Archives for March 2022

Thursday, March 31, 2022 – Another Long Recon Ride, Plus Electric Hookup

Hi Babe,
Again, it took me a long time to get to sleep last night, despite feeling tired a big part of the day! Oh, well, maybe it will straighten out one of these days. I think part of the problem is that the heat builds up inside the trailer during the day, and seems to take a long time cooling off, so I’m getting to be later because it’s too hot to sleep. Yesterday, Steve suggested that I run a long electrical cord and plug into power over by him, he didn’t think anyone would mind considering all the work I’ve done here. First, though, Flash and I had a long recon ride, nearly 18 miles today, confirming the entire White and Yellow trail, whose markings have been fading a lot over the years, so much so that there were several places where the mowers actually missed it and mowed new trails. In one case, what was on the map and what was on the ground was off quite a bit, and yet the paint on the trees was so faded, it was obviously a mistake made LONG, LONG AGO! Hopefully, by the time I get all this done, it will be a much better map, and also much better marked trails, at least that’s the goal! It was quite hot today, but thankfully there was a good breeze which helped a lot, and it started clouding up a bit, which was also good. There’s a front coming in that’s supposed to be bringing rain in the next few days, I can’t wait! We need it so bad! Maybe a little cooler temps, too. Got back from the ride, and after rinsing off both Flash and Apollo (he stands by the gate looking so forlorn I can’t help but give him a rinse to cool him off!), I went and pulled out every electrical cord I had to see if I could reach. I could, but a couple of the links didn’t have a ground pin, so it wasn’t working properly. Steve lent me one of his cords, and I happen to have an extra male plug in my junk drawer for my 100′ cord, so we managed to get it working with only three links extra links, which finally made it work okay. It’s only 20 amp, so not enough to run AC, but at least now I’ll be able to run floor fans and my paddle fans all night without running down the batteries, and that should save me considerably on propane costs. Finally settled down for the evening, almost finished with The Man In The High Castle, just ended an episode with a real twist at the end, can’t wait to see how it finished up tomorrow! Anyway, shower and bedtime! Good night, sweetheart! Love you!

Wednesday, March 30, 2022 – Work Day Around Camp

Hi Sweetie,
Ended up going to bed later than I thought I would, then couldn’t get to sleep for HOURS, then woke up at 8:30 feeling tired, but I had too much planned today, so I got up and got busy. After horse chores, I climbed up into the attic and dropped down my portable sewer tank, then used it to dump my blackwater, since it’s been over a month since I arrived. Glad to know it takes that long to get filled up! So I’m good for awhile now. After putting the tank back up top and dropping down my oil pan (it’s time to change the oil in the generator again already!), I had breakfast, finally. Then I gathered my tools and headed out to the paddocks to finish the ones that we didn’t get around to on Work Day, and found they needed some help, but not too bad. Then I noticed that wherever there was a new board, no one had put staples on the back to hold the fence up, so I started doing some of that, as well as replacing other staples that were just missing. Camp host Steve came back from the laundromat (SO glad I don’t have to do that!), then came out to help me with one board I knew needed replacing in one of the paddock where there was a horse last weekend to it got skipped. That one needed A LOT of work! Replaced the board, then found another broken board on the other side and went ahead and replaced that one, which finished off all the boards we bought on Saturday. I stapled the wire fence on those as well as some others that were missing. Tried to fix a brace on a gate but it was too rotten, left that for another day for more experienced carpenters. That took a good part of the afternoon, and I was bushed and dehydrated by the time we finished. Sat in my recliner to read and fell asleep for two hours! Made dinner, did my evening chores and finally settled down for the evening. Tonight I am DEFINITELY getting to bed earlier, I have to get back on a schedule that gets me up earlier and to bed earlier! So I’m signing off early, so I won’t be long out of my shower and bed. Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Tuesday, March 29, 2022 – Laundry and a Ride

Hey Darlin’,
Another good night sleep, slept later than I figured, so I guess I need it! Did some laundry, got my housework done, did a little work on the computer, then in the afternoon I saddled up Flash for another recon ride, still trying to solidify as many trails as I can. Had a dickens of a time on the yellow trail on Sunday, so I wanted to go back and try to make sense out of it, and ended up getting more confused than ever, though after several passes on it, I finally made some decisions about where it should go. Crazy how bad this one section is. Figured a few other places out as well, so in the end, it was a productive day. Got back and rinsed Flash down, then took my laundry down and settled down for the evening. A good day! Heading off to shower and bed, trying to do it a little bit earlier each night, hoping to get back on a schedule that doesn’t have me sleeping till 9:30! Anyway, good night, baby! Love you!

Monday, March 28, 2022 – Big Shopping Day

Hi Babe,
Had a WONDERFUL night sleep last night, and still slept in a bit this morning, so I felt much more refreshed today. After my usual chores, I headed up to Okeechobee to do some shopping. Since diesel is so ridiculously expensive, I decided to buy as many supplies as I could to cut down on trips, and that ended up costing me a bundle today! First, I picked up 22 bales of hay at the feed store, where the price of a bale when up a dollar apiece, so now one bale of coast was $11.25. The only good part of that was that most of it was that rare, really nice green soft coastal, the best I’ve seen, but still, ridiculously expensive for a single bale of hay. Then I went down to Tractor Supply to get two propane tanks filled. When I passed the Walmart on the way down, I noticed that diesel was $4.95 a gallon, though I passed one station that had it for $4.84. After Tractor Supply, I headed back to Walmart, where suddenly the price of diesel had gone up to $5.09! So I passed it up and went to the cheaper station up the road, shaking my head at the idea that I was happy to ONLY pay $4.84 a gallon! I had over a quarter of a tank still left, and it still cost me $125 to fill up. I’ve NEVER paid more than $100 for a tank, and very rarely even CLOSE to that! Grrrr! Glad I’m not planning on driving anywhere any time soon! This could be the most expensive fuel summer I’ve ever had! Finally got to Walmart, where I filled my cart up with a month’s worth of groceries and some extra stuff I needed, and the dang bill was $434! The only time I’ve ever paid THAT much was if I was buying a TV or some other big ticket item, but this was not the case today. Crazy. I just hope I don’t have anything else I need to buy for awhile! I feel like I’ve got enough supplies for the apocalypse right now. Got back around 4:00, took awhile to put everything away, then Steve the camphost invited me over for a pork and sauerkraut and potato dinner, which I enjoyed very much (always nice to have someone else do the cooking!), then settled down for the evening. Busy day, and extra glad I don’t have any rent to pay here. Going to bed early again tonight, hopefully, trying to get back on a better schedule, since I sleep so much better when I get to bed earlier. So good night, sweetheart! Love you!

Sunday, March 27, 2022 – Ride Day with Jeff, Kristen and Doc Mom

Hey Sweetie!
Despite being exhausted from all the work yesterday, I had a terrible time getting to sleep. I guess I was keyed up or something, I didn’t even get to bed until midnight, then I had to read for a long time before I finally fell asleep. I woke up once early, took ages to fall asleep again, then when I finally DID wake up naturally, it was 10:30! Yowsa! Still felt tired, though. Did my chores and rested for the most part, put my tools and stuff from yesterday away, then finally Jeff and his boarder and her veterinary mom finally made it out to camp for a ride around 4:30, so by the time they got unloaded and saddled up, it was 5:00 before we got on the trail. Flash was fine at first, but then got real excited when Kristen’s little speedy Paso passed him, then it was all fighting again. Apollo got a bit excited too, and at one point when we met a hunter on the trail, Apollo spun so fast that Jeff came off. I know how hard it is to stay on when he does that, he spins like a cow horse! He jumped a couple of other times on him too, but didn’t throw Jeff again. That’s a lot of energy for a 25 year old horse! I was still trying to finalize a couple of trails, so I was GPSing along the way, but we got off track a couple of times, either because we lost track, the trail faded away, or we speeded past them. I made some headway, though, I just need to do it one more time to get a final reading. It was a good ride, but it was a bit tough with one sluggish (well, not so sluggish today!) quarter horse, a TW and two Pasos! Quite the grouping! We got back to camp safely and just before the sun set, then sat around and chatted for a bit. They all left just as dusk was turning into night and the mosquitoes were coming out, then I grilled a burger and settled down for the night. Going to try to get to bed earlier, hopefully get back on a better sleep schedule. Can’t be getting up after 10:00 anymore! So off I go! Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Saturday, March 26, 2022 – Great Work Day at Dupuis!

Hi Darlin’!
Whew, what a day! Got up early, printed up some paperwork for the work day today, then got my morning chores and breakfast out of the way before moving over the pavilion to see who showed up for my hastily put together work day. In the end, we had a pretty good turnout, mostly from the Florida Horsemen’s Club, and everybody worked their butts off! We got so much done. Two of the guys managed to build two complete new manure bins at Barns One and Three, just gorgeous. The rest of us worked on all the paddocks, making repairs, replacing boards and posts, cutting back trees, and generally making almost every paddock more safe and sound for horses. No more nails sticking out and broken boards! There was just a few we didn’t get to, but they were the ones that were more recently built anyway, so there shouldn’t be much left to do, though I’ll check them tomorrow, if I can recover in time. Exhausting day! James came by, ostensibly just for awhile, but he ended up getting drawn in and helping us finish our last few projects. He seemed very pleased with the turnout, when he arrived the sound of hammering was everywhere, we were all busy as bees running around. Just what I think he was hoping to see, and I was glad it all worked out! A lot of labor, with a little direction, goes a long way! Anyway, once it wound down, a few of us sat around and chatted, making another date for the next work day, then finally I got back to the trailer and settled down, watched a little TV, but I’m more than ready for my shower and bed tonight! A productive day, well spent! Good night, babe! Love you!

Friday, March 25, 2022 – Runaround Day with James

Hiya Babe!
Woke up with the alarm before dawn, since I was supposed to be leaving with James by 8:00, but he ended up having an electrical problem at his house that he had to deal with, so he was delayed by nearly an hour. No worries, I did some other stuff while I was waiting. We hit the road and 9:00 and headed to Hickory Hammock. We went there once over ten years ago, they were doing a trail challenge event while we were there. I couldn’t remember much about it until I reread by diary from way back then, which disagreed a little with my memory, which is why I write it down at the time, lest I forget! Anyway, James wanted me to consider some options to get that back up and running as a thriving horse camp, evidently it doesn’t get much of the equestrian crowd any more, though it did somewhat when we were here before. He also had to meet with a welder/fabricator to get a bid on some work that needs doing on gates and fenced, and also to interview a potential host couple, which took up most of the morning and mid-day. We stopped in Okeechobee on the way back, long enough to pick up some horse feed and a printer. My old $25 HP All-in-one finally gave up the ghost a few days ago, so I grabbed another basic one, a Canon for $44, which was the cheapest one there. Considering how little printing I actually do, I didn’t need to spend much else on anything fancier. I’m hoping the ink won’t be as expensive as the HP, but we’ll see. I ordered some from Amazon as back up, you never know how much ink is left in an old model of printer like this one. I managed to get it working without too much fuss, thank goodness. After that, I walked down to Barn 3 with a new gate latch to put on Stall 7, and there was a woman there who had just jury-rigged a latch, but together we took it back apart and put a real latch on there. I was glad when James told me not to nickel and dime stuff, but to get what we need and not worry about it. I also brought a couple of manure rakes from Hickory Hammock that were in storage, so we now have one for each barn, and one of those little canvas folding carts so I can move all these tools and screws and whatnot around tomorrow. So a productive day! Settled down for the evening, made a list of all the jobs that need doing tomorrow, but I didn’t sleep well last night so now I’m nodding off early. Heading to shower and bed, since I have another early morning tomorrow. Love you, Sweetie! Good night!

Thursday, March 24, 2022 – Another Recon Ride on Apollo

Hey Darlin’,
Had an okay night sleep, but it was really hot during the night, couldn’t hardly even put a sheet over me without sweating. Finally slept through morning. After chores and breakfast, Apollo and I headed out on the trail for about a 7.5 mile recon ride. I’m still trying to work out the exact position of a number of trails close to camp, because they are so different from what is on the original map. I keep trying to find THOSE trails, so I keep getting turned around because they apparently just don’t exist anymore. Got a couple more like that I need to verify, but I’m getting close. Apollo was good once I got him through the gate, though he was a bit reluctant at first again, though better than the other day. He keeps looking at me like he wants to go, then has some compulsion to be disagreable for a moment before acquiescing to the inevitable. Silly horse! it was a nice ride, though. The forecast showed rain coming in around 1:00, so I had it timed perfectly, but then we got a little sprinkle at about 12:20, just as we were arriving in camp! That was over quickly, and I got everything put away, and then we had a little bit of rain for a short time after that, nowhere near enough, though, we really needed more. Good thing, though, it’s supposed to rain after midnight and really cool things down a bit for the next few days, for which I am very grateful! Of course, that’s if you believe the weather man… Anyway, James came by and dropped off more materials for me, including some hardware and posts, so we should be all set for Saturday. I’ve even been able to arrange to have someone with a long trailer to pick up 16′ boards on Saturday morning, so we should have everything we need! Finally settled down for the evening, I’m still sweating in my chair, looking forward to a shower and bed! Early morning, spending the day with James, going to a couple of other properties with horse potential that he wants me to look at. Could be an exciting adventure! Anyway, time to say good night, my sweet! Love you!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022 – Busy Day Around Camp

Hiya Sweetie,
Got up a bit early today because James was going to come by this morning, though he ended up coming later than I expected, but that’s fine. Got my chores and breakfast done, then did some computer work for a bit. After he arrived we had a long chat about the work day that’s scheduled this weekend, and what my future plans are. He wants to go ahead and get me approved through their HR department as a camp host, even though he knows I won’t be here during the summer. I told him I’d only stay longer if they could get me electricity, I’m not going through that many bottles of propane to run my AC when I could just head north and not need to use any. It may mean suffering through some heat, but it might be okay through April. He said he’d work on that. After he left, I walked through every single paddock looking for what repairs need to be made, counting what broken boards we need to replace, and other hardware items. He brought me a couple of gate latches, I’ll have at least one stall door that needs a replacement, I’ll try to do that tomorrow. It’s a lot of walking around to every single paddock! Got it done, though. I’m trying to arrange lumber pickup for those boards, though James ended up coming back with the lumber delivery for the manure bins. I have a bunch of volunteers lined up, so hopefully we can get a lot of work done on Saturday. Finally settled down for the evening, it’s back to being pretty hot at night, looking forward to a cool front that’s due to come through tomorrow, bringing rain, though I’m hoping to take Apollo for a short ride tomorrow, he keeps giving me that look with his mournful eyes, wanting to get out of his paddock. But for tonight, shower and bed! Good night, babe! Love you!

Tuesday, March 23, 2022 – Another Long Ride on Flash

Hey Babe,
Cool enough for another great night sleep, then chores and breakfast and a little route planning, and said good-bye to Laura from Ontario before Flash and Lola and I headed out. Managed to GPS another 17.6 miles of trails, some of it brand new. I’m getting close to getting them all the designated trails done. All that’s left are a bunch of side roads that I have to explore a bit more, just to see if they go anywhere or if they just dead end. We were out until nearly 4:00, and by the time I downloaded all my pix and GPS routes, it was nearly suppertime. Learned that over half a dozen people are already planning on coming to the work day on Saturday, which I’m glad to learn since I was late getting it announced. Somewhere along the line, I missed a week this month! Getting later than I thought a lot faster! Anyway, settled down, grilled a steak on my new grill, watched a little TV, now I’m more than ready for my shower and bed. Good night, darlin’! Love you!