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

Stilly River Sage 19 Jul 20 - 07:28 PM
Jeri 19 Jul 20 - 04:52 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Jul 20 - 12:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Jul 20 - 03:46 PM
LilyFestre 18 Jul 20 - 03:18 PM
Charmion 18 Jul 20 - 09:49 AM
Donuel 17 Jul 20 - 02:27 PM
Charmion 17 Jul 20 - 10:43 AM
Stilly River Sage 16 Jul 20 - 11:10 PM
Donuel 16 Jul 20 - 10:30 PM
Dorothy Parshall 16 Jul 20 - 09:15 PM
mg 16 Jul 20 - 04:15 PM
Jon Freeman 16 Jul 20 - 02:44 PM
Donuel 16 Jul 20 - 12:57 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Jul 20 - 11:36 AM
Dorothy Parshall 16 Jul 20 - 10:50 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Jul 20 - 07:25 AM
Donuel 16 Jul 20 - 05:37 AM
Stilly River Sage 16 Jul 20 - 12:00 AM
Dorothy Parshall 15 Jul 20 - 09:40 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jul 20 - 10:21 AM
Stilly River Sage 14 Jul 20 - 11:35 AM
Charmion 14 Jul 20 - 10:31 AM
Stilly River Sage 14 Jul 20 - 10:08 AM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jul 20 - 12:50 PM
Charmion 13 Jul 20 - 09:40 AM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jul 20 - 12:44 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Jul 20 - 07:10 PM
Donuel 11 Jul 20 - 04:02 PM
Charmion 11 Jul 20 - 11:27 AM
Charmion 10 Jul 20 - 02:18 PM
Donuel 10 Jul 20 - 01:26 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jul 20 - 12:29 AM
Dorothy Parshall 09 Jul 20 - 09:15 PM
Donuel 09 Jul 20 - 12:27 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Jul 20 - 11:03 AM
Charmion 09 Jul 20 - 10:30 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jul 20 - 11:01 AM
Charmion 06 Jul 20 - 09:55 AM
mg 06 Jul 20 - 03:25 AM
Stilly River Sage 05 Jul 20 - 11:42 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jul 20 - 03:56 PM
Dorothy Parshall 03 Jul 20 - 08:49 PM
Charmion 02 Jul 20 - 04:12 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Jul 20 - 04:00 PM
Charmion 01 Jul 20 - 12:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Jul 20 - 12:04 PM
Jon Freeman 01 Jul 20 - 06:06 AM
Stilly River Sage 30 Jun 20 - 11:20 PM
Charmion 30 Jun 20 - 09:58 AM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jul 20 - 07:28 PM

That's what I've been thinking about the sunroom. I'd have to put my yoga mat up every time or the puppy will destroy it, but with the sunshine and plants it's a welcoming room for that. Is that your new TV you put in there? Is it on the wall or on a cabinet of some sort?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jeri
Date: 19 Jul 20 - 04:52 PM

I've been making some progress organizing/shoveling out the house. Got one room emptied out enough to do yoga in it, then stuck a TV in. I think there's still room for yoga, but it's too hot to move.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jul 20 - 12:38 PM

Tending the garden now in hopes of a fall crop of okra and cucumbers. I'll prune back the dried tomato branches and see if the roots grow a new set of branches. Bush beans are in a big pot and I see a few, but I may have to race against bugs to get any. I've had to start the organic pesticides and glue traps to try to get rid of a batch of stink bugs that are tormenting the eggplant.

This is a no-spend month, though as usually happens, the struggle is in trying to keep it to a low-spend month. I've had to do a couple of repairs or replacement of existing items around the house, but am resisting buying new stuff; I'll stick with the research for future projects without buying materials.

I'm looking through my almost-full Bullet Journal book. It has been an incredibly useful exercise (started in March 2017). I have the next book to use when this is full, and this will stay by my desk as a valuable reference. I taped a little list in the front of it, probably something that turned up in a Pinterest post, and I'll print another copy and tape it into the next one also. It's something I need to look at more often:

Start by doing 1 push up.
Start by drinking 1 cup of water.
Start by paying toward 1 debt.
Start by reading 1 page.
Start by making 1 sale.
Start by deleting 1 old contact.
Start by walking 1 lap.
Start by attending 1 event.
Start by writing 1 paragraph.
Start today. Repeat tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jul 20 - 03:46 PM

Michelle, I think you're correct - the latest series of stories hitting the top of the Twitter feed have to do with over-worked and under-supplied janitorial staff in many industries and locations. If they are relying on an almost invisible staff (working nights or weekends when no one else is there) who have to struggle to meet or exceed standards with inadequate staffing or supplies - it's tough.

That's great about your tumor markers, and good wishes to Pete for his upcoming checkup.

Dorothy, short of burning down the house, have you and R managed to work out a plan to eliminate the active and hidden bedbugs? They're one of those things that happen without warning and you just have to grit your teeth and work hard to get past it. I have a friend in NY City who had had a couple of brushes with them, but they have an app for city bedbug outbreaks that at least helps a little bit to steer clear of them.

I've moved more furniture around today and am nearly finished reorganizing the two rooms where I swapped contents, and have what is now a very tidy and functional craft room. I still sometimes set things on the bed until I find a place for them but it isn't like the bed is piled with a mishmash of stuff any more.

Under normal circumstances a social outing wouldn't be anything to report, but I enjoyed visiting with two friends last night. We sat about 10 feet apart in a triangle under a friend's breezy carport. These kinds of locations are precious now; I'm going to trim a few lower branches on a pine in my front yard where I have a suitably spaced conversation area - years ago I built a stone wall facing the street and on each end is a capstone that is perfect seating for a couple of people visiting under the trees.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: LilyFestre
Date: 18 Jul 20 - 03:18 PM

Hello from North Central Pennsylvania,

    I took the day off yesterday and Jeremiah and I started in one corner of the kitchen and started going through cupboards, wiping things down, getting rid of expired items and reorganizing. It felt wonderful!!! I suppose I could spend a good solid week doing as such before it would be complete but we did make a noticeable difference! Today I am focusing on the counter top I use most and putting away appliances that we aren't using much right now like the bread maker and Panini maker. Those tend to get used more when the temperatures are cooler. Right now, the counter is often filled with bowls of fresh eggs and produce from the garden. :)

    We also had use of a large dumpster for 3 weeks and made good use of it! It was a a little pricey but worth it in my opinion to be able to throw things in and let someone else haul it all away!

    Life here is going as well as can be expected. I continue to work full time and Pete is now back at work full time too since the university has partially opened. I had a tumor marker check done this week and am thrilled to share that my numbers are the lowest they have been in years. Pete heads to the doctor next week for his 6 month check up which is pretty involved.

Day 1: Ultrasound and bloodwork
Day 2: Injection
Day 3   Injection
Day 4: Small dosage of radiation
Day 6: Hour long body scan

    Jeremiah is growing like crazy, it won't be too much longer and he will be taller than I am. Right now, he is one shoe size smaller than me!!! He loves to read, ride his bike, swim, play basketball, garden, play with the animals, build with Legos and of course, play on his computer (which is extremely limited in our house....he is lucky if he plays for an hour 3 times a week). There is a plan for school in our district where the children in his grade will go to school 2 days a week and have 3 days of remote learning, however, the Governor is already alluding to possible complete closures given the rate of COVID's second time through. It's challenging for households like ours, with two working parents to figure things out when there is no set plan. Pete has NO flexibility in his schedule so I have worked out 4 viable options for me to continue working full time and managing homeschooling/remote learning, as needed. Truth be told, I'm leaning towards keeping him home despite the school schedule as I'm not feeling confident about the plan the school has in place. I'm lucky to have a job where I have a lot of flexibility and a supervisor who is willing to work with me and explore various options so they can keep me on staff. What a crazy world we are living in.

So...that's my update for now. I hope you are all well and staying safe.

Much love,

Michelle


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 18 Jul 20 - 09:49 AM

Donuel, I find the climate of northwest Europe quite comfortable, especially near the coast. Not too hot, not too cold, not too much snow in winter. Guess where my ancestors came from?

I don’t live there because said ancestors had very good reasons to leave (revolutions, cholera, financial collapse) and fixable physical discomfort is not a good enough reason to go back. Canada has its drawbacks, God knows — too hot, too cold, too much snow in winter—but here the neo-Nazis are still the frazzled edge of the lunatic fringe and fatal diseases don’t usually leave families bankrupt as well as bereft.

The summer heat of Ontario doesn’t last long by American standards, but it’s quite stunning. My Dad, who spent much of the war in east African waters, said the only place he found hotter than Ottawa in July was Aden.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Donuel
Date: 17 Jul 20 - 02:27 PM

Charmion, there must be some place and time on Earth where the climate, flora and unique conditions were ideal for you. Unless Earth is the wrong planet. :^]


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 17 Jul 20 - 10:43 AM

Dorothy, I am so sorry for your trouble. I had a bad flea infestation once, and that was awful enough -- the job included smoke-bombing the house (by a professional exterminator) and insecticidal baths for four cats -- but fleas do not go dormant and hide like bedbugs.

Himself encountered bedbugs in a Ramada Inn when he went to Petawawa years ago to do a court-martial. The deeply apologetic manager had all his clothes (including a very expensive dress uniform) steam-cleaned, and his suitcase went into the dumpster behind the hotel. In more than 20 years of travelling all over the country and overseas, often lodged in semi-crappy motels, that was his only brush with the little bastards -- amazing.

The hydro bill came in yesterday, a sum that fairly made my head spin. Of course, now we have an air-conditioner that actually works, and a thermostat ditto, and the weather has been hot like the hinges of Hell, so that should not have been a surprise. At least I'm not mopping my brow while seated at my desk; I hate paying for hours and hours of air-conditioning at peak rates when the upstairs stays hot and stuffy.

I really, really love air-conditioning. In the olden days, by this stage of summer, I would have heat rash all over the back of my neck and in several less mentionable places. The price of electricity may be unnerving, but I pay the bill without (much) complaint.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Jul 20 - 11:10 PM

Maybe. But in the meantime, everything in the room (at least) will have to be bagged in plastic bags and set aside and you may have to have a company come in and use heat to kill them in all of the seams and places where they will have crawled to. If you know what piece of furniture brought them in, get rid of it. Out, and don't try to bring it back. You may have to keep your mattress (the next new one) in a vinyl zipper sack to keep any stragglers from finding their way to it.

Which house is this at, or have you been bit at both houses? You're going to have to bag your luggage, wash all of your clothes, it's a long list of things to do. Think about cleaning out the upholstery in the car. It might be time to call in professionals.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Jul 20 - 10:30 PM

Sunshine is a simple way to kill bedbugs


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 16 Jul 20 - 09:15 PM

Dupont:

R's friend has studied bedbugs and informs us these are immature bed bugs. R will endeavour to redeem himself bring them home by also bringing home the needful things to eradicate them...eventually eradicate. Meanwhile, two baths today with epsom and baking soda helped me maintain moderate sanity. My brain is only somewhat functional. R says when he had 6 bites it affected his ability to think. Well, he managed to get rid of them that time... Meanwhile, I am sitting here killing the tiny critters as they appear on the muslin cover and on the fresh sheet they somehow manage to find their way on to. They seem to be smarter than some people. That might seem to include me as why am I sitting here? I might itch all over but I am comfortable. another bath before bed and I hope to sleep.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: mg
Date: 16 Jul 20 - 04:15 PM

could it be scabies? hope not. https://dengarden.com/pest-control/invisible-bugs#:~:text=Invisible%20Bugs%20That%20Bite%20and%20Cause%20Itching&text=Contrary%20to%20popular%20belief%2C%20scabies,Burning%2C%20nonstop%20irritation

https://dengarden.com/pest-control/invisible-bugs#:~:text=Invisible%20Bugs%20That%20Bite%20and%20Cause%20Itching&text=Contrary%2


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Jul 20 - 02:44 PM

Yes, SRS. I suppose gage is a subgroup of plums. They are usually smaller than say a Victoria Plum and green or yellow in colour. They are often very sweet and some will have it that the green gages are the best tasting of all the plums. I’m not sure they are the easiest to grow though and our green gage tree is not very reliable. That said, the oullins gage we have is supposed to offer a similar taste with better reliability but that one has rarely cropped here either.

We would be making a jam with them. The stones come away as the jam cooks.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Jul 20 - 12:57 PM

I remember the process of painting with epoxy paint and rollers. When I tried to walk up the steep incline to the shallow end I kept sliding back down with my slick wet epoxy sneakers. The reflected heat at the bottom rivaled Death Valley. I had to take off the shoes and walk backwards in socks touching up with the roller as I went.
Today my most important water device is assembling and installing a toilet. Its already prepared by a pro plumber so the yucky underfloor pipes and wax rings are already done. I'll be using it year round compared to the pool. Expensive toilets weigh over 100 pounds but this one is a modest 67 lbs.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Jul 20 - 11:36 AM

That sounds wretched, Dorothy. Find the source of that soon! And Donuel, I'mma comin' over to your house. That pool sounds fabulous! I have a water feature, a creek, and it's lovely to stand above and watch fish and turtles and snakes swim, and birds wade, but it isn't really welcoming for humans.

Jon, I had to look up your "gage" fruit. They sound like some kind of a plum? "The stone is semi-clinging" - it means some work, but not as bad as some peaches. So do you cut the fruit off and can it in slices, or make a jam out of it?

It's difficult sleeping weather now, trying to keep the A/C from blowing on me during the night and making my feet or my hips ache; optimum conditions include just a sheet and the ceiling fan moving the air a little. But it's too humid for that to work. Plus in the middle of the night the dogs chased a possum onto the fence next to my bedroom window so I had to go out with the hose and chase it out of sight. That wakes you up at 3am!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 16 Jul 20 - 10:50 AM

Dupont:

Pool sounds great, Donuel! You deserve to brag!

I neglected to mention my good news. I weighed myself at Beaver and am down 5 pounds from April. I am sure I gained some before I started this "diet" so I am much pleased. And pleased with how much better I am feeling. Today is Day 24. Keeping just this reminder in the log really helps me when the going gets tough. "You've done it for..days, you can keep it up!" Cheese makes me COUGH. Now I find that cashews do too.

Woke in agony of itch this am. Whimpering, I drew a bath again which did not help as much as yesterday. R is now on the case - about 45 bites. And no idea what the culprit is. Not bed bugs. No pic of it on google where there are dozens of "house bugs that bite". Put tea tree oil on most of them this am. R did my back which is covered with them. He is the house scientist and a stubborn Scot; he will persevere. I can barely think straight.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Jul 20 - 07:25 AM

I think our blackcurrants will be around the use or loose point about this weekend. If we do use them I think we’d get about 5 of the pound jars of jam from them. That would be our lot in terms of soft fruit.

Later in the year, if some horrible wormy thing doesn’t ruin them, we will have Victoria plums that could be turned to jam – some of them anyway, the tree seems fairly well laden. I also think that this year between a green gage and an oullins gage, we could do a gage jam if we want. We also have a damson but I’ve not seen many fruit.

We will have to see what happens.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Jul 20 - 05:37 AM

Just in time for the hottest week of the year the pool is back to crystal clear. I painted a 55 foot black whale and her calf on the sun side and bottom of the pool for extra solar heating by day.
It is heated by night by natural gas. I still have to adjust the lights I put in the trees to illuminte the pool.
Yeah I'm bragging and not complaining for now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Jul 20 - 12:00 AM

Oy. I hope those aren't bedbugs, Dorothy. Look them up.

Benadryl is my friend when it comes to summertime bug bites. I usually just take it at bedtime.

I spent about 45 minutes in the garden after 6pm and came in before getting sick from the heat. I went out a while later but it wasn't the right time to see the comet in the NW sky. I'll try again tomorrow. And tomorrow I'll be able to finish planting and mulching the rest of the garden.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 15 Jul 20 - 09:40 PM

Dupont:

We managed to get to Beaver!! Left Sat am about 9 and I drove so we made good time. Got to the bakery and picked up some goodies and were at Beaver by 4. I started weeding and did lots until teh bugs were too bad and then in stints all day Sunday. I "found the blueberry bushes - no blueberries - and cleared most of one strawberry bed (4x8) and about half the raspberry beds. And around Good King Henry- and time ran out. Next door neighbour stopped as we were ready to get in car; gave her some GKH seeds.

I picked up the mail, went to the Credit Union, shopped at the natural food store - gave her my list and she packaged all the bulk food stuffs for me. modus operandi for now.

R did not manage to finish digging the septic - it was TOO HOT! He also did not write an important letter, but read books and managed to pick up another bagful at a thrift shop. I hope he relaxed some! He also managed to wrestle a too large cabinet out of the house and stored it in the outhouse, where it fits nicely and could be useful for storage. We also wrestled a bureau out and into my car to bring back here - "here" being somewhere in a Montreal building. Made lots of nice apace at Beaver! Feels breathable again!

No septic means no water can go down the drain. I bought 2 dishpans at the dollar store making it easier to wash dishes, so got the kitchen cleared nicely. I was hoping to go back alone this week but it took Tues to recover and today as well. I drove back; the idea being that R would not be so tired when he had to go back to work.

Hot all weekend but not so bad as here; the nights were cool. I sorted the BR some, putting away winter stuff - but not too far away as it will soon be cooling again.

OH, HELP: I am all over bug bites - very itchy ones. It started a couple weeks ago with a couple and I did not think much of it. Then at Beaver a couple more. Now... Watching TV yesterday, the itching was so bad I took a bath with baking soda and Epsom salt and that helped. Today, it started again and I realized it might be some kind of bug where I was sitting.

I took all the pillows outside, removed covers, washed everything! Put a clean cotton sheet, folded double on the futon and when I got up saw several tiny bugs on the sheet! barely visible Almost transparent and about 1/4 inch long - like a tiny bit of thread/fish line. Cannot find on Google. Some of the bites have become welts an inch or more in diameter. A dozen at least. They take turns itching. I stripped the bed and washed everything... And R has none! But he must have brought them home from somewhere. I have not sat down anywhere out of the house. Put a shower curtain and another clean sheet on the futon so I could sit.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Jul 20 - 10:21 AM

There is a five-foot-wide cabinet that was against the wall but I turned it perpendicular and a few feet into the room from the corner. A wooden bench is up against the back of it now and it doesn't look too odd. I'll get used to it. This creates a view into that room from the doorway, and in that room so far are the original large (and very heavy) maple mid-century table that is completely folded and compressed now, but has two sides that drop down and two leaves that extend it (at its full size it's huge). The recliner with the newly re-covered seat cushion (using samples of upholstery fabric) is in there, and I had three ceramic fish in a box that I hung on the wall just to get them out of the way. They're arranged in a group of one in front of the other two, they are above and below. I live near a creek, I guess fish on the wall are fine until I take them to Goodwill or somewhere.

Now to figure out where to move some of the other errant pieces from the hall and the den where they were parked when evicted from the front room.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Jul 20 - 11:35 AM

You nailed it, Charmion. I did have the sunroom designated as the room for eBay, but alas, it is also the room people walked into when entering the house, right past the piles of what looked like clutter.

We usually don't bother with the front door, it's always the driveway side we enter. So there was my stash. Yes, the room is almost empty now, so the things that will move in need to set the scene for a small parlor, or since I call it the sun room and have a lot of plants in there, perhaps the glider from the front porch and a few small tables and such for more plants. But that would have me moving something else large into the house.

The front room is next to the front door, essentially a second "living room" and the den, further back in the house, is a step down into that room and it's the larger "living room." These Texans, always putting in two living rooms. The front room is several feet wider than the sun room and is where I hope to organize the eBay stuff a bit better. And despite being next to the front door, its placement means most people won't even notice it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 14 Jul 20 - 10:31 AM

Stilly, I think you have to choose a specific function for your room if Roger's technique is to succeed. Then you bring in the stuff required for that selected function and put everything else somewhere else. I infer from your previous remarks on this task that, until now, your sunroom has been stash space, and you're trying to change that. If you want to hang out in there yourself, or invite people into it (when you can), then probably most of the stuff currently in it has to leave in order to provide not only the space but also the mood required for sitting and reading or watching telly or just nattering.

Me, I can't relax in a room full of stuff-in-process (such as all that packing material and goods for sale you have mentioned) because I feel guilty for not working on whatever process the stuff was accumulated for. That one characteristic might be what made me a neatnik.

Could you designate the sunroom as work space? Then you could consolidate eBay stuff and sewing stuff in there. But then you would have to find new places for everything that is not related to work ... Crap.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Jul 20 - 10:08 AM

You know how some of those "sell this house" programs from 10-15 years ago are still playing on the B-list over-the-air television channels? And how Roger always manages to bring a few pieces from around the house to the now-empty room to make it a welcoming space? That's the thing I'm trying to figure out how to do now. And not manage to jam that room full in the process.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Jul 20 - 12:50 PM

I know that "use them now or they're gone forever" stage of fruits and vegetables. And there is a feeling of great accomplishment after rescuing them at their peak because the jelly or jam will be delicious. Congratulations! My sister grows raspberries and makes jam that she shares with our brother (who until last year lived at the beach and brought her fresh Dungeness crab or salmon). She sends me a jar every now and then, and I send her my mustang grape jelly. I sent them pickled okra last year but not everyone jumped for joy at that.

The trash was picked up, now to make a run to the recycle bin and see if there is room for all of this stuff. It is emptied on Tuesdays and Fridays, so I may be out of luck until Wednesday.

Now to stage that sunroom to be a usable and welcoming space. I still have too much large furniture in the house, but if I move the right combination in here, maybe it will be less conspicuously over-crowded. And I should tile the floor, or at least paint it. Since it is nearly empty now, painting isn't a bad move, but a quick search shows me that I need to clean, possibly etch, prime, then paint. It's a job to keep me busy.

As far as I know my friend will have had her surgery this morning, then spend a couple of nights in the hospital. At this point hospitals are still open in most Texas counties for elective surgery, but I suspect my friend has gotten in just under the wire before that changes again. COVID-19 cases are growing exponentially.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 13 Jul 20 - 09:40 AM

At half-past nine in the morning I feel as if I have already done a day's work -- I put out the garbage and the recycling, including heaps of cardboard boxes, and washed the garbage bin.

Jam season struck yesterday with three (count 'em, three!) batches of raspberry amounting to six litres altogether. Himself came home from the market on Saturday with a large flat of dead-ripe berries, so it was use 'em or compost 'em. The canner was going all afternoon, and supper was take-out pizza because I could not face another half hour at the stove.

I think that's about two years' supply of jam for us and the Brother-in-Law, especially since the church bazaar is most unlikely this year.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Jul 20 - 12:44 AM

Trash at the curb tonight contains a lot of used padded mailing envelopes. They work well as free packing material inside packages being sent for eBay, but I have a selection and tossed about 3/4 of what was here. The contractor-size plastic bag for recycling is full with a lot of the cardboard stuff oddball shapes in there that would be handy for mailing but I don't really need. A stack of flattened cardboard boxes is out waiting to be dropped off at the recycle bins.

The sunroom bay window with the plants received much-needed attention, the old dropped flowers vacuumed, dust washed off the counter top and lots of things trimmed and watered. The pup got her butt swatted with a broom after she pulled the trimmed contents out of a trashcan and spread them through the hall and out into the yard. It took about 30 minutes to trim all of that stuff, 15 seconds to drag it out.

The table in that room is ready to be moved and then it's pretty well finished. The front room is somewhat organized and the next step is to organize it a lot more.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Jul 20 - 07:10 PM

Flattening boxes and moving piles of books today, as I continue to empty the contents of a small room into a larger one. The front room bookshelves had empty spaces so this stuff isn't ending up on the floor like it was in the other room (though the shelves could be the front room equivalent of a black hole). Things are being placed in logical groupings, something the other room lacked. A lot of unneeded packing materials are going to go into the recycle bin or the trash.

I may be close enough to finished that I can complete the moving of stuff tonight. One thing to figure out is swapping out eBay items currently stored in a shallow cupboard in the sun room. If I move those things I'll leave a fair amount of space (I'll forget about them if I don't move them). I'll need to think about what else might be satisfactorily stored in there. That cupboard is about 14" deep and runs the width of the room, with mirrored closet doors that slide open over the opening. The mirrors make the room look a lot larger. Now to make the room a welcoming space when people walk in that side door.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Donuel
Date: 11 Jul 20 - 04:02 PM

Ahh the green is gone. I hope to use kid power to brush the giant 50 ft bathtub clean. Were not pressure washing an empty pool this year for such a short season.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 11 Jul 20 - 11:27 AM

Seventy dollars (Canadian, to be sure) for a flat of raspberries! Himself is out shopping.

That feraminous price probably comes from lack of pickers in the fields, due to You Know What. The most stubborn outbreaks in Ontario are on farms that employ migrant workers, which means pretty well all fruit and veg producers.

I guess I had better not burn the jam, or let it boil over. No pressure!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 10 Jul 20 - 02:18 PM

Today, I finally get a haircut.

With masks all round and waiting outside until the previous client leaves, it will be remarkably like a visit to the minor surgery clinic, but at least I will be free of hair in my face and stuck to the back of my neck. Hip hooray, and a tiger.

I must also visit the supermarket. No use wasting an excursion on a single errand.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Donuel
Date: 10 Jul 20 - 01:26 PM

Well I don't need a new pump. It just had indigestion because I fed it too much mud. The heater needs a thermister though and no one does that so it is a DIY project. Its like changing a light bulb with screw drivers and wrench.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jul 20 - 12:29 AM

Good work on the shopping, Dorothy! I ordered online today, deciding that as COVID-19 spreads so quickly here I need to leave the selection of a bag of potatoes, onions, or a carton of milk to a younger, healthy person who is part of the gig economy.

Charmion, that link isn't behaving, partly because of my ad blockers, but possibly because it wasn't durable. I'll try searching on Cordero's name on that newspaper later.

I saw an interesting video this evening to do with restaurants putting their menus online and simply presenting a QR code for customers. Scan it with your phone or tablet and the full menu appears. If you don't have a QR scanner in your phone, this would be a good time to find one in the Google Play Store or the Apple Store. Point the scanner at the square block and it instantly brings up the item it's linked to.

Also, Dorothy, good job on the old house. I hope it sells eventually—I saw your link to houses in the area and it does have great potential for someone to renovate.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 09 Jul 20 - 09:15 PM

Dupont:

Donuel! Green water sounds gross!

All of southern Quebec has been having that heat wave though we did have a good rain Tuesday.It did not cool for mare than an hour! Grass not mowed has a better chance of survival, she says hopefully. Only the part next to the neighbour was mowed, by R, on the weekend. Oh, I did a little more but knee high grass and a small mower... My back ached two days later, predictably.

The AC in the BR has gotten the room down to 78, from 82 earlier. Seems the best it can do. I use the large fan in the TV room to survive. Today, even the first floor is too warm. Up to now, it was OK. Guess the heat is in the brick wall now.

On day 17 of "diet". Have no idea if I lost any weight but I do feel noticeably better. I am used to feeling "hungry"; I doubt it is actually hunger but just a desire to eat. So, I told R Weds that on Friday, I or both of us will be going to Beaver. This depends on whether or not he comes home tonight and can or cannot go tomorrow. I made a large pot of veggie stew today in prep and things earmarked to go are in the car.

I also did a shopping trip today. Watching the charts on line that tell how busy the stores are at a given time - live and changing with the time. Refresh and AH! I dashed out just after 6 to the produce store which was virtually empty; it closes at 7. Then to the grocery for a number of things. Also empty. YAY! The frig is full again.

The previous Sunday, we went to the still unsold city house. The neighbour has been insisting the Manitoba Maple is how raccoons get in his house. Of course we know a raccoon does not need a tree; it can go up the brick wall with ease. So, I read and he cleaned out the shed enough to see a row of concrete blocks missing from the side of the house next door. He texted the neighbour and he and the landlord came and saw and Agreed that was the entrance and agreed to put up a new wall after R clears away his board wall - which he now has! Landlord also agreed to help pay for removal of the "maple"!!!! Although everyone likes it, it is a nuisance, growing so fast, R has to keep removing branches that are on various neighbours roofs! This past Sunday, we went again and I read while R cut branches. A huge pile! I also found stuff in frig which I packed up and brought here. I never realized that R had not moved that stuff, and cabinets full of food! All re-homed now. This was a MAJOR accomplishment.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Donuel
Date: 09 Jul 20 - 12:27 PM

I was cleaning the pool and the water pump died after 20 years.
It's the last part of the system to be replaced. The weak link are the impeller blades. So tommorow the repairman comes since I'm not messing with electricity and water. Meanwhile the water is green.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Jul 20 - 11:03 AM

If ever I spend a ton of money on plumbing work one thing on my wish list is an outdoor spigot on the driveway side of the house. There is one front and one back, but most of the watering happens on the side, so it means lots of hose-dragging.

A friend is scheduled for "elective" surgery (not really - it's a partial colectomy, meaning she has felt bad for a long time and really needs this now) and we have our fingers crossed that she doesn't test positive for coronavirus (she goes for the test today) and they haven't closed down elective procedures by Monday. Every day now the local record from the day before is broken; in Texas there are 9,600+ hospitalized and on Wednesday 98 people died. Just Wednesday.

I cleared the packed eBay boxes off of the bench in the sunroom, but I tossed a lot of flattened boxes into the room behind it so at this point the sunroom contents are simply achieving a lower level but the floor is still covered. As I get things arranged in the front room I'll either move more sunroom contents or take them (boxes) to the recycle bin or garage. It's a deadly move to store flat boxes in the garage because they multiply when left alone in the dark.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 09 Jul 20 - 10:30 AM

Nick Cordero may be claimed by New York, but he was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, and got his start in the Toronto theatre scene, where he is sincerely mourned. Here's a story about him in our local rag, the Stratford Beacon-Herald.

The case of Nick Cordero demonstrates how very little we know about COVID-19, even yet. He was a strong, fit, healthy man in the prime of life, not a frail senior stuck in a nursing home until some opportunistic affliction gets around to carrying her off.

Speaking of frail seniors, our neighbour Neil's mother died the other day of one of those opportunistic afflictions, probably pneumonia. She was 96. Her husband, Neil's father, predeceased her at the age of 99. Neil himself is about 70 and looks 60, except when he's chucking garden rubbish into his flat-bed trailer, when he looks more like 40. I get the impression that he knows he still has a fair few years ahead of him and keeps fit accordingly.

It's blistering hot here for the nth day in a row -- forecast high of 35C (95F), and the ground under the frizzled grass feels like brick. We now have soaker hoses rigged for watering the garden beds, and I get a bit of exercise hauling out and reeling back the 100-foot feeder hose, which is hitched to our only external tap at the back of the house. It's a great way to ensure that I sit down to supper with my hair drenched in sweat.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jul 20 - 11:01 AM

I've built a few minefields around my house. My front hall, case in point, now has a small serpentine front desk and a Victrola pushed against one side. And screens for the security door on the other. It is a bit of a dog obstacle course these days—they have their own steeplechase.

Bt and compost tea in a bottle sprayed on the tomatoes and other crops because caterpillars have started to appear. I'm canning soon, and ran a case of pint jars through the dishwasher yesterday.

Last night was remarkably quiet compared to July 5 on previous years. I think the explosives amateurs blew the entire box of fireworks overnight on the fourth.

There is almost enough stuff in the donation bin in the laundry room to make another run over to Goodwill. If I see the guy who gave me the black elastic I'll offer him one of my cloth masks as a "thank you." Not going in anywhere right now, the horror stories we heard from New York City last spring are beginning to emerge here in Texas and other southern tier states. And New York isn't finished; the story of the 41-year-old theater actor Nick Cordero who died after 90+ days in the hospital and after the amputation of one leg should be a cautionary tale for all of us. (They had recently moved from NY to LA, but New York still claims him.)

I'll keep working around the house and I've continued to make masks. I have enough now to offer a few at a time to local friends who are needing them (until now I've kept family and close friends and neighbors supplied). You can't really get by with just one or even two; if you wash the mask after using it then that is out of circulation until it's dry (and ironed, if needed). Three minimum. I have one by the front door in case I need to speak to someone there, a couple in the kitchen waiting to be washed or hanging dry, and a couple in my handbag.

Maybe I'll finish moving things to the front room and restage the sun room today. We had a surprise thunderstorm in the wee hours today so there won't be yard work until it dries out a bit.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 06 Jul 20 - 09:55 AM

No more recreational explosions on this side of the border, which is still closed to non-essential travel. We hope it will stay that way for a good while yet.

Southwestern Ontario is in the shank of a major heatwave, and our thermostat just died. Rodney the HVAC Guy promised to visit this afternoon, but right now the mugginess is mounting throughout the house. I don't think I have opened the bedroom curtains since sometime last week; otherwise, the heat in there would be intolerable.

Before Rodney arrives, I must do something about the domestic obstacle course in front of the breaker panel in the laundry room. A boot tray with Himself's hiking boots, work boots and Wellingtons (marry a soldier and you get his footwear fetish), sacks of water-softener salt, a rack of mops and brooms -- I can pick my way through it, but it's my minefield. I might have to rescue Rodney.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: mg
Date: 06 Jul 20 - 03:25 AM

I wish they would issue tickets. Fine them. Reasonable Amount first offense. Get some revenue.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Jul 20 - 11:42 PM

Last night was wretched, clearly no one was enforcing the "no fireworks" laws in the county or municipalities. What they choose to enforce or ignore; in some instances it's a matter of "choose your battles." Here is a county with several million population and all of these scofflaws would have been too much to ticket, even if they were causing fires, yet George Floyd died because he had the bad luck to have a bogus $20 in his pocket when he went to buy cigarettes. Police officers chose not to ignore that, tell him to take it to the bank tomorrow. So much of what we experience these days must be viewed through the COVID-19 and George Floyd lenses.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jul 20 - 03:56 PM

I have since learned the details of that sad estate: hoarder and spendthrift. Loans taken out, recent new car purchase, I fear the kids have their work cut out for them. And the spouse of one jumped the gun, was there with his pickup backed up to the house before the body had cooled. I'll leave anything else to your imagination. So sad.

Hot work now, but a lot less humid. The trimmer and I have toured the front yard so far, and I'm in for a few minutes to cool down. I had a nice conversation with an old friend this morning and we tested our various video call options. I have a little hood I put over the top of the web cam when not in use, and will need to remember to replace it each time. I found photos in a file in the last computer with me in my bathrobe, something the computer captured when I wasn't aware.

Those of you in the states, I hope you have a safe and explosion free evening. Last night it sounded like artillery being fired across the creek. I kept the dogs from exiting the dog door as I will again tonight. A story on the news today said the firework stands have done a booming business (pardon the pun), with many people planning to fire off their own stuff instead of going to firework displays. Keep the fire department on call tonight.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 03 Jul 20 - 08:49 PM

Dupont,

A murmur indicted we would go to Beaver today but the murmur was withdrawn by the end of Weds. I took it a bit hard. SRS comment about neighbour is scary. How long until we know whether he is out of the woods. Dr next Thurs. I thought to go alone to Beaver but not wanting to leave him in case. When I just do not feel/care about doing anything, that smacks of mild depression; I have just given up. But I shall recover. In the meantime, and with the heat, why would anyone lift a finger! Meals happen. R has taken to cooking some or all of his own BF. Doing very well! I asked if I have been depriving him all these years but he is ok with it. I now only eat 2 scrambled eggs with a bit of cheese for BF. Today is Day 11. Keeping track does string me along.

We have mice much of the time in this old house. We just deal with it. No cat. The little raccoon might have been handy. but I am still finding places to clean up from him. Mice are easier. We have had rain and things are growing. Some plants that were supposed to be perennials succumbed through the winter. Makes me doubt the nursery.

Someday I will vacuum. And mow some more lawn. The back is a field of lovely white yarrow. NOT cutting it!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Jul 20 - 04:12 PM

Clearing up after a hoarder is definitely an eye-opening experience. That family has my sympathy.

Canada Day in Stratford was very quiet, both literally and socially. In previous years, we have heard many minor fireworks explosions around the neighbourhood as well as the cacaphony of the municipal display, mounted more for the tourists than for us townies in my opinion. This year, the town celebration was a live-streamed concert; if we wanted more than that, we were on our own.

We invited the still-unpacking BIL and SIL to dinner and drew the line at that, but some of our neighbours broke out the firecrackers. Desultory detonations marred the suburban peace until about eleven o'clock, when everybody just gave up and went to bed.

The cats paid no attention, focussing instead on the antics of the back-yard robins.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Jul 20 - 04:00 PM

I learned today that a family friend, the ex-husband of another family friend, died suddenly last Friday. And apparently while no one was looking he turned into a hoarder. Their kids are the ages of my kids, and are grown and married. They will work it out, but it's a shame that happened because it makes getting over the loss of a loved one so much more complicated.

Tomorrow is the bank holiday and Saturday is July 4, so I'm expecting lots of fireworks noise. I'll have to keep the dogs in at night; one is very unhappy about the noise and the newest one feels the need to bark a challenge at the back fence at every explosion. The oldest dog is deaf so is blissfully unaware of it now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Jul 20 - 12:14 PM

We have mice, too, Jon. Cute little brown critters, probably field mice since our surburban house is close to cropland. Watson, our tomcat, has slain at least six over the last year. I don't know how they're getting in, but I suspect our rickety basement windows might be implicated. That's our next capital project, for when we have more capital.

We have found mouse signs only in one kitchen drawer and in the cupboard under the sink, but the cats have killed mice in the bedroom upstairs and in the basement, as well as in the kitchen and dining room. One poor little soul had taken refuge at the top of the dining-room curtains, and Watson had him in a nanosecond after I shook him out of the folds.

No rats here, but we definitely have raccoons -- when we first moved in, Himself put a hunk of mouldy bread in our brand-new composter, and the very next morning it was uprooted and overturned, and bits of bread were all over the garden. Raccoons are very intelligent, for a small animal, and strongly attracted to high-calorie edibles such as bacon grease, bread, fish and meat trimmings, and bones with even a trace of meat on them. I'm sure they also monitor the composter, because they'll have the lid off if we put eggshells or gnawed corn cobs in there.

Our current unpleasaunce is a small triangular space between the toolshed and the seven-foot cedar hedge that encloses the east end of our property. It is full of deadfall branches from our four huge maple trees (sadly, none of them is a sugar maple), bits of old drainpipe, and a stack of cast-cement pavers left over from the last year's major capital project, the construction of our patio and front path. The pavers are too potentially valuable to dispose of -- sure enough, we needed some this year when we installed two rain barrels -- and there isn't enough drainpipe to justify a trip to the dump, so ... there it stays!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Jul 20 - 12:04 PM

I've stopped putting out birdseed to reduce the number of rodents on the property, and it seems to have helped. Now keeping the bird baths filled with water is the main attraction for birds.

There is a single panel of fence in place where there once was an expanse of fence that was removed when the garage and driveway were built in the back yard. That remnant at the side of the driveway has served as the place to stash the trash cans, to leave the mower when I want to hide it but am not ready to put it back in the garage. Everyone needs a place like that.

Our heatwave alert runs through Thursday evening so I might get the tall grass mowed on Friday morning.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Jul 20 - 06:06 AM

I’ll try to remember that word, Charmion. I don’t think ours have ever been treated to more than being referred to as “the dump”. Like you, I think the patch “no-one ever goes to” that develops into a tip is quite common.

We have had lots of problems with (brown) rats in the roof here over the years but that area of ground has never been implicated, in fact I think the only outside thing that was has been bird feeders. We are hoping that the last round of trying to have things cleaned up and rat proofed has been successful. This took place sometime last year and so far so good…

We have had problems with field mice instead. These have been seen on the kitchen floor but not on the worktops. I think they have been getting in via a gap around a kitchen or bathroom waste pipe but we’ve not wanted tradesman in doing work with the virus worries.

That said, I’ve not seen a mouse in over a fortnight although we are setting a peanut butter baited humane trap in the kitchen every night.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Jun 20 - 11:20 PM

Much of last year was a series of kidney stone episodes and I think three surgeries for my next door neighbor. I'm happy to report that he's feeling much better now, his diet is somewhat restricted, but it's worth it to avoid building the stones again.

Horrible heat and humidity here this week; I see most lawns in the neighborhood need mowing but few people have bothered to step out into the steam room to mow.

July and August are pretty awful in Texas, and this year of #COVID19 makes it all the worse. I'm going to be staying home most of the time and will order what I need via the delivery services. I made a big push to get somethings today that I didn't trust someone else to select for me; now it will be fresh fruit and vegetables and occasionally beer or wine.

Some friends and families have been trying to expand their quarantine to other family members of neighbors, with the understanding they won't go anywhere else so there won't be extra risk. But the numbers in Texas are climbing so fast that has to be put on hold.

I'm moving stuff between rooms and preparing to put surplus packing supplies in the trash and donate items I'm not interested in selling on eBay to Goodwill. At this point everything is in flux but I hope by the end of the week to make the rooms functional and have the sunroom a welcoming space for the time when anyone is able to enter my house again.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Jun 20 - 09:58 AM

Jon Freeman, that space behind your pigsties is what I would call an "unpleasaunce". Every property has one: the spot where stuff gets put because no one goes there and it's out of sight most of the time and, therefore, out of mind.

The development of an unpleasaunce is close to inevitable, but they can harbour hazards. Before I married Himself, I lived in an old house in downtown Ottawa with a large garage in the back yard. The back wall of the garage was very close to the property line, as was legal back in the days when Ottawa city blocks were bisected by lanes to allow the polite passage of the night-soil man. But by the late 20th century backhouse latrines and cesspits were bit distant memories and the lanes had been absorbed into the house lots, creating the perfect space for an unpleasaunce.

Mine was occupied by a family of raccoons and, at one point, some brown rats.

I came to terms with the raccoons, who did not bother me if I kept the garbage under close arrest, but the rats were a different story. One of my cats, a small black fellow named Cecil, killed at least two -- he brought me the corpses -- and they did not invade the house, but they were a major threat to the wiring of the garage and anything stored in it.

Ah, city life.


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