Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Transmission. And A Bad Thing.

Transmission Saga

Let me start with a quick update about the Saga of the Broken Pennsylvanian Transmission.

Earlier this week, the mechanic at the garage in Pennsylvania pulled out the transmission. And worked on it. And put it back in again.

And it still didn’t work.

Oh happy day.

Since he is a master mechanic and very serious about doing his job well, he was back and forth on the phone to GM about the problem all the way through the process. On the umpteenth phone call, he finally managed to wrangle out of them some sort of instructions that “they don’t tell everybody.” (What’s that all about?)

At any rate, he pulled the transmission back out, fixed it using their “secret instructions” and put it back in.

It works perfectly. And he’s only going to charge us $1,000 instead of $1,500 because GM is going to pick up the rest of the cost.

And so I booked a flight for Steve to fly from Norfolk to Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon. He’ll land at 8 pm, stay with his aunt and uncle (who have already picked up the car for him) and leave the next morning at 6 am to drive the car back home.

I begged (and pleaded) (and also beseeched) him to let me fly there and drive the car home myself because I love a long road trip, especially when it involves driving through splendid Pennsylvania scenery. He had no problem with me doing it except for the fact he didn’t want me being the one to drive a newly repaired transmission 600 miles by myself.

Which I know is wise. But I still am sorta sad about missing out on a road trip.

A Bad Thing

When Nathan graduated from college, part of our gift to him was the mattress and box spring from his room (which he has always loved) along with his bedspread, pillows, and matching curtains. Which meant that we were left with a guest bedroom that had a bed frame, but no mattress, box spring or bedspread.

And so when Nathan came home with us for a week after graduation, we purchased said items so that he would have somewhere to sleep. And also, so that our guests would have a place to sleep. Which it seems that most most guests expect when they come to one’s house.

So that was all fine. Not to mention dandy. Until. The Bad Thing happened.

A Bad Thing that involved a beige quilt . . .

And a red sweater . . .


. . . and a leaky water bottle.


Some of you may already be filling in the blanks as to what The Bad Thing is all about but just to be sure that you’ve done your blank-filling accurately, let me share a Few Bad Thing Details.

Tuesday morning, I went into the guest room formerly known as Nathan’s room and picked up a water bottle from the bed where I had casually tossed it the night before. I noticed that the side of the bottle seemed a little wet but I didn’t think a whole lot about it. I mean, a little leaking water never hurt anyone, did it?

Later that day, Steve walked into the guest room to look for something and said, “Um, Becky. Why is there a big pink stain on the bedspread? It’s right beside this red sweater that was lying there.”

I thought about the leaky water bottle. That had been lying right on top of the red sweater. And I got a really bad sinkin’ feeling.

Sure enough. When I walked over to look, I saw a Bad Thing. A Very Bad Thing.

I saw this.



That water bottle, lying on the red sweater, must have done a slow leak the entire night because the bed and the sweater were soaked. And of course, it couldn’t have been a nice beige or white sweater that I threw on the bed—no, it had to be a RED sweater. A red sweater that leaked color.


Now mind you, this was not a quilt that we had bought at a thrift store fifteen years ago and had gotten plenty of use out of. No, this quilt was only three weeks old and purchased from a real store. And while it wasn’t the most expensive thing out there, it wasn’t overly cheap either because it came with a bed skirt, matching throw pillows, a coordinating blanket and pillow shams. And did I mention it was only three weeks old?


Although the quilt is machine washable, I took it to the dry cleaners to see if they had any advice. After two employees had stood for a few minutes looking at the quilt mournfully and clucking their tongues in unison they basically said, “That stain is not going to come out.”

But I took it to the Laundromat anyway, found a large capacity machine and gave it a whirl.

And guess what?

The stain didn’t come out. At all.

I guess our only option at this point is to hit some thrift stores and try to find a plain-ish, beige-ish, tan-ish quilt that will sort of tie in with all the accoutrements that we bought with the set.

Sighs of sympathy are welcome. Not to mention appreciated.

29 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Pam said...


Easiest fix ever!

Just buy a duvet cover!

That's 3 exclamation points in one comment :)

Margie said...

Becky have you tried spraying it with OxiClean? I can't believe how well that stuff works.

Guerrina said...

Pam is right on! Easier than dying it! You could even make a duvet cover out of flat sheets and you'd have a wide array to choose from...but Pam's option is the easiest and least stress inducing!

Angie said...

Is it not reversible to where you could just flip it to the other side? The duvet cover is a good idea, although they aren't always cheap either. I've had success at I found a complete bed ensemble (comforter. bed skirt, shams, euro pillows, decorative pillows, and matching curtains for a queen bed) for under $150 including shipping -- and it's the nice Linden Street brand sold at JC Penney. Perhaps you could find something there.

Angie said...

This is the style I purchased...only mine was a queen set and included curtains.

Their prices are GREAT!

Shannon said...

I was going to suggest club soda...but if it's already been washed and's set.


Lisa said...

I second the Oxyclean, I used it when I turned khakis blue (washed with new jeans) and when I spilled spaghetti sauce on pants and both came completely clean. Best stuff ever.

Anonymous said...


Try Zout. It works on everything. I had a little mishap last summer that resulted in blood in a huge spot on my beige carpet and it took the stain right out. Should work on an old stain as well.

Jenna said...

What about trying to "fix" it? You could maybe embroider a pretty flower on top of the stain or perhaps sew a cloth decal (made for going onto fabric) on it? Or, what about getting fabric dye and dying the entire blanket a rich, darker colour?

Hope the ideas help!

soccer6 said...

Get some Shout Colour Catcher sheets. They've saved me multiple times, even on things that have been washed and dried.

Anonymous said...

Can you dye it brown?

Anonymous said...

Try the oxygel stick. Apply generously and let it even sit overnight and then wash again.

I have got out old stains, new stains and stains I missed the first time!

Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

I vote for OxiClean as well. I may be a bit biased, since I work for the company that makes it, but it truly is amazing stuff!

Good luck!

Frapper said...

If the stain doesn't come out at all, you could go with the duvet cover. If you sew, it wouldn't be that expensive to find a fabric that goes with the rest of the bedding ensemble, or use the flat sheets as someone suggested to make the cover. Glad your transmission finally is working!

Karen in Hammond said...

Hi Becky,
Off thread, but I saw this webpage and thought maybe you could share it with your readers:

It made me think how lucky some of us are, and to live each day to its fullest.

Karen in Hammond

Anonymous said...

1. How about buying a duvet cover?

2. Or dying it in the washing matching with RIT DYE another dark color that would match said accessories?

3. Bleach it white?

That's all I got?

On the bright side you will get a small road trip when you drive Steve to Norfolk, right? Isn't it two or so hours each way?

And if you really want a road trip, drive to my house (45 minutes North of the WI boarder) and go to my MD appointment for me in IN; 12-14 hours each way (including construction and traffic). Then I can stay home and you can have your road trip.

Just a thought!


Denise said...

Some ideas:

1. Hydrogen peroxide (not usually recommended but if it's a lost cause, it can't hurt to once got out a stain on our carpet that was beyond hope).

2. Dye the bedspread another color to cover the red!

3. The handy dandy duvet cover. :)

Debbie said...

OxyClean is great and it has saved me many times. I have also seen a color remover that is made just for this purpose. I believe you will find it where the Ritz dyes are in the grocery store.

Anonymous said...

If you purchased it with a credit card, check to see if they have an insurance policy. My daughter bought me a glass candle set for Christmas one year, and my husband purchased it with a credit card. She dropped it while getting ready to wrap it and the credit card company sent a check for the amount of the item.

LizW said...

What good suggestions everyone has! If you are looking for an inexpensive duvet cover, IKEA has some excellent choices. I know they aren't everywhere but they do have a website, and you can order from that. At least it doesn't seem that you will have to get a new quilt. Good luck. Let us know how things turn out.

Anonymous said...

don't have any suggestions... but hope one of the ideas that others have offered will solve the stain problem.

mrs pam

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Find some really crafty person (NOT me!) and get them to give you some ideas on how to fix it. My sister splashed a little bit of bleach on a pretty rust-colored t-shirt once. Of course it made white spots on the shirt. She took it outside, dipped a toothbrush in bleach and purposely spattered it all over. Came out really cute. I'm sure there are some crafty people out there who could come up with a creative plan to fix this. It might even turn out prettier than before! Good luck.

Ericka said...

Try hydrogen peroxide. It's super cheap (99c for a big bottle at any drug or grocery store) and safe (it's made for cleansing wounds and using as a mouth wash). It can work miracles on stains sometimes!

P.S. Isn't it just great that a dye made to adhere to fabric suddenly decided NOT to adhere to the fabric it was SUPPOSED to adhere to, and then suddenly changed its mind again and decided to adhere to fabric after all? Sigh!

jmckemie said...

A combo of a couple of these suggestions would be my try. Soak it overnight in the oxiclean AND a Shout color catcher. Also, an FYI, I keep a bottle of Dawn dish soap in my laundry cabinet. Have only had one or two stains it did not get out in the last couple of years-even those that had already been washed and dried. Put some on, rub it in, and toss it in the next load.

Cara said...

Palmolive Dish Detergent. Get a bucket, mix the detergent (at least several tbsp, so it's nice and bubbly) with water and let the stain soak in it for at least several hours (like, 5-6). Rinse it well, and then wash it with a Shout Color Catcher.

Worked for me on MANY things.

Paige said...

I echo Oxy Clean and Hydrogen Peroxide. If that doesn't work, I got a great duvet cover at Ikea (light tan in color). It was not at all expensive and it is so soft. It took and old cheap comforter and made it luxurious.

Lisa from Georgia said...

I tenth or eleventh the OxyClean and if that doesn't work, there is this stuff called Awesome. I was slow to try it (even after recommendations) because the name, but it does work extremely well. I accidentally washed a load a white clothes with a red t-shirt was in the washer that I did not see. I washed it on warm! Can you imagine? Anyway, the Awesome got it out of all the cotton clothes (without bleach) and lightened it a bunch on the mixed blend fabrics and the towels. Good luck!!

The Pennington Point said...

Wow, so many tips! I wasn't going to leave a tip. The experts have already done that and I need to go write them down for the next time I make a mistake with a water bottle. Bummer. That's all I was going to say.

I'll bet you think of this the next time you toss a water bottle somewhere. God will use it to protect something more important than a comforter. :) Lisa~