November 2010 Archives

Awake: 6:02am    Temp 29    sleep 5+59     cold, windy & snow flurries     overnight @ Nicktown.

Mid afternoon, my 1st cousins rang our door bell; It's Cy & his older brother Lou from Ohio. Starting tomorrow,They both will be joining their younger Brother Tony @ Saint Vincent's to hunt for deer for a week. Lou hasn't seen our house yet so I gave him a tour with brother Cy accompanying. There is no charge for 1st cousins. DSC000204.JPG Later afternoon, Nick telephoned & we talked for over an hr; he brought us up-to-date on their (4) day combined business & social trip to Hawaii. The whole family climbed Diamond Head mountain & when Nick was conducting business with the Isilon people, Eriko, Jerry & Momoko got together with a friend of Eriko who lives on Oahu & they toured the island.

Late afternoon, I gathered some remnant blocks of wood, packed them into boxes & loaded them in our Suzuki for a later delivery.

Then K & I attended 6:00pm vigil Mass & afterward, John, Theresa, K & I visited the Nicktown Bar for some beer & yak-yak. The place was extremely crowded with quite a few people that we knew. The other conversations were so intense & somewhat overpowering, we choose to skip the pizza this time...but we did enjoy our time with each other.

Back in our motorhome, we watched: "The Big Heat" with Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando, Alexander Scourby, Lee Marvin, etc. Time has taken the edge off once-searing story of cop determined to bust city crime ring; famous coffee-hurling scene still jolts, and Grahame is excellent as bad girl who helps Ford.1953. Good enough story to keep my partner awake, it was.

Lights out: 12:22am.

Awake: 6:12am     Temp 37     sleep 6+01     partly sunny     overnight @ Nicktown.

After breakfast I called Larry for an estimate on well drilling for Geo-thermal. He will get back to me.

Late morning, K & I visited with Bernie in the basement & talked about the man door; discussed the insulation options, the electrical wiring & the plumbing. Next week, we will start looking into these items.

Early afternoon, 1st cousin Cy visited & brought us a few bottles of wine & other liquor which we had asked for. Since he was so prompt & kind with his delivery service, I gave him an updated tour of our house without wheels. After the tour, I invited Cy to stay for a glass of wine & he did.

About (30) min later, my sister Corinne paid us a visit. Kathy had already served a snack of cheese & crackers & offered some to Corinne, she accepted, but only (1) serving.

Cy is a good story teller so we sat around the snack bowl & were amazed & amused @ the tales & stories that Cy had experienced during his life so far. Amazing....absolutely amazing. He should be writing a book. His stories were so mesmerizing, I completely forgot that Corinne was interested in a house tour ...& then she had to leave. I humbly apologize for that goof, my sister. I won't let it happen again.

Dinner: tuna & noodle casserole & mixed salad with some leftover Thanksgiving  pumpkin pie for dessert.  

We finished watching the movie: "Dead Heat on a Merry-go-Round with James Coburn, Camilla Sparv, Aldo Ray, Rose Marie, Severn Darden, etc. Involved but entertaining crime drama about an intricate plan to rob an airport bank, with a surprise ending. 1966. And what a surprise it was! The last (2) min made the story even better.

Lights out: 12:03am.    

Awake: 6:55am     Temp 33      sleep 7+32      steady rain...heavy @ times     overnight @ Nicktown.

"Happy Thanksgiving!" folks. I couldn't help noticing ice forming on our trees & car radio antenna when I first looked outside. So this is some of the things we've been missing all these years by heading to warmer climes. After our breakfast, Kathy began making a carrot casserole & deviled eggs.

We have been invited to my brother Don & his wife Josie's home today for Thanksgiving dinner.

Early afternoon, Katrina called us while driving home from a girlfriend's house. She has been taking advantage of the early good snow in the Denver Mountains for the past several week-ends. We didn't talk too long as we were practically ready to leave for my brother's place when she called. We will talk longer on the next opportunity.

As we entered the side entrance of my brother's place, Don & Josie met us & introduced us to (2) dogs being kept in the laundry room; Max, a big black guy & the little white dog... I've forgotten her name. Anyway, these dogs belong to Dave & Kelly Jo (D & J's #3 child) family, who are visiting from Maryland. Dave & Kelly have (1) son, Ryan & (2) daughters, Kaelin & Jordyn.

Entering the middle floor, we heard & saw the Foote family down in the basement having some fun with the BIG toy earth moving equipment.

Moving upstairs, we got re-acquainted with Josie's brother Al & his wife Kathy. Kelly Jo reminded me of how tough she was by saying & showing: "I can still hold my Baby( Kaelin)." DSC000196.JPG
Before the picture, Kelly Jo & Kaelin were helping Josie in the kitchen while Ryan, Jordyn, Allan & Dave were watching the football game in the TV room. DSC000198.JPG A little later, my sister, Corinne, arrived. The dinner call was sounded @ 5:00 pm & after Corinne led us in saying grace, we all enjoyed a most delicious meal of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls, & cranberries (Josie); deviled eggs & carrot casserole (KK); broccoli casserole & sweet potatoes (Kathy); & homemade eggnog (Melissa). Though we were all quite sated, we managed dessert of pumpkin & apple pies (Josie) & orange cheese cake (Melissa). DSC000199.JPG And guess what: During & after dessert, we continued sitting around & chewing the fat! DSC000200.JPG Don & Josie's home has the ideal settings for entertaining & meals, etc. ie, the dining room table: The basement is for exercise, games, pool table, TV, etc. DSC000201.JPG Middle floor: family room: TV, piano, board games, etc. See photo of Allen, Kaelin, Jordyn,& Dave.            Florida room or sun room for private conversations & reading, etc.   DSC000202.JPG                                 A very nice home with many amenities.  

It was a wonderful day with an unwelcome surprise ending! The dogs were out in the garage & Ryan went out to do something with them, but, alas, the little one got out & met up with a skunk that sprayed her & Ryan's coat sleeve.

When Ryan opened the door, the "eau de cologne" penetrated the house immediately. WOW!! The odor was choking & Matthew was in tears because it smelled so bad.

Kelly Jo & Ryan wasted no time going to Wal-Mart to buy lots of tomato juice, with which to bathe the dogs. I learned that is the preferred bathing solution to get rid of the skunk smell.

We didn't hang around to see if it worked, but said our farewells & thank you's & returned to our MH @ 7:30.

We finished watching the movie: "The Harder They Fall" with Humphrey Bogart, Rod Steiger, Jan Sterling, Mike Lane, Max Baer, etc. Bogart's last feature casts him as cynical sportswriter-turned-press agent who realized for the first time how badly prizefighters are manipulated by their unfeeling managers. Powerful drama by budd Schulberg. 1956. Good story with a real knock-down message.

Since the night was still young, & Kathy was so beautiful, we started another movie: "Dead Heat on a Merry-go-Round." We watched about (30) min until somebody I sleep with was fast asleep.

Lights out: 12:11am.

Awake: 6:26am       Temp 31      sleep 7+03      partly sunny       overnight @ Nicktown.

After the KK meeting & with no breakfast, Kathy went shopping this morning; she had many stops to make & didn't want to be too late returning home.

After my breakfast, I was excited to test the (2) different grease sprays for the Teddy heater. Even though the temp outside was cool with a good wind blowing, I opened Kathy's basement pantry for access to the Teddy heater. DSC000193.JPG                              Midway into the basement is this Teddy heater. DSC000194.JPG Then I slid my tool slide parallel to Kathy's pantry for more access, & climbed into the basement where I could get real close to the Teddy heater. DSC000195.JPG I cleaned off the old hardened grease & then squirted a little white lithium grease on both bearings. Turning the axle by hand, this grease didn't seem to free spin the axle much @ all. After a few more squirts & turning the axle, I was convinced that this grease was not for Teddy.

Again, I cleaned off the bearing area of lithium grease & got my next lubricant: the Silicone rich Blaster. After spraying this lubricant onto the bearings I started turning the axle again. This grease seemed to free up the drag on the axle & most of the grease stayed on the bearing area. The armature would turn with ease now so I switched on the Teddy heater &, voila, the motor ran well. Now, after a night or two of being shut off, would the motor start up with ease & not pop a fuse; that was the question.

Next, I filled the motor home's pure water tank & dumped the gray water tank.

Dinner: New England clam chowder with toast, leftover pork tenderloin with mustard sauce & apple slices.

Late evening, Zack called us; we talked for over an hr; subjects covered: wedding plans, Katie's return to full time college, winter weather on Queen Anne, etc.

Shortly after that call, Ray skyped us; he was on his new Apple Computer & a proud new owner was he. We talked for a mere (12) min...mostly about the computer. Ray's computer is nearly the same as Kathy's. So now, Skyping with Ray will be easier.

We continued watching the movie: "The Harder They Fall."

Lights out: 11:23pm.
Awake: 6:34am      Temp 56     sleep 6+04      drizzle, then partly sunny     overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attended the Koffee Klub meeting for a short time & then Kathy helped the ladies cook @ the church hall, preparing the funeral luncheon for family & friends in honor of the deceased Theresa Kirsch.

Meanwhile, I returned to our motorhome & made a call to Newell & talked @ length with Cresley about my Teddy heater & what lubrication I should use that won't dry up over time, causing the motor to stall. He had several suggestions that I will try.

@11:00am, I met with Kathy in church for the funeral Mass & afterwards, joined the many Kirsch & other families @ the church hall for a farewell luncheon for Theresa. Excellent food these cooks make; we all admire their talent. Kathy stayed to help clean up afterward.

Back in our MH, we decided to motor to Johnstown & search for a man door for our lower basement. First, we visited Home Depot; DSC000191.JPG We had Justin use the computer to come up with a steel man door that we might consider buying. He gave me a printout for further info.

Then we visited Lowe's where Jim spent some time on their computer & came up with a suitable steel man door that might be the one for us? Decisions, decisions. DSC000192.JPG I also bought (2) different types of grease to try on our Teddie heater, one from each store.

En route to Nicktown, we made a quick stop @ the Ebensburg Wal-Mart store for a few groceries.

A light dinner: Tomato soup with oyster crackers.

Next, we called my sister Mary Jo in Lodi, CA for her birthday. Out timing was good because in (30) min, husband Edward would be taking her out for a special birthday dinner. She told us how pleased she was by receiving so many "Happy Birthday" wishes all day long. Our talk was short but sweet.

We began the movie: "The Harder They Fall." We watched about ½.

Lights out: 11:23pm.
Awake: 6:22am       Temp 49       sleep 6+37       partly sunny       overnight @ Nicktown.

A little after 12:00 noon, K & I visited Bernie in our house. He's been wanting to get together to make sure that the corner bathtub in our bathroom, & the sinks & linen cabinet are suitably positioned for him to make holes for the Plumber when he starts his work; also, in the guest bathroom, the shared bathtub, the shower & sinks. DSC000185.JPG A short time later, Melissa & her boys arrived with BIG smiles on their faces. Melissa had once more, changed her schedule to avoid the forecast rain tomorrow, which was just fine with us.

While talking with Melissa last evening, I emphasized the Dumpster's power of persuasion that might be hypnotizing the boys when they visit today. Even though I worded that differently over the phone, she laughed a lot.

Today, the boys, with their BIG smiles, headed directly for the Infamous magnetic dumpster. DSC000186.JPG What the boys found will probably change the history of the 3rd floor in the Foote Castle. DSC000187.JPG Of course, it was a big decision on Melissa's part & she was under a lot of pressure from the I offered our cell phone so she could call her hubby, Kevin & talk it over. DSC000188.JPG               Why, even Andrew was involved in the outcome...sticking his neck out! DSC000189.JPG After the final approval was certain, Andrew was relaxed & back to normal. DSC000190.JPG We carried their special treasures over to the mini van one by one & started the loading process. Their Toyota mini van was quite stuffed when they waved goodbye with smiles from everyone.Oh such a deal!

Then K & I changed clothes & motored to Moriconi Funeral home in Spangler & offered our condolences at the wake for Theresa Kirsch (93 yrs), a distant cousin.

Then back to our MH where we had leftover Italian sausage, fried noodles & toast for dinner. Later, we watched the movie: "The Sisters" with Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Anita Louise, Ian Hunter, Donald Crisp, Beulah Bondi, Jane Bryan, etc. Davis, Louise, & Bryan are sisters whose marital problems are traced in this lavish film; Bette's got the most trouble, of course, with unreliable husband Flynn in San Francisco. 1938. Good story; we watched it all.

Lights out: 12:30am.
Awake: 7:25am      Temp 37     sleep 6+21      partly sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

I spent a good deal of the afternoon preparing for the cold air mass coming our way soon. One of my heaters in the basement of our motorhome, called the Teddy Heater, has quit working; partly due to my fault.

I think I used the wrong type of lubrication & the armature shaft did not spin freely; thus on the startup, the 7.5 amp fuse would blow. It wasn't easy but I slowly got rid of the hardened grease on both sides of the armature & then used another type of lubrication that I hope will last longer.

During my lying down on the job time, Kathy invited me for a walk around town but I had to decline her generous offer & get this Teddy unit working as prescribed. Kathy did walk around town for at least an hr before returning.

Late afternoon, I noticed a beautiful sunset toward the west; but by the time I got my camera & went outside, the beautiful sky was...not so beautiful. DSC000182.JPG                 Oh, by the way, Here is the distance our house is from our motorhome. DSC000183.JPG Mid evening, John B called & suggested that I take a look @ the full moon & the surrounding clouds: the sky with the bright moon in the middle was absolutely spectacular! I've never seen anything like it & I've seen a lot of skies. My camera did not do it justice however. DSC000184.JPG                                             Thanks John, for the tip.

Dinner: Pork Tenderloin with mustard sauce, noodles, & acorn squash with apple slices. Very delicious!

Evening movie: Documentary on "The Warner Brothers." We learned a lot about why & how the movies were made during the early 30's & 40's. Now we realize the Warner Brothers sought out stories from novelists that exposed the good or not so good things that were happening during that period of time & their movies spread the message out to the people.

Lights out: 11:45pm.

Saturday 20 November 2010

Awake: 6:05am    Temp 40     sleep 6+10    cold & windy    overnight @ Nicktown.

After our Koffee Klub meeting, which went into overtime, we returned to our warm motorcoach & stayed indoors until late afternoon. In early afternoon, Nick Skyped us for a record 1 hr & 20 min. Yes, we had a lot to talk about regarding his recent business travel to the French Quarters in New Orleans; the purchase of Isilon by EMC; using an architect, the changes he wants to make on the house; a part business, part holiday trip to Hawaii with the family, etc.

After that great discussion, K & I attended vigil Mass @ Nicktown &, afterwards, John, Theresa, Bill, Kathy & I congregated @ the Nicktown Bar & enjoyed some beer with pizza & a lot of good chit-chat.

After that, K & I returned to our motorhome & finished watching the movie: "Little Big Man" with Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Martin Balsam, Richard Mulligan, Chief Dan George, Jeff Corey, etc. Sprawling superb filmization of Thomas Berger's novel about Jack Crabb, 121-year -old man who reminisces about his life as young pioneer, adopted Indian, drinking pal of Wild Bill Hickok, medicine-show hustler, and survivor of Custer's Last Stand. Rich humor, colorful characterizations, moving tragedy are among ingredients, and they all click. 1970. WOW! Unbelievable; check it out.

Lights out: 1:04am.                                 

Awake: 6:05am      Temp 33       sleep 6+27      partly sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

Before breakfast, K & I attended the 9:30am children's Mass @ our church. It always gives me a warm feeling when Father Job officiates @ the school Mass. The school children & the adults seem to really enjoy his homilies.

Afterwards, we joined the crowd outside & participated with Father Job as he blessed the Peace Pole which was recently donated & dedicated to his deceased Mother of (3) yrs.

Mid afternoon, I wandered outside to find out how close the workers were to finishing shingling the roof. After talking with Ryan, he told me they would be finished within the hr. I was just as happy to hear that forecast as they were. Up on that roof ...with the cool winds blowing & moving those heavy shingles around couldn't be much fun. DSC000171.JPG Later today, we were invited to join the Foote Family in Indiana, PA to celebrate Christmas coming to Jimmy Stewart's home town. There were (2) showings on the Big screen of the movie: "It's a Wonderful Life" & a parade down Philidelphia Ave.

So, with the long standing reputation that the Foote Family has of being early or on time for these functions, we dressed for the cool evening weather & arrived promptly @ 5:00pm, the appointed hr.

Oops, when the Foote boys came running to greet us, they were chewing on something & it wasn't chewing gum. They were still eating dinner & it would be another (40) min until the boys got into their snowsuits, shoes, & mittens & started to walk to Philidelphia Ave.

                    Here we have Melissa & smiling Gregory....just about ready to go. DSC000172.JPG                   Just look @ those happy smiling faces! Well, two out of 5 anyway? DSC000173.JPG Fortunately, the evening temperatures were in the middle (40's) with calm wind....& we were all dressed properly.

Downtown was already very crowded with people everywhere. Several stands for roasting marshmallows were set up as well as a Salvation Army van giving out free hot chocolate with mini marshmallows.

1st things 1st; warmth with the help of a marshmallow roast & a hot chocolate drink; all the boys, except Gregory, had both treats. DSC000174.JPG Unfortunately for Nathan, his marshmallow was half baked & the gooey stuff stuck to his mittens which stuck to his hot chocolate cup. Yikes!

During our warming up program, the singers from Saint Thomas More church entertained us with a few well sung Christmas songs. DSC000175.JPG Then we walked across the street & Melissa found an open spot for us to watch the parade. And here they come: Rudolf the red nosed reindeer & the black & white (?) guy. DSC000176.JPG                                 


                                              Hey, go Pirates, go! DSC000178.JPG These gals were good & showed no signs of being cold. Wait a minute: what are those big batteries doing on their backs with wires running throughout their skimpy clothing? DSC000180.JPG For the occasion, the parade was fun to see & the kids were rained down with candy tossed from the parade sponsors.

Afterwards, we returned to the marshmallow area & spent some time in "Samiches" café where various craft projects were set up for the children. The (3) older Foote boys each made a Christmas craft.

Then we walked back to the Foote Castle & said our "thank you & goodnight." Gregory fell asleep on the way home & the rest of the boys were very tired. I was satisfied that the temperature was rather mild & the almost full moon gave us a little light along the way.

Back @ our motorhome, we watched ½ of: "Little Big Man" while eating popcorn.

Lights out: 11:55pm.

Awake: 7:05am      Temp 38      sleep 7+37       off & on rain      overnight @ Nicktown.

This morning we had an early breakfast, skiped the KK meeting & motored to Altoona, PA & spend (3) hrs with Nicole @ The Beautiful Bath store. We talked, looked & made some decisions on: a Corner Tub, DSC000165.JPG                        & an American Standard Toilet & maybe Toto Washlets, DSC000166.JPG                                             Vanities, Cabinets with mirrors, DSC000167.JPG                                                 Sinks, Faucets, etc. DSC000168.JPG We took no breaks & Nicole did an excellent job of using her computer to search for comparisons, taking good notes, giving her opinion, and/or steering us away from some ideas & leading us to a better idea. Time went quickly ....for us.

Then we went about (2) blocks down the street to the Seymore Brothers store where they have some glass blocks. DSC000169.JPG                       We are considering using these blocks for our walk in shower. DSC000170.JPG Then we motored back to Nicktown via the Buckhorn.

Dinner: New England Clam chowder with oyster crackers, broccoli, & leftover tuna steak.

We finished watching the movie: "Night Must Fall" with Robert Montgomery, Rosalind Russell, Dame May Whitty, Alan Marshal, etc. Famous film of Emlyn Williams' suspenseful play. Young woman (Russell) slowly learns identity of mysterious brutal killer terrorizing the countryside. 1937. Good suspense story.

Lights out: 11:38pm.
Awake: 6:20am    Temp 43    sleep 6+45    windy...rainy...sunny     overnight @ Nicktown.

After our breakfast, Kathy motored to Joddie's house, switched autos & continued motoring in Joddie's car to Indiana where they joined their weekly ladies bowling group. Shortly after Kathy left, the Long Barn delivered a small load of wood & other misc. DSC000163.JPG Meanwhile, my day was not so busy so....when the cat is away.... I made a few phone calls:1st, to my young buddy Rochelle in Washington State. How about 59 min & 30 sec of chit-chat....mostly catching up on each others lives; her kids, our grown kids, her dead dog, our live house building, her future costs for education, our grandkids & their future, etc, etc.
It was good for me to make contact again with Rochelle. Her father & I were best of buddies.

Next, I called my buddy Gary C & talked with both Rosemary & Gary. Later, Dick from Saint Michael's called; he told me another (3) boxes of bricks were brought by Al from Nitterhouse for our perusal. By this time, Kathy had returned & we talked about our day's activities. Then before dark, with a mist of rain, I checked the progress the builders were making; more shingling & building another dormer. DSC000164.JPG Dinner: Pistachio encrusted tuna & salmon steaks with rice pilaf, toast & spinach salad. We watched some more of the movie: "Night must Fall."

Lights out: 11:28pm.
Awake: 6:05am     Temp 43      sleep 5+31     off & on rain...all day     overnight @ Nicktown.

My 1st cousin Florentz called. He had a question & I had an answer...which I won't expound on. What was nice to hear was that his voice & dialog were cheery.

Around noon time, Scott, the geo-thermal guy, drove into our circular drive with another truck following him. Turns out that it was a well driller &, in the rain, they walked around studying our field for a respectable location to drill wells for the geo-thermo system.

Later, Bernie came over to our motorhome & gave me a full sized drawing of where the electrical outlets will be located on the main floor; DSC000161.JPG                                        the basement & outside areas. DSC000162.JPG Then we went into the house & discussed how the ceiling will come down to the kitchen cabinets & how the fireplace will avoid hot air coming out from the stack onto the porch....& making the laundry room closet a little bigger, etc.

Dinner: leftover Italian sausage, pepper, onions & bread.

After dinner, I finished doing the dishes & then attended the Holy Name meeting @ the church hall. I returned @ 10:00 pm & we watched the recorded Jeopardy & O'Reilly Factor before lights out @: 11:35pm.
Awake: 6:26am      Temp 38      sleep 6+36     mostly sunny    overnight @ Nicktown.

Kevin called @ 6:48am. He told me he just sent an e-mail regarding their dead stove's electric element. He also said he used his meter & checked the electric element & found it to be open. I was glad to hear now he can look for & buy a new element to get that stove working again. And when I opened my e-mail, there was Kevin's message.

Melissa & her boys will be visiting us today due to a forecast of rain on Tuesday. They arrived @ 10:29am & they were ready for action....straight toward that infamous dumpster. Unfortunately, last night's rain had everything very wet & muddy. However, that didn't stop the curious hunters one bit; why even Kathy pursued forward in finding ....more treasures. DSC000157.JPG Finally, to give the dumpster time to dry out, the gang headed for the basement where the sunshine brought warmth & the boys played for a long time making the best fun out of available things like: boxes, Styrofoam, more nails, etc. DSC000160.JPG Later, when the builders were working outside on a dormer, the boys did their scouting for more nails & orange buttons on the main floor. Back to the basement again, Melissa served the traditional mid-day healthy snack time for the boys & then, we went for a walk in our field where the quad-runners play. Matthew & Andrew found some re-bar & started to punch & pound the earth just about every step of the way with their (18) inch (length) re-bar rods. DSC000159.JPG I get such a kick out of these boys; they usually find things to do without having any things to do it with.The Footes left for home around 2:00pm.

Next, I set up the water works & filled our pure water tank; then I finished the job that I started last Friday (wiring & soldering a light socket for # 1 pump house).

During my time outside, Nick called from the Minneapolis airport where he was waiting for his connecting flight to New Orleans. He talked with Kathy, mostly relating that Isilon is being acquired by EMC for $2.25 billion as consolidation in the data storage sector continues.

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

Lights out: 12:34am.
Awake: 6:35am     Temp 45     sleep 7+06   partly sunny, later rain    overnight @ Nicktown.

In lieu of our regular breakfast this morning, we chose to motor to Barnesboro & go to the basement of Prince of Peace Catholic church to try their renowned turkey dinner.

We don't know how many times a year this occasion arises, but we've heard nothing but good talk about this meal. We arrived around 11:30am & filled our plate fairly well; about (10) min later, the line-up was leading outside.

This dinner was not only good, it was great...& the price was right! Kathy took a break from cooking this morning & I had very few dishes to wash.

After a short visit to our motorhome, we motored to the Foote Castle & spent some time with the Foote family. Soon after we arrived, the boys led us to the basement to look over the wonders of their nailing & building creations. Matthew made this box; he told me he will keep his basement buddies in this. DSC000153.JPG               And here is Andrew adding more nails to his well made & creative "thing." DSC000154.JPG Nathan is just a little too young to handle a hammer yet. Kevin did make a kids height work bench for the boys to pound those nails on & we could easily see the fruits of their labor. Good work Kevin!

Up stairs in the kitchen, Kevin & I began talking about the stove that died. I've  heard about this dead stove last week from Melissa so I asked Kevin if he had made a resistance check on the element yet. He didn't. So I suggested to Kevin that he remove the element & check for some resistance; if there is none, the element is bad & you can buy a new one & replace it. If there is some resistance, then another source of the stove is the problem. Kevin said he would check it tomorrow.

Then Kevin, Matthew, Kathy & I donned our winter jackets, rain coats & a few umbrellas & walked over to the IUP swimming pool & watched Matthew's swimming lesson with (5) other children. DSC000155.JPG Matthew held Kathy's hand all the way over & on the way back, he held mine. We talked & watched as Matthew jumped, paddled, floated, dove, etc according to what their swimming teacher wanted them to do. Here is Matthew getting his breathing stroke. DSC000156.JPG On our return to the Foote Castle, we thanked Matthew & Kevin for letting us watch his swimming lesson & headed back to Nicktown in the rain.

We finished watching the "2001 Space Odyssey" with Keir Dullea, William Sylvester, Gary Lockwood, Daniel Richter; voice of HAL: Douglas Rain. A unique masterpiece, immensely influential; a visual feast. Oscar-winning special effects. Etc, etc. 1968. You make the call; our opinion was quite different than theirs.

Nick Skyped us for (47) min; we talked a little bit with Eriko & talked with Nick about his work & upcoming trip to New Orleans & about the house. We interacted with Jerry & tried to interact with Momo who was confused as to who we were.

Lights out: 11:50pm.
Awake: 6:15am      Temp 40       sleep 7+08       sunny       overnight @ Nicktown.

After breakfast, we motored to Saint Michaels, (25) miles, & picked up our sample of bricks from the nearest distributor: Ollinger's. We opened the package immediately & the color of all (4) bricks was all white with a little gray; not a tinge of blue anywhere? Kathy was not happy. The bricks were supposed to have a light blue shadow. Next the brick maker. Dick has both the brick distributing business & beer distributing. DSC000149.JPG Then we continued to Scalp Ave & Conzatti's Italian Market & got some sweet Italian sausage & other misc. DSC000150.JPG From here we visited the Galleria Mall & did a little clothes shopping for me & price comparing. DSC000151.JPG                  Next we stopped @ WalMart in Ebensburg for a few more groceries, DSC000152.JPG                                    & then fueled up our car @ Sheetz.

Back @ our motorhome, we noticed a different truck entering our circular driveway & (2) people walking into our house; it turned out to be the excavator Dave & his wife Julie.

Dave has been excavating these last few months in Indiana, PA & wanted to see how our home project is progressing. We spent about (45) min updating each other. Julie went into our motorhome, met Kathy who gave her a tour of the MH, & then they sat & visited with each other until it was time for her & Dave to leave.

Then came the scary undertaking: we trimmed each other's hair; for once in a long time, I actually had a nice compliment from Kathy.

Then we both attended the 6:00pm vigil Mass @ Saint Nicholas church. Afterward, Theresa, Kathy, John & I had some beer with a pizza @ the Nicktown Bar. The most libation we had was (1.5) beers but we had our favorite table & stayed for a little over (2) hr. The place was crowded & very active.

Back in our motorhome, we watched some more of: "2001 Space Odyssey."

Lights out: 11:29pm.
Awake: 6:37am      Temp 39       sleep 6+59      sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our breakfast, I retracted our # 1 slide about half way, & then fully extended it back. I wanted to do this to the other slides but ran out of time. It is rare that we sit in one place for such a long time without exercising our slides; perhaps there will be another opportunity.

Then I began fixing a cord with a light for the #1 pump house...but I ran out of time doing this short job also. Minutes later, our young friends from Saint Augustine, Rosemary & Gary, arrived to tour & inspect our BIG BUILD. They haven't seen the house progress since September 1st when we had: "The BIG DIG." This is the main entrance; notice the shingles are about done on this side. DSC000147.JPG I walked with Gary & Kathy walked with Rosemary thru the main & basement floors; then outside & down in the field. Shingles are ready & waiting on this side. DSC000146.JPG                                 But 1st, another dormer must be built. DSC000148.JPG So, after a good .50 cent tour, we settled down in our motorhome & had some wine with cheese & crackers.

In lieu of the customary (5) course meal Kathy usually serves to these special people, we decided to simply walk over to the Nicktown Bar & have some pizza with beer.

G & R had never been to the Nicktown bar, so it was a nice chance to introduce the high caliber style of living that we "city" folks enjoy, but don't advertise too strongly to the "country" folks!

We enjoyed their company very much & hope that we can do this again soon. Back in our motorhome, K & I started watching: 2001 Space Odyssey. We watched (54) min.

Lights out: 11:07pm.
Awake: 6+33am      Temp 33       sleep 6+47       sunny       overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, Kathy, Deborah & I exercised @ the gym for (1.2) hrs.

Back in our motorhome, Kathy did (2) more laundry loads &, of course, I filled the pure water tank twice during this washing extravaganza.

Next, I unscrewed (4) screws on our plywood covering & inspected our septic system; I raked the special sand below & it looked better than I would have imagined. Then I changed (1) large & (1) small filter on our pure water system. And something I should have done a month ago, I started our 20-kw generator & ran it with a strong electric load for (15-20) min.

This was a good day for me to get some of these outside things done before foul weather moves in. Today, the builders nearly completed the shingling of ½ of the eastside wing; left side in photo & starting on ½ of right wing. DSC000144.JPG                   Dinner: Penne pasta with sausage, pepper, onions & a mixed salad.

Lights out: 11:38pm.
Awake: 6:05am     Temp 38     sleep 6+55     fog...then sunshine     overnight @ Nicktown.
Before leaving for the KK meeting, Kathy started a load of laundry; after we returned, she continued with another laundry load before leaving for Indiana & bowling with her lady friends.

                          @ 12:47am, the Long Barn delivered our roof shingles DSC000140.JPG & the building team got right after the unloading, setting the individual packs within their working area on the front side. DSC000141.JPG                                             And on the backside. DSC000142.JPG Off & on I monitored their progress while going thru my stack of receipts recounting (2) months of spending. Mid afternoon, I took a quick tour of the main floor & discovered that the REA guys had run some air conditioning cooling tubes through the ceiling trusses. DSC000143.JPG Shortly afterwards, Kathy returned from bowling with a nice smile on her face but....she wasn't too proud of her score card.

Dinner: Pork chops with fried noodles & apple stuffed acorn squash.

Zack called en route to their rental house: quite a bit of discussion about their upcoming wedding & the guest list with some talk regarding Zack's completion of his Master's degree this Dec. & Katie's continued education.

Late evening, I printed copies of the windows that we finalized. Tomorrow these changes will be faxed to Matt @ State College, PA.

Lights out: 11:46.
Awake: 5:50am       Temp 30       sleep 6+35      sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

Melissa called about 7:30am this morning; she plans on visiting us around noon time today. A little later, Bernie rang our doorbell; they are working on the front porch roof this morning & he needs to have a door size & side light size within (2) hrs.

Oh my, we have been looking @ many doors & sidelights but had not yet made a it's time to get serious. Back to the books & a few phone calls later by Kathy...the required data was passed on to Bernie.

Next, Kathy made a fast trip to Ebensburg for some needed groceries while I spent some serious time tracking down a small water leak. I thought nothing about it last week, thinking it was residual water from a recent rain. (4-5) days later that drip was still dripping. I finally traced it down to a leaking tube leading to our ice cube unit. Quick fix; shut off ice cube supply valve for now.

Kathy returned from her grocery shopping & then the Foote boys arrived. For some strange reason, the boys were not interested in their old treasures waiting for them under the motorhome; they went straight toward the infamous dumpster & found a few different treasures. DSC000133.JPG During an afternoon break for the building team, the boys scouted the main floor for more nails (rusted & only minimally bent). Then later, they explored the basement floor for more of the same.

Also, using pieces of Styrofoam, Nathan & Andrew pretended they were driving the Metro in D.C. through the city of lumber & many other obstacles. It was interesting to watch as they cooperated with each other by pushing their train through long tunnels by using another stick of Styrofoam. DSC000134.JPG                         Gregory is walking very carefully on the road to nowhere. DSC000135.JPG Back @ the dumpster, Melissa helped Gregory climb one of our Top-Soil mountains which gave me a photo opportunity. DSC000136.JPG                               Now we add Andrew to the Top-Soil Mountain DSC000137.JPG and Matthew; Nathan was too distracted & busy @ the infamous dumpster to join the mountain gang. DSC000138.JPG Aside from Matthew finding a good sized battery, their nail & screw collection made their day a lot brighter. Oh, not to forget; Melissa & the boys had some Gatoraid she didn't want so she gave the bottles to the building team guys. Afternoon snack time: DSC000139.JPG Before the Footes left for home, Kathy & I moved the (4) large & (2) small boxes of remnant wood pieces from our Suzuki to their Toyota van. The boys were very happy to have that wood & today's collection of nails.

Dinner: New England clam chowder with toast.

Lights out: 11:10pm.
Awake: 5:37am      Temp 30      sleep 6+25      sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

Mid morning, Gary C. called: he had (2) questions? 1st about our Geo-thermo system: "will you have the trenches or will you be using the wells?" he asked. His question was well timed as I had just recently talked with Scott about this same subject.

This company, has always used the well method, not for the water, but for the temperature (160) ft down & taking up less space. My cousin Florentz was the only client that they made an exception for. Florentz has been very content & comfortable since the unit was installed about (4 yrs ago) & he used the trench method. He does admit to one big error however, he wished he had done it (20) yrs ago! So, I might be using the well system after all.

The other question Gary had: "what day would be comfortable for us to have a tour of your house?" he asked. I couldn't answer that question right away so I left it as: we'll be in touch during the week. Meanwhile John B paid us another visit; this time he wanted Kathy to review the needed preparation for a colonoscopy which he will have Thursday morning.

                        Today the builders finished the fireplace chase. DSC000131.JPG & the REA guys came to peruse the attic in prep for running the air conditioning ductwork. DSC000132.JPG Later, my aviation ace of model airplanes, Ray, called & we talked for 55 min. Lots of subjects; to mention a few: 1st, their son Nathan, has recently been given a retainer fee with the Hood River, WA town to take pictures & make movies to attract more vacationers.

Then a discussion followed about Ray's model airplanes & how much fun it is to fly the BIGGER glider using the high-tech brushless motor. "They have more power & longevity," Ray told me. He flies his glider to a high altitude, catches the breeze & updrafts, then shuts the motor off & glides all over the place, making sure he doesn't go out of sight or range.

We also covered our house building progress...but Ray keeps his eagle eyes on my blog & pretty well knows what's happening.

Dinner: Alaskan salmon, rice with golden raisins, spaghetti squash, & spinach salad with citrus vinaigrette.

Lights out: 11:15pm.

Awake: 6:13am     Temp 32     sleep 6+37     mostly sunny     overnight @ Nicktown.

Today @ the church hall, the Holy Name Society had a Gun Raffle & I was asked to help my buddy Barry in the back kitchen, making rigatoni & mashed potatoes. I reported in @ 7:05am. This was my 1st time volunteering for a project like this.

Barry has been doing this duty for many & on he would get lucky & have some help but it was not consistent. As the morning progressed, I found out why he should have some assistance; the rigatoni & mashed potatoes will feed over (300) hungry people. The other kitchen crew members were making kielbasa with sauerkraut, hot dogs, etc.

All morning long Barry & I continually made pans & pans of rigatoni; each pan was stored in the warming oven until serving time began @ 1:00pm. As each pan of rigatoni was emptied, the next pan got a fresh load of sauce & a good stirring before replacing the empty one.

The pans of mashed potatoes were also stored in the warming oven. Watching the crowd of people was mesmerizing; they were so calm & relaxed but always busy as they bought tickets, giving them chances to win guns, hunting equipment, 50/50, etc.

After most of the crowd had their 1st serving, Barry & I took our turn eating, & guess what: that rigatoni was really delicious...along with the mashed potatoes, kielbasa & sauerkraut.

After 2:00pm, the chef's delight food was running low & only the hot dogs & kielbasa was available so I asked Barry if I could be excused for the day &, of course, he replied: "Oh yes, & thank you very much." I really enjoyed working with Barry & I told him, if I am around in the springtime for the next Gun Raffle, I would like to do it again.

Back @ our motorhome, Kathy had been busy on the computer, researching for the house & getting caught up on some reading. 

Dinner: Kathy made herself a plate of leftovers.

Later, we had popcorn while watching "Splendor in the Grass" with Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Pat Hingle, Audrey Christie, Sean Garrison, Sandy Denis, Phyllis Diller, etc, Sentimental sudser by William Inge (who won an Oscar) about emotionally broken girl (Wood) rebuilding her life; set in late 1920's Midwest. Film debuts of Beatty, Dennis, and Diller. 1961. Kathy had no problem staying awake during this movie.

Lights out: 11:12pm.

Awake: 6:25am      Temp 33      sleep 5+54     overcast, then hail, & ½ inch of snow Nicktown.

It looked like a good day to stay indoors & we did that all morning until we found our ambition & exuberance to walk over to our house & pick up some of the wood remnants, 2x2's, 2x4's & 2x6's. We packed them into (4) large boxes & (2) small boxes. These will be given to the Foote Family to do with what they want. DSC000130.JPG Next, we changed clothes & attended the 6:00pm, vigil Mass, which was very crowded.

Afterward, Kathy, Theresa, John & I spent some time @ the Nicktown Hotel Bar talking about anything & everything ...but we didn't gossip. For whatever reason, the Shock Top beer tasted better than ever this evening, so we each had a glass & ½.

Back @ our motorhome, K & I watched the movie: "The Private Life of Henry the VIII" with Charles Laughton, Binnie Barnes, Robert Donat, Elsa Lanchester, Merle Oberon, etc. Sweeping historical chronicle of 16th-century English monarch, magnificently captured by Oscar-winning Laughton in multifaceted performance. 1933. Interesting story & well worth our time.

Lights out: 12:36am
Awake: 6:22am    Temp: 38    sleep 6+28    off & on rain, small hail, very little sunshine overnight @ Nicktown.  
Early afternoon, John B visited & I gave him a fairly good update tour of our house; the basement & main floor. While we were in the basement, Kathy came down to let me know that she was going downtown to do a little grocery shopping & to pick up a few empty boxes.

Since I had some spare time today, John offered to drive over to his garage to show me his classic autos. I've been waiting patiently to see these classics so his timing was great. Here is John with his 1975 Chevy Caprice (low mileage). Throughout its life, the Caprice was the most expensive and luxurious model in the Chevrolet full-size car range, which also included the Biscayne, Bel Air and Impala. The Caprice will return to North America as a full-size, rear wheel drive police vehicle in 2011. That info came from Wikipedia. DSC000128.JPG Here is John with his 1993 Buick Road Master (even lower mileage) & loaded with extras. DSC000129.JPG From here, John brought me back to our motorhome & he went back to his place. Minutes later, Kathy returned.

Dinner: Spaghetti squash with veggies & mozzarella cheese + a Waldorf salad with bread.

Mid evening, we talked with our Ohio friends, Mark & Joan, for (62) min. They brought us up-to-date on their activities, kids-grandkids, etc & we did our best to do the same...including our house building. A Mark & Joan highlight was their one week trip with friends to the EWTN headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama, with stops at a few places of interest along the way. It was good talking with them again.

Later, Nick Skyped us for (56) min & besides updating us on Jerry & Momoko activities, he gave us a virtual computer walking tour around their new living quarters. They have doubled the square footage from their condo.

Lights out: 12:31am.
Awake: 6:25am     Temp 42     sleep 6+29      light, steady rain     Overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, we returned to our motorhome & began to eat breakfast when Bernie, the builder, rang our doorbell; "Matt, the window guy, is here so we would like to have you @ the house whenever it's convenient" he said.

We put our partially eaten breakfast in the refrigerator & joined them within minutes. Matt drove from State College this morning to finalize our windows & coordinate the measurements with Bernie & us. DSC000121.JPG Matt, Bernie, & Kathy all referred to their paper work, arriving at agreement regarding all the window details. DSC000122.JPG We made a few changes as to size, placement, & style of some of the windows. DSC000123.JPG Mid to late morning, in came a John Deere with a front driller; DSC000124.JPG He is drilling (8) large holes on the backside of our house DSC000125.JPG & (2) on the front near our entry; These concrete foundations to be poured for the posts that will support our ½ wrap-around porch structure, & in front, our entry porch.

Shortly after Matt left, 84 Lumber drove in with a load of small trusses for our front porch entry. DSC000126.JPG Just behind him, the concrete truck to fill those (10) holes with concrete. DSC000127.JPG
Dinner: We had ½ of our turkey dinner from the Heilwood purchase. It was very good.

We finished watching: "The Sunshine Boys" with Walter Matthau, George Burns, Richard Benjamin, Lee Meredith, Carl Arthur, etc. Two cranky ex-vaudevillians are persuaded to re-team for a TV special in this popular Neil Simon Comedy, from his Broadway play. Some of the "humor" is abrasive, but Matthau and Oscar-winning George's first starring film role since HONOLULLU in 1939. This movie: 1975. Burns was amazing for his age. Matthau, not my style.

Lights out: 11:54pm.

Awake: 5:40am     Temp 32     sleep 6+12     sunny     overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy made pumpkin bread last evening & (16) deviled 1/2eggs this morning as her share of  the homemade food that will be contributed to the luncheon held @ the church hall following Anna's burial here in Nicktown.

The Mass & homily for Anna, plus the beautiful music chosen & played by professionals as well as Anna's grandson, Alex, made it nearly impossible to keep dry eyes. I especially enjoyed hearing Father Paul's homily & his rendition of how Anna bossed him around when she was in charge of caring for the linens & altar for their church.

After Mass, we followed the crowd to Anna's grave site, said some more prayers, & said our goodbyes.

Slowly the church hall filled up with a lot of locals & a lot of out-of-towners. My sister, Corinne, came in from Pittsburgh & my brother, Don, & his wife, Josie, came in from Ebensburg. There were many people I knew & many people I knew but couldn't remember their names; somehow they knew my name.

Anyway, the ladies of St. Nicholas church who prepare & serve a wonderful luncheon offer a venue to help the grieving family & friends forget their sorrow for a short time as they gather to reminisce, share stories, laugh, eat, & enjoy each others fellowship.

I followed Don & Josie to take care of some business while Corinne drove Kathy back to our property.

We had invited several people to stop over & view our Big Build; besides Corinne, Tom, Dawn, Marian, Doug, Chris, Tim, Larry, Florence, & later, Don, & Josie stopped by. Of course, I was there also & surprised to see so many people. We stood outside of the Big Build, talking, telling stories, & laughing for at least an hour until the cold wind blew us to go our separate ways.

Lights out: 11:56pm.                                               

Awake: 6:16am.       Temp 28      sleep 6+28      sunny       overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, I filled up the pure water tank in our motorhome. Later, K & I dashed out to Heilwood (7) miles for a take-out turkey dinner with all the trimmings for each of us. If it hadn't been for our busy schedule today, we would have joined some of our KK members & had the lunch/dinner with them; and their they are....3 tables back. DSC000116.JPG so we'll refrigerate our (2) take-outs & have them another day. Back @ our motorhome, I took the time to relocate the light bulbs in pump house # 2 to avoid freezing conditions. DSC000117.JPG A little later, Melissa & her boys arrived for a few hrs of fun. In lieu of going directly to the infamous treasure chest dumpster, I talked the boys into doing something with the treasures they already have. Then they asked me for ideas; "well," I said, "how about we make a swing with the nylon ribbon we have collected?" The boys were all for that...until I had trouble tying the nylon ribbon together. Then I realized: I have "Duck Tape."

Meanwhile, Melissa brought some tulip, narcissus, crocus, & ? bulbs to plant in our yard for spring time blooming. Good Idea! So Melissa, Matthew, Nathan, & with some help from Kathy, brought that project to fruition.

OK, back to the duck tape; once the nylon ribbon was taped together, Andrew, Matthew & Nathan all wanted to run around in the yard & sort of fly that long ribbon. Andrew & Nathan both wanted their ribbons to be longer, so be it! At one point, Nathan was the king ribbon runner, then Matthew offered his long ribbon to Andrew & with more duck tape; he was then top dog ribbon man. Here we have a photo of Nathan & Matthew comparing their ribbon lengths. DSC000118.JPG After that, someone mentioned that we should go inside the almost covered house & look for fallen or rusty nails, & away they went. The boys found plenty of nails upstairs & downstairs.   Here are Nathan & Gregory collecting nails together. DSC000119.JPG When visiting the Foote boys on Halloween, they showed us their use for nails, & other treasures from the dumpster; their "creations!"

After a relaxed & healthy snack session for the boys, most of us participated in putting the "stuff" back in the for a good haul of nails, which they took with them; then the big box got pushed under the motorhome until their next visit. Here is witness that the boys are truly loved by Gamma & vice-versa. DSC000120.JPG After seeing Melissa & the boys off, we changed our clothes & motored to Ebensburg to meet with my brother Don & his wife, Josie; we followed them in both of their cars to the Presbyterian Church where my brother & Josie treated us to a Spaghetti dinner with meat balls & tomato sauce, a salad & cookies for dessert.

This dinner was sponsored by the Ebensburg Rotary Club in which my brother has a long standing membership. During our dinner time, we got caught up on D & J's month of traveling to see their kids & grandkids in (3) different states: Maryland, North Carolina, & South Carolina...some 1700 miles.

It was a good rendezvous & a good catch up on their family's activities. We thank you guys a lot for the dinner. Next, Josie went to practice with her church choir & my brother stayed to help clean up after the dinner.

Meanwhile, Kathy & I motored to Spangler & joined the crowd @ the Funeral home where my 1st cousin, Anna, was being waked. My brother & Josie went earlier this afternoon & told us all the parking spots were taken & the place was packed with family, relatives, friends, etc.

Aside from getting a lucky parking spot, we found the inside area crowded & very, very busy. We signed in & proceeded down the line, expressing our condolences to Florentz & his children & grandchildren.

Anna was a well known & well liked person who was always ready to help anyone, anytime, for any reason. She was a super mom & grandma; very popular & so sweet. She will be missed by many.

Lights out: 11:28pm.
Awake: 6:19am      Temp 32       sleep 6+14      sunny & cool       overnight @ Nicktown.

 This morning @ our KK meeting, sporadic KK member Carl announced that he had used his bow & arrow & got a 6/7 point deer. Well, we all had to go outside to his truck & witness this rare event; so far, he has been the only member hunter to bag a deer this yr.

Back on our property, we let Bernie know of our choice of roofing shingles so he can order them.

Then @ 11:00am, Kathy motored to the church hall to help out in the kitchen for the funeral luncheon today. She returned around 2:00pm.

Today, my buddy Gary C. had surgery for an inguinal I called & left a message for a speedy recovery. Later, Rosemary returned the call & told us Gary was resting & doing fine.

After the constructing team left @ 5:00pm, K & I checked their progress. The hex is very close to being all closed in. Here is Kathy standing in the front entry. DSC000113.JPG Before coming in the motorhome for the night, I relocated the lights in #1 pump house to prevent freezing. DSC000114.JPG                     & I will relocate those in pump house # 2 tomorrow. DSC000115.JPG Dinner: Ham, rice/hamburger casserole, mashed carrots, green beans & a mixed salad; brought by Kathy, leftovers from the funeral luncheon.

Late movie: "The Sunshine Boys." We watched ½.

Lights out: 11:48pm.
Awake: 6:03am     Temp 44     sleep 6+52      partly cloudy     overnight @ Nicktown.

Before breakfast, Kathy, Deborah & I exercised for (1.3) hrs @ the community center. It felt good to get our limbs a workout for a change.

Back @ our motorhome, Katrina returned our call from yesterday. 1st, we wished her a "Happy Birthday" & then we congratulated her on receiving over (70) "happy birthdays" on Face Book & perhaps many more coming from other sources.

She was driving (as usual) to attend her church in Red Rock, CO. She's been having a good month, week, week-end, etc, especially going to all the gatherings & parties that bring up her birthday! No question about our Katrina, she is a hard worker & a very popular gal!

Later my sister, Mary Jo, called us & finally...gave us the scoop on their son Matt's wedding. Without going into some deep detail, Mary Jo expressed herself so eloquently saying things like: oh, the weather was backyard perfect; Matt's bride-to-be was just beautiful...and her mother & father & their kids were all so nice & friendly. Everything was so organized & perfect. Actually it was heart rendering to hear my sister talk like that. We wish we could have been there.

Next, we changed our clothes to handle the cooler evening weather & motored to Indiana to go: "trick or treating" tonight. Matthew & Andrew each selected what they wanted to be wearing for the occasion, & just (2) weeks ago, let their mom & dad know what it would be. Then Melissa & Kevin went to work on the design & then the final product. Not to leave anyone out...except Gregory (who Melissa was busy putting to bed), & Nathan, who was the candy distributor @ the door tonight... DSC000109.JPG & Kathy as a backup. We (4) ....Kevin, Matthew, Andrew & I, walked around the blocks in town to find homes that had their porch light lit. This was Matthew's choice for Halloween: a computer. The cut-out door is where the candy will fall & the wires are difficult to see but Matthew ran all them himself. DSC000108.JPG Andrew's choice was to be a diesel engine; he too, played his part well save for the steps; Kevin had to lift him up & down as he didn't have room to move his legs that distance. Take note of the front lights on his engine. DSC000110.JPG These Foote kids received a lot of praises, compliments, wows, etc due to their costumes. It was a joy to hang out with them. Just look @ that woman's admiration & smile.... DSC000111.JPG We covered quite a few blocks in the near vicinity of the Foote Castle and the candy bags were gaining weight. Trick or Treat time was from 6:00pm to 8:00pm...however, (50) min seemed to be enough time for the boys considering Matthew's candy bag had to be re-attached during the final minutes.

Inside the Foote Castle, Nathan seemed happy to see all of us again & he continued his delivering candy position until 8:00pm.

Kathy & I stayed later then usual due to the boys having been given a later stay up time. With that extra time, we joined the boys having some healthy snacks before delving into a few choices of candy.

We thanked them for the Halloween opportunity, then topped our Suzuki off with fuel, did a little grocery shopping @ Wal-Mart & returned to Nicktown.

Late evening movie: "Tortilla Flat" with Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr, John Garfield, Frank Morgan, Akim Tamiroff, Sheldon Leonard, etc. Steinbeck's salty novel of California fishing community vividly portrayed by three top stars, stolen by Morgan as devoted dog lover. 1942. If you are a Steinbeck fan, you'll enjoy this story; otherwise I think not. Are we fans? Don't know do ya!

Lights out: 12:05am.

Awake: 5:53am    Temp 31    sleep 6+25    high thin overcast    overnight @ Nicktown.

This morning @ 8:00am Mass, we found out that our dear friend & 1st cousin, Anna, passed away after some (2) yrs in a rest home. Our sympathy & prayers go out to my good friend & 1st cousin, Florentz, & his family.  

Yesterday my 1st cousin, Eileen, sold us tickets for today's annual "Respect Life Prayer" breakfast, sponsored by "Citizens Concerned for Human Life" @ the Holy Name Church in Ebensburg.  Michael Ciccocioppo, executive director of "Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation," gave a very moving talk regarding respect for life from conception thru natural death. Some (350) people attended including quite a few Nicktowners.

Mid afternoon, K & I called our youngest daughter, Katrina, in Denver to wish her a "Happy Birthday." Later K & I attended the vigil 4:00 pm Mass in Nicktown. Then, Theresa, Kathy, John & I enjoyed a very good pizza with our Shock Top beer @ the Nicktown Bar. As we were finishing up our gab session & beer etc, Bernie & Dennis joined our table for some more talk with deep thoughts.

Back in our home-on-wheels, we finished watching: "Murder on the Orient Express" with Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Martin Balsam, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, etc. Elequent all-star production of Agatha Christie's whodunit set in the 1930's, with unrecognizable Finney as super-sleuth Hercule Poirot, and all his suspects on the same railroad train. 1974. What a story! All you suspense & murder mystery candidates out there.....try your sleuth skills out on this winner; just don't read about it 1st!

Lights out: 11:11pm.


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