Saturday, March 25, 2006

Louisiana Update....

This past week has been a continuation of the demolition fun, with an added bonus of construction work at the end of the week.

On Thursday morning, around 10am (late start to the day, it happens a lot with only one main supervisor) I was given an assingment--to build a wall, to create a closet. Jason, from the Denver team, was also given the same assingment. As neither of us had ever built a wall before, we were assured that we would be visited and checked further instructions were given.
Upon arriving at the house that was going to have a new wall installed, Jason and I checked out our room...there wasn't much light and the space was slightly cramped. Other than that, we felt confident that we could complete our assingment. To be honest, Jason made it seem as though he knew what he was doing, but I quickly came to see that was just a show. I determined that we needed to install a base board and I made the apporpriate measurements and markings... Jason made the cut only because at this point, I was still intimidated by the Chop Saw and I let the boy do the dirty work.... how quickly the tables would turn.

We took the board into the house and began to put it in. I repeatedly asked if the board was straight... Jason asserted that it was. We nailed the board in... my hammering skills quickly were apparent as Jason bent most of the nails while I skillfully got mine in and nailed in most of the board. Once it was secured, I checked to see if the board was straight.

It was NOT! Off by half an inch.

Jason began trying to pull the board up with a flat bar. Unfortunetly, his lack of experience led me to take the flat bar and quickly I pulled the board up. Ah, the glow of experience.... Jason ended up peacing out on me.
My time has just run out and I have to go.. I'll finish the story later

OK... so we're at the home of one of our super cool sponsors (beautiful house, seriously, I think I've seen it in a magazine one time).... so I hopped on her computer so I can finish my story, I would hate to leave y'all haning for two weeks.

Back to the story.

So, after Jason peaced out, I figured that I could figure out the measurements for the rest of the wall before our lunch break. That was a one person job, so I new that I could get that done before other people came. luckily, I had just finished making all my marks and was ready to look for help, when my team leader (masta D) showed up to check on the status. So, she helped me make the cuts (we had a circular saw at the time and straight lines are not my friends)and we were just about ready to start putting the header in, when we realized that the nails we had were too short to hold it into the ceiling. So, it just happened to be lunch time and we broke for that and set a task of finding new nails before returning to the wall.

Lunch was glorious, as always...side story, we like to go this country store at lunch time sometimes for overstuffed shrimp po'boys--they are SUPER fresh and oh so tasty. One time, i was in line to order and there was two construction workers in front of me. I happened to be wearing my coveralls, and so they realized I was in the trade. :) So, one of them, "shorty," struck up a conversation with me...asking me about what I was up to, what kind of work I knew how to do. He was so impressed that he mentioned it to his friend (the customer in front of me). In his exact words, he said "we should hire us some women." to which his friend replied, "she can probably out work you." Shorty didn't like that too much. About ten mins. later, I was waiting for my food and their crew boss came up and asked me if I liked my job. My reply was yes. He asked again, offering me a job on his crew! :) HE HE.... if they only knew.... Ok story over, back to my wall.

When Deanne and I returned to my wall, we came with new nails and the task of installing all the beams. We were able to get them all in (of course my measurements worked out very well--some even perfectly)and we began work on the side wall that would connect it to the existing wall. We got the header and footer in before the end of the day. I unfortunetly did not re-measure the length of the beams, silly me, I assumed that they ceiling was when we went to install the beams, we found that two of the beams were too short. YIKES! not good news when you have a limited supply of lumber. So, we left the wall for the day, it happened to be quiting time.

Fast forward to the next day. Work began promptly at 8am (we leave the house at 7:30 to drive about 30 mins. to Delcambre) and my first task was to finish the beams. Deanne cut me some shims and we were able to install those before she was pulled to "look at something" or whatever her excuse was...doesn't really matter, she peaced out on me too. Luckily Joy happened to be at the house and she was able to help me start on the next task. Installing the support beams--very important work. :) So, we began measuring and I got over my fear and started cutting the wood using a beautiful table saw. I was so good at what I was doing, I could make the cuts and then bring the saw up quickly enough to catch the wood before it fell off the table (joy was holding the long end).

The beams were a little problematic, but we worked through it and for some reason or another, Alena ended up working with me and Joy peaced out to do molding, with, funny enough Jason. HA!

Alena and I were able to finish up the rest of the beams and shortly after lunch on Friday, my beautiful wall was finished. Deanne and Jamie (another volunteer) could hang on it and it wouldn't budge a centimeter. True story.

So concludes the story of my wall.... It lost a bit of its jazz due to the mean librarian that cut me off during my creative flow, but it's my story all the same and I hope you enjoyed it!

PEACE OUT! and lots of LOVE!

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