full moon in capricorn July 12th ... plus it's sink or swim time

no, this is not our pool - this is our inspiration pool
I think this has been my longest blog break in 5 years!

I usually blog on the weekends and my weekends have been spent fixing up

(I use the word fixing rather loosely here)

my house for this month's guests.

We have an intense full moon in Capricorn on Saturday - lots of great info about this on my Armchair Astrologer Blog, so check that out.

We I have been thinking / talking / meditating / obsessing about moving for the last couple years. After Hurricane Sandy took out most of our trees, swimming pool and front bucket loader (don't ask) - it seemed like a good time.

Last year when I blew our chance at an almost free house (oops) I knew life might need a little extra time to line us up with the right move, so I decided to settle in and work with what I already have - what a novel idea for a professional recycler.

Hubs and I kept coming back to the pool question. A pool seems a crazy thing to re-build when you are not planning on living in a house for very long, but we have always had a pool. We don't have air conditioning so a pool has always seemed essential.

Anyhoo, I discovered something (on Pinterest) called a semi-inground pool. It was almost too good to be true - the feel of an inground pool (sort of) without the price tag. I should add that along with our trees we lost a lot of privacy in our backyard and replacing the four ft. tall above ground pool and deck we used to have was feeling a lot less appealing. We also discovered we could make the new pool a saltwater pool with a cell system to eliminate the chemicals.

To make a long story short shorter we bought a pool that could go into the ground and the pool store set us up with an experienced installation company. Everyone knew what we were doing - they all told me they had done this whole "put an above ground pool half way into the ground" thing many times before.

I should back up and say we very, very rarely hire anyone. We do almost everything here ourselves - even though I know the way life works is if we want people to pay us for our expertise we need to pay other people for theirs.

So the pool is delivered, the installers come with a backhoe/bobcat (?) and dig a hole, they assemble the pool in the hole, the pool looks great, the filter is hooked up, the water starts moving - this is all on schedule even during the mercury retrograde period and I am congratulating myself on framing this work as "re"placing our old pool, which I am certain is the reason everything is going so swimmingly.

Then ... there's a knock at the door (I am nursing two bites from a wasp attack with an icepack at exactly this moment) - the installers tell me they are finished. I go outside and am standing in a backyard that looks like a bomb has gone off or maybe something like the aftermath of the final episode of Goldrush.

"OK" I say calmly, "doesn't the area around the pool get filled in with this dirt?" And the installer says "we don't back-fill."

(this has now become hubs and my go-to expression for stuff we don't want to do. Hubs - "did you go to the post office today", me - "look buddy, it's hot out and I don't back-fill.")

Then the guy drops the real bomb - "you need to build a cement wall around this thing first anyway" ....

Now, I told you I did some research. I did. I didn't see any cement walls being built in the ground to protect the pool from the dirt side walls caving in. I didn't think too much about this part - this is why we hired professional help, after all! I ask the guy if they can do this and he tells me no. I ask him if he can recommend anyone, he says no.

the real deal - 2 feet above ground, 3 feet in the ground
To make a long story short shorter hubs and I and Chris (mostly hubs) buy, carry home (yes on our backs like mules) and stack 144 cement cinder blocks and sixty four 60 pound bags of concrete mix.

We (mostly hubs, I may have been pinning avocado recipes on Pinterest at this point) mix and pour 3000 lbs of concrete (mixed with water and sand so maybe 4000 lbs!) into the cinder block holes to secure a wall - a wall in the ground that we then cover with shovels of dirt - you can almost see the tops of the 2 ft tall cinder block wall in this picture at the base of the pool.

You can't see the 7 ft pile of dirt to the right of this whole thing. You can't see my family who are arriving from Oregon and Washington in 12 days for a family reunion. You can't see me running around like a maniac which is quickly followed by lying on the ground in a sweaty puddle of overwhelm.

On the bright side the water is testing perfectly and does not taste salty ...

(you know me and looking at the bright side - it's the reason I have four pairs of prescription sunglasses after all or wait, that could be my inability to keep my Ray Ban aviators scratch-free for more than a minute)

I will update this again next week - I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Hopefully we will get the platform built and ladder in so we can get the inspector out here to approve this thing - then we have to figure out the dirt situation plus clean up the yard and house, paint the porch floor and finish painting the shutters. Luckily we have a Capricorn full moon to get a lot done - just hoping it doesn't rain! xo all


DancingMooney said...

It's been hot and humid here lately, that pool looks very refreshing right about now! Kudos to you for getting this done, and I'm sorry it was so much (extra) work!

Catherine Ivins said...

thanks Janelle! if you lived closer you could definitely take a dip! xo

Viktoria said...

Oh, I can see the place where you will stay for the next weeks,
enjoy your pool after this hard work!

Catherine Ivins said...

thank you Viktoria - have a wonderful weekend! xo

KJ said...

It looks good Cat. Buy some pots- it is the end of the season, and place them around the edges so you can have some additional green.

The non-chemical thing sounds great.

BTW, I am settling into my new home. When you get your new home be prepared to discover that nothing fits and you need new everything!

Catherine Ivins said...

Kathy! Where did you land? Are you by your parents? The pots are exactly what I am thinking - I am just trying to see this as a rebuilding year since fixing everything feels totally overwhelming. Yes, I can see how the 'nothing fitting' thing would make you nuts - of course it's a great excuse for some new stuff!

Just Jersey said...

Hi Cat,

Now I know where you've been. Pool story sounded like quite an adventure but it looks like it is all coming together.

I've sent some emails - need to finalize products for next catalog. Send me a note when you get a minute.