"Crotty News" Postings for:

October! Right now (01 Oct) we are still in Freedom, New Hampshire, visiting with Alice & Charlie! We'll be heading back to Maryland, North Carolina and then South Carolina soon!

    Friday - 01 October - Our last day here so we went roaming around Conway. Weather has been overcast and a bit cool. Stopped at thrift shops, "Job Lots" store, etc. Had dinner at the Muddy Moose in Conway. Nice place with high ceilings, shiny pine wood walls, tables, bar etc, and big windows. Spent the evening at Frank's and Ellen's place, up in the hills behind King Pine Resort.

    Saturday - 02 October - Dale didn't sleep well last night. Today is my birthday - 67 years young today! :-) We originally planned to leave today but Kathy called and said there was terrible weather with humongeous rain and wind down in Maryland and coming north. Oddly enough, the sun came out here and it is a beautiful day!! So, Charlie & Alice drove us along the famous Kancamagus Trail. Stopped at the Lower Falls, a beautiful expanse of water rushing over the big rocks, with kayakers running the rapids. The foliage looks great with all the bright sunlight! Had lunch at the Woodstock Inn and then drove through Franconia Notch. Saw Cannon Mountain where the Old Man Of The Mountain used to be (the famous rock face slid down the mountain a few years ago). Stopped at Crawford Notch Depot. The sun was now behind the mountains so we were getting beams of light coming across the top of the darkened valley.

   Sunday - 03 October - Time to go! We left Alice & Charlie's but there was road work on route 16 so we detoured across to Concord, NH and took Interstate 93 into Massachusetts. We continued straight through Boston to East Bridgewater and visited with Janie & Ed. They are both recovering from surgeries but looked good. We were so far south that we continued on Interstate 95 South - a BIG mistake. I should have gone back to Boston and then turned west. All the cities on the Connecticut coastline use I-95 as their personal rush hour traffic lanes, so our trip was terrible!!! After much delay and 580 miles of travelling today, we arrived at Kathy & Tom's in Woodbine, Maryland. After driving all those miles wouldn't you know that a deer jumped out in front of the truck just a half-mile from their house! Luckily Dale saw it in time.

    Monday - 04 October - Don Smith's birthday today and, I think, it's also Helen Eddy's birthday! Jessie has a doctor's appointment, so Kathy is off today. Then we're all off to the movies for the 2:20PM Matinee. We won't be here for Jessie's birthday (11th) so we took her, Kathy & Tom to see The Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga'Hoole at the Cinemark Egyptian 24 (Arundel Mills Mall). Then to a Mexican Restaurant for dinner!

    Tuesday - 05 October - Terrible night sleeping for some reason. Up at 4:30AM. We're on our own today so we went to Bob Evan's for breakfast then spent the day roaming around stores in Westminster and Randallstown. Stopped in at "Ollie's" in Randallstown, a discount store where I can usually find more junk to buy :-) In the evening we went to Mel & Joyce Heller's home in Randallstown. They hosted a BBQ for us and the remaining "Softlanders" in the area (we all retired around the same time and worked together for a small company called DPC, until it was purchased by Northrop Grumman).

    Wednesday - 06 October - Joe King's birthday! Our annual NSA/A5 Office Reunion is also today, held at Blob's Park in Jessup, MD. They held the first Oktoberfest in America back in 1947 and the german food and beer is still excellent! Hundreds of old friends and co-workers attend each year, althjough the ranks are starting to thin out -- many people dying off. America's silent heros. Ran into an old friend who was a Rep at Augsburg back in the late 1970's. During a TDY there (Fasching Festival time), he introduced me to a powerful drink called "GeisenMas". Geisen is "goat" and Mas is what the Bavarians call a one liter mug. The drink is one-half litre of dunkel bier, one half-liter of Coke, and who knows how much Asbach Uralt Brandy!! This is definitely one to try at HOME first! It will knock you on your rear! Dale left early with Joe King since Sharon got home early. I sauntered in to the King establishment around 6:00PM or so. Dale wanted a nice steak so we all went to dinner at the Texas Roadhouse in Pasadena.

    Thursday - 07 October - Travel Day! Left Kathy & Tom's and drove south to Macon, North Carolina -- Sue & Tom Peterson's place on Lake Gaston. After years of construction traffic jams on the Washington Beltway, they're now doing it all over again! Unbelievable traffic all through I-270, I-495 and I-95 until we were many miles south of Washington! Good ole Tom had a couple of beers waiting for me! :-) We spent the remainder of the afternoon and evening just relaxing with Sue & Tom. Their screened-in, elevated porch is perfectly situated for nice breezes and views of the woods and the lake. They also had some new concrete walkways installed since we'd been there last, and the trees and bushes surrounding their patio have grown spectacularly! Very pretty!

    Friday - 08 October - Sue Smith's birthday! We're driving back to Myrtle Beach later today. Until them we're roaming around thrift shops and antique stores in Warrenton and Littleton. Had lunch in Warrenton's Hardware cafe. It actually is an old hardware store with the old-time shelves etc intact. Good food too. I like the 1950's "small town" feel. Well, time to go. We arrived home around 10:00PM, unloaded the truck and called it a day!

    Saturday - 09 October - Tim Wright's birthday (Cousin Marie's husband in California)! In the morning I mowed the lawn and cleaned the place up and then we met Karen & Chuck at the beach for Myrtle Beach's Oktoberfest! They closed off the main/downtown street along the beach and set up tents for beer, wurst, etc. Free music on a big stage near The Bowery, the place where "Alabama" got their start. Hadn't been inside The Bowery before, so we did that. Met up with lots of Karen & Chuck's friends on the street. Good time had by all!

    Sunday - 10 October - I planned to do some more yard and concrete (patio) work today but instead I stayed inside and tried to catch up on the tons of backlogged e-mails and other correspondence.

    Monday - 11 October - Jessie's Birthday! 15 years old! Dale and I called and sang a very off-key "Happy Birthday" duet to her :-) Had a power outage for some reason and my sprinkler system came on at 3:30PM (the timer's backup battery was dead). Fixed that and spent the rest of the day going through the accumulated mail and transferring files/photos from Dale's laptop to the Dell desktop computer for further processing.

    Tuesday - 12 October to Wednesday - 20 October - Linda Pacheco's birthday on the 12th. Cindy Yung and Edo Iannaccone's birthday on the 17th. Taka Mori's birthday on the 20th (Alana's Dad)! Last tuesday the 12th I started back working on the concrete patios. Installed pipes and underground wiring for another pole light and then started to fill in the "finishing touches" such as concrete triangular slabs between perpendicular slabs so people will have a place to walk straight across from one area to another. The new light pole works (although I did trip a breaker on my initial connection :-) Everything else went fine and I finished off the last of two slabs extending out from the back porch -- when I hurt my back again (around the 15th)!! Oh the pain! I guess that I once again lifted one of those 80lb bags of concrete the wrong way (I did feel a twinge). So for the past four days and nights I've been taking it easy and trying to recover. The nights are the hardest. Standing up I feel OK. Something about lying down that makes it hurt. So, at least I am now caught up with the 400 or so e-mails that were on my computer, as well as snail-mail correspondence.

    Thursday - 21 October - Fred MacDonald and Jason King's birthday!! My back may be healing since it didn't hurt as muich when I swung my legs up on the bed. Actually went outside today (first time in 4 days) and drove to a store that specializes in renovating doors with "stained glass" inserts. Much cheaper than buying similar doors from Lowes (thousands of dollars)! Will bring Dale there soon to see what she thinks. We might install two sets of double doors, with these inserts, where the glass sliding doors used to be. May have to wait and while and save up though. Well, tomorrow is our 48th anniversary but we're going out tonight with Karen & Chuck to one of our favorite restaurants, "Nico's of New York". The owner's family originally came from the Bari area of Italy, very close to where we were stationed years ago.

    Friday - 22 October - Our 48th Anniversary ! Painful night (back/leg pain) with not much sleep. But felt quite a bit better by late morning so I went out and dug away the last areas on my patio construction project. Made the forms for pouring the last two wide steps. May do the pouring tomorrow. Then all I have left is to get mulch and some rocks to go around the large tree. Drove Dale to the stained glass door/insert store. Arrived at 3:20. Store hours supposed to be open until 4PM. Nope - closed. Probably decided to make a long weekend out of it. Sonic for a late lunch. Spent our anniversary evening with Karen & Chuck at our friend Gary's memorial service. He just died, suddenly, of a heart attack. Too young (51 or so). Gary owned the Socastee Station Restaurant, one of our favorite hangouts, and he always stopped by the table to chat. Really nice guy. We'll miss him a lot. Last week we were all just talking about going back to Socastee Station to see him. We didn't make it in time.

    Saturday - 23 October - Terrible night. Agony. Back pain includes hip, pain, groin pain, thigh pain and knee pain on right side. Now I have a possible urinary infection. Plus a damn headache. Was up every 45 minutes last night. Finally, at just after 4AM I took one of the hottest showers I've ever taken, directing the water to the areas that hurt, trying to make the pain go away. Took two Tylenol Plus tablets and finally got to sleep around 4 AM. Woke at 10AM for more of the same. There will be no concrete work for a few more days, for sure. Spent the day getting worse and worse and finally Dale had enough of my moaning and groaning. Off to the Hospital Emergency Room. Hardly anyone else there so I got excellent quick help. My blood pressure was so high it "popped" his machine and he had to reset it. Something in the high 170s. They determined my problem to be a urinary tract infection. Took test sample. Yep. "Raging" infection! Two sets of pills - one to dilate the tract and the other an antibiotic to kill the infection. It worked!

    Sunday - Monday - 24/25 October - Pain subsiding bit by bit. Actually slept most of Saturday night into Sunday. Same for Sunday night. Catching up on lost sleep. The drugs worked! They stripped off the pain caused by the urinary tract infection (the kidneys were affected so they caused my "added back pain). Unfortunately the back pain I had been suffering with before getting the infection -- that pain is still there! I can live with it since it isn't as intense as what I've just gone through. Dale and I went to the stained glass door store and picked out the four stained glass inserts she liked. I'm going to buy the doors and cut the holes for the stained glass inserts myself. We save much money that way. Also got $55 off each door because he had them in stock and didn't have to order them.

    Tuesday - 26 October - Slept ALL of Monday night right through Tuesday morning, waking up at 12:30PM! Had planned to go to Habitat's Retail store and look at their large selection of doors (very reasonable prices). Have to do it another day. I have an appointment with my own doctor at 4:00PM today. He checked me over. Blood pressure at 150. Still high because of the continuing back/leg pain. He prescribed an additional pill for the high blood pressure (for 30 days, in addition to my regular pill). He also doubled the amount of pain-killer medicine I've been taking for my back pain. Everything else looks good. I'm to see him in December but if the back and/or urinary tract doesn't get better before then, I'm to come in. Love this guy!

    Wednesday - 27 October - Tiziana's birthday (Lake Como and Milan, Italy). Last night I used Facebook to give her birthday greetings (Italy is six hours ahead of us). Her and her husband are just outstanding people. We hope to visit them again in the next two years. Last night was tough. Dale had had some minor surgery and the stitches were hurting her all night. Since I slept so much the previous night, I was wide awake or semi-awake all night with, of course, the constant pain in the rear, the thigh, the knee and the shin! Unbelievably, I feel fairly good today, so I'm going to try and update some of our photos and upload them. I am SO far behind!!

    Thursday - 28 October to Sunday - 31 October - No photos done at all. Pain Pain Pain and more pain. Been to the doctor's office again. Pain pills don't work. Got new prescription. They don't work either. Am up every hour or so. Hardly any sleep. Pain hurts too much during the daytime too - don't feel like doing anything. Tonight is Halloween and about 6:30PM I actually started editing my pictures again. Usually I can't sit for more than a few minutes before I irritate the sciatic nerve. Crossing my fingers that the pain will start to go away.

Love,     &nbs;       Regards,
Dad & Mom     &nbs;       Barry & Dale