Several years ago, I bought a Persian runner at a little antique market. The woman I purchased it from gave me advice on cleaning the runner. She said to take it outside after a snowstorm and lay it in the snow with the pile side down. Leave it out there for a couple of days and then bring it back in. I secretly doubted her advice but put it into my memory bank. Back then, I couldn’t have thought about dragging rugs outdoors in the midst of winter – I was too busy caring for an infant and it was all I could do to take a shower.
I have picked up several small area rugs at flea markets over the years and every winter, I now have it together enough to heed her rug care advice. I must say I was skeptical at first but now I do believe. For some strange reason, lots of dirt will drop out of the rug without any shaking leaving the pile on the rug puffier and cleanish looking. When I lift the rug, there's always a brown rectangle left in the snow that disappears with the next snowstorm or when the snow melts. Silly thing to write about on a blog but this little chore always makes me so happy to see something clean around here with barely a lift of the finger.
This past weekend, I hauled out some of the rugs and let nature work its magic. I did get a kick out of the dogs though. They just took the opportunity to plop themselves down onto the rugs on top of the snow and enjoyed a little snooze. Boy, are they resourceful. Truth be told, the cats were out there too - that picture didn't turn out as good.
And if you haven't seen this bit of winter wonder yet, pop on over to Siri's blog Knitting Iris. She has some beautiful photos of hoar frost. I can't remember seeing anything so beautiful in a while. The wonders of nature and the blogiverse.
Our cats have been enjoying their own little kitty-igloo this winter. I left a garden cart filled with greens by the back door and it has been covered with snow for a couple months. They have turned it into their own little cat haven. So cute. There's always some little feline face popping out the little igloo door when I open the door to the house. They rest there escaping the snow until they can pop on in to the house and get warm again.
Addendum 3/7/08: My friend Bob sent me this link to Mother Earth News which explains why the snowy rug cleaning thing works. That explains it - thank goodness.