Getting Supplies Safely and Helping the Unemployed

We’re still working on the Pope Residence project, even though we are down a couple helpers, temporarily. Yesterday, Chris made a trip to the Lowe’s in Temple for the supplies needed to do the trim. How did he keep himself safe, you ask?

He felt really good about the precautions the store was taking, which let contractors and others get supplies they needed but not spread germs. Each cart got sanitized before a customer used it. And all the staff stayed 6 feet from customers. When Chris needed to look at a staff member’s screen, he moved away. Chris was impressed with how customers all kept their distances, too.

Chris ordered some doors. They look just like this, apparently.

Chris got our sink for the break room and a lot of interesting trim to finish off the sides of the windows and around the doors, where there are gaps between the brick and the frames. It will look pretty spiffy. Wow we have a LOT of trim to paint, though! He’s thinking of ways to automate it.

A very deep sink. Perfect for the break room.

Next, though, is texturing the few drywall areas. It has not stopped raining for three days, though, and he really wants to do it on a dry day. It’s also cold, ugh.

All taped up and ready to texture.

Helping Out

As you probably know, a lot of businesses around here have closed down due to the state of emergency, curfews and such. One was the local car detailing shop. So, we have brought on Marcus, who works there, to help out on our project. It’s good today, since Randy is out and Easton is taking care of stuff back at the farm.

Chris is adding boards here, so it will match the upper part of the stairway. We will paint this the ceiling’s color.

He is really meticulous (duh, he works at the car detailing place), and is doing an amazing job taking layers of gunk of the door trim. I almost cried when I saw how beautiful the trim around the stained glass above the door came out. Wow.

Just glorious.

I’m glad we can help out people who’d otherwise be unable to contribute to their families or their own needs. It’s only a few people, but it feels good to be doing something positive.

When it is stripped, you can really see the trim details better.

Bummed

Like many of us, I’m having a bit of trouble being positive right now. We have daily meetings of the Hearts Homes and Hands staff, in which we go over in excruciating detail what we need to do to protect ourselves and our clients. And I think I’ve read too many articles on disease progress projections. And I miss Anita and my other house. All normal stuff everybody is dealing with right now.

Here’s the trim o go around the windows and doors. That is a nice distraction.

Sure, we’re all lucky in some ways, and we’re all inconvenienced. It’s okay to be sad and miss the old world, even as we are grateful that precautions we take may save lives. I think I’ll take the rest of the day off. Tomorrow, volunteer work and more work. And I’m glad I can do it.

Perhaps Grace Is What We Need Right Now

What was not an example of grace?
Me trying to get the varnish off between these grooves.

Hmm. Grace has always been a hard concept for me, at least the Biblical kind. As a person whose spirituality didn’t fit in with the Father God concept, I never felt the “grace” in the “Amazing Grace” song. I was more of the “chasing grace” kind, I guess, as in one of my favorite songs, “One Good Year,” which I listen to often:

Just give me one good year
To get my feet back on the ground
I’ve been chasing grace, but grace ain’t so easily found…
by Slaid Cleaves and Steve Brooks

Maybe you would like to listen to it. I just happen to be able to show you both of the writers’ versions. I guess if I don’t know what grace actually is, I can graciously share some music about it. Um. Okay.

Here’s the brilliant Slaid Cleaves singing this. Well worth a listen in these times.
And here’s my friend Steve playing it. Hey, listen to it. He needs the royalties.

Being Graceful

I do have a clue what physical grace is, and that’s what I put in my Instagram of the day. I was really impressed that Chris made a routing table out of stuff there was around the Pope Residence project, then got Randy set up making beautiful curved edges for all the trim. Next we have to mass paint it all, before installing.

Also, I stripped all the varnish off those trim pieces in the foreground. See, I can help!

I’ve been thinking harder and harder about what the heck grace actually is, because I think I’d like to both send and receive it. It seems to have to do with love, acceptance, and kindness, I think. I finally broke down and looked at Google to see what it was about. I still am not real sure about Divine Grace, but I did see a list of ways to exhibit grace, which is shortened from a blog post with a lot of helpful Bible verses, if you would like to see them.

How to Show Grace to Others

  1. Words. Be kind and gentle in what you say and how you say it.
  2. Look for Needs and Opportunities; simple everyday kindnesses and actions often help in great ways.
  3. Let it Go. Letting it go is one of the easiest ways to extend grace to others.
  4. Be There.
  5. Forgive.
  6. Learn to Ask for Forgiveness.
  7. Watch the Way You Speak.
  8. Gratitude.

That all sounds like good stuff to me. I am right now concentrating on 7 and 8. I’m trying to speak kindly to people who think getting infected with a scary virus is a joke. And I am remembering to be very grateful to still have work, be able to see at least some of my family, and live in a place concerned with safety.

Safety?

Some more grace. Here’s Randy rolling sealant on our brick. The brick stuff is actually nearly complete!

Our county judge has echoed the governor’s state of emergency recommendations and told everyone in the county to stay the heck home unless you have a workplace to go to, need food, or have to do something urgent. People had been being a bit jerky around here, apparently not grasping the concept of invisibly carrying a disease and passing it on to someone else, the fact that diseases have incubation periods, and that sort of thing.

I’m one of the people glad he did this, even though I had to go to the auto parts store today, because my windshield wiper broke. I didn’t want to die driving in the rain with no wipers. So, I was careful. Mainly I was VERY impressed that the store had my car’s wiper blades!

Look at those lovely edges. Wow.

What else is there…I’m ready for a virtual meeting this evening, and hope to hang out on Zoom with online friends a bit, like I did last night! What fun that was. I’m grateful that the pandemic came when we have lots of online tools for connecting. Is that something you can actually be grateful for?

Postscript

I’m glad I asked for guidance on this topic. My friend from high school, Vickie Dixon, kindly shared her definition, which was helpful to me, and may be to you!

Grace is one of my favorite words. And it doesn’t have to have anything to do with religion. Although, for me, it’s a lot easier to give grace to others when I remember God’s grace given to me. It’s basically just treating each other with love even if they don’t seem to warrant it. It can’t be earned and none of us truly deserve it. We all hurt each other. It’s part of being human. Grace comes in when the person we hurt still treats us with love. A beautiful, and very difficult, way to live.

Vickie in North Carolina

Rolling with the Changes

Change. I guess most of us are dealing as best as we can with all the changes to our daily routines. Nobody doing the UU Lent challenge will have any trouble with this as a prompt.

My friend Sara posted this message. A good one.

I’ve been trying to put things into perspective. There are always changes and challenges, big and small. My generation is lucky to not have been hit by something that requires sacrifice in a long time. But we managed 911 and the threat of atomic bombs and so on. If we stick together, we’ll handle the virus crisis.

Instagram of today.

I’m very glad for the perspective on change that my I’ll-timed trip has given me. It’s let me see that even from one week to the next, our planet changes. On the way out, the trees were bare and only white trees and red maples were blooming.

Still some beautiful white trees are in bloom.

Now, it’s a riot of colors. There is yellow jessamine throughout the trees, oaks and elms are going crazy, and the beautiful red bud trees say hello through the diverse woodlands we are driving through. Every week the show changes, and soon enough autumn colors will arrive.

More red buds.

I think this is why it’s so good to go out in nature, especially now. You can see the big picture and remember you and your problems aren’t the center of the Universe.

Not a bad view. We’re rolling along in the Mobile Social Isolation Unit!

I haven’t had too much to write about for a while, but I know there will be lots of changes to come once we get home. I can’t wait to see the progress on our offices, assuming that’s still going on. And then I hope to share more about our next project. Life will go on, even though I’ll be confined to home and the office.

This fills my heart with peace.

Roll with those changes, friends.

Part of the Resistance

Today we have resistance as our UU Lent word. Once again the Sunday word is ripe for sermonizing. I’d rather not preach. If you know me, you’ll know I’m part of the resistance against fascism and oligarchy and such.

Deep Instagram thoughts

As I try to get back to Texas in my Mobile Social Distancing Unit (Lee’s Car), I keep thinkingw oabout how some of us have more resistance to disease than others. That’s one reason for keeping our hygiene up, to protect the vulnerable.

Not planning to die. Just sharing that Donita’s neighborhood once was a graveyard. Many homes have headstones.

Most of my upcoming activities are cancelled, and I’m supposed to work from home for the next couple of weeks. I’m glad we got to visit Flo last week, because they place she lives no longer allows guests, even family. We are wondering if the State will require Hearts Homes and Hands to only provide vital services. I guess there’s a fine line between helping and potentially harming.

Take a breath and enjoy a night view in Swansboro. Resistance is futile. You WILL relax.

I have no conspiracy theories to share, other than to be reasonably cautious. I wish I hadn’t had this week chosen to travel, but we were careful.

I was so proud I got a shot while the blinking light was on. See. I can have fun with no people around.

What we could not avoid on this part of the trip was tree pollen. Oh my. Pines, elms, oaks and more have flowers or candles, in the pines’ case, in the Carolinas right now. Donita’s car turned yellow on our drive yesterday, and I know Libba and I sucked up a lot on our long walk last night, since my sinuses were running like a babbling brook last night. Lee says his eyes are crunchy. Poor guy.

Just a little truck stop pollen.

Now to keep my germ resistance up. Y’all do the same. Let me know how it’s going!

Since fresh air is good for removing germs, eat outdoors! Does alcohol disinfect your innards? Um. No.

Don’t Doubt and Be Dumb

I got asked if I was taking the coronavirus seriously. Yes, I’m not a virus doubter, even though we went ahead with our non refundable vacation. Convenient isn’t it, that the UU Lent word for the day is doubt?

Sunrise on our last day in Myrtle Beach. No doubt that was beautiful.

Lee and I almost used up a bar of soap washing our hands, and we sanitized restaurant settings, once my brother told me too. I’m lucky my brother works for the Santa Clara County Health Department, who publish great information.

We also didn’t go to crowded places and maintained space around us. Still managed to enjoy the beach and each other.

This guy was happily disinfecting all the lobby furniture. He was pleased to be photographed.

Hilton was being really diligent about cleaning, especially the touch screen elevator buttons. We had wristbands that activated the elevators and unlocked doors, which came in handy.

Staying healthy, since I’m old.

We’re now heading to visit more relatives. We will stay at their house and do water activities. If we go out to eat, we will take precautions. When we go home? I’ll be real careful in restrooms. Then I’m staying in Cameron for a while, where there are no virus sufferers yet.

Stay safe, everybody, and don’t be a dumb doubter. Our business is also taking precautions for the safety of our clients, too, in case you wondered. It’s not a time to doubt scientific professionals.