Chicken Potholders and The Bee Hive Holding Tank

Digging up the septic out my studio window

My head was in Chicken Potholders, but outside my studio Harold from Snell Septic was digging up our Septic system.

We’ve been having trouble for a while with the water flowing from our toilet, but it got worse this week. So much that we’ve been opting to use our new Composting toilet (really grateful to have it now) over the regular one.

Snell came today to try and find out exactly what was going on.   They put a sensor in the system to see where the water flow stopped then started digging.

I kept working, as they hauled all kinds of hoses and a backhoe past my windows.  But my work wasn’t without interruption.

I was just as curious to know what the problem was as the Snells were, maybe even more.

I didn’t get far on designing the Gray Hen Potholders, but I did finish all the Brown Hens Potholders.

Turns out there is a beehive shaped holding tank made of cinderblocks that our septic tanks empty into.  The septic tanks are the original ones put in in the 1950s when they added indoor plumbing to our 1840s farmhouse.  They’re ceramic and Harold said they are in great shape and will last forever.  Much longer than the cement or plastic tanks they install now.

But the holes in the cinder block holding tank, that allow for drainage, are filled with sediment from years of use.

They pumped the holding tank for now, but more work will have to be done in the spring.

I actually love the idea of a beehive shaped holding tank.

Looking into it was a bit spooky especially with all the Murder Mysteries Jon and I have been watching. If there was a Mystery taking place at the farm this morning, there would definitely have been a body in the tank clogging the pipes.

A huge hunk of slate was used to cap the holding tank and I couldn’t help think of the archeologist who might find the beehive shaped holding tank hundreds of years from now.  How they would test the soil and find out what kind of food we ate by the nutrients in it.

(I don’t really know if that’s something they would do, but it sounds plausible.)

It’s the shape that intrigues me most.  It speaks of things that taste and smell good like honey and bread (a beehive oven).  That doesn’t really reconcile with its purpose in this case, but still, it gets my imagination going.

It also a relief to know what’s going on.

And to know that the problem with our septic is fixable and come the spring or summer (Snell is very busy, they pumped a million gallons of waste last year) the water will be flowing again and our toilet will flush without a gurgle.

The Brown Chicken Potholders I started designing yesterday and finished today.

11 thoughts on “Chicken Potholders and The Bee Hive Holding Tank

  1. Beautiful designs on the chicken potholders Maria!! Your creativity shone through today even on a busy day.

  2. I almost laughed out loud when said
    “ If there was a Mystery taking place at the farm this morning, there would definitely have been a body in the tank clogging the pipes.” A friend of mine with septic tank issues is called it “Poo Tin”…

  3. I love the fabric patterns and colors for your recent potholders. Hare and moon and brown hens. Somehow they all blend perfectly.
    Feels like you are in a different place within yourself- in balance maybe? If a whole. Hard to describe but definitely feels different and soothing to me.

    1. I’m exploring that difference LoisJean. I don’t have words for it yet, but calmer and more grounded I think. Thanks for your good words.

  4. HI Maria, could I have the right one in the top row and the middle one in the second row. Let me know if they are available and I will send a check out to you. Thanks

  5. If you have any more potholders with hens on them like the second one in the top row and the second one in the final row that would be great.

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