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Friday, June 30, 2023

Day 2 - Pool Project - Hole Finished

Bill Gwynn our builder. He lives 2 doors north. 
He build a pool and guest house at our last home.

There will be a fire pit and sitting area on south end

We have had an excellent start -  2 bright sunny hot days. 

Today they finished digging the hole. It is exactly 15 x 35 x 6 feet deep. 

About 7 truckloads of dirt were hauled away. 2 truckloads of crusted stone were brought in. 

The crushed stone was spread in the bottom of the hole about 1 foot thick. 

After that - the steel rebar was delivered. A criss cross lattice will be constructed on the bottom - crossing the steel rebar at 15 inch intervals. It will look like a checkerboard. 

We plan to put a wedding tent over the hole to protect the workers from the sun. 

Pipes for the filtering system will be laid before the concrete floor is poured. All pipes will run to the garage where the filter and other hardware will be housed inside. We will install an electric heap pump to heat the pool. 

We were lucky - the trucks did not dig up our front yard at all. 

Code requires th pool be fenced in or covered with an enclosure. 

If we were installing a vinyl liner pool - a simple frame would be put in and the bottom would be packed solid. It would be a much cheaper and quicker job. 

My friend Mike commented - "in two weeks you will be swimming."

A one foot layer of crushed stone covers the bottom.

Notice how the soil stands up around the edge.

The pool is 15 x 35 - and holds 16,000 gallons

There will be a 35 x 60 concrete deck around pool

The pool gets full sun all day

Digger Gary Moran did a nice job - very neat.

Nice dry hot days to dig.

Steel Rebar keeps the pool stable.


Day 1 - Pool Project - Digging the Hole

My digger is Gary - My builder is Bill Gwynn

After 10 years of patience - Lulu has started her pool project in our back yard. We had a beautiful day of weather to start the project. They worked from 7 am to 5 pm. 

Lulu has applied to the city for all the permits online. she is the clerk of the works. I carry her bags. 

The new pool will be 15 x 35 x 4 feet. It will hold 16,000 gallons of water. It will be surrounded by a 35 x 60 feet concrete pool deck. Both the pool and deck will be concrete - with tons of steel rebar support in the concrete. The pool will not be seen from the street - it is blocked by our home. The law requires it to be fenced or enclosed. 

The filter - ozonator - heater hardware will be housed in our separate garage. This will protect the equipment from the weather and reduce the sound of the pump. It will also keep the yard OCD tidy. 

The pool deck will also include a gas fire pit and electrical service. 

On the first day - the hole was 95% completed. Most of the excess dirt has been hauled away - Bill is using it at his farm he owns south of town. Before they pour the pool floor - they will fill the bottom with a foot of crushed stone. Also a lattice of steel rebar will be build. Next forms will be used to pour the 4 foot high side walls. Finally - a Marcite finish will be troweled on the concrete. A row of tile will protect the top of the walls. Marcite is a type of plaster made with marble sand that has been tumbled to reduce sharp edges. 

We had concern with the equipment and trucks rolling from the street up to the site. So far - the grass has held - and you can hardly notice that it was crossed. 

All of the measurements were done using a laser surveyor transit. Bill has been building pools 50 years - I honestly think he can lay one out in his sleep. This is the second pool that Bill has built for us. 

Once the hole is complete - we will put a wedding tent over it to protect the workers from the sun and also help during rain. Bill expects to take 6 weeks - which means an estimate August 15th completion. I will stay home with the project during that time. Lulu has a commitment in London for the first 2 weeks of August. 

The loamy clay soil was easy digging

No stumps - no roots - no rocks

The hole is 6 feet deep

Lulu's view from the kitchen

Notice the clean edges

The first cut is the deepest

Looking northeast toward the orchard

The chalk line tell the tale

There will be a short retaining wall 
on west side the slab

Last chance to chicken out

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Three Days in Dollywood

Firemen Coaster Ride

32 Ford - the Little Deuce Coupe

Last Thursday - Lulu and I were thinking - what could we do for our anniversary. She said Dollywood. Within an hour - she had planes tickets - a hotel reservation - and rental car. It would be a 3 night - Friday to Monday event. Friday we flew to Knoxville on Delta. We arrive late and drove the last 40 miles to our Black Fox Lodge in Pigeon Forge. 

Saturday morning we went into the amusement park. We bought a 2 day passes for $110. It included a visited to Splash Country - a water amusement park. Being the first Saturday of the summer - it was quite busy - but not Disney busy. We did line up for a big coaster - that took an hour - for a 5 minute ride - and 2 upset stomachs. We enjoyed the music shows in very nice venues - with no lines and plenty of good seats. The 50s and 60s rock and roll show was the best for me. It was noticeable that they had worker shortages in the food service. It must be really hard to get seasonal workers. 

Sunday - we decided to drive our car thru the Smoky Mountain National Park. We rented a Toyota Camry which is a really nice car. It had an 8 speed transmission and plenty of pep. The steering - brakes - and suspension - were superb. The roads in the mountain were in excellent shape - much smoother than I expected - with all the snow and ice in winter. 

It started to rain and ruined our time in Gatlinburg. It was very touristy and had lots of visitors. Parking was at a premium. On Sunday night at 9 pm - we went to the Dream More Lodge - Dolly's very own hotel. It is high on a hill - overlooking the park - a nice place to see the fireworks and drone show. 

Monday morning - perfect weather - and all the crowds disappeared. We went to Splash Country - and enjoyed the different water attractions. On a dare from Sally - I went on the giant slide. It made me realize how much I missed my bidet hose from back home. It is not scary - and over in a couple seconds. You do get a little feeling of weightlessness. 

After that - we went back to Dollywood - to use our second day pass. We loved walking around and seeing the historic Dolly Parton home - and seeing more music shows. Before we knew it it was time to head to the airport. 

CRISIS - It would not be right telling the story without mishaps. For years I carried my credit cards in a slot on my iPhone. It was nice with just one thing to carry - but it a made my iPhone fat. I decided to try a small aluminum card carrier. In it were my drivers license - ATM card - and 2 credit cards. On Saturday - I reached into my pocket in the park and the aluminum wallet was not there. I panicked - certain my accounts would be drained. I would not be able to get on the jet home. All weekend I fretted about my loss. We used lulu's cards and cash. 

On Monday - while packing to go home - after calling the TSA to see if I could fly - I reached in my backpack - in a special zipper pocket for my cars keys - I found the credit card wallet! What a happy ending!

Our 2 flights home went well - if you don't count the extra one hour layover in Atlanta. The airlines are hurting for lack of employees. They have plenty of planes but no one to fly them. We arrived home on Tuesday at 1 am - an hour late.

It was a great 52nd anniversary. On to the next adventure. No one will mention projectile vomiting after a firemen coaster ride. 

Our hotel lobby 

Plenty of thrill rides

Lots of replica buildings

that ride went upside down

We waited an hour for this ride

We did not do the Eagle

I loved the mill chutes

Pretty flowers all over

In the Smokys

Airstream used as food vendor

Model T Ford

Car ride

Great rock and roll show here

Dolly Parton Motor Coach

Highest point in TN

Appalachian Trail

Mountain Lookout


Redord covers

Dream More Lodge at park

Black Fox Lodge - our hotel

Splash Country

Replica of Dolly's home

Water wheels impress me - free power

Dolly Parton owns 50% of the park. Forbes has her net worth at $440 million. $130 million of that is her song book - the ones she wrote. I love her motor home - that is another story. She is truly one of the greatest American women success stories. This is a family park - a little corny - but I really liked it. I got to spend it with my best girl on our anniversary.