Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mega Millions


Somebody won.  I heard the winning ticket was sold in Maryland.  That's not real far away from where I live on the east coast of the Delmarva peninsula.  Close enough.

I heard the jackpot was $640,000, over a half a billion dollars. After taxes (ya 'all know the state and federal government have to get their it too don't you?), the winner (or winners) still will take home a chunk of cash.

So now we await to see if the winner is some 85 year old man or a group of factory workers who chipped in together and brought 35 ticket.  BORING.  We won't hear from the winners for at least a week during which time they will try to hide the fact who they are so they won't be besieged by previously unknown long lost relatives, financial "experts", and other assorted scam artists working feverishly to try and part the lottery winners with their new found riches.  One thing is for sure, if and when we find out who the winners are we will be profoundly disappointed because the only winner that would make us happy is if we won the damn thing ourselves.

Now admit it, you didn't really want to win anyway?  Did you?  Just think of what would happen if you did win.  Would it bring you happiness? Oh sure, I've heard the argument that "money can't buy me happiness but I sure as hell will give it a try."

I used to play the lottery all the time.  I played Powerball.  I brought three tickets on Wednesday and three on Saturday.  I did that for about six years from 2005 until last Christmas, six dollars a week for six years, $312 a year, $1.872 for six years.  The most I ever won was $7.00.  A few time I had the Powerball and twice I had the Powerball and two numbers.  Big whoop.

My lottery tickets over the years.  Each one is three dollars, some more.
Total winnings.....$24.00.


Why did I play?  I wanted to pay my mortgage off.  I wanted to have a lot of money so I could be Mr. Big. I wanted to travel the world.  I wanted to be Mr. Big.  Guess what?  It doesn't matter diddley squat.

First of all I was fortunate in that through an inheritance I was able to pay my mortgage off.  Thus I wasn't faced with having to work until I was 95 years old just to keep pace with inflation and paying my mortgage.  Big burden off of Ron's shoulders!

Now why did I want to win?  Really, why?  I couldn't come up with a good reason.  Have more friends?  Really?  The type of "friends" that I would make by coming into an obscene amount of money is not the type of friends anyone would want to have.  Seriously, you wouldn't want to have THAT kind of friend.  Believe me, I know.  Back in my prime when I was doing all right money wise I had THAT kind of friend.  When the money leaves, they leave.    Even when you have the money, they aren't the kind of friend you want because they take, take, and take and have no respect for you anyway so what is the point?  I learned the hard way believe you me.

If I won what would I do with all that money? Travel the world?  Sure, I would like to visit England, my ancestral homeland.  I would love to take a cruise around the world.  Only one problem, I can do that now if I wanted to.  I have enough money left over from my inheritance to travel.  I would clean out what little savings I had left but I could do it.  Then I would be living month to month again.

I choose not to except for our annual Trip Down South (which is coming up).  The rest I keep for my old age because some day I will probably be alone in this world (Bill is thirteen years older than me) and no one is going to take care of my except myself.  I've been to the Financial Abyss more than a few times in my life and I had no desire to visit that Cliff to Doom again.

Give the money to charity?  Perhaps, but it would be a charitable cause of my own choice.  Like say perhaps a No Kill Animal Shelter.  I could give money to friends who are in dire need.  I would love to do that but I'm afraid I wouldn't have enough for all the new friends I would descend upon me.  If I had all the money in the world it wouldn't be enough to solve the problems of the world.  There is only one Bill Gates and he isn't me.

I look around me and I think "I have everything I want now, why do I want more?"  I have a home that is just right for me (NO MORTGAGE!), a loving and caring spouse, all the toys I could possibly want (I'm not a big Toy person but I do like my Apple toys), and I have a wonderful job working with some really nice people.  If I could have anything I would like to restart my life back twenty years to when I was fifty years old.  Of course that is with the qualification I have what I have now and know what I know now.

However, that isn't going to happen.  I am approaching Serious Old Age now.  Every day is precious.  I don't want my remaining years on this planet to be stressed out by any demands which undoubtedly would happen if I won't a half a billion dollars (do you think?)

Oh yes, I am very happy with my lot in life right now.  I may live another twenty years or maybe just a few months or maybe some crazy Pennsylvania driver could kill me tomorrow on Route 1 on my way to Walmart.  One never knows does one?  So I treasure each day that I get up in the morning and thank God (or whoever) for giving me one more day on this earth in a body that still works relatively well and a brain that still functions (most of the time anyway).

I wish nothing but the best to whomever or whoever won the Mega Millions jackpot.  I'm just happy I got off of that fantasy trip to nowhere.  I'm saving my money.  I need it.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Mom's Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake - last night


One of the enduring memories of my Mother is her strawberry shortcake recipe.

My Mother loved strawberries.  My dad would always set aside a part of his vegetable garden for Mom's strawberry patch.  Mom would lovingly plant her strawberry plants in the fall in her section of Pop's garden.

Pop and Mom up in his garden - 1958

Come spring Pop would place the black netting over the ripening strawberry plants to protect them from the marauding robins which liked to put one peck into the biggest, ripest and juiciest strawberries.  I can still remember Mom saying with great indignation "Why do they always pick the best strawberries?" Each year she was in a race to get those juicy strawberries before the birds got to them.

Mom would come home from her job at Pepperridge Farms (she worked in the frozen layer cake division) and go up to her strawberry patch and pick her pampered strawberries.

She would pick as many as a dozen pints before she ended for the day.  Then she would take them down to the house and pick over them again, saving the best to take to work and sell (at $1.25 a pint) to some of her co-workers at Pepperridge.

Me with Mom up in her strawberry patch - 2000


She would set aside some strawberries to make strawberry shortcake.  The rest of the strawberries she would wash, slice, sprinkle with sugar, place in containers and freeze.  She would keep those frozen strawberries and make strawberry shortcake for the rest of the year.

Mom watching her strawberries grow in her garden - 2001


Last year I found a strawberry field nearby in Lewes.  I took myself down there on a fresh spring day and picked me a batch of strawberries.  Just like my Mom did years ago, I sorted those strawberries when I got home.  I set aside some to use on my cereal.  The rest I froze.  I froze a lot of them.

Lewes Garden Center - Pancoast Lane - May 2011
"Pick Your Own Strawberries" at Lewes Garden Center - 2011


The recipe pictured above is Mom's strawberry shortcake recipe that I made last night after I returned home from work.  There is nothing fancy about this recipe but it is perhaps the best dessert I've ever had in my life.  It not only tastes good (and it does) but it also brings back my loving memories of my Mom.

May is only one month away.  You can bet I'll be back at that strawberry patch in Lewes to pick me another batch of strawberries and I'll be thinking of Mom.

video


Betty's Strawberry Shortcake

1 slice pound cake (preferably homemade)
vanilla ice cream 
strawberries (frozen or fresh, sprinkled with sugar)

Place cake in bottom of bowl. 
Place two scoops ice-cream on top of cake
Drizzle defrosted strawberries on top of cake and ice-cream


Enjoy! 




Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Staying Alive" - Rita Hayworth Style


A friend sent this to me.  It is fabulous!  I just have to share it with all of you.

Letters



When I was sixteenyears old, my father built me a wooden box to hold my pen pal letters.  The year was 1958 and I had been writing to pen pals since I was twelve years old.  I had a lot of letters.  There was nothing fancy about the box but I so appreciated him building it for me.  It was one of the few times in his life that he showed he cared for me.

Over the years I have used this box to store my letters.  For the past fifty-four years I have rarely gone into that box.  Why did I save those letters?  Now I know why.



A few months ago my longtime friend Larry and I decided to write our autobiographies.  Larry and I are the same age.  We became friends when we were in third grade in elementary school.  We were best friends until 1963 when we had a disagreement (mostly my fault) when I came out.  Larry is straight, I am gay.  I won't go into the details of that disagreement at this time, that is a subject for another blog (or several).  We renewed our friendship again after Larry's mother sent me a Thanksgiving card in 2001 suggesting that I get in touch with Larry because he was feeling pretty low after losing his banking job.  Since I had also lost my banking job (I worked in Philadelphia, PA and Larry worked in Wilmington, DE), she thought I could uplift his spirits.  I contacted Larry and we have renewed our friendship.

Ron Tipton 1959 Graduation Photo
Larry Meredith 1959 Graduation Photo


I am very happy to say that today, with the exception of my Bill (my spouse), Larry is my best friend.  Larry knows me as I am, the good and bad.  What makes him my good friend is that he accepts me as I am.  He doesn't run for the exits just because something I did offended or angered him.  Larry is a True Friend.

Larry and I talk to each other almost everyday on FaceTime.  A month ago we decided that now is the time to write our autobiographies as blog entries.  Both of us have separate blogs specifically for our autobiography entries.

Larry Meredith - Civilian 1962
Ron Tipton - Army Private 1962

Both of us were having some trouble remembering names and dates for certain events early in our lives.  That's when I had the wonderful idea of copying Larry's letters to me and sending them to him by e-mail.

This has turned out to be a very interesting endeavor.  For one thing we are coming up with names and dates to match those names.  The downside is we are also reliving experiences that were best forgotten. Indeed, this is proving to be a very interesting experience.

This morning I took out the box that my father built for me lo those many years ago to hold my letters and took all the letters out and spread them on my bedroom floor.  Wow, what memories.  I have letters from old affairs.  I have letters from girlfriends who are berating me for "dropping them like a hot potato".  Ironically, most of the girls I don't remember.  However, I remember all the guys, ALL OF THEM.  Now that tells me something.  What it tells me is that I am 100% gay.

So here is the deal.  I will eventually scanned all these letters (or at least most of them) into my computer.  I realize that when I die, whoever goes through my things will throw out these letters.  I know they are of no interest to anyone but myself.  But I still feel the need to memorialize my past history.  I plan to eventually put all those letters in book form.  Who knows?  Maybe fifty or hundred years from now someone will find them of interest.

Ron Tipton - Retired 2012


Larry Meredith - Retired 2012
I remember well when I worked in my bank trust department and I came across a series of letters written by an old farmer who wrote about his childhood on his farm in the late early 1900's.  He wrote his history on a dozen pages of notebook paper in longhand.  I found reading it fascinating.  After reading it, I wanted to read more.  At that time I decided that if I ever wrote my personal history I would provide more detail.

I feel good about this.

Monday, March 26, 2012

How To Write A Good Blog

Me writing in my daily journal 

As regular bloggers know, there are all kinds of experts out there who can tell us how to write a good blog.  They know all the tips to increase readers. Some of the tips are as follows:

  • Daily postings
  • Concise postings
  • Topical postings
  • Postitive postings
  • Interesting postings (whatever that is)
The one tip that I rarely if ever see is this one:  WRITE WELL

None of this fancy dancy stuff.  No tricks.  Hey, let's face it.  All of us can't be a Dave Barry.

Looky here, I am an expert reader.  Why am I an expert reader?  Because I say so. 

I find the very best blogs are ones that are well written.  I haven't done a lot of blogosphere exploring mainly because there is so much crap out there.  From the self-asorbed failed New York writer who thinks she writes fabulous blogs but which are obviously canned to the bloggers who give me a headache because I don't know what the hell they're talking about. 

I have found from my very unscientific and limited survey that a good writer can write about anything and their blog postings are always interesting.  They can write about the most mundane subject from what they are doing today to what they are cooking for a meal that night, but their simple, uncomplicated way of writing with just a touch of whimsy makes their blog postings a must for me.

Wonder who these fabulous bloggers are?  Just take a look at "My Favorite Bloggers" list on my blog.  From "The Cajun" to "Urspo", they never fail to grab my interest and make me care about their life, no matter how routine or unglamorous it seems.

One of my very favortie bloggers is Bob of "I Should Be Laughing".  This guy is way better than Perez Hilton or Mike Walker.  And he's free!

Then there is Mark of "Our Simple Lives".  I've met Mark in person several times and he is the same sweetheart that he appears to be in his blog.  He is the real deal. 

A recent discovery is Scott of "Bigger Than My Heart".  Scott has a lovely way with words.  His blogs are almost like reading prose. 

I don't want to slight anybody, especially my longtime friend Larry.  He is now writing his autobiography which is not open for public consumption but it is the best biography I've read since Walter Isaacson's of Steve Jobs.  Of course Larry is no Steve Jobs (nor am I).  Larry, like me, is just a regular schlub who likes to write but man, is he a good writer.  He just needs to expand his vocabulary a little bit and he would be gang busters (just kidding Larry - a private joke folks).

There are a few on my blog roll who I'm not quite sure are legitimate yet because they are so secretive.  I've been taken in before by the secretive ones so I am reluctant to make a judgement at this time.

But the point I wanted to make on this posting is the simple fact that all it takes to write a good and interesting blog is to be honest and write in easy to understand English with a touch of self depreciation.

That is what works for me.  Now if I can just find some more of these folks.

Mother

Mother - September 2005


This morning I was looking for a picture to hang in the sun room, next to Bill's chair.  Bill spends a lot of time there and I wanted to find a picture that gave him comfort.  I looked in my Mom's bedroom (which she never had a chance to use before she died in September of 2010) where I store my extra pictures.  The picture at the top of this post is the one I found.  I had forgotten about this picture.

Me (left), the bros, and Mom 2005

I arranged to have a professional portrait picture taken of my Mother back in September of 2005.  She never had a professional picture taken of her.  I wanted one before she died.  She wasn't sick at that time but she wasn't getting any younger.  The circumstances of that Labor Day weekend were such that both of my brothers and I would all be at her home in Pennsylvania at the same time.  This would probably be the last time we were all together to get such a photo taken so I arranged with J. C. Penney to have it done.  I am glad I did so because about a year after this photo was taken she started to go downhill both physically and mentally.

Me and my biggest fan - my Mom - 2000

I am so glad I had this picture taken.  It shows my Mother as she was, a happy person who, in spite of her lonely and abusive childhood, was a happy person totally devoted to her family.  Yes, I was one of those lucky people who had a wonderful Mother for which I am forever grateful.

Mom, me (right) and brother Isaac (on the left) - 1945

I remember how shocked I was when I joined the Army and met other young men my age and discovered that not all of them had mothers like I had.  I just can't imagine not growing up without a mother.

My Mother's mother died when she was not quite two years old.  She was basically on her own from her youngest age.  When she met my dad at 16 years old she quickly got married and left home to live with him.  They were together sixty years until he died in 2000.  He was the only man in her life.  After he died, she was never quite the same.

Me and Mom at my paternal grandparent's grave - I always used to take Mom for a cemetery tour in the Spring

My brothers and I were totally devoted to her.  We knew what we had, The Best Mom In The World.  Oh sure, towards the end she was sometime difficult but we didn't hold that against her.  That was someone else who took over her brain and body.

Mom in her favorite faux fur coat on Washington Avenue in Downingtown, PA - 1947

The one thing my brothers and I will always be proud of, he promised Mom that we would never send her to a nursing home.  Even though at times we came close (really close), we were able to keep our promise.

Mom (center) with her cousin Sandy (left) and niece Elaine (right) - 2002

There is not a day that doesn't go by that I don't think of her and how she made me what I am today.

These days I often think of death and how I will handle my impending death.  First I'm old (70) so death isn't that far away from my door.  Secondly, I may have prostate cancer but I have decided not to go down that medical spiral of tests and treatment.  I hope to outlive my cancer (if I even have it).

I am not afraid of death.  I am afraid of a painful and humiliating death but I hope that doesn't happen.  The one thing that gives me comfort in my twilight years is the knowledge that either I will be reunited with my Mother in death or else death will provide an escape from this pain of not having her here.

Either way I win.

Me and Mom - the only lady ever in my life 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

New Year's Eve 1963

21 year old Ron Tipton passed out New Year's Eve - Ft. Meade, Maryland


Yes, that is yours truly in the picture above.  And yes, I am on the floor, barfing in a roaster pan.

Want to know the story behind this picture?  Sure you do!

The place is a New Year's Eve party at a friend's house in Glen Burnie, Maryland 1963.

I was in the Army and stationed at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.  The previous November I turned 21 years old and thus legal to drink.  I was due to get out of the Army January 27, 1963 after a three year enlistment.  What a better time to celebrate New Year's Eve.  Indeed!

I had purchased my first car shortly after my birthday in November.  I offered to drive my friends to the New Year's Eve party in Glen Burnie.  I was going to be the Big Man.  Oh yes,  Big Time Ron.

"Big Time Ron" back in the barracks (sans pants) 1962


So we get to the party which was attended by my Army buddies, most of whom were straight.  My friend Ron (yes, another "Ron") was my passenger.  Ron was also gay but we were both in the closet at that time so our gayness wasn't a factor this New Year's Eve.

I drive up to our friend's suburban house and park outside the driveway.  Ron and I go in their house and the party is already underway.  We brought booze with us.  I offered to start the drinks going.  I had a big bottle of vodka and orange juice.  I heard how you made a Screwdriver was a glass full of orange juice and a shot of vodka.

The first drinks I mixed I followed that recipe.  Tasted like orange juice to me.  Where was the kick?  So the next drink I filled the glass almost to the top with orange juice and put in TWO shots of vodka.  Still tasted like orange juice to me.  You DO KNOW where this is going don't you?

Fast forward to about an hour later and I'm filling my glass with vodka and putting ONE shot of vodka in my glass.  Oh it was so pretty to see the orange juice slowly sink to the bottom of my tall glass just like a lava lamp, albeit a deadly lava lamp.

After a few of these "screwdrivers" the last thing I remembered was shouting at the console TV in the living where everyone was watching for the New Year to come in.

My next memory was waking up on the floor with a blanket covering me, bright daylight, and my mouth felt like my Army battalion had bivouacked in it overnight.  OH MY GOD!

Then, THEN I tried to raise my head.  I felt like I had an anvil in my head.  I felt like my head was the Notre Dame belltower and Quasimodo was ringing the bells celebrating his plugging Esmeralda.


The way I felt "The Morning After"
Actually, I felt like Quasimodo.

I always heard getting drunk was FUN.  This wasn't FUN.  I felt like I was run over by a Sherman Tank.  My mouth....I was so thirsty.  And yet I couldn't imagine drinking anything.  The thought of anything going down my mouth and landing in my stomach made me retch.  WHERE WAS THE FUN?

I continued to lay on my friend's living room floor (thank God no one let me drive back to the base that night) until about two o'clock in the afternoon.

When I finally got up, with a throbbing head, I asked what happened. My friend's wife (said I became very "vocal" (I was very shy back in that day) and was shouting at the TV. Apparently (do you think?) I was a bit of a damper on the party because of my out of control behavior.  More embarrassment, she said not to worry.

She said I threatened to kick the TV screen in (this was one of those Fifties console TV's that was low to the floor).  She also said I was throwing up all over the place.  More embarrassment.  She said I finally passed out on the floor.  Someone (I wonder who?) took off my shirt and pants (which had vomit on it - just lovely) and laid a sheet in the middle of their living room floor, covered me with a blanket.  She said I was continuing to retch (nothing left to throw up) so they got a roasting pan out for me to throw up in.  I wonder if they ever roasted a turkey in that pan again.

They put me in the middle of the living room floor because they were afraid I was going to hurt myself (according to them I was lurching all over the place).  Someone took this picture of me in my shameful state as proof that I was BOMBED that night and made a complete ass of myself.  They said otherwise I would never have believed it.

They were right.  I wouldn't of believed it.  But here it is, the Proof Positive.  Ron Couldn't Handle His Booze.

This is the first time I've made this picture public.  I'm not embarrassed now.  I'm not proud of this picture but you know what?  I've never been drunk since.  Oh sure, I've had some "buzzes" on, in fact some pretty good buzzes but I've never been Falling Down Drunk since that New Year's Day 1963.

Know why?  It wasn't fun.  Lesson learned.

Me at my 50th Class Reunion October 7th, 2009 - and my friend The Martini
Two martini's gives me a good buzz - fun

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I'm a Thug (?)

I wear a hoodie - DON'T SHOOT ME!

Firemen In Drag Put Out Fire


This is way too funny.  Check out the firemen in drag putting out a car far.  LOVE IT!

Dreams Redux

No, this isn't me (I wish) but this is exactly the way I sleep - on my right side - always

I've been dreaming again folks!  Yep, the nighttime dreams.  As usual by the time I get up in the morning I forget all the details about the dream.  The only thing I can remember is if the dream was bad, good or in between.

This morning was different.  I remembered most of the details of my dream.  I woke up and wrote the details on the back of an envelope with, ironically contained my National Enquire subscription bill!

My scribbled dream notes this morning
So here is what I dreamed folks:


  • I had a new office which I share with many other white collar workers like me.  
  • But first I had to complete an assignment out of the office.  
  • Prior to going on that assignment I had chosen my desk (by the window).
  • When I returned from my assignment I found that another row of desks was placed behind my desk, thus narrowing the space I could get into behind my desk.
  • My desk was turned the wrong way.
  • My things were missing from my desk.
  • I wasn't happy (in fact I was pissed) but I decided to make the best of it and not say anything.
  • While my fellow white-shirted co-workers were busy toiling at their desk jobs I turned my desk around in the same direction as the other desks.
  • I removed the extra desk that was placed behind my desk thus giving me more space.
  • When I checked my desk drawers and found out all my things were gone I started to complain, at first under my breath.
  • Some of my co-workers looked up from their jobs at me with surprised looks on their bored faces.
  • They were surprised that I was complain.  No one ever complained before. I was pissed.
  • The more drawers I open the more vocal I became.  
  • Then I got to the point where I said "This is a bunch of crap and I'm tired of it!"
  • One of my co-workers shushed me.
  • I looked at him and became louder.
  • By now our supervisor, which was a large, blonde, white woman (a lesbian I suspect) looked up from her desk and with the whites of her big blue eyes made a sweeping motion of her hand across her mouth to indicate that I was to shut up.
  • I looked at her and became even louder.  
  • She smiled at me.
  • I woke up.

Okay folks.  This was one of the dreams where I felt good when I woke up.  Now I'm going to try an analyze it.

Prior to going to bed I was talking to my aunt on the phone.  My aunt and her two daughters are of the branch of the family which always seem to have petty issues on the burner which they try to get me involved in.  I refuse to take sides.

Her daughter earlier in the week asked me to call her mother, telling me she was lonely.  I called about 10 o'clock.  During our conversation I asked her what time it was "out there", meaning Denver, Colorado, which is where I thought she was living with her other daughter and her husband who are both Air Force lifers.  She told me "It's the same time as it is with you."  I said to her "It can't be, how many hours is Colorado behind me?"  She said "No Ronnie, I'm in Downingtown (Pennsylvania."  Downingtown is where she used to live and where I used to live.  It is only two and a half hours away from me and in the same time zone. To make a long story short (and I feel this is becoming a long story which it shouldn't be), my aunt moved back here a year and half ago.

I asked her "Then why didn't you come to the reunion?  I didn't know you were here."  She told me that her daughter didn't like the location where I held the reunion.  Now let's back up a little bit.  I hold the reunion where I do because the pavilion rental is only $50 whereas where her daughter wants the reunion the pavilion rental is $300 and has no play area for the kids.  So, as long as I'm paying I'll hold the reunion where I want to hold it.  I suggested to her last year if she wants the reunion held at Kerr Park ($300) pavilion rental, then she can rent it out.  I'll be glad to inform everyone that is where we will hold our reunion because my cousin is paying.  Of course she didn't

So anyway, that was my dream.  Not a prediction of the future no a glimpse into the Afterworld, but just a play out of my conversation with my aunt last night. Just another episode in the drama of my little life here on the coastal shore of southeastern Delaware.

More dreams tonight.

No me either but sleeping on the right as I always do

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Springtime In Lewes, Delaware Doings

Eastern Bluebird - my very welcomed Springtime visitors!

A few minutes ago I looked out the sunroom windows and what did my eyes see?  A bluebird taking a bath in one of the three bird baths I have in our flower oval.  It is official, spring is here!

Bluebird in my birdbath this morning - welcome!




This is one of those giant bluebirds.  This bluebird will be able to defend his bluebird house against the sparrows who are always trying to take it over in the spring mating season.  Every year it is a battle as to who get control of the prime bluebird house in our backyard.

I'm off work until next Wednesday which is delightful.  Last night we had an event at the hotel.  An event is just what it says it is, an EVENT.  Last night was the monthly Lewes Chamber of Commerce Mixer.  I get to greet all the attendees as they stroll in from their glass(es) of wine and finger food.  I must have been a greeter in my former life because I love the role of the Greeter.  I love to meet people.

Our Number One Industry - Tourism!

The monthly mixer is a chance for local business people to get together and drum up business.  We had several rooms open for display at the hotel and of course, I was ready to make reservations.

However, something different happened.  I was talking to one of the attendees who was leaving (trying to get him to rent a room) and I discovered he was a local portrait photographer.  I've been looking for a looking for a local portrait photographer!  What luck!

In my previous life, when I was more lush with cash, I used to have an annual portrait picture taken of me and my dogs to include with my Christmas cards.  When I lost my job at Mellon Bank in 1986 and then went through a series of jobs bouncing around, I did not have that luxury any more.  If you were one of the lucky recipients of my annual Christmas card, you will notice that the picture of me wasn't a professional one, I took it!

One of my annual Christmas card photos 1981


Now that I'm settled in, the mortgage is paid off and the bills are up to date I can imbibe in this luxury again.  My appointment is next Wednesday.  Only one problem, how am I going to get myself to look like this portrait picture that was taken in 1982?  I just realized that was THIRTY YEARS AGO!

The last time I sat down with a suit and tie for a formal studio portrait photo - this one for my resume when I was looking for another job after being canned by Mellon Bank in 1982

Dave, the photographer told me this morning not to worry.  He says he can do "wonders" with his computer.  This should be interesting.

Before picture - me Tuesday evening - 30 years later!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Genealogy Blog

Tipton Family Reunion October 2011


Hey folks!  Here is my genealogy blog.  I've had it up for several years but have been remiss in updating it.  However, I am making a sincere attempt to be more timely in my postings. To see it go here.


I really love my genealogy postings and have neglected it for far too long. Most of my blog postings are on this blog, Retired in Delaware.  I have to watch myself that I don't descend into complaining and depressing blogs.  I am never depressed when I do my genealogy blog.

Yesterday I finalized the plans for our annual Tipton Family Reunion in Downingtown. As in years past the reunion will be held on Columbus Day Weekend.

Even though it is a Tipton Family Reunion, all are invited because we are all family aren't we?

Come join us this Sunday October 7th, 2012 at the East Brandywine Park in Guthriesville, Pennsylvania.



Cousin Richard "R.D." Tipton will be catering.  Below is his the menu.  Only $10.00 a head, children free.

A special treat, as last year, my blogger friend Mark of "Our Simple Lives" will be on hand to take his wonderful photos.  Mark is an extremely talented photographer and I am lucky to have his services available for my family reunion.

With all the negativity in the air these days because of politics, what better remedy than for family to get together and share happiness?  Lots of smiles always at the reunions.  Come join us!























Our fabulous photographer - MARK!