Thursday, December 31, 2020

New Year's Eve Rumninations

Me at the Philadelphia Mummer's Parade 1965 (with the big smile and trench coat)

 Here I am, another New Year's Eve working at the hotel. 

I'm at work now, on call at the front desk. Waiting for one more guest to check in. 

Surprisingly, occupancy is quite good tonight, albeit subdued. No one asked me where the fireworks are tonight. I wouldn't know if you asked me. I don't think the locals are doing a fireworks display this year. Too much of a super spreader event.

Tomorrow will begin another new year. Hopefully this coming new year will be vastly better than 2020. One thing for sure, Trump will be gone. But not of course without a last grasp by his coward Congressional Republicans seeking to overturn the lawful election of Joseph Biden as president. Trump and his cowed sycophants say there was "massive fraud." Where? Show us! Of course they have no evidence, they're just following Dear Leader's exhortations. They are petrified of a negative Trump tweet that could affect their reelection chances that they will do anything Dear Leader instructs them to do. Notice how I slip into these rants? 

Change of subject.

Lately I've been having a lot of dreams. No nightmares, thank goodness. I don't think I've ever had a nightmare in my life. Some uncomfortable dreams for sure but none of those dramatic, wake up screaming nightmares like you see in the movies. 

My dreams of late have been of friends, family and pets of mine that are departed. Sometimes I think they are beckoning to me. Probably are since I'm not that far from Check Out Time. I've already outlived most of my contemporaries, something that I would never have imagined if you had asked me that when I was in my younger days. I thought for sure I would be gone by the time I was sixty years old. I almost checked out when I was seventeen years old from that botched hernia operation where I contacted a staph (sepsis) infection that took me six months and numerous hospital stays and surgeries to correct. Maybe my young resilient body saved me that time.

Now, my whole body aches. In fact it is aching now (back). I had to take another Advil. I can't stand more than an hour before the left side of my back below my shoulder blade screams in increasing pain. Could be a lot worse of course. That's what I always tell myself when I focus too much on my woes.

Any New Year's Eve resolutions Ron? No for me, I'm not one for New Year's Eve resolutions. If I make any resolutions, I make them during the year to correct course. It's what I've done all my life and I'm not about to change now.

This time of year I often think of my New Year's celebrations of years past when I was in the prime of my life. I lived in Philadelphia. New Year's Eve was spent at the local gay bar (usually the Westbury Bar which is now a drug store or the 247 Bar which is now a restaurant - gay bars are an artifact of history in these inclusive accepting times of the so called "gay life-style"). New Year's Day was spent watching the Mummer's strut down Broad Street in Philadelphia. Of course drinking was involved thus the cold didn't bother me too much.  Now in my old man days, New Year's Day will be spent at home with Bill, doing my usual routine. Breakfast, then to my home office to check my e-mails, update my on-line Scrabble games with Pat and a slew of strangers on Facebook, lunch, nap, then back to my home office for more e-mail checks and online Scrabble games and maybe update my blog. Hopefully I'll have one of my Netflix DVD's to watch tomorrow at the Tipton Cinema (my home theater in my bedroom.)

Such is the life of this seventy-nine year old Delawarean this new year. I don't even have my Palm Springs Winter Escape to look forward too. I cancelled that trip last week because of the virus. I haven't received my refund yet which is bothering me. That's something I will have to check into next week. 

Have a happy new year everyone! 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

What a Year!


One day left in 2020. What a year huh folks?

Interesting I didn't get any comments on my "Satan Meets 2020" previous blog post. I for one thought it was hilarious. But they I have a weird sense of humor. Great Satan though, some horns. 

All is well here at Casa Tipton-Kelly. Neither Bill or I have the COVID virus. We're pretty well isolated except for our neighbor who visits us occasionally for a short period of time. He never wears a mask (he's a Trumper). I like him and he's a great neighbor but both Bill and I do keep our distance when he visits us. I was especially worried this past week because he had his extended family visit him for the Christmas holidays, nary a mask in sight. Which just goes to show you that sometimes good people make bad decisions. It's one thing not to want to be inconvenienced with wearing a mask but to put others at risk because of your "I got my freedoms" attitude is quite another thing. 

Trump continues to refuse to admit he LOST the election.  Just today Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri said he will contest the Electoral College certification that the U.S. Senate will hold January 6th. Hawley thinks he's a viable candidate for the U.S. presidency in 2024. What this stupid fuck doesn't realize is that he has revealed himself to be a traitor to democracy by his selfish and sycophancy to Dear Leader, Donald J. Trump. Just think folks, only twenty-three days left until Trump is finally gone and assigned to the dustbin of history along with other colossal LOSERS. Trump joins that exclusive presidential club of one term presidents George H. W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Herbert Hoover. All LOSERS! At least Jimmy Carter renewed himself and his reputation with his Habitat for Humanity volunteerism. Donald Trump will go down in history as the biggest loser ever, a fitting epitaph for this truly evil person. Trump has gotten away his whole life cheating and breaking laws. That's about to end once he leaves office January 20th, 2021. No one is above the law. Trump is nothing but a cheap criminal and his time is coming. Get a new hero Trumpers, Donald's going to be busy with his court cases.

I've officially cancelled my February trip to Palm Springs. Still waiting for my refund. This makes three plane trips (received credit) and three trips (hotels) cancelled this year. I don't think I'll be able to renew my trips with Pat until this coming fall, when I usually visit Pat in Hamilton, Ontario. I miss our trips but I stay in touch with Pat several times a day via FaceTime. 

Tomorrow, New Year's Eve, I work at the hotel. I'll be home in time to bring in the New Year with Anderson and Andy. See you there!

Monday, December 28, 2020

When Satan Met 2020

 This is the time of year I dislike the most, the "dead" week between Christmas and New Year's. 

I watch a lot of TV, mostly as wallpaper background while I'm doing something else like blogging (as I am doing now), cooking, having a meal of other activity. The only time I actually sit down in front of a TV screen is when I'm watching one of my Netflix rental movies on my bedroom 65 inch TV, otherwise known as the Tipton Cinema. My own private movie theater, which I LOVE.

This week, almost all of the regulars on my MSNBC and CNN shows are off, enjoying the holidays. The substitute anchors are not the same and frankly, not all that interesting. Yes, I am discerning. 

What I really hate though is all the recaps of the past year. Hey, I know what happened. I don't need a recap. A reminder of what an awful year 2020 has been for so many.

Thankfully here at Casa Tipton-Kelly we've been very fortunate, no major disaster. Oh sure, all the little annoyances like things wearing out and having to be replaced. One thing that is wearing out is me and Bill. You should see us creaking around the house and outside, two old hobbling men. We're managing though. And we both feel so fortunate that we haven't caught the virus. So many families have suffered losses this past year, we are lucky here and I know it. 

At the top of this blog I've posted a video, albeit a funny one I hope, of how this past year has been. Yes, it's been like an Internet hookup date with Satan himself. We have plenty of toilet paper!

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Snow Storm Crawford Road, Visit to Bob MC and Ed Cage Home Feb 17 2003

A step back in time folks. This time seventeen years ago when Bill and I lived in Pennsylvania on 6.875 acres of wooded land on the side of a hill in East Brandywine Township, outside Downingtown, PA.

This video is in three parts. The first part is me hamming it up shoveling snow from our home in the middle of the woods. When we lived in Pennsylvania we often got the big snow storms that resulted in a ground cover of snow until early spring. This was one of them. 

The second part of the video I'm visiting my good friend (from Army days) Bob McCamley who lived on twenty-two acres of wooded land outside Georgetown Delaware. Bob was my inspiration to move to Delaware, which I did in November of 2006 and where I am now, typing this blog for posterity. It was a foggy day when I visited Bob. Sad to say, my friend Bob passed away five years ago and his double-wide home in the middle of his woods in Delaware is now being slowly engulfed by vegetation. Very sad whenever I go by his road, I can no longer see or even get into the road to his home. Sad, sad. The house is in limbo because his partner Jim is now in assisted living.  

The third part of this video is of my late friend Ed Cage's home at 206 Laurel Street in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Ed has also passed on and his lovely original Rehoboth Beach cottage has since been torn down and replace with one of those McMansions that are gradually changing the character of Rehoboth Beach. Ed had asked me to take photos of his recently renovated kitchen so he cold show those photos to his friends. I agreed to do so on the stipulation that I could stay at his place for the weekend, which I did.  This was where I took the opportunity to get the lay of the land because at this time I was considering eventually moving to Delaware because I could no longer keep up with the ever increasing Pennsylvania school and real estate taxes (and state income tax, wage tax, per capita tax, sales tax, and country personal property tax.)  Lots of taxes in Pennsylvania folks which I don't miss at all. Here in Delaware I have ONE tax, a school-property tax with is about one-fifth of what I was paying in Pennsylvania. 

 I miss living in Pennsylvania and our wonderful home but we (me and Bill) have a wonderful home here in Delaware, good neighbors (not so nice in PA) and others. Although ironically, the gay community here in southern Delaware hasn't been too friendly, they're more of a cliquish social club for retired Washington DC government la de dah workers and Baltimore retirees. I occasionally get their publication Letters put out by Camp Rehoboth, they all seem to be having a good time and I am happy for them but whenever I tried to interact with them I was met with disdain and a "you don't belong in our crowd" attitude. Fortunately I haven't encountered that coldness from my neighbors (straight), co-workers and others I have met and become friends with since we moved to Delaware. Maybe I'm not gay enough (the drag thing you know, they're really into perpetuating the gay stereotype of drag everything). But there I go, going off on one of my stream of consciousness rants, which I am prone to do on this, MY BLOG where I can express my true feelings. Yes, I've met a few gay friends since we moved to Delaware (Bob, Chuck to name a few) but nobody close. My best friend outside of Delaware lives in Canada. And you all know who that is.

Back to Ed's place (he never made it to the In Crowd either), when he died in 2015 his place was put up for sale for $399,000; renovated kitchen an all (I loved his kitchen).  His place sold for $633,000 and the new owners promptly TORE IT DOWN.  If you're ever in Rehoboth Beach on 206 Laurel Street (three blocks from the ocean, great location), check it out. It's a three story McMansion rental with a swimming pool.  Poor Ed would be turning over in his grave.

The video is only thirty minutes long and if you can tolerate the unevenness of my defective video camera (I dropped it once and it skipped ever since whenever I moved), it's an enjoyable video of a time past. A moment in time which we will never see again but will be memorialized forever because I posted it on this blog. Yes, that means long after I'm gone (which shouldn't be too long now, check back here in ten years), you all with have this to remember me by.


Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas Day 2020


Sliced turkey with stuffing, and cranberry sauce compliments of "Margaret"

A very Merry Christmas to everyone this Christmas Day 2020!

Bill and I are spending a quiet day at home. I'm looking forward to our Christmas turkey dinner later today compliments of "Margaret" of Rehoboth Beach, longtime follower of this blog. 

Remember one of my previous blog posts that I lamented that I would LOVE to just have some slices of turkey at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner? Little did I ever envision that someone would be so kind and generous to make my wish come true! 

You know folks, I do believe in the inherent goodness of (most) people. Oh sure, there are the evil ones (you all know who I'm talking about, he's golfing right now in Florida) but most people, even those of differing political views are basically good people. For instance, my neighbor. He still has his Trump/Pence sign outside his house but I literally couldn't ask for a better neighbor. We watch out for each other (his wife, son and brother died this past year).  I walk his dog when he goes fishing, he painted my mailbox post. He keeps an eye on Bill when I'm at work and when I am on holiday with Pat. I've lost count how many times he accompanied either Bill or me to Emergency Room for one of our numerous visits since we lived here the past fourteen years. In fact, he is the best neighbor Bill and I have ever had in our fifty-six years together, and that includes gay friendly center city Philadelphia. 

I'm not sure who "Margaret" is (I think I know) but what I am sure of is that her generosity and kindness has made my Christmas this year. I finally get that slice of turkey, with stuffing, broccoli, gravy, cranberry sauce and apple pie! It just doesn't get any better than that folks!

Have a wonderful Christmas Day everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Eve 2020

 Do you feel it? The peacefulness and quiet of Christmas Eve? I do.

I always look forward to this time of year when I can experience Christmas Eve and sometimes Christmas Day working at the hotel.

When I came in for my shift this afternoon I was greeted with a gift of food from "Margaret." I'm not sure who "Margaret" is but she left me a delightful sparkly Christmas card (I LOVE sparkly Christmas cards) wishing me and Bill a wonderful Christmas. Her card was in a big shopping bag of individually styrofoam packaged FOOD for me and Bill to eat Christmas Day.  Hey, that sliced turkey that I had mentioned in previous blog posts about Thanksgiving and Christmas. How generous of Margaret and what a delightful surprise. 

I will eat both meals of course, because Bill doesn't like turkey and doesn't eat full meals. But he'll sure have some of that apple pie, which smelled delicious!

Thank you Margaret, you are very kind and generous. You made my Christmas celebration.

This year Christmas seems somewhat off because of all the confusion around Trump leaving office and the pandemic that is raging through the U.S. and the world. In fact, the days don't even seem right. Yesterday seemed like Friday and today seems like Monday. What day is it anyway? Oh, Christmas Eve.

Low occupancy at the hotel tonight (guest in the VIP suite, a reservation I made last Monday for them.) I just got back from checking all the rooms in the main building. I check to make sure all the TV's are working (our most common call at the front desk, synching the TV with the cable box). 

I would watch "The Christmas Carole" again (Alistar Sim 1951 version on TV) but we don't have Turner Classics on our system now, more's the pity. Most other shows are reruns and the live ones like CNN have anchor people I have never seen before in my life. I'm never quite comfortable with them, give me Wolf and Anderson anytime.

Bill and I have nothing special planned for tomorrow. We stopped exchanging gifts longer than many of you who read this blog have been alive. We do exchange cards though, which is always special. I think I have every card we've exchanged for the last fifty-five years. Yes, I'm one of those people who saves all my Christmas cards. Whoever inventories my estate when I pass on is really going to have a "Wow!" moment of "Why did he save ALL his Christmas cards?" I'll tell you why, because I'm a sentimental old fool. Besides, it makes me feel good to go back and look at cards from friends, relatives, and co-workers who I no longer receive cards from because they have passed on. Which reminds me, I didn't receive a card this year from another longtime friend.  She was the wife of a former boss of mine. He died some years ago but she has always sent me cards for over forty years now. Ironically I've never met her but she always puts a nice note in the cards. I also didn't receive a card from the husband of a former friend of mine who died over twenty years ago. I'll check the Social Security index on to see if they're still alive. One day someone will say "Hey, I didn't receive a card from Ron this year. I wonder if he's still alive." Oh sure, that day will happen folks. Like by younger brother John said "We all get our turn Ronnie." And indeed we do and my turn is not that far down the road. 

I don't want to end on that down note, so here is my wish for a wonderful Christmas for all of you.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Ultra Sound Test Results


It was with some trepidation that I called my urologist's office today for the results of the ultra sound test that was taken of my testicles last week. 

Every time I call a doctor's office for the results of a test I am reminded of the time my other urologist informed me that I had prostate cancer. When he matter of factly said "You have prostate cancer" as he rushed into the cubicle where I was waiting for him, that information didn't register with me. He was so matter of fact about it like "it's going to rain tomorrow."  My reaction was like Walter White of "Breaking Bad" when his doctor informed him he had terminal cancer, Walter didn't register that news either, he fixated on a mustard stain on his doctor's tie. My doctor wasn't wearing a tie, I think a bow tie. Still, that news didn't register with me immediately.

After dropping that H-Bomb on me he said "You have a range of options but at your age you'll probably die of something else. I do remember how taken aback I was by that yet another matter of fact statement, "your age?"  My first response was to look over my should thinking "You talking to me?" What? I'm THAT old?" This news was transmitted to me in 2013 when I was ONLY 72 years old.  Hey wait, actually I am THAT old.  Reality bites.

Ever since that earth shaking moment for me, I'm now prepared for bad news as a result of tests.

This time I got good news. The occasional soreness in my right testicle is a result of a strained vein, which I was told "is normal".  What was left unsaid of course was "at your age."  Hey folks, I'm wearing out but at least I don't have cancer. And for that I am very thankful.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2020

Christmas Week 2020


Gore Park Hamilton Ontario Christmas Tree and Nativity Scene 2020

Here we are folks, another Christmas. The older I get it seems that Christmas rolls around much faster. Of course in this year of the Great Pandemic, Christmas is vastly different from previous Christmases. 

Bill and I aren't affected by our Christmas celebration because of the pandemic.  We stopped exchanging gifts many years ago. Neither one of us is religious but we do enjoy the bright multi-colored lights of this pagan holiday (which is actually the origin of Christmas). I also sometimes feel a sense of peace during this season but peace never happens, does it?

Of course this year the big gift is that Trump, the Criminal in the White House, traitor, incompetent who is responsible for thousands of deaths from COVID due to his catastrophic failure of leadership, will soon be gone from the office of the presidency. But not before he inflicts even more damage to our country. Now he's even seriously considering declaring martial law to overturn the election of the swing states.  Some would say this is unbelievable that a sitting president of the United States would even seriously consider such a traitorous act, but I don't put anything past the evil that Donal Trump is. What surprises and saddens me is the cowardice of the Congressional Republicans who are so cowed by a Trump tweet that they have failed in their Constitutional oath of office to protect our country from external and internal (Trump) enemies. And make no mistake about it, Trump is the greatest threat our democracy has ever faced. Let's just hope we can make it until January 20, 2021 and Trump's fat ass is dragged from the White House.

 There, I went on a Trump Rant again. Sorry folks, uh no I'm not sorry actually. I need to get that out every now and then, my therapy. 

Back to Christmas, I'm working Christmas Eve but I have off Christmas Day, which is nice. No Christmas tree here at Casa Tipton-Kelly but we have lights strung up on the sun room and our living room. I also have Christmas bubble lights, which both Bill and I love. Brings back memories of our Christmas in the 50's. 

I've cancelled another plane trip. This one was scheduled for Modernism Week in Palm Springs, California from February 9th to February 22nd. Because of the California lockdown due to a spike in COVID infections, that event is cancelled. That makes three plane trips I have credit for at American Airlines.  I'm prepared to hunker in here for the winter. 

Hopefully Bill and I will get our vaccinations soon and not have to worry about being infected with this deadly virus. I saw on the news yesterday that Marco Rubio and Lyndsay Graham already received their vaccinations yesterday.  How is THAT possible?  Those two slime balls. But I digress. 

If I don't get to post before Christmas, I want to wish all of you who read this blog and very happy Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Balls Out


How is that for a blog title to get your attention? 

First of all, a warning because this post is exactly what the title says. It is not about checking ballrooms. 

This morning I had an appointment for an ultra sound of my um, testicles. 

Annually I check in with my urologist because of my past history with prostate cancer (2013) and my numerous bouts with kidney stones (four operations and at least eight emergency room visits during the passing of a kidney stone.  Aren't I lucky? Most of my medical procedures seem to involve the areas below my waist. 

My first operation was for a hernia when I was seventeen years old. That one didn't turn out well because I contacted a staph infection from which I almost died. Six months in and out of the hospital and two more operations, the staph infection was finally cleared.

I've since had six colonoscopies (history of colon cancer in my family). My last colonoscopy my doctor advised me to get one every three years which I am due this year but probably won't get it because the hospitals are busy with COVID patients.

A few years ago I tore my left quadricep leg muscle and had an operation to tie that muscle back together. Remember that one? I do, I'll never forget it. That was a medical procedure below my waist that I didn't have to display my nether regions, thank goodness. A rare occasion. And oh, I have had hemorrhoids operated on, twice. Oh yes, I've had the whole panoply of medical attention below my waist. 

Now to this morning's visit. My urologist asked me during my visit Friday "Anything else bothering you?" I mentioned to him that occasionally my right testicle felt a little sore.  I've had this my whole life ever since I landed on my bicycle seat a little too fast when I was a paper boy when I was ten years old. I at first hesitated saying even telling him about it since that was sixty-nine years ago but what the heck? Might as well tell him about it.  He said "Let's have a look."  Here we go. Actually this was the first time my urologist "had a look" since the three years I've been seeing him. My previous urologist almost always had to "have a look" but this one hasn't until now. 

He checked out the area I told him there was a slight dull ache (on a pain scale of 1 to 10 this was maybe a 1 1/2 but there).  He felt something and thought it was a slight infection, although "infection" wasn't the word he used.  I can't remember the word but he prescribed an antibiotic.  That antibiotic seems to be working. The dull ache went away, but it came back. 

Then we come today. I was expecting to have an X-ray. Lay on the table, pantless and the gown on.  Oh no, this was an ULTRA-SOUND.  You know, the jelly on the "part."  I've had previous ultra sounds on my stomach. Remember how those were? Cold jelly on your warm stomach. Now today I got that cold jelly on my.....yes....testicles. Now here was a new experience.  Who applied it?  Sure, a very attractive woman. Why not?  I just hope she doesn't turn up as a future hotel guest. I was very thankful it wasn't an attractive young man.

Last week I was having a conversation with my younger brother who has been through quite a few medical procedures this past year. Some of those medical procedures involved his nether regions included inserting a stint in his penis (I've had that too).  He told me he had a problem with the very attractive young lady who performed that procedure (he got aroused).  Not me. While I wasn't comfortable with a woman or anyone handing that area of my body, I don't get aroused in those circumstances. 

This is how it went. She told me to remove my "bottom clothes". Gave me two small towels. Fold one up and put them under my testicles. Put my penis on my stomach and cover it with the other towel. Pull the sheet up to my exposed testicles. Sound like fun?  No but manageable. 

She knocked on the door. "Ready?" I was, or as ready as I would ever be. 

She came in and applied the jelly to you know where. Surprisingly the jelly wasn't cold. Then because the examination which seemed to take a LONG time but actually was probably only five minutes. And for good measure she checked out my left testicle. Why not? Might as well while down there.

Then it was over. She said "You can clean yourself up and go out by the exit."  Sort of sound sexual doesn't it? It wasn't.  I cleaned as much of that ultra-sound jelly off as possible and exited. I almost went out the wrong exit, an emergency exit to the parking lot (in the pouring rain yet, no sunny day for this procedure).  I thought perhaps this exit was because I had shamed myself with this examination. But no, she saw my near error and directed me towards the proper exit.....out the front door.

And that was MY day. How was yours?

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Ring Doorbell

Yes, that's me (on the right in the top  phot with my computer guy checking out the newly installed Ring Doorbell

I gave myself an early Christmas present this week, Ring Doorbell.

Like you, I've seen the Ring Doorbell commercials where the owner of the house catches a thief stealing their Amazon package from the front porch. I was hesitant to order a Ring Doorbell when it first came out. I wouldn't know how to install in and I'm reluctant to order anything this new until they get all the kinks out. 

I decided to order Ring Doorbell last month when my computer guy was in trying to fix my latest Mac OS upgrade (Big Sur) which screwed up my Time Machine backup. During his visit he checked his Ring Doorbell because there was some motion activity. I was impressed. This is something I could use. I frequently receive Amazon deliveries.  I don't get too many other people showing up at my front door other than my neighbor Bob M. and the occasional driveway guy who has left over asphalt and is going to give me a deal (sure). I'm always reluctant to answer the door. And because Bill is hard of hearing he doesn't answer the door, thus worrying Bob (our neighbor) when I'm at work. Now I can check whose at our door wherever I am. At work, Philadelphia, Canada and yes, even Palm Springs California (if I ever get to travel again because of this COVID pandemic). 

I asked my computer guy could he install Ring Doorbell if I bought one. He said he could.  And he did.  Seeing all the work he put into it (Bill had screwed up our previous doorbell wiring) I'm glad I contracted with him to do it. 

I subscribed for five dollars a month to have a recording of all the activity at our front door. Well worth it. 

I also ordered an ECHO ("Alexa"). 

Oh, and by the way, I also got my new iPhone 12 Pro Max upgrade. That was somewhat of a bear to transfer the information from my previous iPhone but I did and I'm set now. 

Yours truly continues to stay apace with the Digital Age.

Thursday, December 03, 2020

Cleaning Out Closets


Box of old letters
Box of old letters

Finally, after forty years I'm going to use the rest of my cedar boards and have my two walk in closets lined.

When Bill and I built our house in Pennsylvania in 1980 one of the luxuries I insisted upon was having all the closets cedar lined. I had that written into my contract with my builder. However, when it came time to line those closets my builder tried to cut corners (as they often do) and suggested that I instead put cedar chip boards in my closets. "No way" I told him, it's in my contract that cedar boards are to be applied." My builder went into a snit for a while but eventually he put the tongue and grove cedar boards in all my closets. He had five packets of cedar boards left over. I paid for them and I kept them, stored in the space above the garage in our Pennsylvania house for the twenty-five years we lived in Pennsylvania. 

Left over cedar boards

Then in 2006 we moved to Delaware. We had another new house built by Ryan Homes. I was so immersed in selling our Pennsylvania home that I neglected to get our closets here in Delaware cedar lined. I did bring down those left over five packages of cedar boards though, planning to eventually use them to cedar line my two walk in closets here at our Delaware home, also known as Casa Tipton-Kelly.

That time has come. Thirteen years later, that time has come.

This weekend I have arranged with a local contractor to cedar line my walk in closets. Of course that's going to cause major disruption but it is something I want done before I die. I love the smell of cedar. But first I had to clean out all my "stuff" in my closet. Not a job I look forward to but one that is necessary. 

Yesterday going through some of those things I found a box of old letters I have save. Several of them are from former lovers. "Lovers", for those of you of a certain age that is what we gays used to call our partners/husband/affairs. 

I started to read one of those letters this morning. By the way, "letters", what a quaint term in this time of the Digital Age, FaceTime and text messages. 

I'm glad I've saved all my old letters.

I read part of the letter that Joe Labriola (I mention his name because maybe he's still round and will stumble across my blog and contact me), a Ice Capades ice skater I met in Pittsburgh in January of 1963. 1963, a time when many of you who are reading this blog weren't even born. Yes, that's how OLD I am. 

Joe Labriola Mexico City 1962 (on tour with the Ice Capades)

I'm going to read that whole letter and transcribe it to type text (Joe's handwriting isn't the best). Just another project I have to complete before I checkout of this life. 

Life is interesting folks and I have had one very interesting life for which I am so thankful.

Random Observations on a December Morning

Late yesterday afternoon sun on our cozy home (in the background).    What? Yet another selfie of yours truly in a hoodie on his property in...