dirty clothes, dirty washer

The next thing demanding our attention was the growing pile of dirty laundry.  2014-01-04-DSC_4759First, we took our laundry to have it washed at the “laundry service”.  While, it only cost $7.50 per kilo of laundry, we did the math and realized that in the long run it would be cheaper to buy a washing machine and do our own laundry at home.2014-01-04-IMG_4231There was an “antique” Hitachi washer in the outside ‘squatty’ bathroom, but we were told it was manual and had to be washed and spun by hand.  We took a peek and saw that it was in fact, a twin tub washer.  We’ve had a twin tub before and knew that although they are more work than an automatic, they are not quite manual.   We had told ourselves that we would never buy one again, but this one was free and they do get the job done.  2014-01-04-IMG_4234The first thing we saw was the dirt.  The lid was missing, and the machine looked to have been neglected for a few years.  But that didn’t stop us.

2014-01-04-IMG_4233We started scrubbing and spraying, trying our best to get it to a somewhat cleaner state.  We found an old toothbrush lying around, which we put to good use.2014-01-04-IMG_4232We eventually decided it was good enough and declared it clean.  In reality, we couldn’t seem to get the rest of the dirt off.  We figured if we couldn’t scrub it off it probably wouldn’t get on our clothes when we washed them.  The next day, I did my first load while Ryan was at work, only to discover that the spinner didn’t work!  Oops, I guess we should’ve tested that out before we spent a few hours cleaning it up.  Thankfully, my mechanically minded husband was able to fix it in only a few minutes, by taking the back of the machine and discovering that the lid safety switch was loose and wasn’t allowing it to engage…. or something like that.

2014-01-04-DSC_5396So, back it went, to it’s corner in the squatty toilet bathroom, ready to roll.

2014-01-04-DSC_3810We were able to start doing our own laundry!  After being gloomy, cloudy and cold for a few days the sun finally showed its face and dried the laundry in just a couple of hours.2014-01-04-DSC_3806Meanwhile, the girls have begun discovering their love for the outdoors.  This is the first yard we’ve had in years.  Here they are watching Mr. Snail leave his slimy trails behind.

2014-01-04-P1340835-LargeHave you ever had any challenging laundry situations at home or traveling?  What’s your laundry routine like?  

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where's the sink?

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So, like I said before, we were a little surprised when we walked into the bathroom and discovered that there was no sink.  The tap just ran onto the floor, making this Asian wet style bathroom always wet.  After a few days, of washing our hands while getting our pants and feet wet at the same time, it got pretty old.  DSC_3823

So, we started with this.  A basin on top of a stool on top of a stool.  Pretty cool, hey?  Pros – it kept the water off the floor… sort of.  Cons, it wasn’t quite high enough, so water still splashed around, and the kids couldn’t reach the tap.  So, I was still constantly in the bathroom, helping everyone wash their hands.  We lived with it like that for a while, until Ryan came up with another idea.DSC_4603He bought some cinder blocks and put them as a platform under the tall red stool. DSC_4593

That put the basin at a better height, and freed up the little stool for standing on.  Perfect?  Far from it.  At least it’s functional and working for now.  DSC_4594

Yay for independent hand washing!  Well, at least until the basin gets too full and has to be dumped into the toilet.DSC_4811

We also managed to squeeze a large basin between the “sink platform” and the step to use as a tub.  With the temperatures plummeting, and the voltage in our house too low to support the electric hot water heater, we had to find a way to bathe without getting hypothermia.  So, we heat a big pot of water on the stove and it makes a lovely bath for the girls.  There’s also a chance that adults in our home have bathed in this tub out of desperation.DSC_5328

We found this groovy pink metal vanity in another room and decided it would work lovely in the bathroom. (Maybe lovely is too strong of a word?)DSC_5329Bonus: you can sit on the toilet and get fixed up! It’s easier with the seat cover down, though.

Have you done any bathroom upgrades lately?  What would you do if you had running water, but no sink?  Do you have any other ideas for us?  Leave a note in the comments.

new house: first impressions

We pulled up to our new home, and it looked great.  We had seen pictures, and thought that it would be pretty close to move in ready.
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However, there was a bit of work to do.
20131108-IMG_4247First things first, we setup the girls’ room as soon as we arrived, so that they could sleep in somewhat familiar surroundings.  We decided to bring their bedding, rug and curtains and even a few wall hangings to help it feel like home.
20131108-IMG_4229The second morning, our place looked like this.  We’re so glad we made a last minute decision to bring the kitchen table.
20131108-DSC_3898We were expecting the house would be reasonably clean but, there was a lot of work to do.  Above is a gecko skeleton in one of the door jams.  There were hundreds of spiders, cobwebs and ants everywhere.
20131108-IMG_4243Another surprise – no sinks in the house!  The bathroom faucet runs onto the floor.
20131108-IMG_4264-EditAnother challenge was not having a kitchen inside the house.  I had been told it wasn’t connected to the house, but I guess I didn’t realize that I wouldn’t be able to see into the house or hear the girls from the kitchen.
20131108-4P1340833-LargeOpening the kitchen cabinets for the first time was a bit scary.  The kitchen is not sealed at all (see the gap between the wall and roof?), so it was a refuge for many bugs.  It didn’t appear to have been used much in the past few years.

So, we were a bit surprised, overwhelmed, and cold… for the first 3 days the sun didn’t shine and it rained constantly.  Ryan kept telling me that we’d make it work and things would seem better soon.  So we adjusted our expectations and got to work cleaning and making some adaptations.

Have you moved recently?  Did you have any surprises at your new house?