Monday, January 6, 2014

You can take the girl out of Minnesota, but you can't....

I woke in the middle of the night to find the duvet and sheets all tangled up, with the COG lying on some of them. I gave a mighty pull and said, "Uff Da."

And immediately thought- 'Did I just say Uff Da? Where did that come from? I never say that.  But if I ever did it was 40 or more years ago.'

And, then, my sleep-sodden brain responded, 'If  Sherlock Holmes or Professor Henry Higgins were not fictional characters, they'd immediately know you were a Minnesota Girl.'

This morning I looked Uff Da up in Wikipedia:

Uff da (sometimes also spelled huffdauff-dauffdauff-dahoofdaufdaufdahooftauf daa, or ufta) is an expression of Norwegian origin adopted byScandinavian-Americans in the 19th century. It is an exclamation that is relatively common in the Upper Midwestern states of the United States.[1]

Uff da is often used in the Pacific Northwest and Upper Midwest as a term for sensory overload. It can be used as an expression of surprise, astonishment, exhaustion, relief and sometimes dismay. For many, Uff da is an all-purpose expression with a variety of nuances, and covering a variety of situations. 

So it turns out that Sherlock and Henry would only know that I was from the Upper Midwest or, possibly, Pacific Northwest. Unless they saw me roll my eyes and say 'fer sher.' Then they'd know - Minnesota all the way.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Update on Snow Cleaning of Rugs.

Lying in bed this morning, I had a brainstorm.  Instead of beating the carpets when they are facedown in the snow, why not use my vacuum cleaner to 'beat' them.  I know that my vacuum cleaner has an excellent beater built in.

So that's what I did for the last 3 rugs and it was amazing. First of all, it was much quicker and easier on my back than beating them. Second of all, it did a better job.  It's pretty amazing how much dirt came out of these rugs even though 2 of them were vacuumed  well 2 days ago.  There are satisfying dirty rectangles in the snow of the driveway.

I still hand swept the snow off, but that's kind of satisfying and it's easy.

Now that the rugs are clean, I'm cleaning the floors, too. I'm only half done with the downstairs because I stopped to go snowshoeing.  They'll still be dirty tomorrow.

Snowshoeing was great.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Persons of the Gingerbread Persuasion

The Son of and I made some gingerbread men/people/non-gendered cookies (and mittens because that's the cookie cutters we had).  Normally I can rely on myself to do anything a bit crafty with a fair amount of success. But these cookies taught me humility. We worked hard on them and ended up with something not quite as bad as what we started with.  And even that was mostly due to the edible googly eyes and mustaches.  My favorite of all was the mummy/zombie in the green wrappings at the far left of the first picture.  There were some one-eyed monsters, too. These were non-traditional gingerbread men/etc.

They are pretty terrible looking and make me laugh every time I look at them. So I hope you have a good laugh, too.  They were all eaten. And we had lots of fun making them.

Cleaning Rugs With Snow

I've been wanting for several years to try this technique for cleaning wool rugs with snow that I've read about on the internet. But we've not had enough cold powdery snow.  (I'm looking at you - Climate Change.)  Last night we did have enough snow.

And today I cleaned 2 rugs and tomorrow I'm doing 3 more.  It was very easy and satisfying, although I needed help with the rugs because they are heavy.

 Here are the steps:

1) put your rug outside for 1/2 hour or so to make it cold (you don't want it to melt the snow).

2) spread it face down in snow and beat on the back until you're really tired. Sprinkle some snow on the back and sweep it off. Then, turn it over into a different patch of snow.  If it leaves a lot of dirt behind, you can turn it facedown and beat it some more, and then sweep it with snow some more. But once might be enough.

 Below is a picture of the filthy snow, after beating the rug upside down.

3) With the rug face up sweep all the snow off.  Then put more snow on it and sweep that snow off. 

4) Shake it, if it's small enough, or do some fancy sweeping to get most of the snow off and leave it in the garage or the porch so the remaining snow can magically disappear in a process called sublimation. (At least that's what it says on the internet.)

This process is supposed to produce leave the colors in your wool rugs looking brighter.   I've done 2 now (3 to go, tomorrow) and I think it's true. They look clean and they smell nice - not that dusty smell rugs often have. It's a little hard to capture the color in a photo. But it's nice. 

Here is a picture from flicker of some women in the Ukraine doing this - Click here to see the picture, entitled Women Beating Rugs in the Snow - Lutsk, Ukraine, 1998 by Robert Nagle.