Monday, July 30, 2012

Pickle Mania

I like pickles.  Especially sharp, tart pickles.  Sweet Gherkins are't really my favorite.  Especially when they have Splenda in them which was a horrid mistake I experienced one Christmas.  I have issues with Splenda from taste to texture to chemical makeup and eating pickles that have Splenda instead of sugar left a lasting impression.

I have a nice bunch of cucumber plants as evidenced here, and I wondered if I had enough to make some refrigerator pickles I had read about.  I picked all that I considered ready and got them washed and ready.

It said to use 7 cups.  I had no idea what 7 cups of sliced cucumbers would look like.  So I washed, peeled and sliced and look what I got!

8 cups!  It's not really quite as much as I imagined, so now I have an idea in case I want to make them again.  And OH do I ever want to make them again!

The recipe is as follows and then I will tell you  my 2 objections.  Or, you can play along and see if you can figure out my 2 ojections before I reveal them.  Just to see how well you know me.

Refrigerator Pickles

7 cups of cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 t. salt
1 c. apple cider vinegar
2 c. sugar
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red onion, seeded and chopped
1 T celery seed

Sprinkle salt over sliced cucumbers and leave for an hour.  Do not drain.  Add the rest of the ingredients, stir and refrigerate.

That's it. 


But here is what I will do next time.  I will not peel the cucumbers.  I think they would be a little crisper because the peel would hold them together better.

And, I will not use that much sugar again.  I don't know how much I will cut it down, but they are super sweet and I don't like to use that much sugar, if I can get away with it.

You can't can these.  In fact, I don't even know how anyone can can pickles.  I read about it and it's so scary, I wouldn't even begin to try.  And I know some of you just can all willy nilly, making up your own rules, but I have only canned for one season and I am a rule follower, so I will not listen to you telling me how easy it is to can pickles. 


I'll just make these and add to the liquid until it's all gone and then start over.

I also got to use my Pampered Chef Mandoline and that's always a good thing!

Linking up here here and here.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Farmer Jo Is A Busy Bee

I know I told you a few days ago that I'd be back with pictures from garden #1.  But then I got sidetracked by a huge spelling accident.  And I couldn't help but share this deliciousness.

But, without further ado, here's what's growing in garden #1.  For those of you who can't keep track, this was always my garden.  But, over time, the trees have gotten larger and there's an awful lot of shade, and my father refuses to cut down trees to grow vegetables, so I expanded last year and made garden #2 in the full sunshine. 

Now back to garden #1.

Milkweed.  I started letting milkweed grow outside of garden #1 a few  years ago, instead of fighting to remove it.  It makes the most gorgeous smelling flowers in the spring and I love the activity of the bees and monarch butterflies.  They are making the milkweed pods now, so they aren't so pretty at this point.

A bunch of sunflowers ready to burst with their pretty, yellow tops any time now.  One already flowered and is shrinking back, but the others are just starting.

My tomato forest.  I planted them way too close to each other and I knew it as I was doing it and did it anyway.  Nothing like a garden to illustrate how stupid I can be.  Mainly because now, I am petrified that I might have to run into one of these while I'm up to my eyeballs in tomato plants. 

I have mixed heirlooms here and romas.  These are some of the mystery heirlooms.  I love how crinky they are.

I'm shocked to see that some of the romas are already turning.  They were great last year and I used the same packet of seeds for this year.

I love how solid they look!

Here are my stagnant peppers.  They have been stuck all summer.  I have never seen anything take so long to get going.  And this is the sunniest part of the garden, so light isn't the problem.  I'm also sure that they are getting plenty of water.  This is not my first pepper rodeo, so I really don't know what the hell is wrong here.

Broccoli.  Since I found that I can grow broccoli all winter in buckets, I feel like it's not such a thrill that I am growing them now.  Somehow, I have had a gap of broccoli for a couple of months and these stuff is taking its sweet time.

Greek oregano.  I absolutely love this stuff.  It's not as powerful as regular oregano.  I use it like crazy with chicken or pork.  This comes back year after year and it's very low maintenance.

Lemon thyme. This has been growing year after year for a long time and I use it rarely. It's very pungently lemon with an aftersmell of something that is almost greasy. I swear I can smell fat a mile away. I don't know what it is about this plant.

Beets.  They grew pretty well in garden #2, so I thought I'd see what happens in garden #1.  The soil is pretty loose here, so they should be happy.  And I've planted them far enough away from each other that they should be able to get pretty big.

Unlike the watermelon in garden #2, these are not volunteers.  But, I was pretty mean to them, so I doubt they will succeed.  I started them really early and they started right out, but then I took forever and ever to plant them in the garden and they got really pot bound and several died.  They should have actual watermelon on them by now. 

Eggplants.  I don't like to eat them, but I like to grow them. I grew some a few years ago and I know they were pretty, but I can't remember how the plant grows.  Tall?  Climbing?  I forget!  No flowers yet, so nothing pretty yet.

Stay tuned for more pictures of what is growing around the yard, not in the gardens.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Radish- How I Love Thee

I should call this the year of the radish.  I've never liked them but when I decided to grow them this year, I discovered that I actually really do.  I've been growing the French breakfast kind which are long.

I have found them ridiculously easy to grow in a container.  They don't seem to mind being near each other, the way beets do.  And the label said 23 days and ready to eat.  I pretty much agree.  I grab a few greens as they are maturing, but the raishes themselves are ready soooooo soon!  They are the fastest growing thing I've ever grown.  I think I am on my 4th round of growing them at this point this summer and I'll keep at it.. 

I ate a few of them in salads and ate lots of the greens in salads but I wondered what else I could do with them.  Can you cook them? 

Why yes, indeedy you can cook them and if you do, you will never look at radishes the same way again.
I found this recipe online here:

Radishes with Pasta and Radish Greens
24 radishes, sliced (about 2 cups) with green tops (but this is really just an estimate)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (I used scallions one night, sooooo good)
12-ounce package short pasta such as penne or shells, cooked
1/4 cup cooking water from pasta
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Salt and pepper
  1. Separate the greens from the radishes. Wash greens in several changes of cool water. Drain or spin dry in a salad spinner. Wash and trim radishes. Thinly slice radishes.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok. Add onions and cook just until they begin to soften. Add radish slices and greens. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until greens wilt and radishes look almost translucent. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Taste. Adjust seasoning.
  3. Add drained pasta to skillet and toss. Add cooking liquid from pasta and stir. Sprinkle on the cheese and toss. Pass additional cheese if desired.
This dish is amazing for two reasons. 

One, because it uses radishes in a way no one expects and they lose their 'radish' taste.  These are particularly peppery radishes and I like the peppery aftertaste but not the 'yucky radish' duringtaste.  That completely disappears in this dish and so does the peppery bite.  I don't know exactly what gives this dish such flavor but it is shocking how good it is.

Two, I get to use my Pampered Chef  Microplane Adjustable grater to grate the paremesan cheese into it.  I seriously adore this device because it grates so finely and so smoothly.  It makes me want to just grate and grate and grate until I grate my fingers right off.  Which actually can't happen because of the handy safety device.  But, still.  I love things that work smoothly and without a lot of fanfare.  I will never go back to that crank device for parmesan cheese again!

I wish I had a better picture and I thought I did.  You can't really see the greens or the radish pieces, but they are in there, I promise.  I must have snarfed it down too fast bother taking a picture.  I made this for a friend recently and she is a foodie and she highly approved.  And marveled at the ingredients and how tasty it is.

And k-ster claims a dislike for radishes but he ate this with abandon.

Now, if I could just get him to believe that beets are amazing too........  He threatened to leave if I ever offered him a beet, especially if it's in disguise.

Linking up here and here and here

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

TIme For Some Remodeling

I am a bit of a grammar nazi and fact nerd.  Surprise, surprise.

Most of all, I just can't stand ignorance in advertising.  If you don't spell something the way it's meant to be spelled, I am highly unlikely to ever do business with you and I will spend the rest of eternity thinking you are a complete moron.  I can't help it.  Ignorance really determines where people rate on my ladder of likability and if you are grammatically ignorant, you get the bottom rung.

Yes, I make plenty of mistakes here on my own blog, so I am not saying I am without fault.  But I usually do recognize my faults and sometimes get unlazy enough to go back and fix them.  It's the ignorance that when you tell someone they are wrong and they just shrug and do nothing about it that burns my butt.

Sometimes, I think I see a word spelled wrong but then, I look carefully and it's just my eyes.  I assumed this was the problem last night.  It was rainy and I had just worked out so I figured I needed to rub my eyes a little and clear them of all the sweat induced gunk.

I looked and looked and I rubbed my eyes and thought "there are way too many humps on that M" so I had to go across the parking lot for a better look.

Yep.  Just as I thought. 

These guys are the professional improvermenters.   I guess I've always hired the unprofessional improvermenters and that's why I'm never satisfied.  Where have they been all my life???  I knew I'd find them eventually so they could fix my decks, my siding and  take care of all of my home improverment needs!

This was written not just in one place, but on both sides and across the back.  It sure did get my attention and I'll be sure NOT to call them for my home remodeling!

I dare you to call them and tell them they made a mistake.  I know, it's my civic duty as an educator to reach out and help these ignoramouses who can't spell and my single phone call could perhaps be a life changing moment as they change their word and suddenly get enough business to retire on in 40 years. 

I'd do it but I think I hear my mother calling.

Linking up  here and finding the funny here..

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What Farmer Jo Is Growing

Last year, it seemed like I gave minute by minute updates about my gardens and what was growing.  This year, I haven't said much since I planted everything.  Part of that was due to my computer croaking and upload pictures on the desktop was just too hard and made me want to whine.

Things have been humming along quite nicely.  I grew, picked, roasted and LOVED my beets but learned that some were a little too close to each other and didn't grow as big as I wanted.

This is some roasted beets, their fresh greens, some feta and balsamic vinegar.  I just about died and went to heaven over this dish!

I've started more beets and this time, I'm putting them in containers, well separated.

Since last  year I had another attack by the squash borers in garden #1, I decided to put all squash and cucumbers in garden #2.  I have a theory that I can trick them.  I know, it doesn't work that way, but I like to think it will work and so far, it has.

The cucumbers are screaming 'let me out, let me out'!  I tried 3 kinds and the most successful seem to be the straight 8 and the sweet burpless.  I thought the armenian cucumbers would be neat, but they are just standing around, not doing much.  I'm highly unimpressed with them, but very impressed with the rest of them.

I gave these pumpkins an extra inch and they took 5 miles.  If I stand there too long, I feel their little tentacles starting to wrap right around me.  They were a mix of heirloom pumpkins that could be anything.  They seem to be very happy.

I have no idea what kind this is but it's neat and it seems to be fully grown already. 

I think this one is a "normal" pumpkin.

This one really makes me happy.  I started some swiss chard in the spring but they were all destroyed by slugs.  This one managed to make it back!

Wrapped up in all the pumpkin hoopla, are some winter squash plants. 

Look how HUGE these  blossoms are!  I think this is a pumpkin blossom, but it might be winter squash.

Somehow, I have some volunteer watermelons plants.  I didn't grow them there last year, so I have no idea how this happened.  They are pretty lost with all of the other squash plants, but we'll see what happens.

This kale that seems pretty happy.  I don't love kale, but my sister's boyfriend makes kale soup, so I just gave a bunch to her.  This is a pretty purplish plant.  The green caterpillars LOVE these plants, so they are a little holey.

Tomorrow, I'll show you the tomato extravaganza in garden #2!

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Life Is One Big Hallucination

Yesterday, I posted here about Lenny and mentioned Lennie (this is the appropriate spelling, FYI) from the movie Of Mice and Men.  It's weird, because I did read the book and I usually remember unusual name spellings, but I had no recollection of Lennie being spelled like this.

Anyweirdo, I mentioned in my post that I couldn't remember who played Lennie in the movie but that he reminded me of someone in real life.  Turns out, it was John Malkovich. 

I'm shocked, because I was certain it was played by Jim Nabors.  Not sure who he is?  Click here.

I'm not sure how on earth I could ever mix up John Malkovich and Jim Nabors. 

Somewhere, someone is laughing so hard, pee is just pouring down their legs right now because those two men have nothing in common, nothing that would allow someone to mix them up.

Jim Nabors is goofy, silly, super southern dumb.  John Malkovich is creepy, scary and did I mention just plain creepy?  Guess which one I like?

Right.  I do not like John Malkovich in any character.  Ok, I did think he played a good Lennie and now that I know who he is, I am surprised that he did it in a fairly non creepy, non Hannibal Lechter way.  Because I associated Malkovich with Lechter.  He is just lecherous.  Or should I say "lechter-ous"?

My sister a-ster is probably dying right now because she seems to like John Malkovich. I think they switched her at birth.

But any other movie I have seen with John Malkovich is just not a movie I have enjoyed.  He's like Christopher Walken and Quentin Tarantino.  I missed the boat full of love for those boys and I just don't want to watch any movies that involve them. 

Although, I will watch this until someone comes in and takes the computer away from me. I really can't be explained, don't even try.

Did you watch it?  I think I am most fascinated because he always seems so slothful but he's so light on his feet here.  I am always blown away when someone can dance well, especially when it's so unexpected.

Like, if my father suddenly broke out into a 5 minute routine like this.  He's so NOT dance oriented that he could really make an impression if he had secret dancing skills.  He does like escalators so I bet he could pull off the escalator scene.  I said escalator, not elevator.  He could not pull off the elevator scene.  Who could?

Where was I?

Oh, hallucinations from childhood.  So, I was sure that Gomer Pyle was Lennie but it turns out it was not.  There are many of these situations from my life that are so insanely mixed up, it's like I do hard core drugs all day long and dream these things up.

I don't.  I blame it on 3 things:

a)  an overactive imagination
b)  some serious ADD that I've learned to overcompensate for and "channel" into being "so busy"
c)  the sheer number of people I have met in my life.

I think those 3 things are actually what defines the brains of all teachers.  Elementary teachers, not quite so much because they teach one class of 16-35 students all day, every day, for an entire year.  Multiply that times 30+ years and and they have met just over 1000 students in their careers.

Middle and high school teachers teach 4-7 classes per day, with 10-60 kids per class, per day.  Mulitply that times a 30 year career.  Add to that their parents, not all of whom we ever meet, but many of whom we do (subtract the fact that if you stay in the same system, you will teach siblings and most of them have the same parents (ok, carry the one because some siblings do not have the same parents) and if you stay there long enough, the parents are actually former students))  that is one buttload of people to have to know in one lifetime.

And now my hands are sweaty from all that math.

And I think it adds to the insanity that lives inside a teacher's  brain.  We call it "creativity" but I'm pretty sure it's insanity.

And I still don't like John Malkovich. 

And as I wrote this post, I was sure tht Christopher Walken played Ignatowski on Taxi but it turns out that was Christopher Lloyd.  Not a fan of his either.

I give up.  So I'll link up here.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Remember Of Mice and Men?  Poor Lenny petted things to death.  So sad.  I forget who played Lenny in the movie but he always reminded me of someone I knew and that made it even sadder.

Yesterday, I met Lenny and it might have been the most exciting moment of my summer.  Probably the most exciting moment of this year. 

You can tell, right?

You can clean a girl up and stick her in a pretty dress, but she can't help it if a skunk just hops into her arms, can she?

I know most people think skunks are menaces, and I hate the bitter smell, but I have always been fascinated by their little faces!  And now that I've seen one up close, I'm even more fascinated!

Friday, July 20, 2012

I'm A-Here to Edu-ma-cate You And Stuff

Ok, I've had it.  I've been seeing this all over people's blogs and it's time for me to set the record straight. 

I can't take this ignorance anymore.

This is a rod.
This is an iron.

This  is WROUGHT iron.

I swear to God, if I continue to see people talk about the great deal they got on their ROD IRON this and their ROD IRON that, I think I will have to get off the internet.  I cannot be seen with the likes of people who believe it's ROD IRON.

Google it.  Even google knows that when you put in ROD IRON, you really are looking for wrought iron and that's where it takes you.  And though I so dislike wikipedia  because I believe the devil himself created such garbage, I do believe what it says here and I will link it up to show you it's WROUGHT IRON.

Wrought is an old past participle for work.  As in WORKED IRON.  It's been bent and mangled to shape into what it is to be used for.  It's also an adjective meaning worked into shape, beaten into shape, etc. 

So, your lovely wrought iron gate was worked into its current state of being.  Yes, it might have been iron rods in the beginning, but those rods were worked, or wrought (see, past participle of work), into the shape you wanted for your gate.

So be sure to spread this to everyone you know so I can keep my iron rods hidden and not have to beat anyone into a bloody pulp with my own wrought iron rods.

Linking up here  and here to educate the world.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Red Dress Event Flop

So, the American Heart Association had a "Red Dress Event" last night at the Cultural Center and I decided to volunteer.  I figured I should wear a red dress and was shocked that I have 3 red dresses and a red dress I wore as a bridesmaid once.  I didn't realize I had so many red dresses!

They could not find anything for me to do, so I ended up leaving the event after a half hour.  I couldn't stand around doing nothing any longer than that.  I told the woman in charge at least 3 times that I could help, what did she want me to do, etc and all she kept saying was "OK!" 

Anyuseless, I found this dress that I've had for like 100 years that I kind of had forgotten about.  I used to wear it a lot but always with a black sweater over it.  It had become somewhat loose in its spandexiness, so I wasn't crazy about wearing it like this, braless.  I wanted a little bit more support to go like this, without the sweater.

Plus, it was kind of long and I'm sort of over the long dresses these days.  Funny since those foolish MAXIPADS MAXIDRESSES are all the rage and length is apparently good. I see people wearing long, long dresses and they look ridiculous, like they are playing dress up.  Lately, I feel like I'm wearing a sack if I wear dresses that are really long.

I used to do a lot of "tailoring" of my clothes.  When I say "tailoring" I put it in quotes because it is in no way anything scientific or professional.  It was always "hmm, if I do this, I wonder if it will do this" and then some great things happened and I had some clothes that fit really well, like magic.

I did that a lot when I first started teaching and needed good teaching clothes.  I would find crazy deals on clothes that were on clearance at Filene's Basment (pause for a moment of silence in memory of that wonderful store which has now closed) and TJMaxx or Marshall's.  That way, if I ruined it, I hadn't paid too much.

This, of course, also means that I am no fashionista, keeping up with the trends.  I rarely buy what is "in style" and sadly, I've had some of these clothes long enough that they've come back in style!  Like the super long dresses.  Totally the style in the late 90s and I bought a ton of them them then and now, they're back but I want them shorter!

It was only 90 degrees yesterday, instead of 92 like the day before, so I figured I should break out the sewing machines and get to work in my own sweatshop.

I tend to wear things like this when I sew so I can whip it off to try on my latest adjustments as I go.

See, another formerly long dress that I shortened.  I also tend to wear them to drive k-ster right up the wall because they are, as he claims, frumpy.  But they are, as I claim, so EASY to wear! 

I cut off some of the bottom of the red dress and used it as a ruffle across the top.  I've seen this style a lot lately and thought it might give me the camouflage I wanted.

I did a little lettuce edge with my serger with red thread so I wouldn't have to do a real hem.  I think this allowed it to be ruffled and hang freely.  I think an actual hem might have made it kind of thick and it would hang weird.

Plus, if you're lazy, this works great as a hem because there's not folding or ironing and it's a much more forgiving hem!  Especially on stretchy fabric like this.  I did this hem on the bottom of the dress too.

The ruffle on top is a little bit longer than I think it should be and I am debating going a little bit shorter.  It felt like I was wearing a bib. 

But it totally did the camouflage that I wanted.  And I like the length of the dress better now, too.

Linkning up:

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Nastiest Workout Maneuver You Will Ever Do

When I was in elementary school, we did this exercise and it was called a squat thrust.  Today, they call them Burpees. 

Back then, I didn't seem to mind them.  Today, I would give you my kidneys for the chance to not have to do Burpees. 

I hate them.  There aren't a lot of exercises that I would say I love, but there are plenty that I don't mind doing and kind of like that they make me feel and look like I'm in shape.

But, of all the exercises I've ever done, I hate these the most.  Did I mention that yet?

Let me tell you why I hate them so much.  Because somehow, just a dozen of these assholes can make you sweat, lose all your breath and want to throw up, all in less than a minute.  I am pretty fit. I have a pretty good cardio system.  I am pretty strong.

Somehow, when you put a squat, pushup and jump all in one movement and make me do it over and over, it makes me want to kill you. 

Seriously, try a handful.  You will hate me forever.  They never get better.  They never get easier.  Just thinking about them makes me feel sick. 

And yet, I do them if I'm taking a class and someone says to.  If you cruise the internet, you'll read about people doing Burpees to stay fit.  They do them everywhere.

Like my theory about women being mean because they are wearing thongs, I believe that fit people are looking angry these days because of Burpees.

Watch.  You don't have to watch the whole thing, just watch a couple to get the idea. 

This isn't me.  You could probably tell because of the accent, right?  Oh and because I will never have abs like that. 

Linking up here.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

It's Time To Bring Back the Pops

One of my first posts was about Jello Pudding Pops.  I can't remember why I felt so compelled to write about them, but they've been a pretty popular search item that has landed people on my blog in the past 2 years. 

So popular, in fact, the page has been viewed 249 times and 172 of those views have been in the past month. 

This tells me that it's time.  Call up Bill Cosby.  Make him do a commercial for them.  And bring them back.

This is a better picture than the one on my original post.  Do you remember how good those things were?  They tasted nothing like pudding, but they weren't fudgsicles or ice cream either.  I can still taste them.

My mother would buy them in the summer and I remember there was a game one summer where you were supposed to collect the sticks and win prizes.  It was baseball related, remember?

My favorite part was when I would take it out of the wrapper and sometimes, there would be like a little icicle on the bottom edges. 

I think of all the foods I've ever eaten, this one might be the most vivid memory in my mind and I can't even explain why!

But it appears that I am not alone, if over 200 people are looking for the same thing!  And it must be a summer thing because most of these hits have been in the hot summer months.

So Jello, if you're listening, bring them back.  Summer is clearly the ideal time to do it.  Dont' bother making stupid colors like pink or neon or whatever.  Kids will eat them if they are simply vanilla or chocolate.  I promise.  And if the kids won't eat them?  The 30 something crowd CERTAINLY will.

I'd be happy to do some taste testing.  Or promoting here on my blog.  I have a whole 53 people who follow my blog.  I am sure that I would have a huge influence in the market.


Friday, July 13, 2012

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Boys

When we were little, people always "pitied" my father for not having boys.  3 girls, they'd say and then do the nudge, nudge, wink, wink and my father always said he didn't have patience for boys.

We did some tomboyish things when we were little and my father encouraged playing with tractors and trucks (toys and the real thing) but he never tried to make us into boys.  Or scorned us if we were being girly.

We each drove the same pickup when we got our licenses and to this day, I still prefer a truck or SUV over a car.  We each had our share driving the dumptruck and I think we each had a few turns at plowing.

Basically, physical work wasn't something we avoided but it wasn't something that we had to do day in and day out.  Sometimes just driving the dumptruck was physical work!

During summers in college, I started working in the campground, mostly mowing the grass, but also picking up debris to go to the dump, cleaning up after hurricanes, etc. 

If you read my blog, you know that most of my summer is spent in and around the campground, keeping an eye on things and still cleaning up crap.

After mowing dead grass today, my father suggested that I go over and find someone's pit.  Do you know what that means?  It means their cesspool. 

For those of you who live in places where you have sewer hooked up to some magical sewer place and all you have to do is flush and never think about it again, let me give you a quick lesson on cesspools.  If you know all about them, feel free to skip right to the bottom and see my amazing arms.

The original theory, as I understand it, was that you could create this little brick well/cave type thing deep in the ground and have your sewer piped from your house (in this case, trailer) into it.  Because it was dug into the ground, and our ground here is mostly sand, eventually, all of the liquids would seep out into the ground and be "cleansed" by the sand and all of the good microbes in the soil, before it hit our aquifer which is a fancy word for "drinking water source".  The solids?  Well, I guess they thought the solids would break down too and those that didn't could get sucked out by these trucks that driving around pumping cesspools.  Cesspool pumping trucks are big business around here.

Oh, who am I kidding?  No one knew what the hell a microbe was back then.  I'm sure someone, in a drunken stupor, suggested that this might work and someone else three sheets to the wind said "yep, sounds great" and thus, the cesspools were built.  Human waste out of sight, out of mind.

And for a long time, everything was great on our little island.  But over time, the cesspools fail and break down and scientists have noticed that maybe we are all drinking what we've flushed and now maybe cesspools aren't the way to go.  And people flush bad things and now we're all drinking cocktails of other people's meds and diseases. 

But a lot of us still have cesspools and if they behave themselves, they remain.  When houses are sold, or the cesspool totally fails, then new things are done and people have these ridiculous new concrete things as yard decorations and that's just how it is if you want to live around here.  Until sewer is mandated and they figure out how to do it.

So, back to today.  We have lots of cesspools in the campground and they pretty much behave themselves.  However, some have now had decks built over them, or trailers are on them, so when they do misbehave or need to be pumped, it's a big fat mess.

And of course, we don't have maps of how this is all laid out.  That would be genius.  And a lot of work.  And we like scavenger hunts and difficult tasks in the moment.  Why create maps of underground things so in emergencies, we can just reference them?  Isn't it much more fun to look for the water bubbling up?

I have vague notions of where the cement covers are at various places around the park, but those are only the exposed ones.  Those that have been covered by dirt, decks, trailers, those are the difficult ones.

So, I was off to find the pit.  I had a notion of where it might  be.  I looked under the trailer to see which direction the pipe went.  And then I had to just dig around where I thought it might be.  As we both suspected, it was NOT under a trailer or deck, so it was open for digging.  That reduced the workload tremendously.

Between my father and me, this is what we accomplished.  The pipe had broken and was clogged and needs to be replaced.  MMMM.  Lots of fun.  See all the roots across the trench?  That makes it extra fun to dig.  Along with the rocks and claylike soil, the likes of which I have never experienced in my life!

This is the cement cover over the hole.  People think they are "cleaning up" or being "helpful" when they cover over the "unsightly" cement covers, but that just makes things really difficult.

This is a piece of the broken pipe.  There's a lot of this pipe which is not made of plastic, and over time, it has broken down with the help of tree roots.  It needs to be replaced with plastic.

The tools of my trade.  Because the soil was so clay ridden and the roots were so awful AND I was afraid of breaking any more of the pipe with the shovel, I opted for the trowel when I got close to the pipe.  The shovel works well, but when it starts to get tight or the roots just won't stop interfering, it's a little easier with the trowel.

I didn't stick around to help with the new pipe because I had to be fresh and energized to teach my spin class at the gym, so he did have a man come help him with that.  But that was the easy part. 

I work out so I can keep my girlish figure and be ready to dig up sewer pipes at a moment's notice, right?

Come on boys, let's get digging!

Linking up here.