baking....and pools....

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In the last 30 days, we've had only 4 days under 100 degrees; and those 4 were in the 90s. And it ain't a "dry heat" here in Tulsa. Not most days. (Okay, I had to look today of all days. 26% humidity. Trust me, that's NOT been the norm.) And there's no rain. In all seriousness and with no whining, I truly don't know how they survived during the Dust Bowl era. I suppose "survive" is the key word.

Sooo.... I've reset the horribly totally-not-level pool after much weeping and gnashing of teeth. And sweating buckets of sweat. And crying. Just once this time, though. :-)

I've learned a lot in the month that we've owned a pool...

1. 'Create a stable, level foundation' is easier said than done. Especially when nothing on the box or at the pool company's site mentions that sand is better than dirt, even though that was in the back of my mind from my college years for some reason.


2. All the legal CRAP on the packaging for the pool chemicals make it hard to figure out the simplest of things. Sure, each bottle or box is plastered with a big 1, 2, 3, or 4, but there are multiple 1s, several 2s, and so on! Just spell it out for me in plain English! I promise I won't sue. Or eat the chemicals. Or whatever else the fine print is covering the company's butt for.

3. When you don't read the instructions first, you go out and invest in a nice big outdoor extension cord for the pump.... only to find out later that it's supposed to be a GFCI one. (If anyone with electrical experience or with pool experience knows, do I HAVE to have one if the pump itself has a GFCI box thingy on it?) So you have to wait until payday to go get a new one (once you find it... None at the two Ace hardwares by us), and until then you feel compelled to unplug the pump every time your kids are in it. Just in case.

4. We will FOREVER have some form of a pool in our yard from now on. That's a big step for me, too! I was always afraid to have one around for the sake and safety of my kids or those that might visit. But it's all about responsibility, not going without simply because of my paranoia. Heck, I own a gun! I have a CC license! And I'm afraid of a pool? Really, Holly. Think it through...


5. It is, in retrospect, a wise decision of ours to have two children. When they go out to the pool, the boys have only each other to pay attention to. So when I hear yelling (hopefully happy yelling) and splashing, I know they're both alright. The odds of someone kidnapping them out of the pool, of both being incapacitated at the same time, or some other tragic yet unlikely scenario, are rather slim. BUT if I'd had 3, two could be playing and ignoring the 3rd one who might truly be in trouble. Therefore, I've come to the conclusion that 2 is the safest number in a pool. Or a family. LOL Okay, not in a family. But it works for this theory, at least. And may be a totally flawed conclusion, but please don't burst my bubble. It's a hot and weary summer, and they're OUTSIDE! That doesn't happen often in Tulsa in the end of July!

6. Although the weight of a billion gallons of water in your pool are indeed heavy, they apparently do not have the strength to shove said water through a 50 (75?) foot hose to water the front yard when you need to drain it due to the aforementioned lack of leveling. But you don't know that until you drag the hose around the house in the 100+ degree heat in the sun, hook up the hose to the sprinkler, figure out how to attach the hose to the pool, and all at about 6:30 in the morning (Okay, I guess it wasn't 100 degrees that morning. 80ish? It felt hotter. May have been the 6:30 part) on a Saturday when you wanted to sleep in but were afraid you'd scald the plants if you didn't water early enough in the day. I literally had to watch our water drain away into the neighbor's yard. Not ONCE did the thought that just NOW popped into my head pop into my head that day: I could have used a shorter hose and siphoned it, couldn't I? I'm an idiot. Sigh.

7. When the drain is 3 inches above the base of the pool, the only way to finish draining approx. 200+ gallons of water (is that RIGHT? I did my old geometry magic and came up with that.. Who knows... that was 20 years ago..) is to grab three mixing bowls (because nobody owns a bucket, right? Oh, they do? Well, we apparently don't.) and have two unenthusiastic helpers help you bail for 30+ minutes. Then you get the Shop Vac and get the rest for the next 30 minutes, disassembling and emptying the Shop Vac every 3 minutes in the process. But hey, we got all the grime that had accumulated as we took 3 unfiltered days to finally get the last of the water out. A bright spot, perhaps? :-)


But all is well now. The pool is back up. It's more level than before. It's not like I'm installing a several thousand dollar pool that will last forever. The water is clear. The boys love to skim the junk from the trees that fall into the water. (Which is good, since I can't find a cover anywhere in town and need to order one.) The chemicals are working their magic. And my boys can cool off, have fun, and give Mom some quiet time, all at the same time! What sweet children! :-)

The garden is half dead, but the okra's doing well! If only I liked okra! LOL But Aidan does, and he specifically requested it.
The upside of the heat is that I can replant EVERYTHING in my garden if I start soon, and I can harvest it all over again! Or for the first time, I guess I should say this year. That's the one (and I emphasize ONE) upside to the perpetual summers here in Tulsa. Tomatoes in September and October? Yes, ma'am!! And carrots, broccoli, and the like for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Ignore the grass in the pictures. One can only stand the heat for a number of hours. Mowing will commence tomorrow.

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