Tip Toeing Safely Toward The Beginning

Work has started on demolition. Scaffolding has gone up and lathe and plaster is coming down. We are revealing some beautiful 1 inch cedar boards, some as wide as 19 inches.  We are attempting to reclaim as much of the swamp ash wainscoting as we can. We hope to use it for flooring on the lofts. The cedar will not offer enough support without a sub-floor. We have a large pile of wood mounting in the middle of the floor and I have been warned we will need to find somewhere dry to keep it.  Good dust masks are the order of the day. I pulled 2 pieces of lathe and nail from the bottom of my shoe. By noon I decided I should leave until I get some safety boots. When I returned with my brand new boots I left the tags on because I know men like to tease each other about new boots.  New boots make it look like it is your first day on the job and you have no experience.img_5043

I worked on removing the wainscoting while John worked up high removing lathe and plaster. With plaster raining down from above, I was glad I was wearing my new yellow hard hat.  Hard hat colours traditionally indicate trade or position. Foremen wear white, electricians wear blue, yellow, I think, is a generic colour generally worn by labourers.  I often use the biblical approach. Luke 14 verse 8 begins the story. “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honour, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, “Give this person your seat” then humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, “Friend, move up to a better place.” Then you will be honoured in the presence of all the other guests. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” I like to pretend to be humble. I’m really proud of how humble I am.

The furnace motor is seized and we are not investing in a furnace older than me.  We want to avoid firing up a new furnace with all of the dust flying around.  The church has been warm enough to work in until today. We’ll use space heaters while we are in the building but need to be careful due to the limited electrical service and extremely dry wood.  Since we won’t be using the furnace, we are removing the duct-work to make room for the people who will be spray foaming the basement and repairing the foundation.

Labourers are hard to find.  Skilled trades are paid more so it is smart financially to get labourers to do unskilled work like removing lathe, plaster and duct work. Wanting to protect the property, I don’t want to just pull people off the street to work on the church. We removed a stained glass window this week and are hoping to get estimates for replacement windows this week.  It has been difficult to get people to come out to give estimates. We got an estimate to remove insulation that was surprisingly high. Paul, our contractor, suggested I could buy a vacuum truck for the same price. I checked Kijiji and he was right. Dreamgirl thought he was joking.  I am holding out for a red truck.  Fire engine red to be precise.

My other job has been keeping me busy. I work on an on-call basis and cold and flu season is off to a good start. Dreamgirl works 3 jobs and balancing them is becoming increasingly difficult. The old man in me remembers fondly the days when hard work led to a good full-time job.  When I look at the church, I am glad to be part-time.  Today we met with a fellow who will turn our sketches into a cohesive design we can use to get a building permit. The construction begins soon. Dreamgirl also bought me a new wheel barrow. My mason doesn’t want to scratch it up but hs offered to armour all the tire for me.img_5006




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