Monday, April 14, 2014

Tool of the Trip

This a new section we are adding to our blog. Usually when tools are mentioned, you think of men and their tools, but Linda has been coming up with the tools to add to our list. At the end of last trip she indicated she needed a power screwdriver, and I did get her one. This time she came up with another tool she fell in love with, but I will let her tell the story.
Hi its me,Linda
We will call this part of the blog:  Tool of the Travel

One of my jobs was to do a lot of weeding around the flower beds.  The weeds were fierce and stubborn.  I found this tool (see picture below).  I grabbed the handle and suddenly I felt like the weed police.  I raked at those weeks and I chopped at the roots.  With each breath I took I said, "I hate weeds, I hate weeds."  Ok that does sound a little dramatic.  But I got say this tool is the best I've ever used to completely decimate those little devils.  I now know I will soon be using it on the weeds in my own garden. My next project will be-how to use a weed eater.

Traveling Home

On Friday morning we packed the trailer, hitched up and headed north. It is always difficult to leave a project, but we always have the next project to look forward to. NOMADS is not just about doing work to help someone, but it is also about spiritual growth, fellowship, and growing personally.

The trip home was quite interesting. Our GPS took us through the back roads and small towns of Arkansas on our way to West Memphis. Friday night was spent at Tom Sawyer RV park on the banks of the Mississippi.

The park was nice and had all the comforts we look for in a site. The site was on a concrete pad and had full utility hook ups. We were only a few feet from the river so we could watch the barge traffic, see the flowing water, smell the river, and hear the sounds of the water lapping against the shore. The only problem came when we were packing to leave....Greta escaped the trailer without her leash and she wanted to play rather than to travel. 

Our second night we stayed at the Tin Cup RV Park, Mahomet, Illinois. It was a full hook up site and was also very nice. 

Greta enjoyed the open space and the green grass without mud! She does travel very well and has matured since our first trip with her in 2012! Sometimes though she can still be a challenge...stubborn Corgi!

Sunday morning we attended Palm Sunday Service at the Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, Mahomet, Illinois. The service was wonderful and the congregation made us feel welcome. Ironically the Minister's father had been a NOMAD so NOMADS recieved a free commercial during the announcements.  

After church services he headed for Janesville. The travel was very difficult because of rain and high winds, but we arrived safely. 

Second Week at Dubach

Even though the rain was heavy and the threat of storms existed, the spirits of the team was high. As usual we started our week off by attending church services as a team. The team elected to worship at the Salem United Methodist Church this week.

The church was smaller than the one that we attended the week before,but the congregation welcomed us with open arms, When we arrived, we were all concerned because there was no one at the church. It was raining and many of the roads were flooded, so we did not know if service had been cancelled, but just before serve everyone arrived!  Following the service we all went to Papa Joes in Dubach for lunch. 

When the work week started, many different task were undertaken. The wet and soggy ground conditions required some changes in the work schedule, but at the end we did accomplish a considerable amount of work. 

A pasture fence was repaired and installed. This was to divide the pasture into smaller areas for the horses. 

Several landscaping chores were completed. Trimming was one of the tasks that was completed. 

 Plants in the greenhouse were trimmed and repotted. 

Some of the plants were prepared for sale. The main plant being grown in the greenhouses at this time were ferns. 
The raised gardens were weeded and prepared for planting. Flower beds were also prepared for planting. 

A shelter for the goat flock was extended to provide them with more protection from the rain and elements. 

Equipment additions were made to the goat area. This is a swinging bridge that was made to provide the goats with some recreation. 

One evening we had a potluck dinner. Everyone brought something, Linda and I being true Wisconsinites brought brats and cheese!

Other tasks completed during the week included tree removal from some of the areas, putting mulch on the paths, erecting signs for the paths, and steps to prepare for the wedding that was to be held at the outdoor chapel soon. 

As a team we also attended "family night" at the Antioch Church.  

Linda and I had the opportunity to visit with some old friends. We had a lovely evening with the Philpots and provided them with a tour of the center. 

At the end of the work week Linda and I had to pack up and start our trip home. Jake, Linda's oldest grandson is scheduled for open heart surgery so we felt the need to be home with him.  Just before we left, we had a dinner with the staff and we loaded 3 cases of salsa in the truck and prepared to leave. Our experience at OWL was great and perhaps some children will benefit from our work. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

First Week Completed

The first week of the project is over and several tasks were completed by the team, but there is more work to be done. The week was plagued with rain and thunder storms so that limited some of the accomplishments of the team. After our orientation and meeting with the staff on Monday, the work began.

The first project of the week was to clean the outdoor chapel area and to make new signs for the path to the chapel. The entire team worked on cutting branches from the pathway, removing branches and twigs that had fallen during the winter. 

A wooden fence was erected between the RV parking area and the fuel tanks. The task was a fairly simple task.

The wooden deck at the administration building was power washed to remove the mold dirt so it  could be stained, however the rains prevented it from being stained. Oh well, this is Louisiana so frequent rains and weather changes are common in the area this time of the year.
The OWL Center has many trails, so one of the projects was to clear the trails so they would be usable for the groups that will be arriving soon. Leaf blowers, chainsaws, and pruning hooks were the tools of the day for the team that did the clearing.

The week was not all work, there was some  play in the week. Group photos were taken at different locations, one was with the group standing on the balance log that is used in the confidence course.

The hedges and landscaping plants at the administration building were in bad need of trimming, so the team trimmed the plants to dress up the building.

Trimming around the Conference center was another task that was completed by the team. After all it is springtime in Louisiana and that means spring cleaning is in order.

A fence dividing one of the horse pastures was completed by the team.

The shelter in the goat pen was enlarged so the young goats would have adequate shelter during the rainstorms that are common this time of the year.

Several tasks were carried out in the greenhouse. That included repotting plants, planting some blackberry bushes, trimming ferns, cleaning pots and a general clean up of the facility.

Flower beds and raised garden boxes were weeded and prepared for planting.

The weekend brought more rain and the threat of more thunderstorms for the week ahead. It will be interesting to see what we will be doing next week.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Team

The team consisted of 10 members from the states of Alabama, Louisiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

The team members are (left to right) Andrew Lehman (Michigan), Pearl and Charlie Bruns (Louisiana), Lindell & Linda Whitelock (Wisconsin), Gary and Sharon Hatcher (Alabama), Roger and Sandy Westerman (Alabama) and Joanne Lehman (Michigan). 

During the first week several projects were completed and marked off the list. At the end of the first week everyone was tired from the work they had to accompolish.