Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Three seemingly unrelated facts:

1. About a week ago my dishwasher decided, all on its own, to drain onto my counter and floor instead of into the pipe the way it's supposed to. I looked, but couldn't tell where the water was coming from. Sasquatch thought he knew. So I loaded it up and ran it, sitting at my kitchen table to see if he was right. He was, but that time it worked perfectly and has ever since. Now, however, even though I think something just got temporarily stuck in the drain and backed up, I'm afraid not to be in the kitchen when the dishwasher is running.

2. About a week ago I was standing in my kitchen worrying about the dishwasher when I heard a strange noise from my washing machine. I went into the laundry room only to find that the washer was draining (at high speed) onto the floor instead of down the drain. I looked, but couldn't tell where the water was coming from. Since it was draining the final rinse, I threw the clothes in the dryer and told the FG about it when he got home. He checked it out and couldn't find anything either. In the week since, we've run the washer several times with no incident. However, I'm afraid not to be in the kitchen when the washing machine is running.

3. Sasquatch comes about his blog name honestly. He's big and shambling, squints constantly (since he won't wear his glasses) and has long, thick, wavy hair halfway down his (six foot one) back. His hair is his pride and joy, even if you can usually tell what he had for lunch by looking at the ends. He speaks in grunts and is usually to be found standing in front of the fridge looking for raw meat. And his feet are huge. Like small paddleboats.

Okay? Good. Now on with the story.

I was in the living room when Sasquatch called me up to the bathroom where he had just gotten out of the shower. I complained loudly all the way up the stairs about people who will insist that I go to them instead of coming to me, but he kept yelling that he couldn't move. Hoping to god the kid was dressed, I knocked and then went into the bathroom. He stood there, wrapped in a towel, and held his hand out to me.

There was a louse crawling on it.

"It was in my hair," he said.

"Son of a bitch," I said.

Round Two.

Of course the first problem was that he didn't want to cut his hair. We went round and round and he begged not to have it cut right away. I agreed to give it a couple of days, but I wasn't happy about it. We combed and lice shampooed and conditioned and combed again. It was midnight at that point and we called it a day.

The next morning after the kids went to school I stripped beds and gathered every piece of laundry I could find. I threw them in the washer and the FG and I stood in the kitchen commiserating. And the next thing to hit our ears was the sound of rushing water hitting the floor at high speed.

Round Two.

After looking at it the only thing we could figure was that some water had been left in the bend of the drain pipe and it had frozen. Short of calling in a plumber to come in and deal with a (possibly temporarily) frozen pipe, there was nothing else to do. Time to hit the laundromat.

Round Two.

After my husband left for work I schlepped load after load of laundry over icy sidewalks and crammed my car with dirty laundry Beverly Hillbilly's style. When I got there, I walked past the group of mangy teenagers playing hooky from the high school across the street and started loading washers.

Forty dollars later it was done.

Fourteen loads of wash. Three had to be redone because the washer died mid-cycle. Untold quarters pumped into dryers on eight minute timers. All accompanied by the ear splitting sound of rap music that was entertaining the teenagers enough to keep them from mugging me. (With my mood, they would have regretted it). And, as the final touch, a grandma who followed me from washer to washer talking non-stop about all the mud tracked into the laundromat and how she wouldn't have put up with it if it were her business.

The FG met me part way through and we folded it all up. Brought it home and dumped it in the dining room. And as I stood there looking from clean clothes to broken washer to the new bottle of lice shampoo, all I could think was

I can't take this right now.

And then I provided some spectacular waterworks of my own.

There's a second poll up for the contest. Remember to vote. Something very funny is happening with the votes that I'll explain when the voting is done. I'm thinking at this point that we'll have a run off of the top five or so entries. You can vote once on each poll. Have fun!


ped crossing said...

You poor thing. If anyone is allowed a breakdown, you deserve one.

Why do so many things have to go wrong at once?

laurie said...

god, you've had a run of it!

i'm so sorry.

our dishwasher did that, too, but at least it was in the summer. somehow, catastrophes are easier in the summer.

PixelPi said...

Good heavens. I'd have packed my bags and some lice shampoo and bought tickets to Antigua for a week.

Appliances and cars. I hate them both, mainly because I am unable to understand fixing them. I can use them, but if water rushed out from under my washer, I would just dial Mr. Pi and then 911. The proceed with tickets to Antigua, etc.

I don't suppose you could convince FG that a new washer/dryer/dishwasher would make like easier for you, and Kenmore models at Sears last forever. They'll still be running when Sasquatch moves out.

Also, although I feel your pain and frustration, I am feeling that icky head lice shower compulsion. Bye.

Altaglow said...

Lordy, Lordy. I'm just not up to a comment on this. Love to you, my treasure.

Kaycie said...

Ah, sweetie, I've had those days. If it can go wrong, it does. The good news is, after this kind of run, your luck usually turns around for a good long while.

My fingers are crossed for good luck to come your way.

Eileen said...

((((HUGS)))) I am so sorry, it just plain sucks when the major appliances in our life start to breakdown at once!!! We need a dishwasher, we need our washer and dryer. They are on the high end of the needs list!!!

Head lice is getting harder and harder to get rid of. We deal with it every day at school. It is getting more and more resistant. I feel for you, but it sounds like you are doing everything right.

Go to Sears. This weekend, no finance charges for 1 year. Free delivery. It will be worth every penney. You deserve it.

Sending love, and getting rid of lice wishes to you!!! Also, I insist you go out with a friend or two, and have a night off. Just relax and have some laught. OK.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

The problem is that all the appliances are relatively new. The pipe thing with the washer resolved as soon as the weather got above freezing. Of course that pipe is on an outside wall, so now I'm afraid to use it when it's cold.

And the dishwasher hasn't done it except for the one time, but it still worries me.

And I just combed out Sasquatch's hair and didn't find a single nit. I guess the lice shampoo/olive oil/leave in conditioner/comb constantly trick is working.

Sweet Irene said...

RC, my heart is going out to you, it really is. Those are awfully shitty things to have happen and I can understand you breaking down in tears, especially since you are the one who seems to have to fix all of this. Much rests on your shoulders. Being the Mom can be such a rotten job. Everybody looks to you for help. You hang in there, girl. You have all of my sympathy.

Altaglow said...

Go and buy an inexpensive electric heater--someplace like Lowes or Home Depot. Put it next to the pipe or the wall by the pipe and turn it on half an hour or so before you want to do laundry. It should work just fine.
Easier still, although it needs to be done while it's warm, is to wrap the pipe so that it doesn't freeze. Use the heater though for the rest of this winter. another way is to use your electric hair dryer on the outside pipe for a few minutes before you start the laundry. This can be done with an extension cord if necessary. I've also found that this works.

my two cents said...

Oh you poor sweet thing. I am so so sorry. When it rains, it pours. I would treat everyone in the family again, just to be sure. I know you don't want to hear that.

I know what is going on with the poll and was going to e-mail you about it! I think it is very funny It is too bad that the poll is only one vote per household - you know there is more than one reader in this house.

Thalia's Child said...

Sounds like your collapse was completely justified.

House stuff always makes me come completely undone too. Add lice into the mix, and I would go completely ape-shit crazy

Corey~living and loving said...

oh my....I literally would have been in tears WAY before you broke down...WAY BEFORE.

I hope things are less wet soon.

Flowerpot said...

You are having a really bad time aren't you? but the blog picture is great!

Potty Mummy said...

These things always come in threes. You've had yours - surely The Man will lay off you now. (FYI - our three things this week were: microwave, dishwasher, printer. The Man definitely better leave me alone after that or there will be trouble).

Rose said...

Man when it rains, it pours! No pun intended. Crying is good though; such a stress reliever AND it alerts the others that they better be just a little more careful with you than usual. Keeps the troops on their toes, so to speak! Things should start looking up now, right?

laurie said...

and our three things were dishwasher, refrigerator, dishwasher.

yes, wrap the pipes. though how your mom, a california girl, knows this is amazing.

our dishwasher ran an entire cycle one winter without any water because the pipe was frozen. that was a different kind of mess.

Diana said...

Oh no! All that hair! You are a saint. A saint at the end of her rope, but a saint, indeed.

Here's hoping round 3 doesn't include any broken pipes. Or lice in the hairs of others. Or ....

merry weather said...

Groan!! Why do bad/annoying things all happen at once? Lice!! Oh boy... itchy, scratchy, whole family :)

In England, the trouble with plumbers is you can't get hold of them, unless you're prepared to pay squillions... I recently thought of retraining as a plumber, but, the sewage aspect put me off!

pursegirl said...

Did you get my entries via email?

Raising Chaos

Resigned Californian

Even though I already heard this story, I'm itching and crying with you!

Omega Mum said...

Oh my God. Lice and profligate quantities of water. I was there for you with a mop - virtually speaking. Honest.

Kimberly said...

Oh honey, that's horrible!

I would've cracked halfway through that ordeal!

aims said...

Sounds like there's a gollum in your gears...

I hate appliances that can damage good flooring!! grrrrr

Faye said...

Take thee away Calgon! Where is that unwritten law that all water-bearing appliances must go out at the same time? That would be in the dead od winter in the same month that the holiday bills come due.

Good luck RC--just keep thinking that January the month that sucks has just one more day left.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Ahhh. I hate it when all the appliances decide to die at once. And the lice? Oh sweetie I am so sorry. Hope Sasquatch doesn't have to have his hair chopped. Will be thinking of you. Hugs.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Sounds like you have bad water karma at the moment. I'm impressed with your laundry capacity. No wonder the washing machine quit working!

Akelamalu said...

Well the good news is - if it's true that bad things happen in 3s then you've had your quota!

Amy said...

I found a dead louse on my 13-year-old's brush on Monday. We've been shampooing, combing and picking this week, too. She has really thick, curly hair, and we couldn't get through it, so we cut six inches off the bottom. It helped a lot. She's still got loads of hair. And I'm itching like crazy.

Lisa said...

The washing machine and dish washer are in cahoots. Run. Typing this quickly. The refrigerator is reading over my shoulder...