Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Amazing ATM Dryer


I'm back. Not that I left. I just got busy. I put "write in blog" on my to-do list almost everyday this week.

But somehow it got put on the bottom of the list---you know how it goes.

 It's nearly three O' clock in the afternoon, and I'm finally here, exclusively talking to you. I'm still in shock. Since summer hit, I've been living outside, working my fingers off. It's nice to just sit and write for a bit.

  A cool, sun-soaked breeze is blowing through my window. I can see all the trees surrounding my window dancing with the wind, their heavy covering of leaves reminding me, once again, that all things renew themselves and can become beautiful once again.

Now that I'm here, I'm at a loss for words. Today is one of those start something, don't feel like finishing anything days.
I sat down to work on some illustrations. But my heart wasn't really in it. I hovered over the painting for my book cover, touched the nearly dry paint, and then concluded that if I painted on it today, I might do more harm than good.

I'm in one of those exhausted moods, where being too creative might result in unhappy feelings of inadequacy later. I'm sure you all have had those days. Where your inner Olga comes out, and you feel like you are defeated even before you try.

It's terrible to say, but the truth is, my inner self critic, Olga is alive and thriving. She makes it her special duty to make me feel like whatever it is that I'm doing isn't good enough, and will never be.

I've chatted with her several times, trying to get her to listen to reason. But she does make several good points. So I listen quietly, then when she's had her I say, I try to counter her.

Sometimes she quiets down, that's when I feel good, and roll up and get to work.
Other times, she wins, and that's when I crawl inside a hole, and wait for it to fall in.

:) Today I think Olga is just having a good time because she knows I've been working my buns off all week, and I'm too tired to counter her constant nagging.

Perhaps I should send her on a vacation. I think it would do her and me some good.
Yes. That is a good plan. With her gone, I could get ever so much more done.

So what have I been doing all week? Well, fixing the dryer among other things. Yes, me and my sister fixed the dryer. It died, and we decided to pull it away from the wall, and give it a closer look. My brother had diagnosed it as dead, and ready for the graveyard of junk.

But the detective in me wanted a closer look.

So Sherlock Stephanie, and her sidekick Bessie, went and did a close analysis of the whole scene.

Not knowing very much about dryers, and how they worked, I did a youtube search, and learned about all things repairing dryers.
It was most interesting. (Not really)  After careful thought, my sister and I pulled the dryer away from the wall and peered into the cavern behind it.

Spiderwebs, lint, and other dust coated items met our eyes. It was a crypt of forgotten socks, teddy bears, towels, clothespins, and other forgotten items corroding into the lint and dust lay like mummified corpses of a later period of time.  

The scene was frightening.

Gathering my courage I squeezed myself behind the dryer, and found myself standing in the the graveyard of berried  rags, and untouched spiderwebs.

I grabbed the pipe that let the linty hot air out of the dryer out of the house, and detached it from the wall.

"Ugg," I moaned peering inside the pipe. "Yep it's clogged, look at all that stuff."

Bessie, grabbed the pipe and took it outside to empty it.


"Maybe the clogged pipe was making it so it didn't work," I mused.

We started up the dryer just to check if the problem had been solved. I bent down, feeling the cool air pumping out of the dryer.

It did not heat up.

"It's not working," I moaned.

I unplugged the dryer and peered down at the dusty pipes wondering which one turned off the gas to the dryer. There was a little red nob that looked as if it was the one.

After careful consideration, we turned the nob, hopefully off. 

Then we got a wrench and tried prying the gas pipe off the dryer, but it wouldn't budge.

I held my breath as I pried the pipe with the wrench. I was a little afraid that I might blow myself up because I was still unsure if we had really turned off the gas.

But luckily, with a lot of trying, and woman power we got the job done, and we didn't blow up. Thankfully.

After we got the dryer disconnected from it's umbilical cord, we felt pretty good about ourselves.Now we could really take a closer look and discover what was wrong with it. 

But nothing is as easy as it seems.
The screws on the back were weird looking, and not your normal screws with X's in the back. They looked more like hexagon shapes.

But my sister, Bessie is very clever, and she knew what kind of screwdriver we needed. So we went out into the shop and brought back a whole bunch of screwdriver heads, hoping one would fit the size of screw.

After searching for awhile, we found the right screwdriver to fit the screws.

I had a blond moment, and we started unscrewing a screw that didn't need to be unscrewed.


I eventually unscrewed the right screws.

But I was unprepared for what we would find.

As I pulled the back away from the dryer, dust, dirt, riches and derbies of great magnitude, fell around my feet.

Somehow the dryer vent had siphoned great treasures into the back of the dryer. Seriously. Hair clips, pens, marbles, paperclips, pins, doodads, and dimes, quarters, pennies, dollar bills, and even a twenty dollar bill.

When I pulled out a twenty dollar bill I was feeling pretty special. Gosh, I thought, it's a regular ATM.

I shan't mention the heaps of dirt clod dryer goop poop that I had to wade through in order to excavate my new found riches. My sister and I tipped the dryer sideways in hopes of more monies coming out.
Sure enough another dollar bill fell out. A second time of shaking the dryer got out a quarter and two dimes.

This was kind of fun. I felt like a little kid reveling in booty I'd found beneath couch cushions.

 All in all I'll bet we made about 26 dollars. I'm seriously thinking about buying up old dryers, and peeking in the back and seeing what goodies I can find. (Laughs)

We even found a silver dime. Peering through the heap of odds and ends, we were thrown into the past. It was the ultimate timescale, complete with dust and dirt from years past.
Items that we hadn't seen for several years were brought back into our view. 
 Dust that could have formed a man lay strewn around me. My fingers felt grimy and sticky. But I smiled nonetheless, picking out quarters and lost items like they were golden eggs amid the dryer poop I had to wade through.

After locating the fuze behind the dryer, I went back to the youtube video and watched how to test fuses in a dryer. I got a battery tester thingy, and after trying to decipher what everything meant, I tested the dryer fuse.
If it was a working fuse it was suppose to read zero, the same reading I would get if I touched the two wires I was testing it, together.

Nope. It read one. That is supposed to mean that your the fuse.  isn't letting electricity go through it.

I unscrewed the fuse, and my sister took it to town and bought a new one. Note that the fuze looks like a dollar piece of junk. I really didn't think that that little fuze was the problem.

Yet, when my sister returned she said that the guy she bought the new fuse from said that the old one was toast. But there also might be something else wrong with the dryer.

I smiled, still feeling pretty good that we had uncovered a problem that my brother hadn't seen.

"How much did the new fuse cost?" I asked my sis.

"$17.00," came the reply.



My face fell. "Oh boy. There goes our prize money. I guess the dryer kept enough money inside it to fix itself---I hope."

I took the new fuse and attached it to the dryer, and then screwed it back into place. Then with the help of my sister we attached the gas, and plugged it back into the electricity.
 And what do you know? IT WORKED!

It actually worked.

Girl power triumphed yet once again. 

Then, after careful consideration, I decided I needed to seriously clean out the washroom.

The irony of the room bothered me. It was the wash room, the place where we clean our clothes, yet it was the depository of our house. The room no one liked to speak of, or take people into.

If you're anything like my family, you have one of these rooms.
A room that collects old junks, boots, and derbies that nobody wants to think about or figure out where to put.

So gathering momentum, I went to work. I had cleaned this room before. But never with the intent of moving the dryer, and washer. Somehow moving the dryer gave me courage to face the spiders, and dust. 

You know how one thing leads to another, and pretty soon my sister and I moved the freezer. We even moved out a huge old cabinet and, then I started sweeping the cobwebs off the walls, and then I started contemplating painting the room.

The room is still torn apart. But there is progress in the air.

Whether it's cleaning out old room, or painting a picture or writing a book or doing anything. It's one small step at a time.

The progress might be undetectable to the human eye. But with a little effort, a lot of dedication, and a drive that is motivated from within, you will move mountains, even if these mountains are as simple as moving a dryer and trying to fix it yourself.

Today I finished shoveling out a bin of coal.

I'm pretty proud of that.

Tomorrow I'm not sure what I'll move.

I guess that's the mystery.

I hope you are doing well.

I've missed chatting with you. 

We should do this again soon. 
Take care. 

Oh, by the way, I'm nearly done painting the cover to my next book, The Shade's trees. I'm also working on illustrations for both the Shade's Trees, and The Last Summoning. I have both books pretty much written, they're about 700pg each. So I'll have a lot of proofing to do. (Lucky me)

Starting the painting.

A little progress.

A little more progress. I changed it quite a bit. Not it's there yet, but it's getting closer. Don't mind my messy hair!

Working on illustrating my books.

If all goes well, I hope I will have both books out this year. 

Progress. As one series ends, a new book begins.

The artists life never ends, but continues.
There will always be one more book to write, one more picture to paint, one more dance to dance, one more song to sing.

We may not know where our path will take us, but we know where we want to be.
And that is what guides us.

Oh and as a side note, my book "The Canvas War" is free today until the fifth of June. So if you haven't gotten a copy, now's your chance. 



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