Monday, February 09, 2009

Monday Morning Blues

Monday, the beginning of another week here in my retirement home in Delaware. As is usual, after breakfast I retreat to my home office which is bathed in the morning sunlight. The light and warmth of that sunlight will last until about 10 o’clock. I always try to take advantage of the special qualities of my home office early in the morning on sunny days like this. Later on, I’ll take a walk in the development behind me. The walk always clears my mind.

Bill took off early this morning to meet his American Legion van pickup to the Wilmington Veterans Medical Center. He has a dermatology appointment. He didn’t want to go but I urged him to go anyway. Last summer the VA discovered my friend Bob had melanoma cancer. The VA took quick action to cut out a chunk of Bob’s arm to save him. I don’t want something like that happening to Bill.

The weather was very mild yesterday, almost spring like. Today the temperature is already up to 50 degrees. I guess I have to start looking at yard cleanup for spring. I have several giant Pampas grass plants. The challenge is what am I going to do with all that dead grass that I have to remove for this year’s new shoots? At my old home in Pennsylvania, there was never a problem with what to do with yard debris. I had a gigantic compost pile. Everything went into that compost pile. By summer the bottom of that pile was black gold. I doubt if the people who bought my property even know that it exists. I can’t have a compost pile down here. My acre of land is totally landscaped and out in the open. No room to hide a compost pile. I wanted to get one of the compost bins but Bill won’t hear of it. I guess I’ll just have to compost the dead Pampas grass leaves in the black trash bags for the weekly trash pickup. It’s a shame to waste it but I don’t see what other alternative I have.

This past weekend I was a bit bummed out. I had an opportunity to work Saturday night. I should have done that instead of going out and wasting my time playing Bingo. Other than seeing my friends Jack and Paul again, I didn’t enjoy myself. I like to dine out, but the restaurants in Rehoboth and the general area leave a lot to be desired. They’re overpriced and tasteless. Maybe it’s me. Years ago I used to visit Provincetown, Massachusetts several times during the summer. The restaurants in Provincetown were always excellent and reasonably priced. Not so here in the summer capital for Washington, DC phonies. Maybe I’m not eating in the right restaurants. I don’t patronize restaurants that charge $30 and up for ONE entrĂ©e. I don’t have a big Washington DC salary or retirement pay. Maybe that’s the problem. I’m going to take a break for awhile from the social and nighttime scene in this area. I don’t like driving at nights anyway. There are too many aggressive drivers down here. Must be that entitled DC mentality.

I have a beautiful and comfortable home and an interesting and absorbing hobby, genealogy. This past weekend a 3rd cousin (once removed) contacted me from Georgia. He is the great grandson of Wiley Tipton, older brother of my great-great grandfather John Tipton who died fighting for the Union Cause in the Civil War. His great grandfather Wiley, fought for the Confederate Cause. We have information to share. This past week a lady from Washington State contacted me. She is descended from my great-great grandmother’s family. We’re sharing information. I get so much more a sense of satisfaction from this activity than I do dodging the crazy aggressive drivers in traffic on Route 1 to dine at some overpriced restaurant on mediocre food.

Unless one is into church attendance, there is little social life in this area. I have a few friends but they have their own activities which do not coincide with mine. I’m going to change direction in my activities and concentrate on home life and spend more time visiting my Mom and friends in Pennsylvania. Weather permitting. The threat of snow is still strong but, perhaps the warming temperatures of this past weekend will melt the accumulated snow and ice of the past month. I need a change.


  1. hi ron!

    i see you have a big interest in genealogy. i was just wondering if you are on facebook. i just joined and it's amazing how many people you can come into contact with who have similar interests or who are related to you or have the same last name, etc. you probably already know about this but in case you don't i thought i'd mention it. also thanks again for all your help with me setting up my blogs. i haven't been keeping up with them as of late but they are there and it's a great thing as you say.

    (judy betz's son)

  2. Ben,

    Good to hear from you! No, I'm not on Facebook but you're the second person (whose opinion I respect) that has advised me to join Facebook. I thought I was too old for it (67) but maybe not. If I can find others who have similar interests that I do, then it might be something I'm interested in checking out.

    Thanks for the advice!

  3. Ron, when I built my compost 'pile', I first built a red-wood planter - about 8 foot long; then about 3 feet high, and 24 inches wide.

    You put the things you want to compost into the planter; you create a 'flip top' (hinged), and then you build the top so it is recessed by about 6 to 8 inches.

    Drill holes in the 'top' for drainage; sit flower pots with flowers (or herbs) side-by-side on the top. It hides the compost; looks lovely, and to make it easy to put your compost in (without taking the pots out), you build two swinging doors on the side that faces toward 'you', so you can swing them open; put the compost in - push it around the way you want it, close and that's it.

    I'm sure you could either do it yourself (since I did), or have someone build it for you.

    You could lay it out; draw up the specifications - get the materials, and only pay the person for their time (and it doesn't take that long).

    You could also get one of those small attractive 'out-buildings'; set it up - before you put it up, be sure you've dug down into the ground about 14 inches. Now you can put your items in there and they're protected from sight; also add your 'water' and other wet-waste, to keep it active. Toss some yeast into it now and then; rake it around - 'shake it up'....

    I have a friend who bought a unit that conceals two garbage cans; she uses it for her compost bin - that's another option if you can find something that's attractive (sit it to the side of your garage).

    That's it; gotta run. Diane

  4. Diane,

    A compost pile or bin has been on my mind for quite a while. It is the one thing I miss since I moved to my new house in Delaware. Bill doesn't want one but I think I'll go ahead anyway. I think I can get someone to build one for me. Thanks for the good advice!

  5. hey ron,

    actually i'm convinced facebook will help your genealogy, possibly even dramatically. it's an amazing networking tool. a big part of why that's true is that it's easy and really fun. it's WAY better than MySpace if you're familiar with that. it's a lot like blogging. it's just as easy to get started with as Blogger. of course at first there's a learning curve for the intermediate and more advanced stuff.

    i like the way you've built your blog. since i have mine i can appreciate the work you've put into it. and so it's the same with facebook. you put in the work, you get the results. and just like blogging, age has absolutely nothing to do with it other than if you're older you probably have more of a purpose behind what you're doing. that's about it. of course it doesn't hurt to have a young whiz come in every now and again and show you some simple yet effective "tricks." (i have a 14 year old niece.)

    my mom said you might be stopping by for dinner sometime soon. i hope you do since then i can show you my facebook site and you can see if it's for you (believe me, it IS ... lol) i'll be your first friend and you'll be on your way! in a month i'll probably be asking YOU for tips. so hope to see you soon.


  6. Sounds like we're on the grumpy side of life today. You know what I think? (not that you care...) I think it's Winter - short days - mostly overcast, and so little laughter. I'm feeling it, too.
    I'll share my stash of restaurant daily specials with you anytime. Off to work now, there are baubles to sell.

  7. Cajun,

    Ah, you see right through me. I do suffer from the SAD syndrome. That's why I have so many windows in my house. Light, light, light. That is what energizes me. Also, there is the continuing problem at home. Bill has a new set of rules. He won't be in the same room with me (because he doesn't want to "interfere") and will not be a passenger in my car because he "doesn't like the way I drive." It's not easy. But, life has to go on. I'll take a few days off and see Mom in PA.

  8. Ben,

    You've convinced me to try Facebook. I'm planning on leaving her tomorrow to visit my Mom for a few days. I'll let your Mom know I'm coming over for dinner at your place. Thank you for the great advice. I appreciate it.


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