We were up a bit later than usual last night and did not get out of bed until 8:15 AM this morning. The temperature outside had dropped to 36 degrees F overnight and it was cool in the coach which was one of the reasons we slept well and lingered under the covers (where I had my heater pad turned on). I put my sweatpants and sweatshirt under the covers to warm them up before getting up and putting them on. Linda just braved the chill and put on her sweats without warming them first. She’s tougher than I am.
We like to keep track of the weather back home and in other places where we have friends, like Quartzsite, AZ, and the weather apps on our iPads and smartphones make that very easy to do. At 10 AM EST it was 25 at home going up to 28 with an overnight low of 23. Here in Williston it was 48 going up to 62 with an overnight low of 39. Arcadia, where we will be in January and February, was presently 58 going up to 73 and dropping to 55 overnight. Four hours farther south actually matters in Florida, which has four somewhat distinct climate zones. Quartzsite, 2,000 miles west of us, was 38 (at 8 AM local time) going up to 67 and dropping back to 39 overnight. All things considered Williston was a pretty nice place to be this time of year.
Once I was up I fed the cats, who always insist that their needs are met first, and then turned on the three thermostats for the Aqua-Hot hydronic heating system, set the temperature controls, and turned on the diesel burner. I made a pot of coffee and Linda started cooking oatmeal for our breakfast.
We were done with breakfast by 9:30 and Linda had the dishes cleaned shortly thereafter. We doodled on our iPads while we enjoyed the rest of our coffee. Nick Russell sent out the link for the January-February 2016 issue of The Gypsy Journal yesterday. I forwarded it on to our iPads last night and we downloaded it to our devices this morning. It is the 100th issue that Nick has published and the last one he will produce on newsprint. Starting with the March-April 2016 issue the Journal will only be available in digital form. That will not be a problem for us as we switched to the digital version only several years ago, but it is sad that smaller specialty publications cannot survive in printed form. I think it is inevitable that Bus Conversion Magazine will also go digital only, if it survives long enough to make that switch and then survives the transition.
Nick has had a small army of friends take bundles of newspapers and leave them in RV park offices on their travels and has picked up new subscribers that way, but the newspaper is well enough positioned at this point, with a large enough subscriber base, that he should continue to do very well. Even if the number of subscribers levels off, or even shrinks slightly, his profitability should increase nicely now that he is rid of the printing and mailing costs.
Nick and Terry will also have what we called “found time” at the education agency when some task, meeting, or other commitment on our time evaporated and we suddenly, and unexpectedly, “found” time to work on other things. As highly mobile full-timers Nick and Terry were always arranging for printers in different parts of the country, picking up the newspapers, folding and stuffing them in envelopes, printing address labels and putting them on the envelopes, and taking them to a post office, as well as carting around the extras and leaving them in campground offices or giving them to friends to distribute. All of that took a lot of time; time they can now use for other things.
Yesterday Linda was looking at the website for Big Tree RV Resort in Arcadia, Florida where we will be in January, February, and early March. She ended up looking at the AllStays Camp and RV listing for the resort and discovered a photo of OUR bus that I took two years ago in our site here at Williston Crossings RV Resort! The information attached to the image pointed back to our website as the source and said “…the image may be copyrighted.” I have looked at ways to add a copyright notice to all of the images on our website/blog but never implemented one. I guess I really should.
After breakfast we opened the packet of felt chair leg caps and put four of them on the folding card table chair we use at the desk. It looked like they would do just what we needed them to do so we removed the towel we had been using to protect the floor. My focus today was working on our blog but first I spent a little time updating my spreadsheet for our spring/summer 2016 water bay project. I uploaded seven blog posts a few days ago but have been concentrating on selecting and processing photos since then. This morning I decided to resume working on posts. My goal was to finish editing the posts for the remainder of August (2015), select the spots to insert the selected photos, clean up the writing, and start uploading them to the server.
We took a lunch break at 12:45 PM and had mock deli slice sandwiches on flatbread and split a fresh apple. Linda started to work on her counted cross-stitch project for grand-daughter Katie but realized the larger grid base material she bought was too small. She found something on Amazon that would work and ordered it for delivery on Tuesday. She then searched online for someplace in the area to buy a Tofurkey vegan mock turkey roll. It looked like Earth Origins in Gainesville sold them so she decided to drive into town and get one rather than wait until next week and risk not having any available. I stayed behind and continued working on my blog posts.
With the outside temperature only rising into the low 60’s we kept the motorcoach closed up today. By 2 PM the temperature in the front half of the coach was a very pleasant 76 degrees F. It was cooler in the back as most of the window area is in the front half of the bus, including the large southwest facing windshields.
Linda returned from her trip to Gainesville with more than just a vegan mock turkey roll. Besides the Tofurkey brand products Earth Origins also had Gardeine brand products. We have had other Gardeine products that were very good so she decided to try their mock stuffed turkey roll. As long as she was there she picked up a half dozen other frozen entrees to try.
I had just finished editing the posts for August when Linda suggested we go for a walk. It was 4 PM and the late afternoon light was nice so I took the camera. We only made it a couple of sites up the road and stopped to talk to the new arrivals from Alaska. We had no sooner resumed our walk when Linda got a call from Diane. John had surgery recently, and will be off work until after the holidays, but is recovering nicely. We strolled along slowly while they talked and I took a few pictures. I wore my sweater but the sun was already behind the trees and I was pretty quickly uncomfortably cool in the shade.
We crossed paths with John and Ali and stopped to chat for a while. We learned last night at the campfire that Jeff and Kathy’s dog Teddy had succumbed to his lymphoma this past Sunday. Teddy was very sweet and we know how difficult it is when a pet dies. We also learned that Jeff had been taken to the hospital in Ocala and was scheduled to have a colonoscopy earlier today. The report back from Kathy was that he might have colitis.
When we got back to our rig Linda made hot hibiscus tea. I had planned to upload some blog posts today but I had spent enough time in front of my computer for one day and sat on the couch with my iPad for a while instead. I rarely take naps but I am not opposed to the idea. I laid down at 5:15 PM and dozed until Linda got me up at 6 for dinner.
After dinner we both changed into warmer clothes and Linda packed our wine to take to the fire circle. We got there a little before 7 PM, later than usual, but the only people there were John, Big Mike, Jim (Sonny Fox), and Tom (from Hilton Head, SC). Another couple, who have the site just east of John and Ali, showed up just after us but that was it for the evening and John did not get his guitar and perform. Besides the much cooler weather there was a dinner/dance at the clubhouse this evening, so John had anticipated a smaller than usual crowd. That was nice in a way, both for him and us, as we got to talk more than usual.
The temperature had already dropped into the lower 50’s at 7 PM. In spite of our best efforts we were not able to get the fire really hot, and did want to build it too large, so by 9 PM it had dropped into the mid-40’s and everyone had left except for me and John. I spread out the fire and put the implements in the shed and John locked it. He joined Ali at Jeff at Kathy’s fifth wheel trailer, where Ali was visiting with Kathy, and I walked back to our rig.
Linda was in her sweats with her blanket over her legs reading her latest e-book with a cat on her lap. I changed into my sweats but did not feel like doing much of anything. I flipped through TV channels but did not find anything that caught my interest. PBS was running a Peter, Paul, and Mary 50th anniversary special, which would normally have been very interesting to me, but it was a fund raiser made up of old clips, interviews, and pleas for money and I just was not in the humor.
The temperature in the coach had dropped to 68 but we both felt a little chilled so I turned on the front thermostat and Aqua-Hot diesel burner. I made a cup of hot decaf chai tea, played a few games on my iPad, and worked on this post before finally going to bed at 11:30 PM and going to sleep.