September 2009 Archives

Awake: 6:38am Temp 56 sleep 6+14 off & on rain overnight @ Nicktown.

Gary C. called & offered us an opportunity to have our Snapper lawnmower stored for the winter in their garage. I gave this thoughtful & generous prospect some deep & heavy consideration. I don't like passing up good deals like this but, later, I had to let Gary know that "I'm just not ready." I would like to get (1) more mowing in.....adding to the memories of having so much fun so many times this summer.

K & I attended the 6:00pm vigil Mass @ Nicktown. Afterward, we were invited for dinner @ Max & Diana's place, which by the way, Max prepared: his special power hamburgers with all the trimmings, a mixed salad & wine. I applauded Max for his hidden talents & braveness.
Kathy insisted on helping Diana clean up the dinner dishes while Max & I did our best to cheer the Penn State Nittany Lions on to a victory which, we didn't know until later, didn't happen.
This picture was taken of Max & Diana with Kathy when visiting @ their home in Florida earlier this yr, 24 January; we helped celebrate Diana's birthday.

Evening movie: "From Russia with Love" with Sean Connery, Daniela Bianchi, Lotte Lenya, Pedro Armendariz, Robert Shaw, etc. Second James Bond film is one of the best; plenty of suspense & action, and one of the longest, most exciting fight scenes ever staged. Lenya makes a very sinister spy. 1963. Kathy can hardly wait for the next Bond film.

Lights out: 12:36am.

Awake: 5:28am Temp 58 sleep 5+39 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

After Kathy had her breakfast, she drove over to the Lambert building in town where they are having a garage sale. When she returned, she told me most of the articles were for young girls so she bought nothing.

Late morning, I was simply minding my own business when a car pulled up, rang our doorbell & then whoever, quickly ran to the other side of our motorhome where he/she could not be seen.

Well, another nice surprise! It's my old buddy, Ed, from Long Island, N.Y. He & his wife, Mary Ann, are visiting her mother in Patton, PA. & will be attending the wedding of a nephew on Sat.

Ed took the time to briefly look us up & see how much progress we've made on our house. I think that's why he ran to the other side of our motorhome to see....only weeds.

We had a good chat for about (45) min & then Ed was off to visit other family members. One of these summers, we may have to visit Mary A. & Ed on Long Island. He unclenched his fists after I made that last statement.

Mid afternoon, another car drove onto our circular drive; this time (2) guys got out & within minutes, vanished into our woods. Later, after they emerged from the forest, I went outside, introduced myself & found out they are the topographical surveyors who will be checking the elevation changes where our house will be built.

Later afternoon, I took the time to thoroughly clean out, hose down, & toss some of the "stuff" I've accumulated in pump house # 2 for the last couple of yrs.

Dinner: Egg plant stew with orzo, mixed salad, bread & a fruit salad.

Evening movie: We delayed the movie: "From Russia with Love" because that is the 2nd Bond movie & I actually preferred to introduce the 1st Bond movie: "Dr. NO" to Kathy. This way, she might seriously consider being a "Bond Girl" when the series is over.

"Dr. NO" with Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Joseph Wiseman, Jack Lord, Bernard Lee, Lois Maxwell. First James Bond film is least pretentious, with meatier story, better all-around production of Ian Fleming caper. 1962. Kathy stayed awake & actually enjoyed this movie.

Lights out: 12:24am.

Awake: 5:52am Temp 63 sleep 5+48 fog, then mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

After our Koffee Klub, & back in our motor home, Karen called Kathy from her cell phone on I-95 south. They have a mutual friend, Jan, who Karen was going to try to contact, but got no answer after (2) attempts so she & Steve are proceeding to FL. She also thanked Kathy for their anniversary dinner & for being available for their visit.

Later, Kathy went grocery shopping in Barnesboro; now is a good time for me to bring in the hummingbird feeder. We haven't seen any hummingbirds for over a week now & I'm confident they have gone south. Next I fixed a latch on one of our cabinet doors, cleaned up some dishes, & then gave the junction box a final water proofing closure by sealing the power cord with silicone, a (5) min thing.

We've invited my 1st cousin Florentz for dinner tonight, & he arrived @ 4:10pm. Before coming into our motorhome, Florentz & I talked about our well water; he dowsed both of our wells. 1st one in 2002, the driller went down to 110 ft; the water was pure & tasted great. A few yrs later, something happened & our well spewed out a lot of orange iron Florentz dowsed for another well. This time the driller went down to (160) ft; Florentz wanted us to have a good reserve & this water was also pure & tasty.

About (2) yrs ago, something changed again, & now, after a heavy rain, we do have some iron in our water. If I let the water run onto the ground for awhile, usually it will clear up to be as pure & tasty as before. I do spend more time with the water works than I like, but usually that pure water is worth the extra effort.

Dinner: beef stew, bread & cantaloupe. We do a lot of kibitzing before & after the meal. Florentz has been one of my favorite cousins for over (50) yrs now, & I still enjoy hanging out with him.

Evening movie: "From Russia with Love." We watched a mere 20 min.

Lights out: 11:49pm.

Awake: 7:20am Temp 63 sleep 7+21 afternoon rain overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

About 8:30am, Karen called with a heads up for a 9:00am rendezvous @ Roland's for breakfast...which is about (7) min from Nicktown.

In the restaurant, Karen & Kathy continued their rapid fire yak-yak (they've been friends for 42 yrs) while Steve & I just looked @ each other. Kathy was as eager to see as Karen was to show her a snowman quilt & embroidered snowmen squares that she had made. Karen really is quite the talented seamstress!

Roland's serves a good sized breakfast so halfway through our meal, both K & I requested a doggy bag in lieu of stuffing ourselves.

Time went quickly, & soon, K & I said our goodbyes as K & S will be motoring to Philidelphia today to visit Steve's aunt & spend the night...& tomorrow, on the road to Florida. We thanked them for their visit & wished them bon voyage & safe traveling.
Early afternoon I visited with Dave & did a lot of car talk. Later, I drove our Buick to the storage facility for the winter.

Dinner: BLT's with pickled cucumbers, potato chips & cantaloupe.

Kathy called Melissa to check on Nathan. The Dr. has been hearing a heart murmur & today Melissa took him to Indiana Hospital to have an echo cardiogram. He got thru the procedure OK, but Melissa won't know the results for several days. We also wanted to visit the Footes again before the week ended, but Melissa has activities planned with friends & will not be available; we'll line something up for next week.

Finish movie: "Manpower" with Edward G. Robinson, Marlene Dietrich, George Raft, Alan Hale, etc. Lively, typical Warner Bros. film, with nightclub "hostess" Dietrich coming between high-voltage power line workers Robinson & Raft. Scene in a diner is worth the price of admission. 1941. Back in 1941, admission would be about .25 cents....what would it cost today?

Lights out: 12:04am.

Awake: 5:54am Temp 63 sleep 6+23 light rain morning overnight @ Nicktown.

After our Koffee Klub meeting, I had a small breakfast & then drove the Buick to Al's Tire Service in Barnesboro for an oil change, filter, lube job & new anti-freeze in the radiator. During my waiting time, I read an RV magazine & some more of the Smithsonian book of "Flight."

Meanwhile, Kathy dropped by & said a quick "how's it going?" before visiting the library & a few other stops. Actually the mechanic was finishing up on the Buick, so from here, I topped off the tank & returned to Nicktown.

We are expecting Karen & Steve around 5:00pm today; they are on their way from MI to FL & stopping to visit friends & family along the way. Our last visit with them was on January 11, 2009 in the Villages of Florida where they have their winter home.

Karen & Steve arrived about 5:30pm & we wasted no time getting into the "yak-yak" mode. Today is their 36th wedding anniversary so we treated them to dinner at Roland's. Kathy & I shared a meatloaf dinner.

After dinner, back at the MH, Kathy & Karen scrutinized our house plans as they are so far. Steve showed us a golf club that belonged to his grandfather; a beautiful wooden shaft & club head in excellent condition. About 9:00 pm Karen & Steve left for Barnesboro where they will spend the night at the City Hotel. We'll wait for their call to meet for breakfast.

Lights out: 11:59pm.

Awake: 6:55am Temp 59 sleep 7+03 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

After breakfast, K & I motored to the Foote Castle arriving @ 12:02pm. We spent about (2.5) hrs with the grandchildren & Katrina....some of that time was in the "Bee" room & other times downstairs. We did more casual observing today than interacting & my camera was busy scanning for photos suitable for this tower that Andrew built + the center section pulls out making it twice as high.

About 2:30, Melissa & the boys said their goodbyes to us & Katrina for now & went on their weekly walk to the library. Then Katrina loaded up her rental car, turned on her GPS, & got the signals from space. We said our goodbyes & bon voyage to Katrina for now; she's off for Pittsburgh, then Atlanta & then home to Denver. It was sure nice having her in the area for a few days.

Next we did our grocery shopping @ Wal-Mart & returned to Nicktown.

Dinner: With yummy homegrown tomatoes, we had BLTs & cantaloupe.

Evening movie: "Manpower." We watched ½.

Lights out: 11:31pm.

Awake: 7:20am Temp 52 sleep 6+32 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Before breakfast, I made a quick trip to Bi-Lo in Spangler & purchased maple syrup & bacon. Our youngest daughter, Katrina, will be joining us for breakfast this morning.

She arrived about 10:00am & we had a meal of: sourdough pancakes with maple syrup, eggs over easy & bacon. We haven't had breakfast together for a long time & it was fun to eat & chat & laugh.

I cleaned up most of the dishes before visiting my junction box project @ the church, checking on the epoxy curing job to water proof the hole with power cord. When I returned, Kathy let me know about Gary's (2) phone calls & that he would like me to call him back ASAP. Pronto, I called Gary, left a message & waited about (20) min for a return call.

Meanwhile, the girls had finished cleaning & drying the breakfast dishes & Kathy had begun giving Katrina a walking tour of the town.

After no return call from Gary, I left another message & then set out to catch up with the girls doing the tour. I never did rendezvous; but on my return walk, there they were coming down the road from the opposite direction. From Katrina's description, Kathy gave Katrina a good tour.

Now, time was running short for us, but we both toured Katrina around some of our property before Kathy rode with Katrina back to the Foote Castle. I followed about (15) min later.

Corinne was already @ the Foote Castle when I arrived; she told me due to an earlier mix up with her schedule, she could only stay about (10) min longer. She did get to visit with Katrina for a short time tho, which was good.

Such a nice day! I thought maybe the old stand-by: "blow up the balloons" outside with the Foote boys would be some good fun...& it was. We did the keep, whistle or fly procedure & they loved it. We had also put a balloon inside a balloon, but when Katrina joined in the fun, she improved on the idea & put a balloon inside a balloon inside a balloon (3). It was a hit from the start! Having the small air compressor powered by the 12 volt battery charger made the production quite feasible.

Dinner by Kevin topped it all: grilled hamburgers, some with blue cheese inside; hot dogs, some made into octopi for the boys; French fries; & Kathy's mixed salad.

After dinner, one by one, the boys took their showers & then the reading began; Matthew was mesmerized by a 1937 kid's book about Electricity. With pictures of the Hoover Dam & how electricity is generated by Hydro power; transformers stepping up the voltage so the transmission lines can carry that high voltage many miles to cities & then the voltage gets reduced so as to power homes & industries. He was tired but he wanted me to finish reading that electricity book. This is a good book for him to further his interest in the electric world.

Meanwhile, Katrina was reading a recently acquired book to Andrew. This was the weekend of the St. Thomas More parish book sale. Kevin & Katrina went to the sale on Fri night & Katrina saw to it that her suitcase was going to be much heavier on her return trip.

Melissa had her turn to load up on books on Sat. morning so there certainly is no lack of books in the Foote house.

Later, when Melissa was upstairs with the boys for quite some time & Katrina was showing signs of sleepiness, & Gregory was most comfortable in Kevin's care, we thought perhaps it was a good time to say, "goodnight & see you tomorrow!" And back to our motorhome we went.

Lights out: 11:52pm.

Awake: 6:05am Temp 47 sleep 5+55 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

After breakfast, I spent over an hr cleaning up my act on the junction box. Using silicone, I water-proofed the conduit section leading into the junction box & where the power cord enters the junction box. Only a few minute details remain & I then will be able to say: "This case is closed." Long live the lights shining on the Fatima Shrine.

About 1:40pm, the Foote family & Katrina arrived in our driveway; this afternoon we are all going to do the Lieb Corn Maze, only ½ mile down the road. This will be our 4th time challenging the maze experts. The Foote kids did quite well for the 1st hr, & then they retreated to the corn box & played with the toy trucks & excavating equipment.
Meanwhile, Kathy, Katrina & I were determined to find all the hidden nursery rhyme characters, which took us another (1.5) hrs & a lot of patience. This time though, yours truly was the winner in our group as Kathy & Katrina were unable to find that last one! These Lieb people do a great job constructing the maze & it is fun, regardless of our age.

The Footes with Katrina returned to Indiana, PA; we will join them in about (3.5) hrs.
In the meantime, I suggested to Kathy that after our vigorous foot workout, we have a White Wheat (new beer) @ the Nicktown Hotel. She was all for it.

After our beer, we attended the 6:00pm Mass @ St. Nicholas Church & then, called in an order of pizza @ the Blue Goose Restaurant & Bar about (3) miles down the road. We took this large pizza to the Foote Castle & all the adults had a late snack. Of course, the children were in bed (save for Gregory) & we still had much to talk about.

Lights out: 12:48am.

Awake: 5:11am Temp 53 sleep 5+29 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

After our workout @ the community center & breakfast in our motorhome, I gathered tools from my toolbox & the tools Joel loaned me, & drove the Buick to church. Then I set up the hammer drill for action.

Unbelievable how fast & easy the Jack Hammer with drill bit moves through concrete; I had two holes of proper depth finished in a matter of minutes. After fastening & waterproofing some of the junction Box, I ran the 12-Volt wires through the conduit & then brought the conduit section into a hole previously made in the junction box. Next, I wired up the 12-volt transformer, then ran the plug from the transformer to the 120 volt receptacle / ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).

Next, K & I left @ 4:00pm & motored to the Foote Castle to spend some time with our grandsons & to be there to welcome our daughter, Katrina, when she arrived from Denver.

During our waiting time, Matthew & I attempted to repair a miniature, Spiderman battery powered plastic motorcycle. Matthew had already taken every possible piece apart that he could; so now what we have is a bunch of small parts to deal with. We made little progress in the basement; Matthew quickly became bored....maybe due to: soldering small wires together is crucial, or/and he expected a quick fix, or/and it wasn't fun just holding a wire in place, etc. After all, he's only 5&1/2 yrs old now.

Katrina arrived @ 7:30pm, tired from her day's travel but still looking good. She saved us a round trip to the Pittsburgh Airport by renting a car & driving in herself. We certainly do appreciate that + she has the freedom to roam on her own as she pleases. Andrew & Nathan were already in bed but Matthew was still up & very excited to see Aunt Katrina. She finished reading a book to him that Kathy & I had started before he had to go to bed. We sat & talked for a few hrs before returning to our home-on-wheels.

Dinner: left-over Chili with macaroni & Tostitos; still very delicious.

Lights out: 12:10am.

Awake: 7:02am Temp 55 sleep 7+26 overcast overnight @ Nicktown.

After breakfast, K & I motored to Johnstown again & returned our DVD unit to Gruss Electronics...along with one DVD disc for the techs to check out.

From here we drove straight back to Nicktown where Kathy did (3) loads of laundry. Later I took some measurements to identify where to place the junction box.Then I bought a drill bit @ the Krumenacker Hardware Store for drilling into cement with Joel's Hammer Drill.That's all the time I have for this project today.

Dinner: Chili with macaroni & Tostitos.

We finished the movie: "The More the Merrier" with Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn, Richard Gaines, Bruce Bennett, etc. The wartime housing shortage forces Arthur to share a Washington, D.C., apartment with McCrea and crafty old codger Coburn (who won an Oscar for this comic performance.) 1943. Very entertaining.

Lights out: 11:42pm.

Awake: 6:52am Temp 55 sleep 6+56 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

The Paper Airplane book arrived today in the mail. I am excited to have a go @ it.

About 1:30pm, K & I motored to Hastings, PA & visited Joe. I've talked with Joe many times about his 027 train layout ....letting him know I would be interested in seeing his work of art sometime & today's the day.

Joe is very organized & ditto for the superior train layout in his basement. Aside from the multiple tracks, tunnels, track switching units, engines, etc, I was most impressed with his control panel. Every switch, lever, button & miscellaneous control feature was directly in front of him...allowing one to keep a sharp eye on the trains & control them @ the same time. I did however, decline his generous offer for me to be a train engineer...only because I knew we both had more things yet to do today; maybe next time.

We thanked Joe profusely for this opportunity & his time, & then drove across town to Haida Care Center to visit with Richard.

We found Richard outside in his wheelchair basking in the sun. I did some reminiscing of the old days with Richard & I do believe he really enjoyed that...he sure laughed a lot that's for sure. It was one of our better visits yet.

Back in our motorhome, I called Gruss Electronics in Johnstown & reported our freezing glitch with the Zenith DVD. They asked me to "bring it back & we'll send for a new laser unit."

Dinner: fresh tomato veggie soup, fried noodles & sourdough bread; plus broccoli, cauliflower & a fruit salad.

@ 8:15pm, I attended another meeting @ the church hall regarding the replacement of the church roofing. Again, no decisions were made but there were several opinions verbalized; more research has been requested.

After the meeting, Joel gave me some of his tools to use in finishing the Fatima Shrine project.

Lights out: 11:36pm.

Awake: 5:55am Temp 58 sleep 5+42 light rain...morning overnight @ Nicktown.

After our exercise & breakfast, K & I got serious about the "hunt." I want to finish the Fatima Shrine project by using a waterproof junction box & finding a suitable size has been a nuisance; they are either too small or too large.

We started by visiting Bobik's Home Center in Spangler; I gave the attendant a description of what I was looking for. He told me he didn't carry anything that big in junction boxes but I wanted to look in the electrical aisle anyway. "That's the largest we have" he says, & I was about ready to turn around & leave when my eyes caught hold of a larger junction box on another shelf. "I think this will work" I told the attendant but I do want to check the competition.

Strollo's Building Material didn't have anything close to Bobik's, so I purchased the Junction Box from Bobik's.

Back in Nicktown, I dropped Kathy off @ our motorhome, & then visited the area where the Junction Box will be located. I made a quick check to be sure the transformer will fit inside the box...& it did, so the hunt is over. Amazing, after visiting the Tractor Supply store & Trader Horn, both in Indiana, PA; Lowe's in Johnstown; & Krumenacker Hardware in Nicktown, the coveted junction box was a mere (3) miles down the road.

Dinner: halibut, brown & wild rice & a fruit salad.

Evening time: I attended a holy name meeting @ the church hall. Much discussion was focused on replacing the church roof. In fact, Father Job would like us all to attend another meeting tomorrow specifically addressing this matter. At the meeting, I talked to Joel about borrowing his hammer drill now that I have a suitable junction box. He said he would bring those tools with him to tomorrow's meeting.

I had left Kathy watching another DVD movie to further check out our unit. When I returned, the movie was not playing & she informed me that the freezing problem was nearly as bad as it was before.

Lights out: 11:56pm

Awake: 6:50am Temp 60 sleep 7+00 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

After breakfast, K & I motored to Johnstown; stopping 1st @ Lowe's Hardware searching for a junction box, & then to pick up our DVD Player @ Gruss Electronic Repair. From there we stopped @ Conzatti's for more meat & cheese & topped off the Toyota with fuel @ Get-Go. We picked up a few more groceries @ Wal-Mart & lastly, enjoyed a cup of coffee @ Starbucks.

Back @ our motorhome, I reinstalled the DVD player & finished the last (15) min of the movie: "Family Man." Maybe the DVD player is fixed, we hope so.

Dinner: Pork chops, fried noodles, bread, apple sauce & cantaloupe slices.

Katrina called from Denver & gave us a report on her Triathlon race. Out of approx 500 racers, she came in # 55. Pretty darn good I would say.

Around 9:00 pm, I armed myself with a can of Hornet & Wasp spray, climbed up on our roof, & aimed the nozzle @ the perpetrators, flashed the light @ their hideout & shot the yellow jackets down with about (2) sprays of lethal poison. The night watch bug was snoozing.

Evening movie: "The More the Merrier." We watched ½.

Lights out: 12:13am.

Awake: 6:45am Temp 54 sleep 5+12 overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

Kathy made her famous sourdough pancakes with all the trimmings for our breakfast.
Mid morning, Kathy watched her political programs & I joined her during the more interesting moments.

Mid afternoon, we drove to the community center & exercised for (1.2) hrs.

Later, I had a good chat with Bill in WA State; more discussion on trying to pin down a rendezvous day & city to spend some time together in our RV's.

Dinner: small steak with wild & brown rice, a mixed salad & cantaloupe slices.

Melissa called to wish us a "Happy Grandparents" day. We didn't realize this was the day, but sure appreciated the good wishes & the conversation that followed.

Evening movie: "I'm All Right Jack" with Ian Carmichael, Terry-Thomas, Peter Sellers, Richard Attenborough, Margaret Rutherford, etc. Carmichael works for his uncle and unwittingly upsets an elaborate and crooked business scheme in this memorable comedy. Sellers, wonderful as labor leader. 1959. Anyone interested in Unions? Here is your opportunity to learn their skills of success.

Lights out: 11:50pm.

Awake: 6:03am Temp 55 sleep 6+12 overcast overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

After our Koffee Klub meeting, I purchased (2) small water filters @ the Nicktown hardware store for our portable filter system; these will most likely be used during our fall-winter travels.

Most of the afternoon was spent reading: Kathy read her novel & cooking magazines & I read RV & flying magazines.

Katrina called from Denver; she gave us the latest scoop on her activities one of which is a Triathlon. She has been getting herself strengthened up for the occasion which is tomorrow. She also spent time with Karina who is doing pretty good...authorities have given up on foster care & are now looking for a group home for her.

K & I attended 6:00 pm vigil Mass in Nicktown.

Dinner: homemade fresh tomato, veggie soup, leftover fish, mashed potatoes & gravy from Friday evening's meal.

Evening movie: "The Foreign Correspondent" with Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall, George Sanders, Albert Basserman, Robert Benchley, etc. McCrea in title role caught in middle of spy ring with reporters Sanders and Benchley, innocent Day, suspicious father Marshall. Tremendously entertaining film with several vintage Hitchcock showpieces. 1940. Kathy loves those mystery-crime stories.

Lights out: 1:27am.

Awake: 6:21am Temp 50 sleep 6+10 afternoon & evening rain overnight @ Nicktown.

After morning exercising & brunch, I called Bill M. in WA & left a message. We are trying to rendezvous somewhere this fall either in PA or later in CA. Then I called Larry in WI & gabbed for (20) min. We talked of rendezvousing with Larry & Sally in San Diego toward the yrs end.

K & I ordered Ken Blackburn's "Paper Airplane Book" on line. The author of this book has held the world's record for the longest airborne paper airplane flight (27.6) sec; just recently that record has been broken by .3 sec by a Japanese fellow.

Tonight we are honored to be invited by my sister Corinne to have dinner @ Roland's Family Restaurant in Spangler. "Order whatever you want" says Corinne. "Wow!" In addition to having some good food, Kathy doesn't have to cook & I don't have to do the dishes. "This is a real treat!"

Corinne had the turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, gravy, & stuffing. Kathy had the fish dinner with baked potato & mixed salad. I also had the fish dinner but with mashed potatoes & gravy + mixed salad. Kathy & I couldn't finish our meals, which were very good, so we each ordered a doggie bag.

We also had a tour of the 2nd floor of the restaurant given by Ruth, a 1st cousin who's daughter & son-in-law are the restaurant owners. The area has a kitchen, bathrooms, & space that can accommodate up to 100 people.

Back in our motorhome, Zack called from the Sea-Tac Airport; he was on his way to San Francisco tonight. Both a social visit with his buddy Jeff for (2) days & (4) days attending a business conference during which he will give a talk for Isilon Systems.

We couldn't show Corinne any slides on the big screen of our travels as our DVD hasn't been picked up yet from Gruss Electronics Repair in Johnstown. Corinne will wait until another time to see those slides. We just enjoyed talking with each other. We thanked her profusely for her generosity tonight & wished her a good week with the UPJ students & faculty members.

We finished watching: "The 49th Parallel" with Anton Walbrook, Eric Portman, Leslie Howard, Raymond Massey, Laurence Olivier, etc. Taut, exciting WW2 yarn of Nazi servicemen whose U-Boat is sunk off the Canadian coast. Top-notch cast, rich suspense and characterizations. 1941. Unusual but great story. Without a doubt, add it to your list.

Lights out: 11:51pm.

Awake: 6:02am Temp 60 sleep 6+07 mostly cloudy overnight @ Nicktown.

After breakfast, I went outside & began to organize things I have in the basement bays. Having been here in Nicktown for over (5) months now, "stuff" is accumulating in our bays, stuff which I have to keep, toss or take with.

Mid afternoon, Nick called from Seattle & updated us on his business trip to New York City. He also mentioned that he & Eriko may be interested in a pre-owned 1995 Mercedes Benz which they both took for a test drive & liked very much.

Dinner: tuna steak, fresh corn on the cob, wild & brown rice & a mixed salad.

Evening movie: "49th Parallel." We watched ½.

Lights out: 12:11am.

Awake: 6:50am Temp 60 sleep 7+06 mostly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

After breakfast, K & I motored to Indiana, PA. 1st stop, Tractor Supply Co., trying to find something that will be waterproof, made of steel & lockable for the transformer we are using to light up the Fatima Shrine; nothing came close.

Then we spent about (3) hrs with our grandsons @ the Foote Castle. We had a lot of fun today. As in the past, we blew up small balloons using a 12 volt battery charger & a small powered air pump giving a choice to keep, fly, or whistle the balloons. Next we made (4) paper airplanes & flew them inside, & then a paper parachute that gradually floated down from the ceiling. The boys were certainly interested.

For a break in the air business, we gathered on the 3rd floor & helped Melissa reorganize their playroom...which it needed.

At times, both Andrew & Nathan were doing their own thing...Nathan putting wooden puzzles together & playing with the large magnets while Andrew was building with the small, powerful magnets, constructing an arched tunnel.

We left about 4:00pm & briefly visited the Trader Horne store looking for a metal box; not found. Then grocery shopped @ Wal-Mart & returned to Nicktown.

K & I attended 6:00pm Mass & afterwards, enjoyed some good company & beer with Theresa & John @ the Nicktown Hotel.

Dinner: leftover Italian sausage with peppers, onions & mushrooms.

Mid evening: we watched & listened to Pres Obama's address to Congress on his Nat'l Health Care plans.

Lights out: 12:05am.

Awake: 6:31am Temp 62 sleep 6+57 off & on rain overnight @ Nicktown.

After our Koffee Klub meeting, I topped off the pure water tank so Kathy could do some more laundry.

Casual afternoon, some computer time interspersed with magazine reading.

Barry picked us up @ 6:15pm for our mini-high school class reunion in Barnesboro. We were delighted to see & spend time with: Jim & Lynne, Pat & Alice, Bill, Kitty, Janet, & of course, Barry, Kathy & me.

Most of us have not seen Janet for over (40) yrs; she was somewhat of a mystery girl to us due to missing so many invitations to attend previous class reunions. She was quite lively & insisted that she'll do better on future requests. We did a lot of reminiscing followed by plenty of laughter. It's always so interesting to find out what our classmates have done over the decades as we continue in our senior lifestyles.

Our dinner of pizza & beer fit right into this unique occasion & we hope to continue having many more of these on-the-spot gatherings as the yrs roll forth.

Lights out: 11:44pm.

Monday 7 September 2009

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Awake: 6:50am Temp 63 sleep 7+11 overcast -- drizzle overnight @ Nicktown.

@ our Koffee Klub meeting this morning, we were all thankful that mother nature was so kind giving us such good weather yesterday.

Mid afternoon, K & I visited with my 1st cousins in Kirschtown: Louie, Cyril & Tony. During my youth, our homestead was a mere (5) min walk to their place & my brother & I spent many good times with these guys. We always have much to talk about & today was no exception.

When we arrived, they were just finishing dinner at their sister, Gloria's (next door) which I tried to avoid; but they twisted our arms, found some delicious leftovers + a little good wine so how could we refuse.

After eating & visiting with Gloria & her husband & some of their adult kids; Cy's wife, Jan; & Louie's daughter, Karen, Louie, Cy & Jan, Tony & we moved down to the Louis homestead & continued our chatter for another hour. We left them as rain was threatening & the guys were getting their powerful spotlight ready to go deer spotting in a nearby field ...just like the good ole days.

Back in our MH, my buddy, Barry, called to let us know that tomorrow, we are invited to join him & some of our classmates in Barnesboro for a mini-class reunion. "No question about it, we'll be there" I tell him.

Evening movie: "The Animal Kingdom" with Ann Harding, Leslie Howard, Myrna Loy, William Gargan, Neil Hamilton, Ilka Chase, etc, Publisher Howard, undergoing a crisis in values, has had a relationship with free-spirited artist Harding but marries manipulative, middle-class Loy. 1932. Slow & not Kathy's style. She fought to keep those big eyes open.

Lights out: 11:44.

Awake: 6:53am Temp 57 sleep 6+43 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA

Rosemary & Gary C. arrived @ 10:00am giving us a few minutes to talk before the planned arrival of the Footes. Corinne announced she would be coming later & would join us in the dinner line, & my brother & his wife have for yrs been joining us when we are close to the dining room entrance.

@ 10:35, G, R, & I started walking to the church hall while Kathy remained @ the motorhome waiting for the Foote family. We didn't get far when suddenly this fast moving van came roaring into our driveway, yes it was the Footes.

Already the dinner line was wrapped completely around the pavilion & starting up toward the road when we arrived on the Festival grounds. One thing about a slow moving line, you can update each other along the way, meet old friends & relatives, as well as, make new acquaintances.

Our crew was complete about (35) min from the dining entrance; we also took in 1st cousin Jo Ann which made our total (13). We were seated just before noon time & as expected, the service, food & atmosphere were delightful. I could have eaten another piece of homemade cherry pie but nothing else @ this time.

Afterward, Kathy went with the Footes to Funland, the tent of fun things to do for the little (young) people. Our guys had a good time fishing for dolphins; choosing from the duck pond; driving the car maze (a bit too difficult for our guys); filling plastic necklaces at the "sand art" booth; etc, but they missed the "Digging for Dinosaurs" game which was replaced by the "Pirate's Treasure Chest" (too involved & not as much fun).

And I met up with quite a few classmates, cousins, friends, & neighbors, both near & far during my social time....whom I haven't seen for awhile, a year or years.

Mid afternoon, I joined up with the Foote Family & Kathy & spent some time with them before they decided to return to their Foote Castle. Kathy walked back to the MH with them & spent some more time before returning to the Festival grounds.

After Kathy returned we both hung around until about 7:30pm...kibitzing with the locals & having a tasty hamburger with onions & peppers.

@ 9:00pm, we watched the fireworks which lasted a good (25) min. This was certainly a very pleasant day & so nice to see so many cars parked anywhere & everywhere.
In our motorhome, we finished: "The Bridge on the River Kwai" with William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa, Geoffrey Horne, James Donald, Andre Morell, etc. British soldiers in Japanese prison camp build a bridge as a morale exercise..under single-minded leadership of British colonel Holden and Hawkins plot to destroy it. Psychological battle of wills combined with high-powered action sequences makes this a blockbuster. Seven Oscars including best picture & director, best actor, Guinness, etc, etc. 1957. Really, really a good show mates.

Lights out: 11:39pm.

Awake: 6:33am Temp 52 sleep 6+46 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

After a quick (15) min with the Koffee Klub members, I reported to my boss, Jim, @ the pavilion, which is next to the church hall. I volunteered to work the day before our Nicktown Homecoming Festival so I'd be free all Sunday to enjoy the people, those living near & far, whom I know & don't get to spend much time with.

Meanwhile, my partner Mike & I did as we were asked & started opening closed windows/doors on the pavilion; approx (9) & bringing the pavilion to life with air & light.

Next, more help arrived to string out 5 or 6 long tarps which we secured by rope in a zigzag pattern for over 100 feet of roofline...back & forth from the pavilion to the church hall. Then another zigzag rope from building to building goes on top of the tarps to hold them down in the event of strong winds. They also give the people who are in line for dinner some welcome shade.

A side job was with another Mike; he helped me carry (2) rather large clothes hangers (5-6) feet in length, over to the church hall from the pavilion. So far, these projects have taken us about (3) hrs total.

Then my boss, Jim, asked if I could help the guys replace the tablecloth & cover it with plastic where people will be leaning & waiting for their food from his hamburger, French fry stand. About this same time, Kathy meandered into the pavilion & automatically offered to help us. Good thing she did; that job took another (1.5) hrs. Jim was very appreciative for that.

Kathy spent about (2.5) hrs in the kitchen prepping raw chicken pieces on large trays with oil, S & P & paprika to be kept in the refrigerator, ready for early morning cooking tomorrow, & cooked chicken pieces for the shut-ins.

K & I returned to our motorhome by 2:00pm. Later we walked to church & attended the 6:00 pm vigil Mass. Many people opt to attend this Mass giving them time on Sunday to get an early start lining up for admittance to the church hall to feast on the chicken noodle dinner & homemade pies.

Dinner: CBLTs...that's corned beef, lettuce & tomato!

Evening movie: "The Bridge on the River Kwai" We watched ½.

Lights out: 12:10am.

Awake: 5:50am Temp 51 sleep 6+12 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

At our Koffee Klub meeting this morning, we welcomed Roger, a distinguished out-of-town visitor from Texas, & also a school classmate. Roger & his wife, Maria, will be in town for several days attending his family reunion & also the Nicktown Homecoming Festival.

In lieu of a breakfast this morning, K & I held out a few more hrs & had a brunch of BLT's with more home-grown tomatoes.

Late afternoon, K & I motored to Spangler to assist Corinne in setting up the tables for our annual Kirsch cousins' reunion tonight....set to start @ 5:30pm. We've done this before & the last time, Corinne had everything perfectly in order by the time we arrived. Ditto again! Everything is hunky-dory waiting for the crowd.

Nearly everyone brought something in the food & drink category; covered dish treats were abundant & desserts oh so tempting. Nearly (40) cousins were in attendance, young & not so young. After our meals, Corinne introduced a colorful singing game she prepared for tonight. For example, the color yellow: each table of cousins (3 tables) had to sing a song that used the color "yellow" in their song... & the next table, a different song using the same color & so forth until no more songs could be thought of using that color. The last table to sing a genuine song using "yellow" would be declared the winner Then, it was onto another color & more songs...such talent!!
Of course the stakes were all expense paid trip to Bermuda for two. Yes, the singing song of colors was well received but...NO trip to Bermuda.

Next, our expert story, poem & joke teller, cousin Florentz; he kept us in stitches for a good (35) min.

Finished the movie: "A Shot in the Dark" with Peter Sellers, Elke Sommer, George Sanders, Herbert Lom, Tracy Reed, Burt Kwouk, etc. Second Inspector Clouseau comedy is far and away the funniest, with the great detective convinced gorgeous Sommer is innocent of murder despite all evidence to the contrary. 1964. Laughing is the best medicine during times of unrest & this flick will certainly keep you smiling +.

Lights out: 11:47pm.

Awake: 6:05am Temp 51 sleep 6+16 sunny overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

After the Koffee Klub meeting, Kathy joined the ladies in making candy @ the church hall from 9:30am until 2:15pm. She was looking a little tired when she returned.

During her absence, my buddy Gary called with plans to join us @ our Homecoming picnic on Sunday. This is the same guy from St. Augustine who tortured & threatened me unmercifully about coming to their picnic or they wouldn't be coming to our picnic. Now he is fairly confident that he & Rosemary will be able to honor us with their presence. That's more like it!

Next I changed the main filter in the pump house & then topped off our pure water tank.

Looking for a good excuse to drive the Buick, I decided to go to Barnesboro to check my tires @ Sheets for proper air pressure & to buy a small can of brake fluid @ CarQuest Auto Parts store. In route, I stopped & visited my cousin Bernie, who was sunning himself on the side yard in his powered wheelchair. We chatted for a good (20) min & then I continued to Barnesboro.

Back in our motorhome, a surprise visit from Charlie & Ellen from Ohio enlightened our day. We chatted briefly inside & then joined them @ the Nicktown Hotel for a beer, pizza & lots of good talk. They are coming to our picnic on Sunday & also attending Charlie's mom's 95th birthday celebration on Monday.
Evening movie: "A Shot in the Dark." We watched ½.

Lights out: 11:38pm.

Awake: 5:53am Temp 47 sleep 6+09 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

After our workout in the community center with Debby, we had a small breakfast & then motored to visit Kenny & Doris at their home near Ebensburg. For the next (2.5) hrs, Kenny exposed us to more house building ideas & procedures necessary long before we even get started; "getting a jump on the builder & staying ahead is very important" said Kenny. He has a lot of experience & without a doubt, knows what he is talking about.

During our ground schooling, Doris excused herself, went into town & brought back some delicious spinach rolls & white pizza for lunch. We hadn't planned on this thoughtful treat but thanked them never-the-less. We will be keeping in touch with Kenny as time goes by.

Back in Nicktown, K & I attended 6:00pm Mass. Afterwards, we invited Theresa to join us for a beer in the bar side of the Nicktown Hotel; a pre-celebration for her birthday which is tomorrow. She was very appreciative.

Lights out: 11:49pm.

Awake: 5:50am Temp 46 sleep 6+16 overnight @ Nicktown.

After breakfast, I continued mowing grass, this time the alleyway. I didn't want Kathy to help me so we made another deal; I mow again today & she cleans up the dinner dishes tonight.

Our grass growth is slowing down now as it nears the fall season, & thus takes less time to cut. Today's mowing: approx 2.5 hrs & that includes some yak time with neighbor Mac.

Dinner: Italian sausage with fried onions, peppers & mushrooms + sourdough bread.

Finished the movie: "The Trial" with Anthony Perkins, Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, Elsa Martinelli, Orson Welles, etc. Gripping, if a bit confusing, adaptation of Kafka novel of man in nameless country arrested for crime that is never explained to him. Not for all tastes. 1962. Orson Welles rewrote the story & directed it saying: "The Trial is the best film I ever made." Well, not for all tastes include us; two thumbs down.

Lights out: 11:44pm.

Awake: 6:30am Temp 49 sleep 6+32 sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy went to Barnesboro for her weekly "visit the big city thing". During her absence, I started mowing the grass inside our circular drive. I was making good progress when suddenly the Snapper's engine quit...just like that! It couldn't be vapor lock because we have a nice breeze & a temp of 63. However, I took a look @ the sparkplug, the auto shutdown mechanism, & a few other items without getting too concerned.

"Time for a break" I thought to myself. I'll just go inside the bus & do something else for awhile. In passing the computer, the Skype light got my attention; it was buddy Ray in WA. We chatted for a good (50) min & then I excused myself from Ray to see if the Snapper would be more cooperative.

It started right up, so I was able to finish mowing the circular drive before it got too late. Total mowing time: 2 hrs 50 min. Maybe the Snapper just needed a break as well.

Dinner: BLT's & mango slices; finally we enjoyed some good tomatoes with our BLT's.
Kathy took pity on me & excused me from doing the dinner dishes tonight. Hip..hip.

Evening movie: "The Trial." We watched ½.

Lights out: 11:38pm.

Awake: 8:34am Temp 57 sleep 7+57 partly sunny overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy made the traditional sourdough pancake breakfast with all the trimmings. Afterwards, I called my 1st cousin, Bernie, & asked if early afternoon would be a good time for a visit; "yea sure, come on down" he said.

We walked up the ramp to his home, knocked & then opened the door to find Bernie sitting in his recliner...with a big smile on his face. I haven't seen a smile like that for a l-o-n-g time.

Bernie has recovered well enough to leave Haida Manor care center & return to his home after being in the hospital for a while & then the care center for 1.5 yrs. During our visit Bernie had (3) other visitors besides us; (2) very good friends & the evening caretaker, Darlene.

We couldn't imagine Bernie ever getting well enough to return home when we 1st visited him @ the hospital after his stroke. Well, he is a terrific fellow & had many people praying for him & once again, the power of prayer came through.

During our time visiting Bernie, my brother paid us a visit...but we didn't know that. He called us later & we agreed to let each other know when either one of us would be in their respective neighborhood.

Katrina called from her condo in Denver; 1st of all, we were surprised that she is actually @ home & not calling from her car. Most of our gabbing focused on Katrina's 1st week of teaching, her getting ready for a triathlon coming up soon, re-decorating her room & some other decorating changes. It was good hearing about all of her progressive modifications.

We also called Nick & left a message + Zack & left a message.

Dinner: Canned salmon patty, wild rice, cantaloupe & a spinach salad.

Evening movie: "Yours, Mine & Ours" with Lucille Ball, Henry Fonda, Van Johnson, Tom Bosley, Tim Matheson. For once a wholesome "family" picture with some intelligent scripting. Based on real situation of widowed mother of eight marrying widower with ten more children. Lucy's drunk scene is a delight in warm, well-made comedy. 1968. Great story & well told; see it again when you can.

Lights out: 11:58pm.

Awake: 6:31am Temp 64 sleep 6+48 cloudy overnight @ Nicktown.

We ate a small breakfast & then motored to the Foote Castle & spent (4) hrs with our grandsons. Melissa & Kevin shared: "a taste of Chicago" dinner with us which was really, really good! The "taste of Chicago" is Italian beef sandwiches complete with hot & mild peppers for (8); it was a congratulatory gift for Melissa & Kevin on the birth of Gregory from Zack & Katie. Chicago style Italian beef is probably what Kathy misses most about her original hometown!

Gregory allowed me to take a current picture of him @ age 18 days.

From here we returned to Nicktown, attend the 6:00pm Mass & then had a light supper meal of: tomato veggie salad with grapes & cantaloupe.

Evening movie; finished watching: "This is Spinal Tap" with Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner, Tony Hendra, etc. Admirably precise parody of a rock documentary, with Reiner as director Marty Di Bergi, who chronicles latest American tour of aging British rock group that's a working definition of the term "loser." 1984. Unless you are desperate for some heavy metal listening, don't waste your time on this "LOSER."

The evening was still young & Kathy is so beautiful, so we started another movie: "Yours, Mine & Ours." We watched ½.

Lights out: 12:37am.

Awake: 6:34am Temp 65 sleep 6+30 cloudy overnight @ Nicktown.

We motored to Barnesboro early afternoon; Kathy did some light shopping & I got the Toyota's tires properly filled with air. Sheetz has an automatic air system for checking the tire pressure. One merely sets a pounds per square inch tire pressure request on the unit, attach the filling hose & when that amount of pressure is met, the unit shuts off & is ready for the next tire.

Back @ our motorhome, we watched the Ted Kennedy Memorial for over (3) hrs.

Dinner: leftover combinations of Salmon stir fry & beef stir fry with a mixed salad.

Lights out: 11:49pm.


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