Renovating our new church is a labor of love, recycling/reusing, and massive volunteer effort by members, friends and even out of town visitors!

There is a job for every skill level.  
Find out how you can volunteer with us!

janwilling sands bea487aa3






Over 13,477 volunteer hours
Over 4,854 people collectively signed-in
More than 270 individual volunteers


Contact our Volunteer Coordinator
Judy Sawyer

• The majority of the demolition and construction work has been done with volunteer labor (except where there is asbestos, and some electrical, mechanical and the kitchen), day in and day out, since August.

• The volunteers and paid crews are all fed and watered by the generous daily contributions of food by church members and friends, sitting around what we call “Mama’s table”.

• Volunteers don safety glasses, gloves, ear protection, and sturdy shoes (no sandals). There is a job for every skill level. Not all of them involve heavy tools, lifting or being in the middle of the demolition. There is paperwork, nail pulling, dismantling theatre seats, deciphering old blueprints identifying and labeling electrical circuits and many small tasks. People donate an hour, a day, or everyday.

• It is estimated that 85% of the materials removed from the building have been recycled or reused.



DAY #501

2 Volunteers
1 Construction Consultant
1 Visitor

It was a quiet day at the BUUB except for the roar of the portable furnace outside the project office. Despite all the noise from the furnace, at one point there was a loud knock, sounding like someone was pounding on the north door, trying to get in – but the north door was unlocked. Finally, the occupants looked up at the skylight opening — and there was the culprit — yet another crow, hammering away.

Mark Doonan and Ed Zack were on the job from 8 AM to 5 PM, organizing tools and materials, along with the assembly of documentations and reports. This kind of work never ends. I was there twice, once for a strategy session and once, along with my husband Ed, to collect the news of the day.

QUOTES OF THE DAY:“That’s why I can’t find a copy of that document…. I didn’t print it out.” (how many times has that happened to all of us?)

“My feet are cold.”


Thanks to Gil Osgood for sharing our MOMENT OF UUCE HISTORY..a great way to welcome the New Year. This is one of many entries that will be published in our church history in conjunction with occupying our new church building:

19. Ida Patterson (38; b OR, 19 Feb 1866; d 28 Jul 1944). Ida Patterson was the third of the five Patterson children. She taught in Eugene schools for more than 50 years. She was the first principal of the school named for her father and later principal of Washington Grade School. In an editorial after her death she was described as follows:

“Eugene’s Ida Patterson belongs to that rare company of true teachers….. Her preference was to work with the very young, the youngsters in the primary grades. To these formative minds she imparted much more than the very necessary ‘three R’s’; she gave them an attitude toward life, an essential understanding of the difference between right and wrong, a feeling for the obligations of loyalty and duty….. Those who went to ‘school to Ida Patterson’ were fortunate beyond measure….. She was a great teacher – strong, gentle, wise. She endures in a thousand lives.”[1]

Ida Patterson Elementary School which stood for 47 years on W 15th Avenue was named for her. Ida Patterson was a member of the Board Trustees.

[1] Register Guard, July 30th, 1944, p 4

52. A. C. Patterson (73; b Iowa, Sep 1837; d 14 Feb 1916) Amanda C. Olinger was just six years old in 1843 when she arrived in the Willamette Valley with the very first wagon train to make it to the Oregon Territory. She married Dr. Andrew W. Patterson (b PA; Oct 4, 1814; d Dec. 20, 1904), a physician, on the 4th of July, 1859, the year that Oregon became a state and died on the 57th anniversary of that statehood. In between these dates, she had born eight children, five of whom lived to adulthood. There was no hospital in Eugene in the early days so patients who needed constant attention were moved into the Patterson’s home where Amanda nursed them. Her obituary described her as a “staunch woman and an excellent housewife.” Three of her daughters, her son-in-law and three grandsons were also charter members of the church. The value that the Pattersons put on education can be seen in the fact that all three of these daughters were graduates of the University of Oregon.

Andrew W. Patterson came across the plains in 1852 with a party of five on horseback. He may have been the first Unitarian in Eugene. Finding little demand at first for his medical services, he became a surveyor and in 1854 laid out the first streets in Eugene. He helped bring the University of Oregon to Eugene and was the first Superintendent of Schools. Patterson Street was named after him as was the old Patterson school which once stood on the northwest corner of 13th and Alder streets, a site now occupied by a Sacred Heart Hospital parking lot.


DAY #500

9 Volunteers
1 Contract Electrician
1 Construction Consultant
2 Visitors

New sign-in sheets for 2012 were delivered today. And look what day it is in our major countdown: Day #500! Someone who visited recently said she was so discouraged that we have so far to go to occupancy. That’s not really so true – all of the west end is sheet-rocked and painted and lacks only doors on the rooms – there is the small matter of restrooms, but even that will not take that much time to complete. And the Fire Marshall told us yesterday that we can close everything up on the west side except the south entrance and the storage area. They are held up because the fire suppression system is not installed. The tile work and floor grinding will begin within the next two weeks.

Despite the torrential rain in Eugene about 1 PM and the accumulation of over three inches in the past 36 hours, we have no major leaks today. There are several pinprick holes in the plastic covers for the skylights, but they are all in the middle so no water damage to the walls. All good news.

The electrician installed a light switch just inside the north entrance by the kitchen. No more need for a flashlight to find your way to the kitchen! Just to the right of the door, about chest high, is a very nice switch with three buttons – and when you push all three there are lights in the sanctuary, halls, and social hall. It is absolutely wonderful! Let’s give the electrician a hug!

One volunteer was at home bidding on a scissor lift on eBay and at the last possible moment managed to give the closing bid………but alas…..then was notified that the item was withdrawn….boo hoo…..he is getting to the bottom of it. He has been diligently watching for one to come up for bid for months. What a guy!

We have a few comedians in our midst who like to put fun things on the sign-in sheet. Of course one who is there every day simply writes MUD in all caps. Another one wrote: “Putzing and Productivity” — which I think was putting more sheetrock in the sound booth. In addition to those comments, I learned that the Doorman applied putty, sanded, and then painted door frames, while another volunteer caulked baseboards. There was more paperwork and organizing in the project office.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:“We have a new light switch. You don’t have to walk around in the dark any more!”

DAY #499

10 Volunteers
1 Contract Electrician
1 Construction Consultant
4 Visitors

I find that many people drop in and never sign in when they do. By necessity, I usually add them as visitors unless when I talk to them they tell me they worked on something specific. Today one of the contractors who did work several months ago stopped by to be paid before the end of the year. He fit on no particular category for my list. We have found that listing the number of contractors, days of inspections, etc., has been useful because we have gone back to these reports many times to verify when something did or did not happen.

The holiday tree is no more. It got chopped into smaller and smaller pieces and then was taken out of the building in one wheelbarrow load after another. Ten loads piled high. How many Unitarian Universalists does it take to dismantle a tree? If you count those who removed all the lights and ornaments, along with those who clipped and hauled — EIGHT…..

Sheetrock was installed in the sound booth and this job was documented on the sign in sheet as “adjusting.” The Michelangelo Mudder worked in the social hall. There was sweeping inside and more cleanup of the parking lot. Looking Glass School must be getting closer to opening – they had about 15 cars in their parking lot this afternoon at 3 PM.

The recycling guru did more organizing….lots of little parts. We have thirteen sizes of sandpaper! The Doorman was cutting frames into smaller sizes and was kidded that he was “jamming with a ‘b’. He normally volunteers only on Tuesday and Friday, but has been there every day this week, despite at times having neither lights or power in his work room. Now that is dedication! I also haven’t mentioned that one volunteer has stopped by every afternoon to check on the kitchen and wash dishes, put away food, etc.

There will be NO Chinese dinner tomorrow night. I did a little asking around and there didn’t seem to be enough people interested or available this week.

QUOTES OF THE DAY:“Do you know how many miscellaneous parts there are in this building that need to be sorted and stored?”

“The chocolate pretzels are gone!” “But there is a tasty carrot cake.” “There are no more peanut butter maracas.” “I can hardly wait for the Break Room Dancers to come back. We miss them.”

DAY #498

15 Volunteers
1 Fire Marshall
1 Contract Electrician
1 Construction Consultant
3 Contract Carpenters
2 Visitors

Good grief – look at the list. This is an “officially” closed day! The constant rain resulted in a number of leaks where crow pecking created holes in the plastic covering the skylights. Mark Doonan put out the call for reinforcements and several people arrived to spend several hours on the roof. When I stopped by about 5 PM two were sitting in the kitchen wrapped in various lengths of cloth for added warmth. Their clothes were soaking wet! Now that is dedication.

Two of the carpenters simply stopped by because they missed being at the BUUB! Thanks to the diligence of the volunteers, the sign-in sheet was full of comments about work done. Longest time worked – 5.75 hours – least – 20 minutes. The entries follow:

Roof patch and skylight repair
Vacuumed and prepared baseboards
Paint three door frames
Un-trimming Tree
Insulation – Yeah!!!
Kitchen cleanup
Collect information

Not mentioned was the organizing of tools and materials in the storage room. I forgot to look at the tree to see how much progress was made, but I did hear that a few limbs were clipped after the ornaments and lights were removed.

The Fire Marshall declared that we can cover up all the pipes that have been installed for the sprinkler system in the southeast portion of the building. That will make everyone happy – more work.

QUOTES OF THE DAY: Volunteer walks into the kitchen with a bucket marked “Flex Grip”.

“What is this? It has a brush stuck in it, is it still good? ” “It is Flex Grip and it is great stuff.”

While attempting to remove the lid, the brush broke off at the handle. It was given a sniff test. It did not smell bad. The lower part of the brush was in liquid and was still usable.

Next, the volunteer walks in with a roll of rubber baseboard and asked where it should be filed.

“Under B for Baseboard.”

Next the volunteer walks in with a cage shoplight found in the trash, no bulb. “Should I keep this virtual light?” “Yes, put it with the extension cords.”

A curved wooden yoke thing was brought out – “Is it a whoopee cushion? It could be used as a rocking seat. Make a good stock, like in Williamsburg when you were bad.” Truth be told, it is a spare part of the theater seats left by the Scottish Rite. I saved several of them because they are perfect for winding up long extension cords and keeping them neat and tidy.

DAY #497

7 Volunteers
1 Construction Consultant
1 Contract Electrician
5 Visitors

The electrician was working in the attic, connecting wiring to HVAC units. The Michelangelo Mudder continued mudding drywall in the social hall while the Doorman completed one frame and applied putty to three more. One volunteer installed a little sheetrock and swept the parking lot. Another installed baseboard backing.

You have heard of money laundering? We experienced a little of that at the BUUB. I had written a check last week that inadvertently got “deposited” in a washing machine and dryer.

Two moms brought their adult children for tours to show off our Beautiful Unitarian Universalist Building….Several people met to discuss contractor relations and do paperwork. A large bowl of chocolate covered pretzels arrived.

Help is sought to dismantle the holiday tree. All the ornaments need to be removed and put into the storage boxes, and then the limbs trimmed and cleaned up. It requires scissor lift and ladder work. Last year I called one of the volunteer groups that picks up trees and made a monetary donation. This year the material could be delivered to a yard waste recycling facility by someone with a pickup truck or trailer.

QUOTES OF THE DAY:“I am wondering if you would be willing to write me another check? I put the one you gave me in a shirt pocket and it went through the wash……I found the remains in the lint trap!”


From Gretchen Miller and Sarah Hendrickson – 12-25-11

“We spent a night at a campground at the Salton Sea. In the morning I counted (without even looking hard) 92 black crowned night herons roosting in the shrubby trees near the shore.

Later, as we walked along the “beach,” we saw one BCNH walking from the water toward the trees. He looked like an old man, slowly walking with his neck hunched between his shoulders/wings–all he needed was a cane.

Salton Sea is a weird place. The “beach” is made of uncountable millions of barnacle shells, which crunch as you walk along among the uncountable carcasses of dead fish in every stage of old-deadness, from fairly recent to just a few scales and bones. And lots of birds.”

DAY #496

But a little sleuthing found

1 Construction Consultant
1 Personal Computer Retriever
2 UUCE Members who brought
2 UU relatives visiting for Christmas
1 Clean Up and Building Checker
Plus Me and My Long Suffering Husband

The Project Office had a complete transformation! When we walked into the room I thought I was in the wrong place. Walking down the hall I found a metal desk on its back, an office chair that I knew had some flaws, and the plastic cover for a fluorescent light fixture. The office itself was neat and tidy – all of the building plans hung snugly on the wall. The high counters normally covered with papers, notebooks, building materials, tools, nails, pencils, and building plans were bare and dusted. A clean towel covered the printer, and the Inbox had a nice stack of filing. This was definitely a WOW! Thanks Mark.


First Parish Nativity: A Tradition 50 Years in the Making

Every year since he was just a boy, 58-year-old Billy Hobbs, now of Wells, has been a part of the Nativity pageant at First Parish church in Portland, Maine.

PORTLAND — Nearly a half-century ago, Billy Hobbs dressed up as little St. John and performed for the first time in the Pageant of the Nativity at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church.

On December 18, 2011, he will don robes made with material from ancient Palestine and fill the role of the apostle Peter, Simon of the Rock. It will be his 50th consecutive performance. Now 58, Hobbs hasn’t missed a Nativity pageant at Portland’s oldest church since he began. “It has become the fabric of my life,” he said Friday. “This, I would never miss. Even when I was living away, I arranged my life to make sure I was here.”

For Hobbs, a fourth-generation Unitarian, the pageant is as much a holiday tradition as trimming a tree and exchanging gifts. His father was an apostle, his mother was a disciple, and each of his four brothers performed in the pageant. One of his siblings, Dan, still does; he will play one of the three kings in Sunday’s service. On a community scale, the pageant has become a staple of Portland’s holiday celebration.

First Parish, the home church of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, began the pageant in 1926. The non-denominational pageant honors the birth of Christ with music, text and tradition. It was inspired by the 15th-century frescoes of the artist Fra Angelico.

The pageant is performed as part of the worship service, with quiet reverence. The Rev. Barbara McKusick Liscord will officiate Sunday’s service and narrate the pageant. The actors, who are not named in the service program, have no lines. They simply take their place as their roles are called.

On Friday, workers began preparing the stately stone church on Congress Street for Sunday’s Vesper service, which will begin at 4:45 p.m. They removed almost all of the light bulbs from the sanctuary’s electric sconces and replaced them with candles.

Laurie Hasty, daughter of former First Parish minister Richard Hasty, said more than 100 people will help stage the event. Every pew will be filled, and worshippers will begin arriving an hour before the service. “In the 1920s and ’30s, the church began the tradition of putting on these tableaus or ceremonial plays for different religious holidays or events,” Hasty said. “They developed this service for the Nativity at Christmastime.” Many of the costumes in use today were made by the ladies of the church back then, she said. “According to church lore, the nieces of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow went to Palestine and brought back some of the fabric used for the costumes,” Hasty said. “Even when we remake new costumes, we try to make them look like the originals, and we incorporate the old fabric as much as we can.”

Hobbs, who now lives in Wells Beach, has played many roles in the pageant over the years. He can barely remember the early years, but he recalls playing an acolyte, who lights the altar candles, as well as the crucifer, who carries the cross. He also has been a disciple, and now portrays an apostle. The experience has enriched his spiritual life. He has traveled to Israel, Egypt and other locations with religious significance to learn more about places referenced in the pageant. “For me, it’s about searching and learning more deeply about the meaning of something I’ve participated in for so many years,” he said.

Hasty called the pageant a touchstone. No matter how far afield people go, they come home to First Parish for the celebration.

“The pageant connects the history of the church with the history of families that have a connection with the church,” she said. “That’s what traditions do — they carry things forward.”


Tomorrow, if we have volunteers on the job, I will return to current events. If not, Gil Osgood has supplied me with some interesting UUCE history. The show must go on!

DAY #495

No Volunteers This Christmas Day but one Volunteer stopped by to check the sign-in sheet for me.

Here is another bit of UU Christmas Cheer

Edmund Hamilton Sears: A Unitarian Christmas Carol
by Ken Sawyer

Even in Unitarian Universalist churches that rarely talk about Jesus, we sing Christmas carols. Maybe this shouldn’t be surprising: Their popularity in America began about the time a Unitarian minister, the Rev. Edmund Hamilton Sears, wrote “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” in 1849.

Sears was the minister of the small congregation in Wayland, Massachusetts, in the late 1830s, but went to Lancaster, Massachusetts, to serve a larger congregation. After seven years of hard work, he suffered a breakdown and returned to Wayland. He wrote his famous carol while serving as a part-time preacher in Wayland, which called him back to full-time service in 1850. (He retired in 1865.)

Some say the carol was first performed by parishioners gathered in his home on Christmas Eve. Another account says he wrote the carol for the Sunday school of the Unitarian church in Quincy, Massachusetts. (In those days, people didn’t sing carols in church, where they were thought inappropriately childish or secular, as opposed to old hymns like “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” and not many carols had been written.) We don’t know where the carol was first performed, nor do we know what tune they sang, since the one to which we sing it now wasn’t written until the next year, by a New York organist named Richard Storrs Willis.

Sears’ words are both beautiful and powerful. The message is grounded in the first verse in the biblical past. It becomes prophetic in the last verse, which raises yet again the hope of a time to come of peace on earth. But it is most strikingly put in his third verse:

Yet with the woes of sin and strife

the world has suffered long;

Beneath the angel strain have rolled

two thousand years of wrong;

And man, at war with man, hears not

the love song which they bring;

O hush the noise, ye men of strife

and hear the angels sing.

Sears’ song is remarkable for its focus not on Bethlehem, but on his own time, and on the ever-contemporary issue of war and peace. Written in 1849, it has long been assumed to be Sears’ response to the just ended Mexican-American War. Sears’ pacifism would take second place to his commitment to abolishing slavery in the Civil War, but his carol remains, repeated all over the world every year. Probably more than any other Christmas carol, it talks about today — his day or our day. It says that the call to peace and goodwill to all is as loud on any other day as it was on that midnight of old, if we would but listen “in solemn stillness.”

This point of view can be disconcerting to some Christians, who note that the “angel song” doesn’t have anything in particular to do with Jesus, who is never mentioned. Indeed, some Christians have been trying to have our popular carol removed from their denominational hymnbooks. Others have simply rewritten the words. I know, that sounds like something UUs would do. In fact, we have, tinkering with some sexist language. But in some denominations’ hymnbooks, the last verse has been rewritten to give Jesus a larger role. Ironically, Sears was considered theologically conservative by other Unitarians in his day.

Of all the carols that use the Christian story and its language and images, none lifts up a universal human hope more beautifully than Edmund Hamilton Sears’s did, singing of the perennial hope of peace.

The Rev. Kenneth W. Sawyer is minister of First Parish Church in Wayland, Massachusetts. He is the co-author of Thematic Preaching: An Introduction (Chalice Press, 2001; $26.99), available from the UUA Bookstore, (800) 215-9076.

DAY #494

Ebenezer Scrooge’s conversion

Charles Dickens’s novels reflect the central ideas of 19th-century Unitarianism.

By Michael Timko

Winter 2005 UU World Magazine

Charles Dickens’s famous novel about Ebenezer Scrooge changed the celebration of Christmas into what we think of as traditional today: an occasion to give to those less fortunate and to gather family and friends around laden dinner tables and Christmas trees filled with lights, decorations, and toys. Written shortly after Dickens joined a Unitarian church, A Christmas Carol became his most famous novel–and the one most representative of his Unitarian beliefs.

Throughout his life, Dickens was allied with British Unitarians, philosophically and socially. His oldest friend, John Forster, who later became his literary executor and first biographer, was a devoted member of the Hanover Square Unitarian congregation. Then, in 1842 Dickens traveled to America and chronicled his disillusionment with the country’s institutions, especially slavery, in his American Notes. Yet Dickens praised his visit to Boston, where he met Ralph Waldo Emerson and William Ellery Channing, the leading figure of American Unitarianism. “His interest in Unitarianism was virtually the only enthusiasm he managed to bring back with him undamaged at the end of the trip,” writes Victorian scholar Robert Newsom.

On returning home, Dickens took a pew at the Little Portland Street chapel in London and became close friends with its minister, Edward Tagart. “Disgusted with our Established Church, and its Puseyisms, and daily outrages on common sense and humanity,” Dickens wrote in a letter, “I have carried into effect an old idea of mine, and joined the Unitarians, who would do something for human improvement, if they could; and who practice Charity and Toleration.”

Dickens himself worked tirelessly for a wide range of charitable causes, raising funds for soup kitchens, emigration schemes, housing associations, prison reform, hospitals, adult education, and disabled artists. He also believed that through his fiction he could promote moral solutions to social ills and could change society for the better.

In A Christmas Carol, without once mentioning Jesus, Dickens shows it is possible to experience a conversion–not necessarily based on a specific religious experience–but a personal regeneration that leads one to help others. With Scrooge’s transformative change of heart, Dickens illustrates that his readers, too, can be converted from a harsh, complacent, selfish worldview to one of love, hope, and charity and, like Scrooge, can again become part of the human community. For Dickens, that was the true meaning of Christmas.

To the end Dickens maintained his admiration and friendship with his Unitarian friends and colleagues, and they responded with equal enthusiasm. At the time of his death in 1870, almost idolatrous eulogies were heard all over New England. “Every Unitarian pulpit in Boston,” one writer observed, “sent him to heaven immediately.”


The Long Suffering Husband and I went to the BUUB about 2 PM to check on things and pick up round tablecloths to be used tomorrow for the potluck at Church. There were no signatures on the sign-in sheet. I found the article above on the UU World website and thought you would enjoy reading about Dickens and his Unitarian connection. All the doors were locked and secure and it was nice and cool inside the BUUB.

We will be attending the 8 PM service this evening. I hope you all have a very enjoyable evening and a lovely Christmas Day. I will share more Unitarian goodies tomorrow.


Get email updates from!

Learn about our RSS feeds.

DAY #493

7 Volunteers
1 Construction Consultant
1 Long Suffering Husband
2 Visitors

The BUUB was buzzzzzzzzzzzzzing with activity this morning. It sounded like a B-52 Bomber was approaching the Sanctuary from the east. Turns out it was two volunteers steering recycled door frames through the planer. Wisely, the Michelangelo Mudder moved his operation to the west end of the Social Hall. Thank goodness we have ample ear protectors available.

One volunteer worked outside in the bright sunshine, sweeping the east and north parking lots and porches. Another hung sheetrock and repaired the plug on an extension cord. For several days, there was no power to the project office, rendering lights, heaters, printer, pencil sharpener, and computer power cord, worthless. Today the room was just cold enough and there was enough need for power that the problem got solved. Breaker switches have a mind of their own. Just in time for Christmas we can light the tree!

There was more fire suppression paperwork, some filing, and kitchen cleanup. Things sparkle!

If you have family or friends visiting who would like to visit the BUUB and you don’t have a key, give me a call and we can set a time for a tour. 541-335-1637

Update from Gretchen & Sarah – they are in Arizona, just north of Phoenix, still camping. The end of the story from yesterday’s 400 Days – They had arrived on Tuesday at a State of California campground, but the gate was locked. They talked to the park ranger who turned out to be a birder. They told her about seeing a ferruginous hawk, and they were invited to go on a bird walk but it was after they needed to be back on the road. The campground was closed, except for large groups by prior arrangement. The ranger had so much fun talking to them that it was decided they were a large group who had made prior arrangement. They had the prime spot in a beautiful campground — all to themselves! They are having a lovely time.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:“Do you have an electronic copy of that letter drafted by Dave DeCou? ” “Yes, on my cell phone.” “Can you send it to me?” “I will try.” (This was a bit tricky. We were in the car driving to Junction City. The email was sent on Wednesday. After purchasing 20 pounds of cracked walnuts at Hentze Farms, I scrolled through 60 emails while parked. I found the right one and forwarded it on. Isn’t modern technology wonderful?)

DAY #492

10 Volunteers
1 Construction Consultant
2 Visitors
1 Long Suffering Husband

Despite the arrival of the industrial grade vacuum, each of the several people vacuuming today were using the older shop vacs. The Doorman sanded and painted three door frames. The Michelangelo Mudder worked away on the walls in the sanctuary. There was sweeping inside and one person focused on cleaning up the mud clods in the parking lot.

Speaking of parking lots, our new neighbors to the north have repainted their parking lot and added concrete bumpers. This creates a bit of a barrier from our side and we will need to have a discussion about the thirty foot wide easement we share because the barriers block our use of the space. I expect the contractor they hired is not aware of the easement, but what do I know?

Work on baseboards involved some caulking and vacuuming. The Construction Consultant was not expected to be on site, but was extremely helpful with phone calls to several suppliers with questions about invoices. Always good to involve an expert. The longer this project goes, the more complex the paperwork, but I am determined to prevail. Thanks to the drop-in kitchen cleaner upper and file clerk!

I received a postcard from one of our volunteers, sent on Sunday…

“We’re camped at Pinnacles National Monument, watching a condor roost! First I saw them through a ranger’s scope, yesterday AM, and later soaring the thermals when we hiked a ridge trail. Today we’re drinking coffee and watching a condor warm up. I never thought I would see a California condor! (There was an added tidbit at the bottom about their campsite on Tuesday, but the postal service put their bar code over it. So I don’t know if they had an owl, bear, or mountain lion in their tent.) Signed: Gretchen

As best I know, Chuck Wagar will be at the BUUB between 8 AM and 3 PM on Friday. We have NO Chinese Dinner this Friday.

And from Sue Craig and the Social Justice Committee:

Oh, again , so many thanks to all at UUCE. Yesterday for SJUUCE (Social Justice), your donations were picked up at the BUUB. Literally a carload of sweaters, blankets, sleeping bag, socks, jackets, coats, hats, gloves/mittens, etc. were picked up. They were sorted, and about half went to Hosea House (assistance for homeless teens) and then most of the rest was taken to St. Vinnie’s for distribution at Egan warming centers. A small amount went to First Place Family. The scarves, socks, personal items, hats and mittens/gloves, that will be donated on Christmas eve, will be taken to First Place Family. Thanks for your incredible generosity! SJUUCE and RE.

QUOTES OF THE DAY:“Boy Scout’s honor….I will be a kinder person.”

“HAPPY WINTER SOLSTICE!!! And a Great Saturnalia to you!!!!”

DAY #491

14 Volunteers
3 Contract Carpenters
1 HVAC Supervisor
1 Architect
1 Construction Consultant

The BIG BUUB BUZZ was about the industrial grade shop vac that seems to have an incredible capacity to do a major cleanup of dust! Its main responsibility will be to clean up after the concrete grinder so that we don’t have to slop water around. The crew was teasing the volunteer coordinator because she suggested getting the riding model — a BUUB Zamboni – of course we don’t have an ice surface.

Sue Craig collected all the wonderful warm clothes and accessories from under the tree and delivered them to First Place Family Center and the Egan Warming Center. Everyone outdid themselves with donations this year and I am sure they will be very much appreciated. When we counted the items earlier there was a total of sixty-six items, but I am sure another 20-30 items arrived this week. Thanks for your generosity and to Sue for the delivery.

The contract crew wrapped up their work until after the first of the year. The sheathing in the attic was completed and then they focused on cleanup of the attic and downstairs. We hear that the small skylights are due to be delivered within six weeks and the large skylights soon thereafter. All good news. The architect came to work on the design for the layout of the floating clouds to accommodate HVAC ductwork and determine the size of the panels.

The construction consultant and his trusty assistant did refined measurement of each and every skylight since the addition of sheetrock, etc., gives a different measurement than the plywood wells. The one in the office is 116-1/2 by 117-1/2 inches. The assistant was impressed by the expertise of the consultant being able to balance the metal tape in such a way that it could stay rigid for that expanse and not flop over. This was done while standing on a 12 foot ladder, top rung. The volunteer coordinator ran errands, which included a trip to Jerry’s, Coastwide Laboratories, and Masons Supply Company. El Viejo met with city staff in the fire marshal’s office with fire suppression sprinkler questions. I called all of the subcontractors we have hired during the past year to get their W-9 forms prior to the end of the year.

Do any of you know of someone who would like an electronic organ that needs a little tweaking? We inherited it from the Scottish Rite and were going to use it but then a more up to date instrument was donated. It is presently in Bob Kaeser’s trailer and he can deliver in time for Christmas – we previously advertised it on Craig’s list for sale, but now need to find a home for it. Please let me know if you are interested and I can send more details, or call Bob – 541-935-4588.

There was baseboard backing installed, more mudding on the sanctuary drywall, wood planing of door jambs, sanding and puttying of frames, sweeping, vacuuming, food delivery, kitchen cleaning, and dishes washed. A note on the sign-in sheet gives a clue to the more efficient handling of the cut tiles – it involves vacuuming. I believe the key word today is vacuum.

The architect who came today has the initials JF and goes by that name. He grew up in Texas and everyone kept calling him Jeff because by the time they said JF in the drawl, it came out Jeff.

QUOTES OF THE DAY:“That new vacuum is too clean to have It in this building.” “I felt that way about the new printer too.”

“Not only am I working on the top rung of this ladder, I am working without a net.”

DAY #490

14 Volunteers
3 Contract Carpenters
1 Construction Consultant
2 Visitors

The carpenters continued installing sheathing in the attic area to provide more storage and expanded the access hatches above the offices for junction boxes and venting. Some required the use of a headlamp. This work was happening in several places – north, southwest, and west sides. There was help tying wire and putting in rebar for the wall caps.

Time was spent sorting nails and screws to avoid unnecessary waste. One volunteer has been diligently working on baseboard backing and can be seen most afternoons sitting on the floor in the semi darkness, dust mask in place, hammering away.

The east wall of the Sanctuary is still getting mud and refinements by the Michelangelo Mudder. Recycled door jambs were sanded, creating a big noise, and before that is done every last nail must be removed. There was sweeping, food delivery, kitchen cleanup, and dishes washed. The Doorman worked on the frames and doing salvage.

A young woman who is an 11th grader at Churchill High School has worked the past two days as part of her community service for school. She hopes to be an architect so is eager to learn as much about building as possible. She and another young volunteer worked at cutting and drying tile, and figured out a better system for doing it. Our volunteer coordinator has done a lot of tutoring this week. More bill paying, equipment ordering and paperwork happened in the office.

QUOTES OF THE DAY:“Do you know who that volunteer is? ” “No, but I figure they are new in town and just wanted to work in the worst way……and so they are working in the worst way!”

“I understand we have some tile cutting to do!” (A reference to last night’s 400 Days report.)

“Hurrah for the power of youth.”

DAY #489

16 Volunteers
3 Contract Carpenters
1 Construction Consultant
7 Attend BPOC Meeting

The carpenters worked at buttoning up the south entrance, attic sheathing continued and the east entry is pretty much done except for the glass.

There was tile cutting. The Michelangelo Mudder was back at work and wrote M U D on the sign-in sheet.

There was tile cutting. Baseboard backing was installed and sweeping done.

There was tile cutting. The insulation specialist worked in oddball places and did fill-in.

There was tile cutting. There was a trip to Jerry’s, some tutoring of volunteers and drilling cement.

There was tile cutting. Food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned, and dishes washed.

There was tile cutting. Our trusty procurement officer and assistant picked up free furnishings and got them to storage.

There was tile cutting and tile drying! A little variety in the routine. Also some sweeping.

There was tile cutting. A bunch of additional warm clothes and sleeping bags were dropped off at the BUUB and put under the tree. One more day to bring things to have them delivered on Wednesday.

BPOC huddled in the project office for their meeting and in order to be comfortable on the hard, cold, metal folding chairs, they sat on slabs of rigid insulation. I think it was actually intended to make them taller. Construction Consultant Mark Doonan gave a project update with discussion about skylights, the floor grinding machine, the status of the construction budget spreadsheets, and the floor grooving schedule. Other discussion related to rounding up W-9 forms for the subcontractors, the rental business plan, Aesthetics and Logistics Task Force activities, volunteer relations, and holiday schedules.

And did I mention there was tile cutting???

QUOTES OF THE DAY:“What we need is harmony and occupancy.”

“When that switch is flipped, it is dark in here.”

DAY #488

5 Volunteers (Known) Including:
1 Board Member
2 BPOC Members
1 Construction Consultant
1 Spouse

Great news! Chuck, aka Michelangelo, is back from vacation. He plans to be at the BUUB daily while others are traveling around the globe for the holidays. That means there will be opportunities for folks to drop in to volunteer between December 23 and January 2. (I will assume he will not be there Christmas Day!)

Attempts to find a new bulb for the Makita rechargeable work light were not fruitful. There are plenty of bulbs for flashlights, but not those using rechargeable batteries. Sunday is not the best day to do this sort of shopping and we were too rushed to drive to Jerry’s. It will all work out. Trash bags and dish washing liquid for the kitchen were available.

It was a surprise to find someone working in the Project Office – a second computer station has been set up and a couple of people were working on financial spreadsheets. I gave them a wide berth. One person picked up paperwork to study at home.

While all this was going on inside, there was another wreck at 13th and Chambers involving a pickup truck pulling a trailer and a small car. The pickup was resting on the light pole on the southeast corner, so I expect he had been running a red light. I Googled Eugene’s most dangerous intersections, and as of the February 3, 2010 report in the Register Guard, 13th & Chambers was not one of them. Still a good idea to be careful at that light.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: From an overzealous clerk at Home Depot: “You should really switch to an LED flashlight. The lumens are much brighter. They are much cheaper to operate. They don’t use bulbs. I have an LED flashlight and it is really bright. I think you would be much happier with an LED flashlight. You should get rid of that one. It is obsolete. I don’t know why anyone would want one of those. If I was going to spend any money, I would get an LED flashlight. Blah, blah, blah.” He refused to listen to any of the reasons that I was interested in a bulb for this particular work light. It is sturdy. It looks more like a power drill than a flashlight. We have the rechargeable battery packs to fit it that are still very usable. It has a very bright light. It is too large for a forgetful person to stick in their pocket and take home. It has given us excellent service until it was bumped with another tool. It is black and white and easy to find. It will sit on the table or counter right by the back door for easy access. Blah, blah, blah. TOMORROW – a new bulb!

DAY #487

2 Volunteers

One volunteer was a skylight fixer-upper and the other was a sweater/coat/scarf counter. The skylight fixer upper had noticed some new holes in the plastic covering a skylight on Friday, and had meant to take care of it but forgot. He came back today and got the holes covered. While there he was recruited to help count all of the items donated and placed under the holiday tree. So far we have 36 sweaters and 30 other items – socks, hats, scarves, and gloves. All of the items donated to the BUUB tree will go to either the Egan Warming Center or Hosea Youth Services and be delivered by our Social Justice Committee on Wednesday.

The holiday tree at church is up and decorated and is accepting warm items to be donated to First Place Family Center after the holidays. The tree will be in place until the Christmas Day service.

The “yolks” on me. Last night when the caroling group was ready to leave the BUUB, I grabbed the rechargeable flashlight that is usually kept handy by the back door. It wasn’t working, so I enlisted Ava Swanson to help me figure out how to replace the battery pack. We tried several fully charged battery packs with no luck. It was dark in the social hall, so we were working under less than ideal conditions. I mentioned it to my fellow volunteer today — and much to my embarrassment found it had no bulb! No wonder it didn’t work. It seems that working in a near dark area of the attic on Friday a tool was tossed that hit the light, thus ending its usefulness until a new bulb appears.

Very lovely concert this evening – among the Chamber Singers our BUUB volunteers – a carpenter, a warehouse donor, brick cleaner and de-nailer, two general laborers, a photographer/computer specialist, and providers of food and dish washing. By golly they look good and sing good! 150 Attend…..

REMINDER: Only one service tomorrow – 11 AM – Children’s Winter Pageant!

Third Sunday Collection to benefit Thembanathi BUUB is “officially” closed tomorrow.

QUOTES OF THE DAY:“Is it too late to sign up as a Chalice Lighter?” The answer? No! Just Call Me.

“Does the BUUB floor have a slant to it so we will be able to see from the back?” The answer? No! We plan to use a Chalice Lighter grant to purchase a movable platform stage, risers and a lift for access.

“The back of my Chalice Lighter pin is loose and it keeps falling off, can I get a new one?” You Betcha!

DAY #486

12 Volunteers
3 Contract Carpenters
1 Construction Consultant
2 Visitors (Marjorie and Dick Tracy)
12 for Chinese Dinner
18 Carolers

dec13 finished door
a finished door

Door jambs #2 and #3 were stored, and work was begun on #4. Several people took a turn at cutting tile. There was also sanding door frames and cleaning.


One person worked at mixing brick dye. I need to track down the mixer so I can share more information on the subject.




dec16 south entry work
work on the south entry

The carpenters added trim to the front entrance and continued working on the storage area over the vault. They also built formsfor the block wall caps. Volunteers installed more baseboard backings, delivered food, cleaned up the kitchen, and washed dishes.

Additional phone calls to the company that makes the floor grinders in Redmond, Washington determined that we don’t need to find a volunteer to drive up there to pick one up. They can get it to us by the second week in January and the shipping will be only a fraction of what we were originally told. I got to see photos of grinders, pads, and other accessories today in living color, plus the various dye colors that can be added to the concrete. I loved the names of the different units – The Expander — The Avenger — The Scarifier — and the Extrema… Can’t you just visualize what they look like? The company guarantees a bombproof finish! Good grief – let’s hope we never have to test that one. The good news is after grinding there is no need to apply wax or epoxy. If the finish looses its luster, we haul out one of our floor polishers with the special pads, and it will be shiny and new.

I heard a report this evening that two young students from the Chavez School stop by our free wood pile every day to get scraps of wood. They were asked if there was any special cut they were looking for. It turns out they make bird houses and dog houses out of what they find. Cool.

The Breakfast Cluub carolers arrived at 5:30, had hot chocolate, hot cider and cookies before heading out into the 13th and Chambers neighborhood. Just like last year, they got a mixed reaction when they knocked on doors. Some residents only opened the door a crack and then closed it, some didn’t even answer the door, but they were warmly welcomed by enough to make it very satisfying and enjoyable. The best of all was an elderly woman who jumped up and down in glee and had a special request. They already have ideas on how to make next year better — like having the kids in RE make bell shakers to announce their presence before they ring door bells. This year they prepared a map for their route and printed a song sheet – much handier than trying to carry hymnals and flashlights and flipping pages in the dark. When they arrived back at the BUUB they had another cookie and a hot drink, and then sang two carols around the lighted tree. Next year we will also remember to get organized a little earlier to make it inter-generational.

QUOTES OF THE DAY:“When we hand over the keys and this is no longer a construction site, it will be a sacred space.” (I understood this to mean, no more Blazing Saddles and off color jokes in the kitchen.)

FORTUNE COOKIES:“Something on four wheels will soon be a fun investment.” (I wonder how many wheels are on the floor grinder?)

“Your most memorable dream will come true.”

TOMORROW AND SUNDAY – The BUUB is “officially” closed!

DAY #485

13 Volunteers
3 Contract Carpenters
1 Contract Electrician
2 Electrical Supervisors
1 Construction Consultant
3 Visitors

The tile cutting continues in the door room – it’s quite the operation and interesting to watch, but be sure to wear ear protectors if you visit because that cutter is NOISY! There was creamy water running across the floor in the door room. Folks working in there said the floor was not slippery and if you have good ear muffs it isn’t unbearable. The Doorman got the third door jamb painted. There are not as many jambs as there are doors.

Volunteers moved stuff, picked up two more loads of tile, and installed baseboard backing. The carpenters framed in above the glu lams under the exposed ceiling. We had an interesting conversation whether the trim under the rake (peak) is a “varge” or a “barge”. I went back to my trusty Google, and learned that it was also referred to as a “verge” board. The opinion was that colloquialism enters the equation and we shouldn’t worry about which word to use. What a relief!

The carpenters also put sheeting in the attic above the vault and the electrician installed new lights in the vault. They heard the vault would be used as a disciplinary/time out room or a panic room. (Just kidding.) After working in the attic, it felt good to stand up straight again. A volunteer (and avid golfer) was cutting tiles and cutting jokes this morning.

QUOTES OF THE DAY:“I haven’t played the peanut butter pretzel maracas yet.”

BUMPER STICKER SHARED:If the People Lead, the Leaders Will Follow.” (Tell that to Congress)

REMINDER: There will be Chinese dinner at The Fortune Inn, 1775 West 6th Avenue at 5:30 PM tomorrow evening. The Breakfast Club will go caroling in the Jefferson West neighborhood beginning at 6 PM and return to the BUUB by 8:30 PM.

DAY #484

12 Volunteers
3 Contract Carpenters
1 Contract Electrician
1 Electrical Company Owner
1 Construction Consultant
2 Visitors

A tile cutting headquarters has been set up in the Door Room – it requires a plastic curtain, a cutting machine, water, and rags (which suspiciously resemble dish towels that were waiting to be laundered). It looks like a messy operation at best, and I am told by the head tile cutter that “you have to take it slow.”

Fifty-eight stackable chairs were procured and moved to storage in a congregant’s barn for safe keeping until we know where they will best be used. It was a day of finders keepers. The recycling guru found a business that will take your old, lame, and weary vacuum cleaners. (River Road Vacuum) – good to know. They recycle the parts that are still usable and have even been known to make a clever lamp out of them. The Guru also found a replacement cord for El Viejo’s radio. You may recall that one of our former carpenters could not tolerate classical music, so he purloined the cord sending the radio into silence.

dec14 oso harper s entry
Oso Harper working on the south entry

The carpenters did some framing on the south entry side windows, modified the framing to support the facia line of the side walls, and completed the barge facia. This is all part of the delicate dance those guys do with sequencing the construction of the beautiful new entry.

Volunteers installed more baseboard backing, delivered food, cleaned the kitchen and washed dishes. I learned (thanks to the recycling guru) that if you shake the peanut butter pretzels at the BUUB, they can be used as a percussion instrument. Try it!

QUOTES OF THE DAY: One of the carpenters brought in his mountaineering gear to wear while working on the facia boards up high in the south entry. “The difference is amazing….you go from severe back strain and fear to comfort and confidence.” Rather than stooping and over-compensating, the wearer can stand up straight and concentrate on the job at hand. Great idea!

I read in the Danville, IN newspaper today about an interfaith service hosted at the UU Church. The local Methodist minister was quoted as saying: “No church is a special, elite, exclusive group.” He even pointed to one of his church’s similarities to the UU Church. “We have something in common. We all fight for parking spaces on Sunday.”

DAY #483

10 Volunteers
3 Contract Carpenters
1 Contract Electrician
1 Construction Consultant
3 Board Members
Rev. Alicia Forsey
3 BPOC Members
1 Acting RE Director
1 Music Director
1 Capital Campaign Committee Member

dec16 tileThanks to Carlos Barerra for helping transport one thousand 13-inch tiles from Jerry’s to the BUUB in his pickup truck (see photo right). Those boxes are heavy, and it took two trips to get them all moved. They are stashed in the northeast storage room. Sounds like some holiday spirit volunteer work to me…..

Some more of the furniture from the warehouse found comfortable homes – like one of the desks that had been on its back and unusable is now sitting upright in the project office and has replaced the table being used as a desk. The project office almost looks like an office.

The facia boards were installed in the south entrance and more temporary lights were rigged in the storage areas. The carburetor for the fork lift was rebuilt and is back on duty. More baseboard backing was put in and the Doorman worked on door frames. Food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned and dishes washed. There was management and paperwork involved.

There was a meeting to evaluate the floor plan and outline where additional office space or conference rooms could be designated to accommodate future growth of the congregation and staff. Now that insulation and sheetrock are up, it is easier to visualize the space.

Trying to track down someone at the BUUB is a BIG challenge. I walked from one end to the other several times looking for Mark Doonan. Out of desperation, I called his cell phone, but it went to voicemail. I checked the parking lot and his truck was still there, so he had to be somewhere close by. All of the exterior doors were locked and I didn’t think he was out wandering around in the dark in the mud. I wanted to be sure the building was all closed up and didn’t know how to turn off all the lights, so I went to see if the hatch to the roof was closed. From down below I could tell it was open, so I climbed the pull down stairs to the attic, then went up the ladder so I could see out the roof hatch. It was pitch dark, and stars were out — and guess what – there was Mark, double checking the day’s work and picking up scraps of wood, etc. So, the moral to the story: if you can’t find someone — check the roof!

Tonight would be an excellent time to go up on the roof when the Geminid meteor shower will make its annual appearance from 10 PM to 5 AM. According to KVAL-news, astronomers consider it the best meteor shower and they expect as many as 30 an hour….. I think I will go out on our deck instead of the BUUB roof.

QUOTES OF THE DAY:“This is going to be the apple of Eugene.”

“Wait until they come inside… will knock your socks off.”

DAY #482

11 Volunteers
3 Contract Carpenters
3 HVAC Installers
1 Contract Electrician
1 Construction Consultant
1 Visitor

The main buzz was the big wreck at the corner of 13th & Chambers when a Toyota t-boned a BMW. The Toyota was coming north on Chambers and ran a red light. Thankfully no serious injuries, but the cars did not fare so well. Great view from the roof.

The crew worked on the south entrance, insulating the soffits and walls. They were able to use some of the rigid insulation left over from the work on insulating the roof. There were baseboard backings installed in room 7, and the west end is almost done in all the rooms and corridors that have sheetrock. A lot of material was moved and hauled and 18 bales of R-23 insulation were picked up and delivered. Nails were picked up and paperwork done.

I finally got to see the new storage shed added last week. It has a mezzanine! All the blue chairs cleaned by the Chairtables are neatly stacked, with their seats and backs stored above. Thanks to everyone who offered storage – we have found homes for everything. There was food delivered, kitchen cleaned, and dishes washed. The last of the “84” brownies disappeared.

We might have experienced nervous breakdown #20 today upon hearing that the electric inspector declared the controls between the switches and the brand new HVAC equipment were not fire rated high enough and all have to be rewired! They came from the manufacturer with that wiring. Thankfully, fixing it is the responsibility of the HVAC supplier, so they came today and got them all rewired. Oh Happy Day!

Speaking of “Oh Happy Day” – we learned that UUCE will be the recipient of the January Chalice Lighter Call. The announcement went to all UU congregations in the Pacific Northwest District asking them to make note of it in their newsletters. It is not yet time to mail donations – I will let everyone know when it is. If you are not a Chalice Lighter, I would love to sign you up between now and January 1. When you become a Chalice Lighter, you agree to donate a minimum of $15 no more than three times a year to a project to support growth in a UU congregation in our district.

A RACE FOR HOME – Judy Sawyer and I had a competition this evening to see who could get home first. She has no idea she was in a race. She is more daring than me – she isn’t afraid to make left hand turns at busy intersections. When she left the BUUB at 5 PM, she pulled onto Chambers, and made a left at 13th. I went out the back of the parking lot to 12th and as I sat at 13th and Taylor, she went blasting by. I got behind her and we both turned south on Polk. She headed on south to 28th, but I took 24th to Friendly to 28th. When I was stopped at the light at 28th, she went blasting by. The light turned and I was on the chase. We both made the light at Lincoln, turned south on Willamette and were neck and neck……but she got stuck behind some traffic in the left lane just before 33rd and I went blasting by, leaving her in my dust! Yes, it is another slow news day….. Even after hearing Rev. Alicia’s sermon about taking risks, I am no good at it. (In case you wonder why we don’t car pool – Judy was at the BUUB by 8 AM – I arrived at 4 PM.)

QUOTES OF THE DAY:“The course of construction, like true love, never did run smooth.” Perhaps Shakespeare knew about fire ratings on HVAC wiring….

“We don’t have one that spins around.”

“I left my blood on the sheetrock.”

“It was a wonderful day at work…..great sunny weather to work outside.” (High of 41 degrees!)

DAY #481

16 Volunteers (10 were Breakfast Cluub)
1 Construction Consultant
72 Visitors for Open House

It was fun having so many visit the BUUB for a look-see today, and to have the energy and enthusiasm of the Breakfast Cluub adults and children. The Cluub brought a great smelling soup that was enjoyed by visitors, an apple crisp appeared, and a box of miniature brownies with “84” on top were delivered. A note said the brownies celebrated Jean Carley’s 84th Birthday tomorrow!

dec10 phyllis kesner and ed zach
Ed Zach showing Phyllis Kesner the south entry work

Some of the visitors had not been in the BUUB before and were mightily impressed after spending the morning stuffed in the 40th & Donald building like a sardine.

Members of the Breakfast Club accomplished a ton of chores. They bubble wrapped pianos and tables, swept the south entrance and vacuumed a bunch of rooms. One job especially appreciated was the thorough cleaning of the scissor lifts. This is a very important job because when the “bridges” on the lifts get dirty it causes them to stick and then the lift operator can get stuck in either the up or down position.

One of the most interesting jobs related to cleaning up the east parking lot. The kids scraped mud clods and two women decided to clean out the storm drain. Not only was the grate clogged, but the filter was full of mud and leaves. Picture a 40-pound bag of potatoes clogged with MUD and being decidedly FOUL SMELLING….Not the kind of thing you want to touch or experience up close. So there are two neat and tidy clad women who had lifted the smelly beast out of the hole and were congratulating themselves with a flat handed slap and ended up getting splattered with the slime they were careful to avoid! YUK! (They always say, if nothing bad happens, you will have nothing to remember…..). I guess it was a memorable day.

Food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned and dishes washed. The first visitor arrived at the stroke of 1 PM and the last left at 4:35 PM. Some volunteers not involved with the Breakfast Cluub also came to sweep and help clean up. As always, there were rides on the scissor lifts for kids, the plywood doors were thrown open to show off the new south entrance, and some got a tour of the roof!

Upcoming projects – installing tile in 5 restrooms, and grinding 18,000 square feet of concrete floor three times with three grits of paper, and then applying three coats of sealer. All of the block work will need to be power washed, treated with a special cleaner, and then sealed. These will be great volunteer projects – and remember – each of you is valued at a minimum of $18.47 per hour according to AARP!

A hefty pile of coats, sweaters, and warm things are accumulating on and under the tree, and we thank everyone who brought them to the BUUB.

SPECIAL INVITATION: The Breakfast Cluub will go caroling in the Jefferson Westside neighborhood around the BUUB on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16 and are inviting anyone who would like to participate to join them. They are meeting at the BUUB at 6 PM and will plan to return by 8:30 PM to warm up, have some cookies and hot cider, and sing around the holiday tree at the BUUB. You might say this is the second annual caroling event. If you would like to participate, but are not sure you want to go out walking, we could use someone to “babysit” the building from 6 until about 7, in case anyone needs to get back into the building to use the restroom, etc.

QUOTES OF THE DAY:“I need a pile of bread crumbs to find my way out of here.” — “Is this where I came in?”

“This building has changed in size as we go along. I remember when we first looked at it, it seemed very large. Then we tore it apart and there was only the framing and it shrunk and looked much smaller. Now, with the sheetrock up and the painted walls, it has gotten big again.”

And last but not least, a visitor shared the words from a Rolling Stones song –

“You better stop
Look around
Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes
Here comes your nine-teenth nervous breakdown.”

We are not yet in our nineteenth month on this project, but there are days when we are careful to stop and look around, just in case…….

DAY #481

5 Volunteers
1 Visitor

I am using the term Volunteers loosely. There was a ladder, scissor lift and creativity involved, but no power tools or hammers or screwdrivers. The holiday tree was treated with tender loving care, getting many strings of new multi-colored lights and baubles in anticipation of visitors tomorrow for the open house from 1-4 PM. One volunteer came to do a security check and drop off paperwork, another to take photos of those working on the tree, and a visitor who took a 1 minute break from helping Amy Raven and d.maria move! I hear many of our regular BUUB volunteers were helping with the move.

A phone call just revealed that after working on the tree, three of the volunteers did some cleanup work.

dec10 anna trims tree2
Anna Sontag on the scissor lift decorating the tree

REMINDER: The holiday tree invites you to bring your donations of mittens, gloves, scarves, sweaters, coats, etc., to the open house tomorrow – these items will be donated to a local charity before Christmas.

In anticipation of a day such as this, when the editor of this rag might not have much news, good folks have sent me quotations to share with you. I love getting material to share, so tonight you get some dandy quotes.


“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author and aviator (1900-1945).

“The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed: but a thing created is loved before it exists.” — Charles Dickens.

“How could you do anything so vicious?
It was easy my dear, don’t forget I spent two years as a building contractor.”

— Priscilla Presley & Ricardo Montalban –

DAY #480

17 Volunteers (including 2 UUs from Salem)
2 Contract Carpenters
1 Construction Consultant
1 Visitor

Today we featured the Dream Team – who moved everything from the warehouse and then they had lunch! If you recall, we anticipated it would take three days to get that job done. After they moved some of the stuff out, the racks and shelves in the warehouse were dismantled, and then carted to the BUUB and rebuilt in the new storage area. When you arrive for the open house on Sunday, you will find many things out of place – since bulky furniture like desks, pianos, and tables would not fit. For the next few days Mark Doonan will be deciding where things should go.
TOMORROW – SATURDAY – THE BUUB IS OFFICIALLY CLOSED – to give everyone at least one day off.
SUNDAY – Open House – 1-4 PM – Dress Warmly

dec10 south entry glue lamsYou will notice there have been no HVAC installers for the past few days. When we called to find out what happened to them, we learned that they are all out on emergency calls to homes with NO HEAT! Makes perfect sense. We were short one carpenter today because of a sick daughter who had to leave school. The carpenters framed in the valances in the south entry, furred out the walls so they were all in one plane to hold plywood, and they tied the valances to the glu lams. I reported yesterday that the trim was finished on the south entry, but that is not quite true. That is planned for Monday. Today the roof of the south entry was secured with waterproof material.  Photo above and below: Valances to glu lams.


dec10 south entry glue lams2In addition to the move, volunteers worked on insulation and baseboard backing, researched free furniture options, delivered food, cleaned the kitchen, washed dishes, and added trimmings to the holiday tree. One person spent almost six hours going through all of the materials stored on the shelves in the north storage area, tossed out junk and reorganized it all until it was neat and tidy. There was de-nailing and stacking and re-stacking and organizing lumber, and firewood cutting.




Photo right: reorganized storage room.

dec10 organized shelves

We had hoped to pick up the tile from the Jerry’s in Springfield – but while El Viejo was on the phone with them, asking that they not transfer their portion of the supply to the Jerry’s in Eugene, the guy said, “darn it, your tile just got loaded.” Turns out it doesn’t go straight from Jerry’s Springfield to Jerry’s Eugene – it has to go to the warehouse first….so it may be Monday or Tuesday before it can be picked up. Who said life was easy?

NEEDED: Does anyone out there in radio land have any extra storage room in basement or garage? We have found a treasure trove of stackable chairs and other furnishings (free), but they need to be picked up now before they are snatched up by some other non-profit organization. Please let me know if you can help – and things could be stored in several places. We only need to store them until May.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT: According to the December 2011 issue of the AARP Bulletin, the estimated value of a volunteer hour in Oregon is $18.47. This value is based on the average wage of non-management, non-agricultural workers, not earning power of specialized skilled workers such as doctors or lawyers. Our 280 individual volunteers have worked about 27,000 hours in the past 17 months. You do the math!

“A volunteer lost his car keys at the BUUB site while helping move stuff from the warehouse. Several of us helped look for them. They were found in his cap, which he was wearing.”

“How many UUs does it take to move a piano? Four – the average age? — 80”

“I’ve only been in your building once. How do you keep from getting lost?”

It is a big building. Just ask El Viejo. On Thursday he had searched the building looking for the electrician, because he hadn’t seen him the day before. So he called GMD Electric and said: When is your electrician coming back to this job? Response: “The electrician is in your building.”

DAY #479

14 Volunteers
1 Contract Electrician
3 Contract Carpenters
1 Construction Consultant
3 Visitors

Two large glu lam beams were installed to connect the buttresses holding the major columns on the south entry. They are impressive. They run north and south. The trim will be finished tomorrow and the roofs of the south and north entries will be measured for metal roofing later. Both of those entry roofs are waterproof. The carpenters extended the temporary “dog house” on the southwest corner to accommodate the storage of tables, chairs, and other goodies from the warehouse. Remember those blue and gold chairs, the round tables, and all the brown folding chairs? They get moved tomorrow, and at least one couple will arrive at 9 AM tomorrow to begin that job. They welcome more volunteers to help move.

dec10 cables organizedThe volunteers spent the day helping to reorganize equipment and materials, especially lumber, to make room for things that need to be stored inside. There was also sweeping, food delivery, cleaning of the kitchen, and dish washing. Photo right: reorganized cables.
REMINDER: Chinese dinner at the Fortune Inn, 1775 West 6th AVenue at 5:30 PM tomorrow.

There is a work party on Saturday – more moving and organizing and getting ready for the Sunday open house – there will be ham and lentil soup and apple crisp…..come on down!

“I’m just trying to put the fear of god into you.” (Had something to do with working on the roof….)

One volunteer was constructing what looked like a box in the framework between the social hall and sanctuary. It reminded me of seeing a barn owl in a silo window. The volunteer said: “I am Kukla, of Kukla, Fran and Ollie.” Depending on your age, you might not be familiar with that trio.

DAY #478

12 Volunteers
3 Contract Carpenters
1 Paper Products Representative
1 Landscape Architect
1 Construction Consultant
1 Board Liaison
Contact with Land Use Plan Representative
7 Attend Aesthetics & Logistics Task Force Meeting – off site
BEFORE I FORGET: A while back, two printers showed up as donations to the BUUB. As it turns out, neither one is compatible with the onsite computers. Nobody seems to remember who dropped them off. We need them to be picked up, or permission given to donate them to Next Step Recycling. If you are the donor, please let me know your wishes.

dec10 door finishing
Door Man’s work

The Door Man painted and assembled #2 frame for door and sanded #3 frame. There is a lot to think about with those doors – like matching the size door we have to the size of opening and making sure they are either a right hand opening door or a left hand opening. If anyone is handy with running the sander, your talents are needed to get the door jambs ready.

Several people worked at cleaning and sheetrock. The carpenters worked on the west side of the roof for the south entrance. The building inspector was scheduled to come inspect the shear panels, but must have decided it was too cold. I drove past the BUUB twice and each time the peaked roof had people up there working.

More temporary lights were being strung throughout the building to make it easier to find the tool table and power equipment in the sanctuary and to be able to work in the corridors. One volunteer spent the day on paperwork…it never ends. The recycling guru came to pick up odds and ends of sheetrock and masonry to reuse. More things were moved in preparation for finding room for everything arriving from the warehouse.

Yesterday, El Viejo came back to the BUUB after running errands and found the kitchen (at noon), pitch dark…the crew was eating lunch and watching Blazing Saddles on the 50-inch projection TV. I noticed today there is a nice little stack of movies next to the set. Food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned and dishes washed.

The tile for restrooms was purchased and the order is being put together by Jerry’s (from their two stores) and should be ready for pickup at the Eugene store later this week. Ten cases of tile were picked up today – there are 90 more cases to be picked up and brought to the BUUB. This stuff is heavy. We need people with pickup trucks to help since there is a total of 2-1/2 tons! Let me know if you can help.

The Aesthetics & Logistics Task Force had a full agenda, discussing storage issues, overview of kitchen needs, storage issues, appointment of a restroom task force, storage issues, entry dirt removal systems, storage issues, communication avenues, and storage issues.

“The sisiutl had a safe trip to Portland. I cleaned up the starling poop with soap and hot water. After it dries, I’ll apply a coat of furniture polish and let it soak in. Thanks for trying to sell it….too bad we couldn’t have made some money for the BUUB.” (The creator of the sisiutl is our newest Chalice Lighter….there is no escaping my determination to get to 50%!)
REMINDER: Open House at the BUUB – Sunday, December 11 – 1-4 PM

DAY #477

11 Volunteers
1 Contract Electrician
1 Electrical Supervisor
3 Contract Carpenters
1 Acoustical Engineer
1 Construction Consultant
3 Visitors, one bringing bread pudding

dec10 stuck in mud2The loaner Kubota tractor worked like a charm, grading the grounds. The fork lift appeared to be hopelessly stuck in mud about noon (photo right), but was dug out and liberated by early afternoon. There is a mound of lumber from the temporary framing for the south entry being disassembled, and a pile was de-nailed. The hand carved sisiutl generously offered as a fundraising tool for the BUUB was transported back to Portland after we were unable to find a buyer.




dec10 doors finished

Special recognition and thanks to Eric Swegles, the “Door Man” who has been coming in at least two days a week for several months, working on doors and door jambs. He works by himself in a freezing cold place, and the results of his labor are lined up neatly (see photo right). Today he scrounged for hardware, put hinges on some doors and frames and sanded and re-puttied others.



The east half of the roof structure for the south entrance has the shear panel completed. Unfortunately, the outside temperature is so cold that the “self-stick” adhesive for the rain and ice guard would not stick to wood or itself, so another glue source will be found. As mentioned before, we are forming a roof sandwich, made up of decking, then plywood, 4 inch wood strips with 4 inch insulation between, then another layer of plywood, covered with the rain and ice roof guard. We are almost ready for the west half.

Speaking of insulation, we have used so much on the BUUB that there is a shortage! We tried to get six bales, but could only get five. I think we have a Roxul Reputation!

The acoustical engineer delivered drawings showing the location for sound and performance lighting. Food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned, and dishes washed. Speaking of cleaning, a two-woman crew worked most of the day clutterbusting and cleaning inside and outside. Volunteers noted the following: “Moved stuff.” “Bring soup and take pictures.” “You name it.”

El Viejo was given a new title – Minister of Construction.

“Are you cold from working on the roof? — “No, not really – I am 4:30 tired.”

A visitor remarked: “Walking through this building reminds me of my visit to the meditation room of a Zen Buddhist temple.” The type of construction and thick insulation work their magic.

“The roof is slippery when wet. When icy it is like a skating rink with a 30-foot drop to concrete below. The ethics of the crew is safety, don’t hurt yourself or anyone else. We are just days from being done working in high places.”

DAY #476

14 Volunteers
3 HVAC Technicians
3 Contract Carpenters
1 Contract Electrician
1 Electrical Supervisor
1 Construction Consultant
1 Electrical Inspector
8 Attend BPOC Meeting

That nice Kubota tractor we love to borrow in winter months arrived today and is parked in the East Entrance. But first it had to spend some time outside working to smooth dirt. Working alongside the tractor were volunteers with shovels doing hand smoothing work.

The carpenters were putting trim boards on the roof. Some called them facia boards, some called them curtain boards, and the guy in charge called them shear walls (built to keep the pillars on the south entrance from falling over), and shear panels on the roof. From Wikipedia – “Shear stress arises from the force vector component parallel to the cross section. Normal stress, on the other hand, arises from the force vector component perpendicular or antiparallel to the material cross section on which it acts.” All I know is there were guys up there working on that high peaked roof over the south entrance, and I thought to myself, I bet it isn’t warm and cozy up there!

Temporary fluorescent light fixtures were hung in both the sanctuary and social hall – with the comment “This is the 18th time we have hung these fixtures somewhere.” It will be nice to have some extra light in those rooms. There was cleaning and sweeping, and for some reason a lot of “moving.”

R E D A L E R T ! ! ! – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – We need lots and lots of volunteers to move EVERYTHING from the warehouse to the BUUB. A new temporary structure will be created on the southwest corner of the building to store tables, chairs, pianos, and goodness only knows what else out of the warehouse. Our free lease is up on Sunday. We can use everyone with a pickup or van to help move materials. Please come help.

Mark Doonan also stressed the need to clean up the entire campus — there are wood scraps,dirt clods, concrete scraps, rebar, plastic, mud balls, nails, and screws outside, and all manner of out of place tools, wood scraps, nails, plastic, insulation, drywall scraps, etc., inside. We know cleaning and sweeping is not everyone’s favorite pastime, but to keep things safe and organized, everything needs to be neat, clean, and tidy.

Now back to today’s activities. We had an electrical inspection on the east end, and we can continue with installing insulation. The portion for offices passed inspection and the electricians are about 90% done with the sanctuary and social hall. There is still fire suppression work to be done there. There was a lot of paperwork done in the office.

Food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned and dishes washed. One volunteer wrote down that he had done “diggin.” Four hours’ worth.

At the BPOC meeting there was a discussion about waiting for speaker wire in the east end restrooms. My first question was whether this means we are going to have to talk to a speaker box when we are using the restroom? We will be getting the special machine for finishing the concrete floors in the near future. Now that will be a fun volunteer job! Stay tuned for the timing on that one.

dec10 anna trims tree
Decorating the tree

This evening, our application for a Chalice Lighter grant from the Pacific Northwest District is being sent electronically. Keep your fingers crossed that our project will be chosen for a grant for the next call in January.
REMINDER – There will be an OPEN HOUSE at the BUUB this SUNDAY, December 11, from 1 PM to 4 PM. Everyone is invited to come check out the new south entrance, the many rooms that have sheetrock and are painted, and the holiday tree. Guided tours are available. The Breakfast Club is volunteering that day as well. It is COLD in the BUUB, so be sure to dress warm and have closed toe shoes. We are accepting warm socks, mittens, scarves, coats, sweaters, blankets, for under the tree to be donated to a social service agency before Christmas.


dec10 anna trims tree3QUOTES OF THE DAY:

“How do you hook those lights up so fast?” — “Just call me Fast Eddie.”

“If you want to know what to give BPOC members for Christmas, I suggest nose warmers!” (It was cold in the kitchen tonight — I hogged the heater.)

Congratulations to Sue Craig and her cracker jack committee for a great Holiday Bazaar. The final sales totaled: $4,724.02. All the crafters and cooks and set up crew and cashiers deserve our thanks.

DAY #475

3 Volunteers (for a collective 15 minutes)

Doing paperwork and security.

Since today was another slow news day, I decided to interview a young woman, age 20, who has been volunteering at the BUUB the past couple of weeks. Here are her observations which make up the:


“As the only young person working there most of the day, it’s interesting to hear everyone talking about politics and stuff that’s going on around town. My friends don’t talk about stuff like that. At the BUUB we always sit and talk while eating lunch. The guys tell dirty jokes, but they also talk about life.

My other jobs have been very repetitive and got boring after a while. On this job there is always something to do and something new to learn. Everyone has helped me learn new skills, and they are very trusting. After they have shown me what to do they allow me to be on my own. My favorite equipment is the scissor lift, and it is fun to run, but sometimes it is too jerky. I have gotten to use a nail gun and drill.

Despite there being a lot of loud noise and it’s busy, it is a relaxing and fun atmosphere. Every single person says “hi” to me every morning. So far I have learned how to do wire stripping, framing, taping and mudding sheetrock, using a power washer, general cleanup and install insulation. Ed, Jake, Chuck, Judy and Dave have all helped me learn new stuff.

I try to pick healthy snacks, but the chips and chocolate are catching. My favorite lunch was the tortilla soup – it had big chunks of avocado in it.”

* * * * * *

And from Board President, Mary Otten regarding yesterday’s 400 Days (Day #474) post:

“I really liked your response in this 400 days. Even though I’m sure it was not pleasant to receive that email, I think it turned out for the good, because it helps us to be reminded through these posts why it is we are building this building. The building in and of itself is just a building. It is what we do and how we are once we’re in that building that will make the difference. So it is good to be reminded that the church activities, apart from the work on the building, are still going on, even though the building project has taken a tremendous amount of efforts, time, energy and of course, dollars. It is good to put the building into the larger perspective of the church, and your post did that so very well.”

DAY #474

NO Volunteers today that I know of except for all those working at the Holiday Bazaar all day.

This morning, received an email in response to items mentioned in 400 Days. Since I have no BUUB news, I thought I would share the email and some thoughts on the subject. Here is the email content:

I think the Church would be better served turning this mammoth building into a homeless shelter. The opulence is over the top, even with volunteers. Think about it, Unitarians….(signed) A life long Unitarian.


It’s too bad that the Social Justice Committee doesn’t have its own daily version of 400 Days to share the “good news” of all the wonderful things members and friends of our congregation accomplish throughout the year. I am obviously deep into the activities at the BUUB, so I appreciate hearing different perspectives on the project and questions are encouraged. I talked to several people in the congregation about the views expressed above, and this is what one person shared:

Back when we were building a UU church on the east Coast, one of the arguments was that: “We had an edifice complex”


I have been shorting a number of groups that I usually donate to in favor of the BUUB. I believe this to be temporary. I believe that by building the BUUB Eugene Unitarians can become a larger and stronger force in the community. Maybe in the future we can build a homeless shelter or do some other community service. But better than that we could combine talents with others in the community and make an even larger dent in the ills of society. If we could leverage our contribution to society it could grow to a much greater force. With a stronger church we will be able to do a lot more if we don’t lose the vision.

First, make yourself strong then help others.


Making the decision to move from our present location goes back 7-8 years, and one of the priorities of finding a new location was to be more centrally located, to plan for growth, and expand our social justice programs. If we had a daily blog highlighting UUCE social justice programs, it would include:

Monthly volunteer night at Food for Lane County, volunteering at each Homeless Connect, Whitaker Thanksgiving Dinner, meals for First Place Family Center, the Community Garden program, annual Crop Walk, and promoting the That’s My Farmer CSA Program. The BUUB has hosted a homeless family in the parking lot, provided free firewood to the community, and donated lumber to build the Occupy Eugene kitchen. The BUUB holiday tree has collected socks, mittens, gloves, scarves, sweaters, coats, blankets, sleeping bags, and hats for St.Vincent DePaul and 40th has collected warm items for a number of years at holiday time and held annual coat and sweater drives. It has a Food for Lane County barrel on site year around. This is only the tip of the iceberg. The church as a whole participates in Guest and Your Table and the Trick or Treat for Unicef campaigns through the UU Service Committee. I am sure I have forgotten to list some projects.

Every month, the third Sunday donation supports a non-profit organization, and we have the goal of having the entire basket collection on Sunday mornings go to programs and not be a part of our annual budget.

As a reminder of our generosity, here is a list of the programs the third Sunday donations have supported over the past three years.

JAN ’09 Huerto de la Familia $2,134.60

FEB Next Step $2,169.70

MAR Healing Harvest $1,568.01

APR That’s My Farmer $1,373.50

MAY Doulas for Teens $1,166.60

JUNE [21] New Hope Cambodia $1,434.00

JULY [19] The Arc $822.57

AUGUST [16] Cascade Medical Team $1,087.00

SEPT [20] CALC $2,376.97

OCT [18] SASS $1,744.91

NOV [15] Homeless Connect $1,727.80

DEC [20] Thembenathi $1,296.81

2009: 18,902.47

JAN (17) UUSC/Haiti $3,703.91

FEB (21) Kids for Kids (Darfur) $1,637.54

MAR (21) Relief Nursery $1,649.86

APR (18) TMF $1,589.07

MAY (16) Cascadia Wildlands $1,140.82

June (20) Stove Project $748.50

JULY (18) Blues in the Schools $932.61

AUGUST (15) MIUSA $828.00

SEPT (19) Community Mediation $1,270.60

OCT (17) Alzheimer’s Foundation $1,497.00

NOV (21) Egan Warming Center $1,332.80

DEC (19) Thembenathi $1,335.55

2010: 17666.26



Jan (16) Homeless Connect $1,632.00

Feb (20) UUSC/Haiti $1,898.20

Mar (20) TMF $1,075.25

Apr (17) City of Refuge $2,214.50

May (15) Committed Partners for Youth $1,161.78

June (19) Sponsors for Women $752.50

July (17) Nearby Nature $715.26

Aug (21) UUSC $1,067.00

Sept [20] HIV Alliance $955.55

Oct (18) Willamette Family $1,185.71

Nov  Hosea Youth Services $1,493.76

2011 (to date): 14,151.51

That’s a total of $50,720.26 for three years! WOW.
Our new building is by no means opulent (defined as rich, lavish, wealthy). It is large, compared to the square footage of our present church at 40th & Donald, but inside we are doing only what we need to satisfy code requirements to get to occupancy. We will be centrally located and more visible and available to the community.

And last, but not least, a word from the chair of our Building Project Oversight Committee:

Opulent does not seem to be the appropriate descriptor. The work of hundreds of volunteers has enabled us to remove and reuse most of the original materials in the remodel with very little going to the dump. There is 60-year old growth fir planking which we will use in the finish work. Thousands of bricks from both walls and the chimney for the worn out boiler have been cleaned and are being reused. We hope that the building will be inspirational and certainly attractive. Opulence implies the use of exceeding resources. The only resources we have used in excess would be our volunteers. Our currently projected final cost is at least a half a million dollars less than the original projections. Much of what we will have will be the result of sweat equity, one might describe that as love.

DAY #473

14 Volunteers
3 HVAC Technicians
3 Contract Carpenters
3 Contract Masons
1 Acoustical Engineer
1 Church Treasurer
1 Construction Consultant
4 Visitors
7 for Chinese Dinner

The masons came to rework the low wall where the plumbers extended the pipes yesterday. One volunteer swept and vacuumed mud, dust, insulation and plaster for four hours! Sheetrock was taped and mudded on the east wall of the sanctuary. Insulation was procured, but we are down to buying only single digit amounts rather than truckloads.

Odds and ends of insulation was installed in walls and ceilings in the east end rooms and hallway. Food was delivered, the kitchen was cleaned and dishes washed. Adjustments were made on the next layer of the south entrance roof sandwich. 2×4 Inch boards were cut and will form the framework for holding the 4 inch thick insulation. The rigid insulation will be added on Monday, then plywood, 30# felt, and topped off with a metal roof. We should be all done with roof work in three days. Today the main roof was washed to remove sawdust and the insulation “dust” — it was like a snow storm up there.

Yesterday I failed to mention that the acoustical engineer was installing audio distribution boxes.

The recycling guru has been sorting drywall, plastic and other items the rest of us consider trash — she is determined to cut down on the weight in the dumpsters in addition to keeping all this stuff out of the waste stream. Three loads of recycled materials were organized and removed. No cardboard box or metal strapping band escapes her scrutiny.


I read about yesterday’s tasty tortilla soup on Facebook last night. And speaking of food, at the Fortune Inn dinner we talked about the BUUB cookbook that will be published at the end of this project and the companion “Building a Church” book being developed. It will include all the entries from this blog, the illustrated journal drawings, and the many back stories that can’t be shared until construction is complete and occupancy is assured. El Viejo and I have been exploring this for the past two years.


TOMORROW AND SUNDAY: No official work at the BUUB. We encourage everyone to visit the Holiday Bazaar tomorrow from 7:30 AM to 4 PM — have a cup of Joe, check out the wonderful handmade items, come sing carols, or enjoy a bowl of homemade soup, etc. There will also be soup in “to go” containers. If you aren’t hankering for a bowl of soup, you can purchase a container to be kept frozen at the BUUB and ready to deliver to a shut-in by our Care Committee. All proceeds go to the Church general fund.



“There was ice on the roof in the morning, and it was still there at 5 PM despite the temperature being above freezing.” (And just think, our crew was up there working all day!) “The roof was as slippery as deer guts on a door knob.”

“We solved the tie rod problems. If you think something can’t be done, just keep going until it can.” (a Mark Doonan mantra.)

“Sometimes I want to just go up to the crew and give them a big kiss.”

“One volunteer walked six miles to get to work, worked on sheetrock and insulation for 6 hours and then had to leave ‘to go for a hike before it got dark.’ “ (Oh to be 20 again)

Fortune Cookie: “You may lose the small ones, but you will win the big ones.”

DAY #472

15 Volunteers
2 Contract Plumbers
3 Contract Carpenters
2 HVAC Technicians
1 Construction Consultant
1 OSHA Inspector
1 Church Treasurer
1 Acoustical Engineer
2 Visitors

dec1 topping off the building-t
Topping Off the BUUB

Somewhere between groundbreaking and ribbon cutting comes a little ceremony in the construction of many modern buildings called “topping off.” It occurs when the highest structural element is about to be swung into place. Flagpoles, spires, and ornaments don’t count. But when the last important beam is completed a small pine tree is often anchored atop.

TODAY the south entrance was topped off with what looks from down below like a midget Christmas tree. But the tree is the key symbol and it is not, as many might suppose, a holiday touch. In the high-steel trade, it announces that the construction has reached the sky without loss of life or serious injury. And it is meant to auger well for the future inhabitants of the building. (Our “tree” is actually one of the branches that was removed from our holiday tree….it does the job just fine. Thank goodness we have had no loss of life or serious injury.)

Happily, the gas leak near the kitchen stove was finally repaired by the plumbers. They also extended the pipes beyond bricks and blocks on the front of the building. The east wall of the sanctuary had more taping and mudding, and if there had not been a shortage of scissor lifts, the job might have been completed today. Insulation was installed in the east entrance and more baseboard prepping was done.

I finally made it all the way to the roof, and believe me, the view from up there is wonderful. I had my camera with me, so the new south entrance structure, and “tree” were photographed from all angles. The remainder of the lap decking was added to the ceiling and protective plastic was added. Tomorrow a wood border will be installed with wood strips every 24 inches, and then rigid insulation. After that there will be plywood and roofing material. It was cold work in the morning, but by afternoon the sun was bright and there was no wind, so it was actually pleasant up on the roof.

Food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned and dishes washed. One volunteer raked mud and debris from the east parking lot – the same volunteer that did the lettering for the Bazaar signs last week. Bazaar setup is tomorrow afternoon and evening at the church from 4-8 PM, and the Holiday Bazaar is SATURDAY – 7:30 AM to 4 PM – with food, crafts, gifts, and music all day!

Six weeks ago we ordered a rebuilt carburetor from an auto supply house for our on loan fork lift and kept being told it would arrive any day. This morning I pressured for an answer only to learn it was back ordered and they had no idea when we could get one because there was no “core” available to rebuild. Today we removed the ailing beast and sent it out to get rebuilt locally.

The north outside wall of the kitchen, over the sink, got a special covering of plastic to stop the entry of water when there is a hard rain.

The visit from the OSHA inspector was pretty exciting. There were a few minor oversights pointed out and within minutes our crew jumped into problem solver mode — a wood railing here, an extra board there. The inspector asked how long we had been on the job, had there been any citations, were there injuries in the past twelve months, etc. El Viejo took him on a walk around of the entire building and showed him the injury board indicating we had only small things requiring band-aids, splinter removal, or smashed fingers, etc. The inspector was impressed with the fact we had been going for 17 months without major accidents and the fact that even with a mostly volunteer crew everything was clean and safe. He wrote it down as an “education visit.” The codes have changed on several things, and we did learn that during the construction mode, all power tools can only be plugged into a GFIC (ground faulted interrupted circuit) system. That’s the same kind of circuits we have in bathrooms and kitchens in our homes. At the BUUB, the GFIC systems are the yellow boxes with extensions cords stretching out like an octopus.

REMINDER: Tomorrow – Chinese Dinner at the Fortune Inn, 1775 West 6th AVenue at 5:30 PM.


“You were red hot today!”

“We worked our butts off getting that decking on the south entrance done.”

“When you enter the building in the morning you are cold, but once you start working, it warms right up.”

“It’s a guy thing — working on the south entrance is like building a fort, high in a tree and getting to use a wrench with a 1-1/2 inch jaw for the bolt and tightening the nuts that unify the beams so the line is straight and there will be no waves in the roof.”

dec1 south entry roof-t
photo credit: Elliot McIntire


“At about 1:20 Bob Kaeser came thru and said, does any one have a camera? The roof of the south entrance looks like an ant hill. I took my iPhone up and shot this one, and several more.”

dec1 rooftop-t









Photo credits above and below:  Elliot McIntire
dec1 rooftop2-t