May 2009 Archives

Awake: 5:31am Temp 58 sleep 5+53 off & on rain overnight @ Nicktown.

Mid morning, I drove Kathy to the church hall for more noodle making; about (11) workers were present; some young & others not quite so young.

Due to a prior commitment, I had to kidnap Kathy from the noodle factory before quitting time & motor to a pre-arranged location near Patton, PA to visit with my ole retired buddy Ed & his wife, Mary Ann. They drove in from Long Island, N.Y. a few days ago & will be leaving the area tomorrow.

We didn't have a precise address (even though I questioned Ed several times), so using our GPS was out of the question & our cell phone was unusable due to farm country & hills. We stopped @ (3) private homes for more clues (locals knew Mary Ann's mother but did not know where she lived). Finally, after driving a number of roads & looking for a big white barn, Ed pulled up behind us as we were contemplating a turn to try yet another direction. His timing was good or we might still be roaming the hills & the dales.

Mary Ann's mother, Posie (93), is quite the spry lady; her mind is quick & alert & she is up-to-date on all (13) of her children & her many grandchildren & great grandchildren. (3) of her daughters were @ the farmhouse visiting today so K & I were all ears learning some history about this big family.

About an hr later, the (6) of us, left Posie & the farm house & motored to downtown Patton where we enjoyed lunch @ the Miners Rest. K & I shared a veal parmesan dinner, which was quite good. It was really nice spending some time with Ed & Mary Ann again plus meeting M A's mother & some of her sisters.

Back in our motorhome, we finished watching: "Pygmalion" with Leslie Howard, Wendy Hiller, Wilfrid Lawson, Marie Lohr, David Tree. Superlative filmization of the witty G.B. Shaw play which became MY FAIR LADY. Howard excels as the professor, with Hiller his cockney pupil. 1938. My recommendation: Pass on Pygmalion; My Fair Lady is far superior.

Lights out: 11:44pm

Awake: 6:28am Temp 60 sleep 6+21 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Today is Memorial Day & the village of Nicktown has a long history of giving the folks, near & far, a wonderful parade & Memorial Presentation.

For us, the Memorial Day activities lasted a good (3) hrs; more about that later.
The parade consisted of the Nicktown Veterans, VFW Veterans & American Legion Veterans. Also part of the parade were the Nicktown volunteer fire members; scouting groups; the marching band from Northern Cambria High School; fire trucks from Nicktown, & Spangler; local farm tractors; Quad runners; an antique car, etc.

Then we & the crowd followed the parade to the cemetery where the MC, speaking through a loud speaker welcomed the crowd. Father Job gave the Invocation & Gary Jubas was the day's speaker. The Memorial presentation, honoring our recently fallen veterans continued, concluding with a gun salute & the bugling of taps.

My sister Corinne & the Foote Family met us on St. Joseph Street about (15) minutes before the parade began & we were pleased to have them join us. The Foote boys are always excited to watch fire trucks, tractors, Quad runners & other small powered vehicles.

Moments after the Memorial Service concluded, a Blackhawk Apache helicopter did a fly-by & the crowd of about (600-700) people took notice....a first for Nicktown. Not only did that Blackhawk fly-by, but it landed nearby & was on static display for the next (2) hrs. Those Foote boys were mesmerized for quite awhile & looked that machine over closely; in fact, we had to stay until it took to the skies & disappeared. What a special & nice treat that chopper added to the entire celebration.

Corinne left the scene around 10:30 am & after Kathy & I had brunch, we decided to spend more time with the Foote family @ their Castle in Indiana.

I gave Kevin a helping hand with his final shingling of the roof on their new storage building while Kathy spent time playing with Andrew on the 3rd floor. Matthew & Nathan played nicely in the back yard most of the time without getting into trouble; hey, "good happens" too!

Dinner with the Foote family: leftover meat balls, pasta, hamburger patties, French fries, potato salad, & macaroni salad. Melissa also made yummy fruit smoothies.

We bid farewell to the Footes & did some light shopping @ Wal-Mart before leaving Indiana, PA. It was a memorable & fun day.

Evening movie: "Pygmalion." We watch ½.

Nick Skyped us from Seattle. Jerry, Eriko, & Nick had a busy weekend with lots of outdoor play & a cookout at Zack's place today. Unfortunately, Jerry started with cold symptoms on Thursday, but that did not slow him down too much. Nick has a business trip to L.A. scheduled for Wednesday.

Lights out: 11:58pm

Awake: 6:30am Temp 61 sleep 6+29 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

A casual day for us; we took turns reading the book: "Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity" & in between time, Kathy labeled more of our slides from our Nomad travels. Later, using epoxy, I repaired a wooden puzzle & a mini Matchbox truck for the Foote boys; plus (2) corn holders in prep for summer ears of corn.

Dinner: pork chops, brown rice & orzo with golden raisins, cauliflower, spinach salad, & apple sauce.

Before cleaning up the dishes, K & I took a walk around town where we met & talked with Jim on St. Joseph St. We continued on & got invited to join the elite....self appointed Mayor of Nicktown, Dave, who was enjoying the lovely evening on his front porch. His wife, Marge, who recently had major back surgery, joined us. She looks great & says she is feeling pretty good. We were also joined by their daughter, Jill & their son, Brian & his friend, Mabel, who are visiting from Altoona.

I've always envied this porch location of the Mayor where one can nonchalantly sit & watch the main activities in town: the Community Center, kindergarten/elementary school, Post Office, St. Nicholas Church, (2) main traffic hwy's, the Nicktown Hotel, etc. When Dave is out on his porch, he doesn't miss a thing. We chatted for a good (45) min & enjoyed the opportunity for this informal visit & also meeting Brian & Mabel.

As we continued south on the main road, John passed in his car, turned around & parked. We gabbed with him for awhile & then meandered back to our coach for the night; a perfect evening for a walk around the town. Not much exercise, but great socializing.

Evening movie: "Wife, Husband and Friend" with Loretta Young, Warner Baxter, Binnie Barnes, George Barbier, etc. Entertaining comedy about aspiring singer Young whose husband Baxter tries to show her up. 1939. Suitable entertainment to end a casual day.

Lights out: 12:07am

Awake: 6:25am Temp 62 sleep 6+33 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Early afternoon, Kathy motored to Barnesboro for a few groceries, a library visit & thrift store perusing + filling our gas container for the lawn mower.

During her absence, I called my brother & we discussed why he didn't show up with his other pals for last night's meeting in Nicktown; "Simple answer" he tells me, "because it's tonight!" Oooo....ouch! My apologize goes out to the distinguished mystery man who came miles for the occasion of this occasion. I mentioned before, I thoroughly enjoyed having the time for a one-on-one rendezvous with the mystery man. Now I'm hoping he will join our group tonight for the bona fide gathering of: Tom, Dick & Harry & a few others.

Dinner: leftover white chili, leftover meat loaf, veggies & a fruit salad.

Tonight, I left Kathy alone again @ 9:00 pm, walked to the St. Nicholas Hotel & joined in the gab session of: Tom, Dick, Harry, etc, plus the mystery man. Of course I am razzed a little from the guys for last night's somewhat dry run but that's ok. Usually I only see a few of these out of town guys twice a year; Memorial Day & Labor Day, so the mini reunions are top priority for keeping in touch.

Due to the unpopular downturn of the economy, the main topic of conversation was by far and large, politics. Ole girl friends, hobby talk & family adventures, etc, just never surfaced; funny how that works. Maybe we should all have assembled on Friday after all to rid ourselves of that dirty, filthy, government gossip.

My brother Don (I call him Harry...cause usually he needs a haircut), figured out the total bill for the delicious pizza, a few beers & some wine; it was most reasonable. We should do this stuff & more often.

Kathy was sawing logs when I returned to the home-on-wheels, so no movie tonight.

Lights out: 12:01am

Awake: 6:26am Temp 53 sleep 6+24 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

After brunch, we started mowing our grass; Kathy walked behind the Snapper mower, & I emptied the grass catcher about every 5-6 loops that Kathy made inside the circular drive. In between time, I dug up weeds growing through our gravel road & disposed of them along with the grass catcher loads.

My sister Corinne called from Lilly during one of my grass emptying treks. Kathy took the call & they talked about (40) min. Corinne is off the Coumadin & feeling pretty good. She's planning on going to Ohio next week to help our Aunt Bertha celebrate her 95th birthday. But first, she will try to come to the Nicktown Memorial parade on Monday.

While Kathy was on the phone, I continued her method of going around in circles while mowing; after (2) grass catcher trips, she surprised me with a banana, strawberry, peach smoothie treat. It was good & cold & really hit the spot. All together today, Kathy mowed about 65% to my 35% taking close to (3) hrs total time, not counting the smoothie break.

Dinner: tuna noodle casserole with asparagus.

@ 9:00 pm, I left Kathy & walked over to the St. Nicholas Hotel to meet a few famous & well known visitors from other towns. Of the expectant (6), only I & (1) other distinguished individual showed up for our gathering; did I bungle this plan by being a day early? Hummm! When my brother set this meeting up, there was a lot of background noise & maybe, just maybe...I had the wrong day.

Meanwhile, the distinguished guest who did show up & I had a lot to catch-up on in ( 2) hrs.

No movie tonight.

Lights out: 11:52pm

Awake: 6:14am Temp 55 sleep 6+25 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

After breakfast, I installed all new water filters in their canisters, ran reasonably clear water through the entire system & to each of our (2) sites for about (15-20) min & then topped off our fresh water tank in our motorhome.

Kathy then does (2) loads of laundry by-passing the motorhome's tank water & using the well water directly....which was my goal.

Gary C. called: I thanked him & Rosemary for joining us yesterday for Andrew's celebration & he thanked us for the opportunity.

After a local weather check for precipitation & considering wind speed & direction, we both bring the necessary equipment outside to cut each other's hair. I was shocked when Kathy told me to: "just cut my hair however you like." "Say that again" I say! She usually has a dozen or more instructions & guidelines for me to follow during the hair-cutting process; this time, zilch. She just wanted to see what I could do without her directions.

It was the quickest hair cut for her yet... a speedy (20) min. After a careful study of the results, in her own words, this is what she reported to me: "Not bad; umm, pretty good! Maybe I don't need to give you hair by hair instructions any more!"

My hair cut was great! And only (15) min. How can she do that good so fast?

Dinner: cherry tomato spaghetti & a mixed salad.

We finish watching: "Friendly Persuasion" with Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Marjorie Main, Anthony Perkins, Richard Eyer, Robert Middleton, etc. Story of Quaker family struggling to maintain its identity amid confusion & heartbreak of Civil War. Warm winning performances in this beautifully made film. 1956. Marvelous story....but very s-l-o-w.

Lights out: 12:02am

Awake: 5:50am Temp 48 Sleep 6+05 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

After breakfast, I converted our Suzuki back to a passenger vehicle in lieu of a utility-use vehicle.

Then I vacuumed & cleaned out the inside cabin in prep for transporting the distinguished Godparents of Andrew, Rosemary & Gary, to Indiana, PA with us.

G & R arrived around 1:00pm & we sat & gabbed for a good hr before the (4) of us leave for the Foote Castle.

The Foote boys were just a little shy of G & R upon introducing themselves, but slowly Matthew & Andrew accepted them as good people. However, Nathan was not about to be too friendly too fast; he quickly froze up & stared straight ahead when gentle Rosemary carefully raised him off the grass trying to be sociable.

The older boys demonstrated their abilities to ride the tricycles, the mini loader, pull the wagon, slide down & climb back up the slide, etc, etc.

About 4:00pm, I made my apologizes & drove our Suzuki over to the nearest Sheetz gas station, topped off our tank & returned in time to join in the celebration of the anniversary of Andrew's Baptism.

Andrew donned his white Baptismal garment & stood proudly holding his lit Baptismal candle as we attempted to sing the song (which only Melissa seemed to know) which had been sung at his Baptism (3) years ago.
We had brownies made by Melissa & (2) choices of ice cream to finalize our celebration.

Back @ our motorhome, G & R join us for a glass of wine before they leave for their home on the range. We, as well as Kevin & Melissa, were most pleased to have Rosemary & Gary with us today to celebrate the anniversary of Andrew's Baptism.

@ 7:00pm, K & I joined (8) other Catholics at a weekly Catechism discussion led by Father Job in the social room. This was most interesting for us.

Late dinner: white chili, roasted veggies & a fruit salad.

We watch a mere (20) min of: "Friendly Persuasion."

Lights out: 11:49pm

Awake: 6:10am Temp 35 sleep 5+32 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Kathy frosted Melissa's birthday cake, filling the center with fresh raspberries, & putting candles atop.

Early afternoon, we motored to Indiana, PA to visit the Foote family...with a short stop @ the Corte Masonry for (3) 100 lb bags of gravel.

Today's playtime with the Foote boys had Kathy on the 3rd floor with Matthew building a marble maze & train track & me in the bee room with Andrew, working children's puzzles & playing a game of "Guess Who." It's been a while since I've spent time only with Andrew & I found him to be quite the gentle person & very astute for his age. After what seemed to be an hr plus, we joined the rest of the gang in the back yard for more activities.

Shortly after Kevin arrived home from work, Melissa arranged the dining room table for the birthday celebration; then Kathy brought in her homemade cake with lit candles representing Melissa's 35 years. Melissa suspected a trick & asked the young Foote boys to help blow out those candles. It was fun to watch the boys, who blew out the candles, only to see them come back to life & they blew them out again & again & again.

The cake was delicious as well as the (2) choices of ice cream. Melissa was showered with a few maternity clothes from Kathy & Kevin gave her a new water bottle. All too quickly, it was time for us to leave the scene & return to Nicktown, with a short stop in Heilwood to purchase a take-out turkey dinner from the Presbyterian church.

Before coming in the motorhome, I dropped the bags of gravel onto the circular drive & using our rake, spread the gravel in certain areas of need.

Dinner: K & I share a turkey dinner with all the trimmings: stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, white meat, green beans, & apple sauce.

Gary C. called. Melissa had invited him & Rosemarie to join in the celebration of the anniversary of Andrew's Baptism tomorrow @ the Foote Castle; Gary & Rosemary are Andrew's Godparents. He was wondering what time K & I are going to be there & if we should carpool. We agree to take R & G in our Suzuki & carpool to the Foote Castle from Nicktown tomorrow.

Evening movie: "Friendly Persuasion." We watch 1/3.

Lights out: 11:45pm

Awake: 5:30am Temp 33 sleep 5+08 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Kathy went grocery & thrift store shopping in Barnesboro early afternoon. During her fun time away, I tested the pvc water circuit lines in pump house # 1 & found no runs, no drips & no errors. Also I replaced the water pressure gauge in pump house # 2. I was preparing to change all filters & have both campsites with water available when my 1st cousin Florentz pulled into our circular drive, so I'll save this exciting moment for another day.

We sipped some wine & discussed how his wife Anna is doing @ Health south in Altoona. This is a tough time for my cousin & the only thing we can do is: say our prayers. I did ask flossy if he would like to see a slide show of "Little Israel" before dinner & he succumbed. During the slide show, Kathy baked a marble fluted cake for Melissa's 35th birthday on Tuesday.

Dinner: meatloaf with roasted veggies & whole grain bread. During dinner, we sipped some of
Flossie's homemade wine...which is always a pleasure.

Late evening, after Florentz left, we finished watching: "The Conversation" with Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield, Frederic Forrest, Cindy Williams, etc. Brilliant film about obsessive surveillance expert (Hackman) who makes professional mistake of becoming involved in a case & finds himself entangled in murder & high-level power plays. 1974. Great story & you'll love the finish.

Lights out: 12:38am

Awake: 5:52am Temp 46 sleep 6+19 cloudy overnight @ Nicktown.

1st thing this morning, I dropped Kathy off @ the church hall @ 6:15am; she volunteered to sell 50/50 tickets from 6:30am until 9:00 am. Then she planned to join me in having breakfast @ the church hall. It's a good breakfast & always someone interesting joins us to talk with. We returned to our home-on-wheels @ 10:30am.

After changing clothes, I found another tent worm on a nearby tree; these worms were much higher in a tall tree & more challenging, but I roasted them eventually anyway.

Again, I spent a good deal of time working with Picasa & our travel photos, including a wee bit of progress; I was able to send Nick one of our family photos from Christmas-2008.

Dinner: Italian sausage with onions, peppers & mushroom plus a spinach salad.

Nick phoned from Seattle; he is worn out from having a busy-good time playing in sandboxes & being with Jerry a good part of the day; he's hoping Jerry is worn out enough for a good night's sleep. He preferred calling in lieu of Skype this time. Having (2) phones, we had no shortage of gab time.

Evening movie: "The Conversation." We watch about 1/3.

Lights out: 12:22am

Awake: 5:50am Temp 63 sleep 5+45 cloudy, pm rain overnight @ Nicktown.

Late morning, I emptied those (3) bags of gravel onto our circular drive, slowly attempting to keep our driveway on the level.

Kathy joined the Hospitality Committee at the church hall to help with preliminary preparations for the breakfast meal for tomorrow morning. They cracked 50 dozen eggs, peeled & sliced 70 lbs of potatoes & many Lbs of onions, & got many, many lbs of bacon & sausage ready for cooking tomorrow.

Meanwhile, another tent worm/caterpillar bit the flames after I got it down to damp earth.

I call my ole buddy Kenny S. in Anchorage, AK. We update each other for a good (45) min. We sure had a good time during the ninety's when living there.

I called my sister Mary Jo in Lodi, CA. Both K & I talked with M J for over an hr. Aside from the State of CA being broke of finances, M J & husband Ed & family are doing fairly well.

This evening, K & I talked very briefly with our architect, who will be on vacation with his family for the next week.

Dinner: leftover stuffed peppers.

Evening movie with popcorn: "Blackboard Jungle" with Glenn Ford, Anne Francis, Vic Morrow, Louis Calhern, Sidney Poitier, etc. Excellent adaptation of Evan Hunter's novel of a teacher's harrowing experiences in N.Y.C. school system. Poitier memorable as a troubled youth. Hard-hitting entertainment. This was the 1st film to feature rock music. 1955. It's been awhile since we've seen this one; if you don't remember it, add it to you list.

Lights out: 11:33pm

Awake: 5:56am Temp 51 sleep 6+02 fog then sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I motored to Indiana, PA with a stop @ Corte Masonry Supplies for (3) bags of 2-b stone. After loading the gravel in our Suzuki, we visited the Foote boys & Melissa for (3) hrs.

Melissa asked if I would repair a (50) foot string of Christmas lights that had several wires cut & crudely tied together; @ this time, she didn't need to have all the small bulbs checked, just the major glitches. So I rounded up my junior electrical helper, Matthew, & we spent most of our time in the basement; 1st, untangling the lights, then locating the cut wires, then the soldering, followed by wrapping the fix with electrical tape. I fully expected to see the light after plugging in the strand...but nothing, nothing @ all!

My junior assistant, who has been very accommodating on this project, very much wanted to see that string of lights glowing. "Alright Matthew, we'll test a few bulbs" I told him, but "I have a feeling there may be more bulbs that need replacing then your mother has available."

We didn't get very far; the tester VTVM (vacuum tube volt meter) that Kevin had lying near his workbench lasted about (5-7) min & then the batteries gave out. We desperately looked around the workbench & drawers for a small screwdriver to open the battery compartment & replace those no avail. Maybe it's time to join the rest of the gang outside in the back yard having fun; our transition to the bright sunlight in lieu of the bright light bulbs went without a hitch.

In the back yard, all was casual with contentment; Andrew & Nathan with help from Melissa & Kathy were taking turns playing with the mini loader; riding, scooping, & dumping.

K & I had some grocery shopping to do with the potential of having a visitor before 6:00pm so we said our goodbyes & motored to Martin's & Wal-Mart & then returned to Nicktown. Our prospective caller couldn't make it tonight & that's ok. We'll try for another day.

Dinner: Tuna steak with brown butter & balsamic vinegar, brown rice with golden raisins & walnuts, asparagus, & a spinach salad with fresh cut strawberries.

We finished the movie: "The Human Comedy" with Mickey Rooney, Frank Morgan, Jackie "Butch" Jenkins, James Craig, Marsha Hunt, Fay Bainter, etc. Oscar-winning story of life in a small town during WWII. Unfolds like a novel, with many lovely vignettes & one of Rooney's best performances as a teenager with growing responsibilities. 1943. Excellent story with touching moments.

Lights out: 12:05am

Awake: 6:20am Temp 51 sleep 6+32 intermittent rain all day overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy did (2) loads of laundry while I, using the umbrella, topped off the pure water tank & flushed the waste water tank.

Today is our friend Gary C's birthday. After giving him a "happy birthday phone message," I invited him to join us on Sunday for breakfast @ the Nicktown church hall. Well, he had about (3) important things to do on Sunday so my timing was not good. "OK!" I told him; I'll try another time.

About (5) min later, Gary called back & invited us to share his (65th) birthday celebration with him @ Rosemary....we accepted.

We've enjoyed hanging out with this younger couple for over (7) yrs now. They also RV around the country & do some touring. This past winter, we rendezvoused a couple times with them in different campgrounds in Florida.

@ their home, we gabbed a lot and enjoyed a delicious dinner of roast beef with mashed potatoes & gravy, broccoli, corn off the cob from Gary's garden, homemade applesauce, warm rolls, & a plate of cold crudités (celery & carrot sticks, black & green olives).

After dinner, we played (2) games of "Diminishing Bridge." Although I am not very good @ this game, I like it a lot; mostly because of the unpredictability. It was then time to sing "Happy Birthday" to Gary & partake in his favorite cake (Angel Food) made by Rosemary. We watched Gary open his many cards & his gift from Rosemary, a very heavy, wood splitting maul. We enjoyed sharing in Gary's celebration & hope for many more.

Lights out: 11:54pm

Awake: 6:00am Temp 48 sleep 6+11 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Late morning, I filled out the form for a seasonal waiver on our Toyota car, then drove down the road & had the form notarized; next, I called Pam in Anchorage to confirm the cost to have our car license renewed for the next (2) yrs. After enclosing a check, I mailed the info to the MOA in Anchorage & now, I casually wait for the return sticker.

Meanwhile, Kathy walked to the church hall & helped the ladies bag the noodles they made yesterday; 35#.

Then finally, I cemented the pvc pipe sections together on pump house #1 & am letting those parts cure.

A few days ago, I couldn't help but notice Chuck's John Deere tractor mower sitting in the field with the cowling open; that same day, he told me later that it had been acting up... stalling & wouldn't start. His plan was to tow it back to his garage & have someone take a look @ it. Well, Chuck has done us a lot of favors over the yrs so I volunteered to take a look @ his mower after my plumbing project was finished.

We began with the fuel system, including the fuel pump & the fuel filter, then the carburetor & air filters. Lastly, the spark plugs & magneto connections (I didn't have a socket long enough to take the plugs out); so after all of that, we found nothing out of the ordinary. Then we agreed to put it all back together & give it a good test.

35 min later & mowing thru some tall grass, that engine was purring like new; Chuck was happy & I was happy, but we were both a little uncomfortable about not knowing what we did to bring that Deere back to life. Chuck twisted my arm in celebrating our bewilderment with a bottle of beer (dark for me) & lots of talk on his back porch.

Dinner: Stuffed peppers with 4-bean salad & whole wheat bread.

Evening movie: "The Human Comedy." We watch ½.

Lights out: 11:48pm

Awake: 6:16am Temp 36 sleep 6+12 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Due to the cold weather, I drove Kathy to the church hall to join the crew in making noodles this morning.

Then I continued my fix on pump house # 1; cutting the necessary pvc sections to length & cleaning both ends of each piece, inside & outside, ready for cementing tomorrow. Instructions on the cement can advised a drying temp of between 40 - 100 degrees for 24-hrs for best fix. NOAA forecasts a low of (36) degrees tonight; I'm not taking any chances.

Kathy returned from noodle making & was looking for something to do. With this good weather day, I suggested she mow the inside of our circular drive & she was eager to comply. Naturally, when the basket was full, I would take it to the woods (6) trips & add to our compost pile. After she finished, I mowed the west area & made another (4) trips to the compost pile.

Dinner: chicken noodle soup with oyster crackers & leftover fish & fries.

Evening movie; we finish: "The Last Detail" with Jack Nicholson, Otis Young, Randy Quaid, Clifton James, etc. Superior comedy-drama about (2) career sailors ordered to transport a kleptomaniac prisoner to the brig; Robert Towne's brilliant off-color dialogue contributes to a quintessential Nicholson performance. 1973. We thought the movie moved at a slow pace & would not suggest adding it to your list.

Lights out: 11:49pm

Awake: 6:20am Temp 44 sleep 7+04 early drizzle overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Late morning, I got out my monthly paper receipts & compared those numbers with the printed statement expenses & matched them with the computed statement. Everything checked out precisely.

Then, using the Internet, I renewed our motorhome's registration with the Alaska DMV; having a diesel engine requires no I/M inspection.

@ 7:00pm, K & I join Fr. Job & Scott for an hr of bible study in the social room.

Dinner: leftover pizza with peaches & cottage cheese.

Evening movie: "The Last Detail." We watch ½.

Lights out: 12:04am

Awake: 6:49am Temp 47 sleep 6+45 cloudy overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Kathy made eggs, bacon & toast for our breakfast. A little later, Katrina, on her way to church, called to wish Kathy a "Happy Mother's Day."

Late morning, Nick & family Skyped from Seattle; Jerry greeted us with a big smile & wished Grandma a "Happy Grandma's Day." Jerry spent a little time with us & then returned to his toys & building interest with Nick. But wait! Another face appeared on our monitor, someone we've talked to but haven't seen for quite awhile; it's Zack! Then we spent time looking @ Zack & talking with him. Nick came back on before we said our farewell. We sure enjoy seeing & talking with our kids, grandkid & daughter-in-law via Skype.

Next, we motored to the Foote Castle & spent the rest of the afternoon with the Foote family. After wishing Melissa a "Happy Mother's Day," K & I started out playing with the boys in the basement where Matthew is busy with hammer & nails, constructing a "toy" for Nathan out of wood & Styrofoam. Meanwhile, Andrew was busy driving a large plastic train engine & caboose around the basement. Then, a break in the action for the Footes to have a late brunch of eggs & toast. After some more basement play time Kevin recommended even a better place: the backyard.

Their backyard is beginning to look like a commercial miniature playground; so far, an all plastic children's small sliding board....connected to a small tunnel, leading to a larger sliding board & this unit has the capability to expand with (3) swings. And around the perimeter, a sand box, numerous tricycles, a wagon & plenty of space to have a fun time.

After a couple hrs, Melissa made a mother's day treat; mint chocolate chip milk shakes for all of us. Shortly after our treat, it was time for us to say our goodbyes for now. We motored back to Nicktown & the St. Nicholas Hotel, where we both had a fish dinner with French fries & salad on the occasion of "Mother's Day."

Evening movie: "The Talk of the Town" with Jean Arthur, Ronald Colman, Cary Grant, Glenda Farrell, Edgar Buchanan, etc. Intelligent comedy with brilliant cast; fugitive Grant hides out with unsuspecting professor Colman & landlady Arthur & tries to convince legal-minded Colman there's a human side to all laws. 1942. Great story; add it to your list.

Lights out: 11:16pm

Awake: 5:30 Temp 60 sleep 5+48 light rain overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

1st thing this morning, aside from making my coffee, I lifted the receiver on our land line phone & what do my ears hear? A dial tone! Hey, I didn't do anything different! And now our computer is telling us to contact Verizon; next, my local Verizon call was forwarded to the Philippines & I spent about (20) min with a nice young lady who checked out our modem, our Ethernet, & went through several tests to assure us of quality Internet signals.

I thanked her profusely & began to realize: my cordless phones being cut off for (2) days, just might have been due to the re-arranging of the requested "Bundle Package" I signed up for on Friday, May 1st...from Verizon. These tech people have more control of our communications & computers than we realize. Scary, maybe!

Shortly after breakfast, I gave Gary & Rosemary a call to let them know....the Snapper mower did a good job & our phone & computer systems are back in business.

Zack called on our cell phone....and I asked him to call back on our land line. Kathy took the call for an early "Happy Mother's Day." She was nice enough to let me listen, but not to do too much talking. Zack was on his way to an informational meeting at Digi-Pen Univ. which specializes in bachelor's & master's degrees in computer gaming, an area of computerization that has interested & enticed Zack for many years.

Nick Skyped from Seattle & wished Kathy a "Happy Mother's Day." Jerry interacted with us for quite some time before going off to play with some of his toys.

Dinner: White Chili with tortilla chips.

Evening movie including popcorn: "Magnificent Yankee" with Louis Calhern, Ann Harding, Eduard Franz, James Lydon, etc. Genteel, entertaining saga of Oliver Wendell Holmes & his devoted wife, spanning many decades from the day they arrive in Washington, D.C., in 1902 so he may join the Supreme Court. A pleasure from start to finish, with Calhern re-creating his triumphant Broadway role. 1950. Very impressive story.

Lights out: 12:04am

Awake: 6:43am Temp 51 sleep 5+47 partly cloudy overnight @ Nicktown.

Late morning, due to pending rain, I finished mowing inside our circular drive; & then came a proposition I couldn't refuse: Chuck volunteered to mow our alley way grass with his John Deere mower. He doesn't catch the grass as we do but Kathy agreed to use our Snapper mower & vacuum up that loose grass; another (4) trips to the woods to dispose the grass clippings & it was a done deal.

Meanwhile, I spent a good (2) hrs trying to get our landline phones working. It was a goofy thing....our (DSL) high-speed Internet was active on & off, but no voice. I re-checked the filters & even replaced them with some of the extra filters not yet used to no avail. Outside on the incoming telephone pole, I cleaned the connections & further down line, used my test phone & still could not get a dial tone. Finally, using our cell phone, I called Verizon & requested a repair man for Monday.

Dinner: Cod fish with browned butter balsamic vinegar sauce, brown & rice with golden raisins, carrots & peas in a Boursin sauce, & a spinach salad.

Evening movie, finished watching: "Bugsy" with Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley, Elliott Gould, Joe Mantegna, Richard Sarafian, etc. Beatty gives the most forceful performance of his career as Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, the fabled crackpot gangster who helped build Las Vegas. 1991. Fantastic story with updated crude language, blood & guts scenery & viscous brutality. You don't want to miss this one. Google backed up the authenticity of this story & very accurate.

Lights out: 11:42pm

Awake: 6:32am Temp 51 sleep 6+39 drizzle overnight @ Nicktown, Pa.

Late morning, we realize our land line phones are dead; no dial tone, just a soft swishing sound. I don't have time to analyze & trouble-shoot the system now but will monitor our cell phone closely.

K & I motored to Indiana, PA with a stop @ Corte Masonry Supply to pick up (2) 100 lb bags of # 2-B stone. Then we visited my 1st cousin Anna & her husband, Florentz, @ the Beacon Ridge Care Center on Wayne Ave. Anna looks good &, with the help of physical therapy several times a week, is recovering from a fractured hip.

From here, we visited the Foote Family for the remainder of the afternoon. On this occasion, Kathy spent most of her time on the 3rd floor with Andrew playing with the doll house & Matthew building with Legos. I entertained Nathan on the 1st floor with mostly Match Box cars, trucks & other toys of interest. Nathan is so cute & good natured; one might say that he rolls with the punches.

Kevin reported for his work early this morning so that he could return home mid afternoon; so now we get to have some talk-time with him for a change. We left the Foote Castle around 5:15pm.

Early evening, we motored to Ebensburg & did some grocery shopping @ Wal-Mart; supplies we should have picked up in Indiana.

Late dinner: leftover pizza from the St. Nicholas Hotel & popcorn while watching ABC news, Jeopardy & the O'Reilly Factor.

No movie tonight.

Lights out: 12:56am

Awake: 6:00am Temp 46 sleep 5+51 partly sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Early afternoon, K & I motored to Barnesboro; she to browse the thrift store & I to replace an expired battery pack for our cordless phone. Sauntering along the sidewalk, I ran into Leroy, a high school classmate. I haven't seen him for (2) yrs so we had a lot to talk about.

En route to Nicktown, we stopped @ Strollo's on Bigler Ave & purchased a pvc elbow & a few other sections of pvc for pump house # 1 water works repair.

Our grass is reasonably dry now so I spent (2.5) hrs walking behind the Snapper mower & making @ least (11) trips to the woods to dispose of the clippings. I didn't finish mowing inside our circular drive due to heavy drizzle leading into rain.

Dinner: pork chops with fried noodles, applesauce, peas & carrots, &\+ salad.

Evening time: we called & talked with Rosemary; Gary is "on the road again."

Evening movie: "Bugsy." We watch ½.

Lights out: 12:03am

Awake: 5:16am Temp 46 sleep 5+51 cloudy overnight @ Nicktown, Pa.

Kathy brought a banana, chocolate, almond cake to the koffee klub meeting this morning, celebrating Cinco de Mayo; it went over well.

Early afternoon, Kathy did (2) loads of laundry.

Finally, I made some progress on pump house #1 with the water works. Using a hammer & a heavier tool, I was able to twist loose the pvc elbow. Now I will try to find some identical parts necessary for repair.

Dinner: veggie tuna burger.

Evening movie: "Madame Bovary" with Jennifer Jones, James Mason, Van Heflin, Louis Jourdan, Christopher Kent, (Alf Kjellin), Gene Lockhart, Gladys Cooper, etc. 19th-century heroine sacrifices her husband & their security for love, meets a horrible end. Once-controversial adaptation looks better every year, despite an odd "framing" device involving Flaubert's morals trial. 1949. Most interesting to say the least! Don't let it happen to you!

Lights out: 11:55pm

Awake: 6:12am Temp 49 sleep 6+07 constant rain until eve overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy & I spent hrs today with the Picasa program, trying to organize our photos, identify them, type captions, bring out the best color, lighting, etc. There is much yet to do.

Dinner: White chili with tortilla chips.

Early evening: Katrina called en route to her condo; she was returning from (3.5) days of traveling, hiking, rock climbing, & tent camping with (6 or7) friends in Moab, Utah.

Later evening Melissa called. Nathan was not having a good day. He had a temperature of (104.6); a swollen front, lower gum & was obviously in pain. Kathy & Melissa discussed his condition & decided it was not an emergency

Dinner: White chili with Tortilla chips.

Evening movie: finished "Darling" with Julie Christie, Dirk Bogarde, Laurence Harvey, Roland Curram, Jose Luis de Villalonga, Alex Scott, etc. Christie won Oscar as girl who rises from commonplace life to marry an Italian noble, with several unsatisfactory love affairs in between. Trendy, influential '60s flashy form & cynical content. 1965. Great story; definitely not for children.

Lights out: 11:25pm

Awake: 8:03am Temp 48 sleep 8+01 overcast...light rain overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy made her famous sourdough pancakes with all the trimmings for our breakfast.

Downloaded the photo organizer: Picasa, & signed in with an account.

@ 5:00pm, my sister Corinne arrived & visited for the evening; this is her lucky night as we are having fresh pizza from the Nicktown Hotel, fresh salad by Kathy & I gave Corinne the honor of selecting a movie to watch from our list of (73).

But wait, there's more; also some O'Doull's (non-alcoholic beer) & all the popcorn she would want. Her movie selection was hunky-dory + we had many delightful gab sessions. We just might have to do more of this entertaining.

Movie: "Boomerang" with Dana Andrews, Jane Wyatt, Lee J. Cobb, Arthur Kennedy, Sam Levene, etc. Minister's murder brings rapid arrest of an innocent man; prosecuting attorney determines to hunt out real facts. Brilliant drama in all respects. 1947. Great flick, especially if you enjoy legal proceedings.

After Corinne left, K & I continued watching the movie, "Darling," for about (30) min; our 2nd attempt.

Lights out: 12:05am

Awake: 5:45am Temp 48 sleep 5+34 cloudy, some sun overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

K & I motored to Hastings, PA & visited with 1st cousins: Bernie & Richard @ the Haida Manor Care Center. Bernie looks fairly strong & is very pleasant, but has had little return to his right side extremities, still has difficulty remembering words & expressing himself, & is basically confined to his powered wheel chair.

Richard, across the hall, is amazingly alert, has a good sense of humor, & keeps up with the activities of his siblings. He was a hard working logger for yrs, using a chain saw, did not wear ear protection & yet his hearing is remarkable; he has never worn eye glasses & can see everything just fine + his memory is outstanding. What's wrong with this guy? His body has aged, leaving him with weak bones & he is generally frail. He is able to slowly shuffle to the bathroom from his wheelchair, but has to be very careful. They both would like to get out of "jail" for sure!

From here, we motored on to Saint Augustine, PA & visited with Rosemary & Gary; they were nice enough to store our Snapper mower during the winter & now it's time to bring it back. Gary gave me a helping hand loading the Snapper into the Suzuki & then we joined Kathy & Rosemary in their living room for a good gab session with snacks of cheese, crackers, peanuts, & wine.

Back @ Nicktown, we unloaded the Snapper & then attended 6:00pm vigil Mass @ St. Nicholas Church. After Mass, we chatted with Max & Diana who have returned from Florida for the summer. Max has recovered very well from his bilateral knee replacement of last Fall; claims he can golf even better now, shooting below his age.

Dinner: leftover of ½ sausage & ½ pork; both with noodles.

A Skype call from Nick caught me off guard while doing the dishes; today is Jerry's 3rd birthday & they have waited for us to watch Jerry open the present we sent him. What a big "THANK YOU" he gave us when discovering the metal excavator. He was so excited he had to demonstrate his shovel skills right then & there.

Eriko brought out a cookie sheet with rice while Nick focused the camera on Jerry's scooping progress. What a nice reward for us to witness Jerry's smiles & happy reception. We spent over an hour watching & chatting with them.

Evening movie: "Darling." We watch ¼.

Lights out: 12:02am

Awake: 6:10am Temp 58 sleep 6+20 rain....partly sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Mid morning, I talked with Verizon about their special "Bundle Package" for guys like us; bringing all the services (of which we have 3) under one umbrella & paying a smaller total fee.

Once again, I tried to resolve my pump house #1 pvc problem; & once again, my tools are not hefty enough for the challenge.

Dinner: leftover Italian sausage & noodles + leftover pork stir fry.

Evening movie: "Topper" with Constance Bennett, Cary Grant, Roland Young, Billie Burke, etc. Delightful gimmick comedy with ghosts Grant & Bennett dominating life of meek Young; 1937. Very ingenious, funny & cute. Add it to your list.

Lights out: 12:11am.

Awake: 6:25am Temp 47 sleep 6+20 overcast, later rain overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Late morning I changed the primary filter in our portable water unit; it had collected some iron either in Fayetteville, AR during our (2) day stay, or when using so much water in Greenville, Indiana when doing (5) loads of laundry. That's why I use the outside portable filter; to filter the water before it comes into our motorhome which filters it twice again.

I heard talk about seeing humming birds @ a feeder this morning, so I got our small feeder out & hung it in about the same spot as last yr; come en get that nectar you hummers.

Called my cousin Florentz & asked how his wife, Anna, is doing. He said: "not so good." She is recovering slowly from her hip surgery & is very weak. We continue to say our prayers for her.

Dinner: Tuna steak with balsamic glaze, wild & brown rice, broccoli, tomato & zucchini salad, lima beans, & whole wheat bread.

Late evening, we got a call from Mary Ann & Bob in Memphis, TN. Bob is still having trouble getting his Skype working. Using our cell phone & his home phone, we spent a good (45) min talking 1st on our phones, then later, using Skype audio. I tried everything I could think of to get his video working....& was about to give up, when suddenly, there he was, waving his arms with a big grin on his mug. He was pretty excited & had to get Mary Ann & show her: it works! The (4) of us talked for awhile & then it was time to let them go as they wanted to see if they could Skype their daughter, Regina, in Nashville.

Evening movie: "The Sea around Us." Academy Award-winning documentary based on Rachel Carson's study of the history of the ocean, its fauna & life. 1953. Most interesting.

Lights out: 11:54pm.

Awake: 6:32am Temp 44 sleep 7+01 cloudy with sprinkles overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Back to resolving the problem with pump house #1; I discovered a lack of tool size. I need larger wrenches. So for now, I switched projects & focused on keeping my European mirrors pit free if possible. Using Chuck's ladder & our telescoping ladder, 1st I cleaned the co-pilots mirror with a damp cloth, then using Turtle wax, gave it a good shine. Next, I cover the entire mirror with the cloth bag purchased @ the thrift store. On top of that, I wrapped plastic sheeting around the entire mirror assembly & held it together with wide tape. My goal is to try to keep those mirrors from pitting during our summer sitting. One mirror finished!

Dinner: Pork stir-fry & noodles.

Finish watching the movie: "Tunes of Glory" with Alec Guinness, John Mills, Susannah York, Kay Walsh, Dennis Price, etc. Engrossing clash of wills in peacetime Scottish Highland regiment as popular easygoing Lt. Col. (Guinness) is replaced by stiff-necked martinet (Mills). Outstanding performances by both men, each in a role more naturally suited to the other! 1960. Sad ending but still a great story.

Lights out: 12:05am.

Awake: 6:14am Temp 62 sleep 6+16 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Early afternoon, K & I motored to Indiana, PA for a visit with the Foote family. As we were approaching their castle, we spotted & talked with Kevin for a short time, who was returning to work from lunch with his family.

We are greeted with big happy smiles from the Foote boys & Melissa; they haven't forgotten us. Plus Nathan's expression & enthusiasm to see us was awesome.

Taking advantage of this beautiful day (so far), we spent a good (1.3) hrs in the back yard just being casual with the boys: pulling them in their wagon, supervising their tricycle circuits, playing in the sandbox.....etc. Later, we all advanced into the house & I found myself on the 2nd floor with Matthew & Andrew while Kathy, Nathan & Melissa hung out downstairs.

With Matthew's intense interest in electrical items, he demonstrated his rendition of a computer control station that he put together by using (2) cardboard boxes with punched holes for the multiple runs of multi-colored wiring with different size plugs. After his impressive exhibition, he removed all the wiring & had me plug all those circuits back in their slots again. Of course, I needed a little assistance; I didn't have many plugs & their receptacles memorized.

Meanwhile, Andrew was entertaining himself with some cars & trucks & occasionally I would change positions & admire his creative road building ability.

Next, we three climbed the stairs to the 3rd floor & Andrew got right with the task of rebuilding a Brio train track layout. Meanwhile Matthew busied himself with an addition to Andrew's layout by figuring out a track that runs thru a spotlight .... I sort of let these guys do their own thing upstairs as they were both showing me the inventive & imaginative side of their minds & I felt good about that.

Eventually, we returned to the back yard as the dark clouds were moving in & toys, equipment, etc needed to be put back into storage. We thoroughly enjoyed spending some time with the Foote family again.

From here, K & I check out the nearby Goodwill Thrift store, looking for a portable foot stool & some kind of cloth covers/bags. Kathy picked out something which I think will work perfectly for what I have in mind.

Then next door @ Ollie's, we found a step stool that will fit our needs. Kathy had a list that wouldn't quit for Wal-Mart so the next (50) min were dedicated to grocery shopping.

Heavy rain followed us most of the way to Nicktown, where it let up a little in time for unloading those Wal-Mart bags.

Dinner: Kathy's chili with noodles & corn chips .

Evening movie: "Tunes of Glory." We watched 1/4th.

Lights out: 11:31pm.


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