Friday, September 23, 2011

When a Vacuum meets a Bottle Brush

When I went to vacuum last Friday (I have vacuumed since) I had to once again deal with my vacuum being clogged.  I have to deal with this about every other week.  I don't understand what the difference is between our house now and our old house but for some reason we seem to produce much more carpet lint here (or something).  Last Friday it was especially traumatic since my normal, if you can call it that, went crazy.

Here it is from the beginning.  This was one of my first big cleaning days since my operation. I had been doing little things and then taking a break and then do a little more. But, when I first had Kelton I didn't listen to the doctor and I vacuumed to early and I truly paid for not listening.  All I remember is pain, lots of pain, and a promise to never overdo it again.  I was a little scared to vacuum after all of my complications.  I'm a wimp, on with my mishap.

I turned on the vacuum and noticed that it wasn't sucking anything up.  I kept trying to see if I was just being overly picky but when I pulled the hose off to go around the edge of the wall the beater brush started to blow dirt and whatever else I thought I had just vacuumed up into the air.  I was covered. Here I go again, time to clean out the stupid thing.

I tipped it over and pulled out my handy dandy screw driver.  I pulled out the top part of the hose that was the long part that you pull out to get the edges.  Then I unscrewed the bottom part of the short part of the tube and started trying to find the clog.

Squeezing and pulling at the longer hose I start to find gunck.  I started to pull on it and it slowly came out just a little bit at a time.  I started to beat the hose against the vacuum and got some more gunck out.  I thought it was all out of the long hose and started to focus on the shorter part that came from the beater brush.

I could see dirt in there but couldn't get to it.  I had this brilliant idea.  I knew that we had an old baby bottle brush under the sink and thought that would be the perfect tool to get the dirt pushed through and out of the hose. Instead of just pushing the dirt out it somehow sucked the bottle brush into the hose.  Now what?

My boys were extremely helpful and told me that now the vacuum was really broken.  That was not going to work for me.  I was not going to be the one who broke the vacuum and I was going to get that brush out and vacuum before Kenny got home.

I grabbed the screwdriver and took the entire bottom off the vacuum.  I knew that the beater bar would come off somehow.  Oh, it did come out and it took the belt out with it.  Why did it pull the belt into all this? I have no idea how the belt came into all this.  Where in the world does the belt go?  I decided to focus on the stupid bottle brush and would worry about the belt later.

As I was pulling the beater brush off I moved the vacuum just right and it turned the vacuum on.  Now it was blowing dust and dirt all over me.  Now I was really covered in crap.  There was this moment when I was in shock and was so busy holding my hands up to block the dust from getting into my eyes that I didn't know what to do.  Duh, unplug the vacuum.  I started thinking that throwing it off our balcony into traffic sounded really good.  Then I would take a shower and figure out how to buy a new vacuum.

Instead I was able to get the bottle brush out and I figured out how to put the belt on all by myself.  I know, right!!  I was able to pull more guncky stuff out of the long hose and put the rest of the vacuum back together.  I plugged the vacuum back in and being very proud of myself I turned it on to vacuum before Kenny got home.

The hose was still plugged.  The vacuum was immediately turned off and left right in the walk way.  I went to the computer and played solitaire.  It was either that or once again throw the vacuum into traffic.

Kenny fixed the vacuum and got the long hose all emptied out and eventually I got a shower and washed all the dirt off me.

Imagine, this all took place in less than an hour.  It took me longer to write about it :)

Lesson: don't clean a vacuum with a bottle brush!


I used to love to try to live my life like "The Fly Lady".  I tried to get organized and follow her ideas, however, several years later I am still living in chaos.  According to Fly Lady chaos means: Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome.  That is right where I'm at right now.  Just when I think I know what I'm doing the rug gets pulled out from underneath me.

Our adventures with homeschooling (which my boys hate me saying, they are attending a charter school) having been going good.  We hit a few bumps and fell in few sink holes in the beginning but I think we have our groove down.  I'm afraid to say that because now something is going to bump us out of our groove and wreak havoc on us.  I do think that we are doing good though and have had a good time with field trips and educational movies.

Our little family is facing some big changes and a couple little ones in the very near future. Okay, one started yesterday.  We are now a one car family.  Kenny and I decided that to try to stay ahead of the curve it would be good for us to sell our Subaru Legacy (Kenny's baby) and go to one car.  Things just keep changing and with Kenny's income going up and down like a yoyo we thought this would be one way to be responsible. No one worry, we are okay, but we want to stay that way. By doing this we received some equity from the car and now we don't have that payment.  This all equals a little breathing room.

Wait! Breathing room, what is that?  We found out that both of our boys need braces and that the payment for braces is about half of what our car payment was.  So we still have a little breathing room but not at all what we thought it would.  It's okay because if they need them and they really do then I will make sure they are taken care of.  The also will be seeing an allergy doctor to make sure that they are okay or if either of them really has asthma or allergies.  Kelton will get his braces on in the morning and then go see the allergy doctor.  The next week Taylor will get his braces off.

Taylor is waiting that week for his braces because he goes in on Monday for surgery.  He has been calling it his pit stop and then will make the sound of a drill.  The hardware that we put in is doing it's job and the limb length is slowly evening out, however, it is making his longer leg start to go bowlegged.  We have to hurry and take out his hardware on the inside of his tibia growth plate.  The hardware on the outside will correct the bowleggedness and then we can take out that hardware.  We are leaving the pins in on his femur growth plate to finish making up the length difference.  I think Taylor is more worried about school than the surgery, he doesn't want to fall behind.

Kelton has been asked by a girl to go to one of our church dances.  It isn't until the middle of next month but he is still thinking about it.  I don't know why he is thinking about it, they aren't going "together", they will just meet up there and I'm sure there will also be other friends there.  We will see what he does.  I hope he goes and just has fun with everyone and not worry so much about this girl being there.  What am I saying, I was 14 once and I know thinking about the person who asked/invited you is all you can do.

Time to dash away and change loads of laundry, get Taylor logged in so he can start his lessons for today, figure out if I'm going to make it my friends wedding reception tonight, wake up Kelton, do the dishes and plan the menu, go grocery shopping, and squeeze in there a trip to Kenny's work to take him our second set of keys for the car and lunch.  I forgot that before I can any of the running around part I need to fill the car up with gas.  Goodness, I hope your day is a little less packed!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wisdom from my 14 year old

This week in school both of my boys have been learning about volcano's and other related topics in their science classes.  I even got them a DVD from the library for them to watch as part of one of their lessons.  I guess that all of this has gotten Kelton to thinking about more than just volcano's because when I picked him up from Seminary today he had this to say:

"Mom, I have been thinking about things and I came up with this cool metaphor.  Our Country (and the whole world) is like a volcano right now.  There is so much tension around and you can just feel it building. It's just like a volcano when it builds up pressure until it just explodes.  If the tension keeps building like a volcano, one day everything around us is going to explode."

Kelton is my son who is more quiet and is always thinking but never really sharing what is going on up there.  I should have been shocked at how he put the 2 together, but it really is the type of thing that Kelton would come up with.  I am completely amazed that he shared it with me and even said I could put it on our blog.  Kelton is also my boy that likes to read the paper and watch the news and he will think about what he has learned and then when he is ready he will come talk about it and ask questions.  He will also share his opinion and he has many strong opinions already formed.  

One of the things about the observation that Kelton made that bugs me is that he has to know about terrorists and suicide bombers and war.  He learns from everything around us that people can't always be trusted even if it's your spouse (news coverage of different spouses killing the other spouse).  He knows that there are other children living in tents and motels because of how the economy is right now in our Country.  He knows that things are different now than they were when he was little and so far nothing has gotten better.  When he talks about everything exploding around us he feels as though one day he will be not just hearing about war, he will be involved in war.

I am very proud of Kelton and how he see's the world around him.  He isn't one of those kids that will sit around and keep pondering on bad news, he likes to look at things in a more positive way.  I'm the one reading more into his comment than him.  I guess I'm doing that because I never had to worry about that while I was growing up.  I never had war cross my mind until I was 16 years old and Operation Dessert Storm started. I definitely did not know that there were terrorists. He was just excited to have thought up such a good metaphor.  I will keep telling him how cool his thought is (because it is) and try hard to keep things light and leave out the doom and gloom.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Morbid Rabbit Hole

This whole idea came up because I love to read the articles by Robert Kirby in The Salt Lake Tribune.  Last Saturday Kirby wrote about a friend of his that died and the service was for his friend.  It reminded me of my Great Aunt Betty's funeral and my dad's funeral and I started to compare them and also think about how my funeral should be. I know that funerals are for the people you leave behind but I still have to be in control and ya'll have to grieve the way I tell ya too! haha!

I have added the article that made me start to think about all of this and I had to add it because of the amazing way that this gentlemen's family honored him.  It was so incredibly thoughtful and loving.

When we had left the funeral for Aunt Betty I was talking with my boys and told them that I don't want a sad funeral.  I want it casual and there has to be food.  I would like it to be similar to how my dad's was.  We got together as a family and talked about things my dad had done and we told the same old funny stories that we had hear a million times but they were still funny and it was how we remembered my dad.  The rule for me is that everyone has to come with some funny story to share, if you don't have one you can pick one from the blog and read that.  The whole point is everyone should be able to laugh and share stories.    

I then specified that I want a pink coffin.  Not a tacky bubble gum pink, but a subtle pink sort of like the coffin above. I like just that hint of pink.  I think I would have the inside embroidered with a Temple instead of the tacky rose.  Anything would be better than that rose!  I'm not sure as to what I want to wear, do I go with tradition or rebel and wear some fancy gown (I was a princess for my wedding, I could be one in death). Morbid, I know.

Kirby mentioned that he didn't know what mementos he would want to have with him.  As far as what mementos I want with me, I have no idea.  I think the bulk of the weight of my dad's coffin was from all of his mementos.  If they could have put his race car in there with him they would have.  That part I don't understand, it's not like you get to take them with you.  All they will do is sit inside your coffin making it squishy for your legs and rot.  I would rather have someone using my things and enjoying them like I did instead of rotting down by my feet. I really don't care that at that time I will be dead, the whole idea of having the area for my legs and feet being squished kind of creeps me out.  Like this whole post should creep me out but I really think it's funny that I have put any thought into this at all.

I know, this whole thing is just morbid.  At the same time I think it is funny.  Who else would plan their funeral long before there is ever a need.  I guess since my 2 close calls last month I have thought about it a little.  Kenny's idea of planning is to have me not claim his body and make the State take care of him.  I would never do that but he has said on several occasions that is what I'm to do.  Whatever!

No matter what happens or when it happens you have all been told what to do when I die.  You have your assignment and I will show up at the funeral if your not laughing and eating.  I will definitely show up if there are any loooooong speech's.  I will be the mute button!!! :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Utah State Fair 2011

We went to the fair yesterday after Kenny got off work.  We couldn't have picked a better time to go.  The temperature was perfect and the crowds were small.  It was perfect!

We got there just in time to watch the rodeo. The only problem was that everyone in Utah, Idaho, and Colorado had gotten to the stands an hour before us and there was no where to sit.  We stood off to the side and was able to see the riders come right out of the shoot.  It was exciting and the boys enjoyed watching their first experience of seeing a rider ride bareback on a horse and to see it bucking.  Before the beginning of the rodeo they had four people parachute in with different flags, I got pictures of the two people coming in with our State flag and our Countries flag.  I was very impressed that the other parachuters were there to catch the American flag so that it didn't touch the ground.

After watching the rodeo for a little while we decided to walk around for a bit.  The first thing we came along was a complete Lego area.  They had Lego car races and these two "statues" that were built out of Lego's.  I know my boys are older but I still forced them to have their pictures taken in one of them.  It was a little annoying for the other people around us while they waited for me to get the boys to agree to their pictures being taken in the Lego animals.  One day, they can add it to the list of reasons of why they are in therapy and why I was a bad mom.

Our most important stop at the fair is to see the animals.  I have been wanting at least a small farm and or ranch, so the farm animals were a must see.  We saw the cows first and I really really wanted to pet one but since all my knowledge about cows have come from movies I didn't want to just approach one of the cows without permission.  Movies make them all look skittish and I really didn't want to start a stampede at the fair.  Okay, my imagination just went out of control.  I doubt it would have started a stampede but I also felt that it would have been disrespectful to just approach their roped off cattle.  Just in case, for the true city slicker, I will label the 2 pictures of the cows so you know which one is which :)

Dairy Cows

Beef Cattle


Our next stop was to see the sheep.  I just had to pet them, I knew the sheep would be okay and not start a stamped.  At least I don't think it could happen.  This was a first for me, I barely will touch any animal. That even included our dog, I would let him sit on me but I didn't really pet him much.  Don't ask, it's just a Rachelle thing.  Anyway, I loved how the sheep felt. There were some that had not been sheered yet and their fur felt so thick and almost soft but not really.  Hopefully someone understands that, it's kind of hard to explain.  I also had to pet a couple of the pigs. They look wiry and rough and that was exactly what I felt.  They were all so cute and the one that I took the picture of reminds me of the large "Spring Pig" in Charlotte's Web.  The big pig that was in the pen behind Wilbur.                                         

 Once we had all sufficiently Purelled ourselves to death we moved into one of the other agricultural buildings.  Of course the first thing you notice is the large pumpkins.  There were 2 of them but this one was the bigger of the 2 and everyone in there thought that they needed their kids pictures with the large pumpkins more than any one else did.  After waiting I did get to take this picture and finally after much patience I got my boys to pose for me one more time to help show how big this thing really was.  It weighed 896 lb's.  Crazy!!!

In that same building they had a huge display to teach you about bee keeping in your backyard.  This huge display with bees working and going in and out of a tube to the outside of the building had us all mesmerized. My mom's backyard is big enough that we could do this and then sell the honey at one of the local farmers markets but Chris is allergic so I knew that wouldn't fly.  It was still amazing to watch them work.

 Once we could peel ourselves away from the bees, and finding out that the owner of this incredible display was holding the queen bee in his hand.  It was time to move on and wander around.  We worked our way past many interesting things (and people).  Eventually we found ourselves at the fine arts building.  I am always amazed at how talented people are.  There were so many paintings in there that I wanted to bring home.  My very most favorite painting they had in there was an almost life size portrait of Christ.  It was a side view of him and he looked so calm.  It's how I imagine him and it brought a calming feeling to me. 
Even though I saw other people in there taking pictures of the art, I didn't think it was right, so I didn't take a picture of any of the artwork. If I had there would have been a ton more pictures to share.

Speaking of talent, I had to take this picture of a piggy grill.  As much as I love piggies, there is no way on this green earth that I would ever put that in my yard and use it.  Besides that I don't do the grilling and I know that there is no way Kenny would be caught dead standing in front of that grilling some Brats.  The sign next to it announcing the huge blowout sale that they were having makes me wonder if there were normal grills for sale or if they were all animals and this was the poor little piggy that got left behind?        One may never know.

We finally found something other than cheap toys that would break in five minutes of getting home.  This little booth had not only some of the ugliest (skanky, I took a picture so I could show how bad they were but decided not to put anyone through that) tops but also had character shirts that my boys liked.  Taylor got Sonic and Kelton got Perry (the platypus from Phineas and Ferb).

We were all done at this point and I really should have brought my cane, I couldn't even stand up straight while we were walking back to the car.  To get to the car we had to go back past the rodeo and we got there to see the last 2 bull riders.  We (I) had to stop and watch.  The boys had never seen bull riding before and when I looked back I swear their eyes were almost the size of dinner plates.  It was awesome!!

It was such a fun evening and a great way to spend time together as a family.
It was perfect!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Summer 2010 Adventures

Now that August is over I thought I would recap this summer so that we can remember all that has happened. Our (at least mine) motto was "Go Big or Go Home." I figured that since most things happened multiple times that I would do my recap by the numbers. Here we go: (none of this is in order, it's a number thing)

0 vacation/camping/moon lake fun!

1 new daughter (my cousin Jessie was thought to be my daughter for a day, she is only 3 years younger than me. I must have started incredibly young!)


1 surgery

1 passed out followed by a seizure and a code. Luckily I came back before they had to do CPR or zap me!

1 oxygen concentrator (still need this at night)

1 blood transfusion, I was a couple pints low :)

1 week long boys camp that included 1 injury (both boys went this year and T was very brave while they were fixing up his arm after flying over his handlebars on a mountain bike trail)

1 Stake Youth Conference (Kelton had so much fun)

1 trip to the race track to watch the drag races (tried to go again but we got rained out)

2 birthday's (Kenny and Taylor; T turned 12 and received the Priesthood)

2 biopsy's (because one is never enough)

2 ambulance rides (one time one of the EMT's was Kenny's customer, small world)

2 ER visits

2 trips to the water park (really should have been more)

2 UT Blaze games

3 hospital stays

4 CT scans (this could be more but I'm pretty sure it has been 4 so far)

5 IV's (once again, because one is just never enough)

5 finger pokes so far to check my PT/INR because of the Coumadin.

9 canisters of oxygen

13 doctor visits (these were not all for me, I did take care of other family members)

Too numerous to count were the blood clots in my lungs and the number of times I had my blood drawn (my veins started to shut down in my left arm). I think I can also add all the antibiotics that I have been on.

So far it looks like Summer is going to creep into Fall. Taylor was diagnosed with reactive airway disorder (I know asthma) and he will be having surgery on Sept. 26th. He has been calling it his pit stop and then makes drill sounds. He is just having the hardware removed from the inside of his tibia, he is starting to get a little bowlegged. Kenny hasn't been feeling well but is slowly getting better. Kelton still needs some more tests to figure out what is causing some of his pain but his blood tests all came normal. The doctor thought he might have RA also. Good News!!

Through all of this I have been able to see and appreciate all the blessings that have come our way. I understand that each day is a blessing and the time with my family is more precious now than ever. It should have always been that way but I was so content to take it for granted that we would always just be here. Almost dying helps to make you learn quickly how precious every moment is.

Here is to a just as eventful summer of just needs to include regular adventure instead of medical drama :)