August 2007 Archives

Awake: 6:42am Temp 68 sleep 6+18 cloudy overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Drive to 8:00 am Mass; afterward cousin Flossy gives us another bag of his homegrown veggies. Then we drive to Indiana, PA & grocery shop @ Wal-Mart & Martin’s. On Philadelphia Street in town, Kathy buys a 29 tea sampler for the theme basket.

Then we visit the Foote family; Kevin & Matthew are just leaving to visit Loews where on Saturday, the young kids make some sort of a practical wooden structure that they can bring back home. Kevin quickly gives me a (3) way wall switch to finish wiring during his absence.
Meanwhile, Melissa puts Andrew down for his late morning nap upstairs & then returns to the kitchen to start making some dinner. Lucky Kathy gets to hold Nathaniel for awhile & then it’s my turn. He looks so peaceful in my arms as I talk & hum a little off key music. Then I introduced myself as: “I’m your ‘G’ Daddy” & I could have sworn there was a slight smile come over his face when he heard that. He nearly fell asleep but then the fussing began & his mother figured he was ready for another meal.

When Matthew & Kevin return, they bring in their latest project: a small double plant holder with handle. Matthew really enjoys doing this on Saturdays with his dad.

Kathy discovers clean towels in the washing machine and hangs them on the line outside to dry. Matthew & Kathy work with Melissa in the kitchen, making a couple meals to help her get thru the week. Then Matthew is after grandma to play and outside they go.

After some needed assistance on my wiring project, Kevin begins his job of making the dinner. Before long, we are called to join them for: grilled hamburgers with all the trimmings, potato chunks, & a salad. Kevin makes a great hamburger.

Next we all take a walk around the neighborhood block again with Matthew riding his tricycle & Andrew exploring creatures along the sidewalk. This time however, Matthew was a little tired & pedaled slowly; Andrew, imitating his brother, insisted on being carried quite a lot & dragged behind when walking.

We leave @ 3:15 & head for Nicktown. En route, Ken calls to find out if he can pick up his tractor. Kathy takes the call & relays my message that the keys are in the ignition. I was hoping to get there in time to see him but, alas, he was fast.

We barely have time to cut each other’s hair & take showers before walking to church to attend the 6:00pm vigil Mass, but we did & we looked good doing it.

Dinner: a small but mighty BLT sandwich with a side of Flossy’s corn on the cob.
After dinner, Kathy par-boils 12 ears of corn, quickly cools them, cuts the kernels off the cob, & bags the corn kernels for freezing.

Late evening movie: “A Farewell to Arms” with Helen Hayes, Gary Cooper, Adolphe Menjou, Mary Philips, Jack LaRue, etc. A lushly romantic adaptation of Hemingway’s novel about an ill-fated WWI romance between an American soldier & British nurse. 1932. For its time, some remarkable cinematography; the story line however, was a bit….too much.

Lights out: 12:21am

Awake: 6:12am Temp 67 sleep 6+11 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

We walk to 8:00am Mass; join the Koffee Klub for (1) hr & then, exercise for (60) min before a happenstance visit with Father Job for (15) min. Next we walk over to the hardware store, buy a wire brush & water filter & then stop to pay cousin, Dave, & his wife, Marge, a (20) min visit on their front porch. Dave is a very active Koffee Klub member who is recovering from major surgery, triple abdominal aneurysm resection (removal of 3 aneurysms from the abdomen). Kathy had to help me with that descriptive medical update. We all miss his vast knowledge, humor & creative thinking addition to our discussions.

I spend some time changing the # 1 water filter on our pump house & the # 1 filter on our portable filter setup. After that, I drive to Barnesboro & fill up my diesel fuel container so I can top off the John Deere tractor for Ken when he retrieves it later.

Kathy busies herself in the galley: grating 2 very large zucchinis from Irwin P., freezing most of it, baking a cranberry zucchini cake, & making a pot of fresh tomato (we have lots of fresh tomatoes) zucchini beef soup. It’s wonderful to get all these fresh vegetables but Kathy has to keep “baking & making” to use them up & enjoy that delicious homegrown flavor.

Dinner: Fresh tomato zucchini beef soup with oyster crackers & the last apple dumpling from Melissa; excellent meal. We had the air conditioning running so our hot meal was apropos for the inside cool room.

Late movie: “Kings Row” with Ann Sheridan, Robert Cummings, Ronald Reagan, Berry Field, Charles Coburn, etc. Forerunner of Peyton Place still retains its sweep of life in pre-WW1 Midwestern town, with the fates of many townsfolk intertwined. It was Reagan’s 1st performance. 1942. Quite good; squeeze it toward the top of your list.

High temp=86 Lights out: 12:24am

Awake: 6:13am Temp 64 sleep 6+01 fog……mid afternoon TRW’s & heavy rain overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & then join the Koffee Klub for 1.5 hrs.
About an hr later, Al & his wife, Donna, pick us up to attend the weekly Rotary meeting. After the meeting, we all do some quick shopping in Barnesboro before returning to Nicktown.

Due to the large lunch @ Rotary, our dinner is skimpy: leftover pizza & a salad.

I squeeze in a little leftover mowing after dinner; now I am officially finished for the season. Just in time though, the heavy rain moved in & so did I.

Evening movie with popcorn: earlier recorded on DVR: “Libeled Lady” with Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy, Walter Connolly, etc. Wonderful comedy with the four stars working at full steam; conniving newspaper editor Tracy uses his fiancée (Harlow) & ex-employee (Powell) to get the goods on hot-headed heiress Loy—but everything goes wrong. 1936. Sit back & enjoy; we sure did.

We call Katrina in Denver & leave a message.

High temp=80 Lights out: 12:01am

Awake: 6:21am Temp 59 sleep 6+21 cloudy overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

K & I attend the Koffee Klub meeting & then exercise for (70) min.

Back @ the bus, Gary C. calls; he tells a sad story about spilled milk. Most of us are familiar with the phrase, “don’t cry over spilled milk.” So for $10.00 & a self addressed stamped envelope, I will send you the very exciting & sad story that Gary C. relayed to me about his spilled milk. It’s true; it really happened & you will be amazed. Don't delay; this special offer only good until tomorrow.

Just this morning after exercising, our TV quit working. I could get the upper 1/5th of the screen like the heading, but nothing else. I had no idea of where to begin. Fortunately, I called DirecTV about (5) min later. Jeremy @ DirecTV, casually reminded me of the reset feature on the receiver &, maybe (7) min later, bingo! All is normal again.

Speaking of TV’s, I load the Foote TV in the trunk of the Lexus; drive to Indiana, PA & return it to its rightful owners. I could not fix their DVD problem. I made a few calls & none of the repair shops I talked with had any idea of where parts could be found for this brand of TV.
I affixed the recently welded seat to Andrew’s tricycle & set it to the lowest position. However, I soon realized that Andrew’s legs are not quite long enough to reach the pedals; maybe a few more months or Kevin could add wooden blocks to get Andrew behind the handlebars sooner.

We take a walk around the block with the Foote family for some fresh air, sunshine & exercise for the boys. Matthew rode his tricycle, sometimes giving Andrew a ride on the back but most of the time Andrew walked, literally taking time to smell the flowers &, of course, searching for ants & other bugs on the sidewalk; it was an amusing time. Kathy leaves to do more shopping in the stores of Indiana, looking for items to complete a “tea” theme basket for the Theme Basket Boutique @ Nicktown Homecoming Picnic while I return to our bus in Nicktown.

I attend evening 6:00pm Mass; en route back to our bus, I stop & visit Nick & Eleanor T. who are on their porch relaxing. Nick has recently returned from an emergency stay in the hospital where he had to have a pace maker put in place. He looks & sounds good but is having to take it easy for a while yet. After about 15 min, Kathy drives by, waves, parks the Suzuki & walks back to join in the visit.

Late dinner: BLT’s & grapes.

Evening movie: “I Want You” with Dana Andrews, Dorothy McGuire, Farley Granger, Peggy Dow, Robert Keith, etc. Dated yet still touching Americana detailing effects of the Korean War on a small-town family. 1972. Yes dated, but very much alive with our Iraq war dilemma.
High temp=? Lights out: 12:12am

Awake: 6:50am Temp 61 sleep 6+00 steady rain, heavy @ times overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

K & I drive to the 8:30am Koffee Klub meeting @ the community center. John B. was our scheduled speaker today so our meeting lasted longer than normal. It was difficult to bring the meeting to a close because the guy is so good. Afterward, Kathy exercises for (60) min & I, using the umbrella, walk back to our bus.

A quick breakfast & then I call Charlie, the electrical tech @ the Newell factory. I must admit, this motorhome to tow car wiring dilemma is beginning to bug me. Charlie has me taking voltage checks, continuity readings, checking relays, wire colors, etc. Finally, he asks if our tail lights & turn signal lights are little round lit up bulbs. “Yes” I tell him. He says: “I know what your problem is” and a laugh follows that comment. Some more high tech discussion continues & then, that chapter of confusion is closed for now. Sorry you engineers out there, but I can’t comfortably reveal the solution to our confusing mystery @ this time. Sometime later, I’ll have a better grip on what & why a simple thing like that would turn up to be seemingly so complicated & confusing.

Mid afternoon, K & I visit Rosemary & Herm L. for 3.2 hrs. Herm was feeling a lot better & was fairly talkative. Rosemary showed off her hostess skills as she served us homemade angel food cake and homemade chocolate chip cookies with some “fresh from their cows” cold milk. We always enjoy visiting with Herm & Rosemary.

Dinner: Stuffed pepper (the pepper from neighbor Chuck), home grown corn on the cob from cousin Florentz & a salad.

Evening movie: “Little Voice” with Jane Horrocks, Michael Caine, Brenda Blethyn, Jim Broadbent, etc. When a sleazy talent agent (Caine) & an equally greasy nightclub owner (Broaddent) discover that the reclusive daughter of a middle-aged shrew has the uncanny ability to sing like Judy Garland & other show-business greats, they smell money. But the mousy girl, known as Little Voice, sings for other reasons entirely. 1998. You gotta see it to believe it: she does her own singing.

High temp=63 Lights out: 12:00 midnight

Awake: 6:06am Temp 55 sleep 5+34 rain early afternoon overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

K & I drive to 8:00am Mass & then join the Koffee Klub for 1.3 hrs. After that, we exercise for (70) min.
Back @ our motorhome, my 1st cousin Florentz visits & brings a sack of his homegrown vegetables: (9) tomatoes; (8) ears of corn & (4) cucumbers. He doesn’t stay long; he too is retired & very busy. We “thank” him profusely & let him know that we’ll be available to take any extra homegrown veggies off his hands anytime. I ask Florentz if sometime in his spare time he could do a small welding job on our grandson’s tricycle seat. He asks for more details & then makes me an offer I can’t refuse: “can you come over between 2 & 2:30 today.

Flossy, as many people call him, is a master “fix almost anything” kind of guy. His organized workshop backs up his reputation. When I enter the building, he is cracking black walnuts from both a yr ago & (2) yrs ago. I taste both yrs; the (2) yr old walnuts are the best. Like good wine, they need to age.

Flossy has the tricycle seat pin welded in no time; then finds a spray can of the same color & gives it several coats to cover up the burn area. With a little drying time added in, we walk back to their house & begin the (3) social hrs. Out come the snacks: ham & cheese rolls; Ritz crackers; Chex mix, puffed cheese corn twists, etc. Not to forget the variety of homemade wines; some mixed, some straight; all very good. Anna & Flossy kept us entertained with good conversation, stories, wine, & snacks throughout the afternoon. We always look forward to visiting this couple.

Back @ our bus, needless to say, our dinner was skimpy: salad with Triscuits. Kathy calls Melissa & chats with her for awhile, covering all the events of the day @ the Foote home.
Later, she gets another call from her good grad school friend, Karen S. Now they do some serious, “long time no talk to,” catching up talk.

Late evening DVD from Flossy & Anna: “Five People You Meet in Heaven” with Jon Voight, Ellen Burstyn & Jeff Daniels. This story explores the unexpected mysteries of the afterlife by reminding us what really matters here on earth. 2004. We liked it a lot.

High temp=59 Lights out: 12:50am

Awake: 7:33am Temp 59 sleep 7+03 cloudy…..then gentle rain off & on all day & evening overnight @ Nicktown, Pa.

Kathy makes a great omelet for our breakfast this morning. With rain threatening soon, on comes my mowing clothes & out in the field I go. The 1st hr was great, cool, breezy & fresh; the 2nd hr I held an umbrella with one hand, steered & used the hydraulic lifting lever of the brush hog platform with the other hand. Finally I gave in to Mother Nature’s quest: to relax on a Sunday. Now only about 5% remains yet to mow.

And relaxing we did; a little reading, a little e-mail, etc, etc.

Dinner: Leftover beef short ribs, broccoli; whole wheat noodles & a salad.

Evening movie: “Executive Suite” with William Holden, June Allyson, Barbara Stanwyck, Fredric March, Walter Pidgeon, Louis Calhern, Shelley Winters, etc. Slick, multifaceted story of company power struggle with top cast. 1954. Very good; inspiring.

We call Nick in Seattle after our movie. Earlier today, he returned from another Moscow trip. We talk for close to an hr & then, we could feel his jet lag symptoms moving in.

High temp=59 Lights out: 12:32am

Awake: 4:55am Temp 51 sleep 5+57 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Drive to the community center & attend 8:00am Mass; afterwards Kathy joins the Koffee Klub meeting while I return to our bus & wait for Ken to deliver his mower with the brush hog attachment. As it turned out, Ken was running late & Kathy returned from the meeting before Ken arrived.

My mowing began @ 10:30am, about the same time Kathy left to visit the Foote family & to do some shopping in Indiana, PA. After (2) hrs of mowing, I take a (10) min break; (3) mowing hrs later, another break to get diesel fuel in Barnesboro, followed by another 1.3 hrs of mowing. Then a shower & change of clothes; Kathy returns from shopping & the Foote visit @ 5:35. We attend the 6:00pm vigil Mass, then it’s back on the tractor for more mowing from 7:15pm to 9:30pm; then another shower & change of clothes. My mowing includes another section of our property that I’ve never mowed before. Now that numerous pine trees are cut down & mulched, that area is slowly being cleaned up with the mowing; about 30% yet to finish.

Late dinner: BLT with a salad.

Later movie: “Marty” with Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair, Joe Mantell, Joe De Santis, Esther Minciotti, etc. Borgnine shines as a Bronx butcher who unexpectedly finds love. 1955. A great story; we both enjoyed it.

High temp=73 Lights out: 12:30am

Awake: 5:40am Temp 68 sleep 6+18 foggy morning overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & afterward, join the Koffee Klub. At the meeting, Al K. gives us a detailed report of his trip with Father Job & 16 other people from the local area to a mission orphanage in Honduras. It was Al’s 1st trip to a 3rd world country & he was quite surprised at the degree of poverty of the city they were near. He shared interesting personal stories of his encounters with some of the orphans & other Hondurans. After the meeting, K & I exercise for (65) min.

Early afternoon, Kathy does a little shopping down in the town of Barnesboro.

I make a check on the air conditioning installation process @ the church hall & according to the workers, it’s coming along fine.
Back @ the bus, I go thru the stack of mail that was forwarded from Alaska.

Dinner: Leftover Italian sausage with pasta, ham with pineapple, coleslaw, eggplant, & zucchini & tomato.

Evening movie: “Friends with Money” with Catherine Keener, Jennifer Aniston, Frances McDormand, John Cusack, etc. Wry slice of life examining the fault lines in the friendship of (4) women, (3) of whom are married & prosperous, one of whom (Aniston) is single, unhappy & resentful. Good performances & sharp observations about marriage, money & middle age make this a winner. 2006. So, add it to your list.

High temp=77 Lights out:10:58pm

Awake: 6:02am Temp 65 sleep 6+35 rain overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

K & I drive to 8:00 am Mass & then join the Koffee Klub for a special treat; no, it was not something sweet to eat; it was Joel D. He talked about & explained for 1.4 hrs the intricate methods of bridge & highway building. So interesting & fascinating, we didn’t want to leave but some of us had to. Joel had just about every member present spellbound with his delivery. After Joel closed our meeting, K & I exercised for 1.2 hrs.

After changing clothes, I attend our Thursday Rotary meeting while Kathy does (2) loads of laundry. Then I continue to troubleshoot the motorhome’s wiring to our Suzuki tow car. I am suspicious that this problem with the wiring is above my level of understanding, so I call the Newell factory & talk with Charlie, the tech that specializes in this arena.
Over the phone & on site, he talks me thru several steps for voltage readings; then he informs me that the company has made a change in the wiring system for towing since our 1st motorhome, and to take the time to do a thorough check on the brake lights converter system. “You may have a problem there” Charlie says. He asks me to call him back next week after I’ve done several tests he outlined.

Dinner: BLT on a whole wheat bun with pasta salad. The homegrown tomatoes from our neighbor Chuck made our meal extra good.

Evening movie: “Topaze” with John Barrymore, Myrna Loy, Albert Conti Luis, Reginald Mason, etc. Delightful film about an impeccably honest but naïve schoolteacher in France who unwittingly becomes a dupe for a wealthy baron’s business scheme. 1933. It was just so…so.
High temp=80 Lights out: 11:22pm

Awake: 6:01am Temp 56 sleep 5+33 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Drive to 8:00am Mass; join the Koffee Klub for an hr + & then, exercise for 70 min.

Around 2:00pm, the Foote family, including Kevin, pays us a visit. The boys have their usual routine: dump their box of some (50) Match Box cars & trucks on the floor in the extra room and get grandma to play with them about (20-30) min & then con her into cookies & other sweets of hidden nature.

Melissa brought lunch for her & Kevin to avoid a delay in their arrival. She said the boys had some snacks before they arrived.

I try something different to hopefully, spice up their visit; go outside & pick up the tree trunk slices that came about when the tree cutters 1st cut the tree, then cut the trunk as low as possible. All said & done, I was the only enthusiastic one on the job; but we did walk around & get some fresh air for awhile.

Kathy had to leave before the Footes as she was committed to helping bag up the noodles she helped make yesterday.

Later, on the way to their car as the Footes were leaving, Matthew & I flew a paper airplane in the yard for about (10) min. However routine & sometimes mundane the Foote visit has become, it is still wonderful to see & spend time with all of them.

After the Footes leave & Kathy returns, she & I spend a good hr finding & bringing up many tree trunk slices from the lower field & storing them on our circular drive. Kevin expressed an interest in them as fire starters for their fireplace.

Dinner: As new parents, Kevin & Melissa have been the recipients of dinners made by women from their church. However, they have not liked all the meals & brought us some of their unwanted leftovers; eggplant Parmesan & a zucchini tomato dish. Melissa also brought some apple dumplings that she made using the apples from the tree in their yard; well done, Melissa. She’s getting to be quite the baker.

Evening movie: “Choose Me” with Genevieve Bujold, Keith Carradine, Lesley Ann Warren, Rae Dawn Chong, etc. Outrageously inventive tale of the various relationships, truths, & lies that link radio sex-talk-show hostess Bujold, bar owner Warren, & mental hospital escapee Carradine, among others. This comedy-drama about the different roles that people play in life is a real kick, with a wonderful from-midnight-till-dawn feel & good performances by all. 1984. And Kathy & I do agree with the publisher’s final word.

High temp=75 Lights out: 11:27pm

Awake: 5:45am Temp 54 sleep 6:05 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Greg & his team of (4) arrive @ 7:30am. They finish with the tree cutting; spend some time on the cleanup & then, the tough part, writing that check. Finally we have taken our property back again; those pines were growing so fast, we were losing our scenic views.

Kathy visited the Koffee Klub and then went to the church hall to help make noodles. She got back to the motorhome @ 1:00 pm bringing some homemade chicken noodle soup for me for lunch.

Mark, the air conditioning man from Johnstown, arrived just as I was eating my delicious chicken noodle soup. I made the appointment on Thursday the 9th with permission from Jim @ Newell to have our # 2 roof air checked. It doesn’t give us cool air, draws way too much current, & automatically shuts down. I thought if it would be a simple fix, Mark could get it working.

Mark wasted no time: both the starting capacitor for the fan & starting capacitor for the compressor had blackened wires indicating what Mark theorizes is a ceased compressor. Yes, he could fix it here but it would be a hassle; since the unit is also a heat pump, he’d have to order a new compressor, starting capacitors, new dryer, bleed out the Freon & collect it, vacuum down the system & blab, blab, blab. That would take a lot of time. I tell Mark that I’ll let the Newell factory replace it next time we visit them as it is under warranty. The (3) other roof air conditioners are keeping us cool for now.

Dinner: BLT’s with fresh home grown tomatoes on whole wheat bun & leftover pasta.

High temp=77 Lights out: 12:28am

Awake: 5:35am Temp 62 sleep 6+05 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Kathy drives to the Community Center for the 8:30 Koffee Klub meeting & then exercises for about an hr. I stay @ the motorhome & when the tree cutters arrive, same time Kathy was leaving, point out the hazard areas & trees that we want to save. Greg & his team of (4) are professional tree cutters. They have modern heavy equipment & are well respected.

During their tree cutting, I spend more time trying to get the motorhome & tow car wiring figured out. Finally call Ron in Duncansville. He wired our 1st motorhome & tow car up (6) yrs ago. Ron gives me a few ideas & I get right back on the job.

When Kathy returns, she busies herself in the galley baking a lot of goodies. @ 1:30 pm, she joins the local group of 1st cousins in the area, Joan, Annette, Ruth Mary, & Lucille plus Mary Jo, Jenny, & Corinne for a rendezvous @ Eileen’s home.

I call for our Anchorage mail to be delivered here in Nicktown.

Shortly after 4:00 pm, the tree cutters are 90% finished; they found (2) hornets’ nests; one so huge that Greg would like it to be extinguished before they return in the morning. They leave around 4:20.

@ 5:30pm, the trio travelers (Corinne, Mary Jo & Jenny) arrive @ our motorhome bringing (2) very large & warm pizzas with them for our dinner. (20) min later, Josie arrives; then about (10) min after that, brother Don arrives. We’re having a pizza party with beer, wine, & soda. It was a very nice gathering with lots of good talk. Mary Jo & Jenny will be leaving tomorrow morning…..flying back to Lodi, CA; in a few days Corinne will be going to the Jersey shore & beach for a week.

After the gang leaves, I get my flashlight, hornet & wasp spray, & a long limb; find both nests & spray nearly the whole can while flogging the large nest to pieces.

High temp=81 Lights out: 11:40pm.

Awake: 6:34am Temp 60 sleep 6:04 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

K & I attend 10:30am Mass with Corinne, Mary Jo, & Jenny @ Saint Nicholas Church.
Afterward, we partake in the parish breakfast @ the church hall. Next, we (5) visit our church cemetery & have a few moments of silence over our parents, Martha & Freddie, & our sister, Barb’s grave; then it’s back to our bus where we gab a little & look @ a few more slides on the big screen.

Mid afternoon, the trio travelers drive to Indiana, PA to visit with the Foote family & get a tour of the slow renovation of the 1921 home.

Earlier in the day, Kathy, knowing how the boys like to watch big machinery, had invited Melissa & the boys over to our place on Monday to watch the tree cutters & mulching machine in action; evening time, Melissa calls to relate that Matthew does not want to see trees cut down so they won’t be visiting tomorrow. He had a traumatic experience in AK when he watched a favorite tree of his be destroyed & also has been read “The Lorax” by Dr Seuss more than once.

Late dinner after eight: Ham, pasta, coleslaw & a mini whole wheat bun.

Later movie: “Bachelor & the Bobby-Soxer” with Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple, Rudy Vallee, Ray Collins, etc. Judge Loy orders playboy Grant to wine & dine her sister, Temple, so the teenager will forget her infatuation for him. 1947. Cute; teenagers choice.
High temp=80 Lights out: 11:30pm

Awake: 5:54am Temp 59 sleep 5+42 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

@ 7:35am Kathy makes an early trip to the nearest grocery store, Bi-Lo; about (3) miles.
When she returns, we both walk to the community center & join our Koffee Klub members for over an hr.
After a late breakfast, using some wide red plastic caution tape, I take about 1.5 hrs to mark all the hazard areas to avoid & the trees I want saved on our property.

This afternoon & evening, my brother & his wife, Josie, are having a gathering @ their house with nieces & nephews & their families. En route we make a quick stop @ the West End Market for items to finalize a cream puff dessert for the party. The party attendees included the trio travelers; Don & Josie & their daughter, Adrianne, who flew up from Hilton Head, South Carolina for the weekend; niece, Carleen, & her husband, Bob, & their boys, Liam & Bain; nephew, Eric, & his wife, Emily, & their boys, Jake, Joe & Max; & Melissa, Kevin, Matthew, Andrew & little Nathaniel.

Adrianne, Josie, & Don selected & prepared the main course of beef and chicken kabobs, hotdogs, pasta salad, & corn on the cob. In addition, some of the guests brought other covered dishes & desserts; coleslaw, fruit salad, grape salad, cream puff cake, & cookie bars. Key lime pie & Oreo cookies rounded out the dessert table.

The young boys played with the BIG trucks, blocks & a few other toys while we adults told a few lies & exaggerated just about everything with a straight face. Anyway, it was a delightful outside event with super great people, excellent weather, & very delicious food.

K & I leave a little after 9:00 pm & make another grocery stop @ Wal-Mart en route back to our bus.
High temp=77 Lights out: 12:30am

Awake: 6:01am Temp 68 sleep 5+31 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

We drive to the 8:00 am Communion service & then join the Koffee Klub for an hr. After that, we exercise for 60 min.

Early afternoon, Mary Jo & Jen visit us in the bus. They fill us in on their (2) day trip to see Carleen, Bob & their sons, Liam & Bain in western PA; then further west to visit with our aunts & cousins in Ohio: cities Massillon, Canton & Akron.

Just this morning, they visited with Jimmy & Louise & then Janis & Russell & also Bernie & Ethel, all cousins from the local area. These travelers have done an amazing job of visiting special people they haven’t seen for a long time.

Larry returns my call from yesterday: He & Sally are arriving home from a week @ the Mayo Clinic in Wisconsin. Larry went thru a battery of tests @ the clinic.

7:15 dinner: Leftover chicken from the St. Augustine picnic made into a splendid casserole, mixed salad & bread.

Kathy talks with Melissa; Nathaniel slept non-stop for (5) hrs last night.

Late movie: “After the Thin Man” with William Powell, Myrna Loy, James Stewart, Elissa Landi, Joseph Calleia, etc. A delightful second entry in the series finds the urbane Charleses in San Francisco & when not inordinately inebriated, investigating murder charges brought against Loy’s unstable cousin (Landi). 1936. Hint: be prepared for a surprising finish; don’t close those eyes for more than a second.

High temp=78 Lights out: 12:12am

Awake: 5:42am Temp 68 sleep 6+01 mostly cloudy with some intermittent heavy rain showers overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

K & I join the Koffee Klub meeting & then exercise for 50 min. Later I convince Kathy to skip breakfast & join me in having lunch @ our Rotary meeting. She does & now, no dinner is necessary & there are only a few dishes to clean.

Mid afternoon: I drive over to the church hall & make a check on the air conditioning installation progress; (5) huge a/c units are being installed.

Late afternoon, Greg visits; he & his team of workers will be here on Monday the 13th to cut some pine trees down & chip-up the remains.

Talk with Sam @ the Newell factory; we want to make sure all the items that we’ve talked about will be available for our arrival there next month. Sam will check on that & get in touch with us later.

Evening snack: egg salad on spinach with grapes & mini pita breads.

Call Sally & Larry G. in Wisconsin; leave a nice message.

My sister Mary Jo calls: they have returned from their Ohio visit & will see us tomorrow early afternoon; they will de-brief us @ that time.

Mid evening: we finish watching: “Brotherly Love” with Peter O’Toole, Susannah York, Michael Craig, etc. Very funny study of relationships in upper-class British household; 1970. That British accent @ times frustrated us. If you’re a Peter O’Toole fan, you’ll love it!

Movie # 2: “Same time Next Year” with Ellen Burstyn & Alan Alda; Alda & Burstyn are an adulterous couple who share one weekend a yr for 26 yrs; warm, human comedy-drama reflects changes in American life & attitudes since early 50’s in likeable fashion.
1978. This was great; highly recommended for married couples.

High temp=77 Lights out 12:30am

Awake: 5:44am Temp 71 sleep 6+10 heavy rain, wind, & TRWs throughout the night. overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

I woke up several times during the night, walked into the living room & simply watched the spectacular fireworks going on seemingly in all quadrants. Mother Nature can be oh so overwhelmingly impressive in one direction & yet be oh so destructive in the other direction.

We attend the 8:00 am Communion service with Sister Coleman & then join the Koffee Klub members. Of all things, we walk into the conference room & they all start singing “Happy Birthday!” Yesterday @ the meeting, I felt good that these guys & gals didn’t know about my birthday. Here they had all secretly signed a card & Regina made a Cream Puff Cake for the occasion.They thought my birthday was today.

After the meeting & eating the goodies, K & I exercise for 40 min. Then after a decent breakfast, we make a fast trip to Conzetti’s on Scalp Ave for some more Italian sausage, cheese & other special groceries. We are back to our bus by 12:10pm.

The Foote family (including Kevin) visit for about (2) hrs & Melissa brings a homemade strawberry shortcake with homemade whipped cream & fresh strawberries for my birthday. This is why she wanted to visit yesterday but she just couldn’t get organized in time to do it. Well, thank you again Melissa, for that extra special gift.
Little Nathan was all wrapped up in a sling being carried by Melissa & looking very comfortable. The boys were kept busy eating cookies from grandma’s jar & popcorn from her stash plus playing with those matchbox cars & trucks. Kevin & I discuss the TV ills; the Skil drill ills & our next project on their 1921 home. They leave @ 4:15pm.

Kathy leaves shortly thereafter to help bag the noodles they made yesterday which will be sold @ the picnic.

Late movie: We skip the Brotherly Love movie for now & watch: “The Best Years of our Lives” with Myrna Loy, Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Teresa Wright, Harold Russell, etc. American classic of three veterans returning home after WWII, readjusting to civilian life. Seven Oscars including Best Picture. Russell, an actual veteran who lost his hands, also took home a second Oscar, a special award for bringing hope & courage to other veterans. 1946. This was good; add it to your list.
High temp=85 Lights out: 11:41pm

Awake: 6:43am Temp 72 sleep 7+19 fog…..rain overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

“Happy Birthday to me!” We drive to the Koffee Klub meeting where Kathy exposes her grandmother challenges of the last few days. She leaves early to help make more noodles. After the meeting, I give John B., Bill M., & Regina a tour of the (2) workout rooms where K & I exercise. Then I practice what I preach & exercise for 45 min.

Back in the bus, Melissa calls from her home with birthday wishes; we talk about how well Nathaniel is feeding & how good she is feeling. In fact, she asks me if I would like some visitors for my birthday. “Sure” I tell her. “Are you ok with all the activity though?” I ask. “The only thing that might hold her back from visiting is their disorganization” she tells me.

Meanwhile, Kevin & Melissa have given me a multi-functional TV, VCR, DVD unit to fix; the DVD player does not recognize the disk. I’ve been saving this project for last & today’s the day to get started. 1st of all, getting the case open to take some readings required a special long screwdriver; in fact the local Krumenacker Hardware store saved the day by having an extension driver that worked in taking out the (15) screws holding the case together. After some checking & re-checking, I’m @ a loss for info that could help me in troubleshooting the DVD section. Kathy returns from making noodles @ 1:30pm.

I set that TV unit aside for now & take the Skil 3/8” drill apart that Kevin feels might be ruined.

Meanwhile, Nick calls with birthday wishes from Seattle; I like hearing from our kids on these special days that seem to bring us together for a few minutes. Nick is getting ready to attend a co-worker’s party & it’s looking like rain.

Not too much later, Zack calls with birthday wishes; he is en route to change some of his company’s paper stock into digital form. I compliment him on securing his investments.

Later Katrina calls en route to her house & dog sitting; she has birthday wishes as well. After checking the house & dog, she plans on meeting a friend & seeing a baseball game tonight. It is comforting to hear that our kids are usually quite busy & enjoying themselves.

After cleaning up the commutator on Kevin’s drill with emery cloth & re-assembling, the test failed & the motor is shot; too many circuits burned out. Sorry Kevin.

Melissa calls to tell us she couldn’t get organized well enough to make the visit today. She apologizes for that false intention.

Dinner: Italian beef au jus with sweet peppers from Chicago on maxi whole wheat buns.

K & I watch (40) min of the movie: “Brotherly Love.” Somebody was falling asleep so the theater closed early for the night.
High temp=78 Lights out:11:34pm

Awake: 5:38am Temp 68 sleep 4+54 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

I attend 8:00am Mass this morning; Father Bijn from India officiating. Then join the Koffee Klub & announce the birth of our new grandson, Nathaniel Kael.The members were pleased to hear that mother & child & grandmother are doing well.

Back @ the bus, Gary & Rosemary call & we discuss the new grandson, the Saint Augustine picnic, the long line for meals, those thick noodles & then the heavy rain. They think their picnic did alright but won’t know for sure until all the numbers are turned in.

Later morning, Kathy calls: she is very tired; Matthew & Andrew were holding & pulling on her hair throughout the night; turning & bumping into her; lying close to & sometimes on top of her; waking & calling out words not always understood by grandma…all normal nighttime behavior for the boys, but not for Kathy.

The hospital where Melissa delivered customarily gives the mother & father a celebratory steak dinner before being discharged; Kevin & Melissa decided to enjoy this at noontime without the company of Matthew & Andrew. Kathy will baby-sit & I, to lend another hand, drive over to the Foote house & help with the baby sitting process until Kevin returns from his steak dinner.

(3) hrs later, Kevin returns & dismisses us for the rest of the day. As is customary with the new baby, Kevin will take Matthew & Andrew back to the hospital & they will bring Nathaniel home as a family.

Meanwhile, K & I have been invited to a family gathering in Ebensburg @ the restaurant “Off the Rack.” My sister, Mary Jo, & her daughter, Jenny, (both from California & arriving yesterday); my brother, Don, & his wife, Josie, & my sister, Corinne, & Kathy & I enjoy a delightful time; good food & great company. Kathy & I share a tuna steak dinner.

After the dinner, we all gather @ Don & Josie’s house for dessert; out comes a very berry pie with (1) candle & ice cream; then they sing the traditional “Happy Birthday” song for my birthday. Tomorrow is my official birthday but this was a nice gathering with our family; good conversation, food + the evening wind-up with player piano music & the singing sisters. Mary Jo & Jenny will be visiting relatives & friends for the next 10 days.

Lights out: 11:24pm

Awake: 12:42am Temp 65 dark of night 1st our land-line phone rings….then our cell phone @ 12:42am. Kathy is out of bed before I can get my toes moving. It’s a call from Kevin: Melissa is having contractions (1) minute long….every (4) min. Kevin would like us to get there ASAP.

(22) miles & 40 min later, we arrive @ the Foote mansion & talk only (2-3) min with a very pregnant lady who, with Kevin, waste no time in rushing out to their car & heading for the hospital. Meanwhile, Kathy quickly & quietly approaches the stairs to bed with Matthew & Andrew.

“What am I to do” I ask Kathy as she nearly disappears while climbing the stairs. “Sleep in the upstairs bedroom” she whispers. Well, I give that idea a (2) sec thought & decide to return to my own comfortable bed back in the bus. I figure somebody needs to get a good night’s sleep.
Lights out again: 2:35am

Awake: 8:02am Temp65 sleep: 6+32 cloudy overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Shortly after 9:00am Kathy calls with “Congratulations to us,” on our 4th grandson.
Nathaniel Kael Foote was born @ 4:02am weighing 8 lbs 7 oz & measuring 19 ¼ inches with lots of dark hair. Mother & child are doing well.

When talking with Kevin the other day, I mentioned that if by chance Melissa would deliver on Sunday, I would attend the St. Augustine picnic regardless if they would be able to make it there or not. Our friends, Gary & Rosemary C., are in charge of running the picnic this yr & I am very curious as to how coordinated everything is & how tasty the dinner meals are. I let Kathy know that I’ll bring the dinner food from St. Augustine sometime after 2:00pm.

A lot of autos & a lot more people as I approach the picnic buildings & booths; I stand in the dinner line for (15) min & we move maybe (5) feet. This line length has to be (100) ft long or better; @ this rate I’ll be late for my own dinner I thought; besides that, the area is surrounded with dark clouds. I did bring an umbrella & my camera just in case. The couples in front of me were attending for the 1st time; the couples in back visit every yr. I ask the back couples if the line is always this slow. “No” they say & point out the “other line” that I couldn’t see thru the crowd & tell me that line is for take-outs. They also reveal the plan on how I can visit the kitchen & see our friends, Gary & Rosemary.

I pass up the short line for take-outs & find my way into the busy, busy kitchen. Sure enough, there’s Gary, with his rubber gloved hands deep in the coleslaw. 1st I announce the arrival of our new grandson, Nathaniel, with a few details; then I ask their OK to take a picture for evidence that the boss also works alongside the workers. Gary has little time for my visit but takes me into the dining room to see Rosemary. She too, is working with the workers. I was lucky to get yet another picture because these guys are all business; then I join the short take-out line that has grown considerably since I passed it a mere (10) min ago.

My umbrella came in handy while waiting for the take-out meals to be available; small waves of light rain would come & go & later, I heard via the grapevine, heavy rain eventually moved in & shut the picnic down quickly before its time.

Apparently the noodle makers had some trouble with the narrow noodle machines & ended up making wider noodles; thus when heating up those noodles for take-out & in the main dining room, extra time was necessary.

Picnic meals arrive @ the Foote house a little after 3:00pm. The boys were not hungry but tired Kathy & tired Kevin definitely were.

Fried chicken with mashed potatoes, green beans, wide noodles in chicken broth, rolls & a cupcake for dessert went over very well for us. In fact, K & I ate 1/2 of our meals & brought the rest back to the bus for later. Hungry Kevin ran out of time & only had a few bites of the dinner meal before we all go visit Melissa & Nathaniel @ the hospital.

Nathaniel is a good & healthy looking boy & Melissa is already perky & quite happy to see us. She will spend the night @ the hospital while Kathy & Kevin care for Matthew & Andrew overnight. Again I return to our bus in Nicktown & will drive back to the Foote home tomorrow morning.

My sister, Mary Jo, calls from the Lilly Pad; she & Jenny are now in PA having flown from CA.

Katrina calls while driving to house & dog sit in Parker, CO. We chat for 20 min.

Kathy calls: the boys are in bed sleeping as is Kevin (a night of NO sleep & a full day of baby excitement and big brother visits to the hospital have done him in!). Kathy has the kitchen & dining areas cleaned up & diapers washed & hung to dry; now at 10:30, she is tired & going to bed herself.

Late movie for me: “Air Force” with John Garfield, John Ridgely, Gig Young, Arthur Kennedy, etc. Archetypal WWII movie, focusing on archetypal bomber crew; tough to stomach @ times but generally exciting & well done. 1943. Surprisingly good aviation story.

High temp=71 Lights out: 12:44am

Awake: 6:15am Temp 66 sleep 6+19 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

I drive the Ford van to 8:00 am Mass then join the Koffee Klub afterward. John B. brings some fresh jelly filled rolls for treats this morning.

After our meeting, I return the Ford van to the Foote parking spot in Indiana where Kathy is still attending her grandmother classes. I work with Kevin on cutting & installing some 5/8 inch sheetrock (2 sections) in the hallway leading to the 2nd floor. Then in the basement, we install a few rubber pads between the water lines to prevent the copper pipes from vibrating against other pipes when the L G washing machine shuts off & on so quickly. During this time, Kathy enjoys some creative Play Dough time with Matthew while Melissa & Andrew take a nap upstairs. Matthew was also a busy de-construction & clean up helper at various times during the day. Kevin & I were pretty quiet but there were those times when I thought for sure we would have awakened them.

When Andrew & Melissa did awaken on their own, she & Kathy spent some time with both boys and then Kathy, the designated chef for the day, barbequed corn on the cob & chicken and washed some red grapes & cherries for our 1:00 pm dinner.

Around 4:00 pm, K & I are dismissed & do some light grocery shopping @ Wal-Mart before returning to our bus.

Next K & I walk to & attend the 6:00 pm vigil Mass @ St. Nicholas church; very warm in church. En route walking back to the bus, Kathy murmurs that she is extremely tired due to trying to keep up with the energy of a 3.5 yr old and a 1.5 yr old and not enough sleep during her grandmother classes @ the Foote College.

Dinner @ 7:35: Spinach salad, cantaloupe & Triscuits.

Melissa calls @ 8:30pm; we make plans to attend the St. Augustine picnic tomorrow. She says they will come to Nicktown around 12:30 & then follow us to the picnic grounds.

Evening movie: “The Five Senses” with Mary-Louise Parker, Pascale Bussieres, Richard Clarkin, etc. Intricately woven comedy-drama centers on the inhabitants of an office/apartment building in Toronto. Though the inter-connected stories deal individually with the five senses, they’re never tricky or schematic, but instead revealing, amusing & moving. 1999. Not my or Kathy’s kind of movie so she rested her eyes & to my chagrin, I watched it all.

High temp=85 Lights out: 11:22pm

Awake: 6:30am Temp 65 sleep 5+56 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.
I drive the Lexus to 8:00am Mass this morning, then spend only 30 min with the Koffee Klub; seems that many attendees had other commitments mid morning & had to leave early. That happens occasionally but, fortunately, we are all fairly flexible.

I exercise for 45 min @ the community center.

It’s time for a water filter change in the pump house so a visit to the Krumenacker Hardware Store in town is necessary for more filters. After washing the cartridges, the new filters are installed & maybe 8 to 10 min of water run through them before opening the valve to the motorhome water line circuit.

Gary C. calls for an update on: do we have a new grandson yet? Not yet!

Kathy calls with an update report on her grandma training; she feels very comfortable with both the boys now & is learning the basics of their daily routine.

I call Nick in Seattle for his birthday & leave a message on his cell phone.

Dinner: leftover Italian sausage &whole wheat pasta in spaghetti sauce + Triscuits.

Call Nick again for his birthday; he is on the phone with Melissa so I chat with Eriko for awhile. Kathy also got to talk with Nick after Melissa & Kevin finished.

Evening movie: “Harriet Craig” with Joan Crawford, Wendell Corey, Lucile Watson, etc. Crawford is a perfectionist wife who’ll stop @ nothing to have her house & life run as she wishes. 1950. Interesting & of course entertaining but, it was a sad state of affairs. If you’re looking for a happy ending, don’t watch this one.

Nick returns my (2) earlier calls & I wish him a happy birthday & we discuss his job @ Isilon, his Russian travels & his long range plans as he knows it thus far.

Lights out: 11:56pm

Awake: 5:35am Temp 64 sleep 5+32 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

K & I walk to 8:00am Mass & afterwards, join the Koffee Klub. After that titillating experience, we exercise for 40 min @ the community center.

@ 11:30am, I drive the Lexus over to Al’s place, pick him up; then in Barnesboro, pick up Ann F. & attend our Rotary meeting. 16 people present; some of these were guests.

I am back to our bus by 1:45pm. Then I continue working on building a basket out of copper wire that will fit inside the vacuum filter of the Hover. It took a little longer to work out the dimensions & do the soldering than I anticipated but…..after some rigorous testing, I am thinking, it just might work better then the original setup.

Kathy has gone to Indiana to spend a couple more days in the “Grandma Training” program. She appears to be passing as both boys seem to be comfortable with her & Matthew even said, “Grandma’s my buddy!”

Dinner: Leftover “pigs in the blanket” from lunch @ the Rotary meeting.

Gary & Grace J. call from Landenberg, PA. We have a delightful & long talk about many things; especially the possibility of caravaning together after Christmas somewhere in the southwest.

Watch movie: “Test Pilot” with Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, Spencer racy, Lionel Barrymore, Samuel S. Hinds, etc. A blend of romantic comedy & drama doesn’t always work, but with those stars, it’s well worth watching. Tracy steals film as Gable’s mechanic/pal in story of daredevils who try out new aircraft. 1938. Good flick for aviation buffs.
High temp=85 Lights out: 12:34am

Awake: 6:00am Temp 63 sleep 6+38 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Kathy brings peanut butter chocolate chip bread & double chocolate brownies to the Koffee Klub meeting this morning. I can honestly tell you: there was very little official business conducted during this meeting.

After the dessert extravaganza & consequent social hr, K& I make our 1st move toward getting back in shape by exercising for 25 min @ the community center’s (2) workout rooms.

Back @ the bus, I attempt a fix on Melissa & Kevin’s vacuum cleaner. One of (2) spring steel wires inside the filter was lost, rendering the vacuum unit inoperative; the filter would collapse & the motor would heat up with only the one wire inside the filter. I added a second wire mimicking the other wire but was unable to attach it strong enough to do the job. I’ll try another idea later this week.

Melissa & the boys visit for 2.5 hrs this afternoon. Mostly they stayed inside our bus. They like the air conditioning & grandma has them eating out of her hand…oops, I mean cookie jar. At one point, Matthew showed me his Match Box truck that had the front axle goofed up. He was excited & detached himself from the cookie jar when I told him: “we can fix that.” Everyone bailed outdoors to watch this special event. Tools required: cordless drill with (2) drill bits of proper size; hot glue gun & a mini work station camouflaged as a cardboard box. The boys were mesmerized with this high tech magic.

With the mission accomplished, the gang fled back into the air conditioned environment ASAP before their clothes started dripping. The visit went well & it is fun to see these little guys growing up to be such nice people. By the way, our Melissa is very, very large around the middle but she gets around as if there was no barrel attached to her what-so-ever.

K & I walk to & attend the 6:00pm Mass @ the Nicktown church. Afterward, Kathy talks @ length with Theresa L. & I chat with John B. for about as long.

Dinner: Sirloin tip roast with gravy, brown rice, broccoli, spinach salad & cucumbers with sour cream.

Movie: a continuation & finish of: “Tomorrow the World” with Fredric March, Betty Field, Agnes Moorehead, Skippy Homeier, Joan Carroll, etc. Homeier recreates his knockout Broadway performance as a German raised child adopted by his American uncle, who soon discovers that the boy is a rabid Nazi with a sinister mindset. Thoughtful drama about tolerance. 1944. Kathy had no problem staying awake for this movie tonight. Add it to your list.

High temp=84 Lights out: 12:03am

Awake: 5:15am Temp 62 sleep 6+04 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

K & I walk to 8:00 am Mass & afterward, join the Koffee Klub for an hr. Kathy leaves early to help with more noodle making.

Like a broken record, I continue working on the van. Both Kevin & Melissa complained about excessive wind noise on several occasions during their recent trips. So today I spend (4) hrs…that’s right, four hrs; taking the old weather-stripping off the co-pilot’s window & re-installing the new weather-stripping. I didn’t know what to expect as I had no information on the process except some small experience of taking door panels off many yrs ago. I was thoroughly impressed with the higher quality of the weather-stripping however; it fit nicely into the channels but was very challenging when working inside the door.

Kathy returns from noodle making @ 1:30 & brought me a lunch of chicken noodle soup; I needed that break.

The captain’s door/window weather-stripping removal & re-installation took only 2.5 hrs. See, I learn eventually. When finished, I invited Kathy to go with me for a local area test drive. Aside from the diesel engine noise, little or no wind noise could be heard from the windows. In fact, I would build up speed, put the transmission in neutral & then coast for a good wind noise check; still, little or no wind noise coming thru. Also on the test drive, we made many left & right turns & again, no horn beeping. So, only one more thing on the list: fixing the pilot’s sun visor sometime later this week.

7:00pm dinner: BLT with homegrown tomatoes on whole wheat maxi buns.

After dinner, I walk up to the social hall of the school building for a special Holy Name Society meeting with Father Job officiating. 15 guys were present for about an hr of discussion on the pros & cons of air conditioning the church hall. Father wanted to move forward on this project but had to have the H.N.S. majority vote of the members before bringing it before the Parish Council. I was happy to witness the unanimous vote.

Later in our motorhome, I selected a movie for us to watch; within (15) min, Kathy was sound asleep. She worked hard @ making noodles this morning. No problem I thought; with this new DVR unit, I can simply back up to where she left off & we’ll watch it another night.

High temp=83 Lights out: 11:22pm

Awake: 6:02am Temp 64 sleep 6+54 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

I drive the Lexus to Indiana, PA for an 8:00 am appointment & an alignment @ the Toyota dealer. I also wanted the rotors checked for warping. To my amazement, they were finished in about an hr. Their metal lathe for shaving the rotors was caput so I’ll need to visit them @ another time.

Next, a visit to Wal-Mart where I buy an in-line fuse holder with extra fuses, a male & female towing plug for our Suzuki & some much needed groceries.

Back in our circular drive, I continue working on the van glitches. With the in-line fuse holder in place with fuse, now the main inside lights work normal but the valance lights do not. With a little sleuth work, I discover a taped cable nearly hidden along the inside lower wall; remove the tape, and, voila! After 23 yrs, this connection worked itself loose & detached. Joining them together again with new tape brings the valance lights back to life.

After that exciting adventure, I change jobs & begin replacing the male side of our towing connectors on the Suzuki. This took some time as the connector was all rusted inside so I ended up soldering each tip of the wire end & then inserting them into the new plug where a small screw holds them in place. My soldering iron tip broke apart as I was using it (it was aluminum), so a quick trip to Barnesboro to the Radio Shack & I am back in business with copper soldering iron tips; they last longer. Another hr finishes that job & then it’s time for wine & cheese.

Dinner: Italian sausage & whole wheat pasta with spaghetti sauce & mixed salad.

Evening reading + Kathy talks with Melissa about # 4 grandchild; any day now.

High temp=82 Lights out: 11:31pm

Awake: 6:15am Temp 65 sleep 6+00 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

After breakfast, I get right after fixing a few glitches on the Ford Van. The wire running to the Van’s security alarm had never been re-attached since a certain individual yanked the wire off sometime in July 8 or 9 of 1999. It’s a funny story which I would love to tell but, with all due respect, I’ll need permission from the electrical engineer that played that part so well. Anyway, I soldered that wire back in place.

After the Footes return from the Norfolk, VA wedding & mini reunion for us Kirsches, Kevin reminded me that the horn on his Ford van would automatically beep when making left turns without him touching the horn pad; thus they haven’t been driving the van & this is the time for a good check & repair if necessary. After connecting the wire to both horns, I run the diesel engine, make many left & right turns with the steering wheel & nary a beep from the horn unless I push the horn pad. Hmm, more about this later.

Melissa reported that the radio hasn’t worked since they bought the van; also on Kevin’s list, neither the inside lights nor the valance lights work. A visible check + a check with my Fluke meter render no problem there. Digging a little deeper, under the hood & under the dash, I find (1) in-line fuse blown in each area. After replacing the fuse under the hood, the radio comes to life & works great. The in-line fuse holder under the dash was so messed up, I’ll need to buy & replace the holder. That’s enough trouble shooting for today; besides, the sun’s rays & high temperatures are chasing me indoors; I’ll get back on this project tomorrow.

Dinner: Steak, broccoli, baked potato, cucumber & cantaloupe.

High temp=82 Lights out: 11:04pm


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