Archives for November 2021

Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021 – Computer and Propane Day

Hey Darlin’,
Had a better night sleep last night, though I needed all four bed covers and a wool cap last night, since it got down to at least 37 degrees last night! I have the thermostat on the furnace set, and I’m sure it went off several times last night, so getting propane today became a priority. I called Tractor Supply last evening but they hadn’t gotten their refill yet. I spent most of the day on the computer working on the OTL mailing list and some other related tasks, so I was running the generator to charge up my computer and phone, and I ran out of propane in my third tank, no way was I going to let it run down on only one. I called and it had finally come in, so I jumped in the truck and ran into get all three tanks filled. Propane prices are skyrocketing, up to $4.17 a gallon! I don’t remember EVER paying that much for propane! Energy prices are getting ridiculous! Anyway, I got back just as the sun set, got the horses fed and settled down for the evening. Time for shower and bed! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Monday, Nov. 29, 2021 – Travel Day to Two Mile Bear Hammock

Hi Sweetie,
Restless night sleep last night, which always seems to happen when I rest too much during the day! Still, took my time getting up, waiting for it to warm up a bit. Didn’t take me long to have breakfast and finish packing up, left just after 11:00. A short drive and we arrived a bit after noon. There’s apparently only three official campsites in here, all with corrals, and one’s being occupied by a guy starting to run a kayak service nearby, no horses. It’s a nice looking campground, pretty trees with enough gaps so it wasn’t too bad getting settled in, though I won’t get much solar power out here, and to my consternation, I couldn’t find a water spigot anywhere, turns out there isn’t one. Thought I saw on their website there was water here, but I guess I was mistaken. Just another challenge to overcome! After getting settled in, I put the horses in the corral (I had been letting them graze), and drove up to Dunnellon for propane at Tractor Supply (they had just run out, so I didn’t get that done), and they wouldn’t order any feed for me, so I’ll have to make a trip to Sparrs for my Balancer. Made a stop at Walmart so I could fill up my water tank and pick up just a few things, another quick stop at Publix, then back to camp. I let the horses out to graze again. Then a park guy came along to empty the trash bins and I asked him about water, he said I could drive about a mile up the road to his office and fill up, so that’s what I’m going to do for the duration. It’s a lot closer than Walmart, and I won’t feel like I’m taking advantage. Settled in for the evening, put the heavy blankets on the horses as the forecast is for 37 degrees tonight, glad I still have a tank and a half of propane left, I think I’m going to using some overnight! Binge-watched some more Burn Notice episodes, now I’m headed for a quick shower and bed, no doubt wearing my wool hat like I have been the last few nights! Supposed to warm up in a couple of days, though, fingers crossed. Good night, babe! Love you!

Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021 – Laundry, Packing and Quiet Day

Hi Babe,
Had a good night sleep, with my usual morning routine plus a couple of loads of laundry, then I mostly read during the day. Did most of my preliminary packing, but before I could get my awning up it started to rain (NOT in the forecast, surprise, surprise!), so I had to leave it down for the night. Binge-watched a bunch of Burn Notice episodes, so it was a really quiet and restful day, which I felt like I needed after riding three days in a row, not to mention my overindulgence on Friday, so hopefully by tomorrow morning I’ll be fully recovered. I only have about a 30 mile drive tomorrow, so there’s not need to get up at the crack of dawn, I just hope there’s as much room for me to get in as it seems like there is on Google Earth. They only have three equestrian sites listed on their reservation website, but they are all supposed to be 60 feet, so I should be okay. Apparently they have corrals, too, so that will be different! Anyway, I do feel more rested, just heading to the shower and bed (with fresh sheets, of course!) shortly. Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 – Recovery and Ride Day

Hi Darlin’,
Well, after sleeping until 9:00, I got up long enough to feed the horses, then ended up going back to bed, knowing that’s the best way to recover from a hangover. Slept and read for a couple more hours, then finally got up and made myself some breakfast around noon. Pistol and Doc had already gone out riding, which was fine, I wasn’t sure I was going to be up for it today, but after I ate I started feeling a lot better, so I saddled up Flash and headed out to do the same loop I knew they were doing. We passed each other on the main road, then Flash and I really got going, doing about 12 miles in about 2:20, as he was in a speedy mood. Got back to camp around 4:00, and then Pistol told me they were leaving tonight, which caught me by surprise, as I thought we were having dinner together. Evidently, she didn’t get much sleep last night, and she wanted to get her weekly chores done and relax tomorrow, so they were gone by 5:00. I fed the horses, grilled my burger and settled down for a more normal evening, which I need! I changed my plans, again, since I can’t get into Flying Eagle Preserve, and it seems their rules here are I have to leave for 24 hours after being here for a week before coming back, and since I didn’t want to move twice in two days, I decided to go to Two Mile Prairie, which is about halfway between here and Goethe, albeit only about 35 miles away. I considered driving there to check it out tomorrow, but it looks fairly open on Google Earth so I think it will be okay. It’s surrounded by neighborhoods so it will be pretty suburban, and there’s only about 10 miles of trails, but I have a lot of work to do next week. The OTL folks have finally put up the skeleton of their website and it will need a lot of work to get it going, I’m hoping to have a hand in that, so I’ll be busy. I can knock out 10 miles the first half day! Anyway, I’m looking forward to my long-overdue shower and a good long sober sleep! Good night, Sweetie! Love you!

Friday, Nov. 26, 2021 – Ride with Pistol and Doc

Hey Sweetie,
Had a good night sleep, got chores and breakfast done, and eventually we all got saddled up for our first ride together. My other neighbors were gone by the time I got up, but I’ll be seeing them again in a couple of weeks. Because Pistol and Doc ride stock horses, I took out Apollo today, and we had about a seven and a half mile ride, making up a loop around most of the northern and central part of the park. It was mostly walking and a little jogging, so not surprisingly, it was a long slow ride, over 2.5 hours, but it was nice. Some areas here are really nice, with huge live oak trees with hanging Spanish moss, quite lovely. After we got back, they went off to the store and out to dinner, and when they got back they got the campfire going and we sat around that for a few hours. I’m sorry to say that I drank too much of that Honey Bourbon (it’s sooo more-ish!) and only got as far as my recliner at 11:00, woke up at 1:00 and barely was able to crawl up into my bed, fully clothed and smelling like smoke, and didn’t wake up again until 9:00 in the morning! I knew when I was buying that stuff that it was like buying a bottle of poison, but hey, it’s a holiday. I just overindulged in a big way, moderation (my usual mantra!) out the window. Oh well, I won’t let that happen again any time soon! Not a bad day, since part of it was on the back of my horse! Love you, babe!

Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021 – Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi Babe!
Happy Thanksgiving! Had a good night sleep and thankfully wasn’t hung over this morning despite overindulging a bit on a bottle of Jim Beam Honey Bourbon last night, though I had to drink a lot of water during the night, so dehydrated! Got my chores and breakfast done, then saddled up both horses for the ride I promised Margarita, a nice 4.25 mile loop that we both thoroughly enjoyed. Flash was so funny, he was trying so hard to go slow enough so that Apollo could keep up, but after awhile it was just too much effort for him, and he had to resume his usual 4 mph walk. But he tried, I’ll give him credit for that! Pistol and Doc left before us, on the same long ride I did yesterday, since I figured I wouldn’t be doing that again, and if they got it out of the way we could ride together the rest of the weekend. I sat and chatted with George and Margarita for a good part of the afternoon, discovered that they actually live just a couple of miles from Black Prong Trailhead in Goethe State Forest, my next stop! How funny is that! I’m sure we’ll get together once I get over there, we’ve enjoyed each other’s company. Eventually evening came, and I heated up my smoked turkey leg and made my mashed potatoes and stuffing along with my cranberry and had my own little Thanksgiving feast. Pistol and Doc shared some of it with me, then we sat by the fire sipping more Honey Bourbon before calling it a night. They tend to get up early, so they were in bed before me. I watched a couple of hours of TV, now I’m ready for shower and bed. Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021 – First Ride at Lake Panosoffkee

Hi Darlin’,
A late night last night, but I finally got to sleep, waking up a bit late, but so what? Got the horses fed and chores done, had breakfast, then, since it was still a bit chilly to go riding, decided to drive over to the Flying Eagle Reserve, which was supposed to be my next stop. Good thing I went, too! The GPS took me down a bunch of WRONG backroads, which would have been nearly impossible with my trailer, and then I finally found the right route, and even THAT would be almost impossible with my trailer! Very narrow, too sandy, too many overhangs, there is just NO WAY I want to attempt this with my trailer! Once I got there, it wasn’t bad, though there’s only one water spigot at the entrance, and the horse camp itself would be pretty nice, but there’s no way I could get back there, not without serious risk. So change of plan, I subsequently canceled my reservation for the Flying Eagle and extended my reservation for Lake Panasoffkee, especially since my ride here turned out to be quite nice! After scouting out Flying Eagle, and a quick stop at Winn Dixie liquor for a very bad bottle of Jim Beam Honey Bourbon (okay, it’s a holiday, I know, but it’s still poison!), and Big Lots for a replacement clock since the one in my living area died, I finally got back to camp and saddled up Flash and got out on the trail about 1:00. By now it was finally warm (lows near or below 40 last night!), so the delay was perfect. We headed out for my first exploratory ride, which took us all the way down to the south end of the park, about 14+ miles round trip. It was an interesting variety, from wide open fields and sand roads to deep, dark swampland and grass roads, with plenty of opportunities for paces of every speed. We all had a great ride, including Lola. We saw beautiful white wading birds and a couple of speedy armadillos, and one quick snake that looked like a black racer to me. Very enjoyable ride! We got back around 4:00, so it wasn’t long before feeding time, then I joined my neighbors by their campfire for a bit before dinner, did my Snowy River for them, then headed into the trailer for supper and to settle down for the evening. It’s after 9:00 now and I’m waiting for Pistol and her crew to arrive, they’re on their way. I’ve been tippling some of that honey bourbon so I’m feeling no pain (I hope I’m saying the same thing in the morning!), but I wanted to do my writing and my French lesson while I’m waiting. Hopefully, it won’t be long! Once they arrive I’ll be doing my usual shower and bed, so I’ll just say good night now, sweetheart! Love you!

Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021 – Shopping Day

Hi Sweetie,
Woke up to a chilly, windy morning, even though it was sunny, so instead of freezing my butt off riding, I decided to get all my shopping done. I ended up going to half a dozen different places to get some of the stuff I needed, including a new one of those expandable willow trellises that I can use to keep Lola off the dining room bench, and a new dog tag for her, hers broke a couple of days ago. The metal is so thin on the part that connects to the collar on those expensive ones you get at the pet store (which I had to do last time because I couldn’t find one of those vending machines like they used to have in all the Walmarts), but I finally found one up near the Villages. So Ace Hardware for propane, Home Depot for trellis, Tractor Supply for horse feed, and two Walmarts for Thanksgiving shopping, it was a long and busy day of errands! It was still windy all day, cool enough to not even take off the horses’ winter blankets which I had put on last night. Finally settled down, binge-watched some more Burn Notice, had a nice grilled burger for dinner, now I’m ready to an early bedtime, since it’s supposed to be down to about 38 degrees tonight, brrr! Supposed to warm up for the rest of the week, though, so I’m planning on a long ride tomorrow, since Pistol and her crew are due to join me tomorrow evening. So, off to the showers I go! Good night, babe! Love you!

Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021 – Laundry, Some Packing and Dinner with Group

Hi Darlin’!
Despite the 20+ mile ride yesterday, Lola was restless again last night, and I had to get up twice to let her out and in. Finally got to sleep after midnight. After chores and breakfast I got busy with laundry, it was a partly sunny and windy day, so perfect for outdoor drying. Put a few things away, not much because it’s such a short trip tomorrow, and mostly had a quiet day after that. The group invited me over for dinner, so I joined them around 5:00, and just as we were getting ready to build up the bonfire some rain started coming in, and the radar showed a lot coming so we abandoned it. Came back to the trailer and binge-watched some more Burn Notice episodes, now I’m ready for shower and bed. Since it is such a short trip tomorrow, so no need to get up at the crack of dawn! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021 – Long Twenty Plus Mile Ride on Flash

Hi Sweetie!
Had a pretty good night sleep, woke up a bit early, got my chores and breakfast done, then got Flash saddled and headed out just after 9:30. The forecast was supposed to be for a lot of rain, but it wasn’t bad when I left. I had a long loop through the northern section of the park planned out, totaling about 20.5 miles by the time we got done. A lot of it was on shell rock roads, there were a few grassy sections, then some sections that were recently tilled up fire break. In other words, nothing that I can consider my favorite kind of trail. No single track trails anywhere, except for the Florida Trail which horses aren’t allowed on. Sigh. It hardly rained at all, I probably had my slicker on for a total of about 8-10 minutes of very light rain, followed by long periods of drying out, so I’m glad I went, everyone else in camp stayed in because of the forecast! Flash was brilliant, a bit less speedy than the ride the other day, but we still got all that done is barely four hours, so not bad. There are some sections that have beautiful live oak trees covered with hanging Spanish moss and occasionally gorgeous ferns, but it’s still is rather boring riding, sorry to say, even by Florida standards. At least it’s warm! And the nights have been great, in the mid-50’s, so no complaints there! Got back, rinsed Flash down, had an early dinner, then joined the group at the campfire again. Now I’m settled down and ready for my shower and bed. Good night, babe! Love you!