Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Saturday, August 29, 2015
Baker City to Cataldo, ID
338 miles

            “On the road again!  We just can’t wait to get on the road again!”  Well, we still have jobs to finish, but it was time to hit the road again!  After all, we’d been home for 10 straight days! 
            We moved the trailer from storage to the driveway last Wednesday and quickly went down the computer list to pack up and be ready to leave.  So ready we had Annalea over for dinner Friday night (she’ll water while Luke is still gone) and then down to Earth and Vine for an hour to meet Rusty.  While there we ran into Randy and Ellen Jones from LaGrande – good friends of theirs from Bend were the featured musicians.  Fun to listen, but we only stayed an hour as I still had a few loose ends to tie up! 
Our campground was right along the river. 
            Leaving Baker City by 8am!  And for the first time this week we can easily see the Elkhorns to the west.  The smoke has cleared a little.  In fact, the mountains were quite pretty with the early morning sun shining on them.  Rick drove up to Milton Freewater and we followed our path from last May in going over Tollgate.  This time, instead of fog, the smoke was pretty thick.  Grande Ronde Valley was much worse than Baker Valley in terms of smoke today.  And it just got worse!  However, a pleasant surprise near the top of Tollgate – a brief rain storm!  After gassing up in M-F, I drove up through the Palouse country through the now golden and harvested wheat fields.  Smoke was pretty thick and we had a good tail wind to cross wind much of the way!  In the booming town of Dusty we stop at a rest area to eat lunch and trade drivers.  The smoke was getting to my eyes somewhat. 
            Rick drove on in through Spokane, and just across the Idaho border in Post Falls, we gassed up again for only $2.65 a gallon.  We like Idaho prices better than Washington! 
Beautiful section of bike trail we walked. 
     We drove through Coeur d’Alene and over a summit to the historic mission town of Cataldo.  The Cataldo mission is the oldest building in all of Idaho.  We stopped at Konderosa RV Park a mile past the mission.  It is set along the river – nice, simple park, but nearly empty!  By dinner time at least 4 more rigs had pulled in.  The owner said she had had many cancellations over the past two weeks due to the smoke, fires, and dust.  We have high wind warnings for this evening and possible thunderstorms. 
Placid section of river
            We get set up and take off on a walk.  We find the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes going right past the park, so we head off toward the mission on the path.  This is the bike trail we rode 12 years ago during an anniversary trip to this area.  A light misty rain fell off and on, but actually felt pretty good.  The trail leaves direct access to the freeway and wanders through marshes and deep gullies, ponds filled with dried up waterlilies.  (How does a waterlily dry up when it is sitting in water?)  No moose, but we did see some muddy
Dried up water lilies?
dried up moose tracks on the path.  We walked about a mile west and found an interpretive sign that let us know we still were a good mile plus to the mission (the path is NOT as direct as the freeway!)  So we turned around and it was a good thing….a few rumbles of thunder and then a steady, but not so misty, rain began to fall.  Getting pretty damp by the time we made it back to the trailer! 
            And hungry!!  Left-over pizza from last night, salad, and veggies and dip!  And then a relaxing evening.  We have no wifi tonight, and no cell service!  Oh well!  I have a picture to draw! 
Evening along the river after a rain

SUNDAY, August 30, 2015
Cataldo, ID to Kalispell, MT
184 miles

            It rained several times during the night, but nothing too major or threatening.  Enough to cool things down.  I popped out of bed at what I thought was 6:45 am, but took one look at the microwave clock and realized it was really only 5:45….my watch was on Mountain Time.  It will be right as soon as we cross the Montana border! 
            Kinda a lazy morning and we didn’t head out until nearly 10am bound east for the final few miles to Kalispell.  Up and over the Bitterroot Mts and into Montana.  The trees and hills were pretty awesome with layers of silhouettes in the misty and cloudy skies.  We traced the bike path with memories (as best we could remember!) from our trip 12 years ago.  Wallace is a pretty quaint town nestled in a deep canyon, Kellogg a little more spread out with a ski area directly to the south. 
            Down to St. Regis and the junction with the Clark Fork which we followed through the narrow canyon to Paradise and then Plains.  Plains is a great find – gas was only $2.65 a gallon and drink refills only .89 each!  Not bad for an out of the way place.  The smoke got worse the closer we came to Plains and we discovered a new fire had erupted up between Libby and Thompson Falls.  We didn’t clear from smoke until Kalispell, which was enjoying a nice downpour as we arrived at the Walmart to do our grocery shopping. 
            Arrived at Rocky Mountain RV Park at 3pm….the last of the Care-a-Vanners to pull in!  Ah well, what is the story, the closest arrive last?  (Actually Leigh Jacques from British Columbia is closer, but she is borrowing a trailer from a Sandpoint friend, so they brought it over earlier in the weekend!)  We got all set up in Rusty’s spot from the spring build and our welcome committee of Clint and Tom were right there to greet us….and kibbutz as we set up! 
            Quick call to Mom before our 4:30 meeting behind Norrell’s rig.  Met the ‘new folks’ – two couples brand new to CAVs, plus a couple of older single guys.  For one it is his second build, and the other has done a half dozen this year alone.  Interesting folk.  There are 15 of us here with one couple dropping out just yesterday with the smoke issues.  So we previously knew four other groups here, and met four new ones! 
After the potluck, the sun came out and was radiant on the trees against
the stormy clouds!  
            Pizza and potluck down at the gazebo at 6 with the Affiliate staff (all but Steve).  Great salads, especially a kale salad.  The kale was chopped up really fine, plus craisins, walnuts, feta, apples, and radishes.  I splurged and had two pieces of pizza! 

            Back to trailer to draw, Rick talked with his mom, and then a call to Jed.  I can’t get my phone to connect to the internet which is making it hard to download pictures through dropbox!  Ah well, at least the computer connected!  Get ready for the work tomorrow and into bed!  

Monday, August 30
Day 1 Kalispell Build

            Up and ready to go at 7:30!  It cleared off some last night and I saw stars!  Cloudy this morning, but definite patches of blue sky.  We even saw a hot air balloon in the sky enroute to the job site west of town.  Everyone who was here last week exclaimed at how beautiful it was compared to the smoke of the past!             
Diane thought it was cold
You can see the new siding on the far left side! 
            We had a devotion poem from Kathy (poem written by a young Habitat home child) and then Steve arrived to get us going.  So good to see the guy again.  Rick is up on the roof all day, almost finishing it up.  He worked some with Lee, the single guy from Utah.  I ended up in the garage with Dick and Charlene (we have worked with them before) and Al, another of the ‘newbies’.  We were installing the firewall sheetrocking on the top gable part of the wall between garage and house.  First job was to move a section of scaffolding inside and get it set up.  Then Dick and I went up on top to install the screws, and Al and Charlene cut the rock to our measurements.  Later Steve explained the fireproofing process a little better and we had to go back and fill in some holes!  We will finish that up tomorrow. 
Rick, Lee, and the Robertson family
            Other crews began the siding process on the west wall and another was installing ‘firring strips’ – I’m actually not sure what they were doing!  Not alot of pictures from today since I left the camera in the trailer and didn't want my phone 'with me'.  I did get an END OF DAY photo.
Austin TRIES to get
the shovel into the
hard ground!  
Habi-Man Sculpture and sign
            Back to park for a couple hours and showers, and then we all headed back out for the Ground Breaking ceremony for the two lots down a block.  The foundation work there will begin in mid-September.  We met the two new families – both young with two kids the same ages – around 1 and 3!  Nice folks and excited to begin the process of homeownership! 
            I also presented Katy with the Habitat Man Sculpture I made for the Flathead Valley office.  I think she is going to give it to Steve for his desk, but she wanted to keep it herself!  Maybe I need to bring the other guy up sometime with his wild hair! 
            No Happy Hour tonight since it is now dinner time!  I ate a piece of leftover pizza that Rick rescued from lunch and a bunch of veggies.  Relaxing time!  
This is a later addition, but on Saturday morning I wrote this poem and scribbled a composite picture from the Ground Breaking ceremony.  
Tuesday, September 1
Day 2 Kalispell Build

           It is a beautiful morning!  The skies have cleared, it is 50 degrees with a forecast high of 78.  NO SMOKE!!  
Add caption
           Rick gives his usual James 2 devotion this morning and then everyone gets back to work.  Steve will not be here today so we just have to 'figure it out'!!  I heard a couple others groups say they were the red team or blue team.  I told my group we were the Rainbow Team or the TieDye Team!  Dick, Al, Charlene and I got back to work on the garage firewall of sheetrock, hoping to have it finished by lunch at the latest.  We almost made it!!  So many tiny little nooks and crannies that all had to be covered while working around the rafters and some pretty crazy pieces of framing.  It isn't pretty, but it is covered.  NO FIRE will get through!  
Our firewall in the garage

Rick on the roof
Dick as we put up the foam
           Rick worked again with Lee up on the roof and they basically finished as much as possible until Steve returns to answer a few questions.  Steve Maneras also worked the past two days on the roof, yesterday with his grandson Nathan.  I suspect it was much warmer up on the roof than in the garage!  
           Erin came to talk with the group during break and Katy showed up again during lunch!  
End of Day 2 
           Our team went into the master bedroom to finish some foam installation after the garage was finished.  More funny boards to work around!  But we got it done a little early, which gave me time to wander around today and take a few pictures!  
          Down time late afternoon, happy hour (the chocolate zucchini cake and pizza from Sunday are finally gone!) and then Diane heads over to Joann's with me to check out a few deals.  In bed and asleep by 10pm!  

WEDNESDAY, September 2
Kalispell Build Day 3

          The clouds came in and the night was warmer!  An overcast morning as we gathered at the site for a lighthearted devotion from Dick.  Steve was back to answer all the questions we had from yesterday!  We were to all wear our shirts today for a group picture, but it was too cold in the morning, we forgot at break, the wind was blowing too hard at lunch, and Katy left before cleanup.  AT that point, someone yelled, 'Ginger has a camera' and we all gathered at the scaffolding for a picture, taken by Steve Maneras (regular volunteer from Columbia Falls). Not a safety approved picture!  
Kalispell CAV Crew Fall 2015
           Rick spent the day back up on the roof with Steve M, finishing up ridge caps, fixing a few errors from last week.  He has a great view of the surrounding mountains up there, but also gets the brunt of the weather...hot or windy.  Today was wind, yesterday was sun.  Tomorrow might be rain (but then he can't be on the roof!)
Charlene, Dick, and Al survey our work.
 I worked all day again in the garage.  The young man who installed the sheetrock last week on the lower section (we did the part above the rafters on Monday) put it up incorrectly, and it had to be moved down 4-5" to touch the concrete.  We had to rip some pressure treated wood to make a nailer, install custom fit foam in the gap, and then unscrew all the sheetrock and bring it down.  The nailer wood ranged from 3/4" thick to 1 1/4", so had to be custom fit in about 3' sections.  And then...some of the sheetrock was installed with nails instead of screws!  That took awhile and we damaged a few corners that had to be repaired.  We didn't finish, but I expect tomorrow we will have the job done, including the sheetrock around the door.  

          Lunch was provided today by the housemate (Heather) of our new Program Coordinator, Vicci.  Heather outdid herself with Caesar salad, fruit bowl, veggie platter, chips, cookies, and turkey wraps.  Way too much food!  We brought the leftovers home for Happy Hour dinner, and still have more for other happy hours or snacks tomorrow!   We officially had the first meal inside the Kearney's home, as the wind was whipping up the dust so much during lunch that we ate inside.  
End of Day 3: Windows are installed on ground level!  Masonry board up on front, ready for brickwork.  Siding crew worked to the back of the house.  
THURSDAY, September 3
Kalispell Build Day 4

          Brrr!  It was colder this morning and forecast for rain today.  Rick especially is hoping it will hold off until he can finish the roof!  
Putting in the screws for the 5" strip
  My goal today was to finish up the firewall in the garage, but the job became much bigger when Steve asked us to 'flesh out' the doorway wall with another 1 3/8" of framing and THEN sheetrock it, so that the door would install correctly.
Door frame with nailers
and orange foam!
 Charlene worked on the insulation in a pocket, while Dick and Al tackled the puzzle of adding the nailer strips to the existing wall, none of which was a consistent level!  We had to add sister boards, more nails into the concrete, etc.  It took all day!  And still isn't done!  I finished up the 5" pieces of sheetrock across the middle of the main wall (after we lowered all the boards yesterday we had a gap!)  I have the wall pieces of sheetrock all cut and ready to mount tomorrow.  AND I got to squirt the foam insulation into the gaps in one pocket which was fun - orange and sticky stuff!  I am still peeling it off my hands.  

Rick's artwork at the roof peak!  
View west from top of roof.
         Alas, Rick didn't finish up the roof either!  He ran out of shingles.  Steve had put in the order, but they didn't arrive, so he had to stop with one more ridge on the garage to go.  Tomorrow he will finish that up and move to the front porch roof.  Just before lunch Rick took me up onto the roof to see the view and check out what he had been working on.  
         We didn't get the stonework started today, but great progress was made on the window trim, siding, etc.  Clint installed the back door, so both outside doors are in (except the garage door!)
End of Day: progress! 

Inside the house during morning break
Diane and Robin work on siding pieces
  It sprinkled lightly right at 8am but then quit until a few drops fell as we were cleaning up!  Later in the evening we had several good rainfalls, plus a rainbow!  We had Happy Hour in the Hinkles trailer - too windy and cold to be outside.

FRIDAY, September 4

Kalispell Build Day 5

        We are slowly making progress!  After a good hard rain last night, we never saw a sprinkle today.  The skies cleared and the sun shone - even hit 60 plus degrees.  
Our finished sheetrocking around
the garage door.  
    Rick had his 'easiest' day of the week!  The cap shingles still hadn't arrived, so he and Steve M finished up the porch roof.  You can actually see it is now done in the End of the Day photo!  Since the porch roof was getting crowded with  window installers, Dad stayed inside the window to cut shingles, pass them out to Steve and let him nail them down!  

Supervisor Steve!
        My crew finished the garage today!!  We finally got all the sheetrock up around the door and then faced off the last rough edge by noon.  Whew!!  Thought we would NEVER get there, but it looks pretty good (if you don't get too close!)  The door frame was not square, a fact that Clint was struggling with at the end of the day in trying to install the door! 
        Lunch was provided today by a member of the local Methodist church who wants to help but can no longer physically work.  But as his wife said, he can still cook!  Bean casserole (delicious!), two salads, cookies, and sandwiches.  Quite the spread.  Steve shared some stories after lunch that answered some of the newer CAV's questions in terms of energy efficiency, etc.  
        So after lunch, Dick and I began working on the garage side siding.  Charlene had moved over to help Jan with painting since Katy had to leave.  Al was attending to magazine business for abit (he is still working for a magazine company) and then rejoined us on the siding.  We got both sides done up to the top level.  We shall return on Monday to finish up the top above the door!  
End of Day 5: Note porch roofing, more windows installed, trim ready on rock wall.
Back of home/garage.  Our siding efforts on both sides.  
     The whole group went to HuHot Mongolian Grill tonight for dinner.  A good meal and conversation.  Jan (a local volunteer from Whitefish) joined us and brought some pictures from her Global Village/Thrivent trip to Nepal last November to build homes.  After most of the group left, we moved down to chat with Leigh and Lee while they finished their meal.  Then a quick trip to Home Depot to check out the rug cleaner they have on sale.  Back to the trailer to order it online and have it sent to the house with free shipping!  

       Rick was happy to find the Boise State football game on TV tonight!

Saturday-Sunday, September 5-6

REST Days!

        Saturday we were extremely lazy as the rain fell off and on ALL DAY LONG!  Rick did the laundry while I drove into town and picked up some groceries.  I stopped at Joanne's Fabrics enroute home for an hour of browsing, purchasing NOTHING!  Dinner of BLT's using the tomatoes from Bill Fessel (well, some of them!)  Snow is falling up in the park on the highest peaks.  We are forecast for a cool night tonight here in Kalispell, but the rain is supposed to taper off tomorrow. 

          After dinner I painted the rocks I have collected with the Habitat logo.  When the sun comes out, I will spray them with varathane.  Gifts for the rest of the crew.  Leigh and I are also going to tie dye her shirt Sunday afternoon....IF the sun comes out!  

         Another lazy morning I must confess on Sunday.  We thought about heading up to Whitefish to church, but didn't make it.  I finished up another devotion and picture.  Around noon we headed up to Columbia Falls to the Cimarron Cafe for breakfast.  Rick had an egg panini and I had a Greek scramble which was wonderful with artichoke hearts, spinach, feta cheese, etc.    Still no cell coverage.  We had it last year in CF so we thought we might get lucky!  
Snow on the Swan Mountains! 

        Took a drive down to Big Fork, but once we arrived we remembered there was some car show and it was a ZOO!!!  We left quickly .... will explore Big Fork another time.  As we headed up to Walmart, I suddenly realized I saw AT&T on my phone rather than Emergency Calls Only!  Rick pulled into a medical parking lot and we called Jed and both moms!  And the funny thing is, I haven't LOST coverage again...so far! 
Leigh carefully dyes her shirt. 
        Got the rocks sprayed and Leigh and I tie dyed the shirts.  Only had enough dye for two, so I did Rick's shirt.  Mine will have to wait til home.  So I type with blue fingers (I gave Leigh the gloves, forgetting we had more in the trailer bins!)  
          Carl and Arletta arrived today to join the group!  They were originally scheduled for this build, but when it got moved up two weeks, they had to pull out because of a previous commitment in Pinedale, WY.  They got done early and since we still had an unfilled opening, they are here!!  Things will be livelier now!

Monday, September 7
Labor Day with the Kearneys - Build Day 6
Sunrise over Swan Mts. 
A final picture of Rick on the roof!

          Brrr!  It cleared off late during the night and it is brisk this morning, but nothing like the rumors of 20 degrees in West Yellowstone!  We are up and ready for a new week at the build with the sun trying to break through some early morning clouds drifting around.  Forecast today is for a few showers late in the day.  
         Rick finished up the roof today!!!  Completely and totally done!  He then moved to work on the finish work on the siding of the front porch soffits and trim.  Still working with Steve M, but they seem to have an 'arrangement' when Steve gets going too fast!  
Putting in the first piece of stone
         I bid goodbye to Dick and Al (Charlene was already reassigned to caulk!) who will finish the siding with Carl's help.  (Finally they have someone tall enough to reach the high spots!)  I joined a team of Arleta, Lee, and Ron to begin the rock work out front!  Oh boy!  
         Well, by break we had ONE corner rock in place and things slowed down from there!  The rocks are a variety of sizes, shapes, thicknesses, etc (not to mention various colors which also need to be scattered).  The object is to make a natural stone looking wall rather than 'bricks'.  The mortar dries out very quickly so we had to keep sponging on water.  We got better at figuring out how wet the mortar had to be to stick, but it was difficult finding the right size stone for a particular spot when going from the corner to the siding edge.  But,...Steve was happy with our progress as were the Kearneys!   Angela just kept saying how nice it looked!  
At day's end....all we had accomplished.
          Yes!  Since it is a holiday, three members of the Kearney family were there today to work - Jason, Angela, and oldest daughter Kira.  I sat with them for awhile during lunch and chatted, and then gave them the small package with Blessing sign I had for the dedication day.  Told them they could open it now or wait until the house was done.  Angela must have hugged me three times before she left.  Such a sweetheart.  It will be a long winter of anticipation for the expected April completion date.  
          We had an accident after lunch.  Lee was applying more of the mortar into the mesh wire and sliced his finger along the sharp lower edge of the wire.  A long cut and Katy took him over to the Urgent Care facility.  He ended up with 11 stitches and a pretty purple bandage!  Rick and I drove his van over to Urgent Care after work so he could drive home once he was all stitched up!  (With the assurance that if he couldn't drive he would call!)
End of Day 6:  you can barely see the rockwork started on the far right.
End of the rainbow
          I made a quick trip to WW tonight (as quick as a 20 minute drive each way can be!) only to find them closed for the holiday.  Guess I will try to weigh on Wednesday during lunch.  
          Happy hour was shortened due to a brief cloud burst, but a brilliant rainbow spread the skies before HH - unfortunately while I was driving in the opposite direction and Rick couldn't find the other camera (hidden in the ice chest!)  I got a piece of it after most had disappeared.  

Tuesday, September 8
Kalispell Build Day 7

          OK, today was really BRRRR!  Thirty-six degrees outside when I get up! But it is supposed to warm up and no rain in forecast!  
          Today we are flying solo again as Steve has to go with Genia for chemo treatments.  Rick works with Steve M on the porch - putting up the siding in the front and installing a heavy sheetrock inside the porch roof area.  The end of the day picture will really look different with the siding up!  Basically it meant ladder work all day long!  
      With help from a few CAVs who told me to go to the other side of the house, I discovered my romantic husband had carved an R&G in the discarded cement from yesterday's mortar.  What a guy!  
          Arleta and I returned to tackle the rock wall.  This material is impossible to work with - even IF we had experience I fear!  Few of the stones are actually square.  We have lots of irregular corners, sizes ranging from 1" wide up to 4 1/2" wide, and lengths from 4" to 18"!!  A giant jigsaw puzzle!  We did figure out today that the wetter the mortar, the better, and we developed some props for the lowest stones to hold them in place along the bottom edge.  Regardless,
Closeup of our progress...or lack thereof!
we didn't make very fast progress....inching across the right side of the house nearly to the first window.  Goal for tomorrow?  Across the window!  At this rate I could be working on rockwall for the next month!  Amazingly, everyone has lots of advice to give, but no one has taken up our offer to start at the other corner and get started to help out!  (They've probably heard us cursing too much!) Hopefully when Steve returns he will be happy with what we got done today.  

End of Day:  Check out the good looking porch....and you can barely see our rocks on the right.  Siding keeps creeping higher!
          Rick and I drove straight from the job site to a Bloodmobile appointment at 3:15.  Got in a few minutes early and walked out all done at 3:45.  One smooth operation.  We didn't have to wait at all plus to got to watch the end of the Wizard of Oz!  A good deal.  
Steve M and Lee at Katy's in Whitefish
Note Lee's bandaged finger!
          Back to the campground to shower and then we left early for Columbia Falls and the Weight Watcher meeting up there at 5:00 since I missed last night in Kalispell (Labor Day!)  A successful weigh-in (lost!) and on our way to Whitefish and the BBQ at Volunteer Coordinator Katy's house.  I have to admit I said heck with points tonight and enjoyed myself!  What a great spread of salads and Lee brought a Lebanese dish of rice, meat, and pine nuts.  (And I found out he is Lebanese!)
          Beautiful drive home with the sun setting between clouds.  We came back on the Whitefish Stage Road with its beautiful houses, ranches, and barns. Quiet evening, ending with a great phone conversation with Luke!  

Wednesday, September 9
Kalispell Build Day 8
Look who was up above me this morning! 

          A chilly but beautiful morning and temps forecast for the 70's!  Finally I might get back down to a t-shirt!  I had devotions for the group this morning and finally decided to share the TieDying Habitat one.  It was well received and we had a bit of a delayed opening as we waited for Clint to return with the keys to the back trailer!  Steve filled the time in a valuable way.  
Ron and Lee work
on other corner
Wall by days' end
          Rick spent the morning working on the porch battens with Steve M, side corner trim installed, moved scaffolding panels, and then worked from the roof on the siding in the back of the house.  The siding on the house is looking really great - by the end of the day most crews were up to the second floor windows and past on at least part of the wall.  
          Arletta and I went back to work on our rock wall.  We made better progress today, learning a few new tricks every day that will speed things up.  Ron and Lee also began work on the other corner on the left of the house.  That will help!  
End of Day 8
Back of house ....Rick was working on this siding
  Happy Hour I gave out my Habi-rocks to everyone, plus a Rock Purple Heart for Lee for his injured finger!  We also had a hot air balloon soar past us out in the field area.  Conference call with Program EOP on the grants and a good night!  

Swan Mts. and the apple trees I have been freely eating!
Lee and his Purple Heart

Lunch time grace:  Superman Prayer! 
Thursday, September 10
Kalispell Build Day 9

         We awoke to a glorious clear sky with a crescent moon and a single star lighting the morning twilight.  Sunrise isn't until after 7am now, so it still seems dark when I get up at 6ish. 
Rick wanted me to see his
"Pollock" Caulk Painting!

         Nothing much different at the job site today, other than the weather was much warmer, especially for those of us working on the south sunny side of the house all day long.  I shed both my shirts by break time as it hit 75 degrees in the afternoon.  Rick and his crew finished up the north wall siding and caulking and then began work on trim painting - wherever they could.  They accomplished alot.  The east side is completely sided and caulked and that crew began work on the front...around the rock people!  The west siding team will be done before break on Friday.  
Slowly moving across the wall, stone by stone. 
         And then there is Arletta and I, slowly inching our way across the front of the house.  My illusions of starting on the corner and mastering this process by the front door were crazy.  We will never be the ones doing the front door!  We MIGHT make it a little over halfway!  A Thrivent team next week will have to finish, which means four different 'artists' did the rock with four different 'styles'!  But Steve isn't worried!  Speedy Steve (local volunteer who works fast!) began one of the columns.  His approach isn't always the most careful, but he agreed to tackle the job which others didn't want to do!  So the columns will be unique in their own way!  
          Just one more day of this build, which has been a very congenial, hard working team.  We've worked with Hinkles and Norrells several times, but its been fun to have Canadian Leigh, Dick and Charlene from California, and Carl and Arletta back in Flathead.  And then there are four new rigs to the area.  
End of Day 9 photo
    Most of the group went out to Whitefish for drinks at the Great Northern and

pizza at Mackenzie River.  We went up early to purchase stamps at the post office, so enjoyed some time with Clint and Kathy out on the balcony at the
Kathy, Leigh, and Diane
brewery before the rest of the group arrived.  Great dinner conversation with Leigh and Dick and Charlene over pizza.  We shared one with Leigh - half Thai and half Sequoia, which was a spinach, mushroom, artichoke, sundried tomato and pine nut base.  Really good!  

           Home to let Rick watch the end of a disappointing Steeler opening game and into bed!  

Friday, September 10
Last Day Kalispell Build

            (Once again, I am retyping my blog entry because my computer suddenly shut me down while I was in Blogger and hadn’t hit the update button yet.  I should learn, but evidently I am slow.  So this morning (a day late) I am once again writing first on a document and will copy it into Blogger later. )
            Today again dawned clear and brisk (40’s) with nary a cloud in the sky.  Forecast was to hit the 80’s  which I think happened before we left the site. 
            By day’s end the entire garage side wall of the house was completely painted, both trim and siding.  It is finished, and if the Habitat trailer wasn’t parked there, once might think it was a finished home, as Rick, Al, and Phil got all the scaffolding down as well.  Progress was also made on the painting elsewhere.
            But it was the front of the house where the beehive of activity took place, especially right on the 6x8’ front porch!  I don’t think we could have crammed any more people on there!  A varying points Clint was capping the columns, Speedy Steve and Lee were rocking columns, Barb was painting trim, Tom and his crew were putting up siding – all in addition to Arletta and I doing the rock work around the front door.  Plus our wheelbarrow of mortar was sitting on the porch!!  It was near claustrophobic working conditions!
Arletta and I work rock magic. 
Front door rock
            But…..Steve asked Arletta and I to install the top and bottom layers of rock all the way to the door and trim out the door.  He said another crew could work to fill the rest in!  That made me happy because I really wanted to do the door so we could match Ron’s style on the left side a little, plus be sure we had the rocks left that would fit just right on the door edge. 
           So….shortly after break we let out a major cheer for completing that circle.  We spent the rest of the day filling in as much as possible working from the door right.  There is still at least a 15’ hole of unfinished rock left.  L   Working along the bottom by the door I finally just sat down and wallowed in the pool of water (we had to keep splashing the mortar to redampen it and in the sun it was drying FAST!) and mortar.  To say my pants were a disaster by the end of the day is an understatement.  I hosed them off at the RV park!  (And sat on a shirt driving home to protect the truck seats!)
            We had our goodbye lunch at noon with treats from two different local restaurants and a cake from Safeway.  Erin, Vicci, plus four members of the Kearney family were there to join us.  Angela was blown away by the progress of the past week.  It is pretty amazing.  Katy, Erin, and Steve had words to share, the Kearneys expressed their thanks and issued an open invitation to a BBQ dinner anytime we are back in the area!  Angela also went around and personally thanked everyone once we were back to work.  More hugs from her!  I also gave her the rock I painted for them (a bigger version of the CAV rocks).  She and Jason had opened the picture frame as well and loved it. 
End of build progress! 
            Happy Hour tonight to celebrate with Katy (she came early to tune Clint and Kathy’s bikes) and Speedy Steve and wife Linzie joined us also.  Apple Crisp treat from the RV park apples served by Arletta and Diane!  We will also be going out to breakfast on Sunday together before everyone takes off.
Katy works on bikes
prior to HH
       Steve and Genia were going to try to come last night, but Genia wasn’t feeling up to it.  There is a chance we will get together with them in a smaller group on Saturday.  That would please me no end. 
            Rick and I still unsure of our plans exactly! We are researching Waterton and trailer parks, Fernie and such.  Once we leave the RV park we won’t have internet except at MacDonalds, etc. so probably need to plan a little!  We have heard back from Missoula and Great Falls.  Neither seem to need help, so my choice is to return to Kalispell for a week or two more and explore Glacier and maybe Jewell Basin.  We’ll see. 

            Oh,…. During break today I called and made reservations for four of us to go zip-lining up in Whitefish Saturday afternoon!  Oh boy!!!!  Two other couples were interested, but the men are big and were over the weight limit! (230 lbs)  Later during Happy Hour, Ron called and got in on the reservation as well, so 5 of us have a 3:30 appt!  

Saturday, September 12
Genia and Zip Lines!

            What a great day!  Perfect weather, friends, and adrenalin! 
            The day started with a breakfast date with Tartaglinos at Sykes in
Leaving Sykes after a great meal and
downtown Kalispell.  Clint drove all six of us together to our 8:30 rendezvous.  Genia and Steve arrived shortly after.  Genia said mornings are definitely better than evenings!  She looked GREAT!  Cute pink hat covering her bald head – mostly cause she said she had to be so careful of sunburn!  It meant everything to see that radiant smile.  We visited together as a group for nearly two and a half hours!  The conversation ranged from Habitat at the beginning to more indepth on Genia’s status and health.  When Steve said something about Genia lighting up the infusion room when she walks in, I said it was because she has HOPE written on her forehead.  She is SO POSITIVE and refuses to consider anything else.  A few pictures together as we left….priceless three hours spent.  Love those guys. 
            Then….its shopping time!  We are buying a new camera!  I looked at a Nikon at Best Buy and Canons at Target.  Finally opted for the Canon when the clerk said it was compatible with my old charger and battery.  I figured I knew most of the quirks of the Canon and how it functioned anyway.  Plus Canon was smart and took care of the two things that I griped about on the old!  Back to the trailer by 12:30 with just enough time to get our laundry done.  Rick and I split that duty so he could fix the trailer brake cable (a necessary fix!).     

         We picked up Ron promptly at 2:30 and are off to Whitefish for our Zip Line reservation!!  Dick and Charlene follow in their car.  We are a group of 60-80’s on an adventure!  I think Dick was the only one who had zipped before!  We sign waivers, get weighed, and given an appropriate harness.  The harnesses wrap around each leg like a pair of pants with droopy drawers (so you can easily sit!), and then are very snug in the chest like a corset!  Straps over our shoulders.  The big carabiners are at waist height.  A climbing helmet then (much like our hardhats only with a chin strap!)  There are about a dozen in our group.  Ron is the only single, so he goes much of the time with the second guide at the end.  This is a double zip arrangement so two of us can go together.  We get a short movie to introduce the various positions, and then are given our ‘trolley’.  This is the actual pulley that is attached to the cable and then anchored to our harness at each hip.  It probably weighs 15 pounds and is rather awkward to carry.  But…. It is a very important piece of equipment to keep in good condition! 
All harnessed up and ready to go!
     We signed up for the 7 zip tour.  The first is very short and low to the ground – a beginner course to make sure we know what we are doing!  I liked that part.  I felt very safe in the harness – it was hard to reach the platform after getting strapped in but they have you cabled to keep you from leaving too soon! 
(That happened to Charlene once!)  The longest lines were around 1600’ to 1900’ and about 300 feet above the tree tops!  Fabulous view over the whole valley.  I tried taking a video on the first long one…and forgot to turn it on.  Tried again on the second long one and haven’t looked to see what I got yet! (Note....I failed dismally at video clips.  The ONE I did get the shutter of the camera didn't open all the way...one of the reasons we bought a new camera, but I wasn't taking the new one with me!)   And I quit taking pictures the rest of the time and just enjoyed the ride!  It was over all too soon, although I was getting tired from the amount of UPHILL climbing we had to do with the harness on and toting our trolley.  And it was warm!  All of us had soaked shirts when we finished and removed our harnesses! 
Our $18 photograph, but worth it! 
          They passed out a coupon for a dollar off drinks, so we headed to the bar to cash in – we were all thirsty!!  Plus we had to view and order any pictures we wanted from the pro camera people at various points.  Rick and I succumbed to buying one….an action photo we couldn’t have gotten in any other way! 
            Back down the mountain and to Kalispell to start another round of Happy Hours at 7pm!  Carl got to story telling so the laughter was long and loud for the next hour or so.  Where does he come up with the absurd things that come out of his mouth????  My stomach hurt from laughing so hard.  A good way to end the build, which will OFFICIALLY end tomorrow morning when we all gather in Columbia Falls at Montana Coffee Traders for breakfast and a celebration of Diane’s birthday. 
            Rest of evening spent beginning to sort and pack things up for a quicker morning get-away.  

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