JOURNAL: Too many jeans in the washer

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 01/04/2010 - 05:32

People always ask me how I have enough time. How can you possibly post a new furniture plan every single day? When do you sleep?

The awful secret is that my home is suffering. Dishes don’t get done immediately, and floors are no longer vacuumed daily. Laundry is piling up, socks and underwear are stuck in the crack between the wall and the dryer.

But I’ve fallen in love. After years of being a perfect housewife, the person – not the woman, the mother or the wife – the person in me has goals. A housewife is only appreciated when she’s not there, when dinner isn’t cooked, socks aren’t clean, bed aren’t made. But me, on my blog, where you can’t see that I’m covered in spaghetti sauce, I am valued. Or at least I feel valuable when you read my blog.

Housework still has to be done, so I do dishes while I cook dinner and clean the microwave. I read stories to my daughter while my mind wanders to my blog. I put everyone to bed, and then sneak out of bed and write, and drink an extra cup of coffee in the morning. I cram the washing machine so full that it threatens to stomp out of the laundry room on spin cycle.

And one day, it does. There is an awful crashing noise, and I know that I have put too many jeans in the washer, just like I put too many dreams in my head.

My husband is just as busy as me. After a week of no laundry, he says, “Buy a new one. I don’t have time to look at it.”

But I know we don’t have money to buy a new one.

I have never worked on a washing machine. I don’t even know how it works.

But I do know how a screwdriver works. So I try to open the washer up. I unscrew the wrong screws, can’t find the right wrenches. Finally, I just get frustrated and pry the front open. It pops open, and I’ve discovered a secret – that is how you open up a washing machine.

With the tiniest bit of success, I begin to feel more confident. I unplug the washer, and peek around. Lots of grimy dirt. Maybe that is where all the sawdust on my clothes ends up. It takes me a bit to figure out how the washer works. The bucket is suspended with rods that fit in brackets around the tub. And one of the brackets is free! The bucket popped free of one of the brackets when I overloaded the washing machine.

After much prying and some help from the neighbor, I get the tub back in the bracket. I cautiously test the washer out.

It works.

I put a tiny load in.

It still works.

When my husband comes home, he asks, who fixed the washer? I tell him, our neighbor came over and looked at it. He shrugs and says, “You look pretty. Is that spaghetti sauce in your hair? What’s for dinner?”


Bethany Haile (not verified)

Mon, 01/04/2010 - 06:04

Real life...its where we are all at. And why blogging is a great outlet, because exactly like you said, no one can see my sweats, my "straight out of bed hair", my kids still in their jammies and my sink full of dishes behind me. But I can be real, exactly who I am and you will accept me for it!
Great post!!
Bethany @ Happy By Design

Amy@TheLemonCottage (not verified)

Mon, 01/04/2010 - 06:22

This is a great post, and speaks to me! LOL
Blogging has been a great outlet for me, being a SAHM.
Reading other blogs has inspired me and encouraged me.
Keep it up, your blog is AMAZING.

I gave my dad the plans for one of your daybeds. Being a 'sort of' carpenter, I'm sure he'll put his own twist on it.
I'm usually trying to 'draw up' what I want... your plans made it a snap. Now he knows what I want without having to wade through chicken scratches! LOL

Thanks for your blog,

Funky Junk Interiors (not verified)

Mon, 01/04/2010 - 08:08

You're my hero!

And not just because you fixed your washer yourself. (wow on that one)

It's because you're just like me. No clean laundry to be had. The blog comes first! YES.

Oh wait. I forgot about the clean load I threw on the sofa. When did that park there?

I have a funny feeling my shirt will look very shabby chic today. Cool... ;)


beth (not verified)

Mon, 01/04/2010 - 10:11

I am so proud of you for tearing into that washer and taking care of it yourself. You go, girl! Does anyone even say that anymore? :)

Sounds like you are still getting things taken care of around the house, even while coming up with some great furniture building plans and keeping your blog. You're doing a great job! And you ARE appreciated. By your blog readers, and your family. Even if they don't always remember to tell you!

Hope you have a great day! Beth.

LouLou@thelife… (not verified)

Mon, 01/04/2010 - 10:41

I think you read my mind before you wrote this post.... I have also gotten lost along the way....forgotten who I was and what I wanted..... There is SO much more to being a woman (a content one at least) than doing all those housewifey chores... I realize those chores are SOMEONE's thing....just not mine! I will admit that I have cleaned my bedroom and bathroom today... I needed ONE area to just relax without the mess of my 4 kiddos.... What am I doing now while they nap?? Why reading blogs of course!

Mike (not verified)

Mon, 01/04/2010 - 11:06

I know you usually hear from the gals, but do you mind a thought from one of the guys?

I think your blog is awesome. I've been a parttime woodworker for years, building bookcases and desks when I needed them. I discovered your blog by accident one day, and I've been hooked ever since. You're not just good at building, but good at explaining... and that's rare. I ended up listing you at my golf blog, on my non-golf blogroll.

Blogs about things you love do have a tendency to take over your life. I've ended up doing at least one post everyday, although that wasn't the plan at first. But I love doing it, as you love doing yours, and I don't think we need to apologize to anybody - not when so many people waste their lives doing things they hate. So I say, "You go, girl! And thanks for the inspiration."

Oh yeah... a shout out to your husband, as well. Lots of guys aren't smart enough to let their wives follow their passion; yours obviously is.

Ana White (not verified)

Mon, 01/04/2010 - 17:39

Thank you all for reading my ramblings . . . ladies, I'm so glad you understand.

Mike, your comments are always welcome. I very much took to heart your comment and needed the wisdom of a seasoned blogger. This blogging journey is one that has no promises but lots of potential. I am so glad to know you!

Thank you, thank you.


Julie G. (not verified)

Tue, 01/05/2010 - 05:20

My first thought when your washer was broken was "I bet she can fix it"!! Good Job!

ours was broken last weekend and I was able to google the problem and fix it. Even took the broken part to the store and got a new one!

Thanks for all your inspiration! I haven't built anything yet, but I will- soon!

Marcella (not verified)

Fri, 01/08/2010 - 04:10

awesome post! i totally agree that nothing is appreciated until it's gone. and awesome job on figuring out the washing machine!

Anonymous (not verified)

Sat, 01/16/2010 - 10:03

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pinksuedeshoe (not verified)

Sun, 01/17/2010 - 10:57

After reading through your blog for 8 seconds I decided that i want to be like you, fearless of power tools and washing machines. Thank you so much for all the work that you put into your blog, it is one of the highlights of my day!

Tammy James (not verified)

Sun, 01/17/2010 - 12:51

I love this post!
It says perfectly how I feel.
You have put into words something I was missing.
I love your blog it is amazingly inspiring and in 2010 I will build my first piece of furniture thanks to you!

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Anonymous (not verified)

Fri, 02/26/2010 - 08:28

I had to fix our washer all by myself, too. An army wife learns how to do it all because she has to, and I might not like it, but I am one tough mama! My daughter has no idea that there are "male" tasks and "female" tasks, and neither does my son, for that matter.

Good for you for just doing it! I love reading this blog because it proves, again,that there just isn't a dang thing anyone can't do if they just put their mind to it!

Dale Gainey (not verified)

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 10:29

Your stuff is fantastic!
It occurs to me that in the future, you may need to get parts for one of your appliances. is a great site for DIY appliance repair. Just thought it might come in handy.

gorila (not verified)

Sat, 05/26/2012 - 13:27

I understand you prefect because I am in the same situation, a housewife with a lot of dreams, of course different than yours. I can not say that my washer has broken down, but it doesn't function as it should be. I once put to many customized american apparel in it and since then it doesn't work properly. I am hoping my husband repair the washer, but I can feel that I have to wait a long time.