Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I've been busy doing nothing! Just the day-to-day stuff that gets in the way of my blogging and forum time. ;)

Today it was a warm day for January so after school (early dismissal Wednesdays) the kids and I did some baseball practice at the park for two hours. I also baked chocolate chip meringues (yum!), had my hair cut and Cars had a playdate here in the morning.

Yesterday, I sewed two baby blankets and some burp cloths and cleaned the house.

This weekend is a party for Stephen's work. It is semi-formal and I had nothing to wear until Ash lent (well gave) me a dress that she bought a few years ago (before she lost the baby weight - I've lost mine and it fits me fine! lol). Anyway, it is a lovely dress but the hem needs to be tacked up again. I took it to the cleaners today to have them clean the dress and have the hem repaired but they said it would not be ready until Saturday after 4 so I just had them clean it (ready tomorrow after 4pm). I'll have to sew up the hem myself (or perhaps I will just use Stitch Witchery).

Tonight after the kids are in bed, I need to spray paint 25 wooden hands for the Auction Art Project. Then on Friday, I will be going to Dex's class to have the kids paint them.

And this week was looking so relaxing with my Monday nap. Guess I am just making up for it now...

Monday, January 29, 2007

I had a cup of tea last night at 9:30. I was awake until 3:30 in the morning! I cannot believe that the caffeine affected me that much. I didn't think it really ever affected me but apparently I was wrong.

One good thing is that I nearly finished my Book Club book. Although I thought it was a tear-jerker so I spent the wee hours of the morning wiping tears from my eyes.

I was able to get a nap this afternoon. Cars and I went up to my bedroom to watch a movie and we both slept for about an hour and a half. I don't think I could have made it through the day without the nap.

Cars' preschool has their Valentine's Day party for family on February 15th at 11am. Stephen has an all-day meeting that day so he cannot go. At 11am, I will be directing MOPS craft! It is a little tricky too. The person who usually helps me with crafts also has a child in the same preschool (it is at the same location as our MOPS meetings) so she won't be able to take over for me). I hope I can recruit a couple of people to help out because I would hate for Cars to be all alone at his party! :(

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Here She Is!

Here's Tara!

I think she looks so very much like Wally (they have matching haircuts although his is mostly grey). I think she looks a lot like my dad too - especially around the mouth.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Little League season starts soon. Next weekend, Jax has to go to the high school's football field to be evaluated. This is the first year that his skills will be evaluated before he is placed on a team. I am nervous for him. He was voted "most improved player" on his team last year so that gives you some idea of what his skill level is. Anyway, he will play at this level for the next two years and I imagine that will be the end of his baseball career. We'll see.

Dex is still at the level where he is placed on a team. I requested that he not have the same coach as last year so he'll start on a team where he doesn't know anyone. :\

Friday, January 26, 2007

Naughty Mommies

Apparently our Cosmo Fridays are very naughty.

The Momtini and the video from The Today Show: Today's Woman.

Fifty-seven percent of women polled on felt it was not acceptable to have cocktails at a playdate. Well, bully for them!

Now I am off to chill the vodka and get the snacks ready for today's Cosmo Friday.

Bottoms up!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

It's a GIRL!

My brother Michael (Wally) and Andrea had their baby about 22 minutes ago (2am EST on 1/26) AT HOME! Andrea's contractions started coming quickly so they called the midwife to come check her. When the midwife arrived she said the baby's head was RIGHT THERE and Andrea said she could not make it to the hospital. So the baby (her name is Tara) was delivered at home! How exciting!

Anyway, they baby has yet to be weighed and measured. Both grandmothers were present (my mom was there to watch Fiona since they thought they were heading to the hospital) and Andrea's mom was on the way to meet them at the hospital but had to make a detour to home when it became apparent they were not going to make it. Big sister Fiona awoke to the baby's cries shortly after she was born.
Cars went to school for the first time in over two weeks. They are working at trying to make up some dates for all the missed school (because God forbid they actually REFUND any of our cash!).

Tomorrow night begins the husband's answer to Cosmo Friday. They decided they will start "Wing Club". Tomorrow is the inaugural meeting. Laurie declared that Fridays will not do though since that encroaches on Cosmo Friday so they will have to change it to the third Thursday of the month or something. Cosmos trump wings! ;)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Mystery Box Mystery Solved!

Canadian Favourites called last night to let me know that it was indeed DeniSe who sent me the box of goodies. They apologized for omitting to enclose a card.

Now my kids can safely eat that food without concern that it was sent by a stalker. ;)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Oh, nuts!

Cars is allergic to walnuts, pecans and Brazil nuts. :\ I will just say all tree nuts to make things easier because there is always risk of cross-contamination and then people trying to remember those three of the, what, nine or ten common tree nuts is just too risky.

We were late to the doctor's appointment today and that completely stressed me out! Mapquest said it would take 30 minutes which I knew we could only get there in that time if it were the middle of the night. So I gave myself an hour and it took an hour and 10 minutes! I was freaking out! It took over 30 minutes for me just to get to the highway (6 miles away). Traffic and a little bit of construction suck! Then, traffic was backed off at the exit where I needed to get off the highway (first one after crossing the bridge).

After the skin test, we were sent to Children's Hospital for blood work. I was feeling a little bummed out about the allergy test results. However, while waiting outside of the lab for Cars' blood draw, I saw so many children with severe disabilities and medical conditions, I completely snapped out of my woe-is-us attitude and kept thanking God that a life threatening food allergy is the worse of our worries.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Mystery Box

Today, Purolator delivered a package to us from Canadian Favourites. That site sells food items from Canada that are not widely available in the USA. Inside the box were all sorts of goodies! Dare Fruit Gummies, (peanut-free)Quaker Chewy Granola bars, Tim Hortons Coffee, Tim Horton's tea, a package of playing cards with Canadian facts on it.

The problem is, I have absolutely NO IDEA who sent this to us. The outside of the box only had the waybill with Canadian Favourites as the sender. And there was nothing else inside (other than the goodies packed in bubble wrap). I thought perhaps it was from Ramona so I called her but she said no. Hmmm...

Perhaps it might be from my friend, DeniSe. She sent me an email before Christmas saying that something was on its way to us (if it has not yet already arrived). Well, nothing came from her. I did email her the week after Christmas to let her know. So perhaps this is it. I called Canadian Favourites but they are based in Toronto and were closed by the time the box arrived here. I will call them again tomorrow before I contact DeniSe (just in case it was not from her).

And to add to the mystery, there was number on my caller id this tonight from the Ottawa-area but no phone message was left. They must have called just before Stephen and the boys got home (I was working out). Maybe it is from someone in Ottawa? Or maybe it was just a wrong number and it is just a coincidence that it is from Canada? Curiouser and Curiouser.

Meanwhile, the kids cannot eat anything until I know it is not from a stalker. ;)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Lazy Day

We are having a lazy day. I did not sleep well last night. Actually, I slept fine until my cellphone started beeping shortly after 4am because the battery was low. I could not get back to sleep until after 5:30am! Then I was up at 6:30.

Today was Cars' last day at Sunday school because I decided to pull him from the program. I think I mentioned that he cries every week because it is held in the same room as his regular preschool class and the first week of Sunday school he was so upset because his regular preschool teachers were not there. Cars also did not like the teachers - one seems a little stern. Today she yelled when one of the kids bolted out of the class rather than just go after him. It was like "OMG! J has run out again! Quick! GO AFTER HIM!" to the other teacher. All of the kids jumped and then wanted to know what was going on. I am glad I made the decision to pull him out. We only went today because I was on the schedule to be the parent helper and I did not want to leave them short-handed.

*yawn* I need a nap. I think I shall declare a mandatory quiet time this afternoon.

Friday, January 19, 2007

A Very Happy Friday

Listen! Do you hear that? It is the sweet sound of rain! Pouring rain! Oh, yes - it is raining!! No more snow! Most of the snow has already melted. Who knew I would be so happy to welcome the winter rain?

Yesterday I signed Jax's 504 Plan at school and it is official. Well, except that the 504 coordinator for the school did not actually show up at the meeting and it will not be totally official until her signature is on the plan. I could tell that the principal and school psychologist were not very happy about that. Anyway, they will send me one more copy of the plan once it has the coordinator's (she is the whack school counselor) signature. After the formalities were complete, the principal asked me if she could refer other parents to me who were interested in going through the same process. WHAT?! Does this mean that the school district has had a change of policy and they will be writing up 504 Plans?! It felt so weird because of the tension filled meetings we have had in the past.

No Cosmo Friday today because Ash's dd is sick and Laurie cannot make it either. So instead of Cosmos, I shall imbibe in chocolate. More satisfyinig anyway. ;)

Now, I am off to Costco to buy TurboTax ($15 coupon in the Costco wallet savings booklet) and pork chops (coupon there too). And to get some veggies. Generators are $200 off this week too. Hmmm...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

No school for Cars yet again today. The school was on a delayed start today so no preschool. No delays or cancelations for Jax and Dex. The snow is melting and hopefully will be all gone by the end of the weekend.

The allergist's office called this morning to say that the doctor wanted to know if I wanted to get Cars in earlier to see her. Of course I do! The appointment we had was for the end of February - that is longer than most new patients have to wait! So he has an appointment for next week but we have to take him to the Seattle office. I have never been to that office before and already my stomach is fluttering when I think about driving across the bridge.

Tomorrow's Cosmo Friday is at my house. Not sure if Ash will make it because her dd is sick. I need to get more wheat-free crackers for Laurie.

Edited to add a link to The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network's statement regarding the "Boston Legal" episode which I wrote about on Tuesday.
FAAN Press Release - Boston Legal: It’s not about who is liable

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


My bff is coming to visit me for my birthday!

Game On!

Hurray! School is on today with a 1 hour delayed start (it is also an early release day though).

On last night's Boston Legal, there was a story about a teacher being sued because a child in her class died from a peanut anaphylaxis. The teacher was on the telephone when it happened so there was a delay before she administered the epi pen. The parents were suing her to make sure that she and others would "take care". Ok, so since the teacher was a client of Crane Poole & Schmidt, I knew that she would prevail (why do they never lose a case on that show?!).

Anyway, in the end, they blamed the parents for not hiring a "shadow nurse" to follow the boy around school. Or for not sending him to a private school where the student/teacher ratio is lower. I was so pissed off at that because what about the parents who could not afford to do that? While the teacher was not completely to blame (a child sneaked in a candy bar with peanuts), turning around and blaming the parents is ridiculous. Now, I know that it was just a fictional show, but many people will take away from it that the parents were to be blamed. It is just a sad situation and I can see why in their grief they would want someone held responsible.

It reminded me of one person on a forum I used to frequent who would always tell me that if her child had a peanut allergy, she would *never* send them to school but would homeschool them. Well good for her but that is not a practical situation for everyone. Not everyone has the resources or ability to homeschool. And really, my child is required to go to school so the schools should be required to ensure he is safe while in their care. And sadly, it sometimes does take lawsuits or threats of losing federal funds for the schools to be responsive and responsible. Why not just do the right thing in the first place?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

No school yet again today thanks to a new round of snow.

I can't believe this. Seriously. I can't.

Monday, January 15, 2007

I had good intentions. Terry could not meet me tonight but I was determined to go work out anyway. I got changed. I strapped on my heart rate monitor, put my shoes on and coat but as I was driving, Joann Fabrics was calling. I stopped at the one that was (sort of) on the way because but it was closed due to "power outage". So, I decided I would make a quick stop at the one that was a little out of the way to the club. But, it was their MLK day sale and so I had to look at EVERYTHING. Before I knew it, it was 8:55 and they were announcing that the store was closing! Yikes! Where did the time go?

But, chenille was on sale for $4.99/yard (regularly $12.99!). I really have no idea what I am going to do with the chenille but who can pass it up at that price? I browsed up and down nearly every aisle in the store (except the wedding supplies and picture frames).

Anyway, so I did not work out. I feel quite guilty now. But, I did get some good deals. :) I will definitely have to work out sometime during the week to make up for tonight. Definitely.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

We did not do much this weekend. It is still cold and it snowed again yesterday. This is getting ridiculous!

No school for the boys tomorrow (MLK Jr. Day). We are invited to a birthday party (Ding-Dong girl's brother turns 4). I will need to run out in the morning to buy him a gift and to go to Michaels and Joann's to get supplies for Thursday's MOPS meeting. Thursday will also be our table's day for bringing food so I will take a breakfast casserole and some juice. BTW, OJ has not been a good price since the beginning of the year. What is that all about? Everyone trying to get healthy with their New Year's resolutions so the stores do not have to put OJ on sale? Normally, I would just not buy it until it was on sale but Cars drinks calcium-fortified OJ at lunch and dinner since he cannot drink milk (for breakfast he gets apple juice and 2 calcium supplements).

I was supposed to teach Art Start in Dex's class on Friday. I don't imagine it will get rescheduled this month because I don't really have the time. I'll see if one of the other moms can do it. Also, I am working with someone to do that class' auction project. No idea what we are doing, when it is due or anything. Well, I know it is due before the auction which is in mid-March. Now we have to come up with a great idea for a project that people will want to bid on and that will not cost the classroom parents a lot of money. I saw these ideas and thought they were neat and could be done for under $100 (or less than $5/per child):

= a chess set made from an IKEA table ($15) and the chessmen will be made by screwing different shaped wood pieces together. The kids will paint the pieces and we'll put a picture of each child on one of the light coloured squares on the table
= a collage of sun print paper - each child will make one sun print and we'll frame them in white. I think it would look pretty
= mosaic bird bath (I stole this idea from here:
= celebration chair (this one is done all the time though)

I am meeting with another mom this week and hopefully we can decide what we are going to do and get cracking on it!

Friday, January 12, 2007

I took the kids sledding at Ash's again this afternoon. Boy, they had a blast. The snow would not nearly be so bad if they had the trucks to plough the damn roads! Anyway, this time when it was time to go it was the back hatch door that was frozen solid. Two more days until it starts to warm up.

A weird thing happened at Book Club last night. Just as we were beginning the discussion of the book ("The Myth of You and Me: A Novel" by Leah Stewart), P. blurted out that she was jealous of the friendship that Ash and I had and that she wanted to be Ash's best friend. Then she said that she knows that Ash and I had known each other longer (this was not true and everyone knows that they have known each other a little longer) so she understands but it still makes her sad. HUH? It was weird and uncomfortable and not something that you expect a 38 year old woman to say. The she said that perhaps she is just not a good friend which of course everyone had to say "Oh, you are a great friend". It was more than a little uncomfortable, and I felt that I should say something but in the end I just lifted my glass and took a big swig of wine. I really like P. but I don't understand her motive for saying it, especially at Book Club.
The ladies from Book Club left about 30 minutes ago. It was a fun time tonight. I was worried that everyone would cancel due to the icy roads but everyone carpooled and trucked on over in their 4x4's.

The roads are very icy. The temperatures dropped very quickly about 4pm and everything froze solid. We went sledding in Ash's backyard but when it was time to go home at 4:15, the sliding doors to my van were frozen and would not open. I had all of the kids climb in through the trunk then I had to climb in from the front seat to buckle Cars in his carseat. One of the doors is still slightly open and it will neither open nor close. I'll run the car for a while tomorrow to see if I can warm up the car enough to de-ice the door.

And speaking of tomorrow, no school. So, that is the 4th snow day for the year (and 5th day if you count the power outage day). The school has not built in these snow days so there are so many theories about how they are going to make it up. The most recent one is that the governor of the state is going to decree a one-time only deal where it is ok that the kids miss so many hours of school this year because of all of the weather-related missed days. Also, our kids get out early on Wednesdays so there is talk of extending the days on some Wednesdays to make up the hours. It will be interesting to see what they decide.

Stephen went to work for a couple of hours today. He drove with Ash's dh to go and rescue their stranded car then he and Gar drove to work together. They just stayed about 3 hours then headed home once the temperatures dropped. Gar dropped Stephen off at the church and Stephen was able to get his car up our hill to home. We'll see how the roads are tomorrow. Temperatures are not expected to go until Sunday or Monday.

Ok, off to bed. I hope the kids sleep in since there is no school in the morning!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

More Snow!

We awoke to a smattering of snow. Then a huge storm hit just before the evening rush hour. Stephen had planned to work late to get some project finished but then decided at 6pm that he should leave. He stayed an extra 20 minutes and then got on the road. After 2 hours he had made it about 3 miles. He stopped at the Redmond Town Center to see if he could get a room at the Marriott but they were booked solid! He now has decided to go get some dinner and will try again to head home.

It took Ash's dh 3 hours to get home. One hour of it was walking though because he finally had to abandon his car about 2 miles (and three huge hills) from home. He has graciously offered to take their truck out with chains on to get Stephen. I haven't heard back yet from anyone to see if Stephen has taken him up on that offer.

The biggest problem is that the temperatures are dropping so the slick roads are going to turn icy. I hope he gets home tonight!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Good News!

Some good news for a change! The school called today and they have decided that Jax is eligible for a 504 plan. I am going in on January 18th to sign it to make it official. All this discord and it is over like that! What a relief though.

The wind storm came and went. It did not last long. The temperature is dropping and it is raining so perhaps we'll wake up to snow in the morning.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Cars has an appointment with the allergist next month (nice of them to get us in so quickly). Cars keeps asking me if food is peanut-free before he eats it. I have to keep reminding him it is walnuts we are concerned about right now.

Yet another wind storm is headed our way. As well as very cold temperatures and perhaps some snow. I am off to Costco tomorrow so I will be sure to stock up on some things to carry us through another power outage if need be (and don't think I haven't thought about picking up a generator!). Also, Book Club is meeting here on Thursday nigth so I need to get some yummy food to serve. I shall have to stop at Trader Joe's or PCC to get some wheat-free crackers for Laurie too.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Kris mentioned in the comments yesterday that 2007 is not off to a good start for me. Indeed! Today, Cars had an allergic reaction to walnuts. Swollen lips, hives and a cough which fortunately Benadryl took care of. Tomorrow I shall be calling the allergist to have him tested for all tree nuts.

Not Letting Go

Ok, Ed from Dell called me this morning at 6:27am. Can you believe it?!

The call went like this:

Me: {groggy} Hello
Ed: Hello, this is Ed from Dell calling for DeniSe.
Me: *sigh* Ed, do you realize that it is 6:27 in the morning?!
Ed: I am sorry but this case was flagged as an urgent call back so I was calling to see if you had received the software we sent to you.
Me: Call back some other time, please!

So, now I just cannot drop it and boy is Ed going to get an earful. I have his callback number (he left it for me the other day). I wonder if this was flagged as urgent because he promised to call me back in three days and today is actually the 4th day.

And WTF is up with not checking the time in the time zone you are calling?! I realize that Ed is in India but certainly they must have something to tell them what time it is on WA state.

It reminds me of when Verizon called me at 6:42 one morning to thank me for switching over to Verizon DSL. When I called them back to complain about the call, the woman told me that they *never* call customers before 9am. So I told her that I had a call register over my Verizon phone line on my Verizon caller ID box that Verizon called me at 6:42 in the morning so don't tell me that Versizon does not call before 9am, TYVM. Then I canceled the DSL, refused the package when UPS delivered it and whenever Verizon calls to ask me if I want DSL, I tell them exactly why I will not.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

I have my laptop up and running although it is not exactly set up like it was and I have lost some things. I am not happy about it and I intend to let Dell know exactly what I think although Stephen says I should just let it go. But I cannot! I can't let it go! Just like last week when I bought dinner at KFC and the guy rang it up wrong (overcharged me) and the girl who came over to help him was snotty to me ("this would not be so hard if it weren't paid with VISA"). I told her I wanted my money back and to cancel my order and just why did she think it was ok for her to speak to me that way? Her jaw dropped to the floor and she got all flustered then the manager came over. I pointed out to him that his employee seemed to think it was a problem that they accept VISA at their restaurant. Really, I should have just let it go but I could not! I really just wanted to leave with a refund and my dignity but Stephen had his heart set on KFC and if I came home without it he would be so disappointed. And I really don't want to think about what the girl did to my meal while the manager spoke to me.

So, I really should just let it go. But I couldn't. Just like I cannot let this Dell problem go. Perhaps after I write them a letter I will feel better. I probably don't even need to send it. My Crazy Doctor used to suggest things like that to me (writing unsent letters). Perhaps I just might do that.

Friday, January 05, 2007


Thank Gawd it's Cosmo Friday!

It has been hard getting back to our normal schedule this week. Especially since things were not exactly normal for a couple of days. The park was closed (I mentioned that), my laptop is not back up and running (I mentioned that too), and it was only a 4 day week. Next week will be better.

We are having another windstorm and yet another one is due tomorrow night. I can hear the furniture blowing off the deck (no, we did not put away all of our plastic deck furniture!). I had Stephen pick up some more Duraflame logs on the way home, just in case the power goes out and we use the fireplace again for heat.

I found out this past week too that Duraflame uses "ground nut shells" in their products. I emailed them to ask exactly what kind of nut shells they use. They use ground walnut and almond shells. And, the product is 35% ground nut shells! Yikes!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I am over my Dell rant. I am still ticked about the whole situation and figure that I probably will not get my disks until Monday. I don't like it but I will deal with it.

The woman I know with that dementia stopped by today to ask me if I wanted to take her to Tully's. She had been out walking with her FIL - who has moved here with MIL to help take care of her and the family. He was standing on the sidewalk shaking his head for me to say NO. She has deteriorated terribly in the last few months. Her family is thinking about moving her into a home because she keeps running away. The problem is that she is only 47 and they are having a hard time finding a home that will take someone that young. It is so very sad.

So, my problem with my laptop has been properly put into perspective.

Friggin' Dell

My hard drive failed and the right button on the palm rest broke so they sent a hardware guy out to replace them. The problem is that the hard drive is brand new and of course there is nothing loaded on it. No operating system, no software that I had already paid for when I bought the laptop. I am mad! The hardware guy says that these hard drives rarely fail (hmmm, I did not get that impression reading the forums on the Dell website) so they do not send the OS or drivers Cd's automatically anymore and it saves Dell money.

So, I call Dell and am on hold off and on for an hour while "Ed" tries to figure out what disks I need. He finally narrows it down to 5 and tells me I should receive them in 3-5 business days. I asked him to expedite it and he says he cannot because they only expedite if they do not ship in a timely manner (HUH?!). I asked to speak to his supervisor and Ed tells me that the manager will say the same thing. I told him that they did not ship in a timely manner because the guy I originally communicated with on December 30th should have had the disks sent out with the hard drive and palm rest. "Oh, I had not thought of that. I see what you are saying" and he puts me on hold again for 10 minutes as I wait for the manager. He comes on the phone and apologizes for the problem and says they will send the disks expedited but they will not go out until tomorrow because we missed the day's mail cut off - by 10 minutes! Aargh!

Now, I have to wait until I receive the disks, reload all of the software myself, then load the other programs I had installed, reconfigure my mail program and wireless network and hopefully get back to where I was before. And, on top of it all, I forgot to delete all my old files and cookies off the old hard drive so I need to change all of my passwords on all of my accounts!

Dude, don't get a Dell!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Christmas tree is down and out the door. Stephen cut it into pieces and it is now in the yard recycling bin. I do not have the energy to put the PEZ cabinet back where it belongs so for now I am going to keep it where it stands and hope we do not have an earthquake (it is normally strapped to the wall).

I am thinking of bringing down the other big armchair from the boys old room to put in the nook where the tree was. Then I will put the reading lamp beside it and have a nice little reading corner. We'll see how that works.

We had another windstorm today and the lights flickered on and off several times. I think I would have been disheartened if the power went out. When I went to the park to pick the kids up from school, more than half of the parking lot (about 30 parking spaces and about 15 feet high) was covered with debris/fallen trees from the big wind storm that the city cleaned up from the park. It was amazing to see.

The National Weather Service is holding a contest to name that storm. Some of the suggestions so far are "Typhoon Merry", "The Big Blow" and "Seattle Unplugged". Suggestions can be sent to until Thursday of this week.

Monday, January 01, 2007


Happy New Year!

We had a great time last night, ringing in the New Year with some good friends and good food.

I looked back at my goals/resolutions for last year and realized that I did not accomplish any of them! Doh! So no resolutions other than the one to de-clutter my house and get rid of items that we no longer need or use. I think I can accomplish that one.

Our vacuum which was on its last legs (er, wheels) stopped sucking the other day. I had really, really, really wanted a Dyson but after checking out Consumer Reports and seeing that a Kenmore, for half the price, did a better job, I headed out to Sears yesterday and now we are the proud new owners of a Kenmore Progressive Upright Vacuum with Inteli-Clean System. The Inteli-Clean system is a bunch of lights which show green (low dirt), amber (more dirt) and red (tons-o-dirt). Embarrassingly enough, it glowed RED the whole time I was vacuuming. Apparently, our old one really hadn't been working well for some time.