Friday, February 07, 2020

California Here We Come!

Tomorrow at noon Clarence my ride will pick me up here at Casa Tipton-Kelly for a 2 1/2 hour drive to the Philadelphia International airport.  

My flight takes off tomorrow at 7:11 AM.  I'm leaving a day early and staying overnight at the Marriott Airport Hotel instead of getting up at 3:15 AM Sunday morning for my flight to Palm Springs, California.

While I'm in Philly, I'm going to see Don McK., our twice a year Philadelphia host, for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.

I plan to blog during our two weeks in Palm Springs but I can't guarantee how often. I know from previous trips, Pat and I get caught up in doing so much that before I know it, we're catching our flights back east.

As I have probably said before, this year we won't be going to Los Angeles. No standing in line for four hours at "The Price Is Right" CBS studio in West Hollywood, hoping for a chance to hear the call "Come on down!"  We've tried this five times (or is it six?), no go.  

I'm having second thoughts about not spending time in Los Angeles. I got so spoiled during our stays in Palm Springs that I decided to forego the LA traffic and just spend two very relaxing weeks in beautiful relaxing Palm Springs. I probably made a mistake. Next year we'll go back to our original schedule; a week in LA and a week in Palm Springs.

Something else I'm noticing this time, I more nervous about these impending trips. This year I have to make a connecting flight (Dallas-Fort Worth).  Back in my Flaming Youth (the 70's) I used to make a connecting flight two, three and even four times a year when I flew to Provincetown, Mass. The connecting flight was in Boston.  I had no problem with making that connection. This time, I'm nervous.  Maybe it's because I'm older and less steady on my feet or maybe because I haven't made a connecting flight in forty years.  

The next time I blog hopefully I'll be in California with my Tavel Buddy Pat. 

See you then!

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Rug Cleaning


Today we got our carpet and area rugs cleaned!

Remember last week when I posted that Bill brought in some dog poop into the house and tracked it up our carpeted stairs to the second floor?  I've felt icky all week but today I feel great!

I also had several of our oriental area rugs and our basement stairs cleaned along with the now cleared out finished basement wall to wall carpet.  Wow, that was a long sentence. 

Just a few more chores to do before I leave Saturday for Philadelphia to catch my early (7:11AM) flight to Palm Springs with a stopover at the Fort Worth-Dallas airport. First time for me in Texas folks. Won't be staying long though. 

Our previous house we had all oak flooring. With our home here I decided to go with wall to wall carpet in most of the house except for the entry way, kitchen and living room. If I had it to do over again I think I would go with all wood flooring again.  Much easier to clean. But I do like the wall to wall carpeting in the bedrooms and the basement living room area.  

Today was a good day folks. 

Friday, January 31, 2020

Ron Dances!

I've always liked to dance. Slow dance, fast dance. I've never considered myself a particularly good dancer but I do enjoy dancing. This folks is my "Elaine" (see Seinfeld episode) dance.

This week has been particularly trying, especially after loosing my neighbor and good friend Barbara. Now who am I going to gossip about the neighbors with?  Another chunk of my life gone. But of course my loss is nothing compared to her husband's loss. I see he still has company over there. I've told him that Bill and I will help him out whenever he needs us. 

Tuesday the rug cleaners are coming by. I want to have the rug in our basement also cleaned. But first I had to finish gong through my accumulation of things I don't need over the past fifty-five years. Things that I find very hard to get rid of but I am making progress folks. Today I made a lot of progress. Thus a little dance show for you all.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Dog Poop On The Stairs

The last week has been somewhat hectic. On Sunday my dear (next door) neighbor Barbara died. 

Monday my boss asked I could work two extra nights this week at work to fill in for my co-worker who has the flu. 

Also on Monday my HVAC service company did its annual inspection. And of course, just like a car dealership they found a potential, expensive problem that should be addressed. I addressed it $.

Yesterday my Computer Guy (expensive) came in to try and solve my Time Machine backup problem on my iMac. After many hours on the phone with Apple Support I still can't get my Time Machine to work (I suspect the new Apple operating system Catalina is the culprit.)  He could fix it either.

This morning I took Bill down to the Georgetown VA for the results of his labs.  The labs were good but Bill is still upset about losing his sight to macular degeneration. He wants it fixed. I don't think it can be fixed but I agreed to make an appointment for him at the Wilmington VA (89 miles away, requires a ride up in the American Legion van - shoots the morning). I don't think their eye clinic will make a difference but if this puts Bill's mind at ease, it's worth the trip.

When we returned today I noticed brown smudge marks on the carpeted stairs to the second floor bathroom that Bill prefers to use. Upon closer examination I determined this was dog poop. Probably my neighbor's (our neighbor on the other side) dog. I checked Bill's moccasin and sure enough, there was the same mocha colored dog poop embedded in the front sole of his right shoe. Poor Bill, he just can't see. 

We take our shoes off when we enter our house. But Bill doesn't always take his shoes (moccasins) off when he goes outside to check the mail. He knows I want him to take his moccasins off and put on his outside shoes but he often doesn't do this when I'm not looking. 

I hate berating him when he does this because it upsets him so much but folks, I have to tell you, I am exhausted.

I called my carpet cleaning company an arranged for them to come out next week to clean the stairs and where ever else I think Bill tracked this dog poop through our carpeted house. 

After I did that I had lunch and tried to take a nap but to no avail. I knew I was going to an afternoon viewing of my neighbor on the way to work.  

I took a shower, dressed and left early for work, stopping by the funeral home first to pay my respects. I hate these viewings because I always get so emotional. I try very hard not to be a blubbering fool.

Of course the service was beautiful. My neighbor Barbara would approve. I paid my respects to some of her friends and her husband, barely able not to breakdown in sobs. 

As I opened the front door of the funeral home to return to my car, the January sun washed over me. Barb would be so pleased that the day her family and friends paid their respects, the weather was perfect. Barb so loved this coastal area. Not for her a gray, cold, rainy day for her service. 

Now for tomorrow. One more day of work then I can start preparing for my trip a week from this Sunday to sunny Palm Springs. Of course this weekend I have to live through knowing dog poop is on our beautifully carpeted steps upstairs. I've already covered each "smudge" with a Bounty paper towel. It helps but I know they'll be there until next Tuesday when, hopefully, they'll get steamed out. 

I'm ready to coast for a while. 

Monday, January 27, 2020

Sixty Year Anniversary Joining Army

Private Ronald Tipton - 1960

Yesterday I posted that I was taking a hiatus from blogging. I changed my mind. Writing is my therapy so I have to continue to write. 

My neighbor Barbara's death, even though it was expected, hit me harder than I thought it would. No longer can I stop over and visit with her, talking about whatever, usually about neighborhood gossip, which was always in a good natured way and fun and we both knew it. She was curious about "the gay lifestyle". We had many interesting conversations about that subject of which I may write about later. But today's date, January 27th, is a date that is embedded in my mind forever. January 27th was the day I joined the Army. One of the most momentous dates in my life.

Sixty years ago I was a scared eighteen year old taking a train to Philadelphia to catch a bus to Ft. Dix New Jersey for eight weeks of Army Basic Training. I was leaving my old, sheltered word behind and entering the Unknown.  

I won't go into all the details of those eight weeks (which I still remember vividly) at this time but I did want to mark this date. 

Wow, the past sixty years have been quite a life experience for this dumb ass kid from a small town in Pennsylvania. And I have to tell you folks, I couldn't have taken a better path. 

That chance choice to join the Army (I was originally going to join the Navy) charted the course for the rest of my life, including where I live now.  

I don't know how many years I have left but what I do know is that I have been blessed with good fortune and a good life beyond my wildest dreams when I was that naive eighteen year old boarding that train from Downingtown Pennsylvania to Philadelphia this date sixty years ago.  

My neighbor's death this past weekend reminded me of how fragile life is and how quickly it can end. In two weeks I depart on a big plane from Philadelphia for the sunny, warm Palm Springs with my good friend Pat. 

I live for the day folks and appreciate every day that I am in good health body and mind. 

Have a great day!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

The Passing of a Friend

My beautiful neighbor Barbara who passed away last night. I presented her with these beautiful gladiolus that I grew a few years ago. I told her "You're Miss America!" She accepted! Barb, thank you for being such a fabulous neighbor.

I'm taking a brief hiatus friends from my blog postings. The last week or two has been very hectic and I just haven't been in the mood for a bright and cheery blog posting. Then today, just a few minutes ago my neighbor informed me that his wife died last night. This was not unexpected but still it is a shock to the system when someone you know and like so well, is no longer with us. A piece of my life is gone.

These people (no names out of respect for their privacy) are the best neighbors Bill and I have ever had in our fifty-five years of living together. And the irony is that we are of totally differing political views. They hated Obama and Hillary and love Trump. And of course you know where I stand on Trump (Criminal in the White House that is destroying our democracy).  But even with our differences we loved and respected one another. More times than I can count my neighbor accompanied either Bill or me to the emergency room during our numerous visits, offering support to both of us.  One time she came down at 2:30 AM to pick me up at the emergency room when Bill had to stay in the hospital even though she was groggy on sleeping pills which she had taken earlier. 

So often I've told friends and co-workers how lucky I was to have them for our neighbors. Bill and I have had some doozy neighbors too but all was right in Heaven when we lucked out with these fine people for our neighbors.  Hardly a day went by that I didn't appreciate having them for neighbors. And she made the best beef stew too, which I could never quite get right when I tried to make her recipe.  She loved my crescent cookies. I made her some for her birthday in December and was going to make her some more. But last week when I stopped over to give her some of my old People magazines, her good friend and another neighbor was with her and gave me That Look. I knew immediately it wasn't a good time to visit. She was suffering from COPD (for several years) and that day was particularly bad. And as I said previously in this post, I expected the worst. But you know folks, when it actually happens, it's like a punch in the gut. I had the same feeling when I was informed of my father's death. I was never close with him but he was my father. When it sunk into me that I would never see him again, that he would never be part of my life again, I felt like someone just took all the air out of me. This is the way I felt when my neighbor told me his wife died last night.  She was such a part of my life, now no more.  

I have to be honest with you folks, the last several weeks I've been down (melancholy) because of the realization that Bill, at ninety-one years of age, is failing. Not in a drastically way but gradually his age is catching up with him. His eyesight is failing (macular degeneration) and I see a change in cognitive abilities. He's hard of hearing and easily confused. I've been thinking about the quandary I'm in. I'll be lost without him in my life but I don't want to die before him and leave him to face the world alone. He couldn't do it.  That's what has been on my mind a lot lately folks. That and the fact that my youngest brother is also in failing health, so much so that he can't even receive a visit from me and Bill.  I doubt if I'll ever see him alive again.  

I've been having weird dreams. I've been reliving memorable vignettes of my life, which sometimes sadden me. This past two weeks I've been sorting through some of my thousands of pictures and videos (over 100,000) on my computer. They're bringing back memories of happier and healthier times with friends, family and former co-workers who are now gone. I have to catch myself sometimes from slipping into a mild depression and lift myself up to look at all the good I have left in my life.  And I do have a lot left.

I will end this diatribe now. Writing is my therapy. Perhaps this wasn't the best time to write about the passing of my beloved neighbor but I had to do something before I lose it. 

Have a great day everyone!

Two good friends now gone, Barb with Wayne "The Cajun" Juneau. They are both at peace now and no longer suffering. I hope they are able to meet up wherever one goes when one passes from this life. I just know they will have a fabulous time.

Friday, January 17, 2020

January Musings

Modernism Week Palm Springs during our visit 2018 - perfect weather, paradise on earth!

Another week has flown by already. I remember those days when I used to post a blog daily, sometimes twice a day. Apparently those days are over. Just too much to do these days.

Like today, I'm working at the hotel filling in for my co-worker who is visiting his family in his home country of Turkey. At one time I was working five days in a row until my other co-worker noticed and offered to fill in for me Sunday. Thanks Don!

What's keeping me busy these days is just running our household. I am Bill's caregiver but he's sweet and doesn't take up a lot of my time. Thank goodness. My Mother, who was a saint, wasn't so pleasant during her later years which my brother and his wife had to deal with. Bill is just sweet and cooperative. I make him his pudding, provide him with his favorite candy (peppermint bark) and favorite soup (carrot ginger soup).

In a few weeks I'll be headed off for our (me and Pat) annual Palm Springs Winter Adventure. We'll be in Palm Springs for two weeks.  In the past during our annual California trip, we spent a week in Los Angeles and a week in Palm Springs. Last year we were so comfortable in Palm Springs during Modernism Week, I decided that we should just stay in Palm Springs for the whole two weeks. Now I'm regretting it because I will miss our usual West Hollywood hangouts (Veggie Grill, Shag, Alfred's and The Price Is Right tv show).  Next year we'll do the week in Hollywood and a week in Palm Springs. 

Last week we had Palm Springs temperatures here (68 degrees) which was lovely.  Now we're back to the freezing temperatures (35 degrees).  Some snow is forecast for this Saturday. I'm hoping that there is no snow when I leave for my flight on February 9th.  I had to make a hotel reservation the night before my flight because American Airlines changed by flight departure from 10:11 AM Sunday to 7:09 AM Sunday morning. It takes me at least two and a half hours to get to the airport. That means my ride Clarence would have to get up at 3:30 AM to take me to the airport. I can't put him through that.  So I'll leave the day before, Saturday and luxuriate the airport Marriott.

I'm ready folks for balmy Palm Springs. Now to decide what to wear.