with all the bells and whistles…

photoTwenty years ago, we put new carpet in the house we were living in, on a horse ranch 23 miles from the nearest grocery store.  The occasion called for a vacuum, something I had never owned.  I picked a bright red Dirt Devil from the pawn shop- which was in a town 37 miles in the other direction.  It cost $39.  The Dirt Devil was fancy and felt new to me, even tho’ it was pre-owned.  I used it up until a few years ago, when Dean brought home a Kirby – turns out someone who he had done work for, owed him money.  And they didn’t have any- so they gave him their Kirby vacuum.  It came with a billion attachments- even one for spraying insects, I believe.  I never really learned to use any of them, but it did vacuum quite well.

The Dirt Devil moved on to the girls.  I know that Tasha had it for awhile, and then Michaela had it in her townhouse.  It has acquired a few bumps and bruises along the way, including places where its fabric bag have been burned thru when someone tried to vacuum up ashes with it.

When I moved last summer, I left the Kirby behind (do you have any idea how much one of those things weighs!!?), and found myself in need of a vacuum.  Lo and behold, the Dirt Devil returned to me.

Grisham hates the Dirt Devil.  He will run so fast when he sees me wheel it out, his back feet hit him in the face as he whirls for a safe place under the bed.  And 20 years later, the Dirt Devil still can vacuum- still makes noise, the bag still inflates, the turney-brush thing on the bottom still goes around.  But it doesn’t do cat hair…and Grisham, being a cat, has lots of cat hair.  He has favorite places where the cat hair collects, like on the cushion above my head when I sit in my chair.

So today I went shopping for a new vacuum.  I have never owned a new vacuum. Found a wonderful Hoover, with special attachments especially for pet hair.  I vacuumed the floors in my new house, and I was – still am- horrified at the amount of dirt it picked up…how could that be?  The Dirt Devil didn’t find that much dirt.  I am not really a clean freak, but it bothers me to think there was that much dirt on the floor.

As I tapped the Hoover’s magic lever for the automatic cord rewinder, I ventured a look over at the Dirt Devil, alone in the corner.  I rolled the Hoover to a spot in the extra bedroom, where it would live now.  And I felt a bit like I had brought Buzz Lightyear home, with his fancy buttons and lights, and his claim that he could fly.

It’s called being innovative

So just had to show you, now that I am here and have a moment. These are pictures before I got my stuff moved…so just imagine that there are about a hundred boxes and bags in each picture, stacked hither and yon and that’s where I am.

I have to thank Tasha, my amazing co-mover, my partner in crime 🙂 I found out on Friday that I could get movers for furniture on Saturday (yes, the next day!!), so Tasha and I were like squirrels getting ready for winter….packing boxes, moving all the furniture out into the dining room, taking things apart. I moved from a 2nd floor apt to a house and I elected to have the movers do just the furniture. So this meant there were all of these boxes that one had to carry out the door of the apartment, down a long hallway, to the elevator, out of the elevator, out 2 sets of doors, down a long sidewalk and pack into my car…or a crazy person might just think that you could park outside the apartment building, in front of your balcony and…well, drop, pitch or otherwise lower said items to the ground, avoiding much of the hauling and carrying of said items…and it worked quite well, I must say.

Off to clean the apartment, enjoy your day!





letting loose of safety

A house.  I have a house.  The apartment thing was OK for the transition- sort of like a cocoon is OK…its a place to live, its safe, its uncomplicated, you just wait to grow enough to leave it behind.

I wish I could tell you the whole story of the house…but its long and complicated, and I am pretty sure I would loose you somewhere along the way…and I have tried to write it- several times, in fact, because its so serendipitous…and the timing still blows me away.

dreamhouseI am sure you will remember me saying that I have wanted a house.  Not just any house…I had a list – a dream house list…and it seemed to me that being in a house should be cheaper than an apartment, because you pay for your own utilities in a house.  Well, I was in for “a rude awakening”, as my father would say…it became clear that I couldn’t afford to rent the dream house, if it even existed.

I looked in the newspaper classifieds, on Craigslist, on local bulletin boards, on rental websites, on property management websites.  I posted a “house wanted” ad in a company classified section. I looked everywhere.  I looked at alot of houses.  They were too big, or too small, in a bad area of town, didn’t allow pets, not private, too expensive, too run down, too far out of town, too risky.

Just when I was reconsidering staying in my apartment, because I couldn’t find anywhere I wanted to live, two different houses appeared in my path.  The first one was good sized, bland, sensible, – it didn’t fit the dream house list, but it had a yard, and they allowed cats…it wasn’t going to get any better than that.  I filled out an application, paid the $25 fee, and began to mentally move in.  The other house looked pretty tiny from my drive-by, probably not even worth meeting the landlord for a tour, but the door was purple, there was a porch swing and I felt obligated.

I honestly wasn’t expecting much when I walked in…I had seen lots of houses.  I caught my breath as I stepped in the door…cathedral ceilings, a ladder drew my attention to the right, and i saw an open loft tucked up high in the ceiling corner.  The landlord was talking, but I really wasn’t listening…my mind was trying to reconcile the outside of this house with the inside that I was seeing…in short, it was amazing…fun blues and warm browns, woodwork, an open kitchen with updated appliances…speechless, that’s what I was.  I hesitantly mentioned that I had a cat after I had already fallen in love with the place.  The landlord waved my words away, like a fly, and said, “cats are fine.” ( are you looking back at my long forgotten wish list?)Did I mention it was on a street in a historic area with great big trees.

Because I am impulsive, and make snap decisions that I often regret, I asked if I could think it over. Now you are probably saying, “think it OVER? It has everything on your list…what is there to think over?” But here is the thing- it wasn’t the sensible house, the sensible house had more room, and while it didn’t have many of the “wants” on the list, it had the necessities. It was safe, and uncomplicated… like a cocoon. The dream house has color, and its a little wild and a little crazy…it is going to take some getting used to…

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