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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Swim meets and septic tanks.

Sarah headed to States on Friday right after school.  I think she was most excited about just getting to go with other members of the team, spend the night in the hotel with them, and be a part of something new and different.

Because she was only swimming the 400x100 relay, she wasn't swimming until the end of the day.  The 400x1 and the 500 are very long events.  All the other events have prelims in the morning session and the fastest 16 progress on to the evening session.  From those 16, the bottom 8 swim in a runner up heat and then the top 8 swim for the medals. However, the 400 and the 500 only swim in the evening.  This meant that Dan and I didn't even have to be there until 4:00 which is much better than 8:00 AM - especially since Cary is an hour and 45 minutes from our house! 

Sarah's relay team placed 18th in the state.  She was disappointed that they didn't do better but I was happy that she got to go and be a part of it.  And I hope she is able to go again next year.  Many of the swimmers at States are year round swimmers and since Sarah is only a half year swimmer I think making it that far as a freshman is an awesome accomplishment!

One of Sarah's teammates broke the state record for backstroke!  He is headed to NC State next year on a swim scholarship.  I am going to keep my eye out for him in the Olympics!

I got zero pictures of Sarah swimming on Saturday but I did manage to get a pic of her before she left for school last Friday morning.

I updated the little chalkboard sign in the kitchen with a note for my girl! 

In other news, our septic tank backed up yesterday.  I had noticed about a month ago that the downstairs toilet water would occasionally bubble and gurgle while I was doing a load of laundry. I mentioned it to Dan and told him we probably needed to get the septic tank pumped.

In our typical "why do something today that we can put off and do later when it is an emergency" fashion, we did nothing.  It was really no surprise then when I noticed our downstairs toilet was full of cauliflower rice. 

And lest you think I'm being gross, it was actual cauliflower rice that I had just moments before put in the disposal in the kitchen sink.  But before I realized it was cauliflower rice from the kitchen sink disposal I thought that someone had stopped up the toilet.

So I did what I do when the toilet is backed up and grabbed the best plunger of all time:

and got to plunging. 

Do you want to know what happens when you plunge a toilet that isn't flushing because your septic tank is full? 

Well, let me tell you.

The cauliflower rice ended up (along with all the toilet tank water) in the bathtub.


You rewad that correctly.  In the bathtub.

Realizing the problem, I immediately dialed our septic guy t and he said he could come out THursday morning. 

When the kids got home from school, I told them that they could not use the downstairs toilet and I didn't run the dishwasher or use the kitchen sink knowing that if I did, all that water would end up in the toilet and the bathtub.


So as Dan and I were happily watching tv and the kids were upstairs happily taking showers, I could hear what sounded like  water overflowing from the downstairs toilet.

I immediately ran into the bathroom and our toilet was flowing like a fountain.  I yelled for Dan who came running.

We yelled for Sarah to get out of the shower.  We grabbed any and all towels we could find and Dan went to the basement to get the wet vac.  I went to grab some old towels from the basement when I realized that the water pipe in the basement was overflowing too thanks to the backed up septic tank.  (If you aren't aware, all the water from your house (not just toilet water) exits into your septic tank.)

So we got the bathroom floors dried and then headed downstairs where Dan spent the next 45 minutes vacuuming up  the water down there.

But alls well that ends well.  The guy came this morning, dug up the ground over the tank.  He looked into and exclaimed, "Ooooh eeeeeee!  She's full!" 

(Um, I could have told you that!)

And then he checked the filter and said that was clogged too. 

(I could not have told you that because I didn't know septic tanks had filters.  Apparently it's a metal screens and all he had to do was rinse it off.)

He got the tank pumped and the filter cleaned and I did a test flush and it all went out to the tank immediately!

I paid him.  (I would have paid him double.)  And then got to cleaning out the bathtub that was still full of cauliflower rice and toilet water.  And just in case you were wondering it was CLEAN toilet water, well clean minus the fact that it had cauliflower rice in it.;

I used a strainer to get all the rice out because I didn't want to clog the bathtub drain and then I scrubbed and Cloroxed and I think everything is back to normal.

The septic guy was joking that he just did someone's tank that had recently lost power for three days.  She said that she would rather be without power for three days than without septic for one day.

AND I AGREE!!!!  You take things like flushing, bathing, dish washing and clothes washing for granted until you can't do them for 12 hours. 

It may be Valentine's Day and while I am very thankful for all the love that is surrounding me, I am most thankful for the ability to flush a toilet and not end up with cauliflower rice in the bathtub.

It's the little things, y'all!


Gigi said...

Septic issues are HUGE! With our first house (and second) we were told to have the septic pumped every three years. When we bought this house, we had the septic pumped when we moved in and less than two years later had an issue. This guy told us we should have it done every year or year and a half.

Mari said...

Oh no! That sounds like a terrible disaster! Now I'm wondering when we are due to have our tank pumped! :)

Madeline said...

I couldn't even imagine. We aren't on a septic system but I am thankful for indoor plumbing on a regular basis so I do understand how relieved you were when all was well!

And I think for a Freshman Sarah should be so proud of making it to State! That's really quite an accomplishment.

Ernie said...

Way to go Sarah! Super exciting. At our b-ball games the crowd always chants 'he's a freshman' when the freshman varsity player hits a 3 pointer. so for Sarah, I am giving her a 'she's a freshman' shout-out!

So very very glad we do not have a septic system. Life is hard enough. The only time a septic tank could possibly be humorous is in the movie 'Meet the Parents.' Sorry yours was not entertaining, but at least it sounded somewhat clean. Could've been worse?

Michelle said...

What a great experience for Sarah as a freshman!! And septic woes are horrible!!!