December 2004 Archives

Awake: 6:47 am Temp 12 Light snow...then sunny 5 hrs 29 min daylight

Nick & Eriko wake up early(6:30)& eat a cereal breakfast. They are meeting
the Foote family at the Water Oasis @ 8:00 am to wade in the walking
stream. Melissa & Matthew have been doing this twice a week for exercise &
fun. Then Nick & Eriko go shopping.

Katrina stayed @ her apt last night & did get some good sleep(close to 12

Zack awakes @ 9:00. Kathy wraps Christmas presents while Zack eats
breakfast & plays a computer game. I do some e-mailing of Holiday

The Footes arrive @ 3:00. Nick & Eriko return @ 3:15. Baby Matthew is
walking & carrying things @ the same time. This guy is a fast learner &
loves telephones.
The Foote family does not stay for dinner. They are trying to keep Matthew
on his sleeping schedule, making their holidays easier for them. They miss
Katrina by minutes as she arrives for dinner & the evening.

6:30 Dinner: Boneless N.Y. steaks with twice baked potatoes, asparague &
fresh salad.

After dinner: Gary & Grace from Landenburg, PA call to give us holiday
wishes. Gary exposes his latest adventure: He was driving his Newell back
to Oklahoma for service when he hit a good sized deer. Some $8000.00
damage & their coach might not be repaired until February or March 2005.

@ 8:30 with Kathy's assistance, the kids make Christmas cookies. Eriko
decorates a panfull with a different, delicate touch. Zack wins the most
elequent cookie decoration so called: "Graveyard delight."

@ 10:30 pm the 6 of us in our small RAV 4 ride to our St Pat's church for
midnight service. We are early to assure a good seat but...we realize,
much too early. Seats were easily available until 11:45. We find out
later, they had 4 masses starting at 5:00 pm. thru midnight. We did enjoy
listening to the choir sing & play their instruments during our waiting
time however.
We think this may have been Eriko's 1st time attending anything like this
in her life & she was a little uncomfortable making Nicholas a little
uncomfortable. Back home around 1:45 am.

Some family talk & goofing off in the living room near the fireplace.

Lights out: 2:22 am

Awake: 6:50 am Temp downtown 40 Snow & wind 5 hrs 29 min daylight

Temperature warmed up even more thru this night with less wind speed

Kathy & Katrina drive downtown to get an apt key from one of her roommates
who has been house setting for someone in the city during the holidays.
Then they pick up her car @ Emily's condo & both drive to Costco where
they will do some shopping & visit the library while Katrina is having her
studded tires mounted.

Meanwhile I finally finish up that game closet project, do the painting,
mount the sliding doors & make the adjustments. They work better than ever

Then I drill 2 holes in our Christmas tree to fill in branches to cover a
sparce area. Now it looks better.

Eriko & Nick don heavy & large boots, then take a 30 min neighborhood tour.

Stuart(Zack's friend)visits & they play computer games & talk about their
college experiences & snack on candy, nuts & pretzels.

6:40 Dinner: We bend Stu's arm to join us. So it's dinner for 6. Kathy
delights us with her delicious beef stew with toast.

Katrina stays @ her apt tonight to organize & get her time zone sleep

Mid evening: we watch a library video " Shine." Good flick...based on a
true story. I had seen it quite awhile ago but I did enjoy seeing it
again. Eriko had also seen this movie a couple years ago, so it was easier
for her to follow.

A vast amount of popcorn was consumed by us all during this movie.

Lights out: 12:38 am

Awake 6:52 am Temp downtown 28 Strong winds during the night & now, rain.
5 hrs 28 min of daylight

Our sleep was disturbed by those strong winds. We leave two windows
cracked open in our bedroom for sleeping if the nighttime temp is above 5
degrees. But the wind caused the windows to creek open and shut. We heard
later today, those winds obtained speeds of over 100 miles per hour
throughout the night in our area.

Kathy bakes a scrambled eggs with ham & cheese casserole & toast breakfast
for 5.

Four Christmas shoppers leave the house @ 8:25 am. Kathy is the driver.
Her 1st stop: to pick up Katrina's Honda at Alex's place where she stored
it for 5 months during her European touring & semester of art classes.
Then Katrina & the boys go shopping while Kathy stocks up on more
groceries and a few stocking stuffers.

Meanwhile, I plaster & nail the sheetrock patch in the game closet ceiling
in prep for sanding & painting. Then replace 11 screws with longer ones to
do a better job of holding the sliding door upper plate in place. Over the
yrs, our sliding doors had drooped & were scuffing on the carpet. Now they
will clear the carpet by at least 1/2 inch.

Next I run the 1984 Ford van for 1.5 hrs. Up to now, I was unable to gain
entry into that vehicle due to too much snow cover. Since those high winds
& rain earlier this morning, it's no problem now. As the van is idling, I
begin snowblowing the remaining slush in our driveway. In retrospect, this
was a bad choice, a waste of prime time as that slush was so heavy, it
clogged my chute 3 times before I wised up & used 80% engine power to
really shoot that water/snow airborne.

Kathy, Katrina & the boys rendezvous at Barnes and Noble. The boys rode
home with their Mom arriving just as I finished & am warming myself up by
the fireplace. They reported near empty stores while shopping. Amazing! We
think it's due to the bad weather reported earlier with those strong winds
& rain. So the Christmas shopping is done for the boys in a record setting
6 hrs.

Kathy makes Ivar's clam chowder for a late lunch @ 3:00 pm.

Nick & Zack have been doing a lot of computer talking since Saturday
morning in West Lafayette. We don't really understand this new language
they speak, but in a mystified manner, we think it might have some merit
for a good career.

Speaking of career, Zack received his grades via e-mail today. He is
officially a Purdue graduate and ready to begin his career in computer
programming. Congratulations, Zack!

Katrina is visiting her friend Emily tonight & hopes to find her apt. key
so she can start organizing her bedroom & suitcases.

Before dinner, I cut a slice from the bottom of the Christmas tree trunk;
with Kathy's help, I bring it into our living room, set it up in it's
holding device & give it water.

While watching the national news tonight, we see the recent snowstorm that
hit Indiana state & stopped traffic for over 9 hrs on I-65. Now how did
that waitress at the Hilton Hotel know that Monday was going to be our
lucky day?

Meanwhile, Nick is monitoring his fiance's flt. via computer from Detroit,
MI to Anchorage. Her flt. originated in Nagoya, Japan & went directly to
Detroit. At 6:30 pm, Nick leaves for the airport to greet her when she

7:10 Dinner: Stuffed peppers, corn, sugar snap peas & toast.

Katrina calls to say she hasn't found her key yet and the landlord isn't
answering his doorbell, so she will come up later to spend another night
with us.

Nick & Eriko arrive from the airport. Eriko looks good & had a nice flt
but very long. We sit in our living rooms & talk. After dinner, Kathy
begins decorating our Christmas tree with her 80 origami figures she made.
When Eriko & Nick finish their late dinner, Eriko helps Kathy hang some of
these origami figures & makes a few new ones.

Maybe 2 hrs later, our door bell rings: It's Katrina but she's not driving
her car. A stranger brought her to our door. He's a rather chubby guy
dressed in a red outfit with a loud boisterous laugh like HO-HO-HO.

Ok, I am kidding! But she did get a ride up our hill from a neighborhood
stranger. She explains: Due to her time zone change, she became very tired
mid evening & asked Emily's husband Taro if he would drive her car to our
place & she would ride with Emily. With good logic, she realizes
Stuckagain hill could possibly be icy & slippery. As it turned out, Taro
could not make the hill so he turned around & went back to their condo.
Katrina still had her summer tires on her car.

Meanwhile, Emily & Katrina continued their hill climbing up Stuckagain.
Apparently there were several other cars who were having difficulty this
night & was cause for Emily to make a complete stop. That did it. Emily
could not go forward from there. Emily has front wheel drive. Katrina did
get a lift with a neighbor who was running studs with 4 wheel drive.

Zack & I to the rescue. The hill is a sheet of ice with some cinders
spread thinly. As Zack approaches Emily, he finds her in tears. She is not
accustomed to this sort of scary driving. Zack does a marvelous job of
getting Emily calmed down, her car turned around & headed downhill. We
both creep slowly downhill & let Emily drive her own car from the lower
elevation of a main road on wet asphalt. She thanked us & complimented us
as being "Heros of the night." We were lucky & happy to have the
opportunity to be named "Heros of the night."

Lights out: 12:38 am

Awake 9:00 am Temp downtown 15 Light snow Overnight Anchorage, Alaska
5 hrs 28 min daylight

Katrina & Nick upstairs @ 10:00 am. Zack wakes up as we are eating a
breakfast of french toast with bacon. That guy has a nose for mealtime.

Melissa & little Matthew visit @ 1:30. Both boys play with Matthew & the
toys Kathy bought from the thrift store over the past month. Good toys for
a fraction of their original cost. Melissa is on jury duty this week so
Kevin is working half days @ the university & babysitting the other half.
Melissa & Matthew can only stay for about an hour.

It's a lazy afternoon for us as we just sit around & talk family stuff.

6:30 Dinner: Honey mustard pork tenderloin, roasted red potatoes with
parmesan cheese & herbs, glazed apples & toast.

After dinner, more casual family talk in our living room with the
fireplace roaring.

Lights out: 11:37 pm

Awake 7:42 am Temp 14 Overnight West Lafayette, Indiana

Kathy & I eat breakfast in our hotel. When I went to pay the bill, the
lady had only charged us for one meal. I brought this to her attention &
she said: "today's your lucky day!" Well, that's a good start for this
day's travel. We check out of the Hilton, sit by their fireplace & wait
for our pickup. It's been a nice hotel for us, very convenient for short
travel to the Purdue Campus, Zack's studio apt & graduation activities.

Our boys pick us up @ 11:15 am. We meet with Katie 1/4 mile up the road &
she follows us in her Camaro on I-65 to I-80 toward the Chicago suburbs.
As we are nearing her area she takes the lead and soon pulls into the
Bouna Beef Restaurant in Downers Grove, Illinois. We get a take out order
of Italian Beef, sweet peppers, beef juice & french bread, then continues
on to her parents' home. Travel time from Purdue to Katie's home was 2 hrs
40 min.

Katie & her parents live in a beautiful 2 story home with a finished
gameroom basement in a nice quiet suburb. Her mother, Ruth, welcomes us @
the door & provides us with the necessary cookware so we can heat & eat
our delicious Italian beef sandwich...Kathy's favorite & mine too.

Zack leaves his kitties & his Camry here during his travel time in Alaska
with us. Katie's dad comes home from work early to visit & later, provide
a ride to the O'Hare airport. He also shows us his 1970 souped up Chevy
Malibu toy that he & a friend had rebuilt from the ground up.

About 4:10 pm Chuck drives us around the local traffic snares & gets us to
the airport in plenty of time for our 6:00 flt to SEA then ANC.

Flight time ORD to SEA= 4 hrs 15 min SEA to ANC= 4 hrs 25 min.
Strong jet stream winds increase our flt time en route. 125 mile per hour
average head winds en route to Anchorage.

We arrive in Anchorage @ 1:35 am Tuesday morning. Then wait in the new
Alaska Airlines terminal for Katrina's arrival. She spent last night in
Cincinnati, Ohio with Kevin's relatives after her Int'l flt from Florence,
Her arrival time was 2:35 am. She is happy to see us and that all her flts
have worked just fine to be home for the holidays. For whatever reason,
her luggage was slow in coming but it eventually all showed up. So the 5
of us & all our luggage head for home in our RAV 4. It was a good trip.

We sit in our living room for awhile & we all talk with Katrina about her
final days in Florence & return trip here to Alaska.

We are tired.... Lights out: 4:52 am

Awake 6:57 am Temp 19 Cold North wind Overnight West Lafayette, Indiana

Neither Kathy nor I sleep well. We suspect the time difference(4 hrs from
Alaska). The boys pick us up 8:10 am with Chuck, Ruth & Katie following in
their car. Drive over to the Purdue campus & the closest parking garage to
the Elliott Hall of Music where the winter commencement will take place.
We walk fast to get out of the cold and inside the warm building.

@ 9:30 the Commencement begins: Organ music, procession, pomp &
circumstance, national anthem, etc. We see Zack walking down the aisle &
take a few pictures. The advanced degree students were introduced by name
& handed their diplomas while the professional photographers snapped their
photos. This took some time. Then the bachelor and associate degree
graduates have their names projected on a screen on either side of the
stage, 12 per side, as they process to the stage, receive their diplomas,
pose quickly for a photo & walk back to their seat. It was a quicker
method than the advanced degreed graduates but less personal. We estimate
somewhat over a thousand total degrees given out for this winter
commencement during those 2 hrs.

Afterward, we attend a small reception for the new grads @ the engineering
bldg about a 5 min cold walk from the Elliott Hall of Music. The hot
chocolate or punch, meatballs, veggies, crab dip, etc were well received.
Zack gets his picture taken many times decked out in his cap & gown
attire. He walks with an air of rightly deserved pride and happiness.

Chuck volunteers to walk back to the parking garage, get their Volvo &
then pick up his wife, Ruth; daughter Katie; and Zack to minimize their
exposure to this arctic blast of cold winter chill weather. They will
drive Zack back to the parking lot where he get his car and return to pick
up his wimpy Dad; tough wife, Kathy; & many layered brother, Nick, so as
to reduce their exposure to the arctic blast of cold winter chill winds.
We appreciate this thoughtfulness. Chuck & Ruth will then help load most
of Katie's things into their Volvo & transport them back to their Chicago
suburban home. Katie will stay the night @ her apt, then drive her Camaro
back to Chicago tomorrow with us following.

We hang out again @ Zack's studio apt for the rest of the afternoon. Kathy
helps Zack clean out his freezer & refrigerator of spoiled food and washes
a load of dishes. Zack starts packing for his visit with us in Anchorage.
Nick is busy doing some programming for extra credit for his computer
science class @ UW. Monte and Kathy both take turns napping with Zack's

Late afternoon, Zack returns the cap and gown and picks Katie up from her
apt. We had invited Katie to join us for dinner @ Spaghetti's. Kathy & I
split a salmon & pasta dinner with salad, very good.

Zack drives Kathy & me to our hotel where we watch some TV before bedtime.
We are so glad we were able to attend our son's graduation @ Purdue. Proud
parents we are!!
Lights out: 11:27

Awake 9:45 am Temp 17 Cold North wind Overnight West Lafayette, Indiana

Nick & Zack call @ 11:30 & are ready to pick us up & have breakfast
somewhere. We choose the Triple X restaurant just up the street.

After breakfast, Zack gives us a driving tour of the Purdue campus & the
Purdue airport area. On the way back to Zack's studio apt, we stop @
Follett's Purdue West bookstore to pick up Zack's cap & gown for
graduation tomorrow.

We hang out @ Zack's apt for hrs being entertained by some very intriguing
computer talk between the boys & playing with Zack's 2 kitties, Cali &

Later, I drive Kathy and myself in Zack's Camry to St. Thomas Aquinas
church where we attend 5:30 p.m. Mass.

7:15 pm. We meet Zack's girlfriend Katie & her parents Ruth & Chuck @
Scotty's Brewhouse for drinks & dinner. It was a nice rendezvous....we
haven't spent enough time getting to know Katie's parents since Zack's
been dating her. Scotty's hamburgers are the best & their beer is good

We make plans tonight for tomorrow's adventures. Nick & Zack return to his
apt; Kathy & I walk to our Hilton hotel just next door to Scotty's.

Lights out: 10:15 pm

Airborne from Anchorage @ 1:45 am. 2 hrs 45 min to Seattle. Smooth
flight & fast, had to be a good tailwind.

We both had seats ahead of the emergency exit which do not recline so our
napping time was sporadic and not the most comfortable.

In Seattle, we have a healthy breakfast from Kathy's kitchen: Hard boiled
eggs, a slice of cranberry bread & a section of some reindeer sausage.....
with a local side order of Starbuck's coffee.

Seattle to Chicago(ORD)= 3 hrs 25 min. Middle seats for both of us. We
don't like middle seats. We walk over to another Alaska gate where our
oldest son Nick is arriving from SEA in less than an hour & is on time.
Then we 3 ride the Metro train from O'Hare airport to Union Station
downtown(45 min). Here we will take another train to Lafayette, Indiana in
about 2.5 hrs.

Meanwhile, we store our suitcases in a locker @ Union station & Kathy
makes a local phone call to her longtime friend, Joyce, who lives in a
Chicago suburb. They talked last week of perhaps a rendezvous when we
arrive @ Chicago's Union Station, but tonight, Joyce says: "She was
expecting us earlier, now timing is bad, rush hour traffic is heavy and
they have a party to go to this evening." When Kathy asks her about
getting to the main downtown area and to Millenium Park, Joyce replies,
"you are 7 blocks too far West & 7 blocks too far South."

This Union Station is something else. It's a turn of the century,
grandiose building still bustling with activity. Kathy well remembers as a
child, riding the Milwaukee Railroad train with her father on many
Saturdays when she would help him at his printing business. The train
terminated @ this Union Station and she reminisces about all the
activity...the hustle, bustle of so many people, shoe shine boys, several
restaurants, flower vendors, and yada, yada!!

Now that the "Joyce plan" is out of the question, Kathy still wants to see
the downtown Christmas decorations. So it's outside to the very cold air
with a strong North wind we go. Nick is dressed with 3 layers of clothing
& a hat. Kathy is also well dressed with 3 layers but Monte is cool, he
has no hat & only a thin Patagonia jacket. Getting a taxi or bus is not
good as it's bumper to bumper traffic moving slower than our walk. So we
talk the walk & walk the walk. Down Monroe to State St. We make it to
Marshall Fields(15 min) & have dinner: a great hamburger & the best fries
in a long time @ the Infield Grill in M.F.'s basement. This was a good
stop & my blood begins the recirculating status again.

Now for sure, Kathy is energized & her goal is to see the large tree in
Millenium Park, across Michigan Ave. She just heard about this tree en
route to Chicago on the aircraft from another lady. So we start walking
East,the cold wind is even colder than the Alaska's a humid
cold. Nick & I are a little uncomfortable about not only the cold air, but
also the time bind we are getting into. We are not sure how much further
this Millenium Park is and if we walk back to Union Station from where we
are now, will we have enough time? Hmmm, finally Kathy admits this plan is
not feasible tonight & we MUST catch a bus back to Union Station to make
our train on time....and we did. Phew!

By the time we retrieve our luggage from our locker, it's a rush job to
board our train. Train travel is still very relaxing for me. It's not the
European style that runs on time one can set your watch to but it is nice.
This line south to Lafayette is not too speedy. From what we know, the
track is owned by the freight companies & they have priority over
passenger cars. Several times en route, our train pulled off on a siding
to allow a fast moving freight train to pass. This resting time set our
ETA back by one hour exactly. Approaching Lafayette, Nick calls our
younger son, Zack, on his cell phone. Zack will be meeting us at the
station for a pickup.

Four hours from Chicago to Lafayette, Indiana. We disembark & look around
for Zack....nowhere in sight. We begin walking across the Wabash river on
the people's plaza bridge to our Hilton Hotel for the night(5 min). Nick
calls Zack and while they're talking, the three of us are walking across
the bridge. On the other side of the bridge a car comes out of nowhere &
practically runs us's our young son, Zack. He was parked @ the
train station waiting for us. We walked the opposite direction and just
didn't see him.

In our hotel room, we talk for nearly 2 hrs, then Nick goes with Zack &
spends the night @ Zack's studio apartment.

We are tired... Lights out: 2:45 am Eastern Time

Awake 6:00 am Temp 29 Partly sunny 5 hrs 30 min daylight

Last night when talking to our realtor, Rosie, about downtown condos, she
said: "Lets go look at those two condos Kathy found in the newspaper
yesterday." So mid morning we drive to the office of Rosie on Denali
Street & talk about what we are about to see. Then she drives us downtown
to an area that just begins the industrial zone of Anchorage.

Kathy is immediately turned off by this location. In the past, she has
volunteered a lot in the downtown area & never felt comfortable about this
zone. There are some 20 condos in the building that we enter. It looks
good on the outside & very nice on the inside. We take the elevator to the
3rd floor & meet the condo owners. Both units were very nice & in great
condition...& the bldg is clean & well kept. The only problem we see &
agree on is this location. Too industrial for us. So we thank the condo
owners & head back to Rosie's office for more talk about what kind of
condo & what location we are looking for.

After leaving Rosie's office, we split a Rubin sandwich @ the Amsterdam
Cafe. Then spend 45 min @ Barnes & Noble...drop Kathy off @ the Elite Hair
Style place for her haircut while I go to Home Depot and purchase some new
flexible ducting for our dryer at home. Back to our house @ 5:30.

I spend 45 min trying to install that new flexible ducting to the exhaust
duct on our dryer but it's not a tight fit. I'll need to fine tune this
project later.

7:05 Dinner: Leftover night: Beef stew with noodles, salad & fresh cottage
cheese with fruit.

Finish packing suitcases for travel later tonight/tomorrow.

11:00 pm. We drive to the airport, stopping @ a recycle center to rid
ourselves of glass & newspapers.

No lights out yet!!

Awake 5:48 am Temp downtown 23 Some clouds 5 hrs 31 min daylight

Alaska Club exercise...upstairs @ 7:50...finish @ 11:30. Afterward, return
the miniature bike I had made for Andy(1 of 2) for his birthday yr 2000.
The miniature bike's front fork separated from the bike's frame(weak
solder)so I epoxyed it in lieu of using more solder. I think Andy likes
his 2 miniature bikes as he has them on display in his office. One is
patterned after his real bike, the other is a Red Cross rescue bike with
small saddle bags on both front & rear carriers. The latter was chosen
because he has had so many mishaps while riding his bike. Andy is the
majority stock holder for all(13) Alaska Club facilities throughout
Alaska. He is the boss man.

Next I visit the membership department & give 30 days notice to cancel our
club membership. I don't know when we'll be back to Anchorage but we hope
to return this summer for a month or so cause....this is the place to be
during the summer & we still have 2 daughters, a son-in-law & our grandson
up here in Anchorage with whom we want to spend time. Back home @ 12:30.

Kathy drives to our local library & spends a few hrs there while I finish
up with the outside outlets bringing them up to code with the new bubble
covers. It took a little longer due to 2 moose eating the willow bushes in
our driveway & with my drilling & other noises, I was just a little shy
about getting them excited with human activity. I think my outside work is
finished now with this updated code business. So I returned Bill's
compound miter saw to his house before dinner. I did enjoy using that

My sister Mary Jo called from Lodi,CA. She would like our son, Nick's,
cell # to give to her son, Brian. Both are computer guru's & Brian has a
few questions to ask Nick.

6:10 Dinner: Fresh frozen Atlantic salmon with leftover fruit salad, wild
rice with boursin cheese & leftover peas & cauliflower, fresh salad +

No movie tonight...we both sit in living room close to the fireplace &
read & talk until someone gets sleepy.

Lights out: 11:32 pm

Awake 6:02 am Temp downtown 32 5 hrs 33 min daylight

We spend time mid morning checking on which airline & what method of
airline travel we might use when we leave Alaska around the 15th of
January? The choices; discounted system on Northwest thru FedEx, or the
regular low fare on-line travel sites...or, use some frequent flyer miles
on Alaska Air. No decision yet.

Call Kalb equipment in Memphis, TN. I am curious if there are any
available front end loaders for my Kubota tractor? Both guys I spoke with
recently say these loaders are difficult to find.

Spend some time shredding documents & useless papers no longer needed.

We leave @ 1:05 pm for our main library(Loussac) to make a copy of the
legal form for: "Power of Attorney." The lowest cost for printing this
form up on-line was $8:00. Our copy @ the library was 15 cents.

We meet with our daughter Melissa & grandson Matthew @ our Credit Union @
2:00 pm. Matthew, holding his mother's hands, is walking better each day.
We are giving Melissa the power of attorney during our time away from
Anchorage in the area of Real Estate. In the event we do not find a
suitable condo before we leave town, Melissa now has the legal right to
deal with our realtor & be our eyes, ears & decision maker thru us during
our travels. Grandson Matthew impresses us @ the Credit Union with his BIG
smile & walking talent. At this time, the max number of steps taken by
Matthew alone is 6.

Next Kathy & I visit the Rainbow Earth store in Dimond mall. Then next
door to Wal-Mart to purchase Kathy's hair color and some long screws I
need to bring the outside outlets up to the new code. Back home @ 4:10 pm.

We had over 9 inches of snow last night so I spend 1 hr 20 min snowblowing
our driveway.

6:20 Dinner: Beef stew with veggies & noodles + toast.

Mid evening: Watch library DVD movie: "Glen Garry Glen Ross." I watched
it all but did not enjoy this flick. It literaly wore me out just
listening to the negative verbal attacks tossed @ each other. Not my kind
of entertainment or Kathy's.

Some bedroom read time. Lights out: 11:42 pm

Awake 4:52 Temp downtown 27 5 hrs 34 min daylight

Alaska Club exercise....upstairs @ 7:55...finished @ 11:30. I stay @ the
club afterward & read Monday's paper & work X-word puzzle. Kathy rides
with Ann to Value Village for thrift shopping. She's a pick up @ 12:50..
back home @ 1:05.

Today I use the mass e-mailing system in our neighborhood(Stuckagain
Heights) to advertize my Kubota Tractor, Kubota Snowblower, Woods
lawnmower & grading blade....not to be sold before we vacate the house.

6:10 Dinner: Leftover tuna & noodle casserole sprinkled with garlic
triscuit crumbs, a veggi dish(peas, cauliflower & roasted peppers), fresh
salad & toasted slice of cranberry bread.

Mid evening: Watch library DVD movie: "The Piano." Slow but
engrossing...& ... "R" rated.

Snow is falling during our movie time.

Lights out: 11:15 pm

Awake 5:50 am Temp downtown 19 5 hrs 36 min daylight

Drive to the Alaska Club for the Sunday paper...then after breakfast,
spend a few hrs reading the paper.

Do some minor maintenance on the Kubota snowblower: lubricate & adjust
chain & replace the electric actuator for the vertical chute deflector.

Around 1:00 pm with a lot of daylight, Kathy & I tramp around our 2.44
acres in deep snow & select a Christmas Tree. Then cut the tree down &
store it in a pale of cold water inside our garage.

6:15 Dinner: Leftover pork loin, fresh sweet potatoes, leftover mashed
potatoes, leftover salad, applesauce & a slice of toasted cranberry bread.

Mid evening: Watch library DVD movie: "Lost Horizon." We started watching
this movie last night but Kathy closed her BIG eyes too many times &
didn't remember many tonight we start again from the

This Oscar winning classic was amazing. Produced in 1937 & restored in DVD
form in 1998, the sets were built at Columbia's Burbank Ranch & the
Tibetan mountain sequence used a cold storage warehouse where the actors
performed their scenes in freezing temperatures. Back in 1937, there was
no digitally enhanced filming....all extras were real people but the movie
scenes displayed appeared like you were actually in the Tibetan mountains.

Lights out: 11:24 pm

Awake 7:00 am Temp downtown 17 5 hrs 37 min daylight

Kathy makes a ham & cheese scramble for breakfast.
I do a little house work this starting the sheetrock patch on
the ceiling downstairs game closet, and that was enough for this day.

We leave the house @ 12:20 for grocery shopping @ Fred Meyers, then more
groceries @ Costco and an hr library stop before arriving back home @ 3:30
Son Nicholas calls from rainy Seattle. He's cozy, comfy & warm in his condo
today working on a take home test which he says is nearly finished. That
young man surely keeps himself busy....working many hrs @ his computer
job, taking a class at UW toward his Master's degree and another class in
Japanese. Plus he has a few other side jobs in various positions in the
computer industry. Especially important to us as a family, is the creation
& managing of the web site, our communications system which
makes it easy for all of us to keep in touch. We sure are proud of him. As
I like to say so much: a proud father am I!

Attend 5:00 pm mass @ St Pat's church. Then something different on this
Saturday night: Dinner invite @ Mike & Denise's. We started with
horsdeuvers; mixed veg, chopped walnuts and crumbled blue cheese in a mayo
dressing on endive leaves & Marietta red wine from CA. Let's see if I can
get this scrumptious meal sounding as good as it tasted: Rib eye strips
over roasted red peppers & endive leaves, splashed with olive oil and
balsamic vinegar dressing & smothered in sauteed mushrooms with a side of
garlic fried potatoes. Yum!! For dessert we had Hagan Das ice cream topped
with raspberry sherbet that Denise made. It was a great evening with a
super nice couple. They always make us feel so special. Back home @ 10:20.

Watch 25 min of library DVD movie: "Lost Horizon." A 1937 classic & a
Frank Capra film. We'll finish the rest tomorrow(I think).

Lights out: 12:12 am

Awake 6:10 am Temp downtown 14 Mostly sunny 5 hrs 39 min of daylight

Alaska Club exercise...upstairs @ 7:46...finish @ 11:30. No shopping
today. So it's back to our home @ noon time.

Good thing we came home early...Alask co was scheduled to replace our
attic vent baffles between 1:00 & 2:00 pm today but... they arrived 30 min
early. They are a young married couple doing this job of removing our old
attic vent baffles, then installing new ones & stapling them to the roof
joist. Then they blow in extra fiber glass insulation to bring the level
back to the original height that they might have packed down by working in
the attic. Their work time was only 2 hrs. I was happy to have them do
this job. I pondered doing this myself from the outside using my cherry
picker's winter time up here. First I'd have to snowblow a wide
swath so I could drive the picker all around our house without getting
stuck...then work from the bucket up in the air some 18 feet in the cold &
wind! Hmmm, I think I made the best decision.

6:30 Dinner: Tuna & noodle casserole sprinkled with Triscuit crumbs,
asparagus & orange slices with parmesan cheese & fresh salad.

Mid evening: Watch library DVD movie: "Manhattan." A Woody Allen flick.
After watching "Annie Hall" just over a week ago, we think we've seen
enough of the Woody Allen style entertainment.
Lights out: 11:50 pm

Awake 7:35 am Temp downtown 16 Some sun 5 hrs 42 min daylight

Call Al in Sun City, AZ. We are storing our motorhome on his property & he
keeps a close eye on the machine. He says it's still in one piece. I let
him know that we'll be winging our way down there mid January 2005.

Call Dick in Phoenix to find out if they will be attending the next Newell
rally in Tucson Jan 23. He didn't know at this time. They have a lot going
on right now...packing & moving to their new home @ Pebble Creek, West of
Phoenix area, then getting their BIG home ready for selling in Phoenix.
Dick will let us know in a few weeks.

Son Zack calls: He sounded a little melancholy from the start...then we
find out why: Microsoft turned him down. This is the one company he really
wanted to work for. He made it thru all five interviews @ Microsoft so he
figured he might have a decent chance....but he did mention that his fifth
interview was not so good. He was tired & worn out. Zack has been a
Microsoft fan since early high school. We felt bad for him. So we begin
talking about his options:
Chicago Board of Trade made him a firm offer; Isilon, in Seattle, made him
a firm offer; as well as Cisco Systems. Of these three he prefers Isilon,
but Microsoft is still his number one choice. He has not been that gung-ho
about working for other companies that he has interviewed with.

We begin discussing the driving distance from West Lafayette, Indiana to
Seattle, Washington. He asks me for my estimate: I tell him 2200. "Hold
on" he says. "I'll just look it on my computer. Dad, you're way off. It's
2195." About that time he begins to laugh....What's going on we ask! He
just then had an e-mail from Microsoft asking him to fly back to Seattle
for another interview. They think they may have a team for him to work

6:30 Dinner: Pork tenderloin, tomatoes & snap peas with tarragon sauce,
mashed potatoes & gravy.

Mid evening: We watch DVD library movie: " Almost Famous." Pretty good &
somewhat interesting.
Lights out: 11:46 pm

Awake 6:52 am Temp downtown 20 Cloudy 5 hrs 44 min daylight

Kathy sends out 4 hanukkah cards to her friends & relatives.

Alaska Club exercise...upstairs @ 8:00....finish @ 11:30. Afterward, we
drive downtown & attend 12:10 pm mass @ the Holy Family Cathedral for this
holy day of obligation of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Then drop
Kathy off @ the library & I return home @ 1:25 pm.

After my late breakfast/brunch, I get right to work on finishing the
bubble cover on the West porch. It required cutting into the cedar siding
to make a proper fit but it looks good now. My tools are primitive for
this operation & it took a lot more time than I expected. Then I move to
the East side of the upper garage & begin to install a bubble cover over
this outlet also. Both outlets on this East side already have a GFIC
breaker installed within the circuit breaker box inside the house. Here
again, I'll need to modify the mounting technique & more time is required.
Just then, Melissa calls. I get to yak with her when her Mommy is not
here, so we have a nice casual chat. When I go back outside, it's already
dark...too dark to continue any more work outside today.

Call Alask Co to let them know I will accept their proposal to change out
the attic vent baffles.

Kathy calls for a pickup from the library. Back home @ 5:15 pm.

6:35 Dinner: Tuna apple tortilla wrap & asparagus....another keeper receipt.

Mid evening: Finish watching "Simon Birch." A good heartwarming story.

Lights out: 12:17 am

Awake 6:16 am Temp downtown 20 Some sun 5 hrs 47 min daylight

Start working @ 9:30 am, when it's light enough to see without a
flashlight, on the outside West porch. I am wiring in a GFIC breaker with
the latest weather resistant bubble box to satisfy the new code. Although
the temp is cold, there is no wind & it's very dry so I'm doing fine
without gloves. The box doesn't fit well because of the cedar siding. I'll
need to form fit this with other tools, so for now, I leave this project &
move to the outside lower garage.

Here also is an outside outlet that needs to be protected with a GFIC
breaker & it's bubble box cover. I am making good progress when Kathy
announces I have a phone call. It's my buddy Gary from Landenburg, PA.
He's the guy along with his wife who flew into a nearby airport & visited
us for a day(October 3) in Nicktown. Well, today's Gary's birthday. It's
raining & dreary in his hometown & he's wondering is our weather any
better than his & are we comfortable? OK, I try to make him feel better by
giving the snow & cold report of Anchorage but he's not that impressed. We
talk for 50 min & his wife joins us on the line also. He's driving his
coach to the Newell factory on Friday & wants to know what our plans are
for next yr. It was nice talking with them & we do wish Gary a "Happy
Birthday" in spite of his weather.

Kathy encourages me to take a break & eat some of her hot tomato meatball
soup for lunch. Wow! It was the perfect meal for a cold weather time out.

Shawn from Alas Co visits to check our attic vent problem. After much
theorizing & talking about remedies, he agrees to give us an estimate
tomorrow for replacement of 20 baffles.

6:55 Dinner: Leftover veggi pasta with Italian sausage, basil chicken,
cranberry sauce & leftover salad.

Mid evening: Finish watching "Bowling for Columbine." Truly an eye opener
& disturbing to watch.

Since the evening is so young & Kathy is so beautiful, we start watching
another library DVD movie: "Simon Birch." Now this far is a
delightful change in entertainment. We watch about 1/2 tonight.

lights out: 11:47 pm

Awake 6:30 am Temp downtown 9 Cloudy 5 hrs 49 min daylight

Alaska Club exercise...upstairs @ 8:05...finish @ noon. Kathy does her
thrift store shopping with Ann & Jackie. I hang out @ the club for awhile,
then pick her up. Home @ 1:10 pm.

After a late breakfast/brunch, I put the easily removable sheetrock
contraption into the accessible opening. It looks nice up there. Now the
fire code is satisfied & that heat control valve is easy to get at.

Neighbor Matt calls about our tractor, snowblower, lawnmower & grading
blade. I give him the specs on all of that stuff & he says he'll get back
to me in a day or so.
Call Brook in Palmer, Alaska. He works for Hartley Motors in the Kubota
department. We talk about a snowblower part I need to either have repaired
or replaced. He promises to call me tomorrow.

6:15 Dinner: Atlantic salmon with potato slices & roasted red peppers plus
fresh salad & homemade blue cheese dressing.

Late evening: We begin watching library DVD movie: "Bowling for
Columbine." A Michael Moore production.

Lights out: 11:16 pm

Awake 8:22 am Temp downtown 7 Foggy & hoarfrost 5 hrs 52 min daylight

Kathy makes sourdough pancakes with eggs, bacon & toast.

I drive down to the Alaska club & buy a Sunday paper.

Work on a piece of Sheetrock to cover the access opening in the lower
garage. This will be an easily removable cover so as to regulate the
master bedroom floor heat during the wintertime. A lot of measuring,
cutting, drilling & epoxying went into this hi tech cover.

Kathy shovels snow off the back porch.

My brother Don calls from PA. He reports all is fine. He's feeling good &
working @ the office 4/5 days per week. We are happy to hear this.

6:05 Dinner: Leftover veal cutlet with quick & easy pasta toss.

Late evening: Finishing watching "Raising Arizona." I didn't care much for
this movie.
Lights out: 11:38 pm

Awake 6:20 am Temp downtown 18 5 hrs 55 min daylight

Kathy makes hot oatmeal for breakfast with Craisins & walnuts. Very
appropriate for this cool morning.

I continue bringing our house up-to-code on the ground-fault-interrupter
circuits(GFIC). The pink bathroom's GFIC was weak, so I replace that one.
Next I install a GFIC downstairs in the gameroom protecting the bar area
which has a sink & water faucet. Without my electrical test equipment, I
have to revert to simplistic taking the outlet wires off &
using a lamp to determine which wires are the line or the load. When that
is established, I wire the GFIC in it's correct position.

We dress nice for 5:00 pm mass @ St Pat's tonight...then, another surprise
for Kathy. We attend a Christmas party @ Jeff & Brenda's place @ 6:35.
Interesting people, good hors d'oeuvres, wine & eggnog punch. We stay for
1.6 hrs then visit the Footes for a short while @ their condo. @ Michaels for Kathy to buy more origami paper. En route
home, we buy milk & butter @ Wal-Mart. Home @ 10:25 pm.

Watch 1/2 of library video movie "Raising Arizona."
Lights out: 12:36 am

Awake 4:44 am Temp downtown 26 16 inches of snow 5 hrs 58 min daylight

Get up early to snowblow our driveway....otherwise we may have difficulty
getting out to our main Basher road. The Anchorage School district has
cancelled school & traffic on the busy Tudor road going downtown is backed
up as far as our eyes can see. It takes us 30 min to go 1 mile.

Alaska Club exercise...upstairs @ 8:20...finish @ 11:20. Afterward, I join
Ann's water aerobics group & her power flex group in their annual
Christmas covered dish luncheon downstairs. There must be more than 50
people gathered for this. Her luncheon is famous for it's great dishes;
people we haven't seen for months are here today. It's also Ann's birthday
so we all sing the "Happy Birthday to Ann" song. She's a young 58. Then
Gene reads a poem that Ann's husband wrote for the occasion...very clever
& touching. After lunch, the group has a Chinese auction...and this lasts
for another hr or so. Kathy stays & will get a ride to the library...I
leave @ 12:20, get the RAV 4 washed @ Rainmaker car wash...then home @
1:02 pm.

Finish widening our driveway by more snowblowing, then driving my tractor
over to neighbor Harry's place & snowblow his driveway. Total time about 2
Melissa calls: I get to talk with her since Kathy's not here...a casual
keeping in touch call.

Then Kathy calls for a pickup @ the library @ 6:24. We skip dinner because
of our BIG lunch @ Ann's party.

So while we watch a movie that we watched not too long ago "His Girl
Friday" we snack on mixed nuts.
Lights out: 12:22 pm

Awake 7:05 am Temp downtown 31 Snow & fog 6 hrs 2 min daylight

Kathy & I reset our brown toilet back into place this morning using the
Fluid Master "No Seep #3 wax ring." I flush it a few times, then go
downstairs & check the game closet hole in the visible leaks.
I'll wait a few days to be sure that all is well before I patch up that

Mid morning, I finish nailing the trim on the storage unit in the lower
garage...then install the door knob. This all should have been done before
we bought this house, but we were still in the lower 48 when our realtor
checked it out and all these yrs, it was not a big deal to me.

Shawn calls from Alas Co. He was scheduled to visit us & talk about our
attic air vents & baffles being blocked but....a recently scheduled
meeting has changed that. He will be here on Tues around 2:00 ish.

6:15 Dinner: Chicken veggi stir fry with rice & fruit salad.

Mid evening: Watch library DVD movie: "Leap of Faith." I liked this flick
& Kathy easily stayed awake.

Some reading in bed. Lights out: 11:12 pm

Awake 5:48 am Temp downtown 32 Rain changing to snow 6 hrs 5 min daylight

Alaska Club exercise...upstairs @ 8:05...finish @ 11:30. Wayne is back
from Prescott & John H. is back from Phoenix. They were both most
interested in hearing about our house selling experience with the "for
sale by owner" program. Back home from the club @ 12:35.

After my cereal breakfast/lunch, I call neighbor Harry & leave a msg. I
need to rip a long piece of trim. 15 min later, Harry returns my call.
"Come on over & I'll fix you up" he says. Sure enough, he loans me his
smaller table saw & level. Perfect, just what I need. I finish cutting all
the trim necessary for the storage unit & tomorrow I'll nail the trim on &
install the door knob.

6:15 Dinner: Veal parmesan with noodles & mixed veggies in cream sauce &
fresh salad.

Mid evening: Watch library DVD movie: "Annie Hall." Good flick. Back
during the late 70's, I had taken Kathy to see this movie(which won an
Oscar for best picture) and she slept thru most of the movie. She didn't
remember any of it so tonight, she was wide awake.
Lights out: 11:34 pm

Awake 6:48 am Temp downtown 30 6 hrs 8 min daylight

My cousin Florentz calls @ 9:00 am. His knee is swollen so he's relaxing
on his couch. Yesterday he shot a BIG BUCK about 600 yards from their
house. After gutting & wrapping rope around the buck & himself, he started
to drag the buck ...but the buck didn't move. Then he tied the rope around
the horns & started pulling, the buck moved maybe 2 feet. So he walked
back to the house, started his tractor & dragged that buck back to the
house with those tractor wheels spinning occasionally. Two of his sons
were also hunting deer nearby. He walked into the forest & found each &
individually gave them the good news. Then walked back to his house &
complained about his swollen knee. He was pretty happy about his venison
catch however.

Melissa & Matthew visit @ 9:20 am. Both Mel & Kev have dentist
appointments today @ 10:00 so they are visiting en route to the dentist.

After Mel & Matthew leave, I start cutting sheetrock to cover a small area
in the lower garage that exposes the water faucets. Another breach of the
firewall being protected.

Kathy & I also have teeth cleaning appointments with the same dental group
@ 1:00 pm. Our teeth are fine. After light grocery shopping @ Fred Meyers,
we're back home @ 4:00 pm.

6:05 Dinner: Atlantic salmon, mixed rice & fresh salad.

@ 6:45 Woody brings the inspection results over. Like Jim, the inspector,
the report was very thorough & professional including colored photos of
the items to be repaired.

After dinner, I continue work on sheetrocking the water faucet
area....close it up & seal it. I'm happy with it. movie tonight? lights out: 11:10 pm

Awake 6:00 am Temp downtown 37 Cloudy 6 hrs 12 min of daylight

Alaska Club exercise...upstairs @ 7:40...finish @ 11:05. Afterward, Kathy
rides with Ann & Jackie to their favorite thrift store. I drive to Spenard
Builders Supply for finishing nails & 5/8' inch sheetrock. The remnant
piece of sheetrock was free, the nails: 22 cents. Pick up Kathy an hr
later... back home @ 1:35.
Using Bill's compound miter power saw, I start cutting wooden trim pieces
for finishing off our small storage unit in lower garage. The space for
the unit is under the stairs leading down to the first floor & is entirely
enclosed but...the inspector says the fire wall in not protected because
of that 1/2 inch space around the door opening where there should be trim.
I did as much as I could on this project this for ripping
a long trim piece with no tool to do that. When that's done, I'll start

When talking with Sam, a neighbor, about our attic vents being blocked by
the warped baffles, he suggested I call around town & find a place that
either sells new baffles to install or will install them. I am considering
using the yellow pages.

6:30 Dinner: Costco meatballs in cream sauce, asparagus with boursin cheese.

Mid evening: Finish watching "Limbo." Whew! Now I know why the title is
"Limbo!" Not so bad tho.
Lights out: 11:36

Awake 6:58am Temp downtown 37 Strong Southeast winds woke us up @ 2 & 3 am.
6 hrs 20 min of daylight

Now that we're awake, the sky is clear & the wind calm. While Kathy makes
breakfast, I drive down to the Alaska Club to buy a Sunday paper.
Breakfast: Scrambled bacon burrito. Another keeper receipe.

We drive downtown about noon time to visually check some condo buildings &
where they are located. Then we shop for a few items needed to comply with
the updated code on our house per the inspector's list. Back home @ 3:30

My young pal Rochelle calls from Washington State. I've watched this young
lady grow up over the yrs: From losing her two front teeth @ age 5, to
losing her father at age seven; thru high school, college, choosing a nice
guy for a boyfriend, being there for her wedding to this nice guy,and
starting a family. I, and Kathy, were honored to be godparents to their
first girl and to have her named after Kathy & me, Monica Catherine. And
now, with 3 children,we're still keeping in touch and talking like ole
times. It's nice. Thanks Rochelle!

8:15 Dinner: "T" Bone steak, mixed veggies with hollandaise sauce, fresh
snap peas, olives & grape tomatoes.

After dinner, we continue watching library DVD movie: "Limbo." Kathy folds
origami figures to stay awake, and that works for awhile, and then...I
shut it down until tomorrow.
Lights out: 11:21 pm

Awake 6:54 am Temp downtown 31 light rain 6 hrs 20 min of daylight

Steve the appraiser guy arrives @ 11:00 am. He was selected by GMAC. He
begins this project by measuring the outside dimensions of our house,
checking our landscaping & then inside room measuring. He asks questions
about our wooden floor, our commercial heating system, etc. Steve appeared
very knowledgeable with a lot of experience. He indicates our comparables
will be taken from the hillside south of us & homes sold in our class
range within 3 months. Steve's total time here is nearly an hr.

We leave @ 3:30 to make a quick library stop, then to the airport to pick
up the Footes returning from Libby, MT. We hadn't had any phone call from
them so we're assuming they made their flight @ Sea-Tac & are on their

They arrive about 20 min later than scheduled & in fine shape. Our
grandson Matthew did just great with the traveling & visiting the Foote
Family in Montana. We drop them off @ their condo & continue down the road
to attend 5:30 Mass @ SEAS church. Afterward, I have a nice surprise for
Kathy: We're going out for dinner tonight....someplace different: Moose's
Tooth for Pizza & Beer...but, not just any beer, it's the Pipeline dark
stout beer. She looks excited! The place is more crowded then usual. Our
wait time 45 min. When we finish & are leaving, another crowd is arriving
from the BIG Alaska basketball Shootout. These guys do a great business.
Back home @ 9:45 pm.

We start watching DVD movie: "Limbo." After 15 min I had to call it
quits...Kathy was having a tough time staying awake. She blames it on the
great Pipeline Stout beer.
Lights out: 11:01 pm

Awake 6:28 am Temp downtown 31 Cloudy 6 hrs 24 min of daylight

Alaska Club exercise...upstairs @ 8:07...finish @ 11:05. Kathy & I do some
light shopping @ Costco, fill up the RAV 4 with fuel & back home @ 12:35

Kathy makes a flat pan Fritatta with sausage & peppers for lunch. It's a
keeper receipt.

Then I make preparations to knock a hole thru our ceiling in the game
closet make a visual inspection of the sub-floor under the
brown bathroom toilet....checking for any leakage. First tho, I had to
remove one shelf board in order to reach the ceiling area in comfort. That
board was obviously fastened down with an automatic nailer, it took me at
least an hr to remove it without damage. I am reluctant to knock this hole
thru but..I want the buyer & myself to feel comfortable that no damage was
done & no leaks to be found; that piece of mind will be worth the effort.

Sure enough, the sub-floor looks good. Difficult to see but there was a
hint of some leakage, so minor it barely showed up. Thankfully we caught
this in time. That's all I want to do on this project today.

Call the Footes in Libby, Montana. We don't know their return schedule
into Anchorage on Saturday & after talking with Melissa, we still are not
sure of their arrival time. She tells us the train is running 1.5 hrs late
so they don't know themselves if they can make their flight out of
Sea-Tac. We set up a system to call if they don't make their Sea-Tac

6:15 Dinner: Leftover pepper steak with noodles & leftover tuna steak with
fresh apple spinach salad & toast.

Mid evening: We watch library DVD movie: "Roger Dodger." Kathy didn't
like the movie but I rather enjoyed it. Me thinks it's a guy thing.

Some late reading in bed. lights out: 11:05 pm

Awake 5:58 am Temp downtown 29 6 hrs 28 min of daylight

Kathy makes Eggs Benedict with hollandaise sauce...another favorite
breakfast treat for me.
We attend 10:00 am Mass @ St Pat's church expecting a small crowd of maybe
75 to 100 people. When we reach the parking lot, it's obvious we've
underestimated the crowd. It was more like 200 plus.

This service gave me a spiritual uplifting & I needed that. There was a
combined choir with a lot of instruments & singers & their music was
simply fantastic. Even Father Tom's homily fit the occasion, was
meaningful & humorous. I have to admit, since that home inspection on
Tuesday, I have been a little perturbed & annoyed @ the whole situation. I
thought our home was in great shape with nearly nothing yet to do. Now,
I'll have to dust off my hard hat, get my dusty work clothes on & go back
to work. That's difficult for me to do ....I'm retired & I'm beginning to
like this lifestyle. So this Thanksgiving Mass had the effect of calming
me down and perking me up. Enjoyment of my laziness & tranquil lifestyle
has to be interrupted as I realize, my work is not yet finished...I can do
this & it's time to get started.

When we return home, I dress in my doctor's outfit complete with shower
cap, gloves, rubber bands on my pant legs, etc. Then go into our attic
over our master bedroom & check the inspector's write up of blocked air
vents from baffles being warped over time. Sure enough, nearly each baffle
shows warpage & will need to be opened up to allow more attic airflow. We
must have 2 or maybe 3 feet of insulation up there. It's rated @ R 54. I
need to think about how I'll handle this project.

Next I review our electrical outlets around the kitchen. The code says
outlets that are within 6 ft of water faucets need to be GFIC protected .
I miss my electrical test equipment now.

About 5:30, we have a healthy snack of Alaska Reindeer sausage & different
cheeses. No turkey for us this day...a first for many yrs.

Nick calls during our snack time to wish us a "Happy Thanksgiving." He has
a 4 day holiday & plans to get caught up on homework, condo cleaning, etc.
He also has an invitation for a turkey dinner in a short while.

We too have an invitation for dessert @ our neighbor's house for 6:30.
Joanne & her husband, Matt, had also invited 3 other couples over so it
was nice hanging out with more nice neighbors to wrap up this Thanksgiving

We leave just before 9:00 pm. Return home to watch the "Seinfeld Story" on
TV. Seinfeld has given us some of our best laughs over the last several

Lights out:11:33 pm

Awake 6:08 am Temp downtown 31 Light rain 6 hrs 31 min of daylight

Alaska Club exercise...upstairs @ 8:15...finish @ 11:00. We all have
things to do so we leave the club @ 11:30.

Kathy & I stop @ our credit union for money business...then to Wal-Mart
for some light grocery shopping....then to Fred Meyers for a turkey &
other condiments to compliment our turkey dinner tomorrow. We select a
small turkey that will be nearly half price if we spend $25.00 or more. We
both look in our cart & guess how much we have spent on the cart items(not
counting the turkey). My guess $ 32.00. Kathy's guess $27.00. At the check
out station, Kathy wins: Total is $26.00. Does this girl know her stuff or
what? We are we get the small turkey @ half price. "Oops,
wait a minute" says the checker. "This is refrigerated turkey. You have to
select a frozen turkey to qualify." Meanwhile the line behind us is
getting longer. I volunteer to take this small bird back where we got it &
pick out a frozen one from across the aisle. A running I do go. I have
difficulty in picking out a small sized turkey in the frozen
section...they are all huge. But at the last second, I find a bag that is
a mere 10 lbs. Good enough & I speed run back to the checker. The line
behind us is longer now but the people are patient. The checker begins
ringing up our frozen item. "Oops" says Kathy, "it's not a whole turkey,
it's only a turkey breast!"
"I could be happy with a turkey breast" I mumble, but Kathy says she
can't. So this time the checker makes a phone call back to the department
of turkeys & has the agent pick out a frozen turkey for us....the smallest
he could fine...18 lbs. We take it even tho it's too BIG. En route home we
make a library stop to drop off some movies & books, then pick up movies &
books. Back to our home @ 3:15.

In retrospect, Kathy realizes that she should have kept the turkey breast.
The 18 lb bird is just too BIG for 2 people. Then she puts the bird in our
freezer to save for the Christmas holidays when our kids will be here to
help eat it all.

I disconnect the brown bathroom toilet & with Kathy's help, lift it up,
off & set it aside. Sure enough, the wax ring shows signs of a possible
leakage condition. That's all I want to do tonight. That turkey adventure
wore me out.

8:00 pm Dinner: Leftover pepper steak with fresh noodles, fresh salad &

Late evening: Watch library DVD movie: "All roads lead to Perdition." A
serious & attention getting flick. Too much killing for me tho.

Lights out: 12:02 am

Awake 5:56 am Temp downtown 31 6 hrs 36 min of daylight

We stay home today & I like it. Besides, our home inspection is scheduled
for early afternoon.

@ 12:30 Woody arrives to accompany the inspector Jim, who arrives 15 min
Jim is a part time fireman & does this service on the side. He starts in
our kitchen & right off, we realize this guy is very thorough. All kitchen
appliances passed with no problem. He opened every cabinet door, drawer,
cranked out each window, turned on both ovens, turned on each burner on
the stove, microwave, bun warmer, Jen air grill, garbage disposal, instant
hot water unit, ran the dishwasher, the exhaust fan, worked the timers
etc. Then he lifted nearly every overhead plastic lighting panel to check
on each of the 16 fluorescent bulbs in the ceiling. He brought his own
electrical testing equipment & checked for GFIC breakers within 6 feet of
our sink(new code) & we were marked up on that item. He kept up this
strict inspection for each & every room, closet, equipment room & both
garages for the next 3 hrs. He also climbed up into both of our attic
areas. What a guy! I was impressed. The perfect inspector for a
buyer....not so for the seller tho.

Total write ups: 13. Most being the new electrical code which changed
since we've owned this house. He did find a loose toilet in our brown
bathroom however and I was glad for that...I had no idea. This could have
been a serious item if it hadn't been caught early.

Meanwhile, during the inspection, Woody says he was thinking of how many
items they will have in their house that won't pass inspection when they
do decide to sell.

6:30 Dinner: Fresh frozen Tuna, apple cranberry wild rice, broccoli, &
fresh salad.

Evening time: Read & casual talk in living room near the fireplace.

Lights out: 11:07 pm

Awake 6:17 am Temp downtown 34 Cloudy 6 hrs 41 min of daylight

Alaska Club exercise...upstairs @ 7:43...finish @ 10:50. Afterward, Kathy
rides with Ann & Jackie to their favorite thrift store. I return to
Central Heating & Plumbing & purchase a new toilet seat for our pink
bathroom. Then pick up Kathy....home @ 1:35 pm.

After a late breakfast/brunch, I refasten the plastic tarp covering our
1984 Ford Van. The recent strong winds have loosened the tie down ropes &
the tarp has been flapping in the wind.

Then replace the toilet lid in our pink bathroom.

6:10 Dinner: Italian pepper steak with ziti, fresh mixed green salad & toast.

Finish watching movie: "All about Eve." What a flick. We had no idea...but
it tied with the movie "Titanic" in winning the most Oscars. (14)

Lights out: 11:22 pm

Awake 7:55 am Temp downtown 34 6 hrs 45 min of daylight

My 2nd attempt @ making an origami penquin...fails. We need a Japanese
girl to help us out here.

Call my Uncle Johnny in Massillon, Ohio for his 87th Birthday. I should be
so lucky to be in the good shape he is in when I am 87. Then my Aunt
Bertha gives us a detailed description of what's been happening with their
son Mike. He had a gall bladder operation 2 weeks ago & yesterday the Dr.
found a small hole in his lung, causing air leakage. The cause and
circumstances were unknown. They had to lance his lung & sew it up again.
We are praying for Mike's speedy recovery. My Aunt Bertha is 93 yrs young.

Call Kathy's Aunt Robin in Fort Meyers, Florida. They survived the 4
hurricanes that tore thru Florida with only the loss of electricity.
Pretty lucky I think.

6:15 Dinner: Pork slices, asparagus, pecan covered sweet potatoes, fruit
salad & toast.

Late evening: Start watching library DVD: "All about Eve."

Lights out: 11:13 pm

Awake 7:30 am. Temp 42 6 hrs 50 min of daylight

My sister Mary Jo calls from Lodi. Things are going well for them. Matt is
working @ Loews & living back home for awhile until his finances are built
up. Brian has been at work for 2 weeks now since his pinky finger was
broken. He's doing light duty work to begin with because of less strength
in his left arm & hand. Jen continues to do good work & is just fine.

Visit neighbor Bill. He trims our window sills with his bandsaw for better
fitting. Then I replace the flush ball in the brown bathroom toilet. Brand
name: Gatorskin...5 yr guarantee.

I make a 45 min attempt @ helping Kathy fold an origami penquin..& failed.
I just could not get 2 complicated folds right?

Visit the Footes @ 2:15. They are packed & ready to be driven to the
airport. They fly Continental to Seattle, stay the night with Nick @ his
condo, spend some time with both Nick & Zack, who is in town this weekend
for an interview with Nick's employer. Then Sunday afternoon, the Footes
will train to Libby, Montana & spend a week over Thanksgiving with Kevin's
family. This will be Matthew's 3rd airplane flight.

After dropping the Footes off at the terminal, we drive downtown & in a
round about way, end up at our church, St Pat's for mass. We are early
but...we soon discover they are having a large Confirmation celebration
going could take we peel out of there & attend 5:30 mass
@ St. Anthony's, just 10 min down the road. We had agreed to meet with our
neighbors, Bill & Debbie for beer & pizza @ Mooses Tooth @ 6:30 & didn't
want to be an hr or more late. So it's 1.7 hrs of good beer, good pizza &
good talk time. Back home @ 9:40 pm.

I finish watching DVD movie: "Das Boot." Kathy couldn't stay awake so with
her permission, I watch it to the end. It was GREAT but it is a guy flick.

Lights out: 11:22 pm

Awake 4:30 am Temp 28 Dark outside 6 hrs 55 min of daylight

Alaska Club exercise...upstairs @ 7:42...finish @ 10:45. Sit in the club
cafe & yak with Darrel & Jerry until noon. Then Kathy & I have lunch @ The
Cafe Amsterdam. We split a tuna sandwich & salad. Then purchase 2 flush
balls @ Central Heating & Plumbing on Int'l road...then motor over to the
Barnes & Noble book store on Northern lights & while away an hr or so
until our 2:00 pm meeting time with Rosie. We spend 1.5 hrs with Rosie
talking about the downtown condo scene & in particular, these Park Place
units. She tells us of her experience of doing a similar mass mailing
several yrs ago & hopefully, it will produce some options of interest this
time as well.

6:40 Dinner: Meatballs & Atlantic salmon from Costco, pasta with blue
cheese, fruit salad & toast.

Late evening: we continue watching DVD movie: "Das Boot." It's a 5 hr
movie uncut so we won't be finishing it tonight. far, so good!

Lights out: 11:58 pm

Awake 6:22 Temp downtown 26 cloudy 6 hrs 59 min of daylight

Alaska Club exercise...upstairs @ 7:40 ...finished @ 10:40. Afterward,
grocery shopping @ Costco, Carrs & Fred Meyers. Then a stop @ our library
to drop off videos, DVD's & books, & take out videos, DVD's, & books. Home
@ 1:30 pm.

Amy leaves a message, a list of the appraisers that she recommends for our

The window sills for the lower bedrooms are painted & dry. I check the
fitting...too tight, they will need some more trimming.

Rosie calls to let us know her strategy on finding us a condo in the Park
Place units. She will send all 98 condo owners in those buildings a flier
announcing she has a client who is interested in purchasing one of those
units & would like to make a quick buy. We like her idea. She invites us
to her office tomorrow between 2:00 & 4:00.

6:30 Dinner: Leftover pecan crusted chicken casserole with cranberry,
gravy, toast & fresh salad.

Mid evening: Start watching library DVD movie: "Das Boot."

Lights out: 11:34 pm

Awake 5:56 am Temp downtown 28 cloudy, later sun 7 hrs 4 min of daylight

No Alaska Club exercise today. I've been wanting to take a week day off
for over 2 weeks now. 5 days in a row is more that I need or want. The
boss finally agreed to our Wednesdays off. What a toughie she is!
Lots of phone calls today.

Randy calls: He's involved in the property management of the Park Place
Buildings where we are trying to buy a condo. He said he would give a call
if he found anyone in the building who might be thinking of selling their
condo...but for now, he knows nothing.
Call Mary Berry(our cruise consultant) in Seattle. I ask a few more
questions, then pay the deposit & insurance for our 62 day cruise leaving
October, 2005. I am excited to be a part of this adventure.

Call Rosie. We talk about the Park Place condos. She is going to do some
checking & will call us back later.
Call Jeff & leave msg.
And that's a small sample of our calls.
7:00 pm Dinner: Pecan crusted chicken casserole with asparagus, tomatoes &
boursin cheese plus leftover rice.

Late evening: we watch behind the scenes of movie "Sea Biscuit." On a DVD
movie, sometimes they will have interesting technical exposure of how the
movie was filmed that one would never imagine.

Lights out: 11:40 pm

Awake 5:28 am Temp downtown 28 cloudy 7 hrs 9 min of daylight

Alaska Club exercise..upstairs @ 7:45...finish @ 11:05. Afterward, our
senior friend Benita invites us to lunch @ the Cattle Company with Ben &
Jackie....... Benita's treat. It wasn't in our plans to do something like
this today but we don't see Benita very much since her husband AB passed
away last yr. Plus she got my attention when she said she was lonely,
misses her husband & how it isn't much fun to live alone. The more I
thought about this, I decided it's a good thing to do for all of us.

We drive over to the restaurant & reserve a table for 5. Ben, Jackie &
Benita arrive shortly afterward & we have a splendid lunch. Kathy has
prime rib, I have Ahi Tuna. It was a nice change of pace for us & fun
people to be with. Benita is in her 80's. Back home @ 2:00.

The package for our potential cruise in 2005 arrived today for us to
scrutinize. After going through all the details, I call Mary Berry in
Seattle with questions & agree to talk with her again tomorrow. I am
Having a good sized lunch, we watch a library DVD movie: "Sea Biscuit" &
snack on popcorn, mixed nuts, reindeer sausage & cheese chunks. It was a
good show, Kathy was wide awake, loves horses, especially race horses.

Lights out: 12:08 am

Awake 6:00 am Temp downtown 23 Cloudy 7 hrs 14 min of daylight

Alaska Club exercise..upstairs @ 8:05...finish @ 11:00. Afterward, Kathy
rides with Ann & Jackie to Value Village, their favorite thrift store. I
go to Garness Engineering & talk with Kelly about the frozen dirt in our
tilt trailer. He volunteers to use the company backhoe to lift that dirt
out & toss it in the backyard for summer landscaping. He has more work to
do with the backhoe in our neighborhood & will take care of our trailer at
that time. I am thankful for his thoughtfulness.

Next I visit our assistant, Teresa, @ FSBO & deliver the contract papers
along with our FSBO sign. We talk about the contract with Woody & Chong &
the next step being the house inspection...then the appraisal. Since she
is aware of our search for a downtown condo, she logs onto the MLS &
prints out 6 handouts...which I bring along to show Kathy...who I pickup
at the thrift store at 1:30...back home @ 1:45.

6:15 Dinner: Atlantic salmon & a veggie medley with peppers. No toast!

Attend a special meeting of our road board @ 7:30 @ Dave's house. I am no
longer a member(an elected position, I might add). I have served
diligently on this board for about 9 yrs but when we started going outside
for about 6 months each yr, the board of supervisors recommended that I
not run for re-election in 2004. I don't blame them. They need people who
are here most of the time. This meeting was of interest but much too
political to go into detail at this time.

No movie watching tonight.....................lights out: 11:19 pm

Awake 7:00 am Temp downtown 25 Clear up here but fog in the city
7 hrs 19 min of daylight

Kathy makes eggs, bacon & toast for breakfast.
Zack & I have a dialogue via e-mail on his monies available & monies spent.

@ 12:15 we visit the Footes. Matthew was as entertaining as ever..crawling
around high speed, standing, pointing, copying sounds we would make, etc.
Amazing young man. The Footes let us use their Sunday classified ads to
check on downtown condos plus we check on their computer for the Multiple
Listing Service for Anchorage. Not many condos listed that we are
interested in, but we leave the Foote condo & drive downtown anyway just
to look around. Stop in at City more of the Sunday newspaper
& talk with our neighbors, Liz & Ken. Liz's aunt lives @ the Park Place,
the units we would prefer to get into. Liz tells us she will ask her aunt
about any upcoming availability within the complex. Back home @ 4:15.

6:15 Dinner: Leftovers...meatloaf, mashed potatoes, pepper steak with
peppers, asparagus & toast.

55 min phone call with Nick in Seattle. He's a busy guy these days but is
keeping it all together. Always an interesting conversation when we talk
with our Nick.

Mid evening: Watch library DVD movie: "Fargo" Based on a true
story...which makes the whole thing so fascinating & unbelievable. We
liked it so much that we watched the extra "behind the scenes"
coverage...and then...we found out---It was not based on a true story at
all. It was all a fabrication by the Coen brothers who wrote & directed
the movie.

Lights out: 11:34 pm

Awake 6:44 am Temp downtown 32 Early morning fog then high clouds
7 hrs 24 min of daylight

Start chopping the frozen dirt out of our tilt trailer. This unfortunate
situation came about because of a time bind just before we left Alaska
August 10/11. Too many things going on @ the same time. I was digging up
the back yard, trying to be neat in finding that end cap for our septic
system test. Well, that trailer load of dirt never did get emptied before
we left town & now it's been rained on & frozen solid. Since we are
selling our house & now looking for a condo downtown, we will need to have
the use of this trailer- empty- to move some of our stuff & furniture.
Chopping frozen dirt does not go fast. I only work for an hr on this

Kathy does 2 loads of laundry, then ironing. Afterward, she makes a long
phone call to her friend Marge in Grand Junction, CO.

Then we call my sister Corinne in Lilly, PA. A casual "how goes it?" kind
of call. She's obviously keeping quite busy & doing good work.

Attend 5:00 pm mass @ St. Pat's Church. Afterward, a longer than normal
chat with Tim, Edie & Kate while walking out of church. And
then...something unusual...we head to the Moose's Tooth for pizza & beer.
WOW! Afterward, a stop @ Fred Meyers for honey so Kathy can make special
healthy muffins for the Alaska Club "18 conversations at one time" gang.
Back home @ 8:45 pm.

Finish watching the library movie: "Monsters Ball." Good flick &
definitely "R" rated with some very torrid sex scenes!" Kathy was wide
awake for those moments!
Lights out: 11:18 pm

Awake 5:44 am Temp downtown 31 Cloudy & light rain 7 hrs 29 min of

Alaska Club exercise...upstairs @ 7:45...finish @ 11:13. Afterward, stop @
Garness Engineering for paperwork on completed well & septic tests with
passed certificates.
Minor grocery shopping @ Fred Meyers, a library stop to return books,
videos, & DVD's & make more selections...back home @ 2:30.

Change the flush ball in brown bathroom. Discover that the 2 flush balls I
purchased @ Home Depot during the summer did not fit so well(made in
Taiwan) so I will avoid buying that brand again.

@ 6:35 Woody & Chong arrive for further house buying negotiations. They
say: "we are ready." We sit in our living room & go over each item of
contention...only 2 really: The backyard landscaping & who pays for the
appraisal. After some discussion, we agree to pay for the appraisal since
they have been nice enough to hold off the closing until January 5, 2005.
And the landscaping; we had discussed this with our FSBO assistant. The
right thing to do is: establish an account to pay the landscapers the
bucks next summer or fall when the job is complete. I agreed to this with
Garness Engineering. So they are happy...we are happy. We all sign &
initial 4 copies of the contract....they write the earnest money check &
we congratulate them on buying a great house in a terrific neighborhood
with a fantastic view.

8:45 Dinner: Tuna noodle casserole with snap peas & green olives.

Watch 30 min of DVD library movie: "Monsters Ball."

Lights out: 12:15

Awake 5:24 am Temp downtown 38 Cloudy 7 hrs 34 min of daylight

Alaska Club exercise....upstairs @ 7:40...finish @ 11:10 am.
I call the phone company to report our phone problem. The lady apparently
knows that our neighborhood is having a problem & they have their crew
working on it. "Should be fixed soon" she says.

Kathy & I go shopping @ Costco...then Carrs on Debarr & Boniface, then to
the library to drop off some video's & DVD's. Back home @ 2:35. Both phone
lines are working normal again.

I should mention this: Several weeks ago the Alaska Club gang was
discussing the "Cruise deal that got away!" A 62 day cruise from Seattle
to San Diego. Our friends, Ben & Jackie, would have signed up & when I
heard of the deal, I liked it immediately & said I would have talked Kathy
into a cruise like that one too., the word came out that the cruise line had a few
cancellations & now there are some group openings @ 1/2 price. So during
our shopping @ Costco, I called Mary in Seattle, asked her to mail us a
cruise pack & for now, add our names to the stand-by group list.

My cousin Florentz calls from PA. He has recovered from his basement step
fall & is now back to work helping relatives, his kids & friends in his
spare time. In fact today, he was hanging a door for our cousin Sue in
Ebensburg. Florentz says he tried calling us 3 times yesterday & again
this morning...finally getting thru this afternoon. I acknowledge our 2
days of phone woes.

6:00 Dinner: Old fashion meat loaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, pecan covered
asparagus & fresh salad.

We haven't heard from Woody & Chong for Kathy calls & leaves
a message. Woody calls later to say: "We've been busy & will come up
tomorrow evening between 6:15-6:30 pm."

Lights out: 11:02 pm

Awake 5:55 am Temp downtown 30 Cloudy, strong S.E. winds & light rain
7 hrs 39 min of daylight

Get the 1983 Volvo ready to drive over to the Rent-A-Wreck company later
today. Meanwhile, our driveway is very icy & I don't know the condition of
our main road, Basher. So, I drive the Volvo(which has studded tires) out
of the lower garage to check on the condition of Basher...which is loaded
with cinders so it will be ok.

Then I drive the RAV 4 down to the Anchorage Department of Motor Vehicles
to apply for a "one way trip permit" for the Volvo so as to drive it over
to the Rent-A-Wreck facility with an expired registration & to stay out of
trouble in the event something happens. Now I'm covered with insurance & a
waver on registration. Back home @ 12:40.

Kathy follows me in the RAV 4 to the R.A.W. office. These people are happy
to have us donate our Volvo to their business of renting out old cars.
It's really a donation to the Catholic Social Services here in Anchorage.
If they can use the car in their business, then it's theirs. If not, they
will either sell it as is or put it on the auction block & the monies will
go to the the Catholic organization.

That Volvo was given to us(free) in 1997. I originally signed the car over
to my daughter's boy friend at the time because he was such a good guy,
helped us a lot working on our house & the junker he was driving was on
it's last legs. I volunteered to help him with getting that Volvo running
good(electrical problem) but as time went on, Kevin found more interest &
time with Melissa than he did with fixing that Volvo. However, he did get
the better of the marrying Melissa 3 yrs later.

A year or so later, I decided to take the Volvo back & set up a deal with
Zack to make it a father/son project for repair. Zack was 15 at the time &
was heavy into computers & didn't want to get his hands dirty. So the
Volvo sat outside for another 3 or 4 months. Finally Zack realized that
his potential high school transportation would either be Mom or the Volvo,
only then did he sacrifice getting a little dirty & we eventually had that
Volvo purring like a new one. Now Zack is 22, has his own auto & I have
the fond memories of yesteryear.

After leaving the Volvo with Rent-A-Wreck, we return home to find our
garbage cans & garbage strewn about the back yard. Those strong winds did
return on garbage day. The garage door opened & wouldn't close. Then we electricity. Time 1:52 pm. Telephones were dead also. We did
sit & read for awhile until darkness overcame our ability to see to
then we make a command decision: 6:30 Dinner @ Thai Kitchen. We both have
Garlic Chicken with rice. Back home @ 8:00 pm.

The power is restored. We know nothing of what happened. It was off for
over 6 hrs. Fortunately the temperature has been been rather mild and we
do have a gas fireplace so no problem there. Our phone lines are still
dead however. Tomorrow we'll call the phone company from the Alaska Club.

Lights out: 11:18 pm

Awake 5:10 am Temp downtown 26 Cloudy 7 hrs 45 min of daylight

Strong gusts of wind awakened me in the middle of the night...had to close
our bedroom windows. Kathy & I always sleep with our bedroom windows
slightly open to get that fresh mountain air.

Alaska Club exercise...upstairs @ 7:50 am ...finish @ 11:10. Afterward,
pick up the landscaping estimate from Garness Engineering. Home @ 1:35.

Call Kalb Equipment in Memphis, TN regarding a part for our Kubota
snowblower(electric chute control). Their price is too high.

Call Hartley Motors in Palmer, AK. Talk to Brook about having my chute
control unit rebuilt. He will get back to me next week.

Call Hartford Insurance....arrange 48 hr waver on the Volvo Insurance for
driving that car either tomorrow or Thursday.

Call Rent-A-Wreck...let them know I will be bringing the Volvo over
Thursday pending weather.

6:30 Dinner: Leftover creamy pork tenderline & pepper steak with veggies.

Using tire pump, bring both front tires up to 30 psi on clean
out the trunk of misc stuff....then load up the trunk with 4 summer tires
& charge the Volvo battery.
Lights out: 11:12 pm

Awake 6:30 am Temp downtown 28 Light snow 2.5 inches overnight
7 hrs 50 min of daylight

Alaska Club exercise...upstairs @ 7:57...finish @ 11:15. While Kathy rides
with Ann & Jackie to visit their favorite thrift store, I stay @ the club
& yak with Ben & Kenny. Then visit Garness Engineering & talk with Kelly
for a landscaping estimate. He will have it tomorrow. Back to pick up
Kathy & home @ 1:30.

After a quick bowl of homemade soup, I snowblow the driveway while Kathy
shovels the sidewalk & both porches.

Grease the Kubota tractor & oil hinges on our upper garage door.

7:00 pm Dinner: Pecan crusted salmon, asparagus pieces with almonds, snap
peas, and almond bread.

Evening time: Watch library movie "The Emperor's Club." Interesting! We
intended to watch only 1/2 but Kathy was very much awake tonight, and it
was quite good.
Lights out: 11:24 pm

Awake 6:06 am Temp downtown 12 Cloudy 7 hrs 55 min of daylight

Kathy makes a sourdough pancake breakfast. Then we talk about going
downtown this morning to casually begin our search for a small condo. When
our house sells, we'd be interested in having a small condo in a secure
building with underground heated parking and an inside entry, allowing our
coming and going with little notice.

We make a few phone calls from our Sunday newspaper, then drive around
downtown looking for those for sale signs. We see only a few. On our way
back home, we stop & tour our neighbor's house that has been on the market
for at least 6 months now. It looks good & shows well. 3500 Sq ft.

5:30 Dinner: Pepper steak with penne pasta & salad.

Mid evening: finish watching "Schindler's list." One shocking story well

Lights out: 11:24 pm

Awake 5:05 am Temp 2 Clear sky 8 hrs of daylight

Call my brother, Don, early morning. They have been traveling & drove to
Long Island, N.Y to attend a wedding in the Hampton's. My ole stamping
grounds during the 60's. My bro reports he is feeling fine.

Denise calls. She is leaving this afternoon for Memphis, then will
jumpseat non-stop on a FedEx flight direct to Stockholm, Sweden. She then
spends 2 weeks delivering packages throughout the European arena.

Kathy is beginning to make origami figures while watching video
instructions from a library DVD.

Leave @ 2:00pm to shop @ the store, Michaels, for origami paper. Then we
visit the Foote's for 2 hrs & get some quality time with Melissa, Kevin &

Attend 5:30 mass @ SEAS(Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton) then someplace
different for dinner: Mooses Tooth for Pizza & Beer. Back home @ 9:02 pm.

Watch 1/3 of library video: "Schindler's List." Kathy was fighting sleep
so we'll continue tomorrow.
Lights out: 11:22 pm

Awake 5:06 am Temp downtown 4 Clear sky 8 hrs 6 min of daylight

Alaska Club exercise....upstairs @ 7:50...finished @ 10:40

We haven't visited with the Foote's very much since our return to
Anchorage. Our schedule differences(exercising & shopping) & Matthew's
sleeping habits seem to have put a damper on popping in for a visit. So
this morning @ 10:45, I call their condo from the Alaska Club to make an
appointment for a answer, so I leave a msg. 20 min later I
call again....still no answer, so we drive back to our house @ noontime &
eat our late breakfast. Melissa has been silencing their phone during
their naps so the ringing phone won't wake young Matthew up.

Call my Neighbor Harry & leave msg that my Kubota Tractor, Woods
Lawnmower, Kubota Snowblower & grading blade will be available for sale.
The potential new owner of our house already has similar equipment.

Melissa calls. She & Matthew were out with Julie and they were looking @
their newly built house North of Anchorage.

Woody comes up to our house around 6:30 to pickup the "FSBO" agreement
papers. He & Chong will look them over & then call us to set up our next

8:00 pm Dinner: Veggie & beef soup with toast.

Finish watching the movie "Always." I liked it.

Lights out: 11:35 pm

Awake 5:52 am Temp downtown 18 Partly cloudy 8 hrs 11 min of daylight

Alaska Club exercise...upstairs @ 7:55..finish & dressed @ 11:35.
Afterward we shop @ Fred Meyers(groceries & lots of meat on sale)...then a
library stop to return films, DVD's & books--then take out more of the
same. Our roads are very slick & icy today. School classes were delayed by
one hr. Home @ 1:35 pm.

Kathy makes cream of wheat for our late breakfast/lunch, then I snowblow
the driveway & shovel the back porch while Kathy shovels off the sidewalk
& front porch.

7:45 Dinner: New York steak, asparagus, mixed rice & toast.

Mid evening: Watch 1/2 of library movie: "Always." Good flick so far.
Kathy was falling asleep so we will continue tomorrow night.

Lights out: 11:15 pm

Awake 6:08 am Temp 25 Cloudy with snow 8hrs 17 min of daylight

Alaska Club exercise...upstairs @ 8:10..finished @ 10:45. I like this
exercise routine but 5 days a week is a little too much for me. Mon, Wed,
& Fri is more my style. It is Kathy's choice to do this for a few weeks
to... "shock our bodies." After a few weeks of this, she agrees to the 3
days per week plan. After our workout, I sit in the cafe & yak with Gorden
& Jerry & listen to George W. Bush's acceptance speech.

Call Teresa to see if she has received the fax from Woody & Chong's
lender....she has & we can pick it up @ noon time. So it's off to FSBO
again. And now, we have the earnest money receipt & agreement to purchase
papers. Teresa makes some changes as per our request & we get 4 copies.
Home @ 1:45.

It's been snowing a lot this after our oatmeal breakfast/lunch,
I snowblow the driveway. We have about a foot so far & it's still snowing.
Kathy shovels the sidewalk & front porch. After I finish our driveway, I
ask Kathy for another pair of dry gloves...then drive the Kubota tractor
over to our neighbor Harry's place to snowblow his driveway. Oh, he is
home already & working with his walk behind snowblower & refuses my help.
I appreciate that as I am already cold & the wind is picking up.

When I finish parking the tractor in the garage, I change clothes & sit by
the fireplace until I hear the call for dinner. Kathy has selected the
perfect meal: her homemade Chili & Toast. Wonderful.

Lights out: 11:09 pm

Awake 6:18 am Temp downtown 4 Clear sky 8 hrs 22 min of daylight

Slow moving traffic on Tudor this morning. We are on Tudor road for only a
mile, but sometimes that is our slowest segment for travel to the city.

Alaska Club exercise: Upstairs @ 8:05...finished & dressed @ 11:20.
Afterward we vote @ the Benny Benson School. Kathy & I nearly match
choices for a change. Usually we cancel each other's vote. Home @ 12:05

I call Teresa & ask if any fax has come thru on Woody & Chong's lending
bank. "Not yet" she says. She does tell us about a condo downtown on 4th
Ave that we should check out...I ask her to send the info thru on e-mail.

7:00 pm Dinner: Spaghetti with meat sauce, fresh salad & toast.

Watch TV coverage on election reports....close numbers to begin the
evening. Then the numbers begin flip-flopping. The networks are shy about
their predictions because of what happened in the last presidential
election between Bush & Gore, so I will wait until tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, I watch a documentary from the library: "Dreams of
flight, The Golden Age & beyond." I still enjoy my aviation interests.

Lights out: 10:51 pm

Awake 5:22 am Temp downtown 19 snow 8 hrs 27 min of daylight

Kathy & I exercise @ the Alaska Club. Upstairs to the weights,
treadmills,etc. @ 7:50...finished, showered & dressed @ 10:50.

Afterward we visit FSBO headquarters(for sale by owner)& bring our signed
disclosure documents & the latest written offer that Woody & Chong have
delivered to us. Teresa looks it over & we talk about a few changes that
need to be made with our permission. What Teresa needs next is a 90%
prequalification letter from Woody & Chong's lending institution that will
state: the buyers have actually applied for a loan, the lending
institution has checked their credit, their assets, their income & they
qualify to buy our home. I let Teresa know that I will call Woody later
this afternoon. Before we leave the FSBO building, we ask Teresa if she
could keep an eye open for a small downtown condo for us...for when our
house sells. She agreed to do that.

Next we shop for more groceries @ Costco. Not much time spent there this
visit. Back home @ 1:30 pm.

I call & leave a message for Woody...he returns the call @ 5:15. I tell
him what FSBO needs for him to do...he says he will get after it tomorrow.

Our friend Denise arrives @ 5:40 pm....we had invited her for dinner. This
is the first time we've been with her this year. She is looking good. She
& Mike(her fiance)have been busy flying & working on their respective
homes. They are patiently waiting for Mike's annulment to finish the final
phase so they can get started on their wedding plans. I like both Denise &
Mike a lot. I've know them for yrs. We've ridden bikes together,flown
together, celebrated our August birthdays together, we always have a good
time. They are great people & I am excited to attend their wedding when it

Like the Swiss people, we have white wine with appetizers: Sun dried
tomatoes on parmesan cheese, mixed nuts & Ginney's water mellon rind
8:00 pm Dinner: Red wine, creamy pork tenderline with roasted asparagus
and boursin cheese, brown & wild rice, & apple tossed salad. A wonderful
meal. We should have company more often. My standard comment to the chef.

Our son Nick calls to talk with Kathy shortly after our Denise
& I spend some time chatting about the serious side of being married & how
it is that few married couples have so little in common. Oh yes, opposites
do attract & it makes life more interesting. Denise is flying the airbus
in the European arena now & loves it. The 3 of us talk for hrs into the

Lights out: 11:57 p,m

Awake 6:50 am Temp downtown 20 Clear sky 8 hrs 33 min of daylight

Kathy makes bacon, eggs & toast for breakfast. Casual morning reading news
on line & talking about Woody & Chong & wondering...."what's happening?"

@ 12:30 pm I drive downtown to the Toyota dealer for an oil change on the
RAV 4. It feels strange not to be doing my own maintenance but...I have
few tools left here to do the job.

Well, guess who calls just before dinner? Woody. He apologizes for not
getting in touch with us sooner & wants to visit us before dinner to
discuss negotiations on our house. Sure, OK, come on up.

Woody arrives alone. He has typed up a contract as a lead in to further
negotiations. Because of the recent snow, he's been called back to work &
can't stay any longer. We tentatively agree on Tuesday evening to meet

7:55 Dinner: Atlantic salmon with broccoli, mixed rice, fresh salad & toast.

We finish watching "Chicago." For a was great!

Lights out: 11:37 pm

Awake 5:55 am Temp downtown 33 Overcast 8 hrs 38 min of daylight

After breakfast, Kathy shovels the sidewalk, front porch & back porch
while I sit on our Kubota tractor & snow-blow the driveway for the 1st
time this winter season. It takes us both about an hr to finish up.

My sister Corinne calls from Lilly, PA. She's been keeping herself plenty
busy in her full time position as campus minister at UPJ Univ. In addition
she has a very active off campus religious and social agenda.
Denise calls: we talk for 30 min & plan on a rendezvous for Monday.

Attend St. Pat's 5:00 pm Mass....then I surprise Kathy by visiting the
Moose's Tooth for beer & Pizza. En route home, we stop @ Fred Meyers for
groceries. Back home @ 8:55 pm.

Start watching DVD movie from library: "Chicago." Very clever &
entertaining so far. We only watch 1/2 however since Kathy is fighting sleep.
Lights out: 11:11 pm

Awake 5:44 am Temp downtown 34 2" of snow overnight
8 hrs 44 min of daylight

Alaska Club exercise again...upstairs @ 7:45 am ready to get with it.
Another good workout...more weight added.

Afterward, Kathy & I show Alice & Ken some of our Swiss & Italy photos.
Back home @ 1:30 pm.

@ 3:00 pm our snow totals 4 inches & we head downtown ....stopping @
Holiday gas station for fuel in the RAV 4. Then we rendezvous with Bill &
Debbie @ Simon & Seaforts for wine & dinner. We chat for 3.5 hrs. Back
home @ 8:20 pm.

Watch video from library: "Broadcast News." Kinda good. Kathy sneaks a
few short naps during the movie.
Lights out: 12:11 am

Awake 5:05 am Temp downtown 36 Partly cloudy 8 hrs 49 min of daylight

Alaska Club exercise...upstairs ready to go @ 7:50. Better workout
today...more weight added to the machines.

Afterward we visit the library, return videoes & DVDs, & select 3 new
ones. There is no charge for renting these movies & DVDs as long as we
return them within the week. Back home @ 1:20 pm.

Casual afternoon. We are wondering what happened to Woody & Chong. It's
been a week since we last talked, but neither of us want to call them so
we'll just wait it out.

7:00 Dinner: Whole wheat tacos(small) with chunks of chicken, hamburger,
chopped onions, tomatoes, lettuce, black olives & sour cream. It's been
quite some time since we've had tacos, so this is a real treat.

After dinner, we call my sister Mary Jo in Lodi, CA. They have good things
to report...all is going well.
Casual evening: Computer browsing & magazine reading.
Lights out: 11:34 pm

Awake 7:05 am Temp downtown 39 some clouds 8 hrs 55 min of daylight

We get the FedEx airbill ready for a priority pkg to Katrina in Italy for
her birthday on the 30th. And another airbill for Zack at Purdue with the
paperwork needed to make him eligible to receive the Permanent Fund

Then we do some more light exercise @ the Alaska Club this morning. Even
after lifting very light weights yesterday, I can feel some of my unused
muscles today.
Afterward, we drive over to the FedEx Metroplex & send our pkgs to their
respective destinations. We stop @ Costco for 2 hrs of shopping...back
home @ 3:45.

6:50 Dinner: Leftover scalloped chicken casserole with fruit salad,
asparagus in Parmesan cheese, sugar snap peas & toast.

Kathy calls Kenny Smith, changes her voice to a sexy girl style & flirts
with him. It was a trick of course but Kenny didn't catch on at
all.......It was payback time for when his wife Donna called for me from
Hawaii...trying to flirt but Kathy hung up on her saying: "He's not here!"
And I was sitting across the dinner table. "Who was that?" I ask. "Oh,
just a wrong number" she says.
Lights out: 11:35 pm

Awake 7:00 am Temp 33 Light rain 9hrs 1 min of daylight

Kathy & I are Alaska Club members again. So we drive down to the club(7
min) & for starters, do a very light workout. Some of my ole buddies are
there: Kenny Smith, Olin Mizelle, Jerry Zentmire, & Jim Hart. It felt good
to exercise more than just my legs for a change....and it was comforting
to get back to kibitzing with my pals again.

Afterward, Kathy & her friend Mary Jane go out to lunch while I buy a
fluorescent bulb @ Home Depot as a replacement for one failing in our
kitchen. Back home @ 1:20.

Harry calls from the North Slope of Alaska. He is happy to hear that I
will attend the next Basher Road board meeting. I had sent him an e-mail a
few days ago & volunteered to join them at their next meeting if they
would like that.

6:45 Dinner: Atlantic Salmon, fruit salad, peas, peppers & toast.

Watch PBS special on Donald Rumsfelt & how he entered politics & the white
house. Extremely interesting.

Later we finish watching the other half of: "The hours." Not my kind of
movie! Lights out: 11:32 pm

Awake 7:08 am Temp downtown 26 Clear sky 9 hrs 6 min of daylight

A casual morning for us. Early afternoon, Melissa & Matthew honor us with
their presence. Matthew literally entertained us the entire time with his
curiosity of opening & closing doors on the living room end table....&
crawling around full speed ahead to stand up & check something else out.
Very alert young man.

John returns my call I had made earlier. He reluctantly agrees to activate
our Alaska Club membership again....leaving it up to us to give 30 days
notice to cancel. John says: "This is the last time he can do this!" I
believe he has said this before. Anyway, I am pleased he granted us this

6:40 Dinner: Scalloped chicken casserole & fresh salad with lettuce & tomato.

Late evening: We begin watching DVD library movie "The hours." Watch only
1/2 tonight. Lights out: 11:00 pm

Awake 7:46 am Temp downtown 30 Intermittent snow showers 9 hrs 12 min
of daylight

Kathy makes french toast for breakfast.
Call my friend Ray in Washington State. Among other things we discuss
their son Nate who is a record setting track star. Ray is concerned that
Nate has reached his plateau in running time & is now checking with
doctors to find out if he might have the ole college overworking...& too
much homework syndrome.

Call our friends Gary & parked on their lot in Fort Meyers,
Florida. They report the Hilton Head Island rally was really good. They
also looked up our niece Adrianne & enjoyed talking with her & touring her
business on the Island.

Mid afternoon, Kathy & I finish watching "House of Games." A very
interesting movie.

6:15 Dinner: Leftover Chili & toast.

Later evening: Watch video "Fanny." Touching & sensitive....& Kathy stayed
awake. Some reading in bed. Lights out: 12:08 am


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