I have been writing this post all day. Something ridiculous would happen, I'd try to sit down to start the post, but before I could get 5 sentences written, something else would happen. I'll break it down for you in the quick takes.
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Monday afternoon I noticed a bare spot in the back yard. When one's entire world is covered in almost a foot of snow, one notices a bare spot in the backyard. Upon further inspection, I realized it was our septic tank. A septic tank which was part of the system we completely overhauled 4 1/2 years ago. The overflowing "liquid" had melted all the snow.
I called a septic company to discuss the situation. They didn't have a hose long enough to reach to the tank, so were going to have to wait until the snow melted and dried out before they could come. Since it did seem to be clear liquid and wasn't coming back into the house, we chose not to track down an expensive emergency company with enough hose. (And crossed out fingers that Mother Nature was listening and would end this miserable winter.)
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Thursday morning, like every morning, I did some laundry. When I went to the basement to put the clothes in the dryer, I discovered the floor covered in water and the utility sink which the washer dumps into full of cloudy water. Panic set in.
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With a touch of hysteria, I explained to our septic guy that we were now in emergency mode. The tank was backing up into our house, and it needed emptied pronto. I was given the name of another company who might have a hose long enough to reach the back yard. Fortunately, they did, and they could make it to our house by noon. I put the boys and me on lock-down. No one was to pee, wash clothes, wash dishes, wash hands, or scrub any floors until the tank was emptied. (Truth be told, I wasn't really too upset about any of that except the peeing and hand washing. As soon as I was told, albeit by myself, that I couldn't go to the bathroom, my body filled my bladder to the breaking point.)
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The septic guy got here, set up, and lifted the tank's lid. It was filled to the brim with what looked to be clean water. I was horrified. He was perplexed. Apparently, all that water isn't normal in a working tank. At one point he reached into the tank, twisted something, and pulled out a long, nasty, red...thing, and said, "You have a filter in here!" Funny, I didn't know septic tanks had filters. Apparently, it was something they started putting in somewhat recently. Like 4 and a half years ago, when we got our new system. You'd think the guy would have told us that back when the tank was installed.
Septic guy: That filter needs cleaned once a year. All that gunk clogging the filter is your problem. The water can't get to the fingers, so fills up the tank. You're lucky your lid is above ground and it could just go out into the yard instead of into your house. Just a run under your garden hose will do the trick.
Me: "Don't know if you noticed, but we're in the middle of a Polar Vortex. The outside spigots were emptied and turned off long ago." (See! We aren't completely incompetent when it comes to home maintenance!)
Me: I'll take care of it.
Yes, I took care of the nastiness by first scraping off as much as I could with a stick and snow. I then had to bring the thing into the house (Never been more thankful for that mud room utility sink!) and hold back the vomit (Oh, the smell!) while cleaning it out. A gallon of bleach took care of the smell and the germs.
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The tank was emptied without further incident. 1400 gallons of...gross...was now in the truck. He loaded up the hose, I paid him, and we made our goodbyes.
A few minutes later, I glanced outside to see that the truck was still there, just moved a bit. I went out to investigate and found that he was stuck. In my driveway. Blocking my van, which I had previously moved out of the way, so he could get around the circle drive.
|The day is over. It's dark outside. I can't take a photo of the actual drive and draw in the vehicles. I'll try to add it in the morning.|
We found the one flaw in the plan when my van got stuck, too.
While he himmed and hawed and didn't do much of anything, I worked my tail off finding a way to get my van out of that mess.
In short, I spent 45 minutes shoveling gravel from one area of the drive, transferring it to another part, and making a new track for my van to use. After every few feet I'd drive, I'd get stuck again and have to shovel the same gravel into another spot. But, I did get myself out of there while the septic guy watched.
After calling school to let them know I'd be late, thanks to the septic tank truck stuck in my driveway, I went back to shoveling gravel to get his 10 ton truck moving.
Finally, finally, after over an hour, we got his truck out of my driveway.
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I then went around the house, running water all over the place. I started the dishwasher. I peed. I washed my hands. I went to do more laundry.
When I got downstairs, I was happy to see the floor no longer had water and the sink had drained completely.
But something wasn't quite right.
There, in the drain hole, was a sock.
Seems one of the kids had at one point dropped a sock in the sink, and when the washing machine drained, the sock got jammed in the drain hole.
The freakin' septic had never backed up after all!!! I didn't have to find an emergency septic service!!! I didn't have to hold my pee for 7 hours!!! I didn't have to clean a poop-covered filter inside my house!!! I didn't have to practically kill myself digging a 12-passenger van and a 10 ton septic truck out of my driveway!!! All I had to do was pull a sock out of the drain!!!!!
Have I mentioned home ownership bites?
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Since we're on the topic of poo and I have one extra take left, I shall add this.
Lately, Cuckoo has been enlightening us with the multitude of ways to use the word "poopyhead". Here I thought the only way to use it was as a retort when a brother did something you didn't like, as in, "You're a poopyhead!" I was wrong. "That's a poopyheaded hat!" and "Poopyhead on your poopyhead" are also acceptable ways of using the word.
Let me rephrase..."All I had to poopydo was pull a poopyheaded sock out of the poopyheaded drain!"
Head on over to Jen's to find lots of quick takes that have nothing to do with poo.
Have a lovely day!