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Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House

GUEST,Don Aslett's Acolyte 01 Jan 17 - 03:45 AM
Acme 01 Jan 17 - 02:05 PM
Acme 01 Jan 17 - 02:14 PM
Charmion 02 Jan 17 - 10:17 AM
Dorothy Parshall 03 Jan 17 - 03:34 PM
Dorothy Parshall 09 Jan 17 - 12:48 PM
ranger1 09 Jan 17 - 02:19 PM
Acme 09 Jan 17 - 05:48 PM
Thompson 09 Jan 17 - 05:52 PM
Charmion 10 Jan 17 - 08:40 AM
Thompson 10 Jan 17 - 10:58 AM
Acme 14 Jan 17 - 07:49 AM
LilyFestre 14 Jan 17 - 07:44 PM
Dorothy Parshall 16 Jan 17 - 01:14 PM
Acme 16 Jan 17 - 01:35 PM
ragdall 16 Jan 17 - 10:41 PM
Acme 17 Jan 17 - 07:56 PM
Charmion 18 Jan 17 - 08:04 AM
ragdall 21 Jan 17 - 07:48 AM
ranger1 21 Jan 17 - 09:28 PM
pattyClink 22 Jan 17 - 06:35 PM
Dorothy Parshall 22 Jan 17 - 07:47 PM
Acme 22 Jan 17 - 09:57 PM
Dorothy Parshall 24 Jan 17 - 11:54 AM
Acme 24 Jan 17 - 01:56 PM
Charmion 25 Jan 17 - 11:55 AM
Acme 25 Jan 17 - 08:32 PM
pattyClink 26 Jan 17 - 09:17 AM
Charmion 26 Jan 17 - 09:23 AM
Dorothy Parshall 30 Jan 17 - 08:00 PM
Charmion 31 Jan 17 - 09:15 AM
Bat Goddess 31 Jan 17 - 01:55 PM
Dorothy Parshall 02 Feb 17 - 06:16 PM
Acme 02 Feb 17 - 08:16 PM
Charmion 03 Feb 17 - 08:29 AM
Acme 03 Feb 17 - 01:25 PM
Senoufou 03 Feb 17 - 01:50 PM
Acme 04 Feb 17 - 12:58 PM
Dorothy Parshall 05 Feb 17 - 04:40 PM
Charmion 10 Feb 17 - 09:06 AM
Dorothy Parshall 11 Feb 17 - 04:12 PM
Acme 12 Feb 17 - 11:26 AM
ranger1 12 Feb 17 - 04:43 PM
Acme 12 Feb 17 - 08:26 PM
Charmion 13 Feb 17 - 08:05 AM
ranger1 13 Feb 17 - 09:22 PM
Acme 14 Feb 17 - 12:04 AM
ranger1 14 Feb 17 - 12:44 PM
Acme 14 Feb 17 - 08:49 PM
Charmion 15 Feb 17 - 09:02 AM
Acme 15 Feb 17 - 08:31 PM
Charmion 16 Feb 17 - 09:54 AM
Acme 16 Feb 17 - 11:04 AM
Bat Goddess 16 Feb 17 - 01:34 PM
Charmion 16 Feb 17 - 05:25 PM
Dorothy Parshall 23 Feb 17 - 07:06 PM
Charmion 24 Feb 17 - 09:34 AM
Acme 24 Feb 17 - 11:47 PM
Donuel 25 Feb 17 - 05:00 PM
Acme 25 Feb 17 - 05:34 PM
Acme 26 Feb 17 - 02:12 PM
Donuel 26 Feb 17 - 04:58 PM
Donuel 26 Feb 17 - 05:26 PM
Acme 26 Feb 17 - 08:51 PM
Dorothy Parshall 02 Mar 17 - 12:26 PM
Charmion 02 Mar 17 - 07:11 PM
Acme 02 Mar 17 - 09:34 PM
Dorothy Parshall 07 Mar 17 - 05:01 PM
Acme 07 Mar 17 - 09:38 PM
billybob 08 Mar 17 - 06:27 AM
Dorothy Parshall 08 Mar 17 - 11:14 AM
Charmion 09 Mar 17 - 08:39 AM
Acme 09 Mar 17 - 10:38 PM
ranger1 10 Mar 17 - 01:08 PM
Acme 11 Mar 17 - 09:58 AM
ranger1 11 Mar 17 - 10:52 AM
Dorothy Parshall 12 Mar 17 - 09:18 PM
Acme 16 Mar 17 - 11:57 AM
Dorothy Parshall 17 Mar 17 - 11:24 PM
wysiwyg 18 Mar 17 - 06:38 AM
Charmion 18 Mar 17 - 09:24 AM
Acme 18 Mar 17 - 11:46 AM
Acme 19 Mar 17 - 03:19 PM
Acme 19 Mar 17 - 07:16 PM
Dorothy Parshall 20 Mar 17 - 04:47 PM
Charmion 22 Mar 17 - 09:06 AM
Acme 22 Mar 17 - 09:23 PM
Charmion 23 Mar 17 - 04:37 PM
Dorothy Parshall 23 Mar 17 - 08:40 PM
Acme 23 Mar 17 - 09:04 PM
Dorothy Parshall 25 Mar 17 - 12:00 PM
Acme 25 Mar 17 - 01:48 PM
Dorothy Parshall 28 Mar 17 - 04:36 PM
Acme 28 Mar 17 - 07:55 PM
Charmion 29 Mar 17 - 09:16 AM
Acme 29 Mar 17 - 10:44 PM
Charmion 31 Mar 17 - 06:18 PM
Acme 31 Mar 17 - 10:40 PM
Dorothy Parshall 01 Apr 17 - 07:11 PM
Acme 02 Apr 17 - 04:49 PM
Acme 07 Apr 17 - 05:52 PM
Acme 09 Apr 17 - 12:07 PM
Charmion 09 Apr 17 - 03:49 PM
Acme 09 Apr 17 - 05:22 PM
Charmion 10 Apr 17 - 09:38 AM
Acme 11 Apr 17 - 09:10 PM
Charmion 12 Apr 17 - 07:53 AM
Dorothy Parshall 14 Apr 17 - 02:33 PM
Charmion 14 Apr 17 - 07:23 PM
Acme 15 Apr 17 - 04:29 PM
Acme 16 Apr 17 - 11:25 AM
Dorothy Parshall 20 Apr 17 - 07:40 PM
Charmion 21 Apr 17 - 09:02 AM
Acme 22 Apr 17 - 01:00 AM
Acme 22 Apr 17 - 06:50 PM
Charmion 23 Apr 17 - 03:08 PM
Thompson 24 Apr 17 - 03:41 AM
Charmion 24 Apr 17 - 09:57 AM
Thompson 25 Apr 17 - 04:33 AM
Jon Freeman 25 Apr 17 - 04:54 AM
Acme 26 Apr 17 - 12:51 PM
Dorothy Parshall 26 Apr 17 - 01:53 PM
Dorothy Parshall 26 Apr 17 - 04:31 PM
Thompson 26 Apr 17 - 06:17 PM
Acme 26 Apr 17 - 07:20 PM
Acme 26 Apr 17 - 11:28 PM
Charmion 27 Apr 17 - 04:42 PM
Thompson 27 Apr 17 - 04:45 PM
Charmion 27 Apr 17 - 05:54 PM
Acme 27 Apr 17 - 07:34 PM
Acme 28 Apr 17 - 05:03 PM
Acme 28 Apr 17 - 08:45 PM
Acme 30 Apr 17 - 11:59 AM
Charmion 30 Apr 17 - 01:39 PM
Charmion 30 Apr 17 - 01:50 PM
Acme 04 May 17 - 11:04 PM
Acme 07 May 17 - 11:36 AM
Dorothy Parshall 07 May 17 - 04:20 PM
Dorothy Parshall 12 May 17 - 11:40 AM
wysiwyg 12 May 17 - 11:56 AM
Acme 13 May 17 - 10:56 AM
Dorothy Parshall 13 May 17 - 12:16 PM
Senoufou 13 May 17 - 02:31 PM
Acme 13 May 17 - 06:31 PM
Acme 14 May 17 - 02:49 PM
wysiwyg 15 May 17 - 02:46 AM
Senoufou 15 May 17 - 03:14 AM
Dorothy Parshall 15 May 17 - 09:23 PM
Acme 15 May 17 - 10:26 PM
ranger1 16 May 17 - 08:28 AM
Acme 16 May 17 - 09:18 PM
Dorothy Parshall 17 May 17 - 09:14 PM
Charmion 18 May 17 - 09:08 AM
Acme 20 May 17 - 12:38 PM
Acme 21 May 17 - 04:10 PM
Dorothy Parshall 22 May 17 - 02:25 PM
Acme 23 May 17 - 10:27 PM
Charmion 24 May 17 - 08:30 AM
Acme 24 May 17 - 10:40 AM
Acme 27 May 17 - 06:22 PM
Donuel 28 May 17 - 09:42 AM
Acme 28 May 17 - 10:55 AM
Acme 28 May 17 - 09:40 PM
Charmion 29 May 17 - 08:24 AM
Acme 29 May 17 - 09:37 AM
Acme 03 Jun 17 - 11:55 AM
Acme 04 Jun 17 - 11:01 AM
wysiwyg 04 Jun 17 - 12:49 PM
wysiwyg 04 Jun 17 - 12:55 PM
Acme 10 Jun 17 - 10:42 AM
Dorothy Parshall 10 Jun 17 - 03:10 PM
Acme 10 Jun 17 - 06:26 PM
Charmion 11 Jun 17 - 05:26 PM
Acme 12 Jun 17 - 12:42 PM
Charmion 15 Jun 17 - 08:43 AM
Acme 15 Jun 17 - 09:57 PM
Acme 17 Jun 17 - 12:03 PM
Charmion 17 Jun 17 - 12:26 PM
Acme 19 Jun 17 - 12:58 AM
Acme 19 Jun 17 - 11:24 AM
Bat Goddess 19 Jun 17 - 06:38 PM
Acme 19 Jun 17 - 10:23 PM
Acme 20 Jun 17 - 09:52 PM
Charmion 21 Jun 17 - 08:31 AM
Acme 21 Jun 17 - 09:28 AM
Acme 21 Jun 17 - 07:51 PM
Dorothy Parshall 21 Jun 17 - 08:51 PM
Acme 22 Jun 17 - 10:52 AM
Acme 23 Jun 17 - 09:42 PM
wysiwyg 23 Jun 17 - 10:04 PM
Acme 24 Jun 17 - 08:11 PM
Acme 25 Jun 17 - 07:25 PM
Jon Freeman 25 Jun 17 - 08:12 PM
Dorothy Parshall 26 Jun 17 - 06:15 PM
Acme 27 Jun 17 - 10:28 PM
Acme 30 Jun 17 - 12:03 AM
Charmion 30 Jun 17 - 09:39 AM
wysiwyg 30 Jun 17 - 10:18 AM
Vashta Nerada 30 Jun 17 - 11:14 AM
Acme 01 Jul 17 - 11:07 AM
Acme 02 Jul 17 - 11:23 AM
Acme 03 Jul 17 - 11:08 AM
wysiwyg 07 Jul 17 - 01:22 PM
Acme 08 Jul 17 - 11:05 AM
wysiwyg 09 Jul 17 - 02:41 PM
Acme 10 Jul 17 - 11:42 AM
Acme 12 Jul 17 - 09:15 PM
Dorothy Parshall 13 Jul 17 - 10:54 PM
Acme 15 Jul 17 - 12:34 PM
Acme 15 Jul 17 - 08:22 PM
Dorothy Parshall 20 Jul 17 - 08:30 PM
Charmion 21 Jul 17 - 09:28 AM
Dorothy Parshall 21 Jul 17 - 11:26 AM
Acme 21 Jul 17 - 11:03 PM
Charmion 22 Jul 17 - 09:55 AM
Acme 22 Jul 17 - 10:35 AM
Charmion 23 Jul 17 - 04:53 PM
Acme 23 Jul 17 - 09:36 PM
Dorothy Parshall 24 Jul 17 - 12:44 PM
Dorothy Parshall 31 Jul 17 - 07:21 PM
Acme 31 Jul 17 - 09:59 PM
Dorothy Parshall 03 Aug 17 - 08:40 PM
Acme 03 Aug 17 - 10:14 PM
Acme 04 Aug 17 - 10:55 PM
Acme 05 Aug 17 - 03:29 PM
wysiwyg 08 Aug 17 - 08:03 AM
Charmion 08 Aug 17 - 12:21 PM
Acme 09 Aug 17 - 12:04 AM
Acme 13 Aug 17 - 09:52 AM
Dorothy Parshall 14 Aug 17 - 09:18 PM
Acme 14 Aug 17 - 11:18 PM
wysiwyg 15 Aug 17 - 09:28 AM
Acme 15 Aug 17 - 08:29 PM
Donuel 15 Aug 17 - 09:04 PM
Acme 16 Aug 17 - 08:29 AM
Charmion 16 Aug 17 - 09:07 AM
wysiwyg 16 Aug 17 - 02:19 PM
wysiwyg 18 Aug 17 - 09:46 AM
Acme 18 Aug 17 - 11:04 AM
Charmion 18 Aug 17 - 08:56 PM
Acme 19 Aug 17 - 01:13 AM
Acme 19 Aug 17 - 10:53 AM
Acme 20 Aug 17 - 02:14 PM
LilyFestre 20 Aug 17 - 08:54 PM
Dorothy Parshall 20 Aug 17 - 09:03 PM
LilyFestre 20 Aug 17 - 09:04 PM
Charmion 22 Aug 17 - 12:57 PM
Acme 25 Aug 17 - 10:46 AM
wysiwyg 25 Aug 17 - 05:55 PM
Acme 25 Aug 17 - 09:42 PM
Acme 26 Aug 17 - 09:40 AM
LilyFestre 27 Aug 17 - 11:19 AM
Acme 27 Aug 17 - 12:13 PM
Charmion 28 Aug 17 - 09:23 AM
Dorothy Parshall 28 Aug 17 - 09:10 PM
Acme 30 Aug 17 - 10:53 PM
Acme 31 Aug 17 - 09:42 PM
Acme 02 Sep 17 - 10:32 AM
LilyFestre 02 Sep 17 - 05:34 PM
Acme 02 Sep 17 - 09:14 PM
Acme 04 Sep 17 - 11:14 AM
LilyFestre 04 Sep 17 - 09:37 PM
Dorothy Parshall 04 Sep 17 - 10:55 PM
Acme 04 Sep 17 - 11:41 PM
Dorothy Parshall 05 Sep 17 - 09:49 PM
Charmion 06 Sep 17 - 09:00 AM
Acme 07 Sep 17 - 12:23 AM
Dorothy Parshall 07 Sep 17 - 07:48 PM
Charmion 08 Sep 17 - 11:35 AM
Acme 08 Sep 17 - 02:36 PM
Acme 09 Sep 17 - 10:38 PM
LilyFestre 10 Sep 17 - 06:29 PM
Acme 10 Sep 17 - 10:47 PM
Charmion 11 Sep 17 - 10:49 AM
Dorothy Parshall 11 Sep 17 - 09:40 PM
Dorothy Parshall 12 Sep 17 - 08:16 PM
Acme 12 Sep 17 - 11:54 PM
Charmion 13 Sep 17 - 08:40 AM
Dorothy Parshall 14 Sep 17 - 10:13 PM
Dorothy Parshall 15 Sep 17 - 09:01 PM
Acme 15 Sep 17 - 10:12 PM
Acme 17 Sep 17 - 11:18 AM
Dorothy Parshall 17 Sep 17 - 08:38 PM
wysiwyg 18 Sep 17 - 04:17 AM
Dorothy Parshall 19 Sep 17 - 06:40 PM
Acme 19 Sep 17 - 10:36 PM
wysiwyg 20 Sep 17 - 01:26 PM
LilyFestre 20 Sep 17 - 07:54 PM
Dorothy Parshall 20 Sep 17 - 09:09 PM
Acme 20 Sep 17 - 09:18 PM
LilyFestre 20 Sep 17 - 10:28 PM
Acme 21 Sep 17 - 07:15 PM
wysiwyg 21 Sep 17 - 09:20 PM
wysiwyg 23 Sep 17 - 08:51 AM
LilyFestre 23 Sep 17 - 10:29 AM
wysiwyg 23 Sep 17 - 04:41 PM
Acme 24 Sep 17 - 11:00 AM
Charmion 24 Sep 17 - 01:42 PM
Acme 24 Sep 17 - 02:55 PM
wysiwyg 24 Sep 17 - 05:48 PM
Dorothy Parshall 24 Sep 17 - 10:01 PM
Acme 25 Sep 17 - 12:07 PM
Dorothy Parshall 25 Sep 17 - 11:17 PM
Charmion 26 Sep 17 - 09:12 AM
Acme 26 Sep 17 - 11:52 AM
Acme 26 Sep 17 - 05:43 PM
Dorothy Parshall 26 Sep 17 - 10:32 PM
Charmion 27 Sep 17 - 10:07 AM
LilyFestre 29 Sep 17 - 08:52 PM
Acme 30 Sep 17 - 11:35 AM
Acme 01 Oct 17 - 10:25 PM
Dorothy Parshall 02 Oct 17 - 07:28 PM
Charmion 03 Oct 17 - 09:16 AM
wysiwyg 03 Oct 17 - 05:02 PM
wysiwyg 04 Oct 17 - 02:26 PM
Dorothy Parshall 04 Oct 17 - 05:29 PM
Acme 04 Oct 17 - 10:35 PM
wysiwyg 05 Oct 17 - 05:50 AM
Acme 05 Oct 17 - 09:37 PM
wysiwyg 06 Oct 17 - 09:50 AM
LilyFestre 06 Oct 17 - 10:58 AM
Dorothy Parshall 06 Oct 17 - 06:42 PM
Donuel 06 Oct 17 - 10:24 PM
Acme 07 Oct 17 - 11:22 AM
Acme 08 Oct 17 - 11:29 AM
LilyFestre 08 Oct 17 - 02:31 PM
wysiwyg 08 Oct 17 - 09:47 PM
wysiwyg 10 Oct 17 - 09:53 AM
Charmion 10 Oct 17 - 10:35 AM
Acme 10 Oct 17 - 07:20 PM
wysiwyg 11 Oct 17 - 01:16 PM
Acme 11 Oct 17 - 05:42 PM
Donuel 12 Oct 17 - 12:21 PM
Acme 12 Oct 17 - 07:28 PM
wysiwyg 13 Oct 17 - 06:15 AM
Donuel 13 Oct 17 - 05:38 PM
Acme 13 Oct 17 - 06:15 PM
Acme 14 Oct 17 - 04:51 PM
wysiwyg 14 Oct 17 - 06:14 PM
wysiwyg 14 Oct 17 - 06:28 PM
Dorothy Parshall 14 Oct 17 - 10:20 PM
MickyMan 15 Oct 17 - 11:06 AM
Acme 15 Oct 17 - 12:21 PM
pattyClink 15 Oct 17 - 10:16 PM
Charmion 16 Oct 17 - 09:53 AM
Vashta Nerada 16 Oct 17 - 10:24 AM
Donuel 16 Oct 17 - 06:26 PM
wysiwyg 16 Oct 17 - 08:00 PM
Acme 16 Oct 17 - 11:19 PM
Vashta Nerada 19 Oct 17 - 02:45 PM
Charmion 19 Oct 17 - 04:42 PM
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Subject: Declutter & Fitness - 2017
From: GUEST,Don Aslett's Acolyte
Date: 01 Jan 17 - 03:45 AM

Another year has passed, here is the 2016 thread to refer back to. These aren't broken into monthly topics any more, but there are still people who follow them, so one more circumnavigation 'round the planet for the declutter topic here at Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 01 Jan 17 - 02:05 PM

Putting away the holiday decorations is the first move of the year. Not that many in play, but enough that there are several boxes to add things back into, then organize the boxes in the office closet.

Our work holiday seemed to be particularly short this year, with xmas and new year's days both on Sunday. None of the permanent projects (new tile, in particular) was finished this week, but I started shopping around. The idea is to keep working on small projects that move the house closer to being ready to sell, should I decide the time has come. I don't envision it any time soon, and in the meantime I'll enjoy the results of my work.

Sipping tea, looking at a few things that can be completed today. eBay, a little gardening, filing papers (they seemed to push back - hard - every time I tried to organize them this month).


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 01 Jan 17 - 02:14 PM

Below is Dorothy's last post from 2016, and lets me ask the question - are you still maintaining a residence or work space at the mill? Will this continue indefinitely, or is the new place meant to completely replace the mill operation one of these days soon?



Subject: RE: Yet More Clutter's Last Stand - 2016
From: Dorothy Parshall - PM
Date: 31 Dec 16 - 05:10 PM

Beaver:
Looking at a post from last January, I see progress! Snow removal (more today!) and bringing in wood are still ongoing. No wood shed yet but the heavy cover is wonderful.. The snow is holding it down VERY well! The eaves trough without heat cable were an error and the house one has fallen down from the weight of snow and ice. Next year. Sorting through archives has progressed but still has some to go. No potting wheel in the BR; I took it to Montreal to use when there. Sewing machine is on a TV table, repaired!!!! And ready to use. The kiln room is better organized but not optimum yet. **New thought: that new cabinet (below) might work better in there than what is there now. On a warm day, I can pursue this possibility.

The BR, now that the new wall is in and painted!!, has been re-organized with the bookcase across the foot of the bed raised on 12 inch concrete blocks so things can be stored under the bottom shelf and books on 3 shelves ? bed width. The bottom shelf is about level with the surface of the bed; there is just enough space to tuck things down there ? about 8 cf of storage! The bookcase will prevent the mattress shifting ? sort of a footboard! A tall 28 inch wide antique cabinet is next to that and still leaves good room to see out the window. I will finish loading it today and this will clear most of the BR clutter so I can re-organize the other cabinet and HOPE this will complete de-cluttering of BR.

We now have an empty wall space where the ladder to go to the loft. No furniture planned for there until that job is complete. Book shelves may ensue.   

The studio is in torpor. There is about 2 feet of snow on the roof.. I will use it on warm enough days, use the M one when there and the one at the mill when it is warm enough. I am getting quite taken by the concept: "I'm retired, I don't HAVE to do anything!"

.An article in Bancroft This Week gives hope that the Town might find a better space for the library. Might be time to get folks organized, after this holiday, to work with those "in charge" with the aim of supporting a library for the people. New librarian seems positive addition. Maybe we could take him to lunch for a consult.

Auction this am: one $5 cabinet that can go in shed for better organizing OR I can give it to the friend who was also there and transported it for us; it occurred to me too late that she may have wanted it but she "went to the washroom,,," Otherwise, R bought some things for elsewhere. and we netted a nice hand painted wood loon for here.

R is, "as we speak" putting in new light fixtures in the LR so I can use nice light covers which have moved across the country with me. This de-clutters them from storage to useful.

Just agreed: insulate roof next year.

Speaking of which - MAy everyone hae the best possible New Year!!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Jan 17 - 10:17 AM

This year, Himself retires from the army and we move from Ottawa to Stratford, Ontario. We have been in this house for more than 18 years, longer than either of us has ever lived in one place before. I'm a fairly neat person (he's not), but the prospect of packing up books and papers, china and kitchen traps, acres of framed art and God knows what else AS WELL AS the furniture and 144 sections of terracotta drainage pipe that we use for wine racks -- well, I'm so not ready.

The first major project is replacing the kitchen stove, which happens on Friday. The gas technician comes to disconnect the old one on Thursday, so I guess supper will be pizza or something from the microwave -- come to think of it, I believe we still have some venison bourguignon in the freezer. Removing the carcass will be a bit of a challenge, as the kitchen is on the second floor of the house and the space through which the old stove must pass on its way out -- especially the gap between the handle of the refrigerator and the kitchen island -- is only about an inch bigger than the stove itself. Then, as the delivery guys are bringing the new one in, Himself and I will be promptly down on our marrowbones to scrub out the vacated space. After eighteen and a half years of cooking, it's going to be an icky job.

Then the carpenters come in to tear the electricity-devouring light fixtures out of the bathrooms and replace them with something far more modest. They will also repair all the damaged drywall in the house, including the hole in the kitchen wall where a dribble from the leaking roof found a place to pool and wreak havoc. I believe we have been ignoring that hole for some ten years now.

We have a list ...


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 03 Jan 17 - 03:34 PM

Montreal:
One of the ultimate clutters is having more than one abode. OR there are more places to put stuff which COULD lead to less clutter, however,...

R lives in Montreal. I detest living in Montreal ? noise, pollution and my lack of French. I detest the house; it needs major reno. It is more like indoor camping but if I were camping in MY space, it would be neat and clean. It is unlikely that R will move out of Montreal ? business and bro. I have done my best with this place and there is very little cooperation for anything further. R is too busy. And used to it.

The Mill is a dreadful 20,000sf industrial building in a farming area of southern Quebec out of which we have carved a sun room, a beautiful kitchen with no running water, and a bed/sitting room that is moderately comfortable and generally uncluttered. I have a studio at one end of the building, a marvelous window manufacturer has a large chunk in the front and there is tons of storage area that R has dreams of making into a variety of ? In the meantime, it helps to have a place to put stuff in a fairly organized way. The mill got bought due to our Friday nights at the Café for the music, which led to a community of friends. Unfortunately, the air is toxic from April until the rainy season due to the chemicals sprayed on corn and soy fields. We go there for the music and I visit with friends and do some pottery. Having a thriving perennial plot and space for veggies but fear the toxins and must wear a face mask in garden times. But no black flies!

Beaver Haven, near Bancroft, Ontario, gets me back to the area in which I lived 17 years, where I have friends, fresh air and quiet. The 600sf house provides a wonderful shelter in a great area. R also loves being there and I becoming part of the community. I have a small studio and do get some pottery done when the weather is warm enough. We have two storage sheds and a large outhouse. We have two raised beds for veggies and more planned. R plans to build a library ? maybe next summer ? 10x10 and 2 story. With no windows but the door and skylights. (10x10s do not need permission.)

In the latest 10 day stay, we attended 2 community Christmas dinners, the monthly open mike music night, and an antiques auction, visited the art gallery so R could see our friend's wonderful art, but mostly just hung out. R enjoyed doing small jobs: this trip, the sewing machine, two new light fixtures in the LR, snow clearing, wood hauling, and pie with the neighbour who has taken it upon himself to blow the (very short) driveway!!!! The re-organized BR looks good, a couple paintings are hung, an ugly and unnecessary florescent light removed, two more towel racks in the bathroom, and I may have forgotten?. R read 3 books and relaxed.

I will prob go back to Beaver in a week, depending on weather (dow) and stay a week or so - dow. So, we sort out our own peculiar way of life. We both prefer to be there but he needs to be in Montreal, and we each need/want to spend time together. The big clutter is schlepping things hither and yon, slowly becoming more routine as there is a special bin-to-go. The washing machine is at Beaver, and an oven that works. The wonderful washing machine at the mill can only be used in warmer months and the one in Montreal still needs the burst water line repaired ? a pointless job considering the needed reno. Maybe we NEED 3 abodes!! I am certainly happier having one that is fir for habitation in a beautiful area where I have dear friends.

Good thing I am retired!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 12:48 PM

Montreal:
Finally succeeded in de-clutteringmy body of a nasty respiratory things AGAIN. When I finally came to terms with "I am really sick" I upped the Pau d'Arco and went to bed. It was a week long malaise and effectively precluded most activity. R kindly took me to a grocery store where we could get edible foods. It was to his advantage! Then I went back to bed. Celery soup has been his mainstay this week though I managed to produce good BFs.

Today feeling almost normal and not wobbly. Too cold in the house to do much. Still dosing myself and keeping warm in front of heater. Want to be at Beaver but need a few more days here to recover. R is being very solicitous.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 02:19 PM

Hauled a large batch of recycling off last week, and the back of the car is currently full again, and will be emptied when I go pick up Jason at the bus stop later. Fridge needs a major cleaning out (hello compost pile!) and the floors need a good sweeping/vacuuming, thanks to Beau's toy-shredding habits. There's less fluff now, though, since I've discovered that he's perfectly happy with the de-fluffed pelts.

I've also been bringing home the cardboard open-topped boxes that the clementines come in that a lot of customers don't want (the clementines are in mesh bags in the boxes) and using them to organize my cabinet space. So far, the large containers of spices have been organized, next up is the large collection of food storage containers.

We got a large ceramic jar with a top that seals for dog treats, and that has gotten the multitude of bagged treats off the counter and in one spot.

Now I just need to get the mountain of laundry taken care of. The laundromat in town has a very poor heating system and it is so hard to muster up the enthusiasm to go in when it's as cold as it's been the past few days.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 05:48 PM

Tami, you're using the classic "early orange crate" method of organizing, on a smaller scale with the clementine boxes.

I'm working my way through paper, filing, shredding, or putting a few in an action pile that actually are useful right now. When it's so cold outside, this is a perfectly acceptable activity - come spring it's difficult to make myself address paper issues at all if I can be out in the yard instead.

The last of the holiday decorations are down, except I think I'm going to leave a couple of the colorful strings wrapped around a limb that I have standing in the corner of the room. I was going to cut it up (it fell into the yard from next door when the crape myrtles were trimmed) and realized it was actually a beautiful shape. I have a large pot full of limestone gravel holding it in place, and strings of lights running all around it. Mostly I use the clear LED, but now I have some colored LED lights as well. You don't really see the colored strings at all when the white ones are turned on, and the revers goes with the colored ones on and the clear unplugged.

I can see floor in my office and some of the desktops. Progress.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Thompson
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 05:52 PM

Wow, Charmian, you must like wine!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 08:40 AM

Yes, Thompson, we like wine. We also like dinner parties, which tend to involve wine, and French food, which also frequently contains wine. On the other hand, a fair few of the sections of drainage pipe are unoccupied; I think our current holdings stand at about five dozen bottles.

No new stove for us. The gas technician came on Thursday, took one look at the current set-up, whipped out his tape measure and declared it Not Up To Code. Alas, according to the most recent revision of the Canadian national building code, a gas-fired stove must have 30 inches of clearance above and to the sides of the cooktop. In our current kitchen, that would mean ripping out three cabinets, finding a new home for the very large microwave oven, and installing a new exhaust hood ten inches higher than the current one. What is wrong with the current one, you ask? Well, its light sockets contain flammable plastic! Who knew? Not I.

So the plan did not survive contact with reality. What a surprise.

On the phone with Sears, I cancelled the delivery and "returned" the new stove with which I had quite fallen in lust. We will replace the old one later in the sell-the-house project, with an electric job that does not call for extensive surgery on the overhead cabinets. It won't be my kitchen any more, so Not My Problem.

Meanwhile, the foul weather of an Ottawa winter has given the carpenters a Very Good Reason to cancel their date with us today, so the contents of two bathrooms are scattered throughout the house. All my need-for-order nerves are tweaking like crazy.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Thompson
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 10:58 AM

Bloody code. For the same kind of insane reason it has been decided that all gas hobs should have inlets on the right, which means I can't replace my old one and have to change to electric.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 14 Jan 17 - 07:49 AM

The companies that sell electricity in my state can all be accessed through one state-run website, and they all have to provide basic information (do they have a base charge the power usage is added to? What is the charge if you use up to 500 kWh, 1000 kWh, or 2000 kWh or above? Do they let you pay by credit card, do they charge extra for that privilege, or must you let them take their fee out of your bank on their own?) There are some with ridiculously low offers in one area, offset bit ridiculously difficult to calculate fees in others that actually make it more expensive. There ought to be a law . . .

Anyway, I did a lot of math this week and chose to go with the company owned by Berkshire-Hathaway. They have the simplest statement of facts, the easiest offering, and don't gouge if you want a plan for two years instead of one. Warren Buffet's common sense trickles down into his company's holdings. Every year or two I change companies to get those lower introductory offers. The savings is significant, but I do have to do the research. (When I moved in here and connected with the default large state power company, I had bills upward of $350 during the highest heating or cooling months; now my highest bill never reaches $150, and during much of the year it is in the $50 a month range. It is worth it.)

Still sorting, filing, and shredding paper, and I have to put a few reams into my paper cabinet. For xmas I try to give totally practical gifts along with a few more targeted personal ones. This year I bought a case of good bright printer paper and gave a couple of reams each (brightly wrapped!) to family. And have a lifetime supply left over. So paper is a never-ending occupation around here.

Time to plant the potatoes and see about some onion sets. The chard took a hit with the freezing weather but a few survived, so I'll weed around them and apply more mulch. Year round there is always something that can be harvested or consumed out in the garden. Right now there are lots of herbs and a few straggler onions from last year.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre
Date: 14 Jan 17 - 07:44 PM

I have been cleaning things out slowly. One drawer at a time. Maybe one group of items a time. It's all I have time for these days as I have returned to a full time job. :)

I thought that maybe we would fall behind on the care of the house now that I'm not home on a full time basis but that just isn't the case. We are a well oiled machine when it comes to staying on top of the daily chores which makes me most happy. :)

I've donated several boxes of things over the last few weeks, making room for the new or perhaps just making space for the sake of making space. :)

I hope all is well with everyone!

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 16 Jan 17 - 01:14 PM

Montreal

I thought I had beat the malaise but I slacked off on treatment and it hung on. I THINK it is finally beaten back but will not slack off yet. Not much has gotten done. This house is beyond me but I did manage to keep warm and make soups. Went to the Mill on Friday but too cold to do anything but lunch with Geri and music at the Cafe. R made it down for music and we came back to city. I have managed to keep us fed and dishes washed.

Yesterday, R did a major de-cluttering in the LR. All I asked was to clear the paper off his chair; off the K table would have been nice also. However! Those did not happen. We have considerably more floor showing and there were many trips, by him, taking books to 2nd floor. The top of the huge buffet is cleared of "stuff" and looks civilized with a row of glass vases across the back and some other pretties.

The upper cabinet we rescued from the trash last week is against a wall (as a lower, not upper!) and ready to hold the new TV. He cleared a bunch of stuff out of the under-the-stairs closet. But it is still inaccessible as things were piled back in the doorway - I heard a mumble that indicated this might be improved (what year?).

When the new TV is in place and working???? Then the big old monster can leave.I shall have to re-arrange the electric cords and lamps to suit the new chair arrangement. The table the TV is on can be a coffee table, the air cleaner in better spot and ... HOPE!

It is a great improvement. The next phase may happen - sooner or later. Anyway, the weather may go to or above freezing so I can go to the laundromat and grocery (refused to leave house during cold weekend) and start a pot of the veggie chili I have not made in a couple years. That first!

Thankful for the air cleaner which collects the dust that was disturbed yesterday. That was a 12 hour job - he read a lot! I just sat with the computer, next to the air cleaner and hoped the dust did not get to me. And fed us. I could not help; it was his stuff. I basically hid out - in the LR while it went on around me. Oh, I am afraid to see what the upstairs room looks like - not my monkeys!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 16 Jan 17 - 01:35 PM

Michelle,

Congratulations on the new job and on seven years cancer free. When you look back, I think you'll remember much more the joy of raising Jeremiah and the cancer fight will recede (as it should). What a stroke of genius that the state should ask you to raise that wonderful boy right at the time they did! (I am 17 years out, and as scars fade, so do the scary memories.)

Dorothy,

I have a friend who moved from here out to Arizona several years ago, and after a large garage sale one thing that didn't sell I claimed (as no one else had room for it) was her heavy-duty coffee table that used to hold her old monster television. It lived in the room where they held a weekly Movie Night. It has scratches but every time one of the family comes over they fondly look on that table, now in front of my sofa (my television is on the fireplace hearth).

I'm still thinking about the tile for floors in the bathrooms, the sun room, the laundry room, and one closet. I want to keep working on these projects to finish what I started. I'm thinking the house needs some foundation work before much more is invested in tile, but foundations are horribly expensive to stabilize. Home ownership isn't for the faint of heart!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ragdall
Date: 16 Jan 17 - 10:41 PM

My decluttering so far this year has mainly consisted of removing the unwanted snow from areas we need to use dail, the driveway, walkways, stairs and deck. In preparation for the warmer weather and deeper, heavier snowfalls expected, last week I used our big gas snow blower to cut trails through the snow to various destinations in the yard, the grandchildren's "tree house", the compost boxes, and out along the side of the house to the front yard and driveway.

Indoors, I went through the pantry cupboard and removed items that were well past their "best before" dates.

I'm planning to have a photo book printed to commemorate our thirty-five years together, this April. I've been working through old photo albums, scanning family group photos and several "memorable occasion" shots from each year. Four years completed, only thirty-one to go.

Because there were some years that prints didn't make it into albums, I revisited my photo print organizing project. Last week, at my church ladies' unfinished projects group, I managed to arrange one shoe box of prints into salvaged envelopes that I'd labeled by year. I'm hoping that I can sort the rest in the coming weeks and put them into albums.

I'm considering how to dispose of extra copies of photos of family members that were never sent to their intended recipients. Doing so would free up quite a bit of space. I'm leaning toward running them through an empty shredder, then disposing of the shredded bits in the rubbish bin as I don't think the coating would be acceptable in the recycling.   

After I had a look at the four years of scans on a bigger monitor, I was very disappointed when I saw that, in spite of using an old towel to wipe both the scanner and the photos, there are many white specks on the images. Removing those will require much time consuming editing. Also I'm afraid they are not a high enough resolution to print well in a book. Not sure if I can find another way to do this project?

Christmas is still very much present in our home. The creche, tree, wreaths and stockings remain in the same places they held on Christmas Eve. The boxes needed to store them in the attic are still beyond my reach in the attic because I injured my "better" knee when I hefted the big snowblower around. Now I cannot climb a ladder to get the storage boxes down, or to carry them back up and stow them away again. Oh well, it does make the living room more colourful and cheerful on these cold dark winter days.

rags


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 07:56 PM

Rags, if you scan at 300 dpi you will have something a printer can work with. The higher the better as far as getting detail and lots of pixels to work with.

Another option is to take the negatives, if you have them, and have a photo store scan them digitally and make a disk with as high a resolution as possible. There should be less dust. I can give you tips about the specks on the images - send me a PM with your email and we can talk about it. This is one of the things I do at work.

Those snow blowers sound like they're kind of fun to use - more dramatic than the comparable task of mowing the lawn with a power mower. Injury while operating isn't great, though. Rest that knee so you can resume your usual activities.

I cleared off my kitchen counters and table this weekend, and hope to keep them looking good till next weekend when friends are coming over for lunch. And I have a couple of stools and chairs I need to glue and put a nail or screw into to strengthen them. My kids were here during the holidays and identified all of the wonky seating and left things upside down in place, so I know which ones to work on. Don't you just love how straightforward family is at times? It was a help, a way to remind me I need to do this.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 08:04 AM

Photos ... Oh, God, so many photos. Yet another of the jobs I should have been doing for an hour a day but neglected so I could read instead. I must have forty years worth of negatives to scan, all carefully jumbled up in an accordion file where they will most certainly stay for the foreseeable future.

The carpenters are hard at work here on Old St. Patrick Street, and our third floor -- one study, two bedrooms and two bathrooms -- is chaos. Arie and Ron, the carpenters, are neat and careful, but everything does have to be pulled away from the walls, and they do have to patch and sand and patch and sand again before even the first coat of paint can be laid. It all takes time, and I hate every minute of it -- not least because I know that every completed room takes us that much closer to putting the house on the market and getting ready to leave Ottawa. The carpenters are amazingly tolerant. I think they've been through this before.

Himself is now two months out from his last day in uniform, and his agenda is filling up with pre-release obligations. Yesterday it was the dental unit, where he was told to use an incredibly expensive fluoride-intense toothpaste because he has "exposed roots". Long in the tooth, are we? Gettit? I hope he makes a date with Clothing Stores soon, for I would love to get the last barrack box out of the cellar, with its contents of desert-pattern combat clothing and winter warfare snugglies. At least the sleeping bag suitable for nuclear winter has gone back, along with the Kevlar helmet, flak jacket and load-carrying equipment. Now, if only he could be persuaded to re-home the accumulation of combat boots. Imelda Marcos had nothing on your typical old soldier.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ragdall
Date: 21 Jan 17 - 07:48 AM

My trail blazing with the snowblower backfired on me. Instead of getting a large amount of additional snow, we got warm winds and rain. Snow melted, the paths flooded, blocking my access to compost boxes etc. and seriously upsetting my neighbours' cat, who claims my yard as her own, and wasn't able to conduct her usual tour of the perimeter. Thankfully, the flood has mostly disappeared and temperatures have returned to below freezing again. Winter will resume.

My knee responded well to resting it. I managed to dismantle the Christmas tree and stow it away for the next ten months or so, along with most other signs of Christmas.

Acme, Thank you for offering to help with the dust specks. I don't know how to tell if it scans at 300 dpi. The specs for the printer says: Optical Resolution   1200 x 2400 dpi. I'm assuming that is the output for a document the size of the scanning screen? My scans of small photos are as small as 500 x 700 dpi.

I haven't made time to get back to scanning. I've been trying to think of other possibilities, including giving up on the idea completely, or limiting the project to the post digital camera years. Before I give up completely, I may try to can set up my camera and rephotograph the prints?

rags


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1
Date: 21 Jan 17 - 09:28 PM

Decluttered two inches from around my waist since August. House is still a disaster.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: pattyClink
Date: 22 Jan 17 - 06:35 PM

Digging into general clutter today. It was not my plan, but wound up boxing up 3 vacuum cleaners to donate now that the place is carpetfree. Yes, now that I count them I realize they should have moved on long ago, but, here we are, admitting stupidity. Still have the shopvac for big jobs, and the tiny stick vac I got for the RV is much more fun to use for little ones. All this is neither here nor there, except sheesh that liberates several square feet of floor space.

Rags, I wasn't able to get all my photos digitized til I got my hands on a sheetfeed scanner. Mine is a ScanSnap, it would shoosh through a packet at a time and let me sequential number with a prefix like 'Easter 2002'. They are not super cheap, but if you can get your hands on one, it would really help with your project. Only thing I use a flatbed scanner for any more is for delicate stuff I'm afraid to shoosh.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 22 Jan 17 - 07:47 PM

Montreal:

De-cluttered my mind of concern for Beaver by phoning dear Dan and asking him to check on things. He kindly did so and watered the plants. sent me a text. A great relief to know the pipes are not frozen, the studio is not a pancake from the 2 feet of snow on roof and the plants are alive. Once again, I had brought the african violet with me, wrapped in its shawl; it is blooming nicely.

Have recognized that my malaise is long term and, although the cough is mostly gone, the lack of energy persists. I did manage a bunch of thrift shop visits last week, collecting very nice comforters for the house in the Laurentians which is due for first tenants on 26th. We also spent Friday at IKEA collecting other essentials. Tomorrow, the house and my car will be de-cluttered of a huge pile of stuff. R and crew will go up to get it in order. I shall stay home and do almost nothing - again.

Other than that, all the promises of piles of papers being organized have come to naught. Getting a 6 BR house with indoor swimming pool and 3 saunas ready for Airbnb rentors is taking up R's time and energy.

Tired of eating the same stuff all the time, I went berserk - I need something different! There were brussel sprouts in the frig so I googled and put together what i had with a few recipe ideas and we had a sort of brussel sprout/onion/chicken stir fry with blue cheese and heavy cream as a sauce. delicious!

Finally recognized in the last couple days that cookies do an immediate job of clogging sinuses. Will I be able to eliminate them from diet????

I manage to maintain moderate organization for the most part. Cleared some shelf areas for R to use when he gets to it. The buffet is still civil, the new TV not in place...


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 22 Jan 17 - 09:57 PM

I've kept the kitchen counters and small table free of clutter for several weeks, mostly since I've had houseguests and made myself pick up and put away instead of letting things pile up. One of my few "resolutions" for the year, formed recently and not on New Year's Eve, is to continue this practice.

I'm also making myself do at least one new eBay listing a day this week, to start moving the things piled on a table I recently moved into the sunroom so I could clear my working space to do those listings. I want all of this photographed, described, packaged (all but sealed - ready to go when someone buys it) and listed so I can move that table back out of my way. The cash will also be welcome as I'm resuming the frugal "no spend challenge" again this month. I did really well for about eight of the 12 months last year - but those four months were monsters! Everything from dog surgeries to a new air conditioner compressor, car repairs, and finally, a new vehicle. Oy.

Patty, you need to be very careful with those scanners that feed documents. And I don't think you can get very high resolutions from an item that is moving across a very narrow scanning area. Those are good for snapshots that don't matter, but the flatbed scanner is every archival librarian's first choice when it comes to preserving important photos, negatives, and documents. The good news is that you can get a pretty good flatbed scanner new, with the software for $150 or less (you might even want to shop software first, decide what kind you want to use, then find scanners that come with it.)


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 24 Jan 17 - 11:54 AM

Montreal

My energy seems to have returned. For now anyway. Rejoicing in the house and car being emptied of mountain of stuff, I went off foraging for groceries yesterday and did every shop in a largish mall looking for a new item of clothing - a loose fitting shirt, tunic/tent, SOMETHING to camouflage the hips I am simply NOT getting rid of.

Out of a couple dozen stores, only one had a nice big cotton shirt that was perfect - but too small. I checked the brand on line and, although it appears to be based in Montreal, no info on products... SO, this morning I snitched a shirt of R's. He won't miss it and it will work for now. It has snowed about 2 inches in the last hour or so on top of ice that dropped just before; I ain't going no where!

R stayed over up north so... I put clay on plaster bat to dry, had a hot bath, sorted out an upcoming CC payment while on a call to complain about telemarketing call as I was getting out of bath, and had a light BF. Did some sorting in the K, eliminating a couple excess containers. Thought about what can be put in awkward-to-get-to cabinet that R cleared AND washed for me. Will be looking for WHAT ELSE can I do today? I COULD walk to the laundromat and do that, maybe. (Lights just flickered!)

Actually, those mini sortings add up to a good bit of clearing as well as hope.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 24 Jan 17 - 01:56 PM

eBay listings coming along. A couple of things have sold lately so I labelled and mailed them - and from there got started with listing newer items.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 25 Jan 17 - 11:55 AM

The contractors are patching the walls and painting in the kitchen today, so the entire house is all of a doodah. Last night, I emptied the cabinet where we keep our way-too-copious collection of glassware, and this morning I cleared the counters and removed literally every piece of furniture that I could pick up. Consequently, the dining table, the sideboard, the front ledge of the china cabinet, and every surface in the sitting room are covered with wine glasses, bottles of booze, beer steins, cooking equipment and large food-storage crocks.

The cats hate-hate-hate what's going on. So do I.

But the real estate agent came around on Monday to check up on progress and talk about timings, and we agreed that the house goes on the market on the first day of Spring, which happens to be a Monday this year. It is also the day after Himself turns 60 and becomes a civilian, and the clock starts running down the time we have to complete this move. One of the most valuable benefits Himself is entitled to on his retirement from the Army is a full-cost move to our destination of choice (within Canada), but we have to get it done and all claims submitted, within a year of his release date.

The bedrooms and bathrooms are patched and painted. The kitchen is under way. In the rest of the house, only the baseboards, window frames and trim are to be painted, but that still means moving every single piece of furniture, including a ridiculous number of bookcases.

On with the show. This is it.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 25 Jan 17 - 08:32 PM

Having a target date to finish probably helps pace yourselves, Charmion. To where within Canada are you considering moving?

More items are on eBay, a couple of sales shipped this week, and several parcels need to be shipped to friends. One package no longer needs to be shipped because I delayed for so long that the friend is visiting in town this week. I'll give it to her in person on Friday.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: pattyClink
Date: 26 Jan 17 - 09:17 AM

Also getting that 'this is it!' feeling, the bedrooms are done, the main rooms yet to be painted. Have hauled out more bags of trash from the shop building, am sorting and purging lots of 'stuff'.   I'm afraid to call a realtor til the place is tidier, which is hard when you're sorting/purging/listing things, but I guess that needs to move to the top of the list.

Acme, I have a flatbed scanner, and use it for very old or special photos. It took forever to scan a few hundred old photos. I get amazing resolution with the modern sheet feed scanner, which takes 1/20th the time to do, so I got thousands done. My colleague has used one to do all the publications for his agency with great results. Maybe you're thinking about the old first generation sheet-feeders, they were pretty lame.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 26 Jan 17 - 09:23 AM

Yes, Acme, a deadline concentrates the mind mightily. I have disliked the state of the kitchen for at least five years, but only the imminent sale of the house could force me to pull my finger out and get the work done.

Our destination is Stratford, Ontario, the seat of Perth County and home of the Stratford Theatre Festival. It's a nice little town of just over 30,000 population, just close enough to Toronto to allow weekend jaunts for shopping and shows, but far enough away that house prices are still almost sane. It's also within easy visiting distance of Himself's extended family, which comprises what feels like dozens of nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews, all spread out along the 401 highway from Toronto to Windsor.

The kitchen is back to rights, after some two hours of trotting back and forth with trays of glassware and armloads of cooking tackle. I also improved the last hour of daylight yesterday by scrubbing the floor, my second-least-favourite job (after cleaning the oven). Himself came home from work just as I was hauling in the last of the wine glasses (yes, we have too many), and all I had to say to him was, "Pizza for supper. And beer."

The huge mirror in the front hall -- seven feet tall, Victorian plate glass and mahogany, probably once the property of a Montreal haberdasher -- has been taken down from its bracket and propped up against a bookcase full of British Empire history. Fresh plaster has been applied to the jeezly great holes in the wall where its enormous anchor bolts were sunk into the studs, and the carpenters are due around lunch time to sand, patch again, sand some more, and patch yet again. The real estate agent wanted it dismounted and squirrelled away before any potential buyer saw it and assumed it came with the house, but now I'll actually have to pay attention to ensure that I don't button my coat skew-whiff.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 30 Jan 17 - 08:00 PM

Montreal

Charmion is going to have a pretty clean slate when she moves to new quarters; she can choose carefully what actually gets unpacked. Of course, sending things to elsewhere before moving is best - for all that we can bear to part with.

I de-cluttered my life on Friday morning by breaking the left ankle. The right foot hit a bit of black ice and flew out in front of me. The left one stuck on the tarmac and I had the fairly unique experience of watching my foot fold up toward my knee. One full day in emergency and two in bed recovering and this morning I wanted to jump out of bed and make breakfast.... R made it - again. But I feel better and can maneuver around with the borrowed "Cadillac" walker. Just the skill we each need!

Well, about the de-cluttering:R has cleared the house to make way for a walker! Some good comes from... The house is a MESS!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 31 Jan 17 - 09:15 AM

Oh, Dorothy! How awful!

Some 30 years ago, I broke my left ankle while getting out of the car in an icy parking lot. Four years later, I broke the right one in an incident eerily similar to what you suffered. I'm sure you have received loads and loads of good advice already, but here comes my two cents: don't be in any hurry to put weight on the recovering joint.

The routine task I found most difficult was cooking: as long as I was on crutches (ten very long weeks), all I could do was stand at the stove and stir -- fetching and carrying were not possible. Number two was bathing: getting in and out of the bathtub required a fair amount of upper-body strength and no little skill.

But you're right about the decluttering effect. When you can't, you can't, and that's that. I'm sure Roger's cooking skills will meet the need, and I hope you're better than I was about nagging from the sofa.

Our carpenters have finished their work and I paid them on Friday, thus decluttering our bank account of a substantial sum. Now we wait for Himself's all-important meeting with the Release Section at National Defence Headquarters, when he gets the all-important Relocation Package and we find out precisely what the Crown pays for -- and what it doesn't.

If this move is anything like what we went through before, it would be best if we shed as much stuff now as we can. When the packers come and the house is full of cardboard and newsprint, we will quickly lose track of what is where -- that is, if we ever have anything resembling track. I look around the cellar and despair; some of the boxes down there were packed 25 years ago, when my father died, and haven't been touched since except to shift them from his cellar to mine. There are also three cartons of cassette tapes (we don't even own a cassette tape player any more) and two milk crates full of ancient, battered LPs. I can't remember the last time we cranked up the turntable that is still hooked to our stereo, but Himself would weep real, salt tears if I proposed parting with them.

Oy, veh.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 31 Jan 17 - 01:55 PM

Been a bit distracted lately by political events, my sister's medical situation, and then getting hit with The Cold (which everybody else seems to have already had).

Occasionally when one is lying awake at 3:30 in the morning, the mind actually does some good thinking and organizing and comes up with some good ideas. (This has happened exactly once, I think, in my life -- but it was a week or so ago.)

One of the ideas was to deaccession several boxes of magazine clipping -- photos and artwork -- that I used to use for collage projects such as covering storage boxes, portfolios, pocket folders, clipboards, etcet, etcet. Some great and colorful stuff but...I'm not really doing this anymore. And when I do, I've been using maps instead.

Asked the likely recipient, a very creative and artistic friend, if she'd be interested and, since she's been working on making figures she calls "Entities" and selling them from her Etsy shop, she declined. Just emailed another friend who runs a large daycare/preschool and has taken other paper craft materials for school projects.

I really would prefer to give them to someone who can creatively use them, but I'll try to wrap my brain around throwing them out if I have no takers. I may not have grown up in New England, but Tom always said I was born a Yankee -- I really hate throwing out something that somebody somewhere can use.

Got to go chip some more ice off the deck and steps. That's what happens when a cold slaps you down the day after several inches of "wintry mix" arrives on your doorstep.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 02 Feb 17 - 06:16 PM

Montreal ---INDEFINiTELY! Phooey.

Phoned Dan and he will check on house and water plants. also told him of a new spring project: extend the walkway to west end of studio, build an 6-8 foot deck with weatherproof cabinet for two small kilns. R has acquired a kiln rated extension cord! This will de-clutter a big portion of the shed by house for more accessible storage,

Now to find someone to empty the mailbox.

Re-scheduled appointment to get cataracts checked to April so save R two days of tripping to take me. Hope to be able to drive by then.

Tomorrow to hospital for xray to check on healing; hopeful as I have been VERY careful (Charmion!). This will greatly de-clutter my mind as the thought of surgery for a pin is most distressing.

AS for the house: we are gradually coming to terms with what needs to be done and how to keep me eating without driving R into more stress. IT is chaos but there is a path for the walker. R will move the microwave a a spot where I can access it.

On the plus side, I have avoided all sweets ad choc since last Thursday and am eating very carefully. Hope to keep on.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 02 Feb 17 - 08:16 PM

Linn, if you box all of the craft stuff maybe you can donate to a shelter or a daycare center or even thrift store?

Dorothy, did you have to have surgery on the ankle, or did they simply set it?

I fear I will soon be minus one dog. My old pitbull Cinnamon is today looking unhappy, has more lumps under her coat, is moving slowly, and tonight she didn't eat her dinner, not even a few pieced offered by hand. I think the lesions removed last summer were cancer, and they're catching up with her. I'll let her sleep on the foot of the bed tonight and see how she is in the morning, but I refuse to prolong her discomfort (she's 13 or 14) when medical intervention would only give her a few days or weeks, and those not quality days or weeks. I told the kids, and my son just emailed saying he saw that she was "worse for wear" when he was here earlier this month and he said his goodbyes then. Maybe I'm the last to see it, since I've been with her every day and the decline is gradual.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 03 Feb 17 - 08:29 AM

Dorothy, if you have avoided surgery thus far, you have been very lucky -- and I hope you continue to be. Both my ankle fractures were complicated, with bits of bone all over the place, so I got "open reduction and fixation" -- i.e., surgery plus screws and plates -- followed by a week in hospital and a long convalescence made miserable by Ottawa's icy winter. For each foot, I had to have follow-up surgery within five years to remove the hardware, yet more fun and games. The scars were rather stunning for some years but they have finally faded to faint silver traces.

Yesterday we went to see the financial wizard who handles our retirement savings. I'm always amused by my intense desire to be patted on the head and congratulated for my bourgeois impulse to squirrel away as much cash as possible and duck any potential for debt, and Mr Smith obliged nicely. It seems that we won't starve as long as the Canadian government keeps to its end of the bargain on military pensions, and our savings will permit us to continue attending folk festivals as long as our digestions will stand the rigors of road food.

Acme, I'm sorry to read that your dear dog is failing. Several years ago, one of our cats died of cancer while we were away (at a folk festival, oddly enough), and I've felt guilty ever since that I failed to realize she was so close to the end. You clearly won't make the same mistake.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 03 Feb 17 - 01:25 PM

She perked up to her old self today, but now that I look at her more closely I see she walks more slowly, and has those bumps, so we're going through that stage of good and bad days. When she has more bad than good days, I'll have to make the decision.

My goal to keep the kitchen tidy pays off in making my days and weekends easier - preparation to leave for work smoother, and weekend projects don't require the clearing of stuff.

I have to test the new steam cleaner, but first have to vacuum. My house is a sea of dog hair (and it isn't even shedding season yet).

eBay is moving along, I've built up the balance in my PayPal account and that encourages me to keep up the listings. Success breeds success.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Feb 17 - 01:50 PM

Acme, just wanted to say I'm so sorry your Cinnamon is declining. We recently had to make the decision to have our cat Minty put to sleep, and in spite of it being entirely the right thing to do, I know how heartbreaking it is. It helps us to concentrate on the very happy life he had, and the really lovely little moments we shared. I so feel for you.

About the decluttering, I always do a massive attack on the filing cabinet in the study every January. Two huge drawers with quite neatly arranged folders, but over the year they get more and more stuffed full of papers. This is only for running the house, our car and other documents (Tax and so on). But the amount of A4 bits of paper gets silly. I weed out all but the most essential stuff and do one file at a time. By the time I've done only the first drawer, there's a massive pile of paper to get rid of. It can't be recycled because there may be details of accounts etc so it all has to be shredded piece by piece. Our electric shredder overheats after 5 sheets, so this process takes literally weeks! I'm nearly at the end of the second drawer now. And I've managed to do a financial review at the same time, which is always useful. I'd like to burn all this paper, but our garden is tiny and there's a huge 1000 litre oil tank sitting there. Bit dangerous to burn stuff right beside that!
I remember the time when all this malarkey was unknown. My parents didn't have huge amounts of paper around the place. I'm thinking of employing a secretary and an accountant!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 04 Feb 17 - 12:58 PM

Senoufou, when I pay bills (all are paid online these days) I print the confirmation, but I use the printer's sheet feeder and run each page twice so the next confirmation goes on the back of the first. And I have a couple of accordion-style folders with 12 pockets. Each bill and the confirmation for the month goes in the appropriate pocket, and I keep two smaller envelopes, one for medical and Rx receipts (it moves from pocket to pocket during the year) and a monthly envelope for store receipts. At the end of the year I open the next 12-pocket case after emptying the two-year-old contents into a large manila envelope. That is marked and put on a shelf until enough time passes to shred it. This way, with only two folders in play, I have the previous year's receipts handy in case I need to dig one out to prove a purchase, etc. I used to have a file drawer with a folder for each of the bills and when it got too full I'll shred the oldest, but that was a bulky system because I rarely ever needed to refer back to those bills.

I'm going to set up a station for emptying the vacuum cleaner. Odd as it sounds, and as easy as my new vacuum is to empty than the old bagged Hoover, the dog hair dust still tends to be a problem. So I'm going to line a kitchen-sized lidded trash can with a bag and empty the vacuum receptacle into the can outside. This will probably live beside the house side door (outside). I have a small kitchen trash bin on top of my dryer - all trash receptacles are up out of reach of my Labrador retriever. I recycle most things and have compost, so it doesn't fill very fast and it doesn't need to be large.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 05 Feb 17 - 04:40 PM

Montreal:

VERY tired of sitting. Just looked at yarn on line and realize I do not want or need any such. Maybe R can find some yarn at a thrift shop and I can crochet hats to give away. If he can bring home a crochet hook! He is not hopeful.

Surgery: TEN hours at the hospital: "come back in a week and get an xray" No phone number, no correct paper work and no one knew what to do! R went - "You can't come in here!" - got someone working on it. About 4 pm, the xrays!!! "Can I leave now?" "No you need to see a DR." At 8:30, having spent a VERY uncomfortable day in horrible wheelchair, waiting for name to be called, Asked again - no file here! The paper we had had was gone "We will return it!", they said! Got phone number and name of Dr and went home.
d
Getting in the house (an out in the am) entailed picking up Ephraim, who was waiting at the office, so he and R could pick up walker with me in it and carry it up the 3 steps to the house. NOT fun! BUT! To get as close as possible, R was backing up right on the sidewalk. Police took a dim view and came at us with flashing lights and siren -at 9:30 pm! R and E had a fine time convincing them it was necessary to get the 80 year old into the house!!! I suspect they watched from down the street.

Maybe on Monday, R will manage to connect with the Dr's office and find out if I need surgery?? In the meantime I am HOPING, esp after Charmion's story!

I washed dishes yesterday, on one foot, and washed hair at K sink today - with R standing by. The microwave is accessible and I can get to frig. R is cooking great BFs and we are getting into routines that will evolve as I get stronger. I have started lobbying for a strong railing on those front steps, though winter may preclude much use, if it even comes to pass.

A friend checked the mail at Beaver and is sending needful stuff and will check again in a couple weeks. She will use the coupons!

My bum is still sore from Friday so I need to go back to bed with a good book. which we found in the hospital - a consolation prize!

And I rescheduled eye appointment to April; Although I am anxious to get cataracts checked and dealt with, a two day trip to central Ontario is too much right now.   

And R bought me a wonderful table lamp for my b-day. One part from one thrift shop and the other from another. The shade coordinates with those beautiful ones he installed on the ceiling at Beaver at Christmas. We can de-clutter the lamps we no longer need. Planning for two in the LR here to go to the airbnb house up north.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 10 Feb 17 - 09:06 AM

Today I'm drafting an email to a Stratford real estate agent setting out what we want in our next abode. I find that I've become very picky about domestic technology (what kind of furnace, where the washing machine is installed), but I don't care a rap about fancy bathrooms -- in fact, I'd much rather have a nice, big linen closet than a "luxury ensuite". Currently, I have blankets and table linen stashed in plastic bins only I can identify in the range of shelving in our cellar. Thank God for lavender sachets ...

Dorothy, how are you faring?


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 11 Feb 17 - 04:12 PM

Montreal:

Charmion: sounds good that you can state what you require! Hope you have a well recommended realtor! Plastic bins are SO helpful! Labelling them does help!

Up one day, the next I'm down. Half an inch of water....

Trip to Dr on Weds elicits info that ankle is in place but "it could slip any time"!! I thought the cast... Trip was exhausting (de-cluttered ALL my energy!). But Friday I managed to sort and fold laundry that was FINALLY dry. AND washed the dishes. So today I am again de-cluttered! Another set of xrays in ten days and then Dr again. HOPE!

Cold night= cold house so I just stayed in bed today. I hope all this energy is going into healing. I WANT to go home.

LR still looks like a store room. R loses time from work caring for me. But I still keep nudging. Big nudge on which to focus is a railing for front steps (3) as I think I would be able to hop down soon. The stress of being carried in the walker is huge! I need to be able to get OUT!! LIBRARY beckons! Finished The Piano Maker and it was excellent and helped state of mind = took me out of prison. (We only have 2 TV channels; today is sports on one and tripe on the other.)

Adding to chaos: R woke up to the snow removal siren and as he dressed a neighbour banged on door; we were one car from being towed! He was gone an hour; as he sought place to park, fire trucks arrived - lots! - so he went to a hardware store for something but still had to park a distance. Crisis was a gas leak on side street - about 50 feet away! All fixed.

Email from neighbour re public info meeting re proposed quarry on 20 March. I hope we can make it. HEAL ankle, HEAL!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 11:26 AM

Yesterday I ripped several novels into my mp3 player as I continue my shift of drive time listening to novels as I declutter my life of all-day news reports. I get enough radio news in the morning as I brew my tea and in the evening when I fix dinner. The rest is through reading (skimming) during the day. I use Windows Media Player, though it has some problems with how files are organized (if you accidentally lump all of the files together in WMP they're still in their own folders, but they don't play correctly through the player any more and you can't separate them out easily.)

Potatoes beginning to emerge in the garden, and it's time to plant onions. I have a couple of bags of home-chipped mulch in the garage to put down around the onions. I'm thinking it's time to try true raised beds, not just beveled soil mounds.

Meanwhile, there are a number of projects sitting out in plain sight on my dining room table. I need to do something soon since one of those projects is a delayed holiday gift for my siblings.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 04:43 PM

Second snowshoe race of three completed today before the blizzard got going. I am proud of my time - the course had to be rerouted due to an ice storm earlier this winter, so it was a tad bit shy of four miles, and I completed it in 1:07:42. This is more than 30 minutes better than the previous time I ran this race. Granted, conditions were also a lot better this time.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 12 Feb 17 - 08:26 PM

Good job!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 08:05 AM

Excellent, Tami. My toes hurt just thinking of four miles on snowshoes.

I took Himself to the airport this morning, well before dawn, in the lull between phases of our current weather system. Only one car in the snowbank on the Airport Parkway -- and it wasn't us. As I backed through the windrow left by the street plow (whump! skid!), it occurred to me that this was our last pre-dawn airport run. How many over 19 years? Lots and lots.

CBC tells me that the Maritime provinces are in the middle of a huge blizzard fit to bury everybody under some 70 cm of snow. I imagine that Maine is getting the same thing -- Tami, does your house have a snorkel?


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1
Date: 13 Feb 17 - 09:22 PM

No, but I do have a window in the loft :)


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 12:04 AM

We're getting thunderstorms overnight. We don't need a snorkel or window in the loft, but I do have a towel in the corner where a puddle forms because I need to replace a gutter (that would be torn down by the kind of snow you get in Maine - good thing this is Texas).


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 12:44 PM

Debating decluttering the roof of some snow before the next storm arrives on Wednesday night. I also need to declutter the path from the cottage to the car again, it filled in last night with drifting snow and is now hip deep. Bleah!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 14 Feb 17 - 08:49 PM

There were puddles of water left near the fireplace after last night's storms. I need to put up rain gutters on the back of the house to stop so much water pouring down onto the chimney that needs repointing. This week, I hope a friend will be available to help with that. We'll buy pre-fab pieces and assemble gutters to carry the water away from the brickwork. While I'm at it, I'll set up one of the gutters to fill a rain barrel for the garden.

My daughter called this morning to say she'd just accepted a job offer. What timing - the last day at her former job was last week on Friday. She starts work later this week. She finished graduate school last spring and has been applying for jobs all summer and fall. We will all scramble to position ourselves to be helpful to her at this time of transition - she has a difficult commute ahead, but I live near where she will work. Perhaps I'll see a bit more of her, if we plan some dates ahead.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 09:02 AM

Snowing again in Ottawa, and our street (a main bus route) looks like a one-lane tunnel. Cars parked on the street are deeply nested in snowbanks thrown up by the city plows. Our neighbour, who has three cars and a garage full of junk, is facing about an hour's worth of heavy labour before he even leaves for work. We are living through our 19th winter next door to that family, and they seem never to have considered clearing that garage so they can actually park in it.

I am now looking critically at the china cabinet with intent to remove from it every article that I know I have never used, and am morally certain that Himself is unlikely ever to use again, if he ever has. Unfortunately, Himself has strong sentimental attachments to such items as a coffee mug from the 2004 Nijmegen Marches, a beer stein from the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters, and a badly designed teapot from the Six Nations Pottery. Don't get me started on the great variety of travel mugs and coffee-making technology, every single item of apparently crucial importance. I'm getting that Gotta Have A Garage Sale feeling.

Acme, how wonderful that your daughter landed a decent job, and it's near you. Texas seems like a place where a long commute is so normal as to be part of the price of employment, along with an expensive post-secondary qualification and a "professional" wardrobe.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 15 Feb 17 - 08:31 PM

She will work at a museum, so her somewhat exotic wardrobe may not be totally outlandish for working there, but she will need some good separates that she can combine for a number of looks. There is a very nice department store chain that has an outlet store here in town, so I'll suggest she try that, though we all tend to head to the thrift store and find remarkably good-condition clothing. She has her undergraduate degree in Theater Arts costume design, so she can modify anything she finds.

Lentil soup is simmering on the stove, an Egyptian recipe that is very simple - water, lentils, grated onion, salt, pepper, cumin, and some lemon juice. The house smells heavenly. The same cookbook has some more elaborate lentil soup recipes, but this is my favorite. This book is such a favorite that I've now given copies to every member of my family - I buy the used hardbound copies for a few dollars since the new paperback version costs about $60. I even have a couple of extra copies of it here in case I want to make a gift, and a paperback one that was sent by accident is at work for reference. We have many middle eastern students and when we get talking about food, this book comes down for consultation.

Search link. I just bought another copy, it was $7 and free shipping. Now I'll have three available as gifts, but I already have a couple of recipients in mind.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 09:54 AM

The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook looks like a great find, Acme. I already love Madhur Jaffrey (Indian) and Marcella Hazan (Italian) for less-meat-arian recipes, so I just might procure a copy for myself.

I picked over the kitchen cabinets yesterday for crockery that I think we should part with, and it's spread all over the sideboard and dining table in the hope that Himself will agree with me and let it go without argument. Well, not argument; let's call it discussion. The Wedgwood majolica (green, leaf patterns) survived the cut, but only because it's collectible (by somebody else) and the younger generation of Himself's kin group should get first refusal before I find a way to dispose of it profitably. We've had it since Mum-in-law died some ten years ago, and not used it once. More challenging are the clunky hand-thrown dinner plates Himself bought at a long-ago craft show; I hate them because they have the heft and finesse of roof tiles, but that's exactly what Himself likes about them.

Maybe I could drop them off the balcony, by accident?


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 11:04 AM

There are quite a few recipes with no meat in that book, Charmion. I found it years ago in a small town where the local chain bookstore had put it in the remainder bin. I moved there after several years in New York City, eating at all manner of ethnic restaurants and ordering a favorite dish over time until I figured out how to make it, then moving to another. This cookbook made it possible to figure out many dishes easily, especially when I was living in a small Central Texas town with mostly just Tex-Mex and faux-Chinese restaurants. I have a garden and when I have a lot of a particular crop I can go to this cookbook and find numerous recipes. It's particularly good for okra and eggplant.

The plates that you don't care for may have collectors out there in the world. That's where eBay comes in handy. I had a couple of plates my sister sent that were out of our mother's house - they were some small southern Alberta manufacturer and when I listed them I made sure they went up in the Canadian eBay listings also. They went to someone who grew up in that area. I'd much rather give each item a cursory exam, learn a little something about it, sell it for a modest price and know that it is going to a new owner who really wants it than dump it all at the Goodwill. I know I'm not a museum, but I learned something about the object, and possibly about the interests of the family member who originally purchased it. On a couple of occasions I've decided to keep the item I've researched, but usually I let it go to it's next home where it will be appreciated.

I think I picked up some of this from Don Aslett's book Clutter's Last Stand. He is a philosopher, not just a house-cleaning guru. He asks why we keep these things we don't need, and helps his readers figure out how to let go. You can usually find that in used book stores, and it will certainly be available through Bookfinder.com.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 01:34 PM

Most of my decluttering these past couple weeks have been of snow on the deck, steps, and car. I even sprung to pay my up-the-hill neighbor's ex-husband to shovel the deck/steps after two of them. This one is only about 5" and comparatively light, so despite my sore shoulder, I'll do this one. And the car. My plow guy will be back later, but I may not go out late this afternoon to the movie at Portsmouth library, so he won't be able to do clean up until I leave for the Press Room tomorrow.

I HAVE reread my letters to and from author Robert H. Rimmer, mostly from the 1970s, and I'm adding significant dates to my personal digital calendar of my life -- I'm sort of reconstructing the ten years of my first marriage. I put a lot of that completely out of my mind. As a result, I'm realizing, I'd forgotten how many poems and other pieces of writing I had published and sold during that time period.

I chose to revisit those letters because they're fairly upbeat. I found that going through another binder of letters from 1969 to about 1980 was putting me into a fairly strange mental space. Maybe, having eased into it from the RHR letters, I can revisit those now with minimal effect from the bad memories.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 16 Feb 17 - 05:25 PM

My sister-in-law introduced me to Don Aslett some 15 or 20 years ago, and I've been lightening my load of clutter in stages ever since. This move will be just another opportunity to shed some household bulk.

Linn's remarks about letters reminded me -- the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet needs a good purge before the move. My parents never threw away a letter, and my brother (also a bit of a pack rat) ended up with several boxes of Dad's papers, including every letter I ever wrote over five years of military service during which I cranked out about one per week. Of course, instead of kindly deep-sixing them like a sensible person, he returned them to me. Unlike Linn, I have no desire to visit with my younger self (I can stand only so much cringing), so I'll just shred the lot. Tomorrow would be a good day for that.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 23 Feb 17 - 07:06 PM

Montreal

:ost post. Too tired. Cluttering operation tomorrow on ankle. Ticked off.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Feb 17 - 09:34 AM

I'm sorry to hear you're in surgery today, Dorothy. On the other hand, if you need it, you really need it and I'm glad you're getting it.

Feeling tense as Himself's last day in uniform comes as us like the noon freight. He has contracts to handle three military cases immediately after release, for which he will be paid handsomely, but the news media are full of stories about veterans who wait months and months for their first pension payments because of chaos in the responsible administrations. We have savings, but ... but ... but!

Today, I'm packing up donations: clothing to the Canadian Diabetes Society, tchochkes for the church bazaar. That'll keep me out of mischief.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 24 Feb 17 - 11:47 PM

Dorothy, I'm looking forward to seeing you up and around soon, once that ankle is taken care of.

I've decluttered my mp3 player of some files that were kind of mangled by Windows Media Player. I'm more careful in ripping audio books from CDs to the player so they play in order. I just finished a book and the last disk didn't make much sense - I realized it was skipping around. These recorded books folks aren't very good about giving each disk the same name and not changing the numbering system. I listen to these now during my daily commute, instead of listening to the news each drive. I get enough of that in the morning and I read newspapers.

Gardening weather is here, so I'll be dividing my time between getting set up for garden crops and clearing out the sun room of the things that have accumulated in the last few weeks. Most of it intended for eBay. The allergies have started up, which may affect everything.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel
Date: 25 Feb 17 - 05:00 PM

By eating about half the portions and no sweetened soda, little bread and rice and more veggies like cabbage I went from 220 to 198 in about 5 weeks.

I noticed stairs are easier.

At 6 ft going below 190 would mean a clothing overhaul.

To hit 170 I would have to halve the portions again. If my type 2 status improves I won't need to go there.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 25 Feb 17 - 05:34 PM

Don, good job!

I have a similar project in mind. My job is so sedentary that sitting in front of a computer 8 hours a day (at work) and then more at home to work on my own projects is crippling. Literally. It was when the restless leg bit started at night that I realized I needed to do something - several somethings, in fact.

I cut out all of the alcohol, extra sugar, and salty snacks on general principles. I added magnesium and potassium to my vitamin routine. Next month I have an appointment with my GP for general blood work since we didn't do it at my last physical (different doctor for that). I'm getting more exercise. The restless leg seems to have subsided, but the achy muscles aren't gone yet. I too hope that weigh loss will be a part of this shift in my eating and behavior. Stress is a factor that I can help somewhat by not listening to the news all day long, that's why I'm ripping audio books for my mp3 player. At my work we have a couple of computer stations, tall tables with treadmills and I have a couple of tasks I can do there, so I walk several times a week in addition to an exercise class.

And today was a project for that mp3 player. I have it so I'll use it, though I could load books into my phone as well. One of these days I'll figure out if there is a bluetooth connection instead of a cable to the aux plug, then the phone might be easier. I searched for and found the manual for the Walkman, figured out how to format the drive, and this morning I created an audio book library in my computer to detangle those files from music. And I'm organizing them in folders and loading with Windows Explorer, not Windows Media Player that has a mind of it's own with it comes to syncing files. In the last month I've listened to two fairly long novels and am set to start another. The political news on the radio will keep until later.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 26 Feb 17 - 02:12 PM

The days are longer and that may be contributing to more energy, but whatever the reason, it's progress. I forgot to mention that yesterday.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel
Date: 26 Feb 17 - 04:58 PM

I haven't introduced any exercise for exercise sake. I have too many yard projects and internal decluttering things to do.

I no longer eat a ritual meal just because its time. The only time I feel a little bit hungry is late at night but I think that is a good feeling and easily resist eating after 7pm.

I personally think running is no healthier than sunning. A little tiny bit is fine but a lot is not for me. Enlarged hearts and sunburns are not good.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel
Date: 26 Feb 17 - 05:26 PM

Depending on how much you have to lose some people may need to cut portions in half then cut that half into a quarter and end up near an eighth of their former portion. The reason is the body will become more efficient with less food so you have to shock it into submission until your mind learns between a 1/8 and 1/4 of huge historic portions is normal.

Of course I still have treats in really small portions. I can not live on no chocolate cake or 4 bites of ice cream from time to time.

If cutting down feels austere you are doing it wrong.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 26 Feb 17 - 08:51 PM

I find alternate day fasting works; it's not a true fast, but one day of "regular" eating then one day when you have one small meal, or a small meal and a tiny snack, of no more than 500 calories. The research show that on the "feed" day you don't eat more than usual so the law of averages works. Eat, Fast, Live Longer is where I learned about it, about 38 minutes into the program he starts talking about this routine.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 02 Mar 17 - 12:26 PM

Montreal:

Thank you for encouragement!

Hope I can get it right this time! Yesterday was a BIG turning point! R went off without cooking our BF -crisis #6 milion! - ao, after a while I decided I could do this! This being getting to the K and cooking bacon. I did a bit of cleaning up and realized that I could put a knee on the walker so some of the weight was off the one leg. WOW! So I texted R that I was fed and OK. Success breeds success so I was in and out of K all day, getting fed and doing little things. And let him know it was OK. It felt GREAT! He had sone some adjusting, getting the antique wood stove out of the way so I can better access that area. So I can feed myself, folded all the laundry, washed ALL the cutlery, and looking to see what else I can manage. This morning, he cooked, I washed. Later, I rolled across the bed to sort out that corner of the BR, sorting clothes and picking out what to wear for our possible weekend excursion.

There is a sense of security that the bones are screwed together and although they will bear no weight, they are not in danger of rattling around.

I am sticking almost 100% to the Keto diet I doubt I have lost any weight through all this but I do feel good and no longer crave choc or cookies. Connie lost 25 on it - the first diet in her life on which she lost weight; if she tries exercise, she gains! But this week she told me tht her husband,who drinks, smokes and eats junk, has, on one keto meal a day, decreased diglycerides (this seems to be important) and improved diabetes status enough that she is amazed and delighted. R has come to terms with it and agreed this am that mashed cauliflower improves the omelet.

My op was excruciating on the day. I accepted, gratefully!, pain med in hospital but took one Tyenol that night at home and nothing but MSM since; it seemed to help but I continue with it and glucosamine sulfate for the shoulders I was ignoring. much better now. The brand new bottle of Tylenol will be going to a new home.

Weds, a knock on the door. I managed to get into walker and to the door to peek. A woman was standing on the sidewalk. She appeared to be reasonable so I opened the door and we started chatting; she was admiring the house. It was cold so I invited her in and we had a great visit. Then she walked home to Nun's Island - 90 minutes! Acme: she lives in one of the first buildings there, by an architect survivor of A. She actually found his signature in a lower level and photographed it before "it was covered up". The name did not make it through to my muddled brain but R will know. We talked on the phone this am, both delighted to have found a kindred spirit; we seem to speak the same language.

The positive aspects of the ankle affair are that R has realized he can cook well, the LR is somewhat more habitable, that darn wood stove is somewhat out of the way, R has been keeping the distilled water supplied- learned to use the distiller.

But I had to change my eye appointment re cataracts and my eyesight is worsening so reading is no longer enjoyable. Thankful that Saul told me how to enlarge stuff on computer!!!!

I hope we can take this weekend break for our friend's memorial and a possible visit to Beaver. Anything OUT of this house is a treat!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Mar 17 - 07:11 PM

First formal arrangements made to sell the house: an appointment with the organization that handles all Canadian Forces moves. They want an amazing array of documentation, some of which makes no sense to me -- why, for example, would an outfit that arranges and pays for household moves need to know the size of the lot upon which our house sits? It's a puzzlement.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 02 Mar 17 - 09:34 PM

It's coming back to me now - some time ago I created a new folder in my mp3 player for audio books. And that time, like this time, it didn't work. The player isn't set to play nicely with new folders, so I had to move the newly loaded books into the existing music folder. I had formatted the player to reload files, and after a confusing drive to work when the newest story I started didn't make much sense I realized the default setting seems to be "shuffle." I listened again on the way home and the book is much more interesting now!

I've shopped around and read reviews for the computer desks that go from sitting to standing work stations. We've had some at my workplace for a while, the type with electric motors, but I found some at Amazon with and without the motors. The manual crank desks have good reviews also, so I ordered one of those (the motorized desks cost about $150 more). It's supposed to arrive tomorrow, and will need to be assembled. I then need to clear an old computer setup in my guest room to make space so I can move my current computer desk in there for the time being. Multiples of monitors, external drives, USB ports, keyboards, mouse, plus the scanner, the printer, a video box for converting VHS tapes to digital AVI files . . . and all of the cables. I'll spare you a description of the rest. It'll be a big job.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 07 Mar 17 - 05:01 PM

Montreal:

Our trip of 50 hours away from Montreal, involved 20 hours of driving time/sitting in the car trying to be comfortable time! R had so much trouble with the night shifts, we vow no more night driving.

A night in a hotel and meals decluttered his finances. But we managed a visit to my 101 year old friend in nursing home - a painful experience as she could only tell me "that name is familiar to me" and requested my address and phone number; she is SO embued with correctness. Well, better that I did get to see her than not. The memorial for our dear friend (70) was amazing with wonderful people and chats with other good friends and the reminder that this person had LIVED LIFE! I hope it encourages R to do more of that. He failed to go on The Canoe Trip last summer. There will be no more with Paul.

We spent a cold night at Beaver and loved waking up to trees and the hills in our tiny house. The wood stove did a good job. Dropped off stuff there that had been cluttering Montreal. When ankle is healed and I can go home, all that will find spots. Picked up a few things I wanted from there and a wonderful box of apples - still in good shape! Did up a BIG pot of them yesterday. Then back to Montreal. Glad we had done it but very tired.

Here, things get a bit sorted as we go along.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 07 Mar 17 - 09:38 PM

My desk is assembled and in place, equipment up and running, with things still needing organizing in the office (that were taken off of the other desktop and haven't found a way onto the new one - yet). I'm awaiting the delivery of an ergonomic rubber mat that is essential when standing on a hard floor in front of the tall desk. Amazon tells me it will arrive tomorrow.

Our weather has fluctuated hot then cold then hot again. I sometimes switch to a down comforter on my bed in winter, but this year I've stuck with layers of blankets. I can peel off however many I need to be comfortable (something not possible with the comforter - you're either cold or way too hot). That ice and snow you describe is the reason why so many people from up there retire to Florida. :)

I'm thinking of doing a Katlaughing maneuver and installing Dragon Naturally Speaking. Do any of the rest of you use it?


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: billybob
Date: 08 Mar 17 - 06:27 AM

I have had so much pleasure reading this thread over the years but never felt I could contribute. Not that Billy and I have no clutter , believe me we do! Last year he ,at last, attacked the garage, so full he had to hire a skip. We can actually walk from the back to the front now but still no room for a car. We replaced the doors upstairs recently and of course the old doors are now in the garage waiting for us to work out how to lower the back seats in the new car so we can transport the doors to the tip. See, that's what garages are for a stepping stone for rubbish no longer needed in the house but waiting for disposal. Is that a man thing? Certainly some of my friends have husbands with the same mindset as Billy. Since my lovely mother died a year ago, she lived with us for 5 years and had a bedroom downstairs. I have gradually packed her treasures and boxed them in the attic, cannot part with her memories yet although I have gifted some to my daughter and son and grandchildren, so now her bedroom is a fine sunny dining room and we try to fill it with family gatherings with laughter and fun. The old dining room is now a cosy second sitting room. A place to sit and read, listen to music and have some " me time"
Next week we have Billy's nephew and family visiting from New Jersey, the first time they have been to England, so I have stripped one of the guest bedrooms and painted the walls a lovely shade of palest green. Thrown out an old divan bed ( that actually made it to the tip!!) Found some lovely new cream curtains and decluttered the bookcase, what to do with the books, maybe the local hospice bookshop? Most books I cannot bare to give away, but do we ever read them again?
We thought we should sort out the shower room downstairs so the visitors had free use of the upstairs rooms. Big drama, the shower has been leaking. Even the joists under the floor were rotten so we have had workmen all week replacing the floor and stud wall and installing a lovely new shower with new glass door. Utter muddle but at least I can escape today to the salon to look after some clients!
Just the garden to sort out before the visitors arrive, that will have to be at the weekend, if it doesn't rain.

Hope your ankle is improving Dorothy xx

Wendy


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 08 Mar 17 - 11:14 AM

Montreal:

Wendy! wonderful things happening at your house! Good to get the floor repaired! I have hopes for the ankle; doctor on Friday aft; waiting with almost bated breath!

Never used Dragon but it sounds a good idea. I suspect a new computer is in my future as I have upgraded as much as possible and still get messages that I am sub-par.

I would prefer an ergonomic high stool to standing at that computer table! Standing has never been a strong point for me but I could walk all day. Are you going to have a treadmill under the desk and walk as you work?

Have to admit to momentary feelings of "that's why people go south" when we got to Beaver on Saturday night. But the wood stove did its thing with R feeding it and we survived and enjoyed the quiet and the beauty. And I do NOT do well in heat. There is a propane heater in our future for when I can no longer heft wood into the stove. A couple plants were very dead but most were fine. That the apples did not freeze was a good sign, nor was there ice in the toilet so our space heater system did OK except the breaker on that special outlet (Acme) tripped and Dan reset it. So it got cold enough to freeze the tenderest house plants.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 09 Mar 17 - 08:39 AM

So glad to hear you're able to travel, Dorothy. Do you have a walking cast yet?

The house appraiser came yesterday, poking about and saying Hmmmm a lot. The relocation people require much documentation about our current abode, including an appraisal, a copy of our title deed and a survey of the lot, apparently because one of the benefits we get is coverage of any losses we suffer in being compelled to sell up and move at a time not of our choosing. I'm glad I invested the better part of a week in decluttering, tidying and sweeping the cellar, as that was the appraiser's first focus; he also peeked into every single closet and cupboard on the premises. He made a good impression on Cat 1, who deigned to accept caresses while lolling in his basket like an old-time starlet in a bubble bath. Cat 2, as usual, vanished under the sofa at the first pong of the doorbell.

I have four boxes of glassware and ornaments packed up and ready for transfer to the church, where the main annual fundraiser is a big bazaar in late fall. Five large bags of clothing and three 2-cubic-foot cartons of kitchen traps departed last Saturday, donated to the Canadian Diabetes Association. And this morning, Himself announced that the uniform trousers he has on today will not go to the cleaners', as they usually do at the end of the week, but to the trash ... Next Thursday will be his very last day in the Dominion Tweed so, as of Friday, a significant proportion of the contents of his closet will be excess to requirements.

The last barrack box went back to Clothing Stores last week, stuffed with the last of his paint-by-number wardrobe. The collection of combat boots remains, however, as nothing worn next to the skin or bearing the imprint of a foot can be issued to another person. Consequently, we still have a bit of an Imelda Marcos situation here, along with rather too many hats. I'm keeping the UN-blue Tilley he was issued 20 years ago for Haiti, as it is good for gardening although it is so large that it has to perch on the tips of my ears. The brim is so wide that it covers the back of my neck down to the fourth cervical vertebra, and we've never had another hat that would do that.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 09 Mar 17 - 10:38 PM

Billybob it's always a pleasure to see people get encouragement from these reports of our work toward less congested households. We (I, at least) have to be the slowest declutterers around, but keeping in mind the progress we've made helps avoid refilling the space with new stuff.

Dorothy, we all have our fingers crossed that your ankle will heal completely soon. You'll be ready to go once spring arrives out at the Beaver house.

Charmion, those hats sound intriguing. And my sister swears by Tilley hats (she always takes one when she travels).

I'm slowly sorting stuff I stashed into boxes when I cleared my old desk. I had a stack of books supporting my second monitor on a lower table beside the old desk; it now sits on the new desktop, and have to decide if I'll find space for them or donate them to the thrift store. I see some devices that need to be put away and would like to clear off the second desktop that is a nice piece of plywood supported by two file cabinets and is generally my filing staging area. It doesn't take long for materials to pile up. This winter I'm doing a pretty good job of keeping my kitchen sink from piling up with dishes, but I can't say the same thing about papers on my kitchen table or desktops in my office.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1
Date: 10 Mar 17 - 01:08 PM

Taking a two week break in between jobs. The original plan was to take a road trip someplace, but I think I'm going to make a staycation out of it and work on some stuff in the house. Getting rid of the gigantic pile of laundry, clearing out all of the recyclables, and sorting through and getting rid of a few boxes. My goal is to get rid of four of the boxes piles in my small space by the end of the month.

On the fitness end, I'm wearing trousers I haven't been able to fit into for at lest three years. I finished my three snowshoe races with improved times from the last time I ran them in 2015, and I'm contemplating trying at least the six mile trail race in July, maybe, if I'm feeling up to it when registration opens, I might sign up for the nine mile race in August and the twelve mile race in September. I'll make that decision when the time comes, though.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 11 Mar 17 - 09:58 AM

I think it was here someone asked me about a treadmill at home. No, there isn't room for one, but I have room to move my chair around when the desk is in the tall position and the standing mat in place. I do have access to two treadmill workstations at work, right outside my office, and even just 5 minutes of movement is therapeutic during a sedentary day.

That break between jobs sounds good - the garden is crying out for attention right now. Two weeks would begin to whip it into shape. It's the time of year when my attention shifts from house clutter to garden clutter. :)


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1
Date: 11 Mar 17 - 10:52 AM

That two week break is for resetting my internal clock more than anything else, to be honest. With the change to DST tonight and shifting back to working days from working nights, I'll need that time to adjust back to getting up early instead of sleeping in until 8 or 9 in the morning.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 12 Mar 17 - 09:18 PM

Montreal:
Still and probably for another 3 or 4 weeks. It is so delightful to scroll through prev posts to see how folks are doing and be encouraged! Tomorrow is walking boot day! But still cannot put weight on foot for???? HAve a good cane ready. Will not be able to drive! Cannot go home! Cannot feed wood fire. But my energy level continues to improve so I could spend a bit of time in the K today, hopping around with the counter for support. I am getting better and better at hopping!

R is in another period of crisis at work - 16 million machines needing to be moved from A to C by 1 April; he has only had a year or so to do it.... But he did manage to sell off some of them (de-clutter!) so those are gone! OK, so I cannot keep track of the endless number of machines!

I am VERY happy to have realized that the friend's son who wanted to talk to R about Geology, might be a suitable helper in this move. YES! This will be very helpful to him in moving the clutter from one building to another! They stopped about 10 last night.

My increased capability is timely as it saves R needing to come home and feed me! I am almost independent in the house but cannot go out. Not that anyone would want to in this COLD!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 16 Mar 17 - 11:57 AM

While many of you are struggling under the weight of fresh snow and slush, I am anxiously awaiting the completion of repairs on my lawnmower. The grass is above my ankles at this point and he tells me it will be another week. My daffodils have bloomed and an iris near the front porch is swelling, probably to open this weekend.

I have several indoor projects to keep me busy if we have any rain over our long weekend (Spring Break for the academic community, but only a couple of extra days for university staff, not the entire week the students and faculty get). I have a new steam cleaner, probably mentioned weeks ago, that I still haven't tested. And as it happens, my ex has a perfect test for it at his house. Apparently Brazilian beer six packs are made of flimsy paperboard and when carrying two across the living room carpet both boxes broke and there are three dark spots where bottles broke and soaked in. He has continued to be a good friend and supportive in all of the activities of the kids and myself the least I can do is take this over and let him see if it will work to clean up the spots on the new carpet. What you can't pay back with dollars you can pay back with access to useful services and devices. :-/ If I had a house full of carpet this smaller device would be a slow way to clean carpets, but I have two areas with carpet, the rest is tile, so this will take care of it. Renting those clunky cleaners from the grocery store is a pain in the backside and you never know what the last renter ran through it.

I'm switching allergy meds this week after a consult with my GP. The daily tablet apparently doesn't turn off the sensitivity of the nasal mast cells so I'm still sneezing. But using a spray will make them less sensitive, and if I need more than the spray then I can boost it with the tablet. The entire office has been sick and sneezing so this seems to be a particularly powerful allergy season. The result of all of this switching stuff out is that I have a lot of bottles of stuff (I shop at Sam's Club where everything comes in bulk packaging) so I need to rearrange one of the kitchen cupboards to organize all of the extra in a way that I can find them when I need them.

There is a deeply discounted grocery store in town that buys from stores that have too much product, that has quantities near the sell-by-date, etc. They get a lot of excellent high-dollar items that are marked down and shoppers understand that either it keeps well past the shelf date or you're going to use it quickly. Yesterday I loaded up on the good yoghurt, organic milk, cheeses, etc. so I need to reorganize my fridge. If I get a $5 tub of yoghurt for .99, and it spoils because I lost track of it behind other stuff, it wasn't a bargain.

How are you doing, Dorothy?


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 17 Mar 17 - 11:24 PM

Still in Montreal:

Out of cast and into boot. Do not wear it in bed!!!! Also seems lighter and makes it easier for me to determine that I can balance with it but not put weight on it. See m to be gaining in strength and balance! Able to spend a little more time in K chores. Feeding myself, a good thing as R is gone for 10-12 hours some days!

R managed to buy two boots at the Eco-centre for $5 each. We were able to use one and left the other to be sent to Honduras where the Dr.'s office spent used stuff. saved us about $100!

The bare spots in the back yard are no under about 2 feet of snow! Oh well! But warm enough in house today to wash my hair!

Still suffering from cabin fever. R has NO time. Today was disaster in building from which he is moving machines. Snow removal kept making him move truck so he only got two machines loaded before a 6 inch water pipe broke - from freezing - spraying LOTS of water up to the ceiling. It took the city 2 hours to access the problem so water was a foot deep. He spent the time in a nearby McD's so at least he ate. CAme home about 6 to change wet clothes and went off to offload machines and take pumps back to building! Hope tomorrow goes better!

3 more weeks until I get cataracts checked. Hope we can visit Beaver! I could get yarn and needles! My eyesight is becoming very depressing. R has brought me some books but the print is too small or too light; managed to read one and on another that is interesting but van only read a couple pages at a time.

Back to the Dr. re ankle on 10 April! and HOPE for an end to this so I can GO HOME!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Mar 17 - 06:38 AM

Hardi finally sees a retirement timeframe for us that paces my last round of declut-- 3-4 years to full-time Ohio.

The last big declut was the upstairs office, to take the 8-foot table desk south; we got onto recycling pickup, so a LOT of paper went. The sunny room now holds boxes to further sort/binderize-- books on one wall and papers on another. The rest is propagating perennials to take south in May, under grow lights in front of two picture windows (south and west). The new dog is my garden helper. ;-) New friends advise.

There are new lasagna-garden beds in Ohio to fill; I have a new weedkiller recipe-- with regular strength vinegar and Epsom salts-- to try this year.

Be well, all

~S~


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 18 Mar 17 - 09:24 AM

The prep-for-selling cleaners come on Tuesday, followed by photographers. That means a whole lot of decluttering has to get done over the next three days, along with cooking and serving a big birthday dinner.

Himself's last day in uniform was on Thursday, and now there's a huge box of green clothing in the middle of the sitting room floor awaiting the big decision: Sally Ann or St. Vincent? The study is cluttered with boxes of glassware and ornaments bound for the church bazaar; all of it has to be out of the house by Tuesday morning.

Yesterday was the official Retirement Bye-Bye, with speeches and flowers and "certificates suitable for framing" that will never hang in our living space if I have anything to say about it. It seems that everyone wants to pat the back of a retiring soldier: not only the Chief of the Defence Staff but also the Mayor of Ottawa, the Premier of Ontario and even the Prime Minister himself! Instead of the dreaded plaque, we were presented with a flag that flew over National Defence Headquarters on the 8th of March last, painstakingly folded and packed into a glass-fronted box. How sweet, I guess.

We have tentatively scheduled our house-hunting trip to Stratford in the first week of April, between two of the three military trials Himself is under contract to do. I think we have done all the on-line research we can, and it's time to start crawling around Perth County's basements and closets.

I hardly slept last night, which is quite unlike me, and lay awake for hours with house prices tumbling through my head. I am also distracted by a sore wrist and fingers that go numb now and then, a mix of carpel tunnel syndrome and a touch of bursitis or tendinitis -- or even both! There's no law that says you can have both. Anything to prevent me from just getting on with the long list of chores in an orderly way.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 18 Mar 17 - 11:46 AM

I don't know about Epsom salts, but the combination of Pickling vinegar (9 - 10% vs 5% kitchen strength) and d-limonene (Orange oil) works very well. You can buy an expensive brand called Avenger or make your own. I tend to think that too much of any kind of salt in the soil is detrimental, though putting modest amounts of Epsom salt out (dissolved with other things like compost tea or an organic liquid fertilizer) adds necessary magnesium to the soil.

I've cleared off most of the stuff on my dining table so said table can be moved and the carpet under it cleaned with the steam cleaner. We'll see how that goes this weekend.

I'm in need of another trip to the recycle bins behind our village city hall - lots of paper around here that needs sorting and tossing. And I think I need to rearrange some stuff on shelves in my Dad's music collection that I still need to process. All of these reams of printer paper are heavy so need to sit on a bottom shelf somewhere, in sight but not a tripping hazard.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 19 Mar 17 - 03:19 PM

I discovered one reason the computer has been a bit slow - one drive is about full to bursting. I'm slowly bailing out stuff I don't need, backing up other things to Blu-Ray disks or DVDs, depending on what it is and it's size. I've recovered a few hundred Gig so far. Not so long ago a few hundred gig was luxurious beyond compare. . .

The garden is also getting a thinning out - the oregano has gone from pleasant usable groundcover to invasive weed, so I'm leaving it on one side of the yard to use for cooking and the rest is coming out. The garlic, Swiss chard, and cilantro are happy to have more room.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 19 Mar 17 - 07:16 PM

I had to borrow my next door lawnmower because mine is in the shop. He has a fancy one with lots of levers and speed controls, and I got the hang of it, but even self-propelled, it was a workout! I usually take the string trimmer (weed eater) out around the edges, but I noticed a baby bunny darting under one of the shrubs, so I'll put that off for now. I've accidentally taken the top off of bunny nests several times over the years and had to catch said babies and put them back into the hole and leave so they stay put.

Computer video processing still underway, but now it's time to shift to indoors and finish laundry and get some boxes ready to mail. That will clear out several cubic feet of space - they've sat here for a while but it's time to get motivated and post them.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 20 Mar 17 - 04:47 PM

Montreal:

The energy on alternate days gets some clearing done in K; the next day, I rest! Yesterday, scrubbed some of K counter (dreadful tiles) with steel wool and prepped fresh tomato soup for R to finish when he got home. He, not having gotten the hang of shopping ahead, spent 3 hours out fetching groceries as we were out of so much; He went to 8 stores??? Maybe now he can keep up. And I hope he learned by it! I hated that it took time away from his necessary work. Cannot figure out how to get what I need without him. No friends with vehicles near by that I can ask. But I could not without any longer. Today, he did a nice BF and wnt off to move machines. And I am resting.

Still sticking to Keto diet almost 100% and finding neither cookies nor choc taste as good. A teaspoon of good plain cocoa in a half cup of 10% yogurt is a fine treat. I will not know what my weight is until I get back to Beaver. But I am never bloated. Doubt I will ever get rid of the bowlful of jelly though. Pants do not seem any looser.

Ankle seems OK and it is nice to sleep with bare foot - very carefully. Still swollen. One of yesterday's acquisitions was a rectangular mop bucket so I could soak my feet in hot water with Epsom salt and clean off the dry skin - Finally! What a joy!! Putting vitamin E oil on incisions now. Nothing hurts but continue MSM, Glucosamine Sulfate, K2, D3 and ortho minerals - for osteoporosis and arthritis - helps shoulders appreciably.


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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Acme
Date: 04 May 17 - 11:04 PM

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So nice to be able to walk again!


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

BEAVER!!

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Particularly the garden.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Charmion, how goes the packing and planning?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guess I shall put the kettle on!


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

Beaver:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now for a hot bath and bed!


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Beaver:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Beaver:

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 28 May 17 - 09:40 PM

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

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


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 29 May 17 - 08:24 AM

I am very impressed by any non-plumber -- or, indeed, any person who does not work in construction for a living -- who undertakes to replace a toilet. That takes courage, in my book. We expect to install a new bathtub in our new place, and I would not dream of not hiring a contractor who has done it many times before, and has a long string of reviews from happy customers to prove it.

The siding guys came on Saturday morning, when it was finally not raining. In about an hour, they had the rotten panel off the house and were prodding about gently under the Tyvek House Wrap to find out whether any water had penetrated it to soak the insulation and start rotting the main framing of the walls. The insulation was dry. There is a God and prayer works. Two more hours of banging and ladder clatter, and the job was done.

The conditions in the Offer to Purchase stated that the new panel must be painted to match the corresponding panel under the other front bedroom window, but I think we can count on the number 1 bus to Rockcliffe, which passes our front door every 15 minutes, to belch enough diesel exhaust within the next six weeks to give the new panel the required 50-mission look.

We have heard nothing as yet from the movers on the subject of the 144 terracotta drainage tiles. If the decision goes against us, the Brother suggests selling them before the move. "That's what Kijiji is for," he said, wagging his finger. Oh, joy; another damnable thing to do before Move Day.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 29 May 17 - 09:37 AM

You have Kijiji in Canada but it died a quiet death down here in the states. It has always sounded like a much better option than Craig's List, where I am convinced that the inmates run that asylum.

Trash and porcelain are at the curb - it's odd how many Monday holidays I see the trash collectors come by, and I don't know if this is one of those days or not. Chances are that if the trash doesn't come till tomorrow, scavengers who drive through neighborhoods will have picked up the commode pieces. It is old and the connection was funky and the tank is huge but it's clean, so it won't gross out anyone driving by to see it. I hope it gets picked up pretty soon because it does telegraph what I've been up to this weekend.

I dropped a small metal screw bit down the drain so now have to replace it, then I can finish this task and maybe do something in the garden. Yesterday and today are overcast with occasional drizzle. The high heat and humidity on Friday and Saturday made outdoor work almost impossible. Not a yard-friendly weekend.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 03 Jun 17 - 11:55 AM

After the effort put into last weekend's plumbing challenge, I'm hoping for a quieter three days. We can work a compressed week during the summer, so the long work days take some getting used to, but the three day weekends are instantly welcome.

I noticed at the curb on the most recent trash day that there were a few chunks of porcelain in the street from the time before, so one of the parts must have been dropped by the trash guys. Oh, well. It was so big that unless someone wanted it to build a novelty garden planter, it wasn't going to be recycled. I draw the line at toilets in the yard landscaping. :)

On a declutter note, there is a "green" initiative starting up (again) at work, and several people have expressed interest in putting plants in their workplaces. I told them I have several spider/air plants that I started from the small sprouts last time I transplanted the mother plant. They're available for re-homing, and people spoke up to claim them, so I'll take those to work and let them purify the air in new locations. This will free up some space in my plant stands for new projects.


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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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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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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. On the back patio I have two chairs and a table (and a tabletop on a metal frame) that need scraping, sanding, and repainting. The seats are made from re-purposed shipping pallet slats, not worth too much work (I rescued them when a friend's house was foreclosed and he downsized, they are cute, but they are inexpensive). These are where food preparation and visiting will happen, so looking genteelly distressed is okay but needing to be hauled to the dumpster is not.

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: 23 Jul 17 - 04:53 PM

With yesterday's departure of the sideboard, we are now officially in the throes of busting up the household. Today, we hauled the valuables -- the family silver, the jewellery -- over to The Brother's house, where they will stay until the packers and movers have done their thing. Beginning today, we don't buy any groceries we won't eat within the next 24 hours.

The cats are already suspicious; they know something big is happening. They go to the kennel on Thursday, and we'll have the devil's own job caging them for the trip.

It's raining again in Ottawa; we're having the wettest summer ever. I wish we could share it with Texas.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 23 Jul 17 - 09:36 PM

Texas has had the wettest summer in many years - I fear you HAVE shared it with us already. California might be needing the moisture, though.

Today I stepped across the street to check out my source of Mustang Grapes - wild grapes that grow everywhere, if people are paying attention. I have never seen so many grapes and had an easy time picking them quickly - surprising because the vegetable garden is producing so little. It's a bit late for the grapes (because of the moisture), but there is a bumper crop. I decided to make a video of the process of steam juicing them in preparation for making jelly, but the auto focus didn't kick in so the first few short segments are blurred. I may redo some of it tomorrow before I splice it together. I do these things for the kids, so they know how to cook particular dishes, or in this case, make good juice for jelly. I have nearly 3 gallons of juice. Years ago my son, then a teen, made it clear that he didn't like "preserves," he preferred jelly. I told him we could make some (I could buy it also, but why not teach a kid where his food comes from?). We steam juiced frozen strawberries, then made jelly, which he loved, but then he tasted the mustang grape jelly and decided he liked that even better. It has a combination of sweet and tart at the same time, with a flavor similar to Concord grapes, but more complex, and red, not purple. I'll make jelly this year and use it for holiday gifts for friends and co-workers.

Laundry is finished, the kitchen is cleared up after the juicing. Tomorrow is my third day of the weekend (I work a compressed work week in the summer, four ten-hour days and have the pleasure of long weekends) and I may redo the early stages of steam juicing in the morning and be able to splice together a video in the afternoon. We're under a heat advisory so there isn't much yard work getting done midday or later.
I had an eBay item sell today, so I need to pack it up to ship in the morning, then get more items listed. Another good activity for a hot day.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 24 Jul 17 - 12:44 PM

Beaver:

Speaking of rain! All night it poured and stormed and now we have Scotch mist/Vancouver weather! Dan stayed home as it was pouring at his place - 5 miles north. R is reading and nothing is moving forward except, maybe, getting rid of the lit he has read.

However, He cleared the back shed totally last evening! Some went into the back/back shed and our wonderful huge outhouse! Never mind what I think or had planned for that space. I do hate being incapable - even temporarily. We did have a go-round about throwing away things we might be able to use in the not so distant future. No trip to dump as it is all burnable and today would be a good day for that - decluttering!!

As it rained in the middle of the night, I fulminated that the pile of extra soil was not covered so must dry before it can be moved. It is much in the way but seemed the best spot at the time. It will level out a lumpy spot over the septic tank and rest is due to raise the soil level along the route to the back sheds in hopes of not getting wet feet going there - ankle deep sometimes.

As I cannot bend over for anything - "R, could you pick up that straight pin/ piece of paper...." I try to feel good about what I CAN do - not much, but the dishes get washed and a few meals cooked but I feel queasy a lot of the time and manage to avoid - pot luck yesterday - I took a huge bowl of my garden lettuce and sesame oil/apple cider vinegar dressing. I may be the only person who loves a very plain salad! I went back later for the bowls and gave the left over lettuce to someone --- "for my bunnies"!! Geez! There is still a huge bag in the frig and bunches in the garden. Really nice lettuce. I guess the cool wet weather has helped; it has not bolted but just keeps flourishing.

Yesterday, R completed the filling of the two new raised beds and the octagonal "in memory of" garden. Then, with considerable guidance, he planted the shrub and other plants in the octagon. The other beds I shall have to do without bending over. They are about 18 inches high.

It is great to be able to see with left eye and note that any flaws are in the right eye. Trip to Dr. tomorrow will tell us how I am doing and when the right eye will be done. Then R will be going back to Montreal and I need to figure out how to get the drops in my eye 4x/day.

The best declutter recently was the 30 hours during which I did not cough - from the time the anesthesia started... ????

Never have had a problem with cabinet pulls; don't use air buds! Possible to have cabinets without pulls. Put not mouse-proof drawers. I am thinking the best might be a flattened "u" shape - horizontal - with no frills.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 31 Jul 17 - 07:21 PM

Beaver:

Something went askew and erased what I just wrote!!!!!! I am alive and well and ....


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 31 Jul 17 - 09:59 PM

I see by facebook that Charmion is in the midst of The Move. I hope she'll report in when she takes time for a breather.

Looks like I'll be putting in a fence on the south side of the yard. Years ago, before I bought the house, when the folks who built it were here, the next door neighbor asked the previous owner about going halves on a fence between the properties. The owner of this house apparently had a loose screw and took it personally and rapidly had someone come in and build a fence - but without a survey it is a foot and a half inside the property line. The next door neighbor then put in his fence next to the first fence, but they went along the same line, so it's still way inside my property line. My neighbor told me she'll be selling the house to move near her son, and I hopped on that opportunity - if she's going to have to pay for a survey anyway, we need to have the surveyor mark the proper fence line and I'll put up the fence. It's not around the entire yard, and I won't pull down the one in the wrong place right away, we just want to get the correct one up now so I don't have to explain to the next owners of the house why I want to shave off part of their yard - something I might have to do to sell my house if I want (and not lose that property as far as if you don't claim it, you lose it.) That'll be coming up in the early fall, I suspect.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 03 Aug 17 - 08:40 PM

Beaver:

Sounds like a good project, Maggie!

We continue to make progress on organization and de-cluttering. Robin's library is still in process and I am looking forward to completion which will de-clutter piles of books from house and the beautiful antique sewing machine will go there and free up much needed storage space in the BR. We bought a nice wood bookcase ($2) at a yard sale that fits the space and can be used for other than books - like the sewing machine when not in use. The sewing pile still needs some progress. After the weekend, I can get back to that with my renewed ability to see what I am doing! Such a difference in how I feel about getting things done. I am also seeing dirt/dust AND dealing with it!

Bought a frame for an easy up booth canopy at a yard sale and found fabric at the thrift shop to make the canopy part - thanks to a sharp eyed friend pointing it out! It is mostly made; checked fit and I will double stitch seams and work on attachment points tomorrow. It will be ready to go up tomorrow evening! Not water-proof but I will get heavy plastic to throw over it. Not supposed to rain on the weekend but may do so Friday night. So wonderful working with the refurbished sewing machine!

Robin had to go back to Montreal on Sunday but MAY return tomorrow, she says hopefully! This is big Gemboree weekend -rock and mineral event bringing thousands of visitors to the area. (Bancroft is "the mineral capital of Canada") He may obtain more rocks but I am hoping to de-clutter the pottery supply. I also hope to get rid of more of the calendars (2017) with frameable prints of "Vintage Bancroft", done by a local artist in the 70s. I have framed a few to give people the idea. I just hate for them to be trashed - or I have them in MY archives forever! Proceeds to the local Hospice. I have broken even on the costs!

I am not quite to my 3 week mark from cataract op - not supposed to bend over or lift more than 10 pounds! But I no longer feel ill when I do so. Hence, car is partly loaded and I will do the rest tomorrow. Dan shlepped stuff to the front from the back shed for me, so all is triaged near car. I am delighted to be able to read and see better generally - even after dark!

While we had scaffolding here, a couple younger folks came over and spray painted a rainbow on the north side of the house - the side that is seen as one drives towards it. "Just watch for the rainbow!" We have a metal array of birds to fly over it and Robin is bringing a pot for the gold.

The wax beans and zukes will soon be ready to pick; lettuce is still flourishing but I may plant another row in the new bed where peas are sprouting! New strawberry bed is starting to take root and I offered Dan runners to start his own at his home. Carrots are quietly doing their thing under the profuse cover of wax beans and nasturtium. And four cabbage plants are taking up a huge space as they turn into heads. I LOVE my raised beds!Light rains yesterday and today have been helpful.

AND, although I feel as though I have been eating everything in sight, I am still holding at 160. I will try to get back on a losing track with cooler weather and before next cataract op on 21 September. Robin did not think I should use exercycle but now I probably can start again - until next op.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 03 Aug 17 - 10:14 PM

We spoke again after my neighbor talked to her realtor - the buyer would pay for the survey, so we wouldn't have access to that, but I had one done fairly recently to refinance my house. She suggested we use my survey since we both agree on this project, and I have a friend who will be over next week and we'll plan to do it very quickly. The house might be listed this weekend. It's the next big project after the birthday party.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 04 Aug 17 - 10:55 PM

So when I need to be clearing up for a family gathering on Sunday here I am bringing all sorts of food into the house and figuring out how to store it all till preparation time. Oy. Tomorrow is the big push on many projects.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 05 Aug 17 - 03:29 PM

I've seen mentions of some of Charmion's activities on facebook - and am awaiting the report here! Meanwhile, I have meat on the grill today, chicken to de-bone and use tomorrow in fajitas, beef to flavor on the grill then chill and grind for nacho/burrito fillings. There are many other parts to this, but this is the biggest messiest part of the job and it's better to do it a day ahead of the event.

I do need to work on the bathroom floor. I never put tile down, but I'll sweep and finish scraping off the adhesive, then put some small rag area mats around in there.

So much to do that I haven't been on the computer at all today, only now for a short cool-down before it's back into the kitchen. Oh - in order to remove a few jars out of my way in the fridge I made two batches of mustang grape jelly this morning. They'll have sat for 24 hours and can be boxed and put in the pantry before the party. And I will have last year's batch at a table by the door - hostess gifts for anyone who wants to take some home that they'll eat in the next year or so. Gotta make room for this year's batch somehow!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Aug 17 - 08:03 AM

Vacay w Hardi in Ohio at our house

We've been working on getting the pop-up camper ready for her first camping trip in 5 years (FIVE?!?!?!!!). The contents were removed for cleaning 2 years ago and all linens washed and bagged. Last week all the cookware and the camper itself were cleaned. A lot of the cookware came into the house 2 years ago and as I brought down PA stuff for the house, much of it could go back to the camper. However I decluttered as I cleaned, with the result being a much less crowded camper. We'll leave it as we did for so many years, fitted out with all basics needed for instant use (including canned goods for a first night's supper). The biggest difference now is not leaving 4 weeks worth of clothes on board (old clothes to wash at laundromats)-- because what had been carried became my Ohio gardening grubs, and what was worn out 2 years ago is now tattering. So we'll actually have to pack clothes each time for the foreseeable future.

When we take her out Weds, we'll camp nearby (where we got the idea to retire to this area)-- 4 days will tell if we're too old and creaky to still enjoy camping in a pop-up! ;-)

We hadn't brought her AC with us from PA, so if it's too hot at night to sleep, we'll sneak into our AC bed at the house! But we added a nifty new fan.

It beats staying in the house while the housemate moves out (job transfer). We won't be doing another house share again (until we need a live-in CNA, lol).


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 08 Aug 17 - 12:21 PM

We are now in Stratford, having rolled into town last Wednesday afternoon ten minutes before the lawyer's office closed. He gave us a key that turned out to work only on the side door into the garage. We found key that worked on the back patio door in the kitchen, but the key to the front door was missing. It finally arrived on Saturday, after much texting to real estate agents and some bitter carping from me; it had been sculling around in the glove box of the seller's boyfriend's truck.

The furniture and boxes arrived on Thursday. All day Friday and Saturday were spent unpacking, searching for critical kitchen traps and repacking everything else. Despite our inability to turn on the oven, we made a good dinner on Saturday night, marking the achievement of what the Canadian Forces calls "initial operating capability".

The garage looks as if a paper bomb went off in it, with four-cube boxes stacked almost to the ceiling and a solid wall of two-cubes full of books on each side, waiting for the floors to be done so we can haul in the bookcases.

On Sunday, we unpacked and stowed our wardrobes, hung curtains in the enormous windows in the bedroom, and finally achieved laundry. I was supposed to rest, but did not. Mistake.

Himself has done all the grocery shopping and most of the cooking so far, and he recce'd the farmers' market on Saturday. My only excursions from the house since Wednesday have been to visit Canadian Tire and to go to church, the latter expedition being my only non-move-related activity.

We had no Internet until yesterday afternoon, after no fewer than three Bell Canada technicians invested something like ten man-hours of work to locate the correct cable pair in the correct junction box in the correct neighbour's back yard. All three critical data points were incorrectly recorded at the local Bell office. I finally got the computer assembled and running last night at about ten o'clock, and fell into bed, there to stay asleep all night for the first time since last Monday.

I'm meeting many technicians, all nice guys (at least to me) with vigorous work ethics and many tattoos.

Yesterday afternoon was spent in consultation with the cabinetmaker who has accepted the commission to rip out our irritating kitchen and do better. We are beyond tired of the wide variety of things that are broken, defective, badly designed or just plain bad -- the broken refrigerator drawers that drop out onto your feet when you open them, the rolling pantry shelves that jammed because the little wheels at the back kept falling off the tracks where the stoppers have failed. I fixed the pantry problem by stuffing the back of the cabinet with sheets of cardboard from a china barrel, but the fridge is just going to drive us nuts until we can relegate it to beer status and buy a new one for the kitchen.

Flooring began today. The house resounds with the hammering of the flooring crew at work in the cellar and the zing of the table saw on the front lawn. Himself is with the insurance agent, who wants documents we don't have, while I catch up on household administration. Lo and behold, Enercare (the company that does furnace and air-conditioner maintenance) neglected to record our move, despite the hour I spent on the phone with them back at the beginning of June, so we have a swingeing bill for maintenance plans that I am now convinced I do not want to continue with. Stratford has local companies that clean furnaces and air-conditioners; why put up with call-centre agony and employees with no authority to do anything useful?

I hear work boots on the stairs. Time to be bossy.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 09 Aug 17 - 12:04 AM

Good news from everyone.

After our big family party (a huge success!) I spent yesterday puttering to put away extra food (into the freezer in portions that I can take for lunch) and taking naps.

The fence work is postponed - the new buyer wants to "discuss" the project - keeping in mind that I am entitled to up up the fence in the correct place, but that I want to be on good terms with the new neighbor, I'll have him ask his surveyor to spray paint the line on the lawn for the fence, and we'll go from there. It'll be up before they close on Sept. 1. This makes it much easier for me when I reach the point of wanting to sell the house.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 13 Aug 17 - 09:52 AM

In the local marketplace everything is for "back to school" right now. I have a half-dozen small crock pots to sell on eBay, and held onto them till now to sell. The best use (in my opinion) for these older low-power "crockette" pots is for overnight oatmeal. So I will put them up as for breakfast for the kids, ready when they get up in the morning, and for those who like oatmeal in cooler weather. Once these are listed and sold I'll be able to reclaim some of the work space in my sun room. Yesterday was soaking off price labels (Goodwill) and testing. It's the strangest August I remember in a long time - I live in the prairie, an area frequently visited with desert-like weather in the summer, but this year is more like a tropical zone. The lawn hasn't gone dormant, vegetable garden hasn't been happy with so much moisture (I think it doesn't drain as well as it might, normally not a problem that it holds moisture in dry weather).

Now to play catchup on small projects I abandoned for a couple of weeks in preparation for the family birthday party. And - though my children are grown - I do need to do one thing in preparation for the school year - sign up again to tutor elementary school kids.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 14 Aug 17 - 09:18 PM

Beaver:

It rained off and on throughout the craft show weekend! R never showed up and by Sunday, I was --- Welll, A friend came along with a cheery "how are you?" and rec'd, "dreadful...!" She said she would be back at 4 to help me pack up. Then a potter couple said they would help; they had their booth packed up in no time and helped me. It usually takes me over 2 hours; I was home by 5 pm and elated. So thankful for good folks!

Concerned that Charmion is being careful about exposure to dust! I realize not everyone is as hyper-sensitive as I, but still...

Finally made pots during this last 10 days, focusing on garlic pots for the garlic festival on Sat. We are having some dry days and I am delighted to have succeeded in having almost a kiln load drying. I found I had only one small bucket of a rather unique glaze so begged materials from a couple local potters - saving a 6 hour round trip to Toronto! This is de-cluttering raw clay but....

Dan cut two shelves for me, from scraps, needed for a cabinet so I can put more stuff away! He also moved one kiln into its new "garage" so I have room to fire the other one this week. It will also go into the garage after R installs the electric line. (Some year?)

Hope I have energy for more potting - it helps to turn the clay into finished pots before cold weather so I don't have to put it back in the bathroom (Clutter!) to keep from freezing.

Bought a quantity of nice fat local blueberries and froze them.

Found this week that I have gained 5 pounds! In less than two weeks. On the Keto diet, I did not lose or gain. But tired of that, I have gone off the deep end. Now I am repeating: "Just because I feel hungry does not mean I need to eat!" Works some of the time.

Weather feels like September. Tomatoes are not ripening. Peppers are doing nothing. Canna and dahlia have not bloomed. But peas are coming up in the new bed and it is certainly cool enough for them.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 14 Aug 17 - 11:18 PM

Dorothy, from your descriptions it sounds like you've added onto that small house incrementally and now have several connected or nearby out buildings for various purposes? Have you ever posted photos on facebook?

We had rain over the weekend, and very early this morning another heavy storm went through the area. The extra high humidity with our normal high temperatures makes outdoor activity brutal. Few lawns have been mowed lately; we'll wait till it dries out some.

Dorothy, green tomato relish is a perfect way to use those unripened tomatoes. I made a large batch last fall; good thing, I'm not getting much at all this year so far.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Aug 17 - 09:28 AM

The housemates broke a number of agreements in their move but we were in still glad to miss the chaos while it happened, and I've billed them for the costs of putting things right. We spent most of yesterday overseeing all that. I'm ahead by one computer desk, and had lots of other "gifts" they left to pass on to others in the neighborhood-- 'no immediate use? OUT!"


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 15 Aug 17 - 08:29 PM

This evening I helped my next door neighbor set up her new Kindle Fire, sent by her son after her older Kindle disappeared from the house during the week it was being shown by Realtors. I think the cartoon probably appeared in The New Yorker that showed a huge bank of empty book shelves and at the bottom in the corner one slim Kindle tablet. She's moving to a retirement apartment to be nearer her son and his family; I have enjoyed being her neighbor for the last 15 years. She'll have to rely on her son to set up the computer and wifi from now on. (Her computer wasn't connecting yesterday, and I couldn't get my phone to connect to her Internet, but the wifi was working - turns out Charter's call center folks figured out she didn't plug in the cables correctly from the modem to the router last time she tried resetting it. I should have figured that one out.)

I have a lot to do, but I think this evening I'll kick back and do nothing. May even go to bed early and read.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Aug 17 - 09:04 PM

Well the time has arrived. Without kid help I will call on professional tree and debris removal crews for the back yard.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 08:29 AM

It's safer that way, Don. There comes a time for all of us when we need to call professionals for taking out trees or for getting up on the roof. Good luck with the project!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 09:07 AM

Flooring is almost finished, and it looks great. Today, the last ten feet of hallway and two small closets get floored, and all the quarter-round will be installed upstairs. Basement was done last week.

The cats are now in residence, and Watson is settling in well. Isobel is still skittish and tense, spending much of her time under the bed or the sofa. Their baskets and feeding station are in the basement until the stampage of workboots and pneumatic hammers is over, and right now they are locked down in their bunker until the flooring crew finishes for the day.

All cooking is a darned nuisance while we adjust to less than half the work surface we are accustomed to. Laundry takes place in what I have decided to call the "laundry hole", a corner of the basement that has been closed off from the main hanging-out area. Drip-dry clothes have to do their dripping and drying in the second-best bathroom or on a folding rack in the bedroom; the laundry hole is just barely big enough for the washer and dryer, and a crappy old shelving unit where all the cleaning materials are currently stowed.

Repairs on some of our battered old furniture are well under way, as the Mennonite communities around Stratford are full of people who build and fix furniture, so the skills are fairly thick on the ground around here. The time to get all this done is now, while everything is all of a chaotic doo-dah; once a bookcase or a desk goes into service, all loaded with stationery and pens and books and work-related doohickeys, it takes a major system failure to get it out of commission again.

The next thing to do is buy some new IKEA bookcases, not the easiest project as the nearest IKEA store is in Vaughan, some 90 minutes away on the 401. Kitchener has an order centre, but even that is a substantial expedition; the round trip is about 75 km. The IKEA bookcases we brought with us are comparatively new, but some of them required major re-assembly. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate chipboard construction? Give me honest wood every time.

Himself just went downtown to visit the Legal Aid office in search of information about getting on the Perth County panel and earning some dosh. Apparently, despite its bucolic charms, Perth County has plenty of the problems associated with despair and isolation; right now, crystal meth is a Big Thing.

Bell Canada's internet service is DSL only, which sucks if you're accustomed to fibre-optic broadband, so I'm on the hunt for something better. I also have to book an appointment with the allergy doc in Kitchener for my magic needle. Consequently, I have to find a quiet spot (hah!) in which to get on the phone and stay there.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Aug 17 - 02:19 PM

Housie did pay billed overage costs, yay!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 09:46 AM

The next visitor to the house after housies cleared out said, despite my not having cleared up before she came: "It doesn't look all cluttered any more."

Yaaaayyyy!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 11:04 AM

The semester starts next week, plans are laid for getting to work way early, before the traffic jam of students trying to park in faculty lots to be close to their classrooms. Must have lunch materials ready, and breakfast set to eat then run out the door. Leave before light, pass by the school zones of public schools before they start blinking, and consequently the work day ends in the middle of the afternoon. Time left for gardening, canning, other activities (because it is still summer, even though the school year typically serves as the beginning of fall).

I have a lot of stuff in my freezer that I need to start using. Or learn how to use. I'm not eating wheat these days, but I have alternative flours and grains I've picked up at my favorite discount grocery and brought home to the freezer. Time to learn to bake with these alternative grain, corn, rice, potato, and bean blends.

Time to make more jelly. I have some of this year's juice in the freezer, some is already made into jelly, and some is awaiting processing in the fridge. Sugar and canning lids are on my shopping list.

Time also do to some sewing projects. . . . in other words, there is indoor stuff to do and it is finally beginning to look like time to do it.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 08:56 PM

The floors are finished. Hallelujah! Silence reigns.

Glendon Road is just too far from groceries, the gym and the hardware store for shopping on foot. Downtown is full of chi-chi restaurants, gourmet food shops, art galleries and emporia selling tourist traps and high-end clothing for ladies and gents, but if you want a three-pound bag of oranges, a dozen perfectly ordinary eggs and box of All-Bran, you have to go to the huge shopping centre on the edge of town, where Staples and Canadian Tire are also to be found. And of course, Stratford has no allergist (he's in Kitchener), no Volkswagen dealer and no Apple Store. So today, we bought a second car, primarily for Edmund's use -- certainly, to his taste. It's a Kia Soul, a boxy Korean runabout with a fire-engine red paint job. I hadn't intended to increase our carbon footprint by a whole extra car with this move, but if we have only one I will basically never get to the gym. So as of next Wednesday, we will be a two-car family again.

So I have to get busy on unpacking the books so we can put those two cars in the damn' garage, where the 2-cubic-foot boxes are stacked chest high. But before I can do that, we need bookcases to put them in. And before the bookcases go into the library, its briefcase-brown and putty-grey walls need a serious paint job. I can't remember the last time I saw a house with such dire bedrooms. Edmund's office is a Pepto-Bismol pink as of now, with a greyish mauve in the closet, and the guest room is gun-metal grey. I ask you, who does that? A grey bedroom? I'd cut my throat by February if I had to spend the winter in a grey bedroom.

But every painter in Stratford is working flat out right now. I must join the queue.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 19 Aug 17 - 01:13 AM

Sounds like time to start painting. Our bedrooms are in shades of blue, picked by each occupant and painted by us ourselves when we moved in in 2002. It felt liberating to paint our rooms.

Is there a nude furniture store in your new town? They will have furniture made of real wood, not press-board or MDF, and you can paint or finish them yourselves. That's what I have in my office. Shelves that are proportioned right and are sturdy enough that even after 15 years of books there are no sagging shelves (like will happen with Ikea shelves after a while).

I finished one sewing project tonight, made of fabric remnants and a nylon grip/handle from an old pack (I think). The resulting item is a sleeve for a Amazon Fire tablet for my next door neighbor. When her house was recently on the market (for all of a week) someone who went through stole her Kindle that was in a bookshelf in the living room. Her son sent a new Fire HD, and it needs a case because it is kind of slick. I bought the same tablet on Prime Day and had already made a case for myself (and one for a friend with a smaller Kindle who wanted something more streamlined for when she was travelling). All three of these are made from an upholstery swatch. As small as these projects are, it's nice on occasion to sit down and make something useful.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 19 Aug 17 - 10:53 AM

This morning I modified that case - the handle was bulky, I took it off and added a piece of nylon webbing to hold the case closed. And though fall isn't here yet, as mentioned above, the new semester is, which is just about the same thing. It's good to be sewing.

My yard is ankle deep after a week of heavy rains. Time to get a workout with the mower.

I think we'll have no more rain till after Monday's solar eclipse - hopefully we won't have clouds either. Anyone else planning to step outside and see at least the partial eclipse? Are any of our readership in the path of the full eclipse?


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 20 Aug 17 - 02:14 PM

Some extra stuff is coming out of the freezers. I put in grains, pasta, various things that might grow weevils if they were simply put into a cupboard, so they get a good long freeze. Those can go on the shelf now. I'm also pulling out a ham hock, a bunch of chopped onions and peppers and tomatoes, a pound of beef to grind, and am going to make a double-size batch of beans to jar and freeze to take for lunches. I'll make a batch of rice this evening and keep it ready so the padded lunch bag can hold a 12-ounce jar of frozen beans, a container of rice, some fruit, and maybe some nuts for lunch and to tide me over for snacks.

Laundry is underway, including some area rugs. The big trash bin is lined with a bag to receive dust and dog hair out of the Shark vacuum for the trash tomorrow, and the kitchen table will be cleared so I can take time to sit down to eat breakfast, not just stand at the kitchen counter. The school year is ready to start, and it's more than students who have to prepare for it.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre
Date: 20 Aug 17 - 08:54 PM

Recently I have been involved in helping someone move and I have joined a local declutter group which is kind of fun with weekly challenges. With my current schedule, I don't have much time to devote to big chunks of time to declutter but I am slowly moving forward and seeing progress. My group is motivating but more so, the moving adventure....seeing purging actively happening and beautiful spaces occurring. I decided to start in our bedroom as it seems to be the most neglected...after all, we just sleep there...we don't use our bedroom for any other reason. Most recently I hauled out three 55 gallon sized bags of clothing. Buh bye. My closet is looking better...still a long way to go.

I did do some decluttering in the bathroom too but mostly it was organizing, changing up the shower curtain/rod with new curtains and towels. It makes it feel brand new. I'm hoping for a new floor in there by Christmas.

My Love to All,

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 20 Aug 17 - 09:03 PM

Beaver:
Love to hear the progress at Charmion's! The room colours do sound horrific! It is amazing in it not the way we must arrange to do this so we can do that so we can... I am so glad to have Dan working away on things. I would like to be able to get house in order in my lifetime.

Maggie: screen house 10x10 is out behind the sheds on the edge of the beaver pond - for listening to pond sounds and hopes of seeing a bit of wildlife - beyond frogs! Also can be a summer guest house. And R's library 10x10 is up the hill a bit, about 50 feet from the house, in front of our wonderful outhouse. R has MANY books and this will have floor to ceiling and wall to wall shelves other than the glass door and the beautiful stained glass window, and the antique sewing machine which I was threatening to sell because I need storage space in the BR! we have not added anything to our little - pale yellow inside and out - house. We have done things in such a manner that we do not need permits. So, the studio is close to but separate from the house and now has its own walkway to its own deck which worked very well last week as I moved pots up and down on a baker's rack - to the kiln, back on the rack to the glazing area/deck and then back to the kiln, then packed into boxes, or, because not all fired, some still on rack.

So, I can walk out the back door on to an enlarged deck but mostly full of firewood - that was not used last winter due to broken ankle but will be there for this winter. The tool room/shed is attached to the house but only accessible from the deck. There is a walkway from that deck along the entry side of the studio to the newer 10x16 deck where the kiln garage is located against the end of the studio. A fair weather proposition, I can glaze out there as well. From that deck, it is about 30 feet to the back sheds, now well organized for storage and possible work space for larger tools. Backing up against the back-back shed is the screen house, hopefully to be completed this week, which I am very much looking forward to so I can sit in comfort outdoors, for a bit longer! It will have a lounge chair and swing chair hanging from the ceiling,a small storage cabinet, ... a solid roof with one translucent panel. I will, when energy appears, build a narrow board walk from the deck to the screen house so we can get there, and the sheds, without wet feet; there is often a few inches of water on the ground!

Unfortunately, on Friday I was bereft of energy and most non-essential activity has ceased. I am heading back to Keto diet but had only one small meal on F,S and 3 very small ones today. After a frantic call to Connie/health consultant on Friday, I am trying to only eat what the pendulum allows, and very little of that, sticking to only eating in one 12 hour period and not the other. And ignoring the hunger pangs.

During this, I did go on a great garden tour on Saturday to 5 wonderful local organic gardens, mainly veggies. Sharing ideas and comments with about a dozen terrific people helped my mental health. Having to accept help getting back up a hill did not, but it was the better part of valour.

I hoped today would be a potting day but NO energy and only a bit of decluttering/organizing happened in tiny spurts as the energy arose - and then disappeared. Maybe tomorrow?



Today, I picked the mature wax beans, about a quart. Will take them with me to Quebec this week. I shall be glad when they are done and I can pull them. I planted too closely and there are carrots growing in the under-story! The lettuce, not having been picked during this malaise, has bolted and I shall just let some of it go to seed. The zukes have not done much but, the beauty of a garden tour, others have had similar garden troubles this year.

The dahlia just started to bloom! And the pepper and tomato plants are looking happier but there is little time left for them unless we have a late frost.

Well, that is my treatise. I see I have repeated myself but too tired to edit. I am off to Quebec on Weds.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre
Date: 20 Aug 17 - 09:04 PM

Oh! Yes! Freezers! Our outside freezer is on it's last legs so we cleaned out a corner of the kitchen which was stacked with God only knows what and why it was there...it was kind of a catch all space and now there sits a lovely new freezer, one that I'd like to add is all organized! The freezer that is part of the fridge is yet to be decluttered and organized but we are slowly using up what is in there and then it is my hope to have 2 weeks worth of meat and veggies in there to just grab and go during our busy week....no more digging and especially no more digging in the freezer outside in the dark, rain or cold...YAY!

:) Michelle


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Aug 17 - 12:57 PM

I can see the bedroom floor. Hallelujah!

But the six 4-cu boxes of office stuff that were cluttering the bedroom have merely migrated to the library, where they will continue to be clutter until I get my writing desk back from rehab, and convert the computer to wireless operations so I can move the computer desk out of the bedroom. Roll on that day; I hate the piercing little blue lights that blink all night from the CPU and the modem/router.

More Billy bookcases have been ordered from IKEA, but they will not arrive until 12 September. Until then, I must endure the continued presence of the many, many boxes of books that are still stacked up in the garage.

Himself went a little mad yesterday when he booked tickets for the Stratford Festival's hit production of "The School for Scandal". He clicked the "buy" button thinking that the rather high price was for both tickets, but no! -- it was the price per each! For a matinée! The final sum, including taxes, is by far the most we have ever spent on an evening at the theatre, even on Broadway, so those seats had better be the best in the house. I expect to be in the Royal Box, at least.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 25 Aug 17 - 10:46 AM

Today is spent as a vacation day, anchored by a pet to the vet appointment this afternoon. There's lots of other running to do to declutter the "to do" list that sits on my kitchen counter. I should re-write it for the new year and put it back on the fridge. I did manage to work through a number of the chores, big and small, when it was there in plain sight.

There is mowing, canning, eBaying, sewing. . . all meant to remove, consolidate, repair, restore, create, stuff around here. A hurricane blowing through the region adds a little drama to anything done today and tomorrow, but hopefully it's just rainfall here, not high winds. The soil locally is totally saturated from almost triple our normal August rainfall, so that rain from the edge could possibly cause local flooding. Something I will keep my eye on since I live on a creek. My system isn't perfect, but I have a bin with my most important records, and would load the dogs, the papers, the computer electronics that can quickly be loaded, and head up the hill.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 25 Aug 17 - 05:55 PM

Stay safe, Acme.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 25 Aug 17 - 09:42 PM

Thanks! It's looking like a very wet weekend, at the very least. And this slow moving storm is going to dig a trench through the Southeast for the next week, they say. Our area has already had about 3x the "normal" rainfall this month and the creek was very high yesterday after a heavy downpour added an inch to the next door rain gauge. If we get another heavy rain it will push the water over the bridge and into the yards because of the saturated soil. And this was happening without a hurricane to the south.

I've cleared out and sorted stuff in my pantry shelves - canning jars get mixed up during the year, emptied, washed, then stuffed into an available box. And after a while you have half pints and pints mixed together and quart jars stuck in amongst the commercially canned goods. I only broke one jar this evening when I sorted it out (a plastic water bottle tipped over and pushed an empty pint off of the shelf. But the bottle of water is old and probably needs to be tossed anyway.)

Jelly this weekend.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 26 Aug 17 - 09:40 AM

Several cases of canning jars are running through the dishwasher now. It begins . . .


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre
Date: 27 Aug 17 - 11:19 AM

Hooray for a day at home! :)

First and foremost, I'm glad to see from you Maggie. Hoping you will fare well in the storms....we are watching from here. I don't think I told you but Pete's lab has moved and are now currently located in Austen. We were given the opportunity to move along with the lab but opted to stay put. At this moment in time, we are most thankful for NOT being in Texas!

I am spending the day getting ready for our work week and Jeremiah's first week back to school.

Keep us posted Maggie.

Much love to everybody!

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 27 Aug 17 - 12:13 PM

Michelle, if you HAD moved down here I'd have been one of your first visitors from Texas! And if you do ever change your mind, consider this a stopping point on the way there.

San Antonio and Austin are getting really wet right now. And that storm is about four counties south of us - a 90 minute drive. Waves of heavy rain are passing over the house this morning (another one just started as I opened this thread.) Austin and San Antonio have a 100% chance of rain, San Antonio showing they have about 1 inch of rain so far today. Rockport, Texas, where it landed has had 2.7 inches so far today, with severe thunderstorms predicted this afternoon.

On Friday I was able to clear the grass out of all of the driveway cracks and trim along the curb at the street, but the lawn is still tall and getting taller, I haven't had a chance to mow. In weeks. My neighbors are retirees and have more of the week to choose from for mowing. I refuse to pay someone to mow my yard - I need the exercise, but if I haven't had a chance in the next couple of days I could have the guy who mows next door take a pass through my front yard as well.

Keeping all of the devices charged. If the creek rises to the house I'll load up the dogs and essentials and head up the hill to a friend's house. *Note to self - remember the dog food.*

I did two more batches of jelly yesterday. I just about ran out of jelly jars. That doesn't happen often. I need to send out notes to friends to return empty jars if they still have them.

Adverse times help you see your own resources and resourcefulness, but there is difficult, and then there is impossible. A friend in Houston has plans to put garden tools in her attic so she and her mother can punch a hole out to get on the roof if necessary. I'm lucky to be as far north as I am - we are likely to see flooding in this area, but hopefully this storm will begin to dissipate soon. I filled up the SUV gas tank on Friday, I'll make sure the back seat has the dog liner in place in case we need to depart. And if water starts to rise in the yard (it's a long yard - we'll see it coming) I'll move the furniture from the den up a few inches to the rest of the house. Fingers crossed I don't need to use the flood insurance.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Aug 17 - 09:23 AM

I have been reading about Hurricane Harvey in the Globe & Mail and the New York Times, thinking about Maggie and grateful that weather problems in the parts of Canada where I have lived most of my life tend to be manageable with a shovel and the patience to wait for spring.

Here in Perth County, the weather is beautiful, the landscape is bountiful, and living is easy. I have eaten fresh corn on the cob every Saturday (after farmers' market) since we got here, and the fruit bowl is brimming with peaches just coming ripe. The other day, we had our first dinner guests, a local lawyer and her son, and managed to put on a decent feed despite the limitations of the kitchen and the fact that two thirds of our cooking equipment and all our stemware are still in boxes in the garage. The cats are happy, alternating between long lap sits and flinging themselves around the house with a fine, free, careless rapture.

We have four bookcases coming from IKEA (due in two weeks), but we will need more. We left five ceiling-height bookcases behind at the house we sold, fearing that they would fall apart if moved again, so after the move we had less than half the shelf space we had in Ottawa. Five 90-cm bookcases, each with seven shelves, adds up to a shortfall of almost 32 metres of shelving! That's a lot of books that we can't unpack for way too long.

But we have now installed the basement shelving, a task that involved moving many, many, unfinished pine shelves and posts out of the garage and down the basement stairs, where Himself spent at least two days with a crescent wrench in his hand. Yesterday, I worked myself to a frazzle hauling their contents out of the garage and down to the basement, asking myself with each container, "Exactly why do we still have this?" The exception was the large collection of CDs, which I packed into specially designed plastic boxes -- 13 of them -- after ripping their contents to our iTunes library. If I parted with those, it's entirely possible that Himself would divorce me.

Then I spent all of Sunday evening rounding up three weeks' accumulation of recyclables, ending up with ten huge bags of recyclable paper (almost all of it packing material), and our two city-approved recycling boxes brimming with bottles, cans, milk cartons, and those clamshell things too many foods come in these days. That done, it was time for the actual trash, which came to three huge bags. Stratford has a pay-as-you-waste trash system, and I'm already out of bag tags.

So I can now see large stretches of garage wall and almost half the garage floor.

Sur avec la guerre, as they don't say in France.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 28 Aug 17 - 09:10 PM

Mill:

Came down on Weds, stopped by Farmers Market and stocked up on good veggies. Did a glaze firing with what was left over from last time. ook the car for oil change and look-see. Nothing major EXCEPT the gear shift- it has been hard to get into reverse for months. Even the mechanic had trouble. They tell me nothing can be done - not even something expensive? I feel as though I am hearing for a new car! UGH! It is discomforting to wonder if I will get into a spot that I cannot back out of! R has no trouble at all!

The weekend of the Chateauguay Valley Antiques Association EVENT! Went on Thurs and claimed a lovely spot under trees. Weekend of hearing music from the nearby tent, where people sat on hay bales or brought their own. Antique everything -cars, motorcycles, snowmobiles, trucks, people... Best weekend of the year - and NO rain! Sold enough pots to have 3 boxes left over when Geri and I packed up on Sun! More are put aside to take to a shop in Ontario and tomorrow I will stop at a shop on the way to Montreal and let Mary choose.

Then I will leave some here, on the shelves in the studio - a sampling. The rest - arrange a show space at Beaver. NO more shows - too much work. I am totaled today. Oops. Spent the eve on internet instead of assessing glaze materials to see what is needed. I am gearing down but not quitting. Plan to do open house sort of thing at both Mill and Beaver in October or November - before snow.

Glad to see that Mag is OK so far, and prepared! Charmion is slowly digging herself out! Nice to hear from Michelle - wow! a new freezer - may well save on the electric bill!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 30 Aug 17 - 10:53 PM

Texas is a hot mess, no need to spell that out. Up here we were spared the storm - we were teased with lots of small, hard downpours from the fringe of the hurricane for a couple of days and then it retreated, and now Louisiana is getting the brunt of Harvey.

Gas prices are going to go up for a while, and I imagine the thrift store climate is going to change drastically. Sometimes people donate stuff that isn't needed and I suspect it ends up in the thrift stores if the rescue groups can't use it. It's better to donate cash to reputable charities at this point. Food is probably also going to be more expensive because so much of what we shop for comes through the port in Houston. My freezer is packed full, so I'll make a point to draw it down for a while.

I'm taking a few days off to work around the house, finish up some things on my list of projects I wanted to complete this summer, and my daughter and I will celebrate our birthdays (they are a week apart) with a lunch somewhere and maybe an activity.

Everything is incredibly unsettled right now. Being resourceful and flexible are important. The worst of the damage is several hours' drive south of here, but as people move out of the affected area, I will plan to find someplace to volunteer. I start tutoring in October, but that is one evening a week. This is twelve years to the day since Katrina hit. One of my dogs is was a big pup adopted from a local shelter on a "half-price" sale so they could make room to bring the Katrina rescue animals in. The same thing will happen again this fall.

So much to consider.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 31 Aug 17 - 09:42 PM

As far as I can tell, every gas station between here and my office is out of gas. I should have filled up this morning. Topped it off, to be more accurate, but it is projected we have about five days before gas gets out to the stations again (until after the Labor Day holiday), so conserving what each of us has is going to be the name of the game for a while. And the prices are going way up.

Looks like a quiet weekend around the house, keeping the fuel in the SUV for essential travel. Good thing I have a lot to do around here.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 02 Sep 17 - 10:32 AM

Artificial fuel shortage aside, this part of Texas is going to be participating in the Hurricane Harvey recovery effort on many levels. We will watch and take our opportunities to assist as they arise. Right now the goal is to be self-sufficient and not draw on resources needed more urgently in the SE region. The magnitude reveals itself in everyday things - it's the first of the month, time to pay bills, but down there - how? And the mail. Soaked beyond recognition or washed away. A limited number of running vehicles are available (and a note to the wise - be very careful in examining the history of any used Texas vehicle you buy - anything that has been through a flood is going to have major problems even if it is "fixed up.")

I'm taking a few days off and have a long list of stuff to accomplish. I'm also taking a leaf from Katlaughing and participating in one of those monthly challenges that has come along. She wrote books during November; this month I'm doing the "Sober September," taking alcohol out of my diet completely* for the cost, health, and weight loss benefits. I went to a faculty gathering yesterday after work (a "First Friday" thing in the early evening, a chance to schmooze) and took two bottles of Topo Chico with me to begin the challenge.

The dogs need walking now that weather is cooling a bit, and the garden needs tackling. I need to dig deep in a front bed to remove the roots of vines that keep appearing. I'll help my neighbor manage her new Kindle tablet, and we are doing regular exercises with smart phones. Her son convinced her to trade in the flip phone and she hasn't completely figured out how some of it works. I take my phone over and we take turns calling each other so she can practice different features of the phone. (She's about 80 now, so her willingness to learn this new phone is an excellent sign.) I have lots of housekeeping and craft stuff to do in the house. I need to work on my back patio, make it more presentable and replace the missing beam on the patio cover.

*If any food in the freezer has wine, it's still going to be part of this month's diet. And if a dish being prepared absolutely calls for wine, I have some frozen in pint canning jars and can spoon out enough for flavor and not compromise my intent not to drink glasses of alcoholic beverages this month.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre
Date: 02 Sep 17 - 05:34 PM

I've been checking in and glad to see that you are still ok Maggie. I can't imagine the outflux of people and just how much that changes life in the outer communities.

Around here, the gas in PA has gone up some but more noticeably in NY state where for the last few months has been a good solid .25 to .30 cheaper than in PA. When I left work on Friday, it was just about the same as at the PA state line.

Pete and I spent time last night and today and put up 18 quarts of wax beans. Today we purchased 2 boxes of Roma tomatoes as our blighted out and will be making sauce tomorrow. I miss the time we have normally spent putting things up, it seems there just aren't enough hours in the day this summer.

I am so very thankful for the three day weekend....ok...for me, it's 3 1/2 as I got all my work done early this week. It's been a marathon for about 3 weeks now......so yep...I'm savoring this long weekend of nothing but family time! I'm thinking about repainting the living room....I think I'd like to go from the harvest orange color to a buttery soft yellow. It's been orange for almost 20 years now as it is a color Pete can see well and likes but I'm tired of it. Oh the possibilities!

But then there's sleep...glorious SLEEP! LOL I guess I'll go where my energy guides me. On Thursday night I slept from 7:00pm until about 5:00am....unheard of. I felt like a brand new person on Friday! So....maybe I'll paint and maybe I won't but it is fun to humor the idea for a bit!

Hope everyone is well.

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 02 Sep 17 - 09:14 PM

I used the last of the fresh juice from this year's grapes across the road. One last batch of jelly - a couple of weeks ago I put the rest in the freezer for another time. I didn't buy tomatoes to make sauce or can, but I have gotten lucky at my favorite discount grocery - they have a mix - foods near their shelf dates, and overstock items stores discontinue. I found a bunch of organic Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes for less than half price from the neighborhood grocery stores. I agree - it's a wonderful part of summer to be able to put up your home-grown vegetables. Out of pure stubbornness I did a couple of tiny batches when I had a few extra tomatoes from the yard - you'll laugh - I have five half-pint jars of homegrown diced tomatoes. Just to have SOMETHING to show for the garden so far.

On the up-side, the plants are still going strong and there is a possibility of getting a fall crop. I don't see fruit set right now, but it's cooling off enough that it should start soon if it's going to. I still have a lot of last year's green tomato relish, so this year if there are tomatoes at time of the first frost I'll let them slowly ripen and use them that way.

It's time to get back to other indoor tasks like digitizing the content on remaining VHS tapes that I want to keep. It's a job done when you're at the computer anyway to monitor the real-time progress of the tapes. I take the old tapes to work and we have an e-waste bin for them. And in November I can get rid of some of the old hard drives around here, the university has a contract for the secure disposal of hard drives that are collected at an annual event.

Michelle, I had a long night of sleep like that last weekend - something stung me on the forehead (you may have seen it on facebook). I took Benedryl when I realized it might get to be quite a large reaction and ended up sleeping from about 7pm to 8am. Talk about well rested!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 04 Sep 17 - 11:14 AM

Cleared out a bunch of Martha Stewart Living back issues from the magazine stand in the master bath. I stopped subscribing a couple of years ago, but have discovered that Amazon Prime lets me read the current issue free. I need to figure out how to print the screen occasionally, but this will work. There are other magazines I read and share and want more access to their web sites, so The New Yorker will stay a subscription (though I struggle every year to find a way to push the cost of that one down.)

I have a lot of seasonal items to list on eBay; for every time I mention needing to get started listing, I rearrange or cull things that don't belong in there, but haven't listed anything new, so the time has come. I did a lot of virtual decluttering (moving the contents of folders and one whole account) out of Photobucket, where I used to host blog photos and eBay photos before eBay made it free and easy to load them. Now I need to find a place to park those and fix some old blog posts and photograph and list eBay items. Going back and forth between a couple of tasks can sometimes keep me going longer.

The fitness tracker I bought last spring sprung a moisture leak and I haven't used it since late July. They will send me a new one when the next model comes out, sometime this fall. In the meantime to appease me they offered to send free a "smart" scale. I finally set it up this morning, and it talks to the house WiFi to get the weather. So I can see my weight, my BMI, and what the day holds as far as weather (though the report this morning must have been for Finland, no way those low temps represent Texas in September.)

Finally, I am heartbroken to learn that Nancy Zieman of Sewing With Nancy, a steadfast PBS citizen for decades, is dying of metastatic osteosarcoma or breast cancer. She didn't say which one, but she has been treated for both. Yesterday I put more leaves in my dining room table and pulled out a small comforter/quilting project I have been meaning to work on and spread it out. She taught so many people how to sew, and how to make art. This one's for you, Nancy.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre
Date: 04 Sep 17 - 09:37 PM

Eighteen more quarts of tomato sauce canned today, grocery shopping completed, lunches packed for tomorrow, laundry done, game time at my Mom's house and how does this fit into the decluttering thread you might wonder? I turned down a bunch of items Mom is getting rid of with the exception of a life jacket for kayaking and a hat that once belonged to my Nana. I'm not sure what it's called but it's not really a hat...it's more of a very interesting (and pretty) headband. It's a soft blue with netting and tiny white flowers.

Pete and I have plans of renewing our wedding vows and this matches my dress (yep....already have my dress). I think wearing something that belonged to my Nana would make that day all the more special.

So anyway....I left most of the items behind....which means less clutter coming into the house.

In other news, we have booked a cabin for a vacation next year. A real vacation! We haven't ever had a family vacation (Pete is very much a homebody) so I am WAY excited and even MORE excited because it was HIS idea! :)

I'm off to bed. It's back to work for me in the morning.

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 04 Sep 17 - 10:55 PM

Mill:
Still here and wishing I were home at Beaver. Hope to get that car repair done in time to get home on Thurs so I can read the newspaper for the sight impaired on Fri. And be home! See what Dan has done! Hope the screen house is done so I get some use of it before cold weather sets in with a vengeance.

A trip into Montreal on Tuesday of last week, triggered the idea that maybe a Toyota dealer could help with the shifter problem. So I stopped at one on way back to Mill, made an appointment and took it in on Weds. They fixed the turn signal that two mechanics told me needed new parts - someone had done something wrong. They found the cable to shifter was "crushed" New one is on order - about $1000 but this is far better than a new vehicle. Waiting for part is what has caused me to be longer at the Mill; I had planned to leave last Thursday.

After making a few pots on Fri, I have not had the energy to trim them. Or to do much else. The use of kickwheel caused ankle to be unhappy and it is still not back to happy. I have gotten some small tasks accomplished: AC out of LR and back into storage area; repotted the Norfolk Island Pine into a 15" pot in hopes it will stop falling over. It is lovely but much too large for Beaver; it is a shame that I only get to see it here. The friend who has been watering the few plants left in sunroom cleaned the sunroom!!! Wow! So I was inspired to improve things a bit more.

The house in Montreal has gotten to much worse of a mess in my absence that I only stopped in long enough to pick up distiller and antihistamines. It is merely a storage unit. R has been spending 3 or more weeks cleaning out a 6 room flat and wood working shop that was a morass and some of that found its way to the house which is now a worse morass than usual.

I just wanna go home.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 04 Sep 17 - 11:41 PM

Congratulations on the restraint and the renewed vows, Michelle. It sounds like the headgear will be perfect!

Dorothy, those various homes of yours - an embarrassment of riches sometimes, eh? Where will you spend the coldest part of the year? Back in Montreal? Or is the house at Beaver ready to be lived in year round?

I didn't accomplish much more than what I listed this morning. A very lazy day that included a couple of naps. I am set up for eBay tomorrow, all day if need be, to get all of this stuff listed. Oh - I did figure out what the scale was doing - it was set to "Center, U.S." - who knows why. Finally found the right screen in the app and fixed it. Smart devices - a help, until they're not. I helped my neighbor set up her Amazon Fire HD Kindle a couple of weeks ago - I was going to turn of "Alexa" (my automatic instinct), but it turns out she likes it, her son uses some of those devices at his house and she enjoys the machine banter.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 05 Sep 17 - 09:49 PM

Mill:

Beaver Haven is MY haven. Really the only of the 3 that is comfortable in every way; wood stove, electricity, hot and cold running water, washing machine and oven that work. Cosy and bright with lovely views. And lots of friends in the area. Home on Thursday!

I am certain the house in Montreal could be considered unfit and as R is using it as a storeroom... Bleeech! Here, there is no water to the K and it has to be carried about 100 steps. I also collect rain water for washing, watering and distilling. There is heat. And the pottery studio - but my ankle still sore from Friday so nothing more has been done.

Today was warm enough and I had energy enough to some exploring/sorting in the storage area, finding stuff that needs to wait here until there is space at Beaver - or it gets sorted into keep and dispose. Gave Karen ( who works in the building and cares for the sun room) a jacket that I have outgrown. I LIKED that jacket; it has a good home. Packages are ready to mail to family members in USA but I am still not up to crossing the border to mail them in NYS where it is notably cheaper, and simpler.

Found the bathing suits! Oh well! They are going to Beaver to be put in a findable spot. They were still in suitcase I used when we went to San Diego five years ago! There really was not enough summer to warm the lakes near Beaver; maybe next year!

Ready to pack the car tomorrow after car repair. and leave early on Thursday.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 06 Sep 17 - 09:00 AM

The kitchen contractor came to call yesterday. Bad news: he can't start work on our project until late October. Why, you ask?

Ah, now, there's the rub.

It would seem that there are people in Stratford who start ripping out their kitchen equipment before they are quite sure what is to be put in its place. Typically, these people tear at the fabric of their homes until they get a Big Brown Surprise, such as a joist where they had no idea a joist would be, and then stop, having created a mess they cannot get out of. Thus, they find themselves in a terrible pickle, with a great big hole where their kitchen should be.

Our kitchen contractor has two such clients, and he ever so sweetly asked us if we would be terribly, terribly upset if he got them out of their mess before he tackled our house because, after all, we still have a functioning kitchen, inadequate as it is.

Not wishing to start my new life in Stratford as an asshole, I said Well, okay, if that's how it has to be. Sigh.

He promised, honour bright, that our new kitchen will be fully up and running by Christmas. For sure, cross his heart and hope to die.

Resigned to limited capability for at least two months longer than we expected, I shall unpack the wine glasses today. No more making do with kitchen tumblers; I want my Riesling in stemware, dammit!

I can be such a princess.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 07 Sep 17 - 12:23 AM

That's too bad about the kitchen delay. My big cooking holiday is the US Thanksgiving (late November). There are things in my house I'd like to tear out (my fireplace, for starters), but I'd never do it without a plan and someone there to start work on it immediately.

Puttering this week, around the house, around the yard, and around town. I get enough vacation time now I need to take a fair amount off or I lose the hours, so I took a few days in a week with a holiday. The gas shortage was short-term, but the prices haven't come down again yet, there will be an impact on the state in many ways for a long time to come. I'm always pretty frugal, making several stops any time I drive. Three stops today.

Counting coups: shopping this afternoon I found a couple of very comfortable pairs of shoes in the clearance section at DSW (in the US at least it's a great shoe store). Green (50%) and Purple (70%) discount, plus a couple of coupons. I try not to build up a huge number of shoes; I have two pairs of clogs I never wear any more. They're in the shoe rack next to the side door (instead of in my closet) but I always manage to wear the rest of the shoes on that rack, just not these. So I think those are the ones that will go to Goodwill soon. I found two pair of flat walking shoes, one more sporty, the other business/dressy.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 07 Sep 17 - 07:48 PM

BEAVER!!!!
Ah, the smell of clean fresh air and the wonderful trees and hills of central Ontario! Trip back was fraught with a spell of very heavy rain just shy of get-off-the-road but it ended and the sun came out. The clouds were elegant! I made a survey of the grounds: only casualty was the wax beans, while the peas continue to flourish and may yet produce! One large yellow tomato that did not want to let go of the stem so I left it??? Maybe tomorrow. And the strawberries continue to produce but only one there for me!

I may have a surfeit of shoes I may never wear but I am not yet ready to belief that is so. I may be moved to wear a pair of dressy shoes for some incredibly special occasion...

The car is still full but all the food has been put away. The frozen stuff stayed frozen! (About 6 hours in a heavy styrofoam container.) I lighted the wood stove with tiny paper fire as it was 63 in here. I had closed the drapes lest it be too hot. The time has come to leave them open for solar gain! I opened the west ones about 3 but then it clouded over and then rained and then a bit of sun, then it went behind the hill. It was only up to 65, hence the fire.

Tomorrow there will be major finding places for stuff. The pottery... I was hoping the screen house would be done but still needs the screening. I will decide in the morning. A 6 hour trip is enough work for one day.

Any semblance of decent diet went out the window a week or so ago due to being stuck down at the mill with no energy and the foot still bothering me too much to do enough. Things I had hoped to accomplish did not come to pass. I do not do well with waiting (for the car part to arrive). But the car is now in good order; the finances- well it was cheaper than a new car! And it was worth going to the dealer as they really did know how to repair it when no one else did!

Life feels back on track.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 08 Sep 17 - 11:35 AM

Oh, Dorothy, I remember that feeling so well -- surely, surely, I will wear nice shoes again some day! And I did, MUCH later than I expected, but then I went and busted the other ankle and it started all over again. And here I am, nearly thirty years down the road, pleased to be wearing sneakers with orthotic insoles rather than surgical boots for crippled people. Sigh.

Yesterday, I unpacked some stemware, the cassoulet pot, and a whole lot of cooking tackle, including the stock pot, the bread pans and the waffle iron. Proper cooking resumes immediately: I'm tired of not having ingredients!

I also sold (for a pittance) our official Baby Boomer kit: the stereo transceiver and all its associated equipment -- speakers, turntable, DVD/CD player and cabinet. In its place, we have a sleek new gadget: a Bose Soundtouch system that not only taps the iTunes library on our computer (wirelessly!), but also accesses the Internet to play radio stations from around the world. Right now, it's on BBC Radio 3, a reliable source of classical music, where I imagine it will stay for much of the time. Himself has found stations specializing in French and Welsh folk music, and it even pulls in the CBC from Toronto, which is no prize compared with BBC 3. Unlike the stereo, the Bose system is rather smaller than a breadbox, requiring only a small occasional table to sit on. Its sound is glorious.

Now, if only I could find someone who wants a VCR and a Hewlett-Packard printer that doesn't like Windows 10 and requires ink cartridges that cost sixty dollars.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 08 Sep 17 - 02:36 PM

I use the receiver and large speakers to listen to radio, to music via the CD player, and to listen to the television and DVD player (both attached with cables). I should probably investigate the combination of bluetooth dongles and a smaller receiver that would remove wires and the need for a piece of furniture to hold all of those devices. (I could use the cabinet for something else, after I patch the holes in the back where all of the wires run through. I'm thinking it would move to the craft room.) What is the model of the Boze item you picked up?

Finally got some eBay listings up, and decided to ditch the last of the VHS tapes (people still buy them, but they don't sell like hotcakes). I'll scan eBay for a few as yet unlisted titles and see if any need a shot before they head out the door, but those that have languished in the listings can be unlisted and donated. I didn't buy any of these; they are the stragglers from the process of emptying old media from shelves around the house.

I've whittled down the backyard pile of branches by about 75%, in preparation for next week's bulky waste pickup. I've chipped a bunch (I quit last night when the mosquitoes discovered me still at work) and will finish this afternoon. A few of the thicker limbs that won't go in this chipper *might* get used for a homemade trellis in the back; another declutter regular has made some charming ones in the last few years. I still have to trim branches that are leaning over the roof; I don't want to drag them to the back yard so I waited to do the trimming when they can go straight to the curb.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 09 Sep 17 - 10:38 PM

Progress today with branches now being moved out to the curb. The biggest ones this evening, tomorrow the rest. I stopped before the mosquitoes came out. I spent most of the day listing things on eBay. I pulled a few items that were listed and bunched them into batches in boxes with others and put them up for low prices. Some things seem to sell in lots better than individually. It cleared some shelf space and other things that are a bit more modern are also listed.

I saved a handful of branches from the baldcypress to try my hand at making a trellis. The others weren't as straight and aren't as good at lasting for a while.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre
Date: 10 Sep 17 - 06:29 PM

I haven't done much around the house this week as it's just been very busy and the house is in ok shape...so it's all good. I took Jeremiah on a surprise Mommy & Me trip yesterday to the National Aquarium in Baltimore. He'd never been in a large city or an aquarium so it was all very exciting and he had a wonderful time, as did I. We walked around the aquarium for maybe 4 hours and then around the Inner Harbor twice...meandering in and out of places that got our attention. My FitBit tells me I walked about 11,000 steps and 11 flights of stairs. I'm a little sore today but I think it's due to the standing still looking into all the various exhibits than the walking.

Today I slept in and have been puttering at my own pace. I cleaned off one shelf of a 7 shelf high bookcase, did some cooking, cleaned off the kitchen table, put things away from yesterday's adventure and am getting ready for a full work week. Clothes are washed and just need to be hung up so I can grab and go in the morning. I have a feeling it's going to be a long week as I am just tired.

I had my port flushed on Friday after not having had it done for 12 weeks....it was a month overdue but thankfully worked just fine. I had basic bloodwork drawn and will have the tumor marker checked next time. My A1C is a little high, not bad but it's been better so I'll tighten that up. My thyroid is all kinds of out of balance...AGAIN....so it's no wonder I am dragging as much as I am lately. I'm hoping my PCP will change the meds without an office visit. I have no idea why my thyroid gets itself so out of balance but it happens periodically. I wonder what it feels like to have full on steam energy? It's been SO long.....I keep chugging along regardless...doing my best!   My family was very concerned when I took on a full time job telling me they didn't think I would be able to handle it.....silly people! ;) I AM tired but love my job!

I think Pete is going to take out 2 of the AC units as it's been nippy lately. I think summer will make a sort comeback but nothing we need the AC for, except maybe the bedroom as I like it cool in there.

Maggie, I could keep you busy with outside projects for a very long time......it soon will be yard work season for me. I don't do much outside during the summer as the heat makes me sick but these cooler days are perfection for me....now to get some energy!

I'm with you Dorothy...the city was a nice place to visit but I like the wide open space and fresh air of the countryside. It's always good to be home.

I hope everybody is well and has a great week!

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 10 Sep 17 - 10:47 PM

Michelle, those kinds of one-on-one parent/child trips are so precious, and formative. He'll remember that the rest of this life.

I also slow down during the summer; usually the lawn is dormant during the dry and heat, but not this year. The weather was in the high-80s for the last week, not bad (all things considered).

I like cities in measured doses also. The thing about where I live, something my next door neighbor and I were talking about this afternoon as we leaned on our rakes in the very back of his yard, overlooking the creek, was how our neighborhood doesn't feel like a city. Though we're very close to two Interstate highways, this area is a creek bottom and there is an extensive greenbelt running through the area. Our yards have some of those woods and the creek, and it feels like we're out in the county, not in a city of a half-million people. We were talking back there because I had just finished with the loppers, pruning a pathway for myself along the top of the bluff over the creek. He was still dragging downed limbs from the yard out to the curb; I had finally finished moving my stack. We have enough room to let this stuff pile up for a while and still have plenty of space for everything else, but a stack in place for too long is going to become a habitat for mice and snakes, and the dogs won't leave either of them alone. I like the wildlife here, but try to keep most of it out of the yard so the dogs don't hunt them.

Large pile at the curb, tired feet on me. I've entered my foods into My Fitness Pal and though I don't have my fitness tracker right now (waiting for replacement with the next model), I can tell I had quite a workout. No knowing how many steps, but I probably would have hit 100% by mid-afternoon.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 11 Sep 17 - 10:49 AM

Kinda bushed, myself.

Monday is garbage/recycling day in Stratford, so this morning I hauled a dozen large yard-waste bags and two 4-cubic-foot boxes stuffed with packing paper to the curb, plus a great stack of flattened cartons and the actual, you know, garbage. I can now count the 2-cubic-foot boxes of books remaining in the garage, and my heart sank when I did -- the number is 51. Plus two boxes of LPs and about half a dozen 4-cubic-foot china barrels full of fancy crockery.

The first load of new IKEA bookcases is due to arrive tomorrow, and Himself and I intend to assemble and move them into place ourselves.

On Thursday, if we're still married after the bookcase experience, we leave for the FSGW Getaway in West River, Maryland, which is about ten hours of actual driving (not counting breaks) from Stratford. From Ottawa, it was a mere seven or so hours, and could actually be done in one day if absolutely necessary, but a 10-hour drive has to be done over two days, especially when it involves crossing the U.S. border at Buffalo. I will consider our first day a success if we clear the Buffalo suburbs and find a flop before suppertime.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 11 Sep 17 - 09:40 PM

Beaver:

Energy goes up and down - more down than up currently in spite of lovely "Indian Summer" weather. In the 70s for the next week quite a relief from cool and rainy most of "summer" interspersed with over 80 days! The screen house is almost complete - just a few pieces of molding to go - and I managed to vacuum the sawdust this eve. It is beautiful! Maybe tomorrow I will "move in", well a couple things. Need to find a wire brush - I know I have one! - to clean a cabinet, then paint it with spray paint left over from rainbow. I am quite enjoying the lounge chair on the back deck as the sun sets over the hill (6:30!); I cannot see that from the screen house as it is surrounded by tall shrubs - well shaded! We may decide to make a viewing hole but we hate to disturb more of the habitat as the idea is to be close to the swamp/beaver pond and the critters AND safe from the bugs!

Hoping Dan will be back tomorrow so he can help me put the swing back together - 3-seater with canopy so I can stretch out and read outside. It blew over, repeatedly, in the early summer winds and lost an essential piece. I finally figured out what to do. Then the lounge chair, and the four refurbished director's chairs, can go in the screen house. Should I call it a gazebo? It is not fancy but very solid and nicely built with 4x4s!

Took a few pots to the Art Gallery gift shop today. Now need to find a space to put the few boxes still in the car. I think of setting up a display area in the screen house. As the weather holds - a good time to start sorting through storage bins to see if I can part with some STUFF!

R picked some seed pods off some sort of locust tree in July. I put them in a pot and now have a pot full of 3-4 inch plants! Will re-pot tomorrow. And some other garden work. Only managing 0.1 mile on cycle! Ankle still hurts some. Last week I walked about 3 blocks and had to rest part way. No leg muscles left. MUST try harder. And losing it diet-wise (stupid!), I have gained at least 5#.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 12 Sep 17 - 08:16 PM

Beaver!
Te wonderful screen house is complete - even a nice step so I won't fall "head over teacups"! A doormat in place, some shelves for pottery, directors chairs. It would be kind of neat to paint a pattern on the floor - maybe! more tomorrow.

The modus operandi of my current life is: do a few little things - 15 min to an hour or so, rest for a while until my body feels like doing more. Poultice on ankle today finally dawned on me as a good idea and I arranged it to stay in place while I moved about!

Got my head around finding something to replace the missing spring for swing as no springs are available. Went looking and, at one place, "are you Dorothy?" Conversation with young lad of 31 whom I had not seen since his family were close neighbours - 1999! Tried to figure out how to get more line on the whipper snipper: Dan could not help! Went to Canadian Tire (CT) where I had bought it and no one knew BUT one of my fav staff from Home Hardware(HH) happened to be there and he DID IT! And now I know how. I did cut a little of the grass - more tomorrow.

One week to next cataract op so I hope to get some things done before I cannot bend over or lift more than 10 pounds. Maybe tomorrow I can throw some pots???

Read on the swing and enjoyed the peace of the evening until darkness brought me inside. Now to find an airbnb for next Thursday.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 12 Sep 17 - 11:54 PM

I haven't been very good about taking the dogs for walks; we have a dog door in back and a huge yard, so in theory they get lots of fresh air and exercise and things to sniff and dig and such. But they love walks, and this week we've started up walking after work, before I feed them. Good exercise for all of us. It's unusual that it's this cool here (still just t-shirt weather, but it's in the 80s, not the 90s.)

I'd love to see photos of all of the work you're doing around the Beaver homestead, Dorothy.

Shopping at my favorite import store today I noticed the dairy section was bare, as were some other sections of the store. Hurricane Harvey strikes - they "didn't get the truck in" this week. It drives up from Houston, where so much imported food travels through. The olive oil delivery happened before Harvey, so the aisles are filled with cases of 3 litre bottles of various brands; at least I found the main thing I went for.

I'm intentionally using freezer stuff this month, opening the door to look around before I head to the grocery store, in an effort to clear out some before it's time to defrost again. I'm also trying to get back to the frugal program I was following successfully for a few months - until it all went to hell. Hopefully we're back to a couple of no or low-spend months.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 13 Sep 17 - 08:40 AM

Five IKEA bookcases later, we are still married. We still have 51 boxes of books to unpack, however, and their contents to haul upstairs and down. My back and feet ache at the very thought.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 14 Sep 17 - 10:13 PM

Beaver:

OH my! And 51 boxes of books! bit by bit, I hope! I expect R to arrive next week with a bunch of his for the library. I expect the library will fill up truck load by truck load! I will NOT be a party to it. Looking around, I see enough of his books, on shelves in the house, that can go to the library and make space for those of mine still down at the mill.

I hesitate to post, on FB, pics of what we are doing, lest it be noticed by the local municipality. I do not think we have done anything illegal but one never knows. Need to take some up to date pics in any case. Maybe tomorrow before the rains begin again.

Yesterday I managed to varathane part of the back sheds and started spray painting the ugly doors with rainbow colours. The odour forced me to stop and I could not even sit on the swing (too close). Today I was tired and it was too hot to sit on the swing, also too hot for most of what I want to get done outside - and most of what I want to get done is outside! The screen house was cooler as it is totally shaded at present but the wood still smells strongly so I gave up after taking more pots in. Life is fraught with hazard! Sorted through a bag of winter clothes and found spaces for them, while putting some summer clothes in storage bin.

I see enough scrap lumber to make a 3 sections of board walk for the spring water between house and sheds and gazebo. The sections can be stacked out of the way when not needed. I can put them together myself - on a not too hot, non-rainy day! Thurs next is my cataract op so I feel a pressure to do what I can before the dreaded 3 weeks of no bending over and no lifting more than 10 pounds. Seems as though there is almost nothing that does not require bending over!

Flawless weather all week and a few more days! I am trying to use it wisely but the energy level is low. I managed to bleach some white cloths in the sun; worked great so I took them down today and removed the clothes umbrella from my line of sight.

I hoped to get a 3/4 mattress in Madoc - an hour away - but it was sold. Thinking I would be going to Madoc, I phoned a potter friend there and found his wife was picking up supplies so I arranged for her to pick up a few things for me! But now I need to drive down to pick them up. Maybe tomorrow. I did suggest to the nice woman, who had sold the mattress, that she visit the potters who are close walking distance from her home. She will tell them I sent her.

Two 3/4 mattresses near Ottawa on Kijiji so I am hoping at least one will be available when R drives up from Montreal in the truck. Twin bed is too small for two! I did browbeat him into taking time to get a futon for the house in M so we have a guest space. YAY! Love crossing things off the list! Our friend Paul is not arriving until Dec, if at all, but I did not tell R that; I just insisted that this needed to happen and I had finally found one that looked decent - for $60! A large quilt taking up space here will go to Montreal.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 15 Sep 17 - 09:01 PM

Beaver:

YAY! A day when I was able to spend more time doing than resting! Gazebo/pottery display has progressed. Grass edging has progressed and thanks to my lesson in how to advance the string, I actually was able to do it myself- LOTS of grass edging to do! More varathaning done but next section requires a ladder... A good day!

Tomorrow is a day of going here and there...


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 15 Sep 17 - 10:12 PM

After necessary errands I visited thrift stores today. I found a couple of things for me (tea mugs and a glass pot with two tea strainers in it - taped together like they were a set, but they aren't. My win, and only $3 for the pot and strainers.) And several things to sell on eBay. And a sewing machine for my daughter (who already has several but has created "stations" for the types of sewing she does, and this would have a place. A Viking workhorse, assuming we can get a cord for it to test it in the next couple of weeks. I can take it back if it doesn't work. The cord will probably cost three times what the machine did, and it will still be a bargain.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 17 Sep 17 - 11:18 AM

I opened a package of batting today only to find it was rather triangular in shape, no good at all for the rectangular quilting project I have for the fall. Grrrr! It has been nice weather so I've worked outdoors when I can, but I'm setting myself up for cooler weather. More batting is now on my list to pick up.

I made progress with the eBay listings yesterday; the prepared packages do pile up (large ones on my bench next to the door, where I sit to put on my garden shoes) but once they're listed they eventually sell and head out the door.

Last week I bought several pounds of apples on sale and canned eight pints of applesauce. Another mudcatter (on facebook) suggested making it with just apples and not adding the usual sugar and cinnamon. That way I can use it for baking (substituting for a portion of the oil in some soda bread recipes, for example) and not have the cinnamon flavor when I might not want it. But I can easily sprinkle cinnamon sugar over a bowl of applesauce to give it the usual flavor of applesauce when eating it plain. I moved into this house 15+ years ago and for most of those years I've been canning garden produce. This is a singularly bad year for my favorite crop, tomatoes, so I'm compensating by finding other foods to process.

Other than these activities, I have the usual weekend chores. Preparing several dishes that I can use for lunches this week is typical, but since I recently made and froze a double batch of beans (frozen in wide-mouth 12 oz jars that salsa came in) I'll made a batch of rice and take rice and beans several times during the week.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 17 Sep 17 - 08:38 PM

Beaver:

Yard sale yesterday netted a lovely cupboard for the screen house, roomy and an attractive antique that will display lots of pottery and be good for storage as well. Also two good solid book cases - not sure where yet, and a shelf unit with two grow light units.

Still some pottery to transport to the back - use wheelbarrow! I observed today that there are two "shelves" across the top of the gazebo - back and front - that will hold many pieces. It is looking quite nice with the director's chairs open.

Potted the tree seedlings, did some sorting, some spray painting (can only do it in very small bits to avoid odour. inch by inch...

Waiting for Chris Rawlings open house for organic apples and cider. Must check FB. Great visit with artist Arne Roosman - wishing I had wall space for one of his marvellous paintings.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Sep 17 - 04:17 AM

This post equals two FB tips and a report on decluttered pillows and overnight case.

Tip 1-- the below is pasted from a very small FB group I set up for tracking wellness progress with closest friends and family-- a FB within my huge FB.

Tip 2-- the below paste reflects using pix to head threads, which can be easier to find later than thread titles.


The declut: items strewn in my computer corner and DR are now cased for removal to vehicle.

...

The Travel Logistics Thread

Remember this image to find this thread again in Photo's-- I will!

2017+ includes portability plans that will require at least my minimum pillowing kit to be permanently onboard. One key to maintain my mobility is able to totally let go for at least 5 hours sleep. Not every host has a recliner, or enough extra pillows to fully support my joints.

Since before 2012 I've been making my kits increasingly smaller. This one is the smallest yet: an overnight-sized airline rolling bag. A matching tote carries atoelan nightie, plus change of undies.

Inside are 5 small pillows of vairous sizes, a cushy kniteditem wth case for a 6th huggy pillow, and a pair of wadded-paper neck or wrist pillows with cushy chenille-sleeve wrappers. There are usually more pillows plus blanket in the car. Add 1-2 pillows with a host's bed (or 0 pillows but a good recliner), and boom!

We especially felt the lack of kit when we recently drove home from OH to PA (in August). Too tired NOT to stop but too few pillows be workable! OWWWW! :-(

The front pockets shown here are still empty-- room for a whole clothing outfit!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 19 Sep 17 - 06:40 PM

Beaver:

A few more little things done today - not a great deal. I drove to Coe Hill to give Arne some mineral capsules and stopped at once-was-a- hardware store for a bowl of nice thick soup and a thick piece of home made bread. Yum. Then at the Mercantile to see Lillian but her mom died on Saturday so she was on way back west - Manitoba. Feeling low all afternoon - sad for Lillian whose Mom was quite ready to leave but still hard for L.

Also frustrated as I could not find the supplement order list. Then the internet would not connect so I put the computer into a carrying bag - THERE was the list! and off to Tim Horton's for a bowl of soup. And to order the supps. Also did not feel like eating anything in the house... May feel like doing a couple more things in the house when I get home...

Oh yeah, not looking forward to cataract up on Thursday - not that it is bad but the frustration of not bending over and not lifting for 3 weeks... And add on a day that it is heavily not getting around to actually raining. And add on wondering what time R will get here tomorrow and will he manage to pick up the new-to-us mattress without which it will be an uncomfortable weekend! SO - not much done today!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 19 Sep 17 - 10:36 PM

Good luck with your recovery from that second eye surgery, Dorothy. This time I'm sure you'll have prepared for a larger range of activities you can do while restricting your motion.

This evening I was going to work on eBay, but when I realized a note about an item to list was lost in the clutter on my desk, I decided instead to clear the stacks and file the stuff on my computer desk and on top of the file cabinet. Wood is now visible and in the process I found a couple of things I've been looking for, and things I forgot I needed.

wysiwyg - a friend of mine apparently travels with a small pillow for getting comfortable with the hoses she wears at night from her oxygen machine. I found one in the guest room and figured it must be hers. I think she makes them herself, and they compress down to nothing to go in the luggage, but are helpful for propping the O2 line. I'm keeping it for her next visit, she apparently has a lot of them. When you're thinking about service projects, making pillows may be something to add to your list.

Weather dried out and are hoping for some rain next week. I'm finally getting the dry grass that doesn't need to be mowed very often. My vegetable garden is finally starting to produce, there are green tomatoes and a couple of eggplants in view.

Charmion, how many of those boxes of books have you unpacked so far, or will they wait until more renovations are completed?


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Subject: The one about the sideboard
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Sep 17 - 01:26 PM

First pirce of stay-forever furnitute unloaded and installed in Ohio: Greg's beautiful sideboard. Was I right, how I envisioned it the day I bought the house? Duh, YEAH...

Its position allows the front door (with coats hung on it) to open fully. Space between sideboard and wall facilitates storage of flat items, and the adjoining window's curtain drop. After its rain-dampened masonite back fully dries, I'll swap in the green/blue cloth cover from the previous divider which married the LR/K colors (open concept). It needs a cover for the back which faces into the LR

The sideboard replaces two previous items that combined to be a few inches wide, and about a foot shorter. It's been a great 'landing' zone, so this turns out not to be a good spot for a really tall item (such as the whole tall china cabinet we thought of for that spot.)

It's helpful to see one of the larger PA pieces that will eventually be here... many pieces bought for a house w huge rooms, in a double-wide-type footprint? Maybe.... if I can get used to them one at a time. They hold wonderful memories!

Anticipated use: power tools until we're here fulltime (when they'll move to the garage); then large serving-ware. Now and also then, landing zone or buffet for company meals (whether in kitchen or LR or both).

Boy-unloading time: 2 young men, no dolly, 15 minutes untarping to placement.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre
Date: 20 Sep 17 - 07:54 PM

I haven't done much cleaning out at home but I have at my office! I have been working in an interior office with no windows. I fixed it up nicely and it's been going ok. Recently, however, I was bumped up and found myself with a nice office space with a large window! I have an awesome maintenance man who took out the desk that was in that office and moved in the desk of my choice, he moved my bookcase and even helped me lug the boxes of binders/manuals, etc. I am pleased to report that my office is ultra organized, homey with Jeremiah art and a quilt hanging on the wall and a nice chair for those coming into my space. No clutter. I have a HUGE bulletin board that I have covered in fabric that nicely picks up some of the colors in the quilt. The window has a large interior window sill and I have flowers there and some seasonal pumpkins too.....I love my work space!

Love to everybody!

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 20 Sep 17 - 09:09 PM

Beaver:

As I sit here (9 pm) wondering when R will arrive - and we have to leave for hospital at 7 am... I am delighted to read of Michelle's new office!!! and Susan's delight in her forever piece of furniture.

And, no, I have not done all sorts of things to make life easier as I have been in get out and push mode for days now. Well, I washed hair this aft as it will be 3 weeks before I can do that! And did laundry this morning so that is DONE! And all the "hatches" are battened down, as I "accept" that nothing will be done for 3 weeks, unless R does it.

I also broke down and bought a fancy duster at the hardware store for cobwebs and floor dust, and used it to clear up some of the house. I really did not have the energy to vacuum but this was a great improvement. It is actually my great fear of dust (allergy) and the discomfort of the respirator and having to leave the house until the dust settles... More trouble with fall allergies this year than in many years - maybe that is part of the cause of my slowdown!

The good new is that using a saline nasal wash has almost eliminated the chronic cough that has plagued me the last several years. The Dr. was quite concerned that I not cough while she is operating on my eye! But the anesthesia stopped the cough for 24 hours!

I have discovered that the outdoor cabinet by the front door, planned for storing pottery which is now in the screen house, is a good spot for things going to the dump or thrift shops.

I am hoping R can fetch the things bought last Saturday at the yard sale and get them into place. BUT I will not be able to organize until the 3 weeks is up.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 20 Sep 17 - 09:18 PM

[window envy] I work in a dark cold basement. Lucky you! And the office sounds charming and relaxing for any clients who visit. It seems it wasn't that long ago that you took up quilting - you've come a long way with it, to have spares to use for decorative purposes!

I'm doing some virtual reorganizing this evening. My mp3 player lost it's mind overnight so I loaded the last file of the mystery I was close to finishing in my phone for the drive to work. During the day I visited the public library web site and I have a library audio download in my phone and tablet now, and I've hopefully set up so my programs sync information and I can read books on different devices and each one knows where I stopped last, regardless of what I was reading on. (That's the theory.) I've also formatted the mp3 player and I'm reloading some books back into it.

Dorothy, have we discussed neti pots in these threads? It would soothe your nose and throat, but having to lean over the sink to use it might not be recommended, unless you're very careful.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre
Date: 20 Sep 17 - 10:28 PM

Maggie,

I'll share some photos on FB tomorrow evening so you can see. The space just makes me happy.

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 21 Sep 17 - 07:15 PM

A friend of mine has a job interview in central PA - I was telling her about you. Got a little teary-eyed in skimming over some of the high and low points. :) Looking forward to those photos.

I stopped in a fabric store this evening on my way home from work; I've meant to for a while. I didn't have anything in particular I needed, I just wanted to look. They have all cotton and it's intended for quilting, though of course people come for fabric for other things as well. They have lots of large tables with cutting boards inset for working and teaching. Looked interesting!

Dorothy, drop us a line to let us know when you are up to it after that second surgery. I'm sure you'll be very happy to finally have that out of the way.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Sep 17 - 09:20 PM

Ohio...

Another stay-forever piece is now in place-- a thick, off white 8 x 9 carpet from the PA guest room (a FreeCycle score) fits the guest/sewing room here POIFECK. The door even opens over it. Can be rotated to ensure even wear.

Hardi and I discussed our thoughts for that room when we were here for vacay in August. He envisioned it completely differently and had a much better idea. So today the mockup of his Murphy Bed idea began, as follows.

The departing housemates left us a neat Craigslist twin headboard w shelves/cubbies, that will fit between two of our matching bookcases. Above these, a shelf with a clothes rod under a wooden valance will stretch across the whole wall-- with the curtains (hung on the rod) covering the bed when it's up (or flanking the bed when it's down).

The headboard is a tad too deep, relative to the bookcases, so it will get its back 1/3 sliced off, and most of that hung for more cubbies above the other 2/3.

With this rig, we can use every inch, right up to the ceiling, on that wall. Even with the bed down, Hardi's grandmother's antique sewing machine will fit as his sewing table, at the foot of the bed, like a footboard.

One hour kid labor. He learned all about assembling Hollywood bed frames.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Sep 17 - 08:51 AM

Ohio

The more dangerous aspects of the opioid epidemic are emanating from the next Big City south of the town we're retiring to. Past helper Jeremy died in it, in June, and the neighborhood (and whole town) is showing a real uptick in home invasions just since the first of the year. So a re-purposed group of PA item is a one or more trail cams, cleverly placed in house and garage, a baby monitor so I can announce warnings to 'visitors' from the bedroom, and toddler door alarms. I moved the dog's crate to my bedroom area to be able to release her in case of intrusion.

I'm also seriously considering adding a dog-strength hotwire to the exterior security lights, to supplement the 6 neighbors keeping eyes and ears out.

Because I don't want any burgling help decluttering our retirement place! :-(


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre
Date: 23 Sep 17 - 10:29 AM

It has been a hectic but interesting workweek, the kind that leaves you all fired up and ready to move into the next week with enthusiasm and interest! :) However, that doesn't mean I'm not ready for this weekend! ;)

In just a few minutes we are off on a new adventure to pick concord grapes. Our grapes have done well this year and there are more to come, however, we are going to be making our own grape juice and jelly this year (and maybe a few grape pies...never have had them but would like to try) so we need a very large abundance of grapes! Homemade grape juice sounds amazing to me! :)

I cleaned the kitchen last night so it's all sparkly and ready for us to get busy with the canning process. Jeremiah loves to be helpful in the kitchen so it makes this a true family adventure and something that we all love to do. :) I am looking forward to the rest of the day...now if Pete would just hurry up and get out of the shower so we can GO! LOL

Have a good one everybody!

Michelle

PS. We recently put our log cabin on the market. We bought it over 20 years ago as a place to go on the weekends to get Pete out of town as he hated living in town. We have been on our homestead for 19+ years now (and far from town) and rarely go to the cabin. We don't have the time and besides that, we are content to stay right here when we do have the time. :)


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Subject: When is a buy not a clutter? And Cheyenne plan.
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Sep 17 - 04:41 PM

Ohio...

When is a buy not a clutter? When it works like this:

In a girl-power, swamp-skills home security plan, four long-wanted plant hangers spotted at Walmart-- destined for PA soon and Ohio forever-- make a great storm-door noisemaker until the beer cans and battery-powered door alarm chimes arrive. ;-)

The framework for the new security plan is, "Pray AND tie your camels. Then, LIVE." See me FMI.

Just-concluded: neat paid home security backup arrangement w nextdoor neighbor Marie/Joe's adult daughter Cheyenne, who lives at home, works, and goes to kollidge. I've met her several times around the driveway, and she is the soul of sweet manners, with strength. She's thrilled to park in the driveway and tour hse/garage weekly (or if concerns noted). Has pitty puppy.

Unless her parents rescind:

".... this is Susan. Greg contact info 4 checks or worries is xxx.xxx.xxxx. Unless ur folks rescind our arrangement, a small monthly check (up to 50) will arrive whether I'm here or not. (50 would incl weekly garden hose on/off.)

This month I'll b away xxxx, and u can tour house (every rm) to see what 'normal' looks like. (Are also pix in FB album if u want to friend/see.) The door alarms will be set on 'chime' mode if they arrive in time.

In Oct I hope hse security is good enuf to visit MIL xxxx. Door alarms n trail cams we discussed def up by then. I hope to depart for PA Nov. Xxxx and return in xxxx. Snow/lawn care via xxxxx's Svc except driveway.

The patio is available at any time for dog training/play, if Newbie not out there, or supervised w Newbie by advance arrangement. She can be a problem if not tied. (She boards when I'm away.)

When u can, pls copy ur drivers license 4 our records? The storm door makes a good mailbox.

Thank you!!! Last long msg I promise!"


And all the free laundry she cares to do here instead of at her crowded small house next door.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 24 Sep 17 - 11:00 AM

The boxes of items listed on eBay are neatly stacked, available to add a packing slip, tape closed, and transport out of the house. I may have to tweak some of the "Buy it Now" prices to move them out, but a couple of weeks a visibility is often needed before things start moving.

I was looking for an article (one I printed it out, it's around here somewhere, I'll find it when I'm no longer looking for it) and found this, possibly even better one when I did an online search: The Tyranny of the Heirloom. It might be of interest to our active and passive readers. I'm slowly moving stuff out of the house that my kids have no interest in. I learn about the family I never met through some of these things, them let them go to new homes.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Sep 17 - 01:42 PM

Thanks very much for posting the link to "The Tyranny of the Heirloom". I feel better now about my fancy inlaid tilt-top table, a piece of 18th-century English elegance sitting uneasily in the lounge of our 1970s Canadian suburban house.

It was the star of my great-grandmother's parlour, tricked out with lace, silver and delicacies for her weekly Thursday afternoon "at home". When my grandfather was little, circa 1887, he was allowed to sit at that table to polish off the delicacies when the last guests had departed. It is made of mahogany with a tripod base and a top inlaid with pearwood to form a picture of a basket of roses surrounded by a wreath of laurel. With a diameter of 40 inches and standing just a little lower than a standard dining table, it is not suitable for routine use as an eating-off table, but it is great for parties where people help themselves to nice portable snacks set out on plates. But 21st-century people don't have the discipline of their great-grandparents and don't know how to behave in the presence of fine furniture, so I must either protect it with padding and a liquid-repellent cover or cringe whenever a guest (especially a child) approaches it with a glass in his/her hand.

I inherited it in 1992, when my father died, and for 25 years I have arranged the sitting room furniture around it. My father believed that it is valuable, but I know very well that furniture -- even genuine Chippendale -- is worth exactly what one can persuade a customer to pay for it, and Canadians aren't eager to buy furniture they have to be careful with. There are days when I feel stuck with it. And then somebody new will come to the house and say, Wow, what a beautiful thing! So I guess if I'm going to be stuck with something, I shall be grateful that it's not only occasionally useful (with padding and an oilcloth cover) but also beautiful all the time. If I part with it, even for a towering price, I must also part with the ghost of a little blond boy in an Eton jacket scoffing shortbread off a Limoges tea plate, and I just can't do that.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 24 Sep 17 - 02:55 PM

If you have a photo of the object with loved ones around it, I think you'll find that you still have the stories - because that's what this item is, after all - a mnemonic device to remember family stories and loved ones long gone. If you watch something like Antiques Roadshow you know the market is way down for big, dark antiques. This may change in the future, but for now, we live with these things or we decide that getting rid of them as time allows spares our children the chore in the future.

It's too damned hot this afternoon for mowing. I was going to at least do the trimming but the spool cap wore through and needs replacing. #ItsAlwaysSomething


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Sep 17 - 05:48 PM

Our parish has hosted an annual Antique Show for almost 50 years, with 15 dealers for each show. The ones still motivated to come report that the whole industry is dying; antique shops in area PA towns are closing and no longer a big tourist draw; last I heard we were down to four dealers interested for this year.

It's kinda gross to think that the crap we get now at Walmart will be 'antiques'-- much studied and valued-- when the industry revives. Just look how 'midcentury' mishmashes show up now on HGTV-- 1948-ish - 1968-ish all mixed like they might have been in a 1970 starter home, as high decor.

???


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 24 Sep 17 - 10:01 PM

Beaver:

R arrived at 3 am. I was too worried to sleep. We were up at 6:30 to leave at 7 for the hospital-- where there was a hold up and I did not get op until after noon. The idiot anesthesiologist did differently than the last one and I was wiped out for two days, thereby missing out on my much anticipated supper; I was in bed from late aft when we finally arrived at airbnb until morning. Cheryl was very sweet and tried to give me good soup but I could not eat it. R did.

The drops seem to affect me so I wake up feeling well but go down hill. The heat contributes! Happily, the house stays OK - we spent the aft inside! And cools off before bedtime with doors open. Love those screen doors!

We did get home in time Friday to pick up yard sale items and 3 of 4 are in their homes - a shelf unit with grow lights in the bathroom where it will be kept warm when I am not here; one bookshelf in the studio and the antique cupboard is beautiful in the screen room, a lovely space and totally shaded so cooler than the house. Great display area for pottery. A wonderful addition to our lives.

R is thrilled with his library and has moved some piles of books out there!! It still needs the flooring and many shelves, and a rail for the ladder.

We did stuff around the house Sat am and then went off on a studio tour - good to be in AC car when the heat hits! Fun day concluding with some exploring of back roads. Today organizing, etc in am and late aft. The heat... Also, R is still tired from the work he was doing in Montreal 12-14 hour days for several weeks. He is happy to be here. So am I! We sat outside on the swing in the cool of the evening and breathed in the delicious air. And R noted that he never thought he would ever just sit and swing! YAY!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 25 Sep 17 - 12:07 PM

My pet peeve today: stores that sell products but that don't support the commonplace repairs those products may need. As mentioned before, the spool cap from my Homelite electric trimmer finally wore through, sending string into a huge tangle. I headed to Home Depot to pick up the replacement, but accidentally got the wrong brand and it doesn't fit. My only remedy is to order the correct one online, arriving next week. The trimming will wait, I'll mow, but this is a common brand and you'd think they'd keep more than replacement string.

Fall allergies are making their presence known via headaches and a lot more sneezing. And the weekend was weird - everyone from Texas to New Hampshire and lower Canada seems to have been upset by much warmer than usual weather. I spent most of the time working indoors on eBay listings. I've listed a number of items of different types, I don't generally specialize. I have disturbed some dust in the process, so I suppose that could also contribute to the headache.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 25 Sep 17 - 11:17 PM

Beaver:
warm weather and allergies! YEP! took more chlorpheniramine maleate than in a long time. Careful not to raise dust to add to problem.

Neti pot: what I am using is similar; does the job without being authentic. Works great as long as I remember to do it at least twice/day.

I have recovered from the idiot anesthesiologist's failure to listen and comply but the heat has slowed down both of us. We work early and late and stay in the cooler house in the heat or go out in the AC car.

New mattress is great! The frame and rather nice head and foot will go back to Montreal - too much clutter for our tiny BR. Freezer is repaired and will go to back shed until needed.

Library is gaining books; house being de-cluttered! I will have room for some of mine which I will bring back next trip to the mill. Amazing owl photo bought on studio tour is framed - all we need is a piece of wall on which to hang it! Maybe on the solid wall of screen house.

Pottery studio is much better with the "bookcase" shelving! I hope to get back to doing some work soon - as long as I do not bend over and do not lift more than 10#! Hoping to try some different patterns of glazing.

R leaves tomorrow and will take some stuff with him to further de-clutter back shed.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 26 Sep 17 - 09:12 AM

It's still hot as the hinges of Hell in Stratford, but relief is on the way: Environment Canada prophesies the arrival of a new front this evening, bringing rain tomorrow and a high of only 25C (!), followed by a sharp drop in temperature to something far more typical for late September. One can only hope.

Himself started work as a Legal Aid duty counsel today, so he set off this morning in his official lawyer's grey suit and shiny black shoes to walk the 2.5 km from home to the courthouse. That's not much of challenge at 0800 hr, but by mid-afternoon the thermometer will be around 31C with humidity to match, and that grey suit will be some wilted by the time he gets home.

In the car the other day on the way to Canadian Tire (this time for toolshed shelving), he remarked that we are now in the final stages of the Moving to Stratford operation, and now it's time to shift the focus to Living in Stratford. To that end, I joined the local concert choir, and attended my first rehearsal last night. It was held in a stifling hot Protestant church in the company of a squadron of stable flies (country town!), and everybody soldiered through stubbornly, swabbing sweat from brows as we sight-read our way through four movements of the Fauré Requiem and a selection of short pieces suitable for Remembrance Day. I think I will fit in just fine.

Meanwhile, some 35 two-cubic-foot boxes of books still sit in the garage along with seven china barrels with the fancy crockery and a couple of cartons of LPs. In the basement, access to the furnace is blocked by a stack of crated pictures that must be moved (and, preferably, unpacked) before the furnace can be cleaned. I would bet serious money that the people who sold us this house did not have the furnace cleaned in the spring -- who does that? Well, I did, back in Ottawa, but then I (ahem) failed to do it the previous fall.

But the china barrels have to stay right where they are until the kitchen project is finished (forecast for late November), and the books are waiting for yet another delivery of IKEA bookcases, due on 3 October. By the time we have finished filling this house with bookcases, we won't have much room on the walls for pictures. So it goes.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 26 Sep 17 - 11:52 AM

Charmion, how do you organize your books?

My father kept a three-ring notebook with typed and handwritten pages in his car. He was always stopping at bookstores and used book stores and wanted to keep track of what he'd already read. The list was long; I sold a lot of mysteries from his estate on eBay and they often went as sets because he would get every one from his favorite authors. I also like mysteries, but decided I would do better to clear out the huge volume of books and if I choose to read these authors at a later date, I'll get them via the library or interlibrary loan or online. Nowadays there are sites like LibraryThing that Katlaughing used, and GoodReads, probably an independent company at one time but now owned (to no surprise) by Amazon. It lets you transport the list of all of the books you've purchased into GoodReads (you can choose whether they appear or not, and mark them read or not.) I suspect he would have enjoyed keeping track of his books that way. And in order to know I'm getting my books in the correct order, I use Fantastic Fiction, a site out of the UK that I discovered when I was selling those books.

I've thought about using LibraryThing to keep track - I think you can get a lifetime membership for a fairly low cost, then catalog all of your books by ISBN. When I organized my front room last (one 14' wall is floor to ceiling books) I pulled them all off of the shelves and used the large tiles in my den as an organizer. One tile for As, the next for Bs, and using a couple for letters that had more last names (S, T, M, etc.) I was able that way to look at each stack and cull the duplicates. But it doesn't give me a list of everything, just one of everything.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 26 Sep 17 - 05:43 PM

Somber day here. Some of the items I'm listing on eBay, while they perfectly well need to go there, cause a bit of a wrench because they belonged to Dad. And it's not so much that, I've sold lots of family estate things with barely a twinge, but I realized that I'm coming up on the 20 year anniversary of his death. Intellectually I know that time has passed, but I lost both parents within six months, so that period from November 1997 to May 1998 was really tough. But like I mentioned above about keeping photos of objects instead of the objects themselves, I have kept the things that really do mean something. My house is filled with things that both parents sent over the years, and with things received after they died. I've told my kids a lot of the important stories. As I list several small cassette recorders and players (Dad was a packrat when it came to buying and keeping electronic stuff) I remembered that my mother gave me a cassette player of hers (even though I had several of my own) with the admonition that I record family stories for my children. So this going through stuff, decluttering, and passing it along has meaning. I need to keep telling the stories to my children. So I'll sell these little recorders but maybe take my time in passing along the one Mom gave me with those specific instructions.

A local radio call in program today had a guest who has written about how distracted we are by devices, and how creative our brains are when they are in fact a bit bored instead of always engaged with stuff and apps. She suggested driving with the radio off, without listening to the recorded book. To see what occurs during that time, of giving oneself an assignment for that time to think about something. Those stories to do with things, with people, would be a good starting place for each of us.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 26 Sep 17 - 10:32 PM

Beaver:
WOW! I have virtually nothing from any, long gone, parents. My ex managed to lose anything of value. I think about asking sons if there is anything they want but I SO doubt it. Taun has most of the family albums and I hope he shares. I never meant to leave them but he was not through with them... He does have a beautiful table, from the U of Toronto Library, and an antique rocking chair I left with them. I still have a desk, replica of the one used by Dickens; it came with a house I bought and I am ready to let it go but R isn't! He wants to build another library - for me and my desk!

Robin is SO thrilled with his library and I am thrilled to have some space cleared in the house and room for my own books when I bring them from the mill. I expect he will be bringing some of his next trip. But, a record of any sort will not be happening! I try to keep a loose leaf up to date of the novels I have read - so I don't read them twice! I only keep non-fiction that I have read and want to look at again.

Never listen to a radio - in car; father said it would distract from driving- or at home - too noisy; I prefer the sounds of silence - wind, rain, birds, spring peepers... I do great thinking as I drive. Dare not sing as my foot gets heavier on the gas pedal!

R went back to Montreal, leaving about 3 pm after totally re-organizing the back shed, getting the freezer and BBQ out there, winter tires accessible and the bookcase that will take the place of the sewing machine in my BR when there are enough bodies to move it! And storage bins more accessible so I can spend some time/energy trying to sort and, hopefully, discarding.

Feeling better in general and, with the temp due to go down, hope to get some good stuff done. The studio is organized for working!

Went to horticultural Society mtng tonight and asked for help getting rid of the yellow sort of iris (not bearded) which I have not been able to get out of the ground! They offered to remove and pot for next spring's plant sale! I will print out the photo I took of the blooms. I took my largest cabbage for the "competition" but it is "flat" and not at all like the other ones. At least 15" in D, it is good for a month of meals! And there are 3 more! And someone is to come Friday to collect some strawberry plants.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 27 Sep 17 - 10:07 AM

Hi, Acme: You asked about how we organize books around here.

Substantial ranks of bookcases are located in the basement recreation (i.e., TV-watching) room, the largest bedroom, the study, and Himself's office. Books are distributed according to where one would be most likely to want to read them: fiction, British history and cookbooks in the basement, which is accessed from the kitchen and has two sofas; crime and law in the office; music, editorial reference, military theory, and Canadian, American and European history in the study; and essays, poetry, and Himself's substantial collection of Victorian and Edwardian children's books in the bedroom. Modern children's books (C.S. Lewis to J.K. Rowling) are in a small bookcase at the top of the stairs, where young relatives can find them easily.

Fiction and essays are organized alphabetically by author. History is more or less chronological, and because we have so many of them, books on military topics are shelved together, again more or less in chronological order. So when you're looking for a book about the battle of Shiloh at our house, it helps to know that it happened before Gettysburg. Poetry is also chronological, with anthologies shelved together.

We have one other small bookcase, in the guest room, and travel books will probably end up there.

It's more of a set of conventions than a system, but it works for us.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre
Date: 29 Sep 17 - 08:52 PM

I cleaned out my car...all vacuumed and washed. :) Other than that, I haven't done anything other than normal chores around the house this week. It IS, however, the weekend! :) We have plans of going to a pumpkin farm that has become a family tradition. Frankly, I love the family time but would prefer to stay home tomorrow so I can putter around here (is it bad that I hope the predicted rain comes so I can do that? We scheduled a rain date.......).

All is well. I hope it's well in your part of the world too.

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 30 Sep 17 - 11:35 AM

My system here works well enough that when a friend comes to town at the last minute the guest room is ready to go. This wasn't always the case. There are a couple of oddball chairs in the guest room and I'm reminded that I've been meaning to take a class on upholstery to redo them, but that's a minor issue. What's really nice is to know that said guest, who is zonked because she didn't sleep well the night before, got a really good night's sleep in there.

Lovely weekend, so many things to do. The new cap for my string trimmer arrived yesterday so that chore can be tackled early in the day while it's cool. I need to clear out some of the grass around the garden - I'm getting a fall crop of tomatoes, if I can see them to pick them.

The declutter activity continues to be to donate or sell things that are culled from the household. I need to make a run to the recycle bin today and should make a loop taking me past the Thrift Store donation station as well. I still have to take out a couple of pair of clogs I never wear; the new shoes are totally comfortable, so that is a welcome exchange of shoe space. I'm thoroughly pleased with the new jeans, and I need to put one of my older pair either in the craft room to use as a source of denim fabric, or donate and let the thrift store recycle or put it in a craft category.

The music collection is in the radar again these days - that is my biggest chore and something I need to get back to. It would certainly free up space also, to finally donate it to a university library.

Have a good weekend, everyone! I hope it has finally cooled to seasonal normal temperatures wherever you are.

P.S. Dove into the closet headfirst, so to speak. Pants and dresses that don't fit are going to the thrift store. Even if I get back to those sizes again, they're not in style or are not something I would wear any more. You look at this stuff forever and don't see it, until you take a close look and wonder why you kept it for so long.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 01 Oct 17 - 10:25 PM

The Internet finally came back on this evening, after being off for probably 16 hours. Whew. It's amazing how many things get done during the day that at least have some reference to online sources.

The vegetable garden got attention today, including digging potatoes, weeding, trimming with the weed-whacker, and propping up the tomato vines that finally have fruit. The trimmer works better with the new cap - I didn't realize how it was dragging with the old one wearing out.

A few more garments came out of the closet this afternoon and I pulled a few unused items out of my dresser. I need to get a few new blouses (thrift store) and send some of the short-sleeved ones back. I like 3/4 sleeves best, regular short sleeves are okay, but for now the cap sleeves I have never get worn, my arms aren't in shape for them.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 02 Oct 17 - 07:28 PM

Beaver:
I must have done a lot yesterday because I am too tired today! I really felt as though I was making organizational progress and some de-cluttering as well. Just inch by inch. Cleared about a foot of mags and papers today and had new, good, thoughts about where to put stuff. Forgot to go to dump and have to wait til Thurs but the stuff is out of house.

R de-cluttered his crew cab last week; it took him all day!

Hope I have more energy tomorrow. It was so nice to have good energy for a few days - with the cooler weather. FROST last two nights! The "don't bend over; don't pick up more than 10 #" is ongoing but... Dug up strawberries for someone on Friday, need to plant a few things, harvested the cabbage and managed to get them in frig, scrubbed bathtub by pretend lying down - not bending from waist! Nine more days!

I seem to be seeing dirt in places I never noticed recently so cleaned stuff in the K! And enjoyed time on the swing, with book, in the afternoons until it cooled too much.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 03 Oct 17 - 09:16 AM

Three more bookcases arriving today; two more to go.

Yesterday we started unpacking framed pictures, not because we're ready to decorate, but because the crates were blocking access to the furnace filter. Oh, well; whatever works.

We have too much art, much of it really quite good and most of it original. I inherited lots from my father, who came from a family of painters and makers of interesting stuff, and bought more. Himself has also bought art -- a nice Daumier etching, for example, and has a sister who paints. I actually like some of her stuff, though not all. Then there was my grandmother, who liked to think of herself as a bit of a patroness. Some 40 years ago, she befriended a painter who left us with a fine watercolour of Galway harbour that needs reframing, a large, busy abstract that makes my head swim, and a nearly life-sized seated portrait of me at the age of 27. That last will never find wall space in this house if I can help it. Finally, there is the profusion of "certificates suitable for framing" that Himself has accumulated over the years, of which perhaps one of his four diplomas, his commission and his licence to practise law will go in his office. The rest -- removed from the frames in which they were originally presented -- go in the filing cabinet.

In this house, we can hang perhaps half of the framed items we have now, and I really can't imagine selling or otherwise disposing of the rest, so I plan to kick this can down the road, and make a First World Problem for our heirs and assigns. When I have finished squaring away our glory hole of a basement storage space, it will include a rack for framed pictures, just like (if considerably smaller than) what I have seen in a warehouse at the National Gallery of Canada. When we are dead, the nephews and nieces can sort it all out, and throw it all out if the spirit so moves them. Or perhaps fall in love with my great-grandmother's Impressionist landscapes of the Montreal area ... Who knows?


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 03 Oct 17 - 05:02 PM

I was raised poor. Some days, dirt poor. But my mom had that precious thing-- a sewing machine. She made me beautiful clothes, and she covered anything unlovely in our various homes with tasteful and pretty fabric.

From her I learned never to throw out fabric because, no matter how worn, there is always a piece with life in it. With that philosophy Hardi and I created a 5000 square foot home furnished (once we'd blended households) with less than a small apartment's worth of halfway decent furniture (laminate plus green stamps), and one genuine antique dresser (primitive), plus Goodwill and FreeCycle and discarded parishioners' pieces.... that 5000 sq feet was the only rental open, the summer we arrived. I just gave away--to my extreme pleasure-- the double mattress/spring I treated myself to right before we married, to a lady starting over and going for custody. Barely used, totally clean, plus maple frame left in the garage rafters by the house's sellers. Four more bags of seller's abandoned 'stuff' also came down which I also gave her and her helper to use or sell. The only item I brought in-- a hand-crocheted afghan throw-- in the color scheme of our newly-forming guest room in time for a weekend housemate. Baby afghans, brand new boots/shoes-- gone, plus a bulky twin mattress.

Tent, kept for evaluation. Tall enough, I'll sleep in it when I travel. Kept duffel to stow it in too. If not, give away.


~S~

Yay!


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Oct 17 - 02:26 PM

Ohio:

(Apols in advance for typos)

...and I'm thrilled to be able to give that same mom 2 matching wing chairs and a child's chair, which I will bring down on the next trailer load (May 2018). We'd been fretting over keeping or giving these away-- suddenly it was such an easy decision, knowing the cause it would serve and how dearly they'll be loved. We bought them used and it was a sweet memory: walking thru a thrift shop separately, we'd each seen them and coveted them, but feared the other wouldn't like (or wish to invest in) them. Beautiful deep salmon pink velour on solid frames/legs-- my color!

On that load will be a set (or 3) of shelves. Our PA furniture will then be pared down to awaiting 'The Big Move' mode-- stuff we use every day-- and I'll have ample sorting spaces for books, mementos, and STUFF to memorialize and then purge.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 04 Oct 17 - 05:29 PM

Beaver:

Where it is pouring! sporadically today. It let up long enough for me to close the shed door and take the top off the "greenhouse" so those tender plants will be well watered. WARM! today.

Susan! Great going!

Charmion: We have almost no wall space but I am planning to set up an area where the wall pieces can change from time to time. Not sure where until the ladder to sleeping loft is in place. There is wall space in the screen house but the art must be weather proof! As the rain pours down, I am wondering about the state of the current contents!

Two tiny jalapeno from the garden (the only two!) must have been cluttered with all the heat of a huge one. A 10" frying pan full of cabbage and zuke is almost too hot to eat. The next meal of it will be served with 10% yogurt!

I continue to inch along, sorting, organizing/discarding. My energy waxes and wanes but I am energized enough to be making the veggie chili for a potluck tomorrow, a major move forward. Watching, hopefully, for the time I feel like potting. With eyes de-cluttered of cataracts and ankle healed sufficiently that I can walk on the lumpy back yard, I am feeling possible. Progress is being made.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 04 Oct 17 - 10:35 PM

Books and art - I also have a lot. Way too much. My father collected art, and though he had a small house, he had a lot of it leaning up against the walls in his store room. I think he intended to rotate it. I move a few things around occasionally, but I have a cupboard full of spare frames I've picked up at thrift stores and garage sales for items of my own I decide to put up. Pretty cards purchased in travels, kid art, etc. The most recent item was a brochure from Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY, where I worked one summer. I kept occasionally finding this brochure and I couldn't make myself toss it, so I finally dug out a frame. It's a mostly green map and it's a lovely simple maple frame and it looks good. That wall is of oddball stuff, including my MA diploma., an Lookout Visitor Certificate a friend gave me in the mid-1970s (I was visiting his lookout!), kid art, and a New Yorker cover that my dad really loved and mounted. This one. Very clever.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 05:50 AM

Ohio:

It turns out I have a whole box of odds and ends I can give her, right here, many of which I no longer use. Space here is tight, so those 6" of pantry space and linen closet space will be welcome.

Other items I listed for her choice were left by the recently-moved housemates. And looking for items to pass along netted ME one item I'd not realized they left-- an outlet strip WITH USB ports. I immediately installed THAT where needed, and took it off my shopping list!

Dorothy, you've been a real role model for me in two-home living.

~s~


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 05 Oct 17 - 09:37 PM

eBay items are starting to move, the days are cooling. I'm returning to the No Spend practice that worked for a while last year, getting groceries but eliminating impulse and non-essential shopping. Making do, swapping, etc. I even signed up again for the area freecycle group, we'll see how long I can stand that daily email.

I buy whole chickens and cut them up unless I find parts on a good sale. I buy pot roasts and cut them into 1 lb pieces to freeze (I don't buy hamburger from the store any more). I shop at a deep-discount store that gets gourmet cheese and yogurt for a fraction of the regular grocery store prices (near shelf date, but easy to use while they're still good.) Shopping today I found several packages of NY strip steaks in the Kroger discount bin and cut and repackaged into six ounce packages for the freezer. It comes out about $3.25 per steak, something I don't eat often but are nice occasionally and for guests. I've made a concerted effort to draw down the freezer stock. If I add some frozen vegetables I'll have pretty much everything I need, save the fresh dairy products. It is time to defrost - things are all tumbled around in there since last spring. When I'm feeling efficient I put a list of contents on the door and keep a running tally of contents. If I'm feeling really efficient I'll straighten the side-by-side (frost free) freezer first.

This activity is also getting ready for the fall cooking season, plus canning and freezing (I have tomatoes in the garden now, and a few eggplants). I have food gifts for friends for the holidays, jelly made during the summer in this spectacular year of the wild grape. I have gifts for family, including good Pyrex containers (my local thrift store has great glassware) they can take food home in.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 06 Oct 17 - 09:50 AM

Acme, already rotating art?

FreeCycle usually has an option of viewing posts online (sort of forum style) only, if mails are an issue.

Here's a creative church approach-- during our annual PA diocesan convention, they're planning an Altar Guild Swap Meet to declutter sacristies.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre
Date: 06 Oct 17 - 10:58 AM

For the very first time this year, I have taken off two glorious days in a row! One was a planned vacation day and the other was a luxury decision. I have Monday off for Columbus Day/Indigenous People's Day in NYS.....this gives me 5 whole days off! YES!

Yesterday was a Mother/Daughter Day...a mystery trip with the local bus company and today I have the entire house to myself! Jeremiah is in school and Pete is off to work. I had planned to do more clearing out of the closet but changed my mind. I decided to putter in the kitchen. I washed the windows on the door and hung up some fall decorations, removed everything from the family bulletin board throwing away anything that was no longer needed, tucking away old art (with the exception of Jeremiah's hand made Emergency/Fire Plan), organized the few remaining things that need to stay (my fishing license, the number for the farmer who has agreed to butcher our chickens, the logger, etc. Next I pulled everything off the front of the fridge, gave it a good scrub down and added some new fall magnets that were given to Jeremiah and only put back Jeremiah's chore chart (white board type)/markers, a Book It form that has to be filled out daily and a recent A+ spelling paper where he wrote his name in cursive (this is new for him this fall)...he is so proud and we are too! Let's see...stove top and front is clean, the main counter is clean, dishes done, etc. My plan is to clean all the remaining windows inside and out and get them ready for some winter plastic to help keep the cold air out and hopefully I will have some time to do a little fall baking, put a roast in the crock pot and grab a shower before it's time to get Jeremiah from school.

One day this weekend is slated for paperwork organization...just something I like to do periodically and the annual major big wood stove/chimney cleaning event. Cold weather isn't far away! Another day is set aside for some major sewing...haven't had the time or energy to do that in quite some time and I am looking forward to that. If the weather is nice, the front porch is going to have a major overhaul as well...it's a catch all space for us and I'm so over it!

In other news, I think I shared that we had a cabin we were going to list. Well, it was listed and sold the first day! The closing is less than 2 weeks away! YES! :)

I can't tell you how much of a luxury it feels like to have this time to put things in order the way I want and have wanted to for some time now. *Happy Content Sigh*

Enjoy your day everybody!

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 06 Oct 17 - 06:42 PM

Beaver:

Michelle! How wonderful to be unencumbered by the cabin!

Susan: Always like to assist!

I de-cluttered the remainder of the calendars I had printed over a year ago. The Hospice, which is meant to receive the funds at the request of the artist, recently took over a thrift shop in town so I went in and gave the "leader" three framed prints and the remaining calendars with "instructions" to make a display; if people see how good each print looks framed, they can buy a calendar and frames (at the shop) and have affordable art by a local artist. As this is Thanksgiving Weekend and it was barely possible to drive through town, it is a prime time to peddle pictures of Vintage Bancroft (70s) at the Vintage shop. Enough sold to pay me back the costs and the Hospice has made over $500 from them. They have been well appreciated by many folks. Happy to have completed this endeavour!

Come to think of it, that was not a minor "volunteer" task! No energy fo more right now. Looking at the last few months, I wondered how I found energy to pot in early August - I had finished one cataract routine and not started the next! This gives me hope that after next Thursday I shall regain energy for potting.

The veggie chili, for yesterday's potluck, took all the energy I had but was a great success and I have enough left to freeze a container and keep one for adding to veggies over the next while.

I am hoping one of the women will come and de-clutter the strawberry bed and her partner can collect pottery to "pay" for the work he did on our stained glass window. Good info might be: that cost $200 for Sean to repair but the exquisite one R put in his library was only $50 at an "Eco Centre"! However, I do like our in-house window - in the wall between BR and LR to let light flow.

Not much inching along lately. Maybe centimeters...


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel
Date: 06 Oct 17 - 10:24 PM

You lovely ladies of perpetual responsibility, order, creativity and grace are the true crux of the culture I know, not the guys arguing over guns and ammo.
Some guys may afford a house but women most often conceive and create a home.
declutter in stages
walk in beauty for ages


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 07 Oct 17 - 11:22 AM

Michelle, where did your mystery trip take you? And which of you was surprising the other? I like that you did that with Jeremiah last week, so maybe your mom decided to surprise you? Or did you decide to surprise her also?

Okay, I am being frugal, but sometimes you just can't pass up a deal. There was an enamel cast iron pot on clearance at a local electronics and department store. A Hamilton Beach cast iron dutch oven (1.5 quart) with a cast iron base (for a candle or sterno) and an electric cooking base for $9. This is perfect for small meals, it can be used for stovetop or oven. Amazon regularly sells it for $50 or more. I could turn around and sell it on eBay for three times what I paid, but I plan to keep this.

It has been my declutter practice to keep numbers of things at a certain level - if I buy new shoes, rehome or toss older or unused ones. I probably should look around the kitchen and see what in there is never getting used.

Back in the rest of the property, I've discovered a couple of leaks in the long hose that runs around the garage and over to the vegetable garden. There isn't a faucet on that side of the house and I have an expensive faucet-attached sprinkler management device that I want to keep out of sight in the back. Last year I bought a long hose that is still sitting in the garage, so it's time to drag out the old one (ancient, now that I think about it, over a dozen years old) and replace it with this new one. I need to put things to use that are sitting around waiting to be used.

It's also time to clean out the greenhouse and get ready to move plants in for the winter. Last year I lost one I'd wintered over successfully for a couple of years, so I think I need to address a large air leak in the back door of the structure. I love when we get to the season when I can use it - in the summer the greenhouse is where tools are stored and it's like an oven in there.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 08 Oct 17 - 11:29 AM

Interesting day yesterday. My ex stopped by to pick up some fresh sweet potatoes and to drop off a bag of eggplants given to him by a co-worker who has a garden. They were starting to get a little soft, so needed using soon.

Meanwhile, I've been trying to get him to head over to that discount grocery I've mentioned here and I was headed over myself, so he rode along to see the Saturday morning chaos when one day a week the warehouse (lots of produce) is opened next to the regular store. We headed from there to Home Depot, where I had to return something and he was going to order a new front door and frame to have his contractor replace for him. Thing is, he lives about 3 miles from the store, but we didn't have a pickup and he was going to pay $80 to have it delivered, so I told him about their trucks for rent. Since I was driving and my ex's insurance card was back at my house in the car, I ended up driving the truck, rented for $19.99 for 75 minutes, to take the door to his house. It was good timing, we just walked in, got the truck, and were turning it back in 15 minutes later just as someone else buying a door needed it.

At home I had those eggplants, and decided the neighbors needed breaded eggplant. My elderly across-the-street neighbor used to take my produce and cook up a storm, but she barely microwaves dinner now. So I called when I had a plate of them nearly ready and told her I'd be over in 10 minutes. We sat and talked and she ate several - she loves these and I need to take them over more often. My next door neighbors on either side like them, so to one I delivered another plate, and to the other, who just recently discovered that she likes eggplant parm, she walked over and I showed her the breading and frying process. She never ate eggplant at all until I gave her samples of my babaghanouj, and after making it together a couple of times, she makes it herself. And so it will go with eggplant Parmesan.

My house will smell like frying for several days, but those eggplants went to a lot of goodwill around this end of the neighborhood. I kept a few fried slices - even though I'm mostly avoiding wheat right now, I had a small plate of those topped with provolone and spaghetti sauce - they were fabulous!

It's a weekend of doing things for others. Last Friday at work we pooled a few dollars and when I was buying my cast iron pot I also picked up a toaster for our office; our old one burns on all settings. I'm going to make a loaf of bread and take it in with the new toaster so they can christen it properly. A jar of my homemade jelly will be the perfect finish.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre
Date: 08 Oct 17 - 02:31 PM

The excursion itself was a surprise trip. The bus company we like to travel with offers 4 Mystery Trips per year, giving us only a poem with small hints about where we might be going. :) This time we ended up in Titusville, out near Erie, PA. We went for a ride on the Titusville train through the cradle of the natural petroleum area of Pennsylvania. The train is also the only rolling post office still in existence today. I thought that part was pretty neat. I sent a post card to my father-in-law who is a steam train buff and had the post card postmarked right on the train. He is going to love that! Of course, I took photos too. We had a box lunch on the train, spent some time at the Drake Well Museum (indoor/outdoor) which was pretty interesting and then dinner at most likely was a VERY happening spot during the 1970s. LOL. The food was good but the decor cracked me up. Best of all, I had uninterrupted time with my mom. :)

Yesterday I emptied out a double cupboad, threw out any outdated food, cleaned the shelves and refilled the cupboard/organized things a bit. The front porch has been somewhat cleaned off, errands have been run and we are soon on our way to a birthday party for pony rides and hay maze fun. :)

It's been a rainy day here...now cloudy. I spent a few hours playing my ukulele and singing.

Time to get ready to go.

Have a great week everyone!

Michelle


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Subject: Things that move in...
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Oct 17 - 09:47 PM

Ohio...

THINGS seem to insist on moving in with me. No-- not a buying temptation: little shelves with pegs must have snuck into my car when I was helping Trish move last week; also my weekend houseguest left a hardshell carry-on rolling bag (probably full of the clean clothes for her next stop with family). In the guestroom. I'd asked three times if she wanted help.... "No, see, I didn't really bring much," she said as she left with a tote bag, paper bag, and purse.

I wonder which one will call me first. I've wanted shelves exactly like those; I wonder how long I have to wait before putting them up?

Last visit here, it was a mysterious backpack that turned up in my unlocked car, which eventually turned out to belong to a highschooler two towns west. (Which I returned thru the afterschool boot camp discipline program I found via their note to his mother, inside the pack.)

Then of course there was all the stuff the sellers left here for me to deal with, and the stuff I continue to find left after the August move-out of the housemates.

WTF. Maybe I'm meant to run a home resale business out of our garage. Don't really want to!

I'm putting a new note into the Guest Guide; "Your lost and found may be my Goodwill."

~S~


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Oct 17 - 09:53 AM

Funny that I'm of Swedish heritage, and didn't know that the name for what I've been doing is Swedish Death Cleaning:

https://www.treehugger.com/cleaning-organizing/swedish-death-cleaning-new-decluttering-trend.html


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 10 Oct 17 - 10:35 AM

Today, the burglar alarm is being installed. Strange beeps and bongs are emanating from the front hall even as I type.

Himself has been toiling like a Trojan, hauling books all over the house, and we are now down to only eight (from about 55) two-cubic-foot boxes of books on the garage floor. On the other hand, we're rapidly running out of shelf space, although we have one large Victorian bookcase and two half-height IKEA Billy series bookcases still to come. The big old one, built in Quebec sometime around 1890 and inexplicably painted circa 1952, used to contain three (count 'em, three!) sets of encyclopaedia plus 25 years' worth of the Britannica Book of the Year, so it's going into Himself's office to the law books -- but the guy who's stripping and refinishing it has to recover from his back injury first! The Billy bookcases, made as they are of spit and sawdust, will go in the basement where the novels live.

Himself keeps complaining about books he thinks we should get rid of, while I insist (to his fury) that everything be unpacked and appropriately shelved, or stacked on the floor in front of the bookcase where there is no more room, before we start purging. I hate confusing two sorting processes; if we start purging now, books will end up stacked higgledy-piggledy all over the house and we will soon lose track of what is to stay and what is to go.

The garage also contains seven 5-cubic-foot china barrels full of "the good stuff" (a Wedgwood dinner service for eight and fancy glassware galore), one 4-cube box of rarely used cooking tackle and three 2-cubes repacked with excess china. All that stuff has to wait until the kitchen/pantry/dining room project is finished, however, which could be Christmas.

Meanwhile, Himself's office is still Pepto-Bismol pink, the bedroom is still deep purple and the guest room is still grey. I haven't heard a peep from the painter, and I should email him before he takes on another sub-division contract.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 10 Oct 17 - 07:20 PM

There is a dribble of eBay activity as every few days something sells. I have plenty more to list, but I'm finding the software is acting up. Instead of letting sellers simply revise an item, clicking on the "revise" button opens the proper screen where you make your change, only to open a new selling screen once you try to get it to save. This means that it isn't possible to revise an item without going through that entire listing setup, and I fear it will end up as a duplicate, not an adjustment.

Charmion, I've also waited until I moved in to a new place before I began to purge extra books, even though it would make sense to do it before the move. It never seems to work out that way, but as long as it gets done. When I moved here I also moved in contents from a storage locker from moving out of the house after the divorce, and I had a locker with stuff from my parents' estates. All of that had to be commingled to figure out what I had before I could sort and discard. Lots and lots of books.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Oct 17 - 01:16 PM

Ohio, re Books

In PA, both of our professional libraries have been purged, and gifting/allocations designated. Our personal libraries are mostly centralized now into the sunny 2nd floor garden nursery, for winter purging, gifting, and boxing either for immediate departure or storage there for The Big Move (as yet unsked).

All the PA bookshelves have been mapped to their Ohio locays.

Except the music books.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 11 Oct 17 - 05:42 PM

Rodent decluttering. This week I have found two ticks on me, and I haven't been into the deep woods across the road, just into my garden. This tells me the mice are still there and they have brought their dangerous little friends with them.

This afternoon I trimmed the grass around the edge of the garden down to the soil and made inroads to some of the grassy spots in the tangle of tomatoes. Then I mixed up a gallon of water, a dollop of concentrated compost tea, and couple of tablespoons of molasses, and 2 ounces (measured) of d-limonene (Orange oil). At that strength it will kill insects but not harm the plants. Stronger and it's an herbicide. This should kill some of the ticks, and I'll start setting out a mousetrap at dusk, to hopefully catch the mice and not the lizards, snakes, or toads. If the one I have works (not the snap variety) then I'll get a couple more and do this mouse riddance dance. And I won't be feeding the birds this winter, that is what brought them here in the first place. I live too close to the woods, to which those that survive need to return. A little later in the fall I'll put out an application of beneficial nematodes, that will kill the soil egg stage of any ticks still out in the garden.

Later on this evening I'll go out with the "puffer" can and spritz diatomaceous earth in there (after the spray dries). That's another tick treatment.

Also, all clothes will go into the washer after a very careful personal inspection. Ticks creep me out.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 12:21 PM

Wow this thread even has recipes for potions and poisons.

I NEED WINDOWS - 20 -

Metro DC area prices are undoubtedly high

Prices probably go from 14K to 30K but what is reasonable?


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 07:28 PM

I need windows also, at least 9, probably 12. They are expensive. I saw the guys replace windows on Ask This Old House, it isn't that difficult, but you do want to do it correctly. I'm sure labor is a huge part of the cost.

We had another plumbing crisis arise last night, when the washer was running. Backed up again from the sewer line, probably more tree roots. That's my task for tomorrow, shopping plumbers (the last one was very expensive, I want to see if I can shop this around a bit.)

Home ownership isn't for wimps.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 13 Oct 17 - 06:15 AM

Acme, are you regularly using a root killer you can flush down the toilet, preventively?

~S~


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Oct 17 - 05:38 PM

Around 20 Anderson tilt out washable double pane vinyl windows installed is $13,000 with life time breakage repair guarantee.

Acme you could get a good used car or windows for this kind of money.
Maybe a new Houston flood Mercedes ":^/


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 13 Oct 17 - 06:15 PM

Susan, tell me what you know about root killing flush stuff. I don't want to nuke the city waste water department, but if there is something that will stop this without breaking that bank (or killing the tree), I would like to hear about it.

A friend who now works for a local city public works department is coming over tomorrow and I'll show him the recordings I made of their camera exam of the line (the first plumber took a look, the supervisor who offers $$ options looked, but also used one of those sensors to show where everything is and showed me that the line runs diagonally across the yard, not straight out to the street. This makes a huge difference in the decisions being made.

I'm running anything that came into contact with the yucky sewer water through the washer now with bleach to extra disinfect it. I'll mop, push furniture back to where it belongs, and study the options of getting the floor tile for the bathroom and then re-seating that toilet so the seal works. This flood shouldn't have hit the house, just the tubs. I didn't get the seal in correctly the last time, mostly because the flange is high and I had to use shims to hold everything in place until the tile is down.

First world problems, I know. Busy weekend coming up.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 14 Oct 17 - 04:51 PM

My friend came over and we walked the front yard and looked at the line from the cleanout to the spot where it enters the city line. We discussed the process, and by using an excavator and putting in PVC, plus a couple of improvements to upgrade the system (if there's a block in the house, this will now provide a cleanout for the house that won't require getting up on the roof). If he does it for half of what the plumber would charge he'll still make a nice profit even with renting an excavator and buying the PVC and other parts. I'd rather have a friend make money on this than the plumber. It's a sewer line so we don't need a permit like we would if it was an irrigation system connecting to the water line. It's something that homeowners are allowed to do for themselves.

He also mentioned the root killer stuff, and something like that will keep the system open for now, but I have two large trees and a large shrub all in proximity of that line - it isn't going to stop having root problems with the perforated cast iron line. We'll probably do this next month.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Oct 17 - 06:14 PM

Ohio:

Acme, when we bought this house there was an odd depression/crevice in the front yard. "Oh good-- spiraea!" sez I. "Hole 'mos' dug!"

Until JUST before I bought one, TBTG. The housemate at that time complained that the tub was a slow drain. "Clean the hair cup," ssez I. She called a plumber instead who charged me $100 to snake the drain. A year later (she was gone), slow tub drain for me-- hair cup emptied daily-- hm. Asked neighbor with decades on this block. "Roots!" sez she. Recommended great (and cheaper) plumber.

Plumber Dean found the clean out we'd not been aware of and started dredging up all kinda nasty, hairy roots. It was then that I noticed the straight line from cleanout to street ran RIGHT UNDER that crevice..... so I asked if he'd been here before.... yeah... that's why that bush they'd had got tore out.

He opined that twice-a-year root killer would probably prevent his having to do this every two years-- spring and fall, when roots are most active. I researched least-toxic/easy to use, and even found a YouTube video w instrux. Kinda pricey but not as pricey as plumbers. BRB w link.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Oct 17 - 06:28 PM

http://www.roebic.com/foaming-root-killer.shtml

Tips--

. Don't store it where it can't stay dry, or you may have to break up the caked product with a knife. It needs to enter the toilet as a powder.

. You will need to NOT flush for 8 hours after using it-- so choose your time of day wisely and hang a sign to remind yourself not to flush no matter what else has gone in there (put used TP in the trash to avoid a clog when you do flush). And that's the whole house, not just the toilet you flushed it down. No laundry/dishwasher either.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 14 Oct 17 - 10:20 PM

Beaver:
weather turning cooler. Outdoor work getting accomplished. Laundry done but still drying! I put a plastic over it to keep the dew off and hope tomorrow will not rain! Walking almost perfectly most of the time!!! Finished with drops for cataracts!!! I feel freer! Roasted 3 cauliflower today and put cooked black beans in freezer/frig for current and future use. Managed to plant a painted fern today - finally! Just that took all the planting energy for today. Potted 3 geraniums found in the trash. Will take them to the horticultural society mtng next week to see if anyone wants them. Also parsley seeds and some others, and the little locust trees that I started from seed. Geraniums now in house. Still a few strawberries but heavy frosts on Sun and Mon... Bits of progress being made in house.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: MickyMan
Date: 15 Oct 17 - 11:06 AM

I have seen this thread over the years, but my eyes simply glaze over when I try to read it enough to understand its intension and history.
    Anyway, I saw this internet story on Swedish Death Decluttering.   It hit me that I should share it here .....https://www.treehugger.com/cleaning-organizing/swedish-death-cleaning-new-decluttering-trend.html.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 15 Oct 17 - 12:21 PM

MickeyMan, you have to go back to our late Mudcat moderator Katlaughing to find the origins of these declutter and fitness threads. Reading in one swoop might not be great literature, but it is a place where participants and a fair number of lurkers note milestones, share tips, offer encouragement. It was one of these threads where we learned of Lilyfester's cancer diagnosis that spun off into a life-affirming account of her surgeries, chemo, and radiation, adoption of a child, and life of her family as she grew and shared and thrived.

Your sharing of the Swedish Death cleaning has an echo in a private discussion group where it was shared last week, and where we recognized this process, to a large part, is what we have without a name to it been doing here.

The threads were monthly for a while, then quarterly, now it's a yearly amble through our attics, basements, pantries, home repairs, moves, downsizing, and more. Mostly we keep moving them back up to the top of the page, and every so often someone we've never heard from before drops in to tell us how they started reading and got an idea to make changes for themselves. Often those declarations are detailed and complete, the whole project achieved in a few months, accomplished, and now they're sharing in one succinct report. So whether people are regularly checking in or taking inspiration and moving on to other activities, it's all part of a process of getting rid of stuff.

For some of us, the choice to simply discard or replace with smaller and more efficient isn't easy and the value of items needs to be realized through various forms of sale or donation, each move has to be strategic. In the past I donated items and took a tax break for the value, but now mostly I sell a lot of estate items on eBay. I research them, consider how someone in the family must have used or collected, and then, I let it go. I am not a museum, but I didn't know many of these family members whose objects I inherited from a couple of great aunts I met when I was old enough to set out and travel on my own to meet them. My journey has been one of learning, sharing, and letting go. There are people who collect many of the things of which I own only one; things I don't want to start collecting. And after having administered my packrat father's estate and considered my mother's vast sea of books and stuff and leaving most of it in place, I don't want to burden my children with things of no interest to them. If it what I learn is interesting but I can part with it, I am doing so now by choice.

Thanks for the link.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: pattyClink
Date: 15 Oct 17 - 10:16 PM

Thanks, MickyMan, good piece. I remember my dad and some other relatives did this. It seems most of our lives we are in 'accumulation' mode, but at some point one needs to get into a 'divesting' or 'distributing' phase.

The best cases are when you can pass something on to a younger relative or friend or neighbor who honestly admires or is interested in the thing, and relate the background pedigree or special story behind it.

And then have no illusions about the rest; just get rid of, as the article says, the meaningless stuff.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 16 Oct 17 - 09:53 AM

Death cleaning. Yup, I've been there for years. I'm still there.

First, clearing the big family home after my mother died, so my dad could move to a much smaller and more manageable house. That took the better part of a year, including two summer months of full-time work before the sale.

Then, dealing with the aftermath of Dad's sudden and untimely death; he had recently moved house and half his stuff was still in heaps, and his papers in particular were a hoorah's nest, mostly filed under M for Miscellaneous. That took years, for it involved accepting that my brothers and I had to stop living as extensions of our parents' establishment and define our own needs and wants without listening to that ghostly voice crying, "But I gave you that!" or "But that was Uncle Alfred's!"

In fact, vestiges of the previous generations are still cluttering our quarters. We finally finished unpacking our books -- 55 two-cubic-foot cartons of them -- and yet again I found a corner for the wreckage of four Victorian copies of The Book of Common Prayer, once the property of my father's uncles and aunts, and the tiniest possible edition of the New Testament in French, so worn that the Book of Matthew is practically unidentifiable. Just what does one do with a holy book that is no longer usable as a book? Susan WYSIWYG, please offer some advice!

I am also the custodian of a quarto-sized leather-bound Bible that was a wedding gift to my father's great-great grandmother in 1794. I had it restored and rebound about 20 years ago, and it looks good for another two centuries if adequately cared for. It has a special spot on the top shelf of a bookcase with glass doors.

The unpacking of books immediately led to a major sorting and identifying of volumes that must find new homes. In particular, I have decided to let go of about four cubic feet of printed music, most of it classical repertoire that is either stuff I used to sing but is now beyond my asthmatic abilities, or was passed on to me by other singers in the hope that I would use it and I never did. Anyone out there interested in a complete set of Dvorak's Biblical Songs in the original Czech?

Stratford is an arty kind of place, and I just might meet a younger singer who would like her own library of music to pick and choose from. If not, there's always Kijiji.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Vashta Nerada
Date: 16 Oct 17 - 10:24 AM

Music like that, depending on how old, is making its way into university collections. It is scanned in and in some instances the first few bars are run through a recognition program to offer a tinny file letting you know what the tune sounds like. Finding the university or special collections that wants it, that's the difficult part. If the prints are too new, even of older works, then the copyright issues kick in (as you no doubt know).

Collectors of ephemera love the old sheet music, especially with more elaborate covers and even better if it was printed in four-colors (offset). Look at eBay, and you might try searching some of the titles through Bookfinder or ABE books - they deal with printed matter beyond just books.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Oct 17 - 06:26 PM

Vashta thank you for the old sheet music information. I was not sure what to do with sheet music of Scott Joplin or even the original Dixie by Boston minstrels. 'God save Benjamin Harrison from every harm' I did notice in the Smithsonian but the tune was meh

Some other stuff is highly racist ":^/


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Oct 17 - 08:00 PM


Subject:?RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From:?wysiwyg?-?PM?
Date:?10 Oct 17 - 09:53 AM?

Funny that I'm of Swedish heritage, and didn't know that the name for what I've been doing is Swedish Death Cleaning:

https://www.treehugger.com/cleaning-organizing/swedish-death-cleaning-new-decluttering-trend.html


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme
Date: 16 Oct 17 - 11:19 PM

Even the racist stuff - let an archivist take a look at it. It represents a period, a vile period, but it may be important.

I'm working on clearing the freezer slowly. It's cooling off enough now to feel like cooking season. A sewing project is spread out on the dining room table, but even if I set up the sewing machine and a small television in that work space, it won't be so much that I can't easily clear it if we have company over and need the space. That has been a problem in the past. I have cleared out extra stuff that used to pile up there. Some years ago I brought home a 1940's dresser from the swap area of my nearest recycle center, and I used the mirror back (no glass remained) to enclose the back of the knee hole, I put a good birch plywood base in, and using the rest of that good plywood made cupboard doors and installed articulated hinges. I used iron-on oak veneer to trim the rough edges. A lot of the table cloths and napkins and things that I've wanted to use but were packed away in a trunk are in that sideboard now. Before putting it into service I painted it with high gloss black enamel, put a glass top, found some elegant brass pulls for the drawers and matching door handles, and brought a lot of family treasures back into circulation. I enjoy the story of the transformation of that dresser. Whether my children will want it later or not, I enjoyed that project, but it is good looking so one of them might want it.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Vashta Nerada
Date: 19 Oct 17 - 02:45 PM

Nine months in I'm still making myself do the Bullet Journal, and though I don't put in as much as I once used to in my one page per a day book calendar, I'm finding it useful in remembering things I planned to do, or adding them to future tasks when the weather permits, etc.

Many of the things in that journal are home improvement and declutter projects. It's also good to look back to see what has actually been accomplished.


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Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Oct 17 - 04:42 PM

We now have a sofa in the sitting room, just in time for the first visit of Himself's elder sisters and their husbands, who intend to lunch with us tomorrow at half past one. Boy, howdy.

This morning, the moving company sent a nice man with an even nicer van to pick up the great stacks of flattened cartons that were cluttering up the garage, and now we actually have room to park one of our two cars in there. The other has to wait for the kitchen project to be finished, as its half of the garage is encumbered with 5-cubic foot china barrel boxes.

We have a date for the first tactical bound of Op Kitchen, the laying of a hardwood floor in the dining room. We cross the start line at 0900 on 1 November. Okay, then.


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