This Is It!
Thankful Thursday

Random Wednesday

Starting with a random photo from the "Morning Walk" folder inside the "Pictures" folder on my computer.  Taken a few months ago while walking Mickey, our beagle, this is the "railing" on a small, old railroad bridge -- the railbed has been converted to a walking path.  The perspective and overall composition of this photo seems familiar.  Hm...

I have a birthday breakfast date with the hubs on Friday.  I'm not sure where, but somewhere between home and the art supply shop in Green Bay where we'll pick up the frame for the photo above and choose the mat(s)!

When I walked into the downstairs bathroom for the first time last night, I immediately noticed my new mirror!  I was younger and perhaps more limber when that was last used as my main bathroom.  Having to lean over the huge pedestal sink to see myself in the mirror on the wall (I have to get close when applying makeup as I can't see more than 8" in front of me without my glasses) was killing my back!  The upstairs bath had a pedestal sink, too, but a medicine cabinet with a mirror on the door -- I could open the door and stand to the side of the sink, nice and close.  Weird things like that...

I am sleeping very well in the new room.  (Knocking on wood.)  I've also been going to bed pretty late -- dumb time change has me a little screwed up.  It's very quiet at the back of the house -- nothing but a ravine and woods back there.  We've also been closing the doors at night.  I've never been a sleeper-behind-closed-doors -- I wanted to hear if the kids had a problem at night, didn't want a door between us if they had a need in the middle of the night; there's something so very jarring (to me) when a door is suddenly and unexpectedly opened into a room.  Hm.  One of the doors doesn't even open directly into the room.  There are "buffers" between the bedroom and the rest of the house, too; my closet on one side (full of sound-absorbing clothes) and the Garden Room on the other.  I'll have to draw out a floor plan one of these days.

So, my 51st birthday is on Friday.  I took the day off and will be heading up north for another weekend with my sibs!  The weather is supposed to be great.  Annie is going to make carrot cake and we plan to make a big pot of Chili All Day -- and I'll have to do some calculatin' to see how I can work in the MUFAs and keep on track.

I finally brought the scale downstairs and put in fresh batteries!  Even with the tiny potatoes and other weekend indulgences, I'm still at my lowest -- not as low as I'd like right now, but whatever.  I feel great -- I really do -- livin' life!

When I was using the vacuum upstairs the other day and nearly lost a finger when it got caught in the broken plastic handle -- apparently, someone had a great deal of difficulty changing attachments (no one's 'fessing up) -- I decided that I want a new vacuum cleaner for my birthday.  The cover stays on only with the aid of electrical tape on both sides; I used to make a show of it and take the broken-off plastic wheel along, trying to jam it back on every now and then, but I don't even bother anymore.

My first vacuum was a Hoover, second (current) is a Eureka -- that's not too bad, really, two vacuums over nearly 25 years of life, home improvements and art projects by one husband and three daughters, not to mention a total of five cats and one dog.  I've been enamored by the Dyson brand ever since James Dyson started talking about the engineering; Miele is intriguing and German and kind of sexy.

I've got some research to do.  I'm also accepting testimonials.  ; )



Birthdays just keep rolling around, don't they? Your plans to celebrate sound great.


I bought a new vacuum earlier this year and here is what I found. I was very interested in the Dyson and was intent on getting one...until I actually used it. I found it to be very heavy. And since I plan to use it for a really long time I didn't want to have to drag it up and down the stairs, being as heavy as it is, when I'm old (or at least older than I am now!). I ended up getting a Kenmore Intuition and I LOVE it! Adjustable sucking speeds, adjustable heights for rugs, power attachment for upholstery...everything I wanted in a vacuum. Hmmm, I think I need a more exciting life if I'm this jazzed over my vacuum!

Mary Fran

I have both a Miele and a Dyson (one is upstairs, one is downstairs). My thoughts:

The Dyson is VERY heavy. It only stays upstairs unless my husband is carrying it around. It works very well on the carpet. Using the attachments is a pain, to get the hose off, you have to stop, take the pole out, remove the hose. I don't like it for the tile or hardwood. I also find it difficult to handle. It does suck up a great deal, but I also don't like having to empty the canister into a bag - lots of loose dust.

We've had the Miele for 10 years now and have never had a problem with it. I think I prefer the canister and find it much easier to use and move around. Very easy to use attachments. Wonderful for bare floors and does a good job on the carpet. I'm sure the Miele sucks up more on carpet, but I like that it has a bag that closes up to throw away. We also get the extra HEPA filter with it.

Bottom line: Use them both and carry them both before you buy.


I love my Dyson. It's heavier than my other vacuum, but it also removed a lot more dirt from my carpet than the previous vacuum. I'll take a little heavier vacuum for the suction power. I like not having to fuss with a bag and waste more paper too. I have the pet hair one and it really cleans up the pet hair. My mom and her neighbor and my neighbor all have one too.

Amy P

After killing vacuum after vacuum with our fury, fury dogs we finally invested in a Miele about 10 years ago. I still LOVE it. We have carpet, rugs, and lots of hardwood floors. It works great on all of these and is easily carried from upstairs or down. Oh, and I love the way the bags change -- no escaping dirt/dust/fur. Our two enormous (100 lb+ dogs) and our fairly messy 5 year old have been no match for this vacuum. I hope it lasts another 10 years!

Melissa V.O.

That mirror is a great idea, I may need one myself! Have a good time this weekend, sounds like a great get-away. I smile when I see you talk about your Annie, I have my little Anne/Annie right here beside me.


We have a dog, mostly carpeting, and have bought a Roomba. I don't know if it's going to last, but I love being able to turn it on and leave. It is expensive. I only use the old vacuum for the stairs, so they get neglected. It's better than the whole house being neglected.


Dyson and Miele are both tres expensive, plus I seem to remember that neither one did very well in Consumer Reports's tests. I'll try to dig out that issue -- I think it was within the past 6 months or so -- and email you the results.


I love my Dyson(s), I don't find it too heavy to take upstairs, but a better solution is to have one for each floor, so I do. We vacuum up a LOT of dog hair here, and the Dysons can really handle it. I like that the attachments are all on board and I don't have to hassle a hose around the house - and I can park the vacuum at the bottom of the stairs and the hose extends to be able to reach the top.

I share your issues with mirrors - it is a complaint I have been leaving in every motel I have stayed in for at least the last 15 years. And when they DO have a mirror you can get close to, there isn't enough light to even see your nose, much less your eyelashes.

The happiness you are feeling just shines right out of the blog - I love sharing it with you. You go girl! Happy 51!!


I've had a Miele for nine years and safari, sagoodie. I like the HEPA filter and you can actually use it to purify the air in a room, I think it is pretty quiet when you do that, too.


Love the perspective shots! Happy birthday - we got an Oreck Dutch-Tech canister vac a number of years ago. Love it, and the warranty/service is great.

Andrea (@shutterbitch)

I was not enamored with my Dyson. It clogged. There are filters that have to be washed out now and then and it was a pain keeping the cat off of it while it was sitting out drying. After two years of standard use, it blew up, incidentally when we were trying to clean up a big mess made by our dog.

It was the biggest waste of money. We got a Bissell and we're happy with it. It's lasted longer than the Dyson for half the money.

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