Tuesday, April 24, 2018

My Father's Craft

Since I mentioned the chess board and the little bowl my late father made, I thought I'd show them to you.

My father, James Armstrong Hindman, was a skilled craftsman, but he was the kind of person who did not want to do what he did for work in his spare time.  My mother would get so frustrated because just getting him to throw together a simple bookcase for us was almost impossible.  That said, my sister and I each have bookcases he made and we each have tall clocks for which he made the cases.  We treasure them all.

Here are the chess board and the bowl:

Monday, April 23, 2018

Library: The (Almost) Finished Product

Here it is, the almost finished library.  I have to tidy up a bit.  I just unpacked the boxes of my 'toys' and haven't decided where they should all live.  I'm glad we put shelves in the closet for the toys, my blank journals, my art stuff, and my notecards.  Yes, I still send notes to people;  one jokester in the crowd e-mailed me that when he got one of my notes, he was astounded and almost called the Smithsonian to tell them about this archaic form of communication that had arrived!

The room faces east, so I have direct sunlight to deal with.  I ordered bamboo matchstick blinds, which I hope will solve the problem without making the room look like a tomb.  The last photo is the view from the windows.  There's a corner window, too, but it faces my lovely neighbors.  I didn't want to invade their privacy by showing you their house.  I would also love to have a small sofa or a love seat.  I like to have my feet up while reading and to snuggle down.

Unpacking the "Library Stuff" boxes was like Christmas.  My library in Marshfield had a fireplace with a mantel, built in curio shelves, and wide window sills, so my toys and curios had lots of places to live.  In Philadelphia, there was no mantel and only one window sill, which I couldn't use because that's where the a/c went in the summer.  I hadn't even bothered to unpack several boxes, so I had forgotten about my little cast iron bear, my lion's head staple remover, my jaguar (some sort of big cat) ink blotter (I use fountain pens), and my tiger leaping through a hoop of fire.  I was delighted to see them again.

BUT, I was not happy to find more books after I'd already sorted and shelved what I thought were all my books except the TBR (and given away) books.  I found half a box of gardening books after I'd already shelved my gardening books.  I'd rather not have books stuffed on top of other books, but what was I to do?  I refuse to double shelve.  I need to see my books and don't want any of them to be hiding behind others.

In the second photo, you can see the board my father 'made' for my sister and I.  He was a talented cabinetmaker, so this didn't tax his skill.  I have an inlaid chess / checkers board he made for my grandmother and a curved inlaid bowl he made.  But he 'made' this flat board for my sister and I to use as a desk when we sat in chairs to do our homework.  It's all marked up with names and initials and this and that, but I almost panicked when I thought it got lost in a move.

We're so happy with this house, this neighborhood.  Believe me, I know how lucky I am and I hope I never take any of this for granted.

Now that the library is finished except for some tinkering, I hope to get back to reading!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Just a Few Shelves Short

The shelves are full and I still have 2 or 3 boxes of books without a home.  I did realize the other day that there's room for a small bookcase under the side window in the room.  I guess I'll have to use that.  I was so hoping to get all my books on the shelves.  I should be grateful that I have so many books and that I have shelves to put them on.  Many people have much bigger problems.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Library Progress and Books Read in March

Things are moving along in my library.  I've shelved pretty much everything except my gardening and nature books.  I have three completely empty shelves and two partially empty shelves.  I have nine boxes of books that I'd like to keep in the library.  What do you think?  Close, right?

Will they?  Won't they?  

As for what I've been reading, I've done better this past month than I have in months.  I finished eight books.  Still not my average, but better than the paltry four I finished in February.  In March, I finished:

The Bookseller  -  Mark Pryor

Chasing Cezanne  -  Peter Mayle

Le Road Trip  -  Vivian Swift

McNally's Trial  -  Lawrence Sanders

Sulfer Springs  -  William Kent Krueger

Something Light  -  Margery Sharp

Death and Letters  -  Elizabeth Daly

Before We Were Yours  -  Lisa Wingate

So what if they were mostly mysteries?  I like mysteries.  Shelving my books makes me want to lock myself in, with no distractions, to lose myself in more substantial books.  Maybe one day soon.