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Hoarders No More
11:00 p.m. - 2014-05-13

Over the last few years our book supply overwhelmed the insufficient shelving in the living room. The books were shelved in double layers and books were stacked on top of books on top of books. It looked pretty bad. We were going to get new shelving and went so far as to get an estimate. The estimate was about the same amount it would take to buy another car so obviously we passed on that. Then our daughter told us about a great little place on the peninsula that sold unfinished and finished-to-order furniture and suggested we go take a look. We measured out the living room and even though the furniture place was about an hour away, we ordered shelving for about 160 inches along the long living room wall. The cost was about 1/10 of the previous estimate. There was a waiting period of about three months for the shelves to be delivered to the store, but we got the call that they had arrived about two weeks ago. Luckily, our brother-in-law has one of the biggest pickup trucks I have ever seen, and he is also one of the nicest guys on earth, so he and the spouse were able to pick up the shelves and bring them home in one trip.

The shelves got here on a Saturday, and by Sunday night they were installed and full of books. We all thought that I would have to be really ruthless about thinning out my books, but in the end I got to keep most of them. I would say that I weeded out about four xerox boxes full. Today I went to the hardware store and got some shims to finish up the installation. Out here in California we don't just slap the shelves up and fill them, they have to be fastened to the wall with earthquake straps, too. I've gotten pretty good at shimming up shelves so that they don't lean in funny directions and don't pull on their earthquake straps.

Now that this big job is done, we are going to move the old shelves into the sewing room, another big job for next weekend. In the meantime, I am loving the way my books are so nice and neat, and I can see them all and find just what I am looking for. All this new ease of access to my cookbooks has made me try a few new recipes this last week. I have made the America's Test Kitchen Vegetarian Chili (really good) and tried out some carob recipes (merely OK). In addition to reading my books now that I can get to them, I have been making baby items for gift giving, some sweaters and lots of bibs, and will now never be caught in a rush if a baby shower comes up on the schedule. The garden is lagging, though, since it is a drought year and we were waiting to see what was going to happen. We are going to have a small garden this year with just cucumbers, tomatoes, basil and squash.

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