Mary Poppins is not available – I have to clean my own house!

Today I am running out to an 8am meeting. Stop it! I know you’re just jealous!

Because getting up early is always profitable – this morning I happened to catch an incredible glimpse of Orion, despite a pretty bright moon, as he high-tailed it across the sky.   The sky moves quickly at this time of year – within the 20 or so minutes I sat on my front porch, the giant moved a good two inches, from one tree top to the next across my yard.

After I get home from that meeting today I will be cleaning my apartment, what a mess.  Yesterday I noticed a fine coating of spiderwebs and dust on my walls, lacy hangings on everything. The bathroom and the laundry closet have been smelling kind of bad, and the sump pump on my washer has been acting pretty constipated. Fridge coils need cleaning. Time for Mary Poppins, but she’s not available, so I will just have to do it myself. I mean, if you want something done right, eh?


I do have Burt – that would be my husband, Handy Andy. Yesterday he went after the sump pump on my front loader washer – he’s learned to take it out, I’m not going to try to describe it to you. This is a repair that would cost you at least a hundred bucks if you had a  guy from Ginnos come out to do it. My repair man, looking around my house, seemed to detect a handy man available, and he showed me how to do it, I described it to my husband, and he figured it out.

The sump pump is really important – this is what removes the water from your agitator. When I had the repair man out to do it, he found a GD paper clip in there, and told me, a rubber band could have necessitated a new pump! That was 10 years ago, we have not made that mistake again – the watch word here is “check your goddamn pockets before you put those stinking jeans in my washing machine!” My family is well aware how I feel about that machine and the repair bills that it can bring, and they’re careful. But, lint and crap will build up in there, and it just slowly minimizes the effectiveness of your machine, and can cause the motor to burn out from frustration if you don’t watch it.  So, my husband had learned to take out the sump pump, inspect it, then suck out the lines with the shop vac. Yesterday we heard the usual “BUMP!” as the blob of lint and soap hit the inside of the shop vac canister like a cannon ball. Looking inside the canister, all we saw was a white linty mess splattered all over the inside. Mission Accomplished. The washer was back to it’s old self again.

And did I mention that front loader smell? When we moved into this little apartment, with the laundry closet right in the middle of the room, we immediately noticed our washing machine stunk like pee.  I realized, this is what’s ruining our towels, which also stunk like pee. I read up on it, and found out – lint and soap scum build up inside the agitator barrel, get moldy! But all is not lost – there are several cleaners available – including this really good stuff I got at North Valley Appliance. I can’t remember the name of it, it was a little pricey – $7 for three monthly treatments, little tablets you put in the detergent cup.  Chlorox makes a liquid cleaner, you can buy it at Safeway –  three monthly treatments for about $3.  I have a septic tank, so I use less and use it less often than the directions indicate, and it works just fine. I’m sure it also helps to clean the machine as I’ve described above, but I know that’s not practical for those of you whose husband is an all-thumbs chickenshit. Frankly, you should just  call Ginno’s – it’s worth it.  My Ginno’s repairmen have always given me helpful tips, they don’t like to take your money if they don’t have to. It was a Ginno’s guy who showed me how to clean my fridge coils, and told me where to get the brushes, even offering to bring me some if I couldn’t find them.

When I casually broached this subject with Ann Schwab at a Sustainability Task Force meeting, she told me, disgusted, she’d thrown her front loader away when it started to stink. What a helpless imbecile she is. Her husband is a motorcycle mechanic who is also pretty good with bicycles, but he couldn’t figure out her front loader? Hmmmm.  My front loader cost over $800, over 10 years ago. Now they’re priced over $1,000. And she threw it away because it started to stink? All she had to do was call a repair man.  Sheesh!

Well, to the blender, quick smoothie, on the bike, off to the meeting – I’ll keep you posted.




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