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

Jon Freeman 01 Jul 20 - 06:06 AM
Stilly River Sage 30 Jun 20 - 11:20 PM
Charmion 30 Jun 20 - 09:58 AM
Dorothy Parshall 30 Jun 20 - 09:55 AM
Jon Freeman 30 Jun 20 - 08:19 AM
Charmion 29 Jun 20 - 12:16 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Jun 20 - 11:00 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Jun 20 - 04:24 PM
Charmion 27 Jun 20 - 08:58 AM
Stilly River Sage 26 Jun 20 - 09:23 PM
Dorothy Parshall 26 Jun 20 - 06:40 PM
Stilly River Sage 26 Jun 20 - 11:30 AM
Dorothy Parshall 23 Jun 20 - 09:35 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Jun 20 - 03:45 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Jun 20 - 09:20 PM
Charmion 22 Jun 20 - 10:52 AM
Dorothy Parshall 21 Jun 20 - 08:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Jun 20 - 11:59 AM
Stilly River Sage 17 Jun 20 - 12:49 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jun 20 - 11:07 AM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jun 20 - 05:12 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Jun 20 - 07:13 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 11 Jun 20 - 12:16 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Jun 20 - 11:54 AM
Charmion 11 Jun 20 - 11:12 AM
Stilly River Sage 09 Jun 20 - 05:47 PM
Charmion 08 Jun 20 - 10:18 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jun 20 - 07:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jun 20 - 03:36 PM
Charmion 06 Jun 20 - 11:45 AM
Donuel 06 Jun 20 - 11:04 AM
Charmion's brother Andrew 06 Jun 20 - 10:51 AM
Charmion 05 Jun 20 - 09:10 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Jun 20 - 05:04 PM
Donuel 05 Jun 20 - 04:59 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Jun 20 - 03:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jun 20 - 01:32 AM
Charmion 01 Jun 20 - 08:26 AM
Stilly River Sage 31 May 20 - 11:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 May 20 - 11:31 AM
Stilly River Sage 28 May 20 - 10:35 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 May 20 - 12:20 AM
LilyFestre 26 May 20 - 08:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 26 May 20 - 12:54 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 May 20 - 12:58 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 May 20 - 02:27 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 May 20 - 11:50 AM
Jon Freeman 21 May 20 - 06:39 AM
Stilly River Sage 20 May 20 - 12:36 PM
Dorothy Parshall 19 May 20 - 09:55 PM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Jul 20 - 06:06 AM

Iíll try to remember that word, Charmion. I donít think ours have ever been treated to more than being referred to as ďthe dumpĒ. Like you, I think the patch ďno-one ever goes toĒ 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 goodÖ

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 weíve not wanted tradesman in doing work with the virus worries.

That said, Iíve 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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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 30 Jun 20 - 09:55 AM

Dupont:

R is still in kidney stone mode; until that finishes there will be no - ever so longed for - trip to Beaver.

The cross the street neighbours took out the 8-10 foot high hedge between the two drives. The view from my usual chair in the Den is vastly deteriorated; instead of the lovely old cedar hedge - 3 or more vehicles, a camping trailer, a not too bad small building and the back porch and side of house - not terrible. But now there is a 24/7 light on the bloomin' trailer. I am trying to adjust plants on the sill to block the view without losing the nice breeze --- now that the weather is blissfully cooler. I realize they did it to gain space; we sure miss that hedge!

We have also had wonderful rain a couple times. I lost a tiny hydrangea to the dry - it looked as though it was getting ready to bloom and then it looked totally dried out - lack of attention. The squash flowers all gave up - no water, no squash. They can try again; the plants are still healthy. But everything is showing its happiness to have water! - lettuce, beans et al.

The stores here, at least those I use, have online sites with a chart showing how busy they are throughout the day. So, needing stuff, I checked several times yesterday and went off to the produce store at 6pm. Bought groceries in an almost empty store and went to check the plants adjacent - already end of season sale! but nothing suitable. I want to use some very large clay pots filled part way with styrofoam and then 6-8 inches of soil for potted geraniums (keeping them in 5" pots). I wanted to infill with something droopy and flowering. May try a nursery today if it is empty of people.

That does it! I have to put a sheer curtain across that window, just the bottom 15 inches! Too ugly looking at all that.

Today is day 8 of being hyper careful of eating. NO choc -let it run out; no cookies - R put them where I don't see them. I actually feel better. I also feel hungry a good part of each day but am managing pretty well so far.

Thanks for the spelling, SRS! I always wonder but close enough... In any case, my hummus has been a treat on a big bowl of lettuce with a dollop of salsa mixed in.

Now, a curtain!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 30 Jun 20 - 08:19 AM

Iíve bought two tools in fairly recent times to deal with a couple of things I found in the garden. Aviation snips to cut up an old rusty incinerator and bolt cutters for the springs from an old mattress (not sure where that came fromÖ). In both cases, I was able to get things down to reasonable sized bits for easier disposal.

Iíve been dotting about between a few outdoor things and one other thing Iíve been doing is trying to reclaim the area behind the pigsties. I remember strimming there when I first moved here around 20 years ago but it got forgotten about at some point and itís surprising how quickly nature can take overÖ

Between ivy, brambles and elder, most of that patch was impassible a few weeks ago and, apart from clearing up stuff Iíve cut, itís probably about at a point Iíd settle for now. The main things to me anyway are having access again to the back of the pigsties and to the blue pipe which carries water from the 12 butts at the back of the house down to join 4 more by a shed and all used for watering round the back. I think we need to fix the fence by the back of the house.

Another thing Iíve done bits of and need to do more of is bits of garden timber. The bit that has my attention at the moment is the table outside the ďBBQ shedĒ. Itís looking a little weather worn but I think itís itís a nice piece of quite solid, simple furniture. Iíve not tried this before with anything but Iím going to try sanding, a little bit of wood filler and teak oil with this one.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Jun 20 - 12:16 PM

"Now if I can just keep track of the day of the week."

Oh, yes. I'm ashamed to admit that I check the phone or the computer to remind me, and then I forget again, especially in the grey space between Tuesday and Friday. After Garbage Day has passed, my only firm guide is the amount of effort I have to put into the New York Times crossword puzzle.

BIL and SIL are still in a welter of paper and boxes, with days if not weeks of sorting and shifting ahead of them. Their new house is much bigger than the little rowhouse they left behind in Toronto, and was rather ruthlessly renovated about ten years ago to turn it into a bed-and-breakfast. It has two large bathrooms that, oddly, have no doors; oddest of all is the man-cave attic, with a massive Jacuzzi whirlpool tub right spung in the middle of the space. Whoever installed that would have needed a building permit and an engineer's report, followed by the agony of hanging double joists to take the weight -- and why? Likewise, the largest bedroom has a huge en-suite bathroom with no enclosure to block the view even of the toilet.

However, it's their house. I just thank my lucky stars that it wasn't the only house in our price range when we hit town three years ago.

Speaking of houses, ours is as dusty as the Sahara right now, and it can damn well stay that way for a couple more days; I have zero interest in housework right now. I will probably get over that soon, as the weather is hot and muggy enough to make any expedition unpleasant. Of course, there's nowhere fun to go.

Himself chivvied me out yesterday morning for breakfast downtown, our favourite after-church spot having reopened for take-out service. It was okay, but frankly I would rather have eaten at home; perching at a picnic table in the market square to eat out of compostable boxes is just as unlike restaurant dining as it sounds. Plus, no church, although the bells were ringing. The Anglican Church of Canada has hoisted in that group singing is actually one of the most dangerous things to do when COVID-19 is around, so ... no church. And when church is finally back, it will be said Matins and Evening Prayer. No singing, no eucharist. Bleah.

I have put on ten completely unwanted pounds over the last six months, so I have to pay much closer attention to what I eat and when. Since recovering from my last bout of diverticulitis, I have been eating only small meals a day, fasting from eight o'clock in the evening to noon the next day, and that is beginning to turn the tide. Trotting up and down stairs and around town is about the only exercise I get since the gyms are still closed, but today it's just too damned hot.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Jun 20 - 11:00 AM

Weird windy weather today, and I think we still have Sahara dust swirling in the air also. I was going to set up the burn barrel and clear out some old files and add some of the extra paper packing material, but not with the wind. I think the village has stopped emptying the recycle bins, so either I have to lug mine over to my ex's house (if he has room in his bin) or simply put it out at the curb. Now that would be depressing, though in this market I don't think much recycling is going anywhere. Many marketplaces have shut down.

And since Texas is having a surge in novel coronavirus infections, I have to cancel my plans to make a trip to the grocery store. The law says everyone has to wear a mask, but there are scofflaws who have them on and suspended under their chins - the letter if not the spirit of the law.

Mowing awaits my mood shifting. It's so muggy that it's like pushing the mower into a steam room. The only steam room available these days since my gym (pre knee surgery) never re-opened.

I've made progress moving things from the sun room to the front room, and need to keep that going. I need to establish an area for setting up my photo cube (a nylon tent-like tabletop setup that works for diffusing light from the sides and getting good photos for eBay, etc. The goal of organizing this stuff is to resume full-time eBay activity.

Now if I can just keep track of the day of the week.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Jun 20 - 04:24 PM

Charmion, that is excellent news about family moving to the area!

Texas is rolling up the sidewalks again now that the governor has finally seen the light. I was planning a trip to the grocery store on Monday during senior hours, but I'll see how busy the parking lot is before deciding to go in. Costco has large aisles, that's their saving grace; I've saved up on things I usually buy there and have a rather long list. Going through a shopping service means I'm bound to miss things I forgot to put on my list but still need and will spot in the store. What I really crave right now is some sharp cheddar. I've been out for ages.

Today I've begun emptying stuff from the sunroom into the newly cleaned and emptied front room, though I've stopped for the time being to give the dust a chance to settle and to think about the next step - how much packing material can I discard to reduce the volume in there. Over time it's too easy to stash stuff, and when you see it all at one time in several containers and realize there is way more than needed, it's time to cull. A lot of it isn't recyclable, so I expect a large bag at the curb on Monday.

The craft room has gained a fresh ironing board cover; the old one was probably 25 years old. I left the old pad under the new one so it's the Cadillac of ironing board covers now. I've assembled a bunch of fabric for the next set of face masks, I mailed a bunch last week, and I have a few new orders.

What I'd like, when I finish this rearranging, is a more efficient house and something that will entertain and interest the family next time they walk in and see it so different. And decluttered.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 27 Jun 20 - 08:58 AM

Himself's brother and his wife moved from the Big Smoke to our corner of Paradise yesterday, after months of stressful preparation, and their arrival represents the beginning of a new phase of our life here. Up till now, we have been much on our own, as any family visit required somebody to saddle up and drive half across our very large province.

We hosted their elderly cat for the day while tumult and shouting prevailed at their new place, and gave them dinner. They were the first guests to cross our doorstep since the 13th of March. (The plumber and the HVAC guy don't count.)

Perth County is now in Stage 2 of opening, with hair-cutting establishments back in business (with shields and masks) and restaurants setting up out-door patios. Much to their credit, the town council voted to give up large expanses of street-side parking to allow the use of curb lanes for umbrella tables; squint hard, and you could be in France. Alas, it's raining today, so we won't be patronizing even our favourite joints quite yet; if I have to get wet while eating outside, I want army food and a Field Service Allowance.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Jun 20 - 09:23 PM

Pedant alert: it's Hummus. Not Humous. That sounds like a medical condition or the gardening by-product. :-/

Piano shifted across the room next to the doorway to the hall, and may be moving to a different part of the house later. Trunks moved.

The two torchiere lamps have been refurbished with LED bulbs, $9 each and saving me having to buy new lamps.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 26 Jun 20 - 06:40 PM

Dupont:

Made humous and a pan of stew yesterday, deadheaded a bunch of perennials, considered mowing and rejected it but cut down a bunch of burdock that were getting ready to bloom. The tomato plant saucers were full of water from the wonderful rain Weds night! Changed the bed, did a load of laundry. Enjoyed the cooler weather and stuck to a diet free of choc and cookies.

Today I re-found the lovely daybook that only made it to 4 January, just so I can write in it the number of days, to encourage myself to stick to it. Today, Day 4 is being difficult. My 5pm meal (veggie stew) is not sufficing. Going back for lettuce/humous. Now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Jun 20 - 11:30 AM

Following two days to let the second half of the carpet dry in the front room I now need to start moving furniture in earnest. It's a good workout. And when I finish that, there is some heavy lifting in the garden to do.

My county is, as of 6pm today, under a mandatory mask-wearing order for anyone entering a business. It will run until early August. Yesterday I mailed a half-dozen facemasks to family members and last night I pinned a few together while I waited to see if I could successfully launder the heat-resistant cover of my ironing board. Yes and no; it's back on the board for now but the next time I make a run to the Dollar Store I'll look for another one. It's getting a lot of use right now but has been in place for many years, so it's time to replace it.

The garden is producing tomatoes and peppers. I need to plant the small okra, that's part of the heavy lifting coming up. Shaping those beds.

Stay healthy, everyone!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 23 Jun 20 - 09:35 PM

Dupont:

We GOT RAIN!!! Maybe half inch and slightly less humid and a bit cooler. Supposed to go down to 16C tonight!

The spider has gone to someone who will care for it. Yesterday they gave it a pork bone to clean up. Who would have thought? It enjoyed it.

Other than that, I just open and close windows and drapes. Started soaking chick peas to cook tomorrow for humous and made a lentil stew. No choc or cookies for two days. Tonight is hard but I will manage.

If the grass dries, I can cut some tomorrow. And deadhead some iris and day lilies when they are in the shade. Did the peonies yesterday.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Jun 20 - 03:45 PM

I disturbed a lot of dust this morning as I moved trunks and furniture from one side of the front room to the other. The two remaining items are a three-level glass front lawyer's bookcase (full of books) and a half-ton upright grand. I'll move those two items then steam clean the rest of the carpet in that room (started over the weekend). I took down some curtains that have never been moved since I moved into the house; they'll go to Goodwill. If I'm going to do all of this work I might as well come up with the room looking different and being more useful. I'm thinking that one side of the room can hold a bunch of the antique trunks, stacked two-deep and it can act like a counter-top for the eBay stuff that I'll move in there.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Jun 20 - 09:20 PM

You have had your hands full, Dorothy! Good luck getting the grill in place, Charmion. And I've used live-traps so I can distinguish between pests (rats and mice) and the good guys (toads and lizards). Some are released, some aren't.

I've figured out how to restore two torchiere lamps that I haven't used in ages because they were made for the the blazing-hot halogen bulbs that occasionally fricassee a passing moth and stinks of burned wings and disturbed dust. I used to have more but donated or broke them down, depending on their condition. These last two solid examples will receive dimmer but much better LED replacement bulbs later in the week. Amazon says they will arrive on Wednesday. Sometimes you have to stop what you're doing and poke around to see if what you need has been invented yet. These bulbs exist, and while there are brighter bulbs that would be perfect replacement of 300 to 500 watt halogen bulbs, they cost over $60 a piece, so I will get along fine with the $9 100 Watt equivalent replacements. I usually never turned them up full strength anyway.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Jun 20 - 10:52 AM

Our fire-pit has been installed, so we marked the solstice with supper outside and a nice fire to dispose of rather a lot of deadfall branches from our many maple trees. Now I'm just waiting on a local metal-worker who's making us a cooking grill long enough to reach across the 32-inch diameter.

We definitely have a mouse problem. Watson (large black tomcat) is enthusiastically efficient at catching them when they venture into the main spaces of the house, but I'd rather they avoided us entirely. Besides, Watson makes a lot of noise when he's on the hunt at zero dark thirty, thumping about and meowing on the other side of the bedroom. I know the mice roaming around in the kitchen cabinets under and on either side of the sink and dishwasher because I have found spoor, as it were, but they don't seem to have discovered the pantry, for which much thanks.

More than 40 years ago, when I was posted in Germany, I lived in a house that dated from the end of the 30 Years' War. The floor was stone with linoleum laid on it, and I could see daylight around the casement windows, so it was about as airtight as a lace curtain. That house was alive with mice and beetles, especially in the fall when the famers reaped the fields and the weather turned cold, and I very quickly learned to keep all foodstuffs in gnaw-proof containers. I still do that, thank God.

When we moved here, the packers complained bitterly about how much "kitchen stuff" we had. A lot of that kitchen stuff was then, and is now, my museum-quality collection of Mason jars, canisters and hard plastic bins and boxes, and I don't plan to dispose of a single damn one any time soon.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 21 Jun 20 - 08:14 PM

Dupont: STILL!

R has not had time to go back to Beaver to fix the septic. I have pretty well missed June in a blue funk. I mentioned my distress at being in Quebec - highest covid in Canada - on another forum and a fellow pmed me; for some reason his two brief emails triggered something and I decided it was time to rejoin the living.

I have managed to get plants and seeds into the ground and things are growing in spite of NO rain for ages! Putting all the geraniums outside had de-cluttered the window sills. There is a great need for window covers on west and south windows, which plants make more difficult. Of course, I now have to water the outdoor house plants almost daily.

Out back, the numerous tomato cuttings are potted - 3 to a 12 inch pot and are on the railing of the deck, with a few small peppers and tomatoes coming along. MORE watering! The seedlings in front flower bed have sprouted and will live or die; will not be watered! Many flowers on the four zuke plants but without rain... Most of the bulbs and plants I planted on the bought pile of soil - I call it a dinosaur grave - are being very successful with a nice succession of colour. The peony clump has not lasted a week; I wonder if the lack of moisture?

The garage project is on hold. 2 weeks ago R found himself with a kidney stone and I waited on him for one whole week as he suffered great pain. Then one day the pain was gone but he shows no sign of getting back to work. An op is scheduled for Friday and last Friday we went to hospital for pre-op tests. He reads and sleeps - a lot! Fixed a couple leaks in plumbing - a great help to the damp basement.

The K faucet leaked but I had no idea what it was doing until I saw dampness in the cabinet! Expecting it to be dry, I had stored a large bag of oat flakes - original bag perhaps 50#! When I pulled it out the bottom disintegrated and R gets 10 gold stars for rescuing what could be - 15 large yogurt containers and taking the rest out to the woods. He LOVES cleaning up messes!! Oh, JOY!

The house is moderately clean; we are eating very little that needs much cooking; I still use the distiller as we need the water but now put it on the stove next to the vent with a fan to pull hot air out of the house! I never knew there was such a thing but it is great!! Cooking odours and heat ...GONE!

Oh, Big thing was we hosted a young raccoon for 3 weeks while searching for a rehabber. bottle feedings to solid food and PHEW! A wonderful woman took him to a new home for us just as R was hitting the worst pain. He was wonderful but too much. "moderately clean" includes paw prints in various places, some of which, "I washed that twice already!" I miss him; it was quite enchanting to see his brain working, problem solving. I hope he has the best possible raccoon life! He needed a peer group and wanted to be outdoors; he could smell it.

Now our only pet is a huge brown/black spider that R found in the cellar. It looks like one someone called an Inspector Spider years ago. R wants to show it to someone then let it go. I hope back in the cellar.

I took a bath a couple days ago and got an unusually good look at the state of my body. R agrees it is horrible. I have asked him to put all the cookies where I will not find them. I have gained much weight in the last two months and it was bad before. Crisis time. Maybe I can go back to the only diet that ever worked for me. One day at a time.

R installed a portable AC in BR today and found the large fan which we can use in the TV room. Right now I am trying to get it to bring the cooler air up from downstairs, which would bring cooler air up from the cellar. Hot air can go into the attic and out the "hot air chimney" up there - an early 1900 tactic built into the house!   There is another AC for his office, in which some progress has been made - y'all know - papers everywhere!
I cannot breathe if the temp is over 73 so any improvement helps. I spend time opening and closing windows and drapes. The "cool night air" is currently around 71 but it does help.

As for SRS and her DIY projects: Sure is hard to find someone who does it the way we want and as well as we can!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Jun 20 - 11:59 AM

After a stormy night it's a morning indoors of clearing up dishes and pans I should have done last night before bedtime. And soaking the tea cups with water and bleach to clean out tea stains.

I think it's time for another frugal month, so I'll aim at keeping July as low-or-no-spend as possible.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Jun 20 - 12:49 PM

I just can't make myself go out and mow the lawn in this heat, but when it's this hot the lawn doesn't grow fast so it looks a bit ragged but it isn't out of control.

This COVID-19 environment is getting more charged with political anxiety as a belligerent segment of the population has decided they don't need to be careful of others with masks and social distancing. If you say anything you get a snide response that has nothing to do with the science of the crisis and there is no logic behind this behavior, it's simply following the model of political figures in their particular party. It is becoming more and more isolating for a large part of the population who choose to avoid those thoughtless individuals.

I keep notes of where and when I have gone so if contact tracing becomes necessary in the future I can point at places (and via receipts, times of day) I've been. We could really benefit from adults in charge right now. And while we're staying home, here is a virtual exhibit of Pandemic Objects at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

    Pandemic Objects is an editorial project that compiles and reflects on objects that have taken on new meaning and purpose during the coronavirus outbreak. During times of pandemic, a host of everyday often-overlooked Ďobjectsí (in the widest possible sense of the term) are suddenly charged with new urgency. Toilet paper becomes a symbol of public panic, a forehead thermometer a tool for social control, convention centres become hospitals, while parks become contested public commodities. By compiling these objects and reflecting on their changing purpose and meaning, this space aims to paint a unique picture of the pandemic and the pivotal role objects play within it.


We're all in a position to set up our own home-based exhibits. :)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Jun 20 - 11:07 AM

I watched a couple of movies yesterday while I worked on turning several large t-shirts into rolls of t-shirt yarn to use for mask ties or other things. There are two self-healing cutting boards on the table and with the new larger one this work goes quickly, I don't have to keep stopping and shifting my work to stay on top of the mat.

We're to the season of lots of fresh fruit available and I have to be careful how much I purchase at a time. Last night's dinner included guacamole since I bought a half-dozen avocados the other day (most of it is now frozen), and today I think it will be peaches with every meal. The difficulty in shopping for fruit in this year of COVID-19 is that if I pick up a peach to sniff it to see if it's ripe, I can't smell it through the mask, and the realization that once I've touched it I'm pretty much obligated to keep it. So buy only a few at a time and hope when they arrive home that they will perform as expected.

I'm still finding things around the house to repurpose now that the original function is moot. Boxes, baskets, tools, art supplies, interesting jars, emptied-out plastic storage bins, etc. It is gradually clearing out a bit and I'm still planning the big rearrangement. The linchpin in this operation is steam-cleaning the front room carpet so it's ready to receive the items I plan to move in there. And I need to move stuff off of that carpet before I clean it. In the end, those repurposed items will probably find themselves in that front room where my eBay stuff will be organized. It's the kind of plan that, since it doesn't involve people coming in to do work, has no fixed schedule.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Jun 20 - 05:12 PM

Mudcatter and pot-maker extraordinaire Guy Wolff posted on Facebook this morning photos of the face masks his wife Erica is making, and it added a couple of helpful ideas to the constantly changing features of the masks I make and send to people. I shared tips for ties that I hope help her.

I've had the new phone for just under a month and have had time to look at the online account and realize it wasn't calling and getting data via WiFi. A series of emails between me and a help tech has it set to rights, and yesterday I also connected my Google Voice account to the phone. The tech tells me that will reduce my bill (already low) a lot because phone or WiFi through my Ting number show up on my bill. Google Voice doesn't. This is in the "don't-declutter-the-pocketbook-as-fast" category.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Jun 20 - 07:13 PM

The COVID-19 rates of infection are shooting up fast in North Texas, so it looks like I'm continuing to stay home. Not that I expect to go out much, but since the stores are full of people NOT wearing masks, I'll return to ordering online. Kroger today was full of people who were either clueless or didn't give a damn because they don't believe in it. Local and national politics are part of the problem. Was I taking my life in my hands to buy waxed paper? Aldi doesn't carry it or I'd have gotten it there; the smaller stores seem to have a more conscientious customer base.

I've done the math on the postal requirements for mailing these homemade masks. I found some 4" x 6" cardboard flat mailers that will compress the cloth masks easily and go as first class letters of an odd size. $1.00 or $1.20, depending on whether it's 2 or 3 ounces. Padded envelopes go at $4.05, so it's a nice savings (the new mailers came at about .40 each).

In the Increased Efficiency At Home Department, I have refined how I make ties for masks - this YouTube video was the most helpful lately, it shows how to make "t-shirt yarn," more efficient than tearing on the bias or just doing individual loops across a shirt. There's much less waste when you have one continuous strand. I'm enjoying learning these new things. Now that I'm expert at making bias tape I'm not having to make as much, but I do have a comforter I need to make some for to finish it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 11 Jun 20 - 12:16 PM

A bucket of wet sand, Charmion, just damp enough so that it will glom onto whatever should not be burning.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Jun 20 - 11:54 AM

You pegged it, Charmion - it's the nuts and raisins I've been concerned about. I make sure if I send banana bread with nuts that they're all on top to be picked off if need be, or no raisins in the cinnamon rolls she receives, etc.

Michelle, how is your workplace now? Is everyone healthy and able to work the staggered schedule? My daughter has two days a week she goes to her museum office; they had a lot of shared offices so now it's one person at a time, staggered days. They haven't built a volunteer schedule up yet, but they'll probably move us from small offices to wide open spaces with our gear on carts to be moved in and out. I'm not in a rush to expose myself, I'm just waiting to see how they work it out. Volunteering in the open air at the Botanic Garden is more likely to open up for me sooner.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 11 Jun 20 - 11:12 AM

My guts have settled down at last, thanks for asking, Stilly. Your neighbour must really have it bad if she has to avoid baked goods; I can usually eat white bread as soon as I get off clear fluids, and the only bready things I must avoid are those containing nuts, seeds and dried fruit.

Our place is looking good, if not particularly clean. Monday is recycle day, so I am looking forward to clearing the garage of a great heap of cardboard boxes, and a trip to the dump is in order to dispose of a shredded cat tree and some broken screens. Fortunately, the city fathers have re-opened the dump to the public, probably to ensure that the fly-tippers have no excuse (not that those assholes need any).

We have a fire-pit now, but we will have to be very careful about what we burn in it; nothing that will flare up and scare the neighbours, and nothing that will stink. I must purchase a fire-extinguisher ... although a bucket of water kept handy might do.

The last outside project is a small shed for storing firewood so we can get it off the front porch. Dunno if I can get that done before the snow flies.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Jun 20 - 05:47 PM

How are you feeling, Charmion? I think about my across-the-street neighbor's gut issues each time I take over baked goods, hoping none of it will make her worse (because she might eat things even if she shouldn't if it smells good).

We're to the time of year when outside work is best performed morning or evening, and since I'm not much of a morning person I usually head into the yard around 5pm. The next stage of the veggie garden is going in as seed starts are progressing and ready to plant. I'll be digging out the worst of the big roots then tilling in amendments and see about tilling paths to keep the weeds down.

The next big declutter project is to pull out some of the stuff that has accumulated along the sides of the garage and either fix them (the grill needs work), use them (there are planks for raised beds that actually need to be made into raised beds) or put them away in a better place (the wheelbarrow is in there now, filled with a home-mix of potting soil to keep it out of the weather). There is still room for the SUV, but not as much as there was the last time I cleared it out. Time to push back on the encroachment of stuff.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 08 Jun 20 - 10:18 AM

Thanks for wondering Stilly. I'm fine, without so much as a pulled muscle. I'm not the genius of body mechanics I was thirty years ago, when I could easily move a massive bookcase taller than myself, but I can still handle any piece of furniture I can get leverage on.

And as I said above, I won't take that particular risk again -- at least not when I'm alone in the house.

Our sitting room and dining room are ankle-deep in cat hair again, but I'm not quite desperate enough to haul the central vac hose upstairs and tackle it. Himself has taken to washing the kitchen floor, but the vacuum cleaner remains beyond his chosen arc of influence; he claims not to know quite how it works. I believe him; thousands wouldn't.

We were pleasantly busy this weekend, mostly in the garden. The composter is in a new spot that was vacated by last year's patio project, and we stabilized one of the rain barrels by resetting it on a large square paver the patio guys found under the demolished deck.

But most of last week I spent recovering from a flare-up of diverticulitis, which is that thing that typically happens to the lower guts of North Americans who live long enough. In me, it manifests itself as stabbing pain about three inches north of the pubic bone, accompanied by just enough nausea to make me wonder if it really is appendicitis this time. I sent Himself out to purchase ginger beer in tins and a clinical thermometer, which we have not got, and apparently clinical thermometers are sold out in Stratford. Not ginger beer, fortunately.

After a couple of days on a diet of ginger beer and bananas, I recovered enough to start eating normally, then promptly had a relapse -- leftover barbecued ribs. Back to ginger beer and bananas for another day, and now easing back much more carefully. Pasta with plain tomato sauce, shrimp, cooked veg.

Today, I might try something raw that is not a banana. Perhaps a ripe tomato.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Jun 20 - 07:14 PM

After several searches through the garage I finally thought to look in some of the boxes (that were moved around when the puppy arrived and started chewing on them). I found my 50/50 tarp for shading the back patio, took my much safer step ladder out (after discarding the two-step wobbly one last year) and put it in place in about five minutes. The patio got cooler as I worked.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 03:36 PM

Sweeping, vacuuming, moping a few rooms today, those that get traffic. No point in doing anything in the guest room, it's closed and rarely entered. The craft room was swept recently. This means about 1/3 of the house has had the floors cleaned, and it was humid enough to stop at that point. In the summer one has to pace oneself with these moisture-generating chores. Now to hang some laundry on the clotheslines recently freed of tree branches.

As I read Charmion's table-moving post I was wondering how it came out and thinking "at least if she can write about it she didn't die from it." Good thing you didn't hurt yourself.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 11:45 AM

Yes, okay, Donuel, but Iím pretty sure most of us would rather do for ourselves what we can, if only to get the job done before the ice-worms nest again.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Donuel
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 11:04 AM

There is a limit as to what one can do themselves based on resources, budget, age and need. What ever one's opinion is of; designers, architects, engineers, contractors or other professionals there are things others may do better than the most dedicated DIY enthusiast.
Then there are the disaster stories or on the other hand lifelong back injuries. But I suppose all that goes without saying.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 10:51 AM

Just as you would when working with heavy weights at a gym, this sort of awkward work should be done with a spotter, if not someone also engaged in the lifting, sister dear.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 05 Jun 20 - 09:10 PM

Today I moved some furniture around. The old wingback armchair is not as comfortable as it used to be, and that matters more as my back gets older. So it migrated upstairs (thanks to Himself, as it weighs a ton) along with the handsome tilt-top table that has always been too large for our sitting room.

A small rocking chair, a rather battered wicker armchair and a tea table have settled into the vacated space, which has ideal reading light from the big front window. I have ordered new cushions for the wicker armchair from Amazon, as the current ones date from a visit to IKEA circa 1992 and are lightly spattered with paint. (I hear that shabby chic is a style, but not that shabby.) The cats have decided the change is okay.

I carried the tilt-top table upstairs by myself, which would have been a bad mistake if my core muscles were even a little bit weaker. It's a pedestal table with a round top 40 inches in diameter, made of solid mahogany some time in the late 18th century. I unlatched the top so it hung vertical and picked the whole thing up, with my left hand under the pedestal between the feet, the pedestal leaning against my chest caber-style, and my right hand controlling the top.

The table and arrived upstairs without incident. Right at the top of the stairs, as I turned to start sidling into the enormous room over the garage (much more in scale with the table), I took my right hand off the tabletop for some reason, and it started to tip toward the horizontal. I felt my back take the strain as the weight swung over my shoulder, and my body rocked back on my heels (still at the top of the stairs, remember). I then gently put my right hand back where it should have been all along and returned the tabletop to its vertical position.

In a very undignified shuffle, I made it to the new spot by a row of bookcases and put the damnable table down safely. I then unkinked my back and resolved NEVER TO DO THAT AGAIN. At least not when I'm alone in the house.


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

I'm not sure who that was aimed at or what exactly it was about. The nature of these threads is to discuss things we're doing ourselves. Where do you envision professionals who would see something we would miss?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Jun 20 - 04:59 PM

If you're changing things up why not consider a total makeover with professional help who might know things you could not.
You might save time and $. One can get lost in the little things and miss the big picture.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Jun 20 - 03:44 PM

Today's declutter is dog hair. I got tired of the crunchy feel of hair and dirt and yard detritus they've dragged in, so got that spiffy new silicon floor sweeper and dislodged a lot of it. I'll mop next, and then proceed to the other side of the house. A wad about the size of a soccer ball was tipped into the trash can from that first pass through.

It was 96o (36C) the last time I looked at the thermometer, so I'll work inside until evening, when I will be able to do some puttering in the yard. At last count I have nine masks finished or almost ready to go, and several others in pieces ready to assemble. I'll be doing another mailing soon, since this hot weather is a great excuse to work on those.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jun 20 - 01:32 AM

I found a couple of interesting fat quarters tucked into the sewing room stash that are now in the dryer, along with a 90" wide large piece of muslin. I think I bought it on sale from the remainder table, I didn't buy it because I was making a quilt. So I'll trim off a piece and use it in the masks that are still underway. Most recent request came from one of our former student assistants at the library; we're friends on Facebook and she has seen the masks. Since she wears a headscarf I sent a photo of one I thought would work best and she agreed. It'll go over the whole scarf, not behind her ears (having to adjust the scarf every time she shifts the mask).

My craft room table has two sewing machines set up; the oldest one has no zigzag but it sews over anything and is fast—I'd forgotten how powerful this old rotary machine is. The newer machine has a different color thread and is the one that does zigzag and is a better motor than my original machine. I'll probably sell that one on eBay.

The garden is progressing and soon it's time to use the little tiller to put in the next beds for plants that were started from seed a few weeks ago.

There is protesting and damage and arrests here in Fort Worth; my village doesn't have any restrictions but Fort Worth has a 7pm curfew through at least tonight, so there has been no evening driving around unless you're headed to work, or doing something essential. We are staying home and out of everyone's way, but in past years I've attended rallies (the local Women's marches and other political responses). This one, in the time of COVID-19, is more than I'm willing to take on right now. I fear the result of all of this unmasked commingling for the last week will undo all of the quarantine of the last three months. I'd better keep making masks.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 08:26 AM

Thatís an interesting essay, Stilly, and more or less summarizes my far less organized thinking on the subject.

I never wore make-up (hate the constant twiddling, and the sticky sensation on my face) and the only thing I ever do with my hair (beyond brushing it ) is a haircut ever six weeks or so. I stopped needing ďprofessionalĒ clothes in 2013, when I quit my last job. But the urge to blow money on personal things somehow never goes away.

Moving house is a great excuse to throw discretion to the winds, and itís very difficult to draw the line and say, Enough. There always seems to be a project that requires substantial purchases of stuff ó we spent $600 on rain barrels, hose and hose-management equipment in May ó and when a project is finished the urge to acquire does not subside, but must be suppressed.

The big difference wrought by the virus is that Iím not pushing a huge cart casually through Canadian Tire or Sobeyís on any given day, and I donít stroll down the main drag gazing into artfully arranged shop windows, so the lust for novelty does not get much spark. I donít watch commercial television, either, and I am training myself to scroll briskly past the algorithm-cued advertising on the Internet.

But we still have a credit-card bill fit to choke a Clydesdale every month.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 May 20 - 11:44 PM

Today I dismantled part of a cotton-blend red Hawaiian shirt to use for brightly colored masks. I sent a photo to my 5'10" daughter who wore that when she was several inches shorter and probably didn't have a bosom - "Awww! That's my Hawaiian shirt - and I want a mask from it!" Good compromise. She admits that she could probably fit only one boob in that blouse at this point. :) (And you'd think "bosom" would have two S's - took me a while to get it right).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 May 20 - 11:31 AM

From BuzzFeed:

I Don't Feel Like Buying Stuff Anymore

Our economy is built on Americans of all class levels buying things. What happens when the ability ó and desire ó to do so goes away?

I didnít even realize Iíd lost my desire to shop until one day, about six weeks into isolation, I absentmindedly clicked on a Madewell email offering an additional sale on a sale. I donít even have anywhere to wear the jumpsuits I already own, let alone one that would require heels. Every work trip, every speaking gig, every quick vacation had already been canceled, even as my calendar still had reminders of the life I had planned in advance, on a different timeline, for myself. But in a matter of weeks, those, too, would be gone. I feel very lucky to spend my days walking my dog on the same loop I always take. But that walk, for the foreseeable future, requires no new purchases.

I donít need new makeup, because Iíve stopped wearing it. I have Zoom calls with my friends after theyíve put their kids to bed, and everyoneís hair is just as wild, their faces just as makeup-less, as mine. Iím still lucky enough to be working. Others have been furloughed or laid off. Those changes may shape the tenor of our shared but separate isolation, but not its fundamental character. The aperture of my world feels very small, its rhythms incredibly repetitive. Sometimes, itís almost calming. Other times, itís incredibly claustrophobic. Either way, there are only so many pairs of leggings I need to navigate this new life.

Not wanting to buy things feels as bizarre as not wanting to sleep or not wanting to eat. Itís been ingrained in us, as Americans, as an unspoken component of residency. Before the coronavirus pandemic, Iíd find myself clicking on the emails that overflowed the Promotions tab in Gmail, seemingly from every store Iíd ever patronized. Iíd online shop while I was traveling for work, while stressed, while avoiding a seemingly insurmountable number of other emails in my inbox. Buying things, especially things on sale, provided a momentary sense of comfort: I was fixing some problem, completing some task, simply by clicking ďBuy Now.Ē

Weíre trained to buy often, buy cheap, and buy a lot. And Iím not just talking about food, which everyone has to acquire in some capacity, or clothes. I mean all the other small purchases of daily life: a new face lotion, a houseplant holder, a wine glass name trinket, an office supply organizer, a vegetable spiralizer, a cute set of hand towels, a pair of nicer sunglasses, a pair of sports sunglasses, a pair of throwaway sunglasses. The stuff, in other words, that you donít even know that you want until it somehow finds its way to your cart at Target or T.J. Maxx.

In postĖWorld War II America, the vast majority of things we buy are often not what we actually need. But theyíre indisputably things we want: manifestations of personal and collective abundance. We buy because weíre bored, or because planned obsolescence forces us to replace items we canít fix. We buy to accumulate objects meant to communicate our class and what sort of person we are. We buy because we want to feel something or change something, and purchasing something is the quickest way to do so. When that doesnít work, we buy ďan experience,Ē whether itís a night at Color Me Mine or a weekend bachelorette trip to Nashville. We buy because, from the Great Depression onward, how we consume has become deeply intertwined with how we think of ourselves as citizens.

The US didnít become a nation of consumers because everyone has ample amounts of discretionary cash. Before the pandemic, income inequality had reached its highest levels since the Depression. Most Americansí wages, when adjusted for inflation and purchasing power, have barely risen in four decades. In 2018, with the economy at its most robust in years, 61% of Americans said they could not cover a surprise expense of $400. In 2019, a study by the AARP found that 53% of American households did not have an emergency savings account ó including a quarter of those who earn more than $150,000 a year.

So how do Americans buy so much when we have so little discretionary money? Massive amounts of credit. Payday loans, credit cards, quick and easy car loans, and the newly common ďAfterpayĒ function in online checkouts incentivize spending beyond our means. The average American has a startling $6,194 in credit card debt, with an average interest rate of 16.88%. Over the last decade, auto debt has gone up 40%, and the average auto loan for a new car is a whopping $32,199. In April 2019, Americans reported borrowing $88 billion over the previous year just to cover medical costs. The middle class is going deeper and deeper into debt to maintain the expenditures of middle-class identity. The working class has done the same ó borrowing for cars, for tuition, for everyday expenditures ó only often at much higher interest rates.

And yet we keep spending: As of 2018, the average household expenditure was $61,224. That's rent and groceries, but also nonessential items: entertainment, vacation, clothes, plus all that other random stuff that ends up in your shopping cart.


It's a long read, so this is just the beginning of it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 May 20 - 10:35 PM

Garlic was harvested the other day and today I trimmed off the stalks, knocked off dirt, and collected the corms to use for later or to give away. There are always a few that fall off when I dig it so I usually don't have to put any more corms into the ground for next year.

Cleanup today was setting the scene for putting in more garden beds. There are seedlings that will soon be ready to go in the ground.

Since I've been clearing out the guest/craft room I got rid of a lot of my childhood craft things that were still floating around—I never use them and they're not suitable to donate. I visualize my children discovering this stuff as part of my estate and realizing they can't use it and feeling bad about throwing it out because I had scratched or scribbled my name on them. Time for a little spring Swedish death cleaning.


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

When I had a 30-yard dumpster across the road from my dad's house during the estate work every so often there would be a knock at the door.

"I have a toilet that I'd like to get rid of - can I put it in the dumpster?"

"I have some screen doors I need to get rid of . . . "

The answer was always yes, because they asked. It's nice to be able to do people a favor.

What are you deconstructing before you construct, Michelle? Will you take before and after photos?

The sewing room is much improved; I'm testing using my now-main sewing machine in the classic sewing machine table it came in. I'll probably just put it on the big table where my other sewing machine is so I can position the ironing board closer to where I'm working. My dining table in the den is now cleared.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: LilyFestre
Date: 26 May 20 - 08:38 PM

Hi Everybody,

   Today I ordered a dumpster to be delivered....getting rid of LOTS of STUFF and construction debris.

    Hope all is well with everyone!

Michelle


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 May 20 - 12:54 PM

Me again. I have two bags and a box ready to go to Goodwill after my first pass through the old garments (daughter's outgrown teen-years shirts, mostly) and school supplies in the craft room (was her bedroom). I think I have my sewing machine working - was it *really* so simple as turning the wheel the backwards way to pull the bobbin thread through the plate? I also found a long straight edge in there, intended to be used with the Olfa rotary cutter. A final gift from my Mom's stash?

I have a hair appointment on Friday, but upon looking up the COVID-19 test results and number of cases in this area, the numbers are still going up, so I shall pass, and try again next month. It's one thing to go to a doctor's office, it's another thing to go into a narrow rabbit-warren of a salon building, clear to the very back, and hope that every person who is in or who was in that building within the last few hours hasn't been breathing novel coronavirus particles into the air.

On a personal note: my new office glasses arrived, and I realized I picked the exact same frames for these that I have for my everyday glasses. I'll never be able to tell them apart, so I dabbed on a little nail polish on the inside of the bridge. Now to get the pads to the right point and then adjusted (since one ear is a little higher than the other).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 May 20 - 12:58 AM

I finished piecing together three similar samples of upholstery tapestry to cover the seat cushion, all of it except that last seam on the sewing machine. The last bit was by hand and went pretty quickly. Anything new that appears becomes a target of opportunity for the destructive puppy, so the pillow will slowly make it's way down to the seat level on that chair. Now comes the dusting and vacuuming.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 May 20 - 02:27 PM

I've begun the repair of a seat cushion that goes on the big reclining lounger. The leather is old, I didn't do anything to keep it in good shape, and when the puppy arrived she decided a small tear was an invitation to raid the stuffing. I put it up quickly and today dusted it off and started a rudimentary stitching to pull the gap together. I'll probably use a glue and fabric to reinforce this, then I'll make an upholstery cover to put over the entire seat cushion. I'll find something that looks good with the rest of the leather. I want to put this back into service for me.

This is the first of the things I need to do as far as moving around room contents from the sun room to the front room. This will go in the den and I don't want to move stuff in there that can't be used, hence the repair. It's so large that once it's out of the way I'll get started moving other large objects (trunks, but also a desk, a book case, and a Victrola) and empty the room for carpet cleaning.

I'm watching one of the old "Sell This House" programs on the little HD local stations with really cheap old programming - the homeowner has two of the heavy old CRT TVs in the house being renovated for sale, and Roger tells her "You only need one television." I hate to think of how many duplicate televisions and various players are around this house. The light weight and low cost has made a huge difference in how television viewing happens in this house.

Onto the chair. . .


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 May 20 - 11:50 AM

That link landed on a Google shopping search but was probably tied to my account somehow. The term is "Fiskars Pruning Stik Tree Pruner, 1.25"" Not sure what the 1.25 is, maybe the length of the blade?

I am pleased with myself this morning that the trash went to the curb on time; the trash guys shifted to their earlier schedule (they do every spring when it gets hot out) and I missed them two times in a row. It's not like there's a lot, but there are some fish wrappers in there.

I put a new battery in the collar that I've had the lab Zeke wearing for a couple of days. I was trying to get him to stay back from the fence, but this morning I kept hearing something while I was scooping droppings for the compost - and realize the deaf old dog was prowling the fence line looking for tender grass. He can't hear the beep and his coat is thick enough I guess he wasn't feeling the static shock. The puppy's collar has a bigger clout but won't fit on him, so for now I simply put a new battery in the one he was wearing. I need to get a couple of collars and drench them with the "Yuck" stuff and have them available for swapping out those collar units on the different dogs. The two younger dogs usually wear them all of the time.

The puppy recently noticed the window blind was up in my office and was on her hind legs looking out at the yard. I need to discourage that; it's a nice insulating blind and I don't need a dog destroying it. Since the office is at the front of the house I don't want a view into the room with computer equipment. When I had cats they were really hard on the mini-blinds. As it is she's really hard on dog stuff (I stitched together a hole in a dog bed that she keeps revisiting in order to pull through the comforter inside to pull out the stuffing. Same hole, not tearing a new one. Odd.)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 21 May 20 - 06:39 AM

That link doesnít work, SRS but Iíve tried to look it up. I donít think weíd have a use for one of those but I like your use.

We do have some of our own grapes in one of the pigsty bays that we call the vinery. I suppose it looks nice but thereís never a crop of grapes you can do much with.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 May 20 - 12:36 PM

Today is incredibly humid, so while it is a good temperature for mowing the front yard, it will be a sweaty job by end. It's time to get out the little gas tiller the neighbor gave me and I had tuned up; seeds are sprouting and I need to work over the area where I'll put in a raised bed (trying to kill off some of the stuff that is on the spot before I put down the edges and fill in with some soil from the surrounding garden area).

Later this afternoon looks like a good time to work indoors. Pushing myself to start one of these large projects is what I need to do.

Jon, I have a 6' long Fiskar's pruning "stik" that is great for reaching over my head to trim trees, though I originally bought it to pick grapes in the tree across the road. Lay down a plastic tarp then drop the small bunches on plastic so they can be found again; extra points if they land directly in the bucket. I don't think there will be any grapes this year.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 19 May 20 - 09:55 PM

Dupont:

Very little by very little, I am getting seeds and plants into the soil. Bending over is uncomfortable so I pull a few weeds and move on a few steps before bending over again.

WE went down to the mill on Saturday and I collected a couple small boxes of kitchenie stuffs which have been re-homed here. Moved R's collection of jams and jellies to a less accessible cabinet since they are rarely used; there are 2 or 3 in the frig... I have no interest in them.

R is making progress on garage project. The back yard is a clutter of stuff left from previous owner but a good bit is being trashed! He is being good about minding the bricks protecting the blue/white violets
which I am trying to move to a circle in the front, around the peonies where I am also putting a few roots of dwarf purple iris and creeping Jennie - from the mill. There is tons more but there was no shovel so I need to remember to take one the next time. He picked up four bags of soil for a bare spot in the back yard. I planted wax beans and will fill the remainder with lettuce. The rooted tomato slips are in Dahlia soil in 10 inch pots - 3 to a pot. The 4 tomatoes (2 yellow cherry; 2 red pear shaped) produced in the house were pronounced delicious so I hope they do well outdoors in good soil. And egg shells and mag sulfate. (Dahlia soil: bought a bale of it a few years ago not realizing how much it was! I will be using it for quite a few years! Although I bought it from a dahlia grower, I guess it is not exclusive.)

The house is in moderate state of clean. Meals get cooked and dishes washed at fair intervals. The rain was good but no more in sight for a while. I have marked out the clematis already coming up and R found some items for them to climb.

My energy level is in get out and push mode.


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