daily stuffs / rambling

Doctors, Plumbing, and fences

That’s what I’ve been dealing with this past week. I might have mentioned before that our little bit of land is on a well/ septic system, and those two things have to be maintained. We do our best because we don’t want to have happened what happened last week. But, you know, things happen. 😛

'Rick, I think something is wrong with the septic system. The toilet is flushing kind of slowly.'

Not quite this bad

It started with the water draining slowly in a shower here, a sink there, but then it became an ominous noise in the pipes and then one person would use the shower and another’s bathtub would begin to fill up. We, of course, called the plumber but because we’re on a septic system and didn’t “quite” know where the septic tank was — he refused to do anything. Le sigh. So — on a Sunday — I made an emergency call to the septic company. They were booked out until Thursday, but gave me some advice to try and clear the pipes and find the septic tank.  After much digging and poking, we found what we thought was the intake pipe and called the plumber again.  He insisted that our septic tank was full but he would snake the pipes anyway. Which he did, for a hefty fee.

Enter the septic company, again. They came out on Thursday and told us that the septic tank was not full. The plumber was blowing smoke or ignorant, and just to be on the safe side they also cleaned the pipes and they found all kinds of debris in the pipes that the plumper’s snake missed (like baby wipes and tampons — courtesy of our previous tenant since no one else in this house uses those). But now our water runs freely. The place doesn’t stink anymore and we shouldn’t have to worry about this mess again if we take care.  Oh, and we also found out that our septic system was put in “without a permit” is way far away from the house than it should be — should be 6 feet away from the house, it’s 90 feet away from the house. That’s something we need to correct whenever we rebuild. It also is probably what led to this tangled mess we had to deal with.


Plus… I’ve been exhausted

As all of this was going on, I had to go back and forth to the doctor’s. I saw a “sleep” doctor, which I mentioned in my last blog and he suggested I take a home sleep study — which I have to go back to get in two weeks. So pending insurance approval. I have also seen a gastrointestinal doctor and — oh joy! — I am scheduled for a colonoscopy and endoscopy on Tuesday of next week. I went to a lung doctor who had me do breathing tests and acknowledged that I do, indeed have asthma as well as weak lungs but then chastised me saying that it is my lack of exercise that is causing my weak lungs and not visa versa. No matter how many times I explained that I was exercising until I couldn’t breathe anymore, she insisted that it’s the other way around, that my — now — sedentary life is what’s causing my lack of breath. I think it’s “obvious” to her because she sees before her a tired, overweight, slightly older woman whom she doesn’t know and who just doesn’t want to try. I mean I can tell her that I haven’t always been this way until I’m blue in the face, but who is she going to believe? Me or her lying eyes? That, dear readers, is why I dislike going to the doctors because they are human, and they make judgments the same as the rest of us, and sometimes those judgments are just… wrong.

So anyway, colonoscopy and endoscopy next Tuesday. Monday is going to be fun, fun, fun because that’s when I’m fasting all day in preparation. Yay! They’re going to knock my happy ass out for this because of the Fibormyalgia and because of my delicate stomach. I’m so cool with that, you don’t even know. But I still have to prepare like everyone else. Sounds like a blast. Not.


It looks worse than this now

Then there’s the fence. I blogged about the fence before. We haven’t had it for very long — since July, really — and I was so excited to finally get it up. But as you can see from this picture, it’s not exactly working as it should be. The people who put it up say that the privacy barrier we put on it is what’s bringing it down. The black cloth is permeable, it’s meant to let air flow through it. That’s why we bought it. But it seems it’s not permeable enough. The concrete footing has cracked on two of the posts and two more metal posts have actually bent. Now, I’ll admit that the privacy barrier might have had some hand it it (it does act like a sail in the wind) but I honestly expected the fence to last a bit longer than four months. Four. freaking. months. I also blame shoddy materials, inept workmanship and the wire they strung across the middle of the fence to “fix” the bulging fence material. But no, it’s all because of the privacy barrier. And now they want to charge us $1,000 to “fix” it.  I’d wash my hands of this company for good, but it would probably cost us a lot more to have someone come out and fix it right. And since we just threw $3,000 at our plumbing, well we don’t have that kind of money to worry about fences. Ya know?

So that’s it. That’s what was going on this past week. I’ve been tired to the bone having to deal with plumbing, fences, and doctors. But I slept a good sleep last night so I’m only a little tired now. My back is shot, and my knees don’t want to work correctly but hey, we can flush the commodes and take showers again, and that, dear reader, takes a load off of my mind.

Oh yeah, the wind that’s pushing my fence down? It also did a number on this structure here that I was so proud of putting up.


I kinda figured it wouldn’t last, but hoped with enough rope…

The hubs, our tenant, and I went out last night to take it down, but we got the legs off and realized that if we lean the roof against the fence, it makes a nice, cozy shelter for the dogs. So we tied one side to the fence and we’ll strap it down to the ground somehow and that will be a much more sturdy place for the furbabies to go when it’s raining and windy.  That was the whole point of the thing anyway.


5 thoughts on “Doctors, Plumbing, and fences

  1. After our septic went bad four years ago, we found someone to work on it “off the grid” because it’s an old system. In theory, we should have installed a new system. Which we could not afford. I’m not sure the land would let us, even had we the money. He fixed it.

    Then the well went dry. I had to beg for money to fix that. No well? No home. I’d just spent all my cash fixing the septic.

    Now, everything works. I just had the septic pumped (annual pumping is mandatory because our tank isn’t big. If you ignore it, it will get you. I still have to pay him, but fortunately, he knows us and he will wait. He knows I’ll pay as soon as I can. We had our septic capped last year (finally) so it’s easier to access (and find!). We have replaced pipes, drainage, pumps, everything.

    We are VERY careful about what goes down the pipes. We no longer drain the washing machine into the septic system. The gray water goes into the ground. We don’t do that much laundry anyhow and we don’t use toxic products.

    It’s an ecosystem. Because of all the stuff that has happened, I’ve learned a lot more than I ever wanted to know about wells, aquifers, and septic ecology. About biodegradability and toxicity. And how to be very, very careful with the water. We use as little as we can. We are so trained to be careful with water usage, we now do it reflexively. We need our system to stay healthy.

    Country living has so many pluses, but ignorance can be devastating. We know people who didn’t even know they HAD a septic system until I asked them how could they use such thick toilet paper with a septic system.

    “Septic system?” They live in the country on 27 acres of woodland. They obviously have a well and a septic … but they didn’t actually know it. They had NEVER pumped it out. NOW they do. Lucky for them they had a huge tank and a small family.

    I came here from the city and knew NOTHING. Now, I’m wily and wise and know what I need to do … and who to call (and NOT call!) …

    Liked by 2 people

    • I read anything and everything I could about septic systems before we bought the house. My poor hubby wasn’t pleased to make the switch to one-ply toilet paper, but now he understands why. We still drain the washing machine into the septic tank because we do have a decent sized tank and there are only three adults in the house. That’s how I knew the tank wasn’t full. It was just pumped out right before we bought the house, and there’s no way we could have filled it up.


      • You’re lucky you have a good size tank. It’s really harder when you’ve got a relatively small one. Scott’s one-ply is the best for the system. It dissolves almost entirely. You can get it in boxes of 27 rolls from Amazon pretty cheap and one box lasts us many months. Just a thought 🙂


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