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Saturday, June 16, 2012


Ten years ago this month I decided, unwisely maybe, to take a layoff from the company for which I worked. After over 20 years, I just left.  Twenty weeks severance pay made the decision to leave a little sweeter.  From June 29 of 2002 until I finally found a job three months later I spent my time digging and completing a garden pond.  There was a lot of negative feelings I had to work out for some reason.  And digging in the Missouri rocks proved to be an acceptable outlet for these feelings.

The deepest part of the pond is between 30 and 32 inches with shelf areas only about 8 inches.  Areas in between are mostly about 18 to 24 inches in depth.  I made a severe mistake of sloping part of the pond.  That is a recipe for falling into the pond when doing necessary maintenance in the pond.  And, yes, I have fallen many times or at least slipped onto my rear end rather quickly.

Early on Gene figured out the filter I had purchased for the pond was insufficient.  He purchased a small stock tank and fit it with a PVC baffle in the bottom.  Several bags of lava rock provided the filter media.  PVC connections for input and output finished the job.  Over the years lots of adjustments have been made to all parts of the pond liners, pond edges, rock arrangements and the filtration and pump system.

One important thing to do for our pond's health is in September to cover with bird netting until all leaves have fallen.  We did not do that last year.  Nor did we back wash the lava rock filter last fall.  The pond and the little stream from the filter to the pond run year round.  And we have lots of small gold fish of different colors.  Today was the day designated as pond filter, stream and pond bottom cleaning day.  And it was a huge mess.  After literally scooping about 3 inches of gunk from the top of the lava rock, it took 3 hours of washing to get the filter in good shape for the summer.

The sump pump was even used in addition to the gravity flow hole on the side of the tank to evacuate more of the gunk laden water.  Pretty sure the flower beds, young vegetable plants and the compost pile all enjoyed their dose of fish emulsion fertilizer!  I was not as excited as it repeatedly splashed all over my person.  But now the task is complete along with the stream bed being clean.  The pond itself needs a little more work but I need a new skimmer to accomplish that.  The one we had literally fell to pieces today.

Since I was already a mucky, wet mess I decided to wash the back side of our house's windows, soffits and gutters.  The brush that attached to the garden hose was just the ticket.   Once that "little" job was complete, the patio was next.  That task proved to be more than just the garden hose with city pressure could handle.  But a couple of more runs at it this summer will certainly improve that dirt build up, also.

So I was asking myself on and off all day why I had let things go so badly.  Oh, yes, that bad knee.  Well, that bad knee is not an issue any longer.  With the project of the new carpet that turned into the seven plagues nearing an end, I have begun looking forward.

First will be getting Gene a good knee like mine.  In early September covering the pond and stream with netting.  Then the fall apple pie fund raiser for missions.  I think we may just spend the winter months not doing much but pondering.

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