Archives for May 2020

Thursday, May 21, 2020 – Tax Day

Hi Sweetie,
Forecast called for rain so I decided to do my taxes. It didn’t rain, so I missed a day of riding and didn’t get my taxes finished. You know how grumpy both of those things make me. ‘Nuff said. Good night, my love!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 – Ride and Shopping Day

Hi Babe!
Took another ride with Carol today, this time following a route I had programmed into my GPS. I only missed a few points here and there, but ended up going everywhere I wanted to go. Flash was in a mood to go fast today, so I ended up trying to stay in front as much as I could to keep him settled. Lola came with us, she really enjoyed being out in the woods again. It was a beautiful day, at least until the evening when more rain came in (even though there wasn't supposed to be any rain today, ha ha,) I ended up doing exactly 10 miles. It was a bit slippery on some of the climbs, Flash lost his footing a time or two, but I managed to say on without any trouble. He has such a beautiful canter, and we had a chance to run a couple of times on the main trail, it was very enjoyable all around. When we got back, I gave both horses a bath with the new citronella shampoo I ordered from Tractor Supply, it does have a nice smell, but not sure how well it will work keeping flies away, we'll just have to wait and see. Since the Tractor Supply in Lexington didn't have anything else I needed, I made a few calls and managed to find two bags of Balancer and a gallon of Bronco fly spray at another Tractor Supply that was only about 30 minutes away, so I took a trip up there to get that and a bag of senior feed, so I should be set for a few weeks for feed and hay. It started to rain just before I was going to feed the horses, so I waited until it stopped, then fed them, then a WHOLE lot more rain came in, just in this area. Beginning to think I should be heading for the desert, all this rain is depressing! Anyway, Lola and I finally settled down for the evening, listening to the rain before heading for shower and bed, which will be shortly. Good night, my love!

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 – Tax and Shopping Day

Hey Darlin’!
Well, rain came in again, no surprise there! It’s been such a wet spring, makes me thing I should have headed west for the sunshine! I started out the morning after chores going through my bookkeeping to get ready to do the taxes, hoping to maybe even actually get started on them, but it took me longer than I thought to find some odd transactions, so before I knew it, I got a call from the office that a package had arrived for me. I had ordered a couple of nice new rain sheets for the horses, I figured since they were going to be outside in the elements so much they should be better protected, and even though they were very reasonably priced, they really seem like good quality, actually a lot heavier than I expected. I also got a couple of new hay bags, like the canvas ones only with a plastic lining to keep the hay dry, I hope they work better than the string bags. After I picked up the package I headed down to Tractor Supply in Lexington to pick up some citronella shampoo that I had ordered (I kept thinking that SOMEONE must be making a fly-repellant shampoo,) hopefully this will work, though the flies haven’t been as bad over here as they were at Chickasaw. I was disappointed, though, because they didn’t have any balancer, or any Bronco fly spray by the gallon. I picked up a bag of senior feed, but just as I reached the checkout with my one item, a woman with a cart literally overflowing with stuff moved quickly and intentionally in front of me. I decided I didn’t need to sit in line that long for one bag of feed I didn’t really need anyway, though I’m going to have to get some soon. I’ll have to do a search for balancer tomorrow, hopefully someone’s got it, or I can order it in time for me to get it at the next place. Walmart was the next stop, stocking up on essentials there and getting fuel in the truck, and that’s it! Got home, played with Lola for a bit, then I felt a little sprinkle of rain so I started to feed the horses, and put their new rain blankets on as the rain started to get heavier, green for Apollo, red for Flash. For once I got something just the right size for them! Got the new feed bags out, too, so they’re all fully outfitted nicely now. Got nice and wet doing it, then slipped on the mud on the hill and got nice and muddy, too! Well, I need to do some laundry soon anyhow. Well, that’s all the news, settled down to dinner and TV, now it’s off to shower and bed! Good night, babe! Love you!

Monday, May 18, 2020 – Hay Day

Hiya Sweetie!
A good night sleep, followed by a quiet morning of computer work (which included filing a complaint about the realtor that so messed up the sale of the house) and searching for hay. I was down to 1 ½ bales, but even the local coop and feed stores didn't have any. It's been such a wet spring hardly anyone's been able to bale anything, but I finally managed to find some on Marketplace that was about an hour away. The guy baled it for his own use last year and had just enough bales left over to sell me and one other person in order to clear out a barn he wants to do something with. Anyway, it's a bit coarse but still looks and smells okay, and at this point, beggars can't be choosers! I got 14 bales which should last me partway through my next stop, and hopefully by then we'll have some nice weather and there will be some hay around, though I suspect the first cut will also be a bit coarse since it's getting so late in the Spring. I took a slight detour on the way home, it seems there was an old iron furnace from the 1830's just up the road from where I picked up the hay, so I went down there just for the historical aspect of it. Very interesting! Particularly about how it worked and how they got shut down because Federal troops were firing cannons at them during the Civil War (or the War of Northern Aggression as the locals like to refer to it) from the nearby Tennessee River. Anyway, that took up most of my day. It's suppose to rain tomorrow, so I'm thinking about doing my taxes, one of the few jobs still hanging over my head, so I'd like to get that over with even though the deadline's been delayed until July 15 because of the coronavirus. Things are starting to open up though, and the stock market went up wildly today, making up for a couple of bad days last week and then some! Glad to see I got into it at the right time, at least it will be if it keeps heading in the same direction. Well, enough said, time for shower and bed. Love you, darlin'! Good night!

Sunday, May 17, 2020 – Second Short Ride at Natchez Trace State Park

Hey Baby,
After another night of waking up early and reading for an hour plus before getting out of bed, I grabbed some quick breakfast and saddled up the horses for my scheduled 9:30 ride with Lynn from Shelbyville, who arrived right on time (well, 10 minutes ahead, which is what I consider on time!). We headed out on a 3-mile ride I had figured out using the map she had kindly brought me yesterday, which stayed on trails that were actually on the map, rather than the cross-country ones I was taken to on Saturday. Even so, they weren't as widely used as I would have expected, and there was one section that was almost as narrow, but was still passable and didn't last long, fortunately. Both horses behaved very well, though when I was saddling them, I got the impression Flash wasn't thrilled about going out again until he realized Apollo was coming with us, that made him much happier. Apollo seems positively elated to be off the highline and back on the trail again! Anyway, it was a good ride, lasting exactly an hour, which is all we had time for since Lynn and her husband had to "check out" by noon, and since an hour is about all an unaccustomed physique can usually take riding a horse, no matter what kind of athletic condition you might be in! So many muscles that don't get used doing anything else. Anyway, it was a very nice ride and we enjoyed it, and she was very grateful for the chance. Once they left, I gave the horses a quick rinse and put them back on their highline with their remaining breakfast hay, returned a call from my friend Donna and chatted with her for awhile, then decided to pretty much just spend the day reading and relaxing and just recharging my personal batteries, as it were. They were calling for rain later in the day (it ended coming in MUCH later than predicted), lost electricity for a short time (thank goodness my batteries were charged up), but it was back on before too long. It rained off and on throughout the evening, and looks like it might continue to do so throughout the night, but that's fine, it's cooled it down a bit. I've actually had to run the AC a few times since I've been here, so I'm hoping for a little cooler temps in coming days. Oh, and I also trimmed Lola's toenails and my bangs, so I got a little accomplished today. But now it's time for shower and bed, so good night, sweetie! Love you!

Saturday, May 16, 2020 – First Ride Day at Natchez Trace State Park

Hello my love!
Woke up a bit early and finished reading a kindle book, had a quick breakfast before saddling up Flash, rode a little around the campground, spoke a few minutes to the couple I met from Shelbyville yesterday, then got a text from Carol that she had arrived, so I met her by my campsite and we headed out on a side trail that took us past the barn. I soon discovered that many of the trails are once again unmarked and unmapped, lots of renegade trails, which are all very nice if you have a clue as to the general layout of the place, but was pretty confusing to a newby like me, so I just literally went along for the ride. I had put boots on Flash but probably didn't really need them, since most of the trails were cross country and we hardly went on the roads at all. I ended up going just under 12 miles, which was a good ride for Flash considering there were quite a few hills. On the final stretch home on Bucksnort trail, one of the actual mapped trails here, we opened up for a bit and got a nice canter and largos for quite a ways. It was definitely a good workout. I gave him a nice bath when we got back, long overdue considering how much mud he's been rolling in over at Chickasaw earlier this week, but now he's all nice and clean and white again, for the moment. Carol came back to camp later for happy hour and we chatted some more, nice to have some weather good enough to sit comfortably in the screen room. After she left and I fed the horses, I walked back over to the other couple's campsite and invited the wife to ride tomorrow, just a short ride to give Apollo a little stretch. There's rain in the forecast (what else is new? It didn't rain one drop today!), but we'll see what it looks like in the morning. I've mapped out just a 3 mile ride, as they're leaving tomorrow, and besides, an hour is enough for someone who hasn't ridden in a long time! Was after 8:00 by the time I got settled in with dinner and TV, shower's done, and now I'm off to bed early to make up for my short night last night. Good night, baby! Love you!

Friday, May 15, 2020 – Travel Day to Natchez Trace State Park

Hi Darlin',
Well, once again the forecaster have gone bonkers. Last night when I went to bed, the rain wasn't coming in until 4:00 pm. When I woke up this morning, it suddenly moved up to noon! I decided skip breakfast and just get packed up and go, and it's a good thing. When I stepped out of the trailer, my neighbors were just getting ready to ride off (it was barely 8:00!), and I needed help with the slide that sticks, so I managed to get one of them to help me before they rode off. I had done so much work getting ready yesterday that I finished packing up in no time, and was heading to the dump just after 8:30, and driving out of the park just after 9:00. It was only a little over an hour drive, so I arrived at my new campsite before 10:30! There were three people on lawnmowers in the campground just finishing up (that's the problem with state parks, they always seem to be mowing the lawn!), but I found my site, #10, which turned out to be just perfect! There was a bit of an incline, but once I unhooked I managed to level it off just fine (though the work in the basement may have to wait, as there's no room to crawl underneath anymore), the horses are comfortable on a highline I strung between one of their posts and a tree, and before I even finished getting them settled in, a rider came by and we had a nice chat for quite a while, very friendly and welcoming. I don't want to say that the people at Chickasaw were unfriendly, but they certainly weren't very hospitable, not like I've been used to at horse camps in the past. Turns out this rider, Carol, lives nearby, she recognized my name, and she even has a copy of my book! Whoo-hoo! I invited her to come by later after her ride, and she took my number and friended me on Facebook, texted me to ask if I needed anything as she was going shopping, and when she came back for happy hour, she even brought me a bottle of wine! Now that's what I call hospitable! I spent most of the afternoon sitting the screen room getting caught up on something I discovered on my new horse camps supplement, apparently all of the work I had done last summer disappeared when my computer crashed and my Carbonite had neglected to back up for several month, grrrrr, so I started to rebuild that file by downloading it from my Facebook Book page. I managed to get that mostly caught up when Carol came back around 4:00, and we ended up chatting until nearly 7:00. We arranged to go riding in the morning, weather permitting, but who can tell? It never rained at all today, the storm that was over Arkansas petered out. Tomorrow they're calling for rain about 1:00, but I really have my doubts about all weather forecasts these days. We'll see what happens in the morning. Anyway, my site is really nice, and I think I'm really going to enjoy it here, even though there isn't an accurate trail map (what else is new?), and Carol has warned me that some of the trails are in really rough shape because of rain, and trees down from storms a few weeks ago, but again, what else is new? Anyway, it was a fairly relaxing day, an uneventful drive and setup, and it looks like a good place to spend a couple of weeks. And now it's time for shower and bed! Love you, darlin'! Good night!

Thursday, May 14, 2020 – Prep for Departure Day

Hiya Babe,
Well, no floods today inside the trailer, but there’s still a leak of some kind in the basement, so I guess one of my first chores after I’ve settled in at Natchez Trace is going to be removing the basement covers and seeing exactly what is going on down there. Be a good chance to fix a bunch of stuff, I guess, maybe even adjusting the slide so that it closes properly, if I can figure out how to do that. Thank goodness for the internet! Meanwhile, I spent the day breaking everything down and putting stuff away. I also moved the horses over to a highline next door so I could try to clean up the area that I fenced in, but it’s so muddy there wasn’t a whole lot I could do except scatter manure around and try to step down some of the worst divots. There’s no special footing under the highlines and with all the rain, it’s just a big area of sloppy mud. I paced myself, so it ended up taking up most of the day, but I even hooked up the truck so I should be able to get out pretty early. Of course I’ll have to divert to the RV dump first, but I should still arrive plenty early enough to get things set up, unless it starts to rain. Naturally, one of the reasons I decided to travel tomorrow was because earlier in the week the forecast was for a sunny day, but that has since changed, first 10%, then 20%, now it’s up to 50% chance of rain, but they are still saying in the afternoon, so hopefully I can be fairly settled in before that happens. The whole weekend is supposed to be wet, but next week is looking a lot better, if you believe the forecast… Anyway, I finally settled down for the evening after taking Lola for her last walk, and I’m heading off to shower and bed! Good night, my love!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 – Shopping, Repairs and Another Flood

Hi Sweetie,
After another night of occasional rain, it was cloudy this morning and cool again, though not below the 40's, thank goodness. After doing some computer work in the morning, I headed out to the town of Henderson, went to a hardware store to get the parts I needed to fix the leak in the ice-maker tubing, picked up a few more bales at the feed store for the horses (the price had inexplicably dropped from $7.75 to $6 a bale), and went to the local Piggly Wiggly to pick up a few essentials like dog food and milk. One of the pieces of the repair hardware turned out not to be the right part, but I managed to recover it from the old part and made it work. I read for awhile, and the clouds went away and the sun came out and the temperatures warmed up, so I decided to take Lola for a walk. There's a long wooden bridge that goes all the way across the lake they have here, and a nice trail around the perimeter of the lake, and since Lola isn't being let out on her own anymore, I thought a long walk would do us both good, so I hooked her up and off we went. What a luxury! To be able to just spontaneously decide to do something, without having a long list of necessary chores waiting for me, and feeling guilty about not doing something! It felt like the start of summer vacation back in my school days. It was a lovely walk, there wasn't very many people about, and it really turned into a beautiful afternoon. We even sat in a bench swing on the edge of the water for awhile and just hung out there, reading a bit, enjoying the scenery. Finally we headed back to camp. Just as we got settled in, I heard a loud pop and heard water rushing, and thought my repair had failed, but discovered that the repair on the ice-maker tubing on the OUTSIDE of the trailer that I had done some weeks ago had popped. The water pressure here is very high, and I've adjusted it down a couple of times, but evidently not enough! I managed to jury-rig a repair on that as well, though I had to modify a part to do so, so I don't know how long it will last. One thing I knew, I had to get the water pressure down, so I dug out the restricter that I had, but that slowed the pressure down so much it was practically nonexistent, so I took it back off and readjusted the pressure at the outlet again till I got it at a safe level, I hope! I also did the long-overdue job of changing the water filter in the hose, what a mess that was! And not just the filter, but the inside of the filter casing was covered with algae and grunge, it's a wonder it hasn't made me sick! Well, I do generally boil it when I'm using it for coffee or tea, but it was truly awful! But I cleaned it all out with some bleach gel, scrubbed it really well before putting in the new filter, so now it's good to go. So far, the two repairs seem to be holding, I just hope I don't wake up in the night or morning to a new flood, I'm truly getting tired of sopping water up with towels! Anyway, things are moving along, I'm managing to get this stuff repaired as it happens, without having to procrastinate or have ten things of higher priority to worry about first. That in itself is a luxury I have to admit I'm enjoying. I took my shower early since I got soaked doing the repair, watched a couple of DS9's and now I'm ready for bed. I hope Lola stays quiet, she didn't get too much exercise today (and she's still in the doghouse as far as I'm concerned), so it will be a miracle if she sleeps through the night. Clear skies, though, no rain forecast until late Friday afternoon, at which time I should long be settled into my new site at the Wranglers Campground at Natchez Trace State Park. It's only about an hour drive on Friday, so that should be easy. Hopefully it's a site I can get into easily enough! Anyway, time for bed and reading. Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 – An Uneventful Rainy Day

Hey Babe,
Well, the rain came in on schedule overnight and continued off and on all day. After feeding the horses, all I did today was try to fix the leak in the ice-maker hose (oh, yeah, I forgot to mention the start of a small flood in the kitchen last night when I discovered the leak in the usual place) but the fix didn’t work because I need a new fitting, the old one didn’t hold up well to me removing it, so that’s on my shopping list for tomorrow. After that I did a little work updating my bookkeeping so I can get around to doing my taxes on the next rainy day when I have time. Lola was confined to her quarters or on a leash after her misbehavior yesterday, so we went for a couple of walks around the baseball field that’s next to the horse camp, which is all the running around she’s going be allowed for awhile. I spent part of the afternoon shopping online, buying a couple of decent rainsheets for the horses. One of the old ones has completely been ripped apart, and the $5.00 one I bought at the tack shop is in even worse shape. I figure since these guys are going to be spending a lot of time out in the elements from now on, they deserve a decent rainsheet, so I ordered a couple that had good reviews online. I also managed to find a set of those foldable loppers like the one I used to clear out trails during the Goethe endurance race. They turned out to be hard to find, as they had discontinued the model I was looking for, but then I think I found a newer model at a decent price and ordered those, too. I finally got the back-pay from Social Security, it’s taken months for them to get everything processed, but it looks like we’re on track with that now, should be getting a monthly deposit. Still haven’t heard from the British system, don’t know if I’ll be getting anything from them or not. I also went ahead and made reservations for several of my upcoming stays at horse camps for the next month or so, hopefully all will go according to plan and I won’t lose any money on canceled reservations. Spent over an hour on the phone with my friend Nancy from high school, talked so long the battery on my phone died! We’re tentatively scheduling a camping trip at Watkins Glen for next 4th of July, figured since I was spending the summer in Michigan this year I can spend next summer in NY. Otherwise a really quiet and slow day and evening. I’m going to take Lola for one quick last walk before my shower and bed, so off I go! Good night, my love!