June 2011 Archives

Awake: 5:58am      Temp 61       sleep 5+23       sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, some of us looked @ the new carpet our Nicktown Church had laid in the last days; it looks good & hopefully will last a long time.

After our late breakfast, we motored to the Foote Castle to spend some more time with Katrina + playing with the Foote boys. Upon entering the Foote Castle, 1st we got by the guard dog, "Kinley," by rubbing her head, neck, forehead, etc. DSC000895.JPG          Then just around the corner, I saw a monkey climbing the wall without a ladder. DSC000896.JPG                    Then I went outside to see another creature high up in the tree: DSC000898.JPG What's going on here? The dog is in the pen, a loose monkey in the house & a strange creature in the tree? DSC000897.JPG Actually, this is quite normal for the Foote family. They are simply having a good time when they can. DSC000899.JPG                       Nathan is up to something....maybe we will find out soon. DSC000900.JPG                       Hey, we had a backyard picnic in honor of Katrina's visit. DSC000901.JPG              
That photo excluded the camera man...so let's get that guy in the picture. DSC000902.JPG                                               Now, that's better.

After the scrumptious hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries, strawberry's, etc, by Master cook, Kevin, I was invited to spend some more time in the workshop unsoldering & getting more electrical parts to add to Matthew's bulging hidden chest. DSC000903.JPG                                        Where did we get the parts from? DSC000904.JPG                                   From a number of faulty circuit boards.

About 2:20 pm, Katrina got herself organized to leave & catch the 6:00pm flight back to Denver. She had a rental car to gas up & return before checking in so it was time to say our goodbyes; we thanked her for the visit & the dinner treat last evening & wished her a save & comfortable trip.

We also thanked Kevin & Melissa for the outdoor picnic treat.... & we invited them to join us tomorrow for another "Big Burn" in our back yard.

Next, we attended the 4:00pm Mass @ St. Thomas More church just a few miles from the Foote Castle.

Back in our M. H., we started to watch the movie: "His Girl Friday" but someone lost interest
before too long...so it was lights out: 12:15am.
Awake: 7:11am       Temp 57       sleep 7+21      cloudy      overnight @ Nicktown.

Verizon called: someone will be coming in (15) min to change the phone system over to our house; was the message.

Jerry was somewhat confused when he discovered phone lines leading to other places, like the campsites; but that mystery was eventually figured out & he did a good job running the phone line over to the house. DSC000887.JPG From there, the workers had to bore another hole thru the cement wall & run the phone line into the garage. Next, we had a cell phone call from John, the delivery guy who was bringing our American Standard toilets today. He cautioned us that his trailer is a very long one so he was quite concerned about getting stuck in the mud when turning around. We assured him that our field is dry & has been heavily packed down. Oh gosh, what's that coming down St. Paul Street? DSC000888.JPG How can he make the sharp turns when delivering to crowded cities? Kathy approached the driver so to give him some options on parking. DSC000889.JPG But John decided to do his own thing & park his way; he tested the field & found it to be alright. DSC000890.JPG   Our delivery consisted of (4) American Standard toilets; (3) upstairs & (1) downstairs. DSC000891.JPG Katrina arrived while K & I were selecting options on dimming switches with Bob...but we took a break to introduce her to some of the house building team. Afterward, we gave her an updated tour, starting with the main floor. Hmmm, do you think she likes the corner bath? DSC000892.JPG                                         Jack & Jill bedrooms! Well maybe. DSC000893.JPG Anyway, we spent a little time in our motorhome, having a few snacks & then, using both cars, motored to Indiana, PA & the (3) of us had dinner @ Benjamin's on Philadelphia Ave.

This was Katrina's treat for a combined Father's Day, Mother's Day, my birthday & Kathy's birthday & such a nice treat it was! I had a dinner of tilapia fish with artichokes, potatoes, yam, bread & wine.

Kathy & Katrina shared (1/2 & 1/2) a tilapia dinner & a chicken dinner. Not only was the food delicious & the company wonderful, but our seating area was tree covered with just a few streams of sunlight to keep the area lit up & pleasant. DSC000894.JPG Thank you, thank you Katrina. That was a very thoughtful & pleasing gesture for your parents.

From here, we stopped @ the Foote Castle & had at least (2.5) hrs of adult talk without any of the boys waking up. That was also a delightful & rare occurrence. Oh, what a good day it was!
Then we motored back to Nicktown & turned the M.H.'s lights off @:12:35am.
Awake: 7:25am Temp 59 sleep 7+53 off & on rain overnight @ Nicktown. Mid morning, the Blume's truck arrived. DSC000881.JPG Kathy was not satisfied with the granite work that the guys did on Friday, 27 May, so the company sent Mike to check it out. He has all the equipment in the mobile workshop to fix or redo a lot of flaws but, DSC000882.JPG after a reasonable time passed, Kathy wandered over to the house & found that Mike was trying to mix some blue into the granite that would make it look OK. DSC000883.JPG Later, Mike had to admit: it's not fixable. They must find a piece of granite to match & do it right.

Katrina called to let us know that she would like to come over tomorrow. "That will be great!" we told her.

Meanwhile, Kathy ordered a pedestal sink for the powder room; we already have faucets.

Before motoring to the Foote Castle, I called Newell & reserved a spot for maintenance in July.

At the Foote Castle, I spent a good deal of time with Matthew in the basement workshop: "unsoldering" electronic parts from circuit boards & discussing them & transformers. DSC000884.JPG                                      Kathy played cars & trains with Gregory. DSC000885.JPG            Here is Katrina coloring with Andrew, who loves to color & is quite good at it. DSC000886.JPG We each had a grilled cheese sandwich while the boys had their late afternoon snack & then we scooted to Wal-Mart for groceries before heading back to Nicktown & before the heavy rain caught up to us.

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

Lights out:11:40pm.
Awake: 6:20am I was definitely not feeling peppy; however I tried not to be a wimp about it.

Corinne invited us to join her for 8:00am Mass this morning & how could we refuse: less than (50) ft away. Afterwards, we had some breakfast & then said our thanks to Corinne for being so flexible & casual with the use of her car, our overnight stay, etc. She has things to catch up on now & so do we, so we left her house around 9:40am & headed to Ferguson: the Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery in Cranberry Township, PA. DSC000873.JPG We had several faucet items that our plumber could not use & Jim told us: "bring them back & we'll refund your money"....so we did. Before we go into the building, Kathy brushed the dust off the boxes. DSC000874.JPG We considered purchasing some medicine cabinets, mirrors, a pedestal sink & a few other items...with the refunded monies. DSC000875.JPG But, like many occasions before, we wanted more time to compare costs on these items before making a decision. DSC000876.JPG Next, we motored to Costco, topped off the Suzuki's fuel tank & then scrutinized the TV's, cameras, watches & then grocery shopped. One thing I wanted to buy while we were there was a watch; I even had Kathy's assistance in finding the right, comfortable, & well made watch....because, it's for her birthday. How about that!

We returned to Nicktown @ 4:20pm; unloaded our perishable groceries & then walked thru the house to see what progress the construction & tile teams had made.

                                          Outside & inside handles on doors; DSC000877.JPG                                  My bathroom & shower in the basement. DSC000878.JPG                                                     The corner tub. DSC000879.JPG                               And brick, lots of brick laying on the platforms. DSC000880.JPG It was great fun to be at the wedding, etc, but it's still nice to come home.

Dinner:Tuna salad, bread & big, fresh strawberries.

Lights out: 11:22pm.
Awake: 4:30am. K & I snuck out of our room & went down to get some coffee; we were a little early for coffee but we said our "goodbyes & safe travels" to Mary Jo & Ed who were surprised to see us in the lobby as they headed out for the airport; then a few min later, we hugged the Foote family members & said our "goodbyes & safe travels" to them as they loaded into their mini van for their trip back to PA.

We had a short time to walk on the treadmill & then, some coffee. About 5:30am, Katrina was awake & packing & so was Corinne. Just before 6:00am, the car was loaded with suitcases, my brother's suit clothes, presents from Zack & Katie, leftover pizza, Kathy muffins, apples, pretzels, rice cakes, etc. DSC000871.JPG We left the Hyatt just before 6:00am central time. Traffic was moving fast with no slow downs that we were aware of, so, as planned, we missed the early rush hour.

I drove for the 1st (2) hrs or better & then we stopped for fuel & a snack @ Fallen Timbers, Swanton, Ohio. Then Corinne drove for the next several hrs & then I took the wheel again; stopping @ Pittsburgh International Airport to leave Katrina off to get a rental car as she planned to visit for (4) days & wanted wheels.

We arrived @ Corinne's house around 2:45pm. After trans-loading our baggage & stuff, to the Suzuki, Corinne gave us a tour of her office DSC000872.JPG                              & introduced us to several workers & Fr. Bob.

Around 6:00pm, Katrina arrived driving her rental car. The reason she was late, she realized that when turning the car back in around 5-6 pm would cost extra & she didn't want to do that, so she waited @ the terminal for (3) hrs.

Meanwhile, Corinne suggested we go out for dinner @ Di Pietro's Italian Ristorante a few blocks away & when Katrina arrived, we all agreed.

Dinner was great: Kathy & Katrina shared a salad topped with chicken strips, French fry's, & dressing. I had a cod fish sandwich, salad & wedding soup. Corinne had a plate of chicken wings with dipping sauce. After dinner, Katrina headed to Indiana, PA & the Foote Castle for the night.

When we returned to Corinne's house, we were introduced to Sr. Sarah, Corinne's housemate, who had returned from work. We appreciated that she had gotten our beds ready for us while we were gone. After about 20 minutes of visiting, we were all getting tired, especially me; I think I was catching some kind of bug... oh no!

Lights out: 9:35pm.
Awake: 6:12am   K & I sneaked out of our room & let Katrina sleep; it's not that Katrina sleeps long, she mostly stays out or up longer than we do.

We had a light breakfast & talked or/and saw many people from the wedding party who are leaving for home or going sight seeing in Chicago.

The wedding party is not over yet; we have an invitation & it goes like this: After the "I do's" have been said - once Katie & Zack are happily wed - drop by for lunch to let them know - you wish then well before they go! BBQ 11:11am @ Chuck & Ruth's home.

But before I go to the B-B-Q, I had to return my tux to the Mens Wearhouse in Wheaton, IL. Fortunately, my brother Don came to the rescue & drove me & the Tux to its proper owners. Back @ the Hyatt, we were running a little late for the B-B-Q, but 1st, look up in the sky, it's a bird, no....it's a plane, no...what or who is that? DSC000865.JPG If that scene was too difficult to see, I'll get my (10) power binoculars working. Now then, is that a little better? Why, that's the Foote family. DSC000866.JPG              Now we are at Ruth & Chuck's home, in the back yard; family & friends. DSC000867.JPG More family & friends. Lots of conversations, stories, jokes,& some politics; and from the kitchen, the girls & guys keep bringing out the delicious homemade food that one cannot refuse. DSC000868.JPG        Hey look: Momoko & Gregory are pointing at Chuck & Zack. What are they doing?DSC000869.JPG Why they are putting up the trampoline.something for everyone at the Ruth & Chuck estate. DSC000870.JPG Another beautiful day for us to continue celebrating with Katie & Zack. We thanked them & Ruth & Chuck plus Denis for such good goodies, libation, etc. Another great day. Back at the Hyatt & mid evening, I asked Kathy, Corinne & Katrina to pack their suitcases as best they could tonight so we could get an early start tomorrow. We wanted to beat the early rush hour.
Lights out: sometime around 9:30pm.
Awake: 6:24am    We tip-toed out of our room & left Katrina sleeping; read some of the newspaper while having coffee & then Kathy left with Melissa, Kevin, & the boys for 7:30 Mass @ St. James church in Glen Ellyn, Il.

During my newspaper reading, Jodi, from Memphis, walked over & handed me a bag with (3) bottles of Rendezvous Bar-B-Q sauce from my favorite Memphis restaurant. I asked why she brought them & Jodi answered, "Because Kathy asked me to!" How nice.

After Mass, Kevin dropped Kathy & Melissa off @ Katie's parents' house where a beautician was coming to style the hair of Katie, the bridesmaids, & the mother of the groom.

My role after Kathy left: look after Momoko so Nick could get Jerry & he dressed in their tuxes.

This was today's itinerary for the bridesmaids, groomsmen/ushers, parents, etc. Early - eat breakfast at hotel. 9:00am - (Zack, Justin, Jeff, Nick) hair cuts & shave for those who wanted it. For the 1st time ever, I had a razor shave with hot towels. It was a little scary for me but Reggie was confident that he had lots of experience & I would be fine.

11:00am - Begin to dress, possible photo op of us whipping each other in our boxers. 12:45pm - Erika drives Zack to lake Ellyn to meet Katie for early photos. 1:30pm - Limo arrives to pickup groomsmen and ushers. 2:00pm - all groomsmen/ushers should arrive at church (and parents should probably too).

2:00pm - Eat some non-messy sandwiches so we're not starving.

2:45pm - line up for ceremony. 3:00pm - ceremony begins. Melissa walks down the aisle DSC000854.JPG                                    Katrina walks down the aisle DSC000855.JPG                              He is not losing a daughter, he's gaining a son. DSC000857.JPG              Eriko sang a very beautiful song called Tapestry. Such an exquisite voice! DSC000858.JPG 3:30pm - ceremony ends. 4:00pm - formal pictures in the church with all groomsmen/ushers/parents/etc. DSC000860.JPG 4:30pm - bridal party departs for Cantigny gardens in limo (including Katie/Zack). 4:30pm - Chuck drives Chevelle to Cantigny gardens. 5:15pm - bridal party departs to reception in limo (excluding Katie/Zack). 5:45 - 6pm - Zack & Katie arrive at reception in Chevelle.

6:15ish - Introduction of parents and bridal party and the bride & groom, Katie & Zack. Chuck toasted the newly weds & champagne was sipped. Then, using the microphone, I gave a short spiel of some of Zack's earlier life as a boy & a teen.

The wedding reception was running late so I had to cut my routine a little short, which was a perfect introduction for Nick, the best man to follow with his remarks & toast + more champagne sipping. Within min after Nick's toast, the wine was distributed & the guests started clinking their spoons against their glasses for Katie & Zack to kiss, which they did many times. Later, I caught the bride & groom on the dance floor. DSC000861.JPG Such a well planned wedding & celebration; I was so distracted that my usual photo skills were left on the table; good thing someone else took advantage of my Sony. Here we have Nick & Eriko each dancing with their children. DSC000862.JPG                                 Friends & family....oh, also Kathy & I. DSC000863.JPG                                               And a little more family. DSC000864.JPG We stayed until the 2nd to last shuttle was boarding; I didn't want to leave, after all, wedding receptions like this one don't happen very often.

Oh yes, the food, wine, desert, music, etc were all scrumptious. Oh, what a day!

Lights out: 12:20am.
Awake: 5:15am    sleep 5+01    looking outside from the 5th floor, this was our morning scene. DSC000853.JPG                          K & I had some coffee & then (30) min on the treadmill.

We had our breakfast with the Foote family, Corinne, Jerry, & Eriko. Later, we spent some time with my brother & Josie who arrived mid afternoon yesterday & are staying in the Hyatt Summerfield suites about a (100) feet from the Hyatt Place. We helped them find the Summerfield Suites location due to both Hyatts not having a GPS address yet since they are both only a year old.

Then my sister Mary Jo & husband Ed called from the airport & needed a GPS address, so I gave them a nearby address to find the Hyatt Place.

Mid afternoon, using (2) cars, we all went to the Rock Bottom Brewery & Restaurant for lunch. We not only had some really good beer but also excellent food. K & I shared a delicious Reuben sandwich. Then the Foote family & Nick & Eriko's family all went splashing in the Hyatt pool again.

Then it was time to drive or ride to the Lutheran church to practice for the wedding tomorrow. The Reverend was very casual but made sure that everyone knew his or her role for the ceremony.

After the rehearsal came the "Rehearsal Dinner" hosted by yours truly, Monte & Kathy Kirsch....& what a dinner it was. Barone's of Glen Ellyn served our group (6) pitchers of Miller Lite, (6) pitchers of Blue Moon, (4) Carafes of Chianti, (6) Carafes of chardonnay, & (1) pitcher of Samual Adams. Oh, there was also food...bread, salad & Pizzas with various toppings, thin & thick crust, & mostaccioli in meat sauce. Of course, there was also unlimited tea, coffee, soft drinks, etc.

After the meal, Zack & I went around to the tables & introduced ourselves to almost all of those in attendance, family members & friends. While we were busy talking, cake & coffee were served.

The rehearsal dinner was well organized, provided pleasant service & delicious food. Zack & Katie gave presents to all the wedding attendants & both sets of parents. I think a fun & fine time was had by all.

Lights out: 10:52pm.
Awake: 5:25am      sleep 7+13       rain + TRW's.      Overnight @ Warrenville, Illinois.

Kathy & I snuck out of our room so as to not wake up Corinne; she will have her own room tomorrow. We each got about (30) min on the treadmill in the workout room & then we had our Continental breakfast.

@ 9:45am, Nick, Jerry & I motored to the Mens Wearhouse to get our Tux's for the wedding (About 10 miles from the Hyatt.) During our visit, Chuck, father of the Bride, was also getting measured for his Tux... & Zack as well as (1) other Nick in the wedding party getting Tux's. Katie, the bride to be, was there also.

           Back @ the swimming pool, the gang assembled & the fun began again. DSC000844.JPG About this same time, Katrina arrived from Denver. Zack, Corinne, Katrina, & Kathy & I had some catch up time before joining the water crowd. DSC000845.JPG And then, it was time for us to watch the kids do their water splashing & the big guys do their cannonballs. Katrina wasted no time in getting into her swimming suit. DSC000846.JPG                             Get ready, get set..... Nick, Kevin & Zack. DSC000847.JPG Mid afternoon, we all went to the Red Robin restaurant for those gourmet burgers & other tasty foods. Kathy & I shared a burger & a blackened salmon sandwich.

Early evening, with Corinne's permission, Kathy & I motored across town to Elmwood Park, ..near Kathy's childhood neighborhood; about (20) miles from the Hyatt. DSC000848.JPG Kathy & some of her close school friends had a mini reunion @ Joyce & Bill's house this evening. The husbands, who have known each other for decades were also invited. DSC000849.JPG                                          And here are the ladies; DSC000850.JPG                                 We guys shot the bull for over an hour.... DSC000851.JPG                          & the ladies giggled & reminisced for twice that long. DSC000852.JPG Then Bill ordered delicious Italian sausage pizza from Armand's & when the pizza arrived, along with Joyce's yum-yum salad, followed by cake & ice cream for dessert, we rejoiced in mixing the conversation with the ladies way passed darkness. It sure was a fun evening.

Then we said our goodbyes for now; all except Sylvia will be attending the Katie & Zack wedding on Sunday. The drive back to the Hyatt was fast & smooth.

Katrina was sound asleep when we arrived & Corinne was in her own room, so we woke up no one.
Lights out: 12:14am.
Awake: 3:56am      Temp 70       sleep 5+27      some early morning fog      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our coffee & a Kathy muffin, & with a loaded Suzuki, we left Nicktown @ 4:55am & motored to Pittsburgh. (about 2 hrs).

At my sister Corinne's house we transloaded our stuff into Corinne's car, which was larger, & left Pitt @ 7:10am. We took the PA & OH Turnpikes & the 80-90 Interstate routes & toll roads in the states of IN & IL to our target: Hyatt Place, arriving @ 3:30pm...2:30 Chicago time.

Corinne & I each shared some driving time; had good roads & fast traffic most of the way. (3) stops: (1) for fuel & (2) for nature calls. Our GPS would not take the Hyatt Place address so we stopped in the small town of Naperville where Kathy went into a podiatrist's office & asked the receptionist for directions; we found out that we were about (1) mile from our hotel.

As Kathy was getting that info, Nick called our cell phone & asked: "where are you?" They (Nick's family & the Foote family) had just returned from lunch at the Red Robin restaurant. We met them in the lounge @ the Hyatt Place; they were happy to see us & visa versa.

After checking in & getting our suitcases somewhat organized, we joined Nick's & the Foote family @ the inside pool. All the kids were in the pool except Gregory; he was happy just filling up plastic cups with water & pouring the water mostly back into the pool.

                       photo of Gregory from outside the Hyatt. DSC000840.JPG                   Eriko took Momoko all around the pool & she enjoyed the water. DSC000841.JPG                        Nick & Kevin were kept busy tossing the boys "to & fro." DSC000842.JPG                    And Nick challenged his swimming ability by toting the leaches. DSC000843.JPG Meanwhile, Kathy, Corinne & I just sat around & enjoyed seeing the kids have so much fun. 

Much later, we all joined the kids & the adults in their hotel room for more social talk.

Even later, we adults & Jerry rendezvoused downstairs & had a late evening snack.

K & I were tired, so: Lights out: 9:32pm.
Awake: 6:07      Temp 62       sleep 6+38      sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

@ the KK meeting this morning, I returned the small solar powered lantern to Donna; I think she was happy to have it working again. Here is the lantern light when glowing in the dark on battery power: DSC000832.JPG                    And here is the solar powered lantern by daylight charging up. DSC000833.JPG After our KK meeting, we visited the construction team & realized that tiling is a slow process but it sure looks good when it's done. I took photos of the tile setting process: my downstairs bathroom, shower & seat; DSC000834.JPG                                            the guest bathtub... main floor; DSC000835.JPG                                           Switches & dimmer switches; DSC000836.JPG                                                 inside door handles; DSC000837.JPG                             floor tile on past our master bedroom closets; DSC000838.JPG                 And here is Levy, Chuck's worker, using a wet saw for cutting tile. DSC000839.JPG We said our goodbyes for now to the construction team & got busy organizing our motorhome & packing our suitcases, etc. And I don't remember what we had for dinner this night, but I do know what we will have for breakfast in the morning: they are called: Kathy Muffins & they are not only good but also healthy. Kathy made them this evening.

Lights out: 10:29pm.
Awake: 6:18      Temp 60       sleep 6+29      clouds      overnight @ Nicktown.

Bernie rang our doorbell just before 8:00am. He brought a sample from TimberTech on decking, railing, dryspace, etc. I asked him for more options on this project. DSC000830.JPG Then we both visited Chuck & Nathan regarding the tile inserts & seats for the master shower & my basement shower. After that, we attended the KK & later, Kathy excused herself & drove over to help make more noodles @ the church hall. I walked back to the M.H. just before rain began @ 9:10am. @ 10:30, FDX delivered the rope lights for our indirect lighting. DSC000831.JPG @ 1:30pm, Kathy returned from noodle making. Then she motored to Ebensburg & picked up her suit for the upcoming wedding. Meanwhile, @ the KK this morning, Donna gave me a small solar powered lantern to repair, so I spent a little time with that gadget. With my other spare time, I got out our suitcases & started to pack for our trip to Chicago.

Dinner: Pulled pork, French-style herb whole grain blend of millet, brown rice, & quinoa, salad, & toast.

Lights out: 11:29pm.
Awake: 6:24am      Temp 54       sleep +29       sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

We skipped the KK meeting this morning & visited Nate (Chuck's son); Kathy gave him the grout colors that Chuck was asking for on Friday. Then we visited Bernie who had questions for Kathy about the laundry room.

These tile workers are similar to Bernie's workers: both families have some of their sons & brothers working. It's nice to see them working together. Meanwhile, Kathy motored to Ebensburg to take her suit to the cleaner.

Then I walked through our house to see what is finished or almost finished. This vanity cabinet in the North wing is nearly finished; DSC000827.JPG             The plumbing on this cabinet needs to be finished & the doors replaced.  DSC000828.JPG     Here Chuck is working out our entry pattern before he begins doing the actual tiling. DSC000829.JPG Before dinner, K & I went for a (45) min walk around the area, then ate a dinner of: Tuna salad over spinach, fried noodles, toast, grapes & cantaloupe.

Around 8:30pm, Randy, Mary Ann & Mac knocked on our door; they were ready for a tour. I had unlocked the main entrance so we could start on the main floor.

I would say they had a good (20) min tour of both the main floor & the basement floor. Randy & Mac stood & looked over the Geo-thermal unit the longest; most guys seem to be more fascinated with equipment & engineering than kitchens or bedrooms, etc.

Randy & Mary Ann will be leaving early in the morning & traveling to State College to be with their grandson when he graduates from college.

Lights out: 11:49pm.
Awake: 6:56am       Temp 65      sleep 6+44      sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our breakfast, Kathy spent quite a lot of time getting her suit jacket to fit right to her satisfaction; a very tedious operation which must be as near perfect as possible. DSC000826.JPG Mid morning, a knock on our door revealed Randy from California. He & his wife Mary Ann were passing through Nicktown on their way to Delaware to be with their grandson for his college graduation. Mac, here in town & Mary Ann are brother & sister, thus the reason for their diversion to Nicktown. They will spend Sunday & Monday with Mac. During their short time here, they would like a tour of our house tomorrow. I recommended a 3:30pm tour because the workers would be gone for the day @ that time.

About 2:30pm, Kathy's angel called & wanted to see how our house was progressing. Kathy invited Carol over for the update opportunity. My job was to turn the required lights on when necessary. Again Kathy was lucky as Chuck wanted Kathy to pick out the grout colors in many areas & have them ready for him on Monday. Carol loves to pick out colors so they spent about (2) hrs all together getting those colors matched.

Dinner: Italian sausage with white beans.

We finished watching the movie: "His Kind of Woman" with Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, Vincent Price, Tim Holt, Raymond Burr, Charles McGraw, etc. Mitchum blindly goes to Mexico for a payoff of 50 grand, discovers he's the soon-to-be-dead chump whose identity will help deported gangster Burr re-enter the country. 1951. A little unreasonable at times & farfetched but we watched it all.

Lights out: 11:55pm.
Awake: 6:10am     Temp 48     sleep 5+21      partly sunny    after 2:30pm....TRW's. Nicktown.

After our KK meeting & breakfast, Kathy motored to Ebensburg to have her dress cleaned & pressed.

In the meanwhile, I ran the awning out on the passenger side to give me shade while working on the 1986 Snapper mower. I pulled the starter rope quite a few times & sometimes the engine would run for (15) sec, sometimes a minute. So definitely, today I will be getting into that carburetor.

Inside the carb I found some stuff (contaminant) that surely was blocking the gas flow. I cleaned the bowl out & used my small tough wire to run through the passage ways & clear those if they were the culprits. After all the important parts were replaced, I pulled the starter cord & the engine roared back to life, DSC000825.JPG & it kept running; so I mowed a path from our M.H.'s entry door to the circular driveway... DSC000824.JPG & then that roaring engine stopped. After that, the engine was a stubborn starter; so I think I will drain all my gas from its tank, clean out the carb again & then....buy a small fuel filter & a new gas hose.

Next, I borrowed the builder's wheelbarrow & gathered up more dead roots & tree trunks from our lower field; (3) heavy loads to be exact & that small burn site is growing again. I was getting ready to get (1) more load until I noticed the color of the sky; not blue, not grey, but dark, very dark & then the wind & echoing of thunder got my attention.

By the time I retracted both awnings of the M.H., pitter pats of raindrops were easily heard. Kathy called from Ebensburg; I let her know that a storm was headed her way. That storm was fast moving with heavy rain, lightening close by & of course, thunder. About (30) min later, lots of mud puddles & still later, partly sunny.

Kathy returned with several bags of groceries but did not get her dress cleaned & pressed. They closed their shop before she arrived.

Dinner: Reubin sandwich with chips.

K & I attended vigil Mass & 6:00pm & afterward, we joined Barry @ the Nicktown restaurant, along with John, Theresa, & Jean for pizza & beer.

Evening movie: "His kind of Woman." We watched 1/3rd.

Lights out: 12:12am.
Awake: 6:25am      Temp 44      sleep 6+12      sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

Again we skipped the KK meeting due to house activity. After coffee in our M.H., we visited the workers. (1) of Chuck's guys was working on waterproofing the wallboard; DSC000820.JPG The other guy was getting ready to set more tiles. Troy was painting my High-Tech cabinet: DSC000821.JPG             And Bernie's guys were busy building a cabinet for the laundry room. DSC000822.JPG After our breakfast, Kathy motored to Indiana, PA to find a reasonable blouse to wear with her suit @ Zack & Katie's wedding. I decided to spend some time outside & perhaps get our Snapper lawn mower working. If I had put the Fuel Stabilizer in before freezing nights, maybe my engine would be normal? So for now, I will try & get some of the Fuel Stabilizer into the carb & let it sit for a day. Then try again tomorrow or the next day.  DSC000823.JPG

Dinner: New England clam chowder with chips.

Movie: June Bride with Bette Davis, Robert Montgomery, Fay Bainter, Tom Tully, Barbara Bates, etc. Flippant comedy of magazine writers Davis and Montgomery inspired by story they are doing on June brides. 1948. We are warming up to watch the real June Bride wedding soon.

Lights out: 12:49am.

Awake: 6:20am      Temp 59       sleep 6+14       sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

We skipped the KK again this morning due to house activities. Just before 8:00am, Chuck & his crew of tile installers arrived. We've been casually waiting for these guys to show up. (2) Vans of tile & much equipment were unloaded onto the main floor & basement floor.                  
                               Eventually this space will be my Laboratory. DSC000816.JPG From what I understand, this is what the tile guys will be doing. (3) showers needed waterproof wallboard as underlayment for the tiled walls, (3) shower floors, tile on & around our corner tub, tile on (4) bathroom floors,& tile on the basement hall, & the mudroom.

                               This hallway & mudroom are waiting for grout. DSC000817.JPG              There were stacks of tile & some times equipment just about everywhere. DSC000818.JPG We were notified that sections of the house were off limits after the workers left for the day. They had many tiles laid in place, but not yet dried. DSC000819.JPG Dinner: Pork chops with fried noodles, apple sauce, & salad.

Lights out: 12:13am.
Awake: 5:25am      Temp 69       sleep 5+45       partly cloudy      overnight @ Nicktown.

We visited our house, which was very cool on the basement floor, but up on the main floor, the temp was in the low 80's. I thought it would be a great time to test our house air conditioning; I even brought my Honeywell Vision PRO TH8000 series operating Manual along to make sure I wouldn't get into trouble. DSC000815.JPG First, I made sure the basement system was off & then concentrated on programming the main floor that has (3) different zones. Making sure all the temperatures that I programmed were lower than the temp I was calling for; I was excited to turn the geo-thermal unit on.
There were more settings than just that, but I won't go into all of that now.

Anyway, Bernie & Ryan closed all the doors & windows upstairs & I turned the geo-thermal on. In no time at all, the geo pipes started to get very cold. Going back up stairs, at first I didn't hear or feel any airflow. In the master wing I did feel a little cool air & a muted humming from above. Back to the basement & the Geo; the copper pipes were getting very cold, maybe too cold. So, I shut the equipment off for fear of doing harm. Later, I called Scott @ REA & left a message.

Denise visited Kathy & brought the suit she had altered for her. We attended 6:00pm Mass & then John joined us in having a beer @ the Nicktown Bar.

Dinner: Cod fish with broccoli, rice & lima beans.

Lights out: 12:06am.
Awake: 6:04am      Temp 67      sleep 6+47      sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our coffee, I stayed in our M.H. to catch up on some paper work while Kathy volunteered to help the ladies make lunch for Cornelius's funeral luncheon.

Then I attended the 11:00am funeral Mass for Cornelius &, afterward, joined the crowd for lunch @ the church hall. I sat with my 1st cousin Florentz & his oldest son, Jake & we chatted about trains.

K & I had plans to motor to Indiana, PA today but Kathy's clean up church hall session ate up more time than expected.

Back on our property, we visited our house & to see what all was new or finished. Oh yes, the master bedroom sinks now have running water. DSC000813.JPG       And I had forgotten to post this latest picture of the kitchen from a bird's eye view. DSC000814.JPG Evening time, we watched our recorded political programs & due to the great luncheon meal we had, we shared a bowl of tuna salad and a variety of nuts.

Lights out: 11:40pm.
Awake: 6:06am        Temp 67       sleep 5+39       sunny        overnight @ Nicktown.

Today is Memorial Day & for Nicktown, this means a parade. Starting @ 9:00am, the marching band, marching Veterans, fire trucks, tractors, quad-runners, bikes, etc., commence, followed by a Military program @ the cemetery.

This year's speaker is Major Blaze P. McCombie from Nicktown. For a small town, there is an amazing crowd that lines the streets & fills the cemetery for the dedication & service in honor of the US Veterans. All together, this took a little over an hour & afterwards, the Nicktown Bar gave free beer & food to the veterans.

This was the 1st time I marched in this parade, mainly due to not having a military hat to wear (most vets can't fit into their uniforms, thus only a hat is required); this year, Barry loaned me an Air Force hat & 1st cousin Cy made sure I stayed in step.

After the ceremony, many of us marched directly to the Nicktown Bar & about (6) of us gathered @ our favorite table & cooled down with a cold beer & some food.

The Foote Family also attended the parade so I let then know that I would join them in (1) hr. Kathy told me later that on their way to the M.H., they deviated & walked thru the forest & found a lake that had a lot of fish. The boys were intent on finding a frog, but the frogs were one jump ahead & dove into the lake as they approached.

When my hr was up @ the bar, I excused myself, said my goodbyes to the gang & walked back to our M.H. The Foote Family & Kathy were on the other side of our house in the shade...getting ready to return to their Indiana Castle. DSC000805.JPG They were leaving early because they were invited to a friend's place for a cookout @ 4:00. As they began to round up the boys, who did we see coming around the corner...dressed in a full military outfit: my brother. He sure looks good in that uniform. DSC000806.JPG The gang must have broken up shortly after I left. We all talked for awhile & then my brother drove back to Ebensburg.

Meanwhile, during our slow pace to the Foote's Toyota Sienna, Kevin got a phone call; their cookout invitation was cancelled due to one of their kids being sick. Then Melissa asked us if we would like to have a cookout @ their Castle; I hesitated, looked @ Kathy who agreed right away & then finally agreed.

When we arrived @ the Foote Castle, all the boys were in the back yard; Andrew & Nathan were both playing in the small swimming pool, DSC000807.JPG                           Gregory was in the back alley testing the trike, DSC000808.JPG & Matthew must have been inside the Castle. Un-be-known to us, the neighbors were also invited over for the cookout. Wow! Is this a first for the Footes? I think the next door neighbor, tom-boy Moira, was responsible for this delightful occasion & we are glad of it. She & the boys have a great time together. DSC000809.JPG After meeting her Dad & Mom & older sister, they fit right in with the Foote family.

Meanwhile, Kevin was busy cooking at the grill; making delicious burgers, French fries, hot dogs, etc., & then the next door neighbors began bringing their food over, cutting up the pork, & other such goodies. DSC000810.JPG                    When the table was full, Kevin said grace & let the eating begin. DSC000811.JPG The "Happy Birthday" cake was for Moira, she will be age (10) soon. Before we left, I've noticed that Andrew was getting closer & closer to riding his bike. I bet when we see him next time, he will be riding like a champ; right Melissa! DSC000812.JPG This was a wonderful gathering today. Thanks Kevin, Melissa & next door neighbors. From here, we did some light shopping @ Wal-Mart & then back to our M.H., ...where we watched: "Off Limits."

Lights out: 11:17pm.
Awake: 8:00am      Temp 68      sleep 8+00      sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

After breakfast, Kathy returned to her painting of the inside doors. I turned specific lights on so she could see better to paint & turned on the outside water faucets for rinsing the paint brush. DSC000804.JPG During these last several weeks, occasionally I would see a humming bird flying around our M.H., so this afternoon I got our feeder out & added the required nectar to feed those beautiful birds. After Kathy finished her painting process, she recommended that we take a walk for exercise. "Good idea," I said & away we went.

It wasn't our usual route through town; we followed a path that took us down hill into the woods & then uphill & out into a field. About a (45) min walk.

Dinner: 4-bean salad, & tuna salad.

Afterward, we finished watching: "Auntie Mame" with Rosalind Russell, Forrest Tucker, Coral Browne, Fred Clark, Roger Smith, etc. Colorful film version of Patrick Dennis' novel about his eccentric aunt, who believes that "life is a banquet; and most poor suckers are starving to death." Episodic but highly entertaining, sparked by Russell's tour-de-force performance. 1958. It was ok but I couldn't watch it again.

Zack called a little after 11:00pm. He had questions on seating arrangements for the reception; quite a task & no firm decisions were made.

Lights out: 12:27am.
Awake: 6:31am      Temp 61      sleep 6+57      sunny      overnight & Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, we checked our post office box & picked up our forwarded mail from Anchorage. Along with our breakfast, we thumbed thru some of our mail.

Earlier this week, we had an invitation to join Lou Ann & Herk @ their place to celebrate "60" years of marriage & so we did. I wasn't expecting the crowd they had; DSC000801.JPG The adults were busy chatting, laughing & having a good time, while the kids were playing & having their own good time.

Here we have a picture of the blushing bride sitting in the middle of the swing. DSC000802.JPG                                 And a snapshot of the contented groom. DSC000803.JPG Later, we attended vigil Mass @ Nicktown & after church, we met a lady, Jean, whom we've seen several times but never really talked with. She left her home in FL last fall to care for her mother here in Nicktown. We were happy to have Jean join John, Bill, Theresa, Kathy & me at the Nicktown Hotel for our Saturday evening meeting.

Evening movie: "Auntie Mame." We watched 1/2.

Lights out: 12:00 Midnight.


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