Tuesday, April 7, 2020 – A Bit Less Work

Hiya Sweetie,
Another good night sleep, fortunately, and a bit of a slower morning, except for work on the computer. I learned a few more things about Bereavement Benefits from England, and it appears that I might be eligible, though it’s supposed to be filed within three months, which is exactly the date today. Of course, trying to confirm an answer to anything right now is next to impossible, all the government offices on both sides of the pond are understaffed and overwhelmed with dealing with this coronavirus. I did take a quick run over to the house to try to find some paperwork with your National Insurance number on it, and finally found some, though not after getting Jeff to tear apart everything in his closet first, sorry! I also brought the tools to fix the belt, and it went on very easy, almost too easy to my mind, I’m wondering if it stretched. I had put the battery on charge last night, and it was enough to turn it over a bit, but not enough to start it, so I left it to charge again, since I don’t want to put it back together again until I know it will work. Got back to the camp shortly before the realtor came by, I handed over some old surveys and title work in the hopes that would save on some costs, and might have even persuaded him to lower his commission a bit, we’ll see. I felt kind of lazy after that (imagine that!), so other than putting the horses out and checking on them from time to time, I look the rest of the afternoon off. Nice to be able to do that occasionally, it seems like it’s been ages since I just relaxed for a couple of hours during the day. It’s been beautiful weather this week, and all the leaves are just starting to come out, the dogwoods and fruit trees are in bloom, and it’s been in the 70’s. That’s changing, though, we have a cold front coming in and it’s going to be near freezing in a couple of nights, so it’ll be blankets for the horses again. Apollo keeps breaking away from his anchor and next thing I know I’m off trying to catch him up, with Flash running circles around him while I get him to where he needs to go. Everybody’s been pretty good about it here, though Lola took a long walkabout this afternoon, I don’t know where she went, but I’m thinking I’m going to have to put her on a leash if I’m not actually playing with her. Well, it’s reached that time of the evening, she’s standing by the door and I still have my shower to take, so off I go! Good night, baby! Love you!Hiya Sweetie,
Another good night sleep, fortunately, and a bit of a slower morning, except for work on the computer. I learned a few more things about Bereavement Benefits from England, and it appears that I might be eligible, though it’s supposed to be filed within three months, which is exactly the date today. Of course, trying to confirm an answer to anything right now is next to impossible, all the government offices on both sides of the pond are understaffed and overwhelmed with dealing with this coronavirus. I did take a quick run over to the house to try to find some paperwork with your National Insurance number on it, and finally found some, though not after getting Jeff to tear apart everything in his closet first, sorry! I also brought the tools to fix the belt, and it went on very easy, almost too easy to my mind, I’m wondering if it stretched. I had put the battery on charge last night, and it was enough to turn it over a bit, but not enough to start it, so I left it to charge again, since I don’t want to put it back together again until I know it will work. Got back to the camp shortly before the realtor came by, I handed over some old surveys and title work in the hopes that would save on some costs, and might have even persuaded him to lower his commission a bit, we’ll see. I felt kind of lazy after that (imagine that!), so other than putting the horses out and checking on them from time to time, I look the rest of the afternoon off. Nice to be able to do that occasionally, it seems like it’s been ages since I just relaxed for a couple of hours during the day. It’s been beautiful weather this week, and all the leaves are just starting to come out, the dogwoods and fruit trees are in bloom, and it’s been in the 70’s. That’s changing, though, we have a cold front coming in and it’s going to be near freezing in a couple of nights, so it’ll be blankets for the horses again. Apollo keeps breaking away from his anchor and next thing I know I’m off trying to catch him up, with Flash running circles around him while I get him to where he needs to go. Everybody’s been pretty good about it here, though Lola took a long walkabout this afternoon, I don’t know where she went, but I’m thinking I’m going to have to put her on a leash if I’m not actually playing with her. Well, it’s reached that time of the evening, she’s standing by the door and I still have my shower to take, so off I go! Good night, baby! Love you!

Monday, April 6, 2020 – More Work

Hey Babe,
A great night sleep last night, Lola slept through the night, and so did I! Another day of cleaning, today it was more furniture and the Cub Cadet lawnmower. I washed it down and then tried to put the belt back on. You remember it came off just as I was pulling in into the garage last year, and I haven't had time to look at it since. Seems I have to take a cover off to get to it, and I didn't have the tools, so I left that for tomorrow. I did get all the furniture squared away, took pictures of everything so I can get it listed on Marketplace, and I've asked brother Jeff whether he's going to make it up here or not, and to let me know within the next 24 hours so I can make some decisions about selling stuff, especially the MGB. I guess the best thing to do is have a Moving Sale this weekend, but with all these "stay at home" orders, I'm not sure I'll have any takers. Maybe an online auction instead, I'm not sure. Anyway, as far as I know we're still on track to close on the 17th, fingers crossed, though I'm having to prod the realtor about almost everything, so I'm not sure exactly where we are on it, if there's any problems or not. I worked for about 4 hours, then came back to camp. I let the horses out, putting Apollo on a double anchor like I did yesterday, then I decided to see how Lola behaved on the water. There's a small pond here with a communal paddle boat, so I look her out on that, and she was just fine. She wasn't quite sure what to make of it at first, but she settled down, even if she didn't get the point. We weren't out too long, and when we got back to shore I decided to check on the horses and found they had disappeared. As I was searching the property I got a call from the owner, Wayne, saying they'd wandered up the road, and a girl found them and put them in a barn next door, thinking that's where they belonged, which explains why Apollo didn't come when I called him. Anyway, I got them back safe and sound and tied his anchor around a post so he couldn't get too far, and of course, Flash stayed nearby as he always does. I did some computer work until dusk, then put them away in their paddock and got on with my evening. I started a new series about the building of the Titanic, though it seems to be more about the labor unions trying to organize than the actually work being done. And of course, the mandatory love stories, etc. that are formula with this kind of series. Derek Jacoby is playing the owner of the shipyard, and, oddly, Chris Noth is cast as JP Morgan, who evidently financed the building of the Titanic. He's his usual flat self, sorry to say. I was hoping that surrounded by quality British actors his game might have improved, but no such luck. Anyway, time to walk Lola, though tonight I think I'll go with her as I hear a lot of coyotes or a pack of dogs or something yowling outside in the distance, and I don't want to take any chances. Then it'll be shower and bed, as usual! Good night, my love!

Sunday, April 5, 2020 – Furniture Cleaning

Hiya Darlin’,
Didn’t get a very good night sleep, unfortunately Lola was restless most of the night, waking me up at 2:00 am to let her out, and back in again half an hour later. I had a hard time getting back to sleep, so I woke up tired this morning. After breakfast I packed up some things I needed for cleaning and repairs over at the house, and headed over there after I took care of the horses. I worked for a solid 5 hours with no breaks, just cleaning and repairing the furniture. The other side of the green loveseat had given up the ghost, but since I had the spare parts, I fixed that. I was glad I had done it before (and knew it COULD be done) or I would have been very frustrated with it. It went well, though, so I’m hoping the buyer can come get it tomorrow, or at least someday soon. I cleaned the burgundy recliners too, and measured one out to see if there’s ANY possibility I can fit one in the trailer, but there isn’t, at least if I want to have a second chair in the same space. I rinsed down the lawnmower, but didn’t have the energy to fully wash it so I put it off until tomorrow. It was after 5:00 when I got back, so I put Apollo on the anchors and let them loose to mow down a part of the yard. At 7:00 I went back out and they had wandered a bit farther than I thought, but Apollo predictably got caught on a bushhog sitting in the yard so I had to undo him, and Flash was nearby, too, so all was well, and they got some fresh grass. I finished off the season of The Crown, with the final episode being the Silver Jupilee in 1977, the one where you played Henry VIII at Windsor Castle for a week, ending with the Royal Family. I’ll always remember you telling me about how Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband (who, of course, could never be king, as it was passed down to the next generation not to the spouse), came up to you afterward and asked you, “So, what’s it like to be King?” A great moment! It was that week where you met the people that brought you to America, and eventually, to me, so it was obviously a big turning point in our lives, even though I didn’t know you yet! Anyway, I have to say I found this season not nearly as good as the first season, quite slow, actually. Now I have to find something else to start watching. My eyes are hurting from all the reading I’ve been doing, and also the lack of sleep. I can’t wait until this house closes and I can do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for a couple of days! Or try to, at least. Anyway, off for my shower and bad. Love you, sweetie! Good night!

Saturday, April 4, 2020 – First Visit to House

Hi Babe,
A pretty good night sleep, then this morning after doing my usual chores I arranged to pick up a big round bale of hay from one of the Mennonites that our usual hay guy recommended. I decided on getting a round bale rather than a bunch of small bales, partly to save me from having to carry hay over twice a day, but also because I figured it would save money in the long run. So first I ran down to the post office to pick up a great stack of mail, stopped at the dollar store for dog food cans, which is about all I need right now, then went over to get the bale, which I brought back a managed to roll into the little makeshift paddock between the chicken houses. Then I headed back to the house, stopping to chat with neighbor Sheri for a while, sitting on her front porch longer than I probably should, till I finally headed over to the house. Our renters had rearranged all the furniture, breaking one of the green love seats in the process, so now I have that to fix, which fortunately I still have the parts for, though I’ll have to find the instructions again, can’t remember how I did it. They moved the waterbed all the way out to the second garage for some reason, so not surprisingly the mattress had a huge hole chewed into it by the vermin. I have no idea why they felt it necessary to move it all the way out there, but they left some of the parts in the hallway for some reason as well, so now it’s scattered everywhere. Grrrr! I should’ve known better. Anyway, now I have more to deal with than before. I can’t wait to get this over with! I took some pictures to post up on Marketplace again, and I’m trying to get in touch with the buyers to see if they want any of this stuff, like the trash trailer and the Cub Cadet lawnmower before I try to sell it. I’m running out of time, though, don’t know what I’m going to do it I can’t get this sold before the house closes. Not sure Jeff will have time to come up, not even sure it’s worth his while to do, so I’m in a quandary. I’m in another quandary about where to go after this, all the parks in the neighboring states all seem to be closing down, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I may have to stay here, but I really can’t afford to do that for long either, even though Wayne’s giving me a decent deal, but I’m still paying for a full hookup. Plus there’s no trails to go riding, Lola’s supposed to be on a leash, and I have neighbors practically right next to me, all things I don’t particularly like. So it looks like my newfound freedom is going to be on a very short leash until this pandemic mess settles down. I was so depressed by the time I got back from the house. Well, enough whining, I’m still tired and I have a busy day tomorrow trying to get some of this stuff straightened out. Hopefully things will go better then. Off to my shower and bed. Good night, babe! Love you!

Friday, April 3, 2020 – Travel Day Almost to the House

Hiya Sweetie!
Well after a nice quiet night, I was up and at 'em pretty early, and managed to get all packed up and on the road just after 9:00. You won't be surprised when I tell you that the entire I-16 highway is still just as bumpy and rough as ever, jolting things around a lot until I finally reached I-75 on the other side of Macon. I can't remember how many decades it's been since I was able to drive through Atlanta without hardly hitting my brakes, traffic was that light. Of course, that didn't stop the four-wheelers from jumping around from lane to lane anyway, the idjits! Other than stopping in Resaca for gas (they redid the roads there, and now the ONLY way out of the Flying J is to turn right and make a U-turn. Really??? From a truck stop?? I wonder whose brilliant idea THAT was! Anyway, it was an uneventful drive, and I arrived at Wayne's campground around 2:30 CT (gained an hour, love being back on Central Time!), but took more than two hours to set up because I had to put up a fence for the horses, plus run a hose through an old building for water, and generally get everything in order. It's a full hookup though, so it will be easy living for the duration. My plan had been that after the closing I was thinking about heading west to the Chickasaw State Park, but the governor has just closed down all the state parks and forests, so now I'm not sure where I'm going to go. I'll have to make some calls. Once I got everything settled down, I poured a glass of wine and threw balls for Lola for a while, then settled down for the evening with some more episodes of the Crown. Shower's already done, heading off to bed shortly! Love you! Good night, my darling!

Thursday, April 2, 2020 – Ride Day at Mingo Trails

Hi Darlin',
Had a decent night sleep, nice and quiet and pretty dark here, and I'm getting that sense you get when you go, go, go for a long time and then suddenly stop and it seems your whole body shuts down. Had already set up going for a ride, though, so I had a leisurely breakfast before saddling up Flash. Terrie arrived right a little ahead of schedule, but I wasn't far behind being ready, and we headed out just after 11:00. Unfortunately, her gaited mare started giving her trouble about half a mile out, so she decided to come back and trade her in for her husband's horse, which delayed us for a bit. We finally go back on the trail, and we had an enjoyable time. The trails are quite nice here, lots of variety, nothing too steep, no rocks, all sand or dirt, a few wet spots, a couple of creek crossings, a section with an obstacle course, which Flash did brilliantly, so it was very nice. At one time, Flash was doing a fast gait (his largo) across a section of pretty deep sand, and he stumbled and fell towards his left, going all the way to the ground with me still on his back. The ground was so soft, though, there was little damage to either of us, though later in the day my shoulder and hip started to ache a little, like it might bruise, but other than that it was no big deal. We'll see if I feel the same tomorrow! Not long after we got back, another family that had been out riding got back, and Lola carried her chucker over and in only a few moments, had trained the 4-year old boy to throw for her. That kept her busy for quite a while, so hopefully she'll sleep well tonight. I read for awhile, nodding off in my chair, then Terrie came by and we chatted a bit before we called it a day. I finished off all the Agents of SHIELD that was on Netflix, though I didn't realize the series was still going on, so I'll have to wait awhile for the next season. I changed over to the 3rd season of The Crown, where they have a mostly new cast of actors, and starting in 1964. I miss how you always used to fill me in on the British history I didn't know, now I'm lacking the insider's scoop without you! Anyway, time for my shower and bed, we have a longer drive tomorrow and I need a good night sleep. 'Night my love!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020 – Travel Day to Mingo Trails

Hey Babe,
Managed to get packed up and out of Pistol's place just after 9:00, though I had a little trouble loading the horses. Well, not the kind of trouble most people would imagine. I called the horses over from the other side of the yard, and they came, of course, and I put Flash's halter on and led him over to the ramp, which, after just a moment of hesitation, he raced up, as usual. Before I even had a chance to put the end of his lead through the hook in his stall, Apollo walked up the ramp right behind him! I quickly tied Flash in, then I literally had to back Apollo out, without even a halter on yet! I managed to keep him out long enough to put a fly mask on Flash, lock him in his stall, then get Apollo's halter on, all while he waited impatiently at the bottom of the ramp. I finally let him in, then put his fly mask on because he wasn't about to wait a minute longer. Once they were squared away I headed out, and had a pretty uneventful drive. There were dozens of troopers on the southbound side just south of the Georgia border, evidently they're only letting people with Florida drivers' licenses in, or at least not allowing folks from areas that are hot spots like NY and NJ in. The world's gone mad! They even had a guy standing in the Agricultural Inspection station lane so I didn't even have to get out of the truck to get passed through. A very different experience these days. I imagine the truckers are happy though, there aren't many four-wheelers on the road these days, which must make it easier and faster for them. Stopped for fuel a the GA border and again at Walmart at the exit where I got off, just so I wouldn't have to fill up in the morning like I did today. Arrived here at Mingo Trails Saddle Club, which is quite a nice campground, all with water and electric. Not too many level sites, but I managed to park near the top of a hill and highlined the horses right next to me. It's been so hot lately, then yesterday evening a cold front came through bringing some severe weather for about half an hour, so we're expecting lows in the low 40's here tonight, so I put on their light blankets, since they've lost a lot of their winter coats already. Got them settled down for the evening, though I'm sorry to say that the hay that Cord picked up for me at their Tractor Supply yesterday is really bad, dusty and brown, no green at all. Not sure if the horses will even eat it, though they charged a ridiculous $10 a bale for it. Can't wait to get back to TN where I can get great hay for $5 a bale, already found a source in Morrison, so I'll be picking up some of that this weekend. One of the members of the club came by and asked if I'd like to ride with her tomorrow, so we've arranged to do that in the morning. I was going to only spend one night here, but it's so tiring to drive day after day, and one extra day isn't going to hurt anything, and I'd like to see what the trails are like here, so I decided to spend an extra night. For only $15 a night for water and electric for non-members, you can't beat it! Anyway, I've watched my SHIELDS, relaxed for the evening, just have my shower and bed calling me now! Good night, darlin'! Love you!

Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2020 – Catch Up Day

Hi Sweetie,
Well, Lola was a bit restless last night after all. She’s been in one place for so long she forgot about having new back yards every few weeks, plus I kept the door closed since she needs to start getting used to not being able to go out any time she wants. Still, I got a decent night sleep, though the horses woke me up when they started eating hay out of the back of the truck, with the sound of their chewing right outside my window and them bumping the truck occasionally, though they eventually wandered off. Pistol had to get to work very early. She drives a dump truck, but is working a job right next door where they’re building a lake. After I got up I started to pull the hub off the one wheel that seemed a bit hot on the road yesterday, finally managing to get it off, but I had trouble getting the mashed up cotter pin out. Fortunately, it turns out Pistol’s boyfriend is a certified mechanic, and he was nice enough to give me a hand. He even picked me up some new cotter pins and some more hay while he was out running errands, since the horses are munching more than I had planned on, and I need enough to get to Tennessee. I also did a few more quick repairs around the trailer in the morning, and by afternoon, the efforts of the past months finally caught up with me. I stopped and read for awhile, then climbed into bed and took a nap, which helped a lot. Then we had a very nice supper that Pistol made, and I sent her copies of my Google Earth files, which took a while to do. We were all so tired at that point we called it a night. I fed the horses and watched a couple of SHIELDS, but now I’m ready for my shower and bed! Good night, my love!

Monday, Mar. 30, 2020 – Finally Back On The Road

Hello Darlin’,
Sorry to say that my potential RV buyers STILL couldn’t make up their mind this morning, so I told them I had to leave if they didn’t want to have it delivered today. I told them they could make arrangements with Jeff to pick it up if they decided they wanted it, but I couldn’t stay, I just have too much to do. So I packed everything up and managed to get out just before noon, and just after that I heard on the radio that they were instituting a travel ban in South Florida because of the coronavirus! Not that that would have stopped me, of course, but things are getting crazy here! There’s a lot less of the virus in TN than FL so I’m kind of glad to be getting out. Jeff told me he might have tightened the bearings a bit too much, maybe, but that I should stop at the first rest area and check to see if any of them were too hot, and told me what I should do if they were, which consisted of removing the cap, pulling the cotter pin, backing of the hub nut one notch, then putting it all back together again. At the first stop, I did find one that did seem a bit warmer than the others, but then I couldn’t get the cap off, so that ended that. I stopped at just about every rest stop on the way just to check it, but it didn’t seem to get any worse, so I’ll just check it in the morning when they’re cooler and they might come off easier. Anyway, the rest of the trip was uneventful and I arrived at my new friend Pistol, whom I met on the OTL ride in February. She lives in a great spot, at the end of a dead end road with quite a bit of acreage and a full RV hookup that I could get into with no problem. I quickly got set up, let the horses out into the yard, then joined her and her friends in the kitchen for the evening. Evidently it was beauty salon night, because everyone there but me got their hair cut, colored and/or ironed out by one of Pistol’s friends. They ordered pizza, which I’ve been in the mood for for days, and it was really one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had, with a thick but airy crust and lots of the good stuff. I really enjoyed that!. By then it was almost 10:00, so we said our good-nights and I came to bed. Lola had lots of fun running around in the yard with a pack of other dogs, and Pistol’s son spent some time chucking the ball for her, so hopefully she’ll sleep through the night. I took my show, watched a SHIELD, and now it’s off to bed. Love you, babe! Good night!

Sunday, Mar. 29, 2020 – No Answer Yet, Brakes A Go

Hey Babe,
Well, the couple that looked at the trailer still hasn’t made a decision, said they’d know by tomorrow. Meanwhile, Jeff and I continued to go through the process of checking out the brakes. On Friday he thought some of the brake shoes were really worn, but after looking at them all, he decided they weren’t. He still isn’t sure about the concept of a proportional brake controller, but I think I finally convinced him it’s working the way it’s suppose to. After all, if I’m standing still, why would I need a lot of power on the brakes? The brake controller senses inertia, so it made sense that it was working correctly. When I hit the manual override, though, it’s going all the way up to 13 volts, which was inconsistent before, so I always have that as a last resort. We did find a couple of really rusted ground wires that we cleaned up, and that seemed to at least make everything work a little more consistently. I had trouble with the front jacks on Friday when I was hooking up, and had to wiggle that wire behind the battery again, even though it was something brother Karl supposedly fixed in January. We checked that again and most of it seemed good except the ground wire there was pretty rusty, too, so we cleaned that up, and the jack now seems to be working more consistently, too, but we’ll have to wait and see. So now I’m just waiting on this couple to make a decision. If they take it, I’ll move it over there tomorrow, if they don’t, and I find out early enough, I’ll leave to head north tomorrow. Pins and needles, hoping they pick me! Heading off to bed now, reading a good series that I want to get back to. Love you, babe! Good night!