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Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House

Acme 28 May 17 - 09:40 PM
Acme 28 May 17 - 10:55 AM
Donuel 28 May 17 - 09:42 AM
Acme 27 May 17 - 06:22 PM
Acme 24 May 17 - 10:40 AM
Charmion 24 May 17 - 08:30 AM
Acme 23 May 17 - 10:27 PM
Dorothy Parshall 22 May 17 - 02:25 PM
Acme 21 May 17 - 04:10 PM
Acme 20 May 17 - 12:38 PM
Charmion 18 May 17 - 09:08 AM
Dorothy Parshall 17 May 17 - 09:14 PM
Acme 16 May 17 - 09:18 PM
ranger1 16 May 17 - 08:28 AM
Acme 15 May 17 - 10:26 PM
Dorothy Parshall 15 May 17 - 09:23 PM
Senoufou 15 May 17 - 03:14 AM
wysiwyg 15 May 17 - 02:46 AM
Acme 14 May 17 - 02:49 PM
Acme 13 May 17 - 06:31 PM
Senoufou 13 May 17 - 02:31 PM
Dorothy Parshall 13 May 17 - 12:16 PM
Acme 13 May 17 - 10:56 AM
wysiwyg 12 May 17 - 11:56 AM
Dorothy Parshall 12 May 17 - 11:40 AM
Dorothy Parshall 07 May 17 - 04:20 PM
Acme 07 May 17 - 11:36 AM
Acme 04 May 17 - 11:04 PM
Charmion 30 Apr 17 - 01:50 PM
Charmion 30 Apr 17 - 01:39 PM
Acme 30 Apr 17 - 11:59 AM
Acme 28 Apr 17 - 08:45 PM
Acme 28 Apr 17 - 05:03 PM
Acme 27 Apr 17 - 07:34 PM
Charmion 27 Apr 17 - 05:54 PM
Thompson 27 Apr 17 - 04:45 PM
Charmion 27 Apr 17 - 04:42 PM
Acme 26 Apr 17 - 11:28 PM
Acme 26 Apr 17 - 07:20 PM
Thompson 26 Apr 17 - 06:17 PM
Dorothy Parshall 26 Apr 17 - 04:31 PM
Dorothy Parshall 26 Apr 17 - 01:53 PM
Acme 26 Apr 17 - 12:51 PM
Jon Freeman 25 Apr 17 - 04:54 AM
Thompson 25 Apr 17 - 04:33 AM
Charmion 24 Apr 17 - 09:57 AM
Thompson 24 Apr 17 - 03:41 AM
Charmion 23 Apr 17 - 03:08 PM
Acme 22 Apr 17 - 06:50 PM
Acme 22 Apr 17 - 01:00 AM
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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 28 May 17 - 09:40 PM

The choice has been made (I compared two in the store after printing out their specs), the box pushed into the back of the SUV (tip the box from the flat cart onto the tailgate, lifting and pushing). Said box was opened in the SUV and the pieces taken out one at a time, each a reasonable weight. I almost went with a one-piece throne, but realized I'd have to have help moving it from the vehicle and through the house, so opted for the traditional two-piece model.

Alas, the flange is a mess. It's not going to be a quick or simple replacement.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 28 May 17 - 10:55 AM

It's raining here today, so though I would like to get into the garden, I'll probably watch YouTube videos about changing out toilets and then go buy a new one and replace the one in the hall bathroom. It needs a new seal, and if I'm going to take the old one apart as much as one needs disassembly to replace the seal, I might as well put one I prefer back into place. Low-flow. And while I'm at it, when the loo is off of the flange, I'll finish scraping up the Linoleum adhesive on the floor so I can put down some new tile this summer.

A lot of things I wanted to do over the last year were put on hold when I wasn't feeling good; now I'm back to my old self and now I'm playing catchup. I talked ages ago about trying to do some improvement thing each month, whether painting a room, putting down flooring, replacing a window, whatever. I think I'm about back to my energy level to proceed with those plans. PMR was creeping up on me for a long time, but now it's in retreat and I'm learning to live with Prednisone.

Now, back to shopping toilets online at Lowe's and Home Depot.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel
Date: 28 May 17 - 09:42 AM

I'm off to saw tree killing vines and clear brush and garbage for workmen, roofers and ourselves. Wish me luck. I hope the only blood shed will be from a thorn, not a tool. Gloves and mask are a must.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 27 May 17 - 06:22 PM

Some months it's one step forward and two steps back. This morning I ran the washer and the water drained from the washer into the bathtubs, moving through the house, not out the sewer. I had to call the plumber to roto-rooter the sewer line and remove tree roots down near the street end of the line. Major hit to the pocketbook, and since that water ran into the tubs I have to give them a good scrub before I can take a shower after a hot and extremely humid afternoon of running in and out to help the plumber. It's so humid that I'm not going to try to dry the rest of the laundry on the line - it feels like it would stay soggy for hours.

Best to spend the rest of the long weekend in modest pursuits, and maybe list enough items on eBay to recoup the plumbing bill cost. Sometimes it takes some extra motivation to get back to the listings.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 24 May 17 - 10:40 AM

As it happens, I have a couple of very good hunters, but the dogs' domain doesn't extend to that side of the house. Poppy, the blue heeler mix, perpetually knocked over things in the garage on her way round a thing that was supposed to keep her in the dog stall by the detached garage's side door - I'm sure she was stalking mice or rats. Once I have the garden weeded and mulched, we'll see what we can come up with. Perhaps some fencing around the area and letting the dogs in to patrol (hoping they stay out of most of the herbs?) I think a good distribution of hair (combed off of the dogs) throughout the garden might also help. I don't want to exclude that neighbor's cat, so I may have to work out some kind of little gate for her.

So you're going to do the kitchen renovation and house extension while you're in the house? That also sounds like a formula for upset cats. I bought my house in February and moved in in late March, so had a few weeks for the contractor to get started - we wanted to do the kitchen first but the village insisted that we simultaneously build the new garage (we converted the existing one in the house to rooms and office space) - they didn't want me to somehow never get around to having a real garage. It meant it took longer on the kitchen so the cats spent several weeks locked in one of the back bedrooms during the day. That time also gave me an opportunity to slow-motion get moved from the apartment to the house using my pickup truck. Many pieces of furniture can be disassembled to be moved (though it seems faster to leave them intact and have strong men heft them into a moving truck and back out again). My daughter was 13 at the time and a real trooper. We spent a weekend going back and forth with the heaviest stuff after I'd moved most everything else. I wanted the payment to be a surprise so I had a large denomination bill to give her at the end of the weekend, and the look in her eyes told me it was appreciated and a surprise. :) It was a lot of work, but she stuck with it and I think we had a good time. She's just finishing moving into a new house herself, and I suspect the lessons about dismantling large pieces to move them yourself were not lost on her.

Several friends recommended the "My Fitness Pal" app after I got the fitness tracker. I have finally decided to go ahead and add it in, because it allows me to easily keep track of sodium and calcium, most crucial when taking low-dose prednisone. I've added recipes of a number of the dishes I cook and figured out what sized portions to stick to to keep sodium in particular low. There is a navel-gazing aspect to it, but I am enough of a creature of habit that it won't take long to have my typical breakfast foods in there and most of my dinners. (Now that I'm not eating white flour the list has shrunk considerably.) Lunch is most variable because I occasionally go out with friends, but lots of restaurant foods have been entered into it. The hive mind at work - it notes when members add things and makes it available to the rest. Even a lot of the Middle Eastern foods I prefer (we have a great Halal market near campus - I buy EV olive oil, dates, rice, lebne, yogurt, spices, and lots of other things there) so clearly this is a global product (owned by UnderArmour - I quickly had to figure out how to turn off their copious email notifications).

Looking forward to stories of the move and the renovations and continuation of Dorothy's work at the new place (Beaver). Is the mill still in play, Dorothy?


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 24 May 17 - 08:30 AM

No cat in your household, Acme? And the dogs don't bother with rodents? That's a pity.

We are enduring our annual Spring ant invasion, with pismires everywhere we look. The cats hunt them relentlessly, with frankly funny results because ants apparently taste awful. But the cats can't resist; where there is unaccustomed movement, they pursue and pounce.

The movers' estimate is in. The nice young lady included everything except the traditional elephant: the 144 sections of terracotta drainage pipe that we use for wine storage. Now she's checking to be sure that the government guidelines permit the transport of 144 sections of terracotta drainage pipe. I have the distinct impression that Westmount Moving and Storage would much rather not have anything to do with packing 144 sections of terracotta drainage pipe, moving them all the way to Stratford, and unpacking them at the destination.

The siding company that took on the job of repairing the damage to the façade -- actually, two guys from Cape Breton who both play guitar and mandolin -- are due on Friday, weather permitting.

We have a plan -- such as it is -- for moving the cats, but it will be zero fun for everyone. Once the furniture is delivered in Stratford, we will saddle up and drive back to Ottawa to fetch the cats, who will spend the week of actual packing, moving and unpacking at a spa in the country (no, I'm not kidding). We will pick up the cats at 0900, drive directly to the vet's office where the good Dr. Fattah will sedate our predatory friends to their cute little eyeballs, and then hit the long, long road back to Stratford, hoping they sleep the whole way. Stops will be minimal, so we can pee by turns and buy sandwiches to eat in the car, never leaving the vehicle and its slumbering cargo unattended.

I'm really not looking forward to the part where they discover that half the new house has broadloom carpet. Thank God we are planning to get rid of it, because for sure it will be pissed on.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 23 May 17 - 10:27 PM

Damn. I saw a very large mouse or a small rat dart from the garden near the back door over to pick up birdseed on the ground under the feeder across the driveway. If you see one, I figure there are (at least) several dozen nearby. I've had my suspicions, what with the free labor from the neighbor's cat visiting daily. Tomorrow I must round up some mouse traps for under the sinks, etc. They get in through cracks (I found droppings under the kitchen sink) and probably into the attic. I don't want sticky traps - I want to avoid catching my spiders and lizards or snakes, but mouse traps strategically placed will be a start. So this is my next task - declutter myself of these small rodents.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 22 May 17 - 02:25 PM

Beaver:

The bad news is the black flies have arrived. I was out happily weeding and bringing in fire wood when I started to feel things crawling inside my pants and shirt. Several bites already. So, just before another rain - worst time - I am back indoors. I cannot find my excellent bug jacket.   

The great news is that after a full day of comfrey on my ankle and knee. I can walk normally and without any pain. twinge just now indicates this needs to continue a while yet. Thankful now for that "darned invasive comfrey". I just grab a few leaves, wrap them in a thin piece of old sheeting, wet it and nuke it until warm. Wish I had thought of it sooner!

I am happy to note that inch by inch, I am getting sorted out. I don't feel as though I have done anything but I look around and it looks better!

Our dear Bobby Dove will be playing at The Black Fly Dance on Sat.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 21 May 17 - 04:10 PM

In for a cool-down after scalping the gardening area again. It was supposed to rain two weeks ago so I scalped it at the time, and nothing happened. Now I've had the good soak (and it rained again this morning) needed to loosen weeds and shape beds.

There's never just one task with a project like this. Running the wheelbarrow back and forth, moving compost, adding to compost, dragging hoses, arranging sprinklers, etc. I have branches that need chipping to use as mulch. My chipper is small so it takes a while to create much mulch, but it's a kind of restful activity to do every so often. I'll chip some of last week's smaller branches before the rest go to the curb.

I moved some rooted lemon grass from a container in the house to a pot beside the door. I had a couple of sprouting sweet potatoes going also that are outside - they were a source of gnats. Turns out I missed digging a few sweet potatoes in my garden so I have volunteers coming up this year - I'll train those to grow where I want potatoes. (Last fall I learned that if you let them sprawl anywhere they will root every few feet and grow potatoes anywhere. I'll be more careful this year.)

The SUV is loaded with some stuff to donate at the thrift store, part of today's run later in the afternoon. The old computer will finally stop being tripped over in the sun room.

My daughter and some friends found and moved into a new, larger house this week after their most recent one had some major water damage from burst pipes. So much damage that the prospect of trying to live in it during repairs was unthinkable. So far when she moves things tend to travel from here to there. The new house has more space, so who knows - maybe I'll offload some of the costumes stored in the closet or some of the craft materials stacked around her old bedroom (also my sewing room). The goal is to keep things leaving my house for hers, not the other way round.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 20 May 17 - 12:38 PM

My last big move, with a commercial mover, deep in the heart of Texas, involved a woman estimator who was a throwback to the 1950s. I told her not to call me "Mrs" and my (now ex's) name, I had my own name. And I was a Ms. So she attached Ms to my (now ex's) name and I came to understand that was as accommodating as she could be regarding my wish to be called by my own name. The absurdity of a "Ms John Doe" was totally lost on her.

The lost items via theft from casual labor hired to move boxes taught us never to actually write what was really in the box if it had any street value.

I'm adding more recorded books to my mp3 player this weekend. I get at least an hour of drive time every day so I can go through two or three books a month. It's virtual so my book shelves aren't any more crowded. They always go back to the library cleaner than when they came here; last time I didn't bother to clean them I ended up with a bunch of skips. #LessonLearned.

We had a good amount of rain overnight, so it'll be indoor work today and yard work tomorrow with the ideal digging conditions to finally get that garden planted. I've worked on extending the boundaries of the planting area over a couple of weeks, but didn't have room to plant without accidentally knocking them over as I worked.

The old itch to visit thrift stores is nagging, but I need to list a few more things before I add to the eBay stash. There's an extra table set up in my sun room now, weighed down with items to list. That should be my charge for the afternoon.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 18 May 17 - 09:08 AM

We are down to the last fix-up task required before the house sale closes: replacing a damaged panel of siding on the façade, located (unfortunately) between the second and third storeys, so the job requires scaffolding and special insurance. Everything else is done, from the sticky bedroom door and leaking sink stopper to the hole in the garage wall and the damaged hydraulic closer on the garage door. Arie and Rob, the contractors, shook my hand and wished us a happy rest of our lives in Stratford.

We had a sit-down with the "relocation advisor", a nice lady we call Miss Vickie, and learned that we have had a charmed existence these last 18 years -- no moving and no mover-caused losses! On the other hand, our understanding of how house moves work is now almost a full generation out of date; the last time we did it, email was barely a thing. Now, we are forever scanning and uploading documents of all types and varieties, from deeds and surveys to receipts for lunch. On the other hand, we get reimbursed promptly for the very costly services we are oh-so-casually obtaining, from the building inspection ($675.00) to the real estate agent's fees, which I don't even want to consider quite yet.

Then we visited Base Traffic to meet the terrifyingly efficient Corporal Blonde Topknot and her supervisor, Master Corporal Hepcat Spectacles. As a result, we have a date with an estimator from the moving company, due this afternoon. Boy, howdy.

But first, off to the Bell Store to square away a rather strange phone bill and then the gym.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 17 May 17 - 09:14 PM

Beaver:

Noting a difference between what i feel needs to be done and waht really needs to be done: in this instance I have been moderately stressed each day that the energy for potting did not arrive. As I told myself, so what! I do not NEED to sell pots; I only want to enjoy making them, what should appear...? I went to the "tool shed" for a box from that pile out there, only to find those were full of pots that I had forgotten - put there when they arrived from Quebec because to pot storage bin was full! Happiness is finding I have almost 3 dozen mugs and misc other stuff to take to Lillian. Just about the time I realized the wheel here uses the left foot - the still healing one! No way!

Moved the full boxes to the front door area for loading in car tomorrow. Found an empty box for the tools R had left on the floor in front of a drawer I wanted to open; tools to tool room, pants into drawer.

Two loads of laundry done and all the drawers in the drawer unit by the sink cleaned out - something in the laundry clogged the sink sieve and there was an inch of water on the floor and counter and each drawer. (washing machine hooks onto K sink) What a way to get the floor, counter and drawers clean! Clothes onto line and had to put lots of wood chunks on the wood pile cover which was threatening to blow away! No wonder I am exhausted.

The screen doors Dan installed last week are wonderful on this first hot day of the year! Both front and back doors open to let the evening cool in. Clean sheets on bed and clean body in it. Spent part of this aft in a toxic room (for me) but came away with a drivers license! Vision test, info on rules of the road, cognitive test of sorts, and a very competent woman to lead us through it. Every two years henceforth. A relief to have that out of the way. The loss of energy is, I believe, largely due to that room so I took a hot bath. The water heater does not provide adequately; I shall have to lobby for a new one - AGAIN! I told R it would be better to just get a new one when he was doing the plumbing, December a year ago. Now it will mean more work, moving the wee freezer... But I need to be able to detox with water, hot enough and deep enough to make my perspire. I just dried off and got into bed - about 6:30 -. feeling very tired and un- detoxed! .

However, in all, much has improved in the house and studio.

(I consider any room that smells is toxic for me. Others do not smell it! I smell it and know/believe my energy level will drop as a result of the chemical laden environment. hope to feel better in the am!)


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 16 May 17 - 09:18 PM

I started stashing quarters in a tin can when I had to use the laundromat as a regular thing. And I never take the washer and dryer at the house for granted - they are a true luxury item!

I policed the back yard this evening and found a few more scraps of fabric embedded in dog droppings. From the same aforementioned missing garments.

I've managed to meet my daily step number so far (only a few days) with the fitness tracker, but I set it at a mid-range to start with just to see how well it keeps track. If I use the treadmill computer station at work I need to remember to walk with my arms walking or it won't count the steps (like when my hands are on the desk/keyboard at that computer). I like that it isn't any larger than my other watches (I wear attractive men's watches, not dinky little delicate women's watches) and it simply looks like a watch.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1
Date: 16 May 17 - 08:28 AM

Yesterday was a good day. With the shift from part-time work at the market to full-time work at the park, I've had just enough energy to walk the dog after work and it showed. Kitchen was mess, fridge had something dead in it (actually many something deads), and the recycling had sprawled from its cupboard and was starting to spread across the room (with help from Beau). SO yesterday, I spent the early part of the afternoon cleaning the kitchen, cleaning out the fridge, hauling off the recycling, and swept the floor. Next thing to tackle will be the gigantic laundry pile, but that involves hauling everything off to the laundromat and remembering to stock up on quarters.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 15 May 17 - 10:26 PM

It's so wonderful to be back to my old energy level - tonight after work I had a quick dinner then spent an hour or so finishing the trimming I started this weekend. I have to lop up some of the limbs and chip them or put them at the curb, for now they're in a pile out of the way.

The fitness tracker arrived quickly (Amazon Prime has some nice perks!) and I think it will work for what I want. I've set up a few basic features, but I don't need it telling me that my phone is receiving a message, etc., because my phone is with me all of the time. The information it gives me is useful, and I'll figure out more as time passes. Best of all, it looks like a normal wrist watch and can stand up to my sweaty yard work.

Tonight at dusk the dogs and I went for a walk around the neighborhood to enjoy the weather and the lightning bugs. We have a lot of them in this area, I think because of the expanse of greenbelt behind our houses along the creek, and across the road. We also solved a mystery - a gray tabby spends the day prowling my veggie garden because last year there were some mice in the sweet potato bed. She is hopeful of more prey this year. We met her at her official home two doors up the block, with a family who has her in at night and out during the day. I hope she's smart enough to avoid predators - we have some around here.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 15 May 17 - 09:23 PM

Beaver:

Interested that others also have trouble with drops! I still have not been able to phone the clinic and now I feel better about telling them. Today, went to see my fav pharmacist and she wrote down the ingredients in the 3 prescription drops I need to have before the op. I will check them out with my health consultant. I also want to know what they gave me last week so I can ask about that also. I just love it when I phone about 10 am on Monday and get a message that they are closed until 9 am on Monday - X3!

After spending about 15 minutes last night trying to figure out how to get out of the bathtub and who could I phone for help - I managed. Today, Dan's first job was to affix the grab bar to the wall!! "With 3 and a half inch screws!"

Cleared some stuff from studio - winter storage - and he took it to the back/back shed so I am ready - hypothetically - to pot. Almost made it today. Did some clay prep but errands took too much energy - an hour at the walk in clinic to get paperwork completed for pre op info. Toxic environment! I was trying not to breath in the dirty air and the nurse is telling me to take deep breaths! doctor in Toronto interviewed me by something akin to skype! so two more things done.

A third trip to town (4 minutes away) for soil to plant last year's dahlias and canna which Might have survived. The second trip had netted sticky strips for the bottom of the tub (and more)! not a well planned day and "too much" walking was definitely not an asset. Dan put a new window in the studio, that takes up less room, in prep for building "garage" for kilns. Also started putting siding on that side, also in prep. He is such a gift!

After the studio stuff: a floor and shelving in the back/back shed for better organization, then an observation platform (deck) behind said shed for a 10x10 screen tent and the swing where we can sit on the edge of the beaver pond and if we are very quiet, maybe we will see the otters! No beaver in residence at this time.

Beautiful day today and we are transitioning to warmer weather! I did really well until about 5 pm and then bombed, which is far better than the gloomy weekend when I puttered along in low gear. But the house is civilized and as de-cluttered as possible right now. Doesn't everyone have a cart of clay in the LR!? I want to be sure of warm weather before putting it out in studio! Cold clay is no fun.

Now for a hot bath and bed!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Senoufou
Date: 15 May 17 - 03:14 AM

Well,I have a little project today. All three wheelie bins (re-cycling, landfill and garden waste) need cleaning. They get a bit smelly as they're only collected every two weeks here. I've got an excellent extending-handle brush, so I can slosh a bucket of hot water/bleach into each one, and scrape around with the brush (It's like a large toilet brush on a telescopic handle. The wheelie bins are very deep)
The resulting soup gets tipped down the drain, which cleans that too.
Then I can feel very smug, being the lady with the sweetest-smelling bins/drain in the village!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 May 17 - 02:46 AM

Thanks, dudettes. Did I mention I'm getting too old for this shite-- the physical stuff? Pain oh yes.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 14 May 17 - 02:49 PM

Decluttering limbs from sprawling shrubs and trees today. Just enough so I can stuff them length-wise into a couple of trash cans and leave them at the curb. I'm tired of knocking my hat off when I work under one tree in particular, so those low limbs are history. Bulky waste pickup is next month and I have one large tree that probably needs to come out - I'll save that job for June.

A casserole from the freezer will go into the oven and be available for lunches this week, since I forget things are in there and they do need to be used to make room for this year's crops, if I get any.

A run to the recycle bins at city hall and a couple of loads of laundry, one to dry on the line (working clothes go in the dryer because it's too difficult to iron out creases from line drying) will round out the day. You see my pattern - as the weather gets nice, much more time is spent out-of-doors.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 13 May 17 - 06:31 PM

I've been told that the dilation eye drops are harder on blue eyes, it takes longer to wear off. It certainly wipes out most of my evening if I have the drops put in during the afternoon. No way I'm going to get an exam in the morning and wipe out the whole day.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Senoufou
Date: 13 May 17 - 02:31 PM

Dorothy, I was interested to read that the eye drops at the Eye Clinic had an adverse effect on you. I've been going regularly and I find the drops make me feel very strange (not just the eyes, I mean generally) It lasts about 24 hours. I feel as if I've got the 'flu!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 13 May 17 - 12:16 PM

Beaver:
Acme- just remember the Chinese proverb = When your house is finished, you die. There is always something! I still need to varathane the wood siding Dan put on the sheds last year - Has to be DRY!!

Rice pasta might be nice, instead of wheat, but I am finding steamed cauliflower a quite nice carrier for tomato sauce, also mixed in egg omelet. I see that people are also using it for crusts. After my months on the Keto diet, a small bowl of ice cream and a brownie was NOT good. The body KNOWS! I have gotten quite used to no wheat.

The garden coop is planting in June! I am disconcerted; the lettuce and beet seeds I planted last trip are up about an inch and I plan to plant some more before I go back to Montreal on Friday. The usual planting time for Toronto area is last week of May but with global warming we cannot be sure of anything. There was a skim of snow Tuesday am. I am puttering - pulling weeds but not much else - no energy. Maybe tomorrow.

The trip to the eye clinic (weds) did me in and I was not right again until Thurs aft. Suspect the drops had a negative effect due to my chemical sensitivity. Another thing health care knows little about and pays almost NO attention. I had a very bad night - uncomfortable no matter what. (These were not drops that precluded driving.) I also left the clinic terrifically upset that I had not received adequate info the first day I was told I had cataracts. NOW, I find that the operation and post op will cost Robin a week away from work. We will have to stay overnight in peterboro - or drive back and forth on two days in a row. I feel as though patients are mere chattel to be told do this, do that... With NO consideration for circumstances.

Acme! Your fitness info was Greek to me! I shall just putter about. This has gotten the house into a much more orderly state so I am content to have guests - of the well known variety. Coming to terms with being 80 means letting others also come to terms with - this is what it is. The broken ankle still awkward and uncomfortable.

Managed to take a few pots to the Gallery (for sale), view the art show and vore on 3 favs - "peoples' choice". (I think that was my suggestion last year!) In gathering pots, I only managed to root about in the top two boxes of storage unit. Energy level!

Friends are on way to de-clutter yard of rhubarb plants, sorely in need of re-homing!

I, too, was glad to see an update from Susan! And think of how Charmion is getting on!

Guess I shall put the kettle on!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 13 May 17 - 10:56 AM

Dorothy, I have patio issues to tackle also. There is a concrete slab outside my back door, and when I moved in my contractor built a frame with 4"x4" posts and 2"x8"x12' planks. The outer 12' plank warped enough that the screws pulled loose and I had to dislodge the end that was holding up the rest as it slowly drooped off of the top. I'll use that plank to edge my garden and bring in some new lumber to reinforce the cover. And I need to replace the 60/40 cloth that was shredded in last year's hail storm (probably with a translucent plastic so I can use the patio in the rain). So some things will be reused, a few will be discarded, and while I'm at it I should paint all of that backyard stuff - the patio cover and some wooden seating. The hail really knocked the crap out of that paint job.

I'm dealing with an inflammation health issue these days, the treatment is working, but clearly one way to keep symptoms away is to look at what I'm eating. I've taken white flour and sugar out of my diet - though I think I can refine this somewhat and have al dente pasta on occasion, the whole wheat variety, and simply avoid the breads (alas!). This Huffington Post piece covers the topic thoroughly enough to set as broad guidelines (I've read lots of stuff, but this one in particular sets a tone with information and links).

My garden is going in very late because I simply wasn't feeling like getting out there and pushing through the muscle pain to do all of the work. I was pleased that last weekend I just puttered in the yard like the old days, managing to accomplish several tasks in one day. Lots of volunteer crops coming up that I can nurture (and possibly transplant) to give the whole thing a boost. The neighbors have noticed that there wasn't a garden in yet, and had begun to ask. I'm glad they're paying attention - we all need to keep our neighbor's welfare in mind.

The newest part of my routine will be adding a fitness tracker. I've generally viewed them as a gimmick or fad, but I find I need more information about how much sleep and how well I'm sleeping and I need something to nag me to get up and walk around from the sedentary job I do in a dark basement office. I compared lots of features and felt I had to have one that could withstand the sweaty work I do in the yard. I liked a couple of the Garmin devices, and though one reviewer commented on expensive proprietary wrist bands on one I found affordable replacements on eBay and Amazon. But what finally decided me was the reviews - if these devices didn't have at least 50% of the reviews as 5 stars, they clearly have issues and I don't want to be a statistic as far as solving problems. The highest rated of the ones I considered was one of the FitBit line, but it isn't waterproof and one reviewer (who sounded a lot like me as far as activities) said she had to replace it every year because she sweated so much they died. So I'm going with a Withings analog watch with some digital features. If anyone is interested in the results of my research, just ask. For someone with less outdoor in hot weather activity, there are several others that would work.

Good to hear from you, Susan. I wondered where you were in all of the moving/retiring process. I enjoy your political posts on facebook.

Charmion, how goes the packing and planning?


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 12 May 17 - 11:56 AM

Lol thread title-- as usual I'm on the contrary path: setting up the house.

Particularly the garden.

House-sharing in Ohio is beginning to transition; the wife of the couple caretaking it has been doing (in Oregon) what I'm doing here, for 6 months or so-- about the length of time since I was here last. To be discreet, I'll just say her bachelor is learning a lot this week about what I actually need for prep for my arrivals! To that end-- he's also partially disabled-- I've set up a FB album with desired setup pix for their house cleaner, and negotiating her coming more frequently. I mat retitled the album, "Make it SO", lol. Does not make sense for Oregon-located wife to direct Ohio house cleaner (who is a well paid GEM).

It looks like his departure/her Oregon prep will dovetail well with the pace of our own transition, yaaaayyyy!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 12 May 17 - 11:40 AM

BEAVER!!

Back home, by myself for the first time since December! NOW, I am trying to sort out the clutter which ensued from several comings and goings but not staying long enough. My energy level is not terrific. Trip re cataracts yesterday was - well, I was so annoyed that I had not been given all the info away back when I was first told I had cataracts, I was tempted to go back to the vision centre and tell someone - but I was too tired. Came home, went to CU for cash to pay Dan for the last two weeks work. Expecting rain, he is not coming back 'til Monday - It has not rained!

I now have screen doors, front and back, to de-clutter the bug population. What it cost to fit the OLD! doors into our crooked house... only a full day's work and some small lumber - de-cluttering the wallet. But they look nice - old fashioned style.

And the deck which Dan and R decided did not need to be "that big" did. SO, after the studio deck is finished - with shelves for glazes and a garage for the kilns and siding on the studio, then the back/back shed has a floor and shelves so the bins can be better organized and the back shed stuff can move in and... Then, a 10x10 deck out by the beaver pond to hold the 3-seater swing and a screen tent so we can sit out there and watch the wildlife. They will get used to it being there and if we sit quietly....

Meanwhile, I am sorting out the house little by little with a very low energy level. I sit a while and work awhile and think awhile and work awhile. Need to make some pots as summer shows and shops will be wanting more than what I have ready. Need to use energy for that and not worry too much about the house. Today it will be warm in the studio...

does everyone have numerous small containers or drawers of miscellaneous "stuff" which is hard to organize? And hard to throw out!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 07 May 17 - 04:20 PM

Montreal:
There were a few days when mudcat would not come out!

We had a nice weekend at Beaver and left in time on Monday to be back before dark! Really hanging on and hoping my cataract ops will solve my night vision. We went to a marvellous Patsy and Hank performance in the Laurentians last night and R managed to get us home. The autoroute is pretty well lighted most of the way - an hour and a half! We committed to a house concert up there on 3 June so it was good we could make it safely home!

I am walking pretty well though far from perfect; I get there. Driving is OK also so I am off to Beaver alone tomorrow for about 12 days: eye appt and driver's license renewal appt. Hopefully lots of visits, some gardening and some potting. I need lots more pots for the summer - shops and shows. Dan has built me a new deck - 10 by 16 at the end of the studio I am planning to put the kilns in a weatherproof cabinet, on wheels so I can fire - on good days only! - back there and free space in the store room ---for storing! Also shelves for glaze buckets and a glazing table. Need a consult with Dan re finding "show room" area.

Here in Montreal, I was bitten at 3:30 am by a mouse, we think. While peacefully in bed. Found the box spring full of mouse poop; mattresses are now out on sidewalk, that room has a big empty apace which needs some sort of futon/hide-abed for guests as we moved to the upstairs bedroom which has been our guestroom. It is in sore need of a real closet and a paint job but we wake up to morning light!!!

The tree is still there and leafing out. R needs a permit to cut it, for which he has not yet applied... AND we need someone to do it... The grass is getting too long for the push mower, for which I need oil! And the trimmer is at Beaver - Just put it on list to come back!

There is a constant flow of stuff; most goes and stays. Will be doing some sorting and storing at Beaver this time. Company coming! With the snow gone, I can take stuff to the back-back shed. Want to consult with Dan about getting that better organized as well. Maybe some strong shelves. Need to find summer clothes and store winter. Lots to do! At Beaver, I am in charge; also pay the bills but I don't have to wait for R to get around to it.

So nice to be able to walk again!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 07 May 17 - 11:36 AM

At my house this week I have had a conversation with the dogs about leaving my laundry alone. One of the three, a Labrador retriever who used to belong to my best friend until she was injured badly as a pedestrian struck by a moving car, has a history of eating socks, mittens, wash cloths, dish towels, and even underwear. I knew about this when he came to stay, so I always toss the worn garments directly into a laundry basket he doesn't have access to. But this week I was careless and left the laundry basket of clean whites on the low coffee table in the living room. And during the week out in the yard I found two barely-recogizable cotton carcasses apres-dog - probably thrown up after days churning in the stomach juices. He had trouble eating for a couple of days, like he was experiencing nausea, and chewing his food and eating slower. Now I know why. It's bad enough to find bits of a dish towel (what some of you call a tea towel) that has clearly been regurgitated or extruded (I've found bits in the yard that clearly exited both ways - the same towel that broke up in the gut). In this instance the undergarments actually cost enough (and were quite new) that it's REALLY ANNOYING.

Note to myself: leave the clean laundry on top of the dryer or take the full basket directly to the bedroom and put it up out of reach - he's not allowed in the bedroom.

I have recluttered my supply of undergarments, and we are to clothes-line season, a time when I always make sure small things will stay pegged in place to avoid this kind of consumption happening in the yard. Since dogs exist everywhere and clotheslines are as old as time, I won't claim that this is a first world problem, but it probably is something that isn't discussed openly every time it occurs! ;-)


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 04 May 17 - 11:04 PM

I don't use gloves usually, but I don't have a lot of washing up since it's just me here now. And I use the dishwasher every week or two (to keep it working) so the nails don't get too saturated. One nail in particular is quite brittle/soft, but after several weeks of bouillon, it seems to be firming up. And yes, it cracks at the same spot every time.

A friend was over yesterday to pick up a package of fresh Iraqi flat bread I get at an import market with a bakery near my work. And I sent him home with about 10 lbs of Basmati white rice. I've picked up some of the Basmati brown rice to use for the time being. So decluttering by sending it to a good home. Also a bag of orzo (rice-shaped pasta) that goes beautifully with the rice.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Apr 17 - 01:50 PM

Acme, your question about nails brings me ask: Do you wear rubber gloves when washing dishes or cleaning? Detergents and other modern cleaning products really do a number on your hands, nails and skin alike. Also, do you restrict your meat intake? You may find that deliberately eating a little more meat and fish -- especially bone-in salmon and sardines -- will result in stiffer nails.

My nails are firm and grow well, but they always split and break when they get beyond about a quarter of an inch in length. The splits always appear in the same places, too.

My father was the same: his nails would split when they had grown to a certain length. Unfortunately for him, the splits were usually lengthwise, from the tip of his finger back to the nailbed, and they hurt like the dickens. Mine split sideways, a millimetre or so out from the nailbed, so I keep them clipped down on both hands.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Apr 17 - 01:39 PM

Yesterday, my archival urge received a major burst of vindication. This may not be a good thing, as it seems to take one event like this every decade or so to keep me stuffing the One Filing Cabinet.

We own a Volkswagen Golf with a diesel engine. Yes, it is one of those cheatin' diesels, and we are parties to the great, big class action that has cornered the car builder into making restitution to literally millions of diesel drivers. The Canadian sector of the settlement process opened for business on Friday, with a website to register claimants.

You'd think that all it would take to identify the car as an "affected" vehicle would be the Vehicle Identification Number, and the owner as the rightful proprietor thereof would be the registration, wouldn't you? Well, you would be wrong if you thought that. In fact, Volkswagen Canada requires a whole clutch of documents, starting with the registration papers and the owner's driver's licence, and escalating all the way to the original bill of sale and warranty records. I, of course, had all that paperwork in a neat red file folder, fresh as the day we brought it home in August 2010. Yay me.

I have about 10 years of tax records to shred before the next garbage day when recyclable paper is picked up. Our cross-cut shredder is showing signs of reluctance these days -- wisps of smoke, for example -- so perhaps I should give it only about a year or two per day until the whole wad is gone.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 30 Apr 17 - 11:59 AM

Didn't get much rain overnight, but I'll putter around out there if it warms up today.

As an aside, my fingernails have been soft and flaky for a while, so I've had a cuppa bouillon with dissolved gelatin daily over the last few weeks and it's finally making a difference. But with all of our musicians, I wonder what some of you do to keep the nails strong and healthy?


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 28 Apr 17 - 08:45 PM

Third time's the charm - I have scalped about 2/3 of the garden area with the old electric trimmer (with frequent pauses so it didn't overheat) and will finish tomorrow. Then I can dig beds or do the newspaper/mulch/compost lasagna treatment and get the Mediterranean type plants in (eggplant, okra, peppers, etc.).


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 28 Apr 17 - 05:03 PM

Since I have an open space in the wire shelving where that very large desktop computer used to live, I'm thinking about rearranging the shelving in my kitchen. I liked the look better when all of my wooden shelves were along the wall with the wainscoting/chair rail, and they're not that way now. I've moved one more large item off of the wire shelves and now feel up to redoing the whole setup.

I finished running all of my errands this afternoon including mailing three bulky boxes of stuff that have waited for attention for several weeks. Fingers are crossed that Priority mail flat-rate boxes will be treated well compared to larger (with more padding) ground-rate boxes. Now that they're out of the house there is room on the bench next to the door that is meant as a shoe-changing station.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 27 Apr 17 - 07:34 PM

I was feeling virtuous about finishing work on my string trimmer, until the handle broke and the rope pulled into the starter. Now the whole damned thing has to be disassembled and I'll replace the starter rope. He did it in 10 minutes on the YouTube video - chances are my time will vary greatly.

Looks like it's another eBay evening. I'll do the yard work over the next three days that look like perfect weather.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 27 Apr 17 - 05:54 PM

Yes, Thompson, I did that, and I intend to do it again. Then I will loll around on our memory-foam mattress with the cat, doing my best to emulate his drape-shape and insouciant attitude.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Thompson
Date: 27 Apr 17 - 04:45 PM

Pulling muscles comes with being tensed up. Doctor Thompson says take a hot bath and call me in the morning.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 27 Apr 17 - 04:42 PM

Ari and Rob, the carpenters, were back yesterday to quote on the last fix-up tasks before this house is sold. Alas, they won't do everything; one job calls for a licensed electrician, which they are not, and the other involves a damaged siding panel on the front of the house under a third-storey window, and Ari and Rob don't do anything that calls for ladders or scaffolding. "We have to draw the line somewhere," said Ari, "and we decided years ago that we're done climbing."

I'm done climbing, myself, so I respect that.

Since mid-March, but especially during the three-act sale-and-purchase drama, I have been really tired. For about a month, I was waking up in the middle of the night and mentally moving furniture around while also worrying about bungling the biggest financial decision we will make for the next 20 years. I've been sleeping better since both sales were firmed up, but I'm still easily tuckered out. I used to do three sets of 12 dead-lifts with a 28-Kg kettlebell as part of my routine gym workout but, even with a lighter weight and fewer repetitions, I still managed to pull a muscle in my lower back the other day. And of course, as the traditional insult added to injury, a huge cold sore surfaced last Sunday on my lower lip.

I guess I'm feeling a tad old.

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, we were out looking at cars last night. Our car is a VW Golf with a diesel engine, one of the vehicles with the cheating emissions system, so we are parties to the great big class action suit against Volkswagen. The Canadian part of the settlement was just announced, so we took a trip to the dealership yesterday to see what they could offer us.

We should get a nice car out of it, at a price we can pay without groaning too hard, but I wasn't too happy about being stampeded into committing to a deal now, while our cash-flow situation is seriously pinched. But as the cheated-on diesel owners flow in, looking to get rid of their unsaleable vehicles, the supply of replacement cars will shrink steadily. So we had to get in there early and make a deposit before the mobs gather.

Ho, hum, it's only money.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 26 Apr 17 - 11:28 PM

I pulled two non-working drive enclosures from behind my computer and replaced them with one that came out of the kids' computer today. My most recent backup is in a drive tucked away on a shelf and there is another new external one in a box on the office floor - as I contemplate how to put it in a closet and let the backup automate and run to that drive that is out of sight but there to be used when I need it (the out of sight part because we had a burglary a dozen years ago and learned to keep the backup hidden so you have the data if you have to get a new computer).

The 1Tb drive is doing a slow format, it'll probably run overnight. This 1T drive is a windfall, I was going to use the drive with the existing backup for something else (probably for backup of video and music media) - it's kind of an embarrassment of riches right now. Memory is cheap, and it's easy to go overboard. Tomorrow I'll figure out how to plug the new stuff into the UPS. It involves crawling around under and beside the desk.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 26 Apr 17 - 07:20 PM

I rearranged some dust this afternoon, Dorothy, when I gutted the 12-year-old computer that was in my son's room (the kids' high school computer) and then moved the old desktop (that runs Win7 Pro and is still functional, though very slow) in to what is now the guest room. I found a 1Tb drive in the kids' computer so I've dropped that into an enclosure and will format then use it to store stuff. The case will go to eWaste and one of these days the two other drives (one internal, one external that won't play with newer OSs) will go to a secure recycle facility at work.

Now I have a couple of freed-up cubic feet of space in the wire shelves under my microwave so may end up re-arranging kitchen bulky stuff to make it look good and make something reachable that has been stored atop the freezer, etc. My small laptop is in the kitchen now, under the television on the wall. It connects via HDMI cable and will make cooking research easy but is also easily packed and taken with me when I need it to travel. For anyone who regularly maintains their computers, you know this meant a lot of trips back and forth for flashlight, screwdriver, rearranging shelves, getting a dust rag . . . and I'm covered with dust also.

My first day of a planned gardening vacation was thus because of rain and cool weather. Tomorrow should be nice and I'll enjoy tackling the weeds and finally getting some crops in.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Thompson
Date: 26 Apr 17 - 06:17 PM

And re separate units, it's a small kitchen and battle for space.

Same here; the hob is in the scullery, but there isn't room for an oven there - you'd bump your bottom (and possibly need a bottomry bond) on the opposite cupboards or the fridge every time you crouched, and couldn't open the door properly.

So the oven is in what used to be called the 'breakfast room', in its old chimney.

Works for us, anyway.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 26 Apr 17 - 04:31 PM

Montreal:
WOW! went into back yard - warm enough! Pulled a few weeds that were making headway and surveyed what was ans was not looking up. LOTS of common violets! more than ever before; I have been nurturing them - all through the grass and in the beds.

Even the sage is DEAD; even the oregano! THAT TREE!!!! Time to push for removal - PLEASE!

Want you all to know I had no idea my night vision had gotten that bad in the 3 months I had not driven! Cataracts are a learning experience. Not fun.

I wonder: Tight K and tiny DR; might be worth taking out a wall and having a decent eat in K?

As for Maggie's dust collectors! I insist on K cabinets to the ceiling to eliminate those dust collectors! Dust is my worst enemy!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 26 Apr 17 - 01:53 PM

Montreal:

But we went to the cafe Friday and stayed over at the mill, had a few in for cake and ice cream Saturday early aft = A few days early for R's b-day. He did some work at the mill and we left TOO LATE! My night vision has been totally decluttered and I drove back = YAY, I can drive! - blindly trying to determine where the road was while he slept. A detour came close to killing us off but he woke up and helped and we made it home. Impossible to change drivers on a speed track! I believe I have never been more terrified.

So I can walk - but still get tired easily and foot not always happy but coming along each day!

Happy news that C has sold the house!! New one sounds a bit difficult. If it were me, the carpets would be first concern - full of all those years of ????? OUT they would go. But new carpeting would be toxic too - I could not live with that either, I well know.

It is interesting to read about people's differing K ideas. etc. I much prefer gas for cooking. The stove at Beaver is under a window so no hood. But the niftiest one I have seen was a curved glass one. Very cool and elegant , less obtrusive than most. I have seen pull out ones and they could be useful in some instances.

Now, that shower inside the back door is just what we need! Come in and clean up before polluting the rest of the house! So, whoever did it may not have been an idiot! The way R comes home, I would like an airlock so he could de-contaminate.

Anyway, hope you can get it all done up before you move in and let all dust and other toxins air out! Living in a construction zone is extremely unhealthy.

So happy to be able to move about but takes some getting used to! I can make it, carefully, to the second floor and went up today to check on clay situation and water plants. Planning to make a lamp base to go with an interesting stained glass shade R brought home. This would be a first for me... The 6-sided shade needs angles rather than round. I am thinking/planning/designing...

Made a small stab this am at putting the K back into a post-break orderliness. A few minutes at a time. Tomorrow we go to Beaver!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 26 Apr 17 - 12:51 PM

In the US (so far) there is a chain called The Container Store that has myriad ways of storing and caring for and shipping and displaying stuff. Many of the items they carry can be found in less robust or less expensive versions of the housewares section of other kinds of stores, but this is Ground Zero for organizers to get ideas to start with.

Here in the southern US people seem to call the two living areas the living room and the den. The den being the less formal family space, the living room akin to what I understand is called a parlor with the "nice" furniture where company is entertained. This tended to be a less common distribution of space in a house in the northern part of the US where I grew up.

When I moved into this house it had a cave-like (as in dark and low) kitchen area with a fur down ceiling (the cupboards tops were against the ceiling that was lower than the dining area and there were florescent fixtures recessed in the ceiling). We took out the drop ceiling, made it flush with the rest of the house (except for the cathedral ceiling in the den). It looks more open and I put antique kitchen items on top of the cupboards for display and dust collection.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 25 Apr 17 - 04:54 AM

Replaced our cooker last year. Like for like swap - another Belling 50cm sealed plate job. The previous one did about 20 years.

People differ in ways of cooking and while my own choice IF mains gas was available here would be the gas hob/electric oven combo, my mother's ways suit the slow responses and (if she didn't find them too heavy, probably cast iron cookware).

As for the idea of an induction hob, I really do not see anything with a ceramic top lasting long here.

And re separate units, it's a small kitchen and battle for space.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Thompson
Date: 25 Apr 17 - 04:33 AM

I have a gas hob (in the old scullery) and an electric oven. Gas is, or was, more responsive for cooking - you can turn the flame up or down and have an instant response. Chefs more or less universally prefer it.

The oven, with its eye-level grill (no fat-spitting) is in the old chimney. If we were civilised, you could lift the roast chicken straight from the fold-down door to the kitchen table - however, we're not, unless we have guests, so it's lifted out and brought into the living room/ drawing room/ family room, where we eat while watching some nonsense on TV.

This division of hob and oven is the norm in Ireland - or if not the norm, probably about half of all households have it. I suspect that this is so all over Europe; in Ikea last week I was looking thoughtfully at their induction hobs (sold separately). There's nothing snobby about it here, it's functional.

I see that ikea.ca does sell ovens, but doesn't list hobs; maybe they're called something different there.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Apr 17 - 09:57 AM

I've never heard of a pull-out cooker hood, Thompson, but I'd bet money that the Ontario building code would not tolerate such a device. Our building code seems to have been developed with pyromaniac idiots in mind; the kitchen mishaps it purports to prevent (especially with respect to gas-fired kitchen ranges) strike me as unlikely to befall any cook with the brains God gave a goose.

Your oven reminds me of that line from Flanders & Swann's "Design for Living" -- "I'm just delirious about my new cooker fitment with the eye-level grill, so that, without my having to bend down, the hot fat can squirt straight into my eyes!"

Separate cook-tops (as they're called here) and ovens are ridiculously expensive in Canada, generally purchased by rich people who like a gas-fired hob and an electric oven. Can't think why they would, but then I'm prejudiced.

Most Canadian houses built within the last 30 years have their sitting and relaxing areas at the back, giving onto the garden, and the kitchen at the front. This trend was driven by a sharp change in design conventions: moving the garage from the side or back of the house to the front, close to the street. In many cramped suburban developments, where houses are designed to get maximum living space out of minimum land, the garage sticks out of the facade like a carbuncular box. In more gracious applications, the garage occupies about a third to a half of the ground floor of the house, with the kitchen at the front (beside the front door) and an ell-shaped "great room" (combined dining room and parlour) taking up the rest of the space. Upstairs, the space over the garage is used as a "family room" (lounge) and the bedrooms occupy the space over the kitchen and great room.

What's the difference between a living room and a family room? That's easy -- formality or lack of same. The family room is where you find the cat-clawed napping sofa, the television, the stack of half-read newspapers and magazines, and the kids' toys. The living room (increasingly vestigial) contains the sitting-up-straight parlour furniture inherited from Grandma, and the proud display of wedding and graduation photographs.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Thompson
Date: 24 Apr 17 - 03:41 AM

But afterwards you'll be gloating, Charmion! Think about
toe-kick drawers (the kind you kick gently to get them to open), for big trays and the like - be careful to make them in mouse-proof marine ply - and spice racks and lazy susans (for things like rolls of foil and parchment as well as spices and tea and coffee), and a pull-out cooker hood (can't find a picture but a friend has one that she pulls out from the wall when she puts on the hob, and pushes back in when she's finished cooking).

I have a separate hob and oven - in fact, the oven sits in the old kitchen chimney where there was an anthracite stove when I moved in; loved the stove but the anthracite gave me awful asthma, so I replaced it with a bunch of cupboards and drawers, with the oven sitting in the middle. The great thing about this is that it's at eye level, and when I open the door down it opens out at waist level so I can put the pot or roast or tart on the open door and check it easily, and then pop it back in or bring it to table. And you don't get as much of that horrid whoosh of hot air into your face as with the crouchy kind of oven below a hob.

Windows for me are super-important; if I could, I'd have a full-length window or glass door out to the garden in my kitchen! (Though if I could do absolutely everything, I'd put the kitchen and the bathroom at the front of the house as the Japanese typically do, and have the living rooms in the quieter and more private back of the house.)


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Apr 17 - 03:08 PM

Yes, Acme, we have more culling to do.

The kitchen in the new house is much smaller than what we have here in Ottawa, and irritatingly inefficient. It's a galley-type arrangement that opens into the dining area, which is not only small, but also lacks wall space because a large patio door leads from it to the back deck. All very nice when whipping steaks off the grill to the table, but less than optimal when trying to fit a sideboard, a china cabinet, a table and chairs, and a drinks cabinet into eleven by ten feet of floor space.

So I am contemplating a major refit of the whole back of the house -- dining room, kitchen and ground floor loo -- to get the most out of the space. Some idiot had a shower stall built in between the loo and the back door, just where a sensible person would have put a pantry. So I plan to abolish the shower cabinet, plumbing and exhaust fan in favour of a comprehensive set of shelving and stowage for our ridiculously large selection of pots, pans and skillets.

The window side of the galley has two sections of counter space suitable for prep work, on either side of the sink. So I want to get rid of the crappy cramped cabinets that overhang that space so I can see what I'm doing and knead bread without bonking my head. The other side of the galley will be cabinets to the ceiling, counter space for the knife block, the toaster and the coffee maker, and cabinets under the counter for the stuff we use all the time -- mixing bowls, colanders, the blender, the food processor, and the glass casseroles that go into the microwave.

While we're at it, the dining area will get built-in china cabinets so we get the most use out of what little wall space it has.

Consequently, I can see us definitely parting with the china cabinet and the drinks cabinet, and possibly giving the sideboard to my brother, as it's both useful and a family heirloom.

All this craftsmanship will be made possible by the difference between the sale price of our Ottawa house and the purchase price in Stratford. I just hope we have enough left over to pay for getting rid of the wall-to-wall carpets, which look as if they might have been installed when the house was new.

All in all, we're going to be living in a construction zone for months. Whee.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 22 Apr 17 - 06:50 PM

I'm changing my diet and for the time being am avoiding eating much if any processed white flour, so when friends came over for lunch today I pulled some of the many types of breads from the freezer to send home. Flatbreads, pita, tortillas, rolls, loaves, and some pasta. It went home in coolers and into their freezers. Better they use it than it becomes freezer-burned.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 22 Apr 17 - 01:00 AM

It is energizing and exhausting at the same time to go through this process. I hope you'll keep us posted on your progress on the two houses.

Have you culled pretty much everything that you plan to, or is there another phase of that to come now that you have a destination in view?

I've gotten a very late start on my garden this year. I dug a patch from which I'll work outward decluttering weeds. I have several compost piles in the back yard to turn over and combine. I need to move much of the finished compost to the garden this year and chip a bunch of small limbs for mulch. I have a small "stay-cation" planned soon to give me a chance at actually getting the garden in before it gets too hot here.


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