Sunday, June 04, 2006


Can I divorce J and marry my new vacuum cleaner instead? It does more around the house and it has a suction strong enough to take the house off its foundation.

That's a joke. Of course I wouldn't trade my nice husband for a vacuum! Or would I?

So we got this new vacuum cleaner, and the embarrassing thing is, I'm not sure how to work it. It's nothing fancy—just a $79.99 Target special—but vacuum cleaner technology has advanced a lot since 1998, when I bought my last vacuum. For example, there's this little feather duster. I thought that you were supposed to attach it to the hose and somehow electronically dust all your fine furniture. Apparently, it's an ordinary non-electronic duster, but what's cool about it is that when you're finished dusting, you pop it back into its little cylinder, flip a switch, and it starts to rotate and all the dust is sucked out, plus your duster is “charged” which I think means with static so that it will attract more dust the next time you use it. There are several other attachments, including something called the “Power Paw,” which I have not yet attempted to use. What this vacuum didn't come with is instructions, which is surprising in this era of the simplest items coming with booklets of instructions. A booklet came with the vacuum, but all it details is maintenance, not use. I suppose the people at Eureka thought, “What is so hard? You turn it on and it sucks up the dust,” a commendable attitude when even my insulated coffee cup came with a sheet of instructions labeled, CONGRATULATIONS! HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO ENHANCE YOUR ENJOYMENT OF YOUR NEW STAINLESS STEEL DRINKWARE.

There were also none of the usual safety precautions, those goes-without-saying warnings that now come with every product imaginable: PASTRY WILL BE HOT or NOT A FOOD PRODUCT. DO NOT EAT. While writing this entry, I thought of hyperbole that would describe the strong suction on my new machine. I thought of saying that I'd held the hose to my sternum and it had sucked my heart right out of my chest. Then I realized: If I had held the hose up to my eye, it would have sucked my eyeball right out of it's socket! It really would! Even though, it had never up until that moment occurred to me that I would ever, in a million years, hold a running vacuum cleaner hose up to my eye socket, I still shuddered over the image of what would happened if I had. Why is there no, DO NOT APPLY HOSE TO SEMI-ATTACHED BODY PARTS warning on the Eureka Altima Bagless Vacuum?

I hope no one thinks I seriously expect such a warning to appear on vacuums! And yet, I work in an environment in which I see the freak accidents that happen to people. It would not surprise me at all to hear of someone who was injured by her own vacuum cleaner. Anyway. I've got to get back to learning the subtleties of the Power Paw.

But first. This weeks CSA haul:

½ dozen eggs

Lots of lettuce—both bibb and leaf

Bunch of beets




I'm a little intimidated by the beets. My sister tells me they're very nutritious. I remember my grandma would serve them at family dinner parties and I've always detested their beety flavor. So then why was I today shrieking, “BEETS ARE DELICIOUS!” at my kids after I served them raw grated beet in their salad? If anyone knows a good beet recipe, please share.

Last week we got lettuce, rhubarb, strawberries, eggs and tomatoes from the CSA.


  1. I have never seen a head of leaf lettuce as large as the one we got from Horse and Buggy on Friday. It's quite remarkable. I was too sick to photograph it -- or even blog about it -- but I'll be sure to blog about future hauls.

  2. These new-fangled vacuum cleaners are something else, let me tell you! My folks just traded in their old, beaten-up Eureka for a sweet little brand-spanking-new German-engineered Miele model. Variable suction, universal hardwood/carpet head, triple filter, retractable cord, motor strain meter...

    And for the record, it did need an instruction manual.