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De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020

Stilly River Sage 11 Oct 20 - 11:47 AM
Dorothy Parshall 09 Oct 20 - 08:12 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Oct 20 - 12:29 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Oct 20 - 06:23 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Oct 20 - 12:25 PM
Charmion 07 Oct 20 - 10:09 AM
Charmion 07 Oct 20 - 10:07 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 Oct 20 - 11:47 AM
Stilly River Sage 04 Oct 20 - 05:48 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Oct 20 - 10:35 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 Oct 20 - 12:14 AM
Charmion 02 Oct 20 - 01:13 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Oct 20 - 10:46 PM
Charmion 01 Oct 20 - 10:45 AM
Stilly River Sage 30 Sep 20 - 05:33 PM
Charmion 29 Sep 20 - 01:46 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Sep 20 - 11:48 AM
Charmion 29 Sep 20 - 10:25 AM
Stilly River Sage 28 Sep 20 - 12:58 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Sep 20 - 12:34 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Sep 20 - 10:00 PM
Dorothy Parshall 25 Sep 20 - 08:13 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Sep 20 - 11:13 AM
Charmion 25 Sep 20 - 11:02 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Sep 20 - 07:45 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Sep 20 - 12:00 PM
Charmion 24 Sep 20 - 10:57 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Sep 20 - 10:59 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 Sep 20 - 05:22 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Sep 20 - 06:45 PM
Dorothy Parshall 20 Sep 20 - 06:26 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Sep 20 - 09:29 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Sep 20 - 10:28 AM
Jon Freeman 19 Sep 20 - 05:37 AM
Stilly River Sage 17 Sep 20 - 11:14 PM
Dorothy Parshall 17 Sep 20 - 09:55 PM
Charmion 16 Sep 20 - 11:28 AM
Stilly River Sage 16 Sep 20 - 11:18 AM
Charmion 16 Sep 20 - 09:46 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Sep 20 - 10:01 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 15 Sep 20 - 06:23 PM
Donuel 15 Sep 20 - 11:41 AM
Charmion 15 Sep 20 - 10:54 AM
Stilly River Sage 14 Sep 20 - 11:37 AM
Jon Freeman 14 Sep 20 - 09:54 AM
Charmion 14 Sep 20 - 09:49 AM
Jon Freeman 14 Sep 20 - 05:00 AM
Stilly River Sage 13 Sep 20 - 03:28 PM
Charmion 13 Sep 20 - 01:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Sep 20 - 10:13 AM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Oct 20 - 11:47 AM

Damn. Refreshed another page and this one went instead, taking my finished message with it.

Dorothy, keep an eye on that house you were interested in, sales fall through. Though I have to say that the house you're in now sounds pretty darned special!

I was up late working on masks last night, something I need to avoid because I do want to get up at a decent hour in the morning. I mentioned in another thread the photographing and posting of photos somewhere so people can see the styles and types of fabric. I'll do that this week.

I've been working on a prototype for keeping track of masks with earloops, after dropping and losing a new earloop mask this week. The idea is to use 3mm silky rattail, like is used for necklaces to hold pendants (I have a couple of these, but didn't know what to call the strands - it took a lot of searching). It will involve clips like those that hold plastic nametag cases to lanyards and the rattail, clipped to the bottom corners of the mask. I'll add them in the photos.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 09 Oct 20 - 08:12 PM

Dupont:

What a couple weeks it has been. After viewing the wonderful house on the Friday, I left on Sunday for Beaver. Two beautiful days floated by with no energy in me. The sum total was: unloading the kiln and finding some had exploded, and took others with them but still a good quantity. I reconstituted the underglazes that had dried out in the 10 years since last used. I thought a lot about how to decorate the pots and tried out a few brush strokes on paper. In the end, I did not have the will to try and had no energy most of the time. By the time I decided to do the same old stuff, I just gave up but trimmed the pots left from last trip and left them drying in the heated studio.

Feeling a little dizzy and wobbly most of the time, I finally broke down and phoned the health clinic and WOW! got an appointment to see Dr on Thurs - yesterday. Not having seen me in a year, and with new info, he wanted new blood tests and an ECG. I managed to see him, get the tests, get the house in order - except the unwashed dishes went in a dish pan and are stored in the Bath tub, to avoid mice. Also squeezed in short visit with Larry who was excited about the array of bisqued ware - in the LR! Larry is so supportive, even making me that path to the studio last spring through 6 inches of ice; it causes me to feel I must produce - for Larry! I certainly do not need any more pots but it is something to do.

Got on the road just in time to make it to the Goldmine before it closed - for pumpkin Brownies and apple crisp tarts - both scrumptious! (R and I shared one tart for BF this am.) But the last hour of trip was in the dark and not fun. I can see fine but still... I prefer daylight now. The shorter days are a pain!

The house we looked at had features that are sadly lacking here - space for potting and a huge enclosed veranda for plants and raised beds in the beautiful back yard. A few days later, R told me there was an offer and "I'm not really in a position to make an offer right now" I was so upset (I had already "moved in".) I texted him that I really did not want to talk to him. I needed to process and get over my distress/fury. We still have not mentioned it. Ten years of trying to be supportive and not add to his stress... I am now viewing as self defeating/counter productive, and I am exhausted and fed up. Ground hog day (the film) is heavy on my mind.

He did get home last night shortly after me. And, in my exhaustion, together we pieced together a meal. He had cared for the - now over 60 in-house plants - including the tomatoes, two producing pepper plants now, and all the rest. Brugmansia seems to have recovered from its snit and is getting new growth. The geraniums are still outside and I am not looking forward to finding space for them - but I will.

Tomato seedlings were not brought in soon enough and about half of one sort succumbed to damping off but there are still 8. I no longer remember which were which. Happy to know that Larry saved the seeds from the, one of each, R gave him. He has enough smarts not to start them til spring. In the meantime, I keep taking cuttings from the tomato plants to keep them from taking over the world so they ARE taking over our world as I am going to be "compelled" to pot them and find space for them! This may be becoming a serious disease! (mine, that is) When the weather warms in the spring, I will be able to put plants out on the curb "Free to a good home"! Even the African violets are becoming too many.

We have not turned the heat on yet. Chilly but R has not been here much and I can keep a fire in the stove. I did manage to bring in armloads of wood today and cover the new load to keep it dry as we are having rain tonight. It was fairly dry. Making a roast tonight to the oven is adding heat. If it gets seriously cold, I will turn on the heat.

Appointment on 15th for another sort of heart test (Echo, whatever that is). I can stop in at the hospital on the way back to Beaver. The timing works!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Oct 20 - 12:29 PM

I'm going to set up a place, possibly in Dropbox, for photos of mask fabrics and styles, to help answer the questions I get from people about what kinds I'm making (and selling a few). And for the friends who would receive them anyway to express a preference.

It got hot again this week, and the air quality was poor, so I haven't been out digging as much as I hoped to be. I think by the weekend it will be more seasonal again.

I am convinced that when I dust around here I'm simply rearranging the same dust, not removing any of it. The girls (Cookie in the lead, and Pepper as her co-conspirator) grabbed a fiber feather duster off of a low table and demolished it out in the yard this week so I need to get another, and I'm looking at one of the multi-tube vacuum attachments meant for getting dust from areas hard to reach or where things might get sucked into a regular vacuum attachment. Maybe if I can catch some of it and send it out of the house I'll get ahead of it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Oct 20 - 06:23 PM

The new electric trimmer has been assembled and awaits a cooler day to be put into service. We're back up into the 90o range this week.

I spent a few evenings in front of the television this week disassembling large sized beefy men's t-shirts to make more t-shirt yarn for the masks I've been making. Lots of great colors now; I was running low and limited in the mask fabric I could use (to have the ties look good - I suppose I could use black for everything, but there are so many vivid colorfast colors out there to work with). I have about a dozen new rolls to draw from as I assemble these, and a growing list of people who want them.

I'm down about six pounds since I started paying attention and doing a couple of days of modified fasting each week; still in the same pants sizes for now, though. No dog walking the last couple of days, but probably tomorrow in the morning, and if it cools off again. Mowing the lawn, digging in the garden, and walking the dogs are my main sources of exercise since the gyms are still off limits. The Texas COVID-19 numbers are going up again, after not really decreasing as much as they could have (as we see in other parts of the country). This is depressing. I'm thinking I can do some outdoor volunteering at the Botanic Garden now that it's cooler and my knee is in good shape.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Oct 20 - 12:25 PM

Good for you, Charmion! Getting into last year's jeans is a practical way to verify to yourself that you've lost weight. I'm not yet into the lower size that I still have hanging in my closet.

When I picked up the trimmer I made a loop past a couple of garden centers and picked up two shrubs, a fern, and some herbs and vegetables to plant. Now I really do have to get out and work, but today is a poor air quality day so it will wait till tomorrow. The fact that I have enough shade to plant a fern is a testament to my plan back in 2002 when I moved in here to create some shade in the front yard so I could plant shade-loving plants in the under story. And one of the shrubs is the American Beautyberry, also needing less sun, so both of these will be planted under the baldcypress down by the street.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 07 Oct 20 - 10:09 AM

Further to my last:

I have shed 4.5 Kg, which is just over 10 pounds. Another couple of kilos and I will be back into last winter's jeans.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 07 Oct 20 - 10:07 AM

Thanksgiving is next Monday here, and the public health officials can't quite bring themselves to discourage family reunion dinners. "Don't eat with anyone you don't live with", says the Medical Officer of Health, while the official provincial guideline says "No gatherings of more than 10". How many households comprise as many as 10 people? In today's Ontario, vanishingly few.

We accepted an invitation to dine with Himself's brother and family, including The Nephew and girlfriend who live (and work in public-facing service jobs) in St Catharine's, and now Himself is wrestling with the risk. I am willing to go, but Himself is not sure. I believe that he's afraid the visitors from St Catharine's will (unwittingly and unwillingly) infect me. I told him to make the decision soon, preferably today -- somebody has to be the bad guy, and he's the one with the doubts.

The next sunny day, probably Friday, I must get out with the secateurs and dead-head the flowers, especially the hydrangeas, although I see lots of them fading away in other people's gardens. The August drought claimed one of our shrubs, a species known around here as "burning bush" for its fall colour, and I shall take down most of it with the secateurs and a pruning saw, leaving the roots for Helena the Garden Goddess and her shovel-wielding minions. Apart from that, I'll leave the plants to take care of themselves; so far, they're good at that.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Oct 20 - 11:47 AM

Me again.

When I was dealing with PMR a couple of years ago (treatment concluded in September 2018) I cut way back on the flour I was using (going as gluten-free as possible to eliminate an "inflammation" source in my diet). I had some interesting flour here in various jars and canisters that has since gotten very old and mostly rancid. So after going through the fridge to removed old condiments, this week I'm looking through cupboards and shelves at the flour that needs to be dumped. Some of it is going in the trash, some might go into the compost. When it gets wet it becomes a gloppy mess that probably doesn't help the compost. I could sprinkle this over the ground but it would attract pests. I guess the dump needs some organic material to help stuff break down.

I'm not eating as much flour as I used to, so I'll replace these out-dated grains slowly, with things I'm actually going to use. I like spelt flour, white and wheat. I had a lot of brown rice flour but I usually only used that to make homemade dog biscuits. And I don't suppose the dogs care if that flour is old or not. Semolina - also too old to use - but I enjoy making pasta noodles occasionally, so I'll get more of that. These days I can buy as much as I need in the bulk section of a nearby grocery, so I don't need to worry about buying large packages I can't use fast enough.

Dorothy, have you moved all of the plants in? I'm preparing to bring in some herbs that will struggle but probably survive in the window over the winter. This is our big transplant season and I need to move a particularly successful aster from the bed it's in now to a bed where it can sprawl to its heart's delight. Among other chores. I'm also planning one more batch of pickles.

The trimmer has finally arrived at the store so I'll pick it up today. Curbside pickup, to keep myself out of the indoor air that is gradually going to be more of a hazard to all of us. The North Texas COVID-19 numbers are going higher these days, what with school starting back up (in particular).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Oct 20 - 05:48 PM

A note about my plants since I emptied the sun room of the storage and eBay stuff - there is plenty of room to reach all of the plant stands in the large 3-window bay-type window, and one puny little African violet has been nudged back to life and surprised me this morning by opening two pretty pink blooms! I've potted another of the succulents I rooted in water and planted a mum in a pot outside.

Some of the okra, the eggplant, and the tomatoes have been pulled and tomorrow I'll start weeding and digging for the next crops, probably broccoli, maybe cauliflower. I suppose I could try growing Brussels sprouts, but I'm not a huge fan so I'd be giving them to my daughter who does like them.

The back yard was finally mowed, but 3+ weeks out I'm still waiting for Northern Tool to get my trimmer into the store they're supposed to deliver it to. Lesson learned: I'll never again buy anything from them that they don't have in stock.

Middle of next week is Amazon Prime Day; I have a few items added to my wish list that I'll order if they're on sale. I've been working on getting the most functionality out of the devices I have here and have finally gotten the Adobe Digital Editions working on my Fire tablet HD and loaded several books (Bat Goddess told me about this a couple of years ago - the University of Chicago gives away a free eBook every month; if you get signed up for their email the note comes right about on the 1st and the send a link.) You need to use the Adobe authentication software and for the Fire I have to put the book into a Dropbox file and transfer it in that way; for some reason I can't get the computer to navigate to this tablet. The other device that has issues is my 2013 Sony SSD laptop; the USB ports are marginally useful so I've ordered a bluetooth mouse and will try that with the computer. If it isn't great I'll reset the computer to use in tablet mode and see if that helps. It's a touch screen and the mouse can be used elsewhere if it doesn't work on this device.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Oct 20 - 10:35 AM

Time to start putting some of the plywood pieces over the floor-level wall vents in the greenhouse, so when that first freeze threatens I can move a few pots in for the winter. And time to sweep and declutter as well. Most of the stuff on the front porch will stay there, but there is one plant that needs to come in (Bat-faced cuphea.

It's also time to start transplants around the yard. Thin the iris, move the lilies, move some aster, plant garlic corms, etc. It's a dry week coming up so I also need to remember to water the little redbud I transplanted last week.

It's cool enough that I feel like cooking again - finally! This year has been rugged, so being able to make comfort foods is welcome. On Friday I made a batch of macaroni and cheese, and to reheat I put it in a covered bowl in the microwave with a splash of milk. Heat on medium until ready so it doesn't become rubbery.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Oct 20 - 12:14 AM

You're correct about that. I'll inquire about her progress in dealing with the problem again one of these days, but I make a point not to insert myself into her workplace issues. I think it helped just to talk about it the other day.

Lovely fall-like weather right now, and evidence of rodents in the garden. Something took tentative bites out of a cucumber whose vine was dragging on the ground, so I've set up the trap again.

More fresh pickles bottled this afternoon (three spaghetti sauce jars) and I have a bowl brining overnight to make into bread and butter pickles tomorrow, probably 2.5 pints. I'll end up with about a half-dozen jars of those to last me through the next few months. The fresh ones will be ready to eat in about two weeks and they don't last long, they're popular with my ex and my next door neighbor. And me. I think we're nearing the end of the season, as the vines are looking rather bedraggled, but they've had a good run and there are another dozen or so growing out there.

As I hunted for a Ball jar box to store these newly-filled pints in I found a few things that are way too old and now in the compost, and I then turned to the condiments in the fridge and tossed another four jars. The commercial jars are in the recycle bin, the canning jars are in the dishwasher. I have a good collection of commercial jars already that are used usually for freezing things like sauces or my Puerto Rican bean recipe.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Oct 20 - 01:13 PM

That boss needs a talking-to, but not by your daughter, Stilly. Her job has an HR department, and this kind of situation is why they get paid the big bucks.

Despite rest and regular doses of Army smarties, my inflamed foot ligament is still hurting like stink. Consequently, I'm not racking up the mileage I should and I have not become any less porky this week than I was last week. Irritating.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Oct 20 - 10:46 PM

I had a conversation with my daughter today, who was near the end of her patience with her boss, who continually walks into her office without a mask. The state has rules about masks in public, the county and city have rules about masks in public, and HR at her employment insists everyone wear them all of the time. My daughter has a preexisting condition that means she isn't able to fight off bugs as easily as you or I might. And she doesn't think she should have to tell him what her condition is for him to follow the rules and do her the curtesy of wearing a mask in her office. I've sent masks to a couple of the folks I worked with when I was able to go volunteer there; I'd like to resume that work but the numbers in our county have gone up, not down (and were higher than Dallas County this week.)

I'm putting my fitness tracker to better use these days, getting out to walk the dogs around the neighborhood. The old lab kind of drags by the end of very long walks, but I think that's mostly because they're out of the habit of the walk. We'll work up to longer ones, today's walk was a bit much because I miscalcuated the block I turned on at the top of the hill and had a long walk around it.

You remember a some months back I talked about that silicone floor cleaner, particularly good for cat and dog hair? I've been using it in my sewing room to keep up lint and pins and hair, but today I went through most of the house and came up with quite a stack of mostly Labrador retriever hair. It does work pretty well.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Oct 20 - 10:45 AM

The new coffee percolator arrived yesterday and has proved unsatisfactory. Its coffee basket fails to keep the coffee grounds under close arrest during the percolation process, resulting in a brew full of grit. As soon as I get it packed up and labelled, it's going right back.

Fortunately, the old percolator has yet to leave the building. Next, I shall try a "Fitz-All" replacement bubble, suitable for percolator lids with apertures ranging from 13/16ths of an inch to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. The aperture in question measures 2 cm, which is (sorta, kinda) 7/8ths of an inch, allowing a whole one sixteenth of an inch of play. Crossed fingers.

I have invested an insane amount of time and effort in this problem, and I have the Google history to prove it -- at least a dozen variations on "Farberware stove top percolator replacement parts".

Farberware, once based in Brooklyn, moved to China some time ago and left customer service behind in the process.

With respect to masks, Stilly, I suggest you resign from the Mask Police, if only to preserve your sanity. We have the same problem here: scofflaws to the right of me, whiners to the left, all sure their petty discomfort matters more than public safety or community solidarity. A few weeks ago, I read an article by an epidemiologist in the Globe & Mail that helped me get some perspective. He suggested concentrating on the majority of people doing their best to obey the rules, each one mitigating the risk by his or her little iota. What matters is the majority effort; as long as -- say -- 80 percent of the community follows the rules 80 percent of the time, the risk level is tamped down to a manageable level.

Of course, for that kind of thinking to work, at least 80 percent of people must think of themselves as 80-percenters who are not "special" enough to break the rules. That's hard for some egos.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Sep 20 - 05:33 PM

The thing about eBay is that often times people don't use the correct descriptions, so poking around with other keywords has yielded things like a 70 year old replacement bobbin case for the sewing machine, and other things I can't remember I repaired in the past this way. But sometimes it draws a blank.

Automotive work today, air in the tires and an oil change, and they washed it - I rarely if ever wash vehicles so this was nice (even cleaned the inside of the windshield - I should ask they what they use, because I can never seem to have it free of streaks). I sat outside and read as I waited, none of their waiting area for me this time. Too many people still think if they have the mask over their mouths but not noses they're fulfilling the state requirement. I'm tired of reminding people to protect themselves by covering the nose, tired of people trying to pull a fast one.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Sep 20 - 01:46 PM

I went on eBay, and nobody was offering the part we need. Every other imaginable part, but not that.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Sep 20 - 11:48 AM

eBay is the place to look for those spare parts, not Amazon. You'd be amazed at what people sell there if you haven't taken a look for a while. When items are "sold for parts or repair" that means the party buying it is likely to disassemble the item to sell the components online. I've repaired a number of things that way, and have sold parts that way myself.

I have a lovely green enamel coffee pot with a fancy fitted perk top that sits on top of my cupboards like a piece of art. I'd guess it's 100 years old now, and I'd guess it still works. I don't drink coffee, though, so I haven't tested it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Sep 20 - 10:25 AM

Today I ordered a new coffee percolator from Amazon because I could not find a replacement bubble for the one Himself has been using for the last several years.

I must have spent hours Googling for percolator bubbles. Amazon had one that *might* fit, but it cost a ridiculous $34.99 -- three-quarters the price of a new complete pot. The manufacturer, Farberware, does not sell parts, and EBay had nothing to offer.

While Googling, I found many references to a type of enamelware percolator that is fitted with a very common and widely available bubble. So I gave in.

And another kitchen gadget is bound for landfill.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Sep 20 - 12:58 AM

We have a wind advisory overnight so I secured the light weight things out in the yard that might otherwise end up out in the street. It is a good feeling with this kind of wind - change is coming. Cooler weather. There are still three long months left in 2020, but they will hopefully be more comfortable than the previous three.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Sep 20 - 12:34 PM

Decluttering dog hair today. Brushing then bathing. We'll all get a bath by the time this operation is over.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Sep 20 - 10:00 PM

You're still getting settled into the new house - Dupont - but you're thinking about moving again? I'm exhausted considering the possibility!

The redbud is planted a few feet from the ground-level stump from the pine I took out in spring of 2019. It's very small, but planting small trees is always much easier and they catch up to the larger more expensive ones very quickly. This one was in the yard and I put it in a pot last fall, so there wasn't a cost. It probably was a seed-in-bird-droppings source. Right now it's sheltered by some salvia shrubs and I cut the bottom out of a plastic nursery pot and cut the side to slip this around to protect from accidental weed-eating.

Tomorrow morning I'll make pickles. I ran out of steam for it today. The dogs got a good walk and now it's a quiet evening of sewing.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 25 Sep 20 - 08:13 PM

Dupont:

Still here, waiting for load of firewood but R says he can be here for it so maybe. I was planning to leave Weds but the woman caring for the house we wanted to see had to get a covid test. We went today. It is very interesting. Lots of room, nice garage- "Pottery studio!" Beautiful back yard with some raised beds and lovely trees. Close to a road that is moderately busy, across from the river with "water frontage" - so steep it would need a staircase to get to the water. In good shape with lots of pieces needing completion, lots of possibilities, a great "plant room" facing east. And only about 5 minutes further for R to get to work. But more expensive. We are thinking about it. We love Dupont but I think we would also love the 1780 house with fireplace and exposed stone walls in places. I see it as more usable space as I cannot deal with the cellar here. I need to be above ground!

SRS: Installing the wood stove here was $1500 CAD for a chimney - two stories! R already had the Jotul. And $150 to get the chimney cleaned before hand.

The most important thing I have accomplished is voting! I managed to connect the printer to the computer with Wifi but could not get the scanner to function. No response at either Epson or Applehelp, I called my son but he could not help either. I tried the office supply store (Staples/Bureau en Gros) but in the end I begged help at the library. And off the packet went! Then I no longer felt as though I had an elephant on my head. I will try to address the printer problem before next year.

It is cool enough for a fire but I suspect we shall soon be asleep.

Mudcat friend sent me a link to a wonderful pottery youtube and I was up til after midnight last night viewing youtubes. It just never occurred to me to go that route for info.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Sep 20 - 11:13 AM

That work in your neighborhood sounds wonderful! The day is beautiful here so I think I'll prepare the bed and plant that redbud. I picked up mulch last night so it'll have a polished look when I finish. Still no trimmer.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 25 Sep 20 - 11:02 AM

Cheap date? You and me both, Stilly. I confess to having once spent a birthday cash card on a lamp shade and a shed-load of LED bulbs.

Thumping and banging from the garden indicate that Steve is shingling the roof of the woodshed. Similar noises from up and down the street indicate that the whole neighbourhood is having a home-improvement orgy: a snazzy garden shed -- almost a bunkie -- next door, kitchen cabinets across from us, a new roof at the corner, drainage tile and brick siding around by the mailboxes, and plenty more similar projects hither and yon. Among other things, this tells me that Stratford, or at least our small corner of it, is not suffering too much from the economic effects of the pandemic.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 07:45 PM

I had a couple of birthday coupons burning a hole in my pocket so I did a little shopping after my dentist checkup. I have concluded that these days I fall in the category of 'cheap date'—I was out to find something to treat myself and I came home with a dozen pairs of socks and a fanny pack.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 12:00 PM

My diet goals are primarily to reduce the bursitis; I have a set of therapy exercises for the greater trochanter muscle that causes the discomfort, but the first thing on the list of remedies is to lose weight. So, like you, it takes pain to make me cut back on the sugar and carbs.

I would love to have a wood-burning stove, but my fireplace is so poorly built that it lets cold air in winters and hot muggy air in summers. I finally filled the fireplace with a box I made of the pink insulation stuff and sealed the front with a large piece. I now have a mirror on the hearth blocking the entire thing. I imagine when I get ready to sell the house I will have to buy a glass door and install it again. One of those cast iron fireplace inserts would be nice, but the chimney would require work first.

I sold the old smart phone on eBay; it was listed less than 24 hours. I listed it via "buy it now" at the highest price for the phones I saw that had already sold that had the same features, though one in an auction went for about $70 more. I won't second guess, I got my price, but when they go so quickly, you wonder. I looked up the buyer, it turns out he buys used smart phones all day long so he must have a business reselling them. This was the last phone of this type with a removable battery, a desirable feature, and I liked the sized better than my current phone, but what really made me switch is the changing telecommunications offerings - after the end of the year many calls on that old phone won't go through as the lower end of the cell phone offerings (the 2 and 3g channels) are being turned off and re-used by the FCC. I wanted to sell it before I couldn't sell it. I mention this because those of you with older smart phones will likely have to replace them at the end of the year and it may be the number of buyers mean there will be fewer sales or discounts. Here's some information.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 10:57 AM

Steve the carpenter has almost finished our woodshed; only the roof remains to be shingled. We have a load of firewood (probably ash) coming in the next week or two, and then we can clear the front porch and sweep it clean of bark and splinters. There's most of a white cedar stacked up there now, along with the last of the 2019 load of ash and Himself's chopping block, and I have to admit I would much rather use that space for something a bit more sightly.

On 15 September (a week ago Tuesday), I set myself to stricter attention to diet and exercise, and now I am 3.9 Kg (8.5 pounds) lighter. I have a ways to go, however; my arthritic foot is acting up severely, and I must pare off some major plumpness in order to relieve its load and thus avoid surgery. If you thought I am sane and logical enough to do this without requiring actual pain to motivate me, you would be wrong. Sigh ...

Himself is also feeling rather porky, so he is not complaining about dinners that lack such refinements as pie and gravy. The cocktail hour, too, must be honoured more in the breach than the observance, at least until I can climb into last winter's jeans without the help of a shoehorn.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Sep 20 - 10:59 PM

These darker days are noticeable now, and I find myself leaving more lights on around the house to compensate. Most are low-power use LED so it doesn't hit the electric bill too much. And now we're out of the extreme heat the electric bill will drop considerably.

I'm preparing a box to send to a friend that will include several working but retired computer peripherals from here - a USB port, some cables. I should probably find a power strip with a really long cord. He's one of those New Yorkers who lives in an apartment that doesn't have nearly enough electric plugs for this day and age.

Pickle time tomorrow, with enough cucumbers now for 2-3 jars - I have extra juice from the first batch in the fridge and I have some juice from pickled okra that I won't be able to use, they're not growing fast enough now. These will probably be the cooked variety, I'm thinking of a couple of jars of bread and butter pickles or dill slices for sandwiches.

Another eBay listing went up this evening. The other listings are getting attention, one has a watcher, but there really isn't a way to know when something is going to sell by those clues. It can sell after 20 views or 200. You just launch the item and see what happens.

We're about into long pants season again. It was warm today but rainy and soon the Capri pants will be folded and placed in a place on the shelf in the closet that I can find next spring, not hunt around for weeks like I did this year. It will free up some pants hangers on the rack.

I'm eating a lot of fruit and salads these days as I try to stay off of the sugar habit. There are fewer times during the day that I need some kind of a boost, and going between meals without snacks has been a goal. Good proteins, healthy carbs. I haven't lost much weight so far, but feeling good is an equally laudable goal.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 05:22 PM

While mowing this afternoon I found several mounds of dirt that weren't associated with fire ants. Something is burrowing into the berm I built in the front yard, so I must deploy the Hav-A-Hart trap. I don't know if this population has anything to do with the droppings I've found on the front porch and on the swing glider. I should have a wildlife camera set up with infra red out there.

No trimmer yet; the store hadn't received today's shipment and the guy said it is often 10-14 days waiting for delivery to the store. I won't make that mistake again. I also worked in the veggie garden a little, just long enough for a few ants to find their way onto my clothes and occasionally stroll onto an arm or my neck.

A bright flashlight arrived on the porch today via Amazon; listed as a "spotlight" it's very lightweight and has a USB cord to charge. Times have certainly changed as far as flashlight technology, but I will once again be able to shine a light clear to the back fence to catch the old deaf dog's attention late at night when he gets started barking.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Sep 20 - 06:45 PM

Today I made a big push in the front garden on half of the front, and most of the weeds are out except grass in the iris, and those I think I need to thin and re-position in that area. I have a bucket of daylilies I dug out of one area that I'll move somewhere else. There are a bunch of bulbs along the wall that are various kinds of daffodils, and I may move those and cluster them somewhere. It was a bright idea to put them along the wall but it is an artificial line in a yard that I've tried to make natural and park-like with clusters of things or individual shrubs, no hedges. Right now it's clear some of the tall grass is gone, but until my new trimmer arrives (fingers crossed - tomorrow) and I can mow and trim it won't really look like the bed has been tended.

There is a corner of the grate on the soffit that is drooping and I need to refasten; the question is, are the critters using in diurnal or nocturnal? If I close it now and there are nocturnal roof rats using it, they'll be stuck in the attic. If I do it in the morning after squirrels are out then that keeps them out. I have a trap on the front porch where I've seen droppings and after I catch one or two I'll close the gap and see if that is enough. I'll probably have to put the trap up in the attic after I close the gap, just on general principles.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 20 Sep 20 - 06:26 PM

Dupont:

Not sure if it is eyes or brain but there comes a time in each day when sewing seems too much and each day I say to self, start early tomorrow and each day I do not. Maybe the computer fries my eyes. But my good down coat has all its buttons, ready for the worst of winter!

Today, we sorted through a truck load of stuff R brought home - "take what ever you want:, someone said. Books, rugs bits of furniture. Nice pine bookcase is next to his chair for better organizing! Oddly made, round, wooden, folding table on back porch. Folding luggage rack of ancient vintage may go into guest room after a paint job. A nice tall wooden lamp is in hall waiting for a harp and shade. A nice pedestal fan will go somewhere useful. And a little pine foot stool, a handy reaching aid for upstairs. The nice 3-step has already been used in the pantry.   Books are stacked. Rugs rejected. And a neighbour who happened along loved the old, rather cute, tea trolley! Leftovers went to the city.

That incident reminded me: A potter in Minnesota told of clearing his mother's apt. After the family did their choosing, he went to the post box area/vestibule and put a sign: Mrs ... apt is open. Take whatever you want." When they returned, it was wonderfully empty!

After the day moving tomato plants upstairs, energy level is low. I also indulged in a surfeit of choc the last few days -NOT today! It was getting out of control again. When I left Beaver I had maintained a loss of 12 pounds; hope to still have that when I return in a few days.

Still have not heard from internet provider up there and am thoroughly fed up. If I am going to spend time there, I need the unlimited, esp in the winter. And with the covid lack of events!

I need to order a couple face cords of wood for here. Have been keeping a fire going on these cool days. Wonderful little Jotul holds it all night - with good hard wood. I have closed LR door and den doors; at bedtime, I open the den door for the heat to go upstairs, having closed all rooms but the TV and BR. I wonder how long I can keep from turning on the furnace!

Close to frost the last 3 nights but may warm for a couple weeks. I covered the green pepper plants but hope they can be uncovered soon. The upstairs plants are going to take gallons of water! I shall need to carry gallon jugs up as the upstairs powder room sink can only fit a 6 inch container!

Brugmansia lost ALL its leaves over the summer and made numerous attempts at sprouts to no avail but two new ones finally look as though they will make it. The directions said it needed lots of water, but I finally got the message to STOP. I hope it is finally dry enough to make a new start on life; almost two weeks now! We did get two massive blooms from it- last fall and again at Christmas.

Trimmed lots of parsley leaves to dry. Hope to get fall leaves from neighbours to (they bag them!) to put down on a portion of back yard through the winter, in attempt to prepare a small garden space for next year. I have netting to put over it!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Sep 20 - 09:29 PM

The California smoke has arrived. The air is thick and the sun this afternoon was orange in the sky. I was going to do yardwork but after just a few small projects the allergies started in, or the smoke has that effect, who knows? After a good long nap on the sofa with a puppy I felt much better, but then it was time to walk the dogs before the mosquitoes came out. Maybe tomorrow.

Tonight's walk was a chance to see if the Google Fit app in the phone is set up. It looks different than the version in my old phone, but it's now tracking how far (.91 mile) and 21 minutes with the dogs. We aren't going for a land speed record and we talk to people while we're out. I'll be walking regularly now that the weather is cooler.

I didn't make it to the compost site, first I went to my favorite discount gourmet food warehouse and found fresh mushrooms so now I have the dehydrator finishing up the first batch. I'll do one more batch in the morning and then sauté and freeze any that are left. Tomorrow is the compost site, I still have all of the materials in the back of the SUV. And tomorrow is the weeding.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Sep 20 - 10:28 AM

My UPS sends me email when the power has gone off or has been restored. Through the computer that it keeps an eye on.

Nice weather for yard work today; I'm still waiting on the delivery of a new electric string trimmer (Monday?) but I need to get started on the rest now. And start walking the dogs regularly again. That's good for them, to remind them of who is the "pack leader" and also get us all out of the house.

It's also time to start cleaning up the green house so in a few weeks when I want to start moving stuff in I don't have to struggle past stacked stored stuff. Last year it worked pretty well to over-winter a couple of potted plants. And while I'm at it, I need to count the number of fence slats for the next section I should put up this month. So many projects were pushed to cooler weather and now I need to organize them. If I bag some mulch today at the free city site I'll be able to put it in the gardens I weed this afternoon.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 19 Sep 20 - 05:37 AM

The laser printer broked down (2 paper jams in a short time and then printer stuck with a “jam at exit” message I couldn't clear) so I ordered a new one which came yesterday. I had a little bit of trouble getting hplip working (I needed a newer version for one thing) but once sorted, the printer was working on my Linux network.

The only other problem I had was that I was getting loud beeps when printing. I couldn’t find anything related to sound in the printer’s menu or the manual but a Google search revealed the answer I’d not seen. I’d plugged the new printer into a socket powered via a UPS. The beeps were the UPS complaining about the load when the printer was printing.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Sep 20 - 11:14 PM

Dorothy, there's a warm and fuzzy feeling after reading about all of your productivity and forward motion when you move between those two properties. Good work! With your gardening antics you might enjoy this gardening story: last month I bought a tub of fresh mozzarella balls in olive oil, sealed and with plenty of time to use by. I kept trying to remember to buy some basil but never spotted it. So 2-3 weeks ago I put some seeds in a couple of pots. The package says to thin them when they're tiny, but I didn't. Now they're dense and all producing the first and second whorls of leaves, about 4-6" tall, so I transplanted a couple (dug into the middle of the clump of basil with a spoon and pulled a few out). Then I thinned three or four plants and brought the leaves in and pulled out a container of grape tomatoes and the mozzarella cheese drizzled with Balsamic vinegar and made a capriccio salad. I'll do the same thinning a couple of more times at least for more salads. I have lots of cheese.

My cucumbers planted about six weeks ago are producing and I made pickles earlier this week, three jars (they are Atlas canning jars that marinara sauce came in) of fresh pickles are now aging in the small fridge. I have more to come, but I won't always make fresh pickles, I'll probably also process some, maybe bread and butter pickles.

Today I learned that my daughter's fiance loves xmas, to the point that "she would play xmas music all year, if I let her." And the red with snowflakes mask I sent home with my daughter today will be welcome. I'll happily make her some more—she's someone I haven't really known what gifts would work, when everyone is grown and has jobs and can buy what they need.

The weather is still warm but the quality of light is shifting to fall, and that always is welcome after the scorching summer. I have a light cotton blanket for the bed and have pulled it over me a couple of times in the last week. It's a process of gradually adding layers until it's finally cold enough to change out the bedding to full-size wool blankets or get out the down comforter - but that's probably three months away yet.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 17 Sep 20 - 09:55 PM

Dupont:

Lots of interesting posts since I was last here! I went to Beaver for 2 weeks and have been back since Monday but the trip wore me out more than usual so I have been recovering. At Beaver, I worked like a fiend: pulled weeds frantically until body rebelled, made pots and did a bisque firing. Then body really quit! No unlimited internet there so I read a few books. Enjoyed the weather as it turned cool. Put a fire in the wood stove the last couple days. Separated a clump of sorrel I planted two years ago: almost need an axe to separate it. Planted a dozen smaller bits in a raised bed, shared with Good King Henry. These very hardy leafy vegetable perennials are quite nice. I look forward to having enough to feel I can harvest! So far I have only been nibbling.

Came back to Dupont and have been weeding the bed here but mainly with the little Japanese hoe which scrapes the tiny weeds off at soil level. very labour efficient. Green peppers are producing. Squash never did. Today I potted a healthy parsley plant for inside and the two little basil, and brought in an oregano plant to have for K use. The 3 I planted here last month are doing well - oregano does! Big job today was bringing in all the tomato pots, carrying them up to the second floor room -"gonna be bathroom" with its good west window. Also brought in - I am an idiot! - the seedlings of striped tomatoes and black tomatoes from ones someone gave R. Any intelligent gardener would have saved the seeds until March!

I sewed on more buttons! And have a bunch of projects lined up in orderly fashion. Awaiting energy. Put a fire in the wood stove the other night but mostly not necessary yet. And we do have a furnace! But I think a little heat in the den on a cool-ish evening means we do not need to turn on the heater yet. I switched to warmer clothes.

I lost my diet the last few days. Maybe I can get back on track tomorrow, having eaten everything in sight today.

And tomorrow we have an appointment to view a house for sale - one of our favs along the river, built in 1780. She warns it needs work... So, I am already thinking of pros and cons. We do love this house. And I have NO energy for moving.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 16 Sep 20 - 11:28 AM

In Ontario, the footings of a decent house are at least four feet below the frost line, and that’s usually easier and a lot more cost-effective if you just dig a goddam cellar already. Also, having four to six months of actual winter, we need plenty of frost-proof (at least) storage.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Sep 20 - 11:18 AM

It's very muggy as we get the very outer ring of humidity swirling around Sally. Too muggy to enjoy walking today, but we're getting closer to that time when it will actually be autumn-like. COVID-19 is leveling out, but with school starting it may rise again so gyms are a risky venture still. I'm only down a couple of pounds with the alternate day fasting, but that's partly because exercise has been minimal.

Here in Texas, at least in this part, they rarely build basements, and when they do, sump pumps are necessary. Where I grew up in the Pacific NW basements were commonplace and water generally wasn't a problem (though in the last house where I lived with my mom the floor was sloped and there was a steady little dribble that ran down to a drain near the garage door.) I think the farther north you go the more essential basements are to the stability of the foundation and the house. It has to do with freezing.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 16 Sep 20 - 09:46 AM

French drains are popular here, too, as our subsoil is clay with the consistency of concrete. When house-hunting three years ago, we lost a bidding war over a house with a French drain in the front yard and no fewer than four sump pumps — dodged a bullet there.

I weighed myself yesterday and swore an mighty oath to pay A LOT MORE attention to diet and exercise. Southern Ontario is now in the first stages of a second wave of COVID-19, so going to the gym is not a good option. I guess that means daily trots around town, mask in pocket, and yoga stretches on the bedroom rug.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Sep 20 - 10:01 PM

Don, do you have room and the slope to dig a French drain? Down here they're a popular way of moving water away from building and places where it collects and stands. Fill it with gravel and it can even grow turf over the top again. Sometimes there is bottom half-piece of PVC buried under the gravel. I've put a couple of small trenches in in my back yard to keep water from my back door.

Adjusting to this alternate day fasting means not tempting myself with too many favorite snacks around the house. I shopped today and did a good job of keeping it to meat and vegetables and materials needed for making pickles (since my cucumber crop is beginning to come in.) Admitting that you're eating too much sugar and getting off of it is always a challenge, but it feels good now to stick to healthier foods. Weight loss is minimal right now but the improving cooler weather and amount of yard work awaiting my attention guarantee a lot more exercise soon.

Meanwhile indoors the dog hair is forming drifts again so it's time to sweep and vacuum. And on the dog front, I spoke with my next door neighbor this morning - the dogs now quietly wait for him to go out into his back yard in the morning. Pepper has responded to the training collar and figured out that her barks are what cause the shock. The command she gets in the house (like when I'm going out the door and she barks at me) is "quiet" and if she still barks, the shock. So she knows what the shock means when she's out at the back fence watching for Cecil. Now we're working on stopping the jumping around at feeding time when I tell her "sit" and she doesn't stay still. She sets right down when the small shock is offered. After I'm satisfied that those commands are learned, Cookie will get a go at the collar for a couple of her problem behaviors. It was expensive, and I took time to read up about how using it correctly for training before I deployed it. I had to modify some of my behavior also, it wasn't just Pepper. We're all much happier without Pepper barking from the crack of dawn, and I think she is also. She's more relaxed when she waits for the morning treat from across the fence, it's like we turned off, or at least toned down, an anxiety thing in her brain that was there out of habit. My change to help with this is to get up very early to feed them, so if she was complaining because she was hungry, now she had turned that attention to me and she's at my bedroom door promptly at 6:30 when the alarm goes off. I hear a single "scratch" at the door telling me she's there waiting (not barking).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 15 Sep 20 - 06:23 PM

Meanwhile, in the other corner of the forest that Charmion knows so well, we have had frost warnings. The upper Ottawa Valley may have seen its first frost last week, and ours in Ottawa cannot be far off. I have been cycling in fully sleeved jerseys and full-fingered but light duty gloves. I almost put on cycling tights when it was 5°C out, but have been glad I haven't.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Sep 20 - 11:41 AM

Today I wage a channel battle
Water's gettin in th' back door
It used to only rain inches
Now it rains 2 feet or more

I'll dig a ditch as deep as the roots
And hope we all will stay dry
when it comes to fire, shoot!
you just have to lay down and cry


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Sep 20 - 10:54 AM

It's frankly chilly today in Stratford, and If This Goes On we will see our first frost before Michaelmas (29 September for alla youse non-Anglicans), and a proper Indian Summer. So it's time to book the annual furnace maintenance, lay in a fresh supply of furnace filters, and find out whether I can squirm into last winter's lined jeans despite getting fat in lockdown.

I went through the closet yesterday to remove garments I did not wear last summer and will not wear this winter -- or, indeed, ever again. Alas, for those expensive "technical" Under-Armour tee-shirts that clung uncomfortably to my ribs in the hot weather -- off to Goodwill they go, while I return to the cotton ones from Eddie Bauer.

On the other hand, heat rash is over for this year, and we can let up on the heroic garden-watering efforts.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Sep 20 - 11:37 AM

I have met a few intrepid inventors like that over the years, what with working out in the sticks where you often make something yourself because it's too far for a craftsman to travel. Probably not the case these days, everything can be built elsewhere and delivered. There are probably still folks like that in Alaska and far West Texas with a smattering around the rest of the US (a friend of mine was an electrical engineer at Lockheed so when he quit and he and the wife and cats moved to West Texas he learned welding and such and was off - has been building and tweaking things on his properties for years. It's a great activity and when I visit I love the tour of projects.) I will note that she was an RN and worked several more years at a hospital out there, keeping up their insurance until they were ready for Medicare.

I pronounced the electric string trimmer dead this weekend (I'm not going to try to replace the motor, it would cost more than the trimmer) and have a new one on order. I put it at the curb with the trash this morning and I won't be surprised if it disappears before the trash collectors get it. If someone can use it for parts, more power to them.

I am reminded by Charmion's story of what it was like when we spent summers at the cabin on the edge of a lake in Northwestern Washington. My father inherited it from his father, and since he was a teacher we had summers off, so we headed up for 2 or 3 months every year. But it meant more work, especially for Mom, who had a washer that did the agitating and rinsing but then had to be put through one of those laundry rollers to squeeze out the water before hanging it up to dry. There was the white two-hole trash burner that offered up heat in the cabin that was probably 800sf, and took baths in a tub of water in front of that stove. There was an out house up at the top of the yard. The stove was electric, and there was a fridge, and we had the only phone along that stretch of the lake and there was a key tucked away on top of the porch so if a neighbor had an emergency and needed to call for help they knew how to get in to use it. As mentioned before, we had to help with the firewood (usually alder logs from our own property). I don't remember much of the indoor activity, probably reading or games. We lived in Seattle the rest of the year, but those summers and the time spent outdoors at the lake are my most complete and fondly remembered times of childhood.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 14 Sep 20 - 09:54 AM

What an amazing story (and person), Charmion. Thanks for that.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 14 Sep 20 - 09:49 AM

Jon Freeman, your remarks about woodburners remind me of my aunt and uncle, who lived in a ramshackle house perched atop of a rocky outcrop in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. The property was a hard-scrabble farm and bush lot that Uncle's father acquired during the Great Depression, so it was very basic when Tom got his hands on it circa 1959.

Uncle was one of those village genius types, convinced that he -- with his bachelor's degrees in history and education -- could figure out a better solution to most mechanical problems. With seven children to raise on the salary of a Montreal high school teacher, he was also committed to the DIY principle. The "country place", a holiday home when my cousins and I were kids, was where Uncle exercised his fertile imagination and questionable skills the most, conscripting his four sons as labour.

Heating did not become the primary concern until Uncle and Uunt decided to sell their suburban bungalow (seven children in a three-bedroom house -- just think!) and retire to the country. The house had no furnace, and no cellar in which to put one, so the heat source was a stove in the middle of the main room. The house was surrounded by 160 acres of bush and forest, so Uncle decided that fuel was not something he needed to spend money on. But how to get the wood up the side of the crag to the house? By that point, Uncle was 65 years old and disinclined to spend his sunset years in heavy manual labour.

Uncle's solution was a home-made funicular cog railway of his own design, with a windlass at each end. He would bring firewood out of the bush on a skid towed by a small tractor, load it into the hopper, and crank it up the slope to the landing stage at the top. Groceries and everything else heavy and/or bulky ascended the same way. When Uncle's arthritis made the stairs too risky, he would ride the hopper himself, in an adapted lawn chair.

Uncle died about five years ago, having managed to stay on the rock until the very last months of his life. Aunt, now aged 90 and living with a titanium hip, moved to a nearby village (on flat land) only last winter. The house on the rock, complete with the cog railway, is now occupied by one of the cousins and his family -- the place is uninsurable, so there's no point in trying to sell it.

I haven't been there for a few years, but the cousins inherited Uncle's village genius gene, so I assume the adaptations continue.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 14 Sep 20 - 05:00 AM

Last year was the first one where we didn't light the woodburner. Dad's not been able for several years, mum no longer can do it safely and my problems make getting down to load it up quite painful.

They got an oil filled electric radiator to go in front of the stove instead as the central heating doesn't quite manage that room on its own (it would need another radiator fitted somewhere - where?. I think it made for high electricity bills but people stayed warm. That said, the price of a load of logs keeps rising and we've never sat down and worked out the cost of a few (paid in cash) deliveries over the year.

As things stand, there are 2 pigsty sheds stacked with what by now will be lovely dry wood (I think mostly beech) and that's a nice stock to have should the woodburner get started again.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Sep 20 - 03:28 PM

As my father used to say, firewood should warm you three times: once when you split it, once when you stack it, and once when you burn it. You would be getting more heat for your money by moving it twice.

As a kid I was the participant in lots of firewood handling. By the time, in college, when I went to work for the US Forest Service on a fire crew I was surprised that one of the guys (a forestry student, even) didn't know how to properly handle an ax when doing that work. I took his ego into account and walked him up the road and around a corner out of sight before teaching him how to hold and slide his hand on the handle in order to use it effectively. This was back in the 1970s, when not three days later they rounded up the men from that crew (him included) and sent them to Eastern Washington on a fire and left me at the station, steam blowing out of my ears in anger. (At least after this last time the whole group went into the fire boss and told him that they thought it was totally unfair I was left behind and I participated in fires after that.)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 13 Sep 20 - 01:06 PM

“Fall growing season” — wow! I guess that’s why perfectly sane people put up with the hellscape you Texas people call summer. In Ontario, fall is the withering and rotting season.

Materials for our woodshed suddenly appeared yesterday, so I assume Steve the carpenter will make good on his undertaking to finish it before the snow flies. I am looking forward to shifting the firewood off the front porch, where Himself leaves a major mess for all the neighbours to see and critique whenever he splits a few hunks of cedar for kindling. We are expecting a cord or so of ash around Thanksgiving, and it would be so nice not to have to stack it twice.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Sep 20 - 10:13 AM

I have a pot full of basil sprouts that needs thinning. I'll try using a spoon to scoop a few and transplant them instead of just pinching off the extras. You can never have too much basil!

I have several "to do" things on my list for this month that are out in the garage. It's the first month in ages that working in the garage is something to consider. When I park and close the garage door I then push the button to start the door lifting and stop it quickly, so there is an open inch or two for air circulation. It makes a huge difference in the amount of heat in there (since a window and the door on the opposite end are open to create a cross-current.)

Other to-do things are the transplanting in anticipating of the fall growing season. One tree needs to be planted, another one needs to be dug up for a friend.

It's time to start planning the fence work, and I usually pay for the lumber out of pocket any time I do some work for a friend (cat sitting). This cat sitting is still up in the air; she will stay with her parents while the sibling who usually keeps an eye on her parents is away for a vacation. If the travel plans are still viable, then this will happen. But even if she doesn't travel, I'm still set to do the work (there just haven't been as many ways and places to spend money this year so I have the savings in place for this work). I have larger fence plans that it would be nice to put into place this year.


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