Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Great Day In The Tropics

As you can tell on the left photo, we were up bright and early for us ... before 7am. It was a good. Sadie did not wake me up last night at 3am like she had the past few nights. She also went back to sleep when I told her to because it was too early to get up.

Based on her actions, I can say she is back to her normal self. She must have had a little flu pass through her system. There was nothing out of the ordinary for Stella nor Heidi.

It felt strange to see the time in the upper right corner of my monitor telling me it wasn't 8am yet and I had finished all of my internet reading for the morning.

Overnight the "yellow weeds" increased in the field across the highway. They will be plowed under for soy beans or corn sometime in May. I guess not. A tractor with discs just pulled into that road and will probably plow the two fields today before it rains later this week.

That will change my plans of washing the Mini Cooper this afternoon since the air will be full of dust/dirt. I can hear him right now but can't find him through the lens ... I'll get some photos to post at the bottom.

Although it was nice outside around 8:30, I had to tell Stella that we were not going for a walk that early. It's just too wet for me. I don't enjoy walking with wet feet. You have to admit though, that is a pretty good face for trying to convince me that she wants something.

Heidi made her 2nd trip of the day outside a little after 10am. She was anxious to get outside but it wasn't because she wanted to go on the walk. She does look like she is gaining weight to me. It'd be nice if she could gain about half of the weight she lost by the end of the summer.

I only took this photo because I liked the way the yellow shined through all the green. I guess it's good I took the photo because they are plowing a little early this year.

Stella was pretty hot on this scent she had picked up. She flew right past Sadie and I. Once Sadie saw that she thought there must be something pretty important so off she went to catch up with Stella.

Sadie later found it that it was a false alarm ... no birds, no deer, just Stella fooling her into an early morning run. When I asked her "where's Heidi", she stopped and looked back toward the house. Who says that hounds don't understand what we are saying to them?

On the way back, Stella wandered over to the scene of last week's crime ... the deer. She seems to feel it is there somewhere, if she could only pick up the deer scent ... she would be off sprinting.

If only the hounds would talk, I would have a better idea what she is thinking right now.

I moved my tick count to a spreadsheet the other day. Then saved in on 'the cloud'. Last night while on my laptop, when I opened it to log in the latest count it gave me a choice which version to open because the system had not synchronized correctly. Of course somewhere in all of that, even the latest version was not the most recent. I had lost my accurate count!!!!

Since I am not washing the Mini Cooper until after they finish plowing the field ... I'll go in the "Time Machine" where my computer is backed up every hour and find the file from yesterday afternoon and bring it back to life.

I have had Apple computers since 2010 without any problems but I must admit that new Microsoft Surface is a pretty neat machine. Still it's almost as much as my MacBook Air was.

Ticks???  Well after this mornings walk I have yet to find a tick on either Sadie or Stella. That's an interesting change since it has not been quite 24 hours since I gave each their NexGard chew.

I just took these photos before posting. I'll take more later as he progresses cutting down my favorite weeds. I could hear him but couldn't find him ... then he came into view.

I was going crop all the signs out ofthe photos but decided to let the photo ride as it was. A few months ago, the rental property that was a couple of duplexes was sold and then redesigned as a child care ... definitely rural child care. I've noticed that business is good and it's welcome change to 'the hood'.

This next photo you will find interesting along with a very interesting story. One that I am still not sure what to do. I put those Yews in about 3-4 years ago. Before that nothing had been planted in front of the house. If fact when I moved in 1997, I found a brick sidewalk barely under the grass. It went from the driveway to the front steps.

I dug up all the bricks and used them different places around the house. I was told my septic tank was in front of the carport, about 10' from the house. So I always kept that location in my mind. Here is where it gets interesting and why that photo plays a part in this "puzzle".

Based on my research, a formula I found about usage, and confirmed by local sepetic businesses ... one person would use about 100 gallons per year. Based on the formula I would be good for ten years before I need to have the tank cleaned. I am at year 19 but have had no problems showing up.

One company even told me as a single person living in the house that even at 19 years, plus a septic system working as it should I would still be okay and may not need it cleaned at all. They suggested using RidX monthly, which I have always done.

There have been some recent possible symptoms ... then I'm not sure. I went through my folder of paperwork that came with the house and found a handwritten diagram and the phone number of my local plumber, who still does work for me on occasion.  He verified that the drawing was correct.

It's NOT in front of my carport ... my septic tank is in front of those yews ... actually part of the tank is UNDER those yews. Based on the measurements, the area the septic company would need to insert their hose is about 6" in front of that red landscaping brick. Meaning I would need to dig up some of that bed of bark and maybe even move one yew to get to the opening they need.

Since it is an older system, the drawing and plumber confirmed the tank is 3' underground ... not like 1-1/2' of today's systems.  

So do I start digging or let the system continue to work properly and don't have it cleaned?

No matter what that answer is ... it's a beautiful day in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.


  1. Having lived with different septic systems for many years, our approach is to limit what goes down the drain to bio-waste, toilet paper (Never any of those so-called disposable wipes! Municipalities are starting to file suit against the manufactures in federal court because they are far from disposable!!) shower, sink, and washer water with light to modest amounts of soaps,(Of course the soap companies would rather us use their recommended dosages, which is far more than is really needed, and we try to stay away from too many 'additives' and scents.) a limited amount of largely grease-free food scraps (Most of this goes in the compost pile but the anaerobic environment of the septic isn't hurt by a little bit of extra feeding) and a monthly dose of some sort of septic tank enzyme. (These get mixed reviews as to their effectiveness but it can't hurt so why not.)

    We clean, a lot!, with vinegar, peroxide and even a little bleach once in a while but never have more than a trace actually go down the drain to disturb the tank chemistry. Of course oils and solvents are NEVER put into the system.

    Some of those septic systems were pretty iffy to start with, (One was a nothing more than barrel punched through with a bunch of holes and buried in a pit of gravel covered with a couple feet of soil!!) but so far none of them have ever 'had' to be pumped and the one time we preemptively pumped one (Family of 5 living in the house for about 15 years.) it turned out to be unnecessary, though it did create all the disruption, stink and mess of a necessary pumping.

    We have a clean-out at the top end of the leach field, down beyond the tank itself, and I check it a couple times a year or so to make sure the water flowing past is mostly clear. (I used to run down there and check when the washing machine was emptying, but now we have a front loader which doesn't use near as much water. . .) My thinking is that if that changes it would be wise to do something about it before the leach field is clogged up. In the mean time we assume the system is healthy and functioning.

    1. Thanks Greg, that's good info. Luckily I follow the same principals as you as far as what goes into that system. I was even told by a previous owner that lived "around the corner" a few miles ... that White Cloud toilet paper was the recommended brand for septic tanks. I've used that for years and even checked for other brands by searching the internet. I've also always used less quantity than the container says. I trash all food scraps and any grease I have from cooking.

      I assume my leach field is the front yard. I see signs of water at the edge of the gravel driveway and yard pretty far down the hill. I decided a long time ago that as long as I saw that, then the system was good. As the last guy I talked to about coming out to pump told me everything should be fine with one person living in the house and nothing is put into the system that shouldn't go into the system. He saw no problem with it.

      I will keep assuming mine is also healthy and functioning. Thanks for the comment.