BZ Elves and Holiday Gift Wrap

Sam has mostly recovered from his facial injury but our progress is still suffering. Unusual weather patterns (La Niña and a polar vortex) are causing the wettest winter we’ve seen since moving here. Of all the years…

On the upside, the less than ideal working conditions have allowed more time for our wreath and garland business. Yep, it’s that time of the year again. The “BZ Elves” had a very busy season despite our minimal advertising this year (we didn’t want too much business).

So far we’ve made over 40 wreaths and 450 ft of garland, spreading cheer all over the streets of town!

When the inclement weather started, Sam and I fired up the bucket truck in the rain and did a lovely job waterproofing the South side of the building. Our gloves turned into water balloons by the end of the day, and we stayed inside for the next 24 hours.

The plastic not only looks terrible but sounds terrible. On very windy days, the billowing sheets can get louder than the nail guns and require ear plugs.

On nicer days, we’ve been chipping away at the wall sheathing. It’s a slow process with fewer hands, but we eventually finished the sheathing on the North side and started putting Tyvek up! Tyvek is a water resisent yet breathable material used to wrap most buildings.

Tyvek comes in rolls similar to wrapping paper, only much heavier and difficult to deal with. We tried cutting a sheet first and carrying it… it worked but wasn’t ideal.

Then we tried walking it out along the building while one person holds the roll at one end. It was difficult to keep the Tyvek straight, and this method was only good at ground level.

It didn’t take long for Sam to engineer a Tyvek dispenser, which can be clamped to the scissor lift. Sam’s dispenser turned Tyvek wrapping into a one person job, giving me the option to stay home on colder days.

The Tyvek gets stapled to the sheathing, and then tape is used to seal the seams. Just when I thought we had every type of nail and staple gun they make, Sam added a cap stapler to the collection. It dispenses green plastic caps before stapling through them. The caps seal the holes that the staples make.

Not only did Sam optimize the Tyvek application process, but he improved our working conditions. He brought out my old “Buddy” – my favorite portable heating device that “Mr. Heater” makes. It’s propane, so it can go anywhere I go. We also set up a hot food stand, specializing in Italian cuisine and the occasional Mexican fare.

The added comforts got me out of the house more, and we eventually completed the North side. The Tyvek looks really nice in the snow.

Then, we rounded the corner and worked on the East side, which is more protected from the wind and rain.

After a few days of intermittent work, we (mostly Sam) finished the sheathing and wrapped it in Tyvek.

We covered most of the windows and will cut them out later. Fewer openings is ideal right now.

I was hoping to end this post by saying “it’s a wrap!”, but the building isn’t completely wrapped up yet. We want to get all the Tyvek up before it snows much more. If anyone wants to come help us with construction, we’re offering warm baked goods and “days off” to go skiing.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

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