March 6, 2007
Well, today we continued dry-walling and tiling the Neral's house. Most of the guys and Laura worked in the back bedroom putting up sheet rock for the ceiling. I'd like to learn how to do that, but I'm pretty slow at learning these sort of things, so I think I'll wait until I decide I have the patience to do that. I started out putting down tiles today in one of the bathrooms but later moved to stapling the insulation to the rafters in the kitchen.
The day began with a bit of an emergency, as no one could figure out the number for an immediate treatment center. Christina's eye had swollen shut, so it was unlikely she would be doing much work until that was taken care of. As that was being sorted out, the rest of us got down to work at the house.
Carrie and I had to put down the "goop" on part of the cement floor in the living room to make it more level. Gabe and his family have had to build their house after he's done working, and it's new in some areas for them, too. There are only minor flaws with the floor, though; the uneven patches can be fixed with some extra goop smoothed over them. Goop is what we're calling the preset stuff that the tiles stick to. It looks like light gray frosting but smells like paint. Once it dries, we can put on another layer to stick the tiles to in the living room. Putting it on the floor isn't my favorite job, but it's not too difficult and it'll make tiling much easier. We finished that and took a lunch break. Jillian made us fried pork chops, cinnamon cake, brownies, grape Koolaid and venison for lunch. I didn't try the venison but the pork chops were delicious. I better remember to tell my mom to fry them sometime; they taste better than regular old grilled pork chops. The cake and brownies hit the spot as well. We're a bit spoiled with all the food. After that, Sally and I started laying down tiles in one of the bathrooms. It's a lot of fun, but we almost tiled ourselves into a corner. When tiling, it's always good to have an escape route.
Laying down tiles starts to kill your knees as time passes, so I switched over to insulating the ceiling. Melissa and I stood on a table and stuck the insulation sheets into the roof rafters and stapled them. It's a nice change from kneeling on cement for long periods of time, but there are drawbacks to it as well. The main one is the insulation itself. Despite looking like pink cotton candy attached to brown paper, it is in reality fiber glass. And it is extremely itchy if it touches your skin, so you're almost required to wear long pants and shirts. I had a hoodie, jeans, a hat, work gloves and a face mask on to keep the insulation off me. I quickly learned that breathing in the insulation is not a good idea unless you want a tickly feeling in your throat all day. My biggest fear was getting it in my eyes; I didn't want to be the next person in our group with an eye problem. When we finally finished, we were both sweating, but now the kitchen will be ready to be dry-walled tomorrow.
It was a long day and I'm glad Laura grilled chicken. We had quite an enjoyable dinner as a group and more brownies were made. In no way have we suffered this entire trip in terms of meals. I tried to explain how to play rummy to Sally after dinner, but since I don't know all the rules either, it didn't work out very well until other people jumped in and took over.
Jim, Tim and Ray arrived a little later from