The Five Stages of Dishes: From Procrastination to Exasperation

I know they’re in there. I can hear them.  Maybe if I hide back here they’ll just go away.

We’ve all  heard about the stages of grief.  Thankfully, I’m not going through any grief, but what I AM going through is having to do the dishes by hand.  Anyone who has been reading my blog for more than a few days knows how much I looooooooooove to do the dishes.  Thanks to a comatose dishwasher, it’s a necessary evil.  Through careful research and lots of avoidance, I have managed to come up with what I think are the five stages of dishes.  It may be different in your house, but this is pretty much how it goes down in mine.

Stage 1:  The Denial or The Procrastination or I Don’t Feel Like Doing the Dishes Phase

We just have a few dishes to wash.  Supper is over and I just want to veg a little with the family and watch Phineas and Ferb.  That’s cool (the coolest show ever), I’ll do dishes in a little bit.-OR- I have nothing to do.  I could wash the dishes but boy is the back of this cereal box interesting. -OR- I really should be doing those dishes but what I really need is a good root canal.

Stage 2:  The Gathering Stage

Oh look!  The dishes look so happy in there.  They’re gathering.  It’s like a little party just for dishes.  Must be kind of a wild party, because they are really dirty.  That’s it, it’s a birthday party!  There is no way I could go in there and spoil their fun. If I washed some of them, then the rest would be lonely.  What kind of a person would I be if I stepped in there and took some now?

Stage 3:  The Squirt and Rinse Stage

I really need that big pan that’s in the middle of the mountain in the sink.  I’ll just move these dishes to the side so I can use the faucet, and squirt a teensy amount of dishsoap and put some hot water in it.  I’ll let it soak, and then rinse it out.  Need another pan?  Nope.  We’ll make something that only requires ONE pan.

Stage 4:  The Paper Plate and Jack’s Pizza Stage

Oh man the dishes are starting to take over.  If I start dishes now then I’ll be there for hours.  I have nothing to cook with, and very little to eat off of.  Ah-ha!  We’ll do Jack’s Pizzas for supper.  Nothing needed to cook them, just that big round piece of cardboard that it comes with.  We’ll use paper plates and cups.  BRILLIANT!

Stage 5: The Why The &$#^&*(@  Did I Put These Off For So Long Phase?

I am out of Jack’s Pizza and paper plates.  I have to wash dishes, and this makes me ANGRY!  Think of the Hulk, but with reverse colors (purple with green clothing), crazier hair, and more coordinated.  I furiously try to move the giant stacks of dishes like Moses parting the Red Sea.  I scrub out the sink and fill it with hot soapy water.  Then I spend the next hour arranging the dishes by size, because by doing this I can maximize my clean dish output and minimize the space needed for those clean dishes.  This results in a bunch of clean plates in the dish drainer and a bunch of stuff piled around it as high as it will go.  Then we have towels spread out on the table for the overflow.  3/4 of the dishes may or may not be done.  The rest stay and the whole process starts over…

Did I mention that I hate washing the dishes?

Attention dishes and spoons:  You know any time you want to run away together, that’s ok by me.  That’s just less for me to wash.

Where Appliances Die, or Are At Least Seriously Injured

Our appliances don’t suffer such odd fates, They just kick the bucket or have lots of broken parts.

Welcome to our house, where large and small appliances go to die.  Or at least are seriously injured.  Maybe it’s not just after me?

Today we added the garbage disposal to the list.  It hums, but not any tunes, which would be really cool.  It doesn’t do anything else.  Time of death was 5:13 pm.  It went much like our other appliances did.  It worked fine yesterday, and then it was gone.  I guess you can live without a garbage disposal.  Or at least I’m going to have to learn to live without one.

This is the third death in that part of the kitchen in recent memory.  And that’s not counting the dead mouse I stepped on in the basement doorway (I’m still trying to figure out which pet was the mighty hunter).  One night recently Evil Genius and I were watching TV.  About 10:30 we heard a popping sound followed by the sound of water leaking.  At first we were stumped.  Where the hell did that come from?  The last time we heard that sound was when the 60 gallon hex aquarium in our trailer sprung a leak.  THAT was fun (not to mention a BIG mess!)  This time it wasn’t the aquarium.  After a little hunting, we figured it out it was coming from under the sink.  An old under the sink water filter that someone had installed before we moved in had ruptured.  Water, water everywhere!  We never even used the thing, mainly because we never could figure out how it actually worked.  Thank goodness my husband is pretty handy-he was able to figure out how to disconnect the dang thing.  I tossed it in the trash, it’s not like we were using it or anything.  It took a good couple of days to dry out everything under the sink.

No plumbers of any species were called in to rectify the situation. We figured it out all on our very own.

Then there is our dishwasher-it has been dormant for over a year.  I’m really hoping it’s just in its pupae phase.  Anytime now it’s going to turn into something better-like a new car.  Much like the garbage disposal it also quit suddenly.  It started making horrible noises and then that was that.  So far we have found no repair person who will work on it reasonably, nor can we replace it.  So it sits, dormant.  We still have a dishwasher-Me.  I hate doing dishes-but if you read my blog regularly this is not new information.

Our woes have not been confined to the dish region of our house.  Our refrigerator has multiple issues.  We bought what we thought was a nice stainless steel side by side refrigerator when the one that came with the house bit the dust quite suddenly (one day it was working, and then suddenly it was gone).  It was on clearance because it had one little dent in the side.  I love the fact that they will take a couple of hundred dollars off of something just because it has a cosmetic imperfection.  It makes you wonder how much more they could really take off of it.  It now has many scratches on it, thanks to kids playing with magnets and a husband who brought an industrial strength magnet home from work and scraped it across the front (that made me sooooo happy).  The bottom shelf on the door is broken on the right side, so it kind of hangs there.  However I’ve found that if you put stuff on the left side it kind of stays in there (hey I need the storage space!)  It usually holds my big honkin’ bottle of wine I buy and that’s about it.  The fruit and vegetable drawers aren’t really drawers so much anymore, due to the supports breaking on each side.  They are more like baskets stuck on top of each other.  The vegetable drawer has a big hole in the front.  This doesn’t help at all with keeping vegetables fresh, but it is convenient when asking a four year old to get something out of one of the drawers “It’s the drawer with the big hole in the front.”  “Get in the vegetable hole and pull me out the carrots, please.” We haven’t fixed these things because I researched prices and they were RIDICULOUS!  Over $30 for a little shelf.  Almost $70 for one drawer.  Eventually if we get caught up on everything else perhaps.  For now we’ll just deal with it.

There are days when I wish Zuul was in my refrigerator. Maybe things would get fixed in there.

Oh and there is one thing that actually has been fixed on it-the water dispenser lever.  I broke it with my brute strength trying to get, well, water out of it.  Snapped it right in half.  It was fixed, but we can’t actually use it for water, because we need to retap the line.  We have ice, just no water.  I pour water from the tap into a red ice tea dispenser type container, which we put in our fridge so we always have cold water.  Yup, it’s a red redneck water dispenser.  How cool are we?

You’d think we’re hard on stuff or something.  Perhaps… At the same time we had our water dispenser thingie fixed we also had the door handle to our stove fixed.  Not only do I have superstrength, so does my husband.  He broke the handle off on the stove by *gasp* pulling on it.  We have also replaced our washer and dryer this past year.  The washer wouldn’t wash.  The dryer wouldn’t dry.  It was truly a clothes cleaning conspiracy.  At the time we were in a position to actually replace the darn things.  Thank goodness-I can’t quite picture myself using a washtub and one of those washboards.

Maybe I otter start me a band…

So we’re currently trying to figure out what is going to happen next.  Is the stove going to blow up? Probably, considering it’s the only appliance we haven’t replaced yet.  It was the only one that traveled with us to this new house.  And so far, so good.  Maybe if I go sit in front of it and try to reason with it then I can expect a few more years out of it.

The Quest for the Natural Cleaners That Make Themselves

Let the natural goodness commence. Or let’s not and say we did.

In an effort that I hope will save us money and maybe be better for us, I bought all kinds of natural ingredients that I could make laundry soap, homemade fabric softener, cleansers, dish detergent, etc out of.  The nice thing is that I only had to purchase a few ingredients and it didn’t cost very much at all.  Now I actually have to MAKE the stuff.  Except for the fabric softener-I couldn’t find cheap hair conditioner that I wanted my clothes to smell like.

Every website I saw these recipes raved how it so cheap and everything was so clean and so great smelling.  And how nice it was to not have those chemicals in their houses.  I mean well but I certainly don’t know if I am up to par with these women.  I love the all natural stuff.  I subscribe to Natural Health.  I use all Method cleaning products.  I actually bought something at a Norwex party once.  I refill the Scentsy burners when I think about it.  So this all sounds nice and right up my alley and all, but it also means I need to get off my butt and do it.  Right after I take a nap-which sounds nice but mean my children actually need to maybe either do something quiet too or actually rest themselves.  Uh-huh-making this stuff might actually be more productive for me.

What did I buy?  The various recipes I found used some of these ingredients:  Borax, washing powder, Fels-Naptha, vinegar, essential oils.  The essential oils were a bit daunting-here I was standing at the organic grocery store smelling everything.  I chose lavender, though I was really partial to the rosemary.  I already use lavender cleaning spray around my house, and no one has complained thus far.  I brought home a brochure that supposedly helps you figure out all that aromatherapy stuff (it had a coupon for the oil, so you bet your bippy I was bringing it home.)  I think it would be VERY helpful if it was scratch and sniff though.

Like I said, IF I ever make this, I hope it works.  For my sake if nothing else.  Back when I could actually get my husband to help out with the dishes, I remember a snide comment about the all natural organic crap that I had bought for dishsoap.  I hate doing dishes-I caved and bought the Dawn power stuff.  Now that he’s done with school and a full time engineer-the dishes aren’t getting done-so I suppose it won’t harm anyone to go back to the other stuff.  By the way, I have a very expensive Bosch dishwasher that hasn’t worked for almost a year-I can’t afford to fix it so there it sits, probably laughing at the piles of dishes in the kitchen.

So maybe later today, between doing the dishes that are taking over my kitchen and the laundry I’ll get out my cauldron and whip up some cleaner.  Now, about that nap…

This is not me.  But I thought it would be funny…