Thursday, March 29, 2012

It's Always Something...

Holy Moly... it has been one helluva week, and it's only Thursday!

I started out with such high hopes. I managed to sweet talk the fellow at the local lumber yard into delivering a few pieces of 14 foot long wood so I can finish the repairs to my deck, and I was all set to spend the week tackling the project.

Then I wake up Monday morning at the crack of dawn to discover that somebody peed on the bed.

Since the "event" took place while I was sound asleep, it took some detective work to determine who the pee-er was... but upon careful examination, I discovered that Princess had pee all over the top of her back paw... hmmm.... me thinks me knows who the culprit is...

Of course, being the overly protective kitty mom that I am, my first response was to whisk her off to the vet to check for a urinary tract infection.

She was due for a checkup anyhow, and I was relieved to know that she came up clean... well sorta relieved, it would have been nice if the problem could be chalked up to an easily treatable condition.

So now we figure it's territory issues... not terribly surprising since Smoky recently woke up and realized that he was twice her size and didn't have to be cowed by her anymore.

Sooooo... for the moment, the bedroom has been converted to a feline-free zone, and I'm remembering all of the reasons that I decided to buy the super extra capacity washing machine! Did all the bedding in only three loads! Hooray!

So the next day, I figured things would get better, and I just needed to catch up on the neglected chores... so I load as many of the dirty dishes as would fit into the dishwasher and... hmmm... that doesn't sound right...

Upon closer examination, I discovered to my horror that the dishwasher was no longer um.... washing... it was hardly even squirting any water... and the dishes were just as dirty as they were before I ran it. grrrrr....

Soooo... next came a barrage of Googling and tearing apart the dishwasher. I was hoping against hope that it would be an easy fix... you know like something clogging the system.

But no... turns out the main motor is shot.

I thought about trying to fix it myself...

But the part costs over a hundred dollars... and it was a cheap dishwasher to begin with...

And it is 8 years old... and this dishwasher never worked well even when it worked... and it's so loud that it literally keeps me awake if I run it at night... and I really suck at this sort of mechanical repair thing...

My first thought was phuckit... I'll just live without a dishwasher...

But by this time every single dish, pot and pan in the house was dirty... and it took me the better part of a day to do them all by hand... which reminded me that I really don't enjoy doing dishes... Plus they say it takes more energy to do them by hand than in the machine... so.... er... um... it sort of goes against my frugal instincts but...

Well, suffice it to say I'm on my way out the door to go buy a new dishwasher.

This time we're goin' with the Consumer Reports best buy, and maybe we'll end up with one that actually gets the dishes clean, doesn't break and is quieter than a cement mixer!

Let's hope nobody pees on the carpet while I'm gone!

I guess it just goes to show you... it's always something... if it ain't one thing it's another... either your cats are peein' on the bed or your dishwasher dies... but as my grand-nana, Nana Roseannadanna used to say to me...

And for you young whippersnappers who didn't get that joke...

And the exciting post script... apparently the dishwasher knew something I didn't because I just came from the store which, for this week only had the model I wanted on sale PLUS free delivery and installation! 

I take it back... sometimes the stars do actually align!


  1. I destroyed my way older dishwasher over a year ago. I'm still washing by hand - down to 1 dog bowl, 18 cat bowls & 4 cat plates daily + my couple of dishes - DAILY. Just can't afford a new one because of all those vets bills in the last year. What brand & model did you decide to get? Hopefully when the car is paid off in June, I'll be able to make the dishwasher purchase first. Then it's going to be a new washer & dryer. I'd love it if you'd do the research for me, pretty please!

    1. Well... I went with the Bosch Ascenta. Consumer Reports just couldn't say enough good things about them. Hopefully they got it right. I've generally had very good luck following their advice. I went with the cheapest one in the series, which was on sale with free delivery & installation, so the whole thing, tax & all is costing around $550. That's more than I spent on the last one, but if it actually gets the dishes clean and doesn't require earplugs, I'll be happy!

      BTW - I just bought a new washer... well, actually it was almost 2 years ago, but I still think of it as new.

      So, here's the long & short of it... if you get a front loader, there are 2 absolute musts! You have to have a very stable surface to put it on... they suggest a concrete floor, and you also have to leave the door open between loads or else you get mold around the seal. I decided against it because of the door issue... I just couldn't see leaving it open with all of the curious cats around - plus my laundry room setup is such that it would be a real pain to open a front loader.

      Soooo... I almost went with a standard low efficiency top loader with an agitator, but finally decided to go high efficiency, not because of the environmental impact, but because they don't have an agitator and do a better job with king sized bedding. I don't do a lot of bedding, but when I do, it's generally under duress (like, ahem... when somebody pees on the bed) so not having to haul that sort of thing to the laundry mat is sort of huge for me.

      I went with a high efficiency top loader by LG which Consumer Reports loved. I have been really happy with it except for the lint.... but lint is apparently a problem with all high efficiency machines, made worse by the fact that I line dry virtually everything.

      There you go... that's all I know!

    2. Thanks. A friend got rid of her new front load washer & dryer because she said water stayed in the washer's tub. LG had a commercial with critters that pissed me off so I vowed never to buy an LG product. Who needs a nose anyway? (I will cut off my nose to spite my face, so there!). I did some online research for washers last year & settled on a Maytag. And with a thundering herd of cats, I wash mucho bedding. They toss their cookies more often than I'd like. I keep a moisture proof mattress pad on the bed, just in case.

      BTW - hope you aren't anywhere near the fires. Stay safe.

    3. Actually, consumer reports liked the Maytag too. I've never seen a commercial for LG... in fact, I'd never heard of the company before this, but I probably would have had the same reaction if I'd seen it!

      The fires are a ways out of town, but the smoke has been all over... the plume was rather amazing that first day, and if I hadn't been absorbed in cat pee I probably would have driven out to a lookout spot to get some pictures! Thankfully the winds have calmed down a bit so they're getting it under control. But with the hottest & driest March on record, I fear this is just the beginning of a very long fire season.

  2. Rosanne Rosannadanna was a wise woman. She left us too soon. I miss Emily, too.

    1. What's all this talk about endangered feces! Who wants the smelly things anyhow?

      Oh... never mind!

      The world is so much poorer for having lost her.

    2. Ya'll got that right. Brilliant comedienne.

  3. You gotta love cats...until they pee on your things. THEN IT'S WAR! But really, it's the worst. It took me almost 2 full years to figure out why our female was peeing outside of the box. Thus is why I plan to research cat personality--anything to figure out the cat psyche, and thus find easier methods for potty issues, aggression, etc.

    I also can't wait to see how the new dishwasher works! My parents bought us one when we bought our house almost 2 years ago...I really wish I had done more research, but oh well. It works enough (the hard AZ water doesn't help at all). As for your comments on front loading washing machines, I just keep the door open for about 15-20 minutes to dry. After that, it's closed the rest of the time. No mold yet (but I do clean the door off every month or two).

    1. Please let me know when you figure out the cat psyche! If you can perfect the art of "cat whispering" you will be a rich woman indeed!

      I'm glad to know your washer is working for you, and that they're not just a complete scam. Since I regularly go 3-4 weeks without doing a load, I figured it would be a bad idea... something horrible could start growing and I would never notice until it was too late! I bet the dry climate helps!

      I'll keep y'all posted on the new dishwasher. I'm trying not to have unrealistic expectations.... but it sure looks like a space ship compared to the "Model T" varieties I've always owned!

  4. I have a Bosch, but not sure which model. It's six years old. I love how quiet it is, but a few other things about it took some getting used to. For instance, we have very hard well water and there is no way I can skip the Jet Dry. I know folks who swear by vinegar, but no can do.

    1. Hmmm... I've been puzzling over this Jet Dry thing. I have never used it, or vinegar or anything... of course I've never used the dry cycle on any dishwasher - I generally just open the door and let it air dry. Spots on my dishes have never been exactly what you might call a priority for me! :~)

      So is the point of the Jet Dry to keep spots from forming or something else?

    2. If this shows up twice, my apologies - just lost my response, somehow.

      Spots are not a problem for me, either. Caked on food particles and detergent particles that require re-washing by hand to soak them off or chisel them off (and I do mean chisel) are a problem for me. Without Jet Dry - or even when the dispenser runs low - my dishes look worse after a cleaning cycle than they did upon entry :-/ I initially googled this and found if you keep the Jet Dry dispenser filled, the problem disappears.

      I also can't use powdered detergent with good results, although recently I read on a Bosch forum that Cascade Complete works just as well as the Finish tabs w/power ball. I will try that; I buy in bulk and on sale, but powdered detergent is a heck of a lot cheaper typically.

      All of this could be a problem with my year of Bosch d/w, or with our well water.

      Just my experience :) There are many things I love about the Bosch; the energy efficiency, how quiet it is, and the lack of a heating element are biggies to me. This is just one of the little quirks I ran into.

      And as I said in the prior post that I really galled me that my 15 yr old cheapo Kenmore (that we did not repair due to ungodly repair quotes) cleaned dishes better :-/

    3. Well, I guess I'll just have to wait and see how it does. Frankly, I've never been thoroughly convinced on dishwashers in the first place, because I've always pretty much had to do so much pre-rinsing that it was practically like washing them before I loaded them in. And if it weren't for the fact that my skin is so sensitive to dish washing soap, and I can't keep a pair of gloves alive for more than a week no matter what I do (I always manage to puncture them while washing the knives) I'd probably just opt for hand washing.

      But I've done a bunch of reading on proper loading techniques, so we'll see. I guess I'll believe the "you don't have to pre-rinse" thing when I see it. Someone suggested keeping a spatula in the dishwasher so it's really convenient to scrape everything before loading. But caked on detergent & food particles have been a problem with every dishwasher I've ever owned, so I'm not holding my breath.

      I'll keep you posted!

  5. Sounds like most of my weeks, LOL! To answer your previous question - yes, jet dry is for the spots, it's not a priority for me either.

    1. Martha, if most of your weeks are like this past one has been, I consider it to be a minor miracle that you haven't grabbed a semi-automatic and gone postal!


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