Lessons from a Septic System

Cement septic tank for waste water under construction.
Cement septic tank for waste water under construction.

One of the joys of living in the country is that we have a septic tank. When we bought our house eight years ago, I’d always lived in homes with a sewer connection and believed that household waste was magically carried away. The thought of maintaining a septic tank – and of sewage backing up into our home – was not something I wanted to think about.

Fast forward eight years and I just had our septic system serviced for the second time. This included pumping out 1,000 gallons of liquid waste and a thorough cleaning. This time I asked a lot of questions about how the system functioned. Information is power and I feel relieved to understand the basics of this important part of our home.

Today, write about something you learned that made you feel empowered.


Reviewed- Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success

I started reading Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success by Arianna Huffington on a rainy Saturday morning. I was feeling relaxed and too lazy to drive to my Saturday tai chi class. Knowing that the The Huffington Post is wildly successful, I expected a lot of advice on the value of dedication and hard work. So I was surprised that this book is actually about self-care and redefining success.

The book opens in 2007 when Arianna, exhausted after two years of building her company, collapses at her desk. She starts to redefine whether success should be solely defined in terms of money and power. She proposes an alternative definition that includes well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving. These new definitions form the basis for her book.

In the preface, Arianna talks about how we take better care of our cell phones than our bodies. We are quick to recharge our cell phones. But we wear sleep deprivation and burnout as badges of honor.

I love this book’s focus on recharging and giving back. Arianna makes a compelling case for self-care and the book is a great read for anyone whose struggling to maintain balance in their life.


What is “Break the Ice”?

Break the ice means to start a conversation with someone that you haven’t met before. The expression originates from the shipping industry. When a ship would get stuck in the ice, the receiving country would send smaller ships to “break the ice” and clear a path. This gesture demonstrated goodwill and understanding between countries.

Happy National Puppy Day!

March 23 is National Puppy Day. This holiday was founded in 2006 by Colleen Paige. The purpose of National Puppy Day is to save orphaned puppies and also to educate the public about puppy mills. This holiday is close to my heart, as one of my three rescued dogs (now deceased) came from a puppy mill. (Source)

How to write about National Puppy Day:

  • Share a memory of when you had a puppy.
  • Find a puppy to play with and write about how you felt.
  • Tell a personal story about your experience with a puppy mill.
  • Spotlight your favorite rescue organization.
  • Adopt a puppy from an animal shelter or rescue organization and write about your experience.