Sunday, July 30, 2017

I Felt It!

This morning I woke up just before 2 am, a couple minutes later I heard the rats scurrying around in the attic. And immediately after that I felt a slight swaying motion. It was so mild I wasn't sure I really felt it and I wondered how the rats could make the house shake with their running! Then my phone made the funny beep it does when I get an emergency alert; it was telling me that an earthquake was just reported! I sent in my observations for the USGS citizen science project "Did You Feel It?".
Screen shot from USGS website.

When I really woke up I started working on the shelves. Like in the boxes on top of the closet, I was finding a lot of old photos and other cool stuff. I found 2 more funeral photos; one I am sure is Grandpa's funeral since it was taken at the Kapa'au church & my siblings & I are in it along with a bunch of Mom's siblings.
Grandpa's funeral.

The other funeral photo is probably from the 1930's or so judging by the cars. It is also interesting to note the Buddhist sauwastika on the gable end of the church, which is absent in the upper photo. It probably was removed during World War II when people mistook it for the Nazi swastika which faces to the right. Even today ignorant Neo-Nazis sometimes confuse the 2 and tag things with the Buddhist symbol!
Probably the funeral of one of my great-grandparents.

I also found some cedar balls that I got for moths. I have since learned that all the cedar does is make your clothes smell better than they would with naphthalene moth balls! Apparently it is the tightness of a cedar chest that prevents the moths from coming in rather than the cedar oils repelling the moths. Oh well. I couldn't find any camphor at Sunshine Hardware so I will have to bring some with me next time.

I found a really cool Japanese sewing box. I'm sure it was Grandma's since she used to sew a lot, though not as much as Hilo Aunty who was a professional tailor. I was only able to get one drawer to open easily; I didn't want to force the others and break the handle. I will have to try again when I am not pressed for time.

Here's a look at the progress on the shelves.
July 28th.
Today, before lunch.
Refilled and covered with plastic curtains to keep the dust out.

One thing I noticed as I was wiping down the shelves before lunch is that they were built in after the rest of the house. Last night Lem said that Grandpa's friend Kwanji built all the kitchen cabinets, I wonder if he also built these shelves and the cabinet that used to be in the bathroom? (Lem said Grandpa paid Kwanji by giving him one of the steers he raised.)
You can see how the shelves were built around the battens. That's what it looked like in the old bathroom cabinets.

As soon as I finished wiping down the shelves I headed out to take some measurements at the church. I am helping Joy figure out how to get a ramp built so that people like Uncle Kazu & Joy's mother can get in to the church. When I got there & started taking measurements I disturbed the church cat's nap; later it went to check out my car as I was getting ready to leave. I don't think it was too happy with me.
This is where Joy would like the ramp to be located.
The church cat giving me the stink eye!

I met cousin Laurel & her husband William at L & L Barbecue for lunch; it just opened up in Kapa'au last Sunday! I have been told that it has been very popular, on the first day there was apparently a very long line. Today it was busy but no line. I forgot to get a picture of lunch and the building - you can't miss it, it's the most colorful building in town! I think they used every primary color there is!

While I was out I picked up some pin flags. The Aikane Nursery guys need to bring in a larger backhoe to dig out the the avocado stump as well as the grapefruit stump; they wanted to know where the cesspool is so they don't accidentally break the cover. I also marked the extension so that they know what plants need to be moved out of the way.
The northeast corner of the sewing room will be extended to pink flag seen here. The northwest corner will be behind the hapu'u fern in the background.

While I was out marking the cesspool I saw a cat come in from Jessie's yard. I moved behind the mountain apple tree so that my outline would be broken up & watched as the cat almost walked up to me!
It's spotted something.
It's caught something in the banana plant!
On the prowl again.
It still hasn't seen me.
"Oh, oh! What's that!"
"Yikes! Gotta get away!"
"Phew! That was too close for comfort."

After dinner I emptied the last 4 kitchen cabinets. Now everything is out of them and Chris can start fixing them. Tomorrow morning I will be gathering all the things on the getabako shelves to get those out of his way, too. I leave later in the evening.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Formidable Footprint

Back in November 2016 I got on to the Hawai'i Island Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) e-mail list to find out about training opportunities. I was never able to take the training before due to a combination of volunteer & work commitments that conflicted with at least one of the training days. But I figured now that I am retired there would be more opportunities. And one came up! Sort of. It is the Formidable Footprint tabletop exercise on Hurricane preparedness. I registered; it was this morning. Because they are out of the east coast I had to be logged in by 7:30 am to make sure I had enough time to get through the entire 3-hour exercise.

It turns out this is supposed to be a group exercise. You are supposed to be sitting with your fellow first responders and going through the exercise. That was not the way it came across in the e-mail I got, so I was the only one from Hawai'i Island (as well as the state of Hawai'i) who was registered for this exercise! Because it was only me and I had no idea how some (many) of the events would be handled, I breezed through it in a little under 2 hours. At the end you do a Hotwash (debrief) about 3 areas your team did well and 3 areas that need improvement. I need a lot of improvement! But next time I should be able to be "Most Improved"! One of the things I really liked is that I now have access to the Just in Time Disaster Training video library.

Needless to say, I needed a nap after the training. So I skipped going to the farmers market, besides, it had started drizzling again.

When I got up it had stopped drizzling and looked like it was going to clear up. But I didn't want to lose the momentum from yesterday's clean up work I decided to stay indoors. I also figured I could add the covering of the stumps to my monthly landscape maintenance work that I want Aikane Nursery to do for me. I decided to start with the little table that was on top of the closet. I used Murphy Oil Soap to clean it up; it looks better but I think I still need to get another product to help rejuvenate the wood.
Top before.
Top after, I don't see any difference at all but I know its cleaner because the cloth got dirty!
Shelf before.
Shelf after; the white spots that are gone were apparently gecko droppings.

After the table was done, I switched over to working on the chest of drawers in my bedroom. The concept will be the same for the 2 other bedrooms; they all have the same type of dresser. The top 2 drawers will be for the use of visitors, the next drawer down will have towels, beach towels, and sheets & pillow cases for the bed in that room so that the visitors have everything they need & don't need to ask me. The bottom 2 drawers will be my stuff.
I pulled all the drawers out, vacuumed the rails, then wiped everything down.
I found some moth damage on some clothes so I put moth balls in the space below the drawers; hope it will work this way.
After; all the dressers will be labelled like this.

I found some moth damage on some clothes. I found Grandma's old naphthalene moth balls; yes I know how toxic they are, but they were the only things available on short notice. I will be looking for camphor blocks tomorrow if I have time, otherwise I will pick some up in Honolulu. In the meanwhile I put the moth balls in the space below the bottom drawer; hopefully the gap at the back of the dresser will allow enough fumes to permeate all the drawers & keep the moths away. I also put some mothballs in cans and put them in the closets.

The other task I wanted to complete today was labeling the light switches. Huh? There are several areas that have more than 1 switch at the box so I want to make it easy for visitors to know which switch operates the light they want. Besides, my old method was kinda tacky looking.
What does that bottom one say?
That's a lot better!

As I was getting ready for Lem & Jessie to arrive for dessert I looked out the window. This is one of the reasons I want to live in Kohala.
Peaceful evening view.

I invited Lem & Jessie over for dessert; I usually do that once during my visit. And its usually Holy's Bakery apple pie with ice cream; this time was no different. Lem brought a bag of dragon fruit from his garden.
That's a dime on the dragonfruit for scale.

I showed Lem the funeral photo, he thinks it might by Hilo Uncle's funeral because he thinks it is at a Hilo church. It is definitely not the church in Kapa'au so it would not be Grandpa's funeral, besides I was there at Grandpa's funeral & I am not in the photo. I will have to check the genealogy on Grandpa's side and see if the death dates for the others that we found in the photo support this idea.

Happy Birthday to Jim & Jennifer!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Another Drizzly Day

I had great plans for today; I was going to cover all the African tulip stumps with cardboard & black plastic. Unfortunately the moisture from the now tropical depression Greg created a steady drizzle for most of the daylight hours. So I had to switch gears; I worked on getting things down from the top of the closet in my room and putting some of my boxes there in their final resting places. On the bright side of things, I don't have to worry about the anthuriums getting too stressed out now that the invasive trees are no longer shading them; the light mist will help keep them wet while they get used to having more sunlight.

I started the closet clean-up by taking down all the things that we stored on top of the closet when Chris was installing the new flooring; there was a small table, 2 boxes, & some miscellaneous plastic packing materials. I think that I will clean up the table and put it by the front door so I have a place to set my things when I come in that door. It will also have to be defrassed; I could hear the termite droppings rolling around in it when I moved it.
The table is about 2' wide by about 1' deep by about 2' tall with an angled shelf underneath for books.

One of the boxes proved to be more problematic; I spent a lot of time looking at things in the box. Besides a bunch of contemporary books and miscellaneous stuff, there was also a 1933 yearbook from Kohala High School that belonged to Uncle Zensan (Grandpa's youngest brother), a letter to Grandma from cousin Mark when he was quite young, and a photo from a funeral.
1933 Kohalan.
Uncle Zen-san was in the 8th grade in 1933 so there is only a group photo of him and his 21 classmates.
Typical Mark!
I'll have to see if Lem remembers whose funeral this was; he's in this photo along with Mom & Grandma.

I couldn't see the top of closet so I had to take photos with my phone to see what was up there. Bonus! You get to see them, too!
I'm pretty sure this pile of termite droppings is from the little table. Not sure why there was a board running down the length of the closet.

Looking easterly down the top of the closet & shelf.
I think this pile of sawdust at the east end is from the smoke alarm installation. (It's visible in the upper right corner of the previous photo.)

Not being able to see made it difficult to clean. I had to go by a combination of cellphone photos and feel. But I think I did a good job; won't matter much though, it will be under the cardboard that I put down to make it easier to slide boxes over the random boards on the top of the closet.
Before cleaning.
There must have been some very specific things that fit between these boards, they're not needed structurally.
With the help of a little bit of tape, it took only one of the cardboard boxes that the flooring came in to cover the top.

I took a break for lunch after installing the cardboard. I made an avocado sandwich with part of the avocado that Jessie gave me the other day. (I had part of it for dinner last night with my leftover mac nut crusted chicken from Bamboo.)
I opened it up so you could see the ketchup. In Hawai'i we also eat avocados with sugar or shoyu.

After lunch I started reorganizing boxes. I put the ones containing seasonal items on top of the closet since they won't be needed all the time. I unpacked most of the things from the white suitcase; I hung up the nicer things (although they're quite wrinkled from being in the suitcase for a year). The remaining things in the white suitcase will go in the drawers once those are cleaned out. The shelves on the right will be worked on later.
I also put some plastic over the top of the clothes to keep off most of the dust & gecko poop.

I finished this phase of work just in time to shower up before dinner. I picked up Uncle Kazu and we went to Minnie's for their prime rib & lobster dinner special. The special is only served on Fridays and you have to make a reservation in order to get it. Minnie told me to bring Uncle Kazu in at 5:30 so that we could be sure to get the parking spot next to the sidewalk so he could get in to the restaurant; they open at 6 pm for dinner. I'll come back for this one!
I only nibbled on a small part before I remembered to take a picture!

It had conveniently stopped raining just before I needed to pick Uncle Kazu up. And it stayed dry during dinner. We could even see rays of sunlight in the tree tops across the street. So we decided to go to Mahukona to watch the sunset. But it drizzled on and off during the 15 minute drive out to Mahukona. In spite of the drizzle there were about a dozen cars right at the harbor and another 5 or 6 on the opposite side with people camping under the kiawe trees. And there was a pretty thick cloud bank on the Maui side of the Alenuihaha Channel.
This is the best sunset we were able to get this evening.

On the way back we stopped at King's View Cafe for ice cream. After our first experience a couple years ago of ordering 2 scoops in a waffle cone and making a big mess while it melted quicker than we could eat it, we now order 1 scoop in a bowl. This time even that 1 scoop in a bowl was a mess! This server gave us more than how much they give at lunch time, I think if they keep serving that much ice cream for 1 scoop they won't be making any money off of their ice cream!

Happy Birthday to Mona & cousin Mark! (Yes, the same one that wrote the letter to Grandma!)