Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm Handy Like That

Once upon a time, in a time long forgotten, our dishwasher stopped working. Oh, it would still "run"--making loud noises, using gallons of water, etc. But it didn't actually wash any dishes the way you would expect something called a dishwasher to do. Gradually, its performance became so poor that we abandoned all attempts of even claiming to own a dishwasher. Eventually, it became a large black box sitting under the counter. I tried to be a real trooper about it, but I was growing really grumpy, frankly. I felt like I was wasting so much time washing dishes.

So, when my Michael asked me for ideas of a Christmas present, I told him that I just wanted to get a new dishwasher (and not feel guilty about it). And that, dear friend and devoted reader, is what I did!

Last week, I went to Sears and purchased the long-awaited appliance. The salesperson told me that Wanda didn't qualify for free delivery. "No problem!" I responded, "I can pick it up." Warily, the salesperson continued, "But you will need installation, right?" (I had seen the "Installation $169.99" signs posted around the floor models.) "No, thank you. My brother knows how to do it," I replied. And that's true. He does. And I was going to have him help me if I needed it. But guess what? I didn't! I did it all myself!

The next morning, I drove to the merchandise pick-up center where they loaded the dishwasher into my van. I drove home and pulled it out of the car. It wasn't too heavy, despite the "Warning! Excessive Weight Hazard" label on the box. I picked it up and started to go up the stairs to the front door (my front door is 1/2 story up and on the side of my house). The box was rather large, obviously, so on my third step up I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and called my neighbor to see if she could come out and help me get it up the stairs. She didn't answer her phone, so I muttered my mantra to myself: "Where there's a will, there's a way." Then, I hefted that sucker one more time and took it up to the porch, scooted it around the corner and lifted it into the house. Thankfully, it slid effortlessly across the wood floors to the kitchen once I was in the house.

Then, I started the installation. I had watched a handyman video online the night before and felt like this task was totally doable. (A big thanks to Hans Vatter, The Handyman Extraordinaire!) I am not saying that is was fun be on my belly trying to reach the various pipes and wires while turning a wrench when there was nowhere to turn it, but it wasn't too bad. And it was certainly worth the savings of $170.

No, things didn't go perfectly smoothly. Right off the bat, I totally thought I'd turned the water off under the sink but realized when water came pouring out from under the old dishwasher that I had not. Big oops! That sent me running to the basement, groping in the dark of the laundry room to reach the house's main water shut-off valve (in the dark because I had already turned off all the power to the whole house--that's how we chickens do all of our electrical repairs!) But other than a couple of soaked towels, it was all good.

And it didn't take a super long time, either (even with a run to Home Depot in the mix to get a needed part (really, you can't put a 70 cent part in the box with a major appliance?!?!?!?--I would have paid a whole extra dollar, maybe five, not to have to run to Home Depot in the middle of the installation process!)). But I digress. Even with the annoying trip to Home Depot, I had a load of dishes being washed by the time I went to pick the kids up from school.

So, Merry Christmas to me and my new BFF, Wanda the Whirlpool (I figure a friend who came to my rescue and saved my sanity deserves the title of "new BFF" and a real name). She is such a welcomed addition to my kitchen!


Maggie said...

YAY Mendy, you amaze me yet again. Bravo to you and your new BFF Wanda.

Jess said...

I think you need to add "dishwasher installer" to your About Me section on your blog.

Greg and Nicole Jensen said...

You are amazing! Pictures of Wanda?

Margaret in WV said...

Proud of you girl!

(So Sad for Bill. He feels totally unneeded. Been replaced by youtube.)

Jenny said...

Good job! I'm so impressed, Mendy!

Diamond said...

Good for you!

Julia A said...

Yay for Wanda!!! And you continue to amaze me :)

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to meet Wanda! And as Ted said before, You win the DIY award for the year!


Deb said...

i am so happy for you. no wonder you believe in santa.

Wendy said...

You're setting the bar pretty high for us Mend - I thought it was good that I painted the hall while my husband was at work - you delivered and installed your own dishwasher...that is pretty cool.

Cami said...

Awesome. Once upon a time I installed my dryer by myself. That was awesome. But it did not involve water, so yours is WAY cooler. Also, I sent my hubby to the Home Depot. So again, not as cool. Still.

Quotation of the Month

There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.

-Jill Churchill