Saturday, 31 January 2015

"You Can't Make This Up!"

The other day, while having coffee with a friend, I was telling her the things that have happened over the past few weeks. As I finished talking, she began laughing and told me, "You can't make this stuff up! You should write a book." Which reminded me that I have been wanting to start blogging again.

There are a number of reasons why I haven't been blogging, but we'll shorten all of that into a few simple words: real life. It's hard to believe that a year and a half has gone by since my last post. I will share a couple of highlights of the 18 or so months in a future post, but this post is about the stuff my friend claimed I couldn't make up.

It started two weeks ago, on laundry day. My washing machine will hold an extra large load of laundry, but my drier could only handle half of that amount of laundry at a time. I started with an extra large load of darks. Half of the load has been through the drier, folded, and dealt with. The other half of the load is in the drier and I decide to lay down for just a bit. So, here I am, laying on the couch starting to drift off and all of a sudden my body tenses. Now, I lay there listening, trying to figure out what has changed; why do I feel like something is wrong? The furnace is on, but that sounds like it always does and there are no strange odors. The drier sounds like it always does. None of the smoke alarms are going off and the cats are calmly laying with me, looking at me with puzzled expressions. (Yes, cats can look puzzled.) After trying to convince myself that nothing is wrong for 10 minutes, I finally get up and head to the basement. The furnace seems fine, so I stop the drier and open the door. My laundry is all twisted into one big knot, suspended in the middle of the drum, literally hanging there. A drawstring from a pair of pants had gotten caught on something and the laundry had all twisted up on these pants. So, I get this semi-dry laundry untangled, out of the drier, and start looking. The drum had completely detached from the back of the drier; I could put my hand through the opening.

I first took a moment to be thankful that there was no fire. Then, I looked at the pile of semi-dry jeans and things and considered the second load of laundry sitting wet in the washing machine. Crap. I have no drying rack or anything like it and I only have so many chairs to drape the laundry over. I called a friend to ask if she thought my laundry would dry if I were to hang it outside. Now, it was -11C outside. (That's 12F for all you stateside readers.) Her response was something along the lines of, the Mennonites do it, so maybe? I figure I might as well try it, at least with the clothes in the washing machine. This was a load of colors, a small load of lighter fabrics, lighter than denim, anyway. By the time I got to the bottom of the laundry basket, the clothes were crunching. I look down the length of the clothesline. I do not see clothes fluttering nicely in the wind. No, what I see is clothing that has frozen enough that is moves like a piece of cardboard. Oh well, if Ma Ingalls dried her laundry outside during a deep freeze, I might as well leave them, right? I head back inside for a cup of coffee (I needed to thaw my frozen fingers) and to consider what to do with the rest of the wet clothes.

I remembered Husband had come home at some point with a length of clothesline, so I went on a hunt. I found the clothesline, grabbed a clamp from his workbench and headed to the front of the house. We have two rooms that run the length of the house, with a set of double doors that separate them; we keep these doors open. My plan was to wrap one end of the clothesline around a hinge pin and clamp the other end to a shelf at the end of the room. This worked wonderfully, except it wasn't nearly long enough. I had to figure out a way to run the line the length of both rooms. I first tried attaching the rope to the shelf that we keep our dvds on, but it was too unstable. I considered putting a nail in the wall and clamping the clothesline to that, but our walls are plaster so it's not as simple as using a hammer and a nail. I head back down to Husband's work bench for a drill and a screw. There are 3 drills in our house, all battery powered. I found two drills, but no battery packs; not one. Plan C: find the large nail that I want and hammer it into the wooden window frame. Except I couldn't find a nail that looked like it would work. Have you ever seen those little things that you can nail along baseboards to keep wires where you want them? They consist of a little piece of plastic with a little nail that goes through each end of the plastic. I used that. And it actually worked! I clamped that clothesline to the plastic thingy, twisted it around the hinge pin for support in the middle and clamped the other end to the shelf. Voila! I now had a place to hang the wet things to dry.

A few hours later, I was able to fold and put away the jeans and things. I headed outside to retrieve my frozen clothing. Amazingly, once they thawed, I found that they were considerably drier than when I first hung them. It was mostly the seams the cuffs that were still wet, so I hung them up inside to finish drying.

Because my laundry issues weren't enough to contend with, I was having company for dinner this same night. Thankfully, I'd made the sauce and cooked the pasta for the baked pasta the day before, so all I needed to do was throw that together and bake the dinner rolls. This I was able to do while I was waiting for all that laundry to dry and it's a good thing, too. The kids came home from school in some kind of funk, so it was a rough afternoon. Kiddlet started her homework 30 minutes before the company was suppose to arrive and had a meltdown because she didn't know what or where the Canadian Shield is. I wasn't much help because I didn't know there was a Canadian Shield, let alone where it might be located. We looked it up on-line and found conflicting maps depicting where the Canadian Shield is. As helpful as that was, it didn't seem to matter that much because the maps weren't all the clear on a 6 inch tablet screen. Why a tablet instead of the desktop computer? Our computer has become extremely temperamental and wasn't working.

Anyhow, we set aside the homework for later and got the table set for dinner; our guests arrived just as everything was ready. Our guests were incredibly gracious. They paused in the doorway to the dining room, took in the sight of all the laundry, and said nothing as they took their seats. We had a wonderful evening. Our company laughed along with us as I related my day and they helped Kiddlet with her homework.

All in all, the day ended on a good note. I learned that clothes will dry even if they are frozen, that I can improvise and find a way to make things work, and I learned that the Canadian Shield refers to the exposed portion of the continental crust underlying North America.

The craziness continued the next weekend, but I'll save that for my next post.

If you would like to learn about the Canadian Shield, visit the Historic Canada gives a wonderful overview.


  1. Hanging laundry inside the house in winter. That is so funny! I can't wait to read your next post.