Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 30th 2014

Well sorry to have dropped the ball,  but it simply became to difficult to keep up.   the biggest problem was internet connections .  After spending hours of typing and adding photos every few nights and loosing the connection  while uploading I finally gave up.

I did however eventually finish our home and these are the photos on the last day of our 5 yr adventure to The Big Island of Hawaii  

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

After the Rain

A Rare Yellow Ohia Tree

Well after a month or so of rain we finally are back in the sunshine of course I try not to say that too loudly as we are still deep in the middle of the rainy season. The little green house is still pumping out the occasional veggie and landscaping has been a source of relaxation in the midst of trying to build this home. 2 steps forward 3 steps back is how we seem to progress. The downturn in construction has many suppliers operating with skeleton crews and dwindling inventories. It has been a struggle getting a complete order that is all usable. We've been sending back and back pieces that simply won't work or look like they had been laying around for months all greyed and weather cracked. Sorry, not in our house..... so we walk a fine line looking for acceptable goods without burning bridges to our completion. Pictured below are some of the framing details of our grand cabin. I must admit it is starting to feel like a home. The work has been heavier work than I'd hoped because we have had to make so many changes along the way. I find myself taking things apart because the plans call for one thing and suppliers sell something else. Am i making this sound like a bad experience, it is not really just frustrating being in a new place not knowing all the good avenues relying on others experiences to make your own good choices. Of course those of you that know me know i can't drive so running around looking and seeing before buying is almost impossible.

Here are shots of raising the ridge beam I'd been scheming how in the world I would get this beast up 16 feet in the air so we could have a ridge from which to build a roof system. I finally decided to spend some cash and hire a crane to come lift it into place. Good Plan took 20 minutes but i fussed over this for two weeks prior to. Had I known, before the guy showed up, there was a two hour min fee I would of waited until I had all the rafters cut and had him lift them as well because they have all but worn me out. This roof system will be impressive when all done we upped the size of the rafters because of two reasons one cosmetic the other structural. The plan called for a 4x6 rafter spaced every 48 inches but we went with 4x8 so we would not worry about any sagging should we choose a wood ceiling. Well the main house section has all it's rafters in place and the lanai portion is underway. Still all the while we are unsure of the siding as the plan called for one thing and suppliers sell another jeez go figure. Well they actually sell it just not treated for bugs and I want everything treated that is structural.

The rain continues to come and go, as you have seen we keep this project completely under cover. The borate treatment, the wood has gone through, will simply leach out if it is allowed to be exposed to such rain continually. The lanai portion is now under way, a much smaller ridge beam for it is in place along with the headers that will carry the rafter tails (ends). We will have a three foot overhang along the sides of the house and a four foot overhang on the ends so rain will never be an issue as long as the wind isn't very strong which it hasn't been till now. The wind is my greatest fear and has been the cause of extra bracing, again that the plans did not call for so more of the two step three step shuffle. With the last posts in place and all headers and beams now positioned the lanai railings have been my focus these past days. Again I find myself struggling for quality material. As i type I also wait on a call from suppliers that were supposed to get back to me in fifteen minutes two hours ago even the dog is like whats up with that......

Some photos of the lanai progress

The railings are providing the support for the lanai posts and beams, once complete the final rafters go in place

Time for some fun stuff Mz P just had a birthday! 59 and holding This might even be more unbelievable than us having moved here from Maine. These are the kind of things I miss the most with regards to driving. there use to be a time when I could hop in my truck and go make birthdays and holidays something special all on my own now I have to make other arrangements which just isn't the same. Well I asks the lady of the day what she might enjoy and typically, from an aging woman I get nothing ! just another day......Holy ole cranky pants glad I asked. Well be that way you old poop! So I puts on the ole thinking cap and come up with a gate for our driveway. It just so happens that we were in need of one as well. The three little pigs and the two little goats that live across the street have decided that things at our place are looking pretty yummy and being it is the country the proactive thing to do was a gate so here is the birthday gate simple but effective and I didn't even have to leave to get it done.

She loved it........laughed but loved it as did many that have come by

We'd been clearing and adding more plants here and there and came across this little feature in our front yard the amazing part of it is that it was a falling down tree at one time who's roots turned into trees and branches that turned into trees and then mother nature carpeted it in the most beautifully covered moss we'd ever seen, 6 or more inches thick feeling like an expensive hand woven rug

oops wrong picture this is our Ti plants and edible nasturtiums

ok here is the right ones

undisturbed since the tree fell over hmmmmmm wonder why it fell over........hmm I don't like the wind....

Last but not least and possibly the most exciting is our recent acquisition of land line phone service which hopefully means a dsl computer connection, they will be telling us soon. I'll give you a reason why so important it has now been 6 hours that I have been working on this post our wireless broadband service simply works for email anything else takes way too long.

So this concludes This update and as always we appreciate your viewing and look forward to your comments no matter how they reach us.

Till next time Buckaroos

This is Dave & Peggy in Hawaii !!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

`A Word on Rain

Rain for Christmas

Rain has become a word to respect, at least until one becomes adjusted to the amount and frequencies thereof. We left winter behind, I thought. This rain that has seemingly come to stay gets pretty intense from time to time and we wonder if it were snow how much there would be....... For now though we acclimatize and learn how destructive it can be. Down here close to the ground, in our tents, the worst place we could be is slowly becoming harder to keep dry and mold at bay. Rain and the rainy season is also a time of a great gift here. We catch our water but unfortunately the tents/tarps are not so gutter friendly that they can provide enough supply for us to get ahead right now. Once the roof is complete, on the house we'll have some 80 feet of gutter to feed the water tank, and water will likely never be an issue again. Beginning Christmas night and still lingering was a 7" plus little shower. It is so amazing that the sky can hold that kind of water. Just a few miles north they received 12 plus inches in a 24 hr period. The road into our subdivision was closed Friday 26Th Peggy had to come home from an entirely different and longer way. The rain also helps make this area one of the very best for fruit trees, bananas in particular love the abundance of water, ours are thriving. As a matter of fact fruit trees are fruiting everywhere. The tangerines here are to die for as are all the fruits in their own way. The rain also cleanses the earth and everything it hits. The really big rain cleans everything off and takes it to the dump for you too, so how can you beat that. Rain is basically a good thing in more ways than not.

Hey well how about some house stuff eh? Can't live in a tent forever. Yeah OK we got some stuff to show you, here in the first photo is where we pretty much left off the last you were here.

Here you find us all floored over and the ridge beam sitting there. I stressed over the coming of this beam for a couple days still not sure even on delivery day how it would really play out. The beam came and the plan materialized and before long it was on the floor in place like it was picked up and placed there.

I decided from this point if I was going up and down all the time I ought to have something better than a step ladder so I built the stairs, oh yeah good plan .... Of course it sounded easy enough but getting decent material for stairs was not so easy. We did finally end up with some nice material for stair stringers here they are without railings for now.

Stairs with a landing, Peggy's thought, lots of steps as you get older might not be a good thing. The landing gives you a place to stop and rest.

Here is a look along the front of the lanai with the stairs

lots of post bracing, this with the extra heavy post brackets and five, shear walls double sided give us a pretty solid and secure floor system. The ground level area of this home will be kind of nice especially along this stretch I think.

Everything that goes together now is finish work. All the studs and headers, windows and door framing will all be exposed no Sheetrock no paneling. Studs 4 foot apart with wood siding on the exterior side ....wall done So everything must stay as dry as possible for sanding and all material must be sand worthy not something that should be regrown and believe me I've seen stuff they try to pass off as good that should be thrown to the ground for reclaiming. Well the posts that came and the headers were not what I'd hoped for so I planed all the posts and sent all the headers back. The posts look good now and the headers well, in time. Here we are wall posts attached to a bottom plate and temporarily braced waiting for headers.

Here is where we stall for a while can't readily find the beams we need for the headers around the room. The current supplier has told me they can't come up with stock to meet my specifications of ( select / straight) so we wait, I take a mini vacation which amounts to garden work fruit tree planting, more brush clearing. I ordered two loads of mulch to spread around the yard and make soil with. The greatest thing about this place is planting things or transplanting or simply breaking a branch off of something sticking it the ground and not even soil just whatever and stand back and watch it grow. Heck just throw it on the ground it will grow it is amazing and I love it!!!!! It's near January and we are picking swisschard from the garden

While we are on hold we also are waiting to see if Peggy makes it past her 90 day probation at work, upon completion and supervisor approval she becomes regular full time owner/employee and gets a respectable discount on material.......aaaaahhh the joys of fringe benefits We'll get to take advantage of two orders of up to 2000$ each one this year one next and so on. This gives us two right off Dec 08/Jan 09. First Order with HPM saved us well over one thousand dollars from regular contractor pricing. This order which we received Dec 22ND was for 42 beams which will make up the roof framing. The material although not all completely straight is the best we've seen to date so as soon as the weather breaks the roof goes together. Lets not get to excited here because there is an enormous amount of finish work that needs to go into all these beams before they go anywhere.

To begin we must first get them up to the floor area, 2 days into the project and 28 pieces hauled upstairs it has begun to rain without end, still raining 5 days later. Oh well we knew the good weather wouldn't last forever and we've been blessed with so many above average days since we have been here.

So this brings you up to date on our progress for 2008 I think this year has been a personal best of mine and I'm pleased and very proud that we have near completed this great adventure. so we would like to say thanks for checking in on our progress and especially for all the comments It is almost as much work to keep up this blog as it is to build this house.

Ok Ok one little hair raising story to tell before we go
Dec 25th Christmas 2008, we enjoyed a wonderful roast with friends here at out campsite yep prime rib on the grille let me tell you it was to perfection if I do say so myself. Julie brought tater salad and pumpkin pie. We had a good time celebrating this giving season. Later we all spoke on the phone with our daughter and sent some pictures of us together with our little hibiscus xmas tree. We turned in rather early and finished those visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads. It must of been near 3 am when I was awoken by the sound of rain so hard I thought the tarp was coming down. This can't be good I thought so I got up got dressed and told Peggy to do the same while dressing I could hear the sound of crashing lumber and flapping tarp material. The house is coming apart all my tools are up there and all exposed. I rushed stumbling about expecting Peg to be right behind me I made it upstairs into the house to find that some of the temp framing for then tarp had been ripped down by a wind gust. There I was in the dark with a mag light trying to make up new bracing and get things stapled back down Please understand I don't see in the dark, I have to have light and of course getting the light to shine where I needed it became increasingly more impossible, where is Peggy ? I spent an hour or more getting things back in order as the wind gusted and the sky thundered and lightening. The rain had let up some but all the while there was thunder and lightening off in the distance and back in the tent Peggy is curled up in her bed under the covers........Ok sure yeah thanks alot...........I guess you could say I was a little p o'd however things turned out ok and we got back to ............

Living Happily Ever after !!

This concludes Dave and Peggy's Great Hawaii Adventure for 2008 we hope you come back next year to see how things turn out for Dave & Peggy .

Hau' oli Makahiki Hou

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Saga Continues

Mauna Kea

Well We're back, armed with more news of our Great Hawaii Adventure. Pictures and tales of our life experience here on the Big Island of Hawaii. So Boys and Girls when last known we were completing our water system and still waiting on our building permit. Fiiiiinally we have our building permit in hand and are underway with the construction of our home. The tents are okay and we have everything a house would have but the time has come.

First however I have a few funny tales to tell. If memory serves me correctly we had been at friends for the evening and had returned to camp to settle in for the night. The stockings were....oops wrong story. Shortly after lying in bed for a while we thought the bed was feeling a little soft, coleman queen size double high air mattress Cadillac of camp comfort.... so we adjusted things a little and signed off for the night. Well .....I guess it was round 2ish am we woke to deciding we had a leak after doing the math we decided on more air and fix it in the am, nite nite..........6 am butts on the flloor head and toes on the ceiling we lie......Ok maybe we should be careful how we move no no move no no move sideways well you get the idea we are laying hammock like and of course you had to laugh as to cry but once one of you started to move the other was flopped about as though on a sloshy water bed. This just isn't kind of fun older folks need so early AM.....fllipping flopping and laughing and coughing and of course everyone has to pee... lookout!!!!!!! OOOPS!! I got out first and Peg went from the hammack to ceiling and crashing to the floor the moment I got up away from the bed i didn't check but she musta peed the bed ...............Well the story ended with a new coleman cadi and things couldn't be bettah..

The Night of the Wild Pigs,
We've told you we live in a rural area eh? Dirt roads limited power and phone and very private jungle like surroundings. Deep in the jungle lives the wiley pig "The Silver Bullet" as they are called by some locals. They seem to be in great numbers to hear folks talk and they are exremely destructive. They can turn a garden or flower bed or whatever to barnyard muck in no time flat. ok ok ok anyway we've never seen any or herd any but then we live on a well traveled connector road, we figure this keeps them at bay. Meanwhile the stories of passing neighbors begin to arouse our couriosity. So we think about the day or what we might do to prevent a late night visit. The dog of course would immediately alert us to any foreign smell. Countless stories and accounts of how dogs have been ripped open from confrontations with these lighting fast jungle critters. I need tell you now of Joe and his three dogs, Joe who lives some distance away travels in and out via the road we live on and everyday Kua alerts us to them coming There is always a young retriever leading the way on a steady run usually followed by joe, in his pickup, and the other two dogs in the body both older and each a bit larger than the one before. The young dog always runs to the top of the hill and sits and waits till joe arrives hops in the truck, and away they go. Ok Thats joe and his dogs, one morning the two older dogs were in our back yard whining and jumping on their hind legs appearing as those they were confused with somthing now the old dog has light blue/white eyes big shepherd looking dog bigger than ours, freaky looking. I thought having not really met joe or the dogs perhaps it was blind and lost and in a panic. Then I heard joe's truck down the road so out I went. I find joe down at the intersection of 9 road our furtherst boundary line. So I wave a few times and after abit he comes up intros himself and I tell him his dog is in the back freaking out. He says "yeah yeah they are chasing pigs, had been through the night." So, now we are on High Pig Alert!!!! I can tell Peg's bothered because she isn't talking about it. anyway That evening, I thought, they have now been chased into our area so maybe soon. 3:30 Am, a mid night pc and back to bed awoke Peg and she grumbled a bit, as I was countering, there was a very loud grunt! The sound filled the air, Peggy responded "Is that a pig!!" as I was about to say yeah and get up, a second later comes this shreaking squeal like the biggest baddest pig of them all was right out side the tent, now bare in mind the the stillness of the air. Ok, a little background, dog is barking, pigs are squealing, dark as can be and us trying to get up, get dressed, get out, get control of the dog, calm the wife and find the pigs. Yeah ok sure out I go flashlight and BB pistol in hand, all is quiet. So I look around still see or hear nothing then I think I hear something and Peg speaks out. "Get the keys get the jeep !!" Ok yeah lots of light and noise. In the jeep onto the house pad high beams no pigs shut off the engine pigs hmmmm then the jeep door opens and in piles Peggy and Kua I ain't staying out there, so there! we sat there till sun up waiting for the biggest badest wiley pig of them all and still we see No Pig!!! This was late August and we have not seen nor heard of any since unfortunately there are no pictures of pigs though we hope you enjoyed this gripping story................

We've been waiting forever for our building permit for ever now don't you think Well there was good reason and a good story as well lesson # 34 learned. Anyhow we finally have our building permit and are ready to go. But before we get to the building stuff lets have look at some of the players. From early on we were given the name of a fellow who runs a small dump truck and lives here in The Acres. He goes by "Bear" but his name is Mike and he has come to be a good friend as well as a trustworthy business man. More than once Bear has saved us through his connections. Bear rides with a sidekick named Hermione, a 2 year old female golden retriever her nickname is hermie. Full of mischief and sweet as can be is how I think of her. then there is Annabelle, she would be the truck, making her job easy is everyones first concern. Bear recently brought Betsy, the rock hammer over and installed a 16 ft temp phone pole so we can get some inexpensive phone service and high speed internet. Here are few photos of the gang.

Oh Oh Oh ,so much to remember, Our neighbor Matt has a small animal collection and everything in his world is unique in it's own way . I've told Matt he should offer his property up for filming. To step on his property is to step into another world. 25 years ago Matt came and built and landscaped with many tropical plants and trees and today everything is monstrous and mostly overgrown. His critters are the big attraction for us, lets see we have Fred and Barney the pigmy goats that can't be left alone, Jasmine the 300lb pot-belly pig and a new arrival Tara another pot belly pig that was pregnant and ,of course, the alarm clock group roosters and chickens exotic bantams very very pretty. Of course the piglets are the showstoppers, I guess it was a couple three weeks after they were born we had a rather heavy overnight rain event and Matt let them out of their pen to sleep under the house with the other animals. I guess come morning they decided they would all go out for a walk and came down to our place at sunup. Peg was getting ready for work and I was making morning rounds when she yelled out David there are pigs in the yard, now she was not all that familiar with the new family and thought they were wild and were after our garden. I came out from the container to see that it was mother pig and the piglets so I went over to them. Immediately the piglets were on the run and mother pig was on high alert that I was coming near. I reached out gave pig a rub and called her to follow. Meanwhile little pigs are scurrying up the side of the road single file until they disappeared one by one into Matt's driveway. so funny to see their little feet all going together up the road. Matt gave them all names a few of them are bootsie, spot, inky, supersow, I forget the rest..... I must say it's been fun watching them grow and get into mischief.

Here also is another as they have aged some.. Of course Fred and Barney are always good for a laugh Just the other day Matt was out walking Makela and stopped for a minute to talk and visit. After a short time you are first alerted by the sound Maaaattt Of course Matt turns and angrily says "yeah I can't go anywhere out of their sight." He is trying to train them to stay home yeah? but they keep coming after him, once again up the road yelling YAH YAH.....

Oh yes the house stuff well after final grading came the first load of foundation material concrete piers, posts and beams its always bad when you dread the first step in a project but these pier are 150lbs + and their placement must be exact. A hand truck proved to be a useful tool for the job. 32 posts and piers will support us just nine feet up off the ground. This has made for some interesting challenges so far like the weight of the material. Having been saturated in a borate treatment, for insects, the wood varies in weight some pieces near twice their normal weight. But i've kept everything at a manageable length so at worst the heaviest is right at my handling limit so far so good. Of course help is always available as far as a phone call or as close as a shout. This safety net eases the stress level considerably. I was rather excited when the first load came. It had pallets, now keeping things off the ground here is very impotant if left on the ground i suspect the jungle would eat it up in no time. Almost all of the piles of brush we created has been absorbed. On quiet rainy days you can hear the jungle falling in on itself as some of what grows out here is very soft and fast growing.
After about a week of setting and leveling and squaring we were ready for posts, brackets and beams. I'll tell you , having got through this step gives me hope hahahaha ..Here is the sequence of shots

The foundation made rigid with the cornered shear walls. There are five rows of 4x10 beams 32 ft total length. This is ready for floor framing.

The floor framing, main house 2x10, lanai 2x8 all spaced 16" this is another change to the plan I've made, the draftsperson called for 2x8 spaced 24". I'm glad I made the change. I've also included more than required blocking in the frame. We will now be better prepared to make finished floor selections, anything we can afford is doable. I spent an extra week here with brackets bolts and blocking now the subfloor is complete it i'm very pleased with the floor framing. The lanai flooring will be 2x6 treated fir.

Here is something you get to experience occassionally Vog volcanic gases in the form of fog. We don't usually experience it but this is a shot of how things looked one morning and the sun comes through the trees. Rather smelly like sulfer lasts untill the wind kicks up and then it blows clear within minutes. Other parts of the island arn't so fortunate even some of the other islands get socked in. It's all good in Puna!!

Remembering to stop and smell the roses
gets you other kodak moments like this one of the clouds and they are always so close seems like you could almost reach out and touch them ...

Peg went to a semi annual plant/tree sale
she came home with a whole array of fruit trees this pictured is a veregated lemon among others were orange, lime, star-fruit, cinnamon. tangerine, fig, grapefruit, kumquat, avocado and a gardenia. Most things were fruited and all are dwarf size trees.

Off course now we have this permit we can really get flying except now we are in the rainy season and more times than not things get put on hold. Ok so today we think we have a plan, it's a proven method and depending on height limitations it has the potential for providing a dry environment in which to keep building. Let me tell you as I type this morning it is some wet out there. Good though gave me a chance to walk in the rain it kinda like smelling th

e flowers, actually I'm more interested in how the water flows and where. It was crap shoot when we got here, with regard to how the water would flow but now six months later we are getting a feel for things. There will be times, I'm sure that we will be very very happy we have built so high off the ground.

Well yet even more Great News !? PeggyAnn went back to work !! shsjnfbkjnbd!!!! the fuel costs getting so far out of control makes everthing more expensive so a little faster trickle of nickels has become neccessary. The outfit she works for, HPM Building Supply Co. Big high priced outfit but handy if you happened to building a house.......actually it is more Island Mana at work that and our good karma is driving this adventure machine of ours. She works 8-5 mon-fri, she travels 15 mins and more like 30 in the morning because of the traffic coming down the mountain. So it is official she lives and works and registers her car in Hawaii.

Hopefully one day when this speed and connection issue gets worked out completely she will post some of her take on all of this. It can be demanding on ones' patience some times the photo uploads can take close to 30 min. So we now have our official pole and we need just a couple of minor things along with the install date and we should be good as long as they have room for us as a dsl customer if not I' m afraid it is broadband wireless.

I hope this catches you up to date on our adventure so far we have hunkered in for the winter and wish warm breezes your way safely now !

Oh! wait a minute there is still more to tell. There is someone new in my/our life her name is Makela and she is 2 years old she has come to stay with Uncle Matt and Auntie

Bo. She hollers from the road each day while on her walk with Uncle Matt. She loves to quietly and slowly walk among our things. I introduced her to lettuce, from my garden and she has fallen in love with it. Matt was saying he had a nightmare of his goats , Fred and Barney, were coming down to eat all our new fruit trees and garden things. I told him after watching Makela eat my lettuce that maybe we should watch her not the goats!! she continues to bring something special to our life and we hope and pray she has a wondeful life.

Made some upgrades to the camp, we bought a used frig and dishwasher and new washer so Peg doesn't have to go set down to Suds and Duds on her day off. I'm amazed at the ability of our little power plant to run a full size frig, waterpump, charge a cell phone, charge a computer and Watch 4 hours of TV everyday. Then wash 4 load laundry vacuum the floors (In Tents !! ) and iron Pegs' clothes weekly. Now we are doing this with the smallest of solar systems and a backup generator that we run 1 hour a day just for keeping things in good supply. Those of you that know personally would laugh your behinds off to see this up close for those just lurking and wondering this is a very doable adventure so stop thinking and start doing...........

In Hawaii,
Dave & Peggy
and Kua too!!