¡Si, Se Puede! (Yes, you can!)

Lately it seems that I have been teaching myself to do a lot of things I never thought I could manage. Over the past year I perfected the art of cutting in paint, fixed my dryer and dishwasher, and most recently my washer.

Sometimes when I am working on a new project I have to admit I’ve lost it.  In my frustration with the unfamiliar task, I found that I cried, swore, and to my chagrin, even stomped out of the room looking and sounding scary enough to make the dogs run and cower, but I didn’t give up!

Yesterday in my mudroom I stood looking at a week and a half of laundry that included a pile of wet and muddy towels from the recent rain and muddy dogs.  I really wanted to just let Bob fix it, but he works all day and I didn’t want to wait.  So, I took matters into my own hands and fixed my washing machine.

This was hard. 

It required strength, unorthodox tools, and an extra bit of shouting to get the job done.  But hey! I fixed my washing machine that two men on the PartsSelect website had said was impossible!  So, you just can’t imagine how good I felt!

This morning after reading a friends post I realized that we as women are given all the wrong messages as we grow up.   We are taught that some jobs are just not possible to do unless you are a man.

We all have this list of excuses for not trying…

  1. It’s too hard
  2. I don’t know how
  3. I can let my husband/boyfriend do it
  4. I can call the repairman

And I counter…

  1. It might be easier than you think
  2. You can learn
  3. Maybe they don’t know how, don’t have time, or don’t want to
  4. The repairman is expen$ive!

Now you have a choice to make.   You can live with the problem or tackle it. What is the worst that can happen?  You might find that you really couldn’t do it?  Well, in that case you can pick up the phone and call in the professional.

It’s time for us to realize what we are capable of and then go do it!   You can find really good instruction for any task or job on Youtube, but beware, some are more brilliant than others, so watch several!

For my task I liked this one best.

A word to the owners of the General Electric Washer (model:  WJRE5550H1WW)  Life is too short, so BUY THE INSTALLATION TOOL when you order the replacement belt!

Now in my case I had to improvise and adapt the instructions given in this video.  If you didn’t purchase the special tool (I should have!) then you will need to do the following to make the job more simple and less dangerous!

  1. Turn off the water, disconnect the power, water hoses and drain tube.
  2. If you didn’t buy the tool, then don’t bother pulling off the front panel.  Put down a rug or blanket and lay the front of the machine flat onto the floor.  This will allow you enough room to muscle on that belt because you didn’t buy the tool!
  3. Remove the bolts holding the bottom panel.  NOTE: the panel will not come all the way off, but you can easily flex it down to get inside. THIS WILL GIVE YOU A LOT MORE ROOM TO MANEUVER!
  4. Now, place the new belt onto the lower shaft.
  5. Pull the belt onto the larger wheel (it won’t go far) and zip tie it into place.
  6. Rotate the wheel a bit further, and feed the belt on.  Add another zip tie.   I had to add a total of three zip ties.
  7. Now comes the hard part!  Keep slowly rotating while watching to make sure the belt does not leave the lower shaft.  If it is coming off, then rock the wheel back and forth while forcing the belt back onto the shaft and keeping your fingers out of the works!  😐
  8. Continue slowly turning the wheel and force the belt to stay onto the wheel.
  9. You will now have to snip the first zip tie, rotate, snip the second zip tie, rotate, remove the last zip tie.
  10. Now you will notice that the belt is not fully aligned into the grooves, so slowly turn and push on the belt to get it to align completely with those grooves.  (Being completely honest, this is where I found that grunting and swearing helped to relieve the frustration of this task.   😳 )
  11. Replace the bottom panel making sure that there are no leftover screws.
  12. Put the machine into the upright position.
  13. Reconnect the hoses and drain pipe, then turn on the water and plug in the machine.
  14. If necessary, re-level the machine by turning the pegs in front (up or down as needed)  I found that tilting the machine back and placing a broom handle under the front was a great assist in this process. 😉
  15. Here comes the easy part.  WASH THAT MOUNTAIN OF CLOTHES!

Start with the small stuff and work yourself up to the more detailed and complicated tasks.  You’ll never know what you can accomplish if you never try!

Now go fix something!


¡Si, Se Puede!


56 thoughts on “¡Si, Se Puede! (Yes, you can!)

  1. cecilia says:

    what a brilliant post.. good for you and I absolutely agree that we have been given the wrong ‘leave it to the men’ messages, we can do anything.. but sometimes we just choose not to!! c

    • pixilated2 says:

      Yes, I’ll admit it… sometimes we do. However, when the money is as short as the hours in your man’s day, or there is no one else to rely on, then we can rise to the occasion! Thank you, Celi! ~Lynda

  2. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    LOL, oh what a great picture you paint. Guess its not called “venting”for nothing, hey?; ) But boy, there’s nothing in this world that ticks me off more than being told “That can’t be done”. My immediate mental response – “Oh yeah? Watch me!” Thanks so much for the “blow-by-blow”. That pull strap idea is pure genius and would work perfectly for when the clothesline decides to jump off the pulley next time (which usually happens immediately after you noticed the line needs tightening – but neglected to stop and fix it; )

    • pixilated2 says:

      I added the information for fun, but also thought that someone out there might benefit from my first hand experience. I never thought that it would be an indirect assist! Glad to be of (future) service, Deb!

    • pixilated2 says:

      Funny you should say that because I was thinking yesterday,

      “Why is EVERYTHING breaking this year!!!”

      Then I realized that we bought all of our appliances when we moved here… And appliances from time to time need repairs. ❗

      I’m glad to know I have encouraged you to bravery on that next “daunting task.” 🙂

  3. 47whitebuffalo says:

    LOL! Wow! Good for you. Really. So often we get caught up in the standard gender roles that we sell ourselves way short of what we’re capable of accomplishing. Great post too to show how to attack the problem washing machine. 🙂 Keep it up. Wonder what you’ll “fix” next.

  4. victoriaaphotography says:

    Well done, Lynda.
    You are truly a wonder.
    (but then I think all women are amazing – we’re not given enough credit for the great jobs we do in life).

  5. Lindy Barnes says:

    You go, girl 😀 I’m proud of you and very glad you posted this. Recently a friend in CO has learned to use some pretty heavy duty power tools – think a HUGE table saw, etc. Her husband died a little over a year ago and she either had to learn to finish all the trim on her house herself or hire someone to do it. She is learning and doing a beautiful job. We women need to share these stories – we need to continue to inspire each other.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Oh, it was nothing, really.
      HA! Yes it was.

      Up until the washer the things I had done were EASY! This job? Not so much! I am grateful that I was able to see it through. Thanks, Julie!

  6. shoreacres says:

    Don’t know if you’ve heard the story, but when I started sailing, my response to one of the first things I was asked to do was “I can’t…” Captain Tom said, “On this boat, you NEVER will say ‘I can’t’. You are free to ask ‘How can I?’, and the answer may be to ask for help. But ‘How can I?’ always wil be the first question.

    That was, as they say, a sea change. Three years later I was out of the “corporate” world, teaching myself a trade and starting my own business. You bet we can do it!

    I laughed at your mention of the grunting and swearing. My dad always told me that was his “technical vocabulary”. And that WWII illustration of Rosie the Riveter? That was my mom. She worked on bombers in Rock Island, Illinois. This Norman Rockwell painting is the one I think really captures the spirit of Mom and her friends.

    • pixilated2 says:

      I’m glad his words inspired you! On hearing them, the old me would have been biting back the tears! Thank you for sharing the Norman Rockwell version of Rosie the riveter! It was such a different world then. Somehow, I don’t see enough of this same determination and spirit in today’s society, and we need it.

  7. Playamart - Zeebra Designs says:

    i am so proud of you! yes, many tasks require doing one’s homework and then going ‘one, two three…’ and ‘poof!’ how great we feel when the job’s finished! i especially love to do my own (basic) plumbing – i love math, and good plumbing taps into the need for straight lines, right angles, and precise measuring. my most favorite project was converting an old boat into a bathtub! what fun!
    welcome to the club!

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thank you, Lisa, it is a good feeling isn’t it? You know I believe I have heard you mention your tub before, but don’t recall seeing it. Is there a picture somewhere? I would love to see it, as I like the unusual in home remodeling and decor.

  8. littlesundog says:

    Wow!! I am so proud of you Lynda! You are one tough lady… and smart to boot! It’s pretty amazing what we can do when we set our minds to it. I have had to make some repairs here this year, but thankfully, FD managed to give me instructions over the phone and he’s really great about encouraging when I get frustrated.

  9. gentlestitches says:

    Very true. You are amazing and so am I. Amazing oneself is one of the best feelings in the world. I need to learn 6 more piano chords to accompany my son at a carols night AND I CAN!! : )

    • pixilated2 says:

      Yes you are, yes it is, yes you will, and I do hope there will be pictures and a share on your blog! BTW, I don’t believe I know your name yet. Will you share that too? 🙂

    • pixilated2 says:

      Dianne, thank you for the accolades! I am encouraged to see how many of us are taking up our tools to get the job done! What kinds of things do you fix around the homestead?

      • diannegray says:

        Just about everything. I can put up a fence, I can do the plumbing, I can hammer a nail (without banging my fingers too badly), paint, grout, pressure-clean, fix holes in walls and hang a window. Next year I’m going to be doing lead-lighting (or stained glass windows). The only thing I’m never allowed to touch are the electricals on anything because hubby is an electrician! 😀

        • pixilated2 says:

          You are quite accomplished! Bravo! Electrical is probably on the bottom of my list of things I want to do. I have a healthy fear of electricity! Bob doesn’t know it yet… but I am going to be taking out the blocked door in the dining room and filling in the hole to the outside next year (we have a desk in front of it). It simply can’t be that hard. 😉 Can it?

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thank you, Janet! I have not replaced toilet guts in a long while, though I did replace the bolts that hold the seat on. I got over zealous in tightening the plastic one and the head snapped, so I replaced them both with new brass ones. 😉

  10. susanbright says:

    Very impressive! I think sometimes we just choose not to try to fix something. It is so much easier to just say we don’t know how and wait for our husbands or someone else to do it for us! You are an inspiration!

    • pixilated2 says:

      Blushing! Thank you, Susan, I have been growing in determination and skills since we moved here. And yes, often it would be easier to wait and let someone else do it, but certainly not as rewarding! 🙂

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