Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Moving on, moving on

Again! It's been awhile! However, this time I have pictures! And the first one's of our van, our lovely 15-passenger. Oh, how we love thee...

Anyhow, we are all packing and getting ready to roll our 15passenger van out of Biloxi on Friday morning. It sure has been a wonderful SPIKE--I think we've all learned a ton about ourselves and each other, not to mention a few construction skills.

Today we dedicated the house on Strangi! The house we began our work here at. All that digging, roofing, window casing, painting... we finally made it into a home. Maggie and I got to give the key to Flora and Willie, the homeowners. They've been married for 34 years and had lived in their home for 32 until the storm hit. Willie has an elevator (powered by water!) to ride up in because he can't climb the stairs with his walker. Those two have truly been a joy to work for. Willie was always out on the porch of their FEMA "cottage" checking things out and Flora helped us clean up scraps several times. It felt amazing to be able to welcome them into their new home for the first time... words certainly cannot express...

Something I wrote while I was at Golden Gate State Park in San Francisco early on in CTI-- "Breathe this in and savor the taste of experience. Don't lose what you feel right now." --I remembered that today and had to remind myself to store away how I was if I'm having one of those negative days that inevitably come around, I can remember how great it feels to know in my soul that I have done something good. Good in the purest form of the word.

Anyhow, we are on to Jackson, MS for a quick transition period and then we'll be in Ft. Pierce, FL to start work on February 11th! I feel like a snowbird...each time it starts to get chilly somewhere, I just move on south. I love it!

First of all...Calypso at Christmas...... oh so cute.

The team at a Seawolve's Hockey game,'s the team's first year back on the ice since the storm! They won!

After we got back from xmas break, we went to a small artsy town called Bay St. Louis. This is Emily, myself, and Libby grabbing a beer in the local bar.

And another, with Joe as well. Aren't we classy? Ha...not exactly.

This is me ripping wood for the window casings that became the bane of my existence for 2 weeks and 2 days. I hope I never see them again, although I would say that I am an expert. Man oh man.

Bart, one of our site sponsors, took us to the air force base to see the hurricane hunter airplanes and this is me sitting in the pilot's seat! The hurricane hunters actually fly through hurricanes! For more information, go to

Lastly...a before and after shot of Strangi. Our pride and joy. Hooooray!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

this just in

Well! It's been ages.

In summary:
*Christmas was a lot of fun, once I finally made it to Kansas. It was great to be around family!
*Getting back to Biloxi was easy...and wonderful! It was so fun to see everyone again, I'd definitely missed my team!
*We arrived to the church to find a bajillion volunteers here. It's craaaazy! There is a lot being done on the houses, which is great...but we are all feeling a little crowded.
*The past week I have been working on Window casings. This is an awful, horrendous, despicable job. Basically, we pre-fabricate the window sills and trim and then fit them around the windows that are already installed. It's such an intricate process...and we have messed up (meaning the casings do not fit) SO many times. This is the first downer of the project...and we are struggling to get through it.

HOWEVER--we got some great news today!

Our next project, beginning in early February, will be in Ft. Pierce, Florida. It's a small waterfront community that's about an hour north of West Palm Beach, 2 hours from Disney World. The best news is that we will be living as a team (by ourselves) in a 4 bedroom house, 3 bathrooms, and a POOL. We don't know if the pool is actually operable...but we are willing to fix it if it isn't. We'll be working on "mitigation" which is basically making homes less vulnerable to hurricanes. More info on that will come, hopefully. :) Yayyyyy! I am so excited!

So, life is moving along quickly. Things are pretty good. The houses that we started when we got here are probably going to be finished by the time we leave, so that is awesome...and we are still all getting along, etc. Thank goodness.

And we're headed to FLORIDA!!!