The Light Fantastic

It’s been a year…since the last Polka Fest. Hard to believe, but here it is, the end of September, and the red and white lights are up again!

Can't dance without lights!
Can’t dance without lights!

And the usual suspects are up to the usual hijinks.

Three Stooges?
Three Stooges?

I think one of the best parts of this whole church project has been getting to know many of the people of the Tip of the Thumb.

Their blood is red and their skin is white, well, maybe translucent, (they are descended from Poles) but their hearts are true blue! The guy on the left wired the church like it was a WW 2 submarine. Let me show you!

Wires in the bathroom...
Wires in the bathroom…
Wires in the office...
Wires in the office…
Pretty, pretty wires everywhere!
Pretty, pretty wires everywhere!

If you want to light a church, you have to use some wire!  Mr. Shramski is a pro. He and his partner Dale spent many an hour in their “spare time” laying hundreds, nay thousands of feet of wire and conduit in the church, after drilling hole after hole right through the studs. The work is hard and expertise is needed, but luckily this community has great people like them to do this kind of work.

We will be very happy to see the last of the temp lights. They have served us well, but it’s time to have some permanent lighting.

All things Bright, but not Beautiful!
All things Bright, but not Beautiful!

As the wire goes in, the walls must be prepped for the spray foam. Coming soon: insulation! Stay tuned as the church gets an inner hug from a plastic blanket!

a plasket wha?
a plasket wha?

(BTW, the polka fest was FUN!)

he Prills break a leg!
he Prills break a leg!
Dancing in our seats!
Dancing in our seats!
– The White Church Gallery

It Ain’t Easy!

So what’s been going on this week? Let me show you, and you can guess…

??? Is it Art???
??? Is it Art???
Holes and conduit! And shavings!
Holes and conduit! And shavings!

Darn, you guessed it! The Church is being wired. Now that the plaster and lathe is gone, we can wire the walls for electricity before we add insulation and close her up with drywall. Outlets under the windows and in front! The ceiling had already been wired, but now the walls are good to go. Well almost…

Holy Rotted Wood, Batman!
Holy Rotted Wood, Batman!

Of course, in renovation, as in life, nothing is ever easy, and there were disaster areas that needed to be tended to before we can even think “Spray Foam!”

Who better to attend to them? Grindstone Mike, of course!

How'm I going to make this better?
How’m I going to make this better?

With a little help from a friend, of course. Camera-shy ice cream magnate Paul Fisher helped out, but it’s a bigger job than just weekend will allow time and energy for, especially after such a grueling work week and last week’s adventure to NY State for a lovely wedding.

Me, Mike, Dad and Mom
Me, Mike, Dad and Mom

Time spent with the folks is always special, and seeing relatives is always a hoot, but the 10 hours in the car each way was a little hard on the nerves tushie!

I did take a day this week to go hiking in Crescent Beach State Park. Summer has flown by, as is usually does, and for me teaching school starts very soon, both High School and College. So I took a day to “goof off” in this lovely setting, only 15 minutes from Port Austin, MI.

"Let's take a walk!"
“Let’s take a walk!”
Moss mountain!
Moss mountain!
Dunes and waves.
Dunes and waves.
"Look how magical!"
“Look how magical!”
Ahhhhhhh...
Ahhhhhhh…

I’m selfishly posting these so I can look back and remember how wonderful it was and to keep me breathing during the long season ahead of working all week, renovating all weekend. Poor Grindstone Mike has been doing this all along, but that’s why he’s Grindstone Mike. Tough and gritty, but keeps everyone near him sharp too.

"It ain't easy being green!"
“It ain’t easy being green!”

– The White Church Gallery

Church on Mars

P1010056

Well, technically the Church is still in Grindstone City, Michigan, but the landscape has changed.

Early in the summer, I was excited to mow the church plot of land with the John Deere.

Green!
Green!

Then came the Big Heat! By the Party in late July, little green was left… except for the army green Party tent!

Summer '12: 23-50-70 Birthday Party
Summer ’12: 23-50-70 Birthday Party

And then the road came in. First step in having a paved road:

What will be unearthed? Worms!
What will be unearthed? Worms!
Progress and parking.
Progress and parking.
Check out the fancy cash I mean catch basin!
Check out the fancy cash I mean catch basin!
So we’re still in Grindstone landscape, albeit slightly modified.
Then comes the Heat! As summer wanes to fall and then rushes into winter, the need for heat becomes real. The steamy hot hot summer becomes icy windy cold cold winter!So we pried open our wallets and went with Geothermal heat. B and D were our contractors.

So we're gonna take the warmth from the earth, see....
So we’re gonna take the warmth from the earth, see….
First, we’ll need more electricity. Dig ‘er up, boys…
P1010198
And inside?
New electrical boxes
New electrical boxes
Then come the pipes, underground, of course!
Dig ‘er up, boys…
Now we're on Mars!
Now we’re on Mars!
Here’s the theory:
geothermal
Here’s the reality:
P1010221
And the unit. This is what takes the warmth from the ground and transfers it to the church’s environment. Likewise, in the summer it will take the cooler-ness of the earth and pump it back into the Church. The difference in temps will be made up by the electrical part of the unit, but heating from 55 (earth temp) to 65 is better than heating from 0 (air temp) to 65! That’s the theory.
P1010043
And though I thought about it for awhile, this is the best I could do to show you what heat looks like!!
P1010042
But this is what heat feels like:
We did the right thing!
We did the right thing!

– The White Church Gallery