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De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021

Stilly River Sage 28 Dec 20 - 06:43 PM
Donuel 28 Dec 20 - 07:31 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Dec 20 - 07:56 PM
Sandra in Sydney 28 Dec 20 - 08:19 PM
Raggytash 28 Dec 20 - 08:19 PM
Dorothy Parshall 28 Dec 20 - 10:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Dec 20 - 12:14 AM
Charmion 29 Dec 20 - 07:34 AM
Charmion 29 Dec 20 - 10:18 AM
Stilly River Sage 29 Dec 20 - 11:29 AM
Donuel 29 Dec 20 - 06:27 PM
Raggytash 29 Dec 20 - 07:08 PM
pattyClink 29 Dec 20 - 09:37 PM
Donuel 30 Dec 20 - 12:29 PM
Charmion 30 Dec 20 - 07:45 PM
pattyClink 30 Dec 20 - 08:49 PM
Stilly River Sage 31 Dec 20 - 12:00 AM
pattyClink 31 Dec 20 - 11:11 AM
Stilly River Sage 31 Dec 20 - 11:36 AM
Stilly River Sage 31 Dec 20 - 02:11 PM
Dorothy Parshall 01 Jan 21 - 12:47 PM
Charmion 01 Jan 21 - 04:45 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Jan 21 - 07:55 PM
Dorothy Parshall 02 Jan 21 - 01:22 PM
Charmion 03 Jan 21 - 10:43 AM
keberoxu 03 Jan 21 - 01:01 PM
Charmion 03 Jan 21 - 01:39 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 Jan 21 - 04:33 PM
Jon Freeman 04 Jan 21 - 02:15 AM
Dorothy Parshall 04 Jan 21 - 10:01 AM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jan 21 - 12:41 PM
Charmion 04 Jan 21 - 04:50 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jan 21 - 06:48 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Jan 21 - 11:39 AM
Charmion 06 Jan 21 - 09:14 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jan 21 - 11:56 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jan 21 - 01:27 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 Jan 21 - 11:41 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jan 21 - 12:36 AM
Charmion 11 Jan 21 - 11:20 AM
Stilly River Sage 12 Jan 21 - 12:51 PM
Steve Shaw 12 Jan 21 - 08:27 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jan 21 - 01:00 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jan 21 - 03:25 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Jan 21 - 05:18 PM
Charmion 15 Jan 21 - 11:16 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jan 21 - 12:16 PM
Charmion 15 Jan 21 - 12:31 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 16 Jan 21 - 09:50 AM
Donuel 16 Jan 21 - 10:19 AM
Stilly River Sage 16 Jan 21 - 02:10 PM
Steve Shaw 16 Jan 21 - 06:03 PM
Dorothy Parshall 17 Jan 21 - 11:19 AM
Stilly River Sage 17 Jan 21 - 12:58 PM
Dorothy Parshall 17 Jan 21 - 04:17 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Jan 21 - 04:52 PM
Dorothy Parshall 18 Jan 21 - 11:16 AM
Dorothy Parshall 18 Jan 21 - 02:26 PM
Jon Freeman 19 Jan 21 - 02:08 AM
Jon Freeman 19 Jan 21 - 03:07 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Jan 21 - 04:41 AM
The Sandman 19 Jan 21 - 08:07 AM
Stilly River Sage 19 Jan 21 - 12:28 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Jan 21 - 01:01 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Jan 21 - 11:19 AM
Dorothy Parshall 20 Jan 21 - 04:00 PM
Dorothy Parshall 20 Jan 21 - 09:51 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 Jan 21 - 08:50 PM
Dorothy Parshall 21 Jan 21 - 10:02 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Jan 21 - 10:41 AM
Charmion 22 Jan 21 - 01:01 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Jan 21 - 09:35 PM
Dorothy Parshall 22 Jan 21 - 09:53 PM
Steve Shaw 23 Jan 21 - 05:49 AM
Charmion 23 Jan 21 - 07:22 AM
Stilly River Sage 23 Jan 21 - 11:20 AM
JennieG 23 Jan 21 - 07:24 PM
Steve Shaw 23 Jan 21 - 07:35 PM
Charmion 23 Jan 21 - 08:07 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Jan 21 - 11:01 PM
Charmion 23 Jan 21 - 11:27 PM
Jon Freeman 24 Jan 21 - 11:40 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Jan 21 - 12:49 PM
Jon Freeman 24 Jan 21 - 01:30 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Jan 21 - 03:12 PM
Dorothy Parshall 24 Jan 21 - 03:25 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Jan 21 - 03:36 PM
Dorothy Parshall 25 Jan 21 - 10:50 AM
Stilly River Sage 25 Jan 21 - 01:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Jan 21 - 02:06 PM
Dorothy Parshall 25 Jan 21 - 06:42 PM
Charmion 26 Jan 21 - 08:57 AM
Stilly River Sage 26 Jan 21 - 06:36 PM
Charmion 27 Jan 21 - 09:16 AM
Donuel 27 Jan 21 - 09:55 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Jan 21 - 11:46 AM
JennieG 27 Jan 21 - 03:27 PM
Donuel 27 Jan 21 - 06:26 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Jan 21 - 11:13 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Jan 21 - 11:19 AM
Charmion 29 Jan 21 - 11:24 AM
Stilly River Sage 29 Jan 21 - 06:40 PM
Dorothy Parshall 29 Jan 21 - 08:04 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Jan 21 - 09:52 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 Jan 21 - 03:03 PM
Charmion 31 Jan 21 - 11:45 AM
Stilly River Sage 31 Jan 21 - 11:58 AM
Dorothy Parshall 31 Jan 21 - 04:00 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Feb 21 - 11:22 AM
Donuel 02 Feb 21 - 06:06 AM
Charmion 02 Feb 21 - 09:05 AM
Stilly River Sage 02 Feb 21 - 11:01 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 Feb 21 - 12:45 PM
Donuel 03 Feb 21 - 04:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Feb 21 - 11:10 AM
Stilly River Sage 05 Feb 21 - 12:42 AM
Charmion 05 Feb 21 - 08:53 AM
Stilly River Sage 05 Feb 21 - 11:53 AM
Dorothy Parshall 05 Feb 21 - 08:21 PM
Charmion 05 Feb 21 - 11:02 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Feb 21 - 12:00 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 Feb 21 - 11:35 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 07 Feb 21 - 02:56 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Feb 21 - 12:20 AM
Charmion 08 Feb 21 - 11:43 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 Feb 21 - 03:39 PM
mg 08 Feb 21 - 04:32 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Feb 21 - 05:29 PM
mg 09 Feb 21 - 02:17 AM
Jon Freeman 09 Feb 21 - 07:16 AM
Charmion 09 Feb 21 - 09:44 AM
Stilly River Sage 09 Feb 21 - 12:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Feb 21 - 01:22 AM
Dorothy Parshall 10 Feb 21 - 05:50 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Feb 21 - 09:14 PM
Dorothy Parshall 11 Feb 21 - 08:03 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Feb 21 - 08:38 AM
Charmion 11 Feb 21 - 10:45 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Feb 21 - 11:31 AM
Charmion's brother Andrew 11 Feb 21 - 05:34 PM
Mrrzy 11 Feb 21 - 06:50 PM
Jon Freeman 12 Feb 21 - 05:22 AM
Charmion 12 Feb 21 - 09:11 AM
Jon Freeman 12 Feb 21 - 09:21 AM
Charmion 12 Feb 21 - 09:31 AM
Jon Freeman 12 Feb 21 - 09:36 AM
Stilly River Sage 12 Feb 21 - 11:10 AM
Charmion 12 Feb 21 - 01:35 PM
Dorothy Parshall 12 Feb 21 - 08:28 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Feb 21 - 11:37 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Feb 21 - 11:31 AM
Charmion 14 Feb 21 - 10:53 AM
Stilly River Sage 14 Feb 21 - 08:40 PM
Dorothy Parshall 15 Feb 21 - 02:08 PM
Charmion 15 Feb 21 - 07:30 PM
Jon Freeman 17 Feb 21 - 08:33 AM
leeneia 18 Feb 21 - 12:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Feb 21 - 10:50 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Feb 21 - 09:54 AM
mg 19 Feb 21 - 09:45 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Feb 21 - 12:50 AM
Jon Freeman 20 Feb 21 - 06:32 AM
Charmion 20 Feb 21 - 09:46 AM
Stilly River Sage 20 Feb 21 - 01:15 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Feb 21 - 11:44 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 21 Feb 21 - 05:55 AM
Charmion 21 Feb 21 - 07:30 AM
Mrrzy 21 Feb 21 - 09:44 AM
Stilly River Sage 21 Feb 21 - 10:27 AM
Charmion 21 Feb 21 - 11:08 AM
Stilly River Sage 21 Feb 21 - 12:13 PM
Dorothy Parshall 21 Feb 21 - 01:40 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 Feb 21 - 11:02 PM
Jon Freeman 22 Feb 21 - 05:48 AM
Jon Freeman 22 Feb 21 - 08:21 AM
Mrrzy 22 Feb 21 - 08:46 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Feb 21 - 10:30 AM
Jon Freeman 22 Feb 21 - 10:43 AM
Jon Freeman 22 Feb 21 - 10:59 AM
Charmion 22 Feb 21 - 11:35 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Feb 21 - 12:41 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Feb 21 - 10:53 PM
Charmion 24 Feb 21 - 08:56 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Feb 21 - 10:19 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Feb 21 - 07:03 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Feb 21 - 10:26 AM
Jon Freeman 26 Feb 21 - 05:40 AM
Charmion 26 Feb 21 - 09:08 AM
Stilly River Sage 26 Feb 21 - 10:38 AM
Jon Freeman 26 Feb 21 - 01:39 PM
Jon Freeman 26 Feb 21 - 03:28 PM
Dorothy Parshall 26 Feb 21 - 05:48 PM
Dorothy Parshall 27 Feb 21 - 09:13 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Feb 21 - 11:27 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Feb 21 - 05:41 PM
Charmion 27 Feb 21 - 06:25 PM
Charmion 28 Feb 21 - 12:37 PM
Dorothy Parshall 28 Feb 21 - 01:00 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Mar 21 - 01:02 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Mar 21 - 01:04 AM
Charmion 01 Mar 21 - 08:11 AM
Jon Freeman 01 Mar 21 - 09:23 AM
Jon Freeman 01 Mar 21 - 10:14 AM
Dorothy Parshall 01 Mar 21 - 10:37 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Mar 21 - 11:39 AM
Charmion's brother Andrew 01 Mar 21 - 11:59 AM
Dorothy Parshall 01 Mar 21 - 07:35 PM
Charmion 02 Mar 21 - 10:11 AM
Stilly River Sage 02 Mar 21 - 12:59 PM
Dorothy Parshall 02 Mar 21 - 02:22 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Mar 21 - 09:26 PM
JennieG 03 Mar 21 - 03:16 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 Mar 21 - 09:25 AM
mg 03 Mar 21 - 11:19 AM
Charmion 03 Mar 21 - 11:22 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 Mar 21 - 11:24 AM
Charmion 03 Mar 21 - 11:48 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 Mar 21 - 06:58 PM
Dorothy Parshall 03 Mar 21 - 07:47 PM
mg 04 Mar 21 - 01:30 AM
Charmion 04 Mar 21 - 10:28 AM
Stilly River Sage 04 Mar 21 - 10:45 AM
Stilly River Sage 04 Mar 21 - 03:11 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Mar 21 - 10:52 AM
Charmion 06 Mar 21 - 08:17 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 Mar 21 - 09:47 AM
Charmion 06 Mar 21 - 05:15 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Mar 21 - 06:37 PM
Jon Freeman 07 Mar 21 - 10:59 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 Mar 21 - 01:41 AM
Jon Freeman 08 Mar 21 - 10:04 AM
Dorothy Parshall 08 Mar 21 - 12:01 PM
Charmion 08 Mar 21 - 01:19 PM
Mrrzy 08 Mar 21 - 01:43 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Mar 21 - 08:35 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Mar 21 - 12:36 AM
Stilly River Sage 09 Mar 21 - 05:03 PM
mg 10 Mar 21 - 01:02 AM
Stilly River Sage 10 Mar 21 - 11:43 PM
Dorothy Parshall 11 Mar 21 - 06:33 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Mar 21 - 01:39 AM
Charmion 12 Mar 21 - 09:44 AM
Stilly River Sage 12 Mar 21 - 11:31 AM
Charmion 12 Mar 21 - 12:59 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Mar 21 - 02:47 PM
Charmion 12 Mar 21 - 06:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Mar 21 - 06:31 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Mar 21 - 11:22 AM
Charmion 14 Mar 21 - 07:35 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Mar 21 - 07:55 PM
Charmion 15 Mar 21 - 10:21 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Mar 21 - 01:06 PM
Mrrzy 15 Mar 21 - 01:54 PM
Charmion 15 Mar 21 - 03:35 PM
JennieG 15 Mar 21 - 06:27 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Mar 21 - 06:55 PM
JennieG 15 Mar 21 - 07:39 PM
Charmion 16 Mar 21 - 09:18 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Mar 21 - 10:11 AM
Charmion 16 Mar 21 - 01:03 PM
mg 16 Mar 21 - 05:10 PM
Dorothy Parshall 16 Mar 21 - 07:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Mar 21 - 12:03 AM
Stilly River Sage 17 Mar 21 - 03:15 PM
Charmion 18 Mar 21 - 09:11 AM
Jon Freeman 18 Mar 21 - 10:06 AM
Dorothy Parshall 18 Mar 21 - 10:07 AM
Stilly River Sage 18 Mar 21 - 10:56 AM
Stilly River Sage 19 Mar 21 - 12:37 AM
Jon Freeman 19 Mar 21 - 08:49 AM
Stilly River Sage 19 Mar 21 - 12:52 PM
Jon Freeman 19 Mar 21 - 01:10 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Mar 21 - 04:35 PM
Charmion 19 Mar 21 - 05:54 PM
Jon Freeman 19 Mar 21 - 07:41 PM
Jon Freeman 19 Mar 21 - 07:55 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Mar 21 - 08:21 PM
keberoxu 19 Mar 21 - 10:12 PM
Charmion 20 Mar 21 - 11:11 AM
Stilly River Sage 20 Mar 21 - 11:47 AM
Stilly River Sage 20 Mar 21 - 09:14 PM
Dorothy Parshall 20 Mar 21 - 09:27 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 Mar 21 - 10:29 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Mar 21 - 01:06 AM
Charmion 22 Mar 21 - 10:59 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Mar 21 - 11:19 AM
Dorothy Parshall 22 Mar 21 - 01:48 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Mar 21 - 11:10 PM
Charmion 23 Mar 21 - 09:57 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Mar 21 - 11:02 AM
Dorothy Parshall 24 Mar 21 - 02:22 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Mar 21 - 06:11 PM
Charmion 24 Mar 21 - 08:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Mar 21 - 05:21 PM
Dorothy Parshall 25 Mar 21 - 10:52 PM
Stilly River Sage 26 Mar 21 - 12:10 AM
Jon Freeman 26 Mar 21 - 07:34 AM
Stilly River Sage 26 Mar 21 - 10:59 AM
Jon Freeman 26 Mar 21 - 11:25 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Mar 21 - 11:22 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Mar 21 - 06:55 PM
mg 27 Mar 21 - 10:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Mar 21 - 11:26 AM
Dorothy Parshall 28 Mar 21 - 05:29 PM
Jon Freeman 29 Mar 21 - 03:19 AM
Charmion 29 Mar 21 - 09:58 AM
Stilly River Sage 29 Mar 21 - 11:35 AM
Charmion 29 Mar 21 - 12:47 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Mar 21 - 05:47 PM
Jon Freeman 30 Mar 21 - 04:20 AM
Stilly River Sage 30 Mar 21 - 09:44 AM
Jon Freeman 31 Mar 21 - 06:10 AM
Jon Freeman 31 Mar 21 - 07:36 AM
Stilly River Sage 31 Mar 21 - 11:33 AM
Jon Freeman 31 Mar 21 - 12:07 PM
Jon Freeman 31 Mar 21 - 04:39 PM
Stilly River Sage 31 Mar 21 - 04:44 PM
Jon Freeman 31 Mar 21 - 07:22 PM
Stilly River Sage 31 Mar 21 - 07:37 PM
Mrrzy 31 Mar 21 - 11:39 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Apr 21 - 12:48 AM
Jon Freeman 01 Apr 21 - 07:48 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Apr 21 - 10:22 AM
Jon Freeman 01 Apr 21 - 11:17 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Apr 21 - 01:02 PM
Charmion 01 Apr 21 - 08:58 PM
Jon Freeman 02 Apr 21 - 10:30 AM
Stilly River Sage 02 Apr 21 - 11:31 AM
Jon Freeman 02 Apr 21 - 12:15 PM
Jon Freeman 02 Apr 21 - 12:53 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Apr 21 - 11:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 Apr 21 - 10:25 AM
Mrrzy 03 Apr 21 - 10:32 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 Apr 21 - 10:47 AM
Dorothy Parshall 03 Apr 21 - 12:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 Apr 21 - 04:37 PM
keberoxu 04 Apr 21 - 01:28 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Apr 21 - 03:12 PM
keberoxu 04 Apr 21 - 03:45 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Apr 21 - 04:03 PM
keberoxu 04 Apr 21 - 06:21 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Apr 21 - 07:15 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Apr 21 - 10:09 AM
Charmion 05 Apr 21 - 10:42 AM
Stilly River Sage 05 Apr 21 - 09:59 PM
Charmion 06 Apr 21 - 08:08 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 Apr 21 - 05:56 PM
Charmion 07 Apr 21 - 10:33 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 Apr 21 - 11:47 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 Apr 21 - 06:36 PM
keberoxu 07 Apr 21 - 08:04 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Apr 21 - 11:48 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Apr 21 - 03:37 PM
Charmion 08 Apr 21 - 07:17 PM
Donuel 08 Apr 21 - 07:33 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Apr 21 - 12:12 AM
Jon Freeman 09 Apr 21 - 06:50 AM
Stilly River Sage 09 Apr 21 - 11:28 AM
Charmion 09 Apr 21 - 04:47 PM
Mrrzy 09 Apr 21 - 05:30 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Apr 21 - 05:52 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Apr 21 - 11:40 PM
Jon Freeman 10 Apr 21 - 04:32 AM
Charmion 10 Apr 21 - 09:04 AM
Stilly River Sage 10 Apr 21 - 12:19 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Apr 21 - 02:32 PM
Jon Freeman 11 Apr 21 - 06:09 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Apr 21 - 11:27 PM
Charmion 12 Apr 21 - 09:05 AM
Stilly River Sage 12 Apr 21 - 03:18 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Apr 21 - 08:59 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Apr 21 - 02:18 PM
Jon Freeman 14 Apr 21 - 06:31 AM
Stilly River Sage 14 Apr 21 - 11:49 AM
Dorothy Parshall 14 Apr 21 - 06:34 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Apr 21 - 06:54 PM
Donuel 14 Apr 21 - 09:24 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Apr 21 - 04:34 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Apr 21 - 11:05 AM
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Subject: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Dec 20 - 06:43 PM

This thread is being started in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and for that reason there is simply no comparison to any other thread. The previous one ran from December 2018 to December 2020, so the last 10 months of the thread are steeped in reports of life in self-isolation or lockdown during a pandemic.

The declutter and fitness threads serve as a place for Mudcatters who need more exercise and who have homes filled with interesting furniture, materials, books, music-related items, work stations with the accompanying accoutrement, and a lot more Ė it adds up to too many things, and we are going through the process of organizing, discarding, or re-purposing this stuff. Much of the exercise we get is in pursuit of household organization.

There is a core of active participants and there are probably more people who lurk, and several previously active Mudcatters who are unable to post now or are completely gone and still on our minds. Some of those past members have shifted to Facebook.

I'm not going to tell other people's stories, but there is a lot to read if you want to catch up. Previous years threads are linked at the beginning of each one when it was new. https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=165433 is the most recent before this.

A non-medical mental health component weaves though these threads for this disconnected community, where we share ideas and praise helpful to those who benefit from the continuity of conversation and encouragement in the accomplishment of all of our projects. And consolation when things don't go so well, and shoulders to cry on when they're downright awful. We share stories of recovery.

2020 has been awful for so many people that I hate to hang our hopes for recovery on 2021 alone, it will probably take longer than that to help families and rebuild businesses after the pandemic winds down, and to repair essential services in the US after the presidency of 45. I expect to get a vaccine in March or April here in Texas, based upon my age and how the line is forming. What we know now versus what we learn on January 21, 2021, may change that.

I hope those who lurk will step up and share news of how they are, and maybe we can bring in a few new regular participants. I'm always amazed at occasional lurkers who've read the various posted tips, done the work at their homes, then drop in to tell us about what work they did Ė and then they're gone again. Most of us are doing a slow-motion type of decluttering. This year I hope we'll all pay more attention to the exercise component of this thread Ė we need to shed the pandemic torpor.

These threads were started by the late great Katlaughing, who in particular enjoyed the vicarious activity as her health was failing. Her nephew was frequently a topic of discussion and for a number of years we were all adopted aunties. She's always in the back of my mind when I start one of these - Here's to you, Kat! Skoal!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 28 Dec 20 - 07:31 PM

Damn the torpor full speed ahead.
My arms have gotten smaller and my waist larger. The answer is obvious, its just about choosing an unwaivering time for push ups and the discipline to begin a half portion regime.
To start spring cleaning 3 months early I will devote 1 day a week to start.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Dec 20 - 07:56 PM

Good beginning, Don! Damn the torpor, indeed!

Michelle (Lilyfestre) posted a thing on Facebook a couple of years ago that I printed and put on my fridge. It's supposed to be the 12 days of cleaning before xmas, but you can use it as a guide for any particular 12 days you want to get through all of the cleaning chores in just under two weeks. It's from a blog called "The Thrifty Couple" and here is the PDF of the chart. If you don't want to go straight to downloading here is the blog page with a link to the chart (scroll way down to get to the link to the printable chart). I don't think I've made it completely through all 12 days, but I have worked several in a row and cherry picked the ones that really need doing.

I started a very light yoga routine a couple of weeks ago that so far is a combination of my stretches from a book and then a few minutes of some of her moves. It's a really slow start. And for diet, I have in mind an "advent" period until the inauguration, during which I eat healthier and arrive at the new presidency in a little better shape. Some of this involves things like not eating after 7pm, and trying to keep my eating within a 10 hour period. That means you're less likely to lay down new layers of fat as you sleep.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 28 Dec 20 - 08:19 PM

I've been lurking & very slowly downsizing - a trolley load of books here, & a trolley load of craft stuff there, my 1975 Royal Doulton dinner set which I only used once or twice when it was new (plates are too big!) finally went to my favourite charity shop where it sits in a locked cupboard with price tag of $180. Why did I buy an 8-person set, when I have always lived with a 4-person table in 1-bedroom apartments. Well, it was duty free & it was 1975 & I was on my first proper (non-family) holiday, we partied & shopped!!!

Recently I took what was left of my jigsaw collection (a full trolley load + a carry bag), to my favourite charity shop, puzzles I bought in the 70s, as well as others I'd bought in recent decades, usually in charity shops. All I have left are 2 from the 50s that belonged to my grandmother & 2 other very old puzzles, 1942 & 1950s)

Sometimes I've just given one item to someone who would appreciate it.

Recently I went looking for a camera memory in a little plastic case, it wasn't with the other camera memories & USBs - oops. Said memory contains scans of 30 years of minutes of Australia's oldest folk club, & I'm hoping it fell into one of the boxes of club archives I have cluttering up my floor. I can ask for another copy, but ...

Good thing I rarely vacuum.

sandra eyeing the clutter


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Raggytash
Date: 28 Dec 20 - 08:19 PM

I started this last year.

So far I have had the ceiling in one bedroom reboarded the walls replastered and the room rewired and then redecorated. Add new a new carpet, curtains and mattress.

We have also redecorated the dining room with new carpet and curtains and just before Christmas we redecorated the living room again with new carpet and curtains.

After the new year the kitchen will be redecorated and another bedroom reboarded and rewired and then decorated.

IF I have any money left I am thinking of putting plastic "grass" down in the back garden.

I tell myself this IS getting me fitter!!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 28 Dec 20 - 10:20 PM

Beaver:

We made it! Peaceful here. clearing snow and bringing in wood. Taking more small items to the Carriagehouse. R fixing a sign so it, hopefully, will not blow over with every passing vehicle! Recovering from trip. Woke up to 6 inches of snow this morning. Cleared most of deck, R cleared car and went for a drive while Steve plowed the drive. And READING..... Invited 77 "friends" to "like" the Carriagehouse page. Still eating the cooked food we brought with us and a large batch of turkey soup. Hovering around freezing point. Would be nice to see some sun!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Dec 20 - 12:14 AM

I moved Dorothy's most recent post over here; I think she didn't notice the new thread. This will let the other one drop down the page.

Raggy, that sounds like a lot of work and a big investment.

I need to put a few things up on the walls in my repaired office (ceiling replaced and walls textured summer of 2019), but I can't reach the wall very easily with the computer desk in front of it. I suspect it will involve moving the one on wheels enough so I can squeeze in and put in a robust nail and hook for at least my last diploma - it's a nice reminder of that work. Some of those advertised sticky tapes that pull off without leaving a mark are a tempting purchase to make some other things easier to put up with the help of a long pair of kitchen tongs.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Dec 20 - 07:34 AM

Stilly, those tapes that ę†pull off without leaving a mark†Ľ do so only if pulled off quite soon after application. As the adhesive ages, it bonds with the paint on the wall until it finally behaves like all the other kinds of tape.

The house is tidy and relatively clean, so I have to find another source of divertissement. The even more contagious form of COVID-19 has come to Ontario and flouting the lockdown is an even worse idea than before, so my entertainment must be solitary. Go for a walk? Iíd love to, but, yíknow, winter ó it snowed heavily, then it rained, and last night another light sprinkle of snow treacherously covered the lumpy ice left by the rain on the streets and sidewalks.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Dec 20 - 10:18 AM

Raggy, how big is your back garden? Have you considered building a patio?

Even the best fake grass, such as Astroturf, suffers from exposure to the UV in sunlight, and all of it is expensive. A patio of manageable size -- think big enough for a barbecue and a picnic table -- would probably cost less, and would be an attractive addition to the property.

Two summers ago, we replaced our enormous back deck with a modest patio made of compressed concrete pavers. Everyone who sees it goes Oooh and Aaaah, it's far less of a maintenance challenge; and I can trust it not to catch fire from the barbecue.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Dec 20 - 11:29 AM

I've been meaning to pull out the DVD with the basic belly dance class steps for exercise, and I have a tube of the topical pain cream that is widely advertised on TV (and the PA at my knee surgeon's office recommended it) along with some stretches to do to keep the hip bursitis from flaring up. This year after getting vaccinated, and when the coast is clear, I hope to return to dance class in the studio, assuming the studio survives the pandemic. In the last few months I've rearranged furniture to clear a space in front of the TV in the den large enough to practice those steps and to even dance along with some of the Hafla videos I accumulated over the couple of years I was going to the studio before the knee became such a painful problem. My brain still knows the steps even if my body has to work to get back into shape to dance them. :)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 29 Dec 20 - 06:27 PM

We are blessed to be insulated from financial ruin from the pandemic but many are not.

I haven't noticed any degredation of artficial grass by the North front door and carport over the last 3 years. Thick soft and mud free was what I wanted. I used gorilla glue where it joined a sidewalk and drive way.
3-4 hundred will buy 20 by 25 ft of superior artificial turf.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Raggytash
Date: 29 Dec 20 - 07:08 PM

The back garden is quite small, about 35ft x 25ft approx. However I am not as able as I once was and strimming and mowing is proofing to be harder each year. (I am not in the best of health)

Because of this and the fact we spend a considerable amount of time in Ireland this chore has fallen more and more to my son.

However he has just become a father for the first time (Beautiful baby boy!) and is obviously besotted with the little chap and has little time to spend on his aging parents!!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: pattyClink
Date: 29 Dec 20 - 09:37 PM

Checking in, wishing all well with 2021 projects! Life on the road has gotten trickier, obtaining repairs even more so. Being out in the open air surrounded by wonders is a great consolation.

Clutter mostly tamed, but an expected handoff of many rocks to a colleague did not happen, so have to organize, cull, and dispose of many in other ways. While not collecting new ones, which is hard. Trying to switch to tiny micromounts and thumbnail fluorescents. Which is nature's cue to offer me big showy cabinet specimens on every hike.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Dec 20 - 12:29 PM

Hi patty, My Grandma was a rock hound. There is a flouresent called Hakmanite. Ever seen one? She even found an Eohippus. I like showey opalized petrified wood.

In lockdown I have been posting vociferously below the line which is like watching the cartoon animation 'South Park'. Although South Park is very funny there is only so much one can "watch", even though it involves real trending and interesting issues. Secret - (Steve is Cartman) I don't think they have South Park in the UK.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Dec 20 - 07:45 PM

The latest rehabbed piece of antique furniture came home today looking absolutely gorgeous. Itís a very large walnut chest of drawers, previously property of my Dad, and his parents before him, and his motherís parents before them. It holds every stitch of clothing I own that doesnít hang in the closet.

It occurred to me today that Iím repeating a program my father went through after my mother died: having as many furnishings as possible cleaned, repaired, refinished or whatever. We had several of the most beat-up pieces rehabbed when we moved here, but now Iím working through the items that were battered but functional in 2017. Dadís chest of drawers was Edmundís for 22 years, and for most of that time he would habitually roll up his Army-issue belt with its sharp-edged brass buckle and chuck it onto the dresser with some force, taking a bite out of the finish with each impact. Both sides and the top had split, thanks to winter-dry air, and two bits of moulding had fallen off the drawer faces.

Repair and refinishing cost a bomb, but this is the one time in my life when I can afford it. A cat-scratched Victorian ottoman and a late Georgian wing-back chair with a wobbly arm are next, when the rehab guy has cleared some big projects out of his shop.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: pattyClink
Date: 30 Dec 20 - 08:49 PM

Hi Donuel. Have not seen a hakmanite. But I do get a huge kick out of seeing a mineral that's new to me. Or fluorescence just as a surprise, sometimes a brown rock will go purple after dark from fluorite etc. Eohippus, cool! I got to help dig up a Basilosaurus once, big thrill.

But today was all about faulty waste valves, missing propane caps, and a fell-off closet door. Drat.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 12:00 AM

Our holiday is a slow-motion moving target that was postponed due to bad weather today. There will be an outdoor handoff of wrapped gifts that will go back to various households to be opened, but it didn't happen today because it involved travelling a rainy highway that has nasty construction zones and the rain was the bridge too far. But as far as the house is concerned, a lot of stuff has been cleared off of the dining table and the container with rolls of wrapping paper is stashed back in a closet. I bought some large rolls at Sam's Club years ago and don't think I'll ever use it all.

I have rocks and minerals all over the house on the edges of shelves, on the mantle, on the hearth, on the kitchen windowsill. I worked in a geology lab in college for a couple of years and have picked up rocks on hikes and climbs and drives (road cuts are wonderful for mineral samples). The worst part of of it is having to dust them. Crystals were purchased a couple of times from small quartz mine owners in Arkansas, most of the rest were picked up by me. I haven't dug up any dino fossils, but I have a few coprolites that a friend of my father's gave him as a joke. She explained what they were when we were working on his estate. Now they're mine. :)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: pattyClink
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 11:11 AM

Sometimes, as with glass and china stuff, it can be good to gather the rocks on a tray and take them to the kitchen sink for a rinse. I've been washing new finds with just water and toothbrush, dry in the sun. But the water is so bad that anything with tiny crystals then needs a squirt of distilled or i get an alkaline haze.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 11:36 AM

That's a good idea Patty - do a room a week and by the time I get back to the first room full of rocks they'll need cleaning off again! :) I have a few very special ones in an antique glass front Mission oak bookcase. Most of them are little treasures I found while digging around in the "rocks by the pound" section at the quartz mine. Phantom quartz and double-ended crystals are in there along with some small American Indian pots and baskets and carved fetishes purchased in my travels. (I buy the tourist trade fetishes, lovely and made for looks, not for special potency. No cultural appropriation intended.)

The guy at one mine in Mt. Ida, Arkansas, I visited a couple of times had a kids digging area where they could be occupied while parents shopped, so I had time to come up with a couple of fist-sized clumps of muddy rock on the discount uncleaned rock table; they were clearly double ended clusters. He honored the sale, but his eyebrows rose and telegraphed his disappointment at having missed those. I took them home to soak and clean with a toothbrush then soak in Iron Out or one of the other heavy duty stain removers to take the iron mineralization off of them.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 02:11 PM

The indexing has caught up with the listings and an eBay search for "Fort Worth 3D handmade face masks" will show you some of the masks I've listed (for Patty, in particular). I can be contacted via PM and offer a lower price and greater variety, but eBay takes a cut so it's a couple of dollars higher there.

On Facebook I've noticed people remarking about setting up their new bullet journals for the year - I like the style of calendar/notebook but don't do anything special. I usually use 3 or 4 pages a month and in cases where there are blanks (I start the month on a left page, leaving blanks before them sometimes) I assign them other things (like lists and passwords and such) then add them to the contents list in the front. I have a another book ready to shift to in March 2021. Both of these bound blank books with lined pages were free or gifts, but places like Half Price Books carry lots of them and less expensive than in Barnes and Noble or art shops, etc.

The next year's calendars are behind this year's in three rooms, and though I bought one pretty calendar the rest were sent from places where I have donated (or from places that want me to donate). I ended up with a couple of extra this year, something I can donate.

I've placed a grocery order via Instacart that should arrive in a couple of hours, at which time I'll separate the few things I got for myself from the larger number of items I got for the community fridge and will take them up to restock. With the lag in unemployment checks (a week without due to political wrangling means a lot of families are hungry this week coming up) and the time of the year, the food banks and the other donation places are leaned on heavily. The fridge I stock is in a "food desert" four miles north of me. I plan to give the driver an extra tip and a couple of masks as well, to help them start the new year well.

Have a safe New Year's Eve and Day, and sign up for a vaccination if you haven't already been so lucky as to receive one. I heard from a friend yesterday who is at home recovering from COVID, and so far I don't know many people who have been hit, but that won't continue to be the case if January shows the results of holiday super-spreader events. Stay safe and wear your face masks!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 01 Jan 21 - 12:47 PM

Beaver:

OK, using the "stick" (expensive), I brought up Mudcat and then turned off stick, thinking to post later, which I did - much later. Thank you for the shift, Maggie. I knew you would, when I saw my mis-move. And thank you for the preface to our new year. May we all have a good one, not lose any dear ones and ... no broken bones or such! I did trip over the wood splitter a couple weeks ago and am still healing but can still walk around with no trouble. Happy to be at Beaver where I can move wood into the house - good exercise. We can grocery shop and R found things at dollar store to re-do the under the sink warming system - for when I am away. He has installed a "new" sink with cabinet, from yard sale, to replace an almost identical one that looked bad. So nice to have a clean sink in Bathroom! I have re-organized areas, sorted out another cabinet here and readied things for the Shop and for the thrift shop when it re-opens. The thrift shops may be overwhelmed with what folks have been clearing out.

The shop is actually selling pottery!! We went up yesterday to deliver a sign that R rigged so it does not blow over every time an 18 wheeler flies by - at twice the stipulated speed. Pat was delighted to announce she had sold to more yesterday - to another vendor. We are officially on lockdown.

Looked at another GLOOMY day this am and thought of the song Stormy Weather. I would not mind a stormy day about now to break the monotony. A few Square inches of blue in the sky is exciting!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Jan 21 - 04:45 PM

Itís sleeting in Stratford. Hellís bells.

I made soup from the last of the Christmas goose and will freeze most of it, in small containers as itís a bit rich and strange. And thatís about it for today!

Weather like this is good for nothing but watching TV and reading, not that thereís much else to do under lockdown. Fortunately, the cats are eager to assist.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Jan 21 - 07:55 PM

Yours is the second account I've read in the last couple of minutes that your goose soup was both "rich" and "strange." I don't think I've ever eaten goose.

I've tried all day to remind myself that today is Friday because I have things to do for the weekend with my part-time job. Two of these odd weeks in a row has seriously messed up my internal calendar. I've turned on the PBS Newshour and that is followed by Washington Week in Review (I think it's just called "Washington Week" now, but when my kids were little we watched Wall Street Week then Washington Week in Review so this program was shortened by them to "Week Week." And stuck. :)

Tomorrow the mail will go out and I have several envelopes to hand over to the mail carrier. If not shipping with online-paid Priority envelopes I use stamps so I don't need to go to the indoor post office counter; online you can by the full price 1 ounce stamps in rolls, books, etc and the "extra postage" is where the rest of the stamps are on the USPS site.

COVID-19 is getting closer. A friend and her husband are at home with it, and my next door neighbors went to church on xmas even and learned later their pastor was infected. They're staying home and hoping to get lucky. Everything I'm doing here is with radio or television going in the house to make it seem less isolated. I had food delivered yesterday that I in turn delivered to the community fridge a few miles from here; I wore a mask and gloves as I loaded food into the fridge and pantry beside it. People are still hungry even as the community retreats into homes for the time being. The art of sewing is a life-saver. Creative outlets and sharing masks that help people stay safe are my larger donation right now. I have lots of scraps and am planning to make a small crazy lap quilt of the pieces and maybe I'll use some of the metallic thread and fancy stitches to ornament it.

Stay safe, everyone. Stay home - it may not feel heroic, but if you're not out there catching COVID-19 and infecting others, you're doing the best you can do right now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 02 Jan 21 - 01:22 PM

Beaver:
Today is Saturday and we are still here! Murmur of "we need to leave soon" this am as we were doing groceries - about 11 am with few others. The sound of Steve doing Jim's drive, about 10:30, had me jump out of bed, "We have to move the car so Steve can plow! We may as well go do groceries." R cleared car, I cleared walk and we drove over and gave Steve money, hi to Jim, and away. Waved to Larry as he did his drive. Almost empty store. Perogies and 10% yogurt for brunch. (still no sour cream.)

Another 4-5 inches of fluff. Well, that's it for today. R is back to sleep and I have been reading about the early 60s... Contemplating... Maybe I can do more organizing today. We HAD SUN but it has clouded over. Darn! Was sure nice while it lasted. Sue may stop by briefly, carefully.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 03 Jan 21 - 10:43 AM

Itís been snowing on and off since about noon on New Yearís Day, so I assume that the European-style winter weíve had so far is over, and weíre now back to Canadian standard. Sunday in lockdown is utterly silent; nobody going anywhere, nothing doing.

Yesterday, I finally cracked Edmundís external hard drive and found his Innocence Canada files, which I copied to a data key. Then I finished packing the box of Innocence Canada-related papers and notebooks (Edmund did much of his thinking in longhand in hard-bound notebooks), wrote a letter to the Case Review Committee and put it in the box, taped it up and put it in the car. On Monday, it goes to Toronto by registered mail.

Downstairs in the laundry room, I then tackled the mess of cleaning products and other noxious materials that I had been studiously ignoring for weeks. There were at least five spray bottles of Fantastik cleanser, of which three were down to the last inch, and an untouched bottle of toilet cleaner hiding blushfully behind a bin of clean rags. Many travel-size containers of laundry detergent and stain-remover cluttered the shelves. An entire box of compact fluorescent lightbulbs took up space I would rather use for anything else.

And then there was Edmundís stash of boot- and shoe-cleaning tackle, including what must be at least ten yearsí accumulation of tins of Kiwi wax polish, all partly used and some nearly petrified with age, many little daubing brushes caked with greasy gunk, and wads of blackened polishing cloths. It all reeks fiercely of solvent, and must therefore go to the town dump when they hold their next collection of household hazardous waste. The three gallon cans of paint left over from the 2018 redecoration campaign should go, too, and the rusty tin of camping fuel stashed in the tool shed.

That was the last anarchic mess in the house, so Iím enjoying a feeling of accomplishment. But I have to admit that I finally got around to it because I was embarrassed when Kathleen, my cleaner, had to dig around in it.

For my next trick, Iíll turn out the refrigerator. But not today.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Jan 21 - 01:01 PM

That was a funny one, Charmion:
"I wash embarrassed ... " chortle chortle


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 03 Jan 21 - 01:39 PM

Har, har, keb. Youíre easily amused today.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jan 21 - 04:33 PM

I went in and fixed it before seeing the next two posts. Oh, well. :)

Today three vehicles converged on the parking lot of the Panda Express at Hwy 114 at I-35W (about 30 minutes drive for all of us from 3 directions) to have lunch (in our cars - no dine in at any of these places, but we walked through to see the buffet and have them fill our take-out containers). When first planned last week there was a forecast of rain and we had initially thought we'd hand gifts over and go home to open, but today in the sunshine we simply opened our gifts in the parking lot (we parked our cars in a row and I stepped back and forth between them handing out stuff). I brought along a couple of trash bags for wrappings in case that was the outcome.

I'd talked to my daughter about giving the old Commodore computer as a gift to her roommate, but she needs to retrieve the data from it before they do more with it (they have "joint custody.") When dad died in 1997 I packed it up and it hasn't been out of the box since. Three of them drove down in a tiny car but putting the unoccupied back seat down allowed them to slide in the main CPU, the huge CRT monitor, large attachments of keyboard and memory, bags of boxes of software, books, floppy disks, a hand-held scanner. Dad was intent on entering music into the computer and outputting music sheets (I think). My daughter didn't mention it to Jeremy so it was a surprise (though she's the one who told me ages ago that he'd love a computer like that) and his response when he unwrapped it was classic: "Wow! That's amazing!" and then "Is what's in this box what the box says is in it?" - disbelief that the computer is still around.

This was a major source of decluttering. It completely emptied the top shelf in the office closet, removed the stuff under my pantry shelves, and a bunch of stuff that was in the front room book shelves. And I may still find things that go with it. When Dad (a college reference librarian) started on a project like that he made sure he had all of the appropriate equipment. And maybe someday I'll get the music he put in it. As a way to keep the music karma flowing I'll start scanning and OCRing the files in a large file box that I also brought back at the same time. Maybe by the time the data is out of it, I'll know what to do with it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 02:15 AM

Following a chat, brother in oz got me a very nice pair of lightweight waterproof walking boots for Christmas. I'm not planning on long hikes but these will be great for my short strolls where I can have wet grass and mud.

I had a walk down the footpath opposite us today. It's a very quiet one. The path is kept clear and you see that others do use it but in the 100s of times I've been down there, I think I've only met another person twice.

I've lit the woodburner for the past few days. I aim to keep up with this now as it does make the room (parent's living room) more cosy and I think is cheaper than the combined electric heater and some element of central heating.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 10:01 AM

Dupont:

Sitting here in a not so warm house without enough energy to start the fire in the den. Back about 5 pm yesterday, I brought in one small load of essentials (freezables), left the rest to R, who slept while I drove, and put things in frig. Went to bed. Almost 10 am on 4 Jan, R is in the tub and I am right here! Too tired to think BF! but I did water ALL the plants and may not have lost any. Even the tiny seedling pear tree is fine! About 6 inches of snow - guess there was some left over after it hit Charmion's area! I just plowed into the driveway. R cleared the steps, after I got into the house.

Left Beaver in good shape, making sure the new winterizing system was in place, lots of wood inside for when I return, and the nice "new" sink/cabinet looking shiny and clean!

Charmion! ext cords are dangerous but so are greasy rags! Set my bro's house on fire 60 years ago - and he was giving lectures on fire safety! Talk about embarrassed!! House was fine only thanks to the 2 inch workbench that burned enough to create smoke enough to waken him before it got to the 200 year old pine first floor boards! On the other hand, your computer abilities...! Congrats on what you have accommplished.

When I waken enough, I will endeavour to scan the 1940 plans my father drew in pencil on graph paper for the house we lived in for 18 years. He was an upscale carpenter with many friends; it was a lovely little Cape Cod. At 4, Someone grabbed me before I fell down the hole for the stairway!

My #1 son is working towards a new home on Whidbey - on a hill, looking west across the Sound, adjacent to the State Park! Thought I'd share what GF did! (Sometimes those OLD papers have intrinsic value.)

Oh yeah, The heat was fine when we arrived- and this morning - No heat! And no fire in wood stove because I am TOO tired.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 12:41 PM

Dorothy, it sounds like your son will have a lovely view of the Olympics!

This morning I woke at dawn and I fed the dogs, then back to sleep for a while. And when I finally got up I decided I need to work on something I've been putting off ages, replacing the annoying burned-out florescent bulbs in the bathroom and dressing room. I will eventually replace those fixtures, they're a pain as far as removing the lens and putting them back up (you have to disassemble whole thing to put it back up each time.) One bulb replaced, and a note to order two more (curbside pickup). At this point it's lunacy to go inside any public building for more than a few minutes. I have standard base LED bulbs for replacing around the house, but need the stick halogen ones for the bright motion-activated fixture on the side porch (also curbside pickup - the last ones from online cost less but were junk & fell apart quickly.)

Those fireplaces and wood burning stoves sound inviting. I'd love to have an insert in my fireplace, but I really do need to rebuild the hearth so wouldn't do anything until the whole problem of the fireplace is dealt with.

I'm reading about Charmion's good work on the computer stuff, and having assigned my daughter the task of retrieving data, makes it feel all the more imperative to begin my scanning project. And I am thinking of Art Thieme, who over the years Mudcat members supported in his research work by crowd-sourcing the funds to replace his computers. He scanned and converted tons of tapes and turned the whole thing over to the Smithsonian Folkways folks when he completed it.

Out in the yard, an early task this year is assembling another dog-proof compost bin. The last one was defeated by the puppy contortionist. I need to dig one bed and plant potatoes. The broccoli is growing, but went in very late (I saw photos of a friend's cauliflower picked this weekend - they got a timely start on their winter garden, probably planting in August, not November).

It's the toughest time of year as far as the big family holidays being behind us, but since they were pretty messed up and the dark winter days are ahead, I'm hoping everyone knows to reach out for help if they're feeling really down. And look into the lights that help with SAD if you think that could help. (I wonder if they have special lights for Susan in her nursing home? We haven't heard from her in ages now.)

Take care, have a good week. Counting the days until the inauguration, the advent calendar that really counts these days. I anticipate a big boost to my mood right there.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 04:50 PM

You bet, Dorothy, which is why theyíre sequestered in the tool shed until the next hazardous waste day at the dump.

Today, I bought a bedside table on Kijiji for fifty-five bucks, took the espresso machine to be cleaned and pressed in preparation for finding it a new home, and shipped Edmundís case notes to Innocence Canada in Toronto. I feel quite ... relieved.

With the Innocence Canada material off my hands, I can now take Edmundís computer to be sanitized. I think I have a nephew who can use it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 06:48 PM

Charmion, if he ordered things and had accounts like Facebook, Amazon, etc. you may want to visit those sites with his computer and search for the devices used to access his accounts - phone, computer, tablet, etc., and remove those as approved devices for the accounts. And close the accounts. It's one more way to avoid identity theft later if anything happens to that computer after it leaves your home (regardless of if it is wiped of data, those other sites still think it's an okay machine.)

It's a good idea to do that for your accounts as well. I've gone into Facebook and seen that old phones, long gone, are still authorized to connect to my account. Same with Amazon.

I mailed three of my envelopes of the now-belated holiday letters with masks, and have a few more to do. I hope to finish mailing those by the end of the week, but I ran out of the size masks I think the next round of recipients would wear, so I'll be sewing.

I changed some lightbulbs around the house today. I woke up and decided that as the first "work day" of the year I ought to do something today that I'd been putting off, just to get it out of the way. There are several more to do, but the more urgent ones were taken care of. They involve using the stepladder.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Jan 21 - 11:39 AM

The high temperature here is forecast to be 66o today, so I will be doing some yard work today and assessing the state of projects queued up for work in the garage. I'm visualizing a new design of the next compost pile. And if I'm really ambitious one of these days (after a session of stretching, so I'm fairly limber) there are a couple of projects up in the attic. Not something that is performed in the hot months around here. Need a sauna? Don't buy one, just go upstairs for a few minutes.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 06 Jan 21 - 09:14 AM

Edmund's espresso machine will join the household of his niece Cate, who just happens to be married to an Italian engineer. I'm told his eyes lit up when he heard my voicemail message. They can have half a dozen espresso cups as well.

I think I have found a good coffee solution, as they say these days, with a gadget (trademark Zevro) that brews about 14 fluid ounces -- just right for a certain type of Wedgwood beer mug of which I have several. It's essentially a large cup with a lid on top and a wire filter and a clever wee valve in the bottom. When it sits on its feet on the table, the valve closes and the coffee steeps; when it's ready, you set it on top of the drinking vessel and the valve opens and the coffee streams out. The coffee is excellent, with no bitterness at all and a fine robust flavour. The gadget is made of plastic, however, so I know that eventually a critical component will break. I'll be as gentle with it as I can and put that day off as long as possible.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jan 21 - 11:56 AM

I looked that up - interesting. I inherited a glass French press from my dad, and pull it out for coffee drinkers when I don't feel like moving stuff around in the hall pantry to get the big electric coffee maker. It's in storage because I'm a tea drinker. I can see that one of your devices would be a little easier to clean (because I sometimes use the French press for tea, I have to work to get the bitter coffee taste out of it first).

I've assembled a list of things to get curbside from Home Depot - they carry the wood stain that does the best job on my cedar fence pickets (I have a photo for Instagram that compares the Valspar vs Olympic - the Olympic wins by a mile). The goal is to avoid the inevitability of catching COVID-19 in the surge in cases that is happening now after the holidays. If everyone had just STAYED HOME we wouldn't be in as much of a fix. I'm on two waiting lists, one from my pharmacy, one from the county, and whoever calls me first, I'll get the vaccination and cancel the other one. There are so many things that I signed up for as a volunteer after I retired and feel like a slouch in not going to do any of the activities during most of last year and for the foreseeable future. Instead of doing my part as a volunteer I'm doing my part by staying home.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Jan 21 - 01:27 AM

Well. That was a day. I lost track of time as the drama played out on MSNBC (good thing the dogs were here to remind me about dinner time) and spent the evening sewing.

We really need to declutter ourselves of this "president" as soon as is humanly possible.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jan 21 - 11:41 PM

I had an Amazon gift card and decided I'd better order something before my subscriptions ate it up (such things as tooth paste, dog treats, etc.) I got practical things that were on my wish list that weren't picked up by family members. Useful items that won't become clutter.

I was watching the news this evening and Susan Page was wearing a pretty necklace that looks like freshwater pearls. Sometimes I've bought findings or small earrings, etc on Amazon (mostly on eBay) but I haven't lately because it's hard to imagine when I'll next have the opportunity to go out anywhere that I can wear jewelry. Where I might dress in something other than jeans and a t-shirt.

More bulbs replaced today, and I fear my outdoor motion-detector fixture has died. Those new bulbs aren't working. Time to shop for a new fixture.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jan 21 - 12:36 AM

The greenhouse is ready for a couple of days of cold. We may get a little snow tomorrow, so I'll be interested to see how the puppy and Pepper (the middle dog) respond to it. I don't think we've had any in several years. (Years ago when my two dogs were Cinnamon and Poppy and they had dog houses and bedding in the garage, I saw them come out of their dog door and onto their little porch - they stood and barked at the snow before stepping into it.) The old Labrador retriever has had several encounters with snow.

My porch light bulb replacement showed me that the fixture itself seems to have died. I'll take the new bulbs out, keep the previous ones, and return the unopened package. I don't think I'll be able to find another fixture that uses the same kind of bulbs. I like how bright they are on that side of the house, but now those bright lights operate with LEDs. I can probably sell the other lights on eBay (opened package put back together) as used because there will be other people with these kinds of bulbs. Time to replace that fixture with an LED motion detector light.

Here's an NPR story about changing habits that might be of interest to people.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 11 Jan 21 - 11:20 AM

Kathleen came to clean bathrooms on Saturday afternoon, while I vacuumed.

I have now been on my own for three months, and I think I'm getting the hang of it. I don't actually *have* to clean all that often, but I'm far more likely to do it if I have company, and doing it weekly builds the habit and keeps the house in presentable condition.

Kathleen does the stuff I hate doing, all of which seems to involve stinky chemical cleaners and kneeling on the floor, and I do the stuff she says she's less fond of and not all that good at, especially dusting. This improving program usually takes place on Saturday. She charges me $20 per hour, and I pick her up and take her home again because I don't like the thought of her hiking up the hill into the teeth of the prevailing wind. She's not fast, but she's very diligent and gets in all the corners.

Good deal, in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Jan 21 - 12:51 PM

This was one of those days when I realized every surface is again covered with paper and kitchen clutter. To start clearing I went to the laundry room for an old washcloth rag for dusting and realized that area on top of the dryer (where the trash can sits to keep dogs out of it) was so piled up that it was ground zero for cleaning dust and stuff. Putting away paper bags, plastic bags, and tossing things that need repair that I'll never actually get around to helped. That room is restored and now to turn to the kitchen and small dining table.

I had someone who used to come in for a few hours every two weeks, and it was wonderful, but she fell ill and I never got around to finding someone else.

Out in the yard I need to scoop leaves at the curb, spread them on the lawn and mulch them in with the mower. And in the back I need to scoop the dog droppings and establish a new compost pile. The puppy is again eating poop, making her canine non grata around the house right now. Policing the yard helps, and while the dry grass isn't tall back there, running the mower over it would mulch some leaves and might make scooping easier.

Still waiting on the COVID-19 stimulus check - for some reason they didn't do direct deposit this time, they put a check in the dysfunctional US Postal system (De Joy should go straight to jail when he leaves the Postmaster General position) so who knows where it is.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Jan 21 - 08:27 PM

I've replaced all four outside light bulbs with dusk-to-dawn LED bulbs or fittings. They come on at dusk and go off at dawn (duh) via a little light sensor. You can buy light fittings with a built-in sensor or you just buy sensor bulbs. We have a mixture. Buying four that actually work properly was a real job, but I only bought them from shops that would cheerfully replace them. They use very little power, something like four watts each (I think), and we never switch them off. We live at least four miles from the nearest street lights. When we moved here from an urban area 34 years ago it took me months to be not terrified by the total blackness, but I got used to it and now I love walking up the long farm lane in total darkness. It's a bonus when the stars are out (and after all this time I know what's underfoot!). The outside lights give us a nice welcome home on dark evenings and they light up the shrubs and flower pots at the front with a cosy glow.

We were very slack about allowing unlimited tourists to visit Cornwall right through the autumn when cases were shooting up in the areas they came from. Over Christmas there was much illegal visiting too, and, after consistent low infection numbers since March, Cornwall is now paying a heavy price. I wouldn't say that Mrs Steve and I are exactly scared, but we are staying home and we have adhered exactly to all the rules as they came along. That meant not much of a Christmas and far too much food for two poor souls to get through. We're not bad at it,though. :-) She should get her first jab in about four weeks but I'll have to wait a few weeks longer.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Jan 21 - 01:00 PM

This will be the third fixture on this part of the porch since I moved in and remodeled this side of the house (in 2002). The first light, put up by my contractor, worked for a while, but when it died I did the wiring and put up the one that has now died. It looks like they have a life of 8 or 9 years. I'll be getting a new light and putting it up soon. There is a regular on/off light on the other side of the door and I'm turning it on in the evening (if I remember) until I replace the defunct one that used to turn on when cars go by in the street or anyone walks up the driveway. I have several LED fixtures in the house, and lots of LED bulbs.

I'm sitting here at home waiting for everything - the stimulus cash wasn't direct deposited like last time, it was apparently mailed a week ago. No sign of it. And I've got myself on two vaccine waiting lists and while I'm reading about friends getting vaccinated I've heard nothing.

We never manage to do xmas on the actual date, and my son hasn't sent his box of gifts to family here because there was one more thing that he was planning to "go downtown" to get. I told him that there is nothing downtown that is worth him risking his life, that we can no-doubt get it via mail order eventually, and described how to mail parcels by paying online, printing the label, and having the shipping company pick it up next time they pass by doing their deliveries.

Staying home due to COVID-19 is hard enough; the surreal scene of rioters taking over the Capitol, and the urgent necessity to prohibit Trump from participating in the political life of the United States of America is behind this resulting last-minute impeachment. If I were still at work I would be sitting hunkered at a computer with headphones on to listen to the debate and commentary. Now I can listen around the house on various devices as I work. The last time another human being was in my house was in early April when the Sears repair guy came to look at my refrigerator; family hasn't been here since March. When my family can finally come in they will see lots of changes, things that have been moved around as I fill my days with household chores and projects dreamed up to fill the time. With my last employer, for 16 years I was able to telecommute, saving myself time and gas of the daily commute, and the house was in pretty good order. The last five years were (ironically) forced to work in the building because the boss didn't trust people to really work from home (now she has no choice and I hope has learned the error of her bias). At that time I was wishing for time at home to work on all of my projects, but not under these circumstances.

Two thoughts: 1.) be careful what you wish for, and 2.) the reminder that the saying "may you live in interesting times" is not a good wish. It's a curse.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Jan 21 - 03:25 PM

Note to self: February has to be a No-Spend month just to give my accounts a chance to recover from the holidays. I wasn't keeping track. Oy. And there's enough stuff around here to draw down for the next six months.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Jan 21 - 05:18 PM

Last night I cleaned and oiled the big black rotary sewing machine, and today I'm tackling a project intended for the new rotary machine that has the zigzag stitch and the walking foot. I organized my bobbins, got another short gauge for measuring hems and such (as I assemble masks I am always going back and forth between the sewing machine and ironing board with the ancient one I had, and they're cheap, so I bought a new one and now both places are set.)

All of this is in preparation for putting more stuff in the mail. My dining table is usable and the kitchen table is looking much better now that I've sorted and tossed a lot of paper that was built up. The stuff for the mail is arranged on the dining table right now, along with shipping supplies. I'm thinking about rearranging the den (still/or again, however you look at what I've already done in there.) So I need to finish this up first.

Recycling is in the car, and the cooking oil that I never got around to taking over when the village was collecting oil is in the trash (there wasn't very much - a pint?) in an old milk carton sealed so it wouldn't leak into the can and wherever.

The laundry room is looking much better, and there is a bag of stuff that has been sitting on top of the dryer that is needing to be returned to Home Depot. Now it's sitting on the tall work table in the kitchen (in plain sight) to be taken over the next really early morning I can force myself out of bed to get to the store at 6am and avoid the crowds.

Our hospitals are full, the surge from after the holidays is upon us. I'm not going anywhere until the vaccine is available, and I think because I didn't list any extra factors (heart, lung, etc. problems) they didn't put me at the front of this particular over-65 line. I'm seeing reports of friends getting their first vaccine, but most of them have those health problems also. Still, it is frustrating to have to wait.

Stay healthy, everyone! Our UK participants, has it gotten any easier to get that first shot now that they supposedly aren't holding onto half to do the second shot right away? I'm hearing more and more places adopting that policy here as well.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Jan 21 - 11:16 AM

On the immunization front, the Ontario Ministry of Health website now has a "vaccination tracker" that forecasts your date with the needle according to which vulnerable groups you belong to. I might get my jab for my birthday. In September.

Meanwhile, as of yesterday, Ontario has entered into an even tighter lockdown in which we are forbidden to leave our homes unless we absolutely have to, and the police are ordered to ticket or arrest scoff-laws. Like most of my neighbours, I wonder how this differs from what we have been doing since Christmas.

Today's excursion is an expedition to the bank to make an affidavit stating that I never received, let alone cashed, a cheque in the amount of $220.51 that was the credit standing in our joint MasterCard account when the Bank of Montreal cancelled it on Edmund's death. While I'm off the chain, I might pop into Sobey's for some fresh veg and coffee cream.

This is what I'm reduced to: eagerly anticipating a visit to the bank!

The bank business is one result of yesterday's hours and hours of telephone time invested in chasing money owed to me.The first debtor is LL Bean, which uncharacteristically has never reimbursed me for two pairs of trousers I returned because they did not fit. LL Bean does business in Canada through a forwarding company called Borderfree that employs arrogant young Asian men to answer their telephones, and it took half the morning to learn, first of all, which precise string of 16 characters Borderfree needs to identify a transaction, and then to launch an inquiry into what happened to Cdn$153.35 that disappeared somewhere between LL Bean and me. The odds on getting my money back have improved, but (I suspect) only slightly.

The second debtor is MasterCard, to the tune of $220.51 (see bank visit, above). First, I spent more than an hour on the phone with MasterCard, where the matter was escalated FIVE TIMES before I found myself talking to someone who could plumb the depths of the computer to locate the data in question: whether a refund was ever made and, if so, how. (At every level of the telephone tree, I had to explain that the appearance of a line item on my MasterCard statement proved only that someone had entered the transaction on my account, not that I had received the payment.) Sure enough, a cheque had been mailed, and never landed in my mailbox. I know this because neither the household chequing account nor Edmund's estate account has received a deposit in the amount of $220.51 -- WHICH THE BANK STAFF CAN EASILY SEE FOR THEMSELVES! I also wonder why the bean-counters at MasterCard apparently can't either find the cashed cheque or, in its absence, simply stop payment on it and issue another.

Finally, at half past five in the late afternoon, I received a telephone call from a mealy-mouthed functionary of the Government of Canada Pension Centre. She was responding to a rather ferocious letter of 22 December in which I demanded to know why they had yet to pay out Edmund's Supplementary Death Benefit, a stonking sum of money that had gone unmentioned over ten weeks of correspondence, and informed them that their telephone system (the only other way to contact them) stinks out loud. The functionary allowed as how they had sent for Edmund's file and would soon "verify" the claim. I replied to the effect that Edmund died three months ago, and what have they been doing all this time? How long would they have sat on it -- a sum amounting to two years' worth of a good salary -- if I had not rattled their cage? The functionary could offer only platitudes and empty consolations. If one more bureaucrat tells me (instead of answering a Yes Or No question), "First of all, may I say how sorry we are for your loss?", I shall do something truly unpleasant.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Jan 21 - 12:16 PM

"Sorry for your loss" is so ubiquitous as to be meaningless lip service. I remember letters and phone calls when I was managing my father's estate. I'm glad you don't have a sociopath brother in this mix (it made my job harder and last about a year longer than it should have).

Another windy day here as I make notes about the places I would like to go (drop off masks and belated holiday gifts for friends), and then decide on the ones that are essential (dog food, post office). We aren't under a shutdown (this is Texas, after all), but anyone who doesn't behave as if we are takes their life in their hands.

You have to wait until September for your shot? That's nuts! I hope they do something to speed the process. All eyes are on Biden's plan to get things moving here.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Jan 21 - 12:31 PM

Nuts, indeed. Every day, the papers have headlines about how the federal government is scrounging for millions of doses. That said, it's worth noting that the highest priority, after health-care workers and residents of long-term care homes, is Aboriginal folks living in isolated communities, where COVID works like the Black Death.

With respect to relatives, I am truly blessed. All my siblings, both natural-born and in-law, are sane, generous, interesting people who are a pleasure to know, let alone be related to and therefore stuck with.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 16 Jan 21 - 09:50 AM

Why thank you, Charmion. I feel likewise.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Jan 21 - 10:19 AM

Its good that good people see the light at long last.
I'm staying on top of infrastructure ahead of problems like hot water heater and yet another toilet replacement. This one is a one piece that is practicly like a sculpture. Amazon now takes pictures of deliveries so it was the first time I ever posed next to toilet.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Jan 21 - 02:10 PM

Amazon delivered a toilet to you? My word! The last one I got at Home Depot and had the lot loader help slide it into the SUV, but I brought it home myself.

I have a batch of cardamom cookie batter chilling and will later make cookies to take to the neighbors. And this afternoon I'm making the rest of the large t-shirts I bought for mask making into t-shirt yarn. I'm only planning a couple of trips next week, one to the thrift store for more shirts (hoping for a range of colors again) and to a specialized grocery store for a couple of things I've run low on. I'll drop off masks and a very-belated gift during that run, then back home. My only trips in the last two weeks have been to solitary things like dropping off recycling at the village bin (no one else around and it's outside) or for curbside pickup. I maybe ought to finish my running early in the week, who knows what will happen around inauguration day. Every crackpot in the nation seems to have decided it's time to come out of hiding. (The house next door still has a Trump flag hanging on the wall.)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jan 21 - 06:03 PM

We haven't been beyond a couple of miles from our house for many weeks. We drive about two miles to get in our daily walk on the coast. Just for once, it's quiet round here. We could just walk up the farm lane from the house, but there's mud and smells and bare fields, not very uplifting. I'm fine most of the time with my own company, but Mrs Steve is a social animal, now deprived of visits to friends' houses and her frequent coffee get-togethers with her mates, her exercise and dance classes (a bit of Zoom compensates to a degree, but it's not the same), and, worst of all, her Memory Cafe work with people suffering from dementia. She does a sterling job keeping our five-year-old grandson occupied for hours at a time on FaceTime so that his mum and dad can work from home (sort of!). It's real life, but not as we know it, and we are managing not to get on each other's nerves, quite an achievement!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 17 Jan 21 - 11:19 AM

Dupont:

Just read through the posts since 4 Jan, thankful for this group and the "we are all in this together, separately!" sense. This, almost 2 weeks has been really unpleasant for me. (Ah! the snowplow just went by!) The heater quit. I was exhausted from the trip, emotionally distraught due to what should have been a minor kerfuffle that put me in mind of PTSD never goes away as I dragged myself through about 60 years of my life, starting by the triggering of my last day as a wife On top of that, I finally realized I had a GI disturbance, then on the 6th I went to pieces as R and I watched, on Canadian TV... The major thing for me was the wonderful memory of my dad and little bro and I walking to the the very top of that elegant dome, alone. We experienced the grandeur, and the pain of watching it be desecrated was intense, and surprised me. And I realized that that trip has not been permissible for ordinary folks for a long time - that ordinary folks have lost a sense of ownership of the country, have never experienced that. Etc... My son pointed out that it all changed on 9/11. The terrorists with planes, destroyed more than we realized if it also destroyed the chance to feel connected to the history of the country.


Cold, traumatised in a number of ways, and R seemed uninterested in getting the heater repaired - He only comes home to sleep, and has even missed that in the pressure of work. I ran out of wood and simply could not bring in more; I was so cold all the time, the thought of going into a colder place and not having a warm place to come back into was more than I could bear. R brought in some. I really was not well; To think of leaving the warmish room to even go into the cold hallway turned me into a whimpering blob. Sitting in a conundrum in the den, I could not think, could not make a decision about anything.

Then I remembered the article I wrote years ago on hypothermia, esp in older people. I HAD to do something! Finally, it dawned on my frozen brain that the small hardware store 10 minutes away was no more dangerous than the one in Bancroft - small and good staff. I took one of the broken cube heaters and drove there, took my cards out of wallet in prep and went inside the door and said, "need help!" "No heat! I'm cold!!! need two of these!" A warmish trip in car and I was able to get home and figure up good placement for these precious heaters - where they could function without blowing fuses - TV, bedroom, K. The downstairs bath has one; I though of dragging a chair in there!   

R finally came home the next day with two more - no places left to plug them in! and I got across the concept, FIX the HEATER!!!!! The ordered parts arrived, Dan fixed the furnace, We have heat! We both check each am to make sure we still have heat! It is clear this is not over. When Dan replaced the old relay with the new one, he found nothing wrong with the old one. So, the probability is, there is still a loose wire somewhere.

Still not feeling well but warm! I finally, after several days of barely eating, not knowing what would help, having sunk into a morass of watching programs on Apple TV in the warm TV room, and having trouble with my eyes "burning", felt enough better to try clogging the system. I had hoped to be well enough to go to Beaver on Friday, before the snow. Did not feel better enough. Today? Not quite. Maybe tomorrow.

Good stuff: My #2 son talked with me for two hours, a wonderful conversation about many important things; on my 84th BD, my son told me in a rather offhand manner that I had been a good mother. No greater gift.

The next day, bro phoned and we had a good talk, (NO politics). Then his wife phoned and talked with me - without complaining about my bro. After all these years, they have each/both come to terms with who they are and the life they have together. At 68 and 80, they have peace in their lives. Still working. Another gift.

And I found that I could order my fav bread on line, and it arrived on Friday. Six loaves of soft pumpernickel and 10 loaves of solid as a brick European "deli" pumpernickel. OOPS! I had meant to order a dif one; I thought I might give the loaves to the food bank and do a new order to get my personal fav. But R came home and ate some and declares he loves it! Even reminisced about the first time he had it - 1971 in the Yukon! With pickled herring! From a German co-worker.   

Outside, I see two neighbours shoveling out from yesterday. Our wonderful neighbour cleared our drive after R left yesterday! I am grateful. We want to find a way to thank him. I was hoping for a friendship with his mom - across the street- but this shutdown...

Ontario makes sense, when I finally found a comprehensive explanation; really no dif from what we have been doing. The 8 pm curfew in QC is dreadful for many people. Very bad for mental health not to be able to take a walk after work, unless you have a dog! And the homeless are... homeless! And the police have already behaved badly. R has a letter so he can come home after 8 pm.

I have ensured all plants are well watered, took cuttings off the tomato seedlings and making sure the precious pear tree seedling is in a good spot. A big pot of veg stew would be a good project today.

I wonder about getting the windows ALL washed in the spring. By someone else!

A bit of unsweetened choc makes my eyes feel better - honest!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Jan 21 - 12:58 PM

Dorothy, you are not alone in descending into a general funk after the assault on the US Capitol. The news reporting reveals more parts of the story, how dangerous it was for individual politicians, bringing the realization that these seditionists meant real harm and will continue to act out their un-justified anger. I suspect a lot of people are calculating the next step they can take to assert their political views safely. Will my home be shot up if I put my Biden/Harris sign out in the yard again?

Even in this southern climate I also had a couple of days when I couldn't seem to get warm, couldn't seem to find any motivation. I have turned my focus back to more sewing and shipping of masks - I want to help my friends and loved ones survive this pandemic, and in the general scheme of things it is still the largest crisis that we must remedy right now. When you think about it, the seditious activity at a time when so many are at home watching television and paying attention means the bad actors will be rounded up all the more quickly as they are identified by viewers. Maybe now that the non-violent drug offenders have a shot at release from the prison industrial complex, the smaller (non-privatized) prison system can make room for the traitors from January 6.

It's mid-January, but I just realized that it is once again the race to see who ends up with the first blooming daffodil. They suddenly appear out there, harbingers of spring, even though we may have weeks of cooler weather until the date says "Spring." It's time to start digging in the garden on warm days.

I'm preparing for a double-header, a no-spend and no-alcohol February. I wasn't paying attention when January started that this is something I've done before as a good to start the new year. I'm weaning myself from some of the snack foods and routine evening drink, switching over to fruit for snacks and decaff tea for the evening beverage.

Plants - you've mentioned your plants - this winter I have started several new plants from cuttings (or more accurately, breakings - limbs that dropped off of things that were then poked into a jar of water on the windowsill). I now have a plant in the window in my sewing room - committing to myself that I'll be in there often enough each week to notice and give it water when needed. It's a durable spider plant, but it still needs some attention. It was rooted in water after removal from the big parent plant. The xmas cactus, pothos, and spider plants that are around the house are typical beginner plants—it's time to shop for some African violets and orchids now that I can easily work on the plant stands in the sunroom. And sometimes these plants end up in the Freecycle list.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 17 Jan 21 - 04:17 PM

Dupont
Just wish to report that I feeling better and even got dressed! And potted a few aloe vera, reducing the pot load to the one largest one and several small pots of smallish ones!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Jan 21 - 04:52 PM

I'm glad, Dorothy! I think we all worry about your comings and goings, especially in the winter, and with no heat - oy!

It's interesting how plants can make you feel better, isn't it? My frugal nature means cut flowers infrequent purchases, but the discount gourmet grocery I go to sometimes has boxes of flower arrangements modestly priced when they open their warehouse market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and I can bring home one or two for usually under $5. Considering how happy they make me feel I really should buy them more often. But even just the green leaves of potted plants is a mood boost.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 18 Jan 21 - 11:16 AM

Dupont

Just as well I did not leave yesterday. This morning - no heat. However, R has decided to take it seriously and Dan is working on it. Apparently, he says he can find the problem better when it is quit. I mentioned to R my thoughts, from Connie, re a heat pump and am delighted that he has been thinking it also, to the point of where it would need to be located; I don't mind digging up those plants if it means we will really have heat! Delight is Hope!

So R turned on cube heater in TV room and Came down to put a fire in wood stove and make BF. He recognized my rope is badly frayed. I got dressed - a good first step, knowing Dan would be along shortly. Then worked on cleaning up in the "tomato plant room". They did not grow to the ceiling like last year; I suspect need new soil So I take cuttings. One pepper is still very healthy with two fruit that seem to be willing to just stay home.

No question of leaving today so I am thinking about what needs to be done with plants and how to do it in a fairly tidy fashion. First, a big bag of good soil - from where? A very large plastic... Good project - for when the heat is back! Vacuuming would be a good project also...

Right now, maintaining a level of mental health is paramount. Make stew, try to do a couple sewing projects... DO something! Find phone number for a help line so I can explode to someone who won't be harmed by it. I am still being bombed by ancient painful memories. YEah, I'll find that phone number now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 18 Jan 21 - 02:26 PM

Dupont

Hannah fixed! Her Dad was my go-to person from 1968 until he died a few years ago, shockingly. Now Hannah has taken over; not quite the same but, in some ways better. From Gardening to what to eat to what to do about R and everything else! We can disagree but she had a great Mom and Dad and has a good husband and 3 adult children... She is a wise person. Two hours and I am ready to face life with renewed energy and a ton of advice.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 19 Jan 21 - 02:08 AM

I made some cheese scones and a chocolate cake the other day and am trying to think of things to do Ė or maybe what not to doÖ

Iíve done as much with another lighthouse (here painted but with the wires in a mess up top and here in motion) as I want to do and thought about the time I spent and the money in bits here and thereÖ

Iíve another idea for a different 3d printer project in mind but ought to take a bit of a break (say a week or two) first.

One task I do have that seems relevant to comments a few posts back is that I plan on replacing the syphon in our toilet and have the parts on order from Amazon.

Iím not sure what else except walking the footpath. Iím now walking to its end which, by my reckoning using Google Earth, gives me just over a 1 Ĺ mile walk there and back. I could make a circular route of about 2 miles by turning right at its end but Iím not sure I fancy the main road bit.

I could also do a longer circle by turning left but the Felbrigg road Iíd join is one I swore ďnever againĒ on. Mum and I had quite a frightening time walking that way once when we took Misty, our dog, for a walk that way.

Iíve met as many as 4 people on each of the last 3 times Iíve walked the path. Itís still quiet but itís a change from rarely meeting anyone.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 19 Jan 21 - 03:07 AM

Oh and on reading a few posts back again.

I had many a walk in the dark when I lived in Pydew which is up a hill and sort of in between a few of the towns.

I got rather lost walking a path parents called Bogey Lane which runs to Mochdre a couple of times before working it out and I guess the Bodysgallen route from Llandudno has a dark spot you could go wrong onÖ

But to me, anyway, you get to sense what is alongside you and (as with me and bod on the dark spot) can feel what is underfoot like ruts to guide you.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Jan 21 - 04:41 AM

Wrong thread, Dick?

(Post in question was moved here, giving a revival to that helpful thread)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jan 21 - 08:07 AM

NO, Correct thread it is about health and fitness during the pandemic.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jan 21 - 12:28 PM

Dick, this is an ongoing declutter conversation, it isn't really where we need to posts whole articles about COVID. I moved it over to the "New News on the COVID-19 Pandemic" thread where more people will see it. But thanks for thinking of us!

It did offer information about ventilation that I also heard last week on a radio news program, and in particular, the program said that if there are two of you in a car, sit in opposite corners and have the windows opposite you open. So the driver in the front seat would have the passenger window open some, and the passenger in as far back a seat as possible on the other side of the car would have the driver's side window open. This creates a sort of "wall of air" between the two of you as air travels in the front and out the rear window.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jan 21 - 01:01 PM

I was planning a brief foray to a local thrift store today, after not going on Monday because of the holiday (more shoppers possibly out and about). Then yesterday afternoon those plans lurched to a stop - I got a text from the County with an appointment for my first vaccine shot on Wednesday afternoon. It will continue to be face masks and physical distancing for a long time to come, but I'll wait and make my next shopping trip after I get the first dose. These do take time to take effect and a couple of weeks after second dose seals it, we hope.

A lovely letter from a friend arrived today, and has triggered an idea for the next blog post to do with these face masks. And yesterday I was hunting for something on YouTube and on the right side of the screen it offered up videos that might interest me - and one had to do with making small quilt blocks to build out for larger items, assembled from small pieces, the smaller ones referred to as "crumbs." FROM SCRAPS TO BLOCKS This video will give you the crumb trail (pun intended) to see the videos of various things she teaches. I put a few more masks in the mail today, along with an eBay package. For being retired and stuck at home (I used to have a robust volunteer schedule, prior to knee surgery and then COVID-19) I am keeping busy.

Jon, I love your description of your walk and your photos and maps. And your rationale for avoiding certain roads is common sense, and something I keep in mind here also. I walked the dogs yesterday and ended up avoiding the park because there was a woman walking but had her dog off leash - and the tangle if that dog raced up wasn't worth the bother. I turned around and walked back down the hill and paused to talk to neighbors I haven't seen in ages who were out walking their little old deaf dog (who still has a perfectly good bark when he spotted my dogs.) It is lovely to talk to people that way, all the more precious when we can't see people safely very often. From there we walked down to the woods across the road from my house and the dogs got a good session of sniffing in. We said hello to another family passing by on the road as we exited the woods. Speaking to six people in one day - nice!

Dorothy, I hope you get your heat pump. They are a good investment and if you decide to sell that wonderful old house a pump means less money given back to the new buyers for a new system. (I have two, actually, so you may decide to build up a system based on zones.)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Jan 21 - 11:19 AM

We're just over 40 minutes away from the swearing in of Joe Biden. He has a lot of work to do and his first 100 days (an arbitrary thing that started with FDR in 1933). This last week I've been adjusting my diet, stepping down from some of the carbs and sugar, and while I wasn't doing a no-spend or no-alcohol January, I am going to do a no-alcohol 100 days. It's time for a major cleanse after the self-medicated evenings of the Trump administration. Mild dosage, certainly, but still, there to take the edge off of those awful days. Come April 30 I'll assess the progress.

I have a bright pink crochet cap I wore four years ago to march at the county courthouse downtown. Now with the pandemic there isn't a celebratory march planned, but there are probably a lot of people wearing pink today in honor of the event. I did see one woman in the attending audience wearing a dark pink knit hat that may well be an homage to all of this.

On the home front, yesterday I put the dog-proof (resistant!) couch cover in the wash because one of the dogs peed overnight. Not sure which, but it was one of the two big ones. It of course seeped through onto the upholstery so I got out the steam cleaner and figured out how to put on the upholstery attachment and gave the area a once over. The next step, after that dries, is to spray it with the enzyme "pet odor remover" product that works on this. And there will be no more dogs on the sofa, and no more couch cover. I'm thinking of getting a couple of those small dog chair things and I'll use the fabric from the now-clean cover to make small covers for those dog things.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 20 Jan 21 - 04:00 PM

Dupont:

I have recovered from whatever was ailing me for those couple weeks, or more. Today, I realized I had scared Robin. In the midst of being tortured by the QC bureaucracy, he needs all the support I can give him. Far too complex to elucidate but if it ever ends, you shall hear the grand hurrah! And if does not end soon, I fear for his health.

I might need to participate in a Zoom meeting on Friday; I managed to download zoom but could make no sense of any instructions. They seem to assume some obscure knowledge - I have none! SO, I made a request to the group meant to support anglophones in QC - PLEASE! And this am, a charming and delightful young man with a very clear voice, emailed me and connected me and we had a marvellous conversation - from the Irish in Canada, to politics, the needs of young people and books, history.... I have zoomed! and it was wonderful. The hardest part was entering the incredibly "secure" PW. I need to engrave it on my left hand!

Interesting here to read about walks and darkness... I don't think I ever feared the dark, and love it. Lights are onerous to me. It was a dreadful shock to move here and find a streetlight outside the BR window and the need for heavy drapes. The other side of this is my love of watching the light arrive in the am! Which R does not like! Oh well, I wait until we need to be up - between 8 and 9 am, then open the south drape for Hibbie (hibiscus). Then the west one opens then R gets up. At Beaver, I have my way! NO artificial LIGHTS ANYWHERE! Apparently this human need for lighting is also detrimental to all the wildlings.

The heat is staying fixed, so far. we each check each am! The heat pump could become reality in my lifetime. 60% fuel savings does cause R to think hard! But nothing is going to happen around here until the travesty with the govt ends, hopefully without us both disintegrating. Ten years is far too long. So, I am not thinking of going to Beaver until we can go together to recover. It will be a major de-clutter when it comes to pass, but only if there is justice.

Silly me, watched the internet for busy-ness of the two stores - WOW, the chart was way low! So I dashed out to the car- Oops 6 inches of frozen snow covered it And it was precipitating something akin to sleet, the sort of night I would have said NO WAY! But I was in gear and managed to clear the windshield - forget the rest. Yes it is illegal but it definitely was not going anywhere. Bought a ton of groceries in the empty stores. And got back in time to put it all away before Terry Joe Banjo's LR concert!

Today, I de-cluttered my US account with a subscription to Atlantic M. Digital and by mail. I can read the dig but R wanted to be able to hold it. Now, if I could figure out e-transfer so I can donate to the two concerts this week.

Need a tough snow shovel to clear some of the back deck and recover the sizable quantity of potting soil from down under! worked on that yesterday but the store phone recording was only in French with no helps... Here I go!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 20 Jan 21 - 09:51 PM

Dupont

Two shovels collected but it was bitter cold out there and I had to declutter the car roof and wait for the windshield to defrost. When I got to the store - the little hardware - I tried some more clearing and a nice man came and helped! By the time I got home, it was too cold and too dark to work. Shovels are inside the back door, with the ash bucket, for tomorrow! Am I really going to drag 3cf of frozen soil into the house? Yep, if I can, I shall! But let it sit for a while - at least 24 hours - before I touch it! The heat is still working!!!

Did not watch the news today but will get the precis tonight.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Jan 21 - 08:50 PM

First Pfizer vaccine received, the next one in February, and they say "don't call us, we'll call you." I'm not aware of any side effects, save a slightly tender arm at the injection point. And I have the precious card.

In early January I worked on a design for a specialized fabric print (via Joann's) and the samples came today. The fabric is more coarse than I like and there is a muddiness between the colors that I need to work on to create contrast. But I'm on the way to creating a pattern I can use for a couple of specialized purposes. A brighter fabric for the pattern to be printed on might also help. This is my ongoing face mask project.

The house - oy. We've had a couple of days of rain so there is mud tracked through the house. And this week I realized one of the dogs had an accident overnight on the dog-resistant cover and it seeped into the couch upholstery. The cover went into the laundry and the upholstery attachment came out and I finally figured out the setup. It has dried so next I'll spray on some enzyme for treating "pet stains." And no more dogs on the sofa. This morning I walked into the den to find a huge stick lying on the floor, that most likely the blue heeler dragged in from the yard. That is back out the door, but what she does is chew them to pieces and I find all of the chips and splinters around the house.

I kept things quiet today, in case there was any after effect of the vaccine, but it seems to be fine. Tomorrow I'll get out a little. The new mask regulations on federal property and interstate travel won't effect me (wear the mask if I drive on the Interstate highway?) but I hope there are some teeth allowing enforcement of the regulation.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 21 Jan 21 - 10:02 PM

Dupont:

Snow shovel left where it was as we got up to snow/sleet/ some sort of cold, wet precipitation which has not yet stopped. So much for clearing the car yesterday! Might go up to zeroC tomorrow so maybe I will get the soil in. I am ready to redo tomato plantings, with egg shells, once the soil defrosts!

Cooked pork roast w veggies, small stuffed chicken and an acorn squash - all to get them done. Never expected R to get home and 10pm. I doubt I shall see him tonight. Chicken is yummy.

Hope the bridge is safe if R does come home.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Jan 21 - 10:41 AM

As long as I'm reading about Dorothy's slick frozen snow-covered porches I won't complain much about the gooey mud of a Texas winter. I think my garden mattock is still propped beside the door, it needs to go in the garage for a while. No snow shovels here, except the small backpack version I've had since the 1970s.

By last night I realized was more tired than usual and after placing an online order that managed to mangle my addresses, using the post office box for the delivery and home as billing (so will it even go through?) I decided to stop while I was ahead. I signed up for the CDC app for tracking COVID vaccine recipients and reported that I was tired and sluggish with the appropriate radio buttons. No fever.

And the dishes that met me in the sink this morning were testament to my tiredness; I'm surprised I managed to generate so many! I had cleared out some fridge leftovers, made stock with the chicken carcass, pan fried some potatoes to go with the last of the chicken for dinner, finished baking the last batch of some cardamom cookies, and all of the stuff was piled high. Now the dishwasher is full.

Now to tackle the pile of papers on my computer desk.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Jan 21 - 01:01 PM

I have been laid up all week with a pain in the arse. Literally.

Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice: under no circumstances allow your digestive tract to get old even if the rest of you does. The distal end of mine is currently in rebellion, bleeding and throbbing and generally wretched. I actually went to the doctor, quite an accomplishment under the provincial lockdown order. The cream she prescribed, cleverly compounded just for me, turned out to be too soft to be shoved past the sphincter to arrive in the area where the pain lives. So I sallied forth again, much against my will, to buy some old-fashioned over-the-counter suppositories. Dipped in the cleverly compounded cream, they seem to be doing the job, but not nearly fast enough.

Now that I can actually sit, I read about Dorothy's snow-removal and home-heating issues and decided that my existence is relatively blessed. A tractor from Nix Snow-Removal woke me up this morning at some ungodly hour as the nice young fella behind the wheel scraped my driveway clean, and a little later another lad arrived with a shovel and cleared the path to my door and the porch. Luxury. Also, the furnace is performing very nicely.

Stratford is covered with another blanket of picturesque-as-all-hell snow, but the weather is still not particularly cold, at least not by my -- and Dorothy's -- standards. So getting around can be a bit awkward, but not functionally miserable. To while away the hours until we are allowed to poke our noses out again, I purchased a year's subscription to the television streaming service that brings HBO content to Canada. TV is definitely better than it used to be, if you know where to look.

When the lockdown is lifted, I shall declutter the basement of the four bookcases that are now surplus to requirements and buy myself some plant-nursery trays with grow lights. When that was Edmund's television sanctum, there was no room down there, or anywhere else in the house, to set up the six-foot folding table and make a mess with potting soil. I shall start a parsley grow-op, and maybe branch out (see what I did there?) into cilantro.

But for now, I'm content to be able to sit long enough to do the New York Times crossword puzzle. The Friday one is usually a pleasantly twisty challenge.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Jan 21 - 09:35 PM

I drove to the town east of here where I worked for so many years, and in the process stopped at one store and went by the homes of a couple of friends and handed out masks. My former co-worker, also retired, is a full-time artist now and had made a lovely hand-painted bookmark in anticipation of my eventually getting over there. He was one person who I saw right before the election and gave a mask; since then he wears it all of the time and was thrilled when I said I'd bring him a more (and in the light blue that he finds such a good color for him). :) I had an array for "just in case" and when I stopped to see the next friend he was at his son's home and the wife and son were there, so I pulled out a handful to fit various sizes. We did all of our talking outside. At the store I watched an employee walking around talking to someone else and his mask was bobbing up and down on his beard; I walked past and told him his mask didn't fit and handed him one of mine and showed him had to adjust it. He was thrilled and the maskless man he'd been talking to just watched us. It really is too bad that Trump had to turn the coronavirus into a political bogeyman. So many people out there willing to spread it.

Charmion, I wish you well. I have a couple of friends who've had to remedy something similar surgically.

My den floor is a wretched muddy mess right now. Once the weather dries out I have a huge mop and scrub job ahead of me, just like last winter. I can't seem to keep enough mats on the floor in front of the door (they slide around) to pick it up off the dogs' feet. The sofa in the den has been treated with the enzyme and is ready to be put to rights, with the flat chairs laid on top again to keep dogs off. They only get one chance to have an accident then they're not allowed on it at all.

I've gained a couple of new tech jobs this week, so will be doing some online training over the weekend to be up to speed for Zoom management and using a new-to-me web management system. Online skills are in high demand these days.

Stay safe, everyone!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 22 Jan 21 - 09:53 PM

Dupont:

Tears of relief - both of us - as the situation with the Ministry is finally resolved - Almost ten years of increasing stress. Agreement was reached this afternoon in a several hours long Zoom - 7 of them vs 4 of "our team". And a ten minute break for R when his stress level burst out in tears - they got the message, and by mid aft came to a resolution. R said it was kind of like a poker game; he could maybe have have held out for more but he needed it over and is content. Elated that is is over. As am I. We will be in recovery for some time. But, as I mentioned, a major declutter. Now his business life can move on! And maybe even some honey-do jobs!

I did shovel a path - sort of - through frozen snow to the soil but it is frozen to the deck - of course! I think purchasing a new bale is the better part of valour! Manana! I shall have to clear the car again. Or maybe Sunday if R sleeps in and stays home. He/we enjoyed the roast pork and trimmings.

My gut problem seems to have, mostly, resolved itself - with lots of Pau d'Arco. I am relieved to find my malaise was not old age but a "real" problem. Careful what I ingest but a very small quantity of choc helps; a little more hurts! Salads help a lot. But I can go upstairs without each step feeling like an ordeal.

I have hopes that life can now settle into a more peaceful existence. The ultimate de-clutter!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Jan 21 - 05:49 AM

This end you can buy sachets of Fybogel, A natural plant extract (ispaghula, aka psyllium husk) that you mix with water and drink quickly. It isn't a laxative but it softens *things* up nicely by adding bulky fibre (without your having to eat extra tons of worthy wholemeal stuff) so making it much easier to *go.* After a week or so you begin to lose that horrid apprehension that precedes the inevitable *visit* (trying to be as euphemistic as possible in this ever so polite thread...)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Jan 21 - 07:22 AM

Ah, Steve, I see that you, too, have experience with this malady. I have invested in the largest available box of the doctorís preferred potion, of which I now swallow 17 grams per day mixed into whatever Iím drinking that isnít alcoholic. Not sure why it wouldnít work just as well if stirred into a fine Cabernet Sauvignon, but thatís what the label says.

Dorothy, congratulations on the armistice with the gummint. Over some 25 years of life with a criminal defence lawyer, I learned that official disapproval and/or suspicion ranks right up there with life-threatening disease as a source of stress. I hope you and R will soon feel the benefit of being out from under the cloud.

It snowed again last night and todayís forecast calls for a high of -5 degrees Celsius ó cold enough to keep the fresh snow from disintegrating into foot-clogging slush, but not cold enough to clemm the bones. The pain in my nether regions has receded somewhat, so Iíll take a walk today if the sun comes out.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Jan 21 - 11:20 AM

If we're at confession time, I take the capsule version of the psyllium every day. It's essential. This was recommended by the gastroenterologist who administered my last couple of colonoscopies. Doucosate sodium is an additional boost, something the nurse at the hospital where I had my first child told me about. Not a laxative, but a stool softener. (My husband quipped, after our daughter was born, that "now I know what it means when someone says they'll "rip you a new one.") Probably way too much information.

Another rainy muddy day, but one on which the rooted xmas cactus on my kitchen windowsill was crying out to be put in a pot. Now I have one less growing thing on that sill. I have quite a few of these pretty cacti I need to give away now because I can never bring myself to toss out trimmings or broken-off pieces if I can root them instead.

Time to set up the accordion folder for the 2021 bills and receipts. There is a growing pile on the table beside the office closet where that thing lives. The contents of the folder for 2020 go into a large manila envelope and in a few years I'll give the contents a cursory glance then put them in the burning barrel.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: JennieG
Date: 23 Jan 21 - 07:24 PM

The time has come. The pantry has to be cleaned out and, in the process, de-cluttered.

Nearly two weeks ago we - Himself, Bianca the Elderly Cat, and I - were peacefully minding our own business one evening when we heard a really loud bang. We couldn't find a cause inside the house, and despite some lightning flashing in the distance we decided it was too far away for the noise to have been thunder. So we shrugged our shoulders nd continued on with life.

Forward to last Sunday night.

Having taken the last of the olives from the opened jar in the fridge I reached into the pantry for a new jar, and taking it to the bench I noticed drips on the floor. "Oh dear", thought I, "jar must be cracked", so the olives were decanted and the jar checked - no cracks. Looked more closely in the pantry......

.....and realised that the bang heard several nights earlier was the lid of a ring pull can of apricot halves letting go. I had forgotten it was there and it must have fermented, pressure had built up in the tin, and now the wall and shelf need to be cleaned; in fact the whole pantry could do with a good re-organisation. It has been a very busy week so we haven't had a chance to get to it before now.

Sigh.......


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Jan 21 - 07:35 PM

We don't really get rats. But we have had a rat for a couple of weeks. Outside only, thankfully. I bought a live-capture rat trap. Tonight, after two weeks, I caught a rat. I'm not going to tell you its fate. I suppose there may be more...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Jan 21 - 08:07 PM

Where one rat turns up, more are inevitable. Good luck with the trap.

My lady, plump tomcat Watson slaughtered another mouse last night, with plenty of howling and thumping in the small hours. Thank God, so far no rats have invaded the house, but this street is only a few hundred metres from farmland, so theyíre out there.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Jan 21 - 11:01 PM

I have a very deep 10-gallon bucket that the live trap is dropped into. I use a live trap for rats because it catches toads and lizards as often as rats, and I want them to survive. Not the rats.

I stopped putting out bird seed to stop attracting rats, though they also will turn up in the garden when crops are ripening. I caught several rats last year but none this year, though something has continued to take bites out of some of the low-hanging vegetables.

Jennie, that sounds like a classic pantry failure. When I worked on my Dad's estate there were cans stored under a table of shelves that had been there so long they were in various stages of rust, ooze, and swelling. The only thing that saved the shelves was that they were papered.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Jan 21 - 11:27 PM

Watson is a *lazy*, plump tomcat. But you knew that.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 24 Jan 21 - 11:40 AM

Weíve had several problems with rats over the years here but we have been clear for a while now. Our most recent rodent problem was with mice but I think the chap who came and filled in possible entrance holes before Christmas was successful in his efforts.

I put the curtains, which I stumbled upon in a shed while looking for something else, up in the kitchen yesterday. The room had been without any for over a year. I remember the old pair were worn out and ordering the ones I found but I canít remember the reason why I didnít fit them at the time. They will have to come down again for ironing Ė a task Iíll leave to someone else but they will do as they are for now.

Iíve also tried to look at something waiting to be done for an even longer time. When Wales had a great run in the Euro 2016 football, I bought mum a red dragon weather vane. She did asked a few people who did other jobs here to fit it but the fitting never happened. Iíll never get it up on the side of the wall as was planned but Iím toying with putting it on the green shed. The problem is that itís got quite a heavy iron bracket which I assume is that made so solidly for a reason and Iím unsure of the fixing points on the shed. If I get it wrong, I think it would be down in a good wind, taking part of a shed panel with itÖ Anyway, idea deferred for another and rather finer day.

In the meanwhile, Iíve now started playing with another printer idea. Iím not at all sure Iíll manage this one but it gives me a project to think about. The aim is to make something loosely based on the Mamod TE1a traction engine model. I aim to have it remote control, working with a transmitter I bought when I was trying to fly small helis.

Oh, and on Covid. My parents are due to receive their first vaccination tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Jan 21 - 12:49 PM

Last night when I went to bed I decided to think about what my next large project should be, but I fell asleep before I reached any conclusions. Maybe that's a better thing to think about over breakfast. :-)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 24 Jan 21 - 01:30 PM

I like it SRS. Sometimes I wake up actually going through the steps I might take to do something.

Some might say they leave their subconscious mind to something...

I dunno but there's that crossword your stuck on. You leave it and come back to it a few hours later you (sometimes) find an answer you were missing staring you in the face.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Jan 21 - 03:12 PM

That's what power naps are for - when I was in graduate school I finally realized that when the extreme fatigue washed over me, if I set the timer for 15-20 minutes and took a short nap, I'd wake having essentially untangled whatever it was I was trying to work out. It serves me well, especially if I'm learning something new. Pause, take that nap, then continue.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 24 Jan 21 - 03:25 PM

Dupont:

Day one of de-compressing was fairly successful; Driving 2 hours south, past the "mill" to look at a house the R's cousin Doug had found on line, for his family. I drove cautiously, as the wind blew wildly and the snow blew madly across the roads from the prairie-like cornfields. Doug had not managed to get hold of the realtor but we had looked at it on line and WOW! We arrived to find 5 vehicles in the drive and a woman who had just bought it, she said. Just as well we did not get to go in!

R had not been down to the area in months and was glad to see familiar places, remember all the good Valley music we enjoyed down there, and good people we have met and not seen for ages; and to stop at the mill and assess the roof collapse - not as bad as he feared; it will wait to spring, of course. I had hoped for take out at the thai resto but closed. So drove back along the river roads, enjoying the snow sculptures.

Saw only one house for sale and R did a pic of the sign - COLD out there! Completed trip home through one of the most historic areas along the St. Lawrence. A series of wows! Did R good. Today, at home, there are periodic bursts of "It's over!!!!"

Over 4 hours driving took a toll on me but I did it and that means I can drive to Beaver soon. I drove because it was less stressful for me than R driving, and R could field phone calls. It was a good break. Then I fed us and rested. Good to have all that cooked food in frig, ready to dish out.

R is moving toward getting real things done. I am trying not to be pushy about the many little things - "new" K sink - stainless instead of the weird composite one that is uncleanable, and a counter. But, more importantly, for him, is that he can now plan to start winding up the business and we can maybe get to go visit family and other parts of Canada in a year or so.

We picked up a large plastic garbage can for ashes and compost together - on the deck so I do not have to brave frozen snow, dangerous steps and the long walk to the compost spot. There will be no above freezing weather for at least 2 weeks. We tried to get some soil but there was only Miracle grow and I am not paying for additives! I'll try the local store tomorrow, maybe do a screen shot of what I want so I can show it when I go in.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Jan 21 - 03:36 PM

MiracleGro is a bad idea in general - all salts, it messes up plants. Good to pass by it. Some day you'll have to find a forum where you can describe what the court case was and why it dragged on for so long. Whatever it was, I'm glad it's over!

I was given a loaf of olive/onion bread on Friday and have been enjoying it a slice or two at a time. Today for lunch I warmed a bowl of my crustless quiche and toasted a slice of that bread. It's very moist, so after toasting (that really only warmed it up but didn't crisp it up) I piled on shredded sharp cheddar cheese and put it in the toaster oven to toast some more. Very nice together for that meal. It's a drizzly overcast day so hot spice tea is also a treat today.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 25 Jan 21 - 10:50 AM

Dupont:

What a relief today to be able to hug R good by after our two days of "It's over!" He celebrated his freedom from the "sword" by spending most of yesterday doing some sort of dreadful clean up work in the basement. (I do not go down there.) I call it dreadful; he is elated! After a nice bath and clean clothes in the am, he came back up covered with dust/dirt... Happy! "Now, I can plan!" I had to insist those clothes go directly into laundry. And that he wash again - I changed bed, did laundry. Clean bed! And a good night's sleep.

At Bf this am we talked about how to improve the Kitchen - the dead dishwasher? - could he take it out and replace with drawers... He ate and ate yesterday and had the first "good event" in months, this am. The weight has lifted, life can improve, things can get done...

But no date yet to go to Beaver. Cousin Doug is still house hunting and sent us 3 new ideas - Only one did I consider feasible and we may go look at it with him later this week. When others dwell in difficulties, R dwells in possibilities. Now that the weight is lifted, everything looks better - on our third consecutive day of SUN!

OH! it WAS sunny! MAybe some cobweb and dust de-cluttering today.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Jan 21 - 01:44 PM

I read this morning that approximately 10 days out from the first vaccine it becomes approximately 90% effective, and two weeks after the second dose it reaches the 95% effectiveness. I am still planning to shop during stores' quietest times, but it means that my sense of dread will diminish.

Yesterday I conducted an oatmeal cooking experiment. I usually set up the small 75-watt 1-quart crock pot overnight and by morning it's perfect. I forgot to set it up, and the rice cooker was still out, so I followed my 1:2 recipe (oats to water) plus salt and chopped dates. (The cooker recipe book has you measuring with their plastic cup for oats and a regular cup for water.) It came out very good, but there was a 30 minute wait. The best part of this is little to no crust on the bottom of the pot, as always happens when it cooks on the stove. The crock pot method ends up with a small crusty ring around the very top edge of the oats. The crockpot means it's ready when I want to eat, but if I need to cook it in another manner, I'll use the rice cooker instead of a stovetop method.

I had a cactus rooting on the windowsill that was put in a pot over the weekend, and now I need to attend to the pothos plant on top of my Hoosier Kitchen near the back window. It has very long vines with few leaves, and I'll cut off some of them and root them. The plant itself needs to be repotted. Spring may still be a distance off for planting in the yard, but I can tend to some of the house plants until then.

Dorothy, I envy you having a basement, even as disreputable as you make yours sound at the moment. Most of the houses here are put up on concrete slabs, that then shift and crack. I'm near a creek so the water table might be an issue, but one I'd be willing to tackle.

Charmion, I hope you're feeling better. I hope Michelle and Pete are continuing their progress, Dorothy and R continue to rebound after the legal issue that weighed them down was lifted, and that Alice is on the mend. Jon has told us he's well enough to move back into his own room (that is wonderful, back in your own space!) and I recently rearranged my bedroom furniture back to their old positions before the knee replacement meant I needed a clear path for the walker. Donuel always has a few projects underway - I hope they're working out well. It's almost spring in a new year with an effective vaccine starting to make the rounds - here's hoping 2021 is a truly excellent year for all!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Jan 21 - 02:06 PM

Unrelated to above - years ago when I moved into this house I found stuff left in the attic. One of the things I saved was a vintage wooden yard stick - do you remember how stores used to have them printed with their name and slogans and hand them out, kind of like Home Depot and Lowes hand out paint sticks now? This was an old one from when J.C. Penny had fabric and such and I discovered it hidden in my office closet this weekend, so took a small nail and hung it on the wall in my sewing room near a doorway so it blends in along the door lines. I have a few other things here like that I need to put up since they're not actually being used. Clutter as art. :)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 25 Jan 21 - 06:42 PM

Dupont,

A great deal of art might be viewed as clutter, and clutter as art! I am sure I have a couple old yard sticks - in a long round container also containing some nifty posters. R noted yesterday that we really have not moved in yet. Any art on the walls is whatever has surfaced so far and been placed on left over nails from prev owner. Maybe we can now begin to regain stuff from the city and the mill and re-home - or dispose of it. If cousin Doug buys a home, R could easily help him furnish it with a surfeit of nice old bureaus and desks.

Spring is approaching and a potter friend somewhere in Texas spoke today of having tomato plants ready to put out in 8 weeks! Here it would be closer to 16 weeks! So,I just keep nurturing my tomato cuttings! It was lovely and sunny for most of the day but bitter cold.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 26 Jan 21 - 08:57 AM

Over the weekend (what's a weekend these days?), I sorted the contents of he Glory Hole and extracted a whole whack of cooking equipment I can't see myself ever using again.

Edmund's collection of silicone doohickeys for poaching eggs, a clay-baker big enough for a small turkey, two (Count 'em! -- Two!) fish kettles, two baguette molds, and smaller rubble galore ... At present, I have no idea what to do with it all, and the accumulation covers the top of a six-foot table.

I guess it can stay there for a while -- in fact, it has to, as the provincial lockdown has no forecast end date yet.

Meanwhile, it's snowing again. Yesterday, for the first time since we moved here, the scheduled pick-up of stuff for recycling did not happen, and blue boxes are sitting forlornly in snowbanks along the street. I will improve the shining hour with a load of laundry.

What larks, eh?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Jan 21 - 06:36 PM

Charmion, I think I'd be tempted to try using some of those gadgets to see if they could have a place in the kitchen cupboards. I have a clay baker that fits a chicken (I've found them at estate sales or thrift stores the size to cook small turkeys, but I sold them on eBay). Chicken cooked with carrots, potatoes, and onions in that Romertopf is tender and falling off the bones when it comes out of the oven. A baguette mold? Definitely something to give a try!

By the time you are able to donate them you might have decided some bear a second glance.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 27 Jan 21 - 09:16 AM

I have two other clay-bakers, Stilly: one small enough for a single meal for two, and the other the right size for a fairly large chicken or a rice-based dish for six. The biggest one was Edmund's idea; he came home with it one day with that look in his eye that always meant that he had come up with another Iron Chef challenge. I think I have used it twice in ten years.

As for the baguette moulds, I was never the fancy-bread baker of the family; that was Edmund's obsession. I thought one of my sisters-in-law would like them -- she fell in love with yeast baking during the first lockdown -- but her oven is one of those bisexual microwave-convection things and it's exactly one inch too narrow to accommodate them.

I am having second thoughts about one of the fish kettles, but only one; if you're not running a restaurant or feeding a family of twelve, you don't need two. Again, the second one came home with Edmund, who had attended a silent auction without me (my role being the frequent reiteration of No).

Today I am again putting up with digestive distress, fortunately minor discomfort of a familiar kind. It's distracting and definitely takes the shine off the day, so I'm drinking peppermint tea, eating bland high-fibre foods in small quantities, and doing my best to think positively.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 27 Jan 21 - 09:55 AM

Clay bakers are by far the ideal way to nake the most tender chicken in the world. With so many you could dedicate one to beef and one to chicken.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Jan 21 - 11:46 AM

I concur about chicken and clay bakers. I have recipes for other things, but mine is used pretty much just for chicken. And I can understand Charmion's kitchen gadget surplus issue - my dad had a lot more kitchen stuff than he ever could use and it was divided out between four of us, resulting in well-stocked kitchens for all.

I'm awaiting my order of a new pair of Gingher knife edge dressmaker shears. After knocking my original pair off of the table they now have a notch knocked into both halves that awkwardly snag when I get to within an inch of the point. The guy who sharpens stuff will be at my local craft store on the first Friday of the month so in a week and a half I'll take the old pair in for sharpening and I hope that takes care of it. This is how we end up with more than one of many things around the house, I can get a new pair in two days from Amazon and don't have to wait 10 days to keep doing my sewing projects.

Jennie, how is the pantry work coming along? I imagine you'll find all sorts of stuff you forgot about in there. I'm sure I have lost track of many items stored in the small closet I converted into a pantry several years ago.

I'm reminded by Charmion's remarks to keep eating my oatmeal for breakfast, for digestive and cholesterol-reducing benefits. The kidney beans I'll be cooking this afternoon have the same benefits.

I'm feeling out-of-sorts about all of the stuff sitting around today; I think the sunshine is reminding me that spring is nearby and spring cleaning is a thing I need to do. Today I should start with a run over to the village recycle bins; there are a lot of cardboard boxes that have reproduced like bunnies lately and need flattening and deposit in the bins. And the den floor - such a mass of muddy dog prints. One more day of drying in the yard and I think I can successfully mop without more being tracked in. And once the turf starts growing then there's a lot less mud available for tracking.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: JennieG
Date: 27 Jan 21 - 03:27 PM

Not really coming along at all, Maggie......it's been a bit warm for spending time in a small room sorting stuff (it is a walk-in pantry, but it's not huge). We have been promised some milder weather over the next few days, so the cleanout is looking promising.

Meanwhile, I finished a quilt top last week and am extremely and very thrilled with it. Now working on a pieced back.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 27 Jan 21 - 06:26 PM

I've seen some amazing quilts, they are the tapestries of our day.

Light sconces above each painting is one way to decorate but I found another way to illuminate wall art from 10 to 30 feet away by putting a light behind a crystal ball (12 inches or more) that acts like a lens and can focus a beam on large or small works. Works with lasar projectors too. Putting a small crystal ball (6 inches) in a gold fish bowl filled with water makes an unusual conversation piece.
Other unusual effects can be done with mirrors and sunlight that can project a reflected image on picture windows (old movie technology).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Jan 21 - 11:13 PM

On January 16 I posted a link to a YouTube video about scraps (or "crumbs") of fabric and I've generated a large bin-full as I work on masks. I'll need to learn about how to assemble crazy quilts from blocks made from those scraps.

I ran a few small errands and more envelopes of 3D face masks went into the mail. I have things that need doing and have been put off, but these mailings are a nice start.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Jan 21 - 11:19 AM

I donate to a few good causes (especially since the election of 2016) and they send me mail at my post office box. And often those solicitations include mailing labels. I get so many I shred stacks of them every so often. I do also mail things from my house (non bills, generally) and am close to out of my little roll of labels, so have decided to change my mailing address for one of the most prolific mailing-label-senders. That should take care of the need for more labels. They are going to mail them somewhere, I might as well direct them to where they'll be useful.

I was reading an article from a UK newspaper that talked about "Do One Thing" to help the planet, and it confirms that I'm already doing a lot, compared to the author. She uses a lot of disposable products: cosmetic wipes - who wears cosmetics? Wash your face with a rough washcloth for the removal of dead skin and anything else. Disposable sanitary pads - nope - the surgeon ended all of that abruptly years ago. Tea bags - I buy it loose and use strainers or tea balls - Deodorant - nope, it isn't good for you I haven't used it since high school. I'm sure there are still many things I could do to be more environmentally friendly, I'll have to give that some consideration.

Plastic. If I could either find fewer products in plastic or find better ways to reuse what comes through the house, that would be good. Melt it into ingots and use them to build walls around the garden?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Jan 21 - 11:24 AM

Plastic ingots. Hmmm. Lego for grown-ups?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Jan 21 - 06:40 PM

Building blocks on a large scale. Commercial recyclers make plastic lumber for lots of outdoor stuff, but the off gas of heating the plastic could be toxic so I probably shouldn't try to do it myself.

I spent the afternoon tracking down a defunct website for a friend and figuring out what web hosting service still has it up in all of it's out-of-date glory. But it's Friday afternoon in New York and the main registration company is there, so I quit for now.

There are projects I want to work on around here, but several of them involve going somewhere to look for parts or taking the leap and ordering sight-unseen online. It's the weekend when stores will have more people in them, so projects wait until Monday and I'll work here over the weekend with what I have. Even with the vaccines starting to be given in the area, nothing done in public is safer right now. I'm almost to the half-way point between vaccine shots, so the first one should in theory be doing a pretty good job of protecting me, but I'm not going to go out and test it.

I think being out of sorts, as mentioned earlier in the week, is a feature of COVID cabin fever, while the political stuff going on right now doesn't help. It's time to turn the attention to a list of things to cross off, and let those small successes help improve the mood. Clearing off desktops and counters, organizing the laundry room and potting bench, etc. Dusting and mopping. There is no shortage of items to be done around here. I did offload a bunch of recycling last night, and now I need to put more things in the donate bin and move them out of the house.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 29 Jan 21 - 08:04 PM

Dupont:

And wondering when we shall ever get back to Beaver! Tonight I was looking at pottery supply sites, pondering the idea of purchasing a new wheel and clay; Desperation setting in! R did mention taking a truckload of machinery to somewhere east of Toronto "soon". "lockdowns" in both Quebec and Ontario - each with own unclear rules and if I go to ON will I be able to come back to QC??? The autocrat in Quebec City is clueless imo. But numbers have dropped. But he can change rules with the speed of summer lightning.

This means I am feeling better physically and need to DO Something, specifically produce pottery for an order, and for summer - hopeful! Anyway, I wanted to do some cleaning yesterday but could find neither broom nor dustpan. Put a note on R's place mat! Yep! They were down cellar. MY tools! I am getting frustrated by the fact that I cannot just run to a store and get this or that. I really feel the need to plan for best times. The list for "next trip" now includes clean up tools for the cellar - actually for me; he can use the old ones!

At minus 17C I was not keen on going out the door but the sun on the front was so wonderful that I de-cluttered the car of a few inches of snow, after sweeping the front steps of the last bit. Nice to be out for a few minutes. I feel the days getting longer and sense spring on its way.

Did sort out some sewing projects the other day. Would love to make a dress out of a beautiful piece of soft cotton. Hung it over the ironing board to remind me. Do not have the guts to cut the neckline without a real pattern - not found yet. SIGH!

Did up some sauteed pears for BF, quite a lot but R loves them. Saving the seeds to see if I can start some more pear trees. For what purpose? Just because.

Supposed to get warmer at end of next week; just maybe I can go to Beaver on my own. There will be tons of frozen snow... Ordering new wheel and clay...sounds better again. Even a serious thaw will not get me into the studio.

I did clean some floors. Now looking at the rads... Any ideas for cleaning long neglected rads will be considered. I am sure the need to clean is a sign of spring!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Jan 21 - 09:52 PM

There's a newsletter from The Atlantic this evening with 10 suggestions for the weekend, but they could be suggestions for all of COVID-19 staying at home. I put in a few of the hot links from the piece; I don't see a web version to share but don't want to spend the next 15 minutes adding links.

(JAN BUCHCZIK)

As the country nears a year spent in isolation, many Americans find themselves hitting a ďpandemic wallĒ of burnout.

If youíre feeling stuckóand looking for safe, socially distant activitiesóturn to this list.

1. Try a jigsaw puzzle.

They can be good for your brain, our staff writer Marina Koren explains:

Theyíre wonderfully engrossing, and research suggests that the activity gives your cognitive functions a good workout and can help stave off dementia in older adults. Other pros: working with your hands, building an image that isnít the same walls you see every day, the satisfying snap of two pieces fitting together. Cons: I canít think of any.

2. Check in on a senior.

Mary Stachyra Lopez, an audience editor, writes:

Isolation has been hard on everyoneóbut nobody has been hit as hard as seniors, who ďare much more likely than their younger counterparts to live in care facilities and many of whom have struggled to connect in a socially distanced or virtual fashion,Ē Annie Lowrey reported earlier this month. Call someone who may be lonely just to chat. Offer to order groceries for them. Or mail them a letter. You may find a greater sense of purpose by stepping outside yourself.

3. Immerse yourself in fiction.

Try one of these five short stories. If youíd prefer something longer, revisit our list of the 15 best books of 2020.

4. Or reread a great piece of journalism.

This piece on earthworms is sure to give you a squirm.

5. Hold a movie night, with matching food or drinks.

Christian Paz from our Politics team was inspired by a TikTok challenge:

Make one dish or drink for each movie in a series. For instance, try a Harry Potter weekend where you make a ďunicorn bloodĒ cocktail (tequila, lemon juice, and St-Germain) for the Sorcererís Stone, a gin-based Polyjuice Potion for Chamber of Secrets, and so on. This weekend, Iím trying my hand at a High School Musical marathon with hot dogs and chili cheese fries, and a spiked fruit punch on the side.

6. Make something (anything) with your hands.

Katie Martin, an art director whose work youíve probably seen on our stories, has a suggestion:

When the weather was warmer, I fashioned zoo animals out of old boxes with my 3- and 5-year-old neighbors. Paper-towel tubes became giraffe necks; construction-paper scraps became ears, noses, and tails; old boxes became vibrant habitats. Nothing disconnects you from the chaos of the world like cutting cardboard and bending pipe cleaner.

Here are eight other ways to stay creative at home.

7. Turn to the philosophers.

Are you a Stoic or an Epicurean? There are two kinds of happy people, our happiness columnist, Arthur C. Brooks, arguesóand both map onto ancient tradition.

8. Or contemplate some poetry.

Our writers and editors curated this list of nine timely works worth reading.

9. Throw a solo dance party.

The champagne has long gone flat, but our New Yearís Eve playlist is as crisp and bubbly as ever. (Find the Spotify version.)

Back then, we asked you to share what song you were kicking off 2021 with. Hereís a playlist of reader picks.

10. Hone your crossword skills.

Learn to speak ďcrosswordese.Ē Our crossword editor, Caleb Madison, offers nine solving tips to get you finishing puzzles faster.

We publish mini ones every weekday, and a bigger puzzle on Sundays. Did you know you can even solve virtually with a loved one? Just use the ďPlay TogetherĒ button (to the right of the timer) to add a pal from afar.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Jan 21 - 03:03 PM

Warm today, but very windy, the kind of wind that often blows the ballcap off of your head and deposits grit in one's eyes. I'll see if it calms later this afternoon before deciding to walk the dogs.

I got to talking to an old friend from high school last night and will be making some masks for her granddaughters and herself; she will be sending money mostly to cover fabric (I'll look for some "princess" patterns next time at the fabric store) and postage. I've heard about people doing a lot of things like check cashing at Walmart, but she said she banks there, she doesn't use PayPal, etc. I didn't know that was a Walmart service? I'll be going to the local store one day early next week (senior hours) to collect the cash. I've always wished the U.S. Post Office would take on banking services, I think it makes a lot of sense with as many people who are "unbanked" these days and pay high fees for services like sending cash and check cashing.

Yesterday's detective work on tracking down the host of an old website has me thinking there are a number of things I want to know how to do better in that regard, so I'll be pulling up some more of the online training to do with that kind of web service. And harking back to yesterday's list from The Atlantic, it's a virtual puzzle for me to solve, since I don't have any jigsaw puzzles here to work on.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 31 Jan 21 - 11:45 AM

Today I am making Sunday dinner for me and the relatives, who are as eager for my company as I am for theirs. Not that any of us is of significant entertainment value to the others, but anything for a (legal) change. Ontario is still buttoned up tight.

I have come to realize that I am not often particularly motivated to cook for myself alone; my interest kicks in when I have someone else ó anyone else, to be honest ó to feed. (I would probably grill a steak for the plumber if he came at supper time.) So the rellies can look forward to many invitations to get their knees under my table.

And now I know why my grandmother always summoned us (parents, brothers and me) to Sunday dinner. ďNo thank youĒ was not an option.

Dinner will be chicken with brown rice pilaf (baked in the RŲmertopf) and roasted sprouts, followed by crŤme brŻlťe. (I havenít made crŤme brŻlťe since the 80s; canít think why not.) I even hit the LCBO for a new bottle of Grand Marnier because the rellies like it. Of course, I like it too, but I notice that I have no taste for the stuff when itís just me and the cats at table.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Jan 21 - 11:58 AM

The dusting program faltered a while back and needs to resume, starting with my office. If today I start on the bookshelves I might be inspired to re-organize some of the stuff on the shelves that really should live somewhere else or gone entirely. Last night I disturbed dust in the office closet when I put away the last of the holiday decorations and moved a few boxes to a shelf recently emptied of a huge CRT monitor. I should empty the closet and rearrange it, discarding a lot of stuff and setting up the burning barrel for other stuff. Whatever I choose to do, I need to pick something that makes a visual improvement to get the mood-boost from successfully finishing something.

Yesterday's warm temperature was offset by high winds, and it has reversed today to cooler temperatures and no wind. It's sunny, so maybe opening the garage door and doing some work while the sun is shining into the space is a good approach. I plan to cut some brush soon so this weekend I could take a few minutes to sharpen a couple of tools for that.

Even though I don't have anywhere to go on Monday mornings for the foreseeable COVID future, I still tend to treat Sunday like a "school night" and do laundry and and cleanup for the week ahead.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 31 Jan 21 - 04:00 PM

Dupont:

Another cold sunny day. Lots of animal tracks in the woods. I made tracks last night, after I checked "how busy" and dashed off to do shopping at the two shops. And get back before the 8 pm curfew. With double mask, it was a tich harder to breath plus the stress and the hurry, I was glad that R was home to help bring in bags and even helped put some away. Actually nice to have him becoming more K savvy - as long as he does not get in the way of my choreographed preps. He scavenged his own supper last night from myriad planned overs. I had a grilled cheese and green pepper on pumpernickel sandwich - first in several years. Fed up with sameness, added a few new items to freezer. Fried sweet potato slices are a new fav - in shallow olive oil in frying pan, drained on piece of sheeting.

Minding plants, now that furnace is working they need more watering! Found my patterns!!! And a couple unfinished projects. Still undecided about how to proceed with pottery. If I could get a trustworthy person to clear the back decks at Beaver ... Messaged Dan and trying to think who else might know such a person. A nasty job with all that frozen snow. Fire in stove today.

Finally found a book that interests me amongst all those he has dragged home. (Last Train to Berlin, a memoir, nicely written)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Feb 21 - 11:22 AM

Your dinner sounds excellent, Charmion, I hope it turned out as good as it sounds! Dorothy, good luck finding someone to clear that deck!

Executive decisions happened this weekend. I decided to push two of the biggest projects that have languished (some for years) to the front.

The question of how to scan my slides has always vacillated between get a good full-sensor camera and gear to put slides in front of an extension tube and mount to re-photograph them (best) or get the $5000 scanner with the SilverFast software and do it that way (also best). The other choices meant mechanical means that were more cumbersome, but I've decided to go with the high-end cumbersome answer for now (thank you, stimulus check) and start on the boxes in the closet. And my goal to pay off the loan within a year (the original plan for that check) will still happen by adding extra to the payment each month. The simple trick is to not spend the money on other things. :-/

The other one is to finally make the shirt from the fabric and supplies stacked on the dining table forever. I cleared the table and spread out the board last night. The layout work needs doing in the morning hours when the light is better in there.

I've started on both of these projects, and the dusting in the office is important now so the slides are easier to scan with fewer specks appearing and needing to be (digitally) removed.

Along with the slides is the flatbed scanning project of a box of documents from my Dad's house. I'll have to figure out where these things are going to live on the computer but I have the space for it, I've always had the space for it. Now just the will to do the work.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 02 Feb 21 - 06:06 AM

I'm going on a media diet. Yesterday I was in an uncharacteristic dark mood. Between current events, weather and the 16 week forcast for the pandemic I felt awful. Already the fog is lifting but a change up is long due. The simple act of rubbing my eyes and seeing geometric colorful shapes was replaced with just a dull grey indicating a neurological low. No fever, since by rolling my eyes upward I have always been able to determine my temperature by the degree of pain or discomfort I feel. Eyes are not windows to the soul, they are in fact part of the brain.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Feb 21 - 09:05 AM

Sunday dinner was great; so good, in fact, that I had to turf the rellies at half-past nine before they settled in for the night. The crŤme brŻlťe was rather more brŻlťe than it should have been ó next time, only three minutes, if that, under the broiler ó but everything else was boffo. I have not lost my touch with custard.

Yesterday brought a very large surprise: the payment of the Supplementary Death Benefit portion of Edmundís Army pension. Without warning, or so much as an explanatory form letter, it landed in my chequing account like an elephant dumped out the back of a passing cargo plane. Thus I have become a member of the investor class, as a lifetime of hard work (Edmundís) and thrift (mine) had already set me up with a more than adequate pension income for the rest of my life. My lawyer warned me, with characteristic froideur, that I could well end up spending every penny on nursing homes if my life turns out to be as indecently long as is typical of my family.

The sun is shining in Stratford today, so I plan a pedestrian excursion to the post office. First, however, I shall telephone the town hall to find out why the recycling wasnít picked up yesterday.

Donuelís media diet strikes me as a good idea, and I might join him ó at least with respect to reports and speculation about American politics. Swearing off the New York Times would be a jolt to my mental system; what if Paul Krugman solved the worldís problems and I missed it?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Feb 21 - 11:01 AM

Despite how often I appear to be on various platforms, I find that sometimes a day or a weekend away has a calming effect. It doesn't always mean the radio or TV is off, sometimes I just turn on a classical or blues channel on broadcast or Sirius, or set streaming TV on the America Test Kitchen channel, or watch a day or two of This Old House or police procedurals. I wish Pluto had a Nancy Ziemann Sewing With Nancy channel. I've saved up a few PBS programs to go in and watch several at a time, and I have some audiobooks but I haven't listened for a while. Those are ideas!

Charmion, your letters and calls worked. Good luck in managing the income. My savings credit union savings gets about 0.01% interest these days but my Vanguard (no load) account is in funds that get between 10 and 15% a year. Not a lot of money in there, but I'm working on it.

Congratulations on the dinner; that's a doubly nice occasion when you have good company and a great meal. I had lunch last week with my daughter and we were back in her work parking garage and it was a little chilly. Our autumn picnics were nice. Often it's too hot or too cold around here to sit outside for long.

Dusting the office and cutting out a pattern for a flannel shirt today.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Feb 21 - 12:45 PM

I have started, but not completed those tasks. I used a mop to remove the dogs' muddy path across the den (I have a steam cleaner that might work on the crevices in the tiles but haven't tried that yet); it looks so much better now. In the office I can get into the closet and have more space on one side. It is time for the burning barrel for what will amount to an inches-deep stack of paper once I really get going in there. I cleared out a basket on the kitchen bookshelves and found the information about the tiles I'd like to put down in the hall bathroom. Inexpensive (relatively) but hard porcelain so they're less likely to crack, and with a surface that will be non-skid. So many things to work on.

UPS sent an update about a parcel wending it's way to the house, so it looks like the shipping for the designed fabric swatches is correct after all (it appeared to be reversed when I placed the order - I don't like having to wait on line at the post office anyway, but especially now.) Last night I worked on a small video about making masks, but the camera batteries kept running low and stopping. I've charged everything overnight so will try again later today. With a fixed camera on a tripod I have to be sure all of the action is captured but is close enough so viewers can see what I'm trying to illustrate. I drew down my fabric stash when all of this started, but am now back up to a robust collection. The video is destined for YouTube and a link to my blog.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 03 Feb 21 - 04:58 PM

Today I converted a high quality movie screen and stand for projection TV.
I was able to lose 30 lbs of needless weight. The screen, not mine.
now it hangs by one screw.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Feb 21 - 11:10 AM

At one time I thought having a screen and a good quality WiFi-type projector was the way to go - just as well they were so expensive that I never got around to buying one. The TVs on the market these days cost less than the projectors and the quality is excellent. I have TVs around the house, the only time I'll buy any more is as replacement, and one day I'll get a larger one for the den (and move that one in there now to the bedroom to use for Yoga exercises streaming - the one in there now is small to see from across the room).

Dusting pretty much finished in a couple of rooms, more sweeping now that the dust has settled on the floor. And I may need to rearrange my computer desk if I'm going to set up the new scanner. It arrived in a large box with a wad of newspaper on top but no padding. A box with the classic symbol of the cracked wineglass to suggest it's fragile. I need to test it soon to be sure it survived the journey.

Last week I played with the Google Fit app on my phone; usually when I walk the dogs it figures out I'm walking and tracks the route and tells me the time and distance, but it cuts corners and usually misses part of the route. Through experimentation I realized that I can tell it when I'm starting out and it will track my route very accurately and record the distance with a lovely little map. It doesn't really matter except the exact route and distance is a nice incentive to keep using it and see where all I'm walking. I'll plan to continue using it the way it was intended to work.

The CDC is still sending out queries about how I'm feeling after the first vaccine. I'm curious to see if it knows when I get the second shot or if I have to tell it. And then I guess we'll repeat the process, daily check-ins for the first week, then weekly. I'm happy to be part of the information gathering system. I'd be happy to be part of a contact tracing app, telling me if I've been near anyone with COVID, but Texas doesn't seem interested in that kind of data.

Today comes the first stab at doing my income taxes. I have a friend who some years ago learned that her refund was claimed by an imposter who stole her identity, and we all realized that the best way to avoid that is to file ASAP. I say the "first stab" because I usually discover some new form or worksheet I need to fill out or use to calculate my percentage of discount, etc. This year in the US there is a line for charitable donation credit, even if you don't itemize. One more set of papers to dig out since I stopped saving them a couple of years ago when these new tax forms came out and you couldn't take that credit if you didn't itemize. I think Trump was trying to depress charitable giving to organizations he didn't like by removing the tax benefits for most people. Someone appears to have snuck it back into the forms, if only on a small scale.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Feb 21 - 12:42 AM

The taxes are calculated, but I find that the Free Fillable Forms won't be opened for use until next week on Friday. I don't use the various free tax services available from the irs.gov site, I use the free forms out there for anyone. Fill it in with the information from my penciled in forms and every so often hit the "do the math" button. Save, print, send.

Tomorrow morning I take my sewing shears in to be sharpened. I may load up a few other pairs of scissors and if the price isn't too extreme, get them all a little TLC.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 05 Feb 21 - 08:53 AM

It's snowing like billy-be-damned in southwestern Ontario, and the wind is shaking the trees and howling in the chimney. A good day to do little and go nowhere. Television may well be watched.

I can't start on the 2020 taxes until Revenue Canada coughs up its statements of our employment and pension income, and deductions made at source. Since COVID is invoked so consistently for torpid and/or opaque government performance, I assume these documents won't appear until the penultimate minute, and the resulting frenzy to file on time will break the Internet.

Question for the Hive Mind: What does one do with framed diplomas when the need to impress/reassure clients has passed? Edmund's collection of credentials -- four university diplomas, two law licences & his Army commission -- covers rather a lot of wall where I would rather put something else.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Feb 21 - 11:53 AM

And here I've been thinking about how to move a desk to reach the spot where I want to put my MA diploma on the wall after the ceiling restoration. I wonder if they would be of interest to his siblings? Nieces and nephews? Agencies he worked with? You could take them out of the frames and store them in a roll until you figure if anyone needs them. Or shred them.

Since I had to organize some papers to do the taxes I've kept moving along those lines and sorted, filed, and shredded more papers, including a basket of mail in the kitchen. Underneath were spare phone chargers and I will never ever need this many old slow chargers. To the Goodwill bin. I'd break even on eBay where they sell for about .50 each but the sellers all offer free shipping.

My office desktop is finally looking better (the cables are all in view now that papers have been moved off of them.) Time for a measuring tape to see if turning one desk to face the wall is doable (in order to fit in a new scanner). It would mean moving other things; as it is there is a television on the bookshelves beside me but a move would put it behind me, so I'd have to move it to a different bookcase or on top of the stand where the printer also sits. There are cables involved, and plugs.

We're still at very high risk for COVID here in my county, but I am looking into the future to find ways to volunteer to help, in a masked and socially distanced way, to get more people vaccinated. It makes sense that the otherwise fit and healthy over-65 recipients of the earliest doses of the vaccines now turn our considerable energy and time to helping everyone else get the vaccine. There's a county website for volunteering, so I'll plan to do that at the end of the month, when my second vaccine (due next week) has had time to fully take effect.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 05 Feb 21 - 08:21 PM

BEAVER!!

Beautiful sunny day yesterday for a long drive, or anything else! Arrived about 3 with the sun still high enough to perk me up to: turn on electric blanket, fire in stove, clear paths on the deck and make a stab at clearing the studio door - Dan could find no one. The snow was not frozen like that at Dupont. The studio door budged a tich but I needed buckets of hot water - today. And now I can get in! Sitting looking out at that area, I got a monumental idea: An extension of the studio roof over the walkway would solve the whole problem! DUHHH! So I messaged Dan; he will look at it in the spring!

I was high on getting here, finally. The air is so different here. It was just delicious yesterday in the sunshine. I also love the quiet. No traffic - I went out and waved at the snowplow driver and he waved back cheerfully. Home!

Like Charmion, we had another few inches of snow today, but not the big winds. It was just at freezing when I cleared the door, but dropping tonight for the next few days. I was delighted to find the drive beautifully cleared, and Steve did it again late this am, and I could pay him.

I may yet try to melt away the 6-8 inches of packed snow from the roof so the walkway is safer/easier. Tomorrow. And bring in a good bunch of wood. Mostly resting today and a welcome visit with Larry, masked, and dog!.

All the tech stuff SRS does and I cannot even get my phone to talk to my computer. Telus says it is the computer and I cannot get it to connect to the phone or find out why. Admit: afraid of making things worse! When I get back to Dupont, I will try apple help.

This may be out of chrono- order.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 05 Feb 21 - 11:02 PM

Stilly, with a computer in your study, what do you need a television for?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Feb 21 - 12:00 AM

There are televisions all over the house. Like radios, I guess. Because when I get working on something in one room I often will turn on TV or Netflix for company or entertainment and don't want to relocate what I'm doing into one or two rooms with a TV. There were some really good sales over the years that I jumped on.

At one time the old computer used to be a TV, it has a receiver built in, but that computer doesn't talk to the Internet any more so I can't update the broadcast schedule that makes it work. So if I want to watch something that is actually on TV while in this room, I need to have a TV here. It has a Fire Stick on it so I can watch lots of different services on it as well. I could also watch many of those on the computer, but I tend to prefer it on a different screen and not tying up bandwidth if I'm doing something that requires a lot of computing power and screen space. (Adobe products are real processor hogs).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Feb 21 - 11:35 PM

I need to make a point of putting on a mask when I sweep around here. I did the entire house today, and gave myself a sinus headache from the dust.

I ironed the most recent yardage I brought home for masks, along with the flannel for a shirt I'll be making. For mask making I need to unroll three layers on top of each other, so in preparation I roll it into a long sausage instead of folding it. Today I brought in a very long aluminum ruler (no idea where it came from, I've had it for years) and used that to roll the fabric around and it goes much faster than my doing it free-hand. I picked up more of the black cloth with bright notes (I bought the rest of the bolt, probably 4 yards) and found a pink girly print that has been requested a couple of times. I've been buying plain light-colored flannel but it's narrower than the rest of the fabric I'm using, so next time I'll look at some of the print flannel and see if there's a light one that's a little wider. That will make for less waste.

I'm keeping an eye on my daffodils; the leaves are up and the buds are just beginning to look like they're forming. I say this after hearing about snow in the north and a snow storm racing up the east coast from Washington, D.C. up to New England. It's supposed to be a fast one, but still will leave some of you with about 8" of the white stuff. I had at least 24" of sunshine this afternoon. :-)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 07 Feb 21 - 02:56 PM

Charmion, are your degree and any "certificates suitable for framing" on walls or in a portfolio? If the latter, I would put Edmund's with those, and leave it to your heirs and assigns to sort out.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Feb 21 - 12:20 AM

Good suggestion, C.'s brother. Push them on down the road.

I moved stuff and am thinking about shoe-horning a small end table into the office as a place to set the new slide scanner. I may not have to use that—once the scanner is out of the box if it isn't too large there may be room on the second computer's desktop (I moved some stuff to clear the spot, and as far as I can tell no cables came unplugged in the process so it appears to have worked.)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 08 Feb 21 - 11:43 AM

I have just dragged a huge contractor-type garbage bag full of cracked, broken, rusty and otherwise non-serviceable clag -- about one third dead cookware and the rest office stuff -- out to the curb, thus freeing up substantial space in the Glory Hole.

I also extracted some pictures from the Grand Art Stash to go in the library and my bedroom. Thanks to my talented ancestors, Edmund's painter sister, and my father the art collector, I have literally dozens of works packed away in the basement. The library is a huge room, so it needs at least one really large picture; unfortunately, the one that should be there -- an enormous Canadian high-realist watercolour -- is currently over the fireplace, covering a large, ugly panel of satellite television connectors. Before I turn 70, I would like to see that gone, a proper mantelpiece installed, and a less-domineering painting on the chimney breast. An oil, so there's no need for protective glass that the electric light bounces off so you can't see the picture.

I'm out of eggs, milk, green veg, fresh fruit and all-purpose flour, so it's time for grocery shopping, which used to be kinda fun. Not now ...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Feb 21 - 03:39 PM

Charmion, do you have any of the services available to you like Instacart? When filling out the list you see the price total on the side of the page so it helps with some of the impulse loading of things in the cart. I do prefer to pick out my own produce but have it delivered sometimes (the last time I asked for a bag of onions several of them were rotting. I guess she didn't look at it, just grabbed the bag.)

The stuff you moved out to the curb in that big trash bag - is that stuff you brought with you from your other house a few years ago? I've done that with a move - figuring it's easier to pack everything and sort and toss later, but it is an eyeopener to then look at what you brought along, isn't it?

I have the ugliest fireplace in creating, surrounded by a wall of varnished irregular limestone rocks- I can't hang anything on it (I'd have to afix hangers into the mortar somehow, or glue to a rock face). I'd love to take this entire thing down and tile the wall, or get rid of the fireplace entirely and put in floor-to-ceiling windows.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: mg
Date: 08 Feb 21 - 04:32 PM

i vote for the windows. Sounds great.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Feb 21 - 05:29 PM

It's the dollars that are holding back the work on the windows! (Lack of!) If I ever get a chance, I'll put in a window screened in porch back there and turn it into a greenhouse. But that's on a wish list long from being fulfilled.

I've tracked down my vaccine information for this week and confirmed that Wednesday is the day I am due to get the second dose, and they'll send a text with the time and place. I'm trying to not be a pest, I looked it up, didn't call. They're getting so many calls these days that if I can avoid doing that I will.

The congressman from the next district over in this county died yesterday from COVID-19. Ron Wright was the first sitting member of congress to die of it. He's one of the individuals who was present on the day of the attempted coup at the Capitol, one of those GOP members who refused to wear a face mask when they were all clustered in together in one room. See how well that worked out.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: mg
Date: 09 Feb 21 - 02:17 AM

they should have been shoved out of the room and left to face whatever in the halls.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 09 Feb 21 - 07:16 AM

The delivery for our grocery order was cancelled because of the weather last night. Theyíve rescheduled for tonight but Iím not sure that things are any better Ė there is a bit more snow in our garden. Wiltshire Farms (frozen ready made meals) did deliver in the morning and between that an a few other items, we are reasonably well stocked with things to eat so weíre OK for a few more days by which time, this cold snap should be over with.

The two organisations (one morning and afternoon and another night time) that move dad (who can now only transfer himself between chairs, bed, etc. but not walk safely) to/fro bed and toilet have both cancelled. Iíd debated trying to take this on for a while and wanted to start by taking on the lunchtime duty but the lot (which involves pushing him around on the commode chair Ė the wheelchair wonít get through the bathroom door or between my parentís beds) has fallen on me now. So far so good.

Iíd donít suppose we have that much snow by the standards of other countries but I donít suppose we are as well prepared either. I also imagine that the councils will be hit by staff shortages because of Covid. Iím still sometimes a little puzzled when there are difficulties reaching our house. Most of my time in N Wales was uphill and to a village of about 40 houses spread out over a mile. You expect to be low priority* and for little snow to make transport difficult then but Norfolk is flat and Iím on the main trunk route between Cromer and Norwich.

Iím on my last day of logs near the house. Iím not sure if Iím going to go down the field to get more or whether we will rely on electricity for the next couple of days. Iíll have to see how I feel tomorrow. The jobís been made a bit more difficult because (on top of the snow) the chap who was supposed to stack the new load of logs we got called off on Sunday (maybe too windy, no snow then or maybe some other reason Ė heís very useful and works hard for his, in normal times here, hour a week but heís quite prone to cancelling and his autism type problems mean he either needs supervision or careful instruction for a new job to him). Iíll have to move a little bit of the pile to get a barrow to the second shed Ė probably not that bad reallyÖ

Iíve just been on Amazon and ordered more bedding for dad. Which really brings me on to something else. We really must get round to sorting out the green shed, which is where we have to keep some of this stuff, this summer. Itís piled up with stuff thatís no longer needed and it can be very difficult to find what you do want in there. I had suggested that they (Iíve got my own sorted) start from scratch with bedding and maybe these purchases have just brought that a bit forward a little. Seems the easiest way out of a couple of accidents and difficulties drying things quickly here atm anyway.

In the meanwhile Iíve played a bit more with an attempt at designing and making an RC traction engine.



*There was the occasion when they had a good 4 snow ploughs working up there. It was believed that Mr Johnson, who was quite high up in the council, had played merry hell that he couldnít get out of his house and Llandudnoís fleet of vehicles got redirected to Pydew!

**I used to love that first time round as a kid. The slightest bit of snow would stop the bus and meant a day of school.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 09 Feb 21 - 09:44 AM

Grocery delivery is available in Stratford, Stilly, but at a price that I am not yet willing to pay. Also, I am not ready to delegate the selection of fruit and veg to anyone less critical than a four-star chef or a Chinese granny.

Yes, the stuff I hauled out to the curb was moved from Ottawa. I did a hell of a lot of disencumbrance before packing started, but hesitated to purge stuff that belonged to Edmund before we got married, such as his accumulation of cake pans, and office stuff that he would just go out and buy more of, such as three-ring binders and boxes for file cards. Of course, he went out and bought more three-ring binders anyway, but that was how he rolled.

Part of the family legacy I found myself stuck with after my father's death is a group of large portfolios containing lots and lots of stuff that I haven't looked at in at least fifteen years. Today, I'm wondering whether I can consolidate the contents sufficiently to free up a portfolio for our accumulation of credentials, diplomas and "certificates suitable for framing". Then I'll get out my hand-drill and screwdriver and hang some pictures.

Stratford is having real Canadian winter this week, with lots of snow, daytime highs well below freezing, and enough windchill to get the radio announcers all excited about frostbite. This area is notorious for snow squalls, one result of the "lake effect", so the town is well equipped with plows and snow-blowers. Even a really substantial dump -- by which I mean more than eight inches -- does not slow Stratford down for long. The most important hazards are snow drifting across the roads, and slick ice under the drifted snow, which cause more collisions and ditchings than practically anything but stupidity and drunkenness. Snow tires are now required by law, but there are days when I would really like chains, or even the studded tires that were banned because they literally tore the asphalt off the highway. Now, when conditions are like that, I just stay home, and thank my lucky stars that I can.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Feb 21 - 12:38 PM

Long gone are the days when I had chains in the trunk, studded snow tires in the garage and radial tires for the rest of the year. We are also due a deep-freeze for a few days later this week (16o is very cold for us, and a challenge for my greenhouse heater).

I see on my Facebook page a friend in New York who is sporting a new cast over a compound fracture of the radius after a slip on the ice on Sunday. Stay safe out there as winter makes another pass over the continent!

Good luck with sorting that shed, Jon. You have a hard job ahead of you. That little steam engine you've made looks good - and is a rewarding distraction! I would try chair yoga exercises with your parents to see if you can't help with that dexterity and ability to shift spaces more easily.

My ex is trying to sort out the county COVID instructions; it looks like he was due for a vaccine today but they sent the email earlier this morning and say they'll send him an email with more instructions about his appointment. Even rational smart people are having to think twice about the conflicting information that comes out of these agencies trying to vaccinate several million people. Apparently Texas has managed to vaccinate three million people so far.

I had the devil of a time sorting out what was going on with my old White Rotary sewing machine yesterday. Lots of "birdsnest" tangles where the bobbin tension was messed up. I finally realized that this was happening after I'd tried a new technique for winding the bobbins to put more thread on them. I was winding them too tight and messed up the tension. I adjusted the bobbin tension (a screw on the case) before I realized what was up, so now I need to get the bobbin case tension back where it belongs. After a year of sewing on these masks I made one small change and it rippled out into the machine. On the bright side, when I took off the bobbin housing to see if there was a buildup of lint I spotted a screw that normally holds the feed dog faceplate down. There were originally three screws on the plate but I've only ever had two. And one was lost a couple of cleanings back. It had rolled inside the space near the feed dogs and it was a bugger to pick up but it's out and in its hole on the faceplate again.

Charmion, I also have a lot of art around here that isn't on the walls. I'd like to put up some of it, and arrange a few rooms to have a better look. I've been lazy about moving furniture and not moving the art to match the new placement.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Feb 21 - 01:22 AM

I am hoping that tomorrow's trip to get my second shot doesn't become an expedition like Dorothy makes onto her porch to get firewood, or pry the door open to get into the potting area. We're due really cold precipitation starting tomorrow, and I have a 10am appointment with the Pfizer vaccine that I am determined to attend.

I decided to put the down comforter on the bed for the next week or so. It isn't needed very often, but it does the trick when this kind of weather comes along. I made a duvet for it a couple of years ago that is a little too big, but keeps it in place better.

I'm drawing down stuff in the freezer as I make a series of pizzas on quarters of a large tandoori bread (a flat Iraqi bread made in a tandoori oven). A quarter of the bread makes about three slices and I'm defrosting peppers and mushrooms, Italian sausage, finishing up olives in the fridge, leftover pasta sauce. I found some Alfredo sauce in the freezer today so will switch to that for a few days (I have another couple of tandoori loaves in the freezer and lots of veggies that are great toppings). Every winter I start drawing down frozen stuff to make room for whatever I end up with in the garden this year. And this is a good way to stay frugal for February.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 10 Feb 21 - 05:50 PM

Beaver:

Chains! a facet of the good old days I am glad to be rid of!!!!

So, I managed to work 3 or 4 hours a day quite productively, since Friday. Content with production but still have lots to do... No crisis but I was feeling so excited about getting to the real stuff. But I was slow starting this am and after doing some essentials and some clearing up, realized I felt poorly.

So I have been in the house, wondering why and what to do about it. I have been careful to stay warm and eat well and take my vitamins, wore my mask in studio -for dust! No prediction of snow in the offing but it feels heavy. I have not been in public since Friday and only two very safe venues - the only customer both times. Anyway, the Health Unit for our county has lifted the stay home order, whatever that means. Well, it means we have no new cases, I guess. I just do not trust this sneaky thing. Nasty article on NPR about the incredible manner in which it is mutating.

Going to be very cold tonight and colder tomorrow and Friday: -24C(below 0F). Brought in lots of wood before I quit today. Cleared a bunch of old emails, read some things I had been putting off. Now, I will reconnect to the expensive internet for a bit to send this. Then I may just succumb to bed rest and hope for tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Feb 21 - 09:14 PM

Our line stood out in the sub-freezing weather long enough to end up with chapped faces, but nothing like Dorothy describes for this week. I got dog food yesterday and that was the only thing I needed grocery-wise, so the rest of the week I plan to stay in and stay warm.

I'm headed to bed early. I suspect my tiredness now is part of the effect of the vaccine. I've had a lot of water to drink and will take the Motrin alternated with Tylenol cocktail that was recommended by one of the medical staff. I'm participating in the CDC follow up with texts sent to me checking on how things are going. A text today asked if I'd gotten the second vaccine, had me set up the information, then asked how I felt. I expect a daily text for a week, then one a week for a couple of more weeks.

I have stuff to do this week, but won't push myself for a couple of days.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 11 Feb 21 - 08:03 AM

Beaver:

Right as rain this am and getting ready to go back to Dupont - colder weather - furnace beckons! Nice day to travel.

SRS: my friend on Whidbey described feverish etc after second shot - for a day or so.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Feb 21 - 08:38 AM

This morning is like a blast from the past - PMR in all of it's achiness. I'll be alternating Motrin and Tylenol today. And maybe go back to bed for a while.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 11 Feb 21 - 10:45 AM

Stratford is still locked down, so I consider myself still under house arrest. It's still a bit too chilly to tempt me outside for more than a trot to the mailbox.

The portfolio project resulted in a discovery that I have somehow avoided making for more than twenty-five years, and now I have to buy more portfolios, preferably of archival quality.

My father came from one of those Fine Old Families so called because they got off an earlier boat than most. Their disembarkation point was Quebec, and they started arriving with General Wolfe. They suffered most of the normal vicissitudes of 18th- and 19th-century life, but were particularly fortunate in that they were hit by only one major house fire, in the early 1870s. Consequently, they left lots of stuff, especially papers.

One of the long-unopened portfolios stacked on top of the bookcases in my library contained an overlooked trove of copies of the Quebec Mercury from the 1830s, when my great-great grandfather was a member of the colonial Legislative Assembly, and the Montreal Daily Star from the 1880s, when it was running history articles and anniversary anecdotes about the Patriote movement of 50 years previous. These newspapers were kept because they contained stories about members of the family. There was also a letter-book of business correspondence from the 1840s, rather a lot of photographic negatives (some of them glass) from the 19-teens, twenties and thirties, and a file of letters about my father's efforts to get into the war at its very beginning rather than wait for conscription as the British government preferred.

Notably, Dad wrote to Ottawa seeking a commission in the Royal Canadian Navy but was rejected on the grounds that he was not ... um ... Canadian. For the record, he was born in Montreal, and the family moved to England in 1924 when Granddad was hired for a major engineering project. In 1939, the difference with respect to citizenship between a Canadian and any other British subject born in Canada had yet to be established in law, but the Chief of Naval Operations was not taking any chances.

I have been moving these portfolios around since 1992, when my father died.

Under Dad's will, the (large) accumulation of family papers and photographs in his custody at the time of his death went to the Chaplin-Gugy Fonds at the National Archives of Canada. The portfolios were too big to fit into any of the several places where Dad kept papers, so they were missed in the Big Sweep. Now I have to contact the responsible archivist for a follow-up donation.

These days, civil servants such as archivists are working at home and therefore out of the reach of ordinary mortals such as I. So everything goes back where it was until the lockdown is over and people start trickling back to their offices and workshops. Whenever that will be.

Apart from that, I hung some pictures. Things look better already.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Feb 21 - 11:31 AM

What a treasure trove - and the former-library-worker-with-a-lot-of-time-in-Special-Collections in me is itching to put a few of those papers on a scanner and run them through an OCR and make them public. And to scan the images and negatives. It sounds like a huge project, but what a find!

I'll set up the slide scanner today and the first thing I need to do before scanning is set up two Access databases because I'll be scanning my own slides and the print documents from a box of my dad's that has, like your historic documents, been moved from house to house for over 20 years.

This morning the north-south freeway in town, I-35W, apparently had a chain collision of at least 50 vehicles north of downtown because of ice on roads and bridges. Some of the COVID testing has been postponed, and some of the shot clinics have been delayed, others not. This side of town is dry, but it's in the mid-20os so a line out the door is going to be a miserable place to stand for the 20-30 minutes it takes to get in the door.

Time to make a loaf of banana bread.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 11 Feb 21 - 05:34 PM

Wow, Charmion!

Almost all the archivists and other silly serpents are reachable through their office numbers and e-mail addresses on GEDS while they continue to work from home. (The archives used to name the archivists in the catalogue with the fonds for which they were responsible, but no more.)

If I can help, let me know.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Feb 21 - 06:50 PM

Went through my spice cabinet because I could not find my marjoram.

Apparently I bought new whenever I lost something in there. I found 3 cumins, for example.

Things are now separated into sweet (nutmeg etc) and salts and peppers on one shelf, the rest on the bottom ... Wait for it... Alphabetized.

Pourvu que Áa dure.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 05:22 AM

I screwed one of these spice racks to the outside of a cupboard door a couple of years ago.

I think it looks quite good there although it holds more spices than I really use (but we had [and still have] more than enough jars to fill the spaces when I bought the rack).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 09:11 AM

I like those spice racks, Jon, but I would never put one on the outside of a kitchen cupboard door. I would put it *inside*, where kitchen pollution (especially flying fat) won't reach it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 09:21 AM

Sure, Charmion, and I think your way is the more usual...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 09:31 AM

I'm moving books around again, this time to haul the last stragglers into the library and finally achieve consolidation. The cookbooks and Edmund's law books were still in the basement, where the cookbooks were too easy to not see, so I always eat the same things, and it's too dark to photograph the law books, which I must do if I'm to find them a new home. Occupying almost 2.5 metres of bookshelf, the law books are space hogs that I will never read. Though maybe I'll hang onto the most recent edition of Martin's Criminal Code ... You never know; it might come in handy.

A bit of pruning in the British history section is in order, too, especially to unload most of the many volumes by and about Sir Winston Churchill. I'm counting on the end of lockdown to unleash the power of the second-hand book market, such as it is these days.

Then I'll tackle the dozens and hundreds of CDs stored in ever-so-special plastic boxes. Edmund would never let me part with even one, but I find myself unwilling to give houseroom to the entire accumulation. I actively dislike Bob Dylan and can take only a little John Prine at any given time, but Edmund had the complete works; he also loved Wilson Pickett, whose oeuvre leaves me cold. The Brother-In-Law is a music nerd with a fetish for recording artists of the 70s and 80s, so he can be counted on to take some off my hands -- he asked me the other day if I had "any Dylan" to spare. He should be careful about wishing.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 09:36 AM

This is the best Bob Dylan song...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 11:10 AM

My mother collected cookbooks, and I have managed to put them all in the kitchen for now, though with no guests visiting they aren't their usual conversation starter selves. Some of them are a bit on the odd side and are a great novelty act. I'm willing to bet those odd ones were never subjected to a test kitchen.

That sounds like an impressive CD collection. I don't play CDs often, just an occasional splurge to fill the five-disc tray and give them a listen. My huge collection was a $20 windfall at a garage sale with the remnants of an estate sale. A large bin with a note on top "All Classical" that dismissed the contents as irrelevant to modern living. The woman running the sale said no one would buy those, she'd give the lot to me for $20. I scrambled to a nearby convenience store and got a $20 and they helped me carry the heavy bin to the truck. Over 300 discs from an apparent academic who compared versions of various pieces for students (is my guess). And some marvelous works that I never would have found on my own. Big name publishers, and something I've enjoyed over the years, but with so much coming from the radio and streaming, gradually getting less attention.

I'm past the worst of the vaccine side effects. The ache is 95% gone and a little Tylenol will chase off the rest of it, but I'll still stay close to home for a while. Our weather is even colder today, in the low-20s, so there is no going out if I can avoid it. I imagine the heater in the greenhouse has popped a circuit breaker and the avocado tree is probably history.

I have a cupboard full of spices, with two of the shelves having small Rubbermaid type lazy Susan plates to turn to find things. The stuff in the middle of each round is used less but stuff is grouped logically so I can find what I need; mine are arranged for main-dish seasoning on the bottom and baking and dessert type seasoning on the next shelf up. The top shelf holds the canning, pickling, preservation related stuff. I have a three-shelf wire rolling cart that has all in the top basket and a bin full of overflow tea packages on the middle shelf. The rest of it is pans and cooking implements (stick blender and attachments, pizza stone, etc.) It sits at the end of the peninsula counter most of the time. I move it out of the way when we have some big family cooking project going.

Oh, look, the forecast says the cold will continue and we're due snow on the weekend. I'm joining my Canadian and New England friends in the deep freeze.

I'll go play some CDs now. It seems like a good day for Thomas Tallis and Berlioz. :)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 01:35 PM

My galley kitchen has absolutely no room for cookbooks, so they are now in the shelving closest to the library door. Iíll pass them on the way to and from the bathroom, and might even flip a few pages for new supper ideas.

Thoí thereís only so much you can do with a grilled chicken breast and green beans.

Jon, I love that Eric Bogle song. Thanks for posting the link.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 08:28 PM

Dupont:

Dishes and laundry done. Car unloaded and stuff put away. Roast in oven. Oops- new scones are in freezer but need to be bagged and put in "big" freezer. Emails dealt. Long one written in response to post by dear musician friend seeking her "pronouns". Told her whatever her pronouns are, we won't remember, and we love her whoever she chooses to be. Or he.

We have plenty of CDs from various local musician friends. They are around somewhere. We seem to prefer silence at home and really have no way to play them! Ghetto blaster cannot be found. Sometimes listen to some on computer. A couple terrific virtual events recently. Usually, I miss them.

I have a spice cabinet my bro was throwing away about 40 years ago, with a door. It sits on a ledge in the K.The bottles used to be alphabetical but unfortunately it only holds those spice sized bottles and my herbs are mostly in larger jars. I end up looking through both it and the cupboards, forgetting where I put what. I even forget the basil and oregano are right there on the counter in nice pots I made years ago.

Fire in stove! Cold out there! That "accident" near SRS was major on Canadian news! Glad you were not in it!

Like Charmion, I stay home but for the need for groceries. I never seem to have a handle on what the rules are either here or Beaver. The area around Beaver lifted the stay home order; I have no idea what meaning that has. I only went to those two shops and the Credit Union which was also vacant. And the bakery on the way for the new supply of muffins and scones. Also vacant! And very well organized. My order was bagged when I arrived and I had only to pay Chelsea and chat briefly from a distance. Staying safe is all that matters.

I will continue to be a home body. Or keep good distance; tomorrow we go to see a house for Rob's cousin. Separate vehicles. I may try the rural hardware for indoor gardening needs. And nasturtium seeds while there are some.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 11:37 PM

Dorothy, I'm grateful my daughter wasn't in it. She drives that route a couple of times a week, though not usually that early and I think she takes an exit just north of where the accident happened. And doesn't take the express lanes. But still. Everyone who was hurt or died have people who love them and are in shock right now. I have enjoyed driving that route a few times, the construction took forever but it's an efficient way to miss traffic - I imagine that after the accident has been completely investigated, that section of road will be full of shards of glass and metal and need to be repaved. 133 vehicles is the final number I read last night.

I have the second sample of fabric I have been trying to design from Joann's Fabrics. The first sample came with the colors reversed in a couple of the pattern parts. The second one was better but the pattern was too large. They seem to be haphazard in how they produce these. I tried compensating for the first error and it didn't work. I've sent in another one this evening. I'd like to get this for a project I started working on about six weeks ago. Each sample has the design ID and I see an email address also, so next time I'll send an email if they can't get it the way I want and see if that helps.

Time to file the taxes. That's always nice to cross off of my list of things to do.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Feb 21 - 11:31 AM

The Free Fillable Forms on the irs.gov site are for anyone to use, you don't need to have high income to be eligible (and I never use the free tax services on the low income side of the screen). It took me a few tries to get every line and form filled and added, and I had a math error (got about $40 more back than I thought I would). The free file forms were the bugger - the eFile document asks you to sort while the tax form asks you to lump. I am guessing it's to confirm you have the correct forms, but anyway, it finally went through to the IRS and I'll get an email in a couple of days saying whether the IRS accepted it or not. If they don't they'll tell me where the error is.

Getting that out of the way now is nice because last year I took a long time to get around to it since I knew I'd owe money. I have it set so I have enough withheld to cover the contractor income. Last time it took a chunk of the stimulus check (the feds gave with one hand and took with the other). Probably too much information, but it shows that just because one is retired it doesn't mean your taxes are any easier. And I curse Ronald Reagan for deciding to start collecting income tax on Social Security.

We won't be above freezing until next week on Friday, so the days coming up will be interesting. I've thought about either dragging in the big plastic dog houses from the garage or setting up a couple of larger boxes on their side and sliding in dog beds to give the dogs more sheltered places to sleep than just in the open air on beds on the floor. They don't sleep on my bed (then I couldn't sleep in my bed.) Or I could put flattened cardboard boxes around the kennel that one and often two dogs at a time sleep in, and slide one of the dog beds back into the closet in my office. The puppy outgrew her "jacket" and I'm sure the pet supply stores are out by now. I can make an adjustment and put it on her, but I fear she'll just pull it off and tear it up. She has such a thin coat but she moves fast, so maybe she'll just burn energy in the yard and be okay. They come and go as they want through a dog door.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 14 Feb 21 - 10:53 AM

I have started working my way through Edmund's mountainous backlog of papers. Yesterday, I went through two huge three-ring binders of song lyrics, an indexed print-out of the Cannabis Act in another huge three-ring binder, and literally stacks of trial transcripts, scholarly papers and JAG publications. Much of the stuff in the binders was carefully preserved in plastic page-protectors, so now I have an enormous quantity of plastic page-protectors looking for a new home ... Freecycle, obviously.

The next target is a stack of great, fat, Cerlox-bound volumes of reference materials from the National Criminal Law Program, which usually runs concurrently with the annual conference of the Canadian Bar Association. At first, I thought I should find a lawyer to give them to, but then I realized that all that stuff is available for download from the CBA website. Edmund hated using references in electronic form that he could not scrawl or stick Post-its on, or bedizen with yellow highlighter ink, hence the great proliferation of three-ring binders bulging with tattered pages.

I won't start ripping apart the Cerlox for another week, however; the blue box is already almost full, and another day's gleanings will make it too heavy for me to haul out to the curb.

The more I read about Stilly's efforts to keep her dogs happy, the gladder I am to be a cat person. Mind you, I like dogs just fine, but I am delighted not to have to share a house with even one, let alone three. The next time Watson follows me around the house yelling to be picked up and carried, or Isobel chucks up her breakfast in the middle of the kitchen floor, I must remember to thank them for providing comparatively low-maintenance companionship.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Feb 21 - 08:40 PM

I finally found a way to use PayPal to print USPS shipping for first class, surface, and media mail. The post office won't let me print anything but Priority or Express. I just bought a whole bunch of stamps to use on light first class parcels because I don't want to go into the post office, but one of them came back covered with postal stickers saying it can't be thicker than a half-inch, blah blah blah. They don't like the stamps, I could have printed the postage and it would have been fine. What nonsense. I make sure they're lighter than 7 ounces and that should be sufficient (more than that and they'll be returned if mailed in a box. Over 7 ounces must be handed to a postal worker so they see the human shipping it.) So now I'll gradually use up the stamps, and use the PayPal shipping. Debra Cowan put a note on my Instagram account after another friend put a note on my Instagram account. It took a lot of looking to find the service. You'd think they wouldn't hide it.

The now is lovely, quiet, but not very deep. It's really cold (for here) so it isn't going anywhere. Only a few vehicles have driven past all day. I'll pull out my heavy boots for tomorrow and see about going out with the camera. I wonder if I can catch any bird activity in the woods across the road?

I'm still trying to diagnose the problem with the Whilte sewing machine. It throws birdsnest wads of thread usually when I change direction, often in the middle of a line of stitching. Something is slipping, not holding up it's end of the operation. I don't thing there is a clutch inside the directional part, but that's the best way to describe it, the clutch is slipping. As it happens there is a sewing machine repair place a half-mile from here and they have good reviews. I've been there a time or two in the last 20 years. I'll give them a call. This machine is old, but very commonplace. White built all of the Kenmore machines for decades, and several other brand names. I'm not headed over until the snow clears, though.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 15 Feb 21 - 02:08 PM

Dupont:

OF course when there is an accident we immediately think of those for whom we care personally. Every person counts and every one of these brings thoughts of the families of those lost. I do think that, in the midst of this pandemic, when hundreds are dying daily, I am overwhelmed. 89 more in Quebec yesterday and I have no idea whether I knew any of them, or their families. It becomes overwhelming. Grief is ingrained and we must keep our heads above water.

A story in Atlantic about reactions to second shot is very concerning. I worried out loud about getting a shot in Ontario and being at Beaver alone; Robin said firmly that he would go with me when my turn comes up. I almost wept out loud.

Charmion's flood of PAPER causes me to think about what I might be able to part with sooner rather than later. Narrow it down to paper the heirs might find interesting. Meanwhile, the pile of sewing projects has not yet been touched! Maybe today??

Everything that needs doing in the house is done and I found a plastic bin that was being used for "fire starters" could be, and is emptied to be used for the indoor garden project, now ready to begin. I already emptied the first pot into it. These are the pots in which plants have succumbed. But not to worry, I have numerous cuttings of the various tomatoes, coming right along. And spring!! For tomatoes- the end of May up here!

R kept the plants alive while I was away - some just barely. A little more instruction. Today he actually carried the watering jugs upstairs! The upstairs faucet is only low so I fill gallons in the K and set them on the steps until next trip up. Throw the empties down! Energy savings - my own.

Another 5 inches expected - Charmion too. Already over two feet on back deck.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Feb 21 - 07:30 PM

The lockdown in Huron and Perth counties ends tonight at midnight, and tomorrow Iím getting a haircut. Appointment confirmed and everything. I can hardly wait.

While Iím at it, Iíll hit the pet shop for a bag of cat litter, the drug store for probiotics to help my poor abused guts, and the supermarket for coffee cream. What larks!

We will be an Orange zone again, but we wonít be going back to the rules we had last fall; the Ministry of Health has imposed more restrictions on restaurants and small shops. I almost donít care if I have to wear a respirator and a HAZMAT suit ó Iím going out for dinner as soon as I can book a table!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 17 Feb 21 - 08:33 AM

This morning, weíve been thinking a little on things to grow to eat. Following a recommendation in the food thread, I now have some Nicola seed potatoes on order. Iíve also ordered some tomato, aubergine, sweet pepper, cucumber and courgette seeds. A related task is to repair the greenhouse which lost a couple of its front panels in the winds. Iíll measure up and get some cut to size acrylic sheet ordered soon.

Our cold snap is over and temperatures are now up to 10C daytime. There is still bits of snow in parts sheltered from the sun but for the most part, you wouldnít know the whole ground had been white last week. Thatís probably it for the year except, gardening wise, I donít think of ourselves being free from the possibilities of heavy frosts until May 1st and, heating wise, I have lit the woodburner for the evening as late as June in at least one past year. Coming back to outside now, I noticed some nice patches of snowdrops with some in bloom this morning.

I toyed with getting a new computer (or parts of) for my desktop the other day as problems with USB seemed to be getting worse and I suspected both motherboard and the front ports on the caseÖ Most of the problems however seem to have come down to one faulty lead so the computer can stay as it is for a while longer.

Having started with something on the computer thatís needed looking at for a whileÖ I also finally got round to having a bit of a tidy up and deleted loads of files. I even got round to backing up onto a portable USB drive I have! rsync's a handy tool when I remember what to do and get round to using it...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: leeneia
Date: 18 Feb 21 - 12:38 PM

Hello, Jon. Have you ever grown snow peas or sugar peas? It sounds like now would be a good time for you to start them.

They are one of the few vegetables I have managed to grow successfully, mostly because the local critters don't seem to know they can be eaten.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Feb 21 - 10:50 PM

Power is back after being off for four days. Despite going to bed early last night and getting a good night's sleep, I'm exhausted. The business of staying warm enough to stay alive is exhausting. Here is a set of remarks I wrote for a few friends (vie email):

The power is finally back on, as of 5:30 this evening (Thursday). It went out at 2:30am on Monday morning. What a long week those four days were. It turns out we had a double-whammy in the neighborhood, not just was the power out for the region, but there was a popped circuit feeding into this neighborhood. So while across the street got power on Tuesday night, ours never came back, and the power companies wouldn't know what was broken until they started turning on the power to see what wasn't up yet. I feel like I was in the control group for a natural experiment.

The dogs are probably confused; this was a very intense period and we were all sleeping in the same space for warmth, after I moved bedding into my closet. After the first night they settled right in, and I suspect if I took them camping now they'd be great with spending the night in a tent.

I've begun dismantling my heating stations of candles and terracotta pots, but everything is still in the house in case the power goes off for another extended period. The next door neighbors asked if I had a long power cord and they plugged it into an unused power bank on the generator and I stretched it to my back door. I got the freezer plugged in in time to save the contents (I never opened it at all during that period). My fridge had a lot of stuff to go, and in the freezer all of the frozen veggies are gone. I need to do something fast with a bunch of blueberries and strawberries. Maybe make syrup. Some of the meat I can cook and refreeze in prepared dishes, or eat fast this week. Some stuff (like the shrimp) is supposed to stay frozen until used, so it's going out in the trash in the morning.

Stores are going to be empty for a while because they lost power and will be tossing all of the defrosted and warm food; everyone who has food left in their houses needs to keep eating it for a while until the marketplace catches up with the demand of millions of households that had to throw out a lot of food all at once.

Meanwhile, stuff got moved all around this week. My closet was emptied of all of the clothes on one side and a cabinet on the other, so I could set up a stack of inflated backpacking pads for me and a pallet for the dogs, and we spent three nights sleeping in there. It was so much warmer than anywhere else would have been. I spent the last several days devising ways to stay warm and retrieved things from the garage and moved stuff from one room to the next. Some of the house is neat, some is a jumble. And I need a shower. We are asked not to run a lot of appliances now, to keep power use modest because the system is still recovering. The laundry can wait, but once the tank is hot I think a bath is in order.

I have a lot of catching up to do, and have my fingers crossed we're not in the middle of a sequence of rolling blackouts.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Feb 21 - 09:54 AM

Oh gawd, where to begin.

I moved so much stuff around during the days of trying to keep us all warm and now it's all staring me in the face. I'll assemble my closet first, returning all of the clothes on one side and a cabinet for shoes and accessories. Last night the dogs were all ready to pile in again, but I'd pulled out the my pallet so they wouldn't mangle my down bag or step on the inflatable pads with those nails of theirs. There are three chew toys in there I'll return to circulation in the living room and pick up the rest of the bedding they used.

We're being cautious about power; the thermostats are pushed down to the low-60s. I am doing only one discretionary large appliance chore today: dishwasher. When you have bowls used for eating, bowls used for washing faces, when lots of spoiled fridge stuff was tossed and those containers need cleaning, all of that needs a trip through the dishwasher. Tomorrow I'll run the washer (it's supposed to warm up after today's low of 17o).

I fear as it thaws my yard will reveal the damage. Even well-adapted plants will be impacted by this. I'm hoping my big trees survived. I fear I will have lost a lot of shrubs and all of the succulents. That's a job come spring-time weather.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: mg
Date: 19 Feb 21 - 09:45 PM

did people just put their frozen food out in the snow and ice?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Feb 21 - 12:50 AM

It's not actually a good idea to do that. https://www.dallasnews.com/food/2021/02/15/do-not-store-your-food-outside-if-you-lose-power-heres-why/

Snow isn't a substitute for the freezer and food that is in sunlight can start to thaw because of solar gain. If you can't open that article, they link to the USDA Winter Weather Food Safety article.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 20 Feb 21 - 06:32 AM

Sorry to read you've had a rough time, SRS, but good to see you back on line.

Leenia, we have grown ordinary peas some years with varying degrees of success but not those. They could be started now but Iím not really a fan of the mangetout types.

Iím trying to think what we will be growingÖ The potatoes will take up one of our 2 remaining squares. Iíll want to put leeks (which I think are the most reliable veg going) in the long thin bed later in the year. There is another bit where weíll put a row of French climbing beans. Weíll probably put spinach and/or chard along 2 sides of the other square and I guess the rest of it can be for brassica. I really need to make sure we get varieties with good club root resistance this yearÖ

Then there are the tubs. Two had rhubarb planted in them last year so Iím hoping that comes up ok. Iíve got a few of a new potato that Iím going to try in another couple of tubs. Yet another two or three will have courgettes in. That leaves me with four or five to put I donít know what yet in.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 20r
From: Charmion
Date: 20 Feb 21 - 09:46 AM

Reading about the travails of Texas, Iím gobsmacked by how much more awful conditions were made by the state governmentís policy of avoiding federal intervention at apparently any cost.

When eastern Canada was hit by a giant ice storm in 1998, federal intervention helped the provincial and municipal governments immeasurably ó not least by calling out the armed forces, both regular and reserves, to help the police, utility companies, public health authorities and social service agencies. The massive maple tree that blocked one end of my street in Ottawa was cut up and hauled away by soldiers from Petawawa, and the streets of blacked-out Montreal were patrolled by soldiers from Valcartier while the police searched the high-rise apartment buildings for trapped residents. Combat and construction engineers from all over the country deployed to help power workers rebuild crushed and tumbled hydro towers.

Did the governor of Texas at least mobilize the National Guard?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Feb 21 - 01:15 PM

I'm not sure what the Governor did, but FEMA has been busy around the state. There is a community fridge project in town that has three locations (so far) and I've been a regular contributor, but haven't gotten out for over a week. I can have Amazon deliver things from their "Wish list" directly to their location, but when I looked in this morning stuff won't arrive for another week. I have some things here I can take up in a day or two once getting out is possible and the place I where want to pick up more is open.

I have things in the garden that usually over-winter and I continue to use each year, like onion plants. I cut a few of the green onions and use them regularly, sometimes digging up the bulb (when left like this they're more like leeks), but I think they finally froze so hard to have died. I'll be digging up or plowing in everything out there. And I fear nurseries will have been hit hard as far as bedding plants. I'm sure stuff will be transported in from Florida, but I think I'll set up the small pots and start a lot of stuff by seed to be ready for planting in the next six to eight weeks. If the garlic was killed I have a lot of corms that I can plant, though there won't be any kind of a crop this year, they should be planted in the fall. My bay tree will have been killed this year, and everything in pots.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Feb 21 - 11:44 PM

Last Sunday it was beginning, the snow was on the ground at dawn, power went out later that night overnight. Tomorrow it's supposed to be sunny and 60o. And when I listen to my local organic gardening radio show we will all commiserate about the plants in our gardens that have died and need removal and possible replacement.

I've found most of the things that got moved around during the week (there was one charging cable that I finally found next to the UPS - if I'd had the wit to turn off everything attached to it it wouldn't have run down and turned off and I could have charged the phone and tablet on it all week easily.) My small power backup I use for the phone died this week and I've ordered a new one and also ordered a propane stove that will be here for emergencies. I'll have to go to a store to buy the metal propane bottles, those don't ship. Sterno was a lifesaver and I still have some, but it would be a lot faster cooking with propane and is safe to burn indoors. Some of the other camp stoves need to be used outside and that simply wouldn't have happened as cold as this week was.

I am pleased to report that the new freezer came through this episode like a champ. The old one (it was 50 years old) would not have done such a good job (from past experience). I didn't open the upright freezer at all and after being without power for three days I plugged it into the neighbor's generator and let it run all night. When I did finally open it I could see that the berries in their bags were still perfectly shaped separate pieces - they didn't get soft and become a blob that refroze. The ultimate test.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 21 Feb 21 - 05:55 AM

Charmion, you might remember that, during the ice storm, hydro workers resented the military work ethic. Rather than approaching their tasks with the effort that would meet expectations, the soldiers revived the expeditionary work ethic of two world wars: "Let's get this done so we can go home." Sappers get s*** done, and get it done even faster if they have pioneers and Herbies to do the grunt work.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Feb 21 - 07:30 AM

I have decided to dispose of Edmundís beer fridge, which lives in the garage. It was in this house when we moved in, and several of its interior fittings are cracked or broken so I donít think I can sell it. Itís old enough that Iím sure itís a power hog.

Most of Edmundís hoard of beer went to his brother and I drank the Perrier, so now the beer fridge is empty except for containers of soup stock in the freezer compartment. Those can go in the chest freezer.

It snowed again yesterday, but now the sky is clear and a thaw is coming. Some of the downtown restaurants have reopened, so I may take a little stroll downtown for coffee. Not that I need other peopleís coffee, but a destination is always nice.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Feb 21 - 09:44 AM

Good on yer, Charmion.

One of my adult kids asked for their birth certificate, prompting the excavation of my big corner cabinet's bottom half where I'd been randomly stuffing papers since we moved oh, 8 years ago now. It yielded a large pile of things to shred, a larger pile of things to recycle, and an unfortunately largest pile of things to keep, which I now need to go back through and sort.

And I did have the birth certificates. In a folder, even.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Feb 21 - 10:27 AM

Mrrzy, back in 2002 The New Yorker published a review by Malcolm Gladwell called "The Social Life of Paper: Looking for method in the mess." From that article:


Paper enables a certain kind of thinking. Picture, for instance, the top of your desk. Chances are that you have a keyboard and a computer screen off to one side, and a clear space roughly eighteen inches square in front of your chair. What covers the rest of the desktop is probably pilesópiles of papers, journals, magazines, binders, postcards, videotapes, and all the other artifacts of the knowledge economy. The piles look like a mess, but they aren't. When a group at Apple Computer studied piling behavior several years ago, they found that even the most disorderly piles usually make perfect sense to the piler, and that office workers could hold forth in great detail about the precise history and meaning of their piles. The pile closest to the cleared, eighteen-inch-square working area, for example, generally represents the most urgent business, and within that pile the most important document of all is likely to be at the top. Piles are living, breathing archives. Over time, they get broken down and resorted, sometimes chronologically and sometimes thematically and sometimes chronologically and thematically; clues about certain documents may be physically embedded in the file by, say, stacking a certain piece of paper at an angle or inserting dividers into the stack.

But why do we pile documents instead of filing them? Because piles represent the process of active, ongoing thinking. The psychologist Alison Kidd, whose research Sellen and Harper refer to extensively, argues that "knowledge workers" use the physical space of the desktop to hold "ideas which they cannot yet categorize or even decide how they might use." The messy desk is not necessarily a sign of disorganization. It may be a sign of complexity: those who deal with many unresolved ideas simultaneously cannot sort and file the papers on their desks, because they haven't yet sorted and filed the ideas in their head. Kidd writes that many of the people she talked to use the papers on their desks as contextual cues to "recover a complex set of threads without difficulty and delay" when they come in on a Monday morning, or after their work has been interrupted by a phone call. What we see when we look at the piles on our desks is, in a sense, the contents of our brains.


I still lose track of things in the piles if a pile gets moved sometimes I have to go hunting. And periodically I do file and shred. But there is often something to the "I know it's in here somewhere" instinct that lets you dig around and find what you need. "Situation awareness" is the concept.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Feb 21 - 11:08 AM

Itís tempting to believe that people with messy desks are more productive or creative than neatniks, but thatís just not so. After training as an archivist and then working many years as an editor, I am phobic about piles of paper for fear of mixing up versions of a manuscript. Iím also afraid of losing bills so they donít get paid, or misplacing tax-related documents so I end up filing late.

Okay, I admit it ó Iím compulsive. Itís thirty years since I missed a bill payment or a tax deadline. But I consider that compulsion more of a solution than a problem.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Feb 21 - 12:13 PM

I wouldn't say that everything goes in the stack. And really important things that can't stand to get versions mixed up live in their own folders or files.

That said, going back through the stacks is a sort of archeological dig. Sometimes there is treasure in there!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 21 Feb 21 - 01:40 PM

Dupont:

Glad Maggie's ordeal is over. I'm sure the dogs helped! And glad to see plans being made for the just in case...

As I look forward to spring arriving someday - End of May! But continue to nurture the various tomato shoots and mature plants that are producing more cuttings and a couple "dead" pepper plants that are sending out new life! One that just gave me a small yellow pepper has stayed healthy and looks to be starting a new bud! These small signs of new and continuing life are helpful to the mental health.

For a cool climate: I was delighted to break up my sorrel plant into a dozen last fall and look forward to having fresh greens before the snow is off the ground at Beaver. I gave up growing garlic as I never use it but it grew prolifically through Ontario winters. I would dig it, give most of it away and plant another few. When I sold the farm in 99, there was some planted...

I have been coasting this last week, doing very little but finding I need to do SOMETHING out of the chair every hour or so! This am I even dusted the never used DR table! I had planned to go back to Beaver today but the sporadic gut thing is back and the idea of keeping a daily record so I would get a handle on the cause... Well, that never seems to work for me.

A new bathroom sink is in our future. The main bath has one with ridges in it - attractive I guess but a pain to clean. Several hours on the web last night, I finally bit the bullet - Wayfair turned out to be the ONLY source for a "drop in, no faucet holes sink". Home Depot in Niagara Falls has them; that is in the USA they are easily available but Home Depot - after two "chats" - in Canada does NOT. Nor any other - after googling two pages... THEN R wondered if he could get the old one out and decided he might have to break it but that's ok. After he left this am, I took an unwanted table knife and small hammer to it. The old sink is loose and the new one ordered!

Building on that success maybe I will get the cauliflower soup and a veggie stew made for the next week's planned overs. And spend a few minutes on the front steps in the sun a couple short stints of fresh air.

As for filing: I have a nice OLD oak filing cabinet which was beside my desk in many abodes and things got filed forthwith. Now, it is at the Mill along with a lot of other unmoved stuff. But I have spots for important papers both here and at Beaver. They are almost filed. And I find that lots of what I once filed away to look at later, well... It is all on the web anyway. And most bills are paid on-line.

Hope the daffodils survived, SRS!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Feb 21 - 11:02 PM

We've gone from ice to mud very quickly here. This evening I finished mopping the muddy footprints from across the den floor and took a broom out to start pushing the lava sand onto the lawn. It works to prevent slipping on ice but it is terribly gritty and tracks in easily.

I'm also looking at battery packs for the house. My sister recommended one and I have an electrical engineer friend out in West Texas who is set for anything. I'll run this question past him. My computer UPS isn't meant to run for a long time, just a few minutes. These other power supplies are meant for running a lamp, charging phones and equipment, over time.

The last of the big protein packages from the freezer is finished. The pollock was frosty still but definitely thawing when the power came back on. I moved it and two packages of beef into the fridge and I cooked the beef over the last two nights (a lot goes back into the freezer now). This evening the fish went into a large batch of Whiting Stew and I'll share some of this tomorrow.

Yesterday I talked to a couple of friends about their camp stoves and then decided to get the Coleman two-burner propane or butane fuel camp stove. It's meant for emergencies here and it can be used indoors. That's the trouble with my old camp stoves, they run on gas and would have to be used outside. When it's zero degrees I'm not going to go outside to cook.

I finished emptying the stock pots and tubs that were holding water for several days in case we had to start boiling water. I feel bad pouring it out because lots of people are still boiling and still getting bottled water, but no one is coming over here to get stock pots full of water. Pots put away give me more room again and the house is continuing to improve after the disruption last week.

The best way to view it from the dogs' standpoint is that we went on a four-day three-night camping trip in my closet. I think they enjoyed themselves and though I knew (in particular) that Cookie was cold, she had a jacket she wore for four days straight and never bothered it.

It isn't funny yet, no one is telling stories of humorous things that happened, though I'm sure some did. Everyone is winding down from the stress of it, and many people are working with local mutual aid projects to help provide food and water and blankets and such. I'll be shopping tomorrow and taking food up to the fridge (I started doing that several months ago.) I'm still working at wrapping my brain around my usual daytime activities—I keep forgetting to do stuff that I always did every day before this. Getting back into that old routine is not coming as easily as one might expect.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 05:48 AM

I turn my PC off after 5 minutes of a power cut. I do that to try and keep the router and the base station for the Dect landline phones alive for as long as I can. Iíve no idea how long it does last but I think it would be hours rather than days.

Thinking phones and batteries, I got a new mobile phone last week as I was fed up with the battery life with the one I had which had gone down to barely lasting a day just idling and changing a battery on that phone looked quite a task. Having got the new one, I decided to have a play with the old one which I wiped, put Lineage OS 17.1 on and set up with the apps I wanted.

Itís just sat on my desk for the last 24 hrs and the battery is still showing a good 90%+ charge. Iím wondering now, whether the new custom ROM can really be that much better than the stock WileyFox one Ė I canít see that? What update or change may have occurred to make the battery life so bad Ė Iíd not made any changes around the time things started to deteriorate. Or whether Iíll start to see what looks like battery problems in a couple of days time.   As I stands though I seem to have a pretty decent back up phone for my needs.

While on the phones, I also put the battery in my first smart phone, a Galaxy Ace 2 and found it still works well. Iíd put a new (replaceable by design) battery in that one and set it up as a phone for mum after Iíd finished with it but it turned out that she was far better off with a basic (non smart) Nokia so the Ace 2 has just been stowed away.

Btw, SRS, your English had me a bit confused for a while when you said your stoves couldnít be used as they run on gas Ė so does ours (on Butane), a 2 ring and grill Camping Gaz one that lives in the BBQ shed but could be brought to the house if needed. I thinkÖ There are CO detectors in both the living room (for woodburner) and kitchen (historical really but the central heating boiler used to be located there).

Iíve never used a petrol stove (although a brother had one that burned quite fiercely) but still have a paraffin/kerosene Optimus one - somewhere...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 08:21 AM

And I might do a small power off job in the next couple of days. An annoying and costly problem has been (at least Iím pretty sure it must be) carers for dad or dad with them bang into things in the narrow corridor when they wheel him about. Iím not sure of the whyís and wherefores on the moving part as Iím willing to try all but am now just doing the putting to bed move.

Weíve had to replace one radiator valve controller and two night lights for reasons that I can only see as being caused by collisions and Iím certain itís not me bumping in to things. I canít go around accusing others or telling them to be more careful though.

I think the radiator valve one has been made safer by turning it round so you canít see the lcd panel. That cutís down on the protrusion and I donít think anyone bent down to look at the display anyway.

The light is more difficult. Moving the socket which is in an akward place would be best but thereís not an easy and sightly way I could manage that. The nightlight I got this time is slimmer though and I think that coupled with using a 25mm/1Ē back box (Iím not sure why the current one is so deep) will cut the amount sticking out there by 50mm/2Ē which will reduce the chance of it getting knocked.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Mrrzy
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 08:46 AM

Thanks for that info on piles! And who actually has a free 18"x18" on their desks? I got about 4x6.

(What do you call vodka, oj and Preparation H? A pile-driver...)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 10:30 AM

Jon, a couple of years ago my neighbor gave me two of these replacement faceplate night lights that turn off when there's light an on when not. One of them isn't working now and it may be a simple matter of checking to see how I installed it, but I may get myself a couple more. These are one-gang, you'll have to hunt to see if they come wider.

I have two UPS units; the computer one is larger and I replaced the batteries in it last year. The one in the hall closet probably needs the batteries replaced also. I don't think it adds much life to the router and modem at this point.

Sorry about the gas/petrol mixup. My Coleman stove runs on white gasoline (a petrol form) and my little Optimus also. I have a fuel can out there that is ancient so needs to be disposed of properly and replaced. They still make the stuff. If the power is out in the summer, that is entirely usable outside.

I need to refurbish my LP gas grill, the last time I used it the gas barely trickled in and I think it's because wasps have clogged up the lines. Mud daubers get into tiny crevices and the garage walls are also covered with the gobs of mud for their larger nests.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 10:43 AM

Mrrzy, My desk needs a good clear out/tidy up. At best, I've got an area that would comfortably take an A4 (similar to your letter size) pad and room for a calculator and ruler, etc. to my left (I'm left handed - at least for writing, my musical attempts are right handed) and if I move the wireless keyboard I've got an area where I can try to play with things like the Arduino or solder something and power things with a power supply that lives to the right of monitor.

The old oak table in the living room is a better option for a larger area. It's mostly shared (a side each) with me and dad who has his lap top there and is currently attempting a 1000 piece jigsaw there. And at least if it's warm, I've got a workbench in my shed I tidied up last year.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 10:59 AM

SRS, that face plate looks really good. Iíd not seen one of those or a UK equivalent before. I think I stick with a plug in type here though.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 11:35 AM

Itís snowing and blowing in Stratford, but not particularly cold. Weíre having yet another lake-effect day, complete with sharply dropping air pressure. Consequently, thereís rain the forecast and my feet hurt.

I like that night-light gadget but, in the gloom of my upstairs hall, it would be on all the time. That bugged me with a plug-in light, but maybe it would matter less with the built-in LED bulb.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 12:41 PM

The LCD bulbs in those faceplates are extremely low power and give off no heat.

Jon, I poked around the UK Amazon site and couldn't find anything similar. This looks a little more flush to the wall than the one you shared earlier.

Any time I bring up the Amazon page (the US version) I get the message that shipping is slower in my region. I don't know what Amazon's warehouses look like at the moment, but know that the post office is still messed up because the postmaster general's office is still full of Trump appointees. And then there's the weather thing—the post office is backed up with several days worth of stuff. And I'm willing to bet there are lots of new orders happening because of last week, putting more pressure on those various delivery systems.

I have to remember that I'm doing a "frugal February," but the emergency stuff I ordered is beyond the scope of that goal, I think. I've gotten started researching the replacement items and will await information from a couple of friends before more purchases, so it won't be till March that those happen.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 10:53 PM

A trip to the post office and Aldi today were nice after more than a week at home. The store shelves were sparsely populated with groceries (plenty of spices and condiments and such, but low on meats, bread, no eggs, not much milk, a lot of dairy gone, little cheese, etc.) I got a half-gallon of 1% milk, one I don't normally buy, but I didn't want a gallon of whole milk and I want milk on my morning oatmeal. Beggars can't be choosers. The store had to throw out a lot of what is missing, it isn't just that customers swooped in and took it. They, like thousands of stores across the state, are waiting for distribution from unaffected warehouses.

It took me about 30 minutes to clear up the sleeping pads and sleeping bags from last week; they were propped up airing on the side of my bedroom. One or more of the bags for the pads had coated nylon and the coating peeled off and sprinkled all over the rug, so that had to be vacuumed before I deflated the mats and stored them again. The room is looking good.

I delivered two one-pint containers of soup to my ex this afternoon and he had it for dinner, as did I, at my house. It has been so long since anyone was in here to share a meal with me—the situation for so many people. He hasn't gotten any calls about the vaccine yet, but maybe once he gets the jab we can try being a pod. In comparing notes it's interesting - he is also experiencing the exhaustion I still seem to be feeling. I crash pretty early in the evening (early for me - I'm headed to bed in a couple of minutes.) I suspect that much of the state is feeling that way. I did the math - 90 hours. And consider: so many places in the world have people living in tents in refugee settings for long periods of time, and places where people are so poor that this is a normal circumstance, so we have nothing to complain about compared to that. But it gives us a glimmer of that kind of life and hopefully empathy. All along the Texas border with Mexico power was also out and it was sub-freezing there. Refugees still waiting to come into the US after Trump made them all wait in Mexico. Tent cities, dilapidated encampments, harsh conditions. I wonder if the deaths and injuries there will ever be counted. I heard that the count so far in Texas after those four days is 20.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Feb 21 - 08:56 AM

I vacuumed the library yesterday and disassembled a great stack of Cerlox-bound proceedings of the National Criminal Law Program for recycling. The blue box is brimming again and almost too heavy to move, and the kitchen trash is bristling with plastic Cerlox thingies.

The Bubble is going out for lunch today! I shall wear a clean shirt and snazzy earrings to celebrate.

While weíre at it, itís time to start planning a joint garage sale. I canít think of a better way to disencumber myself of Edmundís collection of rucksacks in many sizes ó I think there are eight ó and the clutter of kitchen gadgets I will never use again.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Feb 21 - 10:19 AM

If those comb bindings are intact you can bag them and donate to a print shop where they can be reused. The bindings can also be recycled.

Last night I made several thicknesses of scrap fabric and worked back and forth to get the bobbin settings adjusted. It was my stupid mistake to begin with, accidentally winding a bobbin too tight and then not realizing it was the bobbin and not the bobbin tension that was the problem. Now I'm sewing with black thread on top and white on the bottom so I can see how it is adjusting. (I wasted a lot of the color thread I was working with before I remembered the "how to adjust your tension" video used two colors.) This after I called a sewing machine repair shop (after trying several that seem to have gone out of business) and being told they would charge me $50 to clean it (I do that myself) and run a stitching strip to see how the tension is (and I'll try with different thicknesses). I think I simply need to fiddle with it until I get it reset where it was before. I have a better use for that $50.

Knee checkup today, a year out from that surgery. But what a strange year it has been!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Feb 21 - 07:03 PM

It's looking like nice weather for a few days and warming (it is almost March, and gardens get started here this time of year) so I'll shift my attention to clearing some things out of the garage that need to go into the yard. I have fence stuff and a gate to work on also. It is a little difficult to wrap my head around this work when last week we were in the midst of such a horrible arctic blast. But life moves on. So much stuff got clobbered that I'm going to be out cutting back a lot of shrubs and hope they come back from the roots later.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Feb 21 - 10:26 AM

I'm sweeping again today to remove more lava sand from outside the doors and to pick up the sand tracked through the house. I bought a new rubber mat for inside the side door (and a dog bed that Cookie shredded within an hour of entering the house - BAD dog!) The sand melted snow because it's dark and solar gain meant it became warm in the sun, but oh, is it sharp edged on the floor now. The floor around here is a little crunchy.

Volunteer activities these days start out with virtual training so I'm beginning a series of Zoom lectures before I start working at a local museum later this year. So many things may again resume later this year. Here's hoping the vaccines are able to stay ahead of the current and new COVID-19 variants.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 26 Feb 21 - 05:40 AM

Itís not the first time Iíve used one of the IP cameras for this sort of thing but the kitchen one came in useful yesterday. Mum had complained that one of her plastic dessert spoons (thereís a green one and a yellow one) she and dad use for breakfast. I knew Iíd used it when weighing out the flour she wanted for an apple pie and that seemed to be the last seen of it. So, check back on the recordings, I see myself putting it in the washing up bowl. I also put mums favourite (I hate it but) utility knife in there. Wind forward a bit later when I was tidying up in a hurry and I tip the washing up bowl full of apple peel into the kitchen waste bin. Iíd emptied the waste bin into the outside wheelie bin before this so I retrieved the black bin bag from there, opened it up and sure enough, there amongst the apple peelings were the 2 utensils.

Staying with the kitchen, I think we need a new cooker. The bottom oven on the current one went a few months ago but we didnít want to get a repair person in with the Covid situation. The top oven on has always seemed to be a bit under temperature (a contrast to the bottom one that always seemed over even with an allowance for it being fan assisted) but, things seem to be getting worse and I had to use extended times for the last lot of sultana buns I didÖ And the top right hob plate is tripping the main RCD, knocking all the power in the house off when you turn it on.

I wish that when mum had the kitchen done when she moved here over 20 years ago, that the space for the cooker had been made to take 60cm models rather than the 50cm slot we have (and it would be too big a job to change). Itís not a matter of capacity but one of choice. Now Iím doing the main cooking and with a need for a new cooker, Iíd try to talk mum into getting one with induction hobs but I canít find that in the smaller size.

We differ in what we prefer, if we lived somewhere with mains gas, Iíd probably opt for a duel fuel (gas hobs, electric oven) cooker and like quick reaction. Mum prefers the slow sealed plate hobs.

Back to my printing side comments, Iíve slapped some paint on my traction engine attempt and weíve decided it could do with a twin which, needless to say round here (Norwich City FC colours) will have the green parts in the photo done in yellow. At the moment, I donít think Iím going to put motors and electronics in this one.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 26 Feb 21 - 09:08 AM

We had a tune session here yesterday, and it was just great. Serena the Fiddle brought a pupil, Lauren who is "almost" 14, so with me and and Mary Anne the Guitar, we are now four. We're beginning to sound like a ceilidh band, and I couldn't be more chuffed. We have started learning a new jig set.

If I move the library furniture around a bit, we could fit in one or two more at six-foot spacing, but I think we've a way to go before we contemplate that. Maybe a bodhran, or Lauren's dad on guitar, but if we added a guitar we would need another melody instrument, flute or fiddle, mandolin or banjo. I can play both the bodhran and the guitar, but the others would rather have the mandolin and I think they're right.

I look forward to the day -- this year, next year? -- when we can sit at elbows-not-quite-bumping range and really dig in.

I'm sorry for your cooker troubles, Jon. Especially when you share a kitchen with loved ones who have their minds made up about the technology they are prepared to accept, it's an huge challenge to replace such a critical component of your home. And the cost! I hope I never have to buy another new cooker; I'll coddle the one I have as long as I can.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Feb 21 - 10:38 AM

I've put in orders to add three books to my collection; I started researching technical repair books for sewing machines and found one pre-1980 and two much more modern. My sewing machine is acting up and its either the tension or a timing problem that so far I haven't resolved myself. Since I've been interested in refurbishing machines I find at Goodwill it's time to make this move. Meanwhile I'm losing ground on my mask making as I fidget with the big machine. Today I'll do a full cleaning, needle replacement, etc. just because.

The all-electric stove in my kitchen was new a few years ago (four burners or hobs and and oven). I don't know that there will ever be a higher-end stove in there. This is lightweight compared to the previous model and I have a bracket I was supposed to attach to the wall to push this onto, to prevent tipping (resting something on the oven door might do it, I suppose). I should go ahead and install that.

We're at the messy time of year here, when mud is churned up with every rain and when the yard is bedraggled after the hard freeze. Jon, I have to work on my compost setup again; the one with wire over the top now only serves to keep me out since the smallest dog figured out a way to wiggle in through the layers. I have found utensils in the garden or compost on occasion that got into the scrap bowl or gray-water bucket. I lost a pair of scissors for a while that turned up when I dug the next year, and it was a video of a sweet potato operation (my ex videoing our daughter digging potatoes that revealed where a trowel was buried.) It makes me wonder at the everyday things we choose to record. :)

Charmion, I love that you can bring a few people into the house. My small group that usually meets here is still too leery about getting together indoors, so our first lunch of 2021 won't happen until either everyone gets vaccinated or we have nice weather for an outdoors picnic.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 26 Feb 21 - 01:39 PM

I remember a pair of mum's glasses turning up in a compost heap a year or so after they were lost...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 26 Feb 21 - 03:28 PM

On the cameras btw. I think I started it after dad lost some token coins. Weíve got them in the living room, kitchen and study inside and the front and back outside. Hereís a view of the back a couple of weeks ago.

Another use for one came in after dad, who was then walking unsupervised with a frame, had a fall. The ambulance crew asked what happened and I was able to show them exactly what happened.

It was quite a ďluckyĒ (are falls lucky?) fall. He tried to take too big a stride, lost his balance and went flying, avoiding cracking his head on the oak table by inches on the way down. He landed heavily but, it turned out, quite shaken but physically unscathed.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 26 Feb 21 - 05:48 PM

Beaver!

Gor off in good time on thurs and arrived just after 3 with full sun but about minus 2 C. NO driveway and I have to wallow throw knee high snow to the front door. To the essential! as I sat, I texted Steve - "no driveway" and bt the time I had shoveled a path to the car, he arrived and cleared enough for me to get the car off the road. With a promise to return and finish the job- which he did very nicely today.

Hut then I backed the car in and when I thought to do a better job, it was stuck so I shoveled a path to the wood shed and part way to the studio - as far as I could manage. Had supper, talked to R, and was in bed about 7.

This am, after light bf, I carried numerous buckets of hot water out to melt the icy snow toward the studio until I managed to open the door enough to squeeze in and turn the cube heater down; it has cost me having it turned to high but better that than frozen clay.

Wanting to get errands done, I used sand and the metal ice thingy and got unstuck. Hit the bank to get a US draft to donate to Clayart discussion forum, an interesting and often helpful group of seasoned potters. Hardware store hoping for a supply of 4 inch pots but found them too expensive for almost give-away plants. Seed display was in full swing so I got a very few packets of seeds for spring, lest everything gets sold. Then frozen organic chicken breasts, and 3 stamps for USA at post office, thinking I might even write a couple notes to folks!

Home, parking carefully, had a good BF and Steve finished the drive very nicely. Started to take a nap -- after my 12 hours of not great sleep last night - but remembered I needed to bring in wood - went to minus 15C or so last night and getting the cold house up to snuff took a lot of wood. So, I jumped up and did wood, washed my hair and trimmed it for first time in weeks? maybe months.

So then, I turned on internet connection and did a rough go through of emails. Now this and maybe later I will do some fine tuning. I save to file many of the clayart posts, sign petitions, and and scam email addresses to the anti scam list.

Later for that. Now for a nice supper. The wonderful sun has dropped behind the hill; our gorgeous above freezing,by a couple degrees, day is ending. Tomorrow I hope for enough energy to get to work in the studio! It may snow a bit tonight! And tomorrow and the next day! The composter only has its very top visible!

My indoor/outdoor thermometer (outdoor is the studio) indicates the studio is getting too warm again... Someday I would like a real heater with a real thermostat! Shall I go turn it down again??? Probably. After I start cooking.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 27 Feb 21 - 09:13 AM

Beaver!

Couple inches of snow by 9 am. Charmion will love this!! Glad I did errands yesterday. This is a heavy steady straight down snow! Guess I will read today. About 4 degrees below freezing. So much for yesterday's thaw.

Another 12 hours mostly sleeping and I feel like doing something... May venture the 20 feet to studio later. Not much room in ther4e for outer clothes. An umbrella would be good; it's in the car which is rapidly disappearing!

However, keeping a log of temps in studio has given me the clue I needed to where to set the heater.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Feb 21 - 11:27 AM

Being acclimated to the cold weather and having enough resources to stay warm (pellets, wood, electricity, gas) make winter not so dreadful as Texas's week after Valentine's Day. I'm reading Dorothy's account of a week and wondering why we complained so much - it's the doing it without power that made it horrible for people totally unprepared. I now have a propane stove (arrived via Amazon on Wednesday) and I'll go buy a couple of tanks early next week (I've gotten the vaccine but still am very careful about going out, preferring times when the stores are almost empty).

I have only been to one grocery store since the Big Freeze, when I had to clear out the side-by-side freezer and fridge of a lot of thawed produce from my garden. I still have a supply in the big upright freezer, and instead of buying anything new I'm working on moving stuff. I try to use the fridge freezer for my everyday stuff and open the big one only on occasion. I tossed things in jars that weren't preserved by brine or salt or vinegar (so I kept olives and pickles and such, but tossed the mayonnaise).

As I've continued to fiddle with it the big sewing machine tension is now all out of whack. I cleaned and oiled the machine again. There was a video on YouTube of a guy taking off and adjusting the upper tension on a machine almost identical to mine. The video moves at a snail's pace but I'll watch it through to see if I can't try that adjustment now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Feb 21 - 05:41 PM

Recycling was deposited at the city bins and more stuff is added to the donation bin in the laundry room to drop off at the neighborhood Goodwill. While there I have a one-item list to look for; I've been on the hunt for a certain-sized Pyrex bowl for a friend (it's the one recommended for a no-knead bread he makes - he gave me a loaf a few weeks ago and it was marvelous). He's using a not-quite-perfect fit bowl but the vintage ones online are fairly pricey. I know I've seen them for a couple of dollars at Goodwill.

I have to start listing more eBay items, they're out of sight in the front room but still taking up space. I've put a moratorium on my purchase of items to sell until the ones in the house start moving out the door to the post office.

There are no visits here at the house in sight, after quizzing a group of friends about their vaccine status. They're not ready yet. At least once it's warm enough to work in the yard there will be the opportunity to talk to passers-by. I find myself counting the number of people I get to speak with when out walking the dogs (and of course I'm talking to the dogs while we're out walking). Those "weak ties" are an important part of our everyday lives that have been missing for most of the last year. The Pandemic Has Erased Entire Categories of Friendship: Thereís a reason you miss the people you didnít even know that well. From The Atlantic.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 27 Feb 21 - 06:25 PM

Edmund liked to say, ďThere is no bad weather; thereís just inadequate gear.Ē


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Feb 21 - 12:37 PM

The book project I was awaiting has collapsed. Heigh-ho.

It wasn't me -- the project manager had only enthusiastically good things to say about my work, and the author, who rarely praises anyone but himself, admitted he would prefer me to any other editor. But the buck of project ownership has been passed yet again, and the new possessor disapproved of the gimmicky deal under which I was hired. So now it's going out to tender in a bidding process that specifically excludes me -- I am not a company with a standing offer, and I don't intend to become one.

I am entirely okay with that. I can hardly believe it, after a lifetime of blindly accepting every opportunity that came my way, but I don't need the money and, consequently, I can spare myself the drudgery and the aggravation. I have other things to do.

Stashed in the basement, along with dozens and hundreds of CDs, I had boxes and boxes of photos and negatives going back to my far-distant youth, and more boxes of negatives from my parents and my grandfather. Some of the oldest negatives are three-by-four glass plates. So, for my next trick, I shall sort out the contents of the boxes, probably ditch most of the fading colour prints, and scan and organize the negatives. Today I made room in the study closet for the boxes and hauled them upstairs, and tomorrow I start looking for the most suitable equipment for scanning negatives of many different sizes.

The tune session will also take time and effort, because now I must actually practise; I can't rely on my memory the way I used to, or take for granted the strength and condition of my hands. The rest of me also needs exercise, although my wonky foot wants another cortisone shot. The Y has re-opened and pool class is back on, so I must buy a new bathing suit (a task I dread) and get with the program.

The weather is wet and mild, with temperatures hovering just above and below freezing; completely normal for the drab end of February. I look on my winter boots with loathing, but it's too early to leave home without them; most of the sidewalks in town are half under water thanks to melting snowbanks and iced-over sewer grates.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 28 Feb 21 - 01:00 PM

Beaver:

What I needed to do after I got here was expected. Did I ever mention the 15 years I lived off the grid? This is a piece of cake, thankfully! Last year when I came and could not get in the front door because the screen door opened out and was frozen - that was a pain. NO screen door this year, on either door! And next year I hope to have a roof over the walkway so the snow off the roof of the studio does not land there! Will have to move the composter this summer to a spot where it is not buried under snow; cannot even see it now! And 3 years ago I could not access the wood pile when I arrived and had to call for HELP! The new (2 yr old) woodshed is terrific. And it was I who insisted on installing the wood stove in Quebec, and paid for it. And ordered wood! So when the heat went off... Edmond was right!

I have already ordered QC wood for September. I expect Ryan will be calling to see how much I want for here. AND I am going to ensure there is adequate cover for the wood in QC. Right now about half a cord is sitting under two feet of snow (covered with plastic).

A lovely thawing day but cloudy - 3 degrees above freezing and dripping madly. Glad I do not hear it in the house! Two feet of ice hanging off much of the west and east roofs. I hear an occasional Thunk. I left the electric heating roof thingy plugged in the last 3 weeks; not sure it is functional anymore as several feet are hanging down on the west side. Spring will come...

But Steve came a bit ago to clear the drive, esp the two ends where the snowplow contributed barricades. He says rain and then more snow so he felt this needed to be done. Spring is NOT here yet!

So I managed to throw a few pots this morning. And noted that I have maintained my 15 pound loss of excess weight. "My" doctor discourages losses more; "older women need to have some weight." OK - as long as I stay down. I still feel as though carrying extra 20 pounds is not a great idea.

Well, I got the bright idea of knocking down some of the ice and snow on the west. Then shoveled a path to the wood shed! Again! That is where it landed but I am glad it is down. The SUN came out while I was out and is still out. Blue sky!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 01:02 AM

Charmion, Epson makes the flatbed scanners that are used in many special collections - they were present in both the university library and the art museum where I was volunteering to scan. They are very high-end, but if you're working on historic and/or archival scans, the Epson Expression 12000XL PH (photo) flatbed scanner is the top of the line. The software that comes with it is used at the museum where I was scanning; the university library used this scanner with the very difficult to learn but eminently superior SilverFast software. The work goes slow - having a second lighter project to do on the side while you wait for scans is a good idea. Or streaming NetFlix (a popular distraction for scanners at the university library). Have an extra hard drive to store this on and back that up periodically. Scan them as large as you can (600dpi is fairly small these days - 1200dpi is much better) and save them as TIF files. No JPGs, they're lossy.

Considerably less expensive but still eye-watering, the Epson Perfection V850 looks like the next best of the various flatbed scanners (many in between are made for print positives and graphic art uses). Again, you can use SilverFast or the software that comes with it.

I have three scanning projects to do with slides and with documents and have different scanners for them - and will have an Access database for each project. Sort your photos first (and don't discard the faded ones, set them aside - there are remarkable things that can happen with restoration these days). Give the folders a name and number and as you work resolve to use a pencil and clearly print the name and number of the item for the folder and database on a clear FRONT edge of each photo and document. Your printing needs to be in the scan - trust me - if you don't keep track of this it will drive you crazy. And give your database enough fields so you can add topics later if needed. This way if you come across things that should have gone in an earlier folder and group of photos, it will show up in the database where to find it (or show you where to put it).

If you write a set of rules for yourself to follow that will also help anyone else who later is viewing or using these scans. Document your naming and numbering system, for example.

I just gave a longer version of this advice to a friend who is taking on the scanning of historic family documents going back to the late 1800s and that deal with a large court case that wound through most of the 1970s and into the 1980s (against Great Northern RR - lots of maps and documents to go with it.) She's going to need a photographer with a good full-sensor digital camera to photograph some of the maps too large for the legal-size scanner she's using.

I'll take my library/archival hat off now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 01:04 AM

Dorothy, a friend of mine in Illinois was out shoveling part of her driveway when the across-the-street neighbor came over and volunteered her husband to clear it for her - he had a new snow-clearing shovel for a small tractor he'd just bought. Neighbors with toys they want to use is a great way to keep the driveway clear in winter!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 08:11 AM

Eye-watering prices, Stilly. Thanks for the info, and the advice.

If I buy a scanner like one of those, everything in the study will have to move. Bugger.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 09:23 AM

Those scanners are out of my league!

I donít often use my Cannon 9000F Mk2 but there are a load of photographs that I feel I should scan one dayÖ

I usually use my own scanner software (which uses a version of jfreesane I modified sightly to do duplex [both sides of a page at once] to do the hard work that would be beyond me) as I generally prefer it to the common free Linux options Iíve found.

One thing I put into it was the ability to run scripts. There may be better ways on more advanced software but I used something like this when I scanned our 4 boxes of 127 film slides, taken with a Brownie 44A.

int slides = scanner.getInt("Slides to scan (1-4)", 1, 4);
    scanner.setResolution(1200);
    scanner.setSource("Transparency Unit");
    for (int i=0; i        int top = i * 56 + 31;
       int btm = top + 38;
       scanner.setRect(89, top, 127, btm);
       scanner.scan();
    }


That scans each portion in the slide holder and gives a separate file for each. It also allows saving settings to make a ďpresetĒ and setting programs to use with ďscan toĒ.

The reason for the duplex was for another scanner I have that I must have had some idea of use for but Iíve forgotten what and have never used other than for testing. Thatís a Canon imageFORMULA P-208ii


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 10:14 AM

Yesterday was a lovely day here. Mum decided she would like to sit outside round the back. Sheís had more problems with her already painful legs and we both had doubts about whether she would manage getting across the chippings and over the uneven grass but we decided to give it a go. I got the wheeled walker from the shed and adjusted it for her height (Iíd been the last user of it) and off she went. The walking went well and although I stayed with her this time, sheís said she feels confident enough to walk her on own from now on.

I didnít spend a lot of time outside but in between doing other things, I had a look at the rhubarb and found one of the plants is starting to grow leaves. I got two varieties, one a later version than the other so I assume the other plant will start soon.

I noticed the pennyroyal that was planted last year had died off and looks a mess. Apparently, it should come back from there though. I hope so. There always was a problem corner, just as you go in through the gate to the field. Various things have been planted there over the years but the only things happy there were nettles and other weeds. Pennyroyal at least seemed to offer a solution.

I got the petrol mower out and cut the bit of grass between the gate and the barn (our ďlawnĒ part). The grass is growing a bit but the job didnít really need doing. It was more a matter of seeing how I got on with it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 10:37 AM

Beaver:

10 am and I'm ready to go back to bed. Snowing lightly - not in forecast! Spent some time on internet, had BF and sitting reading, contemplating another shoveling stint - the west roof dumped another load on the path to the woodshed. The heating cable is hanging down; I hope enough that I can disconnect... but no! It is all connected to the one on the east roof and it may still be working???

But the ice and snow on the east has already pulled out three sets of screws holding up the eaves trough; when it comes down, it will bring that 10 foot section down completely. It WAS feeding a rain barrel - emptied for the winter. This will not be redone! The barrel can go elsewhere.

I will wait for a burst of energy to clear that path to bring in more wood. Still at 33F right now but going down to minus 15F tonight so more wood is a good idea. And shovelling before the temp goes down. At least it is still clear to the studio so I will check on yesterday's pots and MAYBE get the energy to trim them.

Intelligent decision made last eve: stop trying to wedge used clay and focus, put energy into, the new in the bag clay which is so much easier. Some potters actually throw away or give away used clay. Friends en route have a pug mill but I cannot guarantee the purity of my used clay. Jeff does not like specks! I have mixed the plain white and the speckled white.I don't mind specks!

BUT nothing here has the slightest comparison to what SRS and the folks in Texas went through. I have warmth and lights and books to read. Right now reading a life story by an almost local man born in 1904. What a different way of life! I know the places, lived near some, and many of the family names.

BUT that was the way life was back then - nine flat tires to go 30 mile or so and get home broke after numerous repairs to the car and not being able to use it again until the family had enough money for new tires! That was acceptable.

I'll bet there were country folks in Texas who managed just fine. Not many but a few who had not lost the old ways. I was appalled to find that people near here, when the electric came in 1956, gave up their wood stoves and their good wells with hand pumps... Living in the bush
I did not worry if there was electric, I had what I needed.

What I need now is to rest up! So I shall.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 11:39 AM

I added a link to the SilverFast in that post. The description I posted is regarding the highest end scanning for archival work. You can look at different scanners in the consumer range and find a variety of them come with specialized software. And I didn't mention that I did all of the corrections in Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. Another hit on the pocketbook. But the software with the scanners usually includes some variety of software that will let you crop and adjust scans.

I am still considering rearranging the office for the slide scanner I bought, and it's much smaller than those flatbed scanners.

My personal document scanner is a small Canon A4-size that cost less than 100, and it has a small slide holder and can scan slides, but at very low resolution; the quality is so low it isn't really worth the effort.

Yesterday I made a quick trip to Kroger—I haven't been in a Kroger since last March when I was filling a prescription following the knee replacement. There are still considerable bare patches on the shelves as they build up the supply a week out from the freeze. They don't have any Mason jar canning lids, unless you buy a box with the rings and lids. The ice cream selection was small but I got vanilla to go with an apple pie, and I picked up a pint of my favorite chocolate "Moose tracks extreme." Just one of the things I've done without over the COVID quarantine, though truth be told, that one sometimes upsets the GI system on the way through so I shouldn't eat it often anyway.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 11:59 AM

"I am entirely okay with that. I can hardly believe it, after a lifetime of blindly accepting every opportunity that came my way, but I don't need the money and, consequently, I can spare myself the drudgery and the aggravation." That, Dear Sister, is the ringing of "the bell of freedom."


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 07:35 PM

Beaver:

Using internet too much! When using the "stick" it costs per page, or something like that. Anyway, just tried to find out about getting vaccine in Ontario. No one seems to be willing to give out that info!

Got my energy back about 3 and went to tackle the new snow pile. The SUN came out and I cleared a safe path and brought in an armload and decided that I have enough. THEN the sky opened and a whirlwind of snow blew around for about 15 minutes. In some areas these "flurries" have caused whiteouts and serious accidents today. Was beautiful to watch from inside a warm house!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Mar 21 - 10:11 AM

Moose Tracks is bonzer stuff, even if you're not a chocolate addict. Its fat content is extreme, however, so my digestion doesn't love it either.

Blue sky today and a bit colder, so the streets are dry and the sidewalk puddles are frozen. A good day to suit up for a trot around the neighbourhood.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Mar 21 - 12:59 PM

The bills impacted by the Big Freeze will be coming in soon: the water bill usually by the 5th, and the new power company should be reading the meter within the next week. The phone bill (using data because the WiFi was out for 4 days) wasn't too bad, usually it's about $33 and it was $39. The electric bill should reflect no usage for those days but there may be something the delivery company (ONCOR) tacks on that is out of control of my electric company. The water bill is a simple meter reading and I expect it won't be quite as bad as the month when I discovered a broken water line out in the front yard.

I've worked with the newly-purchased technical manual for repairing sewing machines and addressed the settings of the tension on my White Rotary series 77. After adjusting the tension it isn't fixed, the gobs of thread (from the top spool) wadding underneath apparently mean that the timing is off. This machine is old but was so commonplace in its time, and the White company made the same kinds of machines for Dressmaker and Kenmore and Domestic (and a couple of others) that there is a lot of machine repair and maintenance information out there. Including YouTube videos.

There is a hook on the shuttle that needs to be within a paper's width of the needle at the lowest point of the stitch process, and when these are too far apart, this extra thread looping problem happens. I've found notes on a couple of different ways to adjust this, so I'll be propping the machine on end or upside down and trying both. I'm getting behind in my sewing and I really enjoy it so need to get past this repair. (I do have a shirt to make that will be sewn on my other machine, and I should do that this week.) Yes, I spent more on the books than I would on the repair in a shop at this point, but I'm just stubborn enough that I'm pleased with myself that I'm figuring out how to do the repair myself. And I should manage the repair well before the time a shop would be ready to return the machine to me.

I wonder if I should bring in the little Black and Decker workbench for this? It might save me having to prop up boxes and pillows to steady the machine.

I'm going out today, to lunch and then the eye doctor for an exam that was skipped last year at this time because of the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. I was also still not doing much driving and would have needed a ride after the knee surgery. In the last year I have had only one passenger in my SUV, and that was an emergency pickup of a friend whose car was totalled. The kind of request one doesn't refuse, but figures out the best way to accommodate. There is a tight-knit group of friends (former university) who are now trying to get him to go in for the vaccine. Yes, he's 60, not 65, but we all know that COVID would kill him. His injuries range from repaired birth defect (cleft palate) to deaf in one ear, a glass eye, and half a brain after a traumatic injury in a car accident. He tells people that his dental checkups are so important because his head is held together with a bit of soft tissue. Face this with intubation and I fear he wouldn't survive the procedure. Okay, I'm way off track here . . . but there are so many people out there for whom the COVID experience would be deadly.

Stay safe, everyone. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but that tunnel is strewn with obstacles that the light doesn't reveal.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 02 Mar 21 - 02:22 PM

Beaver:
Beautiful sunny day - but cold! Today's crisis: could not open door to studio. Three buckets of hot water - no effect. Kicking the bottom ... Now that the day is warmer (2pm) and the sun is pouring in the big window, concerned for pots needing trimming not getting TOO dry... I tried prying the bottom... Finally, saw in the tool shed a rubber mallet!!!! YAY! So after a break, and change to work clothes, I can get those trimmed and then... Probably a break til tomorrow. It just occurred to me that AOK could mean "All is OK"?

Yesterday's fury re lack of info re vaccines was passed on to Pat whom, I thought was on top of everything. She actually phoned the #$%^& health unit and was told toward the end of this month and the info would be "broadcast"???? Why in the name of... they cannot put info at the top of their pitiful website... OR even answer a question on their FB page intelligently... I told Pat: I depend on her for info as "broadcast" is meaningless. radio? have none. Local paper? Their website is a nightmare. Pat - I can trust.

Montreal is a hot spot and is giving vaccine en masse to over 70. By appointment.

End of rant. End of break. Beautiful day! SRS reminds me of need to ensure I have paid ALL the bills. Next stint on web.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Mar 21 - 09:26 PM

One eye exam down, the Rx for glasses comes tomorrow. Apparently my eyes are so different that she doesn't write enough glasses prescriptions to be confident she can write the best one for me. Hence the optician tomorrow. On the other hand, she said the cataracts have advanced enough that any time I decide I'm tired enough of getting a flashlight and magnifying glass to read small print, etc., I can let them know and we'll start that process.

Have any of the rest of you done the cataract surgery? Tips?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: JennieG
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 03:16 AM

I haven't had cataract surgery (although it will be in my future, according to my most recent check-up) but Himself has had both eyes done. It made quite a difference to him, for the better.

In August last year I had a different type of eye surgery. For some time my vision range had been narrowing, so a brow lift and blepharoplasty was called for. I now have a much wider range of vision both vertically and horizontally; when my arms are extended to the sides I can see my hands in my peripheral vision without turning my head, which is amazing. It also means I need to wear a hat outdoors most of the time as so much light enters my eyes without overhanging heavy brows to provide shade.

I haven't trumpeted this to the tooftops because some people assume it was done for reasons of vanity. It was not. I now have two arc-shaped scars over my eyes which are slowly fading (if I was younger they would fade quicker, but then again if I was younger I wouldn't have needed surgery......) so there's nothing vain in that, believe me.

Go for it, Maggie.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 09:25 AM

JennieG, I understand that surgery of yours - and a couple of friends have suggested to me that one day I'll need it. My eyelids don't have the space to be exposed because of the shape of the brow (people criticized Renee Zellweger for having eye surgery, but I've always assumed she had a similar condition treated.) That's on the radar but further down the list. :-/

A friend had a special type of lens inserted that has both close and distance focal abilities; she said her main problem is she must wear sunglasses. She ponied up several thousand extra dollars for those lenses; I need to catch up with her and find out if she still recommends them. If I have to choose close or distance, I'd choose distance and wear glasses to read and at the computer.

It's looking like spring outside, and the weeds are suddenly springing into the void where the lawn is still dormant. Must start mowing before they get so tall they lug the motor on the mower.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: mg
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 11:19 AM

i just had cataract surgery and it was a piece of cake. doctor pretty much told me to. no problems at all but my eyes were pretty standard. for those on medicare, the distance option is paid for but i believe the other one not. i see brilliantly outside and almost never wore the sunglasses...i have a variety of reading glasses for computer, books, etc. fine print and print on my cell phone is very hard to read. i will probably get a prescription for that.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 11:22 AM

I had cataract surgery when I was 59. Only my right eye is fully functional, so the surgeon's favourite fix -- a long-distance lens in one eye and an up-close lens in the other -- was not an option. I chose to be a long-sighted person after nearly six decades of myopia.

It works for me despite a couple of drawbacks. The big one is the now-constant requirement for sunglasses whenever I'm outdoors, even on cloudy days in midwinter. I need driving shades that clip onto my bifocals because the dashboard instruments are a blur without a reading lens. I can now drive without specs in a pinch, as road signs are big enough for me to read and I'm good at maintaining the same speed as everybody else, but I don't want the cops to catch me in the act.

This morning, I entertained a dealer in used recorded music who will make me an offer on our 1,000 or so CDs by the end of the day. Edmund would be furious, but they have sat in their storage bins since we moved here. I copied all the tracks to the computer long ago, and now I play the music by Bluetooth through a Bose speaker that is considerably smaller than a breadbox and sounds as good as my aging ears need it to sound.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 11:24 AM

Mary, they did one eye at a time? How was the recuperation - were there limitations on your activity? For how long?

I'm thinking I need to at least wait until my regular ride has gotten his COVID vaccine shots so we can ride together in the car without his worrying. He's waiting for the Johnson and Johnson one to be available locally.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 11:48 AM

Stilly, one eye at a time is the way it's usually done. The main reason is to reduce the risk that something awful might happen and leave the patient blind, but the delay also helps the vision centre in the brain adjust to the changes in perception. A month is the usual gap.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 06:58 PM

I expected they would be staggered - I hadn't thought about the one near, one far process. And when I had prescription sunglasses made I had to change glasses to see the phone, map, etc. so the second pair had bi-focals. I'll have to think about this. And of course once I do have the surgery I'll need different glasses. I think it means the next pair of glasses won't have all of the bells and whistles because they'll be replaced in a few months. I suppose it's possible to get glasses with no prescription on top but the bifocals below. Those would work for driving.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 03 Mar 21 - 07:47 PM

Beaver:

I had both eyes done a couple years ago, a few months apart. The after was not to lift more than 20 # for a couple weeks, or less. A year later, a return visit to the clinic and she declared me 20/20 and just fine. I think there was also a return visit after a month or so???? For us, the glitch was the hour and a half drive to the hospital. We booked into an airbnb because we had to go back to the doctor the morning after. Same bnb both times and the sweet woman brought me soup when I was sick after the second from the anesthesia. Why bother asking if I am allergic if not going to pay any heed. I asked the dr to find out what I was given; she told me to ask the hospital! %^&* After the first one I had been fine.

Prior to the ops, I did not realize how bad it was and near got us killed on the road into Montreal, a detour with which I was unfamiliar and could not tell which of the three lanes I was supposed to be in. Highly un-recommended! We were both basket cases after we survived. Not as bad as if we had not...!

All my complaining on the MOH and health Unit FB pages may have nudged them but the woman posting finally got around to telling me where to register for a shot. I had not been polite. My tolerance for ... is nil. They post about the importance of mental health! I told them this is a MH issue! I may have mentioned that their site was pitiful. maybe even contemptibly stupid. Not sure but that was my thinking.

Today I was impelled to write a "letter to editor" re health care and the treatment of a friend who is probably terminal but maybe not. He and his wife - after being given medically incorrect treatment that threw him back something awful, were told he should go in hospice, with neither meds nor food. "He may not last more than a few hours, maybe a few minutes" said a "Dr." He is now moderately comfortable at home. My letter was fairly tame. I suggested that they treat people this way to save on health care dollars. Oh, I am in the middle of Norman Cousins book on the importance of giving patients HOPE! I'll give it to the SIL tomorrow when I see her.

I did manage to throw three pots with clay that was not very cooperative. I am about ready to stop until I get fresh clay. It occurred to me how much easier it goes when the clay is just right and I do not have the energy to be fighting with the clay.

My new "haircut" is great! But also the water here does a nicer job of washing - the hair feels better, more body or something. No chemicals? Just out of the dug well...

I gave up and threw the wood ashes on the driveway, almost far enough from the stream, and hope it will sink into the ground before spring runoff. The composter is buried still. It was 4 above freezing today but not much help.

That eaves trough that is destructing: Even if I had noticed it earlier, I could have done nothing except beg help from...? NO way I am clambering through 3 feet of hard snow to try to fix something way over my head! That something being a huge chunk of ice. So I live on! The eaves trough will not be missed.

The heavy grey day did not energize me. The news of my friend did but only long enough to pour out my fury. An early night, with Norman Cousins for a bit.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: mg
Date: 04 Mar 21 - 01:30 AM

no recuperation period. i was too careful not washing the surgeried eye and got a little bacterial infection..easily treated with wipes. i got a ride in a van to a place two hours away..a little nervous about the covid but didn't get it. i was a month apart because of transportation but i think they do two weeks now. also my place was one of the leading lights on the surgery..and they have a eyedrop mixture that saves you putting three different kinds of drops in.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 04 Mar 21 - 10:28 AM

I had forgotten the three different kinds of eye drops. I loathe eye drops.

I have sold two tall IKEA bookcases, and they will leave the building on Saturday.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Mar 21 - 10:45 AM

I seem to end up with more drops on my face than in my eyes. Good to know also! Yes, COVID is influencing timing for so many things today.

Last night I figured out the point in the sewing machine mechanism that needs adjustment. The space between the shuttle hook and the needle is fine, but the height of the needle is out of kilter, so I needed to take off an endplate to expose the rod and a set screw in the needle operation. I'll make that adjustment today.

Today is the first declutter of the year of the lawn. The mower needs to come out and attack weeds before they get too tall to mow easily. And it begins the time of year when I divide my time between indoor and outdoor activities. Yes, the clock will change soon, but that really doesn't affect when I go to bed or get up. I try to get up early, but seldom manage it. I've generated several long-running indoor tasks to work on, so I may have to schedule myself in order to accomplish all of these things.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Mar 21 - 03:11 PM

The front is mowed and I scooped about 2/3 of the leaves in the gutter onto the lawn so they could be mulched in. I left the last batch to do later, I was getting tired. I always find a few oddball things during the first mow. This time there was an iris sprouting in the middle of the lawn, and in the turf near a garden. The iris will have been loitering in that spot for over 2 years after the front was dug up. Not sure about the garlic. I'll transplant both.

I've got the hang of using the Google Fit; when I start a project (and have to be carrying the phone with me, usually in a pouch) I pull up fit and tell it time for a new activity. It's always the same one, walking. It's nice to see that during the mowing I actually walked 2.28 miles in an hour and three-quarters.

I have so much brush to prune out this year, shrubs that were burned in the cold but may come back from the roots. The branchy stuff needs to come out or it will look awful when it starts to sprout again.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Mar 21 - 10:52 AM

I try to have a safe place to set things around here, but every so often something upsets the plans. Like the printer pushing out paper and the lightweight bluetooth keyboard sitting on the printed knocked off by the paper.

The slim cover popped off and I found it later but wasn't sure what it was from. This morning I found two chewed AAA batteries in different places, both carried there by dogs. Damned lucky the fools didn't eat the things. So I traced back to where I remembered seeing the slim black cover and realized what had happened. I'm out of AAA batteries, so am going to 1) reorganize my office shelves so there is a place for every electronic item and the remote controls for things and 2) try the eneloop rechargeable batteries my daughter told me about. They're a lot more expensive but apparently hold a better charge much longer. I have chargers here so will avoid that expense. And though Amazon sells them, for some reason Home Depot is always cheaper for batteries. I've ordered some to be delivered free to the store where I'll pick them up curbside once they're here.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 06 Mar 21 - 08:17 AM

More cortisone in the wonky foot yesterday, and a boffo dinner of lamb shanks from the freezer for my bubble-mates, Edmundís brother and sister-in-law and their lodger. Braised lamb shanks is definitely not a dish for one, so Iím glad the Bubble likes lamb and was eager to join me.

In anticipation of their visit, I vacuumed the parlour rug. And dusted.

Disposal of the beer fridge is scheduled for 14 March, so I must reorganize the contents of the chest freezer to make room for the stash of frozen soup stock. I have eaten my way down to the half-full point, so thereís room, but I have to ensure that whatís in there is accessible without a deep dive with the big mittens on.

With winter on the wane, the down quilt on the bed is abruptly too warm. Todayís fun and games will, therefore, include taking it out of the cover, airing it, and putting it away against next winter (early December will be about right). Then I have to wrestle the lighter silk-filled quilt into the cover, a task that always provides a healthy upper-body workout.

Then I should be ready for a beer and another stretch in the comfy chair under the cat.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Mar 21 - 09:47 AM

There is a public radio program called The World and I noted a story yesterday I wanted to share:

Canadaís problematic vaccination campaign
Canada typically gets a lot of praise for its health care system. But when it comes to distributing COVID-19 vaccines, the praise has been short in coming for two very different reasons. Host Carol Hills speaks with Jillian Kohler, a University of Toronto professor focused on global access to medicines and an adviser with the World Health Organization.


The whole story isn't transcribed, so I hope it can be heard north of the border. Considering the name, it should be heard anywhere!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 06 Mar 21 - 05:15 PM

I listened.

Sheís right, in every particular. Mr Trudeau and his parliamentary friends are not handling this mission well. I think itís lack of experience; the Canadian federal government does not do procurements quickly, and hasnít bought large quantities of vaccines in living memory. In combination with the loss of the Connaught Laboratory back in the 90s, those issues have led to a massive failure.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Mar 21 - 06:37 PM

Since reading Dorothy's recent remarks I've had my eyes (and ears) open for news that might describe this. It is surprising - but as you say, procurement is separate from other health care activities.

I made a trip to Town Talk and bought a flat of strawberries to replace the fruit that thawed during the freeze (and how ironic is that?). The fruit was cold but thawed so I made a big batch of pancake syrup and froze most of it. Now I'll wash and de-stem these berries (a case is 8 pints) and put them back in the freezer. It's what I use to make smoothies.

Community Fridge: I took 2 dozen packets of shelf-stable meals—mac & cheese and basmati rice packets that get microwaved for a minute and are ready to eat. These are particularly helpful for homeless because they don't require a can-opener, etc. I'm pacing myself on my contributions; as more people learn about this project I can go up every week or two and be one of many adding to the project.

I have to mow the back yard. Spring is here.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 07 Mar 21 - 10:59 AM

Itís dadís birthday on tomorrow and Iíve made a present for him. Itís a novelty Norwich City football. Itís got a miniature MP3 player and a tilt switch inside it. If you turn the ball over, it will play the next song in a set of 3 Norwich Football songs (ďOn The Ball CityĒ which is possibly the worlds oldest football song thatís still in regular use and ďThe CanariesĒ and ďThe Norwich City CalypsoĒ from a single produced in 1972 when the club first got to play in the top flight).

The ball as shown isnít quite round. I added a middle bit as to help with some I hadnít thought of... That is that the volume level drops when the two half spheres are joined together. I could try a redesign instead but at around 9 hrs to print one of the 100mm dia halves (yes, 3d printing can be very slowÖ), Iím not keen on that idea. Heís sure to like it as it is anyway.

Other thingsÖ We had a power cut last week. It only lasted about 2 hours but it left me with a bit of a poser when it happened. Wiltshire Farms arrived with a large order of frozen meals about 5 minutes into the cut and before I had any information on it. I wasnít sure whether to accept the order and open the porch freezer to put in in or what and the delivery driver didnít know either. I took the gamble that power would be restored soon (cuts are usually short here) and it worked out OK.

Iíve just had an email that my (mostly) greenhouse seeds have been dispatched. Iíd ordered them a while back but the company said they were struggling (staff shortage with Covid and the busy time of year for them) and there would be a delay. I should have them in the next couple of days and will start planting the seeds in the propagator in the porch.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Mar 21 - 01:41 AM

On a private group Facebook page a friend sought advice about how to get to the location where he was advised to go (via email from the County) for a COVID vaccine shot on Wednesday. We suggested he take a dry-run drive there today, and he did, though the crowd from today was there so it wasn't like he arrived at an empty spot to look around. But he figured it out. It feels like we are throwing ourselves in front of whatever vaccination needle will come our way these days, thousands a day in communities across the US. "Which one?" is asked. "Doesn't matter," is answered - "Just get it."

My ex came by today to pick up some groceries and we're still wearing masks outside during the exchange. It just seems prudent. While out in the yard today I did some pruning back of dead shrubs; they should regrow from the roots.

I got the sewing machine mostly back to it's old working self, with an occasional glitch that means it's best to simply rethread it periodically because I haven't found every single thing that was making it act up before and that helps. I have one more sewing machine repair book coming via Interlibrary Loan to hopefully sort out the last of this. I did raise the feed dogs a little higher and that is making a big difference on getting it to start at the edge of a piece of fabric; it used to be slow to start and now that's catching better. I still have a screw driver and the can of 3-in-1 Oil in the sewing room.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 08 Mar 21 - 10:04 AM

Seeing you mentioning (and working hard on) sewing machines a few times, SRS, I've just had another go at identifying ours. This time. I think it could be a Singer VS3, some shown on this page

I think that the last time I looked at it, it had lost the rubber on the bobbin winder (I'd guess finding a suitable bit of rubber would be easy) but was probably functional other wise. The tensioner on the left was a "do not touch" as far as I remember it now as was the knob above the bobbin winder although I think I did and find the latter altered the spacing between stitches?

No one here ever got more advanced than that.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 08 Mar 21 - 12:01 PM

Dupont:

Good chuckle this morning from SRS - mowing!!!And us still covered with 18 inches of white stuff! I showed R this am the huge chunk of roof ice that landed where we do not have a glass house! On the wood pile, actually, and me looking for a tempo to use for next year. I guess & R concurs, that something solid is needed. A glass house would be of no use on that north side of the house. With any luck we may see the deck about May.

My friends health was weighing heavily on me after Thursday. I kept checking emails for news "knowing" it would be bad. Sunday, I left R sleeping, had my BF and had just gotten to the email of "sad news" when he came in,needing a haircut and on about another House his cuz is looking at - having lost the last one. I lost it and went up to bed to grieve in peace.

Took an hour or so, caring for Doug, for his wife and for the whole extended family - very dear friends of over 30 years. When I ventured back down, the new bathroom sink was in place! Not connected but out with the old and in with a smooth shiny new one! Lacking a necessary part, we could do a pool on how long it will remain as is. I have been using the tub faucet for washing up for so long, I hardly remember the sink is there and the hot was not working anyway.

He is totally competent in these things and I could see how contented he was to be doing the job. The one at Beaver is so much better since he took it apart to replace the old cabinet with the newer, almost identical yard sale one. The refurbished faucets work better; the hot water flows, and, hence, arrives more quickly! When he gets to it, he does a stellar job. and loves doing it.

I actually took a few minutes first thing this am to sort the patterns I had all across the sewing/TV room. I still have not been inspired to do anything but am grateful that my ancient little machine is ready to roll with no problems. Maybe this beautiful sunny day will inspire me.

As per usual, I have gone through a two day recuperation after driving here on Friday. Ah! Friday! Arose at a good time prepare for leaving and, as I ate BF, looking west, I observed strange light flashing on the studio wall! Out on the deck, I observed a very wonky chimney - had come loose from its pinnings and had disconnected in two places with a gap large enough for water to run in...

Text to Dan - who can help? and phone to Larry! Dan could find no one. L was on the road and would look at it. Re-assuring. Late evening: L removed the snow around it but beyond his agility ability. (Both the professional places no longer in business!) Texted a special guy who helped out before and a dear friend now. I knew he would refuse payment but offered a donation to Community Trust - he volunteers; So does Larry! Saturday: Mike would go look. texted L and he replied - would call Mike! Last eve: pic of repaired chimney - Mike on ladder! The message from L: "You can return". Plan to go back on 16th! YAY! And maybe I will get to have a shot.

I was planning to donate to Com.Trust; I will up it. I know it will help people in the community who really need it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 08 Mar 21 - 01:19 PM

I rearranged the furniture in the music room-cum-library again to make room for more players as COVID restrictions ease. How did I end up with both a sofa and a settee? Dunno, and don't care. Both are good places to sit if you need space for your bowing arm or the butt end of your guitar. I think we could get half a dozen people in there now.

Strong sun today in Stratford, although Environment Canada keeps threatening snow, sleet and rain. It was the same yesterday, utterly beautiful despite prognostications of doom. Tomorrow we are supposed to see a high of 9C, and then rain on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by an abrupt drop in temperature to barely above freezing at the end of the week.

If this keeps up, the maple syrup producers should have a great season.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Mar 21 - 01:43 PM

Progress: the storage drawers under my bed! One had all my heavy winter clothes that I used to switch out with summer clothes. Found a *ton* of cat hair in the sweater drawer, Sebastian must have been *living* in there, pared the sweaters down to the ones I like, donated the rest.

Other drawer had bags of bags, found a few carry-on luggage pieces I thought I had lost, now in three manageable piles (give away, luggage/backpacks, and reusable grocery/tote bags I want to keep).

Gonna take the drawers out and wash them, vacuum where they were, and put'm back half-empty, amazing.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Mar 21 - 08:35 PM

That's a lovely vintage sewing machine, Jon, and yes, there are lots of parts produced for those older machines. Measure it and then look at someplace like eBay or an online sewing supply store.

A couple of friends have responded to remarks on Facebook about Salvia greggii that have now been cut back but that will grow from the roots again. The one in the corner of the yard has gradually spread and a few places branches on the ground sprouted new plants. I'll dig out a half-dozen or so and leave a couple in the best position. It was getting pretty big. Tomorrow two friends (retirees from the library) are stopping here to pick up a couple. I have others I can dig as well, but I'll wait till she tells me which she wants.

I finished a half-dozen masks today, and I've modified how I do some of it on that machine. Instead of going back and forward over parts of it I'm simply making a double pass, doing the stitching in forward both ways. There is something that still isn't quite right and it seems to be with that reverse switch part of the mechanism. It works, but I'm not over-doing it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Mar 21 - 12:36 AM

Mrrzy, interesting about the cat hair. My dogs produce so much hair that every week I sweep a huge pile of it, and when I run the broom under the sofa, a particularly large drift is moved out from beneath. The odd thing is that twice now when I've cleared out the under-sofa I've also moved out small Mediterranean house geckos that were hiding under there. Two of them, about a week apart. In the time of year when they should be hiding in the attic staying warm. I quick grab and release them before any dogs notice and eat them or whatever might happen. (The dogs leave the Gulf toads alone because they taste particularly bad, but I don't know about lizards.)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Mar 21 - 05:03 PM

The garden got some weeding and a few pots were cleaned out and I'll see if anything grows back in them (or not) after that freeze. A couple of vaccinated friends stopped by and we dug up a few plants for them to transplant and were actually able to tour the house, though what a mess. I guess if a few people can come in now I should do a better job of picking up and organizing. It gets a little lax after a year of just me and the dogs!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: mg
Date: 10 Mar 21 - 01:02 AM

i cleared out a drawer for condiments etc. at my computer/dining table. took an old dishpan and put it under my hanging files where it is not visible and put all my computer paper and envelopes etc. in it. so much better. i can see my desk top. I also got two dollar store wastebaskets that serve as temporary holders for papers and miscellaneous junk.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Mar 21 - 11:43 PM

I did one curbside pickup and two quick trips indoors (the post office after hours to get the mail, and the nearby Goodwill). The Goodwill had several people boldly walking around without masks despite a message over the loud speaker and signs on the doors saying customers still need to continue to wear masks. It becomes a case of who will enforce the rules when stubborn selfish people refuse to comply? I'd kick them out if they don't wear the mask properly, but that's just me. As Neil deGrasse Tyson quipped about the early opening of states: "Weíre just sayiní. To abolish mask-wearing laws in some States while the rest of the Nation keeps theirs is like designating a peeing section of the swimming pool."


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 11 Mar 21 - 06:33 PM

Dupont:

Very little has been accomplished this week. A dearth of energy. Oh darn! Just thought to check produce store for how busy it is; busier than usual! So much for that thought. I do need to do a shopping. But there has been a huge bunch of covid cases amongst staff and patients at the local hospital - so bad R phoned a few mornings ago to warn me. What to do? I know the stores here and can navigate quickly when they are "not very busy". Maybe tomorrow; if it rains people may stay home.

In any case, a couple days of above freezing and there are bits of grass showing along edges. The large bag of planting soil on back deck is still surrounded by two feet of frozen snow; even though it is standing almost alone, it is still frozen to the deck, AND difficult to get over the snow to get to it. Maybe tomorrow! I would like to start some seeds before I leave. I will have to take them with me to care for them; I have a plan!

I ordered a packet of 5 pairs of socks for R. Carefully checking for mostly cotton. They arrived today with not a speck of cotton. Sent the company a furious email "I was lied to" . I certainly am not going to the trouble of returning them. R doesn't care. He'll wear any socks I put in his drawer.

Did laundry today, including bedding and remade bed. Took car for servicing. Big day! I did much fine at Beaver but have no energy all week. I make BF, suppers and spend most of each day on computer or watching the news.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Mar 21 - 01:39 AM

Dorothy, I think the times of inactivity (or the inability to motivate oneself to get up and do much of anything) is an effect of the times we are living in right now. I have a bullet journal that I've kept for years and for the last 13 months I've noted "COVID-19" at the top of each month's calendar so when I look back I'll have a reference point to what I was doing (or not doing).

This week I got back to making masks; the sewing machine needs further fine tuning, but if I'm careful about not using the reverse lever too much (knock wood!) I don't have to stop to re-thread or untangle it too often. I have a couple of boxes almost ready to go to the post office and need to prepare several more parcels of masks for people. Yesterday at Goodwill I picked up three plastic baskets that I washed and let dry overnight and that are now in the sewing room to help organize some of the parts of this work. Multiple colors of t-shirt yarn need a couple of baskets (I need to see what I have when I make these things) and baskets for finished masks (there are six sizes and I've been lumping some of them together). Some of the extra fabric that is usable for small masks but I'll have to do those one at a time on the scraps are in their own basket. This is to remove a stack of fabric growing on the pointy end of the ironing board.

I mentioned earlier that I had friends in the house this week for the first time in a year. I hope to use that as a motivation to pick up and rearrange things. I did some major moving of room contents a while back but the COVID kept going and going and I let things go. A bit. Well, a lot, but nothing that won't improve after a weekend of sweeping, mopping, and dusting before moving furniture.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Mar 21 - 09:44 AM

Tune session yesterday; again excellent, and everyone was more comfortable in the reorganized library. We're learning a jig set. It's painful, doing it by ear, but Serena the Fiddle -- a teacher and classically trained musician -- is fascinated by different ways of learning. She is now teaching traditional tunes to her pupils, and encouraging them to get off the dots. I'm enjoying the process of helping another muso escape the bonds of the conservatory method.

Today I'm running the self-clean cycle on the oven, so the ventilator fan is roaring and the whole house smells a bit singed. The cats are unhappy, but it must be done.

We had several days of crazy warm weather that ended yesterday afternoon in the first thunderstorm of 2021. As usual, Environment Canada issued doom alerts -- THUNDERSTORM WARNING! in a red banner -- but Stratford's share of the action was only a couple of thunderclaps, exactly one flash of lightning, and ten minutes of hard rain. Today is colder, but the sun is shining with all its might. The ruckus in the kitchen will soon force me out for a walk downtown for lunch and a visit to the bank, my first extended trot since the cortisone shot.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Mar 21 - 11:31 AM

Charmion, how is the foot feeling? Is this cortisone shot a method for pain control until you reach the inevitable surgical repair? The knee was a hot mess for quite a while before the surgery, and the surgery was the roughest one I've experienced, but the outcome is excellent. If you're debating about going that route (and a different body part, so YMMV.)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Mar 21 - 12:59 PM

I donít know, Stilly; complicated as knees are, feet are much more so, and I have only just begun my limping journey on this road.

I asked the foot guy that prťcise question, and he said itís too early to tell. The cortisone might resolve the problem ó or not. But this was only my second injection, so we donít know yet if the ligament attachment in question is actually improving.

So we wait to see how long it takes to start hurting again.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Mar 21 - 02:47 PM

A friend had her ankle reconstructed two years ago and that was a real big deal because there are so many parts involved.

Yesterday I scrolled through 50+ slides posted by Dave-the-Gnome on his Facebook page, with remarks about the route. It was a wonderful trip up a small (compared to say, North America) mountain and as they approached the top the boulders and slick areas and steepness made for some work. And as I looked at the photos of going back down I thought "That's going to make the knees hurt." And of course, that is because of my experience on the downhill portion of long backpacking and climbing trips. And is probably why my knee was a mess, and my friend with the ankle surgery has even more of those downhill treks to her backpacking record.

However you got to this point, good luck achieving a level of comfort for the future!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Mar 21 - 06:06 PM

As you may remember from my previous comments about feet, I busted both my ankles back in the 90s, and my current problem is a consequence of a less than perfectly successful repair that encouraged my right foot to pronate in a way it would not have done had I not busted it. Alas, any surgery could well cause worse problems than I have now.

And that sucks.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Mar 21 - 06:31 PM

I had forgotten. Bummer, indeed.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Mar 21 - 11:22 AM

I woke this morning with a realization - the whole nation (minus the really rich ones) have been waiting for the other shoe to drop. Many people are going to be logging on to their bank accounts or watching the mail for the stimulus checks. But that's the tip of the iceberg. Also wide-reaching are the unemployment payments that will extend through to early September, and the HUGE change is the child tax credit change where about half of childhood poverty will be addressed with $300 to $350 per child monthly payments to low-income households. This was necessary with or without a pandemic; it has been a goal of the progressive wing of the Democratic party for years. We don't talk politics in this thread, but I bring this up because it feels like we've waited all year (pandemic) and all four years (Trump administration) for the ability to take a deep cleansing breath, and now it's near. And with this huge change, people who have been hunkered down for a long time will have some agency, the ability to have some control over their choices, not simply waiting for services that they qualify for.

On the hyper-local level it's a matter of debt management; deciding to pay off one bill to free-up monthly cash during the next few months for other uses.

On a more normal topic, it's spring and I've begun the mowing and digging routine that will contribute to my fitness, and I need to walk the dogs every nice day.

(I shared a version of this on Facebook.)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 14 Mar 21 - 07:35 PM

The beer fridge is at the curb (kerb) awaiting removal tomorrow morning by the town bin men. The BIL helped me shove it out of the garage and down the driveway, and for a wonder it did not fall over. Itís departure should take at least a nip out if the hydro bill.

Edmundís scholarly and technical law books have found a new home with an old colleague who proposes to drive all the way from Ottawa on the Easter weekend to get them. ę†Road trip!†Ľ he cheered on the phone. Sounds like a bad case of cabin fever to me ó thatís a minimum two-day journey involving an awful lot of autoroute. Better him than me.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Mar 21 - 07:55 PM

It's quite the usual thing here that when something that works but is simply unneeded is rolled to the curb with enough advance time for people to see it before trash day that things often are picked up. Sometimes by people who can use them, other times by the metal collectors who sell stuff by the pound at the recycle center.

News today that the ex has scheduled COVID vaccines for next week and early April, so by the end of April we'll be good to go in the same car as far as surgery. I've put off ordering new glasses because even if I got the inexpensive pair, they wouldn't be worn for long and that seems a waste. I'm okay with the current RX, and that will change drastically after surgery. Who knows how vision will work in the interim, between surgery and when the vision "settles down" so I can get a new Rx for whatever else needs to be corrected.

I'm back to more reading, shifting away from consuming so much news (the last four years had that effect). I just finished a mystery yesterday, then started reading (listening to, actually) Mark Manson's manifesto The Subtle Art of Giving a F*uck. It's a quick read and interesting enough anyway, but particularly interesting during the period of COVID when we hear of so many people letting their standards slide and simply settling for being more comfortable. That's just one aspect of it, but it's conspicuous how it occurs to a lot of people right now, who might be thinking about what other things they've spent too much time worrying about or paying attention to. As we figure out what new-related things we do need to give a fuck about. Just look at The New Yorker cartoons to get an idea of so many shifts in our behavior.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Mar 21 - 10:21 AM

No one came in the night to spirit away the beer fridge, so I am now waiting for the bin men to come for it. I won't believe it will go until it's gone.

The search for a protective underpad for my dining table continues, now on Amazon. For almost 30 years, I have been using a quilted thing made of flannel-backed plastic that my Dad bought back around 1982, and the deteriorating plastic is now approaching failure. But round mahogany dining tables 48 inches in diameter are apparently rare in this day and age.

What I really, really want is an elastic-edged baize cover wide enough to envelop both the tabletop and the deep apron supporting it, but such a thing seems not to exist, probably because 48 inches is big for a poker table. The elastic is desirable because the cats like to launch themselves onto the table at speed, and an unsecured cover will slide with a leaping cat and end up on the floor in a heap, with the cat and whatever else was on the table, including the fruit bowl.

First World problem number 748.6.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Mar 21 - 01:06 PM

I have a little oak table in my kitchen that is 42" across and since my ex stripped the finish off of the top (did he plan to do the whole table? I don't know, it never progressed) I now keep a clear plastic vinyl thing cut to size over the top of whatever tablecloth is on the table. I could also put the tablecloth on top of the plastic, but when the kids were small and spilling daily, I decided it was easier to wipe off the plastic than wash the cloths. Maybe I'll make the switch, I've done this out of habit for years.

This stuff comes on long rolls and is purchased by the yard, whatever thickness you prefer, in the fabric store. I never had much luck finding a small (or one I could cut down) padded cover to protect from hot stuff, etc. You can buy yardage of pre-quilted fabric (double sided print) with dacron polyfil type in it. I used some of that to make a fancy cover for my son's girlfriend's Kitchenaid stand mixer for xmas. Cut it to shape and finish the edge with bias tape. I suppose you could cut it out large enough to envelope that supporting apron then use elastic around the edge or buttons and loops or snaps or something to pull it into place below. Huge project.

Hmmm. Maybe I should make myself a padded cover for my table. I'd have to pick a solid color if I still want the table cloth on top to look okay. If I added elastic around the edge to let it tuck under the edge (this table has two wings so it folds fairly small when they're down) then I would be making something that looks like a gigantic shower cap when not on the table.

As you discard an unneeded fridge (your bin guys may take it back and put it to use in their office) the community fridge project I participate in has a call out for someone to service two of the three fridges, and is asking for tips. I shared my experience with dog hair on the coils - have they vacuumed underneath them lately? They're outside so there is probably dust and dried grass, not dog hair, but they don't cool if the coils are dusty.

So much for my advice for others. The dog hair around here right now would gag a Roomba. Time for the broom and dust pan and getting on working on my messy house.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Mar 21 - 01:54 PM

Apparently the SPCA will take all my old tote bags. I was having trouble donating them.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Mar 21 - 03:35 PM

Stilly, youíve heard, Iím sure, of people who donít cook? They can make tea and heat up soup that comes in a can, but they generally find ways to stay out of the kitchen entirely, such as marrying people who do cook. Or they spend most of their discretionary income on restaurants.

I cook, but I donít sew. Every decade or so, I might replace a button or perhaps darn a moth-hole in a sweater, but thatís it. The very notion of me going out and buying baize by the metre and, yíknow, cutting it to size and making a casing for elastic around the edge ó well, thatís just not going to happen in this universe where the sky is usually some version of blue. Something from Amazon or one of its digital brethren will just have to do. Your mileage evidently varies.

In fact, the huge shower cap concept is about right; I have such a thing (purchased years ago from Amazon) for my inlaid mahogany tilt-top table, which is 40 inches in diameter and therefore much easier to, um, dress. But similar items intended to fit tables up to 48 inches donít fit mine because of the apron. Phooey.

The last couple of weeks has been something of a shopping orgy conducted entirely on line. I think I need a Buy Nothing week, or two, or maybe four or five.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: JennieG
Date: 15 Mar 21 - 06:27 PM

Charmion - do you, perhaps, know of someone who could sew a shower cap for your table? It might be possible to organise a swap of some kind, e.g. the sewing for.....I don't know, something they were wanting/needing?

Do you have Fabricland in Stratford? They have all manner of sewing Stuff.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Mar 21 - 06:55 PM

My sister doesn't sew; maybe it's because she got tired of waiting for my mother and for me to finish using the sewing machine. :) Jennie, I chuckled when I remarked about the table cover looking like a huge shower cap, and it still looks silly with others in the group describe it, but it visually is exactly what we're all talking about.

There are seamstresses (seamsters? tailors? it isn't just women who sew, but for so long it has mostly been women that I don't know a gender-neutral term) who do this kind of thing for a living. If you decide to invent what you can't buy if it doesn't turn up. And check Etsy, they have some really unusual listings that might include custom table covers.

I think I pulled a muscle in my side when I was bending over painting on wood preservative yesterday on the next set of fence pickets. The weather is turning nice and I've spent time on YouTube learning how to install the cyclone fence gate. Now I need to figure out if I put in a double gate and lock it in a way that it will STAY locked and not just have someone push a double gate open. Otherwise I'll extend some fence and put a single gate against that.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: JennieG
Date: 15 Mar 21 - 07:39 PM

Perhaps a fitted sheet for the table would be a similar analogy? Although come to think of it - that would be more suited to a rectangle or square table, wouldn't it.

No, the table is round, so it's definitely a shower cap.

You are providing me with a chuckle to start the day!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 16 Mar 21 - 09:18 AM

Happy to help, Jennie.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Mar 21 - 10:11 AM

Arenít tables flat and wouldnít a shower cap be for a dome? this was as close as I could find in my Amazon UK search but it would need a ďshallowishĒ table with supports not running to the rim.

It was a lovely day yesterday and mum went out round the back again. While she was out there, I decided to do a little bit more grass cutting and had both mowers and the battery strimmer out. I took the petrol strimmer and the leaf blower out and started them up and all looks ok so I think thatís all the garden power tools OK to start the season.

Iíve yet to talk to mum who would make the decision on this but Iím wondering what to do about the patch of chippings at the front which has the bit where the car was parked. It needs quite a bit of attention and has often had weedkiller used on it. My inclination would be to let (or help it to) the lot grass over and have a paving stone path to the house Ė the only cars that would park there now would be family ones and visits (when we get out of Covid) only happen once or twice a year. Iím not sure mum would go along with that...

We are still making do with the old cooker and we now have another appliance to replace (or repair) as well. The washing machine has packed in. Mum and I had talked about a possible change recently anyway. A fair amount of bedding is going through these days and mumís been complaining about difficulties in drying things. Iíd said that I thought that a (probably 9/10kg) washer dryer would be the best move.

Maybe that will happen now. One dayÖ The cost side is OK but as well as debating having people in to install while we (or were with the washer) making do, so many items at the online shops I look at are out of stock. I guess thatís the combination of Brexit and Covid for you?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 16 Mar 21 - 01:03 PM

Aaaaand ó there goes the fridge, on a forklift driven by a guy from the town works department. Good riddance.

Jon, that is indeed the class of article Iím looking for. Unfortunately, my table is an old-fashioned dining-room type that expands, so it has a four-inch Ďaproní under the edge of the top with very little clearance between front surface of the apron and the outer edge of the top. Most elasticated table covers fit ę†up to†Ľ 48 inches, so they are very tight at fullest extent, and barely stretch over the edge of the top. Consequently, when the cat lands on the table, the elastic pops up over the edge and the whole thing, cat and all, heads for the floor.

So I want one thatís big enough to envelop the apron as well, thus reducing the tension and increasing the likelihood that the cover will stay on the table. Trouble is, this type of table cover doesnít seem to come any bigger than 48 inches.

I am off to hunt and gather such delicacies as furnace filters and packing tape. What larks, eh?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: mg
Date: 16 Mar 21 - 05:10 PM

i have been on a roll. i really don't have a lot of stuff, but after helping a handicapped brother declutter...i have done more. two large bags to thrift store, plus a smaller of napkins and condiments for their lunch box. I am admitting that I will never make lemon bars in my perfect glass pan. Today I pulled all canned goods on one rolling cart, marked the dates, threw away just a few..plan to eat some expired ones when the tsunami comes...and put the rest into the oven, which i never use, for storage. I rolled the round cart..made for instapots I think..over to my desk and put a lot of stuff that clutters the desk on it..including some chargers. Wow..what a difference. Have to find room for a bin of extra bedding that I had stored in a large, gifted, new suitcase that was just too heavy for me to ever use..gave to my sister...but that can be done. I lost a crucial piece to my vacuum ..it must have flown into the garbage..so I can't suck the air out of the bags they are in. Oh well.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 16 Mar 21 - 07:44 PM

Beaver!:

Heavy winds Thurs night resulted in power outage of 7 hours here (I get text notices). Larry checked Fri am and found no frozen pipes - no water spewing! And pulled the plug on the water pump - in case. After brief consideration, and a weather report for more winds, I pulled together a trip back. Arrived about 5 pm and turned on electric blanket!! and started wood stove a goin';, had a bite to eat - toast and cashew butter - and went to bed by 7.

Total exhaustion but glad I did it. Cold nights and below freezing days. After getting back up at 8 am - that's 13 hours! I went back to bed at 10am! At 1 pm I was almost ready to face the world. Cleared path to wood shed AGAIN! Threw a few pots - with well wedged clay! brought in some wood cooked a good meal and ate lots! Went back to bed at 8 pm.

Pots are trimmed but no more thrown. plenty of wood in, trip to grocery - not really dangerous here as barely anyone in store! Visit from Larry. Reading, resting and breaking up ice on walkway to studio so I have safe passage to load kiln. On schedule for tomorrow when temp is going up a few more degrees above freezing. Need to clear the shelves to make room for more fresh pots. (bakers rack on wheels.)

Stopped at Community Trust to give good donation, partly in thanks for Larry and Mike doing chimney - so I could come home! Otherwise, reading and computing. And resting. AND managed to get appointments for vaccine - 5 April and 26 July. Talked to R about staying here until after first shot. He is having to keep the 100+ plants alive. That will give me time to accomplish the pots on order and some more for the shop, rather than make another trip back and forth. Best to go back to hot-spot Quebec with at least one shot. Then it will be time to start seeds for both gardens - and that bag of soil should be out of the ice!

Only yesterday did the sun reach an angle that shines on the walkway - between 5 and 6 pm, then it is gone. Very helpful as the ice is at least 3 inches thick and I have not been able to break it. By Friday, I might be able to get to composter! In any case, I love being here.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Mar 21 - 12:03 AM

This morning I had an email that my ILL request was in, and this is the book I've been needing. Lots of descriptions, diagrams and the "exploded" view of sewing machines (the kind if a diagram used in patent applications). I scanned part of it but I'm not sure if the scanner was doing what I wanted it to do (this is an overhead variety called a "KIC" scanner). I'll open the files later. I have the book for a very long time so can work on the particular chapter I need.

I met friends for lunch; we ate at an outdoors table and talked for a long time, then I picked up the book. My retiree ID got me into the library and checked out my book, then I visited an old friend and gave masks to her and to another former co-worker (like so many of the guys with full faces and beards, he has a difficult time with masks fitting well). It's spring break and it was late enough in the afternoon that there weren't many people on campus.

Mary, it sounds like you made good progress, and Dorothy, it sounds like a good time of year to stay hunkered down and read a good book, but you're getting a lot done anyway. Good for both of you!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Mar 21 - 03:15 PM

Thinking about rearranging my office. And looking at the mass of cables and wires and cords. Maybe this is something I should go away from for a while and let the feeling pass.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 18 Mar 21 - 09:11 AM

Do it, Stilly. I have streamlined my computer set-up to the extent that I need only one power bar ó and thatís really for surge-suppression ó and all wires are off the floor. I can now whisk the dust mop or the vacuum cleaner around the desk without moving anything, and my neatnik soul is happy.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 18 Mar 21 - 10:06 AM

On the other hand, we've got messy tangled wire corners that I've never worked out how to deal with and prefer to sort of pretend they don't really exist...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 18 Mar 21 - 10:07 AM

Beaver:

Have appointment for vaccine 5 April! R agreed that I stay here. I am happy to do so - as long as he cares for the plants! So I can focus on pottery. Weather is going above freezing and I have good access to studio. Gathering energy for a kiln firing - moving pots to the kiln room - tray by tray OR push the entire baker's rack...? When I decide, I shall do. Heavy weather yesterday = no energy. Went for groceries but stuff I wanted was not there. Ordered block of cheese and organic whipping cream from a special shop. Got home and had a sudden NEED for BOOKS so I went back to town (5 minutes) and went to thrift shop - gained 7 to read and one -expensive!- one for R. That will be his B-day gift. Then, I read two - one is tiny, the second not so tiny but fascinating novel. Now on third, also a novel, also intriguing. I wonder about the people who donate these interesting books! I also purchased a useful pot for a potted plant and a nifty small pot for a succulent, a beautiful blue/white dish towel (I am a sucker for blue/white or just cobalt blue.)

All safe places to visit. There have been no cases in this area but that does not mean someone might not bring it with them. Otherwise, I hacked at ice and brought in more wood. Hacking at ice does not do my shoulders any good. I realized that has impeded my potting energy. No more needs to be done. Later today I shall try for the groceries they did not have yesterday.

I ordered a full set of supplements as what I brought with me will not last. And will order one for R - same reason. The "cotton" socks that arrived as polyester are - after strong complaint - being replaced with no charge. I told them the polyester would be donated to a thrift shop. I hate to even give them away but I guess some people need socks, even polyester. In the process, I have received a full refund! AND they are replacing. This, Oakley, is making an effort! I am looking forward to seeing what the cotton ones are like.

Then, I thought to look at the "diabetic" socks I bought locally and just love. Polyester! I feel mortified. They are kind of fuzzy and not at all constricting and stay up nicely. I was going to get more! We learn by these things.

The sky is lifting and a glimmer of sun (10 am) and temp just above freezing. Maybe now I can feel inspired to go to pot!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Mar 21 - 10:56 AM

All of these wires and cords are connected to things peripheral to the computer, and I decided I need to organize upward this time. I have some smallish much-used and loved bookshelves (two 4-shelf "baker" racks and two 3-shelf cases, all folding and all in the kitchen) that are in use, so I ordered another 3-shelf one (Amazon) and next week it will arrive and be set on the desk against the wall and the various devices (battery backup, VHS, Canopis, scanner, other scanner, hard drive, etc.) will be placed on those and their cables running out the back or side of the shelves, giving me more desk space. Just as well I haven't hung art on that wall yet. I moved a troublesome hard drive (if I leave it plugged in and turn off the computer, the computer then won't start because somehow this drive becomes the reference point but there is no OS on it so it hangs.) It's the backup of work from work (photos, mostly) and one of these days I'll wipe it clean and use it for something else. I also moved a couple of small lamps, everything extra that sits and collects dust and has a cord was a problem. With those three things gone four wires were removed.

In my eBay work I often times need power supplies or cables for things, so I think the time has come to empty the extra wall warts and cables into a box to place in the eBay room. And do I really need all of those xmas lights that I have in the closet? The train set for under a tree that I didn't use often and I never have trees now? I think it's time to offer to one of the kids or the thrift store. Etc. I'm making those kinds of closet decisions. There are more papers for the burning barrel as well.

Dorothy, April seems a long time off, but it actually isn't, is it? My ex gets his first Pfizer vaccine today, the second in mid-April. This allows our little family, spread out as it is, to get together after the end of April, a time that can't arrive soon enough! I have until then to clean house so they can come in and we can share a meal.

We're due rain next week, so the week after that I've tentatively scheduled with my friend who does odd jobs and owns a tiller to return to till up the other side of the driveway. It was fallow last year after knee surgery. This will be my opportunity to reshape the soil over there and build raised beds that I'll keep in place. I need to mow before he tills to keep the amount of stuff we have to rake out to a minimum. My to-do list is growing for outdoor stuff.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Mar 21 - 12:37 AM

I killed time this evening trying to restore my Bluetooth on the big Dell, but even System Restore wouldn't revive it. So I'll figure out if it is a card and arrange to get under the hood to replace it. I didn't used to use the Bluetooth much, but I've started and find I don't want to give it up.

I'm looking forward to that new little bookshelf, but am not so excited for it to rob Peter to pay Paul. I could take everything off of one of the others here and put it in, but then I'd have to deal with all of the current contents sitting out in the way until the new one arrives.

I don't care for garage sales, but it is beginning to feel like time to start setting stuff aside for one.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 19 Mar 21 - 08:49 AM

Oddly enough (againÖ) I paired my phones with my desktop PC yesterday. Iím not sure that Iíve ever really used the PCs bluetooth but at least itís there and working if I do want it.

None of the PC motherboards (all similar Gigabyte AM3+ boards) here have bluetooth support onboard but Iíve a USB dongle plugged in the back of mine. Iíve also got a combined WiFi and bluetooth one plugged into dadís Lenovo laptop but thatís for a different reason. Bluetooth and Wifi are both built into the laptop but I was unable to get either of these to work properly under Linux.

The most common use for bluetooth here (and even that is rare) is between an Android device and an audio device. Both the Yamaha sound base under the tv and Pioneer amp can work that way.

Coming back to cables (of which there are many hereÖ), Iíve just remembered Iíve got a job I ought to do. Largely as I ran the main Ethernet cables outside for ease of installation, I use link aggregation (or doubling up if you like). I noticed when looking at a switch the other week that one of the links is down (probably a broken cable). In one sense, it seems to be doing exactly what was intended (ie a single failed link wonít take things down) but I should restore the redundancy.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Mar 21 - 12:52 PM

I think I'm closer to a solution; I've done a system restore (didn't help, but now it wants me to reburn a disk that I burned several weeks ago), updated all of the Dell drivers (still doesn't work) and in the device list there is an "unknown device" that I'm pretty sure is the bluetooth/WiFi card. In the knowledge base I found some techniques to restore that include going back to Factory BIOS, to clearing the NVRAM cache (that remembers what all devices are installed for a quick startup), or opening the cover and removing the coin battery for a few seconds then restoring it. Anything that involves opening the computer involves moving the desk, disturbing the newly-settled dust (I dusted last month), and wouldn't you know that when I start fussing about how peripherals are arranged something needs work. Or maybe something needed work so I started thinking about moving peripherals?

I'll try the turn off, unplug, discharge power, and remove and reinstall the unknown device showing up in the device list.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 19 Mar 21 - 01:10 PM

I'm probably totally wrong but maybe if its a BIOS/Operating system type thing, you could try to enter the BIOS (often F2 or Del) and poke around for onboard peripherals. Maybe disabling some device that looks appropriate then rebooting, followed be a re-enable there might trigger something? You may also see if the "unknown device" remains while disabled.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Mar 21 - 04:35 PM

I think the Windows update corrupted the Bluetooth software. I turned the computer off, unplugged, pressed the start button for 10 seconds (this completely discharges the power), then restarted and looked for the device information and deleted the unknown one. Dell has a system to survey the computer to see what's missing and offered up the drivers for the WiFi/Bluetooth combo card. I then had to let Windows do it's big update again, but the Bluetooth stayed put this time. No dust disturbed.

I've taken the step to get my hair cut (finally!) and to set up a consultation as far as the cataracts. There are lots of ducks to line up for the surgery, the haircut, not so much. Short term and long term goals addressed in the same day.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Mar 21 - 05:54 PM

Today I bought new brown leather walking shoes ó in a menís size seven, to accommodate the increasingly warped shape of my wonky foot. Once I got used to the idea, I was thrilled. Still am.

New Balance makes essentially the same shoes for both sexes, but their womenís shoes are proportionately narrower in the forefoot. So, once I found out which menís size is equivalent to a womenís 8.5, I was amazed at how much more room there is in the toe box. This solution works only with lace-up styles, as other kinds of menís shoes are too loose in the heel for me.

So now I shall walk downtown for dinner.

Stilly, your computer trials make me love my Mac more and more. I so donít miss Windows.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 19 Mar 21 - 07:41 PM

I stick with PCs and don't (usually) miss Windows...

We've had another delivery of logs today which we'll get Jonathan (yep he has the same name as me) to stack at the weekend.

I think I might need to correct the way he's stacking things (A couple of rows in the shed I'm taking logs from collapsed and I'm taking logs off 3 layers because I fear the back row could come down on my head when I take logs from nearer the floor with the way it's leaning. That and the first row he started in the other shed is leaning) but that's maybe a minor detail. We should have a good store of logs for next year.

A first for this year: We had tea a bit early and I took mum's down the field for her to have outside. I wouldn't have guessed we'd be doing that before the clocks go forward at the end of the month but at about 4:30pm, conditions seemed perfect.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 19 Mar 21 - 07:55 PM

Mum really struggles with footwear with her arthritic misshapen feet. She did have an NHS pair made for her a few years back but they were heavy and didn't work out.

The best she has found are CosyFeet but I don't know their availability in other countries and don't think they run to walking shoes/boots.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Mar 21 - 08:21 PM

There's a popup in the middle of the Cosy Feet screen telling me they ship world wide! Good to know.

I am careful about my shoes since having bunion surgery a dozen years ago or more. No more heels, making sure they're not too snug. I occasionally still get narrow shoes, but mostly wear medium width.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: keberoxu
Date: 19 Mar 21 - 10:12 PM

As to CosyFeet, the site has multiple pages, try this one:

Cosy Feet USA


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 20 Mar 21 - 11:11 AM

CosyFeet ship to Canada, according to their website. I might just give 'em a whirl if (when?) I get desperate for something to put on my feet that isn't sneakers.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Mar 21 - 11:47 AM

Fourteen months after my last haircut I have my next appointment. In early April I'll get several inches cut off, my bangs trimmed, and decide if I want to return to the highlights I have done for a long time. Or something else. The entire world hasn't opened for business yet, but with the vaccine and the precautions they're hopefully still taking at the salon, I'll get my hair back under control. I'll still braid it, but without the long straggling section at the end.

I've researched the "how to make the gate stay locked" question to I advance with my double gate (details needed for construction so someone can't simply push it forward and open). This way I'll have an easier route back to the compost when I work on the garden to grow my own healthy food again. I do need to find some of the clamping hinge parts so I don't have to drill holes through the posts.

I'm resuming alternate-day fasting to drop the pounds I picked up during a sedentary winter. Add to this the hair and an appointment to discuss cataract surgery and I seem to be decluttering my body this spring.

The house hasn't been very tidy since Winter Storm "Uri" hit; I need to rearrange my pantry shelves to create a space for the new propane stove that is on my kitchen table and get the fuel bottles to run it. And I need to do a couple of more things in advance of the next power outage (more candles, charge batteries, etc.; and find a large power supply with a solar charger).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Mar 21 - 09:14 PM

Work accomplished on the pantry shelves and I picked up a couple of one-pound bottles of propane to go with the new Coleman stove and all are parked in a cleared shelf. A large flattened box is on the floor under those wire shelves and I slid in various cases of canned goods, now easy to slide out when needed.

The really ugly compost enclosure that didn't do a thing to keep the dogs out of the contents was mostly disassembled this evening. Some of the rusty old chicken wire will leave with the trash, some of it is rolled up to be given another purpose later. And I bought a four-foot tall roll of chicken wire to try again. I am not in love with chicken wire, but the other fencing things would have been too easy for dogs to climb.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 20 Mar 21 - 09:27 PM

Beaver:

Due to staying here until the vaccine shot, I have time to pot!!! BUT trying to wedge the used clay was wearing out my shoulders and my patience. So, carefully looking at the weather forecast, I phoned the potter supply early Friday morning and put in an order for NEW clay! The glitch was that pick up is by appointment and the only time left was 4 pm! With a 3 hour trip back home... But I took a rest, had lunch and set off cross country - byways, not hiways!

Arriving at 3:25, I backed into parking area and phoned as required: "I'm early but no one else is here!" My order was beautifully loaded by a young woman who did not weigh much more than the clay! And a couple other staff came out to say "hi" and wish me well. I was back on the road by 3:35 and home just after 7, with a 40 minute stop at a terrific grocery store where I could - safely - obtain items not available in my other shopping spots.

Part way back I realized - WOW! there was no snow at all down there! It re-appeared as I drove north, but observed some glimmerings of spring! Still almost two feet on yard but I see one raised bed is starting to come out from under!

So, today, I threw 20Kg of the wonderful new clay into 12 large objects! Happiness!!! I did have to go back to bed for a mid morning rest and then lunch before getting started.

Today was a lovely warm day - exquisite! I had the studio door open due to solar gain! Warmer tomorrow so I look forward to more of the same and, hopefully, enough energy to unload the bisque firing -after throwing and trimming- wax bottoms and consider glazing options. Maybe even mix a needed glaze. My goal being to use all the new clay, fire, glaze, fire, etc. and have lots of pots done before 5 April! 14 days- well, maybe I can or at least come close. Nothing else to do but bring in firewood and not too much needed now!

Meanwhile, R actually commented that watering the plants took him half an hour! I told him that without me there, he has time! He has not yet eaten all the food I left for him. I am eating healthily and happy to have maintained my 15 pound loss. I am looking forward to the sorrel coming up out of the snow! Maybe even tomorrow!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Mar 21 - 10:29 AM

The sunshine is piling up in deep drifts here, Dorothy! ;-)

I know it's spring when I wake up planning how to do some task or other out in the yard. I need to prune a bunch of stuff today and I'll be dragging some old fencing stuff out to the curb for trash pickup tomorrow. And I'll be using the two-pound sledge hammer to drive in the metal fence posts for the next compost challenge the dogs will take on.

My mower needs an oil change and I might have to change the spark plug; will consult the owner's manual.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Mar 21 - 01:06 AM

I didn't pound the fence posts yet or string out the chicken wire, but I did some preliminary work ahead of that. I figured that the easiest way to haul brush from the front to the back (where it probably won't go in the regular compost pile, but it still needs moving to the back) is with a tarp, so I found one for less than $4 at Harbor Freight that will be my dedicated brush-hauling tarp. There's no weight to it, just bulk, and I have a lot to trim this year.

Today I actually paced myself pretty well, doing some yard work then coming in to do some sewing or some picking up, then cycling back out to the yard some more. During the sewing stage I realized that despite having bought almost five yards of flannel last month that I'm almost out. That's the common fabric in all of my masks, and I go through it pretty quickly. Tomorrow will be a run to Joann's with a coupon and for efficiency, a couple of other stops on the way.

I also finally made myself sit down and just watch a movie, not do something else while it's on. Now to mail it back to NetFlix. I don't really get my money's worth from that, but my son watches it all of the time and we share the account (since I rent two DVDs at a time there can be two streaming accounts with it.) In a world with all of the trauma of COVID and post-Trump, it was nice to watch The Muppets.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Mar 21 - 10:59 AM

Last night featured my second asthma attack in a week. It must be Spring.

The garden desperately needs attention, but leaf mold is a major allergen and the flower beds are full of it. I can probably risk picking up the deadfall branches the trees shed over the winter, however. It's a beautiful day in the neighbourhood!

I must also buy a bathing suit. Ordering on the internet isn't working -- two returns is all the pattern I need -- so I'll have to bite the bullet and go downtown. I just hope I don't have to go all the way to Kitchener or London.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Mar 21 - 11:19 AM

Ooooh, Charmion! Stay safe! Do you wear a facemask when you work in the yard? It used to be you could buy the N-95 construction masks at Home Depot; that's what I used to work in the attic dust and the downstairs room after the ceiling fell in. Now it's a crap shoot whether they still have any in stock.

I bought a bathing suit in preparation for returning to the gym after the knee surgery in February 2020. It still has the tags on it in my dresser drawer. So much for those plans! (I bought a 1-piece black Speedo, conservative cut around the legs, at Academy.)

Rain is in the forecast to day and it's good timing since I have a lot of in-the-house stuff to do. I did make one dash up the street a few houses; the trash company routinely changes the route when the days get longer so they switched from late afternoon pickup to early morning pickup. They'd been on my street already but were coming down the hill on the intersecting street so I dropped my trash next to the bag at the house kitty-corner from me that block (the street intersects with mine across the street from my house. I worry about someone slithering through the stop and landing on my front lawn). Note to self to now start putting out the trash the night before.

I just looked up kitty-corner, wondering about it. Turns out it's English mangling of quatre corner. Makes sense.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 22 Mar 21 - 01:48 PM

Beaver:

Very tired! I guess I was overly optimistic about how much I could do, not remembering all the intermediate tasks - cleaning pots that are to be glazed, wax bottoms. DONE! But only 7 got trimmed yesterday and none thrown. This am, I cleared some space in the "Wood shed" and put up two TV tables, brought all the glazes out of the studio and stacked them on table and on the swept floor. All the debris that fell off the wood while stacked, is now in a lined banana box bottom - the one I kept moving from place to place, not wanting to burn it but wondering what to do... Almost full of burnable debris that will go into the woodstove over the next while. Maybe by that time, I will be able to take the box to the back shed to await a new use. Still too much snow!

The woodshed is actually a solidly built roof over that end of the deck, open all four sides. It is largely empty of wood now, leaving adequate room to organize a glazing area.

The sorrel is coming up in a cleared raised bed! And I raked the debris from the comfrey. The nearby, original, sorrel is starting to look useful. The best news today was being able to get to the south rain barrel and get rain water for the studio. The iron water here is BAD for glazes so I keep it out of the studio generally, using rain water for throwing, etc. So I schlepped two small buckets. More later. I need to do a bunch of glaze related work: wash buckets, mix a batch of yellow, clear and translucent green, ORGANIZE!

The studio is really not big enough for all I am trying to do. The woodshed is a big help! I can run an extension cord over to use the drill for mixing glazes. A better table would help. I was able to get into the storage cabinet at front of house this am but the tables I thought were there, are not! Improvise.

Giving thoughtful consideration to vacuuming the studio with shop vac, wearing respirator and goggles. Now needing to weigh available space with tasks to be done. Glazing paramount as there is no more room for new work... Hmmmm!

Today is gorgeous and warm, and no bugs yet! Another factor to consider! And today I am in get out and push mode; work a bit, rest a bigger bit. And rain in a day or so... ... Do not try to vacuum; glaze like mad.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Mar 21 - 11:10 PM

Dorothy, I remember when you were first looking at that little property. I'm impressed how you've made it into quite an interesting and adaptable space.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Mar 21 - 09:57 AM

I still feel rather iffy from both the wheezing and coughing and the drugs to control the wheezing and coughing. After a drug-free year, I'm back on Zenhale, a puffer that combines a steroid with a long-acting bronchodilator. The steroid is comparatively benign, but the bronchodilator makes me twitchy. I may have to give up coffee until I get used to it again. Not that I drink much coffee any more.

Not fair.

I talked to a landscaper yesterday and asked him for a quote on spring-cleaning the flower beds in the garden and some preventive lawn maintenance -- aerating, dethatching, over-seeding, stuff like that. He just sent me an email with a whole new take on my name -- Tonya. I guess a change is as good as a rest.

As Dorothy points out, this is the halcyon period of spring before the bugs appear. I had better get out and enjoy it while I can.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Mar 21 - 11:02 AM

Late yesterday a flat box arrived with a three-shelf folding bookcase. I've unpacked it and am now about to disturb some dust. I'll wear a mask to spare myself some sneezes.

I have a six inch deep stack of paper to put in the burning barrel today, so between dust in the house and smoke in the yard, the mask will be very handy.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 24 Mar 21 - 02:22 PM

Beaver:

I do love the improvements here. I wanted the realtor to come see it but she is always too busy. When everything is working, as it now is, it is cosy and comfortable. I really do prefer it to the big house in QC. Closer to nature.

A few days ago I finally figured out how to get a signal when a message comes in! So great! Expecting a message from a friend to meet in town so I will not have to check every few minutes!

Seriously wanting something dif to eat; considering take out of fish and sweet potato chips - when I get to town. Also need to pick up package at "post office" - bloomin' Shopper's Drug mart. I resent having to go into a bloomin' store instead of the post office. This is for 20 loaves of good bread which will go into the freezer. LOTS of bread!!! About 20 weeks worth! But not available locally. I could have done with 10 but wanted two dif sorts - 10 each is how it comes!

Today, a heavy, gonna rain day - the energy is not there. Read all morning. Did one tiny potting task and have decided I do not need to push myself. The kiln is loaded but for two tiny pieces I will use to test a couple iffy glazes. Tomorrow will do. Iffy = "What is that?" Keeping records is not my strong point. Walked around yesterday stirring glazes with a RED marker in my pocket! Made sense of most of them. Anyway, they are OK in the wood shed - with chunks of wood holding the lids down! Maybe tomorrow I will mix the two needed ones, if it is not windy.

I did vacuum the loose stuff in studio; the wand for the shop vac - after I found it! - was long enough to reach all the way in and with the vac outside, it did not blow anything around! Opened window and door and let the air settle for awhile.

The snow is going! I can get to the water barrel easily but not to the back sheds yet. Will soon be able to pull grass shoots out of the raised beds. The impending rain will do the job. The sorrel is coming up nicely.

Still 10 days before shot and I may stay a couple days after so I can go to the Bakery on the Thursday - on way back to Quebec. Hopefully with all the pots ordered by the woman in Quebec. Focus, Dorothy, Focus!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Mar 21 - 06:11 PM

It took three attempts to find the best position for this bookshelf. The job isn't finished, but it's much tidier and there is room for more equipment on the shelves. I moved the UPS onto the bottom shelf, along with a separate surge protector for things that don't need to have time to shut down after a power outage. There are still a lot of cables, but as I plugged in each device I made a little label that I taped to each cord near the plug identifying what it went to.

Two years' worth of receipts and papers went up in smoke in the burning barrel, and that is now disassembled, the ash in the compost and the barrel back in the greenhouse.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Mar 21 - 08:44 PM

I took the tax stuff to the accountant today. When heís done his magic and Iíve paid what we owe, that will be the end of my obligations to the government with respect to Edmundís death. Iíll be able to close the estate account and make the bank happy.

Booya. Hoop-dee-doo.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Mar 21 - 05:21 PM

It is looking better in the office but I still need to find homes for a couple of things (not computer equipment).

I have feedback to consider since this morning's appointment to determine the type of lens to use for cataract surgery/lens replacement. It is several weeks away until after my ride to and from the surgery has completed his COVID vaccination regimen. One eye will respond well to the Medicare covered replacement lens, one will benefit from an upgrade to deal with astigmatism (meaning possibly not needing glasses for distance after all is finished). I'll probably still need glasses for close work. Wearing glasses after isn't a problem; not being able to see how much salt I'm putting on my food, or having to retrieve a flashlight and hand lens anytime I want to read small print while I'm wearing glasses will be nice to leave behind.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 25 Mar 21 - 10:52 PM

Beaver:

I am confused by the lens situation/cataracts. I had only the choice of ordinary or special. I paid extra for the special but no re-collection of the reasons! R told me to! I never had any info on any of it and the Dr. was NO HELP! But she told me after that my vision was 20/20 in each eye. And I only need the drug store glasses when print is too small. Why on earth do they print stuff so small that people with 20/20 cannot read it??

TODAY! Gorgeous! Much of the snow is gone and I see daffodil shoots peaking out and columbine up about 4 inches! And the sorrel is looking like a few more days to edible! Need rubber boots to get to the back sheds and still much snow back there in the shade. When I refer to this place as "down in the swamp" I am not kidding! The back area may be wet until July.

I threw pots today - 10kg. Have realized this is not a marathon. But I keep deviating from my list! Things are pretty organized now with areas for each operation. Glaze firing has gone off at good time tonight. The next batch to be bisqued is in the kiln room so all that heat will dry them well. Also did some hand laundry today and not much else - or so it seems.

Congratulations to Charmion on reaching this terrific goal!

The fish and chips was delicious but I could have eaten a second one. I wonder if there is any frozen fish with batter that would suffice. I bought frozen sweet potato chips and they were yummy- did them in the toaster oven.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Mar 21 - 12:10 AM

I won't get started on estates—they can be very messy; the way Charmian has worked through Edmund's business and personal papers and wishes at apparent lightning speed is quite remarkable.

Dorothy, it sounds like you had a good outcome on the surgery. The newest (and highest priced) thing is called PanOptix or PanOptix Toric, and have to do with removing the need for glasses at all. I have read that some of these way high-end lens fix-all-vision-problems implants can have visual halos in certain lighting, which may not be a bad thing, but might be distracting. I'm looking at the mid-range one that is called AlconToric for the left eye and the surgery will reduce my dependence on glasses.

No potting here; the clay I work with is in my yard's soil. My plans are underway for the garden and next week the heavy lifting of breaking up old compost piles to stir into the beds when my friend comes over to till them. We've had rain twice this week so my effort to keep the out-of-doors outside of the house is still a struggle as the dogs come and go. The lawn is still sparse so the mud is easily tracked in.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 26 Mar 21 - 07:34 AM

Things are moving with the kitchen appliances. The washer dryer came earlier in the week and the cooker is due on April 1st. We agreed on a halogen hob cooker.

Lights are playing up in the living room. They are fine with a standard on/off switch but have started flickering and flashing with the Lightwave dimmer that Iíd like to return to using. I had a couple of spares of these dimmers but they all do the same. Maybe itís the bulbs Ė I changed one recently which put 3 out of 4 of the bulbs onto the cheap Amazon ones Iíd bought Ė perhaps thatís upset the balance of things thingsÖ Some better quality (and same maker as the dimmer) ones on order. I don't know where I go if that fails.

Wi-fi on the kitchen camera went from being a bit flaky at times to rarely working at all. Thatís quite annoying as I use the motion detection on that to keep the kitchen lights onÖ I came up with a temporary fix using a spare wireless access point in client mode and connecting that to the cameraís Ethernet port.

I hope to have a bit tidier solution today but canít do all Iíd hoped. Iíve got a PoE (power over Ethernet) switch and a camera that uses poe coming today. The access point also takes poe so I thought I could do it all with just one power socket and power cable. Instead, I learned something about PoE. There is the proper ďactiveĒ poe where the power requirements are negotiated between (say) the switch and the powered device. Then there is ďpassiveĒ PoE where the device just takes whatís given even thought it may not be compatible with the standard ďactiveĒ stuff. My access point is passive and not compatible with the switch. Iíll leave it with using 2 sockets. Maybe later in the year, Iíll see if I can get a wired Ethernet connection into the kitchen.

Iíve found which of the 4 (two pairs which both join midway on the run) cables is broken on the main wired route and should have a new outdoor cat 6 cable today to restore the complete run with redundancy.

Oh well, it seems to be the season for things electrical and electronic round here...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Mar 21 - 10:59 AM

Jon, that's a lot of stuff I haven't had to think about - does your Internet/ethernet run through the power lines? (The "mains" you call them?) That would be nice. We have to run the Cat 5, or now Cat 6, for all Internet connections (unless it's WiFi), completely separate from the electrical part of the wiring.

I have one smart bulb that I've not yet decided on placement. It's the same brand as the smart bulb I have in my kitchen dining area so they can be installed on that one app. I tell Alexa to turn it on and off and don't need to lean way around the corner to reach that switch (put in the wrong place to begin with, and I'm not paying to rewire it). This second bulb is here as a spare since I haven't had a use for it so far. (I have Alexa in the phone but purposely haven't turned it on; I use an Echo dot in two rooms for the command to the bulb or listening to radio.)

I buy the LED fixtures now, some encased in bulbs, others with the bare diode inside the fixture that is put up in the hall, the laundry room, etc, in place of a dead fixture. I need a new one for the side porch where I used to use the stick halogen bulbs. Next iteration will be LEDs.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 26 Mar 21 - 11:25 AM

All the network cabling is Cat5/6. The only thing I've had running over the mains here was X10 home automation stuff but I replaced that several years ago.

In case there is some confusion here, Power over Ethernet puts power down the Ethernet cables. I'm using it for both the outdoor cameras.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Mar 21 - 11:22 AM

I'm looking at the house through different eyes now: the possibility that people can actually come in means I ought to put more stuff away and finish some of the rearranging of furniture I have in mind doing. And there are a bunch of boxes that need flattening and deposit in the village recycle bins. They fill so fast these days, I need to plan to go right after the dumpsters are emptied.

The front hall as become a bit of a spectacle with metal wire panels that can be assembled as a sort of dog play enclosure. I have a couple of them up to keep the dogs out of the carpeted front room and have set things on the chairs in front of the panels to keep the puppy from pushing past them. It all needs clearing out, and some of the boxes in that room need flattening and to be recycle bin bound. I have never yet managed the Swedish "death cleaning," I'm still working on the American "room to live in" cleaning.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Mar 21 - 06:55 PM

I bought a frozen pizza yesterday, and after lunch had half leftover. My normal go-to container would be the lately departed Tupperware bacon keeper. But just try finding exactly what you want on Amazon. Many are the dimensions long and wide but are too tall. They do have some vintage Tupperware, but I'm intent on BPA free plastic assurances. The closest I've found is a shallow food keeper at the Container Store. But that looks too shallow for when I want to store leftover flautas (rolled corn tortillas with chicken inside). I think a trip by the Container Store and their copious ranges of storage shelving is in order. Tupperware clearly has me spoiled for any other manufacturer's product, but they're so damned expensive. Rubbermaid's egg keeper is close but still a little too big.   

I'm feeding a friend's cats this weekend and trying to make my trips efficient by planning more than one stop. It looks like this is the one to add on to the cat dinner run.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: mg
Date: 27 Mar 21 - 10:58 PM

there is nothing i like better than bacon keeping. i put all sorts of things in them and they stack so well. i got several for two dollars each at an outlet store.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Mar 21 - 11:26 AM

Years ago I got some good, various-sized food containers at a local dollar store (I still use them), but most of those stores have been gone for a long time now. Maybe Dollar Tree has some? I've only ever been in a Dollar Tree one time. Today on the lunchtime cat feeding trip I'll swing by there, and if they don't have anything, then stop at the Container Store. As Mary suggests, bacon keepers stack nicely, or sit on the shelf with room for other things of various shapes on top.

Yesterday I laid out the cheap 5' x 7' Harbor Freight tarp in the front yard and piled on brush, then grabbed the corners and took the bulky thing to the back yard. This will work, though this morning I'll tie some retired clothesline into a loop on each corner to make it easier to grasp. I'm depositing this in the back of the yard and am planning to use the mower to break up most of these twiggy branches of salvia and rosemary into mulch.

With the understanding that "sitting is the new smoking," since a few weeks ago I've made a point of changing tasks every hour or two so that I'm not just sitting sewing or writing all afternoon. I particularly feel it in my knees - they don't complain as much as when I stay in the same position for a long time. This is also possibly more efficient for getting several things done in a day.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 28 Mar 21 - 05:29 PM

Beaver:

Worked a lot yesterday and was plumb wore out by 5 pm and in bed by 7:30. All pottery related. I have trays and trays of pots - some drying, most bisqued and needing decorating and glazing and two glazes need sieving. My right arm says "forget it!" Some have to be moved on out - made ready for glaze fire and moved to kiln before I can throw more. Hope tomorrow; time is starting to get short - before I get vaccine and go back to Quebec.

I find if I do not move often enough, I have to start un-seizing all over again! Today has been a total rest day - other than changing the sheets and numerous trips to windows to see how high the the stream is! Raining like mad most of day. Still room in the culvert but the stream is at least 10 feet wide - instead of 2-3. I reckon the tree Dan planted over near the bridge is washed away. The bridge is holding firm. He came over the spring before he built it to get an idea what needed to be done! It is bolted to concrete foundations. And still I am wondering...

I did find the umbrella under the car seat yesterday and brought inside, too tired to go do anything but I have an umbrella!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 29 Mar 21 - 03:19 AM

I had a good day on Saturday. The problem with the lights was cured with the new bulbs. I put the new Ethernet cable outside. I fitted the new camera in the kitchen. I also fixed the drinking water tap (separate tap on the sink with under sink filter) which had come loose. The only slight problem was the kitchen lights were still turning off at bad times.

I thought that was going to be easy to fix but along came Sunday. I wonít go into the details, many of which are a bit technical, but it was one of those days where nearly everything I tried developed new areas of complication or snags. I got there in the end but what started off as simple aims that I thought would be achieved in a couple of hours wound up as 12 hours of frustration and a temper nearing boiling point.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Mar 21 - 09:58 AM

Replacement of my rickety basement windows has finally reached Tony the carpenter's to-do list. His latest email included a cost proposal (indicating that he had located a supplier that actually has supply) and he promised a visit today to refresh his memory of the locus in quo.

So I'm feeling a little better, at least with respect to windows.

Nephew Louis came by yesterday to try Edmund's bicycle on for size, and it seems to be a good fit. Now all we have to do is figure out how to move it to St Catharine's without renting a van.

The weather has turned sharply colder, as often happens at this time of year, and a light layer of snow covers the roofs and lawns of the neighbourhood. My tulips, hyacinths and daffodils have sprouted, but they won't mind.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Mar 21 - 11:35 AM

Jon, I think you described the arc of many technical tasks we do around our houses. It starts out a simple changeout, then you realize there are other moving parts that need attention if you're going to do it correctly. When I put in the new set of shelves it wasn't just moving a couple of things and loading stuff on the shelves, I had every piece of computer equipment and peripheral unplugged, dusted, repositioned, and put back into service by the time I finished. It took hours and there was some cursing.

This morning I texted my handyman about tilling the garden (I called him about 10 days ago to suggest we do it this week after some rain softened the soil). He said he'll text when he's ready to come over - meaning I have today to mow and scalp the area with the string trimmer.

When they call or text, especially with the supply of materials and available time, it's important to make that work in your schedule! Good work on the windows, Charmion! I'd love new windows here, but they're several items down on the "to do" list. Wasn't the position of your air conditioner/heater unit moved because of the proximity to one of these windows?

I filled that new tarp with the remnants of my once wonderful woody rosemary bush, and I also cut down my dead bay tree. I'm thinking I'll keep the bay trimmed down shrub sized so it doesn't shade part of the garden so much. This is assuming something sprouts back from the roots. There are a couple of pups around the rosemary plant that I'll nudge to life. Those should grow much faster than buying a new plant and putting it in.

I found two keeper-style containers at the Container Store that will store flat. I also picked up a small bin to put potatoes or onions in, then realized I already had a couple of plastic bins I'd evicted from the fridge recently. But as summer progresses I'll use those for produce so they are in limbo now, but not excess.

More people died from the February freeze than in Hurricane Harvey. That just came over the radio on Texas Standard radio show. As a participant in that exercise, I can say that I'm not surprised—too many people simply wouldn't have been equipped to stay safely in their homes, yet in their homes they stayed.

Research time: my sister told me about a compost-turning auger she got from the Garden Tool Company down here in Texas. I have to figure out what that is and where she got it. Apparently it's a screw thing that really does a good job of turning the compost pile contents. Something any of the gardeners in this running conversation might be interested in. I'll report back on what I find (I'm looking at a note I made to myself during a conversation and sharing it here so I don't lose track of that garden project).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Mar 21 - 12:47 PM

We had one of those compost stirring gadgets, and it did not last long ó one of the blades bent only halfway into the summer. We got it from a good supplier, too, so Iím still a bit resentful.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Mar 21 - 05:47 PM

So far the one my sister is using seems to be working, or she'd have mentioned that.

I am kicking myself now for not having looked harder before when I couldn't get my Amazon Fire tablet to talk to the computer. I have been thinking about getting a Samsung tablet just so I had one that would behave nicely and let me move files back and forth - but instead of buying that tablet I made myself make one more attempt.

It's a two-part answer. It doesn't want to connect with Bluetooth, and it wants to connect with a USB-3.1 cable and I had the cable on a much slower 2 or 1 port on the hub. AND on the tablet when you pull down from the top of the screen and see the message about the USB charging, you then (once it's plugged into the USB 3 port) can see the guts and the card in the tablet while in Windows Explorer. It only took an effing year of playing games with moving files via thumb drives. And of course, it took a flashlight and moving the computer table to get a look at the ports on the back and then to realize that I have two little class C USB 3.0 ports that I haven't been using because I don't have those cables. Now they're ordered. And this illustrates why the cataracts are such a pain - needing the flashlight to do any of this stuff. I made a point of getting lots of 3.1 ports when I ordered this, I just didn't pay attention that they fit a different cable. I have some adapters I can use, but dedicated cables are better. #FinallyGettingAroundToDoingTheMath

Jon, back to you. Your turn. :-)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 30 Mar 21 - 04:20 AM

Hee-HeeÖ Yesterdayís odds and ends didnít start too well. Iíd had another think about putting the kitchen camera directly on the wired network and decided that I could run a cable from the switch in my room to the camera by following the same route my main cables take and teeing off the trunking under the kitchen window. It should have been straightforward but I got a bit heavy handed and damaged the cable and have had to order another one.

Things got a lot better from there though. It was quite breezy today but it was still a lovely sunny day. I did a bit of mowing and strimming and mum joined me outside. I went in to make the evening meal at about 4:30pm, went back outside to eat mine and stayed out till about 7:00. So a lot of my time yesterday was just enjoying the weather.

Maybe Iíll be back to computers (and frustrations with them) today. It depends on when Amazon deliver. Iíve got something else coming to play with btw. An Alexa Echo. It is supposed to be able to work with the Homeseer software I use these days and Iíll be interested to find out how that works out.

My own feeling has always been that voice commands probably donít work too well in a room with conversation and the tv on but I could be wrong. Even if doesnít work out in those conditions, I think mum might find it useful. Sheís finding she sleeps better in the peaceful living room and calling for a light to turn on if she needs one would probably be more convenient than reaching for the remote control.

Ė
On the eyesight, I donít think Iíve got things as badly as you but I certainly know the feeling that I need increasing amounts of light.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Mar 21 - 09:44 AM

After May the vision will be restored - not something that can be said about reduced functionality in very many other parts of our bodies!

I have two Amazon Echo "dots" here; one in the kitchen and one in the sewing room. There are Alexa enabled devices around (televisions and my phone) that I don't use.

I use the kitchen Alexa to turn on and off a light over the table and to listen to various broadcasts. I don't usually ask for any of the things the emails about Alexa suggest I can do. I did read a thing that you can get Alexa to respond to whispers, but you have to alert it to that change somehow. The dot in my sewing room is for listening to different radio and Sirius XM broadcasts. I mentioned before that I have another smart lightbulb to figure out where it might be best used. The one in the kitchen is part of a network that is an app on my phone and connected from there to Alexa. I don't remember now how much practice or routine I had to go through to "train" the first Dot to recognize my voice.

Running cable - oy - I've done a lot of that up in the attic and down into the walls in several rooms, and this reminds me that I still have a couple of rooms I've been meaning to finish. Simply pulling out the coaxial with the Cat 6 taped onto the end in the room so that once it reaches the attic I can use the Cat 6 up there to connect where I want without fishing around for stuff. I have coaxial cable in a couple of rooms of the house but it doesn't get used for anything except to run from the outside antenna. I have several related projects up there that this time of year would be good for (before it turns into a summer oven). I bought some of the plastic heavy-duty decking Attic Dek material to run through the areas where I need to go for wiring and such and to be able to walk on, not move carefully along the joists. They're the dimension to put down from joist-to-joist and screw into place.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 31 Mar 21 - 06:10 AM

I like the decking, SRS.

Alexa so far has been yet another frustration.

Alexa doesnít seem to like the words or my attempts at ďRightĒ, ďLeftĒ or ďSpotĒ which seemed to be at the root of messages including ďI donít understandĒ as well as error beeps.

I tried going nautical with the living room and changing ďSpotĒ. That got me to ďPort Table LightĒ, ďPort ďSpotlightĒ, ďStarboard Table LightĒ and ďStarboard SpotlightĒ. 3 of 4 of these worked reasonably reliably (main thing was to make the ďtĒ in ďportĒ strong and rather exaggerated for me, otherwise it goes for ďporchĒ) but it couldnít work out the 4th (I canít remember which that was) and I canít see how my pronunciation could be changing to affect this.

If I try to use ďBedroom LightĒ, Iím informed ďA few things share the name Bedroom LightĒ even though there is only one. Going by this Reddit thread and other search results, this appears to be a bug in the Alexa set up that has existed (perhaps intermittently) for at least 2 years. It also has given success ďOKĒ for the nonexistent ďBedroom Light 99Ē, something I called out in frustration/trying to find some uniqueness.

Well that bit was frustrating but I had some fun with it later. A couple of things that amused me:

Asking it what the longest place name in Wales is produced an answer which contained the worst attempt at Llanfair PG that I've ever heard.

Asking it if it is a long way to Tipperary resulted in the Alexa voice singing the song!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 31 Mar 21 - 07:36 AM

I've just found that I might not (unchecked as yet) have needed to replace the cable for the kitchen. It is marked and I did tug a bit hard but there was another problem which caused me a bit of head scratching. The smart switch in my room it uses was showing a network connection and supplying power but a closer look revealed it was on the wrong VLAN.

Oh well, kitchen is better for the change. My temporary solution involved the wireless access point and supplying poe near the camera. That's gone and there is just one flat Cat6 cable doing the job now. It should also be more reliable having removed the wireless element or at least I have more faith in things hard wired...

Better move on to something non tech... I potted the peppers and aubergines on a couple of days ago and they are looking good. 4 types of tomatoes and some marigolds are now in the propagator. Acrylic sheets for the greenhouses should be with me some time this week.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Mar 21 - 11:33 AM

Jon, I don't use the word "light" at all - I tell Alexa "Turn on Dining Table" and it goes to that named item in the list of smart bulbs in the house (in the linked phone app). Sometimes sequences mess up for Alexa also. If I say "turn on MSNBC on Sirius XM" it does it, but if I tell it later to "turn off MSNBC" it doesn't know what I mean. In that instance I need to tell it to turn off the Sirius XM. Does the Alexa you get speak with the UK accent? Or is it the American voice? Or do you have a choice?

The dog-curated forest floor look is back. Time to vacuum and mop.

In the greenhouse I've been filling pots with my homemade potting mix, and I need to get some fresh seeds for a few things. Some of the old seeds work, but not all. The garden should be tilled this week and then I need to begin shaping the beds. I'll use some purchased bedding plants also. And I'm going to get some powdered Dipel (Bacillus thuringiensis) to try to keep the worms from killing the squash plants (dusting it on in a hyper-local way). I usually use the liquid, but I'll try the other to see if that helps.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 31 Mar 21 - 12:07 PM

Alexa has an English UK voice here. The language options would allow me to use United States for example but there are warnings that such settings do not match my country and some features may not work. Apparently it also takes a few minutes for a change to take effect.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 31 Mar 21 - 04:39 PM

Trying to remove light from a couple as a test didnít help anything SRS but I think I can see where my duplicates are coming from. I donít think itís quite but along these lines:

Alexa is using the full Homeseer names which consist of floor, room and device and I can avoid the message if I use the full mouthful. Itís a shame there is no provision to provide a nickname. Take the bedroom, I have these names:

indoors bedroom bedroom light
indoors bedroom bedside light

If an SQL query went

SELECT device WHERE name LIKE ď%bedroom%Ē AND name LIKE ď%light%Ē

Both would match. Something like asking Alexa to turn on ďlight bedsideĒ would work and it does. In fact just asking to turn on "bedside" is fine too. There is only one device containing the word "kitchen" so I can go "turn kitchen on", etc.

The workaround Iíve used for the bedroom one is to change the room name to ďbedĒ.

That just leaves me with trying to come up with names Alexa will recognise and we will find easy to use for the two table lights and the two spot lights in the living room.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Mar 21 - 04:44 PM

Contact has been achieved with the friend who will till the garden; it is now time to take the organic herbicide and hit the Bermudagrass and see if I can kill it before we churn it.

Cables arrived yesterday for the faster series C devices and it's time to retire a couple of the older cables.

Tomorrow is trash day so I'll spend time generating dusty trash in the vacuum and put it out at the curb in the morning. And I have the personal objective of completely clearing off the kitchen table (the one under the light Alexa turns on and off for me.) I saw on a little video from Nate Burkus that he no longer promotes having a formal dining room. I use the den area for the dining table when we need to spread out. I'm thinking it's time to dust behind a few things in that part of the kitchen then move that big dining table into the kitchen and use the small kitchen table somewhere else. The main problem with this plan is that I'll be tempted to rearrange the den and then have to run cables and speaker wire in different areas.

Maybe I'd better stick to gardening and the rearranging urge will pass.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 31 Mar 21 - 07:22 PM

If I have more to say on the Alexa after this, I'll start another thread rather than keep going here but for here, I leave it with this.

"Big Table Light", "Small Table Light", "T V Spotlight" and "Other Spotlight" work fine and keep things understandable for us with Alexa and for me with the Homeseer interface.

The next thing I tried was adding the Honeywell Evohome skill. The first tests worked fine allowing me for example to say "set hall to 20". The problem is that with this is that in place, "turn hall light on" gives "hall does not support that". Renaming the hall thermostat zone (each room has its own zone) to "T Hall" takes me back to duplicate name problems with the light for reasons I can't fathom but show there were errors in my previous thoughts...

I suppose I'll find some naming system that does work but I'm finding Alexa a bit of a nightmare.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Mar 21 - 07:37 PM

And here I'm thinking about where to put a second smart lightbulb. You're lightyears ahead of me as far as Alexa is involved!

Seeds picked up today and before I do anything else I'll go through the tray of old seeds and toss all of the ones that I know are not viable. Some of them last for years, others don't. The only plants I picked up are two ornamentals that will replace those from a pot that was in the greenhouse during the big freeze. Bat-face cuphea is a shrub planted in the ground in USDA Zone 9, but here in Zone 8 it's a plant in a pot that winters in the greenhouse.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Mrrzy
Date: 31 Mar 21 - 11:39 PM

Got talked into a bigger tv.

That meant moving the old tv. So I also moved a bookcase to put the moved old tv on. That involved cleaning all the books, organizing, and culling.

So then I put my card table in that no-longer-spare room, with its one surviving chair.

And I cleaned off and moved a shelf from my bedroom into the ex-spare room, to put the things that had been on top of the bookcase on. That involved finally cleaning all the clutter and knickknacks off the highboy where I had stuck what came off the shelf I moved.

And I moved all my art supplies from my office area into my not-spare room, organized.

Now I have a studio instead of an unused room! And I have already drawn and painted stuff. Woot! And my desk is cleaned off! And my tallboy!

And all for a bigger tv! Which did not arrive today as scheduled. But hey.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Apr 21 - 12:48 AM

Good for you! And isn't that the way these projects progress - touch one thing and it snowballs into a production. It sounds like you have several rejuvenated lovely spaces.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Apr 21 - 07:48 AM

The new cooker was installed this morning so we are almost back to a fully functional kitchen.

I say almost as there is a fault with it. That is that the markings on the knob for the main oven don't line up correctly. Where the knob clicks to the off position lines up nearly with the 75 degree marking and turning to full on goes a way past the max marking. I doubt that it's much but I won't know what temperature the oven is set to until it's fixed.

That aside, I'll have to get used to it now. I knew with the old one say where I wanted a ring set to to simmer something and that with the ovens even when things were working properly, the top oven always seemed to be a little under temperature and the main oven needed a little reduction from what a recipe would suggest for a fan assisted one. Minor details I suppose but this cooker is sure to be a bit different.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Apr 21 - 10:22 AM

Several years ago I scorched a few things before I realized that the new burners ("eye" or "ring" to you?) were in better shape than my former stove, and the oven is more accurate. No need to turn things on higher than the temperature on the knob said any more.

The first organic application of weed killer on the turf where the garden will go appears to have had no affect overnight. I'll fill the sprayer with 10% vinegar ("pickling" strength - regular table strength is standardized at 5%) and add some delimonene (orange oil) to it for another jolt in full sunlight today. The goal is to kill most of the Bermudagrass, though I may be throwing good organic weed killer after bad on this stuff - I suspect Bermudagrass would join cockroaches in surviving a nuclear bomb blast.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Apr 21 - 11:17 AM

I use "ring" and don't think I've come across "eye".


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Apr 21 - 01:02 PM

"Eye" is a southern (Appalachia) term that I thought might also come from across the pond. A friend from North Carolina's mountains used to talk about the "eye" on her stovetop.

I'm not seeing much impact from the first organic weed killer so am going to head out with white vinegar and orange oil in the sunshine.

The trash came too early for me to get things out there today. I spotted an article from Martha Stewart on Instagram that reminded me of a few things I haven't cleaned or cleared up for a while, including the furnace filters. 11 Things You're Forgetting to Clean (or Replace!) Around Your Home.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 202
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Apr 21 - 08:58 PM

My word for the fiery things on my gas-fired kitchen range (or cooker, if youíre Brit) is ę†hob†Ľ. The coils on an electric range are ę†burners†Ľ.

This week I went back to the Y for pool class, which worked out so well I clean forgot that today was Needle Day and I had to go to Kitchener to be shot. The Y has a booking website now, and twice as many classes as there were before the pandemic began because now the pool can accommodate only 10 people. The locker room is far more tolerable with only about a dozen women in it, and the pool itself is still a witchís brew of chemicals but at least now itís a comparatively clean witchís brew of chemicals.

I have spent rather a lot of time this week on the phone talking about house repairs and in Zoom meetings about the future of the choir. So far I have seen neither hide nor hair of Tony the carpenter, and the choir probably wonít survive another winter without genuine live-and-in-person rehearsals and performances.

But just when we thought things were looking up, variant COVID began surging in Ontario cities, especially greater Toronto. Consequently, the Diocese of Huron cancelled real-life Easter services yesterday (no Anglican super-spreader events allowed), and today the provincial government announced that another general lockdown will begin at midnight on Friday.

Now Iím wondering when Iíll ever get another haircut.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Apr 21 - 10:30 AM

could use "burner" but the appliance would need to be gas.

I'm still trying to get the cooker sorted.

Mum (a have difficulties starting many phone calls) phoned Beko support yesterday. They firstly denied the existence of the product and then forwarded her to another number (maybe in Turkey where Beko are based?) where mum could not understand the English of the person answering the call. I then tried emailing Beko support and got no reply.

I started with emailing the retailer AO today with an email that outlined both the fault and the problems we had with Beko support. They try to push you to the manufacturers as I think a lot of companies probably do but, legally, they are responsible for selling me goods not of satisfactory quality.

It started off well with a quick response which asked for a picture. I did that and the problem was acknowledged in a follow up email but that email also suggested I should try Beko first.

I've repeated the problems we had with Beko, told them I'm not prepared to go further that way and I'm asking them to sort it out and am waiting for a reply.

And all this for what I think is simply a misprinted knob. I'd accept one in the post to try rather than getting repair people in or looking for a replacement cooker.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Apr 21 - 11:31 AM

That would be the easiest. Have you looked up the stove (just enter the model number in a Google search) plus "repair parts" or something like that? You may be able to spend a couple of dollars and sort it out faster than the store will. I've found sites online that offer all of the individual replacement items for my dryer, and one of these days I'll take the dryer apart and repair the gasket on the drum edge that has slipped a little and keeps grabbing things while it's running, on occasion leaving a rubbery stretch mark on a pillow case or wash cloth. It isn't so bad to spend the megabucks of a repair guy coming to the house.

Haircut today. I've been going to this hairdresser for over 10 years, so there is a lot to catch up on (my last haircut was Feb. 12, 2020). My t-shirt has a neutral message (to me anyway - "NPR") and pants with legs loose enough so I can show off the surgery scar on my knee. I decided I'd wear something other than my usual couple of pairs of yard shoes; I've worn socks and shoes all year since the surgery, for whatever reason. Until then I usually wore sockless slip-on loafers and was a little bit dressier for work or even going out as a retiree. That felt a little strange this morning, and just in case I were to give myself a blister that might spoil some of the pleasure in getting out to a couple of other shops after the haircut, I went with a pair of socks and lace-up shoes that I haven't worn since before the knee surgery. After I put them on I realized I should have blown out the dust. It won't kill the socks, so no big deal, but this is a relic of living through a pandemic. Dusty shoes.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Apr 21 - 12:15 PM

Appointment for repair made now. A lot of questions, mostly Covid related bit we have someone coming on the 7th and I've accepted that.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Apr 21 - 12:53 PM

I think I've always begrudged the price of spares, SRS.

I worked for Hotpoint for a few years in the 80s. My first job there was as a line labourer but my second was on the staff. That position was more involved with the movement and reliable figures of stock than cost but I could see the cost of every part.

I don't suppose I've ever come to grips with lets say and I'm not sure this is right, a 50p door gasket becoming a £15 spare part. I suppose I could even extend that sort of puzzlement to small packets of screws when you see self tappers coming in at pennies per thousand.

But, yea, I don't understand the supply/demand/distributing/holding things in stock, etc. things. And of course we where using a fair amount of things.

In those days, Hotpoint Kinmel site was putting out 400 front loaders a day on each of lines 1,2 and 4 a day and line 3 did 400 dryers a day. Lines 3 and 4 often ran a night shift on top of the day one. Then there was line 5 which was lower volume and new in my time which was putting out the then new over 1000 RPM spin models. You can wonder where they all go to...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Apr 21 - 11:38 PM

Jon, you have an interesting behind-the-scenes view of the situation; I've read that if you took all of the parts of a car and priced them individually to build a car the vehicle would be exponentially more expensive than from the factory. I suspect there is an aspect of availability and storage that comes into the pricing of spare parts.

I decluttered my head of about 10" of hair today and am loving the lighter feel. All of the damaged ends are gone and much of the hair that had the color from highlights. Not all is gone, but a lot. It seems I'm not the only client who, after all of this time, has decided that maybe going gray isn't so bad after all. At least for now.

Today I knew I'd have to be at an appointment soon after lunch so I pushed back the tilling appointment, and it'll have to happen middle of next week. I forgot that this weekend is Easter stuff and while to me it's just another Sunday my friend has family stuff to celebrate. Meanwhile I have things to keep me busy in the yard.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Apr 21 - 10:25 AM

The neighbors were already mowing when I got up this morning (they didn't start too early, I slept a bit late) and today appears to be a day I'll spend mostly in the yard. To start, building my compost enclosure, dog-proof version 16.0 (Cinnamon arrived here in 2005 and my compost was a much more casual operation then, but I still worked to keep the dogs out).

This means starting the little tiller (the one given me by the neighbors, not the big one Antonio will bring over to break up the main garden) and running it through the old compost piles and preparing those to be moved to the new garden next week. And I have a smaller piece of garden next to the back door that I'll till on my own to start before then.

There's a lot of cardboard that needs recycling, but I suppose I should hold onto it (not visit the village bins) until I decide completely where paths are going to go in the new gardens, between raised beds. Cardboard makes a good weed barrier.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Apr 21 - 10:32 AM

New tv came. Way too big for my house (compared to the giant ones in the store it hadn't seemed so huge!) so it is going back. Getting a smaller (but still bigger than my old) one.

Meanwhile I am doing *lots* of art because the studio has my only tv!

Somehow the cleaning of the little bookshelf kinda cascaded into taking all the books off all the shelves in my long hallway that is all bookshelves, cleaning the books, reorganizing, culling, cleaning the bookshelves, putting back. Bagged all the boys' books, invited them to dinner, handed them the bags. Room for art now amongst the shelves! Not thinking that it is room for books! Down, hoarding reflex, bad reflex, down!

I deny that this is mania. I feel fine, but I am no judge of my own maniacal levels. At least I was able to stop when the job was done...

And, in the fitness department, my vax site is ramping up from about 300 shots a day to 2000, so yesterday instead of pacing desultorily for 4 hours in front of the site, I walked quickly up and down a quarter-mile long line making sure folks were where they needed to be, for 4 hours [note the comma placement, there!]. So last night my legs were doing the crampy thing every time I shifted position where you have to get up outa bed and stand on the crampy leg to unpoint your toes.

Signing up for more shifts next week. Working towards being able to walk up and down that line and not have my legs do the night cramp thing.

Also, I am in favor of never cutting hair. Keeping it kempt is necessary, styling it ok, but cutting it is unnecessary.

Also in favor of facial hair. Mine won't grow, but on Zoom I have a moustache filter, and in public a bearded mask. Not looking forward to not having those in the future! So enjoying having them!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Apr 21 - 10:47 AM

That room sounds amazing, Mrrzy! And congratulations to you for working at the COVID shot clinic! What kinds of art are you producing? Do you do commercial art?

It wasn't until recently that I realized I should focus on shampooing just my scalp and the hair adjacent to it, leaving the length to hang down my back and give it just a quick sudsy once-over and not pile it all on top of my head for an entangling wash that required spray detangler to sort out after the shower. Untangling my hair meant breaking some ends in the process, so the bottom few inches were thinner and not as healthy. Cutting it all off means I can pay attention to better hair care if I want it to grow longer (I'll grow it out a couple of more inches and keep it at about that length). And it means a pony tail to poke out through the back of my ball cap that isn't so heavy that my scalp aches under the elastics after a while.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 03 Apr 21 - 12:06 PM

Beaver:

Time does fly by. I have been totally focused on A.getting a vaccine; Finding out from the paper that friends had already gotten it here in Bancroft, I phoned and got some particulars then drove to the Legion and got a phone number from the man keeping order, went to the car and phoned; After interminable messages, I got a woman whom I could not understand at all; she put me back on hold - more of the same %^&*( messages! - and Finally a wonderful woman who listened, spoke clearly and changed my appointment from the place an hour away to the place 5 minutes away! I thanked her profusely on the verge of happy tears. My energy level is so incredibly iffy that a two hour trip would mean two hours of not getting work done on the pottery and I really want to get this lot done so I can get back to Quebec and R. So B is:

Some days I can work for two hours, rest a couple and do two more. Other days, after a really busy day, I am totally unable to do anything but read, rest, possibly go to a store five minutes away. This is me at 84. I just tell myself to get used to it. But keep on trying!

A few days ago, I went to the grocery and there were too many cars so I went to M&M and bought two packets of family sized meals: cabbage rolls and canneloni. I cooked both - turning on the oven, might as well. They were actually good and a nice change from veggies and chicken. Never would I have spent the time/energy to make them.

I also noticed as I left M&M, a new tiny restaurant, so stopped to see what it was about. "Watts Cookin" had frozen meals and a take-out menu so I bought frozen Swedish meatballs and came home happy with it all. Supporting local businesses is terrifically important up in the boonies. And the new lockdown has begun. Fortunately I found 4 more books at the thrift shop the other day!

Yesterday at 6 pm, I was elated that everything I deemed necessary had been thrown! Today, I am waiting for the energy to fix a minor thing in the kiln, then glaze and fill the kiln and watch it carefully for correct firing. And trim yesterdays pots so they can dry for firing in a few days.

I never dreamed when I went to Toronto for the fresh clay that I would be so long getting things done but there have been at least two total do-nothing days and several days when I cannot get going until noon or so. Like today (11:30)!

The ground has thawed enough to pull some grass out of beds, on sunny days. From today on it will be mostly above freezing! Daffies are up a few inches. It would be nice if they bloom before I leave! No sign of life in the large mock orange; hope!

I finally "met" on FB my #2 son's new significant other. She posted a bunch of wonderful pics of him from his Birthday (1 April). To see him looking ever so happy is the greatest gift. He is still in the throes of divesting himself of 30 years of basically emotional abuse by the mother of his children. She started the relationship and he could not figure out how to end it; I raised him to be too darned nice! I hope this lasts and I can be assured that both my sons are happy.

A beautiful day out there and a bit above freezing. I cannot push myself; will wait until the body decides to get up and get at it.

I am bemused by Alexa! I feel lucky to have electricity! When a friend messaged this morning about a power outage up the road, I started thinking about how to keep pots from freezing! But we are OK here. I think we refer to those things on the stove/cooker/range as burners regardless; I have had to think about it!

In addition to the dearth of energy and some difficulty with numbers and simple math - cannot subtract! - I lose words. Imaging holding an object in your hand and trying to think what to name it. Go away and come back to write down "funnel"! The trick is not to try, but let it go until it surfaces.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Apr 21 - 04:37 PM

My dogs have my ex trained well. He came by this afternoon with some salmon skin in a plastic baggie from out of the freezer that he brought to share with them. It was left from a recent salmon dinner.

I bought a bag of unsalted roasted peanuts because I keep a large Tupperware bin of the nuts in the shell as a treat for them, so sometimes when he stops by I hand over the bin and he gives them peanut treats.

The pounding in of fence posts got some revision after I thought about how far back I was locating the new pile. I don't critters getting into it and my first placement of stakes would have had the back edge into the hot zone for the collars. So I've moved it forward about 4 feet to the dog path will go behind it. I can get metal tent pegs at Academy Sports to work my way around the bottom of the fencing to stake the wire to the ground. There will be some reuse involved as I take old wood fence slats and run them around the inside of the fencing to also reinforce that base. They'll rot into compost soon enough.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 Apr 21 - 01:28 PM

Following the example of Stilly River Sage,
I switched from the readily available brand of shampoo
and shopped around for
an organic junk-ingredient-free shampoo that soothes the scalp.

Only one shampoo and rinse, and there's already a difference.
It wasn't just the veritable squalls of dandruff
descending upon my clothes,
it was the awful itching, to the point of burning, in the scalp.

It feels so much better when my scalp doesn't itch like that.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Apr 21 - 03:12 PM

It sounds like you're allergic to an ingredient. What kind did you find? Right now my two step process is to wash with a little liquid tincture of greensoap, then using a bar of Middle Eastern olive oil based soap after (the wash, rinse, repeat method.) If you use it, don't use very much, and I tend to use it every other shampoo. Here is the breakdown from Drugs.com

Ingredients: Rosin 2.47g in 100mL, Potassium Hydroxide 5.961g in 100mL, Alcohol 24.93g in 100mL
or
Active ingredient: Ethyl alcohol, 30%, The rest: water, potassium soap, glycerin and lavender oil.

I'm almost all of the way around this year's compost bin, reinforcing the bottom of the chicken wire with a thick wire that was once part of a sign, then pounding in tent stakes. I'm in for a late lunch and figuring out how to open and close it, and when it is closed, keeping the dogs out of it closed.

One it is in place I'll start mowing in the back and dumping the mower bag into the new space, then empty both kitchen waste buckets that have gone way too long without emptying. More lawn clippings on top, and then when the front gets mowed I'll just mulch, not catch clippings. I also need to put the dead twiggy branches on the ground and go over them with the mower to break up the bulk. This is probably more than one afternoon's task.

But the point of struggling with this compost now is so I have a place to put all of the stuff from the new garden once it's tilled. After the tilling up there I'm going to take my tiny little tiller given me by the neighbors (I refurbished it last year) and break up all of the old compost piles around the back yard. The weeds from on top of those piles will go in the new compost and the broken up bits will go into the wheelbarrow and out to the new gardens in front. I had all of these tasks to do and had to figure out the lynchpin to the whole thing. And that lynchpin is the new compost enclosure.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 Apr 21 - 03:45 PM

Thanks, Stilly, I pulled out the bottle and it's next to the computer now, looking at the label, which says a quantity of things. For instance:

"NO parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, petrolatum, sulfates, mineral oils, artificial colors, or artificial fragrances."

The brand is "Derma E [trademark]" made in Simi Valley, California. "Scalp Relief Shampoo."

The label extols the virtues of a proprietary herbal blend:
Neem, burdock, bearberry, also Tea Tree oil and Menthol.

A further breakdown of ingredients, from most to least quantity.
Water. Three things I'm not going to attempt.
Glycerin. Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract.
Willow Bark Extract.   Sodium Chloride (hey! even I know what THAT is).
Salicylic Acid. Menthol. Tea Tree leaf oil. Arctium Lappa root extract.
Chamomile flower extract. Uva-Ursi leaf extract.
The names are getting grandiose again so I'll stop... here.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Apr 21 - 04:03 PM

That sounds pretty good! I have to go for as little sodium laurelth sulfate and that mix of things - they're derived from coconut.

I pulled up the file that I keep and need to update - there is an incomplete list of things in shampoo, soap, face creams, etc. with coconut.

Coconut-derived products can cause contact dermatitis.
They can be present in cosmetics, including some shampoos, moisturizers, soaps, cleansers and hand washing liquids.
Those known to cause contact dermatitis include:
coconut diethanolamide,
cocamide sulphate,
cocamide DEA,
CDEA,
sodium laureth sulfate
sodium lauroyl sulfate
ammonium laureth sulfate
ammonium lauryl sulfate
sodium lauroyl sarcosinate
sodium cocoyl sarcosinate
potassium coco hydrolysed collagen
triethanolamine laureth sulfate
caprylic/capric triglycerides
triethanolamine lauryl sarcosime
triethanolamine cocoyl sarcosime
disodium oleamide sulfocuccinate
laureth sulfasuccinate
disodium dioctyl sulfosuccinate
isopropyl palmitate


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 Apr 21 - 06:21 PM

Well, see, I didn't tell you everything ...
there are a bunch of things in the ingredients list that
looking at the names made my eyes cross, so
I just left them off.
With my luck, some of the unmentionables in the ingredients
will be on your dermatitis/coconut list.

I pulled the bottle over to the computer monitor screen again.
Let's see what I left out, especially those that
are in higher amounts
(towards the beginning of the list).

After "Water":

Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate
Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine
Cocamidopropylamine Oxide

"Glycerin"

Cocamidopropyl Betaine
Glyceryl Laurate

followed by
Epilobium Angustifolium ... etc etc

This sounds like more of a chemical stew.
And some of those names
look like they belong on the coconut/dermatitis list.
That said, this stuff makes my scalp feel better than my former brand made it feel.

I'm looking up some of the herbal bits.   

Epilobiaum Angustifolium --   Canadian Willowherb
Arctium Lappa Root       --   Burdock

"Neem" is the Sanskrit name for a highly medicinal plant,
famous for its bitter taste and cooling effect.
In the Latin nomenclature:
Melia Azadirachta Extract (that's what it says on the shampoo label)

"Uva Ursi" turns out to be    Bearberry Leaf extract.
And way at the bottom of the list is
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf juice ...   yep, Aloe Vera.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Apr 21 - 07:15 PM

All of those things with "coco" in them are coconut, so I would avoid them. But the further down the list they are, the better, and keeping out some of the big baddies (that you listed before) is probably what is making a difference for you - my guess. There's a reason a lot of those things are already out of shampoos and cream rinse.

The next compost bin has been assembled and this year is 4' tall with a single tall roll of fencing. I imagine Cookie will try to push over the wire and walk up it; there is a heap of chicken wire (an old roll) sitting on top of the grass and compost slurry right now, and I sprinkled some hot pepper flakes around the perimeter of the bin. I mowed the back with the grass catcher and piled grass to create a mound that I hollowed out a crater to pour in the buckets of broken-down table scraps. When covered with several more bags of clippings I can't smell anything but grass, but I'm sure those canine noses have sorted out exactly what I did.

After mowing I'm really close to my day's fitness tracker goal so I may take the dogs for a walk before dinner. This time of year I'm more likely to occasionally meet the goal.

After all of the yard work the house can use some attention. With the nice weather and longer days it feels like time to do some spring cleaning.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 10:09 AM

I need to buy one more longer metal post to put in the front middle of the compost bin; the pup did indeed try to collapse the side, and though she didn't get in I reinforced the shorter fence post with a second short one stuck in over the top of it but it's a wobbly answer. I may have something around the yard I can use. I have a couple of really tall heavy-duty metal fence posts but I'd need to take a ladder out back to stand on to try to pound it in. I'm not sure why I have two such tall ones, some long-ago yard project.

My morning self was pleased to see the clean sink and silicone sink mats (run through the dishwasher last night) and the last of the household trash ready to go out to the curb this morning.

I'm going to go through that Martha Stewart Living list (linked in a post here on April 1) to kick start my spring cleaning. I put the old A/C filters out at the curb this morning, and next come the dusting of the ceiling fans. Over the winter I bought myself a specialized microfiber duster to use on them or other out-of-reach dusty spots, so I'll make that my second chore. She had several other good ones.

The back yard looks great; I didn't do the small stuff (trimming) but the big things, the mowing and the compost, give me a new lease on my yard work. Today, mowing in the front. Indoors, this weekend I cleared out stuff stacked in the entrance to the front (eBay) room and now I can move around easily to put up some new listings (evening project).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 10:42 AM

Today I feel crappy after having awakened coughing at zero dark awful. Two shots of Ventolin later, I sorta dozed off, but the rest of the night was unpleasant.

This is what I get for taking a nice, invigorating stroll to (and from) the BIL's house yesterday for a Paschal lamb dinner. Apparently, my immune system dislikes the great clouds of tree pollen currently blowing around town.

The last of of Edmund's professional books left the house on Saturday, claimed by a retired judge (once Edmund's colleague) who is writing a book on military justice in Canada. I think he and his wife expected to spend about an hour at my house, allowing for a little polite chat before packing the books into wine boxes, but more than four and a half hours whizzed by before the conversation slowed down enough for any of us to check the clock. We are all that starved for new people to talk with.

The garbage went out on time and I have recovered the green bin (organics for composting) and the blue box (recyclables). So now I'm going back to bed, with a book.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 09:59 PM

Your afternoon going over the books sounds charming - and I think so many of us are finding that those conversations are precious and packed full of thoughts that haven't have an outlet for a long time.

I was fairly lethargic today, not a stuffed up head like usually happens after yard work (I wore a mask as I worked yesterday) but I was definitely worn out after such a busy day. Alternating days of yardwork will be my approach until I get back into shape.

There was an audiobook in my phone that I kept getting sidetracked from starting and it was due today, so I sewed this afternoon and listened to several hours before it turned itself off and returned itself to the digital bookshelf where someone else was waiting for it. I've put myself back in line to finish it (and turn it in promptly upon finishing so I don't hog it again). And I checked out another one to read (they don't have the audio book this time) using Overdrive on my Amazon Fire. It's nice to be able to get these things from home, but I do miss regular trips to the library.

Dorothy, I'm glad you were able to reschedule your vaccine closer to home. There was a very interesting story on The World (public radio) about a Canadian drug manufacturer trying to get permission to make vast quantities of the vaccine for Canada. I posted the story here in the Check In Mudcatters Worldwide thread. I posted the entire story transcription there in case people can't listen to it online outside the US.

My dentist is retiring this week and I'm really sad at that prospect, so I called to ask when he'll be there. They've kept his schedule light because they know people will be dropping in, so I will go by and take over a parting gift of a tomato plant. He, like me, is a gardener, and I can't think of a more practical offering. This has to have been the weirdest final year of a lifetime of being a dentist, with the office closed for a while and then terribly restrictive.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 08:08 AM

With any luck, it will be warm enough to take our tune session outside this week. Apart from that, life is a bit bleak in the new lockdown, especially when Iím not feeling entirely the thing.Yesterdayís asthma attack is still receding.

But the fridge is innocent of ready-use food, Iím down to my last orange, and I promised to bring ice cream for the BILís birthday dinner tomorrow, so grocery shopping must happen.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 05:56 PM

Today's errands were part of one of those multi-pronged plans that involved more back-and-forth trips than usual, but most of it went as planned. It was just so damned windy that you had to hold tight to whatever you wanted at those garden centers, and when driving make sure not to get pushed out of your lane.

The news at our house is that Cookie has finally killed a squirrel. There was a possibility I could save it until she stopped running and shook it. That was the beginning of the end, with it's back broken. I finished it off with a rock and tossed it into the creek behind the house. Sometimes I put roadkill in the bare area over on the other side of the road for the vultures, but since they cleared and mowed it isn't as easy to leave things in a clearing (and right now the area is waist-high in wild mustard).

Fingers crossed my friend with the tiller is here tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 07 Apr 21 - 10:33 AM

That dog must have quite a turn of speed if she can run down a squirrel, Stilly. Or do you think maybe the squirrel was -- shall we say -- not the sharpest knife in the drawer? Maybe the other squirrels were ready to leave her on an ice floe (if Texas had such a thing)? Most cats, even accomplished hunters, don't even bother to chase a squirrel; they're too fast, and they rarely venture far from their home tree. Of course, that doesn't stop cats from chittering when they see a squirrel, or doing their best to give a squirrel a good, solid heart attack.

No tune session. The new lockdown now comes with a stay-at-home order. Crap.

Since my respiratory system is more compliant today, I shall decide I know what I'm doing and go prune the hydrangeas. The BIL's birthday dinner is still on, and people who live alone are still allowed to visit their bubble household, so I have that to look forward to.

Otherwise, lots of nada. Fortunately, the house is still full of books.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Apr 21 - 11:47 AM

Charmion, are you wearing a mask when you work outside? My friends came to till yesterday evening and we were all wearing masks; as much to keep the pollen out as the dust. The wind has been gusting at about 20mph for the last couple of days so no COVID germs would land on any of us, but the ground is littered with anthers from the oak trees.

There is a fatal flaw in the tree exit strategy that the local squirrels devised last summer. Since the baldcypress is adjacent only to a smaller Mexican plum, there is nowhere to flee via the aerial avenues. The pine branches stretch to within about 10 feet of the baldcypress; the boles are about 20 feet apart. The squirrels get tired of staying in the tree (the dogs will sit under it for hours waiting for the squirrel to move) and one of them tried a new move - get a run off of the end of one of the longest lower cypress branches (they aren't flying squirrels, but they get some good momentum), hit the ground running, and up the pine tree within about 5 feet. I've seen them do this myself, and they land with a "thud" that is momentarily not forward motion.

These dogs study the situation, and Cookie did the math. The squirrel "thud" was the point where she caught it. I had opened the door and usually that was enough distraction for the squirrel to escape, but Cookie knows that trick so she kept her eye on the squirrel. Once she grabbed it (lots of grunts and squeals from the rodent) she had to keep going so Pepper wouldn't grab the squirrel from her. They'd raced around the outside of the cyclone fence kennel before she paused to shake and drop it. I imagine she was getting quite a struggle from the squirrel up to that point.

I didn't look close but didn't notice telltale signs of this being a mama squirrel and the balls on the males are quite prominent, you can't miss them. So this seems to have been a young adult female. Weighing about five pounds, healthy until she met Cookie.

Yesterday at Goodwill I bought a couple of the acrylic insulated cups (clear, two layers, air in between) with the silicone-lined twist-on lid and hole for an acrylic straw. Through breakage I've been reduced to having only two of them and I keep losing track of them around the house, so the executive decision to add a couple of more cups will be offset by the realization that there are art pottery mugs in my cupboard that are never used and need to be offered to the kids or listed on eBay.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Apr 21 - 06:36 PM

The fence pickets are now treated with wood preservative, and an hour of that has my back aching! I cleaned out the garage last weekend so it was easier to get to stuff I needed, though there is more clearing to do. I need to poke around in all corners to see if I have any tall fence posts, before I make a trip to buy one more.

I was going to take a bunch of cardboard to the recycle bin, but have decided instead to use it under mulch for paths in the vegetable garden. I may even end up doing a reverse-recycle and retrieving boxes from those bins.

This is a good time of year for this work, it's warmer and lighter, but it also affects the mood, makes it easier to get out to stuff. I'm going to continue to wear the homemade masks while I do this outside work, it saves on the sinus headaches and medications. Who knew, something helpful that came out of COVID-19, more mask wearing helps defeat pollen. ;-)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: keberoxu
Date: 07 Apr 21 - 08:04 PM

I had my first colonoscopy this morning,
does that count as de-clutter??

The gastroenterologist detected one mild bit of diverticulosis, otherwise a clean bill of health.
Says my next colonoscopy ought to be in ten years' time.

It's nice to eat solid food again. All the warnings received about the bowel prep were right on target.
At this point I just need OTC painkillers until my rear end stops hurting.

As to Stilly and the dogs:
at least while they are spending hours watching the squirrels in the tree,
that is one block of time when they are not
trying to take apart your compost station ...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Apr 21 - 11:48 PM

True about the dogs. And true about the colonoscopy prep. It is wretched. Waiting 10 years is a long time to not worry about the prep, but remembering the prep will keep you on your fiber capsules if they've been recommended. Good luck keeping the diverticulosis under control and healing.

The mower this evening had an oil change and the air filter cleaned (it needed it) and next time I'm at the big box store with spark plugs I'll get a new one. And ask the clerk if they have one of those gap measuring things (with lots of metal tabs of different thickness) because I don't want to buy that tool to use once every two years for the mower spark plug. The front lawn was then mowed so in the morning I can go out with the big camera and take photos of my lovely irises with the trim green turf background.

The heavy lifting of the day tomorrow will be shifting soil in the tilled bed (to contour the edge where there used to be a board and the dirt was piled up against it) and to start moving the compost from the old piles in the back to the new beds in the front.

Silly me, this evening I slipped off my shoes and socks while I was working in my office. This is a throwback to years ago before Cookie arrived. I now have one destroyed sock (found in the yard) in the trash, and a spare sock in the laundry. I have several single socks - maybe I'll turn them into odd pairs for heavy yard work.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Apr 21 - 03:37 PM

So today while I was buying taller stakes to keep Cookie out of the compost, I discovered planter wall blocks that can be put in place in the garden, then boards run between them. Perfect for raised beds. I have lots of types of planks around here to use with them.

Two of the fence stakes are for the compost and two are for T-post sprinkler heads that will go in the garden. Soon after she arrived here the puppy destroyed the wires on the timer device I was using so I either have to rewire it or find a new one, but even just setting this up to sprinkle when I can set a timer to turn it off will be a good start. (Cookie also chewed up several hoses, so I have to repair the ends or replace them, depending on if she just attacked the ends or the length of them.)

Time to break out the pots and start a lot of things from seed. A few will be bedding plants, but this year I'll try to do a lot more with seeds. And I'll stagger the crops; last year the cucumbers in the fall did much better than cucumbers do in the high summer heat. But if I don't start the okra soon, there won't be much to harvest, it really loves the heat of a Mediterranean climate.

This is the time of year when I have to pace myself to get any of the indoor stuff done at all. The garden is just too inviting.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 08 Apr 21 - 07:17 PM

I am sitting on my porch with the heel of a bottle of rather nice Languedoc red. Itís a delicious evening in Stratford, air like wine. Sorta goes with the bottle.

My daffs are out, the hyacinths are sprouting, and the forsythia bush is in bloom. The lawn is spangled with tiny blue flowers that I had nothing to do with ó they just showed up last year, and this year there are more. The clematis I planted last summer seems not to have survived, probably a victim of Judy-next-doorís fence-replacement project, but the rose of Sharon look okay. And the rose bush is still with us.

Itís gonna rain tomorrow, so Iím luxuriating while I can.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 08 Apr 21 - 07:33 PM

Plaintive cello melodies makes for a good existential pamdemic elegy that slowly transforms to Polvestian dances makes for nice blooming backyard music. Ending with Curb Your Enthusiams theme lends a note of normalcy. I got the second shot today with no side effects again. Not as elated as I thought I might be. Time to cut bamboo shoots and mow the violet yard with tufts of garlic. No sign of the ciccadas.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Apr 21 - 12:12 AM

The cicadas will arrive soon enough, probably next month. I was just reading about them (again.)

Another bottle of wine here, a rarity, and this time a white wine. I'm mostly off of alcohol these days just on general principles, so this is nice.

I've used the mattock to chop out part of the remaining edge of the tilled garden area where there is a firm lip where the plank edge of the raised bed used to run. When I moved in that part was contoured on a slope for drainage and easy mowing between yards; I built the garden and kept it there for several years, and now I'm removing that edge for easy mowing again, and putting in a smaller area of raised beds. There will be cardboard and mulch down for paths between the beds.

Tomorrow is going to be a total garden day until I have to stop for rain. Next week has a higher chance of rain so I want to have the garden in place to take advantage of it. Lots of mulch will be down by next Monday.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 09 Apr 21 - 06:50 AM

We had temperatures around 20C last week but it dropped to maybe an average of about 5 this week. We even had a little bit of white stuff one day. There has still been some nice sunny spells but overall, the garden has not been as inviting this week.

The acrylic sheet for the greenhouses has come and I should have some mini trunking needed to finish off the cabling to the kitchen camera and another camera I added has also arrived. That gives me 2 outside jobs but I donít feel inclined to start today. I had an odd day on Wednesday, one where I donít really seem to have done much (a few loads of washing, make the evening meal and ????) but somehow was on the go from 10am to 9pm and feeling hassled. I didnít find yesterday that much better and I just want to relax today.

Iíve potted all the tomatoes on and I now have about 40 tomato, 8 aubergine and 8 sweet pepper in trays located on my windowsill, the study one and the porch. Thatís rather more than I want but Iíll try to give some plants away later in the month.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Apr 21 - 11:28 AM

Jon, your discussion of work around the house inspired me to research the polycarbonate translucent corrugated sheets that I can use to replace the 60/40 cloth over my patio cover. The whole thing needs a bit of a pick-me-up, but that would stabilize it and offer a nice shelter that the cloth didn't any time it rained.

Web work, then yard work. It's overcast with a chance of rain, and I'm headed outside though I'm a bit bruised after missing the step up into the dining area this morning. I put on a pair of thick-soled clogs this morning and am reminded that I didn't pick up my foot far enough to clear the ledge in those shoes. I either need to remember to pick up my feet more or stop wearing that kind of shoe.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 09 Apr 21 - 04:47 PM

Our 2020 taxes are done: filed and paid. The Revenue Canada website would not let the accountant e-file Edmund's "harmonized" sales tax (i.e., provincial and GST), so we did it the old-fashioned way, by snail mail with a cheque. How very 1975.

And I've off-loaded another unneeded IKEA bookcase.

But my coffee-dripper has died of material failure -- the little plastic knob on top of the filter broke off, leaving a hole that would allow a stream of sludge into the mug. Heigh-ho; I knew this would happen, or something very like it. All the on-line reviews of the gadget say the same thing: it makes great coffee, but don't expect it to last more than six months. In fact, mine lasted *exactly* six months in daily use.

So it's a good thing I have yet to declutter Edmund's substantial selection of coffee-making technology. Today, I tried a French press pot made by a company called Espro that claims great things for its product, although I can't see how it differs from a Bodum. Edmund bought it about three years ago and most of it is made of stainless steel, so it should last at least a year or two. We'll see.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Apr 21 - 05:30 PM

Colonoscopies totally count as decluttering.

Also, this.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Apr 21 - 05:52 PM

Reviews are helpful, and I usually start research by reading the negative ones. When I look at the number of reviews at each star-level, I generally decide against purchase if it doesn't have a large number of positive reviews. If all of the four-star and below are close to half of the reviews, I move to the next product.

I try to remember to do a search and click on Google shopping before shopping Amazon. I compare local offerings vs online. A couple of times a month I end up placing an order through the website of a local big box store then have it delivered to the store for pickup. Amazon doesn't beat all prices and doesn't carry all brands. I'm getting around to replacing my dead motion-detector porch light and will probably pick the new one up locally.

I saw a great looking coffee maker at Goodwill last week, but I don't drink coffee and I have a modest one that does the job when guests come to stay. (It was free from Gevalia years ago when they were doing the free coffeemaker offers). I sometimes buy things that are just too good to pass up, but only if it is something that I might actually end up using or can sell on eBay. Or give to one of the kids.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Apr 21 - 11:40 PM

I split the job into a couple of evenings' work, but finished chopping out that hard edge of the garden and have raked it to a slope to resemble the original contour of that part of the yard. Now to build the raised beds.

No rain today, but it is predicted next week, so having these in place and planted and ready for precipitation is the best way to let a garden get established. Rainfall is always more beneficial than a sprinkler.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 10 Apr 21 - 04:32 AM

Sounds as if the roof project could turn out nice, SRS.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 10 Apr 21 - 09:04 AM

Second day of the plunge coffee pot. I miss the dripper, but this will do.

Until its plastic filter busts, as it inevitably must. Two cheers for technology.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Apr 21 - 12:19 PM

Today the mini-tiller comes out and starts breaking up the old compost piles. I'm looking forward to a cleared out area back there. The contents of each pile will be moved to the long garden beside the driveway. I'll also use the little tiller in the small garden on the other side of the driveway.

On a sunny spring-cleaning weekend the village bins will probably be full so I have to wait till Tuesday evening, but I have a bunch of stuff to deposit down there. I do hope that some of this is recycled and not just hauled to the landfill.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Apr 21 - 02:32 PM

I tackled the first of at least five old compost heaps with the tiller and ended up so far with two full wheelbarrows of material to dump in to the zone for the new garden beds. Now I have to figure out how I want to arrange those beds. I'll be dragging out planks and picking up a few more planter wall blocks (on sale this week for $2.50 each).

There's a door I need to replace into the garage that I've ignored, but will probably have to have someone come install (since it involves placing the hardware correctly). It's an interior door that I put in an exterior position. I now need to find or have made an outside door the right size. It's on my list level with working on the patio cover.

Jon, you've inspired (or shamed?) me into addressing some of the wonky lighting issues outside. I have two fixtures that one I leave on all of the time and the other I leave off all of the time. Neither works well in the motion-detector setting because the plastic covers have been in the sun too long. I've picked up three LED bulbs with built in (on both sides of the bulb - excellent!) sensors and set the first one in the garage door fixture in the back yard. I am going to test if the dusk-to-dawn bulb with the motion-detector setting works any better. There is one on the patio that is usually always on because it is shaded and thinks it's always dusk, but I'm hoping the bulb will pick up better than the cracked plastic cover on the fixture. This three-bulb pack arrived on the porch this morning via Amazon.

I also ordered two of the 1-gang electric plug faceplates that have a small array of LED beams on the bottom that come on in the dark only and are enough to find your way to the hall bathroom (when it works - that one needs replacing, or jiggling). There is one in another hall that is great for moving to and from the office to kitchen without tripping on a dark dog camped out in the hall.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 11 Apr 21 - 06:09 PM

I don't know about that SRS, and I've not got round to the things I'd mentioned yet.

Today wouldn't have been a good day for outside things though. I put some washing out in bright sunshine late morning. 10 minutes later, things went dark and we had hailstones. That was the pattern for the rest of the day, periods of sunshine with wintery showers in between.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Apr 21 - 11:27 PM

One of those bulbs beside the house is okay lighting up the driveway; the one in the back beside the garage door glares brightly into the kitchen. I'll remove that and place it in the fixture on the patio that won't glare into any windows.

I'm still working on the garden design, moving slowly forward and thinking about the possible positions of planks. More compost has been moved, and one large pot has fresh soil and a new plant out front. There are still a few bedding plants getting watered every day; they always do much better in the soil so that must happen this week.

Drainage is a concern out there—if it's a really large bed, will water pool? Maybe have a couple of narrow paths between smaller beds instead of the one large bed I seem to be working toward right now. However the layout happens, this will be good for clearing out some of the garage. There's a lot more space alongside the SUV on the driver's side where the lumber used to be stacked.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Apr 21 - 09:05 AM

Digging out the composter was one of Edmundís jobs ó he had the strength and energy, and he took delight in any activity that required a spade and heavy boots.

Me, not so much.

I canít appeal to Neil-across-the-street this time. Heís recovering from a blot clot in his leg and his wife will skelp me if I lure him into doing anything more physically demanding than walking the dog. Maybe I can tempt Judy-next-door or my sister-in-law, who are both keen gardeners.

My hellebores are blooming nicely in their dark little patch beside the garage, and the yellow primula is in vigorous flower.

Yesterday, I took the big loppers to a burning bush that looked quite dead last summer; itíll sprout in May if thereís any life in the roots, and if it doesnít Iíll dig out the rest of it in June. When it stops raining, Iíll do the same with a moribund-looking spirea next to the gas meter ... Or maybe just scotch it and be done. Iím not fond of spirea.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Apr 21 - 03:18 PM

I should have emptied a few things out of the SUV before heading to Lowe's today; I had to struggle to get four 10-foot planks (flooring) into the vehicle diagonally. But they fit, and I went back in for a stack of the planter wall blocks that fit around the lumber on top of the tarp I keep handy for hauling stuff. I figure the boards don't need to be the full size of the opening (it would fit a 2x4", meaning it's about 1 3/4" wide) so I bought some 6" wide 1" deep and 10' long decking pieces for less than some of the other lumber. Wood is wood. I drove home via the highway frontage road and city surface streets because I didn't want to find myself at highway speed with planks that could fly through the windshield if I had to stop suddenly. And all of those concrete blocks behind me - oy!

That was today's workout—those blocks are heavy. I was very careful to lift them properly. Part two of the exercise is coming when I go empty the SUV. I have another trip today if the rain holds off; I'll empty the back and leave the tarp for when I go get free mulch.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Apr 21 - 08:59 PM

It hasn't started raining, but it's terribly humid and on the verge. I set my tools under a porch overhang and distributed mulch over some flattened cardboard around the three (of four) beds I've assembled so far. I'm hoping the rain will weigh the mulch and soak the cardboard to hold it all in place. I made a trip over to the free-mulch bunker and got my usual 3 contractor bags and the bucket I use to fill them to use around the rest of the edges and after planting. (Had a nice conversation with another gardener at the bunker, he had a sedan and a few buckets and a bin; I gave him an extra bag—a bit tattered, but will take one more load. Gives him a lot more mulch for the trip.) It's such a precious thing, nice conversations with strangers. They're more frequent than they used to be, but still something I really enjoy.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Apr 21 - 02:18 PM

I took a bath this morning and realized my feet were pretty grimy from dirt and dust that filtered through my shoes and socks. That's how tired I was when I went to bed last night.

We got a little rain. Now to make a big push to plant before the rest of the rain sets in.

There is a lot to do in the house, and its turn will come once the garden is planted. And I have two digital books to finish before they're due, so at least the audio book is best consumed when I'm sewing. The eBook needs just old-fashioned reading.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 14 Apr 21 - 06:31 AM

I got round to doing my little bit of trunking and the 3 perspex sheets for the small greenhouses yesterday.

SRSís comments persuaded me I ought to a look at our outside lights (all sealed LED flood lights with stand alone PIR sensors wired in parallel so one sensor triggered lights the whole section) too. They are:

Front and side of house leading to path. 2 x 50W for the front, 1 x 20W for the side, 3 PIR sensors to pick up returning from the field, approaching house from gate and from leaving house and one time switch in the porch. They started triggering a lot in daylight recently. I may have solved that by adjusting one of the sensors.

Path to field. 3 x 20W on path, 1 x 30W towards field, PIR each end and PIR in the middle. One light has needed replacing (flashing a lot) for a long while. I fitted the replacement Iíd bought over a year ago...

Weíve not used the motion sensors on that section since the new central heating boiler was located outside over 2 years ago as itís plume triggers at least one of the sensors. Iíve got a microwave sensor to replace one of the PIRs coming tomorrow which might solve this. I donít think an alternative solution of extending the flue above the level of the sensors would be worth while as the flue pipe extension is expensive so I think itís this or just having the lights working manually.

I also did a bit of mowing and strimming and broke the Ryobi battery trimmer. It got tangled up with a bit of thick plastic coated wire that had been used when we had a row of raspberry canes and I didnít spot Ė a proper booby trap.... I couldnít see how to remove the spool holder but on a closer look, noticed the casing in that area had been damaged. A replacement trimmer should be with me today. Fortunately, the tool itself is not terribly expensive (£60, actually less than one of the genuine Ryobi batteries I power this and other things with) but we could do without things like this.

My aubergine and pepper plants are growing their real leaves and Iíve noticed something. The plantís Iíve labelled pepper are looking like aubergines and visa versa. Bloody mumÖ When I planted them, I used the seed packets to mark which was which (and I wasnít going to remember) but I came to them one day and the packets had been taken out, apparently as mum wanted to show someone what was growing. She assured me she remembered how they wereÖ. Oh well, this one is simple to sort, things werenít as clear the year she mixed my hanging basket, greenhouse salad and plum tomatoes up. Luck was on my side that time though and I did correctly guess which were the small variety for the baskets.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Apr 21 - 11:49 AM

I mix up the seeds all by myself, no need to have someone else do it for me, though last year I bought a box of wax pencils that I've used in the past to write the name on the black plastic holder where the pots are set. As long as the pots aren't moved around I'm fine. I went out on the patio this morning and poked a few portulaca seeds into the pot that has some growing back from last year (they'll most likely be orange) and with a newly-filled hanging basket after getting a new cocofibre lining.

And I made the last lightbulb tweak for a while, swapping out two in the back. I'll leave a bulb in the fixture beside the door into the garage, but not leave it on. That's the one that glares into the kitchen window. I took the sensor bulb I'd put in there and swapped it to the fixture on the back of the house on the patio wall that will light the yard but not blind inhabitants of the house. And that sensor at night does detect motion so it will stay dim most of the time and only brighten when a dog runs past or I walk out.

I saw on the Freecycle offerings someone has two cattle panels up for pickup; they're huge and even rolled I don't think would fit in my SUV, I'd have to have a friend pick them up. They're great for vines but right now I don't have a place to put them. I should probably be prudent and not respond.

Getting more excited about the eye surgery; I've heard two more recent accounts of people who had it and are very happy with their now clear vision.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 14 Apr 21 - 06:34 PM

Dupont:

Busy day on Saturday: Pat picked up pots for shop at 8:40, just as I was getting into car to take a couple pots to Joanne at Foodland on her break time; She picked two and asked for a couple mugs. Then I headed south to the highway with a stop for a dozen carrot muffins at the Hidden Goldmine. Ate two before getting to the hghwy! Yummy de-clutter!

Drove and noted more tired than usual. I was up before 7. So drove with hyper awareness the 5 hours to here! Unloaded vehicle, put food in frig and freezer. Took a rest.

Now, the pottery for Erica is still in car as well as summer tires as I need to find a place to get them changed. Have cooked a bit, not much, planted lettuce and nasturtium seeds outside, potted tomato cuttings, cut back leggy plants and put tips in water to root. Started basil and squash. Will do some more sorts tomorrow.

Put a few plants outside on front steps. My "dinosaur grave" garden was looking nice with lots of yellow crocus and now lots of daffies! Nice to see what has survived the winter: a number of parsley seedlings from last years plants, a good oregano, the lavender looking very healthy! Tulips getting ready to bloom in a few days. Each day...

I cooked a large batch of kidney and Romano beans and put them in a big stainless steel bowl with the thawing HOT chili. By the time R got home, they were blended and good! Tonight I am prepared (energy) to make a veg/chicken stew, adding the carrot soup I made a few days ago; it was not very filling but will add a nice flavour to the stew.

Spent the better part of two hours, today, placing a huge order at a grocery store I will not go into; I like their products but so do too many other people. I can pick it up tomorrow. I may still go to the usual store for a few things when it is "less busy".

Friday, meeting a friend at the Mill to lend her a spare pottery wheel. That will, at least get it out of the mill - if they can get it in vehicle! And I will bring some more stuff from there to here. Tired of being all over the map! Then I need to bring the pottery inside for Erica to view on Saturday. What she does not choose will go to back to Beaver for the shop, where things are actually selling! Summer could be terrific, located where folks heading for Algonquin Park slow down to turn left for the Park! I will go back to Beaver in a couple weeks to make more and to watch for turtles nesting.   


Have spent some time "helping" R sort out business affairs in his head - de-clutter the brain? He was "afraid" to tell me he is thinking of buying yet another building. This is sad - that he held this for 3 weeks of worry. That is serious clutter! Of course he is also afraid to tell E who wants him to focus on only one specific goal. I may need to send a gentle email to E to explain that there are other aspects that must be carried out, simultaneously. I told R to explain that gently but firmly. Without apology but with re-assurance that E's fav project is top priority.

When we talk about de-clutter (on this thread): R has several thousand square feet of floor space and outdoor space FULL of machines and other objects that cannot just be left sitting around for ... WHO to deal with! He is trying to get out of the machinery business FINALLY!!!! And I will give him all the support he can manage! IF buying yet another building gives him a pathway, I can support that. I may not live long enough to see all this transpire ... but I might. I see glimmers of hope in his real desire to get the clutter gone.   

Nice to have above freezing weather!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Apr 21 - 06:54 PM

I have a few square feet of machinery here that have been used today. The tiller ground up the last of a second old compost heap and I've made several trips to the front with the shoveled up debris. And the mower - I knocked down the weeds in the smaller of the two vegetable gardens, up to the area where the garlic is growing. I'm waiting for another rain, then I'll use the small tiller in there and get it ready for more of the garden. My cucumbers did really well over there last fall. I'm planning for a larger variety of crops than I had last year. I need to keep at this and will eventually have the garden I'm hoping for.

Dorothy, good job on having the grocery store prepare your order for pickup. I still do that occasionally. It is possible to catch COVID after the vaccine and even if it doesn't kill you it can make you sick and you can spread it. Did you get your first vaccine dose yet? I read an account today of a 73-year-old who had gotten the vaccine. She came down with the symptoms (no smell or taste) and was ill for 10 days. Two women in her church weren't so lucky, they hadn't been vaccinated and both passed away.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 14 Apr 21 - 09:24 PM

In short my E-GO electric mower, hedger, trimmer and blower poop out after an hour always giving me an appreciated break to recharge.
A tiller will have to be gas.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Apr 21 - 04:34 PM

I have spare batteries for the various Ryobi products here (drill, power driver, reciprocating saw). It means I can keep going and let the first one recharge.

Counting Coups: I was at Goodwill and spotted a 12-quart stock pot/steamer set (four pieces - the pot, the deep colander, a shallow colander, and the lid) from Cuisinart brand new, label still on it. $17. I realized if I left it there to think about it it would be gone when I came back. I left it in the SUV and when I had lunch with my daughter today I pulled it out of the box in the back and her eyes widened. A couple of photos and rapid texts back and forth to a roommate and it was quickly moved from my vehicle into hers. They're not just very useful, they're very pretty. Cuisinart 77-412 Chef's Classic

We're finally getting some rain this afternoon. I arrived home to see two wet dogs sitting under the baldcypress and as I, a large creature, moved into the yard, the squirrel up the tree decided this was one-too-many threats and made the prudent choice to run down the trunk and across the lawn, not launch itself off a limb like the last one did. The dogs were hot on its heels, but it made it to the big pine and out of reach.

Life in the back yard is so exciting sometimes.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Apr 21 - 11:05 AM

Careful what you wish for - there has been more than enough rain already, but we have more in the forecast. So today is one for the indoor work. I needed to start with the cooking gear in the sink, after leaving it piled high last night. I made lentil soup, and though it has only a few ingredients I shredded the onion in the food processor and left all of those parts in the sink.

This feels like a good day to make bread or rolls. And when there is a break in the rain I'll take out some seeds and poke them into the prepared pots sitting beside the driveway door.


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Mudcat time: 16 April 1:45 PM EDT

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