• Trials and Tribulations of the Pool

    July 04, 2022

    Holy smokes! My swimming pool set up was nothing short of an ordeal this year; however, I am feeling particularly accomplished and proud of myself for learning some new skills. As I mentioned previously the vinyl liner spent the fall, winter and spring in a heap covered in a rotating arraying of construction materials including nails, screws, scaffolding, metal cut offs, wood etc. so I was definitely expecting it to have holes. Thank goodness I moved all the tubing inside to the basement, so it was safe from the elements.

    Other than not being able to follow instructions I had to learn how to use metal hose clamps. I did not know that you are not necessarily supposed to unscrew them fully so they pop open. Could I get them back together? Nope! I had to resort to a YouTube tutorial again. At the same time my Dad showed up and stated that it was easy, just keep twisting right. How do men always know things like this?

    Excellent – Hose clamps were on securely, the bypass system was hooked up, there was blood covering my metal clamps. Blood? Yes! I managed to slice my fingers on those horrid little things, but they were sharp enough I didn’t even notice initially. Now I waited and waited for hours until the pool was filled up high enough to start filtering. I actually had to fill it over two days because I was the single parent this weekend while my husband was off at a bachelor party.

    Moment of truth. I turned the pump on, dun dun dun….. and watched the water promptly leak out of most of the tube connections. Fantastic. To make things more interesting I had temporarily misplaced my filter stoppers so I couldn’t stem the flow of water while I made repairs. I started by re-reading the instructions and saw that step 1 stated “wrap threaded connections with teflon tape” – great! where is it? I searched around and found it in a little hole near where I was working, it had rolled away when I was taking all the bits and bobs out.

    Now the fun part, taking apart connections and seeing how fast I can wrap threads while water is pouring out all over me. If I held the tubing up high enough the water stayed put, but eventually two hands are required for wrapping. At this point I was getting tired of being soaked and decided that the bypass system (with four additional connections I would have to fix) was not needed. I googled it and if you have a low HP pump you can skip it. Thank goodness.

    Ok! Connections are all redone – It has to be fixed now. No! One of the connections was determined to leak, but it was coming out before the threads. I got mad and went and got the glue I use on the watering system and glued the works together – problem solved. It may never come apart again, but that’s ok it doesn’t need to come apart for storage. This took more hours than I care to admit.

    Now it was time to take a close look at the pool, sure enough I see water starting to seep out from under the liner. Sigh. Three days of searching later I found and patched 6 tiny papercut sized holes. Today, the third day, I had to resort to getting into the pool. I knew the general area the last leak must be in based on the wetness patterns (all the other leaks were close enough to the edges I could repair by leaning over the edge). As a side note, the water was very pleasant! Those solar heaters were working great already. I probably spent 15 minutes with my goggles working in a gridwork pattern underwater looking for the hole. At last I found it and patched that little sucker! To my great happiness, the wetness on the ground started to dry up over the day.

    Lastly, yes you can patch vinyl pools without draining them. Don’t use the patches that you can buy, use a real pool liner with vinyl glue. It creates a chemical reaction that welds the bits of vinyl together and works just as well under water as above water.

  • Backyard Fun

    This is the first summer in 5 or 6 years that we have not had major landscaping or construction around the house. This means that this is the first summer we can literally just sit and enjoy the backyard – phew! at last. There is the small project of putting the swimming pool up, but that is it.

    Speaking of the pool, that poor thing saw so much abuse over the fall and winter since it was not able to be stored inside; therefore, all the construction material got piled on it. My mom helped me wash it out and scrub the dirt off so it looks respectable. Tomorrow we will see if it still holds water . . . in my scrubbing travels I did not see any obvious damage.

    Since there is no pool to stay cool in yet we set up shop in the shade and I filled up the water table and opened the sandbox. I happened to have the wheelbarrow out, and Amelia thought it was pretty interesting. Once I told her that my sister and I used to push each other around my Grandparents’ farm she wanted a ride too. I must have pushed her for a solid 30 minutes, and everyone got to listen to the world’s squeakiest wheel. . . just don’t tell her that the wheelbarrow used to be my barn one and carried all sorts of unpleasant things haha. A little horse poop didn’t hurt anyone.

    Cedric, being Cedric, got stuck in his little peddle car – rescuing him was interesting because he was determined to make it out the side window so struggled the whole time. Once he was freed he decided getting soaked and eating sand was more fun.

    Tonight I am going to sit down and draft up a few cards to add to my site, I’ve just been enjoying the weather so much that I put it on the backburner. However, now the main floor is too hot to be comfortable, so I will go hide in the airconditioned bedroom. 

    Side note: this is day 3 of using my thermacells from Canadian Tire and they are amazing. I was skeptical that they would work, but with proper placement and adjusting for a breeze they are worth it. If you despise mosquitos i recommend you take a chance on them (we have 2).

  • Bye bye door handle and Staying Cool

    We have had a busy week helping my parents finish some renovations, going to my nephew’s baptism, getting our heat pumps installed and staying cool in the warm weather . . . oh and losing our door knob.

    We took the kids to the Church early so we could play on the playground before the Baptism (and we didn’t want to be wandering in late because kids take 100 years to get ready). Amelia was in a pretty dress because she “wanted to be the same as mommy”, but that did not slow her down one bit. She was busy scaling the climbing wall like Spiderman. While she was busy scaling walls Cedric was busy running around underneath the play structure while also investigating the gravel. It was no heat wave that day, and we lucked out missing the rain in the morning.

    After the weekend we finally got word that the heat pump we ordered LAST may was finally in and ready for installation. What perfect timing! Last year when that crazy heat wave came through we had to abandon ship to go live at my parent’s house as they have central air conditioning. Of course nothing goes smoothly though. I had a dream the night before, and in that dream the heat pump could not be installed because there was no power (talk about foreshadowing). In the morning I made a passing comment to my husband (the Electrician) about if the main panel had been finished . . . he looked at me and I could see that something was wrong. No in fact, the main panel did not have the circuit breaker, and we had not purchased the armored cable.

    This was a even worse development because he had just come off his night shift and could not stay up to buy and install everything before Polar Refrigeration showed up promptly at 8:30am. They were able to install everything up to the powering up part, and thankfully they had trouble themselves so it took them all day meaning they had to come back to finish the job.

    Speaking of “they had trouble themselves” the poor guy who showed up promptly locked his keys into his van. He asked if I had a wire coat hanger so he could break into it. The house is a 1948 wartime home so never had closets until we added on the extension last year and subsequently added closets to all the rooms at the same time; therefore no, I do not own hangers. I did have some boxes in the basement that I never unpacked and said I would check on-the-off chance a hanger was kicking around. Sure enough, the second box had the elusive and highly sought after metal hanger!

    I left him to his own devices while he got into his van, and a few minutes later he showed up with my door handle in his hand. He looked very horrified that this had just occurred and apologized profusely; however, there was nothing to be done about it so I told him not to worry I’d figure out something. This lead to me being a butler all day as people came and went. You don’t realize how much you use a front door until you have no handle. It was funny hearing people using the touch pad to unlock the door, then wind up knocking because they still couldn’t get in.

    I was internally very miffed about the door handle, it was not a cheap one, and was only installed 3 years ago. My Dad happened to be over and took the handle back to the specialty store we got it from and lo-and-behold expensive door knobs have warranty! Hurrah! In 40 days or so we will have a replacement for the faulty handle (the o-ring inside the handle snapped in half). In the mean time I found another door handle in the garage and installed it the other day.

    The little heat wave we have been expecting finally arrived, so I got the backyard all set up with the Thermacells to keep the mosquitos away, the water table, the sandbox and the sprinkler. The big swimming pool is almost ready to be put into it’s new spot, I just need to finish setting up that area. I’ve been working on it during the kids’ nap time, so don’t make huge progress each day; however it should be up and running in the next day or 2!

    We probably spent 3 hours outside today enjoying the sandbox in the shady area, and the water table in the sunshine. Amelia got me to run through the sprinkler with the promise she would go next. Lies, all lies haha. She laughed and said no no and ran away. Cedric on the other hand is a creature of water and got right in there. He was absolutely sopping wet with water running out of his shoes and diaper by the end of the playtime.

  • Lost Stars to Budding Biker

    Daycare had another potential covid exposure that left them short staffed this week, so we kept Amelia home from daycare today to help them out. We went to Church first thing in the morning to practice during the short morning mass, then the group of us went to D’Lanos for a family breakfast. I remember going to D’lanos (Rikki’s at the time) almost every Sunday after Church while we were little – it was definitely good motivation to sit through Church when pancakes were waiting on the other side.

    Just as we were packing up everything to leave I reached in my bag to hand my husband a diaper and out fell the star! I have no idea how the star wound up in the zipped up backpack, but it must have been opened just at the wrong moment. I loudly exclaimed “I found it!!” and the waitresses cheered.

    It wasn’t quite naptime for the little ones yet, so we headed off to Superstore to do some grocery shopping. Amelia wanted to ride in the cart with Cedric and he was positively delighted; however, sometimes he shows his delight by grabbing on and not letting go. Amelia was quite annoyed when he grabbed onto her hair with a death grip. After that little incident, and Cedric being told to stop it, they sat pleasantly together while Cedric practiced gentle hands by patting Amelia’s back.

    After nap time we took both trucks out the Tano fuel (best prices and top notch service make it worth the little drive). The guys at the station were just taken with Cedric, that kid can melt anyone’s heart. After that we headed off to the Duchess Park bike area for Amelia to practice on her balance bike.

    I was beyond impressed with Amelia’s skills. She started off the visit barely able to walk/run with her bike on the dirt, to going down the whoop-de-dos saying “no mom! Let go, I can do it myself”, to trying to scale one of the “big” ramps. I caught up to her as she was trying to push her bike up it. I explained we needed a bit more practice for these, but that I could help her – she decided that was a good idea, so we some assisted descents. She LOVED that. Give it another few practices and she will be zooming around that pump track in no time.

    I love the innocence of children, they do not have any preconceived notion on how things are going to turn out so jump in heart first and just enjoy things without fear. I hope she continues to enjoy biking and will eventually want to ride with me and my sister.

  • Fevers, Starbucks, Sunshine and Dresses

    We have had a fairly quiet time since my Uncle left because Amelia spiked a fever on Friday after coming home from daycare – I kind of thought she looked a bit off in the morning, but checked and her temperature was fine and she insisted she “felt good”. When she got home she was particularly subdued just wanting to lie on her play couch staring off into space.

    Her axillary temperature was 101.2 F and when I rechecked her oral temperature it was 102.4 F. Ugh! I changed her into cooler clothing, offered fluids and gave her some fever reducing medicine which took effect in about 45 minutes, so she was able to go to bed with only a mild fever. The fever lifted overnight, and she slept in until 8am (hour later than usual).

    She woke up saying her head hurt; however she was fever free at the moment, though as the day progressed her temperature crept up until she had a fever at nap time; so I gave her some more medicine and she slept for 3 hours. In between her fevers she played so hard – try telling a toddler she should rest and not repeatably climb mount Everest and then jump into the cushions below. The same cushions Cedric was trying to use to read his books and play with the rainbow arches.

    Sunday she woke up fever free! Unfortunately she guzzled 2 full water bottles on an empty stomach, and proceeded to spit up all over herself and her car seat while I was exiting the Starbucks drive through.

    Thank goodness it happened as I was being handed my drink (I don’t think the poor barista knew why I was quietly emphatically swearing) – It would have been so much worse being stuck in the middle of the drive thru 0_o I tried to make a right hand turn out of the drive thru to park but my truck was too long, so I did a three point turn . . . but this time I was on loose gravel so spun my tires aggressively (I was flustered), and pulled into the McDonald’s parking lot taking up 3 parking stalls. The RCMP officers having coffee were watching and probably wondering what the crazy lady running around her truck was up to.

    I had hopped out of my seat, ran to the rear passenger side to find it locked, ran back to my seat, unlocked it as the 2nd round of puking was happening, ran back, hauled her out of her car seat – literally dripping in water. She said “mommy, I feel good now, I’m happy”. I dried her off with my gym strip and put her back in her seat to go to the grandparents house.

    Once we got to the grandparents house, I gave them the kids while I figured out how to take all the car seat fabric off (off was easy . . . getting it back on was not so simple) for washing, and I washed out the base. Why do gross things always find their way into the most difficult to reach places, why why why! I was able to find a chopstick to use with a cloth and that worked. 

    Despite the 15 minutes of sickness the rest of the day was fever and sickness free. I really believe it was just water not sitting well on an empty stomach. We headed back home after breakfast at the grandparents, and they followed us back so we could all play in the backyard.

    While Amelia went off to daycare Monday, I went shopping because I was talking to a lady who was wearing the cutest sundress. If you know me, I avoid conversations with strangers like the plague, but I really wanted to know where she got her outfit. She told me Old Navy had a huge selection of dresses in AND they were on sale. I haven’t bought new clothes in years, and the last dress I bought was for a wedding 3 years ago. I was so excited that every dress I tried on looked fabulous, but I settled for just taking home 3 of them. The picture doesn’t do the print justice.

    While I had some free time I also set up Amelia’s reading/quiet area teepee in her bedroom (I also ordered a sheepskin rug to go in as padding). When Amelia saw it for the first time her eyes lit up, and she kept repeating “wow! oh wowww” then informed me that she would be sleeping on the floor in her tent. I agreed she could sleep in the tent with her piggy if she wanted, but just as I was leaving the room she decided that maybe her bed would be better. 

    If you are wondering where I go the items just click the links below. Watch for sales like their 75% deals! There is no need to buy it full price if you keep your eyes peeled 🙂

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