Saturday, Mar. 28, 2020 – Still A Maybe

Hi Honey,
Busy day again. First getting the Open Range opened up again and doing some last minute cleaning and opening up before the couple who wanted to look at it arrived. They ended up being a little late, but they came in and rather breezed through it, so I wasn’t sure what they thought. Then I moved the Trailrider down to the front of the house so that we can work on the brakes. Spent a lot of time on it, but still aren’t sure what exactly the problem is. We took off the tires and drums from the passenger side, and everything seemed to be just fine. It sounds like the magnets are trying to close the brakes, but they just aren’t getting enough power to do for some reason. The brake controller seemed all over the place, and I did every test I could find online, and it still seemed inconclusive to me. Good voltage both before and after the controller, except the boost had to be put on in order to achieve that goal. Back at the trailer plug-in, the brake controller wire was showing a constant voltage, but it was say too low. I don’t know, we spent a long time checking all the connections, doing all the cleaning, and thinking we had it right, then it would suddenly veer off the cliff for no apparent reason. So, still not sure of the cause. Then the couple came back to look at the other trailer again, this time much more thoroughly as they try to decided between ours and one other. I’ve really knocked the price down just to try to get it out of Jeff’s yard, so I won’t come out as ahead as I’d hoped, but just to have it off my hands would give me great peace of mind. Anyway, Jeff didn’t get the hubs back on before the end of the day, so now I’m seriously tilted to one side, which is going to be fun tonight! Speaking of, I’ve been yawning for half an hour, time for my shower and bed! Good night, my love! Fingers crossed I hear good news tomorrow!

Friday, Mar. 27, 2020 – The Best Laid Plans…

Hey Babe,
Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans! I got up and finished packing, had some breakfast, hooked up the trailer, and moved it onto the driveway so I would have a straight shot out before loading the horses. Jeff was standing nearby, and he thought he heard a bad noise coming off my trailer brakes, so he felt it necessary to inspect it. So I got out the Jiffy Jack and ramped it up, and when I hit the brake pedal, the wheel didn’t stop turning. Bad sign. We checked two tires and they were both the same, no or very little brake. You know that one of my few fears with the rig is that the brakes don’t work, so we decided to take a closer look, darn it. Somehow that worked it’s way around to the truck, and we discovered there was a leak of brake fluid by the master cylinder, so now we’re worried about the TRUCK brakes going as well! We decided to take the truck over to the new mechanic Jeff found and let him diagnose it before changing any parts, and sure enough, the consensus was the master cylinder. The mechanic ordered one from Pep Boys (though I didn’t know that at the time, you know how I feel about Pep Boys!), and when he got it a few hours later, guess what? It was a remanufactured one instead of a new one that had been ordered. Figures. Anyway, I found a new one at AutoZone and went to pick it up, along with brake fluid and brake cleaner, the last of which was for the trailer, as the mechanic thought maybe too much grease had been put in and it might affect the magnet. When I got back from the parts store, Jeff went to work changing out the master cylinder while I took off a tire and brake drum to clean it, only to discover it wasn’t really that bad. Of course, I went to the internet immediately (something I should have done first anyway) and found that the symptoms actually indicated a probable electrical problem, a loose ground maybe. So from there I got out the contact cleaner and started to clean all the connections, checked for any fraying and the like. Meanwhile, Jeff finished installing the master cylinder in the truck and I went to help him bleed the brakes. I didn’t really feel that much difference, but at least now I know it’s new and it won’t go bad at an inopportune moment, like when I’m headlong in traffic! Then the mechanic called to tell us Jeff’s van was ready, so we finished bleeding the brakes and headed over there to pick it up, and this time the problem (which was evidently a combination of vacuum and timing) appeared to be fixed. Got back to the house and finished cleaning and putting on the one wheel on the trailer that I had taken off, but I’m not doing the rest because I agree the problem is likely to be electrical. When I plugged in the trailer the first time, the lights didn’t come on, so I had to push it a bit more to make them work, so I’m thinking electrical. I hope so, anyway, something simple would be nice! By now it was feeding time, and dusk soon followed, and though I got the tire back on and the brakes adjusted, it was too late to start the next (and hopefully final) problem, so I hooked up to electricity and called it a night. Glad I put some extra water in the tank yesterday so I had enough to shower without dragging the hose out. Then, the silver lining is that I received an email from someone who’s interested in the trailer, they’re coming to see it tomorrow morning. They want to move it to Loxahatchee to live at their mother’s, which would be a perfect application for them. That would be such a load off my mind if I could sell it, so I’m thinking maybe the universe kept me here an extra day (possibly two) to see that it happens. Fingers crossed! Anyway, had my dinner (I’m down to mostly two meals a day these days, and am losing a little weight with all the work/exercise I’m getting), had my shower, had my two episodes of SHIELD, so I’m off to bed. Love you, babe! Good night! Help me out tomorrow with the sale of this RV if you can! Thanks!

Thursday, Mar. 26, 2020 – Lots of Work But Ready!

Hey Darlin’!
I think I’m ready. I worked my butt off today to try to get everything as packed as possible, and all I have left are the electric cable and the water hoses, and of course, the last minute horse stuff we always did after we loaded the horses, though I’ve rearranged some stuff and even that’s down to a minimum now. I was a bit delayed because Jeff asked me to drive him to the store since none of his vehicles seemed reliable enough to get him there and back, so I figured it was safer just to take him rather than risk having to waste time towing him back. Fortunately, Walmart’s shelves were still mostly full (with the exception of ice cream! though I got some at Publix on the way home), and he got good and stocked up. He’s been really worried about running out of supplies, because the media has been really promoting some of the hysteria, but then, folks in Austin apparently can’t get bread or milk anywhere! One of Jeff’s neighbors that I met at the end of the driveway told me she shipped six loaves of bread to a friend in Austin! Here at the Walmart, they had full shelves, including dozens of bakery-made sliced Italian bread for just a dollar! Jeff got himself plenty of canned goods (I picked up some tuna and canned chicken, too, since I haven’t been able to get much of that lately), so now he feels more confident that he’s prepared for the food shortages he believes are coming. We’ll see. I’ve got plenty anyway, so I’m not worried, and I always have my bread machine if it gets that bad! Once we got back I started really finishing off the packing. I was having problems yesterday getting off some bad black marks on the side of the RV and remembered I had some of that streak remover, so I got that out and tried to use it, but the cap clogged up immediately on both cans I had. Since they were old cans, I decided to do an old school fix and got out a pin and started poking. Sure enough, I was able to get one working, and it was truly a miracle! I’d already tried bleach spray and hydrogen peroxide and nothing touched it, but this streak remover cleaned it right up. I only did the worst spots, though, so at some point I’ll need to go around the whole trailer, though I have to say, it looks pretty darn good right now! Of course, Jeff’s road is dusty as heck right now since we haven’t had rain in weeks, but at least it will be clean going out the driveway tomorrow! Late in the afternoon, Jeff finally decided to take his work van over to a mechanic shop in the farms, he’s so frustrated after not having it run for more than a month, so I followed him over then brought him back. My plan to be finish early and sit by the pool turned out to be a pipe dream, of course, though I did finally get in a swim around 6:00. Lola’s new ball machine started acting up again today, darn it, and I didn’t get a chance to order new sensors, so that’s on my list as soon as I get an address of where I’ll be staying once I get to Tennessee. I’m a bit ticked off at Lola, though. I had stripped the bed and was washing sheets, and forgot to close the bedroom door for a few minutes, and sure enough, Miss Lola got her feet good and muddy, then climbed up onto the bed, leaving tracks all over the cover that I had just washed last week, as well as my pillow. That added an extra hour of laundry to my day, since I had to use Jeff’s big washer for the cover and pillow, and couldn’t use the dryer for my sheets until that was done because of the power sharing problem. So it was nearly 10:00 before I was able to finish it all off. Grrrr! As if I didn’t have enough to do! I’m sure she’s a bit discombobulated after watching me pack everything. I’ll be glad to finally be able to feed the horses on my own schedule, though, instead of having to wait for Jeff. It was after dark by the time we got halfway started tonight, and the mosquitoes got me, of course. As comforting as it has been to be there during this tough time, it will be great to get back on the road again, and I have to say, I’ve never felt so prepared, with everything so clean and put away, than I ever have before. And if all goes well with the sale of the house, by the middle of next month, I’ll be living free, with no tethers to any place. Can’t wait! Well, that’s all the news for now, off to bed! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Wednesday, Mar. 25, 2020 – Meeting, Shopping and More Cleaning

Hi Babe,
Busy day today. First a run to Walmart, where I was happy to see that most of the shelves were fully stocked, though there weren’t many patrons in the store. Of course, Wednesdays are generally slow anyway, but this was truly light. Traffic on the roads were like the middle of July about thirty years ago! From there I went to my meeting with a potential financial advisor, then stopped at the gas station to fill up with fuel at just $2.49 a gallon for diesel! There was already a glut on the world market, and now with so many less cars on the road, the prices are really plummeting, perfect timing for me getting back on the road. Got back to the house and started doing more cleaning and putting stuff away. I’ve been pressure washing everything in sight these days! I cleaned all the furniture in the screen room, washed the screen room itself, washed the side of the trailer inside the screen room, washed the awning, and on and on. I’m a bit ahead of schedule, and I’m feeling more prepared to go on a trip than I think I’ve ever been, which I guess is appropriate since I’m starting this new chapter of my life. I’m hoping I can finish early enough tomorrow to actually spend a few hours just sitting by the pool and relaxing before I hit the road on Friday. I managed to play with Lola for awhile, she was playing with her fetch machine, though, and one of those smaller balls got jammed so far back in her throat I had to push it out from behind her jaw. Not using those size balls again! I helped Jeff order a new fuel pump assembly for the Bronco. Poor guy, none of his vehicles are reliable, I’m not sure how he’s going to make it until he gets the new part next week. It was pretty late by the time we got done with that, so I only got in two SHIELDS tonight. Ready for a shower and bed, so goodnight, my love!

Tuesday, Mar. 24, 2020 – More Cleaning

Hi Sweetie,
Well, more cleaning and getting ready. Today’s chore was the exterior of the Trail Rider, starting with the roof, which felt like it took me a couple of hours! Probably not, but it just seemed to go on forever! I even scrubbed underneath the hay loft/attic box, where it was really bad. Of course, doing the rest of the outside was next, everywhere except where the screen room is, I’ll do that tomorrow or Thursday after I clear it out. It took most of the day, but I finally got it done, and it certainly looked better when it was done! I still managed to take a swim and sit by the pool for an hour or so, so Lola got her playtime in. Jeff had trouble with his van again, so he took the Bronco out today, and ended up have his friend tow him home because it died on him. He thought it might be the fuel pump, but when he put some gas it in, it started up okay. Not sure if it was just that he was low on gas (his gauge doesn’t work so he tracks it by mileage), or if there’s a more serious problem. All these vehicles around his yard, and none of them seems to work properly! Anyway, it was a busy day, so it’s time for me to head to bed. Good night, baby! Love you!

Monday, Mar. 23, 2020 – More Prep Work

Hey Babe,
Another day of busy, busy work to get ready to try to leave on Friday. After my usual morning chores, I moved everything that was in the small horse trailer, finished painting a few of the rusty areas I cleaned up, pressure washed inside the tack room, including taking out the water tank to get under it, reorganized the tack room on the big trailer while I was at it, and generally got a lot more organized than I think I’ve ever been before leaving on a trip! I put a new cover on that TV antenna on the Open Range (the old plastic one disintegrated) this time using a tin can, so hopefully it will last longer, and I pulled the slides in, and surprisingly, the one in the living room seemed to go in okay, though it’s still going to need to be replaced at some point. A busy day, but productive, and I feel like I’ll have no trouble getting out of here on Friday, short of me or Jeff getting sick. Unfortunately, the weather forecast for Tennessee isn’t very good. Though it’s 70’s here this week, by next week it’s highs in the low 60’s and lows in the 40’s, so I’m glad I didn’t clip the horses! It’s been really wet up there, so I definitely don’t want to try to get the trailer up to the house or I’ll never get out again, so I talked with some folks about finding an alternative, and Wayne, who owns the campground nearby, says he can fix me up somewhere for a few weeks while I finish getting the house cleared out. Jeff is talking about coming up again to get whatever stuff he can use, which is fine, but I’m hoping if he really wants to MG that he finds a place to store it, I’d hate to see it rot in the yard like he’s got all the rest of his junk doing.

Sunday, Mar. 22, 2020 – Another Busy Day

Hi Darlin’,
Well, I had planned to take it easy today, but of course, there were too many jobs starting me in the face, so I had to get some of them done. The day started out with my usual routine of cleaning the pool filters (the pool is looking really good these days, though the water level is getting low, since we’ve had no rain for the past two+ weeks), then taking the horses down to Loxahatchee so the new vet could provide me with health certificates and a new 6 month EECVI. The inspection too less than half the time than him trying to get on the Vetlink website and giving them the information to get the documents. In the end though, I think he only gave me a 30 day and not the 6 month, so I’ll have to get back to him on that. I didn’t realize that till late, so I’ll have to get in touch tomorrow. Once we got back and I let the horses out, I decided I needed to pressure wash the inside so it would be clean when I get back next season, no sense leaving it dirty. While I was doing that I noticed some rust along the bottom edge, so I put some naval jelly on it and cleaned it up, I’ll spray it with some of that Rustoleum paint I got for the upper panel on the big horse trailer tomorrow when it’s dry. Then I saw that one of the net mangers had split along a seam, so I took that out and sewed it. Also, Apollo stuck his head out during the trip and ripped one of the corners of the screen panel, and I couldn’t get it out because the clips were too rusty, so I had to sew that on while standing next to the trailer. I did the outside as well while I was at it, and swept out the other trailer where I had been storing hay this year. I also had bought some lamp wicks, because I wanted to resurrect that big citronella candle pot, but those dinky wicks drown out so fast, so I cut the lamp wick into thirds, made a hole in the soft wax and shoved them down inside. Can’t wait to try that out! I finally wore myself out, so I put on my bathing suit and took a swim, floated around the pool for awhile, then sat down a read a bit while playing with Lola. My sister-in-law Dena came out to the pool shortly after that, she managed to score some of my brand of toilet paper for me, so we swapped out some rolls. Hard to believe that there’s a shortage of toilet paper in this country, not to mention lots of other things. A lot of the shelves in the stores are completely empty! Hope this plague is over soon, it’s starting to look like a post-apocalyptic movie around here! I’m expecting to see zombies or aliens any day now! Then brother Glenn came out and eventually Jeff, too, and we had our own little happy hour. Glenn had brought some venison steaks wrapped in bacon from Texas, so he fired up the grill, I steamed some corn on the cob they had brought, and I put together a salad for everyone, so we actually had a family meal together, on a beautiful Florida evening, and it was quite nice. Only meal we’ve had together, actually. I lit my citronella pot, and two of the wicks burned like crazy, though the third, which was lower, got drowned out a bit. By the time I blew it out an hour later, it had leveled off nicely, and the wicks were still looking really good, so I think that’s going to work! It kicked up some nice fragrance and a bit of smoke, and I do think it helped, though it will work better inside the screen room. Once mosquito hour started, we got the animals fed, and we all retired to our respective abodes, where I watched a few more Agents of Shield, and now it’s off to shower and bed. Good night, my love!

Saturday, Mar. 21, 2020 – Washing Vehicles and Other Stuff

Hey Sweetie,
Busy day of hard work today. I started out rinsing out the pool filters and pressure washing the deck, which has become my morning ritual, then I finished pressure washing the water tank in the truck, then I washed the truck, then after lunch, I carried the pressure washer up to the roof of the Open Range and took most of the afternoon washing the outside of that. Hard work, but it looked great afterward. The only problem was that the slide topper on one side of the living room has come loose, and I think it may have to be replaced because I don’t think I have any way to fix it, but you know me, I’m liable to try! Just have to do some research to figure out if I can. Meanwhile, I signed the contract to sell the house, so hopefully that will be closed next month and I’ll be officially “homeless,” but it a good way! I’m focusing on trying to move on later this week, but I just remembered that the horses health passport expired last month, so I have to get that renewed before I can go. Unfortunately, there’s only one vet within 50 miles that is part of that digital network that issues the Equine Extended CVI, and he’s located in Loxahatchee, so I messaged them to set up an appointment. I got a call from him around 9:00 tonight saying I can come by any time after 11:00 tomorrow (he works on Sunday!), I get the impression he works out of house, but then, so did our Jupiter vet, so what’s the difference? Anyway, we had another family gathering at the pool, another habit we’ve gotten into while Glenn’s been here, but they’re apparently heading out on Monday now, since virtually everything has closed down here, all the restaurants, bars, even the beaches for Spring break! Crazy. Though apparently it’s the same in Austin, but I guess he has stuff he can do at home. So it’s going to get quieter here soon, and even quieter when I leave, whenever that will be. Thinking maybe Friday if I can get everything done. I have a place to stay the first night, with a woman in met on the OTL who lives just north of Jacksonville, a perfect stopover point. I’ll probably spend the weekend, as she’s next to a preserve and I haven’t had much of a chance to ride lately with all the stuff I’ve been doing. Maybe I’ll try to get to get a ride in this week, but it’s going to be so hot, I may just wait until I get to North Florida, where it’s likely to be cooler. Anyway, time for my shower and bed. Good night, babe! Love you!

Friday, Mar. 20, 2020 – Moving On

Hiya Babe,
Well, it looks like I might have a buyer for the house. The realtor who listed it last year has kept working on it, despite a lapse in the listing agreement, and some folks that have looked at it a couple of times have come back with a pretty decent offer, so it looks like I might finally have that burden taken off my shoulders. Of course, they want to close in mid-April, which means I’m going to have to get up there and finish clearing the house out before then, though they seem to be fairly flexible about letting me leave stuff there until I can do something, but frankly, I’d rather get it out of the way so that once we close, I’ll be footloose and free, and homeless, I suppose! I can live with that! The job I was supposed to fly out for at the end of the month has been postponed due to all this corona virus panic, so now instead of Vegas in the springtime, it’s going to be Vegas in the summer, so happy 115 degrees! Never mind, I’ll be in the hotel the whole time anyway, so it doesn’t really matter. So now since I don’t have to hang around here for that (which I was only doing so my brother can look after the critters while I went west), there’s no reason for me to stay any longer, and since the weather forecast is getting hot, hot, hot, it’s time to moving north anyway. Naturally, that means my focus has turned to getting ready to pull out of here. I treated and painted the top corner of the front of the trailer, which was showing rust spots, and now it looks fantastic, I pressure washed the water tank in the truck (though, of course, I ended up breaking a hose connection, so I had to fix that in the process, but it’s all better now, I ran up to Ranch Feed and stocked up on grain and hay so I can be ready when the time comes, and started doing a bunch of other things to prepare for departure. I don’t know if I mentioned this, but the starter went bad on the tractor a while back, and we finally got a new one that Jeff picked up yesterday, so I put that on today and got the tractor emptied out and moved out of the way. Did a little shopping for essentials as well, then got back in time to sit by the pool with the family for a bit before it was horse feeding time. Settled down for the evening and fell asleep watching TV, so I took my shower, now I’m heading off the bed. Good night, my love!

Wednesday, Mar. 18, 2020 – Happy Birthday, Babe!

Hi Sweetie!
Happy what would have been your 86th Birthday! I got a letter from your daughter Kim yesterday, she evidently didn’t get my email back in January, but I filled her in and she wrote me a long letter in return. I spent most of the day doing computer work, writing proposals and agreements for future work in the morning, then spent most of the afternoon watching webcasts from my broker about retirement, which didn’t really help me much, it was pretty basic. The market went down again today, to numbers where it was before 2016, so we have quite a long way to make up, but I’m sure it will once this corona virus scare straightens itself out. Had happy hour out at the pool with the family again, though Audrey flew back to Austin today. Her flights apparently only had about 30 people on them, on a plane that seats 170, just to give you an idea how crazy it’s become. It’s like living through a plague! Except everyone is aware of it, and is practicing what they’re calling “social distancing,” i.e. all the restaurants have been closed or kept down to 50 percent occupancy, they even closed down the beaches for spring break! Anyway, we all shared some of the ribs Glenn cooked on Saturday, with leftover salads on the side. By then it was evening, so I watched a little TV, and now I’m headed off for a shower and bed. Good night! Love you, babe!