Tag Archives: housework

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Diana Beebe's Blog, Diana Beebe, science fiction, middle grade fantasy, fantasy

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Dishwasher Deathmatch

Last week, I told you about¬†lessons learned from my dishwasher. I missed a few things in that post. First, I really dislike handwashing dishes. Wait, I probably said that, didn’t I?¬† The real take away since then?¬† Replacing that fuse is a deathmatch in six rounds.

You see, I wrote that first post several days ago with the luxury of time to make me forget about the last time we changed the fuse. All weekend, I was drinking from a firehose at WANACon, and my husband was working on his truck.¬†The fuse¬†didn’t get fixed.

This is not a one-person job.

Oh, it is on, Dishwasher!

Oh, it is on, Dishwasher!

If you have a Samsung dishwasher, there is a good chance you’ll need to know how to do this if it stops working for no apparent reason (unless you’re willing to pay a handyman). Even if you pay a handyman, you’ll still have to do Deathmatch Rounds 2 and 6 and probably 5.

Deathmatch Round 1

Gather the tools:

  • Crescent wrenches (we had two–not sure if we used them both)
  • Screwdrivers (flathead and Phillips)
  • Pliers (I’m not sure what my husband used these for.)
  • The new fuse (pointless activity without it)
  • Old towels (Lots of them to mop up the water that will drain from the dishwasher)
  • At least 5 hands (two people can handle most of it, but we needed a third person.)

Deathmatch Round 2

Now that you have all the tools, empty all the cabinets in your kitchen. Kidding!¬† Just empty everything under the sink and the cabinets that the pipes run through.¬† Our dishwasher is two cabinets away from the sink. I couldn’t bear to take a picture of that mess, but I did take one of the hidden treat stash that we found:

I don't even want to know how old that stuff was...

I don’t even want to know how old that stuff was…

Deathmatch Round 3

Turn off the water under the sink.

Don't forget this step...

Don’t forget this step… This shows the water is on.

Decouple both the intake and drain pipes. This is what ours look like:

In the cabinet next to the cabinet next to the dishwasher

In the cabinet next to the cabinet next to the dishwasher

Some water will leak from the pipes, so have a towel ready. We also used a casserole dish to catch most of the water.

Pull the tubing through the holes into the cabinet next door.¬† Be prepared for more leakage in the next cabinet over–unless you have only one cabinet to worry about. You need enough slack in the tubing to be able to pull the dishwasher out.

In the cabinet next to the dishwasher

In the cabinet next to the dishwasher…

Deathmatch Round 4

Unscrew the dishwasher baseplate. Rock and pull the sides until the dishwasher is free of the cabinetry.¬† If it doesn’t want to come out, check the side for a clip that’s keeping it in place. (We remembered that one after much use of creative language.) Be careful of the padding around the top.

Deathmatch Round 5

Use towels to get as much water as possible out of the inside of the dishwasher. If that someone helping you says, “Oh, that’s not much water. Don’t worry about it,” then slap him on the back of the head (Gibbs style¬†from NCIS), and dry out the inside of the dishwasher.¬† (Yes, I should have done both!)

Stand in front of the dishwasher and lean it forward at a 45-degree angle. If you missed the last step of drying out the standing dishwater, you now have wet socks and water running all over the floor.¬†This when I yelled for The Mockingbird to bring more towels because I didn’t have enough.

She came in handy (there’s that fifth hand) when we realized that my husband was under the dishwasher (unscrewing the fusebox plate), I was holding it up (it was heavy after awhile), and the fuse was on the counter (not the place it needed to be).

How can something this small wreak so much havoc?

How can something this small wreak so much havoc?

After the new fuse goes in, reverse the process.

Deathmatch Round 6

Clean up a huge mess (all the while wondering how that much crap fit in the cabinets), mop the floor, and¬†load the dishwasher with all the dishes you didn’t feel like handwashing earlier.

I’m not sure who won this deathmatch. This was a traumatic experience for me. All that fixing and cleaning at the same time… ūüėÄ

I didn’t get a picture of the dishwasher’s nether parts. I imagine if I’d asked my husband to snap a photo while he was down there with old dishwasher water pooling nearby, he might have smacked me on the back of the head when his hands were free. As I’m snapping the other shots, he said, “Let me take it all apart for you again so you can get that picture. NOT.”

Good luck!

No people or dishwashers were injured during the making of this blog.

Lessons Learned from a Dishwasher

Last week, I was a total blogging slacker. So sorry to disappear like that, but you know how life gets in the way sometimes.¬†Now I’m back with a vengeance.

Well, if I could take out revenge on a dishwasher….

Not how I expected to spend my morning...

Not how I expected to spend my morning…

It’s not the dishwasher’s fault. So instead, my wrath should be pointed at the genii (pronounced jee-nee-ahy)* who designed the dishwasher with the fuse on the worst possible place–the inside as far back as possible.

Seriously?  Did any of those guys think that the fuse would last forever? Did they try to extract the dishwasher and replace a fuse?

Their Quality Assurance department was short at least one test case: “Can a mermaid housewife husband change the fuse easily?”

If the dishwasher hadn’t blown a fuse the first week after we bought it, we might not have know that the fuse was the trouble. The store sent a service guy over. He showed us (mostly because we watched) that he had to extract the entire dishwasher from the cabinets and tilt it over wildly (without tumping it on¬†its side)¬†to get to the fuse. Then, he had to right the appliance and rock it back into position under the counter.

Are you kidding me?

I had to empty the dishwasher and wash it all by hand. Grrrr.

Lessons learned from this dishwasher and what we’ll do next time we buy one:

  1. Where is the fuse located and how easy is it to change? (Not kidding. We had no idea this was something to think about.)
  2. Does it clean well? (Despite good reviews, this one doesn’t. *pout*)
  3. Does it match the other appliances? (Yeah, this shouldn’t be number 1 on the list. *smirk*)

*The word genii is a plural of the word genius. It’s¬†not as common as geniuses (and is mostly related to the mythical geniis), but it’s The Mockingbird’s favorite form of the word, so I use it. ūüôā

I debated about telling you who makes this dishwasher, but I didn’t.¬† Hmmm… *cough*Samsung*cough*

What appliance lessons have you learned? Could you or do you live without a dishwasher?

Fit to be Twisted

I’ve been accused of being twisted sometimes. It’s true. My twistedness reveals itself at surprising times. But I’m not writing to share about my twisted sense of humor. I’m writing about a towel.

A couple of Christmases ago, my mom gave me something that made me wonder. I remember thinking, “Huh. What are these strange little towels that Mom gave me?” Turbie Twist towels?¬† I was skeptical and maybe a little put out that I got towels for Christmas.¬† ¬†(Sorry, Mom!)turbietwist

Some smart woman got tired of twisting her just-washed hair into a bath towel that may or may not stay piled and balanced on top of her head. Forget picking up after a toddler or leaning over to pick up anything without the bath towel flopping off her head.

After one use, I was in love. My older daughter was, too. Two or three years later, the little elastic loop on my original Turbie Twist is stretched and elastic-less. Don’t care. One of these days, I’ll fix that, but it still works.

My younger daughter has been asking for her own “hair towel” for months. The requests escalated after she used mine. My towel disappeared one day. I found it in the girls’ bathroom. Coincidence? I think not.

A couple of weeks before Christmas, my mom-in-law asked me about little gifts she could get for the girls’ stockings, I told her about the Turbie Twist towels. I think she may have looked at me sideways, a little, like I was crazy, but she picked up enough for all four of her granddaughters.

When my younger daughter found that pink “head towel” in her gifts from her grandparents, she was thrilled. (Yes, my child was happy to get a towel for Christmas!)

The BFF laughed at my story. But as Fate would have it, she found herself in a store one day staring at a huge wall display of Turbie Twist towels. She bought a set. Then I got this note from her yesterday (personal details edited out and quoted with permission):

I have a new obsession! Yesterday after talking with you on the phone …¬† There was a huge wall display of Turbie towels. I stared at them for a long while wondering what was the fascination with these little towels? I was looking for some new pillow cases, but walked out with a Turbie towel 2 pack :). I couldn’t resist after our conversation …. I used it this morning for the first time and I loved it! I have been using 2 towels forever. One for my hair and one for my body. I would twist the towel up on my head and walk around like that for awhile. This Turbie towel was so much lighter on my head. I fell in love with it! I can’t believe I had never heard of this wonderful invention. My head was so light and free this morning! I even looked at towels while I was there. That is one (of many) things I want for my new home. This time I will only have to buy 2 towels instead of 4 – what a savings of money and laundry time! Thank you so much for telling me about this wonderful product!

Seriously, the BFF would make a great commercial. She ended by asking if there was a blog post in there somewhere. D’oh!

Then this morning, she told me she didn’t have to take the towel off to put her turtleneck on. Try that with a bath towel piled on your head!

While I ponder why I wasn’t smart enough to cut and sew towel fabric in such a way that I could comfortably wear my wet hair in the lightly twisted knot, the sisters who did are thinking, “Yeah, we were smart enough.”

This video shows how simple it is. The kiddo in the video is adorable, too.

BTW–I have no connection to the company. I just love the product. I don’t know why I didn’t think to share this with everyone sooner!

While I think about those really cute animal print ones that I saw at the store, I’d love to hear what’s going on in your head. Is there a product that you wish you’d invented or sold?¬† Have you tried a Turbie Twist towel?

That is Not a Fuzzy Elephant

It seems that we keep intersecting with science fiction in our real lives, and I keep finding DNA and clone¬†stories.¬†¬†(You can read the one about glow-in-the-dark cats here.)¬† I’ve put together a clone mashup for you.¬† I still can’t believe that I didn’t post this this morning!

It must be Tuesday.

A Mammoth project and the half-life of DNA…

A month ago, Russian scientists announced that they found “well-preserved¬†woolly mammoth fragments” in Siberia. They are testing the bone marrow, hair, and soft tissues to see if there are any living cells left.

Did anyone read Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton?  How about the movie based on the novel by Steven Spielberg?

Yes, I know that mammoths are not anything like the carnivorious Tryannisaurus Rex.¬† (Thank you, Captain Obvious.) And, yes, it would be very cool to see a real, live fuzzy mammoth walking around on the frozen white tundra somewhere.¬† I’d like a free lunch as much as the next person, but we all know that there’s always a cost when science meddles.

by Shannon Esposito via WANA Commons

Interestingly enough, Nature.com posted an article earlier this month about a study that has determined the half life of DNA is 521 years, which means 6.8 millions years is the maximum length of time DNA might hold together.

That means no Tryannisaurus Rex¬†clones running wild on an island in a “safe” enclosure, since they died out ten times as many years as¬†that.¬† Whew!¬† *wipes brow*

The mammoths could still be a possibility, but we won’t know for months if the scientists find anything viable.¬† With no¬†clear purpose, I’m not sure what kind of life a¬†cold-loving animal would have in our world today.¬† Where are they going to keep it?¬† Won’t it be sad all by itself?¬† (I saw Ice Age--that animated mammoth wanted a family.)

Cloned horses with a purpose…

To bring¬†it a little closer to home, check out this news video about cloned competition horses in Texas.¬†¬† ūüėÄ

One of the horses was a clone of a competition horse that couldn’t be bred (the reason wasn’t given), so the clone will give the horse’s qualities to its own offspring.¬†¬†What?!

The cloned horse will mother the children of the parent horse.  Huh?!

The identical twin clone horse will be bred to have the equivalent offspring of the identical twin donor horse.  I think, maybe.  Sort of.

To their credit, they recognized the clone horses as different from the “parent” horses.¬† And the horses are all gorgeous.

But wait there’s more…

Multiplictiy film poster

One more thing (I promise I’ll leave cloning alone for a little while).¬† Everytime I joke that I need a clone, I always think about the silly movie that starred Michael Keaton (after he was Batman):¬†Multiplicity.

It’s a great reminder that there is no such thing as a free lunch.¬† Every new clone was exponentially less intelligent (more stupider?) than the last clone.

Needless to say, he gets into crazy trouble when his clones get him fired and make his wife mad at him (she doesn’t know about them…she just thinks he’s crazy).

Of course, my own clones would be smarter than that.¬†(Just nod your head in agreement.)¬†¬†They would do the stuff that I don’t want to do.¬† I’ll keep working and doing family stuff.¬†¬† Do you see the flaw in my logic?

If my clones are really me, then wouldn’t they hate avoid doing windows (or bathrooms¬†or toilets) just as much as I do?¬†¬†They would completely ignore the spiderwebs way up in the skylight because a step ladder isn’t tall enough to help reach them.¬†¬†Their piles of “stuff” on any available horizonal, flat surface would probably lead to clonicide.¬† That would probably be a really big mess that I’d have to clean up, since I bet the clones wouldn’t vaporize into dust¬†like Spider-Man’s poorly made clones did.¬† Ewww.

No more dreams about cloning myself.¬† I’ll just have to wait around to see if any woolly mammoths get recreated.¬† Perhaps¬†their purpose could be to wash my windows for me.¬†Or, they could use their long trunks to get down those spiderwebs in the skylight.¬† Hmmm….

I’d love to hear what you think.¬† The comment box is always open.¬† ūüôā

 My quick #ROW80 update:

  • The back garden beds are still waiting for clean up.
  • Work out and eat better.¬† Food does not define me.
  • I’m a¬†NaNoWriMo Rebel–finish the WIP and start editing. 15-20K is the goal.
  • Blogging class is in full swing (WANA International).¬† The Logline class was awesome–I highly recommend it.

Are You a Lumper or a Separater?

Since¬†most people¬†can’t afford to buy¬†new clothes¬†everyday, laundry is a necessary chore.¬† Here at Mermaids Don’t Do Windows, the clothes, sheets, and towels do have to get washed.¬†¬†Until¬†a laundry fairy¬†starts doing ours,¬†somebody has to do it.

The Husband rarely does laundry.¬† I banned him for life¬†shortly after we got married.¬† His idea of washing everything in hot water didn’t sit well with the few nice things that I owned at the time.¬† I’m sure it was¬†his evil master plan to get out doing of laundry altogether.

Daughter 1 does most of her own laundry, but she can’t sort¬†colors to save her life.¬†¬†She puts bright colors in the whites all the time.¬† “I didn’t know which basket to put those in.”¬† Drives me crazy.¬† If I’m feeling generous, I’ll throw her clothes in with the rest, but¬†she has to put them away.¬† It’s not my problem if she can’t find something or her clothes are dirty.¬† She is 14.

Daughter 2 is too short to reach the controls.¬† When she’s tall enough and/or pushes me over the edge about how her clothes are done, then she’ll be assimilated, too.¬† For now, she helps with simple tasks.

The other day, a friend asked me to choose between my washer or dryer.  She did not just ask me to choose which child to keep, did she?

I know that the appliances aren’t children, but don’t ask me to choose.¬† They get sold in matching sets for a reason.¬† The Maytags I have now are the first matching set I’ve ever owned.¬† When we got them several years ago, we called them the Rolls Royce and Bentley.¬† They even have luxury features (the sales guy sold them to my husband with promises of¬†wrinkle release settings).¬† I’m not choosing between them.

Every once in a while, someone will complain about the wrinkles.¬† Wrinkles?¬† No, those are dryer laugh lines.¬† I’ve tried to get shirts out when damp and warm, but the wrinkle fairies¬†live in the dryer (and they probably eat socks when they get hungry).¬† Wrinkle release spray is my only hope of defeating them until the laundry fairies arrive.¬† I thought that the wrinkle prevent setting on the Rolls Royce and wrinkle release settings on the Bentley were supposed eliminate my wrinkle problems.

What?¬† Use an iron?¬† *scoffs*¬† Mermaids don’t iron.¬†¬†Heck, my iron¬†is the same one I had in college.¬† It has my maiden name written on the bottom in permanent marker and black electrical tape on the cord where my roommate’s illegal pet rabbit chewed the cord.

Daughter 2 helped me change the sheets on her bed last week, and she noticed the wrinkles.¬† “Aren’t you going to iron those sheets?”¬† Who taught her that?!¬† How does she even know what an iron is at 6 years of age?¬† When she’s old enough and can figure out how to unfold the ironing board, she can iron her¬†own¬†sheets.

While I wait for that laundry fairy to take over the washing, drying, ironing, folding, and putting away chores and to save me from my wrinkly bad habits, here are my laundry demands for Daughter 1:

  • Sort the colors into the proper baskets:¬† Reds (including purples and oranges), whites and most unmentionables, jeans and dark colors, towels and sheets.
  • Don’t use fabric softener with the towels.
  • Don’t wash the kitchen dish towels with the other towels (I don’t know why I have a problem with this.¬† Just gross.)
  • If you complain about the way the laundry gets done, do it yourself.¬† You have clean clothes, so be grateful.

I’m a separater.¬† I can’t even lump the dogs’ bath towels with the family’s bath towels.

What are your laundry habits (good¬†or bad)?¬† Do you have¬†pet peeves about cleaning clothes?¬† Do you make your children do their own laundry or participate for the common good of the entire family?¬† Are you a lumper or¬†a separater:¬† Do you throw everything into one load (who cares about¬†the colors), or separate all loads by colors and¬†types? I’d love to hear from you.

Hello!

Welcome to my new blog where I’ll write about everything from family¬†and¬†gardening, books and movies, and anything else that¬†is interesting in life.