Thursday, May 29, 2008

Memorial Day "Fun"

I just never seem to be able to follow the rules, do I? I know that Sincerely 'Fro Me to You is supposed to consist of old photos dredged up from from our past, but I didn't have time to peruse and then scan any pics this weekend because I was just having too much fun (said in a voice dripping with sarcasm). And since I did at least have a couple of seconds to push down the button on my camera (once I had washed my hands) to document this occasion, I will show you the entertainment I endured over Memorial Day weekend.

With the boys gone for the three-day weekend, Ralph and I undertook the cleaning of the pool. We had wanted to do it the weekend before, but it was 107°, and being down in a concrete bowl in that kind of heat must be part of the seventh level of hell. This past weekend was much nicer pool-cleaning weather: a bit cloudy so the white concrete wouldn't blind us with reflected sunlight, and a bit of wind to help blow away the chemical fumes. We knew we couldn't expect the cooler weather to hold much longer, so we donned our masks, squared our shoulders, and dove in.

Now, I understand what some of you must be thinking of at this point: "Yeah, poor baby. She has a pool and she's complaining?!" I know, I get it. But let me just say this: I wasn't the original purchaser of this house, and just came to live here over the past few months. And, being that we live in the California desert, 107° is actually a pretty typical temperature in the summertime. And, (listen closely now), Ralph and the boys have an issue with air conditioning, as it completely dries out their sinuses, (even with humidifiers running), so we don't use it. Ever. I'm not kidding. Yes, my indoor plants wilt, my cosmetics melt, and the bathroom tiles are still hot under my feet at 3:00 AM when I get up to use the bathroom. So the pool is my only bit of respite from the heat. And, since it's so expensive to keep up, we do all the cleaning/monitoring/dredging ourselves. Okay? Okay. Moving on...

The pool has actually been in hibernation for the past few months. With the Southern California fires surrounding us in the fall, we had a lovely layer of soot and ash covering the bottom of the pool for quite a while. Then there were the "Santa Anas", tornado-strength winds whistling in from the desert and delivering every leaf, twig and speck of dust within a 50-mile radius straight to the filter of the pool. It got so mucky that we couldn't even see Herby (the little suction machine that rolls around underwater) anymore. I'll spare you the pictures of the entire mess, (mainly because I didn't want to get close enough to it to take pictures), but these filters should give you some indication of what was fermenting at the bottom of our pond:

Just to give you some perspective, here's what a clean one looks like:

Here is where the filters lay in hibernation:

Ralph, bless him, took on most of the dirty work. After we had drained it, he sprayed most of the muck into the deep end with a power-spray nozzle on the hose, and then after it dried he swept it all up. I came outside only after the duck-pond smell had died down. Now it was time for the "acid wash." The acid Ralph usually used was extremely corrosive and downright dangerous to be around (if you added water in the wrong way to the mix, it could explode), so we used a bleach solution instead. Still a pretty strong chemical, but not half as bad as the other concoction.

We were only supposed to leave it on for 30 seconds before rinsing it off, so we had to move quickly. I would take the watering can and pour it along the sides of the pool in the current section. Then Ralph and I would furiously scrub the section with toilet brushes, and then I'd run and grab the hose to wash it down. Eventually, as we got to the bottom of the pool, we were able to trade in the toilet brushes for the actual pool brush:

And here's Ralph doing the final rinse:

And the filter-holder contraption is finally clean, too:

So now we could finally fill it back up! I'm holding my breath when I open up the next water bill... but at least we have something to keep us cool for the summer!

Wow, you can even see Herby!

So there you have it, my oh-so-fun Memorial Day weekend, captured in disgusting technicolor. For more fun and less yuck, click on over to Kristen's site and have a ball looking at blast-from-the-past pictures!


Worlds Greatest Mommy said...

Jealous of the pool, but not the work you had to do. My mom was the "pool boy" growing up and took care of everything. We tried an easy-set pool last year and I just couldn't keep up.

Tammy said...

Got my kids and our swimsuits...we are headed over! Do we need to bring anything else....snacks, drinks??

We are THAT Family said...

Yeah, I feel so sorry for you and (dripping with sarcasm) that gorgeous pool!

I'm not much a rule- follower either. So I don't mind! Thanks for joining!

THopgood said...

LOVE that pool! Can I come over? I won't be any trouble...I promise. ;-)

bunchofbull-ers! said...

Oh yeah, I'm with you on the water bill thing...we purchased a large above ground pool from Wal-Mart over the weekend. You would think on 3 acres we could find one level area to put this thing up?! Hmmm, well we didn't. Though it looked as though we had until we got it almost completely full and noticed that the one side was bulging out so bad it looked like it was gonna break. We drained it & are going to level that area and re-fill it this weekend. Ugh!

Valarie said...

I love your pool its really pretty! We have one, but its not a concrete bottom it has a liner, and its much easier to clean. I love all the curves in your though.

Muthering Heights and Other Senseless Sensibility said...

You are a brave one, I don't think I could have gotten though that without barfing!