Summer Break, Improvements, Education & A Better Schedule

Is your time getting away from you?  Need more of it? Have you ever felt a need to rejuvenate or needed a really long break?  Or did you need to take time to regroup, rethink some of the plans you have made or needed to make improvements in your life, business, or family?  Come see what we are up to now and how we are handling it!

Hi Y’All,

Welcome! Grab a beverage and come on in and sit a spell.  Wiebke and I are up to some mighty (out of the ordinary for us) plans and time solutions that we just can’t wait to share them with you.

Tea for two

What, When, Where, & Why

Even though winter was lllooonnnggg in Michigan, summer just seemed to rush up on us before we knew it.  School let out, kids home, vacations, canning, field trips, relaxation and the list goes on for the summer.  That doesn’t even include the everyday things that need to get done like laundry, cleaning house, grocery shopping, cooking, errands, repairs and home maintenance and that list also goes on and on and on.

What should we do?  That is one of the nice things about being the boss – we can determine and make executive decisions that work for us.  So, we thought long and hard……

We came up with a win-win solution for Wiebke, myself and YOU! What? We need to find more time?  When? Now! Where? The one place that we could find some give in – our business and mission “The Hard Hat Belles”.  Why? We need to carve out more time in our lives for our family and loved ones and for everything we want to accomplish, but we also want to work on improving our business  – THIS ALL TAKES TIME, TIME, TIME.

Ideas and Improvements

After burning all our brain cells up we finally came up with a solution we are excited about and we hope you find useful too.

Something has to give! One place we scheduled more time from was our business.  Instead of a weekly YouTube and Blog release we are going to film, produce, and edit one video per month.  We have found that each video takes roughly 10 hours to script/film and coordinate and sometimes up to 18 hours to edit and that is only if things run smoothly (which there are always glitches). So what can you expect from us? On the first Friday of the month you can expect a wonderful new style and shorter video from us.  With that extra time Wiebke is Mischievous Wiebkegoing to be working on learning new techniques for filming, editing and spending time with her son and husband.  She wants to take this time out to get better educated in videography. This will allow The Hard Hat Belles to possibly create a couple of channels/playlists with super short DIY/LIY videos on just recipes, Pinterest  flops/successes or crafts – the sky is the limit.  We are still thinking and marinating on that one.  Any suggestions?  Drop us a note in the comments below.

I  will also be limiting our blog releases to once a month – released the same time as our one video.  However, there Happy Denineare other ideas in the works.  I will not be sitting around eating bonbons and reading romance novels…nope, I will be reading about social media, Pinterest, WordPress, monetization and attending webinars to learn more about blogging and how to reach more individuals and give you all what you want!

But to accomplish all this we need your help with ideas on what YOU want to learn or do or see.  Share in the comments below or on our Facebook page – we really do care.  After all -our business is to entertain and teach YOU!

How Can We Help You Find More Time

Does your day just disappear from you? Does time disappear? Feeling overwhelmed? Need help prioritizing ? We also had that problem. In addition to the changes we are making in our business we are also making changes within our “whole” lives.  Clock

I have learned how to schedule my days using an hourly planner allowing for time interruptions and those things that “just pop up”. I schedule all things I want to get accomplished for the day and set a timer on my phone to signal when my time is up to work on those tasks.

While Wiebke and her son, Sidney, who is off school for the summer, are both using day planners in order to get what they want done each day, which gives them a feeling of accomplishment.  This also, allows Wiebke to keep track of how Sidney is spending his day (not just on electronics…blahhahahah).

I have also found that making lists are also a great way to help keep me sane and on track. I make all kinds of lists: groceries, chores, tasks, organizational…..When I make my lists I start with the three most important items that I want to get done on each one everyday.  It keeps me focused and the time stealer away.

We have scoured the web for ideas and have created some really good boards on our Pinterest site to help you.  Everything from being organized, summer schedules, to being productive and more.  Check it out you won’t be disappointed.

Wiebke and I both love Ruth Soukup of LIvingWellSpendingLess.  We own some of her books that have been very helpful from working smarter not harder to unstuffing, purging and organizing our homes and ourselves.  She is a great resource for getting practical advice on managing your time.  I especially like her tip about getting your FROGS out of the way first thing each day – this really does help set the tone for the whole day.  See what she has to say about your FROGS in her article on Filling The Time Jar.

One thought I want leave you with – By purging my house and garage of “stuff” I have less to handle and clean.  I am by no means finished, but you can start small as I did one box, area, or room at a time and eventually it will be done.  Work your way through it by donating, throwing it out or selling the stuff that swamps you.  This makes cleaning, organizing and upkeep easier, less time consuming and less stressful.

To watch more of our fun DIY videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe here to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the price of one!

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Bible Verse Matthew 11:28

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke



Washing Machine Not Working? Check Out This Easy Common Repair

Is your washer making a loud noise all of a sudden and doesn’t agitate or spin out the washer water?  We have a common solution for you – replacing your drive coupling yourself!  No big repair bills or being without your washer for what seems like forever.

Hi Y’All!

We sure are glad you are here to sit a spell.  Go grab a cup of your favorite beverage and a seat and we will tell you all about a repair we did on my washer.

Two Teens + Washer = Broke Washers

I don’t know if you have this problem or not, but I have had to replace more washers than I want to count over the last five years. Of course they weren’t new washers, but they were decent washers. I miss the days when my brand new washer that was purchased early in my marriage that lasted over 15 years.

I blame my problem on two teenagers who detest doing laundry and would continuously overload the washer (making it work way too hard).  I think the basis of their theory was – the more you put into a load the less loads you had to do (don’t worry about whether or not it comes clean or if all the laundry becomes one color). Geeze, I have even gone so far as to give individual instructions, directions, and draft a laundry Do’s & Don’t list.  Nope – didn’t work.

The last two washers I have owned I have had to replace them with other (always with prayers) used ones since money has been tight. But finally, I had to figure it out on my own as I couldn’t afford even another used washer or to hire a repair person – seriously, I could just buy another used one for the price of service.

Common Washer Repair

Slide1 (4)

Since my funds were limited and I really detest hauling all my laundry to the laundry mat – I was determined to figure out how to repair the washer myself.

After much research on the internet and watching a ton of YouTube videos – I found out that my type of top load washers (at least the last two) have direct drive.  This means they don’t have a belt that operates the motor.

With direct drive motors there is a safety feature that keeps the motor from being destroyed – meaning big bucks to pay out for repair or purchase. The repair is a drive coupling replacement. The drive coupling (aka dog bone), is made of two plastic pieces that interlock from both sides into the one rubber piece.  When the washer is overworked the plastic pieces will break causing the drive motor to stop working (agitating/spinning).  This will cause the washer to sound loud and noisy and will not agitate or spin the water out of the washer.

If your washer is draining the water and not spinning or agitating –  the odds are that you need to replace the drive coupling.  Come with us and we will show you how simple it is to do.

The Good News

This repair is fairly inexpensive and really a super easy fix.  Hey, if I can do it, then just about anyone can!  Once you get into a top load model washer (mine is a Kenmore),  I was surprised at how simple they looked.  There really isn’t too much in the parts department to them. Through Youtube I was able to study the anatomy of the washer, diagnose my problem and then purchase the correct drive coupling.

Order The Correct Part

You need to make sure that you order the correct part for the washer.  I purchased mine through Amazon, but first I had to find out what part number I needed.  I did this by going to Drive Coupling to find the part number.  They are a great company and I have ordered other parts from them for other equipment, but for this piece Amazon was cheaper.  I simply entered my brand and model number and voila – I had my part number to cross reference at Amazon.

Once you receive the part you are ready to repair the unit.  I do have to say that the first one I replaced was done in the confines of my very small laundry area and there was a lot of strange contortion happening on my part.  The second one I did I put in the garage on saw horses and the repair was much easier and quicker.  I was able to stand or sit to do the repair.  I opt for the latter from now on!

Boldly Repairing On Your Own

Most importantly whether you repair in the laundry room or a roomy garage PLEASE unplug the washer from the wall.

Another big help for me was using my cell phone to take pictures before I unhooked everything to show me exactly how it should look when I put the parts back together.  Believe – you will not remember and then you will wonder what the heck you thought you were doing!

My washer that we filmed was a Kenmore as was the second one and they both took the same repair.  The only reason I had to do the repair on the second one was that the transmission went out on my first washer and it was cheaper to get another used one.

TOOLS & SUPPLIES NEEDED: New drive coupling kit,  flat-blade screw driver, philips screw driver,  5/16 nut-driver, hammer, ½“ socket and goggles (not shown). Disposable gloves are optional (not shown).Required tools

  • Remove the two console screws on each side.Console Screws
  • Using a screwdriver, pry off the metal console to cabinet clips located on each side of the washer under the console.  They may come off by themselves if they are worn, if not carefully remove them using a flat tip screwdriver.Metal Console Clips
  • Flip up the console and disconnect the electrical lid switch. The clear/white connector sticking up from the washer. No judging on the dust and dirt.  Disconnect the electrical switch connection
  • First check to see if you need to unscrew or just slide the washer cabinet off.  If needed, unscrew all screws on rear of panel, to enable you to remove cabinet from rear panel.
  • Rock the cabinet away from rear panel and lift it off the locating tabs.  You will want to make sure you lift it clear of the water dispenser (located in the back) otherwise you may get it snagged taking off the console and have to make another repair.
  • Once the washer cabinet is removed you should see something like this. Pretty naked without it’s clothing/cabinet:o)The naked washer
  • Use a screwdriver to pop off the two spring clips (shown above), which hold the water pump against the motor shaft. Don’t remove the hoses or clamps. The pump will slide forward off the short motor shaft and out of the way. I held it back with a rubber band to keep it out of my way. Bending the hose slightly will not harm it.Stabilizing the pump
  • The wiring harness can be removed before or after the motor is removed. Remove the plastic wiring harness from the motor using a flat tip screw driver.  This will unlock the little clip holding it down. Grip the harness firmly – you may have to tug firmly to remove the harness.  Do not jerk or pull hard.  Slow and firm.
  • You will see the motor which is held in place with two similar, but larger clamps as the white pump above. There may be two screws securing the clamps to the base of the motor. If so, remove those screws. And then pop the clamps off with a flat tip screw driver.Washing machine metal motor clamps
  • The motor can now be removed by wriggling it toward the front.Removing the motor
  • Use the screwdriver blade to remove the old white plastic coupling from the motor shaft by prying under it gently. Pieces of the broken drive coupling may come off. In your drive-coupling replacement kit, there are three components: 2 couplings and one rubber union. Replace it with one of the new plastic couplings and  use the 1/2″socket as a press by placing it over the center of the coupling and tapping   it onto the shaft, taking care not to damage the three little prongs. You want to make sure to have the center piece flush with the shaft. Drive coupling attached to the motor
  • Facing you, on the transmission is the other plastic coupling and rubber union, which you will remove and replace with the two new pieces. Remaining Drive coupling
  • The motor can now be re-installed, taking care to line up the three prongs with the remaining holes in the union. This can be helped by rotating the motor shaft slightly while holding it up to the coupling. Also, note that the four rubber caps on the motor mount must match up with the four indents on the frame. Once the coupling is engaged, apply the clips & screws to the motor.
    Reinstalled motor
  • NOTE: By the time I replaced my second drive coupling kit it was easier for me to center the plastic coupling piece to the piece on the transmission, eyeballing it and then I guided the motor back onto the transmission using the four outside rubber caps (bumpers) as my guide.
  • Hook up the wires, install the pump and you’re done!Dust bunnies and Peonie
  • PS NOTE: The pictures are a mix of my last two washers, but I wanted you to see the similarity and get the differences.


To watch more of our fun DIY videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe here to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the price of one!

Please subscribe to our blog here or above.

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Bible Verse Psalm 18:20

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke