February 2011 Archives

Awake: 6:18am      Temp 35      sleep 6+54      rain-snow-temp falling     overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy attended the KK meeting & afterward joined (3) other women at the hall, where they cracked eggs for noodle making for the Nicktown picnic. I went straight to the house & met with Dean & Chris; DSC000491.JPG we discussed the high tech stuff that Chris will be installing to, hopefully, help our house be guarded & watched by cameras & notified if someone would try & break in, etc. I also made some decisions on where to place the speakers for music in the rooms & the placement for the cameras, intercom, sensors, etc. DSC000492.JPG Back in our M.H., Brian, the well drilling guy, called & wanted to figure out how to charge me for the work the well drillers did. I told him that Bernie & I discussed this & suggested that he charge me just for the work he did on the wells & Bernie will charge me for the work the Cunningham boys did with their bull dozer & excavator. He seemed agreeable to that plan.

Kathy returned; she told me she cracked 20 dozen eggs of the 60 dozen eggs they cracked in all. After hearing that, I decided to top off the M.H.'s pure water tank before the freeze tonight.

Next, Bernie called us & wanted to know if we had gotten the specs for hanging a TV above a fireplace; we walked over & gave him the numbers.

Dinner: We motored to Spangler & had a fish dinner @ the Contres-Greer Hall tonight. It tasted pretty good so we might do this again.

Evening movie: "The Coal Miners Daughter." We watched ½.

Lights out: 11:27pm.
Awake: 6:18am       Temp 26       sleep 6+49       overcast      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our breakfast, we made (2) visits to see Bernie; he needed some more decision making on the basement floor fireplace, and on the main floor fireplace....some decisions on the hearth. DSC000488.JPG He also needs status numbers for a flat screen TV: length, height, depth of the T.V. bracket, weight, & thickness limits of the screen itself. We should be able to get this info later today.           
                     Then, we talked with Bernie about the "Wheel & Spokes" ceiling..... DSC000489.JPG      .......or better know as: "Kathy's BIG Ring" & how to dress it up for good looks? DSC000490.JPG Then we motored to Johnstown & Lowe's Home Center; I had to complain for the 3rd time about not receiving the (3) garage pieces that we need to be able to use the garage doors themselves. They promised me I would have those pieces over a month ago. How many times do I have to make the call to get what I need? John, whom I ordered the Garage doors from in the 1st place, made a call to the company who was to fill the order; he told me they have the invoice but haven't sent the parts out yet.

Next stop, Wal-Mart; for grocery shopping & specs for Bernie on hanging a TV that we might purchase.

Then to Conzattis for our corned beef, boneless chicken breasts, Italian sweet sausage, nuts, etc. And down the street to Market Basket for our cereal, wheat germ, clam chowder, etc.

Next we started motoring to the Baker-Harris Funeral Chapel to pay our respects to my deceased cousin Rita, who passed away on Friday, 18th February. (92) yrs of age, (11) children & was sharp as a tack with a sense of humor that kept you entertained.
She & one of her son's, Bill, visited us in Alaska about (12) yrs ago & she climbed & walked all over the place.

We had the wrong data in our GPS - Garman & were a little late arriving. At the wake, we spoke with many of her daughters & (2) of her sons. Don & Josie were also there & we arranged to bring Josie back to her place as Don had some business to do in Johnstown. Our lateness did cause Josie to miss her Bible study session but she said they would record it & give her the C.D.

On our return from Ebensburg, the heaviest of fog rolled into the area that I have seen in a long time.

Dinner: New England clam chowder with oyster crackers & toast.

Lights out: 11:24pm.
Awake: 6:08am      Temp 8      sleep 6+16      cloudy       overnight @ Nicktown.

After breakfast, Kathy left to join her bowling buddies. Meanwhile, I epoxyed the soles of the shoes that I purchased a few weeks ago from the thrift store. The continuous snow, rain, mud, etc, was playing havoc with the booties, so I switched over to these Nike Airs. It takes longer to climb in & out of them, but having the soles fixed, they feel more rugged now. DSC000485.JPG Just last night, Kathy's heating pad quit working. She misses it dearly so using my Fluke Meter; I found the problem but could not make the repair due to the screws used on the control. I have no screw driver that can match this pattern. DSC000486.JPG I visited the house & checked the basement floor with my Infrared thermometer (Fluke); DSC000487.JPG ...with the temp set for (70) degrees on the Geo-thermo, all across the floor, the fluke was reading 70-72-71-69, etc. I like it! Outside temp: mid teens.

Kathy returned around 2:45pm, having had a fun time & averaging 133 for 3 games.

Dinner: stuffed peppers, grapes, & toast.

Late evening, we called Melissa; all is well.

Lights out: 11:29pm.
Awake: 7:11am       Temp 14      sleep 7+21      sunny & cold     overnight @ Nicktown.

1st thing this morning, our builder, Bernie, drove his truck with plow on front & cleared the circular drive & all the other parking spots that regularly get used. We had over a foot of snow overnight;
                    Here is looking out to our front yard; note the circular drive plowed. DSC000481.JPG                                                  Oh no, not again! DSC000482.JPG But Bernie saved us a lot of shoveling time. Later, I called Bernie & thanked him for the plow job. He told me that the fireplaces are due in today.

Next, I called Bassett Masonry & arranged for split face brick to be ordered with options on the mortar.
                              Bernie called us; the fireplace man, Bryan, arrived; DSC000483.JPG           There are decisions to be made so we walked over and made a few changes. DSC000484.JPG Then, we motored to Barnesboro & exercised for (1.5) hrs.

Later, after changing clothes, we attended 6:00pm Mass.

Dinner: Split pea soup with ham & toast. Very, very good.

Lights out: 11:52pm.
Awake: 6:13am     Temp 31     sleep 6+01     short session of snow/rain mix      overnight @ Nicktown.
After our KK meeting, we visited Bernie to give him our decisions. He was happy to proceed on the projects @ hand. From here, we motored to Barnesboro & exercised for (1.3) hrs.

                Here is some of the exercise equipment @ the X-Treme Fitness Center. DSC000477.JPG          A lot of new Nautilus machines & other great elliptical & treadmills are available. DSC000478.JPG                               Look closely & you can see Kathy riding a bike.  DSC000479.JPG Back in our M.H., we had a late breakfast & then motored to Ebensburg & spent about (40) min talking with Dean about security, music, cameras, etc. in our house. DSC000480.JPG As we returned to our M.H., light snow flurries started; those flurries turned unto heavy snowflakes & they continued throughout the night.

Dinner: Mushroom Ragout, with Waldorf salad & toast.

Lights out: 11:50pm.
Awake: 7:12am       Temp 21       sleep 6+52      sunny overnight      @ Nicktown.

After our hot steel cut oatmeal breakfast, we walked over to the house & pondered about several decisions that Bernie wants to have done for Monday.

                                       What to do with this support beam? DSC000474.JPG                 Are you sure you want to match this color with the entry door & brick? DSC000475.JPG                               What do you think of this ceiling pattern? DSC000476.JPG Then we walked throughout the house & counted inside doors; (15) regular ....(3) fire doors, & (2) small doors. Soon we will be visiting 84-Lumber & selecting those doors.

Dinner: Bits of bacon burger with sauteed onions, mushrooms, & small spinach salad, Waldorf salad & toast.

Evening movie: "The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane" with Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen, Scott Jacoby, Mort Shuman, & Alexis Smith. Complex, unique mystery with Foster as young girl whose father never seems to be home------and she gets very nervous when anyone goes near the basement. Think you've figured it out? Forget it, Charlie; you haven't even scratched the surface. 1976. Great story!

Lights out: 12:12am.
Awake: 6:20am      Temp 40       sleep 6+14       temp falling      overnight @ Nicktown

After breakfast, I opened the hood of our Suzuki & instantly found out why we were not getting warm air with a warmed up engine; the top radiator hose was split apart. Not a good time to have this happen; it's very cold outside! Although better here than miles away & on the highway!

We had plans to travel today but...not now. Our other car is in storage for the winter & I'd rather not go to that trouble to bring it out. Most of our neighbors are usually busy on Saturdays & visiting on Sundays, but there is (1) guy that I might call for a little help; I have the tools to replace a radiator hose but no car to go to the auto parts store to get the necessary hose.

OK, so I called John....the phone rang.... & rang, finally John answered & I explained my predicament. Here....he & his son were practically out the door on their way to Johnstown; I tried to cancel my request but he insisted he could help out by doing both.

He suggested I call the nearby auto parts stores, to make sure they have the part & then call him back. "Good idea, John" I said. I called (3) stores, (2) didn't have the part & the other one didn't answer.

Kathy & I were both looking up more nearby auto part stores when there came a knock on the door; it was John driving his truck & his boy driving his car. John knew an auto parts store in Ebensburg that has most everything; I called that number he suggested & sure enough, they had the hose I needed.

John left his truck for my convenience & they were off to Johnstown. What a guy! I made the (30) mile round trip just fine, put the new hose on, added a 50/50 mixture of water & antifreeze, drove the Suzuki around town a few times but the warm air was still not so warm. I figured there was probably some air blockage so I just let the car idle with the radiator cap loosely on.

Much later, John & his son returned; John wasn't one to wait for warm air flow. I had Kathy get my Fluke Infrared Thermometer so we could easily see the temp change with the liquid going into the heater box & measuring the temp coming back out.

John revved the engine a few times & suggested we take another ride down the road. By the time we returned, that warm air felt plenty good. John really saved the day for us. I was very grateful for the use of John's truck & the push to get the antifreeze to circulate & get rid of the air blockage.

                           (2) radiator hoses, left one bad, the right one very good. DSC000473.JPG Later, K & I attended 6:00pm Mass & afterward, John, who saved our day, Theresa, Kathy & I sat @ the big table in the bar & had some interesting discussions along with our beer & steak salad,& chicken salad.

Late Movie: "Red Dust" with Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Mary Astor, Donald Crisp, etc. Robust romance of Indochina rubber worker Gable, his floozie gal Harlow, and visiting Astor, who is married to Raymond, but falls for Gable. Harlow has fine comic touch. 1932. Fairly good movie for the early thirty's.

Lights out: 12:22am.

Awake: 6:45am     Temp 58    sleep 6+54     sunny-windy     overnight @ Nicktown.

After we exercised in Barnesboro, we did some light grocery shopping @ Giant Eagle & then returned to Nicktown.

I visited the house & talked with Bob, Bernie's brother & partner. He mentioned that they would like us to make a decision by Monday on (3) items. Then he showed me the particulars in detail. I agreed to have that taken care of by Monday morning.

After our late breakfast, Kathy started doing (3) loads of laundry; that means I had to fill the M.H.s pure water tank, twice.

In between the water works, I wanted to find out why our septic system motor is not spraying the liquid into our leach field when I flip the circuit breaker switches on. It's been about (2-3) weeks that this system has not worked & these nice days won't last. 1st I opened a connection box down in the field & that wiring was ok. Next, I unscrewed (8) screws & opened the box attached to the electrical post; I should have taken a picture. Whatever lived in the box...winter or summer, he/she made a mess, chewed some insulation off of (3) wires that was shorting out my motor. I cleaned out the box, wrapped tape around the chewed wires, closed the hole with Tyvek where the creature came in & used a lot of Duck tape to, hopefully, prevent this from happening again.

Tonight, we've been invited to a surprise birthday party for one of our KK members; we were told to arrive before 7:30pm @ the Nicktown party basement. John & I agreed to arrive a little earlier to get a good seat. John was waiting for us when we arrived around 6:30pm. Down in the basement, all the chairs were not yet organized. We offered to help but the guys said no.

We were not the only early birds; we were seated about 6:45 & in came the crowd, 2-3-4 @ a time. In no time @ all, ¾ of the seating was filled & the crowd was asked to hush-hush.

Finally, a different & smaller group was heard coming down the stairs.....the door opened...& it was....."BILL." We sang the "Happy Birthday" song & the usual somewhat talkative Bill was: "speechless"! He truly was surprised. Nice job brothers.

As the evening moved forward, more & more family members, 1st cousins, friends, etc showed up for the occasion of Bill's 70th birthday. Good pizza & good beer was served to the thirsty & hungry, crowd & later, birthday cake. It was another fun filled surprise birthday party that brought a lot of the town's people together.... near & far.

We returned to our M.H. about 9:30pm. One thing I definitely want to investigate tomorrow will be: our Suzuki is not giving us warm air even with the engine warmed up; twice today on short trips.

Lights out: 12:06am.         

Awake: 6:14am      Temp 49       sleep 7+02       partly sunny       overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, K & I motored to Barnesboro & exercised for (1) hr. Kathy had an obligation which cut our exercise time a little short.

With such a nice day, I couldn't resist refilling our pure water tank again. Later, both K & I met with Bernie in our house; he had a list made up for us for decision making.....& more future plans.

Melissa & her young boys will be visiting this afternoon. They haven't been over here for quite some time so they were pretty excited. They had not been inside the basement for a minute when the boys discovered all the loose tubing on the floor that was bound for the dumpster....and that tubing would be taken away tomorrow. Before we knew it, they started getting coils for themselves. DSC000468.JPG Aha, but mother Melissa quickly changed their plan due to: snack time; you don't want to miss that. Within minutes, Melissa had a suitable horse as a lunch counter; off to the left. DSC000469.JPG The aluminum walk way was a bit narrow, but it was good that Gregory knew enough to stop his fall using both hands. DSC000470.JPG With snack time over & the workers gone for the day, the boys were free to roam & they did a good job of seeing most everything. But they had not forgotten those coiled tubes.

I was overpowered on that issue; both ladies wanted to collect every one of those cut coils, long or short, black or white. Every one chipped in to help (except Gregory), they dragged all the coils across the road & laid them next to the tree line for future use.

Here are Nathan & Kathy both dragging the coils; in the background...Andrew. DSC000471.JPG      Then it was time to leave; Matthew brought up the last coil but he missed a photo shot. DSC000472.JPG 'Twas another fun time with our grandchildren. We thanked them for their visit.

Dinner: small amounts: leftover tuna & noodle & Italian sausage & a large mixed salad with leftover filet strips.

Lights out: 11:51pm.
Awake: 6:34am       Temp 38      sleep 6+47       sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

We skipped the KK meeting this morning to meet with Dean in regards to learning more about security systems, indoor & outdoor cameras, motion sensors, stairway lighting systems, intercom & music installations, etc.

Dean walked through the house, main & basement floors & around the outside; taking notes of what we might be interested in. There are a few items that I didn't understand when we talked so we intend to rendezvous again soon.

Later, we made a visit to 84-Lumber & picked up our color options for our entry door. On the way home, we stopped @ Wal-Mart & West End Market for groceries. Before entering our motorhome, we visited our house to see today's progress. Our plaster guy, Walt, was the only one still working......in another room.  DSC000467.JPG Dinner: New England clam chowder with toast.

After dinner, Katrina called us & we talked about her esophageal reflux symptoms & treatment. She has an appointment with the Dr. on Friday evening.

Late evening movie: "Come Live with Me." We watched about (30) min.

Lights out: 11:12pm.
Awake: 6:12am       Temp 21       sleep 7+06       sunny       overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, John & Bill from the KK joined us for a tour of our house project; John was most interested in the Geo-thermal system while Kathy gave Bill a tour of all the rooms & added features.

About 10:30am, my cousin Florentz arrived with his truck & water tank carrying (230) gallons. DSC000464.JPG We volunteered to help the REA guys out by using my cousin's purified water; they will use this water to run throughout the tubing of the (8) drilled wells. Florentz & I filled up the (5) gallon bucket many times throughout the morning and about 1:00 pm, they had gotten about as much air out of the system that they could. We also filled their (50) gallon barrel for a back-up if they should need any more purified water for the next day & the day after that, etc. DSC000465.JPG The equipment room is beginning to look a lot more organized with all the basement tubes in place & moving water. DSC000466.JPG In a few weeks, sooner or later,they will start running small tubing on the main floor for the Geo-Thermo.

After my cousin left with his water tank less than ½ full, Kathy & I sped to Barnesboro & got some good exercise in.

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

@ 8:00pm, I joined the guys @ the church hall for our monthly Holy Name meeting. Luckily, my cousin, Al, called & left a message reminding me of the meeting; otherwise, I would have missed it.

Lights out: 11:47pm.
Awake: 6:03am       Temp 48      sleep 5+46      strong winds       overnight @ Nicktown.

After the KK meeting, with a warm temperatures during the night, I was able to get the motorhome's pure water tank topped off & later, some epoxy on the crack of the auto-shut off control. To make sure the epoxy will cure sufficiently, we won't use any water until tomorrow morning.

My brother & his wife, Josie, invited us to join them in Indiana, PA to celebrate "Valentine's Day" @ Benjamins Restaurant. Mother Nature made it a little more exciting just getting there (23) miles by producing: heavy snow, small hail & strong winds, but it was worth the effort. K & I shared a Filet Mignon with veggies & a salad + wine. DSC000463.JPG                          This is the 4th year Don & Josie have been doing this.

Back in our motorhome, I called my young buddy Larry in San Diego, CA & we updated each other on: "What's happening?" He & his wife usually spend the winter months in San Diego in their motorhome visiting their daughters & grandchildren. We miss seeing them & certainly are envious of the great weather we know they have over us.

We finished the movie: "Love in the afternoon" with Gary Cooper, Audrey Hepburn, Maurice Chevalier, John McGiver. Forget age difference between Cooper and Hepburn and enjoy sparkling romantic comedy, with Chevalier as Audrey's private eye dad. McGiver lends good support in witty comedy set in Paris. 1957. A cute movie for the occasion.

Lights out: 11:06pm. 

Awake: 6:32am    Temp 33     sleep 6+24   partly sunny-windy     overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy planned to do some laundry today so I prepared the water system to be ready as the temp climbed slowly during mid afternoon. Meanwhile, she called the airlines & made arrangements for visiting Chicago &, later, Seattle. She also talked with Zack in detail about his & Katie's wedding plans.

The water system never did flow this afternoon....even @ (46) degrees high temp. Most likely, those hard freezes a few nights ago are taking a while to thaw things out. So, I shut everything down, put the hose away & will try another day.

Dinner: beef filet with balsamic glaze, broccoli, potato & a mixed salad.

Evening movie: "Love in the afternoon." We watched ½.

Lights out: 12:17am.

Awake: 5:53am Temp 17 sleep 6+11 snow flurries overnight @ Nicktown. Shortly after breakfast, Nick Skyped us for (1) hr, 27 min. He had a lot to "show & tell" us about his latest house plans. DSC000460.JPG Without going into a complicated architectural spiel of their structural changes, we both liked what we saw & heard when he led us around from room to room using a copy of his purposed house print plans.                            The main floor. DSC000461.JPG                                       Then the north & the east elevations. DSC000462.JPG They are excited to have their home renovated & we are excited to have a home without wheels & to hopefully also keep our wheels.

Next, my sister, Mary Jo, called from CA. I talked only for a short time because I was in the mist of an outside job that I didn't want to cease for the moment. Kathy took over for me & gave me the details later.

Mary Jo is delighted to be a grandma & will be babysitting for little Matthew tomorrow so his parents can go out to dinner for Valentine's Day. She related that she was able to get the time off from work & that she & Ed & Jen are planning on attending Zach & Katie's wedding in June.

Later, my sister Corinne called from Pittsburgh; we updated each other on: "what's been happening." My sister is a different person (since she has moved to Pittsburgh) and a much better person I might add. She is very busy & the people she is working for...love her.

Dinner: Kathy made us another Rubin Sandwich.

Later we attended 6:00pm vigil Mass & afterward, John, K & I went to the Nicktown bar & we each enjoyed our favorite beers...& the many people we ran into.

Lights out: 12:08am.
Awake: 5:55am      Temp 5      sleep 6+55       sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

Lots of activity @ our place this morning; Dave is maneuvering the Excavator & digging more trenches. DSC000451.JPG Steve is running the small Deere machine taking the black sand pile & pouring it onto the trenches for a cushion; DSC000452.JPG                      later after the tubes are covered up again with the black sand, DSC000453.JPG Steve will start covering up the tubes & the trenches with the dug out earth. Then the (2) guys that Brian sent up from Somerset are helping pull & push the tubes from the trenches slowly into the large pipes that are buried & lead into the equipment room. DSC000454.JPG Later, the Deere machine returned & covered the tubes with more black sand. It was fascinating to watch...especially from the main floor. DSC000455.JPG Of course, the tubes are longer than necessary just to be on the safe side, but after all (16) came out from the equipment room, there was no space to do anything except to shorten the bundle. DSC000456.JPG Once the guys from Somerset had all the tubes safely inside, they bowed to the excavating & Deere guys, & they were on their way south. DSC000457.JPG On a different subject, here is a picture of the water pump & auto-shutoff valve area in our motorhome. DSC000458.JPG                           Up close you can see the crack that is leaking water. DSC000459.JPG I hope I can fix this problem with epoxy soon; it's a nuisance having a water leak, especially
in extremely cold weather. 

Dinner: leftover tuna noodle casserole with toast.

Melissa called us mid evening: a casual call & then.....she announced to us that she is

pregnant with # (5). Wha hoo!

Lights out: 11:22pm.
Awake: 6:23am       Temp 8       sleep 7+00       sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

We skipped our KK meeting this morning to try & stay ahead of today's activities. We did make a trip to Barnesboro however & when we returned, we witnessed the Cunningham guys bringing in their excavator. DSC000444.JPG That tells me that Bernie & Brian have worked out a deal that would save time & $$ by having a nearby excavator do the digging of the trenches.These are necessary to run the Geo tubes from the field,under the ground & into (2) larger pipes that will bring the tubes into the equipment room in the basement. This is the start of the trench process. DSC000445.JPG Steve had some frozen earth close to the foundation which took some time & patient scratching. DSC000446.JPG             Meanwhile, the Bernie team continued wall boarding the basement hex: DSC000447.JPG      After getting thru that frozen earth, Steve began making fair progress with the trench. DSC000448.JPG        Behind the insulation are the (2) inlet pipes where the tubes will be pulled through. DSC000449.JPG                              And now a bird's eye view from the main floor. DSC000450.JPG Later today I discovered a water leak in the auto shutoff unit in our basement. I've been watching these low teen temperatures closely...but due to a failed Teddy heater in January of this year, the back-up system lacked the heating power to keep that lower auto shutoff unit warm enough. My fault; I could have planned differently. For the time being, I have a small ceramic heater keeping that area nice & warm.

Next, I called the Hartford Insurance Co. & paid my Suzuki insurance for the year 2011.

Then one of the girls from Lowe's called; she will make sure we get (1) more weather strip for an (8) ft garage door & a full set of Sun Ray Panels for all the garage windows.

Early evening, a dump truck drove into our circular drive & deposited a good load of black sand behind the house. Tomorrow, more digging, laying the tubes & covering up afterward.

Dinner: A left-over smorgasbord; Italian sausage with veggies; pork medallion with apples & a slice of Nicktown bar Pizza.

Lights out: 11:00pm.

Awake: 6:18      Temp 5     sleep 7+08     partly sunny     overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, Kathy ate a quick breakfast & then joined her bowling buddies in Indiana, PA.

During her absence, Jill from Duncansville phoned & told me that the kitchen cabinets will arrive on February 21st. She said they would store them for a time but not a lengthy time.

Shortly after talking with Jill, Bernie visited & asked me if I thought Brian, the main man with the well drilling operation, would let him dig the trenches, & lay the tubing, etc. Brian wouldn't have to bring his equipment up here again since we have the Cunningham boys about (5) miles away, etc.

I liked the idea immediately so I gave Brian a call & left a message with his secretary. About an hr later, Brian called & we talked about Bernie finishing the job for him. Sure enough, he was interested...mostly because he wouldn't have to bring his equipment up here again & if he does agree to the idea, he would send @ least one man to make sure all goes well (no pun intended). I gave Brian Bernie's cell phone # so they could talk about it further.

A short time later, Dave called from 84-Lumber. He got the color samples for our entry door.

For the calls Kathy would handle, I took notes, otherwise I was like a guy Friday on Wednesday.

By the way, Kathy had a 137 average for (4) games today. I was happy that she was happy.

Dinner: Tuna noodle casserole & a spinach salad.

Lights out: 11:23.   

Awake: 6:33am      Temp 17     sleep 6+54      snow & windy       Overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, K & I motored to Barnesboro for (1.7) hrs of exercise. Before my breakfast, I visited the house & saw that the basement hex had most of the wallboard nearly finished..... and, the REA guys continued progress on the Geo project. DSC000443.JPG Using our computers, the remainder of our afternoon was spent searching for house items & comparing different costs for the merchandise.

Dinner: Fish Taco.

Lights out: 11:10pm.
Awake: 6:36am      Temp 26    sleep 6+22     light rain>snow     overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, Kathy & I motored to downtown Barnesboro & exercised for about (1.5) hrs. By the time we returned, the outside temperature was warm enough to start filling the pure water tank of our motorhome so Kathy could do (3) loads of laundry.

Meanwhile, John B. visited so I gave him an updated tour of our house. He too, was most interested in the equipment room & the Geothermal units, but Bernie's crew was insulating that room @ the same time so we weren't able to peruse the intricate details. This is a photo of (2) compressors in the equipment room that I took before John's visit. DSC000441.JPG         This is the insulation that Bernie & his crew are putting on the basement ceiling. DSC000442.JPG Dinner: Pork chops with sautéed apples, broccoli, & fried noodles.

Light out: 11:39pm.

Awake: 7:14am     Temp 22     sleep 6+49     mostly cloudy     overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy made a hot breakfast this morning; Irish Steel cut Oatmeal with golden raisins, chopped walnuts & chopped pecans & smothered with some hot organic milk; Hmmm good.

We took a casual tour of our house & then prepared ourselves for watching the Steelers vs. the Green Bay Packers. This is only the 2nd time in my life that I've watched a football game all the way through.

Kathy has seen many football games so along the way, I had questions & most of the time she had the answers. I won't sell my Terrible Towel yet...but we will see.

Dinner: New England clam chowder, mixed salad & toast.

After the football game, we finished watching: "Grease" with John Travolta, Olivia Newton John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, Didi Conn, Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, etc. Energetic, imaginative filming of long-running Broadway show fantasizes 1950s life; spirited cast, clever ideas, and Patricia Birch's choreography makes it fun. 1978. Great movie; we really enjoyed it.

Lights out: 12:15am.  

Awake: 6:15am      Temp 25       sleep 5+10      overcast      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our breakfast, we motored to Indiana, PA & did some grocery shopping @ Wal-Mart. Then we spent the next (4.5) hrs with the Foote family. We haven't seen the Footes for a few weeks; when they returned from the "walk for life" in D.C., the boys & Melissa caught the sniffles & I, for one, wanted to keep my distance.

Well today, they were all fine & dandy. One of my honorable positions I accepted was to be a "gofer" for both Andrew & Matthew on the 3rd floor; as many of you already know, a gofer runs to get something for somebody. Well, my fingers were running into (6) trays of logos (thousands in each tray) DSC000439.JPG searching for a part to continue making an airplane, a castle, or whatever. At first I thought: I can't do this! I don't have the patience. Then I took it on as a challenge. Later, to find the exact part that Matthew or Andrew needed was kind of exciting & that was the payoff. I'm ready to go & be a gofer again.

Downstairs in the main floor play room, Andrew (5) yrs old, was reading a book to me & all of a sudden, we had some curiosity visitors. DSC000440.JPG It was a fun visit. Next we attended 6:00 pm vigil Mass in Nicktown & afterward, John, Kathy & I enjoyed a small pizza with beer @ the Nicktown Bar.

Back @ our motorhome, we watched ½ of the movie: "Grease."

Lights out: 12:25am
Awake: 6:53am      Temp 9      sleep 6+55       sunny       overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, we motored to Barnesboro & exercised for about (1.5) hrs.

Back @ our motorhome, I visited the REA guys & was happy to see the progress with the Geo-thermo project.

Next I called Harold, the garage parts guy who deals with Lowe's in Johnstown. He was about (15) min from Nicktown when I called. We still needed (2) weather strips for an (8) ft garage door & (2) struts. He brought the (2) struts & only (1) weather strip. Last time Harold was here, I told him I would tour him around our house.... & I did. He was especially interested in our Geo-Thermo system. DSC000438.JPG Late afternoon, I called Brian, the main man with the well drilling company; he thinks the crew will return on Monday morning & dig the necessary trench to bring the Geo tubes into the basement so REA can start hooking up all those tubes. However, he did mention...depends on the weather.

Katrina returned our call as of a few days ago; she's been a busy gal as usual; we chatted for about an hour catching up on her activities which included a winter camping weekend complete with digging & sleeping in a snow cave. Hey, she's a tough one.

Dinner: I just don't remember what we had, & neither does the cook, Kathy. We did watch a movie with popcorn though: "A Night to Remember" with Loretta Young, Brian Aherne, Jeff Donnell, William Wright, Sidney Toler, etc. Sparkling comedy-mystery of whodunit author Aherne and wife Young trying to solve murder. 1943. Entertaining but so-so-. I am a fan of Loretta Young so her acting to me was great!

Lights out: 1:05am.
Awake: 6:20am     Temp 11      sleep 6+17     snow flurries & sun     overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, K & I exercised for (1.5) hrs. Then we visited a nearby thrift store &, by gosh, I found a pair of shoes that fit me comfortably & are a little more suitable for rain/snow/mud/etc, than my other nice tennis shoes. We both have been casually looking for winter shoes/boots to no avail.

Next we visited the Giant Eagle in Barnesboro, for groceries & a pair of shoelaces.

Back in our motorhome, Bernie visited us & talked about the up & coming events on our house after the wall boarding. After our late breakfast, we visited Bernie & continued a discussion on the Geo-Thermo progress now that the (8) wells have been drilled. Here is a photo of the (8) wells & the house facing east. DSC000437.JPG Dinner: New England clam chowder, salad & toast.

Evening movie: "The wrong Box" with John Mills, Ralph Richardson, Michael Caine, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, etc, Scramble for inheritance is basis for wacky black comedy set in Victorian England; aging Mills attempts to do in brother Richardson (with help from the family cohorts) in order to be sole survivor. Sellers has hilarious cameo as oddball doctor. 1966. Wacky is the key word here....unless you're a Sellers fan, pass it up.

Lights out: 11:58pm.
Awake: 6:27am       Temp 29       sleep 6+41       rain, TRW's, (thunderstorms), sunny,   
snow/freezing rain, small hail, windy, temp 40 & then down into the teens. We had it all except warmth. Overnight @ Nicktown. Good thing those well drillers finished yesterday; today was something else.

After our KK meeting, K & I exercised for (1.7) hrs in Barnesboro. Back in our motorhome, Bernie visited us & brought us up-to-date on things that we have to make decisions on; shower heads, suspended ceiling tiles, fire places, etc.

My brother called from North Carolina; he & Josie are visiting the N.C. grandkids for a week. We didn't talk long; he wanted to know how we were doing & to let us know they will be driving back on Monday.

Just before Bernie & his team called it a day, I walked over to the house & witnessed the hex ceiling covered with wallboard. But just you wait, there'll be more stuff on that ceiling. DSC000436.JPG Dinner: leftover chicken & noodle soup, salad & toast.

Evening movie: Moguls & Movie Stars---A History. Very informative old silent movie reels.....telling of how the movie industry got started in the US & who was the leader for pushing audio.

Lights out: 12:03am.
Awake: 6:45am    Temp 28    sleep 6+48     light rain/freezing rain    overnight @ Nicktown.

We stayed inside our motorhome most of the day & evening. Kathy spent a lot of time searching for (things) for our house, comparing prices, free shipping, etc. I also continued searching on line for high tech items that Matt & Rick talked about when our high tech kids were here over Christmas. @ 9:28am, the Somerset Well Drilling Company's trucks were maneuvering into our circular drive. DSC000430.JPG                                  And this dump truck brought in the pea gravel.
They drilled (2) wells last Friday & are here to drill (6) more & finish the drilling phase. The weather was miserable but those guys didn't complain one bit. It appears that they used about 3/4th of a truck load of small gravel filling those holes. DSC000433.JPG                         These guys are close to finishing up with the 8th hole. DSC000432.JPG I didn't realize that they filled the tubing with water before they started pushing the tubing down (180) ft. Makes sense though, if any water was in the well, they would be pushing that tubing against the water a lot more than just an empty tube. Look close & you can see one of the guys pushing the tube into the eighth hole.The guys were organized & on their way to Sumerset, PA before 3:00pm. DSC000434.JPG Dinner: Italian Sausage with veggies & toast.

After dinner, Zack Skyped us for (1) hr & 25 min. He brought us up-to-date on their recent trip to Chicago; they met with the wedding counselor from the church where they will marry; attended a reception at the hall where the wedding reception will be & Zack got Invisoline braces on his teeth. All this & they still had some time to socialize with family & friends; a busy 4 days for sure!

I asked Zack to e-mail me a suitable synopsis in English of the problem I was having with my Sony camera taking pictures after having taken 9,999. And he agreed to do that. DSC000435.JPG                                                   Lights out: 11:46pm.
Awake: 6:37am      Temp 02      sleep 6+14       sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

After breakfast, down by the drilling area I noticed these "bags for hole abandonment" outside in the field that the well driller guys are using. DSC000427.JPG When I searched on Google, I found out that when drilled holes need to be closed up, some of this is poured into the hole to make the closure secure.

Thus, when our well holes had the geo-thermo tubing pushed down into the ground about (180) ft, these guys would use pea gravel 1st & then the Pure Gold medium chip to make it secure.

Next, I visited Bernie in the house to let him know that we will be traveling to 84-Lumber today to get the specks on our entry door & discuss the inside doors of the house with the 84-Lumber guys.    Here is Kathy looking @ the options for our entry door. DSC000428.JPG And here is Dave on the phone waiting for spec's of the entry door from the company that we picked out...oh, wait a minute; could he have fallen asleep? DSC000429.JPG Dinner: leftover stuffed peppers with toast.

Ray called me as I was doing the dishes; Kathy took over the dish cleaning while Ray & I talked about their son Nate traveling in Mexico & Saint Lucia & other spots on business. We also reminisced about the ole days in the 60's & 70's. That was nice of Kathy to finish those dishes for me; I encouraged Ray to call us about this same time more often.

Lights out: 11:57pm.
Awake: 8:30am      Temp 21      sleep 7+54      snow flurries       overnight @ Nicktown.

After breakfast, we both spent some time on our respective computers, mostly looking up ideas for things related to our house.

At 1:00pm, we called our good friends in Ohio, Mark & Joan & talked for (1) hr & 45 min. We updated each other on "what's been happening".

Mark & Joan have both been heavily into their Genealogy & the winter weather has been perfect for indoor progress. In lieu of just finding names & ages, they go several steps further & work on: how they made their living; how many children, any schooling, cause of death, etc. They also do their best to find pictures of who they are concentrating on.

On our side, the only thing we have mainly concentrated on has been our house building. Mark surely had questions about that subject. We could have talked more but the batteries on my cordless phone gave out & so that signaled the closing. We agreed to do more of this & more often.
                              We last visited them in Ohio in April of last year. DSC000422.JPG Next, we found some large pieces of cardboard ready for the dumpster, but instead, we measured & cut some of the cardboard to TV dimensions to see how high we would need to hang a TV screen & what size would be most favorable.

Using different sizes of cardboard, we tested with a (46,52 & a 55' inch cardboard) On the main floor in the hex, (15) ft away from a (55) inch screen, what do you think? Too high, low, screen size too small, or what? DSC000423.JPG                                 We also repeated this testing in the basement. DSC000424.JPG Next, we got a Skype call from Nick in Queen Anne Hill in Seattle; he is just about over his cold symptoms so he can talk much better & enjoy the family life again.

A lot of our chatter revolved around their plans to renovate their house to include their desires & fit their life style.. We talked & watched Momoko, Jerry, & Nick & Eriko off & on for a good (57) min. We continue to enjoy our Skype. DSC000425.JPG Dinner: Pork Medallions with apple in a sage cream sauce, fried noodles, & a cottage cheese salad. Tonight's movie: "The Story of Will Rogers" With... Will Rogers, Jr., Jane Wyman, Carl Benton Reid, James Gleason, Mary Wickes, Eddie Cantor. One of few show biz biographies that rings true, with Rogers Jr. faithfully portraying his father, rodeo star turned humorist; Wyman is his loving wife, Cantor appears as himself. 1952. Great story.

In fact, I was flying as a bush pilot in Alaska during the late 60's & I & my co-pilot circled over the exact spot of Point Barrow.... DSC000426.JPG where Will Rogers & Wiley Post lost their lives when their aircraft crashed due to an engine problem on takeoff. I believe I still have my picture of the Memorial taken from the air, but at that time, the statue was leaning quite a bit.

Lights out: 12:23am.
Awake: 5:55am Temp 19 sleep 5+51 snow flurries-off & on overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting & breakfast, I had some extra time this morning so I got my booties out (the booties that I've been wearing over my tennis shoes so far this winter) & added a strip of Duck Tape to cover a few wearing spots.

Then I walked over to the house & checked on yesterday's progress without the workers being there. On my way back, I nearly fell several times due to the slick Duck Tape I had on my booties. So, I thought....maybe some Dental Floss on the bottom of my boot would add some traction & help prevent another spill. 1st I used a quick drying glue on the right bootie..... DSC000420.JPG                         & then a longer curing time epoxy glue on the left bootie. DSC000421.JPG All of our winter boots are in storage & we don't want to buy new merchandise...so this will be a test.

Tonight K & I have been invited to a special birthday party along with members of our KK; this event has been kept a secret & all of us plan to rendezvous @ the Saint Nicholas Hotel...basement party room @ 6:00pm.

K & I usually attend 6:00pm vigil Mass on Saturday to have Sunday free; but on this day we motored to Barnesboro & attended the 4:00pm vigil Mass at Prince of Peace.

The honorable birthday guy had no clue that some (35) Nicktowners were patiently waiting in the basement for his arrival. Meanwhile, his wife & daughters had told Mr. Birthday guy earlier that they wanted to go to the Nicktown Bar & have some pizza & beer tonight.

After taking their seats upstairs, receiving menus & ordering beer, the owner of the hotel asked Birthday Guy if he had ever seen the downstairs area. Since he had not, the owner invited him to follow him & check it out.

When Birthday Guy arrived downstairs, he saw several Nicktowners in the room who appeared to be having a party & he was a little miffed, wondering why he had not been invited.

After a little nudging, Birthday Guy went into the room & was greeted with shouts of, "Surprise!" & the singing of Happy Birthday. Pitchers of beer, soft drinks, salads & several different pizzas were brought in by the restaurant staff to "water" & feed the crowd.

What would a birthday party be without cake? Not to worry, slices of homemade cake were served after everyone had their fill of pizza. A good time was had by all!

Evening movie: "Operation Crossbow" with George Peppard, Sophia Loren, Trevor Howard, Tom Courtenay, Jeremy Kemp, Anthony Quayle, John Mills, etc. Fine "impossible mission" tale of small band of commandos out to destroy Nazi secret missile stronghold during WW2. Sensational ending and the pyrotechnics are dazzling. 1965. Great adventure story. We were most impressed with the attention to detail of the German laboratory & their massive fire power scenes & the true story of a woman who flew, tested & discovered the glitch of the unmanned flying bomb after the failure of (6) tries from men without success.

Lights out: 12:36am.
Awake: 6:26am    Temp 19     sleep 6+40     off & on light snow showers    overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, K & I motored to Barnesboro for (1.5) hrs of exercise. Back on our property, I visited the well drillers who are on their 3rd well so far today; looking closely, you can see all (3) guys working together, pushing the twin tubing (HDPE loop) 180 ft into the bore. DSC000417.JPG The loops are grouted into place to provide the maximum efficiency for energy transfer. They also used several wheelbarrow loads of fine pea-gravel filling up each hole.

Next I visited Bernie the builder & his team on the main floor as they were putting up wall board; here is a green wall board on our vanity-sink wall; green because it is code due to water usage. DSC000418.JPG On my way back to our motorhome, I passed the geo-thermo equipment room & admired the professional work these guys are doing. DSC000419.JPG Dinner tonight was @ the Contres-Greer Social Hall in Spangler where K & I each enjoyed a fish dinner with all the trimmings. We also sat, ate, & chatted with a couple of our KK members making it a livelier outing.

Evening movie: "A Millionaire for Christy" with Fred MacMurray, Eleanor Parker, Richard Carlson, Una Merkel. 1930's-type screwball comedy; fast, unpretentious, very funny, with winning performances by Parker & MacMurray in tale of gold-digging girl out to snare rich husband. 1951. Yes, a little screwball comedy but still entertaining for us seniors.

Lights out: 12:04am.
Awake: 6:43am      Temp 21     sleep 6+53     off & on snow with sunshine     overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, K & I exercised @ the X-Treme workout facility for (1.5) hrs. En-route to our motorhome, we made a stop @ Strollo's Home Center & purchased a (5) ft electrical cord. We also spent some time talking with John, the owner.

Back @ our house, the REA guys were working on the Geo-system & up on the main floor, Bernie's team was putting up wallboard. About 1:13pm, the well drillers arrived onto our circular driveway with (2) supply trucks & the well drilling rig; DSC000410.JPG                                      Here is the supply & water truck. DSC000411.JPG They drove the main drilling rig around back & into the field to begin maneuvering & setting up for drilling the 1st well. Oops, the field was still a little soft & the drilling rig got stuck. A few phone calls later & Dave came to the rescue with the standby bull dozer; DSC000412.JPG                                   Minutes later, the drilling rig was pulled out .... DSC000413.JPG                and in position for the boom to be raised & the drilling process to begin. DSC000414.JPG Around 4:30, the 1st well was finished & the crew left in the smaller supply truck for their respective homes about (30) some miles south. DSC000415.JPG Meanwhile, I spent a good (1.5) hrs shoveling several paths in the snow & getting my water well set up for feeding the motorhome's pure water tank. DSC000416.JPG Dinner: Filled peppers with a cottage cheese salad & toast.

Lights out: 11:44pm.


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