Monday, March 7, 2011

Adventures In Dishwasher Repair and Meal Planning

So it turns out sinus pressure and dizziness do not go well with 11 hour work days. Ugh. But I persevered and made it through, then came home and laid horizontal for a while in an effort to calm down my head and straighten out my aching neck. Between that and some beef stew, I felt somewhat better but I'm still immensely looking forward to going to sleep momentarily.

In other news, our dishwasher still hates us and our losing streak must not be rained out yet. Trent pulled some junk out of a drain or something last week and we thought it was fixed. Even ran it through a whole cycle with no sign of water spewing out onto the floor. Then last night I came through the kitchen to find a river headed downhill from the dishwasher end of the kitchen, to the refrigerator. Yes, our kitchen has a downhill slope. With a few mountain ranges on the way that are only getting worse each time the stinkin' dishwasher does this. Anyway, after some hollering and trying to get the water to shut off and lots of wet towels, we ended up with this:

Handyman husband to the rescue! My cat baby was not so sure what was going on...

The dishwasher remained displaced throughout today and Trent pulled some things apart and made some phone calls. There is a valve or something that shuts the water off when it has enough in there. Said valve was busted. Another one has been ordered from an appliance repair guy that was on the roof of Ninfa's when Trent called him. Random.

I came home ready to tackle this, by hand:

As I proceeded to run water into the sink, however, I noticed water coming out of the dishwasher standing next to it. Argh! Something was still hooked up or not hooked up to where the sink drained onto...the floor. And handyman husband is in Ft Worth tonight for a meeting. So much for doing a pile of dishes by hand...daaaaaaaarn.

I turned to my other task for the evening. Menu planning. Oh my gosh, scary. But necessary. I took a gander at our recent restaurant receipts online this morning and had a mild panic attack. This cannot continue to be the norm and I am determined to take it into my hands to FIX IT! Oh how I wish I had listened to my mother all those times she said "Hey Anna Pie, why don't you help me fix dinner, you are going to need to know how to cook someday." As a result of blowing off those opportunities, I know only a few recipes that get old after a while and I only know how to make said recipes for a family of seven. Yikes. So I started by making a list of everything I do know how to make/throw together without staring at a recipe the whole time and was pleasantly surprised by the length of the list! Then I got out a few of my many wedding gift cookbooks and scanned through them to see if anything else stood out to me that I wanted to try.

Yes, that "cookbook" is called "A Man, A Can, A Plan." No, it does not belong to Trent. I am seriously desperate... I printed out my Outlook calendar for this month so it would show what we have going on on different days. Got out my markers and decided on some color coding and set to work divvying up the list of things I already know how to make. Check it out people, I planned the rest of this month:

Eating out is red because it is BAD. Grocery days are green. Wednesdays are crossed out because youth group includes dinner. And purple is for meals because I like purple. CACC means Catch As Catch Can. I don't exactly know what that means but that was the phrase in our house growing up that meant "We are dumping a whole bunch of leftovers and random food items on the counter, you're on your own, try to make a meal out of it." I have expanded the definition in our household to include things like canned soup, frozen entrees, or simply "figure it out yourself." Ok so I planned this out forever long, but really my next step is just to grocery shop for the first increment of meals, between grocery days. I zeroed in on that section and made my shopping list for March 8 through March 16:

That's it?!? That's not much at all. Granted some stuff we already have in the pantry/freezer so that helps. But for real, that won't be a hefty shopping trip at. all. And I have a cutoff point. Used to when I'd grocery shop, I'd just sort of think of meals in my head as I went down the aisles, not real plan or date range in mind. Now I know this is all I need to get us to the next grocery shopping day. Once I do this for a while, I'll get a better idea of a budget week to week and it'll just be stupendous all around. You'd think I'd already be a good planner and budgeter in this area since I'm an accountant, but I'm not. Sigh. But I am determined.

Now we just need a working dishwasher to wash all the dishes I'm going to get dirty!


  1. Yay!! I'm so proud of you! Thanks for adding this link on my blog. I hadn't gotten to my blogs in my reader yet, after being in Chicago all weekend for SYMC and had almost 200 to catch up on! I went straight to yours to check it out! I was hoping you'd be in Chicago too and we could meet, but then I forgot to ask you about it... Louisville next year?

  2. Hi, thanks! I'm thrilled that you read my blog, that makes me happy. No we didn't go to the conference in Chicago, though that would have been a blast. We honeymooned in Chicago so it has a special place in our hearts. We went to the National Youth Workers Convention in Nashville last fall that Youth Specialties puts on. It was a great learning experience for us YM newbees! If the SYMC is always this time of year I'll probably never be able to go because of my tax season work schedule. :-(