Me, I kind of like dull.
I have this theory.
If I never call a repairman to come look at something, I will never know how broken it is and the checkbook will stay intact. Like, this is not the time I want to be raiding my savings. And, had I known about THESE issues, I never would have done the wood floors. (But I really like the wood floors.)
The heat pump as a back up heating system now that the nights are nippy is difficult to ignore. Right now, the jury is out on how much that will cost us. We're starting with "clean the coils" which isn't particularly difficult, but involves freon or refrigerant and capping and removal, and so we will leave that to the folks trained in it. Whether that will fix any problems is Not Known at this point in time, but it's a lot of money and we won't know if we have to replace anything until we do it.
It's a good idea to pump a septic tank once in a while. Especially if you're fond of the 2-ply stuff and have one or more children. When you do, you don't really want to learn that your tank lid is 3 feet below ground level. And you don't really want to hear that current county code requires a riser for that. But at least you have a guy that's really good at finding it. True, you had a map given to you by the crazed groundwater engineer that used to own the house. But still. The septic guy's the one who interpreted it correctly when The Dude hadn't and stuck the probe in and found the tank all the way down there. And then said he'd be back in 2 days with his Kubota.
But there are things you don't want to hear your septic guy say.
"Uh-oh? What's 'uh-oh' mean?"
So he digs this really cool hole with his Kubota, calls me out of the house and then puts a chain around the bucket (which it says on the side of the machine you're never supposed to do) and pulls the lid so I can see what it looks like inside. Because he still has to go get the truck that does the actual pumping, so this is just supposed to be for show and tell. Which I like. I really do. I get into poop and messy dirt and stuff and it looks like we just dug up a sarcophagus.
Like, what 'uh-oh'?
Like, the level is not where it's supposed to be.
Ok, I'm staring into what looks like an empty tank that is all dried up. As if no water has seen the inside of this thing in a long time and there are streaks of mud on the bottom. Later I learned what I was looking at was a lot of 2-ply on top of, well, what went through the system. I am sooooo sorry I like the 2-ply stuff. Sorry Mother Earth. I'll learn to like the stuff that actually breaks down. I promise. Because this just isn't right. It's not exactly breaking down very easily and I'm a person that likes to treat the earth gently.
He explains the level is a few feet lower than it should be. He demonstrates with his shovel.
Which means there's a leak.
So now I'm waiting for another expert to come and tell me what he proposes should be done. In the meantime, here are some pretty pictures of the hole because The Dude is in Florida and wants to see them. And the lid is back in place. When they lift it tomorrow, I'll take a photo, I promise.
Maralton came out and held her nose, but there's no smell at that distance.
In the first place, the trees are a bit close to the tank. In the second place, these trees were full and green when we bought the house. Evergreens (these were hemlocks) do not like being constantly wet. So if I could find a photo where they started to look very ill, I would have a good idea of when the leak began. I think it was about 4 years ago. Two are now thoroughly dead.
Here's the lid and the grave-like hole. So cool and so deadly to the checkbook.
Now when a guy leaves a map that says 3 at an angle and 6 straight ahead from the outermost of the three trees, you're not thinking it's this close. You're really not. What were they thinking, whether it was one or two owners ago, when they planted three trees that would get huge almost on top of the septic tank??? (Here you go, Dude. It's this close to the tree. Really.)
The thing is, the previous owner was Chief Muckety-Muck of Groundwater. He cared deeply about groundwater. There is no way he would have pumped his tank and then closed it up again if the guy told him he had a leak. He just couldn't, even if he was about to sell the house to some poor couple from the suburbs. So my theory is that the leak was so small that the less competent poop sucker didn't realize it was there. Or didn't say it was there. Or it wasn't there at all 7 or so years ago.
But I still think I should stop calling repair and maintenance people.
And now because I can't leave everyone in a poop, here are photos of the rooms with furniture back in them and far less clutter...
Dining room shot into the living room with its windows and woodstove...
with the doors closed to show Miss E's color choice (6 coats of paint with G Dude muttering about it)
Other direction, back into the sitting room, we're still considering all the wall hangings.
Sitting room towards fireplace, complete with child
Back towards the dining room and kitchen
The family really likes the lack of clutter. But since we're all clutter-attractors, it's going to be a battle to keep going with our de-clutter initiative.