Sunday, November 27, 2022 – The Exodus

Hey Babe,
What a day! Though I did wake up once and hear a generator running, I was in no mood to get up and track it down, simply reminding myself that if it’s one of the horse folks, they’ll all be gone by the end of the day, and if it’s not, then not my job, so just chill. Did have a good night sleep otherwise. Started out running around on the tractor reminding people that both stalls and paddocks needed to be cleaned, and I am delighted to report that with only a few exceptions, ALL of the paddocks were clean (which historically is what hasn’t been cleaned before!), and most of the stalls were, too, though there were a few notable exceptions, mostly the folks that were booted out of here last night. Not surprising, they were the type of folks who don’t think the rules apply to them, and this was just another bit of evidence to that attitude, not taking responsibility for the messes they or their horses make. Carol made our group a lovely blueberry pancake breakfast, and after that, I mostly just kept an eye on things as folks left. Suddenly and blessedly very quiet out here now! Yay! Considering so much of my effort this summer was leading up to this weekend, the unofficial start of the riding season here in Florida, then I’d have to say it went magnificently well. Lots of compliments on the trail signage, even from folks that know the trails really well, which was very nice. Also managed to get a load of laundry in, so fresh sheets tonight. I’m ready to crash! Definitely going to lay in for a bit tomorrow, and try to keep my activity level down, though I had hoped to ride, but I may need to recover first. We’ll see in the morning. Chuckwagon Dennis let me have some leftovers so I don’t have to worry about cooking for a while, thank goodness! The last group left just after 4:30, so feeding was easy, and I was able to open up the back paddocks for my guys again, I’m sure they’ll be happy about that! I gave them hay anyway, since most of the grass will have been chewed down, but everything should be back to normal tomorrow. Settled down for the evening, in our usual routine, yay! Just need my shower and bed, hoping for a good night sleep, and back to normal tomorrow. Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Saturday, November 26, 2022 – Slightly Quieter, But Exhausted Due To Little Sleep

Hi Sweetie,
Awakened three times during the night listening to some kind of thrumming noise, until I finally couldn’t take it anymore, I had to find out what it was. At first, I thought it was a quiet generator behind me, but after throwing on my robe and rain boots and walking through camp at 4:30 in the morning, I discovered it was actually a generator AND a big diesel truck that was left running, obviously to power something. It was seriously loud, considering it was all the way on the other side of camp from me! I can’t tell you how much that pissed me off. I told every camper in here, many more than once, when quiet hours were. The FWC law enforcement guy said he did the same thing when he came through around 7:00, and the Sheriff’s department made a few swings by as well, so for these people to so flagrantly violate the most essential rule here, quiet hours from 11-7, infuriates me. I turned off their generator, and would have turned off their truck except I was afraid the horn alarm would go off and wake up anybody who wasn’t already awake. Plus I’m sure I would have gotten in trouble doing so. I texted the FWC guy and didn’t hear back from him for about two hours, then all he told me was to call dispatch, which I did. Two hours later, I still hadn’t seen anyone, so I called again, and was told the officer was doing something “off-duty” and would come once he was finished. I asked if that was likely to be closer to 30 minutes or four hours, and he said thirty minutes. Four and a half hours later, I called again, got a new dispatcher, had to re-exlain the whole thing again (don’t these people take notes?), and was told the exact same thing about having to wait until the off-duty job was done before being available! I’m sure glad I wasn’t in serious physical trouble, I’d be dead before I ever get help from these guys! All this one promised was “by end of day.” This is not a problem I want to handle in the dark, but that’s exactly what ended up happening. I spent the rest of the day running around, checking in on people, a lot of day riders coming and going, slightly less chaotic than yesterday, but not by much. When the FWC LE guy finally showed up just before 6:00, it was already dark, of course, but he managed to make a lot of progress with the troublemakers. The permit they were using had expired yesterday, the guy whose name was on the permit had been cited for trespass two years ago and was apparently still under court order not to be on the property, and since there were six people under his permit, they’re all being told they have to leave. Lots of yelling going on for awhile, but fortunately, I was with my friends and not at all involved, since some of them were looking for me because they thought I could help them, though, of course, I couldn’t. LE guy said he’d come back through around 10:30 to make sure they had left, so hopefully it will be a quieter night, and I’ll be able to make up for lack of sleep last night. Seems three groups of non-equestrians left today because of the noise factor last night as well. No doubt there will be complaints, but they’re the ones who started it by violating so many rules, as far as I’m concerned. The best part of the day was when a bunch of us all put our dogs in a paddock as a temporary dog park, and the all raced around having a blast together! Everybody got along just fine! Wish people had that ability! Spent the evening chatting with friends until we were all too tired to do anything but go to bed, so off to the shower I got! Good night, darlin’! Love you!

Friday, November 25, 2022 – Nonstop Busy Day

Hi Darlin’!
What a day! From the moment I left my trailer this morning, I was on the go, jumping from one challenge to the next! Lots of people came in throughout the day, so I was constantly checking folks in, had a brief respite when we turned one of the paddocks into a dog park and had a play date with a bunch of the camp dogs, solved problem after problem today. I had just managed to feed Lola but decided to do one small job before breakfast, and one thing led to another to another to another, and breakfast finally happened at about 11:45. This kept going all afternoon! Finally, I was able to settle down for dinner, but that ended up being delayed for almost two hours, and then just as Dennis was serving up, Jim Walter was having problems with his generator, so I went over to give him a hand and managed to help him get it going, then headed back to the dinner table only to learn that the electric from the old well house had quit, so no electric and no water to the only shower house left with hot water, and no water for any of the spigots around camp, including the barns and paddocks, so I went on a hunt for that. The usual suspects of breakers were fine, but then I thought maybe the new wellhouse might have some kind of transfer, then Jim remembered that in the old, defunct wellhouse there used to be some power, so we pried the door open there, only to find nothing. Then as we were closing it back up again, Jim practically tripped over the guy wire of a pole, and we discovered another transformer and breaker box there, but it had a lock on it. I was thinking bolt cutters, but then we saw the hinge only had three little screws, so we managed to take out the screws and get the cover off, and sure enough, a circuit in there was broken, we flipped it, and viola! Power came back on! Thank goodness Jim was here, I never would have thought to look that far down the line. We had unfortunately already called James, who had called an emergency electrician, but I’m sure he didn’t get too far because we solve the problem pretty quick. So happy we could work that out! FINALLY got back to the dinner table, but by then everyone else had eaten, so I just ate a plate of delicious smoked ribs that Dennis cooked beautifully, and some nice side dishes. So exhausted now after this long day, heading for a shower and bed, happy that I have electric again! Good night, baby! Love you!

Thursday, November 24, 2022 – Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey Babe!
I can’t remember the last time I had a big Thanksgiving dinner, but I certainly made up for lost time today! After chores and breakfast, I finished off making the deviled eggs I promised, did my rounds for a bit, chatted with some folks, then rested for a good part of the afternoon, until I finally wandered over to where “my group” was fixing to have dinner. Dennis had put a 15 lb. turkey in this incredible home-built smoker that he expertly designed and installed into the back of an old horse trailer, and I could smell the fire burning when I fed the horses in the morning, though he didn’t put the turkey in until about noon. Between the five of us, we had enough fixings for a dozen people, but even so, we took a good chunk out of it once we started eating around 5:30. Didn’t even have room for the pumpkin pie I brought, but we’ll have that tomorrow, I’m sure. Started out foggy but turned into a beautiful and relatively relaxing day after all! A very memorable Thanksgiving, so glad to be out here at Dupuis! Won’t be long out of bed tonight! Love you, my sweet! Good night!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022 – Another Full Day

Hi Sweetie!
Was out of bed at 7:00, which is becoming my habit these days, had breakfast even before chores today, because it was really foggy and I was hoping things would dry out a bit, and I didn’t want to start my tractor too early and wake up any nearby campers. After breakfast I fed the horses (because they are confined to a stall and one paddock these days, I’m having to give them lots of hay and grain twice a day now), then quickly put up the last few numbers on the paddocks (the lively two were already out so their paddock was clear), then soon headed out to town, hoping my package was safe. Fortunately, it was, though the gal at the post office was just as mortified as I was that Amazon just left it in the lobby where anyone could have taken it. Headed to Glenn’s and spent a full three hours working on his pool. I wanted to vacuum the spa because there was a lot of sand, and he had told me the skimmer had a place for a hose, but it wasn’t working properly, so I had to work it from another angle, all of which took time. After I finally got that to work, and vacuumed for a bit, then I took out the big filter and did a very thorough washing of that, and that seemed like an endless job. All the while, of course, throwing a ragged old ball that Lola had found, just to keep her busy. The pool does look a lot better, and I adjusted the speed again, so I’ve got my fingers crossed we’ve finally found the right balance. Was so late by then, but I had to stop at Tractor Supply to pick up hay and an end to my burnt out electrical cord, then stopped at the Ace Hardware for a 1/4″ extension for my ratchet, which will make the installation of my regulator much easier, and finally, a stop at the grocery store for eggs and a pumpkin pie. I had offered to bring deviled eggs to the Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, and they had a bunch of pies there, so I got one of those, too. FINALLY got back to camp, did my rounds, and amazingly, didn’t find any new campers yet, which surprised me. Petra and Dennis had arrived while I was gone, and they helped me get my hay in the barn, then I headed back home and put the new regulator in my truck, so my window is working fine again, yay! Didn’t have as busy an afternoon as I thought I would, so I relaxed a little, then started on my deviled eggs (hard-boiled eggs came out perfect!), did my last rounds at 8:00, only one new trailer had come in but no one was at home so I wasn’t able to get their permit information yet. Now I’m exhausted, falling asleep in my chair, so I’m heading to shower and bed early again, which is also becoming my habit. Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022 – New Paddock Number Signs

Hiya Darlin’,
Started the day off doing chores, breakfast, then I decided to go ahead and take out the bad power window regulator on my truck, the second one to go, this time the right rear one. Since I had done the other side before I pretty much knew what to do, but I followed along on a youtube video just to confirm each step. My new part is due today, I was hoping to get it all done, but then something more important came up. A could named Karen and Charles had offered to manufacture some metal numbers for each of the paddocks and for the stalls in Barn 2, which for some reason never had numbers put in like the other two barns, and when Karen arrived with the numbers, I got busy installing them. That took me most of the afternoon, but man, do they look nice! Nice and big so you can see them from a ways off, black and shiny, really nice! For some reason, I was missing a zero, but I did almost every one, except one paddock that had two overly-lively horses, and my paddock, which I just forgot. Very impressive! It took me until past the time post office closed, so I didn’t even worry about picking up my new regulator, then when I finally noticed it had been delivered, it was after hours, and the Amazon driver just left it in the lobby of the post office! I couldn’t believe it! Anybody can come in and take it (not that they’d want to), but nevertheless, not the smartest move. I only hope it’s still there in the morning! I ended up crashing early, such a busy, hot sweaty job, but a really good job well done! Finally settled down early, showered and heading to bed. Good night, babe! Love you!

Monday, November 21, 2022 – Puttering Day

Hey Babe,
Having got most of the big jobs done, at last, it was just a handful of jobs that needed doing this morning. Fed the horses, who are now confined to the barn for the week, so I had to give them plenty of hay. Luan actually left me half a bale, so that was nice, but I also hauled another bale over from the trailer. I’m going to have to pick up some more in the next day or two or I’ll run out very soon. I fixed a loose plank in the manure bin near Barn 1, widened a bolt hole on a stall in Barn 2, then helped Luan with her horse Yarnell. Nice horse, but it seems absolutely no groundwork has ever been done with this horse. She’s been having trouble loading him in her LQ trailer, though he’s fine with a livestock trailer, apparently. Anyway, I offered to help, but this horse needs a good week in a round pen before he’ll start listening to anyone. I managed to get him to make a few quick turns on a lunge line, but it took 20 minutes for him to start to understand, and he behaved like he was really fat and lazy, only walking at first. Took awhile, but he got a lot better, but nowhere near where he needs to be to load him into a trailer he doesn’t want to go in. After that I did a few more odds and ends, tried to fix the chimney on my tractor but I think I’m going to have to do it again with something stronger than what I used. Spent some time with some of the other horse campers that came in, nowhere near as many as permits that were issued, so it may not be as crowded as we figured. Could have a lot to do with the weather, it was gloomy all day again, and rainy in the afternoon, and the forecast is the same for the next few days. Fed the horses again in the evening, which I’ll have to do now that they’re in the barn, and settled down to a nice steak dinner and a Stephen King movie. Heading for shower and bed, right after my Spanish lesson. Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Thursday, November 17, 2022 – More Stuff Done

Hi Sweetie,
Kept busy with some little stuff today. A cold front came in last night, and I got back so late I left the horses in their paddocks, but then I moved them into a stall because the mowers came today. I spent some time trying to figure out the correct firing order on the Buick, not exactly sure I had put the spark plug wires back correctly, and perused the shop manuals for a long time, still couldn’t really find it. So I went back to the motor to see if I could establish a pattern, and lo and behold, the order was actually stamped on the ignition coil, so problem solved. I put the screen room back up, finally, then headed off to Glenn’s again, still trying to get his pool in order. I did managed to download the app on my phone so now I can control it without having to go all the way out there, but it still needs some work. Stopped at the hardware store on the way back to pick up a nut and washers for his lawn mower, lost a nut on the steering control awhile back, finally got the parts to fix it. Got back to camp and settled down for the evening, so I didn’t get as much done as I hoped, but still kept busy. Off to shower and bed here shortly! Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Wednesday, November 16, 2022 – Busy Runaround Day

Hi Darlin’,
Had a good night sleep, though Lola was restless throughout the night and woke me several times, despite the fact the door was open and she could go in and out whenever she wanted, on her cable. After chores and breakfast I did a quick wash of both the truck and the Buick, then headed out with the truck to pick up pool salt for Glenn, then to the Kane center for Wednesday euchre. This lovely girl at the front desk brought over an adorable crocheted pink blanket for Lola, who fell in love with it immediately, so she wouldn’t have to lay on the hard floor. After euchre I tried to return it to her, but she insisted it was a gift, so Lola would have it every time she came. Wasn’t that wonderful? So generous! It’s the perfect size and Lola laid quietly curled up the whole time. Did pretty well today, too, won every game! Then went shopping, with a stop at CVS then Walmart, and the sun had already set by the time I got out, and almost dark by the time we got back to camp. Put all the groceries away, then settled down for the evening. Ready for shower and bed! Good night, babe! Love you!

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 – Slept In Late, Solved Some Problems

Hey Babe,
Woke up right on schedule at 7:00, but laid in for awhile reading, then falling asleep again until almost 9:00! Seems to work that way, I do a lot of physical stuff for a couple of days, then my body protests and I have to take some down time to recover. Did my chores, had breakfast, and still felt tired so I crawled back into bed, reading and napping until after noon. Finally got up because I had a couple of packages come in, including the 25′ extension cord I ordered so I can finally have 50 power again, at last! I took the Buick, but before I left, I had been meaning to check to see if the spark plug wires were all tight, because it’s still running so rough. I had checked the ones in the front, but I never remembered until it was too hot to check the back ones, so I did it this morning, and would you believe? Two of the spark plug wires were completely off! No wonder Panther’s running rough! I wasn’t sure which way they went, so I took a guess and pushed them back on, and, not surprisingly, she ran much better! Still a bit rough around third or fourth gear, so I may still have a transmission problem, but the engine is definitely running better. Picked up gas in Glenn’s tank for the lawn mower, stopped at the post office for my power cord and a new feed bag for Apollo (he chewed through the bottom of the other one), then went to Glenn’s again, cleaned out his Navigator of some junk, but everything was still in the green, even though it apparently turned off again at some point. Then, just as I was about a mile or so from camp, the hood medallion that says GS on it came flying off. I quickly stopped and searched for it, and spent the better part of an hour walking up and down the road looking for it, FINALLY found it just as I was about to give up, thank goodness! Going to have to do some research to see how to best put that back on! I figured trying to find a replacement for something that rare would be nearly impossible, and delighted I finally managed to find it. Got back to camp and immediately went to plug in my new extension cord, only to discover that the electrician had put the outlet in upside down to what I need for my extension cord. It’s always something! I got out my screwdriver and turned it up the way I needed it, but then the cover box wouldn’t fit correctly, but I didn’t care at that point, at least I had 50 amp power! I told James about it, hopefully he’ll get the electrician out here to fit it properly. It looked great, it was just upside down. Anyway, I finally settled down, got the horses put away, played with Lola for awhile, grilled chicken for dinner, watched a good movie, Where the Crawdads Sing, now I’m heading for shower and bed. It’ll be a busy day tomorrow, too, so I’m glad I took half a day off today. Good night, sweetheart! Love you!