Gotta Watch That Pool Construction!

We dodged a bullet yesterday with the pool. I’d been wondering why nothing was happening in the planter area, so I brought it up to the Men at My House, and they said, “Oh, we found out that there will be no planter. It was one of the things deleted to bring the cost down.”

Retaining wall in progress

I was really confused, because I remember the planter and plants being in the contract. But, they said they’d talked to Kevin the Pool Guy. I went ahead and called Kevin the Pool Guy myself, and said that I thought something was wrong. He said yes, indeed, there was something wrong, and he was about to call us about it. The planting area IS in the contract and paid for, so we WILL get it.

Drainage for the sides of the patio

The mix-up happened when we made the pool bigger and the designer had to hurry with a design. He’d omitted the planter, because he was just showing the changed part. Everyone thought that was THE design. Um. Not good.

These look pretty to me.

My assumption is that the people who will be here today and start working on that, too.

Ready for the fire pit insert. It fits, by the way.

Speaking of those people, wow are they doing a fantastic and thorough job with the preparation for the patio area. We can’t stop watching. All the workers are so skilled and careful. There is a LOT of smoothness. I especially thought how they worked on the drainage pipe for the gutter that’s in the way of the patio. One guy (the very large man with the very high voice) has been pretty fixated on that piece.

A nice surprise came yesterday, when they put in some shiny blue tiles (what, a color? I didn’t pick that!) on the steps and seating areas. That will be pretty under the water, plus it will be a great visual reminder of where the steps are.

More than just patio work happened yesterday. They also installed all the lighting (except one, which needed a longer cord) and the fittings for where the water will come in and out. The jets already had their cool outlets. That hot tub will sure have plenty of jets!

You can see the little light bulbs in there.

It’s cool seeing the area around the pool take shape. I keep wanting to go sit on the patio! Here are some more pictures of the action.

We Made Them Fix Stuff

The day is over, and it was long but good.

Sunset over freshly mown grass.

More work got done on the poolside patios, but it got slowed down a bit because the Men spotted exposed rebar that happened when the workers chipped off the pool edges.

The beach are looks good, though.

So, they made some concrete and fixed it. They even dug up some areas to check. I’m sure that didn’t go over well, but it will make the Pool of Dreams last longer.

Fixed now.

I was impressed at how much work it took to build steps from one level to another. These are going to be STURDY. No corners are cut. And wow, they measured a lot.

Checking the stair measurements.

There was more pounding, including a manual pounder for smaller spaces. This patio ain’t going nowhere.

It does the job.

We were happy to see drainage pipes in the retaining walls they’re building. Lee approved big time.

You can sorta see the little pipes.

So, that was today. I worked a lot and then hugged all the horses. Ahh.

Even I got petted. A lot. I love Suna.

Enjoy more work in progress!

We had a beautiful sunset and moonrise to enjoy while feeding horses and planning future improvements. Ranch life is pretty good.

Intense Day at the Pool Site

Whew, it was a whirlwind day at the Pool of Dreams, with deliveries coming and going, plus machines zipping and banging. It was the big day for preparing the edges of the pool for installing the pavers.

It sorta looks like a pool!

Trucks brought loads and loads of fine sand, which was then packed down as hard as possible by one of those vibrating things that packs sand down well.

One of the men was zipping around on some kind of little tractor thing that dumped sand and smoothed it a bit. Let me tell you, there was a lot of dog barking, back-up beeping, and banging going on. Oh how I miss my office at the Pope house! But, hey, I’ll get a pool. That’s good.

Lee and his nephew have many opinions on what the guys are doing, so I can’t wait to see how that all works out. I was just impressed at how much got done!

Gracie thinks it looks really good so far.

Trucks also brought in the pavers, which look like they will blend in very well. I think they’re the color of the dirt here. That was a creative choice of mine…I guess. In addition, a decision was made to make little retaining walls, so some retaining wall blocks showed up, which I had not selected, but will look fine. I’ll not be complaining about that.

Even though I saw the outlines they drew on the ground before starting the work, I’m not a hundred percent sure what the whole outside patio and planter will end up looking like. I know there will be steps! And retaining walls. That will just have to do.

Penney approves.

I tried to do Apache’s schooling this afternoon after work, not realizing that the noise of the pool building might not be his favorite thing on earth. So, I got a lot of chances to settle him down and practice not getting all nerved out when he got jumpy. He simply would NOT walk over to the cones. So, I ended up running him in circles in the round pen and doing figure eights in the field and around the fencing pipes in front of the house. After that I walked him over to the cones and let him look at the workers, then I walked him around his circles. I figure that was a win in the long run.

No picture of Apache, but I thought Mabel looked rather pretty out in the field. She is looking much better.

I took so many pictures, plus Lee took some, so enjoy the process of building the paver foundation.

Complaints? Nope.

Well, it’s been a nice couple of days, that’s for sure. The worse thing that happened to me was driving through the confusing world of Dallas, Texas traffic. But, I lived! So, what’s up?

Here’s the progress on the little baby blanket I’m working on. So far it’s very blue and purple, but you can see that will change soon.

House News

The first good thing is that the Bobcat Lair house finally sold! We were surprised it was on the market for so long, but we guessed it’s because the house has zero curb appeal. You literally can’t see anything but its miniature driveway! But the best part is it sold for what we asked for, minus an allowance to replace the deck, though apparently the new buyers are normal people and not afraid of a house with imperfections. Anita says the folks are nice and will fit in well, which makes me happy for our wonderful neighbors.

Pool News

We have good pool news, too. Yet another surface is going in (probably done by now, since I’ve been gone for a couple of days), this is some lovely flagstone that is covering the “beach area” where we can sit in little chairs and the dogs can safely enter. It was another one of the works of art that the tile guys do. Laying the flagstones was like filling in a jigsaw puzzle where you’re allowed to tear up the pieces to make it fit! In the end, it turned out really pretty. I can’t wait to get home to see it all grouted in and smoothed out.

They also did a pretty cover for the fire pit. By the time I get home, it will have a circular opening.

Horse News

Before I left yesterday, I checked on Apache’s eye. It looked way better. However, it sure was hard to keep his head down to put the drops in. I ended up with a sore arm! Glad I had help, for sure.

I look better. I don’t like drops.

Fun Times

I’m in Plano this morning, because I drove up to attend my bonus daughter, Ellie’s baby shower. I’m so happy she and her cute husband are going to have a baby! They announced the name by showing us a cute sign they’d had made on Etsy. I was thrilled to see her name will be Ruby. And they were all dressed in ruby clothing. So cute.

The baby’s middle name came from her grandmother.

I was so happy to see Ellie. There were multiple extremely long hugs exchanged. She is just a dear person and has done so well with her life. I met her when she was in college with my older son, and our families became good friends after we let her stay with us while she was doing summer internships and stuff.

This young woman is a therapist in her own practice now. Go, Ellie.

I am so happy to have also gotten to see her mom, Pouri, who has been a great friend to me for the past decade and more. She is one of the kindest and most generous people I ever met. And the best cook. If you’ve never had a home-cooked Persian meal, well, I’m sorry for you, because they combine some of the most interesting and delicious ingredients. I still dream about a beef dish with some kind of fruit in it that Pouri made once, no exaggeration.

My dear friend, Pouri.

Anyway, it was a sweet party, and then I got to spend an evening all alone. There were no dogs, no noises, and no distractions. I enjoyed knitting, reading, and watching mindless HGTV. Pouri and I agreed that that’s the best part of any trip or vacation!

I hope, so dearly, that all of you get a chance to enjoy your friends, rest, or recharge this weekend or soon in the future. All of this good stuff has really helped me, and I wish it for all of you.

Still Here!

I know some of you worry if I miss a day posting, so I’m sorry I missed yesterday. I was busy with work and a Master Naturalist meeting. And I must admit some pretty yarn showed up and I wanted to knit.

Lion Brand Mandala

I’ll tell you what I’m making after I show the recipient the work in progress tomorrow.

Today was also a really busy day but let me just say I got good news and a lot done. Highlight? I saw Drew!

More tomorrow. For sure.

Final Tile Selections in the Dreamy Pool

I’m happy as heck with my tile choices in the Pool of Dreams, though I had a bit of a scare partway through the day. I’m glad we had a relatively dry day in between rain events, so the tile could mostly get done. I don’t blame you, by the way, if pool construction makes you want to take a nap; I’m mostly doing this so I can look back at it later, same as I did when we were building the house.

Men at work. Hombres trabajando.

I enjoyed going out on my breaks to watch the progress, and thought how pretty the square ceramic tiles were looking on the waterfall area…but wait, wasn’t that supposed to be shiny glass tile? I checked, and sure enough, I had selected a glass tile.

Where’s that stripy stuff? On the other hand, I don’t really like it.

That sent me into a panic. They were just about done with all that tile, and I was pretty sure it was the wrong tile. And I’d already noticed that glass tile was nowhere to be found on the premises (I mentioned that in a blog post last week). So, I called up the pool place to find out what happened.

Here’s the waterfall area from the spa.

The nice pool lady, Audrey, said she’d get back to me, so I had to sit through a long meeting hoping that the tiles wouldn’t be totally glued down before the guys had to remove them.

The guy on the right, with the scary “ladder” is adding grout to the tile they did Monday.

I sure was relieved when she came back with the explanation. It turned out that the glass tile was discontinued, so they couldn’t get it. She was supposed to tell me, but she totally forgot. I didn’t get upset, because that sounded like something that wouldn’t be too hard to do in the middle of a busy day (and she’s nice and likes my horses, which was in her favor). Besides that, the tile looks just fine to me the way it is, so no harm, no foul.

I think it’s pretty.

The tiling artists got a lot of the rough limestone tiles up, and its matte, bumpy texture makes a beautiful contrast with the shiny ceramic tiles and the smooth limestone on the edges of the pool.

Rustic beauty. So much texture.

Lee pointed out that they were really having to do a lot of work on the round part where the fire pit will be. The tile didn’t fit without a lot of finagling. They told me it was, indeed, hard to do. I think it’s worth it. I’ll be adoring it for many years, I hope.

Here you can see all three surfaces together. Nice.

I’m glad it’s all working out as well as I’d hoped. I like how subtle the pool will be, most of the time. But don’t worry, Suna’s love of bright colors will show up when we turn on those dazzling light shows! Even if we have another extreme cold event before I get to use the pool, I’m going to fire up the fire and the lights.

What’s That Sparkle?

It could be my mood, since I’m settling in at my new job and starting to do fun things. Job Aids! Woo!

Ooh. Aah.

That’s part of it, but I was happy to see the tile guys putting the accent tile around the edge of the swimming pool. It’s sparkly, but not TOO sparkly.

Snazzy.

I really love the earth tones. They’re going to be so soothing. I wonder if they ran out of the edging limestone, because they still have some left to do. We will see.

They put curves here, and at top you can see where more tile should go.

The tilers were fun to watch on lunch break, making perfectly smooth surfaces for the application. It was like icing a perfect cake.

In progress.

It looks like they are going to move on to the tile around the outside surfaces next. It’s more limestone, from Turkey. Its rough surface will contrast nicely with the accent tiles.

I don’t think the tile for the waterfall is here yet. I looked all over for it, but it isn’t hiding anywhere easy to find. Here are more pictures of today’s progress, including mortaring the limestone tile.

Speaking of water, it rained almost an inch last night. That made for an ugly mess at the bottom of the pool. I’ll spare you photos. You can sorta see it here.

I am enjoying a little break in my anxiety. The stress is manageable at the moment, and that feels GOOD.

Pool of Dreams Gets Shot

If, by any chance, you were wondering what was going on with the swimming pool project, well, it was taking a rest, waiting for the crew that makes the pool lining to be available. Today, like a thundering herd, many trucks and many workers showed up, before 8 am. The dogs have been barking since.

Here come the trucks.

They need a lot of trucks, because one bunch of trucks carries the shotcrete mixture, or gunite, while another powers the machine that shoots the mixture through a hose. Actually, the ingredients for the shotcrete are mixed as they come out of the truck. There is a sand area (the sand is finely ground granite) and a concrete bin in the trucks.

There was a lot of preparation before all the shooting, however. They use pegboard to make the barriers to shoot against. It’s all flexible, and lets any excess stuff ooze out. That was quite cool to watch.

They brought in at least three loads of the gunite mix, and it went everywhere! Luckily they put up a barrier, so it wouldn’t get all over our back porch or windows. That did mess up Lee’s and my ability to watch them, though.

Blinded. Also lost focus.

We have gotten plenty of watching in, however. The masons smoothing the stuff out are real artists and good at geometry, too. They got the hot tub in a perfect circle, and I watched as the guy made the bowl for the fire pit. It looked like lots of fun making the benches and the edges all smooth.

I was surprised to see workers sitting on the edge of the hot tub and on the “beach” area, but it turns out the stuff is practically dry when it sprays out! Our job for the next week or two will be to water it down every day while it cures.

The hot tub looks so “organic” and rounded.

But, by gosh, it looks like a “real” swimming pool now that they are done! We have steps, a tiny beach, a sitting area, a hot tub, and the fire pit structure. Wow. Bonus: Lee says they made it a bit deeper for him, so he won’t worry about hitting bottom if he wants to jump in.

There will be sanding next, then plastering with the really cool mica mixture that will make the pool shiny. And then will be the fun of tiling and putting in the decking. Plenty more steps, but this was the big one!

I hope you enjoyed a break from me ranting and writing book reports.

Mysterious Structures

Hmm. Our front “yard” suddenly has interesting sculptures or something. And it’s not rebar, it’s metal pipe.

Life-size hangman game?

They just erupted this evening. They weren’t there earlier today!

Another one.

They certainly look sturdy. Luckily I figured out where they were coming from, because I found a welding table over by the garage.

Aha. A fabrication area.

There’s actually a good reason for these structures. There will be a new fence going up, a bit sooner than originally planned. That will give the dogs the ability to run around in front of the house without the problems we’ve been having.

Who us? Cause problems?

Yeah. Goldie loves to go across the road to visit the neighbors. The very cute neighbor dogs like to come over here. We are all worried our dogs will get hit, like Brody did. and our dogs like to chase slow vehicles and people who are running or cycling. We don’t want that! They get over-excited and misbehave.

The dogs will have lots more space.

So the fence that was supposed to go up after the pool was done is going up now. There will be a temporary gate for pool vehicles. There’s plans for gates that will make it not too annoying for us.

It will be fun to see what happens with these.

Still, it looks like modern sculpture to me.

Chicken Newsflash

I haven’t written much about the chickens in a while. They have been blessedly normal and fine for quite some time! The only thing that has been bugging me is how long it has taken for the new bunch of hens to start laying. All I can figure is the few weeks of really hot weather may have delayed them. The older chickens, on the other hand, have been moulting, so there sure are a lot of feathers all over the place.

Pretty little egg

On July 27, there was one egg laid with an unfamiliar pattern on it, but nothing since then. Today, however, there was another pullet egg, on the ground, with some interesting spots on it. So, someone has started up.

The makings of a feather bed

I’ve been getting four eggs a day lately, and I have a suspicion that Blondie, the Buff Orpington, may already be laying normal-size brown eggs and I just don’t realize it’s her. She has very red comb coloration now, and has for a while (that is a sign they are ready to lay). There should be some colored eggs at some point, since I have an Easter Egger and another breed that lays colored eggs, but those two haven’t started.

I’m a grown lady. By the way, Henley, who is behind her, hasn’t laid an egg in months.
No idea why.

The other chicken news is rather predictable. Once again, Star, the world’s most persistent chicken mother wannabee, is broody. I thought about it today, and went ahead and stuck one of Butternut’s eggs and one from either Bertie Lee or Springsteen under her. We’ll not miss those three eggs, and if these hatch, well, Star is already setting in the cage where she can raise the chicks. We’ll see!

Leave me alone. I’m in my box.

In pool news, the guys seem to have finished the rebar today. The highlight is the shape for the fire feature. I will be interested to see what is next.

Ready for flames and lights.

Right now, I’m busy holding onto rocks for grounding, trying to look my best, and exuding positive vibes. It’s always a good thing!

This little rock has an S in crystals in it. Suna power!