The rain held off until this afternoon. It was cloudy and cool all day. The rain started as just a fine mist but then we had real rain. It’s been raining intermittently this evening. The forecast for tomorrow isn’t very good. 100% chance of rain. We shall see.
Gary brought our devotion today. We missed Nancy. She threw her back/hip out yesterday and went to the chiropractor yesterday afternoon. She is feeling a little better but wasn’t able to join us this morning. She needed to rest today. Gary used today’s reading from the Upper Room based on Psalm 46:1-5. Gary reminded us that others are watching us. They see how we react to adversity and problems. They hopefully see Christ in us. Thanks Gary for the reminder.
We all headed back to the same jobs we left yesterday afternoon. Max and the drywall crew continued to hang drywall and prep for additional drywall. They still have at least two days of work left. Also today the scope of the work was broadened. Now we will probably be doing all the drywall finishing so we will not complete that house for some time.
Anne and the rest of the team returned to the St. Amant house. They continued to install crown mold, baseboards and doors. They also continued to remove all the painters tape that has been up too long and touching up all the spots where it pulled paint from the walls. The repair on the kitchen ceiling was also begun. Today we put a skim coat on the wood to cover the knots and seams. We hope to complete our work in St. Amant this week. There are other homeowners waiting in line for assistance. It was another good day of work.
Today was not nearly as nice as yesterday. We had clouds all day but the rain held off. It was not nearly as warm today, 57 compared to yesterday’s 82. We have rain forecast for the next 10 days. Not the way we would like to start this project but maybe the forecast is wrong.
As is our custom, Max and Anne led devotion time today. We then decided on job assignments. We picked up tools from the tool room and headed out to three job sites. Anne, Gary, Nancy, Anne and Bob headed to Paula’s house in St. Amant where we were working on installing crown molding, doors, and making a repair in the kitchen ceiling. There was also lots of painters tape to remove. It was a challenge because the tape had been on for a week. We still have several rooms to go. Bob and his Anne hung one of the closet doors and will install the trim tomorrow. Nancy and Gary worked on the crown molding. It makes the room look so much better. Anne removed some of the kitchen ceiling tiles and has the area ready for drywall.
Larry and Jean worked with Charles again today. They were here last week working as a drop in and Darryl wanted them to finish up the insulation and underpinning they started then, since we probably won’t have weather for outside work the rest of the week. They completed that task mid-afternoon and joined Max’s team hanging drywall. Harry started the day breaking up the old, heavy (300 lb) castiron bath tub and the rest of the guys helped get it out of the house. The team then worked on taking down the decorative beams in the living room. After those two items were marked off the list everyone began hanging drywall. They made great progress today but there are still a lot of sheets to be installed.
This evening we were surprised by the Teresa and Linda, who work for the conference disaster team, with a pecan praline king cake with cream cheese filling. We talked about it this morning during our meeting when Teresa came by to greet us. Most of the team had never had king cake. Teresa say they don’t eat doughnuts when it’s king cake season (Mardis Gras) because the cakes are better then doughnuts. Now that was hard for us to believe. So we all had king cake tonight. It was very, very good. Now we understand. Thanks to Linda and Teresa.
We had a good start to the project today. Lots still to do but we will take it step by step.
Today was a beautiful, warm, 82 degree spring day in Baton Rouge. I’m sure we will have more cold, dreary days and that spring is not totally here but today it was spring. Just in the past five day it is amazing how many things have bloomed. So pretty.
The entire team went to worship at our host church, Francis Asbury UMC. Again the church was very welcoming. Pastor David was out of town today but Rev. Johnson filled in beautifully. Using John 15:1-8 her message was “Connected in Christ Jesus.” Pastor Dave had asked her to speak somewhat on the Special General Conference to be held Feb 23-26 and she did a very good job of explaining the various options the church could take at this meeting. Of course as she stated, it could all change when they get there and people start making amendments. We are just trying not to worry about this but just be in prayer that the Lord’s will be done. Saturday is designated as a day of prayer and those of us who are Methodist certainly need to be praying earnestly for the decisions that will be made.
After church the team went to City Cafe for lunch. We enjoyed the food at this restaurant last year and so we suggested it for our first meal with the entire team. They didn’t let us down. The food was as good as we remembered. The afternoon was spent getting ready for team meeting tonight and other NOMADS Board business. We are preparing for spring Board meeting so there is lots to do right now.
We all gathered in the church at 5:00 this afternoon and shared bowls of vegetable soup as well as some finger foods like cheese, hummus, crackers and venison sausage. We finished with a great pound cake Nancy made for us. It was still warm. So good. Thanks everyone for your help. The meeting went well and we all know each other a little better now and are looking forward to a good work day tomorrow. Please pray for everyone’s safety as we begin our work of helping repair flooded homes.
Some of our team members were scheduled to arrive yesterday, so we started the cloudy day by placing the NOMADS banner out by Old Hammond Road along with our directional NOMADS signs. Always like to see the signs out. We also did some more cleaning up of the parking area to reduce the amount of dirt and mud (when it rains) that people will track in their RVs. Anne did more accounting work on the LOL’s business. There was also some additional NOMADS Board work. Rita and Dave arrived around 3:30. So glad to see them again. Later Bob and Anne arrived. So we got those two motor homes parked and then the eight of us went out to dinner at Rice and Roux. Everyone seemed to enjoy their meal. We know we did. We had the sausage and chicken gumbo and fried fish. Good to visit R&R again.
Today we had our final two couples arriving. This morning most of the guys were tinkering around with their RV’s and Max worked on one of the power pedestals. The one for Anne and Bob’s site wasn’t working last night when they arrived. It was getting dark so we just plugged them into the site next to them because it’s much better to work on things in good light. Max found the breaker was loose so he was able to get the pedestal up and running in short order this morning. After visiting with the team awhile, we went to the grocery store to get supplies to prepare our vegetable soup for tomorrow night’s meeting. Soon, Harry and Janet arrived. So glad they made it out of PA before the snow storm hit. They stopped to visit with some of our mutual friends around Atlanta on their way south. A short time later, Nancy and Gary arrived. Now all our team is in place. Thank you Lord for safe travels for us all. We had some great time visiting and catching up and then took everyone on a little tour of the church. After everyone was getting settled in and ready for church tomorrow and work Monday, we went in the church kitchen to start the soup. It’s going to be another great project.
Happy Valentine’s Day!! It was a beautiful spring-like day here in Baton Rouge. The trees are budding out and the flowers are starting to bloom. Seems early to us Alabama folks but hopefully there will not be a freeze.
This morning we rode around with the construction coordinator to visit some houses we will be working to repair. The first one is about 30 minutes from the church and is a house that has been worked on by many people since the 2016 flood. At first there was a FEMA contract with someone to gut the house and install a bathroom, bedroom and part of a kitchen for about $3,000.00. You get what you pay for so you can sort of picture what they got. Since that time a number of others have worked on the house including a church that has come one Saturday per month and this week some volunteers from Michigan. We will be trying to tie up the loose ends and finish things up. There are still three doors to install with at least two requiring shortening, the ceiling in the kitchen needs some repair, and there are baseboards and crown molding to install. A vent fan for the kitchen needs to be installed as well. We will probably find some other items when we really look at things Monday. Hopefully we can complete that house by Wednesday.
Another house needs about 90 more sheets of drywall installed. There is also an old iron bathtub to remove and some decorative beams to remove from the living room. This house may take a little longer. It was a fun morning seeing parts of the Baton Rouge area we haven’t seen before. This afternoon there was more NOMADS board work, and some more prep work for the team.
Since it is Valentine’s Day, we decided to grill some steaks and asparagus along with twice baked potatoes. We haven’t done that in a while and it was a nice dinner. We also bought each other some items from Lowe’s for Valentine’s Day. It was a good day!
Tuesday was a rainy day, until late afternoon. Everything is wet. Anne spent the day on mail and paperwork. We got a mail “bag” from home. She was also working on NOMADS business. Max spent a good part of the day flushing our water heater, changing the anode and heating element and our filters. The water in Falfurrias was high in salts and really scaled up the heating element and tank. We knew it was a problem when the water heater started to make some strange noises the last week we were there. The area in the parking lot where the flushed water came out is now white with salts. Now all is well and no more weird noises.
Today was a sunny day and warmed up nicely. A jacket still felt nice for most of the day. We had lots of errands to run today. We made a stop at Harbor Freight and left with all our money in our wallet. Truth! We also went to Home Depot and still didn’t buy anything. There must be something wrong with us. We also went to the grocery store to purchase ingredients for our Valentine dinner tomorrow and to Target, Bass Pro Shops and Sam’s. All of those did take our money. We were suppose to go visit houses today but Daryl was busy with other issues and we are scheduled for tomorrow morning. Max worked on the new sewer system and the ditch that is still open today while Anne worked on getting paperwork together for next week and doing another prospective member interview. It was a busy day but a good day.
Today was a travel day. It began at 6:00 am with a dense fog advisory from Stephen Austin State Park all the way to Baton Rouge. We decided not to push to leave early, hoping the fog would dissipate. We pulled out about 8:30 thinking we would be behind the Houston rush hour traffic. Rush hour seems to be longer than your average hour in Houston. There was one wreck and lots of slow moving traffic. It takes forever to get across Houston. Thankful we don’t have to deal with that traffic everyday. Also I-10 from Houston to Baton Rouge is the worse interstate we have ever driven. People say you shouldn’t take your RV to Alaska because of the poor road conditions. That section of I-10 is worse than anything we drove in Alaska. We were tired when we arrived at Francis Asbury UMC about 3:15 this afternoon. However, by the time we arrived it was a glorious sunny afternoon and we traded our long sleeves for t-shirts. Nice!
We had a very brief chat with the construction coordinator and volunteer coordinator this afternoon and will be working with them preparing for our team’s arrival this weekend. There are two teams working here this week and the church did a dinner for them tonight and invited us to join them. Nice to share a meal with the volunteers from Michigan, north Louisiana and friends from the church. Looking forward to sharing God’s peace and love as we repair homes in Baton Rouge over the next several weeks.