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Springtime in the Country

Nothing says springtime in the country like green grass, blossoming trees, and the fragrant smell of …… an open septic tank.

We live in a beautiful rural area, and sometimes people are envious of our location.  We love our country home, but I thought I should clear up any misconceptions that country life is all sunshine and flowers.

Here at Grandma’s house, we recently received a letter from our local township office informing us that it is time for an inspection of our septic system.  We are required to pay a $75 inspection fee every five years for the privilege of having our  septic system checked out by an expert septic system inspector (talk about a dream job!).

Had it been five years already since Grandpa uncovered our massive septic tank?  Time flies when you’re busy flushing!

As soon as we mailed off our $75 fee, Grandpa commenced digging.  It was hard work, but thanks to Grandpa’s ingenious use of logs five years ago to displace some of the earth, it didn’t take as long as it did last time.

Finally, it was time for the inspector to inspect.  We knew this because he called us yesterday at 6:36 AM to confirm his appointment.   He arrived at our house in the afternoon with his assistant who is pictured below.

While his assistant waited in the truck, the inspector jumped right in and started inspecting.


If you’ve never had the joy of standing outside on a warm, sunny day staring down into a septic tank, then you haven’t experienced country life to the fullest!  The verdict is that our septic system looks good, at least as good as a septic system can look.   We passed the inspection!

Whew!  That’s over for another five years.

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse of country life.  In spite of our septic system, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!

City life or country life, what’s your preference? 

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Our Redneck Garden

“You might be a redneck if …..

….. you plant a garden around your new septic tank cover.”

We passed our septic tank inspection earlier this month, and our neighbor kindly helped Jack adapt our septic tank with risers and this green lid that you see in the picture above.   With a few hours work and $269 worth of supplies, the guys fixed it so that we should never have to dig up the septic tank again!

The project left us with this rectangle of grass-free fertile soil smack in the middle of our front yard that was begging to become a flower garden.  Years ago, when I thought I wanted to learn how to garden, I borrowed tons of library books from our library.  These gardening experts warned against making a garden around an eyesore in your yard.

According to those authors, nobody should plot a flower garden around a telephone pole, a large painted tractor tire, or a septic tank cover.  Okay, so maybe the books didn’t actually mention septic tank covers, but the authors probably assumed all their readers would know that a septic tank cover does not warrant a floral frame.


Who cares what those professional gardeners say?  Not us!  We’re Pennsylvania rednecks and when we get a new septic tank cover, we want the whole world to stand up and take notice!  There’s nothing like eighteen petunia plants in shades of red, white, and blue to say, “We’ve got a new septic tank cover, and we’re proud of it!”


Critters can be a problem in rural Pennsylvania, so after planting our garden, we saw that a fence was a must.  We did not want any animals digging up or nibbling on our petunias and tomatoes.  Tomatoes?  Yes, we did plant our two tomato plants in the middle of our front yard this year.  Over the septic tank.  Beside our petunias.  What can I say?  This is the best soil on any part of our property thanks to Jack’s working in of all of the contents of our compost bin.

Now that our garden was planted, it was time to protect it with a redneck fence.

Jack found some plastic chicken “wire” in the shed then supplemented our fencing supplies by wrangling two pieces of wire fencing out from behind the shed.  The fencing didn’t match but since this fence is just temporary, we decided to go with it.


Just so you know, I was not just standing around taking pictures of the work as I have been known to do in the past. This year, I actually helped with the planting of the garden and with this fence.

After the plants have grown a bit and are hardy enough to fend off the rabbits and the dogs, we will remove the fence and enjoy the beauty of our petunia bed unhindered by wire and plastic.  But for now, the fence is the best way to secure our investment.


Now we can kick back on the front porch and enjoy the beauty of our garden AND our new septic tank cover.  I have a feeling it’s going to be a great summer for rednecks!

What are you planting in your gardens this summer?