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Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House

Acme 22 Jul 17 - 10:35 AM
Charmion 22 Jul 17 - 09:55 AM
Acme 21 Jul 17 - 11:03 PM
Dorothy Parshall 21 Jul 17 - 11:26 AM
Charmion 21 Jul 17 - 09:28 AM
Dorothy Parshall 20 Jul 17 - 08:30 PM
Acme 15 Jul 17 - 08:22 PM
Acme 15 Jul 17 - 12:34 PM
Dorothy Parshall 13 Jul 17 - 10:54 PM
Acme 12 Jul 17 - 09:15 PM
Acme 10 Jul 17 - 11:42 AM
wysiwyg 09 Jul 17 - 02:41 PM
Acme 08 Jul 17 - 11:05 AM
wysiwyg 07 Jul 17 - 01:22 PM
Acme 03 Jul 17 - 11:08 AM
Acme 02 Jul 17 - 11:23 AM
Acme 01 Jul 17 - 11:07 AM
Vashta Nerada 30 Jun 17 - 11:14 AM
wysiwyg 30 Jun 17 - 10:18 AM
Charmion 30 Jun 17 - 09:39 AM
Acme 30 Jun 17 - 12:03 AM
Acme 27 Jun 17 - 10:28 PM
Dorothy Parshall 26 Jun 17 - 06:15 PM
Jon Freeman 25 Jun 17 - 08:12 PM
Acme 25 Jun 17 - 07:25 PM
Acme 24 Jun 17 - 08:11 PM
wysiwyg 23 Jun 17 - 10:04 PM
Acme 23 Jun 17 - 09:42 PM
Acme 22 Jun 17 - 10:52 AM
Dorothy Parshall 21 Jun 17 - 08:51 PM
Acme 21 Jun 17 - 07:51 PM
Acme 21 Jun 17 - 09:28 AM
Charmion 21 Jun 17 - 08:31 AM
Acme 20 Jun 17 - 09:52 PM
Acme 19 Jun 17 - 10:23 PM
Bat Goddess 19 Jun 17 - 06:38 PM
Acme 19 Jun 17 - 11:24 AM
Acme 19 Jun 17 - 12:58 AM
Charmion 17 Jun 17 - 12:26 PM
Acme 17 Jun 17 - 12:03 PM
Acme 15 Jun 17 - 09:57 PM
Charmion 15 Jun 17 - 08:43 AM
Acme 12 Jun 17 - 12:42 PM
Charmion 11 Jun 17 - 05:26 PM
Acme 10 Jun 17 - 06:26 PM
Dorothy Parshall 10 Jun 17 - 03:10 PM
Acme 10 Jun 17 - 10:42 AM
wysiwyg 04 Jun 17 - 12:55 PM
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Acme 04 Jun 17 - 11:01 AM
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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 22 Jul 17 - 10:35 AM

There doesn't seem to be a category of "kitchens without sharp edges and annoying drawer pulls" on Google. But I did find this. I think it turned up after I looked into an article about someone snagging clothes on the rough corner of their granite counter top.

When summer is fully engaged here it's difficult to find motivation to do much of anything. I'm looking at rooms full of things to do, and have to pace myself to get going - the end game is to have the house looking good and tables cleared so people here for a birthday party in a couple of weeks have places to sit and eat and talk.

In the yard I took down the bird feeder because it was attracting mice. Alas, the birds miss it. But this week I'm resolving to keep the bird baths around the yard topped off so they can at least drink and bathe. I was leaving for work two mornings ago and a robin stood on the edge of one of the birdbaths, cocking its head straight at me, inquiring why I would have such a vessel and NOT fill it. Really - it was like the bird was making a statement. :)


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Jul 17 - 09:55 AM

Noted, Acme. Thanks for the tip. I like to listen to my iPod while doing mundane or protracted kitchen chores, and the perfectly ordinary white china knobs on the lower cabinet doors seem to reach out and seize the loop of earbud wire that flops around when I bend over. Such a First World problem to have!

Dorothy, thanks for reminding me about sharp corners; I'm forever blundering into things that are just outside my restricted visual field, and I have the scars and bruises to prove it. The worst is always a bedstead with a flare to the top of the footboard -- guaranteed to nail me every time I move anywhere near it.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 21 Jul 17 - 11:03 PM

Some day . . . new kitchen, redo bathroom cabinets . . . if anyone ever suggests putting in drawer or cabinet handles that have edges that can hook pockets or bathrobes, out the door they go! My kitchen is full of them and they DRIVE. ME. NUTS.

Like this. For example. Why have things sticking out that will catch garments and either ruin the garment or pull out the drawer or cupboard, sometimes with disastrous results? I curse whoever chose this hardware several times a week, but to replace it, all of it, would be expensive. Might as well wait till I can get new cabinets.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 21 Jul 17 - 11:26 AM

Beaver:

Poor signal these days.

Charmion: I have left, and/or had stolen or demolished a number of pieces of furniture which I greatly cherished. I have grieved to lesser or grater degrees, but --- Oh well, life goes on and I have survived worse losses... We generally do. Your K guy sounds great - but keep your eye on it to ensure it is what YOU really want! Little things matter: I remember having to insist that a corner I would be going round often must be rounded so I did not have a perpetually sore hip from bumping a sharp corner! Such a small thing. Our wonderful current helper tends to think of these things.

The soil just arrived! The truck was able to fill one bed and largely fill the other - having to back up between wet ground and the hydro lines! And a 3rd pile is on top of the septic tank; it was needed to level that area and the extra will go towards the back sheds so we are not walking through ankle deep water for two months each year.

R shall have to do the planting in the memorial bed as I cannot bend over! Such a drag! I may be able to do seeding and transplanting of strawberries - lots of runners on the current bed. The critter did not get through the glass cage last night! That is probably all the raised beds as no where else is close enough to the road and moving wheelbarrow loads of soil---- NO WAY!

A mostly dead tree is coming out and the library is planned, with R and Dan in agreement! I hope construction will soon begin! I got a hearty laugh out of my comment , "I want to see a library today!" Definitely a joke! The project is a bit complicated but they seem to be on the same page.

I decluttered a lovely winter coat; needs zipper. I bought the zipper a few years ago but removing the old one... So I put the zip in a pocket and a note on it. To a thrift shop. I have managed quite well without it!

I managed 0.4 miles (I guess) on the cycle this am. It has been neglected through our busy, traveling week.

A beautiful clear day, scattered clouds and a lovely breeze! Probably going up to 27C.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Jul 17 - 09:28 AM

The Brother is coming tomorrow to claim the sideboard, an old family piece for which we will not have room in the new house. I've had that sideboard since 1976 (before that date it lived with my parents), and I'm regretting, but not regretting, the decision to part with it. The fact is that we won't need it, and The Brother and his wife do.

The kitchen renovation in the new house in Stratford includes a built-in wall unit comprising floor-to-ceiling china cabinets, drawers for table linen and a serving surface. So the old sideboard really is surplus to our requirements, while The Brother and his wife live in a Victorian house with a separate dining room and zero stowage for all the things you stow in a chiffonier-type sideboard. He should have it. Really.

I'll keep telling myself that until it's out of the house.

I am now deep in discussions by email with the designer-cabinetmaker who will build our new kitchen. He's a great guy, I've decided, because he clearly understands what cooks need in the way of workspace and provides CAD drawings to show what he has in mind. It will be a very expensive project -- at least by our standards -- so I am rather trepid about it.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 20 Jul 17 - 08:30 PM

Beaver:

A newly purchased ozonater has decluttered the house in Montreal - basement and first floor - hopefully of bugs, certainly of mold and odours, also R's truck, my car and the house here. It will go back to Montreal with R to be used again in the basement - hopefully killing those powder post beetles as they hatch.

My left eye is decluttered of a cataract (Monday) and we are in the healing phase with R putting drops in for me, and me delighting in clearing vision! The hard part is me trying to remember not to bend down to pick up things on the floor - actually made me nauseous the 3rd time today so I am really "getting it"! Need some kind of stick up my back??

We spent Mon and Tues in Peterboro; R went to the Canoe Museum while I endured the op, then picked me up and I rested in the car while he did more of the museum. Overnight at comfy airbnb. Tues: Dr appointment - She said it went well and admonished me to not touch eye and not bend over; I wear my sunglasses a lot to try to protect the eye - from me. We visited the Trent Severn waterway Lift Lock - the largest in NA. Fascinating, we watched to go up with water and boats, then come down ... No noise, no power - just the weight of the water and a HUGE piston. Had fun exploring a bit of Peterboro and wending our way homeward. The trip is 90 min to two hours so we decluttered by staying over night!

Decluttered some of the pile of sewing today, delighting in the like-new sewing machine since R tended to it! Finished the seats and backs for the folding chairs but we still need to get them into their slots. The BR is largely declusttered but the LR still has them. Maybe tonight?? A two person job - or a R job!

He fixed the hot water - YAY! So it will not happen again! He has to do just about everything - pick up this, pick up that... Planted a lovely little larch out near the stream. I CAN cook - when I have the energy - as long as I drop nothing on the floor.

Critter in Strawberries last night! So R is placing some glass panes around it tonight. The critter was large enough to totally disrupt the plastic screening that keeps the birds out. The soil for new beds to come tomorrow - after some mis-communication. R will need to do the planting - that I was so looking forward to doing.

Our lettuce crop continues to be lovely, the wax beans are getting there slowly, four cabbage are taking up a humongous amout of space, carrots are coming along and the squash are slow but, so far, not molested. Tomatoes and peppers are slow. Lavender, in full bloom by front door, is delightfully welcoming! (Memories of Whidbey Island!)


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 15 Jul 17 - 08:22 PM

I was at Tractor Supply today, and though I had a shopping list intended for another store, I thought I'd take a look down the aisles to see if there was anything more than dog food they could tempt me with today. And I stumbled upon a small but well-chosen selection of sprinklers. My gardener's heart always beats a little faster when I find another one that *might* do what I want. They had two types of sprinklers on tripods, $30 and $60, and they, after I poked around, had one that simply is meant to be clamped onto the top of one of the t-shaped posts that holds up wire fencing. It's more modest, less likely to catch the eye of someone who might come up the driveway to steal it. I'll test it this evening.

In the spirit of decluttering, there are probably half-dozen sprinkler experiments around here that failed that I should discard or donate.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 15 Jul 17 - 12:34 PM

We're way past pea and lettuce season here, and I usually miss it because of my earliest gardening in the north, these southern gardens need to have the tender crops in way earlier than seems practical. And this year we've had more rain than usual and contrary as it might seem, the result is that my crops aren't great. My tomatoes are barely producing and even the blossom set spray isn't working on them.

I have moved more things in the sun room, put away packing and shipping materials, flattened boxes, cleared some portion of the tabletop work surface. The trick is to truly put away the things moved off of this work surface, not simply transplant them to some other place where they'll be in the way.

Oddball things to list on eBay are stacked next to the computer so I can do some research, then they need to go into the appropriate shipping package and actually be listed. Sounds easy, but it sometimes takes me a while to get motivated.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 10:54 PM

Beaver:

Gradually working up to more energy and improved walking. Hot baths are essential and the hot water quit - again!- a week ago so I have used foot baths and comfrey poultices to keep on track. Amazingly, I finally started the project of new seats and backs for the directors chairs. The refurbished sewing machine - R's Christmas project - is a good as new! Such a joy to work after untold years of iffiness. I hope to finish them in the morning and move them from BR to back/back shed until the screen house is ready. This will hugely de-cluttter the BR. Then I can go on to other sewing projects, as in a foot high of pants to hem for R, to further de-clutter.

The screen house is on hold as Dan did not have time and then was sick so the new priority is R's library. Dan started preparing for the foundation today. it will be a ten by ten by as high as they agree to make it! R has a beautiful library ladder and Dan is insisting the shelves do not go so high they cannot be safely reached! Dan is a grand fund of good sense and knowledge of building. R is arriving on Friday or Saturday. Monday is my cataract op so Monday and Tuesday (dr appointment) we will be in Peterboro; we have arranged an airbnb for Monday night - $62 to stay in a condo in town rather than drive over an hour each way back and forth to Bancroft (60 miles). R plans to visit the Canadian Canoe Museum while I am at the hospital.


I have two new raised beds - one for more strawberries; one can never have too many strawberries! and one for veggies. It is pretty late in the season but if it ever dries out enough for the soil to be delivered, I shall try for peas, perhaps green beans. It is on the north side so should be cooler but still gets lots of sun at this time. In the other beds, I have lettuce galore and carrots, zukes and wax beans flourishing in the one bed and the strawberries are slowly coming along. Along the south wall, tomatoes and peppers amongst the sage, oregano, lavender, clematis and a huge clump of established rhubarb. I am pleased!

An octagonal bed frame - 4 feet in D - is special for a tiny mock orange bush, a baby of the one in Montreal which was given to R by a special friend. She died last year so this will be a memorial. For now, I will surround the baby with annuals, in the fall will plant bulbs - ones that squirrels do not treasure! It is centred outside a large window where our dining table is located.

Maybe the soil can arrive tomorrow - if it does not pour again tonight! Then I can plant the beds. A neighbour came over today and cut some of the high grass and put it into the beds so it will be covered with the soil. The plant roots will have to go deep to get any nourishment from it but I had no other plans for it. Need a better compost pile but have not decided WHERE!

I managed to throw 3 pots the other morning and need to trim the bottoms - maybe tomorrow. It was too cold this am and I was too tired in the afternoon. AND I have an exercycle on the back deck which I have ridden for short periods four days - oops skipped Weds as it was raining! Tonight only a very short time as I was very low in energy. Tuesday I was very pleased with how long I lasted and thought it would increase but my legs were very tired tonight.

This Keto diet is tiresome and I have become less and less good at it. I have not gained more but have not lost any so I am feeling time for a change. I am so fed up I would like to stop eating - but I won't. A new mantra might be -"just because I fell hungry does not mean I need to eat!" One day at a time I am feeling the way forward.

I have been amazed over the last couple months at my improved eyesight and even wonder if I really need this op - but guess I do. In conversation with a couple friends last week, we were talking about supplements that are good for the brain and I mentioned that I had started taking Lecithin a few weeks ago. Joanne said, "Oh, there is Lecithin in my eye pills!" So, we are thinking it is the Lecithin that improved my sight. That is the only recent change in my regime.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 12 Jul 17 - 09:15 PM

Surprise! A house guest is arriving tomorrow evening to stay a few days. The guest room is ready but the kitchen and bathroom need cleaning, I must vacuum, and look to see what is available for nibbling in the fridge. Lots of food, but most of it requires some preparation.

My hall bathroom with the new loo and the support bar in the shower I put in a year or two ago for the same visitor is ready, it just needs tidying. She loves the comfortable bed in the guest room, and there is a bedside lamp in there now for reading that wasn't on her last visit. And a television after that recent attempt at using it for a monitor (resolution wasn't high enough to make it work). She travels with an oxygen pump that can be set in the closet and won't be heard outside of her room. She may be here over the weekend, so who knows if I'll get any more decluttering done for the time being. She has been known to do organizing for people - I'm afraid I'd kill her if she tried it here, but we understand each other. I know how to find everything now. 25+ years of friendship means a lot of this stuff is behind us. It's a good chance to put up our feet and visit, and though she won't care if the house is full of dog hair, I do, so I'll get going on that now.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 10 Jul 17 - 11:42 AM

The morning trash removed the nearly-dead motor of an old blender (purchased for $4 at a garage sale across the street). The jar and fittings are here and can be put on sale on eBay or simply left as spares since they fit the new blender. It's the mentality of "spares" that has some of us digging out of the storage regions of our homes, so the decision isn't made yet to keep or sell.

I tend to plant things around the yard away from the main garden area and then forget and they get very dry between waterings. Good luck with expanding the flowers around the houses.

I have a bench full of cardboard boxes shipped here over recent weeks - they need flattening and I'll pick up more free mulch and extend the paths in my garden. And today comes the heavy duty vinegar to kill weeds along the paths. This reduces the box bulk and contributes to the future mulch of the garden.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Jul 17 - 02:41 PM

Remembering how Bobert and The Peavine had to dig up their wonderful garden when they moved, and in light of my aging decrepitude, I've begun windowboxing and container gardening on and around our 50' ramp.

First was a bike basket full of Petunias and a trailing, variegated Vinca. Today it was another 6-pack of Petunias, and scrap hardware cloth bent into a windowbox shape to hold them. Next, it will be enough plants to fill the living room in the winter, to go out to the ramp for the summer and fall, in creative containers already on hand when possible.

The potting-up happens in a shady, level corner where the ramp's first turn welcomes me heading out for the morning tour-- also a good spot from which to go inside for whatever I forgot. Two gallons of water a day is my carrying limit, so rain will have to help.

But again, remembering Bobert's yard, nothing I do here won't work in OH; anything bought is assumed to be in the pipeline to Ohio, either nowish or at The Big Move. The just-potted petunias in fact are destined for a September jaunt (because the Ohio growing season is much longer).

This is very helpful in integrating PA/OH life, and it's great for my PA activity level too. I just watch for materials (and places to use them), with eventual OH placement always in mind. Right now I'm remembering for example some cinderblocks and shipping pallets out back, to set against the ramp with flowerpots in them. This season, they might get just a few sale plants-- but I'll be all set next spring with annuals started from seed. I also know where the blocks and pallets will go in Ohio, when that time comes.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 08 Jul 17 - 11:05 AM

Scanning and transcribing notes and clippings and such that I want to keep around but that don't have logical places to be filed. And discovering that some of the notes that I thought were somehow so important all of those years ago aren't actually that great.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Jul 17 - 01:22 PM

I had felt (and posted upthread) that this month is a time to set up my packing inventory plan, but I was wrong!

It felt so impossible that I spent some session time looking at what was going on. It turned out that a more foundational issue needed attention first-- I was treating Ohio time as the only place where I live/have a life, and treating PA time as random-- as a place where I have no control over my time and how I spend it. But that PA feeling is obsolete, so I decided to get a better grip on the length and nature of PA time-- and it changed everything.

It gave me a rhythm and a flow cycle that places packing/purging at the right time of year-- and prepping for that at the season just preceding it.

This also led to a whole lot of other integrative pieces, and a real, 12-18 month plan.

Now it's stored in my fone as a memo in progress, to consult before calendaring any new commitments into my scheduling process. My life makes SENSE!!! To ME! (I hadn't noticed that it hadn't for quite some time.)

With some further development and negotiaton, the next year might look roughly like this-- dates will slip a bit for the flip-flops, and to accommodate existing family and workshop commitments.

The activities in parentheses are about what the healthy daily activity level will be based around. 'Funmeister' = local festivals and cultural activities that involve walking, which is what I can do in PA that is not like the 1-story-house stuff/gardening so easily done in Ohio. These events are on a calendar-prompt cycle all year long for PA (and are yet to be systematized yet that way for Ohio, where the main activity so far is gardening/house projects).

All dates are subject to revision if we don't like this-- it's about 60/40 PA/OH for me, but we both liked the two long seasons together-- Advent/Christmas and summer/summer vacay.

We also both liked the way this has our eyes on our house for more of the year, considering that the housemate may depart.


PA June 20 - July 24 (4 wks) (Funmeister)

OH July 24 - Aug 17 (3 wks) (Vacay/2nd Honeymoon, See Ohio)

PA Aug 24 - Sept 15 (3 wks) (Funmeister)

OH Sept. 15 - October 31 (7 wks) (Gardening)
DioCPA convention is Oct. 13-14. Greg ends S.C. term.

PA Nov 1 - Jan 1 (9 wks) (Holidays/Anniversary)

OH January 1 - February 12 (6 wks) (Retreat; Plan PA Packing, Plan PA Sowing; Make OH Help Wanted sign)

PA Feb 12- May 1 (11.5 wks) (PA Purging/Packing Season; Sowing and Seedlings [for PA and Ohio])
Lent begins Feb. 14. Easter is April 1. Advertise for help via OH sign.)

OH All of May (5 wks) (Gardening, Hiring; Greg water PA seedlings; Playoffs)

PA June 1 thru July 24 (7 wks) (Funmeister, PA Gardening; NHL Final)

OH July 24? - Aug 17? (3 wks) (Vacay)

~S~


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 11:08 AM

Progress through the day yesterday resulted in being able to see areas of the wood surface on the second desk in the office and I can again step into the office closet. Cables, peripherals, adapters, are all (hopefully) in one place now instead of scattered around the house (well, there is a set of cables in the living room next to the TV, but those are related only to the equipment in there). My Dad's old plastic label maker (press hard for each letter, press lightly for the space between words) came into play for identifying the plastic baskets where things are now stored. What's old is new again. Why pay for a fancy new electronic one when the old tech works (and I still have plenty of the label tape around here.)


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 02 Jul 17 - 11:23 AM

My report to Hoarders Anonymous - I seem to have kept most of the smallish bottles with lids that came my way over the last few years. "I might be able to use this for something" is probably the script that runs when a brown glass or hefty plastic bottle with a snug screw-on lid comes my way. But last month I discovered that I can use the FoodSaver canister to vacuum seal canning jars with dry contents (things that don't need cooking like dried foods, dry herbs, etc.). The jar and the lid goes into the canister, and once the air is sucked out the jar has also been emptied of air and then the lid seals. (The canisters are expensive enough that you wouldn't spend $20 a piece to use them to actually store food - but as a tool to store food in other containers - that is so worth it - and I found this at Goodwill for $1.99.) So instead of using old fish oil bottles I can seal in canning jars and send herbs to whoever I have in mind. I tossed several pounds of jars and bottles into the recycle bin and cleared a lot of space on the shelves above my potting table.

I buy a store brand of spaghetti sauce that comes in a labeled canning jar - Atlas with measure marks on it. Those are heavy enough to use with canning, so those go into the pantry, not the recycle bin. And you wouldn't want to use commercial jars from most foods for canning, they're not heavy-duty enough.

This will be a busy month ahead. I have to do select and put down tile in the hall bathroom, clear out some of my eBay projects that are spread around the house, and get organized for a family birthday party for early August. There's nothing to make you finally get around to finishing some of those projects than the prospect of having friends come into the house and see the clutter.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 01 Jul 17 - 11:07 AM

Going back to basics over this long holiday weekend: I will start in the corner of the sun room and organize the potting table with all of it's boxes and tools and plant things tumbled together. Then work outward from there. Straighten the pantry shelves, organize the eBay sales and shipping area. #BigJob


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Vashta Nerada
Date: 30 Jun 17 - 11:14 AM

Charmion, with all of the housing difficulty for you and the cats it sounds like you need something like a motor home to rent for a few weeks. Is that a possibility, and park it in your own driveway, or perhaps a generous neighbor's parking area? Or does someone in the family own one you can borrow/rent if they're difficult to schedule now? Leasing? Just thinking outside the motel/kennel box.

Susan, the experts on Antiques Roadshow seem to be pronouncing the death knell on so many of the things that our generation saw as "valuable antiques." Dark wood is now out, Mid-century Modern is the look that is popular. So many collections and knickknacks are turning up in thrift stores instead of antique stores. If you can find interested parties for any of these family heirlooms, let them know you want them to have said items and cultivate that appreciation and care. They'll eventually be popular again - all of these things cycle up and down.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 30 Jun 17 - 10:18 AM

Back in PA for several weeks before we head back to Ohio for 3 vacation weeks. Hardi did a lot of cleaning here while I was gone; this leaves my next job here clear: purging and packing, packing and purging. It's time to set up the box-contents inventory system because the actual move is still far off-- I won't be able to remember just by scribbling on eachieving box. But this process should result in knowing how to design for the storage needs in Ohio such as garage shelving.

At the MIL visit we enjoyed a few weeks ago, we were presented with Grandma Nora's beautiful everyday flatware-- a delicate silver-plate pattern. I came up with several options honoring her AND the family tradition of its everyday use. We will probably pass most of it on to Nora's great-grand-daughter, whose older brother recently received a Grandpa John trove. Stephanie is just the age and personality to start learning how to care for silver, and to host grade-school parties using this set.

As I pack and purge I'll take time to follow my own advice-- annotate obscure items and give away now what I'd like to pass on. Pack memory boxes for each child in our family unit and ship them in advance of the Big Move. Take pix of bulky sentimental items and gift the items themselves to Goodwill. Recycle. Shred. Save shredded paper for packing material. Use NPR livestreaming as company, and Ohio music stations to remind me what I'm working towards.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Jun 17 - 09:39 AM

We are now in the calm before the storm -- a lull of mental lists of last things to do, bookings and arrangements and filling out of forms, while we soldier through our last month before what I now think of as "La grande dérangement". Okay, nobody's sending us into exile, but upping sticks and heaving ourselves across the province after so many years in the same house definitely feels more than a little deranged right now. Doing it at the peak of tourist season just adds to the general madness.

Stratford is a small town with a huge tourist-dependent summer theatre festival. Consequently, every hotel and bed-and-breakfast in Perth County is booked solid throughout July and August, but the absolute tippy-top of it all is exactly the week when we are moving, which includes the statutory holiday that falls on the first Monday in August. Our relocation benefit entitles us to interim lodging at the federal government per-diem rate, which should be downright lavish and would be in, say, March, but in August it doesn't even come close to covering the cost of a convenient spot where we may lay our downy heads. So we are booked into an almost-crappy motel on the town line, down the road from Staples and Wal-Mart and a substantial drive from anywhere that serves a decent breakfast.

Ottawa is almost as bad. We live downtown, and hoped to find a hotel close to home so we could be on deck at the scene of the crime for as long as possible while packing is going on. No such luck; every hostelry within walking distance of our front door hikes its rates into the stratosphere in summer -- especially this summer, now that the breadless circus of Canada 150 has come to town. So we're booked in at a Travelodge in an east-end industrial park that has lavish parking and locks on the doors and precious little else.

The place where we usually board the cats when we're away from home is likewise unavailable (booked solid since Easter), so the poor little beasts are booked in at a kennel that also caters to dogs. The horror, the horror ... But it was the only place within an hour's drive of Ottawa where I could even get them in, let alone secure desirable quarters for a pair of pampered pussycats who have never been separated for as much as an hour throughout their little lives.

But the lawyers are now talking to each other, and the utility companies have acknowledged our existence, and we have lined up a capable cleaner to blitz the place after our stuff is toted out (I almost don't care how much that costs), and we have booked a U-Haul truck to transport the stuff the movers won't take, so the big stuff is in place. The small stuff -- well, I try not to sweat the small stuff, but it's a continuing challenge.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 30 Jun 17 - 12:03 AM

I'm not seeing a response to the blossom set so far, I may have to use more (they say to try to keep the spray off of the rest of the plant, so I apply it with a cotton swab). A few cherry tomatoes a day will give me a modest amount of tomato zing for my salads, but nothing left over to can or freeze.

A friend came over to examine the computer setup here and get recommendations for a new system at her small business. As I pulled out bins of cables and devices I realized it's time again to declutter some of that stuff. Way too many data cables, power cords, USB cords, etc. I'll send a few her way, plus a USB Hub or two, to make her setup streamlined. Before making recommendations I took at look at her current setup - it's scary to see the old power strips piled up with tons of things plugged in - I've recommended some good surge protectors plugged into different circuits in the office.

The thing about a visitor coming to the house - while there are many interesting artifacts to discuss and share, it also gives you that glimpse of your space through someone else's eyes. This long holiday weekend will probably involve the decluttering of some of the electronic stuff and clearing off a few of the horizontal surfaces. I found a set of computer speakers in a bin I didn't know I had, and I just decommissioned another one this week. Something has to go to the e-waste bin at work next week.

Charmion, how's it going? Dorothy, are you onto the next stage in the buildout of the guest space at the new place? And is the Mill still in play - do you have things stored there or have you moved out completely? If Susan reports in, I'm interested in the garden layout and the use of those spare boxes, and if Michelle reports, I'm hoping all tests are perfect, the boy is growing like a weed (even with a cast on his arm - a normal part of a healthy childhood), the farm is prospering, and everything is good.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 27 Jun 17 - 10:28 PM

I cleared out what might amount to a couple of cubic feet of cardboard boxes yesterday. I pulled off any plastic tape left from the shipping process then flattened them (intact, they weren't pulled apart to make a single corrugated layer) for the garden. I had 3+ contractor trash bags of free mulch that I used to cover these flattened boxes for paths in my garden. And movement is now a little easier in my sun room.

I treated my garden tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers with some "blossom set" liquid on cotton swabs this evening. The plant growth is good but there are few flowers. And they're not setting fruit. I hope this will get me some crops in the next few weeks. I'll plan to do that again one day soon.

I've put organic rosemary in the trash because I have so much of it, but during the summer I usually put herbs at the curb with signs on boxes that say "free - organic whatever it is." Oregano, rosemary, lemon balm.

I have figured out what to do about my backup hard drive. I want a good backup, not messed up should any ransom-ware accidentally come my way. Leaving a backup always attached means it can be mapped by ransom ware. I'll leave the backup drive plugged in, but have it plugged into a timer on the UPS so that it turns on in time to run the weekly backup, then turns itself off again.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 26 Jun 17 - 06:15 PM

Beaver:

Have not gotten tons done but inch by inch. My good neighbour sharpened the scythe and I have managed to cut some of the higher than knee high grass and weeds between rains! This one bobbin will do for making the new seats and backs for the folding director's chairs; so I shall try to get them done yet this week.

Having failed to continue the nightly hot bath = not wanting to over do it, I tried for one on Sunday am and "Thunk" then no water from the hot water side. A call to R to figure out the why of it and a wait for Dan who did not come today - nest week. So, another call to R so I could try it myself. Turn off the water at the heater, take off the screwed on rubber line and then the valve ... After I took off the valve, it seemed Ok so I put it all back together and LO! hot water!! So, another hot bath this aft.

I have ransacked every possible place for the spare bobbins - except where they are actually hiding. Decided to live with it - after trying Amazon - THAT is desperation! I did order an ozonator to use in Montreal - hoping to kill the powder mill beetles that are eating the house. If it will kill scabies... I will also give it a go when we are leaving on Friday for the mill. It will be cleared by the time we get back - prob Sunday - and it should get rid of mold and anything else.

Leaving here on Thursday, after I read the newspaper into computer at Community Care, stop in Tweed for a teeth cleaning and in Napanee to pick up the shoes I left for repair on my way here. Shoe repair shops are hard to find; I found this on line, en route from here to there and easy to access. The 3 pairs of shoes I have been carrying around for several years...   They are very good quality leather shoes but the total cost of repair is equivalent to more than I ever paid for any 3 pairs of shoes in my life! He told me they would be like new.... I sure hope so! You too could restore a worn pair of Birkies for only $95CAD! plus tax! So, I de-clutter that darn bag of shoes and my wallet simultaneously!

In the de-clutter the brain dept, I was able to start a piece of writing that has eluded me for a year or more. Very happy! It needs lots more work but at least I found the beginning!

Another cool night; the temp in house has dropped to 68 while I wrote this. Later I shall start the distiller which will provide considerable heat, so it is not too cool in the am. Still have planting to do - broke down and bought a couple ornamentals yesterday - a white tree peony and a yellow canna that was bursting its pot - poor thing! And some tomato and pepper plants. Have asked Dan for two more raised beds and a one level octagonal bed frame for a tiny mock orange, a baby of the one in montreal which was given to R by a very special friend. It will be a memorial garden for her. For now, it will have annuals around it, bulbs will be planted in the fall. It will be outside the main front window. So much for sticking to useful food plantings. I could plant the peppers around it - between the geraniums!

The tiny balsam I planted two years ago has shot up about 8 more inches! Sitting thinking about the monster comfrey plant --- maybe a poultice would help my shoulder! Maybe I could harvest a dry a bunch of leaves for future needs! I have 3 babies for the mill and Montreal. I harvested a good sized bunch of oregano yesterday - drying in the BR.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 25 Jun 17 - 08:12 PM

We have a shed in need of clearing again. It was great when we had it put up and we fitted it with t slot shelving and plastic storage boxes but clutter just seems to grow to fill all the space and a purge is needed.

I want to make a rough and ready (my limits plus I have enough suitable wood for this) table to go under the cast iron framed and marble topped table in the porch – seems the easiest way to create a sort of shelf there. I'm not sure yet but the extra "shelving" may already be accounted for as we are toying with getting Pip a stand alone (as opposed to one of those things with a bowl that goes into the too full freezer)ice cream maker for her birthday and I'd need to create some extra space somehow to accommodate it.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 25 Jun 17 - 07:25 PM

Most weeks I don't have much trash to put at the curb because kitchen waste goes into the compost and a lot of materials go into recycling that I take to the bins at city hall every couple of weeks. So I only put out trash every three or four times the twice-weekly trash is picked up. But this time of year when I have limbs too large to run through my chipper I can trim a few at a time and put the cut-up pieces into the large Rubbermaid bin that came with the house. The bin looks like crap but still works for this, and so far they've always left it behind (it is remarkably difficult to actually "throw away" old trash cans!)

I've taken out some limbs that hung low by the street and in the middle of the yard, blocking the view when exiting the driveway. Strategic trimming has now removed limbs that the village might require to be removed (lower than 13' from the pavement) and others opened up the view through the yard.

The bin doesn't have a lot in it, just a few 2"+ limbs (the smaller limbs are in a stack to dry a few days then I'll put them through my chipper), but there is a rosemary by the back gate that has grown all out of that bed, so later when it's cool I'll go out again and trim some of that and add it to the bin.

Tomorrow I plan to get some free mulch from the city park public site and I'll scalp pathways in the garden with the weedeater, then put flattened cardboard boxes down and cover them with mulch. Unlike Susan, I don't have things to put into the boxes, but they will be excellent in the landscape.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 24 Jun 17 - 08:11 PM

The local electronics store I prefer had an LG TV on sale today and I thought I'd switch it out for my second smaller monitor so I could use the speakers on it instead of having the three-piece desktop speakers that plug into the back of the computer. I set it up, even programmed the channels so I could use it as a TV if I wish, but then set it as a monitor. When I tried to get the sound through it, nothing. Only through the old speakers. I Googled how to run sound through monitor and got the tip to open the speaker icon and right click the various devices. When I did that, still nothing. So I unplugged the desktop set and was astonished to hear sound FINALLY coming out of my large HP monitor that I've had in place for probably 5 or 6 years. Somehow when I couldn't get it to work at first I assumed there wasn't sound, but now I feel foolish.

The LG doesn't look as good as the old monitor, so though it is larger, the resolution isn't as good, and I may switch back. And figure out someplace else in the house to put this.

Sometimes improvements aren't really improvements.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Jun 17 - 10:04 PM

Half of the housemate-couple moved on about 7 months ago to start setting up their home in another state, and left a pile of new boxes in the garage... where I hope the other half will forget all about them. They'll be so handy for the housecleaner I just found, to box up the clutter Mr. Batchelor is generating.... it's incipient hoarding, ... which had better not be in evidence when I get back here for vacay w Hardi in 3.5 weeks! Because this better NOT be the 3rd year running of trying to vacation (in/from our own house), around a chaotic mess!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 23 Jun 17 - 09:42 PM

Arriving home today when the temperature hit 99o I was aware of how hot the house was - mostly because my screen that I usually put up each summer to shade the sliding glass door on the western side of the house isn't up yet. I need to fashion a new edge to my patio cover since the long 2' x 8' x 12' plank twisted out of shape and came off of its moorings on the structure. I think that has to be the first chore to tackle this weekend. With that screen my electric bill stays lower.

A few small projects have wrapped up this week, and a couple still need attention. The garden always needs attention. Enumerating all of that here would simply repeat past posts. Making forward progress on new projects - my goal is to put down new tile in the hall bathroom in the next few weeks.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 22 Jun 17 - 10:52 AM

Dorothy, if you bought more bobbins, where would you store them? Go look in that place now, you might find the old ones waiting for you. :) That's what happens when I buy replacements for things without looking in my storage first.

The yard looks great today, but I overdid it in the heat, resulting in a night of leg cramps. I'm being careful with sodium these days so will be sure to get more potassium to compensate for that lost in sweat.

That screened in room sounds nice!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 21 Jun 17 - 08:51 PM

Beaver:

SO glad to hear that Charmion is getting rid of the broadloom BEFORE the move! Your health will be the better for it. Though, I suppose everything new will be off-gassing for a while. Summer and open windows will help. Also, heat speeds the process and Stratford will be hot for a while! Love the plant story. I drove from SE PA to Whidbey Island with my loaded car, and, amongst the plants was a four foot jasmine tree which reached from the back to out the front window. I wrapped the top in a sheet to keep it from being wind damaged. The large dog also shared the front window! great four day trip! The tree was fine but I had to give it away when I moved back to Canada - It was SO lovely!

Arriving home on Monday eve was an event of discovering all the wonderful changes, small and large, dear Dan has wrought this time! The original siding back on the studio makes it look absolutely civilized! The shelves in the back/back shed hold 15 bins and a top shelf for oddments. The deck behind the shed is lovely and inspired us to ask - could you make it into a screened room? Next week! It can be a summer hideout/guest room/retreat/reading room.... He even put a sliding door over the electric panel and tells me that he closed up every place that a squirrel could get into it! which will also reduce cold air. The kiln "garage" looks great and I look forward to getting pots ready to fire but not until R ccmes and puts in the electric line. Well, I can get them ready!

Now, I need to go through those bins and try to let go of enough stuff to reduce the number as there are two more on the back deck! ... But lots of good room left in that shed. When R comes in july, he will go through the clogged back shed and get rid of and organize stuff.

It is so nice to be here where the air is clean and I can see the out of doors, the lovely west hill and be in a moderately clean and organized house. AND take a hot bath!!!! Monday after I arrive and again last night and planned - tonight! I felt SO good today for the first time in five months, I could walk with almost no limp at all and felt balanced. People, including R, do not realize the effect of a hot bath with epsom salt (followed by cool shower to wash it off.

I have done some weeding. The lettuce is taking over the world! Strawberries seem to be burgeoning. Did 3 loads of laundry today, dried outside and folded but not yet put away. If only I could find the spare bobbins for my sewing machine life would be practically perfect. I shall have to bite the bullet and use the one I have, changing thread colours as I go as I have a pile of pants to hem for R and an increasing pile of other sewing to do. The time has come!!!

I have already - in my mind - furnished the 10x10 screen room; the folding table, the four captains chairs that need new fabric seats and backs and a lounge chair that could be slept upon. Also thinking of a bed that folds against the back wall; that wall will be solid. Rather like a murphy bed, maybe.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 21 Jun 17 - 07:51 PM

Several passes through the yard, punctuated by cool-off sessions in the house. One last pass and I'll be finished in a few minutes. We're just about to the time when the summer heat will cause the grass to go somewhat dormant: mowing is less frequent during the hottest months (except around the edges of the vegetable garden). This large task seems a suitable chore for the first day of summer.

Trash day tomorrow, so I'm evicting some of the things that have cluttered the side yard since last autumn (old plastic flats for bedding plants, crumbling plastic pots, bits and pieces of things left out there that needed picking up and throwing.) They'll go down to the curb tonight and my side entrance looks much nicer. I've also been flattening shipping boxes and preparing to make a run to the recycle bins at city hall. The donation bin has been filling also so I might score a triple if I can get that over to the donation center in the morning.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 21 Jun 17 - 09:28 AM

FYI - the UHaul folks have excellent boxes of just about every shape and size you can imagine, and when your move is over they will buy back any unused boxes. I occasionally buy boxes from them when I sell chandeliers on eBay (chandeliers that I can't dismantle for some reason or other).


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Jun 17 - 08:31 AM

Yesterday, we hit a major milestone on our way to blowing town: I cleaned out the chest freezer! At least three years have passed since I did it last (guilt, guilt, guilt), so the walls were well-iced and an ugly scurf of black mold was forming on the lip of the lid. A blast of Javex-laced cleanser fixed that.

It's interesting how we take for granted household appliances that our parents never even considered buying. The dishwasher, for example -- I can still hear my mother's indignant snort at the very idea. "Why would we bother when we have you?", she said, putting rather too fine a point on it. Freezers were for people with half an acre of garden and a hunter in the family, or the bone idleness to spend their money on TV dinners -- i.e., not us.

Our frozen food holdings are now down to four litres of minestrone, a large leg of lamb, two pounds of cranberries and a loaf of bread. We are now five weeks out from Pack Day.

I, too, am collecting boxes. The packers will not touch anything that would leak, such as home-made jam or bottled maple syrup, and I'm sure as hell not giving that away. Likewise the wine and the booze; it's all coming with us, and I hope the Ontario Provincial Police don't decide to notice us on the road -- it is illegal here to transport an open container of beverage alcohol in a motor vehicle. I also have five orchids (all reliable bloomers) and a 19-year-old Christmas cactus that I would like to keep, so they will make the trip swaddled in newspaper and stuffed into open-topped wine boxes. I can see us now, storming down the 401 highway in a U-Haul van full of food and drink, with the orchids teetering on top of the load.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 20 Jun 17 - 09:52 PM

After a few days of a failing phone battery, I replaced the OEM one with a 2.5X battery that comes with a different back for the phone because the new battery is thicker than the OEM battery. Now I have to find a way to keep this phone from getting damaged by typical assaults of daily life. My Ballistic case was wonderful - possibly now an eBay item - just about anything that goes out of service these days can be put on eBay.

Back to boxes - I have several co-workers who are leaving soon for new jobs (lucky stiffs!) and this week I'll take a few of my spare boxes to the office for them. I should probably pack up a few of my own extra items at work and bring them home as well. #LessIsMore


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 19 Jun 17 - 10:23 PM

Boxes. You can't live with them, you can't live without them. I find a box and the packing materials and pre-pack any item I'm going to sell on eBay so there are as few surprises as possible. You're trading items for moose antlers? They must be special!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 19 Jun 17 - 06:38 PM

My snack of choice is a mix of roasted salted almonds, roasted unsalted almonds, and dried tart cherries. I just recently made the investment (I've been out for over a year) of buying 5 lbs. of the dried tart cherries from Door County, Wisconsin. They're not in themselves outrageously expensive, but when the shipping is added... Bite the bullet and get a larger amount. They store well.

One of my down-the-hill neighbors is running a permanent yard sale. And he's helping me clear out the cellar (tools, table saw, fermenter, antique wooden boxes, etcet, etcet.). Whatever he sells (besides counting as cubic footage) goes towards an item I "purchased" (will mostly trade) from him a few weeks ago -- a moose skull with a full rack. Sigh. I've always wanted one. Not my first moose skull, but the other one was made into a lamp and doesn't have the antlers.

I'm planning on having a yard sale later this summer, but mostly with stuff from upstairs. When I went through stuff during the floor project last year, I boxed a bunch of stuff to sell...AND labeled the boxes (how clever of me). I still need to attack the guest room and the guest room closet.

Oh, and I've also decided to chuck my prize collection of "I'm going to need a box this size some day" boxes. If I DO need a box that size, I'll deal with it. I'll probably also put a box of jewelry-sized boxes out at my yard sale and see if I can get a buck or so for it. And a couple transparent trash bags full of packing peanuts. If I live for another 50 years (highly unlikely) I won't use up that many packing peanuts!

Maybe if life ever settles down a bit I can steadily sell the ephemera on eBay. Some things I just can't multi-task -- and major parts of my brain are engaged in other things, so I can't deal with effectively selling on eBay right now.

I'm feeling over-extended again. Like everyone has a piece of me. Still involved full tilt in finding a temporary location for the Friday Press Room session until the renovations are finished and it re-opens under new ownership in September. The temp location for the monthly sea music sing is just fine. Tasty beer, too.

Gotta go cut up some more boxes destined for this week's trash.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 19 Jun 17 - 11:24 AM

Overnight rain shifted my mowing plans. Possibly this evening if it clears and dries enough. Meanwhile, I've poked and prodded at a recipe I've added to "My Fitness Pal" for a mix of nuts and bittersweet chocolate as a low-salt, low-sugar snack that is good fibre to keep the gut happy. I suppose I'll have to learn how to edit some of their items, or add my own - who measures nuts as liquid measures, anyway? I have a small scale in the kitchen with a moving face so I can place a bowl or plate on it, turn it to zero, then weight food.

I suppose I could work on eBay stuff today. I've put it off long enough.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 19 Jun 17 - 12:58 AM

I made a start on the front yard trimming this afternoon and swept and swept and swept - after pruning the juniper I decided to declutter the grass in the cracks of the concrete driveway. I didn't finish, but am about 1/2 way up the drive, and tomorrow I'll mow the rest. One of these days the local garden club might make a monthly yard sign that says "Yard of the Month - Most Improved." That would be for me.

It's also the time of year to make the indoors particularly appealing for those days when it's too hot to go outside. Having a bedroom that is cool and comfortable, making the living room inviting for music or movies, and the back patio inviting and shady for barbecue or just sitting in the evening. I have to paint a lot of furniture on the patio to reach that point.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 17 Jun 17 - 12:26 PM

One of the most interesting museum exhibits I have ever seen is the recreation of Julia Child's kitchen at the Smithsonian in Washington. She kept her favourite tools on a pegboard that took up the entire end wall of the room, each one outlined in paint so misguided people would not be tempted to rearrange them. Except for her professional cook's range, which I do not aspire to, she used normal good-quality gear that any ambitious home cook could buy without too much trouble; for example, she did not have those ridiculously expensive copper pans that some cookware vendors insist that a "real" cook can't do without.

I'm kind of embarrassed about my abundance of cookware, actually -- such a First World problem to have! But I like a claybaker for chicken dishes and some roasts, so we have three: large, medium and small. Some projects call out for a roasting pan, so we have one of those, and its high domed lid is perfect for covering a roast while it reposes on the platter before carving. The two canners are for quarter-litre and half-litre jars, respectively; in the big canner, the quarter-litres tend to fall through the rack, and the half-litres are too tall for the small canner. Cast-iron skillets? Um, I think we have six, ranging in diameter from six to fourteen inches, plus a ridged grilling pan. Three non-stick skillets (large, medium and small), two of them with lids. Cast-iron casseroles? Two: a six-litre and an eight. Plus a miscellaneous bunch of saucepans, two double-boilers, two stock pots, a wok, the fish kettle, and a 40-year accumulation of bread pans, terrines, pudding basins and pie dishes.

I like to think that Julia would approve.

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, I'm working my way through the long list of utilities and government authorities that must be informed of our imminent departure from Ottawa. Just when I think I have come to the end, I remember something else -- Revenue Canada, the pension people, the post office, the Ministry of Health, and the Public Service Health Care Plan, which administers health insurance for ex-soldiers but still hasn't been officially told that Himself has retired. Let's hope nothing expensive happens until after that penny has dropped!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 17 Jun 17 - 12:03 PM

Summer isn't quite here yet, but we're under a heat advisory in this region of the US for the weekend at least. Drink lots of water, make the trips into the yard brief and meaningful. One one trip this morning, to adjust the water pressure in the sprinkler in my garden, the neighbor's cat was in hunting position under the huge pine out front. We eyed each other but she didn't run off. Keep up the good work of catching mice, please!

Time to swap out spring-time bedding for the lightest of summer sheets, laundering things before they're put up in the closet shelves. Time to put up the screen that keeps the afternoon sun from hitting my back window, but the plank that it used to hang from is down, so I need to get some new lumber and assemble an edge to suspend it from. And I need a material over the top of the patio cover. In other words, it's time to deal with the heat, or the electric bill will declutter my pocketbook.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 15 Jun 17 - 09:57 PM

Charmion, I have been listening to the audio book of Julia Child's My Life in France. You want to hear about kitchens, that's the book for you, and it confirms that multiples of things is normal in a good kitchen. And by all means position the stove where it works best! She also moved around wine and wine-storage systems.

I arrived home this evening to find my huge stack of brush is gone, and in a few minutes picked up the sticks and twigs they missed. This weekend I'll start the surgical trimming of the bits left on the sea green juniper to turn it into an interesting looking shape. We've had enough rain lately that the grass is growing and the soil is flocculated enough that I can easily remove weeds, so I predict mostly yard work. On the other hand: a friend has asked for some help with a photography project and has offered lunch and a trip to thrift stores as payment, so I may add to my eBay stuff. (There is a set of plates I want to add to, and I found two at a store near her house, so am tempted to make a route of thrift stores to her house before we even set out on our project.) Thrift stores require flexibility, keeping in mind all of the various sets here at the house and in my eBay area that need completion.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Jun 17 - 08:43 AM

We're back from Stratford again, after a fast visit to confer with two contractors, a flooring guy and a kitchen designer. Very profitable visit, not least because Himself finally saw the house in real life (as opposed to real estate agent's photos) and liked it.

Is there anything sweeter than a contractor's smile when you take the initiative to ask, "Would you like a deposit?" Even better, the flooring guy booked our project to begin the day after we take possession and finish within the following week so we will be in total chaos for as little time as possible.

The basement floor will be a laminate laid on top of Dri-Core, a subfloor material designed to allow the inevitable moisture to collect on the concrete, where it will eventually be re-absorbed, instead of wicking into the floor surface. (Note to file: must buy a dehumidifier. Or perhaps two dehumidifiers.) The three bedrooms that currently have horrid old broadloom will get ash flooring stained to look as much as possible like the oak flooring in the sitting room. The two smaller bedrooms will be offices, and I'm hoping the harder ash will stand up well to swivel chair wheels.

The kitchen guy won my confidence by acknowledging the risk to one's elbows of a kitchen range placed in a tight corner (imagine stirring something thick, like polenta or beef Stroganoff, in a tall pot). He also did not sneer at my desire to maintain my ridiculously large collection of cookware and crockery; I gather that, in his world, it is normal to have two full sets of dishes, two canners, and a fish kettle. This is good.

Himself is already contemplating deck stain and container gardening; his eyes lit right up when he saw the potting shed. The dream of cultivating carrots and potatoes is dying hard, but I think I might have won him over to the competing notion of a rose bed in the sunniest part of the lawn in front of the house.

That said, I believe our immediate future will include hedge clippers and a lawn mower.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 12 Jun 17 - 12:42 PM

I wasn't sure what needed doing most yesterday, except that I knew I had to have my pile of branches at the curb by this morning for the village's quarterly bulky waste pickup. I had an Italian cypress that was hit hard by a limb-killing fungus, and though I probably could have saved the tree with the organic "sick tree treatment," the tree wasn't in the best place, as it happens. I didn't plan far enough ahead when I put it in a dozen years ago, so yesterday I took it out and piled it at the curb in 6-8 foot chunks.

And then I started pruning the very large sea green juniper - that has gone from being a huge blob down to a sculpted plant. I've worked on it some earlier this spring, and I'd say that about 80% of the original huge shrub is now gone. The worst of the limbs are at the curb, and as time allows I'll be removing the ugly branching stubby limbs sticking out from the main trunk, but they're short and won't amount to much bulk, and can go in the regular trash pickup. There was a lot of wildlife under than shrub and it will have to relocate around the yard, but now I'll be able to use the driveway - this thing was encroaching on about 1/3 of the drive's width, and though I pruned regularly, was so large it filled in again quickly.

That was one of those days in the yard when you put tools away then step over to the washer and peel off sweaty clothes, dropping them into the tub directly, and proceed to the bathroom to check for ticks before a shower. Knock wood I haven't seen ticks in this kind of juniper, they usually prefer the native cedar across the road, but I wanted to be sure.

I saw and heard the rustle of mice in the front as I worked - that is something I also need to tend to promptly. There's a hole in the stone on front that if I simply filled with mortar I fear would have them heading into the house itself. Must consider my options.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 11 Jun 17 - 05:26 PM

Hi, Acme!

We are still six weeks out from Flitting Day, so the cats remain blissfully ignorant of what we have in mind for them. The transfer plan is now complicated even further (yes, really!) by the Volkswagen people, who are threatening to deliver our new car on August 1st, taking our cheatin' diesel Golf in trade. That means taking the Golf in a week before to be assessed, after which we are not allowed to drive it more than about 800 kilometres before handing it over. Of course, Stratford is about 600 km from Ottawa, so we won't be able to use the old car for the move.

Jesus wept.

It is stonking hot in southern Ontario at present, and we are in a crappy little motel on the east edge of Stratford for a couple of days. The objective here is to get a flooring contractor and a kitchen guy into the new house in the hope that we might schedule the critical work that must be done as soon as possible -- i.e., getting rid of the old broadloom, and making the kitchen more efficient. It's the height of tourist season and the theatre festival is in full swing, so accommodation is both scarce and expensive. Oh, well. It is what it is.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 10 Jun 17 - 06:26 PM

I thought Kijiji was always a part of eBay, and it was in use here for a while, but just faded away.

So sorry about the tub episode - at this point my hall bathroom has a solid bar for getting in and out, whether for tub or shower use, and the new toilet is rated at an ADA height. I don't like it quite this high ("chair height" of about 17 inches) but I'll just say that is my ADA bathroom for elderly or disabled visitors.

I'm wondering if Charmion has enacted the cat transport plan yet, and how well it went? And I wanted to tell you, we spotted a large mouse in the lawn the other day when we headed out for a walk and the dogs killed it very tidily. Poppy pounced on it, and spit it out basically at my feet - it was still alive, but not running. I pointed it out to Cinnamon who picked it up and one chomp finished it off, then she spit it out. The chocolate Lab stood there wondering what the fuss was about, and all three were given a treat as a reward.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 10 Jun 17 - 03:10 PM

Montreal:
I boo booed big time. The trip here was exhausting so I did a lot of nothing resulting in not feeling like doing anything. Did not bring any comfrey and ankle is less good and walking more difficult. R does not agree that hot baths and poultices help. I feel the results.

In desperation, yesterday, I soaked ankle in hot water and epsom salt then, wanting to do better took a hot bath. Had to phone R to come and help me get out, after spending about half an hour trying to figure it out. The tub is too narrow for me to get into kneeling position; my arms are not strong enough to pull myself into kneeling.... I kept trying til he arrived, having been stuck in traffic. He put pillows under me until I way high enough to get up and out...???? I see no signs of grab bars and the bath really did help - in spite of the hour it took to get out! Just something to think about when installing a new tub. The one at Beaver is OK AND has a well installed grab bar, thanks to Dan!

I did manage to de-clutter the back yard of the knee high grass and weeds - with a small weed eater. It took 3 half hour sessions but a great improvement. Also planted some white alyssum in the front bed to perk it up a little.

AND this morning R took out some of the offending branches of the now huge Manitoba Maple - a weed tree! I think it is sufficient to let sun hit the "sunny bed". There is still a tiny bit of oregano left and I need to move it to a more suitable spot as well as a sedum and a scraggly looking sage. The four clematis are looking healthy and I hope for abundant bloom. Nice that the high grass was gone before - now there are piles of branches!!

Now that we are using the upstairs BR, it might be an idea to move our clothes up there! That means trips up the stairs and LOTS of energy - maybe one or two trips/day? I have to use the railing and be very careful.   

I have been searching on Kijiji for a futon for the downstairs room so there is bed for a guest. However, Kijiji is a mess. R says it was bought by E-Bay and so the USA only has E-Bay but we still have this new-fangled mess. apparently I have to register or cannot do alerts. It WAS so good before.

Dear old musician friends at the YD coffee house last Friday and last night. In chatting with Bill last night, he mentioned having a respiratory problem and I mentioned getting sick from walking up one flight of newly carpeted stairs----"We put carpeting on the stairs 3 years ago" "How long have you been sick?" "3 years!" He will try some de-tox baths! Their carpeting has probably off-gassed by now but the melody lingers on.

I have not stuck well to Keto diet since being here - two weeks - and I am feeling that also. Trying to get back on track.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 10 Jun 17 - 10:42 AM

Since the last time I mowed my front and back lawns I have had the incident of the plumbing weekend, and last weekend's heavy downpours. We had more of that yesterday, but with three weeks of lush growth it is time to mow, and see what else can be done over the weekend. My weeks are now compressed (four ten-hour days) so I have three day weekends for the next 10 weeks. I have the luxury of letting the lawn dry out some, but it will continue to grow while it dries, so the wait isn't necessarily recommended. Also I need to take out a tall but still relatively slim Italian cypress that has a fungus that has killed many limbs and isn't likely to respond satisfactorily to one of the organic "sick tree treatment" applications that I've used successfully in the past on other tree species.

Eddies of drifting dog hair are evident throughout the house and a combination of vacuuming and brushing dogs is in order for the weekend, as is taming the stacks of papers and books in my home office.

My daughter convinced me I should participate in a convention she is working at this weekend, but I have to stir myself and assemble the camera gear. So far only an extra battery is charging in preparation. I may just hang out and watch her work, get photos of her.

My patio cover needs extensive renovations - a new covering and a beam on the southwest side needs replacing. I'll use the old one that came down to edge the vegetable garden and probably use a couple of smaller 2x4 or 2x6's to replace the 2x12 that was originally there. It also needs paint. The cover was permeable 60/40 cloth, kept out the sun but not rain so there was no using the patio on rainy days - I'm thinking perhaps a translucent durable plastic corrugated material can go on this time. Then the patio furniture needs sanding and paint. I've mentioned last year's hail storm - it was the kind that caused extensive roof damage through the neighborhood, and we're still hearing that familiar echo of hammering through the village as new roofs are put on once the claims were filed and roofers contacted.

The garden has enjoyed all of the rain, now it's time to keep an eye out for pests and to start training the sweet potatoes. They're coming up everywhere after last year's overabundance. I missed a lot of them when it came time to dig, and now they're sprouting new plants around the yard. I'll do a better job of keeping track of them this year. There are several volunteer tomatoes - one of them appears to be cherry tomatoes, not sure what the other two will add up to.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Jun 17 - 12:55 PM

At FB I use a photo album for Ohio house setup norms. This is its intro text.

.....

This album is reference pix of how I need the house set up for my planned or unplanned arrivals, in order to maximize my functionality here and minimize my pain. (This setup also facilitates multiple uses of rooms, with minimal lifting on my part.)

These pix (with their captions) may be helpful to residents, guests, friends, visitors, and folks working on the property or in the house. It's also a good place for relevant messages one might otherwise send via Messenger-- which I do not use except for pastoral and family emergencies.

... I'm the property's current Ranking Matriarch or, as I prefer to use the previous generation's terminology, 'Queen of Camp.' (Carpenter Camp-- another story, told often and at this link incl foto montage: http://mudcat.org/Detail.CFM?messages__Message_ID=3600165).

The next Queen of Camp will be Jaclyn O., when she wishes to be so.

There are key principles underlying these necessary functionalities, several of which are based in Tiny Living practices:

◇ things come in only if there is a place already known and organized to put them away the same day
◇ every room and most of its contents serve multiple purposes with minimal rearranging by old people and their sore bones
◇ the whole house can and should be company-ready at all times
◇ until its owners achieve fulltime retirement, we are in work-camp mode when here
◇ the house, its systems, and its contents are about to become a construction zone; some appliances/contents are intended to last our lifetime as-is without service calls; some are slated for replacement so do ASK FIRST instead of altering any.thing.ANY.THING
◇ each room is furnished now mostly with surplus items planned for disposal, with a few memory treasures that will stay
◇ like a jigsaw puzzle dumped from its box, which takes up more space than the same pieces once the puzzle is assembled, so this house's constituent parts lend themselves to beauty and order when restored frequently to their appropriate storage locations-- 'picking up' leads to peaceful enjoyment and gracious hosting
◇ we live life FROM this house, more than WITHIN this house
◇ relationships and experiences are more intrinsically valued than STUFF
◇ live simply that others may simply live
◇ elders are treasures who know a thing or two even on a bad day
◇ we're all on a journey to becoming elders, doing the best we can at all times
◇ we're all adults who are aging and facing embarrassment therefrom-- and can laugh at ourselves
◇ it's usually best not to make or implement decisions as Lone Rangers
◇ reduce the carbon footprint more every day: there's a Climate Emergency on!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Jun 17 - 12:49 PM

Hi all, I'm having way too much fun in Ohio, working away at our little eventual-retirement bungalow... where the spirit (and most of the furnishings) from the Mudcat Dorm moved a few years ago.

The little house continues to amaze me with its ways; the layout facilitates applying Tiny Living and clutter-prevention principles. I'll paste in those principles separately.

I continue to look forward to my DH's retirement in 36 months or so; he's trying out retirement garb, like bowties on downtime instead of just taking off his clergy collar! ;-)

I also, when here for workshops/projects, continue to use up stuff our PA house had been storing. The Liberation Library here, for instance, has swallowed up boxes of books and literature from my earlier career, two small recliners, a file cabinet and tall stool, instruments and amps, a plastic drawer unit, a small analog TV for video review, MudDorm curtains and linens, and more... in a 9x12 room. Oh yes and my Boondocker cot (from the van that died, which I traded in an autoharp to purchase). Guest-ready for visiting niece, nephew-- or intern. Laptop and printer (an old, slow pair).... also the antiracism training materials for the workshops I co-lead here, as well as climate change workshop/organizing stuff. People say that they don't feel claustrophobic in there when I set up in meeting mode; TBTG the ceilings are a good height!

In the garden, four new lasagna beds. The newest is bordered by a row of cinderblocks, pointing up as planters for annuals, in front of the just-planted perennials we started in PA. Another one is about to get the wishing well I nabbed a few years ago from Freecycle, which has been reconstructed by a nice young man here. One more afternoon's screwdrivering, and it goes in place. DH Hardi and I will re-paint it during July vacay here. "It had good bones."

In the garage here, we continue to find and purge junk left by the sellers up in the rafters. Examples.... I hope to get one working VCR out of the three they left. I have repurposed a number of 5 gal buckets they left, a few items from the bags of children's clothes, a few mismatched pieces of glassware.... but many of the found items have been happily unloaded from my car by Goodwill workers. Maybe the garage rafters were their garage sale waiting to happen, but we'll need every inch of that rafter storage ourselves, after a little roof leak is found and fixed. Someone is going to get a very nice double bed out of that garage! Maybe yard man Jacob and his wife. I tease Hardi about that garage: "When do we insulate, eat, sheetrock, and plumb? Before or after adding a 2nd floor man cave/recording studio?"

Because every night when I scooter-exercise the dog, I find new ways people in this little area have customized the 3-4 modular home (GI Bill) floor plans, of which ours is one. I've seen that huge-i-fied garage two blocks over, housing a nice little home business. This 1008 square feet could easily double, with only one breezeway of new footprint. ;-)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 04 Jun 17 - 11:01 AM

Charmion, we await your next big progress report (like what happened with those tiles?) I've been watching WYSIWYG do various projects at her new property, perhaps she'll catch us up. Michelle, how's your little guy doing with that arm cast, and all of your markers are still excellent? I think Linn is finally feeling better, and Dorothy is back to walking around. My muscle pain has subsided - summer is just about here and we're all in a position to make the most of these long sunny days.

I'm planning a family event in early August and one absolute goal before that time is to put tile in the hall bathroom and finish any other work in there. I won't be able to pull the sinks and cabinetry and replace it, but I'll have enough tile so when I do I can extend it into that area.


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Mudcat time: 22 July 10:50 PM EDT

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