Friday, March 9, 2018

Christmas Through February Happenings

It seems that I am once again way behind on posting. Sometimes outside influences from the trolls in the world put me out of the mood. When all they do is find fault with everything that is done, and insult people one minute and then want to continue as though they never did anything wrong in the next minute, it takes away any joy about telling anyone about anything.

As other online personalities have found with their particular trolls, the trolling comes not from being argumentative, sarcastic or controversial. It comes from a drunken, bi-polar, psychotic and even neurotic need to hate or find fault with anyone with whom they find anything to disagree with, because as is usual, everyone is wrong except them. And when they start mentioning other people,  whom I haven't spent a total of ten hours with in the last 50 years, and what they presumably have to say about me, that is the end of any conversation with the troll! The only way to deal with them is to shut them down in every way possible, and not give them the information (ammunition) that they need to continue their battle, and blocking them in every way that I can from even seeing what I do. I'm simply tired of the personal insults brought on by literally nothing, and I don't want hateful people in my life!

That having been said, I will provide a rough synopsis of the past few months and let it go at that. Our friends and family that we stay in contact with, know where we are and what we are doing, and no other information needs to be released to anyone who doesn't care anyway.

Future posts will be more about places and things, and will get away from things about us. Readers will have already noticed that we don't do a lot of photos of us as it is. Despite unfounded claims of me being Narcissistic (by a hater who doesn't even know the meaning of the word), no one needs to see our faces all the time. I am very private that way. Even the photo on the blog is already twelve years out of date. I don't care! I don't have to prove to anyone that I have been somewhere by snapping selfies at a location all the time!

In my last post, I mentioned getting the RV washed, and our maintenance man here was able to do that at a reasonable cost, considering how much black mildew collects on vehicles in this humid climate. While I was in the mood, I also dug out the tire covers that came with the RV, and installed those to keep the wheels clean.

Our park maintenance guy washing the mildew off our RV.

On Christmas, we attended another nice potluck at the clubhouse, with meat again supplied by the park managers, and then we participated in the optional $5 gift exchange. There were no names to draw or worry about what to buy for who... it was simply guys buying a guy's gift and gals buying a gal's gift, and marking them as such. It all balances out in the end.

We gave a couple of small LED lights (always useful to RVers), and in turn, received a soft-sided 6-pack-sized cooler and an indoor mat for in front of the kitchen sink. Both turned out to be very useful, and Sharon has adapted the cooler to be her new makeup case. After all... what else can be done with a cooler with white polka dots on a pink background?

Sharon's Christmas exchange gift at our park.

John's Christmas exchange gift at our park.

I mentioned earlier that one time-share was in the process of being disposed of, which it was, soon after I mentioned it. The second time-share is also gone now. With 99% of them not allowing pets, or of those that do wanting a non-refundable security deposit, there were too few choices left to be worthwhile. And the few times we have tried to use them for the benefit of family, the promises to show up were soon broken, and only our friends showed up, so as has happened with so many plans and expenses, it was all down the tubes a long time ago. But at least we are out from under those fees, and can now put that money toward other methods of traveling that suit us better.

The weather has been near perfect, once Hurricane Irma went through last fall. Even the bugs haven't been nearly as bad as everyone says they are. The coldest night we had was down to 26, but only for a couple hours one night. Most nights were in the upper 40s and low 50s. Daytime highs have been mostly upper 60s to high 80s, with an average somewhere in between.

These first couple weeks of March have brought colder nights than we had in February! It's being a roller coaster! We've had very little rain, but neither has every day been sunny. We had our share of partly cloudy to overcast days. In general, February was above normal in temperatures and very nice weather, similar to what we experienced last winter in this area.

February also brought another Valentine's Day potluck dinner, which also timed out very close to Mardi Gras season... only this time, the park did not provide meat. Other residents did, however, and we had a nice well-rounded dinner again... and as usual, we ate way more than we needed to!

At the Valentine's dinner, the tables were decorated with Mardi Gras beads!

Thankfully, the holidays are pretty much done, other than Saint Patrick's Day, but that won't be celebrated here. In fact it has become a sore spot with me, that I will not explain... no disrespect toward the Irish intended. There is a carpool group going to The Villages to join their celebration, although we will not be going, and for us, that's just as well. We need to get away from the crowds and the foods, and get other things done.

I started out at 177 pounds and was on my closest belt notch before Thanksgiving. Thanks to all the holiday food, I am now up to my third belt notch, and have been afraid to even get on the scale! We are now back to eating very light and healthy again, so we will be reasonably fit for the summer. We know ahead of time that come next fall, we'll eat too much all over again!

Speaking of summer, I won't be saying much about it here, other than we have big plans and a big trip in mind, lasting for months. Although I rarely let anyone else dictate our schedule, there are certain social obligations that must be met elsewhere, and since we haven't had the opportunity to really get out and travel as we expected to, this trip will be mostly sightseeing (the obligations won't take long)... and we probably won't return here until sometime next fall... depending upon the weather. And once we return here and make some changes, we may not remain here. Our explorations may take us elsewhere. Things remain to be seen... literally.

Our efforts this winter have been to get things accomplished in preparation for a longer trip this summer, rather than worry about making a lot of small trips during the winter. We do hope to see the Atlantic Ocean again before we leave here, but we have already seen most of the tourist trap things on the east and west coasts in past years. We will likely wait until April to do any running around, after most of the snowbirds have left and traffic settles down again. Although we "kind of" like the climate here (except the high humidity, long rainy periods, black mildew, bugs and traffic), Florida in general has become far too "peopley" to suit our tastes, and the crime rate is too high and too close.

Our goal when we started out was to not only see the country, but in so doing, to find a suitable place to settle down in later years, when we may not want to travel as much. We thought that northern Florida might be that place, but we're still not completely sold on it. So we need to keep moving while we are able, to explore as many places as we can, and be there through the change of seasons, before we can make up our minds about settling down again. And even then, there are only certain people that we will give that information to.

There are certain people (and they know who they are) that chose not to be a part of our lives, and only want to be "nosey" through reading our blogs... and we will no longer be publishing everything we do on them. Those people have chosen to make it none of their business. I have blocked most of them on Facebook, YouTube and other places where I can, but I can't block who reads my blogs. All I can do is monitor comments and be less open with information. Our RV friends and other friends, along with select members of our families will know where we are and what we are doing, and they are the only ones who count. They are the ones who choose to be social and polite, which in reality, is "most" people.

Blogs like this are not of any monetary importance to us, as far as the ads we post, so I have felt no need to follow any schedule in posting updates. We write when we feel like it. Even when we provide a link to blog posts on Facebook, we have found that the people we really wish would read them are too lazy to read them, and if they do, they never comment on them. So this may be the last post until after Memorial weekend. And I will only write then if I am in the mood, and/or have something to say that I feel needs to be said.

I always welcome comments, but it seems the only way I can get them is on Facebook. Although I am very active there, it is a huge time-waster, and I plan to wean myself away from that as I get busier this summer. The last thing I want to do is try to use it as a substitute for blogging. It is NOT a blog and never will be! I have other social accounts, but have never been active on them, either, other than catching up with the posts of others about once a week. However, I may start using another site, as long as it has the capability of blocking people.

I look at social sites the same way I look at people with a phone stuck in their ear all day, and yet have nothing important to say... I have better things to do and more important people to talk to... in person.

Until next time... whenever that is... I'll be keeping it real...

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