Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Strong and Amazing

Recently Dave and I were able to attend the temple with our good friends Darren and Cathy.  Afterward, we went to dinner at the Olive Garden and enjoyed visiting with each other.  Much of the conversation was about our children.  Something that Darren said really stood out to me.  We had been talking about a particular child that seems to try to make life difficult sometimes.  Darren said that from his perspective, this child of ours was actually more sensitive to the Spirit than most people, and that while he seems to have many weaknesses, he has just as many strengths.

Darren and Cathy had been in Salt Lake already for work, so we were in separate cars on the way home.  Dave and I talked on the way home about how we need to focus on this child's strengths more and actually try to ignore his weaknesses completely.  We put that into practice, hard as it is for us, right away and things have been going really well.

A few days later, I thanked Darren, who, by the way, I'm sure has no idea how much what he said has impacted me.  Then later that day I had the opportunity to get a different perspective on what I was trying to work on.  A perspective that will forever leave me a different person, yet a perspective I didn't exactly enjoy getting...

I am my ward's Relief Society president.  My presidency and I found ourselves at the church for a meeting a few hours after church.  A friend of mine took opportunity to talk to my secretary and I in the hallway.  Putting her arm around my secretary, who was only recently called to serve in that capacity, this friend said, "I am so glad she has you now, she is soooo scatter-brained!"  She went on to explain that she has known me for a very long time (over 8 years) and that I have ALWAYS been that way.  I was dumbfounded!  I couldn't believe that she was actually saying these words that I am sure she has been thinking for over 8 years now!  Wow!  Not knowing how to respond, I laughed it off and went on my merry way.  But the words hurt.  Mostly because I believed them to be true and because I was sure that others also felt this way about me.  Wow.

An hour or so later, I needed to drop something off to this friend that had so deeply hurt me.  I didn't want to go, I really wanted to leave the item on her porch and not even knock on the door, but I pulled up my big girl panties and knocked.  She came to the door and took the item I'd brought.  I wanted to leave quickly, but she must have realized she hurt me earlier.  She told me that she was sorry if the words she had said had hurt my feelings, but that in all the years she had known me I had always been so scattered.  She went on to say that I had a big heart and that I meant well and that she knew my plate was very full, but that I had always always been that way.  Wow!  Salt in freshly open wound!  I acknowledged that what she had said had hurt me and that I hadn't realized others saw me that way.  I know I had tears through what I said, which I HATE that I let her see me cry.  Sometimes the truth hurts.

Over the next day and a half I reeled at what had been said to me.  I prayed for comfort.  I prayed that I would know how to respond.  I wrote down what I WANTED to say to this person, but didn't send it to her.  And then the answer came...  I needed to make her a gift.

I wrote down all the good things I know about this person.  Then I went to work creating subway art in vinyl to put on a floating frame for her.  I wrote her a note that told her how much she has taught me over the years and how much her friendship means to me.  I made sure to NOT bring up how she had hurt me AT ALL!

And now I have what I was seeking.  Comfort.  I have forgiven.  I have moved on.  And I have decided that I don't need to believe others opinions of me, but I can work on being a better person anyway.  And I have resolved what I had already resolved x 10 that I will try hard every day to lift my children up and point out their strengths, not their weaknesses.  And oddly, I am soooo grateful for the experience.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sorry Mr. Appliance! I got this one!

So for the longest time, when I've had a problem with any appliance that is hard to live without I have called Mr. Appliance.  Actually I called the guy that works for them long before he became franchised.  But the last couple of times my front load washer or dishwasher have given me any problems, I've decided to save some money and gain a little personal satisfaction and fix the problems myself.  AND I HAVE SUCCEEDED!

Today it became necessary to clean out the filter to the washer pump.  So somewhere in between feeding 2 infants, changing diapers on 4 different children, taking 2 year olds potty, and washing dishes I took on the nasty job.  I've done it before, so it went pretty fast.  If you find yourself with a front loading washer that will not drain (one sign of this problem is that the door remains locked after the cycle has run), this is more than likely the solution.  And if I can do it, you can do it!

  1. Unplug the washer!  If you electrocute yourself, you really haven't solved any problems, you've created new ones!
  2. Remove the bottom panel- this is usually 3 small  screws or bolts at the very bottom of the front of your washer.
  3. Locate the filter- this is more than likely going to be on the right hand side- it will be attached to hoses etc. and to the pump!   It's sort of going to look like a pvc version of the cap to your car's gas tank!
  4. Put a large shallow pan under the filter.  Because it needs to be low enough to get under the filter, but large enough to hold large volumes of stinky water and debris, I prefer to use a foil roasting pan because you can bend it to fit where you want it! 
  5. Slowly unscrew the filter by turning it counter clockwise.  These can be on pretty tight, so it might actually be helpful to use a monkey wrench fitted to the handle, although this may ding up the plastic a bit, You really can't clean out the filter if you cant get it off! Once you've loosened it a little, keep your hand on the handle and be ready to screw it back in if suddenly your pan is getting close to full.  
  6. Clean out the filter!  Today I found a bobby-pin, legos, mechanical pencil led, a barrette, a razor blade, a make-up brush, and several unrecognizable items of similar size.  And a lot of dirt and grime.  Pretty sad considering that I check every pocket every time I start a load AND that I just did this 6 months or so ago!  Much as some of those items sound girly, I can almost guarantee that my nine year old son is responsible for most of it. The boy has a fettish for filling his pockets with whatever!  I've threatened to sew them shut and might actually follow through now!
  7. Be sure to actually grab the  hoses leading into this filter and gently shake anything that might be in them down to the filter opening.  Also put your hand into whatever crevices you can reach into to feel for more debris. You may find this absolutely gross, but you can wash your hands or wear gloves or whatever and it can save you lots of money to do this!
  8.  Put everything back the way you found it!Make sure you tighten the filter cap all the way, even if you have to use the monkey wrench again!
  9. I recommend running your washer on "spin only" or the equivalent  BEFORE you put the bottom panel back on!  This way you know if you were successful or not or if there is still a problem.

Remember, if I can do it, you can do it!  I figure I've already saved my family hundreds of dollars by attempting repair jobs on my own!  If you are afraid to try it, Google around online until you are more comfortable with the idea!  There's really only one way to become an experienced washer repair man or woman, and that is by DOING IT!  Good luck!

Love this!