September 2008 Archives

Awake: 6:14am Temp 48 sleep 6+23 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Before Kathy is awake, Nick & I text for (20) min; Jerry’s body clock is on Japan time & he’s wide awake @ 3:00am in Seattle; Nick would rather be sleeping.

Steve calls @ 8:00am from the City Hotel: he invites us to join then for breakfast. Breakfast was quite good & the price reasonable. S & K enjoyed a good night’s rest & they like this new hotel & its proximity to Nicktown.

From the City Hotel, Steve rides with me in our Suzuki while Kathy rides with Karen; all of us returning to our MH. What to do today? Kathy & I run thru a list of places that are attractive but maybe….not that interesting. Not knowing what day K & S would be visiting us, I had made earlier plans with Carol to get my classic Riviera out of storage; turns out, my timing was not good so I cancelled that plan & suggested instead…visiting the Cherry Hill Manufacturing Corp. in Indiana, PA.

When calling Cherry Hill Manufacturing, Susan replies: “come on over; Craig will be happy to give you & your friends a tour.” Once inside the main office building, one can’t help but notice the inlaid flooring compass, surrounded by vines & grapes. In another area there is an inlaid Turkey surrounded by maple leaves. Craig introduces himself & takes us thru various offices & hallways, pointing out the computer laser wood cutter used exclusively for cutting Medallions & other inlaid scenes & ideas.

Next, thru double doors, we enter the factory area & the “U-Sand-Floor Sand” units that can be guided around a floor using your little finger + they are dustless. These units have been in production since 2003. They have sold over (5000) of these machines so far & rented many more out for service. Soon to be on the market is a much smaller unit, for sanding steps: Mini U-Sand.

Then we see Cyrus, my 1st cousin & the owner of this Corporation; he introduces himself to Karen & Steve & then guides us toward the steel molded Tram wheels, his new contract. Using (2) huge computer controlled metal lathes, the molded wheel is placed inside a large metal box enclosure that will shave the wheel to the exact size for use on these light rail Trams now running in various states of the U.S. Very precise workmanship is required for this operation & his computer guru employee, Bob, explains + shows us in detail, using his office computer, the way it works. It was fascinating & an excellent update for me on the Cherry Hill Manufacturing Corp. We thank them for their time & tour. Next, it's off to the Foote Castle, only minutes away.

Entering the front door, we find the young boys & Melissa in the back yard filling up their small swimming pool with cool water. Obviously, Nathan was not thrilled about the water temp, but Andrew & Matthew were splashing away & having fun. Our intention was just a short visit but I did encourage S & K to follow me upstairs for a tour of the Space-Pak air conditioning system Kevin & I installed (2) yrs ago. We say our goodbyes for now & head to the restaurant, “Nap’s Cucina Mia” in downtown Indiana.

A new restaurant for us, Italian of course & it’s been in business as a restaurant for (16) yrs now. Kathy had her own meal, a Filet with a side of fresh corn off the cob & I had a crab cake dinner. This place is a keeper.

Back to Nicktown, under the encouragement of Steve & Karen, we watch the new version of: “Night Rider” which is one fast moving series. We had an interesting & fun day. K & S return to their City Hotel around 9:45pm.

K & I watch Fox News….but, no movie tonight.

Lights out: 11:48pm

Awake: 5:40am Temp 47 sleep 5+52 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then join the KK for an hr. After breakfast, Kathy begins early dinner prep while I spend some time on our computer; in between these activities, we both do some organizing in our respective corner hangouts as we are expecting visitors from Michigan sometime this afternoon.

@ 2:10pm, Karen calls on her cell phone; they are passing Indiana, PA & want confirmation of a choice of directions. We suggest they use State Road 553 to Nicktown.

Steve & Karen, long time friends of Kathy, arrive @ 2:45pm. Ultimately, S & K are wintering in Florida, but along the way, visiting friends & family. We update each other on activities, grandchildren, health issues, travel, etc since we’ve been together last.

Dinner: stuffed peppers, Triscuits, fresh fruit salad.

After dinner, more talk about the listed subjects above. Then around 10:00pm, Karen & Steve motor to Barnesboro & spend the night @ the City Hotel.

K & I watch about (20) min of DVR movie: “The Barretts of Wimpole Street.”

Lights out: 11:51pm

Awake: 6:54am Temp 56 sleep 6+ 35 foggy, cloudy, then sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Early morning, Kathy calls Melissa; they work out a plan for later today so Melissa can go shopping for a dress suitable for attending a wedding & Kathy can watch the boys.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & then join the KK for (1.7) hrs.

After Kathy has her hearty breakfast, she motors to the Foote Castle. During her absence, I call Anchorage to forward our Alaska mail. Then do some house cleaning… outside; wash the driver’s side of our coach + the slides & wheels. It took close to (3) hrs; fortunately, I was finishing up the wheels when out came the sunshine. Very few water spots could be detected due to slow drying.

Gary C calls; we talk about his truck radio that I supposedly fixed, about our activities with Zack during his visit, & other spellbinding subjects. Then I do a little research on locating a reasonable hotel so we can attend a wedding of a daughter of our good friends.

Kathy returns home a little late but was successful with her grandma duties + Melissa found a very, very nice dress & other things she was shopping for.

Dinner: leftover chili with macaroni, grapes, & corn chips.

Finish watching: “Zulu” with Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins, Ulla Jacobsson, Michael Caine, Nigel Green, etc. Narrated by Richard Burton. True story about undermanned British forces trying to defend their African mission from attack by hordes of Zulu warriors. Dramatic elements tend toward cliché, but virtually half the film is taken up by massive battle, which is truly spectacular & exciting. 1964. Fantastic! You won’t believe what you’re seeing.
Lights out: 11:48pm

Awake: 6:58am Temp 49 sleep 6+36 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

As Kathy did yesterday, she gets right on the job of boiling another dozen of tomatoes, skins, mashes & bags them for the freezer. Then we motor to the Foote Castle…arriving @ 11:50am.

We were told to be here & ready for a 12:30 “walk for Diabetes” but, the Foote family has yet to return from attending 9:30am Mass. Aha, they were buying lots of children’s books, games, puzzles etc…for a very reasonable price @ the Book Sale.

About an hr later, we follow the Foote Mini Van northbound about (7) miles to Blue Spruce Park, where there are hundreds of people in solid orange, gray, yellow, white, etc, shirts representing a friend, family member or someone else having Diabetes. Group pictures are taken of the various groups, then we all casually walk (1) mile around the lake; @ the finish point, Subway provided sandwiches, chips & drinks. The gathering was well organized. Even Kinley participated in the walk as Kevin constantly held onto her leash. Also, Nathan’s godparents, Mary Beth & Phil & their children, Nick, Zack, & Kate joined in the walk with the Foote family.

After finishing our Subway lunch, Kathy, Zack & I say our goodbyes for now & start heading back to the Pittsburgh Airport so Zack can catch his scheduled flight to Seattle. (2) hours later, we say our goodbyes to Zack & wish him a bon voyage. En route back to our MH, K & I made a stop @ Dean’s Diner for dinner; she had turkey with dressing & a salad; I had meatloaf, mash potatoes & gravy + a salad. By the way, Dean’s Diner is up for sale. The dad passed away in 2004 & he wanted his (2) sons to keep the business going, but operating it remotely was too difficult, so in 2006, the brothers put Dean’s Diner up for sale; it’s still for sale. I must say, I’ve always had a good meal there.

We are back to our motorhome in time for a good movie; I forgot to look @ the clock. We watch ½ of “Zulu” because somebody wasn’t paying attention.

Lights out: 12:19 am

Awake: 6:34am Temp 49 sleep 6+12 high thin clouds overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass then join the KK meeting. Afterward, Al & Donna give us (2) dozen homegrown tomatoes which we gladly accept.

After breakfast, Kathy gets busy, washes & boils a dozen of those tomatoes, removes the skins, partly mashes & bags them for freezing.

We leave @ 11:30, motor to Indiana, PA, fuel up the Lexus with 15.6 gal @ $3.50 per gal & then visit the Foote Family & Zack.

Zack had just come downstairs (20) min before we arrived; he is keeping his sleeping schedule on Seattle time. We have some casual time with the boys: Kathy plays Ker-plunk with Matthew & I spend time with Nathan. Andrew is napping. Later, Zack plays a travel game of Monopoly for Juniors with Matthew.

Then it’s my turn: Matthew wants to play with pulleys but we have no pulleys; this has been his latest interest. In the back yard, using Kinley’s dog run & leash, we hoist a bucket up into a tree where Matthew stores some of Kinley’s dog toys (2 or 3) @ a time that I round up. Later, we have the bucket moving along Kinley’s dog run; it was not by any means, a whoopee…whoopee idea but fortunately, I was saved by the early 2:45 pm dinner bell.

Dinner: vegetable, bean chili, mixed salad, Taco chips, & grapes.

After dinner, K & I excuse ourselves & attend the 4:00 pm vigil Mass @ Saint Thomas More University Church about a mile away. Afterward, we peruse the basement full of books, etc as well as the temporary tent full of books, etc for a good hr. Would you believe: in looking through the technology & electrical section, I found a book with my name, the date purchased, 1984 & our old Memphis, TN address. I showed it to Kathy as my witness.

By the time we returned to the Foote Castle, the boys were finished with their showers & were having their snack & read time ….leading to bedtime; the usual routine….Kinley gets her evening walk in & Melissa puts the boys to bed. Then both Melissa & Kevin join us for some good ole fashion adult gab time.

We return to our coach @ 10:45pm. No movie or TV again tonight.

Lights out: 12:22am (same as last night)

Awake: 6:24am Temp 48 sleep 6+15 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I join the KK for (1) hr & then exercise for (45) min. In our coach we eat a small breakfast & watch: “The O’Reilly Factor” recorded yesterday.

Then we motor to the Foote Castle, arriving @ 11:59am. Kevin had taken this day off from IUP. The boys are all excited about todays plans….but 1st, we have an early dinner of: breaded chicken tenders, noodles & a mixed salad.

@ 3:05pm, all (8) of us pile into the Toyota mini van & motor to Nicktown where we are going to explore the Corn Maze covering about (7) acres of tall field corn. This annual event is the work of Mary Beth & is across the highway from the Lieb: “Bar Ridge Dairy Farm.”

We talked the maze & now we walk the maze. This is the 3rd time we have done the Lieb maze but a 1st for Zack. Earlier this morning, several loads of school children were here but this afternoon, we have the (7) acres to ourselves. There are (17) hidden sites that we look for; when we find one, we punch our card representing that site is captured. Then continue on thru the many trails throughout the acres. The young boys did very well, especially Matthew, who many times ran ahead…..being comfortable without any adult leadership. Zack, the new master of maze, found all sites but (1); beginners luck I would say! Kathy, Zack & I spent an extra half hr looking for that (1) missing site to no avail.

The Foote boys gave up about an hr before us & happily played in the large sawdust box where the large Tonka trucks & other metal vehicles were quietly entertaining them.

En route to the Foote Castle, Kevin makes a quick stop @ our motorhome so Zack could use our computer later today. Also I gave Zack a quick tour of our coach as he had never been inside before.

Back @ the Castle, it is snack & smoothie time; then shower time…..which leads to reading time before bedtime. Before showers, both Andrew & Matthew gave us a mattress bouncing show which they are experts at.

Around 9:00pm, Kevin takes Kinley for her evening walk & Melissa goes through the boys’ bedtime routine. About (30) min later, Melissa returns & joins us in watching Zack text with Nick who is in Seoul, Korea & will be leaving for Nagoya later this day. Finally, Kevin joins our group for awhile. We are back to our coach @ 11:00pm. No movie or TV tonight.

Lights out: 12:22am

Awake: 6:54 am Temp 52 sleep 6+03 overcast overnight @ Nicktown.

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

After our breakfast & some computer time, we leave @ 12:10 pm & motor to St Thomas More University Church & Newman Center in Indiana, PA & give them a box of classic long playing records. The Newman Center is having their (40th) Annual Book, Record, DVD, Video, etc sale…..starting tomorrow.

After a quick tour of the massive amount of books, etc, we continue on our way to Robinson Township, about (8) miles west of Pittsburgh. Why (R T?); that’s where Kathy loves to shop for groceries & other good deals at Costco. After a good hr of this shopping, we leave Costco, drive downtown Pittsburgh, find Forbes Ave & Carnegie-Mellon University. Since leaving Costco, Kathy & Zack have been keeping each other up-to-date on our location & projected ETA; Zack made the clinching call by saying: “I am standing by the curb on the other side of the signal light of Forbes & Morewood.

We were happy to see Zack & we hope, vice versa; with the company’s approval, he arranged to spend the weekend with the Footes in Indiana, Pa & then return to Seattle, WA late Sunday night. En Route, Zack describes in detail, his latest recruiting activity.

We make one stop: for ice cream @ Brusters arriving @ the Foote Castle about 6:45pm. The young boys were just finishing their showers & the bedtime reading was next. Matthew & Andrew were delighted to see Zack again, but Nathan was a little shy, probably due to not remembering him well enough.

Around 8:30, Kevin takes Kinley out for her evening walk; Melissa puts Matthew to bed first, followed by Nathan then Andrew. Kathy & I enjoy our time with Zack. Time was passing quickly & we figured Zack was getting tired, so I hinted that we should return to our motorhome which we did @ 9:00.

Late DVR movie: “Paper Moon” with Ryan O’Neal, Tatum O’Neal, Madeline Kahn, John Hillerman, etc. Unbeatable entertainment, harking back to Damon Runyonesque 1930’s, as con man O’Neal unwillingly latches onto young girl (his real-life daughter) who’s pretty sharp herself. Tatum made her film debut here & won an Oscar for her scene-stealing work. 1973. This flick was fantastic! Don’t skip over it.

Lights out: 12:09am

Awake: 6:54am Temp 46 sleep 6+56 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend the KK meeting for (1.3) hrs & then exercise for (1.5) hrs.

Kathy does (2) loads of laundry while I refill our pure water holding tank. Then I transfer a few things from our Suzuki into our Lexus in prep for tomorrow’s trip to & from Pittsburgh to pick up Zack at Carnegie-Mellon University.

K & I walk to & attend the 6:00pm Mass @ the Saint Nicholas Church in Nicktown. Afterward, we have a long chat with Donna Kr about her handicapped husband.

Dinner: Pistachio encrusted tuna steak, brown rice, corn on the cob, yellow squash & zucchini with stewed tomatoes; we watch the nat’l news & Jeopardy during our dinner.

While cleaning those dishes, we watch the O’Reilly Factor &, later, the interview of Sara Palin by Sean Hannity.

Later, we watch DVR movie: “The Natural” with Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, etc. Serpentine saga of a young man with a gift for baseball, whose life takes more than a few surprising turns. 1984. From a Novel of a true story….we both thoroughly enjoyed this movie again, after not seeing it since the early (80’s).

Lights out: 12:51am

Awake: 5:50am Temp 50 sleep 6+25 partly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass &, afterwards, find our conference room already occupied with another group activity; we had no advanced notice. The early bird members had already fled the coop but we stood outside & tried to figure out: what do we do now? Father Job, who obviously took pity on us, volunteered his dining room table with cups & coffee @ the rectory; a rare case of: “the late birds get the worm!”

@ 1:45pm, Kathy motors downtown Barnesboro for groceries, library & a little thrift store looking; my quiet time. I wrote a birthday note to our Goddaughter in CA; then, by filling out a form, applied for a computer password @ our credit union. Kathy returns @ 4:05pm with a few magazines, books & groceries.

Dinner: Chili with macaroni, Triscuits & cantaloupe.

Then: nat’l news & Jeopardy while cleaning diner dishes.

I attend the 8:00 pm Holy Name meeting @ the church hall; (15) people present; always interesting & well conducted.

Late DVR movie: “The Search” with Montgomery Clift, Ivan Jandl, Aline MacMahon, Jarmila Novotna, etc. Poignant drama of American soldier Clift caring for concentration camp survivor Jandl in postwar Berlin, while the boy’s mother desperately searches all displaced Person’s Camps for him. Beautifully acted & directed; won a Best Story Academy Award. 1948. Fantastic story….definitely add this one to your list.

Lights out: 11:58pm

Awake: 5:36am Temp 63 sleep 5+41 partly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

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

Back @ our motorhome, Gary C calls: “What did you do to my radio” he asks. “Not much” I tell him. Before I have a chance to be more specific, he tells me: “It’s working!” He told me he checked it (3) times @ different temperatures & it still works. I was delighted to hear that…& I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Late morning I get a Skype call from Ray in Ocean Park; we gab for a good hr. “What do you think of my motorcycle?” he asks. I had to tell him…I thought he was pulling my leg when he sent a dazzling picture of a Sportster motorcycle with him sitting proudly on the machine. Now I realize it’s for real & he’s pretty excited about it. Ray is now the proud owner of (3) bikes: the Wizard Motor bike, the Harley Sportster motorcycle & his old classic English Square Four motorcycle.

Next, I call my ole buddy Kenny in Anchorage, AK. Kenny keeps himself up-to-date pretty well on politics, so I ask him how he feels about Sara Palin being VP for McCain. Wow, (51) min later, I had more than an ear full; nothing I care to reveal however.

Before dinner, I scan the Pittsburg map for Carnegie-Mellon University so we can pick up Zack later this week; he’ll be visiting our area for a few days.

Dinner: Tilapia Amandine with brown rice pilaf, mixed salad & fresh pear slices.

Watch int’l news; Jeopardy & the O’Reilly Factor.

Later, we finish watching the movie: “Say Anything” with John Cusack, Ione Skye, John Mahoney, Lili Taylor, Amy Brooks, etc. Satisfying teenage comedy-drama about a self-assured loner who goes after the Class Brain & finds her surprisingly human; amusing, endearing & refreshingly original. 1989. Basically a good story but perhaps more tuned for the younger generation.
Lights out: 11:25pm

Awake: 7:31am Temp 68 sleep 7+21 overcast then sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

After our coffee, K & I drive to the community center for exercising but the only exercise we had was walking to & from the car; the community center’s doors were all locked. “OK, so let’s eat instead” says Kathy.

She makes a healthy veggie omelet, whole wheat toast & bacon then Kathy begins listening to her Sunday political programs. This week with George Stephanopoulos, Meet the Press, Chris Matthews show, etc. During some of this time, I spy on her to hear the rhetoric, opinions, predictions, etc. while washing the dishes.

Gary C. calls: he wants to pick up his truck radio that I tried to fix; with a very limited amount of electronic test equipment, I couldn’t check much of anything. He’s not making a special trip, he tells me; he needs to accumulate a few more miles on his Harley Sportster motorcycle before visiting the Harley dealer for the (600) mile checkup. Since we are going to be home, he & Rosemary will be here in about (30) min.

My dishes are waiting to be dried when G & R arrive on their quiet Sportster. We offer no wine this early in the day but sit & yak for over an hr. Kathy served coffee & leftover cake made by Josie for our Pinochle game last night which was still very good & enjoyed by all. Then Gary asked for his truck radio as they had to hit the road. It was a nice, casual visit.

Before dinner, I read more of the magazine Barry loaned me: Aviation History.

Dinner: pork chops, fried noodles & corn on the cob from my cousin Florentz & fresh fruit, pears from Ohio & other assorted fruits from?

Evening comes earlier than normal due to (Ike) getting closer to our area; I suggest we walk around town before real darkness falls & the winds get stronger. Uptown, we bump into John & then Chris; we chat for about (20) min, then head for our coach.

Melissa calls late evening after my dinner dishes are done; she brings us up-to-date on the Foote family activities…..too numerous to mention…but all is well.

As we start a DVR movie: “Say Anything”, strong winds begin to rock our motorhome; the gentle rocking motion apparently had Kathy more relaxed than I realized…so intermission came earlier than programmed.

Lights out: 11:55pm

Awake: 5:35am Temp 65 sleep 5+28 overcast overnight @ Nicktown.

Early morning Skype call from Nick in Hong Kong; Kathy was just beginning to wake up & thought I was watching & talking with my buddy Ray from Ocean Park, WA. When she realized it was Nick, she came to life pronto. We gab for about (20) min with a fairly good signal; his time with the in-law’s & family while in Nagoya was great & his business in Hong Kong went very well. Now he & his colleague have (2) days to enjoy the area of Hong Kong & Kaloon, maybe even the Island of Macao.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & then join the KK meeting for nearly (2) hrs.

During our late breakfast, we watch Charlie Gibson’s 1st interview of Sara Palin from Alaska; we had recorded it last night.

Mid afternoon, I spend a little more time using epoxy & setting up the wire support for the Brio track piece; after today, it should be ok.

Taking our umbrellas, K & I walk to church & attend 6:00pm vigil Mass; afterward, we talk with & say our goodbyes for now, to Blair Max & Diane, who in a round-about way, will return to Florida for the winter.

Dinner: power burger with fried onions on whole grain bread, corn on the cob & fresh fruit salad.

Late evening: finish watching DVD: “Asphalt Jungle” with Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen, James Whitmore, Sam Jaffe, Marilyn Monroe, etc. The plotting of the crime & the gathering of the gang to pull it off; a taut, realistic film full of fine characterizations (especially Jaffe, & Monroe in a memorable bit). A model of its kind, frequently copied & remade no less than (3) times. 1950. It was great; you don’t want to miss this one.
Lights out: 12:10am

Awake: 5:56am Temp 62 sleep 6+13 rain, heavy at times overnight @ Nicktown.

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

After breakfast, I spend a little time drilling (2) small holes in a piece of Brio train track to, later, insert stiff wire with epoxy to give this wooden track piece more support.

Bro Don calls: he invites us to join him & his wife Josie for a fish dinner @ the Cresson Springs Family Restaurant; we have no plans for the evening & agree to the 5:00pm meet @ their home. He also mentioned that they like to play Pinochle & would we be interested in playing after dinner. I ask Kathy about this idea & she’s all for it; after all, no cooking for her & no dish cleanup for me.

Pinochle is a new game for me; Kathy hasn’t played since college. Before we leave, she brings the rules & method of play up on the computer & I read all about it; she also prints out a list of the tricks that count for meld & the points.

K & I have not been to this restaurant before but Don & Josie have frequented it monthly; and, for the 1st time in many months, we each had our own dish. Kathy had battered fried fish with baked potato & salad & I had a tuna steak with veggies & salad. It was a good meal; I wouldn’t hesitate to visit a few more times.

Back @ the Don & Josie house, we prepare for the Pinochle game; a little wine, beer & other drinks for the ladies + a few snacks. It’s guys against the girls…. I must admit, that with my brother’s help & a little of my Cinch playing experience from years ago, this game was a lot less awkward for me though I was slow to catch up with all those rules & regulations. We both look forward to playing again.

K & I did some quick grocery shopping @ Wal-Mart in Ebensburg before returning to Nicktown @ 11:30pm.
Lights out: 12:07am

Awake: 5:54am Temp 57 sleep 5+40 partly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

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

Today is Rotary & Pres Al’s turn to carpool; (2) stops en route to Rotary. A good crowd: including a guest speaker & Donna B’s daughter visiting from Texas. Guest speaker, Mike, was informative, very casual & effective. After the meeting, quite a few of us enjoyed listening to Donna B’s daughter talk about the Gulf oil rig she works on & how they prepare for a hurricane + numerous other situations.

Lunch: Caesar salad, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, hot dogs & (2) desserts: banana & chocolate cakes. We had (5) stops en route to Nicktown.

Then, my 1st cousin Florentz & I rendezvous @ an unmentionable place to use our dowsing rods; he spends a good (30) min dousing & then has to leave & pick up his wife, Anna. I continue dowsing, find a hot spot & get out the rake & shovel to unearth the treasure that wasn’t.

I return to Nicktown in time for Int’l news & Jeopardy.

Dinner: again, BLT’s & a fruit salad. I did bring Kathy some leftover Caesar salad.

Tonight we watch: McCain @ the Presidential Forum for (1) hr. I would switch back & forth to “(102) min that changed America.” We also watched Obama’s share of the Presidential Forum..
Lights out: 11:48pm

K & I exercise for (1.2) hrs & then join the KK meeting for (55) min. After that, we join the children’s Mass @ 9:30am.

@ 12:30, we motor to Indiana, PA for grocery shopping @ Martin’s; then spend the afternoon with Melissa & her young boys. We had a similar program today as last week: Kathy, Matthew & Andrew went up to the 3rd floor & played with the Brio train setup; that left Melissa & me downstairs with Nathan.

Nathan is fun to be with on a one on one basis; he’s very gentle, relaxed, easy to please & non-demanding for a (1 yr & 1 month) guy. Mel & I had some time to talk & lots of time for Nathan.

Then the switch; Kathy talks the boys into tearing down the old track layout & have “G”
Daddy design something new & exciting. Well…I did the best I could; I think the boys enjoyed the sloping downhill race track that knocked out wooden blocks like a bowling alley. I even heard Matthew singing during our fun time experience.

We return to Nicktown @ 6:15pm & find some more gifts in front of our door: tomatoes, apples & potatoes. There was no note so now the sleuth work begins.

Here we go again: nat’l news, then Jeopardy. Modern Marvels while having a dinner of: tuna steak with a combination of veggies & fruit salad. Then clean the dishes while watching the O’Reilly Factor & waiting for Sara Palin to land in Anchorage, Alaska.

We tire of waiting & turn out the lights @: 12:14am.

Awake: 6:20am Temp 61 sleep 6+18 rain…thunderstorms overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then join the KK meeting; another excellent attendance. This time, the “Happy Birthday” song was sung with true spirit & more vocalization for Donna Ki.

Back @ our coach, Kathy got some of the homegrown tomatoes that our neighbors gave us, par-boiled them, removed the skins & some seeds, bagged them & stored them in our freezer for later usage. Then she motored to downtown Spangler & Barnesboro for grocery & thrift store shopping.

I spend a little time on our computer & then get out the epoxy & fix one of the Foote boy’s miniature toys that had a broken axle. With the epoxy, I also started the 1st step in mending a broken tab of a Brio train track. It’ll need more attention but for now, the piece has to cure.

Watch the nat’l news during a dinner of: more BLT’s & fresh fruit salad.

During Jeopardy, I clean the dishes; then we watch the O’Reilly Factor.

Late evening, watch DVD: “Asphalt Jungle.” 39 min…. & my faithful partner was in another “jungle.”

Lights out: 11:04pm

Awake: 5:55am Temp 54 sleep 5+59 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00 am Mass & then join the KK which was well attended. Donna Ki… a very distinguished & long time member, was surprised by the “Happy Birthday” song sung for her one day early….but that’s ok.

Our forwarded mail from Alaska arrived today, so after breakfast we spend hrs going through the bundle….saving the magazines & other long reading items for later.

Another beautiful day…& out comes the Snapper lawnmower. (1) hr into our steady mowing project & the Snapper refuses to be self-propelled; my 1st thought was: “that’s all for today folks!” Then, when pushing our mower back to its summer parking spot, I decide to look @ this piece of equipment a little closer; that’s when I discovered a broken spring. Probing even further, that spring is responsible for not only holding the drive belt taut to rotate the cutting blade, but also it turns the rear wheels that move the mower forward. “Maybe I can fix this problem” I told Kathy.

Among my tools, I have an accumulation of “things” found along the way in campgrounds, along the road, outside the Newell Service Dept, etc that someday could come in handy. Years ago at a campground out west, someone apparently overlooked his/her set of small bungee cords & left without them; they were easily found in my toolbox. “Perfect I thought to myself, one of these should work.”

About (15) min later, we were back in business. We lost about (35) min with that fix but without any breaks, we finished @ 6:10pm; and, like always, we are worn out from (4) hrs of non-stop manual labor.

We watch the int’l news followed by Jeopardy; then dinner: BLT’s with extra homegrown tomatoes & fruit salad….while watching the O’Reilly Factor.

Later, while cleaning the dishes, we watch: Modern Marvels & then: Sarah Palin’s neighbors & friends in Alaska being interviewed.

Lights out: 12:02am

Awake: 6:49am Temp 53 sleep 6+43 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy makes a breakfast of: eggs over easy with bacon & toast & fresh pear.

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest & relaxation with dignity but…it’s a perfect day for us to mow grass because there’s a nice breeze with plenty of sunshine. However, I have a few things to do 1st.

Melissa’s Hoover Flair vacuum cleaner; as I suspected, the drive pulley for the beater bar system has slipped on its shaft, thus causing a misalignment of the belt. After taking it apart outside, I ask Kathy to work with me in holding the motor shaft in place while I give the pulley a whack…moving it back to where it belongs. This time, I epoxy the pulley to the shaft in hopes that this will prevent any further sliding movement.

During my Flair vacuum repair activity, Kathy does a load of laundry, then uses our Eureka & vacuums the entire house including our cloth furniture. When she’s finished, I take the Eureka filter outside & clean it thoroughly, stashing the debris into a plastic bag.

Next, I run the CAT motorhome engine for (20) min; pumping up the air bags & checking all the instrumentation….making sure all is copasetic

Our Toyota’s air filter light has been on & off lately when motoring to & fro. Out comes the owners manual & some metric tools; (4) bolts, (3) separate covers & (15) min later, I find a lot of leaves & junk dust in the filter. Using our Eureka vacuum, I suck out & give that circular filter a good cleaning. A test drive in our driveway tells me it’s ok now.

What time is it Kathy? Oops, I guess it’s too late for mowing grass today!

Dinner: BLT & mixed fresh fruit salad.

Evening entertainment: DVD movie: “The Major & the Minor” with Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Rita Johnson, Robert Benchley, Diana Lynn, etc. Memorable comedy of working girl Rogers disguised as 12-yr old to save train fare, becoming involved with Milland’s military school. 1942. Kathy was wide awake during this story so you can be assured it’s a good one.

Lights out: 11:56pm

Awake: 5:33am Temp 65 sleep 5+51 light rain overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & then join the KK for (1.8) hrs.

We haven’t talked with Katrina for quite a while so we agreed to give her a ring & caught her @ a busy time. But she assured us she would return our call ASAP…. & she did. Our daughter Katrina leaves no moss grow under her feet; she gave us the full scoop of activities since we talked with her last & our call must have lasted over (2) hrs. This girl is amazing; she packs just about every invitation, activity, spare minute, etc that one can possibly handle into each day & this schedule continues throughout each & every week. It’s unbelievable; @ one point, I heard her talk of being disappointed that she couldn’t attend both functions @ one time because of distance. Oh yes, youth & she’s having fun.

K & I take a chance without umbrellas & walk to 6:00 pm vigil Mass.

Dinner: Forestiere (veal with mushrooms & artichokes in a Marcella wine/cream sauce), left over sausage / pasta, & fruit salad.

We watch (1) hr bio on Sara Palin of Alaska.

Late DVR movie: “Topkapi” with Melina Mercouri, Peter Ustinov, Maximilian Schell, Robert Morley, Akim Tamiroff, etc. 1st-rate entertainment of would-be thieves who plan perfect crime in Constantinople museum; filmed in Istanbul. 1964. This was great; don’t miss it.

High temp=74 Lights out: 11:42pm

Awake: 6:01am Temp 66 sleep 6+08 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I join the KK members @ Janet & Mark’s gazebo @ 8:30am for breakfast. Janet has done this before (making breakfast for the KK gang) & we certainly appreciate & enjoy their hospitality & generosity.

Since John was parking his car about the same time as we, I returned his lethal trap with apologies for letting it get a little rusty & dusty. “It’s no problem” he says; “it’s better if the trap gets dirty & weathered when trapping for groundhogs.”

Back to our breakfast @ the gazebo; Janet has laid out some of her notorious cinnamon rolls, meat slices, fresh fruit, cheese & crackers, & other cakes. Martha brought a pear cobbler, still warm from her oven.

Oh by the way; the connoisseur of beer, Bill, has been cleared of all crude & vicious remarks now that we discovered he was sicker than a dog on Wednesday night & couldn't join us in the fun @ Bonatesta's. Our deepest apologies....sir.

Then it’s back to our coach, change clothes & motor to Indiana, PA for grocery shopping @ Wal-Mart & Martin’s. Then the rest of the afternoon is dedicated to spending time with Melissa & the boys.

It’s another balloon fest start: using the small compressor powered by a D.C. battery charger, we pump up @ least a dozen small balloons & a few larger ones; some for fast flights, others for keepers & bouncing in the air. At some point, Matthew became bored with this redundancy & looked for an exit leading to more exciting adventures.

Grandma was the answer & the 3rd floor was the solution; Matthew led the way & both Andrew & Grandma followed. To give Melissa a little time for herself & for me to enjoy Nathan, I stayed downstairs & did just that: enjoyed Nathan & his time to play without his siblings. We had a good time downstairs & they had a good time upstairs.

Before we leave, Melissa gives me her Hoover Flair vacuum cleaner to repair; without taking it apart, I believe it’ll be the same problem as before: the drive pulley moved on the motor shaft & now the belt is out of alignment. That fix was on Tuesday, 17 June.

Back @ our motorhome, Zack calls from Seattle; he has a medical question for the nurse. His right arm has been hurting with sharp pains off & on for over a week now. Nurse Kathy asks if he has been exercising or using his right arm more than usual. Zack says: “a little; like racket ball, ping pong, weight lifting, squash, you know.” He did see a PA (Physician’s Assistant) who suggested some stretching exercises & massage therapy. Kathy concurs that it is worth a try.

No movie tonight; we were sufficiently entertained by Zack’s phone call.

Lights out: 11:42pm

Awake: 6:38am Temp 58 sleep 6+15 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & then join the KK afterward; again some of our members are absent; this time we surmise it’s the fishing crew.

Today is Rotary day; I pick up Pres Al @ 11:22am with (1) stop en route to check my tire pressure on the Toyota @ Sheetz while Al enters the bank & checks to see if Ann is attending the meeting….she took the day off.

Lunch @ Rotary: Pasta with meatballs, green beans, Caesar salad, buns & jello with small orange slices for dessert. (2) stops en route to Nicktown; state store for me & for Al to drop his chainsaw off in Kirschtown & have the chain sharpened.

Meanwhile, Kathy had use of the Suzuki & visited the Barnesboro Library……

After waiting patiently for (24) days, the “never captured” groundhog obviously evaded death & John’s deadly trap that he had set August 11th ….so, to disarm this destructive mass of mean looking metal, I toss a stick into it’s mouth & immediately, that stick is macerated. Then, to retain my reputation of cleanliness, using metal polish & a soft cloth, I do my best to clean up the trap.

K & I watch the nat’l news & then dinner, Kathy has: pasta with meatballs & tomato sauce, leftover from Rotary. My dinner: leftover stuffed pepper.

During my dish cleaning, we watch the O’Reilly Factor. Later, the Republican National Convention & Cindy McCain’s speech & then, John McCain’s speech.

Later evening: Nick calls from Nagoya, Japan on Skype with a clear signal. He had no camera so we used our landline phones talking for over an hr. They are having a great time with his in-laws & family. In a few days, his vacation will end & he’ll be conducting business in Hong Kong, then Tokyo & then Korea & lastly, back to Nagoya to pick up Eriko & Jerry & return to the U.S.A.

Lights out: 11:53pm

Awake: 6:46am Temp 58 sleep 6+55 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:30am Mass & then join the KK meeting; small crowd this morning but all the better to have a one on one conversation with those who are here & get to know them better.

After breakfast, I get the green light for getting our Toyota out of storage. The battery was disconnected during the yr so the engine started right up. Also today, we get tough on getting rid of some “stuff” that we’ve been hauling around the country for a long time; we’ll keep the “stuff” but it’ll be stationary for awhile.

In regards to not hearing from Bill, Cyril or Tony, K & I motor to Kirschtown mid afternoon & find C & T sitting on their front porch having a late lunch. I question Cyril about not answering his cell messages; “I was busy & not monitoring my phone” he tells me. We spend about (45) min gabbing & I eventually get my message announced.

Dinner: tuna steak, rice, broccoli & fruit salad.

Kathy volunteers to do the dishes (it’ll cost me later) & I walk to the Nicktown Hotel to meet the guys; cousin Cliff is sitting on the bar stool when I arrive & he is not happy. He tells me they are not serving food tonight, not even pizza. “We have to have food” he emphasizes. Minutes later, in walk Pete, Don, Cyril & Tony; “not good” they grumble.

My bro suggests: Bonatesta’s Tavern & Pizza in Barnesboro. We apologize to the girls behind the bar & head for a car. “Hold on” someone says: what about Bill? “We have to wait for Bill.” “He’s probably on his way” says Cyril. “Oh, he’s always late" someone else mutters.” Pete volunteers to wait outside & watch for him; he tells us :“(15) min & then I’ll join you guys.”

Bonatesta’s Tavern was ready for us; a big pitcher of beer was ordered with frozen mugs all around….except for me; I was content to have a glass of cold wine. The Pizza order followed the beer order. Before the 1st glass was drunk, Pete showed up with no Bill. Some of the guys made a fuss about Bill not being reliable sometimes & others simply thought that he might be out of town. Anyway, the pizza was good, re-capping the old days was intriguing, studying the current times was scary & having an eye toward the future was questionable. I didn’t have to walk home; Tony was our taxi. I was honored to be invited to get together with a good bunch of guys & the rendezvous was marvelous for all of us……except Bill.

Kathy was engrossed in the political scene when I returned; watching & listening to John McCain’s selected Veep, Sarah Palin from Wasilla, Alaska, giving her acceptance speech @ the Republican National Convention in St Paul, Minnesota. Kathy was recording the speech so I could hear it & I heard it all. We thought she did a great job.

Lights out: 12:23am

Awake: 5:58am Temp 56 sleep 6:04 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

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

Mid morning, I use my computer time while Kathy watches her favorite TV shows.
Later we get serious & discuss some more ideas that we forgot to mention to Scott on house plans. With agreement, I e-mail Scott & expose those almost forgotten ideas.

Mid afternoon, I replace (2) water filters in the pump house & (2) water filters on our portable filter unit.

Zack calls from Seattle: he has a few questions relating to his Camry & I had a few answers. As always, we hope that our replies are just a little better than “satisfactory.”

Dinner: Italian sausage over marinara sauce, pasta, corn on the cob & fruit salad.,

My bro Don calls: during the Nicktown Homecoming picnic on Sunday & in the noisy beer tent, Don suggested that our honorable group of beer drinkers get together on Wednesday evening for a re-cap of the old days, study the current, & have an eye toward future days. He would like me to notify: Bill, Cyril, & Tony…about our gathering tomorrow night @ the Nicktown Hotel for 8:00pm. “I can do that” I told my brother. I also remind him that I am not a beer drinker; “that’s ok” he says.

I left a message for Bill on his recorder, but Cyril & Tony…no answer. Maybe I have the wrong #? I call my brother back & relate my dilemma. Late evening, Don has no luck as well & suggests I motor to Kirschtown tomorrow to verbally give them the message. This is serious planning & I don’t want to foul up the system.

Melissa calls late evening; general chit chat was nice to hear; usually Melissa has little time for this sort of thing. No movie tonight.

Lights out: 11:51pm

Awake: 6:58am Temp 57 sleep 7+34 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I have our coffee & then wait for our distinguished visitor to arrive. Promptly @ 8:00am, Scott drives into our driveway. Nearly (3) hrs go by quickly as we feed Scott, (our architect), drawings, ideas, notes, pictures & lists of everything we could possibly think of in creating our new home “without wheels.” Scott was very perceptive & quite tuned in to planning our abode to our satisfaction.

After Scott leaves, I call the Dillweed B & B in Dilltown & leave a message for Mark & Joan that we are finished talking with our architect; about (20) min later, Mark calls to let us know that they are on their way.
Meanwhile, Kathy has been busy…busy making lunch for the (4) of us.

When M & J arrive @ 12:25 pm at our motorhome, they tell us about riding the Dillweed free bikes on the Ghost Town Trail & the surprise they had when meeting up with the Foote Family along the way. Mark took (2) charming pictures of the Footes astride their bikes, dressed in their bikers garb.

Lunch: tuna salad on spinach with tomato garnish, Triscuits & rice cakes and the other half of Joan’s birthday pie for dessert.

We discuss our time with Scott & some distinct features we would like to have in our home without wheels; plus other subjects of interest.

Then, we say our goodbyes & bon voyage to Joan & Mark with “thanks” for making this weekend special by their visit with us in our small village of Nicktown.

Watch the int’l news, then Jeopardy…. & later, the O’Reilly Factor.

We finish DVR movie: “The Naked City” with Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Don Taylor, Dorothy Hart, etc. Time (and decades of TV cop shows) have dulled the edge of this once-trendsetting crime drama, produced by columnist Mark Hellinger on the streets of N.Y.C. following the investigation of a murder case step by step. Fitzgerald is still first-rate. 1948. Fortunately, Kathy loves her crime…murder & solving the mystery of the guilty one; otherwise we could be watching this thriller for another (3) nights.

Lights out: 11:54pm

Awake: 6:50am Temp 57 sleep 6+59 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

The Foote Family arrived 1st, then Gary & Rosemary, next Corinne &. lastly, Joan & Mark. I applaud J & M for being on time, as they were served a full hot breakfast @ the B & B in Dill Town @ 9:00am & still made our 10:30am rendezvous.

Next, we (10) walk to the church hall & get in line for dinner; already the line is wrapped around the pavilion & getting close to hill climbing. About (15) min zip by & we are joined by bro Don & Josie; all totaled we spent (1hr, 10 min) before giving our status: (12) & (2) highchairs, to the doorman at the entrance of the dining hall .

The chicken noodle soup & mashed potatoes, coleslaw, green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, chicken & gravy & the dessert choice of many pies….was very, very good. We found out later in the day that (1716) meals were served; that’s not a record but it too, was very, very good.

When exiting the dining room, the meal line was now up the hill & reaching for the road; that’s a long line! Gary & Rosemary took a few chances on the theme baskets filled with goodies & then had another fund raising activity in Patton to attend.

Throughout the afternoon & evening, we see & talk with a lot of people, young & old alike, who we haven’t seen since a year ago or many yrs ago. Mark & Joan fit in nicely with the crowd as if they were locals. Kathy spent some time with the Foote boys in the kids’ Funland area and at a couple other game booths.

The beer tent was very crowded & noisy from early afternoon on into the evening. I’m not a beer drinker per se, but I did my share of listening & talking amongst the best.

This annual event truly is: a Homecoming Festival. K & I left the picnic grounds @ 7:45p.

Back @ our bus, K & I casually discuss the day’s activities & people we spent time with. Also, how nice it was of Mother Nature to treat us with such good weather.

The 9:05pm fireworks were easily seen through our living room window & trees. Oh, what a day!

We watch another (30) min of “Naked City” before someone is caught not paying attention.
Lights out: 11:19pm

Awake: 6:30am Temp 63 sleep 7+19 fog….then sunshine overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & then join the KK for a mere (15) min. A lot of us @ the meeting have a volunteer job to attend to this morning; Kathy will be reporting for work @ 10:30; my report time: 9:30 & we want to eat a healthy breakfast before starting.

Like last yr, I join the group that spreads out the awnings, which will shade the hungry customers who are standing in line for dinner. It sounds easy; but 1st a healthy rope is zigzagged diagonally between the Pavilion & the church hall, a distance of approximately (30) ft. Then (4) large plastic awnings are fastened & laid on those diagonally stretched ropes; next, another zigzagged rope is fastened & laid on top of the awnings, preventing any awning to practice flying maneuvers. This took up most of our morning.

Next, I helped move tables & chairs into outdoor seating positions; after that, we moved & hid the carts that we used to move the tables & chairs. My last job today @ the picnic was: stacking hot dog buns, hot sausage buns & hamburger buns onto shelves. I liked this job the best, for when finished, I made & ate a double hamburger on a bun filled with fried veggies….as a test. I approve of this café.

Moments later, Kathy shows up; she too tests the grill, bun & burger & highly recommends this place. She has finished her job of preparing chicken wings for the beer tent and chicken breasts & legs for the shut-ins. We both return to our bus by 1:15pm.

@ approximately 2:15 pm, I was just finishing up my shower when Mark & Joan rang our doorbell; our guests who drove in from Navarre, Ohio have arrived. We gab for some (3) hrs having a little wine & healthy mixed nuts & then, walk to the community center, do a fast but efficient tour & then, attend the very crowded 6:00 pm vigil Mass.

After Mass, we stand outside & introduce M & J to some of the locals & gab for another (20-30) min. Next we walk down to the picnic grounds & give M & J a sneak preview of what will be happening tomorrow….for us, starting @ 10:30am. For some of the workers, their start time: 3:00am.

Back @ our motorhome, Kathy serves dinner for (4): stuffed peppers, cucumbers in cream sauce & whole grain bread + some of M & J’s homemade wine they brought with them.

What a coincidence; it’s Joan’s 39th birthday. Kathy knew it so she baked a pie. We sing the birthday song & devour half of a chocolate cream pie in a pecan crust. We sit & yak for awhile & then watch a slide show that Mark has on his memory stick of pictures from his summer activity around their home; travels to Anacortes, WA visiting their daughter, Molly, & across the Atlantic to visit another daughter, Julie, & other scenes in Ukraine… until 10:25pm. Then J & M leave & motor to their weekend B & B in Dilltown, PA, (17) miles from Nicktown. What a delightful couple; we’ll be hanging out with them again tomorrow.

Lights out: 11:51pm

Awake: 5:59am Temp 62 sleep 6+13 overcast overnight @ Nicktown.

First thing this morning, Kathy grinds nuts to use in making a pie crust; then we attend 8:00am Mass & later, join our KK meeting for (1.5) hrs.

Back @ our coach, Kathy continues cooking & baking in her galley throughout the morning & most of the afternoon….making meals & dessert for our upcoming activities. For example, later today we are having our 6th annual cousins’ reunion with Corinne again being the chief facilitator and tomorrow, company from Ohio.

We leave @ 4:45pm, motor to Spangler where we make a stop @ Bi-Lo & cash a $20.00 bill for (20) singles, then continue up the hill to the old Holy Cross grade school building where our cousins’ reunion will be held. As we enter the building, it’s obvious that Corinne has already organized the place. Within minutes, more cousins began arriving until we had over (30) smiling faces & the (2) long tables were filled with good smelling covered dishes & desserts. Aside from the Nicktown picnic, this is the only other time of the year that we get to see & spend time with so many of our cousins.

After our social hr, we line up for the covered dish treats & later, desserts. There was no shortage of delicious food or dessert throughout the evening.

Then Corinne explained the game we will play tonight; it’s called: “Left, Right & Center.” The winner gets to donate his/her winnings to his/her favorite charity. Groups of (4) to (6) take turns throwing 3 dice, which have an L, R, & C marked on (3) sides; the rest of the dice having blank sides. Each person starts out with (5) one dollar bills. As a person from each group takes his/her turn rolling the dice, he passes dollar bills to the person on his right or left or to the “kitty” in the center. The number of bills passed depends on how many “Rs, Ls, or Cs” appear on the rolled dice; or if none appear, the “roller” keeps all his bills for that turn. As a person runs low on dollars, he rolls less dice, i.e., only (2) if he/she has (2) dollar bills left; (1) if only (1) dollar is left. When all the players in the group run out of money, save for one person & the “kitty,” he/she with the money, is the winner of the group.

Next, the winners from each group assemble @ another table & play the game again…starting out like before, each with (5) dollars. The winner of this group is the final winner & he announces his favorite charity. Our crowd accumulated $123.00 total which will be donated to the poor children in Honduras.

Our usual entertainment committee has dwindled in numbers; tonight only Florentz, who tells us a short story about growing up; it was a good & funny story. He also recited (2) poems, which were quite realistic & pragmatic.

Most of the time, the young Foote boys were entertaining themselves with (2) train sets Melissa & Kevin brought with them. At Kathy’s invitation, Matthew helped her play “Left, Right & Center.”

Slowly the older folks began to leave the scene, then the not so older ones, & finally us.
Corinne did a marvelous job as a facilitator & we thank her profusely for her time & talent.

Back @ our bus, we start watching: “The Naked City” for only (27) mins; someone wasn’t paying attention.
Lights out: 11:11pm

Awake: 5:52am Temp 54 sleep 6+43 rain…heavy @ times overnight @ Nicktown.

This rain is remnants of Hurricane Fay & will probably be with us for a while. There goes our plan to finish the painting job we were working on.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & afterward, Florentz gives us fresh corn on the cob & tomatoes. We thank him profusely for the fresh veggies & plan on inviting him over for a visit when schedules permit. Then we join our KK meeting for nearly an hr.

Next, to the post office & pick up our mail; about this time, we hear a car horn alarm beeping; it stopped briefly & then continued for a longer time. We couldn’t see the vehicle that was beeping due to other cars blocking the view in the post office parking lot. It was raining fairly hard @ this time & we were both hiding under our umbrellas ….here comes this lady with only a babushka asking me to help her with her car….it’s Rosemary. “Certainly I will help” I told her. First I ask her for the car’s owner manual & find it in the glove compartment; going to the index, I find the alarm section, read about it & then ask Rosemary to give me her car door key. With her door closed, I lock it with the key & then unlock it with the key; the alarm beeping stops. Whew! Rosemary thanks us & we are both on our way.

Today is Rotary; I hope our new caterer will be our cook today. I told Al that I have other plans for after the meeting & ask if he could drive his own car; “no problem” he says. Before leaving, K & I watch & listen to the recorded Senator Biden’s speech of yesterday.

Lunch was terrific: pigs in a blanket, corn, potatoes, buns & (2) pies; cherry & apple. We like this new caterer already. After the meeting, I top off our Suzuki’s fuel tank with 12.6 gal @ 3.60 per gal. Then drive to Spangler & pickup my ole classmate buddy Charlie & bring him to our motorhome. Kathy needs to use the car so Charles & I will play catch up on each other’s lives.

Charlie & I hung out together quite a bit during our high school days & we always had fun. His good sense of humor, casual approach to the young girls & dancing skills helped me, in a way, to overcome my shyness & to tell bad jokes. Today, Charlie is retired, married close to (40) yrs with (4) children & several grandchildren. We have no problem talking so our (2) hrs go quickly; Kathy returns with plenty of groceries & I return Charlie to Spangler & his homestead.

As we pull into a parking spot near the homestead, his older brother, John, joins us & invites me to go next door to visit Danny, another close classmate who graduated a year before us. I hadn’t seen Danny since his graduation; now I see him recovering from an operation. He tells us he’s been healthy all these yrs & now all of a sudden, trouble. I let him know that he’ll be in our prayers for a quick recovery. Then Charlie & John lead me next door to visit briefly with their mother, Betty. She’s just as quick & sharp as in the ole days but her knees & legs are troubling her. Next month she will turn (94). Because it’s past dinner time, we don’t talk too long & I return to Nicktown.

Our dinner tonight: BLT’s and were they ever good!

We watch the O’Reilly Factor while I clean the dishes & then, watch the Obama Democratic Convention @ the Investo Field in Denver, CO with 84,000 people attending.

Lights out: 11:46pm

Awake: 6:26am Temp 59 sleep 6+21 partly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I join the 8:30 am KK meeting with a sparse turnout. There is a lot of volunteer activity lately due to our upcoming annual Homecoming Picnic & all the vigorous preparation that goes into that event. In fact, Kathy stayed a mere (15) min with us & then left to help make candy @ the church hall. I returned to the bus @ 9:40am.

When the cat’s away, the husband will play; after breakfast, I read the Air Force magazine that Barry graciously loaned me. Then clean a few dishes left over from last night & this morning.

Kathy calls: she is ready to be picked up after helping make (75) lbs of candy. She tells me Carol is there & ready to do more painting. I don my paint clothes & scoot right over there; Kathy takes the car, changes into her paint clothes & joins in on the fun. This afternoon, we paint for a good (5) hrs….hoping to get the pavilion & church hall all painted before Sunday. Our crew this afternoon was rather scanty but we did as much as we possibly could & then….rain.

Dinner: tuna casserole with fresh ears of corn from cousin Florentz and a fruit salad.

Later, we listen to former President Bill Clinton give his speech endorsing Senator Obama for President.

We are both tired & can’t wait any longer for Senator Biden to speak so we record it & will watch it tomorrow.

Lights out: 11:09pm

Awake: 5:21am Temp 53 sleep 6+02 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

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

After breakfast, we motor to Indiana, PA & visit the Foote Family. Kevin was just finishing his dinner & returning to work. Andrew just woke up from a nap & Matthew & Nathan are ready to go to the Indiana Fair.

About (40) min later, we are on our way; if you arrive before 2:00pm, no charge. After 2:00pm, a charge. The Footes & Kathy attended last year but this will be my 1st time. It’s a rather large operation.

As we enter the grounds, one can’t help but see a lot of farming equipment; new for sale & old for memories. En route to the Fun Land for kids, we met Randy, Mary Ann & Mac; introductions were made with the Footes, then we continued past the 4H club animals, cows, poultry, horses, etc. According to Melissa, this kids’ area was the only building they explored @ the fair last year.

It has a fishing pond (magnetized); a farmers market area where they get a basket in which they collect (1) wooden apple off the tree, (3) eggs from the chicken roost, & (2) potatoes which they have to “dig” out of the potato patch (sawdust box), bring the basket to the sales person where they’re paid & awarded their prize; there were also (2) small pedal tractors that the boys could ride & pull small bales of straw around in a circle; a wooden Holstein cow the kids can “milk:” & other things kids can enjoy. We spend over an hr watching the kids have fun. Before we leave the building, who do we meet? Mary Ann, Randy & Mac who didn’t spend as much time @ Fun Land as we did. However, they did introduce us to another very important destination: the train display.

The boys were pretty excited about walking to see the train display; fortunately for the senior engineers that controlled the tracks & 4 or 5 trains, a rigid fence was between them & the display. We know that the Foote boys are experts @ pushing buttons, levers & moving dials & would have loved to been in control of the controls. The “O” gage track & trains were classic & most prized by their owners. (4 or 5) trains going around a large oval track for @ least (30) min kept those eyes & heads a moving. For the adults, this building also had a mini vacuum cleaner museum; and on the other side of the building, a collection of old tools. Both of these displays were most impressive for what they had and the good condition the items were in plus the items were labeled.

From here, it was only a short walk to the children’s park; there we had some snacks & watched the boys run, jump & climb to release a little pent up energy.

Next, we walked a short distance & with about (60) other people in bleachers, watched the Wild Animal Show with an alligator, a giant snapping turtle, an (10) foot snake, an owl, a parrot, a monkey, and more. It was most interesting as a young woman introduced each animal with a story and/or facts about it & had some of the animals perform tricks. Audience participation was encouraged to hold the huge snake.

K & I had to leave the show before it was over; prior commitments. We say our goodbyes for now, motor to Nicktown, have another snack, change clothes, drive over to the church hall & join Carol, Dave, Gene & Oscar in painting some more of the church hall & pavilion. We brush beige paint over primer for a good (2) hrs & finish the panels we were assigned to just before darkness set in.

We were about to leave when Barry announced that they had replaced the water pump which had failed & the washing of the dishes for the Homecoming Picnic scheduled to be done tonight could proceed. Dish washing is not my forte so I scrambled back to our coach. Kathy stayed & helped; Barry drove her back @ 10:00pm.

Dinner: healthy snacks & popcorn.

We watch some of Hillary’s speech @ the Democratic Convention. Kathy was worn out so….no movie tonight.

Lights out: 12:05am

Awake: 6:11am Temp 64 sleep 6+06 overcast overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attend 8:00am Mass & then join the KK meeting for over an hr; special out of town guests, Mary Ann & Randy from CA joined our KK meeting today as well as Father Job. On the occasion of this occasion, Kathy baked & brought a banana, zucchini, chocolate chip cake for the gang, which was well received. And both Randy & Mary Ann brought extra good laughs & some interesting story telling episodes with them. Plus Donna K brought a “show & tell” item: a humming bird nest; such precision & well constructed little nest it was. We were fascinated. And....another out of town guest appeared: Cheryl, daughter of Donna & George K. A delightful young lady who takes after her mother. It's always interesting to have new visitors @ our KK meetings.

Back @ our coach, Eileen D visits us mid morning; she brings a few airplane books for me to look at, some magazines for Kathy, & a lot of Kirschtown historical talk. Although in her mid 80’s, she retains such good memories of our Nicktown & the people. We thoroughly enjoyed her time with us.

K & I both have our annual physicals this afternoon & motor to Carrolltown for the appointment. Afterward, we visit Bernie & Richard @ Haida Manor Care Center. Richard as always, was alert & talkative, Bernie was slow moving & as he said: “not cut out for this kind of lifestyle.”

Back to Nicktown @ 5:05pm … then a quick dinner of Chili & Triscuits.

We couldn’t get enough of Randy & Mary Ann so we invite them for a visit early evening; we chat, snack & have a little wine until 10:20pm & then they return to Mary Ann’s brother’s home for the night. They are a great couple who really help & take care of their kids & grandkids.
Lights out: 11:19pm

Awake: 7:13am Temp 63 sleep 6+24 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I walk to church this morning & attend 8:00am Mass; afterward, we assemble outside with some of my classmates & chat about our reunion last night. I think most of us really enjoyed the evening. We were with the small crowd that closed the place down last night & now today, K & I were the last to leave the church gab session.

Kathy makes a delicious breakfast of (2) eggs over easy with pork sausage & ham slices + whole grain bread.

Gary C. calls: he is curious of how our 50th class reunion went; I told him the truth, the whole truth & nothing but the truth & he approved of my message.

I had a delightful surprise a week ago today. I e-mailed a close friend & his wife, inviting them to join us in Nicktown for the annual Homecoming Festival weekend….thinking, with their close family ties & the holiday, it’ll never happen. Well bite my tongue! They will soon be joining us; so I start calling hotels, motels, & B & B’s in the local area & then send M & J the info, including mileage so they can select their own hangout for the weekend.

My bro calls: he explains why he missed his class reunion last night; many of his classmates @ the reunion asked me why my brother Don was absent. His story sounded legitimate to me….but will his classmates agree?

Dinner: veggie macaroni & cheese, kosher hot dog, fresh ears of corn from my cousin Florentz & fruit salad.
We talk with Katrina; school starts tomorrow for her & she has been very busy, hiking, biking etc & getting the most out of her summer vacation.

DVR movie with popcorn: “Plaza Suite” with Walter Matthau, Maureen Stapleton, Barbara Harris, Lee Grant, etc. One of Neil Simon’s funniest plays well adapted to screen. Three separate stories about people staying in certain room @ famed N.Y.C. hotel, with Matthau in all three vignettes. Best one is the last, with Matthau as flustered father of a reluctant bride. 1971. I am not necessarily a Matthau fan so neither of these (3) skits brought many laughs from my side of the room.

After that, we watch some of the closing of the Beijing Olympics Ceremony.

Lights out: 12:05am


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