My Patient Husband’s love note

My Patient Husband has a sweet, romantic side. Friday morning I awoke to a love note at the breakfast table.

The reason we’re moving out of Angeltown is to get closer to his job. With his current monster commute, he has to awaken at 4:30AM and be out the door by about 5:15AM. He comes back home between 5:30 and 6:30pm. This is a brutal schedule, and he doesn’t have as much time with the kids or with me as we’d like. 

Because of this, sometimes he leaves me love notes. I’m not a roses-and-diamonds kind of gal, but they’re very sweet, and I used to save them all in my journal.

It was special that he thought about me now because I know he’s under a lot of tension. We’re completely stressed about the move out of Angeltown. The packing, the money, the logistics, the new schools, changing email addresses, and so on.

The new house is going to be on a private septic system and a private well rather than public water and public sewer. This concerns me: at Casa Philangelus, we do 14 loads of laundry a week during the wintertime (and about 9 a week during the summer; you wouldn’t think long sleeves and pant legs would make that much of a difference, but they do.)

I’m unsure if a septic system can take that kind of punishment, so I’ve been lusting after those ultra high-efficiency washing machines that do a load of 18 jeans and a king-sized comforter in only five ounces of water. I wasn’t entirely kidding when I joked about switching to cloth diapers to see what the washing machine “could really do.”  That was the point when I took over all the laundry duties for the family, and I kind of think of the laundry room as my kingdom. It’s pathetic, but hey, at least I’m the reigning monarch somewhere in my own life.

The sellers of the dream house are taking the washer and dryer with them, so we’ll need new ones. But there’s a downside: those high-efficiency washing machines cost half the earth the last time I checked.

Friday morning, at my breakfast plate, I found that my Patient Husband had left me the sweetest, tenderest message he could have. It was an ad for washing machines from Lowe’s.

Super high-efficiency ones. They even come in red.

**sniff** He loves me.


  1. cathrl

    So I finally get round to leaving a comment…and it’s about septic tanks 🙂

    They will cope fine with loads of washing – you just have to be careful with what sort of chemicals you put down them. Some washing powders and conditioners are fine and some kill off the bugs which digest the gloop down there. Same with washing up liquid, cleaners, bleach, and so on. If you only use friendly ones, you’ll find the tank needs emptying basically never. I grew up in a house with a septic tank and careful parents who were paranoid about not using the wrong chemicals (we weren’t even allowed coloured loo paper)…and I only remember it being emptied twice ever.

    And the loads will get less as your kiddos get bigger, unlikely as that sounds. I’ve got two kids age 8 and 11 and a sweaty husband who cycles 16 miles a day, and I only do about 5 loads a week. It’s amazing how little difference mixing types and colours of clothes makes these days.

  2. Jenni

    coloured loo paper
    They make that?!?

    That’s so very sweet, Jane! I’ll pray for you to get them in red.
    My Hunny bought the blue ones for me when we moved in and they make laundry time fun (how else can you react to pushing buttons on the washer that look exactly like the ones on your cd player?)
    My only beef was that we had to switch detergents cuz our local stores don’t sell the HE version of Arm & Hammer, but it was a small price to pay.

  3. philangelus

    We probably won’t get the red one, actually. That’s about three grand for the set. But there’s a very nice one that’s less than half that, and I’ve got my eye on it. 😉

    My grandmother used to have colored toilet paper. I remember blue and pink, and sometimes patterns (white with pink.)

    Catherine, I’ve been assured by others that the septic system can handle our amazing water usage.

    But think about three teenagers using the showers too. So we might lower the number of laundry loads, and then use it some other way.

    We use Arm&Hammer scent free/dye free. Is that safe? I’m goign to have to add a whole new level to my awareness of what goes down the drain! 🙁

  4. Kit

    MAJOR lovely man points for the PH! We had septic in our first home in Scottsdale, AZ, and several members of our family here in NY have summer lake houses with smaller, trickier systems. The rules of thumb are to go easy on the tp (they have single-ply and quicker-degrading types, but just using less of the Charmin is fine, too), compost in the kitchen rather than using the dispose-all whenever feasible, and flush a scoop of the enzyme stuff down the loo once a month and it will prolong the system’s capacity between pumpings.

    I vote for red (it’s the Aries in me) or stainless!

  5. ladyknight

    That was very sweet of your husband!

    My sweetie did an equally (to me) romantic thing this weekend; he spent 2+ hours on Sunday digging out a new flowerbed for me! Lined it with pretty red bricks, raked the potting soil on top, and dug the hole for my rosebush. That’s better than a card or earrings any day!

  6. philangelus

    Have you ever seen the graphic going around the internet about housewife p * r n? It’s a guy vacuuming.

  7. Kit

    Nothing cuter than a man doing yardwork…


  8. CricketB

    Anyone can buy a card, but looking for sales on washing machines to make your beloved’s life easier? That’s devotion! (My guy got a clean garage and new shelves for Fathers’ Day — some (aka much) assembly required, and let daughter and me do the garden.)

    I grew up with a septic system, we have one at the cottage, and my parents still have one. The biggest problem with cottage tanks is under-use or erratic use.

    It’s worth having it pumped and inspected once. (The same guy does both.) They don’t need a camera or anything. The pumper can tell you the size of the tank, whether it’s the right size for your family, how much sludge and foam there was, and recommend when to check next. He’ll check that the baffles are still in place and the tile bed is working. As geeks, you’ll happily keep a record, and the pumper will laugh at you for doing it. (He’ll also laugh if you record where the hatch is, so you don’t have to dig up half the lawn next time.) We never used the enzymes.

  9. Ivy

    You have to change e-mail addresses to move? That’s odd. It’s not like a phone number where the exchange means something.

    If you start considering the ones with a bit of silver that can sanitize the wash in cold water (it’s a property of many metals), don’t bother. I have sock yarn with just as much silver in it and I can knit you a pair you can wear and then throw in the wash for the same effect.

  10. CricketB

    About the email addresses, you own a domain name. Most host packages include a huge number of email addresses. Yes, it means your husband and kids would be , but you’ll never have to change it again — very nice, if your ISP’s bureaucracy cancels your account. Another idea is use or Give out those addresses, then tell that company to forward to your current address. If you move, just tell pobox or sneakemail. Much easier.

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