Septic tank woes

Home sweet home is not without issue. In a nut shell, our septic tank caved in this fall. It is in part of our yard that is not easily noticeable from our windows. So imagine my surprise when I wandered outside in a rush to check on a bird that I heard hit the window (which happens all too often, I am sorry to say). I did not find a bird, but I found a big gaping wet hole!

And then I called Boy because we had been talking about getting it pumped out, so while in denial at what I had seen, I assumed he and his dad were in the process of doing something with it. Because, I mean, really – what else could it be? Boy didn’t answer the phone, so I walked over to his dad’s house. His shock at what I described worried me…. We walked back over together and he says what I began to fear: the lid caved in. He and I covered it with a tarp and then we waited for the day when the pump guys and repair guys could coordinate to come out.

I am not sure how long it had been that way but I know we lucked out in several regards after talking to the people who came in and replaced it. It wasn’t full and the lid (and walls!) caved in in such a way that the force of the splash didn’t push all that gunk up into our house pipes, nor did it cause any damage out into the septic field’s drain lines. Phew! We learned all that after pumping it out. Here is the cold hard stinky truth of what goes into a septic tank:

Then the sludge was scooped out for removal. The guys all did their best to avoid the bushes, though one did take a hit. I think it will live, though!

Carefully, but with quick expertise, they lowered in our brand new concrete tank!

Then they worked on burying it. I will now have those little green things in my yard, which I am not a fan of, but knowing why they exist trumps my opposition. Plus, who am I kidding? I don’t mow the grass – the neighbor-dad-in-law does! ;)

At the end, they carefully leveled all the dirt and left a little hump. The dirt will settle around the tank as it rains and animals trample it.

All finished! Ta-da!

From a slightly different angle, you can’t even tell with our white Christmas snow:D

After that happy looking little pine tree a friend gifted me earlier this year, here is a depressing photo, of one of the birds this last migration season that didn’t make it after a run-in with my window. I brought it inside to learn more about its kind: commonly called a butterbutt, it is the yellow-rumped warbler. Bird deaths during migration is becoming a huge problem. If you haven’t heard about it, read more here. It isn’t just windows; there are a host of issues, but maybe the biggest is that indoor-outdoor cats should really have bells!

2016 house makeover

After our new siding last year, Boy decided that the next major project at the house was to replace the roof. He gathered his friends to help (one of them has worked as a roofer before) and his dad supervised the bigger project. Unfortunately, they planned it to be over summer’s heat wave last year. I just never got around to posting! The outside of the house is almost complete in its makeover (sans landscaping) – if only my doors and utility boxes were painted and we got a new garage door! Some day…

To fully enjoy these photos, refer back to this old ugly house for what it use to look like;)

The siding for the house was done by a friend of the family (he works in construction so we hired his company through the grant we got that let us redo several windows, the HVAC system, air conditioner, water heater, and siding). My FIL and UIL (uncle-in-law) did most of the rest of it, though Boy helped when he could certainly.

There were areas in the sub-roof that needed repair, so it was good we did it before there became problems.

UIL got a nail through his foot mid-roofing job, so I posted this sign in the window. Everyone loved the wise crack!

I already miss the lovely sunny days, even if fall means way, way too many leaves.

We were going to paint the little shed but then FIL said we had enough to side it! He and his brother also repaired the doors. Though it is not shown in this photo, we put some really cool handles on it and it locks securely now.

The old ugly house is becoming home sweet home! :D


Monoprice Ultra-Thin Light Box Sleeve

You may recall I purchased an amazing light table from Monoprice a while back. I’ve been keeping it in the original box for safe storage, but it is much larger than required so over the last two evenings, I made a giganto pouch for it! Voila, the monoprice ultra-thin light box sleeve:

monoprice ultra-thin light box sleeve

I had some specialty pale green fabric I picked up somewhere (maybe my SIL?) and then paired it with a complementary cotton I inherited from my late grandmother. Originally I was going to have one as the interior fabric, and the other for the exterior. But then I realized I had measured a wee bit wrong if I wanted to add a zipper (and I did!) so I improvised by adding a contrast of the opposite fabric and then shaving off the extra on the big block side.

monoprice ultra-thin light box sleeve

With that, I couldn’t decide which combination I liked more, so I used them both! That is not a mistake; it is quite intentional:)

monoprice ultra-thin light box sleeve

The quilting for the monoprice ultra-thin light box sleeve was done on my regular machine. I opted to use an easy diagonal stitch on the big block piece, and a vertical on the shorter portion. Then, I covered the seam with a simple addition of a ribbon.

monoprice ultra-thin light box sleeve

If you are in the market for a light table, I suggest this one. Not only is the price great, but it has an adjustable brightness which really helps. The working size is wonderful. And it is so very thin that moving it around isn’t a beast! I love it, and I can’t wait to get more use out of it. (And no, I am in no way affiliated with Monoprice.)