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Note to self – get a flu shot next year. Last Thursday, a tickle in my throat in the morning progressed to a feverish fugue by nightfall. It was four days until I felt like half a human being again. I’ve been lucky to dodge the influenza bullet for several years without benefit of a shot, but this was a convincing reminder of how unpleasant an illness it is. Needless to say, the kitchen remains in exactly the same condition I left it week before last. With a few more nights of rest, I hope to tackle demolition of the walls this weekend.

In preparation, I bought a new toy. Meet the unfortunately named VacMaster:


I’ve owned several loud, bulky shop vacuums over the years. Some sucked harder than others (read that however you prefer), but none was particularly satisfactory. They all had a tendency to tip over and dump their contents, and to spit dust into their exhaust, defeating the purpose of vacuuming in the first place. After learning how filthy a very old house can be while I was demolishing the kitchen ceiling, I decided an upgrade was necessary.

The new vac is small, but VERY powerful. It’s relatively quiet, has a long hose and cord, and wheels designed to give it plenty of stability. Most importantly, the tool is fully HEPA rated by the EPA. The entire unit is certified to filter 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns. Translated, this means that the exhaust air of this vacuum is cleaner than normal room air. I can safely vacuum nearly anything, from piles of mouse poo to lead paint chips to plaster dust with confidence that they’re completely contained within the filter bag and won’t be spread any further.  It was a several hundred dollar investment, but one that will pay off in peace of mind as I continue to work on The Ordinary House.

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Weezie #

    Told you so.

    December 12, 2013
  2. Hope you have some of the fireplaces blazing to keep you warm. Get well!

    December 12, 2013
    • jrh #

      I wish! Since the last owner didn’t use the fireplaces, they’re all plugged with debris and can’t be used. Next year might have to be the year we get one unclogged.

      December 18, 2013
  3. mom #

    Perhaps you should listen to the women in your life.

    December 12, 2013
    • jrh #

      I do…eventually.

      December 18, 2013
  4. Anonymous #

    Get well soon. Weezie is right, you need a shot every year. BTW, make sure your DPT booster is up to date as well. There has been a surge of pertussis among adults as of late. Pertussis make the flue look like a walk in the park. Been there, done that.

    December 13, 2013
    • Sorry about last note. Forgot to sign in before responding.

      December 13, 2013
    • jrh #

      I’ve learned that lesson. And I don’t know what pertussis is, but I don’t even like the sound of it.

      December 18, 2013


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