Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I've been in pool Hell!

So, I'll start by saying I'm still very happy that I have a pool, but what a nightmare this whole process has been! And, I was so frustrated, that I took pictures only with my cell phone, so apologies for quality.

Here's a shot of our big, beautiful, empty back yard before the fun started.  As we say in blogland, the "before." It's worth noting that the grass had all just started filling in from the fence build earlier this year, and my husband is very particular about his yard.

I knew the electrician needed a week's notice, so I called the pool store two Fridays ago to see when they would be coming.  The response?  They hadn't made the schedule for the following week yet and would get back to me. Monday, they call to tell me they're installing on Thursday for sure.

They came to install on Thursday, and in the contract, it said that they don't take the dirt off of the property, but they will put it anywhere on your property you would like.  Except where I wanted it, because apparently their Bobcat didn't drive over grass and then driveway.  So, I had them dump it all in one side of the yard. We now had a 3 - 4' tall pile of dirt hanging out over by the fence.  I thought my yard was pretty level - not so much!   I had to come up with a plan quick to get rid of it!

They finished up moving dirt and building a pool, and in the afternoon, a water truck showed up and filled it! I did go down to ask them about one thing, though... There was 1 piece of top rail missing - they said that it was broken in the box and they would have to order it and then would come out and install it.  Waiting.... patience is not my virtue.

This is where things start getting really sketchy. The sales guy told me they would be providing me with an adapter to run the filter and pump until the permanent electricity was put in - and that it would also allow the installers to be sure everything was working properly.  But they didn't.  They left me this.

I called the store, my sales guys was out for the day, so I asked to speak to someone else.  A man gets on the phone who says he'll be the one coming out to school us and add all of the chemicals to get it started, but that there was no deal for them to do anything to get me electric and the sales guy shouldn't have told me what he did.  Oh, and he said "I'll see you on Saturday."  Knowing I wouldn't be home on Saturday, and not being a 100% satisfied customer at this point, I said "Wouldn't you like to know if I'll be home before you show up?" and he agreed to come Friday afternoon.

So I have a brand new pool, newly filled, and no pump to keep it running.  Nice.  (as a side note, I've been reviewing this site for a couple of months now, reading and learning, and I fully intend to use their methods rather than the pool store!)  I decide to make the best of it, so I dump in some liquid chlorine, brush the heck out of everything to stir it up, and hope for the best... the best being not having to drain and refill.

On Friday, we wake up to this:

That would be a leak... I called the guy who is to be showing up in the afternoon, tell him I think we have a leak, and he says to me "Isn't that the side where the pool was filled?"  No.  
"It could be the weight of the pool just pushing out groundwater."  No.  
Finally, when he says it could be from splashing (no one has even been IN the pool yet - the water was a nice 62°), I calmly said "Sir, I am a woman, not a 3 year old. The pool is leaking.  I can see where as the water is quietly trickling."  Then he said they'd send out a service crew.  

Two hours later, two guys show up, and as soon as they come through the fence, they confirmed that it was in fact a leak.  One guy puts on his goggles while the other walks around with some kind of amplifier, they find the leak, and Goggle Guy jumps in the pool to patch it, poor thing making a joke about how I could have warmed it up first.  So now I have a pool with one piece of top rail missing, a brand new liner with a patch, and no pump. Add in a husband, who wanted nothing to do with a pool, that is biting his tongue not to say "I told you so."

Pool School Fool shows up an hour early (I guess I should appreciate that, given that I gave him a hard time), and even though I told him I would be the one taking care of the pool, when my husband came out, it's like I wasn't there.  He would only look at and speak to him.  Interesting.  Whatever, I've learned enough on the site I've been studying to know that they've nailed it - for the most part, Pool Store Fools aren't fully up to speed on the actual, proper ways to care for things - they're in business to sell products, not make it easy - and they don't like being challenged.  But, he did give us what was needed to use an extension cord to be able to run the pump and filter.
Case in point - he told us the pH Down we had for the hot tub wasn't the same kind of pH reducer you need for a pool, so you know I had to check.  They're both Sodium Bisulfate, and oddly, the same concentration! Don't try to Pool Store me, Mister!  

Saturday morning, at 7 am, two guys came to get all of that dirt out of the yard (sorry neighbors!), and within an hour, our yard went from this (this photo includes the special kind of Bobcat that only moves on grass):

to this:

It actually was a WHOLE dump truck of dirt!  So glad we didn't have to shovel - and that it was $75 for them to take it away.  Sign. Me. Up.  The yard will heal soon, honey, I promise.

If you're in the local area and you're thinking of getting a pool, give me a shout. I'll tell you who NOT to work with because the reviews I read online and the research I did - these folks were highly recommended.  Maybe I'm just too picky.

But, I HAVE A POOL!  The leak was fixed, the dirt is drying up, the water temperature is rising (82° today!), my raft is inflated, and the electricians will be here Thursday to do it up right!  And the best part - I've taken next week off so I can simply ENJOY my pool for more than a few hours before we have to close it for the season!

Now, on to the deck - and I know that will go very well cause the Uncle that's doing it for us is just that awesome.  Can't wait to share the final details!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ceramic Tile Coasters with Silhouette!

A wonderful woman started a "Pay it Forward" exchange among her Facebook friends.  You get a package in the mail full of all kinds of goodies, take what you want, and replace it with something else, then send it on to the next person.

My Silhouette was calling my name this morning, and I knew I wanted to use it for this project anyway, so I grabbed what I needed and went to work.

Four different hearts and a half hour later, I had these! (See the pile of trashed hearts over there on the left? Yeah, so much for shortcuts!)  This doesn't even need step by step directions, it's so easy.

I have to say this... a chair mat?  So much better than just a way to keep chair marks out of the carpet and keeping your chair rolling.  It's also perfect for smoothing transfer paper to vinyl.

I bought a box of 4.5" tiles last time I was at the Habitat Humanity Restore for $3.00, not really having any idea what I would do with them, but the whole box was $3!  Who wouldn't buy that?  The cork Contact paper was a 5 1/2" wide strip I saved it from the kitchen redo - it's what I finally decided on for the back of the shelves. My husband just doesn't understand why I save such things. I was a bit smug when I finally had a use for it after all of these months. 

I sanded the back of the coasters just a bit to help the cork stick more evenly and wiped them down with alcohol and went to work. The hardest part was just getting a heart to stick to a tile with no bubbles. 

Once I got all of the vinyl onto the coasters, I cut the cork down to the right size, pressed it onto the back of the tiles, tied them all up with some twine, wrapped it all in bubble wrap, boxed it all up, and it's all ready to go!

I've seen a ton of different ideas for tile coasters using photos, scrapbook paper, fabric, and now vinyl on Pinterest.  Everyone might be getting these for Christmas this year!

Super easy, super cute, and a perfect Pay it Forward Project.  Also perfect for a Free Studio Series file to download since it's been a while!  To get it, click the button below.

Shared at Give Me The Goods Monday @ Rain on a Tin Roof  and Pinworthy Projects @ Just us Four

Friday, July 19, 2013

Pool update!

The pool will be in next Thursday!  I'm so excited, like little girl with a new kitten excited.  Well, maybe not that much... Maybe there's a little more love in that situation.  We've been in the grips of this stupid heat wave, and that pool just can't be done soon enough.

Then, I might just have to have something like THIS once it's all done!

I've seen this all over Pinterest, but they were all just shared photos, I couldn't find the site it originated from. Finally found it... on the member forum at www.bowhunting.com with a how-to and all!  Haha!! Couldn't be more perfect.

I'm totally rednecking my back yard.  

The pool is still better than this one, though!

Speaking of Pinterest, have you checked out my Swim. board?  My pool may not be the fancy schmancy rock grotto sort, but I can't wait to do everything I can to make an above ground pool not-quite-so-redneck!

Hey - I am in the country, and I am from West Virginia.  Nothing wrong with a little hillbilly!

It holds water, I can float, I'm happy!

Have a happy weekend - and stay cool!

Monday, July 8, 2013

SWIM time! All other projects officially on hold!

I know I said this would be my next project....

...but I decided my backyard needed a little something more, so I put this together today to apply for permits!

What better to style next than my very own pool (finally!) and pool deck?  Yes, it's an above ground, because I need to know that I'll actually keep it clean and use it as much as I think I will before committing to the expense and permanence of an in ground pool!  

Plus, when it's 98° outside, does anyone really care what's holding the cool, clean water?

Stay tuned for updates!  Probably gonna look a little something like this with navy instead of beige. And no brick. Or pavilion. But the chairs?  Oh yeah!- and lots of DIY gonna be happening here :)

...and I MUST have this little guy from that I found on Pinterest.  Though I don't see it on Hammacher Schlemmeer's site anymore...  Check out my Swim. board and let me know what you like!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Exciting Blog Stats - and Happy 4th!

According to Google Analytics, this blog now has more NEW visitors than existing!  Thanks for the support!

Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July!!!

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