No news. A few mild contractions that stopped. I predict tonight. Not sure why, but I think things will get underway tonight.
In not so fun financial news, I'm biting the bullet and replacing Fred and Ethyl, my elderly washer and dryer. Fred has Issues, and needs a fairly pricey repair. Ethyl has always had her issues with balance and not draining and dancing around beating herself on the walls if I asked her to wash anything challenging, like, you know, towels, but we'd come to an accommodation on that - meaning, I'd lowered my expectations, laundry-wise.
Fred's issue is not one I can ignore: inside the tumbler there's a sort of plastic mesh panel that leads to the lint trap (which is also one of the least effective lint traps of all time, but that's not the main issue) the plastic panel has partially melted/dried out and has broken off, leaving a row of sharp, jagged teeth inside the dryer, all set to snag and mangle anything that passes by, like, you know, my clothes. Last night when I discovered this new issue, I cut off the sharpest teeth (you actually could cut yourself on them, they were that sharp) and cleverly created a "bandage" for the jagged teeth by wrapping a couple of fabric softener dryer sheets around them and securing it with the slide-out lint tray. I cautiously did a couple of loads of desperately needed laundry last night, and my clothes survived, but it's obviously not a solution. I did some research and the panel CAN be replaced, and if I adored Fred and Ethyl and wanted to keep them forever, I'd probably be able to find someone who can order the part and repair it for a couple of hundred bucks, but as I'd intended to replace them this year anyway....
Home Depot had a highly rated GE pair (no fancy bells and whistles, old school style plain white with knobs, no electronics) on sale, and no interest credit, and what the hell. The dryer duct has been cleaned (it was in dire, dire need of it and was, as I'd suspected, totally clogged) and I've sold a few shares of stock I'd inherited to pay off some other bills, and tax refund time is nearly here, and my clothes will thank me for not mangling them anymore. This basic GE set will have a hundred more functional features than Fred and Ethyl have, and that will preserve the life of my clothes. It had to be done at some point this year; I just hadn't planned on doing it in January, but that's life.