This is a bit of a love letter to 2014. It was a busy year! But a lovely one. And only good things to come in 2015.
The Church will be open by June. How do we know?
How could we possibly be open in 5! Five! 5! months?
With a punch list a country mile long?
Because we have a wedding to get ready for!
Coming in June: a June Wedding. The daughter of a close friend wants to be wed in the old country Church, and it will be our excitement and pleasure to prepare the aisles.
Hey everyone, grab a tool and let’s get bizzy!
With the exception of the water tanks going in the floor, most of the very large objectives have been met.
Let’s review: 2014 started out with good cheer and lots of ambition.
It was also one of the most brutal winters I can ever remember.
Sub zero temps, snow snow snow. Six snow days from school, three of them at the end of Christmas break. We hunkered down.
Luckily the geothermal heating system made the Church snug for comfortable working.
So we did trim work. That meant caulk, and lots of it.
There was lots for everyone to do.
We hit it hard almost every weekend.
This one about did us in. We didn’t plan it this way, but after the big sanding effort, we took a bit of hiatus. We still worked, but the giant exhausting efforts were put on hold for the rest of the summer…
We did have visitors and fun. Speaking of the upcoming nuptials, here are the parents of the bride checking out the status of the church.
We also worked on other projects back in our home and our cottage. Projects to make the rest of our life away from the Church a little nicer.
When we bought our house in Royal Oak, the entire place was paneled and featured dropped ceilings. We gutted, drywalled and painted the entire place with one exception: there was one room that didn’t get the treatment. That was 12 years ago.
We kind of dug the panelling, at least enough to keep it for 12 years. Plus it was a spare room, and we used it as a walk in closet.
Not really, so … grab the primer and paint, time to get busy!
“Little” projects like this don’t seem to phase us much after working on the Church. We are a pretty well oiled machine.
Meanwhile, back in Grindstone City, new road was being laid down. What a difference it makes.
Trees were planted as well. Some day they will be mighty. Right now they are mini!
Meanwhile, on the human front, there were patent awards given out.
And weddings held.
Whew! What a year.
Of course there was more, but I’m behind in my posts, so onward, 2015! And we’ll see more such celebrations and renovations, to be sure.
This window needed to go in. The Church needs its eyes open!
Couldn’t find any of the three wonder bars we own, so pry bar it is! (This might be an old joke, but it occurs to me that that wonder bar is aptly named- we are always wondering where the HECK it is!)
After some ughs and grunts, it came out!
…that the window is going to be awesome!
Once we remove the handle, the window, recently glazed and so as of yet unpainted, is ready for full sunlight transmission! It’s facing west, so by afternoon the sun streams in like crazy. So we had it tinted.
Well, let’s see…
With my little point and shoot camera, I wasn’t able to get a good contrasty picture in the sunlight. But we could tell a difference in person. It’s just nice to have a window back in! It’s been such a lovely summer that the light and heat feel good.
The phrase “chipping away at it” feels very appropriate to sum up this summer’s work. Window by window. And meanwhile…
We’ve both been putting in a lot of time beating back the chaos at our other properties. One such project was putting up a retaining “wall” between our new cement and the neighbor’s yard, which somehow managed to be many inches higher than ours!
So we dug and measured, ram a plumb line because the cement sloped, and laid the giant beams in.
So in went the wall.
Cuter, plus no landslides onto the new cement, hopefully.
Well we didn’t have long to wait to test it. The Great Flood of Royal Oak put it to the test, and I must say, it worked beautifully. The rest of the yard was under water, but no mudslides!
It was another Sunday Morning session with the white pasty substances. Using Fast and Final spackle is almost like frosting a cupcake. Here, let me show you!
I recently made cupcakes in the colors of stars: orange-red stars are cool small stars, and blue stars are hot and bright. Our Sun is there in the middle. The Main Sequence is the result of the relationship between color, temperature and lifetime of stars.
I had fun making them, and I thought spackling and caulking would be just like that!
I didn’t have to frost the cupcakes on my side, in piles of dust and spider webs, trying to stuff “frosting” into cracks upside down. Darn gravity!
Eventually this will all be painted over, and realistically, no one will ever rest their eyes on this part of the building, but there is a sense of satisfaction knowing that it is done and done right, or as right as rookie me can get it.
Meanwhile, Grindstone Mike was working on the quatrefoil window frame. Sanding and caulking was the order of business.
We also put up trim between the ceiling and the wall along the back of the church with toe molding.
We angle- cut the molding so the pieces would fit nicely against each other and be held in. I’m learning a lot about how buildings are put together. I ask a lot of questions, but luckily Mike is very smart and knows the answers.
I’m good with it!
So up the ladder with all the tools and materials.
And wah lah, the finished product. Again, will anyone ever notice? Probably not, but they’d notice if it WASN’T done, so it must be done!
Another cold, dry, windy Sunday in Grindstone City. Another chunk of work done. But as Shakespeare said, “Things won are done, joy’s soul lies in the doing.” So we are feeling joyful!
But it is done, and it was kinda fun! We’re learning a lot, trying to enjoy ourselves, and imagining the finished project. A beautiful church, an art gallery filled with gorgeous and thought–provoking art in many different media, lots of light and color and love!
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!
And the usual suspects are up to the usual hijinks.
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!
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.
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!
That’s how we get by!
As we were ready to get started on round two of “bringing down the walls…” we had company arrive.
John and Chummy were the first to show up! Don’t let the white hair fool you. These two are stronger than oxen on steroids! For real! Polish oxen!
Next thing you know, two trucks and a motorcycle pull up. It’s Picard and Co., to the rescue once again! Now the pictures are going to get messy. Blurry and dusty. These human tornadoes took the other three walls down before 3 pm. All we could do was duck for cover!
On to the side. Move the scaffolding, fellas…
And so it went, tear it down, haul it out, go back for more.
For as many years as can be remembered by the living, there has been a red circle with a white cross in the front of the Church.
Here’s the story of the uncovering of the Quatrefoil window.
First light was quite exciting!
I couldn’t take pictures of bringing the window down since I was holding the lowering rope! But she is down, and ready to be loved. It’s not clear yet whether she will be restored or will become a museum piece. She’s in rough shape.
Most of the glass was intact, but in order to repair the window, all the glass had to come out. That meant all the brittle glazing had to be picked out. I did the best I could, but it became apparent that the glass was really not worth saving in this case. Yes, it was old and original, but we think the reason it was covered it because it’s too fragile for the westerly weather it had to take. So new glass will have to be made for it.
I did manage to remove the center glass without mishap. And never fear, I saved most of the pieces for the future. I’m sure a project will arise that will call for antique warbly glass.
While we are waiting for time to replenish our coffers and our energy, we did a little window shopping. Bay City was our mall, and Antiques were our eye candy.
Want! And also…
Want badly! Loads of gorgeous tile. But where would it ever fit? What would we do with it? We pondered and had great discourse on the subject, with no resolution other than, “If it’s meant to be, it will be.”
But we did put some money down on a great, and needed purchase.
Miles and miles of counters. Glass counters, with glass shelves and mirrors, and it’s LIT. In great shape. A little 80’s for my taste, but imagine the burgundy base covered in a rich wood and lovely rich fabric covers inside the cases. And imagine it in the Church! Yes!
Meanwhile, back at the Church, things were beginning to be a little oppressive. Too much stuff. How will we have room for the new stuff if we have all this old stuff?
So we went on a Arma-get-your-clean-on. It’s a continual battle, and it required the rental of a storage space, but so be it.
We both know our tendency towards clutter, and awareness is the first step towards fixing it, but shopping with your eyes isn’t quite as much fun as shopping with your paycheck. However, when the paycheck has already gone into heat, and light, and buying storage space for things already purchased with the paycheck, the reality of the vicious cycle hits you in the face. We can and will do better!
So we have been turning our eyes inward. I have been making a new rug, and Mike has been lovingly cleaning up his easel, in preparation for new work.
Everything is as it should be, and this is the time to be quiet, to listen for God’s voice, and to follow instructions. We aren’t in charge!
A drywall gun! This gift, along with an extremely generous gift card for the actual drywall, comes after a difficult decision to remove the plaster so we can insulate and replace with drywall. No one wants to see the old plaster go, but the walls need insulation. The Geothermal can’t do ALL the work, we have to help as much as we can.
Another gift from Mom and Dad Meyers. A Pulpit. A gorgeous, loved pulpit from Ohio. They said they made a day trip to get it and had a great time doing it.
Thanks so much, Mom and Dad, for all your support and understanding and love through all the years. And your extravagant generosity. Another great Christmas!
The roof is complete! The expanse of roofing tiles is glorious, and it defies raindrops to do their worst.
Well, not their worst- I’m sure they could find a way in during a lake storm, but barring a hurricane I think we’re good to go!
In case we’ve forgotten, we’d better do some before and afters. They are the mainstay of the blogosphere, after all!
I feel the Grindstone Pioneers would heave a sigh of relief that the church has a new topper. They are a constant presence around Grindstone Corners.
There is activity across the street as well. Captain Aron G. Peer’s house made of Grindstone got a beautiful facelift. It gave me a good feeling to watch the work on this piece of history. It was done with love and care, and with strong hands. Just like the original must have been built. That’s why the benevolent ghosts of the many souls who toiled and triumphed here are so omnipresent.
Just amazing. Beautiful, hand made porch, in the fashion of the past.