Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Back to the Heat

Has it been a week already since I last posted? Wow, just where does the time go? 

At this time of my life I forget most of what I've done the previous week.  Heck, I forget what I id this morning.

What I do remember is that last week I asked my lawn control company, which I've been using for years, to give our lawn a treatment for wire grass.  Well, I don't know what they put on our lawn, but it's not looking too pure.  Talk about throwing the baby out with the wastewater, I guess their application will kill the wire grass this year (the wire grass will return next year, wire grass is the "Jason" of weeds, it keeps coming back), but their application also killed large swatches of perfectly healthy grass and my tender impatients plants that were gracing the side of our house and were giving us many hours of pleasure looking upon their gentle beauty.  Not now, our lawn and the accompanying flowers and plants bordering our lawn look like the aftermath an Agent Orange attack in a Vietnamese village.  I called my lawn care company this morning and asked them what in the hell they put on our lawn.  She said the manager would call be back.  Of course he didn't. 
I'm not asking for my money back but I am curious as to what he put our lawn.

Another interesting development here is the ants have returned.  They invaded our kitchen back in April, en masse. I purchased liquid ant traps to fool the worker ants to take the deadly poison back to the queen ant. That took care of that invasion. Now they're back, from a different location.  More ant traps purchased and placed and they too are slowly disappearing.  I've been told this house is over an ant trail that is hundreds if not thousands of years old and I'm The Intruder.  So I guess all I can do is a holding action but for now, I can sit at my counter and have my lunch of hummus and homemade tomato soup without brushing off the ants from the ridge of my bowl and running up my hairy arms.

Bill and I are going through a spate of doctor's appointments. Yesterday we visited Bill's doctor at the VA Outpatient Clinic in Georgetown. Bill passed his labs!  Healthy heart beat, all vital signs healthy.  Bill's only problems are his hearing (getting worse), eyesight (macular degenerations) and swelling in his lower extremities.  But other than those age related ailments, Bill is one healthy man. I keep telling him he will out live us all.

Tomorrow I have my annual visit with my cardiologist. I have an extra heartbeat. Nothing too serious but I do fatigue easily. Just a defective lower ventricle valve not closing properly. As my doctor told me when he first discovered my heart was wearing out was "That valve has been working non-stop since 1941, think of that."  I know I'm working on Bonus Time now folks. 

By the way, the HEAT is back.  Remember when 80 degrees was considered hot?  Now days 90 degrees is considered "normal."  I am already rethinking my plantings for next year that can take this relentless hot, humid weather which I fully expect to continue as global warming continues. 

I had the plumber in today to check out the swampy smell beneath our kitchen sink. They deduced the problem came from our automatic dishwasher which I NEVER use.  Bill and I never use an automatic dishwasher.  So I got some dusty cooking pans together and ran the dishwasher. Hopefully that will dispel the swampy stink.  I also had the plumber check my toiled which I have to often have to jiggle the handle to get the flap inside the tank to land properly so the toilet doesn't keep running and I have a huge water bill which I had last quarter.  More expense.  Every day, more and more expenses. Have to keep working at my part-time job at the hotel to support our not maintenance free home.

That's what is going on here folks, what I can remember anyway.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


Today we finally got relief from the sweltering week long heat wave.  Now I can breath. Now I can work outside.  Not today though, a gentle rain fell all day.  

Early this morning we drove down to the Delaware DMV to get our Subaru inspected and renew my registration.  

Delaware must have the most efficient inspection and registration procedure in the country.  I'm saying this because for so many years I endured the torture and costly inspection procedure of Pennsylvania.  Thanks to Pennsylvania legislatures being bought and sold by lobbyists at one time we had to get our cars inspected every six months. And we had to go to either an auto dealer or authorized garage to get our vehicles inspected. No one EVER got out of those inspections without some charge. The auto dealers were the worst, hundreds of dollars was not an unusual bill to get one's car inspected. The Pennsylvania law was eventually changed to once a year car inspections. Here in Delaware we can opt for inspections every two years. Which is what I did this morning. Eighty bucks, a cheap price to pay for registration and inspection. 

A good day.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Still Sweltering!

The forecast for tomorrow is one hundred degrees. And that's not the heat index temperature, that IS the temperature. 

The humidity now is 53 percent.  Feels like 90 percent. 

I'm housebound. I venture out several times a day to replenish the water in our bird baths which the birds appreciate. They'e hot too.  

This is the first weekend that I don't have to work, that's a relief.  Maybe I can get back on my regular rhythm of working two days a week (Mondays and Thursdays) now after months of filling in for co-workers for various reasons. 

This morning I forced myself to buy some paint.  I have to paint the baseboards in our basement media room. I should have done that BEFORE the run was laid. What can I say?  I wasn't thinking.  

I hate to paint. There is a lot of touch up painting that has to be done around here. I'm trying to talk myself into painting our main entrance door, which isn't our front door. Who uses their front door to go into their house anyway?  Not us. In fact we don't use our living room and dining room. We don't even use our little dinette area off the kitchen.  I eat at the counter and Bill eats in his Archie Bunker Chair.  

The "Beat the Peak" is from 4 PM to 7 PM today. It's 7 PM now. Time to bake that Chicken Parmesan I've been looking forward to all day.

Stay cool and have a great Saturday evening!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019


How's the weather where you are?

We're sweltering here.  Right now, at 4:45 PM the temperature outside if 98 degrees.  The humidity I don't know but it feels like 100%.  I can only stay outside a few minutes before my body starts to overheat.  Then I dash back inside for relief. I can't take this kind of weather folks.  

I believe it when warnings go out during hot weather like this about it being dangerous for seniors.  It is folks!  I'm here to tell you.  Hard to believe when I was young, I sailed through summertime without air conditioners and even fans.  Not now, I literally fear for my life if I stay out too long.  I think I can take Palm Springs heat, which is low humidity but not this heavy, oppressive humidity. A familiar refrain eh?  "The heat not so bad but I can't take the humidity."

By the way, got some good news this morning. Home Depot gave me a credit ($248) on my rug pad that I didn't need. I love Home Depot (even though one of its founders funds Trump's campaign).  Good customer service Home Depot.

An update on my brother who I mentioned was seriously ill.  I haven't heard anything for several weeks now which isn't good. My Mother often said "When it's quiet that not good."  John isn't one to complain about misfortune, unlike me.  I tend to shout my misfortune from the rooftops.  I texted him asking him how he was doing.  I'll let you know if I hear anything.  

Hopefully I'm back to my regular schedule (two nights a week) at the hotel.  It seems for months now I've been working three nights or more a week at the hotel to fill in for my co-workers for various emergencies, sicknesses, resignations, and vacations.  Last Monday on my workday I woke up and was dizzy, very dizzy.  I had to stay in bed all morning until I got a semblance of my balance back.  I think I have an inner ear infection.  I had this problem a few months back.  It's scary when I have that condition because I can't get my balance. It's like I'm drunk.  I am totally immobilized. I don't know what we would do here if this was a permanent condition with me.  I couldn't drive and Bill doesn't drive.  I don't want to even think about it.  

I only have one more thing to do this summer, getting my car inspected and registered then I'm looking forward to coasting out the rest of the summer. That is until the next unexpected emergency crops up. 

Friday, July 12, 2019

Carpet Installed!

Finally, we got our new wall to wall carpet installed in our media room. 

This has been a long, drawn out problem.  

To recap, last year I noticed a musty smell in our storage packed media room. Yes, I had boxes and many other items stashed in our media room. I thought a mouse had found its way into our overstuffed media room and starved to death.  

However, about four months ago I discovered the source of the musty smell. Ground water had leaked from the cellar wall outside the drywall of the media room.  

We took everything out of our media room (finally forced to clean out) and discovered much of the carpet around the wall was ruined by mold from the sitting water that had leaked under the drywall. 

We tore up the carpet. I called my insurance company and was told my homeowner's insurance would not cover the damage.  My insurance company told me that my policy doesn't cover ground water.  Oh, okay. So my lifetime record of never using my homeowner's insurance stands firm.  

We tore up the carpet and thus began an odyssey of identifying the carpet and replacing it.  

I have previously posted (I think) of trying to identify the brand and ordering a replacement carpet.  Briefly, I found it was a Shaw carpet.  This after I had already ordered carpet from Lowe's, which wasn't Shaw and didn't match. This I discovered after the Memory Foam padding was already installed.  

I tried to order Shaw carpet from Lowe's.  They couldn't order it for me because Shaw wasn't one of their suppliers. 

I wrote to Shaw and thus began another odyssey of identifying the color and style. "Pam", the Shaw Carpet company concierge was very helpful.  She sent me several samples, none of which matched the rest of our finished basement wall to wall carpet.  I finally found one that was close.  Good enough. She gave me a list of Shaw retailers and as luck would have it there was one just two mile down the road from us.  

I went to that store "Carpets and More".  Yes, they had Shaw carpet but the price, $1,520!  Lowe's was going to provide the padding and carpet for a little over $900.  Carpets and More was going to install the carpet over my padding for twice the price!  I expressed concern.  The owner said he "could do something about the $20. 

I went to Home Depot.  I saw the carpet that was close and ordered it but I didn't want to pay the $264 for padding since I already had new padding installed.  They couldn't do it.  Said if they did it the warranty would be void. I said "void the warranty, I can't see tearing up the brand new padding."  I couldn't get anywhere with the sales person about not paying for their padding so I ordered the whole thing, which only came to $764, including padding and installation, a great price.

Today the carpet installers came to install the carpet.  Guess what?  I like this carpet better than our original carpet.  Great!  Now, to see if I can get credit for the carpet padding they charged me for.  I'll try but I don't have much hope.  At least we got the carpet installed.

Problem solved. Next!

Monday, July 08, 2019

How About A Day When Nothing Goes Wrong?

Lately we've been having a string of mishaps, failures, and mini disasters here at Casa Tipton-Kelly.

Just yesterday, after Bill's iPad failed him (the battery is dying), I complained to Bill "I would like to have a week or two when nothing goes wrong."  Alas, it is not to be.

This morning, after I got Bill's new iPad working (adding his e-mail, deleting mine - I don't use an iPad anymore) and other settings changed, I was having my breakfast whilst watching TV.  


There goes the electricity. It blipped off for a second but just enough time to throw my DirecTV signal on the blink.  I get the message "Can't find the server, try again".  Here we go.  

I'm getting to be the regular tech guru around here.  Bill can handle the old fashion problems like the toiled keeps running or one of the fuses goes out in the switch box (which we've had happen in the past month).  Dealing with the digital problems, his brain is just too full to figure out solutions to those 21st century problems.  Thus it is me.  I'm reasonably smart (sort of) but by no means does all this come to me naturally.  I have to really give my brain a work out.  Through diligence and perseverance I was able to figure out Bill's new (my old) iPad setup.  Got him going on that, he was panicking because he spends most of his day on his iPad, mostly checking the weather (radar screen).  

Another problem I discovered yesterday was another mouse (or mice) have taken up residence in our garage, aiming to get into our kitchen and our pantry food supply.  If you'll remember, I discovered a mouse this past winter (through the little mice turds which look like big peppercorns but they ain't peppercorns, believe me) accumulating on the floor to the pantry,  then the telltale chewing into food containers.  Yuck!  Had to throw out all that food. Perhaps a good excuse to clean out our pantry with old food that should have been cleaned out but still, a big waste and the yuck factor knowing that a mouse was in there.  I set the trap and almost immediately caught one.  Squash! Then I caught another one in the Have-a-heart trap!  Ah ha!  Mr. and Mrs. Mouse getting ready to start a family.  I took her down to the end of Oyster Rocks Road and set her free. This was past winter.  

Now I'm surprised that evidence of a mouse in the house is back.  I set the mouse trap with peanut butter and within the hour I caught the intruder last Friday. But I still see evidence of new "peppercorns" in the garage.  I set out the Have-a-Heart trap last night with two crackers in it. This morning I check the trap and the crackers were gone but no mouse.  Okay.  I put the old fashion Victor mouse traps out this morning, the ones that break their neck or squash their head, bugging their eyes out, this morning. Let's see if that take care of the mouse invasion.  Hate to be so brutal but I'm not sharing out domestic bliss with mice leaving turds all over the place and chewing into our food.  I'm not sharing.

And yet another problem, our local resident rabbit is eating our impatiens flowers. Not the whole plant but just the flower.  Nice! Where is a fox when you need one?

Another problem I have is I can't get in touch with the guy (Fernando) who trims my twenty-one holly trees.  His son Alfredo (who speaks English, Alfredo doesn't) phone number doesn't work anymore. It's been disconnected.  I have other guys (Raul and Juan) who have offered to trim my holly trees but Fernando (who is tall for a Mexican) does the best job.  Juan's guys have trimmed some of my neighbors' bushes but not as good a Fernando.  Now I have to not only worry about getting my holly trees properly trimmed but I feel bad for Fernando and his family during this reign of terror that The Predator (Trump) is inflicting on our country by threatening to deport all undocumented immigrants.  Give me a break. Whose going to do the yard work and work in the chicken processing plants we have down here in southern Delaware?  President Pussy Grabber has to shore up his base so he's terrorizing people who only want to have a better life like our ancestors did when they moved here however many years ago.  Someday this nightmare will end, I hope I live long enough to see it.  

Okay, so I put out another few campfires today, let's see what the new day will bring. I would LOVE to have a week or two without ANY problems.  Just smooth sailing. But like my pal Pat says, all these problems are "first world problems."  Just think of all the people who have REAL problems. In a different life I could be one of those immigrants just trying to have a better life.  My life now is pretty good, even though it seems I am confronted almost daily with these annoying problems.  Having an iPad battery fail is nothing like being holed up in a "detention" (concentration camp) center on our southern border.  Sometimes I think American has lost its heart and soul. This is not us folks. At least it's not me and many people I know. The Deplorables have always been with us and always will be, hopefully someday their champion of cruelty will be out of power (and his enablers) and America can regain its conscience.

Friday, July 05, 2019

How Was Your Fourth?

Another Fourth of July celebration has come and gone. How was yours?

I worked at the hotel.  Lewes, where I work, was packed with Fourth of July revelers. Luckily I found a parking spot at the hotel.  I hate to go in Lewes on holidays because of the traffic, crowds and lack of parking space. I got lucky yesterday because someone in housekeeping had probably just left thus leaving a vacant parking space.

Of course the hotel was full which is good for business and job security. I got lucky again, there were no difficult guests, all the air conditioners worked and no stopped up toilets. I did have one call for a smoke alarm that went off.  The lady in the room overdid it with hair spray which will set off a smoke alarm.  I always have a problem removing smoke alarms but I managed. 

This year Lewes had their very own fireworks on the Lewes beach.  Of course I didn't go.  I've never been impressed with fireworks. I remember the first time I saw fireworks when I was about twelve years old.  It was at Crystal Beach in Maryland. My neighbors on Washington Avenue in Downingtown invited me along with their family (I think they were trying to fix me up with their daughter, who was actually my first date).  I heard a lot about fireworks so I was expecting a big deal. After watching them I thought like the old Peggy Lee song "Is That All There Is?"  To me fireworks are loud and boring. But hey, that's me, I get excited about gardening. 

The weather yesterday was great for the visitors to Lewes for the Fourth. Sunny, hot and muggy; what summertime is all about in Slower Lower. 

The only problem I had was when I left work at 11:20 pm.  I had trouble getting out on Route One, there was a steady stream of traffic exiting Rehoboth Beach, which is three miles south of Lewes. Man oh man, those headlights just kept coming.  Why all that traffic?  Rehoboth also had its own fireworks display. 

One thing I was very thankful yesterday was no one and I mean NO ONE in my neighborhood set off those noisy string firecrackers.  It seems that most of my life there has always been someone wherever I lived who thought that was fun to set off those noisy firecrackers.  As I said before, I never "got" the whole firecrackers thing, even when I was a kid.  Ah, peace and quiet. 

The last time we had those firecrackers go off in our neighborhood here they so scared a little Benji type dog who was visiting with his owners. He ran out on Route One and got run over.  There haven't been any firecrackers in our neighborhood since, thank God. Not only do those firecrackers annoy people, they scare little dogs to death.  I saw a photo of some people who volunteered at an animal shelter to help sooth the dogs during the firecracker nonsense.

Good people, gives me renewed faith in our country at this time of great divisiveness.  

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Happy Fifty-five Anniversary!

Today is our 55th anniversary. Little did I know that rainy Saturday night at the Westbury Bar in Philadelphia fifty-five years ago that I would still be living with the love of my life, Bill Kelly.  And here we are today, still going strong albeit a little slower.

Six years ago we made it legal by being officially married on July 3rd, 2013, the 49th anniversary of our meeting. Wow, that was a fast six years.

I have to say, it's been quite an interesting ride. Hopefully we have many more years together!

Me and Bill at our rooftop deck in center city Philadelphia 1976 when we were young and vital

Monday, July 01, 2019

Around the House June 2019

Life is good here folks at our lovely home here in southern Delaware.  Of course as long as our air conditioner works. 

From FaceTiming with my Canadian Travel Buddy Pat, to blooming flowers, to a false fire alarm at one of my neighbor's vacant houses, to pictures of some of my neighbors Shannon and her daughter and dog and my other neighbor Dave and his wife and new son, my new herb garden, and Bill mowing our acre back yard, new memory foam carpet padding for our basement media room and new baby bluebirds. All summertime activity, living the good life here in vacation land.

The video says it all. Enjoy!

Air Conditioner Fixed!

Our HVAC system is fixed! And just in time because of the heat and humidity that has been laying heavy on our peninsula. 

The serviceman was here Friday for over four hours installed the new valve on our HVAC system.  I had to leave him with Bill while I went to work.  Bill doesn't like to be left alone with service people roaming through our house.  But we got it done.  When I came home from work Friday evening, our house was so nice and cool.  

Now what's next?  Oh yes, installing the new wall to wall carpet in our media room. I finally ended up ordering carpet from Home Depot. They said the new carpet should be in about two weeks. I already have the padding (memory foam) installed (by Lowe's months ago).  Home Depot said they would only install the carpet with their own padding. I can't see the sense in removing the brand new padding I have in now. They said they would take it out.  Oh no, that's not going to happen. Showdown will happen when they install the carpet. I may end up paying for two paddings. 

Always something but this is only a First World problem. This past week I received news that two more of my classmates died and also the wife of another classmate who always attended our class reunions with her husband. Puts things in perspective. 

Stay cool folks. We're cool here!

Caregiver Update

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