Showing posts from July, 2009

Zucchini Boats

I have had a couple requests for my Zucchini Boats recipe. Here is it below. I got the recipe from Taste of Home. Please fell free to add or subtract any ingredients that you feel will enhance the recipe to your individual taste. I find this recipe a good way to use those large zucchini that are so abundant in backyard gardens this time of year: SERVINGS: 4 CATEGORY: Main Dish METHOD: Baked TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 25 min. Ingredients: 2 medium zucchini (about 8 inches) 3/4 pound ground beef 1 small onion, chopped 1/2 cup large fresh mushrooms 1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper 1/2 cup chopped green pepper 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided 2 tablespoons ketchup Salt and pepper to taste Directions: Trim the ends of zucchini. Cut in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/2-in. shell. Finely chop pulp. In a skillet, cook beef, zucchini pulp, onion, mushrooms and peppers over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Remove from the heat. add 1/2 cup chees

A Good Run

For sometime now I’ve noticed the mental decline of a good friend of mine. I will not identify him in this blog posting out of respect for his privacy but those who know me know who I am talking about. Yesterday my friend called me and confirmed what I had suspected for a few years now, his mental decline. He said he had a brain scan and the doctor determined that he had “partial dementia.” The doctor also told him he had the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. I had also noticed that my friend’s right arm and hand had been twitching with increasing frequency. Both my friend and I use the Veterans Administration facilities. When my friend first noticed his increasing memory loss and twitching of his right arm he brought it to the attention of the VA. They dismissed his concerns outright saying that his loss of memory was normal for a man of his age (early 70’s) and the twitching was “nothing.” I cannot be sure that this was actually what the VA told my friend since I wasn’t there

Walking at the Bottom of the Pool

On hot, humid days like today I feel like I’m walking on the bottom of a pool. We’re going through a period of hot and oppressively humid days punctuated by ferocious thunderstorms in the evening. My boss called me yesterday afternoon to ask me for a “big favor” (his words.) He wanted to know if I could come into work the second shift (3 pm to 11 pm) yesterday. I checked my calendar and I had those hours open (no surprise) so I told him I could come in. Even though I was cut back to one day a week last month, I’ve been called on frequently to fill in for my co-workers, who are either on vacation, sick or on personal business. Tomorrow and Saturday I’m filling in on the 7 am to 3 pm shift. My regular schedule is Mondays 3 pm to 11 pm. When I got into work yesterday my manager asked me if I could also work Tuesday 7 am to 3 pm. I’m glad I have the opportunity to earn the extra money but I’m starting to feel like my friend, The Cajun who works almost seven days a week at his two jobs.

Hump Day

The day started out quiet enough. I decided to take advantage of the early morning cool temperatures and bake a couple of dishes. One was zucchini boats and the other was a cornbread casserole. We had dinner at a friend’s house last week and we just had to have that recipe. I sound like the beginning of the song “MacArthur Park.” Whatever happened to Richard Harris’s singing career anyway? Bill came back from Lowe’s and wasn’t too pleased that I had heated up the kitchen. His solution was to open the oven door to let the heat escape. It old him there was a fan in the oven that cooled off the oven but Bill dismissed that outright. So we heated up the kitchen some more while he “cooled off” the oven. It wasn’t too long before this quiet hump day turned into something else. My boss called me and asked if I could come into work this evening. Monica, the assistant manager who was scheduled for tonight, has food poisoning. I checked my calendar (like I have a full dance card) and I foun

Trip to Milford

This morning Bill and I made an early morning trip to Milford. Now his check engine light was on (remember mine was on several weeks ago.) Bill wanted to use a new garage because he lost faith in the garage (called "The Garage") I was using in Rehoboth Beach. Last week Bill took his car in to have the check engine light checked and get some other work done. He wanted an appointment to get his car fixed but The Garage said they don't take appointments. They take all their jobs on a first come first serve basis. After a frustrating two day wait, Bill finally went down and waited half a day until they finished the repairs on his car, vowing never to go back. On the way home he discovered.....yes....the "check engine" light was still on. Well, there was no way he was going to take his car back there. One gets jerked around just so many times before one loses faith. Bill discussed his situation with our friend Bob C. Bob advised Bill to use the auto repair garag

A Sunday Phone Call

Yesterday afternoon I received a phone call from a woman named Lisa. She identified herself as Tom Davis's daughter. I never talked to her before yesterday but I knew immediately why she called me. She told me that her dad, Tom Davis, had died. Tom Davis was one of the few people who was instrumental in my life. I probably wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for Tom Davis. Back around 1968, when I was working for the old Girard Bank in Philadelphia (now Mellon Bank), Tom plucked me out of the trust department remittance clerk pool to ask me to work on a special project for him and his new unit. Tom was in charge of the input control unit. In his capacity as supervisor of the input control unit he saw my concern for accuracy and asked me take the summer and review all the trust department customer addresses for accuracy. I was flattered by his attention and accepted this new job. To make a long story short, this small step began my job career progression from ju

Enjoy Life!

The hot and muggies have descended upon us down here in Lower Slower (aka Sussex County, Delaware.) While there is enough bad news to go all around from the high unemployment rate, to folks who can't sell their homes, and the too many people without adequate health care, there is good news. It seems no matter how bad things get, some people will always find the good in life. They will always find the joy in just living and making others happy. Previously, I posted a video of a young couple who took the non traditional route to making their entrance into the church for their wedding. No and, and I mean on one but the most absolute prude could fail to break into a face hurting big smiles when they see the pure joy in the bridesmaids and groomsmen as they boogie on down the aisle to Chris Brown's "Forever." Especially heartwarming is to see the beautiful bride make her sole entrance down the aisle to her waiting groom with a huge happy smile on her face. That

JK Wedding Entrance Dance

I was going to write a blog posting today complaining about the dangerous, murderous drivers on Rt. 1, the heat and humidity of the last two days, and the crazy wing nut birthers and their supporters who are questioning President Obama's legality as a citizen of these United States but I decided instead to post a video which will make everyone feel good. But, after I saw this feel good entrance to the beginning of a wedding ceremony in Minnesota I thought this is what life is really about. Life is so short and full of disappointments, pain and suffering. Why not take those times of celebration and make the most of them? This wedding video illustrates that point better than I ever could with words. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Wayne!

My friend Wayne celebrated his hmmmmmm (over 40 under 70 )birthday yesterday. We had a delightful dinner at a new restaurant just down the road from where we live (Wayne and I are neighbors.) The restaurant is called the Surfing Crab. While I'm not a seafood or shellfish aficionado, Wayne tells me the crab cakes are to die for. In fact, I made a bit of a pig out of myself yesterday by not only having dinner with my friend Wayne at the Surfing Crab, I also had lunch with my friend Big Bob. For lunch I had their blackened chicken. It was delicious! For dinner I had their chargrilled Black Angus hamburger. Again, delicious! This may sound like an advertisement for the Surfing Crab, and maybe it is but I'm telling you this restaurant is a find! The eating area consists of many long picnic tables in a large screened in porch. While you're close to the traffic on Route 1, it is not a negative. The service is excellent, the prices are reasonable and the food is great! I

Crazy "Birther" Challenges Obama's Citizenship

By now most of you have heard about the crazy nut bag lady at the town hall meeting of Delaware's representative Mike Castle that was held in Georgetown, Delaware. I live a few miles from Georgetown and thus not far from this crazy lady and the equally crazy folks who cheered her on after she made her demand "I want my country back!" I retired to Delaware a few years back for several reasons, the main one being a more tolerant attitude towards me and my life partner of 45 years. Prior to moving to Delaware we lived in Pennsylvania. For several years we lived next to a homophobic neighbor who made life miserable for us even going to the extent in calling the police to have us arrested for just being gay. Yes, that is the reason she gave to our township police chief. She said "Isn't it illegal to be gay?" The police chief told her to leave his office. She did but continued to be the Neighbor from Hell until she eventually moved. Seeing the video of th

Fifty Eight Years Later

My last post I displayed a picture of me taken at my graduation from Downingtown High School, Class of 1959 and the 50 th anniversary class invite I received to this year's DHS Class of 2009 graduation ceremonies. The contrast was remarkable and scary, given how fast the past fifty years has flown by. On this posting I'm showing a picture of me with my cousin Bud (Edward) Tipton at the West Chester Fishing Rodeo. This picture was taken September 1, 1951 at the West Chester, Pennsylvania reservoir . The big smile you see on my face is the fact that I won the fishing rodeo by catching the biggest fish of the day. It was a 13 inch rainbow trout. It was ironic I won because I wasn't the sportsman in the family. If anyone was, it was my cousin Bud (who, coincidentally is the same age as I am and is also unmarried as I am today.) Bud went on to to fish many more days and even deer hunting which I never did in my life. I never went fishing since that day in 1951. I fig

Fifty Years

Fifty years sounds like a long time and it is. This year the Downingtown High School Class of 2009 invited me along with my classmates of the DHS Class of 1959 to attend their graduation ceremonies as special guests celebrating our fiftieth anniversary. I thought "Why not?" I took them up on the invitation and had a wonderful time. I didn't want to miss this event because there is only one fiftieth anniversary. As we were getting ready to enter the same field where I graduated fifty years ago, I noticed that I was standing in just about the same spot as I was fifty years ago this June when I graduated. I asked my friend Pat to take my picture. The two pictures you see on this blog are first of me when I graduated June 2nd, 1959. The second picture is of me as I was preparing to enter the football field on June 16th, 2009. Not much change eh? Well, perhaps a little bit. All I can say, that was a fast fifty years. The old boy did some serious living and he isn't

Swallowtail Butterfly

This is a longer video of the Swallowtail butterfly feeding on the butterfly bush that leads to my deck. I sent the wrong video before. However, both show the beauty that is nature. That's what I love about living where I live. I soak it up everyday. Even today when I have to go to work this afternoon. Then the rest of the week off!

Swallowtail Butterfly on Butterfly Bush

This is the sight that greeted me this morning. A graceful swallowtail butterfly feeding on the butterfly bush at the entrance to my deck. I'll take this any day over an in ground pool.

I Scream, You Scream

For ice cream. Yes, Bill and I returned to the scene of yesterday's uncomfortable situation. Not that we were looking for trouble. It's just that the ice cream at this place is just so damn good and cheap. The families and the kiddies were there again tonight but we didn't hang around after we got our ice cream. Instead we headed down to visit out friends Big Bob and Jim at their home in the woods on Anderson Corner Road, right outside of Georgetown. Neither Bob or Jim were feeling well. I suspect a lot of their disposition had to do with their neighbor who encroaching on their 22 acres of wooded land. Bob and Jim like to walk around the perimeter of their land but their neighbor chased them away. Big Bob has lived on that land since he purchased it in the early 70's. I used to visit him often. Big Bob is the reason I moved to southern Delaware. I grew to love this area of the country and decided this is where I wanted to live when I retired. I am so glad I made

Reality Check

Bill and I have been treating ourselves the last week or so by frequenting a local dairy farm that offers fresh ice cream. The farm isn't located to far from where we live. The good part about it is that we don't have to travel down the traffic congested Route 1 into Lewes or Rehoboth to avail ourselves of this treat. Another positive thing is the ice cream is totally natural and thus tastes good and I don't have digestion problems as I so often do when I eat the usual artificially flavored,fructose sweetened and chemically laden overprice concoctions that pass for ice cream at the tourist traps in Lewes and Rehoboth Beach. Perhaps the only downside is if the wind is blowing in the wrong direction, we get a healthy whiff of cow poop while we're devouring our ice cream cones. This evening we found another downside to patronizing an eatery off of the beaten summer tourist track. Good old homophobia. This was the first Saturday evening we went to the dairy farm ice cre

And Then There Were None

Bill had a very trying day today. He called The Garage and his car still wasn't ready. He asked me to drop him off at The Garage at 12 noon and he would wait for it. Yesterday was our day to go to the Sam's Club in Dover, thirty nine miles away. We would have to do it today. But first, Bill had to get his '91 Jeep Cherokee out of The Garage. Of course when he went down they hadn't even started on the repairs. They did when they saw he was waiting. Two and a half hours later they told him they were finished. Frustrated, Bill paid the bill and stormed out of The Garage. Note, I refer to "The Garage" that way because that is the name of the auto repair business we patronize on Route 1, across from The Hampton Inn in Rehoboth Beach. On the way home Bill noticed his "Check Engine" light was still on. They hadn't fixed the main reason he went in! That's why he took his car to The Garage. They found the brake problem when they took his ca

Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer

This has to be my favorite time of the year, these lazy hazy days of summer. The sun is up at 6 in the morning and doesn't go down until after 8:30 in the evening. Days like this seem like they will last forever but I know all too well that the days are getting shorter. They have been getting shorter since the Summer Solstice . My summer day begins when I wake up about 7 am and stumble into my bathroom to shave. After I splash witch hazel on my face I'm ready to face the world. The kitchen is my next stop. I mix up some fiber blend with grape-cranberry juice to take before my breakfast of Corn Chex and freshly sliced strawberries. For years I had problems with my morning constitution (I was constipated) but not since I began taking AIM raspberry flavored fiber blend mix about five years ago. Maybe this is too much information but it was a wonderful development in my life. Now I'm just a "regular" guy. Smile. I used to watch "Morning Joe" on MSNBC bu

Making Friends

One of my few disappointments in living in this area of Delaware is the lack of making new gay friends. The Rehoboth Beach/Lewes/Milton area of southern Delaware is supposed to be the gay capital of the East Coast. We are located almost right in the center radius of the Philadelphia/Balitmore/Washington D.C. geographical map. We are a beach resort community without the cold waters and large pebbles of the Provinctown, Massachusetts beaches. Delaware also doesn't have the high taxes of Massachusetts for the brutally cold winters. Thus, one would think that living in this so called "Gay Capital of the East Coast" would be a melting pot of meeting new gay friends. Alas, that is not the case. At least with me, it has not happened. I have made a few gay friends (I can count them on one hand), but after living here almost three years I've just about given up on making any new gay friends. Ironically, I have made many new friends. Except for that handful of gay friends (

Bluebirds Growing Fast

The second batch of baby bluebirds is growing fast! I haven't been checking this batch as often as I checked the first batch. It seems like it was just a few weeks ago that this bluebird box held four pastel blue eggs. Judging by the knowing eyes of the baby bluebirds this morning, it looks like they will be out of their nest sometime next week. Then the bluebird box will be empty until next year. The Purple Martins continue to reproduce. I thought I had a problem a few days ago. One of the baby Purple Martins was on the ground at the base of the Purple Martin house but couldn't fly. For about four hours the young Purple Martin tried to fly but couldn't. Except for a few feeble flaps of its wings, it stayed on the ground, waiting for its parents to feed it. It's a good thing I don't have cats because they would have made quick work of that vulnerable young bird. Bill was getting concerned that the young Purple Martin would die from the heat. He suggested that

Harold arrives at his birthday party

A few days ago I watched this video, "Boys in the Band". Harold's arrival at his birthday party plays just as well today as it did when I first watched this movie 39 years ago at the Midtown Theater in downtown Philadelphia, PA. Harold's quote "Life is a goddamn laugh riot" is just as appropriate today as it was back in the Stone Age (before Stonewall.) Enjoy!

The Boys in the Band

Last night I took a trip down Memory Lane and watched the ground breaking movie (for its time) "The Boys in the Band." This was a movie I rented from Netflix. I was reluctant to watch it at first but now I am glad I did. I first saw "Boys in the Band" at the Midtown Theater in downtown Philadelphia in 1970. At that time it was the first major motion picture with an openly gay story line and characters. I remember how nervous I was going to the movie theater on Chestnut Street with my lover (now called "partner") of five years, Bill (yes, we're still together.) The movie theater was right across the street from the bank where I worked. As hard as it is to believe now I remember part of my nervousness was taking a chance that someone from where I worked would see me going into this movie theater that was showing a gay movie. I decided to take the chance because it was on a Saturday afternoon and the bank was closed and thus none of my co-workers wo

The Milton, DE House and Garden Tour Part II

The humidity is back. We had about a week of low humidity, warm summer temperatures here on the eastern coast of the Delmarva peninsula near Cape Henlopen. This morning I did some yard work but I had to come in after a couple of hours because the humidity and heat drained the energy out of me. I am so thankful that the gods yesterday bestowed upon us such a wonderful summer day of warm temperatures, mild breezes and low humidity. It was ideal for the Milton Garden Tour, which I'm still relishing in my mind. This is the first garden tour I've ever done in my life and I loved it. I'm a naturally nosy person anyway so I like to see other people's homes and gardens and see what their creative minds come up with. Yesterday was not a disappointment. Even though there were only twelve houses and gardens on the tour, most of the house were very different. The houses varied from one built in 1750 to more recent houses built in developments. From cozy enclosed backy

Milton Garden Tour

Today was just the perfect day for my first garden tour ever. For two years I've been trying to make the Lewes annual garden tour. Last year I had to work at the last minute and this year it was rained out. My friend Bob asked me to join him on this year's Milton Tenth Annual Garden and Homes Tour. This time I waited until the day of the tour before I bought my ticket (there were no refunds on the rained out Lewes Tour.) Bob and I bought our tickets at the Milton Historical Society building in Milton on this absolute perfect sunny, low humidity, light breeze, Saturday morning. Our first tour was the Historical Society building which was formerly a church. The light steaming trough the multi-colored stained glass windows set the mood for the day. It was absolutely beautiful. The first garden we visited was one after my own heart. It was called "The Orchard Hot House." The owner of the garden and house looks like a biker (tattoos, beard and pony tale) but has be

Irrigation System at Work

Sometimes Mother Nature needs a little help. This is my irrigation system at the end of day helping to keep my lawn from turning brown. The past several days have been picture perfect summer days, so much so that I haven't had time to sit at my computer and compose a thoughtful blog posting. I'm taking advantage of this wonderful weather by working, playing and exercising outside as often as I can. I do my cooking in the morning (this morning broccoli casserole and orange cake) and the rest of the day I'm outside. Guests at the hotel where I work often ask me how I like living in Delaware. I tell them the same thing everytime, "It's like a permanent vacation. I love it, love it, love it!" Today was no exception. Soon the cold winds will blow across this tiny peninsula and I'll be holed up inside my cozy little home. Even then I love living here on the eastern shore of Delaware. I've worked and waited all my life for this time and it is

Purple Martins and Baby Catbird

This is my joy, my backyard. It has taken me two years to get it to this point where it is my oasis. I've created a backyard habitat for the birds, bees and other insects. The only thing I'm missing is a water feature like a small pond with a waterfall. I had three ponds at my home in Pennsylvania and I miss them very much. I will eventually put a pond in when I can figure out how I want to place it where I can hear the water and it is most beneficial to the local wildlife. My backyard wildlife sanctuary here in Delaware is quite different from the one I had in Pennsylvania. Here my yard is out in the open. I started from a clean slate. In Pennsylvania, I had to make a clearing in the woods. I had to deal with stones and roots and the biggest problem, the deer. I have none of those problems here on my acre of land in Delaware. Since I'm out in the open I have a different bird population too. Here I have Purple Martins, which require an open space. I also ha

Purple Martin House Update

Almost all of my bird update blogs are about the bluebirds in my back yard. I also have a swallow nest and a Purple Martin House. The pictures on this blog were taken about a half an hour ago after I made a check of the Purple Martin house to make sure there were no dead baby birds. That happened one time last year. The only way I knew about it was that the adult Purple Martins were acting strangely by squawking and flying about in an alarming manner. I took down the house and found three dead baby Purple Martins, pecked to death in their heads probably by a house sparrow trying to take over their nest. Thank goodness that wasn't the situation this time. Of the six compartments, four were occupied by baby Purple Martins in various stages of development. Those are the pictures I have placed on this blog. I've lost track of the number of baby Purple Martins born to this particular house but it was to be at least two dozen. The Purple Martins arrived right on time Ma

Getting Back Up To Speed

Last night I ended my six day marathon work schedule at the hotel where I work part-time. Whew! I was busier last night that I was on the Fourth of July. There must have been a full moon last night. Multiple phone calls, guests checking in, guest checking out early, making reservations, checking reservations, doing loads of laundry,moping and vacuuming the name it. I was a master of multi-tasking last night. At one point I was beginning to lose it which is a big NO-NO in the hospitality business. I started to get snippy with a guest who was insisting on renting our beer package special for FOUR guests instead of the usual two guests. We don't do four guest because they tend to get too rowdy and thus disturb the other guests in the hotel. You know how it works when more than two young adults get together with a couple of six packs of a brew......PAAAARRRRTYYY! Well, the woman who was trying to make the reservation over the phone wanted to know "Who makes the ru