Friday, August 15

Old Dogs and Blue Fish

Have you ever got something on a whim like pregnant after too many wine coolers and not taken in to consideration how long you would have it?

 I was thinking about this the other day when a friend got a puppy because puppies are cute and dipped in crack and when you see one you have to have one. She's a good, responsible, upstanding citizen and has another dog that is loved and well cared for and I'm sure this puppy will receive the same treatment, but I don't think she was thinking about the crotch being chewed out of all of her underpants and the legs of her furniture being destroyed when she took that big whif of puppy breath and tucked him under her arm and headed for home.

I have three dogs that drive me crazy I share the house with and make no mistake, they are the pack leaders and I'm just the tall one with thumbs.

Bart works hard and drives himself to near madness making sure that nobody makes any quick moves or too much noise in the house. Bart fends off dangerous vacuum cleaners and sees to it that no aerosol products are dispensed. He follows me from room to room and clears the area around me when we're outdoors by running circles around me.
Good dog Bart.

Buddy is his own man and marches to the beat of a dog whistle that no one but he can hear.
Buddy does what he wants when he's decided it's time to do it. He can herd and separate sheep from either side of the fence, move geese and ducks in complicated patterns across the farm and stare down a stubborn pig.
He excels at all of this.
If it's his idea.
His weakness is carbs and can be called off duty with pasta and baked goods.
Good dog Buddy.

Not much can be said about Poo because Poo doesn't do much. I got Poo when I was still working and I used to take him to the salon with me. He would charm the ladies with his big brown eyes and walk around our little downtown courtyard gleaning snacks from neighboring businesses, and it wasn't long before Poo started struggling with weight issues.
That's what led him to his thirty-two pound ornamental status.
Good dog Pooter.

I have a fish.
One blue fish.
One blue fish that swims alone in a tank at the end of the room in a tank that glows green.
I never really wanted the fish but Six did and then when Six split he left the fish.
How long do fish live?
I'm totally over the fish.

not my fish but same blue fish and green water

Anyway, it's just interesting to me how our brains don't think of things like chewed left shoes, ripped couch cushions, anal glands, or custody of marine life after divorce.

I seriously never considered growing old and fat with a Shi-Tzu, yet here we are...


Thursday, August 14

Septic Tanked Part Deux

Remember this post?
Septic Tanked
Well, the septic strikes again...
This time one of the homes in the mobile spaces.

Vern (not his real name) called me on Mothers Day morning to tell me that things were "backing up" in his shower as his washing machine was washing and asked what he should do... I told him I didn't know, but that I would call someone who did. I called my septic guy who came out later that afternoon and pumped the system that hadn't been pumped since the Spanish Inquisition, but he told me I wasn't going on the wall as the most wanted septic offender, because after that long it's often best not to pump at all until there's a problem because pumping a system that old and rickety will often lead to more problems than you'll know what to do with. He told me the system was so old and in such bad condition that there could not be another tank clean out, that the next time there would have to be a system replacement.
You can imagine my excitement.
Anyway, the septic guy said if we made it through the following week or so without a cave in we were probably in the safe zone.

Two weeks ago Vern called again... And I knew he wasn't calling to wish me good morning.
His yard was bubbling.

Picture this;
Sometime around the years of 1970 my Grampy laid out four single wide mobile home spaces on the upper corner five acres of the farm. Two on each side, one placed slightly uphill above the other. Each space is approximately one acre with it's own antique thousand gallon steel septic tank and drain field. Over the years all but one home has been replaced with a double wide home set in the same spot as the original single wide home. The homes are all individually owned and just the land is leased, which means that we are responsible for everything from the dirt down and the roof up.
At this point it's kind of like sitting on ticking time bombs, as all of the septic systems are over forty years old with a life expectancy of about thirty years.

So, I called my septic guy.
Of course he was out of town.
It turned out that was a good thing because this very quickly turned into a very big job that involved excavators, locators, hard hats and permits that would be better handeled by a larger company with an inside line and access to all the everything that the job called for. As a matter of fact, the job is so big that it still isn't finished.
But, Vern is now sitting atop a brand new, concrete, thousand gallon septic tank with shiny new pvc pipes leading to a newly installed top of the line distribution box that drains through freshly jet vac'd lines into a sparkly clean drain field.
Seriously, I ask you, could life get any better?
I can answer that.
If money grew on trees.
Talk about flushing money down the drain.

The moral of the story is this... Our systems were under maintained for many, many years and now, even though we are at the far end of the expected tank life, it probably would not have come to such a dramatic conclusion if we had put more effort into maintaining the systems as opposed to fixing the systems.
Many counties now require annual septic maintenance provided by state certified agents, and you can count on a septic inspection prior to the sale of your home. But, even if you don't fall into either of those two categories, it behooves you to treat your system with care.

Here are a few reminders for a healthy tank:

No Bleach
No fats or grease down the drains
No liquid fabric softener
No cigarette butts
No kitty litter
No feminine hygiene products
No parking or driving over tank or drain field
Anti-bacterial soaps and cleaners are hard on the system
One woman counts as 2.5 people
Try not to overload the system with too much usage at once, e.g., don't use the washing machine, dishwasher and shower all at the same time.
It's said that the natural waste will feed the system, but I believe in feeding one package of yeast a month just to be on the safe side.

Just remember, if you are good to your septic, your septic will be good to you.


Friday, July 11

Back To School

Do you want to know what makes me mad?
This is what makes me mad.

Actually, it makes me CRAZY!

Mi hijo and I went to the big everything under one roof store in town last night because we are getting ready to enter the "Hot Zone" this week with temperatures forcasted in the high 90's low triple digits so we decided to go get ourselves a wading pool for the deck.
Do you think there was a pool to be found? 
Sunscreen, short shorts or sandals?
Nope, nope and nope.
Sweaters, scarves and school supplies!
At the risk of sounding like a middle aged woman who complains about everything, I can't even believe this bs.
Remember the days when school supplies went on sale at the end of August and you looked forward to the trip to Sears and Penneys for your clothes and the smell of your new school shoes from Thom McAn that you couldn't wait to wear?
Remember going to the drug store for your #2 pencils and Pink Pearl Erasers?
Well forget all that.
Now we schlep through the white trash warehouse in July to pick up those last minute twelve boxes of Kleenex for the classroom along with .19 cent spiral notebooks and backpacks made across the ocean by children that aren't even old enough to babysit.

I guess I need to pull myself together or I'm going to miss the blowout sale on twinkle lights and Rudolph inflatables for the front yard.

If you'll excuse me now, I have to go unpack and quickly put away our secondary less commercial labor Day and Thanksgiving holiday decor that we will be overlooking this year in favor of the more important mass market pleasing family holiday.
Black Friday.


Thursday, July 10


I'm going to the Goodwill today to buy some pretty cups and saucers for soy candles.
What's your favorite scent?

I think I'll start with a few fresh, floral fruity ones!

Wyatt makes these.

And rings that say love.

Speaking of love...
Millie hatched an egg.

Not her own egg mind you, a stolen egg.
Millie has wanted children of her own for years, but has never been able to have them, so a few weeks ago I lifted an egg from another hen and slipped it in her nest.
Millie can't have children of her own because she's not a coop chicken like the rest of them, she's a free ranger (she's too little to be a coop hen) so she's never around Red the Rooster.
So she lays duds.
Until now.
Now she has a baby of her own.


Because she's so sweet.


Wednesday, July 9

Rag Rugs and BBQ

Time to start making some rugs!
My soap is selling out faster than I can get it cured, and my batch of blackberry turned out SO ugly that I'm giving it away with any purchase of a normal bar.
The ugly blackberry really put me behind so I'll pick up the Etsy store slack with a rug or two.

This is the rug I'll start today...

I use an 11.5 hook and 1/2 inch strips that I rip in bunches as I go.
I've tried ripping and balling, but it makes it a pain to join so I just rip a few join a few.

This is the hook.

And this is the finished product...

Wendy and her Babydaddy and their kid are coming to dinner tonight.
I have a pork roast in the crock-pot for pulled pork sandwiches and I just put together a poppy seed slaw and I have a blueberry cobbler in the oven and mango-peach soap in the mold.
Between the bbq, soap scents and slaw, my kitchen smells kind of like I think heaven smells.

K I have to go.
Here is a gratuitous instagram picture of the baby and his daddy
Courtesy of @woodhunter11


Saturday, June 28

Homemade Laundry Soap

This is a repost from a few years ago, but still the best recipe (in my opinion) so for Shortcut Saturday here it is again!

Laundry Soap

4 cups of hot tap water
1 bar of Fels Naptha or approximately 5oz of homemade soap
1 cup of washing soda (not baking soda)
½ cup of Borax

Chop or grate the soap and add to saucepan filled with water. Stir over medium heat until the soap melts

Fill a five-gallon bucket half full of hot tap water.
Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax.
Stir until dissolved.

Fill the bucket to the top with hot water.
Stir, cover and let it sit overnight to thicken and settle until it reaches a gelled oogy consistency.

Transfer a usable amount to a smaller container and use 1/4 cup for front loaders and 1/2 cup for top loaders.

I think it takes two or three loads to get all the comercial crud out of my clothes and I like to use white vinegar as fabric softener.