Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Showings and offers and contracts - oh my!

Wow, work has been so busy for me!  Being a real estate agent in a beach resort area you'd think I'd be crazy busy all summer long and then things would cool off when the weather cooled off.

Not so!  In the last 2 weeks I showed dozens of properties, and just this week I've written 5 offers!  I don't think I've ever written that many offers in a single week before.

And while I'm certainly not complaining about being busy (remember I don't get paid unless I go to closing), I just kind of wished this wasn't going on at the same time as Frank's passing.  On Sun when we were in VA I excused myself a couple of times to take work phone calls and close some deals.  I felt bad that I couldn't just spend the day with the family.

Looking at this from a different perspective, the timing of all these deals closing in late Nov and early Dec will mean that we will have the ability to be a little more generous when Christmas shopping, and will still be able to put away money for my quarterly tax payment.

Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.

Monday, October 17, 2016

VA visit

Yesterday Spouse & I packed up the dogs and drove back to VA to spend some time with the family.

Prior to cremation a family member must 'identify' the body and sign an authorization.  The hospital suggested that any family members who wished to see Frank for the last time could do so during this visitation time.

I chose to stay behind with our nephew (home from college for the weekend) and our neice's 11-month old baby while the rest of the family went to say goodbye.  I felt no need to see Frank's ravaged body 1 last time, and I knew there'd be a fair amount of crying from their mother, so I spared myself from joining in.  

After the brief visitation, everyone returned to Spouse's sister's house and we ordered Chinese food and pizza.  The mood was considerably lighter than I'm sure it was during the visitation, and we discussed plans and dates for the memorial service.  

We left in the early afternoon so as not to get caught in the football stadium traffic.  Shortly after returning home we met up with Steven & Thad for an easy dinner.  It felt like a long day.

Friday, October 14, 2016


Last night about 10:30 Spouse's eldest brother Frank passed away after a 3-year bout with cancer.

Spouse, his siblings, and his mother were all able to spend time with Frank earlier this week, although no one is sure if he was actually aware of this or not.  There was nothing more that could be done to manage his pain, so to be 'kind' to him Frank was heavily sedated.  He would awaken now and then, look at his family in the room, and attempt to speak but it made no sense and he drifted back to sleep.

During my 20+ year relationship with Spouse we were never what you'd call "close" with Frank.  His lifestyle was very different from ours (heavy smoker, heavy drinker, recreational drug user, etc.) so we didn't have much in common with him.  Yet, the death of a sibling is still difficult, even if you aren't close.  It reminds one of their own mortality, and sometimes makes one question if there were something they could have/should have done differently.

Despite our differences, Frank shared our feeling that Family was very important.  He always made an effort to be with his family for all the holidays, birthday parties, baptisms, first communions, and any other special event. 

Frank was divorced for many years and had no children so the family made the decision to have his body cremated.  A memorial service will be held in the near future.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

National Coming Out Day

Yesterday was National Coming Out Day.

The foundational belief is that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of silence and ignorance, and that once people know that they have loved ones, colleagues, or neighbors who are lesbian or gay, they are far less likely to maintain homophobic or oppressive views.  For more on the history of National Coming Out Day click here.

I remember well the first few years after I began to come out.  Initially I told my family and just a couple close friends.  But when I heard about National Coming Out Day and considered the good it could accomplish, I made it a goal to come out to at least 1 person every year on Oct 11.  

Rather than a formal announcement of "I'm gay" which I felt had the potential to make people feel as if they had to respond in some way, I chose a more informal approach.  I would simply allow this information to find its way into a conversation.  If I were talking with someone at work and they asked if I'd been to a new restaurant, I might respond "Yes, my boyfriend and I went last week and really liked it."  To me, this did not put the other person 'on the spot'.  They could acknowledge my coming out to them or not.  That didn't matter to me.  What mattered is that someone now realized that they had a gay friend, and hopefully wouldn't participate in hurtful language or discriminatory behavior toward the GLBT community.

Nowadays I really have no one to whom I can come out.  Everyone already knows I'm gay because I don't hide it.  Its a part of who I am and organically comes out in everyday conversation with people.  And I do believe that this behavior and the National Coming Out Day movement has helped move the GLBT community into the mainstream.  Just this week I called to purchase an insurance policy and after giving my name and details, the salesperson asked if there was anyone else who should be on the policy.  I responded, "Yes, my husband."  The salesperson didn't miss a beat and then asked for his name and details.  While there is still work to be done in achieving true equality, I believe National Coming Out Day has helped.

How have you participated in National Coming Out Day?

Monday, October 10, 2016


Last night I attended the Blue Moon's 35th anniversary celebration.  In case you're new here, the Blue Moon is a restaurant, bar, and performance venue where I perform musical impersonations in the 'Legends' shows.

As a paid performer I was given several complimentary cocktail tickets which was a nice touch.  They also had delicious passed hors d'oeurves for a couple hours, then slices of the multi-tier anniversary cake.  

Entertainment was provided by a full band and the resident singing diva Pamala Stanley.  It was a very festive and quite fun time!
Pamala Stanley singing before the band

I saw and chatted with lots and lots of friends and people I know.
Rick & Lisa - I love these two!!

Rick, Lisa, and me

Me and Brian

Me and Nate

Friday, October 07, 2016


I have a confession to make:  I LOVE pumpkin spice products.

Pumpkin spice coffee.  Pumpkin spice coffee creamer.  Pumpkin spice muffins.  Pumpkin spice cookies.  Pumpkin spice cream cheese.  Pumpkin spice oatmeal.  Pumpkin spice pancakes.  Pumpkin spice cereal.  Pumpkin spice frozen yogurt.  Pumpkin spice peanut butter.  Pumpkin spice ice cream.  Pumpkin spice cheesecake.

Yes, yes, and YES!!!

While I hate the end of summer, my disappointment is tempered by the knowledge that pumpkin spice season is right around the corner.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Flu shot

Steven & Thad and Spouse & I went for our annual flu shot this week.  Our local GLBT community center hosts nurses from the local hospital to administer free flu shots 1 day every year, so for the last few years we've been going together, getting our flu shots, and then going to dinner.  That kind of makes it more fun than just getting a flu shot and going home.

Have you gotten your flu shot yet?  People DIE from the flu every year, so be sure to get your flu shot!

Monday, October 03, 2016


I'm a firm believer in not rushing holiday decorations.  But since its now October and we're technically in fall, I decided it was OK to set up my little tribute to fall and the harvest season.

These pumpkins were given to me by my friend Thad.  He got them (free) from a colleague's garden.  I like the variation in size and colors, although I believe the green will eventually turn orange, leaving me with 3 orange and 1 white pumpkins.

Friday, September 30, 2016


I may have posted this before, but its so perfect that I'm taking the chance of possible duplication by posting it again.  This makes me laugh every time I see it!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Just in case you've noticed the lack of political posts on my blog during this historic campaign season...

Monday, September 26, 2016

Remembering George

Our good friend George passed away on Sept 11th, which is also his daughter Kelly's birthday.  He was 87 years old and had cancer.  He chose to leave this world on his own terms rather than undergoing chemo and radiation at 87.  He was a very unusual man, in a good way, and will be sorely missed.

George was a retired JAG officer who also had a small law practice until he fully retired.  He loved to read, followed politics, and was an extremely liberal democrat.  George noticed things.  When I changed my haircut, lost weight, or happened to wear glasses, George always noticed and complimented me.  He was famous for several catchphrases which we've repeated with respect for years and will continue to do so.

George told his daughters he did not want a funeral or memorial service.  But after talking with his eldest daughter (and my dear friend) Kerry, we decided that funerals and memorial services are not for the one who's passed, they're for those remaining.  So out of respect for his wishes and the need for closure for his loved ones, Kerry decided to have a "party" to celebrate her father's life.  It was yesterday in VA.

Spouse & I drove back to the area in VA where I grew up.  So much has changed since I lived there!  The "party" was in a banquet room of the clubhouse in the community where George had lived.  It was exactly what I'd hoped for:  lots of friends who knew and loved George, visiting with his daughters and each other, talking and laughing and hugging and looking at the hundreds of photos of George over the years.  No eulogies, no sad speeches; just love and light.

Here are some photos taken with my phone:
Spouse, Kerry, me

Me and Gini, a friend from high school and a former neighbor of George

Me and Harriet

Me, Kelly, and Spouse
Me, Dee Dee and Spouse
Afterward Spouse & I grabbed a bite to eat, made a stop at Trader Joe's to pick up some goodies, and headed back to DE.  It was a long day but a good one.  It was wonderful to be with others and remember George.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Patrick's visit

My longtime friend Patrick came for a short visit.  We've known each other for over 35 years, and he was instrumental in my coming out and self-acceptance.

Patrick arrived on Wed evening just after I got home from work, so we chatted for a little while on the back porch with Spouse, then went to dinner.  We went to Ruby Tuesday because I was craving a good salad bar.  Afterward we talked some more on the porch, then came inside and watched a little TV together.  Marvin & Walter remembered him right away.

On Thurs we hung out at home for a while, went to the local diner for a late breakfast, then ran a few errands (car wash, dry cleaner, etc) then came home to change clothes and go to the beach.  It wasn't the greatest day for tanning, but at least it was warm and breezy so we enjoyed a couple hours of relaxation by the ocean.  After coming home and taking showers, Patrick took a nap and I checked in on work stuff.  Spouse came home and then went to his personal trainer appointment, and then Patrick and I went to have dinner and listen to a local entertainer we'd heard on his last visit.  However, the wait for a table was 45 minutes and we were hungry, so we decided to have dinner elsewhere.  We ended up eating at a window table (my favorite) at the Blue Moon.
Patrick had the sesame encrusted chicken and I had the short rib.  Both were outstanding, as were our cocktails.  After dinner we walked next door for karaoke.  I couldn't get Patrick to sing with me even though we used to perform together in high school, but we had a fun time.

This morning we had coffee and conversation, then decided to go for a late breakfast.  Afterward Patrick headed back home and I got prepared for a walk-thru and settlement.  It was nice to visit with my old friend!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


I'm not a big snacker.  I try to eat at mealtimes and not between.  However, sometimes my lunch is light and my dinner is going to be late so I have a snack in between.
My latest snack obsession:  Snyder's Butter Snaps and whipped cream cheese.

Snyder's Butter Snaps are buttery, salty, waffle-shaped pretzels that are delicious on their own.  But... when you dip them into whipped cream cheese the result is nothing short of sheer heaven!

Try it and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Monday, September 19, 2016

Weekend recap

Wow, what a fun, full weekend!

On Fri evening Steven & Thad and Spouse & I met up with my new friends Charles & John for dinner at Dos Locos.  I met Charles & John (who live in Philly) a few weeks ago after my show at the Blue Moon.  As usual our food was great and the atmosphere was fun. 
While my Blood Orange Margarita looks huge in this photo, its really just a medium
After dinner the 6 of us stopped in at the Blue Moon and caught the last few minutes of their drag show, then hung out on the patio and talked.  The weather was really nice.  We got home at midnight.

On Sat I worked until 3:30, then went home to change clothes and pick up Spouse.  We went to a cocktail party at Deb & Greer's house.  Their friend Paul is a chef and gave them the cocktail party as a gift.  There were lots of yummy appetizers and desserts and we had fun visiting with everyone there.  We went home to change clothes again and rest a bit, then went to our friend Tim's 60th birthday dinner at Touch of Italy, an Italian restaurant.
There were 11 of us there, including Steven & Thad, and a friend from Tim's childhood.  The food was delicious and everybody had a good time.
Tim & Michael
After dinner Steven & Thad and Spouse & I met up again with our friends from Philly Charles & John at Aqua, a bar with a large patio area.  As soon as we walked in we saw our newlywed friends Kevin & Jason, so we introduced them to Charles & John and we all hung out.  The weather was terrific so we really enjoyed being outdoors.  We didn't get home until 1am.

Sun was part 2 of Tim's birthday celebration, which included a BBQ lunch at the beach.  He had reserved the pavilion which has picnic tables, a grill and electricity.  We had a great lunch which included hotdogs, hamburgers, barbecued chicken, potato salad, macaroni salad, and various beverage options.  Since Tim is a retired teacher he always includes jeopardy-style games in every party or gathering so we had fun with those, too.  Steven & Thad offered to bring the cake:
Notice the creative spelling of Tim's name  ;-)
When we got home I took the dogs for a walk and Spouse took a nap.  Later we met up with Steven & Thad again for an easy dinner and then watched some of the Emmys.

Whew... I'm exhausted just retelling this!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Impromptu trip to VA

Spouse & I decided to make an impromptu trip to VA yesterday.

Originally Spouse was going to go by himself, leaving in the morning and returning home the same day.  He wanted to see his mom's new space since she moved into a senior living center.

However, late Sun evening we learned that our dear friend George had passed away that day.  He was 87 and had cancer.  Spouse & I both felt like we should go to see George's daughters so we quickly decided that we'd both go to VA and would see his mom on Tues, stay overnight at his sister's, and visit with George's daughters Kerry, Kelly, and Kimberly on Wed.

We brought the dogs with us since they travel so well and Spouse's sister no longer has a dog.  Spouse & I went to lunch with his sister, then the 3 of us went over to the senior living center.  At first we couldn't find Spouse's mom!  We checked her apartment, the dining area, and the common TV area but she was nowhere to be found.  One of the employees suggested she might be out in the back yard with her dog so we finally found her there.  She had gotten her hair done at the on-site salon and then came outside so her dog Romeo (who has now become the 'house dog') could enjoy some time outdoors.  
Spouse's mom and sister
This is not a very good photo of either of them.  Both are usually smiling but in this photo they aren't.  I couldn't see the photo very well after taking it so I didn't realize it wasn't very good.  While sitting outside we also met Spouse's mom's new friend Betty who has an adorable little long-haired Chihuahua named Dusty.
Dusty is a tiny little thing; only about 3 or 4 pounds and as sweet as can be.  He let me pick him up and hold him, and after softly stroking his head and neck he leaned up and gave me 'kisses' on my chin!  Once we'd left the senior living center I said to Spouse "I wonder if I can get Betty to leave Dusty to me in her will".  He told me I was terrible. 

We hung out a Spouse's sister's house for a few hours then went back to see his mom again after she'd had her dinner.  Her space is very nice with a good sized bedroom, private bath, den/TV room, and a kitchenette.  She really likes it there which is a relief.  After our 2nd visit we picked up Spouse's sister and her husband and the 4 of us had delicious Thai food.

Today we met up with our dear friends Kerry, Kelly, and Kimberly for a late breakfast.  It was really good to see them and talk about the recent changes in our lives.  We'd not had a chance to tell them about Spouse's mom's move, and they'd not had a chance to share with us the circumstances around George's decision not to receive cancer treatment.  But the general mood and disposition was upbeat and positive.  We laughed a lot and really, really appreciated our friendship.  I don't know who needed the visit more, them or us.  I can't believe I didn't take a photo of the 5 of us.

Once we said our goodbyes we returned to Spouse's sister's house and visited for a little, then grabbed our overnight bag and the dogs and headed back to DE.

Friday, September 09, 2016


Tonight we went to our friends' Jason & Kevin's wedding!  They met 6 years ago this month and got married in their front yard.  After the short but sweet ceremony, everyone carried their chair from the front yard to the side yard where a long dinner table was set, which you can see in the left side of this photo.
The happy grooms
The food was inside so everyone made a plate and brought it to the table outside to eat and converse.  Of course no occasion would be complete without a selfie!
Spouse & I take a selfie with the grooms
 A professional photographer took the photo below which absolutely captures the personalities of these 2 fine men.
I love this photo!
While the weather wasn't ideal for an outdoor wedding (93 degrees and humid!) everyone had a wonderful time.  Lots of love, laughter and joy.