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Harriette welcomed for vacuum duty PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 16 October 2014 00:00

By Lori Pankonin

Johnson Publications, Inc.


My husband and I have rather reversed roles compared to most couples when it comes to shopping. I’d say he’s addicted. I once challenged him to go a month without ordering anything and he just plain refused my challenge.

Besides clothes, he gets gadgets galore. I do have to admit they come in handy sometimes. In fact, I’ve become pretty good friends with Harriette, our robot vacuum cleaner. Yes, she deserves a name as she’s a welcomed companion and freshens up the floors while I accomplish other things . . . or while I don’t accomplish other things.

Who knows what sparked the decision for Russ to purchase an iRobot Roomba when he so seldom considers household chores. I’m not sure how long it was in one of the extra bedrooms when I saw it in the box and wondered where it came from.

Eventually he got it out and charged it. Without seeing any directions, I attempted to use it simply by pushing the clean button. The flat round contraption moves along until it bumps into something, then it turns around and continues to make paths across the floor until it has eventually covered the whole room. What a concept.

You’re better off letting Harriette do her own thing. Once I tried to guide her to pick up some paper shreddings and she didn’t care for my plan. I realized I should just get out my Dyson if I want to drive. I tried to pick her up to redirect her and she bit me. Okay. Okay.

I had hoped to do some cleaning before we left for a weekend but it hadn’t happened. While we were packing, I turned Harriette loose. By golly. By the time we were ready to go, the kitchen floor was swept and the living room and bedroom carpets were freshly groomed.

I was doing bookwork one day when Harriette was making her rounds in the living room. Frankly, I forgot about her and all of a sudden I was puzzled by a noise. She had moseyed into another room for awhile and came back around the corner. Well, hello! That’s when I named her.

I generally put up stools, chairs, a book or whatever was close by to keep her in a given area. But she managed her way around the blocks, like a little toddler. Or possibly the guides weren’t heavy enough and she just nudged them along.

The cords behind our T.V. have their own little city to accommodate all the gadgets Hubby finds necessary for his entertainment viewing. Okay so I benefit, too, but it’s quite the menagerie.

Poor Harriette had climbed over the bottom shelf under the T.V. and was stuck in the cobweb-like mess of cables. Another time I found her under the guest room bed, discovering things I didn’t even know were there. Yet another time, she came towards me with a tangled trail of pink gift wrapping ribbon. Now Harriette, that was intended for wrapping little girlie gifts, not for chewing.

I learned something when I was checking into purchasing a Roomba as a gift. Duh. It does pay to read directions. My hubby knew but I wasn’t aware that Harriette came with little laser boxes. The laser light sets parameters so she turns around when she reaches the light. No need for those blocks to keep her from going under the bed.

Oh and get this. Some models can be programmed for cleaning sessions when you’re not even home. Or you can make a daily automatic chore time. And there’s a remote control so you can control the Roomba without getting up. Heaven forbid if we should have to put forth any effort and move.

You have to wonder about priorities in our society these days. People pay to exercise and they pay to have the house cleaned. Why not just clean the house? That’s a workout in itself!!

One time I definitely put forth extra energy. I went hightailing to Harriette’s rescue when she was about to take a ride down the stairway. Made me wonder if I needed to pull the baby gate out of storage. Now the laser light takes care of that dilemma.

How does she get recharged between sessions? Well there’s a docking point. When you hit the dock button, Harriette heads on over to her perch under the dresser and parks herself on the recharging unit. What will they think of next? Whatever it is, you can bet my hubby will check it out.

Good night, Harriette. Thanks for the help!

LORI PANKONIN is co-publisher of Johnson Publications newspapers in Imperial, Wauneta and Grant, and part-owner of the Holyoke Enterprise in Holyoke, Colo. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it