Tag Archives: pool

St Patrick’s Day 2015 – Seein’ a little green

This is always a busy week here in Savannah. St. Patrick’s Day is like a mini-Mardi Gras for this town. For 12 years, Mrs. P and I organized, set-up and hosted a parade-watching “tailgate party” in a downtown square. This was a very intense project. When we first started doing this in 2002, the idea hadn’t caught on yet. You could show up at six or seven in the morning and settle into a prime spot. By the mid-2000’s, that changed for the worse. In recent years, it has involved getting downtown before 3 a.m. and picking a spot. We were not allowed in the square until 6 a.m. so we and other early-risers would line the perimeter of the square and negotiate with each other about where we would all set up. In a perfect world, it would be “first-come, first-served,” but the world is not perfect. Negotiating with the early risers was usually very civilized. However, there were always some folks who would roll up at 5:45, drop their stuff in the street and start pointing to one of the prime spots (on the perimeter) that someone else had claimed four hours earlier. At 6 a.m. the police blow a whistle and the rush would begin. It was usually all over in about two minutes. Then we would sit around, waiting for the sun to come up and trying to stay warm for the parade started at 10:15.

This was our party in 2013.

This was our party in 2013.

Last year, Mrs. P fell and broke her knee a couple of weeks before the event, which ruled out our ability to organize a party. No one else picked up the baton. Our children were both working and none of our friends had any interest. This year, Mrs. P was ready to get back in the game, but, again, we had no help. One 60+ year-old couple is simply not enough of a team to compete in the pre-dawn madness.

So, instead, Mrs. P and Poolboy put their heads together and decided we should have a parade viewing party at our house. (There is no shortage of live coverage on the local TV stations.) So that we did.

We’re not used to hosting parties that start at 10 a.m. on a weekday, but it all worked out. Everyone brought something to contribute to the food table. We had Bloody Marys and beer to drink, and a breakfast casserole, ham, fried chicken, potato salad, pasta salad, squash casserole and even green grits (a Savannah tradition.)

When the parade coverage ended around two in the afternoon, most of our guests retired to the patio (where many had spent the day anyway). The temperature was 85 degrees, which made it feel almost like summer.

Almost like a summer Sunday afternoon.

Almost like a summer Sunday afternoon.

The pool water wasn’t so warm, but that didn’t stop some of the children who were there. More power to them.

A couple of crazy ones.

A couple of crazy ones.

Hey watch this!

Hey watch this!

Beats me.

Beats me.

Mrs. P was trying to talk up getting back into the game in 2016, but she wasn’t getting a lot of encouragement. Depending on our children’s work schedules next year, we may be able to field a force sufficient to compete in the zero-dark-thirty land rush, but we’ll just have to see how that goes.

Mid-summer holiday party

I’m totally time-warped this week. The internal clock was thrown off Monday night, when Mrs. Poolman and I spent the night at our church as “hosts” to a couple of homeless families. This is a regular ministry of our parish, and Mrs. P and I usually volunteer to handle the overnight shift. Not a big deal, but it certainly throws the internal clock off.

Yesterday was the 4th of July, and now I’m back at work for a single day, which feels like a Monday, except it’s actually a Friday. Huh?

Mrs. P and I hosted a holiday pool and barbecue party yesterday. We had several more people than we anticipated, and four more dogs. Individually, the dogs were not a problem. But when you add four new dogs to our pack of two, the result is a lot doggies running around.

Water and beer on the Fourth of July. A bit of a cliche?

Water and beer on the Fourth of July. A bit of a cliche?

July 4 2w

Even the dogs got into the action. This was this particular lab’s first time swimming.

I grilled burgers and brats; Son-in-Law provided spare ribs and another friend cooked up some wings. Everyone else brought some side dish or another.  It must have been a good party. We started at 2 pm and had to chase people out at 10:30 pm. It was a work-night after all.

Both our children typically invite some of their friends to our parties, which we encourage.  One couple of the younger generation, Ronnie and Kate, came yesterday with their now-six and a half month old Tommy. We have spent some time with Tommy in the past, and actually were the first non-family members to baby-sit him. Yesterday, he was his usual cute, good-natured self and was totally entertaining.

Mr. Personlity

Mr. Personality

I don’t know what we are going to be up to this weekend, but I think we are partied-out, at least for parties at our house anyway.

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.

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.

Back to the beach

Mrs. Poolman had such a great time at the beach last weekend, she decided we were going back. This time she organized a small group of our friends for Sunday.

It worked out well. Mrs. P did some quick grocery shopping first thing Sunday morning, while I cleaned the pool, adjusted chemicals and cleaned up the back yard in the event, as expected, some of our friends wanted to come back and hang out by the pool when we tired of the beach.

We got to the beach by mid-morning, but by early afternoon, the crowds were gathering.

The day at Tybee was hot and windy, but we had a great time. At one point, I was standing in front of our umbrella when a beach ball came zooming up the beach. I caught it and went looking for its owner. I hadn’t realized how far the wind had carried it. I needed to walk several hundred yards down the beach before finding someone to claim the ball. I was aided by the fact that the ball had a usually-African American name written on it, so that narrowed down possible families.

Our group.

When the wind finally got so strong that we had to put down our umbrella, it was time to go. I love hanging at the beach, but I don’t like to just bake in the sun when the temperature is in the 90s. Considering all the summers I spent lifeguarding as a teen, I figure I am just a case of skin cancer waiting to happen. No point in rushing things.

A rainy, but party weekend.

Just checkin’ in after a busy, but not particularly noteworthy weekend. A few short thoughts…

Mrs. Poolman and I agreed we really should not have pool parties on both days of a two-day weekend. It’s fun, but between the initial clean-up prep for company, entertaining and then the post-gathering clean-up, nothing else gets done and we are pooped. We need to balance things out.

Our friends Lynn and Sam brought their twins (Helen and Brittany, 20 month-old twins) over on Saturday.  A few other friends heard about it and came over too. The cloudy, rainy weather we’ve had for the past two weeks has kept the pool temperature in the low 80s. That’s August-warm for the northeast, but it is ice-bath cold for some thin-blooded Southerners. The girls were perfectly happy to entertain themselves with some sidewalk chalk. I had to blow-out to read at 5:30 mass, but most of the group was still there when I returned.

One of our friends did bring a couple of frozen pizzas over, so that took care of Saturday dinner.

Mrs. P and I watched the second segment of the Swedish version of the Millenium series “The Girl Who Played with Fire” on DVD Saturday night. Actually, I should say that I watched it. Mrs. P fell asleep sitting up before the last opening credits were finished.  Like the first movie in the series, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” I really liked it. The movies follow the books very closely. The actors, especially Noomi Raspace who plays Lisbeth Salandar, are excellent.  Aside from having the dialogue in English, I’m not sure how the next American production (Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara) can do better.

One important note – there are great films for adults, but they are not for children. They are rated “R”. Believe them.

We got up on Sunday and started the clean-up in prep for our second “party” of the weekend. We had long-planned an end-of-the-year party for my fellow CCD teachers. I started the yard and pool clean-up around 10 am and finished up everything I had to do just in time to get a shower in advance of our 3 pm start-time. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate very well. It was cloudy and drizzly off and on, and I think that scared away some of the families from a pool party. As it was, the eight or ten people who came enjoyed themselves, and the kids never got out of the water.

We had a ton of hamburgers and hot dogs left over. Mrs. P called our children and told them there is a free meal available for dinner tonight at our house.

We really don’t have much of a life…

…but I feel the need to post something anyway. We have been busy, but not real exciting.

We have spent the last few weekends mostly cleaning up our back yard and pool. The trees in our back yard dump an enormous amount of biomass and pollen in late March through mid April. It takes few weeks to get the yard and pool ready for warm weather use. The sad part is that there are a bunch of cool weekend activities in Savannah this time of year. Two weekends ago was the SCAD Sidewalk Arts Festival. This past weekend, 11 sailing ships came to savannah for a “Tall Ship Challenge.”  We were raking, digging, planting, spreading mulch, etc.

We finished up on Saturday and the back yard doesn’t look too bad. We still have some more planting, but the basic work is done.

The pool

The patio

We had a few friends over for our first “open pool” of the season. With the warm and early spring, along with our solar blanket, we have the water temp up to the high 80s and are swimming several weeks earlier than in previous years.

Our friends, Lynn and Sam, came over with their 20-month old twin daughters, Helen and Brittany. Those two just get cuter every time we see them.

“Brittany, show us your ‘surprise face.'”

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.

Ode to a swimming pool

I have often thought of our swimming pool, which we had installed in 1994, as our 7th child (after two natural children, two dogs and two cats) because of the amount of care and attention it requires. I ran across this description of a pool today. I can relate.

“Swimming pools need things. It isn’t enough to invest in the pool, the pool will require constant care, a cover, extra lounge chairs, extra towels, and plenty of poolside umbrellas. As soon as you think it is all taken care of, a storm will blow the umbrellas into the pool and rip the liner. You’ll replace the liner just in time for your children to have parties that you will get to cater. Afterwards you can spend the evening laundering your towels. Then the pool will want toys – slides, floating chairs, LED lights. You’ll want the pool to have self-cleaning robots that you just toss in…”

There is a great deal of truth in that paragraph. However, we still love ours .

 

A busy weekend!

Our weekend got an early start when the power went out at my work. Without electrical power, I am useless. No power? Friday afternoon in the summer? Time to hit the bricks.

We had a mini-party going on at our house when I arrived home. Several of Mrs. Poolman’s friends had the afternoon free and decided to start the weekend part early by floating in our pool and working out with some weight lifting — 12-ounce curls in sets of six. Fortunately, one of the “girls” was able to walk home, and one of the others brought her daughter as the DD.

You know what they say, “no pain, no gain.” Neither  pain nor gain were present here Friday afternoon.

On Saturday, we cleaned up around the house and yard and took care of some errands, like a run to the recycling center (See paragraph above.)

I read at 5:30 mass on Saturday evening and that was a busy experience We had a visiting priest who wasn’t totally up to speed on the local protocol. Also, my reading partner was brand new – a recent graduate of the 8th grade who needed a little guidance and support. Really, just a little. She did great. I also had two additional readings thrown my way, without any time to prepare. It was a busy time.

That evening, we went to see “Midnight in Paris,” the Woody Allen movie starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams. Ever since my trip to Europe earlier this spring, I have been intrigued (Mrs. Poolman would say “obsessed.”) with anything having to do with Paris. So I really wanted to see this movie, even though it was playing in just one theater, all the way across town.

I enjoyed the movie a lot. Mrs. P and our friends enjoyed it also, just not as much as I did. It makes abundant use of the Paris scenery. Mrs. P became a little annoyed because I kept poking her in the arm and saying “There is another place I was!”

Even without the scene-spotting, it is a good movie. Owen Wilson does a great job portraying a very likeable character. You can see the plot synopsis here.

Today is Poolboy’s birthday, but yesterday was his “beach day.” We headed out to Tybee with Writer Princess around 11 am, early enough to get a parking spot. The rest of our group didn’t show up for several hours. It was actually about the time I was starting to feel like toast. We stuck it out a couple more hours and had a good time. One of Poolboy’s old friends is married and has two small children – a girl who is almost one and a four-year old boy. We had a fun-time playing with the kids.

The little girl did enjoy eating sand, however.

"That sand is salty. Yum, yum!"

We have had no reports on the status of diaper changes later in the evening.

They all should be over here shortly. We are taking them out to dinner for the b-day. Should be fun.