Tuesday, December 26, 2017

No Place but Up

When you spend the Saturday before Christmas at a laundromat, there's no place to go but up. I guess that's the good news.

It's that time of year again. When we nostalgically (well, if we're lucky) look back at 2017 and gingerly (when we've been unlucky of late) approach 2018 with some level of hope.

The trip to the laundromat is just the latest in a very unlucky and expensive end to 2017.

But that day also was the realization that we're all good at some things and we're all not so great at other things. Lately what I've been good at is having bad luck, and apparently I suck at laundromat. Who knew? But then again who wanted to know? Not me.

No place to go but up, a new year a new chance for good luck | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #humor

I said on FB and I'll say it again. If your dryer is going to die, especially in the winter months, it should let you know before you wash your clothes. I was not afforded that kindness. So there I stood, on a Saturday when I was determined not to leave the house to fight the holiday traffic, with a dilemma. I had planned it out, doing my errands during the week and leaving all the holiday cooking and baking for the weekends.

What's that old saying about the best laid plans?
So much for trying out my new Pizza Party Boat recipe this afternoon.

Pizza Party Boat is fun to share, an Italian loaf stuffed with pizza ingredients. Bake, slice and share | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #snack

Pizza Party Boat

But that's the kind of luck I'd been having. In July we lost our a/c and had to replace our heating and cooling units. After that came the nail Hubs ran over with his car. His tires, taking a lesson from the Ark apparently, had to be replaced in twos, of course. Then came his trip to the dentist ending in his need for a crown. Insurance pays to fix a crown but a new one? That's on us. What next. . . oh yeah, my car needed either expensive repairs or to be replaced, PurDude ended up in the ER (just a little FYI: don't require IV fluids on the weekend when the school clinic is closed unless you have a spare $3000 laying around you want to get rid of), Hubs' cell phone died (and mine only works on "speaker"), my laptop died (but then I go through a few of those a year). The only thing piling up as fast as the bad luck was the bills.

And now the damn dryer. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. What I did was to google laundromats, since I have no idea where any might be. I went all McGyver on the laundry basket situation, since I don't have one, and emptied the pool toys out of an old beach bag, shoved all my wet clothes inside, took a deep breath and went out to fight my way through the . . . dum, dum, dum (insert dramatic sound effect here) . . . dreaded holiday traffic.

Seven hours later (I might possibly be exaggerating a tad bit) I had made the 10 mile trek and arrived with fumes left in my gas tank. I shlepped my bag of soggy clothes inside and looked around like I'd landed on Mars. I found the dryers and although I had hoped they'd take my debit card, it was change only. And I didn't have any. Of course. Fortunately there was a corner of the store for dry cleaning with a very sweet woman working there. She showed me where to find the change machine. 

All I had was a $20 bill. I needed $1.25 so I figured I'd get $5 in quarters and $15 back in bills. Ummm . . . nope. Can you guess what happens if you a $20 bill into a change machine? I'll tell you. You get 80 quarters. 80. And I looked around but apparently they don't give you one of those cups to put them in like they do in Vegas. Turns out initially that was the least of my problems. It seems that 80 quarters in that little change retrieval slot block the door you need to push open to get those quarters out. If a public tug of war with a coin machine had ever been on my bucket list, I can now cross that sucker off.

Door now shoved open, where the hell was I going to put 80 quarters? PS: cross off yanking and tugging a 500 pound purse across the less-than-clean floor of a laundromat too. BTW, anyone want to buy a pocketbook? Bottom is a little scuffed but other than that it's in good shape. And it's big enough to hold a wallet, sunglasses, lipstick and 80 quarters.

Finally got my clothes into a dryer and sat down with my Kindle. But people watching turned out to be just too interesting to concentrate on my book. There were two people sitting in stools in one row of washers the whole time I was there. With them was a dog the size of a horse. I'm guessing that row of washers was their territory. Even if I had clothes to wash, I wasn't going near there. In fact, like a lion in the wild, I made sure not to make eye contact with that animal.

There was an older couple sitting close together, viewing something on a cell phone and speaking softly to each other. It warmed my heart to watch them, in their later years doing errands together. I had made up a whole love story in my head. And then she took something out of a washing machine, they walked out the door, got into different cars and headed in opposite directions.

In walks a woman with a trash bag. She kinda resembled me when she first entered, mimicking a deer in the headlights. She looked around and finally settled on a washer and emptied the contents of her trash bag into it. She started putting quarters into the machine, and then more and then more. She looked around, found the change machine, got more quarters and went back to feeding the washer. Another trip to the change machine and more quarters went into the washer. She finally started her laundry, turned and walked out. Most likely headed to the bank to take out a second mortgage on her home to afford her laundry.

OK, I'm nosy. I admit it. I nonchalantly sauntered over to the washing machine section (not the aisle with the horse-dog though) and checked out her machine. $7. Are you kidding? Let me tell you right now that if my washer dies I'll be grabbing a washboard and heading to the nearest stream.

Finally back home again with dry clothes but still no dryer, I'm hoping that 2018 will be a better year. And wondering if I can pay for a new dryer with quarters.

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Pizza Party Boat         

Printable Recipe

1 loaf Italian bread
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
6 slices provolone cheese
1/2 cup marinara (my Homemade Marinara recipe HERE)
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 TBSP grated parmesan cheese
10 slices of pepperoni
2 TBSP ricotta
1/2 tsp dried parsley

*Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
*Cut the center out of the Italian loaf, leaving about 1 inch of crust around all sides and on the bottom to form your bread boat. Place on the baking sheet with the top beside it, crust side down
*Mix together the olive oil and garlic powder. Using a pastry brush, brush about half of the seasoned olive oil into the bread boat and onto the top.
*Place the provolone cheese sliced into the loaf. Cover with the marinara, then the mozzarella, then the grated parmesan, then pepperoni.
*Mix together the ricotta and dried parsley. Dollop onto the top of the parmesan.
*Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the top from oven but continue to bake the loaf for another 10 - 15 minutes. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, place the top onto the loaf if desired, slice and serve.


  1. Too funny! Yes the laundromat is something to behold! Because I can't put my big comforter in my washer at home I am familiar with a facility close to my home that is really nice and clean but ... Appliance revolts happen. I would be eyeing your washer carefully to see if it has intentions to die too. I speak from experience.

    1. We debated buying a new dryer or having it fixed. The day after we had it fixed, I noticed some water under the washing machine. I think you jinxed me.

  2. Every New Year's Eve, we have the grandchildren for a sleepover. Pizza boats sound perfect.

  3. The seeds for some great stories at the local laundromat! Way more interesting than anything you'll find perusing your phone! How do I know this? Me, who has only used coin laundry twice--once in Italy (Yikes!) and once at our resort in Banff? From my Mom's journals. A treasure trove of . . . treasures.
    Seriously, though, I wish you much, much better luck in the New Year. You've more than earned it my friend!

    1. Here's hoping for a happy and healthy (and lucky) new year for us both.

  4. Pizza Boats this weekend! And you know my drama with the laundrymat for a year. Then the clogged drain, yeah ok, we won't go there. But I survived and actually came to like going (please don't fall off your chair) It's the one place no one bothered me.

    1. I do get what you're saying about no one bothering you, but the only way no one would bother me at the laundromat would be if I left my cell phone at home. Actually, that's a pretty good idea.

  5. I have never been to a laundromat in my life, always have had my own laundry. I had a pretty Christmas Day and a good Boxing Day

    1. I hope your laundromat record sticks, and I'm so glad you had a lovely holiday, Jo-Anne.

  6. Your 2017 sounds like my 2016. I hope 2018 will be good for both of us. We've paid our dues lol!

    1. Yes, we sure have, here's wishing a fabulous 2018 for us both.

  7. Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


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