Tuesday, August 1, 2017


We now find ourselves half way through the summer with still so much to do. Jimi is non-stop hard at work on the church, which we try not to call the church anymore, but refer to as our house. It’s sometimes hard to talk him in to taking time off for other events. And when he’s not able to work on this summer’s scheduled projects, he picks up other things that will eventually need to be done.

This year’s goals were to make us a living space, glaze the windows and replace the shingles on the roof. In the process, a few things have been added to the ‘must do’ list. The biggest of these were fixing leaks. Most were from the gutters. Others were due to rotten floor boards at the doorways and foundation drainage. One item on this year’s list that won’t get done is glazing the windows. They have proven to be too time-consuming. The storm windows must come off and remain off while the glazing dries. Jimi doesn’t want to do more than one window at a time because that would mean too many windows would be unprotected and exposed to the unpredictable weather at the same time. After some inspection, he’s determined that while the windows need to be addressed, they aren’t as critical as he first thought. He’ll simply get to each one as he’s able and focus his attention on more feasible and pressing items.

Repurposed from the racks that held the hymnals on the back of the pews to spice racks.

Part of a pew repurposed to a corner seat by the shower.

This is what the curb portion of the yard looked like when we arrived in May.

We planted grass and I water every morning and every evening. We were so excited when we saw our first baby grass.

And now she's green! We still have some thin spots and lots of weeds, but that's ok. Our goal is to get strong grass roots planted to make it through the winter. We'll deal with the weeds next May.

Jimi's been doing little things here and there on the sanctuary floor and stage area.

He began removing the rubber matting that was underneath the carpet to reveal the same beautiful wood floors.

And he's removed a few more walls in the garage area.

He built a motorized lift to haul the shingles to the roof.

And he's moved all the shingles (two pallets worth) to the roof. 

He began deconstruction and removal of the marquee sign.

This area by the double doors was saturated with water when it rained. Jimi removed the rotten wood to fix the problem only to find it went deeper. His two-hour project turned in to five days. Under the rotten wood was a wide open spot with loose brick thrown in the gap. He removed all that, cleaned it up, poured new concrete and made a new floor board. I failed to take photos of the process.

He installed the garage door, which at this time opened to a brick wall.

Then he had a truck load of dirt delivered for the driveway into the garage.

Then he took a saw to the brick and pushed the wall down.

And now the garage door is exposed.

I stay busy with working, church activities and family – sometimes over extending myself. We’re settled into our temporary living space nicely and have made it very comfortable. We’ve traded and rearranged furniture several times making it just perfect for us and I’m sure we’ll do more along the way. We’ve made some new friends and acquaintances in Alma, very much enjoy the community and couldn’t be happier with our location. We can walk to the bank, hardware store, post office, grocery store, movie theater, Napa, attorney’s office, variety store and more.  Everything is less than two blocks away in one direction or another. It sounds busy, but it’s really not.

We hosted our first annual memorial day BBQ at our new home.  Attendance was good and even though we weren’t quite set up for the event, it went well. We invited family and friends from my church. The children played on the grandiose steps with sidewalk chalk and pin wheels, we had horse shoes, croquet and lots of good food.

For Father’s Day, we went to Pioneer Village in Minden, Nebraska. Jennifer, Gavlin, Kayne, Aubree and my parents joined us. I remember going to Pioneer village as a child when we would come visit my grandparents. There is so much history there; a person could spend days and still not see everything. See their website here: http://www.pioneervillage.org

We were spoiled when we found out the Independence Day parade gathered kitty corner from our property and then started directly on the North side of our yard. We simply pulled out our lawn chairs and camera and enjoyed the excitement. That afternoon, my parents picked me up and we went to the park for a live patriotic concert in the park. Jimi, of course, stayed behind worked on the house.

Remember Brittany? She is my great-niece who spent last fall on Sanibel with us. Well, she graduated high school and is now on to the next chapter of her life. The ceremony was held in Lincoln at the University of Nebraska High School and the following day, we threw a reception for her at Cottonmill Park in Kearney. We’re very proud of her.

In the few short months we’ve been here our granddaughter, Aubree, has changed so much. She can now hold her head up on her own, tries hard to sit up on her own, she’s alert, recognizes people and laughs or smiles nearly all the time. We enjoy spending time with her and watching her grow. It will be hard to leave her this fall.

Jimi and I love finding treasures at second-hand stores and yard sales. Saturday is usually the day to do this type of shopping. We’ve found some neat things and while I don’t have a picture of everything for you, here are a few.
Claw foot desk.

Chair from the late 1800's.

Singer sewing machine in mint condition from the 1950's.