February 2006 Archives

Awake: 6:14am Temp 26 Partly sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

Frank, Donna & Al were walking around the gym track in the community
center when K & I were exercising for 1.4 hrs. It was nice to see we are
not the only ones who need exercise. Then we join the prudent coffee club
members for 40 min before attending the 9:30 children’s Mass.

Warmer outdoor temps help make this a wash day so Kathy does 2 laundry
loads & I top off the pure water holding tank.

Call Penn Brewing in Pittsburgh, then call Von’s distributing in Johnstown
& talk with Jamie about German Dark Beer. My new job as a taster to select
a suitable dark beer for the famous Nicktown Homecoming Picnic is moving
along slowly.

Call my cousin Cyril in Beltsville, MD & let him know that we are planning
on a visit to their area to attend my sister Corinne’s graduation from St.
Lukes in Silver Springs and while there, we would like to visit with them
also. Shortly after that call, Cousin Gloria calls and invites Kathy to
her house; Kathy wanted to show her the crocheted blanket she made for
Matthew a couple years ago (with Gloria’s help). They also found other
crochet stitches and projects to talk about.

8:00 dinner: Italian sausage with pepper & onions, salad & toast.

Later evening: watch video movie from the Barnesboro library collection:
“The Real Howard Spitz” with Kelsey Grammer, Amanda Donohoe & Genevieve
Tessier. This is another movie that would be good for families with young
children to see and discuss.

High temp: 45 Lights out: 10:51pm

Awake: 6:26am Temp 25 Snow flurries, then sunny Overnight @

K & I attend the 8:00am Communion service & then join the scattered coffee
club members for 45 min. We are back in the bus by 9:30.

After breakfast, Kathy does more on-line searching for low air fares, then
makes a trip to the Barnesboro library for video & book returns plus some
light grocery shopping. En route back to our bus, she tours the stained
glass operation of Betty & Kevin @ the bottom of Nicktown Hill Road. She
liked what she saw & would like to take classes some time. Meanwhile, it’s
been a casual day for me: magazine reading, cutting out & filing the
touring articles by state in our filing cabinet for future travels….plus
some computer time.

7:20 dinner: Stuffed pepper, salad & toast.

Late evening: watch a video from the Barnesboro library collection: “The
Heiress” with Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift & Ralph Richardson;
1949 black & white…..interesting, sad & cruel but it kept you know who
wide awake.

High temp: 39 Lights out: 11:23pm

Awake: @ 6:58am Temp 14 Clear Overnight @ Nicktown

K & I attend the 8:00am Communion service & then join the roadworthy
coffee club members for 40 min. After that vigorous mental workout, we
spend another 1.5 hrs physically exercising in the workout room.

Early afternoon, our neighbor Chuck visits with a FedEx package under his
arm. It’s one of two new satellite receivers from DirecTV. The FedEx guy
is getting closer to knowing our street address as Chuck’s home is a mere
150 ft away. The last FedEx delivery ended up @ Al & Donna’s house which
is about 300 ft from our property. Our 2nd receiver should arrive on
Wednesday & Chuck says he will point our home on wheels out to the FedEx
guy @ that time.

Mid afternoon, I remove the old satellite receiver in our bedroom closet &
install the new receiver. The 2nd receiver is scheduled to arrive on

Kathy spends over an hr searching for low priced airline tickets.

7:25 dinner: Chicken stroganoff, whole wheat noodles, Italian green beans,
spinach salad & toast.

Late evening: watch video from the Barnesboro library collection:
“Shiloh.” Actually this is a good movie for families with young kids.

High temp: 32 Lights out: 11:19pm

Awake: 5:35am Temp 4 Clear Overnight@ Nicktown

We scrape enough frost off our Suzuki windshield & side windows so that we
can see to drive over to the church hall (3 min) for 9:00am breakfast.
During breakfast, we talk mostly with Carol & Dave who have several
businesses in town & get to know them a little better. Nice people of

Back to our bus @ 10:30 & then leave for a rendezvous with the Footes in
Indiana @ 11:55am. Kevin drives his family & us in the comfortable &
customized 1984 Ford 350 van to New Castle, PA where we spend the
afternoon visiting with my niece Carlene, her husband Bob & their 2 boys
Liam & Bain (1.8 hrs). It was an enjoyable ride; I sat in front and Kevin
and I filled the hours with conversation while Kathy sitting in the middle
row with Matthew and Melissa sitting in the back with Andrew likewise had
no trouble conversing with each other. Kathy also enjoyed playing with and
reading to Matthew, who’s a very good traveler.

Matthew was completely occupied & fascinated with all the neat toys Liam &
Bain have collected. We 6 adults enjoyed an afternoon of family updating
interspersed with small bits of intelligent conversation. Carlene even
fed us a late lunch, a favorite recipe from her mother; Pizza Burger with
a Caesar salad….it was quite good. She also made “self-filled cupcakes”
for dessert, another of her mother’s recipes. As we were leaving, Bob
whispered that they would try & visit us in Nicktown sometime this
summer….that would be nice. We are back @ the Foote home by 7:25pm.

Kathy & I do some light grocery shopping @ Martin’s before returning to
our bus @ 9:25pm. Because of the colder temps, I add an extra 75 watt
light bulb to both of our pump houses to avoid any freeze-up.

Later evening: We finish watching the movie: “Chocolat” with Juliett
Binoche, Judi Dench & Johnny Depp. We liked this movie & thought it was
well done.

High temp? Lights out: 11:30pm

Awake: 5:58am Temp 20 Light snow Overnight @ Nicktown

I stay inside the coach most of the day: organizing papers, reading
magazines, etc., even spent some time with a cross word puzzle. I was on
standby for a call from Kevin if he was ready to do some electrical wiring
plus visiting a co-worker of his to check out an air conditioning system
that they are considering installing soon. However, neither function
materialized this time.

Mid afternoon, Kathy makes a quick trip to Barnesboro: returning books &
movies @ the library plus donating some used clothing from both of our
closets to the Goodwill Thrift Store. The temp is really falling.

We attend the 6:00pm vigil Mass @ Nicktown…very crowded.

8:30 dinner: Nut crusted swordfish, baked potato, broccoli, mixed salad &

Late evening: watch ½ of the video movie from the Barnesboro library
collection: “Chocolat.”

High today: 20 Lights out: 11:32pm

Awake: 5:50am Temp 51 Stormy Overnight @ Nicktown

Early morning storm with heavy rain, strong winds & falling temperatures.
No Mass, communion service or school today. We do however, join the
zestful coffee club members for 25 min. Kathy brought a freshly made loaf
of banana blueberry nut bread for the coffee gang and that tickled their
palate without a doubt. Then we spend the next 1.5 hrs exercising in the
community center workout room.

Mid afternoon, I am back with the DirecTV system trying to get a good
signal. No matter what I do: read the manuals, check the coax cables,
reset the equipment, etc., our signal strength is zero. I don’t know how
or why some signals came through yesterday, but today…zilch. Ok, so “Hello
DirecTV!” The technician sounds older & experienced. She is very
methodical & like a detective, lines up the clues & tracks down what may
be…”the culprit.” She concludes that our satellite system has not been
used in over 4 yrs & those receivers haven’t been updated automatically
thru the satellite system since then & now, they are too obsolete to
receive updates. At no cost to us, she orders 2 new satellite receivers to
be shipped via FedEx ASAP. OK, we hope she’s got our troublemaker

7:20 dinner: Mexi-Jon pork chops, brown rice, asparagus, fruit salad & toast.

Watch “Dancing with the Stars” on regular TV.

Later: finish watching the video movie: “Fly Away Home” with Jeff Daniels
& Anna Paquin. I thought it was a good family film.

High today: 51 Lights out: 11:29pm

Awake: 4:43am Temp 42 Clear—cloudy—rain, then sunny Overnight @

Drive to the community center & attend the 8:00am Communion service, then
join the reminiscent coffee club members for 35 min.

After breakfast, I call DirecTV to begin setting up to receive satellite
signals. The young lady I was talking with sounded Asian & was a little
difficult to understand. After a long 30 min, I requested a supervisor to
ask a few more questions that this young lady was not being very clear on.
The so-called supervisor had little to say so I was suspicious that it
might simply have been another nearby co-worker. Frustration was slowly
building so it was best to bow out & try another number.

The next young lady from a different state had her act together & in no
time we were beginning to get some satellite signals & sharp pictures from
space. About this same time, Melissa, Matthew & Andrew arrived for a
visit. We had just begun the technical setup but our visitors were more
important than those satellite signals so I shut it down & we’ll do this
technical stuff tomorrow. Every time Matthew visits us & looks @ all the
buttons, switches & things that are associated with our motorhome, his
smile is unbeatable. As soon as he arrived, Matthew was ready for cookies
and milk and Kathy was ready to oblige.

20 min later, Florentz & Anna pay us an unexpected visit. Now I am really
glad I shut down the satellite setup. Florentz was interviewed on channel
6 TV news on Tuesday in regards to Monday’s Heilwood meeting on the acid
rock & fly ash dilemma. He had the tape of his interview & wanted us to
watch it. Florentz spoke about some common sense probabilities of what the
state should & should NOT do.

Kathy readies the healthy snack tray & dishes for F & A while I pour the
wine. It was challenging and awkward trying not to ignore Matthew, talk
with F & A & not leave Melissa out of the circle. It was not an ideal
visit with the 3 Footes, but Matthew handled the situation very well &
Melissa seemed to be OK with the extra intrusion. Melissa and her boys
left after about an hour. F & A stayed about another hour and we did have
some interesting discussions along with some good snacks & wine.

Dinner: Popcorn while we watch ½ of a video movie from the Barnesboro
library collection: “Fly Away Home.”

High temp: 59 Lights out: 11:09pm

Awake: 5:46am Temp 39 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

Drive to the community center for 1.4 hrs of exercise. Al & Donna show up
during our workout & Kathy gives them a tour of the workout machines. Next
we join the politically correct coffee club members for 40 min. Then
attend the 9:30am children’s Mass.

Getting back to that small check valve that arrived from the Newell Corp a
few days ago: The fix that I thought was taken care of by adding heat in
the compressor compartment on Monday the 6th, lasted only 2 days & then
shut itself down. We switched over to the 12 volt backup air compressor
which produces enough pressure to handle the entry door, toilet flushing,
pocket doors, et cetera but not with robust action. The max pressure of
the backup system is ½ of the normal pressure.

Since today’s outside temp is forecasted to be in the high 40’s, this will
be a better day for switching out the old (stuck) check valve on the 120
volt air compressor system & replacing it with a larger & hopefully more
reliable one. Before I begin this project, a call to Claude @ the Newell
service facility is in order. He passes on some helpful tips & procedures
that he guarantees will come in handy.

3 hrs later, Claude’s tips & ideas prove to be accurate. On the final
assembly however, my progress slowed to a halt: the remaining pressure
line to be connected just wouldn’t take to the threads no matter how I
held my mouth. Kathy had been to the library and grocery shopping during
most of my 3 hrs of labor. When she arrived, she volunteered to give it a
try even though I reminded her that my last 20 min of trying were
unsuccessful. Would you believe, she had the magic touch on the 2nd
attempt & again, she’s my heroine! The power on switch brought the system
back to life again with normal air pressure.

7:10 dinner: Leftover meatloaf, gravy, spinach salad & toast.

Later evening: watch a video movie from the Barnesboro library collection:
“The Client” with Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones & Brad Renfro. Never a
dull moment thriller!

High temp: 49 Lights out: 11:17pm

Awake: 5:52am Temp 24 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

When Kathy awakes, I ask her to be my Valentine? She will let me know later!
We drive to the community center & attend the 8:00am Communion service,
then join the concerned coffee club for 35 min. Kathy brings her homemade
cherry macaroon muffins.

After breakfast, we drive to Indiana & visit with Melissa, Matthew &
Andrew. We had planned on helping Melissa with her laundry but she
insisted that we just pay them a visit & she will take care of the laundry
later. So to be a little more creative in my activities with Matthew, I
come up with the idea of going to the Auto Supermarket & walk with him up
& down the aisles showing him the many different automobile parts along
with other stuff the store had to offer. He did really well; listening &
paying attention to things along the way. All together, we were gone from
the Foote house for over an hr. During our absence, Andrew had an extended
fussy spell which kept Melissa busy. In long term preparation for
remodeling their kitchen, Kathy with Melissa’s direction, packed some
dishes and glassware that the Footes will not be using. We are back to our
bus by 5:45pm.

6:30 dinner: Re-engineered broccoli soup, creamed eggs with asparagus &
ham + toast.

My cousin Al (not the home builder) picks me up @ 8:00pm for the Holy Name
Society meeting @ the church hall. There were 13 total in attendance. I
found their 1 hr meeting very professional with much interaction &
discussion. After the meeting, free beer from the keg on tap. There are a
lot of activities going on in this rather small village…..thanks to groups
like the Holy Name. Back to the bus @ 10:10pm.

High temp: 39 Lights out: 11:10pm

Awake: 6:00am Temp 19 Snow Overnight @ Nicktown

We drive to the community center & exercise for 40 min & then attend the
8:00 am Communion service led by Sister Lee. Next we join the resigned
coffee club members for 45 min.

Our forwarded mail arrives today from Alaska + a small check valve from
the Newell Corp that I had ordered on the 9th of February. More about
that check valve in a day or so.

Gary & Rosemary arrive @ 12:45. We are going to see the Al & Kevin spec
house they are building in the town of Mundy’s Corner. Kathy & I toured
this same house Jan 30th with Al. Now Gary is curious to see their inside
construction methods. From Nicktown, Gary drives us by way of Belsano—Twin
Rocks—Nanty Glo & Mundy’s Corner. Just outside of Mundy’s Corner, we make
a stop @ the Direct Value Outlet Store. What a place! A little bit of
anything & everything.

@ the Al & Kevin spec house, Gary is not able to view much of the detailed
construction. Since our visit in January, both the main & upper floors
have been covered with sheet rock & only the basement revealed the 3”
joist used above.

Next we make a quick stop in Ebensburg @ the Wal-Mart for groceries, the
library to return books & the postal drop box to mail a letter before
returning to our bus @ 3:45pm.

While Kathy brings out the healthy snacks, I pour Rosemary, Gary, & us
some of our finest 92 Spectator point wine…..only the best for G & R. We
sit & gab for hrs.

After G & R leave for their home in the metropolis of St. Augustine, Kathy
& I decide to attend the “Acid Rock” meeting held in the town of Heilwood
(20 min) away @ 6:30pm. As the expression goes: “standing room only”! It
was so crowded @ this meeting that there was no standing room available.
In the area of State College, PA some yrs ago, while widening an
interstate, they discovered a large accumulation of pyrite rock (acid
rock). While buried this pyrite is not dangerous, causes no harm, but when
exposed to rain and/or air, it becomes lethal, contaminating streams and
causing respiratory distress and other possible ailments. The people and
politicians from State College in an effort to rid their community of this
“acid rock” are in the process of getting the necessary permits to run 300
truckloads per day over narrow country roads, thru several communities and
dump this rock in Indiana County. Meanwhile 300 truckloads of “fly ash”
(used to neutralize the Pyrite) would also be driven over these same
roads. The people of Indiana & Cambria Counties turned out in record
numbers to protest the trucking route as well as the dumping site; “the
people of State College should find a way to deal with their problem and
Not make it someone else’s!

9:00pm dinner: Leftover Italian sausage.

Late evening: we finish watching “The Kid.” A different kind of movie I

High temp: 28 Lights out: 10:50pm

Awake: 5:55am Temp 25 Snow, then partly sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

The nor’easter changed its course & went further south so the predicted
snow levels in Nicktown were lower than anticipated….only 6” & that’s OK.

So, it’s a casual day for us as we stay inside & watch the snow flurries
continue to accumulate outside until 2:00pm. We heard on TV that New York
City broke a 55 yr old record for getting 30” of snow.

Mid afternoon: we watch a video movie from the Barnesboro Library
collection: “The Year of Living Dangerously” with Mel Gibson, Sigourney
Weaver & Linda Hunt; Lots of action & a busy flick.

7:15 dinner: broccoli cream soup, crab cakes, baked potato, Waldorf salad
& toast.

Late evening: watch 1/2 of another video movie from the Barnesboro Library
collection: “The Kid” with Bruce Willis, Lily Tomlin, Emily Mortimer &
Spencer Breslin. So far, it's a different kind of movie!

High temp: 30 Lights out: 11:15pm

Awake: 5:26am Temp 24 Overcast, then light snow Overnight @ Nicktown

Drive to the community center & join the casual coffee club members for 40
min. Kathy brings her freshly made zucchini chocolate chip muffins which
were well received. No Mass or communion service this morning so we are
back to our bus @ 9:50am.

Melissa & Kevin have company @ their place from D.C…Kevin’s sister, Billie
Ann, and her friend, Jason...so we won’t be visiting them this weekend.

After breakfast, we return (2) movies to the Barnesboro library & take out
(5) more in the event we get snowbound….then we continue to Johnstown &
purchase a 7” Tile/Stone wet laser saw with stand for Kevin requested by
him for his home project. Next, a short visit to the Goodwill store on
Scalp Ave, then some grocery shopping @ Conzatti’s Italian store &
Wal-Mart before returning to our bus by 4:50pm.

We attend 6:00pm vigil Mass @ Nicktown. Back @ our bus, my sister Corinne
calls from Silver Springs, MD & we have a nice chat. She is doing great!

8:30 dinner: Italian sausage with green peppers, whole wheat fettuccini,
mixed salad & toast.

Late evening, we finish watching the movie: “The Thomas Crown Affair”
Another must see movie.

High today: 30 Lights out: 11:22pm

Awake: 5:18am Temp 21 Overcast sky Overnight @ Nicktown

Drive to the community center & exercise for 1.3 hrs, then join the
gossipy coffee club members for 45 min. Next, we attend the 9:30am
children’s Mass.

After breakfast, we decide to finish watching the DVD movie: “The Family
Man” with Nicolas Cage & Tea Leoni. This movie was great….a must see!

Our plan this afternoon was to return the 2 watched movies to the library,
then bring back a few more to have on hand for entertainment should the
forecasted nor’easter storm materialize this weekend. A good plan so I
thought…..until Kathy checked & found out the library is closed on

We drive to Barnesboro anyway…cash a few checks @ the local bank & do some
light grocery shopping. We are back in our bus by 4:50pm.

7:13pm dinner: Leftover tuna & whole wheat noodles, corn off the cob from
cousin Florentz….frozen since last summer, mixed salad & toast.

After dinner, we watch: “Dancing with the Stars” again.

Late evening: watch ½ of a video movie from the Barnesboro library
collection: “The Thomas Crown Affair” with Steve McQueen & Faye Dunaway.

High today: 30 Lights out: 10:58pm

Awake: 5:23am Temp 18 Snow showers….then partly sunny Overnight @

Drive to the community center & then attend the 8:00am communion service
by Sister Lee. Afterward, we join the amiable coffee club members for 40

Early afternoon, I thought I’d try & level our coach by the push button
method which, earlier this week, had been tripping the reset breaker each
time. Well, wouldn’t you know it……it worked like a charm? That’s that cold
weather syndrome again. Having a 75 watt drop light in that compartment
seems to have solved the problem but we’ll casually keep an eye on it

7:02pm dinner: Sweet & sour pork chops, brown rice, broccoli, mixed salad
& toast.

Mid evening: Watch “Dancing with the Stars on regular TV.”

Later evening: Watch ½ of a DVD movie from the Barnesboro library
collection: “The Family Man.”

High today: 28 Lights out: 10:46pm

Wednesday 8 February 2006

Awake: 4:54am Temp 18 Clear & later snow showers Overnight @ Nicktown.

We drive up to our community center for 1.4 hrs of exercise & then join
the fault finding coffee club members for 40 min. After that, we attend
the 9:30am children’s Mass.

After breakfast, Kathy leaves for some light grocery shopping, a library &
thrift store visit. During Kathy’s absence, I get back into the unresolved
problem of “not being on the level.” I have little information to work
with on our leveling system.

Several hrs later with no real progress, I begin to think about another
system that has been somewhat affected by the cold winter weather: the air
pressure regulation. Some days the system worked like it always has, other
days, the air pressure was low. The solution to that little glitch was a
drop light inside the compartment to warm up the so called wellhead air
pressure switch……then it worked normal again.

Before I come inside the bus for the night, I get another drop light from
our # 2 pump house & hook it inside the hydraulic compartment to see if
heat might just help out with our little glitch.

7:05pm dinner: Asparagus soup, tuna with whole wheat noodles & toast.

Evening time: watch a video movie from the Barnesboro library collection:
“Tim” with Mel Gibson & Piper Laurie. It was Mel Gibson’s debut & he did a
great job.

High today: 28 Lights out: 11:00pm

Awake: 4:40am Temp 22 Snow showers Overnight @ Nicktown

K & I have our coffee & each eat ½ of one of her healthy muffins……then my
brother Don & his wife Josie pick us up @ 6:12am.....we spent 3.7 hrs
traveling to Massillon, Ohio for the wake & funeral of our Uncle Johnny.
Weather en route was on & off again snow showers with no accumulation.

One thing about funerals: they are usually sad & melancholy because you
know the deceased will be missed dearly and this one was no exception.
Following the wake we processed by cars to St Joseph church for the
funeral Mass, then to the cemetery for the interment & then back to the
St. Joseph school basement for lunch.

During lunch, the atmosphere changed, it was like a reunion: relatives,
friends & families began visiting one another @ their tables & there was
laughter. Even my Aunt Bertha, Johnny’s widow, was cheery. We reunited
with people we hadn’t seen or thought about for yrs, even decades. We
were comforted that we were able to attend this gathering of my Uncle’s
going away party.

We leave the St. Joseph school lunch area @ 2:45pm….reverse course &
again, watch the weather of on & off again snow showers going back to PA
arriving @ 6:25pm. My brother is an excellent driver & they are both very
pleasant to hang out with.

8:15 dinner: popcorn, assorted cheeses & almonds while watching a DVD
movie from the Foote collection: “Fifty First Dates” with Adam Sandler &
Drew Barrymore. A movie perhaps more suitable for the younger teen group
with the exception that, as too often happens, Hollywood promotes sex
before marriage.

Lights out: 10:17pm

Awake: 5:07am Temp 22 Snowing, blowing, blizzard like conditions
Overnight @ Nicktown.

Sweep packed snow off of our Suzuki, then drive to the community center (2
min) & do 40 min of exercise. Next we attend the Communion service & then
join the exhilarated coffee club members for 50 min. Today I introduce
them to the healthy & delicious Lindt Dark Chocolate with 70% Cocoa candy

I spent most of the afternoon analyzing “what’s going on with our coach
leveling system?” We both noticed it was a little out of level, so I
casually turned on the ignition key, pressed the required buttons to
increase/decrease the air bag pressure which should take us back to level
but instead: the over current reset breaker tripped? After maybe an hr of
fooling around in/out of the hydraulic compartment, I called the experts @
Newell. Mike, who usually has some good answers for most glitches, tells
me I should really talk with the manufacturer HWH about this matter.

My first call was handled by an office lady: taking my name, coach
manufacture, phone # & description of problem. About an hr later Steve, a
tech from HWH calls. We discuss the characteristics of our glitch for at
least 10 min & then he asks if I have a DC volt meter? “Yes I do but my
meter at the moment is not reliable.” It’s beginning to get dark here in
Pennsylvania so I ask if I can get back with him in a few days. “Sure” he
says & gives me a code to give the ladies for my next call. So for
tonight, we’ll not be on the level.

7:10 dinner: Hamburger hodgepodge, asparagus, spinach salad & toast.

Early evening: watch “Skating with the Celebrities” on regular TV.

Later evening: finish watching the NOT SO GOOD “Secret of Treasure Mountain.”

High today: 32 Lights out: 10:20pm

Awake: 6:58am Temp 32 Snow & windy Overnight @ Nicktown

Kathy makes her famous sourdough pancakes with eggs & bacon for breakfast.
It’s a miserable day to be outside; at times it reminds me of the old
fashioned blizzards during my youth in this area. So, we are quite content
to stay indoors & take turns using the computer + do some reading.

Mid afternoon: watch ½ of the video movie: “Secret of Treasure Mountain”
featuring the Butter Cream Gang. This film is not rated & is really a
kid’s movie for families. Kathy was ready to forget about watching the
rest of it, but I told my cousins I would watch it all….so I have to keep
my word.

5:30pm dinner: Marinated baked chicken, brown rice pilaf, cauliflower
casserole, mixed spinach salad & toast.

6:30 watch the Super Bowl: Steelers vs. the Seahawks. What a
thrill….especially seeing those Steelers win their 5th trophy. And….only
the 2nd ever football game I’ve watched in its entirety.

High today: 32 Lights out: 11:57pm

Awake: 5:11am Temp 37 Clear---then rain Overnight @ Nicktown

Kathy leaves for Indiana @ 8:30am to help Melissa with the Foote laundry &
do some grocery shopping for them. During her time in Indiana, I talk with
my brother about our pending Ohio visit for our uncle’s funeral & then
spend some time on our computer & other time consuming things. Kathy
returns @ 4:05 with the report that all went well.

K & I attend 6:00pm Mass. Heavy rain & strong winds accompanied our short
walk from the car to church which was very crowded. Afterward, we drive to
the church hall for the “Cash Bonanza” night. For $30.00, we have an all
you can eat dinner, all you can drink beer, DJ music with dancing & a
chance to win one of 15 money prizes. We are joined at our table by some
of our coffee club members.

The way this “Cash Bonanza” system works: only 200 tickets are sold & the
ticket halves are put into a large squirrel cage which is turned each time
after a ticket is lifted out to call either a loser or winner. Names are
called along with their number & every 25th ticket drawn wins $30.00.
Being called last is best as the remaining countdown from 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
wins $30.00…..50.00….100.00…..200.00…..500.00….& the last ticket & name
called wins $1,000.00. Kathy & I were # 6 to be called & we won $30.00.
How about that! It paid for our ticket. The food was great, the beer…so-so
& the music, way too loud, but the people made it fun. Back to our bus @

High today: 42 Lights out: 11:32pm

Awake: @ 5:24am Temp 41 Rain Overnight @ Nicktown

Drive to the community center & join the elated coffee club members for 50
min; then attend the 9:30am children’s Mass.

@ 3:20pm we drive to Barnesboro & meet with the same banker as yesterday
to finalize that special one year CD deal. This bank usually gives a new
customer a generous gift for opening a new account, however we have been
with this bank @ another branch for 3 yrs or more so in lieu of a generous
gift, we ask for a “Terrible Towel” …..a Pittsburgh Steelers trademark. Oh

For the next hr, I tour Kathy around some of the areas of Barnesboro &
Spangler that neither of us has seen in decades.

5:15 dinner @ the Spangler Fire Hall: Cod fish, noodles, potatoes, green
beans, etc. It was a nice buffet including dessert. We agreed to meet
shortly after 5:00 with some of our gang from Nicktown & we all showed up.
Back to our bus @ 7:35.

My brother calls from Ebensburg: Our favorite & last uncle passed away
late last night in Ohio. He was 88 yrs of age & a really good guy. He will
be missed without a doubt. We’ll be making a trip to Massillon, Ohio
within the next few days.

Late evening: Watch DVD movie from the Foote collection: “Angry
Management” with Adam Sandler & Jack Nicholson. Surprisingly entertaining!

High today: 42 Lights out: 11:07pm

Awake: 6:00am Temp 36 Cloudy Overnight @ Nicktown

50 min of exercise @ the community center this morning while watching the
Early Show on TV. Punxsutawney Phil indicated that we will have 6 more
weeks of winter. UGH! After this, we attend the 8:00am communion
service…..then join the sedated coffee club members for 70 min.

After breakfast, Melissa calls to let us know she & their young boys are
planning on a visit to our home on wheels today after 2:00pm. “Terrific”
we say.

@ noon, we drive to Barnesboro & start the process of an electronic
transfer of some monies. Because of the Steelers football team being in
the Super Bowl this coming Sunday, some local area banks are having a one
week special to sign up for a one yr CD @ 5% savings. The only catch is
one has to use “new money” to qualify…..thus the electronic transfer from
another out-of-town bank.

Next, Kathy does some light grocery shopping @ the Giant Eagle store.

@ 2:20, Melissa, Matthew & Andrew pay us a visit. Matthew likes our bus a
lot. We didn’t do any baby proofing & we do have a lot of little things in
many places that could be favorite curiosity items for a toddler. But you
know, for his age, he’s a very understandable young man when it comes to
not touching something he’s been told not to touch! We are always amazed
at his obeying powers….credit given to his parents as well as to Matthew’s
self control of course. May it continue!

After an hr of being inside the bus, Matthew & I explored the outside
area: walking around the motorhome & checking those big tires; opening
some compartment doors to show him what’s inside; checking out our 2 pump
houses & then visiting some of our good neighbors, Al & Donna. By then it
was after 4:00pm & time for them to drive back to Indiana. We sure enjoyed
their visit.

7:05 dinner: Stuffed peppers with asparagus & toast.

Mid evening: watch “Dancing with the Stars” on regular TV.

Late evening: watch a DVD from the Foote collection: “Cheaper by the
Dozen” with Steve Martin & Bonnie Hunt. It didn’t get a very noticeable
rating but it kept Kathy awake.

High today: 48 Lights out: 11:58pm

Awake: 4:43am Temp 29 Cloudy Overnight @ Nicktown

We skip our exercise this morning & attend the 8:00am communion
service…..then spend an hr with the politically correct coffee club

After breakfast, another stop @ our post office results in another form
from DirecTV to be filled out & accompanied with a “perfect copy” of our
motorhome registration. We continue to the Barnesboro library…..then some
light grocery shopping @ the Bi-Lo in Spangler before returning back to
our bus around 3:00pm.

I waste no time in filling out that DirecTV form again & include the
“perfect copy of our motorhome registration” in the envelope & mail it off
to CA.

Kathy does 2 laundry loads…..after she finishes, I top off the pure water
holding tank.

7:05 dinner: Sword fish, wild & white rice, cauliflower & green beans in a
Boursin sauce with toast.

Late evening: finish watching the video: “The Wedding Singer.” Not too

High today: 35 Lights out: 10:25pm

Awake: 5:05am Temp 35 Light snow Overnight @ Nicktown

We exercise @ the community center for 50 min…..then attend the communion
service by Sister Lee. And then, we join the spirited coffee club members
for an hour & help celebrate Al’s 65th birthday. Because of Al’s
popularity, our conference table was full; extra chairs set elsewhere in
the room to accommodate the added members & distinguished guests, some of
whom brought yummy, edible birthday treats.

After breakfast in our coach, I make a quick trash run & post office
mailing. And while Kathy prepares some healthy snacks for our afternoon
visitors, I run through more slides of our cruise to rid out the weak &
superfluous shots.

@ 1:10pm Florentz & Anna arrive. Finally, with our busy schedule & their
busy schedule, we find an afternoon for a visit. After a lot of catching
up with each other, Kathy brings out the healthy snacks, I bring out the
wine & then we crank up the slide show of our 62 day Asian Pacific cruise.
Not wanting to put anyone to sleep, especially Kathy, we take a few pauses
for further conversation along the way to the finish. I must admit, F & A
also were very kind to us during this picture show & almost stayed awake
the entire time. We enjoyed spending time with them again.

7:30 dinner: Leftover lasagna & mustard pork medallions.

Mid evening: watch 30 min of video from the Foote collection: “The wedding
Singer” with Adam Sandler & Drew Barrymore.

Late evening: watch our President George W. Bush’s: “State of the Union

High today: 35 Lights out: 10:23pm

Awake: 4:54am Temp 42 Cloudy Overnight @ Nicktown

We drive to the community center, exercise for 40 min & then attend 8:00am
communion service conducted by Sister Mary Lee. Next we join the
enlightening coffee club members for 45 min.

After breakfast, we visit Loretta @ the church rectory & sign up as
parishioners of the Saint Nicholas Catholic Church. She executed our
paperwork with ease.

Before noon, I call my cousin Sue in Ebensburg & ask if sometime today
would be ok for a visit with her & Caroline? She says: “after 3:00pm would
be great.” Next, I call cousins Florentz & Anna & invite them over to our
motorhome for a visit tomorrow afternoon.

Then, we drive to Mundys Corner (20) min. As we are driving through that
town, Zack calls from his work in Seattle. I pull off to the side of the
road: “someone who had bolt cutters, broke into the garage behind our
rental house & stole some stuff that I & my roomies had in storage” he
says. He continues: “Sarah, one of my roomies, has insurance….should I
claim my stereo that was boxed up & not used since high school on her
insurance?” The landlord has made a police report and cited the items that
were stolen. We advise him, as a suggestion, not to make a claim. It’s an
old unit that he hadn’t used in yrs & wouldn’t be worth the effort. As a
more comforting suggestion, I prescribe the idea of waiting a few weeks,
then visit a few of the local area garage sales & buy it back for $ 10.00!

5 min later we are @ our 1st destination for the afternoon: Al’s spec
house development. Al, his son Tim & his brother Kevin are building a
number of new houses on 20 acres of land. Al tours us through the main
floor, the full basement & the upstairs. I was impressed with their
workmanship: for example, thinly sprayed insulation between studs,
followed by batts of fiberglass insulation between those same studs &
stapled; after a hole is drilled for an electrical wire & run through it,
expanding insulation is sprayed into each one; they have cut & dried their
own timber & use 3 inch floor joists; they plumb for air conditioning
regardless if the buyer is interested or not; a supply & return duct in
every room…. & much more. We will be keeping these guys in mind for the

From here, we visit Wal-Mart & the West End Market for light grocery
shopping; then a 20 min stop @ the local library en route to visit my
cousin Sue arriving @ our 2nd destination @ 3:25.

Sue has always made our visits very special: offering us a choice of
drinks, snacks & then bringing out her special home made pie for the
occasion. This time it was apple pie ala mode using Northern Spy apples.
We covered a lot of territory during our 1.6 hr visit. In October of last
yr, her sister Virginia, who had been living with her, passed away & that
was sad. But then, she obtained another roommate, Gay, who has been very
helpful caring for Caroline, Sue’s 40 yr old retarded daughter. Sue really
is an angel in disguise, with all the hardship moments she has had in her
life, she continues to deal with the happenings with humor & smiles even
though her e-mail address begins with “Sadsaksue.” It was another
informative & comfortable visit. Back to our coach @ 5:45pm.

7:30 dinner: Chicken with mustard sauce, broccoli, spinach salad & toast.

8:00pm: watch “Skating with the Celebrities” on TV.

High today: 47 Lights out: 10:38pm

Awake: 4:47am Temp 41 Rain—heavy @ times Overnight @ Nicktown

We attend 8:00 am Mass with Father Tom. Kathy says the music & singing was
a tad bit better this morning. We also had our throats blessed after Mass.
Back in the bus, Kathy makes a blueberry French toast dish with bacon for
breakfast. It was different & it's a keeper.

This is a good day for making phone calls or so we thought. We call our
Aunt Aggie in Ohio; she’s hanging in there @ 87 yrs. Her mind is strong &
she’s kept her sense of humor. Next call: our Aunt Bertha. She has macular
degeneration & sees poorly; has arthritis & cannot dress herself & wears 2
hearing aids. But @ 92 yrs, she eats well, talks well & her mind is great.
Today however, she is highly distressed as her husband of some 60 yrs, my
Uncle Johnny, has been having difficulty breathing this past week & she
thinks he is not going to make it much longer. Unfortunately we’ve been
expecting this report. All of their family is with him today in Ohio. I
have only these 2 aunts & Uncle John left.

Then we change directions: call Kathy’s Aunt Robin & Uncle Harvey in
Florida. Uncle Harvey is just recently out of the hospital & recuperating.
Aunt Robin is doing ok.

Now we make calls to a younger crowd: Kathy calls her friend Carol in
Texas; then we call our pals from Landenberg, PA who currently are sunning
themselves with their motorhome in Florida & they are fine.

7:05 dinner: Pecan crusted pork, baked potato, pineapple coleslaw, toast.

Late evening: continue watching the movie: “Made for Each Other” with
Jimmy Stewart & Carole Lombard. 1939 A good story.

High today: 46 Lights out: 10:07pm

Awake: 5:00am Temp 32 Clear Overnight @ Nicktown

Drive to 8:00am Mass….skip the coffee club meeting…..have a quick
breakfast & drive to Indiana & visit the Footes. I tried the laundry plan
for today in the event we had something else planned for Monday &
Tuesday…..but there were too many things going on this morning for Melissa
to make the necessary preparations. Instead, K & I do the grocery shopping
for the Footes @ Martin’s during Matthew’s nap time. This was a new store
for K to get familiar with so we were in there for 1.7 hrs or more & I was
very patient.

Back to the Foote home @ 2:00pm. Matthew & I play in their back yard for
over an hr while Kathy & Melissa have a good chat and care for Andrew.
Kevin continues to remove hardwood flooring from the upstairs bathroom.
We return to our bus by 5:00pm.

Our time with the Footes went too fast & I found myself working outside in
the dark when we returned: changing the large primary filter in our pump
house took some time, then changing the small primary filter in our
portable unit (which I discovered didn’t really need changing) went
quickly. I topped off the pure water holding tank, returned the hoses to
their proper storage place & came back inside. It’s cold out there!

I had asked Kathy to get the weather forecast on TV during my outside time
but my timing was perfect to watch the weather report in person. Heavy
rain predicted for early morning. Oh oh! That adhesive plastic cover that
I sealed over the paper towel for our closet skylight just 9 days ago
developed a leak; perhaps due to the cold temp of the roof at the time or
strong winds caught a weak corner & peeled a section up….whatever, it’s
leaking & that has to be stopped.

As much as I don’t want to, I will have to go back outside. Kathy has
dinner ready now but it’ll wait. I amaze myself: I am grumbling about
having to do this fix in the dark with the cold & wind ……getting the
telescoping ladder out, the roll of adhesive plastic, the Cutco scissors,
Scotch tape, paper towel & my flashlight. Kathy being the smart thinker,
suggests that in lieu of holding that flashlight while working up on the
roof with towel, scissors, tape etc., why not use your Princeton Tec
headlamp the Footes gave you for Christmas a few yrs ago? Bingo! My bad
attitude changed immediately; I had forgotten how handy that unit is for
working in the dark. Yes it was windy up there, cold & dark but I could
see real well & did that job better than the last time plus it took less
than 30 min. I thanked my dear wife profusely for that very timely

8:00pm dinner: Pork tenderloin in gravy with rice, broccoli & salad.

Late evening: we begin watching a video from the Foote collection: “Made
for each Other” but someone who insisted she could stay awake….didn’t!


Awake: 5:17am Temp 13 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

No exercise for us this morning. Kathy’s back is quite sensitive.

I am back to pouring warm water on our Suzuki’s windshield & side windows
before driving to church to attend 8:00am Mass. Afterward, we join the
laid back coffee club members for 30 min.

After breakfast, I was fooling around with my Sony camera & discovered the
optical zoom was not zooming. I tried everything; I even read a lot of the
troubleshooting manual to no avail. Then & only then, I called Sony in
Florida….4 times. I will be sending my camera to Connecticut for repair

@ 2:00pm we drive to Wal-Mart in Ebensburg, do some minor grocery
shopping, then drive over to St. Augustine to visit & have dinner with
Gary & Rosemary. We spend an hr in their warm & cozy living/TV room trying
to catch up with each other’s exciting lifestyle since we’ve last talked.
Their wood stove does a terrific job of keeping Kathy & most of their home
warm & Gary does a superb job of keeping us supplied with healthy snacks &
good tasting wine.

5:45 dinner: Rosemary’s Italian lasagna, served with an assorted plate of
raw veggies, salad & toast. Dessert: Gary’s homemade cherry pie ala mode
(he makes the crust from scratch; no store bought crust or a boxed pie
crust mix). A delicious meal without a doubt!

After dinner, while Gary cleans up the table, counter & dishes, we 3
watch: “Dancing with the Stars” on TV. Later with cleaner hands, Gary
joins us. We suspect that Rosemary may be hooked on watching “Dancing with
the Stars” now. It was a fun visit.

En route back to our bus, we stop for fuel in Carrolltown & arrive home @

Late evening call to Kevin letting him know that we’ll be visiting
tomorrow, maybe do their laundry, shop for their groceries & spend some
time with Matthew.

High today: 38 Lights out: 10:38pm

Awake: 5:25am Temp 21 Light snow showers Overnight @ Nicktown

Leave @ 7:02am; no water necessary for the windshield for a change. Drive
Kathy over to Miners Medical Center in Hastings (17 min) for the 7:30
appointment to have her colon checked. I elect not to hang out until she’s
finished but do make arrangements for them to call me when I can pick her

Meanwhile, I drive back to Nicktown & attend 8:00am Mass…..then join the
composed coffee club members for 45 min of good discussions. Back to the
bus @ 9:45; just as I am finishing my breakfast, the call comes thru to
pick Kathy up.

When I find her room in the Medical Center, I am surprised to see that she
has visitors: Rosemary & Gary. I compliment them on their thoughtfulness
of coming all the way from Hastings to spend 15 min visiting Kathy. What a
nice couple! Kathy is feeling fine & already the doctor informs her that
her colon checks out good. We are back to our bus @ 11:10am.

The afternoon turned out to be a quiet one. Kathy started to crank up her
galley kitchen bakery to make some healthy cookies but then….she felt
tired. I encouraged her to lie down & take a break….4 hrs later she
returned to making those cookies.

7:05pm dinner: Kathy’s homemade crab cakes, 3 rice pilaf, & salad.

Sometime before dinner, Kathy bent over to get something & her back went
out! Not good!

8:00 pm: We watch “Dancing with the Stars.”

High today: 33 Lights out: 10:34pm

Awake: 4:15am Temp 29 Snow & wind Overnight @ Nicktown

And yet again I pour water on our windshield & side windows before driving
up to the community center for 70 min of exercise. After that workout, we
join our ambitious coffee club members for 50 min. Kathy made & brought
some of her healthy muffins for the group….they wasted no time in cleaning
them all up. Kathy & I had one and a half muffins each. An hr later, we
attended the children’s Mass @ 9:30am.

After our real breakfast, we visit the library in Barnesboro (North,
Northern Cambria); then later, shopping @ the Bi-Lo in Spangler (South,
Northern Cambria).

@ 2:00pm Kathy starts drinking the Colyte solution in preparation for her
colonoscopy tomorrow morning. Now the rest of today & tomorrow morning,
she is not allowed to eat anything…..but, she does prepare a leftover meal
for me.

7:05 dinner: Leftover chili with whole wheat noodles & toast.

High today: 33 Lights out: 9:55pm

Awake: 5:44am Temp 25 Early sunshine…..then clouds Overnight @ Nicktown.

Again I pour water over our windshield before driving to 8:00am
Mass…..then spend 70 min with the distracted coffee club members. After
breakfast, I make a number of phone calls: DirecTV being one of them;
seems that our account has been in limbo due to a not so good copy of our
motorhome registration that I had sent. I knew that one edge was not quite
as visible as it could have been but still readable? In talking with them,
I learned that the copy had been rejected & they will send out another
form to be filled out to send back with a perfect copy of our registration
this time. Fussy….fussy! So it’s back to Carol’s business to utilize her
copy machine. It took me 3 tries to get that perfect copy but I have it

5:50 pm dinner: Leftover lasagna, spinach salad & toast.

Mid evening: it’s snowing & blowing….followed by lighting & thunder; Rare
for this time of year but not extremely rare.

High today 41 Lights out: 10:38pm


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