Thursday, March 15, 2018

We have been so blessed this week with perfectly wonderful weather. It has been great for working. The morning temperature was 42 this morning, a little cool in the shade but by 10:00 we were in our T-shirts. Beautiful clear, blue skies all day.

Today the ramp crew came close to completing the ramp and Richard tried it out in his scooter. He is a happy man! The smile on his face and the laughter was priceless. It’s why we enjoy working disaster rebuild projects. The bedroom addition crew got all the rafters installed, all the hangers in place and all the hurricane straps installed. After receiving the new shower pan, the ladies installed part of the base plates for the new handicap accessible bathroom. Progress was made in all areas today. The weather forecasters say we are going to have a very wet weekend with rain predicted Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so we cleaned the job site really well and then we placed tarps over all the lumber this afternoon.

The house at the end of Thursday
The house at the end of Thursday

The best part of our day was lunch. Richard ran a catering business at some point. He wanted to show his appreciation to us so he made us jambalaya for lunch today. We can attest to the fact that Richard is a mighty fine cook. He has this huge pot and he cooks the jambalaya outside. It was by far the best jambalaya we have ever tasted. The only downside was that it was hard to go back to work this afternoon. We all ate too much.

Today was the end of week one of the NOMADS Louisiana Disaster Rebuild. As is our tradition, tonight the team went out to dinner. Yes, even after all the jambalaya. Team members Barb and Mike will be leaving in the morning so they chose the restaurant, Sammy’s Grill, and we all had our final meal together and said our goodbyes. Except for the goodbye part, it was a very good week. This team has been amazing in their teamwork, work ethic and just how much fun we all have had. Yes, it was a very good week.

Head Scratching Day

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Another gorgeous day. 42 degrees this morning and 65, bright and sunny this afternoon. Just about perfect working weather. We still need sweatshirts in the morning but by 10:00 it is great. Its going to be 36 in the morning. May take two sweatshirts.

Today our team again worked really hard. The wheelchair ramp is almost complete. The hand rails will go up tomorrow and a few other finishing touches. We think it looks great! The room addition went slower today. We had to make some decisions on how we wanted to proceed. The original plans for the attachment of rafters to the existing structure resulted in less slope on the roof than we felt was required. So there had to be some adjustments made. A good deal of time was then spent brainstorming, head scratching and trying different options. We ended up taking down the wall we raised yesterday to make those adjustments and then raised it again. We now have what we believe is a better plan and should be able to move forward tomorrow on getting the rafters and other two walls in place. Today we also did more demolition inside the existing structure in preparation of removing two windows and cutting in an additional door. There was also more demo of fascia and soffit. This afternoon the handicap accessible shower was delivered. That delivery allowed us to then have exact dimensions in order to lay out the bathroom. Several of the ladies looked at different options and presented them to Richard who then decided how he and his wife want it built. Looking forward to moving ahead on that tomorrow, too.

The house at the end of Wednesday
The house at the end of Wednesday

Fellowship dinner provided by the churchTonight the members of Francis Asbury UMC prepared the team a wonderful dinner. They are preparing a meal one night each week that there are volunteers here at the church working the flood relief. Such sweet people. We had wonderful food including many great desserts and a very nice time of visiting with the team and members of the church. A very special night.

Super (Busy) Tuesday

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Today was another day about like yesterday weather-wise. Sweatshirts in the morning and t-shirts in the sunny, blue sky afternoon. Even had to use some sun screen today. The high has only been in the upper 60s, so it is great working weather.

We again started the day with devotion, presented by Barb. She used “The Seven Ups” which we really enjoyed. Thought you might enjoy it too.

When we arrived at the job site, Richard was again waiting to greet us with a smile. He is so excited so see some progress on his home. Today we got to meet his sweet wife. She had a doctor’s appointment and rode her scooter out to visit with us a while. It was so sweet to see the two of them sitting side by side watching us work. They had the biggest, sweetest smiles. They are both so appreciative.

We had another very productive day. The ramp crew is now probably 2/3 complete and it is looking great. They decked the upper landing and built the long run down to the lower landing. They should finish the ramp except for the hand rail tomorrow. Think the ramp will probably be complete by Thursday. The room addition is also going well. The sub-floor was installed today, the first wall was built and raised, and the siding was removed from the house side for the addition. We are pleased with the progress but more importantly our home owners are so happy.

Raising the first wall
Raising the first wall
The house at the end of Tuesday
The house at the end of Tuesday

Our LSU portapotty was finally deliveredWe had a lot of fun today too. We were all excited because they finally delivered the our port-a-let. (Yesterday we used the facilities at Walmart.) We are in Baton Rouge, the home of LSU. And we are from Alabama, home of the Crimson Tide. Team members Dave and Rita are from Hoover and are huge Alabama fans. Wouldn’t you know the port-a-let would be painted LSU colors. Didn’t know if there would use it, but Rita gave in and visited the facilities. Thought we would need visual proof to show her friends. They may not let her back in the stadium for Alabama games.

Fifteen pounds of crawfish
Fifteen pounds of crawfish

We also heard a very funny story about dinner last night. Mark and Lisa and Mark and Jo went back to City Cafe last night to try out the boiled crawfish. Well, Jo didn’t want crawfish. So the other three decided to split the five pound tray. At least that’s what they thought they were doing. The waitress delivered the three trays and everyone began to eat and eat and eat. Then the check was delivered, they learned they had indeed each eaten five pound rather than the 1.5 pounds they thought they were eating. Hearing them tell the story of the evening was hilarious. We think they will be a little more careful next time the want to share an item for dinner.

Today was another beautiful, fun, spring day in Baton Rouge.

Blooming azalea
The azaleas are beautiful here right now

Great First Work Day!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Team picture first week Baton Rouge DR

Today we began our day with devotion at 7:30 which of course seemed really early due to the time change. Think we need to go to bed early tonight. We got a report on Cindy from Avis and Gary and learned that the truck and trailer were possibly totaled, but of course that will depend on what the insurance company has to say. Today Cindy salvaged as much as she could from both vehicles, and boxed it up. She tentatively plans to rent a U-Haul and drive back to PA. Her brother was flying down today to help her. Of course, we are all just thanking God for Cindy’s and her puppy’s safety. Both truck and trailer ended up on their side so things could have been much worse.

We headed to the job site at 8:00 and traffic was not too bad but it was still a full 30 minute drive. The team went right to work framing in the bedroom addition and removing the wheelchair ramp. At the end of the day we had the floor joists in place, the wheel chair ramp removed and the rebuild begun. Certainly accomplished more than our hosts thought we would get done on day one. Everyone worked well together, laughed a lot, and worked hard. Most importantly, everyone remained safe. It was a very good day.