Monday, July 4, 2011

Neat as a pin

Snuggler left yesterday. She's at a sweet little church camp somewhere in Pennsylvania. I've never been there because, as you now know, we don't drive. My friend Ellen picked up Snuggler's duffel bag on Friday night, and I dropped my daughter off at Pam's house yesterday morning for a ride out. And then Chris sent this photo and called to say Snuggler had arrived safely and was all set.

Don't let anyone ever tell you that city people are cold or rude. They do get annoyed when you stop in the middle of a busy sidewalk to check your tourist map and clog up traffic. But people who live in close quarters have had plenty of practice in getting along with and helping others. Unless, of course, they live in the rich sections of town. But that's another story.

With Snuggler and Dancer both gone it occurred to me that I could clean their room and it would stay clean for at least two weeks! That was such an awesome thought that I took a stack of trash bags in there right away and got to work. Five grocery bags full of paper and two bags of junk later, I started vacuuming.

Last December in a fit of maternal kindness I bought a $9.99 ornament-making kit at Michael's. (Yes, we do have a small Michael's here; it opened about a year ago.) The kit had styrofoam balls and sequins and little pins to use to put the sequins in. And the girls had a good time making glittery ornaments with friends. But one day, some months later, the box containing the sequins and pins spilled in their room.

I am not sure of the sequence of events after that: maybe I didn't discover the spillage until it had already been there a while, or maybe I didn't inspect Snuggler's clean-up job, or maybe both. We vacuumed up the worst of it, but the pins proliferated like fruit flies. They spread throughout the room and wormed their way into the carpet. It was a veritable plague, an epidemic of pointed proportions.

Eventually Little Guy got tired of involuntary acupuncture treatments and invented a pin vacuum consisting of the metal head of a broken lamp, with strong magnets around the inner edge. He glided his apparatus over the floor and was surprisingly successful at removing many dozens of pins.

My preference for solving the problem would have been to rip out the 15-year old wall-to-wall, which is in dire need of replacement, anyway. But our budget didn't permit that, so yesterday I spent an hour crawling around, manually extracting embedded pins.

I did not count how many I removed. It was a lot. And now that room glitters, not with the glint of steel, but with plain old cleanliness.


  1. I hope the ornaments are kept in your family forever. I have about 35 ornaments made with styrofoam, pins, glitter and little decorations that my maternal grandmother made back in the 1940's. They still adorn my Christmas tree each year. I do remember, though, her 'craft room' which was full of little boxes of craft items that we managed to spill from time to time growing up. Especially sequins are a challenge to clean up.

  2. The things Mom's do as part of clean up! :)
    Little Guy is an inventive fellow!
    Hope you had a good 4th.