Category Archives: SOWER Projects 2021

About those lights

There’s a saying that “Teamwork makes the Dream work”. And the last two weeks of our project, was a definite Teamwork effort! There were 91 street lamps that needed to be taken down, cleaned, painted, and reinstalled. It seemed pretty massive – but with all four of us working on it, we did indeed make the ‘dream work’!
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I was working on the clean-up of the fixtures, Tamara was in charge of shining up the globes, Art was painting, and Gary was getting the wiring all ready to go! Once we had a batch ready to be reinstalled, the teams just moved to the outside!
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Never underestimate the value of a trusty hander-upper, tool-getter, ladder-holder, I say!
Just a word or two about the different techniques on getting those lamps back up:
Some were easy-peasy-
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Some were a little more challenging-
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and some had obstacles that needed to be overcome.
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But when Gary started balancing on the railing….
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we knew it was time to pull out the big guns!
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Yes indeed, it was Teamwork
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that made this dream work!
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Helper

This week we continued on with the streetlight refurbish project. Tuesday, as we were starting to install the beautifully refreshed lights
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I noticed that we had an extra helper.
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“Watcha doin’?”
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“Are you sure you want to put it that way?”
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“No….a little more to the right!”
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“If you’re not going to take my advice, I might as well just go on my way!”
It was fun having you along, but guess we’ll just have to muddle along with the two of us!
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The Home Stretch

It seems to always sneak up on me. Do we really have just a week left at this project? What exactly have we been doing for the last two weeks?
Inquiring minds want to know, right?

First of all – they let me drive a golf cart!
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Kinda crazy, right? Tamara and I were tasked with checking out the curtains in each building to see if they needed to be replaced. We had our clipboard and a master key, and we were off! It was so fun exploring all those cool buildings, especially since while a building might look like this on the outside
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it might look like this on the inside.
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Or this!
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Or even this!
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We also did a some post-retreat cleaning and laundry, so there was a nice variety to our work week.
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Sweeping away the spider webs on the outside
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and lots of fun games on the inside!
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And laundry. There is always laundry!

 

 

 

 

While we were scooting about in that golf cart or chasing down spider webs, the guys were working on replacing a set of porch posts that were beginning to show some serious wear.
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They weren’t replacing them with such fancy posts (think $$$), but rather something that would last, look pretty good and ALSO hold up the porch!
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Once the lights and corbels were back in place, those new posts seemed to fit right in!
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Seeing the ‘big picture’!
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Great job, guys!

But of course that only took the first week! After that they moved to disassembling/refurbishing/repainting/whatever was needed to some outside lights!
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And when I say ‘some’ I really mean between 80 and 100!! They all needed to be taken down, cleaned up, repainted, rewired and then reinstalled!
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They were working on batches of about 20 and pulled us girls off the golf cart to give them a hand!
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This apparently is the face you make when you’re learning how to strip wires!
There were globes to wash
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and plenty of spray painting and rewiring to be done.
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My job was to do the pre-painting clean-up, which did involve some live spiders and even some old wasp nests.
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No pictures of the actual cleaning, and no screams with the creepy crawly things, I’m happy to report!
The guys were able to get the first two batches back on their posts
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and when we checked out the finished result later that evening –
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my, they looked purty!!
With just four days to go, we’re hopeful to get another 40 down, refurbished, and back up! Although it seems that every time we turn around we’re finding more of them!

This is an amazing facility that New Life Ranch has only owned for the last three years. (Previously it had been “Dry Gulch, USA” , a ministry site from a large Tulsa Church that included not only a summer camp, but also a hugely popular Christmas Train.)  Although it’s always been a Gospel-centered camp, New Life Ranch is working hard to re-mold it into their ministry model! It’s been very exciting to be part of the process.  The train was sold before New Life purchased the property, but the rest of the campus is still largely the same! Here’s an older video from the “Dry Gulch, USA” days.

Thanks for coming along for the recap of the last couple of weeks. Man, they go by fast!
Steph

Mondays are for Memories – Like just last month!

Although we began work this morning here at Frontier Cove, I thought I’d better do a quick wrap up of our SOWER month at Potomac Park back in West Virginia. As I mentioned before, it was a very different month as we fit in doctor visits, routine tests, visits with family and even a week with our oldest grandboy. The folks at Potomac Park were very kind and accommodating, and even though our schedule was a bit (ok, a lot) wonky, we still managed to ‘get ‘er’ done.
Potomac Park is both a conference center and a community of summer (and some full-time) cottages.
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Every now and again one of those cottages is donated back to the conference center for them to use (either as accommodations or maybe to sell?). That was the case with this unit –
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It was already in beginning renovation stage as you can see. Gary and Bill were tasked with moving and updating the wiring, but everyone soon realized that in order to make it safe it really needed to be done from scratch.
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Oy – I don’t think he’d ever seen so many junction boxes in so small a space.
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Since it was turning out to be a one man job, Bill moved over to the maintenance area and made a beautiful carpet ball game frame.Untitled
I wish I had gotten a better picture of it as it got closer to completion! It was going to be beautiful!
Back at the cottage renovation, Gary was making great progress with the wiring, and although the cottage was a long way from being habitable
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the wiring was complete and ceiling lights were safely installed.
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(Photo of wire pulling – light installation happened after I left the building!)
The crazy wires from the little attic space had all been tamed
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and at least that part of the infrastructure was good to go!
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I don’t know if we’ll be back to see it after it has all been put back together again, but it had good bones and now it had good electric service too!
Luciene and I concentrated mainly on post-meal clean-up – wiping tables and serving lines and sweeping/vacuuming/mopping the floors as needed.
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We were essentially on flex-time – available when we were needed, but often able to enjoy some extra time at home. Some months I might’ve minded not being busier, but after a busy July at the cabin along with that wild Delawarean Adventure with Noah, it seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. God, in his mercy, gifted me with a SOWER-lite month!
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August 2021 SOWER project documented.
Check.

Mini-Montrose Mission

To say I am well acquainted with the laundry situation at Montrose Bible Conference might be an understatement. I’ve washed and folded my share (and maybe your share too) of sheets and towels over the summers that we’ve been coming,
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and I have an up close and personal relationship with the quirky laundry equipment in the conference center’s laundry room.
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(See – even Gary pitches in when there’s a quick turn-over and guests are on their way! He mostly handles the pillowcases!)
When we learned that new laundry equipment was being donated to the conference center, we jumped on the bandwagon to help get the job done! And the timing was perfect! The new units arrived the day after we returned from our quick Cabin trip over Memorial Day/week –
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and everyone pitched in on getting the old (mostly not working) equipment out so the area could be prepped for the shiny new washers and dryers.
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That old green monster had been part of the room for over 40 years, and let me tell you it was no mean feat getting it unbolted from the floor!
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Or getting it out the door!
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Or onto the truck!
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Finally only the Big White Dryer was left – and it was deemed OK to stay! But then the question was – what about the floor?
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Completely replacing it wasn’t an option at the moment, so the guys began the arduous task of taking up what they could.
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And it was inch by inch for sure!
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So. Many. Nails.
Eventually prep for the new installation could begin!
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(The Big White Dryer has a large vent which is why the new dryers had to go up on a platform. Good for loading and unloading, not so convenient for the controls. But certainly doable!)
New water and drain lines, new electric and venting – the room even got a nice fresh coat of paint!
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And less than a week later – voila! With fresh curtains to boot – an updated laundry room!
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That there is one happy group of laundry do-ers!(AKA the director, Jim, and his wife, Becky, and son Daniel!)
Now all they have to do was figure out all those crazy control options!
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There will be a learning curve I’m sure, but it’s one I think they’ll (mostly) enjoy!
One last chore for Gary – installing some improved lighting in the new walk-ins:

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Now no one will ever again be able to say – “I can’t find the carrots!”!
(It’s usually chock full of food – we just happened to catch it at a pre-delivery low!. Another good-timing blessing.)

With our mission accomplished we packed up the truck (and I mean Packed Up The Truck!)
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and headed back to the Cabin!
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Where I sit this morning, sipping my coffee by the fire! It’s all good, my dears, all good!

Make it a great Tuesday, friends!
Steph