Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday Updates

My husband is home. He pulled in at about 1 am, maybe later. Though I was ecstatic for him to be home, his first three or four days back are always difficult for us. We forget our rhythms so frequently invade each other's space. While he is away, farm, school, work, family are handled differently. When he returns he expects things to be as he left them and they aren't. Or maybe his hotel time changes his expectations. Maybe while missing him we raise our expectations of him to unattainable levels. He will leave, again, in a few days. Before he leaves, maybe we will have time to settle back into our routines. Maybe he will have a chance to plant the clover and rye grass, so I won't have to! Maybe he can harvest the chickens, especially the young roosters who roost in a cedar tree outside my bedroom window. Maybe he can . . .

A friend with a lot of old timer knowledge came over a couple of days ago. He took one look at the Spider Lilies and said, "You'll see a frost within six weeks of the first bloom." He then asked if I planted the lilies like that. I wonder if he really thought I would plant them dotted all over the yard. I think I'll have to move them if the old timers think I'm insane. I don't care about the rest of the population, but I really want to impress the old-timers. Anyway, I love sayings like this from the old-timer population. Sometimes they seem a bit far-fetched, but the knowledge of the rhythms of the seasons was garnered not from television meteorologists, but through watching and recording nature. I like that. I also like knowing I need to get the winter blankets and comforters aired, the garden covers ready, the wood and fireplaces situated before a cold, rainy front unexpectedly blasts us. For the record, even if we have a hard frost, we won't see consistently cool temperatures until December. Thanksgiving here is a short-sleeved holiday most years. I think it was 74°F last year.

Book cataloging is moving along. Honestly, it is going slowly - oh so slowly. But I found an easier way. I decided to use LibraryThing - a small miracle of technology - then export my LibraryThing library to an Excel file, then import it into my library database program that my mother gave me. The wonderful advantage of LibraryThing is that I only have to type the ISBN number and all the details just appear rather than type everything. As an added advantage, they have a blog widget that I can use to add a book shelf to my blog. Just think, you can browse my library - or at least the parts I want you to see. Cool. The system my mother gave me lets me check-out books to friends. It also reminds me to get them back after a reasonable time. This system also has fields for whether the book is signed and for library location. By exporting and importing I can have the best of both worlds. Does anyone use LibraryThing? Is there anything I should know before I get too far into it? Does anyone hate it? Love it?


ZBTzahBTzoo said...

I don't know LibraryThing, but I like its name. I have a hard enough time keeping my recipe database up-to-date -- not that it matters much, with so little notice as to how many I'll be feeding, I tend to cook on the fly these days.

I love the old-timer wisdom though, and I used to love leafing through Mom's old entries in the cottage log. "April 28: Trillium up; opened the linen closet to a blast of cold air... October 5: leaves still clinging; no raking until spring, but, a visit from Pileated, Finally!"

Mr Z got in around midnight, Wednesday. No chickens to harvest, no clover to plant, no cattle to herd...I was selfishly hoping for a break from Zenzi's evening walk -- or even accompaniment, but the Yankees are beset with a scourge of flying insects tonight, and God forbid a man should miss a dozen innings of that :-)

Adjust, adjust, adjust, just in time to re-adjust in a week or so, right?

He's not a mariner, is he?

Angela said...

I can only imagine how hard it is having your hubby gone so much. I know that DH & I came to an agreement years ago that the homefront was my job, and we needed to find a middle ground of respect when he is home if things will work. ALl the assumptions of traditional roles had to fly out the window. We now compare lists of what we would like to accomplish over any time home (even weekends) so that we don't bicker. It works really well.
Love hte old timers wisdom as well. My gram used to say that the birds were nature's newscasters. She had all sorts of bird lore like that!
I looked into the library thing, and honestly decided my time would be better spent elsewhere. I mean, we've got thousands of books, and lots of turnover. Besides the initial work, it is all the maintainence. I'd never stick with it. Instead, I try to keep the shelves seperated by genre.

Fe said...

I don't know if you're a mac user (can't remember seeing it mentioned?) but if so, I highly recommend Delicious Library. It takes barcodes scanned in, or ISBNs, and also has the lending feature.
Of course, it's taking me quite some time to get finished! But I think that has more to do with me, and less to do with it:-)

Melora said...

I Love LibraryThing. Absolutely love it. Not only is it easy to catalog, but I love being able to see all my covers nicely lined up, and the covers that I can't find online, I can just scan in. They have fun little book recommending features too. I started cataloging before LibraryThing came out with Readerware, but I abandoned Readerware for the ease of LT. The only reason that an installed program might be preferable to an online would be if one had a slow or unreliable internet connection, or, of course, if LT went belly up. Come to think of that, maybe I should figure out how to load my LT date onto Readerware, just for insurance!

Wisteria said...

I love my Mac!! so I will look into the Delicious library.

The recipe database issue is an entirely separate post. I can write volumes because I have probably tried every program written. I found a winner!! I haven't changed in 8 years. That says something.

You didn't toss the log books did you????

Angela, Each of us making a list sounds like a wonderful idea. That way he gets to do some of the things he wants to do while home and I can get some things done while he is here. We need a balance. Of course, I spent all day in the city or rather I should say 7:30 to 3:30. Not much way to get in anyone's way if I'm not here.

Not having a TV is useful. When he is hotel living, he gets that sports stuff out of his system. Even without the interference of a game there is "down time."

No, not a mariner. His business travel schedule is seasonal. He'll be finished before Christmas and start again in January and be finished by March. Then, he will be home during the summer.

JoVE said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets tetchy when my partner comes home after some time away. Maybe we're normal and all those people who are happy to see each other and fall into each other's arms are a figment of Walt Disney's imagination :-)

No comments on the LT thing. The idea of creating a database of stuff I own makes me shudder.