Tag Archives: yard work

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.


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.'”

Back to normal

I haven’t posted in a week, but I really haven’t had much to write about. After spending two weeks gallivanting around Europe, everyday life seems very pale by comparison.

Actually, I am really very glad to be back to normal life. I am a home-body at heart. I missed Mrs. Poolman. I even missed our pets.

It seems I spent the first week home just recovering from two weeks of travel and catching up. I really didn’t have any jet lag to speak of. I got a good night’s sleep my first night at home, and that was all it took.

Savannah was at “high spring” when I returned. That means lovely weather and tons of biomass in my yard. This week it was oak seed pods, or “fuzzy-wuzzies” as we call them. Apparently their assigned role in the great scheme of the universe is to clog up the skimmer basket in our pool. They do their job well.

Fuzzy Wuzzies in the skimmer basket.

Mrs. P and I spent both weekend days working around the yard, cleaning the pool, etc. Much of that biomass is now in bags at the curb. There is also some fresh topsoil over one of the sandy patches in the front yard.Saturday evening, we grilled some steaks and rented a movie – “Love and Other Drugs,” with Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal. It was a pretty good movie, with a slightly different slant on the boy-meets-girl. romantic comedy formula. Plus, Anne Hathaway spends about half the movie in the buff, which was just an added benefit from my standpoint. On Sunday, I went to return the DVD to Blockbuster Express, only to find that all THREE of the kiosks closest to our house were out of order. What’s that all about? I sent the company an email, so they wouldn’t charge me for an extra day. Not that $1 is going to break the bank, but it’s the principal of the thing. I should not have to pay a fine for their broken machine. I don’t anticipate a problem. (Late note: All is cool. No late fine.)

We had our last CCD class of the year last Wednesday. In some past years, I really regretted the end of the year, but not this year. We had some really great kids in the class, but the hyper-active attention seekers made it a difficult group as a whole.

A regular work-week is ahead this week. Mrs. P is working next weekend (Easter), so I’ll have the holiday duty. For the foreseeable future, there will be a lot more of that kind of weekend. The hospital where Mrs. P works has eliminated its “weekend program” and has placed all the nurses on an “every third weekend” rotation. Mrs. P isn’t happy about it, and neither am I, but there isn’t much we can do about it.

Looking at a busy week

I’m sitting here by the pool, getting mentally ready for the coming week. It’s going to be a busy one. I’ll have two late nights with our lecture series, my CCD class on Wednesday and an out-of-town trip thrown into the mix. The week ends with our annual big-deal open house, which is my responsibility. By this time next Saturday, I’ll be a zombie.

The Gators dropped their second in a row last night, this one to Les Miles and LSU. The key play was a fake LSU field goal that got them a first down on their game winning drive. It was the same play they used to beat us in 2007. You’d think we would learn. Oh well. Maybe Urban will send those orange jerseys back to storage where they belong.

This is the first weekend we have been home in so long, I don’t remember. I slept late on Saturday, but then spent the rest of the day doing much-needed yard work. Mow, edge, poop patrol, clean pool, etc. I started at 1130 am and ran out of steam around 430 pm.  Sunday was church, lunch with Mrs. P, four loads of laundry, check book, bills, and so on.

Not  a real exciting weekend, but a good kind of quiet that we really needed.

I think my  last load of laundry is ready to be switched over. On to Monday!

A trip home to the ‘burgh

I have been out of the loop for about the last week. I’m just now getting back to the normal routine.

Mrs. Poolman and I drove to Pittsburgh late last week to visit with my Dad, youngest sister and a multitude of nieces, nephews, cousins, etc. Even my brother drove in from the other end of the state for a few days.

We had a very nice time, but it was very busy. Mrs. P absolutely hates spending more than eight hours in a car. (“After eight hours, I’m just ready to cut my throat just to get it over with.” That makes a terrible mess, and you never get the smell out of the upholstery.) So we split up the drive both going and returning.

Our first stop was the Holiday Inn in Oak Hill, West Virginia. We didn’t know what to expect, but we were very pleasantly surprised. We ended up being upgraded to a suite-style room that was gigantic. We were tired, so we just ate in the hotel restaurant, and it was also good, and not just by Holiday Inn standards.

We got into the ‘burgh early Friday afternoon. I went to a Pirates game that evening with Dad, my brother in law and nephew while Mrs. P hung out with youngest sister and visited. I haven’t followed the Pirates since I was a child, but I know they aren’t the most successful team in baseball. They didn’t surprise anyone Friday night, loosing to the Rockies. But it was still a great experience to watch the game in the very nice PNC Park.

A good time was had by all.

On Saturday, my Dad hosted a party at my sister’s house. This is most uncharacteristic of him. I’m not sure about the motivation. In any case, he invited a bunch of aunts, uncles, cousins, etc; ordered ribs, wings, etc from some local restaurants; and put on a very nice party. Several of my cousins in the Pittsburgh area came with their families. There were a ton of kids. Everyone had a great time.

One of my cousins and his wife adopted a child from Guatemala about a year and a half ago. They live in the DC area, but came into town for the weekend. We had not seen little Anna before this weekend. She is a gas. She is three years old and very full of herself. She pretty much has all her cousins (all older, 6-18 years old) wrapped around her finger. The kid has it licked. Apparently, she has been totally absorbed into that large Irish-Polish family. Very cute.

We drove back to Savannah Sunday afternoon and Monday, again spending the night on the road. I turned it right around and hit the road for two days in Atlanta Tuesday and Wednesday. This morning I felt a little like I had “been rode hard and put up wet.” I had spent four to seven hours behind the wheel during six of the past seven days. I guess I piled it on by mowing the lawn and cleaning the pool and back yard when I got back to Savannah yesterday evening.  I’m turning into a wimp in my old age.

We have nothing big planned for this weekend, and I think we’ll keep it that way. I need to catch up on bills, laundry, and a little chillin’. The pool and a lounge chair are screaming my name.

Feels like summer!

How did I spend an entire weekend, staying very busy, but still didn’t get the checkbook updated, the bills paid or my laundry washed? Oh well, I know what I’ll be doing this evening.

Saturday was the work-around-the-house day. I spent a couple of hours edging our yard. This is a bigger task than it may seem simply because we have a large corner-lot. It’s not just the edging, but also the clean-up.

I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning the pool and bleaching the house. We live in the humid South. Although we have a brick house, the wood trim develops mildew and looks terrible. A bleach solution, a sprayer and the garden hose take care of it, but it is work.

I had to hurry to finish the pool work in time to shower and dress for 530 mass. It was my turn to lector, so there was no putting it off.

After mass, we linked up with our friends, the W’s for dinner. They treated us to dinner a couple of weeks ago, so it was our turn to return the favor. We went to the Crystal Beer Parlor in downtown Savannah. This is an old, historic restaurant that closed several years ago. A couple of brothers bought the property and resurrected it just a short while ago. I used to go to the original place fairly frequently, especially when I worked downtown, but I had not had the chance to visit the “new and improved” version until Saturday. Fortunately, the new owners stuck with the original concept – many brands of beer and a menu of burgers, salads, sandwiches and a few specialties. It looks like they have a winner.

I introduced Mrs. Poolman to a beer I first tried on a business trip — Sweetwater 420. This is a small brewery / brand out of Atlanta. She must have liked it since she had two glasses.

On Sunday, we had lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, ran a few errands and then headed home to finish the preps for our first “open pool” of the season.

Mrs. Poolman reading the Sunday paper under the umbrella.

Daughter and son-in-law came over, along with a few other friends. We had a nice time sitting around and in the pool, and visiting. I tossed some burgers and brats on the grill. All told, it was nothing fancy, but it was a good start to the summer season.

A working Saturday

The weekend is here, but at least for the first half, it’s going to be all work and no play for the dull boy.

The good news is the lawn mower repair went very smoothly, if you disregard the fact that I lost one of the screws. It was just a mental lapse. I reached for my camera to take a picture of the progress and laid the screw down somewhere other than bowl I had specifically brought with me for that purpose. Fortunately, we have an Ace Hardware about a mile away. One screw and six cents later (the last of the big spenders) I had a replacement screw that worked just fine.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was really concerned about this project, but this one was just about as easy as Dale at Acme Lawn Mower Repair said it would be. Remove six screws. Lay the cover/gas tank to the side. Remove the thingy and put the new thingy in its place. (Go to hardware store and buy new screw.) Replace the screws and start it up. There was no one more surprised than I was when it didn’t blow up when I pulled the starter cord.

The Beginning

The Beginning

The Middle

The Middle



Now that the mower was working, it meant I had to actually use it. I spent the rest of the day mowing and edging the front lawn, cleaning the pool, poop patrolling the back yard and cleaning off the deck and patio.

Mrs. Poolman started to help and actually edged some of the front walk. However, Writer Princess called around mid-day and asked if she could come out and play with her. So they went off to shop, go to lunch and generally do the mother-daughter bonding thing.

I finished off the afternoon with a trip to Home Depot to get some concrete blocks and rebar to construct a dog-tunnel proof barrier under one of our fences. (This is the subject of tomorrow’s post.)

In the midst of all the yard work, some of the neighborhood kids came down and set up a lemonade stand in our front yard. We are on a fairly busy corner, while they live at the end of a cul de sac with no traffic to speak of.

Nice sign!

Nice sign!

The lemonade was really pretty lousy. It was a powder mix, warm (no ice) and only about six ounces for $.75.

At one point an older lady yelled to me asking if I had any extra ice. I think she thought the kids belonged to me. At the time I was in the midst of doing yard work in 90 degree plus sun and was not really happy. I responded:

Lady, I’m working my a** off here. Do I really look like I care about your ice? No, I’m sorry I don’t.”

Eventually, I pulled a bag of ice from our garage-freezer, put it in a cooler and gave it to the kids to improve their product quality.

The overpriced, low quality product didn’t seem to deter the customers though..What they really were selling was “cute.” It sure worked. About half way through the afternoon, one of the young ladies was dancing around and waving a fist of dollar bills in the air.

“We are rich! We have $21!”

Interesting business plan. I wonder what the child-labor folks would think of someone doing it on a larger scale?