It’s that time of year, the pool must be closed, the dark cover that replaces the gorgeous azure blue of the water really changes the look of our backyard, it instantly darkens the mood. We’re doing it fairly early this year to minimize the amount of vacuuming I have to do to prepare for the closing, I’m too tired to do it this year. Despite the work having a pool entails, it does create a wonderful setting for summer, it’s hard to feel awful when you are sitting near the water. I’m going to miss having pretty water to look at, frogs to rescue and a relaxing spot to watch bees and butterflies.
Yesterday the water in the pool registered a warm 78 degrees, I didn’t go in, my husband was the brave one who found out, but for Blandford that is some warm pool water. Stanley got a taste of the pool and it wasn’t to his liking, Jack did as well, he wasn’t crazy about it either, he kept to the jungle part of our backyard which is why he isn’t in a picture, he made sure to keep himself scarce after his turn in the water. Lulu never made it into the pool, she knew when to approach and when to hang back, so she stayed high and dry. She is so cute.
Our backyard is finally looking alive and thriving. It doesn’t look the same as last year which is fine, some things have gone and others aren’t responding as quickly, but that is to be expected. I still cannot get over how much of an impact two brutal winters can have on otherwise hearty plants.
Writing and posting picture of my gardens helps with all of the traveling that my husband and I do, when I look at my pictures, it feels like I have a piece of home with me. It also brings to mind all of the enjoyment that our backyard brings to the kids and the dogs. Lulu has discovered the freedom of the outside and you can’t keep her inside nowadays, she knows to push against the screen door with her nose and boom she is outside with Jack fast on her heels.
Our son vacuumed the pool and even took a dip yesterday, the water is still cold, but he said it felt great since he had gone for a run. I am sure that our daughter will be in the pool eventually, once she has enough time off from work. She is a trooper working two jobs, I am very proud of her. I am proud of both of my children, they are so helpful with whatever we ask of them. They are both good eggs.
Today we opened the pool, not because it is hot enough, but if you wait too long you run the risk of getting algae, fungus or worse, mold. The water is clear, it may not look as blue as it normally does, but that is due to the silt and dirt from the winter that is resting on the pool floor. As soon as I am done with the chemical additons, not for the water itself or even for us, the swimmers, these chemicals make the water less harsh as it passes through the pipes believe it or not. The chemicals of which I speak are the calcium hardners, PH increasers and the Alkalinity increasers as well as the chlorine. The chlorine is the only thing that is really needed for us to swim without worrying about bacteria, algae or fungus. As soon as I am done with my chemistry experience then I will vacuum all of the winter’s debris from the bottom of the pool and all will look pristine and inviting, ready for anyone who wants an escape from the heat.
Today was a very productive day outside; I did what was most important to me which was get the pool going. Last week I had scheduled to have Jelly Belly Pool and Spas come out and open up the pool for the summer and I made sure that my husband and I took a sample of the pool water to have it tested so that we could get all of the proper additives to get the correct PH balance, alkalinity hardness and chlorine levels. I thought that we were all set, but our son informed us that the guys from Jelly Belly had had issues with the connections, essentially the system was leaking a lot of water, and needed to come back. I figured no problem they would eventually get it together by the weekend but that wasn’t the case to my surprise; according to our son, they still had to come back on Monday to fix the leaks.
When we got home late Friday night; it was too late to do anything and yesterday after we had come back from the movies, I still wasn’t in much of a mood to fiddle around with the system, but I did inspect their work and already I had seen what the problem was; they had hooked up the chlorinator too close to the filter which would make changing the chlorine canister almost impossible during the summer. So yesterday I decided that this morning I would unhook the chlorinator and reconnect it back to the way it should be connected and voila, to my delight, we aren’t experiencing any leaks. Hooray the pool is running and all that is left to do is add everything and presto, we are in poolside business.
Another thing that made me very happy was that I got to smell the first rose from my huge rosebush in back; it smells like candy it is so sweet. I also saw my wild strawberries emerge green and ready to ripen as long as the chipmunks stay away from them. The irises are all out as well as other purple perennials that I have forgotten their name, but they self propagate which endears them to me even more.
No matter what is going on with the world or with our lives; a few minutes of sitting amongst the flowers makes everything else fade into the background. I almost forgot, I have seen two hummingbirds so far and they are gorgeous.
The peonies are also coming out to bloom; the ones in the picture are from the back near the pool. I like to leave those on the bush to give color to all of the surrounding greenery; they are such a feminine shade of pink and when fully opened, they are so lush and heavy; one of my favorite flowers to behold in the back.
We have been lucky these past few days; the breeze is cool, the temperatures just right, making it so pleasant to be outside.
I really dislike sand, I love picnicking and there is nothing worse than when you are eating your favorite sandwich, fresh ham and butter on a crunchy French baguette, and you bite down on gritty sand, kills the moment of pleasure. However, I love the ocean, swimming in salt water, smelling the sand, the sea and the sun, there are few smells as divine as those three. We have an in ground pool and eating lunch and dinner out there is pleasant as well and when my flowers are in full bloom, the air is sweet and floral, perfect ambience for eating and relaxing. Swimming in chlorine isn’t my favorite but there is no sand! so I shouldn’t complain. I should be happy.
Yes, I am now going to complain about the weather. It has been raining now for just a little too long. Our pool has been opened and I have been doing my little mad scientist thing with the ph balance of the pool. Normally, this is fairly straight forward but not these past few days. It has been raining so much and so hard that the pool has been overflowing so I have been siphoning the excess water out of the pool in the rain. All this in turn messes with the chemical balance hence my complaints. Never mind the crazy growth of everything in the garden especially in the weed department, no one wants to weed in the rain even though it is the ideal soil condition for pulling out weeds, the soil is so loose that they just slide out when you pull them. All I want is a few days of blue skies and bright sunlight so that I can stabilize the water, so that I can get my weed population back under control and I can cease my quiet fuming at the gods in the shy. Maman not happy and according to the weather forecast, Maman is not going to be happy for quite a few more days, at least until next Saturday.
I was trying to get into a positive frame of mind by thinking of Super Tramp’s song and it starts “It’s raining again, I …” It’s one of those songs that I get stuck in my head, I don’t know the words except for it’s raining again and la, la… It’s raining again. But then my positive frame of mind went away because this is getting a little ridiculous with the amount of rain coming our way. I know that it could be worse so I promise that this won’t become a habit.
What are you most looking forward to doing this summer?
May 28, 2012
I look forward to working outside tending my garden, having the pool open and watching Rex swim back and forth retrieving his ball. I wonder if little Jack will be more courageous this year and join Rex in his daily swim. Rex is impressive when he swims, he leaves a wake in the pool like a small boat. For those who aren’t acquainted with Rex, he is an eleven year old German Shepard and Jack is a small Jack Russell almost two come July 5th. When the pool gets opened, I’ll make sure to take pictures.