I did manage to finish closing down the swimming pool though, while the rest of the family went into Manhattan for a reading of a musical version of The Last Starfighter that one of Mrs Stevie's thespian friends has penned. With them out of the way I could work in peace. This year I didn't follow my usual schedule of removing the pump hardware and allowing the pool to drain down to the lowest water port in favour of installing a plug in the water return and a faceplate over the skimmer hole and keeping the pool itself as full as possible. This has a number of possible advantages, chief among them the maintaining of the pool cover at a higher level than usual, thereby providing less of a well for the disgusting rainwater/sumac-leaf concoction that brews over the winter months and which must be removed before opening the pool the next year. The stench from this foul concoction is beyond belief and because the sucking fumac tree drops leaves continuously cannot be mitigated in any effective way. Whether or not this new pool protocol will be effective is yet to be seen. Time will tell. The downside is that I normally get to add 1/4 of a pool of new water which helps keep the chemistry sweet (our water comes out of the ground at pH 7.5 and about as calcium free as you could wish). I can always drain some off next year though. The upside is that under The Policy1 I acquired two nice new belt wrenches needed for undoing the submerged water return port.
Sunday morning I took a shower, then wandered into the basement to discover that the bloody bath had leaked (again). Mrs Stevie entered the theater of ops and was duly warned that I had to fix the downstairs bathroom leak before I would even consider doing any more work on excavating Bog. I duly began investigating but could not induce the *&^%ing bath to leak whatever I did. I reluctantly concluded that it only leaked when I was in it, probably due to malign water spirits and just caulked the only uncaulked pipe joint in the line as a precaution. Drying out the stuff that got wet (again) was annoying and time consuming. In this fashion, Sunday morning was used up.
I took advantage of the nice Sunday afternoon to get the tent roof off the Gazebo in preparation for the winter before the autumn winds pick up and we have a re-run of the Flying Gazebo of Fence Destruction Fiasco. Unfortunately, this was a bloodier task than last year due to pockets of water that had formed in the inadequately supported roof, to which Mr Sumac Tree had added a few leaves. The disgusting brew added a very aromatic component to the job. Add to that the huge spiders that had colonised each corner of the frame and wrapped everything in webs so thick it was like cotton candy2 which made accessing the little snap-pegs that keep everything together problematic. Add to that the colony of ants that had taken up residence in one of the roof cross members. And the woodlice that were attempting an assault on the east face and had established base camp under one eave. Add to that the ear damage from feminine shrieking as each of these became evident. Of course, Mrs Stevie eventually calmed down once I made it clear there were no more creepy-crawlies and hence my feminine shrieking would not be continuing3.
1: No Tool, No Job
2 :Candy Floss for the UK readers.
3: She left the work area at full speed anyway once she copped sight of one of the spiders. Not exactly Amazonian Bird-Eaters, but not far off either.