March 2011 Archives

Awake: 5:55am      Temp 12      sleep 6+22       sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, I visited the REA guys to try & learn more about this geothermal system. Actually, they were a little too busy @ this time, so I will be patient & try another time.

Kathy made quite a few phone calls early morning...regarding the granite counter top,& obtaining tile samples.

Late morning, Bernie visited us & invited us to join him after lunch for measurements on faucets, showers & shower heads. DSC000607.JPG Mid afternoon, Kathy made a color change in our master bedroom & when the painters finished, she was delighted.

Meanwhile, I filled a form out for auto pay ...for our electricity. Later, Kathy also called Hans regarding the suspended ceiling tiles.

Late afternoon I called Al's Tire Service & asked Neddie for an update on Kevin's Ford Van. She told me Dave was going to install a new blower motor & then he thinks he will be finished.
Kathy & Melissa made several calls back & forth, mostly talking about the bridal shower in Chicago.

Dinner: Almond topped cod fish, brown rice, mixed salad, & sourdough toast.

Lights out: 11:36pm.
Awake: 7:06am       Temp 18      sleep 7+01       sunny       overnight @ Nicktown.

As soon as the sun shone on our house, I visited & emptied all those de-humidifiers. Kathy then made a hot breakfast: an onion, pepper, mushroom, Canadian bacon, spinach, Gruyere, & Boursin cheese omelet with sour dough toast; which was GREAT!

Later, after the temperature warmed up, Kathy did a laundry load & I refilled our pure water tank. After I finished stowing the hose & portable water filters in M.H.'s basement, Zack Skyped us for a good 1 hr & 27 min. Most of our talk covered the Zack & Katie wedding plans in June. DSC000606.JPG Afterward, Kathy must have made (6) visits to our house pondering on changing or matching colors in our bedroom.

Dinner: leftover Italian sausage, tomatoes, peppers, noodles, & a cottage cheese salad with mandarin orange slices.

Lights out: 11:33pm.
Awake: 6:45am       Temp 12       sleep 6+35      sunny       overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting & breakfast, Kathy motored to the town of Loretta, (9) miles & had Rob cut her hair for the 2nd time. Oh, my gosh, is my favorite customer leaving me for Rob? Hmm. DSC000600.JPG                         I hate to admit it...but Rob does give a good hair cut.

Later, we Skyped Nick & family in Seattle for a good 1 hr, 29 min. A lot of this time was dedicated to his up-to-date renovation plans on his home. Some of you have seen these photos of Nick's plans before so I dare you to find any of the new changes. Use your imagination now; Main floor: Kitchen, dining room, living room, office, bathroom, etc. DSC000598.JPG Outside, directly across the street is a kindergarten thru 8th grade school. Very convenient! DSC000599.JPG                         There are (4) exits on this house; not counting the roof. DSC000601.JPG I could show more photos but one can certainly get the picture. Our tax prep is finally finished & ready for mailing. Mid afternoon, K & I visited our house & I took pictures of all (3) bedrooms & the hex, Guest bed room - cay blue. DSC000602.JPG                                         Another guest bedroom - aloe. DSC000603.JPG                                       Master bedroom - cooled blue. DSC000604.JPG                                              And the hex- bee's wax. DSC000605.JPG Dinner: New England clam chowder, with sourdough bread.

K & I attended 6:00pm vigil Mass & afterward, we patronized the Nicktown bar & each of us had a beer.

Back @ our M. H., I did my duty & emptied all the de-humidifiers before entering our coach.

Late evening, we finished watching the movie: "Waterloo Bridge" with Mae Clarke, Kent Douglass, (Douglass Montgomery), Doris Lloyd, Frederick Kerr, Enid Bennett, Bette Davis, etc. Excellent early-talkie version of the tearjerker romance made famous in its 1940 remake. Clarke delivers an exceptional performance as an American chorus girl in WWI London, and the film has a grittiness (missing from the remake) that lenient pre-Code standards allowed. One of Davis earliest films. 1931. Beautiful love story but a very sad ending.

Lights out: 12:05am.
Awake: 6:16am      Temp 17      sleep 7+05       sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

After the KK meeting & while eating breakfast, we noticed that Steve drove onto our driveway pulling his John Deere Skid Steer on his trailer. Bernie must have called him to do some clean up ground work in front of our house & the back circular driveway. They were both in bad shape & parking, alone, was getting to be a nuisance. DSC000594.JPG Then K & I motored to the Salvage Heaven Antiques in Vinco, PA., about 13 miles one way. DSC000595.JPG We were told about this place last week & curiosity got the best of us. Once inside, it was obvious there is a lot more to this building than meets the eye. There was no pressure to buy from anyone; even the ladies acted like you were not there to spend your money. DSC000596.JPG Some of these gals completely ignored a person but not the nurse, she was down right friendly. DSC000597.JPG Anyway, we could have spent hrs looking @ anything & everything but, the outside temp was burr... cold & inside this building, was not any warmer. Even tho we had our jackets & winter coats on it was too cold to tarry...maybe the month of June will be a better time for a longer look.

From here, we motored about (3) miles & did some more looking & grocery shopping @ the Direct Value Outlet store. Kathy found a number of good things @ a most reasonable price. So that kind of shopping helped to make our cold trip a little warmer.

Back in our M.H., we had crab cakes for dinner, rice with golden raisins, broccoli & toast.

@ 7:00pm, we joined the congregation @ church to participate in the devotion of the Stations of the Cross. Afterward, we along with (2) other Nicktowners, enjoyed a beer @ the Nicktown Bar.

Late evening, we started watching the movie: "Waterloo Bridge." We watched ½.

Lights out: 12:10am.
Awake: 6:20am       Temp 26      sleep 6+43      snow flurries      overnight @ Nicktown.

Our KK meeting room was packed this morning & the discussions & the one on one conversations were equally as busy. This is not a complaint what-so-ever, we like "the more...the merrier" system.

After the meeting, K & I visited out house; the main floor temp was 68 degrees with lots of moisture. The Gyp-Crete was looking whiter & the windows were cracked open a little & all (4) of the De-humidifiers were humming away.

All total, I made (4) visits to the house today; (2) for curiosity purposes on the moisture & fog, (1) to empty the De-humidifiers before dinner & another to empty the water late evening.

This moisture was holding up the painting process as well; Kathy & Carol could not trust their colors & the painters would not paint on moist walls. This photo is from the night before; look closely & you can see the moisture on the French doors. DSC000593.JPG Photo. Dinner: Reuben sandwich with Kettle cooked potato chips.

Lights out: 11:11pm.
Awake: 6:23am    Temp 34     sleep 7+10      periods of rain     overnight @ Nicktown.

Neither of us attended the KK meeting this morning. Kathy was asked to baby sit the (4) boys this morning while Melissa went to the dentist; she left about 8:45am.

Flossie & I are committed to providing good water for the REA guys when they fill up the Geothermal tubing on the main floor. We started a little after 8:00am & finished @ 10:25am. DSC000588.JPG Mid afternoon, I was curious to find out how warm the main floor would be after a few hrs of the geothermal heating the tubing; I was surprised to find out: due to the Gyp-Crete not fully warm or dried up, most of the windows were fogged up with a lot of moisture in the air. My glasses fogged up immediately. Bernie & his crew rounded up as many De-humidifiers as possible.                              (1) in the master bedroom. DSC000589.JPG                                  (1) in the master closet/shower/hallway. DSC000590.JPG                                            (1) in the powder room. DSC000591.JPG                                               & (1) in the guest rooms. DSC000592.JPG Bernie asked me if I could close the windows evening time & empty the De-humidifier's water. "I can do that," I told him. Literally, one could see the Gyp-Crete turning whiter as time went by.

Meanwhile, Kathy did double duty baby sitting today. Nathan has had a persistent, non- productive cough both day & night for the last couple months; he's tough but both he & Melissa are losing valuable sleep. Since Kevin & his sister both have asthma, Melissa feels this may be Nathan's problem also.

She was able to get a Dr's appointment for Nathan this afternoon, so after her dentist app't, she came home, made an early lunch for Nathan & herself & off they went.

Kathy was happy to have Kevin come home for lunch & calculate Matthew's insulin. As Melissa suspected, the doctor concurred that Nathan most likely does have asthma & started him on Zirtek.

Kathy had a fun day with the boys, watching them "create" from junk in the basement, "gofers" for Lego pieces on the 3rd floor, playing a cooperative board game, & reading.

After stopping to fuel up the Suzuki, she returned to the M.H. @ 4:00pm.

Dinner: Tomato soup with oyster crackers & a big mixed salad.

Lights out: 11:37pm.
Awake: 7:34am    Temp 41      sleep 7+23       cloudy       overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, we visited Bernie to let him know that he can call for the entry door, & the inside doors.

Then we both motored to Barnesboro in separate vehicles; Kathy in the Suzuki & me in the Ford Van. Al's Tire service will inspect the van & let me know when I can pick it up next week. Kathy is returning some earlier purchases & still looking for comfortable shoes.

Back in our M.H., Florentz & I talked about when to bring his truck over to our house loaded with the 225 gal container; the geothermal guys are counting on finishing the main floor tomorrow. We agreed to a 4:00pm time frame. Later, Flossie showed up with his truck & container loaded with pure water; DSC000587.JPG then I drove him back to his home.

Kathy's new angel, Carol, visited & the girls spent over an hr carefully studying the wall colors vs. colors in the Sherwin Williams color selector for the rooms painted in our house. Dinner: Beef stew with noodles.

Lights out: 11:22pm.
Awake: 6:23am   Temp 35   sleep 5+56    nighttime rain then sun   overnight @ Nicktown.

We left the KK early to visit Bernie & discuss faucets & showerheads + Kathy gave Bernie a list of color decisions for some of the rooms.

After our breakfast, we motored to the Foote Castle & baby sat for the boys while Melissa & Matthew visited the doctor in Clymer.

After Melissa & Matthew left, all (3) boys wanted to go outside in the sunshine; we also brought Kinley out into the yard to keep her near the family....which she enjoys.

Most of the back yard was still wet & muddy & I hadn't planned on that, but we did alright after all.
                                        Nathan finds a no good old rubber ball. DSC000579.JPG                                 Flat no good ball turns into hat for Nathan. DSC000580.JPG                         Gregory getting introduced to mud in old swimming pool. DSC000581.JPG                            Andrew finds a swing while Gregory watches. DSC000582.JPG After swinger Andrew let go of the branch, he hinted to me that he wanted to go to the 3rd floor, which meant that K & I would be gofers & I like that job.

Sometime after 2:00 pm, Matthew & Melissa returned. I was helping provide Lego parts for an airplane that Andrew was building... DSC000583.JPG .....and along came Matthew. Since my last visit, Matthew or Andrew had made some more autos & trucks but larger in size. DSC000584.JPG                                  The favorite: truck 7942. Who built it? DSC000585.JPG                 & the car carrier or 5th wheel trailer; this unit looks like it was created! DSC000586.JPG Andrew usually builds the units & either gives them to Matthew or takes them apart & works on another. In lieu of Matthew following the directions, he prefers to create something which is not in the book.

Sometime after 3:00pm, we found ourselves outside again & the next door neighbor, Morah, with permission, came over to spend (30) min with the boys. She told us she was a real tomboy & she proved it in less than (10) minutes.

Time was ticking, so close to 4:00 pm, I asked Kathy to watch traffic so I could back their 1984 Ford Van out of the driveway & drive it to Nicktown....which she did.

Tomorrow I will take this van to Al's Tire Service for some maintenance. Kathy had a few stops to make & would return later.

At our M.H., I called Florentz & gave him a heads up on helping the REA guys finish the main floor geothermal connections by adding water & other fluids into the system. Florentz told me he would fill his water tub up tomorrow & bring it to our house about 4:00pm.

Dinner: Cod fish with rice & golden raisins & a salad.

High temp today=68. Lights out: 12:11am.
Awake: 8:02am      Temp 27      sleep 6+48      sunny       overnight @ Nicktown.

Again, when the sun began to hit our house, I opened (21) windows. After our breakfast, K & I motored to Johnstown to check on different tiles in both stores: Lowe's & Home Depot.

                     At Lowe's, Kathy wonders: would this be ok for your fireplace? DSC000573.JPG Kathy fell in love with this.....for our bedroom, until she found out: it's marble. Big $$$. DSC000574.JPG We spent a lot of time in both stores, looking @ granite, porcelain, marble, etc. Decisions, decisions? DSC000575.JPG When we returned from Johnstown, a phone message was waiting for us from Skip (Floyd) & Darlene; local art teachers who have talents that we are eager to explore. We returned their call & invited them over to get to know them better & give them a tour of our house.

Skip prefers to paint on canvas, but Darlene prefers to faux paint on walls & I have a picture in my mind that I would like to have painted.

Upon their arrival, we went directly to the house, talked & brought up my picture idea. Skip was interested in helping, but reiterated that Darlene is the one to paint on walls; all he needs is a picture to begin with. Nice people; we will keep in touch. DSC000576.JPG        Dinner: leftover Italian sausage with onions & peppers & tomatoes + Como toast.

Mid evening, Zack Skyped us. He updated us on the hotel choices available for their wedding & his work as a leading man. DSC000577.JPG                      He also showed us his official degree of "Master of Science." DSC000578.JPG Congratulations to you Zack. Proud parents we are! We are getting excited about your wedding.

Lights out: 12:27am.
Awake: 6:00am       Temp 37      sleep 6+30      sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, Carol arrived to help Kathy with the color decisions in different rooms. She also suggested a different fireplace surround for my basement fireplace. DSC000571.JPG After the sunshine started lighting up our house, I opened (21) windows to help dry the new paint in the basement & to dry the G.C. in the main floor.

Mid afternoon, my 1st cousins, Lou, Tony, & Cy, Cy's wife, Jan, & their married daughter, Trish, & her husband, Brian, visited us.  photo of Jan & Trish with Kathy DSC000572.JPG All except Lou & Tony had driven up from Maryland to check on a few things; Lou drove in from Cleveland, Ohio & Tony drove in from St. Vincent. It was fun showing them around the rooms, the main hex & basement hex, etc. But that Geothermal equipment room distracted us guys so much, I missed out on getting a good photo of the guys.

Dinner: Tuna salad on lettuce.

Late movie: "What ever Happened to Baby Jane?" with Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono, Marjorie Bennett, & Anna Lee. Far-fetched, thoroughly engaging black comedy of two former movie stars; Joan's a cripple at the mercy of demented sister Baby Jane Hudson (Davis). Bette has a field day in her macabre characterization, with Buono a perfect match. Triggered a decade-long spate of older female stars in horror films. 1962. Wow, you won't take a nap watching this horror movie.

Lights out: 1:14am.
Awake: 6:33am Temp 57 sleep 7+25 sunny overnight @ Nicktown. M & M Company & their equipment arrived here about 7:42am. DSC000563.JPG It took them a while to get hooked up as they had a long hose for feeding into the main entry area with extendibility to the south wing 1st, then the north wing, then the hex & then leaving out of the entry way.

This formula of Gyp-Crete requires a lot of water during the pouring process. Here is my cousin Florentz with his (225) gallon container on the bed of the blue truck as a back-up water supply; he ended up using nearly all the water from his container. Our buddy, John, like the rest of us, were seeing this operation for the 1st time ever. DSC000564.JPG Inside the house, (3) guys were coordinating their operation; (1) did the pouring of the Gyp-Crete from the long tube, DSC000565.JPG Another was communicating with the guy outside who controlled the lever to start or stop the flow of the G.C., DSC000566.JPG & the 3rd guy did his best in using the squeegee to keep the G.C. near the top of the sleepers. DSC000567.JPG They officially started the G.C. flowing @ 9:00am & stopped the flowing @ 11:10am. Of course, there were a lot of outside clean-up chores to be done before they drove away.

After the M & M guys left, I topped off our M.H.'s pure water tank while Kathy was re-organizing some of the groceries from our Costco trip on Tuesday. DSC000568.JPG During my water works, I noticed that the crocuses are blooming nearby & the small tulips are pointed toward the sky. Spring is in the air! DSC000569.JPG The boss man with M & M told us before they left, that we could walk gently on the floor by mid day. So....sure enough, Kathy tested it & the floor was solid. DSC000570.JPG Dinner: Tuna salad with chips.

Late afternoon, I closed all the windows in our house so the G.C. would be warm & cozy during the night.

Early evening, we joined the crowd @ the church for the Stations of the Cross.

Lights out: 11:30pm.
Awake: 6:18am     Temp 36     sleep 6+45     sunny     high of 60   overnight @ Nicktown.

During our breakfast, the M & M guys drove into our circular driveway. They are with the company that will be pouring the Gyp-Crete on the main floor either tomorrow or Monday. DSC000558.JPG Then we visited Bernie & asked him about crown molding, doors & window framing, & other molding. He gave us some ideas & then we motored to the town of Cherry Tree, PA (35) min drive & visited the Scalese Millworks Factory to begin picking out baseboard molding, DSC000559.JPG                                 or crown molding, etc... for our house. DSC000560.JPG                      Paula, the sales lady, was very good at what she does.

When we returned to our M.H., we again visited our house & we found out that the pressurized Pex-tubing passed the inspectors air test which allowed the M & M guys to get the OK for pouring the Gyp-Crete tomorrow. DSC000561.JPG Bernie & his team got right into cleaning up any dust or debris that might be laying around. DSC000562.JPG Back @ our M.H., I used a checkless check to pay for our electrical usage from Penelec.

Dinner: Clam chowder with Como toast. It's easy, fast, healthy & tastes great.

Lights out: 11:08pm.

Awake: 5:56am     Temp 34     sleep 7+01     overcast     overnight @ Nicktown.

We left early from the KK meeting this morning to meet with Carol who is helping us with the selections of different color schemes in the basement, hex, halls, garages, etc.

After Kathy & Carol concluded their color consultation, Kathy notified Bernie & he made a phone call to Sherwin-Williams in Ebensburg to stir up the selected paint colors. Early afternoon, the spray painting began.

Mid afternoon, my 1st cousin Cy called from Maryland; he, his wife, brothers, daughter & son-in-law will be visiting Nicktown & would like to have a tour of our grounded airplane on Sunday if possible. "Come on up" I told him.

Dinner: Tuna steaks, broccoli, rice with golden raisins & a salad.

Lights out: 11:33pm.                                     

Awake: 6:11am Temp 27 sleep 6+49 wx? overnight @ Nicktown. We left Nicktown @ 7:12am & drove (93) miles to visit: Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery in Cranberry Township, PA. DSC000548.JPG Jim, the sales man, was terrific. He approached our needs in a very organized, knowledgeable & sensible way. Within the hr, we selected our faucets, shower-heads, & we felt quite comfortable about what we had chosen. DSC000549.JPG Next, only a few miles away, American Olean, where we found quite a huge display of tile: porcelain, ceramic, slate, etc. Kathy took a lot of notes as I shot the photos. Al, the sales guy, answered most of our questions on many of the tiles. DSC000550.JPG Then we motored a few more miles & visited Daltile, also in Cranberry Township. Here Amanda answered all of our questions & also gave us several samples of: porcelain, slate, etc, to take with us. We spent just under an hr with Amanda & she was also very helpful. DSC000551.JPG                   One of our favorite stores: Costco, was next & very close,

so we stocked up on the groceries that are not readily available in our area. We spent way too much time @ Costco &, therefore, we were late for our next appointment which was many miles away. I asked Kathy to give them a cell call so they wouldn't shut the door before we arrived. A lot of traffic didn't help us either but we did arrive @ Blume's Solid Surface Quartz & Granite before closing time.


Our sales lady, Michelle, got our identifying information as well as a copy of our kitchen layout with measurements necessary for fabrication & estimating cost. Then we went outside to examine all the granite slabs (about 75) they had at this time.


Michelle was very informed regarding the origin & geology of the various slabs & most accommodating; when the rain came down; she had several big umbrellas to keep us somewhat dry & a hat & wool scarf to keep me warm.


She also gave us some small pieces of granite of the pattern & color we had expressed an interest in.


Kathy & Michelle will keep in touch. We followed the rain until (5) miles out of Nicktown, then Mother Nature paused while we unloaded our groceries into the M.H. We were home @ 6:11pm.

Dinner: Clam chowder with Como toast.

Later, I joined the Holy Name guys @ their monthly meeting @ the church hall.

When I returned, K & I were beginning to tire.

Lights out: 10:55pm.

Awake: 6:33am     Temp 27     sleep 6+51     Flurries then sunny     overnight @ Nicktown.

After KK, we visited with Bernie & a short visit with the REA guys.

Back in our M.H., Kathy called & made (4) business appointments for tomorrow.

Later, I did some more water work, topping off the M.H.'s pure water tank.

Next, I spent a little more time on tax prep. I also squeezed in a vigorous phone call to my buddy Ray in Ocean Shores, WA.

Dinner: Italian sausage, onions, peppers & tomatoes & Como toast.

Lights out: 11:22pm.                        

Awake: 7:17am      Temp 32      sleep 6+24      cloudy      overnight @ Nicktown.

We stayed up late & slept in this morning. We are seeing a lot of mini movies from Japan of the damage & mass destruction from the Tsunami. Unbelievable! It is so sad.

We watched & watched as these mini movies caught the destructive & powerful (30) ft wave speeding across the land, thru towns, cities, etc .....relentless. We were both somewhat hypnotized!

Mid afternoon, we had to do something else; Kathy was thinking of who she could contact to help her in deciding colors for the house....since I was of little help. She decided on a young woman who for years ran a flower shop here in Nicktown. The call was successful; the lady was available & she showed up within (15) min. Before I knew it, Kathy had Carol & me down in the basement spinning that color chart. DSC000546.JPG Carol was like an angel; what we didn't know was: she demonstrated & sold interior decorations for (19) years & really knew her stuff. We were both so thankful that she had the time off & is really interested in this challenge. Whew! That takes a lot of sleeplessness out of Kathy's nights. DSC000547.JPG Dinner: Mini skillet meat loaf, fried noodles & a salad.

We started watching the movie: "One Way Passage" which unknown to us, was recorded during a rain storm & so the last 1/3rd of this romantic story was unwatchable. Dang it!

Lights out: 11:42pm.

Awake: 6:02am     Temp 24     sleep 6+05      sunny     overnight @ Nicktown.

We cut our KK meeting short this morning & visited the church hall to peruse the book sale & mini community sale activity. Kathy found a couple books of interest that she purchased but, otherwise, even though there were plenty of nice things, I saw nothing that I couldn't do without.

Next, I gave John another tour of our geothermal system & the rest of our basement + the main floor. I still need to get more schooling on this high tech geothermal.

Back in our M.H., we Skyped with Nick & family + a cousin of Eriko:Yuri, who is visiting from Nagoya for a few weeks. During our talk time on Skype, we learned a little more about the earthquake in Japan. Japan usually has so many small earthquakes that it is somewhat of a routine over there.  Our usual Skype time is over an hr, & most of the time, that hr goes fairly fast. But today we questioned Nick, Eriko, & Yuri more about the situation in Japan. They indicated that Nagoya, where Eriko's family & relatives live, was about (170)  miles away from the Tsunami.

Then my brother Don called & we updated each other on his tax season activities & our home building progress. Then my Sister Mary Jo from CA called & we also updated each other on the latest news we can use; Jenny, their daughter, will be joining us @ the wedding of Katie & Zack in Chicago this summer. She & we are happy to know this.

Next, my other sister, Corinne honored us with a call. We also exchanged our latest activity with each other. She continues to enjoy her new residence & job in Pittsburgh. She also plans to visit us during Easter time.

In the meantime, Kathy did (3) loads of laundry & I supplied the extra water necessary. Then K & I attended the vigil Mass @ Nicktown & afterward, paid our respects to the Nicktown bar. Our usual 4-some, Theresa, John, Kathy, & me, was joined by a surprise number of our KK members at our BIG table. That was quite a nice treat.

Back in our M.H., we finished the movie: "Deep Valley" with Ida Lupino, Dane Clark, Wayne Morris, Fay Bainter, etc. Into Lupino's humdrum farm life comes a gangster from a nearby prison camp; first-rate cast in excellent drama. 1947.

Lights out: 12:53am.

Awake: 5:55am       Temp 27      sleep 6+22      snow/rain mix      overnight @ Nicktown.

We skipped the KK meeting this morning & motored to the town of Everett, (78) miles one way, & arrived @ the B. C. Stone Inc. factory @ 10:02 am. DSC000535.JPG We are here to peruse & possibly select a slab of granite for our kitchen counter. After making a copy of the exact dimensions of the counter, including cutouts for sinks, & cook top which Jill had sent us, DSC000536.JPG Sean the sales man, led us into a large attached building. There we found many choices (about 50) of granite slabs to choose from. Sean brought a light along that helped us see the patterns a little better as the light in the room was not very good. DSC000537.JPG These slabs of granite come from all over the world: Brazil, India Africa, Italy, Russia, etc. They have names such as on this slab....but what does it mean? DSC000538.JPG We actually walked the display area twice to make sure the slab (s) Kathy selected were ones she really wanted to consider. Sean gave us actual pieces of the granite we were considering & will work up quotes for them. DSC000539.JPG Before we left the grounds, we toured the outside slab remnants in the back & side of the building. DSC000540.JPG                              Next we traveled to downtown Everett, DSC000541.JPG ...& explored a little, deciding to visit the famous renovated Union Hotel, (Circa 1802). DSC000542.JPG After getting permission to do a self tour, we took advantage of roaming around between meal time with little activity. Feast your eyes on this recreated bathroom, most likely done by the B.C. Company Stone works. DSC000543.JPG The lower bar has (12) different beers on tap. Too bad we are a little early for the sampling. DSC000544.JPG When returning to Nicktown, we went straight to the house & checked on today's progress: our master bedroom now has the tubing stapled down for Geothermal and thru the hallway to the closets, shower, & tub. I'm only showing the passing of the closets & leading to the corner tub to illustrate the bending & curves these guys do. DSC000545.JPG Only the hex still needs the geothermal tubing.

Dinner: New England clam chowder with Como toast & a spinach salad with Mandarin orange slices.

Late move: "Deep Valley." We watched ½.

Lights out: 11:57 pm.
Awake: 5:48am      Temp 36      sleep 6+35 & on      overnight @ Nicktown.

I skipped the KK meeting this morning to meet up with the REA guys...but Kathy attended for us. Later, I found out that the REA guys called in & canceled their morning visit but will visit noon time.

After Kathy finished her breakfast, she motored to Carrolltown for her appointment with the Doctor @ 10:30am. During a lull in the rain, I topped off the M.H. pure water tank.

Kathy returned around 1:00pm. Turns out, REA guys canceled. After the workers left for the day, Kathy & I visited the house & she started talking about colors; "I know very little about matching colors" I told her. "Soon," she told me, "we definitely have to have ideas on colors." So before dinner, I sat down & started to get familiar with blending of colors. DSC000534.JPG Dinner: leftover balsamic chicken, spaghetti with creamy red pepper sauce & a spinach salad.
Lights out: 11:33pm.
Awake: 5:44am      Temp 27     sleep 6+55    rain....later small hail with snow   overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I motored to Carrolltown where Kathy had some blood work done & then we returned to Nicktown to attend the 8:00 am Ash Wednesday Mass & ash distribution.

Afterward, we ate breakfast & then motored to Indiana, PA & spent over an hr @ the Lentz Kitchen & Bath on Water Street. Scott was very helpful & has (17) yrs of experience working with granite for kitchens, tile for bathrooms, sink faucets, etc. DSC000524.JPG From here, we motored across town & spent over an hr @ the Goodwill thrift store where Kathy & I searched for suitable shoes for her travels in April.

Next, we visited the Foote Castle & did a terrific job of baby sitting the (4) boys while pregnant Melissa had an ultrasound @ the doctors's office. The boys haven't seen me for awhile so the 1st thing they asked me to do was to read them a book. DSC000525.JPG After Kathy served them their lunch, we all went up to the 3rd floor where the action with Legos is on-going. Kathy & I, as gofers, did our best trying to keep up with the demands for certain parts, mostly small & difficult to find. Here is Kathy with Nathan. DSC000526.JPG                    And here is a small collection of the miniatures they put together. DSC000527.JPG Attention please: I could use a little better lighting system to find these tiny parts. DSC000528.JPG Matthew made this truck especially for Gregory who keeps himself busy by pushing a lot of the cars & trucks around the room while making motor noises. DSC000529.JPG                                 Here is Matthew's special submarine. DSC000530.JPG We are very impressed with how well the boys work with each other & enjoy what they are making. Here is Matthew helping Andrew after my big foot knocked Andrew's house down. Nobody got angry or yelled; they just got back to the business of re-building. DSC000531.JPG When Melissa returned, she reported: all is well. It was a pleasure seeing the boys again & spending some time with them.

Back on our property, we headed right into our house to see the progress on laying the tubing on the main floor wings. Here is the hallway leading to the North wing. Hey, who is that sneaking a peek? DSC000532.JPG                               This is one of the bedrooms in the North wing. DSC000553.JPG Next, we motored to Spangler & had a fish dinner @ the Contres-Greer Social Hall where we enjoyed eating & talking with some Nicktown people from our neighborhood.

Lights out: 11:13pm.
Awake: 6:21am      Temp 22      sleep 6+52      mostly sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, K & I visited Bernie & the workers in the house; they are putting sleepers on the floor in both wings. Sleepers are strips of wood (1) inch square which are fastened by glue & nails. DSC000516.JPG Later the geo-thermo tubing will run alongside the sleeper which will help keep the floor level while pouring the gyp concrete. Our house was busy today as the 84-Lumber guys came in with their truck & shot cellulose insulation (cut-up) shredded newspaper in the attic to further insulate the ceiling. DSC000515.JPG Next K & I motored to Milliken Milwork, Inc in the town of Sidman, PA.,about (32) miles one way. We were looking for inside doors & Randy showed us the options we had with the Jeld Wen company. DSC000517.JPG                 Some of these doors we are interested in; Kathy really likes this one. DSC000518.JPG     Next we asked Randy if we could have a factory tour; "not a problem" he responded. DSC000520.JPG Then we found out that the door skins are made in Australia, sent to Jeld Wen in Oregon where the doors are assembled & then sent to Millikin for finishing with frames, glass, etc.Talk about a run-around! Here we have a loaded stock ready for people like us. DSC000521.JPG Just before our tour of the factory began, we met Dan, from Nicktown, who has worked for Milliken for about 3 yrs & enjoys it. DSC000522.JPG                 On our return to Nicktown, we stopped @ Sherwin -Williams store, DSC000523.JPG for paint color samples. Then to Wal-Mart for groceries & West End Market for more groceries, a stop to refuel the Suzuki & a stop along the way to pay for our Real-Estate Taxes.

Dinner: Bacon mushroom burger with smothered onions on an English muffin & spicy roasted broccoli; yummy good.

Lights out: 10:49pm.

Awake: 6:11am     Temp 15     sleep 6+45     sun-melting snow     overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, K & I visited Bernie & his team of workers; today they are spraying the wings of the Hex with primer. They hope to be done with those wings today.

I spent most of my time on tax stuff & wrote out some checks. Kathy was busy on her Apple computer perusing different types of Granite, marble, etc. So many choices, so little time!

Dinner: Balsamic chicken with sauteed spinach & fried noodles.

Lights out: 11:29pm.

Awake: 5:10am    Temp 42     sleep 5+ 14    rain-hail, & 4 inches of snow    overnight @ Nicktown.

After my coffee, I motored to the church hall, arriving @ 7:10am, & assisted Barry in making his rigatoni for the people arriving shortly after noon for the Gun Bonanza today. I had a conflict with scheduling another engagement & so I had to leave my post shortly before the taste trial was announced, but I heard later, it was super delicious, as was all the other food the Holy Name guys made for this special occasion.

The remainder of the day was not suitable for outdoor play so after a dinner of: pulled pork with chips & Como toast, we watched the movie: "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" with Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, Fionnula Flanagan, Ashley Judd, Maggie Smith, Shirley Knight, James Garner etc. Three lifelong female friends who made a blood pact of sisterhood as young girls in Louisiana try to reconcile the most eccentric and mercurial of their trio (Burstyn) with her grown-up daughter (Bullock). In flashbacks, we learn the reasons for the mother's erratic behavior, rooted in her childhood and beyond. (She's played as a young woman by Judd.) Begins as comedy, then grows much darker. 2002.

A little goofy @ times but I suppose some women could easily act that way....occasionally.

Lights out: 11:26pm.

Awake: 5:55am        Temp 39        sleep 5+24        rain overnight       @ Nicktown.

My buddy Charlie joined us in church for Mass this morning &, afterward, both he & Florentz came over to our KK in the social room & helped celebrated Dave's 77th birthday. Back in our M.H., Nick Skyped us for (1) hr & (6) min. He & Jerry were early birds this morning, DSC000511.JPG           so we had close to (45) min until Momoko woke up with smiles along with Eriko. DSC000512.JPG    Here are some great shots of their anticipated renovated home. 1st, as it stands today. DSC000513.JPG                             Then after the repair & improvements take place. DSC000514.JPG Mid afternoon, I continued going through some more tax papers & spent some time on my Dell computer.

Then K & I attended 6:00pm vigil Mass &, afterward, Theresa, John, Kathy & I had a small pizza (very delicious) with our beer. It was a good evening to just sit at the bar & talk with the other folks doing about the same thing we have been doing. John knows a lot of people around town & in the outskirts & has introduced us to many; we are enjoying widening our acquaintances.

Back in our M.H., we finished the movie: "Star" with Bette Davis, Sterling Hayden, Natalie Wood, Warner Anderson, etc. An Oscar-winning actress tries to deal with the fact that her career is over, her money is gone, and she must find some way to put her life together. Modest film, shot on locations all around L.A., has many moments of truth (and a typically compelling performance by Davis) to make up for its excesses. 1952. Interesting story.

Lights out: 11:56pm.
Awake: 7:53am      Temp 25       sleep 8+20      partly sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our breakfast, we skipped the KK meeting & motored to Ebensburg where we spent (1.5) hrs @ C & L Installers; looking @ porcelain, ceramic, marble, & granite tiles. Chuck was very patient with us & had more tiles displayed in his shop than we had imagined. DSC000510.JPG We left him a print of our home so he could add things up & give us a ballpark figure quote.

Back @ our M.H., I topped off our pure water tank, & then K & I attended the 1st Friday Mass for seniors & the sick.

Dinner: Tuna & noodle casserole, mixed salad & Como toast.

Late evening movie: "Star." We watched 1/4th.

Lights out: 11:29pm.

Awake: 6:25am     Temp 4     sleep 6+65     sunny & cool     overnight @ Nicktown.

After our breakfast, Bernie, the builder, called us again to "come on over" in our spare time, & check out both fireplaces. In the meantime, I concentrated on getting some more tax prep done.

Mid morning, Kathy made a call to C & L Installers in Ebensburg to look over some tile, granite to be exact. She left a message & we waited but no return call.

We did bundle ourselves up later & checked out both fireplaces. I had my camera but didn't consider a photo.

Dinner: Turkey meat loaf, Caesar salad, broccoli & stewed tomatoes with toast.

Lights out: 11:33pm.

Awake: 5:55am Temp 23 sleep 5+53 sunny overnight @ Nicktown. This morning we visited the house before breakfast; just our curiosity about the slight changes for the fireplaces. DSC000507.JPG Later, Kathy motored to the Dentist in Barnesboro; the fix for her broken tooth was no fix. The tooth broke off of a porcelain filling &, short of making a new crown, nothing needed to be done since Kathy had no pain & the filling was intact.

After looking @ the forecasted weather, & after my breakfast, I decided to bring more water into our pure water tank so Kathy can do a load of laundry. Along with the laundry project, Kathy started to give our motorhome a good cleaning & vacuuming the event Charlie's gang wanted to tour our M.H also. I tried to dissuade her on that idea but she was determined.

Charlie, Lorraine, John, Dave, Donna & Tyler all arrived within the appointed time frame. Unfortunately, the workers are still in the stage of smoothing the wallboard both upstairs & downstairs, so the dust was plentiful. This room had the least dust & the most charming people. DSC000508.JPG                  Without clocking the time, I believe the house tour lasted over an hr.

Next, Kathy was right....they also wanted a tour of our M.H. That took about (25) min.

Then, we all motored to the Blue Goose restaurant for food & drink. K & I each had a cod fish sandwich...which was good; the others also enjoyed large portions of the various foods ordered. We had a lot to talk about on many issues & really enjoyed seeing them again.


Lights out: 11:29pm.

Awake: 7:06am       Temp 17       sleep 7+40       sunny       overnight @ Nicktown.

Bernie, the builder, knocked on our door before breakfast; he wanted us to visit them & make some decisions before noon time; we agreed to a visit before noon.

After Bernie left, Kathy found a section of her right upper bicuspid broken off. She got right on the phone & made a dentist appointment for 10:30am tomorrow.

After breakfast, we both visited Bernie to make some decisions on both fireplaces. Later Kathy met the Book-Mobile in Nicktown & then motored to the Foote Castle to baby-sit while Melissa took Gregory to the doctor for a checkup. Meanwhile, I started organizing our file cabinet to get prepared for tax season. DSC000505.JPG  During this time, I was called to the house (3) times by the hi-tech guys...for decision making. DSC000506.JPG I also had a call from my high school pal, Charlie, who is visiting his 96 yr old mother for a week. He wanted to know if he could have a tour tomorrow & bring his sister, brother, etc along & afterward, have a beer & some food. "Yes!" I told him & "could you come up by 4:00pm." He agreed.

Our forwarded mail came yesterday but I waited until this afternoon & fed some of those tax papers right into the tax program.

Kathy returned around 5:00 from her baby sitting. Kathy reported having had a good time reading to Matthew, Andrew, & Nathan & spending a couple hours on the 3rd floor being the go-for for Lego pieces as the boys requested.

The (3) older boys are definitely getting along better; less fighting, more cooperation. When Melissa was present, Matthew was busy making peanut butter cookies for the college students. He made the batter himself as well as forming the cookies; Melissa did assist with the oven part.

Before Kathy left, he gave her a cookie for each of us; they were very good. Dinner: spaghetti with creamy red pepper sauce, spinach salad & Como toast.

Lights out: 11:59pm.
Awake: 6:20am    Temp 51    sleep 5+31    TRW's-waves of heavy rain  overnight @ Nicktown.

After our breakfast, we visited builder Bernie & I made a change on the basement fireplace in my favor; then Kathy & Bernie worked out some measurements for a hung TV above the fireplace in the main floor hex.

Due to heavy rain & wind, we stayed indoors until 4:20pm, & then we motored to Loretto, PA, where Kathy got a haircut from Rob, a stylist.

This is the 1st time Kathy had somebody else cut her hair since 2005. Her Nicktown pals highly recommended Rob; could this be the end to my masterful hair cutting days?

The start of the process & perhaps the downfall of the most honorable & scariest job I've ever had? DSC000499.JPG                    After a thorough hair washing....Rob starts the combing process. DSC000500.JPG I was watching every move Rob I could prove to Kathy: I can do this styling too! DSC000501.JPG                      Oh, I get it! The layering is doubly the hair lays better. DSC000502.JPG           Oh my gosh! Her haircut is looking good; what if I can't keep up with this guy? DSC000503.JPG Wow! unbelievable!! I am doomed. He did all of this within 20 min. I'll need more practice. DSC000504.JPG When the show was over, we patronized Wal-Mart for some needed groceries, & then returned to Nicktown.

Dinner: Kathy's split pea soup, Rubin sandwich & chips.

We finished the movie: "The Mortal Storm" with Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Robert Young, Frank Morgan, Robert Stack, etc. Nazi takeover in Germany splits family, ruins life of father, professor Morgan; Stewart tries to leave country with professor's daughter (Sullavan). 1940. Another great story.

Lights out: 11:26pm.
Awake: 7:00am       Temp 32      sleep 5+38      overcast       overnight @ Nicktown.

After our breakfast, we Skyped Nick & family for over an hr, talking & watching & enjoying his family thoroughly. Jerry started out by showing us his Spiderman Castle. Hey...nice! DSC000497.JPG About the same time, curious Momoko came along & insisted to be on Nick's lap. She has been very friendly now with lots of smiles & watches us like we are part of the: "out there somewhere family."

A lot of our talk focused on Nick & Eriko's home make-over. This time, there may even be a plan for a sun-deck on the roof. Left side of photo.  DSC000498.JPG After our Skype session, K & I exercised for (1.5) hrs in the Community Center in Nicktown.

Afterward, Kathy cut my hair in the basement of our garage; nice & warm & there were brooms available for cleaning up the massive pile of hair.

Dinner: Pork chops drowned in milk, sautéed apple slices, spinach salad, and toast.

Evening time: we watched the 83rd Oscars for a good (2) hrs.

Late evening, Katrina called on her way to church & again on her way home from church. We actually learned from Nick that Katrina had pneumonia. She did go to the Dr. & was on an antibiotic, but she still sounded quite nasally & she was frustrated because she continues to go in & out of laryngitis, which is not good for teaching. Katrina was also concerned about her roommate situation or lack of since both of her current roommates are getting married this summer & moving out; a new roommate search is underway.

Lights out: 12:49am.
Awake: 6:02am      Temp 25       sleep 6+35      sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

During our KK meeting today Theresa, Kathy & I began talking about motoring to Indiana, PA to attend (3) talks being given by Scott Hahn @ St. Bernard Catholic church.

When we finally decided to: "let's do it" we had to hustle. K & I had a small & quick breakfast before Theresa picked us up. As we walked to her car, another person was sitting in the front seat; by's the Principal of the Northern Cambria Catholic School here in Nicktown. She too, was planning on driving but couldn't get her frozen car doors to open. We arrived about (10) min before Dr. Hahn began his introduction & lucked out by finding a close pew in front of the speaker.
                 Look closely & you can see Sister Lee & Theresa on left front pew. DSC000493.JPG Scott is a contemporary author, theologian, & Catholic apologist. He has written many books & currently teaches at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. Hahn started out as a Presbyterian minister & theologian with years of ministry experience.

As a young theologian, he was convinced that the Catholic Church was wrong & bragged about converting people from Catholicism to Presbyterianism. In Hahn's first talk, based on his book, "The Lamb's Supper: the Mass as Heaven on Earth," he illustrated how the Book of Revelations was really a fulfillment of the Old Testament and how the Eucharist is the harbinger of supernatural drama described by the Book of Revelations. He wants all to know that the Mass, every Mass, is "heaven on earth." Hahn brings Catholic ritual tradition & scriptural study together. At the end of his first talk, he apologized for speaking for (2) hours, but he was so dynamic & interesting that few of us realized how long he had spoken. DSC000494.JPG He also spoke of his conversion which began when he & his wife became convinced that contraception was contrary to God's law. He continued to do research on what he saw as the key to the Bible; the covenant. This is a sacred kinship bond that brought people into a family relationship. He saw the use of family language in the Bible as covenants made by God & then by Jesus to describe the work of salvation & bring all into a worldwide family with God as Father, Jesus as Son, heaven as a marriage feast, the Church as the spouse of God, & Christians as children of God.

He came to see this new family as headed by Christ & the Pope as the prime minister. He wrote of this extensively in "Rome, Sweet Home." Although he fought conversion for many years, he did convert to Catholicism at Easter 1986 in Milwaukee, WI. His wife also fought conversion, but did convert at Easter, 1990 in Joliet, IL. He & his wife are now responsible for the conversion of many Protestant ministers & theologians to Catholicism. Hahn has been speaking as a Catholic for over (25) yrs & has over (40) books to his credit. . Exhibit "A,B,C. DSC000495.JPG His next speaking engagements will be Appleton, Wisconsin, Saint Louis, MO, Denver, CO, Canton, Ohio, etc.

In the basement, most attendees brought a bag lunch but we had little time for that, so Theresa & Sr. Lee motored into town & brought some Sub sandwiches to share. During lunch, Scott was busy selling & signing books in the far corner.  DSC000496.JPG His 2nd & 3rd speaking sessions were shorter but nearly as amazing as the 1st. Standing ovations for Scott Hahn were most highly appropriate.

Back in Nicktown, & with our halos polished, K & I attended 6:00pm Mass. Afterward, beer & some good discussions were had with John, Theresa, Kathy & me.

Back in our M.H. we finished watching: "The Coal Miners Daughter" with Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones, Beverly D'Angelo, Levon Helm, Phyllis Boyens, etc. Rages-to-riches story of country singer Loretta Lynn is among the best musical bios ever made, though final quarter does slide over some "down side" details. Spacek won well-deserved Oscar (and did her own singing). 1980. Great story.

The evening was young & Kathy was so awake, we choose another movie: "The Mortal Storm." We watched about 1/4th. Someone wasn't as awake as she thought?

Lights out: 1:22am.


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