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Showing posts from July, 2008

Cloud 9

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This summer evening, my friend and fellow blogger The Cajun and I took advantage of the buy one get one free offer at the Cloud 9 restaurant in Rehoboth Beach. Under normal circumstances, we would not dine at the Cloud 9 restaurant because the prices of their entrees are over our budget for dining out. Normally, I work at the Inn on Thursday nights and thus, not able to take advantage of the "buy one, get one free" offer of the Cloud 9 restaurant. However, this summer Thursday evening, the heavens aligned and we were able to dine together as friends at this delightful restaurant in Rehoboth Beach. The Cajun had baby back ribs that were advertised as "falling off the bone" which, indeed they did. I ordered a seared raspberry brie stuffed chicken breast. It was heaven. We obviously were not eating at Cracker Barrel or Bob Evans. The only downside was the bartender. Once before I stopped in the Cloud 9 restaurant/bar and left because I was being ignored by the barten

Feed Me

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That's what the baby blue bird is saying with that open mouth. This picture is from yesterday morning. As I open the front of the bluebird box, some of their mouths open ever so quietly, as compared to the noisy demands of the baby sparrows. I think the baby bluebirds are so quiet because they don't want to draw attention to themselves. They know that the only person who needs to know they're hungry are their Mom and Pop. I notice that some big birds land on top of their box during the day but they can't get in. I don't worry about other predators because the blue bird box is out in the open in my backyard and I am constantly monitoring it. I think Mom and Pop bluebird know that because they always leave on my approach to their nesting site. The baby bluebirds haven't opened their eyes yet. I about a week's time a fine down of feathers will appear on their little round bodies and then those big dark eyes will open for the first time to take in the wonders o

Little Piece of Heaven

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A friend sent this one word reply this morning in an e-mail that I had sent to her yesterday in reference to how much we love living in southern Delaware. "It's amazing how often our little piece of heaven changes with all the constraints of time, mellowed with appreciations of beauty." Well said. She and her husband are in the process of selling their house in Pennsylvania and moving to their lovely "Little Piece of Heaven" in Delaware. Like me, she and her husband decided that they had enough of the confiscatory taxes of Pennsylvania and the daily grind of just surviving in that lovely wooded state which means "Penn's Woods." Each day in my new Delaware home is a treasure. No matter what the weather, I treat each day as a gift. Today it is warm and humid. I'll go out to my backyard and change the water in my five bird baths. By the time I get back in, I'll probably be drenched with sweat. While I'm out "making the rounds

Appointment Made

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Good news today. The Wilmington VA called to arrange an appointment for me to see their dermatology department. My appointment will be in August, much earlier than the dates available to me from the two local dermatology offices that would make appointments for me. The other two local dermatology offices told me there weren't accepting new patients. The woman who talked to me today from the VA cared and listened to me. That's why I like using the VA. Once you get past the Bush Administration imposed roadblocks and hurdles to using the VA, I actually have gotten the best medical care in my life from the VA system. The people who work for the VA are not motivated by money as is most of the private medical sector. With the VA I receive preventive medical care. I feel relieved that my problem will be looked at by caring people. I felt myself slipping into depression. The phone call from the VA today reversed that slide. Today turned out to be a good day.

Dermatologist?

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Yesterday I discovered one of the few downsides living in the southern most county in Delaware. I needed to see a dermatologist to check a skin condition on the side of my neck. I have a history of actinic keratosis . While this is not cancerous, it could become cancerous. I have a history of skin cancer in my family. My next scheduled appointment with the VA in Wilmington is in November (I'm checked annually.) Now that I have Medicare Part B and AARP supplemental insurance I can choose any doctor that I want. At least that is the myth perpetuated by those who opposed government health care. Yesterday, I called the first of four dermatologists listed in the local phone book. The first dermatologist was not accepting new patients until October! The next two aren't accepting patients at all. The fourth office of the dermatologist told me that they weren't accepting new patients until September. Now remember, I live on the eastern coast of Delaware, in a beach resort area

Then There Were Four

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This morning I checked the bluebird house and now there are four! Naked and defenseless now, they will soon sprout feathers and open those big beaks for their daily feedings by Mom and Pop bluebird. All my other accomplishments in life pale to what I'm able to do for this pair of bluebird parents, give them a helping hand in raising their young. Sometimes the best things in life are truly free.

New Baby Bluebirds

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We have new baby bluebirds! I checked this morning first thing (as I always do). What I saw was four blue eggs. After returning from my Friday morning visit to the super WalMart in Milford, I checked again. Two new bluebirds! I'm hesitant to keep interfering with Mama and Papa bluebird in raising their young, but I have to check. The Purple Martins are gone. The sparrows have taken over their house. An occasional grackle swoops over by the bluebird house but they are quickly chased away by Mama and Papa bluebird. The other two bluebird houses remain empty. There are no other predator threats to the bluebirds on my property. This is the second year the bluebirds have raised their young in this particular bluebird box. Success!

Gay Life in Southern Delaware

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The dog days of summer are here already. Still, life is good here in the southern most county of Delaware, Sussex County. The August issue of Delaware today has an excellent article on the New Delawarean . That's me, a retiree from seeking refuge from the tax happy state of Pennsylvania. My school taxes were so high in Pennsylvania that I could no longer afford to live in that verdant state. In addition to the ever increasing school taxes, there were the other taxes like the state sales tax, country tax, and township tax. The tax burden left me no choice but to move to a tax friendlier state like Delaware. It was either Delaware or South Carolina (where my younger brother lives.) Another factor in my decision to move to Delaware, specifically the Rehoboth Beach area, is that it is a more inclusive community. What does "inclusive community" mean you ask? Gay friendly. I don't have to live in a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" environment down here. In Penns

Judy Checks The Bluebird Box

Yesterday, a friend of mine and her son stopped by to see the bluebird box in person. Four, perfect oval blue bird eggs were in the neat bluebird nest. Mom and Pop bluebird were nearby somewhere. They surely must know by now that I pose no harm to their nest. The Purple Martins have departed to where, I know not. I assume they will being to make their annual trek to Brazil where they will spend the winter. I have removed the tape from the entrances to the Purple Martin apartments. The sparrow immediately took up a position outside on of the entrances and started to chirp, advertising his availablity to make a family. So far no takers. Maybe it's too late in the season to start a new brood. I notice that my neighbor's Purple Martin house is also empty of Purple Martins. However, I do see the straw other junk sticking out of one of the doors, thus indicating a sparrow has already made a nest in one of the PM apartments. Grackles have been visiting most of the day today, di

Cool Cat

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This morning I took a ride to visit my longtime friend, Bob. He lives in the woods, near Georgetown, Delaware. Bob wasn't there but his faithful cat Stormy, was there perched on the banister, waiting for his master. I love cats. Unfortunately I don't have one because my life partner, Bill, doesn't like cats. Ironically, the only pet cat I ever had was a cat named "Bobby." My friend's name (the owner of Stormy) is Bob. Bobby (the cat) was a gray tabby cat that took up with me when I was about 10 years old. My family lived in a second floor apartment, above the offices of Gindy Manufacturing Company. The Gindy trailer manufacturing plant was located next to the building where we had an apartment. Bobby the cat just showed up one day. Apparently he was surviving my mousing in the plant. We hit it off right away. I don't remember how many years I had Bobby, but one day when I came home from school, Bobby wasn't there to greet me. I asked my Mother if she

The Day After Part Two

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Included are additional pictures I took this morning of the aftermath of tearing out the sparrows' nesting from my Purple Martin birdhouse. I tried to include it in my previous blog but apparently there is a problem with including a video and pictures in the same blog. The first picture is of the now empty Purple Martin birdhouse with the sparrow nesting at the base. The second picture shows the sparrow pair perched below the Purple Martin birdhouse after I tore their nesting out. The last picture shows their nesting, including one egg, at the base of the Purple Martin birdhouse. While this may seem like harsh measures to some who read this blog, it is not near as harsh as dead Purple Martin nestlings that had holes punched in their heads by these same sparrows. Sparrows are very resourceful. This is a wide open area here in coastal Delaware with many nooks and crevices for sparrows to make their nests. I don't how how long it will take the sparrows to understand that t

The Day After

First thing I checked when I was up this morning was to look out my bedroom window to see the Purple Martin house. One of the doors to one of the PM apartments was off. Uh oh. Was it an Attack of the Furious Determined Sparrow? That PM apartment held baby PMs yesterday. I quickly dressed and walked through the wet grass to lower the PM birdhouse. No birds were in that apartment. I checked the other apartments. There were no birds in any of the other apartments. One of the apartments, that had baby PMs yesterday, only had some wet black feather remnants of its previous occupants. Then I discovered sparrow nesting in a different apartment. Ah ha. The Determined Sparrows finally got the message not to build their nest in the bottom front. Contrary to what some readers of this blog have told me, I think the message finally sunk in to their little pea brain not to build a nest in that apartment. However, they built it in another apartment. I tore it out. I put the nesting, along with one br

House Sparrows Evicted

A new development with the Determined Sparrows. I have to look at this situation again. Read this. This morning, like every morning, when I got up I pulled the curtains back from one of my bedroom windows to see how the birds are doing in my backyard habitat. Immediately I saw that the Purple Martins were in distress. After dressing, shaving, and having breakfast I went out to my shed to get my gloves. I was going to lower the Purple Martin birdhouse and check out what was going on with the six apartments. As I approached the PM birdhouse, the male/female pair of Determined Sparrows darted out off of their perch at the base of the PM birdhouse. They act like they own the whole PM birdhouse and the Purple Martins are visitors at their pleasure. The Purple Martins dispersed as I lowered their birdhouse. The first three apartments I checked on the front contained baby Purple Martins in two of them. The third apartment was empty. Those must have been the new baby Purple Martin

Potpourri

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First, as you can see by the blog picture of the day, my bluebird house now has four new eggs. The last batch had five, which I think was one too many. Four seems to fit nicely in the neat bluebird nest. Funny thing, I rarely see the momma bluebird around the nest. She's very low key. Unlike the Purple Martin condominium a few yards away. One of the Purple Martins has taken it upon him or herself to be the Head Purple Martin. Whenever I go out to my shed, which I have to pass by the Purple Martin condos, the Head Purple Martin dive bombs me with a loud "squawk!" That's all right, she's just protecting her babies. If you're a regular reader of this blog, I want to bring you up to date on some older subjects that I written about in the past. 1) Sasha - the Russian housekeeper worker at the Inn where I work is doing fine. Since I work the evening shift, she is usually gone by the time I get in at 3 PM. However, last week our paths did overlap. She was just

Crop Duster Part Deux

The other day, while I was out in my backyard gardening, I heard a plane flying low overhead. It was a crop duster, spraying the cornfields that border my backyard. Sensing another photo opportunity, I grabbed my digital camera and started to shoot away. I took several videos, trying for that interesting sequence to put on my daily blog. Standing in my backyard in the open, I reviewed the videos I took on my camera. As I was doing this, I heard the plane get louder. I looked up and saw the pilot fly directly over my head. I smelled something. Now I don't know if he sprayed me but I definitely smelled something and it wasn't roses. I think he gave me a little spritz of what he was spraying on the cornfields. Maybe there was a residue. Later, as I was talking to my neighbor Bob, he told me that he thought the pilot was hot dogging him while he was mowing his lawn so he give him the Finger. His wife came out and told Bob that the pilot was actually crop dusting the corn fi

Baby Bluebird Rescue

Bill and I had just returned from shopping at the Super (Duper?) Walmart store in Georgetown this hot and humid summer morning. Bill headed down the outside entrance to our cellar. He wanted to get his paint to repaint the wooden post that holds our mailbox. Immediately he came back up and said to me "There's a bird in the stairwell, you better take care of it." Ron to the rescue! I took a peek over the railing down to the bottom of the stairs. Sure enough, there behind an old motor, that someday we will get around to taking to the recycling center, and a broom, were two black, scared to death eyes peering back at me. A baby bluebird had lost its way. Bill had told me that the mama bluebird was still feeding her babies even though they had left their nest a couple of weeks ago. Some or all of the baby bluebirds had taken up residence in the pine and holly trees that border my back yard. Apparently some of them aren't ready for prime time yet. Maybe their flyi

Shy Bill

Bill and I were standing out by the garage earlier this evening, waiting for the daily evening thunderstorm that has become the norm around here. Barbara, our neighbor, came over to visit awhile. I had my camera so I thought it would be a good time to take a picture of Barbara and Bill for posterity. The video that you will view on this blog is funny because it shows how shy my partner is with women. The really funny thing is that most women love Bill. I don't get that kind of attention. What's up with that? I take a shower every night.

Rainbow Over The Neighborhood

After a late afternoon thunderstorm yesterday, a beautiful rainbow appeared over my neighborhood. As much as I loved my home in Pennsylvania, I never saw a rainbow. That was because I lived in the middle of seven acres of woods. I decided I wanted to live out my years in an open area with a big sky. That is why I love my home site here in Delaware. I live on the coastal plain on the eastern side of the Coastal Highway (Route 1). I chose this location to build because it is not that far from Rehoboth Beach (six miles.) My home site does have some downsides. The wind is almost constant, and sometimes quite heavy. But I don't have to worry about a tree falling over on my driveway, blocking my entrance and egress from my home as happened so often at my Pennsylvania home. Also, the power doesn't go out near as often. In Pennsylvania, it only took a strong wind and the power went out, sometimes for hours and days. Located as I am only two miles from the Delaware Bay, there is v

Purple Martins Come In For a Landing

Something was distressing the Purple Martins this morning. Lately they have been quite boistrous with the new baby Purple Martins who have left their nest. However, this morning was different. They were all circling the house. Bill was out and noticed that a door was off of one of the apartments. Time for an intervention. I brought the Purple Martin house down. I looked in the now doorless apartment. What I saw were two dead Purple Martins that looked like they were ready to leave the nest. This apartment was on the same side as the Determined Sparrows' apartment. I thought now would be a good time to look at their nest because I suspected it might have dead baby sparrows. As is the case with sparrow nests, the compartment was almost full of nesting material; pieces of plastic trash as well as dried weeds. However, there were no baby sparrows, alive or dead. I'm now wondering if the Determined Sparrow even had eggs in that nest. Maybe they did and they hatched and

Crop Duster

This morning I was greeted by a yellow twin engine plane dive bombing my house. My neighbor, who was mowing his lawn, thought the pilot was hot dogging him so he give him the finger. My neighbor's wife quickly corrected him and told him that the pilot of the plane was crop dusting the corn field that adjoins our property. The video on this blog shows a bit of that. I'll post another video later which shows the pilot crop dusting me taking the video of him. No doubt that was his way of expressing appreciation of the One Finger Salute he received from my neighbor. Well, I don't have to worry about any corn worms now. I've been "dusted."

The Fourth

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Another year and the "Fourth" is here already. The "Fourth" refers to the Fourth of July celebration. Living near the resort community of Rehoboth Beach, the "Fourth" only means one thing.....stay out of Rehoboth! On Wednesday, on our way to lunch at Zorba's Restaurant on Route 1 in Rehoboth Beach, Bill and I noticed the deluge had begun. The "deluge" refers to the almost solid mass of vehicles descending on Rehoboth Beach and points south (Dewey Beach, Bethaney Beach and Ocean City, Maryland) on Route 1. We live six miles north on the east side of Route 1 in a Ryan Homes development called Covington Chase. I deliberately chose this location to avoid the summertime traffic headaches on Route 1. Wise choice. Each year I am reminded of my wisdom when I witness the wave after wave of cars, trucks and motorcycles heading south for fun in the sun. Located as I am on the east side of Route 1, I can witness but not participate in this annual ritu

A Rose Is A Rose

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How does the saying go? "A rose is a rose is a rose?" What does that mean? I don't know. Maybe it means "It is what it is." Perhaps I started this blog with a rose as a subject because I wanted an excuse to showoff my rose picture. Yes folks, that is a picture of took of one of my roses yesterday. Thus, there is no reason to change my opening song on this blog, "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You." For years and years I have attempted to grow roses with little success. Either they didn't grow or they were attacked by black spot and finished off by the Japanese beetles . Well, the Japanese beetles are in full force here this year. For the past week I've been picking them off and squashing them (not a pleasant task but necessary) on the brick base underneath my water faucet. It doesn't take too long until the ants take them away. I don't feel so bad now because the eco system is working. The rose pictured on this blog is a small rose bu

Happy Anniversary

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Today marks forty-four years to the date that I met my life partner, Bill. We count this day as our anniversary since our union is not recognized a legitimate by current law in these United States of America. Would we like to be officially married as is in the news these days with so many same sex couples? To be honest, we never thought much about it nor do we have a burning desire to perform a ceremony to show the world that we are a couple. We know that we are life partners and that is all that matters to us. Of course we would like the financial benefits and legal protections that heterosexual couples have benefited from since time immemorial. Over the years we have managed to make other arrangements that protect our assets should one of us die before the other. However, we have not been able to cover all situations but that is changing. Perhaps the most visible example of that happened recently when I had a medical emergency earlier this year. As I was being wheeled in the local e

As The World Turns

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How do you like that for a catchy title? Oh, you say it's already taken? Ah yes, a soap opera. Well, today was a good day. I had it all to myself and I did what pleased me. Early in the morning I decided to get my oil changed before the weekend Fourth of July rush. I use a garage on Route 1 towards Rehoboth Beach with the very original name of The Garage (no kidding, that's the name of the place). I like it because you go in first thing in the morning and it's first in, first served. The most it's ever taken me to get my car done is 45 minutes. Way better than the Subaru dealer I used to go to in Downingtown, PA, where I used to live. When I dropped my car off there, it was an all day deal. Also, The Garage is very honest. They will actually tell you that you DON'T need work. That you would be throwing your money away. I heard them say it again to another customer this morning. Now how is that for a novel approach? Actually, it is genius because I will keep going