Sunday, September 19, 2010

Barking Dogs

And it's not just Atticus.  I have a bruise on my right shoulder. A blister on my thumb.  I can barely use my right hand.  My right ankle is swollen.  My lower back aches.  My hamstrings are contracted.  Two toes on my left foot are kinked.  My feet feel like bricks.

And I feel goooooooooooooooooooooood!

The framing went up so fast--thanks to the eager work of a lot of ladies and some excellent crew leaders.  Then sheeting was thrown up and nailed down while interior walls went vertical and drywall blocking went horizontal.  Evelyn's room was nailed together, partly, "with love" and with "Lady Wildcat Pride" by the Whitko Lady Wildcats!  She was thrilled to learn a team of high school girls finished putting her room together.

I, personally, got to sawzall three windows out.  (Oh my, do I love power tools.)  Let me tell you, a sawzall jiggles everything--even parts you didn't know you had!  And I got to fire a Remington concrete nailer to secure a number of walls to the slab.  Nothing like the smell of gunpowder on a cool morning . . . . I even got to yell, "Fire in the hole!"  But forgot a few times to the surprise and temporary deafness of those around me.

As all the volunteers can attest, we are working with some terrific professionals--Chris, Steven, Jory, and Joe--have been so patient to explain and re-explain; answer numerous questions; loan tools; watch us slowly do work they could do so much faster, I'm sure; and fix some of the mistakes we made.  They are ensuring the houses we, as unskilled or somewhat-skilled workers, are assembling are solid and secure.

A couple of neat things happened this weekend, too.  My dad turned 74 on Saturday and wanted to spend his birthday working on my house.  If you know my dad, he's not so handy with a hammer, though he's excellent at many other things.  I learned most of my construction skills from my mom--she's the one we would find under the sink fixing the plumbing or would walk in covered with sawdust.  She also has the scars to show a few times of careless cutting with a utility knife.  At any rate, Dad (I'm so proud!) pounded a number of 12- and 8-penny nails in to install the blocking for the drywall.  He even pounded his first toenail in!  That was especially exciting because I taught him how to do it. :)  He never once resorted  to the screw gun.  So, as it was his birthday, Dottie put together a little surprise.  After lunch, she presented a cake to him and we all sang, "Happy Birthday!"  This is one he'll NEVER forget.

Finally, the kids had a most unique opportunity Saturday morning to take a plane ride on a small, Cessna--a 4-seater.  They flew over the homesite and got some shots they'll never get again--me, in the middle of a roofless house--it's so cool.  Once I figure out how to post photos, I'll be sharing those. 

Have a great week, folks.  Rest up as roofing starts Wednesday.  (I love roofing.)  The crew is setting trusses Monday and Tuesday.  Dottie has given strict instructions to obey Chris if we're onsite at all while they're working with the trusses.  Dottie knows the most dangerous periods of a construction schedule and this is one of them. 

Thanks so much for your help.  To those who provided the meals and snacks--YUM!  And many thanks!


The term "barking dogs" came from Cockney rhyming slang which, one theory purports, came from thieves who would disguise their discussions by using rhyming words.  For example, "head" rhymes with "loaf of bread," thus, the phrase, "use your loaf."  "Feet" rhymes with "dog meat," thus, "my dogs are sore," or "my dogs are barking," and thus, the title of this post.  Just a little etymology lesson for those who are interested!

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