Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Birds of My Backyard

Mama swallow guarding her young yesterday, in my backyard

After breakfast this morning I joined Bill on the back deck to enjoy the early morning breeze and watch the backyard bird activity.  This year we didn't have a problem with the sparrows invading the bluebird house like we did last year.  The bluebirds have already raised one batch of baby bluebirds and are working on the second batch now.  The swallows just hatched their batch (see the above picture "Mom" warning me away from her nestlings).

In previous years I've also had a problem with the sparrows invading the Purple Martin house.  I was very pleased to see that I didn't have that problem this year.  I lost count of the amount of sparrow's nest that I tore out of the Purple Martin house and the number of brown speckled sparrow eggs I tossed into threw into the adjoining cornfield.  I hated to do that but I had no choice.  I draw the line at destroying baby sparrows though.  Once they're hatched, they're free.  I leave them alone.

So I thought I was getting off free this year without the invasion of non-native species of birds.  Ha!  Bill hands me his binoculars and says "Take a look", pointing to the Purple Martin house.  And what did I see? A mama starling feeding her young!  I couldn't believe it.  Starlings are too big to get into the Purple Martin house slots.  This one got in.  Incredible.  Well, there's nothing I can do about it now.  They look like they're about to come out.  I'll check the apartment after they leave.  I wouldn't be surprised if there are dead Purple Martin babies in there.  That's what starlings do you know, they kill the other birds then lay their eggs on top of them.  Same with the sparrows.  I've seen it first hand.

Starlings and sparrows are non-native species of birds that will be discouraged from nesting in my backyard.  It's a constant challenge.  I thought I got away free this year, apparently not.  Well, at least the bluebirds were able to lay two batches of eggs this year, unlike last year when the battle with the sparrows prevented that from happening.

I look at the life in my backyard as a microism of life in general.  Things appear to be going smooth until someone else comes in and takes over, destroying all in its path.  There won't be anymore starlings in that Purple Martin house, I'll see to that.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Get Up and Boogie

Old Guys at Bob Evans
Me, Jack and Paul yesterday at Old Time Photo in Rehoboth Beach, DE
(double click on picture to make bigger)

Yep, it's another Old Time Photo again.  Hey, it's what I like.  I won't be around much longer so I'm doing what pleases me.  I can't put a whole lot of things off any longer.

Yesterday my friends Jack and Paul invited me out to lunch at Bob Evans.  "Bob Evans" you say with all the great restaurants in Rehoboth?  Hey, I'm here to tell you that good old Bob Evans serves a great meal!  The food is freshly prepared (nary a Sysco truck in sight), the place is clean, the service is friendly, fast and efficient and the price is right.  I did see a lot of OLD PEOPLE in there yesterday but hey, aren't we OLD too?  

After lunch I suggested that we all go down to Rehoboth and get our picture taken at Old Time Photos.   They were up for it!  So we braved the summertime crowds and the heat and headed into Rehoboth to feed the meters and get our picture taken.  

When we arrived there was already an extended family with the kiddies getting their pictures taken.  We weren't going anywhere so we patiently waited until they were done.  Paul had to go out several more times to Feed the Meter (Rehoboth Beach's main source of income in the summertime).  Then it was our turn.

I told the gals at Old Time Photo that we were going to do "the cowboy thing".  Paul and Jack only had one stipulation, they didn't want to hold any guns.  One of the gals suggested a spear or a machete of Paul but he would have none of it.  Thus the Peace Pipe.  Jack relented and accepted a six-shooter but he didn't want to point it at anybody.  Of course yours truly had no compunction about holding  a gun and aimed.  By the way, in real life I am anti-gun.  This is play-acting, remember?

Well, it was lots of fun and we got some good pictures.  After our posing session I made another suggestion.  How about visiting our friend Wayne (aka "The Cajun") at his workplace?  Paul and Jack were up for it so out they go to their car to drive up Rehoboth Avenue and park nearer to the Two Crazy Guys place where Wayne works as the Hostess with the Mostess host. I elected to walk up the street.  As I arrived, Jack and Paul had just parked their car and were walking down the street to meet me.  We enter the darkened air-conditioned environs of the Two Crazy Guys Dos Locos.  I asked the good-looking young man behind the host counter if Wayne is in.  He says "Oh, I'm sorry he's OFF TODAY."  We struck out again!  Now let's see, this is the fifth time I've been there and I get the message "HE'S OFF TODAY."  You know, if I was trying to avoid him I would probably be running into him all the time.  Oh well, maybe the next time.

By the way, I'm not done with Old Time Photos.  I'm still looking for a babe to do one of those western dance hall photos.  Only problem is that I don't know many babes.  What's a guy to do?  Get up and boogie!

The Essential Ron

Yes folks, this is "The Essential Ron."  Yesterday my friends Paul, Jack and I visited the Old Time Photo shop in Rehoboth (yes, I went back) and I have to tell you I am very pleased with this photo.  I think it captures my essential core just right.  I am convinced now that I was a cowpoke in one of my previous lives.  I am so comfortable in this getup.  Not for me the typical gay pride getup of femme drag, I go for Cowboy Drag anytime!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Olde Time Photos

Me and Larry June 21, 2011 Rehoboth Beach, DE

The first time I visited Provincetown was in the summer of 1974.  I remember it clearly because it was during the summer of Watergate.  The Senate subcommittee hearings on Watergate and the coverup seemed to be the only thing on TV.  It was good to get away and visit this gay mecca that I had heard so much about.  I made the visit with my good friend Bob M.  To commemorate our visit I persuaded my friend Bob to stop by one of those tourist sucker Olde Time Photo shops on the main street of Provincetown.  The picture you see above is the result of that visit.  We were two Old Time Cowboys for sure.  This was back in our gay bar days when we used to frequent the 247 bar in Philadelphia which was a leather and western bar.  Not for us the fey dance bars of those Other Gays (the Dancing Queens).

Bob M. and me July 1974 Provincetown, Mass.

Fast forward thirty seven years and here you see me again in my Cowboy Pose.  This time I'm with my longtime friend (even longer than Bob M.) Larry.  My gay bar days are long behind me but still I yearned to have another Olde Time Photo taken of me with a friend.  I've been trying without success to talk some of my current friends into having a picture taken with me but they will have none of it.  I guess such activity is too immature or childish.  Hey, I may be 69 years old but I still have a lot of the Kid in me yet.  As does my longtime friend Larry.

So I arranged to meet Larry last Tuesday (June 21st) in Rehoboth and we had our pictures taken as two over the hill old time desperadoes.  We had great fun during the shoot (no pun intended).  Listen, when the day comes when I'm an old curmudgeon who can't grab a little bit of 'immature' fun like this, is the day I want to check out and go to the Big Ranch in the Sky.

Me and Larry about to take each other out

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sometimes Common Sense Prevails

New York State Senator Roy McDonald

Late yesterday the New York State senate approved a bill legalizing same sex marriage.  The bill was one vote short for several days prior to passage last night in the Republican controlled senate.  Republican State Senator Roy McDonald was on the fence as to how to vote for several days.  Finally he made his decision and voted for the bill, thus enabling the passage of the bill plus a few more less courageous Republican senators to hop on the bandwagon of the Inevitable, which is legalizing same sex marriage in this county. 

Look folks, it's going to happen EVENTUALLY.  To those who oppose it, you're going to go down in history looking like George Wallace standing in the school house door preventing blacks from going to an all white school.  

Thus it was refreshing to hear what New York State senator Roy McDonald said after his vote yesterday to the assembled press:

 "You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn't black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing. You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it. I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing. I'm tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I'm trying to do the right thing, and that's where I'm going with this."

Republican News York State Senator Roy McDonald

 Now I'm going to say something I never thought I would say again in my life:


Friday, June 24, 2011

A Change of Scenery

Jimmy's Grille, Bridgeville, DE

Tonight our regular Friday Night Dine Out group didn't meet so the Milton contigent (you know who you are) decided to go on our own and take the long trip to Bridgeville, Delaware; home of the annual Apple-Scrapple Festival.  No, the festival wasn't being tonight.  We were just going to give Jimmy's Grill a try in far away Bridgeville.

Ken ready to eat

Well, the trip was worth it!  When we saw the crowd waiting to be seated as we entered the restaurant we knew we knew we were on to something.   This wasn't any summertime tourist crowd waiting to get into one of those overpriced Rehoboth restaurants.  These were hometown folk out for a night of good homestyle cooking.

Don digging in

We didn't have to wait too long until we were seated.  As we perused the menus, the biggest problem was what to choose.  This was All-American cuisine.  None of those "presentation dishes' where they paint the plate with squirts of some unknown and unheard of sauce, place a few sprigs of basil and maybe a sliver or two of meat and call it iconic (or something like that - I can't remember the exact word they use for those 'painted' dishes).
Scott with his chicken pie and David with his crab cakes

We placed our orders and we were all pleased with what we got.  Don V. was especially happy with his chicken breast with stuffing which tasted just like mom's homemade.  Scott got the chicken pie which he said was delicious. It looked so good, that's what I'm getting next time, right after I order the chicken breast with homemade stuffing.  I had a grilled Cajun chicken breast which was good, though I would prefer it a little spicier.  Scott also got that pretzel-Jello-cream pie appetizer which he said was the best he's had.  All the homemade desserts looked fabulous.  I left with a homemade cherry pie ($14.00).  Bill and I will make quick work of that All-American dessert (right after I complete this blog posting as a matter of fact).

My Cajun grilled chicken, scalloped potatoes, and sauteed squash
Of course I asked the the waitress to take a picture of our group.  She wasn't quite sure how to take our picture with my iPhone so the young man (Ryan) bussing the tables volunteered to take our picture.  It came out pretty good don't you think (except for me all hunched over like Quasimodo).

Oh yes, there is nothing like a little change of scenery.

Ryan, our photographer

New Meme

Bhudda in my new River Birch Tree flower island in my backyard
Time for another meme.  I love memes don't you?  This is the latest one I filled out last Tuesday night during my 3 to 11 pm shifter at work during a slow period.

1. What colour are your socks? 

Tan.  I'm at work and the tan socks go with my tan dockers and brown loafers.  Otherwise I always wear white socks with my Rebook sneakers. 

2. What are you listening to right now?

"Hidden Oasis (Yoga Mix) by David and Steve Gordon on the "Perfect Balance - Musical Healing Volume 2 CD - I'm at work and this is the music that is playing in the hotel.

3. What was the last thing you ate? 

My homemade potato salad - this was my dinner tonight at work.

4. Can you drive a stick shift?

I learned to drive a stick shift in Driver's Ed in high school.  I haven't driven stick shift since. 

5. Last person you spoke to on the phone? 

A lady asking about availability of rooms for this weekend.  I'm at work.  I'm a hotel front desk clerk. 

6. Do you like the person who sent this to you? 

I stole this from Cubby's blog after reading his meme.  Do I like Cubby?  I guess so.  I never met him in person but he always says nice things to me.

7. How old are you today? 

I’m 69 years old.  I know, I know.  I'M OLD. I am out of the main stream of almost all of the bloggers who are in their 40's and early 60's.  Hey, it is what it is.  I don't think old. 

8. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? 

Lawrence O'Donnel take on a mealy mouth, hypocritical tea-bagger on his TV show "The Last Word." 

9. What is your favorite drink?

Turkey Hill Diet Orange Iced Tea.  I'm not on a diet but their diet orange iced tea has the best flavor ever.  I dilute it half of it with ice water before I drink it.

10. Have you ever dyed your hair? 

About thirty years ago I put in a solution that the sun would cause my normally dark brown hair to bleach in blonde streaks (what was I thinking?)  It was a disaster.  I ended up with orange hair. 

11. Favorite food?

Eggplant Parmesan done properly.  There are as many versions of Eggplant Parmesan as their are cooks.  Crisp on the outside and soft and mushy on the inside with the the slightest taste eggplant bitterness topped with a fresh, chunky tomato sauce.  Ah, heaven.

12. What is the last movie you watched? 

"Inception"  What was that all about?  I couldn't get through but ten minutes of it before I ejected it from my DVD player and shipped it back to Netflix. 

13. Favorite day of the year? 

Summer Solstice (which was yesterday!)

14. How do you vent? 

Very well thank you.  I never hold anything in.  Just ask anyone who knows me.  "There goes Ron again!"

15. What was your favorite toy as a child? 

Paper dolls.  Hey, I'm gay.  

16. What is your favorite season? 


17. Cherries or Blueberries? 

Cherry pie, the best. I like blueberries too but they stain my teeth and they don't have the "bite" of a good cherry pie.

18. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back?

I don't care.  Some do, some don't.  I've given up on the tit for tat e-mails years ago.  My friends have their own lives and I don't hold them to matching my e-mails one for one.

19. Who is the most likely to respond? 

My friend Larry.  He is the only friend (and longest - we've known each other sixty years) who truly knows me and appreciates my friendship enough not to take me for granted.

20. Who is least likely to respond?

Just about everyone else I know.  Why piss someone off?  They'll just send me an e-mail justifying why they don't respond.  As I said before, I don't care.  I have more important things to worry about.

21. Living situation?

Living in domestic harmony for the past 47 years with my spouse Bill.  We planned to end our life of living in sin by getting married this January at the Georgetown courthouse when the Delaware domestic partner law become effective. 

22. When was the last time you cried? 

Two days ago when I watch the memorial DVD I made for my Mother's funeral. 

23. What is on the floor of your closet right now? 

All of my old jeans that I plan to sell on Ebay someday.  I have never thrown out a pair of jeans in my life.  Those jeans are going to get a whole new life when I sell them.

24. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to? 

Larry of Claymont, DE.  We've been friends since 3rd grade, sixty years ago.

25. What did you do last night? 

Scanned my photos that I had taken with my friend Larry celebrating his 70th birthday (we posed as two old time western gunslingers) earlier in the day at the Olde Time Photo place in Rehoboth Beach.

26. What are you most afraid of?

Republicans. I am scared to death of the Republicans because their ONLY goal is to eliminate all the social safety net programs from the New Deal to today. I am more afraid of them than I am of the terrorists.  If the Republicans are successful with their agenda of elmininating all government programs then this country is screwed. Life will end as we know it.  Only the very rich will survive.  The rest of us will live in chicken coops.

27. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers?

Spicy with cheese, please. (I am the same as Cubby!)

28. Favorite dog breed? 

Pomeranian (I've had five in my lifetime)

Hamburger and Sparky - 1971

Babydoll, "T" and Horace - 1985

29. Favorite day of the week?


30. How many states have you lived in?

Four - Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Delaware

31. Diamonds or pearls?

Diamonds (absolutely - I'm gay.  Remember?)

32. What is your favorite flower?

Lily of the Valley.

33. What is your current favorite song? 

"Our Day Will Come" by Ruby and the Romantics

34. Read any good books lately? 

"Ava Gardner - Love is Nothing"

Patience Ron, Patience

Waiting in line at the Comcast office in Lewes
I hate to start out today with a blog posting bitching and complaining (not really) but here I go.  I really, really do try to post something positive and uplifting everyday to bring a smile to the faces of my faithful blog followers.  But with the way today has started out I have no choice but to BITCH.

The morning got started off all right.  I drove the ten miles down Rt. 1 to Rehoboth Beach and took my early morning walk on the boardwalk.  That always refreshes me, a brisk walk on the boardwalk with all the other strange people (me included of course), listening to the waves crashing in on the dull brown sand that is Rehoboth Beach (no whites sands of Myrtle Beach, SC on this Delaware coastline).

The drive home wasn't bad.  It was when I got out of my car that I spotted not one, but TWO dings on the back door of my NEW RED SUBARU FORESTER.  Yes folks, I now have THREE DINGS on my NEW CAR.  I blame the dings on the tight parking slot that I have to occupy when I go into work at the hotel in Lewes.  Hey, when those guests hit the town loaded down with luggage and bicycles all over their vehicles, I'm lucky dings are all I get when they unload.  I won't bitch anymore about the dings.    Of course I am upset and frustrated (I am very anal) but it is what it is.

Then I walk in the door and Bill tells me he's having problems connecting to the Internet.  OH NO.  Since I ditched Verizon's LOUSY DSL service last March and went to Comcast I have had NO PROBLEMS.  That need today.  I won't take you through the torture of all the phones calls I made this morning.  I'll sum it up this way, I kept losing the solid green light which indicates an Internet connection.  After an hour and a half and several phone calls, I scheduled a service appointment.  I was told the earliest they could come was NEXT FRIDAY.  Oh no, that won't do at all.  That would mean I would have TO LIVE WITHOUT THE INTERNET FOR A WHOLE WEEK.  EEEEEEKKKKKK!

So I put my Thinking Cap on and called back and suggested "How about if I take the modem down to the local office and exchange it for a new one?" See, what I was thinking that the MODEM WAS BAD.  The woman on the other end of the line from Comcast thought that would be an excellent idea.  Whoopee!

I unplug and disconnect my feeble modem and tell Bill that I'm going down to the local Comcast store in Lewes exchange it for a new modem.  He said he would drive me down. I'm figuring this will take minutes.  I think you know we're I'm going with this.

We pull up to the Comcast store at Five Points in Lewes.  I grab my Chinese made modem and enter the Comcast "store" (or whatever they call it).  Oh uh.  The line of OTHER COMCAST customers stretches to the DOOR !  The nice young woman who works for Comcast (she said she was the "greeter" - are you kidding me?) said there would be a forty minute wait.  OMIGOD.  So I settled in for the wait.  That is the picture you see above.

The wait went by fast because a gentleman came in behind me who was equally disturbed when he realized that he had also stepped into the Waiting In Line Quicksand.  He said Comcast had called him and told him his modem was old and he had to replace it.  Wisely (he told me), he didn't bring his old modem with him just in case the new one didn't work.  Of course he wasn't too thrilled about standing in line to fix something that wasn't broke.

My turn finally came and an elderly lady behind the window very efficiently took care of my situation and I was out the door, after saying "Goodbye" to my friend who was in the store to replace his modem that was still working!

I get home, take the new modem out of the box (which was assembled in Viet Nam - which for some unexplained reason made me nervous - sorry, I mean do disrespect Tai - my Vietnamese blogger buddy).  I plug in everything.  Pretty blue and green lights start popping on and off.  I go to my computer to see if I can connect to the Internet.  Viola!  A screen appears to lead me through the initialization of the new modem.  Way to go Comcast!  I don't have to make another phone call to activate my new modem.

So here I am, updating my blog.  Half the day is shot but it could have been worse.  I now have an Internet connection.  Now if there was someway I could get rid of those two new dings in my car door.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Larry's Birthday in Rehoboth Beach

My friend Lar at at the boardwalk yesterday taking in the 'sights'

(Note: Blogger is having problems and I can't upload pictures to this blog.  I'm posting it anyway and when Blogger gets its act together, I'll upload the pictures which will make this posting much more interesting.  And yes, I did open up a Word Press blog this morning.  I think it is time.)

Yesterday I invited my long time friend Larry down to Rehoboth Beach and Old Time Photo to celebrate his birthday which is June 27th. Larry will be 70 years told on that day.  It's hard to believe that we've been friends for sixty years (since 3rd grade when we were both nine years old).

Larry and I were Best Friends until his family moved out of the Downingtown school district when we were in ninth grade.  We maintained our friendship over the year, having become much closer after 9/11 when Larry lost his banking job shortly after I also lost my banking job.

Larry and I have an interesting history.  We both had truck driver fathers who were not close to us.  We were both told by our parents that they were not going to send us to college.  We both made our own way in the world, eventually ending with jobs in banks (mine Mellon Bank and Larry Wilmington Trust).  Coincidentally we both lost our jobs due to the Great Downsizing Fever of the post Reagan years.  We now both work at part-time jobs which are  far removed from our previous managerial banking jobs.  I work as a hotel front desk clerk in an upscale boutique hotel in Lewes, DE.  Larry works as a stock clerk (he opens the boxes of clothiers and puts them on hangers) at Coldwater Creek in the upscale town of Greenville, DE.  Even though our jobs are far from glamorous or prestigious, we both love our jobs because we're not managing people, dealing with corporate bureaucracy (and meetings), and working the full-time grind.  We both like working because that's the way we were raised and we (let's be honest here) like the extra money a part-time job affords to supplement our modest, fixed Social Security and pension payments.  The extra money not only helps us to keep up with the ever increasing costs of living but enables us to occasionally splurge on doing something that is just fun for us.

Interestingly, given our similar histories with the distant father close relationship with our mothers; Larry is straight and I am gay.  There goes the urban myth that all gay men are that way because they were Momma's Boys who had absentee fathers.  We are who we are, no "choices" were made as to whether we would be straight or gay.  Larry is happily married to a wonderful woman (Lois) and has three delightful children, two girls and a boy.  Larry and his family are also the home to fourteen cats from the local animal shelter plus a few kitties who showed up on their doorstep when they heard about the cat friendly home on Olympia Drive in Claymont, Delaware.

So this is a brief history of our friendship.  Like me, Larry loves to take pictures although he isn't as brazen as I am about taking "in your face" pictures.  Yesterday Larry brought his new Flip Video camera with him.  As those who have  Flip Video camera know, the camera not only takes videos but you can take still images off of the camera just as if they were individual photos.  Thus this is the origin of the photos in this blog.  I took them with Larry's Flip video camera and he captured the images for me and sent them back to me this morning by e-mail.  Larry has given me permission to post some of those pictures on this blog.  Now, for the first time on THIS blog the reader will see the boardwalk from the view of a straight man.  My gay friends, please do not be alarmed.  I'm not going straight and I will return to my usual practice of occasionally posting some Beefcake to this blog.  Of course it is much more difficult for me to take those pictures than it is for me (or Larry) to take a picture of a beautiful girl in a bikini.  By the way, this is just a sampling of Beautiful Girls in Bikini shots.  As we were walking down Rehoboth Avenue yesterday, Larry was frequently distracted by all the Lovely Young Things in skimpy bathing attire.  Now that was a different experience for me, walking on Rehoboth Avenue and the boardwalk with a friend and seeing him catch his breath every time a lovely young lady walked by.  I'm used to walking with my gay friends sneaking a sideways look at a hunky young man (or older man) and whispering to me "Take a look at THAT!"  Oh, yes it definitely was a different experience for me yesterday.  And one that I enjoyed I might add.  We will do it again.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice

Today is Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year.  Below is the definition that I glommed off of Huff Post.

Today, June 21, is the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, which means it's the longest day of the year in 2011.
According to USA Today, the summer solstice occurs when the sun is the farthest north in the sky, directly above the Tropic of Cancer. The exact moment of the solstice today will occur at 1:16 p.m. ET.
While some consider the summer solstice as the beginning of summer, many actually regard it as midsummer, though the definition varies between different regions and cultures. In the Southern Hemisphere, today actually marks the 2011 winter solstice. These seasons will again be flipped between the hemispheres on December 22, when the second solstice of the year occurs (winter for Northern Hemisphere, and summer for Southern Hemisphere).
I love summertime.  It is my favorite time of the year.  Summer reminds me of the days when I went to grade school in the small Pennsylvania town of Downingtown.  Summer meant the end of stifling school classrooms and the beginning of long, warm days of play and adventure with my friends on Washington Avenue.  I will always remember summer that way.

When I was young I thought each summer day was longer until daylight abruptly changed with the leaves turning color and the chill winds slowly descending upon us.  Now that I'm older I know that early in summer with the Summer Solstice the days begin to get shorter.  This is always sad for me.  In not too many weeks my Purple Martins will have raised their last batch of baby Purple Martins and they too will be gone along with the warm winds and long days of summer.

But in the meantime, my friend Lar is on his way down from Claymont (he'll be here in about an hour) and we will have an adventure like we did when we were childhood friends lo these many years ago (the Fifties) on Washington Avenue in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.  

Today our adventure is getting our pictures taken at the Olde Time Photo Studio in Rehoboth Beach.  Yeah, yeah, I know these "Olde Time Photo places are tourist traps.  We're doing it anyway.

Hey, Larry's here!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Best Mom in the World

(Pictured from left to right:  Sandy Hadfield Hart - my Mom's cousin - my Mom - and Elaine Reynolds Tyson my Mom's niece - lovely ladies all - all "Hadfield Girls"

My Mom died September 16th, 2010.  Even though her death was expected, when she died it was still like a punch in the stomach.

I have two brothers, John and Isaac.  When my father died in 2000, my younger brother (he's the middle one) took care of our Mom at her home in Pennsylvania.  Then came a time last year when her physical and mental health began to deteriorate more quickly and my brothers and I decided that it would be best for her if she moved in with my brother John in South Carolina.  His home had the facilities to take better care of someone in my Mother's condition.  John and his wife had a separate "mother-in-law" apartment in their modest ranch house in Greenville, SC.  And, John's profession is that he is the care pastor of his church.  John and his wife take care of older people in failing health for a living.  What better place for our Mom to live out her days.

My brothers and I had always promised Mom that we would never put her in a nursing home.  Thanks to my brothers, we were able to keep that promise.

The pictures I have in this video are a random compilation of pictures that I had collected over the years.  I surprised myself by being able to put together this DVD because I had never before (or since) used the iMovie maker function of my iMac.

I was very pleased with hour the remembering the rich, full life of our Mom came out.  I would like to think I was divinely lead in producing this loving tribute to our Mom.

I know a lot of people say they have the best Mom in the world.  And that is probably true.  Maybe sometimes that is exaggerated but that's all right too.  But one thing I know for sure, my brothers and I all agree that for us we had the Best Mom In The World.

My brothers and I are who we are today because of our Mom.  Even towards the end of her life when her personality began to change because of her dementia and she wasn't the Mom we knew all our lives, she was still Our Mom.  Nothing could ever change that.

It's been six months now since Mom passed away.  I thought I was over it, at least the teary part.  Guess what?  Every time I watch this DVD, the frog come back into my throat and the tears begin to well up in my eyes.  Waves of sadness sweep over me.  By the time the DVD ends, I am exhausted.

The purpose of this posting is not to elicit sympathy for me, my brothers or my Mom.  To me her passing is part of life.  Someday I too will pass as will my brothers.  No one needs to be sad.  We have all lived a good and fulfilling life as did my Mother.  When you watch this DVD, remember that my Mom lived a long and good life.

We all miss her every day.  As my brother John said after she died "Ronnie, we're orphans now.  Sixty year old orphans, but we're still orphans."  I know what he meant.  Our Mother was such a guiding force in our lives that now she is gone we feel diminished.  But as long as I'm alive I will have these wonderful memories of her which I am sharing with the readers of my blog today.

We all only get one Mom.  Isaac, John and I know God smiled on us when he gave us the best.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bob and Ron's Excellent Adventure at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

Yesterday my friend Bob C. and I took a senior citizen sponsored trip to Washington D.C. to visit the Smithsonian Institute.  This is a slide show of the pictures and the videos I took of that trip.

To quote a blogger buddy of mine "We had a jolly good time." 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.

Me guess where? (and it's not Grant's Tomb)

Yep, that's me with the well known giant phallic symbol of Washington D.C. known as the Washington Monument.  I asked my friend Bob C. to take my picture to "prove" I was there today.  You know how it is with us tourists, we gotta have that picture for the grandchildren to tell them "I was there.!"  But hey, I don't have any grandchildren.  In fact, I don't have any children.  Oh well, I'll post it here on my blog for my blogger friends (that's you!) to show you all where I was today.

Boarding the bus this morning at Delaware Tech in Georgetown

My friend Bob C. and I left early this morning on the Adult Plus bus from the Georgetown campus of Sussex Tech.  They almost called the trip off until I called yesterday to confirm the trip.  When I told them I had a friend who wanted to also attend, they said he "tipped the balance."  Hey, that's the first time that's happened.  Nice to know one has an impact.

"The Castle" at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.

This trip was to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.  The last time I visited the Smithsonian was the first summer Bill and I were together.  That would be in 1965.  Wow, a lot has changed since then.  I wish Bill was with us.  He preferred to stay at home.  He doesn't like these senior citizen bus trips.  Me?  I don't care.  The bus was big, comfortable and air conditioned and someone else was driving.  I love it!

Our "Leave the driving to us" bus

We saw a lot today including Julia Child's original kitchen from her PBS show.  It was all so interesting.  I love this kind of stuff.

Julia Child's TV kitchen on PBS

Something else that made me feel good today.  Even thought there were a lot more security measures, it did my heart good to see so many of my fellow American citizens and, no doubt, a few foreigners also roaming around "America's Museum' today learning about the history of our country and mankind.  One day is not enough.

Just can't do it all in one day

Friday, June 17, 2011

What It's All About

Swallow eggs in the bluebird house this morning -swallows always put feathers in their nest to "soften the blow"

This is what summer is all about for me.  This is a picture of four swallow eggs that the beautiful, iridescent swallow birds laid in the bluebird box in my backyard.  Normally the bluebirds raise two batches of young bluebirds in this box, but after the first batch left, the swallows quickly took over the box.  I let them.  Last year we had all kinds of trouble with aggressive sparrows which resulted in one swallow being killed and the next being abandoned.  Thankfully, this year the sparrows haven't tried to take over my backyard (including the Purple Martin House) like they did last year.

I'm very happy with my backyard this year.  I just finished filling a couple of vacant spots with some giant Asiatic lilies.  I think I'm set this year.  Now to set back and enjoy the summer.

This is what it is all about folks.  I worked hard a long time to arrive at this point in my life that I can do these little things to help nature.  This gives me a great deal of satisfaction to do my part.

I'm off to Washington D.C. tomorrow.  Hopefully it won't be too hot and humid.  I'm looking forward to taking a lot of pictures.  Sunday I hit the boardwalk in Rehoboth.  Monday my longtime friend Larry and his wife Lois are coming down and we're getting our picture taken at Olde Time Photo.  We're trying to talk her into posing as a dance hall queen.  My friend Lar and I will be the Old Grizzled Cowpokes.  We're never too old for that kind of fun.  I'm loving this retirement!

Have a great weekend.


Clematis from the fence surrounding our ugly transformer in front of our house
Oh yes, T.G.I.F., otherwise known as "Thank God It's Friday."  That phrase has a whole different meaning for me now.  Back when I was young and horny and working full blast time, Fridays meant that we went to the bars and partied!  Those days are LONG gone, believe me.  LONG GONE.  However, I still appreciate Fridays as a special day.  Even more so now that I work Wednesday and Thursday nights at the hotel.

Last night was pretty busy at the hotel in preparation for the first big summer weekend.  School let out yesterday and that usually releases the flood gates of the parents 'getting away from it all' and going to the beach with the kiddies.  No complaints from this quarter, the tourists are our main industry and the reason I have this wonderful job at the hotel where I work in Lewes.  This weekend will be busy, next weekend even more so.

So while the hotel guests are stopping at the front desk asking "How do you pronounced 'L-E-W-E-S?"  For those of your uninformed Lewes is pronounced the same as Jerry Lewis's last name and the maiden name of my paternal grandmother Hester Lewis (I'm no relation to Jerry Lewis, that's not his real name in case you're were wondering).  Occasionally, when I'm rambunctious, I'll tell them that Lewes is pronounced "Loos".  That's always a conversation starter when they return from their walk around quaint old Lewes ("First Town in the First State" - hey, someplace has to be the first) and correct me.  A little hotel front desk humor here.

Well, as you can see I have no weighty subjects I'm discussing today.  As a matter of fact I've been thinking of doing a blog posting about how my blog subjects have been limited evolved since I have discovered that not only my gay friends read my blog, but some of my neighbors, former co-workers, and family read my blog.  Well, needless to say with this knowledge of those eyes reading my blog I'm not going to write about the Wild Nights of my Youth in Philadelphia or my current fantasies (don't you wish!)
In fact, in light of the Weiner Scandal, I'm more resolved than ever to be a Good Little Boy and behave myself as far as my blog subjects go.

Of course I have a self-imposed rule posting about the current political climate.  I think most of my regular readers know that I'm a flaming liberal ("progressive" is what we call liberals now days) so there isn't much point of me hammering home the stupidity of the current version of the Republican Party and their attempts to totally privative government and do away with all the social safety net programs like Medicare and Social Security.  Oh how I would love to jump into that contentious pool of controversy but I fear I will change no minds, only harder people's resolve in their rigid views.  So I'm not going there.

My best bet these days is to post pictures of flowers (which I love doing) and keeping you all apprised of my retirement activities.  I hope all that is not too boring to you all.  This will have to do until I can think of something more interesting to so yet not offend anyone or freak them out like Mr. Weiner did with his Twitter postings.  Oh don't worry, I don't have any pictures of moi floating around the Internet.  No way.    I'm still dumbfounded at the stupidity of Anthony Weiner.  The same question keeps coming back to me....why?  Oh well, this is a subject that will be discussed at length by folks who are a lot more articulate and knowledgeable than me about human sexuality.  All I know is what turns me on and I want to keep that private.  I have no need to blast myself all over the Internet to strangers.  Again, the question is "Why?"

Well, I have the potatoes cooking on the stove (more potato salad - I live on potato salad in the summer) and lunch time is coming up.  After a short nap I'll transplant the Asiatic lilies that I purchased this morning from the East Coast Garden Center in Millsboro.  Now there is my 'addiction' centers.  Scandal!

Tomorrow we're (my friend Bob C. and I) are talking the Old People's Bus to Washington D.C. for their "Smithsonian Trip."  I'll stop by the Smithsonian but mainly I'm looking forward to walking around Washington for the day and taking pictures.  Next month I have a trip planned for New York City called "A Day in New York."  I haven't been to NYC since 1993 when I took  business trip to Chase Manhatten Bank, just down the street form the World Trade Center.  It's going to be eerie to see where the WTC was located.  I haven't been to NYC since 9/11.

On the 29th I again take the Old People's Bus (Adult Plus out of Georgetown, DE) to visit Philadelphia, my old stomping grounds.  The trip is to the Reading Market but once I get off the bus I roam around center city Philly, trying to relieve the memories of my Fabulous Youth.  I even visit my former home at 24th and Naudain.  I've often wondered how my life would have turned out had I never moved in 1980. So long ago.

Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Daisy - Flower of the Day

The fleur de jour (I think this is French for "Flower of the day" - check it with your other half Mark), are daisies.  As I got out of my car yesterday afternoon to go into work at the hotel I spotted these Shasta Daisies just begging to have their picture taken.

So many flowers, so little time.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An Evening With John Milton

Me, Bob, John Milton, and Ted (my Spo Shirt made its debut last night). Yes, Ted is sitting in John Milton's lap.  

Yesterday evening, The Old Geezer's Dining Club met again.  This time the Restaurant de jour was the Broadkill Boathouse restaurant in Milton, Delaware.  The Broadkill Boathouse was formerly the Iguana Grill.  I ate there once a few years ago with my good friend Bob Mc.  It was not a pleasant experience.
Which was a shame because the location of the restaurant is ideal.  It is right on the Broadkill River (thus the name) with a beautiful view of Wagamon's Pond in the center to downtown Milton.

The Broadkill River, Milton, DE
Well, I'm glad to say that last night's dining experience was a whole different story.  The Old Geezer's Dining Club (me, Bob C., Don V. and Teddy W.) came away from our summer evening dining repast with  satisfied appetites and happy memories.

Don, Bob and Ted (aka "The Old Geezers) looking at the Broadkill

Don, Bob and I had the prime rib sandwich special at $10.00.  Superb!  And you all know how fussy I am with food, especially prime rib.  Not for me a pink, soggy, pulsating slab (or two) of meat on a bun.  I need it cooked.  My prime rib sandwich was perfect.  With the prime rib sandwich I had steak fries.  The best steak fries I've ever had.  I can say that without qualification.

Teddy had a hamburger with sweet potato fries.  Teddy, who is about as fussy as I am, had no complaints about his food.  The hamburger tasted like hamburger (chargrilled - both of us love that flavor) and he especially liked the sweet potato fries which had some kind of special coating on it that he couldn't determine.  He asked the waitress but she didn't know either.  Thus that will remain a mystery.

Me, Ted, Bob and Don at the Broadkill Boathouse Restaurant on the deck on this beautiful summer evening in Milton, DE - check out my Spo Shirt - I was the envy of the Old Geezers! Is it me or does Don seem to have the spotlight on him while the rest of us are in the shadows?

Don had some kind of salad that looked like it had goose poop on it but he also pronounced it an unqualified success.  Maybe the goose poop dressing was in memory of the former geese population that took up residence at the Broadkill River last year until someone from the state park snuck in the dark lonely hours of the early morning hours before and did away with the year round resident geese.
Don and his great new haircut!

After dining at the Broadkill we all returned to Ted's house for his homemade peach pie with ice cream. Delicious!  Thank you Ted.

A delightful summer evening with friends in the cozy little town of Milton on the Broadkill River.  It doesn't get much better than this folks.  We'll have to do it again.

As darkness fell on the deck, Ted goes in to pay the bill for our evening repast

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

An Abject Public Apology

Yes folks, I am making a public apology.  Yesterday I posted a mean and thoughtless remark about how ALL my friends are OLD AND FAT and don't want to do any physical exercise except dine out.

Mark your calendar folks, I WAS WRONG!

My first mistake was saying ALL my friends are old and fat and lazy.  Hey, maybe some of them are maybe not.  So what?  Who am I to make such a judgement?  Just because some of them don't want to participate in my activities?  I would say that was pretty selfish of me, wouldn't you?  

So, to my friends who are in my age group or older - I APOLOGIZE.  I DIDN'T MEAN IT!  

Having said that, not everyone of my old, fat and lazy friends disagreed with me.  Here is an e-mail exchange from my long time friend Bill B. (who is so secretive that he doesn't like to comment on my blog but I'm outing him anyway):


"I know what you mean.  Every Memorial Day weekend, on Saturday after the Chestertown Tea Party, Betty and Sam have a picnic in MD with a group of about a dozen friends.  We used to spend hours walking around Chestertown after watching the parade, eating all kinds of goodies (fried chicken, pulled pork, crabs, etc.), then watching the Tea party Reenactment on the Chester River.  Now we go back to Betty's a lot sooner in the day and talk.  I sometimes wonder how long this tradition will continue.  So, I'm with you buddy!"


----- Original Message -----
To:  (name removed to protect his privacy)
Sent: Monday, June 13, 2011 9:42 PM
Subject: Re: [Retired in Delaware] Beautiful Monday


I'm not disposing the older friends but facing reality that most of them aren't as physically fit as I am thus I'm going to stop asking them to join me in activities.  I keep hitting this brick wall with them.  Reality hit today.


On Jun 13, 2011, at 5:35 PM, (my old friend) wrote:

"Look for some younger friends.  Don't dispose of the old ones, but some younger blood is good for us."


Then here is another response from another one of my longtime OLD friends:

Larry, aka The Kid and The Old Goat has left a new comment on your post "Beautiful Monday": 


"I take umbrage with this: "ALL of my friends my age or older are overweight and out of shape and don' want to do anything other than eat out again." You know I love walking, it's just distance that comes between us sharing some trails. 

Anyway, I'm waiting to see my schedules at work the next week and maybe then Lo and I can drive down and go with you to that photo shop. I'll reply to your email today.

"I have a bunch of old farts for friends, believe me. I'm the only young one. Sad but true." Indeed!! Someday you have to join me on some of the trails I regularly walk. :)"


Now, to make be really feel guilty, another friend of mine (who has a lot more class than I obviously do) sent me this e-mail today inviting me out to dinner in spite of the thoughtless insult I tossed his way yesterday:

"Wanna go to Boathouse tonight? I know what you said in your blog but you want to go with the Old Geezer's Club?"

I accepted his invitation and will be leaving shortly to join my OLD friends at dinner tonight.

By the way, I can't do what I used to do twenty years ago either and I can hardly get through the day without my daily nap.  

My comeuppance is now complete.  Now which I think I'll ask who wants to join me on that 5k run next week.

"Please accept my apology"

Caregiver Update

  Bill with his hospice nurse last week Regular followers of this blog have no doubt noticed that I haven't been posting on a regular ba...