A bit of a breather week

Trip Start Nov 26, 2010
Trip End Nov 18, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Alabama
Sunday, April 22, 2012

     We had a bit of a breather week after a whirlwind month of March.  We had only 25 or so volunteers with us this past week, working on only two houses (and a smattering of working in the warehouse on making cabinets with DeWayne).  During March, we had up to 80 or 90 per week for all four weeks, with volunteers working at six different sites including our first blitz build of 2 weeks where we completely built the home from the foundation to the ribbon cutting in two weeks.  So, Brandon (our construction director) said that all the field staff has to take two days off.  I took off my first two weekdays, Thursday and Friday,  off since coming here in August of last year this past year.  More on what I did on these two days later.  Any guesses?  Our group that was with us this week was a PDA group from near Rochester, NY.  They came from 11 churches in the area with most not having met each other before the trip.  We worked at the quadraplex, mostly finishing up the exteriors and working on the storage building for the future homes of the Clancy, Word and Brownlee families.  These homes are substantially complete on the outside and the trades, electric plumbing and heating are rolling along as well.  We are about in week six of these three homes.  Another two or three should wrap them up.  We have since surveyed and laid out with batter boards another site, still in Alberta city that will be another four homes.  The East Quad name may stick for it.  Some of the stars of last week were Sue and Susan who claimed ownership of Mya's front porch detailing with painting and trim and caulking.  They learned about "See the bead, Be the bead" ( Caulking advice from my old teacher for how to do neat caulking)  Whitney was attic access door queen doing two installs at the quad and prepping the one at the Nero's future home on 7th street.  John built both side stoops on two homes and fixed the one that was two high.  Oops.  Never enough time to do it right but always enough time to do it twice.  Get the sawsall.  Clancy's home on 4th, next to completed Keith and Amie's, is in the dangerously close division, with only electrical fixtures and kitchen cabinets left to go.  We're laying the sod on Monday of this week.  Speaking of cabinets, Dewayne is doing some production building and assembly of cabinets for kitchens and baths for 5 new homes at the warehouse.  And speaking of warehouse, the owner of the place has decided to let us use the other half of the building (another 5,000 ft of space) to use as paint storage.  Ok, Ok, now for what I did with my two days off.   Watch TV?  Nope.  Sleep.  Over-rated.  Relax? Nah.  Work on the Lion's Den?  You got it!  Poured 2 3/4 cu. yds. of concrete at the back for the 36' long continuous footer for the extendicator on the back of the building.   Larry was going to help me but then pulled a no-show, so I got to pour it with me, myself and I instead.  Actually, the driver from Bama Concrete was excellent.  Very calm and controlled pour.  No spills.  Just the right amount.  The "don't panic" portion of my motto comes into play when the concrete truck pulls up.  We poured a little front stoop also the will be recipient  of the broken granite pieces that will have a mosaic with a Y with an H under it (for YMCA and Habitat).  Poured that Thursday and on Friday, stripped the forms and turned them into the 6'6" deep by 36' long deck for the extension for bathroom, kitchen and screened in porch.  On Saturday, Brandon invited me to another mini-blitz in Brookwood for the future home of Mr. Cook.   He is a wounded war Vet and his house was blown off the concrete slab during last year's tornado.  Brandon's Mom, Vicky and two brothers, Todd and Chris came out from Washington state to stay with his family and they helped, along with 30 or so locals, to build the shell of the home back on the same slab on Saturday.  Blacked the puppy in.  Stick built all the walls, set trusses (before lunch) and at 4:30 tacked the last bit of wall sheathing and black paper on the roof. (Peter motions dusting off his hands).  Afterwards stopped by the river and jumped in for a swim with Brandon and his Bros.  Mom watched and took pix. I enjoyed meeting Brandon's family, especially his older brother Todd. He's a civil engineer who moves rivers. He's staying till Tuesday.  Attended Capstone church today and afterwards, Pastor Bill asked me if I would be willing to speak at the service next week about Habitat's work here in Tuscaloosa. I told him that I would love to. That's all for this week. Ciao.
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