While I have written several drafts over the past couple of months, I haven’t posted any. Sorry for my absence from the blog for so long. It seems I can’t manage to write anything after a trip away from here (the last being my trip to Sedona to see my dad in September!).
After four months in Fort De Soto as a camp host, I was ready for a break from the heat and the dramatic increase in socialization that I get in a place with lots of friends surrounding me.
My Current Status
So I am now in Dunedin, which is my favorite place to be, and I’ve been very busy, as you’ll see. There have been issues, including the second flat tire on my car, even though I put on all new tires in the past year. And the latest was the demise of my convection microwave after cooking an 11-pound turkey in it! Those problems were solved, fortunately, but it’s getting more difficult (i.e., expensive) to solve problems easily. Which brings me to the dilemma I’m facing: how to sustain my lifestyle while having a lifestyle to sustain.
I’ve looked into several options for working online, which I could do anywhere. The most promising of those is doing transcription, but it’s difficult to break into that field if you haven’t done it for a while; the last time I did transcription was medical transcription in the early 2000s. Another option is writing — whether copywriting, proofing, editing, etc. The most obvious problem with that option is that I’m just now writing a new blog two months after the previous one.
My friend in Largo and I are discussing starting a photography business, in which we photograph anything that can be photographed (with the exception of large weddings — neither of us is interested in that headache). We also want to sell our photographs as artwork, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. So, how to begin? Clearly, I’ll need something else to make money with while the business gets established.
In the meantime, I’ve been busy changing things out in the RV. I’ve hated my carpet from the time I moved in. It was 12 years old, and I couldn’t even tell what color it had been (although I could tell that I wouldn’t have liked it in any shade!). So I decided to take care of it by ripping it all out — the carpet and the old vinyl — and replacing it with flooring I’d heard about through several other RVer blogs. I started ripping it out a few weeks ago, shortly after I arrived in Dunedin, and I did it fairly quickly so I couldn’t change my mind. No turning back now!
I noticed immediately that I preferred the particle board floors to the carpeted ones, so I was on the right track. . . I purchased the flooring — Allure, in bamboo — and put it on the floor in the RV to acclimate (it needs 24-48 hours for this, at 65 degrees or above, so I had to run my furnace since the temperature had dropped to nearly 25 degrees overnight). While I waited, I kept pulling carpeting and staples out (seemingly an unending chore).
As soon as I could, I started laying the flooring, and immediately ran into a problem: my floors weren’t straight, nor were the walls, my bedframe, or anything else in the RV. I spent a full day trying to get the planks lined up properly next to my bed, afraid to move beyond that area for fear I’d have a crooked floor throughout the RV. (Note to self: use a chalk line if you ever decide to do something like this again).
On the second day, I moved beyond the bedroom and into the hallway — progress! Unfortunately, again, I had difficult cuts to make and some tricky piecing-together to do. Another day down, and I had laid flooring only around the shower area — just a foot from the foot of my bed. . . By the third day, I worked exclusively on a single area — just under my refrigerator — on a single board to fit the weird jogs in the floor while trying to make it look seamless.
I realized that I was being way too picky about the floor, and at this rate I’d finish sometime in January, having to live with a mess for a couple of months. My desire to ensure everything lined up perfectly was making me physically ill (I ended up with debilitating headaches a couple of nights in a row), so I got online to see if there was something to fill the cracks that were cropping up between the planks in the floor to make them less obvious. I found a product that was ostensibly sold at Home Depot, called a seam filler, and I gave myself permission to just forge ahead — perfectly-aligned seams be damned!
Once I decided the floor didn’t have to be perfect, it went much faster. I was still running into areas that had weird cuts to be made, but I was getting much better at trimming and fitting them in. In fact, I was getting really good at it! Buoyed by my progress, I went to Home Depot to get the seam filler and pick up the quarter round I’ll need to finish off the floor, but I found out that the seam filler doesn’t exist, apparently. I’m not sure who propagated the rumor that it did, but Home Depot hadn’t heard of it, and there’s not even any evidence of it on the manufacturer’s website. So much for the internet’s reliability (uh-huh) . . . And I didn’t get the quarter round because what I wanted was $32 per 94″ board — ouch! I have to think about that some more. . . I came home with a little saw-like took to cut out the trim for the floor to fit underneath and several tubes of silicone caulk that I plan to use to seal the perimeter of the floor — oh, and a new hammer, since I can’t find mine anymore.
A week later, I’m nearly finished (or so I tell myself), with just the area under the slide and the stairwell to go. I attempted to caulk around the shower, and what a disaster that was. I can’t use a caulk gun to save my life, so I ended up with caulk everywhere except where I wanted it (might have to hire that one out). . . I’ve also been searching for things online to finish off the floor — quarter round, transition strips, etc. — but haven’t found exactly what I’m looking for (and the budget took a hit with the $300 convection microwave replacement). My biggest fear at this point is that I’ll leave the floor unfinished, knowing my tendency to put uncomfortable things off indefinitely.
Here’s where I’ve left off for the time being (with Thanksgiving cropping up at such an inconvenient time):
I love the look so far! I really hated that carpet, and this looks and feels so much cleaner (even with the gaps). My work is cut out for me, but I’m confident I’ll get it done . . . someday.
I hope to be able to write about some trips I’ve made since September in upcoming blogs, including a trip with my friend to Sanibel/Captiva Island, and a solo trip to Egmont Key on a ferry from Fort De Soto. Hopefully next week?