Archives for May 2022

Tuesday, May 31, 2022 – Back on The Trail Painting

Hey Babe,
Happy to report that I had a much better sleep last night, and was feeling rested when I woke up early, so I got up and got the day started. After chores and breakfast, I gathered all of my painting supplies and headed out to work on mostly the yellow trail, though I also did some sections of red and a little white. Working with this kind of paint works a whole lot better than the spray paint, and I also did a lot of clearing and pulling down some vines. I was out there from about 8:30 until past 4:00, then I was close to running out of bottled water so I headed back to camp. Got back by 4:30 exhausted and dehydrated. Drank lots of Gatorade, tea and nectar mix and sat in the air conditioning until I was re-hydrated, then went out to clean up the tractor. It’s impossible to work with bucket paint without getting it all over everything, and unfortunately, on the way back down the grade, my yellow bucket bounced out of the loader and I crushed it before I had time to stop, so no more yellow! Left a nice puddle in the road, though. There wasn’t a huge amount left, but I’ll have to get some more before I can finish the job. No worries, though, I have a lot more painting to do before I need to worry about coming back to yellow. Once I finished cleaning up the tractor I took a shower, since “everything” also meant me, and I had to use a fingernail brush to get it all off me. Had dinner, fed the horses, did my rounds, then settled down for the evening. Since I’ve already had my shower, I’ll be going to bed early. I’m reading a Dean Koontz book now and it’s keeping me intrigued, so I’ll be reading for awhile before I get to sleep. I’m liking this early to bed, early to rise schedule, I just need to do more of it! Good night, sweetheart! Love you!

Monday, May 30, 2022 – Even Quieter Memorial Day

Hi Sweetie,
Had a terrible night sleep. I couldn’t fall asleep for anything! I kept reading, then putting my book down and then not being able to sleep then reading again, over and over again. I had put Lola out on her leash and left the door open because she was restless, then she got tangled up and started barking to I had to get up and put her back in the house. It was past 2:30 by the time I finally went to sleep and was up again before 7:00, feeling understandably exhausted. About all I did today was three loads of laundry, the rest of the day was reading or TV. I rotated the horses to the south side of the barn where there was more grass in the paddock, and they enjoyed that. Tonight, I’m having a cup of Sleepytime tea, which I haven’t had in awhile, so I’m hoping that will help. Just need to take my shower, hope it doesn’t wake me up too much, then I’ll be heading to bed. Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Sunday, May 29, 2022 – Quiet Day in Camp

Hey Darlin’,
Had a better night sleep, Lola was a lot quieter tonight, thank goodness! A few more people showed up to day ride, but few stayed around for the “picnic,” though Jamie and Dave did, so we had some hotdogs and some of her saucy chicken before they left in mid-afternoon. Once again the dire predictions of rain didn’t happen until nearly 7:00, and I managed to get all my evening chores and rounds done just before the rain. I rained fairly steady for a couple of hours, which we needed, and it cooled things off nicely. I was supposed to ride with Petra but she never showed up, so I didn’t ride or really do much of anything today, so a quiet day. Finally settled down and listened to the rain on the roof, finished a sappy book, and watched a couple of Supernaturals, so now I’m ready for shower and bed. Good night, baby! Love you!

Saturday, May 28, 2022 – Ride Day, Memorial Day Picnic

Hi Babe,
Had a terrible night sleep, Lola was so restless, and I don’t know how she managed to get all the way onto the foot of my bed, considering I had the pantry door open and a fan on the top stair. She knocked the fan down at one point, and was just fussy all night, so I didn’t have a great night sleep. She needs exercise! Which she got quite a bit today, though I didn’t take her on the ride because it was so hot out here today, and I wasn’t sure how long we’d be gone. Partnered up with Susie Randolph today, the lady with the tire problem, then just as we were getting ready to leave, Petra and John from Jupiter showed up, so we rode out with them. It wasn’t long before they were way ahead of us, and then they left even before we got back from camp, which surprised me, I thought they were staying. Later Susie left for home, and finally Jamie and Dave showed up, but never ended up riding. There was a terrible weather forecast, everyone was expecting tons of rain, but it never materialized, AGAIN! We had a few drops for about five minutes, that was it. I think most people were afraid of the forecast so they didn’t come, because that was the total attendance of the picnic, which we ended up not even doing. No point. But we decided to do it again tomorrow and even Monday, because a lot of folks seemed to have last minute concerns that kept them from coming (plus the dire forecast). Bought a lot of stuff, but thankfully, most of it will keep until the next volunteer day, whenever that it. I did have a surprising number of campers show up during the day, did my rounds a couple of times, then settled down for the evening. Ready for shower and bed, nice and early, feeling pretty tired after two nights of not sleeping very well. So, good night, sweetie! Love you!

Friday, May 27, 2022 – Busy Day Puttering and Shopping

Hi Sweetie,
Had a weird night sleep, had trouble for some reason, but finally managed to sleep through to 7:30, which seems to be becoming my normal time to wake up these days. I went around to move and feed the horses, but discovered the next paddock had two gates that were both bad, one was completely off the hook, so I had to take the time to repair those before I did anything else. It was a good learning experience, though, and once I figured out how to do it, it only took a few minutes to take care of it. Once that was done, I finished feeding the horses (though I tightened a few more gates while they were eating), pulled some more weeds, which I’ve learned are ragweed, and they’re apparently annuals, so I’m trying to pull out as many as I can so it doesn’t get worst next year. Finally got back and had breakfast, then got busy with a bunch of other little chores. I went out to put some arrows up on a few intersections of the trails nearest camp, but since I only have a few I didn’t get very far. On the way back in, I noticed the gate out to the trails had a loose clamp on it, which explains why the thing drags so much, so I decided to fix that too. I had to get some tools, then I was trying to raise the gate with the bucket on the tractor, and finally managed to get that done, so now it works much better. Unfortunately, as I was backing away from the gate, I ran into a water spigot, and that started a geyser of water. Fortunately, since I had mapped all the water valves a week or so ago, I knew exactly where the shutoff was, so I only had to turn off a few spigots along that stretch of paddocks, which no one is using now anyway, and there was a coffee can full of spare spigot parts in the shed, so it didn’t take me long to get it all fixed back up and turned back on again. Not long after that I was heading out to go shopping in town, picking up hot dogs and buns and drinks and chips and ice for the gathering tomorrow. Don’t know how many people are coming, but we’ll have plenty of food. Plus I’m planning on riding in the morning with one of the campers here, a woman who I met on the OTL. She was on her way to an event at Doe Lake, but was having some tire issues and decided not to press her luck, so she stopped here. Had a couple of non-equestrian campers come in, too, so I had to check them in. Finally was able to settle in for the evening, be soon in the shower and up to bed, so good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Thursday, May 26, 2022 – Got Paint, Mostly Quiet Day

Hi Darlin’,
Got a pretty good night sleep, got up early, did my chores, and just finished breakfast when James showed up. We chatted awhile about recent events, then went over to the campsite of the folks I had to remove the other night. He had told me to leave it because he wanted law enforcement to issue a littering citation, evidently the minimum to do that is 15 lbs. of trash, which was WAY exceeded with all the junk they left behind. We packed it in garbage bags and stored it in the locked storage room in case it goes to court. Evidently they tried to get into Hickory Hammock but Steve had been warned they might try that, and he turned them away. It turns out that maybe that wasn’t the best idea, if they had stayed the night on one of the properties they could have been cited for fraudulent permitting or some such statute. I was just glad they were gone from here! Once we finished that, we drove over to the maintenance shed and retrieved a whole bunch of paint cans, some of which hadn’t even been opened yet, so I’m pretty sure I’ll have enough to mark most, if not all, of the trails. By the time we got done, though, I felt it was too late in the day to start on a job like that, so I took the afternoon off and mostly binge-watched TV. Had some day riders come in, then later had some equestrian campers come in and park over by the barn, I checked them in while I was feeding the horses. Had a final non-equestrian camper on a motorcycle showed up around 8:30, just when the mosquitoes were at their worst, and he didn’t stop, so I had to walk to him to check him in, a foreigner, sounded German. Now I’m ready for shower and bed, starting to get in the habit of doing that earlier and earlier, since I know I’ll soon only be able to work in the mornings. So off I go! Good night, babe! Love you!

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 – Runaround Day and First Night Alone!

Heya Babe,
Good sleep, did my chores, then hauled Jeff’s big trailer back to him because he thinks he might be able to pick up some roofing material for free down in Broward. I spent an hour or so basking by the pool, though I also cleaned the filters and scooped out a lot of leaves and such. I had Lola doing a lot of fetching her floating frisbee, she hasn’t gotten much exercise lately, so I’m hoping this will help her get some sleep tonight. Then I headed over to the Publix and the liquor store, for some reason I decided I wanted to indulge a little, since for the first time it looks like I’ll have the entire campground to myself, and I also got all the trails done. I was looking for some honey bourbon but they didn’t have what I wanted, so I ended up buying a bottle of Old Crow, something we used to get all the time for about $14, now it’s up to $25. Everything’s gone way up in the last few months, not surprising considering the cost of fuel. Got a few things at Publix, then headed to Indiantown Post Office where I picked up my new spare tire, then to the Goodyear where I dropped off the old spare and had them switch them out. Turns out the spare tire rack is completely bent out of shape and broken, so now I’m going to have to find a welder to get that fixed up for me. While they were doing that job I went to Tractor Supply to pick up feed, then the gas station, where I paid a whopping $5.57 a gallon for diesel (and it just dropped 20 cents, would you believe!), went into the Dollar store but didn’t find anything I needed, then picked up the tires again before heading back to camp. Forgot to go to the IGA for ice cream, though! Back in camp, I rotated the horses into a new pasture, and luxuriated in the fact that for the first time since I arrived in January, the place is completely empty except for myself. Oddly seems like I’m breathing freely for the first time in a long time! Had a bit too much bourbon (ooops!) and now I’m ready for shower and bed. So good night, sweetheart! Love you!

Tuesday, May 24, 2022 – Red and White Trails Done, ALL TRAILS FINISHED!

Hi Sweetie,
Had a good night sleep, and was out on the trails and mowing by 9:00 this morning. Had my map for finishing off the Red and White trails today, though I discovered a new/old section of the Red trail that’s not on any map I’ve seen and I didn’t think I had ever been on it, but when I looked back in my files of GPS maps I’ve done over the years, I realized that it was one of the trails I went on that first day of the OTL back in 2019 when I got lost and was an hour late getting into camp because of it (even though I was still first in camp!) Now I understand why I could never figure it out, it’s because it’s not on ANY map! Well, it will be on the next one, that’s for sure! Got stuck a couple of times, had to be ingenious to figure out how to get out of a couple of sand holes I got into, but I managed it just fine. Just glad to get it done! Got back to camp just before 4:00, hot, dirty and sweaty, but decided to hold off on my shower until I fed the horses, but that turned out to be a mistake. That father/daughter camping duo was supposed to be out of here by noon today, and all their stuff was still here when I got back in camp, but they weren’t here. They finally showed up an hour later, and the daughter came to tell me they had a truck coming, but didn’t know what time, then half an hour later she came and said the truck couldn’t be here until the morning, all of which was BS. Then she asked if they could stay the night, and I said I’d have to call my boss, and she said she’d be back in two minutes. Naturally, James said they couldn’t stay, but meanwhile, they drove off and didn’t come back for another 45 minutes, I told them they had to leave and they pretended to pack up, she claimed they were going to have to make several trips so some stuff would still be there. It looked like some of their stuff was being packed, then when I went out at 8:30 to check on them, they were STILL there, and it looked like they had unpacked all their stuff again! Two tents and all of their stupid solar lights were back up! I told them I was calling law enforcement, he claimed it would take four hours to pack up, more BS since it had already BEEN four hours. So I called Dillan, who’s supposed to be the law enforcement guy I’m supposed to call, but he was off today (seems he’s off every time I call him), so I called dispatch, waiting for half an hour for a car to show up, then called back, and was told that an officer was going to CALL me! Call me? I didn’t want a phone call, I wanted a cop car out here to roust these people out of here! At 10:00 I finally walked back out there, and miraculously, they apparently were able to do their four hours of packing in less than an hour, because they were finally gone. They left piles of junk behind, and the raccoons were having a field day, so I will no doubt have a big mess to clean up tomorrow. Grrr! Why are people so inconsiderate? STILL haven’t had my shower, still dirty and now I’m exhausted from the stress, and I still haven’t gotten a call from anyone. It had been a nice day until this happened. Oh, well, that’s the only downside to being a campground host, is having to deal with the bad campers. Most are great, though, I have to admit, it’s just the occasional bad apple that really spoils it. Anyway, I’m going to do a quick Spanish lesson and then I’m heading to my shower and bed! Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Monday, May 23, 2022 – Teal Trail Done, Plus Most Paddocks

Hey Babe!
Up early again today, started out moving the horses to a new paddock, having breakfast, then mowing several more paddocks by the barn before heading out on the trail. Got the entire teal trail finished before 1:00, took a short break, then mowed most of the rest of the paddocks back by the barn, the ones that had really bad, three foot high weeds that were about to blossom and go to seed. I don’t know if these plants are annuals or perennials, hopefully the former, in which case I’ve made a major impact on next year’s weed crop! I pulled a bunch out along the fence by the roots as well, figure that will help, too. Didn’t finish until just after 4:00, had a beer, then a shower, then another beer with a nice grilled chicken and smoked gouda macaroni and cheese dinner before settling down for the evening. A very productive day! All I have left now are the red and the white trails, which overlap a lot of what I’ve already done, so I shouldn’t have any trouble finishing that off. Only question now is, what comes next? What will be my next project to accomplish? I’m thinking marking the rest of the trails with good, canned paint and rollers, the first step to better marking the trails. I don’t really want to keep that system, but it’s so entrenched here, it seems necessary, though I’ll keep it to a minimum. Next job after that is to start putting posts in, I’m hoping to get an official okay on that before I start, which is why it isn’t my next job. Anyway, watched a unique movie with Jake Gyllenhall about a 911 police dispatcher, it was an fascinating 90 minute monologue, quite a tour de force for him, well done. Now I’m ready for bed, though I may take another quick shower since I got kind of dirty again pulling more weeds while I was feeding the horses! Good night, baby! Love you!

Sunday, May 22, 2022 – Half Busy, Half Lazy Day

Hi Sweetie!
Woke up really early this morning, read for a bit, then got up with the intention of making this a day off, then realized I’d feel too darn guilty if I didn’t do at least some jobs today before I settled down. I started out moving the horses to another paddock near the barn after I inspected it for rosary pea plants. I’ve decided to rotate them every day or two, partly to save hay and partly to get the paddocks mowed down. All the weeds are just about to pop seeds, and the regular mowers are now apparently on their summer schedule, which is monthly from what I hear. Ridiculous! During the winter when it was so dry the grass hardly grew, they mowed it every week whether it needed it or not. Now that it’s started to rain and the grass and weeds are growing like crazy, they only mow it monthly! I don’t know who makes these decisions, but they don’t make much sense! Anyway, I’ve decided I’m going to have to mow these paddocks before all the weeds go to seed, or they’re just going to get worse. Just not today! Then I finished putting the tractor battery back together. Yesterday I had cleaned the terminals and put it on the charger, this morning they were fully charged, and it started right up after I hooked it up, thank goodness. I’m still going to take the BeatIt! charger with me for awhile, just to be on the safe side. After that, I decided to change the fuel filter in the truck. Even though it’s supposed to be good for 15K miles and it only had about 10K, it’s definitely been not starting right, so maybe I just got some bad fuel somewhere along the line. Anyway, that took me longer than I anticipated, the most time-consuming part was figuring out which way to turn the darn thing (it’s backwards coming from the top, which my brain just couldn’t wrap around for some reason), and getting one of my three different oil wrenches on it. I finally managed it, but it took a lot longer than it should have. It was just after noon when I wrapped everything up and got all my tools put away, so then I was ready to enjoy a guilt-free afternoon of doing nothing but binge-watch Supernatural and do some laundry, which is exactly what I did! I did have one digression, someone made a mess in one of the bathrooms that I had to go clean up, not much fun there. Otherwise, it was a nice quiet afternoon and evening, looking forward to my shower and clean sheets! Good night, my darling! Love you!