Sunday, June 19, 2016

Pool Project Update: The Fates Have Their Say

Well it's been a little over a month since our pool project was completed, and I thought it might be a good time to share how things have been going.

For starters, we have been very pleased that the screens have been doing their job by keeping leaves and bugs out of the pool. Other than an occasional dusting of marl, the pool water looks pristine.

The screens also lend a real Zen feeling to the space. You feel like you're outdoors, but can enjoy the space without being eaten alive by mosquitoes.

We took delivery of our furniture for the seating area and it is awesome!

The day bed has become my personal nesting area. You can find me stretched out on it most afternoons, reading a book, and sipping a cold beverage.

The recliners are also very comfy in all three positions, straight up...

...foot rest up...

...and fully reclined.

Before the furniture arrived, we were trying to figure out what to do for a coffee table. We landed on the idea to tile the top of a spare table we already had using the leftover floor and decorative tiles. David did an awesome job.

An added bonus is that the decorative tiles coordinate perfectly with the patterned throw pillows.

In addition, David found the perfect spotlight to show off the pool at night.

It took Olivia, our mostly indoor dog, a couple of weeks to feel comfortable being in the pool area, but not so much for the cat. She immediately claimed the space as her very own. I truly believe she thinks we had it built just for her, including the ginormous water bowl. Yes, she drinks out of the pool. Sigh.

David also got the solar heating installed to warm the pool water.

He is going to put together a post describing what all is involved and how this works. We are still experimenting with it to maximize the pool temperature, but once final tweaks are done, I think it will enable us to use the pool almost year round.

Now with all these developments, you might think we've been spending every spare minute bobbing around in the water and relaxing. Unfortunately, The Fates had other ideas.

For starters, the crew and no sooner left when we both came down with nasty colds. Actually, David caught it first and, being the generous soul that he is, passed it on to me. We spent about 10 days hacking and sneezing and generally feeling yucky. It wasn't a big surprise, considering we were pretty run down from lack of sleep and the stress of the construction. And we weren't the only ones who were run down.

Poor Olivia developed a severe topical fungal infection. She has always had some skin issues, but this was worse than anything she had had in the past. The vet thought that besides being prone to this type of thing to begin with, the noise from the construction, all the crew being onsite, plus the concrete dust just exacerbated her condition. So to get her over it, she needs to be bathed every other day, for a month, with a special shampoo. After that, weekly baths, with the same shampoo will continue forever.

No sooner were we all recovering than rainy season started. We got our first really torrential rain on June 5. Why might I remember this date? Because it's the day our house flooded. You see, there are two 40 foot gutters on either side of the pool structure, plus we had the 40 foot run on the back of the main house replaced. The construction crew had all three gutters draining into one 2-inch diameter pipe. We expressed our concerns that the pipe diameter might be too small to handle the runoff of 140 feet of gutters, but we were told not to worry. And initially, all seemed to be good.

But then the storm hit. The rain was coming down hard and fast. That small, 2-inch pipe couldn't handle the runoff. The next thing we knew water was coming up through the floor drains in the seating area. The water then started flowing down the new hallway, into the spare room, and made it's way into the living room, kitchen, and front porch. 

I called the contractor and using a tone that clearly brooked no argument, demanded he get his butt over here to do something to stop this. While waiting for him to arrive, David and I were using mops, a squeegee and buckets to combat the water that continued to spread. 

The contractor arrived and it was decided to cut the downspout on the pool house so the water would just flow directly to the ground. That meant there was no more water backing up through the house, but we had our work cut out for us. Our couches and area rug were soaked and to make matters even more interesting, we lost power. So there we were, in the dark, trying to cope with all this. 

And being the graceful being that I am, I ended up slipping not once, not twice, but three times. In all three instances, I landed on my tailbone and ended up bruising the left side of my ribs.

However, we were finally successful in getting most of the water sopped up and were able to salvage the couches and area rug.

The following day, the construction crew showed up and modified the drainpipes. They ended up installing three pipes, one for each gutter, and digging a deep soak away that was filled with rock and gravel.

Since this modification was made, we've had a number of big thunderstorms and all is working well.

But wait, The Fates weren't done with us just yet. It was around this time that a glass jar fell from the drainboard, hit the tile floor, and shattered. David ended up having a shard embedded in his left foot somewhere between his little toe. At first he thought it would work itself out, but it didn't and became very painful.

He went to see Dr. Punjabi (an awesome doctor) and he wanted David to get an X-ray. A prescription was written and off David went to the hospital. He opted to have expedited service and had to pay a whopping $24 BZD ($12 USD). Try getting an X-ray for that price in the States.

Unfortunately, the X-ray didn't show any discernible shard, but Dr. P. thought he might have some luck if he cut open David's foot to probe and flush the area. After being given a local anesthetic, the operation got underway. I was in the room with the two of them and Dr. P. gave a running commentary of every step of the procedure. He even invited me to take a look as he probed (insert wince here). 

And while he didn't find any foreign object in David's foot, he suspected and hoped that the shard was either flushed out or moved away from the nerves and no longer be painful.

All in all, the whole process took about an hour. The cost for the procedure, plus antibiotics ran about $170 BZD ($85 USD). Talk about a bargain.

I am happy to report that David's foot healed up just fine and he no longer has any stabbing pains. My ribs and tailbone are just about back to normal, so all is good on that front. And even Olivia is looking and feeling better from her every other day spa treatments.

We are supremely hopeful that The Fates are finished with us, at least for a while. In spite of the weird events, we have managed to bob around the pool a handful of times and it is just lovely. The whole space has exceeded our expectations and I find myself wandering out there many times during the day. Considering everything that has gone on in the last month, it's wonderful to have a peaceful haven to relax and unwind.