Saturday, May 28, 2011

Evolution of the swear word

The alternate title to this post was...Swimming pool parts massacre.

Back in the day, before in ground swimming pools, swearing was a gentler sport. When was the first in ground pool? I should have googled that since, you know, I am bent on having an accurate and truthful blog. I am guessing early 1900's?

Before that date, whatever it was, swearing amounted to awwww shucks, durn, phooey, fiddlesticks, tarnation, crimeninny, cotton pickin'....

Install the first in ground pool and hello $%*@, !*##, @&$^&#, %+?!, #$}=*!

Have some mercy on the foul mouthed, potty talkers of the world. It ALL stemmed from the poor schmuck who had to maintain the first pool.

This is our 3rd summer living in this house. When we were looking at the house I was mildly worried about becoming a pool owner knowing they required a tad bit of maintenance. However, we really loved everything about the house and property so my pool apprehension got swept aside and we bought it.

Summer #1. By the end of the summer, whilst digging in the couch cushions for spare change to buy pool chemicals & parts, we were scratching our heads wondering just exactly how much grief an in ground pool could cause? Well, look at this and this post, if you are brave

Summer #2. Let's just say that hubs did have a really comfy retirement sum tucked away. Living in a box under a bridge in our golden years won't be so bad. We'll have such torturous happy memories of summers full of swimming!

Summer #3...which is right now in case you are confused. Took the pool cover off on Friday the 13th. That's appropriate. Admittedly, May 13th is waaayyy too late to be removing the pool cover but we have had a windy, windy spring. If you know West Texas, then you know what I mean. 50 mph sustained winds is sort the norm for a bad spring. So had we removed the durn pool cover earlier we would have been digging patio furniture, dirt (and lots of it), tree limbs, leaves and whatever else could have blown in, out of the pool daily.

On Friday the 13th I spent $ at the hardware store for chemical, salt, acid, etc... Understandable for the initial start up for the season.

I failed to mention that when we took the cover off, it was very swampy and nasty and terrible.

Not to worry. We diligently chemical-ed and vacuumed and back-washed and monitored that week and things slowly were looking up.

The following Friday it was back to the hardware store, because you just can't have enough acid at a time like this. Both to snort or shoot up (whatever you do with acid) AND dump in the pool. (Who is funny this morning?) Oh and salt. Saltwater pools love them some salt. You can't just go buy 10 of Mortons blue cylinders of salt at the grocery store and call it good. Oh no, we need mineral fluffy, fancy, super dooper, $ salt. Anyway another $ was spent last Friday.

However we had achieved a somewhat normal shade of blue and we were darn skippy proud of our progress. The water was cloudy but it was a blue you could find in a crayon box.

Wednesday morning. The cloudiness in the water was gone! We did it. The sun broke through the clouds.....Haaaaaaaleeeeeluuyah!!!

Wednesday afternoon a doozie of a wind storm popped up and the bottom of the pool was covered in dirt. Irritating but not the end of the world, just turn on the vac and all will be well again.

We innocently turn on the pump and backwash. The start up the vac. Sand starts pouring out of the jets into the pool. (Which is what happened the first summer when we had to drain the pool) So we begrudgingly take apart the sand filter, which is no cake walk. A part had come loose, hubs reattached it. Put it all back together. Dig as much sand out of the pool as we can. Turn it back on. More @$*$^@ sand blowing out the jets.

We savagely disassemble the filter again and same part had blown off.

We live in a small town with certainly no pool companies nor parts available.

Thursday I make the 180 mile round trip to San Angelo, home of our favorite family owned pool store. These folks are really nice and needless to say, have gotten to know us very well over the past three delightful years! I did not re-read the previous pool posts I linked to above, much too painful. So if you bravely read those and I am now repeating myself, I apologize...but the pool store keeps records in the computer of what you buy, your water readings, etc... My name in their computer is misspelled...Broke instead of Brooke. It, sadly, cracks me up every time I am in there. I won't let them change it.

Additionally, to add insult to injury on that trip to the big city I had to go to Lowes to buy PVC pipe parts. Hubs had sent me with a precise little list. Have you seen the PVC section at Lowes? For the love of pete I wanted to scratch my eyeballs out in frustration. I was already in a hyper--foul mood by the time I got to Lowes after the pool store...and then I had to paw through 45,000 PVC pieces parts.

Schedule 40, male coupling....what the tarnation is that? I was seething with anger when I left Lowes.

We had hopes for our bright young blonde rascal to go to college one day. Perhaps an Ivy League? Those hopes are dashed now. He will be in the box under the bridge with us. I spent his college fund that day at the pool store. Ever bought a new sand filter for a pool? Oh and a new booster motor for the vac too. It seems that sand in the lines screws all the bearings and such in a motor straight to poop.

Angry is what I am now. I am not a habitual cuss-er. I am nothing if not a genteel, refined, polished southern woman. Ahem. This pool makes my face turn red and steam blow from my ears. If there was ever a moment when I could just cuss like a would purely pool related.

As I was leaving the pool store $ lighter, a fellow customer was in the store and I over head him innocently say y'all put my pool in about a month ago and now the water isn't looking so good. It took all I had not to drag him outside by his ear, violently shake him by the shoulders while yelling with tears in my eyes WHY, why would you do something so stupid as installing a #*%$& pool??

Instead I stood silently while the owner, who I am sure has a tidy retirement & college funds for all his children, said oh no problem 6 bags of blah blah, a case of blah blah and 12 bottles of blah blah will fix you right up. That will be $16, 493.

I get home from my 180 mile round trip at about 8:30pm and we commence to installing the new filter. At midnight after hubs worked like a champ at the installation, blonde rascal was a gem and a huge help to his Dad and I had entertained myself thoroughly with schemes of how we could get rid of the pool...dynamite, a heck of a storm shelter, giant flower garden... we slept like babies.

I like to call the above photo...the Clampets re-plumb the pool.

And the money shot....The million dollar pool part summer.

Here we have trash, empty pool filter sand bags.50lb bags and we needed 500 lbs. Ask me how my back feels.

Thankfully the pool gods were kind. Not running your pump for 4 days is generally a death sentence, the water will go green and that is not a good quality in this case. Luckily our water has stayed clear and now the filter is running.

Uhhhh....the booster pump for the automatic vac is not working but hubs thinks it might be an error in his wiring. So he is still figuring that one out.

(I paused at this point in my blogging and went to manually vac the pool.)

Guess what? Now the $&%# control valve handle won't turn. Sounds like it has sand jamming it up. Hmmm sand? How odd! So I can't turn the pump to filter. Square one? Hubs is out of town. I am on the verge of l-o-s-i-n-g it. Good news is I did call the only known pool boy in this town. Left a message. If he calls back and says he does not have room for another client I will scream and cry and cuss...out loud this time.

I am moments away from calling the realtor.

Come back soon to read more of this painful saga.

Broke Brooke

Friday, May 6, 2011

Burning questions

First of all I am irritated with Blogger. I don't know what has gone on in the past 5 months or so.... but I can't change anything. Not my font, not color, nada. Am I missing something? Do I need to download something? It used to be relatively easy to change. Does anyone know the answer to this? My blog needs a serious update & cleanup. However, I am pooh pooh-ing the whole situation because I don't have 12 consecutive free hours to figure out why I have no creative freedom with Blogger anymore.

Secondly, what does Queen Elizabeth carry in that purse of hers? For the record, I did get up at 4:45 am to watch the royal nuptials and was positively giddy about the whole situation. What can I say, but the entire thing was fabulous. I think Kate is stunning and a breath of fresh air. William is charming, Charles is a door knob, Camilla is a woofer, Harry looks like fun and Fergie's daughter's hats were just flat out bizarre.

Anyway, it seems like whenever I see the Queen, she has her purse. Her cute grandmotherly purse hanging in the crook of her arm. What on earth is in that thing? Receipts from Target? A Starbucks card? Keys to the palace? Her Jitterbug? (Kleenex goes without saying, as you cannot be a grandmother without them, amen?) Hubs thinks there is a James Bond-ish little gun in there. I vote for a package of peanut butter crackers. What say you?

Lastly, I have pictures of every minute detail from the last 100 years since I have not been blogging regularly. Bet you can't wait to see those! I perused through them just now...where to start? In an effort to stay on task with my burning questions theme....

Here is the marine on the Friday morning before his wedding. He is stationed in AZ, so he drove all night to get here. Understandably a nap was in order before the craziness of the weekend started.

Let's take a closer look....
There is a weapon in his waistband? (Probably not unlike the one hubs imagines QE to have in her dainty handbag.) During his nap, the day before his wedding, on our living room couch. Was he expecting an attack? Pre-wedding jitters? Of course one would have to think, what kind of a damper would a nap time gunshot wound place on the honeymoon?

Well, that is all. I declare with every quarterly post, as now seems to be my schedule, that I will post more often. I really like hearing myself talk, so I do hope to be posting more frequently....

In the meantime please tell me why Blogger is a butt and how to resolve it, what you think is in QE's purse and for the love of Pete, do tell if you had a weapon on your being on your wedding day.