Sunday, June 11, 2017

June 11, 2017

I didn't realize how busy I have been until I looked for what I posted last here and what to add since. 

 At the end of April I started a project for the Master Gardener/Master Naturalist program.  I built a "little library" for the CASA program in Joliet.  My job was just to build the basic structure.  I had some scrap outdoor plywood and some plexiglass from other projects so I built the structure and primed it in white. 

After I finished my part it was handed off to another MG who put a cedar shake roof on it.  After the roof was on, it was given to yet another MG to paint the outside of it.  It came out pretty good considering I had warped wood to work with so fitting things together was a real challenge.  It was very important to make it sealed from the weather so everything was caulked within an inch of its' life.  Hopefully no rain will get in and ruin any books. 

On May 6th I gave a talk on the monarch issue at the FPDWC Sugar Creek Administration building.  It was well attended and it went pretty well.  I had a lot of the participants come up to me after the talk to say that they learned something and a teacher came up to me and said that she has gone to several of these talks before and came away from mine with better facts and understanding than all the other ones she attended.  That made my day!

 The Endor Bunker was all set up and ready for its' premier - the Joliet Area Historical Museum's Star Wars Scavenger Hunt.  We had a good turn out of costumed characters to add to the atmosphere and the Bunker was a huge hit. 

Attendance was double last year's event and everyone that came seemed to have a good time.

The Bunker was definitely ready for the Joliet Library Star Wars Day festivities.

I did another event on 5-4-17 for the Children's Miracle Network.  Fellow Nar Shaddaa Base member Robert Redden had a fundraiser for CMN at his WalMart store in Orland Park.  We were there taking photos for several hours.  It was a nice, cool day so a perfect opportunity to wear the really hot TFA Resistance Pilot costume.  It was a "May the Fourth" event so it was on a Thursday night.  Considering it was not the weekend, we still managed to get a good amount in donations.
May 28th brought another Star Wars costume event.  This time it was Legoland up in Schaumburg.  I haven't done a Legoland event in a number of years.  I felt that I owed myself a "get away" from the house.  The wipers on my Jeep finally quit working and rain was predicted, so it was a bit of a "throw caution to the wind" thing to drive to Schaumburg with no wipers.  Fortunately, it didn't rain and I made it home with no issues.  I didn't really stay at the event that long as issues with arthritis make long costume events not something I am that crazy about anymore.
 On June 3rd was the "big day" - Joliet Library Star Wars Day.  The weather had been great right up to the event but the "day of" it was hot and very humid.  It was yet another "sweat fest".  Things went surprisingly well and the day went pretty quickly.  I didn't leave the Museum to see the rest of the event and stationed myself at the Bunker pretty much all day. I spent most of the day at the roped entrance to the bunker and tried to wrangle donations out of everyone who wanted to have their picture taken behind the ropes at either the bunker or the speeder bike or both.
We raised just over $600.00 for Bugs Pals from the public who came to take pictures.  Many of the people who attended both 2016 and 2017 said they felt that the crowd had grown again.  It was hard to tell since I spent the entire day inside the Museum.  This year we were also spread out over 3 venues instead of just 2, so that probably made things a little less hectic.  The Museum didn't seem to be as "crushed" but that could have been because we actually had more room this year with the R2 Builders at the Rialto Theater.
 On May 26th I had my new bay window installed.  The old one had been a mess and was rotting away.  Ants were being attracted to the rotting wood and the window had been fogging up between the glass panes for years and years.  The old window actually started to fog up only a couple years after  I had moved into the house in 1986.  I hated that old window and the casement windows on the side.  The new window looks GREAT!!  I can't believe what a difference a window makes.  The new window has double hung windows on each side of the picture
window instead of those crappy crank out casement windows.  It is so nice to open windows at will without dealing with the awkward screens that had to go in the old windows.  I also finally fixed the screen on the front door.  That has been torn away for years and fixing that went unexpectedly well.  I also fixed the toilet last month that was "running" way too often.  I thought that since the toilet was so old that I would not be able to find parts, but it was an easy, universal, $5.00 fix and no more wasting water.

May 31st I attended the "Invasive Species Symposium" in Champaign IL at the Extension Office.  It was a good event even though a lot of the topics were on invasive species in the waterways.  Good information but not anything I will likely use.  I rode with Mark Bettin who is another FPDWC restoration volunteer and on the way home we stopped off at a cemetery prairie called Prospect Prairie.  It was truly an amazing place.  I have to remember to get out more.