Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Thank You

Thank you all for the birthday wishes you sent my way yesterday. I am humbled by your kind and encouraging words. It really means the world to me. For reasons that I am not going to get into today, my birthday has been a sad time for a number of years. I try not to let it get to me, but you combine the sadness over a tragedy in my past with thought of my life so far, and I can get a little morbid. Your comments yesterday helped me get past that and have a good birthday. I went out for breakfast at a local diner, had a sandwich that I love for lunch, and made meatballs from scratch and a marinara sauce and spaghetti for dinner last night. It was a good day filled with your inspiring words, good food, comfort from Isabella, and maybe a nap or two.

I just want to say a big heartfelt thank you for making my day better.


My Birthday

I’m 45 today. Time is marching on. This birthday has hit me a little differently from others. What have I done in my 45 years on this earth? I feel like I have either failed in life or waited too long to try to have a life. Fear has always kept me back. For most of my life, I was shy and insecure. To a certain extent, I still am, but I am becoming more confident, at least in some ways.

I’m 45 years old, and I’m still single. I’ve never had a relationship that has lasted much over a year. My two or three other relationships lasted a lot less if you can even call them relationships. I feel like I wasted so much time worrying about what my family thought about me being gay that life and opportunity passed me by. I wish I didn’t care what they think. I’m closer to the point of not caring anymore, but it feels too late. My parents have been married for 50 years, and my sister has been married for over 25 years. I’m still single, and I fear that will never change. 

I feel like I should be able to see retirement in my future, but it still seems a long way off. My mother was 47 when she retired for the first time, and my father was just over 50 when he retired for the first time. They both went on to work in other jobs for another ten years. However, I couldn’t afford any retirement savings or a retirement plan until I started working for this university seven years ago. Financial security has always seemed just out of my grasp.

Then, there is my health. Yes, it could be worse, but I still suffer from chronic migraines )probably always will), and my eyesight is not as good as it used to be. I have to wear reading glasses in addition to my contacts, but I was told that comes with being older. I guess the encouraging parts about my health is that I have lost weight, and my diabetes is under control. In fact, my doctor says he will probably take me off my diabetes medication when I return to him in January and declare me a “diet-controlled diabetic.”

I know I am bemoaning being 45, and as my father has always said, “It beats the alternative.” I am happy with my job and more confident in my sexuality. I have wonderful friends, and I have this blog, which I am quite proud of. Still, what do I have to show for the last 45 years? So, please excuse me for being a little melancholy on this, my 45th birthday. 

I know I’m being silly about this. There really isn’t a reason for me to be in a bad mood about my birthday, but I am as real as I can be on this blog. I didn’t want to be falsely cheerful when I don’t feel that way at all. It would just be dishonest.

I’m just going to treat today like any other day. I usually try to do something special for my birthday, but this year, I am not in the mood. I have the day off from work and no plans. I’ll probably spend the day on the couch watching TV and spending quality time with Isabella.


Black Friday

For those of you in the United States, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. For those of you in other countries who don’t celebrate the holiday, I hope you’re having a nice week. A lot of people will be out shopping today. There are always loads of Black Friday sales. I doubt I will be one of them. My plan is to stay in and be lazy. Isabella gets to be lazy everyday, so I’m going to take a page out of her playbook. I doubt I’ll sleep like she does, but I plan to just relax.

By the way, my Thanksgiving dinner turned out very nice. I wish I’d had someone to share it with, then maybe I wouldn’t have eaten too much of the dressing I made. Cornbread dressing is one of my favorite part of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.


Happy Thanksgiving 🦃

There is a lot to be thankful for. I have a much more open and honest life in Vermont as an out and proud gay man. I don’t have to constantly hide in the closet like I was forced to do in Alabama. I have a job that I love, and that I think is rewarding. While I may complain about my job sometimes, I love what I do. I am very thankful for leaving full-time teaching to be a museum professional. I love working in the museum world, and I wish I could have discovered that earlier in my life, but I am thankful I have found it now. I am also thankful for my faithful companion, my beautiful Isabella. She brings me so much joy, even if she likes to wake me up at 4 am to be fed.

More important, I have some wonderful friends. One such friend is Susan. I don’t know what I’d do without her love and support. She’s been there for me when I needed someone the most. I’m also thankful for all my blog friends out there. As long as you keep reading, I plan to keep writing. I’ve made some really wonderful friends through this blog. Some are no longer with us, and I will miss them every day for the rest of my life. They made their way into my heart, and they will always live on in my heart and memories. Thankfully, there are those of you who are still with us, and I always look forward to your comments and emails. I may not always be able to answer my comments, and I may take a while to answer emails, but I read and cherish every one of them.

I’m also thankful for the beautiful meal I am preparing today: roast chicken with croutons (I prefer chicken to turkey), cornbread dressing (the recipe for the cornbread will be at the end of this post), collard greens, and dulce de leche lava cakes for dessert. I made the cornbread and prepared the dulce de leche for the lava cakes last night. I’ve already started the collard greens (they take a while to cook), and I’ll soon mix up the dressing.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday?
And what are you planning to eat today?

Recipe for the Cornbread for Dressing
It’s a little different from how I usually make my cornbread—it has more seasonings.

Cornbread for Dressing
Adapted from feastandfarm.com

Ingredients
1 cup self-rising cornmeal mix (not just plain cornmeal)
¼ cup self-rising flour
1 ½ Tbsp butter
⅞ cups buttermilk or regular milk (Start with 1 cup of liquid if you are using regular milk and
add the rest as necessary)
½ tsp celery salt, or to taste
0.75 tsp onion powder (you can use one small yellow (or Vidalia) onion instead)
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
⅛ tsp of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
¼ tsp of sage (or Bell’s seasoning), or to taste, optional
½ tsp of poultry seasoning

Preparation Steps
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Melt butter as the oven preheats in an 8″ x 8″ pan.
3. Add cornmeal, self-rising flour, and seasonings in a bowl and mix with a fork. Make a well
in the center of the mixture for the butter and buttermilk.
4. Add the butter and buttermilk to the well.
5. Mix until combined.
6. Spray pan with additional butter-flavored PAM. Pour batter into the baking pan.
7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and set.


Worried

I’m not really in the mood to write much today. Yesterday was a rough day. I am very worried about a friend of mine who I haven’t heard from in several day. I haven’t been able to get in touch with him, and I’m just afraid something has happened. All I can do at the moment is pray that he’s okay. I tried every way I could to get in touch, but to no avail. Please say a prayer that my friend is fine but just not able to respond for some unknown reason.

UPDATE: I finally heard from my friend. He’s safe and sound. 


Veterans Day

Thank you to all those who serve.


What A Week!

Have you ever been so tired that when you finally crawl into bed to get some sleep, you can’t get your body to actually settle down and let you sleep? I have basically gone to bed each night since Sunday completely exhausted to the point that I don’t even feel I’m in my body anymore or that I just can’t control it like I should be able to. I’ve gone to bed, and whereas I usually fall asleep within a few minutes, I’ve been tossing and turning trying to get my body to settle down and get comfortable. Each night it has, but I’m still feeling exhausted in the morning. I haven’t really felt that way since I started using my CPAP. Usually, I get up with Isabella sometime between 4 am and 5 am, but either she has sensed that I’m tired or she tried to wake me to no avail. I have woken each morning this week with my alarm that I set for 5:15 am. I’m usually up well before it goes off. Hopefully, I can get some much needed rest this weekend. I’m taking off Friday afternoon for my second monkeypox vaccine dose, so hopefully that will give me a head start on resting my weary bones.


Exhausting, But Good

The last two days have been exhausting but good. Monday, I went down for my YEPTI infusion and to see my neurologist. It was a long day, but everything went well. The infusion went without a hitch. It’s not a very comfortable thing to do because I had to sit there for an hour with an IV in my arm, but it’s not the worst thing either. My appointment at the Headache Clinic went really well. 

I talked to my neurologist about how the VYEPTI was cost prohibitive, and she suggested a new medicine called Qulipta, a new CGRP migraine treatment that is a once daily pill. She said that it had been very effective in people and because it’s a daily pill, it doesn’t wear off like many of the other 90-day CGRP treatments. I don’t mind adding another pill to my daily routine. One more won’t make any difference. The plus side is that it won’t cost me anything. The company that makes Qulipta (AbbVie) will mail me the medicine for free. They will initially send me a free one-month supply while my doctor gets the medicine approved by my insurance. Once that is done AbbVie will pay for whatever my copay is. I won’t have to pay the cost of the medicine at all for the first two years. I just hope it works.

Yesterday, I was swamped at work. I have several projects going on: a program I’m doing the final preparations for, a conference next week, a few classes on the horizon, one of which is this morning at 8 am. In all, I had a list of at least a dozen things to do yesterday, but I ticked them off one at a time and got them done.

Also, I had a date last night. I’m not sure it’s going to go anywhere, though I hope it does. We’ll see. He seems a very nice man, has a very accomplished career, incredibly intelligent, and easy on the eyes. He also likes my accent, though I hope that’s not the only thing he liked about me. The date was nice. We had dinner, and the food was delicious. I hope I get to see him again soon, though next week, we’ll both be at conferences on opposite ends of the country.

Needless to say, when I got home last night, I was ready to crash. It doesn’t look like my week will be slowing down much either.


Lantern Tour

On Saturday night, two friends and I went to a lantern tour in Stowe, Vermont. Stowe is a beautiful little town, though because of the ski industry, it’s one of the most expensive and popular places in Vermont. However, each September and October for over twenty years, there has been a lantern tour where groups walk through town holding lanterns to hear the guide tell about the history of Stowe and a few ghosts stories.

We’d planned to go to dinner before the tour, we tried to get reservations, but this time of year with the fall foliage at its peak, everywhere was booked or had long waitlists. We went to this one Thai restaurant that I hoped we could get into. The food and service is usually really good, but I’ve never seen more than two or three people in there. Not so on Saturday night. There were a few tables open, but when we told him we wanted a table for three, he said, “I only have one cook.” Then he said the most incredible thing I’ve ever heard a restaurant host say. He said, “Just go,” and shooed us out the door. I know he was flustered, and his English is not the best, but any time I’ve been there before, he’s been very nice.

After that, we went into Waterbury to see if there was place to eat there. We’d have loved to eat at Prohibition Pig, but they won’t take reservations and the waitlist was around two hours. Everywhere else had a wait of at least thirty minutes. The lantern tour was at 8 pm, and it was already nearly 6:30. Stowe is about twenty minutes from Waterbury. Finally we gave up and went to the one place we were able to get into: Subway. I had not wanted a sandwich from Subway, but we were hungry and did not want to wait until after the tour to eat.

After we ate, we headed to Stowe for the lantern tour. I had read a lot of good things about this tour, and I like a good ghost story. So, I was excited. I had emailed Tuesday for reservations for Friday night, but was told they were booked. The website said that tours were limited to twenty-five people. When we got to the Stowe Visitor’s Center, we found out that there would be two simultaneous tours. One was led by the man who usually does the tours, and the other was by a woman who I assumed was his wife, who obviously didn’t do the tours on a regular basis. We ended up in the woman’s group along with a screaming child. Apparently, the child was screaming and crying because he wanted to be the person in his group to carry the lantern, but his brother was carrying it. Finally someone gave the kid their lantern, and he finally got quiet.

The tour was all right, but nothing special. The woman didn’t speak loud enough and walked way too fast. What I could hear of the stories she told, they sounded interesting. The best part of the tour though was this guy who was from the Midwest who was in the group with his girlfriend. Well, it wasn’t so much him, although he was handsome enough, but a bit too skinny. However, he had one of the most amazing asses I’ve ever seen, especially on a tall skinny guy. It was much more interesting walking behind him. The tour lasted about an hour, and it was a nice night for a walking tour. It was cool but not too cold. The only hiccup we had along the route was a skunk joined our tour for a bit, but we got away from him without him spraying anyone.

After the tour, we went home. One of my two friends and I plan to take the Burlington Ghost Walk, which I’ve heard is very good. I’m looking forward to hearing about the tales of spooky Burlington. That will be sometime this week or next.


Forgot

I’m sorry. I simply forgot to write a post last night before I went to bed, so this will be short. I had a nice weekend. Saturday, I took a walk and captured some of the beautiful fall foliage in Vermont. Yesterday, I cleaned my apartment and napped. It was a nice casual weekend. Here’s one of the pictures I took on my walk: