Okay, I’m seriously behind the power curve here, having lost 5 days or so (maybe more?) on chronicling my adventures. . . I’m now sitting on my patio, under my awning, with my laptop, and the weather is fine. Well, I went to Siesta beach on Tuesday — the only nice day of the week, turns out — and it was wonderful! The weather was fabulous, and the beach was gorgeous: white sand, soft and cool to the touch, shimmering ocean, a really laid-back pelican flying along the beach. I even took some pictures — including one of the pretty lifeguard (male, of course) — but I wiped them all out when I reformatted my card thinking I had saved them to my computer already. Dang! I had my towel next to another single female on the beach, and I noticed she had a notepad and pen and was writing periodically. (Note to self: if you wanna be a writer, you have to have writing supplies with you at all times. . .) So instead I just laid back on my towel and enjoyed the cooling breeze in the hot sun. Since I was leary of staying too long, with my pasty white northern skin even with 30 SPF sunscreen, I left after about an hour. The only mishap occurred when I was leaving, when I was suddenly blinded by my sunscreen and had to stumble to my car with only one eye to guide me (another note to self: don’t apply sunscreen too close to eyes, and wipe hands afterward). . .
So the next few days were. . . awful! It rained all 3 or 4 days, and it was cool — 50s and 60s. I tried to get some things done in the RV, like cleaning, freshening, etc., but I wanted my Florida back! I had put my awning down finally, just in time for the rain and high winds. I spent the next couple of days trying to figure out how to get it retracted so it wouldn’t be destroyed in the wind (those things are darned expensive!). One morning, the winds were buffeting the thing so hard that the sound woke me up at 5am. So here I was outside, in the rain and wind, in my pajamas (flannel, if you must know), at 5am wrestling with the awning — with no success. After about 15 minutes, I decided to leave the awning’s fate to Providence (as if Providence cares what happens to my awning) and went back to bed. I had been woken up several times in the night by the sound of the damned awning, so I didn’t actually get out of bed until sometime after 9am. Imagine my surprise to find my door wide open when I got up! Apparently, I had failed to properly shut and lock my door at 5am, and I had no idea how long it had been open (with my furnace running the whole time, by the way). Fortunately, I prepaid for electric in this park.
That morning I went back outside and worked with the awning until I figured out how to retract it. Well, actually I didn’t figure it out. My neighbors took pity on me when they got back from their errand and saw me still working on the awning, which I had been working on when they left, and came over to help. That chore accomplished, I decided to make the spaghetti sauce I had planned — perfect weather for it! — and I wanted to use my new 6-in-1 pot to make it. Since I have no idea how to make a small batch of spaghetti sauce, I asked my neighbors to bring over a storage container so I could share the spaghetti sauce with them — and I even asked the neighbors on the other side if they wanted some too. The pot worked like a charm: sauteing the meat, onions and garlic (one function), then slow-cooking the sauce with the remaining ingredients for two hours (two functions). After two hours, though, the sauce had become diluted too much and was runny without much flavor, so I added salt and decided to use a third function — browning — to thicken it up a bit. That was my first mistake, unfortunately. I either had the pot on the wrong setting (again, no manual), or cooked it too long. The sauce stuck to the pot as it burnt, and I made the second mistake of stirring it, mixing the burnt part in with what remained of the good stuff. . . My third mistake was actually taking it to the neighbors! They were very gracious about it, even telling me they couldn’t taste the burnt part, but it was definitely there. . .
So much for being a good neighbor. So far, I had had to have them help me back into my spot, in the dark, help me hook up my electric, help with my non-functioning leveling jacks, help with my awning, and probably several other things I can’t remember right now, but the final straw was giving them burnt spaghetti sauce as payment. . . Apparently, I hadn’t used up my quota, though, because both female neighbors were there to help me hook up my car to the RV when I pulled out, and they thanked me for the spaghetti sauce! RVers are a wonderful bunch of people, I’ve decided. On the other hand, they were probably just grateful I hadn’t taken out their RVs when I pulled mine out! Off to the dealer for battery installation (and a rear brake sensor replacement) for a grand total of a tad over $500. This lifestyle ain’t cheap! And thus concludes my first week in the RV. . .