Friday, July 29, 2011

If you build it...they will come!

I know you've heard this saying a dozen times at least, and it's true! 

I am very excited that my oldest son came home yesterday to spend a few nights with us and his girlfriend is driving up tonight too.  Woohoo!  It seems there's quite a bit of interest in our little old pool.   Yesterday, my youngest son and his girlfriend were also enjoying our pool again, even though she has a perfectly beautiful one at her house.  Neighbors have stopped by to check it out and friends have already called for references on our contractor.   I'm guessing these 100 degree temperatures are also contributing to all the excitement as well!  Because, Shewww, is it HOT!  

We have been enjoying swimming in our pool since last Thursday evening a week ago.

We went with a darker blue liner which adds to the allure of a more refreshing pool.

Isn't it pretty? Sorry, I am just so in love!  Teehee!

As exciting and refreshing as all of this is, I really wanted to share something more about the construction of our pool.  I wanted to share this for those of you who are considering building one either now or in the future.  Since all pools are subject to each individuals preferences and property this may not necessarily apply to your situation. But...if it does, you may be happy I mentioned it.    

As you can see, we do not yet have concrete decking around our pool.  We are waiting about 6 weeks for the ground to settle before pouring the concrete.  This is the amount of time our contractor prefers to help keep the concrete from possibly cracking if your ground settles underneath after you have poured concrete.
Most pool builders in our area wait about 2 weeks, a few maybe wait four.  Two weeks is certainly not enough as I have seen so far.

I first thought our contractor was being a bit extreme on his time frame.  But being that we have waited this long to build a pool the last thing we want is to end up with a cracked patio or walkway because we tried to rush the process, so we are obliging.  We were advised to put out soaker hoses all round the pool where we have backfilled the dirt along the walls.

Keeping this area wet helps to compact the dirt down faster.  As you can see in the following photos, it is amazing how much the dirt begins to drop and settle down.

Our concrete will but up and under the white coping on the pool edge over the top of the metal wall seen here.

The two previous photos show how much it has dropped even after two previous soakings and adding more dirt.  Can you imagine what your concrete may look like if it dropped this much after pouring it?

This is why we have a big pile of sand out in our yard.  It is there so we can continuously add more dirt around the outside of the pool as it settles.

After seeing large cracks in the dirt as it dries and compacts, I am a firm believer in waiting for the ground to settle before adding the concrete decking.  I would much rather see these cracks now and help them to settle now before they showed up in our pavement.  Wouldn't you?

So for now, we are just enjoying the pool and the sandy beach.

I've been spreading sand everywhere we walk because it sure does help to keep the mud down.

Along with that, a tarp and buckets for dipping your feet in before getting into the pool are helping as well.
It's a little muddy and dirty and tacky looking around here right now, but we will get there soon enough.

  Meanwhile, I am busy thinking of landscaping and retaining walls and the layout of our concrete to pass the time while waiting.  For those of you who may be considering building a pool where you will need to back fill around the outside please heed my advice.  I am a firm believer in waiting now since I've seen it first hand. Hopefully, you will be now too!

Thanks for stopping by today,
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pool Progress

Hey Blog Friends!  I thought I'd share the progress on our swimming pool.  I am sooo excited!  We are making great progress!  Since we are installing a pool with a vinyl liner the construction goes fairly quick.  It is likely we will be swimming by this coming weekend if not sooner. I just cannot wait especially since it seems summer has returned in full force here after a slight break in the temperatures over the weekend.

So, let's take a look!  Sorry ladies,  I am going to take you trough all the steps before showing you where we are today.  I am doing this because I want to document this too.  Feel free to just enjoy the pics if your not to interested in reading about how.  For the rest of you, here's how you construct an inground vinyl pool.

Be prepared for a mess!   We interviewed three contractors who we requested come out to our house to give us an estimate due to the fact that we have a sloped yard.  We are using a contractor who does all the work himself except for pouring the concrete. After figuring out where we wanted the pool to be our contractor brought in one of these to dig the hole.

He was recommended to us from someone who goes to church with him who said, he is a good man, so I took a chance and called him.  She was not exaggerating!  He has been in the business for 25years now but is not like the larger pool builders who have many crews working for them doing several pools at once.  He is practically local to us from the next small town over.  We met his wife and they took us around to meet all the other local families he has built pools for too.  She and I have clicked well and she's been by a few times to see the progress on our pool as well.  This is just the type of contractor we prefer who works with you to get things exactly the way you want them.  I had no idea we would ever find a pool contractor like this, as it is a rare thing (in our area) indeed!
 I feel so blessed that we have found him!

In no amount of time, he brought over the pool and that's when it really started to sink in.

Never mind that the big tractor was quickly tearing up my yard.

Then up came the steel walls.

And my steps were attached.

 Here's my steps!

 First a concrete footer was poured around the outside, then all the pipes for the jets, skimmer and drains could be installed.

Then he brought in the mixing equipment for the bottom.

And installed a mixture of vermiculite and concrete on the bottom.

Next, it was time to install the liner.  This is his son who came to help him out with this on Saturday.

My husband and our contractor, Eddy are looking at where he wants us to fill the pool with water.  We were only to fill enough water so he can then cut out the drains on the bottom.

This was how it was done.  He climbed into his tractor and cut them out from above because he didn't want to walk on the bottom of the pool due to the vermiculite still setting.  We were given instructions to leave the vacume running as it keeps the wrinkles out and begin adding a small amount of water just up to the level where the stairs needed to be cut out from the vinyl.  Unfortunately, since we are on a well, we have a whole house filtration system that our outdoor hoses are also connected too and we had a snag with our filter becoming clogged.  We had to shut the water and vacume off on Sunday.

As you can see the wrinkles started to come.

But he told us not to worry, he would be back on Monday and straighten things out with the pool.  Meanwhile, we headed to Home Depot and stocked up on new filters.  We think the sediment from the bottom of the well must have been stirring up from having the water running for hours and clogged up the filters.  My whole house started gurgling inside before the water stopped coming out of the hose all together.  So glad that was all it was because I thought we had drained the well completely and we had'nt even started filling up the pool yet.  Whew!

True to his word, the wrinkles came right out with little effort after the vacume and water resumed on Monday.  He also is very particular, thank goodness and got in to straighten everything out as well.

And the painfully slow process of adding the water has begun again.

Our next milestone to reach was getting the bottom of pool filled all the way up to the shallow end so he can cut out the steps which are covered.  Doing the cutouts this way insures an accurate cut in the vinyl where it needs to be.  Little did I know that adding the water was going to be the slowest part.

Watching a pool fill with water is like watching grass grow, especially when you are on a well.

But watching is what I am doing none the less!  I just can't stop!

The area around the pool has been filled in for the most part.

With the exception of the back here where my husband is going to install the light. 

The concrete to go around the pool will not be poured until about 4 to 6 weeks so the ground can settle.  Our contractor is very adamant about that and we are pleased to oblige.  Installing concrete too soon can result in a sidewalk that cracks and looks horrible and we certainly do not want that.  Besides, we have plenty to keep us busy like installing a small retaining wall, building new steps and railings, sodding the yard, etc.  

And here we are today, waiting on a few more truck loads of dirt that we are bringing in to landscape the back corner, and waiting on the water to fill up our pool.  I picked up these plastic adirondak chairs from Home Depot on Sunday and went back to get two more yesterday, so now I have four.  They were on sale for the end of the season and will make all the waiting a little more comfortable, don't you think?

Thanks for stopping by today!
What do you think?

Have a great day!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gratitude is an Attitude!

Good Monday Morning! It's been awhile since I've posted a Mary's Meditating Mind post so I hope you won't mind that I just had to share these thoughts with you today.  I thinking it's quite appropriate at the start of a new week as well!  

Late yesterday afternoon my husband and I were lounging around at the sailing club beach, when a family came up on their sailboat and unloaded.  Two small boys jumped out running down the docks as their father yelled, "Don't run on the docks!"  They were oblivious to him in their joy and conversation with each other.  As they neared us and walked by they were deep in conversation.  I overheard them as one boy said to the other, "Well, highlight number one today was that I woke up to enjoy a new day!  Because if you don't wake up your dead, so waking up is a highlight right?"  

Yes, dear sweet little one, we should count each new day as a highlight for sure!  How often do we trudge into a new day with the same old ho hum attitude?  We can either spend the day just muddling through or looking for highlights.   Being grateful is often a frame of mind though, isn't it?  Sometimes we are bursting forth with gratefulness then at other times have to work towards it.   One of my favorite quotes is on this plaque on my bathroom wall.  I see it everyday but I am not so sure I "really see it" everyday. 

Monday 7/18/2011
Highlight #1....waking up to a new day!
Hightlight#2...remembering a young boys conversation and attitude of gratitude!

Thanks for joining me today,
Hope you have a great day!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ice Cream with Cake

Recently we celebrated my husbands birthday which falls over the 4th of July weekend.  I made him "2" cakes, the lucky dawg!  One to take with us for our 4th of July celebrations and one to stay at home.  

Along with the stay at home cake I bought some ice cream.  Everybody knows you have to have cake with ice cream on your birthday right?  Well, look what I found in the freezer section at the grocery store.

How perfect was that?  I'm not sure how long this has been out.  Have your tried this ice cream from Pet called Birthday Cake?

Just look at this!  OMG! Yall, this is some of THE best ice cream I have had in quite awhile!  It has the best vanilla flavoring with delicious flavored icing and candy bits mixed in.   Yummo!  

 Sadly, in our household I am the only ice cream eater as of late.  For some reason the Mr. and young man at home are not into ice cream right now.   It's really odd because there was a time when they were buying ice cream pretty regularly.  I guess their ice cream eating days come in phases.  Men!  Anyway, since I had plenty of this left, I thought I'd invite you over for a little treat.

I've set up the dining room table to make it easier for all of you too choose your preferences.

First you'll need to choose your dishes.  Colored ribbon adds a splash of color and festive fun.

You have your choice of footed bowls or...

... or footed sundae glasses.  Which do you prefer?

You might want to grab a napkin too, you know how messy this can get!

If your feeling quite adventurous, I've also laid out a choice of toppings for you too.

Don't forget your spoon!

And here's the scoop and a napkin in case you have a few drips.  Let's see here, I've got everything all set.  Now what else do we need?

Oops!  We need the ice cream don't we?  

By all means, let's not forget that!

I hope you don't mind that I've fixed myself just a little before you get here?

This stuff is soooo good you may want to skip all those toppings like me.
Ohhh, Yummmm!!!!

Ladies, you'd better hurry up!!!
  If you don't mind, can you pick up another carton of this please?
  I think we're going to need it!  LOL!

I can't wait to see you!
Please be sure and visit the following parties too, over at;
A Musing Potpourri for the Ice Cream Social.

Let me know if your coming, kay???