Archives for July 2020

Friday, July 31, 2020 – Day Two of Workshop

Hi Sweetie!
Workshop went well, interesting group, lots of challenges! Ran a bit late, as usual, but got back to the farm about 6:00. My hostess was nice enough to keep Lola busy today, since yesterday she went nuts, managed to claw her way into my bedroom, and scratched the bed up so bad she ripped my sheets up. Glad I had an old pair as a standby! Anyway, I was planning on resting tomorrow and leaving Sunday, but there seems to be a couple of days worth of rain moving in tomorrow evening, so I’ve decided to leave tomorrow in order to miss it. Then I’ll have a nice rest day on a rainy Sunday, and maybe even Monday, too! Only problem is my next campground doesn’t have electric, and with no sun, I’ll be running the generator a bit more, but no big deal. That’s the plan! Exhausted, going to be early. Good night, babe! Love you!

Thursday, July 30, 2020 – Day One of Workshop

‘Nuff said! Love you, babe!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020 – Meeting and Errands

Hi Babe,
No earplugs and I still had a great night sleep! I was surprised that some of the free-range roosters didn’t wake me up at the crack of dawn, but I either slept through it or they were quiet. I did a few things to prepare for Day One of the Workshop tomorrow, including having a meeting at the hospital, seeing the room, solving a few technical and room layout issues, in other words, the usual! After that I ran down to Tractor Supply in Albion to fill up two propane tanks, get some shavings for the floor of the horse trailer, and get a new indoor-outdoor thermometer, since the last one gave up the ghost. Had a pretty quiet day other than that, well, except that the air mattress on my side of the bed has been going flat the last few days. I tried resetting and tightening where the clamp goes on the air pump, but that didn’t work, so for the time being, I just switched the mattresses around until I get a chance to take a closer look. It’s been barely a year since I bought those, and I’ve already contacted the manufacturer, but I have to follow up with them as to what the warranty is. Anyway, time for my shower and bed, early, since I have an early morning! Workshop starts at 8:00, I want to be there by 7:30 to make sure everything’s on track. So, good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020 – Travel Day to Michigan

Hey Sweetheart!
Woke up a few minutes before my alarm, had a quick breakfast and finished packing in no time. Flash got in the trailer the fastest he’s ever been so far, less than a minute, so I was able to get out right on schedule. I got a little delayed looking for a vet that could do a Coggins test on my way out of town, but was fortunate to discover one in Niles, MI right along the way, called River Valley. I arrived there within the hour, though there was a lot of construction blocking roads and creating detours, and Google was no help. I was a bit worried driving in, I had asked if they could fit a rig my size in and was assured I could, but when I turned it, it was REALLY narrow, full of trees and I had to go around a building and I wasn’t sure I’d make it, but fortunately there was just enough room for a road veteran like me, barely. Ashley took great care of me and my guys, and we were out of there in no time. The drive was uneventful, but I had forgotten how terrible the roads in Michigan are! So rough and bumpy and potholed, lots of shaking going on! I arrived right on schedule at Coats of Many Colors in Springport, a huge Centennial farm (been in the family for 100 years!), farming 1400 acres. The boarding stable aspect has only been around for a few years, but they have a nice facility. Laura greeted me like family, showed me where to set up and then left me to my own devices. It didn’t take long to back in next to the barn, unhook the truck, fill up with water and get electric out to the trailer. The horses have a nice little pasture all on their own that I can see right out my side windows and they settled in quickly. We’re so far off the beaten track here, Lola’s been exploring everywhere. Fortunately, she doesn’t seem at all interested in Laura’s chickens, though they’re free ranging all over, which I’m very glad of! This is perfect, less than 20 minutes from my job site, exactly what I needed. Once I got settled in, I did some computer work, had a nice meal of fresh cucumbers that Laura just picked off the vine and some fresh cherry tomatoes that Trish had given me over the weekend with some cottage cheese and bleu cheese dressing, hmm hmm good! I’m eating healthier these days, which is a good thing! Finally settled down, watched a few more Voyagers, but now it’s time for shower and bed. Good night, baby! Love you!

Monday, July 27, 2020 – Packing and Housekeeping Day

Hi Baby!
Well, as usual on the day before I travel, I spent the day doing a bit of housekeeping and getting everything packed up. A bit challenging dodging the weather. When I went to bed last night, they were forecasting rain all day. When I woke up this morning, that changed to a 30% chance just in the mid-afternoon. So imagine my surprise when I got caught in sprinkles at about 9:00 in the morning when I was just doing some outdoor chores! Turned out several cloudbursts occurred throughout the day, which messed with my timing, but eventually it all cleared out and things got dry enough to put everything away. All done, including hooking up the truck, so all that’s left is loading the horses, pulling in the slide, packing the drains and taking down the fence, a quick stop at the dump and we’re off and running! I’ve confirmed my arrival at the stable, which is only 20 minutes or so to the venue where I’m facilitating the workshop. Sorry to say that our primary client can’t be there! She had a fever for a few days, and even though she tested negative for the Covid virus twice, she’s being asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, so she is stuck at home, darn it! Really bad timing. But we’ve already arranged to broadcast it through a service like Skype, so she’ll be introducing me from there. Should be interesting! Always something, isn’t it? Anyway, she’s hoping that this event will generate another event later in the year, so it’s all good. Enough said, time for a shower and early bedtime. Good night, darlin’! Love you!

Sunday, July 26, 2020 – Busy Day, Fun and Productive

Hi Sweetie!
What a busy day today! After breakfast I took Apollo for a short, four mile ride, doing some of the trails backwards for a change, just because, as you know, every trail looks completely different going in the opposite direction! After we got back, I decided to run into town. I was getting low on horse feed and my Tractor Supply 10% discount expired today, so I ran out to stock up on everything, and they had every kind of feed I needed for a change! After that I was going to head to Walmart when I saw a Meiers right in front of me, so I decided to give them a try. I know we were always impressed with them, and it turned out to be very serendipitous, as they had a few things that I haven't been able to find lately, most importantly, JOINT JUICE! Walmart stopped carrying it and I haven't been able to find it anywhere, but there it was! I stocked up on it bigtime, I probably have a six-month supply now! I also got some new sunglasses, Walmart's selection was horrible, but this one had a sale going on so I bought two nice pairs. So I'll be going to Meiers whenever I can find one for awhile. When I got back, I started a load of laundry, then decided to take one last trip on the lake with the kayak, so I headed over to the boat launch and had a nice one hour paddle around. I crossed the lake over to the beach again and took a swim, then let the wind, which was a bit stronger today, help me drift back, though it wasn't exactly going in the right direction so I had to compensate occasionally. And I saw a bald eagle fish hunting! What a magnificent bird! The cormorants were still around, too, along with a bunch of others. Once I got back to camp, I deflated the kayak and put it away, and proceeded to start doing some packing. Evidently there's rain and cooler temps coming in overnight, and rain is forecast tomorrow. I considered taking down the screen room today, but it was so dang hot, in the 90's today, I decided I'd take a chance. It's scattered showers, not an all day rain, so hopefully I can get everything in before it gets too wet, if the forecast turns out to be right for a change :-). Then I filled up the water tank and the horses' water, then I pulled the truck around to the back of the trailer and topped off the tires. I had noticed when I put the spare on that it was about 10 pounds of pressure less than it should be, so I got out that Slime inflator and fixed that, then checked and found that the rest were down just a bit, so I did the rest. I checked all the fluids and everything on the truck, I must have a leak in the power steering unit (even though it's only about a year old) because it was low again. When I changed the oil a few weeks ago I noticed quite a bit of wetness down there, but couldn't figure out where it was coming from, now I think I know. I'll have to take a look at that sometime, see if I can fix it. Everything else was good, though. It was 8:00 by the time I got everything done, but I feel like I'm as ready as I need to be. It's going to be in the 70's tomorrow, so it will be much easier to work in the cooler weather, if it's not too rainy. Anyway, that's all the news that's fit to print! I've had my shower, now I'm off to bed. Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Saturday, July 25, 2020 – Another Wonderful Day

Hey Babe!
Had another great day today, slept so late Trish went on a ride without me, but that's fine! I knew she was an early riser, and I slept later than I expected, and then I joined her as soon as she got back from her short ride and did just under another five miles. This is such a small trail area that we keep having to repeat trails just to get some miles in. When we got back we took the kayak out on the lake again for a couple of hours in the beautiful sunny weather. Once we got back, she was packed up and ready to go in no time, and then I spent the rest of the afternoon working on my travel schedule for August and September. I just remembered the horses will be due for a new Coggins and Extended Health Certificate pretty soon, so I had to start researching that as well. It seems to be coming together, but I'm having one problem at a place I'd like to go, but there are two nights in my planned two week-long stay that are already booked, so I'll either have to move from my site to another site for the last three days, or move on to the next campground, if they'll let me stay longer than the usual 14 days. A quandary I'll have to resolve somehow. Otherwise, I think I've got a plan to get me through to the Skymont Endurance Ride in October, all subject to change, of course! So a great day, beautiful weather, good company, couldn't ask for more! But it's late and it's time for shower and bed, so good night, darlin'! Love you!

Friday, July 24, 2020 – Perfectly Fun-filled Day

Hi Darlin'!
Life couldn't get much better with days like this. My new friend Trish arrived around 11:00 with her TW named Eli, and once she got settled in next door, we saddled up and went out for a lovely ride. The weather was perfect, not too hot, though hotter than it's been, but it's nice and cool in the deep woods and even the open areas weren't too bad. Of course, Lola came along and enjoyed herself, too, dropping her belly into mud puddles whenever she had the chance. After we got back, we changed into swimwear and took the kayak out to the lake where we paddled and drifted, watching the birds fish (I looked them up later, they were cormorants, sit on stumps like a wading bird, but fly like a duck when they're taking off) and generally just enjoying the sun and the breeze on the lake. We got back from that adventure hungry, and she had brought a bunch of stuff along, like leftover pizza, summer squash and cold pea salad, all of which was lovely, and after that, we headed back out for another ride on the other side of the park, basically going on all the trails we didn't go on earlier. Once we put the horses away, she went off to the bathhouse to shower while I did the same in my trailer, then she came over and we watched a recording of when you did the one-man show Clarence Darrow in Monteagle, which she thoroughly enjoyed. By then it was almost 10:30, so we obviously had to call it a night. She's an early riser, so we parted ways for the night. Looking forward to doing it all again tomorrow! Couldn't have asked for a better day! Fantastic! Off to bed now, good night, my love!

Thursday, July 23, 2020 – Ride and Kayak Today

Hi Babe!
After another decent night sleep and a good breakfast, I saddled up Apollo today, he certainly needs some exercise! I planned about a 5-6 mile trip around the park, finishing off a couple of trails I missed the other day of Flash. Another nice ride, absolutely perfect weather, very easy, mostly flat, good footing. I also found the trailhead for a trail that leads to the lake, but it looks like it's supposed to be just for hikers, not sure if horses are allowed on it. Maybe I'll ask about it, or maybe I'll just try it out and see what happens :-). I was hoping that with the change in diet to alfalfa that Apollo might show a bit more energy, but not so much. Sigh... I love him to death but he's gotten so slow, especially compared to Flash, it's so boring to ride him. Oh, well, he's still my go-to horse! As long as where I'm going to isn't far or fast! It was a nice ride though. Gave him a bath, then I expanded the fence a bit, no one seems to mind the fence so I spread it out a bit to let them get to some more clover. After a quick snack, I got out the inflatable kayak and proceeded to inflate it, changed into my bathing suit, got everything I needed together and drove down to the boat launch where I had an easy launch. The wind was coming from the perfect direction, so I paddled upwind all the way across the lake, stopped briefly near the beach to swim, just to get wet, then paddled a little bit parallel to the shore, then finally stopped paddling and let the gentle breeze push me all the way back to the boat ramp while I luxuriated in the beautiful sun and surf. I should probably feel guilty for enjoying myself so much, but alas, I don't! A perfect summer day! Was out on the water for almost two hours, then headed back to ramp, then back to camp. What a beautiful day! I read for awhile, had some dinner, watched a little TV, now I've just got to shower and get to bed. It's a lot cooler tonight, so I'm hoping for a really good night sleep. And my friend Trish is coming tomorrow, she's rented the site next to me and bringing her Tennessee Walker, so we should get a good ride in tomorrow, and maybe a kayak trip as well. Just having too much fun! I don't know how I stand it! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 – Productive Day of Puttering

Hey Darlin’!
Had a good night sleep, woke up ready to get busy with a bunch of little jobs today. After feeding the horses I fixed the end of a hose, replacing a plastic end that had stripped with a metal one, then I finally put the ramp end on a piece of board so I can use it as a leveler, a job that’s been hanging around for a long time waiting for me to get the right bolt, then not using the board, etc., but I finally got it done. After breakfast, I pulled out the sewing machine and proceeded to sew the velcro strips I bought yesterday on to the screen room door, and as predicted, it took less than an hour to complete. Not a perfect solution, but at least now I can keep the door closed enough to keep most of the bugs out, which was the whole point of the screen room in the first place! I got all that done by just after noon. They had forecast rain later in the afternoon, so I didn’t plan on going riding, but it never showed up, at least not during daylight hours. So I spent the rest of the day reading, did my hair, took Lola for a walk around the loops, talked a bit to a family that had moved into a couple of spots on the other side of the loop from me. They didn’t have a camper, just a bunch of tents and canopies over several sites, made it seem like the circus came to town! Finally settled down for the evening with a little dinner, a little TV, a little shower, and off to my not-so-little bed! Good night, baby! Love you!