Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Nature Abhors My Vacuum

It's raining again. Lots. The ground is squishy already; I don't walk to the car so much as slide towards it. I'm using a walking stick to get from the back door to the kennels without falling over.

It's not enough to endure the mud and slop outside, Mike and the dogs bring at least half of it in the house with them. Mike sits in the chair without taking his coat and wellies off. The dogs creep onto the furniture when they think I'm not looking, which is convenient for Mike who blames all the mess on them, even the Mike-shaped mud angel in his chair.

When it finally dries, it leaves a silty deposit that covers everything. I only regularly clean it off the TV screen so I can watch 'Columbo' on Sunday.

Phyllis Diller said that cleaning your house when your kids are still living there is like shoveling the drive when it's still snowing. This same applies to dogs and spouses. But it's got so bad in here and it was raining so I couldn't ignore it by going outside. I plugged in my iPod and my vacuum and started in our front room.

Our cottage is small. The front room is only about 9' x 14' and it's only got a wooden floor. The carpeted rooms are rarely used because of our perpetual fithiness. We save those rooms for when we have guests, and shut the door to hide the front room from view.

I vacuumed the tiny front room, under the sofa and behind the furniture, and completely filled the canister on the Dyson. Yikes! I emptied it and started on the even smaller kitchen and porch area. I was happily listening to week's episode of Car Talk when I started to smell something like burning plastic. The vacuum was full again and the poor machine was overheating. I'd barely started. I guess my vacuum's not too fond of nature either.

I wondered if Click and Clack gave advice on home appliances. Does a vacuum have a head gasket?

Mike was due home and would be letting the house dogs in for their dinner. So I locked the door.

I thought "I cleaned it, I'm going to enjoy it even if only for a few minutes, even if it's only two rooms."

It was a small victory but I earned it.


Paula said...

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Dirt is the only thing that's really eternal. And omnipresent. *sigh*.

I so feel for you. My particular fight is not so much with mud, although because we live in Oregon and expected mud, and thus had the entire house floored in slate, as it is with dog hair. Dog hair has always been a constant fight ever since getting Rufus, a shepherd/retriever mix, from the pound, and now that he's getting to be an old guy and his skin is not as tight as it used to be, the tumbling tumbleweeds of dog hair are getting to be a huge chore. When people ask me what kind of dog he is, I always say, "oh he's a Prodigious Shedder", and then wait to see if they get it.

He is the first, and last, long-haired dog I will ever have.

By the way, I laughed at the Mike-shaped mud angel reference.

Poppy Cottage said...

Ha HA!! You should see Poppy Cottage. You would think even the kennels were tidier and cleaner. If I can find the car keys I can eat the chocolate I have hidden in there and not worry about it at all!! Actually even without the help of chocolate I am not worried at all.

Sara said...

You filled up a Dyson twice? Holy FS! I guess if you do the math: (8 dogs + 2 humans)to the power of the wet outdoors x the amount you go outside : it can add up. Locking the door was for your sanity.

I've become a complete neatnik, with low tolerance for dirt, untidiness, disorder. I don't if that's because I've never had dogs or kids, or if I've never had dogs or kids because I dislike uncleanliness.

Jennifer Montero said...

Paula - Laughed at your 'prodigious shedder' retort! Then I must have a purebred 'PS'. The shepherd is an indoor dog (guarding) and has the most unbelievable undercoat which regularly prouces those tumbleweeds of hair. It's a majority of what fills the vacuum.

When I brush her, I sometimes save the hair and add it to jacobs fleece and spin them up together. It adds a bit of softness to the yarn. I should knit a dog coat to complete the circle!

Colette - You've spilled your secret hiding place! Next time you drive us somewhere, I'm going to be rooting around looking for your stash...

Jennifer Montero said...

Sara - Only you could put together a mathematical formula that sums up the situation!

Being neat is my hangup too but I've had to cultivate a level of acceptance to exist, otherwise I would be like Sisyphus (if his toil was pushing a vacuum instead of a rock), starting at the beginning every morning.

I gather cats don't make the same unholy mess as dogs & husbands

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

Jen -- God, I wish I'd thought of that title.

My vacuum's nemesis is the wood stove. We track so much damn wood crud into our house that I feel like I ought to just cover the floor with wood chips and be done with it, like we do in the chicken run.

Last year, I insisted on using our ShopVac, which doesn't use bags, even though its cord is about seven inches long and it doesn't suck (which means, of course, that it sucks) because the Miele uses bags that cost $4. each and fill instantly.

This year, I'm sucking up the $4.

Jennifer Montero said...

Tamar - It's the wood crud that blocks the hoses and, in its defense, the dyson is a snap to take apart & unclog. And no bags! Thank god, or I'd have to take out a mortgage just to afford the bags to clean the house. Shopvac (of the sucking-so-not-sucking variety) could be the solution.