Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory.
–Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1615)

Foggy Morning

Sometimes it’s nice to be in a fog, blissfully unaware of what’s to come. Once warned, you’re forced to prepare.

We had the septic tank pumped this week. We’ve lived here for two years and a bit, and that’s the recommended time when four people are living in a home to schedule routine puming. Of the 27 months we’ve been here, Sweet Miss has only been home for 15 of them–college has stolen her away from us.

The fellow from the septic company said we were well within our limit–good news. We could even push out maintenance to every three years–even better news. But the bottom cap of our filter had been knocked off at one time, so sewage had been going into our drain field without filtration–bad news. This was easy enough to solve. We had two options. The fellow offered to put the cap back on and then me or the MR could open up the system ever six months and hose down the filter. The other option was to upgrade to a newer filter for $100, and the system would be good to go without any attention from us. You guessed it; we picked option two.

He asked me where the d-box was and indicated the well. While I had no clue what a “d-box” was, I did know that wan’t it. The MR and I had noted a “strange white thing” that appears every winter when the brambles die back, and I pointed that out to him. Well, apparently it’s important for workmen to have access to the distribution box in the leaching field–more bad news. We need to get rid of the blackberries; OK, the MR likes to spray and hack them back, so that should be doable. Oh, and the the trees next to the d-box should really be cut down, because the roots can tear up the pipes. Great, we talked about getting rid of a few of those trees to improve the view of the river, but the MR was discouraged when he realized they were made up of a dozen or so trunks coming out of a massive base. More bad news–this was going to be a lot of work.

As I was writing the check and sending the worker on his way, I mentioned we had only lived here for two years and didn’t know much about septic systems and the 20 year history of the house. Oh, this place doesn’t look that old, he commented. Probably because of all the painting, residing, and maintenance we’ve done, I thought. This led him to mention that we have a mound-type drain field that’s not in use any more. They tend to reach their life-span at about 20 years and have to be replaced with a much more expensive system–cool more bad news.

No need to worry just yet. If we cut back the brambles and remove the trees, the system could last for years. We’ll just have to wait and see.

On happier news, Baby Girl turned 17 yesterday. She went to breakfast with her buddies and was treated with gifts throughout the day.


It’s hard to have a big family celebration when you have volleyball practice scheduled for 7 pm on your birthday, but Papa Willy came for the afternoon, and the MR met us at the local Chinese restaurant for dinner along with a few of her friends.

Birthday Collage

I found an amazing gluten-free cupcake recipe. BG wanted volleyballs on top of each, so she could treat her team after practice. The decorations were a bit of a bust, but the cupcakes themselves were quite tasty. Check out Make It Naked’s Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes for a treat. Instead of secret ingredients like pureed garbanzo beans or overcoming the grassy tasted of sorghum flour, these cupcakes were flourless by design. They were just eggs, sugar, chocolate, and cream with a hint of coffee–simple ingredients for a gluten-free delight.

In other happy news, Sweet Miss and her fellow are due back tomorrow afternoon. She finishes finals in the morning and then will be on her way. So glad to have all my chicks headed home.

What are you celebrating? Birthdays? Spring? Friends? Vacations? Has routine maintenance led to all sorts of work at your house?


3 thoughts on “Forewarned

  1. Wow, that was quite a day you had with all those surprises popping up. I can see there are pluses too with the cutting down of the trees, and cleaning away the blackberries………it isn’t like you don’t have plenty more of them on the property. My advice would be to hire it all done, even if it is expensive, it will finished more quickly than the Mr could do it after work, and Papa Larry would like to do more ‘fun stuff’ around the house when we come up in June. Speaking of ‘fun stuff’ did BG receive our birthday card? When she text me yesterday she said she hand’t and I sent it last week.Just wondering.

  2. Pingback: March in Review | bigwhitehouseonthehill

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