Archives for March 2020

Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2020 – Catch Up Day

Hi Sweetie,
Well, Lola was a bit restless last night after all. She’s been in one place for so long she forgot about having new back yards every few weeks, plus I kept the door closed since she needs to start getting used to not being able to go out any time she wants. Still, I got a decent night sleep, though the horses woke me up when they started eating hay out of the back of the truck, with the sound of their chewing right outside my window and them bumping the truck occasionally, though they eventually wandered off. Pistol had to get to work very early. She drives a dump truck, but is working a job right next door where they’re building a lake. After I got up I started to pull the hub off the one wheel that seemed a bit hot on the road yesterday, finally managing to get it off, but I had trouble getting the mashed up cotter pin out. Fortunately, it turns out Pistol’s boyfriend is a certified mechanic, and he was nice enough to give me a hand. He even picked me up some new cotter pins and some more hay while he was out running errands, since the horses are munching more than I had planned on, and I need enough to get to Tennessee. I also did a few more quick repairs around the trailer in the morning, and by afternoon, the efforts of the past months finally caught up with me. I stopped and read for awhile, then climbed into bed and took a nap, which helped a lot. Then we had a very nice supper that Pistol made, and I sent her copies of my Google Earth files, which took a while to do. We were all so tired at that point we called it a night. I fed the horses and watched a couple of SHIELDS, but now I’m ready for my shower and bed! Good night, my love!

Monday, Mar. 30, 2020 – Finally Back On The Road

Hello Darlin’,
Sorry to say that my potential RV buyers STILL couldn’t make up their mind this morning, so I told them I had to leave if they didn’t want to have it delivered today. I told them they could make arrangements with Jeff to pick it up if they decided they wanted it, but I couldn’t stay, I just have too much to do. So I packed everything up and managed to get out just before noon, and just after that I heard on the radio that they were instituting a travel ban in South Florida because of the coronavirus! Not that that would have stopped me, of course, but things are getting crazy here! There’s a lot less of the virus in TN than FL so I’m kind of glad to be getting out. Jeff told me he might have tightened the bearings a bit too much, maybe, but that I should stop at the first rest area and check to see if any of them were too hot, and told me what I should do if they were, which consisted of removing the cap, pulling the cotter pin, backing of the hub nut one notch, then putting it all back together again. At the first stop, I did find one that did seem a bit warmer than the others, but then I couldn’t get the cap off, so that ended that. I stopped at just about every rest stop on the way just to check it, but it didn’t seem to get any worse, so I’ll just check it in the morning when they’re cooler and they might come off easier. Anyway, the rest of the trip was uneventful and I arrived at my new friend Pistol, whom I met on the OTL ride in February. She lives in a great spot, at the end of a dead end road with quite a bit of acreage and a full RV hookup that I could get into with no problem. I quickly got set up, let the horses out into the yard, then joined her and her friends in the kitchen for the evening. Evidently it was beauty salon night, because everyone there but me got their hair cut, colored and/or ironed out by one of Pistol’s friends. They ordered pizza, which I’ve been in the mood for for days, and it was really one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had, with a thick but airy crust and lots of the good stuff. I really enjoyed that!. By then it was almost 10:00, so we said our good-nights and I came to bed. Lola had lots of fun running around in the yard with a pack of other dogs, and Pistol’s son spent some time chucking the ball for her, so hopefully she’ll sleep through the night. I took my show, watched a SHIELD, and now it’s off to bed. Love you, babe! Good night!

Sunday, Mar. 29, 2020 – No Answer Yet, Brakes A Go

Hey Babe,
Well, the couple that looked at the trailer still hasn’t made a decision, said they’d know by tomorrow. Meanwhile, Jeff and I continued to go through the process of checking out the brakes. On Friday he thought some of the brake shoes were really worn, but after looking at them all, he decided they weren’t. He still isn’t sure about the concept of a proportional brake controller, but I think I finally convinced him it’s working the way it’s suppose to. After all, if I’m standing still, why would I need a lot of power on the brakes? The brake controller senses inertia, so it made sense that it was working correctly. When I hit the manual override, though, it’s going all the way up to 13 volts, which was inconsistent before, so I always have that as a last resort. We did find a couple of really rusted ground wires that we cleaned up, and that seemed to at least make everything work a little more consistently. I had trouble with the front jacks on Friday when I was hooking up, and had to wiggle that wire behind the battery again, even though it was something brother Karl supposedly fixed in January. We checked that again and most of it seemed good except the ground wire there was pretty rusty, too, so we cleaned that up, and the jack now seems to be working more consistently, too, but we’ll have to wait and see. So now I’m just waiting on this couple to make a decision. If they take it, I’ll move it over there tomorrow, if they don’t, and I find out early enough, I’ll leave to head north tomorrow. Pins and needles, hoping they pick me! Heading off to bed now, reading a good series that I want to get back to. Love you, babe! Good night!

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!