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Showing posts from June, 2008

Marathon Man

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Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and now today. Five days in a row I'm working at the Inn on the 3 to 11 PM shift. This weekend the Inn was totally full due to a wedding. Weddings are always fun. Normally I work two days a week (part-time Ron I thought). Mondays and Thursdays 3 pm to 11 pm. Occasionally I will work every other weekend, once during the day shift and once during the evening shift to give the full time front desk clerks at least one weekend a month off. However, Monica's son was involved in the local baseball playoffs so she asked me to take her shifts. I'm always glad to accommodate but I have to say, working five days straight at the Inn, with all it's demands and responsibilities has left me exhausted. It is a good way to lose weight. When one works the front desk at any hotel, inn, or bed and breakfast one doesn't have time to eat. Also, one really doesn't have time to go to the bathroom, but that's another whole story which I may or may

Eastern Bluebird Box Activity

Now, first of all, this isn't my video. I took it from You Tube. I had to post it because it is so beautiful and peaceful. You can bet I'll be doing some research on this one to see how they took this video.

Mama Bluebird Chases Away Robin

From a couple of days ago, a video of mama bluebird chasing away a robin that got to close to her baby bluebird. Granted, this isn't a National Geographic quality video of bird behavior but it does capture the action. I checked the bluebird box today and it is still empty. I'll leave the neat bluebird nest in case the mama bluebird decides to hatch another brood. Right now, she has to get this batch off and flying. I haven't seen any baby bluebirds out in the backyard today. Hopefully all have made it safely into their new world with the knowledge that they will always have a home in my backyard.

The Little Things

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A few days ago, at work, an incident happened that shocked and upset me. I will not to into the name of the person involved and the details in this blog posting because it involves my job and who I work for and those I work with. All I can say is that I was treated unfairly and rudely. I tried to let it go, but it's not working. I will have to confront the issue with the party involved. The incident has left me somewhat depressed and demoralized which is very hard to hide when you're dealing with the public as I do in my job. One does have to be a great actor on a stage sometimes. Or, to put it another way, to act "professionally." As I sat at my computer this morning, waiting for it to boot up, In noticed a yellowed piece of paper taped to the cabinet wall in which my computer is housed. A few years ago I subscribed to one of those "Thought for the Day" types of e-mails from a Ralph Marston. Many of those e-mails were interesting and helpful. There was

They're Out!

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After a busy night at the Inn last night, and a early morning shopping trip to the Super Walmart in Milford this morning, I thought to make a quick check on the bluebird house. I thought they might be ready to pop the house. Well, the house is empty. They're out! The house contained five serious and quiet baby bluebirds. As I looked around the backyard I could hear mama (or papa) bluebird chirping insistently. Then I spotted what all the chirping was about. One lone baby bluebird was clinging to one of the stakes which is tied to one of my skimpy holly trees. Apparently this was the only baby bluebird not quite ready to go off into the wild blue yonder (or wherever baby bluebirds go when they leave their nest.) I've posted a short video I took of mama bluebird chasing away an errant robin who happen to fly too close to her baby. I'm glad these bluebirds are not wimpy. This will be a short posting. Last night was very stressful. I've been asked to work the next two nigh

Me and Mom

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This morning I talked to my Mom. She tentatively agreed to come and visit me and Bill sometime in August. This will be good for her. The visit will give her something to look forward to as well as giving my brother Isaac a "break" (as she refers to it). She is concerned about leaving her two cats but my brother loves cats and will take very good care of them. Of course Molly and Rusty will miss Mom, but they will have to give her a "break" too. As delightful and loyal as they are, they can be quite demanding. We have a room for her here in our Delaware home. My brother John also has a room for her. In fact, he has a whole mother-in-law apartment for her at his home in Greenville, South Carolina. We have both agreed that we would go up to Pennsylvania, pick her up and take her back home. Chauffeured by the sons! What more could a Mom ask? We would both love having her visit. It would also be a treat for us. Now I just have to get a TV in her room so she can watch

Wednesday Morning

Just as the sunset at the end of Oyster Rocks Road last night was a beautiful and peaceful moment; the sun that washed over the walkway this morning to my house also had its own beauty.The impatiens that line the walkway invited a plethora of insects to their early morning meal. Feeling the warmth of the morning sun on my arms, I decided to record this moment with my digital camera. Summer, fall, winter, and spring. I value and appreciate all the seasons of my home in Delaware. My partner Bill was told by a neighbor this morning that the development we now live in used to be a horse pasture prior to Ryan Homes developing it into the community of Covington Chase. That was news to me. I assumed this area east of Route One was a farm field, as is so many other recent developments in this area of southern coastal Delaware. He told me that the elderly lady who owned it could no longer manage the upkeep of the horses and pasture. A few months ago, I received a comment on my blog from

Peaceful End to a Peaceful Day

The road off of Route One leads into my development is Oyster Rocks Road. The first left off of Oyster Rocks Road is Whitehall Drive. My house is located on the left, just before the curve to the cul de sac. If you do not make a left but continue directly on Oyster Rocks Road, it will dead end into wetlands which is bordered by a canal. Past the canal are more wetlands then the Delaware Bay. This is another unexpected treasure that I discovered after I moved into this Ryan Homes development called Covington Chase. I love sunsets. That was perhaps the deciding factor for me in in buying the lot where I built my house. Prior to moving to Delaware, I lived in a house located in the middle of 7 acres of a wooded hillside in East Brandywine Township, Pennsylvania. As much as I loved the woods, after twenty-five years it was time for me to move to a location where I could see a sunset unencumbered by trees and hills. The first time I saw this lot was at the end of the day as the sun w

Baby Bluebirds Almost Ready

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Another check on the bluebird house and it looks like they will be ready to leave their comfy nest in about a week. They're still awfully quiet in there. No loud squawking like the baby sparrows of a week ago. Yesterday I saw one of the fledgling baby sparrows trying to climb the siding of my house. He/she was hidden in the herb and flower garden that I have planted beneath my bedroom windows. I probably scared it when I was watering the plants (by can, not hose). It was trying to fly but couldn't get altitude. That was yesterday. No sign of that baby sparrow today. Thank goodness I don't have cats around here to take advantage of the baby birds at their most defenseless. My Mom in Pennsylvania has a brother/sister duo of cats (Molly and Rusty) that would make quick work of such a young bird. They're lovely cats (Molly is a calico and Rusty is an orange tabby - kittens of a feral cat my Mom found in her corn field some twelve years ago) but ruthless when dispatchi

Empty Nest

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The Determined Sparrow nest is empty. They're out! I hear the new young'uns loudly chirping in my neighbor's Leyland Cypress trees that border the now empty sparrow nest. Yesterday I cleaned out the nesting material and gave the birdhouse a good scrub. I kept the door opened the rest of the afternoon so the cedar wood could dry out. The blue bird nest is still occupied, although getting more crowded each day. Mom and Pop bluebird can't get in the house now to feed their young, they have to perch on the opening outside and put their beak holding the latest morsel through the round hole opening in the bird house. As the picture shows, the baby bluebirds' feathers are starting to take a blue hue. They are so quiet, unlike the baby sparrows who were vociferous whenever I touched their birdhouse, thinking I was their parents with more food for their ever expanding appetites. Occasionally I see an inquisitive grackle perched on top of the bluebird house, but they ar

Fly Free

As the video in this blog shows, the baby Purple Martins are out of their nest and flying free. Listen to their joyous chirping sounds and they swoop down and around in the warm summer sky, learning to fly for the first time under the loving guidance of their parents. The Determined Sparrows offspring are also out of their nest. This morning I went out to take a picture of their nest and it was empty! I heard a lot of chirping in my neighbor's trees which adjoin my back yard. So there are out testing their young wings. Hopefully they won't invade my remaining birdhouses for raise their young. The baby bluebirds are still in their house but have filled up the nest so much that Mom and Dad bluebird can't get in the house now to feed them. The baby bluebirds are interesting in that when I open the front of their box to observe, they are so quiet. One might almost think that they weren't alive. But they are. Their behavior is in stark contrast to the baby sparrows. Last wee

Summer Solstice

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Today is the Summer Solstice , the first day of summer and the longest day of the year. Oh how I love this time of year. This is my 66th summer. I don't remember much about the first four but all of the summers since I do remember. So many good memories. When I lived in an apartment building on Washington Avenue in Downingtown, Pennsylvania; summer was a carefree time of play with friends during the day and catching lightening bugs at night. Those summers were vacation from school. They were also the fastest three months of the year. It always seemed that they went by so fast. We were hardly out of school, then it was time for my Mother to order new school clothes for us from the Montgomery Ward catalogue. I can still remember the fresh cotton smell of those new clothes. Even though our family didn't have too much in way of material possessions, summer was always a special time for me and my brothers. As adults, with jobs, summer became less of a vacation and more of a time t

Azure Sky

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As the sun set on another day, the view from the cornfield adjoining my backyard showed an azure sky. Since I returned from my visit to my Mom in Pennsylvania, it has been a hectic few days. While I like to make daily entries to this blog, it has been difficult to say the least. The first problem was with my HP Photosmart All-In-One printer, scanner, copier. I wanted to scan the picture of me with my Mom taken in 1949. This was the picture featured in my previous blog. I tried to scan the picture, nothing. I called the help line of HP. That was a mistake. I obviously got someone from Mumbai, India. I couldn't understand her, and she couldn't understand me. After 35 minutes, and a rapidly developing headache on my part, I terminated the conversation. I put a call into My Computer Guy. This was Monday. He said he could come over yesterday, which he did first thing in the morning. Well, the problem was more serious than we thought. Registry problems again. He spent the morning

Me and Mom

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Mothers and sons almost always have a special bond. The same as fathers and daughters. I can't explain it exactly, other than to say that the relationship isn't the same as a mother and a daughter or a father and a son. I never was close to my father. However, as long as I can remember, my Mother and I have been best friends. Maybe part of that had to do with our closeness in age. My Mother is only 17 years older than I am. Recently, my cousin, friend and fellow genealogist Tim Tipton lost his dear mother unexpectedly at age 65. Like me, he was also very close to his mother. He said he would call her at least twice a day. He misses her terribly. I feel sad for him and his loss. I'm fortunate that I still have my Mother with me. When I lived in Pennsylvania my house was one road away from her. I would call or visit her daily. When I moved to Delaware, I couldn't visit her as often. At first I took the 2 1/2 hour ride to Pennsylvania to visit her at least once a month.

Visit To Mom

Yesterday, Bill and I took the 2 1/2, 125 mile drive to Downingtown, Pennsylvania to visit my 84 year old Mother. Bill was talking to her earlier in the week and she was very sad because she said she doesn't hear from her boys (I have two younger brothers, one of which lives with her). It was time for a personal visit. Even though the drive is long and grueling (especially to the two of us at our advanced ages, 66 and 79 respectively), it was necessary. It was a good, if short, visit. Mom is doing well as is my brother Isaac. Included in this blog is a short video that is obviously not professionally produced but does give the viewer a flavor of the visit. As it typical, I am expressing frustration with Bill because he STILL DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO OPERATE MY CAMERA. But, he did catch my Mother's nervous leg twitch. This is a good thing. When she twitches her leg like this, it means she is happy. Recently, the mother of a friend of mine died unexpectedly. She was only 64, much

Live Like Today Is Your Last Day

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The recent unexpected death of Tim Russert , brought into vivid focus again of the importance of making each day count. After working full time for over 40 years, I decided to "retire" early. Actually, I "retired" from a full time job. I still work part time but on my own terms now. After too many years of a daily commute to Philadelphia from the suburbs, I had an epiphany one spring day standing on a train platform at the Suburban Station in Philadelphia. I thought "Do I want to live the rest of my life this way? Wasting the best years of my life running the Corporate Rat Race?" Then and there I made the long transition from a suit wearing, briefcase carrying fool to a man who was in control of my own destiny. In future blogs I will go into more detail my gradual transition from Corporate Flog to Independent Soul but at this time I want to stress what a life changing decision that was for me that spring day in center city Philadelphia. Since that time

Tim Russert 1950-2008

People die everyday. Famous people die everyday. Sometimes the death is sudden and unexpected. That is not unusual. However, every now and then the person who dies impacts you in a personal way. Such a death happened today. Tim Russert, the newsman and moderator of "Meet The Press" since 1991, died today. He collapsed and died while working in MSNBC's Washington studios. I'm watching live coverage now of his death. His MSNBC collegues are sharing their memories of Tim. I don't know of anyone who disliked Tim. Tim was everyone's dad. He will be missed.

Baby Bird Update

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Time for the daily update on the progress of the baby birds in my back yard. The five bluebird eggs have hatched and all the babies seem to be doing fine. All five sparrow baby birds are growing fast. I had a fear that they wouldn't survive the 100 degree temperatures of the past few weeks. On Monday when I checked in on them, their wasn't any sound and very little movement. Today was different. When I opened the front of their bird box they came alive with mouths opened upward, squeaking for food. On the way back, I passed the Purple Martin birdhouse on a pole. I can't check the nests in that six apartment bird house (which includes one of the Determined Sparrows) but they are going about their business. All appears to be as it should be. Another update tomorrow.

Relief

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The cool breeze of this morning's air was a welcome relief for the oppressive heat of yesterday. For the past three days heat and humidity laid its heavy hand on this coastal plain of eastern Delaware, with the temperatures reaching 101 degrees yesterday. Summer doesn't officially begin until next week but the Dog Days of August have already descended on this flat land. For the past few days, at high noon, traffic remained light as weary travelers seek relief to escape the suffocating temperatures. Yesterday I checked the Determined Sparrow bird box. The baby sparrows are still in there but only one weakly raised it head . Its beak was open for food, but no sound emanated from it. No movement from the other baby sparrows. This is the same bird box that five baby sparrows drowned during the Nor'easter of last month, just as they were a getting ready to leave their nest. I also checked the bluebird house. Five blue eggs were neatly arranged in a neat nest (in contrast t

M.O.D. Grateful Dead

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An exhausted and scruffy long haired young man in his late 20's was pacing nervously at the front desk. This is the sight that greeted me as I left the kitchen to respond to a guest at the front desk who was paging me. After completing the business with the guest, I turned to the nervous young man who I could now tell smelled of sweat. That is not too surprising since we're experiencing near triple digit temperatures yesterday and today. At first I thought he was one of the guests who was due to check into the hotel tonight. However, he didn't look like our usual guests. I asked him if I could help him. His dark eyes searched my face. His words were slurred as he asked if he could use "a land line" because his cell phone wasn't working. I took the front desk phone and placed it in front of him. I told him "Dial nine first then your number." His look was one of relief. His nervousness subsided somewhat. He talked haltingly, almost like he was drun

Sasha

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She came to me at the front desk this morning with a question mark clearly on her face. Sasha was her name. About 21 years old, slim, tall, awkward and possessing of a natural beauty without makeup, she asked me in a heavy accent if she could change. At first I didn't understand her. I thought she was a guest of the bed and breakfast where I work part time at the front desk. I said "What?" She repeated her question. Still I didn't understand. If she wanted to change, why didn't she do it in her room. Perhaps she wanted "change" for the soda machine. I asked her again. She told me she was "in housekeeping." Oh, she is a new housekeeper. "Housekeepers", for those of you initiated to the terminology of the hospitality industry, are those people (almost always women) who clean the rooms. I did not know we had a new housekeeper but that was entirely possible since I don't work at the Inn everyday. Sasha had her uniform in her bac

Baby Birds

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When we last left my friends, the Determined Sparrows, he and she won when I left them build their nest in one of the six Purple Martin birdhouse apartments. I don't know the status of their nest but I do know that the Purple Martins have occupied the other five apartment and are conducting business as usual. The sparrows fly up to their Purple Martin house nest all day, oblivious to their chirping neighbors, the Purple Martins. As I had mentioned in earlier blog postings, I have three blue bird houses that border my backyard. One of the bluebird houses is occupied by bluebirds and contains five bluebird eggs. The bluebird house in between, has a half finished nest that's been at that status for about three weeks. The remaining bluebird house has a five freshly hatched baby sparrows. Those are the baby sparrows pictured in this blog. I've also included a picture of the bluebird house which they occupy. I briefly opened the bird house to make sure the sparrows were stil

Robert F. Kennedy

Forty years ago tomorrow Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California. I remember where I was when I heard the unbelievable news. I was working as a campaign worker for the RFK campaign in center city Philadelphia. His was the first and last political campaign I ever worked for. It was unusual for me to be working for a political campaign, let alone a Democratic candidate. I was a registered Republican and worked at Girard Bank, which was right across the street from the Kennedy Philadelphia campaign headquarters. Back in the Sixties, working at a large conservative Philadelphia bank, to volunteer for a Democratic candidate was not the normal thing for a bank employee to do. I talked my good friend Alice into also volunteering her time to work with me on the Kennedy campaign for president. I became a Kennedy supporter after I saw the Kennedy Magic up close during a motorcade he had been in some weeks before down Chesnut Street.

Ft. Miles at Cape Henlopen, Delaware

On this perfect day I decided to take Bill for a visit to Fort Miles on the tip of Cape Henlopen, Delaware. We lived in center city Philadelphia for eleven years and not once did we visit Independence Hall or the other historic landmarks associated with the early history of America. I didn't want to repeat that mistake again. Our home on the eastern shore of Delaware, is only about three miles from Cape Henlopen , Delaware. At the bed and breakfast where I work in Lewes, I frequently recommend Cape Henlopen as a must see local tourist attraction. Yet, I haven't visited this beautiful resource myself. Today that changed. My first visit actually was last Saturday. I had time to kill before I attended a beach wedding a mile down the road from Cape Henlopen. Cape Henlopen was just a short drive away so I took the trip, almost my default. What a pleasant surprise. Again, as has happened so often in my life, I have found that the treasures are hidden. Cape Henlopen is a beautiful p

Gossip - Part Two

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Lots of feedback on my blog about gossip. That's good. Someone is reading my blog! Gossip . What is the first thing that come into your mind when you hear that word? It is apparent by the e-mails I've received about my blog on gossip, that the word gossip means different things to different people. My sister-in-law Barbara sent me a articulate and well thought out e-mail explaining why she doesn't engage in "gossip." She gave me the example of a lady friend she is helping with her computer skills. This woman often discusses with her "some problem with one of their kids or something else, just needing a listening ear." Barbara states that she would never repeat what she says to someone else as it could cause family problems for them. "One never know who know and who will repeat things yet again and they will get back to the person about whom you were speaking and cause hurt feelings. She needs my support and prayers, not my repeating and spread

Gossip

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As I groggily came to this morning in my bed, I went over in my mind again what my friend Harvey said about gossip. I thought to myself, "How am I going to get through my day without gossip?" As this dilemma roiled over in my head several times , I got up for breakfast. No gossip today? What am I going to talk about? After breakfast I checked my e-mails. The first e-mail was from a friend who was unable to attend our weekly gathering last night at the Feathered One. He said "bullfeathers...keep gossiping, that's what makes the world go round. " That was reassuring. Maybe I'm not this bad person after all who whittles away his time with idle gossip. Later in the day I received an e-mail from another friend on the same subject. He said: "Geez -- No fun if you cannot gossip." This reaction from two friends whose opinion I hold in high regard. There. It is settled. I continue to gossip. However, I do have my rules. I never say anything about an

Day's End

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As the sun slowly sets in the west, another week has come to an end here in southern Delaware. Appropriately, the week has ended on a mixed note. Our usual Sunday night get together at the Purple Parrot was lightly attended. Only three of our group made it. Ed, Harvey, and me. Jack and Paul had other committments. Bob C. decided not to come. Wayne wasn't sure if he could make it because of his work schedule. Ed and I held the table until Harvey arrived at 5:30 pm. Ed is an old high school friend I've known for over 50 years (am I that old?) Harvey I met recently through friends here in Rehoboth Beach. Normally Ed and I would not cross paths with Harvey, a New York intellectual. Ed and I are just two county boys from the burbs of Philadelphia. But the small gay community of Rehoboth Beach provides strange bedfellows (no pun intended). Ed and I were engaged in gossip about a mutual friend of ours from our Pennsylvania high school days who is having a sexual indentity problem.

Alive Again!

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I'm alive! I'm alive! Or a similar variation on the old Dr. Frankenstein shout of joy when he discovered that a gigantus bolt of lightening brought alive his monster. "It's alive! It's alive!" I can now upload my pictures. Thank you Jesus! There, I managed to get Frankenstein and Jesus in the same sentence. Am I excited or what? Yep! I'm excited.