It's amazing how things really are all relative.

We've been having septic issues. Nothing particularly odorous or nasty, but issues nonetheless. It's gotten so anything involving large quantities of water in a short period of time (read: showering, doing laundry*) was causing water to not drain out of the house, but instead wash back up the open-ended washing machine drain in the basement.

We've been dealing with this and an assortment of septic and plumbing guys for the last couple of months. Worst case scenario -- a failed leach bed requiring replacement at $7000 and up (probably "and up" as we'd be dealing with removing numerous trees and/or our above-ground pool).

So, finding out** that we likely have a second tank*** somewhere further out beyond the first one seemed like quite the revelation. We had hope again ... maybe we wouldn't have tro replace anything. Maybe we could even dig it up on our own and just pay for pumping. Maybe!

Well, Joe spent 8 hours digging holes around the first tank and found nothing...no outlet or pipe, so we had no idea where to go.

Today we brought professionals in. With a backhoe. They dug (8-feet down!) and found the pipe and followed it out to the second tank. They're pumping the second tank and installing risers, while they're at it.

All for a mere $1500. Normall $1500 would be a lot of money for us. But, when we were anticipating and trying to save for several times that amount ... we feel more than relieved. I'm absolutely thrilled. And looking forward to doing laundry, which is weird. What an exciting life I lead.

Everything's relative.


* I've made two $25+ trips to the local laundromat this month. What a lovely experience that is, let me tell you.

** by talking to a neighbor who's lived here since all of our houses were built, and watched our house go up

*** Whoa! Second tank???? Wish we'd known about that when we had the primary tank pumped two years ago. Wish we'd known about that at any point in the 8 years we've lived here!


Debuting this August

Off Broad Street Players is doing The Wizard of Oz this summer. The unofficial cast list came out yesterday. Emily has been (type-)cast as a Munchkin, and I am going to play Aunt Em*.


The show goes up August 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, and 17. (Shows at 8 p.m., except Sundays at 3 p.m.) Want to come?


* I guess when most of the cast is in the 17-21 age range, 37 qualifies as "elderly." sigh


Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, dear Nate!

What you don't know yet is this ...
even though it's
your birthday ...
it's your parents who have received the real gift!
So glad you've come to them!



One-Word Meme

Received this from Lisa...each answer must be only one word.

1. Where is your cell phone? purse
Your significant other? Joe
3. Your hair? ordinary
Your mother? Sue

Your father? Lee

6. Your favorite thing? travel

Your dream last night?

8. Your favorite drink?

Your dream/goal? spoentenaity

The room you're in? office

Your hobby? yarn

Your fear? loneliness

Where do you want to be in 6 years
? tenured
14. Where were you last night? sofa
15. What you're not? self-sufficient

16. Favorite muffins?

17. One of your wish list items
? furniture
18. Where you grew up
? PA
19. The last thing you did?

20. What are you wearing
? workout
21. Your TV?

Your pets
? mammalian
23. Your computer?

24: MISSING! Does anyone know what it should be?

25. Your mood? achy

26. Missing someone? persistently

27. Your car
? trouper
Something you're not wearing
? shoes
29. Favorite store?

30. Your summer?

Like someone
? plenty
32. Your favorite color
? red
When is the last time you laughed
? Simpsons
34. Last time you cried
? fatigue
Who will resend th
is? none



Music Galore

Em has been in two recent concerts. One, with the local "Renaissance Youth Chorale" (RYC) was last Friday, and the other with her school 3rd-5th grade chorus, was Wednesday night. Be sure to check out the video all the way down the page.

Here are a few pics from the RYC concert, taken during their pre-show warmup. The group is directed by Deborah Laird (a past music teacher and current singer with the Philadelphia Orchestra) and works out of the Trinity United Methodist Church here in Millville.

And, now during the Rieck Avenue School Spring Concert:

The whole 180-member group, directed by the Fabulous Mr. Howard Raudenbush
(also Emily's piano teacher, and the accompanist for the RYC)

Short kids get the front row (not that there's anything wrong with that)

Emily and another kid (who is the tallest 4th grader in the whole group)
introduce "Old Dan Tucker"
Emily and her best friend, Jared, after the concertAnd, finally ... the video. Emily sang this song with the Renaissance Youth Chorale as part of the whole group. She's featured here in a trio during the Rieck Ave Spring Concert.
The next day at Em's piano lesson, Mr. Raudenbush couldn't stop raving about these kids and how well they blended and stayed on pitch. (forgive the wobbles, please...this was shot with my digital camera, not my camcorder)



Winding Down

Our busy, busy year is winding down. Thank goodness!

Last Friday was Emily's Chorale concert, so no more Chorale on Tuesday nights. Next Monday is the Blue & Gold Dinner, and then no more Cub Scouts. Swimming lessons (Wednesdays) and Brownies (every other Thursday) will also be wrapping up by the end of June. I'm not sure when Tap is over for Matthew, but I think it's soon. The recital (which he's not in) is coming up in the next week or so.

I have to say, I'm done. My brain and teaching enthusiasm has completely checked out. I would rather be anywhere else doing just about anything. I'm already sort of mentally working on next year's technology curriculum, what I'm going to keep, what I'm going to change, what was so completely a worthless waste of everyone's time. I'm ready to move forward, but I really am ready for a nice long summer break.

Emily auditioned last night for a local theatre company's production of The Wizard of Oz. She sand "Castle on a Cloud" from Les Miz, and did a fine job. We should hear about callbacks in the next day or so. I'm currently planning to audition, too. But, frankly, I'm terrified and I stink. I'm hoping to be the Tin Man or maybe the witch (how fun would that be?), but I'm sure if I am cast at all, I'll be a chorus member. Which is also fun, as chorus members usually have costume changes, and wearing the heavy silver or green facepaint all night would have to become a nightmare eventually.

In other news, we're having slow house drainage/septic issues which we hope won't cost thousands of dollars to fix. Also, torrential rains and sustained 50 mph winds have left my yard a complete mess of downed leaves and (alarmingly large) branches).

Finally, my Mother's Day was lovely. We didn't do anything amazingly special (Joe's mom, her finace, Pete, and our niece, Miranda, joined us for the yummy Mother's Day brunch at church and later we went out for ice cream), but Joe spent a lot of time actually talking about what I mean to him and that's a rare thing. It was awfully nice. (Oh, the kids also gave me the requisite school projects about how great I am, along with the absolutely essential potted marigold.)



Change of Scene

I'm basically just tired of looking at that old post and thinking, "I should write something one of these days." So, now it won't have the top spot anymore.

  • Might have an actual buyer for at least the loveseat part of the set.
  • Facebook pwns me
  • Going to teach myself to crochet so I can make this blanket
  • Auditioning in a couple of weeks for a local theatre production of the Wizard of Oz (working on an audition song from Avenue Q)
  • Going to DC this weekend on a bunch of coach buses with the Millville Gifted & Talented kids
  • We now own two gerbils



Trust Your Gut

A couple of weeks ago we got a sectional sofa from Joe's mom. She's moving and has decided to get new furniture for the new place. So ... we listed our old sofa and loveseat on Craigslist. No nibbles.

So, I relisted with a slight drop in price. No nibbles for awhile and then one.

Some guy (in stilted, but intelligible) English wrote that he'd have his secretary send us a certified check as soon as he received our address and that we should remove our listing as he'd be very disappointed to find the furniture sold out from under him.

I replied politely with my contact information and told him I wouldn't be unlisting, but would keep him at the top of the list and not sell anything "out from under him."

No response for a week.

I nudged him the other day, "When should I expect the check?" He said he hadn't received my contact information, which I then resent.

He replied very quickly with thank and said he'd be sending a check for the full amount, plus some extra which we should then wire on to his mover, and that he was adding in another $50 for us for the trouble.

Hmmm... Made me feel weird. But I didn't want to be cross-culturally rude or ignorant, so I replied politely along the lines of, "I'm not comfortable with this. You should send your own money to the mover. This is highly unusual, and I prefer not to work this way."

He responded that he'd already sent the check.

Wha? "How much is this all going to be? What's the real deal?" was the jist of my reply.


Yes, $3,800 for a $450 used sofa and loveseat set.

At this point I ran the whole situation by Joe. As I felt the whole thing was more than somewhat suspicious. I asked him to take it over. That I clearly wasn't being firm enough and that after all these emails back and forth, well, I wanted another voice to be heard. A male one. As this other guy was sort of being odd, and I wanted to remove the possibility of a gender factor.

Joe was immediately concerned. He got the guy to send us the name and address of who we were supposed to wire the additional money to. And a good thing, too.

Seems there's a somewhat uncommon, but not unheard of, Internet scam where just this sort of thing occurs. So, we've now called off the deal, and reported this guy
to various Internet fraud agencies.

I should never have let it go this far. But, maybe by getting a name and address out of him, we can help provide evidence in shutting him down.

Trust your gut. If it seems weird in an uncomfortable way...trust that. In any situation.