seven

Magnolia House -- Melody -- Day 2

The facilities here are very nice, and there were enough rooms that John and I got to have our own room together, so that is very good indeed. Just two bunk beds with springs... so not *home* but at least we have our privacy and a little time together that is just us. The doors and walls are very thin, though, so it was rather inevitable that I would wake up when someone started throwing up.

Two folks came down with "stomach flu" this morning, and one other got hit around 4 pm. Probably something they ate. I'll hope at least, because I don't want all twenty-some-odd of us to all start throwing up tomorrow.

*laughs* There's still too much to do.




Our Room at the Convent
Originally uploaded by Liralen Li.
Since I was up until midnight last night, I wasn't able to get up very early this morning, even with the rude awakening, I mostly turned over and went back to sleep. I'd gotten an extra blanket for last night because the night before I was too cold; so I was in relative comfort all night. That was good to have figured out.

Breakfast was scrambled eggs, Eggo waffles, and various other fruit and things. That was enough to start off with, but when we left, we hit a little doughnut shop in one of the small towns on the way to our work site. It's one of the quaint little towns just east of us, over the next bridge, called Ocean Springs, and it has the cutest little downtown with lots of little shops, most of which are back on their feet. The doughnut shop has okay coffee, good enough lattes, and plenty of raised, glazed, and frosted donuts of all types, shapes, and sizes. We all stopped, bought something to supplement our breakfast, and then went on to the job site.


Moss Point Bridge
Originally uploaded by Liralen Li.
This was the view on the way to work. We went east, and went over these brown marshy lands with rivers running through it, and right near the town the house is in, is this bridge over what can loosely be called a river. It is pretty beautiful.

It was warmer today, but to make up for it the bugs bit harder, and most of the work was second story work. The eaves needed primer, as well as a good scraping and then some paint. The college kids that did the painting last week hadn't cleaned their rollers, nor had they done much with respect to preparing the surfaces they did paint, so some of it was just flaking right off. *sighs* So we had to go back over portions of it ot clean it off and then get it painted. So I was up in second-story eaves, wearing eye protection because of just how MUCH crap I was scraping off the boards up there, and finally slapping on a coat of primer as far as my arms could reach, which was further than I thought, but not as far as I would have liked.

My whole upper body now hurts from having to hold that brush over my head. Luckily, I had a hook for the bucket of paint, so I didn't have to hold that as well. I also was kind of scared of being up that high, and I'm afraid I locked up legs while up there from sheer tension, so my legs, hips, and knees are so sore now that I kind of groaned like an old horse every time I had to go up a ladder or even into the car by late afternoon. That was kind of bemusing. I was sore from yesterday, but now I just ache, all over.

Usually, on these trips there's a down day to be had, sometimes two, depending on the person, and I'm not actually down today, but I'm really, really sore. I was pretty happy with everything we did, though.


The Neighbor's House
Originally uploaded by Liralen Li.
Some of it is that every time I turned around I knew that we were doing a lot better with Melody's house than the neighbors had done. This is the house next door, and I have no idea if it was the storm or neglect since then, but all together it's pretty much a loss. So what she and we were doing were a good thing. She also told us a little more about her story during the storm. She had a daughter in college in Alabama, and went to live with her before the storm, and when she came back, afterward, it was to find the house completely trashed. But her parents were in the area and really wanted to stay, and wanted her to stay with them, so she came back and did her best to recover her house in order to do so.

But she lost both her father and her mother within the next seven months. She also had medical problems, and between the storm, the house, the death of her parents, and dealing with the storm, she and her husband had a divorce in the midst of it as well. She keeps getting up after all these things, I thought. I guess I can get up that ladder one more time. *laughs*

Lunch was good, with everyone, and then I picked something simpler to do, which was caulking a window, but there were three beads of caulk that had to go around two large window, and i was told about one of them to start, and then th next, and then the last one, so I kept having to go back up a ladder to do another line of caulk at the top. If I'd actually known about all three, I could have had them done much, much sooner. Now I know.

My legs just couldn't work very hard any more, so I volunteered for a run to Lowe's,because we'd run out of caulk. There were boards that were broken as well, and a few missing on top of that, so John and I got a complete list of everything that was needed and we went to the store to get them. The only thing was that the boards were twelve feet long, which is longer than the mini-van even is, so John loaded it in with the board sticking out the back by a few feet, and I got to drive that way back to the house. That made me pretty tense, too.

Still, it was something I could do, given that I was aching all over so much. And afterward, I found a second wind and helped paint the new boards, measure them, and put them up on the corners of the houses, rather than having just the mismatched siding that was there and a crumpled tin corner that had been beaten up a few too many times. All the windows look much better, now, and the new coat of paint hides a multitude of sins and looks pretty spankin' new, too. I helped John put up one of the corners, helping him fit it, shim it, and get all the pieces fixed into their places. Then he left me to do the next corner while I filled in all the gaps with caulk. That took a lot longer than I'd hoped, but it worked out as my last job. I went through three tubs of caulk myself.

Vicki, in the morning, had said that she was relieved that I said that I was sore, because she noticed that I work like a machine once I get going, and it relieved her some to know that I get tired, too. Jenifer was surprised when I said that I probably messed up my legs by being so tense while two-stories up, as she didn't think I looked scared, but that high up off the ground I'm really aware of just how high up I am and what a fall from that height is going to do to me. I'm really aware of people under me, and what will happen if I accidentally drop something on them. That was pretty scary.

So my legs were really stiff and tired from standing up on that rung and wanting to hang on when I couldn't with my legs.


Post Day 2 North View
Originally uploaded by Liralen Li.
So the house looks pretty good now that we've had 14 people working for two whole days on it. All the paint matches, the trim is up on all the windows, everything up high is at least primed, and the doors are all nicely finished. The old, rotting boards are down from everywhere, and we got trim up on all the corners instead of the battered tin and mismatched siding.

By the time 5 pm rolled around, most of the crew was done in, much less done. We managed to pick everything up, roll into the mini-vans and head home. One of us was feeling kind of sick, so they stayed at the convent while eight of us headed for the New Orleans Cafe in the town across the river, and I had the crawfish ettouffe, but with the hush puppies and salad and all the tiredness I was carrying around, I ate very little. I had two enormous Sprites, though, as I was dehydrated from the day, and it felt really good to drink quite a lot. Everyone else enjoyed their dinners of catfish, red beans and rice, smothered fish, oyster and crab meat po'boys, and all kinds of other cajun and creole goodies. But everyone was dead tired, too.

So we just headed back. A few folks went to the casino. I'll probably get up to make breakfast tomorrow, so I should turn in. My hands are still covered in paint, catch on everything (as they've been drying out with all the cleaning of paint brushes, and the high wind seems to dry things out fast), and I've got a few chunks of skin missing from various things I did. I probably should have picked up a pair of work gloves, but, as Angie noted as well, doing the caulking can't really be done with gloves, it just doesn't feel right. *laughs*

So I'll probably get to do more of the same, high-up tomorrow. Hopefully I won't hurt quite as much... especially since I can't take painkillers because of my breathing medication. One interesting thing is that, this trip, my breathing has not cleared up. I haven't woken at night, at all, from lack of oxygen, though. I just still have tight lungs at the bottom of each breath. So that's kind of interesting for me to know this time through.
  • Current Location: Biloxi, MS
  • Current Mood: exhausted exhausted
This sounds so productive! I'm glad you slept through and hope you get lots of sleep tonight too.
It was very productive. Sadly, I didn't get much sleep last night, I just ached too much from everything... but I'm hopeful for tonight. *laughs* *hugs*
Thanks!! I think it's much better now, too... it's been amazing to make a real difference in just three days, but with fourteen people, it's a little easier...
The contrast between Melody's house and her neighbor's is amazing. It also sounds like Melody herself is an amazing woman.

I hope you had a good night's sleep and your muscles were able to untense overnight. Would doing some stretches after doing ladder work help, maybe?
She is pretty amazing... and the difference is striking.

No luck with the sleep last night, but stretching today really helped a lot with the joint pain today. I had a hard time with my right knee, but today, after doing some stretches, it really loosened up enough that I think I'll do better tonight. Whew...

thanks!! yeah, that was the problem, too, was when I was sleeping, I couldn't get my muscles to relax. I'll try one of those tense-relax muscle groups exercises tonight, too... and I'll hope.
Oh I can still remember the southern bugs too. They always seemed bigger and meaner a some would even be deterred by bug spray. ugh.

it's nice that you and JOhn got your own place, and the bunk beds are understandable.

I can't believe you did that high work. I'm not afraid of heights, but still working up that high would freak me out.
Glad you did so well even though you got so sore.
Yeah... later in the afternoon Russ and I were doing the same side of the house and right at the same time, both of us started slapping.

"Did the bug spray just run out?" he asked, "Or did some timer go off and the nastier bugs come out?"

Yeah, I thought the high work might freak me out a bit, and it did a little, but then I got used to it once I concentrated on the painting... and, yeah, I was glad that I did fine even though I was sore from doing it so tightly.