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Saturday, June 12, 2010

June 12, 2010 - Morning

I was awoken much too early for my liking, at 7:00am, by a well meaning friend. How were they to know that I hadn't got to bed until 12:45am? I had been hyped up on caffeine and busy envisioning a plan for my backyard while reading the entire book of "Common Flowering Plants and Shrubs" to try and find the things in my garden I cannot yet identify. I'll get back to that in a second.

I rolled out of bed groggy and somewhat cranky at not having a blissful lie in. However as soon as my eyes had popped open I started worrying about that tiny little tear in the liner and wondering if I'd go downstairs to find it had opened into a huge gash in the middle of the night. I decided that rather than lie around worrying about it I might as well just go look. I could turn the pump on while I was at it and check the water quality. It took me four tries to get the pump started and primed. I don't know what I keep doing wrong but the bloody thing rarely starts up properly on the first try. Is it because the line drains back to the pool overnight and it just takes that long to build up enough pressure to suck it back? I've tried every combination of procedures to try and help it along and I may have found one that works. Maybe. I had to open the pump and pour in a bucket of water. (being a nice person, I felt awful about firing up the hose at 7:30am on a Saturday, I hope I grow out of this worry because I seem to care much more about my neighbor's well being than my own at this point) This was done with the vacuum line turned to the closed position (currently the only functioning line in). Then I replaced the lid, opened the line and quickly hit the "on" switch. It still took over a minute for the water pressure to build up enough for it to stay primed. However, this combination of activities, as opposed to my other attempts, did not result in a faint electrical odor that I fear signals me burning out the motor. Two buckets of water and ten minutes later the pump and filter were now up and running. I totally forgot to check the liner but I did test the water. PH is within normal range and the Chlorine is off the frigging charts. I have no idea why this is. There is no more visibility than last night and the water is still cloudy.

Here is what kept me awake; building a ground level wooden deck to replace all the patio stones in my backyard. Here's the thing, and boy do I wish I had a diagram, the pool is currently surrounded by cheap concrete paving slabs, one stone deep on the long sides, two slabs deeps on the end. With the pavers the pool is the same width as my house and between the pool and the back wall is more pavers. So basically there are pavers going from edge to edge of my back wall and all the way out to the pool. It would be OK I suppose if they were new, but they aren't. They are also heaving all over the place and I trip on them all the time. Some of them are crumbling, some are cracked and there are weeds sprouting all over the place. As if this weren't enough to make me want to do something to fix it, they are also graded so that the entire thing slants from the pool towards the house. I don't have a leaky basement, thankfully, but it's like asking for trouble. I had originally planned to try and save up to get some new "fancy" concrete paving slabs. This is not my first choice because I don't even like paving slabs. Last night I wondered if it was possible to pull up all the slabs out back, including the ones around the pool, back fill with gravel to establish a proper grade and then construct a deck that covers the entire width of the house from the back wall out and around the pool creating a new pool deck. The whole thing somehow sitting flush on the gravel.

I don't know if this sort of thing is even possible but it looked absolutely fabulous in my head. If a way could be found to secure the huge deck to the ground without having to dig and pour deck support posts then it would only be raised off the ground by whatever the width of the wood is. Also, since the entire area underneath would be covered in yet more gravel not only would it keep down weeds but it would also improve drainage, I think. I know they sell interlocking wooden deck tiles all over the place now. They're about 1' square and have a plastic/rubber grid backing that locks together with surrounding pieces to keep it all attached together. I know these are intended for balconies and such but if you could do that, why not an entire patio made of deck. I need to check the internet, chances are good that someone has already attempted this. First I need to go make a cup of tea. Actually, first I need to go do yesterday's dishes since I last used the kettle with grimy pool slime all over my hands and I refuse to drink anything that comes out of it until it's properly cleaned. I'll also check on the liner while I'm at it.

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