Category Archives: weather

The vacation’s over

It’s a Sunday afternoon and a pretty good end to a vacation week. I’m sitting on our patio, under the oak tree by our pool, just enjoying a quiet summer Sunday afternoon.

The last three days of our vacation were uneventful. The weather was not ideal, generally cloudy and windy, with a few sprinkles.

This was a typical scene from our deck.

This was a typical scene from our deck.

Mrs. Poolman and I had a very nice anniversary (37th, thank you very much) dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, The Sundae Café. I had their Cajun shrimp and grits, and Mrs. P enjoyed lobster mac & cheese with broiled sea scallops. We enjoyed it so much, we went back for lunch the next day. Decadent, but hey, we’re on vacation.

The weather cleared up some on Friday and we got back out to the beach. But even on the cloudy days, we were totally happy just sitting on our deck with books in our laps. Enforced idleness is not bad.

We started moving stuff back to our house on Friday because I needed to be out the door early on Saturday morning. I didn’t want to leave Mrs. P with more of a load to move out than her own clothes and some of the leftover food.

On Saturday, I needed to assist my boss and his wife to take two couples on a visit to Wassaw Island one of our boat-access-only barrier islands. One of the couples had “won” the trip in a silent auction  that was part of a major fund-raiser gala for the University System of Georgia Foundation. We met up with them at 9 am and drove them to the south end of our island to meet our skiff and driver. The weather was cloudy with a few drizzles, but it wasn’t too bad. At least it wasn’t broiling hot with a ton of bugs. Our guests seemed to enjoy it. We saw nest with some juvenile osprey, a good size pod of dolphins feeding and more bits of nature on the island.

Our guide, Dorothy, in the hat, explains some of the island ecosystem.

Our guide, Dorothy, in the weird hat and blue shirt, explains some of the island ecosystem.

We did have the whole beach to ourselves.

We did have the whole beach to ourselves.

I was home by 4 pm and fairly tired.

Today I got the back yard and pool cleaned up and checked on my garden. I’m really happy with the way it is growing. After two previous unsuccessful efforts at growing tomatoes over the past several years, this little 4’x4’ plot seems to be doing well. Right now, we have more than 30 tomatoes in some form or another. None have turned red yet, but we are cautiously optimistic.

Grow, plants, grow!

Grow, plants, grow!

Hopefully these little fellas will turn red.

Hopefully these little fellas will turn red.

We also have two pepper plants that seem to be doing well. I’m really excited about tasting the first batch.

Back to work tomorrow. Sigh.

Feeling powerless

Oh, my! I don’t think we want to do that again. Mrs. Poolman and I planned a “stock the bar” couples bridal shower for last Saturday evening and it came within a hair of being a disaster. As it was, it was just a nerve wracking fiasco.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we made the mistake of indicating “regrets only” on the printed invitation, and only four people out of 67 invitees called to “regret.” We knew deep in our heart that a fair number of those remaining invitees were not planning to attend, but they either didn’t care enough to call and “regret” or were not properly trained by their mothers in proper social behavior. (A little to snarky? Well, I’m feeling it.)  However, we had no idea how many that would be. When you are planning and buying for a crowd, the difference between, let’s say 30 guests, and 63 guests is significant.

Nonetheless, on Saturday morning, Mrs. P and I got up and started preparing for the 7:30 pm party. I worked mostly outside, while Mrs. P concentrated on the food and inside cleaning. Around 3:30 pm, Mrs. P headed to the grocery store for one last run of supplies, while I finished up a few final details around the house. Then the heavens opened up and dumped around two inches of rain on our house and yard. “No problem” I said to myself. “Better to have it rain now than later in the evening.”

Down comes the rain!

And then the lights went out. Ugh.

A branch had fallen and knocked down a power line down the road. “No problem,” we think. There is plenty of time for them to repair it before the party.  By a 6 pm, prospects were looking dark, in more ways than one. Our daughter, Writer Princes (WP) offered to allow us to move the party to her house, which is about a five-minute drive away. Several members of the groom’s family (for whom we were doing the party) came down to help move coolers of beer, wine, plates of food, etc.

Just as the cars started to pull away, the lights came back on again. We unloaded everything back into the house and five minutes later, the power failed again.  At that point, we decided to just stay where we were and take our chances.

Candlelight isn’t very romantic when it is the only alternative.

The guests began arriving around 7 pm (A half hour early? What is that all about?) and continued straggling in until 8:30 pm. Most of the guests just hung around the back yard and patio. The weather was warm and humid, but at least it didn’t rain again.  The lights finally came back on around 8:45 and we were able to get the couple to open their presents and actually see what they were opening.

Finally the lights (and AC) came back on.

Despite all the angst, I think everyone seemed to have a good time. There was lots of food and lots of beer and wine. We definitely had enough to eat and drink because here is the final tally.

  • Invited – 67
  • Regrets – 4
  • Planned for – 63
  • Actually came – 29
  • No shows/no “regrets” – 34

No. We’re not doing that again.

Lake trip, broken things and alot of clothes

Summer is probably my favorite season of the years. It gets hot here in coastal Georgia, but that just makes the water in our pool that much warmer. Mrs. Poolman is happy.

We have been fairly busy.  Two weekends ago Mrs. P and I drove up to visit my middle sister and her husband at their lake house near Anderson, S.C.  This is their second summer on Lake Hartwell and they are really enjoying it. The house isn’t all that large, but it is very nice and has a great screened porch overlooking the lake. Our daughter, Writer Princess, and son-in-law also drove up. We had a very pleasant weekend of eating, drinking and lounging around.

Ever since we got back, we have been dealing with “things broken.” We have used the internet for our home phone service. When we got back to town from the lake, we discovered the wireless router that handles the phone service as well as our regular WiFi was apparently fried. I think we are going to join the ranks of the Generation X or Y, or whatever it is, and just blow off our traditional home telephone line. We are still working on a way to keep our home telephone number. That is the one people have used to contact us for 20 years. It’s a bold new world out there folks.

Then our washing machine decided to go on strike. The repairman came but had to order a new part. Hopefully it will be running tomorrow.

In the meantime, I have two and a half weeks of laundry piled on the floor of my closet. The sad thing is — I haven’t really been inconvenienced. Mrs. P says, “You have more clothes than God.” (Of course, God is a spirit and doesn’t need clothes, so I guess that is no mean feat.”)

I really don’t do much shopping or buy many clothes. I just don’t throw away or recycle my clothes very often. For example, if you just buy one pack of underwear and a couple of golf shirts each year, by the time ten or 12 years pass by, you have a bunch of underwear and shirts. That’s my story.

Independence Day falls in the middle of the week this year, which is a bit of a bummer. Mrs. P is up for a “party.” We have invited about a dozen people over for an afternoon pool party. Ribs, potato salad, baked beans, etc. Should be fun. The guest list includes our favorite 22-month old twins, Helen and Brittany. Another friend is bringing her two grandsons, roughly five and three. Should be fun, but it definitely won’t be dull.

Life goes on

It wasn’t a very exciting weekend around the Poolman house, but it was busy all the same. Mrs. Poolman has been in a death-struggle with a head and chest cold. I’ve just been trying to stay out of her way. Even in marriage, some things just aren’t worth sharing.

I started off Saturday by attending a program out our church on the upcoming change in the “Roman Missal. “ Starting the first Sunday in Advent (late November), the Catholic Church in the US will begin using a new translation of the original Latin Mass. Apparently, the general consensus is that the Church didn’t do a very good job in translating the Mass from Latin to English back in the mid 1960s. This move is an effort to correct it.

It will mean some slight changes to some of the responses and to the prayers most of us can recite without even thinking about it. No longer. I like some of the changes, but not all of them. Of course, the Pope didn’t ask my opinion. In any case, since I both read at Mass and teach 5th grade CCD, I figured I’d better make an effort to get up to speed.

Writer Princess and Son-in-Law were moving out of their one-bedroom condo and into a three-bedroom house. They are still staying close to us. They are roughly a five minute drive away, and right around the corner from WP’s best friend. Mrs. Poolman went over to help them move on Saturday morning. I check in after leaving the church session early and was dispatched to Home Depot for some blinds and to Popeye’s to pick up lunch. We spent several hours helping them move their kitchen stuff.  Mrs. P donated our collection of laundry baskets and beach towels to the cause, which was fine until Sunday afternoon when I needed to do three loads of laundry. Sigh.

I took a rare Saturday afternoon nap-on-the-couch, while half-watching the Alabama-Arkansas game. The Gators came on at seven and went to 4-0, beating Kentucky for something like the 255th straight time.

On Sunday, I was back at 9 o’clock Mass. I had received a call on Friday afternoon asking me to read at that Mass. The Knights of Columbus (of which I am a sometime member) were receiving an international award, and the Knight officers wanted as much of a showing as they could muster.

The rest of the day consisted of errands, laundry and a little yard work. Our pool temperature has dropped into the low 80s, much lower than Mrs. P likes for her soaking. We put our solar blanket back on in the hopes of pulling a few more degrees of heat into the water and maybe getting one or two weeks of pool time out of the season. Much will depend on the weather. It has been cloudy and rainy for much of September. If we get some good sun this week, I might be able to get the pool back up to around 90. Mrs. P would be most happy.

Pets, snow and the BCS

We had a pretty quiet weekend. Two of our pets, Casey the Lab and Penny the Fearless, underwent surgery on Friday. Casey had a growth removed from his right-front paw, and Penny was spayed and declawed (front only.) Casey came home shortly after the surgery on Friday, but Penny was held overnight, so we picked her up on Saturday.

Both did very well. With the help of pain medication, the two of them spent most of Saturday curled up together on a pallet in front of the fireplace.

And people still ask us if our dogs and cats get along. Ya think?

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I had originally planned to be in Atlanta for three days this week for the governor’s inauguration, the opening of the legislature and a Board of Regents meeting. Five to eight inches of snow sure changed those plans. It’s just as well. Now I have three open days I hadn’t planned on to get some things done.

We are cold and rainy here, but, fortunately, no signs of snowfall. Just as well — an inch of snow in coastal Georgia would shut the region down until spring.

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The college football season ends tonight. Then we face a seven and a half month drought until the next kickoff. We’ll have the NFL to hang on to for a few more weeks. We’ll be rooting for the Auburn against the “fighting ducklings” in the BCS championship game tonight. As much as I have trouble believing that Auburn’s QB Cam Newton is really as naïve and innocent as his family tries to make out, we’ll pull for the SEC standard bearer – for better or worse. Let’s make it five SEC national champs in a row!

Why bother?

Friday — I spent most of the day raking leaves in the front yard.

Today — The bags are still awaiting pick up.

Overnight — A little wind and a little rain. The yard looks the same as it did Friday morning.And there is more to come.Oh well.

Don’t sweat it!

It’s cold outside in Savannah this week — not by the standards of my native Pennsylvania, but certainly by local measures.

On the way to work this morning, I heard the police were forced to close one of the major roads in one of the less developed parts of the county due to ice. No, it didn’t rain. Someone left their lawn sprinkler on all night. That’s funny. Welcome to the South!

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I was up dark and early this morning for a 7 am dentist appointment. Apparently something got confused, because they lost my appointment in their system. The front desk person looked like she expected some kind of outburst when she told me I would have to reschedule. I know some people who would blow a fuse over something like that, but for me, it wasn’t a big deal. The appointment was just for a routine cleaning, not a painful dental emergency. No sweat.

It reminds me of my old friend, Jim Ellis, who talked about the two rules for maintaining sanity.

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

2. It’s all small stuff.

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That doesn’t mean there aren’t things that bug me.  People who leave shopping carts unsecured in a parking lot is one of my pet peeves. I stopped at Kroger on the way to work to pick up a case of Pepsi Max (my go-to soft drink during the work day.) When I got back in my car, I saw the man in the row in front of me unload his shopping cart and just push it into the adjacent parking space, although there was a cart-corral just three empty spaces away. I said to myself, “You ____head. Just how lazy are you?” He couldn’t hear me since both his and my windows were both up. However, apparently his wife saw me and read my lips. She said something to him, and then he got out and moved the cart the twenty feet or so to the cart corral. I just backed out of my space and drove to work. Me say something? Never!

Normal life

It’s been a busy two weeks around Casa Poolman.

Last week, we had out-of-town company all week. My cousin’s wife, their two children (6 and 9) and their golden retriever came down and spent the week at the Casa. She wanted to introduce her children to some Savannah history. Of course there were also trips to the beach and plenty of time in the Poolman’s pool.

Cousin D joined them for the weekend.

All in all, it was a good week. The kids are exceptionally pleasant and well behaved. We did a lot of cooking. Plus, just the presence of another family in the house creates additional daily maintenance needs. To be honest, though, seven days is a long time no matter who the company is, and it was great to have our house back.

The doggie guest was well behaved, but our cats were very happy to see him hit the road.  Sid the Tailless was tolerant of Max, but Berta the Chickenhearted just hid out all week. We only saw her at night when the dog was crated and behind closed doors.

It’s just a four day work-week, but it seems like it has gone on forever.

About two weeks ago, I sent out our speakers bureau “menu” to a bunch of civic clubs in the area. As I hoped, I have been getting numerous calls for speakers. Yesterday, I took on an assignment myself and spoke to roughly 40 Rotarians in one of the area’s bedroom communities. Judging from the body language and the questions I got after the talk, I thing it was well received. That made me feel good.

I’m hoping for a fairly laid-back weekend. It’s hot as all get-out here today, 99 degrees right now. No point in straining in that kind of weather.

Thanks to my wonderful dogs — not!

My hat goes off to all those people who work construction during the summer. I was out in the sun for several hours today, repairing the gate on our wooden privacy fence. The heat just about knocked me out. I am definitely glad I don’t have to do that every day.

The repair work was needed because of our escape-artist dogs, especially the little one, Sammie.

The culprits

Actually Sammie doesn’t have the size to do all the work herself. I think she enlists her big brother, Casey, but there is little doubt that Sammie is the brains behind the caper. Casey does not have the initiative to plan something like this on his own.

My previous work has foiled their efforts to escape to the outside world. They have been concentrating on the double gate in our back yard privacy fence. I stopped them from being able to dig under it. Instead they have been working like little beavers – literally – and have tried to chew their way through the gate. This is the result.

When you have dogs who think they are beavers

Before you start feeling too sorry for the mutts, please understand they are not closely confined. They have the run of a very large backyard, lots of shade and water, and access to the garage through a pet door. Aside from the fact they don’t have air conditioning, they don’t have it very tough. The alternative would be to keep them crated in the house for ten and a half hours a day, and I suspect they wouldn’t like that very much either. They are relegated to the yard only the three days a week that Mrs. Poolman works. Otherwise they are house-dogs, spoiled brat house-dogs at that.

So I spent about $60 at Home Depot on supplies and four hours in the hot sun today, replacing the chewed boards. The tough and time consuming part were the two boards on either side of the gate opening that hold the hardware.  It probably shouldn’t have taken that long, if I actually was good at doing this kind of thing. Plus, I had to take breaks to cool-off myself, and many of the tools that simply became too hot to handle when left in the sun.

I topped it off with my own touch, a pair of brackets and a 2×4 holding the gate shut from the outside.

I stacked concrete blocks on the inside to deny them access to the gate. They have been able to move the blocks in the past, but maybe two rows both vertically and horizontally will help thwart their escape attempts.

I spent the rest of the afternoon floating in the pool and relaxing on the patio. It was a rest well earned, thank you very much.

Random thoughts on a Friday

The NFL has announced the 2014 Super Bowl will be played outdoors at the Jets-Giants new Meadowlands Stadium. That’s just crazy. The game is scheduled for February 2nd.  It’s cold in New Jersey at that time of year. Let’s not forget, Super Bowls are not played during the day anymore. They are prime time extravaganzas. That means you can knock about ten degrees off of whatever was the daytime high. It may not mean much for the players, but I can’t imagine a great Super Bowl experience when my bottom is frozen to the seat. Fortunately (or unfortunately, as the case may be), I doubt I will have the opportunity to find out for myself.

I grew up in and around Pittsburgh, but there is a reason I went to college and spent most of my adult life in the South. I’ll battle the sun and heat at The Swamp any day. No frostbite at the football game, please.

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Another female teacher has gotten in hot water for messing around with her students. She was a “Teacher of the Year” no less. This certainly does not bring back memories of my high school experience. Why would someone think that is a good idea?

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Apparently the latest front-runners for the Darwin Awards, aka“How much more stupid can I be?”, involves teenagers pouring vodka into their eyes. Wouldn’t that sting just a little? Besides, it’s a terrible waste of good Grey Goose.

It does give a new twist to the old toast, “Here’s mud (or vodka?) in your eye!”

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Bumper sticker I saw this morning – “My child doesn’t need validation from a bumper sticker.” Ha!