Category Archives: SOWER Projects 2014

SOWER projects worked in 2014


Sometimes when we’re working at a SOWER project we get a specific task and we work at it for the entire three weeks. Like last month when every day it was Thrift Shop all the way. Or the last couple of summers when it was A/C installation every day. But most times our days are actually quite diverse and this month is proving that to be true!
In the past 11 days I have helped set up and decorate for a banquet-
Looks like I'll be busy this morning. #sowerjobs #inmyskillset
(And then we even got to go!)
I got to help Gary build some beds
and learned the life lesson that
the flat washer always goes first. Always.
Then I moved to some painting, transforming the inside of cupboards from Yucky
to…well, less yucky.  Gotta love what a little scraping and a coat of paint can do!
After a busy weekend of teenage guests in the newly renovated dorms, I tackled gathering up the trash (Yikes – that was crazy) and then cleaning the sinks and mirrors.
I thought it was very kind of the housekeeping staff to not ask me to do the toilets and showers. These small mercies do not go unappreciated.
And then just when I thought my tasks were sticking to the housekeeping genre, Gary needed my assistance over in the gym.
Oh, man. You mean up there?
He really just needed an extra set of hands to help get a fan motor lifted up and placed, and then to hold the flashlight so he could see where he was working.
Oh the talent – holding the flashlight AND taking a picture. He really does need me!
The motor went to a crazy big fan (guess you could call it a gym-sized fan) – I felt like I was on an Alfred Hitchcock movie set!

Gary has likewise been doing a bit of this and a bit of that.  I love that we arrived on a Friday and on Saturday their walk-in freezer died.  Ok, I don’t love that their walk-in died, but I loved the timing that Gary was able to diagnose the bad compressor and install the replacement (which was 4 days from being out of warranty). God really has a way of working those things out, doesn’t He!  He’s looked at several A/C systems, rehabbed an ice machine, built some beds (with his trusty assistant), disassembled some other beds, fiddled with one of the coffee machines and generally made himself useful (which of course he does all the time!).  I can’t vouch for (or show photographic proof) of all of his diversification, but trust me – he’s been busy.  He’s also been working on his RV chore list during our off days, which included oil and transmission fluid changes, and (just because it’s on his list) defrosting the freezer.  Have I said this before – What a Guy!  While he’s been busy doing RV chores, I’ve been busy working on Christmas projects.  Did you know it’s only A WEEK AWAY!!!!! This is what the inside of our house has looked like most days (and this is relatively tidied up) –
Let’s just say that not a lot of heavy duty cooking has been going on in my little corner of Louisiana!
Thanks for stopping by – hope your Christmas shopping/sewing/gathering/baking/decorating – whatever- is going well. Don’t forget to hit that “pause” button every now and again to remember what this beautiful season is really all about –

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.
Luke 2:11 & 12

The Non-GL Report

Before too many days go by after the end of our project at Eagle Rock Boys Ranch, I thought I’d do a little (non) GL (Group Leader) Report. :)  The Ranch is home to about 15 boys who have (largely) been through the system and have no where else to go.  Scott, the director, calls them “exceptionally distressed”.  As is often the case, we didn’t actually work with these boys, but rather concentrated on some “property maintenance”.  Right now the Ranch has two locations.
The original one –
which has two residences, the office and the RV hook-ups.

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It also has a very long drive and very long trains that go by about a dozen times a day. Give or take.
And then there is the new property – which, hopefully, once it’s completely developed, will be the only property.

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The vision for the new property is that it will not only be home to the boys, but will also have the RV park and possibly some greenhouses and other revenue generating enterprises.
Then there are the two Thrift Shops – which currently exist to support the Ranch.

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Needless to say, we all found plenty to do! Gary worked on the HVAC systems in all the existing buildings, while the other two guys worked on the new RV sites. Gary did get to do a little excavation work once he got caught up on the HVAC work,
and then it got so cold and wet that everyone was looking for inside jobs!
Which brings us the the Thrift Stores – and what kept us ladies busy for three weeks.
We sorted and straightened and tagged and sized – and man, did we have a good time! These were both large stores with donations galore.  I never realized the organization and thought process that goes into ‘thrift shop management’.  It really is quite the business!  I had a good time searching out the very best of the bargains (with the biggest mark-downs), and most every day left with a little bag of treasures. (It’s a good thing December’s project will most likely find me with a paint brush in my hand as opposed to a hanger!)

The three weeks went by quickly – just enough eating out and ‘sploring to make it fun, but not enough to break the bank! We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know two new (to us) SOWER couples and were blessed to be able to be a small part of this ministry.

Right now we’re camped in a little city park in Opelousas, Louisiana for a couple of days until we go into our December project down the road in Eunice. Our days will be filled with chores and Christmas sewing and maybe a couple of naps. Thanks for stopping by – praying you have a great Thanksgiving week!

PS – There are a couple more Eagle Rock Project pictures HERE if you’re interested!

It’s less than a week away…..

But that could also be interpreted as – Oh. My. Goodness. We only have a week to wrap up this project!
Motel walkway
Gary’s been putting in extra time with the end-of-the-project deadline looming large but with the help of a local excavator who took out the remaining sections of concrete (yippee!!!!),
he’s made some great progress!
Oh, there’s still plenty to do this week – the stairs need to be finished up, and there are some fans that need to be installed under the stairs to vent the crawlspace. (Pretty glad I won’t be helping with that little project.  Or at least I don’t think I’ll be helping….Gulp.)
We’ve really enjoyed having two other SOWER couples here, too.
The guys have been mostly working on a nearby house that has been donated to the conference center (except when Gary needs them on the walkway), and we ladies have been painting the remaining motel rooms (on this side) along with some painting down where the guys are working. With four working days left we have two rooms remaining. We’re so very hopeful that by the end of the week that side of the motel will be all done and ready for business over the winter.
So the week behind us was busy indeed. And the week ahead promises to be be just as full. But lest you think that life last week was all work and no play –
Bucket #4. What a great afternoon.
Oh, yeah, baby. Plenty of goodness to go around!


Blessing upon Blessing

Have you ever had one of those weeks that when you get to the end of it you are amazed with how filled with extra blessings it was? That’s how last week was for me. 🙂

1. Weston
Even though the start of my week was the end of our Very Weston Weekend, it was still a blessing. It was such a treasure to have him for the weekend – though I confess that the nap I had that afternoon also felt pretty good!
2. Prayer Campfire
My walking buddy asked if we SOWERS could host a Prayer Campfire one evening with the purpose of praying for the folks who were currently at the conference center – InterVarsity.  We weren’t quite sure what that would look like, but we were certain we could put together a campfire!
After a bit of sharing, we broke into small groups and prayed for specific needs – oh my, what a blessed evening!
The fact that it ended with S’Mores was also pretty sweet!
3. Work
Once again, it was a nicely diversified week!


Some kitchen time

Some painting time

and some great progress on the walkways. (Full disclosure = I held a board for him, so I can officially say I “worked” on it, but let’s be real. This is Gary all the way!)
4. Play
Saturday Gary and I joined friends at nearby Elk Lake. Ahhhhhh……
The food was great (have you ever tried blueberry/peach pie? It’s a magnificent combination! And with a scoop of vanilla ice cream? Be still my heart.), the fellowship sweet, and the water play was great fun to watch!
I’m hoping to make one more trip to the lake to try out those kayaks. Cheryl tells me a “paddle around the lake” is good for the soul, and that sounds good to me!
5. Worship
We finished up the week with “Church on the Green” – an annual outdoor worship service right in the heart of town. Lots of people, lots of worship and lots of the Gospel. Right there on the green! Loved it!

Yes, it was a “blessing upon blessing” week. Thank you, Lord, for your kindness to me in orchestrating such a time as this.

So thankful for The Professionals

Friday was a wild and crazy day here at Montrose Bible Conference.  As the final week of kids camp was wrapping up over at the Youth Campus, the conference center was gearing up for a full house of weekend guests down at the Adult Campus, followed by a one of their biggest weeks of the year – the Montrose Christian Writers Conference.  Lots of last minute room checking and basic sprucing up was happening. So it only made sense that it was also the day that the painters showed up to do the barn roof. Now as SOWERS, we are often asked to do painting.  But THIS painting was far beyond the scope of us old folks.
Yep – this roof definitely called for Professionals!
Crazy, right?
Finished product –
And it was all done before lunch! I was busy working in the laundry (the small outbuilding on the right connected to the barn) so I could peek out and see what was going on. I’m pretty sure that fellow had done a fair bit of roof walking in his day. 🙂
Meanwhile, over at the motel, this was happening.
And if you can’t tell what “this” is – remember the walkway that Gary jack-hammered away a couple of weeks ago (in preparation of the new decking)? Much to his delight, a local contractor came in to tear up the next section he was slated to be working on.
He loved that instead of wielding a jack hammer, his biggest job was keeping the rubble out of the driveway. Excavating-5
And man, watching the pros do their thing – it did his heart good! (and saved a fair bit of body wear and tear too!)
What had taken Gary (and the other 2 maintenance guys off and on) 3+ days to accomplish was completed in about two hours.
Which gave him the whole afternoon to fashion temporary entrances into those two rooms.
It isn’t glamorous, but it got the job done! Next week those will be the only two rooms unoccupied, so he’ll be able to get right back to his deck building.
But remember this step?
Guess what I was doing in the afternoon……
Yep – re-cleaning those rooms.
Ah, the fine, fine dust of progress!