Thursday, May 19, 2022 – Got My Tractor Today!

Hi Sweetie!
Woke up to an early alarm, got my chores and breakfast done, then headed off to Jeff’s to pick up my tractor. Whoo hoo! I guess you know what kind of girl I am that gets excited about having her tractor nearby, huh? Can’t WAIT to get out and start mowing these trails! When I got to Jeff’s, he told me to just back up and hook up the trailer, but had forgotten there was a tree that had fallen down and was blocking the only way in, so I cranked up the tractor, which started almost right away (good tractor!) and I quickly got a chain around the tree and moved it out of the way. Boy, have I missed being able to do jobs like that so quick and easy! It wasn’t long before we got the trailer hooked up and the tractor loaded on and strapped down. I had to add some air to the tires, but that didn’t take long, than off back to camp! I stopped at the gas station to fill up the 5 gallon diesel tank and the tractor (over $40 just for a bit over eight gallons! Ridiculous!), so now I’m ready to rock and roll! All I need now is for James to come over and open the gate and put a combo lock on it for me, and I’ll be up at the crack of dawn every day until all the trails are mowed to my liking, which shouldn’t take me too long. I’m only doing the horse trails, leaving the rest to the contractor who’s actually being PAID to mow. Sorry, but I’ve run out of patience. We were supposed to do this for the last two weeks, when the weather was perfect, now it’s over 90 every day and the humidity is rising, and the afternoon thunderstorm summer pattern is about to start, and I’m not waiting any longer! Can’t wait! Once I off-loaded the tractor, I couldn’t get the truck started, once again proof that my fuel filter needs changing, despite the fact it doesn’t have the recommended 15K miles on it yet. Must have got some bad diesel somewhere. I waited until almost 6:00 to try it again, and still had to manually pump it to get it going, but managed to finally start it, moved the trailer and disconnected, then parked the truck and the tractor in the car port, since now they’re saying there’s a chance of rain tonight that wasn’t there before. Settled down for the evening, a couple of Supernaturals, now headed to shower and bed, ready to get up with the alarm again tomorrow! Good night, darlin’! Love you!

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 – Quiet Day in Camp

Hey Darlin’,
A good night sleep, read for a bit, then got roused out of bed by an early-arriving camper. Surprisingly, I had quite a few campers show up here today, I keep thinking things are going to slow down, but they don’t seem to be! Pulled a few weeds, had a business conference call, moved the horses to a different paddock, otherwise, didn’t do much of anything today. I’ve arranged with brother Jeff to pick up my tractor tomorrow, I’m tired of waiting around for this contracted mower to get out here. It should have been done several weeks ago when the weather was cooler, now it’s getting up into the 90’s every day, and not getting below mid-70’s at night, so it’s going to be a much hotter job now. At least I’ll be able to get a few more things done around here! I’ll just have to get up earlier in the morning, change my schedule a bit. Settled down to a decent movie, a thriller filmed in Croatia, lots of twists and turns, and beautiful scenery. In keeping with changing my schedule, I’m going to bed early! Good night, babe! 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!

Monday, May 16, 2022 – Puttering Around Day

Hi Sweetie!
Woke up early, read for awhile, then got up and started putting around. Went down and picked up my package at the “office” which is Gate 5, but I had to go in at Gate 6 and go around because the intercom wasn’t working well enough to get the gate opened. Met Marie in the office. Then got back to camp and did a few jobs, took some nails out of a long board that has been laying on the ground for a long time (and I’ve stepped on the nail once, so it had to go!) and stored it and some other leftover lumber in the storage room in Barn 1. Put salt in the water softeners, had to clean out a dirty stall in Barn 2, leftover someone a few weeks ago, though I don’t know who. They even left an empty bottle behind in the stall. Really? There are two dumpsters 30 feet away and you can’t put your empty Perrier bottle in the garbage, you throw it into a stall? What is WRONG with people? After that I started work on a campground site map, something I can use for reference since I have quite memorized where all the sites are yet. Might be useful later, too, if they ever decide to have people reserve their sites instead of first come, first served like it is now. I thought I was going to finally have the place to myself today, but two more campers came in, and unfortunately, one was that father/daughter pair that I had trouble with a couple of weeks ago. Hoping I don’t have any more trouble with them. They came in with a permit under the father’s name this time, so I think they’re in violation of the “30 days per family” rule, but I’m having the reservation guy check on it. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like they set up 20 solar lights like they did last time. I have one other quiet camper in a van on the other side, so hopefully it will stay fairly quiet this week. There was a small wildfire nearby, but they managed to get that under control before it turned into anything, guess the rain we had the other night helped. Settled down for the evening, now I’m ready for bed! Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Sunday, May 15, 2022 – Quiet Laundry Day

Hey Darlin’,
Had a decent night sleep and managed to sleep a little late this morning, for which I was very grateful. Didn’t have much on the books today, and everyone was gone by the end of the day, making it the first time since I’ve been here that the campground was empty except for me! I decided to do laundry, and ended up doing 5 or 6 loads before I was done. Did some reading, binge-watched some TV, then after dinner, started a movie that you would have loved! It was called Operation Mincement, and it had all the A-list British actors in it, led by Colin Firth, and was a story of deception and spycraft during WWII. The narrator and one of the characters was Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond stories, so the dialogue was occasionally peppered with the inside stories of how he came to use “M” and “Q” in his later stories. It was fascinating and gripping, and a very nice diversion! It was only interrupted once by a camper that came it late (I really thought I would have the place to myself tonight!), and of course, he had a problem with his permit that had to be dealt with, but eventually I got back to the movie, and my laundry. Now all that’s left is my shower and to make the bed before getting in it for the night. So good night, babe! Love you!

Saturday, May 14, 2022 – Hay Day

Hey Babe,
Lola was so restless last night, scratching at the floor and making a fuss, I finally put her on her chain and left the door open so she could come in and out. I did that a couple of times earlier this week when there was almost no one here, so I guess she got in the habit and liked it, so I had to do it again, she was so noisy. That happened in the middle of the night, so I lost some sleep over that. When I did get up and did my rounds, I got an earful of complaints about one of the groups of hunters who apparently stayed loud well into the wee hours of quiet time, then started up again at 4:00 in the morning. I had stuck my head out the door at 11:00 last night and didn’t hear anything, but then they were far away so I probably wouldn’t. Unfortunately, that means that tonight I’m going to have to stay up late and go over there to give them a warning. The local law enforcement guy went and had a talk with a one of them, the only one left in camp, but I don’t know if that will do any good. This is the only thing I don’t like about this job, having to deal with people who have no consideration for others. I don’t care what their cultural differences are, when you’re in a camp, quiet hours mean QUIET! Whatever. Once I got my other chores done, I took a ride into town to pick up hay, the Ace hardware that sells it had called me to tell me it was in, so I went to get some. It’s beautiful, soft green coastal, but I’ve never had to pay so much for it before, $12.50 a bale! For Coastal! I may be saving on gas, but I’m sure not saving on hay! But with diesel at $5.79/gal earlier this week, I can’t blame the farmers, they have to pay it, too. I bought 15 bales though, since it seems I’m not leaving as early as I thought, and there seems to be a shortage. I don’t want to run out. I suspect I’ll be able to put the horses on grass more often though, I doubt we’ll get that many campers once this hunt is over. I’ve been having trouble charging my phone, so I bought a 5-pack of new cords from Amazon, which, despite explicit instructions on where to deliver it, ended up at the “office,” which turned out to be gate 5, which is closed on Saturdays. I drove over there anyway, and could actually see my package on the floor inside the door, but it was locked, so I’ll have to wait until Monday. Meanwhile, my phone just won’t seem to charge, though I finally got the cord I had put with my solar panel out, and that’s working. It seems like they work for about a week, then the end stretches and doesn’t stay tight, so it doesn’t charge right. Hoping these new cords will work better, but at least I’ll have spares when they quite working. Looked into a wireless charger, might consider that if these don’t last long enough, but apparently they take longer to charge. Of course, that’s better than not charging at all! Anyway, I’m having to stay up past 11:00, probably be midnight or later by the time I get to bed, since I won’t be able to take my shower till after my final rounds, and who know how late that will be if these guys give me any trouble. Just hope I don’t have to call law enforcement. I’ll be glad when most everyone leaves tomorrow, I need some sleep! So I’ll say goodnight, even though I’ll be up awhile longer. 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!

Thursday, May 12, 2022 – Another Day Puttering

Hey Sweetie,
Had another day of mostly just puttering around again. I finished mowing the little patch of weedy gravel that is my “front yard” now that James brought me some gas. I put my name on the gas can, though, because it’s quite full and I can’t see me using it all up before I leave, so I guess I could just leave it here and retrieve in the fall when I come back, assuming I don’t stay the summer. Green headed horseflies are starting to get bad, though with the cooler weather we’ve had the last couple of days, not so much. I’m sure once the heat returns, though, they’ll be out here in droves. Love bugs are out in full force though! Glad they’re relatively harmless, except to the windshield of oncoming vehicles! I put the horses in a different paddock today, then when a couple of horse campers came in, I moved them further back to another paddock, let them do some mowing and cut down on my hay use. I call W&W and he told me they were supposed to be getting hay sometime tomorrow, sounded like the haymaker was baling tomorrow and would bring 100 bales by. I asked him to save me ten, since I doubt I’ll have time to pick it up tomorrow. I have a busy day planned, so I’m getting to bed super early so I’m fully rested. I was dozing off this afternoon while I was reading in my chair, must be all this physical labor, between all the digging yesterday and that little bit of mowing today. Got a call from Chester, the mower, and he tried to call me yesterday, for some reason I missed the calls, and, of course, I didn’t recognize the number since I lost my contacts. I have it now, though! He thinks he might have an angle for getting me a UTV, fingers crossed, but we’ll wait and see. It will probably only be for the one day of mowing, but you never know! Stranger things have happened! Spent some time getting ready for tomorrow, loading up the small horse trailer. I’m going up to a place in Stuart called the Savannas, which I never knew was even there, and apparently it’s quite a lovely horse trail. One of the ladies from last weekend invited me, she claims we can do a 4.5 hour ride there, plus lunch! I need a change of venue, plus I’ll be able to do my big shopping, and finally, I’ve arranged to meet brother Glenn and his wife in the afternoon for drinks afterward, since they’re leaving for Texas the next day, so it will be a busy day! It’s already in the 100’s in Texas, can’t believe they’re heading into that! Makes the mid-80’s here seem positively balmy! Anyway, I’m doing everything a couple of hours early tonight, I’m determined to get to be in plenty of time to get my essential eight hours tonight! So soon to be heading to the shower, and then to bed! Good night, babe! Love you!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 – Pretty Busy Day

Hi Babe,
A great night sleep, the nights have been deliciously cool, perfect sleeping weather with the windows open! I was still in bed reading when James came by, we chatted, then he took my little gas tank and got it filled up so I would be able to finish mowing the lawn. He also measured out the part of the driveway that needs some shellrock so no one will get stuck in it again, not sure how long it’s going to take to get that approved and done. Everything moves at a glacial pace here, typical bureaucracy. He had asked me about finding the valves that turn off the water at several points around the camp, particularly the paddocks, so I spent the day with my little trowel, digging up valves which were often buried in a foot of sand. I think I managed to find them all, though it took me several hours. Then I sat down at my computer to make a map of which valves control which spigots. I thought I had it finished, then later realized I had screwed it up because I duplicated something, so I need to do it again in the morning. Meanwhile, because I couldn’t get hay yesterday, I let the horses out right after I gave them their feed this morning so that they could graze (and save half a bale of hay!), and they wandered all over the place. By mid-day they were standing in the middle of Barn 2, and Flash even hung out in a stall for awhile! Later I saw them in one of the paddocks munching away. They didn’t go too far, and by dinner time, they came as soon as I called them over, got them fed and back in their paddock. Spent some time inputting new contacts, a lot of folks texted or messaged me with their information. It certainly will be a much shorter contact list than I had before! At least I’m paring it down to folks I really know, though I had a lot of useful notes on some of them. I’ll survive! Anyway, I’ve now confirmed that the contacts in my Google account are the same as my contacts on the phone that I’ve been putting it in. If only I knew that was how it worked before, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble! Well, what’s done is done, nothing more to be said. Settled down for the evening, now I’m ready for shower (which I really need after playing in the sand all day!) and bed! Good night, darlin’! Love you!

Tuesday, May 10, 2022 – Day Full of Ups and Downs

Hey Darlin’,
Kind of a roller coaster day today! Oddly cool this morning, which was a nice bit of relief from the weather, and after my usual chores and breakfast, I got on the phone to once again try to resolve my phone issues. Unfortunately, the one closest to the problem, Google, has absolutely NO way to actually contact a live person! It’s all through forums. They don’t even have a chat room that works! Ridiculous. Wasted two hours on the phone with Samsung. So now I’m stuck. I finally decided the best thing to do was to announce it on Facebook and have people send me their numbers, but this will never get back the hundreds of contacts I’ve made over the years, some with some VIP’s as you well know. Oh, well, most of that chapter of my life is over anyway, so I guess I can be positive and just say it’s a fresh start. I’ve been getting a lot of response from my post, so hopefully I won’t miss anyone that’s relevant in my life at the moment. After several hours working on that problem, I decided I needed to do some yard work. The septic tank area behind me has grown a lot of grass, and I’ve put the horses on it the last couple of days, but they’ve been leaving behind all of the weeds, daisies and other flowers, and since some are about to go to seed, I figured I better do something before it gets exponentially worse. There’s a mower in the shed, and it had gas, so I got that out and miraculously it started on the first pull! I can’t remember the last time I used a push mower, though. I mean, I remember I was about nine or ten when I learned how to run the John Deere riding mower at the cottage, and before that, the mower was a non-motorized push rotary type! And this one isn’t even self-propelled, so I really got my exercise today! Unfortunately, I ran out of gas just as I was starting the little bit of yard in front of my trailer, so I’ve had to ask James about getting gas for it. I was impressively reminded that one of the things I love about moving to a new trailhead every couple of weeks is that I don’t have to do yard work! Well, that changed today! I managed to get that done, then I confirmed that the Goodyear in town had a new tire for the small horse trailer, and decided to go get that done. I was expecting a package today, but once it was clear it wasn’t coming today, I headed into town. I went by the hardware store first because I wanted to pick up some hay, but they were out of coastal! Not even sure when they’re going to get it again, maybe later in the week. I’m down to 2 1/2 bales, but I figure if I just leave the horses on the grass during the day, I should be able to stretch that out. So that was disappointing. Then I got to the Goodyear, and they were so fast changing my tire out, but then it was pointed out to me that another one of the tires was looking bad (not surprising, it had been manufactured in 2010, so I guess it’s fair to say I got my use out of it), but that was an added expense I hadn’t figured on. Well, I needed it, the trailer was really shaking bad, and it was much better on the way home. The other two tires looked pretty good, so hopefully they will last awhile, even though the trailer won’t get too much use, except as a hay storage box once I get it back to Jeff’s. But I’ve decided to do as much exploring locally as I can, just for a change of pace and to keep me in shape, so I’ll get some use out of it, at least. I just need new trails to go on! Finally settled down for the evening, and before you know it, it’s time for shower and bed. Love you, sweetie! Good night!