Sunday, March 3, 2024 – An Unexpected Busy Day

Hiya Babe,
Woke up in the middle of the night when the rain finally came in, after it had been forecast to come in much earlier. Kept me up for awhile, then I slept until well after 9:00. Had a busy day doing laundry, housekeeping, cleaning the camp restrooms, and working a bit on the Suwannee Ride again. Having a hard time making heads or tails out of the crude map they sent me. Why they won't just work with Google Earth is beyond me, it's so much harder doing it the way they're doing it. More rain came in around 4:00 and kept going for a couple of hours. I finally settled down for the evening with some Northern Exposures and a odd little romance movie. Ready for shower and bed! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Saturday, March 2, 2024 – Busy Day with a Ride on Apollo

Hey Sweetie,
Started the day out working a bit more on my shoulder, then got my chores and breakfast done, and finally managed to do an egoscue exercise session. Cleaned the bathroom, and no more than sixty seconds passed before someone came in and used both bathrooms, messing up the floors again. Only had one day rider show up with a trailer, a nice lady named Cheryl with a little Paso Fino, and we chatted for a bit before we decided to ride together, though I was planning on riding Apollo. It worked out though, he got a good workout, doing a lot of jogging. We ended up doing just about six miles. It was a warm day and he worked up a good sweat, so I rinsed him off before putting him back on the line. Then I planted nine of the pine tree seedlings that Rick left me yesterday, all in a line that, if they all take okay, will make a nice hedge between the camp host spot and the pavilion. Settled down for a bit, then started having camper problems. The folks in four (the ones who kept tracking up the floor in the bathrooms) were gone all day, but their permit expired, and someone who had booked four parked in three instead. Then awhile later, folks that had booked three showed up and had to go to site one. It was after 7:00 before the folks in four came back, and I had to stand there for half an hour while they got online and paid for another night, but had to do it for a different site because of the cross-booking. They claimed they had a "pay for two nights, get a third night free deal," but when they showed it to me, it for future bookings, not for the one they made. Screwed everything up. Not only did they mess up both bathrooms, they smoked in the bathrooms and dropped ashes everywhere, too. Some people are just so inconsiderate. Anyway, that was finally resolved by 8:00, too late for the movie I had all cued up, so I watched another Northern Exposure before finishing off my evening with tea, shower and bed. I hope everyone is gone when I get up in the morning, nobody was happy by the end of the day today! Good night, darlin'! Love you!

Friday, March 1, 2024 – Took Lola to the Vet

Hi Darlin',
Spent about an hour working on my shoulder with my little shiatsu massager this morning, haven't had time the last few days, and while it's definitely improving, today I felt something move closer to shifting, which meant it hurt a bit more as it's trying to stretch over whatever is blocking it from moving back to it's rightful place. Still getting closer! Had an appointment with a vet in Williston for Lola, her back legs have been really giving her some problems, and they took a couple of x-rays, might have found one little bone growth in her right hock, but nothing in particular in her left hip, which seems to me to be the worse of her two problems. Not sure I agree with the diagnosis, but figured I'd give her the prescribed anti-inflammatories and pain meds a chance to see if that helps. Stopped at the Winn-Dixie for a few items, then headed back to camp, where I met Rick just as he was coming in. We sat and chatted for awhile before he took off for the weekend. I drove over to Helen's and we had a nice visit as she explained to me her ideas about new trail markers. She offered to let me store all my stuff at her place, sweet lady! Spent the rest of the afternoon quietly, with a typical evening. Ready for bed! Love you, babe! Good night!

Thursday, February 29, 2024 – Leap Day

Hiya Babe,
Another day of intending to do one thing and ending up doing something quite different. Started out with plans to take Apollo on a little ride, thought about taking him up to Watermelon Pond, then got an email saying they were burning in that area, so then I figured we could stay closer to home, but that didn't work out either. I started doing a few little things on my computer, and one thing just led to another, and the whole day went frustratingly by. I made my reservations for the hotel in Vegas for the Red Rock Ride, though I'm astonished that the first Saturday is already sold out, so I'm either going to have to go to a different hotel or fly on Sunday, or keep my fingers crossed that a room will open up, which I have to believe will happen since we're so far out. I can't believe June is fully booked already! I spent most of my time on hold, though, trying to solve my inverter control panel problem. I've tackled this problem several times over the last few months and hadn't been able to resolve it, but today I was determined. I was on hold with Xantrex for nearly an hour before I talked to someone, who gave me the model number and price and even sent me a picture to confirm it's the right one, all in about three minutes once we hooked up. It turned out I was talking to the wrong department anyway, so she transferred me to the right department, and was given a list of name of distributors, since they don't like to sell direct to the public, as it makes their retailers mad. I contacted every name she gave me, and they all gave me a runaround about how I needed to be a retailer, or how it would take days to get a price an availability (the manufacturer already told me they had them available), and on and on. I finally got so fed up, I called the manufacturer back and begged them to sell me one, and she (the second woman I spoke to) took it up the chain of command, and within a few minutes, cleared it to have them send me one. Free. Whoo-hoo! So I wasted a lot of time, but managed to get a happy outcome. Hopefully I'll have that in a few days. It's not that the old one isn't working, but it's definitely going. Just the switches, which I really have to finagle with to get them to work, and sometimes I'm convinced they never will, then at the last minute, do. They won't one day, though, and I'd rather repair it now and not have to worry about it anymore. After that, I made some dinner, fed the horses, and rushed around to get to a Taste of Goethe meeting at 5:30 where I helped them set up a Paypal account and some other stuff. Was after 8:30 by the time that was done, so a late evening. Settling down to my tea, the last half of a Northern Exposure episode, my Lorna Doone's and soon, a shower and bed. Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Wednesday, February 28, 2024 – Truck Trouble

Hey Sweetie,
A good night sleep, a fairly quiet morning, until I decided to see how my truck was doing after yesterday. While I had no trouble driving it home in the afternoon, I still didn't have gauges, and my brake controller still wasn't working properly. So I tried to start it, and I had nothing. Batteries were flat again. I forgot to unplug it from the trailer last night, so I think that may have caused it, especially if there's a short of some kind in my brake controller. So I put the charger on and let it charge all morning. Around noon, I tried again. This time I had an even weirder problem. It cranked right up, than immediately died. I tried it several times, same thing. I texted the mechanic, John, and he agreed to come out after work and take a look. I ended up spending most of the day working on the computer, doing some trail planning and writing some emails about various topics. A pretty quiet day. John arrived shortly after 5:00 and proceed to try to check the codes, but couldn't establish communication with the ECM. Then he began to check fuses, which all seemed okay, but then he started pulling them out and putting them back in again. I don't know if that knocked off some corrosion or something, but suddenly he was able to get a list of codes, and it seemed endless! Lots of little stuff, including an apparent anti-theft device that shuts off the fuel when in doubt, which seems to be the answer to what was going on this morning. Anyway, we fiddled around with it some more, and he cleared the codes, and everything except the brake controller seemed to get back to normal. Then we worked on that, couldn't exactly find what was wrong, when it suddenly began working again! Crazy! I still think there's a bad connection, but I'm not going to touch it again while it's still working. So for the moment, we're back to normal. Don't know how long it will last, but we're good for the moment! I left the charger on, hopefully that will remedy the problem. It's possible my batteries have aged out and that may be contributing, or I do have an intermittent short in my brake controller, I don't know, we'll have to wait and see. As soon as John left I fed the horses, had dinner, binge-watched a little TV, and, as usual, am ready for tea, shower and bed. Good night, my darlin'! Love you!

Tuesday, February 27, 2024 – Good Ride at Tidewater

Hiya Darlin',
After a good night sleep and chores, I got everything ready to go to Tidewater to remove a tree on the trail and to put ribbons up on the trail I hope will become the new purple "off the road," and even got Flash loaded up in the trailer, I went to start the truck and the battery was flat as a pancake! I couldn't even jump it with my little battery jumper! Fortunately there was a woman in the parking area who agreed to jump me, and after a few minutes, I did get it started. Unfortunately, now there is something seriously wrong with my electronics. Before doing anything, I checked my brake controller, and it was back to not working properly, so I disconnected it. Then I noticed that the interior lights of the truck were on, though I don't remember seeing them on before, but I thought maybe that was what caused the flat battery. Then I noticed that almost none of the dash gauges were working, except the speedometer and RPM gauge. Even the power windows and door locks weren't working! Obviously, they're not all on the same fuse, (which I checked several and they were fine), so evidently I have a more serious problem. Nevertheless, the truck seemed to be running fine, so I headed out, stopping at the gas station to put a little fuel in, only because my fuel gauge wasn't working and I couldn't remember how much I had left. I think half a tank, but I didn't want to be sorry, so I put in $20, just to be safe. Got down to Tidewater, got Flash saddled up and headed out right around noon. Later than what I had hoped, but it was a gorgeous day, so I didn't mind the late start. Headed out the yellow trail for the 6.25 miles ride to where Jo had said the downed tree was, and found a limb hung up in a tree first, cleared that, then went a little further and found the actual tree she was talking about. I managed to clear some of it, but the main trunk was way too big for my chainsaw, so I had to leave it. It wouldn't be possible to anything other than a swamp buggy or the big tractor back here, so I'll have to arrange with Rick to get a bigger chainsaw for that. Fortunately, it's not very far off the main road, so it won't take long once the logistics are worked out. Once that was done, I headed over to the section of purple trail that is by the side of the road, even going cross country at one point just to save some time, landing exactly where I wanted. Then I went up and down the area where I'd like to see the Purple Trail rerouted to get it away from the road, putting up ribbons, then adjusting them, back and forth a couple of times to make sure I had it pretty well set. Finally headed back to the trailhead, with Flash quite happy to canter for long stretches as we headed home! Ended up doing 16 miles today. Very happy the truck started, and made it back home just around 5:00. Rinsed him off, fed both horses, then me, then settled down for a few episodes of my latest binge-watch, Northern Exposure. I remember really enjoying it when it came out, it's nice to revisit the quirky characters. Finishing off with tea, Lorna Doones, Spanish, shower and bed! Good night, babe! Love you!

Monday, February 26, 2024 – Change of Plan

Hey Babe,
When I got going this morning, my plan was to take Flash down to Tidewater to remove a tree and try to put up some ribbons where we're hoping the Purple Trail road bypass will be, but after Rick got here, we ended up deciding to go to Bailey Mine. I had someone in the FB group mention it didn't get enough attention, so I thought there might be issues there, but we drove the entire 5-mile length of the designated trail and only came across one downed tree, which was nothing. All the markers were good, so I don't know what the issue is, other than there are issues on the non-designated trail, in which case, it will have to be done by horseback or on a volunteer day, which I can arrange, but I'd like to see if there's enough to do to warrant that. Anyway, by then it was lunchtime, so we drove into Chiefland (by accident) and had a fabulous lunch at ABC Pizza, which also served Greek and Mediterranean food, and I had a wonderful little appetizer of spinach and cheese in Filo pastry and a baklava for lunch, may not even need dinner tonight. We stopped at Ace on the way back where I picked up a couple of things I needed, then got back to camp around 3:00. There was a trailer from the Sheriff's office here doing some equestrian training, chatted with them for a couple of minutes, then got busy repairing the extension cord that burned out last month with a new end, and finished the day by putting a permanent connection on the brake controller, now that I know what the problem was. Finally getting settled down for dinner, TV, tea, shower and bed! Love you, Sweetie! Good night!

Sunday, February 25, 2024 – Not Quite the Day Off I Imagined

Hi Sweetie,
Was up a bit earlier than I planned, worked on my shoulder and a crick in my neck that I've had a couple of weeks now, then got my chores and breakfast done before going to work on my truck. My brake controller has been blinking a code for a few days, saying it's a power interruption when I step on the brake, and I'm lousy with a multi-meter, so Bev's friend Doc came over and gave me a little assist. He didn't exactly pinpoint the problem, but he did lead me in the right direction, so I finally just decided to reconnect the joint of the offending wire, and then it came back to life and seemed to work fine after that. I only put a temporary connection on it at the moment, need to get some better connectors. Did several loads of laundry, finished counting the last box of markers for the Suwannee ride while putting them on cardboard, then sent my final trail plan to the others involved for their comments and suggestions. Answered a few questions on Facebook, worked on getting maps for Bailey Mine and Watermelon Pond, two satellite properties of Goethe I haven't been to yet, but need to do. Eventually started napping in my recliner, this busy week catching up, and I was hoping for a really quiet day, but it didn't exactly happen. Busy in the day parking, of course, and had several conversations with folks out there today. Played a few computer games, finally settling down for the evening. Tried to finish off the Eureka series, but for some reason, I had trouble streaming it. I thought things had actually improved when I moved slightly uphill, but that doesn't seem to be the case tonight for some reason. I did finally get to watch a movie, Greenfingers, about prisoners taking part in the Hampton Garden show in England, which was fun. Anyway, a good day, albeit not as relaxing as I had hoped, but satisfying nonetheless! Good night, my darlin'! Love you!

Saturday, February 24, 2024 – A Beautiful, Busy Day, Apollo Gets A Massage

Hey Darlin'!
I wake up every morning with a grateful heart, but some days, like today, are just so incredibly good!! After a good night sleep, chores and breakfast, I hooked up with Bev and friends and headed out on the trail. We chatted along the way, until green and orange split, they took the green and I took the orange, which is the very last trail here at Goethe that I had left to perform maintenance on. Flash was in a great mood, moving out well in between spots that needed attention. I put up a few markers, slapped a few dots on some old markers, pulled down a few vines that were blocking markers, and picked up a few beer cans and one water bottle. Got back to camp in plenty of time to give Apollo a good rinse, with time to let him dry, grabbed a few carrots and nuts for a snack, then piled him into the little trailer for another trip to Chi University. I wasn't sure how Apollo would behave, sometimes he can be a bit ornery, but he was absolutely perfect! Even better than Flash on a couple of adjustments! I explained that I just wanted to make sure that at 28 years old, he was still okay to ride, and they him flying colors! They actually couldn't find anything wrong with him that needed special attention (which maybe wasn't the best example for teaching purposes!), but they did a few adjustments and admired what good shape he was in. They said to just keep doing what I'm doing with him, it's obviously working! Got back to camp, had some dinner, then went over to Bev's campfire for awhile before coming back for my tea and shortbread, shower and bed! Good night, baby! Love you!

Friday, February 23, 2024 – A Bit of Rain, Flash Gets A Massage

Hiya Babe,
Had a great night sleep, and for once I didn't set the alarm as my only scheduled item was late in the day. Did my morning chores, a little housework, re-planned the Suwannee Ride that's happening in a couple of weeks (which I already did once, but then my computer re-booted itself before I saved it and lost it all) but it's probably better than what I had before anyway. It rained a little in the morning and then cleared up for awhile. I checked the air in the tires of the little trailer and had to put a little in, then hooked up so that I would be ready when it was time to go. I've been getting an error on my brake controller, and noticed a loose wire, so I reconnected that, hoping that would do the trick. I also spent some time sorting through the markers for that ride, putting them on cardboard the way I like them, and counting to make sure we had enough to do all the trails. I don't want to have to make up a bunch more at the last minute! Seems like we should have enough, but I'm not quite done counting. Naturally, just as we reached the time to leave, we had a great downpour of rain, so I got a bit wet, and so did Flash. Got him loaded up and went to the Chi University, met Jo over there as planned, and her horse Peaches and Flash both got a student massage, and then got finished off by the clinician. Flash was SO GOOD! Considering he'd never had anything like this before, everyone was very impressed about how calm and responsive he was. He evidently has a little muscle atrophy in his left should, Jo thinks it's because I do so much leaning to the right when I'm working on trails, which seems plausible, but maybe a bit far-fetched. Don't know what else would be causing it, though. Everything else on him seemed fine, and everybody fell in love with him. What a good horse! Not sure Apollo will be quite so tame tomorrow, but we'll see! Sorry to say my wire fix didn't work on my brake controller, will have to do a little more research to figure out what's wrong. Got back just as the sun was setting, got them fed, me fed, then settled down for the evening. Supposed to be a nice day tomorrow, I might go riding with Pistol, though if I remember last time our horses weren't too compatible, so we'll see. Feels a little more relaxed this weekend, with no rides to be involved with, and being able to sleep in a bit is nice, though I'll probably have to get up earlier tomorrow if I want to ride in the morning. Anyway, I have my tea and cookies, shower and bed are soon to follow! Good night, sweetheart! Love you!