Monday, November 12, 2012

Window Seat... Finished

I had grand plans for showing you step-by-step how I made this window seat, and those all flew out the window when I got the full-time job in September. I'm settling in to the job, but still exhausted, so the best I can do is let you know that it is finally finished. Just in time for the holidays!!

The dogs both love it, but only Danny really likes to have his picture taken. The blue bolster bit is already covered with dog fur. The good news is that it is washable. The coppery front cushion is faux leather (aka vinyl) and just be wiped off should doggy paw prints (or worse) appear.

While I think it does look great (applause! applause!) I feel I should confess that there is some half-assed shenanigans going on in the parts that you can't see. If I paid someone to make it, I would be unhappy. As it is, I'm thrilled! Long live imperfection!!

Now I must head off to my destiny of ensuring that bridal parties around the southeast (and indeed, the entire country) look their very best!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Road Trip: New Orleans, Part II

So, recapping the New Orleans trip... Thursday, driving to NOLA. Friday, helping build a Habitat house. Saturday, gutting a house.

Gutting? It's pretty much as bad as it sounds, but has to be done, and it can make such a difference to a family that wants to rebuild. The houses that were being gutted were flooded up to the rooflines and higher during Hurricane Isaac which happened just 2 months ago.

Our volunteer group was still using the organization of RHINO, Rebuilding Hope in New Orleans, this time partnered with the St. Bernard Project. We met with our group at the Braithwaite Auditorium, and then headed to the house. The owners were there, and planned to rebuild. According to our SBP representative, Alex, this was an "easy" one. The fridge and food had been removed, and, well, actually, all the other belongings had too (clothes, furniture, etc). All except one water-logged sofa. There was still running water in the house (running water in the pipes, I mean), and the owner had cleaned the bathroom as best she could, so we had indoor facilities. That meant a lot. Trust me.

Our job. Simple. Take a crowbar/sledge hammer to the drywall. Pull it down. Pull out the moldy insulation. Don't scream when you see cockroaches. Shovel the debris into a wheelbarrow. Dump into a trailer which is pulled to the end of the driveway where it was deposited for pick up later.

Cute frog clinging to the wall near the ceiling. We saw lots of these and tried to rescue them and toss them outside. They were hard to catch though.
Extended view of the frog. You can see that we tried to leave him a little wall to cling too, if only temporarily.
Blurry, pile o'debris

Our "facilities" sans walls. Yep, as we tore down the walls, we quickly realized that our privacy would kinda be compromised. Of course, we girls can be creative, so we made our own kind of privacy.

The owners were so grateful to have this job done, and they can get on with rebuilding.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Road Trip: New Orleans, Part I

Before I started my wonderful, but time-consuming, never able to do anything else but work and recover, full-time job, I had decided to go with husband Roland on one of our church's mission trips. Roland had actually planned this one, and one of his criteria for choosing the location of the trip was comfortable accommodations. Lo and behold, the RHINO outreach ministry out of St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church, founded in September 2005, 3 weeks after Hurricane Katrina, totally fit the bill.

Last Thursday, we arrived in New Orleans and checked into the Brent House Hotel, where all the volunteers are housed. We were treated to a dinner and NOLA hospitality at a home of 2 of St. Charles Presbyterian's parishioners.

Friday, we headed over to our Habitat for Humanity build that was partnered with RHINO. This house was almost done, but there was still work to be done. My contribution involved painting. First the concrete footings that held up the house, and then interior doors. I actually painted the doors with a couple of other folks from a South Carolina group, and we painted outdoors. In the heat and sun. Which had the advantage of drying the paint quickly.

Anyway, I do have some pictures...

 The house we worked on, a typical shotgun style home. See those curlicue decorative things up in the corners on the porch. I caulked around them! Never caulked before, but yes, it's really easy.

The concrete was poured on Friday which made getting up on the porch kind of challenging, considering the step planks hadn't been installed.
Roland was measuring and cutting the planks for the porch steps. He's the one in the gray tee-shirt. I wanted to document that he had all his fingers both before and after using the power saw.
Our group. Me on the left with super cute and sweaty hair. And those awesome khakis I'm wearing did belong to my son. Guess they're mine now.

So that was Friday, Saturday we did something entirely different. I'm saving that post for part 2.


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