Sunday, November 20, 2022 – Rainy Ride

Hi Sweetie,
Not a very good night sleep, woke up around 3:30 and never really did get back to sleep. Promised a couple of riders that I’d take them out today, so despite cloudy, gloomy skies and an hour long wait for a wayward husband, we were finally able to start out at about 11:00. It wasn’t too long before the gloom turned into rain, though not a real downpour, just a steady drizzle. That’s why we carry rain gear! Did ten miles, mostly on the yellow trail. The one camper, Luan, is going on the Great Florida Cattle Drive, and she’s been very anxious about it, but seems to be getting a little more confident in herself and her horse, so I think she’ll be all right. But you know me, I’m more of a fair weather rider, and if I’d had my druthers, I’d probably not have ridden today! Still, it was a good workout for Flash as well. I’m just hoping we don’t have a repeat of the weather like we did in 2016! Anyway, After we got back to camp, I had to drive over to Glenn’s to check on the pool, which I’m happy to say is looking better, but I’m still having problems at the lower speeds, so we’re not quite there yet. Got wet on the ride, changed into dry clothes, got wet again working on the pool, had to change clothes again. Did a couple of loads of laundry and finally settled down for the night. Ready for a shower and bed, though with all the drenching I got today, I’m not sure how much of a shower I need! Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Friday, November 18, 2022 – Long Recon Ride on Flash

Hey Babe,
A nice cool night last night, slept like a baby again! Laid in a bit reading as well, finally got moving after 8:00, got the horses fed, then got waylaid with some computer work I hadn’t planned on doing, then just as I was going to fetch Flash, James arrived and we spent a few minutes together. Finally got Flash saddled and on the trail, though it was nearly noon! We did about 11 miles, and found that at least 65 to 75 percent of the trails still had water on them, and even the drier sections were soft and muddy. I’m recommending that we DON’T try to mow next week even though I was hoping to do it for the Thanksgiving crowd. I did put a bunch of temporary clothespin markers out to help keep people on track in those sections where mowing is the only way to see where the trails are, so hopefully no one will get seriously lost. They’ll also help the mowers stay on the trail when the time comes. Got back to camp before 4:00, Flash was in a frisky mood with the cooler weather, and we cantered and largoed a lot today, whenever we were on the road, which was a lot. Lola enjoyed herself as well, and will no doubt sleep tonight, which will be great, as she’s been very restless and has woken me up several times the last few nights. Chatted with some campers for a bit, non-equestrians, but they had dogs and I suggested they might want to use a paddock for a play date. They were here when that rider got lost last spring, so that set us off on a chat about the new trail markers. Finally got back to the trailer, proceeded to settle down for the evening. Planning on getting to bed extra early, have an early morning tomorrow, so good night, sweetie! Love you!

Monday, November 14, 2022 – Nice, Wet Ride on Flash, Quick Trip to Glenn’s

Hi Sweetie!
So glad the nights are getting a little cooler, I’m sleeping like a baby these days! Been waking up with the sun, too, so I’m getting in full days. Today, the new power point for me was done, yay! When I was heading out to feed the horses I stopped and chatted for a few minutes with the electrician, and we were able to determine that he could put the post in so that I would only need a 25 foot extension cord. Dang things are so expensive now, $125+, but at least it’s coming Prime and I’ll have it tomorrow! Of course, that’s for 50 amp, and that’s a heavy cord. Doesn’t seem to be any way around it, though this may be the only place I’ll ever use it. Glad it didn’t have to be any longer! After breakfast, I saddled up Flash and we headed out for a conditioning ride, as well as to see the state of the trails, and not surprisingly, it’s pretty darn wet out there! The last stretch on the red/pink was the worst, and Flash knew he was heading for home and wanted to go faster, so I was pretty well soaked from the knees down by the time we got back. Only did about 7.5 miles, but we were pretty speedy, lots of cantering and largo-ing, so we weren’t out that long. Missed James though, he came by to check out the electrical work, and apparently the head honcho Dan stopped by to visit as well, but I missed them both! A nice ride, though. Had so spend some time picking burrs out of my lambs wool saddle cover, I’ll need to wash it, too, before the cattle drive. I washed my saddle bags yesterday, too. I’m starting to get some things ready so it won’t all just jump out at me at once. After all that, I headed over to Glenn’s again, once again his pool is having problems, it just doesn’t want to work right! I had to clean the big filter again, which is a pain in the neck because I can barely get the lid off and on, but after I did, and I cleaned everything else up, I was thrilled that I finally got all three green lights on his chlorinator pump! Whoo hoo! First time I’ve ever seen all three on, which means I, for once, got the chemicals right. But I’ve checked with test strips and it’s STILL reading low chlorine, but everything else was good for a change. The Buick is still chugging along, but it seems to be getting better. I’m a little worried about one thing though, and I’m afraid it might be the transmission, but I’m not going to panic until after I’ve expended this whole tank of gas. If it’s not cleared up by then, I’m going to have to do something. Anyway, got back to camp, put the horses away (I had put them in a couple of paddocks with fresh grass) and settled down for the evening. Ready for shower and bed! Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Saturday, November 12, 2022 – Another Busy Day

Hey Babe!
Another good night sleep, and up again at sunrise, these new standard daylight hours are working just fine for me now. Did chores, and started the Buick and let it run the whole time, just to see if it would stay running (and it did!) had breakfast, finished reading a book, then brought out Apollo. It’s been way too long since I’ve ridden him, and even though I should be conditioning Flash, I just couldn’t ignore Apollo any more! I gave him a good grooming, which took a while, his mane was a real mess with lots of tangles, and did his tail as well. He looked gorgeous by the time I got done, though he’s got sections of his face where he has no hair, and his forelock is really thin and short these days. Male pattern baldness, maybe? Trimmed his feet, and started to get worried about one rear foot that seemed to be getting misshapen, his frog drying out and his foot getting more oval than round, and that had me paying closer attention, but once I had him saddled and on the trail, he didn’t seem to be limping or have any other indication that he had a problem, other than the fact that he’s so slow these days. We jogged for quick a bit, too, and that didn’t seem to bother him, and at the end of the ride, his frog actually looked better, so maybe it’s not as bad as I thought. Since it’s general gun season for the hunters, I stayed on the green trail, doing the loop to the road, then taking the road up to the loop back again, in order to shorten the ride and avoid the really wet spots. I could tell it was going to be wet when even the drier spots were wet, not surprising after the storm that came through earlier this week. Once we got back and I rinsed him off, gave his sheath a good cleaning (and amazingly, he had no objection!), then I put him in one of the paddocks in front of the barn, since the mowers haven’t been here for over three weeks and the grass looks really succulent, and put Flash in a paddock next to him, and they munched out for the rest of the day. Then I set fire to the three piles of hurricane clean up that I had before coming back to the trailer. I did some sewing repair on my saddle bags, which I needed to get ready for the cattle drive, and left them soaking in soapy water overnight so I can get them nice and clean. So a busy day, got a lot done, and still managed to enjoy a ride! Finally went out to put the horses away, ran the Buick again for a bit, and eventually settled down for the evening. Another busy, productive day! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Saturday, November 5, 2022 – Long Recon Ride on Flash

Hiya Sweetie,
A long, tiring, but nice day today. After breakfast and chores, I saddled up Flash, and was just about ready when I got a call from Petra that she and John were here and wanted to ride with me. I saw their permit, but thought it was tomorrow, but it didn’t matter, as I was just about to leave anyway, so I waited for them. John is in the doghouse with me, he wrote an article in the local paper and made is sound like the horse club he belonged to was responsible for putting in the whole trail marking system out here, which really hurt, since his club has done practically ZERO and had no right to even claim ANY credit, much less credit for the whole thing. It really upset me when I first heard about it, and I’m not over it yet. It’s not that I want that much credit, it just bothers me that someone ELSE tries to steal the credit. Anyway, water under the bridge for now. So the three of us headed out about 10:30, they on long-legged gaiters and me on my Paso Fino Flash. It started raining just as we left, and when I looked back, I saw a beautiful rainbow again. Seems we’re getting a lot of sun showers and rainbows lately! They all did fine together until John decided he wanted to take the road instead of the trail, then they took off at high speed, and Flash, competitor that he is, took off after them. He went into a full-on mad gallop trying to keep up, and I was hanging on for dear life, praying he didn’t stumble or shy sideways. We went quite a ways before we finally slowed down again, much to my relief! Getting too old to fall off these days, especially on a gravel road! We stayed together for the first few miles, then I veered off because I wanted to finally put the crosspiece on the farthest post on the west side, Interesection 49, glad to get that job done! I met up with them again a bit later, but they turned back toward camp when I still had a lot of trails I wanted to reconnoiter. There are still two water crossings that are high, though I could probably make one of them, and the stretch along the powerline on the green trail is still a bit iffy, but there are several areas now that I think I can reach, so maybe on Monday I’ll take some out there. General gun hunting season started today, and I heard a few shots but never saw anyone. Got back to camp, walked around paddocks with Petra looking at rosary pea, then finally finished up for the day, as it was well after 3:00 when I got back to camp, and an hour later by the time I got Flash washed up and put away. Chilled out for a bit, had Mary, Chrissie’s friend, stop by and chat for awhile, then relaxed the rest of the night. I’m going to enjoy having an extra hour of sleep tonight, as the clocks are “falling back”, but the shorter days will mean getting up earlier, which I don’t think will be a problem, since I still have work calling my name. Can’t wait to get this job done so I can start enjoying myself instead of working all the time! Can’t complain, though, I asked for it! Anyway, time for shower and bed. Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Monday, Sept. 12, 2022 – Lovely Ride on Flash

Hello Darlin’!
Had a great night sleep, and it wasn’t long after chores and breakfast that I had Flash saddled up and ready to go on a ride. I’ve been trying to tidy up all the shape files for the trails so that James will have pristine copies, and I found a few wonky discrepancies on the white horse trail, so I decided to ride it and use both my GPS devices to try to get it right. I’ve been kind of avoiding the white trail lately because I assumed it was wet, and after all the rain yesterday, I took along a couple of garbage bags to put on my lower legs, but it turned out I didn’t need them at all! I was pleasantly surprised that other than one entrance right off the road, most ot the trail was quite passable, so much so that I’m going to put it on my schedule to get the tractor in there and put some much needed posts in. I thought I was going to need to wait until the dry season, but evidently not! It actually felt a bit cooler this morning, and the humidity was down, relatively speaking, to about 87%, an improvement over the usual 99%, and I could actually tell the difference. With a slight breeze, even with no clouds, it was a beautiful morning. We were off by 9:30, went about 11.5 miles, and was back in camp by a bit after 1:00. Flash got a good rinse off, and Lola, who thoroughly enjoyed splashing around in every puddle we came across, napped the rest of the day. I took a run into town to get horse feed, some distilled water for my RV batteries, and ran up to Glenn’s to check on the pool after all that rain. It had a palm frond in it, but otherwise was just fine. So, I’ve discovered that the brown-out problem I’ve been having is partly because I had turned off my inverter, which meant that every time the power pulled down the TV shut off, but the real problem was that I, ashamedly, had neglected to check my RV batteries in a long time. When I’m on the road I have a regular maintenance schedule, but sitting in one place has kind of screwed that up, and when I checked the batteries, they were WAY down, like DRY. I used up a one and a third gallons of distilled water, all that I had, and I still only was able to just cover the plates in one battery and was still below that on the second. As soon as I got back, I filled them up to specs, and now I’m running my inverter, so now my TV and other electronics don’t spike anymore. I tested the system yesterday using just the generator and everything worked find, but obviously the dry batteries affected the overall system. Anyway, that’s back on my to-do list monthly! Finally settled down for the evening, watched a good movie about a Chickasaw rancher, now I’m ready for shower and bed. Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Thursday, August 11, 2022 – Finally Took a Ride, Put Out Some Crosspieces, Mowed

Hi Darlin’,
Woke up bright and early this morning, and I decided that I absolutely needed to take a ride today. It’s been too long!! Need to release some stress. So as soon as I took the feed bags off, I pulled out Flash and saddled him up. We were on the trail by 8:00, would you believe! Lola has been so restless the last few days, she needed the exercise, too, so we took a nice speedy six mile ride (just about an hour and a quarter, Flash’s choice!), got in some nice canters and lovely cordos, and everyone got some exercise. Had breakfast, then decided to put out a few cross pieces on the nearest posts with the tractor, and at the same time, do a little mowing along the way, just some short stretches that had really high grass. Once I get the truck back I’ll start painting the final markings on the posts where I can reach them, then resort to the tractor in the areas that are dry enough, then eventually finish it off once I can reach them all. It’s going to take a lot longer that I had hoped, but hey, what else do I have to do this summer? Read for a bit, then made some home-made hummus (my food processor gave up the ghost, so I ordered a new one), and a batch of satin balls for Lola, since I finally got ground beef with the groceries yesterday. Finally settled down for the evening, as usual, ready for shower and bed. Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Sunday, July 17, 2022 – Busy Day to Make Up For Yesterday

Hi Babe,
Woke up feeling more refreshed after yesterday’s lazy day, with the first thing on the agenda after chores and breakfast was to take a ride on Apollo. He needed the exercise, and I wanted to check out just how dry the green trail was after it rained almost all day yesterday. Turned out to be pretty good, better than I expected. The usual ditches had slightly higher water, and there were only a few spots near the south end where there was about an inch or so of water for a couple of sections. Only one spot was a little higher, but nothing even knee high, so it will be a very good summer ride, albeit only five miles long. Apollo seemed to enjoy the exercise, and, of course, Lola loved it, too. As soon as I got back and put him away, I went out and painted identifiers on all the valve dots I had painted the other day, so now all but one of those is done. The one by the old well doesn’t have a post, and there are so many pipes coming in and out of there, I didn’t dare start digging, so I’ll just need a small piece of plywood to paint and screw onto a nearby tree and they’ll all be done. Started some laundry, ended up doing three loads, and finally defrosted the freezer, which was long overdue. I had so much ice buildup in there, I couldn’t fit all of my groceries! Put a space heater in there, so it didn’t take long, stored everything in a couple of coolers while I was doing that. Finally settled down mid-afternoon (though I was still doing laundry), and did some planning for my upcoming business trip. Pretty much done for the day, just going to relax the rest of the evening. Tomorrow will be all about prepping for my trip! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Friday, July 15, 2022 – Short, Wet Ride on Flash

Hey Darlin’,
Had a decent night sleep, got my chores done, and after breakfast, took Flash out for a ride. I wanted to check on just how deep the water was in some of the more southern sections where I’ve been hoping to put in the last of the posts, and even though many of the trails are only under a few inches of water, there were enough suddenly deep sections to confirm my decision to not try to do any more posts until the rainy season is over. We had a great ride, though, even though I got wet from the knees down with all the splashing. Lola was truly in her element today, water lover that she is! It was so dry out here for so long, I didn’t take her with us for awhile, she would get too hot, but today, she was having a blast! There was a nice breeze, too, so it was a very pleasant ride. Flash had a lot of energy, so it was a quick ride, too, we did six miles in barely 90 minutes, but I figured that was enough for today. Got back just after noon, and pretty much crashed the rest of the day. Now it’s time for shower and bed already, so good night, babe! Love you!

Monday, July 4, 2022 – Independence Day Ride, Relaxing Day at the Pool with Family

Hey Babe!
What a lovely day! Didn’t sleep very well, but was still up at my now usual time, go my chores done, then after breakfast, I saddled up Apollo for a nice five mile ride. With all the rain we’ve been having I suspected there would be plenty of water on the trail, puddle-wise, so I took Lola along, she’s been in dire need of exercise. Two short periods of frisbee are just not enough for her, even at her age of 9 1/2 years! Brother Glenn called while I was on the trail, and he said they were grilling by his condo pool over on Hutchinson Island at 4:00, and that I could come over any time. I got back to camp, put Apollo away (he was brilliant on the trail today, albeit a slug at barely 3 mph average), stopped to talk to the horse ladies and got caught in a little rain just as I was walking back to the trailer. Got dried off and changed, read for a bit, then headed out to Glenn’s. What a difference between doing that during the season and during the summer! I had forgotten how quiet the roads get here in the summertime. In the winter it took over 90 minutes to get to his place, today, just 45. Had a lovely afternoon sitting by the pool, brother Jeff came too, we all ate too much, but had a nice time catching up. There’s always a nice breeze by the beach, so it stayed nice and cool. Stayed until 6:30, then headed back to camp in time to feed the horses. Stopped for fuel along the way, cheapest gas as $5.55/gal, I pulled in with more than a quarter tank and it cost me a whopping $137! Grrrrrrr! Nothing happening in camp, so now it’s time to settle down for a bit before taking my shower and going to bed. Nice day! Good night, my darlin’! Love you!