Everything hurts.

Delayed post. Just too knackered to move fingers on keyboard. Much less think of anything to say. Better now!

Rain overnight. Not enough to test the diversion grate in the back wall, but rain. Interesting thing about dirt that is rock and dust, rain is not an issue for working the soil. 

While awaiting arrival of Haul'n Otis, decided to work on burying the grey water diversion valve and more of the sewer line. Box was no where near deep enough. So built a cavern with walls of rock and then put the box on top of the cavern. Then determined really did not have enough dirt to bury the box anyway. Another nagging concern is the water going to the house will come out of the white pipe to the right of the picture (see the picture strip at the bottom of this Muse). At some point I suspect someone is going to have to dig a trench so the line can be run over to the garage wall to the left of the picture. That trench will traverse the box and cavern we just installed.

Somehow, I'm guessing that trench and having to deal with the newly installed box and rock walled cavern is going to (OK, rightfully) annoy Bob the plumber. So we left it as is. Good news is the rocks (good ole "A" Mountain rock that we have been collecting) are by-in-large big honkers so digging should be relatively easy (on an "A" Mountain adjusted scale where no kind of digging is easy) since just move the rocks.

 Cool thing is the dumping. When you get to the dump, you raise it and everything spills out. Very handy.

Cool thing is the dumping. When you get to the dump, you raise it and everything spills out. Very handy.

At some point I notice we have not heard Haul'n Otis clanking up the cul-de-sac. Haul'n Otis always travels with this big-assed trailer hooked-up to a pick-up that dwarfs TADs. Maybe not in physical size, but certainly torque. This baby has a Cummings Diesel intended for a semi-trailer. It's a big dumping goosneck trailer not unlike this one. Now, Otis's trailer in fact looks nothing like this one. Otis's trailer is infinity years old and has been rode hard. Real hard. But it started off looking like this. Otis would like to be defined by his Bob Cat. It is an excellent Bob Cat and Otis is at one with it. He's a Bob Cat Master. But Otis is defined to me by the rattling and clanging generated by this trailer when empty that precedes his arrival. We can hear him get off the Interstate! Stealth is not a Haul'n Otis service.

Turns out Otis did a number on his knee and is down for the count. Seems the Bob Cat bucket is somehow operated by foot pedals. There are also a left and right joy stick. Sounds a bit like operating a helicopter. And, Bob Cats usually seem to be operated in close quarters. So, no knee, no bucket, no Otis. My sense is this is bad. Since this is a delayed post, I can happily report Otis was back at it on Saturday and we are back more or less on schedule.

The with-Otis plan was to do rainwater run-off grading from the back wall grate over to DnT's. The without-Otis plan turned-out to be using as much of the old house slab waste to build steps and retaining terraces over to the future arbor between the Quail Manor and DnT's.

I did not know it at the time, but this was REAL BAD NEWS. Turned into an epic day. Epic. Frequent readers may recall an earlier Muse where I reported that the day after a rain is equatorially humid. These same careful readers may recall a few paragraphs back I reported it rained overnight. Turns-out overnight rain has as much or more effect on today's humidity as yesterdays rain. And that rain in either time frame has no effect on temperature. It was stifling.

So I'm fishing hunks of concrete from the random pile in the back courtyard, schlepping them around the courtyard walls, down the loose dirt of the hill we are trying to stabilize with terraces and steps, and laying them out for SWITBO who is arranging them into walls and steps. The transport and arranging of these hunks is a full body workout. Arms, back, legs. Full body.

After a fair bit of fussing we sort that laying this concrete is more or less the same exercise as laying flagstone. We've laid a fair bit of flagstone. Anyone who has seen The Yard Mahal knows we have also seen a WHOLE LOT of flagstone laid. Best practice is to lay the pieces out and try successive pieces until you find a reasonable fit. The trying involves placing, rotating and flipping to try alternative orientations, discarding, and repeating. Once you find a piece you like, you have to set it by filling and removing and resetting until it fits against the other pieces, is relatively level and does not wobble too much. Not to bad to watch professionals. I have a graduate degree in watching professionals. Sucks mightily when you're doing it yourself... 

There was also the issue of digging the terraces. Careful readers may note a trend when I speak of digging the "dirt" on "A" Mountain. Nothing is easy on "A" Mountain. Nothing.

Anyway, we built the steps and terraces and did the beginning of back filling. Doesn't look too bad assuming it does not all wash away or settle weirdly in the first good rain storm. Should look pretty freaking good when The Brain Trust gets stuff planted in all the nooks and crannies.

Pictures are in the picture roll. Note the last pictures are of a very spent Muser in his sombrero sitting amongst  the steps.