Saturday, May 11, 2013

Settling In and Settling Down

Since Denny and I are selling Black Beauty and The Beast, we were in need of transportation.  Here in The Villages, hereafter known as TV in Village speak, one's main mode of transportation is a golf cart or LSV (low speed vehicle which is a very much souped up golf cart/cart based vehicle.)  Therefore this week our cart was delivered.  Introducing The Tortoise and The Hare. 
Learning our way around the golf cart trails is an experience in itself, but so far we've managed to find our way to Sumter Landing and The Paddock for shopping and evenings of drinks and music, as well as visiting with our friends who moved into TV about four miles south of us.  All of this is reachable without driving along main roadways or interfering with traffic which is cool.  Of course, we've already been passed by other residents in their golf carts because Denny and I have a tendency to enjoy the scenery as we're be-bopping along and will stop to look at the great blue herons or to search for alligators in the marshes and that's apparently just simply not done here.  It is a bit surprising to find that retired people are very much in a hurry to get to wherever it is they are going, even at 20mph.  Which is the average speed of the ramped up carts here.  Officially our electric golf cart has been modified to go 19.2 mph, up from the normal speed of 15mph in a regular golf cart.  Gas powered golf carts are a bit faster at 21-22 mph.  Here in TV, much faster than that (25mph) and you'll be getting a speeding ticket.  Seriously.

I've already asked Denny to transplant some bushes that the builders of the house had planted in odd places.  Next year we'll think about a tiny vegetable garden.  I will have to learn what flowers are happy here in Zone 9 before I start investing in a lot of plants, but they have classes for that down here too and I'll be arranging to attend one soon.  Down here there's pretty much a class for everything, actually.  The important one will be the care and feeding of citrus fruit trees and palm trees; that's not something we ever had up in Ohio and we're clueless in how to keep these trees alive and producing.

When we did our walk through with the previous owners of the house, I pointed out an empty nest in the lime tree, which the owners hadn't noticed.  Four weeks later the fledgling mockingbirds left the next.  I was amazed at how quickly the entire process of egg laying to hatching to feeding to pushing the little ones out of the nest occurred.  What I haven't been able to do yet is attract any hummingbirds, which is extremely disappointing because both Denny and I enjoy the antics of these fiercely territorial little birds.
As you can see, Patches is settling in.  Wherever she can.  We have found her on the floorboard of the driver's seat, in the trunk if the convertible top is up and the windows are down or perched on the roof of the car.  What she hasn't done is ride in the car, which won't happen again until we find a veterinarian for her check up and shots.  I don't think she misses traveling very much although she still seems to be searching for The Beast on our nightly walks.

Our friends who introduced us to The Villages have purchased a weed wacker and we've purchased a hedge trimmer--I foresee some trading in our future as storage space is at a premium here.  One of the not-so-good things in the covenants is that you are not supposed to place any storage units or sheds anywhere on your property, so any and all gardening supplies and tools have to be able to fit into the one and a half car garage with the car, the golf cart, tools and "stuff".   Perhaps a good project for Denny will be building some creative shelving for the "stuff" and tools we simply cannot live without for the maintenance of the house and yard.  Building things is something that Denny has missed during our years of RVing.  Certainly we've learned how to put the maximum amount of stuff in the minimum amount of space over the past few years.

And one of these days we'll actually have the time to figure out the golf system here and check out some of the various clubs that are available to broaden our horizons a bit.  Maybe next week...

Wednesday, May 01, 2013


Life is slowing down a tad.  We are assimilating.  Kinda.

When Denny turns over in bed, I wait for the oh-so-slight rocking of The Beast.  The bed is still.

I still occasionally reach for the foot pedal to flush the toilet.

Twice now the wood laminate flooring of the bedroom has gotten soaked because we can't hear the sound of rain on the roof so we sleep through the rain with the window wide open. 
Stick and brick homes have roofs that don't sound like drums being beaten when it rains.  There is no sound at all and that is strange to us after all these years.  It's not better, it's just different.

I have opened the front door and tried to step down onto the set of four steps that don't exist here.  That can be a jarring experience.

Making the bed is a pleasure because I can walk around all three sides and the mattress isn't jammed up against a wall on one side and a built in cupboard on the other so that Denny and I would have to pull the mattress down towards us to be able to change the sheets.  

We have found ourselves a sparkling red convertible and have ordered our "mystic teal" colored golf cart.  Denny and I both have to learn how to gracefully exit the new car; Black Beauty allowed me to simply slide out and step down on the running board to make an exit.  Denny of course could simply step right out with his much longer legs.  At this point, with the convertible it's more a matter of clawing our way out of it.  But we both agree that after all these years without, we still look good in a convertible. *wink*

Here at The Villages, the primary mode of transportation is the golf cart and we've already had our maiden voyage in our loaner golf cart and gotten ourselves turned around and lost using the rather rudimentary maps provided to us.  Fortunately, what Denny and I had been told is true; if you sit there in your cart looking confused and/or frustrated another person in a golf cart will stop and either tell you which way you need to go or as in our case, the nice ladies actually led us to the store we were trying to find.  I'm sure it won't be the last time we'll need assistance.  

One perk has been filling up the gas tank--sixteen gallons of regular gas opposed to eighty-eight gallons of diesel fuel.  That savings will allow us to go out to dinner a couple more times a month!

Next up will be trying to find and schedule the various instructional classes on local plants and flowers, how to maintain our irrigation system, how to work with the system to make tee times at one of the 30+ executive courses and just what recreation center has what class at what time and how long will it take me to get from here to there

The house still echos a bit; we're still without our living room furniture other than the loaner couch given to us by the furniture store but we did get our dining room set so we're no longer eating on the lanai at our folding table except by choice.  The lanai is turning out to be my favorite place because I can enjoy the breeze and people watch.  The cat enjoys it more because the floor is carpeted; she's not fond of the fact that the rest of the house is wood flooring.  Strangely enough, the garage is carpeted so that's the cat's second go-to place.  And no, I have no idea why someone would carpet the garage and I didn't ask the previous owners.  I guess I was almost afraid of the answer.  

Is it weird to be waking up in a house instead of the RV?  Yes, it is.  Are we enjoying the house?  Yes we are.   Will we travel again sometime?  You betcha.  

But for right now, life is pretty darned good.  
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