Volunteering…Day 1 – MDS, Pass Christian, MS

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Saturday, March 19, 2011 – Eight of us left Franconia Mennonite Church at 6:00 AM. John & Dorothy Frederick, Gary Grant, Susan Landis, Eric Raifsnider, Dan Freed and Dennis and Glenda Gehman – all from Covenant Community Fellowship in Lansdale, PA. We were headed for Pass Christian, Mississippi to volunteer with Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) helping to rebuild from hurricane Katrina which happened in August 2005. Around 3:00 PM, in southern Virginia, the van shut off while Gary was driving. We pulled off to the side of the road at mile marker 41.3 on Route 81, South. The van would turn over, but wouldn’t start. Dennis called “AAA” for a tow truck. Dan Freed made some calls back to PA to let the MDS leaders know what was happening. Dan also talked with Ray Freed from Covenant who is a mechanic. Ray suspected that it was the fuel pump. AAA sent 2 taxi cabs to take everyone, but Dan and I, to the garage where the van would be towed. Dan and I waited for the tow truck to come. Roger’s Towing came with a nice rollback to load up the van. He also had a hitch to pull the trailer. Smith’s Garage, in Marion, VA, put the van up on a lift while we walked to find supper at a local restaurant. We barely got into the restaurant when the garage called saying it was the fuel pump. We told them to fix it and by the time we were finished eating they called and said it was finished. We were back on the road in 4 hours from when the van shut down. We decided to drive a few more hours into the middle of Tennessee, where we stopped for the night at a motel.

– Dennis Gehman

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… “Volunteering…Day 2 – MDS, Pass Christian, MS

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

Simple Spring Spruce-ups

With this entry, we may be giving some ammunition for those Honey Do lists that we just discussed. And for that, I am sincerely sorry. However, none of the following projects would take more than a few hours of your weekend. You should be able to tackle any of these simple spring spruce up projects and still be able to at least get an afternoon round in.

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Pressure Washing

Decks, patios, siding, sidewalks, driveways, deck or patio furniture all accumulate dust and dirt over the winter. A few hours of elbow grease and making friends with a power washer get a great jumpstart on the summer entertaining season.

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Flower Bed Cleaning

Early spring is a great time to clean out all the flower and shrubbery beds around the house. Tons of leaves and other wind-blown clutter have a way of finding a home in and around the flower beds. The sooner you get the beds cleaned up and prepped for spring planting the better. You want to get them done before the any of your perennials start coming up and make it more difficult to work around them. It is amazing how good the place will look with clean flower beds and how much the early flowers will appreciate not having to fight for their place.

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Gutter Cleaning

This is a must to get ready for the April showers. Not making sure that the water can properly drain from the roof can cause multiple problems, not the least of which is a wet basement. Proper tools, ladders, pressure washer extension poles, etc. are just a few of helpful tools that you may need. Just remember, you are not an acrobat and you should not attempt to do all the high gutters alone, especially if you are not used to heights or working from ladders. Be safe and live to see another season!

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Garage Tidying Up

It is good feeling to actually be able to use the Garage for its intended purpose. Pulling into a well-organized, clean Garage is so welcoming; you will wonder why you parked outside all those years. And your wife will be a lot happier, too!

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Window Washing

Of course some houses will take longer to accomplish this task than others. Some of the newer houses these days could be classified as “glass houses” with the amount of glass that is included in their design. Tilt-in sashes have saved many a husband from having to climb up on rickety old ladders to get those second and third story windows. You may be pleasantly surprised how bright the sunshine really is once you can see through the windows.

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Rug Shampooing

Sometimes we don’t realize how much traffic goes through our homes in a given season until we have to move the chair or sofa to retrieve Fifi’s ball. Dependent on the size of the room and what is in it, you may decide to get the professional in rather than tackle this one yourself, even though it is a very do-it-yourself project.

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Porch Painting/Deck Staining

If you have been keeping up with this every other year or so, the time consuming preparation work is kept to a minimum. You should be able to do a thorough cleaning and hit the ground running. A couple gallons of paint, a roller, a good paint brush is all you should need to tackle this project. Throw in a drop cloth and perhaps a ladder and you are good to go.

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Mower Tune-up

Don’t be caught with your preverbal pants down this spring! Remember in the fall when you promised yourself that you would get the lawn mower serviced and the blades sharpened before next year? Well, next year is upon us and it won’t be long before you will be answering the call of the wild that you affectionately call your lawn.

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Smoke Detector Battery Change

Last, but certainly not least, is changing the batteries in your smoke detectors. These little, seemingly unimportant units located throughout your house, need attention at least once a year. A good rule of thumb is when you change your clocks, you should change your batteries. You will be glad you did when they save your life and or the lives of your family members.

Just remember, anything that you need help with, Gehman Custom Remodeling would love to lend a hand!

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… “Volunteering…”

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

“Honey-Do” List – Hybrid

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Most every man that has ever received a “Honey-Do” list will tell you that it isn’t the list itself that is so dreaded; it is the spirit of the list that makes it so despised.

No matter if it is going from husband to wife or from wife to husband, the list inherently has a way of saying “get this done or else.”

Let’s look at a new way to develop “the List”…

Perhaps the best way to tackle the “Honey-Do” list is to develop it together.

Take a lazy Saturday morning in February, brew a pot of your favorite coffee or tea, grab a pencil and paper and sit down together. This is a time that you can put tasks on the table that you both see needing to be done. Large or small, his or hers, now or later, everything is fair game. The first round should just be compiling the master list. Don’t try to assign the tasks just yet. Be patient that will come later. Just get a master list as complete as possible. When you both agree that the list is either complete or is a long as you can handle for now, you are ready to take it to the “Hybrid” level.

Declare the master list closed. Agree that nothing can be added unless absolutely necessary and agreed upon.

Look over the master list line by line.

You can discuss each item, looking at its priority level, timeframe, expected cost, completion date, etc.

The next step is often the one that can cause the most stress…assigning the tasks. Many times people try to do this equitably. However, this may not be totally possible, especially if one or the other of the spouses is more mechanically inclined. So take it slow. Some items may be obvious… “His”, He’s better at that, or “Her’s”, she loves to do that. Some of the most exciting things can be those that you determine as “Ours” tasks, things you will do together.

The fourth area is “By Others”. This often encompasses tasks that require more skilled labor or trades to get involved or is of a larger scope. Gehman Custom Remodeling wants to be your go to company when you get to the items on this part of your list. Be mindful that you need to be intentional about your schedule and take the proper steps to complete your project by the desired deadline. A simple phone call can start you in the right direction!

As you can see the “Hybrid Honey-Do List” can be a helpful tool in making your springtime chores seem less stressful and more attainable. Hopefully, you and your “Honey” will see each other as team mates and not as task masters.

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… “Simple Spring Spruce-ups”

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

“Honey-Do” Lists – Do’s & Don’ts

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If you are reading this with hopes of gaining tips on how to install that new deck that your wife has on her list, then I must apologize. This entry is more focused on finding creative ways to check things off that “Honey-Do” list than ways to do the tasks. But read on, you may be pleasantly surprised to find something useful.
If you have already received that dreaded “Honey-Do” list, then let me give you a few pointers on checking items off the list.

1. DO – Develop Categories: Get it into your mind that not all things on the list are able to be completed by you alone. Here are a few possible category headings.
1. By Me Alone
2. By Me With Help
3. Call In A Favor
4. Hire Someone
2. DO – Evaluate: Look over the list with the intent of classifying the items into the above categories. It is best to do this with a pencil, in that you may get into a task and change your view of the category that it should be in.
3. DON’T – Be proud or overly ambitious. Remember this list is better completed by others than not completed at all.
4. DON’T – Play all your cards at once. The “sciatic nerve problem” you used on the Christmas tree set up, probably won’t work again on the Spring Honey-Do List.
5. DO – Develop strategic alliances. The neighbor who seems to love to wash windows might possibly have interest in going to the club to golf a round with you. Just remember not to always be a taker. Offer your services as well to keep those alliances viable.
6. DO – Call Gehman Custom Remodeling and get on their schedule. If your Honey Do List has time constraints on it, make sure you allow enough time to get the project completed. Calling in June for a Kitchen remodel to be complete by your July 4th picnic probably won’t get it done.
7. DON’T – Delay. Imagine your Honey’s surprise when you hand her the “Honey-Do” list with the items crossed off.

Gehman Custom Remodeling would love to help with those “Honey-Do” list items. We can get really creative in working with your time schedule and help you to stay on the good side of your “Honey”.

Call today and…

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… “Honey-Do” List – Hybrid

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

Spring “Honey-Do” Lists

Even though these lists may be steeped in mountains of folklore and jesting, they still evoke fear in the hearts of men across the globe. Though many of us men have never actually seen one; we all have an idea of what they look like.

“Honey-Do” lists can be categorized into many different genres. The easiest to identify and most dreaded would be the “Spring” list. This list is identified thusly due to the time of year that it is published. Even though the entries on the list could help classify this as a “Spring” list, solely using the entries for classification gets a bit confusing due to the fact that individual entries somehow find a way to migrate from one list to the next and thus blur the issue of classification.

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While we could go into great detail in delineating the possible entries on the “Spring” list, it would be relatively impossible to cover the entries exhaustively. In light of that fact, we will dwell on general characteristics that will help men to identify, classify and avoid the “Spring” Honey-do list.

The name “Spring” may be a bit of a misnomer if you are thinking that it only represents the season of publication. In reality, Spring lists have been known to be published as early as the first week of January. These early lists are especially dangerous as they are most likely to include larger projects. The later the publication date, the longer the list tends to be, however, the projects therein are smaller in nature. The length of the list has a direct correlation to the time that the wife has spent cooped up in the house over the winter. So if you can keep your wife extremely busy outside the home through the months of December through March you will see a marked decline in the number of entries. Your goal would be to hear this statement coming from your wife’s lips: “It’s June already? Where did Spring go?” Bingo! Mission accomplished!

If you happen to be unlucky enough to actually see a “Honey-Do” list, our next blog entry will help out in checking things off the list.

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… “Honey-Do” List Do’s & Don’ts

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

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