Saturday, August 28, 2010

Not much

Not much is going on around here. I worked Sat. but will get time off on Monday (today). I might take Tuesday off, too only because I am having issues with lower back pain (again). It just flares up every now and then. I am trying to avoid seeing the Doc because I know what he will do. A course of steroids/prednisone which does horrible things to me (although it DOES tend to heal up the back pain pretty quickly). And a week or so off of work, which although that does sound tempting, I am trying to save up enough days to have some time off at Christmas when the kids will be here.
Anyway, if I take it easy for a few days, sometimes that will do the trick. Wish me luck.

I keep having this reoccurring dream. Not the exact dream per se, but the same theme over and over again lately. It has to do with my not taking care of something important. Like over the weekend, I dreamed that I took Itty Bitty aka Clover to work with me. And she liked it there, everybody was happy to have an office cat. But suddenly after she had been there for who knows how many days, I realized that she hadn't been fed anything at all. I was desperately trying to find something in the break room vending machine that a cat could eat. ??? And last night, I was vacationing at a lake house, having a grand old time....when it dawned on me that I was taking care of a friend's baby (noone in particular that I remember....) and that I had left him/her in the boathouse on the water for days and days without food. The baby was still alive, but very weak, and I was rushing around trying to find something to feed it. What in the world does all of this mean? It's not like our pets would even allow me to forget to feed them. LOL. Within a half hour of missing the regular feeding schedule, they go crazy in a relentless kind of way. I experience it every single weekend when I try to sleep in for just a little bit.

You know how I have this Barbie fixation recently? And how I want to have clothes for all the holidays? Well, such things aren't easy to come by and if and when you do find them, they can be expensive. I decided to try my hand at making Barbie clothes myself. Here is a pic of my first attempt. I bought a pattern and some really cheap bargain basement fabric, just in case it turned out that I couldn't do it. My sewing skills are limited and lame. I did this one entirely by hand just to get a good feel for how it all went together before I drag out the machine. The sewing machine scares me a little. Maybe with more practice I can get better at this. The bodice isn't quite tight enough, and its a little too long. The inside seams are ragged and unfinished, but I was just trying to get it together to see if I was doing it right. It turned out OK. I can do better next go round. And I might splurge on better fabric. Seriously, it takes such a tiny bit to make an outfit...LOL. I did go metal snaps like the vintage pieces instead of velcro. I just like the way it looks with the snaps. So....I am heading to the fabric store again today to find more Halloween fabric to try a 2nd dress. I want something a little more formal, so I am hoping to find some satin in black and orange. Its a new hobby, so get over my playing with dolls at my ripe old age....LOL!

Happy Birthday

In case you didn't know, its Barbara's birthday today. Happy Birthday Barb, from both of us. I hope you are having a nice birthday weekend, and got a chance to celebrate.
And cake....I really do hope there is cake involved in some part of your day. :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Thanks for the suggestion of the Kirby, Annabel. But last night, Bruce started thinking about it and remembered that we bought some extended coverage on that vacuum. He is pretty organized with receipts, so he dug it out and he was right. We have coverage. For 4 years!!! The vacuum is only 2 years old. I spent today dreading that Best Buy (where we bought it) was going to want to send it off for repair. I mean seriously, in a pet-filled household we can't go without a vacuum for very long. But luckily they just completely replaced it!!! Bissell no longer makes the model that I have (wonder why? LOL), so Bruce got to pick out something similar. He ended up with the pet-version of the Hoover. I have no idea how long it will hold up, but right now it works great. Also, its much lighter and practically silent (at least compared to the jet engine other one). The animals might not run away in fear for their lives. The best part though is that it was FREE. You can't beat that, so we are going to see how this turns out. I am so happy to be rid of that heinous beast!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The vacuum saga....

A couple of years ago, our little red upright Dirt Devil vacuum just wasn't able to keep up with the collection of dog hair that we had going on around here. Well, back then we had 4 dogs living most of the time indoors. So, we passed that one on to Stephen and Hannia, figuring it would still be fine in a household without pets. And I was lured into buying the Bissell "Pet Hair Eraser" after seeing those seductive commercials of how easy breezy life would be if everybody had one. I think it lied.

Well, at first it did just fine. It was a huge step up from the struggling little Dirt Devil, so I was pleased. But after about 6 months or so it started to show its true colors. It is louder than a jet engine on take off. It eats belts way too frequently. It clogs. It just plain out acts ugly and stupid and I keep wondering why in heck I ever wanted the thing in the first place???? My advice? Do NOT buy one. You will end up hating it.

So, today I got a note from Ana, the woman who cleans house for us. She always leaves me a note to tell me if we need anything as far as cleaners go....and tells me how the cats behaved (they play with the mop and broom and dustrags and make cleaning somewhat, until the loud vacuum is turned on and then they hide). She said that the hateful vacuum is acting ugly again. And she doesn't think its the belt. It seems to be the beater brush not turning properly and it is burning up the belt. Sigh. She said she had a hard time finishing up, but bless her heart, the house was really clean, so she must have struggled through with that damnable beast.

Tonight, she sent me a picture of the vacuum she prefers to work with....LOL. She likes a Dirt Devil canister vacuum. Its not terribly expensive. She says it is light, easy to operate and simple enough to not have many problems. I don't any of you use a canister vac? We had one a long, long time ago and all I remember is the hose clogging on a regular basis. Of course, back in those days we had small children who stepped on the hose and smashed it out of shape, and left tiny little toys and game pieces to get sucked up and stuck. Maybe one might be ok now?
We would prefer that a vacuum last longer than this one did, and Bruce keeps fixing it, replacing the belts and so forth trying to keep it alive. But honestly, I can't just whip out the vacuum and do a quick touch up if company is coming over because every single time this bitch requires some kind of adjusting or cleaning or belt replacing just to do a small job. I don't really care anymore how much we paid for it, or how long it lasted or anything else. I am just ready for it to die. I really have come to have a deep-seated hatred for it.

So, send me some thoughts on what vacuum you use or prefer. Unless of course you are using some ultra expensive system like a rainbow or Dyson. I probably won't spend an exorbitant amount of money on what we buy just in case, you know, it starts to suck. Or in this case, refuses to suck....LOL.

Also? The little red Dirt Devil got left behind for the tenant that moves into Stephen and Hannia's old apartment. It made it through a couple of more years ok, but was on its last leg. It just wasn't worth moving. Bruce bought them a new one when they got to Lafayette. But I do have to say, even though it was relatively inexpensive, it lasted longer than the Pet Hair Eraser quite a few years.

And on another, non-vacuum related note...Bruce took our kitten to the vet today for her shots. She is 3 months old, and we are running a bit behind. Our vet recommends starting shots at 2 months, but with all the moving and stuff, it just didn't happen. She stays indoors though so its not like she was in danger of getting rabies...haha. But they set up her folder for a medical record and asked for her name. Bruce listed her as "Itty Bitty"...LOL!!!! Her name was technically Clover, supposedly. But we never call her anything but Itty Bitty, because she is the itty bitty baby. And now? Now I think its official. I am still going to consider that Clover is at least part of her name. Itty Bitty Clover, maybe? Poor thing....just watch her turn out to be the biggest cat we have and still have to bear the name Itty Bitty.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Second childhood? Probably....

I must be going through a second childhood. Or else I am insane...take your pick. Either would probably apply. But I have decided that I just HAVE to have Barbie dolls again. I was browsing on ebay, and while I have no idea why I was in the Barbie section, I spotted it. The exact doll case that I had as a child, circa 1968. I had completely forgotten that case, a double one that held 2 dolls, had a nice closet space with a hanging bar, a pink accessory storage area, and 2 large pockets for other Barbie trinkets complete with garish mod graphic flowers. Oh how I loved that thing. I got so excited that I sat up late into the night checking these things out. They are plentiful, but ones in decent condition....hard to come by. Still, the prices aren't out of the question. You can find ones that are not so perfect for under $10. Good condition is anywhere between $20 -30. I haven't placed a bid on one, but I will, I SO will, (even though I told Erica I was going to force myself to be content to look). I am just waiting and biding my time to see if one in mint condition surfaces. Lots of the cases, and there were several different styles almost every year seem to have a few here and there in mint condition.

I also found my Barbie Lively Livin' house, circa 1970, and again....if I find one that is in good shape with no missing parts, it just might end up being mine. LOL. I can't tell you how joyous I have felt reliving those memories of my favorite toy.
Because Barbie? She was my obsession as a child. None of my Barbie things survived, sadly enough. I have no idea what my Mom did with all of it, but I don't have it. That makes me a little sad, but thanks to ebay apparently I can own it all over again.

I do have the orginal Holiday Barbie from 1988. Lila gave her to me for Christmas that year, and opening up that doll made me so happy. I have been holding on to her all this time for collectors' value, but I found out something else in my recent Barbie research....the Holiday Barbies aren't commanding much of a price in the collector's market now. Part of it is due to the fact that so many of them were produced and purchased. Part of it is venue's like ebay that make these things so accessible for everybody. But the article I read attributed the main reason to the fact that most of these dolls were bought for collections. They were rarely played with. And a doll that wasn't played with does not hold the same emotional attachments as the ones that were childhood favorites. Nobody searches out a doll that sat in a box. Not like I have been searching hard for my favorite doll case and house. I totally understand that, too. I might even take Christmas barbie out of her box and just enjoy her now.

I do have one thing to all of my Barbie searching I found other holiday Barbies. Not Christmas, because we all know a new one comes out every year. But I found Halloween barbie (yes I bought it), and Easter barbie (I bought her too....well, it was a set of 3 Easter barbies so....). And then I found a woman who has an ebay store and makes Barbie clothes. Her stuff is pretty, but I am really dying to collect her holiday dresses. They were really reasonable, running around $10 per outfit, and some of them were really elaborate. I saw a Thanksgiving dress, Valentines gown, St. Patrick's day gown, and an adorable 4th of July outfit. She even had a gorgeous Mardi gras gown with a mask!!! I haven't bid on any of those, but we shall see. I don't think I want hundreds of Barbie's or even the clothes. But a few Barbie's with dresses for all the holidays? That would actually make me really happy. Oh, and a case to put it all in. And maybe a house so the Barbies have a place to live....HAHAHA. But that's it. And no Ken dolls. I had a couple of those, but his clothes were all so boring that he rarely got to play unless I was forcing him to marry Barbie so she could wear her wedding dress! Good times, I tell you. :)