Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020 – Short Ride, Euchre and Seminar Day

Hiya Sweetie,
Started off the day by giving Flash a short ride, just to keep him in shape for the big weekend. I didn’t want to take a long ride, but I did want to limber him up a bit and not leave him too many days without a ride, so we just went around the neighborhood for a little over six miles. We were actually about to head home when I saw a couple of ladies in a horse-drawn buggy, so I decided to see how Flash would react to walking near a buggy, so I caught up to them to chat for a bit. They were just as interested in seeing how their Haflinger would react, and fortunately, nobody got excited about anything, and all went well! I ended up taking them around the block just to see how things went, and learned they boarded a few blocks west, but came out occasionally with the buggy. Once I got home, I gave Flash a nice bath, hoping to make him look nice for the weekend (as if he wouldn’t roll himself dirty again, but maybe it will brush off easier!), then showered and dressed and departed for euchre. I did well today (were you watching over me today?), got some very good cards and made the most of them. Then Lola and I went shopping up in Port St. Lucie, and then went to an educational seminar that was supposed to be mostly about Social Security, but turned out to be more about retirement planning, which was fine, since I obviously am going to need help in that area now. This particular firm is actually in Jupiter anyway, so I made an appointment for Tuesday to learn more about the various options, including some that seem too good to be true, so I’ll be doing a lot more research between now and then. That went until nearly 8:00, so it was close to 9:00 by the time I got home. Fortunately, Jeff had already taken care of the horses, which I had asked him to do earlier in the day, so I only had to unload the groceries, pour a glass of wine and settle down for the evening. I was happy to receive word that Michelle is planning to come to the Celebration next month, I hadn’t expected her to travel from Tennessee, but she’s making it into a little vacation, extending her time to go down to Key Largo. It will be nice to see her, considering she’s the only person I know that knew you before I did! And of course, she’s offered to help me prepare for the day. Donna is coming down from Cleveland, too, so I should have plenty of help. Anyway, I’m headed to bed, I have a busy day tomorrow, getting the truck and trailer ready for the weekend of riding and volunteer work, so off I go! Good night, darling! Love you!

Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020 – Vet Day

Hey Babe,
All the critters were due their annual exam and vaccinations, so I had made an appointment with Dr. Minteer, loaded everybody up and headed over to her place. As usual, she did a great job getting everybody done, and I saved a few bucks on a house call by taking them over there. You remember last year the little horse trailer was full of hay that we brought down from Tennessee, so I couldn’t do it then, but this year, I’m just buying hay locally a few bales at a time, not to mention hauling out to all the places to do trail marking this past few weeks. Got back before noon, gave Jeff a hand with his truck for a few minutes. He pulled the transmission off the motor and ran it for a few minutes to prove it’s the motor and not the tranny that’s making the noise (it’s definitely the motor), but though it may be more information, it didn’t get him any closer to actually solving the problem. Sigh. After that, I had to work on Lola’s GoDogGo machine for a while. She’s been having a blast with it, but yesterday evening it started doing that thing where the motor keeps running even after the ball has departed, and keeps running for 3 or 4 more kicks before stopping, then the only way to start it again is to turn it off and reset it. I was hoping that after drying out overnight that it might be better today, but it had the same problem, so I took it apart and cleaned it up, but that didn’t solve it. Then it gave up the ghost entirely, no power at all, and I noticed a broken piece on the little sensor that sends the message to the kicker, so I pulled down the old one from the attic that I’ve been keeping for parts and swapped them out, but that one didn’t work at all. Fortunately, in the package I got from the seller the other day, they had sent me a new one, and as soon as I put that on, it started working perfectly again! Lola was a happy camper once again! And now it throws the ball even farther, so I had to move it to a new position for her. By then, I was so hot, as I did this out in the sun and it’s another very warm day, I decided to get my bathing suit on and take a swim. The pool has actually warmed up quite a bit, so after my dive in, I climbed onto my raft and floated around for a while, luxuriating in the sun and quiet of the afternoon. It’s been so long since I’ve had that kind of time to myself, and I have to admit, I really enjoyed it. I figure the rest of the week and through this weekend (it’s finally OTL weekend!), I’m going to be pretty busy, and tired, with lots of early mornings, so I figured recharging my batteries is probably a good idea. Finally got out of the pool, did my chores and settled down for the evening, watching some more of the Poldark series. Off to take my shower and head to bed, so I’ll say good night. Love you!

Monday, Feb. 17, 2020 – Finished Marking Trails in Jonathan Dickinson

Hi Sweetie,
Well, today Flash and I drove over to Jonathan Dickinson State Park to do the (almost) final leg of our trail marking exercise. We didn't want to do it earlier because they have so many activities in the park we were afraid our markers would interfere, so we waited until this week. Being President's Day, it was much busier than I had anticipated for a Monday, but it didn't matter, we got the job done. Apparently, the horse camping area is mostly used up by a horseback riding concession that's in the park now. When I drove by, they had built a covered stall area, and all the horses were saddled up and standing around, waiting for their next go-around. I'm not sure which trails they use, but I certainly didn't run into them anywhere. Flash was pretty good, he was determined to canter and largo at every opportunity, but there was a LOT of water on the trail, not as bad as Corbett, but lots more than I've ever seen out there. I was glad I bought that GPS unit so I could follow last year's track, if I had had to do it with just a map I would have been in a real mess! Anyway, we got it done. It was really hot today, we're in a record-breaking heat wave, in the mid 80's and up, and you know how little shade there is out there, so we worked up a sweat. Was glad there WAS so much water out there, Flash certainly didn't get dehydrated! That took up most of the afternoon, and we got back at almost 4:00. Jeff was still working on his truck, he still is no closer to finding his mysterious knocking sound, even using a mechanical stethoscope. He was even disconnecting the transmission just so he could determine whether it's a motor or a transmission problem! He's so frustrated, he has so many other things to do, but as you know, he really needs his truck, so he's sticking with it. I was tempted to take a swim, as the pool is definitely warming up with all these hot days, but by the time I got done answering emails, it was kind of late. I helped Lola play with her GoDogGo machine for awhile, then took my shower early and settled down for a quiet evening, as usual. Love you, darlin'!

Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020 – GoDogGo Day

Hey Babe,
Well, Lola and I are happy campers today. Yesterday in the mail I got a package from the GoDogGo people. I had emailed them earlier this week about getting a new cord for the ball-throwing machine, and the package arrived yesterday. Not only did they sent me a new cord (gratis, by the way, though I offered to pay), they also sent me just about every moving and electrical part that’s in the thing! Plus three brand new balls! I could do a complete makeover if I want to, but I think I’ll just fix it one thing at a time, which means I should be able to keep it running for a long time to come, fingers crossed! So first thing this morning, I pulled the machine out of the back of the trailer, put the new cord on it, ran an extension cord outside the screen room, pointed the machine in the general direction of the pool, and handed Lola a new ball. She was beside herself! It wasn’t throwing too far, because I think I replaced the spring with one I got from a hardware store rather than an official spring, and it might be a bit too stiff, but it sent the ball flying into the pool, with Lola flying in after it! She was ecstatic, and kept at it for a good long time. I finally pointed it away from the pool so that she would get a little break from swimming, but she kept fetching and fetching until I finally just had to take the ball away, or she would have completely exhausted herself, you know how she gets! Anyway, I spent some time going through the mail package I also got yesterday, and took care of some of that business. I also finally got rid of your prescription drugs. I had taken them to Walmart pharmacy because I figures they would have a way of disposing of them, but all they did was give me small packets of some kind of powder that was supposed to render them harmless to the environment, so I spent some time doing that today, though, frankly, I didn’t see how it would help. Meanwhile, Jeff is still trying to solve the problem with the van, he keeps replacing parts and none of it is getting rid of the knocking, and he’s so frustrated because everything on this Ford is hard to get at, in the wrong place, or just plain dumbly engineered. He may be almost ready just to drive the thing with a knock and wait until it finally craps out, but obviously he’d rather find it than leave it like that. His neighbor Mike has come over for the last two days, and though he’s quite knowledgeable about mechanics, he can’t explain it either. Lola and I played again later in the afternoon, then we settled down to watch some more Poldark for the evening. Another warm day today, so I’m headed off for my shower and bed. Good night, my love!

Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020 – Visited LaChrissney Day

Hiya Sweetie,
My alarm didn’t go off this morning, but I woke up in plenty of time anyway, since I was planning on leaving early to go up the Merritt Island where your mentee LaChrissney lives now with her husband and one year old daughter, as they were having a birthday “Flamingle” today. I left at 10 and arrive right on schedule at noon. They have a nice little house with a pool in the yard, and they’re just a few miles away from Cape Canaveral, where she works now. Originally I decided to go because in addition to the get-together there was also going to be a launch of a SpaceX rocket, and she has passes to be on base during a launch, so I was hoping to finally see one up close and personal, but at the last minute, they postponed it because of weather. I thought I might spend the night and see in tomorrow, but the whole family was there, including her mother and stepfather (our renters), who had driven down from Tennessee, so I didn’t want to intrude on their family weekend, so I came home afterward. I’m not sure the weather will be improved enough to launch tomorrow, but now that I know about it, if it’s clear here, I should be able to see it here, too. Maybe if it’s nice I’ll take Lola over to the beach and see if we can see it from there. We’ll see. Anyway, I got back home, we fed the horses a bit later, and settled in for the evening, watching a few more Poldarks before ending the evening as usual. Good night, my love!

Friday, Feb. 14, 2020 – Recovery Day

Hey Babe,
Happy Valentine’s Day! Glad we never went into all the silly Hallmark holiday stuff, or I’d probably be really wrecked today, but you know we said ‘I love you’ every single day, and today is no different! The pill I took last night really knocked me out, and I woke up in exactly the same position I went to bed in, and in a LOT less pain. In fact, it was almost gone, just a little twinge if I moved just the wrong way. I decided to take it easy today, so other than doing a little pool cleaning, rinsing the filters and spraying bleach on part of the deck, I relaxed the rest of the day. It’s been so warm here the pool was actually warm enough for me to lay on a little float that I bought a few weeks ago, and I ended up bobbing around in the water for over 90 minutes, so I got a little sun. Lola couldn’t quite figure out how to get her floating frisbee out to me so that I could throw it to her, since I was already in the water, but we had fun trying! I had a delivery from Ranch Feed today, they kind of screwed up my order on Wednesday, giving me the wrong kind of feed for Flash, but they came out and traded out one bag and comped me another, so it’s all good. I was a little worried that such a dramatic change in feed might be hard on Flash, but he seems to be just fine. Spent most of ther rest of the day just watching this PBS seried called Poldark, a classic (and somewhat predictable) 18th century tale that weaves around the aristocracy vs. the laborers, in particular the miners in Cornwall. Beautiful scenery, though, and good production value, as always is in the British period pieces. Anyway, heading to bed now, though I thought I’d be getting up really early to get up to LaChrissney’s place to see the SpaceX launch, but it’s been postponed until Sunday, so I’m just going up to her gathering, cutely called a Flamingle. Not sure what the party’s for, but at least I’ll get to see her and her new family, and get caught up. So, off I go! Love you! Good night!

Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 – Long Conditioning Ride

Hi Sweetie,
Last night before I went to bed I got one of those muscle spasms in my back, so I took a couple of ibuprofen, hoping that a good night sleep would fix it, like it has in the past. Unfortunately, it was still somewhat there in the morning, and since I had planned on taking a ride today after I got back from the post office, I took some more ibuprofen. It worked a little for a while, but never completely got rid of the pain, and it really got bad once Flash and I got moving. By the time we did nearly 18.5 miles, I was really in pain. It was a good conditioning ride for Flash, though I think he sensed I was in pain, because he stayed at a walk most of the time, which made it a long ride, but a good one. I haven't had the time to work with him as much as I did last year, but I think he's doing pretty well. We saw a lot of wildlife today. A big turtle, three little black piglets, then later a bigger hog, a couple of young deer, even a racoon! Maybe it's the heat bringing them out, we've been having record highs here. I ended up having to ask Jeff to feed the horses for me. I took one of your heavy duty pain killers, and it helped a little, but not as much as I hoped. It started making me a little dizzy, too, so I'm not doing that again until bedtime! I spent the evening in my recliner, and could barely move enough to heat up some soup, though I did manage to take a shower. I put the heating pad on it, too, so I'm hoping that by tomorrow morning it will improve. I finished watching the last free season of Suits, but just like with Covert Action, they make you pay if you want to watch the last season. I started a new series, a PBS period piece that looks like it might be interesting. Now I'm ready for bed, though, hoping for a less painful day tomorrow! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 – Euchre and Shopping Day

Hey Darlin’,
Just another regular Wednesday, with euchre and shopping and going to the feed store before coming home and relaxing for the evening. Pretty routine, but it’s kind of nice to be getting caught up on stuff enough to not have a big pile of jobs waiting to be done. Not that I don’t still have jobs, of course, just that I feel like I can do them in my own good time, and they’re not piling up on me so much that it feels hopeless. Anyway, Lola’s already in bed, so I’m heading out to do the same. Good night, my love!

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 – Pony Express

Hiya Sweetie,
As usual, I spent the morning working on the computer and making phone calls, then I spent some time trimming both of the horses hooves, which took some time in the heat. We’ve been having very warm temps here lately, so I was sweating pretty good by the time I was finished. In the afternoon I needed to send a letter, so I decided to take the opportunity to continue conditioning Flash, and rode him down to the mailbox down in the Publix shopping center in front of the NAPA. It meant we had to cross Indiantown Rd. again, but he did it so well the other day, I was confident he could do it again, and there was no problem.. We came back on one of the canals, and averaged 5.6 mph for the whole trip, so we made it in good time. Once we got back, I gave him a nice bath again. I know you’ll understand when I say that I really appreciate the luxury of having time to do things like bathe the horses. I never seemed to have time before, but I’m glad now I do. You know I bought some special shampoo for white horses (though, oddly, it sprays out purple!), and I’ve used it the last couple of times, and now Flash is really starting to shine. I was glad that he didn’t run right out and roll in the dirt, but I imagine he will by tomorrow! It was so warm after that that I decided to take a quick swim, so I changed into my bathing suit and took a quick dip. The pool was cool after so many cold nights last week, but it’s been warm the last few days and nights, so it felt good to me. I took some time clearing out the pool using the net, and reconnected the vacuum, so it looked better, and will hopefully stay that way for a bit, though I’m going to start keeping the filters clean more often since Lola is carrying so much sand into the pool. We fetched for quite awhile today, too, so hopefully she’ll sleep well tonight. Took my shower early, and finally settled down for the evening. Ready for bed now, though! Good night, love!

Monday, Feb. 10, 2020 – Work and Running Around

Hey Babe,
Spent the morning making phone calls and doing computer work, then spent some time going through the closets to collect your clothes to take to Goodwill. I let Jeff take his pick first, and there was some stuff he took, then the rest I drove downtown to drop off to them. I have to admit, though I’ve been doing pretty well up to now, when I got back in the truck after dropping off a couple of bags of your clothes and shoes when I suddenly had an unexpected verklempt moment that just came out of the blue. It only lasted a few seconds, but it did catch me by surprise. Of course, I ordered myself to buck up, as I always do, and recovered myself by taking Lola to a nice dog park that I had just discovered on Indiantown Road across from Walmart, where she ran and played for awhile. Then I took her into the Walmart to do some shopping, which always brings out the smiles, on me and on everyone who stopped to say hello to her, and finally got home shortly before feeding time. That was followed by the usual dinner, TV, cleanup, and soon to be shower and bed, so that’s where I’m headed. Love you, darlin’! Good night!