Monday, August 23, 2010

Five Random Things

Number One.
Classes started today. It's been a zoo here most of the morning, and it has finally slowed down to a dull roar. So unless..... [five minutes later] what was I saying? Oh, yes, unless I'm asked to make another [another five minute pause]. Wait, what? Ah - so I was saying that unless I'm asked to make another student ID or activate a library card I can actually finish this post!

Number Two.
The professor has just applied for a full time job. At the school where he's already teaching on an adjunct basis. And I think they wrote the position description with him in mind. I'm trying to Remain Calm, but I'm praying like crazy!!

Number Three.
This week the average low at my house is predicted to be 66 degrees. Yea, verily, there was much rejoicing!

Number Four.
I am going to plant a red crape myrtle, two gardenias, a red camellia, three barberrys, three dwarf nandinas, a sweetspire, and a bunch of pretty daylilies and perennials in my new shrub bed - where the pool used to be. YAY! (And it's all going to cost less than $200!)

Number Five.
Did I mention I'm praying like crazy?

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Death of a Pool

Yes, it is gone. Done. An ex-pool, if you will!

(In honor of that, here is my favorite Monty Python skit - and I quote: "'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!!")

::snort:: ::giggle:: ::wahahahahahahaha:: ::snort::

Sorry. Where was I?

Ah, yes, the demise of the pool. We called a local guy - so local, in fact, that he *drove* his backhoe to our house rather than haul it behind a truck. He arrived about 9am, and by 1pm, he was driving off into the sunset.

So here's the before:

And then we did a little work with a sump pump. (The pool vinyl was so crunchy it was disintergrating as we cut it out!)

And then Snake showed up. (Yes, we live in Alabama. Yes, the backhoe operator's name was "Snake". Stop laughing!)

He did all that work in three hours. And we did not have to have any fill dirt brought in - he regraded the existing hill and smoothed it out and all that went into the hole. And I gotta say, he was a master of that machine. He was able to use the claw and pluck the fenceposts out of the ground without breaking them - and without breaking the holly bushes they were right up against. He broke the concrete skirt away from the patio slab perfectly, not even cracking the concrete we wanted to keep. And he did amazing grading work with the front scoop - you'd think we used one of those big grading 'dozers! I suppose there's something to be said for learning a trade early and keeping at it for three decades, huh?

(And in case you were worried, the bottom of the pool is not concrete, but a sand slurry mix that will disintegrate - and did actually start breaking up as soon as the concrete bits started getting tossed in. So we should have no drainage problems at all.)

Now, you are probably asking, how much did that cost? Well, one estimate we got from a professional landscaping company was upwards of three thousand dollars. ::shudder:: We wrote Snake a check for one-sixth of that. And for another couple hundred he's going to bring in a few tons of topsoil and his bobcat to spread it around. But that will be a couple of weeks, because we need to let the ground settle first.

So now that we saved all that money, I'm dreaming of landscaping and hardscaping and trees and shrubs and flower beds and arbors and pergolas. But the philosopher has us on a budget, so we'll see how far we can get in our Master Plan. I'm hoping at least for a crape myrtle and a camilla or two!