Dishwasher Loading 101

Posted by Danny

I may get hammered for this post.  So let me start with a disclaimer.  I really don’t think I’m sexist.  I married a very strong woman – I know when she was alive that she was in charge of me.  She was also in charge at work (even though she wasn’t officially the boss), at church (although she wasn’t always the committee chair), and with her brother and sister. 

I work with strong women who I respect immensely.  And I hope and pray my three daughters will grow up to be independent women – kicking men’s butts when necessary.

All that being said…I don’t think women are capable of loading a dish washer effectively.

I watched as Lisa spread the dishes out so far that a slender person could have walked between them.  I see my mother lay bowls down instead of stacking them closely in the upward position. 

On the rare occasion that a child of mine actually puts something in the dishwasher, it’s tossed in with no strategy.  It’s kind of like they’re tossing a pair of socks in the laundry bin.

And who’s left to empty the dishwasher 17 times each week?  Me!

I hate unloading the dishwasher!  Despise it.  I’d much rather unload it twice a week when it’s really full than 4 times a week when it’s only slightly full.  There has to be some economy of scale there.

My theory is to pack the dishwasher with as many dishes as humanly possible.  If you tactically work to place each dish, you can fit 80 or 90 things in there, excluding the silverware.  I know it can be done, I’ve counted.  And we eat out of the same size dishes as you.

There is a shelf that can be pulled down if you put short dishes underneath it.  There are plenty of places for tall things – but every woman in my life puts anything with height right where the shelf could house four bowls and the lid of a water bottle.  Got the coffee mug you purchased from Disney World?  Don’t put that tall booger underneath the shelf!  Put it in the bottom of the washer.  Just because it looks like the lower level is made for plates, doesn’t mean you can’t put something else down there!  There’s no dishwasher police that’s going to arrest you for placing an item in an unsuspecting place.  Be bold!

The bowls can stack very close together and still come out clean.  But my kids and my mother will spread them out like they’re setting a table. 

Some argue that you should rinse all of the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher.  I disagree.  That theory means you have to rinse 100% of the dishes.  If you just throw them in, 10, maybe 15% come out dirty.  You rinse them after the wash and you’ve come out 85% better than if you’d rinsed them all from the beginning.

I’m a busy man.  I’m all about saving time.  This is but one tactic to simplify life.  If you need more tips, just let me know.

My House Smells Like Julie

Posted by Danny

My house smells like Julie today.  She is our housekeeper.  She is worth $35,000 per visit.

We’ve had several women help with our housework over the years.  The first we hired was a very good cleaner.  However, one day we came home and she had gotten into a verbal war with our nanny.  Apparently she wanted to vacuum when Stephanie wanted to sleep.  Had she shown up to work on time, this wouldn’t have been a problem.  

I picture the conversation went like this:

Nanny:  “You need to get here on time.  The kids take a nap at 1 and that’s my lunch break.”

Housekeeper:  “You ain’t my boss!  I’ll get here when I can.”

Nanny:  “This isn’t gonna work.”

I’m not sure what happened but I think our nanny fired the maid, she had tenure.  The search was on for someone new.

The second housekeeper was lovely, but she moved after a few month’s work.  She referred us to her sister-in-law, an elderly woman who smoked a pack of cigarettes in her four hours stint at our home each week.  I had to get out the power blower to clear her butts off the driveway.

Unfortunately, this woman was prone to forgetfulness.  We’d find the trashcan in the shower and the water still running when we returned home a 5.  The Softscrub might show up in the refrigerator.  She might change your bed – or…she might change someone else’s bed.  We all just crossed our fingers hoping that we’d be the chosen one.  One time she left the mop in the driveway.  On one visit it was apparent she just didn’t go upstairs – and 3/5th of our family lived up there. 

She had to go.

Then we found Julie – oh sweet Julie.  She cleans DJ’s closet – hanging clothes and organizing shoes.  She dusts the blinds – yes, the blinds.  Once she said, “Can I do your baseboards?”  I think she probably thought we had a moral objection to baseboard cleanliness since ours had clearly never been touched before.

One day she said, “Danny, I want you to help me pull your bed out.  It’s disgusting under there.”  If I ever do it, we might find Amelia Earhart.

When I walk in the house every other Tuesday, the smell of Pine Sol burns my nose hairs.  A tear comes to my eye.  My mother vacuumed every day of my childhood.  You could eat off her kitchen floor.  Week after week, on her hands and her knees she’d wipe urine off the bathroom walls behind three aimless males.  And the same smell, the smell of Julie, would cover up the peculiar odors my brother and I left throughout the house.

If I can’t cover the tuition at my kids’ school, if I can’t buy a new article of clothing, if I have to walk to work because I can’t afford gas, so be it.  As long as I have Julie, I am whole.

Help Wanted: Sock Wrangler

Suprise, suprise, a sock on DJs floor






Posted by Danny

For two weeks I took pictures of stray socks I found that belonged to various members of our family.  I’ll have to give Jesse credit, I did not find any of his – although I’m not even sure he wears socks so that could be the explanation. 

I have decided to hire a full-time staff member to help wrangle the socks.  This is the ad I’ll be placing in the News and Observer, our local paper, next week. 

Help Wanted:  Sock Wrangler

Under the supervision of the Dad and occasionally the part-time housekeeper and in cooperation with Uncle Jesse, the Sock Wrangler will oversee all hosiery in the Tanner home.  The position requires a baccalaureate undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university in Home Economics, criminology, private I’ing, matchingstuffology, findingstuffology or a related field as well as a minimum of 5 years experience in hunting those little boogers down!  This position requires an understanding of and a commitment to the Tanner Family’s desire to have matching socks seven days per week for each family member.

The position requires that the incumbent be innovative (they could be anywhere!!), diligent in the search and friendly as he/she goes about her work.  He/she must be passionate about finding matches and relentless in the  pursuit of missing apparel.  He/she must be exceedingly organized, be a self-starter and able to work with minimal supervision.  He/she is welcome to yell at family members who leave socks in inappropriate places.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Find socks
  • Find their matches
  • Crawl under stuff, including washers, dryers, sinks, Tupperware cabinets, cars, and the house
  • Fold socks and have an innate ability to determine which ones belong to each child – (because they are all the same size and look identical, but my children have an emotional connection to each pair which means they MUST be returned to the original owner)
  • Make decisions on tossing items that have gigantic holes in them or are stretched out to the point that they could fit Charles Barkley
  • Must know the difference between tights and hose and be able to articulate that difference to all in the house
  • Purchase new socks (never spending over $60)

Must be able to see and distinguish between different colors/styles/patterns or thread count.  Ability to crawl, squat, lift heavy furniture, sift through dust bunnies, stoop, kneel, stand, walk, pull and push a must.  Ability to adapt to change quickly.  Occasional travel (to Target) may be necessary.

The top 10 finds this past week:

Number 1:  The dining room chair – that’s just gross.  At least they weren’t on the table.

Number 2:  In Uggs of many colors.  And we haven’t worn Uggs for weeks.

Number 3:  Under Michelle’s bedroom door. 

Number 4:  Inside out – more work for dad.

Number 5:  On living room furniture – but it’s a matched pair!!!

Number 6:  Bathroom floor – last thing on before the shower?  I bet underwear are close by.

 Number 7:  It’s not just a home thing – even on vacation…sock in DC.

Number 8:  Oh, those are mine.

Number 9:  Isn’t it pretty with the rug?  Maybe she couldn’t see it.

Number 10:  Oh my lord, they’re in a drawer!

The Bailiff

Posted by Danny

This morning we were working to get out of the house early – I had a meeting in Chapel Hill about 40 minutes from Raleigh.  Wednesdays are dance days for the girls after school so they pack their change of clothes and we head to the studio at 4.

I was sipping my coffee and working to wrap a few things up via email when Michelle ran into the den.  She barked out these orders:

Michelle:  “Dad, raise your right hand.”

Me:  “What?”

Michelle:  “I said raise your right hand.”

I comply.

Michelle:  “Now repeat after me.”

Me:  “Ok.”

Michelle:  “I, say your name.”

Me:  “I, daddy.”

Michelle:  “promise to make sure”

Me:  “promise to make sure”

Michelle:  “that Michelle’s leotard”

Me:  “that Michelle’s leotard”

Michelle:  “is clean EVERY Wednesday.”

Me:  “is clean EVERY Wednesday.”

Michelle:  “Thank you.”

That kid.

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