Old Out, but New Not In

It is with tremendous sadness that I write to you this bright and shining New Years Day to tell you of the passing of my dear friend, helpmate and tireless companion, Sir Washie. Sir Washie, a 30 year old Kenmore heavy duty washer of extraordinary merit, departed this home yesterday after a short illness, which ended when the 4th repair man we called laughed himself into a coughing spasm rather than come out and even look at him, saying that all he would do if he came was charge us $100 for a death certificate. (Apparently he, like the other three repair men could tell from their cars that Sir Washie was suffering from a terminal illness, which I think was rather unfair to my washer, and I told them so.)

I have spoken before about my deep love for Sir Washie, of the many magical things he has done for me… from his noble rendering of clean diapers when the girls were little, to the countless towels the teenagers have foisted upon him in his old age, he has selflessly served this family. He was patient, learning to enter into new relationships over the last few years, as Joe and the girls sought to (reluctantly) share in the joy coming to know him – gently drawing their attention to their unbalanced loads by politely thumping across the room. Even when they forgot to clean his lint filter he was understanding, and he never once spoke of the time that I clogged his pump felting clogs.

Perhaps his greatest gift to this family was that he never once, in all of the time that we were together, burdened us with a repair bill at a time when we couldn’t manage it – and even after having his bottom parts dipped in an icy basement flood he just kept on washing. He was considerate that way. Sir Washie is the only entity on this earth that has helped me just about every day without complaining, judging or expecting anything from me, and he will be sorely missed.

He will be especially missed, since as expected, his demise has created a nightmare chain of events. Joe and I went shopping to replace him (and his slacker dryer friend, who is a limping piece of crap that I don’t love at all) and we carefully chose the smallest appliances that were still full size – and that we could afford. (Did you know that there are $4000 washing machines? Seriously. If a washer is $4000 I want it to get the laundry out of my room and bring it back folded after it made me coffee and told me it likes my hair. $4000. Boggles the mind.)

Yesterday, when the new washer arrived, the delivery guys went downstairs, fetched up my dear Sir Washie and hauled him up the steps, only to discover, as we had known, that the kitchen pantry needed to be disassembled to get him out.


We sort of knew that, although it still upset me. In our family, it is tradition to tidy up on New Year’s Eve. In fact, I usually clean for a few days leading up, believing that how your affairs are when the new year dawns is how your affairs will continue for the coming year. We end as we mean to go on… and the idea of trashing the house – really trashing it on New Years Eve hit my superstition button hard. What would it mean for the new year if your kitchen was partly disassembled as the calendar hit the reset button? I’d tried to get the appliance delivered the day before just to avoid this.


When the cabinet was empty, unscrewed, detached and removed (my dining room is full of food) Sir Washie came through the kitchen, out the back door and far away.


I actually felt badly for him, right before – well, right before I remembered he was an inanimate object that had no feelings… but was distracted from my grief process by a developing crisis back in the kitchen.

The new washer is the same depth as Sir Washie, but about 4cm wider. This, we thought, was going to make it hard to get it downstairs, but not impossible. We may have been wrong. The cabinet was already removed (and lying in the hall) and now the new washer wouldn’t even clear the doorway. Joe started talking about how it was just the door frame that was the problem, which was no problem, because he could “make it work” and for some crazy reason, the minute he used the word “sawzall” and “prybar” the delivery guys were in their truck and gunning it out of here. Joe called in the forces. My brother Ian and Ken came to help, and our neighbour Greg provided a variety of saws and emotional support. (He may also have been watching his back, since his house is the other half of our semi-detached – and once Joe started talking about sawing anything at all near a shared wall… Greg was interested.) I should have known how it was going to go when Ian walked thought the front door and said “I didn’t miss all the sawing… did I?”


The guys removed the facing board and tried again. Nope.

They reconsidered and hacked another board out of the frame.


Still not big enough. They sawed another part of the frame out (seriously)


removed a light switch (every centimetre counts) and this time,


the washer cleared the frame,


but would only go down the first two steps of the basement before the encountered another problem in the form of … well. A wall. A wall that can’t entirely be there if the washer is going to go down. Joe was standing in the basement with a sawzall, a crazy determined look in his eye and kept saying “I can do it… I have momentum!”

At this point it I may have flipped out and called a halt to operations while I stood in the kitchen and took stock for a minute. We had removed the door, the food, the cabinet, the door frame, removed light fixtures and sawed off chunks of the house. The house was trashed. The kitchen was trashed, there was a new washer mocking me from the back door, nobody has clean clothes, that doorway will never be right again and we were a few hours off of the New Year while my husband planned to take out a part of a wall that was in his way.

I took a deep breath and I gave a thoroughly impassioned speech about how we had crossed the crazy line. Totally crossed it. I told Joe that one of the things I love best about him is his optimism. He always believes that everything is going to work out, and I could see that Joe had decided that this washer was going into the basement no matter what it took. He was on a mission. I told him that I really love his optimism, but that this time it just wasn’t appropriate. That this wasn’t going well and that I didn’t think it was going to start going well and that the washer was too damn big and that we needed to return it right now before he sawed up anything else and we needed to pay the extra money and get the apartment sized ones that I know I said I didn’t want because I know it means I’ll have to do a load of laundry every fourteen minutes for the rest of my life but now I don’t care… because frankly – I’ve hit my limit for a SAWED UP HOUSE ON CRAZY JUICE.

And then I saw it. A huge scratch on the side of the washer. It can’t be returned. The thing now belongs to us, and as that dawned on me, I was suddenly filled with an urge to hack a hole in the floor of the kitchen and just drop the *&^%$er through to the basement, or maybe shove it onto the stairs and leap upon it with the full force of my body until it fell through, smashing whatever needs to be smashed to make it work. I took a deep breath.

The boys went home. We put the tools down. I took a load of laundry to my Mother-In-Laws so this family could start the new year with something clean, and I went for a run. (A very short run. Turns out that -20 is way past my personal threshold- but it did work off a little of the frustration.) I came back and took a hot bath and we put a bottle of champagne in the fridge.

The boys are coming back today for round two. I am going to avert my eyes and knit while they saw up whatever they have to and try to preserve what’s left of my sanity.

You wanna know the best part?

The new dryer comes on Sunday.

374 thoughts on “Old Out, but New Not In

  1. Farewell, Sir Washie. You were indeed a valiant machine.
    I suggest you depart from the house and not return until it’s dinner time. Some things are best left to the insane and your absence will make their job easier.

  2. Look at it another way. You always knew that door needed to be wider. And now you know the stairwell needs the same. Rejig the house while you’ve got it torn up.
    Be like those remodelling people on the DIY shows – be fearless. You have a chance to improve your home! You have a whole bunch of people who are willing to do it for you (though I’d listen to the Vinyl Cafe story about the reciprocating saw before I left them alone). Go for it!
    (says she from a couple of thousand miles away)

  3. Oh, my dear! I feel your pain! I wish you luck with your new washer and dryer. And should I tell you that when we remodeled years ago, we decided to put our laundry room on the ground floor for that very reason? No more messing around with getting washers and dryers into and out of basements. Best thing I ever did in the housework line!

  4. If I were you, I would vacate the premises, preferably for the nearest pub or LYS, and not return until they are done. Completely done. Good luck!

  5. deep breath ! Got a bottle of Screech ??? Big gulp ! Wish I could help you – really I do ! Remember it is just walls – replace them ! Clean clothes – needed !
    It will out out – hammer and Screech ! Good luck !
    Kim O

  6. Happy New Year. We, too, were quite saddened by the passing, over the last couple of months, of our own Sir Boiler, Lady HotWaterHeater, Lord Computer, Sir Dishwashie and, the day before Christmas, Sir Oven. Happily, we still have our health and plenty of yarn to keep us busy. Keep on knitting πŸ˜‰

  7. Goodbye and fare thee well, Sir Washie. As for your poor kitchen, I have my fingers crossed that everything will fit eventually. Just a warning: those apartment sized machines really are as small as you think/fear. Happy New Year!

  8. Condolences on Sir Washie. My advice: start drinking the champagne NOW (if you haven’t already). In my experience almost nothing can’t be solved, or at least endured, by throwing money at it while drinking champagne!
    p.s. Knitting may not mix really well with the above advice. πŸ˜€
    And, Happy New Year!!!

  9. I.. I nearly cried when I learned Sir Washie had died. It’s so horrible when you lose a friend, even a mechanical one. Let’s hope that this new beast learns its place and becomes even half as helpful as Sir Washie. I definitely agree with Duffy.. Leave the house. Go to the yarn shop. It’ll make it better.

  10. This is hilarious, I too have the clean the house like crazy on NYE mindset, and this would have driven me over the edge. If it makes you feel any better, I was able to start my new year with Day 1 of your lovely calendar. Happy New Year!
    PS – You are a major badass for running in this weather, I’m in Maine – it’s about -15 wind chill here and the thought of going outside is making my head hurt.

  11. We learn so much from you…remember..things need to get out of the basement..we did that to a full sized freezer once!

  12. Oh, Sir Washie, gone to the agitator in the sky. I agree with Duffy and Chelsea – head to the yarn store and you won’t have to watch the guys.
    (BTW – my mom has the $4000 washer and it is crazy-loaded with options, but I still think it’s overpriced)

  13. The day had to come sometime…
    When we remodeled, our contractor suddenly faced getting a 28″ wide to-the-ceiling-high cabinet through a 22″ wide (I kid you not) bathroom door, and did exactly the level of dismantling you’re describing. He didn’t have to drop the thing through the skylight, it was close, but it went in. Yours will too. Hang in there! And good for all the volunteers for helping out. Happy New Year!

  14. RIP, Sir Washie. May you be recycled well.
    And yes, I think leaving the house, with yarn, for the duration of the proceedings today is probably the best course of action for your continued mental health.

  15. Fare thee well, Sir Washie. You were very well loved. May you rest in peace. Best of luck on getting the new one downstairs!

  16. I have a very clear memory of coming completely unglued in front of the entire male portion of my family when they decided they were going to completely renovate (complete with drywall) the room we were going to put my second child in the DAY AFTER we brought her home.
    All of my relatives went away and never returned to that particular task.
    We moved before the room was done.
    May the Goddess be with you, sweetheart–knit like the wind and be out of the house as much as possible. They can, they will, but you don’t need to see how they do…

  17. You make me glad I live in a basement-less ranch house. The garage is our laundry room– you can fit anything in through a garage door!

  18. Very little good can come of a man with a sawzall – especially once he gets into the crazy juice. Go the the yarn store and mourn Sir Washie in your own speical way. When you get back, it will all be over but the cleanup.

  19. Steph… would lots of chocolate, wine and tim’s coffee help at all??? Or maybe a roll around in a room full of fiber and yarn???

  20. Oh May Mr Washie RIP. And I feel your pain about the new size of appliances. I too have wielded a sawsall to get an appliance to fit (my fridge).
    Hang in there! (wine will help)

  21. Accept my condolences on the passing of Sir Washie. My heavy duty Kitchen Aid is in year 17 and I tell it every day I love it. On the house dismemberment-had to laugh and commiserate. Had a very similar experience (thankfully less destruction) and my impulse was the same-just cram that thing in and who cares what wasteland the landscape is afterward. Good luck-put more champagne in the fridge. You can at least drink while the house sheds parts.

  22. Maybe it would help if you looked at it as the “eat a frog” philosophy? The one that says if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, nothing worse can happen to you the rest of the day? With a start like this, everything else this year will be cake!
    Maybe. You do have teenagers and a husband with a saw.

  23. RIP Sir Washie. πŸ™
    Good luck with the new one. I’m sure it’ll all work out in the end. Remember, if it’s not worked out, then it’s not the end. πŸ˜‰

  24. A $4,000 washer should also give you a shoulder and neck massage after it has finished putting away all of the clean, folded laundry.
    I’m all for high quality when one can afford it but that’s just silly.

  25. Oh noes! Poor Sir Washie, we will miss his tales. And worse, your poor kitchen! Your poor house! I will be thinking happy washer-thoughts for you today. Maybe you should actually *leave* the house with your knitting while this goes on? Is there a nice, warm coffee shop within -20 degree walking distance?

  26. We had a similar(but far less complicated)issue with our washer.It needed to be the smallest one(just above apartment size)to fit through the removed doorframe and then we had to unscrew the water intakes on the back of the washer and push them in flush with the back of the washer,etc.,etc.,etc.,when we first moved in.Hopefully,we just need a new belt and Washer can stay put…

  27. Oh, I feel your pain. Our last house was built in 1940-something and when we went appliance shopping when we moved in (because we had none whatsoever), we measured something before we went. I can’t now remember what. I know we had to replace the outflow pipe because it was too small for today’s washing machines. (If I remember correctly though we discovered that when it gushed water all over the basement floor whilst washing clothes.) And then something still didn’t work out right. I think it was the dryer. We had to go back and pick out a different one and by that point I was so frustrated with the whole process.
    Good luck. I agree. Leave the house entirely while the “renovations” are going on. I’d go have a coffee somewhere while listening to soothing music and knitting furiously.

  28. You are made from sterner stuff than I. There is no way I could WATCH that sort of carnage in my home. I’d have been sipping lattes at Starbucks, knitting something opulent and pretending things were as normal as they ever get back home.
    Happy New Year!

  29. Your account of the situation is so graphic, I can picture the whole sad thing. As with many of your wild adventures, it is difficult not to laugh uncontrollably, but that would be unkind. My money’s on Joe; his perseverance and faith will win the day as it has in the past. Wishing you the best of luck in this moment of trial, and good health and happy times in the new year!

  30. RIP, Valiant Sir Washie.
    I do so love your stories of mayhem and appliances. The story of the new stove (right? stove?), complete with geometry lessons can still make me giggle.
    Though I know it’s unkind to laugh at the heartache of others.

  31. HA! This brings back memories of the fridge I bought. My BF and my boss brought it home for me and try as we might we could not get the bugger in my kitchen. It sat in the living room, taunting me with its water and ice in the door features, until finally we realized that we would have to hoist it up and pass it sideways over the breakfast counter. What joy that fridge gave me!
    Very funny story to start the new year with! I am still chortling about “and his slacker dryer friend, who is a limping piece of crap that I don’t love at all”!

  32. Oooooh Stephanie. Hope springs eternal. We all believe the New Year will be somehow different than the last. . . but it rose up reminding you that you can _count_ on the unexpected! (smile) My sympathies for Sir Washie, and hopes for a much better “rest of the year.” As others have said, just knit on!
    From the Sock-Shaped State, Marjorie

  33. Oh… dear…God… you poor woman.The only saving grace I can think of is that it makes for a very funny story (although I would not see anything funny in it at all if it were my washing machine and my house). All I can say is I hope you are well stocked up on booze.

  34. Oh, man. Knit like crazy to get past the hacking, er, sawing. Good luck with transition. Maybe a shiny new washer (albeit a little scratched) arriving in with a new year is symbolic, in a good way.
    Btw, been knitting that #@$!! Noro scarf. Enjoying watching the color shifts play out but I really had other things to do besides obsessively knit (cleaning, taking down the Christmas decorations, etc.) The scarf is now my carrot at the end on the housecleaning stick! Clean a little, get to knit a little…
    Have a wonderful 2009!

  35. Oh wow. My sympathies.
    In Japan everyone does a big clean on New Years. I did it when were there and remember really enjoying it but haven’t done it since for some reason.

  36. Farewell, Sir Washie!
    Is there any way possible to put the washer/dryer on the main floor? Without having to put it on a porch?? My husband indulged me and we got the Whirlpool Duet wash/dry when we bought this house. It’s wonderful, light on the water use, and easy on the clothing (front loader). Expensive? Yes, but I think we make up for it in energy, water, and detergent savings (high efficiency).
    And yes, do leave the house and take the knitting. Come back with beer and wine in hand for the troops. Joe will let you know if it’s really bad (remember the truck incident?).

  37. What is it about turning men loose with power tools, something that won’t clear a doorway, and an incurable fit of make-it-work-itis? I nearly lost a refrigerator to the same thing. It was the small pile of pieces left over after they put the door hinges back on the fridge that nearly caused me to lose it.
    I too recommend a trip to a LYS followed by a nice warm coffeeshop with some comfort knitting. If you do stay home, stay upstairs and wear stout earplugs. It’ll be over eventually.

  38. I often think that my life is crazy.
    And then I read your latest post.
    And I count my blessings.
    Good luck with both the washer AND the dryer.

  39. Poor you! What a way to celebrate the arrival of 2009. Get your head down and keep knitting is my advice! Happy New Year!

  40. Oh dear. I think you should go away for a day or two and come back when it’s all done. Sending you good thoughts and wishes for a very happy new year!

  41. Reminds me of January last year, when they came to take my old wreck of a kitchen out. They just kept on finding more and more things wrong with the room till I ended up with a shell of bricks held up by acroprops.
    Looks fine now that there’s a good douce layer of plaster over the damage, but I still feel so sick about it I haven’t been able to put the paint on. One year…I’m still traumatised. I feel your pain, sister!

  42. Oh Stephanie! I am so sorry. While I too think getting out of the house is a good idea. I understand that you might not be able to. If it were me, I would feel like I need to have some sort of control over the situation and would there fore need to be there. Whether it is actually helpful or not.

  43. I am so sorry about Sir Washie – for one thing I am firmly convinced that appliances made that long ago were just much better quality & new ones just won’t hold up like that. Really, is there somewhere you can just go until the new washer is in place & your house returned to being at least all sealed up against the elements (ie door frame & door returned to fully functioning status)? I mean there’s not much you yourself can physically do to help get the new washer in place & it’ll just be much less stressful for you if you don’t have to see what is going on & can hope that all will turn out well. (Noticed some lovely hand knit socks (shades of gray stripes) on someone’s feet – at least that guy will have warm feet. And, on a positive note – the rest of the year HAAS to be better!)

  44. Definitely not a good beginning to 2009!! Go and Knit – Knit – Knit clear thru the delivery and installation of both washer and dryer Chin up!

  45. I adore you completely. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for not being a witty woman with an enormous and stylish and perfect house. We are compatriots, honey. From Nancy, with the tiny and slightly tacky house

  46. Ugh! How stressful. I really hope you write back tomorrow with good news! Think of all the water and electricity you’ll save with a more modern washing machine. (Once you get it down the stairs…)

  47. YIKES! Here’s what you have to do: Sit down in the most remote part of the house, listen to an audiobook or play music really loudly whilst you knit like mad (don’t you have something that you HAVE to finish by tomorrow or something really complex?) and ask not to be called until the job is done. Alternatively, leave the house. I know I would have to. GOOD LUCK and remember, things can only get better. Happy New Year and RIP Mr Washie. πŸ™

  48. Well you just continue to provide fabulous real life adventure stories right into the New Year, what a trooper.

  49. My deepest sympathies on your washer.
    I too think 4 grand is a tad pricey for a washer. I mean, you could send the stuff out to be laundered for quite sometime on 4000 and have more time to do other things, possibly lucrative type things.
    I am afraid, however, I agree with Adele. (I am also far away, but only 500 miles, but go after her first, after all she suggested it first ;>) Rejig the doorway and stairwell. BECAUSE, they don’t make them like they used to, and sure as shootin’ this washer is not gonna last as long as Sir W.
    Do you want to go through this again, EVER in your lifetime? I didn’t think so. (Because you are not crazy.)

  50. Oh, Stephanie, I’m so sorry about Sir Washie. He was a good and noble washer indeed.
    As for your current predicament…have you ever read “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”?

  51. Wow, that’s a totally reno!
    WIshing you a very Happy New Year and another 30 years of a dependable new Washie.

  52. At least the dryer’ll be able to get down there, now that the new washer’s expanded things…
    I’m going to miss Sir Washie.

  53. Holy crap! So sorry for your loss and for your painful . . . um . . . gain. Yikes. I hope that after this difficult start, you and your new washer will have a long, happy, and healthy life together.

  54. The same thing happened to me … well not exactly. Our washing machine broke on the 23rd *sigh* and we couldn’t get the friendly washing machine guy (as he is fondly known) out until a couple of days ago – so I had to go to my parents aged 31 with a binbag full of laundry and some Christmas wishes.
    Ours is OK provided it has many towels below it (seal problem) while we wait on a replacement part.
    There is wet laundry hanging everywhere…
    Just keep knitting, just keep knitting

  55. My deepest sympathies for the loss of your dear, old friend. I do hope your house is going to survive the new appliances. I agree with the posters before me that you should really leave the house while it is hopefully not being entirely demolished…
    I wish you a wonderful new year! The way the old one ended and this one starts for you it can only get better! *knocks on wood*

  56. Think of it this way–maybe you’re getting all the crazy out of the way, and the rest of 2009 will be tranquil and undisturbed. (Yeah, right.)
    Condolences on Sir Washie–should I send flowers?

  57. Alas, poor Sir Washie. He went down fighting, though.
    I think perhaps you may want to take advantage of a nice quiet shop somewhere to knit and drink coffee until the boys call you and give you the all clear.

  58. Well, given Joe’s recent adventures with tight-fitting spaces, I can empathize with his need to make this incident work out (or in…). May the goddess of laundry bless the process, and I shall send my prayers to Sir Washie just in case he has any remaining good influence over your laundry temple. Remember to breathe, and soon enough the happy sounds of filling, spinning, and draining will fill your ears. :>

  59. Happy New Year, and farewell Sir Washie. Mr. Washie gave you the best years of his life and think of the remodeling Joe, your brother and neighbor are doing as Sir Washie’s way of welcoming his replacement by haveing the basement redecorated. His must have gotten a little tired of the basement by the end of this time here. He is up in appliance heaven smiling down on you.

  60. Oh, Steph!
    Condolences on the passing of Sir Washie.
    I suggest visiting the stash; perhaps wool fumes would help?

  61. “Alas, poor Washie. I knew him well…”
    I’m so sorry for your loss. I believe it was your Sovereign who so wisely said, “Grief is the price we pay for love.”
    Rebound relationships are never quite as fulfilling. In this case, however, I think it is worth the sacrifices you have to make. Allowances will have to be made. Try to avoid comparing the two. Your New Friend can’t be Mr. Washie, and it’s not fair to expect him to.
    Maybe you just need to lube up in order for things to slip into place. Try slathering the sides of your New Friend with WD 40 to get you through the tight spots. It will require a good deal of cleanup afters, so be sure to have a rag handy.

  62. I can’t wait for the next instalment!
    I showed your blog to my husband who is a worrier – and he is worried for you.
    Go and stay with a friend and don’t come back till the boys have “fixed” it!

  63. My condolences for sir Washie. As I look at your pictures of sir washie, I sense a resemblance to our first washer which met his fate several years back but he was a kenmore as well bought by my parents as a wedding gift when we married almost 30 years ago give her take a few months. Our’s must have been a brother to washie. In our case the sister dryer hanged on until 2 years ago when I finally replaced with a new front loading set of which I’m in love with. I’m sure your new year can only get better after such a start.

  64. Steph, I love you, and I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that someone documents the dryer debacle as well. My, my.

  65. Dear Stephanie, happy New Year, I too like to start in a reasonably clean house on Jan. first, it is clearly not only a Dutch thing. Poor Sir Washie, it was his time to go. Make friends with your new washer, apologize for the scratch, put over some polishing wash (avoids rust) and I can see Washie never needed a repair, because.. My husband was an electrics repairman in a big sugarmill, after that a car repairsman, now we own our own transport company, well, he is your real handyman. I have watched him repair my washingmachine, dryer, refrigrator and, you may be amazed, the only way to do that is dismantling the beasties. And hey presto, they loose one or two centimeters by just doing that (the selling company knows that takes some time, so they elope that option) if Joe and his fellow DIYman are handy enough, they can do it. (hm, American verb?) just tell them to lay each sidepanel wit its own screws on the floor and mark machine and panels three times, it should be put together in opposite order in the basement. Note, the top of your washingmachine makes the bulk of the depth and width of your machine. Maybe this is worth a try before breaking out walls.Note too insides of washingmachines do have very sharp edges here and there, they are not meant to be carried aroud without their white enamel coat. How come on the ground floor doors should be wider than in basements? Answer: dooropenings must allow for the width of a wheelchair (plus the hands of the person in it), wheelchairs normally don’t go down the stairs to the basement and if they do there is something very wrong! Cheer up, once everything is installed and hammered back in place dont forget this: remove lint religiously, modern machines are not tolerant to lint. As an Irish folkgroup sang a song about the Irish Washerwoman and one of them wrote some new music and asked his daughter how to name the piece, she answered it must be Miss Zanussi, get the pun? I think mister Washie has joined the Irisch Washerwomn and they will be dancing happily forever. Now, we know you have made peace with your new machines when you have given them their name, until then, keep best friends with your MIL.so you can maybe alternate one wash at hers, one to learn at yours if you get your men to partially dismantle the thing, take a good look, at least you will know your DWM (dear washing machine) inside and out.goodluck. Margreet.

  66. I know how you feel about losing a machine that has been a part of your life for a long time. I felt that way about our car. I am hoping you have a house left by the time the dryer is in. Look on the bright side. We live in an old house with our machines upstairs!

  67. From a person living in a 108 year old house with openings that don’t fit anything from this century: I know your pain. Two weeks ago the oil burner guy took apart not only the frame to the basement door but the stairs that curved to get the new smaller oil tank in. How the old leaking oil tank got in there is anyone’s guess. It wasn’t the way the house was originally heated. And now I haven’t seen him to actually install the %#!^& thing–he’s too busy. So I have to pray that the old one doesn’t burst (I can’t get down there to see) and guess when to have my dribs and drabs of oil delivered so that that weight of a full tank doesn’t make it give way. Hope Sir Washie is recycled into what ever is his next level of being. Happy New Year and as EZ says “knit on”

  68. Good Bye Sir Washie, rest in peace.
    The installment of your new washer sounds eerily familiar. Aside from trying to get new appliances into our old house, we once got the entertainment center wedged halfway down the basement stairs and my husband asked me how badly we needed the ceiling (which happened to be the staircase to the 2nd story of the house). I took that as my cue to call for reinforcements. I didn’t lose the ceiling, it just needs a fresh coat of paint.
    Knit furiously, and we’ll stay tuned to the outcome.

  69. I’m so sorry about Sir Washie. Perhaps, in those truly desperate moments (and I know they will come. Yes I do.) you might remember the lovely presentation of your Best Blog award. That was momentous.
    (And I hate the chaos too. I was trying to explain to someone yesterday how light bulbs should last forever, shoes should never wear out, and I should never have to put gas in my car. He stared at me oddly, though.)
    As for the New Year, I’m quite comfortable with chaos. I feel like things will always get better from there.

  70. I think you should get far away from your house before round 2 commences. I would not want to be anywhere near home if that was going on.

  71. Rachel H! Denny! Ken! You will know best that this is no time to suggest coffee and an audiobook; this is even beyond chocolate and/or champagne. There is not a moment to lose. Show up under the guise of helping, position yourselves, and when Steph is in full-supervision mode, throw a pillowcase over her head, hoist her aloft, and carry her overhead out of that house, HUT HUT HUT. The bars are open by now. Throw yarn and boilermakers at that woman but do not allow her to leave while she is still capable of mustering comprehensible invective. (Test: if she can say “comprehensible invective,” order another round. I’ll pay.)
    Joe — if they can pull it off, you owe me.
    And will no one else point out that besides a big slice of Schadenfreude with which to begin our new year, this woman has given us all a three-fer shot of amazing male hottosity? Phew. Between them and the fury I can’t believe the forsythia didn’t burst into bloom all over Toronto.

  72. I have to say that you’re fortunate that my father is not anywhere near your predicament… he would begin the project by announcing that he’s an engineer, then proceed with the sawzall and perhaps even a sledgehammer.

  73. I like your hair. can I have $4000?
    in these situations, it’s best to flee. Go to a friend’s house or a relative’s. Leave instructions that whatever is demolished is to be returned to its previous state IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING, and just leave the men to their crazy schemes.
    good luck. and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  74. Farewell Sir Washie. Everything we bring into our house requires some kind of remodeling to get it through the door and/or up the stairs with corners in the middle. I feel your pain. Hope the rest goes better.

  75. I hope it helps to know that there are people all over Canada and the US (not to mention the rest of the world) that are sympathizing with you even if we have never gone through that precise tragedy.

  76. I remember something about a hole in your foundation some years ago – I don’t suppose that’s still there? Would it be easier to build a whole new bulkhead into the basement? Is Greg’s side of the house just as impossible to get into the basement of?
    You know, sometimes I think my life is really boring and I ought to spice it up somehow, and then I read your blog. Bland is not all that bad.
    Go knit. I have an unopened bottle of merlot if you want to hole up here till the swearing’s over with.

  77. Ay ay ay. What a way to start the New Year. This new machine had better NOT break down…
    Go somewhere — far away from the house — and knit. Hell, go for the entire holiday weekend! What you don’t see won’t stress you out.
    Then, when it’s time for a new hot water heater, get a tankless kind. It’s no bigger than your electric panel, you can carry it by yourself, and the plumber won’t need to destroy your house to install it (it sits on the wall). You’ll also save money on your electric/gas bill AND never run out of hot water. Mine was actually made in Ontario (fancy that!).
    Of course, reading about Joe’s fearless enthusiasm is making me reconsider the necessity of a live-in man…!

  78. All I can say is that new washer better be damn near immortal, and the dryer smaller. Shots for everyone!

  79. December just wasn’t going well, was it? I laughed, but because I have almost been there — when we bought our house almost 4 years ago, there were hookups in the basement, but no washer or dryer. I bought a new washer (not one of the $4000, saw those, gah!), making sure they would install. When it arrived the delivery men swore (swore, in every sense) that there was NO WAY that washer would go down our tiny, narrow, steep basement steps. I calmly insisted that they had to deliver it, and it would fit. After removing the basement door from its hinges, it barely slid in under the railing, without enough room to slide a piece of paper between it and the wall. The delivery men were shocked. But there it is, in our basement. We haven’t always been so lucky — we had to demolish a wardrobe that was left in the house to get it down the stairs.
    It’s too bad you don’t live somewhere warmer, if you were in California you could put it on your back porch.

  80. RIP, Sir Washie. In time, you will learn to love Sir Washie, Jr.
    Have a happy new year.

  81. ((
    ((Steph)) Honey you need a hug to go with the yarn. Remember this too will pass and will serve as fodder for advise when your girls are married and having a tough time.

  82. Bowed my head for Sir Washie, may he find happiness in that appliance heaven, as he’s certainly earned it, bless his heart.
    Now for the scary part… what marie said about may the dryer be “smaller” – ?
    You do realize that you might want to consider leaving the dang cabinet off the wall, the door off the hinges, etc etc until such time as you KNOW that dang new washer is IN PLACE and ready to go to work. Unless of course, that means you’ll have to eat out every meal until the new dryer gets there and is installed. Appealing as that might be, it probably isn’t conducive to a happy pocketbook.
    Good luck…

  83. I agree with the above comments that you should maybe be out of the house while they do all this sawing and stuff.
    Farewell to Sir Washie. What a terrible tragedy.
    (He may be inanimate but he will always have feelings to us.)

  84. No one is yelling, cussing, blaming, threatening, crying, spitting, throwing tools, racing to the emergency room, or calling their reality show agent. Just some good male bonding, preserved forever. I predict the new washer and dryer will become part of the Joe legend, complete with basement tours, a laser pointer, and beer tasting.

  85. Okay, I was going to be all clever and suggest you take the outer casing off the washer, and bring the insides downstairs, but then . . duh! . . . of course the outer casing still needs to get downstairs as well. Unless you want to have a naked washer, but somehow I don’t think so.

  86. My sincere condolences on the demise of Sir Washie, a valued companion and a king among major appliances. His devotion and hard work has given you so much more knitting time than banging your laundry on a rock, and his cheerful disposition has been a salvation to your sanity on many documented occasions.
    Oh, and a happy, hopeful and joyous new year to you and Joe and the girls (and the new appliances as well, long may they serve!)

  87. Is it a front loader? If you got a front loader, it’ll be worth it, every bit of it πŸ˜‰ I LOVE my front loader (I have 3 teenagers).
    And the lint all collects in the rubber thing, not the motor πŸ˜‰

  88. Sorry, but that was just so funny to read! Te he! My own washer/drier is located near my gas boiler and I get to bang my head as I fill it!

  89. I am so, so sorry. I am sitting here in my quiet, empty (except for me and the dog) house, packing for a trip to Tucson that YOU should probably be going on. I say FLEE! Flee to whichever family member or friend has the best wine cellar and don’t go home until husband or children come drag you home.

  90. RIP Sir Washie…
    I hope that the rest of the Great Washer Escapade goes better! Maybe the dryer is smaller? Either way, I have faith that it will all work out in the end.
    Best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful New Year!

  91. Leave. Do not stay while they are putting the washer and dryer in. Go somewhere wonderful, like the yarn shop. Surround yourself with beautiful yarn and beautiful knitters, and do not think about what you have no control over. A nice glass of wine wouldn’t go amiss, I’m thinking. Tell Joe to call you when the house looks as normal as possible and the appliances are ready to be used.

  92. I would honestly say get out of the house and go somewhere like a bookstore/cafe/coffeshop. I don’t think you want to watch the boys kill the house some more, and I don’t want to encourage “retail therapy” in a yarn shop…. that tends to not work out too well for the budget.

  93. I second Ms. Roz….
    “Go somewhere — far away from the house — and knit. Hell, go for the entire holiday weekend! What you don’t see won’t stress you out.”
    Because there is no way in Heck you are going to relax and do productive knitting by listening to what is going to occur in your basement. I can hear the blueness of the air now…the noise…the crankiness… the natural opposition of a Victorian house to this kind of indignity.
    the LPS…(a.k.a. local pub shop) should do the trick. And If you should over indulge…what a wonderful coping mechanism when you return home. Good Luck Lass…and have a beer on us!!!

  94. I see that I was not the only one who conjured up images of Dave’s toaster outlet story from The Vinyl Cafe (http://www.cbc.ca/vinylcafe/home.php) – Adele already beat me to it. Hang in there, drink wine, and knit and it will all be over before you know it. Rest in peace, valiant Sir Washie.

  95. I’m actually replying to your Dec. 20, 2004 post “Reversal of Fortune” but this post also seems very appropriate. Late last night on New Year’s Eve the hot water hose that leads to our water heater burst. Before we knew it, it had spewed out enough water to flood our garage to a depth of 3-4 inches.
    After we swept out as much of the water as we could, I in a fit of pique typed some garble into Google and found your blog. My reply is a compliment to you about your calm and equanimity, and the same level-headedness of some of your readers and respondents. I had found another site that recounted true horror stories about GE water heaters (of which we have one) and its customer (dis)service, but when I called GE this morning the agent was not nearly so unresponsive. Sure she had a little attitude but it was New Year’s Day and I was patient and nice and I think that had more than a little to do with my memories of how you all (we all) handle adversities. Somehow when economic times are bad as now, seeing fortitude, grace and a little humor fills me with hope.
    A Happy New Year to all.

  96. Goodbye, Sir Washie… may you rest in peace.
    Happy New Year Stephanie…
    And though you may not believe it, my husband is in the kitchen right now, with the Asko dryer apart trying to figure out why it sounds like an elephant is tap dancing when it’s on….
    Hmmm good blog fodder I suppose….

  97. Oh My Gawd!
    Maybe this would be a good time to go back on a book tour. You know us in Atlanta and Knitch would love to see you again.

  98. Since Sir Washie is far away this probably isn’t the time to tell you tht our own Sir Washie (which quit two nights before my eldest graduated from high school) yielded up over $69 in change on his way to the garbage. Another valiant soldier who even had the grace to give me a tip!

  99. Since Sir Washie is far away this probably isn’t the time to tell you that our own Sir Washie (which quit two nights before my eldest graduated from high school) yielded up over $69 in change on his way to the garbage. Another valiant soldier who even had the grace to give me a tip!

  100. Happy new year, and may sir Washie live on wherever good, faithful appliances go!
    We had a similar issue with our teeny tiny closet with the water heater + washer/dryer + only storage space in the entire house.. we ended up getting one of these babies:
    a 2-in-1 washer plus steam dryer.. it’s awesomely energy efficient, and we just had to take the doors off the hinges to get it in. Only drawback is that it’s a front loader.. so no felting for me.. and it takes 3.75 hours to fully wash and dry a load. We love it anyway πŸ™‚ Plus it was on sale for $1400.. couldn’t argue much with that.

  101. So long faithful Sir Washie. It sounds like you need beer and an outing until the house is re-assembled. Hopefully the new appliances will be trustworthy.

  102. “Have I missed all the sawing?”
    Reminds me of my neighbour who waits til her husband’s out of town before she gets out the chainsaw. The chainsaw is the king of saws. Men from miles around will drop what they’re doing to follow its call. I’ll always remember the day in September 2007 when I returned from the supervising the Big Sock at the Hemlock Sheep and Wool Festival to find the entire neighbourhood in our back yard. Emily’s husband was away at a conference and she had taken the opportunity to finally take down a nuisancy tree in the corner between our 2 yards that was threatening to interfere with the hydro. Just as I was arriving, she had accidentally pulled the service right off her house. My husband, always optimistic, had turned our power off at the source just in case. Couldn’t even make a cup of tea. There were guys lined up to finish off the tree even under the threat of being electrocuted. The hydro company refused to come and reattach the service – said she had to get it done privately. I know – incomprehensible to Canadians, right? In the end my neighbour had to throw herself on the mercy of a linesman she knew through her church to get the job done. He came the next day, reattached the service, finished taking down the tree, pulled our service off the house in the process and then had to reattach that too! I have pictures somewhere. Good luck today. I’ll be thinking of you.

  103. I’m so sorry that Mr Washie has passed away. He was a loyal and valiant assistant.
    The new washer is almost the same dimension, just a little wider, side to side, yes? The same measurement from front to back? I ask because I notice that the pall bearers carried Mr. Washie out sideways, and it appears as the new one is proceeding down front first. If sideways worked well for Mr. Washie, wouldn’t it work well for the new one? Just a thought, and one that I’m sure has already been tried. I shall now go run a load in Mr. Washies memory with my own valiant assistant, who lives on my back porch.

  104. Sir Washie is dead, long live Sir Washie! Man, at least getting him out was less scary than you had anticipated, but I can not believe how much trouble the new one is being! How inconsiderate of that upstart new washer! Good luck, Steph.

  105. I hear that Hail Marys are helpful in these cases. And then there is St. Jude who is the patron saint of lost causes. Thankfully the guys did not pick up on your idea of cutting a hole in the floor. In my house, the holes come first and never get patched.
    And whoever created sawzall? needs to be punished.
    Wine is good. Lots of wine. And beer.

  106. Sounds like the gods are retailiating for ignoring that gauge thing again. As you always advise us, it is always worth measuring the gauge aka width of machine sitting in the store must not exceed width of opening at home. However, I have confidence that Joe will prove the other axiom – if it doesn’t work, jam it harder.

  107. If Sir Washie has a brother I might dump my human hubbie for him! Wait DH does the laundry here and I wouldn’t know what to do to conquer my own Mount Washmore.

  108. As I write this 2 men are attempting to assemble a huge wall unit from IKEA in my sons room. The old contents of the room are currently spread over my other sons room, the living room and the garage. Until this project started the last 2 were tidy, I am scheduled to work the next 3 days so the mess is likely to continue to haunt me. I advise wine and maybe leaving until you get an all clear call!

  109. Sawzalls? Hacking down doors and walls? Tim is going to think you wrote this just for him!
    I agree with the others Steph – just get the h%&* out of there, go someplace warm and have a beer and knit. You need to grieve in peace.
    Happy New Year!

  110. Ok possibly, due to late NYE party, can’t type worth anything today. Try it again:
    How did Sir W get down there, to begin with?

  111. Stephanie, Thanks for sharing your life, your wit and your willingness to laugh in the face of disaster with us. It is so comforting to know others get to experience life’s little surprises also. In the middle of October I bent and twisted, nothing to it, yet somehow I ended up with two herniated disc and one torn disc. During my entire bout of bed rest, drugs, no driving, working or knitting (horror) your Blog and your way of thinking kept me entertained and smiling. Thanks to a great neurosurgeon and physical therapy I hope to return to work on Monday, but before that, I want you to know how you make a difference to others. Thanks, Robin Tinman

  112. MY Dave sounds very much like your Joe, but in Dave’s case it’s not so much “optimism” as sheer determination, and if it was his washer it would be “I’m smarter than this washer, and it’s not going to beat me!” but there would be just as much destructive insanity. I find it’s best to just walk away and come back in an hour or so, my sense of “realism” has no place.
    He also likes to build things out of other things, with the same carazy attitude… he has assured me that when he finally moves in with me his old bed is getting turned into speaker boxes….

  113. I so know how you feel. Wanna hear about the summer my whole house was on stilts while we rebuilt, replumbed, rewired, repoured and removed and replaced the basement? I had visions of me slamming the front door shut only to have the wall come crashing down behind me. Oh, I forgot! I couldn’t slam the front door shut. It was nailed closed because of the dry moat dug around the house while we had no foundation.
    Be sure to raise a drink to the new Sir Washie. The Washie is dead. Long Live the Washie.

  114. Oy Vey! That is about all I’ve got to say, except Good Luck to you all. Our refrigerator/freezer is breathing its last (the fridge still works, but the freezer … well, it’s no longer so good at freezing meat or keeping it frozen, and it’s been here at least the ten years we’ve lived here, and no telling how long it was here before). The appliance guy came in yesterday, took all necessary measurements, and we’re supposed to have a new one delivered and installed tomorrow. With any luck, it will be while I am at the yarn shop!
    Good luck to you and yours, and a happy 2009!

  115. My deepest condolences on the passing of Sir Washie. But tell me, did the delivery people wonder why you were taking pictures? And does your new washer agitate hard enough to felt wool? Inquirin’ minds wanna know!

  116. Rest in peace, Sir Washie.
    I hope that you and the new washer and drier have a very happy new year, once all the sawed-off parts of the house are put back in their place!

  117. Oh, I’m so very sorry. But I can so relate. A few years ago, we needed a new fridge. So we carefully measured and remeasured the space the dying fridge was in, so we could buy the right size.
    We went off and bought a new fridge and arranged delivery. Unloaded the old fridge (into every spare ice chest we could beg or borrow from friends), moved it out of the way and….. discovered that the wall next to the fridge space was not square.
    The space was 1/4″ SMALLER in back than in front and the new fridge wouldn’t fit.
    Because it was a load bearing wall, we couldn’t cut it out. So instead, that afternoon, after the delivery guys had left, we had to unload 14 feet of cabinetry (floor and uppers), carefully unmount them from the wall in order to move them 1/2″ to the RIGHT and remount them.
    That’s when I decided I hated remodeling.

  118. If it makes you feel any better, the last time my dad had confidence and a sawzall, he cut through our phone line and it cost hundreds of dollars to have the problem fixed.

  119. Stephanie, I am sorry for your loss. Sir Washie was a valiant companion and served you well. Having had quite a bit of experience with men demolishing things to make other things fit into my house, my best advice is that you leave with some knitting, and don’t come back until the new washer is in the basement. And then leave again when it is time for the arrival of the dryer. It will all work out, but it’s best if you don’t know how the successful outcome was achieved. Good luck.

  120. Oh dear! I hope things settle down soon, and best wishes to you and your family for a peaceful 2009.
    I recommend a little soothing knitting, preferably from a chair that does not have a view of the carnage. πŸ™‚

  121. OMG!!! It’s giving me shivers, this story. I do hope Sir Washalot ends up being as loyal and hard working as Sir Washie was. And that his dryer friend is more friendly. Shall I tell you about the leather sofa that wouldn’t go through any of our doors and the stupid store was going to charge us a thousand dollars restocking fee to take it back, and we ended up having to exchange it for a sofa I don’t like, and that isn’t comfortable….. Why are they allowed to make sofas that don’t fit through doors???? We have a 1949 house, but the outside doors are regular sized. By the way, I drew the line at hacking the outside wall to get it in. :/ Hope it all works out just fine.

  122. I am truly sorry for the demise of Sir Washie.
    But since the dryer hasn’t been delivered yet, let me tell you about the wonderous dryer my friend has that he described to me.
    It has the option to disable the tumble mechanism and insert a rack to place knits on that you need to dry flat. It then proceeds to do it’s drying magic on said knits while they dry flat.
    If your new dryer doesn’t do that, you might want to check out the other dryers available in the store before you settle for one that you’ll find out later that you don’t like as well.
    The ability to dry things flat seems to me to be one that I (as a knitter) would prize very highly.
    But you probably already know this.

  123. Big boys and their power tools. There is nothing they cannot conquer. My sympathies, and I hope their next attempt is successful.
    Have you considered converting your office to a laundry room? and moving your office to the basement? Just a thought…

  124. I’d post a comment, but the CRCTC would probably pull the whole blog. So: !!@?<!!
    A word to the wise: If a washer repairman tells you that the “wag weight” (whatever that is — the thingy that makes the washer spin, maybe) is gone, just give up and buy a new one. Never, ever, buy used.

  125. Happy New Year!
    I agree – leave home while they finish getting the new washie down to the basement! Don’t let them fix anything until the dryer gets down there too. The good news is that dryers do not weigh as much as washers do.
    You are fortunate that you have a hubby who takes on household construction/fix projects. I so envy you. In my house it would get started and stay half done for years…

  126. I’m glad I’m not the only one with lunacy at our house on New Year’s Eve. My husband declared that a new front end needed to be found and put in the Jeep so he could go offroading today. He left the house at 9:40 last night to find the front end, returned after midnight, and was up well into the wee hours of this morning trying to get it into the Jeep. Sadly, it was the wrong gear ratio and he didn’t realize that until he had the other one completely torn apart.

  127. Oh, my Goodness! Do not, in any way, take this as an indicator for the rest of your year. Swear on it! It totally sucks, but will pass. If it doesn’t pass, then I DO recommend shoving the *#@!%^ thing out the nearest exit!!
    Hang in there!!

  128. Please accept my deepest sympathy on the loss of Sir Washie.
    I think all the advice for you to go somewhere else and knit during the “remodelling” is wonderful. Hopefully all of your deadline knitting is done and you can work on something fun, for yourself, in honor of Sir Washie.

  129. I am truly sad to hear of Washie’s passing. He was doing his job when you were a “tween” and continued to do it well through the teenage years of your girls. There really is something about machines like that, who serve you well over a long time that makes them more than just inanimate objects.

  130. OMG Sir washie is the twin to the one we bought when we first married or first lived together or one of those firsts. First lived togeher was 1978 and I think that was it. Anyway, poor memory for dates-of-purchase aside, that thing was still going crazy (in a good way) when we sold our house in 2005. Three sets of cloth diapers, clothes for our very messy urchins and all their friends and fosters. Oh how I loved him. Oh Stephanie . . .

  131. Happy 2009! I understand your pain. Recently I traded in my truck, to which I was very attached, for a newer, much smaller, more fuel-efficient car. I had all I could do not to cry. I made the salesman pinky-swear that Grizzy would go to a good home. He gave me a tissue and offered up the requested pinky, bless his heart.
    Here’s to faithful mechanical companions, Irish coffees, exquisite yarn and good knitting.

  132. My sincere condolences on the sad passing of Sir Washie. While your house has been slightly trashed & pieces have been sawn off, maybe there’s another way to look at it? (Easy for me to say!) You are starting the New Year off with a house full of strong, helpful, cooperative, optimistic (& good-looking!) people full of momentum. If your theory of “how your affairs are when the new year dawns is how your affairs will continue for the coming year” is true, things are looking pretty darn good for 2009. All the best to you & the wrecking crew!

  133. When we moved in November 2007 to the ‘burbs of Montreal, we took our brand new (year or so old) front loading washer & dryer with us. No way I was leaving it in the duplex for the new owners. No real damage was made in our duplex to get them out, just one panel had to come off the side of the door.
    The front loaders sat in our garage as table top storage for almost three quarters of a year. We had a washing machine & dryer in our new place, that we were trying to sell, but only wanted to have to move it once. Finally we sold it. They came out of the powder room no issues. The new machines to get them in? The whole door frame and part of the wall had to come off in order to get them in. It was a disgusting mess.
    Now, I’m still waiting for the handyman (yeah, he’s hard to track down) to come and finish fixing the door. It’s been a few months now.
    Good luck with the new machines!
    Happy New Year Stephanie! All the best in 2009!

  134. Sorry about Sir Washie – a totally impossible act to follow. He will be missed by all readers of this blog…
    I am however totally impressed about the number of concerned males you managed to assemble on New Year’s Eve to attempt to solve the problem; winced in total sympathy, as the owner of a very small house with very odd-sized appliances, at the scratch problem; and seriously hope they managed to fix the problem today.
    I’d like to think a $4000 washing machine would also cook me dinner, sweep the floors and clean the bathrooms, frankly.
    Please remember that modern washing machines are Not What They Were – whatever you do to get the thing in there, do bear in mind that stats I’ve seen says the average washing machine only lasts 10 or so years now, so it’ll need to be reversible to haul the thing back out of there…
    Ducking and running now…

  135. I hope everything is resolved by now, but if it isn’t, have you checked to see if the washing machine’s cabinet can be removed? That can save you several inches.
    Good luck!

  136. Ugh, I can relate. We barely got an amoire into our living room without dismantling the doorway. The fridge eeeked through the doorway to the kitchen without an inch to spare. And the amazing sofa that we found at a Crate and Barrel outlet for pennies had to be lifted by a boom truck (along with sheetrock) through a window into our attic when we renovated it since there was no chane it would ever fit through our narrow little doorways on the first floor. Modern furniture and appliances are just not desinged for old homes! I wish you (and the guys) luck with the washer and the dryer….happy knitting!

  137. Oh My Gosh!! not Washie.. i have been raving about him for years! I’m in shock! .. But the greatest news.. I am out in Atlanta.. and my “sis” in law got me your latest book!! I am so over the moon.. hadn’t been able to afford it.. but she snagged it for me for xmas.. and didn’t even realize I was a HUMONGO Fan!! hee..hee.. take care and i’ll have to come back and read about Washie after we come back from our dinner party.. Happy New Year to you too! πŸ™‚ hugs all around! karola..

  138. My deepest, deepest sympathies on the loss of Sir Washie. I would also like to extend condolences for the loss of your tidy kitchen. Am wishing you all the best for the reassembly or your doorframe. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  139. bless your heart!! I know this is not funny, but this is hysterical!

  140. Oh dear. Well, you could always just go Euro style and put your washing machine in your kitchen…
    Very sorry about this!

  141. Oh dear. Well, at least they didn’t try to “tip it” to make it fit. And at least you replaced them both at the same time so that you only have to demodel your house once to be able to fit these guys in.
    Dryers are usually smaller than washers, right?
    Did you get a top loader so you can still felt in the new Lord Washie?

  142. I hope that today is better than yesterday for you and the family (and the house).
    Yesterday we had a new washer delivered. They have to remove two doors to get it in the house and tucked under the stairway. That went OK once the MEN who wouldn’t listen to my mother figured out that they needed to remove TWO doors. We know the drill.
    We did 3 loads yesterday … water on the floor after load #3 (I stepped in it … cold wet socks!)
    Today I come home for the mid-day meal and Mom says we have a big problem … one very small wash left a lot of water on the floor and it had wet the carpet in the adjoining room :0 ! The washer is in a ceramic tiled closet.
    I crawled on top of the washer and looked behind it … lo & behold .. the brand new hot water connect hose is leaking … water is pour out in a nice little stream behind the washer.
    So I turned off the taps and we placed a call to the store (closed for the holiday). This new hose wasn’t connected 6 hours before it was leaking.
    Tell Joe to check the hoses when you get the new one installed, and keep an eye on it for a few days. I will be heading off to get some new hoses shortly.

  143. Oh, Steph.
    My heart bleeds. To lose Sir Washie, and then have your house dismantled before your eyes?
    That’s too much for anyone to have to endure.
    Have you considered installing the washer/dryer combo in the living room? Don’t laugh– mine is under the stairway, steps from my favorite sofa. I can knit, watch TV, and do the laundry, all at the same time. I love doing laundry! It gives me time to watch TV and knit. Just put a nice set of doors in front of the washer/dryer so it isn’t too obvious, and you’re set.

  144. Oh my. Almost seems like rocks and riverwater would be a better solution. Maybe when you finally get the effing thing downstairs, you can take one of Sir Washie’s last laundered garments and hang it in memorium. Sort of like retiring his number. Sorry you had to hack up your house.

  145. …Well on the upside, you just gave me a lot to think about before replacing my own dying washer?
    We don’t have a basement so there’s no issue with stairs, but I do have to make sure it will fit through either the door from the garage or the back door without hearing a “sawzall” (reciprocating saw for those that don’t go for the brand names) start up.
    But then we have been talking about making changes to both those doors anyway… just have to hope that the washer dies in warmer weather.

  146. ………..happy new year dear harlot! we must always remember to see find the silver lining in the grey clouds that come our way. Christmas morining I woke up to about 9 mounds of dog doodoo on the top carpeted landing of my staircase. not only were there 9 mini-mushy mounds of dog doodoo, the little basta*& was hunched mid-poop and smushing it along as he went… it was soooooo beyond cleaning and ever getting the stench and stains out that my husband and i readily looked at each other and ripped up the beautiful wall to wall carpeting that was installed about 6 years ago and tossed it out the front door! Whatch gonna do?! arrgggg…. its times like that i am eternally grateful for my knitting. my knitting is like a mini~vacation for me and when i have sticks in hand… i find a bit of peace and happiness… we are lucky women! to have such a comforting and rewarding escape with us at all times πŸ˜‰

  147. Oh, Sir Washie, we hardly knew ye. Old dryer, don’t let the door hit ya on the way out.
    I commend you for not going postal during this process. A run, hot bath, and champagne sound like a divine solution to a maddening process.

  148. My sympathies to you on the passing of Sir Washie. I am glad that his was a short illness and am hopeful that your new washing machine will fulfill your needs well, although surely it can never replace Sir Washie in your heart.
    Happy New Year!! May 2009 bring lots of wonderful new yarns and patterns and great successes for you and yours.

  149. Yes, I think you should leave for awhile. Sometimes it’s just better to not know what’s going on (like your house being hacked up.) I wish I’d been out the day my piano arrived and had to be hauled up a long flight of stairs into my living room. Of course it got stuck halfway up the stairway and the poor guy on the bottom thought it was going to come crashing back down on him. While he desperately pushed on it in order to save his life, his friends hacked away at bits of my ceiling, moldings and stair rail. Eventually they got it up the stairs. I hope your new washer will be as faithful and hardworking as Sir Washie was.

  150. Well, Joe did get the truck stuck by his parents’ garage….just sayin’. It’s a GUY THING!
    My husband did the exact same thing with our new refrigerator, except taking the entire door frame out was enough.
    Like my Grandpa always used to say:
    MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE! (or, in the case of appliances, not at all)

  151. Dude. Better you than me, I guess, though I have SO BEEN THERE. Any conversation that involved the sawzall gives me the heeby-jeebies, though my own opinion is that there are few problems that can’t be solved by the sawzall and some spackle.
    If I were you, I might be seriously reconsidering the necessity of a dryer, though.

  152. As someone who is about to move out of a mountain home, you have my empathy. To get our California King size mattress out of the upstairs bedroom will involve taking off a railing and a banister. When we got the bed, the delivery people tried to carry it upstairs, said “it won’t fit” and then sprinted for their truck leaving me (and my husband out of town) with a huge mattress in my kitchen. To make matter worse, it was snowing, I didn’t really know any of the neighbors, and I couldn’t push the %@&% thing upstairs by myself. And I tried. Fortunately, after the weekend with the mattress in the kitchen, I got brave and asked a neighbor for help.

  153. Deepest regards for Sir Washie. A truer friend was never known.
    In the when-life-gives-lemons-make-lemonade frame of mind, I say it is time for a remodel. Open your place up. Half walls are so much more interesting than full walls. Tune into TLC or one of those other DIY stations, and come up with something fabulous!
    * Cheers *

  154. I’m sorry – but – um – when did Sir Washie become knighted? I thought he used to be Mr. Washie …
    anyway, happy healthy ’09 –

  155. I am so sorry that you have lost your dear Sir Washie.
    The ice storm that crippled my neck of the woods two weeks ago claimed my dryer as a victim along with many trees around our town. A power surge zapped the motherboard on my two-year-old dryer and the replacement is on back order. There were no clean clothes at this address while I hoped that repairs would be completed swiftly. After abandoning hope I went to the laundromat. My washer suffered exactly the same injury at the ripe old age of two months during a very stiff wind. How odd that appliances now have motherboards; I must now adopt the habit of unplugging them both after use. My old Kenmore laundry pair lasted many trouble-free years also. Alas, we will never see their like again.

  156. I’m so sorry about Sir Washie.
    Consider evacuation for the duration of the install. Go smell yarn. Think optimistic thought. Don’t be in the house when screaming starts.
    Good luck!

  157. Sorry to hear about Sir Washie…but I can relate to the house demolition to get the Washer and Dryer into the space. When we moved into this house we had to take the door frame where the w/d had to go completely apart as well as remove the washer shell to fit it through the door. The dryer required it’s front door to be removed because the handle prevented it from coming through the door. We recently built a new utility room to house the w/d and all doors and space were measured to fit the appliances.
    Good Luck with this project!

  158. I had to read that out loud to my husband. He’s much like Joe in his boyish enthusiasm, completely removed from reality at times…

  159. Oh man! OK, enough empathizing. Let’s try to make some lemonade here…maybe you’ll find the hidden treasure of your home’s previous owner in the wall? Maybe you can just use the wall removal (it’s only drywall I hope, not bricks or anything) to add some really good insulation. You could have the warmest stairwell on the block.

  160. Steph – there are no words. I really thought we had a crazy NYE. We are not even in the same league – simple amateurs is all we are.
    Some crazy person came bombing through our snow-covered (but plowed) parking lot last night and hit the bldg (all yarn is fine – don’t worry).
    Happy ’09 and I really hope today went well.

  161. I will miss the tales of Sir Washie, what a wonderful and trusted friend. My condolences to you and your family at this time of reconstruction in your kitchen.
    You can do it Joe!
    Happy New Year!

  162. Hi! I will be sending thin thoughts (for the washing machine) and wide thoughts (for the stairway) your way. Maybe taking the cover off the washer would help (it worked for the stove, didn’t it?)?
    Take your knitting, find someplace peaceful (maybe not as far away as that cabin, but close) and wait patiently for good news from the DIY crew.
    And try on a new New Year’s superstition – perhaps this is the year you will live the year the opposite of however things were going when the date changed. Something to do with the leap second – so all this chaos will presage a year of quiet, organization, and appliances that work.
    By the way, my daughter gave me one of your calendars, and I am already enjoying a most amusing new year. Thanks!

  163. ok now i feel a whole lot better about being a complete slug with my pug on the couch all day. we’ve been sleeping, watching tv, eating cookies (ok i am eating the cookies, she can’t have chocolate), and goofing around online aaaalllllll day.
    normally this level of sloth bugs me but after reading your blog i am now content. thank you YH!
    ps when my sister was learning how to get her baby to sleep (and delegate to her spouse), she had to get in the bathtub with a drink and turn some relaxing music up loud enough not to hear the baby down the hall. it might not sound too great but disconnection can be GOOD sometimes.
    try that bubblebath thing, knit ALOT and let all those guys do their thing while you go to a yarn shop…
    you’re the best!

  164. I have one word for you: Tasco.
    I had a number of such incidents in my other house where I was trying very hard to buy something new and shiny and participate in the economy and the damn appliance wouldn’t fit in the door, down the stairs, bla bla. The company turned tail and ran with the appliance!
    I called Tasco in tears and they sent my new appliance over with no problems for installation. I think they have a whole department who deals only with tiny Toronto houses and lovely new appliances.
    Good luck with the stairs! Happy washing.

  165. I’m so sorry for you in this, your time of loss …
    Try not to hold the trashed house against the new washing machine. I’m sure it was NOT doing the appliance equivalent of clinging to the doorframe and shouting, “No, no!” It just probably ate too much over the holidays…

  166. Sorry for the loss of your dear friend and your sanity! Geez, I would have been flipping out when the delivery men were gunning the truck! Happy New Years!

  167. I bought my Kenmore Heavy Duty washer and dryer in 1985. Sir Driesalot up and died this past year. Two second hand dryers have come and gone in an attempt to do what he did. My washer is still going strong, and I love her. 24 years and still going. Great, great machines!

  168. Perhaps a glass of wine and the song “Days of Wine and Roses” would completely capture the sense of love gone wrong with Sir Washie. Damn, that’s a bummer the old chap is no more. My mother had a washer and dryer that was of an age with Sir Washie. She still remembers those machines, and you’ll always remember Sir Washie in his happier, sudsier days. Maybe we can have a top 10, best of Sir Washie remembrance?

  169. Well, it could probably be worse…but not by much. Poor old Sir Washie. Poor Stephanie. Poor house!

  170. Ay! There isn’t enough yarn to fix that problem! And poor Sir Washie. My condolences – and luck – to you! Happy New Year!

  171. So sorry that the $4000 one was beyond your means. Anything that costly probably only comes in a size “0,” right? Hope there is a decent burial for Sir Washie. Do you have a name for his heir?

  172. I empathize with your loss. I had a pair of hiking boots that I loved. One day I was sitting at work and realized the sole had separated from the upper on one boot. I was distraught. When coworkers asked me if I still had the receipt I realized those boots were 12 years old. They shook their heads while I wrote the manufacturer to order a replacement and while I made a backup plan to take them to the shoe repair shop. Surely and bit of sewing and all would be well. Wrong, The boot was discontinued and the repairman said sorry, there was nothing he could do.
    The one bright moment is that I was a knitter and at least had yarn to tie the top and bottom together until I could get home to another pair of shoes.
    Is it possible to remove the panels and take the machines down the steps in parts?

  173. Don’t leave the house. Don’t.
    How else will we get The Rest of The Story? It’s been so entertaining up to this point, really, and part of the fun is imagining you hovering around snapping pictures of all the guys and tools.

  174. My husband is asking if anyone has given any thought to a main floor laundry area. I told him there was probably no room, and he suggested that Joe move his studio to the basement.
    Personally, my guess is that Joe’s studio is *already* in the basement and that this suggestion, while lovely in theory, is just not pull-off-able in real life, even if you never take into account all the electrical and plumbing that would need to be done. But what the heck, here I am commenting with the suggestion, just in case.
    Gosh, I hope this all works out okay…

  175. Happy New Year!(?)
    Well… look at it this way… you only have to widen things once before the dryer comes in. πŸ˜›
    (And I shudder to think what the fates meant for the New Year for us with the lovely mess the visiting dog left in the family room last night and this morning.)

  176. Dear Stephanie,
    I no longer watch or clean or help with anything like this. I tell my husband when the appliance is arriving and I leave the house. Go out, anywhere…..you do not want to hear the words Oh no, ouch, oops, etc…… Then after you come home you can check it out and you are more pleased than if you stayed home to hear all that stuff.

  177. I had the exact same machine as Sir Washie and I too considered it my might most trustworthy reliable friend. I have 3 kids and it washed cloth diapers non-stop for about 8 years without a complaint. Also hockey equipment, scout and guide camp gear, what a trooper.
    I’m looking forward to how this all plays out.
    Best of luck!

  178. Can you remove the basement steps, and then “drop” the washer down vertically? By drop I mean let it down?
    Best of luck, I hope that it works out for you.

  179. You didn’t get gauge first.
    Perhaps it’s a silly question, but why didn’t you measure the space it needed to go down, and bring the measuring tape to the store and only buy machines that will fit?

  180. Dude.
    Also, thanks to mommyk who reminded me to unveil the calender, which I shall do forthwith.
    And I had no idea about this “clean the house before the New Year” thing, and after basically ignoring the housework for the last two weeks (and reading the two Yarn Harlot books I got for Christmas!), I feel a little panicky about the state of things around here. With only a few hours left in the day, it’s probably a little too late to adopt a new superstition….How about clean the house before the first Monday of the New Year? Yeah, I’ll go with that.
    Good Luck with Washie Jr. Think of the bright side – Jr is no doubt WAY more energy efficient than Sir Washie, and maybe even faster. Here’s to lower energy bills! (of course, you will be funneling that savings into doorway repair, but nevermind)

  181. Call yourself lucky with all these man around! My dryer (15 years old, on the topfloor of my house) died 6 weeks ago, my dishwasher (almost 20, second floor) is on her deathbed, but I am reluctant to order new machinery because I live alone. No husband anymore, two adult daughters that live apart. I have only one brother, who lives in France, 1100 kilometers away from me. And because my hobby is knitting, I don’t have many male friends… So for every heavy duty job around the house I have to hire a man. Count your blessings, Stephanie, with all your help from husband, family, neighbours and friends!

  182. Sir Washie will be remembered fondly. I know what you mean about just staying away today and knitting while the boys put the new washer in. A friend was trying to find out what’s wrong with my computer the other day, one minute he’s telling me we have options, the next he’s muttering….this isn’t good….I had to stop and tell him…you’re NOT helping. When he plays further with it this week, I’ll drop it off and LEAVE!!

  183. Oh man. I feel your pain. My mother’s queen sized box spring wouldn’t go into her room up the stairs. We took out the window. We took out the window frame. We took out the framing. We cut the hole bigger. It came in the opening where the window used to be. Then we put it back together again.
    People wonder why I’m never afraid of home improvement projects and why I think we can accomplish ANYTHING. It’s because I’ve done harder things πŸ™‚

  184. Cheers to Sir Washie! His passing is simultaneous with our own 1988 Kenmore which has seen us through several moves, two babies and 4 cats worth of hairballs. TOTALLY with you on the services those high priced models better deliver! DH says we can get a new dryer for the high price cost as soon as we find one that folds and puts away the clothes… though I like your extra mandates better! Happy New Year and try to think of the saws as a special manly treat for Joe and his Buddies… they love demo and a true feeling of manly conquering is hard to find in the 21st century. (BTW conquests have absolutely nothing to do with whatever mess gets left behind…FYI. πŸ˜‰ ) Peace from Florida, Colleen

  185. That you can write an obituary for an appliance that moves me to tears is amazing. OK, they were tears of laughter, but nonetheless–farewell, Sir Washie, your job on earth is done.
    If the way we end is the way we begin, I am in BIG trouble… say it ain’t so… Happy 2009 anyway!

  186. I don’t know if someone has already mentioned this…but have you considered taking any parts of the washing machine off? To get out old washer out they only had to take off something from the back, but the new dryer was pretty dismantled to come in. I am thankful for our great local appliance store and their trusty deliverymen!

  187. I’ve been wondering with far more interest than is probably healthy what the blazing hell you were going to do when Sir Washie finally gave up the ghost (I’ve had two expensive washers die on me in three years). Now I know. If you want to ship your dirty laundry to San Diego, I’ll be happy to do it for you. It’s the least I can do to make up for the hysterical laughter.

  188. Getting stuck in tight places seems to be a recent theme for Joe lately. Hope it turns out ok.

  189. There’s something going around. Our dryer quit this morning. That’s after two TVs quit in as many days in December.
    At least we just have to roll the dryer up the driveway and into the garage.
    Any recommendations for a dryer from your research?
    And, yes, I’m aware how lucky I am to even have two TVs.
    Still, two breaking in two days??

  190. Oh, bummer…. Any way it would be cheaper to add plumbing to your office? Anywhere else in the house you could put it? Definitely sounds like time to think outside the box! Best of luck holding on to the last of your sanity!
    May this be the biggest challenge of 2009!

  191. You gave more consideration to choosing a mate than I did. My husband likes COMPANIONSHIP, and I would not be allowed to leave the house while all this happened, my involvement is expected. My natural sense of ‘flee’ rather than ‘fight’ is put under wraps.

  192. I can’t be the only person who laughed out loud, am I?
    But I totally understand the need to clean the place before the new year (coming from someone who would lick yaks before clean and who only did so this past week because she thought a toddler would be coming by — and ended up not coming, but at least the apartment’s clean).
    Happy New Year. My condolences on the passing of Sir Washie.

  193. I’m in awe of 30 years of Mr. Washie. I pray for the same.
    I’m sorry about all the other mishappery..(I’m going to make that a word, I like it).
    But I hope it makes you feel better – but I am SO excited that I finally got to open my never not knitting calendar after it just sitting here and taunting me for months!!:D

  194. A neat way to look at your superstitions: This new year is starting with cleaning out your cupboard, improving your home, great optimism, flexibility of thought, help from friends and relatives, and new, energy efficient appliances.
    Sounds like a great start to the year to me!!!!!

  195. OH, I am SO SORRY about Sir Washie. I have enjoyed so many stories of service to your family and of being serviced. I am also really sorry about all of the sawing to your house. I have a girlfriend who owns a 100+ year old house and there is a sizeable patch in the siding of her house. It turns out that they actually had to CUT A HOLE in the siding and drop the washer and dryer down that way. It will never come out again!

  196. My deepest condolences on the loss of Sir Washie.
    Good luck with the new ones!!! Hope that they are VERY well made and last a long time!

  197. Requiscat in pace, Sir Washie. Deep breath, Stephanie. Knitting and deep breaths and staying far away are best when men are milling around near your kitchen with saws.

  198. Make sure you save some of the bubbly for sunday! Not enough to totally screw your gauge. Just enough to take the edge off.
    It’s probably be a good idea not to listen to the work noises too…Joe’s right, it’ll be OK.

  199. Oh my…. What an ordeal. As we often say down here, bless your heart.
    Your ideas about the services an expensive washer should perform cracked me up!

  200. My condolences on the loss of your dear friend πŸ™
    I’m with you on the hiding away with your knitting while the menfolk do their stuff…gotta love them, but their confidence in their handyman abilities can be frightening!
    Happy New Year! >^..^<

  201. You know, there are really good reasons for the draperies they hang over you when you have surgery. The surgical team don’t want you to see how they accomplish their particular magic, and trust me, you don’t really want to see it either. Miss as much of the details as you can. I think the same philosophy applies here. And since a drapery won’t filter out the noise of the sawzall…vacate, vacate, vacate! Either with physical distance or chemical incucement…or both. Nice warm pub with friendly service and …what was it? Boilermakers? And at least one other knitter to keep you company. Happy New Year, Steph. I know things will get better from here.

  202. When we moved into our house, there was a cabinet-depth side-by-side refrigerator in the kitchen. We decided to replace it after a few years and we knew that we needed to get another cabinet-depth model.
    We went to the appliance department and chose a model with the features we wanted. Okay, we choe the only one that store had in cabinet-depth with a freezer on bottom. It came to the house. It wouldn’t fit through the door frame from the living room to the kitchen. We sent the delviery guys through the dining room to try that door frame. This is an old house and the door openings aren’t exactly what one would term *uniform*.
    It wouldn’t fit. The $@!%&*# thing was too big. How much too big, you ask? One freaking quarter of an inch too big.
    Not a problem, you say? Just pop off the moldings, you suggest?
    Not a chance: the walls are original plaster and taking off the wood would then require major wall reconstruction.
    They took away the refrigerator. Our money was refunded.
    The old refrigerator had been picked up earlier in the day and donated to a non-profit org. It wasn’t coming back.
    What did we do?
    We went to another store which had a slightly smaller cabinet-depth refirgerator and they delivered it and installed it and hooked up the ice machine and everything.
    For twice (yes, two times) the price of the refrigerator which had to go back to Store #1.

  203. “too many mudder uckers messing with my stuff.”
    Flight of the Conchords.

  204. If this were happening at my house, I couldn’t dare leave (even tho’ it might lower my blood pressure temporarily) or there’d be more than a scratch on a washing machine when I got back:
    When we moved into our current house and the dryer wouldn’t fit into the dryer closet (atleast not while the dryer hose was connected to the dryer vent, a necessity), my boyfriend’s handyman friend wanted to cut a hole straight through the outside wall of the house (!) to move the vent (the more power tools involved, the better the solution must be, right? πŸ˜‰
    I wouldn’t let them (on the grounds that the house cost way more than the dryer, so I’d sacrifice the dryer first).
    I went online and found an adjustable dryer vent connector for 20 bucks that solved the problem. And no gaping holes in the side of the house.

  205. my husband sympathized so much with this plight that he wishes you to know that he’s tougher than those four repairmen and, as a mechanic, he’s sure he could get Sir Washie running again if you retrieve him. He does figure it’s require a pull start like the standard lawnmower, and might require diesel fuel and an oil change every 300 loads, but he can get it running.

  206. I had a similar (although not as harrowing) experience with a dishwasher. There were three retired men in my kitchen having a loud argument about the best way to destroy the neighboring cabinets to make it work, and telling each other whatever way was just suggested would cause utter disaster.
    I put on headphones and went to the farthest corner of the house. They came and found me when it was over. It all worked out just fine, if it makes you feel better!

  207. Happy New Year, Stephanie!
    I’m really sorry to hear about your trials with installing your new washing machine but I have to admit that I laughed until I cried when I read your description of the whole process. Just when I feel frustrated by the going-ons in my life, I’ll read about something in yours and realize that EVERYONE has their share of trials and tribulations. Good luck with the dryer.

  208. Nice button, admirably and deftly added to securely fasten the day and leave us hanging all at the same time.
    And then what happened …?

  209. The same thing happened to us recently with our new freezer. It wouldn’t fit through our basement door, despite the fact that the washer and dryer in the basement are wider than the freezer. How on earth did they get in the basement? The freezer is now in my sun room and I hate it there…

  210. My suggestion is to send dirty clothes over to Mother in laws house…forever! No more will you deal with laundry.
    Think of it this way..no washer/dryer, more room for yarn!

  211. my heart went into my throat when i realize that sir washie had passed on. i get attached to certain objects and had he been mine, sir washie definitely would have been one of them. damn.. somehow i got to attached to him even tho he wasn’t mine!
    may he rest in peace.
    as for newbie? he is SO going down those stairs. if you and joe could get that truck free, you can do anything. i believe that.

  212. ((Steph)) I am sorry. But it’s nice to know that stuff like that doesn’t only happen at my house.

  213. Oh, dear, I hope the new Earl of Wash will step up to the plate (once he gets there, that is). And I can totally see a new book dedicated to Sir Washie, with all his travails and triumphs in bubbly detail.
    Do NOT leave the house. You will think you’re gone long enough only to arrive home and find they’ve only just started and you will be berserk with anxiety. You are a strong woman, you can do it. Plus every good work crew needs a foreman and I nominate you!

  214. At one house (a rental, no chopping of doorframes allowed) the washer got hung up in the doorframe-2 guys downstairs, everyone else upstairs. After the belt on the appliance dolly was loosened the dolly bumped down the stairs,and it was still stuck. We pushed, pulled, shoved, poured oil on the door frames to make it all slickery. No luck. The wife of one of the trapped guys came by, surveyed the situation and announced “THIS is what hips are for!” (She is a dairy farmers wife) She proceeds to body slam the washer with her ample hips, breaks it loose after several slams, yells to her husband to “Catch it honey, here it comes!” and WHOOOMPF, one last thrust and it went boompety boomp down the stairs with her husband back peddaling furiously to slow it down. It was installed, worked great for the several years we lived there and was left behind because there was no way it was coming out.

  215. That is a truly funny sharing….funny for the reader, anyway. Good luck with the dryer. I hate to tell you this, but my dryer is 1 3/4 inches wider than my washer. But then, you probably measured before you bought….

  216. Ah Sir Washie, we knew him well. Those were great machines. I agree with some of the others here…hope this new one doesn’t need to come up the re-assembled steps any time soon. Enjoy the bubbly.

  217. I will always be eternally grateful that my utility room is off the garage (which was at one point part of the breezeway) and has an extra wide door. Eternally Grateful.

  218. Big Clean be damned. A wee dollop of aged whiskey or brandy in the mug of coffee and everything will be right as rain…. Sir Washie would understand and want you to be relaxed when you felt your next pair of clogs in his replacement.
    Happy New Year!

  219. Steph,
    All I can say is hang in there. A new washer and dryer is worth a lot (and I do mean a lot) of trouble. I’m sure that you mourn the passing of Sir Washie, but your new friends will (they will) be worth all of this.

  220. What kind of a house is this?
    You don’t have a bulkhead?
    Or an exterior cellar door?

  221. oh lord! how i feel your pain. living in a house built in the late 1800s, i too often struggle with the question of how to lead a 21st century life under an 18th century roof! i often like to envision the people who originally lived in the house trying to imagine the “modern” living that would one day take place, or try to take place within its walls… i mean this place possibly started out with a family going outdoors to pump their water at the well and has now arrived at my gang who grumbles about emptying/filling the dishwasher… hmmm. my best advice: persevere! πŸ™‚

  222. Is there any way that the washer and dryer can be put in a ground floor room and something can be moved down to the basement? Like an office, living room, etc.? Or can hubby build a shed in the backyard with plumbing/electricity for the washer/dryer? Do you have a garage? These solutions may seem far-fetched, but maybe they aren’t as crazy as the alternative.
    Would the store take the washer back with a small allowance for the scratch?
    For goodness’ sake, at least get the smaller dryer while you still have time!!!

  223. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sir Washie was a good machine, and I know that no other washer will replace him in your heart.
    I don’t think I’d repair the stairway wall until after the dryer dance has been done – both ways, if you know what I mean…And maybe it would be good to head on over to the yarn store and distract yourself. It’s better that way.

  224. I hope the new sir washie gets in ok, and everything is back to normal soon. good luck on the knitting.

  225. Ode to Sir Washie
    The days of wine & roses
    Mean nothing next to belts and hoses.
    You washed with faith and verve;
    Your fate you did not deserve.
    Your size was such that you stayed;
    Many loads of laundry you made
    Clean with little or no complaint
    However, staying, you ain’t.
    The new washer is spiffy and nice.
    The wall we can definitely splice.
    But it won’t have your joie de vive
    and for that, i’m going to grieve.
    Sir Washie, Sir Washie
    Knight of the round tub
    We will miss you most terribly,
    but goodbye, with sweet lub (ok it’sa stretch, but i’m tired!)

  226. I am standing and applauding for the faithful Sir Washie — the good news? Well, MY dryer is narrower than the washer, so that should go in easy as a greased pig! Here’s a question: was the first guy to come over today dark-haired? ‘Cause in the scheme of First-Footing, that’ll mean that your year will be prosperous! And *mazel tov* on the new appliances; may the new Cousin Washie provide the full 30 years’ service particular to the Washie Family Tree.

  227. What a lot of witty and compassionate readers you have. I can laugh in retrospect–my guy loves tools, will accept the challenge to fix anything, and won’t back down–he’s a physicist! If he can build an atom bomb, he can fix (you name it) right? Heh, heh. The denouement is putting it back together. You must stay in the house, to offer condolences and praise and keep these guys from “testing their tools” like men! You must defend your box of bandaids and offer NO BEER until the job is done! You must take lots of pictures to show the insurance people! And–in time–I hope you can laugh too. My husband and I still laugh over the vacuum cleaner he completely disassembled and never reassembled, even when his mother visited…

  228. I’m laughing too hard here to be able to type. Give me a minute…..there…… that’s better! OMG that is so funny! I’m just glad that I’m not the only one who get’s that way when men and SawzAlls are mentioned in the same sentence. All the men I’ve ever seen who get to use a SawzAll or other heavy duty equipment of destruction get a certain slightly crazed gleam in their eye when they know they may actually get to use it. My refrigerator has the same type of tight squeeze as your washing machine and when we first tried to put it in it’s place, there was talk of cutting the counters, walls etc. I put the kibosh to that let me tell you. My basement could be as bad as yours. Anything that goes down into my basement has to go down the Stairs of Doom! You should have seen my husband and I trying to get a new hot water heater down there several years ago after a Christmas Eve flood took out the old one. When a new furnance was called for, the stairs actually had to be cut out and an intricate pulley system used to get the new furnace down the stairs and in place. It was very scary! There was a serious amount of cursing involved. I’m sorry to hear about Sir Washie. We had an old GE washer that we bought at Sears that I loved. That thing was 14 years old when it died and it had never given us any grief until it’s fatal malady. That washer was built like a tank. The new ones just don’t have the personality and toughness of the old ones. Good luck on your mission. I hope you don’t have to lose too much more of your house to get the darned thing where it belongs! Happy New Year!

  229. Steph there is an upside in all of this that you seem to be missing. The guys are taking chunks out of your house. So you house is now bigger than it was (for these purposes we are conveniently ignoring the fact that the washer is taking up more room.) So you have more room for stash. I can just see that doorframe rebuilt with a tiny little secret compartment just wide enough for a ball of wool, but reaching all the way up to the ceiling. That’s weeks worth of stash! Now do you feel better ?

  230. Hail to Sir Washie! A debt of gratitude for your years of service and a fond farewell.

  231. Poor Sir Washie! And poor you too. You’d never expect to get three decades of sterling service from a washing machine purchased today. I’d go with the others who suggested you just go somewhere else until the boys have reconfigured the walls and made good again. Some things are just too painful to watch…

  232. 270 comments by now… I’m NOT going to read all that. I’ll just hope that nobody else before me has had the idea of suggesting…
    Slightly dismantling the new washing mashine instead of the house. Should be way easier. πŸ˜›

  233. For the love of God take the cover off the washer.
    I too have a weird old Toronto house and very narrow stairs down to the basement The guys who brought my full size washer took the cover off (outside white metal) took the unit downstairs then took the cover down and put it back on. Now can we move on to why it only seems Sears carries 24″wide stoves and who is the moron that has started to design stoves with no pot drawer???!!!! which means I’m keeping the old 70’s harvest gold one till it ceases to function entirely (so much for a coordinated looking kitchen).

  234. For the past few months our own 25-year old Sir Dryer, given to us for FREE by a kind Aunt many many years ago, has been emitting high-pitched squeaks and squeals with every load. I am trying to remain in complete denial about its impending demise.
    Best of luck with sawing.

  235. Two weeks ago, my next door neighbor had a similar experience. They found a used couch for a great deal on craigslist and bought it home only to find that… it wouldn’t fit through their front door nor their back door. The front door, being the wider of the two, had its storm door unceremoniously removed and also had part of its frame taken out, and still it wasn’t wide enough. Keep in mind that it was about 20 degree (F) outside while all this was going on. They had just about given up when… four burly neighbors came over and managed to performs some sort of elaborate dance with the couch that involved twisting and turning, I think a flip or two, it looked kind of like a Rumba or maybe a Merengue, definitely latin in origin. But at last, it made it through the door to victory!
    I hope you have the same luck with your washer. Perhaps Joe should try dancing with it too? Maybe buy it a nice dinner?

  236. I actually felt a pang of sadness for Sir Washie. Your story going forward was painful to read to say the least. Good luck with your new washer/dryer.

  237. House tearing apart – for any reason, good or bad – makes me nauseous too. My hubby spent New Year’s Day at my mom’s tearing holes in walls and ceilings in order to fix the pipes so that when she used the sink in either the kitchen or bathroom it did not cause a waterfall in the (finished) basement. Pipes are fixed (he is my hero). Holes – well, there was just not enough time yesterday for that too.

  238. I’m picturing just how much all those working men must have enjoyed having you snapping photos of their struggles. Good luck with the rest of the saga. Any chance you could remove a closet or something and have the washer on the main floor? I don’t mind laundry at all now that the washer is right next to the kitchen. Well, there is still all that folding, but it helps.

  239. Oof. That’s pretty harsh. Though if your kitchen and dining room need to be trashed, I’d at least not try to fix anything until the dryer is in its place. It would suck to need to fix the same area twice in as many weeks.
    This is just one of the reasons that I’m going to try come hell or high water when we move to a house to have the laundry on either the first (ideal) or second (slightly less ideal) floor than the basement. The entries I’ve seen into a basement are always narrower than the entries into every other section of the house. *shudder* And well, basements always give me a mild case of the creeping horrors. Not my favorite places, but I would love to not be on coin op laundry for the rest of my life.

  240. Now I’ve stopped laughing and drawn breath, may I refer you to the 1962 Bernard Cribbins song ‘Right said Fred'(the song, not the group) about dismantling a big something, probably a grand piano, and doorways, walls etc. It may not have reached Canada, and was anyway before your time, but it made us laugh like a drain in 1962! You can see a very funny Lego people video of the original on Youtube, and the lyrics are on codehot.co.uk/lyrics/abcd/bernardcribbins.
    This might make you smile; for ‘cup of tea’ I recommend you substitute yarn buying/beer/going round to a friend for the duration.
    But seriously, I join you in mourning Sir Washie. They really do not make them like they used to, and you are going to have to treat the replacement with tenderness. One good thing about England is that we rarely have basements to get appliances into. My next problem is going to be replacing the ailing gas cooker. We need to demolish the sink unit to get it out of its corner, and, because my husband built an island unit to house the washer and dryer, blocking proper access from the hall or the back door, the only way for an appliance to leave or reach that part of our poky kitchen is through the living room and dining room. Which are kind of full of furniture and stuff. I think I’ll just soldier on with the cooker for now…..
    Love and sympathy, and oh yes, take the outer casing off and wear gloves.

  241. Your plan of leaping on it with the full force of your body until it pops through, that’s how I got my couch down a flight of stairs with a right angle at the bottom when I moved. It helps to have a friend that weighs over 200 lbs and cares more about you than bruises. If you have one such, I highly recommend it.
    Anyway, happy New Year!

  242. It’s so odd but so human that we get so attached to “soulless” appliances. I had to leave the house the day we replaced our queen-sized mattress because my kids were born on it. I got all nostalgic….
    Here’s to a new Era, and the New Yet-To-Be-Named washer!
    And yes, I agree, for $4000, it BETTER fold AND put the laundry away in drawers.

  243. It’s the “mushroom factor” at work. Twenty years ago, we bought a farm (7 acres), and a camper to live in “for two months while we only raise the downstairs ceilings.” After we tore off the old ceilings, we looked down the sides of the walls and discovered NO headers above any door or windows. Had to strip the walls to the studs (1500 sq. ft.) in the entire downstairs. Next time you buy a washer or dryer–when you’re both in your 70’s, I guess–have Joe hire a backhoe, dig a hole in the yard close to where you want to put a new basement door, and take the washer into the basement via the new door. Then just landscape dramatically.
    Happy New Year! Ann

  244. So much sympathy. We have an old home, too, and our FULL size bed only fit up the stairs after removing trim (the queen size bed laughed at us from the living room as we found it a new home). It took two tries and trim and door removal to get a refrigerator into the kitchen. And the washer and dryer – all I can say is THANK GOD our basement has a back door, though that was tight squeeze, too. All the huge new houses people are building are putting folks like you and me in a world of hurt in the coming years.

  245. To me, it sounds like rather than being a harbinger of things to come, your New Year’s Eve really reflected the year that was. Filled with the people you love, tinged by sadness, just a touch of destruction, and stuffed absolutely full of as much chaos as possible. πŸ™‚

  246. Ahhh, memories…My parent recently acquired a new washer and dryer when our old ones started flooding the house, and maneuvering them throughout our century-old house was interesting to say the least. No saws were used though…sorry!

  247. I think that Joe is having flashbacks to being wedged in between car tree and garage. You didn’t say – is he still trapped in the basement?

  248. This is where you call Denny and Rachel and all you knitting buds, and go have an emergency knitting meeting at the pub. Yaknow though, if I didn’t have a Dennis Model of a Hubster, I’d seriously be looking for Joe Model.

  249. I know what you mean about those expensive washers. I was stopped dead in my tracks by the most beautiful washer I have ever seen– candy apple red, shiny chrome; it was the ferrari of washers. I didn’t dare look at the price, but I still covet that gorgeous machine.

  250. People in theater often say the worse a dress rehearsal goes the better the actual performance will be. Perhaps you should look at starting your new year in the same light?
    Good luck with the dryer!

  251. …rest in peace, brave Sir Washie.
    Also? Holy #@$* that’s some crazy you’ve got going on over there. I’ll keep thinking good thoughts for you. I think you may be totally justified in buying yourself some nice new sock yarn to take the edge off all this stress.

  252. Forget the knitting and avertging the eyes. Decamp to a bar until they have the nerve to call and tell you it is all OK.

  253. This story is so familiar…
    A few years ago my dad & SM gave my husband and I their fairly new W&D (they moved their laundry room and got stackables). Dad and my husband quickly realized that they would have to remove the door frame and railing going to the basement in order to get the ancient Kenmore couple out and the new trendy Maytag pair in. (The doorframe is so narrow that you cannot carry a laundry basket through it in the normal fashion if you wish to keep the skin on your knuckles.)
    Dad skipped town before the door frame went back on (claiming he had to get back to work), leaving the job to my wonderful husband… who then suffered some sort of selective amnesia with respect to the job. A full year and a half later, upon threat of divorce, dismemberment and death (not necessarily in that order), the effing door and frame were put back into place. I could have done it myself, but then all the time spent b*tching about it would have been for naught.
    I hope that Joe does not suffer from these bouts of amnesia.

  254. Ah, Stephanie. . . I feel your pain. My “hack a hole in the wall of a stairwell” episode involved moving a queen size boxsprings up the steps of a house that had only contemplated full size beds. A third of the way round the bend it was clear, it wasn’t going to fit, and a return was in order-until I saw a slight bend in the metal frame-unreturnable. With a crazed look I decided that the only thing to do was to hack a hole in the wall (which was already dented from earlier efforts). I got the biggest hammer I could find (me being on the bottom steps and the only one capable of escape from the torturous beast that was the metal and wooden boxsprings) and started bashing the wall. My beloved hollered down “what in the %$#*@ are you doing?!” to which my only reply was “This $#*&@! is going up these stairs. Period.” $200 of damage to the wall later, in the form of a 10 inch wide hole, the boxsprings made the turn and went to its rightful resting place in the master bedroom. That bed set will stay with the house if/when it is sold, or it will come out in pieces. I doubt whether you’ll be up for reading what is now certainly comment number 300, but I wanted you to know-you are not alone. Happy New Year.

  255. Happy New Year!
    I truly hope the washer and dryer make their way to the basement without too much more trouble.

  256. Whatever it takes, you will be happier with a full size washer. I remember in the dark times as Mother of Teenagers, visiting an apartment dwelling family member with that tiny washer dryer combo. I had to wash some clothes. And, since my children were into Big Clothes, ONE load consisted of one pair of jeans and one long sleeve shirt. And they took forever to dry.

  257. Farewell Sir Washee, you will be sorely missed even by those of us who never enjoyed the experience of actually meeting you. I’m sure the new washer will have to work very hard to fit in your shoes — although based on this episode, it seems it’s not even going to try to get in Steph’s good graces.
    Uh, as to that scratch? Over on this side of the border, if the delivery guys leave before installing, the appliance can be returned no matter how trashed it gets. That’s cause the store is responsible for all damages if its delivery personnel fail to complete the install. Some friends returned a fridge with a massive dent on one side, a broken freezer door and two scratches down the other side after trying for ten hours to move it into a spot that the measuring tape said it should have fit — but didn’t.

  258. Sorry if someone has already mentioned this, but I’d suggest the removal of the machine’s cover before removing any more of the wall.
    R.I.P. Sir Washie.

  259. Um. . . you may want to knit something new. I think your guage may run a little tight during this process. Just a thought. Wouldn’t want tinking everything you knit to rub salt in that already raw wound.
    Happy New Year, anyway. 2009 is off to a roaring start, isn’t it?

  260. I have been in similar situations. I hope the wall-moving goes well today; I can’t wait to hear about the installation of the new washer. What will you name it?

  261. This reminds me of the time some movers tried to get an upright piano down into our basement. The end result was a very angry, vocal mover stuck in the basement and other movers coming to pull the piano up the stairs (to release Mr. Angry). We had a dent in the bump in the stairway and the piano stayed up in the main part of the house until it was sold and replaced with a smaller studio piano (that DID end up in the basement).
    At this point, I would have suggested adding onto the house and making a laundry room attached to the outside wall!
    I hope your house gets “untrashed” soon! And your dryer is no problem getting down to the basement.

  262. They had to take off my front door to get the new refrigerator in, and then they thought it wouldn’t be able to turn the corner into the kitchen. I don’t know whether to blame the appliance manufacturers or door manufacturers for this! Standard matching sizes for everything, I say! Good luck with the dryer. May they both outlive you! You don’t want to do this again, because in another 30 years, they will be another few centimeters bigger, so even if you leave your doorway at the new larger size, it still won’t fit!

  263. My dishwasher died. I considered complaining about it…
    Hugs… heres to hoping for a less traumatic day…. or maybe enough wine to soothe the trauma… and I don’t even drink:P

  264. Hey, we had a Sr. Washie just like that one for the 20+ years I lived with my parents. Worked like a champ! Sorry for your troubles but I’m sure a nice Merlot and some Merino will fix you right up. Best of luck!

  265. I officially well-up at anything. If someone I dearly enjoy, but have no real personal relationship with no matter what I think (ala rockstar is to fan what Stephanie is to me)writes a blog post about the passing of a washing machine and I cry a little, then I officially cry at anything! Or, as any truly gifted writer, the aforementioned rockstar has the talent and skill to let us into her world in such a way that for a moment it is our world and we have some share in what she has been through with this devoted appliance.
    Stephanie, you have written a lovely eulogy that has touched even those who don’t know you and never had the pleasure of knowing an object as steadfast as Sir Washie. Best of luck with the new machines.

  266. Sorry to hear it!!
    We have apartment sized washers and dryers (as we live in an apartment) and they’re really not all that bad. I like to think of them as hobbit appliances.

  267. RIP Sir Washie.
    I have to tell you I got scared when I started to read that first line…and only breathed a breath of relief that it wasn’t a person that died.
    OK> you have two options for part two and three of this saga (gettting the washer downstairs, and getting the dryer in).
    First option: leave the house. Ask if you can temporarily take up quarters at Lettuce Knit.
    Second option: while sitting on your sofa, surround yourself with so much yarn that it will insulate you from all sounds like guys cursing and that saw and sledgehammer. Remember to stock up on wine etc. Tell Joe to not show his face until he has a new load of clean and folded laundry with him, and the house put back in order.

  268. I’m sorry to hear about Sir Washie. I don’t have strong feelings toward my washer as it came with the house 2.5 years ago and I frequently have to send clothes back down the chute because they aren’t actually clean, BUT I did shine up my washer today and cleaned it out in honor of Sir Washie.

  269. $4,000 washers? You think THAT’S bad?! I just learned about a $6,000 toilet. The lid raises automatically as you come into the bathroom, it *ahem* washes and dries you off (rendering toilet paper irrelevant), and self-cleans.
    Actually, it sounds pretty awesome … πŸ™‚ A toilet and a bidet all in one. The price tag, though, makes it a little out of my price range. πŸ™‚ Like $6,000 out.

  270. Hell of all hells. Don’t ya just love old houses with narrow everything?
    I hope you get your stuff down there and no one gets killed.
    My condolences on dear Sr. Washie.

  271. I hope you’re not going to keep us hanging. What was the outcome? And also the dryer. This is a cliff hanger!!

  272. RIP Sir Washie.
    See that’s exactly why I haven’t replaced my severely limping ancient dryer. We have a very limited space for a washer and dryer and I just know getting a new one will involved removing doors and just generally making a mess of things. Hopefully this will be the worst part of your new year.

  273. Condolences on your loss.
    It’s posts like this that make me glad I rent and don’t own! Of course, that comes with it’s own problems..

  274. RIP Sir Washie
    Good luck with the dryer, I hope there is not **too** much more demolition. Yiikes. I love Joe’s attitude, just like my dad.

  275. I am sorry about MR. Washie but you are a new year’s blessing,I laughed until I cried have been there myself. Knit on!

  276. How heartbreaking! (And door-breaking. And wall-breaking. And patience breaking.)
    Hang in there. You can great the Chinese New Year with cleanliness and order, and still be good for the year.

  277. I totally vote for the hole in the kitchen floor!!
    Poor Steph! Don’t worry. Joe and “the boys” will work it out. πŸ™‚

  278. Oh dear.
    My parents’ home is, at its core, an old log cabin. That means that nothing is straight in the oldest part of the house, and there are no 90 degree corners. Since 1960 when my parents bought it, my dad pretty much renovated it all himself (he did hire Amish carpenters to help him add the STRAIGHT two-room addition to the back and the garage off one end). Any time moving or cutting was involved, he would measure several places, write down those figures, remeasure, and go ahead and start moving or cutting. At some point, he would stop, remeasure, refigure, and scratch his head. After about forty minutes, we would hear him begin to mutter under his breath.
    That was the signal to leave the immediate vicinity (county or state if possible), because when the cursing became audible, tools and other objects began to fly about two minutes later.
    Good luck and my sympathies.

  279. My husband’s suggestion was to disassemble the washer. That would be easier than disassembling your home. Just saying.

  280. whoa. YOU HAVE ME ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT!! More saw hacking pictures! I can’t wait to see how you guys fix this. You will fix it! ANYTHING’S POSSIBLE IN 2009!!!!

  281. Me too, Rosie! I’m nearly bursting with curiosity (or is that the leftover Christmas cookies?)

  282. While I *am* sad at the passing of Sir Washie, I take great comfort in it…my Kenmore washing machine is only 18 years old, so I still have 12 years to enjoy him! Anytime you want to take a trip down memory lane, just drive 4 hours, cross into another country, find my house and be sure to bring a load of laundry! We’ll knit and listen to Kennie (that’s my washer’s name) bounce and chug…he doesn’t balance as well as he used to (I think it’s an inner drum thing) but he still gets the clothes clean!

  283. Farewell, Sir Washie. An appliance of your dedication and endurance is rare and precious…you will not soon be forgotten!
    Again, your Joe reminds me of my Tim. Enthusiasm, optimism and POWER TOOLS!
    Can we fix it? YES WE CAN!!!!!
    Good luck. Deep breaths. Somehow, they DO end up getting the job done, at least, uh, 85% of the time…right? 8^D

  284. I’ve been there — where you are now, except it was a refrigerator.
    Keep the faith. My hubby and I had a good laugh from your posting. My hubby says it’d be better in the long run if you just put the hole in the kitchen floor and drop the thing down to the basement. He’s speaking from experience.

  285. OMG!!!
    my wife has regaled me with yarn harlot stories for years, and many times it seems we all have similar stories.
    ONE of the comments above is on point- please listen to those of us who would take the washer cabinet off, and make it smaller rather than to adjust the house!
    YAY to the reader who figured out the house costs more than any appliance!
    I’m sure it comes with a diagram for assembly-online it’s available if not.
    ALSO- do make sure there is clearance in the resting place as well.

  286. If you were a he, and washie was a boat, you’d be scrounging all the local (and not so local) mechanics for a motor of the same or nearly year. None of the house trama would have occured. Make sure the prop turns in the same direction as the old one did!!

  287. The photos look like storyboarding for an episode of “Trailer Park Boys.” Which makes it all the more frightening.

  288. Since things have already been torn apart, I agree
    with those who say to rebuild them so that the new,
    larger size is permanent.
    If my old oil tank ever goes, it will go in pieces;
    they built the cellar walls around it.

  289. Condolences on Sir Washie’s demise. But please, please tell us what’s happening! Inquiring minds want to know…

  290. You feel bad. You don’t “feel badly” unless you have suddenly lost your sense of touch, in which case you would be grammatically correct in saying that you “feel badly” because you would be uanble to experience a keen sense of touch.

  291. So, I was wondering, after looking at your photos, did you knit the hat and socks that the guys were wearing? lol.
    btw, I would have cut hole in the floor. Saves time, easy to clean up after. ha! love your post!

  292. If it makes you feel any better, we actually know someone who would have to have part of his foundation removed if his heater ever needed replaced. No other way to get to it. Boggles the mind.

  293. R.I.P. Sir Washie…[they don’t build them like they used to I’m sure!]
    Have the men-folk build you a laundry chute with the spare space in the passage, while your at the LYS of course!

  294. This is too much! If it wasn’t for the pics, don’t think I’d believe it. You poor thing! Hope by now it’s in its place and splashing away. BTW didn’t read all the comments, but does this newby have a name? My hubby would say it is “female” since it has caused so many probs with nary an agitation. It is working isn’t it/she/he?
    Happy New Year!

  295. So very sorry about Sir Washy! Perhaps the new machine could be called Major Payne.
    Where’s a good book tour when you need one? You should NOT be in the house! Except it would be harder for you not to be there. Harder on us, too.
    Best wishes and hand-spun prayers for 2009.

  296. I just hyperventilated on your behalf. (It doesn’t help that today we discovered (thanks to a neighbor) that an outdoor faucet has sprung a leak which turned the side of our house into a mini, frozen version of Niagara Falls. This will make the second plumber visit in as many weeks… (Mumbles “I love my vintage house, I love my vintage house, I love…)

  297. I totally feel your pain about the washer. When we moved in to our house with the new appliances my husband took down a door and the door frame just to get them half way in and then realized they wouldn’t both go into their space with out removing the walls. The movers left and I was 5 months pregnant. I had way too much fear of lifting those appliances, but he is a super man and took care of it somehow while I was visiting family for a week. About a year later the damage was finally fully fixed.

  298. My condolences on your loss of Sir Washie. He will be missed.
    And remember, if you have to wear a strait jacket, you wouldn’t be able to knit with your hands… And I don’t think they’d allow yarn or needles in a sanitarium.

  299. just a thought…. Canada is like a really nice family living over a biker bar. (credit goes to Robin Williams). Keep laughing and go to the LYS until the locojuice is gone.

  300. You obviously didn’t have James Hemphill deliver your machine. He is a childhood friend of my husband and can and has lifted pizza ovens by his bare hands. He’d make those men look like wimps and he clean up after himself.
    anyway, I feel for you. I too have been without a washing machine since last Friday. Tomorrow, I take about 5 loads to the laundromat for another round of laundry. I have dirty diaper liners to wash and really should do it as soon as I can. Our landlady came by today and found out that our washer was leaking. We were one of the few trailers of hers that didn’t loose water during the snow storms here on the Wet Coast. She was upset that we had called the business line and not her personal line because of the flood from the washer.
    On Tuesday, gods willing, we’ll have the washer working again.
    5 loads. I easily do at least one load a day minimum. I just have to remember to put the laundry away!

  301. The new machine and Sir Washie are the same depth. Sir Washie appears to have come out sideways, so why is the new machine going in forwards? If they are the same depth they should both fit in sideways, right? I must have missed something.

  302. Oh my gosh. I’d be a basket case. I don’t know if this has been said yet but my husband suggests taking the outer case off the new washer and moving the internal “guts” (as he called it) and the case separately, then reassembling when everything is down the stairs. It sounds like a terrible job but might be better than cutting any more walls.
    Good luck. Drink and knit. That might be the only two things to get you through this nightmare.

  303. You poor thing. I perfectly understand sentimental and devout attachment to inanimate objects, especially ones you spend so much time with. Then to have to partially rip apart the house to get “the new guy” in to replace your loved one…
    I think the suggestion to leave the house for someplace you enjoy whilst the deed is done is a great idea. Otherwise there could be blood shed, and you don’t even have the washer set up yet to clean such a mess…
    Good luck, and maybe keep the item you knit while this is going on as a morbid sort of memento? πŸ™‚

  304. I feel your pain Stephanie, I truly do.
    Dec 22nd my husband discovered that we have an ice damn (spelling is correct) that has backed water into our house ruining the living room ceiling. Out came the tarps, buckets, plastic sheets, Sawzall and what I refer to as “plumbers Language”. I was the one using it however as I hauled out my funiture, knick knacks and Christmas tree etc to the front entry.
    We cancelled Christmas at my house.
    Two words

  305. Our family’s departed Lady Kenmore was the same age as I was. It lasted for 27 years. It(she?) was purchased shortly after my birth, as my sister put 7 sheets in the previous washer and killed it. Now, I am lusting after a front loader with a handwash cycle. Enjoy! I am glad everything worked out to get the new washer in place.

  306. You made me laugh- but not with a note of hysteria like when the project’s in my tiny old house. My saintly fella also posesses a terrible determination. Thanks for the reminder- working through the issues makes for great entertainment- if not now, later. Sandy

  307. “In fact, I usually clean for a few days leading up, believing that how your affairs are when the new year dawns is how your affairs will continue for the coming year.”
    Oh, gosh. A new baby who NEVER sleeps, a rambunctious 4.5 year old, and a hubby who has new video games for Christmas…the new year is TRASHED!
    RIP Sir Washie!

  308. This post looks familiar! We moved into an old house where the washer and dryer had to go to the 3rd floor. We bought the biggest machines available in the Netherlands. When they were delivered we had to bribe the guys to haul them up, and even then we had to dismantle the stair banister, which hadn’t been removed from the wall since the house was built in the ’30’s. We had a special floor put in just to hold these monsters and keep them from shaking the entire house on spin cycle.
    I love them like only a 1950’s housewife could love “white goods”.

  309. Not having read all 300+ posts, I may be repeating someone else – if so, please accept my apology.
    Steph, it’s been an ordeal, it’s been a pain, but consider yourself blessed that you have a crew of strong, capable, and willing men to handle the washer replacement. We ladies may also be strong, capable, and willing, but the men were blessed with the upper body strength!

  310. Huh, our dishwasher died a very resepectable death just before Christmas. Loud but respectable having served several families these 20 odd years. We replaced him with a similar model of the same brand the evening before my husband’s 40th birthday party. My husband injured his shoulder earlier in the week so I was doing all the reaching, tightening, crazy position moves. Last evening, after our guests went home, we loaded the new one up, pushed the buttons, turned off the radio so we could hear the water filling (it was that quiet…oh the joy of being able to talk in the kitchen again) and played Phase 10 in the dining room, all the while listening for strange dripping sounds and frequently checking for water in places outside the dishwasher.
    The Joy. The Absolute Joy of a New and Working Appliance.
    Hope yours works out as well as ours did.

  311. saw an article about you in a newspaper and thought that it would be great to see your style of blogging. put you as a favorite and will immulate you as my blogging mentor.

  312. Hubby wants to know why you didn’t do the smart thing and disassemble the washing machine. The casing would have come off with the removal of a few screws making the whole thing much narrower. It could have been taken downstairs with no damage to the house or the machine.

  313. Talk about deja vu! As I recall, the very first time I read your blog, you were describing the process of coaxing another large appliance into your house. (The stove?) And you had similar problems then…

  314. RIP Sir Washie!!!! When I saw the picture of Sir Washie I was taken aback…I had his long lost brother until 2 years ago!!!! We had the exact same make and model that we inherited from my parents. This was the very washer that I learned how to wash my clothes in as a child and we had it from when my brother was born up until he finally retired 2 years ago. He was well worked however he decided he’d had enough and refused to do another load.
    Although I loved him dearly I do love the new kid as well and the added do-hickies definitely make getting over the ole’ fella a tad easier.

  315. Dear Stephanie, THANKS so much for sharing this episode of pure epic homefixing!
    I am another one with a tiny house and pipe problems (discussing this morning with the plumber how to cram the restroom with both the toilet AND the handbasin without people having to play rubberman for doing their business). I’m glad to hear that all is well that ends well with Mr NewWasher. Long life to him!

  316. Was it stuck on between the walls suspended in the air?
    That was the favourite part at our old house. I’m getting that twitch just thinking about it.
    My 25 year old Kenmore CANNOT die. They do not make washers that size anymore and I can’t live with another one.
    Here’s to you selling the house before you need a new machine again!

  317. This is EXTRA funny to me because WE had a similar experience here on the day before Christmas Eve when we had our new double ovens delivered and the installer removed the old one, worked away and then came and sheepishly told me that the new set DID NOT FIT!! It was too big by 1/4″! I was incredulous. So I begged him to put back IN the old oven so that I could cook a pork crown roast, and two vegetable side dishes for CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER the next day for 12 of us! I think he was so afraid that I would lose it (the crazy look in my eyes?) that he DID REinstall the old one. Weeks later we finally had time to go back and pick out a new wall oven. Hope this one fits. I cooked for my guests using the old oven that thankfully did still work, but not well. (Who would have thought that a 27″ oven would not be STANDARD? but NO – they’re all different in width, height, and depth – varying by up to 1 1/2″. Crazy!

  318. RIP, Sir Washie. Just think, now, dear Harlot, if you treat the new washer as well as the original, you’ll be in your 70s when this one gives it up.

  319. Eerily, because you and I share the same New Year’s superstition, I was, on the same night and with assistance of friends, endeavoring to cast out from our house the old couch, which was too ratty even to be donated to the thrift store, without dissasembling doorways. For some reason male humans would rather un-hinge three doors and put them back on rather than remove the feet from a tattered, 20-odd-year-old couch that is being placed at the curb anyway. Go figure.
    My condolences on Sir Washie.

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