Washing Machine Word Mayhem

Updated: Feb 28, 2019

First Blog Ever! February 25, 2019

Washing Machine Word Mayhem

February: “Refulgent” and the Washing Machine


Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, would be to tell your wonderful washing machine story with the word, “refulgent” in it. You could write a short story with the word; you could write a few sentences, whichever you prefer. Please add a picture if you’d like! Let the funny stories begin! I’m looking forward to hearing from you!



I wish I could say it wasn’t so, but I must come clean (haha) and let you know that this is my very first blog. Better late than never, I say! I never really felt like I had too much to blog about until now. This topic is a strange one and it is also one that I have interest in, albeit a love/ hate relationship. Yes, my first and ongoing, “blogs” will focus on the topic of: funny washing machine stories and the use of our monthly “new “word. This past Saturday, I spoke about my new book, “Visual Verbiage” at Barnes and Noble in Kingston, N.Y. and experienced my first Author talk/ book signing/ and mini workshop using the new word, refulgent. Each month, wherever I’m speaking, I’ll be introducing a new word. One per month. During my author talk, I spoke about an analogy between my washing machine and the word of the month, refulgent, how they are similar to one another. It went something like this:


Years ago, I can recall how my grandparents washed their clothes. It really didn’t look much like it does today. My grandfather, Ivan, would soak the clothes for a very long time in a large, wide, white enamel sink. The use of Clorox bleach and bar soaps added to the clothes experience. Then, he would take the Handi- washboard and scrub the clothes. Rinsing was also another experience as his strong, chunky hands would take and wring almost every drop of water from each garment. Hanging clothes up to dry was a very common sight to see in my grandparent’s basement.


Fast forward to when my girls were young. My washing machine looked like the one you see in the picture. A tall agitator with lint catcher would agitate the clothes through an entire tub of water. Lifting the lid up was an important aspect of clothes cleaning back then, which allowed a moment to make, “adjustments” to the soap levels. This was a very important step in the clothes cleaning process. Thirty-five minutes later and your clothes would go from slime and filth to clean and fresh. Ahhhh. I love clean clothes and especially, clean clothes on the children. My children were refulgent after wearing clean clothes. It was a wonderful feeling! I do think that my washing machine, at that time, was my best friend.


When I bought my new washing machine four years ago, I was in for some surprises. The agitator portion turned into a “nub” and the water levels were decreased significantly. I suppose this is why the regular laundry soap also had to morph into a HE (high efficiency) soap. Less water= less soap. This makes sense, but the whole idea of having enough water molecules to clean next to the clothes and soap became an issue for me. Hey, what happened to the lint catcher as well? I can tell you, through clenched teeth, that the lint does not wash out of that little bit of water and down the drain. This just doesn’t happen!! Just saying. (The dollar store has some of those old-fashioned red velvet handled lint removers; I currently own several of them). I’m trying hard not to become effusive as I’m writing this. Thinking about my current washing machine can send me tilting off the deep end if I’m not careful with my thinking! I no longer have my dog who sheds, (still love you Sadie girl), but cannot imagine a household that has a dog that sheds without a lint trap. Makes me shudder to think about it! As you can see, there’s a lot to say about my washing machine. I’m hoping that you have some good, juicy, washing machine stories you would like to share with us.


So, what does a washing machine story have in common with how we learn words visually? Learning vocabulary words visually includes the following steps. First, the washing machine is like our brain. It’s the control center. The clothes that you place in the washing machine are like the vocabulary words we place in our brain. The nubby procedure that swishes and dances to the right and to the left is like the process of “thinking, writing, personally connecting to and drawing our new word.” The contact time (soap and water) with new machines is what is important for getting clothes clean, much like what grandpa was doing to wash his clothes. The, “contact time” we allow with our new word is essential to linking it to ourselves, so that we remember it forever.


I plan to teach how to link to vocabulary words every month with the Visual Verbiage process. My next outing on March 9th, 10:30am to 12:30pm is at the Ulster Public Library on Ulster Ave in Kingston, NY. Hope to see you there! I will post monthly listings of where I will be on my website, www.amyllevis.com.


If you do not know this month’s new word (never feel embarrassed!), please feel free to download my book (Visual Verbiage by Amy L Levis) or a digital page of the word refulgent. Make sure to read the how-to section (it’s a download on my website) or watch the video (not quite completed yet!). The graphic organizer will also help you. I’ve placed a combo at a slightly reduced price for you to try. I can’t wait to read your stories. Remember to always, “Ride the Visual Verbiage waves!” Love you guys! Thanks for swishing it up with me! Amy



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