Saturday, April 30, 2011

Is spring finally here?

I sure hope so.
According to the above picture it looks like it is true. The Orchard Mason Bees are hard at work. Cliff had to make another bee house to accommodate all of the newly hatched bees. I am glad they are not inclined to sting because there are so many of them.
It was such a fine day that I even went out and weeded the flower bed. It always pleases me to see it free of weeds. Unfortunately that is an ongoing process. It does not take long before the weeds take over again.
We bought our 18 Early Girl tomatoes a few days ago and yesterday Cliff planted them in 2 cloches. He also planted 6 lettuce plants that we bought already about 5 inches tall and 6 tiny little lettuce plants that I raised in the house. All of those are under plastic cloches as well. It is still too cold at night without protection.
I was able to pick the first useable veggies.


I will be cooking some tomorrow. Rapini is a plant that comes back every year and tastes great. I always look forward to the first meal. This year it has been much later than normal.
It has also been a much colder Spring and most of our tulips have frozen edges and don’t look nice. Too bad because they looked great last year.
Time for bed.
Good night everybody ☺

gas prices

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Back to normal

Last Monday before picking up the Maytag parts we went to Walmart to do a bit of shopping.

I picked up a spiral ham that was on special. It must have been a momentary lapse of judgement because when we got home I looked at the size of it and was wondering for how many weeks we had to eat it since there is just Cliff and I at the table! To top it off when we tried it we found that it was very salty. So here I am stuck with about 8 pounds of salty ham. I knew I had to think of some way to use it because I just cannot throw food out.

I cut it up into usable portions and froze some but kept 2 chunks out. This morning I ground those 2 chunks up in my Braun grinder and figured I could use that instead of sausage to make biscuits and gravy, southern style. I checked for recipes on the internet and it sounded pretty easy. That’s what we had for lunch with a substitution of potatoes for the biscuits plus broccoli and a salad. It turned out very tasty and is a keeper. I also think that it would be great as a filling for crepes. Nicki had a good idea to mix the ground ham with cheese in scalloped potatoes for another dish. So now I am glad I bought that large ham.

All in all today was a great day.

Good night everybody ☺

teeth stand

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished!!

By gosh we’ve got it ☺

It was around one in the afternoon Monday when the Maytag dealer called to let us know the parts kit we ordered was in. We went right to town, did a little bit of shopping, picked up the parts and started work on the machine at around 4.30 PM. At 11 PM, after we gave the washer a run through with just water, we were finished, but not without lots of work and frustrations. Actually I should say not without MY frustrations. Cliff is as cool as a cucumber when he does jobs like this one.

Maytag Man


Here are the tools of the trade:


All the electronic connections had to be made but luckily he was wise enough to take pictures before disconnecting everything.



Before that could be accomplished we had to put the machine together again and unfortunately we did not take any pictures before disassembly. That was too bad since it took us quite some time to figure it out which certainly was not easy. The icing on the cake was a wire around the drum that held the rubber boot from the outer drum to the machine. It was connected by a spring in the middle. What a job that was. Every time we had the boot in the correct position and tried to pull one side of the spring long enough to connect the other side the boot came off again. The spring was too strong. We tried using all kinds of tools but nothing seemed to work until Cliff thought of brake spring pliers he had. Off he went to the garage and after the second try the job was done. Too bad we did not think of that before.

During the whole job we had to change positions. On time I was in front of the machine holding something or other and Cliff in back, a few minutes later we switched. Up.... down, up...down. In the end I could hardly straighten up. This is not a job for an old lady ☺

This morning I did 2 loads of laundry and what a relief to hear the washer run smoothly.

All told the cost was $ 88.79, a far cry from the quote of $ 300.00 to 500.00. Cliff corrected me about the price I quoted in my earlier Blog.

and after:

Here is Humpty Dumpty put together again:


In conclusion: I hope we don’t have to do this job again any time soon ☺

Good night everybody ☺


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Washer Woes

We woke up to beautiful sunshine hoping it will stay that way all day.
Remember the Maytag Man in the commercials of the olden days????

Well, I think he appeared at our house.

For a few weeks now our Maytag Washer has been making a screeching sound at the spin cycle. It was getting so bad that we could not be in the same room during the spin cycle. I called the place where I bought it but they could not guess at what it might be without having a look at it. They also said that they did not have many problems with our type washer which I find hard to believe after searching on the Internet and finding forum after forum where people complained about these washers breaking down so often. $$$$ signs where in my eyes and I certainly did not want to spend a great amount on a washer I did not like in the first place. I had blogged about it earlier. In that Blog I said that we bought the washer in 2008 but in reality it was February 2007. (senior moment mix-up) so the machine is only 4 years old.

washer Blog

Cliff thought the machine sounded like it had a broken bearing. He called the dealer to find out how much it would cost to replace it. They quoted a minimum of $ 200.—but it could rise to $ 500.00. For that amount of money I would much, much rather buy a top load washer which I should have done in the first place.

Maytag Man to the rescue… 
Maytag manHis name is Cliff ☺


As you can see the machine is now unrecognisable ☺ and sure enough one of the bearings is the culprit.


I was shocked to see the grunge on the inside. It is soap build-up. When we bought our freezer last year at Sears I happened to talk to the sales lady about our Maytag washer smelling at times. She told me that a tablespoon of the Tide He-soap was enough for a load instead of the quantity that Tide proposes. At the time I thought that was not enough but I now believe her after seeing the inside of our washer. It took a lot of elbow grease to get it clean again. For the last year I had even used the packets of cleaner that are supposed to clean the washer a few times and still there was the build-up.


The bearing had a number and Cliff knew where to buy one without paying the Maytag price. Instead of around $ 60.00 he got one for $ 20.00 at a regular bearing shop but we also needed a seal kit that is strictly Maytag. Of course it was not “in stock” so now we are waiting for it. I hope it will come soon because our cold room next to the utility room is full of washer parts and there is hardly any room to walk. I also hope that we will be able to put that washer back together again which is going to be a tall order.

or fixing the washer ☺

Stay tuned!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Maybe Spring is finally here

I very much hope so. We have had a few sunny days. Pretty soon it is time to work in the garden. For Cliff that is, I don’t really like gardening but do a bit of weeding off and on. I like harvesting though ☺ I did weed the little square in our concrete patio. There used to be an apple tree but the roots were too shallow and every winter it toppled over. For several years we propped it up again and we still got apples but in the end we had to take it out. Since the deer used to eat everything that we planted in there I just weed it and leave it empty.
The Orchard Mason Bees are out of their nests and buzzing around. It will not be long before the cherry and plum trees are breaking out in bloom. I was surprised to see the bees out because I’m not sure where they find food just yet.
So far we have not seen any swallows. Last year they came a bit earlier.
The hummingbirds are back from their winter vacation.
We went shopping this morning at Superstore and I saw this Parking sign:


I was tempted to use that spot figuring: I AM a mother and I AM EXPECTING phone calls and letters from my kids, so I MUST BE an expectant mother. Since I like to park away from the store to get at least a bit of exercise I just took a picture and drove on.
Happy Birthday, Nicki. xoxo
That’s it for today.
Good bye everybody ☺