Friday, October 1, 2010

Habitat for Insanity

Monday of this week, I put my vast array of construction skills to good use and volunteered to work on a Habitat for Humanity house. And by vast array of construction skills, I mean I have a pink hammer and am really good at coming up with DIY projects for GI Joe to do and then overseeing them to completion. Clearly, I was an invaluable asset to Habitat for Humanity.

I went with a group of my coworkers, many of them whom I did this with last year. Here’s a picture of Annette and I working very hard last year. On SCAFFOLDING!
Sadly, Annette wasn’t able to join us this year but was with us in spirit.

Last year when we went, we spent the day framing and insulating the house. This year our group signed up a little later in the building process, meaning the stuff that required my pink hammer and nails was already done leaving us to prime and entire house including ceilings…in 10 hours. 

I'm writing this from heaven because I'm actually dead right now.  10 hours of hard, manual, exhausting labor on a Monday?!?  Yep, dead.

Also, of note, they wouldn' t let us have any input in paint colors so we had to paint everything boring white.  That was painful for a color lover like myself ('92-'94).  We even offered to do a little decorating, maybe paint an accent wall a bolder color, make a fall wreath on the door, you know make it a little more homey,  but our suggestions and input was unwelcomed.  Ouch Habitat that one stung. 

Here's a recap of our day:

Someone exposed their crack problem.
*picture shown with expressed permission of crack bearer

We made giant milkshakes with this really cool mixer.

Someone came out of the closet.  We were supportive.

Some people did a lot of this at the water/snack tent.

Not naming any names, just sayin'.  Ahem....

And we painted...ALOT.

As in so much, that I couldn't grip my hairdryer the next day.  That's a problem.

Some highlights from the day:
*The beef jerky at the water/snack tent that was right outside of our house.  Seriously, we were like kids in a candy store with that stuff.  I guess all that hard labor makes you crave a little protein. 

*Our House Leader aka Slave Driver who was on us like flies on honey.  Apparently, she didn't get the memo that our priorities were in the following order:  Fun First, Safety First (but actually second), and finally, working.   She was all about the working for some reason.  Why must some people be such spoil sports?

*When we got kicked out of our house for 45 minutes because they had to pressurize it so we got an extra long lunch.  SCORE!

*FREE lunch! 

*When I was mobbed by blog fans screaming "Prairie Princess! Prairie Princess!"  Highlight of my day.  It's not every day you're walking back from your extra long, free lunch and hear adoring fans screaming your blogger name while your coworkers look at you like they had no idea you were a celebrity.  But that's exactly what happened.  And it was awesome, once I got over the initial shock of people I'd never seen before yelling my blogger name.  Nice to meet you Becky and Alisha (I really hope those are the right names, forgive me if they're not, I was slightly high on paint fumes), next time I'll try to have a Sharpie on me to sign something for you.  :) 

*When we got to ride the "party bus" back to where our cars were parked at the end of the day.  True story, our shuttle bus was a party bus complete with disco lights, Lady Gaga on the stereo and stripper poles.  Sadly, we were all far too exhausted to take advantage of such amenities.  Perhaps if we'd taken the party bus TO the house in the morning we'd had a little more "oomph" in our day.

*The main highlight of the day?  THE END OF THE DAY.  I have a whole new appreciation for those in construction.  I couldn't wait to get back to my nice comfy desk chair the next day.  Of course once I got to my desk the next day, I had to type all day with a pencil between my teeth because I couldn't move any of my appendages, but that's a small price to pay in the name of community service.

Congratulations to the homeowners who will be moving into the Habitat house that my coworkers and I poured our blood, sweat, and tears  into.  (The tears were only from some of us and not til 4:30 when all the other habitat volunteers on the block were getting ready to leave and we were still slaving away with no end in sight because our house leader was still cracking the whip) into. We hope you'll enjoy and we'll totally understand if you paint over our boring white paint job with a more pleasant, aesthetically pleasing color. Just don't call us to help you with it because to be honest I still can't lift my arm above my head. 

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