The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser

Every single upright vacuum I’ve ever owned has SUCKED, and not in the way it should. No matter how many belts I’ve changed, how many clogs I’ve unplugged, how much FREAKING HAIR I’VE UNWOUND, each and every one of them has failed.

You buy a vacuum. It looks good. It works well for a (short) period of time. And then SOMETHING HAPPENS. I do not know what precisely this IT is. But afterward, it will vacuum no more. Sure, the machine will push the dirt around, pretending to vacuum, but we both know it’s not picking anything up. Eventually the burning smell grows too strong to stand and the no-suck sucker gets shoved to the curb.

My parents, and now my own family, have experienced the heartache of crappy vacuums too many times to recall. My folks have sent countless vacuums to the repair shop, to no avail. Two years ago, out of desperation, my husband & I decided to use a shop vac exclusively. On the plus side: it works.  Unfortunately, it’s also freight-train heavy, cumbersome in size and indiscriminate in suction.  The shop vac’s superpower doesn’t wane, but frankly MINE DOES. Which makes cleaning more than once every 2 weeks an impossibility unless I want to be crippled.

But we have a LOT of pets. And we have kids. All of which are dirty. Our dog Max, for instance, has some sort of “seasonal” allergy which lasts roughly 348 days of the year.  This “problem” (for lack of a better word) leaves him an itchy, flaky, balding, stinking mess and our floors looking like a Head & Shoulders/Rogaine user’s most soul-shuddering nightmare. As you can imagine, Max is going through a particularly bad patch right now, leading to my thinking about this cleaning dilemma a lot.  If our vacuum weighed less than 75 pounds and was smaller than a kitchen table, I could use it more frequently.

So yesterday I went to BJs and I picked myself up a vacuum.

HOLY CRAP!!  I thought when I saw it.  THIS is IT.  I barely read the rest of the box; PET HAIR ERASER was enough for me. I looked at the price. Not cheap at $139.99 – but way cheaper than the $500 FREAKING DOLLAR DYSON right beside it. I wasn’t terribly optimistic, knowing how many times I’ve been had by other vacuums. But anything was better than hauling that shop vac up & down the stairs one more time.

My husband put it together last night, and had it working in minutes. I vacuumed one room and watched with pleasure as the canister filled with gray filth. I pushed that beautiful vacuum up and down our floors, gazing as it gobbled detritus like dessert, hairballs spiraling like a cyclone. OH! Pet Hair Eraser, where have you been all my life??

As I vacuumed, my heart filled with joy.  B/c my floors were clean. I could walk across them w/out leaving footprints.  The soles of my shoes were not plastered with hair.  I was FREE.

I vacuumed the whole first floor last night.  NO back-breaking labor.  No hunching over – dragging the damn shop vac throughout the house.  Today I brought my new Pet Hair Eraser upstairs and vacuumed the 2nd and 3rd floors.. WITHOUT BEING ASKED!!!!!  My husband – God Bless him – I know he did not marry me for my cleaning skills.  But he is gonna be LOVING ME MORE THAN EVER!  NOW That our home has been liberated from dander.

THANK YOU Bissell Pet Hair Eraser with Dual Cyclonic Action and extra long cord!!

Thank you for making me so very HAPPY!

Ladies & Gentlemen, may I introduce the greatest pet-hair-sucking-up machine ever: The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser.  Long May It Live. (PS: Click that link. The TV commercial for this thing is seriously funny.)

Life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness

It’s amazing how a day away from things can give perspective. Severed from my electrical umbilical cord, I AM A WHOLE NEW PERSON. Well not really, but it did allow me to put a day’s distance between me & THE DISH.

Part of the reason I had to stay off the computer was so I wouldn’t cave. B/c part of me just doesn’t want to stop doing The Daily Dish. Day in and day out. Forever and ever. Amen. This *part* of me is stubborn. It doesn’t care about ME. It is devoted to others. Their well-being. Their welfare. Their nutritional goals. SCREW YOU, it says. I call it Utilitarian Me, after John Stuart Mill. This part of me is always super determined. Disciplined. Moral. And now. ANGRY.

It is hard giving something up. Doubly so, when a part of you reeeeaaaaalllly doesn’t want to. Even if it’s bad for you or drives you crazy or makes you smell. Which isn’t my case, really, but you catch my drift. The Daily Dish is a good thing – a great thing, even. But it isn’t good for me right now. I am already juggling too much between the website, the kitchen, and my life. And now that summer’s fast approaching, I have been spending an exorbitant amount of time stressing over how I will get everything done with BOTH daughters at home. I shouldn’t be worried about any of that. I should be thinking of all the fun we’ll be having over the next few months. The beautiful weather. The hot days full of adventures and memories and time together. Instead I am thinking about the stupid website.

My daughters are, and have always been, my first priority. I gave up my career to stay home full time and I’ve never regretted it. I should feel no obligation to maintain a website I created out of the goodness of my own heart. And yet, I do. OF COURSE YOU KNOW I DO. But WHY? When I do it for no pay and it is becoming too taxing for words, that’s a bad thing. Lately I’ve felt like a fox in a trap, wondering whether I’ll have to chew off my own leg to save myself. My urge to maintain the status quo is almost too strong for my own good.

For now, it’s necessary to take a break. The website will remain as it’s been. I am not taking it down. I have avoided even changing it from the Memorial Day page, for fear I’ll CAVE. For the past year and a half, some part of my brain, sometimes all of it, has been consumed with this website. It’s like a baby. I literally gave birth to it, and it has been my passion. Developing recipes, deciding what to make, how to make it. What to work on, what to drop. I was already crazy about food and photography, but you put them together and I AM INSANE. When I was sick, I kept going. Doing anything dizzy is not a lot of fun. But still I did it, because I felt others were counting on me. When I went on vacation, I worried about my readers. Would they be okay? Would they be cheating? I thought more about them than I did myself.

I cannot tell you how liberating it is, after all these months, to taste FREEDOM. I spent 8 hours today cleaning my house. And even though I despise cleaning, today it felt good. No website. No recipe. As I scrubbed toilets, I thought about how SPARKLING THEY WERE. As I vacuumed, I thought how wondrous a machine a vacuum is, and how glad I am to have one. As my back ached while I bent over mopping the last floor of the house, I thanked GOD that I was finished. I wasn’t preoccupied with getting THE DISH done so I could take pictures while the light was good. Or having to orchestrate cooking of THE DISH so that it would conveniently coincide w/ mealtime. I didn’t have to think about any of that. Now my house is clean. And NOT ONLY THAT. BUT my priorities are straight, and summer is almost here.

So please don’t be sad. I want you all to know that this isn’t the end – it’s really, truly, the beginning. I have the next 3 months w/ my girls. I am SO EXCITED!! We will have so much fun together, and I will be blogging here about it all, sharing everything w/ you, my friends. In the fall, my daughters will BOTH be going off to school. And then – the fun BEGINS. The start of a real adventure for me. I’ve spent the past 8 years at home, being here for my family. Loving them, taking care of them, making everyone else a priority. For good bad & or UGLY, I’ve done it all. But come September, it’s Christy Time. IT’S ALL ME. And then anything is possible. Stay tuned. B/c come what may, I promise, it’ll be fun.