It didn’t suck!

Now let me set the stage here a bit first.  We moved into this house 10 years ago.  Both Hubby and I were working multiple jobs, and going to school.  I had used a Rainbow vacuum for years as a stay-at-home mom and loved it.  I also had a small canister vacuum I inherited from my Nana for everyday messes.  Then one day the Rainbow died, but replacing it just after buying a new house?  Well not exactly in the budget.

Best Buy was having a really good sale on the Dyson DC07, so we bought one.  It worked great for the first year or so, but then started losing suction.  Well with life as it is, and as things go in a house with so many children, we lost the manual.  But we did know that there was a filter on the side we took out and cleaned regularly.  We also had 6 girls in the house with long hair that had to be cut off the rotator brush.  On the unit it says “Lifetime HEPA filter.  No replacement filter costs.”  So what does that say to me?  Don’t worry about the HEPA filter.

So the years go by, we get other cheap vacuums, and burn through them.  Then Hubby got a new job, and treated me to a cleaning service.  Oh, what a wonderful thing.  To walk in the house after a long day at work to have the whole house clean, from top to bottom, just wonderful!  But then I left my job, and no cleaning service.  Oh for a Rainbow again!  So I ‘stole’ my mother’s.  It is an older model, and actually had a beater from a Eureka vacuum, but at least it worked.  But I have to admit it wasn’t near as much a pain to fill and empty the water tank when I had the first one.  So I pulled the Dyson out, and hit the internet.  I read a lot of posts from very unhappy Dyson owners.  But after watching a few YouTube videos I learned a few things.  One major thing, you need to change the HEPA filter.

So, I am here to say that Dyson Vacuums (at least mine) are not bad.  What is bad are their instructions on care.  This vacuums sucks beautifully with new filters installed!  I ordered Pre & Post filter replacements.  I had a bit of trouble getting the cover off the HEPA filter, but let me tell you, what a difference!

The Cookie Saga Continues

Ok, so what is the status of the cookies?  Yes, they are baked, and sitting on the counter in a plastic bag.  One step closer . . . ummmmm, well.   So I am here to say that my blog is not, and will never be, a polished beauty.  I will probably be more inclined to post ways to take a week to make cookies rather than a killer cookie recipe.  But this is real life.  Sometimes they just don’t get made.  Sometime they are just as good to eat without the icing.  But does it really matter?

The saga of baking pumpkin cookies continues with the oldest coming over yesterday to bake them with the youngest when she got home from school.  Well then there was homework, and I don’t know what else.   So when asked what the status was . . . here it is:

Now today they were supposed to be iced.  But some of you may have heard there is a big SuperStorm Sandy out there causing all sorts of trouble.  We live hundreds of miles inland, but we are sure feeling it.  The wind, the cold, and even snow!  Beggar’s night was postponed, so the girls are going to try for tomorrow to ice the cookies.  We will see.

Now as for this weather, how is it that just a few days ago we were dealing with 80+ temperatures.  It is now 40° out there.  Today is even snowed a bit.  You have to look close at the pictue, but there are snowflakes there, honest.

We were watching the Weather Channel this evening seeing all the destruction, the flooding, houses washed out to sea, and so much more.  I want to send out good thoughts and prayers for all the people out there dealing with the aftermath of this terrible storm.

A Family Sunday

So yesterday the oldest came over to bake cookies and carve a pumpkin she grew herself.  We began by making pumpkin cookie dough; it had to sit in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Ok, so we will do the pumpkin then . . . what happened?  I’m not sure.

The phone rang; it was my brother, so I wandered off.  A neighbor came over, and a friend dropped by.  Hubby was watching a movie; some got caught up in that.  A friend of the wild child came over for help applying for Federal Aid so she could go back to school.  The youngest is still working on getting all her things moved into her new room; asked for help.  My son’s fiancée was working on a report for work and the printer ran out of ink.  Could I print it up so he could stop by after work and get it?  He stopped by after work . . .

Dinner?  Order Chinese.  Our regular place isn’t open on Sundays.  Try another place.  Geez, it would have been easier to just make it myself!!!

Another movie, oh so bad it was good!  “The Comedy of Terrors” starring Vincent Price – the oldest’s fiancé came, one-by-one they all left.  Hubby went to take a shower, and the youngest went to bed.  There we were – the wild child and I with 2 dogs watching the end of the movie.  So predictable, but oh so funny. 

I look at the clock, it is 11pm.  Here is where the cookies and pumpkin stand . . . oops!

Adding Music

So tonight Hubby was going through the music drive on the network.  As he scrolled through the hundreds of artists I realized very few were mine.  When I mentioned it he seemed surprised and started naming off ones he thought were mine . . . nope.  But to be honest, I have to take responsibility because I just haven’t loaded them onto the server.  As we get to the bottom I find Will Young, which is now blasting in the background.  He went to take a shower; not his style of music me thinks 🙂


Fundraising for Breast Cancer Awareness

Last night we went to a fundraiser put on by a local networking group.  They have a monthly auction/raffle that they give the proceeds to a local program.  I am part of the Breast Cancer Task Force, and take care of their website.  So when the group contacted us I received the email.  They ask that 4 people from the receiving program attend and help with the registration/ticket sales.  As it is an evening event, and just up the street, I asked the wild child if she would come with me.  Another Task Force member was to bring her husband, so we had 4.  Well just before we were ready to leave I received a phone call from her to hear she was at the ER!  She is ok, but of course couldn’t make it to the event.  So I volunteered the young one and the 3 of us went.

Now this sort of event was totally new to me.  The group consists of local small businesses like Tupperware, Tastefully Simple, Pampered Chef, Clever Container, Jamberry Nails, Country Gourmet, Mary Kay, Plexus Slim, Stampin Up!, etc.  They each contribute a number of items.  People pay a $2 entrance fee and receive a paddle with a number on it, and door prize ticket.  They buy raffle tickets, Chinese Raffle and 50/50 tickets, and start the bidding.  At the end the program receives the entrance fee and proceeds from the Chinese raffle, and the small businesses receive the amounts bided on their contributions.  So it was a win-win for everyone.  It almost had the feel of bingo, but people left with things as well as money.

We left the event with $193.50 for Breast Cancer Awareness!

There was an interesting assortment of people attending this event.  Some obvious well-to-do; some not so well off.  I found it interesting watching these people interact.  I have so often seen one group snubbing the other, or feeling better or lessor that others.  But that didn’t seem to matter here.  They were all together, sharing the fun and excitement.  I thought, “it is really a shame there aren’t more opportunities for people of all economic situations to gather like this.”  But then I started to think about it . . . there are.  We hear so much about the ‘bad’ experiences, but not enough of the good.  This was a nice, pleasant evening.  Nothing to write about, so no one does.  So today I do; it was a nice evening.

A BIG Squash!

So a few days ago my oldest and I were at the grocery store and saw an enormous squash.  She grew some killer zucchini over the summer, so we have a bit of a running joke on big vegetables.  The squash wasn’t labeled, so she went in search of a produce person.  She discovered it was a 5.5lb Hubbard squash.  I am sorry to say I totally forgot to take pictures.  But, last night we cooked it.

A Hubbard squash is different from other winter squash.  The skin is very thin, and it is much easier to cut.  Getting a knife through an acorn or spaghetti squash can be quite a chore.  But the knife just slid right through it.  It is a little awkward to peel as the skin is just a little too bumpy for a peeler.  We removed all the seeds, peeled it, and cut it into about 1” pieces.  It took quite a while as big as it was.  We then put it in the pressure cooker with ½ cup water and cooked for 6 minutes. (note for next time, reduce the water)

I mashed it up with butter, salt & pepper, and a touch of brown sugar.  Then the wild child came in and tweaked it some more.  To be honest it looked and tasted like mild sweet potatoes.  Which of course made Hubby wonder what the glycemic index was.  The squash looks to be about ½ the carbs of what sweet potatoes are, so that is a good thing.

So note to myself – in order to be a good blogger one must remember to keep a camera at hand at all times.  Visuals are so important, and they do add that touch of color (yes that is a “Birdcage” reference 🙂 )

One Project Closer

There is this show on A&E called “Hoarders”.  Last week we watched an episode about a girl named Shanna.  This show impacted all of us in a way none have ever before.  I happened to see a post on Facebook from an old friend, “I accidentally stumbled upon an episode of “Hoarders”. After 10 seconds, I need a shower and a trash bag.”

This show and the other one on TLC called “Hoarding: Buried Alive” really go into a world many people haven’t got a clue exists.  I know as I have seen it.  So even though intellectually I can rationalize it in my head, I still want to say I don’t understand how anyone can live that way.  I must admit, when I watch the shows, I want to scrub my house from top to bottom.

I have been living in a construction zone for so long I am so looking forward to getting it all clean again.  Tonight Hubby hung the door to the office.  The framing still needs a little work, and the bolt wasn’t long enough for the handle.  So tomorrow I head to Lowes to get more parts.  But it does mean one more project nearing completion.  I am getting excited!  I have a wonderful Hubby!!!

The Changing Leaves

It is funny how different parts of this country will strike the heart in different ways.  I lived many years out west in Arizona and Wyoming.  The beautiful mountain ranges, the way the grass waves in the wind on those wide open plains.  The majestic tall cactus and the rolling hills of sand under a sky that seems to always be blue.  One thing there is little appreciation of there is the changing of the leaves in the fall.  Well that is unless you get up into Aspen in Colorado.  But that isn’t my point.

When we moved out east there were a few differences to make note of.  In Wyoming when it snows there are many times it is so light and fluffy you can sweep it instead of shovel.  The high winds there will make huge snowdrifts, clean your car off for you, and as we would often joke, the snow that fell in Wyoming would land in Nebraska.  In Ohio there isn’t such constant wind, after a snow storm you walk outside and it is so quiet it is deafening.  The snow will melt on the cars and they will be covered with ice.   The moon will reflect off the ice and it is just a beautiful sight.  That is until you want to get into the car.  One year in Wyoming I was given a car lock de-icer for Christmas.  I never used it until we moved to Ohio.  So what is the difference?  Humidity.  The same is true in the summer, in Wyoming and Arizona if it rains and you get wet, it isn’t long before you are dry again.  In Ohio we keep a towel in the car to dry off with.

So I have learned why people will put up with the 120+ temp in Arizona.  Those normal 65mph winds in Wyoming, and the ice covered cars in Ohio.  Each place has its own beauty.  In Ohio it is this wonderful fall sight; the colors of the chaging seasons.  Oh, and our illusive white squirrel.

Ok, so I am not the storyteller my Dad was

Molly and Tally on the couch

We have a footstool in front of the couch.  It is the kind that has a lid you can flip over for a flat surface.  Inside we store all the doggie stuff; food, toys, etc.  We don’t usually allow the kids to eat on the couch.  I know, they are all pretty grown now, but they still drop and spill. We do have dogs, but they are little and Molly just likes to lick so she ends up with a fur-ball.  Well I am getting off track here.

For the last couple of days the youngest has lost her voice.  She isn’t exactly sick; we live in ‘sinus valley’ so the fall brings wonderful allergies.  We are all suffering, but it seems to hit her the worst.  She worked yesterday until 8pm, so warmed up some homemade mac and cheese and wanted to sit with us and watch TV.  The usual procedure is to ask if they can flip the lid on the footstool.  But without a voice she has resorted to sign language. Signing has been part of our lives since I was a kid, and in turn I have taught them. We are far from experts, but the older girls have taken it at college, my son is engaged to an interpreter, and the youngest belongs to the sign language club at school (Hummm, this story is taking a lot of background to build up.  I hope the punch line is worth it).

So last night the youngest comes in and does the sign for ‘eat’, and points to the footstool.

I look at her with total confusion on my face and ask, “You want dog food for dinner?”

Ok, so it really wasn’t worth the buildup.  It was sure funny at the time though . . .