December 2011 Archives

Awake: 7:00am      Temp 40      sleep 8+12      partly sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

About a month ago, Kathy started looking on line for a ping-pong table top to set on our pool table. Both our boys, Nick & Zack, are avid ping-pong players & would definitely enjoy having that set-up during their visit this Christmas. It took awhile on the computer to find what we wanted; but finally there was one already being auctioned off for a reasonable price. She added her price a little higher then the bidder & watched closely for a few days. Finally, the time was up & Kathy was the winner. Shipping was free & we had our table tennis conversion top, Regulation 5' X 8'. DSC0001459.JPG Timing was just right as Nick was here to help us change over from a pool table to a Ping-pong table. This is all of it except for the net. . DSC0001460.JPG Now that the Foote family has arrived, the younger people are getting introduced. DSC0001461.JPG                         < and later, a little Rummikub was played until dinner: DSC0001462.JPG                                                 And this is little Abbey. DSC0001463.JPG After dinner, high tech Nick started looking around at our hex & bedrooms. He thinks that we could easily bring in wireless music @ no charge. So to get started, we felt special wiring was required so it's down to the laboratory for a meeting of our minds. DSC0001464.JPG We didn't get far with soldering very thin wires, so tomorrow we'll attack it a lot smarter... I hope. Dinner: Lasagna, fruit, salad & Como bread.

Lights out: 12:03am.

In regards to future posting,: we have 6 youngsters, all under 9, & 9 adults. So there might be a slowdown... so hang in there.
Awake: 8:00am      Temp ?       sleep 6+02      overcast, then gentle rain      overnight @ Nicktown.

Actually Melissa called us around 6:00am & wanted to know if she had awakened me; I told her we turned the lights out @ about 2:00am. When she heard that, she said she would call us in a few hrs.

We both fell asleep & woke up again @ 8:00am. Nick & Jerry were already up & munching on dry cereal.

After their breakfast, Nick hinted that he would like to see his boxes of Transformers in the basement. He had not forgotten them in the least. DSC0001449.JPG Nick & Jerry were in the game room for some time looking & at the Transformers with Nick telling Jerry what the names of his Transformers are & what they can change into.
                                 Believe me, this is a drop in the bucket. DSC0001450.JPG Nick always treated his toys right; they are still in good shape & probably will remain so for yrs. DSC0001451.JPG Since Melissa & the Foote boys are coming over to our place around 12:00 noon, I thought it best to have my cereal breakfast before they get here. Some times I sit on the camel saddle with my back to the sun ...when it's shining & have breakfast as I read. Well this morning, Momoko, who calls me "Gee daddy", brought her chair over as soon as I sat down & started looking @ my remaining breakfast cereal.

I wasn't particularly interested in sharing my good food but she was sooooo-cute & so gentle when she spoke in Japanese; mind you, she also spoke some English, she will be age (2) in February. Yes, I let her have some yogurt, blue berries, spoon size shredded wheat, whole bran wheat checks, small strawberries, etc. How could I resist. DSC0001452.JPG The Foote's arrived shortly thereafter & the party began in the game room. Luckily we got that Foosball Game working the right way because these youngsters sure did have a good time practicing. DSC0001453.JPG                  Then the young ones took a healthy snack break @ the round table. DSC0001454.JPG Next on the agenda; Melissa gathered all the youngsters & headed for the game room to make small houses out of graham crackers & cream cheese frosting, decorated with colored Cheerios, pretzels, raisins, etc. Eriko lent a hand. DSC0001455.JPG The boys have experience with Legos so they had no problem constructing these houses...except one. DSC0001456.JPG         They ate a lot of the decorations & frosting resulting in a little wildness afterwards.


                   After a minor storm tho, they did calm down to some good reading. DSC0001457.JPG Dinner: Beef stew with noodles & bread.

Lights out: 10:48pm. 

Awake: 5:45am      Temp 40      sleep 6+19      gentle rain -continuous      overnight @ Nicktown.

We skipped the KK meeting this morning & Kathy broke a lot of empty boxes down for me to either take to the burn pile or to keep for our kids to use for shipping after Christmas.

After our breakfast Kathy motored to Barnesboro & did some more grocery shopping & other shopping.

Meanwhile, yesterday, just as we were leaving the Foote family, Matthew was seriously getting into the Gabriel 725 Erector Set: DSC0001442.JPG & he let me know that the remote control unit was not working. I quickly looked it over & discovered a broken wire, so I took the remote control home to check it out.

After Kathy left for shopping, I took the remote apart on my work bench & found yet another broken wire. I substituted new wires & got rid of the old ones, checked the resistance & put the remote unit back together. DSC0001443.JPG Next, I gathered many rough & decrepit cardboard boxes, set them near the North wing garage door, put my raingear on, & then placed the boxes outside & closed the garage door.

It took me (6) trips back & forth to the burn pile to finish this round of expanding the space in the hex.

Tuesday evening, we were expecting our Son Nick, his wife Eriko, & their (2) kids, Jerry & Momoko to arrive at our place around 11:00pm from Queen Anne Hill in Seattle. Kathy would check on face book every now & then to watch their progress.

Dinner: ham & bean soup, toast & oranges.

Evening time: after the kitchen was cleaned up, mostly by Kathy, she took some pictures of her kitchen from various angles & areas in the hex. Here are a few that caught her eye: DSC0001441.JPG                                                   And a few more: DSC0001445.JPG                                             That's all for now. DSC0001446.JPG As we were sitting in our rocking chairs, reading our books & listening to good music, a car's lights lit up our entryway. It had to be Nick & his family & it was. DSC0001447.JPG We helped them bring in their luggage & other things & then Nick was curious about how the house turned out so we gave them a free tour.

It didn't take long for Jerry & Momoko to find out where the toys were placed, & that satisfied them for quite some time.

Talk about time, we toured & chatted for quite a while & nearly forgot how late it was; I knew Kathy was very sleepy so finally we all agreed to hit the sack & call it a good night.

Lights out: 1:58am.
Awake: 5:39am       Temp 28      sleep 6+01      cloudy, then rain       overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting & back @ our house, K & I continued our organizing until breakfast time @ 11:30am. After breakfast, Melissa called to let us know that Abbey is doing fine, just fine, according to the specialist in Pittsburgh. We are all thankful for that.

She also said their sidewalk in front has the cover off & it will be OK to park in front of the house. Well, I took that to mean that it's the perfect time to drive the 84-Ford van with all the stuff that was packed inside over month ago. Kathy drove the Suzuki.

Sure enough, the Foote parking spot for the van was wide open. Today is Matthew's 8th birthday & we are here to help celebrate. Melissa told us that Charles, from southern Taiwan, will also be here. Charles is a student @ I.U.P, majoring in English. I've been to Taipei, Taiwan many times so we had something in common. He's seems like a really nice guy. DSC0001439.JPG Due to the van plan & getting ready (taking off water proof blanket), we were a little late so we did not have a lot of time to spend before the party, but enough to have a bowl of chicken & rice.

                   I couldn't pass up this picture of Abbie looking @ another youngster. DSC0001441.JPG Shortly after 4:00pm, we sang the: "Happy Birthday to Matthew song." He blew out the candles on his cake & blew them out & blew them out (relighting candles) to gales of laughter from his brothers. Matthew then cut the cake & distributed a piece of cake with ice cream to each person; both very good. Then the presents; he said his two favorite presents were: Electronic Playground 130. DSC0001440.JPG & the other: the Gabriel 725 Erector Set that Kathy cleaned up all the pieces.

We said our goodbyes to Charles & later, we motored back to Nicktown where we had some popcorn before retiring for the nite.

Lights out: 11:26pm.
Awake: 7:14am      Temp 26      sleep 6+30      flurries      overnight @ Nicktown.

Today is: trim the Christmas tree day. We worked together in getting the lights on & the ornaments in place. Kathy had many small ornaments that her dad made & other things she has collected.
                                 Here is the Christmas tree with out a flash. DSC0001436.JPG                                                  And this is with a flash DSC0001437.JPG I also spent some time in my laboratory cleaning up the rubber/plastic goalies for the Foosball game. They were dirty & tough to push on the iron rods; 1st I used a drill bit turning it by hand with the size a fraction larger than the goalie's body. Then I used sand paper rapped around a smaller drill bit to smooth the rubber/plastic. That made a nice difference.

Finally I was able to push the goalies onto the metal rod & finish the project. Oh, but wait a minute! About that time, Kathy came down to the game room; she looked things over, got out the photos from years ago in Alaska & pointed to the mistakes I was making; by golly she was right.

So, once again, from start to finish, we both had many bloopers but finally tonight, we got it right. Whew! DSC0001438.JPG                                    Dinner: Stuffed peppers with toast.

Nick called, basically wanting to know details about Fed-Exing some of their stuff to our house.

After talking with Nick, we called Mary Jo & thanked her for the goodie box she had sent a few days ago.

Later, Melissa called, inquiring about our arrival tomorrow for Matthew's birthday. Gregory woke up so it was a very short call.

Lights out: 11:38pm.
Awake: 6:10am      Temp 29      sleep 6+24       flurries, then snow all day       overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, & back in my laboratory, I spent some time using Kevin's powered Dremel tool to re-do the top section of the hall tree project. It saved me a lot of time. DSC0001434.JPG In fact, by late afternoon, I was able to re-set the top section together & use some slow epoxy curing glue to help it along with my heat lamps. DSC0001435.JPG Then K & I attended 6:00pm vigil Mass & afterward, with the snow slowing the traffic down, we joined some of our regular KK people @ the Nicktown bar for an extra good pizza with beer.
Lights out: 12:44am.
Awake: 6:25am      Temp 33      sleep 7+34       mostly cloudy      overnight @ Nicktown.

This morning, I was asked to hang around because Don, a Bassett employee, would be coming to our house to shave down our garages' concrete entrances, since, when it rains, water comes into our garages. DSC0001429.JPG Don was very concerned about using his (2) electric rotary saws with diamond blades. He & I didn't want the dust coming into our garages, so he told me that it would be slow going because of that. DSC0001430.JPG                Several times before noon, I checked on Don to see how he was doing, DSC0001431.JPG & a few times during mid afternoon. The ledge definitely had a slope, but he was concerned would it be enough; he was hoping for rain as a test. Having the garage doors closed, saved dust from coming inside; Don definitely did his work well. He left @ 3:05pm & told me that he might be back if water gets into the garages.

Kathy & I set our Christmas tree in the tree stand but waited until until the next day to spread the branches out. DSC0001432.JPG About 3:30pm, we motored to Indiana, PA to do some more grocery shopping @ Wal-Mart & to attend the First Annual Christmas Pageant - "The Christmas Story," as put on by the Indiana county Catholic Homeschoolers in the St. Thomas More basement church.

(3) of our grandsons: Matthew, Andrew & Nathan were the wise men; costumes made by Melissa & crowns decorated by the kings themselves. DSC0001433.JPG The Nativity play was delightful. It was followed by a social & refreshments, of which we were happy to partake since we had not had supper. We were glad we could squeeze this into our busy schedule.

Afterward, we continued our shopping @ Giant Eagle.

We returned close to 10:00pm & had some more healthy snacks with popcorn.

Lights out: 11:46pm.
Awake: 6:32am      Temp 47      sleep 7+25      light rain & windy      overnight @ Nicktown.
After church this morning, Kathy dropped me off @ our house & she motored to Barnesboro to stock up on yogurt, & have Wojcik's switch watch bands from the leather strap to my old metal band, get fuel for the Suzuki, & stop @ Bobik's Home Center for more fasteners for the goalies of our Foosball game. DSC0001419.JPG Daughter Melissa called; she would like to make pizza at our house today & wanted to know if that would be OK with Kathy. I told her: "I am sure that we would be honored to eat your homemade pizza."

When Kathy returned, she had done everything thing she had to do. We ate our breakfast earlier then usual this morning to prepare for the Foote family due to arrive around 11:30am.

They actually arrived shortly after noon & the boys were just as excited as the last time. They headed right for the toy station & spent a fast (30) min playing with those different toys.

Then, everyone but Melissa & Abbey, put their coats & rain gear on because we were going to select a Christmas tree @ the Kline Tree Farm; a mere (10) min drive. Several trees of different varieties were mounted on (3) pronged re-bar so one could get a good look @ the trees before buying. DSC0001420.JPG We made our selection fairly fast & then the gentle tree farmer removed the rebar, took the tree over to the Christmas tree bailer & watched it being shrunk for travel. DSC0001421.JPG                              The boys were quite amused with this machine. DSC0001422.JPG                                 And now the the wrapping with red string. DSC0001423.JPG                           Pretty neat; easier to handle & tie down on a car. DSC0001424.JPG Back @ our house, we witnessed Melissa's talent in making some very delicious whole wheat pizza with (3) different toppings: pepperoni, cheese, & green pepper & onions. I couldn't resist joining the others & having a taste...of about (4) small slices. DSC0001425.JPG NO, Melissa is not pregnant already again; she is carrying little Abbey in a sling.

At this time, our switchboard might not be ready for Christmas hookup, but to be sure that the plugs, receptacles & weights work well, Matthew & Nathan, & later, Andrew, made sure that all the wires & plugs could be twisted, pulled, & scrutinized, without falling apart. DSC0001426.JPG                                      And here is their masterpiece. DSC0001427.JPG                                   And the latest picture of little Abbey. DSC0001428.JPG After the Foote family left for their home, I sawed a small layer of the trunk off of our Christmas tree & then K & I brought the tree into the entry hall.

With a towel, & lots of paper, we dried the tree limbs & then placed it into the tree stand where it will be decorated.

Dinner: Clam chowder with toast & tangerine for dessert.

Lights out: 10:42pm.
Awake: 6:12am       Temp 29      sleep 7+18      cloudy      overnight @ Nicktown.

We skipped the KK meeting this morning so Kathy could prepare a suitable breakfast for our distinguished guest, arriving very soon. He will be the 1st person to sit @ our table in our new home.

Kathy made sourdough pancakes with eggs over easy, bacon & syrup. We had quite the chat session over breakfast & then, I gave our distinguish guest a tour of our basement, the game room & laboratory.

3.5 hrs later, we said our goodbyes for now. Our guest is new in town & goes by the name of: cousin Cy. DSC0001418.JPG Next, K & I motored to Johnstown for groceries & other items; Conzatti's, the Market Basket, Wal-Mart & finally the Galleria Mall. We purchased (2) strings of colored lights & perused the toys @ Boscov's & then headed back to Nicktown.

Dinner: Reubin sandwich, kettle cooked potato chips, & tangerines.

After dinner, I called my brother & we began to talk about having some of his family visit us over the Christmas holiday.

Lights out: 11:07pm.
Awake: 6:15am       Temp 21      sleep 6+50       sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

I didn't attend the KK meeting this morning due to Bob & Adam attending to our outside faucet leak. They planned to arrive around 8:00am this morning but then Bob found out that the Krumenacker Hardware store here in town didn't have the parts in stock, & that set him back about an hr later. DSC0001411.JPG He wanted me to be around to turn the water off & on & to get them some tools if they didn't have them handy. DSC0001412.JPG                        This is the culprit that started the leak sometime yesterday: DSC0001413.JPG          It took them a little over an hr to finish the project; but now, this case is closed. DSC0001414.JPG Next, K & I motor up to the book-mobile which comes to Nicktown every other week; here we see Debora & Kathy talking outside the book-mobile. Ron, the driver, will soon open the library. DSC0001415.JPG                          Inside the book-mobile, we see Kathy & the driver Ron. DSC0001416.JPG Next, K & I motored to Barnesboro & signed in to have our teeth cleaned & checked. Kathy was 1st & she was "A" OK. Then I was next & also: "A" OK.

From here we did some light grocery shopping @ Giant Eagle, then Bi-Low in Spangler.

While Kathy was in Bi-low, I walked across the street to Bobik's Home Center & with help from the owner, found the small fasteners for our small Goalies for the Foose Ball game. DSC0001417.JPG It wasn't easy until the owner switched over to the Metric System isle.

Dinner: leftovers from (3 or 4) previous dinners.

After dinner, I attended the Holy Name meeting @ 7:00pm @ our church hall.

Lights out: 10:54pm.

Awake: 6:51am     Temp 18     sleep 7+23     sunny     overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, I went straight down to the laboratory & pondered over my sick hall tree.

The (20) year old epoxy was very slow when curing; the (6) year old epoxy was very fast when curing; .... You guessed it; it cured so quickly that I couldn't get the top section into the middle section of the hall tree. No picture? Too embarrassing! If I had reversed the procedure, using the (20) year epoxy, the hall tree would have been finished by now. Ouch!

I wasn't happy & neither was Kathy...but her disappointment was different: she spent about (2) hours on the phone with the government getting our address changed for Medicare. She was transferred to (3) different people, the last being sales where she had to re-apply for Medicare. Since she didn't have the application form in front of her the sales rep had to read all the fine print, ugh! However, she asked if Kathy just wanted her to speed read it, which she did.  

Kathy found it quite amusing & when she had to go thru the same scenario to change my address, she asked the sales rep if she had ever timed herself. She said she had tried but it hadn't worked, so Kathy timed her (2min 18 sec). She said she had been in this job for 6 yrs & the most she had gone thru this in one day was 14 times. Kathy & the sales rep actually wound up having a fun time. Kathy also did some clothes ironing.

Late afternoon, I used our Suzuki to take a letter to our post office & coming back into our garage, I noticed water dripping from an outside faucet. I tried several times to shut the dripping off to no avail. Later on, I called Bob, the builder, @ his home & told him about this. He said he would come over & check it out. He arrived about (20) min later & after he studied the problem, he said he would be over tomorrow to replace the faucet.

Our mail from Alaska was forwarded to us today, so I spent some time opening envelopes. Dinner: "hodgepodge" soup & later evening, popcorn.

Lights out: 11:25pm.                                  

Awake: 7:32am      Temp 15      sleep 7+01      sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

Today we both had our separate projects to work on; Kathy, for the 3rd time, moved her China cabinet over close to the entry wall & old switchboard. She put pads on the legs of the cabinet which allowed her to do her own maneuvering. DSC0001402.JPG Yesterday, Kevin not only brought the family over for a visit but he also had (18) wires with him with plugs on both ends, to accommodate the installation for our phone switchboard. That was one of the reasons Kathy had to move her cabinet back & forth (3) times to allow the placement of those wires. DSC0001403.JPG Meanwhile, down in the laboratory, I had (3) projects working @ the same time. I used a heavy round piece of metal to hold an aluminum wire down next to the blower unit to allow my camera to see what the temperature is in the Geo-thermo room. DSC0001404.JPG On top of this rod, I will fasten a temperature & humidity gage to allow the camera to see the readings from our master bedroom & on the computers; it will especially be handy for when we are traveling & touring. DSC0001405.JPG To help the (10-11) year old epoxy cure faster, I focused both heat lamps onto the ledge where that heavy metal is temporarily holding it steady. DSC0001406.JPG While the epoxy was curing, I continued organizing my workshop bench to allow space for fiddling & working. DSC0001407.JPG Here I am draining out the (6) year old epoxy which should be sufficient to support the top section of the hall tree. This epoxy is fast curing so I can't be sluggish when using it. DSC0001408.JPG In between time, I located a lot of my drills & metal lathe equipment & organized those in the corner for now. DSC0001409.JPG Now that Kathy has her China cabinet all loaded up for now, she came downstairs & continued calling a few players off their benches to get tough & win the game. DSC0001410.JPG Dinner: chicken broccoli casserole.

Lights out: 11:28pm.
Awake: 5:10 am      Temp 28      sleep 5+34      sunny       overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting & back @ our house, we tidied up the rough areas of our disorganized hex & game room. Since we are having the Foote family visit us, we don't want any one to get hurt. This will be the 1st time the Foote boys will be inside our house since we 1st started moving our things inside.

They arrived @ 1:30pm & were they ever excited; Kathy wanted to give the boys a personal tour but she didn't get too far; as soon as they saw the Match Box toys & other bigger toys in the hallway toward the guest's rooms, they stopped & that was the end of the tour. We had some of our son's medium size cars, trucks, motorhome, military trucks, airplanes, etc. from yrs ago. DSC0001395.JPG They played for quite awhile with all of those old toys & then it was time for a snack. A few months ago, Kathy's angel, Carol, had a children's table with (4) chairs that she didn't want anymore & offered to us. That was the perfect prize for that corner of the hex; DSC0001396.JPG                    & the boys loved eating & pouring their own water out of a pitcher. DSC0001397.JPG After their snack time, the basement was next; the boys looked everything over very closely, asking questions along the way. Since Kevin was still doing work on our high-tech stuff, DSC0001398.JPG the boys were all eyes as they stood there & watched their dad! Instead of just passing by some of my equipment in the laboratory & saying nothing, I decided to: 1st tell them what the machine is, then tell them what it can do, & then demonstrate the machine;for example, they really enjoyed seeing what happens with the metal lathe; DSC0001399.JPG and a heavy high torque drill, a smaller drill, a sander, a grinder, & a few other machines that I haven't had the space to put into action yet. It was a nice visit & I enjoyed playing with the boys & the bigger toys myself.

                               Here is little Abbey getting dressed up to leave. DSC0001400.JPG
                            And here is Abbey's Mother, Melissa carrying Abbey. DSC0001401.JPG We said our goodbyes to the Foote family for now & then K & I attended vigil Mass in Nicktown & afterward, joined Theresa & John for a pizza with beer; we always have a good time with these fine people.

Lights out: 12:31am.
Awake: 4:52am      Temp 26      sleep 5+54      mostly sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

Our coffee this morning was delicious; it was the 1st time in yrs that we frothed our coffee using the Jura.

After the KK meeting & breakfast, we motored to Barnesboro for some needed items; 1st stop: Fisher Auto Parts for anti-freeze for the Suzuki. Next stop: Wojcik's for a new battery for my watch, & then to Dollar General for 4-AA batteries.

En route to Nicktown, we stopped @ Bi-low's for some walnuts & bacon. Back in our house, in lieu of finishing the Foosball table today, I preferred to clean off my work bench & give myself room to do other things.

                                           before organizing work bench DSC0001393.JPG                                                    several hrs later. DSC0001394.JPG                                                  Pretty good, huh?

Dinner: Tuna fish with rice, broccoli & Como toast.

Lights out: 11:36pm.
Awake: 7:01am      Temp 26      sleep 7+39      mostly cloudy      overnight @ Nicktown

K& I attended the children's Mass @ 9:30am this morning & we skipped the KK meeting.

After we returned to our house, Kathy was very intent on getting our Foosball table put together; we hadn't forgotten about it, we just didn't know what we were doing.

It's have to slide (1 to 5) plastic players on the poles, use a few tools to tighten the players to the poles, & make sure the poles do not bang against the walls. If you should make a mistake on one of the poles, you have to remove all the players on that pole & re-start. I must have re-done a good dozen or more today. We literally focused our attention to get it right the 1st try...but it didn't happen.

We spent over (5) hrs without stopping & we are still not finished. Kathy took a break & washed a few windows, organized the other side of the game room, including sweeping & washing the floor to ease her excitement. It may look finished in the picture but it's not. DSC0001392.JPG Dinner: leftover egg plant Parmesan with Italian sausage mixed salad & Como toast.

Lights out:11:02pm.
Awake: 5:24am      Temp 40       sleep 5+25       rain began: 6:32am       later, snow most of day       overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, we returned to our home & decided to get into some boxes not yet opened; probably because of what we think may be in those boxes.

                 Aside from the slides & movies I've already packed away in my closet, DSC0001387.JPG there are (2) more boxes loaded with slides & home movies with sound await going through.


Here is Kathy looking thru some of her mother's slide collection. I did get the slide magnifier out from my closet so she could see those pictures better. DSC0001388.JPG Late afternoon, I felt better about my almost organized photos for now. When we have more time, I will do like Kathy did with her mother's photos & slides.

Dinner was creeping up on us fast but I wanted to open yet another even bigger box. I thought it was more photos, etc, but it turned out to be a lot of things I was given by Federal Express that I didn't open during that time. My gosh; gold cuff-links, watches, a world globe that lights up with small lights to show what country & time it is there; a gold Amethyst ring, etc, etc. I was so distracted by all of this that we didn't have dinner until after 8:00pm: DSC0001389.JPG Hey, I can't show all the real special stuff but those (21) stacks of playing cards from around the world were given by the airlines during those times.

Dinner: Beefed up Italian beef from Chicago, mixed salad, potato chips, & Como toast.

Lights out: 11:22pm.

Awake: 6:16am     Temp 47      sleep 7+13     heavy fog & gentle rain    overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, Kathy dropped me off @ the house & she went grocery shopping & for other things of interest.

I spent some time on the computer & then called my friend Gary J., & wished him a "Happy Birthday." Gary & I had a lot to talk about; we were probably on the phone for over an hr but it was some good chat. After that phone time, I began going thru a good sized box; checking what to get rid of & what to hold onto. After a while, Kathy called to let me know that she is doing fine but she's not finished yet.

Then I called Jeff in Alaska; I had e-mailed a documentary to him about a week ago & haven't heard from him since, so I left him a message. Meanwhile, Kathy returned home @ 3:00pm; we both helped in distributing the groceries. Then I made another call to Alaska; I asked Linda to forward our mail & then I let her know that we are canceling our forward mail program. She suspected as much as we talked about this a few times before. I also let her know that we appreciated their good delivery service & after (6+) years, they had never had a foul up in the shipping.

Dinner: Eggplant parmesan with spinach salad & Como toast.

Mid evening, I went down stairs & used my metal lathe to help clean off some of the rust on the metal holders for the ping-pong net.

Lights out: 10:48pm/.               

Awake: 6:21am      Temp 42      sleep 7+26       mostly cloudy      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, I called the Jukebox Junkyard south of Atlanta, Georgia where we bought our Jukebox in the early 80s. It was a thrill to have it in our house then & also in Alaska & we would like to have it working now in our new house.

Roy answered & just by describing our travels, he knew our Jukebox & my name. He told me he was the only (1) keeping the business going now because his dad & mother had passed away a few yrs ago. I let him know what our Jukebox was doing & not doing; he recommended that we get together on the phone @ 3:00pm today & have our jukebox manual & ready, with a few tools. "That will be great," I told him. And he mentioned, if he doesn't call me, I should call him.

Meanwhile, I wanted to clean up some stuff lying around the outside of our house: the lawn mower, a plastic cooler, a step ladder & my collection of butternuts. Then I used the tarp that I previous had cleaned the mud & sand off & covered the 1st (3) things mentioned.

                                It kinda resembles some kind of fish, huh! DSC0001384.JPG But it's just extra stuff. The remaining butternuts will be drying on top of the tarp, which should be held down by the small bricks.

After my late breakfast, I got the jukebox opened & ready, with an empty box for a desk, a few tools, a phone nearby & my jukebox manual. I called Roy @ 3:15pm; he got right into the problem that I had mentioned when 1st called. He had me turning to certain pages in the manual, looking @ the diagrams & asking questions that I couldn't answer. It's a very complicated & well built machine. DSC0001386.JPG About an hr later, he gave me a choice to follow the diagram on page 1234 & try to get the 1st problem out of the way, or bring my jukebox down there to have it fixed or pay Roy's way & he'll make a visit. "I will ponder those choices," I told him.

Dinner: pork chops with Zesty green beans (leftover) & Como toast.

Lights out: 1054pm.
Awake: 7:42am      Temp 42       sleep 7+34      sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

Today our town is celebrating the feast of St. Nicholas day a few days early (the actual feast day is Dec. 6th). For many years, the Nicktown church has been inviting the entire town for a covered dish dinner at the church hall in honor of St. Nicholas. This is something we don't want to miss.

Kathy made & brought a Zesty Green Bean dish for the occasion. @ 11:20am, we motored to the church hall & started our social gathering. About 11:50am, we all joined Father Chad & Brother Nathanial in giving thanks for our many blessings & then, off to lineup for the best & favorite dishes of so many of the town's folks.

Ah, such good & healthy food & the desserts were scrumptious as well. And so it was, super good food, great social time & we only had to clean our (1) dish.

Back @ our house, I continued my work on the hall tree for (3) more hrs. This time, the epoxy was cementing (3) sections together...using larger dowels in all sections. DSC0001381.JPG                                                               Section (2) DSC0001382.JPG                                                        & section (3) DSC0001383.JPG Late snack was popcorn with mixed nuts & cheese.

Lights out: 10:55pm.
Awake: 6:25am      Temp 24       sleep 6+20       sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, back @ our house, Kathy continued separating the books to be tossed, the books that will be given to Melissa for their church to sell next yr & the books to keep on our bookshelf. DSC0001379.JPG Meanwhile, I decided to get the hall tree that I made in Alaska & fix it. Apparently it had broken during shipping, so now that I have my metal lathe for help, I will re-enforce some of the parts; DSC0001380.JPG Kathy & I are looking forward to having a decent hall tree in our entry way to hang our coats & hats on. I spent about (5) hrs today getting the sections ready for the pins & epoxy.

Steve, one of the excavators, returned to finish the landscaping to our satisfaction. After he had finished, I walked both circular driveways & was very pleased & comfortable with what they had done.

K & I attended 6:00pm Vigil Mass & then we joined Barry, Theresa, & John @ the Nicktown bar for beer, Pizza & some much needed aviation talk that the ladies were starving to hear!

Lights out: 12:08am.
Awake: 5:01am      Temp 27       sleep 5+35      mostly cloudy      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, we returned to our house & saw that the Cunningham guys were making good time with the bulldozer & skitter. Around noon time, I could easily see that the gravel we had was thinning, so I asked Steve if he could call Don & order (2) more loads of gravel. He called but Don said he was so busy that he could only bring it in tonight in the dark. So I agreed to that plan.

It was kind of neat to see the lower ground covered with the dark topsoil taken from the (4) topsoil mountains. DSC0001375.JPG I didn't realize that Don, the gravel trucker, was in the area with a load of gravel & planned to dump it right in front of the (3) car garage. Since the Lexus didn't really have a hood problem (it was the driver who couldn't read the lower switch with a hood picture on it) When the skitter gets around to leveling the gravel out, K & I will back out the Lexus & the Riviera & then re-organize this (3) car garage to allow space for our Suzuki. DSC0001376.JPG It didn't take long before we had the space opened & how nice it will be. No more having to scrape the frost off the windows or snow off the cars before travel. DSC0001377.JPG                            Dinner: New England clam chowder with garlic bread.

Flash News! This just in: our younger son, Zack, working diligently for EMC, Corp.,has been duly promoted to "Principal Software Engineer." Proud Parents we are. Good work son, & congratulations!!! DSC0001378.JPG                                                Lights out: 11:56pm.
Awake; 5:27am      Temp 28      sleep 6+59      sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

                       Hurray! The Cunningham boys arrived a little after 10:00am. DSC0001369.JPG This means that we will be getting our landscaping done, having the weed mountains taken away & the downspouts will be hooked up plus our circular driveway will be gravel covered, etc. Here is Dave working the bulldozer. DSC0001370.JPG                                       & here is Steve running the skitter. DSC0001371.JPG Meanwhile, inside our house, Kathy was getting the final finish on her cabinet under the cook top from Doug. She patiently waited for months for the drawers to be re-cut & installed after they were re-measured. DSC0001372.JPG   Also around noon time, Don, the truck driver, came in & unloaded his 2nd load of gravel. DSC0001373.JPG The 1st load was unloaded just off the circular drive earlier this morning. The ditches were dug & the rain-spouts were connected to the pipeline headed down toward the field on the back side of our house. DSC0001374.JPG The guys got a lot of things done today & they will be back in the morning.

Dinner: Tilapia, brown & wild rice, salad, & garlic toast.

Lights out: 11:26pm.
Awake: 6:17am      Temp 35      sleep 7+48       rain & snow flurries + windy       overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting & back in our house, we initially started getting after our boxes (just a habit). However I wanted something different for a challenge so I persuaded Kathy to help me organize the south wing in our basement so we can start parking our Suzuki in the garage before the real winter roars in.

1st of all, 1/2 of that south wing was used by the builders to saw a lot of wood in making a bar, cabinets behind the bar, book shelf's, etc, etc, so it was covered with sawdust.

                                       This is the other half of the wing. DSC0001367.JPG I started dusting off our Lexus while Kathy was picking thru the small, medium & large boxes. About 8 months ago, we took a lot of things out of our motorhome that we were not using & stored them in this south wing. So now we have more boxes to go thru. Yippee!

                            We had the stored stuff all cleaned out & vacuumed DSC0001368.JPG so everything was looking good until.... I went to open the hood of the car...& it wouldn't open. I had disconnected the battery shortly after I parked the car many months ago, so without getting rough & tough, I was baffled. I choose not to do any thing else as the time was 6:00pm & getting close to dinner...Italian sausage with green pepper & onion, salad, & garlic toast.Lights out: 10:28pm.
Awake: 6:40am      Temp 57      sleep 8+02      rain off & on      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, about 9:40am, Barry & I went to our church to replace (2) strong light bulbs on the ceiling that burned out. I was chosen due to my skinny frame. Ken was my helping partner & Barry was the guy down on the main floor making sure the lights were properly focused.

The 1st light bulb replacement went rather well due to Ken's experience; he's done this before.

2nd light bulb was way down to where the roof meets the wall. Ken would have had a problem going down the steep rafters; but he did loan me his LED small flashlight which I held in my teeth the entire time; I needed both of my hands.

I had to skid down on my rump & get into position to do the job. The bulb was fixed on the light socket with little difficulty but the canister was a nuisance. It was leaning to the far right & I had no tools or anything to straighten it out; for the next 40-50 min, I tried getting that bulb focused to where Barry wanted it to be (shining on the organ player) but it just wouldn't do it.
Finally, Barry accepted having the beam focused on the Baptismal fountain, which is very close to the organ player. Down in the main church area, I doubt that anybody (except us...or the organ player) would know the difference.

Back @ our house, Corinne & Kathy were just finishing their breakfast; then Corinne began writing letters & later, Kathy went downstairs & scrubbed the mudroom floor. Then Corinne helped Kathy move (2) mattresses into the mud room.

Mid afternoon, Corinne visited her friend again while K & I started to assemble the Foosball game. DSC0001365.JPG Kathy had her Apple computer with a picture helping us to put things together. Then some of the players were not working out; they were complaining of backaches & tightness of clothing. They just wanted to lay around & goof-off. DSC0001366.JPG That's when we realized we were looking at a different foosball game all together. We will have to do some more research.

After loading her car, Corinne joined us for wine time & mixed nuts; then she motored to Ebensburg for a dinner with some of her high school classmates before going back to Pittsburgh.

Our dinner was later: left over chicken veggie soup & Italian tuna casserole with garlic bread. I do want to thank Corinne for helping Kathy wash windows, for plugging the screw holes in the entry door & windows as well as the downstairs doors, & for carrying those (2) mattresses into the mud room.

Lights out: 10:29pm.


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