Friday, March 14, 2014

The Polar Vortex....

Today was down right cold!  Even for us hardened Canadians.  It is amazing how quickly we "warmed up" only to then be hit with this colder weather.  It was chilly with high winds which negated working outdoors on the ladders to continue with the siding.

That meant, that it was a day of everyone working inside.  Things were a little crowded but everyone was able to find some work in the various rooms and the drywall is going up quickly.  Every room should be done before we head back north tomorrow.

We are truly blessed here in Kilmarnock and know that we also bring blessings to the people here.  Continually, we are greeted with open arms and with a genuine interest from people who find out who we are and why we are in town.  It is a mutally beneficial relationship.

I had the pleasure of running into Cyrus today at the grocery store he works at.  I jogged his memory as to who I was and asked him how he was enjoying home ownership.  He was tickled that I remembered him and he wanted me to pass along his "hello" to everyone.  He also thanked me again for his quilt.

This evening we were invited into the home of Theresa and Bruce (Bruce is the volunteer coordinator for the HFH Board).  It was a wonderful evening of food and fellowship.  They had a beautiful waterfront home and were greeted by a warm fire.

It is hard to believe that it is already Thursday night and that we will be packing up in the morning to start heading north in the afternoon.  I am not sure where the week has gone but it has and we are better for it. 

Here are some photos of todays progress.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The job site was bustling again today with plenty of work!  Carl and Raymond continued to install drywall with Ruth's help.  Cara and Brianna taped all the drywall seams.  Bev, Pam, Bronwyn and Jeff removed and re-installed the siding at the back of the house (this was the third time it has been installed and removed to "get it right").  Dana and Olivia prepped the gable on the porch with Ty-vek and started to install the siding.  Cori, Monica, Isabel & Cameron tended to a variety of odd jobs including more digging of drainage ditches!

Jennifer, the homeowner, has been working with us throughout the week and we have shared some wonderful fellowship with her.  Today, Jennifer was celebrating her birthday.  She arrived on the job site to a chorus of "Happy Birthday" and then we decided that today would be a great day to give her the wonderful quilt.  Jennifer loved the colours and was very happy to receive the hand-made gift.

After a lunch of deep fried chicken (which was yummy!) it started to rain and we decided that we would leave the job site to explore some of the local businesses in Kilmarnock.  It also gave some of us an opportunity to catch up on some rest.

Typically on Wednesday nights we go out on our own as a group for dinner to a local restaurant.  This year was no different.  We went to Crabs and Cues which is a lovely restaurant just outside of town that serves wonderful local seafood and offers karaoke on Wednesday night.  Some of us enjoyed the all you can eat shrimp and we all got up to sing a variety of songs throughout the evening.

Had a rain storm pass through tonight which has pushed the warm air away and will be replaced with some cooler temperatures and high winds.  Not the storm we understand that you all have dealt with today. 

Thanks to Stephane for your video message.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bright Sun & 23 degrees

I am sure this won't make those of you stuck in the snow but it was a glorious, sunny day with the temperature topping out at 23 degrees celcius.  Tomorrow they are calling for rain and back into single digits om Thursday so we all soaked up the sun today.

It was another busy day on the job site.  A fence was started & completed by our young people.  Drywall continued with the "inside crew".  There was more trench work done (another one dug and the plumbing done in the larger one) including the filling in of yesterdays digging.  The eavestroughing was done and there was a variety of siding installed, removed, recut, re-installed and then will be removed and re-installed again tomorrow.....the joys of having to move a window!

Tonight we were hosted for dinner by Nan & Ernie.  These folks are amazing!  They have spent the last year or so building a wonderful barn on their waterfront property.  It will house Ernie's workshop and a sewing room for Nan....although this might change as many opportunities have presented itself for this wonderful building.  Nan and Ernie also have 14 chickens who were kind enough to provide Ernie with enough eggs for him to make fresh, home made pasta - it was fantastic!  And for dessert we had home-made nut cake and ice cream to celebrate Dana's Birthday!

Thanks to Peggy and Tom for their lovely letter - We Miss You!\

Monday, March 10, 2014

First Day on site

As usual, the first day on the job site is always busy and exciting as we begin our week of work.  There was plenty of work to do!  There were drywall clips to be installed, drywall to be hung, post holes to be dug (by hand and thankfully only 24 inches deep), pipes to be insulated under the house and a trench to be dug...a long, deep trench.  Our "trenchies" crew spend all 7 hours on digging out a trench and did a fantastic job!  Everyone pitched in as they were able with many learning a new skill.  A great day of work was done by all.

For dinner, we were treated by the board of the local affiliate at a wonderful chinese restaurant in town.  Everyone shared their fortune and they were quite varied including living on the moon in the next century, to getting new clothes, to having a blessed life.  They were tryly inspiring. 

Some photos of our days work:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Can I get a witness?

Today we had the pleasure of worshipping with the wonderfully welcoming congregation of Calvary Baptist Church.  The service was insipiring and toe tapping.  We all thoroughly enjoyed it!  Afterwards we were treated to a wonderful lunch.

It was a sunny 58 degrees here and we soaked it all in.  We made our annual pilgrimage to the beach and a quick stop to look at the job site.

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church hosted us again for dinner (5th year in a row).  We dined on cheesy grits, shrimp and pulled pork sandwiches.  Yummy!

Our evening included a rousing game of hearts and Taboo!  Off to bed to be ready for our first day on the job site tomorrow.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Spring really is coming.....

Hard to believe I know but we have seen many signs of spring during today's multi-hour drive to Kilmarnock.  Today we have enjoyed the warmth in the sun (we acutally had to turn on the A/C in the van to keep us cool); we were able to shed our coats to walk outdoors when we stopped for lunch; the motorcyclists were out riding; folks were out in their convertibles with the top down; the winter wheat gave the fields a wonderful green tone; we lost sight of snow as we skirted around Washington; and there were plenty of groundhogs along the side of the road greeting us as we drove past (all alive to boot!).  Spring really does exist....just not back at home!

Now that the whole group is finally together, we enjoyed our dinner at Anna's Pizza just across the street from the hotel.  We then returned for a quick discussion before retiring to our rooms for the night.  Should try and get to bed early as we lose an hour tonight.

Tomorrow will be a busy day with visiting and exploring the area.  We will be visiting Calvary Baptist Church tomorrow for service and lunch and then off to St. Andrew's Presbyterian for dinner.  Supposed to be nice and sunny!  Will be an adventure tomorrow, but that will be stories to share with you later!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Mission Trip 2014

Today we started out on our 9th journey to help folks build a better life for themselves.  A hand up not a hand out are words repeated many times during our experiences with the Lancaster / Northumberland Habitat for Humanity affiliate.  We have had many wonderful opportunities throughout the years and are certainly looking forward to more this year.

It was a beautiful day for driving.  Bright and sunny, finally some warmth in the sun!  Lots of wildlife to watch along the way (18 hawks and plenty of deer were on today's list of beasts).  The roads were dry, not too busy and were being well staffed by local law enforcement.

We are tucked in for the night  and will look forward to the rest of the journey tomorrow.  We look forward to sharing our journey with you and providing you an inside look at what we experience.