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Showing posts from May, 2009

Then There Were None Left

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The bluebird box is now empty. It only took one more day until the lone remaining baby bluebird took the plunge and left the bluebird box. Bill said he thinks he saw it on the neighbor's screen in porch roof, along with its brothers and sisters. I cleaned out the nesting in the box and washed it down with hot water to kill the mites. I left the door open several hours for it to dry out. Now the box is ready for the next batch. Bill says he has already seen one of the adult bluebirds chase away other birds from the box. By this time next week I predict the bluebirds will have a new nest built in the box in preparation for the next batch of baby bluebirds. I have three bluebird boxes in my back yard but this is the only bluebird box that is used by the bluebirds. The two other bluebird boxes are empty. I'm looking forward to the day when all three bluebird boxes are producing baby bluebirds. There is nothing like the feeling of seeing bluebirds in your back yard, flying ar

Then There Was One Left

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Yesterday afternoon, as Bill was preparing to mow the lawn he noticed an increase in activity around the bluebird house. He went over to the bluebird house and saw a baby bluebird hiding in the cover at the base of the bluebird house. Bill came in and told me that one of the baby bluebirds was out of the box and asked me if I wanted to take pictures. I got my camera and rushed outside. I had suspected that the baby bluebirds would be out ("pop") of their box and that is just what happened. The baby bluebirds were out trying their new wings. From my experience with raising two bluebird batches from this same box last year I knew that the baby bluebirds didn't fly right out of the box and into the wild blue yonder. They take a day or two flopping around in the ground cover and shrubbery around the bluebird box until their wings are ready for full flight. That is what was happening yesterday afternoon. I cautioned Bill not to disturb the baby bluebirds too much or

Ready to Pop

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Those baby bluebirds, how fast they grow. They are ready to pop out of that blue bird house. Maybe today or tomorrow. I hope it's a sunny day when they make their grand entry into the world. Yesterday I cleaned out two more house sparrow nests out of the Purple Martin house. I think that should do it. I haven't seen the sparrows rebuilding their nest. Maybe they got the message, build somewhere else. Right after I took this baby bluebird photo this morning, I noticed the sparrow watching me from the perch on top of the bluebird house. Obviously trying to throw a guilt trip on me. Won't work buddy. You're outta here.

Memorial Day

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Brothers Ronald, Isaac and John Tipton Samuel Park Tipton 31 Mar 1934 - 15 Dec 2001 William Daniel Kelly 28 Sep 1928 George Lincoln Hadfield, Jr. 24 Apr 1920 - 05 Jul 1983 Unidentified soldier and John Hannum Tipton 29 Aug 1922 - 14 Sep 1962 Bruce Tipton 15 Oct 1931 - 28 Jun 1995 Bob McCamley, Richard Egan, Bill Allen, Ron Tipton April 1960 Larry Meredith and Ron Tipton August 1962 Today is Memorial Day in which this country recognizes and honors the services of all of our veterans. Join with me in honoring those who have given so much that we can live in freedom. Note: Pictured above: 1) A composite picture produced by my sister-in-law Barbara Tipton of me and my two younger brothers during our tour of duty with the Army in the 60's. 2) My life partner of 45 years Bill Kelly during his tour of duty with the Air Force in Bamberg, Germany during the Fifties. 3) My Uncle Sam Tipton during his tour of duty with the U.S. Air Force in Greenland. 4)

Baby Bluebird Update

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There was a lot of activity around the baby bluebird box this morning. The parents are making more and more frequent food drops at the entrance to the birdhouse. Usually, this means that the baby bluebirds are rapidly maturing and might be out of their home in a week or ten days. I will try to take a picture every day. This is today's picture taken about a half an hour ago. When I opened the front of the bird box, they started to come forward for their food but then they took one look at me and probably thought "You ain't my mama!"

Memorial Day Weekend

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Seeing the morning sun streaming through my home office window, I knew this first day of Memorial Day weekend was getting off to a good start. After checking my Facebook account and my e-mails, Bill and I got in his Jeep and drove down an almost deserted Route One to Zorba's in Rehoboth Beach for our weekly breakfast. At quarter after seven, we were the second customers in the Greek owned restaurant located next to the Food Lion in the strip mall on Route One. Bill ordered his egg sandwich with double mayonnaise and I ordered my pig snout mush (aka scrapple), one egg over easy, crispy home fries and one English muffin. The waitress informed us that the grill wasn't hot yet so our breakfast might take a little longer. Bill had his regular coffee with three sugars and two creams. I had my usual decaffeinated coffee with 1/3 packet of sugar one cream. After two coffees, our breakfast arrived. It was a good breakfast. After breakfast Bill wanted to stop at The Home Depot of pur

Baby Robin

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Just got in from transplanting a couple of rose bushes and geraniums. Bill was taking video up near the border. He called to me to come quickly and see a baby robin in one of the white pine trees that border our property. I went, I saw and I took this picture. This is Memorial Day weekend. Rt. 1 is already clogged with bicycle ladened SUV's headed to Rehoboth Beach and points south. Colorful beach towels, coconut smelling sun tan oils, red and white Coleman coolers headed for the hot sand of the beach. That's not the life for me. This is my life, creating a backyard sanctuary for my fine feathered friends. I even have sparrows in my backyard. This gives me so much more pleasure than fighting traffic on a four lane highway seeking the nearest parking meter. I'm loving my retirement in southern Delaware.

Bluebird Progress

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Just a short blog today on the baby bluebird progress. Yesterday my Internet service provider, Verizon, was down for about 17 hours. That outage threw my schedule all out of whack. I worked a the hotel today. I just got off. I have three knock out rose bushes to plant and about ten geraniums to insert into planters. Then it's time to relax this weekend. Maybe watch a few DVD's, go out to breakfast with Bill, do a little yard work. One thing is for sure, I don't have to get out on Route One and join that parking lot. Oh yes, the Weekend Hord is descending as I type this entry. The baby bluebirds are progressing quite well. I was concerned because there appears to be a dominant baby bluebird who is hogging the entry. I was afraid that the other four bluebirds wouldn't get enough food. However, I have observed the parents going around the dominant baby bluebird to make sure the others in the nest get their fair share. I guess the parents have dealt with this situation

Good Morning Sunshine

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What do we have here? Why it looks like the dominant member of the baby bluebird Batch of Five. A short while ago I went out to the bluebird box to take my latest progress picture of the first batch of bluebirds this year and this is what greeted me. Apparently, Skeeziks here figured out this is where the food come in and he (she) is going to be first in line. I dare not open the bluebird box lest this one falls out. Mama bluebird was nearby keeping observing. I think she knows that I am not a threat to her babies. The Purple Martins are doing fine in their house. The one lower apartment that I had such a devil of a time getting rid of the sparrows is now occupied by a Purple Martin family. Last week when I threw out the sparrow nest; eggs and all. That did the trick. The sparrows have been coming back with decreasing frequency looking in the other apartments for its eggs but no go. This afternoon I checked an apartment on the front of Purple Martin house. I haven't seen any Pu

Moving On

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One of the charter members of our group is leaving Gayberry, aka Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. My friend Cajun and I were informed last night by our other friend that he is selling his home and possibly moving to Florida (depending on if he can get the deal he wants on the condo he’s been scouting out.) Our friend is single and thus an anomaly in the gay population in this area. Most of the gays and lesbians in the Rehoboth/Lewes/Milton area are older, long term couples. Our friend who is leaving the area does not have a partner. My other friend in our little dining group last night used to have a partner but that relationship ended a couple years ago after a 31 year run. In fact, he has been debating whether or not to stay in the area also. It is something to think about because in this area, if you’re not part of a clique or in a relationship, life can be very lonely at times. I don’t think this has much to do with the fact if one is gay or straight, to be single in today’s world be

Coming Out

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My nephew recently was informed by his 16 year old niece that she was gay. This information stunned and shocked him. Of course the first thing he thought was "What did I do wrong?" That's what all parents think when they are faced with the knowledge that one of their children is gay. My Mother has the same reaction when I came out to her in April of 1963. Her first words were "What did I do wrong." I told her "You didn't do anything wrong, this is who I am. I've always been this way as long as I can remember." I realize that this is a lot of information for any parent to process. But it is a fact of life that is becoming more prevelant these days as more and more young people refuse to live their life as a lie and are coming out to their parents, relatives and friends. Since my grand niece told me that she had informed her father she was gay, I've been debating if and how I should post this information to my blog. I have decided to po

Rainy Sunday in Lewes

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On this gray and dreary Sunday in May I had little energy to do anything but read a book and take a long nap. After I did that I suggested to Bill that we hit the Dairy Queen again in Lewes for another take at one of those Banana Cream Pie Blizzard shakes. He agreed so off we went to Lewes. It took awhile to get out of our development, located on the right side of Route 1. We had to wait for a break in the Horde traffic of vehicles , i.e., the weekenders returning to their homes in the after spending a rainy weekend in the Delmarva peninsula. Nary a vehicle going south on Rt. 1 but wave after head lighted wave of vehicles headed north on Rt. 1. Bless their hearts. I hope they left a lot of money during their weekend sojourn to our coastal shores. Down the rain slicked highway we went, turning left on New Road for our entry into Lewes. Over the Canal Street Bridge to the Dairy Queen located on Savannah Road, one short block from the bay beach in Lewes. I didn't have to wait

Saturday in Lewes

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Five-thirty a.m. arrived early this morning. I like to wake up before my radio alarm goes of. The alarm is alarming. Not a good way to start the day. Usually, Saturday mornings are reserved for me and Bill to make our weekly trek to Zorba's restaurant in Rehoboth Beach for breakfast. Not that the breakfast is all that special at Zorba's but it is good to get Bill out of the house among other people at least once a week. Zorba's has a low kid and high gay clientele what we're comfortable with. Not that the restaurant is a loud and campy gay hangout, it isn't. Almost all of the gay clientele are old men like me and Bill who have been in a long term relationships. There is an occasional old straight couple who wanders in. The operative word here is "old." This isn't a young people's hangout, which is just fine with us. We're welcomed at Zorba's and we return the favor with ourpatronage. This morning I had to work at the hotel. I filled

Lunch in Lewes

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Yesterday a friend of mine invited me to lunch with her and a couple of her girlfriends who were visiting her at her home on the Delaware Bay in Lewes. Her name is Judy. Judy was also my classmate in high school, Class of 1959. One of her visiting friends was also my classmate from high school. Her name is also Judy. Yes, “Judy, Judy” a la Cary Grant or Tony Curtis doing his impression of Cary Grant in the movie “Some Like it Hot.” I didn’t do that joke yesterday. The second “Judy” was also my childhood friend from grade school. She and her family lived just up the street from me on Washington Avenue in Downingtown, PA. We went to grade school together then high school. After graduating from high school in 1959 we lost touch for many years but we renewed our friendship a few years ago. The third member of our lunch party was Esther. I only met her a few months ago through the first Judy. Esther and her recently deceased husband were longtime friends of Judy and her husband Jack. I

I Left My Hat in Pennsylvania

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Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco but I left my hat in Pennsylvania yesterday. Yesterday Bill and I left early from our home near Milton, Delaware for the 2 ½ drive to Pennsylvania. The skies were clear and the sun shone brightly as we shot up Route 1 towards Rt. 896 for Newark, Delaware. Yesterday was one of those rare sunny days sandwiched in between the rain and cloudy skies this spring. We enjoyed viewing all the greenery on our way up to Pennsylvania. It was a lovely trip on a beautiful spring day. We couldn't have asked for a better day to make a trip. My Mom and brother weren’t home when I first arrived at their house on Hopewell. They arrived as I was taking pictures of their house of all the fresh new green growth around their snug little ranch house. My brother drove up in his new red Toyota RAV with our Mom in the passenger seat. I go to help her out. She doesn’t want my help. Uh oh, she’s upset about something. She’s got something worked up in h

Super Bluebird

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Lots going on here in Ron's World. Today I'm going to stick with the progress of my baby bluebirds in their bluebird house which is guarded by the biggest bluebird I've ever seen. It's a Super Bluebird! He's been fighting off swallows and sparrows from his five baby bluebirds. So far he has been able to repel all attacks from the barbarians. As you can see from the picture I took a few minutes ago, the baby bluebirds haven't opened their eyes yet. That will probably happen in the next day or two. I will keep the readers of this blog posted when that event happens. In about a week they will be covered in a soft down of blue hued feathers. In about a month they're out on their own in the big world. I always feel guilty when I open the front of the bluebird box to take my progress pictures. But I think Super Bluebird understands because he goes away a short distance and watches from his perch from my neighbor's screened in deck. As soon as I finis

Why I Retired to the Delmarva Peninsula

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The Delmarva Peninsula is a large peninsula on the East Coast of the United States, occupied by portions of three U.S. states: Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. Named as a portmanteau of the letters of the states that occupy it, it is almost 300 by 100km or about 180 by 60 miles, and is bordered by the Chesapeake Bay on the west, and the Delaware River, Delaware Bay, and Atlantic Ocean on the east. Its northern isthmus is cut by the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. Bridges cross the canal and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel join the peninsula to the mainland. Other points of access include Lewes, Delaware, reachable by ferry from Cape May, New Jersey. Dover, the capital of Delaware, is in the northeast corner, but the peninsula's main commercial area is Salisbury, Maryland, near the center of the peninsula. This is where I live and work folks, on the eastern most edge of the Delmarva Peninsula . I work in Lewes, Delaware near Cape Henlopen State

Mother's Day 2009

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The sun shines brightly this Sunday morning, Mother's Day 2009. The heat and humidity of yesterday is gone, replaced by low humidity and a brisk wind. The first thing I did this morning after getting up from bed was to go out to my Purple Martin house and tear out yet another house sparrow nest. I've been tearing out their nests for about 10 days now. The Purple Martins arrived on schedule, May 1st. They took up residence in the other five apartments but the determined house sparrows will not give up on their nest building in the one apartment. After I cleaned out their messy nest and was walking back to the house, I noticed that both of the sparrows were having sex (or else they were playing leap frog) on the ledge in front of their desired apartment. I took this as their version of giving me the Universal Finger (aka as the Digital Salute.) I may have to escalate this battle of wits and wait until they lay their eggs and then throw out the whole batch; nest, eggs and all.

Baby Blue Birds

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The baby blue bird eggs have hatched. All five of them. This is the second year the blue birds have nested in on of the three blue bird boxes I have bordering my backyard. It is the same box they nested in last year. They raised two batches of baby blue birds, five at a time, last year. They don't nest in the other two boxes. Occasionally the sparrows build make a half hearted effort to build a nest in the other blue bird houses but don't follow through. They prefer one of the apartments in the Purple Martin house. And that isn't happening no matter how many times they build their nest. But that is a subject for another blog. This morning Bill and I visited the East Coast Garden Center near Millsboro on Rt. 24. I saw a pair of perfect rhododendron plants which I prompty purchased. I brought them back and planted them on the north side of our house, which gets some sun, but not a lot of sun which is what rhododendron plants prefer. Now that side of our house is complete.

My Three Sons

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My Mother has three sons. I am the oldest, born in 1941. My brother Isaac was born in 1943 and my youngest brother John was born in 1944. My father had 10 brothers and no sisters. My Mother told my father she wasn’t going to have a dozen sons. She always wanted a daughter. I guess I was the default daughter for awhile until I was about three years old. I will write more about that aspect of my growing up in a future blog posting. My brothers and I were very fortunate in that our Mom was totally devoted to all three of her sons and her husband. She lived for us. I know it is a cliché but my Mom was really one of those saintly Moms. Even as recently as the beginning of this year she was still providing for us by helping us out monetarily with our various needs. That’s just the way she is and always has been. She has never spent money on herself or been concerned with “things.” Her family has always been her first priority. Mom set the standard for us, her three devoted sons. N

Mom and Ike

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This morning I had a long talk with my brother Isaac, who lives with and care for our Mom at our old family homestead in Pennsylvania. I haven’t been able to get in touch with them for a few weeks. We discovered the problem was that the phone was out. Mom is 85 years old now. She has been in declining health ever since our father died August 22, 2000. They were married 61 years. Each one was the half of the other. Much of her problem seems to be depression. She also has a balance problem and is on a number of medications. Both of her sisters (one of which is now deceased) developed dementia. I’m afraid the signs are now showing Mom is also developing dementia. I have two younger brothers. I live in Delaware, and my youngest brother lives in South Carolina. My Mom lives with my middle brother in Pennsylvania. We would prefer for her to move to my brother’s place in South Carolina where she can receive more professional care but she prefers to stay where she has lived for the past 6

Another Technology Challenging Day

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Bill and I spent most of this day figuring out how to copy a VHS tape to a DVD recorder. We have a Magnavox dual recorder. Instructions came with it. But, as you probably suspect, it wasn ’t easy. I don’t know if it’s me or the instructions. I know most of us older folk have a hard time with the new technology. We probably have a hard time processing all this new information because our heads are full of a lifetime of information. Younger folk have an easier time learning the new technology because their minds are relatively uncluttered. Some might say even say "empty." Bill used to be an electronics technician with General Electric but he retired 25 years ago. There have been a lot of changes since he retired. He knows circuit boards but not micro chips. He’s pretty good in hooking up the wires but I’m the one who is better at reading instructions and following the steps. Not that it’s easy for me, it isn ’t. In fact it’s getting harder and harder. I keep to a minimum t

Lapse of Judgement

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Yesterday I had a lapse of judgement. I posted a blog about my experience yesterday with my longtime friend who is apparently in the beginning stages of dementia. I should have made that posting. It is one thing to post about my personal situation. However, it is quite another to post about someone else's situation and identify them. I was wrong to do that. Thank goodness a good friend of mine brought that to my attention this morning. After I had done that posting yesterday a little voice on my shoulder said "You might have went to far with this posting. This is personal information about someone else and you should respect their privacy." However, I ignored that little voice in my quest to have all my blog postings honest about my life and my relationships. I was wrong in that justification. I have since deleted that blog posting. If I ever refer to my friend's situation again I will not identify him by name or picture. I don't know what happened to my m

I'm Not Perfect

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After 67 years of experience, learning and plodding along on this earth I figured I was pretty near perfect. However, an incident at work tonight proved such is not the case. I made a stupid, careless mistake. A guest called at the front desk of the hotel where I work. He wanted to make reservations for Memorial Day weekend in our most expensive suite. Business being the way it has been this past year (the economy has been sucking in case you haven't noticed) we needed all the business we can at the hotel to make up for lost business during the winter months. I checked my calender to see what day Memorial Day fell on. Yep. May 30th. I checked my computer reservation screen. We already had booked the VIP suite the guest on the phone was requesting. I told the guest I was sorry but we had booked the room for the 30th of May. It just so happened the owner of the hotel had stopped in and was sitting in the office behind me and overheard my conversation. He double checked the reser