The dishwasher isn’t draining water and it’s the best thing ever! I like washing dishes by hand fine enough but it’s easy to use a dishwasher if you have one. Of course it helps taking on the task by hand now that my babies aren’t needing to be supported while held and they’re often exploring or playing while I’m cleaning up. 

When the dishwasher stopped working I had a whole load of dishes in there and another half load all over the counter. The dishes in the washer were clean but needing a rinse. Everything was building up and I had to make supper. I was so overwhelmed with even knowing where to start. My dh came home from work only to rush out again for a meeting so I was left feeling really frustrated and down.

Just then my friend knocked on the door with a bag of chocolate croissants she made that day! She saw my dishevelled still-haven’t-had-time-for-a-much-needed-shower and frazzled look and asked how she could help. She ended up eating with us and helping get the dishes back under control. I’m so lucky to have friends like Kait.

It’s been so great since. I actually like washing the dishes throughout the day. I like listening to music or cds like my one about recognising local bird songs while I wash the dishes. I like being able to look out the window at the birds bathing in the eaves trough next door. I like that I’m saving water. I like that I wash them better than the dishwasher does. 

There have been a lot of things I choose to do or changes I’ve made in my life that help slow me down. Heck, there’s a lot more room for simplifying still! I can’t help but be grateful to myself (and occasionally those pesky and broken down life rushers like the dishwasher) for making the changes for me and my family. The dishwasher is going to be fixed because we don’t own this home but I’d like to continue to wash my dishes by hand. 

I’d like to continue to acknowledge on a regular basis the things that help slow life down…

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11 Responses to Slowing Things Down

  1. Krista says:

    Ah, slowly slowing down over here, too. And loving it. Loving it. And also loving this post.

  2. Leanna banana says:

    Hey Annie
    Thanks for the cool blog.

    Just a quick comment re: handwashing vs. dishwashing – if you refer to the ECOHOLIC – your guide to the MOST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY information, products and services in Canada by Adria Vasil, you’ll learn that dishwashers win (modern Energy Star) use half the energy, one-sixth the water and less the soap than handwashing (p. 152) I was surprised to read this myself. We are happy to use our dishwasher every few days but I find mindfulness in handwashing the items I don’t throw in the dishwasher ie pots, pans, on a daily basis

    Thought you’d appreciate this tid-bit as you seem to be very factual

    Take care LB

  3. Lucy Dolan says:

    Hi Annie

    It sounds lovely! My dishwasher is a lifesaver just now – that may change as my wee boy gets bigger but at the moment it is the only way the dishes have any chance of being washed! I think they are quite eco these days too….

  4. ruralmamma says:

    Our dishwasher isn’t even close to being eco friendly..its such an energy waster takes soo much water.. is sooo loud and eco detergent is expensive:) so I hand wash ..the way my Grandmother taught me . in an enamelware basin in the sink and then rinse in a fresh water basin.. I def. agree and have read about dishwashers being better, but I think it depends on how you wash, like if you keep the water running etc… also I love your post because dishashing can really be a time out…a calming place..slow down place. It is for me..xx

  5. Annie says:

    Hey LB- I knew dishwashers were getting better, but not that much better. Wow! I’m with Ruralmama in that my dishwasher is not a saver- at all! :(

    Ruralmama- I wash my dishes like you! I have a basin in the sink and put cutlery and glasses in first. Next plates, bowls and then bigger dirtier dishes.

    Lucy- I hear you. I was there and the dishwasher was so handy. It was especially so when Leif was small and I didn’t have anywhere near as much support as I needed. They have their place…

    I was talking about dishwashers with a friend the other day. If I was building a house would I put one in for the sake of resale if I wasn’t confident I would be able to stay there forever? I don’t think I would BUT I would probably leave the space available and maybe that could be a big roll out drawer for flour etc? I’d so rather move away from electrical appliances, even if they are as efficient as they seem to be.

  6. Colleen says:

    Haven’t used my dishwasher for 1yr. I realized that by the time I had finished rinsing all the gunk of my dishes, I could have just washed them by hand. I agree with ruralmamma, it depends on how you wash. While I do not have nearly as nice a view from my kitchen window, I don’t miss using my dishwasher for washing dishes, but it does make a nice dish drainer when the other one fills up.

  7. Ah… slowing things down. Only on Pender for me I’m afraid! I crave having lots to do and once again am in that mess where I just can’t slow down. However, I have been keeping up with the handwashing of dishes. We only use the machine once/week because daily use items like pots, pans, cutting boards, knives, wooden spoons and lunch containers simply have to be washed daily. And like you, I’ve often speculated that our “dream” mini house would be better without an automatic dishwasher but environmentally they usually make sense. Maybe I should write about water one day… the two of us use far less than the national average amount of water daily so the dishwasher might not make sense anyways. Enjoy the simplicity while it lasts!

  8. Leanna banana says:

    Hmm…I guess that’s just it. You have to pick and choose the things in life to help slow things down. Fortunately we just purchased a great energy star dw and it has saved me time – I can spend more time doing quality things with my kids.

  9. dancing dragonfly says:

    I am in the boat of loving my dishwasher. I love to play tetrus with it and she how much I can get in and still ensure a good wash. As for the washing soap I have been trying to find something that is safe and environmentally gentle. Initially I was using the soap exchange cleaner, until recently when I found this combo and very happy with outcome. Info obtained from jessiedog’s blog.

    In an effort to have more eco-friendly cleaning products and limit your exposure to chemicals, try using Borax. Have you heard of Borax before? Borax is a naturally occuring mineral compound of sodium, boron, oxygen and water. Borax by 20 Mule Team claims the naturally occuring mineral first appeared in use over 4000 years ago, which I thought was rather interesting.

    One of the home made cleaning products containing Borax that I reccomend is a natural dishwasher detergent. The following is a very simple recipe with only two ingredients, one being Borax. The amount of dishwasher detergent you can make for such a minimal amount of money is amazing as a 2 kg box of 20 Mule Team Borax will cost you around $5.99 Canadian. Cleaning more naturally and saving money, yay!

    #1) Dishwasher Detergent:

    1 Tablespoon Borax

    1 Tablespoon Baking Soda

    *The above recipe is for a single dishwasher load. As long as you have equal parts Borax and Baking soda you can make a large batch and store in a container for later use.

  10. Leanna banana says:

    Thank you Dancing Dragonfly for such informative advice re: homemade cleaning products – I must try that at once.

    Do you have your own blog? You seem very knowledgable – I would love to read more….LB

  11. peggy says:

    I’m with you on the hand washing dishes – our dishwasher is ancient, not at ALL energy or water efficient, runs forever, and is really loud. So, much more peaceful (and quick) to do by hand. I like it.

    You new page looks fabulous btw!

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