Monday, August 12, 2019

Blog Update - Where Have I Been?



Folks, I'm falling behind in my blog posts as perhaps regular followers of my blog have noticed.

The reasons for my tardiness are many and myriad but the fact remains, that I'm having trouble keeping up with regular blog posts. 

I have so much going on in my life now that takes precedence over my blog posts. 

One of the main reasons is that this is summertime and I have a lot of outside responsibilities. Most of this summer have been very hot and humid. Dragging myself through this summer has been exhausting with all the different problems that needed to be resolved. 

And last but not least, I am Bill's caregiver which is taking my more and more of my time. I do not complain about being Bill's caregiver but it is time consuming at times. Thank goodness he is still mobile and able to take care of himself most of the time. Could be a lot worse and for which I am thankful it is not.

Another responsibility that has been consuming my time has been my job at the hotel. Even though I work part-time two days a week, I've been called on to work more than two days a week for the past six months filling in for my co-workers for their emergencies, of which there have been plenty this year including the resignation of a longtime full-time worker which required filling in for her and training her replacement.  Thank goodness that situation has calmed down, for now anyway.

In two weeks time I leave for my annual visit to my good friend Pat in Canada. I'm looking forward to taking a break from the summertime routine here. Of course I have to check in with Bill every day but I do have a chance to breath. 

I am looking forward to summer ending and the autumn weather rolling in, providing some relief from all the gardening problems I've had this year. 

In summation, if you don't see a regular blog posting from me, do not despair. I'll be back, eventually. 






Saturday, August 03, 2019

My New Favorite Movie Idol




When I was very young, ages ago, in the Fifties I used to go to the movies every Saturday matinee.  

Like any young gay boy of the Fifties (of which I was the only one of course) I had my movie idols. Those gorgeous men who made my heart throb and engender those "stirrings" in me that often resulted in wet dreams.  Yes, I said it.

One of my first movie idols was Farley Granger. 


Farley Granger - 50's movie idol (not a nice person, I found out later)
I remember watching a series of films he was in with Shelley Winters. Every time Farley's gorgeous face came on the screen in one of those giant closeups, my heart would skip a beat. "If only" I thought this handsome man could whisk me away from my dull, hum drum life on Washington Avenue and transport me off to what I imagined paradise to me.  Many years later when I saw an older Farley on a TV soap opera (he still looked pretty good by the way) I thought "What was I thinking?"  This guy is obviously gay and just a pretty boy and still in the closet at that. Something that has always turned me off about some gay guys.

Another heart throb of mine was Guy Madison. 


Guy Madison -"Wild Bill" - be still my heart!
Oh how I used to watch those early TV episodes of "Will Bill Hitchcok".  Guy with that nice slim bod of his in that fringed buckskin outfit he wore. More skipping of my heartbeat when I watch "Will Bill" sling it out in a gun fight kneeling down hiding behind those giant rocks with bullets ricocheting all over the place. Take me away Will Bill!  Later on in life I saw Wild Bill, aged but still looking pretty darn good.  However, I had lost my interest in him by then.  Even when I saw nude pictures of him, nothing there.  

Since that time I can't remember one movie actor that has caused my long dormant feelings longing for the unattainable to rekindle. That ended a few weeks ago when I began watching this Australian TV series called "A Place to Call Home."  

The series is about a woman returning to her home in Australia in the early Fifties after twenty years in Europe, including World War II and the Spanish Civil War.  On the ship home she meets a man accompanying his mother to their home in Australia.  He is in his fifties and his name is George Bligh.  They meet in the hallway of the ship they're traveling on after "Sarah", the main character attended his mother who has a heart condition.  Sarah is a nurse.  "George" lays his eyes on Sarah and is immediately taken with her. I lay my eyes on George and am immediately taken with him.  

Those eyes; sparkling, inquisitive and providing a window into his good soul. 

As George makes eye contact with Sarah, he smiles. A crooked smile. I am a sucker for crooked smiles.

George approaches Sarah to introduce himself and I notice he has the same posture as I do, rounded shoulders and neck protruding forward.  All my life I wanted a ramrod straight back but could never have one because I have curvature of the spine. I always thought it was my fault I didn't have a straight back posture because I was lazy or defective in someway.  I found out much later in life I have the very common condition of curvature of the spine.  I was not alone. However, I never saw an actor who had the same condition I did. Now I did. And he was handsome and charming.  Who was this man?  I checked and I found his name is Brett Climo.  Never heard of him!

All my adult life, I always felt left out because I never fell for the charms of the movie and TV actors, Brad Pitt does nothing for me. In fact I don't even like him as a person. I've seen some of his interviews and he comes across as a pompous, self absorbed ass. Not likable at all.

I could go down a whole list of actors that many others find movie idol worthy:

Leonardo DiCaprio
Johnny Depp
Matthew McConaughey (ugh!)
Tom Hanks
Roberty Downey
Christian Bale (are you kidding?)
Matt Damon (nice guy, sexless to me)
Bradley Cooper (I do like Bradley)
Timothy Chalamet (I DO not understand)

Just a short list, I could go on. Many other fine actors but no one I would want to have dinner (or more) with. No one that lights up the screen for me. But this Brett Climo, I LOVE this guy!

Who knew I still had those fires raging within me?  

Maybe someday I'll get to met Brett in person. But that's about all, he's straight and married. Shame.

By the way, I like the older Brett much better than the younger Brett. I'm into older guys. Always have been, always will.


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Back to the Heat



Has it been a week already since I last posted? Wow, just where does the time go? 

At this time of my life I forget most of what I've done the previous week.  Heck, I forget what I id this morning.

What I do remember is that last week I asked my lawn control company, which I've been using for years, to give our lawn a treatment for wire grass.  Well, I don't know what they put on our lawn, but it's not looking too pure.  Talk about throwing the baby out with the wastewater, I guess their application will kill the wire grass this year (the wire grass will return next year, wire grass is the "Jason" of weeds, it keeps coming back), but their application also killed large swatches of perfectly healthy grass and my tender impatients plants that were gracing the side of our house and were giving us many hours of pleasure looking upon their gentle beauty.  Not now, our lawn and the accompanying flowers and plants bordering our lawn look like the aftermath an Agent Orange attack in a Vietnamese village.  I called my lawn care company this morning and asked them what in the hell they put on our lawn.  She said the manager would call be back.  Of course he didn't. 
I'm not asking for my money back but I am curious as to what he put our lawn.

Another interesting development here is the ants have returned.  They invaded our kitchen back in April, en masse. I purchased liquid ant traps to fool the worker ants to take the deadly poison back to the queen ant. That took care of that invasion. Now they're back, from a different location.  More ant traps purchased and placed and they too are slowly disappearing.  I've been told this house is over an ant trail that is hundreds if not thousands of years old and I'm The Intruder.  So I guess all I can do is a holding action but for now, I can sit at my counter and have my lunch of hummus and homemade tomato soup without brushing off the ants from the ridge of my bowl and running up my hairy arms.

Bill and I are going through a spate of doctor's appointments. Yesterday we visited Bill's doctor at the VA Outpatient Clinic in Georgetown. Bill passed his labs!  Healthy heart beat, all vital signs healthy.  Bill's only problems are his hearing (getting worse), eyesight (macular degenerations) and swelling in his lower extremities.  But other than those age related ailments, Bill is one healthy man. I keep telling him he will out live us all.

Tomorrow I have my annual visit with my cardiologist. I have an extra heartbeat. Nothing too serious but I do fatigue easily. Just a defective lower ventricle valve not closing properly. As my doctor told me when he first discovered my heart was wearing out was "That valve has been working non-stop since 1941, think of that."  I know I'm working on Bonus Time now folks. 

By the way, the HEAT is back.  Remember when 80 degrees was considered hot?  Now days 90 degrees is considered "normal."  I am already rethinking my plantings for next year that can take this relentless hot, humid weather which I fully expect to continue as global warming continues. 

I had the plumber in today to check out the swampy smell beneath our kitchen sink. They deduced the problem came from our automatic dishwasher which I NEVER use.  Bill and I never use an automatic dishwasher.  So I got some dusty cooking pans together and ran the dishwasher. Hopefully that will dispel the swampy stink.  I also had the plumber check my toiled which I have to often have to jiggle the handle to get the flap inside the tank to land properly so the toilet doesn't keep running and I have a huge water bill which I had last quarter.  More expense.  Every day, more and more expenses. Have to keep working at my part-time job at the hotel to support our not maintenance free home.

That's what is going on here folks, what I can remember anyway.



Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Relief!



Today we finally got relief from the sweltering week long heat wave.  Now I can breath. Now I can work outside.  Not today though, a gentle rain fell all day.  

Early this morning we drove down to the Delaware DMV to get our Subaru inspected and renew my registration.  

Delaware must have the most efficient inspection and registration procedure in the country.  I'm saying this because for so many years I endured the torture and costly inspection procedure of Pennsylvania.  Thanks to Pennsylvania legislatures being bought and sold by lobbyists at one time we had to get our cars inspected every six months. And we had to go to either an auto dealer or authorized garage to get our vehicles inspected. No one EVER got out of those inspections without some charge. The auto dealers were the worst, hundreds of dollars was not an unusual bill to get one's car inspected. The Pennsylvania law was eventually changed to once a year car inspections. Here in Delaware we can opt for inspections every two years. Which is what I did this morning. Eighty bucks, a cheap price to pay for registration and inspection. 

A good day.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Still Sweltering!



The forecast for tomorrow is one hundred degrees. And that's not the heat index temperature, that IS the temperature. 

The humidity now is 53 percent.  Feels like 90 percent. 

I'm housebound. I venture out several times a day to replenish the water in our bird baths which the birds appreciate. They'e hot too.  

This is the first weekend that I don't have to work, that's a relief.  Maybe I can get back on my regular rhythm of working two days a week (Mondays and Thursdays) now after months of filling in for co-workers for various reasons. 

This morning I forced myself to buy some paint.  I have to paint the baseboards in our basement media room. I should have done that BEFORE the run was laid. What can I say?  I wasn't thinking.  

I hate to paint. There is a lot of touch up painting that has to be done around here. I'm trying to talk myself into painting our main entrance door, which isn't our front door. Who uses their front door to go into their house anyway?  Not us. In fact we don't use our living room and dining room. We don't even use our little dinette area off the kitchen.  I eat at the counter and Bill eats in his Archie Bunker Chair.  

The "Beat the Peak" is from 4 PM to 7 PM today. It's 7 PM now. Time to bake that Chicken Parmesan I've been looking forward to all day.

Stay cool and have a great Saturday evening!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Sweltering!



How's the weather where you are?

We're sweltering here.  Right now, at 4:45 PM the temperature outside if 98 degrees.  The humidity I don't know but it feels like 100%.  I can only stay outside a few minutes before my body starts to overheat.  Then I dash back inside for relief. I can't take this kind of weather folks.  

I believe it when warnings go out during hot weather like this about it being dangerous for seniors.  It is folks!  I'm here to tell you.  Hard to believe when I was young, I sailed through summertime without air conditioners and even fans.  Not now, I literally fear for my life if I stay out too long.  I think I can take Palm Springs heat, which is low humidity but not this heavy, oppressive humidity. A familiar refrain eh?  "The heat not so bad but I can't take the humidity."

By the way, got some good news this morning. Home Depot gave me a credit ($248) on my rug pad that I didn't need. I love Home Depot (even though one of its founders funds Trump's campaign).  Good customer service Home Depot.

An update on my brother who I mentioned was seriously ill.  I haven't heard anything for several weeks now which isn't good. My Mother often said "When it's quiet that not good."  John isn't one to complain about misfortune, unlike me.  I tend to shout my misfortune from the rooftops.  I texted him asking him how he was doing.  I'll let you know if I hear anything.  

Hopefully I'm back to my regular schedule (two nights a week) at the hotel.  It seems for months now I've been working three nights or more a week at the hotel to fill in for my co-workers for various emergencies, sicknesses, resignations, and vacations.  Last Monday on my workday I woke up and was dizzy, very dizzy.  I had to stay in bed all morning until I got a semblance of my balance back.  I think I have an inner ear infection.  I had this problem a few months back.  It's scary when I have that condition because I can't get my balance. It's like I'm drunk.  I am totally immobilized. I don't know what we would do here if this was a permanent condition with me.  I couldn't drive and Bill doesn't drive.  I don't want to even think about it.  

I only have one more thing to do this summer, getting my car inspected and registered then I'm looking forward to coasting out the rest of the summer. That is until the next unexpected emergency crops up. 

Friday, July 12, 2019

Carpet Installed!




Finally, we got our new wall to wall carpet installed in our media room. 

This has been a long, drawn out problem.  

To recap, last year I noticed a musty smell in our storage packed media room. Yes, I had boxes and many other items stashed in our media room. I thought a mouse had found its way into our overstuffed media room and starved to death.  

However, about four months ago I discovered the source of the musty smell. Ground water had leaked from the cellar wall outside the drywall of the media room.  

We took everything out of our media room (finally forced to clean out) and discovered much of the carpet around the wall was ruined by mold from the sitting water that had leaked under the drywall. 

We tore up the carpet. I called my insurance company and was told my homeowner's insurance would not cover the damage.  My insurance company told me that my policy doesn't cover ground water.  Oh, okay. So my lifetime record of never using my homeowner's insurance stands firm.  

We tore up the carpet and thus began an odyssey of identifying the carpet and replacing it.  

I have previously posted (I think) of trying to identify the brand and ordering a replacement carpet.  Briefly, I found it was a Shaw carpet.  This after I had already ordered carpet from Lowe's, which wasn't Shaw and didn't match. This I discovered after the Memory Foam padding was already installed.  

I tried to order Shaw carpet from Lowe's.  They couldn't order it for me because Shaw wasn't one of their suppliers. 

I wrote to Shaw and thus began another odyssey of identifying the color and style. "Pam", the Shaw Carpet company concierge was very helpful.  She sent me several samples, none of which matched the rest of our finished basement wall to wall carpet.  I finally found one that was close.  Good enough. She gave me a list of Shaw retailers and as luck would have it there was one just two mile down the road from us.  

I went to that store "Carpets and More".  Yes, they had Shaw carpet but the price, $1,520!  Lowe's was going to provide the padding and carpet for a little over $900.  Carpets and More was going to install the carpet over my padding for twice the price!  I expressed concern.  The owner said he "could do something about the $20. 
GIVE.ME.A.BREAK.

I went to Home Depot.  I saw the carpet that was close and ordered it but I didn't want to pay the $264 for padding since I already had new padding installed.  They couldn't do it.  Said if they did it the warranty would be void. I said "void the warranty, I can't see tearing up the brand new padding."  I couldn't get anywhere with the sales person about not paying for their padding so I ordered the whole thing, which only came to $764, including padding and installation, a great price.

Today the carpet installers came to install the carpet.  Guess what?  I like this carpet better than our original carpet.  Great!  Now, to see if I can get credit for the carpet padding they charged me for.  I'll try but I don't have much hope.  At least we got the carpet installed.





Problem solved. Next!