June 2008 Archives

Awake: 6:03am Temp 58 sleep 6+27 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & then join the KK meeting for an hr; afterward, we exercise for (1.4) hrs.

After breakfast, we motor to the Foote castle for an afternoon of enjoying the young grandsons. About a (15) min walk from the Foote house is a city park loaded with playground equipment for young kids. In lieu of walking to the library or over to the IUP campus with the young ones, Kathy & I are curious & would like to check the park out.

Melissa tells me she has wanted to do this also but has difficulty keeping track of the boys (Matthew & Andrew) when so many other children are also using the playground equipment. And so Kathy & I took turns watching the boys crawl thru tunnels, ride the merry-go-round, ride down twisted slides, bounce on sea-saws, be swingers, etc. We have never seen them so engaged, so busy & so happy. There were many children with a parent/parents & grandparent/grandparents. It not only made the Foote children happy but also made our day extra special.

After walking back to the Foote castle, we say our goodbyes, zip to Nicktown & attend the 6:00pm Mass.

Dinner: Leftover buffalo chicken, a small ham sandwich & peaches & grapes.

After dinner, we watch an hr of travel with Samantha Brown on: cities in both Italy & France. Then finish watching the movie: “Three on a Match” with Warren William, Joan Blondell, Bette Davis, Ann Dvorak, Humphrey Bogart, etc. Fast moving & surprisingly potent pre-code melodrama of (3) girls who renew childhood friendship, only to find suspense & tragedy. 1932. This movie may have broken the ice on using indecent language, showing more skin & more bedrooms scenes; and this was 1932!

Lights out: 11:15pm

Awake: 5:39 am Temp 51 sleep 5+22 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then join the KK meeting. Kathy leaves early for more noodle making. After the meeting, I talk with John B about his uncomfortable heart experience. He tells me he was scared & I don’t blame him for that. I also returned his aviation book that I spent so much time reading & looking at.

Back in our coach & waiting on our telephone recorder is a message from Ernie of Krisay’s Vacuum repair in Johnstown. The information implies that we need to bring our Eureka to his store to make sure what parts are going to be needed for repair. When Kathy returns from noodle making @ 12:45pm, we talk about a potential trip to Johnstown later this week.

This afternoon however, we agreed to meet with Don, Josie & Corinne in Ebensburg to have dinner @ the restaurant: “Off the Rack.” We leave early because Kathy enjoys shopping for fresh veggies @ the West End Market, also in Ebensburg.

This small get-together reunion is to celebrate the June, July & August birthdays in the event some of us are out-of-town during the summer. Tonight we are focusing on Kathy’s birthday. K & I share a tuna steak dinner. After dinner, we meet @ Don & Josie’s place for dessert, a carrot cake chosen by Don, to celebrate Kathy’s birthday, complete with the singing of the traditional “Happy Birthday” song. Corinne left us early since she had some things she needed to do before leaving for her retreat tomorrow. We stayed for another hr discussing each others present & future plans for, not only this yr, but in the yrs to follow; but then, who really knows how accurate that can be. It was a very nice evening.

DVR movie: “Three on a Match.” We watch (47) min, then bed time.

Lights out: 11:36pm

Awake: 5:56 am Temp 55 sleep 6+33 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then join the KK for (50) min. After that we exercise for (1.4) hrs @ the community center.

During our KK meeting, it was reported that one of our elite KK members was hospitalized in Indiana, PA over the weekend. So after breakfast, I called John B & found out he had chest discomfort, similar to but different, than his fibrillating heart of a few years ago. He has been taking medicine for this condition for (3) yrs but now, his doctor is changing his medication; he expects to be released tomorrow.

Our Eureka vacuum cleaner canister is too broken for me to fix. I don’t know how it happened but something has to be done. Going thru the yellow pages brings up Krisay’s vacuum sales & repair store in Johnstown; I talk with Ernie, give him our model & serial # & he will check it out & call us tomorrow

Mid afternoon, I visit Chuck & Shirley; he has been curious about our portable GPS unit & would be pleased if I would bring it over for a demonstration; later I call Kathy to assist in this venture as she is more familiar with the portable Garmin (I am more familiar with the Pioneer in the motorhome). Chuck was delighted to see the high tech operation & may even consider buying one for him & Shirley.

Next, K & I pick more wild strawberries; these will not be frozen but used up daily.

Dinner: pork chops, fried noodles & a salad.

We watch the Nat’l news; the O’Reilly Factor &, later, begin watching DVR of “The Royal Family.” During our viewing time, Kathy notices a Skype call on our computer. It’s Nick; he, Eriko, Jerry, Katrina, Zack, & Katie are preparing pizza for dinner @ Nick’s condo. What a treat to see these young people all together, smiling & enjoying each others company. Each of them, more or less, took turns coming over to the camera & microphone to talk with us. Katrina reported that her trip was going well. Zack & Katie smiled at us but did not talk. Nick told us of a possible business trip he might have to the east coast. And Jerry looked quite content to have Katrina to spend time with. Our call lasted (42) min.

We decided to postpone “The Royal Family” until another night.

Lights out: 12:17am

Awake: 6:15am Temp 57 sleep 5+42 fog…then sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

We are lucky; today we are invited for dinner @ the home of the forever young & active Gary & Rosemary C….who live directly east of us about (20) miles. We also have plans to visit Bernie & Richard, both in a care center en route.

So, after Kathy's political programs are over, we motor to the care center & visit, 1st with Bernie, who is doing a lot better. We find him sitting in a wheelchair, right leg (the affected leg) crossed over the left. He hears well but his thought process & speech is somewhat impaired; his sentence starts out audible & normal but soon deteriorates into a jumble of almost inaudible sounds accompanied by a frustrated facial expression. In spite of this, during our (40) min visit, we communicated fairly well with times of laughter & moments of sadness.

Just across the hall & one door down, we find Richard also sitting in his wheelchair with both feet propped up on the air conditioner so he could easily look outside. Richard is ready to move out; his memory is terrific, he keeps up on what’s happening, etc. He would like to be home & be outside, working in the garden, but he has gotten progressively weaker as he waited for his fractured hip to heal.

From here, we motor to the spacious & beautifully landscaped acres & home of Gary & Rosemary. With very little persuasion, I help Gary move a picnic table from his garage to their patio on the west side of their house; then we all settle down….not on the picnic benches but on the porch on the opposite side of the house looking east. Here we each have a rocking chair & a round table for our snacks & wine. With a gorgeous & serene view of rolling hills, we express some political & scandalous opinions about our illustrious leaders in Washington, and then vent a few monstrous complaints relating to high fuel prices, etc. By doing so, we shed a lot of our frustrations, leave them outside & head for the dinner table inside.

Both Gary & Rosemary as chefs; grilled Cornish game hens, potato salad, coleslaw, rolls, carrots, black olives, celery & a cheese cake smothered with cherry sauce for dessert. It was a wonderful meal with (2) extraordinary people & a beautiful day. Dark clouds were accumulating overhead as we headed for our car &, sure enough, we experienced a car wash en route to Nicktown.

Late DVR movie: “Man to Remember” with Anne Shirley, Edward Ellis, Lee Bowman, William Henry, etc. Ellis is showcased as a selfless doctor with an abundance of commonsense wisdom who spends (20) years serving an often-ungrateful town. 1938. Very inspirational.

Lights out: 11:23pm

Awake: 6:00am Temp 54 sleep 6+29 partly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then, with permission from one of our elite members, we skip the KK meeting & motor directly to Wal-Mart in Indiana for grocery shopping.

Today is our day for the: “will work for food” program. Just a quick glance toward the back yard tells me Kevin has already been actively engaged in the storage building progress this morning. He’s been making adjustments on the base frame & smashing more old concrete to further lower the base so less gravel will be needed.

The laser leveler came in handy; after a few more wheelbarrow loads of dirt, I empty (4) (50) lb bags of gravel that Kevin purchased May 10th onto the base; it doesn’t seem possible that we have been so slow with this project. However, if the local weather cooperates, next Saturday we are planning a: mix & pour concrete day.

Kevin’s lunch meal: slow cooked beef roast with potatoes, gemelli pasta, & salad; darn good grub I say.

Kathy’s job today was to sand & paint with chalk board paint, the wall on the landing going up to the 3rd floor; Melissa has talked about making this area a useable chalk board for some time. Though certainly not considered a “job,” she also got to read to the boys during snack time, play with Nathan while Melissa put Andrew down for a nap, play with Matthew on the 3rd floor in her spare time, & play with Andrew while Melissa put Nathan down for a nap.

About 3:00 pm, I ran out of things to do with the time we had left so I called to Kathy that maybe we could leave early & have more time for showers. When Kevin heard that, he was reminded of an outdoor project that he has been wanting to do for (3) yrs now: removing the wire & motion detector lights that run from the basement to the front porch on the side parking area. Using my old extension ladder from storage, I climb up, remove (4) staples & the motion detector assembly & then pull the wire cable & unit around to the parking side of the house & let Kevin have the rest of the fun.

While we were doing that small task, Kathy painted a second coat on the chalkboard.

We leave @ 3:45, take showers & walk to Saint Nicholas church & attend the 6:00pm vigil Mass. After Mass, we talk with Dan & Rose from Ohio; they are in town for a few days visiting family & friends, including Bernie, Dan’s good buddy.

Late dinner: chicken noodle soup.

DVR movie: “Enchantment” with David Niven, Teresa Wright, Evelyn Keyes, Farley Granger, etc. Weepy romancer with elderly Niven recalling his tragic love as he watches great-niece Keyes’s romance with Granger. 1948. A different approach to telling this sad story helped make the climax even more unpredictable.

High temp=77 Lights out: 12:33am

Awake: 6:46am Temp 49 sleep 6+23 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Ray & I do some “not so quick texting” back & forth until Kathy is awake & dressed; then she & I attend 8:00am Mass & join the KK meeting @ the community center. After that lively jaw exercise, we continue exercising other parts of our body for another 1.3 hrs.

Mid afternoon, we motor (5) miles west to my 1st cousin’s place & pay a visit with Florentz & Anna. Flossie is notorious for his wine making skills &, over the yrs, he has passed this talent on to his children. So we spent the afternoon, one might say, wine tasting; snacks were abundant & it took a few hrs to catch up on each others activities since we’ve visited them last September. We always enjoy Flossie & Anna’s company; even more so now that they have Geothermal heating & cooling in their home.

Back on our property, K & I fill those containers to the top with delicious wild strawberries.

Dinner: noodle soup & eggplant roll ups, stuffed with Ricotta & Parmesan cheeses.

Watch the O’Reilly Factor & then a Documentary on Alaska.

High temp=78 Lights out: 11:31pm

Awake: 6:05am Temp 44 sleep 6+00 fog…then mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then spend an hr @ the KK meeting. Kathy has a doctor’s appointment mid morning so, shortly after we get back to our bus, she motors to her engagement.

Al is picking me up about 11:30 for our Rotary meeting so, in lieu of breakfast, I use the extra time to change my primary filter on Pump House # 2. I’m guessing that over a thousand gallons of well water flowed thru that filter since the last change. Then I shave & change clothes just before Al roars in @ 11:35am.

Al has (5) stops planned: (2) before our meeting & (3) after. It was another dandy Rotary meeting; Donna B made “Ball Park chili, potato slices & purchased chicken wings with rolls. Connie made a pan of brownies for dessert. Chuck announced the final net figures for our Golf Classic Tournament, slightly over $7,200.00. Al drops me off shortly after 2:00pm, minutes after Kathy’s arrival.

We share our adventure stories of the day; since Kathy’s appointment was right around the corner from Haida Manor, she took time to visit Bernie. She reported that he was sitting in a wheel chair, was quite alert, & able to talk though with some difficulty.

On the way back to the MH she stopped at "Ken's Lawnmowers" & inquired if he sold lawnmowers. Ken had many lawn mowers, weed whackers &, riding mowers in various stages of repair & disrepair. He said he does sell any of his inventory as he gets it repaired. Kathy told him she'd be interested in a self propelled push mower with a grass catcher. Ken took her name & phone number & assured her that he'd call when he had one matching her description ready to go.

We call my brother for his 69th birthday. He & Josie will celebrate by going out for dinner tonight. He thinks Josie will pay the bill.

Dinner: leftover Ball Park chili & corn chips.

We finish watching: “The Dresser” with Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay, Edward Fox, Zena Walker, etc. Excellent film adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s play about an aging actor-manager (based on real-life Donald Wolfit) whose very survival depends on the constant pampering & prodding of his dresser….who lives vicariously thru the old man’s performances. Finney, as Sir, & Courtenay, as Norman the dresser, are simply superb. 1983. If you don’t like the theater, this is not for you; if you do, this is a must see.

High temp=63 Lights out: 11:23pm

Awake: 5:23am Temp 52 sleep 5+52 mostly cloudy overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend the 8:30 am KK meeting & then an hr of exercise @ the community center.

After breakfast, we drive to the Foote castle for an afternoon of spending time with our local grandsons. When we arrive, we find them dressed for a casual walk around the block with Miss Kinley so we join them.

Back @ the castle, I spend a good hr on the 3rd floor playing with the Brio train set with Matthew while Kathy plays in the downstairs playroom with Andrew; then we switch & Kathy dons her engineer’s hat while I join Andrew downstairs in the game room playing with model cars, trucks, airplanes, etc. During some of these (2) hrs, Nathan is sleeping which allows Melissa time for herself; something she rarely gets!

When Nathan awakes, we all (minus Kinley) walk over to the IUP campus & watch some heavy equipment demolish an older, but tough, dormitory in prep for the building of new dormitory buildings which will match the latest buildings across the street. After some (15 to 20) min of watching this spellbinding machine power, which the young Foote boys love to do, we saunter across the street to the new (4) double dormitories that have recently been dedicated on campus. Then it’s back to the Foote castle where we greet Kevin who is walking Miss Kinley for exercise. Shortly thereafter, we say our goodbyes for now & return to Nicktown.

Next, we change clothes, drive to the church hall & spend (1.2) hrs sanding old paint off a few metal panels.

Dinner: leftover chili from the Footes.

Watch Nat’l news & the O’Reilly Factor.

Gary C. calls with an invitation for dinner @ their place on Sunday; we waste no time in accepting before they change their mind.

Corinne calls & alerts us about my (96) yr old Aunt Bertha in Ohio who is in the hospital with a possible bowel obstruction & she wants us to alert my brother & sister. Instead, we call Roger & Michelle in Ohio to get the real scoop on “what’s happening.” We learn that, although she had her gall bladder surgically taken out several years ago, she has been suffering from a gallstone which the doctor’s were able to remove & she seems to be doing much better already.

Continue watching more DVD of: “The Dresser.”

High today=57 Lights out: 12:05am

Awake: 6:06am Temp 53 sleep 6+28 sun & clouds overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then attend the KK meeting for (45) min. Kathy leaves early for more noodle making while I exercise for 1.5 hrs @ the community center.

When Kathy returns to our bus @ 12:45 from not only helping with the noodle making, but also helping to crack 80 dozen eggs for future noodle making; then helps me by picking more wild strawberries. With our containers nearly full, dark clouds move in quickly & we are chased indoors.

Time to see what I can do with the Foote vacuum cleaner; on Sunday, when I realized the problem was not a worn belt but a misaligned drive gear on the motor shaft, I had Kathy help me with a gentle but firm whack on that drive gear to get it back in alignment with the beater bar pulley. It tested good but how long will it last? I trust the Foote vacuum team leaders will let me know!

Next, K & I gather our work gloves, drive to the church hall & continue our slow sanding progress on the metal panels in prep for a primer coat & later paint; (2.2) hrs for us. Midway, a nearby volunteer, Gene drives up & joins us for a good hr also.

Dinner: leftover Buffalo chicken chili.

Late DVR movie: “The Dresser.” After (55) min, someone wasn’t paying attention.

Lights out: 11:31pm

Awake: 5:37am Temp 61 sleep 6+16 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then join the KK for an hr; hot topic: obesity. Next K & I exercise for 1.4 hrs.

After breakfast, we drive to Miners Hospital & visit my 1st cousin Bernie who had a stroke (5) days ago. When we arrive, two of Bernie’s childhood friends, Mac & his brother Fred were by his bedside. Bernie couldn’t talk but seemed to know the voices he was hearing. One positive thing happened earlier this morning: in response to the nurse, Bernie agreed that he was hungry; she fed him pureed pork chops, mashed potatoes, & apple sauce. Since his stroke, he has been fed intravenously so this was good news for us.

We leave Bernie with his friends, drive down the road ½ mile & visit another 1st cousin, Richard, (84) who some time ago, fell & broke his hip bone. Richard was very chipper & talkative; he continues his rehabilitation program & is looking forward to getting released from this care center someday. On our way out of the center, we meet Richard’s younger brother, Jim, & his wife, Louise, who are also paying Richard a visit today. En route to Nicktown, we stop & the Giant Eagle & Bi-Lo stores for a few groceries.

Dinner: leftover chili & corn with fresh fruit salad.

Finish watching DVR movie: “Fury” with Sylvia Sidney, Spencer Tracy, Walter Abel, etc. Timely drama of lynch mobs & mob rule in small town making an embittered man of innocent Tracy spoiling his love for sweetheart Sidney. 1936. Good story & unpredictable.

Lights out: 11:38pm

Awake: 7:13am Temp 62 sleep 7+15 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy makes her special sourdough pancakes with all the trimmings for breakfast, & cleans up the dishes; my Father’s Day treat.

Skype with Ray for (52) min using our landline as an audio backup; included in our many multi-subjects was a “happy Father’s Day” wish to each other.

Shortly after that call, Katrina called from Jackson Hole, WY to wish me a “Happy Father’s day.” She is some (400) miles into her summer travel plans; visiting & spending (2) nights with friends in town.

Not too long after that call, Nick Skypes us & we both wish each other a “Happy Father’s Day.” Nick, Eriko & Jerry will be attending a Mariner’s baseball game today in Seattle & Jerry is all excited.

My brother Don calls from Maryland & we too, wish each other a “H-F-D.” Don tells us that he & Josie did a thorough clean up on their sailboat yesterday & are considering taking it out today for their first solo adventure.

We leave @ 1:00pm, drive to the Foote castle & join them in their car for a short trip to White’s Woods where we hike some of the trails. The Footes have done this before; it is a perfect place for all of us, including Miss Kinley, to get some casual exercise.

Back @ the Foote castle, I spend some time with Matthew on the 3rd floor playing with the Brio train set. Meanwhile, Kathy is spending time with Andrew downstairs.

Dinner with the Footes: several of the week’s leftovers.

Now that I have spare belts for Melissa’s Hoover Flair vacuum, I bring the vacuum along in the Suzuki to make the repair @ our motorhome….mainly because I have a few more handy tools to work with. We are back in Nicktown @ 7:00pm.

Zack calls shortly after we return & wishes me a “Happy Father’s Day.” We talk for about (50) min non-stop; Zack sounds good, busy, content, etc. He is on summer break from his masters program now.

I take the beater bar unit of the Flair vacuum apart, only to find the drive belt was not the problem; instead, the motor’s drive gear has moved about 3/8 of an inch on its shaft & consequently, the belt does not align on the drive gear. I’ll set this unit aside for now & think about what to do next.

We begin watching DVR movie: “Fury” but soon realize......we are both sleepy.

Lights out: 11:21pm

Awake: 6:21am Temp 66 sleep 6+55 partly cloudy overnight @ Nicktown.

Trucker Gary C. calls; his best trip yet, he tells me. Fewer delays & more coordination made the difference. I enjoy hearing tales of Gary’s travels & obviously he also enjoys his part-time travel adventures.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then spend only a short time with the KK members before driving to Indiana, PA. En route, a quick stop @ the UPS store to return the faulty module from our DSL kit before arriving @ the Jimmy Stewart Airport for today’s air show.

I missed this air show last yr, but this yr we are expecting a rendezvous with the Foote family before noon. A room full of tables greet us as we enter the terminal building & to our right, (2) young ladies advertising fresh pancakes with sausage + coffee or tea. The CAP (Civil Air Patrol) guys are the waiters with seconds & thirds being permissible. We barely finish our first serving when my aviation buddy, Barry, & his aviation enthusiast sister, Monica, join our table. Barry’s other sister, Suzy, also with the CAP, is the organizer of this (2) day event. We chat about the aircraft that are displayed on the tarmac & learn that Barry will be the speaker during some of the aerial displays.

K & I want to meet up with the Foote family so after our 2nd round of pancakes, we excuse ourselves from Barry & Monica & join in the small crowd attracted to the WWII C-47 sky train, a military troop transporter, which is parked midway on the tarmac. Next to the C-47, another WWII aircraft: a Torpedo Bomber called the TBM Avenger. The Senior Bush President flew one of these aircraft during WWII.

It was about this time that we spotted the Footes; they had been here since 9:30 & had already seen most of the attractions. The young boys had a ride in a very small airplane without an engine that was pulled by a small tractor & they also rode in the large hay wagon with mom & dad & toured the entire airport with a tour guide.

Kevin & I took Matthew & Andrew over & into the C-47, which they had not yet toured inside; Andrew was a little scared when looking out the window & seeing the difference in height from the ground, but Kevin calmed him down nicely. On our exit from the C-47, the first step down was a big one so Matthew was being very careful when the tour guide started to help him by griping his arm…..Matthew quickly turned around, looked seriously @ the man & said: “I’m four!” The reaction from the man was amusing; “oh, alright then” he said & let go of Matthew’s arm.

Aside from being with the boys in the C-47, we also walked over to a hangar where the Indiana Flyers Club was promoting an interest in Radio Controlled Model Aircraft. Soon after this pause, a few dark clouds began moving into the area & Footes sensed that the time was right to return to their castle; we walked with them to their car, passing a WWII L-5 spotter & rescue plane along the way; we agreed to see them tomorrow.

John B from our KK gang is also @ the air show; along with Barry, John shares aviation magazines & books with me to peruse. We spend some time with John & his son Josh with more aviation talk plus knee surgery talk from Kathy due to John’s complaining left knee. The WWII aircraft were scheduled to do some flying soon, but with the rain getting a little more serious, K & I decided to move out, get our grocery shopping finished & return to Nicktown.

Dinner: leftover meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy & a fresh salad.

Watch DVR movie: “Johnny Belinda” with Jane Wyman, Lew Ayres, Charles Bickford, Jan Sterling, etc. Sensitively acted, atmospheric drama of young deaf-mute girl (Wyman) & doctor (Ayres) who works with her; setting of provincial fishing-farming community vividly realized. Wyman won an Oscar for her fine performance. 1948. Terrific story…..add it to your list.

High temp=75 Lights out: 11:58 pm

Awake: 5:50am Temp 66 sleep 5+39 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then join our KK for an hr; hot topic: Father Job’s (48th) birthday. Donna K made Father Job a delicious birthday cake & we members all gave him our best singing voices on the “Happy Birthday” song. After this distinguished presentation, K & I exercise for (1.4) hrs.

Kathy does (2) laundry loads while I attempt to pick more wild strawberries; however, there was no breeze, temp (78) & very humid….too uncomfortable for this Alaskan.
Inside our coach with air conditioning, I continued looking thru the aviation book: Aircraft of the World, which John B loaned me.

Late afternoon, we watch the Nat’l news; (Tim Russert died). Sad to learn this; we both have been enjoying his “Meet the Press” on Sundays.

Early evening: watch Samantha Brown on the Travel Channel; France, Crete, Ireland.

Dinner: Salmon patty over Caesar salad.

Melissa calls with plans for a hike on Sunday with the boys & girl, Kinley; we are invited.

With popcorn, we finish watching DVR movie: “The Magnificent Ambersons” with Tim Holt, Joseph Cotton, Dolores Costello, Anne Baxter, Agnes Moorehead, etc. Brilliant drama from Booth Tarkington novel of family unwilling to change its way of life with the times; mother & son conflict over her lover. 1942. We didn’t like seeing what we saw but the crux is, it happens more than we realize.

High temp=78 Lights out: 11:34pm

Awake: 5:55am Temp 60 sleep 5+15 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then join the KK for (55) min. After that, we exercise for 1.3 hrs in the community center.

I skip breakfast & drive to our weekly Rotary meeting; en route, stop @ Sherry’s Appliance store in Barnesboro & pick up a beater bar belt for Melissa’s Hoover Flair vacuum cleaner.

Our Rotary meeting was good, especially our net profit from the Golf Classic Tournament last Friday. @ our meeting, the movers & shakers discussed the glitches they witnessed during the tournament & had some potential ideas of how to correct them.

Lunch consisted of an assortment of sandwiches: Ham & cheese; sliced beef, etc plus Connie made a homemade banana/pecan cake. In addition to our sandwiches, Donna B. also included ice cream.

En route to Nicktown, I stop @ the new Sheetz fuel station & fill our Suzuki’s tank with (12) gal @ 3.99 per gal; then made a stop to visit my 1st cousin Cyril again & have another casual chit-chat.

On our golf course property, K & I fill our containers with more wild strawberries, taking about (1.3 hrs) to fill them to overflowing.

Dinner: leftover meat loaf, mashed potatoes & gravy.

Mid evening, Katrina calls from Denver & we talk tire talk; she is having (2) new tires installed on the Honda’s rear.

Melissa calls to give us an update on: how things are going with the new addition; meaning Kinley, the puppy.

We start watching DVR movie: “The Magnificent Ambersons” but not for long; someone I sleep with was sneaking a nap of her own.

High temp=82 Lights out: 12:11am

Awake: 6:20am Temp 54 sleep 5+56 foggy, then sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Our KK meeting was very sparse this morning so we adjourned early. Meanwhile, K & I get 1.3 hrs of exercise done & a late, close to lunchtime, breakfast.

While Kathy watches “The View” program, Dick Skypes me from the northwest; his (5) day trek in his motorhome from Miami, OK to Portland, OR with only the (2) cats, was very boring but uneventful he tells me. However, he is looking forward to being with his wife Christine in a few days.

Kathy leaves @ 1:45 to turn & bag noodles @ the church hall.

Part-time truck driver Gary C. calls; although we are both somewhat computer illiterate, we discuss our Ethernet speed. He suspects his DSL speed is not as fast as it should be; “have I got something for you” I tell him. Later I send him an address that will measure his upload & download speeds plus quality of service.

Next, K & I visit Cyril @ his family homestead; we have some good talks for over 1.5 hrs & then return to our home on wheels. Cyril did give us some sad news: my 1st cousin, Bernie, in Kirschtown, had a stroke sometime earlier today & is now @ Miners Hospital in Hastings, PA.

Trucker, Gary C. calls & reports his DSL speed….we compare & find out his DSL speed is very close to the average speed I’ve been experiencing.

Next, K & I increase the size of our berry container & spend over an hr picking more wild strawberries.

Jo Anne, another 1st cousin, calls to inform us about our 1st cousin Bernie.

Katrina calls from Denver; she is having her Honda serviced & looked over carefully in prep for her (1) month travel adventures. She tells us the mechanic found the oil pan threads stripped so the pan will need to be replaced because there is not enough metal to make new threads. Katrina saw the oil pan cover up close & agreed; evidently the pan had been rethreaded before.

Nick Skypes us for about (35) min; they are all doing well.

We call & talk with my sister Mary Jo in Lodi, CA. We update each other on “what’s happening.”

Dinner: I didn’t make a note & now, neither of us remembers!

No movie tonight…..the boss is not interested.

High temp=77 Lights out: 12:39am

Awake: 5:55am Temp 69 sleep 6+11 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend the KK meeting @ 8:30; Kathy stays only (15) min, then leaves to help make noodles. Our meeting lasted 1.2 hrs. Afterward, I do some light exercising for an hr.

Kathy returns around noon time; they made 51 lbs of noodles today. After sharing our exciting happenings with each other, we walk to the lower area of our golf course & pick more wild strawberries for a good hr.

Dinner: swordfish, broccoli, wild rice & a mixed salad.

Mid evening, my 1st cousin Cyril calls from his Kirschtown homestead; he’s going to be in town for a few days so we make plans to visit with him tomorrow.

We watch the O’Reilly Factor & after the dinner dishes are cleaned up, watch the DVR movie: “Breaker Morant” with Edward Woodward, Jack Thompson, John Waters, Bryan Brown, etc. Potent drama based on the true story of (3) soldiers whose actions during the Boer War are used as fodder for a trumped-up court martial….in order to satisfy the political plans of the British Empire. Winner of several Australian Academy Awards. 1979. The court scenes with the following conclusion will surely make you brood.

Lights out: 12:24am

Awake: 6:04am Temp 69 sleep 6+02 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy & I attend the 8:30am KK meeting for an hr; hot topic: Unions. Afterward, we do some light exercise for an hr to begin our summer look-tough profile.

Back @ our motorhome, I Skype with Ray for (53) min using our landline as a backup audio feature.

Mid afternoon, I call Verizon & talk with Brandon in the Philippines regarding our Ethernet connection; Brandon’s accent was a little challenging but the guy was technically “the best yet” of the many calls I’ve made for DSL service. He had our Ethernet working within (40) min & then double checked it to be sure I would be satisfied. Now I can box up the original faulty module & send it back to Verizon in Westchester, PA.

Later, I call Linda in Anchorage & ask to have our mail forwarded.

While cleaning the filter on our Eureka vacuum cleaner, I found a broken plastic section inside the canister & have no idea how it happened. In my spare time, I’ll probably epoxy the pieces together until new parts can be found.

Before dinner, Kathy & I pick wild strawberries for an hr from our “golf course;” she cools them in the frig for a couple hours, then rinses them under running water, dries them in a towel, bags them, & puts them in the freezer for later enjoyment.

Dinner: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy & green beans…..delicious.

We watch the O’Reilly Factor & later, after the dinner dishes are washed & dried, finish watching DVR movie: “Notorious” with Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Louis Calhern, etc. Top-notch espionage tale by Ben Hecht, set in post-WWII South America, with Ingrid marrying spy Rains to aid U.S. & agent Grant; frank, tense, well acted with amazingly suspenseful climax. 1946. One of those “edge of your seat” stories you don’t want to miss.

Lights out: 11:44pm

Awake: 5:55am Temp 69 sleep 5+47 partly cloudy overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I drive over to the church hall to have breakfast. Eating here is like having a short reunion with many of the town’s people & some from the suburbs; it’s a great meal with opportunities galore to socialize. This morning, we chose my 1st cousin Gloria & her husband Bill to sit with. As a senior in high school, Bill was my math teacher & he was good.

Later, Ken, who loans me his John Deere tractor, visits our table with his wife, Theresa & their college daughter, Veronica. Before we left the building, we also visited Aaron & Sara & their young daughter Madeline; during winter 2005, Aaron was the driver of the manure truck that pulled our motorhome out of the snow drift, made a path with his truck into our circular drive, enabling us to follow his tracks & get positioned close enough to our camping site for the remainder of the winter.

Back @ our coach, Kathy makes potato au-gratin & a big mixed salad & 3 different salad dressings for tonight’s dinner while I pick some more wild strawberries on our property.

@ 4:00pm, we drive to Lilly (21) miles to help celebrate my sister Corinne’s 61st birthday with my bro Don, his wife Josie & the Foote family including their (8) week old puppy, Kinley, who is part Australian sheep dog & part Border collie + Sister Jane, one of Corinne’s roomies.

Corinne asked me if I could get the upstairs TV connected to their cable source; (40) min later, I had to give up; trying to match a very old TV to a modern digital receiver without any extra plug in cables was getting me nowhere. All I could recommend was a much newer TV.

We socialized & ate dinner on the back porch facing east, which was very comfortable. Shrimp ka-bobs grilled by Corinne, potato au-gratin & a large salad made by Kathy; dessert: ice cream cake from Dairy Queen, brought by Don & Josie. Earlier snacks by Corinne: mixed nuts & potato chips. Our mini family gathering for Corinne’s birthday was very nice with lots of good chats & very good grub.

DVR movie: “Notorious” We watch (15) min tonight.

Lights out: 12:02am

Awake: 5:54am Temp 68 sleep 6+30 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

After breakfast, Al K. picks me up @ 7:50am….next pick up, John B. waiting by the roadside near the Krumenacker lane; we (3) are attending the Catholic Men’s Conference @ Saint Francis University today starting @ 8:45 until 5:00pm. Both Al & John have been attending this conference for the last few yrs & they, more or less, talked me into joining them.

When signing in, I was told they already had over (100) men pre registered. My cousin Florentz was also in the gathering room so we invited him to join us. As we enter the auditorium, a (5) piece band up front was playing hymnal music with words projected on the large screen covering part of the stage. Hearing all these guys sing together was quite amazingly beautiful. The remainder of the morning was filled with good words from (2) great speakers: Deacon Alex from Detroit, MI & Peter from Ann Arbor, MI. & more singing. Both Alex & Peter were fantastic; @ times, their dynamic voices were reduced to a whisper; it was so quiet in this auditorium, as the saying goes:one could hear a pin drop.

@ noon time, we had a choice: either eat 1st & go to confession or confession 1st & then eat. Confession & food were both optional. Florentz & I elected to go to confession before eating; then we caught up with Al & John who stood in the long lunch line & had just sat down minutes before we arrived; we had no line.

Lunch: Beef slices, pasta, mashed potatoes with gravy, veggies & ice cream or cake for dessert. Then it’s back to the auditorium with several more speakers & more singing. We were excused @ 3:50 to attend 4:00pm Mass @ the Saint Francis church….it appeared that the entire auditorium crowd shuffled down the street & into church pews.

Outside, after Mass, I began to realize that my halo was so reflective & bright, it was bothering the guys without sunglasses. What a day this has been; there’s a good chance I’ll do this again next yr.

Back @ our motorhome, Kathy had not yet returned from visiting the Foote family. She told me earlier that she would be staying later than we usually do as she planned on attending 4:00 Mass @ St. Thomas More parish in Indiana.

Our wild strawberries are beginning to ripen throughout the golf course so I take the time & gather a good ¾ of a glass. Soon after, Kathy arrives & we exchange data on the different experiences of our day. Aside from my exciting adventure, Kathy announced that the super organized Foote family…now has a puppy (8) weeks old: an Australian Sheep Dog with some Border Collie mixed in. Kathy added that the puppy, now named, Kinley, is quite a pretty dog & very docile in today’s heat. Matthew & Andrew are taken with her & are being esp. gentle. After that quick hr of sharing, with Kathy’s help, I replace both filters on our outside portable water filter unit & Kathy washes the cartridges.

Small dinner: leftover from the Golf Classic: hamburger & Kielbasas with veggies.

DVR movie with popcorn: “Summer Wishes & Winter Dreams” with Joanne Woodward, Martin Balsam, Sylvia Sidney, Dori Brenner, etc. Sensitive character study of frigid woman (Woodward) obsessed by her childhood, upset by her own aloofness towards others, Balsam equally as good as understanding husband. 1973. Yes, good character study was about it; otherwise not for us.

High temp-82 Lights out: 12:08am

Awake: 5:47am Temp 68 sleep 5+44 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

I drop Kathy off @ the KK meeting & then continue to the Cambria Hills Golf Course to join our Rotary members in making our Golf Classic a thundering success without rain.

My job: I am the Ice Man; keeping (2) kegs of beer cold; (2) tubs of soda & bottled water cold & whatever else comes up where I can offer some assistance. Today’s high temp=low 90’s. Total large bags of ice used: (8); my helpers: Ryan, who recently was awarded a scholarship from Rotary; & Eric, a sophomore; son of Rotary member Anne Marie. They were both ready & willing to help & they were great.

With teams of (4)… & (15) teams, the food & drink area was most popular, so we were busy keeping our cool stuff….cool. Without going into a lot of detail, I’m pretty sure our tournament was a success & we’ll find out next week for sure. Around 4:00 pm, I used the last bag of ice; the beer keg was still very popular & the cook ran out of hamburgers; however, still lots of “HOT” Italian sausages, kielbasas with sauerkraut plus beans, veggies & buns remain. Since my Ice Man position was melting down, I asked my (2) bosses, Chuck & Donna, if I could be excused for the rest of the day. They gave thanks for a job well done, which I credited my helpers for & I returned to our cool bus.

Since school is now out for the summer, Kathy got to use the community center workout room following the KK meeting. She also got some computer time in today and gathered wild strawberries from our field; the first of many such gatherings that will occur this season.

With popcorn, we finish the movie: “King Rat” with George Segal, Tom Courtenay, James Fox, Patrick O’Neal, etc. James Clavell novel of WWII Japanese POW camp, focusing on effect of captivity on Allied prisoners. Thoughtful presentation rises above clichés; many exciting scenes. 1965.
Lights out: 11:24pm

Awake: 7:07am Temp 63 sleep 7+13 overcast overnight @ Nicktown.

Matthew calls on our landline; he tells us they are going to get some free Legos & look @ a puppy. Both Matthew & Andrew are very excited.

K & I attend the 8:30 am KK meeting for 1.7 hrs; hot topic: church tithing.

No breakfast for me this morning; today is Rotary & it’s my turn to drive. Pick up Al @ 11:05…..1st stop, Bi-Lo for Al’s groceries. 2nd stop, pick up Anne & then to our meeting.

Last week, Donna B. suggested we all have pizza for lunch & she would do the courtesy of picking it up. Surprise: the pizza was delicious. The movers & shakers of our Rotary gang talked a lot about the organization so far of our Golf Classic Tournament, which will be held tomorrow. Before the meeting broke up, a few of us went up to the attic & brought down the (3) large billboards, advertising our sponsors. Others brought in prizes that will be chanced off tomorrow, etc. Outside in the parking lot, I transfer the repaired chainsaw to Donna’s car for her husband.

Anne found another driver as we didn’t get away from the meeting until 1:15pm; & I should mention with a smile, I won the 50/50 this time.

We make a stop in Barnesboro; Al visits (2) banks & the Giant Eagle store for more groceries while I visit Paul’s shoe store & purchase a pair of tennis shoes. We return to Nicktown @ 2:15.

Kathy made (3) dozen cookies for me to take to the golf classic. She was at the church hall when I arrived home. Today is noodle pick-up, bag, weigh, & freeze day for the noodles made yesterday; 47.5 lbs.

Dinner: Pork chops in mustard cream sauce, fried noodles, apple sauce & salad.

We watch 1/5th of DVR: “King Rat.” Somebody I live with just couldn’t keep her eyes open.

High temp=79 Lights out: 12:03am

Awake: 5:54am Temp 62 sleep 6+21 overcast overnight @ Nicktown.

1st thing this morning, Kathy gets a head start on cooking dinner for tonight.

Dick C. calls from Miami, OK on Skype; we chat for a good (20) min using our phone line for a backup on audio. He will be leaving the Newell factory today, if all systems check “OK” starting toward his 1st destination: Portland, then Newport, OR. I wish him a bon voyage & ask him to Skype us when he has some free time.

K & I walk to our KK meeting this morning @ 8:30am. About (15) min later, Kathy & Theresa leave the meeting to join the noodle making gang. @ the church hall. Kathy returns @ 12:45 & then leaves again to join a female 1st cousins gathering @ Eileen’s home in town @ 1:30pm. This is the second annual such get together at Eileen’s with (9) women present today. In addition to cake & ice cream to celebrate Corinne’s birthday, Eileen served fresh fruit appetizers. She also hand drew cards for each cousin & bought & wrapped (17) gifts so that they could play a game of “Chinese Auction.” It was suggested that next year each cousin bring a gift. Kathy had nothing but positive comments upon her return & was happy to be counted a “1st cousin-in-law!”

With Kathy being gone & busy today, I try to catch up with watching a few DVD’s that were given to me a while back & not of her interest…. now’s my chance. 1st DVD: “Weapons of War” & “Super Fighters.” 2nd DVD: “National Aviation Hall of Fame.” I am into the hall of fame by (20) min when Kathy returns with Corinne following about (10) min behind. It was good while it lasted & I know there will be another opportunity, but for now, TV off.

Corinne & I talk @ length about perhaps getting our brother Don & sister Mary Jo interested in organizing our notes, thoughts & memories of “Life on the Farm” or as Eileen wrote: “Growing up in Kirschtown.” I also entertain thoughts of writing a book on: “Being a Lucky Birdman” or something like that! Anyway, it’s a lot easier said… than done.

Dinner with Corinne: Buffalo Chicken Chili Mac and salad. We had some good talking time with Corinne this evening.

K & I watch an hr of “Alaska & the Bears.”

High temp=66 Lights out: 11:54pm

Awake: 6:13am Temp 56 sleep 6+22 mostly cloudy overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & then join the KK for over an hr. Hot topic: distinguished visitor (Loretta) Pat’s youngest sister from Texas; a (2) day visit on her way to MA with her daughter where they will visit another sister, Terry.

After breakfast, now that the grass mowing is finished, I top off the diesel fuel tank, wash & clean the John Deere tractor & park it on our circular drive ready to be picked up. Then I call Ken P. & leave a message to pick up when suitable.

Next, I walk to the lower field & look for stumps that I missed flagging; the sun is hot with heavy humidity so I don’t last long. Back to the motorhome, I sponge off the sweat & get ready for a trip to the big city of Barnesboro. Shortly after this, Ken arrives to reclaim his John Deere; “good timing” I say. He got my message & wants to try & get his lawn mowed before the rain moves in.

Kathy & I drive to Barnesboro where she returns a library book & gets a couple more while I stop in @ Sherry’s Appliance store to see if the vacuum cleaner belt for Melissa’s Hoover Flair has arrived yet; it didn’t & they will call me when it does.

Next we visit our dentist: Peter K. for teeth cleaning, X-Rays & checks. Neither of us have cavities & Dr. K. highly complimented our previous dental work. It felt good having our teeth cleaned again. By the way, rain, heavy @ times, moved in during our time @ the dentist & continued thru the evening.

Dinner: Tilapia with brown rice & a mixed salad.

Finish watching: “Funny Girl” with Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Kay Medford, Anne Francis, Walter Pidgeon, Lee Allen, etc. Streisand’s Oscar-winning film debut as Fanny Brice, singer-comedienne whose unhappy private life contrasted comic antics onstage. Bad as biography, but first-rate as musical. 1968. One of Kathy’s favorite movies; for me, it was fine.

To finish our evening, we watch & listen to political speeches by: McCain; Hillary & Obama.

High temp=74 Lights out: 11:35pm

Awake: 5:45am Temp 45 sleep 5+48 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & then join the KK meeting for an hr.

After a meager breakfast, I load Kevin’s weed whacker into the Suzuki, & we drive directly to the Foote Castle & join them for an early dinner & celebration of Kevin’s 33rd birthday.

After the traditional “Happy Birthday” song was sung, we all enjoyed a special dinner of: Mexican lasagna, mixed salad & a butter pecan cake with several choices of ice cream for dessert. Then Kevin returns to his job @ the University.

As a birthday favor, Kathy cleans up the kitchen & washes the dishes while I take my (140) watt soldering gun upstairs to finish the other trouble maker wire connection; hopefully now, this case is closed.

Also, as these activities are in motion, Melissa is readying the young Foote boys & (35) library books for a walking trip to the Indiana library downtown.

I volunteer to pull the suitcase with the books while Matthew talks with Kathy & me on their walkie-talkies. Kevin was given (3) of these walkie-talkies just this week. We don’t talk continuously however, being mindful of battery usage. We saunter in slow motion due to high temps today; many stops for ice cubes in a container that Melissa carries with her + rest spots in shady areas. We spend about (1.3) hrs @ the library; Melissa swaps her read (35) books for (35) more unread books, then a quick snack for the boys in front of the Courthouse where Kevin arrives on his bike & helps the process….. & then the s-l-o-w walk back to the Foote Castle.

Kevin did speed pedal his bike home, changed clothes & returned on foot to walk with the rest of us. Regardless of the heat wave & slow motion activity, we did enjoy being with our grandsons & daughter & the casualness of the day. We are back to our cool coach @ 6:25pm.

Dinner: leftover chicken parmesan; we really weren’t very hungry after our b’day dinner.

Katrina calls while fueling her Honda; she updates us about her latest activities: running a ½ marathon (13.1) miles. She was happy with her time but I don’t remember the number.

We continue watching: “Funny Girl” but choose to finish it tomorrow night.

Lights out: 11:51pm

Awake: 5:55am Temp 57 sleep 6+01 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy went 1st class this morning & made us: eggs benedict for breakfast & it was great. It’s been a long time since we’ve had that treat.

Then she did (3) loads of laundry while watching her favorite political programs on TV while I cleaned up the dishes. Later, using Kevin’s electric weed whacker, I whacked all the tall grass inside our circular drive that I couldn’t get when mowing with the tractor, then whacked more tall grass west of our motorhome. I used (2) of my long electrical cords & (1) of Kevin’s, so I was able to get most tall weeds within a (90) foot radius.

Phone calls late afternoon & evening: Gary C. calls during my weed whacker time & will return his call later. We talk with John N. in Vancouver, WA; a touching phone call as John just lost his wife, Shirley, last week & today is his birthday. We wanted to talk with John in lieu of simply sending a sympathy card & wish a happy birthday. We talk with Grace & Gary in Landenberg, PA. They haven’t decided whether to stay home this summer or join the rally club motoring to Niagara Falls & points west to Manitoba, Canada, etc. The rally size has shrunk considerably due to fuel prices. We call & leave a message for my sister, Mary Jo in Lodi, CA. And Corinne calls us from Lilly, PA to invite us to her 61st birthday party next Sunday. Katrina calls during our Landenberg talk time; we will return her call later.

Dick C. calls on Skype; signals are weak so we use our phone backup. Dick says Christine is feeling better & enjoying her time in France. Later this week, Dick will drive his motorhome with the cats, Bernie & Dee-Dee, from Miami, OK to Portland, OR & when Christine arrives @ the airport, he’ll take her on to Newport, OR where they will spend the summer months.

Late dinner: Chicken parmesan & a mixed salad.

Return Katrina’s phone call & leave a message.

Watch 1/3 of DVR movie: “Funny Girl.”

High temp=73 Lights out: 11:57

Awake: 5:58am Temp 64 sleep 6+58 rain began @ 6:05 overnight @ Nicktown.

Ray & I do some quiet text on Skype because both our wives are still sleeping. After Kathy awakes, we skip the 8:00 am Mass & 8:30 KK meeting & zip out to Indiana, PA for grocery shopping @ Wal-Mart & Martin’s.

Today is our “will work for food” program. Outside work on the storage building is not feasible due to heavy rain, so after some causal talking with Melissa & the young boys, I head upstairs to the unfinished bathroom where I use Kevin’s soldering iron, paste & solder; then give those thin wires a good wrap around the larger copper wires, solder then together, replace the lid on the electrical box, test the fan & declare this fan business finished.

Soon after, Kevin arrives & mainly he, with a fraction of my help, replaces the full sheetrock panel we removed (2) weeks ago, Saturday 17th. Being proud of ourselves for not breaking that full sized sheetrock, I say something like: “what’s next?” Before Kevin answers, he flips the fan switch on & discovered no motor running. Huh! “I can’t believe this is happening” I tell him. We did not want to remove that sheetrock again. Fortunately Kevin went to the 3rd floor & was able to get his muscular arms & big hands stretched out far enough to turn the screw out & open the electrical box from above the insulation. He wiggled a few connections while I monitored the fan motor from below; sure enough, thin wires from a sister connection have joined the fault process. Again, my blunder; I had forgotten that connection also contains thin wires that mix with larger copper wiring.

In order to properly repair this glitch, Kevin suggests we make a relatively small access opening which we did. I was not comfortable using the old 100 watt soldering gun from Kevin’s grandfather, so I’ll repair this connection of wires with my 140 watt gun next week sometime.

Next, Kevin shows me his future “work to be done” list. There are many things on this list, which allows me to choose & select whatever I feel is doable. Some jobs are solo, others we can do together. Right now, Kevin will be busy grilling burgers for dinner, so I select the dirtiest job of all: pulling unused wires from the basement ceiling that run thru ceramic tubes in the rafters; obviously very old wiring.

Kathy spent some time reading to Matthew & Andrew while they ate their snack. Then it was her turn to get some work done. She’s still removing old wallpaper glue from one wall in the 3rd bedroom. She tried a new removal solution today, Dr. Pepper soda. She was concerned about the possibility of ants finding this sweet treat & concluded that it really didn’t work any better than the chemical she used last time. So she continued the removal using the chemical.

Before we knew it, the (5) min call for dinner echoed into the basement & up to the 2nd floor. I could hear my sister’s voice from above; she had just arrived from visiting family, friends & cousins in Ohio & western PA. We assembled around the dining room table; before meal prayers were said & then our “will work for food” program starts to pay off.

Dinner by Kevin: grilled burgers with blue cheese, grilled potatoes & mixed salad + smoothies for everyone; Kevin’s best hamburgers yet!

While Kathy washes dishes & cleans up the kitchen, I return to the basement & continue my wire pulling; then our time is up for this visit. We arrive in Nicktown @ 5:00pm, a little later than usual.

After washing up & changing clothes, K & I walk & attend 6:00 pm Mass @ Saint Nicholas Church & walk back to our motorhome. About an hr later, heavy rain with thunderstorms rolled thru the area.

Evening DVR movie with popcorn: “Roman Holiday” with Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Eddie Albert, Tullio Carminati. Hepburn got 1st break & an Oscar as princess yearning for normal life, who runs away from palace, has romance with reporter Peck. 1953. We both loved this story; so gentle, so dignified, so real. By all means, move it to the top of your list.
Lights out: 11:54pm

Awake: 5:21am Temp 48 sleep 5+54 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then join the KK meeting. Hot topic: Cogeneration plants.
Oh, by the way, one of our astute koffee klub members tipped me off to a nearby diesel station; a mere (8) miles round trip. I was happy to get that info.

After breakfast, Kathy starts bagging the piles of grass from inside our circular driveway; filling & carrying 2 bags at a time over to our forest,& emptying them in the woods.

Meanwhile, I continue mowing; this time, the west field, which has many flags marking the tree stumps. It was slow going….some stumps were not flagged & with high grass, they were difficult to see. My job was not as easy as it looked; aside from scouting the un-flagged stumps, I disturbed a young deer that was lying about center field; he stood up, I looked @ him, he looked @ me & than hopped into the forest. I also disturbed a mother mouse & she went scooting across the mowed section of the field. But the most nerve wracking of all; wasps & bees were not happy with my mowing & buzzed my hat, nose, arms, etc. One nervy creature even landed on the steering wheel & really gave me the evil eye.

I needed a water break & when visiting Kathy, she also needed a break period; @ this time, she had carried (26) bags over to the forest. “Could you drive the Suzuki to the Alverda Station & get (4) gal of diesel fuel” I ask her. She appeared happy to honor my request.

With the extra diesel fuel, I finished the mowing. Kathy got her second wind after her brief drive & finished gathering up the rest of the grass from the circular drive, (4) bags, which I then carried into the forest. The John Deere's hour meter totaled (11) hrs of mowing time. We finished @ 6:00pm. Our golf course is now open for business again.

Showers, then dinner: leftover Thai Chicken Stir Fry.

We finish watching DVR movie: “Houseboat” with Cary Grant, Sophia Loren, Martha Hyer, Harry Guardino, etc. Loren becomes Grant’s housekeeper & takes his three motherless kids in hand. Predictable romance ensues, in this delightful comedy. 1958. Predictable it was…. & maybe a little overrated too.

Lights out: 11:00pm

Awake: 5:43am Temp 41 sleep 5+53 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then join the KK meeting. After the meeting, we drive over to the Krumenacker Hardware store & buy a rake. To make sure this was the best tool for the job, I immediately use (40) min of raking time & make small piles of grass to gather up & dispose of later. This rake will be just fine for now.

Meanwhile, I begin searching for diesel fuel for Ken’s tractor; Google, local phone calls, etc. Our Best fuel stop in Barnesboro has been replaced with a Sheetz auto & truck stop but their diesel won’t be available until June 5th. Nearest diesel that I know of is in Ebensburg & that is a (30) mile round trip. For now, however, I give up & will ask the Rotary members if they know of anything closer.

Jean, our superb cook for Rotary, has decided to retire; today we are having our last supper, er dinner. She has been a wonderful cook & we will surely miss her & her good meals.
Lunch today: meat balls in tomato sauce over pasta, garlic toast, mixed salad & strawberry upside down cake for dessert. Most of our meeting was focused on the up & coming Golf Classic Tournament scheduled for next Friday. After the meeting, Joe gives me a (10) inch saw chain he wants stretched to a (12) inch; Donna gives me her husband’s chain saw for a chain sharpening & a new spark plug. En route to our motorhome, I stop @ Herk’s place & pass on the goods to be repaired.

The Rotary members present had no better solution for a closer diesel fuel station, so I decided to siphon some diesel fuel from our motorhome’s tank. Using a ½ inch plastic hose & our vacuum cleaner, it took only seconds for that fuel to start gushing from our motorhome tank into my (5) gallon container. (4) hrs later, the side & lower fields were looking more like a golf course should & I have had enough mowing for tonight.

While at the Rotary meeting, Kathy spent a couple hours continuing the raking I had started; there are now over 50 piles of grass.

During my (4) hrs of mowing time, Kathy was busy at the church hall gathering, bagging, labeling, weighing, & freezing the noodles she helped make yesterday; 54 lbs. After the noodle gathering, she & 3 other women, the self claimed, “Nicktown Crackers,” cracked & separated 43 dozen eggs to be used in next week’s noodle making.

1st a shower, then 9:00pm dinner: leftover meat balls in tomato sauce over pasta from the Rotary club.

DVR movie: “Houseboat.” We watch ½ tonight.

Lights out: 11:27pm

Awake: 5:27am Temp 43 sleep 6+05 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then join the KK meeting; hot topic: car transmissions. Kathy leaves early for noodle making.

Our forwarded Alaska mail arrives today; I sort out the important stuff while having breakfast & then @ 11:40, slip into dirty clothes & continue sanding metal panels on the church hall until 3:00pm. A (20) min break for a lunch of homemade chicken noodle soup with the noodle makers was my only real break.

Minutes after my shower, Ken P. shows up with his John Deere tractor; @ the same time, Florentz & Anna pull in for a visit. Also, earlier @ our KK meeting, I invited a few guys to join me in having a beer @ the Nicktown Hotel; it has just reopened after (2) weeks of being closed after the death of its owner, Priscilla.

So I apologized to F & A & agreed to a later rendezvous; talked briefly with Ken about his young grandson & tractor & then K & I walked to the hotel & joined John, John’s son, Josh & son-in-law Gino. Although I’m not much of a beer drinker, the Yengling tasted pretty good; of course, the company was even better.

Before dinner, I use (2) hrs mowing time on the (2) ft high grass inside our circular drive.

Dinner: chicken noodle soup with oyster crackers.

Evening Skype time with Nick, Eriko & Jerry; we use our (2) landline phones to catch every word spoken. Jerry demos his “T” ball skills & Nick reveals his invitation to join the Isilon group traveling to Japan & Korea this summer.

We finish DVR movie: “Penny Serenade” with Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Beulah Bondi, Edgar Buchanan, Ann Doran, etc. Quintessential soap opera, with Dunne & Grant as couple who adopt baby after their unborn baby dies. A wonderful tearjerker. 1941. No doubt about it; tearjerker supreme but well worth experiencing such a story.

Lights out: 11:50pm

Awake: 6:00am Temp 64 sleep 6+28 partly cloudy & short shower overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass, then join the KK meeting. Hot topic: Pam, who is visiting her mother in Nicktown, shared some of her experiences living & teaching on an Indian reservation in southern AZ where poverty & disease are rampant. She also has a house in Rocky Point, Mexico & was able to impart information about the Mexican people.

Judy F. calls from Ohio; she says Corinne is leaving phone messages but she can’t return the call because Corinne has no cell phone. To help her out, I call our cousin, Michelle in Ohio, & ask her to pass the message on to Corinne when they get together this afternoon.

Today is my Aunt Bertha’s 96th birthday, also living in Ohio. We call & have a nice chat with her; she’s awfully sharp, has a great memory, & a genuine, nice laugh.

Kathy & I take turns on the computer; reading during off times.

Mid afternoon, I walk over to Al & Donna’s house; Al had (3) huge trees cut down earlier today; (1) in front & (2) behind their house. Al was busy cutting up the fallen trees for firewood.

Dinner: Thai beef stir fry, whole wheat spaghetti & fresh apple & pear slices.

Watch Modern Marvels on Big Heavy machinery. Then watch the O’Reilly Factor.

Late DVR movie: “Penny Serenade.” ½ only; tomorrow we’ll finish up.

High temp=78 Lights out: 11:22pm

Awake: 5:29am Temp 50 sleep 6+12 partly cloudy overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then return to our motorhome where the Foote family are waiting for us. Today @ 9:00am, the Memorial Day parade starts in Nicktown. The Footes haven’t experienced this event before so we are a little excited to have them here on this special occasion.

As we walk toward the center of town, we pass the fire trucks, ambulances, tractors, quad runners, etc lining up on Saint Joseph Street; the young Foote boys are definitely tuned in. The first section of the parade is lining up on Ridge Road; marching bands, veterans, scouts, etc. My brother in his dress army uniform; Tom H, in his dress Navy uniform; & several other hometown veterans wearing parts of their uniforms that still fit stir up our pride as they march by. This Memorial Day parade has been well attended for as long as I can remember. Veterans, past & present are commemorated @ the cemetery with an MC & chosen veteran host speaker. A bagpipe solo, 21 gun salute, & the single trumpeted Taps with echo complete this usually touching memorial event.

Afterward, a few of us guys plan on meeting @ Tom’s mother’s home in town to, as they say, “shoot the bull,” with classmates, friends, family, etc. We have some snacks with beer, wine, soda, etc. Meanwhile, the Foote family plus Corinne & Kathy hang out in our motorhome for a few hrs where they also have some snacks minus the beer, wine, & soda. Then around 3:00pm, they & we all return to their/our respective dwelling places.

Dinner: Italian sausage, cooked peppers with onions & mushrooms & a spinach salad.

Evening DVR: “The Apartment” with Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston, etc. Superb comedy-drama that manages to embrace both sentiment & cynicism. Lemmon attempts to climb corporate ladder by loaning his apartment key to various executives for their extramarital trysts, but it backfires when he falls for his boss’s girlfriend. Oscar winner for Best Picture. 1960.

High temp=78 Lights out: 11:32pm

Awake: 6:20am Temp 42 sleep 5+50 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy does (4) loads of laundry while watching her democracy programs on TV. Every now & then, I can’t resist listening in on a few theories or facts myself.

Mid afternoon, I replace both main water filters on pump house # (2).

@ 5:00pm, K & I drive over to the church hall & attend the dinner, dance, Cruise & Sock Hop for a worthy cause. Dinner: mostaccioli, chicken thighs, baked beans, hot dogs with sauerkraut, raw veggies, potato salad & lots of homemade desserts. The band, The Red Arrow, played some rock & roll tunes but mostly country & western. Outside, there must have been some (25) classic autos lined up to admire. We danced a few numbers, talked with a few people we knew & left earlier than we had intended. For whatever reason, the crowd was sparse; perhaps it wasn’t advertised well enough.

DVR movie: “Lady for a day” with Warren William, May Robson, Guy Kibbee, Glenda Farrell, etc. Wonderful Damon Runyon fable of seedy apple vendor Robson transformed into perfect lady by softhearted racketeer William. 1933. This is a great heartwarming story; don’t miss it.

Lights outs: 11:17pm


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