Renos – Scrape, Scrape, Sand, Sand

Clean up at the church education building (e-bldg) is under way!

Before the end of the year 2012, James and I did quite a bit of work on the interior; scraping excess/old paint, sanding and general cleaning of the usable space.

It feels good to now have a clean fridge, ready and awaiting food and drinks.

There are a set of really old and ugly cabinets that we were able to fill up any cracks and prep for painting.

Ever since the end of December 2012, we’ve recently starting to do a bit more work into the building again. Most of the work was done to the outside front and back yards. Yesterday I was able to trim the front hedges and did an overall cleaning of excess branches and fallen leaves from the front and with Adam’s help was able to cut down a really large patch of thorny bushes in the backyard. We were able to fill about 5-7 bags with the lawn clippings so far and there is still a large pile that still needs to be bagged.

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‘Before’ Picture of the Backyard – Thorny bushes on the Left

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Adam raking up the cuttings.

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Me doing my part in raking.

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Backyard now looks a little less Malicious

While I took to the plants, James was hitting the concrete with his power washer. You don’t quite realize how dirty an abandoned walkway can become until you can clearly spell your name on the pavement. I didn’t even realize what the actual colour of the pavement was until yesterday.

So far I can say that to me the work that has been done so far has made a world of difference in sprucing up the place and hopefully come Spring time, we’ll have a few more helping hands to join the cause to have another nice once over the place in terms of cleaning.

James and Isaac were able to mostly finish up the painting of the inside of the cabinets yesterday and the has been a vast improvement. Now all that has to be done is to scrape, and sand the outside of the cabinets, change the hinges and maybe the knobs as well and we’ll have a brand new looking set of cabinets ready for action. I can’t wait till that is complete!

I also just heard today that we may have access to a deep cleaning carpet machine, so praying that the machine works (and thankful to receive another offer to help from Jon)!

All in all, it’s been a great experience so far to have birthed a simple idea that is slowly but surely gaining momentum and support both from encouraging comments as well as helping hands that have joined to do the work!

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Work Work…

Today is my last day of work.

I’m looking at the prospect of being jobless with mixed emotions, both sad and excited.

It’s definitely not the usual two emotions I’d considered would occur for the same situation, I guess I should be glad I’m not ‘excitedly sad,’ because then I’d have to probably check myself in somewhere.

For obvious reasons I’m sad that I’ll be let go from a pretty good job, with good pay and some really great coworkers. Most of them have given some nice encouraging and heartfelt words during this time of transition, which I appreciate greatly.

It is at the same time exciting for me as now I’ve been pushed to look to things that are new and different and may play better to my wants and needs.

I’m the type of guy that for better or for worse tries to settle in and stick to the things I do or am apart of. I think that if I wasn’t let go this time, I’d probably try and stay with the company for as long as I could without much thought to the kind of future that would create.

The fact that my last day will be Dec 21, 2012 the week before Christmas is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a curse because it is very hard to find any work at the end of the year, and most of the companies that I applied to probably won’t reply to me or want to interview anyone until the New Year. It’s also a blessing because I had recently taken on a self project for my church that I’m very excited about, and this will give some time to work on it and put some real thought into it. At the same time it’s easier to play off the fact that my lost of job is like an extended Christmas break.

A bit of history on the project: When we got our new(er) church building, the church was able to also obtain a house property (that we called the “Education Building”) that many had aspirations to use in conjunction with the church building.

The only issue is that the building was quite run down and need some serious renovations to make it usable. This begs the question, “What will this building be used for?” Without knowing this, there was no real direction on the types of renovations needed to be done. And so the building sat.

Of course we tried to use it in the form it was in, the youths tried to use it for Fellowship, but why use a run down building, when a perfectly good and free church could be used and was 2 buildings away. So the building sat.

And it sat for many years with little to no use.

It was about 4 weeks ago that I lent some of my board games to Kevin for one of the Friday Youth Fellowship nights and it was the following Sunday where Kevin had brought the games to church where something occurred to me. I had gone in a bit earlier to prepare for my Faithbuilders (a.k.a. Sunday School) class when I saw a small crowd of kids around a table. On that table I realized that one of my games Zombies!!! was being played by Sam and a few other younger people. I could tell from the excitement that both players and the ‘audience’ were really into the game and there was conversation and interaction between the younger and older youths over this game.

It wasn’t until later that Sam came up to me and said “Yeah, we weren’t even planning to play, but after we opened the box, it just kind of started…and now I’m hooked!”

– he later went to go and get a copy of Zombies!!! 4 with zombie dogs and I can’t wait to try it out with the original Zombies!!! game.

This got me thinking about Tom Vasel from The Dice Tower who as I’ve read, works as a missionary in Korea and is an avid board gamer (and reviewer). I started thinking about how the game acted as a bridge to bring together people that may not normally interact with each other.

With the steady decline of the youths in the church and a lack of a place to just hang out with friends, I started thinking about how the unused “Education Building” could be used as a nice friendly place to bring new friends and in general hang out without the need for cash. The idea of having a board game hangout will require less renovations and I hope that we can be able to scrounge up some furniture from the church to warm up the place.

I’ll plan to get some pics of the process and hopefully create a nice reno diary. So it’s going to be an exciting endeavour. Stay tuned!