Looking for a Sign

Look no further. Here’s the sign.

Well, maybe we should get out of the way?
Well, maybe we should get out of the way?

I know it’s hard to tell I was being literal, because if you’ve been following our progress, you know that we try to heed the “signs” that the Maker puts in front of us. We try to listen to Him and get out of our own way as much as we thick-headed humans can.

The Sign!
The Sign!

But this sign is metal and plastic, and it should last a good long time. The art is Mike’s, and we love the colors and composition. Most people seem to agree!

Before the sign could go up, preparations had to be made.

I'm prepping as fast as I can...
I’m prepping as fast as I can…

The painting of the outside of the church is an ongoing process, and I stifled my discouragement when I inspected the painted portion from just last year. It could use a touch up already! We’re using a more expensive Sikkens paint because it’s thicker and really soaks into the wood.  But the winter was brutal, and the bugs are ubiquitous.

Entering the realm of the spiders and wasps!
Entering the realm of the spiders and wasps!

As I was painting, my “brothers in height” (Mike, my husband and Paul Fisher, of Rybak’s) were across the way having their own adventure at Rybak’s Ice Cream Store.
The back portion of the building has to be addressed, and for this job, no skimpy ladder propped precariously against ancient wood slick with spider silk and squashed bug juice would do. They called in the heavy machinery.

What's this?
What’s this?

The name says it all.

No women allowed?
No women allowed?

Nope! Women get the aforementioned ladder. This is a MANLIFT!

Lifted Men! Having fun!
Lifted Men! Having fun!

Well, I know that working that high in the air has its moments of doubt, but from my perspective it sure looked fun.

This ain't no party...
This ain’t no party…

 

Thanks, David Byrne. Meanwhile, back at the cottage…

And for something completely different..
And for something completely different..
It’s good to know that it’s nap time somewhere in the world.
Back to the Church. After the paint dried, the sign went up. Construction of the frame took place first, of course.
Measure twice, cut once.
Measure twice, cut once.
The frame was cleverly constructed to allow contraction and expansion of the sign. Thanks to Paul Adams of Goats Graphix in Bad Axe, MI, we have a beautiful sign that will last far into the future. We were very impressed with Paul’s work and will no doubt be using him in the future.
The bottom piece of wood is gone now...
The bottom piece of wood is gone now…
So come on over to Grindstone Corners, grab a yummy ice cream at Rybak’s Ice Cream Store, and check out the White Church Gallery!
Opening Summer 2015!
Opening Summer 2015!
But don’t come too close, or I’ll rope you into helping me paint…
Just kidding- we'll get you a cold drink and sit in the shade!
Just kidding- we’ll get you a cold drink and sit in the shade!
– The White Church Gallery

Midwinter Jicker Boots

Midwinter Jicker. I looked it up. It’s not a real phrase, according to Scrabble and the dictionary, but I know it’s real because 1. I’m in it and 2. Lots of other people are too. Dr. Seuss knew about it- he made it up. It’s perfect. It’s the anomaly of weather at this time of year, and this one is a doozy. I wonder if you can use “doozy” in Scrabble. It’s cold, snowy, icy, frigid, unsafe, dry, unpleasant, dark, gloomy, never-ending and, dare I say, totally jickery.

Ways to deal with the jicker: 1. drink a lot. 2. eat a lot 3. buy boots.

Work Boot Splurge
Work Boot Splurge

Splurge is another good word, like jicker and doozy. But can you technically splurge when the boots are super-duper on sale? Above you see three newly waterproofed pairs of man-boots, and two pairs of, well, more man-boots in a smallish size. They fit me like a glove-boot.  I’ve been in the habit of wearing stupid things in a construction zone due to not having smart shoes to wear, so I finally decided to get some good, sturdy boots.  The ones I’m wearing are cushioned, yet ventilated, steel -toed, yet light at the same time.  Oxymoronic comfort. The matching pair of chestnut boots were just a coincidence. Mike had bought his three pair of bootage the weekend before at the now-closing Normans in Bad Axe. I bought mine the following weekend, not realizing it was the same boot. But how adorable- we can tramp around the church matching our little hearts out!

Matching flannel and tired expressions! Priceless!
Matching flannel and tired expressions! Priceless!

Of course my flannel is shot with silver glittery threads. I know you can’t see it in the photo, but you can see the black velvet collar. Looks great with caulk stuck to it.

Learning how to Caulk, feel like a rank beginner. Am a rank beginner.
Learning how to Caulk, feel like a rank beginner. Am a rank beginner.

Speaking of caulk, that’s what we’ve been spending our weekends playing with. And when I say playing, I mean getting up on a high ladder, balancing precariously, using bare fingers to stuff nasty dusty cracks in the church with a sticky, gooey and totally ornery substance while feeling like you’ve never been able to do anything right IN YOUR WHOLE PATHETIC LIFE because the caulk won’t stay put and starts dripping down onto your cute flannel shirt shot with silver thread and collared in velvet. You know, that kind of playing. Just the way to get through the Jicker.

"You're not SERIOUSLY taking a picture now?"
“You’re not SERIOUSLY taking a picture now?”

In case that sounds like way too much fun for a Sunday morning, I forgot to mention the enclosed spaces we’re working in…

Don't raise your hea.....OUCH!
Don’t raise your hea…..OUCH!

…and the scraping of cakes of crud, gobs of grime, and flakes of flotsam that will accompany the eventual (and looming) painting of the Ceiling. I capitalize it because I have a healthy respect for the Ceiling.  It’s vast, and may kill us or leave us writhing, at the very least.

"I wonder what the weather's like in the Bahamas today?"
“I wonder what the weather’s like in the Bahamas today?”
"Warm and Sunny, with probable comfort and pleasure in the forecast."
“Warm and Sunny, with probable comfort and pleasure in the forecast.”

 

Luckily Santa brought us bright blue gloves to brighten the Midwinter Jicker Dark Blues. Thanks Dad! I mean Santa!

I wonder what Nitrile is. Sounds explosive!
I wonder what Nitrile is. Sounds explosive!

Note the difference in fit of the glove between the box photo and my actual hand. It turned out to be more efficacious to use the bare hand when stuffing toothpaste back into the tube, which is the equivalent of what we were doing with the caulk. But the gloves are uber suave, and I used them with style.

"I'm crushing you!!"
“I’m crushing you!!”
Get thee in there, Caulk!
Get thee in there, Caulk!

So we got through most of both sides of the church in two weekends, not by killing ourselves, but by pacing ourselves. I think we’ve finally come to the conclusion that there’s no use in damaging yourself for something that is supposed to give you joy and be a good thing. No one wants bad Ju Ju in the church. Well, it might be too late for that, considering its history,  but it is an environment that, of any I’ve known, would be able to keep the Midwinter Jicker at bay. There is always some symbol of the beauty to come…

Lit from without, but soon lit from within.
Lit from without, but soon lit from within.

…and inspiration to keep us coming back weekend after cold, dry, dark weekend to make the church a place of beauty and inspiration for everyone. 

 

– The White Church Gallery