Maladjusted Mondays, #21

NOT Linda.

Greetings! I’m Jan C. Johnson. Thanks for joining the fun here on Maladjusted Mondays, a growing collection of scathing exposés in which I rat out my uncooperative appliances. I originally published these posts on my blog, Joywriting: Everybody Has a Story, where I do occasionally write about something besides my appliances. You can visit me there any time by clicking here.

The following post first appeared on my blog May 11, 2020…

Appliance Agitation

Here we go again… not long ago, I was relaxing on the patio with a good novel while a load of cycling clothes and other truly gross stuff was in the wash. Everything was fine until Brent popped his head out the back door and said, “The washer is making a weird noise.” I sighed and went to check it out.

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He was right. It sounded like a cross between a freight train and someone trying to start a car with a run-down battery.

According to the knob, the machine was in the Spin cycle. We opened the lid to find the washed clothes just sitting there, having a spa day in the dirty water that was supposed to be draining out of the tub.

Not cool. (By the way, that damage in the center was from years earlier when I working on a sewing project. Who damages their washing machine while sewing?)

Brent suggested I should be the one to choose the new machine, since I’m the laundry guru. We’d been under “shelter in place” for a few weeks by this time, so I was happy to skitter off to Lowe’s. Brent stayed to fish the Lycra out of its sudsy hot tub. Did I mention he’s a hero?

After two hours of looking at machines/considering pros & cons, I came home to find the bikewear all rinsed and neatly hung on the pool fence. Don’t worry; those little things on the spikes aren’t shrunken heads, just our cycling socks.

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I gave Brent the good news that I’d bought a Maytag. It would arrive on the next delivery date. Eleven days away.

A look of horror crossed his face. “ELEVEN DAYS??”

“You seem skeptical.”


“Sure. It’s no problem–I can hand wash whatever we need until then.”

After all, we have a sink in the laundry room. Plus enough T-shirts to last until the week before Thanksgiving. Besides, the dryer still works. I pictured swishing a few lightweight items around in the sink, giving them a good rinse under the spray faucet, and tossing them into the dryer.

Brent pictured my suggestion a little differently:

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Re-enactment of an imaginary event. No rocks or laundry were harmed.

Okay, fine. The next morning, I called Lowe’s to cancel the order. Brent researched washing machines and found a local indie dealer who could deliver a Speed Queen the same day. The new machine even has some of the old-school features I like!

And so, our wardrobe maintenance hasn’t missed a beat.

But just watch the rest of the appliances talk the Speed Queen into joining the revolt.

Thanks for reading,


Maladjusted Mondays, Week 7

NOT Linda.

Greetings! I’m Janice Johnson. Thanks for joining the fun here on Maladjusted Mondays. This series is a collection of scathing exposés in which I rat out my uncooperative appliances. (Thanks to Linda for hosting me!) I originally published these posts on my blog, Joywriting: Everybody Has a Story, where I do occasionally write about something besides my appliances. You can visit me there any time by clicking here.

And now for the seventh post in the series, which first appeared on my blog June 9, 2015.

It’s Gettin’ Ugly (the Sewing Machine)

The lit-fuse bomb is actually the least scary thing about the patch.

I haven’t had any trouble with my appliances in quite a while. It’s been so long, in fact, that when Brent asked me to sew Velcro backing onto six military patches for his paintball team, I didn’t even have a panic attack.

Silly me.

First off, I had to deal with the patches themselves. These things were Ugly–so hideous I could barely bring myself to touch them.

It’s only an embroidered design, I told myself. You won’t get bitten, or mange, or fleas, from embroidered spider monkeys. And don’t take that expression on their little faces so personally–they’re not out to get you.

The thick plastic-y Velcro hook material gave me all sorts of trouble with the lower thread tension. Somehow I got one patch done and started another. But soon the top thread got jerked under the fabric and tangled down inside the mechanism. I had to take the “twist-back-and-forth” bottom-thread-grabbing assembly apart to cut out the ruined thread. And for the first time ever in more than 40 years of sewing experience, I could NOT put the thread-grabby thing back together properly.

I mean, it looked okay when I snapped the brackets into place. But I realized something was amiss after the thread broke again. Twice more.

Things went downhill from there. I assembled the twisty thing again, re-threaded the machine, and…

Broke the thread.
Broke my needle.
Cut the partially-stitched patch loose from machine and threw it across the room.
Trekked to the sewing box at the other end of the house for a new heavy-duty needle.
Removed first needle (both pieces).
Discovered I’d been using a fine-gauge one intended for lightweight fabrics.
Apologized to the sewing machine.
Replaced broken needle with the new one, rated “Denim.”
Tried one more time to properly re-seat the bottom-thread-grabber assembly.
Ran the machine with no thread to test the assembly; hatch open so I could watch.

By some miracle, this time everything ran smoothly. So I retrieved my long-suffering ugly patch and Velcro from the floor, and gave it another cautious try.
Ka-chuk… ka-chuk… ka-chuk…
ka-chuk-a-chuk, ka-chuk-a-chuk, ka-chuk-a-chuk,

Sweeeet victory! Now for the other four.

One of the patches still ended up looking as if the dog had sewn it together, but at least the chore is done.

You know, despite all my stomping and raving and throwing during the process, I was honestly glad to help Brent with the patches. For one thing, sewing is a skill I have (questionable though it may be) that he doesn’t. I enjoy being needed. Kind of like when I made a window-seat cushion for Secondborn >shudders<.

Besides, Brent does so much for me, often things I don’t have the skill or strength to manage. Like me and my rebellious sewing machine, Brent sometimes helps me in ways he doesn’t enjoy. But he does it anyway out of love and honor for me. The least I can do is honor him in return. We complete each other rather than compete with each other.

As near as I can figure, this practice of putting each other ahead of ourselves is the kind of mutual submission and service that creates a happy marriage for both of us. You know… the kind the Bible teaches.

Thanks for reading,