The ongoing saga of the natural pool

The Jacarandas are out. Many have come and gone but quite a few are still out. I guess that means we are well into spring (about time given that it’s mid April). I have really, really been lazy about writing but there hasn’t felt like there has been much to say.

Work on the pool continues. I’m serious. That’s 5.5  months and counting. And it will be another month. They received the wrong color paint for the interior of the pool (black, for heat and also to keep it looking like a pond) and it will take a week to mix new paint. The albaniles (mason workers) are busy putting the volcanic rock facing on the edge of the pool. It is slightly raised above the ground but will be even with the patio deck at the shallower end and has stairs at the deep end. Proper stairs, not a ladder. it will look nice but OMG – six months for a pool? 

I’m almost finished the memoir project, at least the editing part. Copy reading it now. Then there is formatting, publishing and printing. Which is kind of finicky but will get done. We started on that project a long time ago – 2015 sometime in the summer/fall. It did get put on the shelf for a while between parts two and three. But now, done…including acknowledgements and dedication. That is pretty done. So now, what’s next?

I still have the garden/patio/decor site that I write for. I need to get on that again, there’s lots of great new products for the garden to review this year. And I will be doing a story for them about building a natural swimming pool – once the bloody thing is finished. And there are a few other clients but we may be able to rest for a little while. Depends, I guess. If there’s work, we’ll take it. In the meantime, our passive income is okay with pensions and some small investments. CW is busy until June and then he’s going to have one ongoing project that takes two (very) full days a week. And others will be on a “Do I want to?” basis. We don’t need a lot of money to live now that we are settled again. Living in this country is very affordable.

We went to Vancouver the last week of March (business) and I went to the Island and brought back a few things from storage. Mostly small art. When we sold our last Island home, we sold it furnished down to dishes and sheets. Although we did remove a lot of stuff first. We left a lot though. This is part of the second attempt at shedding “stuff”. We intend to turn two 5×10 ft lockers into one. But we’re thinking we may not have to ship stuff – if we fly it down ourselves maybe two more trips. We’ll see.

We have tickets booked to YVR for May 4 (no return booked yet) but are changing them to mid-May. The pool stalled completely while we went to Uruapan (more on that later) – so we don’t want to leave again until it’s done. Being a natural pool – there are more considerations and it’s more complicated. The plumbing has been run (under those rocks) and they will install the filtration units and the plants next week, they say. In the meantime, they had us fill the swimming side about half way up over 10 days ago, which was not smart as it just sat there and got green.

Now, yes, it’s a natural pond but it’s supposed to be clear and it’s been still water in the sun for over a week. We just installed a fountain pump that we had to move the water around but sheesh, folks, you need to get your schedule a little closer to reality. On top of that, we left for Uruapan, Michoacan for a gallery opening and artists’ fair and *nothing* was done while we were gone, despite promises. The rocks (and covered plumbing) above happened only because we got home and read the riot act. Six months. I’m really done with this and we need to stay on top of it and be the squeaky wheel for a few more weeks.

Back to our stuff in Canada. We have bull heads, or possibly bison. Three of them. Not sure how they will get across. But one was made in Mexico (the Huichol beaded piece below). Two were actually made in Mexico, but I can’t see any issue with the pewter one. I guess just the Lakota skull might be trouble. It’s the Elk Dreamer, and it came from Prairie Edge Trading Co. – maybe if I print the page in the catalog? I might have to leave her with the kids for now. Then, there is The Pony Soldier. The Lakota believed that the cavalry got its power from the ever-present US flag that was carried by the lead rider. Unfortunately, this can no longer hang in my house (at least temporarily, while the mango menace is in charge).


I’ll try not to belabour the point in this post, but I’m terrified of what is going to happen to the world because of trump (and no caps is on purpose, never think it’s a typo). North Korea, China – he doesn’t care who he aggravates. And don’t give me any BS about Russia – that’s pure posturing (as was the Syrian airstrike) to throw us off. Neither trump, nor Tillerson, will give up the oil. Remember, America runs on oil. It’s a safe bet that it’s almost always about oil.

I actually gave up once the Republicans fixed it so that Gorsuch could not be filibustered. That was the actual end of democracy in America. Years later, historians will mark that as the turning point. It’s so sad. And I’m pretty convinced that trump will get you into a big war. You’re probably safe in the middle of the country but I’d be a little concerned on the west coast. Enough. Que sera, sera.

Last photos of how far we’ve come with the pool and then I’m going to leave you, finally. The jacarandas are gone now. When I started this post, they were out in full force. The pool needs another 10,000 gallons of water (tomorrow) and then a month to build its ecosystem. Those two large urns/pots are the filters, water will clean inside them with charcoal and sand and spill over the top, hopefully by Tuesday. There will easily be another 2.5 ft, possible more, to the level of the water, you won’t see that divider when all is said and done. We’ll check back in later. Orale.





  1. sidney mehlschmidt

    Looks great! How was the pool constructed and what was used to seal the inside?

  2. Deana

    Just an FYI (we found out the hard way) – You aren’t not allowed to bring animal parts of any kind into Mexico. They will be confiscated.

    Also we’d be interested to know what you will use to keep mosquitoes at bay given all the water in the pool?


    1. Post author

      Deana, thanks for the info. I am *hoping* that since it’s clearly made in Mexico (the huichol skull) that they will let it back in… but maybe not. More research required, thanks for the tip.

      And for the pond – I use “mosquito dunks” (google them, you can get them at amazon and many other places). It’s an organic natural pesticide that doesn’t hurt plants or fish but kills mosquito larvae…