July 2009 Archives

Awake: 6:10am Temp 62 sleep 5+34 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

After the Koffee Klub meeting this morning, Kathy went to the church hall to help make more noodles & I visited the Krumenacker Hardware Store. I purchased a Junction box, GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) & a waterproof cover assembly for the junction box.

After my breakfast, I picked more blueberries on our property; they are really good. Then my local partner in crime, John, drove into our driveway. Just recently, my neighbor Al has been having trouble with his riding mower; John volunteered to help me help Al's fix.

At the Koffee Klub Al described his riding mower problem as: "one of the two blades doesn't seem to be cutting grass and, whenever I stop the engine, one of the blades continues spinning.

John & I gathered some tools from my tool box & we walked across the field to Al's manicured property. Another problem popped up when we saw Al; he said his mower engine won't start now. John & I witnessed Al's attempt at starting the engine &, sure enough, there was a strong fuel smell. John raised the cowling & I removed the spark plug. It was drenched with fuel. However, there in our mist...was a strong clue to this dilemma: a good sized mouse house sitting on top of the engine just to the right of the air cleaner.

After John cleaned the air filters & engine with Al's air compressor, I wrapped the ignition wire leading to the spark plug with electrical tape. Quite a bit of that rubberized coating on the ignition wire had been chewed off, perhaps stealing some spark from the spark plug.
Then Al turned the ignition key & vroom, that engine powering the Poulan Pro mower came to life instantly.

Next, we pushed the mower about (10) ft into a shady area; using a wooden box, we tilted the side of the mower that had the free spinning blade & blocked it up. Now the problem was obvious; somehow this blade was not tightened enough to the star detent & caused the blade to freely spin.

John & I decided to remove the bearing as well; due to the star detent being so worn down, it needed to be replaced. We gave Al the worn parts that needed replacement & told Al if he could get the replacement parts, we would highly consider putting everything back together this afternoon.

While Al drove to Spangler for parts, I invited John over to our motorhome & asked Kathy if she would like to join us in having some wine, cheese & crackers. After she put the wine & snack together, she joined us outside.

Would you believe, Al returned with a big smile in about (20) min with all new parts. Since rain is forecasted for tomorrow, we campers finished our wine & snack time & then went back to work & finished the job (except for (3) screws that need replacing). John & I both enjoy helping our near neighbors when & if we can.

Dinner: leftover Italian sausage & spaghetti, mixed salad & Bing Cherries.

Lights out: 12:02am

Awake: 6:08am Temp 62 sleep 5+52 partly cloudy overnight @ Nicktown.

We motored to Barnesboro & found Grace & Gary as they were checking out of the City Hotel. Both G & G told us they slept well & enjoyed staying @ the City Hotel, but they felt it was a bit pricey.

Next we (4) walked over to Erma Jeans Restaurant on Philadelphia Ave & had breakfast. Among the many topics of conversation during our breakfast, Gary brought up the subject of their speedometer on the 1958 Chevy Impala; he felt it might be reading too fast. We agreed to pick a highway after breakfast that I will lead & use hand signals to compare speeds: 30, 40, & 50 mph.

Sure enough, Gary's speedometer was reading an average of (5) mph faster. Then we said our goodbyes for now, wished them a comfortable & safe return & let them know that we really enjoyed their visit.

From here we returned to Barnesboro where we visited a fellow who will bend an exhaust pipe for my ole Riviera; he will let me know when I should bring the car to his shop for repair.

Dinner: Tuna steak, brown rice with golden raisins, mixed salad & Bing Cherries.

About 9:00pm & getting dark, I met my neighbor, Al, @ the "Our Lady of Fatima Shrine" to test the brightness of (1) halogen bulb lighting up the shrine; we are planning on (3) so if (1) does a fair job, (3) might be better.

Late evening, Zack & Katie Skyped us for (33) min. telling us of their trip to Orcas IS & their recent engagement. They were deliriously happy; we have never seen such a BIG smile on Katie's face!

Lights out: 12:36am

Awake: 8:02am Temp 65 sleep 7+53 cloudy waves of rain overnight @ Nicktown.

Our distinguished guests, Gary & Grace from eastern PA, arrived in style, shortly after noontime, driving their 1958 Chevy Impala looking like it just drove out of a showroom. Gary mentioned that this car has not seen rain for over (40) yrs....until today.

We had a lot to catch up on as they have been active & we have been active; we are all retired you know & this lifestyle keeps one very busy. After we gabbed for a few hrs inside our home-on-wheels, we venture outdoors. While Gary & I looked over his 58 Chevy, the girls walked down to the blueberry territory & did some eating & picking. Later, Gary & I did the same.

Before dinner, we sat outdoors & had a wine & cheese snack time with more fun talk.


Dinner: Spaghetti with Italian sausage, mixed salad, Italian garlic bread &, for dessert, cheese cake with fresh blueberries.

After a late dinner, Grace & Gary headed for the City Hotel in Barnesboro for the night. We plan on joining them in Barnesboro for breakfast tomorrow @ 9:30.

Late evening: Zack texted from Seattle; he wanted to know if this time frame would be good for Skype. I had to tell Zack that Kathy was sound asleep in bed & asked him if I should wake her up. He said: "No, I'll Skype tomorrow night if you guys are available." I'll make sure we will be accessible.

Lights out: 12:16am ....with another wave of heavy downpour.

Awake: 6:21am Temp 59 sleep 5+48 cloudy rain mid afternoon Nicktown.

Mid morning, Kathy is preparing a meal in advance for tomorrow, but needs (2) cans of tomato paste now...so I motor to Barnesboro, fill the Suzuki with fuel @ Sheetz, buy the tomato paste @ Giant Eagle, make a stop @ Strollo True Value store for a transformer, wire & (3) outdoor lights, & then return to Nicktown.

It's been (19) days since we've mowed our yard; fortunately the day starts out sunny & we have the use of Chuck's wheelbarrow. We can get (2) bag loads of grass into his wheelbarrow which cuts our grass loads to the woods by 50%.

We start @ noontime & finish @ 3:30; Chuck did us a favor & mowed the ally, so we barely finished in time to miss the heavy downpour mid afternoon.

K & I attend vigil Mass carrying our umbrellas.

Dinner: small filet steak with 4-bean salad & broccoli.

Evening movie: "Best in Show" with Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Michael McKean, Parker Posey, etc. Small-scale but entertaining, where various characters who enter their pets in a prestigious dog show. Largely improvised comedy (officially written by Guest & Levy) offers a lot of laughs, especially for fans of the filmmakers & casts. 2000. This short film was hysterical & truly fun to watch; just remember, laughing is the best medicine.

Lights out: 12:09am

Awake: 6:16am Temp 61 sleep 6+34 partly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Last week when we drove to Lilly, my sister Corinne was in the basement defrosting their refrigerator & surprised to see us. This week, when we arrived, Corinne was sitting on their back porch awaiting our arrival; yes, this time we got it right.

Corinne drove us in her Toyota to our Nephew's home near Broad Top, PA (1.5) hr drive from Nicktown. The drive to my Nephew's place was absolutely beautiful; going up & down the Appalachian Mountains & seeing so many healthy farm lands was comforting to me. I had never traveled in this area before.

We were met @ the door by Tucker, a friendly dog, & his master, Eric. Eric, his wife Emily & their (3) boys Jacob, Joseph & Maxwell, have been living in this house for (5) yrs now & they love it. "It's a great place to raise children" Eric told me. Just watching the boys' nod their heads in agreement, tells me they enjoy the wide open space they have. Also visiting Eric, Emily & the boys @ this time were Elizabeth & her younger sister, Emily's nieces from Barnesboro. They told us they also love coming here every summer.

Emily was having a huge garage sale this weekend & we were impressed with the variety of things she had for sale. Both Corinne & Kathy couldn't resist selecting a few things of interest. As a matter of fact, during our visit, a thunderstorm with heavy rain rolled over the Appalachian Mountains & we all helped cover & close up the tents moments before the heavy rain began.

Even though we insisted we were not hungry, Emily had prepared a light lunch of egg salad, spinach dip, raw carrots & celery sticks, fresh strawberries & watermelon, chips & pretzels...so we ate. She also made delicious brownies which were served hot, out of the oven.

We spent about (2.5) hrs visiting; long enough to have some good conversations with the boys, & the nieces....plus Emily & Eric. I took a few photos of everyone & when riding down their lane, a picture of their beautiful house on the hill.


In Lilly, we thanked Corinne for the opportunity to visit Eric & his family; it was her idea. We sat on her back porch & visited with her & Jane for a while before wishing her a bon voyage for her upcoming trip to California & Washington starting on Sunday.

En route to Nicktown, we stopped in Carrolltown & ate some ethnic food plus a chocolate ice cream cone @ their picnic.

Lights out: 12:33am

Awake: 5:25am Temp 66 sleep 6+14 intermittent rain overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I left @ 8:30am & motored to Miners Hospital in Hastings. I slept reasonable well last night but was a little apprehensive about this colonoscopy ordeal. About (9) yrs ago I had a sigmoidoscopy & that was not fun, but I've been told the colonoscopy is usually a piece of cake because they knock you out. Anyway, I will spare the details & just report that all went well & I was as brave as a wimp can possibly be. @ the hospital, they gave me a small breakfast of milk & toast & sent us on our way.

Back in our motorhome, I ate my regular big bowl of mixed cereal, yogurt, frozen blueberries & frozen strawberries. Oh did that taste heavenly.

Then we motored to the Foote Castle & spent some time with the Foote boys. I was the gofer for Matthew, getting electronics parts for him while he built some interesting circuits using his electronic Snap Circuit kit.

Kathy spent time with Andrew & Nathan playing with cars, trains, & puzzles in the 1st floor playroom & in the "Bee" room.

Later outside in the back yard, we casually watched the Foote boys as they rode their bikes, pulled the wagon, played in the sandbox, etc. Happy smiles & fun times are not always displayed, but I couldn't help but illustrate this rare picture of Matthew & Andrew.

Melissa made everyone yummy smoothies before we had to leave & do our grocery shopping @ Martins & Wal-Mart.

Dinner: Italian sausage with peppers & onions, broccoli, grapes, & cherries.

Evening movie: "39." We finished this documentary featuring Hollywood's most iconic & beloved American movies of 1939; Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Wuthering Heights, Dark Victory, The Women, Gunga Din, Beau Geste, Destry Rides Again, The Young Mr. Lincoln, Stagecoach, Of Mice and Men, and Goodbye, Mr. Chips. It was also the year of "Garbo Laughs" (in Ninotchka) and of Ingrid Bergman's American debut (remaking her Swedish hit "Intermezzo"). Some great flicks; add them to your list.

Lights out: 11:42pm

Awake: 7:53am Temp 52 sleep 7+35 mostly cloudy overnight @ Nicktown.

After yesterday's cardboard introduction to more sensibility, this morning we both had a good talk & understanding with each other about going back to last year's original plan & nix the idea of the airplane scheme altogether.

I admit, that plane idea was mine, & Kathy went along with it (because she's a dedicated wife), but it was getting way too complicated & way out of budget. So hopefully, now, we can make some logical progress on the final plan.

My job this afternoon was to start drinking the electrolyte solution in prep for having a colonoscopy tomorrow, & within (2) hrs, I had finished drinking that stuff. Now I could continue reading another aviation magazine: Air & Space.

Meanwhile, Kathy walked to the church hall & helped the ladies bag yesterday's noodles.
When Kathy returned, that solution stuff had started working. She had her dinner: ..., then an hr later, attended 6:00pm Mass &, afterward, attended the Catechism class @ the social room.

Around 9:00pm, we both watched the Obama speech on National Health Care & after that, the O'Reilly Factor.

Lights out: 11:11pm

Awake: 6:35am Temp 60 sleep 6+27 early morn rain overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy skipped the Koffee Klub & made noodles with the ladies @ the church hall. I had no excuse for missing the Koffee Klub so I kept my appointment. Afterward, I picked a few raspberries & blueberries on our property.

Mid afternoon, K & I started measuring & cutting cardboard pieces to assemble a miniature basement plan. I didn't keep track of our time but after spending several hours cutting & assembling much cardboard, we discovered this plan was not what we want. So, it's back to the drawing board for us; we think we are getting closer to a workable plan.

Dinner: Tilapia fish, brown rice & a mixed salad.

Evening movie: "39". We watched another (40) min.

Lights out: 12:17am

Awake: 6:15am Temp 58 sleep 6+07 mostly cloudy overnight @ Nicktown.

Kenny called & left a message during our workout @ the Community center this morning; he invited us to join him @ his home after 3:00pm today to further discuss our house building plans.

After breakfast, Kathy motored to Barnesboro & visited: the library, thrift store & grocery store. During her absence, I picked some blueberries & finished reading an aviation magazine borrowed from Barry.

Then we motored to Ebensburg & met with Kenny @ his workshop; he had cut cardboard pieces to scale of walls & the roof sections to cover the wings of a miniature model of our house from our schematic plans. Kenny felt this would further assist us in understanding the space we will have. He continues to try to supplement our weak knowledge in getting a reasonable & efficient house plan idea.

While in Ebensburg, we printed photos from our memory stick showing how the St. Augustine people make noodles in one day for their picnic.This is merely a sneak preview; (60) volunteers & (4) busy tables + a lot of activity behind the scenes. Seeing is believing!

Heavy rain welcomed us as we returned to Nicktown.

Dinner: pork chops, brown rice with golden raisins + a mixed salad.

Zack called while walking home from his work in Seattle; this is his 1st time he's done the walk & talk all the way home. He amazed himself that it took only (38) min & is good exercise; plus we enjoyed talking with him along the way.

Evening movie: "39." We watched (18) min.

Lights out: 12:08am

Awake: 7:30am Temp 56 sleep 7+53 partly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

A recent allergy from dust has me sneezing & blowing my fog horn all too often. My nurse tells me if I don't get over making so much noise, she is going to skip watching late night movies because I am waking her up.

Early morning, Dave rang our doorbell; he, Byron & Terry are getting (2) classic Corvettes out of storage that will be driven to Ohio. Here was a photo opportunity to witness the most powerful one.

At 12:05 pm, K & I motored to the Duman Lake County Park & attended the Lucy & Jake annual Kirsch reunion. Another opportunity to spend time with many of my 1st & 2nd cousins & their offspring's from near & far. My sister Corinne also joined in the fun. I had brought my camera but was so busy yakety-yaking & eating, no pictures were taken. We were at the park for over (5) hrs. It was great seeing a lot of my cousins again.

Late movie with popcorn: "Sunday in New York" with Cliff Robertson, Jane Fonda, Rod Taylor, Robert Culp, etc. Entire cast bubbles in this Norman Krasna sex romp of virginal Fonda discovering N.Y.C. & love. 1963. An innocent & cute so-so story.

Lights out: 12:08am

Awake: 6:58am Temp 57 sleep 6+46 mostly cloudy overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I drove to Saint Augustine to pay a short visit to Gary & Rosemary this morning; they just happen to be @ the church hall making noodles for their annual picnic which will be on August 2nd. We were fascinated with the number of local volunteers who turned out to make all of the noodles in (1) day. Over (60) busy & productive smiling people were full of activity, each doing his own part, a real production line that worked so well.

From here, we returned to our Motorcoach, had breakfast & then picked a few wild blueberries to add to Kathy's pie which we will share with the Foote family this afternoon.

Upon our arrival @ the Castle, we found Kevin & Matthew working in the back yard digging post holes; the plan is to enlarge the back yard simply by removing & relocating the fence further away from the house + digging new post holes for the gate & fence.

Kathy trimmed some branches from the plum tree which were right above where the gate will be located. She added them to a pile of branches already started & while helping Matthew retrieve plums from the cut branches, Kathy found a very colorful & unique looking caterpillar clinging to one of the old branches. She brought it for all to see &, after marveling over it, we put it in a large jar for safe keeping.

Kevin assigned me to reinforce the old tall barrier fence separating the auto parking area from the relocated fence. After Andrew, Nathan & Melissa woke up, Kathy worked with the younger boys, mixing the cement that Matthew & Kevin poured down into the post holes.

Melissa also wanted the old & decrepit greenhouse torn down today; however, dark clouds were threatening & I wanted to finish strengthening that fence barrier.

Melissa made chili pizza for the adults & cheese bread for the little guys. The pizza was very good. Since rain was threatening we cleaned up the yard toys & put them in the shed. We ate the pie that Kathy brought & prepared to leave for our weekly Wal-Mart stop on our way back to Nicktown.

Next K & I attend 6:00pm vigil Mass @ St. Nicholas Church. Afterward, we meet many of our 1st & 2nd cousins & talk for awhile. Tomorrow, the Lucy & Jake annual reunion is scheduled & we will be attending that special occasion as well.

Light dinner: leftover tuna & noodle.

Nick called while walking back to his condo; the discussion of our rendezvous for Christmas casually continues, along with other interest stuff.

Later, Melissa called from her Castle; she told me the name of that beautiful caterpillar that Kathy found. It is a Cecropia Moth Butterfly; the largest North American Moth. She suggested I post it on the blog....so I will.

Lights out: 11:37pm.

Awake: 6:15am Temp 62 sleep 6+30 cloudy...heavy rain overnight @ Nicktown.

After breakfast, we motored to Lilly (23) miles; our plan today was to ride with Corinne & visit my nephew, Eric & his family. When we arrived, Corinne was not ready to go; she was in the basement defrosting their refrigerator & doing other chores. In fact, she wasn't expecting us until next week. Grrrr. I wrote the day & time on my calendar & Kathy, the dispatcher, simply kept that info in her brain. Who was the guilty person? Don't know do ya?

Anyway, we took advantage of "our" goof by spending a little time chatting with Corinne on their back porch & then, riding around Ebensburg's newer suburb looking @ homes, windows, bricks, garages, etc. Continuing toward Nicktown, we toured another newer suburb & did the same.

Back in our motorhome, we called our good friends in Ohio, Mark & Joan, who we have been neglecting all too long. It was a very good call (1hr 50 min); we caught up on their latest activities & vice-versa.

Dinner: Tuna casserole & Italian tuna casserole + a mixed salad.

Nick called from Seattle while walking home from work; most of our discussion centered around: what thoughts & ideas we have for our annual family Christmas gathering. We wanted to get this subject out & early to our family in order to establish plans in advance.

Evening movie: "Billion Dollar Brain" with Michael Caine, Karl Malden, Ed Begley, Oscar Homolka, etc. Third in series that began with THE IPCRESS FILE finds Harry Palmer (Caine) again up to his neck in exciting espionage, this time in Scandinavia. 1967. Great acting & entertainment...if you like this sort of undercover work stuff.

Lights out: 12:12am

Awake: 7:00am Temp 67 sleep 7+06 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Mid afternoon, I visited neighbor Chuck out of curiosity; he was in the midst of replacing a non-working starter solenoid on his quad runner. Problem was: the old solenoid unit would start the engine but the starter motor would continue running....which is not good. Just today, Chuck bought a new replacement solenoid but it doesn't match his old one; the mounting & electrical connections are different. Chuck graciously allowed me to help him with this project which involved splicing & soldering a few wires, then taping & mounting that solenoid. With all the electrical connections finished, Chuck turned the key & the engine started right up without the starter motor running. My job was now finished as Chuck was able to do the rest. During most of this process, neighbor Al showed up on his quad runner & casually waited until my time with Chuck's project was over.

Next in line was Al's lawnmower dilemma; when 1st purchased, I believe Al told me the engine didn't run fast enough to do a good job of mowing, so Al had Ken in Spangler adjust the governor for a higher speed. After that, I learned that Al's mower was continually running @ full speed, using a lot of fuel & sounding like a miniature hurricane.

Al had taken the cover & the air cleaner off the mower in anticipation of my access to the governor adjustment. Try as I might, when running the mower engine, I could not slow the RPM down by using the adjuster tab. Finally, after ½ dozen adjuster attempts, I got lucky & realized that the plastic half wheel connector to the governor itself, had somehow jumped over a mid speed slab & onto the high speed notch. I quickly moved that half wheel back to the normal adjustment slab & had Al: "Start your engine." "That's more like it" I muttered to Al; I hope that problem is solved.

Dinner: Tuna steak, brown rice with golden raisins, mixed salad & Bing cherries.

Lights out: 11:45pm

Awake: 6:05am Temp 52 sleep 6+21 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Our world traveler Katrina called from Denver; she gave us a random account of her travels in the countries of: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, & Iceland; spending time in Stockholm, Malmo, Copenhagen, Oslo, Tromso, Bergen, Stavanger etc. After those (2) weeks, Katrina returned home to Denver, & within (4) days, re-packed & flew to Costa Rica for a volunteer work week. We both had to cut our phone talk a little short as we both had commitments coming up soon.

I dropped Kathy off @ the church hall to help bag the noodles they made yesterday & then motored to Barnesboro to pick up the yucky stuff one has to drink before having a colonoscopy. Yes, my (9) yrs are up & I am due for a routine check.

En route to Nicktown, I visited Strollo's in Spangler & ordered (3) outdoor halogen lights & (1) transformer for the project Al & I are working on.... & also visited Al for a short time to give him that info.

We called Gary & Rosemary & wished them a Happy Anniversary & a Happy Birthday to Rosemary; both occasions occur tomorrow.

Dinner: leftover stuffed pepper with whole grain bread.

K & I attended the Catechism forum @ the social room for (1.3) hrs. (11) total in attendance. We had some very interesting discussions on Baptism, Limbo, & more.

Melissa called late to discuss our possible visit on Sat.

No movie tonight.

Lights out: 11:54pm

Awake: 6:12am Temp 47 sleep 6+18 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy helped make noodles @ the church hall for (3.5) hrs.

After my breakfast, John B. visited & brought a new sparkplug for the small Honda bike; the time has come to get that engine running. Gas tank & seat bolted down, fuel hose connected, & fresh gasoline in tank; after a little choking & over a dozen cranks, the engine sputtered, coughed & then, purred like a young kitten. We were both delighted that the carburetor didn't need any overhaul. John took the Honda for a short ride & then I took a longer ride.

Thanks to John B. for his mechanical expertise; the engine has a lot of pep & is running very good. Donna should be well pleased. I'll keep this bike for a few more days & make a thorough inspection before returning it to its former owner.

Dinner: chicken/noodle soup with multi-grain bread.

After dinner, I attended the Holy Name meeting @ the church hall with about (13-14) other members.

Lights out: 11:44pm

Awake: 5:54am Temp 54 sleep 6+23 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

After brunch, Kathy did some reading & then time on our computer; meanwhile, I spent most of the afternoon making changes on our house plans.

Before our dinner, Zack called while walking to a restaurant for lunch; we had a nice chat & he did mention that everything is going relatively smoothly.

Dinner: Junior power burger, sauteed mushrooms, mixed salad, multi-grain bread, cantaloupe & Bing cherries.

We finished: "42nd Street" with Warner Baxter, Ruby Keeler, George Brent, Bebe Daniels, Dick Powell, etc. The definitive backstage musical still has plenty of sass___ along with its clichés. Every understudy's dream is to get a big chance & rise to stardom. Such is the premise of 42nd Street. This Depression-era musical of 1933 is lifted by its vitality & sincerity. Ailing director Baxter puts everything into what may be his final show, & then leading lady Daniels twists her ankle. 1933. Those dancing rehearsals seemed to go on forever but watching the final extravaganza was the payoff.

Lights out: 11:54pm

Awake: 6:50am Temp 63 sleep 6+31 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

As I woke up this morning, number (3) air-conditioner in our bedroom was not blowing out cool air & I was warm. When I looked @ the "RV Comfort.zc" zone control thermostat, it was locked on #(3) & #(0) & I couldn't change a thing. This could be a serious situation as both of us are truly spoiled by having a comfortable atmosphere anytime we are in our home-on-wheels.

I wasted no time in referring to my Trouble-Shooting Guide from RV Products to no avail; nothing covered having a locked control thermostat. Since we planned on eating breakfast @ the church hall this morning, I'll have more time to think this dilemma over.

K & I walked to the church hall for a breakfast of: scrambled eggs thinly sliced fried potatoes, bacon, sausage, Belgian waffle, coffee, & juice. This event is not just a good breakfast meal, it's a chance to socialize with just about anyone & everyone you know or want to know. Breakfast is served from 6:30 -12:00 enabling those who attend the 6:00, 8:00, or 10:30 Masses to come for breakfast after Mass &, of course, anyone whether they go to Mass or not is welcome to come for breakfast. However, this breakfast happens only once a month.

The idle moments I had @ the church hall made me think about the locked thermostat control; so I focused on how I fixed other such calamities & finally realized that: reboot, reload, reset, etc, served me well quite a few times. So why not try it on the unit.

In lieu of shutting all power off our motorhome, which I would rather not do, I chose to take the cover off the RV Comfort control unit & look for a power off switch; there was only a fuse, which tested good; I took the fuse out & then put it back in & Bingo! Our controlled atmosphere is up & running again; this was another way of resetting the system.Whew!

Before dinner, I talked Kathy into a walk around the town; it's a beautiful evening & she was all for it. Apparently most people were having dinner during our walk because we spotted only (1) couple on their front porch & from a distance, Donna in her front yard.

Dinner: leftover Italian sausage with onions & peppers, leftover tilapia fish & pasta + a mixed salad.

Evening movie: "42nd Street." We watch ½.

Lights out: 11:29pm

Awake: 6:41am Temp 63 sleep 6+33 intermittent rain overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy cleaned & vacuumed most of the inside of our motorhome while I spent a little time on our computer.

After she finished, I cleaned up my computer desk & re-organized a number of electrical wires that previously had been sloppy. Adding a (6) outlets surge protector & a (3) outlets adapter under the computer desk made for a much cleaner looking computer desk environment.

I basically finished reading: Glenn Beck's Common Sense Book; most interesting.

K & I drove to & attended the vigil Mass @ St. Nicholas Church. During Mass, heavy rain with thunderstorms approached, rumbled & rolled around & then departed the area. We returned to our motorhome after conversing with some of my cousins.

Kathy suggested that we have a pizza for a change tonight....from the Nicktown Hotel; great idea! She won't have to cook & I won't have many dishes to clean. After consuming all but (1) slice, I have to say, whatever those cooks are doing @ the hotel, they are doing the right thing...our pizza was very, very good.

Evening entertainment; we finished watching: "The Good Fairy" with Margaret Sullavan, Herbert Marshall, Frank Morgan, Reginald Owen, Alan Hale, etc. Sparkling romantic comedy, adapted from Molnar play by Preston Sturges; wide-eyed Sullavan tries to act as "good fairy" to struggling lawyer Marshall, while hotly pursued by wealthy Morgan. Hilarious & charming.1935.

Kathy's opinion: it was ok.

Lights out: 12:19am

Awake: 6:15am Temp 57 sleep 5+44 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Another distinguished guest honored us @ our koffee klub this morning; Terry doesn't visit too often as she also travels across (3) states to get here.

Early afternoon, we motored to the Foote Castle & spent time with our grandsons. Today's activities: blowing up balloons using a battery charger & a small 12-volt air compressor; catching over (30) leaf beetles from the Foote raspberry patch & putting them in a jar. Later, the glass jar was found nearly empty; nobody knew how it happened!

Matthew, the ring leader, stretched out the water hose into the back yard & then did a wonderful job of keeping Nathan & Andrew wet, however when Matthew mysteriously got wet himself, he quickly ran inside the house, changed clothes, & decided that game was over.
Up on the 3rd floor, while Andrew played with the train sets, Matthew & I played a miniature game of soccer. He's a smart kid; again he decided to quit when ahead; just like the water hose game.

Kathy, who had been playing with Nathan in the yard, traded places with me; she went upstairs & played with Matthew & Andrew while I played with Nathan. Lucky Nathan got frozen blueberries in a cup with spoon while getting a wagon ride around the block by yours truly. Even though he had the best deal, I sure enjoyed watching him watch the local activities & down those blueberries

After Melissa finished weed whacking the front lawn, raking & bagging the grass, she made delicious blueberry smoothies for all of us, including another berry treat for Nathan. It was another fun day at the Footes

K & I did some fast grocery shopping @ Martin's & Wal-Mart before returning home just in time to meet John B. We invited him to join us for a glass of wine while watching the O'Reilly Factor on TV. Before leaving, John & I checked the Honda bike magneto system for spark & yes, the spark is good.

Dinner: Tilapia fish, brown rice with golden raisins, lima beans & Bing cherries.

Lights out: 12:08am

Awake: 6:00am Temp 54 sleep 6+27 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

K & I skipped the koffee klub meeting this morning & motored 1st to Barnesboro to pick up our Shingles vaccine @ Watters Drug store & then to Carrolltown. There I had my annual physical & blood work checked, Kathy had a physical breast exam following her mammogram, & we both got our Shingles vaccine injections. "A-ok" says the doctor.

Next we motored to Emeigh Run & purchased some Italian sausage, pork chops, & hamburger from Kirsch's Meat Market; a new place for us, always in search of good meat.

On our way there, we passed Paul & Pearl's house, saw Pearl sitting on the porch & decided to stop. Paul is into ham radios; was a good friend of my cousin, Clyde; & was instrumental in me getting my general ham license. We enjoyed a 30 min visit with them; although, Paul is in good health & keeps busy, Pearl has had some health problems which have really slowed her down. Then we return to Barnesboro in search of (2) different sized fuel hoses & a spark plug for Donna's Honda bike. Proper plug & fuel hoses to size were not available in either Fisher or Carquest auto parts stores.

While Kathy meandered over to Giant Eagle, I motored back to Carrolltown & found the proper sized fuel hoses @ Banik's but not the required sparkplug as yet. Then back to Barnesboro where we both had our eyes checked. Mary was very thorough & complimented us on our good vision.

After returning to our motorhome, I replaced the old fuel hoses on the Honda bike with new ones.

Melissa called looking for a crochet pattern that she thought she probably loaned to Kathy. She might have, but unfortunately, if Kathy has it, she does not know where it is.

Nick called from Seattle walking home from work; he reports on Jerry's so....so...sleeping habits & other bits of interest.

Dinner: Italian sausage with peppers, mushrooms, & onions, a mixed salad & a fruit salad.

Evening movie: "The Good Fairy." We watch 1/2.

Lights out: 12:31am

Awake: 6:00am Temp 49 sleep 6+04 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Early afternoon, I called Donna & asked if the timing was ok for me to bring that Honda scooter over to see if I can get it running; about (20) min later, it was on our driveway. This machine has been stored for awhile, has a little rust but appears to be well built. I removed the seat & fuel tank & then cleaned up a few areas so as to make it easier to check out the carburetor when that time comes; enough of the Honda scooter for now.

Next, I took guitar wire & slowly tied the wire to both ends of the cheese cutter, making it as taunt as possible. This process was slow & tricky but I finally finished (2) of these cutters that belong to the Foote Family.

Yesterday's picture of Richard @ Haida Village.

Dinner: pork chops, brown rice with golden raisins & walnuts, apple sauce, fruit salad & lima beans.

Just as we were finishing our dinner, a motorcycle appeared in our driveway; it was Kenny & Doris, all the way from Ebensburg. Kenny, who scrutinized our house plans last Saturday, has some new ideas about our house building. After looking @ his sketches & diagrams, we went outside & walked off some distances that might relate to our future house structure.

As darkness approached, we returned to our motorhome & made plans to gather next week to possibly build a scale model of our future living place. Kathy & I are both encouraged to work with Kenny on his ideas.

Lights out: 11:33pm

Awake: 6:03am Temp 57 sleep 6+02 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Tom H. was our special guest @ our koffee klub this morning. Tom always brings some high tech talk & scientific stories with him when he visits Nicktown & a few of our group really enjoy that kind of talk. Unfortunately he has to travel across several states to visit his aging mother but she is not the only person that appreciates those visits.

After breakfast, K & I motored to Miners Hospital where Kathy got her mammogram done; it didn't take long (30) min, so I casually waited & read a magazine.

Next, we visited my (2) 1st cousins: Bernie & Richard @ Haida Village; Bernie was in his powered wheelchair outside taking in the nice weather & Richard was inside watching some good TV. I offered to wheel Richard outside but he told me the wind was too cold for him today. We had some good chats with both of them individually. I continue to be amazed @ Richard's good mind & memory & am pleased to see Bernie talking so much better.


From here, we motored to Barnesboro; Kathy bought some Bing cherries at Giant Eagle while I shopped for some guitar wire to fix a couple of cheese cutters.

Dinner: Italian tuna casserole, mixed salad & fruit salad.

Evening movie: "Knight Without Armor" with Marlene Dietrich, Robert Donat, Irene Vanbrugh, Herbert Lomas, etc. Secret agent Donat helps countess Dietrich flee Russian revolutionaries. Sumptuous production, charismatic stars. 1937. Good story; however, be alert during the revolution...which side is winning? The White Army or the Red Army! And what side does Donat take?

Lights out: 11:56pm

Awake: 6:30am Temp 50 sleep 6+22 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy did (3) loads of laundry inside while I took apart Melissa's Hoover Flair vacuum cleaner outside. The symptom: beater bar stalls out on carpet. The probable cause: drive gear teeth nearly worn smooth.
Teeth on the belt are still in relatively good shape however. I'm pretty sure that the Hoover Company will not sell just a drive gear; most likely the drive gear & motor are one package. I took a few pictures to show Melissa when we visit next. Before the reassembly, I cleaned out a lot of dust & hair from the beater bar section.

Dinner: small piece of filet mignon with broccoli, mixed salad & a fresh fruit salad.

Evening movie; we finished watching: "Great Expectations" with John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Bernard Miles, Francis L. Sullivan, Finlay Currie, etc. One of the greatest films ever made, a vivid adaptation of Dickens' tale of a mysterious benefactor making poor young orphan a gentleman of means. Opening graveyard sequence is a gem. 1946. Sign up today; you don't want to miss this great movie.

Minutes after finishing our great movie, a Skype call came in from...who? Surprise! Melissa & Kevin got a camera & are now Skype ready. We were so shocked to see them on the other side of the computer that we were actually at a loss for words. Yes, we did more looking at each other than talking, but how exciting to know that our whole family is now Skypeable!

Lights out: 11:59pm

Awake: 7:19am Temp 50 sleep 7+47 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

After a bacon, egg, & pancake breakfast that Kathy made, I used the Suzuki to pickup a borrowed wheelbarrow to begin the dreaded field work that we must do today.

Bless us father, for we have sinned: it's been (18) days since the last mowing of our lawn &, yes, we are doing this again on a Sabbath day. Not only is the grass tall, but also somewhat wet. So with Kathy's help, we began @ 11:00am. She started as the mower & I, the wheelbarrow driver; about half way thru we switched positions. Once around the circular drive & the bag catcher was stuffed full. All totaled, we made over (40) wheelbarrow trips to the woods; our total time, counting water breaks which were very short: 5hrs, 40 min. Ouch!

Now the alley, circular drive & the west side yard of our motorhome look great....plus our tan is now looking red!

After a good shower & quick snack, we motored to Loretto, PA; a (40) min drive. This was our 1st time attending an outdoor Mass near Saint Michael's Basilica in Loretto @ Our Lady of the Alleghenies Shrine.

To our delight, my sister Corinne joined us along with other people from Nicktown. As a matter of fact, my 1st cousin Annette & her husband, Jack, were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary @ the liturgy & friends, cousins, & other relatives were invited to join them in commemorating their special day in the school basement.
It was a beautiful evening to mingle with my cousins & sample a few of the sweet goodies & fruit plates lined up on the tables. Interesting how this rendezvous' happened, we only had know- ledge of this happy occasion from Corrine on Friday evening.

Evening movie: "Great Expectations." We watch ½.

Lights out: 12:08am.

Awake: 6:34am Temp 57 sleep 6+16 partly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

We ate a small breakfast & then motored over to the Foote Castle & spent some time with the Foote boys & Melissa + Kevin.

The 1st thing I heard as I walked into the house; "our (2) year old Stir Crazy popcorn popper quit working" said Matthew. "Now that you are here, we can fix it "G Daddy" he said. "What a coincidence, I just fixed our Stir Crazy Popper yesterday," I replied.

Fortunately for the Foote Family, Kevin saved the parts from their last Stir Crazy which met its doom by falling off the kitchen refrigerator & smashing the plastic section to smithereens.

So down to the basement Matthew & I went; I had to slow Matthew down a little as he was a little too eager to see the wires. "1st lets get organized & gather the tools we'll need for taking this unit apart," I remind him. It turns out, getting the proper tools was the most challenging part of the fix; although Kevin is somewhat organized, the selection of tools available were not really suitable for what we had to do. Matthew however, was very patient & understanding & that made our time together...fun.

We got the VTVM meter out & checked the non-operational heat sensor control unit from the (2) year old popper....sure enough, it was definitely defunct. Next we dug out the heat sensor from the old broken popper in the bag of parts & checked that sensor; it tested good. Now all we have to do is swap those sensors & re-assemble the unit. Oops, Kevin called from the kitchen: "Dinner is ready, come on up."

Dinner: Hamburgers with all the trimmings, corn on the cob, mixed salad &
Bing cherries.

After dinner, Matthew & I finished our project & then plugged the unit into a 120 volt receptacle to make sure it was heating....it was, so we took the next step. In the kitchen, we put (5) kernels in a little olive oil in the popper to check & make sure the heat was regulated; the kernels popped. Since that test also passed we think the newer Stir Crazy popper has been born again.
The remainder of the afternoon was spent outdoors, mostly in the back yard & alley: walking with Andrew on the sidewalk while he rode his tricycle; playing Frisbee with Matthew & Andrew, pushing Nathan on a few of the riding toys, & watching Matthew as he rode his bike with training wheels.

Before we left, we had a special 4th of July dessert, a raspberry, blueberry cheesecake (red, white & blue), largely made by Matthew under Melissa's supervision. The cake was very good, but the little guys did not like it, saying it was an "adult cake." Melissa, anticipating their reaction, had mint chocolate chip milk shakes standing ready.

It was another good day with the Footes.

Evening movie: "Possessed" with Joan Crawford, Van Heflin, Raymond Massey, Geraldine Brooks & Stanley Ridges. Crawford gives fine performance in intelligent study of woman whose subtle mental problems lead to ruin. Brooks, as Massey's daughter, is radiant in her film debut. 1947. Good story which was handled well.

Lights out: 11:32pm

Awake: 6:00am Temp 57 sleep 6+16 intermittent rain overnight @ Nicktown.

After a late breakfast, I got serious about repairing our Stir Crazy popcorn popper. Working on this project outside today was a nuisance; waves of rain continued throughout the afternoon & I was chased inside (4) times due to heavy downpours...but, after (2+) hrs, the Stir Crazy is back in action. Good thing too, my sister Corinne & her roommate Jane are coming over tonight for a dinner & a movie with popcorn. In fact, Kathy was about finished with the meal prep & started the popcorn popping when Jane & Corinne pulled into our driveway @ 4:55pm.

Kathy gave Jane a thorough tour of our home-on-wheels while Corinne & I updated each other. Jane was most inquisitive about the motorhome & our lifestyle & travels; Kathy had many answers.

Dinner: Italian Tuna casserole, mixed salad, multi grain bread, & a patriotic dessert of fresh raspberries, blueberries, & bananas with vanilla yogurt.

Then we got right down to business; Jane reviewed a number of movies from our DVR list of over (70) movies & selected: "The Cassandra Crossing." One of those sit on the edge of you seat adventures. Half way through this exciting movie, we paused the action; in lieu of biting our nails, Kathy brought each of us a medium size can of fresh popcorn to gnaw on.

The Cassandra Crossing: with Richard Harris, Sophia Loren, Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Martin Sheen, Lee Strasberg, O.J. Simpson, etc. Entertaining disaster epic as train carrying plague approaches a weakened bridge. 1977. My thoughts: don't waste you time on this story...but hey, the popcorn & company was (4) stars. Some might find the movie spellbinding & surreal, Kathy thought it was overdone & drawn out. We enjoyed having Corinne & Jane over for dinner & a movie. I like this method....it helps keep Kathy awake during the shows.

Lights out: 12:08am

Awake: 6:35am Temp 59 sleep 7+10 intermittent rain overnight @ Nicktown.

After our breakfast, K & I motored to Ebensburg & visited Hoover's Garage; they are a Snapper dealership & I am curious about getting parts, when necessary, for our 1986 lawnmower. One of the workers told me he needs to have a model & serial number.

Next, we made a stop @ Scanlan Electric just down the road from Hoover's Garage. I discussed a project with the guy behind the counter that my cousin Al & I are getting involved in. I am sure he knows more about spot light-lighting & what bulbs would be best for year around service in all kinds of weather. I gave him specific distances that we want to light up & questioned him on whether it would be better to use low voltage with step-down transformers or regular 120 volt. He said he would get back to me within a week.

Then we visited Kenny, a good friend of my brother; he invited Kathy & me over for a tour of their home. My brother talked about this house so much, we had to see it. We spent about 2.5 hrs seeing & discussing Kenny's masterpiece, most of which he designed & built himself. I must admit, many of the high tech ideas he has working in his home are already on our list for doing. I got the impression that whatever Kenny does, he does well & with precision. We also showed Kenny the 1st schematic prints of our house; he was very interested & brought up issues that made us take note. We thanked Kenny for the tour of his home, which by the way, is so well built & designed, it should last a long...long time with comfort. And we sure appreciated his keen eye in scrutinizing our house plans.

The Pex layout in Kenny's basement.

Next, K & I had dinner in Ebensburg @ Donatello's; it's her belated "Happy Birthday" treat. We shared a Lobster Ravioli dinner which was quite good but a tad pricey.

Lights out: 11:44pm

Awake: 5:57 Temp 56 sleep 5+35 intermittent rain overnight @ Nicktown.

After our koffee klub meeting, I visited the Krumenacker Hardware store & purchased a water filter. Later after breakfast, Kathy cleaned (3) filter canisters & I inserted (3) new filters into the canisters & then topped off our pure water tank.

Next I epoxy Kathy's sunglasses & set them aside for curing.

Some of our koffee klub members are celebrating birthdays & an anniversary today by going out for dinner @ Luigi's Ristorante in Clymer, PA. We were invited & Barry & Bonnie graciously offered to pick us up @ 5:30 pm & have us ride with them; altogether, a party of (13), including (2) children. K & I shared an eggplant Parmesan dinner. Good food & great company. We should do this more often. Oh, but there's more....

Barry, who knows many back roads like the palm of his hand, chose to return to Nicktown via another route, or more specifically, routes. Not only were these routes scenic & mysterious, but also places I've heard about but have never traveled. Barry was amazing; he admitted not knowing many home owners as we cruised along but he still kept busy telling us who lived in this house or that house, & that so & so used to live there but now Mr. & Mrs. XYZ live there, etc, etc. We were impressed; obviously he knew more residents than he admitted.

We did pass thru Penn Run but shortly up the road, took another route that eventually led us close to Nolo & the south side of Heilwood; then another place I've heard of but have never seen: the Dog Hollow Speedway; an extensively cleared area seemingly in the middle of nowhere with lots of bleacher seats & a huge parking area. After seeing the race track & layout, Barry then steered us toward the Blue Goose & onward to Colver.

By now, darkness & misty rain were upon us & the visibility was beginning to spoil our fun. We cruised around a few blocks in Colver, talked about the coal-generating plant & then, on another road I was unfamiliar with, returned to Nicktown. What a delightful surprise for us somewhat newcomers, to see & be toured to some of the small towns that the koffee klub members talk about but of which we know naught. Thanks Bonnie & Barry, it was GREAT!

We were back in our coach by 9:40pm.

Lights out: 11:25pm.

Awake: 6:29 Temp 59 sleep 5+56 morning rain overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy left early from our workout to go to the doctor for her annual physical. She returned smiling with a clean bill of good health.

Later, her long time good friend Marge called from Grand Junction, CO; they made up, made up, made up, for lost time.

Meanwhile, I did some reading from the NTSB Reporter & also spent time on our computer.

Dinner: leftover Lasagna, asparagus, Italian garlic bread, cantaloupe, grapes & Bing cherries.
Evening movie: "Strategic Air Command" with James Stewart, June Allyson, Frank Lovejoy, Barry Sullivan, Bruce Bennett, etc. Film only gets off the ground when Stewart does, as baseball player recalled to air force duty; Allyson is his sugary wife. 1955. Good airplane flick; there are no dreadful airplane movies made, right?

Lights out: 12:32am

Awake: 5:53am Temp 52 sleep 5+37 sunny...clouds overnight @ Nicktown.

"Happy Birthday to Kathy, my love!" This girl is sure looking good; she could easily pass as a "50" year old.

We left the koffee klub early & motored to Miners Hospital where we each had our blood drawn for testing in prep for our annual check-ups. Then we motored to Barnesboro & had a good breakfast @ Erma Jean's restaurant.

Next we visited an eye doctor to make an initial appointment for a check-up next week. After that stop, we toured the local thrift store then to Bi-Lo in Spangler for a few groceries & returned to Nicktown.

Phone & e-mail messages from family & friends awaited Kathy upon our return to our motorhome. It's always nice to be remembered on these special occasions.

Now that the grass is mostly dry, using our (100) ft tape measure, K & I spent time visualizing room size & kitchen size by placing marker flags inside our circular drive to correspond to the dimensions cited on the house plan. This is not the best way to get a picture of width & length...but it's a start!

Dinner: stuffed peppers & whole wheat Italian garlic bread.

Nick Skyped us late evening; within minutes, our audio & visual began to breakup which has a tendency to spoil the rendezvous occasion. Well, I thought I'd try & get a better signal, or whatever, by pulling the plug on my powered Micro USB unit; then our whole computer suddenly went into shock mode with no picture & I had no control over anything. After a few long & scary seconds, I forced the computer into shutdown & then re-connected my powered Micro USB unit. Gradually, bit by bit, everything came back to life; then an amazing thing happened: we talked & saw each other for (54) min without any breakup of audio or video what-so-ever. Skype for us has never been so clear & understandable since the beginning. Maybe all along, the plug for that Micro USB unit was not making a good contact connection? Anyway, this was a great "change" for a change.


Lights out: 12:33am


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