Friday Morning
23 days to September 23  

I have not planned a Friday dinner for tonight. I think I am done with organizing them. I may go to the Last Friday Art Walk this week, or some other delightful thing, instead. It has been a great run for dinners together. Maybe we can figure out some way to continue to get together from time to time, as I value your companionship so much.

Monday is a work day. Pillars will be on site, the building will be open, and work will be happening on Monday, which is Labor Day. If you are available, the church building could use a few hours of your labor.

Yesterday, Thursday, there were a lot of volunteers, again. I forgot to count but I think there must have been twenty signed in. Teams were gluing fabric on clouds all day. As people became worn out and left, others arrived. Some newly learned how to do this work and others, having learned in the last two or three days, served as teachers. I heard one delightful volunteer, as she left, regret that she couldn’t come in today, Friday, but ask if there would be clouds for her to work on next week. Mark promised to save some for her. You too, if you are available, can come in and glue fabric or do other useful tasks.

As is common, we had a few visitors to be awed at the progress being made. It was particularly lovely to see Marilyn Junkins, who came to say hello and show her mother the building. She told me she expects to be back at full Marilyn speed, causing trouble as usual: her attitude was good. Marilyn, we are so pleased to see you up and around, already!

IT wire was pulled and organized yesterday. Weeds were whacked. The landscape plan organizing was worked on. The glaziers continued working on the sanctuary doors. Electricians were present doing important electrical things that I never found out anything about. The rental task force met and toured the building: These are people who will occasionally be available to chaperon the building for rentals. They have to know the emergency basics about exits, circuit breakers, locking up the building, lights, HVAC, and so on. In such a large and wonderful building there are plenty of new learning opportunities.

I suspect the music program potluck left some food. It appeared that several salads and other new and interesting items were on the lunch table yesterday–briefly. Those who lingered at their jobs and took a late lunch probably didn’t see them. We appreciate your excellent leftovers.

No dinner tonight. Let me know how you feel about this.

Gretchen Miller

interim blogster



AUGUST 30, 2012

More volunteers working on clouds.                   And sanding and painting.

aug30 more cloud work-t

aug30 sanding painting-t








Tight attic spaces have to be crawled.

aug30 attic crawling space-t

aug30 attic tight space-t






Hole for a sensor

aug30 hole for sensor-t








Preparing “as built” plans…..                             Glass to install……

aug28 prep as built plans-t

aug28 glass to install-t






Cloud crews….

aug29 cloud crew-t





aug30 cloud crews-t





25 days to September 23

21 volunteers signed in today! I am so proud of this group of volunteers! When jobs were identified, people showed up. We have had primers and painters and cloud constructors in addition to people doing a variety of other tasks. Some people have come in who have been unable to volunteer much in the past due to work schedules, family responsibilities, or health issues. It feels good to see everyone together burning their fingers on hot glue.

Not everyone is using hot glue, of course. Occupancy sensors need attention. Gravel was shoveled today, landscape work was done, and the kitchen was worked on a bit. More clouds went up and they look more wonderful all the time. More fabric was cut and that project is approaching the end. (Maybe by the end of the week, all the panels will be cut and “only” the gluing will remain.) The glaziers continued to install sanctuary doors. The project office was mostly moved to clear out that room for RE use on Sunday. A few of the larger items still have to be dealt with.

As we careen into September, it is exciting to see how much the building is coming together.

Quotes of the Day:

“Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else — if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”

“A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”


“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.

“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland


26 days to September 23

It feels as if time is accelerating. Clouds were being attached to the ceiling today. We have some clouds that we don’t expect will have to come down again for 50 years! The light fabric makes the ceiling look very different.

The Quilter and his backup assistant cut fabric this morning. Our stellar cloud magician had a new assistant today and they glued fabric on a cloud this afternoon. They plan to be on site tomorrow morning to do it again. As I may have mentioned, learning this process is a bit tiresome and we need about a half dozen more people who will learn it and then keep coming back to do it until all the clouds are up. The pillars were working on a second table so we can have two clouds under construction at the same time, if we have enough volunteers. (Photo right: one cloud finished and one ready for glueing.)

Painters responded to the call and most of the glass stops and some of the door jambs were primed. Tomorrow, if painters show up, the primed wood can be painted. A post on Share gave quite a bit of information about the joys of priming today. To summarize very briefly: bring your own small brush because we mostly have only big ones, feel free to use paper and masking tape to control the paint, and remember to relax and enjoy your volunteer time.

The professional glaziers are putting in the sanctuary doors, thanks to a directed donation for the doors and labor. You will see how wonderful this is looking next time you are in!

I am told we can use people any time with construction knowledge and organizational skills to organize things. Check with Judy Sawyer about what needs to be done.

We are moving the project office! Again for the last time! In order to free Room 7 for RE, the project office is moving to the choir room, which is in the northeast corner of the building. Recently it has been sanctuary storage (chairs, pulpit, chalice, etc.) I think that is where the project office started two years ago, so there is a certain symmetry. Back then, some of the walls were leaky plywood, not even really closed off to the outside. How the building has changed! Most of the sanctuary stuff has been moved out of that room, but there is a good day’s work moving the project office stuff into the space to clear Room 7 for RE. This will likely be taking place tomorrow. If you can move “stuff” small or large, please show up!

Others will be pulling wire and working on occupancy sensor issues, and I guarantee there will be sweeping, cleaning, dishes, and food service. I cannot say too often that the cleaning, sweeping, recycling, trash disposal, and so on, are all critical tasks. Some of you may have come over hoping to work on some “fun” or “exciting” task like “the clouds” and then ended up sweeping the floor. Sweeping and cleaning have to happen all the time. If we all didn’t keep doing that we would be ceiling deep in debris!

We have a very dedicated volunteer who keeps providing sandwich makings, salad stuff, and snacks. If you wanted to drop by with juice bottles, chips, nuts, snack-y items, cookies (both regular and golden Oreos go fast, but I saw macaroons and oatmeal raisin cookies that weren’t there very long, either), and so on, please do bring it by. If it is a commercial item in a sealed container it can be set aside until it is used. Garden produce is wonderful but obviously has to be cut up and then used quickly, so sometimes it is used and sometimes it ends up in the compost, depending on how much comes in and how many people are there to eat it. With that understanding, we love your produce! Personally I am quite fond of egg salad, deviled eggs, tuna salad, and dill pickles, but then I shouldn’t abuse my position as blogster to just get what I want.

Quotes of the day:

“God is with those who persevere” Koran

“If at first you don’t succeed, get a bigger hammer.” –Anon.


Concerto for kitchen sink and solo piano

aug28 sink piano-t








27 days to September 23

Glass installation is happening! The glaziers are back, after many months, and they are setting glass in the tall narrow windows next to the classroom doors, in the doors for the sanctuary, in the office wall, and probably other places. It is another exciting development as we progress toward a more complete building. This leads to my first volunteer opening: We need people to paint the glass stops before the glass goes in. If that doesn’t make sense to you, just think of painting trim. If you have painted wood trim, you know it needs a steady hand and an eye for detail. We really can’t pay professionals to do this, so come on in.

Clouds were worked on today. In the morning, the Quilter and his assistant cut six more fabric panels. In the afternoon, two volunteers covered two panels in fabric. Covering the clouds with fabric will go on for a while at this rate. We need volunteers who can commit to spending some time at it and coming back repeatedly. It takes a while to learn the system and get comfortable with it. Probably your first day will be mostly learning time. Really, we should have two tables going, each with two or three volunteers, and a new crew ready to take over each table at midday. If you want to learn to glue the fabric onto the clouds and then keep coming back to make it happen, check in with Ed, or Mark if you can’t find Ed, or Judy Sawyer, Ron, or Gretchen.

2nd Ping Pong Table, aka cloud-wrapping table

aug26 ping pong table-t


Soon we will need some good organizers. We have been talking about how to organize the space after Ed takes home whatever is left of his tools. We aren’t quite there yet, but soon we will need some people who can move things around, take things to recycling or St. Vinnie’s or the dump, and sort and organize. So keep us in mind. Meanwhile, many of you could pick up your loaned tools (if you can find them). Except the clamps. Don’t take those away! They are essential for building the clouds. And the sewing scissors, too. But hammers, circular saws, and some of those things could be going any time now.

We need a volunteer with good retail skills for returning things. As we try to clean up and organize, the pillars have found items that could be returned to Jerry’s, Home Depot, and other retailers. Unfortunately we do not have the receipts or invoices for most of these things. We need someone who can take them to customer service and exercise persistence, charm, negotiation skills, and get us refunds or credits.

Reminder: The person who reserves building space for a meeting is responsible for locking up the building, if it ends when staff is not present. There is a set of lock-up instructions hanging by the kitchen door. It is very complete and thorough, and it is also critical. Please be sure the building is secure.

There were raccoon tracks in the third and seventh seas (the swales) this morning. We have more neighbors than we knew. Several volunteers worked on creating the as-built irrigation system plan, working toward a guide to the irrigation system that will show where faucets and cut-off valves can be found, which program controls which sprinklers, and so on. Our Boadicea of Baseboards felt a need to get outside for a while and pulled a bucket of weeds. She reported that it felt really good.

Quotes of the Day:

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” –The Dalai Lama XIV

“Pulling weeds is fun!” –Our Boadicea


A small test corner                                      Make sharp edges and corners

aug26 test corner-t

aug26 sharp edges-t







28 days to September 23

Thirteen for dinner last Friday.

Last week at the church we saw progress in the kitchen. New plumbing in the new wall (on the north side of the back room, the dishwasher room, between the kitchen and the old boiler room) to accommodate the new dishwasher and old sink. The new plumbing includes a new grease trap sunk into the floor. There is also plumbing in the floor on the south side of that room, and we have two new floor drains. They look like little foot washing sinks. Should be handy for religious rituals in the kitchen. The old stainless counter/sink has been replaced approximately where it was, and the new dishwasher is where the old Universal (the Hosea Ballou dishwasher) used to be. None of this is actually installed yet. Pipes are not attached, the counter is not attached to the wall. In fact there isn’t a wall, just studs, so far. But these pieces are approximately in place and you can see how wonderful this kitchen is going to be. A pass-through has been cut into the wall between the social hall and the dishwasher area, so dirty dishes can go straight onto the counter and into the dishwasher.

aug26 cloud going up-tSeveral clouds have been covered with fabric. The process for covering them may not be final yet. I would say we are at about the Mark Five level for cloud systems, or maybe Mark Ten. (Far beyond Mark Twain, though he would have written a fabulous story about what we have done.) The new and improved process when I left the building was to stretch the fabric very carefully, using clamps and specially planed boards, locate the cloud on it making sure it is centered, mark the corners and holes, remove the cloud, spray the fabric with contact cement, drop the cloud gently into place, remove the clamps, and then start the process of wrapping the edges and gluing with hot glue. However, in the intervening days, that system may have             (Photo above: one cloud going up.)
been superseded.

The hot glue is very hot. One volunteer did a notable Hot Glue Dance when it got on her hand.

Our locks of love volunteer worked on the accessible bathroom door, installing a lock and handle system that will be really sweet. When I left it was all done but making a hole in the jamb for the bolt, so I imagine it is ready this morning.

The automatic irrigation system was turned off when I took a look at it Friday. From the looks of the plants, we lost one or two watering cycles. Some of the plants are looking a little crispy. They had extra hand watering on Friday and the system should take it from here, as long as it isn’t turned off again. Some of the native plants are coming up from the roots. The osoberry (Indian plum) look battered but they have large, healthy, green shoots coming from the base of the plant.

Quotes of the Day: From the Jade Palace fortune cookies:

“You will do well to work as a team in the coming week.”

“You should be able to complete anything you undertake.”

“Keep up the good work. You will be rewarded within the coming month.”

Wednesday through Friday:

In the kitchen — did you think we were finished with floors?

aug27 kitchen floors-t








The Brute…                                                               …for the kitchen floor

aug24 brute-t

aug24 kitchen floor-t







“as built” plan                                                   New pass thru for dirty dishes.
New pipes in wall & floor.

aug24 as built plan-t

aug24 new pass thru-t






Foot washing sink for Lenten UU ritual.

                New grease trap.

aug24 new drain-t

aug24 new grease trap-t






Mark and Judy admire the grease trap.

aug24 admiring grease trap-t







Our dishwasher! 

….hmmm, puzzling…..

aug24 dishwasher-t

aug24 dishwasher puzzling-t







           I see you!

aug24 dishwasher i see you-t








While work on the clouds continues:

      Fabric panels cut.                                       One panel glued and one panel getting ready.
aug24 one glued one ready-taug24 fabric panels cut-t






Place the panel on the glued fabric                               Wrap and glue…..

aug24 placing panel-t

aug24 wrap and glue-t







Adjust the corner carefully…..                                        Glue the corner just so…….

aug24 adjust corner carefully-t

aug24 glue corner just so-t





Wonderful scissors!                                                 Stretching the fabric before glueing

aug24 wonderful scissors-t

aug24 stretching fabric-t






One panel done!

aug24 panel done-t








While on the IT agenda:        Information transfer.

aug24 info transfer-t








30 days to September 23

It’s Friday. Dinner tonight at Jade Palace, 906 W. 7th, just west of the corner of 7th and Blair, at 5:30.

Jade Palace is owned by a local family that is generally agreed to be among the nicest people. Come meet them.

You will then be in terrific position to drop by the Eugene Celebration, which starts this evening. See you there?

I don’t know what’s going on at the building. Maybe we can all find out at dinner.

However did Judie Hansen do it? She wrote every day, found something to say, always knew what was going on, never forgot to remind us about Friday dinner.

Give her a pat on the back next chance you get.


32 days to September 23

Turn off the scissors machine. Glub Glub Glub. Thanks to all of you who brought in good scissors. They are very useful.

An off-site team worked on cutting the cloud fabric to the size of the panels, labeling, rolling, wrapping and transporting it. About a third of the fabric panels have been cut. At the building, the drywall contractors worked on the two end bays of the sanctuary, which look great. Others worked on the wrapping and gluing process. They seem to have figured out a system so now we need two or three people to work as a team to wrap the fabric onto the panels. It doesn’t involve serious lifting or strenuous work, but it does involve hot glue guns and those wonderful fabric scissors. Since most of us get tired after a few hours, we could use three teams a day to keep the clouds going.

Others worked on the kitchen. The wall behind where the old dishwasher used to be had to come out (photo below) so the new dishwasher and three compartment sink can go in. They are too large to go through the doors. Plumbing cuts were made in the floor. You’ll be seeing a commercial kitchen pretty soon.

aug23 sink wall out-t


aug22 demoltion-t













Yesterday and today were busy with the HVAC system. Some things have been learned about the air conditioning units; they were shipped differently than any other unit anyone has ever heard of. Multiple calls to the supplier finally resulted in information about what had to be done to get them to work. It seems maybe only one person there actually knew how they were set up for shipping; the first several people gave the standard (wrong, in this case) answer. There are issues with some of the sensors, which were installed according to plan and specs but some of which may in fact be the wrong unit. Progress is being made in sorting all this out, but it will take a little while.

A two-person team worked on creating an “as built” electrical plan. We know where the blueprint says the circuits go and what the switches control. Is that all correct? That involves a lot of back and forth, switching and outlet testing.

aug24 test and mark-t


Others provided food and cleaned up after, cleaned up and organized recycling and trash, cleaned stickers and signs off reused doors and cabinets, and organized tools and supplies. Yesterday a team moved mirrors into the rooms where they will eventually be attached to the walls. I have been told that weeding opportunities are available.


How many doors was that?

aug23 how many doors-t


Dinner on Friday will be at Jade Palace, 906 West 7th Avenue, just west of the corner of 7th and Blair. Starts at 5:30.

Quote of the day:

“Anyone who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind’s eye quite as much as of the bodily eye. He who remembers this when he sees any one whose vision is perplexed and weak, will not be too ready to laugh; he will first ask whether that soul of man has come out of the brighter light, and is unable to see because unaccustomed to the dark, or having turned from darkness to the day is dazzled by excess of light.” –Plato, The Republic.

OK, now the real quote of the day (when told to me, described as the quote – and story – of the week):

“Oy veh.”

33 days to September 23

We purchased a drywall lift for use at the project: it is a yellow metal device, somewhat spidery, on three wheels with a crank on the side. It folds up into two bundles about five feet long. Does anyone know where it went? We bought it with the understanding the previous owner would have the option to purchase it back, and we and he would like to do that but first we have to find it. Maybe someone is storing it? Or put it in some place we haven’t looked?

I haven’t heard from anyone about sharp sewing scissors or similar implements, so I guess we’ll have to buy some.

The mechanical (soon to be maintenance) room floor grinding has continued. Other touch-up work continues. RE is trying to figure out how to move in, and still have the rooms as available as possible for rental. Our volunteer rental administrator is busy all the time.

Cutting the covering material for the clouds continues. Work continues to develop the wrapping system. The fabric has been cut to wrap the clouds that will be over light fixtures, so when we get those wrapped, we can have the electrician put up the sanctuary lights. We need some volunteers to work on the clouds.

We have 66 clouds. I think that makes them 10% of a Beast.

Quote of the Day:

Regarding the old church sign bench, placed outside the kitchen door: “I saw people sitting on it. It is like seeing the first birds come to your feeder.”

34 days until September 23

Work on the clouds continues. The pillars ask could we get the loan of two pairs of good fabric scissors, or good fabric “pizza cutters,” or scalpels or really sharp Exacto knives.

Actually I added all the last. They asked for two good pairs of scissors and say they will have them sharpened and return them sharp after the clouds are finished. It is just me, here, thinking if you have one of those other things you could also bring it in. The clouds are a work in progress and I am not totally certain what is going to be the best way to wrap them. Bits will have to be cut for the brackets, the sprinkler heads, the electric outlets, the lights, and who knows what else?

Our Quilter is cutting the fabric to wrap the clouds. We need to train several, perhaps three or four, teams of two to wrap the clouds and cut the necessary holes. Then they will need to be returned to the ceiling. Today a volunteer was taking clouds down and painting the screws and the aluminum brackets grey (two coats, first a primer and then grey) so the screws and brackets will disappear when the clouds are wrapped and put back up.

We could use quite a few volunteers for these projects. Someone to go up on the lift and remove clouds, others on the floors to paint brackets and screw heads, some to wrap the clouds in fabric and glue the fabric on the edges…. This is another skill building opportunity.

This morning, contractors were on site working on HVAC and electronics. I’m not totally sure what they were doing but it involved low voltage wires and setting up a computer to manage the HVAC system, I think. The computer is basically set up but not all units are working yet.

It is time to get on the cleanup of the tool area, the space south of the sanctuary. We need someone with construction understanding who has a general idea of what to keep and what to toss, with a sense of organization, who can work with others to organize the space. The general outlines of what should go in there are present, but there is a lot of clean up and organization to do.

The Transition Task Force met tonight. Work continues on how to get the information we need into the congregation, so that we can run the building after Ed and Mark leave. There are issues about the shared use of space: how do we use rooms both for RE classrooms and for rentals? What should our rental policies be? We would love to make our space available to groups in alignment with our values and we also have a $10.000 a month mortgage. Where is the balance?

Our volunteer rental administrator submitted the application to the county to get us certified as a commercial kitchen. This should be really good for rentals, and does not seem to have adverse effects on our uses. It expands rather than limits. It would be great if a bunch of congregants could take the on line test to get the food handler permit. (Questions such as, I go the bathroom. What do I need to do next?) OK, some are a little more difficult than that, but not much. We are working on an expanded kitchen committee. It shouldn’t change the Sunday morning much (you don’t need a food handler’s permit to make coffee or wash dishes), but we need to have people available for more involved events.

A forest of screws are being painted white…..                … two coats.

aug20 white screws-t

aug20 two coats-t





Remember that 1000 or so little brackets?
We cut the aluminum, drilled holes in it, and
attached each bracket. Now Jon is painting
their ends white……..                                               and then grey.

aug20 brackets-t

aug20 brackets grey-t






36 days until September 23

Yesterday, six volunteers signed in, one helping in the kitchen, others working on clouds, clean up, maintenance room, and “odd (but not weird) jobs”.

Thirteen had dinner together at Yi Shen.

The Sheetrock is mostly up on the east end of the sanctuary, on the “hail clouds.” The crew will move to the west end on Monday.

Numerous cabinets have been moved and rearranged on the north side of the building. The floor in the old boiler room, soon to be the maintenance room, has been roughly ground. Cabinets will be moved in there some day soon. The bench made from the old church sign has been moved to the newly cleared spot outside the kitchen door.

When I stopped by late in the day, the two pillars were building what they solemnly averred is a ping pong table. Actually, I am pretty sure it is a table on which to wrap clouds with fabric. The fabric arrived and was delivered to The Quilters, who are working on carefully cutting the large pieces. I believe there will be a cloud wrapping test run early next week.

The workers drink a lot of water in this heat. It would be helpful if people could bring in large bottles of juice, lemonade, iced tea, etc. People drink more liquid when they have flavor choices. You could leave them in the kitchen on Sunday, saving yourself a special trip. (Just mark them for the workers, so they don’t all get used at the reception.) The Sunday service will feature our new interim minister, the Rev. Don Rollins, in words and music. Margaret Keip, a prior interim, will also participate. There will be a little reception for Rev. Rollins after the service, Sounds like the place to be tomorrow!

38 days to September 23

The cloud frames are all up. Next is corner bead, to be put on the hail clouds, and then Sheetrock on them.

A volunteer took apart the doghouse outside the kitchen door. It is now an open sidewalk space.

Other volunteers worked on cleaning out the RE materials which, after the move from 40th, were left in the east hallway. There is more stuff there than we have room to store, and everyone who looks at it agrees that we don’t need it all. The process of deciding what should stay and what will go is starting.

Planning for the maintenance room continued today. Tomorrow we hope to grind the floor in that area (the old boiler room), not the seventy-zillion grinds as in the rest of the building, but just to smooth it out. Then we will need people to move cabinets. If you can move file cabinets and other cabinets on a dolly, come on over. The plan is to move everything that is outside on the north side of the building. Not sure where it is going, but we will need people to move it.

The sprinklers were adjusted today. There is more outside work to do, also.

Dinner at Yi Shen at 5:30 on Friday. On 11th about two blocks west of Chambers on the south side of the street. If you miss the driveway, turn at the next corner and come back in the alley to the restaurant parking lot.

I have a winner for dinner next week (TBA tomorrow night), and we can consider whether we want to continue dinners into September and, if so, where.

Quotes of the day:

To invoke solely the weaker arguments and yet triumph is an art worth more than a hundred thousand drachmae. — ARISTOPHANES, The Clouds

Times change. The vices of your age are stylish today. — ARISTOPHANES, The Clouds



We need a computer.  Actually we need two computers. but we need one right away to run the HVAC system.  As long as it is in reasonable working order, age and condition are not important.  It could be a laptop or a desk top.  Apparently the system requires a dedicated computer to work.

If you have one, give me a call and I’ll come pick it up and ferry it to the building.

The second computer need is for one for our construction pillars.  It would be nice if they had one newer and more reliable than the four-or-more-year-old laptops they use now.  Again, if you can help with this, let me know.

This group has an amazing way of coming through, so let’s see what pops up here.

Seems to me that if none of you has an old computer sitting around, maybe one of you has the skills and ability to join me at Next Step and help me figure out what to buy to accomplish this.  I’m open to that, also, but I would need knowledgeable help.  I love Next Step and their used equipment but am not tech-savvy enough to make the best use of it.


Gretchen Miller

40 days until September 23

That was enough time for Moses… no, that was 40 years. It was enough for Noah, though.

I learned that our Salem connection came while I was out of town, bringing his minister, and they painted all of Room 5 that can be reached without the scissor lift. Looks terrific! George introduced himself as “Tom Sawyer” while explaining how he brought the minister with him.

Yesterday many, if not most, of the regular suspects were working on the Sheetrock clouds and on other finishing touches. The rigid insulation clouds are built and up, but not covered with fabric. The fabric has been ordered and should arrive this week. The Quilter will cut it, and then the rigid insulation clouds will come down and be elegantly swathed in fabric. I am sure there will be volunteer opportunities for people comfortable working with fabric.

The east and west bays of the sanctuary ceiling will have different clouds. These will have Sheetrock instead of rigid insulation. They will be similar, though, in that they have frames that fit the spaces on the ceiling,and the Sheetrock will sit in those frames. Yesterday it was suggested that these be known as the “hail clouds,” perhaps because they are hard like hail, or perhaps because building the clouds has been “hard as hail.” The hail cloud frames were built yesterday: each frame is measured and cut and fabricated; a thin long Sheetrock strip is nailed all around the edges, and then corner bead is stapled around all the edges. When I left, only the very last bit was unfinished on the last frame, so today I expect they are putting them on the ceiling.

Others did touch-up painting, touch-up baseboard work, and work on the transfer of information from the construction team to the church team (40 days!). Last Saturday a county public health official toured the kitchen and reviewed the plans, and had a positive response. We can use our existing refrigerators. We are on track to be certified as a commercial kitchen (rather than a catering kitchen). The three compartment sink, commercial dishwasher, and separate hand washing station are key here. We could use some volunteers who get themselves food handler permits who will sometimes be available to supervise the kitchen. The food handler permit process can be done entirely on line: study the materials and pass the test.

The Building Transition Task Force met last night and worked on more transition issues. The Rev. Don (“Call Me Don”) Rollins attended and made himself useful from the get-go. He has experience with the same and similar issues in other locations.

BEST (or BEAST, whichever you prefer) teams are being designated. That would be Building Environment and Systems Teams. The idea is to have a few church members who understand each of the systems of this complex building who will be able to troubleshoot, reset equipment, and know who to call if necessary. Team captains are working to comprehend their systems.

The Task Force discussed other important but sort of boring matters like building security: who gets keys, how do we ensure the building is locked and the alarms set, when will the alarms be activated. How will security work when we are renting space to groups with no church member present.

A volunteer has an eight page list of items to finish after the construction team leaves. There are things to do in every room, hallway and space, as well as everywhere outside. The Task Force will be working on prioritizing and attaching cost estimates to that list.

Of course, money was discussed at length. Bottom line, so to speak, is that we are still in fund-raising mode, that we are are confident we will have the final occupancy permit by September 23, and that we still don’t have quite enough money to do that but we are counting on all of us to pull through. Fiscal management has been careful throughout the process. We have never bounced a check. We have never spent more money than we had. All bills have been paid in a timely fashion. Just what that means varies depending on the circumstances: some have been paid on presentation, some have been disputed or negotiated, payment on some has been delayed pending completion of the work, and occasionally it has taken a week or even, rarely, two weeks, to get the check in the mail. But they have taken good care of the money and the money team will continue to do so. Apparently rumors are flying (no one ever tells me anything so I never hear the good rumors) about money. Don’t believe everything you hear, or everything you think. Believe me instead. If anyone has concerns and questions about the accounting or the spreadsheet, or wants specific rumor-puncturing, Phyllis, our treasurer, is available to sit down with you and go over the data. Then you too can become someone people can trust. It would help if people could try to avoid spreading unfounded rumors.

Where should we go for dinner this Friday? How did Ring of Fire work out?
I like that we’re using all this crappy wood.
This has been in this building for 50 years

and is just changing position.                                     Small dedicated cloud building team.

aug13 scrappy wood-t

aug13 small dedicated-t





                                                                  Frames for sheetrock for the end bays.
                                                                  The end bays of the sanctuary get Sheetrock
                                                                  (wallboard) clouds instead of insulation.
need different frames.Step one:build

 Touchup painting.

aug13 touchup paint-t






Step 2:attach little bitty pieces of sheetrock.

aug13 sheetrock step2-t






Step 3: attach metal corner bead to the frame and sheetrock

aug13 sheetrock step3-t














42 days to September 23

Returning from a few days out of town, I was pleased to see progress on the “clouds.”  All of the panels are up in both the social hall and the sanctuary.  Remember, they will be coming down eventually to be covered with fabric.  I understand the fabric has been ordered.  The cutting and fitting will be a big job.  A start has been made on the frames that will go around the sheetrock on the east end of the sanctuary.  At the east and west end bays, sheetrock will replace the rigid insulation, for better sound quality.

I noticed that some of the risers had been put together and the minister and worship associate were uplifted, resulting in greater visibility.  Two large and quite lovely plants also graced the stage.

While I was away, baseboard/cove molding was installed and the sanctuary beams were given a final touch-up sanding.  They look terrific!

Also while I was away, one of the pillars injured his knee, so we now have a gimpy pillar to lean on.  We are all hoping it is not serious and that he will still be able to work, but only if it doesn’t aggravate the injury.

I understand there were few volunteers last week, and we could have used more.  Some days it is spooky quiet.  I know it is hot, and it is vacation time (the coast was lovely, thanks), and sometimes it is not totally clear what task has your name on it, but we really need more people to show up and help.  We have a limited time to get our occupancy permit and to finish as much as we can in the building, so if you can, please stop by.

I hope I will hear more news tomorrow; if so I will pass it along to you.
Where are all the volunteers?!
Well, that’s Eric entering stage left with a ladder. He’s working on “as built ”
electrical plans. Judy S is in a meeting. The others?

aug12 where are volunteers-t









48 days to September 23
The clouds continue to form on the ceiling of the social hall.  The process is intricate, detailed and painstaking, and every day there are more panels up and fewer blank spaces to fill.  Work on the range hood continued, also.  That is another job with multiple parts, some inside the building, some outside, and lots of little bits that all must come together.

Meanwhile, a volunteer cleared out room 5;  it looks as if it is now available for meetings.  Another started cleaning the RE chairs, the little plastic ones, with Simple Green, water, and rags.  There are lots more chairs to clean if you have energy for that.  Our faithful floor grinder worked on cleaning the white deposit off the office floor, washing it with a baking powder solution.  There is more of that work also, best done when the office is not in use.

Work is starting on the transition to management of this complex building by the church, rather than by the construction team.  Very soon we will be responsible for setting up, running, adjusting, troubleshooting, all these systems.  It isn’t a moment too soon to get ready for that change.

Another group is starting to identify team captains to oversee volunteers to work with the major components of the building, and to create a list of construction projects that will need to be done after we get the occupancy permit, to finish the building and grounds.  You’ll hear more about this.

I will be out of town for a few days.  Dinner Friday at Ring of Fire, 13th and Chambers, at 5:30.

Photo Interlude…..


Chuck in the newly furnished rec room (basement).
The room is not quite finished but obviously useable.               The other pool table.
aug6 rec room-taug6 other pool table-t







Demolition never ends.                                            The range vent.

aug6 demolition unending-t

aug6 range vent-t










Leftover duct insulation scrap….any solar oven tinkerers?                   More floor goo.

aug6 duct work scraps-t

aug6 floor goo-t







aug6 floor goo yuck-t






Last of the concrete pours.                                         Don’t Even Think of walking there.

aug6 last concrete-t

aug6 dont walk-t





Ground cover–evergreen creeping raspberry (thornless).          The Sultana of Swales

aug6 ground cover-t

aug6 sultana-t







49 days to September 23

I thought the sound was softer and better at church this morning. I could hear every word and everyone I asked said the same. I was also told that the telecoil system is working well. The air conditioning system is not quite finished and must be turned on manually, so if you noticed better air circulation part way through the service, that would be the reason. I think the building stays marvelously cool even without air conditioning. I am loving the skylights. How about you?

The acoustic panels/clouds are up in the sanctuary and the social hall clouds are fairly near completion. A couple of wonderful teams of volunteers have learned to fabricate the panels in assembly line style. As we have noticed before, we get pretty good at a chore about the time it is finished and we get to learn something new.

An amazing all purpose volunteer has shifted from tiling to irrigation to, now, the range hood. I can imagine the kitchen coming together soon. Landscaping work has also continued. Kudos to the volunteers who ran the weed eater for hours in the heat last week. The Sultana has kept plants alive despite the weather and keeps providing beauty on a budget. The Boadicea of Baseboards has nearly finished the cove molding/baseboards, with the usual caveat that she keeps finding little places that were missed or that need adjustment. Last week we moved a lot of shelving, mirrors, the big glass doors from the clinic, and more so she could get to another wall.

It seems to me there are a lot of new people every Sunday, more than there ever used to be. Part of the reason must be the amazing energy the building radiates. Dozens of people have gotten to know each other as one only can through prolonged work side by side, and the can-do attitude, the we’ve-done-it-and-we-can-do-it-again attitude, is infectious. The church, with the congregation in it, just feels good these days.

I’m thinking about Friday dinner at Ring of Fire this week. A rotating feast would give us a chance to visit a number of restaurants in our new neighborhood, and we might find some new favorites. There were about a dozen for dinner at Yi Shen last Friday and most attendees liked the food a lot. What do you think?



52 days to September 23

The sanctuary looks and sounds so different with the acoustic panels (clouds) up. All the panels are up. They will come down again soon to be covered with fabric so the black look now is temporary, though some have said they would like it to stay. The clouds are assembling in the social hall, with some skilled and energetic professionals on the scaffolds and skilled and dedicated volunteers on the ground. I look forward to hearing how music sounds on Sunday. I know the place looks much neater with building components covered up (the clouds are both acoustic panels and also cover the HVAC ducts, wiring, sprinkler system, speakers, and other less than sightly essentials).

People continue with the chores as before: clouds, baseboards, landscape, food, recycling, cleanup. Our reliable Salem volunteer has offered to come down for another day to paint. We need touch-up painting in various rooms. There is plenty of work still to do.

I received a capital campaign letter today and I assume most of you also did. It repeated information from the Sunday Town Hall meeting, so if you missed that (or if somehow you may have forgotten a detail), be sure to read the letter carefully. We still need both money and volunteers to get to occupancy, and then more money and more work to actually finish the building. We are so close! But not quite done. So many have been so generous with time, expertise, and money, and we need another stretch now.

Dinner Friday evening at Yi Shen, on West 11th across the street from St. V de P, a couple of blocks west of Chambers on the north side of the street. See you there!



August 1, 2012 WEDNESDAY
53 days to September 23


What you see when you come in the south entrance…..

aug1 door inscript-t

Banana Bandana….or…. the angry dust cloth……..    and: the range hood series:

aug1 banana bandana-t

aug1 range hood series-t





The range hood going up.                                            “Home on the…….”

aug1 range hood-t

aug1 home on the-t







aug1 range-t






aug1 range hood installation-t





This is part of the old vent frame, found too close to the stove vent. That’s char!

aug1 old vent frame-t



aug1 liftwork-t

aug1 last sanc cloud-t







Last cloud in the Sanctuary. With this, all
the panels are up in the Sanctuary. Social Hall tomorrow? Sheetrock still to go, too.

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