all systems go ~

Doing the happy dance ... and it's for a good reason ... the septic system is all hooked up again and it's all systems go!  For a while there I was thinking we'd have to build us an outhouse and I'd have to take the old wash board off the wall, that hangs in my laundry room as decor, and actually use it.

We now have quite an additional yard space, that we weren't counting on across the driveway, that was once woods.  It already looks better than the picture above ~ today it was getting smoothed out and stumps taken away so we can seed it down with clover.  The deer and rabbits are going to love me :)

I'm just happy this project is coming to an end and we can once more use the toilet, washing machine, dish washer, sinks and showers and let water down the drains.  Those handy little things one takes for granted.  It's not fun going without those things unintentionally.

The plumber did leave me with a very interesting tip though.  I had asked him about using products, like R*D X , etc... and other chemicals  for your drain field and septic and he told me what he does ... although, he did say that he would deny telling me this if someone asked him... haha ... so I'm just not going to divulge his name.  Our new plumber knows his s#*&!

What he does for his own system is this:

Every fall (and he claims it has to be in the fall ~ because it is usually during the winter and spring time when systems fail) ... and this trick will keep the "good bacteria" that a septic system needs to keep functioning properly throughout the winter months.

 He adds 2 products to his system by flushing them down the toilet once a year.  You can get them at the grocery store ... and it's a very easy and a CHEAP way to keep things flowing and your drain field healthy. 

What are they?
A Cake of Compressed Yeast 
A Pound of Brown Sugar

Go Green and Keep It Clean ~ you don't need any harsh chemicals for a happy septic system!

The yeast and sugar combo flush, once a year,  is enough to keep the good bacteria fed and happy.  And a happy septic system make this momma a happy camper!

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


busy ~

I've been so busy.  Busy as the bees in the hollyhocks busy.  No I'm not out there pollinating ... I've been busy in the kitchen and garden.  Who has time to pollinate?? haha

I keep getting distracted though ... watching the bees and chipmunks and the rose breasted grossbeak dropping seeds for the chippy to pick up as fast as they hit the deck.
Then watching him jump around my plants on the deck ...
... deciding where would be the best place to hide his precious seeds ~

Okay... back to the kitchen ~

I tried out a recipe I saw online somewhere and had tucked into my "try" file.  It's a Three Berry Cobbler (raspberries, blueberries and blackberries)

It's only 3 ingredients:
a 12 oz. can of clear soda, a white cake mix, and a bag of frozen mixed berries

I just happened to have the frozen berries in the freezer from my own picking so I used those :)

Grease a cake pan ... dump in the frozen berries, sprinkle the dry cake mix over the berries ~

Pour the can of soda over the cake mix.  Do NOT stir.  This makes the top crust of the cobbler.

It gets all bubbly and frothy ... ooohhhh... this is fun!  This would be a good and easy recipe for cooking with kids :)
Pop it in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes or until the berries are bubbly and the crust is golden browned.
 The serving suggestion is to serve it warm in a bowl with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
I can't wait to sink my teeth into this.  It smells sinfully good!  Dessert for tonight after the meal of sauerkraut/pork/potatoes in the crockpot.

Also in the kitchen today ... besides the five loaves of bread rising and waiting to get into the oven ...

~my garden overfloweth~
left to right ~ Refrigerator Pickles, Dill Pickles, Slippery Jims 
This is just a small batch of those already done.

Now I need to get off this computer and go pick my beans ... again ... and find a recipe for zuchinni bread.

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


oh the joy of owning a home ~

Along with the joy of owning your home ...  comes those unexpected moments of  "this is NOT what I signed up for" moments.  We're living the homeowners nightmare this week - a failed septic system!

We built our house 13 years ago.  We followed all the suggestions of the contractor on how, what, when, where the septic system was put in.  We passed all the perk test required by law, the size of the drain field, we get the tanks pumped out clean every 3 years as required by law, etc... and now this ~

Come to find out our drain field is too small for the size of house and it's saturated and it can't handle it anymore ... it needs to be replaced.  Although, at the time of the original construction it was the minimal size required by law, and still is.  Believe me, when the inspector shows up tomorrow I'm going to be questioning this!

So here's what my once pretty little woods across the drive way has been subjected to:

First ... a few trees had to be removed to make it open enough for the equipment to come in to fix the problem.

Luckily Dear Hubby and Son are able to do this and we didn't have to hire this part of the project out.


Our Granlove Brooke even spent a day with her G'pa & Uncle Sam, helping to haul off brush and branches ~

Here's yesterday and today:

... new risers, baffles and filters awaiting installation ~

where the old drain field ended ...
... now where the new one will end ~

~ the trench has been dug ... new pipe and rock laid in the trench ... filter cloth over that ...

We can't finish up ... and close things and put the earth back or make any of the final connections until we have the County Zoning Administrator come and do a final inspection ... required by Wisconsin law ~ which is scheduled for tomorrow morning.

In the mean time ... no water down the drains ... or toilet flushing or showers ... Nahdah!  Thank God, Mom lives just down the road for emergency pit stops :)

I just pray that all the inspections pass tomorrow and we can get this homeowners nightmare behind us!

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


destination 2 ~

Continued on from yesterday's post ...  the second stop of the road trip with the kids.

Little Girls Point Gogebic County Park  in Ironwood, MI

Little Girls Point is a beautiful beach on the shores of Lake Superior.  Supposedly named for a Chippewa Indian girl who drowned there in the 1800's.

We have camped there on numerous occasions when our kids were younger; back when we did a lot of camping trips.  Little Girls Point was one of our favorite places to park the camper for a week or two.  

This beach is known for finding agates.   Staci easily had over a dozen of them by the end of the day ... me zero.  I wish I had gotten a picture of all of them.

 same rocks flipped over on the other side ...
The waters here are so clean and clear - and all the different kinds of rocks that roll in with the tide are so pretty.  Hues of all colors.

It's only rocky a few yards out ... then all of a sudden ... if you're not careful (and have bum knees) a rolling wave will come in and you'll find yourself a bit deeper than intended :)  It drops off that fast. 

It was so refreshing!

We laid on the waters edge and  agate hunted and did some swimming for a long stretch of the afternoon.  This is my kind of day.

Bailey enjoyed tossing bread to the sea gulls.  I enjoyed watching her having so much fun.

I marked the spot where we were when we left ... the old Indian way.  

On the way home we passed this place.  I told the kids I was there once when it was called Roy's Place, or something like that, and after one day of meeting me they changed the name. LOL

 Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


destination 1 ~

I was invited to go along yesterday with my two daughters, son in-law and granddaughter for a ride up into the Michigan UP.  No ... not to my sister Chers; but close - and I'm kicking myself for not calling her and telling her to meet up with us somewhere.  Sorry about that Cheryl :(

 Way off in the distance ... circled on the photo was destination #1 ... Copper Peak.  You can see it for miles out.  It looks like a big needle sticking out of the landscape.

What is Copper Peak?  It's a ski flying ramp.  Like you'll see on the Winter Olympics.  A dare-devil sport if there ever was one.  Remember Eddie The Eagle?

postcard image from the internet

Driving up ... a little closer ~

Oh... that don't look too high and intimidating to those who are afraid of heights (sonny in-law). 

We're there ... ready to load and go into the nose bleed zone :) We're a heavy load ... and we've been assured that it can handle us.  Haha ... seriously ... I wasn't laughing.

Here's a zoom in on the sign:

1782 feet above sea level ~ 1180 feet above Lake Superior ... 18 story elevator up top of that ... another 8 stories above the first platform.  The ski jump is 26 stories high on top of this hill.

Going up ...

That little sign reads 'Do Not Bounce or Swing Chairs' ... yeah... like that's going to happen.

mid way up ... a bear den? or cave?  in the rocks below:
still going up ... getting closer to the jump ...

Daughter 1 and Grandlove on my tail wind ...

... followed by daughter 2 and SIL ...  or should I say daughter 2 and the Great White Knuckler! Oh how I love picking on him.  Truth be known... I was a bit of a white knuckler myself up there.   Just kidding ... but that's what I told Don to put him at ease :)

We made it half way there ...

That ski jump doesn't  look too high  ~ you can handle it Don ... the worse part of this journey is over. LOL

Then it's down a trail and over to the ski jump elevator.

 hmm... still not looking too high ~

In the elevator - and off we go ... 18 stories up ... the door opens and you step out onto the first platform.  Yep ... now we're up there!  This is where the slightest wind blows and you can feel the sway.  I'm feeling high!

The view ...

Lake Superior, trees and sky! Truly a birds eye view.  Look down  ... there's the landing pad for the ski lift and below that WAY DOWN THERE is the landing pad for the jumpers and a 10 story fire tower on the right. Those two trucks down there look like matchbox toys.

... and this is only Platform Landing One at 18 stories up.  There's still another 8 stories to go - but you have to climb the stairs for that.

Staci, Bailey and Sara head up ... I can't do those steps with my bum knees.  I'm staying on Platform One with Don. 

Looking up at the top from Platform One.

Staci up top:

... a river below ~

Heading down to lower ground ~

It was fun.  This was my third time up there and the best time up there.  The weather was perfect.  It wasn't windy, the sky was clear and you could see for miles and miles.  I just wish my knees weren't so bad and I could make the climb to the very top!

This turned into a pretty long post so I'll save Destination 2 of our little road trip for tomorrow :)

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.