May 2006 Archives

Awake: 5:00am temp 38 sleep 6+27 sunny overnight @ Nicktown

Drive to our community center & exercise for 1.6 hrs before joining the
insecure coffee club members for 55 min.

After breakfast, with the temperature climbing, Kathy gives our (2) sewer
covers the 1st coat of green paint. While she’s doing this, I visit our
neighbor Al & tour his back yard which is like a mini fruit, berry &
vegetable plantation. His wife, Donna, who also has a green thumb, takes
care of the many flower beds around the premises. It’s all very nice. I
ask Al for ½ gallon of fuel to use for burning our limbs later. He
complies graciously so now I owe him a favor.

Back on our circular drive, I build a limb burning teepee using paper,
cardboard & some of those limbs Kathy had cut down. Then Al’s raw gasoline
was poured over the entire teepee & if the winds are ok, it’ll be lit
during the Foote visiting time.

@ 2:10pm Melissa & the boys arrive. She brought their electrical weed
whacker along for my use to further clean up our golf course. We spent
little time indoors as it was so nice outside & Matthew was looking
forward to watching his “G” Daddy operate that weed whacker.

After about 20 min of whacking those weeds, I was ready for a break &
Matthew began looking for his mother. We found Melissa, Andrew & Kathy
casually walking around the lower field admiring the nicely mowed “golf
course” and all the wild strawberries. We all agreed that the weather
seems reasonable for burning with the wind light & variable.

My water hose is connected & Melissa declares Matthew to be the Fire
Chief; then I toss a lighted match into that teepee & we have an instant
fire. 1.5 hrs later, those (3) piles of limbs are reduced to smoldering
ashes & the fire chief is called into action. With a little ground school
beforehand, Matthew did a marvelous job of spraying those cinders until
the smoke gave way to a miniature lake. The fire chief was very, very
patient waiting for the right signal to be given. He had to be bribed with
a special treat to get him into their car for their trip back to Indiana.
They leave @ 4:45pm.

K & I attend the 6:00pm Ascension Thursday vigil Mass.

7:30 dinner: Meatloaf, broccoli, rice, spinach salad, & toast.

Late evening movie: “Bite the Bullet” with Gene Hackman, James Coburn,
Candice Bergen, etc. A 600 mile horse race is the subject of this
magnificent adventure, an epic in every sense of the word. A real sleeper.

High temp=72 Lights out: 10:36pm

Awake: 4:44am Temp 34 Sleep 6+00 sunny overnight@Nicktown

Drive to our community center for 1.0 hr of exercise before attending 8:00
am Mass, then join the blazing coffee club members for 45 min.

After breakfast, I call FDX to inquire about the cost of (2) packages that
were shipped to us. What brought this about was: yesterday, one of our
esteemed coffee club members by the name of Al, accused me of being a
litter bug as he had found a weathered piece of paper on his property
which when scrutinized carefully, turned out to be a FedEx airbill with my
name on it. Well, for almost a month now, I have not been billed by FedEx
for the 1st package & I had no airbill number to track it down. The
package was delivered without the airbill….it apparently had blown off &
across the field onto Al’s lawn. So Al actually did me a favor by picking
up my litter & I found out why the 1st package delivery charge hadn’t come
through yet. It’s top secret at the moment……one needs to have a current
security clearance & a need to know.

Kathy gives our(2)sewer covers, a 1st coat of primer. She primed those
covers twice during the summer of 2002 & now that paint is nearly worn

I gather up more limbs to burn; ones that Kathy cut during our mowing day
May 10th.

Finally I reseal the plexi-glass cover for the rear camera on the motorhome.

6:30 dinner: Penne pasta ham skillet, mixed salad & toast.

No movie tonight…..could not find a time worthy film.

High temp=63 Lights out: 10:33pm

Awake: 5:37am Temp 42 Sleep 7+01 mostly cloudy

Drive to our community center & exercise for 50 min before attending the
8:00 am Mass; then join the buggy coffee club members for 55 min.

After breakfast & for the remainder of the morning & most of the
afternoon, I & sometimes Kathy, engage in attempting to fine-tune our
travel plans.

I call (2) campgrounds & seek further information.

In our pump house # 2, I remove the big blue housing & swap it for the
clear housing in pump house # 1. Now in pump house # 2, both cartridges
have clear housing so it will be easy for me to see when the cartridges
become contaminated & need changing.

6:15 dinner: Italian sausage, penne pasta in spaghetti sauce, broccoli,
salad & toast.

Early evening movie: “A Day in October.” A gripping fact based drama set
in WWII Denmark chronicles the fate of a young Jewish woman…..she brings a
stranger—wounded resistance fighter into her home jeopardizing the lives
of her family. Great film.

Late evening movie: “Private Benjamin,” with Goldie Hawn. A bubble headed
Jewish, American princess enlists in the Army. Quite funny @ times…..the
1st half was better.

High temp=51 Lights out: 10:34pm

Awake: 4:30am Temp 42 Sleep 5+52 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

A very casual morning for us. We’ve been invited to the Foote home this
afternoon for a cookout. We arrive about 3:30. Kevin & Bob give me a tour
of what they have been doing all morning: digging dirt from the area where
a cement slab will be placed for the air conditioning compressor and
moving that dirt into the garden area.

5:15 dinner: Hamburgers grilled by Kevin with lettuce, tomato, onion,
toasted bun, corn on the cob, oven baked rosemary-parmesan potato wedges
made by Melissa & fresh strawberries, pineapple, and watermelon.

The senior Footes are leaving by train tomorrow morning for D.C. to visit
with their youngest daughter, Billy Ann, & her fiancé, Jason, for a week.
Then they will continue their vacation & visit with Bob’s sister, Tony, &
her husband in Virginia. It was very nice having them in Indiana @ Kevin &
Melissa's home during the baptism of Andrew. We thanked them for bringing
the halibut & their visit, say our goodbyes, & wish them “bon voyage” then
drive back to our bus @ 6:30pm.

No movie tonight; nothing of interest.

High temp=52 Lights out: 10:36pm

Awake: 6:30am Temp 45 Sleep 7+15 Light rain….then partly sunny
overnight @ Nicktown

Gary & Rosemary arrive @ 1:42pm…after a glass of wine and friendly
chatter; we leave for the Foote home @ 2:30. The senior Footes: (Bob &
Diane) + Bob’s sister Marne (who drove in from Cincinnati, Ohio) are
introduced to the proud godparents of Andrew, Gary & Rosemary. Then Kevin
graciously invites them to witness a splendid tourist attraction: his
progress so far on the “Space Pak” air conditioning system upstairs. You
should have heard all of the gasps, the ahs & the wows as those stunned
onlookers just struggled to fine words to show their appreciation for such
artwork of technology. The humble Kevin just stood by & smiled. I knew
just what he was thinking: oh boy, I just hope the thing works!

After that grand showing, it was time to snack on Kathy’s finger
sandwiches ….tasting the individually labeled delights for which she
received many compliments and Melissa’s edible “fish pond” and French
“fish” bread which also received yummy “oohs & ahs.”

In 3 cars, we make our way to Saint Thomas More University Church @ 4:23
for the 5:00pm Mass. Andrew is wide-eyed & alert & seems to know that this
day is special for him…..his Baptism. During the Mass, Father Willy warmly
acknowledges the Kevin and Melissa Foote family several times mentioning
their participation in past Masses, and esp. Matthew’s loud singing which
he encourages. He emphasizes how important godparents are & Baptism is to
our faith. Not even a whimper from Andrew (who was naked save for a white
towel in which he was loosely wrapped) when Father poured the holy water
over his hairy head, and then paraded him up & down each aisle of this
large church, introducing him to the congregation. He was sooo cute,
looking @ all of those strangers with his big eyes. It was truly a sight
to behold! While the congregation recited the prayers of the faithful,
Andrew was taken back to a room where he was dressed in a nice white
outfit plus the white Baptismal stole that his godmother, Rosemary, had
made for him…then he along with his parents, brother and godparents
processed back into church, presenting the gifts at the Offertory. By the
time Andrew came back to our pew he was sound asleep. What a guy!

Afterward, it’s back to the Foote home for wine before dinner, then buffet
style eating of all those favorite foods Melissa & Kathy carefully

@ approximately 7:45pm Father Willy paid us a personal visit for the
occasion. With his quick wit & knowledge of many things, the “holy”
entertainment continued for another hr or better. It was a wonderful

We drive Gary & Rosemary back to our motorhome where they get into their
auto & head to their home.

High temp=53 Lights out: 10:42pm

Awake: 5:54am Temp 43 Sleep 7+10 morning rain

We drive to our community center & join the immigrant coffee club members
for an hr. After breakfast, Kathy begins making food for our grandson,
Andrew’s, Baptismal celebration tomorrow. Since Saint Andrew was a
fisherman, she and Melissa have decided that fish will be the theme for
their culinary endeavors.

She starts with a halibut divan casserole, then a halibut lasagna
casserole. The halibut was flown in with the senior Footes on Tuesday but
Kevin had caught it in Alaska during 2004.

Next, finger sandwiches made from whole wheat bread, cut in the shape of
crosses, fishes & stars. Each sandwich was spread with one of 5 spreads
which Kathy made; tuna Curry, tuna salsa, tomato bacon, garden veggie or
egg salad. In addition, each sandwich had a toothpick flag identifying
the flavor of spread. About 25 sandwiches were made. Kathy also made a
huge mixed salad. And wait, there’s more: whole wheat, cut out sugar
cookies in a fish design individually painted with colored frosting.

Meanwhile in Indiana, Melissa is adding homemade French bread in the shape
of a fishes, wild & white rice, plus an editable “fish pond” made of cream
cheese “water” tinted blue with pretzel sticks & carrots sticks for
fishing poles, & miniature gold fish crackers to catch.

Kathy literally spent the rest of the morning, all afternoon & some of the
evening cooking, making those toothpick flags & painting the cookies to
look more fishy.

What did I do to contribute to this worthy cause you ask? Well ahem, I
stayed away from her galley & took some photos of her artwork from a
distance + ran an errand to town for some food coloring & sharp cheddar
cheese….. & also looked thru more of my motorhome magazines.

7:45 dinner: Hamburger ghoulish over whole wheat noodles, spinach salad &

No movies tonight: I was rather exhausted from Kathy’s busy day.

High temp=47 Lights out: 10:38pm

Awake: 7:30am Temp 49 Sleep 5+41 rain…most of the morning
partly sunny mid-afternoon & evening. Overnight@Nicktown

Drive to our community center & join the unbelievable coffee club members
for over an hr.

After breakfast, K & I take some time to organize & clean up our home a
little before the VIP’s arrive later this afternoon.

@ 11:00 am, Al K. picks me up for a noon-time Rotary meeting & lunch @ the
Cambria Hill Country Club; en route we stop in Barnesboro to pick up Anne
who also is a Rotary member.
Meanwhile Kathy uses the Suzuki to go shopping @ Wal-Mart & West End
market in Ebensburg.

@ the Rotary meeting, 5 high school seniors from the Cambria County area,
each received a $1000,00 scholarship to start their freshman year in the
college of their choice. The monies came from this local Rotary chapter.

Lunch was delicious: Meatloaf, potatoes, noodles with tomatoes, cantaloupe
& strawberry shortcake. Al delivers me back to the bus @ 1:50pm.

Kathy returns @ 2:10pm & the Junior + Senior Footes arrive @ 2:20. It’s
raining intermittently so we all hang out in the bus for 2 hrs. Kevin & I
do take the time, however, to drive across town & take the long aluminum
ladder out of storage, load it into the Ford van & tie the rear doors
close to shut. The senior Footes live in Montana & are taking a 3 week
vacation to visit their children. They all leave @ 4:35pm.

8:15 light dinner: Leftover turkey meal from our mid-afternoon Heilwood
visit on Tuesday.

No movie tonight; nothing of interest.

High temp=53 Lights out: 10:44pm

Awake: 6:28am Temp 48 Sleep 7+43 rain most of the day
overnight@ Nicktown.

Drive to our community center & join the explosive coffee club members for
45 min before attending the 9:30am children’s Mass with Father Larry.

After breakfast, I call Texas & order a “Big Rigs” campground book….hoping
to have it before we leave town in June. Then I renew our membership with
the “Passport America Campground Association” by signing up for an
additional 3 yrs.

@ 4:04pm Barry & his wife Bonnie Lou L. pick us up & we start heading
toward Pittsburgh. About ½ half of the way (Murrysville) we stop @ Dick’s
Diner for dinner. Kathy & I share crab cakes, broccoli & we each have a
large salad & roll.

In Pittsburgh @ the Mellon Arena parking lot, we meet up with B & B’s son
Todd, who lives & works near this area. He also spent his college days @
Duquesne U. a few blocks away.

We are here to attend a performance by “Andre Rieu & his Johann Strauss
Orchestra.” Kathy & I purchased our tickets on-line so we won’t be sitting
with B, B and T.

Our seat location is good. We have a clear view of the stage & we both
have our binoculars. 5600 people paid to see this show. Andre Rieu is
Dutch but his orchestra members are from around the world.

What a performance……it was fantastic! The female orchestra members dressed
in colorful formal gowns were the first notable difference from our more
staid, black clad American orchestras. The music selections, as well as
the way in which they were played, were grand & engaging. They had
fun…laughing, teasing each other, the guys flirting with the gals, etc.
Three male baritones and 3 female sopranos sang solo and harmonizing
selections which were superbly done. Andre Rieu, himself a violinist as
well as the conductor, directed the performance in his own unique style.
They played 20 min over there scheduled quit time with the last song
played being “Braham’s Lullaby” to the gradually dimming of the arena

Afterward, we follow Todd up to Mount Washington, looking down & over the
city lights of Pittsburgh & listened to Todd’s introduction to many of
Pitts higher buildings.

Barry does a good job of driving & we return to our bus around 1:30am. It
was a very enjoyable afternoon & evening.

High temp=53 Lights out: 1:51am

Awake:5:40am Temp 45 Sleep 6+53 rain-lots of rain

Drive to our community center & attend 8:00am Mass before joining the
muggy coffee club members for 1.2 hrs.
After breakfast, Kathy & I peruse my Motorhome, FMCA & Highways magazines
again. Obviously we didn’t finish yesterday. We spend the remainder of the
morning & ½ of the afternoon on this ongoing project.

Larry calls from WI. When we talked last Thursday, he mentioned how nice
it would be if we parked our motorhome on their parking pad & avoid the
running back & forth from the nearest campground? I asked if he had a 50
amp outlet---“NO” says Larry, “but I’ll talk with my electrician & we’ll
see if he can easily do that!” Today he reports: “come on up, 50 amps are
at your service!” Very thoughtful of him.

Gary C. calls: We have a plan for Saturday to attend Andrew’s Baptism in
Indiana, PA.

@ 3:10pm Kathy & I drive to Heilwood(15min) for a mid-afternoon turkey
lunch/dinner sponsored by the Heilwood Presbyterian church for the state
of PA primary election day. They do this twice a yr & it is a favorite
meal for miles around. We are joined by Al & Donna & later, Pat & Frank.
Our plates were so full; we brought some home with us.

Early evening movie: “Postcards from the Edge” with Shirley McLaine &
Meryl Streep, Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman, Richard Dreyfuss, Rob Reiner,
etc. It’s a story about a woman falling prey to drugs while trying to
pursue an acting career—in the shadow of her famous show-business mother.
Great film! 1990

@ 8:00pm I drive to the church hall & attend the Holy Name Society
meeting. 13 guys present & many things discussed; from helping with home
repair of a handicapped senior couple in town, to items in our church to
repair, to the men cooking for a ladies group in the area. This group is
very organized & well conducted.

High temp=48 Lights out: 10:45pm

Awake:5:28am Temp 48 Sleep 6+35 Light rain overnight@Nicktown

Drive to our community center & attend 8:00am Mass before joining the
recalling coffee club members for 50 min.

After breakfast, OUT from my closet bookshelf comes the remainder of my
FMCA (Family Motor Coaching Association), Motor homing & Highways
magazines. I would like to finish going thru them today….maybe?

7:20 dinner: Crispy Dijon chicken, cauliflower in mushroom sauce, mixed
salad & toast.

Early evening: watch President Bush’s speech on the Illegal Immigration &
Border Patrolling dilemmas.

Later evening: watch a documentary on Judy Garland.

High temp=50 Lights out: 10:47

Awake:6:28am Temp 50 Sleep 7+57 partly cloudy overnight@Nicktown

Phone calls come in steadily throughout the day for Kathy’s “Mother’s
Day.” 1st call from Katrina in Denver, then Nick from Seattle. Next, we
rendezvous with Melissa in Strongstown, & later Zack calls from Seattle.
She really enjoyed hearing from all of her children today.

@ 1:10pm we drive to the small town of Strongstown, & join up with the
Footes + my cousin Florentz & his wife Anna for a Mother’s Day dinner
celebration. We eat the ham dinner & talk for 1.5 hrs. The dinner meal was
held in a very old historical school building.

Evening movie: “Shortcuts” with Robert Altman, Andie MacDowell, Jack
Lemmon, Lily Tomlin, Robert Downey Jr., etc. A series of short stories all
happening @ the same time but eventually, interconnected. Basically, a
mordant mosaic of unpleasant, unhappy lives in Southern California. As a
feat, a directorial achievement-it’s something to behold & admire, but as
entertainment it’s less rewarding. 1.5 hrs into the film, we tired of the
unpleasantry & stopped the show. 1993

High temp=66 Lights out: 10:53pm

Awake:4:28am Temp 47 Sleep 6+05 partly sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

We report for work @ the Foote house @ 8:00am sharp. Kevin & I waste no
time in getting started: cutting more 2” holes in the 6’ plenum, attaching
the takeoff tubes & cutting holes thru the 3rd floor attic to supply cold
air to the bedroom below. We also cut a 4” hole thru the attic knee wall
floor into the master bedroom closet & thru that closet floor into the
dining room ceiling on the 1st floor. Today was an easier work day for me
as Kevin did all the hole sawing with his powerful geared down drill. My 8
hrs of work with no lunch are up so we leave @ 4:15pm.

Back @ the bus, we both shower then walk to 6:00pm Mass.

8:00pm dinner: Leftover meatloaf & Italian sausage, broccoli, brown rice,
mixed salad & toast.

Evening movie: “Pleasantville” with Toby Maguire, Jeff Daniels, Reese
Witherspoon, etc. This sly, provocative allegory reveals the shortcomings
of the 1950s-style sitcom “utopias” in a manner that is as subversive as
the ingenious storyline. It was great. Every teen should see it! 1998

High temp? Lights out: 10:31pm

Awake: 5:03am Temp 49 Sleep 6+48 partly sunny Overnight@ Nicktown

Report for work @ the Foote house @ 7:59am. However, this morning Kevin &
Matthew are not here! They went shopping for tools & supplies… our
start time was delayed by 35 min.

Today was tough: I convince Kevin to: finish the skinny knee wall area not
fit for human or beast & be done with it while the weather is cool. He
agrees & we begin prepping that loose 6 ft plenum by fastening the end cap
with screws, taping down the insulation & then the aluminum foil outer
blanket. Next the plenum gets (4) 2” holes cut 18 inches apart. A sticky
rubber donut is added & then a plastic connector locked into place. Later
this plenum will be laid into the skinny knee wall on the street side &
those (4) 3” tubes that we ran last week will be connected to these plenum
connectors. Kevin’s 2” hole saw was so dull that he had to make a quick
run to Lowe’s & buy another.

During Kevin’s shopping time, I began getting the 220 volt wire run more
accessible for connecting to the air handler in the wider, slightly
friendlier knee wall area.

With the plenum in position, screwed down, wrapped with tape etc, there is
very little space for human or beast to wander & I flatly refuse to even
try. Kevin slithers & inches his way back along that knee wall….only his
big feet are visible. With a backward hand shoved along his body, his
muffled voice calls for individual tools & supplies so he can make the
connections of those 4 tubes to their respective connectors on the plenum.
I was his gopher going in & out of that slightly bigger knee wall area to
hand him the appropriate tool @ the proper time. He was horizontal for
over an hr, grunting, groaning but never complaining. He did good & he was
not perspiring.

After he inched & slithered his way back out, we were so happy it was
over; we went downstairs & took a breather for 10 min.

The remainder of our time was spent drilling (2) more holes in the
adjoining plenum that leads back to the air handler & connected (2) more
takeoff tubes. 8 hrs work time today.

Back to our bus, shower then 7:30 dinner: Tuna steaks, cauliflower in
cheese sauce, brown rice, spinach salad & toast.

Evening movie: “Guarding Tess” with Shirley McLaine & Nicolas Cage. A
great…. make you feel good film.

High temp=? Lights out: 10:23pm

Awake: 5:30am Temp 59 Sleep 6+07 Rain�.throughout the day
Overnight @ Nicktown.

Today we begin looking @ our maps�.charting a course for the summer travel
& making a few phone calls to reserve the camping spots in states that get
busy & making sure a few relatives & friends will be available for a
Kathy e-mails her cousin, Jody, in Wisconsin�..I call Larry in WI.

Mid afternoon, the time has come to organize my assortment of magazines
that have continually accumulated on my bookshelf over the yrs. Kathy
volunteers to help out: looking thru the pages for �places of interest, by
state� that we cut out, staple, mark by state & file. It�ll take a few
days to thoroughly go thru the magazine shelf�.for sure.

@ 4:30 Ken P. arrives in the rain & picks up his John Deere tractor. We
don�t talk long in the rain but I do thank him for the use of his machine,
give him some diesel fuel money & ask if we can do this again later in

6:20 dinner: 3 bean stew & toast.

Early evening movie: �My Girl� With Dan Aykroyd & Jamie Lee Curtis. A
genuinely touching, frequently hilarious & heartfelt film about the
difficult adjustments forced on an 11 yr old girl who secretly fears that
she was responsible for her mother�s death. A good family film to watch &
discuss afterward. 1991

Late evening movie: �The Man in the Moon� with Sam Waterston, Tess Harper,
Gail Strickland, etc. Two sisters fall in love with the same boy; the
angst, joy & heartbreak of adolescence + the first love�.it�s all captured
here. Don�t miss it! 1991

High temp=59 Lights out: 10:15pm

Awake: 5:26am Temp 47 Sleep 6+01 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

@ 7:05am, Melissa calls to see if it�s OK to visit today? �You bet!� we
tell her.

Kathy & I walk to our community center, exercise for 1.0 hr before joining
the non-existent coffee club members. Only Bill A. showed up but it was
good as we got to know Bill a little better. After the meeting, we attend
the 9:30am children�s Mass.

@ 12:15pm Ken P. delivers his John Deere 4110 tractor on a trailer for my
use & use it I do. Mowing started @ 1:00 & finished @ 7:00. During mowing
time, I sent Kathy to town for more diesel fuel. She returns @ 2:35 with
Melissa & the boys behind her so it�s break time for me & time to fill the
tank, visit briefly with the gang + take Matthew for his first tractor
ride. This tractor has power steering so Matthew turns that wheel�..&
turns that wheel & around in circles we go. His next lesson will be in 2

This tractor with it�s belly mower, hydro-static drive, power steering &
hydraulic mower platform, 25 horse power engine & 1600 lbs weight + 4
wheel drive�.is a delight to operate. Before the Footes leave, I cruise
back to the motorhome area & give Matthew another steering experience. He
does a lot better @ watching the front tires to see which way they are
turning. Both times when I attempted to lift him off the tractor when the
ride was over, his hands were frozen to the steering wheel & both times
Melissa had to persuade & lure him to let loose of the wheel�.I think he
likes this machine. During this slightly longer break time, I had an ice
cream cone & water.

With the Footes gone, Kathy gets into action with the limb cutters &
slices down many thorn bushes that threaten to bite into a tire or flesh.
After cutting for at least 2 hrs, she drags them up onto our circular
drive for burning later. After our field is finished & looking like a golf
course, I wash off the tractor, top it off with diesel fuel, take a good
hot shower & slowly drink a cold beer. During the night, we listened to
rain falling on our roof. Our timing was good.

9:15pm dinner: Meatloaf, baked potato, mixed salad & toast.

No movie tonight!

High temp=73 Lights out: 11:23pm

Awake: 5:28am Temp 46 Sleep 6+28 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

Walk to 8:00 am Mass this morning, then join the enigmatic coffee club
members for about 40 min.

After breakfast, I continue prepping & checking our motorhome for travel:
today I clean all 4 slide tops, inside & outside. Then retract & extend
each slide for a good hydraulic verification of operation. During my
hydraulic check, Donna K. visits to have Kathy put drops in her right
eye…..while baby sitting, her granddaughter, Lydia, accidentally scratched
her cornea.

Next I run the Detroit Diesel for 20 min while Kathy makes a trip to our
post office.

Later we call my sister Corinne to find out “how goes it @ UPJ for the
first week?” “It went very good” she reported to us.

7:45 dinner: Pecan chicken casserole, fried brown rice with bacon, corn
from my cousin Florentz’s garden(off the cob), mixed salad & toast.

Evening Movie: “Murphy’s Romance” with Sally Fields & James Garner. This
sweet little love story marks the finest performance by James Garner. Both
he & Sally Fields are great together & the result is a complete charmer.

High temp=70 Lights out: 11:25pm

Awake: 5:48am Temp 47 Sleep 6+28 Cloudy Overnight@ Nicktown

Drive to our community center & attend 8:00am Mass before joining the
ominous coffee club members for 40 min.

After breakfast, I begin prepping our motorhome for X-country travel:
clean the engine battery compartment area & check the electrolytic level
in each cell of the (2) 8D batteries; clean & lubricate our tow bar to
pull the Suzuki; lubricate the rear engine cap hinges; add coolant to the
engine cooling system & add some hydraulic fluid to the system reservoir.

7:00pm dinner: Apple stuffed pork chop on a bed of mushroom rice, stewed
tomatoes with green beans, & spinach salad + toast.

Early evening movie: “Another Woman” with Gene Hackman, Gena Rowlands &
Mia Farrow. A subtle, yet engrossing portrait of a woman reassessing her
own identity & purpose….definitely will not bring laughter. 1988

Later evening movie: “Back to School” with Rodney Dangerfield, Robert
Downey Jr. & Sally Kellerman. A real surprise for us: Rodney sheds his
usual lewd & crude image in favor of a more sympathetic & controlled one.
It was actually pretty well done. 1986.

High temp=62 Lights out: 11:00pm

Awake: 5:50am Temp 37 Sleep 7 hrs Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

We attend 8:00am Mass & afterwards Kathy makes whole wheat sourdough
pancakes with eggs over easy with bacon. As a bonus, we watch a
documentary on Rita Hayworth who was a beautiful & talented woman….also
married 6 times.

Today’s plan: hang around our motorhome: make a few phone calls, do a
little reading & watch a few movies.

In talking to Nick, he reports little sleep: too much night time activity
with baby Jerry, Eriko & grandma.

Sometime around sevenish dinner: Filet mignon, brown rice pilaf, broccoli,
mixed salad & toast.

Early evening movie: “Homecoming” with Anne Bancroft & Kimberlee Peterson.
A good family film with a “make you feel good” finish.1996

Later evening movie: “Mask of Zorro” with Antonio Banderas, Anthony
Hopkins & Catherine Zeta Jones. Expertly crafted action entertainment +
the best filmed incarnation of the Mexican masked man yet. How about

High temp=63 Lights out: 11:15pm

Awake: 5:31am Temp 48 Sleep 7+14 mostly cloudy overnight@

Arrive @ the Foote house @ 8:00am. To confirm our workday’s direction, we
take the removable 6’ plenum, carry it over to the skinny knee wall street
side of the house & ever so slowly move it into position as a test....yes,
it’s tight & it fits.

So we continue with plan “A” which takes up most of the morning with Kevin
hanging those 4 supply tubes that we ran yesterday on the street side knee
wall. I was his gopher: feeding him the tools he needed to work with. He
had a tough position to work in. After the hanging of those 4 supply tubes
is complete, the 6’ plenum will be prepared for permanent placement &
those tubes will be connected to that plenum. Kevin measured carefully the
length of hose needed to make each run rather it is to be on the 2nd floor
or 1st floor. Now the remaining supply hose can be sawed off & coiled back
into its box.

During the afternoon, Kevin was the hole saw expert & cut a 4 1/8” hole
thru the attic floor leading to the closet of the so called: “Moon Room.”
Then a 4” cut thru the closet floor & another 3” cut into the living room
ceiling. We install a long 4” diameter PVC pipe from the 3rd floor attic
to the moon room closet floor which will guard the supply hose that runs
thru the closet against any damage. Then we pull the supply tubing that
runs thru from the skinny knee wall area, over to the North side knee wall
area, down into the moon room closet & thru to the living room ceiling &
supply cold air for that section of the living room.

@ 3:00pm we stop our space Pak work. Then with special help from Matthew,
Kevin & I assemble the new gas grille the Footes purchased for their
anniversary. We’ve been invited to help them celebrate their 6th

5:45 dinner @ the Footes: Grilled hamburgers, grilled corn on the cob,
grill-toasted buns, baked beans, potato chips and the appropriate
condiments for a delicious meal. Again, Kevin does a great job.

Back to our home-on-wheels around 7:00pm.

Evening entertainment: Not much! We had several starts for a movie, none
of which met our high expectations. So, we each read our respective

High temp=62 Lights out: 10:50pm

Awake: 5:18am Temp 51 Sleep 6+40 partly sunny Overnight@

Check in @ the Foote house @ 8:02am for more Space Pak adventures. This
morning’s target: get (3) supply air tubes run through the skinny knee
wall area street side. One cannot climb, crawl or slither through this
approx 20 ft long area. When we shine our bright halogen light thru this
passageway, it looks like the smallest restrictive area would allow (3) 3”
tubes to be pulled thru from one side to the other. Luckily, Eric the
electrician left a pull wire for us to start with. Kevin gives me this job
while he shops for more needed tools in prep for our next challenge.

My 1st idea was to find a plastic soda bottle to use as a small projectile
& affix the supply hose behind it. The joists are running 90 degrees to
the pull direction & I am sure each joist 2X6 will snag on something
bigger. Downstairs, I ask the girls & Kevin before he leaves…..none found
in the house.

Ok, so to begin, a 50 ft length of rope is pulled thru to get rid of the
stiff wire & then I crudely construct a bullet nose out of cardboard &
tape the supply tube behind it. Sure enough, nearly every joist possible
snags on my “not so streamlined” bullet. Numerous trips from one side of
the room into the knee wall to free it up by whipping the rope or
reposition the bullet, than back to the other knee wall side to continue
the pull. It was frustrating, tiring & by 9:30am, I was nearly worn out.
Finally, about a long hr + later, the 1st tube was thru the passageway.

Kevin returned shortly thereafter with some good news: among other needed
tools, he had found a plastic water bottle just the right size. Kevin cut
the bottom off & drilled a hole thru the lid. Next we ran the rope thru
the bottle with the knot inside the bottle & the supply hose # 2 stuck
inside & taped. With Kevin on one side of the knee wall & me on the other,
we ran that # 2 supply hose thru in less than 5 min. Anytime the new
bullet even considered snagging, we would taunt the line & on it would go.
# 3 supply hose took maybe 2 min & with such exuberance, we even tried &
successfully ran a # 4 supply hose thru the narrow passageway.
Unbelievable! It made our day. Now we have 4 supply hoses that have not
been cut from each of the 4 boxes of 100 ft each. Needless to say, both
knee wall entry areas are getting crowded. Before calling it quits today,
each remaining 40 to 60 ft of hose left over was curled into its shipping
box for now & moved aside for a wider path.

8.0 hrs on Space Pac today… lunch.

Shower for me before the 7:00pm dinner: Crab cakes, tuna & noodle
casserole, salad & toast.

Evening movie: “Uncle Buck” with John Candy & Amy Madigan. Very
entertaining with a good message thrown in……we both liked it.

High temp=? Lights out: 10:17pm

Awake: 4:44am Temp 47 Sleep 6+15 partly cloudy
Overnight @ Nicktown

Check in @ the Foote house @ 8:02am. Plenum duct work today: 8 hrs & no
lunch. We took a 30 min break during my Cousin Andrea’s visit & that was
it. Andrea has been very patient; we gave her a 100% silk pink scarf today
for doing the Footes a BIG favor last year. It was bought in Hong Kong
during our Asian Pacific Cruise & she was happy to finally receive it.

Our duct work progress was very good. We connected, fastened with screws
then taped that connection with aluminum foil & also taped the outside
aluminum foil that covers the insulation of each 6’ plenum joint save for
the tee connection. What we didn’t do was connect an elbow & one end
plenum section to allow crawling space for the air conditioning guys to
run their Freon lines thru the knee wall area. Kevin wasn’t real sure if
he could squeeze in “one more plenum” on the street side of the house….we
think we can but we’ll check again later. We work an extra 30 min to make
up for Andrea’s visit. Back to our bus @ 5:45pm.

8:00pm dinner: Chicken stirs fry with brown rice, mixed salad & toast.

Evening movie: “Do the Right Thing,” 1989. Spike Lee’s controversial study
of the deep-rooted racism in America starts off as a hilarious
multi-character comedy & evolves into a disturbing, thought provoking&
timely drama. It was good but it was bad. Kathy didn’t like it from the
beginning but I found it to be an excellent character study experience.
However, when I glanced over to see how she was doing during the movie,
she was sound asleep… maybe (I) didn’t “do the right thing” by
watching: “Do the Right Thing.”

High temp=? Lights out: 10:38pm

Awake: 5:51am Temp 51 Sleep time 6+30 partly sunny overnight
@ Nicktown

K & I drive to the community center for 1.3 hrs of exercise & then join
the disappearing coffee club members for a very short time. 98% of our
regular coffee members are boarding the “happy time” bus @ 9:00am to
attend the funeral of a very well known & admired clergy member from the
local areas. Many buses are leaving from small towns like ours to pay
their respect to Father Germaine. The Mass & celebration is being held @
St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe, PA., a 1.5 hr drive. K & I didn’t know
this priest so we won’t be going.

Back to our bus where Kathy & Melissa have a good phone chat about Jerry &
Eriko’s different birthing methods.

I call Gary & Rosemary C. & announce Jerry’s arrival.

Finally Starla in Alaska returns my call regarding credit from the tractor
ad that wasn’t used. She apologized for the tardy response & reported
being very busy this time of yr.

I write a check for taxes on some property we still have in Colorado since
the early 70’s.

I type out a “confirmation of equipment sale” to Alex who purchased my
Kubota etc. Then make a run to our local post office & also the
Krumenacker Hardware store to re-stock my Hornet & Wasp spray ammunition

Way before dinner, K & I sit outside on our camping chairs & enjoy our
glass of wine time.

6:00pm Mass @ St. Nicholas church. Afterwards, we talk @ length with the
lively, active & senior, Mrs. Kline.

8:00pm dinner: Leftover Italian sausage, whole wheat noodles, broccoli,
mixed salad & toast.

Evening movie: “Bullets Over Hollywood” with John Cusack, Rob Reiner, etc.
It was…just ok.

Later evening: a documentary on “Bette Davis.” Now this film was what I
would call, entertaining & historical.

High temp=73 Lights out: 10:29pm

Awake: 4:50am Temp 44 Sleep time 6+36 sunny overnight @

Drive to the community center for 1.2 hrs of exercise, then attend 8:00am
Mass before joining the amusing coffee club members for 50 min.

Around 11:30, Kathy was happily watching one of her favorite TV shows via
satellite in the bedroom when suddenly: no signal & the TV went blank.
This scenario has happened before but usually it recovers rather quickly.
Not this time however & I tried everything I could using my limited
knowledge of the codes for our (IRD) Integrated Receiver Decoder…to no
avail. Ok, Kathy is being patient & maybe it’ll start working eventually
but now, I am curious & need to learn more about this system.

Hello Darrell @ TracStar in Florida. He guides me thru all the necessary
checks using the IRD, many more than I knew about & still…no signal. Then
Darrell asks: “Do you have any other antennas up on your roof?” “Why yes
we do,” I told him. "Ah could you bring it down for now?" I push the
button that retracts the local antenna & then: “Bingo!” That was the
interference. By now, Kathy’s program was over & We are still learning!

I call Starla @ the Anchorage Daily News & leave another message to return
my call.

My brother Don calls from Hilton Head, South Carolina. They had to abandon
their tandem bike ridding trip about 200 miles short of their destination:
Hilton Head, due to very heavy traffic & no berm to ride on. They were @
the apex of a steep bridge when a fast moving & weaving car with a driver
on drugs bumped the rear of their bike & nearly knocked them over. The
bike wobbled & brother regained control enough to continue riding on down
past the bridge where they found a little more space to stop & look things
over. A mirror was hit with force that slammed into his wife Josie’s leg &
a saddle bag was knocked into it’s bracing but not into the rear tire.
Unbeknown to them, another driver behind them who witnessed the incident
took the license plate number, followed this guy, called 911 & they
reported this to the police. Further up the road, the police had responded
& pulled the guy over. Along comes my brother & his wife, they stop & the
police ask them if they are the couple who were in the “hit & run”
incident? The guy on drugs was pretty well out of it according to my
brother & he was being escorted to a local jail. Don & Josie continued
riding for another 100 miles & then decided they had better call a bike
shop & find out if the heavy traffic continues and if the road condition
got any better (had a berm). The answer was: better rent a truck, put the
bike in the truck & drive to your destination. What a story! I couldn’t
talk any longer as Al K. arrived; we are attending a Rotary meeting with
him in Ebensburg tonight.

En route to our meeting, we stop for 3 bags of ice @ the Sunoco station &
then continue on to Appledale Golf Club where a room was set up for our
meeting. This evening’s program features not only the regional group
(Northern Cambria, Ebensburg, & Portage ) but also an international group
from the North Coast of Germany. The Rotary sponsors international
exchanges of young professionals (age 25-40 years) from various countries
to different states. The 4 young professionals applied along with several
others for this trip to PA and were selected by a Rotarian team in
Germany. They spend a month in the state staying with Rotarian host
families and being toured to areas of interest.

Dinner: Choice of Chicken legs or sliced beef, green beans, potatoes, &
rolls plus ice cream with strawberry sauce for dessert.

After dinner: Peter, the group leader introduced each of the young
professionals and told a little about each of them. Then they shared in
giving a slide presentation focusing on various aspects of their German
state; geography, industry, education, entertainment, culinary
specialties, etc.

Al makes a quick stop @ the local Wal-Mart for us for a few groceries
before returning to our motorhome.

Inside our living room, our cell phone is blinking with a message: Jerry
Youkou Kirsch came into the world @ 2:50pm West Coast time, weighing 5 lbs
& 13 oz, length 19 inches. We call Nick: he reports mother, Eriko, Jerry
Youkou, & father are doing fine. Yippee! Another grandson!

High temp=77 Lights out: 11:21pm

Awake: 5:19am Temp 47 Sleep time 6+51 partly sunny overnight
@ Nicktown

Drive to the community center for 50 min of exercise, then attend 8:00am
Mass before joining the funereal coffee club members for a short 25 min.

Melissa & our grandsons visit us from 2:30 until 4:30. Matthew & I play
with the small cars & trucks outside throughout most of their visit.
However, @ one point, Matthew asked his Mama to play with him & help make
different roads. Sure enough, Melissa immediately had a better idea which
pleased Matthew very much. Ah ha, competition brings creativity.

Late afternoon I call Starla @ the Anchorage Daily News & leave another
message to return my call.

6:30 dinner: Italian sausage, lasagna, & toast.

Early evening satellite movie: “Rookie of the Year.” This was a good
film…..for kids! 1993.

@ 7:45 my first cousin Joan D. visits & brings us candles, a nice “Welcome
to our parish” card signed by the Altar & Rosary Society's "Welcoming
Committee" & a publication listing the various parish societies &
committees. Joan visits with us for over an hr with lots of up-to-date
talk & a little reminiscing about the good ole days. She lived only a
stones throw from our farm house.

Later evening: K & I watch the last 1/3 of the movie: “Casablanca.” We’ve
seen it before but it’s oh so good.

High temp=69 Lights out: 10:14pm

Awake: 6:19am Temp 43 Partly sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

On Friday, Kathy made some healthy muffins using whole wheat flour,
bananas, pure maple syrup, Crasins, chopped walnuts, etc. This morning for
breakfast, we each had a muffin, with 2 eggs over easy & bacon. They were

Sometime later I do the spring cleaning on our Fisher Paykal dishwasher,
reset the rinse solution & clean the big filter.

Last Friday the 21st when I dumped 7 loads of topsoil into those deep ruts
from our motorhome, I noticed quite a few rocks were mixed in with the
soil. Today, Kathy & I walked over to the area & picked out all the rocks
we could find without digging too far into the soil. I wouldn’t want our
neighbor Nick to chip a blade on his riding mower.

Late afternoon, I check my credit card receipts against the organized

5:30 dinner: Herbed pork in mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, sateed
broccoli in cheese sauce, spinach salad & toast.

Evening satellite movie: “Dirty Dancing,” 1987. This film would have been
“X” rated during the 50’s.

Late evening satellite movie: “Wake Island.” Advertised as a true story &
the first realistic American film made about World War II…..upon further
investigation, we found out that quite a few issues & conclusions were
“not so true” after all. 1942

High temp=67 Lights out: 10:28pm

Awake: 5:00am Temp 37 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

7:55am report time for the continuation on the Foote project. 1st thing
for me: drive over to the Tractor Supply store for Tigon tubing & a hose
clamp for the alternate drip pan. Total work time on the Space Pak today
was 7 hrs: foam pads put underneath the air handler; drip pan with drain
in place & the air handler on the floating platform, balanced & connected
to a section of plenum duct leading to the knee wall attic. Finally we are
able to move forward beyond that air handler.

I take 5 min & call the Anchorage Daily news & leave a message with Starla
in the Ad department.

Now inside the attic area, we realize some of our plenum duct sections
should be hung from the roof rafters to avoid any chance of slight bending
of the plenum duct & possible air leak. We need hanging straps now so a
trip to Loews follows with a quick stop @ Sudsey’s for another sample
bottle of dark beer to consume later. By the time we return, our work time
is up and Kathy, Melissa, and the boys soon return. They took advantage of
the beautiful weather and walked to St. Thomas More church (@ 2 mi. RT) to
attend the health fair sponsored by the church and IUP School of Nursing.

K & I return to our motor coach, shower & walk to 6:00pm Mass @ St.
Nicholas Church.

8:05 dinner: Chicken with scalloped spinach, whole wheat noodles in
spaghetti sauce & toast.

Evening movie: “A place in the Sun” with Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery
Clift, Shelley Winters, Raymond Burr, etc. Taylor, Clift & Winters are
caught in a tragic love triangle which kept us both equally entertained.

Katrina calls from Denver around 10:30pm while driving to visit friends.
She’s doing great!

High temp=64 Lights out: 11:25pm

Awake: 5:30am Temp 37 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

K & I drive to the community center, attend 8:00am Mass & then join the
angelic coffee club members for 45 min.

Computer time for me late morning includes printing out our tickets for
the Andre Rieu & his Johann Strauss Orchestra performance @ the Mellon
Arena in Pittsburgh in May.

6:50 dinner: Tomato soup with crabmeat, rice, spinach salad & toast.

Early evening movie via satellite: “This Side of Heaven” with Lionel
Barrymore. An oldie but a goodie.

Later evening: “Howards End.” A movie that needs to be watched & listened
to closely in order to get the most out of this well made film. 1992.

High temp=62 Lights out: 11:02pm

Awake: 5:30am Temp 36 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

K & I join the devilish coffee club members @ 8:30 for about 40 min.
Afterward, we pick up our forwarded mail coming from Alaska @ our local
post office.
Shortly after breakfast, we both spend some time going thru our mail &
Kathy discovers a missing credit on her Visa that we expected to get from
an Ad that was cancelled with the Anchorage Daily News. I must remember to
follow up on this soon.

Early afternoon, I move the secondary filter to the primary position &
then add a new secondary filter to our filtration pump house system. The
primary filter (5 microns) catches most of the iron from our well water so
I have started with this routine once a month to see “how it goes”.

Kathy does 3 laundry loads after my filter change.

6:05 dinner: Leftover filled peppers, scalloped spinach & toast.

Around 7:40pm K & I drive clear across town & visit @ the home of Sally &
Gene F. They will be flying to Alaska with Gene’s brother & sister and
their spouses in June. This is our 2nd meeting with Sally & Gene & our 1st
meeting with their traveling relatives, to answer any questions about
their planned itinerary. They are certainly nice people with a pretty
active schedule of things to see & do for those 2 busy weeks of
vacationing. Kathy did a great job of expounding on their questions &
recommending new non-touristy areas of interest. Back to our coach @

High temp=62 Lights out: 11:19pm

Awake: 6:00am Temp 29 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

K & I join the despotic coffee club members for a fast 30 min. After
breakfast, K leaves @ 9:15 for grocery shopping & returns @ 12:05p. This
was my opportunity to spend some time on our computer.

Melissa, with our 2 grandsons, arrived around 2:30. Taking the long way to
Nicktown, she picked up the finished drip pan and has it in the trunk of
her car. The drip pan looks well made.

We spend close to 30 min inside the coach & then Matthew & I head outdoors
to play with the small cars & trucks making roads in the dirt. Later K, M
& Andrew join us outdoors, sitting on lawn chairs.

Around 3:40 Gary & Rosemary C. arrive bringing their own chairs; a small
lawn party is about to begin. Minutes later, another vehicle pulls up:
it’s Tony whom I haven’t seen in about 5 yrs with a coworker, Charlie.

Tony was my in ground electrical designer for parking our motorhome on our
Nicktown property. Today they are trying to figure out how to bring in
electricity for another new landowner who will be building several
structures on his 100 acres. I walk with them on sections of our property
to help identify the survey posts.

Melissa has a deadline for returning to Indiana but before she leaves, she
asks Rosemary & Gary if they would consider being Godparents for little
Andrew. She reminds them that it could be a great responsibility & to
think about it overnight. Then M, M & Andrew leave about 4:45.

After that, we 4 continue with the even smaller lawn party until the
cooler air moves into the area & moves us into our motorhome. Later during
our meal of: salad, stuffed peppers, scalloped Parmesan spinach, &
sourdough bread with Delaware peach crisp and ice cream for dessert….G & R
said that they were honored to have been chosen by Melissa & Kevin to be
Godparents. Actually Kathy & I were also thinking: we are the lucky &
honored ones…to have such good & faithful people join us in our family

No movie for us tonight….G & R were our 5 star entertainment for the
afternoon & evening.

High temp=63 Lights out: 10:34pm


Monthly Archives

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2006 is the previous archive.

June 2006 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.