Friday, November 15, 2013

Things I Like: Pine cones

Pine cones

One of my favorite parts of Fall, aside from all the lovely colors, is the abundance of pine cones.  And most importantly I like to step on pine cones. The crunchy noise underfoot is like none other.

It brings me back to my childhood when we used to step on as many pine cones as we could find. To this day, I go out of my way to step on one. I also can admit that I am mildly disappointed when a pine cone is not crunchy..

♥ Michelle

Friday, November 8, 2013

Dishwasher Packing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Do you, or someone you love, suffer from Dishwasher Packing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (DPOCD)? If so, then this is the post for you.

Hello! My name is Michelle and I have DPOCD, which is a very serious condition.  There is a right way to load a dishwasher and a wrong way. I apparently am the only one who knows the right way. And I will reload it if necessary, and then mentally attack you (you, who cannot properly load the dishwasher, you) with ninja swords. You've been warned. 

I'm not quite sure when I discovered I had DPOCD, but once I was diagnosed my entire life made much more sense.  There is a reason to the way I pack a dishwasher.  I don't just pack dishes for the fun of it. I don't particularly love doing dishes. But I do know there is a right way and a wrong way to load the dishwasher. Since I have been blessed and know the correct way I figure I can put this out there to help others in need.

There are some simple truths about dishwasher packing that you should know and accept before moving forward:

5 Truths about Dishwasher Packing:

1. There is a right way to load a dishwasher.
2. A correctly loaded dishwasher washes the dishes better.
3. Loading the dishwasher is an art form.
4. Every dishwasher is unique and deserves it's own packing technique.
5.  Anyone can learn how to correctly load a dishwasher.

With all that in mind, what can you do? Don't worry. I've got some suggestions to help you out.

What you can do if someone you love is suffering from DPOCD:

1. Put the dishes IN the dishwasher. OK, so yes, I know you can't properly load the dishwasher (because I've seen what you do), and you possibly know that I can (obviously). But that doesn't mean you just leave all the dishes in the sink, or worse the counter next to the freaking sink.  I'd much rather rearrange dishes then have to grumble my way through putting an entire sink of dirty dishes in the sink because you are too lazy. And don't use the excuse that you were going to do it later.  I guarantee you I did give you enough time to put them away.

2. Pay attention to the dishwasher.  If your loved one is always putting a specific plate in the same spot, then it is really simple: when you load the dishwasher, put it in that same spot.  I guarantee that after two dishwasher loads you'll see the pattern and how to load it. Plus you'll prevent your loved one from having an anxiety attack.

3. Learn where the dishes "live". So, you still can't load the dishwasher properly even after you have tried many times? Don't worry. You can still help. The least you can do is to put away the clean dishes. That does require knowing where the dishes go.  Finding a million tupperware on the counter because you couldn't figure out where they go is not helpful at all. Every dish has a place. Take five minutes and study your cabinets. (oh and by the way, for the tupperware, it is very simple to stack tupperware. Please don't act like you don't know how to put the larger ones on the bottom and stack with the smaller ones inside. That is considered basic stacking skills, something you learn as a toddler.)

4. Follow the basic rule that like dishes go together. Don't put a large plate, then a small plate then a bowl all in a row in your dishwasher.  Put all your large plates together in a row; then all your small plates together in a row; then all your bowls together in a row.  That way the dishes stack are much more snug and you can fit more in your dishwasher. Go ahead and try it. Your mind will be blown. (and now you understand your loved one better now).

5. If it is late at night and the dishwasher has not been started yet you need to spring into action! Quickly load/finish loading the dishwasher and start the cycle.  This will give your loved one a break.  But please keep in mind the above suggestions and don't just throw all the dishes in the dishwasher. Loading the dishwasher is an art form, remember that.

What you can do if you suffer from DPOCD:

1. Take one dishwasher load at a time. If you start to get overwhelmed with dishwasher packing, remember it is only one load at a time. So do this one load and then take a breather. Then go reward yourself and eat some chocolate. you deserve it.

2. Understand that you can properly train others how to load a dishwasher. Also keep in mind that they will completely forget their training within less than a week. Baby steps. Baby steps...

3. Pick 1 (yes ONE) thing that drives you crazy about the other dishwasher packers in your household to work on at a time. For example: So and so keeps putting a particular utensil on the top rack.  Not only does it clearly belong with the utensils it also hasn't been coming out of the dishwasher fully cleaned. So then you have to rinse it again after it has already been washed in the dishwasher.  So try saying something like this, while loading the dishwasher of course, "Oh hey {insert name} I realized that this {particular utensil} doesn't wash well in the top rack and would wash better with the utensils. Just so you know next time!" Warning: This step may need to be repeated multiple times.

4. If the above suggestion does not work please allow Mr or Miss so and so, who obviously enjoys dirty dishes, to empty the dishwasher themselves -- OR leave spatula as is and let them discover that it is not coming out clean by themselves.  This can be particularly difficult because not all people notice cleanliness of dishes, so this may prove unsuccessful.

5. Give yourself a curfew.  If it is late at night and you should be going to sleep and you see a few more dishes that need to go in the dishwasher DON'T DO IT. Don't do it because more than likely you'll have to rearrange the dishwasher because someone else in the family did not load it properly. So don't even open the dishwasher. Leave it AS IS. Have someone else start the dishwasher and walk away. That way you prevent yourself from spending at least 20 minutes rearranging. And you more than likely rearranged it earlier in the day so the damage is hopefully minimal.

If you or a loved one is suffering from DPOCD, do not feel alone.  There are others who understand and feel your pain.  If you are looking for a place to vent, here is a safe place. 

And, Remember my friends; loading the dishwasher is an art form. It should be treated likewise.

♥ Michelle

*disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I proclaim to be one. 
If you should need medical attention for your DPOCD please seek out your doctor for help.