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Showing posts from July, 2011

The Endless Heat Wave

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Fuchsia Clematis Like most of the rest of the country, we've been suffering from a prolonged heat wave around here.  Some of my favorite plants are giving up, no matter how much we water them.  In front of the house where we have our impatiens, they are wilting under the heat.  The front of the house is usually the ideal place for impatiens because they get the morning sun.  This summer the morning sun is about 88 to 90 degrees.  The poor impatiens just can't take that sustained heat. Even my clematis, which usually do well all summer are giving up.  The picture on this blog was taken about a month ago.  This poor clematis is long gone, burned up under the cruel rays of the sun. Last year we had an extended heart wave.  Bill loves the impatiens, because they bloom all summer up until the first frost.  I don't think they're going to make it through August this year. In the back yard I put three bird baths under the newly planted river birch trees.  The birds fl

Anne Marie of Philly

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Me and Anne Marie of Philly (in my Spo Shirt) We had a visitor in Lewes this morning, Anne Marie of Philly! Yes, this is the infamous famous "Anne Marie of Philly" who often leaves witty and caustic remarks on my blogs and some of my blogger friends blogs (lot of "blogs" there). I met Anne Marie on this summer Saturday morning in the heart of downtown Lewes in front of Cafe Azafran.  She was in the Washington D. C. area this weekend on business decided to meet up with some of her blogger friends.  That would be me and Mark of "Tales of the Sissy."  She is the houseguest of Mark and Joe this weekend.  Mark had an appointment this morning from his new job as a real estate agent par excellence.  Joe had some personal chores to attend to. Thus Anne Marie had the morning free and suggested that we meet. We were to meet for brunch but Anne Marie was still full from the dinner that Joe and Mark took her too at Saketumi last night.  Mark sure does love Sak

Friday Night Dine Out Group Bomb Rescue

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My Garden Fairy Phew!  We're finally getting a break from this heat.  I just returned from dinner with my friend Bob C. from Milton.  I was to meet my regular Friday Night Dine Out Group at the Broadkill Boathouse in Milton but I had to change my plans.  I arrived at the Boathouse on time, I could hear the loud music from where I parked way up the street from the Boathouse parking lot because it was packed.  The closer I got the louder the music got.  Not a good sign. I make my way through the folks outside the door having a smoke (another "not a good sign") to the cool inside of the noisy bar which I have to pass through to get to the dining room.  I look for my group.  At first I couldn't see them from the din of noise of the music and loud people screaming over one another.  Then I saw them.  There!  Over in the corner, packed together like sardines.  Actually, more like packed together like an old man bowling league dine out group which is what a lot of peop

Herbed Tomato Soup Recipe

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Angry Ron this morning - I'm going to take it out on these tomatoes This morning I was finally going to succumb to my pent up rage and vent about the selfishness and stupidity of the Republicans in Washington holding this country hostage (refusing to authorize the debt limit increase) unless the Obama administration begins the process of cutting all the social safety net programs since the New Deal so the millionaire and billionaire owners of those Republicans can have even more tax cuts.  But no, I won't go there.  Ummm, I think I just did "go there."  Oh well. Instead I will post something nice today that won't offend anyone, especially my Republican friends, the poor brainwashed, shortsighted souls.  I love them all the same. I spent this morning making a fresh vegetable pasta salad and my first homemade herbed tomato soup recipe since we moved down here in 2006.  I'll be having some of that soup right after I post this blog. So here is my recipe

Friends and Neighbors - Gay and Straight

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Bob's "vineyard" in Milton, DE  Okay, so it's not the Loire Valley of France.  My blogger friend Walt frequently posts pictures of the beautiful grape vineyards near where he lives in France.  That to me seems like another world.  Who knew that we had a grape vineyard right in our own back yard here in Milton, Delaware! This is a picture that I took on this hot and muggy midsummer day morning at our good friend Bob's home in Milton, DE.  Bill and I stopped over for a visit this morning to "inspect" Bob's garden after he weeded it.   Bill and Bob in Bob's vineyard Friends like Bob is something we have down here in Delaware that we didn't have when we lived in Pennsylvania.  As much as Bill loved our home in Pennsylvania, we didn't have a social network of friends like us, old and gay.  We're past our bar hopping days.  We're no longer looking for Mr. Right.  Either we found Mr. Right (I did with Bill) or we are living o

Tomato Harvest

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Ron and Bill's fresh tomatoes The tomatoes are on! Each year I buy a couple of six packs of tomatoes at my favorite local garden spot, Peppers in Milton.  I buy one six pack of small tomatoes and one six pack of regular size slicing tomatoes. Then I plant the individual plants around my flower beds in my backyard.  I also have oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, chives, dill, and fresh basil plants planted throughout my raised beds are the far end of our backyard and the flower beds next to the house. This is the best time of the year, harvesting our own tomatoes and herbs.  I love it!  Nothing like your own herbs and veggies.  Bill loves the tomatoes.  He cuts them up in a bowl and puts a couple of dollops of mayonnaise and that is his lunch.  I use the tomatoes, basil, and oregano in my fresh pasta salad (which I'll post the recipe in a future post). We couldn't grow tomatoes or many other vegetables at our home in Pennsylvania because of the deer.  We don'

Clematis

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Just a short post today.  I'm back with my beautiful, colorful, flower motifs.  I've taken quite a few pictures of flowers lately around my house.  I was inspired by the beautiful pictures that my friend Walt takes at his home in France. My blog posts tend to lean towards my natural propensity to complain.  I also post a lot about entering this new (and last) phase of my life as I age.  Most of my other blog posts are about trips down memory lane. What I try to avoid is posting about politics and religion.  To me posting about those two subjects is like spitting in the wind, you're not going to change anyone's mind and you end up with your own spit on you. Of course you understand "spit" is the nice version of what I really mean (you can figure that out.) So I find it is a "palate cleanser" to occasionally post a picture of the many flowers, plants, and wildlife that I am fortunate enough to have in abundance at our home here on the flat coas

Mid Summer Break

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Hey folks, I think I'm going to take a few days off.  A mid summer break.  I've been neglecting some of my other fun things to to on the Internet like updating my Find a Grave account and my Ancestry.com account. I'm not sure how long I will be gone.  Maybe a few days, maybe be a week. I'll still be checking in on my favorite bloggers and leaving comments were appropriate. This recent heat wave has really taken a lot out of me.  I feel like I'm trapped in the house.  I finally got out for a walk tonight, my first in a week.  That was only possible because we had a thunderstorm roll in this afternoon that cooled things off a bit, if only for a little while.  At the end of my walk tonight I could feel the humidity creeping back in with its strangulation around my neck. In the meantime, talk among yourselves.

Eye Bags

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Two posts within an hour!  I think this is a new record for me.  Sometimes one has to post when the thought is fresh. While checking my e-mails I saw this adorable picture of my blogger buddy Ur-Spo.  Isn't he just the cutest guy?  A guy with a face and body like that just screams to get hugged.  Unfortunately (for me) and fortunately (for him) he is a couple thousand miles away from me sweltering in the midsummer heat of Phoenix Arizona while I am here on the east coast of Delaware also sweltering in the midsummer heat. A few months ago my blogger buddy tossed around the question of getting plastic surgery to remove the bags under his eyes.  He recently turned 49 years old and I guess he thought it was time for a "tune up."  I advised him to leave things just as they are.  He is one of those men who was born handsome and will be handsome his whole life, even as he ages. I've had dark circles and bags under my eyes my whole life.  I remember being concern about

Then There Was One

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The last baby bluebird - 15 minutes ago As regular readers of my blog know, I raise baby bluebirds in my backyard oasis here in the coastal shores of southern Delaware. I've been greatly concerned that the high heat and humidity of this past week would kill the second batch of baby bluebirds that hatched a few weeks ago in my backyard wildlife habitat.  There were four babyblue birds stuffed in that little bluebird house.  Every time I went past the blue bird box when I was refreshing the water in the many birdbaths I have lining by backyard, I would take a peek in the hole to the bluebird box and see gasping baby bluebirds.  I know from experience not to do anything but let nature take its course.  I suspected the baby bluebirds were at least a week away from flying from their nest. Thus it was with some surprise a few minutes ago I peered into the hole and didn't see any gasping baby bluebirds.  Instead, this is what I saw:  a lone, terrified baby bluebird.  You can t

When To Say "No"

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My wise Bhudda this evening after I returned from my Friday Night Dine Out Group The sun has set but the heavy blanket of heat and humidity is still laying on the land here in my home of choice, southern Delaware.  We're not used to this heat. The temperatures here rose to 105 degrees.  And this isn't the "dry heat" of Arizona.  This is the heavy heat of Florida.  We're not used to this heat.  Man oh man. So I ventured out into this oven of heat to meet with my friends for our weekly Friday Night Dine Out Group meeting.  This week we met at the Texas Bar and Grill on Long Neck Road, somewhere down near the Indian River Bay (I don't remember the name of the community.) The Texas Grill on Longneck - it's OK but I wouldn't make a special trip there My friends Bob and Jim were there with their longtime unemployed houseguest Kenny.  Kenny looks like a concentration camp inmate because of all the weight he's lost only eating one meal a day

Brutal

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Spidey awaits I had just sat down at my computer a few minutes ago when Bill called me:   "Ron, come here quick!  Here's a picture you want to take!  There is a HUGE spider right next to the garage door."   At first I was annoyed by the interruption because I had planned to veg out this morning and upload some of my hundred or so gravestone pictures that I took earlier this week to my Find A Grave account.  I have no plans to go out today at all because of the brutal, oppressive heat and humidity.  The only venture I considered was going out tonight for the Friday Night Dine Out Group gathering at the Texas Bar and Grill on Long Neck Road.  That confab of old, over the hill, past their prime time, has-been, retired gay guys takes place at 7 pm when, hopefully, the temperatures are less brutal. So, in order not to upset Bill, I decide to go out and see what's got him excited.  On the way out I grab my new $765 Canon EOS 550D Rebel T2i digital SLR camera (is th

Spidey Gets a Big One

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You think you have problems?  How would you like to be in the position of this June bug who obviously took the wrong turn somewhere and ended up getting wrapped up for Spidey's future lunch? I went back about an hour later and the "package" was gone.  I suspect one of my Purple Martins or starlings made off with the June Bug wrap. All this life and death drama going on right in my own backyard.  Sort of puts things in perspective doesn't it? I just got off the phone with my dental insurer.  After going through the Menu Hell I finally got a real person.  When I explained to "Jerry" that they sent my dental reimbursement cleaning check for $166 to the dentist when it clearly says on my form "Send check to insured", he said he would have to "investigate."  Another delay.  I told him that ever since I changed my dental plan, not once...NOT ONCE has my claim process gone smoothly.  I asked him "Why is that?  Is that part of your pr

Home Sweet Home

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That bright, white house - that's my home This is my home folks, at the end of Whitehall Drive in Covington Chase, Milton, DE.  This is where I will spend the rest of my life.  At least this is where I PLAN to spend the rest of my life. Yesterday I read a fellow blogger's posting in which he expressed concern with who would take care of him when he got old.  He is presently taking care of his father and his aunt.  I live with an 82 year old man, who thankfully is in good health although he is getting grumpier each year.  Assuming I outlive him, then what is to become of me?  Who will take care of me? This is a concern that I have at my age.  Like my blogger friend said, he isn't concerned with being dead, but it is the process of dying that concerns him.  That is also my concern.  Perhaps my greatest fear is being dependent on someone for my day to day living.  My father's concern was that he didn't end up like his brother, wearing a diaper spending his day

Day Dreams (Nightmare?)

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I just got up from my afternoon nap.  I woke up earlier than usual.  I woke up because I was having a nightmare. You know how when you dream, after you wake up you can't remember what you were dreaming about?  That's usually because you wake up in cold sweats in the middle of the night to take a wicked pee and by the time you get back to bed the gritty details of your dream are gone in the mists of memory loss. Not so this afternoon.  I woke up in a cold sweat from my dream because I was sinking in the quicksand like mud of my neighbors's lawn.  The more I walk the more I sank.  And anyone who knows me knows what a Felix Unger like character I am.  I'm the one who requires my guests to take off their shoes before they enter my castle.  So here I am in my dream walking and sinking in my neighbor's lawn.  Think back to the old "Ramar in the Jungle" movies with the baddie (and sometimes goodies) getting caught in the quicksand and slowly sinking.  That

New York City Trip Canceled

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The view out of my bedroom window at 6:30 am this morning This is the day I had planned to be in New York City.  The trip was cancelled. If the trip had taken place, I would be on a bus with my friend Don at this time headed to New York City, instead of writing this blog about the trip that wasn't. I had decided last week I didn't want to go on this trip.  Did I really want to go to a big city in the oppressive heat and humidity of mid-summer?  No, not really.  I'm having a hard enough time not getting soaked with sweat every time I go out to change the bird baths here. Earlier this year I planned to get out more.  In May Bill and I took a week off and traveled through the south, visiting his hometown in Georgia and my brother in South Carolina.  On the way back home we drove up through the mountains of western North Carolina to visit my father's birthplace and my paternal ancestral roots.  I have yet to write any blog postings about that very interesting trip

Summertime

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Me (the tall kid in the middle with legs crossed) with my friends Billy Smith, Pee Wee Mack, Chubby Shores and my brother Isasc (with the baseball mitt) at 120 Washington Avenue. Downingtown, PA 1951 This is my favorite time of year, summertime.  My second favorite time of year is fall but my all time favorite time is summertime. The hot, long day of summer remind me of growing up on Washington Avenue in Downingtown, PA in the Fifties.  Like most families, mine was very poor although we didn't think all that much about it at that time.  We were too busy having fun with the other kids on our block. Me (the big kid holding a grasshopper in my finger near my eye) and my brothers John and Isaac and some other kids from the block - we were ready for our big adventure of the day Summer always seemed to go by so fast.  From the first daylight we would bust out of our apartment to meet with our playmates who lived in the other apartments and houses nearby.  We always had somet

Man Boobs

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Self-portrait this morning of my deteriorating body Now that I have reinforced my policy of being unashamedly honest in my blog postings, I will now address one of the developments of my aging process.   As regular readers of this blog know, I am 69 years old and frequently write about my view from this vantage point in my life.  Other than the expected aches and pains that come with getting older, I have no complaints about getting older.  A few months ago I read a friend's blog posting in which he expressed some concern over discovering his first wrinkle (yes, Mark, that's you I'm talking about).  I was amused over his concern.  Heck, I discovered my first wrinkles back in the 80's.  I wasn't bothered at all by that development.  I felt it gave my face more character.  Wrinkles never turned me off on anyone. However, there is another development that I have recently discovered.  I think I'm getting man boobs! Some years ago there was a very funny Seinfel

Speed Bump

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Me at Lenscrafters in Dover Saturday- brain scan next! The last couple of days I've been feeling sort of out of it.  Off the rails one might say.  There was no one specific reason.  I thought maybe the reason was lately there has been more focus on my blog and what to write and not to write.  I've always written my blog the way I think.  Ironically, a few weeks ago I was criticized by a friend (who no longer reads my blog but who was the one who orientally urged me to keep a blog back in 2006 when I started on and then stopped for about a year), who answered when I asked him why "You write what you think."  Duh, well...I didn't have an answer for that statement because actually, that is what I write on my blog.  I think he was concerned that perhaps I would write about a confidence he  told me.  A justifiable concern for sure.  But I wouldn't do that.  And I was a bit surprised that he would think that I would. Another concern is my partner.  He's c

Still Here

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Me on a "road trip" with my brother circa 1957 Not to worry folks about my recent absence.  I'm still here.  I'm rethinking the direction my future blog postings are going.  I'm rethinking why I write a blog.  I really have to take into consideration who is reading my blog postings. I have learned that all those persons who read by blog are not those anonymous persons I have never met, nor will I likely every meet them.  Sure, I still have those readers.   But more and more of my blog readers are my neighbors, friends and relatives.  I have to take into consideration what blog subjects I write about.  I guess I can't really go into a lot of interesting detail about the personal aspects of my life.  I really don't want my next door neighbors knowing those facts.  It's not so much of a privacy issue as it is one of not embarrassing my neighbors the next time they see me.  I have the same situation with my friends and relatives. So what do I write

A Real Bargain

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161 Crawford Road Downingtown, PA This is our former home in Downingtown, PA.  It is located in East Brandywine Township, four miles outside of Downingtown, on 6.875 acres of a wooded hillside.  Bill and I brought the land in 1976 and had the house custom built to our specifications in 1980.  In the twenty-five years we lived there we added many additions, like the sun room (see picture above), brick terrace, and extensive landscaping and three ponds filled with goldfish. Because I couldn't keep up with the ever increasing Pennsylvania school taxes and the other county taxes which were rising at the rate of 20 to 25% a year, I put the house up for sale in January of 2006 for $695,000.  Four days later I had an offer of $640,000 which I laughed at and refused much to my later regret because this was the beginning of the downtown of the housing market. I eventually sold the house for $500,000 in November of 2006 and moved to our newly built house here in Delaware (where I a

Old Friends Reunite

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Larry, Stuart and Ron October 1957 - check out the hair! Larry, Stuart and Ron July 10, 2011 This past Sunday my longtime friend Larry and I reunited with the third member of our old grade school and high school friend Stuart.  Stuart lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida these days.  Larry lives in the northern part of Delaware, which is about an hour and a half from me. Me standing behind Stuart for our official 3rd grade picture - 1950 I'm the one with the mop of hair standing next to the pigtailed girl whose name I remember to this day - Margaret West.  The boy standing next to Stuart is Donald Murphy and the head of the boy standing down front is Francis Trego.  I can't remember what I did yesterday but I remember these names! During the Fifties Stuart, Larry and I were best friends.  We definitely were not part of the "In Group" of our high school.  We were on the outer fringes but we did find one another and had a wonderful friendship.  Stuart was th