Family Archiving Made Easy. Sort of.

Dear Readers,

To be honest, we’ve been kind of surprised at how many of you have expressed an interest in Project Irving Family Archive.

Okay, “kind of surprised” is an understatement. In fact, we were completely shocked. Frankly, it made us wonder whether you actually have lives.

Because seriously, what kind of maniacs would voluntarily lock themselves away in a remote mountain lair with multiple boxes containing thousands of photos dating back to the mid-1800s, with the goal of getting it all sorted and properly archived…within a week?

Oh, right. That would be us.


Sorting photos…not a task to undertake lightly.

But since so many of you have expressed enthusiasm (or possibly pity, we can’t tell sometimes), we thought we’d offer you some helpful pointers that have worked for us during our long archiving career. Of three days. But who’s counting? Not us, that’s for sure.

Schedule regular breaks. Trust us, getting up at 5 a.m. and setting to work by 6, only knocking off for brief cups of coffee and jujubes, is not the way to go. The blood pools in one’s nether regions, leading to bad decisions and unfortunate gaseous consequences. Wendy is looking pointedly at Karen right now.

Having said that, coffee is definitely a necessity. Tea just won’t cut it. You need heavy-duty caffeine for this work. Buy extra. You will thank us.

Also, despite the Great Jujube Calamity (we shall say no more on that subject) we do recommend having a steady supply of jujubes on hand. They will keep you from killing each other, at least until your supply runs out. After that, you’re on your own.


Brain fuel is essential. Just don’t let your beaver near them–he’s a jujube fiend!

Exercise breaks are essential. An advantage of holing up in a mountain lair is that whichever route you choose, you’ll be doing a good bit of hiking up mountainsides before you can get back to your jujubes….we mean work. To add an extra frisson, make sure you schedule your project at the time of year when bears will be coming out of hibernation. At random moments, shout, “There’s a bear!” to keep your companions moving at a good clip.


Time for walkies! Wait, is that a bear over there? Run for your lives!

Don’t forget to reward yourselves at the end of a hard day’s work. Knowing that cold beer and/or bloody Caesars await at the local drinking establishment at day’s end can keep you on track and working to full capacity.

Of course, there’s the problem of climbing back up the mountain after consuming your bevvies, nachos, and wings…but that’s a post for another day.

And now, it’s back to the salt mines for us. Pass the jujubes.


Karen, Wendy, Rachel, and Bucky.

Remember that what goes down the mountain must come back go easy on the beer and nachos!

Remember that what goes down the mountain must come back up…so go easy on the beer and nachos!





  1. Sounds like good advice! I think many are fascinated by your huge task because we all have those boxes and boxes of photographs waiting to be orgainzed. I have started this project several times….it is daunting! You are lucky to have several family members to help. I would be totally distracted by the gorgeous surroundings! Good luck!

Talk back to us!

%d bloggers like this: