• The Vacuum and The Nasal Spray

    You can always count on me to address most pertinent issues of the day!  
    Last month it was refrigerators.  
    This month it is vacuums.

    I am not a vacuum snob.

    Really, I am not.

    Well, maybe I was a vacuum snob at one time.

    But I am not now.

    Ok, maybe I was a vacuum snob a few many times in my life
    over several years ... like maybe 30 years.

    But no more.
    I have evolved!! 

    Kirby Vacuum - 1980s
    Photo credit:  Ebay

    It started with the Kirby Vacuum.  The Kirby was a monster machine.  Big, heavy and strong.  Heavy because the shell and interior parts were made of steel, strong because it could to suck the life out of your carpet and big against other vacuums on the market at the time.  A vacuum on serious steroids.  It also increased your muscle tone, because it was a bloody effort to use ...  suction so great (no adjustments) that it gripped the rug in a kind of tug-of-war.  AND it was very expensive - something like $700 or more back in the 80's (expensive by today's standards, very expensive by 1980s standards.)  It was sold by a door-to-door sales man.  That is how I got mine - except he didn't knock on my door - he sold my friend one, and she shared her enthusiasm with me, and I chased him down so I could write that guy a check too!  *sigh*  Yes, I did that.  Hunted down a door-to-door salesman to pay him money!!  And then I told my sister about it, and he made yet another sale!  The things we remember from our past! I wish I could remember other things like curing cancer or making world peace.

    BUT, with the purchase of the Kirby, a vacuum SNOB born.  After all, I had a muscle machine now and I would never need to buy another vacuum again - never (per the salesman).  My house would be cleaner than my neighbors, as well.   Woo Hoo!!  (Today I would have asked if the Kirby also cleaned toilets and washed windows.  I would inquire ... if I never turned on the steroid vacuum would my house still be cleaner - because actually using a vacuum ... turning it on ...  has always been my real problem.)

    That Kirby lasted a long time, maybe 10 years - even had it repaired once, but in the end it began to fail and nothing could save it - so I was once again in the market for a vacuum cleaner.  

    By then I wanted a less expensive unit.  I think a bagless Hoover followed the Kirby.  Bagless vacuums were all the rage then (maybe the 90s??).  I had to have one.  Good for the environment, cheaper because there were no bags to buy, etc. etc. etc.  New technology, you know!  Except that since this was new technology - it was not really very good.  A few sweeps of the rug and the unit lost suction.  I lost interest fast.

    Then the next Hoover used bags - and I bought bags for several years.  Hoover was an ok brand, but I really felt like I needed a muscle machine again to clean 3 levels of a carpeted townhouse that had 2 adults, 2 kids, 4 cats and rotational move-in and out family members.

    Enter the Dyson!  By the end of the 90s Dyson had mastered the bagless technology and was beginning to take on more market share.  I had to have one.  I was dedicated to that brand for about 15 years.  Dyson makes a fabulous piece of equipment.  I have previously owned 2 upright Dysons, a canister Dyson and a stick Dyson.  They are very pricy, but they perform as advertised - they never lose suction.  But 'never' doesn't actually mean never as I discovered with the Kirby.

    That brings me to the present.

    For a few months I suspected that my current Dyson, a canister unit, was not picking up as well.  I blamed the condo carpet as difficult to clean.  After all, I had just spent over $2,000 for yet another new refrigerator so I wasn't eager to buy anything else.  But last week I got pretty frustrated - so I searched on Amazon - reviewed the comments and prices - and purchased an upright Shark.  It was less expensive than Dyson.  The living space I have to clean is less, so a 'muscle' machine just isn't needed.

    The head on this Shark isn't very wide.
     The plus is it fits in almost all my tight spaces!!
    The Shark was delivered.  I put it together, and it was a snap.  Literally a 'snap'.  No screwdrivers needed.  It all snapped together.  That was a first for me.

    And then I turned it on.  (We are getting to the nasal spray part of the story, I promise.)

    I started in my guest room.  The Shark worked like a dream.  Easy to push and pull, rotates easily, adjustable, quieter than the Dyson.  I was halfway through cleaning the first room and I glanced at the collection container!  It was FULL.  To the top!!  Are you kidding me, I thought.  I just vacuumed few days ago.  I emptied it, and moved on.  By the time I finished the 1,375 square foot condo, I counted 8 full containers of mostly cat hair.  Gray cat hair.   Gray cat hair on a gray rug that apparently the Dyson did not pick up.  Yikes.

    I guess I should be grateful that my cat's hair matches the color of my rug - it never looked THAT dirty.  Sooo .... the Dyson wasn't working well for some time.

    I am not a clean freak.  The Dyson was doing a good job at 'fake' cleaning (to use current cultural terminology.). And animal hair has been part of my life for so long - I consider it as normal as dust.  BUT apparently it was affecting more than just looks.  At my husband's last doctor's visit he mentioned that he has been sneezing a lot over the last 6 months.  The doctor suggested using a nasal spray for allergies!

    Nasal Spray??  
    What we needed was a new vacuum!!

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