August 2008 Archives

Awake: 5:43am Temp 64 sleep 5+28 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & then join the KK members. After our meeting, we walk over to the Krumenacker Hardware store & buy (2) large & (2) small water filters plus a pair of gloves.

After breakfast, I spend some time on our computer while Kathy irons the clothes we will be wearing to our 50th high school reunion later today.

The afternoon goes quickly & before we know it, it’s time for us to motor down to Spangler & enter the Contres-Greer Social Hall. The social hour begins @ 6:00pm with the buffet to follow @ 7:00pm. We are given our name tags & an envelope as we enter the hall; inside the envelope were (3) pictures from our 1958 graduation class with names & addresses on a separate sheet. (2) of the pictures were of our classmates divided by home room & the other, a smaller size of the school’s larger picture of our class with our teachers including names for all. Thanks to (2) of our classmates we have a real memorabilia treasure!

For this reunion & our reunion of (3) yrs ago, only the classes of 1955 thru 1962 have been invited. Shortly after we arrived, the no charge bar opened for business. From that point on until midnight, we had a bunch of fun….getting acquainted again, reviewing the past & present & talking with the few of our teachers who are still with us.

Kathy & I danced a lot more than we did (3) yrs ago; the DJ was playing the right tunes at the right sound level & we both felt like dancing.

Dinner was great: turkey, chicken, beef roast, pigs in a blanket, pasta, beef gravy & chicken gravy, stuffing balls, salad, & a choice of different cakes & pies for dessert.

@ midnight, the bright lights gave us the hint: that’s all folks until next time. I loved it & I think Kathy had a good time too.

Lights out: 12:49am

Awake: 5:51am Temp 60 sleep 6+22 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & then join the KK afterward.

Today we plan to mow grass but due to heavy dew last night, we decide to round up some “things” we’ve been carrying with us in our motorhome that really should be put in storage. After wrapping a lot of those “things” in plastic bags & boxes, we ignore that project for now, shift gears & fill the Snapper mower with fuel & we’re off & walking.

Without any breaks, (5) hrs + later, we are finished & does our tee off area look good? You bet! Extra mowing was the alley that is sometimes mowed by our near neighbors with their riding mowers.

Then, we watch the Nat’l news. Dinner: Albacore tuna steak, veggie pasta, mixed salad & fresh cherries.

Later, we watch the O’Reilly Factor & Modern Marvels.

Even later: DVR movie: “Another Thin Man” with William Powell, Myrna Loy, C. Aubrey Smith, Otto Kruger, etc. Murder strikes at a Long Island estate & the screen’s favorite lush-detective couple (along with Asta & newborn son Nick, Jr.), move in to solve it, although motherhood has slowed down Nora’s drinking a bit. 1939. You don’t want to nod off during this thriller, the clues are well hidden.

Lights out: 12:15am

Awake: 6:02am Temp 56 sleep 6+34 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & then join the KK meeting for about an hr. No breakfast for me this morning….today is Rotary.

Al picks me up @ 11:25am; (1) stop en route to our meeting. Would you believe: no catered lunch again; the plan fell thru so Chuck ordered pizza. We were not very happy about that! (2) quick stops en route to Nicktown, returning @ 1:40 pm.

Talk with Zack in Seattle for (45) min. He’s a busy fellow; his company is sending him & a few other colleagues to Berkley in CA & Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh for company recruiting purposes. He also just returned from a (5) day trip to Chicago where he & Katie had a fairly pleasant visit with her folks.

We watch the recorded nat’l news & Jeopardy.

Dinner: leftover pizza slices from Rotary.

Finish watching: “The Berlin Express” with Merle Oberon, Robert Ryan, Charles Korvin, Paul Lukas, etc. Taut, suspenseful spy story set in post WWII Europe. Members of several nations combine efforts to save German statesman kidnapped by Nazi underground. 1948. Of special interest were the rarely seen original battered & burned out city scenes shortly after the war.

Afterward, we watch more of the 2008 Olympics.

Lights out: 11:29pm

Awake: 6:47am Temp 52 sleep 6+32 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I join the KK for the 8:30 am meeting; then exercise for (1.9) hrs. After our late breakfast, we baby proof our motorhome the best we can in anticipation of our grandsons visiting this afternoon.

Melissa & the boys arrive around 2:30; they haven’t been in our motorhome for quite some time. We’re not sure how it happened but all (3) boys were like…on their best behavior; even Nathan. He just walked all through the bus without grabbing anything & seemed content to just….be here again; amazing!

Next, we all walk (except Nathan) to the school playground near the community center, where the boys can now run, jump, slide, swing, etc to their hearts’ content. We play with them of course & join them for their afternoon snack. Time goes quickly & then we return to their mini van & say our goodbyes for now. Gosh, the boys were so calm & relaxed this visit, had we known, we could have skipped that entire baby proofing thing.

K & I then walk to 6:00pm Mass & give thanks to God for our wonderful family.

Dinner: leftover meatloaf, gravy, & veggie macaroni with cheese.

My sore throat has moved on; now my voice is more masculine.

While I clean the dishes, we watch the recorded Int’l news.
“ “ “ “ “ “ Jeopardy.
Next we watch the recorded Bio on John McCain; (1.5) hrs.
“ “ “ “ “ on Barack Obama; (1.5) hrs.

Lights out: 11:28pm

Awake: 7:23am Temp 60 sleep 7+54 overcast overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I motor to the hospital in Hastings, Pa (15) min, & sign in to give a blood sample in prep for our annual physical next week.

After that quick activity, we drive thru Hastings looking for a breakfast café; up & down Main Street to no avail. Talking to a fellow citizen in town, he reminds us the café opens for lunch & dinner only. In Barnesboro we do find Erma Jeans Café busy & serving breakfast; the right place @ the right time. We return to our coach @ 10:00am.

Late morning, I continue my house cleaning; this time the entire passenger side, the front cap & rear cap. It’s beginning to look clean again. My sore throat is irritable so far today. During my outside cleaning time, I couldn’t help but hear a high powered lawnmower of my near neighbor, Al; extremely loud & could be eligible for noise pollution in some cities.

Dinner: crab cakes, brown & wild rice, mixed salad & fruit salad.

Ray from Ocean Park & I Skype using the landline phone for (30) min. After we are finished, I call Al & question him about the rather loud echo penetrating our neighborhood mid afternoon. “Oh, you could hear that” he says. “My muffler fell off & I wanted to finish mowing” he shyly admitted. I was really calling him to confirm if he would be attending the Holy Name meeting tonight….which he will be.

Very interesting meeting; one hr exactly; though a small village, there are many things to do & keep track of in keeping this small town active & comfortable. I spent another (50) min talking with Barry before returning to our coach.

Ray & I Skype again, this time for over an hr; we had a lot to catch up on.

Lights out: 12:15am

Awake: 5:45am Temp 56 sleep 6+23 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00am mass & then join the KK for (1.2) hrs. Next we exercise for (1.9) hrs.

After breakfast, Kathy does (2) loads of laundry that include the bed sheets & other clothes while I spend some time on our computer.

Mid afternoon, I get my equipment ready to continue house cleaning. I made Kathy a fair deal: if she will do the dinner dishes, I’ll wash & scrub clean some of the outside of the passenger side of our motorhome. She went for it! It probably took (2) hrs to finish cleaning the roof from the other day, plus cleaning all (4) slide tops.

We watch the Int’l news, then Jeopardy.

Dinner: veggies with macaroni & cheese. Kathy probably finished those dinner dishes in less than an hr. But a deal’s a deal!

We watch: “The O’Reilly Factor.”

Ray, from Ocean Park & I text each other mid evening.

I’ve been sneezing a lot lately; tonight my throat is scratchy…..hmmm.

We watch another (30) min of: “The Berlin Express.”

Lights out: 11:29pm

Awake: 6:32am Temp 53 sleep 7+03 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I walk to the church hall to have breakfast; our timing was excellent as the 6:00am church crowd had finished eating & the 8:00am crowd had not arrived yet. No waiting for us. Within (15) min though, the line was a good (85) + ft long.

During breakfast, I enjoyed a good chat with Dave &, later, we had more good talk with Sally & Gene.

About 1:35pm, we motor to St. Augustine & pay a visit to Gary & Rosemary (19) miles. Their place is nicely organized with freshly mowed grass & young fruit trees & pine trees growing further toward the west. The side yard, in the shadows, is complete with a (3) person swing & a beautiful view of their healthy looking garden. At the back of their house, a patio with chairs & (2) umbrellas; not to forget, the long porch in front with a great view of the hills & valleys, which is quite suitable for adults & young children alike.

Young children….what a coincidence! As we are swinging & enjoying a bit of wine with G & R on the side yard, up pulls a white van; within minutes, Matthew, Andrew & little Nathan come a running around the corner with parents following. We’ve been invited to an outdoor cookout hosted by Gary & Rosemary.

The long porch in front was the perfect spot for Melissa to introduce a new toy to the boys; a remote control train given to Melissa days earlier. Along with the side yard swing & sloping hills for the boys to run up & down on, bubbles to blow & almost flyable airplanes to try to fly, they remained fairly entertained during some of our adult visiting time.

Gary kept our bottomless wine glasses active & Rosemary saw to it that we had snacks. The afternoon weather was great, the temperature ideal & the abundant array of food, delicious. G & R catered to the Foote family & us like we were a special group of celebrities. How can we possibly keep up with these kind & generous people? It won’t be easy.

The Foot family stays longer then usual & we stayed even longer than we anticipated; but it was a fun filled day being together with lots of talk time & watching those young boys being amused.

Back in our coach, I text Nick in Seattle with no response; about (8) min later, Nick calls on our landline. He didn’t know I had texted but was outside on the lawn & called us; we gab for (45) min….covering his upcoming trip to Asia & work related destinations.

Later, we watch (40) min of DVR movie: “The Berlin Express.”

Lights out: 11:22pm

Awake: 5:35am Temp 51 sleep 5+25 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Shortly after Kathy awakes, I bring in the BIG hummingbird feeder; we clean it & refill it with nectar. Those little birds drank all but the last few drops from that (16 oz) container in (5) days; impressive!

Kathy talks with Kevin: “we have no grocery shopping plans this morning so we can get an early start on laying concrete” she says. Kevin tells her he will have extra supplies & be ready for our earlier arrival.

After we attend 8:00 am Mass, we motor to the Foote Castle arriving @ 9:45am. Kevin kept his word; sacks of gravel, sand & cement are waiting near the staging area. Within minutes, our smooth running concrete machine was humming away. By 11:45am we were finished. I mixed up some concrete without gravel for Kevin to do some patch up work & then it was time to clean up the tools & wheelbarrow.

Inside the Castle, Melissa was busy making lunch. Matthew asks me to join him on the 3rd floor to play with the Brio train set; good thing I checked with the cook first… we were told we had (30) min.

When we reported for lunch, there was a slight change in the schedule; Kathy & Kevin were outside weed whacking & trimming trees in the front yard. I thought it best to give a helping hand before lunch time.

Lunch: stuffed peppers with a mixed salad & green & red grapes.

I had my small air compressor & battery charger in our Suzuki suspecting that Matthew would want to do the balloon fest again, but it was not mentioned. Instead, he was somewhat attracted to a new game called: Monopoly Junior. Well, Kathy, Matthew & I played that game for a good (35) min; (a very simplified version of the real Monopoly) & he loved it. He also was the winner so maybe that helped his enthusiasm.

We leave for Nicktown @ 3:55 pm……after a clean up & change of clothes; we walk to church & attend 6:00 pm vigil Mass.

We watch the special coverage @ the Saddleback Civil Forum in CA: Obama vs. McCain, Questions & Answers. Then watch some more of the Olympics; both with popcorn.

Lights out: 11:31pm

Awake: 6:04 am Temp 58 sleep 6+02 fog, then partly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then join the KK meeting; Kathy made a Chocolate Zucchini Oatmeal cake for the KK members & we had our largest attendance of the week. How do they know when she is going to bring the goodies! After (1.8) hrs of exercise, we return to our home on wheels.

After breakfast, I clean (2) air condition filters in the living room & kitchen. Then get papers, drawings, pictures, notes, etc all organized & ready for when we meet with our architect sometime this month.

Our blueberry bush supplies us with another (45) or more berries today.

We watch the Nat’l news while having a dinner of: crab cakes, wild rice, mixed fruit salad & whole wheat bread.

I call & talk with Ed in Port Jefferson, Long Island, NY; my ole buddy from the 60’s ….when working & Brookhaven National Laboratory. We chat for over an hr… & maybe sometime later this year, we’ll have a rendezvous.

Finish watching DVR movie: “Return to Me” with David Duchovny, Minnie Driver, Carroll O’Connor, Robert Loggia, Bonnie Hunt, James Belushi, etc. Thoroughly engaging romantic comedy-drama about a man who loses his wife, then chances to meet a woman whose life has been saved by a heart transplant. 2000. This story was indeed heartwarming & a pleasure to watch. Don’t miss it!

Lights out: 12:10am

Awake: 5:45am Temp 58 sleep 6+02 cloudy overnight @ Nicktown.

Melissa calls us early & updates us on yesterday’s activity; a walk to the library where they exchanged over 50 books and then stopped for ice cream on their walk back.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & then join the KK meeting for a short (.8) hrs.

Today is Rotary & it’s my turn to drive. As per our plan, I pick up Al precisely @ 11:20 & proceed to our meeting place with a medium short (1) stop en route. Speaking of short, our KK meeting was short &, now, our Rotary meeting was short; business is not as usual. Even our caterer couldn’t follow thru with providing us lunch so Donna B, on & above the call of duty, took the time & effort to make us a real nice, hot lunch: spaghetti with meat sauce, bread, mixed salad & apple sauce. En route to Nicktown, we have (5) stops.

Back @ our coach, I change clothes, get out the water hose, climb up on top of our motorhome & finish cleaning the rest of our roof with no serious threats of wasps or yellow jackets.

Then I change clothes again & K & I motor to Barnesboro to meet up with my bro, Don, his wife, Josie, & my sister, Sister Corinne, for dinner @ the City Hotel Bar & Grill @ 5:30pm.
1st time dining @ this place for them, but K & I had a nice breakfast on her birthday June, 29th. We have lots to talk about: Corinne has been out of town, Don & Josie have also been traveling & we, just the usual….peaceful relaxation with dignity. K & I share a pork chop dinner with wine. This is a good meeting place so hopefully, we’ll do this again.

Corinne has a busy schedule with UPJ (University of Pittsburgh @ Johnstown) so she declines our invitation to join us in our motorhome for more talk time. We enjoy Don & Josie & continue our gab time in our coach until around 10:30. We miss including our youngest sister, Mary Jo, during these mini gatherings but geographically, she’s a long way west.

K & I watch 1/3 of DRV movie: “Return to Me.”

Lights out: 12:02am

Awake: 7:21 Temp 57 sleep 7+01 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend the KK meeting @ 8:30am & then exercise for (1.7) hrs.

Back @ our motorhome, Melissa left a message that she won’t be visiting us today; they got the boys to bed too late last night. So today is: walk to the library day & we have experience doing that. We considered motoring over for a visit but then realized the timeframe was just too short.

Later Kathy called & talked with Matthew for awhile then he wanted to talk with me. It appears that he enjoyed the balloon fest last week & would like me to bring the small air compressor & battery charger along when we come over on Saturday. I reminded him that Saturday is a work day, not a play day. He said he would help us & then we could use the air compressor later; I told him I would consider that idea.

The remainder of my afternoon was used up reading some of my RV magazines.

We walk to & attend the 6:00pm Mass @ church.

Dinner: leftover meatloaf, fried noodles, mixed salad & cherries.

We watch the O’Reilly Factor while I wash dishes then watch the Olympics; volleyball tournament: U.S. vs. Norway.

Later, we finish the movie: “The Private lives of Elizabeth & Essex” with Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Donald Crisp, Alan Hale, Vincent Price, etc. Colorful, elaborate costume drama with outstanding performance by Davis as queen whose love for dashing Flynn is thwarted. Not authentic history, but good drama. 1939. Kathy googled this story afterward; found parts to be true, others, as they say, entertaining.

Lights out: 11:43pm

Awake: 5:44am Temp 58 sleep 6+21 partly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend the 8:00 am Mass & then join the KK after.

After breakfast, I spend some time trying to catch up on unanswered e-mail while Kathy does (3) loads of laundry.

Now here is something we haven’t done in a long time: haircuts. We’ve complained to each other for weeks about our long hair but the weather or our schedule of activities would not cooperate. Today it took (25) min to cut Kathy’s hair; mine (15) min. We both badly needed this cut as it’s been (2) months.

We watch: The O’Reilly Factor before our dinner: chicken in creamy parmesan sauce, whole wheat pasta, & broccoli.

Then DVR movie: “The Private lives of Elizabeth & Essex” watching only ½ hr.

Lights out: 12:20am

Awake: 5:52am Temp 53 sleep 6+31 overcast overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend the 8:00am communion service with Sister Lee. Afterward, we join the small group of KK members @ the community social room. Obviously, some of our distinguished members had the day off & went fishing. Then K & I spend (1.6) hrs exercising. During our KK meeting, I asked John B. about his groundhog trap. He tells me he’ll come by our place later this afternoon & bring the trap with him.

After our late breakfast, Kathy goes to the Barnesboro Library & thrift store, etc while I change (3) water filters. (1) Primary in our coach; (1) primary in our portable filter unit & (1) primary in the pump house. Kathy returns from shopping about the same time I finish with the filter works.

John arrives @ 5:30 …with his trap. Kathy & I have been seeing another groundhog off & on for the past (3) weeks & I’d like to do something about it. John carefully surveys the situation & we both look for exit holes to no avail. He decides to set the trap now & ask questions later. Meanwhile, I invite him to join us for a glass of wine and cheese. He does & stays long enough to watch the nat’l news also. John is suspicious that we have a traveling groundhog, not a permanent poacher. I will keep John informed about the trap.

Dinner: meatloaf (ground pork & beef), potatoes, gravy, cauliflower with red pepper, grapes & sugar snap peas. We watch the O’Reilly Factor during dinner.

Later, we watch some Olympics; swimming & beach ball.

A little later, my buddy Ray calls via phone; we talk for (30) min. We had been playing Skype tag for days; Ray picked the right time for a catch up call while Kathy is asleep.

Lights out: 11:23pm

Awake: 5:33am Temp 57 sleep 6+02 rain…then partly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

After breakfast, we motor to Ebensburg for grocery shopping & to buy a larger humming bird feeder + more nectar. Also, a fuel stop @ Sheetz: 14 gal @ $3.79 per gallon; and a West End Market stop for fruit & veggies.

Back in our coach, Kathy dilutes the concentrated Nectar while I take the old mini nectar feeder down & hang the much LARGER FEEDER full of new nectar in its place. Then we wait patiently for repeat customers; it didn’t take long….maybe (2) min. The old feeder had but (1) hole for feeding; this new feeder has (10) & a ring for the birds to perch on. I shouldn’t have to refill this large unit for a week or so.

Today’s wind with a partly sunny sky has dried out the grass enough for us to do some mowing this afternoon; but, before we start, Gary C. calls: “would you like a couple of visitors today” he asks? “You bet! Come on over,” I tell him. We figured it would take a good ½ hr before they arrive; in the meantime, K & I get started on grass cutting.

The usual routine: Kathy steers the mower until a full bag, shuts off the engine, then I empty the bag into the wheelbarrow, restart the engine & then dump the grass into the woods. During my waiting time for the bag to fill up, I dig weeds out of our gravel driveway.

G & R arrive driving their new (3) quarter ton truck; I was counting on seeing this beauty sometime soon & what a beauty it is. With some new special features including an extra small step available when the tailgate is open complete with a sturdy metal pole that can be positioned for holding on to when climbing in & out of the truck bed. It also has the towing package with side mirrors that can easily be pulled out for more rear visibility when towing. Very impressive!

To show our appreciation for such a fine truck tour, the (4) of us, by chance, take a stroll thru our overgrown golf course & beyond. This is the 1st time they have seen our property up close; besides having a blueberry bush, a small apple tree, a few blackberry & raspberry bushes, we also have a huge mulch pile of mostly ground up pine trees. One can’t help but be impressed with such an abundance of edible and/or useable flora!

Back @ our coach, we gab & have some healthy snacks with wine. It was a nice, casual visit that fit right in with a break from our mowing. After G & R leave, K & I continue our mowing, finishing up around 6:00pm.

Dinner: tuna steaks with lemon cream sauce, rice, & a mixed salad.

Late evening: we Skype with Nick….for (28) min; a little short as Jerry was very tired.
We continue watching the 2008 Olympics.

Lights out: 11:21pm

Awake: 6:18 am Temp 49 sleep 6+25 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass in Nicktown, check our local mail & then motor to Wal-Mart & Martin’s for groceries in Indiana, PA.

When we arrive @ the Foote Castle @ 10:30am, we see bags of gravel, sand, & cement sitting near the dry mixing area & wheelbarrow, ready for action; Kevin had done his prep work this morning. He asked me if I thought Kathy would be interested in being the dry mixer; “it would streamline our efficiency” he says. When I approach her with this idea, she says: “I have to read a book to Matthew & Andrew first & then I will.”

Our concrete factory started humming about 11:15 am & continued without a hitch until around 1:15pm. Matthew helped Kathy with the measuring, pouring & dry mixing of (2) parts cement, (4) parts sand & (6) parts gravel; all in a plastic rectangular pan. Then I dumped that concoction into the wheelbarrow, added water & mixed with a concrete hoe until pliable enough for Kevin to work with. After dumping that load onto Kevin’s designated spot, the process started all over again as another dry batch was usually waiting to be dumped into the wheelbarrow.

We break for lunch @ 1:20: beef stew with noodles, buns & fruit salad.

After lunch, our efficient concrete machine spins up again for another (1.5) hrs before running short of gravel & we have to shut down for the day; it was good timing (3:50 pm) as we usually leave & return to Nicktown around this time anyway. Kevin was pleased with the chain gang efficiency today + the weather.

Katrina calls from Denver during our chain gang concrete factory operation; she reports her stats on the latest ½ marathon run; unfortunately I couldn’t leave my concrete mix alone long enough to have a good chat with her so I passed the cell phone on to Kathy, hoping to get more details. As reported by Kathy: Katrina felt really good about her performance today as she ran the entire race with only two comfort stops in (2) hr, (10) min; as one of her friends used to say: “sounds good!”

Back @ our motorhome, we clean up, change clothes & walk to attend 6:00pm vigil Mass.

DVR movie with popcorn: “The Corn is Green” with Bette Davis, Nigel Bruce, John Dall, Joan Lorring, etc. Thoughtful acting in this story of devoted middle-aged teacher Davis in Welsh mining town coming to terms with her prize pupil. 1945. Good story with a twist.

After the movie, we couldn’t help but watch more of the Olympics in Beijing.

Lights out: 11:31pm

Awake: 6:32am Temp 54 sleep 6+24 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then join the KK meeting for (1.2) hrs. Would you believe, I am still getting “Happy Birthday” wishes? After our KK meeting, K & I exercise for (1.3) hrs.
Back in our motorhome & after breakfast, dark clouds moved in & those low clouds unleashed some “dogs & cats” plus small hail; outside temp dropped from 62 to 57. As quickly as this voracious wave came in, it passed on through.

Mid afternoon with sunshine, I try capturing some good pictures of our territorial Hummingbirds at the feeder. Fascinating birds they are; with a lot of chatter & chasing of those “illegals” away. Sometimes I fill our nectar feeder twice a day.

Even though I missed the Wednesday exercise, today’s workout went ok so maybe it’s time to do some house cleaning. Up on our roof, I use our telescoping brush & smaller brush to clean some dirty areas with soap & water. Working my way toward the front of the coach, I spot an active yellow jacket nest, virtually unseen when standing; luckily I was on my hands & knees. Whoa, I’ll clean no further today on the driver’s side of this roof.

Working my way down the passenger side toward the front cap, innocently I spray a strong force of water under the number one air conditioner to loosen up more dirt; quickly about (7) wasps come crawling out of the area dripping wet. Ever see a samurai warrior in heavy battle using a deadly brush! No battle scars this time but that episode ended my house cleaning for today.

Katrina calls: she is still getting the most out of her summer, hiking the mountains surrounding Denver, camping, & tomorrow she is going to run a half marathon followed by an overnight at a lake with one of her good friends.

We watch the Nat’l news during our dinner of: leftover swordfish, broccoli, rice, & fruit salad. Then watch Jeopardy & hrs of the spectacular Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing.

Lights out: 11:15pm

Awake: 6:04am Temp 62 sleep 6+31 rain…then partly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass; Father John Paul officiated the Mass this morning & announced both his birthday & mine before he started his homily. That was very nice of him & a 1st time experience for me. I have never had so many “Happy Birthday” wishes in my life as I did today….mostly due to that (5) sec disclosure.

Outside the church, my 1st cousin Florentz got my attention & told me he had a birthday present & handed over a box. Inside was an old looking pocket watch; he said: “your dad gave this to me a few yrs before he died & now I want you to have it.” I was touched! Florentz & my dad were very close.

Both Father John Paul & I were given the royal treatment @ the KK meeting this morning. They sang the song & (3) different desserts were served plus a card signed by nearly all members. I was humbled once again.

Back @ our motorhome, both our cell phone & landline phone had “Happy Birthday” wishes from Katrina in Denver. Then on our e-mail, an electronic card with music sent from my buddy, Mark, in Ohio.

Today is Rotary & my turn to drive; I pick up Al @ 11:20am & make (2) stops before arriving @ our Rotary room. During our meeting, Zack calls on the cell phone; I step outside so as not to disturb our members & gladly accept more “Happy Birthday” wishes.
I was talking to Joe after the meeting & asked him about his age; turns out he’s the same age by a few months. Without realizing it, my birth date was exposed with more wishes. Al & I returned to Nicktown by 2:20pm.

Kathy spent a good deal of time this afternoon preparing a superb dinner meal for a couple of very happy birthday guys.

Dinner: African Beef Curry with rice, salad, & bread and wine.

After dinner, my sister, Mary Jo, called from Lodi, CA with “Happy Birthday” wishes.

Nick called from Seattle with “Happy Birthday” wishes.

Katrina called again & personally gives those “Happy Birthday” wishes.

Late evening & another very busy day for Mother Melissa; she squeezes the time to also give those “Happy Birthday” wishes.

Honestly, over the years, I’ve tried my best to downplay my birthday day; but it seems that the more one tries to hide it, the more it becomes an open book….as it did today.

Father John Paul, as he refers to himself, is a “baby priest,” having been ordained in Nigeria, Africa, only 3 years ago, the day before his (25th) birthday. He studied for 4 years at St Vincent’s Abbey before being ordained & thus knew Fr. Job. Upon Fr Job’s letter of invitation, Fr. John Paul is “vacationing” in Nicktown until the end of Sept; he’ll then return to Nigeria where he teaches theology in the major seminary. He is an interesting guy to talk with, smart, humble, & with a good sense of humor; we enjoyed his company very much. He left a little after 10:00pm.

No movie tonight. Lights out: 12:08am

Awake: 6:18am Temp 67 sleep 7+01 heavy rain before 6:00am now overcast overnight @ Nicktown.

If I woke up @ 6:18, how could I have known when the rain started you query? I thought you’d never ask! Kathy was awake & told me later.

After coffee, Kathy walks to the community center to exercise; I decline exercising today; my ear hurts & I don’t feel very peppy. However, I do join her for the 8:30am KK meeting.

Early afternoon, I pick (41) blueberries from our one bush in the lower field.

Mid afternoon, I call & talk with Betty S. She’ll be (94) in September & she is the mother of Charlie, one of my good high school buddies. We talk for a good (30) minutes. She tells me Charlie will be coming in for our class reunion later this month.

Call & talk with Rochelle in Vancouver, WA. We’ve been e-mailing quite a bit lately & finally agreed to speak by phone to cover a lot of things that would have taken volumes to write about. I also had the pleasure of talking with her daughters, Monica & Maggie plus son, Donavon. Monica is our Godchild but we also enjoy the whole family & wish we were geographically closer.

We watch the int’l news & Jeopardy.

Dinner: leftover stuffed pepper, whole grain bread & cherries.

Watch the O’Reilly Factor & Bob Woodruff’s: Inside & out of China.

Lights out: 11:33pm

Awake: 5:44am Temp 63 sleep 6+21 overcast overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then join the KK afterward.

Back in our coach, I find my small (12 volt) air compressor to be used in an emergency for low tire pressure; however, this unit didn’t last more than (10) seconds when I tried to add more air to our low tire nearly (2) months ago, the plastic valve on the air compressor snapped right off. It’s a shame but I kept it anyway. In addition to this little compressor, I will bring my (12 volt DC) battery charger with us today when visiting the Foote family.

We motor to Indiana, PA & make our 1st stop @ the Dollar Tree store to buy some balloons; then arrive @ the Foote Castle @ noon time. Today we celebrate Nathan’s (1) yr birthday.

Before Kevin comes home for dinner & Nathan’s celebration, I bring in the battery charger, small air compressor & a bag of balloons. Guess what happens next?

Did we ever have fun! That little air compressor did all the work, blowing up oodles of balloons. Some we would simply let the air escape like jet missiles; others I would put the deflated balloon into either Matthew or Andrew’s shirt, let the compressor give them a big belly & then, send them into the kitchen to inform their mother that they were pregnant. Nathan would carry a blown up balloon pair of shorts around, maybe admiring a new soft pillow; other balloons were simply blown up & tied to bounce & hit back & forth. That gadget entertained the boys for a good (3) hrs, not counting dinner.

Matthew, with his strong interest in electricity, had the system all figured out; he knew the battery charger was powered by volts that could really hurt a person. He also realized that the (2) leads coming out of the charger should be separated & were of a lower power. He did a marvelous job of operating the switches & keeping those (2) leads apart.

Dinner & Nathan’s birthday celebration: Chili with noodles, corn chips & Melissa’s homemade corn bread, & grapes. After dinner: cupcakes. Nathan enjoyed mashing up the frosted cupcakes but would not even taste a crumb.

After dinner, some more balloon exercise & then Kathy spent time with Andrew & Matthew on the 3rd floor while I spent time with Nathan. We leave @ 5:40pm after each of us had a chance to read a book to the boys during their snack time.

Dinner in our motorhome: healthy snacks, Pita bread, sugar snap peas, cherries, pecans, & popcorn. All eaten during the DVR movie: “The Petrified Forest” with Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Dick Foran, Humphrey Bogart, Genevieve Tobin, etc. Solid adaptation of Robert Sherwood play, focusing on ironic survival of the physically fit in civilized world. Bogart is Duke Mantee, escaped gangster, who holds writer Howard, dreamer Davis & others hostage @ roadside restaurant in Arizona. 1936. I liked this story; Kathy however, thought it to be interesting but a little slow for a Chicago Mafia girl.

Lights out: 11:17pm

Awake: 6:33am Temp 56 sleep 6+40 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & then join the KK for (1.2) hrs. Next we exercise for (1.4) hrs.
After our late breakfast, I settle down for some “office work” & a few phone calls, mostly regarding health insurance & paying by (EFT); electronic fund transfer.

Then, something I’ve been looking forward to doing: fixing my rechargeable electric razor which is made in Australia by the Phillips Corp. I use it frequently to trim my mustache & goatee but several weeks ago the battery refused to take a charge which renders the unit unusable.

So I took it apart; not easy as it’s all plastic pieces that clip in place… save for the impressive electronics board. The (1.2) volt battery was shot &, just last Saturday, I found rechargeable (1.2) volt type batteries @ Wal-Mart; now I can replace the bad with the good by soldering the leads to the new battery. Even before I reassembled the unit, I made a check & it works like new; the reassembling was the scariest part of all.

We watch the nat’l news.

Dinner: swordfish a la Sicilian with rice & a mixed salad.

Watch Jeopardy…..then the O’Reilly Factor while washing dishes

Later: we watch: Tour of Shangri-La & Tibet.

Lights out: 11:23pm

Awake: 6:59am Temp 58 sleep 6+46 fog….then sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Late morning, K & I motor to the Saint Augustine annual picnic for lunch; about (17) miles. Gary & Rosemary C. work @ this picnic each yr along with many other volunteers in the area. We prepared ourselves for this treat by having a tiny early breakfast this morning.

After parking the Suzuki & walking across the road, we take our place in the long line outside promptly @ 11:00am. For the next (15) min, nobody moved; but eventually, the line crept slowly toward the dining hall building where meals are served. But you know, the line time went sort of quickly because we talked with people, looked around to see if we knew anyone amongst the crowd, watched players @ the game pavilions, & listened to other conversations, etc. (1 hr +3 min) later, we were in the hall seated & ready to eat. It’s all so much the curiosity factor that amuses us anyway.

We were served: chicken, homemade noodles in chicken broth, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, sliced cucumbers in cream sauce, pickled beets & eggs, green beans, & our choice of cake, brownie or cupcake, for dessert. It was a good meal & we were glad we came over. Besides, we spied on Rosemary & Gary just a little….confirming that they really were actually working.

After strolling thru the crowd, checking the basket booth & various games where Kathy did a little gambling, we left the scene & motored to Hastings to pay a visit to my 1st cousins: Richard & Bernie @ the Haida Manor care center. Bernie continues to make progress on his speech & mobility. Richard thinks he is ready to move out but his doctor doesn’t agree; his hip bones are still healing & he’s very weak. The day was beautiful so I wheeled both of them outdoors in their wheelchairs for some fresh air & sunshine. It turned out to be a small reunion as Bernie’s sister, Rita, & her son, Bill, Mac, & Bernie’s niece, Bev, & her husband, Ron also visited. It was our longest visit yet, over (3) hrs; but we felt good about being there & we know they enjoyed a good temporary change of habitat.

Back @ our motorhome, we Skype Nick with wishes for a “Happy 30th Birthday.”

Kathy phoned Melissa & learned about the “sandbag” house their friends are building & how Melissa, Kevin, & their boys helped in the project.

Evening movie with popcorn: “Algiers” with Charles Boyer, Sigrid Gurie, Hedy Lamarr, Joseph Calleia, Alan Hale, etc. Pepe Le Moko falls in love with alluring Lamarr visiting Casbah district of Algiers. 1938. Mysterious & different but not recommended for those who might be just a tad sleepy.
Lights out: 11:53pm

Awake: 6:00am Temp 66 sleep 5+44 overcast overnight @ Nicktown.

Melissa calls us @ 6:50am with plans for our “will work for food” day. She also suggests that we don’t need to rush over there.

We attend 8:00am Mass & then casually motor to Wal-Mart for groceries….arriving @ the Foote Castle @ 10:55am.

We find Melissa making unleavened bread for the church they belong to, Saint Thomas More; she voluntarily bakes this communion bread once a month. Kevin was reading to Matthew & Andrew in the dining room & Nathan was simply walking around enjoying his freedom while doing his usual exploring of the house.

After a few minutes of social talk, Kevin asks if I could finish up the front section of bracing for the small swimming pool tub on the 2nd floor. It was Saturday, 12th of July that I started correcting & replacing those badly warped 2X4’s. After a number of trips up to the 2nd floor for trial fittings, the final support bracing is now finished with many (2 ½) inch long screws applied. Today’s time on that project alone: 3+00 hrs; not counting dinner.

Melissa calls us for dinner @ 1:30pm: chicken stir fry with a mixed salad.

Among other things, Kathy cleaned up the dirty dishes, pots & pans & the Kitchen + did some fine babysitting.

During my final fitting process on the 2nd floor, Kevin was outside getting organized to pour concrete onto the base of: “the almost forgotten storage unit.” K & I assist him by mixing (4) wheelbarrow loads of concrete before we leave @ 4:05pm for Nicktown.

After our worthy showers, we drive to & attend 6:00pm vigil Mass in town.

Evening DVR movie with popcorn: “Sadie McKee” with Joan Crawford, Franchot Tone, Gene Raymond, Edward Arnold, Esther Ralston, etc. Solidly entertaining film follows serpentine story of working-girl Crawford & the three men in her life: smooth-talking Raymond, tipsy millionaire Arnold & earnest employer Tone. Beautifully paced, handsomely filmed. 1934. Another terrific story with a life lesson; put it on your list.

Lights out: 12:13am

Awake: 6:15 am Temp 63 sleep 6+37 fog….then sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then join the KK meeting for (1.2) hrs. Afterwards, we exercise for (1.8) hrs.

After our late breakfast, I spend time on the computer & then scrutinize more of Kevin’s “Fine Homebuilding” magazines which we will return tomorrow.

Watch the Int’l news, Jeopardy, & the O’Reilly Factor.

Our bush provided over (50) ripe blueberries today.

Dinner: chicken over white beans & wilted spinach.

Late DVR movie: “Rebecca” with Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson, Nigel Bruce, Reginald Denny, etc. Hitchcock’s first American film is sumptuous; David O. Selznick production of Daphne du Maurier novel of girl who married British nobleman but lives in shadow of his former wife. Stunning performances by Fontaine & Anderson. Academy Award winner for Best Picture & Cinematography. 1940. This story was great….don’t miss it!
Lights out: 12:16am

Awake: 5:45am Temp 67 sleep 6+15 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then join the KK for 1.2 hrs. No breakfast for me this morning due to Rotary day & we have a special speaker: Father John Paul. Both Kathy & Donna are interested in what he has to say so Al drives us all to the meeting.

Father John Paul gave a very interesting biography followed by answering our many questions. Unfortunately, our hot meals never arrived (miscommunication) so Chuck had to improvise & order local pizza for our lunch….which was quite good & satisfying. Al makes (2) stops en route to Nicktown arriving about 2:00pm.

Then….K & I get serious about mowing more grass; a good (3 hrs 20 min) of steady action. We mowed the alley & some of our neighbor’s grass plus a section west of our motorhome.

Our blueberry bush had about (25) ripe berries today.

Dinner: Chicken noodle soup with oyster crackers + cherries & fruit salad.

Finish watching DVR movie: “King of Kings” with Jeffrey Hunter, Siobhan McKenna, Robert Ryan, Hurd Hatfield, narrated by Orson Welles, etc. The life of Christ; intelligently told & beautifully filmed; full of deeply moving moments, such as the Sermon on the Mount, Christ’s healing of the lame & many others. Not without flaws but well worthwhile. 1961. It only took us (3) tries to finish.

Lights out: 11:38pm

Awake: 6:05am Temp 62 sleep 6+00 partly cloudy overnight @ Nicktown.

A slightly different routine this am: we exercise for (40) min & then join the KK meeting @ 8:30. After that, we continue our workout for another (1.2) hrs.

During our KK meeting, Ken (a very capable custodian), apologized that he might be interrupting our meeting & alerted us that our RR tire on the Suzuki had low air pressure. I have a tire pressure gage in the back of the car; after our meeting, the air check proved Ken correct.

After our late breakfast, K & I motor to Barnesboro & Al’s tire service. While the tire is being repaired, Kathy goes thrift store looking & then grocery shopping @ Giant Eagle & I visit the Radio Shack & Sherry’s Appliance Store. Tire repair took less than an hr; I pick up Kathy @ Giant Eagle & then return to Nicktown.

We wanted to mow the grass on the inside of our circular drive today & there is a 50% chance of rain forecast, but we start anyway. Kathy had made approx (10—11) trips around (about 30%) when those dark clouds started unleashing waves of fury upon us. We narrowly got the wheelbarrow & mower + ourselves under cover & inside without getting soaked to the gills.

K & I drive to & attend 6:00 pm Mass @ St. Nicholas church.

Dinner: stuffed peppers, whole grain bread & fruit salad.

Watch the Nat’l news; some BBC news & then the O’Reilly Factor.

Matthew had a doctor’s app’t in Pittsburgh today. Kathy calls & talks with Melissa who reports a good trip to & from Pitt, plus a good report on Matthew’s diabetic condition.

Late evening: we watch the travel channel; China: Shangri La.

Lights out: 11:30pm

Awake: 5:29am Temp 61 sleep 5+27 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then I join the KK meeting for (1.4) hrs. Kathy, however, stayed (15) min & then walked over to the church hall to help the noodle making team make their last batch for the year; over 280# for soup on picnic day & over 200# to sell dry in one# bags on picnic day.

En route to the coach, I visit Carol & we discuss the church hall & the progress of sanding the metal panels. Kathy returns around 12:45pm.

The afternoon was taken up with going thru Kevin’s “Fine Homebuilding” magazines. We’ve had them for awhile; we’ve taken info & ideas from them & it’s high time we returned his collectibles.

Dinner: Leftover crispy-Parmesan crusted chicken on summer lemon pasta.

Watch more of the China series: “(7) wonders of the world.”

Lights out: 11:55pm

Awake: 6:24am Temp 58 sleep 6+57 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & then join the KK for (1.3) hrs. Afterward, we exercise for (1.6) hrs.

Today will be: “peaceful relaxation with dignity” for us. We feel like doing…nothing much.

We received a few phone calls today; my sister Corinne; my brother Don & my friend Gary C.

Kathy did (2) loads of laundry & I refilled our pure water holding tank of nearly (161) gallons.

We have one wild blueberry bush in our lower field; I’ve been patiently waiting for the berries to ripen & today, (7) reached fruition (no pun intended); I’ll be checking every several days.

Dinner: leftover meat balls & Italian sausage with whole grain bread.

Watch the O’Reilly Factor & later, start watching the travel series: China: (7) wonders of the world.
Lights out: 12:02am

Awake: 7:04am Temp 64 sleep 6+56 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I motor to the Foote Castle again….arriving @ 10:35am. Although we knew the Foote family would be attending 9:30 am Mass @ their church this morning, we came early to get in some extra visit time with Nick, Eriko & Jerry, whom we don’t get to see very often.

The Footes get home @ 11:50 & Melissa gets right with the program of preparing an early dinner for (10). Today is leftover day….from the last (3) meals.

Dinner: spaghetti with meat sauce; chili, chicken, salad, etc. & ice cream & pecan cake for dessert.

Eriko & Kathy clean up the dishes & kitchen before we all say our goodbyes & leave @ 2:15 pm headed for the Pittsburgh airport. Due to advertised closure of lanes on U.S. 22, we choose a slightly longer route….State Route 28 to the airport. Jerry wastes no time in getting in a good nap along the way; & if my rear-view was correct, Eriko & Nick also sneaked in a little nap time along the way.

Nick wanted to be @ the airport by 4:00 pm for their U.S. Airways flight to Seattle via Phoenix. En route, our Lady Garmin GPS was estimating a 4:00 pm arrival & would you believe, we opened the car door to unload suitcases @ the Pittsburgh terminal precisely @ 4:00pm. Now, was that good planning or….just plain luck? Anyway, we wished them a bon voyage & retrace our route back to Nicktown….save for a stop @ Costco in Robinson, PA for fuel & groceries. We are in our motorhome around seven something. I think we were all happy that this idea & plan for a mini reunion for half of our family came to fruition & without any glitches.

Snack of popcorn & cherries while we continue watching the movie: “King of Kings.”

Lights out: 11:27pm

Awake: 5:46am Temp 63 sleep 5+20 partly sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

When Kathy awakes, she makes a big mixed salad to add to our dinner @ the Foote Castle later today. We add ice cubes to our cooler & bring those frozen fruit pops & salad with us to spend the afternoon with some of our family.

We arrive @ 11:59am to find Eriko & Nick playing with Jerry in the small downstairs playroom. Melissa is cooking dinner in the kitchen; Andrew is napping upstairs in the family bed; Nathan is happily walking, surveying his kingdom; their dog, Kinley, is outside laying in the shade; & Matthew is riding behind Kevin on his Trail-a-bike doing an errand in town.

We yak with Nick & Eriko & watch Jerry play with the boys' toys without them being around. Time went quickly & @ 1:30pm, dinner was announced: spaghetti with meat sauce & a mixed salad by Kathy. All present for dinner except Andrew who woke up minutes after we began eating. Lucky guy; last one to the dinner table does the dishes after age (10), Andrew is now (2 1/2).

I brought our laptop computer with us from the motorhome so Nick could straighten out a few glitches that have occurred over the yrs; plus he gave us some computer schooling updates which are always good to know. During this high tech time, Melissa & Kevin took their “all too curious” boys outside to the back yard so we could concentrate a little easier.

@ 3:30, K & I change clothes, excuse ourselves, motor to Saint Thomas More Catholic Church in Indiana & attend the 4:00pm Vigil Mass. Their music (by professionals) was absolutely fantastic.

Early evening, Nick, Eriko, Jerry, Kathy & I walk to the local park for Jerry’s fun time while the Foote children are being read to & getting ready for bedtime. Jerry had a good time & was closely watched by both parents & grandparents; he is quite coordinated & dexterous for his age & tries activities that are usually done by older children.

@ 9:00pm….Melissa brings out the goodies for the birthday people of August: Eriko, Nick & me… a pecan cake which she made plus ice cream. What a tasty surprise! Thanks again Melissa.

K & I return to Nicktown @ 10:35pm. No movie tonight.

Lights out: 12:08am

Awake: 6:16am Temp 58 sleep 6+31 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & then join the KK club for the usual hr, then exercise for (1.5) hrs. After breakfast, we motor to Wal-Mart & purchase a few items that were out of stock yesterday (like my Stonyfield Organic Milk) + I forgot to refill our container of fuel for the Snapper lawnmower & top off our Suzuki’s fuel tank.

Again, we arrive about 3:00pm to find no one downstairs or in the back yard. We surmised that Melissa & boys are still grocery shopping @ Giant Eagle, a few blocks away & Eriko & Jerry are napping upstairs.

Kathy suggests we walk over to greet them @ G.E. Sure enough, just as we set foot inside the G.E. auto door, there they were: Melissa pulling a wagon load of groceries with Nathan slung in front in the sling, Matthew wearing his helmet & peddling his trike behind the wagon & Andrew walking close behind. What a picture… I took a picture of this wagon train group.

K & I end up monitoring the back yard action this time as Melissa had to organize her fresh groceries purchase. Nathan took front stage today; his turn using the water hose was indeed memorable. He desperately wanted a drink of water but ended up getting soaked by miss management & we weren’t about to risk being true grandparents. But wait, there’s more, with falling waters come mud puddles + an ooey-gooey Nathan. A precious moment & my camera caught it.

About this same time, Eriko & Jerry appear from their nap; Jerry is curious but…on guard; he is tuned in to staying clean & from what we witnessed, he did well but there were some close calls & it wasn’t rain from heaven.

Nick calls around 5:00pm from Philadelphia, PA. This was our cue to start heading for the Pittsburgh Airport. We travel south on U.S.119, then U.S. 22 to Pittsburgh, switching to I-376 to south I-279 to U.S. 22/30 west to State Route 60 to the airport. Traffic moved fairly well except for the bottle neck area of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.

Pittsburgh Airport is another case of: no lengthy parking @ the terminal waiting for inbound passengers; so we parked off road just before entering the descent leading to the terminal. Maybe (15) min went by & no cell phone call from Nick; just across the road, a police officer was having a talk with a lady with her car hood up. We had no idea of what that was about but….before long, that officer got in his car, pulled behind us & gave us the wave to move it out & we did. Approaching the terminal, Nick called: he just deplaned. Our pickup timing was nice & our return trip to Indiana was pleasant as the traffic moved along & Nick filled us in on his week of travel & meetings.

We gabbed & hung out with the resident adult gang + Jerry until 10:50 pm, then hightailed it to Nicktown.

No movie tonight, but, before going to bed, Kathy made homemade popsicles for the boys for tomorrow.

Lights out: 12:56am

Awake: 5:43am Temp 59 sleep 6+00 overcast overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & then join the KK for 1.2 hrs; no breakfast for me this morning as this is Rotary day & Al’s turn to drive. Small assembly with only (7) members present, but that didn’t stop us from having some interesting discussions & shop talk.

Lunch: Lasagna, salad, buns & tea. (4) stops in returning to Nicktown @ 2:10pm.

As Kathy & I are getting ready to leave for a visit to the Foote Castle, a sudden heavy downpour delays our trip by a few minutes &, arriving @ 3:00pm, we find that Eriko & Jerry are napping upstairs & the rest of the gang is in the back yard. Melissa was trimming low branches from their apple tree making it easier to mow that area. We were entertained by the boys who were just getting into their many activities; enjoying some cool water in their small plastic pool, splashing, getting downright muddy, riding tricycles, riding the Cozy Coop, getting into spats with traffic jams, sharing & not sharing. Watching those kids eat frozen blue berries with a spoon while doing most of the above activities added color to our afternoon. When Eriko & Jerry woke up & joined the circus, even more entertainment.

These are the times that being a Grandma & “G” Daddy are “Great” as we just sit & watch the action. Shortly after 5:00pm, dark clouds move in, sprinkles began falling so we left @ 5:30 for grocery shopping @ Martin’s & Wal-Mart; returning to Nicktown @ 7:10pm.

Dinner: Leftover baked penne with tomatoes, basil & sausage & a mixed salad.

Watch the O’Reilly Factor & then start the DVR movie: “King of Kings.” (50) min tonight.

Lights out: 11:45pm

Awake: 5:34am Temp 64 sleep 5+59 intermittent rain overnight @ Nicktown.

Ah, it’s nice to be meeting with the KK again; we spend about an hr discussing too many topics to mention. Then afterward, exercise for (1.5) hrs.

After our late 11:30 breakfast, we motor to the Foote Castle & take turns spending time with all (4) boys. Jerry is inundated with so many new toys; with Andrew & Jerry being of close age, sometimes they do well together (which is precious) & other times, the referee steps in & makes the call. Later, Eriko & Jerry take an (1.5) hr nap.

Kathy & I leave @ 5:00pm & return to Nicktown; then walk to 6:00pm Mass & back.

After a small dinner of tuna & Triscuits, we motor to the church hall for an 8:00pm meeting of the minds: how to celebrate the Saint Nicholas Church Sesquicentennial (150) yrs coming up fast in 2011. There were some good ideas vocalized from the crowd but K & I couldn’t come up with anything special.

Later, we finish watching: “The Secret Garden” with Margaret O’Brien, Herbert Marshall, Dean Stockwell, Gladys Cooper, etc. Young girl who comes to live @ run-down Victorian estate finds abandoned garden, devotes herself to it & eventually changes the lives of everyone living there. 1949. A most interesting story.

Lights out: 11:43pm


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