Monthly Archives: May 2013

‘Will research for beer’

I work with scientists every day. To be honest, there are times I wonder what motivates them on a particular project. Now I know.

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A work weekend at Casa Poolman

This was a work weekend around Casa Poolman. It seems like every weekend for the past several weeks, Mrs. Poolman and I have determined that we would get a few things done around the house. And every weekend, we allow ourselves to be distracted for all or part of our planned work-time. (Funny how that happens.)   This weekend, I took Friday off so there would be no question we would be working. Here was the “to-do” list, and how successful we were.

  • Mow lawn – I’ll do it later in the week
  • Change oil and air filter on lawn mower – done
  • Rake patio area and spread mulch (big job) – done
  • Fertilize vegetables and install tomato cages – done
  • Wash outside of windows and window sills – not done
  • Dust house especially venetian blinds – not done
  • Trim low branches of oak tree over patio – done
  • Clean patio pavement – done
  • Place umbrellas in stands at tables – done
  • Clean rat “poop” in attic  (another big and very unpleasant job) – done (See earlier posts about our rodent issues.)
  • Brush and wash dogs – done
  • Cut down dead bushes in courtyard – not done

We didn’t get it all done, but I’m feeling pretty good. (By the way, I love making lists. The only thing I like more is to cross things off.)

This is what the patio area of the back yard looks like to start the summer season.

The back yard at Casa Poolman

The back yard at Casa Poolman

In addition, I removed the pool cover (86 degrees as of this morning) and vacuumed, backwashed, and adjusted chemicals. I also updated the check book and paid couple of bills.

And let’s not forget out multiple trips to Ace Hardware for more mulch.

First trip – 6 bags (We grossly underestimated.)

Second trip – 8 bags (“What? You’re back again?”)

Third trip – 4 bags (“You guys really can’t count, can you?”)

In the past, I have described my less-than-successful efforts to grow tomatoes and other veggies. Since we clearly do not learn from past experience, we are trying again this year. We bought a pre-fab raised bed kit at Home Depot to create our little 4 ft x 4 ft effort at agriculture. It contains several bags of potting and planting soil, three tomato plants and two pepper plants, and a little cinaltro. (Total outlay to date — approximately $1.5 million.)

The Poolman garden

The Poolman garden

I have it placed where it gets a lot of sun, but is shaded in the very late afternoon. I really hope we get some produce out of it this year. I’ll keep you informed.

Catchin’ up

We have been busy for the past couple of weeks.

Our CCD class came to an end a few weeks ago. Mrs. R, my co-teacher and I bought pizzas for the kids and one of the parents provided the drinks. It is always funny when we do this on the last class. You would think the 5th graders had never seen pizza before. We finished off with a “quiz bowl” on all the material we had covered throughout the year. Good news and bad news. The bad news – some of the kids clearly were mentally AWOL during the year, or maybe the pizza caused their tiny brains to shut down. For example, the major theme of the year was the seven Sacraments. You would think that three students, working together could name all seven. No such luck. The one they missed? Reconciliation, which they received during our CCD class just a couple of weeks earlier. Duh?

On the other hand, one of the girls, who was usually an attention-seeking wild child, was knocking down the answers like a pro. We always knew she was there; we just weren’t certain she was listening.

*   *   *

Mrs. Poolman had two cataract surgeries this month. For obvious reasons, they don’t do both eyes at the same time. Both were fairly non-eventful. Mrs. P has been all excited about it because the doc used some new multi-focus lens. It means that for the first time in her entire life, Mrs. P can see clearly without heavy-duty glasses or contacts. Yea!

*    *    *

I also had a minor procedure this month. My dermatologist diagnosed a lump on my face as a basal cell carcinoma. That’s the kind of skin cancer that is annoying, but not fatal. Thank you. So we scheduled an appointment to have it removed. Dr. Y has an interesting bed-side manner. When I sat on the examining table, I asked him “So, what are we going to be doing here?”

I was thinking, “Are we going to freeze it, burn it, electrocute it, cut it, or whatever?”

His response, “Well if you’ll just lie back, I’m going to WACK IT OFF!”

And that’s what he did.

The whole procedure probably took 5 minutes. No big deal. The only “weird” part came when it cauterized the cut. Since it was right next to my nose, I not only felt the heat, but also smelled the smoke. Very strange.

So I've been wearing a band aid for the past week and a half.

So I’ve been wearing a band aid for the past week and a half.

Busy spring weekend

Wow! It’s been a busy two weeks. Time to catch up.

Mrs. Poolman is half way through a two-step cataract surgery sequence. The first surgery was last week; the second next week. She is having new “multifocus” lenses implanted in each eye.  In addition to replacing the clouded lenses, the multifocus lenses will allow her to see without glasses or contacts for the first time since she was five years old. She is very excited.

We had a busy time last weekend. We were sitting around Friday night when we got a call from Poolboy. It seems he wanted to go out and party with his friend Ronnie. Unfortunately, Ronnie had not cleared his plans with his wife, Kate. Turns out Kate had separate plans also. The problem is the third member of the family is four month old Tommy.

“So do you think you guys could babysit Tommy for a few hours this evening?”

This actually isn’t as much of a stretch as it may sound. The mom, Kate, is one of Writer Princess’s closest friends and Kate has been hanging around our house since she was in middle school. She and Ronnie recently bought a house just a couple of blocks away from ours. ­­­­­­She is well aware that when it comes to taking care of babies, Mrs. P is a legitimate pro (neonatal ICU nurse), and I’m a “gifted amateur.”

Mrs. P, Tommy and two of the furry ones who were fascinated by the little one.

Mrs. P, Tommy and two of the furry ones who were fascinated by the little one.

We had a great time with Tommie. He is a real cutie with a very nice personality. I’m just sorry we didn’t have him a little longer.

On Saturday, we took off to shop second-hand shops for a set of dining chairs for Writer Princess and Son-in-Law. We had a nice lunch out; found the chairs; and even found an office desk for me. We found this desk at Goodwill.

The Goodwill desk

The Goodwill desk

The finish is bad, but it seems structurally sound. WP swears she has a paint that will stick to anything. We’ll see.

Our plan on Sunday was for massive amounts of outside work. We are just coming to the time of year here in Savannah when massive amounts of biomass falls in our back yard, courtesy of this oak tree.

The oak tree is great during the summer, but a pain in the spring.

The oak tree is great during the summer, but a pain in the spring.

We really can’t do much fixing up for summer until the fall of leaves and seed pods stop. So I mowed the lawn, cleaned the pool, cleaned the solar blanket and put it on the pool, and raked, swept and cleaned up about a ton of leaves.

Unfortunately, this was a solo effort. Mrs. P had gone to run a couple of errands, and when standing at the vegetable stand, “fell out” of her flip-flops. She went down like a bag of wet cement (according to her.) The real damage was to her toe, which may or may not be fractured, but is definitely in bad shape.

Ouch!

Ouch!

She spent the rest of the day on the couch with her foot propped on the coffee table.

I don’t know what we will accomplish this weekend, but we’ll give it a shot. We’re trying to get the “heavy lifting” done before the pool and beach season begins, so we can kick back and not worry about major projects during the summer.