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Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House

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
Charmion 21 Apr 17 - 09:02 AM
Dorothy Parshall 20 Apr 17 - 07:40 PM
Acme 16 Apr 17 - 11:25 AM
Acme 15 Apr 17 - 04:29 PM
Charmion 14 Apr 17 - 07:23 PM
Dorothy Parshall 14 Apr 17 - 02:33 PM
Charmion 12 Apr 17 - 07:53 AM
Acme 11 Apr 17 - 09:10 PM
Charmion 10 Apr 17 - 09:38 AM
Acme 09 Apr 17 - 05:22 PM
Charmion 09 Apr 17 - 03:49 PM
Acme 09 Apr 17 - 12:07 PM
Acme 07 Apr 17 - 05:52 PM
Acme 02 Apr 17 - 04:49 PM
Dorothy Parshall 01 Apr 17 - 07:11 PM
Acme 31 Mar 17 - 10:40 PM
Charmion 31 Mar 17 - 06:18 PM
Acme 29 Mar 17 - 10:44 PM
Charmion 29 Mar 17 - 09:16 AM
Acme 28 Mar 17 - 07:55 PM
Dorothy Parshall 28 Mar 17 - 04:36 PM
Acme 25 Mar 17 - 01:48 PM
Dorothy Parshall 25 Mar 17 - 12:00 PM
Acme 23 Mar 17 - 09:04 PM
Dorothy Parshall 23 Mar 17 - 08:40 PM
Charmion 23 Mar 17 - 04:37 PM
Acme 22 Mar 17 - 09:23 PM
Charmion 22 Mar 17 - 09:06 AM
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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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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Apr 17 - 09:02 AM

Our house is now "sold firm", as they say in the real estate biz, with all conditions met. We have a couple of fix-up tasks to do before closing, but the list is short and uncomplicated.

In Stratford, however, things are rather more fraught. Yes, I found a suitable house -- or, more correctly, a house that can be made suitable -- but it has problems. If we were not on deadline, and if Stratford were not a ridiculously competitive housing market with high demand and short supply, I would have walked away when the building inspector found the aluminum wiring (!), but things are as they are, not as I would have them be.

It's a good-looking house in a nice neighbourhood, what I call a grown-up suburb -- the trees are now taller than the houses. The lot is a peculiar shape, wider than it is deep, so the garden is divided by the house and the generous back deck. The distance from downtown is a bit greater than optimal (2.45 km from the front door to the Perth County Jail), but the walking route takes one through Stratford's nicest streets and along the river, so that's more of a feature than a bug. The house was built about 1977, we figure, and it still has its original wall-to-wall carpeting upstairs, all wrinkled and tatty, and the meanest little linen closet I have ever seen. On the other hand, it has the largest and most opulent bedroom in the Huron Tract, complete with a walk-in closet large enough to accommodate a family of four. The kitchen is tiny and inefficient, but its problems are soluble with the application of money.

We are currently waiting for our real estate agent's favourite electrician to produce a quote on rewiring the house. To clear the conditions in our offer, I'm going to ask the owners to pay part of that (the amount it would cost to bring the system to code, while we pay the rest of what it will cost to solve the problem completely), and to nail down the toilets that rock on their moorings and replace several rows of roof shingles that were laid wrong, without enough overlap. They also have to finish dry-walling the garage ceiling, which was left open although there is living space above it -- a major sin against the building code.

It's all rather exhausting, and I really appreciate the work the real estate agent is doing to coordinate the tradesmen's visits and nail down their recommendations in the purchase agreement. If I had to do all that, we would be living in a sod hut.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 20 Apr 17 - 07:40 PM

Still in Montreal:

My friend who "crushed his ankle just after me is up and running about caring for his bees. Never mind that he is 20 or 30 years younger. I am determined and FED UP! Hopefully I will get a chance to try driving my car tomorrow or Saturday. I've invited a few people to the mill for a tiny birthday party for Robin on Sat aft. 70th

Poor R came in about an hour ago and I was so happy; I thought we could go food shopping AND I had been stuck in here ALL day - again. But, No, he was changing clothes to go to a lecture ---Total hissy fit! The lecture is on his great great... uncle. Oh well.

The best bit of de-cluttering around here was getting rid of the increasingly derelict wooden rocking chair which has been on the front steps for ...years. I told him emphatically - if it is still there on Monday I will put it out for the trash. This time he took me seriously and it is gone - to where I do not care as long as I never see it again.

Now for that Manitoba maple which is destroying the back garden. It is sizeable - about 2 feet dbh. A project but need to go SOON - before leaves- or it will be too late - again this year.

Glad to see Charmion's project moving along! MY friends who bought home in Glencoe sold their lake property in a week and are in full pack to move mode! Others moving to Guelph in June and another couple just announced a move to the (Ontario)"banana belt" - so far unspecified. Older bones looking for more temperate clime!

The other de-clutter is my energy level which left town. Healing is hard work, I guess.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 16 Apr 17 - 11:25 AM

I must have been possessed yesterday evening - I took the dust rag and some dusting spray and attacked the buildup in the front room. Now that the weather is changing I can take some of the dog bedding out of that room and wash and air-dry, vacuum, and in general clear out the mix of house dust and dog dander. I took an antihistamine ahead of that assault on dust.

So many chores to do around here, I need to simply pick something and get started.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 15 Apr 17 - 04:29 PM

Dog to the vet urgent appointment trumped other plans I had for the morning (hot spot under her neck again). Helping the next door neighbor with a computer problem will probably tie up an hour at least this afternoon. Looks like some of the heavy lifting of the weekend will happen tomorrow.

I've added more things to the donation bin in my laundry room, and I made a recycle run during the week. There are boxes waiting to be shipped next week (they've waited for a long time already). I have a growing list of things to do in the yard.

Decluttering isn't happening at a great pace, but it's still on my mind.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 14 Apr 17 - 07:23 PM

Wow, Dorothy, you're really healing fast. I hope you can work the clutch sooner than I could; my left ankle was so buggered up by the fractures and displacement, not to mention the surgery to repair them, that I could not work a clutch pedal without pain for a couple of years.

The sale of our Ottawa house underwent a severe hiccup that plunged me into a slough of despond this week. The buyer was a diplomat with an Arabic name, presumably from somewhere in the Middle East. He did everything he was supposed to do, including getting permission from the Canadian department of foreign affairs and requesting permission from his home government. He and his wife were actually at the house with the building inspector when his boss called to tell him that his home government might or might not give permission, and whatever their decision it would not be rendered any time soon; it could be weeks. Or maybe months. According to the real estate agent, all the colour drained from his face. His wife asked him what was the trouble and he told her. She burst into tears. The building inspection was called off, and the sale nullified. The house was back on the market the next day, Maundy Thursday.

Cut to today, Good Friday. Three parties of punters were booked to see the house and we bailed out at nine o'clock after the now traditional frantic dusting and vacuuming. We hung out at the coffee shop near the church until it was time for the passion liturgy, and I actually almost managed to concentrate on the readings and psalms. Then we went to the pub for lunch, as we still had Party 3 to go before it would be safe to return home. I had just ordered a club sandwich when the phone rang. The real estate agent, with good news. And more good news -- two offers out of three viewings!

So we seem to have sold the house again, and it's safe to do the laundry and fill the basement with drip-drying underwear.

Meanwhile, the situation in Stratford continues to simmer. Our agent in Perth County has never seen the market so hot, and neither has her dad, who has been in the property business since the end of the Second World War. At five-thirty on Monday morning, I get back on the train, intending not to come home until I have found AND PURCHASED a house.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 14 Apr 17 - 02:33 PM

Montreal:

We had a trip to Beaver last week - in the pouring rain with a very tired Robin driving. I had to keep alert for 6 hours "Are you awake?" We made it by 6:15 - at least before darkness! - and went directly to Place for the Arts for the Tuesday movie - artsy and weird but interesting. Then to Tim Horton's for food and home to Beaver where R got a fire going and the electric cube heater and heating pad! It was not terribly cold so we had a good sleep and woke up to a decent day, happy to be there. A series of errands in town, lunch - Waffle Wednesday at the Heart of the Park (HOP) where we found a couple friends and had a great lunch with them. A quick last errand at the bulk food store (Harvest Moon), finding that the woman who has been managing it for years has finally been able to buy it!!! Now she will be able to brighten it up. I am SO happy for her! She looked so much happier. Errand list completed!

Then off to Peterborough for cataract check: appointment for measure in May and first fix in July - seems so long! Quick stop at Canadian Canoe Museum as it was closing - a planned trip just for that is in our future. Back to Bancroft too late for most eateries so we settled for Italian (R had never been there) but did not eat Italian; the menu has been modernized. Nice meal but we prefer a couple other spots - that close at 7 or 8.

Happy to get home to Beaver where the big plus of running water was helpful. But the laundry was too much so we went to laundromat and washed the two huge bagfuls, put it back in the bag and brought it to Montreal to dry at home! We got off at a reasonable time and stopped for lunch at the Hidden Goldmine Bakery - great turkey soup! It rained all the way back, stopping as we neared Quebec so we stopped for a nice supper, only to find it had started again with a vengeance - the last hour took an hour and a half with both of us on alert.

Friday was a rest day and Sat we went to an UPSCALE auction! Prices were very high and even R bought nothing! But I met 3 very interesting people and R got a free lunch as we sat down with two folks to chat; M could not eat much so R helped her! the reason for our presence was that a dear friend of R's was divesting herself of family acquisitions, mainly antiques of huge value. (a painting brought in $37000 CAD) It had been a long painful process to divest herself of the multi-million dollar mansion and this was clearing the house for new owners. Her life will be greatly de-cluttered and easier!

Monday - doctor: 2-3 more weeks with boot but I could try walking without it; won't hurt anything but it might hurt. So I tried it on Weds until it hurt then put the boot on. NOT on Thurs - a day of recovery! But today I did some more with just slippers. I was hoping to drive to Beaver today but not happening. Maybe I could but not on Easter weekend. I need to try out using the clutch when I have a chance - when R is home in daylight!

We went to Seder at a home with many steps! It was a nice outing.

I want to go home. Can I carry wood in? Probably; but it is getting warmer... I can get it into the stove and could have someone stop by and bring some in. R also wants to spend time at Beaver so we talked about a plan where I go for a week or so, then come back for a few days and we go for 5 or so days, then... It does encourage him to work out ways of getting away from the incessant demands. My friend's son, Mathias, may be viewed as competent enough to be delegated for more responsibility. He is reliable and sensible. So glad I suggested him!

I remembered to bring the yarn, hooks/needles and some books back but have not yet been energized to look at it. Maybe today. Ideas fomenting for other things, and wondering if I could make it upstairs to the pottery wheel - maybe tomorrow. Getting from sitting all day to doing things seems to be a slow process. Yesterday I was stricken by the thought that I could, conceivable, sink into a morass of just accepting that all that is left is to sit in this gruesome house and read, watch TV, computer and naught else - for the rest of my life. I can see where that could be a temptation. It is called "depression". I need to get back to Bancroft! Maybe Monday.

Congratulations to Charmion!! Things seem to be moving along well.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Apr 17 - 07:53 AM

That tidiness and shine was achieved at considerable effort, and it lasted about five minutes after the photographer left. In fact, the coffee table in the kitchen is where newspapers and books pile up until I can't stand it any more, and Edmund's office (the one with the desk facing the window) is normally full of running gear, printer parts, and lawyer's clutter (i.e., yellow note pads, open file boxes, disembowelled accordion folders, three-ring binders, and random stacks of paper. All that was swept away, along with its associated cat hair and dust, to create the fantasy of order presented in those photographs.

My parents were both champion packrats, and living with them --
and cleaning up after them -- taught me to make Charmion-specific house rules and stick to them. Rule 1 is No Stacking Books On The Floor. Rule 2 is Only One Filing Cabinet.

These rules are based on the principle of No Accumulation. When the library outgrows the shelf space, we purge it, starting with novels. When the tax files fill up their assigned drawers, the old ones go to the shredder. And now that we're past our sixtieth birthdays and moving house, we're going through the ephemera of our lives, consigning most of it to the shredder and the recycling bin. Childhood scribbles, old birthday cards, postcards from teenage travels, years' worth of letters from university and military bases -- gone and, thank God, not missed.

We are not celebrities or even particularly interesting as people to those who don't know and love us, so it would be the height of arrogance to expect others to care about our papers when we are dead. Even if somebody a century from today might want to read our letters, it would be completely unfair of us to compel our heirs and assigns to sort through pounds of dusty old papers to identify anything of interest or value.

When my parents died, I found myself charged with just that task, as my father had bequeathed a large collection of his family's papers, some of them dating back some six generations, to the National Archives of Canada. Unfortunately, there was a lot of dross around the gold, and it was my job to do the preliminary sort before the collection was ready for transfer into professional hands. I well remember the despair I felt when, just as I thought I had it licked, I found four butter boxes full of my mother's war-time letters to her father, whom she actively disliked, stashed behind the furnace. Each letter began, "Dear Daddy," but I remember that she never referred to the man as Father or Dad, but always as Himself. The mixed feelings rolled out of those boxes like toxic gas.

Did I have the guts to shred them? Not then, but I would now. I'm getting tough in my old age.

A practical tip on paper disposal: You know those big paper yard-waste bags? They're great for loose paper and the output from the shredder. I load 'em up, label them "Waste Paper" in big letters, and put them out with the newspapers.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 11 Apr 17 - 09:10 PM

It would be lovely to have a tidy, shiny house with beautiful furniture all in view because there is nothing sitting out on top of it. I have some interesting furniture but it is disguised by mostly paper. I did load up a bunch of it and make a trip to the village recycle bins last weekend, but this chore needs to be repeated many times over.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 10 Apr 17 - 09:38 AM

Here it is:Home of Charmion & CET


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 09 Apr 17 - 05:22 PM

Is there a link to the listing? Or have you posted it in Facebook?


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 09 Apr 17 - 03:49 PM

We have nearly sold our house already.

The real estate listing went live on Friday just after lunch, and by supper time the agent had booked three showings. Before we went to bed, he emailed us again to ask if a fourth party could tour the house late in the afternoon.

Himself was preparing for a trial, so he decamped with the car and his huge briefcase to my brother's house, where he set to work at the dining room table. I tidied frantically and bailed out the door about five minutes before the first party was due to arrive. Half-way through the third visit, I couldn't stand it any more and called the agent, who told us that Party 1 liked the house but couldn't see how they would fit their furniture into it, and Party 2 were making an offer.

Party 3 and Party 4 were impressed, but not in love, so by close of play we had a genuine, solid offer but no auction. Our agent asked us if we were happy to accept ten thousand under the asking price and we said we'd like more (as one does), so he made a counter-offer asking for their offered price plus five thousand. They came back this morning with their sons, apparently loved it all over again, and accepted our counter-offer an hour before the deadline.

So now we're waiting to find out whether the people selling the house we like in Stratford are willing to sell it to us.

Stratford is close enough to the greater Toronto area to be affected by its housing bubble. Sellers refuse to take offers for up to a week after listing a desirable property, and shove through as many punters as possible during the interim. Buyers are entitled to know how many offers are in contention, so their agents strategize to secure the property. I expected to discuss the price we should offer (well above asking), but this transaction included something quite new to us: we were asked to write a letter to the sellers in which we essentially marketed ourselves as the buyers of choice. Okay, whatever it takes; I just gritted my teeth and did it. Fortunately, I still seem to be able to generate entertainingly literate blue sky on demand.

We find out tomorrow if we have to start hunting all over again in Stratford, this time much more urgently as we have agreed to close the sale of our house on 4 July.

The sale of our present abode is still in the conditional stage. First, a building inspector has to go through the place, and then the buyers, who are diplomats, have to get approval from their home government. I'm fairly sure the building inspector won't find any skunks (literal or metaphorical) under our back porch, or indeed anywhere else, and we're told that the diplomatic approval thing is usually automatic. Nevertheless, we are in a fine state of tenterhooks while all of these things percolate and time passes at the agonizing pace of one minute per minute.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 09 Apr 17 - 12:07 PM

A few weeks ago I started on a Mediterranean Diet, mostly excluding white flour foods and sugars. It's for health, low-inflammation, and weight, and it's also a very appealing diet (though I am looking for bread substitutions, if I can find grains that are acceptable). I don't want to simply toss the stuff in my freezer that fits the "do not eat" category, so I'll probably slowly declutter by taking some of this to the office for co-workers.

It's time for some seasonal tasks - putting away the cold weather foot gear near the side door, putting cold weather clothing into bins or up on shelves in the closet, making more room for lighter clothes. Washing or airing the heavier bedding and putting it up out of the way. Dusting the blades of all of the ceiling fans that will be in operation for the next six months.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 07 Apr 17 - 05:52 PM

It may not seem like a particularly recreational activity for a Friday, but since I got home a bit earlier than normal today I thought I'd clear the kitchen. Countertops were free of paper for a while, but this week it all went to pot.

From there, we'll see what cries out the loudest to be fixed, cleared, donated, laundered, whatever.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 02 Apr 17 - 04:49 PM

I should have mowed yesterday morning while I had the chance. I returned home from an appointment and the drizzle had started - mowing still would have been possible, but the deluge that descended last night and continued today put period to any thoughts of mowing for a couple of more days.

With the rain-imposed indoor time I listed more eBay stuff. I'm working on switching to a low-inflammation diet and this evening will be fixing dishes that I can package and freeze to take to work for lunch--that's the easiest way to keep to the plan. The usual weight and cholesterol issues. I'm also working on a set of stretching and dance exercise videos that are stored on the thumb drive in the rear of the den BluRay player. I can easily skip through the options and have it running in no time. The dogs are figuring out to stay out of my way when the music is on, not to try to help. :-/


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 01 Apr 17 - 07:11 PM

Montreal:

TODAY! I am good with the cane and it is causing no discomfort in the ankle!! I sorted the laundry which had all been tossed on the floor of the laundry room, bagged it for transport and sorted out a very long orange extension cord, confining it with duct tape, and found the apples up top of the washing machine instead of the much cooler floor so they are going to be not fun to cut up - tonight or tomorrow!

Making a list of things to do when I get to Bancroft on Tues and things to fetch back with me. AND events I want to attend in the near future - if we leave early enough we could make the tues night movie and there is a waffle breakfast on Weds! Happiness is going home! Even for two days!

Of course, now I am even more anxious to get this show on the road. Emailed the shop that buys my pots and told them I will have, at least, some mugs for them and whatever else I can fire when I finally get down to the mill.

The rest of the afternoon on computer. Don't want to overdo it as I would be apt to do.

Now for some supper.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 31 Mar 17 - 10:40 PM

The dogs are shedding drifts of hair these days and I've started brushing them some (using a faux-furminator tool) to try to get out ahead of it. Considering how much comes off with the brush, I'm lucky the hair isn't up to my ankles every day.

Filing and shredding this evening in order to clear off my computer desk and kitchen counter. I have to attack the weeds in the vegetable garden plot this weekend and get things started. It's past time. The push-me-pull-you of in the house and outside jobs is here, and the yard usually wins.

I'm enjoying your descriptions of the houses you're looking at, Charmion. Better luck with the next batch!

Dorothy, are you up and around more today?


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 31 Mar 17 - 06:18 PM

The real estate agent and his photographer came today and did the marketing shoot. The house has never looked better -- and we're leaving!

Yesterday, we cleaned under and behind the refrigerator and the stove. Holy cats, what a mess -- eighteen and a half years of dinners means plenty of boiling-over pots, each of which must have left a trail of drool down the side of the stove. The fridge became the home-away-from-home of no fewer than six cat toys, not counting wine corks, beer caps and other things our feline friends like to swat off the kitchen table.

On Sunday, we head back to Stratford for House-Hunt Mark II. This time, we gotta get lucky.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 29 Mar 17 - 10:44 PM

When I started looking for a house I knew it was likely I was going to want to do some renovating, so I had a contractor friend come look at a couple of them with me, pointing out the things I might want to change and were they doable. He's the one who did the work here. He taught me a few things to look for on my own in houses that were being sold by owner, by investors, etc. Too many "investors" take a house and add new cheap carpet and tile, a low-end air conditioner, slap a new 3-tab composite roof on top of the old roof (two layers is legal here). Then try to sell it like it has had much more extensive renovations. This house had been empty and the original owners were selling, so I did the renovations myself.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Mar 17 - 09:16 AM

I did not buy the house in Stratford.

It's a darn good thing we aren't forced to base this decision on what we see in the real estate agent's photographs, for the house that looked so appealing on the Internet was far less so in real life. It has been ruthlessly renovated and expanded, so much so that it is now well-nigh impossible to distinguish the additions from the original structure without a structural plan. No such documentation was on offer.

Complicating the situation was an urgency imposed by the Stratford agent's revelation that another buyer was forcing her hand, demanding to be allowed to make an offer on the property immediately. She fetched me from the train directly to the house at eight o'clock in the evening, saying that the other guy's offer would go in at nine-thirty pm, if you please.

The first thing that struck me was the plethora of windows and doors -- four exterior doors at ground level, to be precise, and too many windows to count. A real treat for the enterprising burglar, especially in the absence of an alarm system. With all those windows, and some rather oddly placed radiators, the house has almost nowhere to put bookcases, an item with which we are excessively endowed. Incidentally, the current occupant apparently doesn't read much; I saw only a selection of large art books that looked more like decor than literature.

It was the basement rec room that blew the deal, however. Nothing of substance has been done to improve it since about 1965. Vinyl wall and floor coverings showing signs of damp where no damp should be -- thumbs down for me, since that was the only space large and unencumbered enough to accommodate the books, and both our desks.

Hi ho, hi ho, back to the drawing board I went. The real estate agent took me to see four more houses, including a high-Victorian rectory so neglected as to seem vandalized, and I spent a profitable two hours at the offices of the developer building Stratford's first major subdivision. Unless something fairly dramatic happens in the next few days, that subdivision looks like our next destination.

Dorothy -- I feel for you. There's nothing like the cabin fever of late winter when you have a leg in plaster (or even 21st-century removable plastic) and you dread what can happen in any venture outside your bedroom. As you gain strength, you will feel amazed at how weak you felt, and how strong you are beginning to feel. If only it didn't take so long!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 28 Mar 17 - 07:55 PM

I walked into the house and decided that tonight the clutter in the kitchen gets work. Some of the stuff on the counter is fruit ripening, it can stay, but there are other things that have accumulated.

My next door neighbors have a large sewer line replacement job going on, and the pile of dirt is onto my property right up against the garden. I need to replace the planks that are now pinned down by dirt, in a job that will take upwards of three weeks. I'll have to see about getting new planks, a friend with a pickup can make a run to the hardware store. I sure miss my pickup at times like this.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 28 Mar 17 - 04:36 PM

Montreal:

Today, I made the step forward of using the cane. Robin as cheerleader and coach. I can do it but need the walker basket to carry stuff so I feel much better and begin to see an end to all this. Next Tues we drive to Bancroft for an overnight. I will get to see the world and "our hill". I could have easily dat for two months looking at "the hill" but looking at 4 ugly walls...

So I did some more K stuff today and will do more later. And washed hair as it is warmer today. Hoping I do not put too much weight down or stress ankle. I had not understood the directions at last Dr visit but R did. Again, my failure to comprehend - brain dysfunction; also my difficulty in figuring out how to move my body, or to get up when I fall, (In my whole life, I never hurt myself falling - until this one - 80 years.

Weather above freezing but snow is still thick in back yard. Maybe Thursday I can go out back.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 25 Mar 17 - 01:48 PM

Hopefully the cooking will soothe your shut-in blues.

I've drunk my tea, eaten my oatmeal (full of chopped dates) and have to quit putting off the inevitable - the back yard needs mowing. Part of the workout today, the rest probably tomorrow.

The computer is in better shape, but as old as it is, it may soon be time to consider what the next model will be.

I'm considering using a modified Bullet Journal to keep track of stuff that is normally on notes all over the house. That might cut down on some of the paper clutter.

It's a lovely day. Into the yard I go.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 25 Mar 17 - 12:00 PM

Montreal:

Yes, desperation. Yesterday wasm hopefuly, the nadir. When R left to go to work and I knew it could be 12 hours or more - I lost it! Phoned Geri is abject misery. Solitary confinement does not agree with me. After an hour + on the phone, my fingers were tingling. Vented some more on FB which I never do. And sank into a fog of TV, internet (slow!) and just gave up. Today I need to cook - make a new soup, and cook some chicken breasts. Needing to do something helps.

A pro pos of Charmion's situation as well as an addition to feeling blue: friends of the Bancroft area announced last week they were planning to move to SWestern Ontario, due to Bob's health issues - close to family, less isolated... Yesterday, they posted on FB the property they bought -already! Virtual tour: Plenty of wall space for Bab's paintings, plenty of space for a studio and a quilting area for Pat, a level lot, good sized two BR house - room for grandson to visit... As I think of their current home, I see very little de-cluttering needed. It will be an easy move as they have run a tight ship all these years, well organized with very little chaff. Even the garage is tidy! A good example! Being on the plus side of OCD is not a bad thing! I shall miss them. I made their wedding cake almost 30 years ago.

Shoot, I am too upset to even phone someone. Maybe later.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 23 Mar 17 - 09:04 PM

That smacks of desperation, Dorothy!

My mower was ready for pickup today, and it turns out the belt had slipped in the transmission for the self-propel function. It hadn't propelled for a while, and lately if the handle was put in place it stopped the mower in it's tracks. He was able to get crud out of the transmission box, grease everything that needed grease, and it's back up and running. My back yard is about 12-16 inches of tall grass so it will take a while to finish mowing it; I'll start on Saturday and probably mow half then and half on Sunday. I don't use the self-propelled feature often, it reduces the mowing power, I get the exercise from pushing it. And in tall grass, I need to pause regularly to let the clippings blow out from underneath or the motor lugs or stalls. This is a great spring workout.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 23 Mar 17 - 08:40 PM

Montreal:

Charmion: WOW!

And all I have managed is to cut the back of my hair - about 3-4 inches. Did not even look; just did it by feel because I could not take i any more! Almost 3 weeks until I get to go anywhere so no one will notice!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Mar 17 - 04:37 PM

On Friday (tomorrow, that is), I meet with the real estate agent selling our present house and then hop the noon train to Stratford to buy our next house. I hope.

Its price was ridiculously high for months and months. Then, yesterday, it dropped right into our range. It's not ideal, but it meets all our needs and most of our wants -- not least with respect to location. It's the only house for sale within 1000 metres of Stratford City Hall that isn't either insanely expensive, much too large, or in need of tens of thousands of dollars worth of renovation.

So, on Saturday I'm going to buy it. If nobody else gets there first.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 22 Mar 17 - 09:23 PM

Pretty damned efficient!

My mother had people come in and clean her house when we were getting ready for some big event - this included sponge mops with commercial cleaners to wash the enamel walls and ceiling in the kitchen. It was like the Spic N Span commercial, watching each pass of the mop take of years of accumulated nicotine and tar. The room went from brown to cream color. She was a heavy smoker, and all of us moved out as soon as we could to get away from that. That cleaning job just made it all the more clear to us what we were living in the middle of.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Mar 17 - 09:06 AM

So.

The cleaners came yesterday and, boy, did they clean. Everything not actually drawing breath, whether movable or fixed, got either vacuumed or wiped with some kind of toxic substance. The cats spent the day under the sofa, until the vacuum cleaner drove them to camp under the guest room bed. Me, I went to the gym for the first couple of hours, but eventually had to come home if only to find out whether anything was busted yet.

I have to admit that they did a good job, much better than I would have -- but then, three strong, fit women working flat out from nine to three jolly well should.

Today, a guy called Richie comes with a truck to pick up the coffin-sized box that contains the last of Edmund's cast-off military uniforms. He sounded slightly disappointed that all the combat gear had to go back to Clothing Stores, but glad to get the rest; he runs a clothing depot for homeless men.

Likewise, the excess china, glassware and cutlery is going to a women's shelter for those getting ready to start over. I wish I had had that contact a year ago when I started digging out the basement, but ...

Real estate agent comes on Friday with the photographer. House goes on the Internet on Monday. This shit's getting real.


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