A Cold Start To NOMADS Friday

Thursday, January 18, 2018

It was 27 degrees this morning when we got up. Now that is not nearly as cold as other places north of here, but it is way too cold for central Florida. It’s been a long time since it was this cold here according to the TV. It is suppose to warm up this weekend and be nice again. I guess we can handle one day of cold.

Kathy and Terry treated the team to a pancake breakfast this morningKathy and Terry, our team leaders, prepared a wonderful pancake breakfast for the team this morning. Great way to start the day! We all ate our fill of sausage and pancakes.  Kathy and Terry decided we would have breakfast today and intentionally get a late start to our work because we were trying to let it warm up a little. Max and Anne brought our devotion that we entitled First Responders. It was based on Luke 10:29-37, the parable of the Good Samaritan,

After devotion we all went to work. Mark, Chris and Max went back to the water plant. They continued to work on the shed for the electrical panel. We were all glad to have Chris back.

Jo and Kathy installing more privacy screen
Jo and Kathy installing privacy screen at water plant

Jo and Kathy did some landscaping work, repositioning a statue in a garden and then worked on the privacy fence. Mike and Terry did some additional work in the chapel.



Ruth, Anne, Laura and Carol cleaning paint brushes

Anne, Laura, Ruth and Carol painted at a duplex all day. The duplex will be used for some of the young men in the transition program.



Team Dinner at Goodfellas

When the work day was over we all quickly got showers and we all headed to Goodfella’s Italian restaurant. All the food looked and smelled delicious. Everyone agreed that the food was very good and the desserts as well. We had a wonderful waiter who took very good care of our large group and we would definitely go there again.

That’s it for today. Tomorrow – Road Trip!

Walls are going up rapidly on the new child care center
In case you were wondering, the walls are going up rapidly on the new child care center next to where we meet every morning.

Another Busy Wednesday

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Today was another nice day here in Florida. A little cool this morning but warming up this afternoon. However, temperatures started dropping about 3:00 and dropped quickly, and a nasty wind developed. We finished work at 4:00 and wanted to get a bike ride in because we know it will be too cold tomorrow. When we left for the ride it was 66 and less than an hour later and 8 miles later it was 59 and we were cold. The 4 mile return was straight into a nasty wind. We did get to see the bald eagle on its nest again. The cold front comes through tonight with 30 degrees predicted so we are operating off our water tank rather than city water tonight.

We started the day with another good devotion today brought to us by Lee. We then received our assignments for today and went to work. Actually we sat and visited a little while before going to work. Everyone seemed a little tired this morning. Max and Mark completed the pump house today. Yea! We think it looks really good. It still needs to be painted but the wood is pretty green so they may let it “age” a little before painting. The NOMADS that will be here in 6 weeks might get that job. Max and Mark then resumed their work on a shed on another building to protect an electrical panel. They made good progress on that as well.

Laura painting the porch on a cottage
Laura painting the porch on a cottage

Anne again worked with Jo, Laura and Kathy on another painting project. This time the group worked on painting a porch, doors and windows at one of the children’s cottages. They will have to return next week to do some additional work, but it is already looking so much better.  The house mother and kids were very please and appreciative.  Mike and Terry did some work in the chapel and Mike did some additional landscaping. Lee and Bob continued as the light bulb brigade. There are a lot of light bulbs on this campus with about 47 buildings.

Ruth and Carol did an amazing job of cleaning up an area close to the new fence. In cleaning out the underbrush they discovered some great potted plans, azaleas and gardenias as well as some other things we can’t name. They also came to the cottage the other ladies were painting and did some raking and cleaning of the landscape there too.

It was another day where a lot was accomplished but there is always more to do. Tonight and tomorrow are going to be cold. Don’t think we will be doing much work outside in the morning.

Taco Tuesday

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Today was a repeat of yesterday weather-wise except it got even warmer this afternoon. It was hot if you were working in the sun but a little too cool in the shade and wind. But it was another beautiful day. We are feeling really sorry for all of you who are experiencing the dangerously cold weather. Please be careful!

We, of course, started our day with a devotional, today lead by Mike and Ruth. Ruth used Psalm 100 and a devotion from “Jesus is Calling”, a very good daily devotion book. Mike and Ruth gave us a copy a couple of years ago. Thanks Ruth and Mike for reminding us today that since we are Christians and have Jesus as our Savior we need to share that joy with the world. We should be smiling and praising.

So what work did we do today? Kathy, Lynn, Jo and Anne painted all day. They worked at the picnic pavilion painting the ceiling, inside and outside trim and the picnic tables. It was a big job, but one they completed just before the end of the day. Max and Mark repaired some of the trim at the pavilion this morning and then returned to the water treatment plant.

They completed the copula on the pump house and installed part of the siding. Mike and Ruth worked some in the chapel and then Mike and Terry installed some privacy screen on the fence at the water plant. Carol and Ruth did a lot more landscaping work. Lee continued working on changing out light bulbs all over campus.

Mike clearing brush from around gate
Mike clearing brush from around gate before installing privacy screen

Dinner with the teamJust as we were finishing up for the day Terry reminded us that it was Taco Tuesday at a nearby Mexican restaurant. Bob and Carol could not go because of another commitment but the rest of us decided $0.99 tacos sounded good and with a quick cleanup and change of clothes we were off. We did get to the restaurant before the big crowd, but the place was packed and noisy before we left. We returned home and topped of our meal with a slice of Key Lime pie. Another good day. Time to go to bed.

Outdoor Monday

Monday, January, 15, 2018

Today was another sunny day. Windy and cold this morning but warmed up to about 58 this afternoon. And cold is so relative. Compared to the rest of the country it was balmy.

Today being Martin Luther King Day, the kids were all out of school today and in the cottages so they didn’t want us working there today. Mark and Jo brought our devotion today which came from Our Daily Bread. Entitled “Pursuing Unity” it was thought provoking and very appropriate on MLK Day.

The maintenance guys were also off so they didn’t really want us in the other buildings or on the equipment like tractors. So today was a different day for most of us since we all worked outside. The ladies worked on cleaning out what used to be an azalea garden. Jo saw one bloom in this big heap of moss and limbs, and foliage the other day. From what she could see and a sign that was almost completely covered by overgrowth she thought is was an abandoned rose garden. The ladies worked really hard but saw great results for their efforts. Max and Mark were able to continue their work in the water treatment area. Anne helped there this afternoon. Mike and Chris worked on the fence again. Bob and Lee did some landscaping cleanup, with leaf blowers.

Street Cleaners Lee and Bob
Street Cleaners Lee and Bob

It was a laid back Monday with everyone enjoying being outside today.

Return Visit to Emmanuel

Sunday, January 14, 2018

We had beautiful sunshine almost all day. It was a little cool this morning, requiring a jacket but beautiful day. The wind was gusty and got worse just before dark. Our last walk this evening was a three layer of clothes walk, requiring ear cover as well. It wasn’t so bad if you were out of the wind but if in the wind it was cold.

Today started early for a Sunday. We decided we wanted to return to Melbourne today to visit at Emmanuel UMC and pulled out of the parking lot abut 8:15. Some of you probably remember we worked at Emmanuel in January of 2015 and then led the team at Emmanuel in 2016. Melbourne is about 90 minutes from FUMCH. It’s an easy drive partially out through the country with the last 30 or so minutes on I-95. We arrived early so we drove around the area and went by some of our favorite spots, like Del’s Freeze (best soft serve ice cream) and a couple of restaurants. We are glad to report they all survived the storm and ready for our return. There are still signs of the recent hurricane with blue tarps on roofs and some homes still boarded up. It appears a few businesses have closed. Sad.

We really love the people at Emanuel. It was so great to see all the ones we worked closely with on the remodel in 2016. The ones who finished what we started did an excellent job and everything looks so great!

Example of our project task list
Example of our project weekly task list

Worship at Emmanuel UMCThe service was wonderful. We have always appreciated Pastor Pam’s thought provoking messages and today there was an added treat. A young man played a musical piece he composed for the offertory. Wow, it was something else! We understand he plays drums and several other instruments but we know he can really play that piano. After worship, we enjoyed spending time over lunch with Pastor Pam, Rebecca and her Mom, Dad and grandmother and Pastor’s daughter, Alana and Cheryl. We probably outstayed our welcome at the restaurant but it takes a while to catch up on everyone. The church is still hoping the city is going to allow NOMADS to use the RV sites in the parking lot again, so we can return to do some community outreach projects. We discussed several options to try to move that along and hopefully something can be worked out. Thanks so much to everyone at Emmanuel for making us feel so welcomed – almost like we hadn’t been gone for 2 years.

Last night's key lime pieWe had an uneventful drive back to Enterprise and are getting ready to go back to work tomorrow.  In case you are wondering, the Key Lime pie we made yesterday with the fresh key limes was very good.  We haven’t eaten it all yet but probably won’t last too much longer.  Hope everyone had a great weekend.


Wildlife Day

Saturday, January 13, 2018

This is second Saturday for NOMADS. It didn’t get as cold last night as predicted and was 61 when we got up this morning. However it was down to 58 by 9:00. Never got any warmer and was down to 54 at 5:00. It was another gray day with an occasional break of sunshine that was always very short lived. The forecast doesn’t look good for folks north of here so y’all be careful and stay warm. Be sure to check on your neighbors and family.

Great Horned Owl in nestThis morning we hiked rather than biking, back out the East Central Regional Rail Trail to the eagle’s nest. Just after getting on the trail we spotted another nest close to some condos. Strangely it appeared to have a Great Horned Owl sitting in the nest rather than eagles. We met someone on the trail that lives in the condos and she said one of the pair of eagles that was there the last few years died and the survivor has not returned. We did some research and found that it is not unusual for Great Horned Owls to take over eagle nests. They have even been known to run the eagles off at times. We like owls almost as much as eagles so it was cool to see that today.

A little further down the trail we saw a pretty Cooper’s hawk. He was perched on a limb right beside the trail and just sat there and posed for us. Nice.

When we got back out to yesterday’s eagle nest we didn’t see anything. We had almost given up when one of the eagles started calling. A short time later one was again on a branch above the nest. We continued to watch and eventually the one on the nest perched on the edge of the nest for a minute and then flew away. It returned a little later and again went down into the nest, we assume to sit on eggs. That time we were able to see the top of her head above the nest. The other eagle, we presumed the male, continued to be on guard on a branch above the nest. A fun morning bird watching. Love the eagles.

Making real key lime pieAfter returning to FRED, we prepared a late lunch of Instantpot meat loaf and mashed potatoes. A good recipe. We will have meat loaf again for lunches this week. We also juiced our key limes that were given to us yesterday and made a key lime pie. It’s still chilling in the refrigerator so will have to let you know later if it was good. Hope so. Otherwise we did a some laundry and reading.

Resident gatorLate afternoon we took another walk, this time around campus. We were told by Laura and Jo that they had seen a small alligator in one of the ponds. We found it. It is small but we suspect that if he doesn’t move on somewhere else before he gets much larger, the Children’s Home will have to have him relocated. However, it’s Florida. If there is a little pool of water there will be a gator there at some time. Don’t forget to be in prayer for services tomorrow and enjoy your time of worship.

A Day To Play In Enterprise

Friday, January 12, 2018

Today was another nice warm day. The high was 79. However, the cold front is coming through tonight. It’s raining now. Our high tomorrow is predicted to be 53. Oh well, 53 is a lot better than what our northern neighbors are experiencing. We understand it is snowing at our house now and its currently 28 degrees – and that’s in Alabama. Thankful we are in Florida.

Since this is NOMADS Saturday, we elected to sleep a little late and then Max fixed us a wonderful breakfast and while eating we totally changed our plans for the day. The forecast had changed and it looked like the rain was not going to arrive until after 3:00. So, we decided to do some bike riding today while it was warm rather than waiting until tomorrow. We road a portion of the Spring to Spring bike trail and then road the East Central Regional Rail Trail end to end. Today we did a total of 18.4 miles. It was a very scenic, quiet and relaxing ride. Beautiful area. On the return ride we met a couple from Chicago and they pointed out an eagle’s nest to us. It is a large nest. There was an eagle perched on a limb above the nest and we are guessing the other half of the couple was sitting on the eggs. We hope to go back out the trail tomorrow with our good camera and tripod and see if we can get some better pictures.

There are a lot of geocaches along the trail, but we only took time to find three.

After our ride, we went back to FRED and rested a while and then after a late lunch we headed into town to run some errands and buy some groceries. We found a local produce and meat store that was interesting. They had all sorts of ethnic items and good prices on produce.

We also rode over to Sanford, FL, on the opposite side of Lake Monroe from the Children’s Home and did some shopping over there. They have all the big name stores there and lots of people.

We returned home and plan a quiet evening watching a movie. Hope everyone is staying warm.