Ode to an Arch

We’re working on the Arch.
It has served as a backdrop since we bought the church. This is how it first appeared:

Where's the Arch? December 2011
Where’s the Arch? December 2011

Removal of the dropped ceiling revealed:

Oh there is is!   February 2012
Oh there is is! February 2012

Yikes.

We tried to pretty it up!
Quaint it up with a rocker!  April 2012
Quaint it up with a rocker! April 2012
Yeah, I guess. It was temporary.
And as long as we’re in memory lane, when Mom turned 70, we dressed up the chaos and had a birthday party. Again, the Arch was the backdrop.
Good times,  July 2012!
Good times, July 2012!
I remember mopping that nasty floor with rainwater to try to get the worst of the ancient filth off. It sort of worked!
Pre Party Arch July, 2012
Pre Party Arch July, 2012
By December of 2012, It looked like this:
December, 2012 Chaos
December, 2012 Chaos
Then the fancy table was replaced with  picnic table. In case we wanted to have a picnic.
Uh, aren't picnics held outside? April, 2013
Uh, aren’t picnics held outside? April, 2013
Yes, so I we exchanged the picnic table for a bed! A futon, in case we got tired and had to nap, apparently.
Perfect place to take a nap! Ha! July, 2013
Perfect place to take a nap! Ha! July, 2013
Yeah, and as you can tell, we have a continual storage problem. We fixed the storage of the futon problem by finally getting rid of it. After three decades, it’s time to ditch the College Futon. Sniff.
Next came the Big Demolition, and we had a bare bones situation.
Uncovering the Arch! August, 2013
Uncovering the Arch! August, 2013
Later that same day – actually about 15 minutes later, we had this:
Hey now!
Hey now!
Closer inspection:
Naked Arch, August, 2013
Naked Arch, August, 2013
Behind those enormous planks is nature. Cool, raw nature.  These are truly the bones of the church. Which is fine for August, but by Fall.
The Church's long underwear! October, 2013
The Church’s long underwear! October, 2013
We needed some protection from the elements. Yes, it was a happy day!
Warmth!
Warmth!
Insulation by spray foaming. Next comes the drywall. And not soon after!
Later that same month, 2013
Later that same month, 2013
Drywall! Then Mike and Dad put up nailers on the arch in several death defying maneuvers.
Here’s Mike finishing up.
December 2013
December 2013
And then… a whole year went by… what happened to 2014? Well, there were ceilings to paint, floors to sand, trim to put up, caulk to stuff, windows to fix…
March 2014, Edge on Arch
March 2014, Edge on Arch
Sanding,  April 2014
Sanding, April 2014
The Arch also became a bit of an Art supporter.
September 2014
September 2014
And so it has been till this month, February of 2015. We keep rearranging and cleaning, trying to keep the Church work-wise. But we’re not done with the Gallery, so the art must go!
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And so, it’s February of the self-same year the White Church Gallery is set to open. 2015.YIKES!!!!

We need to pedal a little faster!

So now we have begun an art/science project.
I’m a scientist by nature, and Mike’s an artist. But he’s also an engineer, so that’s like a scientist. And I have a musical nature, so that’s artistic, right? Hence the art/science project that we are in the midst of. What to do with the arch!

Cherry and Pine. What say you?
Cherry and Pine. What say you?
This is only the beginning. As I type this, my soul mate is over yonder drawing up the arch on his CAD program and figuring out dimensions, beveling, and molding ideas. He’s trying to figure out how to make this arch a piece of art. There will be more to this story. Stay tuned.
– The White Church Gallery

Pardon Our Dust!

The walls have come tumblin’ down. But not without a lot of coaxing, urging, and back breaking labor!
First step: prep. I spent a day solo moving all the furniture and tools into two aisles so that the walls were clear. I felt very empowered after the move.The place was a mess, as you see.

Bird's-eye Before shot
Bird’s-eye Before shot
Better...two aisles.
Better…two aisles.
Wall almost clear...
Wall almost clear…
Except for the massive piano harp. That will take two.
Except for the massive piano harp. That will take two.

Step two: start ripping out plaster and lathe. Scaffolding set up, tools assembled. Masks on, ready, set, go!

Shrouded for now.
Shrouded for now.

P1010030

Here’s the “time lapse” of the wall coming down.

Grime doesn't pay!
Grime doesn’t pay!
We can breathe easy now!
We can breathe easy now!

Third step: down in the trenches, shoveling plaster and lathe, taking it out to the dumpster, and back for more.

P1010083

Tired. Empowered!
Tired. Empowered!

One wall down, three to go. That’s enough for one weekend…

P1010119

Step four: Time for some eats and drinks! Step it up, Captain Barbeque!

"With or without plaster dust?" "Without, please!"
“With or without plaster dust?” “Without, please!”
– 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