{7QT} A Plumbing Miracle? And What We’ll Do Now That We’re Five-Thousandaires

I am jumping for joy over here. Remember the severe plumbing issues we were dealing with and waiting patiently to have the money to fix? Well, it has all worked out rather beautifully. The hills are alive with the sound of music.


Huge mess behind the washer/dryer. The sump pump sitting in the plugged floor drain. Now the sump is out, the drain is open, we can put a cover on and clean and paint! Maybe we can make it a pretty basement! 

[When this whole thing started, and I stood helplessly holding the sump hose into the wash-tub and watching the water in the basement rising around my feet, among other prayers I begged for the intercession of St. Philomena, who is the patron of broken things. I asked for her to intercede for us to fix our broken house. Later, I remembered that it is common that if she takes up your cause, things often get worse before they get better. I suppose now that is what happened. We lived like campers for 5+ months, and then our problem went away. That, or we just had some really stupid or malicious plumbers the first time around.]

So what happened was that once our tax refund had come in and I had sufficiently procrastinated for about two weeks, I finally decided to start calling plumbers. My neighbor was out with her kids and we were chatting while the kids played. I told her that we were ready to start and just said off-hand, “So if you have any recommendations on plumbers…” And she did. Someone her parents had used a lot (so if you’re a NW Ohio local, and you need sewer work done, I know a guy).

I called his office and asked for someone to come snake the main line again and send down a camera to see if we have a break. The receptionist/office assistant told me that they would probably just need to snake it. But based on our last dealings with plumbers I was pretty sure we needed someone to send down a camera because they couldn’t get past 60 ft (and it’s 100 ft to the city line). So she put me on the phone with the man himself. He said that if a camera were needed, they would do that, but that he was going to snake it. I told him my concerns & he said, “98% of the time, you just need the line snaked well.” Ok!

I was trying not to get too excited. What he’s telling me is that I may not have to spend the $5K to dig up the yard and replace the entire main line! But he still hasn’t seen it for himself…so I just waited and prayed. And tried to just keep telling myself that it was going to cost $5K.

Well, when he arrived, he asked why they had cut a new clean-out in our plumbing, and I said it was because the last guys said the other clean-out access was too rusted over to get open. They charged us $300 to cut a section out of the main line and replace with PVC and a new clean-out. This new guy looked at me incredulously, and proceeded to open the old clean-out in under a minute. “I hate to tell you this, but they sold you some snake oil.” Oh boy!

As he proceeded with the job, he found no blockage at 60 ft. Either there never was anything there, or the Root Kill product Michael sent down a few weeks ago actually helped to break up the root ball that may have been there or a miracle courtesy of the intercession of St. Philomena. In any case, he had no problem snaking our line. No sign of a break, no sign of any reason to dig up the yard and replace the main line! God is SO good!

And I feel like we just won the lottery! But really, it’s answered prayers. We offered so many prayers that it might turn out this way! But it’s even better than I could have imagined since he said we do not even need a sump pump now. He corrected some problems with the basement floor drain and it has made a huge difference. Everything is working as it should, and the sewer smell that was overwhelming the basement for the past several months is GONE!

So, I want to do 7 Quick Takes on what we might do, now that we’re Five-Thousandaires.


A car for Michael. We’re hunting for a work car, a “jalopy,” perhaps. After watching my brother, who bought a car for $800 and only had to do routine oil changes and a brake replacement once in several years, Michael has high hopes to find some car that will get him to work and back for under $1,000. This is what I envision when he says under $1,000:

It looks like it has a few years…



Pay off a loan. I’ve been a firm believer in the Dave Ramsey debt snowball…but it has been hard getting Michael on board, sometimes. Although we did work a paper route together when I was pregnant with Penny (2nd child) in order to pay off the car early so we wouldn’t have car payments after Penny arrived. I think it’s hard to put your money on your debt, when you feel like you have earned some extras. And I understand. I feel it too! But we will do ourselves so many favors if we just pay down those debts early.

So, now that we don’t have to pay to tear up the yard, we’re talking about paying off one of the education loans completely and then snowballing that, since we’re used to making those payments. We could then payoff the second one within 11 months by paying the regular payments plus what we normally pay on Loan 1. Then there would only be one more education loan to go. And that’s the big one. But last spring we were looking at it and realized that if we keep snowballing, and maybe throw some money from our tax returns at it, it could be gone within 2-3 years (instead of 10!). Plus we’d save all that money on interest! So No. 1 & 2 are our first priorities now that we’re Five-Thousandaires.


quarter test

New tires for our van. We’ve been putting this off way too long. First Michael was in denial. But when I showed him that there is literally NO TREAD on the edges of the tires, he agreed that it is time. So this is also on our list.


Shingles & tar paper. The one “not fun” job we were told was necessary by the home inspector when we were buying was that the garage badly needed new shingles. At this point, I’d like to just say that I am experienced in the art of roofing. When I was 15, I helped out with roofing my grandparents cabin. Then the summer when I was 16, I spent a few weeks helping my uncle and grandpa (along with my brother and my cousin) put a new roof on our uncle’s church. So now we just need to hire a babysitter some weekend while Michael and I redo the garage roof.



Now a few fun things. During Lent, Michael wrote that guest post. Well, the painting he added to the post is actually for sale, and it’s more than we would normally ever spend…but we were both instantly choking back tears when we saw it. We were so moved. Michael said, “If we don’t have to dig up the yard, can we consider buying this?” Of course!



You should check out the rest of the gallery of Sawai Chinnawong.


Paint. We’re not going to go crazy and add a bathroom to the house this year. We’ll probably save that project for next year and give ourselves some time to really plan it like we want it. In the mean time, a fresh coat of paint and a little color will help make this place feel like it’s ours. And that’s what we need right now. So I’m playing with ideas. I’m trying to tame my love of bright colors. I’m contemplating tearing down the dated wallpaper in the bathroom and painting some other color. And the living room need to be brightened up. And there are some big planters on the front porch that are in terrible need of a bright color to liven up the place! Favorite colors right now: Navy Blue, Royal Blue, Kelly Green, Chartreuse, Coral, Plum, & lots of Gray. We have gorgeous natural wood trim that I am not at all interested in painting over. So I have to keep that in mind. I think it can tend to feel a little “heavy” but I want to play it up if I can. Maybe do something like this:

living room ideas1

Photo 1


Ok, in my photo it doesn’t look so dark. But just take my word for it, it’s a little gloomy because it’s on the North side of the house and that side is shaded by a huge oak tree.



Fabric. Oh my! My amazing neighbor lent me her old sewing machine, and I finally got it set up two weeks ago. Now I’m itching to start something crafty. The love seat on the porch could use a slip cover. And I would love to make some sheer/dreamy curtains for the porch, some fun ones for the play room, some new throw pillows, etc. And I just gawk and gawk at all the cute ideas on pinterest. Here’s my board with all the ideas for our house. Some aspect or other. I know that the Chevron is “so in right now.” But goodness, it’s cute! I’m imagining cute chevron curtains for the kid space. Just so inspired.

fabric inspiration

Photo cred.

This post is part of Jennifer Fulwiler’s Seven Quick Takes Link-up! Check out more 7QT here! She just published a book, Something Other than God, detailing her conversion to Catholicism from Atheism. I cannot wait to get my hands on it, but being the procrastinator that I am, I will have to get creative to find it since Amazon is ALREADY SOLD OUT!



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