May 2010 Archives

Awake: 5:25am     Temp 59     sleep 5+03    partly cloudy     overnight @ Nicktown.

After breakfast & working in the shade of the awning, I took the Stihl weed whacker apart & inspected it carefully. The carburetor is in excellent condition; next week I will buy a new sparkplug & maybe do some adjustments. DSC09458.JPG Later, I made an modification on our (39) yr old toaster. Kathy reported (2) out of (4) pass rate on having the bread slices pop up without burning.

K & I attended the 6:00pm vigil Mass @ Nicktown &, afterwards, had a beer @ the hotel before dinner. We met & talked with Eric who grew up in Nicktown & whose mother still lives here; in fact, Kathy & his mother, Louise, work together making noodles.

Dinner: Rubin sandwiches & ½ ear of corn on the cob.

Evening entertainment; we finished watching: "The Egg and I" with Fred MacMurray, Marjorie Main, Louise Allbritton, Percy Kilbride, Richard Long, etc. Colbert is delightful as city girl who marries chicken farmer MacMurray and struggles to survive on his farm. 1947. Great story! We thought it was better than the book. The evening is young & not much political stuff happening that we know of so we started another movie: "Airplane" & watched about 1/3rd.

Lights out: 12:21am.
Awake: 5:43am     Temp 62      sleep 5+19     sunny     afternoon TRW's (Thunderstorms).

After our breakfast, Kathy motored to Indiana for grocery shopping & house cleaning. During her absence, I began taking Dick's weed-whacker apart; a quick (30) min later, dark clouds moved into the area & I moved the WW into storage & myself into the coach. 

Then I settled down with a book for the remainder of the afternoon.

Late afternoon, Kathy returned in time to receive a Skype call from Nick in Seattle; he told us Momoko is not feeling well. She is coughing & has a lot of nasal congestion & mucous in her throat. Jerry however, was ready to fight: truth, justice & in the American way.

Dinner: tuna casserole, ½ an ear of corn on the cob & a cutie orange.

Evening movie: "The Egg & I." We watched ½.

Lights out: 12:22am.
 Awake: 6:37am     Temp 61      sleep 6+19     partly cloudy     overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, K & I had a small breakfast & then walked over to Barry's place & rode with him in his car to the Senior Center in Spangler. This is our 2nd visit to the center where they provide a healthy lunch with dessert & a root beer float. The dining room was packed. Look closely & you'll see Kathy & Barry. DSC09438.JPG Then we had the entertainment: Dan & Galla, musicians from Alexandria, PA. Their songs & music were mostly patriotic, inspirational & lively. They encouraged audience participation, not only in singing, but in shaking the tambourines & waving the flags which they passed out to all in attendance. We enjoyed it immensely. It was very uplifting! DSC09440.JPG We thanked Barry for the pick up & drop off & walked (5) min to our motorhome.

Later @ 3:40pm, Kathy walked to the church hall to pick up & bag dry noodles.

Meanwhile, I spent some more time working on Sammy's Caterpillar Truck & control &, by gosh, the CAT is fixed.

Due to the healthy lunch we had earlier, our dinner tonight consisted of: salted Thin Matzos & left over Waldorf salad.

The Foote family have arrived @ Little Orleans, MD.

Evening movie; we finished watching: The Guns of Navarone with Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn, Stanley Baker, etc. Explosive action film about Allied commandos during WW2 plotting to destroy German guns; high-powered adventure throughout this first-rate production, highlighted by Oscar winning special effects. 1961. Add this to the top of your list; a great story it is.

Lights out: 12:24 

Awake: 6:19am    Temp 60    sleep 6+01    sunny    overnight @ Nicktown.


Kathy left early from the KK meeting to help make more noodles @ the church hall.


This morning I picked up Dick's Stihl weed whacker; he says it's getting hard to start & losing power. "I'll take a look @ it & see what I can do," I told him.


Mid afternoon, I checked all the fuses that I could find in the Ford Van to possibly get the Foote's van radio working no avail. In my spare time, I'll try again.


When Kathy returned after (5) hrs of helping make noodles with the ladies, she looked very tired.           


Dinner: chicken noodle soup, Waldorf salad, & bread.


Tonight's movie: "The Guns of Navarone." We watched 1/3rd.


Lights out: 12:18am.



Awake: 5:55am      Temp 61      sleep 6+07      mostly cloudy     overnight @ Nicktown.

After the KK meeting, Barry invited me to watch & help him, Ken, & Bill change a light bulb above the altar in the church.

About (2) weeks ago, Barry talked about this project that not just anyone can do...change a light bulb!

1st, Ken & I went into the garage & brought out a (42) ft ladder; then with Barry & Bill's help, we carried it into the church & up to the altar. There Barry had a special carpet (almost skid proof) where we raised the ladder up to the wall to access a very narrow & small door.

Ken, who is much younger than I, went up the ladder 1st with the (300) watt bulb, a flashlight, & a few other tools in a box. After watching how clumsy it was to squeeze thru the slim door, I thought maybe Ken could use some help. I did ok going thru the door but once inside, it was so dark I couldn't see anything, so I called for Ken to show me some light.

Here I had passed the crude ladder to climb even higher & after that maneuver, it wasn't so bad. I held the flashlight & a screw while Ken replaced the burnt out bulb. There are (6) (300) watt bulbs located in this apex which light up the altar; climbing thru that skinny door is the only access. DSC09434.JPG Back on our property, my cousin Florentz visited for a short time; we discussed the generator & the theory of a non-charging capacitor that may be holding back the volts & amps on Gary's portable generator. Just talking about this charged up my ambition to make a phone call to the company in Nebraska & see what they think of that.

The young lady whom I spoke with was delighted to enlighten me on the subject; (5) min to understand her instructions & another (5) min to go outside to do the test & voilla, the generator is working again.

All the while, Kathy has been @ the Foote house doing some cleaning & organizing before they return from their bike ride.

I spent another hr diagnosing the control device of Sammy's Caterpillar toy; finally I think there is progress.

Dinner: Crab cake, cod Italiano, brown rice with golden raisins & a fruit salad.

From 6:30pm to 9:30pm, K & I attended the last lecture of CERT (Community Emergency Response Team.) All (3) sessions were most interesting & well presented. One never knows when some of this knowledge might come in handy.

We watched (2) of our recorded political programs.

Lights out: 12:18am.
Awake: 6:01am     Temp 61     sleep 5+52     partly cloudy      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting & breakfast, we loaded up our Suzuki with the Snapper lawnmower, gasoline & motored to Indiana, PA. The Foote's back & front yard both needed mowing & the Snapper got the job done well. DSC09431.JPG Kathy's job was to clean up a few things & re-organize so that when the Footes return, they won't find a thing in place.

Back @ our coach, I climbed our telescoping ladder & using Silicon II, patched the (2) eye-brow windows in the Ford van; hopefully it will stop leaking water into the van.

Dinner: Turkey Tetrazzini, fruit salad & bread.

Mid evening: Melissa & Kevin called us from Frostburg, Maryland. So far, so good & from here it's all downhill they tell us. Even Kinley is doing much better. They bought some booties for dogs in Frostburg & put only (1) bootie on @ a time on Kinley, otherwise she tries to take them off.

Also in Frostburg, they will pick up the other half of their food supply from the post office general delivery. They also said the boys are doing fine...a few times, they did a little complaining. After all, they just sit around all day except for those (1) hr break time's.

Total mileage from McKeesport: 116 mi. Mileage yet to go: around 200 mi.

Late evening; we watch 1/5 of: "The Guns of Navarone."

Lights out: 11:48pm.

Awake: 6:31am    Temp 59    sleep 4+57     forgot to check the weather.      Nicktown.


Kathy made one of my favorite breakfast meals this morning: corned-beef hash with 2-eggs over easy with bacon. Somehow the beef was not up to my high standards but I am still thankful, honored & delighted to have married such a swell lady & a darn good cook.


Later, I got after the choke glitch on Gary's motor-generator; it took about (5) min to correct. It is running normal once more. Next, I dismantled the generator section. Using my Fluke meter, I made little progress. My 1st cousin Florentz recalled repairing a unit similar to Gary's; he mentioned that either the magnetism on the generator has gone flat or it has a capacitor that needs charging that starts the magnetism. I can do no more today on that project.


Dinner: Sirloin steak with sautéed mushrooms, baked potato, broccoli & cauliflower + a spinach salad.


Kathy called & talked with Michelle in Ohio. It is my Aunt Bertha's 98th birthday on May 27th & we wanted to know where to send a card. Mickey suggested just sending it to Bertha in care of Mickey, as she will have to read it to her due to her macular degeneration. A pizza & cake party at Mickey & Roger's place is the planned celebration.


We finished the movie: "Light in the Piazza" with Olivia de Havilland, Rossano Brazzi, Yvette Mimieux, George Hamilton, & Barry Sullivan. Splendid soaper about mother who's anxious to marry off retarded daughter but isn't sure she's being fair to suitor. Beautifully filmed on location in Italy. 1962. Don't miss this one, it's a keeper.


 Lights out: 12:09 am.      


Awake: 6:00am     Temp 62     sleep 6+12     off & on rain all day     Nicktown.

John B. joined us @ the KK meeting this morning. He is so happy to be out & away from the hospital. His physical therapy following his knee replacement is scheduled to begin on Mon.

Gary & Rosemary just returned from a (12) day trip to Italy & Germany. They participated in a special Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome; saw the Shroud of Turin in Turin; checked on the status of the Leaning Tower of Pisa; & toured Florence, Italy among other site seeing ventures.

The main focus of their trip was to attend the "Passion Play" in Oberammergau, Germany which it is only performed once every 10 years.

Back @ our coach, Gary & Rosemary stopped for a brief visit. Gary wanted to pick up his generator but when we started the engine, it ran its best with the choke closed. Hmm, after I cleaned the carburetor on Thursday & for all the other starts I made...the engine ran normal. Plus, I got no electrical power from the generator! Furthermore, Gary wanted to borrow my 1.5 inch socket ....& the largest I have is a 1 & 1/4th inch. I had to disappoint Gary; but he agreed to let me have some more fun by continuing the troubleshooting on the Coleman Powermate.

Early afternoon, Kathy motored to the big city of Ebensburg & visited their library (closed on Sat.), West End Market for groceries, Tibbot's to get some copies made, Wal-Mart & Goodwill. That took a mere (3.5) hrs.

Meanwhile, @ our KK meeting today, young Sammy brought his Caterpillar Truck for me to troubleshoot. He told me the bed of the truck does not tilt & the truck won't go forward or backward. I let him know that this project might take awhile so he'd have to be patient.

Today, before Kathy returned from her shopping, I started my troubleshooting on Sammy's Caterpillar Truck. DSC09430.JPG Dinner: Split pea/ ham soup with bread & leftover Italian sausage stoop + orange cuties.

The Foote Family is now in Confluence, PA. They went (32) miles this day, skipping the campground at Ohiopyle. Total mileage since leaving McKeesport: 68 miles

Evening movie:"Light in the Piazza." We watched ½.

Lights out: 1:34pm.
Awake: 6:15am      Temp 53     sleep 6+51      mostly cloudy      overnight @ Nicktown.

After breakfast, K & I decided to mow our grass using the Snapper. It's been in storage throughout the winter so this will be the 1st time running for (7) months.

As I poured the gasoline into the Snapper's tank, I saw gas pouring out from the carburetor; oops, I think we have a problem here. I told Kathy that it would be about (45) min & then we'd get started.

Meanwhile Kathy was making more cookies for the KK members; this time: (40) Zucchini Chocolate chip.

My Snapper mower, I believe is well made. It's a 1986 & (24) yrs of age. Getting the carburetor off to clean it up was one interesting adventure. I seriously doubt the carburetor was ever cleaned since new. All totaled, I spent (3) hrs dismantling, cleaning & reassembling that masterpiece. The fault was a stuck open float, but so much more needed a good cleaning. DSC09428.JPG Kathy & I took turns mowing & empting the wheelbarrow for the next (4.5) hrs. We mowed inside our circular drive, the (2) paths I use, the west side of our coach & the alleyway. We wanted to get it done before the rains come in.

Dinner: Clam chowder with oyster crackers & cantaloupe. Kathy had white chicken chili.

Katrina returned our earlier call; she was driving to meet some friends & had only a few min to talk. She told us her hot water tank is working well; she took a (12) yr guarantee on it. However, the roof leak is continuing; she got one estimate & plans to get (2) more.

We watched our prerecorded political programs.

Lights out: 11:48pm.
Awake: 6:01am      Temp 49      sleep 5+46     fog, then sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

Another busy day in the village; many of our KK members are absent so both K & I stayed only long enough to find out that John B was readmitted to the hospital. Seems while at his daughter's house he got chilled, & after covering with a blanket, he had an elevated temp & didn't feel good. He & his daughter decided he'd better go to the emergency room. After 2 hrs of waiting in the ER, it was decided to admit him for observation.

After breakfast what should I do? Oh yes, take that carburetor apart again to make sure all of those small gas passageways & breathers are open & clean. About (45) min later, I pulled the rope & vroom, the engine ran like a scared deer. The lady was right.

I let the engine run for a good (10) min & then plugged in a light bulb to check the electrical section. Nothing! I checked the bulb by plugging it into our motorhome was good. At least the motor is running as it should. I'll concentrate on the electrical problem another day.
@ 3:30, Kathy went to the church hall to gather & bag up the dried noodles. I called John B @ the hospital; he said he's ok.

Next, K & I met with my brother & sister @ the Nicktown hotel bar. We were celebrating Corinne's 63rd birthday by having " Shock Top" beer with pizza. It was a nice & casual get together for us. Josie was not able to be here due to an already planned commitment. DSC09427.JPG Back @ our coach, we watched our prerecorded political programs.

Lights out: 11:24pm.
Awake: 5:58am     Temp 47      sleep 5+39      partly sunny       overnight @ Nicktown.

People in Nicktown are busy today; only (2) members @ our KK meeting this morning not counting us. Kathy left early to help make noodles @ the church hall so I also left early to work on a few projects.

After breakfast, I continued the disassembly of Gary's 1600 Watt portable Coleman generator; he spent a good deal of time trying to get the gas engine running to no avail. It would start up & instantly shut down. No matter what Gary tried to do, that fuel shortage symptom continued. I took the carburetor off & disassembled as much as necessary; punching a wire into small holes, cleaning the float & reservoir, etc. Then the reassembly & a test; dang, the same symptom as before! Hey, we don't give up easy. DSC09426.JPG I called my 1st cousin Florentz & discussed this dilemma; he told me about a similar experience on a small engine; he replaced the spark plug &, vroom, it worked. Ok, so maybe it is the plug.

I made a quick trip to Banik's in St. Benedict & replaced the new looking plug with another new plug & gave the engine another test. Déjà vu!

I took a break & visited my neighbor, Mac; he hasn't been mowing his grass lately due to a dead battery on his riding mower. I volunteered to charge his dead battery with my battery charger ...but after a long waiting spell, the charge was minuscule & I ran out of time. He told me he would buy a new battery tomorrow. Back to the generator engine; out of frustration, I called the company who made Gary's engine...only to find out they are out of business. But, the take over company I was talking with told me they do sell parts for this model. I explained to the lady what I had done & still have the same problem; she told me to get a very small wire & punch every small hole you can see. "I've already done that" I told her; but I'll do it again. I thanked her & hung up; that's all for today on this project.

I called John B @ the Indiana hospital & learned he'd been discharged. Hurray!

Dinner: Tilapia fish with rice & golden raisins, cauliflower & a mixed salad.

@ 8:00pm, I attended the Holy Name meeting @ the church hall. After the meeting was over, Father John Paul gave us a treat by telling us all about the Nigerian world he grew up in. Our guys also had many questions & Fr. J P gave some interesting answers. After the meeting, I motored back to the coach, picked up Kathy & we spent an hr doing adoration in our Nicktown church.

Lights out: 12:15am.
Awake: 6:13am     Temp 48      sleep 6+36      early rain, then mostly cloudy    Nicktown.

Today is the birthday of Donna, the church organist; we helped celebrate this special occasion by passing the cans of cookies Kathy made a few days ago.

Today was also the start of the Foote family bike ride from McKeesport to Washington, D.C.

We left the KK meeting early to have a good breakfast & be on call to follow them to McKeesport. After breakfast, Melissa called us twice, 1st to tell us: "We're not ready yet" & 2nd to have us meet them @ the Wal-Mart in Indiana, PA @12:30pm.

When we rendezvoused @ Wal-Mart as planned, we were surprised to see the Footes & all their equipment in (1) motor vehicle; the van didn't look so packed. Melissa had a few things to get @ Wal-Mart & then we followed them in their van to McKeesport (a one hr drive). DSC09403.JPG At the starting point in McKeesport, mile post (214), Kevin & Melissa worked magic.....pulling more things out of their van than we could fathom.

Kathy & my jobs however, were to entertain the boys so their parents could be more efficient. This is what Melissa & Kevin would prefer at this time DSC09405.JPG not this DSC09415.JPG Kinley is ready to go but does she realize she might be running some 300 miles? DSC09414.JPGAll ready to start their over (300) miles of biking on the rails to trails. All set guys! DSC09420.JPG There goes Kevin, Nathan, Matthew....& Kinley. DSC09423.JPG And Melissa, Andrew & Gregory. DSC09424.JPG They officially left McKeesport @ 5:15pm. Their goal for today: (8) miles. It was a much later start then they had planned on.

We wished them a safe & fun bon Voyage.

With Kathy driving the Suzuki & following me in the van, due to Pittsburgh rush hour, it took us a good (1.5) hrs to find our way back to Nicktown.

We were in our coach about (12) min when the phone rang; it was Melissa. She let us know that they made the planned (8) miles to the Dravo landing campground & all went fairly well. Kinley settled down a great deal & that was good.

Dinner: clam chowder, oyster crackers, fruit salad & cantaloupe. We watched our recorded political programs.

Lights out: 12:19am.

Awake: 5:55am.     Temp 53   sleep 6+22     drizzle     overnight @ Nicktown.


@ the KK meeting,  we celebrated Barry's 70th birthday with homemade cinnamon nut rolls from Janet. Barry holds the high distinction of having the main chair in our social room. However, if he is late or absent without a written excuse, that chair is up for grabs.  


Back in our coach, Melissa called & asked for some help with the boys so she could do some much needed organizing. A perfect fun & volunteer job for Kathy I thought.  I am (3) months behind in organizing my checks & balances myself so I plan to take the time to do it this day.


Kathy was off & running while I started the paper chase. About mid afternoon, I made a short call to check on John B. @ the hospital.  He told me his day is going better.


Later, I spent some time on our computer & then back to the paper stuff. I was just finishing (2) months worth when Kathy drove up.


She told me that Melissa mostly had Kathy take care of (2) boys at a time on the 3rd floor while she took one downstairs to assist in the organizing. First, Nathan did his little job & when he was finished he came up & Andrew went down. After some time, Matthew & Andrew traded places. After Gregory's nap, he was content to play by himself.

When all the jobs were done, Kathy did get to have all (4) guys for a time while Melissa was on the phone with Laura. She said she enjoyed her time with the guys & that Melissa said she got everything done that she wanted to.


On her way home, Kathy stopped to visit John at the hospital. She reported that he was in better spirits, was feeling a bit better & was anxious to get out of the hospital. However, he did have another incident of heart fibrillation last night & was back on the heart monitor. She suggested he was better to stay in the hospital until his heart problem was under control.


Dinner: leftover Italian sausage with asparagus & fruit Salad.


We watched our recorded political programs & then ¼ of "Ordinary People."


Lights out: 11:37pm.  


Awake: 6:33am    Temp 49     sleep 6+31     sunny     overnight @ Nicktown, PA.

This morning's breakfast @ the church hall was free for the women. Next month...for Father's Day, all men will eat free. Most of the time, the breakfasts are very good but the social hrs spent talking with people we know or get to know are even better.


Back @ our property in Nicktown, the wind was nearly calm & the sun bright; perfect conditions outside for getting our hair cuts. Kathy cut my hair in less then (20) min. It took me close to an hour to cut hers; strange that I should be so slow.


After that exciting adventure, Kathy started the dinner meal for a special guest/dignitary that we have visiting later today. Nothing...nothing but the best I say.


Meanwhile, (2) cars drove into our circular drive: it was my brother Don & his wife, Josie. We haven't seen them for over (6) months & they live a mere (15) min away. Well, I have to admit, we are the guilty ones being out-of-town for over (6) months. Don & Josie shared their time away adventures & we did the same. Naturally, a little wine with healthy snacks was most proper for the occasion.


After an hr plus, another car drove into our circular driveway: hey, it's the honorable guest for tonight....our sister, Corinne. We now have ¾ of my siblings present. The one missing sibling is Mary Jo in Lodi, CA. We all had a good chat together & then Don & Josie had to leave. We plan on another rendezvou this coming Thursday evening right here in Nicktown.


While Kathy put the final touches on our meal, Corinne & I discussed some of the past, present & the future as we see it today.


Dinner is served:  Caesar salad & Italian sausage with pepper & onion stoop.


After dinner, I offered a list of recorded movies to Corinne; she didn't go far on the list before finding the "Black Orpheus" movie. Something she's wanted to see ever since her time in Rio de Janeiro learning the Portuguese language....many years ago.


"Black Orpheus" with Breno Mello, Marpessa Dawn, Lea Garcia, Adhemar Da Silva, etc. Street-car conductor Mello and country-girl Dawn fall in love in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival. Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film. 1959. At times we kept Corinne busy asking questions about the movie that we didn't understand....but she did. Her Portuguese has not been forgotten that's for sure.

K & I have been passing up this movie for a few months or more...due to my dearest. She doesn't like movies with sub-titles as she has to keep her eyes on the screen too much, making napping or hand crafting more difficult!


We thanked Corinne for her visit & cheeriness; good conversation & help with the foreign movie. We look forward to our next gathering on Thursday.


After Corinne left, we finished watching the Ma & Pa Kettle episode "At Home." I don't remember seeing a Ma & Pa episode I was curious. (1) was enough.


Lights out: 11:23pm.       

Awake: 6:29am     Temp 47     sleep 6+03     sunny     overnight @ Nicktown.


Kathy got up early & left with Theresa, Susie, & Marlene @ 7:33am. They motored to Mount Aloysius to join the Catholic Women's Conference for a Spiritual Gathering.


Meanwhile, I was a free man...for a while. After breakfast, I got Chuck's Lawnboy, & brought it over to my mini shop for some surgery. It took me about 1.5 hrs to disassemble the carburetor, along with the muffler, etc; then give the float & the little breathing holes a good cleaning up by removing the dirt, filth, or unwanted substances. After the reassembly, & attaching a spring & a wire to the governor system, the Lawnboy roared to life. I tested the mower for at least (5) min & then returned it to Chuck's garage.


Break-time; I called John B. in the Indiana, PA hospital. John sounded like a new man. He slept well, ate a full meal & projected a more positive attitude. Great I say!


Next, I began taking the side panels off of Gary's Coleman Powermate 1600 Sport Series Generator. After a few checks & a few starts, I think this machine also has a carburetor problem. Unfortunately, I am running out of time today. Kathy will be coming back soon & I need to clean up.


K & I attended the 6:00pm vigil Mass @ St. Ncholas Church &, afterward, we visited the Nicktown Hotel bar for pizza & some Shock Top beer. During our time there, we talked with Bernie about house plans & codes, etc. It was a good evening.


Back @ our coach, we finished watching: "Summertime" with Katharine Hepburn, Rossano Brazzi, Isa Miranda, Darren McGavin, Mari Aldon, etc. Lilting film of spinster vacationing in Venice, falling in love with married man. Hepburn's sensitive portrayal is one of her best. 1955. Well done with some touching moments.


Lights out: 12:02am.


Awake: 6:08am     Temp 65      sleep 6+21      morning rain overnight @ Nicktown.

Kevin called mid morning asking for a favor; "could you guys stop @ Radio Shack on your way here & purchase (2) # 386 batteries?" "Yes, we can do that," I told him.

En route to the Footes, 1st we made a grocery stop @ Wal-Mart for ourselves & then the Indiana, PA Mall for the Radio Shack. I found out that Radio Shack had only (1) of that type of these batteries that will be used in the Foote speedometers. The guy @ R S said he expected to have (2) more #386 batteries on Monday.

As we approached the Foote porch, we noticed something moving in the Caterpillar/ Moth cage they had setting near their mail box. Oh My Gosh! The caterpillar that Kathy found last July 18, clinging to a branch in the Foote back yard...just hatched & was slowly flapping her wings.

We notified Melissa & the boys who were just as excited as we were & came out on the porch to get a good look @ the Cecropia Moth; the largest North American Moth.

Since the moth has no mouth parts, it cannot eat; the female lives only (7) days & her sole purpose is to mate & lay more eggs. There is one generation a year. Are we off to a good start here or not! DSC09373.JPG After that exciting entry, we ended up in the backyard watching Matthew, Andrew & Nathan ride their respective bikes/trikes. Matthew just started riding like a champ two weeks ago. DSC09377.JPG Andrew is not far behind DSC09379.JPG and Nathan is watching his brothers DSC09378.JPG even Gregory is eying up the future DSC09383.JPG Melissa brought us all a fantastic fruit smoothie during our warm outside activity & her timing was perfect.

Sometime later, the boys wanted me to show them how to make paper airplanes. Now we're talking or so I thought; however, it was difficult making a paper airplane outside using a crooked rock as a small table, but I did my best & those crinkled pieces of paper were not even close to being airworthy.

As it turned out, a lot of dark clouds moved in from the south & when the thunder started, the boys & I gathered the helmets & bikes, & stored them in the shed. The paper went inside with the boys where I got serious about constructing: (4) good flyers. Kinley, the dog was brought in to her crate by Melissa.

A wave of rain passed through & before we knew it, sunshine returned & dried the back yard nicely. The paper airplanes were soaring satisfactorily from the back porch until......I went to pick up my favorite flyer & spotted another Frog!

I've heard that their last frog got out of jail free, (someone didn't have the lid closed well enough) so maybe I should reveal the secret hideout for this bigger frog. Well, I did & like Peter the Piper, Matthew had his brothers following every foot step. DSC09389.JPG They played with & examined that frog thoroughly. DSC09390.JPG Here we have a wagon train with security officers Andrew & Nathan guarding the frog house. DSC09393.JPG Then It was time for us to leave & visit John B in the hospital; plus the Footes have a birthday party to attend.

While waiting in the hall to visit John, a call came thru my cell phone for a nurse. At first, I said there were a lot of nurses here. But, Melissa informed me she wanted to talk to nurse "Mom."

Seems Andrew & Nathan were horsing around, as boys are apt to do, & Nathan fell back hitting his head on the radiator & sustaining a laceration. Melissa wanted to know if Kathy thought she needed to bring Nathan to the ER. After getting the answers to a few questions, Kathy instructed Melissa how to care for the wound & avoid a trip to the ER. This made the boys esp happy as they were on their way to a party & didn't want to trade it for a visit to the hospital.

John wasn't content; he's not feeling well, not eating, having difficulty voiding, & experiencing heart fibrillations. He's supposed to be walking to exercise his "new" knee, but is being kept in bed due to his heart irregularities.

Back @ our coach, Nick Skyped: a good 57 min 46 sec. We talked with Jerry who modeled the new "Buzz Lightyear" pj's that Melissa sent him for his birthday. We saw Momoko, who's busy making her "talking" sounds & Eriko, who looks very happy. DSC09397.JPG We had a wonderful talk time with Nick about his work, Jerry & Momoko's activities, etc. We sure love this Skype.

Due to rain in Nicktown, we forfeited our regular recorded political programs for this evening &
 watched another ¼ of "Summertime."

Lights out: 12:26am.
Awake: 6:08am      Temp 46      sleep 6+20     overcast with cold wind       Nicktown.

K & I attended the 8:00am Mass for Ascension Thursday, then we joined our KK.

Mid morning, our architect sent our house drawing via e-mail of the main floor, basement floor, front elevation, & rear elevation. After scrutinizing these drawings carefully, we called him & discussed several points of interest, added a few things, made a small change, & asked a few more questions. That was the 1st time we did some business via phone vs. e-mail.

Yesterday, I sent my sister Mary Jo in California a "test" cell phone message; today she returned the call & we updated each other for a good (25) min. Her daughter Jen, just recently stopped having a case of severe headaches. We pray for her health to be better.

Their son Brian, living in San Diego, is slowly making progress on getting his own business off the ground.

Matt & his girl friend are very happy together & Mary Jo likes her.

We ate an early dinner: Leftover white chicken chili, bread & a cutie orange.

@ 6:30pm, K & I motored to the church hall & attended the 2nd CERT session. Robin continued giving us more info on all sorts of remedies in the event of a disaster, focusing mainly on medical aspects & triage. We were able to follow much of what she talked about in our large notebooks. DSC09400.JPG Back in our coach, we watched our recorded political programs.

Lights out: 11:47pm.
Awake: 6:24am     Temp 51     sleep 6+21     drizzle, then overcast       Nicktown.

Kathy's cookies were an instant hit @ the morning Koffee Klub.

I nearly forgot to report on "the Brick" phone. Since the start of charging the battery on Tuesday, 4th May, I am happy to report: "The Brick" has been working very well ever since. DSC09399.JPG Kathy did (2) loads of laundry & in between time, made some peanut butter & peanut butter-chocolate chip cookies for the KK.

I did some more fooling around with our Verizon cell phone; getting to know it better.

Dinner: Cod Italiano, rice, broccoli & cutie oranges.

We watched ¼ of the movie: "Summertime."

Lights out: 11:48pm.
Awake: 6:12am      Temp 41     sleep 5+58     rain off & on most of day      Nicktown.

Late morning, I made several calls to Verizon & talked with several people: all about getting the Quad Play bundle; this Q P will allow us to get a discount on all our Verizon services for (1) year. Hopefully after that, they won't be too rough on us. Meanwhile, Kathy was baking cookies for our Koffee Klub; so far she has made (62) carrot-oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies.

In between time, she was getting to know her Mifi 2200 a little better. DSC09366.JPG We had an early dinner but I don't remember what it was.

At 6:30pm, K & I joined the crowd @ the church hall & attended the 1st of (3) sessions on CERT, "Community Emergency Response Team." We really didn't know what to expect tonight as this was a (4) hr process.

What can she possible talk about for all those hours! Well, we found out; not only is Robin a good speaker but she also knows her subject matter & brings humor & seriousness with it. There were (35--40) people attending, including Boy Scouts.

Back @ our coach, Melissa called; most of our talk consisted of getting supplies for their BIG bike trip.

Lights out: 11:57pm.
Awake: 6:12am      Temp 29     sleep 5+54      frost, then sunny     overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, Kathy motored to the big city of Barnesboro to look the stores over. When she returned, we motored to Ebensburg to mow my brother's lawn. As before, Kathy took care of the tight areas & I got after the open spaces. DSC09362.JPG Kathy also picked up lots of downed branches from the yard & watered Josie's plants & flowers. I like this mower; it's easy to control & has (3) hoppers in the back to catch the grass, leaves & other debris....& very easy to empty the bags. DSC09363.JPG In the mowing process, I met my brother's near neighbor who had only good praises & admiration for my Brother Don. By the way, both lawn mowers performed perfectly.

From here, we visited Giant Eagle, Wal-Mart & West End Market, arriving @ our coach around 5:00pm.

With the time remaining before dinner, I started working on neighbor Chuck's lawn mower to find the problem? Not much progress was made this afternoon save for the gas line that we (Chuck also) thought might have been crimped. More testing later; the dinner bell rang.

Dinner: Tuna steak, asparagus, saffron rice, mixed salad & cutie oranges.

Later, I called John B & wished him good luck on his surgery tomorrow.

Lights out: 11:46pm.
Awake: 7:15am       Temp 36      sleep 6+23       sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

Button down the hatches folks; tonight will bring even lower temps.

"Happy Mothers Day" to all you mothers out there. If it wasn't for my mother, I wouldn't be me!

Late morning, K & I motored to Indiana, PA & did some light grocery shopping @ Wal-Mart before visiting the Foote Family. Spending time with the boys was fun; 1st, Matthew wanted to show me something really different but you have to go outside to see it he told me. Even Andrew & Nathan were excited to be in on this adventurous mystery. "It's in the storage building," he told me as we were getting our shoes on. Nathan came running outside in his bare feet to keep up with us but his mother quickly got after him to put his shoes on. DSC09361.JPG Well, inside a used empty coffee container...with a small opening, there it was! A frog!

They want to keep it alive but don't know for sure what to feed it besides bugs. I will Google for more ideas. Google said: Crickets, bugs, wiggly things,& Aphids for a start.

Meanwhile, Matthew & I played a game of Monopoly Junior. Unlike the very involved regular Monopoly, this junior game is perfect for kids. Usually the game doesn't last long due to not having much money distributed to the players to begin with, & not having to get (4) small houses to work up to a hotel etc. It's simple! And of course, Matthew beat me.

Later, Matthew brought out his big Snap Circuit box. He gave me a choice of what circuit to build; I chose the one that would automatically change a digital counter from a (3) to a (5). My role in this project was to be: "the parts man." Matthew would look @ the schematic, and then order the part or parts needed to follow the electrical circuit diagram.

The parts: resistors, capacitors, diodes, switches, transistors, etc...were on separate plates that can snap onto a much larger plastic platform. Thus the name: Snap Circuit.

Sometimes it would take me a few seconds to find the part & when I would get that dumbfounded look, Matthew would usually give me a little clue, or maybe a bigger clue. It is amazing how much he has learned since using the 1st elementary Snap Circuit. Fortunately his parents recognize his progress & continue to purchase the more advanced kits.

Kathy played with each of the boys separately & I also spend a little time with both Andrew & Nathan before leaving around 6:30pm.

Lunch with the Footes: we helped Melissa & Kevin reduce their kettle of spaghetti & sauce + an outstanding concoction of a fruit smoothie. Thus, our later dinner, was more of a snack of popcorn & mixed nuts.

During our time away, Katrina called & left a very nice "Happy Mothers Day" message.

Late evening: Zack called & wished Kathy a "Happy Mothers Day." I stayed off the phone for awhile to let Mother Kathy talk with Zack; later I joined in the conversation. Unfortunately, Zack has been nursing a cold/flu and has also gotten pretty high cholesterol numbers. He & Kathy discussed ways thru diet & exercise to reduce the LDL & triglycerides & increase the HDL to hopefully avoid the need to take a cholesterol lowering drug.

Later evening: We finally finished watching "The Sea Hawk" with Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains, Donald Crisp, Flora Robson, Alan Hale, etc. Top-notch combination of classy Warner Bros. costumer and Flynn aat his dashing best in adventure on the high seas; lively balance of piracy, romance, and swordplay.1940. It took us forever to finish watching this movie; we started during our service @ Newell & ever so slowly, watched a half hr here, (15) min there, etc. For the age of that movie, it remains fairly popular.

Lights out: 12:18am.
Awake: 5:23am      Temp 55       sleep 6+10       heavy rain      Thunderstorms    overnight @ Nicktown. Very windy & cool today; a good day to stay indoors. 

Kathy spent many hours on her Apple computer today & not to be left out, I also spent many hours programming our new Samsung messaging phone with the Qwerty keyboard. DSC09369.JPG Early dinner: egg salad on spinach with cherry tomatoes, cantaloupe & bread.

K & I attended the 6:00 pm vigil Mass @ the Nicktown church; afterward we paid the Nicktown Hotel a visit & we each had a bar pizza slice & a glass of Shock Top beer. The bar & restaurant were crowded.

Late evening, we finally finished watching: "Kitty" with Paulette Goddard, Ray Milland, Patric Knowles, Reginald Owen, Cecil Kellaway, etc. Overlong but entertaining costumer of girl's rise from guttersnipe to lady in 18th-century England with help of impoverished rake Milland; one of Goddard's best roles. 1945. Overlong is the clue here; just have more popcorn available.

Lights out: 12:52am.

Awake: 6:17am     Temp 42     sleep 5+58     sunny     overnight @ Nicktown.


The 8:00am Mass this morning was for Marge & Dave's 50th Wedding Anniversary. His brother Cliff, Jill & other siblings were also present in church; Dave, Cliff, & Jill came to our Koffee Klub meeting to continue the mile-stone celebration.


After the KK adjourned, & we were back in our motorhome, I walked across our yard & found Mac in his workshop. I was ready to start Mac's riding mower & drive it over to my mini shop, but aah, the battery was dead.


I asked Mac if he had a battery charger; "yes I do," he said, "but I don't know where it is." "That's ok Mac, I'll get mine, bring it over & charge the battery while I'm having breakfast."


After breakfast, I asked Mac if I could mow some of my own grass with his mower as a test in checking just why his mower backfires so much & shuts down frequently. He said that would be alright.

Well, after about (15) min of mowing on this sunny but rather cool morning, the riding mower coughed & shut itself off. Hmm, so I turned off the key & did something else for awhile.


Maybe (20) min later, I continued mowing a spell & then the same thing happened again. That did it; I pushed the mower closer to my tool box & started turning wrenches....thinking, it has to be the carburetor.


Fortunately the carburetor came off fairly easily; I took my time & cleaned the sections carefully. I found nothing wrong that I could see...only a little grime.  


I was lucky in putting that carb back together; no parts left over & even luckier because I mowed the remainder of our grass (about 50) min with no shutdowns or backfiring.


I was nearly finished when John B. rode up on his motorcycle; we did some technical talk about the carb & then John had to leave.

After returning the mower to its proper owner, I could hear Mac mowing his grass but I heard no shutdowns or backfiring. May it continue!   


Next, I got in touch with another near neighbor, Chuck; he has a walk behind mower that is not running well. It will start but shuts down instantly. Maybe another carb fix. I brought it over to my mini shop but did not have the time to do any more troubleshooting today.  


Dinner: Crab cakes, rice, leftover Waldorf salad, broccoli & cutie oranges.


Melissa called: she apologized for not checking her phone messages during the late evening hrs. They didn't do anything special for their 10th wedding anniversary. They were too busy getting ready for the BIG bike ride.


Katrina called: so far she has not bought a new hot water heater.


Lights out: 11:13pm.





Awake: 7:00am     Temp 50     sleep 7+45     sunny     overnight @ Nicktown.


When Florentz visited on Monday, I asked if he would let us borrow the Kirsch Family Photo book. This morning he delivered it, 1st class.


About 11:20 am, neighbors, Barry & Bonnie + Donna picked us up & we rode with them to the Senior Center in Spangler for lunch followed by entertainment. There were a lot of Nicktowners present & about (90+) people altogether.


Lunch was good but the entertainer from Ireland (Cahal Dunne, now living in PA) was absolutely fantastic. He played his piano (which was a shell of a full sized piano, with a full sized keyboard) but inside the shell were digital electronics. If you didn't see this up close, you wouldn't know the difference from a regular piano sound. The electronics brought in other instruments, & other harmonizing or background voices.


He sang & played a little bit of Irish, songs of inspiration, some country, Christmas songs, Broadway, classical, comedy, songs of America, etc. Every time he sang & played a different genre he would change his jacket to match: i.e. red, white & blue for patriotic songs; green for Irish; a tux for classical, etc.

His jokes were well delivered & very funny. We loved this guy & hope he'll visit Spangler again. Just think: all of this fun, entertainment, & food for under $5.00/person. I should have brought my camera.


Back in Nicktown, I spotted a near neighbor, Mac, having trouble with his riding mower again. Basically, it was the same problem he was having last yr, only today the temp was rather cool, whereas last yr, the trouble was evident mostly on the hot days. Over heating, using old gas or maybe just not operating the choke properly, we all suspected. So, John & I did a few things to correct those flaws...or so we thought! After that, K & I left town & traveled west.


I walked over & talked to Mac & asked him if maybe I could take a good look @ his mower tomorrow & try & get that problem fixed right; he agreed to that idea.


Dinner: a salad, cantaloupe & a few Triscuits + crackers.


Late evening: we called & wished Melissa & Kevin a "Happy 10th Wedding Anniversary."  That was recorded as they didn't answer the phone.


Katrina called from her condo & told us about her hot water tank having a gas leak & a water leak. She also wanted our opinion on what brand of water heater to buy & where to buy it: Lowe's, Home Depot or Sears? She will keep us informed on this subject.


We watched our regular recorded political programs late evening.


Lights out: 12:29am.   

Awake: 5:46am     Temp 50     sleep 6+10     sunny     overnight @ Nicktown.


The battery for our new Verizon cell phone arrived in the mail today so I took the time to get it activated.


Early afternoon, K & I motored to Ebensburg & checked on my brother's lawn; nope, it's not ready for another mowing. Next we motored to the small town of Dysart, PA & spent the afternoon & early evening with Gary & Rosemary. Since we haven't seen these young people for (6) months, we each had a lot of catching up to do.


They volunteered to help out with the Escapees Care Center in Livingston, Texas for (2) months & their true life stories were most fascinating. Needless to say, they were very busy with little time for touring. They admitted their 1st month was not so good but after the 2nd month, they loved what they were doing so much, they signed up for another (2) months next yr. Oh, during our catching up on activities, we were served some healthy snacks with wine.


Dinner by Rosemary: Spaghetti with Italian sausage, crudités, bread & coconut custard pie for dessert. The dinner was most delicious.


Gary had stored our Snapper lawnmower in his lower garage all winter; so before we drove over today, we moved the National Geographic magazines from our car to our motorhome temporarily to make room for the Snapper. Also, as a return favor, Gary & I loaded his 1600 watt Coleman Powermate Generator into our Suzuki in hopes that I might be able to fix it in my spare time.

We thanked R & G for a fun time & a wonderful meal & then headed back to Nicktown. In the dark, with Kathy's help, we unloaded the Snapper & Generator & reloaded all the National Geo books.


Lights out: 11:15pm.  

Awake: 6:50am     Temp 51     sleep 6+47     partly cloudy & windy   overnight @ Nicktown.


Kathy left the KK (koffee klub) early to help make noodles @ the church hall. After our koffee klub meeting adjourned, I picked up our forwarded mail from Alaska; then made a call to the Spangler Senior Center & reserved seats for (4) people for lunch tomorrow.


Next, I took apart one of our land-line phones, the one we call: "the Brick," a 1980 AT&T unit that was given to me (2) yrs ago. It worked well until I plugged it in just recently.

When I took "the Brick" apart, I was amazed to see so much electronics in both the cradle & the headset; & that was (30) yrs ago. As you know, today the cell phones are no bigger than your hand with bundles of different uses: i.e. camera, GPS, full keyboard for texting, (3) way calling, voice mail, speaker phone, different ring tones, vibrating mode, check your minutes used, etc.

Trouble shooting "the Brick" was not an option; I didn't care to spend the time or get that involved with a (30) yr old phone. I could only try & charge the battery in the for the remainder of the day, the battery was getting charged.


Kathy returned from her noodle making around 1:05pm. She perused thru some of her mail & then started washing (3) loads of laundry.


Meanwhile, I cleaned the co-pilot's mirror on the coach & then hung the Humming bird feeder from the European mirror. Earlier today I saw (1) humming bird & that triggered the feeder hanging.  


Dinner: leftover stuffed peppers, Waldorf salad on romaine lettuce & a cutie.


We watched 1/4th of the movie: "Kitty."


Lights out: 11:26pm.


Awake: 7:20am     Temp 64     sleep 6+49     light rain     overnight @ Nicktown, PA.


K & I attended the Koffee Klub meeting @ the community center, 1st time in over (6) months. We were welcomed not only by the KK members but also by some homemade cinnamon pecan rolls that Janet baked earlier this morning. It didn't take long for us to feel welcomed again....& we sincerely did miss these guys during our time away.  Even Father John Paul visited for a short time but did not want a cinnamon pecan roll; he & Father Job are trying to lose some weight this yr. Fr. Job, by his own admission, has shed about 40 lbs. Fr. John Paul keeps a pretty slim figure.


After breakfast, our near neighbor Chuck called; we talked for awhile about how he is doing & how the winter weather treated him, etc. Then he asked if I could possibly help solve a problem that he is having with his lawn mower. I volunteered to look into the matter after the weather clears up a bit.


My 1st cousin Florentz visited us this afternoon; this has always been a special treat when he visits us. Kathy brought out the healthy delicacies & I poured the wine.  We covered many topics as the hrs passed by; some good & some not so good. Then Florentz had other things on his list to do & we thanked him a good visit.


Dinner: pork chops, fried noodles & a salad.


We watch our regular recorded political programs.


Lights out: 12:03am.


Awake: 7:44am      Temp 65      sleep 7+38       overcast      overnight @ Nicktown.

Mid morning: a few phone calls. 1st cousin Florentz called & we planned a casual get together sometime later this week. I called for my sister Corinne but she was out visiting Carlene & Bob for the day. Gary C. called from St. Augustine; we discussed his garage hot water heating element that recently failed.... & a problem with their portable generator. Sometime later, Gary invited us to have dinner @ their place on Wednesday.

Our Sprint cell phone & Air Card contract is up... & we have been waiting patiently for the time to switch over to Verizon services. For us in our travels, most of the time, Sprint coverage has been good if we were near U.S. highways & Interstates &, of course, larger cities. But back here in PA & other areas of the east, not so good.

So we motored to Indiana to visit the Verizon wireless store. Arthur, the Sales Consultant, spent some time getting our Sprint cell phone # transferred over to Verizon, & selecting a new cell phone & getting all the paperwork in order to get the customary discounts for a 1st time Verizon cell phone owner.

Meanwhile, before visiting the Verizon store, we had done our grocery shopping @ Wal-Mart & figured this changeover would be rather simple & was neither. Arthur must have re-typed our paperwork at least (4) times & made numerous cell phone calls along the way.

Finally we were finished but, the cell phone we had selected was without a battery; Arthur volunteered to have it mailed to our Nicktown address on Monday. And finally, we visited Melissa, Kevin & our (4) grandsons. Yes, we were quite late but the boys haven't forgotten us after being away for over (6) months.

Little Gregory was so friendly & had such cute smiles for both of us; I couldn't resist taking a few photos. DSC09354.JPG In Kevin's spare time, he talked of how the boys will be placed on their bikes when they do the (200+) miles rails to trails trip from McKeesport, PA to Baltimore, MD this spring. K & I volunteered to pick up their van @ McKeesport & then drive it to Baltimore so they can drive themselves back home. Melissa & Kevin have already done a test run of (8) miles without Kinley (their dog), but they do intend to take Kinley running alongside Kevin's bike. Here is a photo similar to the one Kevin has. DSC09360.JPG Nathan is beginning to talk a lot; just about everything he sees: colors, alphabet letters, numbers, cars, trucks, etc; he will tell us what it is & he's also using short sentences. Yeah, that's him on the junior trampoline. DSC09355.JPG Andrew continues to talk very well; he is always building something, be it with Legos, blocks, magnets, puzzles, etc. His interest in cars, trucks, airplanes, etc has not wavered whatsoever. Andrew is on the left DSC09347.JPG Matthew continued his interest in electricity; I didn't want to rush into anything electrical just yet with him, but will do so next visit I'm sure. This time, he & Kathy played several games of Monopoly Junior & later, on the 3rd floor, he joined Andrew & me & played on the massive Brio track layout. DSC09359.JPG Then it was time for the boy's showers & that's our clue to say our goodbyes for now. We were glad that they remembered us so well & we'll look forward to spending more time with them throughout the summer & fall months.

Back @ our coach, Nick Skyped us from Seattle; he & Jerry were right there looking @ our mugs. We wished Jerry a "Happy 4th Birthday" on the occasion of this occasion. So far this day, Jerry has been very busy with Nick. Perhaps he wanted his father's continued attention or was getting tired, but Jerry began to act out a bit, taking it out on Nick, of course. Thus, Jerry was sent to time out. We talked with Nick for a good (15) min after that & then decided to Skype later in the week.

Dinner: split pea soup, oyster crackers, cantaloupe & cutie oranges. Late evening; we watched 1/5 of the movie: "The River" & was not for us.

Lights out: 12:33am.

Awake: 6+54     Temp 60    sleep 7+02     sunny     overnight @ Nicktown, PA.


K & I had a light breakfast & then motored to Ebensburg to mow my brother's lawn. Before getting started, he wanted a cell phone call so he could talk me through the process.  When I tried to do so, I had no cell phone coverage on our Sprint phone thus no communication.


A few days ago, we had talked a little via phone about the mowing process before they left town anyway, so we figured we could handle it. Kathy used the walk behind mower to get the tight areas mowed while I drove the riding mower with a wide sweep. We were finished within an hr.


En route to Nicktown, we did some light grocery shopping @ the West End Market.


Back in Nicktown, I bought a new water filter from the nearby Krumenacker Hardware store & filled our pure water tank with fresh water.


K & I attended the 6:00pm vigil Mass in Nicktown & afterwards, we have some bar pizza & beer with John & Al @ the Nicktown Hotel.


Later, in our home-on-wheels, we talk with Melissa & Kevin about visiting them tomorrow afternoon.


Late movie: "Tight Spot" with Ginger Rogers, Edward G. Robinson, Brian Keith, Lorne Greene, & Katherine Anderson. Solid little film, with Rogers in one of her best performances as a former gangster's moll who's on the spot because she has agreed to testify against him. 1955. Good entertainment.


Lights out: 12:06am.    


Awake: 6:33am       Temp 45       sleep 6+17              sunny     overnight near the farm.
I've mentioned that we have been parked near the farm...but where are the animals? Well, this morning the cows & their calves were having breakfast together. DSC09322.JPG After the temp climbed a little, I went up the ladder & removed the pollen off our slides & then retracted the slides.

Next K& I went inside M & J's home & finished drinking our coffee & did some last minute chatting + thanking Mark & Joan for the wonderful week & all their kindness of making us feel so welcome.

Then I moved the coach about (30) ft forward, attached our tow car, & made the usual final checks. @ 8:50 am, we rolled down their driveway with a big wave & headed for our PA campsite. "Goodbye Joan" DSC09327.JPG "We will be back Mark" DSC09328.JPG After getting on I-77 north, we headed east on I-80 to I-79 southbound to U.S.-422 southeast to State Route-553 to Nicktown; arriving @ 12:55pm. Kathy caught some rolling hills while traveling on U.S.-422 DSC09333.JPG We are getting closer to Nicktown... yes, we have some Amish people. DSC09334.JPG And closer..... DSC09339.JPG Now we're on St. Paul Street & straight ahead beyond the house on the left... DSC09342.JPG is our .....oh Kathy, you forgot to take a picture of our beautiful campground! Dang>

Today's travel: 203 miles 4+02 time 35 gal used 5.8 mpg 50.2 avg speed.

We thought we had snuck into town but found out later, (2) persons had caught us. It took the rest of the afternoon to get for the well water.

Kathy's signals for backing into position were the best ever; perfect on the 1st try. We had our (50) amps plugged in after removing the winter insulation on the electrical units & reactivated our phone service + high speed internet before dinner time.

Shortly after our phones were connected, our 1st call was from Gary & Rosemary in St. Augustine. Their prize is waiting for them; first caller & all. Kathy made a call to Alaska to have our mail sent.

Dinner: stuffed peppers. Late evening, we watched some recorded political programs.

Lights out: 11:52pm.
Awake: 6:24      Temp 32      sleep 6+03       sunny parked    overnight on M & J's driveway.

While Mark & Joan were busy taking off many covers from their outdoor plants, fruit trees, flowers, etc & hoping the frost season was over, K & I began organizing our bus for more travel.

 Early afternoon, we rode with Joan & Mark for about an hr & toured the P.Graham Dunn factory in Dalton, OH. How to describe this huge plant & what they do & sell? DSC09309.JPG Nearly everything they manufacture is made of wood, all kinds of wood. DSC09290.JPG Tours were offered so we found a fellow who agreed to give us a thorough tour. He started by taking us to the laser cutting machines. These laser cutters were busy cutting small plaques with a religious message on them; many different messages. They even program the laser to burn the wood slightly to make it more attractive. DSC09292.JPG Yes, the plaques get bigger & are painted; here are a few paint booths. DSC09295.JPG Here is a recent load of lumber stacked almost to the ceiling. DSC09300.JPG Machines do most of the work with very little dust in the factory. DSC09304.JPG Just about anything can be scribed & colored. They create many unbelievably, beautiful pictures with some very memorable messages, many from scripture.

Our young tour guide, who gave us a detailed tour; worked his way up the ranks, learning each & every phase of the production process. He was thus quite knowledgeable & gave a very good tour.

After the tour, we spent some time looking through their gift shop.

Next, we visited with Paul & Diane who live fairly close to the P. Graham Dunn factory. Paul & Diane were with us not only for the K of C breakfast but also our muffin & coffee breakfast @ Anderson's Coffee Shop. I was interested in Paul's airplane from the beginning & by gosh, Mark squeezed the time in & made this visit happen.

We couldn't spend as much time with them as we would have liked, but I did get to see his homebuilt aircraft & Kathy got to tour their home. Yes, it was a kit but he did it all by himself. His runway is nearby & he keeps it mowed. DSC09313.JPG We said our goodbyes to Paul & Diane & hope to see them again soon. Next,

Mark drove us through the hills & dales of the Amish country; we were fascinated by the beautiful countryside with its rolling hills & the manicured farms.

We can't do justice for all that Joan & Mark did for us on this visit....but we wanted to show our gratitude for their hospitality by treating them to a dinner @ Der Dutchman...and did we ever have a fun time & some good Amish cooking. DSC09318.JPG What a great day it was; we were all pretty tired but had to get in a little relaxation, more conversation, & a little libation before hitting the sack. Our Chief Chef great provider & a real sweetheart. DSC09320.JPG Our limousine skillful human GPS man without a GPS DSC09319.JPG Thanks guys; we really enjoyed our time with you.

Lights out: 11:44pm.
Awake: 7:04am      Temp 32       sleep 6+31       partly cloudy - cool & windy      overnight in driveway @ M & J farm.

Joan invited us for how could we possibly resist the (2) homemade coffee cakes; rhubarb & cinnamon, pecan along with fresh, juicy, sweet pineapple. After some more kibitzing, & having a good time doing so, Kathy & I motored to East Canton, OH & visited Mark's younger sister Judy & her husband Jerry. Jerry was just finishing the mowing in their front yard when we arrived. Judy & Jerry. DSC09274.JPG Jerry invited me to see the upgrading he has done to his workshop/barn since the last time we were here & that was many yrs ago. Definitely his work areas have been elevated & improved from what I could remember. What I didn't see in the barn/shop was his father's old 1928 car....because he sold it.

Then we went inside their home; pointing out some of the projects Jerry has finished: Witness the oak fireplace mantlepiece. DSC09275.JPG Then a nice surprise: Judy's older sister, Helen, & her husband, Walt, arrived. We didn't know they had left Florida.They just returned on Mon.

We settled in the cozy sunroom for a nice late morning chat. From left to right: Jerry's hands, Walt, Helen, Kathy & Bonnie the cat. DSC09277.JPG Their other cat, Clyde, was in another room staying out of trouble. Then lunch was served; tuna salad, homemade bread, an array of veggies, cantaloupe, & Jell-O with cool whip. A nice meal; obviously done with delicacy & skill by Judy. Here are a few more of Jerry's woodworking accomplishments: DSC09279.JPG And the bar in the basement DSC09280.JPG Recently, Jerry has been getting his aviation skills sharpened up &, today, he attempted to give Walt & me a taxi demonstration in their driveway; it was too windy to take flight. DSC09278.JPG After our disappointing no flight, no taxi, Walt & I decided to leave immediately & seek out someone else that has their aircraft ready to fly & do aerobatic maneuvers.

Well, we wouldn't do that but we did feel bad for Jerry because he went to a lot of trouble to do nothing. Unfortunately his battery powered igniters were dead.

Helen & Walt were leaving so we thanked Judy & Jerry for their hospitality & wonderful lunch & said our goodbyes to all & motored back to our coach on the driveway.

 Mid to late afternoon, & once again, Joan invited us over for dinner: Mussels in garlic sauce, multi-colored rice, a mixture of broccoli, carrots,& cauliflower. Another great meal from the chief chef Joan. These guys have been spoiling us ever since we arrived. It has been helpful however, to join them for dinner when they invite us; that way, we use little water since our hookup is electric & water but no septic yet. DSC09285.JPG We spent the remainder of today talking & reminiscing with Mark & Joan in their kitchen. No, we didn't drink all of that wine; usually, each person had (1) glass only. DSC09286.JPG Their homemade wine was very, very good but we still stuck to the (1) glass per customer.

I am not sure if Joan & Mark came over & watched some of our political programs late evening or not. Anyway, we had another fun evening.

Lights out: 12:21am.
Awake: 6:32am      Temp 40      sleep 6+54      sunny       overnight in Mark & Joan's driveway.

The 1st thing that got my attention this morning was the white stuff on the lawn: Snow? It wasn't cold enough to be snow. That white stuff was petals from the Flowering Crab Apple tree. DSC09259.JPG K & I were invited to join Mark & Joan for 8:00am Mass &, afterwards, to have coffee with the Rev. Edward L. Beneleit & some of Mark & Joan's buddies. We of course, were all for this.

After Mass, Father informed us he couldn't get together with us this morning, due to his obligation to say a funeral Mass at a nearby parish. So, the rest of us drove less than a mile & had our coffee & muffins @ Anderson's Soap & Candle - Coffee Shop in Navarre. Besides the (4) of us, Paul & Diane + Ernie & Shirley joined with us. As usual, once again, we guys had an entertaining fun spite of our table being connected to the ladies table.

Next, Mark invited me to attend a Brown Bag Lunch Series @ the Massillon Museum @ noontime. The topic: "The Greek Community in Stark County."

Mark suggested we get there early to eat first, & then enjoy the talk. The meal selections were all too much for me to eat alone, so I proposed to Mark that we share a spinach, Craisin, pecan salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Mark later admitted that we definitely did the right thing.

Speaker Bill did a great job of introducing why & how so many Greeks came & settled in Stark County, Ohio. DSC09264.JPG Bill & his wife also published a book & were selling this today. DSC09267.JPG After the book selling settled down, Mark led me upstairs to the 2nd floor to see the miniature circus that a long standing dentist designed & built &, just recently, donated all of it to the Massillon Museum. DSC09271.JPG At 5:00pm, K & I motored across town to join cousin Michelle & her husband Roger + cousin Betty Ann for dinner at Grinders restaurant.

Roger has had an uncomfortable winter; tore a muscle in his stump & had to have it surgically repaired. This led to (3) months in a wheel chair. Then he & Michelle both got the flu & just recently he developed painful cellulites in his good leg, necessitating medical care & the use of a walker to get around. He seems to be getting better, but has an appointment at the pain management clinic.

Betty Ann keeps herself busy with friends & church activities. She also has had her problems. She has had glaucoma for a number of years, but now has a cataract which is causing visual blurring & headaches. She has an appointment with an eye doctor next week.

Michelle, her sister, Kathy, & their brother, Mike, are all children of my Aunt Bertha.

Kathy & I shared a mahi-mahi fish dinner with asparagus & rice.

We had a good time doing a little reminiscing & telling stories about our respective of a few years ago, Michelle & Roger were going south for the winters. DSC09273.JPG En route to our coach, we visited the nearby Wal-Mart for some milk & cereal. We watched some of our recorded political programs.

Lights out: 12:33am.
Awake: 6:25am      Temp 55      sleep 6+14       light rain      overnight @ M & J Farm.

This morning, we joined Mark & Joan & some of Joan's siblings & friends at the 8:00am Mass @ St. Clement in Navarre, in honor of Joan's father's death (1) yr ago. He was quite a guy who lived to be 97.5 yrs of age. 

Afterwards, we all met @ the restaurant: "Menches Brothers of Massillon" for breakfast. Menches is famous for developing popcorn as well as claiming the invention of the hamburger circa 1885 and the ice cream cone. Photo of some of Joan's siblings, spouses, granddaughter & friends. From left to right: granddaughter of Bill & Tessa, Bill, Kathy, Paul, Elaine, Margie, Joan, Mark, Barbara, Ted, & Tessa. DSC09256.JPG It was a great rendezvous for me as I haven't seen some of these folks for a few decades.So..we had a lot to catch up on. We said our goodbyes to Joan's siblings & spouses & continued riding with Joan & Mark to do some light grocery shopping @ Marc's in Canton & next door, the ALDI store.

Late afternoon, dinner with Mark & Joan in their home: Joan's delicious homemade Chili with oyster crackers, lettuce, mixed salad & ice cream.

After dinner, a surprise phone call from the Pentagon; their daughter Molly has been working there for about (2) yrs now. We discussed aviation, condo plumbing repair, & life in general. It was a nice & unexpected phone call. Molly is looking forward to flying the new P-3 Naval replacement aircraft later this yr.

After Molly's call, Mark had to attend a Knights of Columbus meeting so Joan visited us in our coach to watch some of the political channels. When Mark returned from his meeting, he also watched some of the political stuff.

Earlier this evening, Mark's sister Judy, returned my I returned her response; Judy invited Kathy & me for lunch on Thursday.

Even later this evening, Katrina called & we talked for (48) min. She's been taking a rock climbing course & is looking forward to practicing her new skills outside. She joined and is enjoying playing on an Ultimate Frisbee league. She is still enjoying her new bedroom wall color & has not yet found the water shut off valve.

Lights out: 11:38pm.
Awake: 6:27am       Temp 58      sleep 6+36      early rain, later partly      sunny      overnight @ the Mark & Joan farm in our motorhome.

K & I rode with M & J to 8:00 am Mass @ St. Clement Catholic Church. Afterwards, we motored with M & J to the Massillon Knights of Columbus for breakfast with friends.

Here I learned an important lesson; if the guys want to have a lot of fun & laugh a lot, have the ladies sit @ a round table far enough away so they can't easily hear you. And have the guys sit @ a square table closer to the door in the event the ladies do hear us. From left to right: Dorothy, Mary Jo, Shirley, Joan & Kathy DSC09253.JPG The breakfast was good but these fun guys that Mark hangs around with are very good; I haven't laughed that much in a long time. From left to right: Mark, Paul, Chuck, Joe, Ernie, & me. DSC09254.JPG After our (2+) hrs of breakfast & top notch amusement, M & J motored to Canton & Joan did some grocery shopping @ Fishers Grocery.

K & I were invited for dinner @ the farm table for Joan's special Chicken Papricash (Hungarian) with mashed potatoes, asparagus, homemade applesauce & homemade bread.

Tonight's DVD movie: "Star of Bethlehem". Very interesting but most of the time, over our heads. Some talk afterward & then M & J returned to their home for the night.

Lights out: 12:11am. 
Awake: 7:44am     Temp 51      sleep 7+20      light rain    overnight @ Mark & Joan's farm.

Today, Mark & Joan are motoring to Columbus, OH to attend the birthday party of Rick & Karen's son: Joseph, age 7. Even Rick's parents drove from Johnstown, PA to be there on this special occasion.

Meanwhile, we humbly declined the opportunity to join them as we want to visit our 97 yr old, Aunt Bertha & other cousins & friends while we are here & we don't want to run out of time.

Mid afternoon, we visited my Aunt Bertha & spent 1.5 hrs talking & asking questions from the past. She is doing quite well & her memory is just as sharp as always. DSC09252.JPG Dinner in our coach: Clam chowder, oyster crackers, mixed salad & mango fruit.

Mark & Joan returned around 8:00pm & we visited them & gabbed until about 10:30pm; then we returned to our coach & watched (40) min of O'Reilly.

Lights out: 11:51pm.


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