It works!

Here’s hoping it stays working.

Today, we finally had a chance to test out the washing machine as the appliance guy described.

And by “we”, I mean mostly my younger daughter, who pulled out the dryer so she could get to the back of the washing machine, pausing first to remove the broken flexible drier hose and getting the new one ready. With me as the person to pass her tools, she popped the back panel off the washing machine to find the air hose he described.

Which is when we discovered that when he said “back panel”, he meant the small back panel of the electronics at the top, not the large back panel of the machine.

The small panel took a lot more effort to get off. We ended up having to pry it off with a butter knife. !!

His instructions were to blow into the air hose (which turned out to be MUCH smaller than I expected) to make sure it wasn’t clogged. My daughter figured out where the end of the hose was, how to get it off, and tested it.

While we manually pumped water out of the tub, we couldn’t quite get all of it, so when she blew on the hose, we could hear air bubbles in the tub.

Which was good. It meant the hose wasn’t clogged.

That meant the next step was to do an empty wash cycle. After everything was put back together, we plugged the washer in and started the empty test load.

After we taped the spare sump pump hose to the end of the washer’s drain hose, running it out the window of the storm door. We still weren’t sure about the drain pipe in the wall being unclogged enough to not spray water all over the place again.

One of our other concerns was the washer’s tub. It was still lower than it should have been, and I was concerned something got broken under it. My daughter pointed out that it did still have water in it, so that was likely why it was lower.

With nothing in the tub, the timer set itself for only 35 minutes. She and I both stayed and watched through the window in the lid, her behind the machine and me in front of it, for the whole time.

I gotta tell ya, we were just thrilled when the washing machine actually stopped adding water when it was a few inches deep, just as the appliance guy said it should, and again when it finally reached the rinse cycle and actually drained properly, with no leaks in the cobbled together hoses leading outside.

Part way through, my older daughter came by to see if she could help. I got her to fill a container of water so we could test the drain pipe. It seemed fine, but with the washing machine going, we couldn’t be sure things weren’t gurgling further down the pipe.

Once the washer was done, with everything working fine and even the tub lifting itself up as high as it normally does, we tested the drain pipe again. This time, while my daughter poured the water down the drain as fast as the funnel would let her, I had my head in the kitchen sink, listening to the pipes.

Normally, we’d be hearing all sorts of gurgles. We always have. This time, I heard nothing.

Just to be on the safe side, though, we used the last of the Max Gel drain de-clogger, both in the kitchen sink and the drain pipe. While that was left to sit for half an hour, my daughter and I pushed the washer back into place, then she started working on the dryer hose.

She was able to get it on the fitting in the wall easily enough, but the one coming out the dryer is slightly larger. The hose is held in place with an iron spring clamp. I was expecting a screw clamp. The spring clam is such a pain! It took her almost an hour to get it on. It simply did not want to fit around the pipe from the drier, and the hose, at the same time.

While she fought with that, I waited on the drain cleaner, (and kept an eye on a roast in the oven) and boiled up a kettle of water to flush them both with. Usually we just run hot water, but the kitchen sink is far from the hot water tank and takes forever to get hot. Once the drains got their boiling water treatment, I ran the hot water in one sink, listening to the drain in the other.

Not a gurgle to be heard.

I honestly think we got finally got the pipes clear.

After all the troubles we’ve been having, though, we aren’t confident.

My daughters had to do some laundry, so as soon as the dryer hose was finally attached, they decided to give it a go. While the washing machine tub seems to be behaving properly, they’re still going to do a couple of small loads, instead of one big one – and the washing machine’s drain hose is still set up to drain outside!

The problem with the drain hose is that the only way we can be sure if it’s clear enough is to actually let the washing machine drain through it. There’s nothing else we have that can push that much water, under that much pressure, though the drain pipe. If it does start backing up again, we’ll end up with the same mess all over again.

For now, we’re going to baby the darn thing, with small loads, until we’re sure the tub can handle the weight before increasing it.

Then we’ll test out the pipes.

The Re-Farmer

Road conditions and cursed laundry update

First, obligatory cat picture!

I think I spotted about 8 or 10 cats in total this morning; they move around so much, it’s hard to tell some of them apart. 😀

I did the walk to check on the washed out road to the south of us again, and things are much improved.

This deeper section is now about half as wide as it was before. The other section that was much wider but shallower is also substantially reduced.

While walking back, I saw something that made me very happy. A grader went by on the main road!

So of course, I had to check that washout, too.

Click on the images to see them in a larger size.

The patch job is holding out, and with the water receding, it shouldn’t get any bigger – hopefully! My goodness, though, that’s a lot of gravel that washed into our side of the fence line! In the middle picture, the grader is still visible, but it’s hard to see with the trees in the background.

I’d gone though our back gate to check this area out, and as I headed back through the outer yard, I saw a gravel truck going by. I know there are a lot more washouts to the west of us. The company we bought our garden soil from mostly works with gravel, as well as doing driveways, road repairs, etc. Once I got inside, I sent an email to the renter, who also happens to be on our municipal council, to thank them for doing such a great job dealing with all this. Then I sent a direct message to his wife to pass on that I’d sent the email to check at his leisure. I knew he would be incredibly busy. I was right! His wife told me he was out hauling. Their own farm came very close to major damage, but the water started to recede just in time. She also told me the gravel company has been working tirelessly, cleaning things up. So I made sure to pass on thanks to them, too! I’m sure the council has been hearing plenty of complaints, so I wanted to make sure to pass on some appreciation. There’s only so much they can do until the water recedes, and I totally understand how frustrated they must have been.

One thing about this time of year, is that I can actually see the state of the outer yard in some places.

This is in the part of the outer yard that leads to the back gate. Those tire tracks have been here longer than we have. I’ve put that stick there so that, when I’m trying to mow a lane to the back gate, I can see where it gets particularly rough. The whole section is full of ruts that there’s just no avoiding.

I wonder if this year, we’ll finally manage to do a controlled burn? The whole area is such a fire hazard in the summer, with all that thatch, a controlled burn would make is much safer – but with old buildings and sheds in the area, there’s a risk of one of them catching fire. With so much moisture this spring, it would be easier to control a burn.

When it comes to the risk, it’s 6 of one, and a half dozen of the other.

After finishing my rounds, I called the appliance repair guy that did the warranty work on our washing machine before. I was able to explain and describe what happened. He confirmed that the machine turning itself on and draining is a fail safe. With the drain still not tested properly – and I really don’t know how to test it without the washing machine, since it sends the most water through, under pressure, than anything else – what should have been a good thing is now a problem.

There is no way he can come out here for at least a week, so he described what to try first. We’ll have to pop the back panel off to do it. There is an air hose that goes from the electronics panel to under the tub; with the water sitting in the tub overnight, it may have gotten clogged. We’ll need to detach it from the top and try blowing through it. If it’s not clogged, he wants us to do a test wash. After putting the air hose back, of course, we need to run an empty load. With nothing in the tub, the water level should reach only about 5 inches deep. If it keeps on filling without stopping, we would need to shut it off, unplug it again, and call him back. Otherwise, if it starts working as it should and goes through a wash cycle, that may do a reset on the electronics (we had to do this when we first bought the machine), and that should solve any weird issues, there.

To do this, we’ll have to first pull the dryer out, so we can access the back of the washing machine.

The dryer duct needs to be replaced, as we found out the cats had damaged it, the last time we had to get back there. When my daughter put my super wet laundry into the dryer after she foot stomp washed it for me, the glass in the entire house fogged up! Going into the dining room and kitchen areas was like being in a sauna.

Which was actually really pleasant, and I’m sure the plants loves it, but not good for the house! 😀

Since the grader went by, I decided to make the trip into town.

I actually passed the grader, working the other half of the road, on the way out. 🙂

Then I reached the washout.

Please excuse my terrible picture. I just stopped, stuck my phone out the window, and shot blind.

Right in front of me is where the municipal drainage ditch runs under the road. The area I noted earlier as looking like it would flood, is indeed washed out, and it extends almost as far as where the culvert is.

Knowing the grader went through here already, I wasn’t too worried about being able to cross it in our tender van. 😉

The next area of concern was there the gravel road reached the highway. I knew it had been washed out badly, but this is a major intersection (as for as out rural municipality goes!) and I knew it would have been a priority fix. Sure enough, it was completely redone with fresh gravel, though the driveways to the nearby church, and into a private residence (thankfully, no one lives there right now) are badly damaged and under fast running water.

In fact, the whole way to town, the ditch on that side was a fast flowing little river. This ditch is a main drain straight to the lake and, from the looks of it, the two municipalities it crosses had managed to clear the snow out – again – to keep the water flowing. There’s just so much of it, even the driveways and roads that didn’t get washed out, still had all the gravel around the culverts washed away, exposing the rock foundations.

Town itself was all right, in the places I needed to get to. I know in other areas, there are major problems.

My first stop was the hardware store. This is a small store, and their major appliances are in the basement. I don’t normally go down there, so I made a point of looking around while there. I found the dryer duct I needed, and also picked up vent filters. With so much cat hair floating around, I knew this was something we needed, but hadn’t actually found any until today. One pack has 24 filters in them.

I got two.

While I was at it, I also picked up more of the drain maintenance stuff that uses bacteria and enzymes to help keep the plumping clean. I also got a product that’s a fast clog clearer – not something I got before, because it’s strong enough that the bottles are sold in their own plastic bags, to avoid any risk if there’s a spill. We’ll have to be very careful using it. It may not be designed specifically as septic safe, but with so much water flowing into our septic tank and the pump going off so often right now, I’m not too worried about that right now. Then, once that’s done, we can use the other stuff to get the bacteria and enzymes established again.

Since I was in town anyhow, I made a quick stop at the grocery store for a few small things, then remembered to stop at the store we found those storage bins that have been so handy for our seed starts. Happily, they restocked on the larger bins, so I got 4 more. I also found some plant clips and picked up some new wooden clothes pins. The ones we have now are really old and starting to fall apart. There are plastic ones, too, but they’re so old, many of them have become brittle and snap when we try to use them.

I forgot to look for clothes line at the hardware store, but that’s okay. We should probably measure how much we need, first, to replace the broken clothesline. I might pick up some more pullies, too. When my dad set up the posts for the clothes line, he made it to hold three of them. Back then, we were using a wringer washer, and had no clothes dryer. There’s just one clothes line, now. The posts are starting to lean inwards, though, so we’ll have to do something to correct that. I’d like to have the option of hanging clothes outside, if we want or need to.

We now have what we need for when we get behind the washer and dryer. I don’t know that we’ll get to that today, though. We need to set up the sun room so we can bring in more plants.

Which I’ll be talking about in my next post. The plants, I mean, not the sun room. I’m so excited!


The Re-Farmer

My laundry is cursed

Okay, I’m done. Just done.

Can anything else go wrong?

Don’t answer that…

I’ve just spent the last several hours fighting with a single load of laundry. The laundry I tried to do last night that ended up flooding the entryway.

Today, the first thing I did was remove the clothing that was still in the water, wringing it out as best I could, and putting it back in the laundry basket. While I was doing that, I realized…

I was seeing… daylight?

Check out how low that is. The top of the basin is usually just under the top of the washer. It was about 3 inches lower. There is a window in the wall behind the washer, with sunlight shining through some openings in the back of the machine, and I was seeing it only because it was so low.

Once the clothes were out, I used the new syphon pump to drain the water into a bucket. The breaking main door was opened and left open, to put as little stress on the hinges as possible.

I had to fight off cats, every time I came in and out. They were so excited to be able to see through the storm door, and sniff at the slightly open window!

Once as much water was removed from the basin as the pump could get, I left it be, hoping that without the weight of the water and clothes, it would lift itself up again.

While giving it time to do that, I dumped the basket of laundry into the tub. It had already been washed and needed to be rinsed, so I added water and stomped on it with my feet, like I was stomping grapes, to rinse it out. When the old washing machine broke, that was how we did our laundry until we could replace it.

The down side of doing laundry that way is, it’s hard to squeeze out the water. Which makes it much more work for the dryer. I did use one of the arm bars to twist as much water out as I could, but decided to take advantage of the sunny and warmer day, and hang them on the clothes line.

Before I did, though, I checked on the washing machine.

That was encouraging. The basin was almost at the top again.

I left it be to head outside and wipe down the clothes line – it hasn’t been used in a long time – while a daughter lugged the laundry basket out for me. While hanging the clothes, I made extra sure to pin them on well because, if they fell off, they’d fall right into mud, snow, water or even deer droppings, depending on where they were.

I did notice that we need to replace the clothes line. It’s a plastic coated wire line, and it’s so old, the plastic was cracking all over. I don’t want to get rust on the clothes.

One of the handy things we got were a couple of S clips. Our clothes line is on pulleys, so we can just stand on the laundry platform and move the clothes on the line, rather than having to drag a basket across the yard. With the weight of the clothes, it starts to sag, but S clips placed strategically between the clothes, holds the top and bottom together and reduces the sag. I had just put on the second S clip and was getting hear the bottom of the basket when…

… the clothesline snapped.

Almost all my laundry, now lying in the mud.


Well, we had to test the washing machine out at some point.

After a daughter and I picked up the laundry and brought it in, I decided to do a test run with half a load. I made sure the sump pump hose was set up out the window before even plugging the machine back in.

The cats were wild with curiosity.

Finally, it was time to plug it in and…

Nothing happened.

So far, so good.

I put in the half load of clothing, added the detergent, and finally hit the power button.

It turned on, and did nothing else.

Still, so far so good!

I started setting the machine for a normal load. All the buttons worked, and the timer showed 63 minutes, just as it should. I started the load, and it was soon filling with water.

I wasn’t sure it was so far so good, though. Didn’t it usually take longer before it started filling? The machine does a bit of a jig with the basin as part of its automated load size system. We don’t normally do small loads of laundry, so I’m not sure. Plus, there had still been some water at the bottom. Maybe that threw it off.

Being paranoid, I set up the household step ladder across from the machine and sat there on my phone, supervising it.

As the machine filled, the timer counted down.

It kept filling.

And filling.

And filling.

That was a small load. It should have stopped earlier.

Then I realized the countdown on the timer was at 55 minutes – and it wasn’t changing.

I do appreciate that the washing machine has a window in its lid. I kept watching the water level slowly rising. The basin did start to agitate a bit, but kept stopping, while the water kept going.

Finally I paused it, checked the load and restarted it.

It kept filling.

The timer stayed at 55 minutes.

About this time, my other daughter came down to see how my cursed load of laundry was doing, and I told her what was happening. When the machine still wouldn’t stop filling, and the level was just way too high, I finally shut it off. Clearly, there was something wrong with the machine.

I got my daughter to bring me the syphon pump while I removed the machine’s drain hose from the sump pump hose that was running out the window. The hose from the syphon pump fit into the sump pump hose, nice and snug – I could pump straight outside, instead of hauling buckets!

The cats REALLY wanted to check things out!

I started to pump, but there wasn’t enough of a seal and water started to leak from the join, so I went to get some electric tape to seal it.

I had just gotten the tape from another room, when I started to hear splashing sounds.

I came running to find water shooting out of the washing machine’s drainage hose. The machine had turned itself on and was draining!

This time, I had the presence of mind to shove the end into the washing machine. The little step ladder was still there, so I was able to climb up and reach the plug while staying dry.

Now that I think about it, the machine turning itself on to drain the basin may be a failsafe system, to make sure the basin wasn’t left with heavy water in it for too long. Which would be a good thing, if we actually had somewhere for it to drain, but with the pipe clogged, we don’t, and the only way to stop it is to unplug it!

My younger daughter, sweetheart that she is, went running for the mop and bucket as soon as she heard the splashing. We got the water cleaned up as best we could, then she dried off the hose connections so they could be taped together. Meanwhile, I started taking the clothes out – again! – squeezing as much water out them as I could, and putting them back in the basket, while my daughter started pumping water out.

We got that done, and then I took the laundry into the bath tub again, then headed outside, while my daughter used the syphon hose to empty out most of the mop bucket, so it would be easier to dump outside.

That pump and hose system through the door works really well.

While outside, I gathered up the broken clothes line. That took a while. It’s a long line! My daughter came to join me, and when we went into the sun room to put the line away until we had time to grab some tools and remove the line tightener, which is still good, we talked about how I want to set things up in the sun room to make a surface for plants above the swing bench.

Not something we’re going to do today.

Then we headed in, and I was talking about having to still do my laundry with my feet when my daughter started taking off her shoes by the tub.

She said I was having a bad enough day, so she would do it for me.

What a sweetheart!

So that’s done and, since no amount of manual squeezing matched the spin cycle of a machine, the load is being dried in two batches, so as not the overwork the dryer.

We went from not being able to do laundry because of a clogged drain, to now having a broken washing machine.

I hope it’s still under warranty. I’m not sure something like this would be covered, though.

As for the drain…

When I had the chance, I got my daughter to stand near the laundry and listen, while I ran both taps in the kitchen on full. She heard no gurgling and no sounds of water backing up the pipe.

Could we have finally cleared the clog?

I sure hope so. I’d really like something to go right!

Actually, something did go right. Wanting to cheer myself up, my daughter and I went to check on the seedlings in the big aquarium greenhouse. There are more sprooots! More Lady Godive and Kakai hulless pumpkins have sprouted, and I spotted a Styrian seedling just breaking ground. We also have more of the cantaloupe type melons! We have an almost 100% germination rate on those! There is only one out of 8 pots of Halona melons that hasn’t germinated – and those are seeds from last year’s garden, so they’re more than a year old. One of the grocery store melons, which has 4 pots, had only one seed germinated, but now the rest of them are up, too.

That did a great job in cheering us both up. 🙂

Tomorrow, I want to call the plumber and, now that the washing machine is doing crazy things, call the appliance guy that came out to do warranty work on it before. I want to describe to him what happened, before trying to find the info for the company about possible warranty work.

What a day.

My other daughter commented on how all this was somehow to “make up” for our not being flooded outside, like so many others are!

It could most definitely be worse.

The Re-Farmer

Flooding of a different sort

What a wet and terrible end to the day! And it’s not over yet.

No, I’m not talking about the storm related flooding outside. Nor am I talking about the water collecting in our old basement.

No, this is a completely different sort of flooding.

I tried to do laundry.

We’ve been having issues with our laundry. A while back, we discovered that when the washer tried to drain, the water would slowly back up the drain pipe and start spilling on the floor.

Cleaning that mess when it first happened was when we discovered that the septic had backed up into the old basement, and we figured it was related.

Photo by Hilary Halliwell on

It wasn’t.

Somewhere in the pipes, there’s a bottleneck block. Wherever the block is, it’s past the T where the drain pipe from the laundry joins the main pipe from the kitchen. The plumber’s snake won’t make the bend, so we haven’t been able to clear it.

We’ve used super strong (septic safe) drain cleaner. We’ve been doing regular pipe-cleaning bacterial treatments (that are also designed to help break down the contents of the septic tank). So far, nothing has worked. In fact, it was getting worse. We’ve had to hover around the washing machine, waiting for the drain stage, listen for the water coming up the pipe, pause the machine, wait for the pipe to drain, then start it up again. Repeatedly.

The length of time it takes for the pipe to fill has been getting shorter.

Today, it got impossible. Almost as soon as the water started to drain, the pipe would fill and water would literally start shooting out the opening. Of course, it takes a moment for the water to stop flowing after the pause button is hit, so there was basically no time for there to not be water coming up the pipe.

I tried using a smaller plumber’s snake that we have – one that has a bottle brush type of end that is great for pulling cat hair out of the bathroom sink. I think I even managed to get it to bend at the T. Pulling it up, though, there was no sign of anything stuck to the bristles that would show it had brushed up against something blocking the pipe.

There was no way I was going to be able to drain the washing machine this way, and it couldn’t possibly be good on the electronics to be constantly hitting the pause button over and over. I started thinking, if I could drain it into a bucket or something, but that would take a pretty large bucket, and quite a few pauses to empty it. If only I could just drain it straight out of the house.

*lightbulb moment*

I remembered we have that spare hose for the sump pump. The washing machine is in the entry, not far from the main doors we aren’t using because of the hinge problems. If the hose were long enough, I could open the inner door and run the hose out the storm door window, which has no screen.

So I went to the sun room and got the hose. It was more than long enough. I was in the process of checking to make sure the drain hose on the washing machine would fit, when it happened.

The washing machine, which was still on pause, turned itself on, and started to drain.

I was holding the drain hose.

Water started splashing all over me, the washing machine, the dryer and the floor, with remarkable pressure.

I hit the pause button.


I hit the power button.


I kept trying to turn the machine off, but it just would not respond. Then I noticed the display showed something about the door. So I tried to lift it.

With the machine running, it should have been locked.

It opened.

Meanwhile, I was trying to hold the hose, with water spraying, away from the machines and the outlets behind them, to spray onto the floor instead, but there’s not a lot of length to work with. The machine needed to be unplugged, but I was soaking wet.

By then, I was already calling for help, and the family came running. I quickly said that someone needed to unplug the washing machine while staying dry to do it. My older daughter launched herself over the steps (there are only 2, but they were also wet) and onto the machine to reach the plug and got it done.

By this time, half the water of a very full drum was flooding the entryway and pouring down the basement steps.

Another time when I’m glad we have unfinished basements.

I asked for a broom and my younger daughter got it for me while her sister got down from the washing machine – with considerable more care than how she got on it! I started sweeping the water down the stairs, while we also tried to move various things off the sopping floor, untangle the sump pump hose, and so on. After a while, my daughter took over with the broom, and I went into the basement to see what the status was, there. The basement floor is not the least bit level, and the water was starting to run under the root cellar door and pool behind it. Nothing else in the root cellar was affected, though.

Back upstairs I went, and got our mop and bucket. My daughter started mopping up the entryway to get as much as she could, then headed into the basement to clean up as much as she could there, too. The water had continued to flow past the root cellar door and was starting to puddle about half way to the other end.

That washing machine has a huge drum. The machine adjusts the fill size automatically, based on how much is in the tub (I’m assuming by weight), and it had been full to the top. The first time I tried to stop the water, I’d accidently hit the power button instead of the pause button. That meant I had to start the load over. I think the weight of water in the drum messed things up, and it filled for a much larger load.

My daughter also adjusted the pedestal fan I had moved to help dry out the far corner of the basement that was getting damp, then set it to oscillate to try and get air circulating to both ends of the basement as much as possible.

I went back to the entryway and started drying off the washer and dryer, which also got unplugged. After a while, I got the sump pump hose again. The washing machine’s hose fit into the end, but wouldn’t stay. I ended up duct taping them together. I was then going to tape the hose to the side of the drier to hold it in place, but the duct tape wouldn’t stick to the drier. Wiping it down apparently didn’t get it dry enough. So I left it for now.

Since we were dealing with water, anyhow, I went into the old basement to sweep the standing water into the drain. As I was thinking about what happened, wondering out the machine turning itself on and not turning itself off, and why the door didn’t lock, it finally occurred to me.

Once I realised I could open the door to the washing machine, I could have aimed the drain hose into the drum. In the middle of everything going on, it just never occurred to me.


Extending the hose out the door, however, will work. Once everything is dry again, we’ll plug the dryer in. Then, after making sure the hose is set up to drain through the door, we’ll plug the washing machine in and see what happens.

Hmm… this would actually be a good time to test out the new syphon pump and drain the tub that way. The washing machine can’t be set to go straight to another part of the cycle; you can only start a full wash cycle, or pause part way through one. If we plug it in and it doesn’t, say, turn itself on again, the only way to get the machine to drain the tub would be to start a new load.

What a pain.

Meanwhile, I’m going to have to see what numbers in the budget I can juggle, so we can get a plumber in.

Not that that will happen anytime soon, with all the flooding happening right now. I had expected the main road to wash out in a particular spot, but I’ve since seen photos people shared showing that it has washed out right at the highway – and the (no longer used) church and bell tower at that intersection is completely surrounded by water.

Even if I called a plumber now, I wouldn’t expect them to have a chance to get out here for days, if not weeks. I imagine all the plumbers are insanely busy right now!

How bizarre that, with all the flooding going on around us, the flooding we’re having to deal with is from our own washing machine.

It’s past midnight now. I’m going to go to the old basement and do one more sweep before bed. I’ll leave dealing with the washing machine for day time.

What a way to end the day.

The Re-Farmer


We have a working washing machine again! 😀

This is the new panel he put in. All of this is behind the touch screen in front. At the far end is the power button, then where the knob pops on, the start/pause button, and then the controls for temperature, spin and soil. There is no load size control; the machine senses that itself and adjusts the amount of water accordingly, but at the far right of the panel, you can do things like add a soak time, and extra rinse, or even tell it to add extra water. All of these can change the time, which is where the digital display comes in.

Of course, he tested everything before he started, and it was exactly the same as before. After switching out the panel, but before putting it all together, we tested it.

Power? Yes.

Knob for wash cycles? Yes.

Start/pause? Yes.

Temperature? No. Spin? No. Soil? No!

But, of the buttons on the far right did work.

Just one!

So he opened it up again, tested them without the front panel, and everything was working.

He put it back, and it was working.

Best guess, there just wasn’t enough contact between the touch screen and the switches, the first time he put it on.

Of course, we kept testing it over and over, as he put everything back in place!

It’s all working fine now.

Hopefully, it will stay working!

I have a sudden urge to do laundry…

I’m sure if I ignore it, it’ll go away, though. 😉

The Re-Farmer

Happy kitties, not so happy washing machine, and awesome customer service

I’m happy to say the kibble shelter set up seems to be working just fine!

I found one of the food containers under the kibble house this morning. I was able to reach it to get it out, but even if it had got pushed back further, that’s okay, since the floor boards can be lifted to reach under. An unexpected benefit for our change in plans.

When my daughter popped outside last night, she found Sir Stinks Alot in it. She moved in his direction, making noise to shoo him away, and was unexpectedly entertained. It seems the floor is a bit high for a skunk’s short little legs! It took him a few tries before he was finally able to get down and leave. 😀

The heated water bowl is working just fine; the water in the other containers was frozen solid. I’m thinking we might want to find something to put under the heated bowl to raise it higher. The cats have been trying to drink from it from inside the kibble shelter. I think it’s similar to how they often prefer to drink from the other bowls while on the wood of the sledge under the cat house. Likely, it’s because the wood is warmer on their paws than the ground! 🙂

In other things…

Our new washing machine has once again stopped working! I used it on Friday, and it worked fine. My daughter tried to use it on Saturday, and it just wouldn’t turn on. I figured it would stop working again, and actually prefer that it happened again sooner, rather than later. I called the appliance guy and left a message about it, and he called back today. He will be able to swing by tomorrow afternoon. Thankfully, he left the parts with us, when it suddenly started working after he’d opened up the back, so we don’t have to go through the warranty process again.

I headed into town today with one of my daughters who needed to do some errands. I took advantage of the situation and stopped at the garage where we have had so much work done this year. I showed him the picture of what is loose under my mother’s car. I had talked to the garage by my mother’s place, but I just don’t go to her town often, plus I needed to book our van for an oil change and to get our winter tires put on.

I now have my mother’s car booked to come in on Monday, while our van will be brought in on the Friday after. I asked about how much it might cost to get my mother’s car fixed. The loose shield should just need to be screwed back into place, but they will still need to at least jack it up to be able to reach, so I figured it would be similar to what I was told at the other garage. Basically, they’d likely have charged for half an hour.

Not here!

He said it would likely be free.


If all it needs it to be screwed on, he’ll just do it and that’s it! Of course, once he’s actually under there, he might find it’s cracked or something, but it doesn’t look broken in the picture.

I am so happy my mother’s car got a flat next to this garage! 😀 The owner is just awesome! As much as I liked the place by my mother’s, this place goes that little bit further. I am a very happy customer! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Watching the show

I started another load of laundry in the new machine, just before I went outside for my evening rounds.

This is what I found when I came back.

I was wondering which of the cats would be first to discover the window!

Also, there are two things that really stand out about this new machine.

The first is, what a huge difference not having an agitator makes on how much can be put into the machine! The drum itself is only slightly bigger than the old one, but a full laundry basket barely filled it half way. I actually had to add more to the first load to help keep it balanced. According to the manual, the “fill line” is the top of the drum, right under the lip of the opening. I don’t think our dryer can even hold that much, and it’s a large dryer!

The second thing is, how much quieter this machine is!! What a difference!

The test run on the machine was finishing when the girls came into the room. Just in time for us all to hear the little victory music the machine plays, to let you know it’s finished! Too funny! The tones it make when it’s powered on and off are hilarious, too. None of us expected it to be so musical. 😉

Having the old machine break down wasn’t fun, and it put a major dent in our savings, but I’m glad we got this machine. The technology has really improved! Granted, I could do without the fancy electronics; the more there is, the more there is to break down! But the mechanical function of it is quite the advancement.

Who knew laundry could be so much fun?

At least for now..

The Re-Farmer

It’s here!


Our new washing machine is now here!

Which is quite a surprise, since we got a call from the shipping company a couple of days ago, letting us know they didn’t have it, and that they’d call when they did. Home Depot gets weekly deliveries, so we were expecting to get a call next Thursday.

Then, I got a call today.

It was an automated survey to determine delivery satisfaction.


What delivery?

So I hung up on the survey, then phoned the store. It’s been a while, so while I got the guy who sold it to me, he didn’t remember the details of our particular order. He was just as confused about the survey call as we were. Once I mentioned we thought the store itself might have it, and he realized it was supposed to be delivered to them, he said he would check and call me back.

Sure enough, it was there!

So I basically dropped everything and headed out! 😀 The girls prepped the entry for dragging the box through, then worked on painting, while I was gone.

Once the washing machine was loaded in the van, I took advantage of the situation and found some of the spray rubber stuff, for the bottoms of the picnic table legs.

Like the stove, it juuuuuust fit through the doorway – and because of the arm bar, we had to pull it in on its side. This time, I was able to back the van up so that the bumper was over the steps, which made getting it to and through the door that much easier!

Getting it open was easier, too. The bottom piece was not attached to the box, so once the straps were cut off, we could just lift the whole thing.

Then we set it up where the old machine was, while my younger daughter stayed squeezed in the back to hook it up.

We found one potential problem. The drain hose is shorter than the old machine’s. It just barely reaches the stand pipe. If we could have the machine with its back to that wall, it would be fine, but then we wouldn’t be able to use the machine.

So it is not tight against the side wall, and right up against the step leading into the dining room. It should be fine, but there is no wiggle room on that.

Thankfully, now that the old kitchen and sun room are done, my husband’s walker is now in the sun room. This way, he doesn’t have to do any stairs to get to the walker, nor does he have to lift it up and down the steps to the main entry. Being a larger than average man, he’s got a much larger walker than typical, making it heavier, too. Not something a person with a back injury should be struggling with! We used to keep it folded up right in front of the washing machine, but now that the machine has to be so far forward, there’s no room for his walker.

Once it was hooked up, we leveled it.

It turns out the floor sags a fair bit towards the middle, but my daughter was able to adjust the legs on one side. Then she squeezed out and we pushed the dryer back, moving it forward to line up with the washer.

There is now quite a lot of space behind the machines.

I’m sure the cats will enjoy it. 😀

While going through the manual, I found that it has a “test before using” function. So I tried that.

I don’t know if it worked.

The manual said to turn the power on, then push the spin and soil buttons simultaneously, until a particular letter/number code showed up on the screen.

The code never came up. A number did. I tried hitting start anyhow, and the machine started doing things, but I wasn’t sure if it was doing what it was supposed to!

In the end, I ended up powering it off. I noticed that the machine only uses the HE type of detergent. The detergent we have isn’t HE.

So I headed off to town to pick some up.

Once the water is no longer needed for anything else, I’ll try again, then start some laundry.

I’ve never been this excited to do laundry before!!!

Woo Hoo!!

The Re-Farmer

Finally out

One thing about the new washing machine taking a while to come in (still no word on a new delivery/pickup date!) is that moving the old machine kept getting delayed.

Yesterday, my younger daughter wrestled it out of the house, and we “walked” it over to the junk pile.

Unfortunately, it was impossible to completely drain the washer when it broke down, and what was left in there stunk to high heaven! Ick. When we got it near the old stove, we took the lid off, then turned it upside down to drain as much as we could. Even then, we could still hear sloshing as we righted it.

While it was upside down, we had a chance to take a look.

Aside from the oil leak, I was actually surprised by how clean and new it looked under there. The exterior belied the interior!

We also found where those screws came from.

The entire bottom of the washer was rusted out. This metal bar was completely loose, having been held by only those two screws we’d found.

When this machine was in the basement, it had been on a pallet to keep it off the wet. Clearly, the wet still managed to reach the bottom of the washing machine!

I recently had a conversation with my mother about the laundry being upstairs now, instead of downstairs. She had been asking me if this was still around, and was that still around; she still seems to think the house should have stayed exactly the way she left it. :-/ She’d commented about my brother moving the washer and dryer upstairs, so we couldn’t have to go into the basement to do laundry. Of course, my response was to extol the virtues of my brother, and gratitude for him doing that. It was a HUGE job to get the electrical set up for the drier, even with my younger daughter being there to help. That was harder than moving the machines, themselves. My mother responded with how my brother was more concerned about making things “easy” than about how things looked. One of the things she’d been asking about is what happened to a mirror she’d had hanging in the entryway. I don’t remember it, and it was already gone before we moved here. When the addition had been built, my dad had a sink installed in the entryway, so we could wash up after coming back from the barn or whatever. My mother hated having a sink there, so when they retired from farming, she had the sink covered to be a sort of counter, and added plants and other stuff. She was much more concerned about how things looked. Well, at least on the surface. She then went on about how wonderful she had made it look, and how it was so nice, that when the carolers came to sing and were invited inside after, they said they didn’t want to leave the entry, it was so nice in there.

I was a caroler one year, so I know what really would have happened. Before every house we stopped at, we had to decide whether or not to accept invitations, usually to partake in alcohol, once inside. My parents were among those who would offer a glass of wine. Or vodka. Whichever. 😉

With some homes, we were never given a choice! *L* By the end of it, we were really singing. 😀

My brother had wondered why our parents hadn’t moved the washer and dryer upstairs years ago, so they wouldn’t have to struggle up and down those stairs as their mobility decreased.

Now I know why.

The Re-Farmer

New baby sighting, and washer update

While doing my rounds, before going to the city, I went to the usual spots to see if any more branches had come down during the night.

None had, but when I reached the fence near the pump shack, I heard something moving on the metal table beside it.

It took me a while, but I eventually saw a kitten slink under the table itself.

Was that Junk Pile cat’s white and grey baby?

Near where I was standing is a spot the cats use to go under the chain link fence. Rosencrantz, whom I’d seen earlier as I put kibble out for the yard cats, went through, stopping several times to look back at me and give me a death glare! 😀

Just look at that face!

So was that Rosencrantz’s baby I was seeing?

She made her way to the pump shack, then settled down in front of the door, keeping an eye on me. I could no longer see the kitten under the table, but then and orange head popped out of the hole at the bottom of the door!

I’d actually enlarged that hole last year, when Pump Shack kitten was living in there. (We haven’t seen Pump Shack cat, nor her mom, Guildenstern, in a very long time.)

It took a while, but the other kitten did eventually come around.

Of course, there’s that little sapling in the way! 😀

This is most definitely NOT the grey and white kitten I saw before. This one has more white, and also has patches of orange in it.

So this is a first time sighting of these babies!

These would be the younger siblings to Keith, David and Junk Pile cat.

Shortly after this, my older daughter and I headed for the city. Having gone looking around online last night, I had several possibilities for washing machines that I wanted to check out at Home Depot.

Once at the store, I went looking at the machines. I wasn’t too surprised that there were fewer than what I saw online. Aside from the prices, I had also looked at ratings. GE had some of the lowest ratings, while Whirlpool had the highest. Those were out of budget, though. Plus, I wasn’t seeing any on display.

I had an employee acknowledge me when I first got there, asking if I needed help right away. I didn’t, yet, which worked out for him, since he said he needed to go to the back for a while. This gave me lots of time to look at the machines before settling on this one.

It was a GE, but not the same model I was seeing on the website that had the lower ratings. In fact, I don’t recall seeing this model online at all. The price was also easier on the budget than others on display. There were several cheaper ones but… they were also TOO cheap! And I don’t mean just on price.

There was also the issue of size, which turned out to be more of a non-issue. Where we have the washer and dryer is already tight. My daughter at home measured the width and messaged me the info. Our machine at home was 26 7/8ths wide. We could go up to 27 inches, but that was it. The machines were all either 26 7/8ths inches wide, or 27 inches wide. This one was 27 inches wide.

I then waited for the guy to come back.

And waited.

After a while, I asked a nearby cashier if she could see if someone was available, on the possibility there was someone else in that section.

There wasn’t.

So I waited some more, wandering around a bit.

Which is when I discovered there was a whole other section of washers and dryers I’d somehow managed to not see.

Of course, that’s when the guy came back.

I told him I was looking for a washing machine, mentioned that I’d just noticed the other section. After a quick walk around, I showed him the one I said I’d decided on.

“No,” he said.

I could only laugh. He did explain, though.

Basically, the brand sucks. He’d never use one himself, and wouldn’t sell one, if he could avoid it. His recommendation was to go with either Whirlpool or LG. I’d seen both brands were highly rated, but I hadn’t looked at any LG models online.

The first one he took me over to was a Whirlpool. It was over budget but, more importantly, it was 27 1/2 inches wide. That half inch would make a difference.

He showed me a couple others he recommended, both LG, that were 27 inches. The closer one we came to, I told him straight up was out of budget, so he showed me another one.

After going back and forth, I went with the cheaper LG.

This is it.

It cost $100 more than the GE, but it was still within budget. Well. Almost. After taxes and whatever fees were added on, it ended up costing $835 and change. So $35 over budget. It is also a higher capacity machine, at 5.5 cubic feet instead of 4.9 cubit feet in the GE I was looking at.

Unfortunately, they do not keep an inventory of stuff like this. It has to be delivered from the national warehouse in Ontario.

Expected delivery to the store: Friday, the 24th.

That’s more than a week away.

Now, I could have decided not to buy it, then tried going elsewhere, but that would most likely have meant going to another city, at a competitor’s location where we got our replacement hot water tank. That store has higher prices for the same makes and models, though, so even if I were able to find an identical machine, I probably could not have bought it.

So I bought the machine. If we really, really have to, we can go to town and use the laundromat.

As he did the computer stuff, and put me into their system, we had time to chat. I told him about our washer dying yesterday, and how we had to decide if it was worth fixing. I told him about finding the plastic part under it, and he cringed. I mentioned the screws, and he cringed a bit more. Then I mentioned the puddle of oil, and he did a whole body twitch while in the middle of typing. 😀

After the transaction was done, he made sure to let me know to expect a call on Thursday, the 23rd. If there was no call, he said to call him early on Friday (I made sure to take down his name). The delivery trucks stop running at 4:30. Once they stop, there would be no chance of it arriving until Monday, so it would have to be early enough for him to make some calls about it.

The new washer will be delivered to the store. We’re too far away to have it delivered to our place. Which actually helped a bit, since it kept the price down. There would have been a delivery fee on top of everything else, but he was able to waive that.

So we’ve got more than a week without a washing machine.

And I needed to do laundry, yesterday.

While we could make the trip into town to use the laundromat, we’re not going to bother. At least, not yet. My daughters have already done a load of their own laundry in the bath tub, and I’m about to do the same.

The one good thing about the new washing machine not coming in right away is, we have time to haul the old one out and clean up the mess of oil under it.

By the time we got home, I was surprised it wasn’t even 2pm yet. If felt like it should have been more like 4 or 5!

This has been a very expensive month. I had to buy the push mower. Then I had to buy the parts and pieces to fix the sink. My daughter bought the new stove, and now we’ve bought a new washing machine. Meanwhile, we’ve got the riding mower still in the shop (at this point, I’m hoping they’ll continue to take their time getting to it!), plus my mother’s car will be ready for the end of the month. That one, at least, I’ve got almost 2/3rds paid off. My older daughter is still getting regular commissions, but my younger daughter is not going to be able to find a job for some time, given the pandemic situation, and our Premiere extending our “emergency” status for a couple more months, in spite of the lack of cases in our province. So it’s not like there’s any way for the income to increase with the outgo!

Unfortunately, it means a lot of things we’d hoped to get done this summer, likely won’t happen. We need to buy plywood for a floor on the trailer, and more for other projects we had in mind. I was hoping to buy materials to create a base for the cordwood outhouse we were planning to build this summer. While there is a lot we can get started on to prepare that won’t cost money, we do still need to buy some things, like mortar ingredients, and I was hoping to have concrete paving stones as a “floor” to build on. That project will likely have to be pushed back to next year. Plus, if anything else breaks down, there’s very little left in reserve. I’m just thankful we had as much as we did, set aside, to cover these. I just can’t help but think, how on earth are we supposed to come up with $10,000 for a new roof, when stuff like this keeps happening?

But, thanks to my husband’s private insurance and disability income, the bills are being paid, there’s food on the table, and gas in the tank. Being hear at the farm, we’ve got a roof over our head (even if it needs replacing!) and are secure as “caretakers” of the property. We are much better off than so many others, and have much to be thankful for.

Well, there’s one thing that might help, on the financial side. Our internet provider has had a new tower built in the area.

When moving here, the only option we had was satellite and, because of plan limits at the time, we had to get two of them to provide enough data for our needs. (Getting internet is a necessity, since my daughter’s business is entirely online now.) Even then, we had issues. Eventually, we were able to double the data one of the plans. Meanwhile, we lose connectivity fairly easily. Particularly in summer, when the foliage is full. The primary account’s satellite is usually fine, but the secondary satellite is barely a couple of feet to the side, and the branches block the signal more frequently (I’ve lost internet several times, just writing this post!). As we reach the limit on the data plan for our primary account, we switch cables on our router to the secondary account – and we switched cables just this morning. We have been regularly going over our data plans, and while the company waived those costs for the past couple of months, due to the lock downs and more people being stuck at home, that ended this month.

My husband talked to the company and will arrange for someone to come by next month to do a site survey (when we’ll have money to pay for the survey). If they can get a signal to the new tower, we would be able to move away from satellite completely, have only one account, unlimited data, and save almost $200 a month.

Yeah. We spend over $300 a month, just to get internet out here, with limited data and frequent loss of connectivity.

I’m really hoping they find a signal this time!

The Re-Farmer