Today started as a very overcast day, and with the 25mph sustained winds, it felt much colder than the 47 on our thermometer this morning. It was 11 degrees cooler for our high today (70) and we are going to be back down in the 30’s tonight. It’s really not suppose to be this cold here. We came to south Texas to wear t-shirts and shorts and today we all looked like the Pillsbury Doughboy we had on so many layers of clothes. Guess we aren’t quite far enough south. The wind was so bad today that Rita, Dave, Max and Anne got wind burned working outside all day. By the way, if anyone is interested, the Lumber River in Lumberton, NC is still not below flood stage. It was almost there at 13.4 (13 is flood stage) but now with the storms it’s going back up again. Still hasn’t been below flood stage since the floods of hurricane Florence last September.
Roger and Bev led us in devotion today. Bev read the story of the author of the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul” and then we all read the works together rather than singing. Sometimes when simply reading the words we listen more attentively and think more about the meaning.
Stel asked us all to be flexible today and switched things up a bit. Rita, Dave, Max and Anne went to Josefina’s to install more of the trim on the exterior of the house and build the back porch and steps. The trim is completed and we built the deck area and steps but have not quite completed the hand rails nor installed the pavers at the bottom of the steps.
Roger and John stayed at the church to work on the bathrooms, installing water lines and the lavatory. Stel also worked in the bathrooms and installed a new light fixture in the ladies room. Bev and Jodi worked on the bathroom doors, giving them a little sanding and then some polyurethane. The doors look really good. Tonight we all went back to Strickland’s for dinner and of course there was lots of great conversation and even more laughter. We have such a good team! It has been a real pleasure to work with this group and as usual we will be sad to say our “see you down the roads.”
We will have to really push tomorrow to finish everything up but hopefully things will go well and we can make it happen. We would like to finish a little early so we can begin packing up but if not we will just leave a little later on Friday.
Today was another gorgeous day. The high was in the 80’s, bright and sunny. The wind was 25-35 again so we were again under a fire warning but still a nice day.
John lead us in devotion time this morning. He used 2 Corinthians 12:9 for the scripture. He postulated that it is good for us to have troubles and adversities. Every trouble has some use. A crisis has two components, opportunity and danger, and it depends on how we respond. We need to understand what the pain is trying to accomplish in our lives and let the pain be instructive. There was some good conversation and thoughts.
We then all went back to work. Rita and Anne began working on the flooring in the bathrooms at the church that Stel had started. Max, Diane and John went back to Gilberto’s to do the caulking and install the remained of the trim. Dave and Roger went back to Josefina’s and Max joined them after completing his work at Gilberto’s. Gilberto’s house is now completed and we know they are be glad to have their home back. Several of us went back to Gilberto’s to do the outside cleanup after lunch but the wind was blowing so hard we decided to wait and return tomorrow. Things kept blowing off before we could get them secured. Back at the church Rita and Anne completed the flooring in the bathrooms and then John installed the toilets. Max help Rita and Anne and then worked on the shoe mold. There is still a lavatory and more shoe mold to complete tomorrow. We didn’t go back out to Josefina’s this afternoon and don’t know exactly what is left to complete there. Roger and Joel were working on the back porch when Max and Dave left for lunch. Things are really coming together and we should be able to complete all the church has asked us to do. A week ago we weren’t so sure about completing it all but it’s looking a lot better now. Two more days. Then we will be on the road again.
It was another cold morning – relatively speaking – 36 degrees. Cold for south Texas! We had ice on the windshield. That’s not suppose to happen when you go to a project in south Texas. Oh well, it warmed up to be a beautiful day with a high temperature of 76. Nice!
We really didn’t want to get up this morning. Some of you probably know why. Yep, we had to see the lunar eclipse last night. Got some pictures. Love the super blood moon. The last one we photographed was in Kalamazoo, MI at annual meeting a few years ago. It was a little more photogenic but this one was still good.
Stel and Jodi brought us our devotion today. It was Psalms 13. Stel reminded us we can worship God with our questions. Good point.
We then all went back to work pretty much where we left off last week. Rita, Max and Anne headed back out to Gilberto’s. We started the day with the hopes that we would finish the flooring tomorrow. Unbelievably, we have the floor finished. In spite of having to move the refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer, and freezer and work around all that stuff, somehow, we got all the flooring completed, and all the trim back down that we have. We will have to buy a couple of pieces tomorrow. Stel, Jodi and Dave came out late this afternoon and helped finish up and move all the appliances back in place. We really appreciated their help.
Jodi, Bev, Stel and Diane worked at the church today. There was trim to be cleaned and painted as well as flooring to install. Not sure what else was done. We will find out at meeting tomorrow. Dave, Roger and John went back to Josefina’s and continued work on the siding for the house. Hopefully we will be over there tomorrow to get some pictures. We are tired but it was a good day.
Yesterday, was a beautiful, blue sky, sunny day. It was cold and windy all day. The winds were 25-35mph sustained with gusts to 40mph. We were so glad we were not moving Fred yesterday. We did drive to Mercedes, TX, about 70 miles south of Falfurrias and 10 miles from the Mexican border. We went to Mercedes to attend a NOMADS gathering and lunch meeting. The wind pushed the truck around but we had no problems. We met a number of NOMADS we did not know so it was a good visit. We met people who have been NOMADS a good while, come to Texas every winter and haven’t been to an annual meeting thus we had no opportunity to meet until yesterday. We also met some of our new members that joined last month. We had a wonderful meal of green enchilada chicken casserole, rice and beans, a wonderful salad, a fruit salad with some of the best blueberries we have every eaten and, of course, very tasty cupcakes for dessert. On the way home a few miles south of Falfurrias we had to stop to go through a Customs and Border Patrol checkpoint. We noticed a long line at the checkpoint when we headed south so were prepared for a wait but there wasn’t much of a line by the time we returned. It appeared that they run your tag and by the time we moved forward to the officer, he asked if we are citizens, did we have anyone in the back of the truck and where we were going. He then told us to have a good day and we thanked him for his service and returned to Falfurrias. It was a fun day.
Today started off cool but ended as another bright and beautiful and warmer day. We worshiped with our friends at First UMC Falfurrias for our last time today. They invited us to stay and have brunch with them in the fellowship hall. It was another great meal as covered dish meals always are. This afternoon we rested and did a little work on Fred. We are starting to get ready to move on Friday. It will be a very busy week this week because we so much work to complete. Suspect we will put in some long hours this week. Hope you all had a great weekend.
Today was another mostly gray day. A sprinkle or two of rain was all we had. Late this afternoon there was little sunshine and we ended with a beautiful sunset. We have no idea what the sunrise was like because the fog was so thick. Besides, we slept in as did all the other NOMADS here. We are always tried on Thursday nights because we push to get things finished for the weekend, and then when we got home we all worked until about 8:30 on the flooded church. We all deserved a late wake up. Even the puppies let their masters sleep in this morning.
First thing this morning Max went in the church to check to progress of the drying. Things were definitely better but still wet. Dave decided to try to pickup some more water with the Rug Doctors but was only able to get a very small about picked up today. The rest will have to be handled by the fans. Stel talked to our church contact and they are pleased with all we did and don’t think we need to do any thing further. We suspect we may need to leave the fans on until sometime next week.
Today, as usual for Friday, we cleaned, did laundry and tried to catch up on some of the business items. This afternoon we all went to Baffin Bay Seafood for an early dinner. Of course some of us heard it as Bath N Bay the first time Stel was trying to describe the restaurant. The whole conversation got pretty funny. Baffin Bay is another place in the middle of nowhere about 32 miles east of Falfurrias. It was worth the drive. We would definitely return. One of their specialties is fried drum ribs. Sounds pretty odd to us. Per the internet, drum is a fish similar in size, taste and texture to red snapper. Well, that is fine but ribs from a fish? Really strange. We did order a platter with grilled drum and grilled shrimp both of which were very good. Dave had the courage to order the specialty. Now none of us think it is much of a specialty. It really was ribs – small fish ribs – and not much fish attached to the rib bones. We all decided a person could never fill up on drum ribs because you burn more calories eating them than you are taking in. Fortunately, Dave had some other seafood too. Thanks team! It was a fun evening.
Today was another cloudy, gray day. No rain, but it’s been a while since we have seen the sun. Actually two of our home owners commented today on how they hoped the sun will be out tomorrow. Fortunately, the forecasters have changed the predictions for the weekend and we will not be having any low temperatures but will have 20-25mph winds.
Max, Anne and Rita have continued to work on the flooring at Gilberto’s home the past two days. We are making progress. We now have all the bedrooms completed. We completed the living room and hall today. It is looking good and the family is very pleased. Monday we will be working in the kitchen and things will move slowly because of all the things that require moving – refrigerator, washer, dryer, deep freezer, stove and china cabinet. The pantry will also need to be partially emptied so we can replace the flooring there. Gilberto’s wife Eva is very sick and we are anxious to complete the work so that she can have some peace and quiet. Besides, we only have four more work days in Falfurrias.
Diane, John, Roger and Dave went back to Josefina’s to continue working on the exterior siding and trim. We drove over there this afternoon to take a look and take some pictures. We visited with Josefina for a few minutes. The house is looking really good and she is very pleased. The peacock blue with white trim looks really good.
When we returned to the church we discovered that the church was flooded. A pipe had broken and when a member was driving by this afternoon she saw water running out the front door of the sanctuary. YIKES! We quickly started helping clean things up. We rented two Rug Doctor machines to pick up water as well as using some of our personal wet/dry vacuums. Some of the church members brought some fans and Rita and Anne drove to Kingsville (over 60 miles round trip) to purchase two large fans. There were many gallons of water removed by the rug doctors and we left the fans running tonight and we will see how things are in the morning. The leak was caused by a compression fitting that failed. This was not one that the NOMADS installed but is was in the same area where we have been working. Hopefully things will dry out more over night.
We have now completed week two of this three week project. A lot has been accomplished. We still have a lot to complete. Tonight we are all very tired.
It wasn’t as cold today, but still no sun. It rained or threatened rain all day. It’s raining tonight and is predicted to rain all day tomorrow. But it is warming up a bit so that is nice – as long as you don’t look ahead to the weekend forecast.
We led devotion today using 1 John 5:14 and 1 Thessalonians 5:17 as the basis for our talk. We began talking about using the tools from our tool bag yesterday to remove base boards, completing the job and putting them away, to pull out the next time we need them. Then we talked about how if we all really admitted we often use prayer in our lives and in the church as a tool from the tool bag. When we need God to do something, when we need something in ministry, when we desire to have something accomplished, we go to the spiritual tool bag because we know prayer is what we should use. We pick up prayer, we pray the prayer, and then we put prayer back in the tool bag until we need it again. But prayer is intended to be so much more than this. So often we use prayer as a vehicle to get us to a desired destination. But what if prayer is not the vehicle that brings us to our destination but rather what if it is the destination. Prayer is not simply a step of the journey, prayer is the journey. It is a continual conversation with God. He waits for us to talk to him. He waits for us to listen to him. (Taken partially from a devotion by Brian Sutton in the YouVersion Bible app.)
Since it was a cool rainy day, work assignments changed today. Diane and John went back to Sara’s house to make a repair on her shower. It was leaking and damaging the flooring below. They think they got the leaking stopped with some cleaning and patching. When they finished there they joined Dave, and Roger back at the church to demo two small restrooms in the narthex of the sanctuary. We will be replacing the flooring, toilets and sink in these two rooms. They made great progress today. Bev and Jodi worked on clean and painting baseboards for Gilberto’s house and cleaning, staining and putting a coat of polyurethane on the beautiful old trim from the restrooms. Anne, Max and Rita went back to Gilberto’s and completed bedroom #3 and started the prep work in the living room which is also where Gilberto’s wife’s hospital bed is located. This makes installing the vinyl a little more complicated. We have to work around and move a lot of furniture and move the patient in the hospital bed from one side of the room to the other. She is a sweet lady who is on hospice and has declined over the past week. Hard situation. Hopefully we can complete their house quickly so we can be out of their way. We are working hard and making progress. Everybody stay safe and warm this week!