Thursday, June 23, 2022 – Nice Ride on Apollo, Mowing and Hours on Phone with Verizon

Hi Babe,
Got up even earlier today, 6:30, and it was an absolutely gorgeous morning! Got down to 67, so it even felt a bit cool! Got chores and breakfast done, and was out on the trail on Apollo by 9:00. We just did the green trail loop, with was a bit over 5 miles, but took over two hours, he’s such a slug these days! Took Lola along this time, was hoping there would be some water on the trail, but there wasn’t, but there was lots of shade so she managed okay. It was a lovely ride, though he was a bit skittish at a few things, I guess because it’s been so long since he’s been on the trail! Got back and decided I should mow the part of the campground (which was most of the actual camp sites) since for some inexplicable reason, the contract mowers mowed everything EXCEPT the actual sites, so the grass was getting too long, which make the bugs out here worst. That took me a couple of hours. Thanks goodness the District is giving me the diesel to do these jobs! After I got back I noticed a text from Fedex saying my package had actually been delivered already, but when I called the office, they hadn’t seen it. I drove over, and old James found a tag on the gate saying it was in the mailbox, so I picked it up. Got back to camp, unpacked it, plugged it in figuring to charge it up. Then I noticed that on the bill they had charged me a $35 “upgrade” fee which no one had mentioned, so I called, and after some running around, managed to get them to drop that charge. Considering I can get the exact same phone for $100 less at any other retail store, I wasn’t about to pay another $35! So I was momentarily happy with Verizon. After a couple of hours, I still couldn’t turn it on, so I downloaded a manual to figure out how to get to the inside, thinking maybe I had to pull off a plastic tab on the battery or something and when I pulled the back off, to my astonishment, there was NO BATTERY! How the hell do they send out a phone with no battery?? So I got on the phone again, got transferred at least 7-8 times, spent an hour and a half trying to sort it out, was told they didn’t have a battery so they would send me a new phone, but then the order wouldn’t got through, that was another department, and finally I was forced to leave it with a woman promising “to call me back” once the order, which now had to go outside the system to accomplish. I asked repeatedly for a way to reach back to her, which I never got, except she promised to call back. That was two hours ago, still nothing. When I started the call, there was plenty of time to get the package overnight, which they said they would do, but by the end of the call, after 7:00, not holding my breath. Grrrrrrrrrrr! I had ordered a cover, which I should get tomorrow, but now I have no idea when I’ll get the phone, because even if they send it overnight tomorrow, I probably won’t get it until Monday. I HATE this other phone I got on Sunday, too big, too clunky, won’t fit in my hand or my pocket, can’t WAIT to replace it, but there you go. Stuck again. NOT happy with Verizon again. Sigh. Anyway, watched a little TV, now I’m ready for early bed again, just my Spanish lesson and to finish by nightcap, and off I’ll be going! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Wednesday, June 22, 2022 – A Great Ride on Flash

Hi Sweetie!
Well, my body clock is definitely moving earlier, was up and about just after 7:00, and what a gorgeous morning! Temps actually got into the upper 60’s overnight, just enough cloud cover to keep it from getting too hot, and by the time I got on the trail just after 9:00, there was a lovely breeze to boot. Absolutely gorgeous! Flash and I did nearly 12 miles, and I was very surprised at how wet some of the sections of the trail were already. We haven’t really had all that much rain, but it seems to be raising the water levels, so we spent quite a bit of the trail wading in ankle deep water, with the occasional deeper creek crossing. Flash seemed to like it, he was splashing away like a mad horse! Tried to get down to the office to see if my package with my new phone had arrived yet, but it’s a different combination, which I don’t have, and it’s all fenced off, so I just went back to camp, arriving at about 12:30. Spent most of the afternoon on the phone with the IRS, only to learn that the problem I was having was entirely of my own making, so I’m not getting as big a tax return as I had hoped, darn it! Good thing I have a job in Vegas next month, getting a little short on ready funds! And once again, not surprisingly, Fedex failed to deliver my package today, I got a notice at 4:45 that it was being delayed until tomorrow, probably because the office was closed by then, what did I expect? Fedex has only ever delivered one package in 35 years on the day it was supposed to arrive, so once again, I’m left empty-handed. For some reason, they won’t deliver it to me at the campground, it has to go to the office. So another day with this clunky phone! Grrr! So once I got off the phone, it was a day of reading and TV again. Won’t be long out of bed again tonight, going to try to keep this early bird schedule going. That said, good night, by darlin’! Love you!

Friday, June 10, 2022 – Celebratory Anniversary Ride

Happy Anniversary, Darlin’! It would have been 33 years of marriage today, over 36 years together, more than half my lifetime, despite our late start. Love you, miss you, wish you were here! It was a great day, did my chores, had a fairly cloudy eastern sky which kept it a bit cooler this morning, so I saddled up Flash and we did about a 10.5 ride, first ride in nearly a month! Been so busy, but so glad we finally got out there. Shocked to discover, though, that that same section of yellow trail that’s been giving me such a hard time still isn’t right. I downloaded a GPS map from 2013 that took that trail, and it’s not what’s there now, so I’m going to have to go out and recoup it again, grrr! Hopefully, we’ll finally get this right! Plus I found a section of trail marked as teal that’s not on any map, and hasn’t been refreshed, but it’s not in too bad shape marking wise, so I have to send another GPS file to James with that addition. Got back by about noon, spent the afternoon knocking around, James came by and I showed him where all the water valves were, plus we cleared out the old well house of old paint and plumbing parts. Then I binged the rest of the day of Supernaturals and settled in for the evening with chores. FINALLY got some rain in the evening, long overdue and much needed, steady rain for a couple of hours, though still not enough. Now I’m ready for shower and bed! Good night, my love, Happy Anniversary!

Saturday, May 28, 2022 – Ride Day, Memorial Day Picnic

Hi Babe,
Had a terrible night sleep, Lola was so restless, and I don’t know how she managed to get all the way onto the foot of my bed, considering I had the pantry door open and a fan on the top stair. She knocked the fan down at one point, and was just fussy all night, so I didn’t have a great night sleep. She needs exercise! Which she got quite a bit today, though I didn’t take her on the ride because it was so hot out here today, and I wasn’t sure how long we’d be gone. Partnered up with Susie Randolph today, the lady with the tire problem, then just as we were getting ready to leave, Petra and John from Jupiter showed up, so we rode out with them. It wasn’t long before they were way ahead of us, and then they left even before we got back from camp, which surprised me, I thought they were staying. Later Susie left for home, and finally Jamie and Dave showed up, but never ended up riding. There was a terrible weather forecast, everyone was expecting tons of rain, but it never materialized, AGAIN! We had a few drops for about five minutes, that was it. I think most people were afraid of the forecast so they didn’t come, because that was the total attendance of the picnic, which we ended up not even doing. No point. But we decided to do it again tomorrow and even Monday, because a lot of folks seemed to have last minute concerns that kept them from coming (plus the dire forecast). Bought a lot of stuff, but thankfully, most of it will keep until the next volunteer day, whenever that it. I did have a surprising number of campers show up during the day, did my rounds a couple of times, then settled down for the evening. Ready for shower and bed, nice and early, feeling pretty tired after two nights of not sleeping very well. So, good night, sweetie! Love you!

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 – Busy, Productive Ride and Flea War Day

Hey Babe!
Managed to get to bed pretty early and had a great night sleep, which of course translates into a morning of energy which I always try to take advantage of. After breakfast and chores, I got Flash saddled up, then just before we left I set off two bug bombs in the trailer and one in the truck, because Lola has been suffering from fleas for the past couple of weeks, and for some reason, the Frontline drops I’ve been using don’t seem to be doing a thing! Flash and I had a nice eleven-mile ride, with Lola tagging along. I planned it so that we reached Jim Lake about halfway around, where Lola could get in a good swim and drink, since it was very sunny out. Fortunately, the humidity was low today, so the temps didn’t feel too bad, even though it got close to 90 by the time we got back to camp. Flash even seemed to enjoy standing in the water for a while. It made me think of maybe having a Trail Ride and Horse Swim Day here, since I think Jim Lake might be deep enough for a horse to swim, certainly it would be deep enough to get mostly covered up, but I wasn’t prepared to strip his saddle off and test that theory today. Maybe another day. It was a lovely ride, a lot of it in some of the shadier parts of the park, so very pleasant. When I downloaded my GPS map, I realized that I had taken a trail that isn’t even on the map, even though it’s marked, so I’m going to have to add an intersection sign at a new spot. I have a feeling that I’m going to be doing a lot of that once I get out there and start actually putting posts up. As soon as we got back and I rinsed off Flash and put him away, I gave Lola a bath with flea soap, vacuumed the trailer from top to bottom, sprayed everything with flea spray and neem, even used up some old yard spray I’ve been carrying around for a long time, all around my little yard and under the trailer, the kind where you hook a hose up to a bottle and sprinkle it all around. Hopefully that will help tone down the ant problem I’ve been having as well, they’ve been feasting out of my outside garbage can and also getting inside occasionally, but I’ve never been able to track down where. Sprayed Lola, too, and gratefully, she didn’t scratch for the rest of the day! I’m going to have to keep a close eye on her to make sure she doesn’t get re-infested. Had some hunters waiting for me when I got back as well, got them settled in, though they had to change their permit. Even pulled a few weeds out around the bathhouse when I did my rounds! Finally settled down for the evening, first with a few Supernaturals, then with a chick flick romance film, and now I’m ready for bed. A good day with lots of activity, so hopefully I’ll have another good night sleep! Heading to my shower shortly, so good night, sweetie! Love you!

Friday, May 13, 2022 – Long, Tiring Day, Nice Ride at the Savannas State Park

Hiya Darlin’,
As expected, a very busy day! Even more so than I had anticipated. Got up before dawn, successfully managed to leave just before 7:00, drove first to the Walmart to do most of my shopping, though I couldn’t get my perishables or frozen stuff this early. I also discovered I can’t buy wine before 9:00, though I don’t know why when all the local laws seem to say 7:00 is fine. Whatever. Got to the barn by 9:10, got saddled up and ready to go, and we were out before 10:00. Rode with Bettina and Amber, though Joanna was supposed to join us she pulled out at the last minute. It was a lovely ride! Just under 12 miles through some delightful grasslands, and even some water was still on the trails, amazing! We stopped for lunch at a pavilion right by a lake with an observation dock, and no sooner than we started eating lunch than a rain storm came in. I stripped down Flash quickly (there was a lovely little paddock we were able to put the horses in during lunch), though the other girls waited a bit, hoping it would pass quickly, but it actually started pouring down harder, so they eventually ran out and took their tack off as well. Then a park truck came by with both an outgoing and an incoming park manager, so many things were discussed about how to make the park more equestrian-friendly. A very productive meeting, actually! After lunch, we saddled back up and headed down a different trail, this one taking us to a body of water that we ended up trotting on, so my lower legs and boots ended up getting soaked, but it was fun! Nice firm ground, but with about a foot of water, and Flash wasn’t about to not keep up with the crowd, so we barreled on through! We got back to the barn about 2:30, having made really good time throughout the day, with lots of fast gaiting and cantering. While I hoped to meet up with Glenn, for a bit there it didn’t look like it was going to happen, but in the end, they cut back on their errands and ended up meeting me at Miller’s Ale House in Jensen Beach. Enjoyed some fish and chips and a couple of Guinness drafts, which are always my first choice of beverage when I can get it. After a nice visit with them, I headed out to another Walmart to get my perishables and wine, then got back to camp just before 7:00. After putting my horse away and feeding them both, as well as putting my groceries away, I did my rounds. It was really busy because there’s a hog hunt starting tomorrow, the last of the season, so we had a crowd. Took me awhile to get everybody checked in, then I chatted with the horse folks for awhile, then went back a checked a couple of more folks in that had snuck in while I was in the barn, but finally I came back to the trailer for awhile. Because of the crowd I checked the gate and 10, and stayed up until past eleven so I could make sure all the generators and noise were quiet. So a VERY long day, I hope to sleep in late tomorrow!. Good night, my sweet! Love you!

Monday, May 9, 2022 – Ride Day at Allapattah Flats Fox Brown Road

Hi Sweetie,
Well, a bit of a change of pace today, at last! After chores, I hooked up the little horse trailer and hauled Flash out to another SFWMD property just north of Indiantown, and coincidentally, just a mile or so up the road from the new house brother Glenn bought and is renovating. Small world! I didn’t actually go to the right gate, I just went to the first one I came to, Gate 9, though I didn’t realize it was wrong until I was on the trail and my GPS had me in a different place than where I thought I was supposed to be. Didn’t matter, though, the trail took by right by the correct parking lot, which turned out to be a very nice picnic area with a water trough (I don’t think the pump is working, though I didn’t check). This is mostly used as leased out grazing land, so we ran into a couple of herds of cows out here, with lots of babies. Most of it was fairly open, though a lot of it was along canals, which was a relief for Lola, who I decided had to come. She’s had so little exercise lately, she keeps getting into trouble, so I had to tire her out. I made a mistake along one canal, a poorly marked intersection that didn’t clearly indicate I had to got THROUGH a gate to stay on the trail, and I ended up going about half a mile on the wrong side of a canal, and when my GPS said the trail turned right, I couldn’t because the canal was in the way. So, I had to go back, go through the gate, follow that until I DID come to where I could turn right. There was one really nice section though, right through a literal jungle, and it was a good 8-10 degrees cooler in there! I really wish there was room for more trails in there, it was lovely, but was only a small section of the trail. We did eleven miles in all, so it was a good ride, and we had some wonderful long stretches of grass where we got a good canter in. We were out less than three hours, so we made good time as well, though of course the 25 minute drive added to it. Glad to have a change of venue, though, nice to be on some NEW trails! Nice day today, too, only got up to the lower 80’s with a nice breeze. Gotta take advantage of these kind of days since it’s getting hotter every day! Then, unfortunately, I spent most of the evening on the phone bouncing between Verizon, Google and Samsung, STILL haven’t resolved the issue of my missing contact information! I MIGHT be getting closer, but it’s hard to say at this point. Anyway, time for shower and bed, hopefully I’ll get some sleep, I’m so hyped up about all this phone stuff, really makes me mad! Time to do some meditation! Good night, babe! Love you!

Friday, May 6, 2022 – Nice Ride With Bett and Diane

Hey Sweetie,
Woke up to quite a warm morning, today’s forecast is for the hottest day so far this year. Regardless, I had made arrangement to ride with a couple of ladies, one that had been on the OTL ride and a friend of hers who boards at the same barn. They arrived right on time, and by the time we were all saddled up and ready to go it was just shy of 10:30. Fortunately, there was a nice breeze, and I tried to plan it for trails that had at least some shade, and we ended up doing just over eight miles in three hours, exactly what they wanted to do. I rode Apollo today, because he needed the exercise and because both girls were riding stock horses so I figured it was a better fit, which turned out to be right on. Apollo had to jog occasionally to keep up, but that was fun, and we even got a short canter in after he stopped to pee and had to catch up! It was a lovely ride, and the girls got a good insight into how to follow a trail with minimal markers, though they were sure they would have gotten lost without me, which I tend to agree with, because I took them on a couple of different trails. After we got back, we sat around the picnic table on my “deck” and had lunch and chatted for awhile. Once they left, I did some chores, my rounds, my usual evening stuff, then settled down for the evening. I managed to get a load of laundry done, too, so a fund AND productive day! Time to wrap up this evening! Good night, babe! Love you!

Sunday, May 1, 2022 – Short Confirmation Ride and Finally Some Rain!

Hi Sweetie,
After a good night sleep, chores and breakfast, I saddled up Flash to double-check on a couple of trails that I apparently haven’t done lately, just to make sure I’m putting intersection numbers in the right places. I did find one intersection I had to add, but managed to get it straightened out fairly easily. I suspect there will be other changes once I get out there putting posts in, whenever that happens. Flash was brilliant, though we got off to a later start than I wanted because his hooves have grown uncharacteristically fast these last couple of months, and he had a big chip off on one side, so I went ahead and trimmed them down nice and short, so that should keep it for awhile. Nevertheless, we still managed to get out just after 10:00 and were back before noon, before it got too warm. A decent breeze today, and then, finally, around 2:00, it thankfully started to rain, first a little passing shower, then later a fairly steady rain for a bit, so everything already looks a little greener. I still love a rainy Sunday! Watched some more Supernaturals, my latest binge-watch, then after dinner watched a movie you would have enjoyed, a pre-WWII political espionage thriller called Munich, Edge of War with Jeremy Irons. It tried to make out that Neville Chamberlain was actually a hero rather than an appeaser, which I’m sure you would have disagreed with, but it was an interesting take on it nonetheless. Anyway, time for shower and bed! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Wednesday, April 27, 2022 – Nine Mile Ride with Lynda and Friends

Hi Darlin’,
Another good night sleep, woke up a few minutes before my alarm, did chores, had breakfast, and then got Flash saddled just in time to a ride with Lynda and two of her friends. We did the green trail and part of the yellow trail, and even with all the time I’ve spent out there, I still got turned around a time or two. Dang, do we need signage! All three women were convinced they would have gotten lost without a guide, and I believe it! Even with the fresh markings, unless you know where the trail started, you’d never find it. Anyway, it was a lovely ride, not too hot and with a nice breeze, and we got back to camp by about 11:30, so just the right length for them. Did pretty much nothing else for the rest of the day, binge-watching TV. We a good and much appreciated storm, dropped quite a bit of rain, which we need really badly. When I checked the forecast this morning there was a couple of days of rain in the next ten days, then when I checked it during the storm, it’s been changed to rain every day for the next week! Who knows what will actually transpire! So a lazy day after our ride, I ate too much and sat around too much. We had one little bit of excitement, the sheriff’s office came out to settle a domestic squabble in one of the campsites, a woman whose boyfriend wouldn’t take her back home to Pennsylvania, not sure what it was all about, but they ended up leaving together. Anyway, it’s a quiet day, which is fine, and a quiet evening, too, but now I’m ready for shower and bed. Good night, babe! Love you!