Wednesday, October 27, 2021 – A Quieter Day

Hi Sweetie! A good night sleep, though once again I was woken up by the earth shaking and a dull roar. I stayed in bed past nine, though, I still felt tired. Getting into the crash phase that happens when I do too much physical labor too many days in a row. I decided to keep things simple today, and not doing anything too physical. I flushed out the blackwater tank a couple of times, cleaned one spot on the awning, soldered a little flashlight that had quit working, and I discovered it was a problem inherent with these lights that a wire comes undone, but the flashlight has no visible means to crack it open. Of course, online there were several DIYers that managed to find a way, so I did the same, and sure enough, a wire came undone and soldering solved the problem! Relaxed most of the rest of the day, read a bit, watched a movie, and then was highly entertained when six Canadian geese flew into the yard. Lola watched them come in, then very casually started walking toward them, seeming to round them up, but she did it so slowly that the horses, especially Flash, evidently got frustrated watching and came around to round them up for her! What a riot! Flash actually looked at Lola a couple of times as if to say, “See? This is how you do it! Why aren’t you watching me?” So funny! I’ll try to load up the video, not sure I have the bandwidth for it, we’ll see. Pistol came home, then went right out again to get some lumber for the new floor of her flatbed trailer, which she plans on using for a Halloween hay ride for the kids in the neighborhood. I feel more rested today, and I think with another good night sleep I’ll feel a lot better tomorrow, more able to help Pistol with her party preparations. That said, I’m off for my shower and bed. Good night, darlin’! Love you!

Tuesday, October 26, 2021 – Lots of Busy Jobs Done

Hi Darlin’!
Woke up to the shaking of the ground a bit this morning, as the construction zone next to Pistol’s house got busy at around 7:30. No worries, I had a lot to do today. After chores and breakfast, I headed out to Home Depot,where I picked up a new one of those expandable trellises to use as a divider in the back of the trailer, plus some hardware to fix the pull cable that’s on the trailer, the one that unlocks the hitch ball as it raises off the truck. One of the cable clamps had some undone, plus the plastic that covers the cable finally wore through, so I did an upgrade that (hopefully) prevent that from happening again. While I was working on that, I noticed that there were loose bolts around the actual stanchion that connects to the hitch, so I had to work at tightening those up. I’ve been hearing and feeling some clunking what I brake and accelerate, I’m thinking this might resolve that. My first job was to service the generator, a long overdue job, but discovered that neither of my oil wrenches would fit this tiny filter, so Travis ended up calling a buddy who had the right wrench, but couldn’t come over till about 6:00. No worries, I had plenty of other stuff to do. I put a second layer of sealant on the front cap of the trailer, and also on the awning, because when it rained yesterday, the awning still leaked a bit. I had been getting low on sealant so I scrimped a little, so it clearly wasn’t enough, a second and much thicker layer was in order. It’s supposed to rain on Thursday, so I guess that will be the test! It was 5:00 before I finally settled down with a beer (yay, FINALLY got some Black & Tan at the Walmart today!) I also got fuel, $3.53 a gallon with the discount, I had half a tank and it still cost me $80 to fill up! Grrr! Cord, Pistol’s mechanic friend, showed up shortly afterward with a really cool adjustable oil filter wrench and managed to get the filter off for me. We couldn’t figure out an easy way to drain the oil (though I looked at a video later and discovered one!), so he pulled out a oil transfer pump and rigged that up and we drained it that way. I thought about getting one, but then I learned about the petcock valve, so I cancelled that. I did order one of those filter wrenches, though, it will work on almost any size filter, and is super easy to use, works with a ratchet. Cord also pointed out one of the my trailer tires, and it’s in really bad shape. I had noticed it had a flat spot on it, but now it was turned in such a way as to see another section that was not only bald, but right down to the steel belts, so I ordered a tire online as well. Problem is, the brand I’ve been using is still out of stock everywhere, but I found another one, made by the same Chinese company, that looks like it’s exactly the same, so I ordered one, hoping it works! Not sure it will get here in time for me to leave next Monday, may have to stay an extra couple of days to get that done. I also would like to get my brake pads looked to see if they need replacing, but need some help to do that. Pistol says she has someone who can help, we’ll see. Anyway, we got the generator services with new oil and a new air filter, so we’re good to go on that. Chatted for awhile, fed the horses around dusk, then we parted for the evening, and I settled down. Feeling very tired, haven’t had a day off in so long! I might take one (or part of one) tomorrow, unless some other job rears its’ ugly head on me! Meanwhile, I’ve had my soup, watched my TV, now I’m sipping my Sleepytime tea and will soon be off for my shower and bed! Good night, babe! Love you!

Monday, October 25, 2021 – Travel Day to Pistol’s

Hey Babe!
After a pretty good night sleep, I got up around 8:00 and finished packing up and moving out. I was on the road by about 9:30 after saying goodbye to Tami. My first stop was the Love’s Travel Center in Dublin, with the intention of using the RV dump and topping off my fuel tank, neither of which I ended up doing. The first thing that happened was when I turned in, I heard a crunching sound, and immediately knew that something was going on with my tailgate. I only latched one side, since the other side wouldn’t unlatch with the handle, and somewhere along the line it had jumped loose, so my “new to me” tailgate is crunched up a little. Don’t know if it’s fixable or if this time I need to go to a real body shop and get it taken care of right, we’ll see later. I tied it up with a rope the best I could then went hunting for the RV dump. The signage was terrible, and I ended up having to go inside and ask where it was, turns out I was practically parked in front of it, but it was on a stretch of curb that made it literally impossible to get close enough to it to use it. Seriously! If I pulled along the curb, my front end was right up against the propane pump, and the dump was about even with the back tires of the truck, absolutely ridiculous! I abandoned that idea, so then I drove around the building to the truck pumps. Usually the only pump with a “car” sized handle rather than a huge truck handle (which I end up having to pump slowly because it comes out so fast it immediately turns itself off) is the pump nearest the building. So I pulled in behind a big truck that was there for a couple of minutes. There didn’t seem to be any activity on the pump so I got out to check that it had the smaller handle, only to see that it wasn’t really a pump at all, the truck was just parked there! Okay, so forget that, I wasn’t going to wait around, so I pulled around the pump and headed around the station to finish the same circle I started, only to see that there was no exit! I had to make a giant u-turn and go all the way back around the building to the way I came in. Seriously, I’ve never seen a more poorly designed truck stop in my life. So I failed to accomplish either of my intended goals, I just got on the freeway and headed out. I finally stopped at a Marathon about 80 miles later just to top off my tank (I can’t believe diesel is up to $3.89 a gallon!), re-tied my tailgate back on because it had slipped again, then continued on. Driving the freeway was uneventful, then I got off on US 27 and came in that way. Unfortunately, Google Maps screwed me up and tried to bring me in from the north side, even though that road dead ends in the middle of a forest. Well, it doesn’t actually dead end, it turns into a mud-filled four wheel drive mess. I knew it didn’t look right so I called Pistol to confirm it was the wrong end of the road, which she did, and I had to back up about a hundred yards to another road and carefully turn around, avoiding ditches on both sides. There was a guy in a truck there who confirmed that there are potholes filled with water that would come up to the grill on his truck, so I DEFINITELY would have gotten stuck if I had gone that way! Anyway, in another ten minutes I was pulling into her driveway the RIGHT way, and with the help of her son Travis, got the horses in their nice pasture and the trailer backed up and in place. The whole trip, the radio kept saying it was mostly sunny skies, but it was gray, cloudy and occasionally rainy the whole trip! I had two bales of hay in the back of the truck, because the forecast had said sunny skies. Thanks again, weather forecasters! Just as I got backed into place, the heaviest rain of all came in, but I was able to throw my tarp over the hay just in time, so hopefully they’ll still be good. Shortly after that, Pistol came home, we chatted, then she had to run out and do some stuff, and I had to get my electric hooked up, as well as finally dump into her sewer system, which worked just fine. She brought pizza when she got back and we ate and chatted for a bit, but we both called it an early night. I’m really crashing after all the activity, so it’s off to shower and bed very soon! Good night, my sweet! Love you!

Sunday, October 24, 2021 – More Work, Finally Made Myself Stop

Hi Sweetie,
Slept soundly, though I did fret a bit about the problem I’m having with the front cap on the trailer, but after chores and breakfast, I took another look at it, and decided the best and thankfully easiest route would be to put a bead of sealant along the edge and then use Gorilla tape to hold it in place while it’s drying, then after I get down to Florida, put another layer on, and hopefully that will do it. So that’s what I did, and it seemed to work okay. I’ll have a better idea how well once I make the 250 mile journey, see how it holds up. Anyway, I got that job done, spent some time cleaning the front cap since it had so many streaks in it from all the different things I tried using to get the hold adhesive off. I started doing laundry first thing, since I suddenly remembered that my plan had been to do all the extra things that I only do occasionally, like the mattress cover and all the blankets, plus all the rags I’ve been using, so I was doing laundry nonstop all day. Then I remember I still had to do the seam on the awning where it meets the hard cover, it tends to drip whenever it rains, and I’ve been meaning to do that for awhile. On the way down from the roof, I got a tube of red tack grease out of the oil change box and cleaned and lubricated the hitch, which I’ve also been meaning to do for a few weeks, plus rubbed some on the jack stanchions, as they’ve been squeaking a little bit. I put a few things away as well, though not as much as I usually too, just too tired. When I finally sat down in my chair outside, I practically fell asleep! Just stopping made my body want to shut down. So I read for a bit, grilled a brat, then later put that and Lola’s ball machine away. Tami came by and gave me almost a full bale of hay, so now I have a couple of extra. Good thing there’s no rain in the forecast, fingers crossed! Tami came by again in the evening and we chatted again for awhile, enjoying her company, but finally had to kick her out just after 9:00 because I still had some things to do and I wanted to get to bed fairly early. Just put my last load in the dryer (after 9:30), so I’m heading out for my shower once the water heats up and I finish my tea, then off to bed, with fortunately, I made earlier so I can slip right in! So I’ll say good night, my darling! Love you!

Saturday, October 23, 2021 – Got My Mail, Another Busy Day!

Hi Darlin’,
Another good night sleep, another busy day! I took some ibuprofen last night just to make sure the aches and pain didn’t wake me too early, so I slept like a baby, thank goodness! After chores and breakfast, I ran back into town to pick up my package, and as soon as I got back I installed it, so now I have a working CO2 monitor AND my kitchen light, which was on the same circuit. I also dropped down the air conditioning framework to see if I could figure out where a strange puddle came from, but there were no obvious signs it came from there, but I washed out the filter while I had it apart. Finally, I got back to waxing the rest of the trailer, and finished the job just as my wax ran out, perfect timing! Then I looked at the front cap of the trailer, figuring I would just reseal it, but it’s turning out to be a bit more complicated than that, the front piece of aluminum is actually pulling away from the trailer, so I started trying to get off all the old sealant, not an easy task, and brushed a bunch of rust neutralizer along it, since it seems a little rusty up there. Not bad, but I don’t want it to get any worse. It’s supposed to dry in 24 hours, but I’m going to tackle the problem in the morning, the most challenging being how to hold the piece in place after I seal it, as there’s no way to clamp it. I have an idea, don’t know if it will work, we’ll see in the morning. I also compounded off some paint overspray I had forgotten was up there, washed the windows, pounded a couple of things back into place, cleaned the gutters out better, and generally just kept cleaning, since I seem to be on a cleaning tear right now! Finally quit around 5:00 again, had my grilled burger and settled down for the evening. Tami walked up and we chatted for a couple of hours, we’re getting along like a house on fire, and she gave me some GREAT ideas for some stopovers on my trip north next summer. Apparently there are a number of trail associations like here at Mingo trails that have properties they maintain for horse camping and trail riding, she gave me some names, and the idea to research for more, so hopefully I’ll have a whole new bunch of camps, yay! Tired again, not surprisingly, and I have another busy non-riding day tomorrow, so I’m heading off to shower and bed momentarily! Love you, babe! Good night!

Friday, October 22, 2021 – Run Into Town, Trailer Partly Washed and Waxed

Hi Babe,
Another good night sleep, despite someone nearby running their air conditioner all night, not sure what that’s all about, it’s been beautiful weather. Whatever! After chores and breakfast, I started to wax one of the panels on the trailer, and realized that despite my washing it yesterday, it still had a lot of black streaks and water stains, so I decided I had to take care of that first. After realizing those old cans of Streak Away weren’t going to work, I discovered a video yesterday that claimed a product from a Dollar Store, called LA’s Awesome Cleaner would do the job. Though the video was compelling, I was still a skeptic, but with no other ideas to hand, I headed into town. First I went to the post office to follow up on my package, which they were now saying wouldn’t be here until MONDAY, but set it up with the postmistress that if it came in earlier she would call me, and I could either come and get it or she would arrange to have it delivered via the carrier. Then I went to the Dollar General, the only store in town (the place is about the size of Altamont!) and sure enough, they had a half gallon of the cleaner, so I got that and a small spray bottle and headed back. Amazingly, the stuff really worked! I had to apply it a couple of times on the tough spots, but it worked almost as well as the old stuff, with a little elbow grease. So then I had to pretty much wash the whole trailer by hand again to get all the marks off, then I started applying the wax. What a job! There’s no easy way to was a 47′ trailer! I only got one side done, and it’s not coming out quite as good as I had hoped. I’m using a high end Maguires ceramic wax, which I had high hopes for, but it’s not quite doing the job. I guess there’s too much oxidation in the paint, so that means next time I do this, I’ll probably have to do a little compounding on it first. Oh, joy! Another two days of work. I was so exhausted by 4:30 I didn’t even have the energy to walk down to my neighbor Tami’s trailer, which I said I would do when she rode by earlier in the day, but later, she came up and visited with me for a few hours anyway, which was very enjoyable. Oh, and an hour after I got back from town, the postmistress called to say my package had arrived! I think I’ll just go and pick it up, though, don’t want to take any chances on not getting it tomorrow. I’m exhausted, had an ice pack on my knee all evening, more than ready for my shower and bed, so good night, sweetie! Love you!

Thursday, October 21, 2021 – Hay and Trailer Wash Day

Hi Sweetie,
Had another great night sleep, got my chores done, and headed out to pick up ten bales of hay. This has got to be the closest hay maker I’ve ever gone to, literally just five minutes up the road! A lady named Tanya, and she had some very nice coastal (yeah, we’re back in coastal country again!), but they are big bales for just $6 a bale, so I’m a happy camper. Got them stored away, and was starting to wash the trailer by 11:00. What a job! I was determined to be very thorough today, since my plan is to wax it this time, a LONG overdue exercise. I also found a few more jobs that I need to do, like at the front, there’s a gap between the front aluminum panel and the roof, so I’m going to have to seal that again. I sealed the leaking drain pipe under the refrigerator at the end of the day, too, and it seems to have stopped the drip that was down there. Still don’t know where the water leak is, though, not sure I’ll have time to find and fix it until next week, but we’ll see. Also spent an hour on the phone trying to change a delivery of a package, that, surprise, surprise, was supposed to be here Friday but got delayed, this time by UPS, and they’re saying it will arrive on Saturday before 7:00 pm, which won’t help me because I had it sent General Delivery and the Post Office closes at 11:00 a.m. Sigh. Tracking has it about 100 miles away, so I’m hoping it comes tomorrow anyway, or that I can arrange with the post office to have it sent here to Mingo Trails on Saturday rather than risk missing it at the post office, which means, once again, I may have to delay a day to wait for it. I hate waiting for deliveries, they never seem to get here on time anymore! I am really getting sick of the Covid excuse for everything, but considering that everybody seems to be shorthanded, and there’s not enough people around getting hired, or seem to want to work. Heck, they’re getting $20 an hour at McDonalds now, for heaven’s sake! Between that and fuel prices going up and up, inflation is going crazy right now. Whatever, no sense ranting about it. I guess it is taking its toll, though, Colin Powell, who gave us that incredible praise after you worked with him so many years ago, passed away a few days ago from complications of Covid. I never watch news anymore, too depressing and biased, but I saw an RIP on a church sign as I was driving the other day. Strange but effective way to learn about things, huh? Anyway, I worked my butt off today and managed to get the trailer washed, except for some black streaks, you know how hard they are to get off. All those cans of Streak Away that we bought, what, twenty years ago now, have mostly rusted and can’t seem to get much out of them, so I’m on a search for a replacement, since they don’t make that anymore. Got an idea, I’ll let you know how it works tomorrow. Meanwhile, I’ve had my shower and I’ll be off to bed soon, trying hard to get on a schedule that’s a bit earlier to bed, since the days are getting so much shorter now. So I’ll say good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 – Shopping Day

Hi Darlin’,
Had a good night sleep, another beautiful morning, got my chores done, and after breakfast, headed out to the nearby town of Dublin to do my shopping. Went to Home Depot to look for several things, none of which they had, then on to Tractor Supply to get a couple of propane tanks filled, happy to see their price was still only $3.15 a gallon, up a bit, but not outrageous yet. Prices for everything have been going up like crazy, thanks Uncle Joe! Finally got to Walmart and spent almost $200, though it didn’t seem like I bought all that much. Diesel was almost $3.50 a gallon now, higher in a lot of places, dang it! Got stopped a couple of times in Walmart who wanted to chat (thanks to Lola!), including one veteran named Dean who lost his wife last year and is having a hard time adjusting. Anyway, got my shopping done, but it was nearly 4:00 by the time I got back to camp. I bought a few items to help me get more organized, so I spent a bit of time doing that. Finally settled down for the evening to a nice piece of bacon-wrapped sirloin I cooked on the grill, but I’m feeling tired again, long day. I have another long day planned for tomorrow, I want to wash and hopefully wax the trailer, though it may take two days, but it’s long overdue. The trailer is looking a little dull, and we can’t have that now, can we? Getting to bed early, hopefully, so I’ll say good night now. Love you, babe!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 – Busy, Productive, Tiring Day

Hi Babe,
Woke up to a beautiful morning, a bit chilly but not for long! I had so much to do today, I got busy right after chores and breakfast, and cracked at it all day long! I started by replacing the bedroom window. It took longer than I expected (what else is new?), but since I didn’t have any help, I had to get creative. Cleaning all the old adhesive was the hardest part, then once I got the new window in I had to tape it to keep it there while I went inside to screw it in properly. Wasn’t a perfect fit, but good enough! I sealed around the window (though the instructions claim I didn’t need to, but I’m not taking any chances!), and while I had the adhesive open, I also fixed the handle on the slider window over the kitchen table that had come off a long time ago. It stayed for a while, but finally came off for good a few weeks ago, so I Gorilla glued it in, so hopefully that will be permanent now. Then I had to tackle the tailgate problem, I just couldn’t get the darn thing open, finally had to go ask the camp host for help, and she came over and gave me a hand. Had to pull the shaft that locks it with a pair of pliers to get it done, but we managed it. I took off the tailgate, and was hoping if I could straighten it out enough it would solve the problem, so once again, I creatively dropped the trailer back onto the truck, raised the jacks, put a board on the ground to make it more level, put the tailgate under the jacks and proceed to drop the trailer on it, figuring the weight would do a good job of straightening it out. It actually did, too, for the most part. Not enough to get the handle to work right, but at least it’s a little better. I just can’t slam it completely closed, I just have to push one side in lightly until it locks, which will hopefully be good enough for my purposes. I’m not sure if it’s just the handle not working properly or because it’s still slightly bent, but never mind! Well, all of that took me until about 4:00, and I felt exhausted because it was all nonstop all day, but I managed to get a lot accomplished. I still have a long list of things to do, so I’m not even sure I’ll get a chance to ride here, but I plan on getting a lot of stuff done, fixed, maintained, etc. while I have water and electric and almost no one around to distract me. Finally settled down with a grilled burger, a little more Goliath, and soon I’ll be off to shower and bed. Love you, sweetie! Good night!

Monday, October 18, 2021 – Travel Day to Mingo Trails

Hi Sweetie,
Up with the alarm at 7:30, another very foggy morning. Strange, the only day it wasn’t foggy in the morning was yesterday right after the cold front came through, back to being foggy, weird geography here! Anyway, it didn’t take long to finish packing up, and all indications, from emails, texts and the shipper, indicate that my window is out for delivery on a FedEx truck out of Macon, with the delivery at Mingo Trails, so, unless they completely screwed up again, it looked good for getting it today. The drive was uneventful, though I probably shouldn’t have taken the freeway, it took me to close to Atlanta and I got stuck in some traffic, but still managed to arrive at Mingo Trails around 12:45. Got signed in, parked in my usual parking spot, got the horses highlined and everything else unpacked. I couldn’t get my new tailgate down, though, I’m going to have to do something about that. It does me no good if I can’t get it up and down easily. So the truck is stuck under the trailer until I figure out what to do, or get some muscles to help me unstick it, then figure out a way to prevent it from happening again. I lubricated it yesterday, but that obviously didn’t help. It’s nice to have electric again! I put Lola’s ball machine out, and she fetched herself crazy for awhile, which kept her busy while I was doing other things, and tired her out for the night, I hope. Got a load of laundry done, too. I have a water leak somewhere, the pump keeps running intermittently every couple of hours, but I haven’t been able to find it yet. I did find a drip out of a drain pipe (the one I put in last year), so I’m going to have to revisit that, hoping I can just seal the seams with some silicon sealer. I bought two tubes for the window, so I should have plenty to do several odd jobs that need doing. Meanwhile, I’m not hooking up to the water directly, don’t need to invite a flood, but I may do when I have time just to see if it helps spot the leak. It was a beautiful day, but I have another 45 degree night ahead of me. FedEx FINALLY arrived with my window just before 7:00 pm, so that’s my first job tomorrow. I’m hoping I can find someone to give me a hand getting it in, but if I have to do it on my own, you know I’ll find a way! Finally settled down for the evening, got the fireplace going so I won’t freeze tonight, I might not even need all four layers of bedding tonight now! Heading off soon! Good night, my darlin’! Love you!