Monday, March 31, 2008
That's what we've been doing the last couple of weekends in the house we live in in Bowie. Last weekend we tore out carpet, padding and old tiles (underneath the carpet) from the living room, carted it all off to the dump, prepped the floor and then installed new Vinyl Tile (that looks like beige stone). It took all weekend.
This past weekend, we put the same vinyl tile in the kitchen, after ripping out a pergo floor (that resembled wood) but showed every smudge, water drop (not a good thing in a kitchen). It took 2 days to get it all in, and we were totally exhausted Sunday night.
We still have a hallway to do, and quater round to install in both rooms, too. We're sure that our dogs, Dolly and Franklin, just keep wondering what mischief we're going to get in next.
Meanwhile, SELLING THE TOWNHOUSE UPDATE: The townhouse in Elkridge has been on the mkt since Feb. 20th. So far about 31 different people have gone through it, about 4 different groups twice each. We're hoping someone will put an offer on it so we don't have to keep paying two mortgages.
OUTSIDE WORK: It was too darn cold to do outside work, so that's pending. Lots of mulching and planting on the list. Thaaat's great. Maybe we'll finally get a "weekend" in May. :)
Anyway, as Dolly Parton's new song "Better Get to Livin'" goes, "better stop whinin', pining, get your dreams in line and then just shine, design, refine 'til they come true, and you better get to livin'!" So, we're thankful for the weekends, because at least it's time together.
So, neither should Hillary Clinton should stop campaigning. How stupid is that to simply give up because SOME people think that one person is better than the other?
If your boss thinks that you aren't as good as your co-worker, do you quit? No. We all need to do our best and try to be the best we can.
In the words of Dolly Parton, "A Winner Never Quits, and a Quitter Never Wins."
Friday, March 28, 2008
Dolly Parton is confirmed to be a mentor on this season of American Idol, America’s top-rated network television show, on April 1st and 2nd. The shows will feature the Idol contestants performing many of Dolly’s classic songs on April 1st followed by the results show on April 2nd.
The April 2nd show will also include Dolly herself taking the stage to perform at least one song (likely "Jesus and Gravity") from her new hit album, Backwoods Barbie, currently at #9 on the Billboard country albums chart!
BTW- Her first single from the CD called "Better Get To Livin'" is the best song I've heard in decades! It's a positive-attitude, get off your behind and stop whinin', keep your chin up, smile, forgive, love and cherish every day, kind of song. Very motivational! I play it about 5 times a day!
Monday, March 24, 2008
The first time I saw a ghost was in 1976: I was 16 and I saw my grandfather materialize in my parent's house about 6 months after he passed away. Since then, I've seen more ghosts, heard them, and felt their cold touch. I'm not crazy, just sensitive to the energies they give off. The spirit that has visited me most is that of my puppy, Buzz Wyatt, who was killed in Feb. 2005, when his leash opened next to a street. He's moved things, appeared to me, and I felt a deep coldness on one part of my body in the summertime, but knew it was him.
During Dec. 2007, Tom, his folks and I went on Christmas tours of local historic mansions. The Marietta House at 5626 Bell Station Road, Glenn Dale, Md. (PHOTO LEFT) was the plantation home of Gabriel Duvall, an associate justice on the Supreme Court in 1811. We walked in and I developed a headache immediately, and sensed something upstairs.
(NOTE: In this BOOK- the author noted that one of her daughters, who also has the ability to sense/see ghosts, always gets a HEADACHE when she's around them... JUST LIKE ME. It's comforting to hear that - as it's easy for others to tell me that I'm making it up.)
Anyway, when we reached the "Guest" bedroom upstairs, I told Tom I felt anxious and uncomfortable. I asked the tour guide stationed in the room if someone died in there from a heart problem, as when I walked in the room, I got pains in the center of my chest. Someone did. She also said she felt anxious and uneasy. I felt it was an adult male ghost haunting the room. Turns out that Tom's stepdad felt it, too. When we went into the next room, I spoke to a woman who knew the history of the mansion, and confirmed that there was a man that died in that room where I got the chest pains.
Marietta, the Federal style brick home of Gabriel Duvall, an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built ca. 1813, Marietta remained under ownership of the Duvall family until 1902. Justice Duvall's law office and root cellar still remain today. Marietta is situated on 25 acres of lawn and wooded areas and the grounds boast two County Champion trees and lovely old boxwood. Their website: http://www.pgparks.com/places/eleganthistoric/marietta_intro.html
IF YOU HAVE A GHOST STORY- PLEASE SHARE IT WITH ME!
Mar 24 - Hillary Clinton proposed steps on Monday to boost the ailing U.S. economy and ease the housing crisis. She said former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin should determine whether the U.S. government needs to buy up homes to stem the country's housing crisis. (1 min. 54 second video from Wash Post): http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2008/03/24/VI2008032401256.html?sid=ST2008032403267
We're still trying to sell our townhouse after 1 1/2 months and have noticed how much people are in trouble.
Friday, March 21, 2008
So, 2 days later a repairman came out and said the "motherboard is blown" and "I've never seen that happen on a brand new oven" the part has been ordered and will arrive April 2nd...
However, we're having Tom's folks and friends Hil and Richard over for Easter dinner- so I'm going to have to use the stove top burners (which still work) to make dinner. Should be interesting. Hard boiled eggs for Easter dinner! Happy Easter!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Service stations' storage tanks are buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening when its warmer your gallon is less than a gallon.
* FILL UP AT SLOW SPEED TO MINIMIZE VAPORS CREATED BY PUMPING
The trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some other liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting less gasoline for your money.
* FILL UP WHEN YOUR GAS TANK IS HALF FULL
LARGE COMPANIES THAT DON'T IMPORT MIDDLE EASTERN OIL: Sunoco, Conoco, Sinclair, BP/Phillips, Hess, ARCO
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
"The Other Boleyn Girl" is a fascinating and eye-opening look into the history behind King Henry VIII's wife Ann Boleyn, and her sister Mary. Mary played a big and surprising role that was largely forgotten by history, especially her affections for King Henry VIII. Starring Eric Bana, Scarlett Johanssen and Natalie Portman, this film with lush and historic settings is a captivating story of two sisters and their affections for history's most famous king. It's not just for people who are interested in history, its full of intrigue, complications and fascinating relationships.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Everyone that knows me, knows Dolly Parton is my favorite singer/performer/actress, etc. - So, here's a story about her new CD "Backwoods Barbie" that just came out. It's got a great "get-off-your-butt-and-stop-whining, start living" song called "Better Get to Livin'!" - Buy it! Rob
SEE THE GREAT MUSIC VIDEO HERE!!!:
Wednesday, March 5, 2008 – Dolly Parton scored the highest debuting CD of her career with the release of "Backwoods Barbie," her first country CD in 17 years. She sold about 27,000 units, good for second on the country charts and 17th overall.
Parton's sales were not enough to take number one on the country chart - once again, that rests with Taylor Swift's self-titled debut. "Backwoods Barbie," which Parton released on her own label, was her fourth highest charting album overall. Three of her previous sets started lower, but eventually peaked higher: 1993's "Slow Dancing With the Moon" reached 16; her "Trio" effort with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris hit 6 in 1987 and "9 to 5 and Odd Jobs" ultimately peaked at 11 in 1981.
"Barbie's" start of 27,000 is Parton's best sales week since her collaborations album "Honky Tonk Angels" (with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette) did 40,000 during the traditionally busy Christmas week of 1993.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Rob & I have just returned from an 8-day all-Gay chartered cruise to the southern Caribbean. The weather was warm. The beaches were beautiful. The water was its characteristic turquoise blue. But, aside from all of the picturesque imagery above, this vacation turned out to be an eye opening experience for the two of us; one that neither of us wishes to repeat.
I "came out of the closet" at the tail end of the Gay liberation movement in the late 80s. At that time, it was still not acceptable to be out and we, the Gay community, were still fighting for acceptance and protections that are now taken for granted. So many achievements have been attained, but there is still so much farther to go to achieving full equality for Gays in our country. Although I don't dress in drag and have no plans to have a sex change operation, I was always tolerant others in our community that do and always felt that we (collective "we") should defend their right to free expression and defend their right to find happiness in this life. But there are times when I have to draw the line – especially when I feel that acceptance and tolerance should give way to appropriateness and decency.
Now, I don't know when it happened, and I certainly don't consider myself to be ready to be sent out to pasture just yet, but somewhere along the line, the switch has turned for me – I went from being a young adult to old geezer.
Rob & I witnessed sights on this cruise that make us want to divorce ourselves and put as much distance between us and the Gay community as possible. I don't know when this happened, but it has. Rob & I have settled down into a "normal" lifestyle – we have good-paying stable careers, we have the proverbial house in the suburbs with the picket fence, we have two dogs that we love for all the world, we have loving families that care about us, and we live in a diverse middle class community where I guess you would say we "blend in" with our neighbors. We mow the grass on Saturday afternoons, we keep our front sidewalk swept, we wash the windows when they're dirty, and our house looks just like any other house on the block. My parents raised me to be an adult; this is what responsible adults do.
What we don't find acceptable is parading through the dining room on a cruise ship in leather chaps with one's bare ass cheeks hanging out. We don't find it acceptable for men in their 60s with pierced nipples and beer guts parading around in red mesh tank tops. We don't find it acceptable for a grown man to parade around in red hot go-go boots up to his thighs while sporting a square cut bathing suit too small to cover his privates. We don't find it acceptable for men in their 40s to behave as if they're still in their 20s, staying up until 5 a.m., and drinking themselves into oblivion. It's time to grow up. It's time to be an adult. We don't believe in defending this type of behavior; we find it embarrassing. This type of free expression is not what we believe the Gay community has been fighting for for nearly 20 years. And we don't believe it is what mainstream America will be willing to tolerate.
While walking the hallways of the cruise ship, Rob & I were snubbed by many including the very same people described wearing the apparel above. We experienced enough "attitude" on this cruise to last me the next 20 years. It became such a joke to Rob and me that we have dubbed it "the Gay." When someone walks past and ignores your greeting by throwing their heads up and glancing purposely in the opposite direction to ignore you, you have experienced "the Gay." Totally ridiculous behavior.
Rob & I do try to stick to our normal routine even while on vacation. For us this means attempting to get a good night's sleep by turning in between 9:30 and 10 p.m – our usual bed time when we're at home. This was a mistake while on the cruise. Other cruisers, returning to their cabins at 4 and 5 a.m., did not find it necessary to be respectful of others – slamming their stateroom doors, whooping it up in the hallways, yelling for the next hour while they unwind to finally go to bed. I've come to expect this kind of boorish behavior while away from home because it has become so prevalent throughout American culture – even when I'm on travel for work and stay in expensive hotels in other parts of the country, this type of behavior is commonplace. It probably wouldn't have been so bad on this vacation if we didn't have to move to two other cabins on the ship before we were finally able to get a good night's sleep. Again, totally ridiculous behavior.
Two things saved our vacation. First of all, the staff at RSVP (who chartered the cruise ship) was very understanding of our plight: they listened to our complaint, they were prompt in addressing our concern, and they immediately resolved the problem. Secondly, around mid-week, Rob & I met a man from Tennessee named Ed. He renewed our belief that not everyone in the Gay community is a totally whacked out freak attempting to vainly hang on to their fast-fleeing youth. Ed was great fun and we enjoyed hanging out with him for the remainder of the week.
I think, for next year's winter vacation, Rob & I will be going it on our own. There comes a time when something becomes "too Gay." This vacation experience was one of those times.
The Nationally syndicated Rick Dees morning show featured both Jack Nicholson and Hillary Clinton on it this week after Jack's ad ran on television. You can hear it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgjUn9iEyNc
Saturday, March 1, 2008
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.