Archive for February, 2014

In November, I bought this from Amazon to clean my very old and never able to be clean kitchen linoleum.  

steam mop

It has worked all right.  But there really is no getting a 38 year old piece of linoleum clean after 38 years of farming, 25 years of children, and many years of doggie prints, ever really clean.  (or so I thought…)

But I love this thing in the bathroom that has tile laminate and one bedroom that has fake wood laminate and in the entry way where the little bit of linoleum doesn’t get much use and isn’t so old.  And then in January, I read that if one had many mop covers for the steam cleaner, one could save them all up for one load of wash and not be washing one or 2 cleaners at a time.  So I bought some.  Like this:

steam mop heads

And they clean even better than the more string-mop style of the covers that come with the original order and I now have a CLEANER than it has ever been 38 year old piece of linoleum!

Love the steam cleaner.  Love the micro cloths for the covers.

I need to use this again even though the floor is still cleaner this week without being cleaned than it was before I cleaned it last week.  It is getting cleaner with every use!  I’m so excited!!

But the Shark Steam Mop doesn’t scrub or do walls (I tried) or get to the corners.  I know I have really dirty areas that I want to have cleaned, really well, so I planned to buy a tank style hand-held steam cleaner for the other areas in January.

First I bought this.

Home Right cleaner

I bought from Amazon because returns are easy, their prices competitive, and the nice delivery person brings the box to my door versus me driving to the store, getting the box into the cart, onto the conveyor for check-out, into the cart, into the car, and into the house.  It didn’t take a degree in Rocket Science for that one.

Yes, this cleans.  No, it didn’t take the lime off my kitchen faucet but it cleaned out a whole lot of other “stuff”.

*I’m pretty sure I have just lost my friends with perfectly clean houses….*

I used this for 10 minutes.  And then I couldn’t take it anymore.  I went to the nightstand and got out my ear plugs for travel.  I could NOT stand the sound and noise level of this machine for one more second.  However, I wasn’t done cleaning by any means!

I cleaned for 30 minutes with the ear plugs.  It was awful.  I don’t want to clean with ear plugs.  An hour after I had shut off the Home Right, my ears were still ringing with the high-pitched whine of this beast.  I was done.  It was so awfully loud!!  The littlest scrub brush was smashed at this point.  I let it cool, emptied the water, and let it sit to dry inside for a day.  Then I packed it back up and sent it back to Amazon.  It doesn’t work.

A few days later, I ordered the Wagner steamer here.  It had just dropped in price so now the difference between the 2 cleaners was just a few dollars.  That was the good part of waiting.


The Wagner doesn’t have as many attachments.  It cleans just as well if not better and it only sounds like a vacuum, not a jet plane.  Even in my small bathroom with the door mostly closed, the sound is not a problem!  🙂

I’ve cleaned a lot with this little guy!  I’m in love!  (with cleaning?  Did I just print that?  :\  )   First, I cleaned the kitchen.  This didn’t take the lime off my faucet either so another method will have to come into play.

I like the pad with cover on this one better as it distributes the steam better and has a bit larger cleaning surface.  I have since bought a box of microfiber cloths so I have a PILE of cloths for cleaning.  I also use them to wipe up the water and blasted dirt if I’m using the small brush and steam nozzle.

The best test was in getting our son’s room ready to paint.  For many years, he had pet birds in his room.  Yes in cages, but they liked to throw food and “stuff” out of the cage.  Trust me, I’ve washed the walls in there often.  But there were small specks that just had not come off.  I took the floor pad, covered it with just an old dishrag (didn’t have microfiber cloths yet), and steamed the walls.  Any dirt or fingerprint or anything just vanished away!  I’m thrilled!

The other day I had it out again and cleaned some of my countertops.  I have formica counters from the ’70’s.  I wipe them multiple times a day.  However, I was astounded at the grime that came off.  It was embarrassing but very nice to have it off!  I also cleaned my flat top stove and got the collection from around the edge.  It blasts grime from the seam where the handle joins the appliance beautifully!  It took off almost all the grime from the inside of the oven door.  I haven’t cleaned the oven in a very long time.  I think if I give the oven a once-over with Easy Off, then more frequent blasts with the Wagner steam cleaner will keep it in tip-top shape.  I was shocked that it took 90% of the dirt off with just the steam and nothing else.

Hope this helps if you are out shopping for a steam mop or cleaner.  I’m pleased that I have both machines now.  Another project down the road will be removing the wallpaper in our bathroom and the steamer will be great for that job.

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Flower Basket

My dear husband delivered this beautiful basket of plants and flowers for Valentine’s Day this year.  The flowers are lasting quite a long time.

P1010959 v day B

Thankful he remembered a lovely gift.  He is a great husband!

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Wrong Way Binding

On Saturday, I cut the bias binding for the tree skirt.  Yes, you’ve missed a lot of WIP photos on that one… sorry but we’ll catch up once it is done.  The strips were even longer than my 36″ ruler and mat so it took much shifting and adjusting.  I do continuous bias binding but in the process of that, I rotary cut the strips to within 3 or 4″ of the edge (final seam) so that when in the tube there is only a bit left to cut yet.   I prefer that but really the whole process is a wrestling match most times!

Sunday gave me the chance to sew it on.  I think this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done!

wrong way binding

This is the wrong way to handle the inside points of the scallops so back to the ripper and back to my reference, Happy Endings.  One of my long-time stand-bys for all things binding!


Now all 12 scallops have binding sewn on, the opening edges where I could do the start/stop join and breathe a bit, and the inner circle.  The inner circle nearly proved to be worse than the inside points of the scallops!  I have it clipped and ready for my hand-needle.

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Winter Walk

Today I bundled up so that nearly every piece of me had on between 2 & 4 layers of clothing to talk a walk with my camera.   And then took off my mitten to operate the camera!  Yikes!!

(P has to check the hog waterers with a bare hand in water & ice every morning.  He had no sympathy for me.)

A mere -10’F wind chill near noontime.




Me & the snow bank (i.e. playing with traffic…)


The pine-tree-that-suffers looks pretty with the snow layer sticking to the branches.


Lightly dusted.

Nina & me b

She waited for me while I walked.  Good dog!

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Snow Blower

The state has now had to make the second trip out with the big snow blower.

Feb 7 2 B

Before this came this morning, the snow was only pushed off as far as the white line.  There is no shoulder.  Now they have another 2′ to push the next snowfall.

Which is due tomorrow.  But just 2″.  Just.


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I’m going to try to join in with Julie’s very fun blog and add in another journal – the Month in Numbers.  Here is January from a newbie!  🙂

I just found this last night so didn’t know to pay attention to the Communal Counts.

A) New things I tried: 2

  1. shopping for carpet in a decorating store
  2. wearing a fur hat  — warm, happy, proud

B) How much I paid for a loaf of bread this month: $2.99 for a regular loaf of 12-grain bread at the grocery store

My numbers:

Read 219 pages in a book – Something More by Catherine Marshall.  It was published in 1974!  (I’m NOT a reader so this is stunning that I’ve nearly finished one book in one month.)

I am keeping 8 journals —  in my A5 Fuchsia Filofax: a Five-Year Journal, a daily farm & family life journal, 365/30 Lists (a list per day, per month),  & to-do’s to Ta-Da’s!   Here on my blog will be: my month in numbers that I hope to make into mixed media art journals in various forms.  I also have a personal journal.   On my tablet that syncs with my phone, I have a running journal of appointments, special days, menus (counting as 1 journal), and my exercise log (counting as 1 journal).


I went to the fitness center to do water aerobics only 4 times.  (too much weather!)

We missed mail delivery because of snow 4 times because of too much snow.


Used 2 gallons of paint for 2 coats of paint to the ceiling in JP’s room.  Installed 1 new ceiling fan & light.  (cover of bulbs isn’t on yet as I think I’ll go with one step brighter bulbs)

P1010913 B

We received 1 letter – he is on 2 lists (Dean’s list & Chancellor’s list) – for a 4.0 grade for fall of 2013! Two proud parents.  🙂

P1010890 BCD

I hope you check out the Month in Numbers list that is growing on her blog.  There are several fun blogs already linked in the comments section.

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