Tag Archives: weekend

Playing tourist here at home

We had a fun time last weekend. My sister, Maggie and her next door neighbors, Mac and Candy drove down from Greenville, S.C. for a “history weekend.” Maggie’s husband has taken a new job in New England, so he was out of the picture for this trip.

My sister is very lucky that she has just great friends living right next door to her. Over the years, we have gotten to know Mac and Cindy fairly well. At one point a few years ago, Mac and I were comparing notes and we discovered we had very similar interests in Civil War and World War II history.

Cindy joined my friends and me on our tour of the Louvre during our first trip to Paris in March 2012.

 And the whole gang of us piled into the car for a history trip to Gettysburg in 2010.

We have been talking about doing a “history weekend” here in Savannah for several years. I’m glad we were able to finally pull it off.

We started with a tour of the National Museum of the Eighth Air Force. This is a cool museum with a focus on the WWII air war over Europe.

Mac and me at the 8th Air Force Museum.

Mac and me at the 8th Air Force Museum.

On Saturday, we did a walking tour of downtown Savannah. I played tour guide, and although I’m not as professional as the experts, everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Maggie, Mrs. P and Cindy waiting for the guys to get back to them.

Maggie, Mrs. P and Cindy waiting for the guys to get back to them.

Myself, Mrs. Poolman and sister Maggie at Colonial Cemetary.

Myself, Mrs. Poolman and sister Maggie at Colonial Cemetary.

After a seafood lunch at Tubby’s on River Street, we dropped Mrs. P and Maggie off at our house. Mac, Cindy and I headed out towards the beach and Fort Pulaski. The fort is run by the National Park Service. They do a great job. We stayed only a fairly short time, since it was late and the weather was starting to look ugly, but it seemed like our guests really enjoyed it.

Mac and Cindy at Ft. Pulasi

Mac and Cindy at Ft. Pulasi

We finished the weekend off with a low country boil at our house. I think everyone had a good time. If they did not, they sure faked it well. We need to start planning our next “history weekend.” Charleston, anyone?

A great holiday/wedding weekend

We had a great time over Memorial Day weekend. (Yes, I am a little late catching up.) Our neice, Ellen, got married in Greenville, South Carolina. She is my middle sister’s daughter, so the event attracted a large number of my side of the family. I am the oldest of five. All are married, most with grown, or nearly grown, children. We and our cousins are spread all over the eastern half of the country. It’s been this way ever since I first moved away from Pittsburgh to Florida in 1971. While we are not geographically so close that we can call and say “Come on over for Sunday dinner,” we do have a good time when we do get together.

Mrs. Poolman and I took off on Thursday to make it a five-day weekend. Our first big surprise was Greenville itself. It has a very cool downtown. There is a small river with a waterfall cutting right through the middle of town. My sister commented, “You know, we lived here for ten years before we even knew we had a waterfall in downtown.”

Greenville's waterfall

Greenville’s waterfall

Wedding 3w

Brother taking picture of his son and daughter-in-law.

Wedding 4w

(l-r) Girlfriend, Poolboy and Writer Princess

Wedding 5w

Nephew, Mrs. P and myself

The rest of downtown is nicely landscaped, pedestrian friendly, and full of shops and restaurants. We went sightseeing both Friday and Saturday afternoon.  We had a very nice time. Greenville, South Carolina! Who ‘da thought?

In between the scheduled functions and parties, our family had a fairly non-stop party going back at the hotel. We were all in a Holiday Inn Express. At almost any time you could wander through the lobby and find someone to visit with. Lots of fun and laughter, and a fair amount of ethanol.

If not in the lobby, my brother and sister-in-law's room works just fine.

If not in the lobby, my brother and sister-in-law’s room works just fine.

I guess I should show at least one picture of the couple. Here is Stan and Ellen, zoning out at the rehearsal.

We all had such a great time, we started looking around at the single children and asked “So who’s next?”

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.

Baseball — the 1862 way

It’s been a good, but quiet holiday weekend around Casa Poolman.

Both our children and Son-in-Law came over for dinner on Saturday. I grilled ribs ahead of time and we had a splendid little feast. Good time had by all.

On Sunday, SIL was playing in a “historic, 1862 baseball game” at Fort Pulaski, a Civil War era fort near us. The story behind the game is this.

Ft. Pulaski was captured by the Union troops in April 1862 and held by the northern army throughout the war. One of the first documented baseball games was played there in 1862 and there is a fairly famous (at least in our neck of the woods) photo to document the event.

This is the way it looked in 1862.

Meanwhile, around 15 miles up river, near downtown Savannah, there is another Civil War era fort that was held by the Confederates and is also a historic site. That is Fort Jackson. A friend of our of our children’s generation, Brian, is the site manager for Ft. Jackson.

So for the Independence Day weekend, the staff at Ft. Pulaski challenged the “rebels” at Ft. Jackson to a baseball game, using 19th century equipment, rules and uniforms. Ft. Jackson’s captain, Brian, asked SIL to play for the “rebs.”

The two teams wore Civil War era clothing and played by the early baseball rules. No gloves. No walks on balls. A catch on the first bounce is also an out. And so on.

And this is 2011.

It was a nice day and a fun outing.

Mrs. Poolman had to work today (Monday.) I just hung out around the house and took care of some chores and errands. Nothing too stressful. Grilled hamburgers and corn on the cob for dinner tonight. Back to work in the AM.

Start the summer with a bang

Mrs. Poolman and I had a very full Memorial Day weekend. We had two days of “entertaining” and then chilled out and had a down day to start the week.

Our weekend activities started with a visit by our nephew, Bobby, his girlfriend, Callie, and his daughter and her son, ages 10 and 8. They arrived fairly late Friday evening. Writer Princess came over to visit. They sat up late on the pool patio and caught up. I went to bed around midnight. I don’t know how late they kept at it.

On Saturday, Mrs. P and I decided to give the parents a break and took the kids for an outing. The local school system operates a mini-zoo, Oatland Island Wildlife Center, that is open to the public. Although I have lived in Savannah for nearly 19 years, and have driven by the place something like five thousand times (no exaggeration), I had never visited there before Saturday. Everyone had a good time.

Thekids and me at Oatland Island.

Later, we took the kids and their parents out to lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Jalapenos.

We spent the rest of the day hanging by the pool and eating a great dinner of London Broil steaks.

I had to slip out for two hours to read at 5:30 Mass. I wasn’t originally scheduled to read this weekend, but I had traded things around before everything was finalized with the weekend company. I was stuck. By the time I got home, my nephew had the London broil steaks nearly cooked.

The festivities continued well into the evening. We had a lot of fun.

Nephew and gang left Sunday morning, just in time to give Mrs. P and me a couple of hours of recovery time before Writer Princess showed up with her group for dinner.  She and Son In Law had three out-of-town friends visiting for the weekend. That’s a lot of people in a one bedroom condo. They all came over for some pool time and pulled pork barbecue.

Come Monday, we were pooped. We went out to lunch for pair of fried shrimp baskets at our favorite seafood place and spent the rest of the afternoon hanging by the pool.

All in all, a good start to the summer season.

Is it summer yet?

It was another quiet weekend around Casa Poolman.

Saturday was a little rainy, which quashed our plans to do yard work. We ran a few errands and puttered around the house. We planned a “double feature” of DVD watching in the afternoon and evening. However, our friend, Susan, called saying she was bored and was looking for playmates. We invited her to join us for dinner. So we spent the evening “visiting” rather than watching movies.

We had a few friends over for an “open pool” on Sunday afternoon. The weather cooled down a little and so did the pool water, so there was not a lot of splashing around — more sitting around the deck drinking beer.

Our friends Steven and Liz dropped by with their two nine-month old twin daughters. The girls were great. They were very happy to sit with and socialize with whoever was holding them at the time. Too cute!

Evelyn

Bridget

A slow Saturday

It’s a slow weekend here at Casa Poolman. Mrs. P is working both days of the weekend, including Mother’s Day, which she just loves (not.)

I am spending Saturday taking care of miscellaneous chores around the house.

I took a walk for exercise this morning and ran into my across-the-street neighbor, Judy. This was the first time I have laid eyes on Judy since last fall. She lost her husband to cancer several years ago, so she lives there alone. She has a son and his family here on the island and a daughter and family in North Carolina. She filled me on all her news, including a grandson in North Carolina who was born at 26 weeks gestation, but is now doing well. After about an hour of the update, it was time to get moving again. I excused myself and continued with my walk.

I ate some lunch and cleaned up the back yard. We have the solar cover still on the pool. The water is around 85 degrees, which is just getting to the temperature Mrs. P likes it. Hopefully, she’ll soon get the chance to enjoy it.

I am taking a two day course in “Communicating Science Effectively” which is being held on our campus this week. The problem is the course requires I show up with a functional laptop and a bunch of Adobe software. Our IT guys tell me my clunker of a computer won’t handle those programs. (I am due for a new laptop in July.) So I arranged to borrow Poolboy’s computer for the course. I am spending the afternoon downloading and installing trial versions of a bunch of software. Fascinating work. He will want his laptop back tomorrow, and then I’ll take it back again on Tuesday. What a pain.

I am reading / lecturing at 5:30 pm Mass this evening. I am just planning on a Papa Murphy’s pizza for dinner. Mrs. P really doesn’t like a big meal when she is working back-to-back shifts.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, but Mrs. P is working again. I’ll have a nice meal of barbecued ribs, hash brown potatoes, etc ready when she gets home. It’s the least I can do.