Our Sewer Overload Problems

Before I tell you about our sewer drama, I am going to start with an explanation.

I live in a rural community, so we don’t have access to a city sewer system.  You may be wondering, what happens to all of our waste water and poop.

At our house we have a septic tank.  Everything goes into the tank and there is a filter system that separates out the water from the solid material.  The water then goes through a system of field lines and into the soil.  The other stuff remains in the tank, which has to be emptied every few years.

(septic tank schematics – wikipedia.com)

Yesterday, Mom was taking a shower and the toilet (in another bathroom) started gurgling and water overflowed onto the floor.

That is a massive warning sign.  The septic tank was almost full and a failure to immediately address the problem would lead to disastrous consequences.

We called Mr Rotter and they were at the house within  an hour.  First, they had to dig down to the tank.  Then they pry open the concrete man hole and use a vacuum truck to suction out the tank.

When the tank is cleaned out, they replace the manhole cover and put the dirt back over the septic tank.

The dogs watched all of this commotion with great interesest and occasionally barked at the workers.

After the men from Mr. Rooter left, I let they dogs go into he backyard.  They were drawn to the fresh dirt, as if some invisible magnetic force was pulling them right to it.

They had a great time playing and rolling around in the dirt.

I guess you could say, yesterday was full of drama and fun.

Ferocious Rabbits

We live in a rural community, so it’s common for wild animals to wonder into our yard. This past week we had several rabbits come for a visit.

When the dogs see the rabbits, they immediately start barking and growling.   The rabbit runs off in fear and the dogs look rather pleased with themselves.

I feel safer now, knowing I can go into the front yard and not be attacked by ferocious bunny rabbits.  – Thanks Guys 🙂

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The Noticer by Andy Andrews

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Jones is one of the main characters in the book.  Jones notices things about people and helps them in times of trouble.  He teaches people how to gain a new perspective on their life.  He shows them how to be the person they want to be.  Many lives were dramatically changed, due to Jones.

A few of the principles taught by Jones are:

  • The struggles of life give us the strength we need to succeed in the future.
  • Read about the lives of great people, read about their struggles, their failures, and their success.  The experience of others is the best teacher.
  • If you continually focus on your needs, you will continually find things you need.  Instead, focus on the blessings you already have in life.  Gratitude will fill your life with happiness and abundance.
  • Happy and enthusiastic people are able to influence those around them.

This was a fun book to read and it’s defiantly a book worth reading multiple times.

Black Forrest Family Trip Disaster

Mom, Aaron , and I went to the Black Forrest in 1987.  It was just a family day trip, so we were riding on a tour bus.

This was our last day in Germany.  The next day we would board a plane and move back to America.  Mom was looking forward to this trip, since she probably would not get another chance to see the Black Forrest.

For some reason, my brother was an absolute tyrant that day.  He was rude, obnoxious, bratty, and defiant.  In all fairness to Aaron, he did not normally behave this way.  He was usually a good kid, but that day he was on a roll.

It started as soon as we boarded the bus.  Aaron decided to block the aisle and tried to charge people a toll fee to pass by him.  Mom was rather embarrassed, but the worst was yet to come.

We were walking around and admiring all the sites, then Aaron started crying about being thirsty.  He was winning and about ready to have a full on tantrum.  Mom stopped at one of the shops and bought us each a can of soda.

Aaron took the soda and stuffed them in his jacket.  He refused to give me one of the cans and said he was “holding them for ransom.”  I started yelling at Aaron and we were on the verge of a throwing punches, when Mom stepped in to put a stop to the whole thing.  She snatched the soda cans away from Aaron and give him a good scolding.

Later in the day, we stopped at a shop that made baskets.  In front of the store was a giant picnic basket for sale.  It was so huge, Aaron could have crawled inside of it.

Aaron wanted Mom to buy the giant basket, but she refused.  That set Aaron off again.  He started yelling and screaming about the basket.  Mom had reached her limit.  She got in Aaron’s face and yelled, “I’ve had with you!  I am changing my name.  It’s not Mom or Rita anymore and I am leaving you here.”

Mom spun around and started walking away from Aaron.  I was standing there in shock and wondering if she would come back for me.

Aaron tried calling out to her, but she didn’t respond.  Aaron bellowed out, “Hey lady with the brown coat and the grey streak in your hair!”

Mom’s face was about to turn scarlet red.  She was so angry, I expected to see smoke coming from her ears and nostrils.  She grabbed ahold of Aaron and started walking away with him, without saying a word.

In spite of everything that happened that day, Mom still loved her son.  The next day, Aaron was on the plane with us, instead of being left in the Black Forrest to be raised by wild animals.

 

My Extra-Terrestrial Friend (A Short Story)

My name is Dr. Haley Armstrong and I have an extra-terrestrial friend.

It all started in 2147, while I was working at the Mars Research Laboratory (Site A).  The lab was old and rarely used, so I was alone that day.  A massive storm was raging on the planet, so all I could see was clouds of red dust swirling around the facility.  That’s why I never noticed the small spacecraft approaching the launch bay.

The first time I actually got a glimpse of Triad was on the security camera.  I am not ashamed to say, I almost fainted.  Triad walked down the corridor and bypassed the security code on each door, as if it was child’s play.  He was tall and slender.  His skin had a distinctive greenish tint, but the funniest thing about him was his attire.  He was dressed like a 20th century hippy.

Triad reached the door outside my room and looked into the camera.  He asked if he could come inside the room to talk to me.  It’s not like he needed my permission.  There was nothing I could do to stop him.

My body was trembling with fear and I wanted to hide.  However, I also longed to meet this strange individual at my door.  After a few tense moments, Triad smiled and said, “I understand.  I will wait out here until you are ready to talk to me.”

He seemed so polite and didn’t look threatening at all.  I opened the door, even though my brain was screaming for me to stop.

Triad introduced himself.  He was an anthropology student and specialized in galactic studies.  He was working on a research project and was given strict instructions to never make contact with any Earthlings, because we are irrational and have violent tendencies.

For some reason, Triad sensed I was different.  He was taking a great risk by coming to meet me.  If he was captured by unscrupulous scientist, he would probably be killed and dissected for the purpose of scientific research.

If his existence became public knowledge, it would lead to wide spread panic and destruction.  However, Triad believed in my peaceful nature and in my ability to keep our friendship a secret.

I just stared at him.  I was completely at a loss for words.  My mind was spinning, as if a tornado was jumbling up each thought and I couldn’t even manage to say my own name.

Triad paused for a second and laughed.  He said, “I know my appearance is rather shocking.”

After what seemed like an eternity, I was finally able to introduce myself.  There was a gleam of happiness in Triad’s eyes.  He extended his hand saying, “I believe your people grasp each other’s hand as a sign of friendship.  Is that correct?”

I was finally starting to relax, so I reached out and took his hand.  His skin was warm and silky smooth.

We talked for hours.  He told me all about his planet and his people.  They are a peaceful bunch.  There hasn’t been a war in just over 5 millennium.  Their life span is on average 250 years.

Triad was 82, but still was not old enough to teach at the educational centers.  He recently completed his mandatory studies and would spend the next 15 to 20 years conducting field research.

I asked Triad about intergalactic space travel.  He tried to explain it to me, but it was way beyond my comprehension.

I told Triad about my family and my future aspirations.  We talked about life on Earth and what it was like to work at the Mars research laboratory.  It was a great privilege; only the best scientist are allowed to work on Mars.  We spend one year on Mars and then return to Earth for at least two years.

Triad decided to try some of the food I had with me, but it literally made him vomit.  He was so embarrassed and apologized profusely.  Now, it was my turn to laugh.

The storm was starting to clear and Triad said he must leave.  He didn’t want anyone in the other laboratories  to see him or his spacecraft.

I stammered a few words that didn’t make much sense, even to me.  I desperately wanted to continue talking to Triad.  He looked at me with understanding and said he would also like to communicate with me in the future.

Triad handed me a black device, about the size of my thumb.  The front of the device had three red lights and each side had a button.  The back of the device was covered in tiny writing that looked like some kind of crazy mathematical equation.

Triad asked me, “Do you know Morse code?”

I looked at him with astonishment.  I told him, “It’s an antiquated form of communication.  Nobody uses it.”

Triad learned Morse code as part of his studies.  He created a cheatsheet for me, so I could learn it too.  Then he taught me how to use the device.  I could use it to send Triad messages in Morse code and he would respond back in kind.

If someone accidentally found the device, it would look like random light impulses that can be used for relaxation or meditation.  I would be the only person able to understand the messages created by the flashing lights.

As Triad turned to leave, I screamed “Wait!”  I rushed over to him and grabbed him in an embrace.  Tears were pouring down my face.  Between each sobbing breath, I managed to tell Triad how grateful I was for his trust and how much I looked forward to communicating with him in the future.

Triad was surprised by my display of emotions.  He responded by saying, “Now I know, I have a true Earth friend.  I hope one day, I will be able to see you in person once again.”

Triad left and I haven’t seen him since that day.  However, we send messages to each other frequently.  Triad is my extra-terrestrial pen-pal and a true (all be it strange) friend.

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Alabama War Museum

The Alabama War Museum is located in Madison, Alabama.  The museum is small; however, it has an impressive variety of artifacts and historical items.  They have rotating exhibits that change several times a year, so each visit is an adventure.  Also, the gift shop is amazing and full of unique items.

 

 

Owl Art and Wisdom Quotes

Owls appeal to me, because they have been used to symbolize wisdom for centuries.

The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.  (Benjamin Franklin)

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.  (Thomas Jefferson)

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.  (Socrates)