Visit to Grace UMC

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Grace UMCA few weeks ago fellow NOMADS Hiram and Cindy invited us to go to Grace United Methodist Church in Auburn, AL to explain what NOMADS are to the trustees. The date was set for today. We met up in Ashville and began our trip about 8:00 am. We arrived early for 11:00 am service and met with Pastor David to look over the campus and learn more about the church.

Worship at Grace UMCAfter the service we talked to the trustees about the history and mission of NOMADS and some of our experiences on projects. We explained some of the type work we have done and what the church’s responsibilities would be if it decided to host a project. It is a very welcoming and friendly congregation. All in all it was a good trip. And we really enjoyed the drive down and back getting to know Cindy and Hiram better.

After we returned to Pine Mountain we got to enjoy a late evening walk around the track with Barry and Donna. We miss them a lot when we travel.

Back To Blount County

Saturday, April 7, 2018

More flowers

It rained and rained last night. It was really good sleeping weather listening to the rain on the roof of the motor home. However, the alarm clock went off early again this morning. The rain had stopped but the temperature was considerably cooler and according to predictions was going to drop all day. They were right about that but wrong about the rain that returned this afternoon. The forecast now is for a low of 32 with rain/snow mix tonight. I guess this is spring in Alabama. Summer one day and then winter again the next.

Feeding NewdulWe were up again at 5:00 this morning because we needed to be at Aunt Jean’s assisted living by about 8:00 to take care of Newdul the turtle, pick up a few things Jean needed and get the mail. We then had to be in Oneonta at 10:00 to take care of Jean’s admission to the rehab center. They were so nice to go ahead and admit her and let us sign everything this morning. Of course since we had just done all the same for Helen a few weeks ago we guess they trust us now. Everything went very smoothly. We visited with both Aunt Helen and Aunt Jean. Helen seems to be doing quite well. She is scooting around everywhere in the wheelchair and walking around in the room without even a cane. She seemed quite content, smiling and laughing. She didn’t mention going home until right before we left but when we said she still had therapy to do she started talking about something else. Aunt Jean’s room is right next door to Helen so Helen has been going in to check on her. Jean isn’t doing well. She appears to have lost more weight since we saw her the day before we left for Baton Rouge. Debra said she seems better than Wednesday when she got here. She is just so weak. Hopefully therapy will help her as much as it has helped Helen.

A funny thing happened earlier this week at the rehab facility after they admitted Aunt Jean to the room next door to Aunt Helen. Our sister-in-law, Debra, and her sister were there visiting Aunt Jean while Aunt Helen was at dinner when the therapist came in to do an assessment. She asked Debra several questions, then started to get Aunt Jean out of the hospital gown and into clothes. Debra and her sister stepped over to Aunt Helen’s room and sat down. A few minutes later the therapist came in with more questions and after a moment asked “Don’t you think we should go back to Jean’s room? If the resident comes back to this room and finds strangers sitting here it might upset her.” She was really encouraging them to get up and leave the room. That was when Debra realized the therapist didn’t know “the resident of the room” was her aunt too. The therapist must have been pretty horrified that Debra and her sister would just make themselves at home is someone’s room.

After leaving the rehab center, we did some grocery shopping, had a salad for a late lunch and then decided to ride out to Camp Sumatanga to see if we could find our dear friends Dave and Carol Hill. They are leading the NOMADS team at Camp this period. They weren’t home when we arrived but we were able to visit with one of the maintenance guys we have worked with on previous projects. It was great to see him again and then we saw Dave and Carol drive by. We headed out after them and had some good reunion hugs after we caught up with them at a stop sign. We decided to go to Cracker Barrel for Carol and Dave to have a late lunch and visited for quite a while. We shared an apple dumpling that was very big and very good. We would have that again. We had a wonderful time visiting and catching up. We will be working with them in Baton Rouge in about a month.

Dogwood bloomingWe hope to go out to Sumatanga again Monday and have devotion with the team before we go to assisted living again to meet with the director. One of the things we have really noticed since being back in the country is the number of dogwood trees blooming in our woods. The azaleas are also in full bloom. We got two springs this year. Nice.

We then returned to the mountain and visited with Debra at Aunt Helen’s house. Love, love, love our sister-in-law. Thank you, Debra, for all you do. We are now back at the sticks and bricks and are happy all seems fine. It’s been quite a while since we slept in the house. Thankful for a warm house with a good heat pump.

Leaving Baton Rouge

Friday, April 6, 2018

The weather was cool this morning. Had to put on a sweatshirt for the outside work of getting ready to go. It was quickly warming up by the time we left and short sleeve t-shirts were back on. However, it was noticeably cooler when we stopped at the Mississippi welcome center and by the time we arrived in Tuscaloosa it was long sleeves and jackets. Just looked at the forecast for tomorrow at home and the low is 32. No fair! We want to go back to Baton Rouge. Stel and Jodi and Ron and Mary were scheduled to leave today and both decided to stay another week. It’s still cold and snowy in Pennsylvania and Michigan so the Baton Rouge weather seems even nicer to them.

Today was the day for the real goodbyes. Last night we knew we would all see each other this morning but this morning was different. We were all up milling around and walking the dogs and cats. Really didn’t want to say good bye but it was time. Lee Ann and Barrie left just before us this morning headed back to Colorado. We left about fifteen minutes later. This project was so good for us. Thank you God for all the friends who answered your call to ministry in Baton Rouge.

It was an uneventful drive to Tuscaloosa. Traffic was pretty light and it’s interstate all the way. There were the usual distracted drivers and people running red lights in Tuscaloosa but we arrived safely. It’s really raining here now. Should be a good sleeping night. We will leave early in the morning to go to Oneonta to take care of Jean’s admission paperwork. We will be busy the next few days. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Last Work Day for this Trip

Thursday, April 5, 2018

It was a brisk 47 degrees in Baton Rouge this morning. We did indeed use the fireplace this morning. It was a beautiful sunny and hot day by this afternoon. We have been blessed with wonderful weather while working in Baton Rouge. Great time of year to be here!

Our last morning devotion time for this tripWe lead devotional time this morning and it was well received. It’s always a little sad to us when we have our final devotional time with our team. It’s sort of like leaving your small group for the summer. And when we leave tomorrow, we don’t know when we will see some of these people again. We have had some really great people on the teams this past four weeks. We appreciate them all.

Today we had lots we wanted to get done and knew going in we would probably not get it all done. Our prayer was that we would accomplish what God had planned for us today and not our list. We feel we accomplished that.

Siding finished on back wall

The siding crew of Suzanne, Lee Anne, Mary and Jodi returned to working on siding and only stopped when the roofing crew called for help. The crew got all the remaining siding on the back wall of the first addition. They also worked on the caulking and paint on that wall. It is looking amazing. It is really surprising how closely it matches the existing cedar siding.

The roofing crew worked on getting the second addition in the dry. We hung the two fly rafters, and installed the sub-fascia and the drip rail. It was then time to begin the metal roofing. We completed about 2/3 of that. Max worked with Gene, one of the team leaders for next three weeks, to be sure he understood what we had been doing and how to complete what we have started on Richard’s house. Anne spent time with Carolyn, the other team leader for the next three weeks, doing the same thing. Gene and Carolyn reminded us this evening that they have our phone number if we are needed next week. We wish we could have completed the roof but it was more important first that we all remain safe and second that we leave things for an easy transition. We know we accomplished #1 and hopefully two as well.

The house at the end of week four
The house at the end of week four

It has been a wonderful month in Baton Rouge. A lot of healing has occurred even though we know we still have a lot to work through. We are in a better place today in spite of the problems with Aunt Jean this week. God continues to bless us and hold us in his hands. For all this we are very thankful. Please pray for our safe travel tomorrow.

Pizza party
We ended our work week with a pizza party

New Leaders Arrive

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

We had severe thunderstorm warnings overnight but all we actually had at Francis Asbury was lots of rain and some thunder. As was predicted it was all over by 7:00am. The day began very cloudy with the sun out by 10:00. It is considerable cooler tonight and we may have to use the fireplace in the morning.

Lee Ann and Barrie had our devotion this morning and it was another good time of sharing. Charles came by and visited with us for a few minutes and then it was time to go to work. We were very glad that Stel and Jodi were feeling better and were able to join us today.

The worksite was pretty wet after last night's rain
Wet worksite

We expected everything to be wet and muddy at the job site and we were right on target. It was muddy and slick. We put down some wood to walk around the exterior. We started the day with the siding crew back on siding after taking the day off yesterday to work on the sheathing. Stel and Ron worked on framing in the door and building out the interior walls. Still have a little to do on the closet wall. Max and Barrie and Anne completed the sheathing and worked on the roof framing. We all helped put together the scaffolding for the siding ladies, Jodi, Mary, Suzanne, and Lee Ann. It was a busy day but we aren’t quiet ready to install the metal. We hope to get to that tomorrow.

Also, the new team leaders Gene and Carolyn, who will be taking our place, arrived today. We showed them around the job site, and tried to bring them up to day. They will be working with us tomorrow too. It is so good to have them here. We last worked with them in November, 2014. We have wanted to work with them before now but our schedules just haven’t matched up. Maybe we will have time to visit a little tomorrow. We will not have a lot of time though because we have to be packing up and reading to leave. Hard to believe tomorrow is our last day here. We are tired and ready for a break but will be sad to leave our homeowners and team. Until tomorrow.

Team picture fourth week Baton Rouge DR
Team picture fourth week Baton Rouge DR

All Hands On The Second Addition

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Yep, it was another beautiful day. Hot this afternoon with high of 83. Unfortunately, they are still predicting storms tonight. The weather is suppose to be out of here by 7:00am so hopefully we will not have a rained out work day.

Suzanne brought us a devotion today from The Upper Room. Thought provoking and good discussion. Thanks, Suzanne. Unfortunately, Stel and Jodi were added to our prayer list because they are both sick with colds. They didn’t work today and we hope they are feeling better after some extra rest.

We really missed Stel and Jodi on the job site today. We have gone from 13 team members to 7 today. However, they are an extremely hard working 7 and accomplished a lot today. We pulled the “Siding Crew” over to work with everyone else on the second addition today. Suzanne, Lee Ann, Mary and Ron worked to put up the sheathing. Barrie also helped with that for a time this morning. It is up except for one piece that we didn’t put up so we could more easily access the area. Good work! Max and Barrie installed the rest of the rafter blocking and then got all the purlins installed. You rock guys! Anne helped with what ever was needed but spent a good deal of time on the purlins as well. It was a very productive day.

Sheathing and purlins installed on second addition
Sheathing and purlins installed on second addition

We would appreciate your prayers for Aunt Jean. For those of you that don’t know, she has now had three falls in the past week, all three requiring a trip to the ER. This last one they admitted her and are trying to determine the cause. As of now all we know is that she has a UTI. The plan now is to discharge her Thursday or Friday to a rehab center/skilled nursing facility unless they find another problem. Hopefully with therapy, she will regain enough strength to return to assisted living. The case manager we talked to today said it might be time for her to have more care than assisted living. Our LOLs sure have had a rough year. We will see what tomorrow brings. Whatever it is, we know God’s got it, already.

Start Of Week Four

Monday, April 2, 2018

Beautiful day with a high in the lower 80s today. We are really enjoying the weather here. It is going to get really cool later in the week but not nearly as cool places north of here. We heard about possible wintry mix at the Master’s this week. Surely not! I’m sure Rita will get that changed. Or maybe she will pack some warmer clothes. Have fun in Augusta, Rita and Dave!

Today our newest team members Mary and Ron brought our devotional. Thought provoking and very good comments and conversation with the team. Thanks, Ron and Mary.

After devotion, we loaded up the scaffolding into Charles’ truck along with the drywall lift and headed to the job site. It’s spring break for the Baton Rouge schools this week so traffic was fairly light. Everyone quickly got to work with Stel and Barrie working on framing the walls, and Ron and Jodi on demo of the sheathing on bedroom 2. By the end of the day all the exterior walls were up, the rafter hangers were in place, the sheathing down, and the door was cut from the living room to bedroom 2. Suzanne, Lee Ann and Mary worked on the siding. Jodi joined them later in the day. There is now siding on three sides of the first addition and one window is trimmed out. One more piece of siding and we will be ready to put the scaffolding up for the higher areas. Max and Anne worked on bedroom 1 addition, using foam insulation to complete the installation of the roof and then installing the ceiling and wall insulation. It is almost complete and should be completed tomorrow. Hopefully some drywall will go up Wednesday or Thursday. A couple of points of celebration today. The green screws for the metal roofing finally arrived today! We may install those in the morning before the roof gets too hot. Also, the conference bought us a tool specifically designed to cut the cement board siding. We used Gary and Avis’ tool last week but sadly they left us this weekend and for some reason took their tool with them. We asked Charles about purchasing one and he found us one today. Yea!! This tool makes cutting the concrete board so much easier and safer because there is no dust. Thanks Charles!

So a lot was accomplished today on what turned out to be a hot day. We were definitely happy with the progress and most importantly, there were no accidents. BTW, we have two team members who are not feeling well, battling colds, and we would appreciate prayers for them and that the rest of the team stay well.