Spring-ing into action

This has been a busy week for Ted and me. We’ve been working hard to welcome spring to our yard.


We went to our Pilates class this morning to get some exercise. In retrospect, we’d have had plenty of exercise without the class today. The pool crew is coming tomorrow to open our pool for the season, so we needed to take off the cover, clean it, and pack it away until the crew puts it back on in the fall.

We tried something new with our pool last fall. We had a different pool crew last spring and, when they saw all the algae in our pool, they told us algae doesn’t grow in water colder than 60 degrees. (Why didn’t anybody tell us that ten years ago when we installed the pool?!) To test this theory, we waited an extra month to close the pool last fall, and are opening it a month earlier than usual this spring so that the water temperature was below 60 degrees all the while it was covered.

This is what the pool water looked like last year—and every other year—when we opened it. It usually took us 5-6 days to get it cleaned up for swimming.
This is how the pool water looked when we removed the cover this week. The pool crew told us sunlight filtering through the pool cover stimulated this minor algae growth.

With the cover off the pool, it was time for me to fire up the pressure washer to clean the winter dirt off our concrete. Bad news. Our two-year-old power washer leaked water out of every orifice–even where it didn’t look like there should be water. The only place it didn’t send water was through the hose, so we diagnosed a faulty pump–which we already replaced once under the warranty. We’ve had nothing but problems every time we tried to use this power washer, so we threw up our hands, then got in the car and bought a new one–a different brand.

We got the new power washer set up and then I finally got to work in the driveway. That was our first priority because we needed a large, clean surface to spread out the pool cover for cleaning.

I power wash the winter dirt off the driveway. Then Ted and I spread out the pool cover, wash one side, let it dry, flip it, wash the other side, let it dry, and pack it up. It’s heavy enough and awkward enough to require two people to handle it.

Since the pool guys are coming tomorrow, the pool deck was next on my power washing list.

Here I am, working hard while the pool cover is drying.
It’s easy to see where I’ve cleaned and where I need to clean.
At least you can tell I’m making a difference.

While I was busy doing all of the above, Ted took my car to the dealership for my airbag replacement. When he got home, he kept the power washer filled with gas for me, hung the party lights and the wind chimes over the patio, hand-washed every one of our two dozen solar lights, replaced the two dozen batteries in the lights, and re-set them around the pool and the patio. By then it was 7:00 p.m. and we were hungry.

Squeet! (Wisconsinese for “Let’s go eat.”)


Today I finished power washing the rest of our concrete while Ted took the spring things out of the storage shed, cleaned the inside and outside of the shed, and made room for the winter things. When he had all the lawn furniture on my newly-washed patio, we worked together to wash off the furniture and put it in place.

It’s beginning to look and feel like spring in our back yard.

After I was finished spattering dirty water over everything, Ted wiped down the pool fence and put the winter things in the storage shed. We finished just in time to sit poolside in the clean lawn chairs on the clean pool deck for about 15 minutes before the 7:38 p.m. sunset.

The pool, outdoor lights, and furniture are ready for the weekend.


You’d think we retired people worked enough this week to get a day off, but it’s going to rain tomorrow, so that didn’t happen.

Ted’s list of jobs today included mowing the lawn, washing the back windows that got spattered by my power washing yesterday, planting grass seed in the bare spots to catch tomorrow’s rain, replacing the storm doors with the screen doors, and cleaning up the fireplace.

Ted is finished mowing.

The pool guys swept the pool yesterday to loosen the algae so the pump could remove it. My job today was to vacuum the debris that settled on the pool floor. After that, I swept the pool once more to loosen the remaining bits of stubborn algae so they will get pumped out. I’ll have to vacuum again tomorrow to pick up the remaining minor debris.

One more vacuuming tomorrow should finish cleaning the pool. That will be only two days’ work instead of the usual 5-7 days to get it clean. We’ll stick with our new system of covering and opening the pool in cooler weather.

My other jobs today were to trim back the roses (we should have done that in February), to take the flannel sheets off our bed, and to make a batch of Scotcheroos for the weekend. We finished early today: 6:00 p.m.

Yes, it’s beginning to look like spring in our yard.


It rained all day today, so we didn’t get the pool vacuumed. Instead, we vacuumed in the house. Kathy and Annette are coming this weekend to celebrate Kathy’s (April 26) and my (March 20) birthdays. Kari’s family will join us.

It was a good day to clean and do laundry, since we couldn’t work outside anyway. There was a lot of cleaning and a lot of laundry to do, so it wasn’t a day off, but it was less physically demanding than the last three days have been.

Tomorrow, Ted is going to vacuum the pool while I make birthday cakes–funfetti angel food cake for Kathy; Vienna Torte (again! whoopee!) for me. After that, I think Ted and I get a break–just in time for weekend fun with the girls and their families.


All finished.

The pool is vacuumed and the birthday cakes are ready to eat.

Tomorrow: Party time!