Mar 1-31, 2011 - Cruising Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

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  March 9 - There is only one big fear when you are working construction. No, not the budget nor the work - it's getting hurt. The top of all issues of getting hurt in my opinion is falling especially when it comes to your back. Let me pick up from me being on top of the ladder with my feet at about 6 feet and my head at 12 feet. Then I did something stupid. Not just kind of stupid, really STUPID. You already know how high up the ladder I was but what you don't know is that I have a complete body suit on to protect me from spraying along with a mask and safety glasses. I was going up the ladder and needed to get to the other side. You see, I had one of the legs collapsed so it would be on top of the granite countertop and the other leg completely extended. I climbed up the extended side then needed to go around to the other side of the ladder. Now comes the STUPID part. I have transferred to the other side numerous times over the last few months. This time, my safety glasses were painted up and I decided in the midst of latex poisoning (I made that up but it sounds good) that I would go around instead of over the top. As I got part way around the ladder began to start to tilt and I knew I was in trouble. That is when I knew that I was falling and this wasn't going to be pretty.

Have you ever been in an accident and considered how many things went through your mind when the accident was happening? It makes you wonder how little of our brain resource we are really using! So lets go back up that ladder and consider what was going on inside my head as I began the journey down with gravity pulling at it's standard rate.

As the ladder began to tilt I let go of the ladder but for some reason kept the paint spray gun in my hand. Then knowing things were going to go bad really, really fast I closed my eyes hoping, I guess, that time would stop. Instead it just went into hyper drive in my head. I remember falling free fall and the first thing that hit was my foot on the paper covered countertop. I remember the paper tearing as my left foot began sliding and my right foot could find nothing to land on. Next my head hit a wall leaving a baseball sized hole in the wall. Something I would need to fix later. (like I said, it is amazing what goes on inside your head at a time like this) After my head hit, I was saying to myself - this is going to hurt and I mean this is going to really hurt! I happen to have blown out my disc between L4 and L5 about 6 years ago and I was thinking I hope I don't hit there. It was about this time that my rear hit the granite countertop. Ok, my butt. I thought that's better than my lower back as I bounced and then my back hit right at the point where my disc was blown out. I even had a great bruise to prove it but in deference to our readers who would want to see it just like they saw Deb's bruises when she fell off the boat, well Deb didn't volunteer to take the pictures. Let's get back to the story where I had just bounced and I'm still being guided by gravity - down. Next my head hit the granite and since you asked, no I didn't break the granite although many of you will wonder why.

From that point I'm still heading down and the next to hit was my butt again leading the way towards that last obstacle which was the concrete and tile. Then came the bounce again and of course the back followed by my head. The entire time I was thinking, this is really starting to hurt and I know it's only going to get worse. I was thinking that I didn't want to end up like Christopher Reeves but just staying alive would be a pretty good thing. The other thing I thought was boy was this STUPID. Then my back hit and finally my head. Yes, I still had that spray gun in my hand. The first thing out of my mouth was a moan, not just a moan, a MOAN! UUUUHHHHHHHHH. Deb had taken a break and was down on the boat but I couldn't say Deb, all I could say was UUUHHHHHHHHHHH and it wasn't under my breath, it was after each breath. Deb was thinking the guys next door must be arguing and yelling at each other again. I was on the ground thinking "I wonder if I can move my legs." Between moans, I wiggled my toes and thought they moved. However, I didn't know if they did or if I just thought they did. Still moaning away, being the whimp that I am, I decided that I would have to take my hands and feel if my legs would move. They did and I moaned on knowing I would be fine. By then Deb showed up and wanted to know if she should call an ambulance. I said no and she asked if she should call Bob, who happens to be a friend you will be hearing much more about later and is also a doctor, to which I just said no. I just wanted to moan and moan I did for the next 15 minutes until I could roll around and get up.

Of course since I was moving, I went ahead and painted 3 more rooms with primer before taking a shower and then a ton of ibuprofen with lots of wine (no not whine) which I've been on for the last week. (Yes, both.)

I've gotten better and I did quit moaning although for a whimp I'm not sure why. I've been up and down that ladder about 5 million more times and as of tomorrow noon the painting of the house will be complete. Pictures in 2 days I swear. So how's the back today? It still hurts along with my head. Oh yeah, I did fix that hole in the wall too.

Mar 11 - Have you seen the movie Groundhog Day? That is all Deb could say for the last week. Let me start by trying to get you into the spirit. My day started each day at 7:15-7:30 and I would go up, eat cereal, then start painting. Day after day after day after day. Sure, others are faster but....... Deb would get up, clean up the boat and then come up and do what she could but realistically, she couldn't see the progress. We got to the point where she was getting a bit depressed and me, well I was getting sore. Up and down the ladder, up and down the ladder, up and down the ladder, up..... again you get the idea. Each day we would go to Shores for lunch and they would ask "still painting?" We would just nod and go back and do it all over again.

Thursday was the end of Groundhog Day or Painting Day for Jim and Deb. I have to tell you that I am so sick of smelling paint that I hope I never paint again! Wait, I have to paint the trim and the doors..... Darn. Oh well, more money saved.

The ceiling lines are just fine and we are happy with our results so we declared the ceilings and walls DONE!!!!! And it was a good feeling too.


Now why is Deb smiling? Look at that paper being put in the garbage bags. For the first time in almost 3 months Deb is going to see the floor again. Better yet, she will be seeing the cabinets that are still in and in only hours Groundhog Day or should I say, Painting Day is complete.

We celebrated for about 5 minutes and then it was time to get back to work. Yes, it's true I want this project complete. Time to count the receptacles, switches, and other parts that need to be replaced. There will be no electrical components going back in that I can't inspect personally. For the money, the piece of mind is cheap for the electrical. On the other hand, the money for the plumbing fixtures make me whence a bit, still they are being replaced.

Starting to look GOOD!!!!!

I took some pictures of the granite because we just can't be more pleased with the way it looks. The mica in it causes a 3D look to it and it is really cool. This is the first time we will have had granite and there aren't any cracks in it from where my head hit it. I'm still surprised about that!

Now you get to see Deb in the "office" and she is showing off the only two pieces of furniture that we own. Yes, we picked these two items up at garage sales last Friday. But wait, we are going again tomorrow - Saturday. We already have an appointment from Craig's List to look at a washer and dryer that is fairly new and we think we can pick up for $220 total. Deal shopping is in Deb's future and she is trying to pack in all the deals possible so we can get some critical items before we have to take off again.

This morning, I had some help between Deb and Bob to put up the rest of the cabinets in the kitchen. After labeling everything, it was very easy to put the cabinets back up through out the kitchen. It only took 2 hours and that included borrowing a table saw which I had to cut one trim piece with.

You can see Bob helping me put things up and he provided invaluable assistance even with two knees that need to be replaced about 6 months ago.

To the left you can see two people with those @#$# E@#$ grin's on their faces. Things are looking really good. Of course we also placed the cabinets into the bathrooms and more grins followed.

Next I went to Home Depot for the first time in a week to pick up some parts. The parts were really some new faucets for the bathrooms and all the electrical outlets, switches, etc that I counted. I'm sure I missed some stuff but I have enough to keep me busy for several more days. Gas prices ensure that I only want to go pick up supplies every three days at this point. Planning is everything and so far it's working just fine.

By the end of the weekend, I expect to have the electrical in throughout the kitchen and have the stove and refrigerator installed. In addition, I expect to have the bathroom's in place such that I can start connecting all the plumbing and getting those lists started for my next parts run. In between, it will be time for one last ground conductor cleaning in selected areas and installing all the outlets and switches. I only have about 100 to do and Bob and made the mistake of volunteering to help

Let me just say, LIFE IS BACK TO BEING GOOD and we are looking forward to this downhill ride on the house. I can hear the ocean calling - Oh wait - we are going to be helping to deliver a boat down the east coast in the month of May after I teach another Captain's class at Green Turtle Bay in Kentucky. Yes, back to sea!!!!!! More later and you can expect even more pictures.

  March 14 - As you know, we are scheduled to spend the first part of April up at Green Turtle Bay in Kentucky. Great place to visit and an even better place to hang out while you get your Captain's License. If you might be interested in the class, it starts on April 2nd. To find out more you can visit the True Course website and most likely call Captain Ron. Yes, that is really his name to find out all about the class.

 April 20 - Wow, even I am mad at myself. Way too long for an update.

Let's catch you up with the house and then we will talk about the regular updates that will be coming as a result of a boat delivery we will be doing starting this Saturday.

Deb is going to kill me for this shot. This is what she looks like when she is on a mission and heading in to SHOP for DEALS. The DEAL OF THE CENTURY or something like that. On this trip we found our dining room table - $220, couch $75, pictures $20, and of course even more.

 We had so much and it was so big that we had to put it into Bob's van to bring it back to the house. What a trip! You can see Deb is HAPPY.

To the right you can see the new dining room table and thick glass it is! In addition, you can see some of the pictures along with the bar seats we picked up from Craig's List. The dolphins came from a consignment shop for a "song." Of course we are telling everyone it all came from Robb and Stuckey which is the premier furniture dealer down here with the one issue that they are bankrupt. Who cares, we will still say they came from there and who knows, maybe they did!

Ah, the look at the kitchen and the breakfast bar. Are we having fun yet?

Well, maybe not. The compressor locked up on the A/C and when you add that to the problems of chinese drywall and the coil in the attic then that means replacement. Problem is you can't get the air handler down or the new one up with the ladder installed. So the ladder had to come out. To save money, that was in my scope of work.

You can see that I dreamed up a way to suspend the ladder portion from the rafters while I unbolted things.

One of the things we did was to swap labor. Well, not exactly a swap. Since I was able to teach a class up at Green Turtle Bay then I decided that I would trade the money I made up there for paid labor in the house. I would have enjoyed laying the tile but I'm not sure I would have enjoyed moving 3,500 pounds of tile. In addition, I also paid to have the tile in the bathrooms installed. Finally, I am having the rest of the dock put in since I simply am not here to get the work done. I guess that is how the economy functions. I earn money, give it to someone else who gives it to someone else, who gives it to someone else, who...... you get the idea.

We did get to see how they layed out the room according to my desires on matching grout lines. We even got to see some tile going down before we had to get in the car and head out.

Speaking of tile, this is just one of the palates of tile which we didn't have to move.

We had a wonderful class at Green Turtle Bay and not all the students pulled their hair out like Mark in the back of the room. Instead, some of them just turned gray. Just kidding.

Everyone learned a considerable amount and we ended up with 11 Captains and 9 Masters at the very end of my stay. A very successful trip! Unfortunately, not everyone could stay for the swearing in ceremony below since there was a pretty big storm coming in.

We arrived back in Ft. Myers on Tuesday afternoon. We walked into our wonderful tile and took these pictures after I mopped it 3 times to get the stuff off of it left over from putting in the grout. We still need some more cleaning but we are already running out of time preparing for our next trip.

To the right you can see the 2nd bedroom - many are already claiming the space especially since the A/C is working wonderfully.

Below left is the "office" and 3rd bedroom which will be an air mattresse.

Finally, below right is the master bedroom and it is also looking just fine. By the way, we are now moved into the house and will be working around the furniture when we return from the delivery to get the house completely done and final inspection accomplished.


 Our closet has some of the clothes hanging but not near enough hanger space yet. I just haven't had time to go buy more of the hangers. You can also see I haven't put the trim in either nor the doors, well there's also the details of the switch plates.

Below left you can get an idea of the transition from our newer tile (darker) to the old tile. I kind of like the transition but Deb and I both agree that we would have preferred to have the darker tile throughout the house. We will easily learn to live with it however!


 The shower came out better than before. We like the accent piece which separates the old tile from the new tile. Yes, it is really close but if they were butted up against each other then you would notice a difference.

So we will have some more updates on the house but the bottom line is we will be updating on a very regular schedule over the next month as we travel to Norfolk to fix the engine on a boat and then bring it down the East Coast to it's new home here in Ft. Myers. Deb and I are really looking forward to the trip along with Bob who owns the boat. We know we will be in the Intercoastal until about Hilton Head where we hope the weather cooperates and allows us to go "outside" for 2 - 2 1/2 days and head straight for Stuart's inlet. With 3 of us on board it should be a great crossing and save us an easy week in the process.

So check back with us on Saturday afternoon since I will try to do the first update from the front seat of Bob's car heading north. Yes, it will be typical Jim with MANY pictures and you will feel like you are making the trip with us.

Until Saturday. Yes, this Saturday!

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