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Showing posts from May, 2011

The Muggies are Upon Us

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Me and my neighbor Marty yesterday morning - she was out for an early morning walk and I was out enjoying the fresh early morning air.  You can tell I just got up from bed. My father used to look the same way right after he got up in the morning.  Egads, I have turned into my father! Yesterday was a much needed day of rest for me.  After having come off of seven straight days of work at the hotel, I was exhausted.  Wipe out.  Knocked out.  As much as I like my job, seven days in a row is a bit much, especially on a holiday weekend. The hotel was full, lots of happy guests, no problems.  Still, I was glad to get out of town (Lewes) on Saturday.  I had to wait longer than usual to exit the parking lot because of the crush of people and heavy traffic on Pilottown Road.  It is on days like this that I thank God I don't work in Rehoboth Beach.  When I go home I have to turn on Rt. 1 north.  I'm going the opposite direction than the horde of tourists coming down to Rehoboth Be

Spo Shirt

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My garish Spo Shirt on the man himself, Dr. Spo Yesterday, shortly after I arrived at work I heard my harp ringtone on my iPhone.  I pull my iPhone out of my pocket and who do I see that is requesting FaceTime?  One of my very favorite blogging buddies, Dr. Spo.  Luckily I didn't have any guests at the front desk nor was my boss/owner around so I answered Dr. Spo's request for FaceTime. As Dr. Spo's warm and friendly visage (and very attractive I might add) flooded the face of my iPhone I saw he was holding a riotously colorful shirt.  I recognized that material.  It was the material I sent to Dr. Spo a few months ago to have my very own custom made Dr. Spo "Jolly Good Time" Shirt. Dr. Spo wanted me to see the shirt, which includes the sun on the pocket (no easy task to place it there I was told) which was completed all but for the buttons.  Take a look, doesn't it look fabulous? I suspect that the material I sent Dr. Spo wasn't one he would hav

Four Questions Meme

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Me on vacation at the Carriage House restaurant in Townsend, Tennessee a few weeks ago Still busy with the job folks.  But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I just hope that's not a train coming towards me.  In the meantime, to let my faithful blog readers know I'm still alive, here are my "Four Questions Meme."   Lots of thought went into this folks. Another week and I may be able to get back to my regular blog posting routine.  T hings I need to spend more time on in my life Researching my family genealogy Catching up on my e-mails Getting rid of material things I don't need at this time of my life Gardening Things I need to spend less time on in my life Working full-time  Trying to please everybody Arguing religion with my conservative friends Arguing politics with my conservative friends Things I wish I could spend more time on in my life Cleaning house Organizing my photos and videos Downsizing Staying in touch with far

A Breather

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Still working full blast at the hotel.  I have a little window of opportunity here on this warm, sunny Friday morning to update my blog.  Of the four front desk clerks at the hotel - one quite which was why I was working full-time.  Another (full-time) had a family emergency which caused her to be missing in action from work all this week.  The third front desk clerk, who is part-time like me, also had a family emergency (her dog was dying).  So you know where that left me.....working EVERY DAY.  Both the manager (who is doing day duty this morning) and I have been filling the void. I was so exhausted two days ago after completing my shift, I could even see straight.  I had just finished shoveling dirt for over two hours (I thought I had the day off that why I made that major physical expenditure) to complete the dirt island for our three new river birch trees.  By the time I was done my shift, every muscle in my body ached.  Even my bones ached.  My body hasn't felt like this

With Eyes Wide Shut

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Friends dining at the Bay Leaf Restaurant in Milton, DE May 24, 2011 As all of my friends know, when I dine out with them I usually ask the waitress (or waiter) to take a picture of me and my dining companions before the meal.  I know that my habit sometimes annoys my friends.   I try to restrain myself but to little avail. Occasionally, like last Friday's Dine Out, I didn't pull out my iPhone camera.  I actually got through the whole meal sans pictures, probably much to the pleasure of some of my dining companions. However, tonight I wanted to take a picture of me and my friends because we were dining at a new restaurant in Milton called The Bay Leaf.  I was with a group of my VBDF (Very Best Dining Friends) who I hadn't been with for too long because of vacation and my recently crazy full-time working schedule. We call our club "The Old Geezer's Dining Club". Yep, we're all retired and way over the hill.  We're at the age where we just enjoy e

Grand Aunt Daisy

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My Grand Aunt Daisy talking to my cousin Anne Tipton on the iPhone -first time Aunt Daisy has used the iPhone - picture is indeed worth a thousand words This is a correction to my previous posting about my 'cousin Daisy." My friend and fellow blogger sent me a comment that in Vietnam my relationship with my 'cousin", who is the daughter of my great-grandfather would be my great aunt. I check my relationship calculator in my Ancestry.com account and he is right, Daisy is my great aunt. Now none of this is of probably any interest regular readers of my blog who are used to me either complaining about working too much, getting old, or reminiscing about my glory days. But it is of great interest to me and my GREAT AUNT Daisy. I will call her as soon as I can and inform her that she is my aunt. Now, just to make this a 'regular' blog posting, I received a call today from my manager at the hotel. He asked if I could come into work tomorrow to fill in for

Visit With Cousin Daisy

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This is a short video of my visit with my cousin Daisy Lewis Buckles, who lives in Johnson City, Tennessee.  I didn't realize that Bill was taking this video (with his iPhone) while I was talking to my cousin Daisy.   Daisy has an interesting history.  Her father, Isaac Lewis, was my great-grandfather.  He was born in 1856.  His first wife was my great-grandmother.  After she died, Isaac married Daisy's mother, who was forty years younger than he was.   I met Daisy for the first time in 1994 when I first began researching my paternal family history.  Up until that time I knew nothing about my father's grandparents.  Daisy's brother, Aster Lewis (now deceased) showed me around and introduced me to cousins that I never knew about.   My father was born nearby Johnson City, Tennessee, right over the border in the hills of North Carolina.  Yes, he was a hillbilly.  My grandparents moved him (when he was ten years old) and his eight brothers (two more brothers were bor

Home Sweet Home

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Lamb's Ear surrounded by sage, holly and wild rose Today is my day off.  Mondays and Tuesdays are my 'weekends off".  The only thing I have planned for today is a dump load delivery of top soil for our three river birch trees that we had delivered last Monday.  We didn't have the dirt delivered last week because of the rain.  So what is it doing today?  Yep, it's raining.  Maybe they will deliver the dirt anyway.  Bill and I would like to build that mound of dirt up around the newly planted birch trees before the hot weather descends upon our coastal home here on the eastern shore of Delaware.  Now I see the sun streaming through my window.  It's going to be one of those days.....rain, clouds, then sun then back to rain.  One thing about this kind of weather, it makes for a lush, green landscape. The plants in the picture are two of my favorite plants....sage and Lamb's ear.  I brought the Lamb's Ear with me from our home in Pennsylvania.  I like

The Rapture is Delayed

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Well folks, here we are on May 22, 2011, the day AFTER the much ballyhooed END OF TIMES by Harold Camping, the 89 year old evangelical radio preacher.  Nothing has been heard of Harold since his predicted 'end of times" didn't happen  yesterday at 6 pm precisely.  Perhaps Mr. Camping is coming up with yet another reason why God has decided not to destroy humankind as we know it and suck up into Heaven the Faithful while letting the rest of us who question religious teachings by charlatans like Mr. Camping to fend for ourselves on earth shaken by earthquakes, floods and volcanic fire and brimstone so confidently predicted by Mr. Camping and his brain dead evangelical followers.  Or perhaps Mr. Camping is holding a video conference with God as I type this blog entry.  Wherever Mr. Camping is holding up now, one would hope that he would provide a logical explanation why we are all still waiting around for the Rapture.  Mr. Camping?  Are you out there? While we all await Mr

The Last Day of Earth

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As regular readers of my blog know, I'm not a religious person.  Or more accurately, I'm not a practicing religious person.  I don't believe in what I can "man made religion."  However, I do consider myself a spiritual person.  There are times in my life that I have secretly prayed to 'find the way."  Again, I am not a Bible Thumper and I don't subscribe to the mean spirited version of Christianity (and other religions) that are practiced today.  The religion of fear.  The God that says "Do as I say or I will damn you to the eternal fires of hell." I don't believe there is a big, muscled, white man with a long white beard and a stern look on his face. wearing a white toga sitting on a golden throne in the sky playing games with those of he supposedly created below on this earth.  Such a game like having me born gay and then threatening me with eternal damnation unless I change my natural born ways.  No, that is not the God or Way tha

Hanging On

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Ryan contemplates "How am I going to do this?" Last night I worked until 11 pm.  Headed home in the rain.  I got up this morning at 5 am to be at work by 6:30 am.  I have to set up the breakfast buffet at the hotel.  I just got off work from a very busy day.  I do the whole thing over again tomorrow.  Usually I work Wednesday and Thursday nights 3 pm to 11 pm.  However, the past week and the next three weeks I'll be working five days a week, Tuesday through Sunday.  This weekend is the Big Wedding, which is always a fun bonanza.  Actually, the wedding guest haven't been too bad.....so far.  We'll see what tomorrow brings, the day of the Big Wedding. Ryan unties the ropes What got me today was one lady who called to make a reservation for next week and wanted me to assure her that there would be NO STRAWBERRIES at the breakfast.  Well folks, we DO HAVE STRAWBERRIES.  She said "I can't even have strawberries NEAR any of the food!"   Well, you

A Good Day

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Carrie the Plant Lady - one of my co-workers Yes folks, you read that right.  Today was a good day....at work.  I wasn't happy about going to work today because of what I had heard from one of my co-workers a few days ago.  To be very frank, I felt I was getting to the point where I had had enough.  I work very hard and am damn good at what I do but when I feel I am not recognized, or appreciated or even worse; wrongly accused, then it is time for me to seriously reevaluate the worth of keeping my job. I've been around long enough to know just about all the scenarios at work.  I had feared the present scenario was going down a familiar path that I didn't want to trod.  For the past two days since I've been off I haven't been in a good mood because I knew I was going to address this perceived problem head on. Why this particular situation was bothering me so much is that I don't want to quit my job.  I like my job, I like the kind of work I do, I like my

Not a Good Day

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Today was one of those days in which I questioned should I continue to work at my part-time job at the hotel.  I like working and the extra money makes my life a little easier but there does come a time when the lack of appreciation of the amount and quality of work that I do and the verbal abuse becomes too much. Without going into details because I suspect some of those I work with read this blog, let's just say I am reevaluating if it is worth it to me to continue to work part-time.  I knew there would  be a problem when I was asked to work full-time (if only temporarily) because I am an easy target.  The irony is that I am not the problem at work. I'm due back at work on Wednesday.  Let's see how this drama unfolds.  One thing that isn't going to happen is for me to be on the end of unwarranted verbal abuse.  I am a good natured, non-confrontational person but I too can only take so much.  I've just about had enough. I hesitated posting this blog because i

Touching Base

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White Rose at the Inn where I work J ust touching base here folks to let everyone know that I am still alive and well.  I worked at the hotel last night 3 pm to 11 pm then in this morning from 7 am to 3 pm.  I don't have to tell you workers out there that I'm operating on exhaust fumes at this point. Thank goodness my manager hired the replacement full-time front desk clerk today.  This time it is an elderly man like me.  That's good news because unlike the front desk clerk who left, who was a single Mom with two female children, I probably won't have to be called in on short notice like I have been in the past.  You know how it is with the single moms, always one of the children is sick or she can't get a baby sitter.  Us single guys, rarely a crises unless we're passing kidney stones (which happened to me a couple of years ago causing me to miss a week's worth of work). So here I am folks, pushing off of of these blog postings that I hate to do.

Still Trying to Catch Up

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My backyard Iris's with homemade bird perches I knew when we went on our trip south last week I would fall off of my regular blogging routine.  Then I had the curve ball thrown to me of the regular full-time front desk clerk quitting at work.  I had to take her full-time shift until the hotel hires her replacement.  Resumes are received and interviews are being conducted but no clear candidate is in sight.  In the meantime I'm working every day except Mondays and Tuesdays.  Of course this comes at the worst time of the year.  Spring time is when I do most of my major yard work in preparation for the summer and fall season.  Thus, when I'm not working I'm out back, frantically and furiously taking advantage of the mild spring weather before the hot, muggy and mosquito infested days of summer are upon us. I am a very orderly person.  Also referred got as very anal.  Guilty as charged.  The result of the disruption of my routine is that everything is thrown off.  Th

Back to the Routine

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I am so glad to be back home.  While our trip south was great, both of us are very happy to be at our home in Delaware.  I think Bill has a new appreciation for the flatlands of coastal Delaware after all those twisty, winding, "wiggly" roads through the mountains of Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina.   Our trip has provided me with a lot of new fodder for future blog postings which I am looking forward to writing.  But for now our goal is just to get back to our regular routine.   Tomorrow I begin a regular work schedule at the hotel.  I'm filling in for the full-time front desk clerk who gave her notice a couple of weeks ago.  She stayed an extra week last week while I was on vacation.  Now I'll fill in for her until the hotel hires a new full-time front desk clerk.  So this means I probably won't have as much time to devote to my blog postings.  That may be good news to some, but I'm just putting it out there. Also, now that the nice weather has arr

Back Home In Delaware

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Well folks, we arrived home (thank goodness!) yesterday morning safe and sound.  What a week!  We're still recovering.  Now to get settled in and renew our regular routine I am posting this video that I took last Thursday at the Tipton-Haynes Historic Site that we visited in Johnson City, Tennessee.  Bill and I were waiting around to meet my cousin Anne Tipton (who I've never met face to face) at 1 pm.  In the meantime we had time to kill so I wandered into one of the activity rooms and videotaped this adorable telling of the story of "The Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Piggies" to a group of second graders who were out on a class field trip.  This is what I like about taking a Road Trip, you never know what you're going to run into.  That reminds me of Forest Gump and why he liked a box of chocolates "You never know what you're going to get."   Let me just say this, we had a fabulous and very interesting trip.  Was it tiring?  Absolutely.  A

Front Royal, Virginia

I'm sitting at my desk at my room in the wonderfully clean and comfortable room at the Front Royal Hampton Inn. What a huge difference in hotel accommodations from the cavelike room I had at the Red Roof Inn in Johnson City, Tennessee. We decided to check out early in Johnson City in order to shorten the miles we would have to travel to get our rental van back to Enterprise on Saturday. There was just no way we could drive 10 hours tomorrow and get back to Delaware in time before Enterprise closed and we would have to wait until Monday and incur an extra day's charge. We both got up very early (4 am) and were the first customers for breakfast at Burger King, just down the street in Johnson City from the Red Roof Inn where we were staying. Of course the Red Roof Inn doesn't offer breakfast. No surprises there. After breakfast we had to kill five hours before I met up with my cousin Anne Tipton, who I have talked to on the phone many times but never met face to face

Johnson City, TN

Here I sit in my $64.95 a night room at the Red Roof Inn in Johnson City, Tennessee. Bill and I arrived at noontime after a long (4 hour) ride from Townsend, Tennessee. We are exhausted. I think I took too much on this trip. Yesrterday I decided to skip our visit to Knoxville and to visit my cousin Tim Tipton because we just don't have enough time and I want to minimize the amount of driving that Bill has to do in city traffic. Johnson City was bad enough today. Driving up to Johnson City, Bill was enthralled by the mountains. He so misses geographical topography. He hates living in the flat coastal land of southern Delaware. I thought this would be a treat for him. He does like the scenery but the driving is just too much. Today we took a drive over to the Pisgah Mountains of North Carolina where my father was born and raised until his family moved to Pennsylvania when he was 10 years old. I tried to climb the mountain to the graveyard where my great-grandfather and

Bill Returns Home

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Bill - Toccoa Georgia - 1933  Bill returned home today, perhaps for the last time in his life.  Bill was born in Toccoa, Georgia in 1928.  I recently received this picture of Bill as a little boy with his mother, two older sisters and half brother from the half brother's son who happened upon my blog posting of Bill's visit to Toccoa last year.  I had never seen a picture of Bill as a little kid before.  Bill had never seen this picture of himself before either. Bill's father died when Bill was only one year old in an automobile accident.  Bill was raised by his mother and a step-father.  He did not have a good relationship with his step-father.  That is a long and sad story that I won't go into here but will only say that Bill left Toccoa as soon as he graduated from high school and joined the Air Force.  In that respect Bill's history and mine are very similar.  I didn't get along with my father either and I left home and joined the Army as soon as I g

Day One of the Trip South

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Here I sit in a hotel room at the Hampton Inn in Mebane. North Carolina. I'm trying to update my blog with my iPad and my teeny, tin keyboard working in HTML code. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise because this posting won't be too long. One thing I noticed right off the bat, no spell check. Watch out. Sorry about the double pictures of the tulips. I only meant to post one but I had to put the pictures in draft form and I can't remove them from this post because I'm CONTRAINED! Bear with me. We left early this morning. I did most of the driving (about six hours) until we got to Durham, North Carolina. That's when I started losing it. I just cannot drive long distances anymore. This will probably be my last road trip where I drive unless I can talk someone into driving (I'll rent the van and pay the hotel rooms plus meals! HINT! HINT!) For those of you who know me and Bill, yes we started to argue only ten minutes into the ride. He wanted to go back. &qu