Friday, August 22, 2008

Of course we'll have a washing machine!

(Catchy catching-up-related blurb here.)

My mother wanted to make sure she could wash her clothes at our house, to cut down on the things she was bringing to her first visit (of the three planned for this year so far), as she was bringing plenty of baby things from herself and from my older-middle sister, bringing things from her trip to Turkey and Greece, and from our house going to stay with her college friend who lives in Washington state. Oh, and then there was a hurricane headed for her house, so she also decided to take the Important Papers (titles, deeds, and whatnot—can't leave without the whatnot), just in case.

We had enjoyed our washing machine for just over a year (ominous warranty-free period should tip you off), and at the beginning of the week Tita* was supposed to arrive it stopped doing the fast spin at the end. That wasn't too bad, since it was just to get the water out, and the dryer would just have to work harder. But then the door started refusing to open. (As in, on separate occasions, I spent two 5-minute attempts, my husband a 5-minute attempt, and my mother a vain 20-minute attempt, trying different settings and persuasive tactics just to get our clothes back.)

*My father grew up in Brasil. He wanted his children to call their parents "Papa" and "Mamacita." When my older-older sister was little, she couldn't say "Mamacita," instead saying "Tita." I'm the third child, so it was already settled. Sorry if it sounds like I'm talking about my aunt, but that's just the way it is, yo.

Then my husband noticed a little ratty head peeking out from behind the washer one day. So we called the washing machine repairman, mentioning all these details. Fortunately, my mother was visiting, since we had an OB appointment during the time the repairman came. From what I understand, she got him to take off the bottom panel of the washing machine. Voila! Rats' nest! They'd chewed through the wiring that made it do the final spin. And then some other wiring, too. It would cost $100 more to repair the washing machine than we'd spent on it in the first place.

So my mother helped us buy a new washing machine (with a sanitary cycle specifically for things like diapers), *with* the Sears service agreement. (The salesman specifically said it was *not* an extended warranty, but better, since we'd also get yearly preventative check-ups.) And it's EnergyStar, which thrills my husband no end. We're still figuring out the Star Trek technology to use it ... and I've grown up enough to at least separate the whites from the coloreds. (It wasn't really an issue: all our clothes were old and washed enough that nothing would ever bleed again.) Two of the maintenance guys from church went to Sears with my husband and loaded it in their truck and basically delivered it for us, even taking away the packing material and refusing any sort of payment. (Just wait. We'll get them at Christmas. And until then with baked goods.)


There was still the rat problem. In the wall behind the washer and dryer, there is a ... pipe thingy. It's definitely large enough to let a rat in ... and we knew that a rat had leapt inside it to get away from the danger of my 6'2" husband. If we simply plugged it up, who knows how many rats would die inside, though? So, again with my mother's guidance, we bought sticky traps. A few hours later: two rats in the trap between the washer and dryer. My husband had the misfortune to be the dispatcher. We found that our Chlorox spray (bathroom cleaner stuff?) is good at removing rat blood from the garage floor. (I cowered in the house. Thank goodness my mother was here.)

My mother insisted that we check for future infestation *each week* which we thought was a bit excessive. Nonetheless, I put it on the calendar for each Saturday morning. When we replaced the week-old sticky trap (which had caught a ginormous spider and a huge lizard), we again caught another rat in a few hours. Then another one the next day. When my husband went to pay the rent check, he mentioned our rat problem. We had thought that we were on the hook for "infestations," but happily found out that that was for small things, and *they* would take care of things like rats and mice. So we had Bernie come out and set snap traps (we have our sticky traps out still, but not in the prime locations). He also filled in the rat-hole/pipe with steel wool which I'd bought. (Supposedly they aren't supposed to like getting it on their feet?) Now, naturally, none of the traps have caught anything. Which is dandy with me.

So my mother had quite an adventurous few days with us. The rest of the time, when we weren't making yet another trek to Target, she sanded and painted the frame of Great-Aunt Margaret's lounge chair, reorganized the linen closet, and, most importantly, organized my overflowing boxlid of photographs into tidy albums. And ate quite a bit of the peppermint ice cream which had been purchased with her in mind.

After Tita left, I was inspired enough with the whole organizing thing to re-do the rest of the hall closet, and later the pantry. Yesterday, NESTING took over in the nursery. (I was trying to accomplish the to-do list item "sanitize baby blocks"—the ones which had been my mother's when she was little—and I ended up reorganizing things.) The drop-leaf table is now tucked perfectly into a corner in the dining room, the two-drawer chest is also in the dining room (a bit tight, but now the spacing matches the rest of the house, and we don't use the dining room all that much, anyhow). The boxes of genealogy and music found a place in our closet, and the crib is set up. We have a plan for rotating the twin bed, moving the little bookcases, taking down the six-foot table (now that there's nothing under it! *Snoopy dance*), moving the dresser, and adding Papa's platform rocker from the living room. There's actually room for Bunny! Now we should probably think about buying things like sheets and clothing and diapers.

Labels: ,


Blogger Mimi said...

Congratulations on the new washer, and those newly washed baby clothes smell and feel so good, don't they?

Fri Aug 22, 12:50:00 PM CDT  
Blogger JTKlopcic said...

I'm surprised that your husband didn't try to rewire the washing machine by himself. I sure would have been tempted....

Thu Aug 28, 03:04:00 PM CDT  
Blogger magda said...

I offered that as a possibility, but with the mother-in-law, expand-o-wife, and the school year (with all its parish meetings), he's been a bit run down lately. He did have fun putting up the crib and the pack-n-play without instructions.

Thu Aug 28, 06:24:00 PM CDT  

Post a Comment

<< Home