Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Living life in a vacuum?

Simon's still coughing, but much improved. Rachel got her first rub-down w/ her new prescription cream, so we'll see about her in the morning. My much worried-about right tissue is doing ok, but still being difficult. Last night it was stuck to the gauze I use to protect it, so I had to shower to get it loose. Then I had to come up w/ some method of protecting it w/o actually having anything stick to it. Then the scab decided to form upside-down - curled out away from my body instead of towards/around my body. This makes it decidedly difficult to keep from accidentally pulling it off - something my plastic surgeon could lead to a hole all the way through to the implant. That would mean the implant would be contaminated & need to be removed... A *VERY* unhappy thought.

Well, today I decided that I'd do some much-needed cleaning on the house... Primarily that (to me) means cleaning the floors. That is something I HATE! I really really really really (you get the point) HATE to vacuum. I don't really know why, but its just the way I am. I told Andrew when we first got married that he would have to do all the vacuuming in the house b/c I HATE it. Well, his idea of vacuuming the house has led to him doing it maybe two or three times a YEAR in the 3 years we've been married. I may HATE to vacuum, but I hate having dirty floors (you know dirty enough that white socks soon become dingy brown/black just from walking on them & dog hair, dust bunnies, & God knows what else jumps on anything near the floor) more. So I've started trying to do more vacuuming. I've been putting it off since my surgery & trying to drop hints to Andrew that it needs to be done to no avail... So today, my limit was reached & I drug the good ole Eureka (bought the end of last year) out of the closet.

Well, it all started well & good. Pushing & pulling the vacuum wasn't too challenging for my chest muscles. I thought it may even qualify as exercising them. We don't have a whole lot of carpet (just our living room 28' x 16'), so I considered it slight. Rachel was happily swinging in her swing after her 10 am bottle. She even didn't mind me bumping the base of the swing w/ the vacuum. Then I got to noticing that even though I kept going over the same spots (I'm a checker-board kind of vacuuming person - I go one direction in a section, then I rotate 90 degrees & do it again), visible dirt (yep - it *was* that bad) was just kind of moving. The visible dirt cup also didn't seem to be filling. About 3/4 of the way through I pulled the hose to suck up some stuff under the couch. That's when I noticed that the suction was *really* poor. So I pull off the dust cup & check the neck where the hose meets the body/dust cup of the vacuum. No clog visible, just some icicles from the Christmas tree (yep - that's probably the last time we vacuumed - after Christmas).

However, I *knew* my vacuum had better suction than that. So out comes the handy screw-driver. Yep, I have to use a screw driver to take the hose completely off the vacuum. However, there is apparently (to my knowledge) a good way to get the hard plastic elbow-neck off the flexible hose in order to clean it out. So on the free end I took my broom handle & shoved it up as far as it would reach. I got some stuff out. I figured, hey, I'll use gravity & centripetal force to get some of this crap out too. So I started beating & banging both ends of the hose outside on the railing of my porch. Stuff came flying out & I should have probably had a dust mask on b/c of all the dust (& God knows what else that lives in that kind of environment) flying around.

I noticed that even though most of the resistance was gone when I used the broom handle, there was still some at what seemed like the very end of the broom handle's reach. That's when I discovered there's no good way to take that hard plastic elbow-neck off the hose. So handy little me, I decide to go get my drain de-clogger stick-thingy. I shove it into the elbow-neck and meet considerable resistance. The end of the stick-thingy just wasn't big enough to pull the stuff out though. So I started beating & banging again hoping for physics to work for me instead of against me. Well, more came out, but not the main clog it seemed. So I again went to work w/ the stick-thingy. I probably jammed that thing in there for 15 minutes trying to break up whatever clog was in there.

So after a good jamming, I take the hose back outside (Rachel has been watching her crazy mom avidly this whole time) and again beat, bang, & swing it trying to dislodge whatever is in there. At this point, I'm kind of expecting a small (large?) animal to come out and fuss at me for disturbing its hibernation. I was half-right... What came out was this nasty, but huge if you count all the pieces, hair-ball with enough dust, crumbs, and what-shall-not-be-thought-of to stuff a throw pillow (if you were of a mind to have all those allergens in a pillow). I didn't try, but I'm pretty sure I cleaned it all out. So at this point, what should have been a 30 minute tops chore has taken me at least an hour & a half & I'm still not done! No wonder I hate vacuuming! I finally finish, but again, it just doesn't seem up to full strength... Geez...

This time I figure since I've cleaned out the hose its time for the dust-cup & the filter to be cleaned. I learned that the filter does indeed come off the housing of the dust-cup. I also learned that some of the nasty dust (and other things) actually form a cake-like/dried-mud-like substance that gets between the fins of the filter. Using time-honored tradition of women everywhere - I again used my porch railing to beat the dirt out of the filter. The dust-cup, thank God, is actually easy to empty, so it was done quickly in the beginning.

Had I really been interested in true cleanliness I would have started all over. However, I apparently don't care *that* much and I do HATE vacuuming *that* much... So while the floor is better than it was, I don't think I'd say its actually clean... Of course, w/ all that beating, banging, swinging, pushing, pulling, twisting, etc my foobs, arms, chest, & head were hurting. I'm just now starting to notice that my eyes are quite itchy as well... I'm also just now starting to realize just how sore my foobs are - quite a bit more than they were earlier today. :-( Oh well, all in the name of cleanliness! After all, cleanliness is next to Godliness the old saying goes.

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