Archives for October 2021

Sunday, October 31, 2021 – A Ride At Last!

Hi Babe!
Well, sensible me was in bed by 11:00, but a lot of the rest of the gang hung around the campfire until after 3:00 this morning, though I put my earplugs in so they didn’t bother me at all. Of course, they overindulged a bit (they deserved it!), so we were a bit late starting this morning, and several folks that had said they were going to come riding with us ended up not being fit enough, but Pistol was determined, so I started saddling up in time to leave around 11:00. One of their friends, a guy named Mike, decided to come along, so I put him on Apollo and saddled up Flash. Pistol and Doc were riding stock horses, so the three of them did fine together, but of course, Flash was in the mood to go, go, go, as usual. In fact, it was him running willy nilly around the pasture this morning that woke me up! He was jumping and leaping over piles of limbs, having himself a good old time! He was mostly okay on the trail today, we got slowed down a lot because there was a lot of water on the trail. Apparently it’s typically swampy out there, and with last week’s big rain, it was especially swampy, so lots of wading today! We only went for less than six miles, but it was a nice ride, so good to be back in the saddle again! I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I’ve been riding! But then, I’ve been really busy. Once we got back from the ride, I started working on the jobs that I still haven’t accomplished. I took the wheel off the trailer, hoping to try to get past the drum to see what shape the brake shoes were in, but only got so far. Then I started working on the tailgate, banging away at it, when Cowboy came out and gave me a hand. He was brilliant! It took a couple of hours, but by the time we got done, I got a fully functional tailgate that opens and closes just fine! It’s got a few bends and dents in it, but hey, I’m all about function, not form! It works! That’s all the matters. Sorry to say it looks like I won’t get my steps welded in, but I’ve already spoken to the hostess at my next stop, and she seems to think she’s got someone there who can help. I loaded the old tire on the truck, and, surprise, surprise, FedEx finally let me know that my tire won’t be coming today, but it will come tomorrow. Cowboy also helped me diagnose my brakes, there’s no way I’m taking them all apart just to look at them, but he told me what to look and listen for when I adjust them that will clue me in on how good or bad the shoes are, so I guess I’m good on that at the moment. So all I have to do tomorrow is get the new tired mounted and put back on the trailer, and a trip to Tractor Supply and Walmart for supplies, and I’ll be out of here, probably on Tuesday if all goes well! I’ve enjoyed my stay, but I’m looking forward to being at a trailhead and doing a lot more riding again! So I’m off to shower and bed, my love! Good night!

Saturday, October 30, 2021 – Halloween Party!

Hey Sweetie!
Managed to get to bed nice and early, then woke up around 3:30, but fell asleep after awhile, then slept pretty late, so fairly refreshed in the morning. As soon as breakfast and chores were done, I threw in with Pistol and Travis do to some more decorating, then went out with Pistol to do some last minute shopping, which included the nuts and bolts I needed to do the welding job on the steps. I also got the number of a welding company and called them to see about them coming out to weld my step bolts, but they wanted $100 just for the service call, and then the cost of the job on top of that, probably another $75-$100. Maybe I’m stingy, but $200 to weld four bolts seems like an awful lot to me! Anyway, we got some more decorating stuff and a nice little fire pit, and finished up when we got back. We took a break for a couple of hours, then folks started arriving. I was feeding the horses when a family with two boys came over to play with Lola, once they left I got dressed. I don’t have much of a “costume” for Halloween, so I just put on one of my split skirts that I got for the cattle drive we went on, my stars and stripes Western shirt we got for that cookware convention nearly twenty years ago (and I rarely wear), my black vest, black hat and black boots, and went as a parade-ready cowgirl, I guess you’d call it. If I’d had a couple of six-shooters, I guess I could have been Annie Oakley or Calamity Jane (though I think she mostly wore pants!), but sans irons, I was just a cowgirl. I think it was a great success! There were about 15 kids, and I’m sure they all made lifelong memories tonight! There was plenty of food, the kids threw the ball for Lola, we all went on a hay ride behind a tractor driven by Pistol through the neighborhood (Lola joined us!), they smashed a pinata full of treats, bobbed for apples (they had to empty and refill the tub because Lola had used it as a bath whenever she got warm from fetching!) and just had a plain old good time! The adults finished the evening with a couple of shots of Crown Royal and sitting around the fire pit for a bit. I finally called it a night around 10:00, returning to the trailer for a cup of tea, shower and bed, in that order! Won’t be long out of bed tonight! Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Friday, October 29, 2021 – Decorating Day

Hey Darlin’!
Had a hard time getting to sleep last night, so I ended up sleeping late this morning. Right after chores and breakfast, Pistol’s son Travis came home from running errands and we started working on decorating the carport for the Halloween party tomorrow. We hung up monsters and cobwebs and lights, pressure washed the tables, the apple dunking buckets and half the floor. Couldn’t do the other half yet because there’s a tractor there, but Pistol’s ex Cowboy and and finished fixing it and we got it moved out around dusk. I’ll finish it off in the morning. Meanwhile, Pistol came home from work, tried to take a nap because she’s got to go out and work a night shift until 2 a.m.! I also spent a little time in between decorating banging on my tailgate nob, trying to get it in a workable place. Seems like I’ve moved it a tiny bit, but it’s hard to tell. I’ll keep at it, maybe I can get some help from someone that’s stronger than me and my 2 lb. sledge. I ordered a tire to replace a bad one on the trailer, FedEx says it will be here Sunday now. Yeah, I’ll believe that when I see it! So obviously I won’t be leaving here on Monday, but hopefully it won’t take long to finish it off. I’m hoping I can take a look at the brakes on the wheel when I take the tire off, just to see what kind of shape the shoes are in, figure if one is good or bad, the rest will be similar, and I’ll know what to do about it then. Anyway, I’m determined to go to bed early, I’m feeling really tired from these short nights, so I’m signing off early. Good night, Baby! Love you!

Thursday, October 28, 2021 – Rainy Day

Hi Babe!
Woke up early just as it was starting to rain here, and it ended up raining most of the day. Pistol and I went out to breakfast at a nice little grill she likes, then down to a place called Pet Creations, which had the least expensive hay. Pistol wants some hay for her Halloween hay ride, and Tractor Supply was getting almost $11 a bale! Here we got it for about $8 for coastal, which I guess is typical around here. Couldn’t find any haymakers advertising, so it was the best we could do. Anyway, while we were waiting for the rain to slow down enough to load the hay, we wandered around her shop, where she had lots of critters, birds and fish. She was actually feeding the birds, and it was incredible. Apparently for the first year of a tropical bird’s life, the mother actually feeds it, so now the shopkeeper has to do it until they’re old enough. That entails mixing peanut butter with water and some powder, putting it into a syringe with a small rubber tube on the end, then putting the tube all the down the birds throat and squeezing the syringe. It sounds and looks a little horrifying, but the birds were more than willing, in fact, eager, to have their gullet filled that way. Amazing the things you can learn every day! As the rain started to let up a little, we took a quick trip down to a little family hardware store to get a plastic drop cloth to cover the hay (I forgot to bring my tarp), and chatted with the owners there for a few minutes before heading back. We had to wade through water in the driveway to get to the trailer box that had the hay, and it was still sprinkling, but we managed to get it covered before it got very wet. When we got back to the house, I put my tarp on top as extra protection, glad I did because there were numerous downpours through the day. Happy to report, though, that the sealing job I did on the awning apparently worked, not a drop underneath it, it was dry as a bone, yay! I spent some time on Pistol’s computer, showing her how to use Google Earth and giving her all of my data about horse camps that I have on mine. Then she went to take a nap and I came back and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening holed up in the trailer. The rain eventually stopped late in the afternoon, though the sun really didn’t make it out before dark. Watched a cute movie, have taken my shower, now it’s off to bed! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Wednesday, October 27, 2021 – A Quieter Day

Hi Sweetie! A good night sleep, though once again I was woken up by the earth shaking and a dull roar. I stayed in bed past nine, though, I still felt tired. Getting into the crash phase that happens when I do too much physical labor too many days in a row. I decided to keep things simple today, and not doing anything too physical. I flushed out the blackwater tank a couple of times, cleaned one spot on the awning, soldered a little flashlight that had quit working, and I discovered it was a problem inherent with these lights that a wire comes undone, but the flashlight has no visible means to crack it open. Of course, online there were several DIYers that managed to find a way, so I did the same, and sure enough, a wire came undone and soldering solved the problem! Relaxed most of the rest of the day, read a bit, watched a movie, and then was highly entertained when six Canadian geese flew into the yard. Lola watched them come in, then very casually started walking toward them, seeming to round them up, but she did it so slowly that the horses, especially Flash, evidently got frustrated watching and came around to round them up for her! What a riot! Flash actually looked at Lola a couple of times as if to say, “See? This is how you do it! Why aren’t you watching me?” So funny! I’ll try to load up the video, not sure I have the bandwidth for it, we’ll see. Pistol came home, then went right out again to get some lumber for the new floor of her flatbed trailer, which she plans on using for a Halloween hay ride for the kids in the neighborhood. I feel more rested today, and I think with another good night sleep I’ll feel a lot better tomorrow, more able to help Pistol with her party preparations. That said, I’m off for my shower and bed. Good night, darlin’! Love you!

Tuesday, October 26, 2021 – Lots of Busy Jobs Done

Hi Darlin’!
Woke up to the shaking of the ground a bit this morning, as the construction zone next to Pistol’s house got busy at around 7:30. No worries, I had a lot to do today. After chores and breakfast, I headed out to Home Depot,where I picked up a new one of those expandable trellises to use as a divider in the back of the trailer, plus some hardware to fix the pull cable that’s on the trailer, the one that unlocks the hitch ball as it raises off the truck. One of the cable clamps had some undone, plus the plastic that covers the cable finally wore through, so I did an upgrade that (hopefully) prevent that from happening again. While I was working on that, I noticed that there were loose bolts around the actual stanchion that connects to the hitch, so I had to work at tightening those up. I’ve been hearing and feeling some clunking what I brake and accelerate, I’m thinking this might resolve that. My first job was to service the generator, a long overdue job, but discovered that neither of my oil wrenches would fit this tiny filter, so Travis ended up calling a buddy who had the right wrench, but couldn’t come over till about 6:00. No worries, I had plenty of other stuff to do. I put a second layer of sealant on the front cap of the trailer, and also on the awning, because when it rained yesterday, the awning still leaked a bit. I had been getting low on sealant so I scrimped a little, so it clearly wasn’t enough, a second and much thicker layer was in order. It’s supposed to rain on Thursday, so I guess that will be the test! It was 5:00 before I finally settled down with a beer (yay, FINALLY got some Black & Tan at the Walmart today!) I also got fuel, $3.53 a gallon with the discount, I had half a tank and it still cost me $80 to fill up! Grrr! Cord, Pistol’s mechanic friend, showed up shortly afterward with a really cool adjustable oil filter wrench and managed to get the filter off for me. We couldn’t figure out an easy way to drain the oil (though I looked at a video later and discovered one!), so he pulled out a oil transfer pump and rigged that up and we drained it that way. I thought about getting one, but then I learned about the petcock valve, so I cancelled that. I did order one of those filter wrenches, though, it will work on almost any size filter, and is super easy to use, works with a ratchet. Cord also pointed out one of the my trailer tires, and it’s in really bad shape. I had noticed it had a flat spot on it, but now it was turned in such a way as to see another section that was not only bald, but right down to the steel belts, so I ordered a tire online as well. Problem is, the brand I’ve been using is still out of stock everywhere, but I found another one, made by the same Chinese company, that looks like it’s exactly the same, so I ordered one, hoping it works! Not sure it will get here in time for me to leave next Monday, may have to stay an extra couple of days to get that done. I also would like to get my brake pads looked to see if they need replacing, but need some help to do that. Pistol says she has someone who can help, we’ll see. Anyway, we got the generator services with new oil and a new air filter, so we’re good to go on that. Chatted for awhile, fed the horses around dusk, then we parted for the evening, and I settled down. Feeling very tired, haven’t had a day off in so long! I might take one (or part of one) tomorrow, unless some other job rears its’ ugly head on me! Meanwhile, I’ve had my soup, watched my TV, now I’m sipping my Sleepytime tea and will soon be off for my shower and bed! Good night, babe! Love you!

Monday, October 25, 2021 – Travel Day to Pistol’s

Hey Babe!
After a pretty good night sleep, I got up around 8:00 and finished packing up and moving out. I was on the road by about 9:30 after saying goodbye to Tami. My first stop was the Love’s Travel Center in Dublin, with the intention of using the RV dump and topping off my fuel tank, neither of which I ended up doing. The first thing that happened was when I turned in, I heard a crunching sound, and immediately knew that something was going on with my tailgate. I only latched one side, since the other side wouldn’t unlatch with the handle, and somewhere along the line it had jumped loose, so my “new to me” tailgate is crunched up a little. Don’t know if it’s fixable or if this time I need to go to a real body shop and get it taken care of right, we’ll see later. I tied it up with a rope the best I could then went hunting for the RV dump. The signage was terrible, and I ended up having to go inside and ask where it was, turns out I was practically parked in front of it, but it was on a stretch of curb that made it literally impossible to get close enough to it to use it. Seriously! If I pulled along the curb, my front end was right up against the propane pump, and the dump was about even with the back tires of the truck, absolutely ridiculous! I abandoned that idea, so then I drove around the building to the truck pumps. Usually the only pump with a “car” sized handle rather than a huge truck handle (which I end up having to pump slowly because it comes out so fast it immediately turns itself off) is the pump nearest the building. So I pulled in behind a big truck that was there for a couple of minutes. There didn’t seem to be any activity on the pump so I got out to check that it had the smaller handle, only to see that it wasn’t really a pump at all, the truck was just parked there! Okay, so forget that, I wasn’t going to wait around, so I pulled around the pump and headed around the station to finish the same circle I started, only to see that there was no exit! I had to make a giant u-turn and go all the way back around the building to the way I came in. Seriously, I’ve never seen a more poorly designed truck stop in my life. So I failed to accomplish either of my intended goals, I just got on the freeway and headed out. I finally stopped at a Marathon about 80 miles later just to top off my tank (I can’t believe diesel is up to $3.89 a gallon!), re-tied my tailgate back on because it had slipped again, then continued on. Driving the freeway was uneventful, then I got off on US 27 and came in that way. Unfortunately, Google Maps screwed me up and tried to bring me in from the north side, even though that road dead ends in the middle of a forest. Well, it doesn’t actually dead end, it turns into a mud-filled four wheel drive mess. I knew it didn’t look right so I called Pistol to confirm it was the wrong end of the road, which she did, and I had to back up about a hundred yards to another road and carefully turn around, avoiding ditches on both sides. There was a guy in a truck there who confirmed that there are potholes filled with water that would come up to the grill on his truck, so I DEFINITELY would have gotten stuck if I had gone that way! Anyway, in another ten minutes I was pulling into her driveway the RIGHT way, and with the help of her son Travis, got the horses in their nice pasture and the trailer backed up and in place. The whole trip, the radio kept saying it was mostly sunny skies, but it was gray, cloudy and occasionally rainy the whole trip! I had two bales of hay in the back of the truck, because the forecast had said sunny skies. Thanks again, weather forecasters! Just as I got backed into place, the heaviest rain of all came in, but I was able to throw my tarp over the hay just in time, so hopefully they’ll still be good. Shortly after that, Pistol came home, we chatted, then she had to run out and do some stuff, and I had to get my electric hooked up, as well as finally dump into her sewer system, which worked just fine. She brought pizza when she got back and we ate and chatted for a bit, but we both called it an early night. I’m really crashing after all the activity, so it’s off to shower and bed very soon! Good night, my sweet! Love you!

Sunday, October 24, 2021 – More Work, Finally Made Myself Stop

Hi Sweetie,
Slept soundly, though I did fret a bit about the problem I’m having with the front cap on the trailer, but after chores and breakfast, I took another look at it, and decided the best and thankfully easiest route would be to put a bead of sealant along the edge and then use Gorilla tape to hold it in place while it’s drying, then after I get down to Florida, put another layer on, and hopefully that will do it. So that’s what I did, and it seemed to work okay. I’ll have a better idea how well once I make the 250 mile journey, see how it holds up. Anyway, I got that job done, spent some time cleaning the front cap since it had so many streaks in it from all the different things I tried using to get the hold adhesive off. I started doing laundry first thing, since I suddenly remembered that my plan had been to do all the extra things that I only do occasionally, like the mattress cover and all the blankets, plus all the rags I’ve been using, so I was doing laundry nonstop all day. Then I remember I still had to do the seam on the awning where it meets the hard cover, it tends to drip whenever it rains, and I’ve been meaning to do that for awhile. On the way down from the roof, I got a tube of red tack grease out of the oil change box and cleaned and lubricated the hitch, which I’ve also been meaning to do for a few weeks, plus rubbed some on the jack stanchions, as they’ve been squeaking a little bit. I put a few things away as well, though not as much as I usually too, just too tired. When I finally sat down in my chair outside, I practically fell asleep! Just stopping made my body want to shut down. So I read for a bit, grilled a brat, then later put that and Lola’s ball machine away. Tami came by and gave me almost a full bale of hay, so now I have a couple of extra. Good thing there’s no rain in the forecast, fingers crossed! Tami came by again in the evening and we chatted again for awhile, enjoying her company, but finally had to kick her out just after 9:00 because I still had some things to do and I wanted to get to bed fairly early. Just put my last load in the dryer (after 9:30), so I’m heading out for my shower once the water heats up and I finish my tea, then off to bed, with fortunately, I made earlier so I can slip right in! So I’ll say good night, my darling! Love you!

Saturday, October 23, 2021 – Got My Mail, Another Busy Day!

Hi Darlin’,
Another good night sleep, another busy day! I took some ibuprofen last night just to make sure the aches and pain didn’t wake me too early, so I slept like a baby, thank goodness! After chores and breakfast, I ran back into town to pick up my package, and as soon as I got back I installed it, so now I have a working CO2 monitor AND my kitchen light, which was on the same circuit. I also dropped down the air conditioning framework to see if I could figure out where a strange puddle came from, but there were no obvious signs it came from there, but I washed out the filter while I had it apart. Finally, I got back to waxing the rest of the trailer, and finished the job just as my wax ran out, perfect timing! Then I looked at the front cap of the trailer, figuring I would just reseal it, but it’s turning out to be a bit more complicated than that, the front piece of aluminum is actually pulling away from the trailer, so I started trying to get off all the old sealant, not an easy task, and brushed a bunch of rust neutralizer along it, since it seems a little rusty up there. Not bad, but I don’t want it to get any worse. It’s supposed to dry in 24 hours, but I’m going to tackle the problem in the morning, the most challenging being how to hold the piece in place after I seal it, as there’s no way to clamp it. I have an idea, don’t know if it will work, we’ll see in the morning. I also compounded off some paint overspray I had forgotten was up there, washed the windows, pounded a couple of things back into place, cleaned the gutters out better, and generally just kept cleaning, since I seem to be on a cleaning tear right now! Finally quit around 5:00 again, had my grilled burger and settled down for the evening. Tami walked up and we chatted for a couple of hours, we’re getting along like a house on fire, and she gave me some GREAT ideas for some stopovers on my trip north next summer. Apparently there are a number of trail associations like here at Mingo trails that have properties they maintain for horse camping and trail riding, she gave me some names, and the idea to research for more, so hopefully I’ll have a whole new bunch of camps, yay! Tired again, not surprisingly, and I have another busy non-riding day tomorrow, so I’m heading off to shower and bed momentarily! Love you, babe! Good night!

Friday, October 22, 2021 – Run Into Town, Trailer Partly Washed and Waxed

Hi Babe,
Another good night sleep, despite someone nearby running their air conditioner all night, not sure what that’s all about, it’s been beautiful weather. Whatever! After chores and breakfast, I started to wax one of the panels on the trailer, and realized that despite my washing it yesterday, it still had a lot of black streaks and water stains, so I decided I had to take care of that first. After realizing those old cans of Streak Away weren’t going to work, I discovered a video yesterday that claimed a product from a Dollar Store, called LA’s Awesome Cleaner would do the job. Though the video was compelling, I was still a skeptic, but with no other ideas to hand, I headed into town. First I went to the post office to follow up on my package, which they were now saying wouldn’t be here until MONDAY, but set it up with the postmistress that if it came in earlier she would call me, and I could either come and get it or she would arrange to have it delivered via the carrier. Then I went to the Dollar General, the only store in town (the place is about the size of Altamont!) and sure enough, they had a half gallon of the cleaner, so I got that and a small spray bottle and headed back. Amazingly, the stuff really worked! I had to apply it a couple of times on the tough spots, but it worked almost as well as the old stuff, with a little elbow grease. So then I had to pretty much wash the whole trailer by hand again to get all the marks off, then I started applying the wax. What a job! There’s no easy way to was a 47′ trailer! I only got one side done, and it’s not coming out quite as good as I had hoped. I’m using a high end Maguires ceramic wax, which I had high hopes for, but it’s not quite doing the job. I guess there’s too much oxidation in the paint, so that means next time I do this, I’ll probably have to do a little compounding on it first. Oh, joy! Another two days of work. I was so exhausted by 4:30 I didn’t even have the energy to walk down to my neighbor Tami’s trailer, which I said I would do when she rode by earlier in the day, but later, she came up and visited with me for a few hours anyway, which was very enjoyable. Oh, and an hour after I got back from town, the postmistress called to say my package had arrived! I think I’ll just go and pick it up, though, don’t want to take any chances on not getting it tomorrow. I’m exhausted, had an ice pack on my knee all evening, more than ready for my shower and bed, so good night, sweetie! Love you!