Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Way Too Cold

Downingtwon train station - I used to stand near the yellow line on the left waiting for my daily commute train to Philadelphia - this photo was taken on a warmer day. On cold winter days, that was a brutal place to stand and wait for the train - I'll never forget those painful days

A fierce cold has descended upon much of our country, especially in the Midwest. 

The temperature now is 15 degrees. I saw on the TV news tonight some areas in the Midwest are experience 45 degrees below zero, and that's not wind chill.  

Bill came in my headquarters (my home office, which I transformed our smallest bedroom into) and asked if he should turn the water off.  He's afraid that our pipes would freeze in these cold temperatures.  I told him no, don't worry about it.  If there was a danger I'm sure I wouldn't have received warnings from our electric power service and NextDoor app.  We're doing just fine here at our cozy, warm home.  I am so glad I went with gas (propane) heat when I had our house built. In Pennsylvania we had electric power.  Very, very expensive and that heat pump just ran and ran when it got this cold.  Of course propane gas isn't cheap either but it's more economical than electric heat.  Plus, I find gas heat more comfortable than electric heat.

On cold sunny days like this my bedroom, with four windows facing both south and west, enjoy sumptuous solar heat. That was an accident. I didn't plan positioning our house that way, a lucky coincidence. My daily afternoon naps in my solar warmed bedroom are so comforting, especially when the wind is whipping around just outside my bedroom windows. 

On cold days like this I remember those days when I used to stand on a train platform in Downingtown for my daily commute to my job in Philadelphia. I used to stand in the old fashion train station until someone burned it down. Then the railroad replaced the burned out train station with one of those glass enclosures that sort of stop some of the wind but still so very cold. I'm glad those days are behind me.  

If you're in a cold part of the country, stay inside folks and keep warm.  Don't tempt fate.  Spring is coming!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Murphy's Law in the Supermarket

The most popular section of the frozen food aisle

This morning at my favorite supermarket (Food Lion in Milton) I went shopping for frozen broccoli, an important ingredient in my personal recipe for chicken/broccoli/stuffing casserole. 

I usually go shopping early to avoid the school mom crowds in the afternoon.  When I food shop, usually the only other people there are little old ladies.  

Last week when I went to the frozen food aisle a little old lady hovered over the area of the frozen food aisle where I wanted to get my frozen broccoli. Check out the photo above, the frozen food aisle is a long aisle.  Frozen pizzas, other frozen vegetables, frozen meals, etc but where does the little old lady hover?  Just where I want to get my frozen broccoli.  And I mean hover and linger, a good fifteen minutes. I roll my cart around the store and come back and she's STILL THERE, trying to make up her mind.  Finally, she left, albeit very slowly.  I got my frozen chopped up broccoli, made my casserole which Bill and I consumed.

Today was time for another Ron Chicken Broccoli Stuffing casserole.  I go to the store.  This time there is a different person blocking me.  A young man who is a store employee, scanning the prices. He's taking his time.  I roll my cart around the store to complete my shopping, planning on going back when he is done.  I go back and he is done, but now there is ANOTHER woman hovering in the exact area where I want to get my frozen broccoli.  Another good ten minutes to fifteen minutes, trying to make up her mind.  Well, that chopped up broccoli is good.  I put it in my casserole without precooking it, because the broccoli comes out crisp and tasty.  

She finally left.  And I got my broccoli.  

I made my chicken casserole tonight and it was delicious. 

I think next time I'll just bull my way in when I want to buy more frozen broccoli. "Excuse me ma'am, could you please get out of the way while you make up your mind?"  Probably what I should have done the first time I encountered this problem. 

Ron's Chicken Broccoli Stuffing Recipe:


1 pound of thin chicken cutlets
1/2 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste
1 can cream of chicken and mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
2 cups chopped frozen broccoli
1 box prepared Stove Top Chicken stuffing
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

Place raw chicken in crock pot. Sprinkle sale and pepper to taste. 

Pour in 1/2 cup white wine over chicken

Cook on low four to six hours

Remove from Crock Pot. 

Place in casserole dish. 

Cut up chicken in bite sized pieces

More salt and pepper to taste over top of cut up chicken

Sprinkle raw frozen broccoli over chicken

Pour juice remaining in Crock Pot over broccoli and chicken (this important because the liquid cooks the broccoli just enough to make it eatable but still remains crisp)

Mix milk with cream of chicken and mushroom soup

Spread soup mix over broccoli and chicken

Place prepared Stove Top Stuffing over broccoli

Sprinkle top with generous amounts of sharp cheddar cheese

Back at 400 degrees for until browned on top (approximately 30 minutes)

Remove from oven

Cool for approximately ten minutes. 

Dig in and enjoy!

Ron's Chicken Broccoli Stuffing Casserole

Monday, January 28, 2019

I Hate The Cold

Pat, layered up tonight, for his nighttime walk in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada - he will not be wearing this garb in California

The two least liked months of the year are about half over. January and February, I dread those months. Those are the "lost months" to me. 

Each year the cold bothers me more and more. I now understand while old folks want to retire to "warmer climes".  I know I do.  But I do like the change of seasons. I don't think I will ever move away from where I live here in southern Delaware. But I do like to get a respite from the cold.  That's why I talked my Travel Buddy (that would be Pat) to extend our annual trip to LaLa Land (that would be Los Angeles and Palm Springs) to two weeks from one week.  My idea escape from winter would be to spend TWO MONTHS in California.  Ah yes, to live and breath among the swaying palm trees and warm breezes caressing my aged, weathered cheeks (on my face that is).

I'm at work now (the hotel). Quiet night at the hotel, only three room occupied (out of 22 rooms and 3 suites).  A few minutes ago I went outside to do my rounds (check balcony lights and locks on doors).  Man, it is cold out there!  Actually the temperature was 31 degrees.  Pat, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada just came in from his walk in 19 degrees.  At least we don't have snow here (thank goodness).  Pat's got snow in Hamilton.

This morning I took Bill to see his VA doctor for the results of his labs.  Bill's doing fine.  Bill does have to get his ears cleaned (wax buildup) and he needs an eye examination but health wise, Bill is doing great.  

I'm making progress, albeit slow, in cleaning out my years of accumulations of things after cleaning out our basement media/storage room. I'm coming across a lot of items that is jogging my memory of my previous life working at the banks where I was employed for thirty-seven years.  Names I've long forgotten, I'll hang on to those items.  I am throwing things out.  Progress.

Last week a local thrift store picked up to three foot high speakers that Bill no longer wanted.  On Wednesday the people from Dry Zone are coming to fix the leak in our basement wall, which resulted in a leak which resulted in our emptying out the basement media/storage room and ripping up the very expensive Berber carpet.  Once we get that leak fixed we're going to have a home theater in that room. Finally, after living here for thirteen years.  No more junk room.  Progress.

I have to make progress folks. I'll share something with you. I feel I'm slowing down. I don't have the energy I used to have. This has been gradual the past five years, ever since my prostate cancer surgery. My cancer has not returned but I don't have the energy I used to have.  There are many signs that I have conveniently chosen to ignore but I can no longer ignore. 

Just keeping it real here folks. Perhaps I'll write more on this subject in future blog posts. But to wrap up this blog post, it's cold outside and I don't like it. So looking forward to California.

Friday, January 25, 2019

California In Two Weeks!

Pat and me at the King Street Cafe in West Hollywood, California February 2018 - we're going back to that fresh orange juice!!

The Trump Shutdown ended today. Thank goodness that this nightmare will end for those 800,000 plus government workers and contractors ends.  A shutdown that was totally unnecessary. Just another Trump con based on a lie.  

This day began fine with the news of the arrest of Roger Stone, one of the many traitors that is being revealed to our country that association with the number one traitor Trump.  Stone was arrested at his palatial Florida home at dawn in the morning. The FBI agents who arrested him haven't been paid in thirty-five days.  It was reported that one of the FBI agents said to Stone "This one is one the house."  Now that may be a fabrication ("fabrication" a fancy word for a lie) but wouldn't that a be a sweet good morning to such a sleaze ball like Stone?  

My concern with the Trump Shutdown is much less important but still it was impacting my life. My flight is scheduled to depart Philadelphia Sunday morning February 10th.  I was not only fearing an hours long wait in the TSA line but a dangerous flight to Los Angeles. Hopefully I can put those fears behind me now, as can many millions of other travelers.

I hate to leave on a trip like my California holiday with all these unsettled items on my agenda. Looks like my life here is settling down.  

Monday I take Bill for his follow-up appointment with his VA doctor for his semi-annual review of his labs. 

On the 30th a company comes by to fix our basement leak which we noted is still leaking during our heavy rain yesterday.

I have my temporary crown.  My dental office said they hope to get my permanent crown in on February 8th, before I leave for my California holiday.

My car has new tires, new brake pads and an oil change.  I had a scare last night when leaving from work at the hotel.  Both of my yellow engine lights came on my dashboard.  I hate that.  I pulled over to the side of the road, turned off my engine, counted to ten and turned on my engine again. The check engine light went away, thank goodness!

Now I enter the two week approach to my much looked forward to annual winter excursion to Los Angeles and Palm Springs.  Again I have to decided what clothes to wear.  Yes, I still don't have that down yet.  I always take more clothes out that I need. Last year I even mailed some back home.  Hopefully I won't have to do that this year.

Looking forward to a nice quiet weekend here at Casa Tipton-Kelly. Hope your weekend is peaceful too.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Three Big Hits and Other Thoughts

This past week I've taken three big financial hits. 

Last week my anchor crown broke. Visit to the dentist Monday. Big bill. $$$$$$$$

Yesterday I replaced the tires and brake pads on my car.  Big bill. $$$$$$

On the 30th of this month I'm having the leak in our basement wall repaired.  Big bill. $$$$$$$

Thank goodness I've already paid for my flight and accommodations in California.  I paid those last year when I made the reservations.  

But you know folks, even though I'm whining about my recent spate of big bills, these are only "first world problems."  At least I have a steady source of money flowing into our household.  Social security, pension payments and income from my part-time job at the hotel.  I feel so bad for those government workers, Coast Guard, TSA and contractors who are receiving NO MONEY as a result of Trump's hostage taking to fulfill a campaign promise to his rabid supporters to build a wall that he said Mexico would pay for.  Can't give in to hostage takers like Trump because he'll just do it again. For the first time in his life the lifetime criminal Trump is faced with not getting his way by bullying and intimidation. His lifetime of criminality will be exposed soon. But here I go on a rant again (feels so good).

Back to life here at Casa Tipton-Kelly.  My big toe nail is slowly coming back.  Nice to have a new toenail. I'm going to lose my other toenail.  Two new toenails! Would like to have a new body and face.  I'm falling apart. Maybe in my next life!  You know the problem with youth?  When you have that fabulous, young, springy body and good looks you're too stupid to appreciate it.  As you get older and wiser, your body and looks let you down.  I'm a lot wiser now (still dumb in other areas) but my body (and looks) are failing me now. I guess I just have to accept I'm a washed up has been.  Hey! There I go on another rant.

My departure date (February 10th) is quickly approaching. So looking forward to our (me and Pat) annual adventure in sunny California.  Two weeks folks! A week in West Hollywood and a week in Palm Springs.  Hopefully I won't injure my self during this jaunt.  I will tip toe through the tulips in La La Land very carefully.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Big Toe Fix

Seems whenever I have a medical situation it happens after business hours, on the week and often during a holiday weekend. Thus is the case this weekend.

As I mentioned in my previous blog posting (buried in my Trump rant) was that my big toe nail was loose and crooked. This is the big toe that I damaged within an hour of landing in Philadelphia at the end of November. At that time it was very painful and I had to eventually go to a medical walk in clinic to have it evaluated. That was my first time that I used a walk in clinic. They examined my damaged toe and told me I would lose the toenail. Well, that is what is happening now folks. But it is scary.  My big toe nail (left foot) was loose and crooked, causing pain and discomfort when I put on my sock and shoe. And here I am about to embark on another walking vacation in Los Angeles in a couple of weeks (February 10th).  

I decided to look up and call a podiatrist for an appointment.  Good luck calling late Friday.  I called two podiatrists' offfices and got voice mail both times. I left a message but I know they won't get back to me until at least Tuesday of next week, Monday being yet another Federal holiday (Martin Luther King Day). Even if and when I do get in contact with their offices, it would probably be weeks until they could see me. 

I went to bed last night, tonguing frequently the filling that just fell out of my tooth yesterday during dinner (when it rains, it pours and I'm not talking about the Morton Salt Girl), wondering "what am I going to do?"  When I awoke this morning, still with that gaping, jagged hole in my upper right back molar (didn't go away last night, darn that tooth fairy!), I came to a solution. Go to a walk in clinic down here.  In Philadelphia I went to the walk in clinic, which conveniently was just around the corner from where Pat and I were staying. That was a good experience. My situation didn't warrant a visit to the emergency room but did I want to go through all that rigmarole of going to a doctor's office. Viola! I go to a walk-in clinic down here!

That I did. The wait wasn't too long. A nurse practitioner removed my gross, dead toenail. She showed me where my new toenail was growing in.  She said it would take about three months to completely grow back.  I asked her "Do you get many visits like me, old men who stub their toes?"  She said "All the time, even from young people."  This was nothing new to her.  She also told me my other big toenail would come off too eventually. I didn't injure that as much but it is injured and gross looking.  Notice that I'm to posting pictures of the offending toe nails, not that it is their fault.  All my fault.

One of my biggest concerns these days as I enter my dotage, is falling down and breaking something. I've already torn my left leg quadriceps muscle three years ago resulting in major surgery to reattach the muscle and twelve weeks of recovery. My leg still isn't right but at least I can walk on it. My other concern is stubbing my toes. I've already stubbed my baby toes several times, losing the toenail but this is the first time I've stubbed my big toe.  Part of the problem is that I'm just not as nimble as I used to be which my arthritic body limiting my motion. 

Hopefully I can get a replacement filling in my tooth before I leave for La La Land.  Last year when I was out there I had new partials, both kept falling out every time I ate.  I would like a stress free va ca this time.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Our Country is in Peril

Traitors who have enabled Trump

Good day folks! Here we are, the 28th day of the government shutdown. A totally unnecessary shutdown all because of a lie Trump made to his followers. Trump said "Mexico will pay for the wall!" Turns out he wants us, United State taxpayers, to pay for the wall. A classic Con Man con, bait and switch. And one thing I will give  Trump credit for, he is a master con man. When this nightmare is done, history will show he was the greatest con man ever in our country and the world. This is one time one of Trump's many superlatives applies. But I'm not going to make this blog post about a long and boring rant on this despicable person but only to give you my state of mind at this time of my life. I never in my whole life ever imagined that I would live in a country where our very freedoms would be threatened by an incompetent, evil narcissist who has zero empathy for anyone except himself. We are at a great time of danger in our country folks. 

In the midst of all this I am scheduled to take a plane flight February 10th for my annual winter excursion to sunny California. Some in Congress say the only way this government shutdown will end is if the TSA employees and air traffic controllers go on strike.  Those people say the government shutdown will end in ninety minutes once members of Congress can't make their plane trips back to their districts. I tend to agree with them, screw up this country's air transportation system and now THAT puts pressure on the cowardly Republicans in Senate.  You know who could end this?  Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader who is holding up bills, that they passed before 100-0 before Trump said he wouldn't sign it, that would open government. McConnell is failing at his primary responsibility as a separate branch of government. Instead he has been acting as if he is employed by  Trump.  McConnell says he won't put any bill before the Senate that Trump has said he wouldn't sign. Hey Mitch, your job is to put bills before the Senate to vote on. Send those bills to Trump.  If Trump vetoes them, send them back to the Senate to vote to override Trump's veto.  That's the way government is supposed to work Mitch.  Instead Mitch McConnell is a coward and a traitor hiding under his desk.  What a despicable human being Mitch McConnell is, he knows better. Trump doesn't.  I blame McConnell more. 

Well, looks like I went on a rant anyway didn't I?  Sorry folks, this has been on my mind and I just had to get my feelings off my chest.

What else is happening in my life?  More expenses.  Took my car in for an oil change this morning.  Yep, I need new tires and brake pads.  More expense. 

Another problem is my big toe that I damaged last month during my visit to Philly.  My toe nail is looking very bad.  No pain but doesn't look good. It's dead. Now it's crooked from putting on my socks and catching it on the end. I called our local physician referral number today to get a number of a podiatrist.  Of course their office is closed for the day.  I always seem to call for my medical problems late Friday or holiday weekends. I'll call Monday and make an appointment to have a podiatrist looks at my bad big toe.  

With all the bad going on around here, looking forward to my getaway on February 10th to sunny California was my one solace.  Now I'm worried that this government shutdown is going to screw that up too.  

One thing after another folks, but as Pat always says "This is only first world problems."  Could be a lot worse.  At least I'm not in pain and my retirement money is still coming in and I still have a part-time job to cover my ever increasing expenses. But still, things won't be right in this country again until that malignant liar is out of the White House and our country is led by a decent human being instead of the dangerous monster that sits in the White House now.  

I don't know how this is all going to end. I hope he is forced to resign once the evidence of his criminality is even too much for him to bear.  But I  doubt that will happen.  I think the only way Trump will leave the White House is to be dragged out in handcuffs.  

Mark this time and place, we are at the most dangerous time in our country's history right now. And who do I hold responsible?  Not his voters, they were conned.  No, I hold his enablers, the Republican members of Congress, specifically the U. S. Senate responsible.  As Edmund Burke is credited to have said:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.”

Mitch McConnell and all those Republican members of Congress will go down in history as quislings more concerned about their own hold onto power (afraid of a Trump tweet and getting primaries) than the oath of office they took to protect America. 

They are all traitors and cowards.

I lived during the Watergate scandal.  I remember believing and supporting Nixon until "the tapes" came out.  I remember how shocked I was that Nixon was confirmed as a liar. Looking back at that time, it seems so tame compared to having a president, like Trump who not only lies but is a great danger to our country and our security.

One more quote before I end this venting blog post.  "Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me."  

One day I will wake up and this nightmare will be at an end. I hope I live long enough to see that day.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Thirty Questions

Time for another fun list! I stole this blog post subject from my friend Jon of Long Wolf Concerto. 

Here we go!

1. Are you filled with joy today?

Yes, in spite of every day problems like an aged aching body and household repairs, I am joyous ("happy" would be a better description) because I have Bill and Pat, a good part-time job, a nice home and always something to look forward to (my quarterly trips with Pat)

2. Has it been a rough week?

Yes, this week has been rough. Another big bill for a home repair. This one a leak in our basement wall. Seems every time we get one problem fixed, another one pops up. Whack a mole.

3.  If given the opportunity would you like to star in a musical?

Are you kidding? I am that rare gay man who DOESN'T like Broadway musicals. Oh sure, during my youth I enjoyed those Fifties movies like "Singing in the Rain" and "White Christmas" but Broadway musicals?  No way, they bore me, just a lot of caterwauling to my ears. No offense to my gay friends (and straight) who love those musicals. 

4.  Name the person you'd take a bullet for. 

Bill, Pat. Would rather not though, you know?

5.  Did you trip over anything today?

Not today but I often trip.  Both of my big toes are black from tripping on a curb last month during my visit to Philadelphia.  I don't pick up my feet. About the time my toes get back to normal, I trip again. I live in fear these days of falling and breaking something.  Last time I fell (2015) I tore my quadricep muscle in my left leg which put me out of commission for months. Still hasn't completely healed.

6.  Is your favorite color yellow?

I like yellow. My favorite color is purple but that color is hard to get. My second favorite color is blue. I have a lot of blue but I get my most favorable comments for dress when I wear purple. When I do see an item of clothing in purple it's for "women only."  Oh well.

7.  Were you born in a hospital? Do you know the name of the person who delivered you?

Yes, I was born in a hospital.  Sunday, November 9, 1941 at 9:30 a.m.  My Mother told me that the woman in the bed next to her in the room where I was born was dying of cancer. She was moaning in pain the whole time my Mother was in the hospital.  Don't know the name of the doctor who delivered me. 

8. Have you ever had a friend or relative that's incarcerated?

Unfortunately yes, a cousin on my Mother's side of the family.  Her half sister's son (her mother was of Hungarian ancestry so maybe that accounts for it) was jailed in Graterford Prison in Philadelphia for planting terrorist bombs in people's mailboxes when he was a young man. I don't knew where he is now, I think he's still in prison. Got twenty years for his stupidity. Again, he wasn't of my total English ancestry on both sides of my family. That Hungarian branch (sorry Jon).

9.  Do you enjoy romantic movies, even if they're cliche?

Oh sure!  "The Notebook" was one of the best movies I've ever seen. All depends on who the actors are in those movies. For instance I couldn't stand to watch Jennifer Lopez or Mariah Carey in a movie because they're such divas and phonies. But Jennifer Lawrence or Lady Gaga I could.

10.  Have you ever been to Rhode Island?

I think I have. Back in 1974 my friend Bob McCamley and I drove up to Provincetown, Massachusetts for the first time. 

 We drove through Rhode Island. Does that count?

11.  Can you read music?

Sure can! I used to read music when I played a Sousaphone in my high school band. Easy.  I'm always amazed when I hear that some famous singers (Sinatra) couldn't read music.

12.  Are flowers a nice gift to give someone?

Absolutely! I've often given flowers to people I've liked. Once I even got flowers. It was three years ago when I injured my leg. A person who used to comment on my blogs sent me flowers. Straight guy too. Haven't heard from him since. Nice gesture. First time in my life I ever had anyone send me flowers. He wished me a speedy recovery. Nice.

13.  Do you wear any jewelry?

Yes, two diamond rings. One on each hand. I only wear them now when I go to work or when I'm on one of my quarterly holidays with Pat. All other times I only wear an Apple watch.

14.  Have you every laid in a field of flowers?

No, I haven't. I thought about it but I have too much respect to crush those flowers that my body would lay on.

15.  Do you like tea?

Eh, okay I guess. I've had hot tea when I'm sick. I used to love iced tea when I was a young boy.  However the only good old fashion iced tea I only enjoyed was from my friend Lar's grandmother Mrs. Brown and my Aunt Mabel. Restaurant ice tea is tasteless and I gave up drinking it a few years ago. I only drink water with my restaurant meals now.  Another reason I don't drink tea now is because my urologist told me drinking tea helps to contribute to kidney stones and I don't want to be in that movie again.

16.  What word do you have trouble saying?

"President Trump" - that's actually two words but I just cannot say "President" followed by Trump whose real name is actually "Drumpf"

17.  Favorite fairytale.


18.  Do you sleep with stuffed animals?

No.  I actually never have liked sleeping with anybody since I had to sleep with my two younger brothers in the same bed until I was fourteen years old. I sleep alone with one exception the past five years. Regular readers of my blog can figure out my "exception".

19.  Do you prefer the city or the country?

I like both. I've lived in both. This time of my life I split my time between both. In three weeks I'll be living in Los Angeles and Palm Springs. Twice a year I live in Philadelphia for a week at a time. And once a year I lived in Toronto now Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. I like the mix.

20.  Are you a big fan of makeup?

No. Au naturale here.

21.  Favorite drink?

Fancy, expensive, flavored martinis.  Yum! 

22.  What's the longest time you stayed awake?

About twenty-six hours,  it was when I worked at the National Security Agency during the Cuban Missile Crises.  Another time I stayed up all night after going to a gay bar. I had to go to work the next day without any sleep. Also when I was very young. I could never do something like that today. I need a daily one to two hour nap every afternoon.

23.  Do you like spring?

Yes! The first pop up of spring flowers bring smiles to my face and warms my heart. I prefer living where there is a change of seasons.

24.  Lipstick or gloss?

Not applicable here.

25.  Are aliens real?

I think so. I think it makes logical sense that the earth was populated by aliens thousands of years ago.  That is the explanation why there are different races.  Makes sense to me. I also think there is life on other planets. Maybe many thousands of years away from us but I find it very illogical to think we are the only forms of life in the universe.

26.  Does your zodiac sign fit your personality?

I don't think so. But then maybe I'm in denial because I don't like the bad aspects which I won't repeat here. 

27.  Favorite sea animal?


28.  Are you a nice person?

You bet! First time I saw myself in a video I thought "That's someone I would like to know." I was rather surprised at my reaction to seeing myself on video. But that's honestly what I thought. After living the early part of my life being brainwashed by my father that I was a loser, seeing myself as a normal, likable person came as a pleasant surprise.

29.  Night or day?

Both but I probably prefer the light of day. Sunshine makes me happy.

30.  What would make you happy right now?

Easy answer. Trump out of office and in prison. 

Me and my little Horace 1982

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Slogging Through Home Emergencies and now SNOW!

Snow this morning!

Tis snowing now, first snow of the year. So appropriate after the week we've had here at Casa Tipton-Kelly. 

Before I left for my quarterly visit to Philadelphia last month, I was musing about the fact that things have been going smooth here our comfy domicile. Then fate stepped in as she often does. The night before I left I discovered a leak in the basement wall where the sewer pipe exits our basement. Fortunately the sewer pipe wasn't leaking but the seal around it was broken and ground water was leaking in from outside. I don't know how long that's been going on, probably months or even a year, but over time water has leaked into our expensively wall to wall carpeted media room which I was using as a storage room. Wow, that was a long sentence. My homeowner's insurance doesn't cover that damage because it was "ground water."  Bill took up the carpet, fixed the leak.  One good thing is that we removed everything from the storage/media room which I'm now going through and making tough decisions what to keep and what goes out.  This week a professionals (Dry Zone) are stopping by to evaluate our leak fix.

Then my next problem was I lost my Internet connection. Turns out the Comcast cable was bad. Comcast replaced the cable (underground) but I had to have a computer expert in to straighten out my whole house WIFI connection. That cost me $285.  At least we have WIFI, hopefully for a while.

Now I'm thinking finally I can relax a while and coast.  Then this week I get my quarterly water bill.  Wow! My water bill last quarter was almost twice as much as this time last year.  I did some research and found out the cause was my toilet, it leaks!  Something I probably knew already but choose to ignore. The plunger didn't go down all the way thus causing water to slightly run ALL THE TIME. Doesn't seem like much but over time it doubled my water bill. I told my personal handyman, Bill.  Bill tried to fix it . . . . . for FIVE HOURS yesterday. Finally I suggested "Let's just get a new plunger at Ace Hardware."  That we did, Bill took another hour to install it and now it's working and not leaking water.

This morning I woke up to snow. First snow of the year. Nice. Actually it's not nice. After my fall on the snow and ice three years ago which resulted in me tearing my left leg quadricep muscle. I DON'T want to fall again. My leg still isn't right. I'm afraid one more fall will do me in (broken hip).

In less than a month I'll be lallygagging (with Pat) under California palm trees. Would be nice if I could get to that date without anymore stress (and expense) here at home. 

By the way, it's still snowing.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Pat Rides My Bike

During these cold days of January I am choosing to post a short video I took during Pat's visit here (Delaware) last spring.

I have a bike. I brought the bike from a neighbor who said he can no longer ride his bike because he has prostate problems. I haven't ridden a bike since the 70's.  I yearned to ride a bike again.

After paying $100 for my neighbor's bike I put another $100 or so to clean up the bike. Then I rode it. 

The seat was too high. I tried to lower it but couldn't. So I adjusted myself to riding a high seat bike. No wonder my neighbor had prostate problems. I don't have such problems since my prostate cancer treatment. I still have my prostate but it's been radiated to death. It doesn't work now. It's just there. Sorry to get icky here but just stating a fact.

My second ride I promptly fell off my bike and injured my leg. I bruised the bone. First time I ever did that. Took months to heal.  

I still ride my bike occasionally but only through my development here where Bill and I live. 

Pat rides his bike in his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada a LOT more than I do.  He rides all over.  I am restricted to where I can ride my bike. I tried riding it out on Oyster Rocks Road but since falling, I'm shaky about riding my bike with vehicles whizzing by me, especially those pick up trucks from hunters and fishermen racing to the end of Oyster Rocks Road to the Broadkill River.

During Pat's annual visit last spring to Casa Tipton-Kelly, I asked him if he wanted to take a ride on my bike. This is the video. Seats too high for him too.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Got Junk?

The Got Junk guys arrive!
You have junk? I do and I got rid of some of it today. What a relief!

The guys stopped by right on time today. They assessed the situation and gave me a quote. One eighth of a truck for my disassembled office desk and wall to wall rug pieces.  Cost $129.00.  While that was painful (I wish I could have gotten rid of the stuff for nothing) I thought it reasonable because they would take it out of our basement and make it disappear. I would have preferred to give those items a new life but they will probably end up in landfill, which make me feel bad.

While they were here I asked them if they could get rid of an old metal baker's rack that was stuck to the side of our garden shed. Our neighbor gave us that item shortly after we moved here in 2007.

I no longer wanted it. I hid the rack between a tree and our garden shed. It had been there so long a tree had grown up through the rack. It was a bitch cutting it out. The guys removed it though and now we're free of it. What a relief.

The Got Junk guys trying to remove the baker's rack from the side of our garden shed
Of course after they left we realized we forgot an item, an old screen door that Bill had brought down with him from Pennsylvania. He thought he would use the screen door during the summer for the basement door to circulate air through the house. We have never done that because we have central air conditioning. Oh well, next trip and you know there will be one.

We feel cleansed now. The removal cost us $179 but it was worth it. 

Bye bye junk 

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Downsizing Progress

Begone junk!

This morning in about a half an hour a woman from the neighborhood is stopping by to take our wall to wall Berber carpet.  Bill had to take up that expensive carpet in our media/storage room after part of it was damaged due to a water leak. Only around the one edge of the rug is damaged. The rest of the rug, 98% is perfectly fine.  Unused, not walked on because all my storage boxes was sitting on it for the past thirteen years since we moved to Delaware.

Last week I tried to arrange a pickup of this rug, and an oversized office desk and two large speakers picked up by ReStore, the local Habitat for Humanity thrift store. They didn't want it. 

I tried the All Saints Thrift store. They will pick up the speakers but didn't want the desk (they already have three on their floor) or carpet. None of these thrift stores want carpet, no matter what condition it is in. 

I was reduced to calling 1-800 Got Junk but I am reluctant to pay to have my stuff removed from the premises.  One last ditch attempt I posted my items to the NextDoor app.  I've gotten rid of things before that way.  After a few tentative nibbles I finally got a bite.  That is this lady who is stopping by in about twenty minutes.  

I did call Got Junk and they're coming by tomorrow to pick up the rest of the stuff.  I'm going to include an old screen door that Bill was hanging on to "just in case".  We'll never use that screen door.  I'm also going to make disappear an old metal baker's rack a neighbor gave us (that's how he disposed of his junk) shortly after we arrived on the scene here in beautiful southern Delaware. That bakers rack is doing noting but rusting out by the garden shed.  I'll be glad to get rid of it.  

Making progress folks!

Wednesday, January 02, 2019


This new year I have resolved to seriously downsize. To get rid of things I do not need. 

This morning I embarked out to ReStore, a local thrift store for Habitat for Humanity. They take big things. I have big things to get rid of. See below:

Two three feet high speakers (which Bill got from his days working as an electronics technician at the Today Show in New York city)

Three foot high speakers (very heavy) from the Today Show

A three foot by six foot office desk

Oversize office desk, unassembled

Berber carpet remnants removed from our media room 

Berber carpet remnants 

These are the first three items I have chosen to make an exit from our finished basement. 

This morning I left with Bill to drive down to the ReStore facility in Lewes to make arrangements for the pickup.  They don't want them.  "Too big" they said. Thrift stores tend to be choosy these days, especially down here in Lower Slower Delaware with our aging population.  We're either downsizing or dying thus creating a glut of "things" for the thrift stores to be choosey about.  I understand most thrift stores have limited space and the thrift stores have to watch they're not being dumped upon with someone else's trash.  I thought ReStore would take these items though because of their warehouse proportions. I thought wrong. 

Back to the drawing board.

I placed an ad on the NextDoor app this morning offering these items for free. I've taken that route before and been successful.  I now await calls.  Hopefully I'll be successful in removing these items from our homey domicile.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Bill and Pat

For those of you who have wondered what the relationship between Bill and Pat is, this video that I made a short while ago should give you an insight. 

I talk to Pat almost every day on FaceTime. Four times a year Pat and I see each other in person on our trips. Our next trip is to California on February 10th, where we spend a week in West Hollywood and a week in Palm Springs. 

I met Pat in 2013 for the first time in person when he saw my image on the Internet. He found my blog and left a comment. By happenstance I just happened to be blogging at the same time and answered his comment in real time. He was surprised that I did. After a few comments back and forth I asked him if he had an Apple computer and FaceTime.  He said he did. I suggested we FaceTime. I don't know why I did because I've never suggested that before with anyone. Pat didn't know about FaceTime but he tried it. Thus began a great friendship with this wonderful man.  We eventually met in person when Pat took vacation time to travel to Delaware. 

At first Bill wasn't too happy with my close relationship with Pat. During Pat's first stay in Delaware, he stayed at a hotel. When I determined that Pat was special, the special friend I've been looking for all my life, I invited him to stay at our home the next year, which he did. Once Bill got to know Pat and realized that he wasn't a threat to our relationship, he  began to appreciate Pat for the nice guy that he is. 

This digital age is wonderful in so many ways. For one thing it vastly broadens our horizons for friendships. There are only two people though that I FaceTime with though, my longtime friend Larry (from third grade) and Pat. Occasionally Spo will FaceTime me but just to say "Hi!" I don't intend to FaceTime anybody else.  Everything now is working out quite fine as this video will attest. 

Best time of my life folks, best time. 

Caregiver Update

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