Archives for November 2020

Monday, Nov. 30, 2020 – Travel Day to Near Goethe State Forest

Hi Babe,
Up early with the alarm after having it rain all evening and most of the night. I was fortunate that there was a break yesterday to feed the horses, there was so much rain in the last twelve hours! It quit a couple of hours before I had to get up, though, and I got busy packing right away. I decided just to have some bread and butter to take with me to eat later, made some coffee and started loading up. It all went pretty smoothly, Flash doesn’t hesitate at all any more getting into the trailer, which is a big help. We managed to be on the road by 8:30! It was a pleasant trip, though we were fighting a little crosswind, but I’m so heavy I hardly noticed, and the weather improved as we went along, getting less cloudy and much warmer, into the upper 60’s by the time I arrived. I stopped for fuel at a Shell in Hahira to top off at cheap Georgia fuel prices before hitting Florida, knowing that I didn’t have enough to get me all the way anyway. Next stop was the ag station, and this time a guy came out rather than me going in, he barely looked at the paperwork and didn’t even ask me for my drivers’ license, which is really unusual. Suffice to say, it didn’t take long to get through the inspection station! I arrived just before 2:30, earlier than I originally planned, but was happy for the extra time to relax later. I had no trouble at all getting backed into the spot they chose for me, a nice little corner, and water and electric were close by, and setup was really easy. The paddock is really big, almost a small pasture, so the horses immediately rolled as soon as they got in there. This is going to be perfect for three weeks! I got my rug and lawn chairs out, but not the screen room yet, because it’s going to be too cold for the next day or two, but I should put that out, and my barbecue as well, later in the week. It’s going down into the mid-30’s here tonight, so I put the blankets on the horses at dinnertime, but it was forecast to be 26 degrees at Mingo Trails, so I’m happy to be here! And the highs will be in the 70’s by Thursday, so I’m a happy camper. It was worth the long drive, and since so much of it was on the freeway, it was very straightforward. Lola has plenty of room to wander, and she got along fine with my host’s two dogs, so I think it’s going to be pleasant for all of us. The only fly in the ointment today is my knee, which really feels like I’ve blown it out completely, I could barely walk for the first few steps every time I tried, though it would feel better the more I walked. I hope it straightens itself out, or I will surely be looking for an orthopedist when I get down to Jupiter. I settled down for the rest of the day and the evening, luxuriating in the free time, though I’ll be off to bed soon after my tea and shower. Good night, darlin’! Love you

Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 – Busy Prep Day

Hi Darln’,
Since they had music playing again last night, I put in my earplugs and slept well again, yay! I got up early and immediately started putting things away while I was feeding the horses, because the forecast is calling for rain to start around 2:00 and I need to get out early tomorrow so I didn’t want to leave anything to be done that wasn’t necessary. I also adjusted the brakes again, I realized that I misunderstood something I read and didn’t do it right, so I had to go back and do it again, with much better results. Of course, that meant hooking the trailer up, so when I was finished I just raised the trailer up to make it level, and in the morning all I’ll have to do is drop it and put the safety chains and electric on, easy peasy. I’ve left the jiffy jack in front of the left hand wheel so that I can run up on it and get the slide in a lot easier that way. Then all I have to do is get the horses in and do my last minute cleanup and put horse stuff away and I’ll be on my way! I’m hoping to be out by 9:00 so I can get to my destination between 3:00-4:00, and of course, I have to get through the ag station, which takes a little time. Plus since it’s nearly 300 miles, I’m going to have to stop for fuel at least once as well, so I’m working that into the schedule, too. It’s going to be a long day! But then I’ll be at the same place for nearly three weeks, so I can rest, put my screen room up, and do all the longer-term things I haven’t been able to do lately since I’ve taken so many short hops lately. Then I spent the afternoon doing laundry while binge-watching the Hallmark series I’ve been enjoying, so at least the afternoon was restful. I also retrieved my macaroni salad, which I’m sorry to say didn’t get eaten too much, so I had to bag that up and freeze some, and put the rest in the refrigerator, so Lola and I will be eating a lot of macaroni salad in the coming days! I’m just about done for the day, enjoying my cup of tea now, and will be heading to the shower and bed soon! Love you sweetie! Good night!

Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020 – Lazy Binge Day

Hey Sweetie,
Between the loud music they were playing in the clubhouse and the storm that was due to come in overnight, I put in my earplugs and ended up having a great night sleep. It was still raining when I got up, and it was cloudy and damp all day, so I decided not to ride today. In fact, I decided not to do much of anything today. Since I’ve decided to drive straight through to my central Florida stop on Monday, nearly 300 miles, I decided to catch up on some rest today so I can do everything I need to do to get ready tomorrow. Other than binge-watching a series on Netflix that I’ve been watching, and pulling out the breadmaker, I did little else but basic chores today. I had bought some bread last week, but when I went to toast some this morning, it had already starting to mold a little bit. I cut off the mold for my toast, but I had half a loaf going bad, and since I don’t plan on shopping until at least the middle of next week, I really needed some bread, so I dragged out my breadmaker and threw a loaf in. I had forgotten what a great butter-delivery device fresh, warm bread is! I made of loaf of French bread with garlic and herbs, and it came out delicious! I had one slice in the afternoon, then another with some chicken noodle soup later on, and it completely stuffed me. So good! At least now I’ll have bread for a few days. I may just decide to make my own bread for awhile anyway, since I’ll have electric for the next couple of months, and it just tastes so much better. Anyway, after an otherwise lazy but restful day, I’m ready for shower and bed, so good night, babe! Love you!

Friday, Nov. 27, 2020 – Long Ride of Flash

Hi Babe!
I had a little trouble sleeping, my knee was aching and Lola was very restless. I ended up having to put earplugs in so I couldn’t hear her moving around so much. She’s not getting enough exercise, but I planned to change that today! After breakfast and chores and a little more trail planning, mostly because I discovered a new map on Mingo’s Facebook page that indicated a couple of trails that were on the old map were now closed, but unfortunately the new map didn’t line up very well, so it took a bit of finagling to get something viable to download onto my GPS. We finally headed out, I got about 100 feet and realized I’d forgotten my hel-hat so I had to go back. Meanwhile, Lola was so excited she was running around in a big circle around the trailer like a mad dog, you know how she gets. Anyway, finally back on the trail, and Flash was ready to move! This is the first place that wasn’t rocky and required boots in a long time, and the footing here is essentially sand, so he really wanted to fly. Unfortunately, though my knee felt somewhat better on the ground this morning, it got a lot worse in the saddle, especially since I was trying to keep him slow, and he wasn’t liking it too much, and I was fighting him a lot of the way. I just didn’t feel secure enough with my sore knee to go faster, so it was a bit of a struggle. It was still an enjoyable ride, though, this place has a lot of interesting sections to it. Some trails are really sandy roads, while others are close and narrow enough to feel like you’re riding through a tunnel of green. There’s also some cultivated pine stands, perfectly straight lines of young evergreens, with all the accompanying sweet smells and soft footing. Though it’s sandy like Florida, there are a few hills here, so that makes for an occasionally interesting change. If I had been more fit, I would have loved to let Flash just go at whatever speed he wanted, but I just didn’t dare today. Near the beginning of the ride we came across a pond, and two mallard ducks went quacking from the shoreline out to the lake, that really got Lola’s attention. Then further along I saw a big wading bird and took a picture, but it never moved as Lola got closer, until I realized it was just a plastic replica! Too funny! We only passed a few other riders, which was amazing considering how many people are here. When I arrived here earlier this week there was only the camp host and a couple of permanent trailers, and as you can see from the pix I took today, the place is PACKED this weekend! So we ended up doing almost 10.5 miles, which pretty much cleared out all the trails here, but I wanted to get it done in case something stopped me from riding Apollo tomorrow, though that’s still the plan. I had to keep my GPS in my hand the whole time, though, because I was weaving in and out of trails like crazy, and I didn’t find that the color of the trails on the map corresponded very well with the markings on the trail. So what else is new? We finally got back to camp in only about 2 hours and 45 minutes, which is pretty good for that distance, and considering I was holding him back so much. I gave him a nice rinse off, than ran out to the Dollar store in Toomsboro because I was running low on dog food, then Jeff and Beth came by to get the grand tour of the trailer and to buy a book. They also helped me get my spare tire back in position, but I had to let most of the air out of it to make it fit. I’ll get out my compressor and fill it up as much as I can tomorrow. After they left, I headed over to the clubhouse to get some leftovers for dinner and to pick up my utensils and containers, which someone had kindly washed. I left the macaroni salad, unfortunately it was in with the deserts and the cover was on tight, so there’s still a lot of it left. I’m moved it to the other refrigeration, hoping that it will be seen more, and maybe someone will take some, otherwise Lola and I will be eating macaroni salad for a week! I heated up dinner and settled down for the evening. Ready for shower and bed now though! And Lola’s been quiet all evening, I hope she stays that way! Good night, darln’! Love you!

Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020 – Thanksgiving Day

Hi Darlin’!
Happy Thanksgiving! I spent most of the morning in the kitchen cooking, making macaroni salad and deviled eggs for the gathering this afternoon, then relaxed a bit in the afternoon, chatted with two of my three brothers, then went over to the pavilion with my offerings, and met some folks and talked with them before and during dinner. Spent most of the time with Jeff and Beth, a couple that lives north of here but are originally from New England. There was plenty of food, and I’m afraid I may be eating leftover macaroni salad for the next week, though they kept it there so that they could put it on a lunch buffet for tomorrow. We split up after dinner to feed horses, then reconvened around their campfire for a few hours with their camp neighbor before coming back for tea and a short program. A nice way to spend Thanksgiving. I’m hoping to get a long ride in tomorrow, though I’m having some problems with my knee today. I’m hoping it’s related to my shoulder, which I’ve been working on a lot the last few days, maybe one of these days it will all straighten itself out. Anyway, I’m hoping Lola won’t be too restless tonight, she’s gotten so little exercise this week. I’ve had to keep her cooped up since there are so many other dogs around. One woman who came in yesterday with a whole bunch of little yippers actually packed up and left early today, I think because she felt guilty her crew would never shut up. I heard they were the last few of a bunch of rescues that came from a puppy mill or something, I don’t know if she’s fostering or she adopted them all, there were at least five of them. Doesn’t matter, there are still a few more yippers left in camp, though they seem to be a bit more quiet most of the time. Anyway, time for shower and bed and read and probably ibuprofen for my knee! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 – Busy, Productive Work Day

Hi Babe,
Not the best night sleep, but I’m pretty sure I’ll sleep well tonight after all the physical labor I did today! It started after breakfast with me putting the newly mounted tire back on the trailer, then adjusting the brakes, then struggling to try to put the spare tire back on the spindles where it gets carried, though I never could get in on there. I’m not sure it will even fit if I get help to put it on, it just doesn’t seem to be able to be lined up properly. I’m wondering if it’s because there’s too much air in it. Remember when I took it off it was down to 60 lbs., half of what it should have been, and I’m thinking maybe that’s the only way to make it fit. So now I have to decide if I want a half-flat spare, or if I want to put it in the back of the truck fully inflated. I think when I get down to brother Jeff’s I’ll see if I can find a shop that will buy it from me, it was more expensive than the tires I’m using now, and it’s got less than 200 miles on it, but it’s just so much thicker than the rest, I really need to match them up. Something to think about once I get down there, just another thing on the long list of chores and repairs I’m going to have to do once I get down there. Sigh… Next I scrubbed down the canvas skirting that goes around the gooseneck, it’s been getting pretty grungy, then I climbed up on the roof of the trailer and scrubbed it down, than I finished washing the rest of the trailer, then I washed the truck, then I climbed back up on the roof to put some sealant around a seam on the front of the gooseneck that looked like the panel was starting to come a little loose at the top, and I certainly don’t want any leaking, especially since they’re calling for rain most of the day tomorrow. I also did a load of laundry in between, just for variety. I did a final scrub of the skirting (Lola decided to leave some footprints on it for me) and hung that up, then I had to rinse the outside as well. Finally, since there’s rain and some possible wind, I put the chairs under the gooseneck inside the skirting to keep them from getting wet overnight. I’m hoping it won’t get so windy I have to pull the awning in, fingers crossed. Oh, and I almost forgot, I started the morning packaging up three books and walking them down to the mailbox. I started a “no shipping” special of the book for the holidays on the Facebook group page, and was delighted to see some orders start to come in. Tomorrow, it’s all about Thanksgiving. I’m starting the day cooking, I’m making my curry macaroni salad and some deviled eggs, and hopefully relaxing a bit before the dinner at 4:00. Hopefully, Friday I’ll finally get a ride in! I was thinking about staying here another week, but they’re calling for temps in the 20’s at night early next week, so I’m hitting the road to go south on Monday. I should probably go on Sunday to beat the weather, but you know how I hate to drive on Sunday, hard to get service if there’s any problems on the road. Anyway, it was deep dusk by the time I finished everything, so I set about getting dinner, an early shower, a couple of programs, now I’m off to bed with my kindle, hopefully I’ll get a better night sleep tonight. Can’t see how I can’t, as tired as I am right now! Good night, baby! Love you!

Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020 – Rest and Runaround Day

Hi Sweetie,
Slept a little later this morning, a good start to a day when my plan was to relax, which I did for the most part, until I got a notification from Fedex that the replacement tire I ordered was due to arrive today, rather than the original delivery date of Friday. I watched it’s progress online, and when it arrived at the tire store, Duncan’s downtown, I headed down there and dropped off the wheel so they could replace it for me. I ran over to Tractor Supply to get a couple of propane tanks filled, then Walmart for a few last minute things for Thanksgiving. Went back to the tire store and picked up the tire, and when I went to pay for it, they wouldn’t let me! Said it was no problem, loaded it up on the truck and sent me on my way! Wasn’t that nice? A lovely holiday gift to me. Love that Southern hospitality! Got back to camp, got my groceries in, fed the horses and settled down for the evening. Not quite as restful a day as I thought it would be, but with a good night sleep, hopefully I’ll be up to doing some heavy lifting tomorrow, like getting the tire put on and adjusting my brakes while I’m at it. We’ll see if I have the energy, I still feel a bit tired from my busy week last week. I did manage to do one load of laundry today, but I have a bunch more to do in the next few days. Not sure how much riding I’ll be doing while I’m here, though there are enough trails for a couple of rides. They charge a $10 a day trail fee here in addition to the camping fee, I still haven’t figured out whether or not it’s worth it to join, I need to do the math and decide if I’m likely to come back here much in the future. But that’s for another day! Right now it’s time for my shower and an early night. Good night darlin’! Love you!

Monday, Nov. 23, 2020 – Travel Day to Mingo Trails, GA

Hi Darlin’,
A good night sleep, a morning of the usual last minute prep, and before I knew it, I was off and on my way right on schedule! First stop was Central GA Equine Center to get the horses’ Extended Equine CVI, which I’ll need to get into Florida soon. I’m sorry to say they charged me nearly three times what I’ve previously paid for the GlobalVetLink EECVI, so despite my initial plan to use them each time I’m on my way to Florida, I’ll be looking for someone else that doesn’t tack on such a heavy premium. Ouch! Then it was another hour to Mingo Trails, all uneventful, thank goodness. Probably the right choice to change the spare out, at least I wasn’t worried about it. It feels like my brakes need adjusting again, so I’ll do that at the same time I switch the spare out. I arrived at Mingo Trails at just before 1:00, and proceeded to get set up. I considered a number of camping spots, but it turned out the best one for me, with the easiest access, was the same one I parked in last time I was here. It didn’t take me too long to get the horses on their highline, get the rug down and the awning and chairs out. I’m going to wait and see about the screen room depending on the fly and bug situation. It’s supposed to get down to the upper 30’s tonight, so I don’t think they’ll be a problem right away! It’s nice to have water and electric for a change, I’m luxuriating by my electric fireplace, and I intend to take a longer shower than usual as well, just for fun. I’ve had a pretty busy week, so I’m thinking of mostly taking the day off tomorrow, though I did have a book sale that I’ve got all ready to go, and fortunately they have a mailbox here so I’ll just walk down and put it in tomorrow morning. Relaxed the rest of the day, settled down for the evening, now I’m off to that long shower and bed. Good night, babe! Love you!

Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020 – Busy Prep Day

Hey Babe,
What a busy day! Lola was quiet last night so I slept pretty well, woke up once and read for awhile, then got back to sleep, fortunately. I decided to change the tire out for the spare, so even before breakfast, while the horses had their feedbags on, I was loosening the lug nuts on the tire, just to make sure I could get them all loose, which I did manage to do, taking down the skirting around the gooseneck, getting out the spare, and generally getting ready to hook up the truck. As tough as this job is even in a quiet campground, it would be much tougher if I had to do it by the side of a road, so I figured better safe than sorry. After breakfast I finished the job, hooking up the truck and rolling it onto the Jiffy Jack, switching the tire out, and getting the old tire in the back of the truck. When I checked the air in the spare it was way down to 60 lbs., so I had to disconnect the truck again and get out the inflator and pump that up. Since I could only run the inflator for 10 minutes, with a 25 minute break in between, I went on to the next chore, which was sewing up Miss Lola’s bed, again. It was a lovely morning so I did it outside. Once that was done, I got out her bed in the back seat of the truck, she’s been tearing into that and pulling the stuffing out of it, so I gathered all the stuffing I could find (which was scattered all over the back seat!), put it back in and sewed that up. Meanwhile, I was topping off all the rest of the tires, which were all down at least 10 lbs., and each tire took the same 10 minutes to do, with a long break in between. After the second dog bed was done, I started mending Flash’s winter blanket. It had a lot of rips and tears in it, so I tackled that. By the time I got done with all of that, the afternoon was almost spent. There were several groups of day riders that came and went, and I spoke a few minutes to most of them, usually because Lola ran out to meet them and teach them how to throw for her. Eventually, I rolled up the awning, put away the chairs and the outdoor rug, and pretty soon had everything put away that I could. I got the truck lined up so that all I have to do is drop the trailer on the hitch in the morning. Other than the horses and their stuff, there’s not much else to do, which is good because I have an appointment with a vet at 11:00 in Fort Valley about two hours away, so I have to get an early start. Another reason I didn’t want to have a blowout on the road. Finally I was finished getting ready around 5:00. Daniel from the barn came by later and I paid him the trail day fee, and a little extra for Christian who ran the ride I tagged along on. Took my shower early so my hair would dry before bed, which is where I’m off to now! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 – Last Ride at FDR

Hi Sweetie,
Lola was restless again last night, and by morning she’d completely ripped the seam of her bed, again. Sigh. I don’t know what gets into her, I thought having taken a ride yesterday she would sleep through the night, but not so! Anyway, I did some work on the computer in the morning, then saddled up Flash for our final ride here. I decided to take the trail to the lake, which turned out to be a lot closer than I thought, and there were a couple of guys there that were literally draining the lake. Not sure what that’s about, but we did manage to find a way around it, then followed the trail to the cabins, which is now the group camping area but originally were housing for the CCC workers that built the place. Once in there, though I tried to find a trail, ended up on a utility line and then a gravel road, but knew I was getting way off the reservation so I had to turn back and retrace my steps. Turned out the only way out was down the road, so I headed that way. I ran into three other women riding, and we ended up chatting for a while in the road. I finally headed back out, cutting back into the woods and taking a different route home. There’s not a huge number of trails here, so I knew my way around (well, almost, I headed the wrong way on one trail), and ended up catching up to a group from the stables so I had to hang back for a bit, then took a bypass trail around the barn and back to the driveway and back to camp. The ladies came back a bit later and we ended up chatting some more. It was a lovely ride, a nice day, once again perfect weather, and Flash behaved beautifully, with lots of energy on the trail but quiet when we were stopped. He’s really becoming a fine trail horse, I couldn’t ask for more. Settled down for the evening with a movie and a new series, now I’m headed to shower, bed and book! Good night, darlin’! Love you!