What’s been up with me for the past 8 months

I’ve had a lot going on over the past two four six eight months with a lot of stress I couldn’t talk about publicly until now. News is, I’ve moved three five nearly six months ago, hopefully for the last time. I’m back in Albuquerque again. I couldn’t say anything because Mr. F-I had not given notice at work and some of his staffers visit this site. People in the forum knew. I’m very appreciative you kept my confidences all this time and I sincerely thank you. From the strike outs, you can see I’ve been updating this post for months.

I’ve been wanting to move back to Albuquerque for years. It’ll be nice being closer to an airport and of course, gal pal Sal. There’s still not much in the way of apparel manufacturing in Albuquerque, some of the usual suspects are still around which is only good news in that they’ve weathered the economy -but not in that I’ll get any work out of it. Sally doesn’t work local either. I only did for a short time when I lived here before and called it a lesson learned. It’s like anywhere, you only get respect in your home town after you’re dead and dessicated.

We bought a place in an area known as the South Valley. A veritable real estate buffet, the South Valley is a hodge podge of trailers, mixed agriculture and animal husbandry with high dollar horse properties. Next door is a sheep herder. Behind us is some kind of fancy place, a whole compound. Don’t know what they do but the clerk at Western Mercantile says to not make the mistake of using their driveway (it looks like an easement or street) or the property owner will become unhinged. Across the street is a trailer park. Amid the mix, the polite term is to describe our place is “fixer upper” but it’s closer to a dump. Ugh. It has benefits though, the most obvious is a 2,100 sq ft shop building on the property. I have mixed feelings about that; I haven’t worked from home in years so it’ll be an adjustment. It also has a cute guest cottage meaning I can house two or three people who want to take classes on site (the move is why I said the last class I did was going to be it for awhile). Hopefully I can start having them again in May June July. Before then, we have to redo all the electric and install decent lighting among incidentals. I have a class scheduled for June July with openings starting in July August. I supply a rigorous learning opportunity on the topics of your choosing (you can work after class as late as you like with the shop so close) a place to sleep, breakfast and lunch. And maybe dinner if you’re willing to cook. Let me know if you’re interested.

Other than the guest house -the only pristine building- the property is in a sad state of repair. Parts of the house are rumored to be 200 years old with 18″ thick adobe walls. It was originally a stage coach station on what later became known as Route 66. Sounds quaint, no? The cost of having the foundation repaired wasn’t. It needs new floors, down to re-leveling. The partial second story -also needs work- has a bedroom and a bath that from the size of it, must have been a ballroom bedroom at one time. It also has a small basement, that’s unusual around here. The house has quirks, like interior stained glass windows. A previous owner must have been a Bavarian carpenter; all the interior and exterior doors are dark stained dutch doors -with a twist. The top portion of the doors fold accordion like. While not without its charms, getting this place together is going to be a ten year project. I feel like I’m camping and fishing things out of boxes. I have no furniture beyond what was in my shop in Las Cruces because my family is still down there. We’ve yet to put our home there on the market. [Anyone want to buy a 1,300 sq ft home in Las Cruces? It has water rights and a nice pool.] Here, I am all alone and sometimes lonely.

Outside are the towering trees typical of the area. There’s an eight foot adobe wall out front. There’s some fruit trees -technically, an orchard, meaning five or more trees- there are two wells (one for drinking, one for irrigation), and surface water rights. There are several outbuildings comprising a 30’X75′ metal shop building, a small horse house (space for two can’t be called a barn), a chicken coop with a run and a walk-in closet sized little house that is down right spooky -there’s a stuffed owl in there that gives me the creeps and I don’t like owls anyway since they eat cats- and I can’t wait to tear that down, I think it was the original outhouse. There’s also a carport with partial adobe walls all around, about four foot high. And the guest house. That’s the only thing on this property that is comfortably habitable. It’s about 700 sq ft with a bath and kitchen. It also has the dutch doors. The floor in there is pine, laid in a chevron pattern; it matches the pattern in the wood ceiling. Vigas are everywhere. Last of all is the back pasture. The neighbor next door was grazing his sheep there in exchange for taking care of it, irrigating and what not, but didn’t do such a bang up job, taking as good a care of it as he takes of his own and that’s not saying much. Mr Fashion-Incubator wants to plant meadow with native flowers and grasses. He’s hoping it’ll be enough to support a hive.

With the sheep herder next door, I’m looking forward to restarting my It all starts here series but with wool this time. Now I can take pictures of cute little lambs. One got stuck under my fence. Poor little bugger, he didn’t make it. The move being secret and all, I was sad and couldn’t tell anybody about it. Lambs are bigger than I thought they’d be. I was dismayed that I couldn’t find a box big enough to put the lost one in when I took it over to the neighbor. It was sad and undignified with its back hooves hanging out. Then, something killed my hens (Billina and Orangatang) who conveyed with the property. I was very distressed about their deaths. We buried Billina in the back pasture, Orangatang we never found beyond some feathers. We had what I thought was an equitable arrangement. I fed them, talked to them, helped them find each other if they became separated and started sqwaking -and they left me eggs. I couldn’t eat eggs for a month after they died. I enjoyed watching them mill around the property talking to each other. Live yard art. When The Boy moves up and can help out, I want to get more chickens and name them all Dorothy. Not so much for the eggs although those are nice (I do not like Store eggs, even the kosher ones). I like live things meandering about. The only thing I didn’t like about them was that they’d eat the coffee grounds I put around the apple trees. You’d think bananas would be enough to sate them but no. Chickens are pigs with wings.

I’m thinking about getting geese too. Geese are fun -especially if you have cats. Everyone walks spryly and vigilant-like, keeping tails close to bodies or else. I had geese before when I lived more rural still. I called them my Witness Protection Program. We had a problem with folks who drove down from the city, sales people or others coming door to door and they’d want to witness while I was working. Their rules say they’re supposed to leave or not bother you at all if you’re a business but they didn’t follow their own rules. Anybody with a lick of sense won’t try to go through geese but these folks did. It never ended as they intended, not after one or two of God’s creatures got close up. The fact that they’d even attempt it told you all you needed to know. The boy was younger then. He’d prop himself up on a chair in front of the bay window and wait for the show to start. If the driveway had been any longer, we could have timed their sprints.

My family is still down in Las Cruces, I’m holding the fort by myself for awhile. We haven’t sold our house in Las Cruces yet so who knows how long it’ll be before they move up. I miss my family and I miss (all) my cats. I brought the three boy cats here a week, month six weeks ago. Also in residence are three other boy cats that the former resident has yet to find a home for and I don’t think she will. At this stage I’ve become attached and think I will tell her that at least one of them has disappeared if she wants to reclaim them. After one day of spatting (but no swats), the imports and existing residents are doing well together. No small feat with three alphas and a xenophobic cat. Now I need a dog. Or two. Something dug up Billina the day before yesterday and the desecration disturbs me.

bobcat_lying1 One week before I left for SPESA, it became apparent that we had a bobcat problem. They’re cute in National Geographic but not after they take out two hens, one cat (Fluffy, I was so sad, he was my sweetest cat) and three four five lambs. I didn’t have the heart to attempt to convince State Game & Fish to waste their time trapping it; bobcats are too smart to get in a cage unless they’re really hungry -and this one has been eating fine. I needed large dogs, but not just any large dogs. I needed dogs that wouldn’t go after sheep, cats, chickens or kids. Not so easy to find, it was quite a search. I found a remote shelter that specializes in dogs for rural properties, it was a three hour drive each way to pick them up. Call it a service for the newly rural, there’s markets in everything.

I did most of the selection over the web and by phone, apparently people come from as far as Canada to get dogs here. The place does an extensive interview for the obvious reasons but also to determine needs, limitations, time, care, personality of both human and dogs as well as infrastructure and property size. We ended up with Sandy and Boo. Sandy is helpful, stays close and likes kids, hens and cats. Boo is a pure bred McNab shepard, he likes to chase cats sometimes if he sees them running which puts a scare into them but both dogs are sweet and docile companions who won’t like bobcats on the property anymore than I do. In fact, since I got the dogs, the only fatalities around here have been a slipper, a cat brush and a peanut butter and banana sandwich.

Two weeks ago, Six weeks ago, Eric brought The Boy’s Mommy Cat, aka Shop Cat. She’s seems too old for 17, with a bad heart. We knew her eyes were bad but now I think her hearing is. I fretted the move would be hard on her but thought it’d work out, her originally being a barn cat who hunted prairie dogs and ground hogs. She never liked the city. She decided this place was great and completely settled inside of 15 minutes, surprising us all. I’m not exaggerating in the slightest. I’d always felt guilty taking her to the city but I’m happy she’s in a good place to die when that comes. She sleeps on the Juki needle-feed most days and agrees it’s a grand machine.

Work wise… it’s hard. I can’t work in the shop yet and everything is still packed. The shop needs better electric, better lighting and climate control. I have a few books unpacked but am constantly reaching for an arcane title I can’t get to. Well, that’s not entirely true. When I was packing two four six eight months ago, I scanned the bar codes of each book as I packed it so I have a great database listing in which each book is boxed -numbered of course. The problem is I have no place to put books I pull out of cartons. I can’t work on patterns or sew anything -which I also couldn’t do however long it was before I actually moved so it’s been about four six eight months since I’ve been able to write anything fun. About all I can do is whatever I can cook up from the computer. It’s frustrating too; my posting suffers without work sources of inspiration to draw from. I can’t speak for any of you but moving is so detrimental to my equilibrium. It usually takes me about a year to recover and I expect this will take me longer since I’m not even settled yet.

Then there’s the issues of dealing with a bigger city. On the plus side there’s more amenities, the arts and what not. On the down side, there’s the bigness of it and having to drive. I mostly don’t drive anywhere, even for food. The farthest I’ll go is three miles to the dairy to buy milk products, farm eggs and whatever they’ve pulled from their back yard garden that day. Other than that, I live on pinto beans, peanut butter and vegetarian ramen until Mr. Fashion-Incubator comes on weekends and restocks the kitchen. Another plus, we have curbside recycling. In Las Cruces, we had to haul it ourselves and would save it up in 6 weeks worth batches. On the downside, the city doesn’t have a separate dumping place for yard waste and branches; it all goes to the landfill. It seems like such a waste. Another downside is my internet connection which is lousy. This being the ag part of town, it’s not much of a priority to the powers that be (ditto for power, the sky throws down two raindrops and the power goes out for an hour -a problem if you get water from a well like we do). Another downside is the northern New Mexico style food, I’ve never liked it, they do weird things to it. What most annoys me is that they don’t strain the chile pod skin out of the red sauce and they think the game is to make it as hot as possible (and locals who’ve never been anywhere near the border will argue how wrong I am for hours). Flavor is what matters, hotness alone has no chiste. If you just want the spiciest stuff, it’s more honest to get the original (Navajo food) but that is hard to find in my area. Another option are the few restaurants started by immigrants from down south but then it’s a crap shoot until you figure out which places are safe because most everything has some kind of meat product (lard) in it. On the plus side, Albuquerque is home to Double Rainbow Flying Star, my favorite coffee and dessert place. Mr F-I always orders Mexican food there and once it arrives, remembers why he shouldn’t but then forgets the next time around. After the last time, I’m not going to let him do it anymore.

I appreciate everyone in the forum keeping the news of my move confidential for as long as they did. Now that I’ve made a clean breast of things, I hope my posting won’t be as guarded as it has been since I don’t have to worry about spilling the beans. And if you’re local, do say hi!

[Updated 6/26/15]
My new contact info:
Apparel Technical Svcs
410 Old Coors Dr. SW
Albuquerque NM 87121

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  1. Whitney Hyde says:

    Congratulations. Very exciting indeed. Keeping a secret like that for so long is VERY difficult. Like being pregnant and lying to your coworkers, ha ha. Hope it all comes together quickly. I for one am a HUGE labeler and so when things aren’t settled I feel very uneasy and have a hard time feeling creative. Hopefully you can chill out quicker than I can! All the best, I’m loving the forum so far.


  2. Milena says:

    Kathleen, that is so lovely that you have a new home, and your property sounds amazing. I’m sorry about your chickens. My parents had a hen that had 11 chicks, which were eventually reduced to four.. we found out later that it was a young eagle eating them. He got shot down. When I asked my dad how many chickens they’ve got, he says that they don’t count them :) better not to dwell on it too much. But the lambs! That is a tragedy. My parents raise lambs too, and they would be devastated if anything ever ate one. It’s bad enough when a couple don’t survive each season because of other stuff. But it’s great that you have the dogs now! And geese too maybe! Do you have a pond? They love water, don’t they?

    The pasture planting sounds like a great idea, I’m sure you’ll be able to have at least one hive. Are you new to bee keeping? Nothing healthier than having your own honey. Well, I’m very excited for you, Kathleen. I would love to see photos of the property and more of your animals.. maybe in the forum? Congratulations, and enjoy the summer in your new home!

  3. Kathleen, it sounds like a terrific adventure, but I hear it is hard to adjust, especially being separated from your family. I just wanted to mention that it sounds like you have plenty of space to make your own compost pile, no need to haul your yard waste to a dump. You can email me if you have questions about it, although I’m not much of a stickler to proportions or anything, I’m more of a ‘leave it all in a big pile and wait ’til Spring’ type.

  4. Marge Rohrer says:

    Since I love old, neglected houses and want to refurbish and extend deep love to every interesting one I come across, I was drooling about the potential of the property before I was half way through your news. I’ve moved enough in my lifetime to know how hard it is and yes, how lonely it can be. I’ve been in Highlands for 20 years and there are still times when it is lonely. We have such a fluid population (thousands in the summer ) and only about 2 thousand in the winter. I, also, have a sister-in-law and her husband that have lived in Albuquerque most of their married life and a good friend from the 50’s (who probably doesn’t know what a needle is ) that has also lived there for years. Unfortunately I’m not good at keeping up with her.

    My best wishes and happy thoughts to you as you work through all of the problems of moving, etc. You’re still one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. I’d like to say I ‘d see you in Albuquerque but I’m afraid our traveling days are coming to an end (mainly because neither David nor I like to travel much -probably the only ones on the planet that feel that way. I have no doubt that you’ll get all of the cons replaced by pros and you’ll enjoy some of the advantages of a bigger city.

  5. Jasmin Wilkins says:

    Congratulations on the move – it sounds like it will be an amazing home. My sympathies on the chickens, a stoat got ours when I was young, and I’ve never ever forgotten that experience. Your dogs sound fantastic, and when everyone is re-united it sounds like a wonderful adventure!

    Compost – chicken poop is awesome, and some sawdust if you can get it from nice wood …

  6. Eric H says:

    Composting can be a problem around here for two reasons, one due to the local conditions, and two due to a new wrinkle in the moneypit property. We have lived in the Chihuahuan desert, where composting only seems to work if you add water and you feel a little guilty sprinkling the compost pile with precious water. Seriously, wood doesn’t rot here; bread left out dries out rather than getting moldy. I can (coast dwellers will gasp at the thought) toss a wet swimming suit into the hamper without giving it a second thought.

    The other problem is the fact that the previous owner(s) left several dead tree roots and tons (no, really, 6 truckloads) of lumber on the property. When I say dead tree root, we’re talking about something with the same square footage as my first apartment. So far, we have treated for termites, discovered carpenter ants, and we can’t identify some of the other bugs of which there were thousands. It looked like a moving carpet — ever read Leiningen versus the Ants? Their neighbor Mr. Skink was very fat and happy; perhaps he will give the bobcat a run for its money one day.

    The wood needs to get burned or go away until we get these problems under control. Think for a moment about the prospect of starting a fire that large in a desert where the power might go out and leave us without an operating well pump with live sheep 50 meters away … I’ll wait ….

    So, the compost pile is going to have to wait.

  7. Kathleen says:

    Milena: I have never kept a hive but Eric is interested and I’m game. We both fret over hive collapses. I like live things, bees are a whole culture, the aggregate is a living organism. I hadn’t thought much about the honey but it could make for unique or signature gifts.

    Eric is right about the composting here, pretty much out of the question if you don’t have a chipper shredder and believe me, I lobbied for one of those. One thing Eric didn’t mention was fire hazard. Having lots of premium fuel lying around in a desert is a poor idea. We don’t want to burn down what trees we do have to say nothing of property. My neighbor’s fence line is a disaster waiting to happen (that’s how the baby lamb died, it got stuck in the debris) but I can’t very well suggest he do something about it if I don’t clean up my property first. And neither property has been cleaned up in years.

  8. dosfashionistas says:

    Kathleen, The new place sounds great! So much work, but so much potential! Old places like that are the most fun to live in. (At least I have always told myself so…considering that I live in an old farmhouse myself, it helps to believe.)

    Do keep us updated on the work in progress and take pictures for us. I know it’s off subject for the blog, but we want to see. I do anyway.

    I am glad you have the dogs. For me, out in the country, dogs are a must. My cats, again, in the country, have been inside cats, not going outside. There are too many predators that enjoy a kitty snack. I cringe when the hawk in the meadow gets another of the doves that come to my bird feeders, but the hawk is part of the bird life as much as the doves are. My answer has been to protect the prey as much as possible rather than get rid of the predator, and let the cycle of life be. But you gotta have dogs. Preferably big dogs.

    Best of luck with all of this!

  9. kay says:

    Rather than the European honeybee, you might want to consider some of the native bees: http://pollinatorparadise.com/nm.htm. Also, Carol Sutherland is the extension entomologist at NMSU — I believe she can help with some of the identification if you’ve got some resident bugglies you’re concerned about.

    Can you use grey water for composting in your area? It’s about the only way I get any composting done in the summer here in the PNW. And I highly recommend drip irrigation — saves water, saves salinizing the soil.

    If you’ve got iffy power, you might want to keep a tank some place with a hand-powered filter… it’ll at least keep you and the critters in drinking water for a few days while the lines get sorted out again.

    Sounds like you’ve got a great place to work on!

  10. Congratulations on your new home! I’m really excited for you you guys- I know you’ll make something fabulous happen there. Have you considered getting an intern for a short amount of time? Perhaps an energetic soul can help you guys settle in. Sounds like you may have the space to house them in turn for some of your knowledge. We live next to a flower farm and the interns are really wonderful and come from all over the world. They are willing to do just about anything to be able to learn from farmer Bob ( http://www.wollamgardens.com )
    Including taking care of the chickens, the bees, the very old house, and of course the farm.
    Post pics when you can!

  11. Ingrid says:

    Kathleen what exciting news! I very much enjoyed your write-up and can understand completely about losing animals. I think rural living is hard on animals…or at least on those of us who love them. Our barn cats quite often disappear due to coyotes, kittens drown in horse waterers, horses get bit by rattlesnakes, etc., etc. And at those times I wonder why we live in such a tragic place. On the other hand by living out here I was able to watch a hawk couple train their babies to fly, learn that cows use babysitters, and that barn cats believe “it takes a village” and will nurse any kitten who needs it. Anyhow, I know you know all the benefits of the rural life…along with the costs! The loneliness is something I’ve never completely solved although getting internet has made an enormous difference. Have you tried satelite internet? Much faster and reliable. Also I just have to bite the bullet and drive into town more often to see people. Your new dwelling sounds like a dream but might be more fun if you could win the lottery and have other people do all the work. My husband built our house and there are so many things still to finish (after 10 years) and sometimes I throw a tantrum about still having exposed sheetrock in my bathroom…there just is never enough time or money. I’ll be seeing you in Albuquerque as my best friend lives in Tijeras and I drive there every now and then. Congrats on the new place and I’ll be thinking of you!

  12. ClaireOKC says:

    Oh I hate moving – I hate it with a passion…it’s like throwing your brains on the wall and then the movers leave saying: Now you can find all the parts and put it back together again….ACK! But alas, you are closer to me, and more chance that I may get to meet you as I love to trek to Santa Fe here and again as it feeds my artistic addiction. Yes, I like to paint too.

    Your place sounds absolute divine. I know those older places require so much more work, but in the end they are so fabulous, and there is such wonderful history in the area. Here in the 46th state, we have so little history that we relish all that we have.

    And it’s good to unhinge the neighbors periodically – it let’s them know 1.) they have blood pressure, and 2.) they have neighbors!!!!

    Pictures…we demand before and after (and even during) pictures!!!!

  13. Amy says:

    Kathleen, you are a marvelous writer! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your most-entertaining commentary. I’m thinking you have two, very viable additional income possibilities here:
    (1) Become the great American novelist, producing heartwarming short stories about life in Albuquerque, featuring all the quirky characters and the Southwestern version of Dr. Dollittle/James Herriott style “All Creatures Great and Small.
    “Mr. F-I,” how funny–I love that!
    (2) As you sit home alone at night, with cats on your lap, how about writing up that Home Sewing Bible–complete with everything and with all the step-by-step tutorials included, for sewists like me who are eager to improve our basic-to-intermediate skills at our own pace but need a great teacher?
    Just planting some seeds… ;-D

  14. Tricia says:

    I really enjoyed reading about your new place, we too had a ten year plan when we bought this fixer-upper that we still live in.
    It’s been 22years, and we are still not finished! There have been many times when I just wanted to pack up and leave.

    “We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world”
    (Helen Keller)

  15. celeste says:

    Well now I know why I saw that for rent sign in your window :)
    But, I love Albq, and I think the new place sounds lovely.

  16. Lisa Bloodgood says:

    Yes, moving is a hassle. We moved 5 minutes away from our old and tiny place in August. I still have stuff in boxes. You certainly have my sympathy/empathy, Kathleen. I hear you about the lonely, too. My husband is at work all day from 9 or 10 am till 8 or 9 pm. Since I have my sewing room here and I’m the only one who does any housework, I do keep myself occupied. It helps to have a good radio station or good CD’s or an Ipod or something so you have music. But I told my husband he needs a personal assistant and I need a cleaning lady (not doing some of that stuff yourself frees you up to do other stuff that’s often more important or enriching).

  17. Suzanne says:

    Oh my, Kathleen, I’m so glad you can spill the beans. Having space for all those animals sounds lovely, and I’m glad they are keeping you company but I’m sorry your shop is so packed up. It’s frustrating to have your things there but not THERE.

    If I could ever figure out when we could come out, I’d love to visit you with the kids. I’d probably have to rip them away, it sounds like just their kind of place.

    I eagerly await more descriptions of your new compound and life. You’re a great writer!

  18. Congertulation, after get into your new place I hope you guys are having a great time and I think the new place sounds lovely.Kathleen, you are a marvelous writer! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your most-entertaining commentary. Thanks.

  19. Ann K says:

    Hi Kathleen,

    This is such a nice post and how nice that the news has gone public.

    I agree with Amy that you’ve made a great start to a serial about life in the South Valley. I even smell the makings of a screenplay!

    A suggestion for the heap of scrap wood: offer it for free to whoever will come and haul it off through a Craig’s List posting. People will go a long way for free firewood.

    And I love those dogs! Keep the pictures coming.

    By the way, you’ve probably heard the reports this week about bears coming down from the mountains in search of food…..?

  20. Christina says:

    The dogs to get when you have cats, chickens, and other tasty snacks are livestock guardian dogs. They have a genetic instinct to take care of any animal that they have been trained is theirs. I too was going to recommend a compost pile, but I guess they don’t work so well in the desert. My husband is really interested in electricity generation from wood chips/pellets–maybe the combination of the two would be good for you. Get rid of excess wood AND give you electricity when the utility company gets lazy–and the power going out routinely is something I associate with developing (or stagnating) countries, not the US.

    I am planning on getting some chickens for my backyard soon, and hope that you can get more soon too. (And I hope the bobcat moves to a different neighborhood–I wish that one would come clear out all the dogs and cats whose owners are violating the city ordinances by allowing them to roam free and POOP IN MY YARD and scare my AC repairman! Yuck! (Yes, I know I shouldn’t wish death upon animals since they don’t know any better, but it’s not any better to wish death upon their owners. And bobcats have to eat something, so better they eat the animals than their law-breaking, stupid owners, no matter how much I wish those people would leave my neighborhood!)

  21. Victoria says:

    Hi Kathleen,
    Hang in there. I think a year is not enough time. When you move to a new area, everything changes. The stuff you needed daily in the old place is not the stuff you need daily in the new place. It takes time to figure out the fit. But every year, it fits better.

  22. JustGail says:

    Congratulations on the move! Sorry to read about the chickens. I look forward to reading more about this grand adventure.

  23. Morgen L says:

    Kathleen, how exciting! I love the valley, we used to live on the north side off Candelaria and 4th. (It was kind of a dump as well.) I found greater ABQ to be a pain to navigate, especially without a car, but the downtown/university/valley areas are nice. Good luck, and say hi to Sally for me!

  24. Jonquil says:

    I hope you’ll all be very happy in the new home, and complete sympathies on the “where’s that damn book!” problem.

    You said ” When I was packing two four six eight months ago, I scanned the bar codes of each book as I packed it so I have a great database listing in which each book is boxed -numbered of course.”

    Could you talk a bit more on how you accomplished this? I need to do a massive pack-and-reorganize of my own book collection, and I was fearing I’d have to write my own scan program that patched into Excel. What did you use?

  25. Kathleen says:

    I’ll spare everyone the inevitable soliloquy and foaming at the mouth over the stuff I use and point you to this entry: How to organize books.

    In a nutshell, I use software, a tiny barcode scanner and a few library products. I sort books by call number but also according to frequency of use. For example pattern making books. I have many kinds and the dewey decimal for each is nearly identical (too long for a spine label). All pattern books get a red label but I don’t put all the red label books together. I put some (historical etc) in another section so they don’t take up critical shelf space for titles (of any category) that I use more frequently. The software I use allows me to assign a location for each title etc. It’s all in the entry I mentioned.

    Oh, when I packed the books, I assigned the location to a numbered box. This way it is easy to find any particular book even if it is still packed.

  26. Kathleen says:

    The lady we bought the house from who had left her three cats, came by to pick up two of them about three weeks ago. I ended up keeping her big tom, a total farm cat. He spends most days hunting in the neighbor’s barn and sheep pens. It would have been cruel of me to have not volunteered to keep him. She was relieved. Then sad. She’s had him for nine years, since he was a kitten. I told her she could come visit or have visitation. It would have killed him to move into an apartment in the city. His name is Rascal but I call him Funnel Face, his face is shaped like a cone. He’s friendly -and big- enough to have knocked over my 4 year old nephew by petting himself on the boy. A bit possessive tho.

    I later found out that she would have put the three of them to sleep if I hadn’t kept them. The thought that she might did occur to me. I feared it.

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