Thursday, January 24, 2008

Day Seventeen: January 2008

Day Seventeen: Thursday, January 24

Today’s Katie’s REAL birthday! We had her party on Tuesday, but we’ve kept the celebration going until now! Happy day again, Katie!

Because we crossed over our 4000-hour mark, we got to sleep in while Chris, Justin, and Shawny cooked breakfast for us. They made French toast out of all different kinds of bread, including raisin bread. They also bought bread and lunch meat for sandwiches for lunch, so that both the breakfast and lunch crews could skip the prep nightmare this morning. Just as we were awakening, a light rain began to fall.

We wondered if Habitat would call the day off, but we hustled onto the bus as if they would not. Just as we headed for the gate, one of the Habitat staffers called us and told us to skip out. We all headed to Rosie’s in the rain and kicked things into high gear.

The paint crew got new paint, some of which had to be used to correct the problems caused by yesterday’s improperly-mixed paint that didn’t match the rest of the walls. Though repainting was a drag, it meant that the walls that got two coats look really great. So do all of the painters, by the way, as they are covered head to toe in the paint color, which is called “Elegant White.” It looks less elegant when it is splattered all over people’s glasses and skunk-striped through their hair, but it is a nice indication of who is a painter and who is not. The paint team is loosely led by Serg and includes a range of other people such as Kate, Sam (who took on almost all of the trimwork in 4011 with no complaints), Lindsay R., Nicole, Lindsay S., Julie, Erik, and sometimes Elijah and Bryan. All in all, the painters have brought the houses to a state where they finally look “real” to us. We are pretty proud of what we’ve made happen inside the framed-out walls that greeted us when we arrived.

Apart from the painting, today was a day of unglorious jobs. No one got to be a hero, except maybe the people who scrubbed out the bathtub surrounds that had gotten covered with construction dust and footprints. Mark and Obi tackled this job and managed to make the tubs look like they had just been installed. No scratches, no marks, no dirt in sight.

Other than that task, all of our jobs today were pure drudgery. Some of us were scrubbing the floors (even though at this moment they are still only covered with plywood (technically OSB) to prep them for installation of vinyl flooring, possibly as early as tomorrow. Katie (on her birthday!), Matt W., Aaron, and Jed worked up quite a funky process to bring up all residue from the subfloor and remove it with a wet/dry vac. Even when it was still pretty light out Jed performed the procedure wearing a headlamp. Hopefully someone will post a picture or some video of this group doing its job.

Others continued to remove years and years of old paint from the original front doors that we chose to salvage. Briana and Brad have been committed to the sanding job for days now and Emily and Shawny joined in for the full day today. Almost everyone in the group has put in some time on the front doors and porch, so we all have a stake in their eventual beauty.

Outside the house, six yards of sand showed up today. The plan is to carry the sand into the backyard so that we can level the ground and plant some grass seed, bulbs, and other plants. We are, of course, experts at moving huge loads of sand, so another 15,000 pound pile doesn’t bother us a bit. Today’s floor crew is going to continue floor duty tomorrow, then take on the sand pile.

Our lunch today was a special one too: we actually had loaves of bread (Wow! We never have that!) and lunchmeat. The lunch crew (the Souljas) went into Rosie’s house and used the broiler to toast our sandwiches into ultimate yumminess. We needed some warmth on this chilly day and those sandwiches really hit the spot.

At the end of our workday, we headed home and waited for Chris, Matt, and Scott to return in the truck. They left with Rosie at about 4:00 to go pick up the flooring that we will install this weekend. As it turned out, though, they had to go to five different Lowe’s stores to find as much as we needed. They didn’t get home until almost 8:00 p.m.

When they arrived, they had a special treat: a cake for the birthday girl that they now call “Demolition Katie.” They decided that they wanted her cake to acknowledge how tough she is for working a ten-hour shift on her birthday. They actually got the bakery to let them draw some images on her cake, which included a unicycle (her vehicle of choice), a sleepy smiley face (she is always ready for a nap, though she rarely takes one), and some other rough and tumble images like explosions, etc. Everyone hooted and hollered when Chris explained the imagery of her cake, and now we are likely to call her “Demo K.”

It looks like we will make it to 5000 hours, as today we hit 291, taking us to a running total of 4464.

Brad works diligently on scraping the paint off of the front door.

Brad, Bri, Sam, and Erik try and finish the front room of 4011 so that we can complete the house.

Justin meticulously tries to scratch of the paint on the front door of 4009.

Thanks to Leo, Shane, and Tommy we were able to nearly complete the glass on 4009.

Our beautiful bus waiting for us to finish a hard days work at Rosies.

Nicole and Linzy played Cinderella for the day as they prepared the floor boards for the enamel flooring to be put in on Friday.

Rosie checking out the progress in the backyard.

what we do after a hard day of getting paint on us. It’s handy having a chauffeur.

Lindsay was part of the paint crew and is always happy to paint the trim.

Emily scraping the door to prepare it for paint.

The putty was difficult, but these window panes are going to look great after we’re done with them.

Bryan and Lindsay team up for a precise cut on closet baseboards. Precision is excellence in action.

Cleaning and prepping for flooring is collaborative effort.

Smile Brad! Great job on that door…it looks great.

Lunchtime in the back of the pick-up is always a great way to recharge and replenish body and mind.