Archives for February 2016

Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016 – Flight Travel Day Back to Fort. Lauderdale

Woke early with the alarm, finished packing and were out the hotel door just after 6:00 am. Dropped off the rental car, shuttled to the airport, where Hubby and I separated because I realized I had TSA pre-boarding and he didn’t, so I took all the remaining bags and went to the short line and got thru in minutes, then waited another 15 minutes or so for him to come through. Grabbed the tram and got to the gate with a comfortable 45 minutes to spare. Got some breakfast, but despite signs all over to the contrary, they didn’t accept my Discover card so I had to break out some cash. We had the perfect amount of time to finish eating before boarding the plane, had an uneventful flight back, caught the bus back to the parking lot at Ft. Lauderdale and headed home. We were exhausted by the time we arrived, had a quick meal and headed to bed pretty early, even though our body clocks were three hours behind. Definitely needed the sleep!

Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016 – Rest Day

After a long week of work, providing 2 Two-Day workshops in our primary business of teaching public speaking, we allowed ourselves to have a very lazy day. Though Hubby didn’t get up until after 9:00, I was up about 7:00, having gotten used to being an early riser this week. We had a leisurely breakfast, watched the second movie we had rented at the local Redbox yesterday (a Tom Selleck Jesse Stone mystery), before heading down to the pool to get some sun. It had been pretty cool for most of the week, but today was perfect, no wind, nice sun, perfect temps, so we lounged around, taking a couple of hot tubs and reading. Being Saturday, there were a number of families with kids, but they eventually wandered off. There was a 3-minute wedding in the grotto behind us, and after a while, we headed back up to the room. After showers and some preliminary packing, we took a drive, first to return the films, then just a drive up and down the Strip to see what’s new since our last time here. Eventually we ended up at our destination of the Mt. Everest Indian Restaurant, where we had a very nice dinner, though it was way too much food, and knowing we couldn’t take leftovers, ate too much of it. We rolled out the door and headed back to the hotel, where we arrived in time to watch and HBO premiere movie, San Andreas with Dwayne Johnson, which was quite entertaining. Some more packing, and off to bed!

Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 – Travel by Air Day

Woke up to the alarm early to finish packing, get breakfast and get headed out. Hubby fed the horses, while showing my brother all the proper quantities and techniques of feeding, during which Clio inexplicably threw her head back, spilling most of her food on the ground, and knocking off Hubby’s hat and glasses. He wasn’t hurt, but halfway to the Fort Lauderdale airport, he discovered he was missing a hearing aid, so now he’s deaf in one ear. I called my brother and asked him to look for it, but didn’t hear back before we got on the plane. I was sure I had built in a lot of extra time, but the time it took to park and get the shuttle was longer than I expected, and the time it took to haul a very heavy bag full of books (both books, as our client wanted some, and I intend to keep on fulfilling orders while we’re out here), and then security seemed slower than usual, and by the time we got to the gate they had already boarded our group and were about to board the next group. I didn’t even have time to fill up my water bottle or grab us something to eat! Hubby thought they’d sell meals on the plane, but all they had was free snacks, so we had our fill of cheese crackers, pretzels and cookies before the flight was done. Arrived in Las Vegas 20 minutes early, went through all the process of getting our baggage, our rental car (trying out a Nissan this time, first time I’ve driven one of those), got checked into the hotel, which they kindly upgraded to a full suite including jacuzzi tub, thank you!), then took a quick trip to the store, the post office, and finally, a little hole in the wall Thai restaurant where we got some delicious food, though the atmosphere isn’t any kind of atmosphere, more of a delivery and take out kind of place, but we were so hungry, we didn’t care! Got back to the hotel, had a nightcap, heading off the bed by 8:00!

Monday, Feb. 15, 2016 – Mailing, Sort Of

Spent a lot of the day on the phone with Paypal trying to sort out how to print Multi-Order Shipping Labels. They have a program for it, but I haven’t been able to figure it out, and by the time I finished “experimenting” with it, I ended up completely crashing it. Couldn’t even do single labels for a while! Then suddenly that kicked in, after spending several hours on the phone, but finally got the job done. Had to pick up envelopes again, then headed to the post office, fighting through some really heavy summer-like downpours of rain, only to suddenly realize it was President’s Day and they were closed! Well, I chucked all the packages in the big slot anyway, figuring at least we’ll be first in the morning! Though there were people working in back, so I’m sure there will be no delay anyway. More rain on the way home, but it broke just in time to get the horses fed and get settled down for the evening.

Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016 – Ride with Brother to the Hungryland Gazebo

DSCN0018 DSCN0019 DSCN0022 DSCN0023 DSCN0021

After a day of mostly getting caught up on book orders, as well as doing a few odd jobs, my brother and I decided to take a quick ride out to the gazebo in Hungryland, which is just under 5 miles. We took along both my dogs, and his little fluffy dog Armani. Last time we rode with Armani was August last year in upstate New York, and then he put him up on the saddle where he rode like a little prince. This time, I suggested he just let Armani be a trail dog, despite his diminutive size, and keep up with us along with Billy and Lola. He was a little concerned that Armani was following Clio a little close, and that she might kick, but after my assurances, he decided to let Armani tag along on the ground, which turned out just fine. He and my little Billy hung out for a while, but then Billy jumped up front with Lola for a while too. We headed out the usual route along the first canal, then down to the new land bridge over to Hungryland. We met a group of locals with tourists, which we later learned were Italian (they got a kick out of the name Armani), and passed a vehicle along the way as well, while we made our way to the gazebo and then a bit further west, just for a little extra mileage. Today I decided to put Apollo in his bitless bridle, just to see how he would behave, and other than shying a bit once on a windy scrub palm, and rodeo-ing on his transition from a trot to a canter (which he hasn't done in a while, so I was surprised), he was fine. Not sure if I'll try again or not, though today's test didn't prove whether he'd behave better or not. Anyway, it was a nice ride, the dogs were great, the horses were fine, and we got back just as the sun was setting, when got everyone settled in for the evening.

Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016 – Trails N Tails Charity Ride in Dupuis WMA

DSCN0010 DSCN0006 DSCN0005 DSCN0009 DSCN0011

With all the rain they've had this year in Florida, many areas that are normally dry have been underwater, and Dupuis has been no exception. But with three days of sunshine and breeze, and a forecast for low 70's today, this was the PERFECT opportunity to ride in Dupuis, and as it happens, there was a charity ride scheduled today, for breast cancer, so we decided to go and participate. That required getting up earlier than usual (by Hubby's standards, who loves to sleep late 🙂 ) and arriving between 8:30 and 9:00, which we did. After signing up, and donating a book to their raffle, we headed out following the big pink hoof signs that were well placed. They had two trails marked, one for horses and one for dogs and their walkers. This was so wonderful to see, as Dupuis, for years, didn't allow dogs, even in the campground, but they recently loosened the restriction to dogs on a leash (yeah!), something that many of us have been fighting for a long time. The camp host had dogs, but the rest of us weren't allowed... Go figure. Anyway, the trail took us all along the western side of the park, which has some beautiful areas. They had marked three loops for horses, 4 miles, 6+ miles, and 8+ miles. Well, 8 miles sounded just about right to us, so we stayed on that track. There was still much more water on some parts of the trail than we've ever seen, which kept it interesting. Lots of areas were just damp or a little muddy, but some had some long stretches of water completely covering the trail. Nowhere near as bad as the cattle drive, though, and the horses trooped through with no problems. In fact, the horses were brilliant today, no drama, great jogs and a lot of nice canters as well. Despite the mostly good trail markers, we still managed to get lost (well, not lost, just not on the designated trail), and we ended up coming back on the road for the final few miles. Turns out that was fine, as the designated trail was back the way we came, and Hubby and I HATE to go back on the same trail if there are loop options! Anyway, we got back into camp around noon, then sat around and chatted with some ladies, one who lives very nearby, and another lives in Chicago and (smartly) winters here, who said she was looking for a place in Jupiter for next year. Both ended up buying a book! Flying off the shelf, they are! Hubby put the horses away while I was chatting, and finally we left about 1:30, heading first to Ranch Feed to pick up enough feed for the horses to last for several weeks, and then to a fabulous little Thai Restaurant in Palm City, where we enjoyed a delightful meal in this quaint place. Got back to the "ranch" by 5:00, discovered a bunch more books online book sales had come in, then settled down for the evening to a very good movie and a very poor Republican debate... But don't get me started on politics!

Friday, Feb. 12, 2016 – Search for Camera Day

What a trial today! My old camcorder had died during the Cattle Drive, and my phone has such a bad camera I knew I had to replace it, so today was the day designated for that. I borrowed my brother’s Sam’s Club card and we drove down to North Palm Beach to look there. We found one we wanted, but discovered I had to renew my brother’s membership, which I did while we were waiting for them to get our camera. Turned out they didn’t have any, so they offered to discount the display model, so I decided to take that. We waited another 20 minutes while they tried to find the box, and when they finally did, we saw it was missing all the parts, like the USB cord and the AC adapter! So we decided NOT to take that one. I went back to Member Services to get the credit back for the membership (my brother only uses his membership occasionally, no sense wasting months he doesn’t need to), and after I got the credit, the guy turned around and instead of giving me the Sam’s card back so I could give it to my brother, he shredded it! I couldn’t believe it! So now my brother will have to go in and get another one, though they told me he would only have to show his ID. I hope that’s true, that he doesn’t have to reapply. In truth, the card was in pretty bad shape, so hopefully my brother won’t mind having to get another one… Anyway, we went from there to the Walmart next door, and they didn’t have their cameras on display at all, just boxes that were locked up underneath the counter, and they have to stand there and watch you go through the boxes! How ridiculous! The clerk remarked that they had to do it that way because of vandalism, yet there was a phone display and a laptop display, so I’m not sure the logic holds. Anyway, there was no way I could make a decision based on the outside of a box, we left there disappointed. Next stop was Target, and they didn’t have anything comparable in stock (why do they leave things on display that they don’t have in stock?), then another Walmart, where they had a very small display. Finally, we decided we had to go to Best Buy (not my favorite place, but apparently the only game in town for electronics these days), and fortunately, they had a wide display, I found a camera that would do just what I wanted, a Nikon Coolpix S7000, and finally headed up to ABC for brandy, and our hometown Walmart for our final domestic shopping. Naturally by now we caught all the rush hour traffic, but finally got home about 5:30, fed the horses and got settled in for the night.

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016 – First Ride Since the Cattle Drive at Riverbend Park in Jupiter

IMG_20160211_135959 IMG_20160211_141435 IMG_20160211_143941 IMG_20160211_144250

What a busy week! So many book orders have come it (thank you!!) and the weather's been quite cool, so riding has not been in the cards until today. While the neighborhood here is all very nice, we were ready for a change (especially after seeing so MUCH change during the Cattle Drive), we decided to trailer the horses the very short trip up to Riverbend Park. This is a lovely little park that has something for everyone, canoe and kayak rentals, hiking, biking, picnic areas, and, of course, equestrian trails! We parked in the dedicated equestrian field and had the horses saddled up in no time, then hit the trails. There's only really a few choices here, a long loop and shorter loop, with just a couple of options for cutting between them, but they are lovely trails. We did the longest trail we could, and even so it was only 6.5 miles, but it was lovely! We saw a lot of young deer along the backside of the golf course, and had a chance for some nice canters. A gorgeous day, with just a bit of a cool wind which we only noticed when we were heading into it, but it warmed up during the ride beautifully. A great change of venue, for us and the horses!

Monday, Feb. 8, 2016 – Book Fulfillment Day!

Spent the ENTIRE DAY printing shipping labels, cover letters, signing books, and stuffing envelopes until at last, at 4:00, I was finished just in time to head to the Post Office to drop off my load of books! I even had to go the office supply store and pick up more envelopes in order to finish everything. Thanks to everyone who had the faith to purchase it! Can’t wait to start getting comments and reviews on it! By the time I got back, even more orders had come in! So thrilled that my book is being so well-received. Obviously, there was a need!

Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 – Super Bowl Sunday

Hubby spent the whole day watching Superbowl promos until the big game, mainly because I’ve been too busy all day with book orders! Incredible, I knew writing a book about horse camping would have a niche market, but this has really exploded! I’m going to have to make another order of books this week! Once the Big Game started, I put my computer away, only to check it at half-time (when I learned I’d sold another half dozen books), and after the game (another half dozen books). Fantastic! And, by the way, GREAT GAME, DENVER! Congratulations, Peyton! We’ve been watching him since he was quarterbacking for University of Tennessee, can’t believe his career is almost over! Great job!