Archives for October 2022

Monday, October 31, 2022 – A Rather Disappointing Day

Hiya Babe,
Well, sad to say, today didn’t work out as planned. I was hoping to start work on the paddocks by about 9:00, but my first two volunteers didn’t show up until past 9:30, and the other two a bit after that. I soon figured out that leaving people to their own devices made for a lot of extra work, so eventually I got everyone on board with a system that should have made short work of the job, but after just an hour, the two women effectively stopped working, the other guy stopped a half hour after that, and the final guy, who was doing nothing except mind the fire (which didn’t really need minding, but that’s another story) quit about the same time, though he came back later for another 30 minutes with promises from them all to return later, but never did. So all in all, the ten man hours of work that I figured we could do (and be done by mid-afternoon), turned into about four man hours accomplished with five people, and the remaining six hours with just one person, me. Worked my ass off, by myself, until 6:00. Managed to get all the paddocks behind the barn cleared, but that leaves another 25 paddocks to be done, though they aren’t anywhere near as bad as the ones I did today. I just don’t get people anymore. When I ask for help to do “a job”, I expect them to help until either the job is finished or the boss says that’s enough for the day. I don’t expect them to work for an hour or two and just disappear when the job is hardly started. Seriously, I did more than 80 percent of the work today, which is NOT why I asked four other people for help. It was the new camp host the was manning the fire, and he said he’d be back and never showed, so I then had another half an hour of work burning everything, which I didn’t expect to have to do. Grrrr! Very disappointing. Not to mention it was a dirty job, I was black from head to toe, and exhausted to boot, from having to get up and down off the tractor picking up stuff, dragging it to the fire, etc. Once I finally finished, I had a Guinness, played with Lola for a bit, as she had been cooped up all day, saw a lovely rainbow with a partial double rainbow (perhaps a reminder that life is still good, even if the day was crappy?), took a hot shower and finally settled down with a late dinner. I am SO ready for bed, though I may have to take some aspirin tonight so I don’t wake up in pain in a few hours. I guess the good news is that I did manage to mostly clear all the paddocks in the back, and the front paddocks aren’t in as bad a shape, so hopefully, tomorrow I can finish the job. It rained a little today, hopefully not enough to keep the place from drying out, as I’m hoping to get some posts in later this week. Exhausted, but not seeing a light at the end of the tunnel for the moment! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Sunday, October 30, 2022 – Great Ride on Flash, Then Pool Cleaning

Hi Sweetie!
Busier and more tiring day than planned, but no complaints! After chores and breakfast and starting some laundry, I saddled up Flash and headed out to recon the trails on which I have the most work left to do, just to see if they’re tractor ready or still too deep. It was a lot drier than I expected, and if we don’t have any rain for the next couple of days, I shouldn’t have a problem getting the majority of the work done. Except I’m thinking that maybe I should mow some of it first, there are several areas that are desperately in need of mowing, and if I did that first, at least riders would be able to find there way around. Only problem with that is having to switch out implements on the tractor, but with the new camp hosts, at least I’ll have some help with that. Either way, I’m going to wait a few days, since I want to get a good jump on the paddocks tomorrow. With the hosts (the Jenkins) and the two additional campers who have volunteered, we should be able to get a lot done, and I’d like to finish that hurricane cleanup first. Regardless, I have my sights on getting everything completed in the next two weeks, well in advance of Thanksgiving, when this place will be packed. That will also give me some time to get ready for the cattle drive and the Goethe Endurance Benefit, which is going to take a little prep work to do. Flash was brilliant on the trail today, mostly just walking for the first seven or eight miles, which is good practice for the cattle drive. He only started to speed up when we were heading back to camp, and we had some wonderful canters and largos. There is one water crossing on the white trail that I won’t be able to make on the tractor, which is impossible even during a drought, and a second that’s still a bit deep but I might be able to make, if I have to. Not sure exactly where the new posts will be going in relation to that, but I’ll be doing that figuring shortly. The rest was quite passable. Got back to camp around 2:30, then headed over to Glenn’s to work on the pool, actually wore my bathing suit and got into the pool in order to do a more thorough brushing of the algae that keeps growing. Chlorine levels are still low despite everything I’ve thrown in there, but at least it looks a lot cleaner. It took a couple of hours, then I added more chemicals and came back to camp at about dinner time, did some more laundry as well. A long and busy day which I hadn’t exactly planned on, but I got a lot done. I’m hoping at least one day soon I’ll have a day where I do absolutely nothing! Seems like a long time since I’ve had one of those! I’m bushed for sure, so it’s shower and bedtime for me! Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Saturday, October 29, 2022 – Got The Buick Running!

Hey Darlin’!
Slept in a little this morning so I got a late start, but finished up chores and breakfast just before my mechanic camper came along, and proceed to start diagnosing. Didn’t take him ten minutes to figure out that the cam sensor had been disconnect and not reconnected (I have a vague memory of my brother doing that, but I also think I knew about it, but forgot). He connected it, and it started, yay! But it was running really rough, and he said the cam sensor was shot anyway, and fortunately, I had already bought one, so I asked him to put it in for me (I paid him, of course!), and it wasn’t long before it was done, and we had the Buick up and running! I drove it around the campground loop a couple of times, and it was still running a little rough, but he adjusted the idle a bit so it wouldn’t stall out when I took my foot off the gas, which has been a problem, and it sounded a bit better after I turned it off and back on again, so evidently the computer adjusted everything a bit. I’m also sure there is a lot of gunk in the fuel line, and I bought some cleaner for it, but I want to wait until I get a full tank of gas, I’m afraid the sludge will be too thick on half a tank. But at least Panther is running! The tires are shot, though, the front ones especially, they’ve been going flat since I filled them last week. Our new camp host Ron brought out his compressor and filled them up for me before I did my loops, and I could feel the shakiness of the tires, and I don’t want to take any chances. Figure it will be worth it if I can use the Buick for my running around, even if I have to use higher octane fuel, it’s still cheaper than the diesel right now! I also finally registered for the Great Florida Cattle Drive, the deadline is Nov. 1, and I’ve decided to do it again. I’ll miss having you along, of course, but being that it’s in December, I’m hoping for better weather than when we went in 2016! Should be easier with only one horse to worry about, and not having to do double duty on chores because you were fighting a chill and shortness of breath most of that week. I just hope Flash behaves himself better than on the Cracker Ride, though this will be much looser, and no road riding, so that will make both of us much happier, I’m sure! Had yet another problem with the “new” bath house, the only working shower wouldn’t shut off, and it didn’t have a valve, so we had to close down the entire bath house and divert everyone to the old bath house. Fun, fun, fun! Ridiculous that we can’t get a five year old bath house to function properly. Classic lowest bidder project evidently. Anyway, finally got that squared away and settled down for the evening, ready for shower and bed. Good night, babe! Love you!

Friday, October 28, 2022 – A Little Quieter Today

Hey Babe,
I had sort of planned on doing some final hurricane cleanup today, but all my help had other things to do, so I put it off, which was probably a good thing because I was feeling pretty physically tired after all the work I’ve been doing lately. Spent some time on the computer finishing up the certificates and did all the followup work from the Workshop in Phoenix, spent some time with the new hosts to acclimate them to the job, discovered I have a camper who is a mechanic that said he’d help me try to get my Buick started. I spent a little time on that today, too, flushed some gas through the fuel line out the Schrader valve, but still couldn’t get it started yet. We were going to take a look at it today, but they had some shopping to do, so now it’s scheduled for tomorrow. Ran into town to drop off my package, and picked up one as well. I ordered some noise cancelling headphones so I won’t lose any more of my hearing while I’m on my tractor and Glenn’s mower. I’ve noticed I’m starting to lose some range in my hearing, and I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time, but you know how it is, always a delay. Found some nice 35 dB ones that seem like they’ll be comfortable, looking forward to trying them out. Also bought Lola a new Kong frisbee, she left her good orange one in the road and it was crushed before I had a chance to retrieve it, and another one of her flimsier ones got left on the lawn and the mowers ran right over it, chewing it into a thousand pieces. She seems to really like this new one, though, she tossed it around by herself after I threw it a few times, so hopefully she’ll take better care of this one. Finally settled down for the evening, now I’m ready for shower and bed! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Thursday, October 27, 2022 – Busy Day, New Hosts Arrive

Hiya Darlin’,
Another busy and tiring day! Started out putting the rest of the bridle hooks in, repairing a hose with a new end, then pulled out my trailer skirting, washed that all down and put it up, which turned out to be a major job, did some housekeeping, and was just finishing up when our new hosts and James arrived. Got them settled in a bit, and then old James showed up with his chainsaws and he started chopping while I started loading up the cut logs in the bucket of the trailer and dumped behind the dumpsters so campers can come and take them. We did the paddock, a big limb off a huge tree by Barn 3, and some Brazilian pepper that was starting to reach over the road next to the old bath house. I persuaded him to leave us the extension saw so the new camp hosts could start trimming, as they offered to start doing some work right away. First job, though, is to clear the paddocks of palm fronds, hoping we can get busy doing that tomorrow. Feeling pretty tired now! Feel like I haven’t had a day off for awhile, and am not likely to get one very soon. Finally settled down for the evening, more than ready for shower and bed. Good night, my love!

Wednesday, October 26, 2022 – Change Of Plans

Hey Babe,
Well, I thought the new camp hosts were going to be here today, which is why I did all this extra work early, but I was misinformed. Evidently they won’t be here until tomorrow. That’s fine, I still had plenty of work to do. I mowed the little patch of lawn by the host site, and also around the bush nearest me, as the mowers, for some inexplicable reason, had skipped that part. Then I ran into town, picked up a package of books at the post office, then headed out to Glenn’s and worked on his pool for a bit. It’s looking much better, and the algae is scraping off much easier, but the chlorine level was still really low, so I put in another gallon of chlorine, a package of shock and a bag of salt for good measure. Stopped at the Ace to pick up a bulb for over the stove and a battery for my smoke detector, then discovered my credit card was missing. Paid cash, but had to forgo the rest of the shopping I had in mind. Thought I had it in my jeans pocket, but when I got back to camp, I couldn’t find it anywhere. Will be looking again tomorrow. Spent the rest of the afternoon putting up hose reels and some bridle hooks in Barn 1, part of the supplies James bought for me yesterday. Settled down for a bit, had dinner, then started watching a movie called, simply, “Dog.” The only camper is Lorraine, and she came by and shared a few beers with me, had a nice chat. She’s a real gypsy now, too, a retired nurse, so we had a lot to talk about. Finished off my movie, now it’s shower and bedtime. Love you, sweetie! Good night!

Tuesday, October 25, 2022 – Unexpectedly Busy Day

Hey Sweetie,
Woke up thinking I was going to be spending the day putting up all the goodies that James got for me at Home Depot yesterday, but then got a text that the new camp hosts were arriving tomorrow, so I decided to start working on moving out of their spot to my new spot. I had a lot of things I wanted to do as part of the move, so I got busy. I flushed the blackwater tank, I started out washing the awning, but that turned into washing that whole side of the trailer, then I hooked up and pulled onto the Jiffy Jack so that I could adjust the breaks and fill the tires to capacity. Unfortunately, and to my great disappointment, the air compressor that was rated for 160 psi crapped out on me, again. Even though I had taken all the weight off the tire, it still went kaput. I started at 108 psi, set it for the required 123 psi for my tires, at at 112. I heard a pop and it went to no pressure, and then I soon realized I was actually air in my tire, but not until I was in the 90’s, so I actually ended up losing air, darn it! Really disappointed at that! Fortunately, my return schedule is October 27, so I’ll be able to get my money back, but I still won’t have the right amount of air in my tires! I did adjust the brakes, not that they needed much adjusting, and then I moved to a new spot, which, frankly, I wish was a permanent spot, because I really like it! Close enough to the waterline to almost make it a waterfront site for the moment (which will change when it dries up, but so what?), and I was even able to hook up to 30 amp power with the cords I have, so it’s all good. I promised myself when I took my screen room down and realized how dirty it had gotten that I would wash it before putting it up again, so I spent some time cleaning that, and glad I did, it looks much better now. Got my rug down and my outdoor furniture out, even put out my solar panel, hoping to keep my batteries charged without putting on the charger through the inverter. I serviced my batteries again, and all but one cell way all the way down to dry again. Hoping if I don’t use the charger, only the solar panel to supply it, that maybe it won’t get so dry again. We’ll see. All that made it a very busy day, so by 5:30, I was exhausted! Had dinner and relaxed the rest of the evening. Certainly ready for shower and bed now! Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Monday, October 24, 2022 – Mowed Glenn’s Lawn, Went Shopping

Hey Darlin’,
Looking forward to daylight standard time, this being dark until almost 7:30 is crazy! After chores and breakfast, I headed out to Glenn’s to get his lawn mowed. Next time I need to bring my sharpener, the blades just aren’t cutting like they’re supposed to. Despite a forecast with 10-20 percent chance of rain, I suffered through multiple downpours, even having to stop and hang out in the Quonset hut a couple of times. Got it done, though. Pool pump breaker was off when I arrived, so I had to get that going again. Then headed over to the hazardous waste dump in Palm City to drop off all the gas I had drained from the Buick tank, finally met up with James at Home Depot, where we exchanged all the stuff that he bought that was wrong for all the stuff that was right. That’ll keep me busy for a day or two! I also stocked up on pool chemicals, I’m determined to get the balance right in Glenn’s pool. After that, I headed to Walmart to do some shopping, then the gas station to get fresh gas for the Buick and diesel for the truck, then back to Glenn’s, where I put in lots of chlorine, reattached a screen tarp on his back fence that had come off during the hurricane, and finally started to make a bit of headway on the pool. It was already looking better by the time I left. Did some brushing, then left it for the navigator to do it’s thing for a couple of days, hopefully it will improve by the time I check back in a few days. Finally got back to camp after 6:00, had dinner and settled down for the evening. Busy day! Took my shower as soon as I got home, though, because I accidentally spilled gasoline on my jeans at the station earlier, stank to high heaven all the way home and right up until I peeled my jeans off! Whew! Was afraid I might pass out in the truck a time or two! Anyway, now I’m ready for a Spanish lesson and bed, nice and early! Good night, babe! Love you!

Sunday, October 23, 2022 – A Nice Ride On Flash with Jackie

Hiya Babe,
Another good night sleep, got my morning chores done, then brought Flash out and trimmed his feet. They’ve gotten a little choppy so I’m trying to straighten them out. Got him all saddled up, then Jackie arrived just after 10:00, and it wasn’t long before we headed out on the green trail. As usual, I was giving her pointers on the new trail marking system, and she picked it up very quickly. It’s very easy once you understand the basic principles, even if it seems a bit complicated at first blush. We have a very nice 6+ mile ride. She rode the horse that gave her friend a bit of trouble yesterday, just because she’s not getting ridden enough, and his coloring is so much like Flash it was notable. She kept up well, too, we were very well matched, did a lot of leapfrogging as to who was leading, and they both behaved well. on the trail. Still pretty wet out there, but there’s no rain in the forecast for the next ten plus days, so hopefully I’ll be able to put the final touches on the trail markings in the next few weeks. Even hoping to get a mow in before Thanksgiving, if possible. Spent some time talking with some of the hunters, doing my best to get everyone thinking “sharing” as far as the property goes. Discovered an open spigot at the horse wash rack by the old well, the pump was constantly running and there was no chlorine in the tank, so I refilled it with water and a gallon of bleach to get it back on track. Finally settled down, made some humus, binge-watched some TV, and generally settled down for the evening. Getting darker a lot earlier, and of course, it will soon be back to daylight standard time, so big changes in my routine to come! Did several loads of laundry as well, my typical Sunday! Headed to shower and bed here shortly. Love you, sweetie! Good night!

Saturday, October 22, 2022 – Made Some Progress on the Buick

Hey Sweetie,
Another day flies by! Hard to believe October is mostly gone already! Spend the day mostly working on the Buick, got the fuel rail put together and got it all hooked up, then ran into problems with draining the tank because I thought I needed to use the Schrader valve, but in the end, I loosed up the fuel rail and put a hose directly on the fuel line so I could use the battery power to drain the tank. It was a slow job, because my fuel pump automatically shuts off after about two seconds, then I have to turn the ignition off and back on again and it will go another two seconds, then I have to wait six seconds before it will let me do the same sequence again, so it took a couple of hours to drain all 14 gallons from the thank. Still have a little left in there, but I didn’t want to drain the pipe completely, afraid of whatever junk might be right at the bottom of the tank, but there’s less than two gallons left, so I figure when I add 5 gallons, it should work okay. I just hope bad gas is truly the only problem! Once I’m convinced it will run, I’ll have to invest in some new tires, the ones in the front keep going flat on me, should probably get a whole new set of four, but only it if it runs. The last set still have a lot of tread on them because they weren’t driven on too much, but now they’re old and rotted, don’t want to take any chances. It will be worth it, though, to have a runaround car for the next five or six month. I have to empty the three tanks I filled up with bad gas on Monday at the waste disposal place before I can get fresh gas and move this forward. Meanwhile in camp, the big church group left so it got a lot quieter today, but we still had quite a few campers. Getting to be that time of year! Gorgeous weather! We had several people come out to day ride, one woman, unfortunately, got thrown and hurt her arm just as she was mounting up, so she and her friend didn’t get to go, but the friend was planning on coming back tomorrow, so I offered to ride with her. Got the feeling she didn’t want to ride along, perfectly understandable. I was going to ride tomorrow anyway, so this will be good. Grilled a nice big steak for dinner, made my rounds and chatted with just about everyone, then settled down for the evening. Shower and bed shortly! Good night, my darlin’! Love you!