Being home for a while has let me finish up the ongoing landscaping project in the back yard. The last earth moving is in process with the area taking on the final configuration, just stacking rocks and some more planting to do.
Also need to get more mulch from the county green waste facility, at least three trailer loads.
Along with the sway bar links there was an EGR valve in that box of parts that arrived a couple weeks ago. This weekend that valve was replaced.
Again I hit the YouTube auto manual before doing the job in order to size up exactly what would be needed. Ouch! That does not look fun. Indeed the videos made it look like a real knuckle buster to get out.
In one video the mechanic has to pound away with a mallet and breaks a 10mm socket in the process of removing the valve body bolts.
Unfortunately I have had to destroy my banana patch.
The patch of plants in my backyard was a venerable Keck lineage, starts passed down from one employee to another over the decades. They were the treasured apple bananas so popular in the islands.
I long ago lost count of how many bunches this patch produced, so many small bananas eaten or shared. The little tart tasting apple bananas are an island delicacy. From fresh to dried, or in smoothies we enjoyed this tropical treat from our own yard.
The wall building project is now well along, with sections of completed wall and the outline what it will look like when I am done now apparent.
At this point there is 18 ft of completed wall, another 52 lineal feet of various height walls in various stages of completion from first course laid to nearly topped out. Another 11 feet will be started shortly to complete the first phase of wall building.
To create this much wall over five tons of rock has been loaded, driven 19 miles, unloaded, and hauled to the back yard. Twelve wheelbarrow loads per ton. About 70% of that rock has been stacked into the walls, the remainder in piles awaiting use.
This one woke up everyone in the house, cats included.
While the eruption of 2018 had the island shaking, 2019 has had seemingly few felt earthquakes. I have gone several months without feeling a quake.
It was something of a surprise when the house rattled this morning just before 6am.
Deb asked me, “Was that a quake?”
From the short, sharp rattle I guessed it was close… I was right, a magnitude 3.1 in North Kohala. It was also deep, a bit over 14 miles down. This was a classic settling quake as the weight of the island presses into the ocean crust.
On a Saturday morning we did not stay awake for long, cats included.
Update: The quake was later upgraded to a 3.4 after review by the USGS.
With the big wall completed along the driveway, and a bit of a break over a hot muggy summer, I am again building walls.
This is not the sort of wall between people, I detest those, but rather a real rock wall, terracing the backyard to make the space available for landscaping and other projects. This puts into action a plan that has been brewing for years.
Part of the impetus is that I have a source of rock secured, a very large pile of very nice rock found in a Waimea backyard. One of my co-workers casually mentioned he needed to rid himself of a pile of rock, to which I quickly asked… How much rock?
The labor day weekend project? Replacing a few more rotten boards in the lanai.
This has been an ongoing project for years, including a few more boards to replace this summer. Over the last few weeks I have replaced half a dozen boards in the lanai.
I write this as I wait for paint to dry. There are three more big gaps in the lanai waiting for new boards. Those boards have been cut to size, drilled, and are almost ready to screw into place. Deb bought me another box of decking screws last time she was in Kona, should have this done shortly.
Unfortunately the original builders scrimped a bit when building the lanai. No paint on the ends of the boards, no paint underneath, and no paint on the joists. Where the lanai is undercover that has not been a problem, where it is exposed to the weather that has resulted in a fair amount of damage.
Unlike the carpenters who did the original work, I am painting each board on all surfaces before installation. I also clean and paint the top edges of the joists underneath while they are exposed. This should slow down the damage due to exposure.
The last challenge is to get the gaps right. Much of the lanai is nicely spaced between the boards. There is a zone where the gaps are all wrong, the boards right against each other. This is also right where the drip line is from the roof and most of the damage is. The result is a lot of careful measurement and ripping the boards to get the gaps looking good again.
I have two or three more boards identified as needing replacement, but not in any great hurry. They can wait for another weekend. Just need to wait for the latest round of paint to dry and I can screw the next three boards into place.