A Southern Fried Mess

Insanity is a southern necessity…

Necessity truly is the Mother of Invention

My husband and I live on one income: his. I stay at home. And in doing so, we’ve had to scale down things a bit; make sacrifices if you will. Like when we shop for cloths, second hand stores are always the first stop before the big department stores. I bargain hunt too, never turn down free stuff, and sometimes go without the things I want, just so the kids might have extra money to spend on a field trip somewhere. Case in point, a vacuum cleaner.

My beloved vacuum cleaner gave up the ghost. He called it quits after 14 hard working years and died on my bedroom floor. I cried. I called my husband; I was in shock. I cried some more as I carried out my best friend and buried him in the garbage, remembering all the good times we shared while cleaning the stairs. How no one could remove crumbs from the sofa cushions like he could. He will be missed.

I’ve been window shopping lately for a replacement, even though we don’t have the money in our budget for a new vacuum…at least not yet. So while the funds are being saved up, my floor has been getting dirtier and dirtier —-five kids, two dogs, two cats, all the neighborhood kids, and a husband can really make a mess. 3200 sq ft of putting-green colored carpet ( not my choice–It came with the house) was begging me to clean it. But how?

Sweeping the carpet didn’t really do much. The dirt just got moved around and only the top layer was affected. Locking the door and forcing my family at gun point to live outside in the front yard was a no-go too. Something about scarring the poor kids for life and years of therapy came up. Then lightening struck: My husbands shop-vac. But of course!

At first it was a bit awkward and back breaking. The suction end tended to get stuck (really stuck) on the carpet when turned on. Removing trash from off the floor without killing one’s self was a real challenge even with me letting the dogs in first to eat all the big crumbs. And it took all day just to clean one room. But it did clean and that’s what mattered the most, right?

Weeks went by and finally I couldn’t take it anymore. There had to be a better way. I prayed that there was a better way. “Please, God, send us the money for a new vacuum or help make the shop-vac easier to use.”

And that’s when another idea hit me. I raced to the utility closet, grabbed my Dustbuster vac, and ripped off the end of it. With one happy dance and several duct tape pieces later, the end of my shop-vac became reto-fitted.

It now sported a crude vacuum end. I crossed my fingers and gave my ‘Frankenstein-ish’ creation a try. It glided across the floor/carpet effortlessly. I couldn’t believe how well it worked.

Go ahead and laugh. Okay; you can stop now—no really you can stop. At least I no longer have to pre-clean the carpet before I start. And that’s more than your expensive Dyson vacuum cleaner can claim with it’s fancy hepa filter and whirling tunnels of death that never loose suction.

With the shop vac, I can now suck it all up: Hotwheel cars, suckers, small bolts (don’t ask..) Mardi Gras necklaces, spoons sporting peanut butter, puzzle pieces, stray socks, pencils, pens, entire boxes of colors, half-eaten bananas, pasta, bars of soap, shampoo lids, hair brushes, empty toilet paper rolls, Barbie doll accessories, escaped pet lizards, Happy Meal toys, ham sandwiches, and all the crumbs that come with a three year old.

AND all this done without tearing up my vacuum motor. I’ve cut my cleaning time half. I’m in love!


March 17, 2008 - Posted by | family, food, life, Uncategorized | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. You are Brilliant!

    My mother at one time, among her many professions, sold Kirby vacuums. These things were the greatest.

    We can never find anything that holds up these days. Catch a rubber band and burn up the motor. That Kirby would just crew up everything in its’ path and keep going.

    Comment by morethananelectrician | March 17, 2008 | Reply

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