Monday, September 26, 2011

Starting the new week

I've been far more industrious than usual and can now happily report that I've gotten two sets of book cases emptied, cleaned, purged, and restocked.  If you see a glow in the sky tonight in my direction, it could just be my halo.

The sale is taking my time these next few days.  I've been going through all the books left over from the shop and have been pricing them.  Next will be the needles and notions.  The yarns I want to sell are mostly down at the old shop building, so that will be Thursday's work, sorting and pricing.  This is all priced to sell, well below wholesale; I know there's not a lot of money around right now and I'm more concerned that people who will love this stuff get it sooner than later.

I have a question:  do any of you understand the Amazon book selling system?  I've been selling books (occasionally) over the last few years but have had something happen this time I don't recall happening before.  That is, I price a book, and within a couple of minutes another bookseller underbids me by say, maybe, two cents.  I played with some of my listings yesterday long enough to decide that there's something hinky going on.  My husband suspects maybe these larger sellers have some sort of bots watching to keep underbidding the new listings.  I can find nothing on Amazon that supports this theory, for either the hobby level seller such as moi, or the pros.  It is annoying at best.  I seem to recall something like this happened to eBay sellers long ago (foggy memory based on no particular evidence).  As a result, I've pulled most of my listings for now.  I already don't play well with others, but when I think someone's doing me a dirty, I'll step out of the game for sure.

And now, a gratuitous photo of Bob (in the left corner, weighing in at around 20 lbs.) and Haus (in the right corner, weighing in around 110 lbs.).  My boys; lovers both.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's the economy, stupid

My excuse for not exercising
This 1992 slogan from Bill Clinton's campaign is ringing in my ears these days.  As probably happens to many of you, my stomach churns each evening while watching the national news.  I hear this slogan when I hear stories about my hard working friends who are barely hanging on, and I hear it when I see my friends and family struggling to pay astronomical prices for health care (not to mention the ones who just can't pay for it at all).  I hear it when I hear stories about what's happening to internet sales, and I hear it when I see how many businesses have had to close in our little mountain town the last couple of years (including my own).  I hear it when the homeless people I see now are no longer only disenfranchised mentally ill people and alcoholics who are down and out.  It is, quite frankly, haunting me.  I wonder, sometimes, how things will ever get right, at least in my lifetime.  (Please note: I don't profess to have any big answers, and I try hard to keep my politics off this blog...usually.)

Just a sampling of what's getting purged
So having shared my angst with you, I'll proceed to babble about some other things in progress.  After returning to Taos a week ago, I decided it was time to purge more of my mess; this time starting with knitting books.  When I had the yarn shop, just about every book we ordered came home with me (she said, greedily).  Now that my knitting projects are mostly for donation, and simple patterns, I've decided to clear the shelves.  This week I listed over 20 books on Amazon, sold two promptly, and then this morning, checked my listings page:  all but about 3 of my listings have been plowed under by newer listings, in some cases cutting my asking price in more than half (it's the economy, stupid).  Books that were considered collectible a couple of years ago, and sold for big bucks, are now being dumped for next to nothing (ditto).  I am starting to think that I'd be better off re-shelving the most precious and donating the rest to the library.  My primary concern is that these books end up in the hands of someone who will love them.  What to do???

In the meantime...Monte (, Anila ( and Shelley ( and I have decided to stage a "porch sale" at my former shop location in Arroyo Seco next week.  They'll be selling their gorgeous hand spun yarns and hand painted fibers.  I'll be trying to sell the last of my shop inventory, which includes commercial yarns, needles, books, notions, and lots of free patterns.  If you are in the area or know of someone who might be in town for the Taos Wool Festival, please share this information:

Porch Sale at Taos Sunflower
Friday, September 30 from 9:30-3:00
located in Arroyo Seco behind the Doug West Gallery
(our same old shop location)

Well, back to the shelves.  If you look carefully, you'll see the tiny face of my enemy lying in wait on the floor...alongside my other enemy, the duster.  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The face of the enemy

Today is my day to wrap up my stay here in California.  Being the Princess of Procrastination, I always save all the good stuff for the last minute, including house cleaning.

This morning I decided that instead of waiting until mid-afternoon to tackle these tasks (and get all weirded out because I let it wait so long), I'd try something new:  get it done really early while I was still a) partially asleep and b) getting my morning caffeine load on.  It seemed to work.  I had two bathrooms scrubbed from top to bottom, everything dusted, but alas...I fear I have stalled out part way through my least favorite task of all...vacuuming.

Luckily, we have one of those built in systems, so all I have to do is drag a long hose around the house, but I still just hate it.  I've watched those programs on Oprah about people who have OCDs and can't vacuum their homes enough.  Boy, I wish there could be some middle ground here.  Maybe I shouldn't have fired the housekeeper whose only talent seemed to be vacuuming...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Local excitement

Lately the big stories on the local news have included an almost daily sighting of a dorsal fin of a Great White shark recurring in certain areas of San Diego waters, causing a few beach closures this past week.  A couple of days ago, it got a little closer to home (like a few of two of "my" beaches), in the form of this surfing shark.

The photo was caught by a local man who claims he didn't even realize he had captured the image of the shark Wednesday until he was looking at his photos that evening.  Get this:  local lifeguards tried to pass it off as a surfer, merely swimming back out on his board.  Well...I'm no shark expert, but the one they consulted says this was probably a 10-12 foot Great White.  The locals who were out in the water that day and learned about it later thought it was good publicity for the shark..proving that not all of them (indeed, few) are looking for human munchies just for something fun to do.

Score one for the sharks.

Have a good weekend...!

Photo courtesy of KFMB Channel 8 on line