Thursday, May 19, 2016


We are living in a rental property. Of course, this means that the landlord isn't interested in providing the best appliances or most aesthetic detailing. We can't complain. But I do complain about the dishwasher. I have hated it since we came here. There are no tines in the upper rack so everything falls over unless it's fully loaded. The tines in the lower rack are oddly spaced. And it pretends to have a "dry" cycle, but there is no vent on the door so there is absolutely nowhere for the water to go when it's finished. I have to open the door as soon as it's done and then slide the racks out to dry. It's not a huge kitchen either so it's annoying having to step around it while the dishes air dry.

What is bitterly ironic is that last month our dishwasher at our home in Utah stopped working. So I had to shop for a replacement online and arrange for installation. I was salivating over all the ball-bearing sliding racks and quick-wash options. And bestill my heart--HEATED DRYING! After much comparison and deliberation, I settled on a KitchenAid 46 decibel dishwasher in Black Stainless Steel with a THIRD RACK for all those odd size utensils and small snack cups for lunch packing. The handle even doubles as a towel rack which is perfectly placed in my kitchen. I LOVE IT! But it will still be three months before I can meet it.

Look at the cute red circles in the handle!

There are some other odd quirks about our rental house that we've had to get used to.

The first crazy thing is the locks. All the doors and windows have key locks that lock from the INSIDE. So you can't unlock them from the INSIDE without the key. Which means if you don't want your children to be trapped inside with a fire raging behind them, you have to leave the key in the lock all the time. We first figured this out when I went to the store one day and left Karly with Henry. She tried to come out and tell me something to add to the list, but was unable to open the door that I had locked when I left. Fortunately the house did not burn down while I was gone.

I can't believe this isn't against building code. But I have learned it is normal.

It's actually smaller than it looks. So tiny.

Most laundry appliances are on the teeny side. At home I have a gigantic front load washer and dryer. It makes sense for a large family. Here we bought front-load appliances, too, but their capacity is much smaller. Maybe the smaller size promotes water conservation. Not sure. The dryer does not vent to the outside of the house so it blows the dryer lint right into the room. Which makes us want to keep the door shut. But we have to keep the door open or the whole room steams up.


The oven here is super-sized. It has 3 burner panels on the stove. The oven has a fan which made me think it was a nice convection oven, but it is actually terrible at heat distribution. I have to rotate the pans half-way through cooking to avoid having the food burn in that one 6" circular spot in the back right. And I have the hardest time getting the burners on the stove to light. Sometimes I get frustrated and have to light a match. Sometimes the gas doesn't even flow so you just have to keep trying.

There are four drawers in the entire kitchen. Only four. And they are on the opposite side of where all the work happens. The refrigerator is also on the opposite side of the kitchen. And the door opens away from all the action. When the dishwasher is open and trying to dry, and you have to get something from the fridge it's a bit of a delicate dance.

The fridge and dishwasher bump when both are open. And the dishwasher has to be open to dry. 
And you can see the four drawers that are the only ones in the whole kitchen.

But you know what, all of this stuff is minor and we deal with it. We have learned to cook without a lot of our kitchen gadgets. We have leftovers more often. We probably have less variety in our menu but I like less time spent on cooking. We don't have a mixer, which is deterring Karly's baking habit. Thank goodness! My lack of a gym membership (and gym buddies) is making it hard to keep up with all her goodies. We hang a lot of our clothing to dry on a large drying rack. I still overstuff my freezer. Why do I always do that?

And even though the fridge opens the wrong direction, a very kind family gave it to us at no cost. It is white and it doubles as a whiteboard. After a long time, I finally figured out the dry-erase markers are not all that erasable. We switched to washable Crayola markers and it's great! They wipe clean easily (with water) and are much more colorful! Another great conservation of space in our sabbatical home!

P.S. We are very much looking forward to a reunion with our waffle iron in the states. And my stovetop popcorn maker. And the large bags of quality popcorn available in the U.S. And popcorn salt. And I'm totally buying a Blendtec when I get back. In Red.

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