Friday, January 28, 2011

Blue Skies Ahead!

I found this pic on another blog I follow and it tickled my imagination so I decided to make it my first photo of 2011!   The "vision" is full of hope for a good future filled with blue skies while reminding me that part of every future is "stormy"-- but that should not dominate the view.  It's my good thought for a New Year!

My community, Saddlebag Lake, is in full swing now--swelling from around 200 residents in the summer to 1500 with the snowbirds here.  With over a third of the seasonal residents calling Canada home, weekly KaffeKlatch meetings are abuzz with exclamations of "eh?"  Everyone has now stored their Christmas decorations away and are going about the business of repairing and preparing their homes.  This place is also abuzz with chain saws and pressure washers--and fragrant with the aroma of the orange grove harvests going on now.   

This community is quite yummy this time of year; all the Clubs hold their specialty food events and the Lady Cooks show off their best recipes.  So far, I have been to the Chili Supper, the Spaghetti Supper, the Chicken BBQ and next week is the Soup Supper.   I attended a "Minority State" Pot Luck luncheon last Sunday.  You bring your own eating utensils (and a generous dish to share if potluck) and your $5 ticket provides a delicious hot meal.  This is a Big Deal for me since I generally do not turn on oven/stove and rarely get a hot meal except for my morning instant microwaved oatmeal.

Sandwiched among all the fooding festivities this month was the Florida RV Supershow which I attended with two other couples in the community.  We all parked together and had a great time looking at the new RV's.  

Inexplicably, my TV stopped working upon arrival so, while going through the tedious process of getting Warranty service on it, my friends Pete and Basil installed a temporary Walmart TV for me to watch during our 4 nights at the Show.  Look at the rolled up magazine in the middle of the set; the screw size didn't match so they used one of the RV show brochures to add some depth--RV'ers can juryrig Anything!

We also enjoyed entertainment every evening -especially the  Rivoli Revue, well known for their recent whistle stop tour with the Tea Party Express where they performed crowd-pleasing satirical song sketches on various conservative topics. 

I'm not commenting for or against the politics of their song ditties (they write all the lyrics themselves), but I did enjoy their humor and energy in their RV-related parodies , including When I Die-Bury me at Walmart, Awning in the Wind and The Dump is Funky.  Here's a little ditty I think everyone can agree on: "Press ONE for English"  Press ONE for English

Ok--my news....I bought a new RV!  You might recall from my November blog that my moho had a transmission problem that could not be identified by Freightliner.  The primary reasons I bought this expensive chassis were because it was supposedly 1- automotively carefree and reliable--and 2-good mileage.  It got good mileage, but amazingly, has given me nothing but automotive headaches!  Time to Go.

My new moho is a gas engine Ford 450, a 27' Forest River Lexington GTS (GTS means "Get the Screws" and they put some nicer stuff in it and use screws instead of glue).  It is 3 ft longer than my diesel was and has a second slide for the separate bedroom.  Instead of a bunk bed over the cab, it has a fantastic surround sound "entertainment center". It is massively roomier and more liveable than my other one.  It is a brand new floorplan which is not even posted yet on the manufacturer's website.  

Realistically, this is a low end unit and these rigs are known far and wide for their leak problems.  Mine is being built at the factory "now" and the first thing I will do is secure the roof seams with Eternabond Miracle RV !  This is a supertape, expoxy microembedded product that claims you will never have to caulk again (you need to re-caulk RV's yearly).  

Anyway, unless this thing blows up on me, it should be my last RV.  This is my 3rd RV purchase in 1 1/2 yrs and I am getting tired of this nonsense.  I should have it delivered sometime in March and will take off for my cross-country trip as soon thereafter as I can reasonably manage.

When I got back, I went searching for the painting from my neice, Jessica, who painted me a triptych of a Sandhill Crane and shipped it to me just before I left.  It turned out that the FedEx guy took my package to the Post Office and I finally ran it down there.   It is a 3-panel painting of a sandhill crane.  I have to admit that I am enamored of sandhill cranes; they are often pests but have interesting personalities.  They hang around in gangs and are fearless.  Here is another fact:

During mating, pairs vocalize in a behavior known as "unison calling." They throw their heads back and unleash a passionate duet—an extended litany of coordinated song. Cranes also dance, run, leap high in the air and otherwise cavort around—not only during mating but all year long.

It is so cool!  I wanted something "whimsical" that captured the attitude of these birds.  (Sorry I am having trouble all of sudden getting pics to rotate on this site).  If you look at the middle and top frames, you can see into the "internal" anatomy of the bird--an interesting creation of Jessica's work that I like.   See the little alligator on the lily pad?  She made it Florida-ish for me.  Thank you Jessica!

The FedEx guy also brought me a new pair of slippers.  Cassie was thrilled---not.

BREAKING NEWS!  I just got a call from my RV Salesman at 5:15pm on Friday, Jan 28.  He said my new rig was coming "off line" (that's RV-speak for "the factory will be finished putting all the screws to you...uh... in IT) and will get it ready to deliver to the selling dealer.  My salesman is all, like, super-anxious because the financing must be finalized by the end of the month for him to get a commission bonus on unit sales, so he is overnighting the finance package tonight.

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