Wednesday, April 30, 2008


This is Wilmer. He is a retired physician. He and his wife have been on 3 builds that I have been on . He is 86 years old. Just look what clean living can do for you. He always puts in as hard and long a day as anyone. He says they are going to Michigan later this summer for another build.

End of day 2

The outside walls were constructed, the sheeting placed by the end of the first day. We made all the inside walls on day 2 and carried in the bathtubs. We almost forgot to leave room to get them in!

Day one, again

We started on a cold, windy day with the floor in place. It was a really exhausting day for all because of the cold. The ground is very rough and uneven with clods of hard Missouri clay. We have to use our hammer claws to make a level space for a ladder.

Home Sweet Home

This is my home on the hill for the next 2 weeks. I got as high as I dared in the front, the stabilizer jacks wouldn't even reach the ground. Everything still rolls toward the front of the camper. At least my head is uphill when I sleep. Gee, I'd hate to wake up with a swollen head.

Who's There?

HI! If you are reading this, please leave a comment. Internet time is so difficult to find that I don't want to put up a guest book, but I'd like to know what you think.

Monday, April 28, 2008

We really put our soles into our work

Monday- Day One

We were treated to breakfast and a concert by grades 3-6 at a local Catholic School.

Chillicothe- The Beginning

I arrived here on Sunday. I was a little early, as we were to check in to Grand Oaks Baptist Camp after 1:00 pm. Imagine my surprise when I pulled into Walmart parking lot to wait and there sat at least 4 other Care-A-Vanner rigs. I relinquished my primo (flat) spot from last year and ended up with the most unlevel spot in the camp. I will try to post a picture later. The affiliate hosted a welcome supper and we had a team meeting. It was nice to see all the returning folks from last year. We have at least 4 who are 80+, so we are lucky to see them again.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

.....and so ends my time in Madisonville, Kentucky. Today I traveled as far as Columbia, Mo and will go on to Chillicothe, Mo tomorrow to volunteer for another 2 weeks.

The Team

Here are pictures of all the Care-A-Vanners

This is the house that love built.

When it comes down to the core. Everyone who had a hand in these homes contributed out of love. There's no other reason they would work so hard for nothing tangible in return. (Well there was lots of really good food)

The Coolest Thing

This is the coolest thing I saw all week. From the perspective of one who usually gets to hang insulation, this is the only way to go. The contractor came in and stapled a material that looked like fusible interfacing to the studs, vertically, top and botton. The stapler went so fast it sounded like a woodpecker. The technician wore a mask, so it wasn't totally without fibers in the air. He poked a hole in the middle of each void,blew the insulation into the bottom, then the top. Really fast! I wonder why everyone doesn't do it that way.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Well things are winding down. Just one more day. I wanted to show you a little bit of how we are living. I can't get all the rigs in one picture, but there are 13 campers living off of extension cords and water hoses at the fairgrounds. We kind of circled the "wagons" and meet in the middle after clean up from working. Yes, the Care-a-Vanners were first called Gypsies, but the name was changed to give a better image.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Social & Activity

Monday night we segued into an Ice Cream Social immediately following our after work snack. Isn't that good planning? No wonder I was told that this is a 10- pound- build! Some of the ladies also shared projects they were working on or new crafts. My friend, Barbara Delgado, taught us how to crochet the necklaces that she and I are wearing. The lady in the center of the group photo is one of the homeowners from last year's build. Also pictured is her daughter.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Starting to look like a house

We began siding the houses on Monday. Now they really are starting to look like homes. We are waiting for the electrical, plumbing and heating contractors to finish inside.

The Rineys

Sunday, I drove over to Owensboro,KY to see our friends: Doug, Blanca and Clay Riney. They moved from Colby almost a year ago. They have a beautiful home and Clay is involved in his go-cart racing. Which I'm guessing involves the whole family. Blanca fixed a delicious supper and gave me a tour of the house. I was really glad that I was able to connect with them. I had an interesting trip through Kentucky hill country on winding, switch-back roads by following the GPS instructions. On the way home, Rineys directed me to a 4 lane about 5 miles from their house.

I Felt the Earth Move!!!

The most exciting and unusual thing happened that I forgot to mention. Friday Morning about 4:30 A.M. I was awakened by an earthquake. It was big news for the area. There have been a couple of tremors since then.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

End of Week One- Madisonville, Kentucky

Here is what we accomplished in the first 5 days. The houses are about equally complete, this one did get the windows set in before we quit for the week. The front porches and steps got poured late on Friday. They are covered, as it started raining just as we finished cleaning up. So far, we've had one person fall from a ladder and one smashed finger. Just pray that's the end of it.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Thursday, was a busy day both work and social. The local HFH affiliate sponsored a meal for us at the fair grounds where we are camped. Board members, local volunteers, the homeowners all attended.The "Brothers Barbeque" furnished the meal. We had BBQ ribs, grilled burgers and all the fixin's including "piglet dessert".

Earlier in the week, they provided a lunch for us. They are so thoughtful they purchased a cookie cutter and took it to the local bakery and had these made for us.

Then our whole group of Care-a-vanners posed for a group photo in our shirts furnished by Habitat.

Next we took photos of the home owners. Wanda and her 3 children and Lillian and her daughter. Wanda is a cook at Cracker Barrel and Lillian works at a nursing home.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Day one, we had to set floor joists and fasten down the subfloor. It was a windy, cold, wet day but has improved every day since. Various groups provide our lunch each day so that we don't have to leave the build site. The canopies in the background are where we eat. The finished house is a previous Habitat house. I see the lady who lives their meet her son at the bus everyday when we leave. He is in a wheel chair.

Group meeting on Sunday evening. There are 25 of us. The largest group I have ever worked with. The team leaders are from New York. We have people from Arkansas, Minnesota, Indiana, Georgia, Texas, Illinois, Missouri, Canada and some I've probably forgotten. We are also working with prisoners who are doing community service hours.

We are building two houses. The homeowners are also required to contribute hundreds of hours of sweat equity. Some of their hours can be filled by family and freinds. They are both single mothers and have been there every day.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Last Wet Travel Whine??

Miles of flooding along the highway east of St. Louis along the bottom of Illinois and Indiana

Friday, April 11, 2008


This fellow wanted to be my chauffeur, but his mommy wouldn't let him.

Well this morning I visited with Christina while Mcclellan napped, then we met Matt for lunch. We had nice, but short, visit. My campground last night was very near a hidden railroad track. I think the trains came every 45 minutes! It's going to be another cold windy night. I'm parked in an RV park in Columbia, Missouri and the wind is swaying the camper.

I think after the weekend, we can look for spring again. At least I hope so. This is supposed to be fun, not just cold.

So as there is nothing really to report and it is MY blog, did I mention that I have grandsons? Not just ordinary, but extremely cute ones? I would even say beautiful, but they are boys.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Leaving Home

Snow, Wind & Thunderstorms

Welcome! Let's see how this progresses. My intent is to post during my month long Habitat for Humanity journey. I only hope the journey doesn't progress as it began. I poked around getting started this morning as it was raining heavily when I woke up. I had planned to go to Matt & Christina's and spend a couple of nights before continuing on to Kentucky. I changed to plan B when their whole family came down with a bug. I not taking any chances of being infected.

My next plan was to spend one night in Hays visiting with my mom and then see how the sickies were. This is a view from my windshield of what the rain quickly turned into, it was quite the white knuckle drive for the first 40 miles.

I did get to eat lunch with my mom. We worked on her phone line that was out of service and also got her computer connected to the internet. Drat! The forecast wasn't so great for that area either, so I went on down the road after a couple of hours.

Next, the wind turned gusty about 35 mph sideways as I went through the hills near Junction City, but I arrived at the Lawrence KOA about 6pm and got set up in time for the severe thunderstorms to roll in. Fortunately they were fast moving. I hope to have a peaceful night!