Archives for April 2020

Thursday, April 30, 2020 – Ready!

Hello Darlin’!
Well, I think I’m ready! Even though I had a terrible night sleep (and don’t know why), I got up this morning with a plan to do everything possible to be ready for the trip tomorrow. I’ve been determined in these last few weeks, that in addition to getting everything in the house done and/or sold, I wanted to leave here without anything to fix, fill, finish or clean when I reached my next destination. I want to arrive and just be able to relax, ride and recoup from all of the exertions I’ve put out in the last weeks, months and years! So I did everything possible this week and more so today, to fix, fill, finish and clean everything that’s been hanging around, short and long term, including such mundane items as filling and cleaning Lola’s gumball machine. I put all the hoses away, flushed out the black water tanks about half a dozen times before the water finally came out reasonably clear, reorganized the horse area including putting down some shavings, and so much more. I even went back to the house to put a few things away in that I will pick up again in October, and helped the new owner pile a bunch of trash in the trailer and take it down to the dump area off Fred Lusk Rd., which was quite an experience for a city boy like him. He had no idea getting rid of trash meant throwing it into a nearly full receptacle that stood about 8 feet tall! He had torn all the carpet out of the bedroom, so we had large rolls to fling up there. Fortunately the dump guy actually helped us, even though he wasn’t supposed to, and I made sure to give him a fiver for all the help he provided. When we got back to the house, I helped him change the water filter in the well house, he was concerned about how low the water pressure was, I assured him it just needed a new filter, and I was right! Our so-called tenants had put in one of those filters that catches everything, and it was chock a block with sediment. Changing the filter solved his problem! I also walked him through putting chemicals in the hot tub, so he’s good to go. He took his first hot tub last night, and was in seventh heaven, he said. He was so relaxed afterward he had a great night sleep. He really appreciates the place, babe, and I’m glad he’s so enthusiastic about it. You know that house is really only for people with a special understanding, and he seems to have that. He’s been working hard on it, and it’s looking better already. Anyway, after I left there and got back to camp, did one final flush of the holding tank, fed the horses, threw in some laundry, cooked some dinner, and settled down for the evening. Going to bed really early tonight, hopefully, because there’s still a bit more packing to do in the morning, and then we’re FINALLY going to hit the road, at long last! Can’t wait!!! Heading out to Chickasaw State Park, that place in west Tennessee we were planning on going, it looks like they have a LOT of trails in the forest out there, so the horses will start to get some LONG OVERDUE exercise. All I want to do for the next two + weeks is sleep, eat and ride! Naps in the afternoon are a luxury I hope to indulge in regularly. Anyway, to insure that gets off to a good start, I need to get my bedtime ablutions off to a good start as well, so here I go! Love you, sweetie! Good night!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 – Rainy Housecleaning Day

Hi Hon,
After a fitful night with the wind really shaking the trailer, and rain coming in early in the morning, the day turned out to be pretty productive. I put the horses out of the paddock, with Apollo on an anchor and Flash always nearby, and that’s the last I saw them until dinnertime. It rained most of the day, with some of it really coming in squalls, but I took advantage of this by spending the day doing things to start getting ready, and getting caught up on long overdue projects. That consisted of putting things away, finding new homes for things I’d decided to keep from the house, fixing a drawer in the utility room, cleaning out the back of the trailer a bit, and finally making that last drape for the window by the dining room table, which will keep the reflection off the TV really well, not to mention make it like a cave in here anytime I want! Should help to keep it warm, too, on a cold night. Then I tackled housecleaning, doing a nice thorough job that was long overdue, too. I didn’t want to get to the next place and feel like I had to do housekeeping right away, you know how I can’t just sit around when jobs like that are staring me in the face. Like I said, productive! I’m trying to stay on schedule for a Friday departure, I’m determined nothing will delay me! Even after all that, I had time to watch some Deep Space 9’s, and they’re really doing a nice job with it. Season 2 began with Louise Fletcher and an uncredited Frank Langela, would you believe! I’m heading to bed early, though, I want to try to get all the outside chores done tomorrow, there’s only a 30 % chance of rain, so I should be able to put most of the some stuff away. I may have to do a little running around, but hopefully not much. So off to bed I go! Good night, my love!

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 – Final Day of Running Around, Hopefully!

Hey Babe,
I was late getting to bed last night, because I let Lola out before taking my shower, and she decided to go on walkabout for a long time! She was still a bit restless nevertheless, which didn’t help, but I did finally get to sleep and woke up early. I had to meet the folks who bought the bedroom set at just after 8:00 at the house, so I needed to get up early anyway. We ended up having to load up both the truck and the trailer in order to carry it all to their house in Gruetli, so that took up most of the morning. They helped me load of the Great Books, so my plan was to run up to Murfreesboro once we were done with the delivery. I also had a conference call with another financial advisor, still trying to figure out exactly what to do with the proceeds of the house. Once that was over, I took the trailer back to the house, and decided that it was time to load up all the extra odds and ends and take them to Goodwill in McMinnville, clearing out the garage of everything except the two recliners, one loveseat and the desk. That’s all I have left now, and I don’t see me being able to sell those before I leave, so I’m hoping the new owner will let me keep trying to sell them without sticking around to do it, because frankly, I’ve just got to get out of here. I need forest! I need riding! I need peace and quiet and nothing I have to do for a few days! It seems like I’ve been going non-stop for so long I’m not sure how to relax, but intend to refresh my memory at my first opportunity! So with all the little stuff dropped off at Goodwill, and a long trip to Murfreesboro where some hard bargaining managed to get me a little something for the Great Books collection, a quick stop at Tractor Supply for some horse feed and another at Walmart for just a couple of things and some fuel, at the remarkable price of $1.94 a gallon for diesel, I finally made it back to camp after 5:00. I paid the bill for the month (Wayne was extremely generous in his fees, so I got off easy), but a month is long enough in one place! More than enough! And naturally, even though it was fairly nice today (once the unforecasted rain shower at 6:00 this morning passed), until the evening when once again, wind blew in, and there’s supposed to be more rain overnight. I haven’t had the awning down at all this month, and I even had to take up the outdoor carpet after a week because the wind kept blowing it all over the place. The wind is driving me crazy, and the rain and mud isn’t helping either. But the forecast for Friday, my scheduled travel day is sunny and 70 degrees, then reaching 80 degrees within a couple of days, so I guess spring will be really short and summer will be fast on it’s heals. Can’t wait to get moving!! Well, enough whining for now, good progress was made today, and I’m starting to feel confident I’ll actually be able to get out of here on Friday. For now, time for bed, and the hope I can get some sleep despite all the wind-blown rocking and rolling the trailer is doing right now! Wish me luck! Good night, babe! Love you!

Monday, April 27, 2020 – Runaround Day

Hiya Sweetie,
Well, another day, another few more dollars of sold and donated items. I took three different trips to the house today, first to pick up the Encyclopedia Brittanicas. I’ve been trying to sell it, but it’s become clear that printed books are just about obsolete these days. Apparently not even Goodwill will take an encyclopedia! I finally called the tiny Altamont library, and they gladly accepted the donation. Hard to believe how much we paid for it, and how obsolete it’s become. I found a bookstore in Murfreesboro that says he may be interested in the set of the Great Books of the Western World, at least they’re a little more timeless. Second trip was to get the coffee table, which I delivered to someone in Coalmont. I’ve been using the parking lot of the Cruise In Cafe as a meeting place. The building itself burned down about six months back, so I’m told, but the family that ran it seems to still be living in a trailer next to it. Anyway, the last trip was back to the house where a mother and son from Gruetli met me to get the bedroom set, which I had to mark down to a ridiculously low price, but those four pieces take up so much room I had to get them out of there. Unfortunately, they showed up in a tiny truck that was too small to take it all, so they just took two pieces and the dresser mirror for now, and will come back tomorrow with a full-size truck, or pay me extra to deliver it. Then in the middle of the day, Apollo escaped from his anchor line and started wandering, taking Flash with him, of course, so I had to run back and help get them back in their little paddock. With all the rain, what little grass that was in there has been completely destroyed, it’s little more than a mud bog now, but at least it’s confined to a fairly small area. Finally made it back to camp after 8:00, fed the horses, played with Lola a bit with the frisbee that lights up in the dark, just to make sure she sleeps tonight. She was restless last night, scratching on the bedroom door and dragging her bed all around the trailer, hopefully she’ll be better tonight. Had time to watch a couple of Deep Space Nines, including one where Brian Keith was the guest star! Pretty good company! At least this show has some good acting, including regulars like Colm Meaney and Rene Auberjonois, and the writing’s pretty decent, too. Anyway, crammed a couple of those is, and now it’s late, so I’m heading off to bed. Good night, darlin’! Love you!

Sunday, April 26, 2020 – Computer Day

Hey Babe,
I gotta say, I am getting SO TIRED of clouds, wind, rain and cold temperatures!!!! Another day today when the wind was just whipping around most of the day. It’s getting on my nerves, as bad as it did that month we spent at our friend Lisa’s on the Rockies Front Range in Colorado, when the wind was just non-stop! It was cloudy and cold all day, I didn’t leave the trailer except to feed the horses, and at dinnertime, I changes their rain sheets out for their winter blankets, because it’s supposed to go down into the mid-30s tonight!!! What’s going on?? It’s almost May, I can’t ever remember it being this cold this late in the Spring in Tennessee! And nothing but rain, I’m up to my ankles in the mud with my Wellies, and I can tell the horses are getting sick of it, too. The only good news is that the forecast for our day of departure is sunny and 70 degrees! I sure hope that plays out, it will be just the ticket for my personal “independence day,” when I finally get on the road as a truly free spirit, no house, no ties, no roots, just the open road and to go wherever the wind blows me (or NOT as the case may be!). I spent the entire day doing research on investments, since the proceeds from the house are safely tucked away in the bank, but their finally destination had yet to be determined. I’ve been working with a number of financial advisors, and I sort of combined all their advice to come up with my own plan. Really, I wanted to just hire someone to do it, but after talking to so many, it became clear that it’s all a matter of opinion in the end, and since I’ve done pretty well over the years with investing, it made more sense to me to just do the research and come up with my own plan. YES, I ADMIT IT!! I’m a control freak, nothing new to those who know me! Could be why I’m so frustrated with the weather, since it’s definitely something I can’t control! Anyway, it was a quiet day other than that, and in the end, there was a spectacular (albeit brief) sunset, as the sun slid between the hovering clouds and the horizon. I finally put my computer away, sloshed my way back to feed the horses and change their blankets, and finally settled down for the evening. Still a lot to do in the next few days, but at least I have a goal and a countdown! Five days and counting!! Love you, babe! Good night!

Saturday, April 25, 2020 – Day of Circles

Hi Darlin’,
What a rainy, windy, chilly dirty day! With rain starting in the morning, it rained off and on all day today, then turned positively blustery by bedtime. I felt bad for the horses, when I fed them breakfast, later than usual because of the rain, they were shivering because I didn’t put their blankets on last night, wasn’t expecting the rain to be cold, but the wind picked up and made it chilly. I worked on a few things in the house and on my computer, but then finally managed to get through to the fabric store, which I’ve been trying to do for two weeks now, because I wanted to get enough material to cover the final window above the dining room table. When you dialysis machine was sitting there I didn’t see the point, but now I wanted to able to close that off, but the store has been closed. But I finally got someone to answer the phone, and she said she would only be there for about an hour, and wasn’t opening up full-time until May 5, long after I plan on being gone, so I jumped into the truck with Lola and we headed out that way. As we searched the racks, I was afraid they had run out of the material, but at last we found it in a different place than before, and I got the yard I needed. From there I went to Lowe’s to get a small dowling that I will use for the curtain rail (the metal ones don’t last, I discovered, they bend too much), then a quick stop at Walmart to pick up just a few things, including a little toilet paper, just to be on the safe side! I haven’t seen much in stores, but they had a few packs left, so I grabbed some, along with dog food and a few essentials. As I was driving home, someone contacted me about buying the Galileo table, so once I got back and unloaded, I ran over to the house and loaded that up, and met the couple in Coalmont. Didn’t sell it for much, but at least it’s one less thing to haul to Goodwill or let Mountain TOP take for nothing! When I got back to the camper, I couldn’t find my wallet. Yesterday, I changed from my fanny pack to that nice black wallet I used to carry (not quite sure why I quit carrying it, actually), but then I couldn’t find it. I backtracked, first to the house, no luck, then I headed back toward McMinnville. I tried to call Walmart the entire way, and of course, no one picked up the phone for more than an hour, until I was only about 5 minutes away, but they at least confirmed that they had found it, yay!! When I got to the store, the line at customer service was longer than I had ever seen it, but I cut through to the counter since all I needed way my wallet, and fortunately there was a woman there who knew exactly what I was talking about and got it for me right away! Everything was there, fortunately, so that made me a happier camper. I decided not to waste the second trip, so I went to Tractor Supply to stock up on horse feed, but they were out of Flash’s food, with no more until Wednesday. I got plenty for Apollo, though, and I can always give Flash some of that. Then another long drive home. It rained off and on all afternoon, sometimes really pouring down, others when the sun came out for a few minutes, and I saw a beautiful rainbow on Cabbage Patch Rd. at one point. It was after six by the time I got back to camp, so I made dinner and had a glass of wine, and was just about to go out and to the horses when it started raining again. It was getting late, so I had no choice, I went out into the rain and fed them and this time, covered them in rain sheets for the night. By the time I got back to the camper the rain had gone from a drizzle to a deluge, so changing clothes was my first order of business! Dirty, crappy night! Then the wind really picked up, and right now it’s buffeting the trailer around like crazy. I’m worried about what it’s doing to the slide topper awning, it can’t be good. I am SO TIRED of this wind and rain and chilly temperatures!! But the long range forecast shows next Friday, my day of anticipated departure, to be sunny with a high of 70, which really excites me! Saturday is also sunny and mid-70s, so it should be a good day for riding, assuming I have enough energy after all of the activity that’s in store for the week. Winging down, but still have a lot to do, can’t wait till it’s done and I can crash!! Well, past my bedtime now, still need to let Lola out, take my shower and head to bed, which is next! Good night, darlin’! Love you!

Friday, April 24, 2020 – Starting The Countdown

Hey Sweetie,
Slept pretty well, but rain came in again during the night. I’m getting so tired of rain and wind, it just seems to be practically non-stop these days! Can’t wait for true Spring to start, it’s been unusually cold and miserable so far. I guess if you wanted to fly a kite it would be great weather for that, but I’m just not into that! Anyway, I went over to the house for a few hours to go through some boxes that were packed in a hurry, like the desk and the bedroom side table, to see what needed to be stored, given to Goodwill or thrown away. Getting down to the real remnants now. Other than a few pieces of furniture, it’s just about cleared out. The new owner has agreed to let me store a couple of boxes and the big frame photo of our first anniversary until October when I come back for the Skymont Endurance Ride. I can move them to Florida after that, but there’s no need to drag them around with me all summer. By afternoon the wind finally laid down and the sun came out, and it turned out to be a nice day. Just as I was leaving, the new owner arrived with another load of stuff. I had noticed that he had removed the carpet from the bedroom and dragged it into the garage, so I offered to move the trailer over so he could load it in there, and we could take it down to the dump later in the week. I’m happy to say he feels really happy and honored to have the house, very appreciative of it’s beauty, just the kind of person you’d approve of for keeping the place going. I headed back after that, and put some stuff up in the attic before settling down for the rest of the day. Baked a nice pork chop for dinner, watched some more Deep Space Nines, now I’m off the shower and bed, as usual! Love you, babe! Good night!

Thursday, April 23, 2020 – Another Fabulous Rest Day

Hi Babe,
Best night sleep in a long time! In bed by 10, with earplugs, and even though it rained and was very windy, I slept almost straight through the night, right until 8:30! I woke up feeling more rested than I can remember. I had two people who were supposed to come to the house cancel, so I ended up not even leaving camp at all today! I worked on the computer a bit, read a bit, watched TV a bit (I switched to Deep Space Nine, which was MUCH better than Voyager!), and generally relaxed today. I still have a couple of problems to solve before I leave next week, but I’m counting the days to getting back on the road! The horses and Lola are getting as ready to move as I am, with all the rain the paddock turning it into a mud bog. Anyway, heading off to bed to see if I can repeat the sleeping experience tonight! Good night, my love!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 – Quiet Day at Last!

Hi Honey,
Had a good night sleep, fortunately, Lola’s been wonderful the last few night, for which I am very grateful! I woke up a little early, though, and decided to take a quick trip over to the house to get the hot tub going after filling it overnight, burned some junk mail, did a little cleaning and rearranged some stuff in the garage, then came back to camp, where I did a remarkable thing for the rest of the day… NOTHING!! Well, other than doing some computer work and having a phone conference with a financial advisor, I sat in my recliner hoping to get a nap in, which I didn’t, but I did just relax, reading, watching TV, playing games on my laptop, just a day to try to recharge my batteries, which I desperately need. It was a nice day, with rain coming in tonight, so I took advantage. Watched a tense movie about coal miners called Mine 9, which kept me awake for a change (unlike the boring Voyagers I’ve been watching). Now, I’m heading to bed really early to try to get in a really good night sleep. Already had my tea, heading to the shower momentarily, and I’m even going to put in some earplugs so the rain won’t wake me. I’m determined to get caught up tonight! Love you, sweetie! Good night!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 – More Deliveries

Hiya Darlin’,
Finally got a good night sleep last night, not surprising considering how exhausted I was! Got to sleep a tiny bit later, then headed over to the house the meet up with some folks and load up on some stuff. My first appointment was at noon, and I got a message saying they would leave McMinnville at 11:00, but then they didn’t leave until much later, which looked like it was going to make them late. Then, even though I warned them repeatedly not to trust their GPS because of the massive error Google Maps has on it now about the location of the house, they ended up missing the turn and were halfway to Coalmont before they called me. Grrrr! I ended up having to pack up what they wanted and meet them at the Baptist Church on the corner just so I could make my next appointment on time. I did, in fact, make it, and my afternoon was spent in the parking lot of a burned down gas station (you remember the Cruise In Market? Gone!), where I had three different people meet me to pick up stuff. So I made a couple hundred more bucks selling stuff, making it a decent week so far. The pile in the garage is winnowing down, not much left except big furniture and a couple of lamps and a few other odds and ends. Making progress! The governor has announced some phasing back in of normal activities, and I’m happy to report that opening the state parks is one of them! Looks like my reservation on May 1 at Chickasaw will be good! Can’t wait! I need about a week of sleep when this is all over! Of course, bingeing on Star Trek Voyager has been helping, inasmuch as it’s so boring I generally fall asleep during it anyway. I can’t believe they did six seasons of this, it’s really pathetic. I FINALLY saw an episode that was well-written and well-acted, but I had to get into the second season before I came across it. Not sure I can keep going, I keep hoping it will get better. Hope always springs eternal when it comes to Star Trek, as you know, but this one makes The Next Generation look positively thrilling (which we both know it was NOT!). I’m thinking of switching over to Deep Space Nine, I seem to remember watching a couple of episodes of that, they seemed to be better, but who know. Meanwhile, another day, another few dollars, another day tomorrow, though it looks like it will be slower, which will give me a chance to do some other things that have been waiting too long. Time for bed! Good night, darlin’! Love you!