("My Ultimate" will run most Tuesdays and will feature any topic that hops into my head. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the other New England Mamas. . . although they should).
When I worked full time out of the house, I learned that there were co-workers who either helped make my life easier, or who turned my (work) life into a living hell. I avoided that second group as much as possible.
Now that I'm home with the kids, I have little tolerance for things that make my life harder. Let's face it, the KIDS make my life harder, but I'm not turning them in anytime soon. Instead, I try to buy things that do the job right the first time. So, for this edition of "My Ultimate", I'll focus on a few things that suck (in a good way) in my house.
The first choice will seem odd if you consider that I had to just shell out several hundred dollars to plumbers in the past couple of weeks. But, as I wrote yesterday, this was not really the fault of our shiny new workhorses--I will continue to sing the praises of our trusty Totos. We got our first Toto when we refinished the first floor bathroom. The model was the Drake and when the plumber came to install it, he told us it was the only brand he recommended. The Drake is impressive----it uses very little water but can push a LOT through super quickly. When we remodeled our master bath upstairs, we put the same toilet upstairs. And, when we finally finish the gutted bathroom at the top of the stairs, we will try out Toto's Ultramax, a one-piece toilet with something called "SaniGloss" on it to keep it clean longer.
The next 'sucking' thing that I love is our Dyson. A few years ago, my mother gave us the original yellow model for Christmas. My sister said that when I opened the wrapping paper, the look on my face was the same one a child who gets a pony would have (I am so incredibly pitiful, aren't I?). For years, I had used a canister Electrolux and cursed those freakin' bags. Every time I went to buy replacement bags for the Electrolux, they'd be sold out, so I would convince myself that the bag wasn't THAT full and use it for a few more weeks. I changed the bag, maybe, every three months.
The first time I used The Dyson (it is always called "The Dyson"), I almost gagged when I saw how much I had sucked up. After checking that the fur ball wasn't actually my cat, I emptied the clear chamber into a garbage bag and vacuumed upstairs. Good God, how much hair can two cats lose before they are bald? Also, my old Chrissy doll's hair must be falling out by the handful given that no one else in our home has red nylon hair, and yet there were handfuls of it in the chamber.
I have one gripe about The Dyson---it is an upright. I prefer a canister model because you can get under things easier (I bought an attachment for The Dyson to get under beds, couches, etc, but it is awkward to use). But, I cannot quibble over the results----one vacuum upstairs and down, and I need to empty the chamber. It seems unbelievable that I ever used a bag for months and months before replacing it.
My other favorite sucker is my cheap little stick vacuum. For under $40 (on sale now at Sears!), this little guy by Eureka picks up all the crumbs, arts and crafts remnants, playdough bits, etc. It has no cord to trip over. It has no bag to replace. It is small, light and works better than some larger vacuums.
For my last thing that sucks, I had planned to actually USE this before writing about it. So, really, I have no idea how 'Ultimate" this will turn out to be, but I'm excited to try it out. It is the FoodSaver Home Vacuum Packaging System. I got this for Christmas this year since I found my freezer-bagged vegetables from my CSA were getting freezer burn. I'm hopeful that this product will help preserve my food AND give me more space in the freezer (so when I open the door, things don't fall out and land on my toes anymore).
So, do you have any favorite sucking things?