Category: Pool


Picture of the Day – 7/11

The difference Topaz can make in a photo

Yesterday began just as any other day usually does.  I got up, checked my email, my guest blog on Kristi Gustafson’s Times UnionOn The Edge‘ Blog  and then went out to check the garden and turn on the pool pump.  It was already getting hot, so I decided to mow the lawn.  I knew that we had plans later that night, so I wouldn’t be able to do it after it cooled down.  Today wasn’t looking more promising either.

So, I hop on the mower and cut the grass.  We have an acre, so it takes about an hour to cut it.  After I was done with the riding mower, I grabbed the push mower and did the areas I couldn’t get to with the rider.  When I was done with that, I was pretty hot and was sweating like crazy.  I came in the house and changed into my bathing suit, then headed out to the pool.

I dove off the diving board, and instantly felt much cooler.  As I swam to the shallow end of the pool, something caught my eye.  I looked again and saw a small animal in the skimmer.  At first I thought it was a chipmunk.  I got out of the pool and ripped the cover off the skimmer.  Then, I realized what it was.  It was a little baby bunny.  He was fighting for all he had against the suction of the skimmer.

I ran over to the pump and switched off the power so the suction would stop.  I didn’t know what he would do, so I didn’t just reach in and grab him.  I grabbed the wide mouth net and when he tried to hop up, I grabbed him in the net.  What happened next surprised me quite a bit.

Fresh out of the skimmer

I set the net down on the concrete in the shade, laid out so he could just hop out and be on his way.  He was obviously a little traumatized and out of it, so he stayed put.  I let him sit there for a few minutes while I ran inside and got Rose and some paper towels.  I picked him up and wrapped him in some paper towels.  He didn’t seem phased at all.  He just laid there.  Every now and then, I would check his sides to see if they were moving and he was still breathing.

We used what we had to give him water

As we sat there with him for an hour or two, he dried out and was still very mellow.  Rose would hold him in the paper towel, and if she moved it, he would re-position himself, so we knew he was getting a little better.  We kept him on the paper towel because he has some seriously sharp nails.  He started climbing up my chest at one point and it was a little painful.

After a few calls from friends in the veterinarian field and tons of people on Twitter giving us feedback, we put the bunny on the ground to see if he would hop away.  Eventually he did, but he started going towards the road.  I had to chase him down and catch him, which wasn’t an easy task, but refreshing, as he was moving quickly.

When I grabbed him, he made this crazy squealing noise that we hadn’t heard before.  I guess he was feeling better and that is a noise they make when they are scared.  I picked him up and took him to the other side of the yard where I released him into an overgrown area where we see lots of bunnies.  I hope he has a great life and stays away from the pool.

All dried out

When I was younger, I was always told that I couldn’t go in the pool for thirty minutes after eating because I would die.  Actually, it was because you would get cramps and drown, so it’s kind of the same thing.  I always knew it was total BS and never really paid much attention.

As I am sitting here thinking about what to write for this post, this “old wives tale” hit me.  Where do some of these crazy things come from?  Who sat around and decided that if I swim right after eating, I will sink to the bottom of the pool like a rock?  What if it was a shallow pool and I could just stand up?  Growing up, we only had a four foot deep pool.  For a good portion of my life, I was tall enough to stand up and keep my head above the water.

Well, I looked it up on Snopes, and they have dismissed it as crap.  Maybe it was just a cruel punishment from parents, taking their fun away.  Or maybe they just didn’t have Snopes to check out the facts.  Either way, I missed a lot of swimming time as a kid because of it.

What kind of “old wives tales” did you have to endure as a child?  Are there some that you still have to deal with?

For the last few days, the weather has been pretty cool and rainy.  That’s not helping the pool very much.  Over the last few weeks, it has been in the 80s and 90s outside, and the pool was around 76 degrees.  That’s not too bad when you consider that I had to backwash it a lot and had to keep adding cold hose water to fill it back up.

Yesterday when I checked the temperature in the pool, it was about 71 degrees.  I haven’t checked it today, but with the constant rain and temps around 58 degrees, I can only imagine what it is now.  I don’t think I want to look.

The pool is finally starting to clear up.  I figured it would take a little longer this year, as it wasn’t opened last year and there was a lot more to clean up.  It turned blue quickly, but it hasn’t cleared up the cloudiness quite yet.  I can see the shallow end bottom and halfway down to the deep end, so it wont be long now.

One good thing about the rain is that it is filling up the pool and I don’t have to run the hose into it and waste the water.  It’s also watering my garden.  Two birds, one stone I guess.

My question is this – Why did we get Summer weather in Spring, and now that Summer is about to begin, we are getting Spring weather?

Last year, I planted some seeds in a starter kit inside the house to see if I could grow some flowers and veggies.  I managed to grow some stuff, but never got around to transplanting them outside and they got too big for the small containers they were in.  The roots couldn’t go any farther and ended up dying.  Not so good on my part.

This year, I decided to try again.  This time, I was going to start the seeds outside and hope for the best.  I planted some radishes, green peppers, basil and parsley in a small strip around the outside of the pool fence.  I got the seeds at Walmart for a few bucks, so if they didn’t grow, I wasn’t out much.

After a few weeks, I started to see little green sprouts.  Cool!  I had always wanted to have a garden, but didn’t know if I had a green thumb or not.  I went to Home Depot and got some green coated chicken wire to keep the animals out.  After a few weeks, the radishes were starting to grow big leaves.  I was pretty excited.

When I planted the plants in the ground, I also planted some of the seeds in pots.  The potted plants were slow to start, but they took off a little while later.  The parsley is really growing well.  I was pretty excited by these results.  I was so excited that I decided to start a bigger garden.  I was a little scared it would not work, but you never know until you try, right?

I decided where I wanted to put the garden and measured out what I thought would be a good size.  I went back to Home Depot and got two 12′ 2x10s, 2 8′ 2x10s and 2 8′ 4x4s.  Or, so I thought.  I brought them home and stained them to make them look nice.  In the meantime I had begun removing the grass in the area I wanted to put the box.  It was tough work, as I don’t have a roto tiller and had to do it all with a shovel and a pitch fork.  That was not a lot of fun, but I got it done.

We had gone to Hewitts and Gade Farm before this to pick up some tomato plants and a few other veggie plants.  Along with the tomatoes, we also got zucchini, sweet peppers and green peppers.  At a tag sale two weekends ago, we picked up six grape tomato plants for a buck.  What a deal!

After all the dirt removal and shoveling, I put the framework for the garden together.  When I got it out by the garden area, I made a startling discovery.  The 2x12s were actually 2x14s.  And the 2x8s were actually 2x10s.  Crap, more digging.  I guess I have plenty of room for the plants.  I might even need more.  Thanks Home Depot for incorrectly labeling your products.

After I got the box in place and leveled out, I planted the veggies and put up the fence to keep the animals out.  Now, we wait and see what happens.  I hope to have an abundance of tomatoes in a month or two.  Here’s what I built.  I am not mechanically inclined in the least bit, so this is an accomplishment for me.

With the first day of summer just about two weeks away, I start to think of why it is my favorite time of year.  I think the warm weather is a bit of a given, but I have a few other reasons why I love it.

The Pool – I’ve been a water rat since I was a toddler.  I also lived close to the ocean in Virginia growing up.  So, I have spent many hours of my life in the water.  I’ve also been pulled out of the pool (over the side) because I couldn’t breathe more times than I care to remember.  That has not stopped me from going back in.  To this day, I still will spent a good portion of the day in the pool.  I love it!

The Grill – I love cooking on the grill.  I do it all year long, but it’s much more pleasant when it isn’t below freezing outside.  This morning I made bacon in a frying pan on the side burner of the grill.  I like to make it outside so it doesn’t smell up the house.  It doesn’t matter if it’s hot dogs or steak, I love cooking out there.  Plus the grill overlooks the pool.  Bonus!

Motorcycles – Riding is a huge passion of mine.  I still do it in some of the colder months, but like other things, it’s much more enjoyable when it’s warm outside.  Being on a motorcycle is such an amazing feeling.  It’s so relaxing.  It also will make you forget all your problems for a while.  Great for clearing your head.

Friends – This one sort of ties into all of the others.  Summer to me is about hanging out with your friends, having a cookout, swimming in the pool and riding.  There’s something about the camaraderie of bikers that makes you proud to be a part of that family.  I’ve met some of the best people while riding or talking about motorcycles.

Photography – This is also a given.  I do have a photography blog and a Photo Group.  The sun, the flowers, nature, cars and waterfalls all make me very happy when I get out with the camera in my hands.  There are a lot of places that I want to shoot this year.  Hopefully this nice weather (well, before this weekend) will continue and I can check more places off my list.

What about summertime makes you happy?

Sunset from the back deck

Take the plunge

A shot from my phone while sitting by the pool...

So, a few days ago, I opened the pool for the season.  For a few reasons, it didn’t get opened last year.  So, this year I was expecting a nightmare of a time getting it cleared up and ready to swim in.  I could only imagine what had gotten in under the cover while being closed for a year and with all the crazy wind we have had since it’s been closed.

I took the cover off and it was a murky brown, but not the pitch black color I had expected.  I started scooping leaves out of the deep end and got quite a bit.  A big fear that I had was the leaves would stain the liner because it got closed in November a year and a half ago.  It was cold and we were very busy, so it didn’t get cleaned out as it should have.

Another concern I had was that it never had any chemicals added to it last year, including winterizer and anti-freeze in the pipes.  I was really worried that the pipes would freeze and burst, but was pretty confident that the winterizer that was added before would still be OK.

After I got the leaves out, I hit the pool with a gallon of algaecide and let it sit in the pool for a day.  I vacuumed it out and added 5 gallons of chlorine right after the back washing.  Within ten minutes, the brown was turning to blue.  I couldn’t believe it.  This was much easier than I had hoped.

The only problem I am having is that the water is cloudy.  My chemical levels are good, but the cloudiness just wont go away.  I have backwashed many times, and even put some clarifier in, but it’s still cloudy.  I can’t figure out why.  Any pointers?

I have been swimming since I was a toddler.  My grandparents always had a pool in their yard, and I spent most of the summer swimming in it.  I am a total water rat as well.  I could spend hours on end in the pool.  You literally have to drag me out.  On top of that, I learned a lot about taking care of pools from my grandparents.  It helps a lot now that I am doing it on my own.

Hopefully, in a few days it will be nice and clear and we can swim on a regular basis again.  There’s nothing like being able to wake up in the morning and dive into the pool, or finish mowing the lawn and diving in to cool off.  I love it. My specialty is the backflip off the diving board!

Do you like to swim?  Are you a pool person, or do you prefer the beach?

See ya soon!