Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Still Around!

Yes, well aware I haven't made an entry since January.  So what's been happening in the last three months?

First, work's been super busy.  I can't count how many times in the past three months I've passed through my front door and my level of physical and mental fatigue prevented me from summoning sufficient energy to write something meaningful here.  Add to that the stress from other fronts and my creative juices seemed very dry.  Even now I acknowledge I'm not 100% rested or full of mental energy yet I didn't want my corner of the WWW to be lacking much longer.

Perhaps I'm gaining drive from the simple change of seasons.  It's greening up nicely here in NW Kansas and before we know it summer will be here.  I cut the grass for the first time this season just this past Saturday and this evening I watered the front lawn, hoping for some lush greenery as a result.  The perennials are returning and I've already enjoyed fresh peppermint from the back yard.

And on the subject of seasons, I admit this winter just ended wasn't as severe as some of the others I've endured over the last nine years.  No polar vortices, no blizzards, heck even the snowfall was pretty manageable and the remnants didn't stick around too long.  I've already dewinterized the camper and am hoping to make good use of it before freezing temps make a comeback come October or November.  (Not having to make a trip to Minnesota in January sure didn't hurt!!)

I've also been immersed in a home improvement project.  Redoing the tub/shower in the main floor bathroom.  When the house was built (over 50 years ago), this bathroom had a tub but no shower.  Subsequent owners (as far as I know although it may have been the original occupant) added a tub spout with an attachment for a hand-held shower head.  A few years ago I nailed in a bracket that held said shower head at a shower-friendly height.  There was no tiling or true shower walls in the stall, rather it was just bath board that was showing its age and also displaying rot in a few areas.  Improving this part of the house was in my brain for some time but I never could decide whether to re-do the shower with tiling or just take a sledge hammer to the cast-iron tub and replace the whole danged thing with a tub/shower combo purchased at a big-box home improvement retailer.  A dripping tub faucet finally convinced me to take action.  The final choice?  Keep the tub, with the idea to have it re-glazed, but tear out the bath board and the drywall behind it and make the thing a true shower stall with Onyx walls.  New faucet, one designed for a tub/shower and have the plumbers add a permanent shower head.  I'm nearly done with adding the new drywall, actually using cement board where the Onyx walls will be glued, with the remainder being greenboard. I've engaged Groan's help with this project and she's learning that home improvement is a fair amount of trial and error, and is much more difficult than the shows on DIY or HGTV portray.

Yet I'm certain the completed shower setup will be well worth the work.

Last month Geoana and I went south of the border for the second year in a row.  Yes, building another house with Casas Por Cristo.  However this year's venture wasn't as emotionally rewarding as 2016.  Why?  A few reasons.

Last year we left our burg on a Saturday morning and drove until we reached Hamlin, Texas.  There we unpacked for a night at a local church, but not before the young folks (and me) went to the high school's baseball field to let off a little steam and use the muscles that were in a seated position for the whole day.  I enjoyed it and the evening was leisurely as a result.

This year?  Leave extremely early Sunday morning.  And to add insult to injury the time also changed as Daylight Savings Time went into effect.  Yes, we departed about 5 a.m. but to us it was 4:00.  Even this morning person struggled.  Glad I wasn't the first one to drive the van that day.

Last year we left Hamlin on Sunday morning and arrived in San Angelo just in time to join their Church of Christ for Sunday School.  The young folks were quickly invited to the high school class.  The church service also was rewarding and our shopping spree at Wal-Mart in Del Rio was its own brand of fun.  (You can read plenty about this in my entries from last March.)

This year?  Arrive in Del Rio after dark after spending 14 hours on the road.  BBQ at Rudy's was satisfying, but there was no pot luck or karaoke at the church afterward (the same church we stayed last year).  Then it's another early morning on Monday as we need to cross the border and get to the work sites.

Less interaction with the families and other neighborhood folks this year.  And we didn't get fed except at the house dedication and despite the good intentions of our family the comida was a far cry from last years offerings.

Plus we didn't even get the chance to stop by last year's house and say hello.

I think Geogal noticed the disappointment from me and the child.  She commented:  "Last year you two were really jazzed and excited.  This year, not hardly at all."

She was right.

However I shouldn't overlook the fact that a family now has a house that didn't have one as recently as several weeks ago.  Or that our labors will never be in vain.  Or that our rewards aren't always easily discernible.  Was I blessed?  Did I receive a few emotional rewards?


So even though this blog has been quiet, I've been active.

More to come...