Archives for December 2015

Monday, Dec. 21, 2015 – Star Wars Movie

One of my brothers came up with the idea to take most of the family to see the new Star Wars movie at the latest luxury movie house Cineopolis, so we headed into downtown Jupiter to check it out. It has a large lobby, a full bar, full menu, plush recliners, wait staff, all the comforts of home, and then some. The service was excruciacingly slow, the movie was good, except we had two guys next to us that kept talking and using their phones to text and light up their nachos, very distracting. Afterward we complained to the management, and they were generous enough to comp us a couple more tickets, since one of the servers notice how noisy they were, too. It reminded us of why Hubby and I never go out to movies any more, and haven’t done for a couple of decades, with rare exceptions like this. There always seems to be some rude person or people that just are so selfish they can’t be still for a couple of hours. Sigh…

Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015 – Beach and Runaround Day

My niece had expressed an interest in going to the beach with the dogs, so we both drove down to the south end of Carlin park, where they allow dogs, and ran around for a bit. The wind was quite blustery, and the waves had a pretty good rip tide going, so we didn’t get into the water much. Hung out about an hour before we headed out, with her coming home and Hubby and I stopping at the Post Office to drop off some letters, and Walmart to do some shopping before heading back to the ranch.

Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015 – First Ride Around the Neighborhood

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Well, today will be the test for Hubby's new acupuncture treatment. He has his second appointment this afternoon, so we decided to take a two-hour ride this morning beforehand, to see how he holds out. Two hours is about the max he can do these days without his back really starting to bother him, and that's if we don't do too much jogging. Well, we headed out the driveway and up the road to the first canal, then turned east to the next canal, then north. Previously, to get to the Hungryland WMA across the canal, you had to ride down and up a steep incline, usually through a few inches of water, but my brother had told me they had put in a bridge. I was expecting an actual bridge, but instead, they had put in a metal culvert and completely filled it in, making an actual road with a gate across it, with a horse pass next to it. Wonderful! We decided to ride into the WMA to a pavilion that's about ¾ of a mile into the area, took a short break, then came back out again. On the way back, we carried on along the canal all the way to Indiantown Road before making our way around the neighborhood back to the house, finishing at just the two hour length we wanted. Hubby said he was just starting to get a twinge in his back, but nothing like the way it used to be, so progress is made! Afterward, we headed back to the doctor's office for another treatment, which helped even more, before settling down for the evening.

Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015 – Hubby’s First Acupuncture

For the last few years, when Hubby’s lower back gets to bothering him too much, he’s been getting those cortisone steroid shots, but because his kidney function has been naturally deteriorating with age, we decided this time to try acupuncture. It worked so beautifully for our little dog Billy, and we’ve heard so many stories about how successful it is on other animals and humans, we decided to give it a try on Hubby in preparation for the daily riding we’ll be doing on the 2016 Great Florida Cattle Drive next month. After a lengthy interview, the doctor stuck him like a pincushion, then afterward gave him some homeopathic shots in his back, and by the time she was finished, he walked out of there a different guy! He was standing up straighter, which made him look younger, and he felt great! We have high hopes that a few weeks of this treatment will make him a new man!

Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 – Too Hot to Ride!

Though we had planned to take a ride today, frankly, it was just too darn hot! There’s a heat wave going on throughout most of the country, with record highs as far north as New York, so here in Florida it’s in the mid-80’s with high humidity, so not the kind of weather we like to ride in. Of course, we’re here with family, so that’s taking up a lot of time as well, and since we’ll be here a while, we’ll have plenty of time to ride once the weather inevitably breaks. Spent the day working on the book, with an eye toward having it ready by end of the year, and getting it published in time for the 2016 Great Florida Cattle Drive at the end of January!

Monday, Dec. 14, 2015 – Installation of our New Water Barrel

Over the years, we’ve had a number of occasions where there was a place we wanted to go to horse camp, but water was not readily available. Though we’ve usually been able to solve the problem one way or another, (sump pump water from a nearby stream, bring water in a barrel, collect rain water, etc.), we wanted a more permanent solution, so we purchased a 95 gallon “sprayer” tank from an outlet in Orlando. We had to order it in advance in order to save the $200 shipping cost, but having picked it up on our way out of Ocala, today was the day to install it. Though we could have bought an expensive stand for it, we opted to go the more imaginative route and make a framework ourselves. After a short trip to the Home Depot for supplies, we spent the day putting together what turned out to be a very satisfactory stand that will hopefully be immovable, and will allow us to explore even more new and wild horse camps! Can’t wait to try it out, but it will be several months before we’re on the road again, though we still have a few adventures in store before we leave here!

Friday, Dec. 11, 2015 – Travel Day to Brother Jeff’s

Busy day! Packed up, stopped at dump on the way out, made many stops in Okeechobee to shop for a variety of things, checked out some hay, none to my liking so that may be problematic when we need some, then finally headed out to Jupiter, arriving around 3:00. We scoped out the yard and found the best spot to park, with our back end facing the pool and our entrance door facing the paddock where the horses will be staying when they’re not wandering around the 5 acres of property.

Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015 – Restful Work Day

Once again, spent most of my time working of my Horse Camp book, debated with Hubby a few times about whether he wanted to try to move to another campsite that had opened up, or to just head down to my brother’s in Jupiter tomorrow. Eventually we concluded that moving on would be the best thing to do, even if we had to park in a different spot than usual in order to stay out of the lake that was sitting in his yard. Did a little packing, but it’s a short trip tomorrow (with many stops), so we didn’t worry too much about.

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015 – Ride Day at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve

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Though the trail map indicates a good choice of loops, they are almost all at least 10 miles long, but Hubby said he was up for that, so I planned out a route that would take us west on the main road (no motor vehicles) until we met up with a left turn that would take us to a primitive camping area, then pick up the Grasshopper Sparrow Trail west, then loop back around on the main road. We headed out walking and jogging on the straight as an arrow road until we reached our turn, only running across a few patches of standing water on the road. That changed a bit after the turn, the water became deeper and more often. By the time we went through the camping area, the water was everywhere. We changed our plan, deciding to take a shorter loop south on the Ozmore Trail to the Boundary Trail, then back north on the Kilpatrick Prairie Trail. Problem was, the water was between ankle and knee deep on the horses almost all the way, and after about ¾ of a mile, we agreed that it was likely not to improve, and that no one was having much fun (except Lola, who was right in her element, leaping and jumping around the sawgrass), so we turned back and retraced our route back to the campground, getting a few canters in once we got back on the high ground of the main road. No doubt, if it were drier here, the trails would be fantastic, albeit kind of boring with all the flatness, but they've had so much rain here in the past few weeks, it's just too wet. We got back to camp, got the horses away, and settled down for the evening, as usual.

Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015 – Relaxing Work Day

Spent most of the day working on the Horse Camping book, while Hubby read and relaxed today.