Friday, March 6, 2015



Monday, March 2
             Today could well be the coolest day of our stay in Tucson.  The clouds rolled in last night (which meant a warmer night…I almost got hot!) and the forecast is 90% rain after 3pm this afternoon – to the tune of over a half inch!  We may hit 70 degrees but it will be a wet evening.
Heading out in Walter G
            Into the CHRPA office at 7:30 am, ready for introductions as there are a number of new faces.  One of the Jesuit volunteers has her parents here for a couple days, we meet the two YAV gals, and a number of other Mennonite snowbird volunteers.  Rick is teamed up today with Titus, a long-time SOOP from back East.  I worked with him last year a couple times.  They spent the day installing an ADA toilet, bathroom grab bars, minor home repairs, etc.  (As well as time spent cleaning out the truck, shopping at Harbor Freight, and a stop to pick up some fresh hot peppers!) 
            I am teamed up with Joshua, a young Mennonite volunteer who hails from Turner, Oregon.  He is 23 years old, a physics graduate from Goshen College. Excited to see that our truck will be Walter G, the one I painted last year in honor of Walter Good.  Our first stop was to placate a couple of middle age sisters and purchase a new garden hose to their specifications.  It was an involved issue with much more back history.  But we met them at Lowe’s up in north Tucson, took care of transaction, visited in the parking lot a little longer and were on our way. 
Corner garden at second stop
            Second stop was at the home of an older couple.  The retired general contractor man greeted us at the door.  We were installing an ADA toilet for the Tuscon Water Department program.  If we could replace it, we had to – the valve wouldn’t turn off (water turned off at the house); toilet grouted to the tiles – had to break it off; flange bolts needed replacing – discovered the floor was cement so masonry plugs and screws.  What should have been a simple job took 2 hours or more, but the homeowner was so nice and patient and supportive.  Afterwards I went out to take a picture of his beautiful backyard, and he had to show me his veggie garden.  I ate sugar peas for lunch!  Fresh picked! 
Josh trying to snake out from roof vent.
            We ate lunch at Reid Park and then off to our last stop to unplug a kitchen sink.  Should have been simple, but that rarely occurs when you think it should!  The snake got stuck once, and then at the end it just plain snapped in two.  Oh dear.  End result?  We snaked in three different places and didn’t manage to succeed anywhere!  But once the snake broke, we were done.  We got back to CHRPA HQs around 3 pm.  I had showered and put some pieces in the puzzle by the time Rick got home at 4:20! 
            Just after Rick got home the rain started in earnest!  Showers fell off and on the rest of the evening.  (I won’t send a sunset picture tonight, but I did SEE a glow in the western sky at the right time!) 
            Addendum....the glow suddenly erupted for about 5 minutes of glory!  Tucson Sunset #4!  
Tucson Sunset #4!
TUESDAY, March 3
Dewdrops on the prickly pear
Good rainfall last night!!  Showers off and on until bed-time, but then the skies cleared and it got a bit cool for Tucson – in the low 40’s!  This morning we awoke to a cloud bank in front of the Catalinas – with just the peaks showing above – and drops of water on the prickly pears.  A fresh feel to everything! 
A new CHRPA creation in the office. 
It was a very full house in the CHRPA office this morning.  I think 9 crews went out and one of those had three people!  Several locals volunteer on Tuesdays and Thursday.  Two SOOPs couples will be leaving this weekend, so next week might look a little leaner. 
Rick had the pleasure of going out today with Hanbyeol, the YAV from Korea. They worked together to install a couple of toilets and installed a new faucet fixture.  Rick got caught up on the residents of the current YAV house and had a great day.  ‘Han’ seemed especially delighted when he pulled out their ‘treat’ at the end of the day – Gorp! 
The corner where our shower leaked.
I spent the day again with Josh and we made four stops.  The first one took us 4 hours!  We were to investigate a shower leak which involved pulling off the wall panel in a mobile home, cutting through to the pipes, and trying to find the leak.  We had a remote camera with us which was rather fun to use.  Roy, the roommate of the homeowner, worked with us the whole time, as he could (he was on oxygen for COPD).  He just kept encouraging us to cut more to find out the problem.  Discouraging, as we finally determined it was probably leaking due to the poor caulking around the bottom.  We put everything back together and he was going to tackle the caulk issue.  I enjoyed visiting with Roy.  His roommate made some awesome mosaic stepping stones.  When I admired the gecko, Roy wanted to give it to me! 
The gecko mosaic
Our next stop was to install an ADA toilet for a tall lanky man whose son is a professional slam dunk champion, as well as an artist.  (We talked about the huge basketball trophy and the well-done print of Michael Jordan on the walls.)  Unlike yesterday, this toilet install went flawlessly and we were done within the hour! 
Lunch time!  We ate at Curtis Park which was deserted, unlike Reid Park yesterday which had been filled with a private school attending the zoo.  Curtis Park is a baseball complex.  Unable to find an empty picnic table, we ate in the shade of the truck. 
Our next two stops were to assess some problems from leaky roofs.  One mobile home needed to have much of a bedroom ceiling replaced due to mold which had grown in the insulation above from a leaky roof.  CHRPA fixed the roof, now to help the homeowner fix the ceiling!  He will take care of the ‘demolition’ and notify CHRPA when he is ready for help in the ceiling installation. 
Our CHRPA Resort home with Catalina Mts in distance
Last stop was at the adobe home (with modern roof) of a Hispanic woman in her 50’s.  She had several leaks happening for which we tried to identify the source.  A definite problem around a sun roof in a bathroom.  She is a new CHRPA client, so I spent some time trying to translate her broken English as we filled out the application form. 
Mostly today I handed Josh tools, played fetch from the truck, and visited with the clients!  And petted a little black Chihauhau named Auzzie who was fond of me but growled at Josh all the time. 
Tonight Rick and I called Taco Giro and got confirmation that they still have Tuesday Taco Night with 99 cent fish tacos.  We walked down to the restaurant only to find NO the don’t!  When I said I had just called, the waitress was the one I talked to and she said for tonight YES, because she had told me that!  But the manager said no, the special had been discontinued!  So sad, but we enjoyed our $13 dinner!  (Tip and a drink included!) 
        Sunset tonight was fast and very low in the sky due to a lack of clouds in the west.  Oh well, I can’t have spectacular sunsets EVERY night!  Good phone conversation tonight as my brother Mac called right after we got home from the restaurant. 
Tucson Sunset #5

Wednesday, March 4

            Another ‘cool’ morning in Tucson – we even had a few scattered drops of rain during the night.  But now I think our rainfall is done for awhile.
            Rick and I both spent the day on just one job.  He went out to Marana west of town with Robert, a relative of Lorene and Walter’s.  They had a LONG day working to stabilize a swamp cooler on top of a mobile home way out in the desert.  It was a bit of a frustrating day as they had to drive BACK into Tucson to pick up supplies as the job was worse than originally thought.  Rick didn’t get back to CHRPA HQ until 5:45! 
Getting started on the landing
Rachel and Ging on her new steps
            I was assigned to work with Don today, a retired hospital administrator from St. Louis area, who now lives in Tucson about half of the year.  He just started volunteering here last year.  It was a pleasure working with this gentle Mennonite man.  We were to build/repair the steps leading into the mobile home of a pregnant lady south of town.  Abi, the Jesuit volunteer, prepped us on the situation and what we needed to buy before we left.  We stopped at Home Depot and picked up our supplies, but once we got to the mobile home and saw the current steps, we realized it would be better to start from scratch.  So….BACK to Home Depot to pick up some additional wood.  Neither of us had done much of this before, but we came up with a pretty good plan, and were pretty proud of our final result!  Those steps aren’t going anywhere soon.  We ate lunch on the concrete slab and listened to the sounds of the airport traffic just a mile or so east of us.  Back to CHRPA by 4:30. 
            Pretty calm sunset tonight – no clouds in the west at all, but I did catch the moon rising in the east around sunset time!  Quiet evening. 

Moonrise to the east
Sunset to the west
Thursday, March 5

Moon set from window of trailer 6am
A crowded office this morning at CHRPA!  It is school day and we have visitors also!  Hanbyeol’s family has arrived from Korea and she will be taking a week off to spend with them, parents and sister.  But they come this morning to meet everyone and attend CHRPA School.  Titus later said he counted 33 bodies packed into the office!  School was held over at the church….a guest from EMERGE!, the domestic violence center, gave a presentation on recognizing the signs, etc. while we are out in the various homes of clients.  It was well done, but we didn’t get done until 9:30.  Late start for the day. 
Beginning photo of ramp project -
landing done
Rick went out with local volunteer Alan to repair a roof leak and bathroom repairs.  They installed handrails, fixed the guts of a toilet, and tried to fix a plugged bath.  The roof involved replacing a plexiglass sunroof dome and recaulking, etc.  Altho Rick actually got the camera into his pocket today, he still has no pictures to share.  :(
Making progress...
I went out with a team of four today to finish up a handicap access ramp in North Tucson for a veteran (who was honorably discharged but has no military pension – a long story that I won’t go into!)  He used to work construction, so he was quite the ‘sidewalk supervisor’ much of the time, reminding us or this or that which we still needed to finish, recommendations of what to use where.  He was hard to ignore at times, but at others was able to offer something we had forgotten (saw horses, a chisel, etc.) that made things easier.  In a few cases I just put an extra screw in because he seemed to really desire that.  It was a pleasant enough mobile to work beside, as he had a huge palo verde tree and another variety towering over us.  I worked with Abi, the Jesuit volunteer who is being trained by local Hugh, the ramp expert.  We were joined by Joe, an ‘around the corner from CHRPA’ local who just started volunteering this week.  Retired military, he is a very sincere and gracious, yet talkative, man who will be a good asset with his maintenance background.  We worked together a lot installing the decking planks, drilling holes and putting in screws.  Hugh had to leave at 2pm and we didn't finish the railing.  He will return on Monday to complete the project.  
Client Albert heads back up almost
completed ramp
         A ‘clean the fridge’ dinner and then a meeting in the SOOP (Service Opportunities for Older Persons – volunteer branch of the Mennonite Church) Lounge to discuss the SOOP program.  Rick and I attended because we were invited and they wanted our input, even though we aren’t ‘SOOPS’ but are considered ‘Other Seasonal Volunteers’!  CHRPA gets overwhelmed, especially in Jan and Feb, with volunteers and it places a great deal of stress on the finances and scheduling of the organization to find meaningful work, a seat in a vehicle, and the money for everyone.  We shall consider coming later in March rather than earlier in the future, as most SOOPS have left by then.  Scott wrote an excellent overview of the problem with his usual literary skill and grace. 
       Late night phone call with Marg as she was gone when I called earlier and with the time change, it was nearly 11:30 when I rolled into bed.  But….tomorrow is relax day!  
Moonrise from behind Rincon Mts. as we head over to SOOP meeting.
MONDAY, March 9
CHRPA Day #5

            Another CHRPA week begins!  We had taken a peek at the schedule and I thought I would be doing some yard work today with Albert, but….change of plans.  I am assigned to head out to the further reaches of Three Points to help with a major project.  More on that later! 
Daniel works on bath floor
Rick was teamed with Daniel (from Yukon) today to repair a concrete hole in a bathroom – I think the hole was made last week in order to repair some plumbing problems.  Their job today is to make it all ‘pretty’ again!  Another drive out to Marana for Rick!  (According to Walter, Rick made TWO trips out to Marana today.  I’ll find out more when he gets back! )
            My team consisted of Dan R, Josh, Abi, and YAV Allie (who finally got the cast and brace off her bike-wreck  injured hand and is back ‘on the job’!)  The three younger ‘kids’ drove together in Yvonne and I road with Dan in the new Toyota truck, Bree.  A few stops for gas and tools and then the Home Depot for a wall mount sink and we are on our way west into the desert. 
Dan checks out the intended toilet location -
bathroom to be located in this corner. 
            Our client is Georgia and her ‘home’ is a greenhouse at the end of the last road west of Three Points.  (Dan and I talked observatories on the way out as Kitt Peak loomed over us.)  Georgia is a veteran whose daughter and daughter’s boyfriend just came to live with her.  Her situation is unique and CHRPA had to evaluate factors before deciding to take on the job.  Georgia husband, in spite, basically took her name off the house title and then sold it from under her to a friend of his for a ridiculous price.  The friend has no intention of living in the stucco’d double
Outside wall where sewer line
will enter. 
wide mobile home.  The house is locked and the power has been turned off.  With nowhere else to go, Georgia moved into the greenhouse.  She has a spigot with running water, no electricity except for that provided by a gas generator, and no bathroom facilities.  She does the dishes in a 4’ kiddie swim pool.  She takes a bath in the swim pool.  One portion of the greenhouse is enclosed with little ventilation and few windows.  Georgia’s bedroom is there.  The rest of the greenhouse provides a roof to protect her belongings but little else.  Two broken down RV’s are housing her daughter and providing limited toilet facilities (flush with a hose brought into the RV!)
I dug much of this trench...only this is before we
dropped it down another 5-6 inches!
            Forty-nine year old Georgia greeted us as we arrived.  According to Josh and Dan R who had been here in January to do the assessment, she was much more open today.  I suspect three additional females had much to do with that AND the presence of daughter and boyfriend.  This slip of a woman was dressed in a Christmas surgical scrub, a flouncy little skirt, and leather  high top work boots with no socks at the bottom of the skinniest ankles.  She just made you smile.  Her 5 dogs welcomed us VERY audibly….Pepper, a German shepherd puppy; Delilah, a black lab pup; Delilah (they liked the name!), a Chihauhau, and two Pomeranians, Dotty and Princess.  Both Delilahs were extremely friendly, although vocal!
Josh works on trench near RV and fence -
an awkward spot!
   Dan prepped us all on a walk-about of the job ahead of us and we got started.  First we unloaded the materials from the trucks – they should be safe to leave overnight in this area.  Then Abi and Allie began work inside the greenhouse where we will frame in a basic bathroom with toilet, sink, and shower.  They had to remove stuff from the walls, level the mouse holes in the dirt floor, and begin the framing process.  Josh and I went to work on the trench for the sewer line – about 35-40 of trenching needed to get from the corner of the greenhouse, around the concrete slab, and to the septic tank connection on the other side of a fence.  Part of the line was over fill gravel and part just plain dirt.  We had to dig down about 12” on much of it.  Pick-axe work, trench shovel, and hands.  The hardest part was around the RV (which is currently connected to the septic line) due to a lack of room, and the trailer door which kept blowing open and shut (no hardware to attach it either way!)  I haven’t done this kind of manual labor in a LONG time.  My back will speak to me tomorrow! 

       Georgia liked my name because it sounded much like hers, so she seemed to come and talk with me often.  I learned she just got her ‘new’ car with a loan from her mom.  At least now she won’t have to pay the neighbor $20 for gas everytime she wants to go into town to buy groceries, etc.  Three Points does have a gas station, bar, and Dollar General.  Late morning, Georgia and her daughter and boyfriend headed into the General to get us drinks and treats.  She asked each of us exactly what we wanted to drink!  What kind of treats??  About two hours later they returned with an ice chest full of cold drinks and five bags of trail mix (various kinds), two cans of nuts, and 5 pepperoni sticks!  We took another break to enjoy her generosity. 
Dan and Josh work to get the flow slant of the line 
correct so we can finish digging.
            It probably took the whole two hours to make the 3-4 mile trip back into Three Points, as I think you can probably walk Georgia’s road just about as fast as you can drive the pot-hole riddled, rutted excuse for a road.  Shortly after turning off the highway, you pass a sign that says, “Road not maintained by county crews” and that is VERY evident! 
            We broke off work around 2:30 with the trench ALMOST 15 ¼” down from the slant line in all places, the frame for the bathroom floor completed, and the cement poured for the 4x4 anchoring the floor in the free-standing corner.  Back at CHRPA HQ shortly after 3:30 – Dan and I had a great discussion on worship music on the way back! 
            I think I will hit Weight Watcher’s tonight PRIOR to any birthday celebrations!  Besides, surely between our hike up Wrightson and my labor today I burned off at least a pound or two! 
            End of Day:  Rick got home at 5, having finished their goal for the day, but Daniel will finish the job tomorrow.  They did make a trip back to HQ in the middle of the day to pick up tools and supplies.  A good day for him, just a lot of driving!
            I weighed in (successfully!) and picked up some goodies at Sprouts while I waited for WW to open.  Quiet evening catching up! 

CHRPA Day #6
A finished job - water tight!

Joe and Rick work roof repair
            What a great way to spend a birthday!  I was back out in Three Points with the crew at Georgia’s place, while Rick was teamed with Joe to work on a lady’s roof.  The two of them had a shorter work day because their final job REFUSED a toilet replacement because it wasn’t the kind of toilet she demanded (and demanded was pretty much how Rick put it!)  Otherwise he spent about three hours on the roof ripping up a poor shingle jobs around some vents and skylight and reapplying properly and then sealing.  The homeowner was a delightful Hispanic woman who plied them with water, chairs, etc. and was thrilled with their work. 

End of road, Section 20, is our
project site...rather remote!
Desert views driving out to T.P. 
            For me, back to Three Points with another stop enroute at Home Depot to pick up some vapor barrier insulation and various plumbing connections.  We worked all day and managed to get the sewer line laid (I finished my trenching, but then Allie helped Josh actually lay the line).  I then went into the greenhouse area and worked with Abi the rest of the day in installing floor joists for the bathroom floor, cutting boards, moving floor joists (they weren’t square!), and in general trying to be helpful however and whenever.  We eventually got all the pipe and plumbing connection done that will be under the floor, and the floor of the bathroom down.  Tomorrow?  Walls, water connections, and a toilet!! 
Framing the floor
Bathroom floor as seen
thru greenhouse window
Happy Birthday cake from Georgia
            Georgia was not ‘out’ much today – opting to stay in her little room off the green house.  She later admitted she has good days and bad days.  So it was a bit of a surprise when she came out around noon and said she was leaving to take a shower and bake me a birthday cake at her neighbor’s house.  We worked a little longer than usual just so we could wait until Georgia got back and have cake.  I was so touched by her kindness and desire to give me a cake.  It was just a simple yellow cake, no frosting (she didn’t have any at home), but it was made with a big heart. 
            Tonight Rick and I walked down to Taco Giro.  I found I really wanted to go somewhere we could walk to and the fish tacos from the Happy Hour menu sounded quite good – and grilled instead of fried!  I splurged and ordered a pina colada drink (they don’t have sangria).  Quite good!  Just as we were a block from the trailer, the first of my evening birthday calls came in.  I was on the phone for the next hour and half talking with Marg, Mom, Jed, and Luke! 

            Very pleasant evening outside – cooling off but not cold.  

Quick shot of the field of poppies lining the highway as we drove home.  
Wednesday, March 11
CHRPA Day #7

            Another beautiful morning, although clouds have rolled in which could either diffuse the sunshine and heat OR hold it all in! 
            Rick goes out today with local volunteer John (just moved to Tucson a couple years ago with his wife after retiring from Salt Lake City).  They had a good day, although brief!  Their mission was two toilet installations and take Walter G through emissions testing, plus a toilet fix which was quite simple as it involved just a small tweak.  They couldn’t locate the second address on the map so after multiple phone calls completed the long wait for emission testing.  More phone calls and finally they got through to Sonia who solved the address mystery.  It was East Stella Street, not Estrella St.!  Rick and John found the address less than a half mile away, installed that toilet and were back at CHRPA HQ shortly after noon!  John ended up going home, but then Rick started work on a solar hot water heater for our gal Georgia out in Three Points.  Won’t she be surprised!  He was painted a final coat of flat black paint on an old tank when we got home at 5:15. 
Early in the day - shower drain finished and ready for
rest of wood to be screwed down. 
Abi and I worked to cut the final floor boards.
            Four of us went back out to Three Points today to continue working on Georgia’s bathroom.  Allie was paired with Dustin for the day.  Not a smooth start as Dan and I had to stop at Home Depot (where I babysat the truck with its wealth of tools in the back unsecured.)  Then a stop at Lowe’s.  We missed a turn in going to Home Depot and had to backtrack.  We sat and waited at a stop sign for the ‘light’ to change.  (Dan felt pretty stupid at that and I decided I had better stop talking and distracting him!)  We had to stop for 5 yellow lights in a row, and then ran into construction!!  Whew!  Finally started work around 10:15! 
Georgia helps move a section of wall.
Josh and Abi finish framing wall.
            Our goal today was to get Georgia a working toilet for the weekend (with CHRPA School in the morning, we won’t be back out to Three Points until next Monday.)  It was a lofty goal and we worked late today to achieve it.  We built the framing for three walls, realigned the floor, altered the drain for the shower, glued down linoleum flooring, installed water piping through the walls, hooked up the toilet, and loosely tacked up OSB for privacy. 
            Georgia surprised us at 12:30 by showing up with the casserole she had promised.  We were glad we had pushed ahead to finish a wall before lunch or we might have already eaten not knowing she really was cooking a casserole!  Bless her heart!  Brought much of my lunch home and ate it for dinner! 
            We worked hard and the greenhouse was heating up by the end of the afternoon.  I was loosing steam and have to admit I was nodding off in the truck driving back into town.  Good thing Dan was awake!   I was beat!  
            Got home to find Rick painting an old hot water heater that he had stripped down to the basic tank, primed, and was then painting a flat black.  It is part of our project for tomorrow.

THURSDAY, March 12
CHRPA Day #8
Sunrise color!

Dan R teaches CHRPA school
            Well, today was different. First a blaze of color during sunrise as the cloud really thickened over night – we got HOT!   After Dan Regier was the professor for the first of several CHRPA School lessons on electricity (in prep for Swamp Cooler season!), Rick and I were teamed up for the day to work in the shop and construct the frame for a solar hot water heater.  I found out that this is for Georgia, so the shower will have some hot water! 
Rick uses the grinder to cut the bottom off the hot
water tank...we needed more space. 
   Dan Regier and Scott had some rough (very rough!) plans for this frame, but Rick and I had to do a lot of figuring, shifting pieces of wood around, before we determined our plan of attack.  It seemed like it took forever before we made the first few cuts and then actually screwed something together!  In the course of the day we used the table saw, the chop saw, the grinder, a drill and an impact driver.  We thought we would have to go pick up supplies, but it ended up we found enough scrap wood  and an old glass door in the shop.  We didn’t finish, but we are on the schedule Monday to complete the project!  That will involve a few purchases for the insulation and some plywood.  Georgia is going to be surprised! 
I realize this looks a little strange,
but here is our partially
completed solar hot water tank!
            We wrapped up our day around 3:30 and then tackled the laundry before the weekend.  Bible study with the Mennonites, a few pieces into the puzzle, and I call it a night. 

            Tomorrow is our Bisbee Birthday Bash!!  


MONDAY, March 16
Shop Day #2 is another day working in the shop to finish up our Solar Hot Water heater for Georgia out in Three Points.  Our first task is to flush out the old tank, because the one plug we removed was filled with gunk...dirty
The metal 'pieces' we
fished from tank

My rough plans for the solar heater.
brown gunk.  We flushed into a bucket and I watered all the shrubs and bougainvilleas around the office!   As the water cleared, I reached my fingers into the hole and we discovered all sorts of corroded metal pieces caught inside.  Amazingly enough, we wiggled and poked until we got all of them out.  One was 5 inches long!  
Screwing in some spacers 
       We used more of the plywood in the shop to do two of the walls and finally it was time to make a Home Depot run for the rest of our materials: one sheet of 3/8 plywood and a sheet of 1/2" insulation with a metallic side.  Total cost?  Just over $25!  
Insulation and sides ready to attach!
     With a short break for lunch we got all the sides cut and the insulation glued in.  The odd shaped sides were made considerably easier when I cut a pattern from old cardboard in the scrap pile.   Panicked slightly when the garbage truck came to pick up the recycling dumpster and I hadn't gotten my second piece of cardboard out yet.  But I found a usable chunk UNDER the dumpster!  
Rick gets started on the painting process.
     Around 2:30 Abi came out and needed some help at Home Depot to load up Finn with lumber for a ramp to be started tomorrow.  She had spent all morning working out the plans and figuring on how much wood to purchase.  Abi is being trained as a new 'ramp' person.  Rick had started painting our frame (sage green paint we found in the shop!), so I went with her.  Five hundred dollars worth of wood, concrete pads, lag screws, joist holders later, we hobbled our way home.  The truck was loaded down and one of the tires looked seriously upset with the load!  Fortunately, a Home Depot loader transferred most of the wood to the truck for us!  
A full load of wood with Abi!

Sunset through the bells hanging
from back of trailer
      Rick found some silver metallic roofing paint that he used on the inside wood portions of the frame, so the inside of our 'coffin' is all bright silver.  That should help reflect a little heat.  We are actually a little worried that the tank might get so hot the pressure release valve might blow!  At least on a really hot summer afternoon.  
      Beautiful sunset tonight....again.  Lots of clouds moving in, low tonight is supposed to be in the high 50's.  Another night with just light blankets on top!  
Allie cleans our windshield!

TUESDAY, March 17
CHRPA Day #10 - Three Points: Georgia….again!
            Five of us again headed out to Three Points today: Dan R, YAV Allie, Howard (local) and Rick and I.  Yesterday’s crew had a frustrating day – forgotten tools, leaky pipes, etc.  Dan was hoping for a better run today! 
Figuring out the piping installation
Howard checks out connections
            Rick and Howard started right in installing the new solar hot water heater that we built in the shop the past two days.  By noon (working in the sun) they were just about ready to flip the switch and let it start filling up with water. It is slanted toward the south sun, but has a mesquite tree slightly shaded it from the hottest part of the summer sun (shouldn’t overheat!) 
Rick applies caulk to the glass panel (old door!)
Water is added and we hope it starts to heat up!
            Inside, Allie and I worked to replace the  leaky pipes – a leak from the shower and a leak in the sink faucets.  Allie knew how to do the plumbing parts, including soldering the copper pipes, and showed me how to do some of the pex fittings (plastic piping).  Success.  No more leaks! 
Allie strikes a pose in the patched and installed
shower base.

            The shower pan was installed and then Allie and I began work on the sink installation.  We had to read through the instructions, but felt like we still had to ask Dan several times for advice.  Ends up that Glacier Bay wall-mount sinks are NOT the most logical or easy to install.  We still have the drywall to put up and life wasn’t easy to get access to all the screws right now to really anchor the sink to the wall.  A challenge. 
            Rick and Howard worked on the door installation after lunch and by the time we left shortly after 2:30 we had the walls up on the outside, a working door, and working sink and toilet!  Progress!  Well, the sink didn’t have a drain, so I guess it wasn’t really working. 
Ginger screws in a mounting
board for sink.

Rick and Howard installing door.
        Georgia came out during lunch looking quite disoriented.  She had had a rough night and medication made her sleep until noon.  I did take her over and show her the new hot water heater.  She seemed pretty excited.  Sure hope it works for her. 
At the end of the day!  
            Dan felt really good about our progress today!  Rick, Dan, and I will be back out tomorrow to work some more. 
            Home today with arrangements being made with Allie for our date tonight with the YAVs.  We pick up some chips and ice cream after calling in an order to Brooklyn pizza for delivery to the house.  The pizza gal was there as we arrived!  The next two hours were filled with delightful conversation with the five residents of the house.  Four are YAVS, and the fifth is a student doing an internship for four months and living in the YAV house.  Nice gal from Texas.  The other two YAVS are from San Francisco area and Connecticut.  By the time you put Allie in from Alabama and Hanbyeol from Korea, you have a wide representation geographically!  A delightful group of young women. 
            Home around 8:30 for the evening.  Walter and Lorene leave in the morning so I hope they come in to say goodbye! 

CHRPA Day #11 – Three Points Project (Round 7!)
Hugh has a gift for Walter as Dan Regier looks on.  
            My final day out in Three Points working on the bathroom installation for Georgia.  This has been a major project for CHRPA, and the target project for this year’s auction.  Home Depot is a key sponsor as they donated four gift cards to CHRPA this year ($1200 each) to be used for a repair for a low-income veteran.  Georgia easily qualified!  Today’s crew is just Dan R, Rick and I.  Course, the bathroom is now walled in which makes it difficult for more than three people to work at a time anyway! 
            But first?  The group had to say goodbye to Walter and Lorene!!  We all got together in front of the CHRPA sign and had a picture taken.  Dan Wilhelm's suggestion.  I don't know that they will be back, especially if you ask Lorene!  
Rick applies the clear roof panels to ceiling frame. 
    Dan got started right away on the installation of the greenboard sheetrock (better for damp bathrooms).  His first panel had ALL the cut-outs for the plumbing fixtures – toilets, sink, and shower.  It took awhile, but sure fit nicely when he and Rick moved it in! 
First piece of sheetrock!
            In the meantime, Rick and I worked on installing the clear UV plastic roofing panels to the ceiling frame Dan constructed yesterday.  First a few more boards to cut and a beam to shave off a little.  Rick and I put in some edge flashing around the sides, installed a metal panel at the bottom, and then drilled and screwed in the panels through the plastic into the frame. 
Georgia visits with us
briefly during lunch. 
Lentil soup from Georgia. 

    After lunch, the ceiling went into place.  It took a little adjustments, but finally settled into its groves.  Dan continued to cut sheetrock, while Rick went into screwing the drywall into place.  I began hammering in the plywood wall panels on the outside.  I could have used the nail gun, but it seemed safer and easier to do it by hand in that small space.  I’ll feel it tomorrow when I can’t lift my arm!  The pebbleboard shower walls were installed before we left and the toilet was put back into place for use over the weekend. 
Rick cuts out window. 
            Georgia surprised us all at lunch time by bringing out bowls of lentil soup which she had made.  It tasted pretty good, although just a shade spicy for my taste, but I ate my whole bowl! She shared with us that her daughter wasn’t being very helpful and was rather antagonistic.  Not a good situation.  The car Georgia just got is already not working well.  Needs a transmission overhaul.  Appears the guy who sold it did not do so in good faith.   
        I made a point of going in to say goodbye to Georgia before we took off at 3:15.  She told me there weren’t many ‘good people’ living out near her, but she was so happy to have the ‘good folks’ at CHRPA helping her out.  A quick hug and we took off.  Rick drove both from Home Depot this morning and all the way home while Dan worked on his computer doing prep work for tomorrow’s CHRPA school. 
Hammering in side
wall boards.

Ceiling in place! 

            Between the two of us, Rick and I spent a combined total of 11 days working for Georgia’s bathroom project.   I think I computed that about 240 volunteer hours have been dedicated so far to the job.  Dan predicts two more days to finish – with even just a two man crew that will be another 30+ hours minimum.  The hard part is the 2 ½ hours of driving time each day in coming and going, plus the agonizingly slow and bumpy last 3 miles in and out.  Scott wants me to write up a ‘story’ for the CHRPA Tales book about the experience. 
            The rain started falling as we packed up to leave from Georgia’s.  Pretty light at first, but gained in volume as the afternoon wore on.  A pretty steady rainfall during dinner hours.  We decided to wait on filling the propane tank tonight and just tackled the laundry!  Even put in a few pieces of the puzzle while we waited for the washing machine to finish. 
            Final day of CHRPA work for this year tomorrow.  Rick will be doing some plumbing work and I am helping with ramp construction. 

Thursday, March 19 
CHRPA Day #12: Mixed Adventures west of Tucson

          Our final day of CHRPA work for this spring.  I'm kinda sad, but also looking forward to a week of a little more relaxation!  Staying for more than two weeks has been good, however, and we shall consider a month of work in the future.  (With maybe a day or two off occasionally - the long days take their toll!)
Rick represents 'Mother Earth'
during CHRPA School

          Our day begins with the typical donuts and lessons on Thursday mornings with CHRPA School,  Professor Dan R is teaching the second lesson on electricity.  Today's topic is voltage, AC current, and how to test the various parts of a swamp cooler.  If I hear these classes often enough, maybe electricity will begin to make sense to me!
A spirited Hanbyeol loves wheelbarrows!
          Rick and Hanbyeol are once again paired together.  She seemed very glad of the match and she and Rick had some great conversations today.  She confessed to Rick that she can talk with him in a manner here in the states that she could NEVER do in Korea.  It was be considered disrespectful.  They had plumbing issues mostly today, installing a few toilets and repairing the shower of a very sweet 84 years old lady out of Bogg Road.  Turns out it was the same street that Abi and I were on, just 5 miles apart!  
Don helps out adjusting the height of the railing pillars. 
          Abi and I are paired up again to finish the ramp railings on her first 'solo' ramp project (eg. done without Hugh's tutorage and supervision).  She's done a GREAT job!  Don and Harvey were also on tap at the house to fix the floor under a toilet.  We also had to finish shoring up the patio roof (part of the supports were removed to take out the existing deck in order to install the ramp.)  
Just finished screwing in the pillar.
Multiple cats running around and an obviously nursing chihauhau mama wandered out at one point.  The ramp is for the wife of the client who is currently in the hospital.  He was very appreciative of CHRPA's work and wanted business cards to hand to some of his friends.  I drilled multiple holes today, and screwed in LOTS of 3" screws!  Abi and I also cut and installed the new 4x4 supports - Don had put in the brackets earlier in the week.  
Abi does the final paperwork with homeowner.

           I really enjoyed working with Abi.  She is a delightful young woman with energy, spirit, and creative talent.  She likes to hum a happy tune, thinks out loud (much like I do), and we worked well together.  I will miss her.  
Abi and I in CHRPA office.  
    We said our goodbyes at the end of the day and promised to once again be back!  Then it is business of packing!  We remove the propane tank and Rick takes it to be filled while I give the trailer a good cleaning.  Work clothes are packed away.  We even cook dinner - meatballs and spaghetti sauce with rototelli pasta.  After dinner I head over to the lounge for Bible Study and an extended time working on the puzzle.  It is NOT finished, but Daniel and I made some good progress.  Hopefully someone will finish it up and send Walter a picture!  

This was as far as we got!  
          Thus completes another CHRPA volunteer work experience.  New skills and knowledge (I used a table saw this morning to rip two boards for the decking!  Still leery of the grinder and a saws-all!)  The beauty of CHRPA is truly in the people - both staff and clients.  It is in the atmosphere that is people oriented, client-oriented, service-oriented.  You know your work is important and valued.  Definitely a feel-good place, even though my body might not 'feel-good' at the end of every day!  

PS  More pictures to follow with a link to ALL CHRPA photos, but I need help to load some off my phone emails!  

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