As many of you know, we host a monthly meeting for all of the masons to gather, network, and discuss important matters that affect our organization as a whole. Over the past 3 weeks or so, we’ve had 4 break-ins. The first time, the person broke the front door. The second and third attempts occurred late at night and the robbers broke the window. They stole 7 garments and $1,500 from our community safe. Then, last week someone snuck in through a door one of the masons forgot to lock and stole the Chalice of Angelica, a gold cup that was passed down to our group from the previous owner. It’s worth more than $10,000, so we filed a police report immediately. However, after much investigation, the police weren’t able to find any evidence and don’t even have a suspect. Needless to say, we were very disappointed and have now decided to increase our building security. This week, we installed a state-of-the-art alarm system by ADT that has video streaming and alerts 911 directly when movement is detected inside the building. Second, we did some research on different types of fences. We looked at composite, wood, and laminate fencing before deciding on wood. So, to protect the building we installed a 9-foot-high wooden privacy fence. The fence installation was done by Queens Fence Company, a local fencing contractor that serves all of New York City. We’re hoping the new fence barrier will deter any more uninvited guests from attempting to breach our building. In the front, we’ve also installed a premium locked gate. There is no way for anyone to get in now without a key. Next time our masonry friends get together for an event, hopefully we will have some good news to share and we won’t have to talk about problems like this anymore. Updates to follow.
The plumblodge 862 masons meet each week at our main location, but once a year in the dead of winter, we fly in the extended masonry team from all over the United States to meet in one central location for two nights. The location selected for this year’s annual meeting was New York City. Who doesn’t love the Big Apple? That’s a rhetorical question, everyone does. The traffic not so much, but everything else is magical, especially when Christmas rolls around. Instead taxing an Uber to the airport and taking a boring commercial flight for peons, this year we decided to do something a little differently and chartered a private jet. Not a single mason in the group has ever flown private, so we were very much looking forward to the opportunity. We called LUX air solutions for a private jet rental from NYC and fell in love with the accommodations. No TSA, fast flight time because of the speed of the aircraft, a pilot that flew in the war, and the luxury seats were nothing short of amazing. I’ll be posting an update after the event, but that was by far the most exciting news of the week so far. I mean, I know we have Thanksgiving coming up on Thursday, but I can tell you for damn sure my family isn’t renting any privates jets to come home for it!
One of the key elements of our freemason society is individual development. Plumb Lodge 862 helps people step outside of their limiting beliefs to improve themselves by teaching them a skill or craft. Over time, the individual cultivates and develops this skill to become a more productive member of society. Masonry and paving are two crafts that we often work to develop in our members.
We took a road trip to Albany, New York to help our newest freemasons learn masonry and residential paving, which are very valuable skills that are always needed. Using our local connections in the Capital Region, we lined up multiple projects for residential paving in Albany. The first customer had an old driveway that was cracked with several potholes, so the asphalt needed to be removed prior to installing anything new. The home was 1,500 square feet and it was set back 200 yards from Washington Avenue Extension. The customer wanted us to pave a new driveway and then put in a stone walkway from the driveway to the home’s front door.
First, our paving contractors began by tearing up the previous driveway. We rented a backhoe from a local excavation company to help with this process. Once the space was cleared, our new members filled the holes in with dirt and graded the surface. While this was in process, the more experienced freemasons prepared the hot mix asphalt for application. This type of asphalt is a concentrated blend of stone, sand, and asphalt cement that was heated to 350 degrees to get it to bind. We then spread the HMA evenly across the ground and paved the driveway from the edge of the road to the edge of the concrete garage floor. We paved a total of 5 layers to ensure the correct depth, then we blocked off the driveway and left for the day.
On Sunday, we returned to the home to finish the driveway. Our contractors applied waterproof sealcoating on every inch of the asphalt, and then we began the custom masonry. We contracted a local stone mason to cut the rocks, leaving installation for us. We graded and prepared the ground under the walkway and then laid the stones from the driveway edge to the steps of the home. To finish off the project, we used hardscaping techniques to remove the grass along the edge of the walkway.
The brotherhood of Freemasons is always there for you, supporting your physical and emotionally well-being. In addition to helping men become more well-rounded, Plumb Lodge 862 Freemasons offer education on various aspects of everyday life that you need to survive, such as nutrition and physical wellness.
You may think that staying fit and healthy will take up a lot of your time. And the hours within the day is not enough to fit all the things you need to do. So, you always use the excuse that you are too busy to stay fit and healthy. But there are a lot of easy and simple ways to keep fit and healthy and still be able to do the things that you do that makes you awesome. Stop making excuses – you can still be fit and healthy and, at the same time, be busy with other things.
1. Walk whenever and wherever you can
To stay fit and healthy, you need to be more active and rely less on taking car rides and using the elevator. Walk when you are going to a nearby store; walk when getting coffee; use the stairs in your office or apartment building as often as possible; take a break from your desk and walk around for even at least five minutes; if you can, try arranging meetings in a park and walk with your colleagues while discussing things. If you do not regularly workout in the gym, walking is your next best option to get moving and to keep being fit and healthy. Walk to the Lodge meetings with the other masons if you’d like.
2. Cut down your workout time
You may skip the gym on most days because of lack of time. You reckon that you can accomplish more tasks if you do not go to the gym today – or tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that, until you stop going to the gym entirely. You may feel that you are compromising a lot of your time by working out and often it is because it takes up 1 to 2 hours of your time. Exercise is important to stay fit and healthy and you being busy will not change that fact. What you can do, though, is shorten the time required for you to exercise. A high-intensity 20 to 30-minute workout daily is better than exercising twice a month or perhaps not exercising at all. To also make it easier for you, select gyms that are near your area to save traveling time or workout at home even without the equipment. Plumb Lodge 862’s main building has exercise equipment you can use any time during the month, other than when sacred meetings are taking place.
3. Plan and prep your meals ahead of time
Preparing nutritious home-cooked meals can be time-consuming. But eating well is key to staying fit and healthy. So, how can you eat well despite being busy? You do actually have a lot of options and one of them that will probably cost you less is to plan your meals ahead of time and do some meal prep. Set aside at least 1-2 hours per week to plan and prep your meals. By the time you want a healthy meal, you can just pop out whatever you have already prepped and start re-heating or cooking it. Fast and easy. Having trouble doing it? Prepare some food in the Plumb Lodge 862 kitchen and save it in our refrigerator.
4. Say goodbye to the bad guys
To stay fit and healthy even when busy, try decreasing the amount of junk foods that you consume, especially liquids that can actually contain a lot of sugar. Liquid calories are quite sneaky, with a huge percentage of the sugar we consume actually coming from our drinks. Avoid too much alcohol and smoking as well. Better yet, to stay fit and healthy, avoid all of these ‘bad’ guys altogether.
5. Never fall short of sleep
Our sleeping habits is really crucial to keeping ourselves fit and healthy in the long-term. The quantity and quality of sleep we get is important but many of us do not prioritize sleep enough. Without enough proper sleep, we run the risk of heart diseases and it can even cause gain weight. So, perhaps it is time to stop all of those all-nighters you may have been pulling and start catching more sleep.
As an afterthought, perhaps being busy is not really preventing you from staying fit and healthy. Although dedicating your time can be a big factor, so is keeping yourself motivated to stay fit and healthy. Set your long- and short-term health and fitness goals and keep focused. Your brothers at Plumb Lodge 862 are here to help you stay on track to meet your goals.