Red Button of DoomOne mom, squinting to make up for her refusal to wear contacts, wondered, “Is that a panic button?”

Another added, presumably joking, “I hope the whole house won’t explode if one of the kids presses it!”

“Nope,” I replied, thinking nothing could be worse than what the thirty children were already doing to my house in celebration of my twins’ fifth birthday.  “It’s just a central vacuum cleaner port with a red ball stuck in it,” the handy work of one of my daughters a couple of years ago.

The central vacuum cleaner died long before we moved in, and I’ve often wondered how it would compare to the cumbersome portable we use to pick up the remnants of cheerios, animal crackers, and cheddar bunnies.

I hate vacuuming, and luckily, my husband does most of it. Other chores are mine.

This weekend, though, the house is tidy (considering how many kids live here!) and lunch and dinner are planned. So, I’ve got some time to do a little housekeeping on this blog (and visit other blogs):

  1. Fixing dead links, thanks to the short lifespan of some of the blogs and other websites I’ve referenced here.
  2. Claiming my blog on (let’s see if this works): Follow my blog with Bloglovin. What are you using instead of Google Reader?
  3. Replying to comments. I appreciate the discussions on this blog, and I apologize for disappearing for a few days. It’s been a very busy week offline.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!


  1. I think that had we used and hosted our sites ourselves, then there are a couple of plugins that we could use to automatically detect broken links. Alas, my site is on, and so short of manually clicking on every link I’ve ever used, I don’t know how to make sure things aren’t broken. How did you do it?

  2. I tried out both Feedly and Bloglovin…I like the Feedly iPhone app but prefer bloglovin on the web. I’m still bitter about google reader, but it doesn’t look like I’ll get my wish and they’ll change their mind about discontinuing.

    1. I’m bitter about Google Reader, too. It seems like they’d slated it for the ax a long time ago, so I doubt they’ll change their minds, but I wish they would. It’s too bad. Have you tried The Old Reader? Raidergirl (in the comments below) is using that one.

  3. I must say, that does look like the kind of panic button one would imagine on, say, a spaceship! 😛
    I was recently doing some housekeeping on my own blog – it feels good to go through and ‘clean up’ things once in a while. Though, I suspect this might be because in the summer I’m both moving house and then moving to uni, so in the real world the housekeeping is ‘shall I keep this or shall I throw it away?’ and changing things around, too.

    1. The blog housekeeping never ends! Oh well. It sounds like you have some big changes on the horizon. How exciting! I hope you have a great time in college. My 10-year reunion is later this month, so I’m feeling a bit nostalgic about college.

  4. We took out all the carpet (put in hardwood flooring, or tiles or such) so we dont’ really use a vacuum anymore. Swiffer-ing all day.(well, not me. someone else, like my husband, does it)

    I’m using The Old Reader instead of GR. I’ve got it set up like GR and it is the most like it that I’ve found. It is a little slower updating some blogs, but now that I’ve stopped looking at GR and comparing, I don’t notice it anyway. It’s there when it’s there. I tried bloglovin (and claimed my blog, whatever the heck that even means!) but it was too graphic heavy for me. I dont’ like change a lot.

    1. Our house is strange because the main floor has six different types of flooring, including tile, marble, and bamboo. We’re planning to replace it (with hardwood or bamboo), but we’re going to wait until our kids are done spilling stuff on it.

      I’m not sure what it means to claim my blog either! I thought it couldn’t hurt to do it. I’ve heard about The Old Reader, which sounds like a great option for those of us who miss Google Reader. I’m getting the hang of both Bloglovin and Feedly, though, so I probably won’t switch at this point.

  5. My apartment in New Jersey had a central vacuum port, and I never knew how to use it, although I was curious.

    I’ve claimed my blog on Bloglovin’, but I’m using Feedly on desktop and iPad to read my RSS feeds. Flipbook is a lot of fun, but I prefer Feedly for blogs.

    1. I’m curious to know how to use the central vacuum, too! As for reading RSS feeds, I’m using both Bloglovin and Feedly right now. I’m not sure which I prefer, though I’m probably leaning toward Bloglovin. Feedly seems less intuitive, but I might prefer it if I just spent a little time on there to make it work for me.

  6. I hate vacuuming, too! I don’t know why – I think it’s the noise it makes. Luckily that’s the one chore my husband seems to enjoy, so it works out here, too. 🙂

    I’ll have to check out Bloglovin. I’m feeling really lost without Google Reader – I’m definitely not keeping up with my regular blogs as well. 😦 Thanks for the tip!

    1. Vacuuming exacerbates my allergies because it disturbs all the dust. I can’t stand it!
      I hope you like Bloglovin. Lots of people also like Feedly. I’m going to miss Google Reader!

  7. A central vacuum would be pretty groovy. I think it would give the house a space age sort of feel 😉 I already follow you on Bloglovin but yay for claiming your blog!

    1. The “panic button” is one of neat quirks about our house. Thanks for following! I follow you on Bloglovin (and Feedly–I’m using both), too.

    1. Interesting! I bet it was loud. You’re in Canada, right? I remember reading somewhere that central vacuums cleaners are more common in Canada than in the United States, where I live. Our one is quite old, and I don’t know many people who ever had one.

      1. I don’t know. We only ever had one house with it, one that was built in the ’80’s. I don’t know anyone else who has it (or had it, I don’t know how long they last). It’s an interesting idea, but kind of limiting. I like being able to break out the extrnsion cord and vacuum the car. 🙂

        Also, my brother and I liked to open the flaps and put stuff in to get sucked up. It was SO FUN.

        1. That sounds like fun! I suspect our central vacuum is from the 60s (the maker doesn’t exist anymore), but I’m not sure.

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