Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dreary to Weary....

The day started a little on the wetside but it did stop raining by the time we arrived at the jobsite. Once again we started again with a "shop talk" with Duane showing us some of the tools that we would be using during the day. Due to the outdoor wetness, many were looking for jobs inside the house....the house is only 950 sq ft. and for 20 people, that can get a little crowded but we seemed to make it all work.

The same gang (minus Joan) headed under the house to finish up the insulation and vapour barrier as well as installing the hot water heater. Joan and I worked with Mac to learn how to grout the bathroom floor tiles and completed the job with great pride. The kitchen crew were busy installing the sink and faucet, connecting the water supply and then working on the kickboards and top mouldings for the cabinets. The shed crew were diverted to an indoor task for the morning - sanding the bedroom walls to prep them for the primer coat. There was plenty of dust but they did a fantastic job. Bev has gained the title of "painter extrordinaire" so she continued to paint the closet interiors as she had been doing the day before.

The beautifully sunny afternoon allowed for the shed group to return to their outdoor task and the group installed the facia / soffits on the shed. The kitchen crew continued their work, those under the house stayed there and the rest of us picked up a paint brush and started priming the two bedrooms. There were great conversations, some wonderful brainstorming and a signing concert to make the time go by.

Cyrus, the homeowner was onsite today and helped with the painting and getting to know all of us. He also joined us for dinner where we presented him with the lovely quilt that the Quilting group lovingly crafted. Cyrus was very pleased with the quilt and posed for many photos after we wrapped it around him.

We enjoyed a lovely meal of shrimp, cheesy grits and southern BBQ prepared by the folks at St. Andrew's Presbyterian - they never disappoint with the yummy food they prepare for us. Megan B also shared a wonderful, impromptu vocal performance.

When we returned to the hotel, Bev had prepared an evening discussion which everyone enjoyed and allowed us to get to know each other a little better. Stephane sent us a great video message which we shared together.

The evening wound down with a raukaus game of "president" or "janitor"....it has many names.

As usual, people are beginning to feel some new aches and pains each night as we discover things in our body we didn't realize we had. Bedtime is getting earlier for some.....maybe tonight it is because tomorrow we have decided to start an hour earlier so we can leave early at the other end of the day to get in a little shopping therapy.

Some photos from the day....

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday and first day on the job...

I missed posting yesterday as my computer decided it didn't like being dropped but after a little break, it seems to be working okay!

We attended St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church for service on Sunday and were treated too a wonderful bell choir as part of the service. During the time of fellowship, we enjoyed more than 10 varieties of Girl Scout cookies (who knew there were so many different kinds!) Our VA friends - John, Leonard & Herb also joined us for the service. It was great to reconnect and we picked up right where we left off. In the afternoon, a bunch of us went to the beach (which was very windy and the water very high) and enjoyed the warmth of the sun on our faces. Bev and I beachcombed picking up a variety of rocks, shells and beach glass. Then we went for a drive to explore some of the back roads and areas we have never explored before.

Peggy, Tom and Joan went for a hike at the Belle Isle park. They enjoyed the wonderful landscape and saw lots of wildlife including an eagle.

We all shared a wonderful meal together at El Charrito, a great mexican eatery. Thank you to Robert for your words of encouragement.

Today, we started the day with a safety session from Duane, learning about some of the tools we would be using today for the multiple tasks we were going to undertake. There were three groups of activities: installing the kitchen, siding the shed & installing the insulation (hard blue) and the vapour barrier under the house. Bev and I got in some painting, priming and sanding of drywall so that we can begin painting later in the week. The groups did a great job at their tasks and we are well on the way to completing the jobs.

Our evening ended with a wonderful meal at the home of Tom and Browny. They were gracious hosts and we thank them for opening their home to us. Thank you to Jan for tonight's workds from home.

The best way to sum up the day is in pictures.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

We've arrived

We woke up this morning to light blowing snow and bright sunny skies. The snow didn't last long as things started to warm up as we headed south - although the wind still has a little Jack Frost in it, even here in VA.

Today was filled with lots of firsts....the sighting of motorbikes (although one rider had a toque on over his helmet so it couldn't have been too warm), a convertible, pansies and daffodils in bloom, crab apple trees in bloom and for some, it was the first time they had been this far south in the US.

We arrived in Kilmarnock at 5:25pm - Megan B won the time pool to the exact minute! We freshened up and headed over to Anna's for a nice Italian dinner. A quick trip to Walmart and our evening meeting and another early night. We lose an hour of sleep tonight so people wanted to catch up on it!

Ruth et al have made it safely to their destination and will meet up with us in Kilmarnock tomorrow evening. They made it over the border without incident but they did watch a "take down" of someone else ahead of them by the troopers.

We had a letter from Dianne M. and a wonderful Irish blessing.

Tomorrow we will be off to church in the morning and some exploring in the afternoon...who knows where that will take us!

Friday, March 9, 2012

We Left Early....well by a couple of minutes

11:58 am we pulled out of the KUC parking lot to begin our journey. The sun was shining and spring was in the air.

At the border, we were through the line up in less than 10 minutes and Tom & Peggy just a few minutes behind us as the border guard had to change lanes because the computer told him to.

We encountered blowing snow and some strong winds as we ventured past the southern shore of Lake Ontario and thankfully the snow wasn't building up on the road so we were make good time pulling in to Binghampton for dinner (or in our case "lupper") by 4:30pm - at least we didn't have to wait for a seat.

Our early arrival allowed for the young people to have a swim or two, and the group share some great "together time", sharing stories and snippets of our lives. We shared a wonderful letter from Steve & Wilma (Bev guessed it on the first guess!).

An early evening will allow for an early morning....hoping to be on the road by 8:30am.

Safe Journey to Ruth et al who are leaving tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

We prepare for the journey

I am finding it hard to believe that we are already into March of 2012 and preparing for another journey to Kilmarnock, VA on our mission trip. On Friday, we will pack ourselves into two vehicles (one vehicle will be heading down on Saturday too) and begin our 5th journey down the I81 to VA. It's like going to visit family. We have been able to build wonderful relationships with the folks in Kilmarnock. They are always so warm and welcoming to us. They keep us well fed both physically and spiritually.

This year will be bit different as it will be the first year that we will be doing finishing work instead of building the physical structure or the bones of the home. It will present new experiences for all of us and will require the fine motor skils to be in tact for the detail work that includes things like painting, installing flooring, cabinets, electrical and plumbing fixtures.....all the things you get to see when the house is complete! I feel confident with a paint brush / roller but am excited to learn how to install other things...like the flooring, cupboards....and maybe even a toilet.

We are looking forward to sharing our journey with you again this year. What will God have in store for us this year?

Only time will tell......................