The Changing Seasons – June and July 2019

Hello Everybody!

I’m back from my little Social Media break!

(I told you that “I’LL BE BACK!” I’m trying for a Terminator kind of voice here, so please feel free to shudder appreciatively. 😉 )

Did you miss me? Well, I know that I missed YOU! 😀 A LOT!

But I can’t deny that the break did me much good – I feel less stressed than before and even if I didn’t get to just hanging out like a sloth like I wanted to, I feel definitely more rested as well.

And what better way to celebrate my coming back to WP than by participating in my dear friend Su’s The Changing Seasons challenge?!

And without further ado, here’s my recap of the last two months (I’m including June because I missed out on that due to my media break)!

 

June

 

Apart from the Share Your Music! 30 Days, 30 Songs challenge that I started in June – and miraculously managed the whole way through! – there was one other thing I was and still am incredibly proud of:

I repaired my washing machine on my own! (For those of you who already know about that little adventure, just keep scrolling and feel free to skip this part. 😉 )

 

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That’s what my washing machine looks like from the back after I removed the cover. (June 2019)

 

As it happened, my washing machine refused doing any more work out of the blue, and me, completely puzzled, called for a handyman, because my hope was that repairing the thing would not only save me money but also avoid putting another 30 or so kilos of plastic on the ever increasing garbage mount that our planet has become.

Said handyman didn’t even take a look at the thing and proclaimed that most likely the heating element was to blame and repairs would cost 200 Euros (80 Euros for the new heating element, and the rest would be for his work and taxes) and wouldn’t I be interested in buying one of his that he gave a general overhaul just last week?

Well, I told him I wasn’t and thanked him for his “service”.

 

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That little box where the colorful cables are hanging around is where the heating element normally sits. (June 2019)

 

Since the guarantee had run out anyway, I thought, why not give it a go and see if I can repair it myself?

What followed were countless hours of internet surfing, learning everything that was to learn about washing machines – honestly, I’m practically an expert now – then testing all kinds of parts with my multimeter to see which one was to blame (all right, it was the heating element) and then have a look if I couldn’t get a suitable one from somewhere.

That somewhere turned out to be England. And do you know what it cost me?

26 Euros.

Yes. 26, and not 80(!) Euros. (I keep wondering if the heating element that man wanted to use was maybe plated with gold or silver.)

 

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Me trying to get the heating element out of my washing machine. (June 2019)

 

Extracting the old heating element was actually the most challenging thing of the whole operation, because it had become extremely calcified (we have very hard water here in Berlin).

I pulled and tugged but the damn thing didn’t want to come out!

Then, after an enormous heave, it finally did come loose – and I banged my back in the wall, but that was worth it.

 

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Ugh! Completely broken and calcified heating element. (June 2019)

 

The new element fitted like a glove, and you can imagine me shedding tears of happiness when my washing machine went to work like nothing ever happened.

 

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Close-up old heating element (June 2019).

 

It has been suggested that I could start repairing washing machines for a living now, since I could take only half of what the guy was asking for and still make a profit. 😉

 

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New and old heating element side by side (June 2019).

 

 

July

 

In July I noticed to my own horror and shock that my yearly season ticket from the Zoo was going to run out with me not having benefited from it properly.

So of course I had to go there (and intend to do so again this week and the next).

Luckily the temperatures had become much milder by now – the heatwave in June was just awful – and so I spent a whole day at the zoo, taking myriads of pictures.

Don’t worry, I’m only going to share three with you now. 😉

 

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The hall in the pheasantry is adorned with beautiful woodwork depicting all kinds of birds. (July 2019)

 

There’s always a lot to see in the zoo, but I seldom laugh as much as I did when I watched this little wild boar sticking his or her nose in other people’s business. 😉

 

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Wild boar piglet on inspection tour (July 2019).

 

I love Orang-Utans and their astonishing and unrivaled climbing skills.

I really doubt I could look as peaceful as this Orang-Utan does when hanging from a bar on just one hand and foot.

 

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Orang-Utan (July 2019).

 

Although there’s always something to do, especially in the summer months, I try to take advantage of the sunshine and warm temperatures as often as I can, and head to a park to simply relax with a good book or watch the birds and clouds in the sky.

 

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Lawns and meadows, trees and just visible in the back: the top of the Berliner Funkturm (radio tower; July 2019)

 

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This year there’s a lot of yarrow(?) growing in the parks, making it look like a soft pillow to lie on. (July 2019)

 

Of course, when I talk about reading a good book, you can be sure that scones are never far away either. 😉

 

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Homemade scone with black currant marmalade (bought, if you should wonder) and double cream, a cup of coffee (it was a hot day so the coffee vanished first, with the scone as a close second) and a really good book. (July 2019)

 

And as has become a wonderful new hobby since the last couple of years, I was busy taking pictures of my beloved bees and bumble bees, equally busy pollinating every flower in sight.

 

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Bumble bee headed for a petunia blossom (July 2019)

 

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Two bumble bees working peacefully side by side (July 2019)

 

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Bumble bee in mid-flight (July 2019)

 

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Bee head over heels for a lovely rose (July 2019)

 

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Getting bees in a profile shot is especially satisfying (July 2019)

 

And then there is my new house mate: a lovely yellow butterfly that has taken refuge from the bad weather and that I have named Elizabeth – don’t ask my why, and no, I don’t have a clue if it’s actually female or male.

I haven’t seen her in the last days though and hope she managed to find her way out again, since I didn’t want to catch her and possibly hurt or damage those delicate and beautiful wings.

 

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Yellow butterfly (July 2019)

 

 

If you’re interested in participating, here are the guidelines for The Changing Seasons Challenge:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to Su´s original monthly post, she can update it with links to yours.

82 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons – June and July 2019

  1. Good for you for repairing your washing machine, Sarah. I find that these things aren’t that hard to do if we take the time to figure them out. And quite satisfying! Congrats on your well-deserved break and thanks for the lovely photos of bees. Amazing creatures. Enjoy the rest of the summer! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, dear friend – I appreciate it a lot! And you’re right, repairing stuff like this is indeed very satisfying! 😀 Another blogging friend said that all it takes nowadays is Youtube and strength – and she’s absolutely right! 😀
      The photos of the bees and flowers will have to keep me company in the coming winter months, and remind me of a warmer, kinder season. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry, i am a little bit late in revisiting, now! Congratulations on repairing the wahser. You can establish your own repair caife too. Lol In April i had the same view, also into the washer. The coal of the engine was worn out. I see that your machine has the same type of engine. If the machine does not start again some day, it is the coals. No problem, as easy to change as the heading element. 😉 Have a beautiful weekend! Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    • No worries, Michael. 😀 Thanks a lot for that tip about the coal! So far it starts without problems but I will keep this in mind should the need arise. 😉 What worries me now though, is that my washer is getting louder with each washing!! I suspect a problem with the ball bearings… Not sure if I’m up to changing that!
      Have a lovely day!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s good to see you back, Sarah! I sounds as if you have a very restful June and July (with the exception of the washing machine adventure). I’m very impressed with your washing machine repair skills. I couldn’t have done it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well done! I am really impressed by your determination Sarah. I tip my hat to you. I admit, I would have paid the man to do the work even if it would have frustrated me. You’ve taken pleasure in repairing your washing machine? It is difficult for me to associate the notion of pleasure with this type of work, but I understand the satisfaction of doing it by yourself. Bravo! Beautiful pictures as always. Oh my, the wild piglet one is so funny. And yes, I missed you, but I am glad that you took this time to re-energize. Such a pleasure to read you dear friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Dominique!
      Although my aunt’s research of our family’s history hasn’t come up with it, there might be some Scots in it which would explain my “carefulness” with money! LOL! 😀 Also why I love Scottish accents, whiskey and the sound of the bagpipe.
      I would never have thought it possible myself but it really was a lot of fun, doing the repairs. Especially because it went well. 🙂 My maternal grandfather was a shipbuilding engineer and mechanic, maybe that’s why. 😀
      Wishing you a beautiful weekend, dear friend, and thank you for finding the time to read my blog even though you’re officially on a social media break!! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      • Scottish accents, the sound of the bagpipe and carefulness sound good to me. I leave you the whiskey! A shipbuilding engineer and mechanic… Wow. Your maternal grandfather seems like a pretty special lady. Thanks so much for this lovely comment. I will officially be back with blogging next week. Hope you are doing well Sarah, and I can’t wait to see what you created during your vacation. xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

      • He really was an extraordinary kind of man, Dominique – and good looking too! 😀 Nowadays I’m sure he would have become a movie star. 😉
        So glad to hear you’ll be coming back soon to WP!! I’m still busy catching up and haven’t done any more blogging yet myself – lol!
        Have a beautiful day, dear friend! xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ooh I misread you… I thought you were talking about your maternal grandmother. Oups! I’m still busy catching up as well, and preparing our August edition of When Fashion and Nature Collide. Keep well Sarah. 😀

        Like

  5. welcome back Sarah
    I missed you. I’m really impressed with your repair skills.. I wouldn’t know where to start. I love your photos of the animals and the lovely parks there. have a fab weekend xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks a lot, Gill! 😀 Missed you too and am going to play catch up with you soon! Still very busy here, but then summer always is, right? How are you? Did you get the job?? I remember you telling me that you were invited for another round of interviews…
      Have a fabulous weekend, too! xx

      Like

  6. How funny! Seeing your washing machine reminded me of when I was at home visiting my mom and hers broke. We called a friend over and we ended up flipping it over to get to the back (it was the dryer, now that I think about it), and there were like 15 screws we had to remove in order to open it and see what was wrong. THEN, I had to call repairmen to see who would answer, who was avail, who called back, you get it … the whole thing was a bit of an ordeal so I can appreciate what you did! Well done!

    Love your bee and flower photos! And seriously contemplating joining you all for your monthly photo challenges…hmmm.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Lani! 😀 I know, there are SO many screws, right? Luckily I have a cordless screwdriver or it would have taken me hours! 😉
      It was really an unexpectedly fun thing to do, this repair. 😀
      Oh, yes! You should definitely think about joining the monthly photo challenge hosted by Su – it’s such fun doing it and also reading about other people’s months! 😀
      Have a beautiful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am impressed that you managed to fix your own washing machine (and so much cheaper than the “expert” would have charged. That took determination and resourcefulness! Loved the photos of the zoo and the flowers, too. Visiting the zoo will always be a favorite pastime for me. Welcome back!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Yes yes! I did miss you!
    Hope your break has given you some alone time to recuperate …. and am so glad you are back!

    I am sooooooo impressed and amazed that you fixed your washer – you are my hero! Having had my share of breakdowns and Repairmen giving us the runaround, I am glad you successfully operated on your machine!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Ju-Lyn! It’s great to be back here!
      Isn’t it awful – it seems repairmen all around the globe are giving people the runaround. It’s like a big conspiracy designed to let people believe that repairs aren’t worth it and we would all be better off just buying new stuff. But not with me! Thanks to youtube and all those people willing to share their knowledge for free I was able to show them! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Good on you for giving it a go. I try to fix everything I can. Those spare part rip offs really bug me. Speaking of bugs, so love your bee shots Sarah. So happy you are rested and ready for action again 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I love your photos and the accompanying text, Sarah. And the bumblebee shots are especially wonderful. I’m so glad you’re back!!! Especially since I never summoned the energy to email. I’ve been thinking of you though. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. the bee mid-flight one is my fav here – went back to it a few times during this enjoyable post.
    congrats on the repair – i have extra respect for folks who problem solve and get all gritty to at least try- and then to complete it- niccccccce.
    but even if it didn’t work
    out – you would have T least tried
    oh and the calcified part was interesting

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Yvette! You should have seen my face when I was determined to get that damn thing out of its box! Glad there wasn’t a pic taken from me in that moment! 😀 😉
      And you’re right, even if it didn’t work, it was definitely worth a try – it’s always nice to learn something knew and test your own boundaries. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • haha – i know some of those boxes can be tricky – and we are in a culture that has been dumbed down in every area they can do it – from medical to cars – and i know there should be experts for some things – but how empowering and how inspiring to dig in – learn – and do it!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Welcome back, Sarah! Darn, I am impressed with you fixing your washing machine–and getting all dressed up to do so! It is amazing how little a part cost but how they jack up with price with ‘labor.’ Your bumblebee photos are amazing–look at those little wings going ninety to nothing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Lois! 😀 I really was kind of p…ed off when I figured how much they let themselves be paid for their “work”, especially since being a man and somewhat stronger looking than me I suspect he would have gotten the piece out in no time. What kept me going when I was struggling with it myself, was the thought of my grandfather, who worked as a mechanic, looking down from heaven, or whichever place he prefers to be in, and cheering me on. 😉
      I’m so in love with bumble bees and can’t stop taking pictures of them! I think it has become a compulsion! 😂 Call me the bumble bee paparazza! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. So nice to see you back here, Sarah, and to find out about your busy summer. I’m very impressed you were able to fix your washing machine – do you think you could come take a look at mine? It won’t empty all the water. Hubby’s reading up on how to fix it. My mechanical skills are limited to wiping down the surface.
    Love the photos of the flowers and the bees – you took some extraordinary bee pics, the details are rich. Maybe we’ll bees in your artwork? And I do like reading about your butterfly hospitality program. The yellow one is a beauty.
    Hope you weren’t suffering with the terrible heat this summer.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Shari! It’s lovely to be back and I look forward to play catch up with all of you soon! 😀
      I’m sorry to hear about your problems with your washer, it sounds like the suction pump is blocked. Do you have a top loader or front loader? There should be lots of videos on youtube for your husband to watch on how to clean the pump. It could also be that the filter that retains fluff has become clogged. Both things should be doable. If the pump’s really broken it wouldn’t work at all. Let me know how it goes! Of course, this would also be a perfect excuse for me to visit you. 😉

      I’d love including some bees in my artwork! I haven’t painted in what feels like ages and just imagining to paint those hairy fluffy bumble bee backs make my fingers itch! 😀
      Hehe! Love that you call it a butterfly hospitality program – you’re so funny, you should write some comedies. 😉 There was a HUGE moth trapped in my bedroom the other day, which I managed to catch in a jar and then put outside – it’s eyes were glowing red!! I wasn’t sure if it was angry at me for chasing it (I was worried it might sit on the smoke detector and trigger the alarm) or if it’s normal. Looked a bit scary to be honest and nothing like my sweet little yellow friend.
      The heat is coming and going and I’m happy I got myself a fan last year.
      Hope all is well with you – going to write you an email soon. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s so great to see photos of your washing machine repair. If possible I’m even more impressed now I’ve seen that calcium-crusted element.
    I’ve just spent an hour watching YouTube videos on unblocking clothes dryer pumps; if I get mine working we could go into business as the first all-woman global appliance repair team. 😂😂
    I love your bee photos and the zoo shots too.
    xxx

    Liked by 6 people

    • Thank you! 😀 I think I only did it because of th run-out guarantee, and because I hate wasting stuff which includes spare parts of washing machines apparently. 😉 Also it actually was a lot of fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. You did a good job by that repair of you washing machine.

    My neighbours used to connect their washing machine to the hot water tap. The rent was included with the heating and hot water supply. So in that way they cut their expenses on electricty …

    Kind regards,

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I’m thoroughly impressed, Sarah!!! Fixing your own washer takes a lot of strength and YouTube. 😉 My son says you can learn to do anything on the internet but the strength to do it is another matter. They want $800 to change the air conditioning compressor on my daughter’s car and the part is $155. The rest is labor. She is getting rid of the car as it’s 22 years old and worn completely out. They don’t make wash machines like they used to and I don’t like the newer models. You’ve had quite the summer too with a lot accomplished. Just refreshing the body and brain are a bit deal. I don’t know when I last went to a zoo. I like to visit the botanical gardens around here with my daughter but nothing is close. I’m so glad I have outside space but it’s a whole lot of work. Just harvested most of my lavender this morning. 😉 Glad to see you back. Did very much miss you. Have a wonderful week.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Marlene! I missed you too!!
      And your son is right – strength and Youtube are the keys! 😉 At first it looked like I wouldn’t get the thing out and I got really frustrated after feeling like an expert and then realizing that it also takes a lot of muscle! But luckily I made it in the end and it was quite the confidence booster. 😉
      That’s really awful that they charge so much money for changing the air conditioning compressor, if I would live closer to you and your daughter I would definitely want to give it a try! But I understand that with the car being as old as it is, it would probably best to get a new one.
      And I hear you about them not making washing machines like they used to anymore, it’s the same here. I suspect they deliberately build them the way that they break down after 5-8 years.
      Don’t forget to enjoy all that hard work you put into your garden too. 😉 I had my balcony renovated a couple of weeks ago – this time I leaned back and let others do the work;) – and it’s so lovely now that I sometimes don’t bother going to the park but just sit there instead. 😀
      have a beautiful week, too, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

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