This Falls Under the Category of CRAP!

J and I have suspected that we have a little problem with our pool for a while now…

It seems like we have had to fill it with new water more often than our other friends who have pools.  At first, we chalked it up to increased evaporation from the waterfall.  That was a fine explanation when it was 95 degrees outside.

It is not a fine explanation when it is 35 degrees…

Our pool is still under warranty so we finally contacted our builder this weekend to let him know the situation.  He suggested that we turn off the circulation pump (and waterfall) and mark the water level on Sunday night.  He told J to call him back on Wednesday if we noticed a decrease in water level.  I don’t think he really believed us…

So, late Sunday night after he had filled the pool for the 5th time that week, J marked the water level with a PVC pipe and some electrical tape.  The water was at the bottom of the black tape when the process started.  Less than 24 hours later, this is what the pool looked like…

And this is what the hot tub looked like…

The water level in the hot tub should be right up to the edge of the waterfall when the pumps are off.  Obviously that’s not the case.  We’re losing water rapidly.  We didn’t need until Wednesday to determine that.

The pool builder was supposed to make it out to our house on Tuesday but never showed up.  I have a sinking feeling that the water is leaking from a pipe buried somewhere in our yard.  I’m a little freaked out at the thought of having to dig up our lovely landscape and possibly the pavered pool deck.  Ugh!

Here’s what the hot tub looked like this morning (about 36 hours later).

This is so not good…


Tuscan Beef Stew

I made a double batch of one of my favorite cold weather meals for our weekly dinner swap yesterday.  I will preface this recipe by saying that I don’t particularly enjoy pot roast.  The fact that this slow cooker stew is similar to a pot roast recipe is a little paradoxical.  But I think the addition of the red wine makes all the difference.  That and the cannellini beans.  Yum!

I found the following recipe on the Campbell’s website but I’ll repost it here for you to read.  To save you some clicking…


Tuscan Beef Stew for the Slow Cooker

  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup
  • 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) beef broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine or water (I used Cabernet)
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
  • 3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)  I used a bag of baby carrots.
  • 2 pounds beef for stew, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cans (about 15 ounces per can) white kidney beans (cannellini), rinsed and drained
Stir the soup, broth, wine, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, tomatoes, carrots and beef in a 3 1/2-quart slow cooker.  Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours* or until the beef is fork-tender.  Stir in the beans. Increase the heat to HIGH. Cook for 10 minutes or until the mixture is hot.
Enjoy with bread and a salad.
* Or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours.
I slapped all of the ingredients (except the beans) in the crock pot yesterday morning before I left to teach Zumba.  When I arrived back home an hour and a half later, the house was filled with a heavenly scent.  It smelled great all day long.  I love that.

I’m making a mental note to find more delicious crock pot recipes…