March 2006 Archives

Awake 5:33am Temp 28 Overcast Overnight @ Nicktown

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass. For breakfast Kathy makes a ham & cheese omelet
with toast.
Aaron calls mid morning: we talk about his fiancé & their wedding plans.
Kathy does 4 loads of laundry.
Nick calls from Seattle: we talk for 1.5 hrs & cover many topics. They are
doing well.

Our movies from satellite for today: “Bastard of Carolina.” A tough story
to watch….not recommended for children.

½ of “Sabrina.” 1945. This is the earlier version with Audrey Hepburn,
Humphrey Bogart & William Holden & gets a slightly higher rating then the
1995 production.

5:10 dinner: Leftover chicken & whole wheat Rotini, broccoli & cauliflower
in Boursin cheese sauce, mixed salad & toast.

“Brief Encounter.” 1945 with Celia Johnson & Trevor Howard. A great
love/romance, moving & memorable film.

Break time: we call Bob & Mary Lou in Minneapolis & arrange a rendezvous
for later this week.

“Charly.” 1968; Cliff Robertson won the best-actor Oscar for his role in
this wonderful flick. ‘Twas a great goof-off day for us retirees!

High temp: 41 Lights out:10:59pm

Awake: 4:40am Temp 28 Partly sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

K & I attend 8:00am Mass….then join the slithery coffee club members for
45 min.

After breakfast, I change the primary water filter in our pump house & top
off our pure water tank….then spend a little time on the computer.

@ 6:10pm we drive to Ebensburg & rendezvous with my brother Don, his wife
Josie & my sister Corinne; then have dinner @ the restaurant “Off the
Rack.” Kathy & I shared a tuna steak dinner which was very good. In fact,
this restaurant has the reputation for delicious, good sized meals.
Afterwards, we drive over to Don & Josie’s home for cake/pie ala mode
dessert. While we were there, we were witnesses to a small but incredible
miracle & we were all able to see this so it wasn’t anyone’s personal
imagination: My brother’s office in their home after some 25 yrs…is now
cleaned up, organized & spotless. It took our breath away!

En route back to our bus, we make a quick stop @ Wal-Mart for milk & a new
watch battery.

Later evening: we watch ¾ of the movie from satellite: “This Happy Breed.”
1944. It wasn’t entertaining enough for us to watch it all.

High temp: 43 Lights out: 11:28pm

Awake: 5:12am Temp 28 Partly Sunny & snow showers Overnight @ Nicktown.

Drive to our community center by 6:45 & get 1.1 hrs of exercise……we are
joined by Jill, Frank, Pat, Donna & Al, Mary Ann & her friend Darla. It’s
nice to have some company in the workout room + now; we have Dish Network
& a bigger TV to help with the input of information. After this, most of
us attend the 8:00 am Mass, then we join the mousy coffee club members for
over an hr. This meeting was one of our more vocal & active gatherings.

@ 12:30pm K & I walk back to church & attend the 12:45 Stations of the
Cross by the older school children… was very well done.

Mid afternoon, I relax by surfing DirecTV & select different time slots
for different movies, then look these movies up in our video/DVD guide to
find out: “What’s it all about; what rating do the movie critics give it?
(Turkey, fair, good or excellent) & who are the actors-actresses?” Kathy &
I share this relaxation time. Usually we do alright in the selection
process but….there are times when we are puzzled as to “how & why” some
movies are rated as they are?

5:15 dinner: Crab casserole, brown rice, spinach salad, fruit salad & toast.

Evening time: Watch movie from satellite: “Music of the Heart” with Meryl
Streep, Aidan Quinn, Cloris Leachman, etc. We liked it!

High temp: 41 Lights out: 10:02pm

Awake: 4:55am Temp 28 Overcast Overnight @ Nicktown

We attend 8:00am Mass……then join the jocular coffee club members for 40 min.

After breakfast K & I drive to Spangler to try & catch Betty @ the Senior
Center unannounced. Nope,she wasn’t there. We continue on toward
Barnesboro & gas up our Suzuki @ the Sheetz station. Then some light
grocery shopping @ the Bi-Lo store before returning to our bus @ 11:45am.

@ 2:45 the Foote Family arrives…including Kevin. The Footes may have found
a simple solution to my crumby complaints about the cookies when Melissa &
the boys were here on Monday: It’s called a “Flair” & it’s bagless,
skinny, powerful, very maneuverable & a lightweight vacuum cleaner. I
didn’t fall for the machine immediately but after using it on the living
room carpet, bedroom & closet carpets, I was sold. The beater bar &
bagless features makes a huge difference. I couldn’t believe how much dust
was collected after I vacuumed. Our central vac with the 20 ft hose & no
beater bar is a nuisance to work with & doesn’t do the job so thoroughly
so maybe….this creature is the answer.

I ask Kevin to check my settings on our computer to get our printer
working again…& he did & I thank you Kevin. While he was making a few
other checks, Matthew & I took a walk into our woods & around other areas
of our property. There was a cool wind blowing but tough guy Matthew
didn’t complain. What a guy! The Footes leave @ 4:45pm.

Just before dinner, our daughter Katrina calls from Denver. She sounds
really good, is keeping very busy & appears to be enjoying the city life
more all the time.

8:15pm Dinner: Chicken & whole wheat Rotini, asparagus & broccoli with
sweet & sour sauce, mixed salad & toast.

Late evening: watch satellite History Channel: Stories of ancient Rome
discoveries….then watch the Travel Channel: Cruise the Inside Passage on
Royal Caribbean & sights of Alaska. A nice finish for another great day!

High temp: 36 Lights out: 10:10pm

Awake: 4:35am Temp 23 Snow flurries all morning
Overnight @ Nicktown

Drive to the community center for 1.6 hrs of exercise. We are joined by
Jill, Pat & Frank, Al & Donna. These extra people were not with us for the
entire 1.6 hrs however, they are more or less newcomers to this idea of
working out with machines. After this, we all join the frolicky coffee
club members for 40 min…..then attend the 9:30am children’s Mass with
Father Larry.

After breakfast, we both read our 2 chapters in Father Tom’s book to
prepare for our book discussion tonight.

Early afternoon, we spread a bed sheet on the living room carpet, get out
the scissors, clippers & thinning shears & give each other a haircut. This
was Kathy’s seventh haircut that I’ve proudly had the honor to perform.
Why, she was even humming & whistling during the proceedings but, for some
odd reason, I was the nervous one. After she scrutinized her new & shorter
hair style, her immediate comment: “It’ll grow” startled me! I couldn’t
figure out where I went wrong? My haircut took a mere 12 min & looks

6:00 dinner: Sweet & sour pork, wild & brown rice, spinach salad & toast.

6:45: Attend the book discussion @ the school annex on Father Tom’s book.
Tonight the discussion was quite lively among the 13 of us.

Late evening: Satellite movie: “The Crying Game.” An English film & rated
adult entertainment…..which Kathy didn’t really care for? My interest was
focused on: it was completely unpredictable & I liked that.

High temp: 30 Lights out: 10:58pm

Awake: 4:40am Temp 20 Partly sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

We attend 8:00 am Mass, then join the evocative coffee club members for 50

Mid morning, Melissa calls: using her phone book from Alaska, she gives
Kathy the phone # for Dimond Vision so we can make an appointment later
today for when we are in Anchorage.

Kathy reminded me yesterday that we have no pictures on CD covering our
Asian Pacific Cruise that our Alaska pals have been asking for. During
Melissa’s call this morning & with recent experience, she tells Kathy how
easy Wal-Mart has made it for getting those pictures on a CD.

So it’s off to Ebensburg & Wal-Mart photo center where we spend over an hr
transferring our digital pictures from the memory sticks onto CD’s. We
scrutinized, rotated, edited, removed red eye & made 5 prints during our
casual visit. Yes, we also did some light shopping.

6:30 dinner: Meatloaf with gravy, baked potatoes, broccoli, fruit salad &

7:00 watch satellite movie: “Parenthood” with Steve Martin, Mary
Steenburgen, Tom Hulce, etc. A Ron Howard movie; not bad, funny at times!

High temp: 33 Lights out: 10:26

Awake: 5:12am Temp 23 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

@ the community center, we exercise for 1.3 hrs & are joined by Pat, Frank
& Al. Then we all attend the 8:00am Mass & after that, we all join the
newsy coffee club members for 45 min.

@ 2:20pm Melissa, Matthew & Andrew arrive at our home-on-wheels. Andrew
napped en route so he was wide awake during their visit.

Matthew had extra energy from the get-go but he wasn’t rowdy; he wasted no
time in finding his Wal-Mart truck that can transport the rest of his
smaller cars & trucks, then loaded/unloaded those vehicles numerous times…
covering the inches on our highway carpet.

Melissa was so overloaded with knowledge from the Internet of an
unmentionable subject, that with infinitesimal breathing, she spewed out
facts & figures so fast it mesmerized Kathy. In fact, so much that they
completely forgot to start the boys’ dirty laundry for about 30 min. After
that amazing & spellbinding experience, the atmosphere returned to more
normal conditions.

Before the Footes arrival, Kathy had whipped up a batch of oatmeal peanut
butter chocolate chip cookies each with a mint candy on top…..various
kinds of cookies have been a grandma treat for Matthew on many occasions.
Well this time, these cookies for whatever reason were very crumbly &
those mints were especially tasty to Matthew, so he would pick off the
mint, making crumbs and & ignoring the rest of the cookie. Later, I was
scolded for making too much of a fuss about those crummy crumbs falling
onto the highway carpet & dinette cushions….but hey, I’m the vacuum man &
I strive for cleanliness?!

Shortly after the next cookie crumbled, Kathy invited Matthew outdoors for
some real fresh air & physical exercise…..then it was my turn for fresh
air & exercise with Matthew. We had fun & when the laundry finished up, it
was time for the Footes to return to Indiana. It was another fine visit
for “G” Daddy & Grandma.

6:15 dinner: Meat ball stroganoff, whole wheat noodles, spinach salad &

Late evening: watch movie from Satellite: “Coming Home” with Jane Fonda,
Jon Voight & Bruce Dern. It was a little difficult to watch…..the Vietnam
War & the effect it had on 3 people in particular.

High temp: 39 Lights out: 10:37pm

Awake: 4:50am Temp 24 Mostly cloudy Overnight @ Nicktown

Kathy makes whole wheat sourdough pancakes with eggs & bacon for breakfast.

This morning we do some spring cleaning & organizing inside our motorhome.

@ 2:00pm Sally & Gene arrive from across town. We’ve been trying to have
them over to our home-on-wheels for over a month now (no hurry). They are
going to Alaska in June with family members, doing a self tour & would
like our suggestions & ideas of what to see & do beyond the usual touristy
spots. 2 hrs later, we exhausted our think tanks. Sally & Gene are good
people; we see them often so we’ll pass along more ideas when we can.

6:30 dinner: Pork tenderloin, sautéd mixed veggies, leftover sweet
potatoes, rice & apple sauce.

Watch movie from Satellite: “Lucas.” Excellent teen tale of young love; we
both enjoyed the tenderness & soft feelings that were exhibited.

Next movie from Satellite: “Seven-per-cent solution.” A fast-paced
adventure with many touches of humor….trying to rid Sherlock Holmes’s of
his cocaine addiction. This also was an interesting story to experience.

High temp: 38 Lights out: 11:38pm

Awake: 5:24am Temp 20 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

We attend 8:00 am Mass, then join the weird coffee club members for 20 min.
After breakfast, I read ½ of Kevin’s Space Pak manual which is somewhat

@ noon time, Kathy makes a trip to the Barnesboro library & thrift stores.
After Kathy returns around 3:00pm we lunch on some leftover crab Creole,
Triscuits & mixed nuts.

Mid afternoon, using my newly purchased high tech Fluke multimeter, I
troubleshoot my old homebuilt meter of 32 yrs & discover one of the 2
sliding switches is worn out…rendering it unusable for a number of
functions. Sometime I’ll try & rebuild that switch & perhaps get it
working again. It’s been a great small, handy & rugged meter.

We attend the 6:00 pm vigil Mass in Nicktown. Because of our late lunch,
we simply have a large salad for dinner, then later, watch the History
Channel coverage on the Bermuda Triangle + the Weather Channel while
munching on fresh popcorn.

High temp: 39 Lights out: 10:58pm

Awake: 5:31am Temp 29 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

“Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!” Some of us with a little Irish blood wore a
touch of green today & some of us that had that blood in them….forgot the
green! Anyway, our exercise time this morning: 50 min & we were joined in
the workout room by Pat, Frank & Jill. Next we attend the 8:00am Mass &
afterward, join the cheerful coffee club members for 35 min.

While Kathy eats her breakfast, I visit Carol @ her business. During my
breakfast, Kathy visits Gloria. Before Kathy returns, Jim & Bill A. pull
into our circular drive & I greet them outside. Jim lives about 3 miles
from Nicktown, has a 5th wheel trailer & was curious about the size of our
motorhome. He & his wife Rose spend most of their summer living in their
5th wheel & working @ the Cherry Hill Park in College Park, Maryland.

@ approx 2:40pm the Foote family including Kevin, pay us a visit. This is
Kevin’s 1st visit to our home-on-wheels this yr. We spend an hr inside our
coach catching up on each of our latest activities. Kevin gives me a copy
of the “Space Pak” manual to look over & memorize. Also, Kathy introduces
Matthew to a new thrift store purchase: a Wal-Mart truck that can carry
all of his smaller cars & trucks. He was simply delighted to play with
this new addition to “our & his” collection.

Kathy begins a laundry load of soiled baby clothes during their visit.
Then we all walk over to visit Carol @ her business where I introduce the
Foote family to Carol & her daughter Lisa. It was another captivating
visit with the Footes; they leave @ 4:55pm.

7:00pm dinner: Crab Creole & stir fried veggies. We watch a movie from
satellite: “Phar Lap,” a true account of the superb Australian racehorse
of the 1920’s and 30’s and an indictment of the horrific early
horse-racing practices. Excellent movie!

High temp: 43 Lights out: 11:00pm

Awake: 5:30am Temp 27 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

We attend 8:00am Mass & afterward, join the somewhat dignified coffee club
members for 50 min.

After breakfast, Kathy does 2 loads of laundry.

@ 12:02pm, Kathy drives to Ebensburg, visits the West End market for
groceries, then Wise RV for 40 amp fuses for me & a doctor’s visit for
her. She returns @ 4:15.

During her absence, I discover the closet skylight leaking….again….so it’s
redo the adhesive plastic covering. This time, I make sure the area is
clean, dry & warm, then give it a double layer covering. Skylights are

7:00 dinner: Pork chops, asparagus, spinach salad, apple sauce & toast.

8:00 watch movie from satellite: “The Paper” with Michael Keaton, Glenn
Close, Marisa Tomei, Randy Quaid & Robert Duvall; a comedy-drama about
truth in the newspaper business We liked this movie.

High temp: 48 Lights out: 10:26pm

Awake: 5:10am Temp 29 One inch of snow overnight with blizzard
like conditions until around noon time. Overnight @ Nicktown.

We exercise @ the community center for 1.3 hrs & then join the meagerly
attended coffee club gang for 40 min. After that session, most of us
attend the 9:30 children’s Mass. Father Job does a terrific job of
explaining today’s gospel to the young kids.

Late morning, we both do some reading for tonight’s group discussion on
Fr. Tom Acklin’s book.

Using our computer & land line phone, Kathy makes a hotel reservation in

@ 6:45pm we report to the school annex to continue our discussions on the
Tom Acklin book: “The Passion of the Lamb.” There were 14 of us gathered.

8:15 dinner: Chicken salad & crackers.

Late evening: watch movie from satellite: “Last Man Standing” with Bruce
Willis. After it was finished we both agreed: It’s not our kind of show.

High temp: 39 Lights out: 11:01pm

Awake: 5:30am Temp 58 Sunny Overnight @ Beltsville,

After waking up early, I lie in bed for awhile & am very quiet in my
attempt to live up to my reputation of being: “the quiet one.” Later I get
dressed & go into the den & wait for Kathy. When we hear activity upstairs
around 8:00am, we ascend to the kitchen where Cy asks us if we would be
interested in a cheese omelet with bacon? “You bet” we both answer. It was
delicious….Cy usually cooks a hot breakfast 3 or 4 times a week.

Around 10:00 am we load our travel bags into the Suzuki, say our “thank
you’s” & “goodbyes” for now to Jan & Tricia, then follow our leader Cy
down the highway to Saint Luke’s in Silver Springs, MD. Cy volunteered to
show us the quick route to simplify our travel time (10 min). Then we
thank Cy for his hospitality & taxi service, etc with hopes to see him in
Nicktown next month.

As we approach the front door to Saint Lukes, we can easily see my sister
talking with other people behind the glass door. She is happy to see us &
introduces us to the group…then asks about our trip & visit with the Cy
family. The Commissioning ceremony program went well (about 40 min), &
then we lunched.

We leave St. Lukes, drive down New Hampshire Street, top off the Suzuki’s
fuel tank & start driving back to Nicktown @ 1:05pm. Fast moving traffic,
strong headwinds & no rest stops allowed us to be back to our bus in the
same amount of time it took for us to drive there (4.0 hrs). Surprise!
Winter has returned to this area: Its 33 degrees with snow flurries.

6:30 dinner: Ham & cheese melt…..then popcorn while watching a movie from
the satellite system: “Wag the Dog” with Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro,
Anne Heche, Woody Harrelson, Willie Nelson, etc. A great flick! Just hope
our government doesn’t work this way?

High temp? Lights out: 10:44pm

Awake: 5:46am Temp 55 Periods of heavy rain throughout the night.
Overnight @ Nicktown.

We leave @ 8:30am driving the Suzuki to Beltsville, Maryland. En route on
I-99 south of Altoona, we ran into a little low fog but otherwise, our
travel day was great. Total time from Nicktown to Beltsville with one
quick stop along the way: 4.0 hrs.

We will be attending my sister Corinne’s commissioning ceremony tomorrow @
11:00am in Silver Springs, MD. My cousin, Cy, his wife, Jan & daughter,
Tricia graciously invited us to stay the night @ their home in nearby
Beltsville. Cy & I spoke earlier in the week about doing a little shopping
today in the area with his directional assistance.

Well, he did better than just giving directions: early afternoon, Cy drove
his truck, dropped Kathy off @ the nearby Costco store, then he & I went
to Anna Roundel county in Laural, MD (20min) where the liquor & wine tax
is most reasonable & we both stocked up our wine/liquor cellars. Meanwhile
I had been looking for & pricing a new volt/ohm/amp meter around the
Nicktown/Ebensburg/Johnstown/Indiana area with no luck on what I would
call a “deal.” Well, Cy had an idea: United Electric just down the road
from the Laural area & sure enough, they made me an offer I couldn’t

From U. E. we call Kathy via cell phone to be ready for a pickup @ Costco.
We load hers and Melissa’s grocery orders into the back of Cy’s truck &
return to Cy’s home.

Kathy has a friend of 39 years in Silver Springs whom she would very much
like to visit if there is time….once again, my cousin Cy is ready. He
drives us over to Al’s home (15 min) & while Kathy & Al visit & reminisce,
my cousin & I wait casually in the parking lot & do a little reminiscing
ourselves. Then it’s back to the Cy home.

Now in the family auto with Jan & Tricia, we 5 go back to the Laural area
& have a very nice & casual dinner @ the Olive Garden on Baltimore Ave. I
was the cook & if I do say so myself, I was good! Then it’s back to the
Cy, Jan & Tricia home for the night.

Their basement has been modified into a Mother-In-Law hangout & expanded
with a large kitchen, living room, bedroom & den…..very nice. Jan & Tricia
get the hide-a-bed ready downstairs for our sleeping quarters & after an
hr or so of TV & talk, Kathy & I check out that hiding bed for the night.

High temp: 85 Lights out: 11:15

Awake: 5:30am Temp 50 Intermittent rain Overnight @ Nicktown

Attend 8:00am Mass. Kathy makes Eggs Benedict for breakfast. It’s been a
long time since having that meal & it was great.

Watch satellite movie: “Pride of the Yankees” with Gary Cooper, Teresa
Wright, Babe Ruth & Walter Brennan. Based on a true story of Lou Gehrig,
who died from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease). ALS is
a progressive disease that begins with weakness, often in the hands, less
frequently in the feet. Weakness progresses though sensation remains
intact. Due to lack of proper stimulation from nerves, muscles weaken,
shrink, become spastic and completely paralyzed even though the muscles
themselves are normal. As well as peripheral muscles, those of speech,
swallowing, and breathing are involved and lead to death within 3 to 10

High temp: 58 Lights out: 11:20pm

Awake: 4:35am Temp 43 Sunny, then overcast Overnight @ Nicktown

Attend 8:00am Mass……skip the coffee club meeting with permission, have
breakfast & dash out to the Foote home arriving a little after 10:00am. We
find them in the backyard: Kevin pruning their apple tree; Melissa
carrying Andrew in her sling & clearing out what might be this summer’s
garden area & Matthew helping dad using his small wheelbarrow.

I spend about 3.0 hrs finishing & testing the upper bathroom wiring
project…..then assist Kevin in pulling wires from the basement to the
attic in prep for the Space Pak air conditioning system. Kathy pulls
weeds, clearing more of the section Melissa had been working on then she
takes time out to buy new wiper blades for our Suzuki. After Matthew’s
nap, he and Melissa make us all a smoothie and popcorn for an afternoon
snack. We are back to our bus @ 3:45.

I waste no time in installing those wiper blades as the rain threatens,
change clothes & then we drive to Ebensburg & have dinner with my brother
Don & his wife, Josie. They were very gracious hosts: having dark beer for
me before dinner & wine with dinner along with some good grilled chicken,
potatoes, sugar snap peas, Waldorf salad & blackberry pie ala mode. It was
really nice spending an evening with them again.

High temp: 59 Lights out: 11:03pm

Awake: 5:10am Temp 56 Very windy with clouds Overnight @

50 min of exercise for us before attending the 8:00am Mass….then join the
genuine coffee club members for 30 min. Because of the strong winds with
gusts, the power was knocked off about 6 to 8 times for short periods.
Longest off time: 35 min. During the off times, I took notes on how many
amps our entertainment system uses for each component in our coach.

Our mail arrived from Alaska today….no magazines & nothing we didn’t expect.

Mid afternoon: watch an hr of: “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.” It
was something else. If you’re not familiar with the Monty P. movies, they
are decidedly different!

@ 4:15 we drive the Ridge Road to the Barr Township tax collector’s home
(5 min) & pay our property tax to Mary Jean, commonly known as “Bets.”
During some of my high school summers, her father & I used to work
together building homes for my cousin Jerry. Then we continue on to
Spangler & have the Fish Buffet @ the Spangler Fire hall building. We look
for Betty & John but no sight of them. There is an especially large crowd
gathered here tonight & it was challenging to get a seat next to some of
our coffee club members. Pat & Frank do join us however. Back to our bus @

@ 7:00 we attend: “Stations of the Cross” @ the Nicktown church led by
Father Job. The function was well attended.

Late evening: watch movie from satellite: “Boyz N the Hood.” A somewhat
realistic but exaggerated story of Inner city gang violence & drug usage
with one family’s challenge of raising their child to amount to
something……thought provoking!

High temp: 58 Lights out: 10:10pm

Awake: 5:29am Temp 43 Early rain showers, then clouds Overnight @

Attend 8:00 am Mass, then spend 35 min with the dynamic coffee club members.

After breakfast, Kathy continues searching for low air fares & today, pins
a few down. My role, during these sometimes delicate moments, are to
double check her screen inputs, remain patient & remember to show a lot of
gratitude for her many hrs of being patient herself.

@ 12:15 we drive to Spangler to visit my ole buddy Charlie’s mother,
Betty. First we try the Senior Center…not there….then visit her home & her
son John tells us she is upstairs getting ready for a trip to the dentist.
Our timing is not good so we will try another day. Betty is going on 93
yrs of age. Next we drive to Ebensburg, stop to shop @ the West End
Market, then the Goodwill thrift store, Wise RV store & Wal-Mart. Back to
our bus @ 3:05.

Kathy continues searching the Internet…..this time for a suitable hotel.

Late afternoon: Watch a biography: “Howard Hughes-The Real Aviator.” I am
fascinated with the Hughes story.

8:00 dinner: Leftover Italian sausage with spaghetti sauce, whole wheat
noodles, salad & toast.

Late evening movie from satellite: “Silver Streak” with Gene Wilder, Jill
Clayburgh & Richard Pryor. Fast paced action story that kept us both on
the edge of our easy chairs.

High temp: 58 Lights out: 10:45pm

Awake: 6:03am Temp 27 Overcast Overnight @ Nicktown

Drive to the community center for 1.4 hrs of exercise. Kathy gives Frank &
Pat an introduction to the exercise machines; it’s their first time. Then
we all join the animated coffee club members for 30 min before attending
the 9:30 children’s Mass.

@ 2:30 Melissa & her boys visit for 2.5 hrs. While Kathy assists Melissa
in doing 2 loads of their laundry, I get some holding time in with Andrew
& playing cars & trucks with Matthew. Then Matthew & I spend some time
exploring the outdoors in our immediate area. Big boy Matthew used our
bathroom toilet twice. We are so proud of him! They leave around 5:00.

6:00 dinner: Stuffed peppers, spinach salad & toast.

Watch a movie from satellite: “Mrs. Harris.” Based on a true story…..she
killed Doctor Tarnower who wrote the “Scarsdale Diet” book that sold
millions. They were lovers!

High temp: 41 Lights out: 10:18pm

Awake: 5:17am Temp 21 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

After attending the 8:00am Mass, we join the striking coffee club members
for 40 min of heavenly conversation.

Shortly after 10:00am, the FedEx guy comes by to pick up our IRD software
black box to be returned to Florida.

I read my Highway magazine this afternoon….cutting out tour & sightseeing
ideas & filing them.

We watch a few movies from satellite today: “Mad Dog & Glory” with Robert
De Niro, Uma Thurman & Bill Murray. A good flick! “Harry & Tonto”
with Art Carney. 1974. We really enjoyed this story.

7:00pm dinner: Italian sausage in spaghetti sauce, whole wheat noodles,
broccoli, salad & toast.

After dinner & while doing the dishes: ¾ of “Mermaids” with Cher, Bob
Hoskins & Winona Ryder. We had seen about the first 1/3 of this movie &
decided to watch the rest. We rated it as: ho-hum fair.

High temp: 41 Lights out: 10:22pm

Awake: 5:46am Temp 21 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

Kathy makes whole wheat sourdough pancakes with bacon & eggs for
breakfast. I could not taste much difference between the white flour vs.
whole wheat flour Kathy used & the whole wheat is much healthier.

I spend time on our computer while Kathy does (2) laundry loads, then I
top off our pure water tank.

7:20 dinner: Leftover meatloaf, stewed tomatoes, salad & toast.

Later evening: Watch the 78th Annual Oscars for (3) hrs on regular antenna
TV. For $1.99 we could have watched it on DirecTV, but why?

High temp: 42 Lights out: 11:44pm

Awake: 5:13am Temp 21 Snow flurries Overnight @ Nicktown

We attend 8:00am Mass, then join the buoyant coffee club members for 30
min & help celebrate Pat’s retirement after 35 yrs with the U.S. Postal
Service + Dave (the Mayor)’s 73rd birthday. Then K & I hustle back to our
bus for breakfast & dash out to the Foote home slightly after 10:00am?

While Kevin is cleaning out the attic knee wall areas of stuff left from
the previous home owner, plus taking measurements for the Space Pak air
conditioning air handler & trunk lines, I continue with the wiring of the
upper bathroom. I truly expected to finish up today but when Kevin & I
tested the circuits, only 2 of the 4 were powered. Oops, so I’ll be back
next week.

4:45pm dinner: Melissa makes a delicious meal of beef curry with noodles,
broccoli & salad. Then unfortunately, we have to eat & run.

Back to our bus @ 5:45, change clothes & attend the 6:00 pm Vigil Mass. We
neglected to buy petrol for the Suzuki while in Indiana thus those fumes
we were running on sank to a new low before gassing up @ the Sheetz
service station in Northern Spangler after Mass.

Late evening: Watch movie from the satellite: “Oscar & Lucinda.”
Different, amusing & unpredictable!

High temp? Lights out: 11:38pm

Friday 3 March 2006

Awake: 5:32am Temp 21 Partly cloudy with flurries Overnight @

We do a good hr of exercise @ the community center before attending 8:00am
Mass…..then join the Triumphant coffee club members for over an hr.

A casual afternoon for us & such a relief today for thousands of people in
several counties who would have been negatively affected if that Acid Rock
plan would have succeeded.

We watch the last 1/3 of “The High & the Mighty” with John Wayne & Robert
Stack while I start programming our remote unit for the living room
entertainment units.

7:05 dinner: Tuna & noodle casserole with toast.

Late evening: Watch documentary: “The Disappearance of Amelia Earhart.”

High temp: 31 Lights out: 10:37pm

Awake: 5:30am Temp 34 Heavy rain early morning Overnight @

Freezing rain forecasted for our area but the cooler air went north so we
had only the heavy rain.

We attend 8:00am Mass, then join the distressed coffee club members for 45

Early afternoon, cousin Florentz calls: He was watching channel 6 news
(Johnstown) @ noon time & they reported that the state governor of
Pennsylvania, Randel, nixed the Acid Rock plan for Indiana county. That is
extremely good news. I call for Al to spread the word & Kathy calls

Kathy spends the rest of the afternoon on line searching for reasonable
air fares.

7:05 dinner: Meatloaf, baked potato, cauliflower & green beans, salad &

Late evening: watch movie from Satellite:“The Lost Weekend.” A 1945 best
picture with Ray Milland & Jane Wyman. A gripping & powerful study of
alcoholism & its destructive effect on one man’s life.

High today: 40 Lights out: 10:41pm

Awake: 5:23am Temp 22 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

We drive to the community center & attend 8:00am Mass, then receive ashes
on our forehead. Afterward, we join the marked coffee club members for 40
min. Then it’s back to our bus where I call TracStar in Florida & thank Al
for his help in getting our satellite system working.

Kathy does 2 laundry loads this afternoon & I top off the pure water
holding tank. In her spare time, she continues the searching for low air
I sign up for another yr of membership with the Escapees club.
Next, I pay our annual motorhome insurance.

@ 2:45 we drive to Ebensburg: Kathy grocery shops @ the West End Market
while I check with three places for dark beer, none of which spark my
interest for tasting. Next, a quick stop @ the Goodwill thrift store &
then Wal-Mart for groceries. Back to our bus @ 4:55pm.

5:15 dinner @ the Spangler Fire Hall bldg where we join several members of
the Coffee Gang, its fish night. It’s Ash Wednesday & of course, the place
is loaded with us Catholics. It was a pretty good buffet plus Kathy didn’t
have to cook & I didn’t have any dishes to clean up.
We take Al K. with us afterward for a quick shopping stop @ Giant Eagle in
Barnesboro, then take Al home. His wife Donna was using their car.

@ 6:45 K & I drive over to the church hall for the Acid Rock meeting @
7:00. We knew very little about this meeting as it was advertised in the
Indiana newspaper but not locally. Turns out, ICE (Indiana County
Environmental) wants & needs Nicktown’s help in defeating the Acid Rock
Plan, plus we don’t want our counties to begin being used as: Hazard Waste
Sights! This committee asked for volunteers for: sign makers, good
speakers, phone callers, writers, etc. They also asked for financial
contributions to offset the expense of fighting this problem. The meeting
lasted over 2 hrs.

Late evening: watch ½ of movie from direcTV: “From Here to Eternity.” Best
picture of 1953 with Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Frank
Sinatra, Donna Reed & Ernest Borgnine.

Slight flaw in the operation: We didn’t sign up with DirecTV for the box
that allows one to record the movie to watch later….so when will we watch
the other half?

High today: 43 Lights out: 11:24pm

Awake: 5:13am Temp 9 Mostly cloudy Overnight @ Nicktown

Approximately 3” of snow fell overnight so it’s brush off our Suzuki
before driving to the community center where we exercise for 50 min before
attending 8:00am Mass. Afterwards, we volunteer to help the coffee club
members in replacing the seasonal Mass books in all the box holders in the
church pews. Then join the high spirited coffee club members for 45 min.
Kathy brings her freshly made Morning Glory Muffins for the gang as a FAT
Tuesday treat & they were yummy.

Early afternoon, Gary & Rosemary drop in to help us celebrate FAT Tuesday
in a more eloquent style & we definitely enjoyed their help. FAT Tuesday,
the day before Ash Wednesday,is observed by many as a day of feasting and
partying just prior to the beginning of the penetential season of Lent.
The 40 days of Lent is a time in the Catholic Church when believers do
penance which may include fasting, increase their prayer life and do extra
good works in union with Christ's suffering and death and in preparation
for Easter which celebrates his resurrection from the dead. During G & R’s
visit, the FedEx guy delivers our package from TracStar in Florida……the
black box that hopefully will update our IRD & bring new life to our
plasma TV.

I am a little apprehensive about updating our IRD! What if this last shot
misses the mark? Is there more ammunition? There are so many cables
running throughout our coach, I hate to think about doing further
troubleshooting. Anyway, the IRD receiver is on & set to idle mode.
Software upgrade black box plugged into the IRD & its downloading. 10 min
later, the updating is finished. Next the equipment is turned off, black
box disconnected, IRD turned back on, TracStar antenna on, satellite
receiver tuner & TV on and……and…it searches for a satellite ….locks on
and…..and IT WORKS! Amazing!

7:35 dinner: Leftover white chili & toast. Then to celebrate our
successful signals from space, we watch not one, not two, but three movies
via satellite: “I Never Sang for My Father” with Gene Hackman & Estelle
Parsons; 1978 good story but very sad. “I’m the Luckiest Guy Alive;”
(short 30 min film) & quite good. “The Conversation” with Gene Hackman,
John Cazale & Harrison Ford; 1974, slow. Kathy didn’t care for it….I
thought it was good for character study.

Today’s High: 34 Lights out: 10:56pm

Awake: 5:32am Temp 17 Snow showers Overnight @ Nicktown

8:00am Mass, then join the prosaic coffee club members for 50 min.

UPS delivered our repaired Sony camera this morning. They replaced the
main control board plus the C.P.U. integrated circuit. It’s good to have
it back & our warranty covered the expense.

Mid afternoon, Kathy visits the Barnesboro Library to return some videos,
pick up more videos & then to do a little grocery shopping & a thrift
store visit before returning to the bus. During her absence, I program our
GPS system to show the routing from here to my Cousin Cyril’s home in
Beltsville, MD. Then make a copy of this routing for later reference.

7:20 dinner: Leftover Italian sausage, green peppers in marinara sauce,
Penne pasta, broccoli, mixed salad & toast.

Late evening: watch video movie from the Barnesboro library collection:
“The River Wild” with Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon & David Strathairn. This
flick was a real suspense thriller.

High temp: 28 Lights out: 11:12pm

Awake: 7:25am Temp 17 Partly cloudy Overnight @ Nicktown

We attend 8:00 am Mass. Afterward, Kathy makes pumpkin buttermilk pancakes
with bacon for our breakfast.

Next, we drive to the Footes & spend 3.5 hrs with the continuation of
wiring the upstairs bathroom. Kathy spends time with Melissa and our

5:30 dinner: Melissa makes “white chili,” corn chips, & pumpkin bread.
Back to our bus @ 7:00pm.

8:00pm: watch final competition of: “Dancing with the Stars.” Drew was
the big winner & was our choice by far.

High temp: 26 Lights out: 10:55pm

Awake: 5:39am Temp 31 Overcast & windy Overnight @ Nicktown

We attend 8:00am Mass & then join the divulging coffee club members for an
hr. Kathy brought her freshly made banana split bread to share with the
gang which was very much appreciated.

After breakfast, Kevin calls & gives me the word that his coworker Mark
will tour us through his 1910 home in Indiana plus show us his Space Pac
(Small-Duct Central Air Conditioning system) he installed. So K & I waste
no time in driving to the Foote hangout. Kathy stays with Melissa & the
boys while Kevin drives over to Mark’s house for this tour. We’ve been
waiting patiently for this & it was well worth the wait. 1.5 hrs later,
Kevin was thoroughly convinced this was the system for their 1921 home. I
was impressed & glad to see the technical side of “what all is involved”
in central air conditioning an older home without having the obvious large
duct work exposed everywhere. The only evidence of central air in Mark’s
home would be the cool feeling of air when walking from room to room &
according to Mark, it’s very quiet. Several small outlets in the ceiling
of each room were barely noticeable during our walking tour & these
outlets were all plugged for the winter season.

Back @ the Foote home, Kevin & I do a little crawling around in their knee
wall attic with a flashlight just looking things over & visualizing the
Space Pac air handler & duct work therein. Then we begin wiring the
upstairs unfinished bathroom. We leave around 4:00pm, do a little grocery
shopping in Indiana before returning back to our bus @ 5:30.

@ 6:00 we attend the Power Tool Bonanza @ the church hall which is
sponsored by the Nicktown Fire Co. Kathy comes with me as a
volunteer……counting & sorting the monies. A delicious dinner & all you
could drink beer was included in the entry cost. It was a sold out
function (600 tickets) with over 400 people present; 99% of which were
out-of-towners. That figure doesn’t include the Nicktown volunteer
workers. I didn’t win anything but I passed some good luck on to a few of
my cousins who won some expensive tools.

High temp? Lights out: 11:54pm

Awake; 4:35am Temp 23 Partly sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

Drive up to the community center for 1.3 hrs of exercise & then join the
ponderous coffee club members for 40 min. Next we thought we would attend
the 9:30am children’s Mass but when we walked into church, Mass was
already ¾ over? We all took a second glance @ our watches! Father Job, who
has been out of the country for 3 weeks & just returned yesterday @
5:00pm, made a last min change in the Mass schedule for today. He
apologized to us “late” comers.

After breakfast, I call TracStar Systems in Florida & talk with Al. He
talks me through many settings & adjustments using the IRD (Integrated
Receiver Decoder), which controls our oval LNB (low noise block) antenna
on the roof of our motorhome. Al thinks our antenna is scanning, locking
on & tracking OK but feels we need to have our IRD reprogrammed & the
software updated. We made arrangements to have the update black box
shipped to us ASAP.

7:05 dinner: Kathy’s homemade crab cakes, brown rice, spinach salad,
cauliflower in Boursin cheese & toast.

Late evening: Watch DVD movie from the Foote collection: “Mr. Deeds” with
Adam Sandler & Winona Ryder. Our “Video & DVD Movie Guide” rated this as a
“turkey.” We both agreed it should be at least a 3 star.

High temp: 33 Lights out: 11:14pm

Awake: 5:00am Temp 34 Morning snow & afternoon sun
Overnight @ Nicktown

We attend the 8:00am communion service & then join the inciting coffee
club members for 45 min.

After breakfast, the FedEx guy delivers our 2nd satellite receiver……this
time, to our door. Now at least this guy knows our home on wheels address
in Nicktown.

And now, the installation of the front satellite receiver begins. It takes
a good hr & goes well. Kathy is using our computer in the living room so I
begin doing the direcTV setup with the bedroom unit first. Using the new
remote that is included with the receiver, I complete 8 of the 9 steps
before the final activation….& guess what? It failed the 9th & final step?
No transponder signals! The next 3 hrs were taken up with more coax cable
checking, manual reading & phone calls to Ron @ the Newell factory & tech
support @ DirecTV.

Did the new satellite receivers make a difference? Doesn’t appear so! Do
we have a coax cable problem? Don’t know for sure. Working with Ron @
Newell using the cordless phone by double checking power supplies & coax
cables that are directly associated with the satellite system, didn’t
reveal any new revelations but……Ron did give me an updated phone number
for TracStar in Florida for more help on our: “In Motion Satellite
System”. Local time now 5:05pm so I’ll be making that call tomorrow.

7:10 dinner: Baked chicken with Brie & almonds, Penn pasta with Brie
sauce, broccoli, coleslaw & toast.

Mid evening: Kathy watches “Dancing with the Stars” on regular TV…I watch
about 20%. That show is slowly losing favor with me; too many commercials
& I just don’t agree with their grading system. Call in votes should be
limited to only 10% of the total votes verses 50%.

High temp: 43 Lights out: 11:00pm


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