Saturday, September 30, 2023 – Long, Hard Work Day

Hey Sweetie,
Was up at the crack of dawn and got busy by 8:00. So much to do! Spent the morning loading up branches on to a long flatbed trailer and moving it out to the road, where evidently they’ll be along to pick them up at some point. I also raked up a lot of little stuff into piles, which I plan on burning later when the conditions are right. A bit too windy today. Later in the morning, Dave gave me a small gas chainsaw to use, so I was able to get a lot more done, though during a short break, I found a small electric mini chainsaw online and ordered it, I needed one anyway. Couldn’t believe I found one for $49!! And with really high ratings! We’ll see, but it should work on the trails, which is what I mostly bought it for anyway. Job one is to completely clear the circular driveway that goes around the property, so that’s where I put my focus, though I did try to do a little in the paddocks, that’s going to take some time, or a tractor, whichever comes first! Managed to take a few bites of this enormous elephant, but it’s a start. Finally quit about 3:30, just couldn’t physically do any more today. Tomorrow it starts all over again! Taking my shower early, will be in bed early, too, I’m sure! Good night, babe! Love you!

Friday, September 29, 2023 – Uneventful Drive to Suwannee

Hiya Babe,
After going to bed by 8:30 and falling asleep shortly thereafter, it’s not surprising I woke up half an hour before my alarm went off. Consequently, I was all packed up and moving out of the campground be 7:30, which was actually before the sun came up! Thankfully, had an uneventful drive, except for once again stopping for fuel at a One9 truck stop, not fitting into their car area, and had to go to their truck area, where I had the same problem with too big a nozzle, splashback shutting it off, and it timing out, twice, after only a minute or two while I was checking on the horses, making me have to go inside and have them turn the pump on again. In the end, they had one of their guys come out and “do it for me” as if I was doing something wrong, when the problem lay with them and the brevity of their time-outs. Whatever, I won’t be going there anymore, which is unfortunate, because they are about fifty cents less than their sister truck stops, Pilot and Flying J. Anyway, I arrived right at 3:00, met up with my hosts and quickly got settled in. I had to put the horses in a different paddock than last time because of all the trees that were down in the previous one, there is certainly a lot of cleanup that needs to be done! I’ll start tomorrow, though, since it was after 5:00 by the time I got everything set up, and that included Lola’s swimming pool, since she was panting so much from the heat. Ran the AC for a bit to cool it off, hoping it will cool down enough tonight that fans will be enough in the bedroom. Heading for shower and bed, since I plan to get up fairly early to get a good start before it gets too hot. Good night, darlin’! Love you!

Wednesday, September 27, 2023 – Quiet Day in Camp

Hiya Sweetie,
Had a quiet day in camp today, didn’t have anything in particular to do except drive into town to get fuel, for a surprising $3.98/gallon for diesel. So much easier when I’m not attached to a 47′ trailer! Other than that, I mostly just read, though I did get the truck lined up under the trailer so all I have to do is drop it down, since here the trailer has to be jacked up high to be level. I also had to mess with the water to make sure the horses had enough to get through until we leave on Friday. Right after I fed the horses, it started to rain, which, according to the forecast this morning, wasn’t supposed to happen. The forecast for tomorrow is very clear, so it should be a nice ride. My friend Linda said to be ready by 9:00 tomorrow morning, so I’m heading to bed early. Good night, babe! Love you!

Tuesday, September 26, 2023 – Travel Day to Lost Corral

Hi Babe,
Up with the alarm, got packed up and was on the road by 8:30. Made it safely down the road to the highway, which was tricky because there was a very serious dropoff to the stop sign, but I held it in low gear so we had no problem. Had great weather and a relatively uneventful ride to Lost Corral. The only surprise was when I stopped for fuel at the last truck stop in KY, expecting that the KY fuel prices would be less than TN, which has always been the case previously. I got a bit annoyed because the car pump area was too small for me, so I had to go to the truck stop area, which is usually a pain because the nozzles are too big for my truck so I have to go really slow, and it was the worst ever here. First, they wouldn’t take my credit card at the pump, so after half a dozen attempts, I had to go into the cashier and have the pump turned on. I set it up with the cap on the nozzle, which usually lets it go real slow, as it necessary with these big nozzles, then it inexplicably shut off at $41.62 and I had to go back inside AGAIN and get the pump going. Then I had the manager “explain” to me how it was set up to avoid splashback, in a condescending voice that I found extremely irritating, even after I explained that I was perfectly aware that big nozzles need to go slower in a regular pickup, but that’s no reason for them to shut off the pump and not let me start it again without coming inside, surely every person that had a pump shut off to avoid splashback wasn’t required to come back inside to have the pump reset! Anyway, it was annoying, and I finally just stopped way before I was full, because it kept turning off. Then, when I crossed into TN, I was shocked to see that the price in TN was more than fifty cents less per gallon!! When did that happen? KY used to always be cheaper, but not anymore! I finally arrived at Lost Corral around 4:00, much delayed from the debacle at the Pilot, and it took me awhile to get set up, longer than I had hoped, because when I arrived, the whole highline area was dirty again. I remember it was like that last time I arrived, though I left it clean, but apparently some campers through the summer didn’t feel the need to leave it the way they found it, so I had to spend time cleaning up manure and moldy old hay. I left the horses in the trailer until I got everything ready, and water was so slow coming out of my truck tank after I filled it that I ended up just filling my trailer and using the spigot on the trailer to provide enough pressure to fill the horses’ water buckets. I all took almost two hours to accomplish. Finally settled down for the evening around 6:00, though I fed the horses grain at 7:00, had dinner, watched a movie, heading for shower and bed. Long day, though Friday will be longer! Rest tomorrow. Good night, my darlin’! Love you!

Monday, September 25, 2023 – Deep Clean and Prep Day Plus

Hey Darlin’,
Woke up with that rare feeling that I needed to clean today, and since I’m heading to Florida at the end of the week, it only seemed appropriate to do my seasonal deep clean. Spent the day spacing out all the chores so as not to get overwhelmed. It’s been such a long time since I’ve been on electric that I decided to take advantage, and did a bunch of loads of laundry, including the horses’ blankets and a bunch of rags, and just about everything else I could get my hands on. Did windows, floors, carpets, kitchen racks, mirrors, tea kettle, bathroom, you name it, I cleaned it! At least, on the inside, the outside is another matter! Once all that was done, I slowly started packing up for my long drive to Tennessee tomorrow. Well, not that long, I figure about 6-6.5 hours. Since I’m already familiar with Lost Corral, and hoping the best spot will be open when I get there to make things easier, it should be a quick set up. It’s supposed to rain on Wednesday, which will be a nice day to relax, since I suspect once I get to Florida I’m going to be nonstop busy for the foreseeable future. Thursday my friend Linda is supposed to be taking me on a long ride, we had such a lovely one together when I came north earlier this year. Spent a little time updating the website, after it crashed they fixed it with a backup which was over two weeks old, so I had to upload all my diary entries again. Didn’t have the signal to load the pix again, though, sp I’ll wait until I get to Florida where I’ll be able to use their wifi. Anyway, got as much packed up as I could, then settled down for the evening to some more Dirty Rice (mm mm good!), watched a little rom-com, now I’m ready for my long hot shower and a good night sleep! Love you, Sweetheart! Good night!

Thursday, September 21, 2023 – Travel Day to Come Again Horse Camp, IN

Hey Sweetie,
Up a little bit earlier, though not much, finish my packing and was on the road by just after 10:00. Arrived at the commercial horse camp, Come Again Horse Camp, between Leavenworth and Corydon, IN near the O’Bannon State Park around 11:30. No one in the office but they had a whiteboard up with everyone’s name on their respective sites, so I headed on down and got myself settled in. Wasn’t there long before the owners showed up to greet me and take care of business, seemed very nice. They have hitching posts here, but I asked if I could put up a highline between two big trees on my site and they said that was fine. Got everyone settled, then headed out to do some necessary shopping. Was disappointed when the local Tractor Supply had NO Nutrena senior feed, I ended up having to get a bag of Purina, though I hate to change them that suddenly, since I’m almost completely out of other feed. Did some grocery shopping at Walmart, then headed down to a farm to pick up some hay that I found through Facebook Marketplace, which is my go-to way of finding hay on the road these days. Annette had some nice bales of mixed grass and clover, $6 for small bales, but it smells good and I know the horses will like it. Got back to camp by 5:00 to find Trish and her friends Doug and Chris had arrived and set up in my absence. Once I got the groceries put away I mixed myself a wine cooler and joined them. Doug is a great camp cook, and he fed me fabulously, glad I didn’t have to make my own dinner or clean up, either! It’s Chris’ birthday, so we had spice cupcakes for dessert, so decadent! Two more trailers full of Trish’s friends showed up around sunset, so we’ll have a full house on the trail tomorrow. Should be interesting! Left the group around 8:30, heading to my shower and bed early, we have an early start tomorrow, a planned 20 mile ride, so the alarm is going on tonight! Good night, Babe! Love you!

Tuesday, September 19, 2023 – Mostly Movie-Making Day

Hey Darlin’,
A better night sleep, having had Sleepytime tea and a couple of ibuprofen to soften the throbbing in my thumb, though I was woken up after 2:00 by some whinnying. At first I thought it was Flash, and he only whinnies when Apollo escapes, but it sounded like it wasn’t near the highline, and I could just see Flash standing there. Then I caught sight of another white horse, and remembered the neighbors here telling me they had a white horse that escapes once in a while, so I figured it had to be her. She went right up to Flash and squealed a few times. Evidently she spent most of the night here, because when I spoke to the neighbors later in the day, they said he came and got her around 6:00 this morning. They were quiet after their initial meeting, so I gratefully went back to sleep for the duration. Later in the morning, I got a phone call from an old friend I hadn’t seen in nearly 40 years, John, a guy that I worked with at the radio station in West Palm Beach way back when you and I first met. I don’t know if you ever met him, he was half of a morning comedy team, and they were hired away to a station in Birmingham while I was there. The other half was a friend of Richie’s (my former boyfriend before you!), and that’s how I got hired there in the first place. Anyway, we had a long talk, getting caught up. So strange to talk to someone you met at the beginning of your career, then hook up again after that career is all but over! Life is too darned short! Why he decided to look me up I have no idea, but it was an interesting conversation. He lives in Michigan and winters in Florida, so maybe we’ll get together in person when I get down there. Anyway, spent most of the rest of the day sitting in my chair outside and working on turning my Shore to Shore pix into little movies. I have the hang of the program now, so it’s been pretty easy, it just takes time to find the right music and put the pieces together. My current plan is to get my Equicamping YouTube channel up and running again, and try to get enough subscribers to get a few sponsors. It’s been awhile since I’ve done anything creative, and I’ve been enjoying the process. I let the horses graze most of the day, after a day rider came and went, then I took Apollo for a walk around the campground so he could stretch his legs a little. Didn’t get around to riding him today, hoping to do that tomorrow for a bit. Of course, Flash followed us around like a puppy off-leash, and we found some nice long grass so I let them munch for awhile. Settled down for the evening to dinner and a little TV, now it’s time for shower and bed! Good night, sweetie! Love you!

Monday, September 18, 2023 – Laundry and Movie-Making Day

Hiya Sweetie,
Well, forget what I said yesterday about sleeping well, I couldn’t get to sleep last for the longest time! Woke up tired this morning. Managed to get two loads of laundry done, and a tiny bit of housework, but unfortunately, I hurt myself when I was putting up the clothesline. Somehow, I managed to jam two long splinters right under the nail of my right thumb, so deep they were within a quarter of an inch of the bottom of the nail. Needless to say, it was extremely painful! I had to cut my nail down at the top so that I could reach the splinters with tweezers, which was hard to do with my left hand, and it still took me awhile to be able to grab it and pull them out, one at a time, and it hurt like crazy. I was happy to get them out, even though it took some time and patience. Well, almost all of it came out, there’s still a tiny piece at the bottom that didn’t, but there’s no way to get it out without taking my whole nail off, so I’m just going to keep an eye on it and hope it doesn’t get infected, I figure it will work itself out eventually, though it may take a couple of months. I soaked it in alcohol, and I’ll take some painkillers before bed, but every time I use my right thumb (which is for almost everything!), it hurts. Anyway, while the laundry was drying, I worked on taking all my Shore to Shore pictures and turning them into a video with a nice music background, day by day. I managed to get five done today, it took me awhile to learn the editing program, but it’s pretty straightforward now. Well, that was my day, ready for shower and bed. Good night, babe! Love you!

Saturday, September 16, 2023 – Quiet Day in Camp

Hey Darlin’,
Had a pretty lazy day in camp today. Looked at the power mirror switch on the truck, trying to figure out if it’s a bad switch or a bad motor. I’m pretty sure it’s the switch, but I need someone to listen to the mirror on the far side to see if it’s trying to engage, I can’t hear it over the motor on my side. But several things don’t work on the switch correctly, like the actual adjuster, works on the far side, not the near side. The extender motor works on the near side and not the far side. Problem is that switch is hard to find for some reason. Up until 2002, the switch is about 11 bucks. In 2003, all I can find is the entire door power control system, which is upwards of $150! I’m still looking, though, hoping to find something. So I spent a lot of time on the computer today. Gorgeous day, though, perfect weather! Though we did have a little unforecasted rain a few minutes ago. Finally, some other horse campers showed up, a couple and their young daughter, and they just got a new horse trailer and are not very experienced, so I gave them some pointers about their highline and a few other things. They bought a book, figuring it would help them out as well. Managed to watch a few more Jack Ryan episodes (almost done!) miraculously with no interruptions. Not sure what I did on my phone, but something has suddenly improved, and happy for it! There was another family here, looked like a family reunion, and Lola ended up going over there and keeping a bunch of kids entertained, wore her out, fortunately! Ready for shower and bed and another good night sleep! Love you, sweetheart! Good night!

Thursday, September 14, 2023 – Shopping and Organizing Day

Hiya Babe,
It stays so dark here in the shadow of trees until well after 9:00, so I’ve been getting up later and later these days! Was delighted to learn that the local Tractor Supply recently started refilling propane tanks, even though when I checked the website, it said they didn’t. Happy to pay just $3.09 a gallon, too! Way less than in Michigan! Filled three tanks, so I’m caught up for awhile, especially since I’ll be on electric for a few days next week, and once I get down to Sheila’s in Florida. Weather is absolutely perfect here right now, so I’m not in a big hurry! Went to Walmart and did a little shopping, I didn’t need much, but I had decided today would be the day when I would organize my “office” storage. When I took out the second recliner and built in a storage/dog bed area and moved all my stuff out of the drawer under the bench seat, it’s been gradually getting more and more messy under there, and my stackable trays have all broken, so I bought a couple of file crates and some hanging folders and completely rearranged it. Now everything has a place, and everything is immobile, so nothing can slide around, and I still have room for some of the dog stuff. Much better! I’ll get it all together one of these days, slow but sure! I let the horses graze again today, they’re really enjoying the nice lawn here, and having a day off probably didn’t hurt either. They seem perfectly content, and keep coming to the trailer door and staring in, as if they want to come it, or at least be with the rest of “the herd.” Fun to see them standing right outside the door, though I’ve had to clean up some manure on the porch carpet, not surprisingly. Had a nice dinner, finally managed to watch almost a whole episode of Jack Ryan without buffering, though I did stop it on purpose a couple of times, just to be safe, and now, of course, it’s almost bedtime. Good night, my darlin’! Love you!