December 2010 Archives

Awake: 5:43am       Temp 25      sleep 6+16       overcast       overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, Kathy delayed her breakfast for now & did her P.T. late morning.

Earlier this morning, the 20-watt Halogen light bulb over our dinette burned out so I searched for a replacement in my box of bulbs. I have many 10-watt bulbs but no 20's, so I replaced the dinette bulb with a 10-watt for now & will add a 20-watt bulb on our shopping list;10-watts just doesn't have the lighting power for our comfort....this is DC current with 12 volts.

About 2:45pm, I visited the house builders & marveled @ the growing electrical wiring cables being pulled through the entire house.This you will see as you enter our home. DSC000284.JPG                         There are many more switches throughout the rooms. DSC000285.JPG            Break time for the guys who are doing such a good job of building our home. DSC000286.JPG Late afternoon, Katrina called; she was @ a Costco store in Denver & was having a tough time selecting a new camera. She mentioned the Lumix which she had years ago & liked very much.... and today that updated Lumix has more telescopic power & Mega pixels. I think she talked herself into buying a new Lumix.

Dinner: pistachio crusted Tilapia, acorn squash, broccoli & toast. Late movie: "Oliver Twist" with Alec Guinness, Robert, Newton, John Howard Davies, Kay Walsh, Francis L. Sullivan, Anthony Newley, etc. Superlative realization of Dickens tale of ill-treated London waif involved with arch-fiend Fagin (Guinness) and his youthful gang, headed by the Artful Dodger (Newley). Later musicalized as OLIVER! 1948. This story was great! Kathy had seen the musical a few times & was most interested to follow the movie. Don't miss this version with Alec Guinness; it's the best.

Lights out: 12:19am.
Awake: 6:51am      Temp 24      sleep 6+44       partly sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

We skipped the KK this morning; Kathy got picked up by Janet for their bowling day & I visited the house after an early breakfast. Bernie would like to have all the phones, Internet plug-ins, TV's, & the switch board marked for usage, so they can start running their wires. Then I spotted a car coming into our circular drive; it was the "Central Locating Service, LTD" that Bernie called for yesterday. DSC000281.JPG The guy got his equipment out that traces buried electrical wiring underground & met Bernie down by the transformer. DSC000282.JPG In about (15) min, the guy sprayed & marked the same trail with flags that I had done (2) days ago. DSC000283.JPG Bernie was impressed that I was so accurate by using the dousing rods; ok, I did get lucky. The guy from the locating service went further than he had to but that info will come in handy when we begin to change the water works. For now, Bernie is more interested in switching the main electric service directly to the house & still keeping our motor home electricity as it is.

When Kathy returned from her bowling, we both visited Bernie & agreed on decisions of where the light switches inside will be for the outside dormer lights. Then we walked throughout the main floor & basement floor making decisions & marking where we think we might want outlets for phones, computer access, TV cables, etc. We will probably do this .... a few more times to make sure we're doing the best we can do.

Dinner: leftover Ribollita, toast, & wild & brown rice pilaf.

Evening movie: "The Black Book" with Robert Cummings, Arlene Dahl, Richard Hart, Richard Basehart, Arnold Moss, etc. Vivid costume drama set during French Revolution, with valuable diary eluding both sides of battle. Moss is particularly good as the elegantly, eloquently evil Foucher. 1949. There must have been a time during the 40's when dark & black movies were in vogue. So, if you're attracted to that kind of creepy & eerie shadowy stuff, this is for you.

Lights out: 11:27am.
Awake: 6:39am       Temp 22      sleep 6+50       partly sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

After the KK & breakfast, we motored to downtown Barnesboro for our annual teeth cleaning & chec-up. Kathy passed with flying colors but I didn't! The dentist found (2) small starts of cavities. So, I'll be back next week.

From here we gave our Suzuki a wash job @ the local car wash, including the undercarriage. Back in our driveway, we dried all the rubber seals to avoid door freezing.

Next I visited Bernie & gave him the details for outside lighting & a designated spot for our (50) amp motorhome plug.

Lowe's Home Center called to let us know that our man door is ready to be picked up. I let them know that we will wait for the garage doors & have everything picked up @ the same time. Here is an unobstructed view of our (200) amp circuit breaker panel & shut off system for generator. DSC000280.JPG Dinner: Filled peppers with toast.

Katrina called while looking for presents for her nephews & niece; much discussion regarding pros & cons of various gift ideas.

Lights out: 12:07am.
Awake: 6:56am      Temp 20       sleep 7+25       light snow      overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I attended the KK but we checked out early due to Kathy's P. T. in Barnesboro.

Meanwhile, I visited Bernie & we discussed: computer cable, TV coaxial, phone lines, & our switchboard setup. He told me he would be using a high tech cable; CAT5E 24/4P, capable of handling all of what we talked about.

Then Bernie asked if I could locate the electrical line leading from our #1 campground hookup to the transformer. I told him I would do my best.

Using my dowsing rods, I approached the area from all sides & then trampled a straight line in the snow where I thought the electrical line has been buried. Later I showed Bernie my take on the buried line. As a precaution when digging, he suggested that we might want to get a professional guy over here to back up my dowsing. I thought it was a good idea to be safe rather than sorry.

After Kathy finished her P. T., she drove over to the ophthalmologist & picked up my eyeglasses with new lenses. What a nice difference! O boy, I can't wait to play "Diminishing Bridge" again.

After Kathy's breakfast, she went on line to compared costs on several things we've been close to purchasing. Then Bernie had a question for Kathy & me so we made another visit to the house. We discussed our sink, cabinet & mirror area near our bedroom; the height & lighting. Here we see the water & drain lines for the laundry room. DSC000278.JPG                          Here are some of the water & drain lines in the kitchen. DSC000279.JPG @ 5:15pm, Kathy left to help others set up the poinsettias in church. About 1.5 hrs later, Dinner: Ribollita, & toast.

Evening time, we watched "Sara Palin's: Alaska."

Lights out: 11:49pm.
Awake: 6:15am      Temp 17      sleep 6+05      partly sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our breakfast & about mid to late morning, Nick Skyped us for (1 hr 6 min). All the family members were up & wide awake. Jerry was all smiles, as were Momoko, Nick & Eriko.

To begin our session, Nick announced that as of yesterday, he was an official employee of the "EMC" Corporation; we think he is quite comfortable being employed by a much larger company.

Today is our oldest grandson's birthday; Matthew is (7). We have been invited to the Foote Castle to help celebrate this special occasion. So we signed off Skype with love & goodbyes to some of our Northwest family for now; dressed ourselves in (3) layers of clothing & motored to Indiana, PA.

We no sooner entered the Castle door when the boys surrounded us with attention & were very excited. We wished Matthew a "Happy 7th Birthday"& then the boys showed us trains they made at Lowe's. I was focused on Andrew & Nathan, who were showing me their wooden trains of which (the blue top ones) were made by them with help from the guy @ Lowe's. Other train cars were given to them. DSC000268.JPG I took off (2) of my clothing layers & sat on a nice warm radiator in the living room while Kathy sat on the same radiator but did not remove any clothing layers. Then we talked with the boys & Melissa & Kevin.

Besides Matthew asking for an ice cream cake for his birthday, he also wanted his dad to build a fire in the fireplace. It didn't take long before Kevin had a nice, almost roaring, fire for the family so we moved closer to the warmth & continued our chit-chat.

Melissa got supper ready & called us to have grilled cheese sandwiches & cheesy noodles.

Later, we couldn't help but notice Andrew's playing the piano; his (1) finger style & play by ear works pretty good as he has (4 or 5) melodies already memorized. DSC000269.JPG Not that I'm focusing entirely on Andrew but he does have different skills such as building the magnet globe: DSC000270.JPG                                        And the beautiful magnet arch. DSC000271.JPG Time passed quickly for me but not so quickly for Matthew; although he was as calm & patient as he could be, we knew he was excited to begin the birthday party. Finally, Melissa called for all of us to assemble in the dining room. And came the Happy 7th Birthday cake with song. Just look @ that smile. DSC000272.JPG                                          Oops, one candle still burning DSC000273.JPG                  Hey, what happened here? Those candles are coming back to life? DSC000274.JPG Oh, I forgot; Matthew also requested having "re-lighting" candles on his cake & he did his best to blow them out. His younger brothers had a big laugh watching the process.

The ice cream birthday cake went over well for everyone, especially with Melissa's "homemade" ice cream. Next came the opening of the presents; even his brothers were curious. DSC000275.JPG                                                & so was his mother. DSC000276.JPG Then the before bedtime showers took place & later, some book reading to calm the boys down for a good night's sleep; right parents? DSC000277.JPG It was a very nice visit & really wonderful to see those boys playing so much together.

Back @ our motorhome, my sister Mary Jo called from Lodi, CA & I talked for about (20) min. She told me their Christmas rendezvous plans & I revealed ours. I also thanked them for the delicious mixed nuts present that we didn't wait for Christmas to open.

Late evening movie: we finished watching: "Odd Man Out" with James Mason, Robert Newton, Kathleen Ryan, Robert Beatty, etc. Incredibly suspenseful tale of Irish rebel leader hunted by police after daring robbery. Watch this one. 1947. And we did; not bad.

Lights out: 11:39pm.
Awake: 7:08am      Temp 19     sleep 6+58      high thin overcast     overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy joined the KK meeting this morning & then helped clean the church for the up coming holidays. I wanted to clean up my act as well so I stayed home & continued going thru my bundle of mail until 9:30am.

Next, I had the challenge of getting 161 gallons of well water into our motorhome; seems that one buried faucet must have frozen up &, after pouring (3) large pots of water on that faucet, nothing changed. So I got my (45) foot water hose & did my best to keep that from freezing in the process.

It took over (3) hrs to fill our pure water tank due to the extra hose & fittings I had to switch out. Temperature outside: (23). UGH!

Kathy & I planned on a trip to Ebensburg to be there @ 2:00pm. I didn't want to be late so I skipped breakfast & we were early... but that was a good thing. Today, Ebensburg Yamaha raffled off a "V-Star 1100 Yamaha Motorcycle." You had to be present to win. It cost nothing so I thought I would give it a try. DSC000267.JPG Gosh, bikers everywhere, except they were driving cars, Jeeps, 4-wheel drives, etc. What a crowd; a large building but still it was body to body, standing room only.

(1 & ½) hrs later, a middle aged fellow that I could barely see yelled: "That's me." Then the rush to evacuate!

Next, we picked up a few groceries from Wal-Mart & West End Market & then went home. I ate my breakfast about 4:00pm. Then K & I attended the 6:00pm vigil Mass & afterward, had a small pizza with beer & some good talk with John & Theresa.

Tonight's movie: "Odd Man Out." We watched ½.

Lights out: 12:45am.
Awake: 6:03am      Temp 14      sleep 6+35       mostly sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

After the KK meeting, Kathy motored to Barnesboro for her P.T. session. This morning, our forwarded mail from Alaska arrived so, after my breakfast, I began the sorting & opening of envelopes & small packages for the remainder of the morning & some of the afternoon. I also visited the construction workers & discovered that Bernie & Ryan were working on installing the electrical panels in the North wing basement; DSC000262.JPG                                    & another in the South wing of basement DSC000263.JPG                                 + a panel outside for the electrical meter. DSC000264.JPG Around 2:30pm, we motored to the nearby sparse town of Dysart to visit & enjoy our much younger friends: Rosemary & Gary. They normally ply us with good wine & healthy snacks, but today, in honor of the season, Gary served spiked egg nog along with those snacks; also very good. DSC000265.JPG Rosemary made a delicious dinner of meat loaf, baked potato, cold slaw, & corn from their garden.

After a couple games of diminishing bridge, Gary served coffee & pumpkin pie which he made using fresh pumpkin. Another delightful evening; the last for a while as they will be heading south & to Texas right after Christmas for a few months of camping in a warmer climate. Oh, take note of Rosemary's new camera..... DSC000266.JPG and I must admit, she is also the winner of our card game tonight. If I could have worn my new eye glass lenses for tonights game, the score would have been different; however my new lenses haven't arrived yet. It was a lot of fun anyway.

Lights out: 12:10am.
Awake: 6:38am       Temp 10      sleep 6+41       overcast      overnight @ Nicktown.

About 10:00am, I called & asked Dave if he could open the storage facility so I could get some of my phone line wiring for our switchboard. It was no problem & I was glad that Dave was available.

Late morning, we had a call from Memphis; it was my recently retired buddy Jack. He had quite a few questions about us & we had nearly as many questions about him & Trish. He also wanted the address for our good friend, Denise, to send a symphony card on the occasion of her father's death.

Early afternoon, K & I visited Bernie, the builder, & he showed us both where the kitchen island will be located; DSC000260.JPG                  & where some of the appliances will be located as well. DSC000261.JPG We had invited my 1st cousin Florentz over for wine time & then dinner; so Kathy, the chef, got right after one of her dinner specialties. I too, got after a specialty; organizing my stuff in the bus so it won't look so cluttered. Florentz entertained us most of the evening with his wit & humorous stories.

Dinner: Rigatoni with Italian sausage, peppers & onions, spinach salad, & toast.

After saying our goodbyes to Florentz for now, & cleaning the dishes, we continued the movie: "Ride the High Country" with Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, Mariette Hartley, Ron Starr, etc. Literate, magnificent Western about two aged gunfighter pals who reflect on the paths their lives have taken while guarding gold shipment. Breathtaking photography & scenery + flawless performances. 1962. Well, it was different & I do believe you Western fans out there would love this story. The night was young & Kathy was so beautiful, so we seniors started watching another movie: "The Devil's Disciple." We watched: 1/3rd.

Lights out: 11:28pm.
Awake: 6:26am     Temp 14     sleep 7+04      little sun with snow showers overnight @ Nicktown.

Early afternoon, when the sun was shining, I visited the inside building crew as they continued working with the water & electrical systems in the basement. DSC000259.JPG Now this is a busy all purpose, multi-purpose work bench with a diesel burner heater nearby. DSC000258.JPG Mid afternoon, my buddy Ray @ Ocean Shore, WA Skyped us for (12) min. A quick session of computer talk.

Dinner: New England clam chowder with toast.

Mid evening: we watched ½ of : "Ride the High Country."

Lights out: 11:57pm.
Awake: 5:30am      Temp 14      sleep 5+54     snow--blowing snow     Nicktown.

Kathy & I left the KK early due to Kathy's P.T. in Barnesboro. Shortly after noontime, the Pella truck brought in our last (2) sliding door-windows. DSC000253.JPG Next, I visited the house & checked the corner space that might be suitable for the switchboard. DSC000254.JPG Not including the geo-thermo tubes in the background, this will be the basement bathroom & shower. DSC000255.JPG              This place will be the mud-room & some storage space with a door. DSC000256.JPG                                   This is (1) of (2) sliding glass doors. DSC000257.JPG Later I made another visit to the house; I spoke with both Bob & Bernie relating to our pantry & appropriate lighting & electrical receptacles to power the coffee maker, wine cooler, etc.

Dinner: Pork chops with fried noodles & a mixed salad.

After dinner, I attended the Holy Name meeting @ the church hall. After our meeting, Father Job treated us with an elaborate explanation of divorce & annulment.

Lights out: 11:22pm.

Awake: 6:20am    Temp 22    sleep 6+52    snow....blowing snow    overnight @ Nicktown.

A middle aged lady of (47) was walking back to her car this morning, slipped on the snow/ice & fell landing very hard on her left knee. She was in great pain & unable to move. She laid on the ice until the ambulance arrived.

Several of our KK members were nearby & found blankets with which to cover her & tried to comfort her until help arrived.

Yes, under the snow there could be ice & we do our best to be careful. Kathy & I cut our KK meeting a little short due to Kathy going for her P.T. this morning.

After Kathy returned & she had breakfast/brunch, we responded to Bernie's request to pay him a visit in the house. He asked for decision making on the mud-room, electrical outlets in the basement hex, the switchboard (which may be upstairs), booths & wall speakers, electrical mechanical units, workshop & lights for work benches. Wow! That was NOT a no brainier.

Dinner: Rigatoni with Italian sausage, peppers & onions...and toast.

Lights out: 11:36pm.         

Awake: 6:54am      Temp 35     sleep 6+43      drizzle, then rain     overnight @ Nicktown.

Late morning, Nick Skyped us for (1 hr 18 min). Christmas presents for the grandkids talk with more discussion focused on Nick & Eriko's potential home renovation plans.

Next we motored to the Foote Castle & spent about (2) hrs with the grandsons. Carpenter Kevin was very busy the entire time; 1st, installing a storm window...which needed just a little more aluminum shaved off for a better fit. DSC000247.JPG                  And then, digging a hole in the front yard to have a pole with a lamp. DSC000248.JPG The boys were also busy up on the 3rd floor, each working on his own Lego creation. Matthew continues learning circuits from his Snap Circuit book & testing. DSC000249.JPG            Even Andrew appears to be getting a little interested in the field of electricity. DSC000250.JPG                           And Gregory, he is soon to be a master of the spoon. DSC000251.JPG Later, the (3) older boys all headed to the basement due to a lot of donated toys from their church friends. DSC000252.JPG We preferred to leave @ their shower time, plus the temp was lowering & I didn't want to mess around with the dreaded "black ice." It was a joy to watch the boys playing together.

Dinner: leftover noodles, beef vegetable stew & Como toast.

Late movie: "The Carey Treatment" with James Coburn, Jennifer O'Neill, Pat Hingle, Skye Aubrey, Elizabeth Allen & Alex Dreier. Good solid whodunit set in hospital, where doctor Coburn is determined to clear colleague of murder charge. O'Neil provides love interest in complicated but satisfying mystery, shot in Boston. 1972. Another great story that the Wonder Woman stayed awake for.

Lights out: 11:28pm.
Awake: 6:43am      Temp 29       sleep 6+20      partly sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

Melissa called early this morning; I was awake but Kathy was sound asleep so I opted to not wake her up. When Melissa called later, she talked about our plans for Christmas Day. We agreed to volunteer with the Foote family to serve meals at a shelter & then enjoy the rest of the day at their house, opening presents, etc.

Then K & I attended our KK meeting but left early (9:00am) due to Kathy's volunteer kitchen work of serving lunch to about (75) people in attendance at the funeral of a family member. Meanwhile, after my breakfast, using my hammer, I carefully got rid of Mother Nature's eloquent sculptures & other icicles. Up on the motorhome roof, hazardous was the word. DSC000245.JPG                An all metal roof with snow is the slipperiness I've every experienced.

Everything was warming up with the temp hovering @ 41 degrees. So I warmed up the CAT engine using the Aqua-hot system & then ran the engine for a good (20) min. Then I tilted the bus about (5) degrees toward the drivers keep the rain/snow melting and draining away from the entry door. I also cut a strip of Tyvek & covered our entry door bell button & entry door opening button to keep those buttons from getting wet & freezing up. DSC000246.JPG Next, I filled up our pure water tank & emptied our gray water tank. By this time, 2:15pm, Kathy returned & was very tired.

Funeral luncheons are generally held in the church hall, but since it had been rented, today's luncheon was held in the school cafeteria which is in the basement. However, some kitchen equipment had to be brought from the first floor & some preparations had to be done on the first floor & transported to the basement, entailing many trips up & down the stairs. But she had the stamina necessary to do (3) loads of laundry before we attended the 6:00pm vigil mass @ Saint Nicholas church.

Afterward, Kathy, Theresa, John & I patronized the Nicktown bar where we had a medium sized pizza, some beer & lots of good yak-yak time.

Back @ our motorhome, we watched: "Bullitt" with Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn, Jacqueline Bisset, Don Gordon, Robert Duvall, etc. Definitive McQueen antihero: police detective who senses something fishy behind assignment to guard criminal witness. Taut action-film makes great use of San Francisco locations, especially in now-classic car chase, one of the screen's all-time best. 1968. Great story! And wonder woman Kathy stayed awake the entire time. A proud husband I am. 

Lights out: 12:11am.
Awake: 6:15am      Temp 21      sleep 6+19      snow showers      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, Kathy went to Barnesboro for her P.T. Shortly after she left, Larry & Justin pulled into our driveway. Larry wanted to take measurements for our tubing that will eventually have the well water go directly into our basement tank instead of having to work with it above ground.

      Late morning, I took a good look at our iced in motorhome...& I didn't like what I saw. DSC000240.JPG These next few days are forecasted to have a warming spell...somewhat. Tomorrow I would like to take advantage of a warmer temp & get rid of Mother Nature's eloquent sculpturing.

After Kathy returned & finished her breakfast, we motored to Cresson & visited the 84-Lumber Co. DSC000241.JPG We studied the display of insulation options & then Dave gave us a good introduction to the latest & what they feel is the greatest. DSC000242.JPG                        First they spray a section of the wall with polyurethane, DSC000243.JPG & then they put on a netting.....& make a small hole in the netting & blow in the fiberglass. DSC000244.JPG Dave also was very instrumental in finding the Masonite steel & fiberglass entry door that Kathy has been searching for.

En route to Nicktown, we bought a few needed groceries @ the Ebensburg Wal-Mart.

Dinner: Crab cakes, rice pilaf, & a mixed salad.

Katrina called while driving to a party with the theme of "the ugliest Christmas sweater." We would liked to have seen that!

We finished watching: "Tip on a Dead Jockey" with Dorothy Malone, Robert Taylor, Gia Scala, Martin Gabel, etc. Neat account of Taylor tied in with smuggling syndicate in Madrid, romancing Malone. 1957. Good story & with some aircraft activity.

Lights out: 12:23 am.
Awake: 6:23am      Temp 16     sleep 6+12   some sun      overnight @ Nicktown.

We skip the KK meeting & visit Bernie mid morning for more decision making: outside faucets, telephone lines, old Switchboard lines, coax-cable for TV's in various rooms, etc.

Then we motor to Barnesboro for our annual eye check with Dr. Mary; both of us had our eyes dilated so for the rest of the afternoon, we didn't do much of anything except sit around & talk with each other with the blinds closed.

One thing I ignored during this house building, & finally realized; in lieu of getting out in the rain, cold, snow, etc, to check on the building progress, we could have easily turned on the ignition switch & looked @ the picture from the motor home's rear camera. Doh! DSC000239.JPG Of course the house is all closed in maybe spring time & watch the brick layers.

I did get a call late afternoon from Gary J, & we talked for (45) min about their motorhome trip to Florida & all the things there are to do with a great bunch of people in the campground they are staying @ for the winter. We are envious.

Dinner: Slice & a half each of leftover pizza from Nicktown bar & leftover chili. 

Evening movie: "Tip on a Dead Jockey." We watch 3/4th.

Lights out: 11:56pm.
Awake: 6:18am      Temp 17      sleep 6+23     snow showers     overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting & breakfast, Kathy & I visited Bernie & made some decisions on the Master Shower + a hot towel unit, the guest bath & shower & where the computer desks will be located.

Then we motored to Ebensburg & visited Natcher Drilling,Inc & discussed the geo-thermo installation process & well drilling. Larry was interested in our well water & I just happened to have a bottle of well water in my pocket; he quickly got out his chemistry set, mixed a few things together & told us: "there is not much iron in this water." "Well, wait a minute, how old is this water?" Probably a week old I told him. "Oh, that's not a good reading because of the age he said." I let him know that it also went thru (2) water filters. DSC000236.JPG I asked Larry to e-mail me all the equipment & costs for drilling my wells for geo-thermo + the extra work to bring our water tank into the basement, etc. He said he would do that today.

From here, we motored to Johnstown & visited Lowe's where I ordered (1) double doors & (2) single doors for our garage, plus (3) garage door openers. DSC000237.JPG Kathy worked with John & she ordered (1) larger man door. It's going to take about a month or longer for delivery.

            Next, we visited "Toys R Us" & found nothing of interest for our grandchildren. DSC000238.JPG Then we returned to our motorhome & had a dinner of: Tilapia fish, spinach salad, rice, & toast.

Lights out: 12:11am.
Awake: 6:02am     Temp 16      sleep 6+46      blowing snow     overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, I showed Kathy how to shift the Suzuki from 2-wheel drive to 4-wheel drive. So, regardless of the weather, she went to her Physical Therapy session in Barnesboro again.

Gary C. called during Kathy's absence; he updated me on their experience of seeing the Mannheim Steamrollers & their seating was great. I told Gary that we should keep this info a secret. He told me he would have Rosemary call Kathy later! Ugh.

After my breakfast, I visited Bernie & had him do the measuring for our double garage door & (2) single garage doors in prep for ordering them soon.

With the temperature @ (16) degrees F, I've noticed that the compressor that keeps our air tubes pumped up on our slides, & keeps the pocket doors opening & closing as well as our main entry door, etc., was complaining a little. Inside the motorhome, I paced the floor awhile, trying to get a good & simple idea of how to have that small area that the (2) compressors are in, get a little heat. Finally, before wearing out our carpet, an idea: I had a trouble shooting light. By running the electrical cord through the basement to the other side of the motorhome, then outside & into that small area where the (2) compressors are, the 75 watt light should do the trick. Throughout the evening, the compressor ran when necessary & sounded normal.
                           Here is what our motorhome looks like on the outside. DSC000232.JPG Later, I shoveled (2) paths in the snow leading to our house & to my (2) pump houses.        About 1:30pm, Pella arrived with our windows. DSC000231.JPG Bernie has been getting ready for this occasion. Here are some of the windows before they are part of the house. DSC000233.JPG                                                Our largest window ? DSC000234.JPG                                               Our smallest windows. DSC000235.JPG Oh yes, Rosemary called Kathy & told her everything about the Mannheim Steamrollers.

Late afternoon, I called my ole buddy Gary J. in Florida & wished him a "Happy Birthday." It's his 70th & he doesn't look a day over 55. They were having a good size party for Gary (32) people, so we couldn't talk long. He was delighted to be in Florida this time of year.

Dinner: Parmesan crusted chicken breast, apple/walnut stuffed acorn squash & broccoli.

We finished watching: "Thieves like Us" with Keith Carradine, Shelley Duvall, John Schuck, Bert Remsen, Louise Fletcher, etc. Three misfits escape from camp in 1930s midwest, go on a crime spree; the youngest (Carradine) falls in love with a simple, uneducated girl (Duvall). Despite familiar trappings, Altman digs deep into period atmosphere and strong characterizations; this film gets better every time you look at it. 1974. Wow! What a story. Be careful, it will keep you awake.

Lights out: 11:55pm.
Awake: 6:10am     Temp 22     sleep 5+59     snow...all day      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, Kathy went to Physical Therapy in Barnesboro for her left knee. Meanwhile, I made (3) different calls to different technicians @ the Newell factory in Oklahoma...trying to understand why my Teddy heater is stalling out after a few days use.

I've tried various types of grease: Lithium, Silicone & a few others but, eventually the Teddy, when switched off for awhile, has difficulty starting up again. One theory a technician thought: the motor is getting too hot & is drying the grease up! Another tech suggested a larger fuse. I will take my time on this project & do a little more research.

After the builders left for the day, I visited our house & checked out today's progress. More can lights located in the hex ceiling is one thing, DSC000230.JPG plus a lot of electrical boxes strung with wires uncovered & plumbing pvc.

Dinner: Beef vegetable stew with orzo rye bread.

Lights out: 11:16pm.
Awake: 7:30am      Temp 24      sleep 7+05      snow flurries      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our coffee, Kathy made some deviled eggs for the covered dish luncheon for Saint Nick's day. Anyone in Nicktown who brings a covered dish to the church hall is welcome for this luncheon & social gathering.

We had no knowledge of this nice surprise due to: we were usually heading south to southwest for the winter before this time period. There were so many delicious home cooked dishes on the tables; I had to be careful & save some space for the tempting desserts.This was also a mingling social time with friends, relatives, 1st cousins, etc. We will definitely have this gathering on our list for next year.

Back @ our motorhome, I walked over to our house & took a few pictures of our new garage doors before it got too dark. DSC000229.JPG Oops, those are not real garage doors; that is plywood & it helps keep the cold air out of the basement.

Mid evening: Nick Skyped us from Queen Anne Hill in Seattle for (1) hr 11min. Most of our subjects revolved around Nick & Eriko's living quarters. Should they boot out their (3) tenants & have the architect design a (1) family home ...or simply leave it as is; fix up a few things that need attention & be one great landlord. That is the question.

We also talked about Nick & Zack's Company, Isilon & how the merger with ECM can change things in a lot of directions.

Late evening movie: "Thieves Like Us." We watched 1/4.

Lights out: 12:11am.
Awake: 6:12am      Temp 24       sleep 5+56       snow flurries       overnight @ Nicktown.

We were getting low on our pure water supply in our motorhome so after breakfast, I bundled up with (3) layers of clothing & faced Mother Nature. Without going into a boring & technical explanation of my water system, it took awhile but I found out that my underground valve was restricting water flow.

My only option at best was to bring out my (40) ft hose & receive water straight from the well & directly into our pure water tank. All together, this extra activity took well over an hr. But hey, I got to be a real cool dude in the process!

Today, we planned to attend Ebensburg's 5th Annual "Dickens of a Christmas" events ...but we were a little late getting started. Kathy was the navigator & led us right to exhibit (1): The ICE Sculptures in Penn Eben Park. These ice cutters were getting a good start on their carvings.                   Here is a: "No horse open Sleigh." DSC000220.JPG                          And this block of ice is beginning to look like a Caboose. DSC000221.JPG              Everyone should have an Angel as a friend, regardless how warm it gets! DSC000222.JPG From here, we crossed over High Street to the "County Courthouse" & walked around & saw the decorations & displays. DSC000223.JPG Next, we visited the Holy Name church basement & looked over most of the "Craft Fair" items; very crowded. DSC000224.JPG Then we drove a few more blocks, parked the Suzuki & attended a "Cantata" filled with the mystery & wonder of Christmas. DSC000225.JPG        Our sister-in-law, Josie, center of picture, was a member of the choir; she sang alto. DSC000226.JPG It was great....& they offered many different choices of cookies at "The Welsh Tea" afterward.

My brother also attended this popular Cantata. So after having a tasty treat, Don led Kathy & me to the basement to watch the miniature "HO" gage railroad engines pulling their cars past towns & villages... DSC000227.JPG                                      &  through tunnels & over bridges. DSC000228.JPG                             Bill, the creator, did a marvelous job on this display.

From here, we agreed to join Don & Josie @ their home for a little libation with a few snacks. We had no idea of this annual event in Ebensburg since we are usually "out-of-town" for (4, 5, or 6) months during this time of year.

Back in Nicktown, we attended the vigil 6:00 pm Mass & then, Kathy, Theresa, John & I had a beer with our pizza @ the Nicktown Bar... & some good talk.

Back in our motorhome, we finished watching: "A Day at the Races" with Groucho, Harpo, Chico Marx, Allan Jones, Maureen O'Sullivan, Esther Muir, Margaret Dumont, etc. The Marxes wreak havoc at a sanitarium, where wealthy hypochondriac Dumont is the leading patient; often uproarious comedy features some of the trio's funniest set pieces (Chico selling race tips, the seduction scene, etc.) 1937. We think that during those days of the 30's, 40's, slap-stick was hilarious, so funny, etc. Maybe in these modern days, it's just plain goofy...not really funny @ all. Take your pick!

Lights out: 12:25am.
Awake: 6:23am       Temp 26      sleep 6+47       snow flurries      overnight @ Nicktown.

After breakfast, Kathy motored to Barnesboro to do her physical therapy & I swept all the snow off the Toyota I could before returning it to the storage facility.

Back in the motor home, I called the Hartford Insurance & canceled my collision & renewed our comprehensive storage insurance.

Mid day, I perused the electrical drawings, main floor & basement of our house. Then visited Bernie & added some more ceiling lights & electrical receptacles for the garage areas & workshop areas in the basement. Main floor, I asked for more electrical receptacles around the hex & lighting near the fireplace. Here you can see some of the recessed can lights in the Master Bedroom. DSC000219.JPG                  When Kathy returned, she told me her knee was feeling a lot better.

Before dinner: we had a phone call regarding our Pella windows; they are scheduled to arrive on Tuesday of next week.

Using the computer, Kathy ordered a Bidet for our bathroom.

Dinner: Crab cakes, brown rice pilaf, toast & a mixed salad.

We finish watching the movie: "Night into Morning" with Ray Milland, John Hodiak, Nancy Davis (Reagan), Lewis Stone, Jean Hagen, etc. Small-town professor loses family in fire, almost ruins own life through drink and self-pity. Realistic settings in modest production, with fine performance by Milland. 1951. No doubt a sad story; it takes the shared experience of a close friend to help him see the worth of life.

Lights out: 12:16 am.
Awake: 6:08am       Temp 25       sleep 6+07      snow flurries most of day      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our breakfast, we motored to the Foote Castle & joined Melissa & the boys doing their weekly grocery shopping. We all piled into the Toyota Mini van..... DSC000213.JPG with Melissa driving to the new Giant Eagle Store west of town. She can no longer walk with the boys while pulling their wagon loaded with groceries from the small mid-town Giant Eagle Store; it is closed! There are other plans for this building, but what?

Kathy had lunch @ the new Giant Eagle a couple of weeks ago following her bowling activity but this was my 1st time here.

                 Each one has his (her) assigned place for this shopping extravaganza. DSC000214.JPG My 1st job during the shopping period: keep an eye on Andrew & all the extra jackets, coats, hats, etc. DSC000215.JPG Take note of the basket loading procedure; Matthew & Nathan work together on this routine. Melissa gives an item to Nathan who decides if he wants to keep it for a while or give it directly back to Matthew. When Nathan has (2) items he is supposed to give at least (1) to Matthew who then organizes the groceries by building "houses." DSC000216.JPG Before Melissa checks out, she takes the (3) older boys to the Eagles nest where Mary, the official attendant, first squirts each child's hands with hand sanitizer, & then helps the kids spend their time doing fun things. DSC000217.JPG Then comes my 2nd job: I was honored to be "Eagle 14." That means I was responsible for them being checked in & out. Notice my badge. DSC000218.JPG              Every thing went very well & it was delightful to watch the Footes in action.

Back @ the Foote Castle, Melissa & the boys had little time to get to the cookie gathering @ the university, so after Kathy helped get the boys in their snowsuits, we thanked them for the opportunity of grocery shopping & returned to Nicktown.

Dinner: leftover chili with elbow macaroni & corn chips. 

Late evening, Melissa called & gave us a report on how much they enjoyed the cookie gathering.

Evening movie: "Night into Morning." We watched ½.

Lights out: 11:36 pm.
Awake: 6:14am       Temp 41      sleep 5+32       snow showers     overnight @ Nicktown. Big snow flakes were covering our yard fairly fast...& I wanted to get our Toyota in storage before it was covered over. So I skipped the KK meeting, (Kathy attended though) & motored to Barnesboro to top off the fuel tank in prep for winter storing.

Later, when the meeting was over, Kathy motored to Barnesboro & had her physical therapy for her left knee.

Melissa called sometime mid afternoon; she told us: "good thing you guys didn't come over for grocery shopping with us today. We had two boys winter dressed when Kevin went out to start the Toyota van...the battery was dead. No shopping today!" So we told her we would visit & shop with her tomorrow.
                  I finished reading: "Pinheads & Patriots." Easy reading & I enjoyed it. DSC000212.JPG Dinner: leftover pork tenderloin, leftover tuna & noodle, left over salmon, rice pilaf & fresh spinach salad.

Late evening we watched the movie: "Side Street" with Farley Granger, Cathy O'Donnell, James Craig, Paul Kelly, Edmon Ryan, Paul Harvey, etc. Story of part-time postman Granger impulsively stealing a wad of money, and finding himself involved with gangsters and murder,is bolstered by striking N.Y.C. location. 1949. Both the high speed chases in N.Y.C. & seeing Granger sink deeper into trouble kept this story enriched without the fingernail biting.

Lights out: 11:59pm.
Awake: 7:09am     Temp 41      sleep 7+20      heavy rain started @ 4:12am, off & on, then changed to snow    overnight @ Nicktown.

Before breakfast, Bernie called for us to "come on over" when we get a chance to talk about lighting & electricity. So we donned our rain clothes, opened our umbrellas & spent a good hour checking each & every room...making sure that the schematic drawing is what we want in the correct location. We made a few changes & added more lights & outlets here & there.

After breakfast, Bernie called us again; this time for a conformation on the corner tub placement. DSC000208.JPG Outside activity: A truck carrying our recessed caned lights dropped off quite a few boxes & bulbs. DSC000209.JPG Then Steve, the excavator expert, came into our circular drive to dig the trenches for the French drains.                             Looks like rain. DSC000210.JPG                         Later, the rain changed to snow & Steve kept digging. DSC000211.JPG Even later I talked with Gary C. & we discussed the idea of having electrical outlets in the floor; I wasn't too sure about that idea. I also talked to both well drillers but planed to visit one driller next week.

Dinner: Chili with elbow macaroni & corn chips.

Mid evening, we finished watching the movie: "Caged" with Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead, Ellen Corby, Hope Emerson, etc. Remarkable performances in stark record of Parker going to prison and becoming hardened criminal after exposure to brutal jail life. 1950. Obviously this method of being jailed & mingling with the bad (guys) (girls) does not work so well. So if any of you good people out there end up in jail, just beg for solitary confinement & you'll get released sooner & live longer.

Lights out: 12:42am.

Awake: 5:56am     Temp 31     sleep 5+44     sunny     overnight @ Nicktown.

After the KK meeting, Kathy motored to Barnesboro to have some therapy for her leg, which has been painful for over a month now.

During her absence, I spent about (2) hrs reading: "Pinheads & Patriots."  Then I made a few phone calls to well drillers in the area & explained to them what we need to have done for our geo-thermo system. Later, I talked with both of them again. I also printed out a list for Bernie indicating what we would like to have powered in our house in the event of a power outage.

Dinner: leftover tuna & noodle, spinach salad, & acorn squash.

Melissa called mid evening; she wants to know what day we would like to come over for a visit. We settled on visiting Wednesday so we could grocery shop with the boys.

Evening movie: "Caged." We watched (50) min.

Lights out: 11:49pm.            

Awake: 7:47am      Temp 26       sleep 7+25       partly sunny       overnight @ Nicktown.

I was a little leery about tomorrow's weather & definitely, the rest of the week, so early afternoon, I suggested to Kathy, "let's do laundry today." (3) loads of laundry shouldn't take that long but I kept busy outside & Kathy was busy inside....most of the afternoon.

Before darkness set in, I took a few photos to update our house. The Tyvek wrapping will keep the wind, rain & snow off the wood structure & also allow heat inside for the building crew. DSC000205.JPG                It's not a big house, it just takes awhile to walk around it; sun no more. DSC000206.JPG I haven't read a novel for a few years; just trying to keep up with the magazines I get monthly keeps me busy reading. Well today, I began reading: "Pinheads & Patriots" by Bill O'Reilly. Kathy is also reading this documentary so we take turns.

                 Dinner: Alaska salmon with broccoli & rice with golden raisins.

Just before starting our evening movie, I heard a noise in the kitchen that didn't sound good! DSC000207.JPG We both spent some time on our hands & knees while meticulously separating the kernels from the shredded glass. Then enjoying some popped popcorn, we watched: "The Great Caruso." with Mario Lanza, Ann Blyth, Jarmila Novotna, & Dorothy Kirsten. Biographical. Fiction about the legendary singer, entertainingly done. Fine music makes cliché's endurable. 1951. Well anyway, it was good music & the popcorn was delicious.

Lights out: 12:12am.


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