Archives for July 2019

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 – Nurse Karen Came, Prep for Departure

Once again, FedEx screws up big-time. I pulled Hubby’s labs last Thursday and hand-delivered them to our clinic on Friday. Our nurse Karen boxed them up and sent them out FedEx with a Special Saturday Delivery label, and, would you believe, they arrived yesterday, on Tuesday! Of course, that meant at least one of the test tubes had gone bad, because there’s a short window of time before the ice pack melts, which is why they pay extra for Saturday delivery. Anyway, Karen decided to drive down and pick up a new sample, as well as do her required “home visit” that’s supposed to happen whenever someone joins a new clinic, though it’s something we hope to streamline as part of Fresenius’ RV travelers system. Once Karen left, I started to pack up, as we now have so many extraneous items we’re using, it takes me a lot longer to pack up. I put the screen room away and as many other things as I could, all the outdoor chairs and tables, all the extra horse stuff, and at the end of the day, put the horses on the highline and put the corral away. Whew! Almost two hours of work that I couldn’t start until AFTER Hubby’s dialysis. The good news is, we now have a new Fresenius Ipad and modem, so Hubby can start looking after himself a lot more and not rely on me to get his machine’s readings every half hour, but the bad news is, we’re still waiting for our clinic transfer to come through to get a password. It seems we should have it tomorrow though, and Karen has promised to email the information, since she knows we’ll be traveling tomorrow. Finally managed to get everything put away that I could, just before mosquito hour hit, and we won’t be long out of bed, believe me!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019 – Rainy Day

Rained most of the day off and on, so I just moved the portable fence around to a new spot and did some housekeeping, all done by the time Hubby got out of bed, then we had a quiet day, watching old movies while the rain came a’tumblin’ down!

Monday, July 29, 2019 – Another Frustrating Ride at Tri-County

Map vs. GPS tracks. REALLY???

Had another great night sleep, and was up a bit earlier, so I decided I could get a short ride in this morning before dialysis this afternoon. After having my juice with Hubby, I saddled up Apollo (Flash is still a bit gimpy, but MUCH improved!), spoke to our neighbors across the way who were saddling up when I left, who said they were heading north to the country club for lunch, I told them I was going to try to find the reverse of the loop I tried to find the other day, and off I went. Once again, I'm sorry to say, the trails were poorly marked and had NO relationship to the map whatsoever! I headed out what I though was the reverse of the orange trail, only to find I was on the red trail, though they were both supposed to be combined there. After crossing the road and walking on a road to a swamp, I did my best to follow the ribbons, but never found the turnoff for the orange trail (though I learned later that two unmarked trails that I passed were the right ones, but there were many unmarked trails, and I wasn't about to guess when I had time constraints!) I ended up following the red trail, and thought I was in one place, when in fact I was in another. There was less than a mile of better marked trails in the woods, then it opened onto a pipeline easement where the weeds were as tall as my head (on my horse!), with lots of brambles, making me wish I had chaps to wear! I looked diligently for any kind of a turn-off and never found one, and the markers for even the pipeline trail were non-existent. I finally hit a road, and there were red arrows indicating the trail went straight across, so that's what I did. A hundred yards later I was looking at a river with no obvious ford to it, so I came back to what might have passed as a muddy road that had been underwater not long ago, but after 100 yards up that road I still didn't see any markers. As I headed back to the road crossing, still looking for markers, a pipeline employee came by, but he didn't know the trails either, but as we were talking, I saw my neighbors from camp coming down the same trail I had just come! That was weird because I thought they were going north, and I thought I was going south, I guess it turned out we were both going west! Well, they tried to find markers, too, with no luck, and we went for a short stretch along another pipeline easement that dead-ended, and since by now I had been out nearly two hours (which was what I had intended the entire ride to be!) I was forced to give up and make a linear retreat, something I absolutely hate to do when there's a loop to be found! I just couldn't afford the time any more, so I left the couple to keep exploring while I hoofed it back to camp. Grrrr!!! So frustrating! In this day and age, there's just no excuse for such a poor map, and equally poor trail markings. Some of the worst I've ever seen, and I've seen some pretty bad ones in my day! When I got back and overlaid my actual route over their trail map on Google Earth, literally, the only thing that lined up was the little bit of time I spent on the road. That's it. Everything else was way off! When I got back to camp, one of the trustees was talking to Hubby, and I mentioned the fact that I had been out twice and gotten lost half a dozen times on each ride, she got understandably defensive, but couldn't offer anything but some pretty poor excuses, and proceeded to explain to me that the reason I couldn't find the trail markers was because the pipeline company had put a stone wall over their trail to keep ATVers out of a cemetery, but all I had to do was turn left (the opposite of the way it shows it on the map) to go around the rocks and through the cemetery, and then I would find the rest of the markers for the red trail. Well, that's all fine, but how is someone who doesn't know that figure that out?? So frustrating!! Later, after dialysis (which was a good one today!), I went and chatted with the neighbors to see if they ever found those markers, and they didn't either, saying they turned and went down that road for a bit until they finally found where another trail crossed and picked up the blue trail, but never found the orange or the red trail as they had planned. They emailed me their GPS data and when I laid it on my Google Earth map, it left me speechless, which is saying something! There is not one bit of trail that lined up with markings on the map. Not one! Where the map shows the blue trail as a nice round loop, the actual trail is a squiggly, many sided thing that's almost the shape of an 8, and isn't even in the same vicinity as what's on the map! I've seen some bad maps, but these have to be the worst ever. I can only think that it's deliberate, that the locals don't really want casual riders from outside to come in, and if that's the plan, it's working, because no one is going to put up with being that frustrated for very long. I've vowed to ride every trail in the next three months when we come back here, and make my own map, so at least I won't get lost again, and hopefully, I can pass that along to other newbies in need. Very annoying. Anyway, after our good dialysis session and playing a bit with Lola, we settled down to a couple of short programs before heading to bed. Hoping for yet another good night sleep, but there is a line of thunderstorms coming our way, still debating where I should put Lola in the truck or not, because at the first sign of lightning, she'll be scratching at the bedroom door. Anyway, bedtime!

Sunday, July 28, 2019 – Old Friends and New Came to Visit

After a very good night sleep last night, best in a long time, the day quickly because like a day of holding court! First Elaine stopped by to see how we were doing when she saw me out doing my horse chores, and chatted for a while, then the couple I met yesterday, Lisa and Rick came by and chatted for another 45 minutes or so, borrowing my ladder to fix a cover over their air conditioner, then Patty came by and visited for a while, until finally I had to go make Hubby breakfast, and after she left I managed to finish my chores. I had put the horses out in the area in front of the trailer that I wanted trimmed, because I was afraid the ground wasn’t getting dry enough for us to be able to get out, and they did a fine job with that today! Then, shortly thereafter, my old high school buddy Donna from Cleveland arrived and we spent almost all afternoon catching up, chatting and snacking. Another trailer came in with a couple of day riders, and a big Kiefer livestock trailer showed up with another couple, and I went a chatted with them for a few minutes because they looked like they might be parking in an area that I knew was too soft for them (which they suspected as well), and they did managed to find a good spot across the road from us. Eventually Donna had to head out, and the day riders left, leaving us and our new neighbors the place to ourselves. Evidently they’re staying until Wednesday. The woman came and asked me about the trails, and I showed her my Google earth map that had an overlay of the local trail map, as well as the GPS of the trails I actually took (which matched in very few places!!), and so they know now to take their GPS with them when they ride this week. I’m hoping to get a ride in as well, but there’s rain forecast for Tuesday, so it may have to be just a short ride tomorrow, but we’ll see. The weather was perfect today, we had a wonderful breeze so that even the screen room didn’t get too warm for a change. I had pulled the barbecue grill out and we had a grilled dinner tonight, me with steak and Hubby with a Beer bratwurst, along with a baked potato. What a wonderful, relaxing day! Now I’m beginning to remember why we love it on the road so much, I actually have time to just sit and relax! Whoo-hoo!

Saturday, July 27, 2019 – Quiet Day

I had intended to get a short ride in today before dialysis, but I uncharacteristically slept until 9:30 this morning, so by the time I got my chores done and Hubby got up, it was too late to do much. Frankly, I was afraid of going out for an hour ride and ending up getting lost for an extra hour or more like last time, so I decided to skip it for now. I ended up chatting with some of the other ladies here, though frankly, this place was incredibly quiet, not one single horse was in the place besides ours! We thought it would be more crowded on the weekend, particularly since the weather has been perfect for the last few days, but it was very quiet here. I put up a small corral at the front of the trailer, because the grass is so long and I’m concerned if the ground doesn’t dry up enough we’re going to get stuck trying to get out next week, so I wanted to get my four-legged lawn mowers on it to shorten it up. Of course, they did a marvelous job, but I was also concerned about staying within the bounds of the rules. Almost everyone I’ve met here hasn’t seemed to mind we’re taking a bit of license, with the exception of the one woman on the board who made a little fuss earlier in the week, but even she came over and apologized to me today, so I guess we’re all good now. Hubby felt good enough to walk out and sit in a chair in the shade and throw the ball for Lola for half an hour, so he was definitely feeling better. We started dialysis, however, and by the end of the session, he was feeling quite poorly again, not sure why but it really weakened him by the end of the session. One of the things we discussed with Karen yesterday is the possibility we might be “over-dialyzing” him, as his blood clearance seems to be almost too much now, so it’s possible after our last labs, if they continue to show that problem, we may be able to actually shorten his dialysis time, which could help with his weakness. We’ll know better in a few days, hoping for the best! Meanwhile, we watched a couple of old classic movies while settling in for the evening.

Friday, July 26, 2019 – Clinic and Shopping Day

Well, the day we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived! Hubby and I got up early to get to our monthly Dialysis clinic, our first time at our new location in Canton, OH. We met Karen, who will be our new nurse for the duration, and she was fabulous, giving us all kind of new information and being extremely helpful! She managed to get us an Ipad and a modem so we can get back to sending reports electronically, which will be a GREAT help, and she was very personable and delightful to get to know. After spending more time with her than we probably should, we finally headed over to the Doctor’s office across the street and spend a very short amount of time with them, then headed up to a Walmart to do some shopping, got some fuel and headed back to camp. We spend quite a bit of time socializing with Elaine, and Ellen stopped by for a few minutes to make sure we were doing all right as well. Hubby felt really good today, even walking when he didn’t absolutely have to, and without his walking stick! He even did a little Shakespeare for Elaine, which shows just how much better he’s feeling today. Fingers crossed, he’s getting stronger! Eventually we settled down to dinner and a movie and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Thursday, July 25, 2019 – Ride on Apollo and Dialysis Day

Still didn't have a great night sleep last night, not sure why, maybe it's too cool! Wouldn't that be a switch! Anyway, I started out slowly this morning, but eventually decided to take Apollo for a ride just to get a feel for the trails and the neighborhood. Got him saddled up and headed out of the camp out the driveway and on to the orange trailhead, as I had been told the blue trail was mostly downhill and therefore much muddier than the other trails, so that's where I headed. I had estimated just a short 5+- mile around the smallest loop I could find, but naturally I got lost and ending up doing 7.75 miles instead. I swear, the hardest thing to do is to follow a map and a trail that's been done by people that have ridden those trails so long they never even think about what it's like to be a newbie. As usual, once you're on a trail the markings are generally clear, but for some reason, as the intersections, it become a whole new ballgame, there seldom seems to be clear markings as to which way to go. When I finally reached an intersection that I understood, I realized I have gone about twice as far as I had planned, and that I was on the east side of the loop when I though I was on the west side of it. Since I didn't want to have to stretch out the ride to another, longer loop, I uncharacteristically turned around to return to where I was going to go in the first place. Along the way, I passed a group of riders from a summer camp, a long string of 15+ horses with young people astride. I asked the leader if I was going in the right direction to get to back to the orange trail, and she gave me a fairly detailed description of where to find it, and off I went. A quarter mile later, a car caught up to me (several of the trails follow roads for a ways, not my favorite), and she told me the leader was concerned she had given me wrong directions and asked her to chase me down to correct it! You gotta love Ohioans, they go above and beyond to be helpful! Of course, in spite of all the help, that didn't keep me from getting lost a few more times along the way. I kept following the orange tags on the trees, and then the markings painted on the roads (which are pretty faded and covered with dirt, so they're easy to miss) and tried to follow the map, but the way the trails are marked on the map are painted with a really broad brush. When I zoom into it on Google Earth, the markings cover about 100 yards on the ground, so kind of tough to see where the trail really is. And when I finally made it back and put the trail on my overlay, in some places it wasn't even close! Guess I better have a conversation with trailmeister Ellen before I head out again! After following orange tags around in a circle of little used jungle, I opted for the more traveled path, which took me to the road across from the KOA, and from there I just followed the road home. Not what the trail was supposed to do, and even after looking at it on Google Earth I can't figure out where I went wrong. Sigh... Oh, well, never a dull moment! I finally made I back to camp, and as I was unsaddling Apollo, one of the Trustees of the club, Elaine, came over to see if I was all right. She was concerned that I went out on my own and was taking a long time to get back, so she stayed around just to make sure everything was okay with me. Like I said, above and beyond! Once I assured her everything was fine other than the occasional detour, she headed on out, promising to come by another day over the weekend. Overall a decent ride, some muddy spots like everywhere we've been this year, but mostly dirt, very little gravel, so boots were not necessary, thank goodness. I let Apollo graze on clover for a bit, treated Flash's foot again, then got busy getting Hubby on his dialysis session before finally settling down for the evening.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019 – Delivery Day and Unexpected Rain!

I had hoped to take a short ride on Apollo this morning, but despite a weather forecast declaring clear skies until next Monday, clouds built up and rain came down, so that obviously didn’t happen! We have a dialysate supply delivery today, so I thought if he came early enough I might still get a ride in if the rain went away, but neither of those things happened. I had already sorted out the back of the trailer for the delivery, so when the truck arrived, we got everything loaded in with no problem. But of course, more rain came in, so a ride was out of the question. Flash is still favoring his hind leg a lot, but the heat is mostly out of it, the swelling seems to have come down, and the raw skin has almost completely healed over, though I’m still treating it regularly, so hopefully he recover in short order. So in the end, we had a fairly relaxing day, though I did bathe Lola, washed all of her bedding and insect-bombed the truck, because she’s still carrying around fleas she picked up long ago. Hard to break the cycle once things get going! Did some house work as well, very productive, yet somehow relaxing day! I guess any pace slower than clearing out a house seems like a break these days! Fingers crossed I’ll be able to ride tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019 – Setup, Shopping and Dialyzing

Had another restless night, not getting as much sleep as I would like, but got busy as soon as I got up, setting up the screen room and putting up the electric fence so the horses could munch on the grass that was too long. Ellen had told me the person who usually mows the lawn was ill so I thought I’d help out by letting the horses cut the lawn in as large an area as possible, but later on, I was informed that portable corrals are not allowed, or at least a maximum of 12X12. Sigh… Two horses in an area that small will ruin that space in no time, but if that’s the kind of pasture management they want to do, so be it. (Bear in mind, the place was empty, except for the person telling me this, and she left shortly thereafter.) So tomorrow I’ll take it down again, or maybe make it 12X12 or so, just to satisfy their rules. Meanwhile, they did get a day of nice clover. Unfortunately, I noticed Flash was limping, the rope burn he got on his fetlock seems to be infected, so I treated it, hopefully it will improve by tomorrow. I ran out to the post office to ship out a book because of an order I received yesterday, and then to the store to get some grocery shopping done, getting back later than I hoped because of a delayed prescription transfer. Finally got back and got Hubby on his machine, did some more chores throughout the rest of the session, finally settling down for the evening much later than usual. I hope Flash is better tomorrow, I sure hate the idea of having to call a vet out here! I’ll just keep treating it and keep my fingers crossed for now!

Monday, July 22, 2019 – Travel Day To Tri-County Trails Campground

Since we didn't have to leave early, I didn't bother with the alarm, and ended up sleeping until 8:30, mainly because I didn't sleep well during the night. Got up and started packing up, and it seemed to take forever this morning for some reason. I wasted quite a bit of time trying to find a vet on the way that was a member of the Global Vet Link system, a new system of getting a 6-month horse passport which I used to get from the state of Tennessee. Now we have to find a vet and get it through them. I spoke to two difference animal clinics that were on the way, one couldn't take us today, but seemed to understand what I was looking for once I explained it in detail, and another that had no clue what I was talking about, and wasn't the least bit interested in finding out about it. How can these people be a member of a network that others rely on, and not have the first idea how to do what the network claims they can do?? Anyway, I'm just going to have to work out another way of getting them in the next few weeks, since all my efforts came to nothing. Of course, that made me late for everything else, and we didn't get away from camp until well past 12:30, with a heavy downpour slowing us down even further. Finally said our good-byes to Phyllis and Ted and headed up the road. Most of it was uneventful, until the very end when my GPS and a low clearance bridge got us all screwed up and we wasted nearly half an hour trying to get there. Finally did, and then the excitement began. We walked around with Ellen, the trailmaster (mistress?) and she showed us where president Mike (who was delayed because of a doctor's appointment he'd forgotten about) wanted us to park. We chatted for a while, and then she left us to it. I started out trying to back up into the space, simple enough, but the ground was so soft I started sliding. Since we were backing uphill, we decided that wasn't going to work, so we circled around so we could cross the lawn going downhill into the spot, and ended up getting stuck there, too. President Jim arrived just then, and he hooked up his 4-wheel drive pickup to me, but all he managed to do was tear up four nice little holes in the ground to match the two I had already made. Finally we called Ellen again (who only lives around the corner) and she came down, contacted her son, a farmer, and told us he was bringing one of his big tractors down. He arrived in short order on a massive tractor, with double back wheels about 8 feet tall, hooked us up and managed to pull us out pretty easily. He stayed around until we got our tires up on a couple of levelers, and then went on his way. So grateful for the help!! They've had so much rain here, too, that the ground was pretty soft everywhere, hope we don't have trouble getting out again! The forecast is for sunny skies all week, though, so hopefully we'll be all right. By this time it was almost 7:00, so we left the rest of the setting up until tomorrow. With the horses safe on a highline, which I had put up while waiting for the tractor, we settled down for the evening, to MUCH COOLER TEMPERATURES, thank goodness!!