It is time to confront the dishwasher. As reported here, we started washing dishes by hand because our dishwasher was breaking. Over the past few months, fewer of the wash cycles have been available, so we were left with only the “China” cycle. The “China” cycle isn’t that effective.

After Internet researching, I guessed that the problem was based on either the electrical control panel (inside the door) or the control panel console that has the start buttons on it. Either of these parts seems to cost roughly $150. While this is cheaper than a new dishwasher, I’d still rather buy kayaking gear with the money, so I’ve been putting it off.

Here is the patient in the process of being disassembled:

Dishwasher disassembled

To take the dishwasher door apart, I had to buy a screwdriver set that has a six-pointed star shape. This is where cell phones come in handy. I took a picture of the screw head with a ruler next to it using my cell phone. Then at the Home Depot I was able to make sure I had the right size.

Screwdriver with star tip

Here is the faulty console, or control panel:

Dishwasher control panel

I think I have found the problem:

Faulty dishwasher wiring

That corroded wiring is attached to the back of the control panel. So, while I call around for the part (or eventually buy it online), we are still washing by hand.

As an aside – while we await the part, there is enough grime built up inside all of the door parts to keep the entire family busy with cleaning for a day or two. I cannot include pictures. It would be too embarrassing.¬†However, if you are one of those people who can’t sleep knowing that there is dirt skulking in a corner of your house, then you need to take apart your dishwasher and get to work.


Here is a picture of delicious brown sugar french toast:

Brown Sugar French Toast

Recipe, makes 8 servings:

  • A loaf of bread
  • 6 eggs – lightly beaten
  • 1 and 3/4 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter – melted
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon until well blended. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine eggs and milk until well blended.

Place bread in egg/milk dish and soak for a couple minutes.

Sprinke brown sugar mixture on one side of each soaked bread slice. Grill in a pan until well cooked

My grandparents are visiting today, and we are going to do some fun stuff. We are going to Color Me Mine, which is a paint your own pottery place. And it is awesome. Then we are going to play on the Wii. I can’t wait to hit my grandpa’s mii in the face with a snowball! My grandpa is also going to give us an art lecture about mass, form, structure, and motion. Then later today I have an art club with my online school. I am going to do perspective building drawings with the club. Then maybe I will take my grandpa to run up a brutal hill in our neighborhood. That hill is practically straight up and down. I am going to drop him off at the bottom, and meet him at the top!



This Halloween was great! I got 85 pieces of candy, and spread it into plastic bags and froze a lot of them so I will have candy until March. I got about 18 Snickers.


I went trick-or-treating with lots of other kids. Afterword we went through the Haunted House (pictures soon) me and my sister made. This year I was Dobby from Harry Potter. One guy gave me his hat (he took it back) to pretend to free me!

Dobby Halloween Costume

A Dobby Halloween costume is pretty easy to make. For the sheet, I took an old white bed sheet and used it to wipe up some water on my porch to make it dirty. Then I soaked it in tea for a few minutes until it was slightly stained. I wore light colored clothing underneath that. For my head, I bought a bald cap, which was pretty inexpensive. You might need to buy special adhesive to attach it. After the bald cap, I put on my elf ears. The elf ears were also inexpensive, and I bought them and the bald cap at a Halloween store. My mom put them on toward the top of my ear, not like the instructions say. They were also applied with a slight tilt, so they look like Dobby’s ears. The ears also need special adhesive. For the skin color, I mixed white face paint with at little brown, and smeared it on my face and bald cap (after the cap was put on). And that is how to make a Dobby costume!


I hope you had a good Halloween!

Homemade banana bread with homemade cocoa:

Banana bread with cocoa

Homemade fire:

Fire in fireplace

Our dog Rudy’s butt never touches the ground when he sits:

The Butt Doesn't Touch

Photo credit: Rick Gill.

Garmin watch

This morning I put my husband’s Garmin running watch (with its GPS tracker) to a different use. I wore it for one hour around the house while I had breakfast and did housework. It was an opportunity to stretch the boundaries of the technology we own.

From about 9 am to 10 am I prepared and ate my breakfast, did a load of laundry, vacuumed four rooms, dusted a little, and stripped the sheets off my bed. Plus I got the mail and looked in my car for something. This is the path I walked:

Housework path via satellite

The Garmin and Google Earth seem to be off a little from each other.

Here’s the data:

Garmin housework data

In one hour of basic housework I walked 0.20 miles and burned 90 Calories. The elevation spikes are from when I went up in the attic to get the vacuum and when I lifted a box of stuff into an upper cabinet.

It’s a shame that I only went a fifth of a mile in doing all of that. Maybe the data would reflect that this was good exercise if I had worn the heart rate monitor, but my husband wears it every time he runs, and I don’t want to clean the sweat off of it for this.

Perhaps if I do this again, I’ll try it on one of those days when I have to walk around putting lots of stuff away and decluttering. Maybe then I can get the entire rectangular footprint of my house to be colored in red.