October 6-23, 2015
Dear Diary, Friends, and Families,
Written October 13+
|After almost seven weeks on the road, we were glad to be back, but worried what we would find.
and the automatic system had taken care of yard watering while we were
gone, so most plants made it through the hot Fresno summer. The
roses looked particularly good, but many of the new plants in the back
yard became candidates for 2016 replacement.
bocce court was dirty, but none the worse for the neglect. This
was the whole idea behind a big water-free back yard field.
Inside, there was a light coating of dust and a mountain of mail, but
no real problems. All the appliances were still functional.
No water system failures. Wifi and cable TV worked just
fine. Maybe we can travel again sometime.
|On our first Sunday back,
we decided to take Mamo out for breakfast up near Yosemite. We
chose the Tenaya Lodge buffet, because we had been there before and it
offered a nice setting, still outdoors due to the lingering summer
Hopefully, the next time we come up here the snow will be covering the ground because California needs the stored moisture.
what else has been happening? Not much. We hoped to arrange
something interesting, but I think we failed. I watched a pool
get rebuilt. Then I watched it leak. As interesting as
watching grass grow.
Mostly, we are preparing for a busy period, starting this weekend
(visit to Gabby's for family time), next week (maybe some visitors),
that weekend (a wedding), and the following week (prepare for a flight
back to Maryland.) I hope the pool leak is fixed before all that!
Write if you wish.
John and Marianne
A Re-construction Project.
I guess because we have our own experiences, we get to supervise Mamo's
remodel projects too. This one is a re-build of her 60-year-old
pool, a project prompted by excess water leakage - not a good thing
during a drought.
From my old construction days, I could appreciate how the crews managed
to do as complex a project as it was, on time and on budget. We
need these guys on nuclear power plants!
Days 1 and 2: Drain and fix the top coping.
Day 3: Cut in new piping and install "staples" to keep a couple of cracks from expanding.
|Day 4: Sandblast all the old paint and then put on the "scratch coat", so the new surface will attach well.
5: Big crew to put on the final coat. (Even the family supervision was
greater when brother-in-law Reuben came over to help me.)
6 through 9: Refill, finish concrete walkway, restart the filter, add
chemicals. Our assumption was that all that was left was swimming!
What the activity really was consisted of watching the water level on
the little fish on the end of the pool, our calibrated leak
detector. We'd take a fish picture, wait for a day, and take
another. We would take pictures with the filter on and with it
Unfortunately, even after thousands of dollars of repairs, the pool was
leaking as badly as it ever had. D---. The guys came back and
looked for leaks, eventually narrowing down to a suspect underwater
light. They tried one fix by reaching down from the pool deck,
but the water continued to go away, so the last step was sending in a
diver to do a more thorough fix.
Juan, the diving technician, needed to squeeze into an ancient wet suit
and struggle putting water-proof epoxy over the cracks inside the light
housing. We were hoping he had succeeded, but when I next measured the fish, the water level was still going down
So, on Friday, we had one more visit from the pool company and he set
up red tape marks to accurately measure how much water is lost over the
weekend. (It should be no more than about an inch per week- less
in the cooler weather.)
we came back after our long weekend, the level had indeed gone
down. It's far less than we started with, but it is apparently
enough to continue the project for days more. Darn.
More work followed. One more diving excursion to try to seal the
light. That didn't work. Then a couple of days draining the
pool and completely resurfacing the recess for the light and then
refilling. After two weeks, no leakage. Success!!!!