Category Archives: Home Sweet Home

I am woman. Hear me roar.

I have updates for you, on things like cooking projects and shoe choices for business trips (I know, you can’t wait, try to contain yourselves) but first I need to mention that if one more thing in our household breaks, I am going to lose my damn mind. Also, if I were living in the 18th century (I think that’s the right century) I would totally be worrying about things like debtors’ prison right now, because if I were living in the 18th century and things in my house continued to break, I would very likely end up in debtors prison. Please ignore the fact that there probably weren’t a whole lot of things to break in the 18th century since there weren’t things like irons and dishwashers, but I guess maybe your cow could break (or die, since cows don’t really break, per se) and then you could go into debt buying a new cow, and then if you didn’t pay your Cow Debt, you might go to debtors’ prison.

Also, to use Emily’s phrase, the List of Things That Adults Have To Pay For That Suck is REALLY TOO LONG. Specifically, the List of Things That THIS Semi-Adult Has To Pay For That Suck is getting too long.

All of this is to set the stage so that you will realize exactly how I felt yesterday morning when I hit the start button on the dryer and it made some very pathetic whining noises.

I will back up for one moment and tell you that we bought this washer and dryer when we moved into our house, and we bought them for a total price of $150 for the pair. When we first hooked up the washer we had a problem where the washer would spew water out of the back of it whenever the pump turned on, and until we figured out that the water spewing could be fixed with a 99 cent part from Home Depot, I would do laundry while sitting next to the washing machine with a large cup and a bucket, so that I could bail out my washing machine. We haven’t had a problem with the washer since then though KNOCK ON WOOD.

The dryer, however, has always had its little ticks and funny noises. One time last summer it decided to fake death temporarily, resulting in a charge from the repair guy that was more than what we had paid for the thing. A charge which was a complete RIP-OFF, by the way, since it turned out that the problem was that a few golf pencils had made their way through the wash and the dryer and ended up stuck in a vent somewhere. All the guy had to do was take the back off of the machine and the pencils fell out. So, RIP-OFF.

So, when the dryer began its complaints of a slow and painful death yesterday, I was determined to 1) not spend my hard-earned money on a new dryer, and 2) not spend my hard-earned money on paying some fool to come fix my dryer. I walked out of the laundry room and looked expectantly at Matt:

Me: The dryer is broken.

Matt: *Looks at me blankly.*

Me: Money does not grow on trees.

Matt: *Is really good at looking at me blankly.*

Me: How about we try to fix it?

Matt: *Is either in a coma or has mastered the blank look.*

Me: And by we I mean how about YOU try to fix it.

Now, I would to point out that my reason for suggesting that Matt be the one to fix the dryer has very little to do with the fact that he is the man in the house and a WHOLE LOT to do with the fact that there is only one of us in the house with AN ENGINEERING DEGREE.

(Hint: I do not have an engineering degree.)

Also, while I realize that a major in computer engineering and fixing a dryer are not the absolute most related thing on the planet, I contend that the general principle of How Things Work and the joy of Taking Things Apart should not be lost on an engineer. The Item To Be Taken Apart is not of chief importance, and the Tinkering and Using of Tools should outweigh any reluctance to take Said Item apart.

After finally diverting Matt’s attention from the football game and explaining these sound, logic-filled evaluations of the situation, it was still clear that I wasn’t getting anywhere.

“Fine!” I said in exasperation. “I will fix it by MYSELF. And I will USE YOUR TOOLS TO DO IT.”

I thought the threat of me using his tools might encourage some action, but it was clear that I was on my own. First stop, Google:

“fix whirlpool dryer”

“fix whirlpool electric dryer”

“fix whirlpool electric dryer won’t spin”

(Getting warmer)

“fix whirlpool electric dryer won’t spin belt replacement”

I finally found a site that seemed to confirm my suspicion that a belt had either fallen off its track or broken. (Don’t need to be an engineer to know that if your first car spat out belts like nobody’s business and made a noise similar to the dryer.) (Also, common sense says that if the motor will turn on but the drum won’t spin, it’s probably a belt since that’s what makes the drum spin.)

Now I had to figure out how to get to the belt in question.

“open whirlpool dryer”

“remove back of whirlpool electric dryer”

(OK, that was helpful, but it turns out that you can’t see the belt by removing the back. Luckily there was a helpful picture on the site so I figured this out before I took the back off.)

“take apart whirlpool electric dryer to see belt”


I printed my little step-by-step instructions and went back downstairs. First I gathered the tools that I needed from the little tool/storage room downstairs, making as much noise as possible to show my displeasure with the situation.

Next I went into the laundry room armed with my tools. It’s much easier to make noise in the laundry room because metal appliances create such a nice echo and clang. Score.

But. Huh. This is not as easy as it looks. In fact, this is kind of complicated. I mean, you’d practically need an ENGINEERING DEGREE to get this thing apart. (Ha. Oh, I kill myself.)

At this point, I decided to go take a shower. This was because I really NEEDED a shower because I SMELLED, and NOT IN ANY WAY because I was admitting defeat re: the dryer. I could TOTALLY do it. In fact, I bet it was because I had the wrong tools, because clearly we do not have good tools and that is totally, completely the reason that things were not going well.

Well. I came back from taking a shower to find that the man of the house had finally risen from the couch to attend to the dryer. After much cursing, the losing (and finding) of a screw, and the slicing open of someone’s hand (not mine) on a piece of metal that someone else (totally me) warned was probably sharp, we have a working dryer.

Operation I’ll Show Him: FAIL

Operation Feminism: FAIL

Operation Not Have To Do It Myself: SUCCESS – I WIN.


Filed under Home Sweet Home, My Sweet Babboo

Funny Ha Ha

The scene: I have just come home from work and am trying to find Matt so that I can ask him what he’s making me for dinner. (Although usually I try to frame the question a little bit differently so that he doesn’t realize he’s being tricked into making me dinner.) I hear some noise from downstairs so I yell down the stairs to him.

Matt: Don’t come down here!

Me: Why? What did you do? Did you break something?

Matt: Can you throw me down a towel?

Me: What did you spill? WHAT IS GOING ON?

Matt: Just throw me a towel, please, and don’t come down here.

Me: *Runs to the kitchen and grabs a rag; throws it downstairs.* Here you go!

Matt: No, I meant a real towel. Like a bath towel.

Me: Good god, what did you spill down there?

Matt: Nothing! Just throw me a towel.

Me: *Throws a bath towel downstairs and waits at the top of the stairs. About 2 seconds later Matt comes charging up the stairs with the towel around his waist, a cordless drill in one hand, and assorted other tools in the other hand.*

Me: *Giggles uncontrollably.* What the HELL?

Matt: Well, see I came home, and then I did a work out, and then I was all sweaty so I went to take a shower. And I got into the shower, and then when I went to adjust the water the thing came off in my hand!

Me: I don’t think that’s supposed to happen.

Matt: Nope, definitely not. Anyway, I thought if I could just grab a screwdriver I could fix it pretty fast, so I hopped out of the shower and grabbed the screwdriver that I knew was in the office.

Me: I’m following so far.

Matt: But then that wasn’t the right kind of screwdriver, and so I ran downstairs to get the right kind, but then that didn’t fit the thing either, so I was finding some other tools. And then you came home.

Me: And that’s when you realized that in your haste, you hadn’t grabbed a towel?

Matt: Yes! Because I thought I was just running down the hall to get the screwdriver from the office, see? But then I had to go downstairs. And then when you came home I thought if you saw me running around the house naked with a drill in my hand, well, you might think less of me.

Me: HA. How do you know that I wouldn’t find the sight of you running around naked with a drill in your hand appealing? Maybe that would turn me on?

Matt: If THAT were true, I think I might think a LOT less of you.

Me: Hmph. So did you at least fix the shower?

Matt: Not yet. I have to run to the hardware store.

Me: Don’t forget to put some clothes on first. If you run around the hardware store naked with a drill in your hand, they will not only think less of you, but they will probably arrest you.

Matt: Thanks so much for your valuable input.

Me: I think you meant to say, thanks for the towel.


Filed under Home Sweet Home, My Sweet Babboo

Water, water everywhere (and a bonus hypothetical)

The town started doing construction on our street about a week or so before we left on vacation – we didn’t think much of it as it kind of looked like they were just laying giant pieces of pipes everywhere for the fun of it. But, it turns out that they were preparing to replace the water main on our street. We found this out when we were on vacation, and a friend from work stopped by our house to feed the lizard and bring in the mail. She found a note taped to our door that said that we need to call the water department by the end of the day on the day she found the note to schedule hook up to a ‘temporary water line’.

After figuring out that business from 3,000+ miles away, we arrived home from our red-eye flight to discover that we could not, in fact, drive down our street. The only way to get to our house was to drive through the neighboring town and go down the other end of the street. And then we found out that what ‘temporary water line’ actually means is ‘water line the size of a garden hose that will mean that you get exactly NO water pressure on a good day, and don’t even think about trying to take a shower while you’re running the dishwasher’.

It also means lots of air bubbles in the line, so every time I’m taking a shower (a very long one, because imagine trying to shower in a stream of water that is equivalent to your average kindergarten water fountain) and the thing very loudly starts spitting out air, I duck and cover like I’ve suddenly found myself facing a firing squad. What is it about that noise that startles me so much?

I guess my griping is late in coming, since it appears that the construction is almost completed, but I can’t even tell you how much I am looking forward to a shower that features a reasonable level of water pressure.

**Bonus hypothetical. Let’s say you work in an office building, and let’s say that people routinely leave leftover food (from catered lunches, birthday parties, etc) in the little copy rooms on each floor. It’s completely acceptable to take a food that’s left there. (I am totally not above cutting myself a slice of cake in celebration of Bob’s birthday, even if I don’t know who the hell Bob is.) But now let’s say that there is leftover pizza in there, and it’s not in a box, but sitting in the open on a bunch of paper towels. And it’s been there since yesterday (at least – possibly longer but I am not aware). Would you eat it?

I can say for absolute certainty that I would not – but my new cube neighbor seems to feel differently about the scenario and is presently munching away. Now, in his defense, I suppose he may not know that it has been there since yesterday (although I don’t see how because that is where the printer is, and he prints stuff all the time), but… still… gross, right?


Filed under Home Sweet Home

More Wildlife

Tom the Turkey has not made any more appearances (at least not that we’ve seen), BUT last night Ricky the Obese Raccoon came to visit. Ricky is apparently living the good life, because Ricky is so fat that he doesn’t walk, he waddles. I don’t think Ricky is the same raccoon that came and tapped on our window last year, unless he became this massive over the course of the past year. But who knows.

Also, Ricky would like you to know that he is NOT SCARED OF YOU. You can bang on the window all you want, but he is a Bad Ass Raccoon and he will stare you down. And then he will possibly go knock over your garbage can. That Ricky is a real tough guy.

Also, I would like the guy who sits in a cube in the next row to know that just because he has a speakerphone button on his phone doesn’t mean he needs to use it. It’s bad enough that I have to tune out your obnoxious, name-dropping voice; now I have to drown out the voice of the annoying people you talk to. Pick up the receiver. And stop wearing pink shirts. You think it makes you look secure in your masculinity, but it just makes us question it even more. No one thinks you’re cool.

That is all.

P.S. I really hate name droppers.

P.P.S I don’t mind it when guys wear pink, I just hate this particular person’s wardrobe choices.

P.P.S. Now the other really annoying cube neighbor is talking on the phone with her husband and get this – she just called him Schmoopy. SCHMOOPY. Now that is just priceless.


Filed under Home Sweet Home, Kwit yer bitchun, Life in New England

Wild Turkey

Not that kind, silly. This kind:

He (or perhaps she) was wandering around our yard yesterday. We saw him three times, but every time I ran for the camera he got away just in time. We only managed a fuzzy, far away picture with Matt’s camera phone.

We’ve joked about wildlife since we moved into this house, since the realtor that was selling got a little… carried away with the description that she posted online. Obviously, we liked the house, but we got some good laughs over this realtor’s exagerations, especially the part about the ‘abundance of wildlife that will make you feel like you reside in an exotic wonderland’. Um, ok, exotic wonderland? Really? I was pretty sure that we were looking at houses in a suburb of Boston, but whatever you say.

So, every time we’ve seen a deer, or a raccoon, or the one time that I saw the coyote, we’ve joked extensively about the wildlife in our exotic wonderland. Of course, we were feeling pretty sarcastic since deer, while a bit unexpected given that we don’t live in a rural area, are not exactly exotic. Yesterday, though, we were feeling exotic. We had a wild turkey. We would name him Tom. He was eating the bird seed that the squirrels had knocked out of the feeder, because – HA! – HE’S A BIRD!

An exotic bird.

It was only about an hour after our conversation about how cool it was that we had a wild turkey running around, and wondering where he lived, and whether he got cold in the winter, and musing after the fact that we just couldn’t believe that a creature like that was running around New England, and we were feeling kind of bad for eating his friends and relatives every year on Thanksgiving, and using the word ‘exotic’ about ninety million times, that we suddenly turned to look at each other:

“Oh man, we’re such idiots.”

“I know. You’re thinking the same thing I’m thinking, right?”

“Probably. But, he just SEEMED exotic, you know?”

“I thought so too, but, I mean, DUH. PILGRIMS.”

“Poor Tom. I guess he’s not so exotic after all.”

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Filed under Home Sweet Home, Life in New England

This Means War

Tonight when I got home from work I attempted to take a picture of the ugly-but-awesome-all-at-the-same-time bird feeder for your viewing pleasure. But when I stepped out into the back yard, my attention was distracted by the fat squirrel’s rear hanging out the side of said bird feeder. Yes, friends – the squirrels strike again.

I did the obvious, logical thing, and immediately threw a rock at the squirrel. (Oh, calm down. I missed.) Then I felt really guilty for throwing a rock (albeit a small one, more pebble than rock, really) at a poor, defenseless squirrel. And just as I was feel particularly guity (doesn’t HE deserve to eat just as much as the birdies?) the fat ass stuck his head out the bird feeder, turned around, and looked directly at me. I waved my arms and shouted at him, thinking that this would scare him off (or, at the very least, alert my neighbors that they should call the men in white coats, and then I would be taken away to a nice safe room where I could sit in the corner and mutter about the squirrels and their EVIL, EVIL ways) but instead, he stared at me for a few seconds before resuming the stuffing of his chubby cheeks.

So then, I thought that AT LEAST if I couldn’t foil the squirrels, I could get a good blog-fodder type picture. But WOULDN’T YOU KNOW that as soon as I zoomed in on that furry squirrel rear-view, the little shit hopped down and scampered away.

I know I could have taken a picture of just the bird feeder, as originally intentioned, but somehow it had lost its luster at that point.



Filed under Home Sweet Home

This is totally a sign that we are getting old.

(The scene: Matt and I are perusing the aisles of Christmas Tree Shops looking for cheap stuff for Project Make the Yard Not Look Like Crap – 2008 edition.)

Matt: Oh, we should get a birdfeeder.

Me: Didn’t we get a birdfeeder last year?

Matt: Yes, but the squirrel masterminds figured out how to climb down from the deck onto the birdfeeeder and eventually their weight was too much and it crashed to the ground. In my expert opinion, it is beyond repair.

Me: Stupid fat squirrels.

Matt: Look, here are some birdfeeders. I like this wooden one.

Me: Great, it’s only $9.99. Sold. Let’s look for bird seed.

Matt: I think there’s some over there on that display.

Me: Which one?

Matt: The one with those… what are those? They’re so bright.

Me: I think…? They’re birdfeeders? But who would paint a birdfeeder those colors?

Matt: I don’t know. But… they’re kind of interesting.

Me: I like that it’s on a stake so you don’t have to hang it.

Matt: Do they have any that aren’t so… gaudy?

Me: Doesn’t look like it.

Matt: I find myself sort of strangely drawn to them.

Me: Me, too! It’s like, my brain is telling me they’re hideous, but my heart is telling me to love them.

Matt: So. Do you want to buy one.

Me: Oh hell yeah.


So we are now the proud owners of a brightly colored bird feeder. It is on a (brightly colored) stake in the far corner of our back yard, and while it may just be the New England equivalent of a pink plastic flamingo, I can’t help but love it.

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Filed under Home Sweet Home