Thursday, May 16, 2013

The project continues

Work our buttocks off this evening trying to get the "back yard" area in shape for the new pool.....and we haven't even started on the pool area.

Looks like an entire "make-over" for that area.

It's something we've been wanting to do for a while and hopefully we'll get the bulk of it taken care of this weekend.

At any rate, it's a great calorie burn!

Made some avocado chicken salad for dinner and we ate it on whole grain bread with enough for tomorrow's lunches. YUM and very good for you....then cut up the last cantelope to munch on...not as good as the one's we got last year but pretty juicy and sweet!

I may head to the back shortly. Couldn't sleep last night and I am overdue for an early night. Tomorrow may be a long day at the 9-5 but least it will be a

TGIF day!

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Our latest project

In the summertime in South Texas there are a couple of ways to stay cool... get naked or get wet. We choose the latter...most of the time.

As such we have a pool, a great way to spend a leisure evening. Our pools are not the traditional "cement pond" in-ground pools but portable above ground pools as seen in the blog post Chuckie and the Roo. Up until now we've had 15 footers and John installed a much bigger pump/filter with the 1st one that was designed for much larger, permanent, professionally installed above ground pools and it's made a huge difference.

When we were in San Antonio we had a different style. It was quite complex to put up and John literally took a week of vacation to install it. We brought it to Jackson County when he retired but instead of taking the time and labor to reinstall it, we opted for one of those blue, above ground "Intex" pools. I call it the redneck pool and occasionally the Margarita pool but that is another blog post.

All in all Intex makes a fine portable above ground IF you invest in a better, more powerful pump/filter and perform daily pool maintenance on it. In other words, treat it like it is an expensive above ground or in ground pool. This one has lasted 6 years and this year we needed to make a decision if we'd keep this one up for one more year and make minor repairs OR change it out. I understand they only have a 5-6 year life.

We opted to replace it. With a 24'. It will arrive in about a week.

In order to make this change we need to tear the old one down and re-level the ground and pack in about 3-5" of sand where it will be built.

We found out quickly that it was cheaper to order an entire dump truck load of sand than to get the few yards we would need to pack in under this pool. This means...we'll have a lot left over. And - our soil is hard clay. If you don't catch it with the right amount of soil moisture it's impossible to the plan is work on the pool first and get it up and running then use the remainder to work into the clay soil in the food plots!

So this will be our weekend. In 90 degree weather as we'd like to have it up and operational for Memorial weekend. I am sure the Green Machine will get a work out and so will we the end.... I can sit in my float ring, music in the background, looking up at the brightly lit night sky, watching for Satellites and wondering how I got so lucky....

Sunday, May 12, 2013

On starting grapevine....

Just replanted a dozen Spanish Grape vine cuttings I've had rooting in a covered but breathable container for 3 months. (rubbermade covered tote)

Got the cuttings from our local vineyard Lavaca Bluffs Vineyard and Winery in February and stuck them in the soil the next week. We kept it damp but not wet and pinched any leaf growth as the buds emerged forcing the "energy" of the cutting to form a solid root system instead of wasting it's "energy" of leaf development.

It worked. 7 out of the 12 had significant "white roots" on them while the rest of them had a solid, small root system established.

I still have bundles in the fridge I may pull out and start more....

My guess is that about half will survive.... at this point we will keep them in a shaded area and not let them dry out until spring 2014 when we can actually plant them. They are way too fragile to endure the hot summer the first year. And even now....we will pinch most of the leaf buds off for the next month or so.... still forcing growth energy to the vital root system in their new containers...

And of the 3 I got last year from the vineyard starter bed...only one survived but is doing quite well.