL 3.0 mph moving average, 10.7 mph maximum, 2.9 mph overall

5.88 miles in 2 hours on Star in the fields and on the road with Tammy on Apache. It was nice to see a pheasant since they are scarce even though it did surprise all of us. 3.2 mph moving average, 9.7 mph maximum, 3.1 mph overall


Anonymous said...

3.42 miles in one hour on 12/11/12 on Star at home. Gorgeous day! Stayed out of the wind and enjoyed the ride! 3.4 mph moving average, 12.1 mph maximum, 3.3 mph overall

3.25 miles in one hour on 12/13/12 on Star at home. Another gorgeous day with a cool breeze. 3.1 mph moving average, 7.4 mph maximum, 2.9 mph overall.


JUANITA said...

I have had a ball giving that christine a fun headache. for those who wonder if I ride this much, all they have to do is try and follow me for a 3 day weekend and know I will be the one that is not sore or my horses. I parents lived in Piecre, Nebr for a time years ago, Message me on FB

Anonymous said...

As we say during our weekly card games with friends when we wish we had played a card or our hand differently, "Woulda, shoulda, coulda."

Pertaining to riding ...

Woulda ridden indoors yesterday as planned (Dec. 29th) but I had the flu. ugh

Shoulda ridden December 18th as planned when it was 45 degrees out but it was too muddy (and I became an official weenie thinking it was too cold).

Coulda ridden so much more this year but didn't.

Thus ends my riding for 2012. I am not in the least bit discouraged. Instead I am pumped and ready to start 2013!