Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A $500 dollar day: Dishwasher, shelves and a whole lot of junk

It is very hard to work and work and work and feel like nothing is getting done.  I've been working on clearing out everything I can part with, repairing and repainting everything I've been putting off for so long and beautifying the whole house so that when the right buyer comes through the door they will instantly fall in love.  This has been going on since January 21st when we accepted the job offer. I look at my house every day and think "this is messier than when I began!".  It's not really true but it is hard to believe it when there is so much out of place.

Every once in while, however, I have a day when everything goes right.  A day when I feel like I've accomplished so much and that there is hope and I'm making progress. Yesterday was one of those days! (and after my headache filled weekend I really needed it.)

Yesterday I woke up same as usual, to the sound of Dave in the shower and Heath wrestling the dog out to the kennel.  I rolled out of my warm cocoon and staggered into the kitchen to pack the day's lunches.  I used the last pieces of bread for Dave and Heath's turkey sandwiches and made cream cheese tortilla rolls for the other kids.  The last bits of cereal were chowed down and the kids off to school in a hurried hazy mess of an hour.  Slinking out to the car, hoping to avoid being spotted by the neighbors, in my PJ's, slippers, ski jacket and sunglasses, hair pulled back into a tight knot to hide the fact I hadn't brushed it yet, I drove the kids to school.

Arriving home I set to work: Bake bread, make granola, make jello, check the refrig for dinner ingredients.  Then I moved onto cleaning the kitchen and stopped as I opened the freshly run dishwasher to find everything coated with bits of food--again!

"I've had it!" I yelled at the machine.  "I have cleaned you, I have used expensive storebought cleaners on you, I have worked on your drains, I hand washed every dish that went in you last night!"  There was no reason for anything to be dirty.  I stomped down to the garage to grab a few tools and then set to work tearing apart the insides of the dishwasher. It deserved it.

Surprisingly it was pretty easy! A few screws and a couple of snapped out parts later I was within the inner workings of the machine and found the cause of my months of battle with it: a large shard of glass, a piece of broken bowl and no less than 15 toothpicks (all covered in disgusting green, stinky, mushy food remains) blocking the interior drain of the machine. Thirty minutes, a face mask and a couple of pairs of disposable gloves later the drain was clear. I gave everything a good scrub down, removing food particles and greasy residue, and then rinsed out the monster.  The pieces went back together as easily as they came apart and in no time I had a like new dishwasher.  Hurray! I told Dave I saved him $400:  $200 for the plumber I was ready to call and $200 for the dishwasher repairman I would have had to call after that.

That success spurred me on to even greater success.  I turned on some music and cleaned the entire upstairs: counters cleared, clothes, shoes and stuff put away, garbages emptied, appliances wiped down, floors swept, floors mopped, floors vacuumed, bathrooms scrubbed, walls wiped. I made my bed for the first time in two weeks and cleared the laundry out of my room and the accumulation of stuff off my dresser. I moved down to the basement and did laundry and corralled all the shredded bits of paper from the 5 years of documents I had destroyed over the weekend with the help of the girls. 

By the time the kids began streaming in the front door I was disassembling storage shelves and packing them up for the big move. I headed upstairs to help with homework, direct chores and start dinner. That's when the phone call came.  It was my dad.  He had a buyer for the heavy duty, wire rack shelves that were in the back corner of my over stuffed garage. Could I have them ready in an hour? Of course!

I tied up a few loose ends--put rice in the rice cooker, set Heath back in the direction of his homework--and dragged the kids out to the garage to uncover the shelving.  We opened both doors of the garage and moved all the empty, waiting-to-be-filled boxes into the basement and lined them up floor to ceiling against the far wall by the TV.  We moved out boxes of "stuff" that needed to be sorted. We rearranged some food storage, shuffled already packed boxes, moved pieces of lumber, bikes and other equipment out of the way and eventually found the shelving. 

I also found my old cheer uniform and pom poms to the girls great pleasure.  They were so disappointed to find that those darn mice from months ago had left behind some presents in the box and had taken bits of the poms and clothes as souveniers of their own. I was disappointed too.  One of the skirts and one of the tops, though dirtied, were hole free.  We bagged them up to decide later whether to dry clean or toss in the trash with the rest of it.

While we had everything out we made piles and started calling friends and posting on Facebook items that I wanted to get rid of. Garbage filled the can to overflowing and more was thrown into the bed of the truck.  The lumber was picked up, the shelves were picked up, the oatmeal and canned turkey and wheat and dry milk was all picked up. I made $100 on items sitting in my garage. Dave got home it was dinner time.  We moved what was left back into the garage, a little more organized this time but still overflowing with garage sale items for this weekend (or next).  

Tackling the dishwasher, the cleaning and the sorting, saving money and making money: all this made it more than a $500 day. I wish every day could feel like yesterday.

1 comment:

  1. Dang Dani...I feel like such a slacker compared to you. I only worked on my final paper, and corralled kids all day long. Well, I guess I did an act of service when I took my Mom and step dad to Madigan to visit my uncle. Today WILL be more productive. Congrats on the awesome accomplishment of yesterday.


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