When Aaron and I decided to indulge and buy all-new kitchen appliances for the house, we did our usual research and came up with Kenmore as the brand that had each appliance we needed with the best performance at the right price.  This wasn’t too surprising since our previous kitchen was all-Kenmore as well. So far, we have been mostly satisfied with our kitchen – except for the dishwasher.  When we were doing our research, it didn’t occur to either of us to make sure that our new dishwasher had the same drain set up as our old one.  The dishwasher in NY had a blade with a similar function to a garbage disposal so that we only had to scrape off the big chunks before using the dishwasher.  I think we assumed that in 5 years, the prevalence and efficiency of that sort of feature would have surely increased. And you know what happens when you ass-u-me…

Our new dishwasher, the Kenmore Ultra Wash, not only doesn’t have a blade, it has a trap and a fine mesh screen that prevent even the most modest piece of diced onion from getting through. The trap needs to be cleaned, or at least banged out, after every wash to get rid of the food bits it caught.  While removing the trap, we noticed that water was collecting where the trap sat in the drain. It appears that the drain may be holding water if we didn’t run our garbage disposal recently.  We don’t run our disposal much, so this means not only do we have stagnant water hanging around, the trap needs a thorough cleaning to de-yuck it every couple of washes.
A Good Shellacking
If you run the heated dry, it likes to turn stray cheese residue into something resembling shellac which must be chipped off. Of course, if you don’t run the heated dry, all your dishes will still be very wet.  Using a rinse aid seems to enhance the shellac effect and makes my dishes REALLY shiny, which just makes me suspicious of its chemical make up – I am currently using an Oxyclean rinse aid because I could not find my preferred Seventh Generation product at the local grocery store. 
In searching for solutions to these issues, Aaron finally followed the age-old IT advice/acronym – RTFM.  Unfortunately, the only new information this yielded was that full-sized plates needs to be put in the middle for optimum clean. This was somewhat helpful, since the plates had been repeatedly toppling over on each other when we put them towards one end, but didn’t fix any of our bigger concerns. If any folks out in the Interwebs have any ideas, I’d be happy to hear them!
On another, more disappointing note… last week I was laid off when my employer decided to restructure my position. When we first moved to Maine last April, I did 7 months of searching so I am more than a little sad to be back in job hunt mode after only 4 months of working. I started the job after only several nights living in the house, so the benefit of my “extra” time is that I’ll finally be able to do some projects and update the blog a little more often. 
In the meantime, here is a quick photo rundown of some minor projects that never made it into blog posts:
I finally put together a resin cabinet that we bought back in NY.  It was originally meant to be garage storage, but since we had homeless sheets and towels, I decided it would go in the laundry room. Dash supervised the construction, while Delta and Aaron played with (or near) the box.

Dash supervises

Delta and Aaron “helping”

Finished and FULL!

Aaron replaced the kitchen faucet, which meant he could finally replace the bottom of the base cabinet that he’d ripped out before we moved in. The previous plywood had warped and rotted from an unattended leak in the old faucet fixture. The area was bleached and coated in Killz before Aaron added the new plywood. The wood was placed puzzle-style, cut in two with notches for each pipe so they would fit in.

Pretty and handy with the built-in sprayer hose.

Clean and sturdy!

We put our Craigslist bench into the entryway so people have a place to sit when they put on their shoes. In a not-sew-crafty move, I put some foam and a body pillow cover to make a nice comfy cushion for it. At some point I’ll actually trim off the extra fabric, but for now it is tucked under. I have a photo in mind for the wall above the bench and I’m looking into local contacts who could do the printing and framing for us.

Won’t you come in?

We were expecting some guests in February and that forced us to get the spare bedroom ready. We cleaned the room, grabbed some nice sheets and a comforter set, and viola – we were ready to welcome our guests. Of course, this meant they ended up staying elsewhere.

Rest a spell.

Since the sun has decided to reappear and I have some time on my hands, expect outdoor project pictures soon.  Time for some manual labor!

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