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De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021

Charmion 01 Jul 21 - 10:23 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Jul 21 - 10:28 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Jul 21 - 07:19 PM
mg 01 Jul 21 - 11:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Jul 21 - 11:17 PM
JennieG 02 Jul 21 - 01:07 AM
Donuel 02 Jul 21 - 09:04 AM
Stilly River Sage 02 Jul 21 - 04:33 PM
JennieG 02 Jul 21 - 06:50 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Jul 21 - 10:26 PM
JennieG 03 Jul 21 - 12:13 AM
Charmion 03 Jul 21 - 12:11 PM
Sandra in Sydney 04 Jul 21 - 05:42 AM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jul 21 - 09:28 AM
Donuel 04 Jul 21 - 10:49 AM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jul 21 - 11:00 AM
Donuel 04 Jul 21 - 11:59 AM
Charmion 04 Jul 21 - 11:59 AM
robomatic 04 Jul 21 - 02:30 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jul 21 - 05:29 PM
Charmion 05 Jul 21 - 10:52 AM
Stilly River Sage 05 Jul 21 - 11:01 AM
Dorothy Parshall 05 Jul 21 - 01:38 PM
Donuel 05 Jul 21 - 04:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Jul 21 - 07:20 PM
Donuel 05 Jul 21 - 08:15 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jul 21 - 10:50 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jul 21 - 06:16 PM
Charmion 07 Jul 21 - 10:18 AM
Sandra in Sydney 07 Jul 21 - 11:00 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jul 21 - 11:42 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jul 21 - 04:16 PM
Sandra in Sydney 08 Jul 21 - 06:16 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 Jul 21 - 11:49 AM
Charmion 09 Jul 21 - 01:37 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Jul 21 - 03:05 PM
Dorothy Parshall 09 Jul 21 - 06:14 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 09 Jul 21 - 06:50 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jul 21 - 01:13 AM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jul 21 - 08:07 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Jul 21 - 12:23 PM
Charmion 11 Jul 21 - 01:48 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Jul 21 - 06:11 PM
Jon Freeman 12 Jul 21 - 08:12 AM
Charmion 12 Jul 21 - 10:13 AM
Stilly River Sage 12 Jul 21 - 12:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jul 21 - 03:54 PM
Jon Freeman 13 Jul 21 - 06:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jul 21 - 08:05 PM
JennieG 13 Jul 21 - 10:15 PM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Jul 21 - 10:23 AM

Lytton, British Columbia, the village where Canada’s highest temperature ever was recorded a couple of days ago, is burning down. The dessicated surrounding forests burst into flames (predictable), and the 250 residents were evacuated before the wildfire could do more than wipe out their property.

Three unmarked cemeteries have been found in Manitoba and Saskatchewan with a total of nearly 200 more undocumented graves.

It’s a nice, quiet day in Stratford, cloudy, with a few mid-day showers in the forecast. I can hear only breeze and birdsong. Both cats are sprawled on my extended legs — the lap is not nearly enough.

I had a visit last night from a fiddle-playing friend who wanted to talk about the children’s graves. She is shocked to the core, as a citizen, a child-care worker and a Catholic, and she can’t quite decide what to do with her feelings. We decided that respectful silence today would be good for us as individuals, followed by a national surge of action to inspect all known sites, locate whatever records might survive in search of other, forgotten sites, and make proper memorials. Then we, as a country, need to make amends.

While the clergy and civil servants responsible for the residential schools were shovelling children underground with little or anything to mark their resting spot, other clergy and civil servants were painstakingly gathering the remains of soldiers killed in the battles of the Great War, going to extraordinary lengths to identify them, and laying them down, one by one, in vast gardens of stone created at huge expense. Grand memorials were built to list the names of all the lost who who could not be identified among the remains found in the blasted ground.

I think about those pitiful graveyards in the bush, and the monument on Vimy Ridge. I cringe with shame.

This thread is supposed to be about decluttering our living space and improving our lifestyles. Deep cleaning and thorough decluttering always turn up evidence of things we did that we ought not to have done, and things left undone that ought to have been done. Canada is living that experience on a massive scale right now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Jul 21 - 10:28 AM

Jennie, that sounds like an excellent plan with the muffin mix. Me, I'd be better off stopping at one muffin - given a whole pan of it, I might eat more! ;-) And it is my experience that adding chopped dates to any recipe makes it much better. Doubly so with your maple syrup!

Jon, I've had a variety of free AV and security programs over the years, and I read reviews before installing them. I've used Avast, but not for a long time. I paid for Kaspersky for a number of years, but it finally stopped working at all. I now use the free security software offered by my Internet provider and I pay for Malwarebytes (on my computers, tablets, and phone.)

I have a growing list of things I have to address - redoing income taxes, taking an online defensive driving course (insurance discount), filing rebate paperwork for pet drugs, and much more. I think it's time for another list on the fridge and to cross them off they are accomplished.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Jul 21 - 07:19 PM

Charmion, we cross posted earlier—muffins and computers and to-do lists sound trite when compared to the weight of the atrocity of dead school children buried under school grounds (instead of respectfully sending them home after a full investigation after the first one and it never happening again, they kept doing it. People around them knew better and needed to speak up.)

The impact of Trump is being felt in the political life of the nation right now - his company getting a slap on the wrist for tax evasion is a shiny object in comparison to lighting a fire under Manchion and Sinema and getting some important work done.

Moving forward to work on supporting important causes means you need to have a clear head in order to do so. I have administrative and employment activity to tend to, but otherwise I'm planning to spend the next few days mostly offline. Clear up papers, files, and workspaces and set a few priorities regarding the individuals and groups I want to support that can have impact on the causes important to me. (To this end I recently joined the Southern Poverty Law Center and have renewed with ACLU and NAACP.) If you're too depressed by the state of current events to do anything to help, take a break. Get back in the fight when you can.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: mg
Date: 01 Jul 21 - 11:06 PM

shipping question..i have offered my smart tv to my handicapped brother. it is said to weight 6.5 pounds and screen is 24 inches. it is very thin. i of course did not keep the box. does anyone want to guess the cheapest and best way to mail this? can take a long time to get there.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Jul 21 - 11:17 PM

You'll probably have to buy a box if you can't find one. That said, our village recycling happens at open bins behind the city hall, so if I need a box I go look in the bins to see what is there already before I head to the Container Store or U-Haul to buy a box. But considering availability, I would suggest you go to U-Haul and find one of their flat TV or mirror boxes and ship in that. UPS vs USPS vs FedEx, do you have online accounts with any of them? You can get a discount by paying online and printing the label yourself. The next bet is to pay online and go to a shipping store and let them print the label you've already paid for and ship for you. Or just take it to the post office and send it the lightest rate. I think UPS can sometimes beat the post office on those prices. It's the size, not the weight, that will bring up the cost on this.

Be sure to pad it enough so it arrives intact after all of this work!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: JennieG
Date: 02 Jul 21 - 01:07 AM

Charmion, you are right. Australia has nothing to hold its head up about in the treatment of First Nations people, either.

Some decluttering here too would be a good thing.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 02 Jul 21 - 09:04 AM

In one week in the US there is a 10% increase in Covid hospitalizations. Yep its the Delta variant among the unvaccinated.
While more children are getting infected it is not a severe reaction.
Children however can be vaccinated now. Too few people are returning to work so signing bonuses are now appearing everywhere making labor as attractive as possible.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Jul 21 - 04:33 PM

Last night and today I have struggled through ripping audiobook CDs from the library so I can play them as mp3s in my phone. I used to have a separate mp3 player, but the phone does an equally good job now. It's getting the files that is a challenge (the publishers are often sloppy with the formatting of the names and sometimes even the file types). I'm down to one last book then I'll run the lot back to the library and return them. (If I were to listen in the car I might go to a separate player - if I connect the phone through the Bluetooth then I have the phone also trying to be a phone, and I can't deal with the phone and the steering wheel controls for it while I'm driving.)

I have a lot of produce on the kitchen counter now, and need to start clearing space in the fridge. I try to leave tomatoes out as long as possible, but getting enough to make it worth the canning process means eventually storing some in the fridge while others ripen. Chef's salad again tonight, and tomorrow I'll run by my favorite discount gourmet grocery and see what they have in the cucumber and feta departments. There is a salad of equally sized cubes of tomato, cucumber, and feta (not quite as much cheese as vege) and balsamic vinegar over the top. Mmmmmmm!

Checking off things on my list.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: JennieG
Date: 02 Jul 21 - 06:50 PM

The muffin cake is quite nice. I didn't, as the recipe suggested, drizzle over extra maple syrup when it first came out of the oven, but you could always poke holes with a skewer and drip some in later.

Himself likes it, but then he likes anything made with dates; I tell him he is the Date Connoisseur of the Universe. In Oz we have the Country Women's Association - CWA - who, among many other activities, publish many books of favourite recipes. Several years ago a local group published a small book of date recipes......all contributed by members, and probably all tried and tested in country family kitchens. You can't go wrong with a CWA recipe, although the current cake isn't one.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Jul 21 - 10:26 PM

You know what they must say if you have that cookbook, Jennie - Every night is date night!

I know, I know . . .

Friday of a holiday weekend and the kitchen is still kind of a mess, but I had a very nice dinner, including half of one of my very large homegrown tomatoes with my salad. Dishes can wait till tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: JennieG
Date: 03 Jul 21 - 12:13 AM

Ha ha - very good!

Another recipe I make was given to me by a friend from Vancouver Island who grew up in mainland B.C. - 'Matrimonial Cake'. I gather there are variations according to regions; we (mostly he) have had it in Ontario where it's known as date squares.

I don't know where the matrimonial cake name comes from - perhaps because many dates can lead to matrimony?

The cupboard in the kitchen which houses plastic storage containers of various sizes and shapes is calling for a declutter. It's going to be a 2-person job, one (probably him) to get everything out and pile on the bench and one (most likely me) to make the decision on what gets kept and what gets chucked or donated, and stack it neatly back in the cupboard.

Then he will need training as to which containers are stored inside others, and which are not.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 03 Jul 21 - 12:11 PM

A date square was the first thing I ever ate that made me realize that “too sweet” is even possible.

I think I was about nine at the time.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 04 Jul 21 - 05:42 AM

I've been doing a lot of downsizing in the past year or so (& an even bigger lot of slacking off.) As I say to people I hate waste (long live the Repair, Recycle, Reuse & Re-purpose movement!) but I'm great at wasting time.

For several years I just accumulated new CDs at festivals & concerts - didn't listen to them again - rarely listen to any CDs - just left them in piles around my CD shelves, so I sorted them all. From 8 1-metre shelves & these piles, I now have a bit less then 2 shelves of CDs I listen to.

2 friends who have Community Radio programs took the rest. One friend runs an Australian show (folk, rock, jazz) with only his library, & very happily took around 250 Australian CDs. Mudcatter GerryM took 100+ Mudcatter CDs & most of the others I had left UK, Can, Irish, around 200. The remainder will be lucky door prizes at my folk club & will move to the cupboard in the hall s soon as possible.

Well done, me!!

For weeks I've has a 16-item list (black marker pen on green paper so it doesn't get lost in all the while paper.) Of course white paper can sit on top of it & I've only crossed off 6 items - vacuuming was done before Gerry collected the CDs (phew.) Six of the items relate to unwanted collections, I just need to contact several acquaintances to see if they want them etc. sigh.

One of the items crossed off refers to updating my will & the updates have finally been emailed. One of the collections had been in a big carry bag pushed between my dressingtable & wardrobe as I need to get stuff out - since 2017, unless of course I emailed her years later & deleted my Sent email (oops)

I spent the last few days photographing/scanning embroideries I've done over the years to make a photobook so I'll have a record after I find new homes for them. I know a craft shop/gallery that takes craft stuff on consignment ...

What will I do next?

sandra (long time lurker)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jul 21 - 09:28 AM

Excellent work and thanks for the report—your list sounds like it has been a big help! (I also have that kind of stash of CDs from over the years . . . and several other things mentioned.) It's nice to have an inspirational post from a lurker!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Jul 21 - 10:49 AM

Stuff, it accumulates over time and is rarely if ever used in a lifetime.
Its sorta like women's breasts.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jul 21 - 11:00 AM

That was kind of an awkward aside (and they were part of the program when the kiddos arrived).

The radio this morning (my weekly gardening program) has some rather belligerently patriotic advertisements. It reminds me that I need to just turn off all of that stuff and enjoy the day (though I always enjoy the Capital Fourth broadcast on PBS in the evening). Last night there were lots of pre-4th explosions and Pepper wasn't happy. The Thundershirt was marginally helpful, but I heard the noise and then put it on. This morning I took it off again, and this evening I'll put it on well before dark and see if that helps. She seemed to be content to hunker down in the closet away from the windows and relatively quiet.

I've been fussing for a few days about not hearing from Tractor Supply about my dog food order. I went online this morning and it said there were still three items in my shopping cart. I know I checked out before, so I'm guessing that some aspect of the order didn't click through (it keeps changing the shipping address to the billing address and that won't work). I still probably have enough dog food to wait for the delivery, but it bugs me that there is a delay. So much for saving a trip if I have to sweat the timely arrival (they ship free when I order this many items.)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Jul 21 - 11:59 AM

It looks like it is safe to go back to Luby's as the pandemic wanes.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 04 Jul 21 - 11:59 AM

Ooooh, Sandra! Big props to you!

I still have large boxes of CDs in the basement and about six shelves of them in the library. I listen to a streaming service most of the time, so the CDs in the library are kept for repertoire to learn. I tried to dispose of the boxed-up CDs to a second-hander, but he perused the collection, said he'd make me an offer, and then ghosted me. My brother-in-law (music fan, rock geek) took what he wanted from the accumulation (not a small amount) and hardly made a dent.

But I'll deal with that some other day. The CDs don't haunt me like some other issues.

Tony the carpenter finally sent me an invoice for the work in the basement and said he thinks he has found the correct hardware to replace defunct operators on the huge casement windows in the library. I'm thrilled because only one of those windows works at all (and that not well), and the room can cook up to sauna conditions in a couple of hours on a sunny summer day.

Tony also recommended a painter for the still-ugly guest room (the original primary bedroom), which was decorated at least 20 years ago in contrasting colours of putty grey and briefcase brown. Its window faces due north, and the effect in winter is profoundly depressing. The decor did not matter when the room was a study and the walls were covered with bookcases, but it's a bedroom again and, oh boy, the colour scheme is a thing now. I must also put up curtains in there, against the prevailing northwest wind in winter, and the paint job must be done first.

I cooked a lot last week and am still eating the results, including the remains of a truly boffo big chicken that I spit-roasted over charcoal with hickory smoke in the kamado barbecue. The key lime pie the BIL contributed to dinner on Canada Day riled up my digestion a little, but by God it was delicious, worth every qualm.

Except for a tune session tomorrow afternoon, my dance card is clear until the end of the week, when I get my second jab.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: robomatic
Date: 04 Jul 21 - 02:30 PM

I had some of the old type tuna in a can, the inexpensive but strongly flavoured chunk light. Where'd all my Costco white meat go? Anyhow, added bread crumbs, mayo, onion flakes and soy sauce. Mixed well with a long fork. Ate with crisps and hot sweet pickles. Cleared a quarter of a shelf.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jul 21 - 05:29 PM

This afternoon I'm finishing up kitchen stuff. I just made a batch of hummus (I cooked the garbanzos several days ago), I have to slice and freeze peppers from the garden, but first I'll use a bunch in a mix of fajitas (I have some chicken to use and I think I'll put it in the smoker to make the fajitas really smoky, not just grilled.) And if I think of it I'll get some good onions and make a batch of salsa (I have the tomatoes and the peppers for it right now.) These things happen before it is time to blanch, dice, and can the tomatoes.

I put a bunch of basil seeds into a planter outside the kitchen door and am planning to continue what I did last year - the same thing to plant a bunch, and as they grew I thinned them to use as I needed and as they got bigger there weren't as many in the planter so there was room. I need to plant cucumbers this week (if I'd planted in the spring I'd have them now to go with the tomatoes, so I'll have to buy some for now - come fall I should have basil, tomatoes, and cucumbers.)

Now to do something about all of those eggplants. Oh, and do a load of laundry. And mow the front yard.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 05 Jul 21 - 10:52 AM

I have to get out the rake and clear my lawn of sprigs of leaves and small branches torn from the maple trees by last week's windstorms. It looks messy, and I expect young Georgia with the lawn mower today. I don't like the idea of a chopped-up maple twig launching at speed from the mower's output straight into her leg. Or anybody else's.

The holiday weekend is finally over and, with it, Stratford's semi-annual indulgence in fireworks. (The other firework-associated festival is Victoria Day in May.) On Saturday, with Canada Day receding in the rear-view mirror, the air reverberated well into the night with explosions unpleasantly reminiscent of small-arms fire. I rather suspect beer was involved.

The cats were bothered far less than I was. They just gazed out the bedroom window like patrons at the opera, taking in the night birdsong.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Jul 21 - 11:01 AM

I did most of that except mow the lawn. I seem to be pushing that off for another day, but maybe that day is today.

I have enough really ripe tomatoes and peppers to make a half-batch of salsa and have compared notes on a couple of sites with reliable recipes. The Gold Standard, now that the Blue Ball Book is no longer produced reliably, is the University of Georgia National Center for Food Preservation with a recipe with lemon juice to balance the acidity. But I'm going to go with the older Ball Blue Book recipe as represented on Wholefully.com and make the it with apple cider vinegar instead. It has better flavor. I need to run out to get fresh onions and cilantro. I have the rest.

A load of laundry (set on the timer) ran early this morning and another load will go in soon. I haven't taken a rag out to clean the clothes lines for use this summer but I'll do it as soon as I mow under there. (There was a fire ant mound in the area last time I looked, so I need to locate it and treat it before I walk around back there. I'm mostly used to them by now, but sometimes a sting on the foot can really smart).

The fireworks here were a steady barrage from dusk onward, sustained in frequency well past midnight when I called it quits. The thundershirt seems to have helped Pepper some. The glasses of wine helped me. :)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 05 Jul 21 - 01:38 PM

Dupont:

In Quebec, things are open. I believe we are now in the "orange zone", serendipitous considering our propinquity to Kahnawake. The weight of the newly discovered burials is heavy; I feel the tears in my eyes most of the time. At least one dear friend has posted his terrible pain and anger, as a survivor. Possibly this monumental opening of the subject will enable considerable opening of people's feelings so they can have some degree of healing. The whole subject was hiding under a very lumpy carpet for too long. Now everyone knows and the fan is busy ... May the winds of peace blow hard.

Well, the time has muddled by and it was too hot to breathe for a while and the last 3-4 days have been heavenly cool. We had some wonderful rain in there somewhere. I am wondering about me - my energy level is from nil to get out and push to "WOW, I got a few things done!"

No grass has been cut. I quit! Planning to buy some birdsfoot trefoil to throw on the entire front in the late fall. The snow should soak it into the ground; next year it can produce a lawn of short "grass" with lovely yellow flowers; it is all along the road through the "Rez" and in yards as well, in the city also.

My outings each day are driving R to the city and fetching him back, most days since I have been here, due to his loss of driver's license and abysmal failure to do anything about it! Some days, that is all I have done, though it is only 30 minutes each way.

This weekend just over, he stayed home and we/he did: a screen in the window of the current pottery space so I can work with AIR when it is cool enough; a light fixture in a "spare room" where there was no ceiling light, just a fan. looks nice and he is happy but, I point out, there is no room for a comfie chair due to the surplus furniture he ;put in... Took four hours due to differences in where he could affix the light. Then we worked together to clear the largish closet in the hall; there is now organization, some things have left both it and the spare room closet - for the cellar or the trash. AND there is empty space on a shelf!

We did not get to re-arrange the LR/DR for the new oval table - not a dining table, we have that covered but ... I give up! He bought it because he liked it with no thought for where it could fit - No where basically. But it is a lovely table and I did come up with a solution. Solution one entailed getting rid of an ugly table - that he also loves! Solution two... How many tables does a LR need???? Compromise. But I have to wait for him to help. Of course, I keep remembering - we are not going to have company any time soon.

BIG event: we went out for supper last eve! First time in about 18 months. I had a great meal; looked at the plate the waitress delivered and - did not think I could eat at all! Starting carefully with the salad, I made it through every last morsel of this typically QC meal: french fries, rice, pita, salad and chicken breast that was so good I WANT the recipe. R helped with the fries and the bits of salad - tomato and cuke. I saved a bit of chick and pita for today. Oh goody! lunch!

I do have a semblance of garden: tomato plants mostly doing well, squash plants in bloom, Wax beans looking healthy but not yet producing. Several pots of basil, doing well; I cut up a shoot for the morning omelette. pots of red geranium, one pepper plant, and two very large tomato plants on the front steps; full sun most of day. And my precious pear tree! Want to get some buckwheat seed - good for the soil. The front garden, the truckload of soil does not grow much of anything - parsley, some perennials and a lavender. Even the oregano is struggling. I'll throw some sort of fertilizer on it today. After that lunch!

Big goal is to get plants organized better so R does not have to spend as much time watering when I am away. Which I will be, as soon as he gets permission to drive!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Jul 21 - 04:44 PM

It looks like strong tea and is full of tiny leaves but after a shock or two and filtering, things will look good. Thats what standing treated water looks like after 2 years. I gotta make a clearing to add room for the nylon pool cover today by mowing with a tilted gas mower. Then a good vacuuming sending water directly to the street bypassing a filter followed by a retileing of about a hundred tiny tiles with plasti patch. I have plenty of chlorine which you can't buy due to supply chain snafus. Come mid Sept I will have some one else close it up. This is still just standard pool opening duties.
45 ft is the limit one person can do. Anything bigger would be to heavy or expensive to clean.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Jul 21 - 07:20 PM

I guess I'm glad I don't have a pool to tend to along with the lawn. Can't you shock it and filter it? Seems a waste to send that water out into the street.

The leaffooted bugs (in the stinkbug family) are back gnawing on my tomatoes. I found one with the mark on it today. I'm going to water tonight then in the morning mix up a strong solution of spinosad, add a little orange oil and compost tea to make it work for foliar feeding also, and hit the tomatoes and other plants with the spray. Try to knock them out. I'm also seeing lacebugs on the eggplant leaves. They started later than usual this year, but they are back.

Ugg.

Meanwhile, in the house I'm using up containers of things in the fridge by having leftovers all day. I need to make room soon for more tomatoes. And I'm beginning to gather the canning jars and will soon run a batch through the dishwasher. And while I'm at it, it's time to go check on the state of the mustang grape vines across the street. It was heavily clobbered a couple of years ago but I noticed that some of it is back now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Jul 21 - 08:15 PM

I'll keep most of the water after the leaves are sucked out but fresh water is good for a 1/3. I cleared the brush but got some plant juice on my arm that is toxic to me. Poison oak stains me like a bruise or maybe its somethig else but it has no itch or pain. It only lasts about 2 weeks. Pools are a pain but some folks spend thousands on automatic underwater vacuum cleaners but still the pumps, filters and heaters have a short life span that you can't count on.



The mulberries were good but gone like the blueberries. Now its just raspberries.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jul 21 - 10:50 AM

Yesterday evening I was actually doing that mowing I've intended for weeks, and was on the second of three sections of the yard when the heavens opened in an unexpected and lovely heavy thunderstorm. I was on the next door neighbor's side of a strip we share in mowing and had to dodge under their eaves for a few minutes before it slowed. I got in one more row and "whoosh!" came the rest of it. I guess this works as a rain dance. I was out this morning spraying a foliar feeding mix (with Spinosad to try to knock out the leaffooted bugs) and the lawn is still too wet with dew. I need to run errands, but when I'm back and it should be mowable.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jul 21 - 06:16 PM

The front mowing is finished but I didn't trim. And we're getting another welcome little rain shower in the late afternoon (it sounds wonderful on the window). Trouble is, with the rain that makes the garden happy comes the humidity that makes all meat creatures unhappy.

Dog ears need attention, says the vet. Drops and head shaking for the next couple of weeks for the Lab, then I'll take him back and do blood work also. It seems, based upon observation, that he may have a thyroid shutting down - a major clue is that he hasn't finished blowing his winter coat yet. The last two weeks have been a major veterinary hit on the pocketbook - I can't wait until the airlines have regular postal runs going across the Atlantic again, the cost of these American heartworm medications is huge. I pay 1/3 to 1/2 of the US price by buying abroad. I could have ordered the ear drop liquid somewhere else, the temp vet didn't have a problem, but the staff member holding the bottle looked so sad when I was looking it up online on my phone. They get you with those puppy-dog looks.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 07 Jul 21 - 10:18 AM

This summer is officially wet: I found a patch of slime mould on the mulch in my back flowerbed. It looks like vomit, but it's harmless and good for the soil. And I don't have to look at it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 07 Jul 21 - 11:00 AM

Tonight I finally rang my cousin. I've been meaning to for weeks (months?) & put it off several times this week - after dinner, too late now, tomorrow, can't be bothered, all excuses!

She is next in line for some family stuff as my sister is not a collector/accumulator - she lives a very sparse life, probably something to do with 15 moves in the 17 years she lived as an expat, tho they didn't have a lot of extraneous stuff before they went overseas!

I haven't seen my cousin since her wedding in the 80s (we weren't close to our cousins) & we had a lovely chat & will get together at some stage, & she was pleased to be offered the the family stuff. I emailed her the list. Sydney is in a short lockdown at the moment (3 weeks, 1 to go, hopefully not to be extended as my folk club meets the following week, fingers crossed.)

Now I only have 10 items on my list. Another pat on the back
Action - bed time in 5 mins so I've started an email to one acquaintance re an unwanted collection & will fill it in in the morning.

Can't find the correspondence about another collection, & haven't got time to look further now.

now it's 1 min to shutting down

TO BE CONTINUED


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Jul 21 - 11:42 AM

Sandra, I have some "blue blocker" glasses I try to remember to use in the evening on the computer or Kindle reader (these are "readers" I picked up after the cataract surgery because I need help with close vision now). I'm terrible about getting to bed before midnight. Do you have a trick?

I've cleaned the stovetop, done a load of dishes, and am now pulling out the big pots for canning. It's time for salsa first, then we'll see about canning tomatoes, or maybe this time making sauce and juice and leave diced for later. I have at least a case of whole (very small) or diced from last year still to use, but no homemade sauce right now. And I love having the juice (I usually freeze that). With all of this, it's time to move the Kitchen Queen/Hoosier Kitchen that sits at an angle across the corner of the kitchen and is where I stash a stool and an oscillating fan on a stand that get used during canning. The stool is the right height to hold jars for decanting juices from the steam juicer at the stove, and the fan keeps the kitchen livable with all of the hot water going for blanching, cooking, and processing.

I have so many things I need to do in addition to this, but the tomatoes and peppers are ripe now and can't wait.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Jul 21 - 04:16 PM

I dispute the refund the IRS revised way downward for last year's taxes, and spent a couple of hours finishing the letter and assembling the bits of my return process, plus pointing out the glaring human error on their end about something they say I can't claim that I in fact didn't and have never claimed. I assembled it and then took a shot at "calling the IRS" - something one does not do lightly. After entering lots of numbers and listening to recordings and making choices - it seems this line is too busy on that topic and I have to call back on another business day. No. Way. This has been printed and is in a Priority envelope, heading to the post office right now.

Whew. This was something I put off for a long time, it wasn't pleasant, but I am not going to redo my math when the error is theirs, not mine (they say I can't reduce my income by the amount I paid in alimony last year. Huh?)

Now to empty the dishwasher and load it with canning jars. And I need to walk over and take a look at the grape vines. It has been a wet and cool year so I'm guessing if there are grapes they'll be ready in a week or two. (Who knows - maybe they are all now dried raisins because I missed the season. Will report back.)

Thyroid recheck later this week and I'm looking forward to getting results back. Hopefully we'll hit the sweet spot in the dosage after this.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 08 Jul 21 - 06:16 AM

Stilly, I've always been a late bird.

I started work in 1970 & 5 years later the Federal Public Service went to Flexi time - start between 7 & 10, finish between 3 & 7, do at least the proper number of hours over a fortnight, &/or save time for a day off.

Some weird colleagues, those who wake before the birds, jumped at the chance to work 7-3 (sandra shakes head in amazement!) I chose to work 10-7 & retired in 2007.

last night's bedtime was 2am, & I get up around 9.

sandra


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jul 21 - 11:49 AM

I feel like I did ten rounds with Ali after all of that slow motion back and forth for two or three hours of making salsa. This morning I let the kettle start heating water for tea while I washed, dried, and replaced the big stuff used in the process. There is simply no room in a kitchen for all of those big pots and the food processor to air dry.

The food processor was on my xmas list a couple of years ago and has come in very handy. I had one before, but it was too small. This one has a motor that can dispatch a bowl full of peppers or onions in seconds. It comes up with very creamy hummus, and the biggest factor for getting this model, it can process a full recipe of falafel.

Anyway, the recipe is a classic from the Blue Ball Book and I now have canned salsa to last for a while. The tomatoes, bell and poblano peppers, and garlic were from my garden. I bought onions and cilantro (though in the past I have grown them also, but this isn't the best season for onions and cilantro is a cool season herb around here.) The house smells heavenly - that combination of apple cider vinegar, onions, peppers, and garlic is hanging in the air.

All of that walking didn't show up on my fitness tracker because that operates by my swinging my arm as I walk. I should have turned on the Google Fit and left my phone in my pocket. Anyway, this morning I was greeted by cool jars and a sink full, but now I've had my cuppa tea, the sink is empty, some is in the dishwasher, two cases of canning jars are out of the dishwasher and ready for the next adventures.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 09 Jul 21 - 01:37 PM

Today, I decluttered the pantry of five pounds of whole wheat flour, five pounds of rye flour, and an untouched jar of instant yeast. Then I decluttered the freezer of five striploin steaks, a large quantity of active dry yeast in a half-litre Mason jar, and an entire brisket, trimmed and ready for the smoker. The frozen meat was all vacuum-sealed with my FoodSaver.

All of it went to the Local Community Food Centre, a non-profit agency that promotes food security in small towns like Stratford. They have an allotment garden and a greenhouse, they teach people to cook, and they make meals for people whose incomes fall short of their needs. My favourite charity, right up there with the Lung Association.

I was afraid that the Local could not accept donations of foods that were not commercially sealed, but the nice lady in charge of logistics said that the frozen meat is packaged as well as anything from Sobey’s, and the flour (delivered in airtight plastic canisters) will go right into their kitchen, along with the yeast.

So that’s off my conscience. It took me all winter to work my way through Edmund’s five pounds of hamburger, which I had frozen in six-ounce patties, and cooking the brisket would require a heroic effort and a large party of diners — unlikely in the foreseeable future. I haven’t made bread since Edmund died, and it took me till Easter to eat the loaves I had stashed in the fridge freezer.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Jul 21 - 03:05 PM

That's a great use of the extra flour - it has probably already been converted into loaves at that Food Centre. The local fridge for the "food dessert" on the Near Southside of town is closed during the summer because it was situated in a box-like shelter outdoors facing south and couldn't stay cold enough in the summer heat. Normally they take things needing refrigeration (dairy, etc.) but no meat because at any time of year they can't guarantee that the meat was handled properly and that the fridge will stay cold enough until someone claims it. They're taking pantry items only there right now, so I can drop off freshly picked vegetables (they don't do well in a fridge anyway). I'm about to that point, especially with the eggplant. I left a bag of them at the doctor's office this morning when I went in for the blood draw.

This summer I'm going to resume the very small batch processing of the tomatoes because there are a few that are ripe and need using now, they can't wait for the whole couple of flats-full to ripen. This will be using the asparagus steamer I bought last summer. This is the same steamer that when I opened it just now smelled like the perfume of candle wax because it was a lifesaver during the February freeze and power outage here (a candle inside and a rack across the top for a small pan to keep water hot). I'm also going to cook (bread, pan fry) some eggplant for the neighbor across the street. She loves that but doesn't cook any more.

Company's coming tomorrow so I need to pick up around here and make a run to Goodwill to drop off donation items in the way now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 09 Jul 21 - 06:14 PM

Dupont:

Still waiting for R to do something about his Drivers license so I can go back to beaver. Missing the berry season and the turtle nesting season. Really want to go home!

Plants are in good order here; green tomatoes, lots of basil. Bought manure for the front garden as even the oregano was doing poorly. Added a few more ornamentals which I could not resist. I hope it rains enough to keep outdoor plants watered while I am away. Have organized indoor ones in very large saucers (12 inches or so) holding multiple small plants so less fiddly for R. He might even think to check tomatoes and wax beans?

Cooler weather has been wonderful, and rain. Hall closet well organized so I can just remove things to take to Beaver, some of which will leave there for thrift shops or for Pat to make into something - an old down quilt if she wants to... Very helpful to have that triage area.

Cleared out some boxes deemed disposable. And moved some to a distant cabinet, making more room in pantry. R removed some things to cellar! We might even move into this house - pics on wall that are not just placed wherever there happens to be a nail in the wall already, for example.

When it was hot I did nothing other than a bit of cooking. When it cooled I did the outdoor work. No pots have been made. Hope I will have more energy for that when I get back to Beaver - lots to glaze and fire. And Pat is pushing for more "$10 pieces"; they, of course sell well and she has the shop open according to the rules, still carefully. Quebec is excited about being "green" now; I am not impressed; may never feel safe without a mask!

R and I discussed the possibility of refurbishing the garage into a studio for me. I need to find a competent carpenter. No Dan here!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 09 Jul 21 - 06:50 PM

Wow, Charmion! Thank you for that.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jul 21 - 01:13 AM

Three large very ripe tomatoes were blanched, diced, brought to a simmer, then hot packed and are now a pint and a half of diced tomatoes. Yes, they were that large. I had some in the fridge that had parts trimmed off (attacked in the garden) that were blanched and went into a batch of marinara sauce (my tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and oregano are in it, along with Italian sausage, onion, red wine and sliced mushrooms from the freezer, and tomato paste). And still have have two large flats full of ripening tomatoes, a bowl full of really ripe tomatoes, and a bunch on the windowsill. There are a lot more in the garden also, and I picked more peppers and okra today.

Tomorrow I'm going to slice, bread, and fry some eggplant to take to my neighbor across the street who loves it but doesn't cook any more. With COPD she doesn't do much of anything any more. I have a friend coming in the afternoon who needs help shortening her rain pants for a trip to Iceland next month (my friend is very short and doesn't want to fall over into one of Iceland's many waterfalls because she tripped over the cuffs of her pants.) She offered any price to help - but I don't want my friend in that waterfall either, so of course there isn't a charge for this kind of sewing work. I wonder if I should point her in Skarpi's direction? Wouldn't that give a wonderful twist to the vacation?

So, salsa yesterday, tomatoes and Marinara sauce today. The house smells great, the pantry is going to start filling up, and I've spent a lot of time washing out pots and I'm running the dishwasher two days in a row. I have yet to get down the steam juicer, the real star of the food processing kitchen. I could steam tomatoes and make sauce and juice, could steam grapes for jelly, or even put a chicken in it and come up with some kind of non-boiled boiled chicken. At this point in time I could choose to dice and can all of the tomatoes and have them to use for the next couple of years, but I still have some left from last year, so it's more prudent to spread them around in different products of the kitchen. And we aren't to pickle or jelly season yet so I need to think about keeping some shelf space available.

I do love my garden, but it keeps me busy thinking of creative ways to use everything that comes out of it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jul 21 - 08:07 PM

The pants had a rather involved construction but were straight-legged, so we managed to remove 7 inches and make them work for my 5' tall friend. (She said the regular size cost about $30, the petite were closer to $90, hence the adjustments.) And we picked tomatoes before she left, and spotted some deep in the thicket that were overripe and fermenting. Whoosh - I later got those out and tossed into the compost because I don't want to attract pests.

I did more small (single pint) batch canning this afternoon with ripe tomatoes. It doesn't take up nearly as much space and the water heats very quickly. I held back a couple of perfect ripe ones to go in a salad tonight with basil, mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar. Summertime dinner!

I managed to spill a drink of iced tea on my friend and since she had an extra pair of pants (that also needed pinning up) she wore those. Oops. Usually it's the dogs who get in there and cause chaos.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Jul 21 - 12:23 PM

I woke early to rain on the roof - perfect timing - the yard has dried out.

There's hardly room to prepare my meals this weekend - my kitchen counter is full of boxes of jars, empty and recently filled, and boxes of ripening tomatoes and of peppers awaiting freezing. I'm going to make a batch of brine for pickled okra and have it handy for quick single jars - they process very quickly. The goal is to use all of this before it gets too old or soft to use as I want.

The old Lab still needs medication squirted in his ears, and he has figured out that there is a treat involved so isn't running off like last week. Old dogs do learn new tricks!

I picked a couple of tomatoes this morning, but a friend is coming over so I left several pink ones on the plants - it's a great entertainment, picking softball-sized tomatoes.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 11 Jul 21 - 01:48 PM

It's raining again in Stratford, and Environment Canada is predicting the same for the better part of next week. I imagine that this means I should expect more slime mould in the garden.

The provincial government has announced that we will move to Step 3 -- gyms open, restaurants feeding people indoors, higher capacity caps on retail businesses -- on Friday, 16 July, a week earlier than previously announced. This means I can resume pool class and eat at a restaurant even when it's raining. Most of Stratford seems to be interpreting the change of date as a vote of confidence, assuming we're all on the way back to "normal".

I received Shot 2 yesterday afternoon, and my arm is a bit sore today. Otherwise, I feel fine.

The next household improvement project is almost under way: a nice young man in painting clothes came the other day to quote on bringing the ugly bedroom up to snuff. He's a friend of Tony the carpenter and a likely sub-contractor on the two-bathrooms project, so I also showed him that project area. He agreed that eggplant purple is a dreadful colour for a bathroom, and noted that the woodwork in the ugly bedroom has suffered way too much damage -- he offered to "give it some love", which I gather means caulking the cracks, tacking down the sprung molding, and giving it all a nice, bright coat of semi-gloss white enamel. His name is Rick, his parents live down the street, and he drives an aging Jaguar saloon (!). I guess he's a Class A mechanic in his copious free time.


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

I pulled out a small stack of recipes to attend to this weekend, and made progress. There is now a lovely small tub of homemade tartar sauce awaiting some fish I plan to thaw this week. The ingredients for a batch of cranberry bars are thawing. I cleared out space in the fridge when I emptied a container of store brand "fresh" pickles that never tasted very good and weren't going to improve with age. The jar of mayonnaise is now out of there, emptied, partly to the tartar sauce and the rest spooned into the plastic squirt bottle that is my favorite dispenser for mayo. And more things along those lines. Do I really need four flavors of mustard? Not necessarily, but I know which of the four was going to go best in the tartar sauce, and it isn't the same as one I might use for salad dressing. They're staying.

Cookie and I took a wonderful refreshing mid-afternoon nap together on the sofa. She really is a very good nap dog.

I read an interesting article about Jackie Collins in The Atlantic. I can't say I read any of her novels, but I read a few other popular women authors at the time. In the topic paragraph of the article are these lines:

If I close my eyes, I can see the jacket photo on the glossy hardcovers in my childhood bedroom: Collins, standing in front of a blandly wealthy backdrop, her hair as rich as chocolate and her shoulders padded past the point of no return. These conspicuous displays of accomplishment read to me now as karmic winks at all the critics who disdained her. Carry on with your carping, suckers, she seems to say with her eyes, the light glinting off her abundant jewelry. This pool is paid for.

That description of shoulder pads and the pool pulled me into the rest of the article.

More huge tomatoes picked today, and one ripe one picked with a bite taken out of it very recently (it was still dripping). I sent it home with the picker, telling him to cut off that part. Now to get the bag of dog hair (collected using the "furminator" brush thing) I've collected for this time of year - and the long kitchen tongs. I'll go stuff large gobs of the hair under the garden plants to hopefully scare of the squirrel or other rodent that has decided to chomp my ripe tomatoes.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Jul 21 - 08:12 AM

Well the weather yesterday was fine enough for mum and I to have our tea outside for what seems the first time in a few weeks but we’re back to rain for this afternoon.

The grass continues to enjoy this seasons weather though… That said, yesterday, I finished my most complete cut this year. I took the petrol trimmer all the way up the track to trim the sides back and also did the bit behind the pigsties. These bits only need doing occasionally.

I got a new plastic “salad box” (don’t know what happened to the last one) for the fridge yesterday. Of our own stuff, there is only lettuce to go in a the moment but I should have our own sweet peppers, tomatoes, and cucumber to go in later. A little bit of ready prepared salad in the fridge to go on sandwiches works quite well for us.

I really need to try to push myself (and my motivation is about zero with some things) to get going and achieve at least one of a couple of projects I ought to do but don’t really want to do (back to the book of common prayer there charmion?) although I’d need the weather on my side for both…

The green shed (I think mentioned a while a go) really does need me to be able to spread things outside to sort and the long threatened (but probably never mentioned here and forgotten about when I couldn’t do a job at ground level) cementing between the porch tiles and then painting the floor needs a couple of fine clear days where the sliding doors to the living room could be used as the main entrance.

Then there is outdoor furniture that could do with its annual coat of whatever...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Jul 21 - 10:13 AM

Very bummed out today from reading the newspapers: Afghanistan is again falling under Taliban control. Every Afghan who worked for the Canadian Embassy, Task Force Kandahar or the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team is in deadly danger, from the interpreters and "cultural advisors" who were intimately involved in operations and policy decisions to the lowliest sweepers and kitchen hands. The Canadian government has yet to show much interest in their plight, let alone do anything useful, such as rescue them. This situation has been coming for years, and more than 800 Afghans who worked for Canada have already been settled here, so it's not as if we don't know what to do.

But all that is way out of my range of influence, let alone control, so I should focus my attention on things I can change. Such as the choir's determination to over-think the return to group singing. Some members of the executive committee apparently want to review all the science, as if we could understand it in context, or take any action that varies from public health advice, guidance and directive.

I'm bidden to yet another meeting this afternoon. I'm so not a fan.


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

The trouble with all of this last minute relocation of drivers and translators from Afghanistan is that they're telegraphing their plans to the whole world. Makes it easier to pick off moving families. The press need-to-know versus the government's need to act quickly and quietly—this should already have been sorted out, not wait till the press makes a fuss about it to act. I would like a quiet report one day soon that says "we moved them all out already and they're safe." Dream on?

I have three flats of tomatoes on the kitchen counter, as well as a bowl, and I see big canning operations in the cards this week. We're past the small batch stage. Now I have to decide how much of it goes into sauce versus how much is diced.

Yesterday the recycling was dropped at the village bins and the long now-tightly-wrapped-in-plastic window blinds are dropped at Goodwill. I was listening to an interesting episode of Hidden Brain while making that run, and I can't find the episode now. It tied in with doing things now versus things like saving for the future - present bias versus future bias stuff. I sent an email to the station asking because the schedule takes me to the website, not the episode. During that search I found another episode that is a classic for Mudcat so started a new thread. A search didn't show anything about his past, I'm curious to see if anyone steps up with more information. He was a grifter, so who knows if there is any truth to his work on the master book of American folk.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Jul 21 - 03:54 PM

I heard back from the local NPR station. The episode this week was a repeat (I think there will be a new season in the fall) that this one is You, But Better.
Think about the resolutions you made this year: to quit smoking, eat better, or get more exercise. If you’re like most people, you probably abandoned those resolutions within a few weeks. That’s because change is hard. Behavioral scientist Katy Milkman explains how we can use our minds to do what’s good for us.

I made tomato sauce last night but need to cook it down a bit then jar and process it. There is about a quart of sauce and there are three quarts of spectacularly clear and tasty tomato juice in the freezer (and another pint in the fridge.) And after I used all of those tomatoes (about 8 pounds) and then put the tomatoes from the windowsill into the box, and a few I'd picked late in the day, it was full up again. So I have three flats of very ripe tomatoes to use this week. I cleaned the kitchen before I went to bed, because you can only leave it a mess overnight so often before you realize you're just beating up on your morning self. (And this ties back to that Hidden Brain episode.)

The leftover skin and seeds is a great source of flavor and lycopene, so I'll spread it out on a baking sheet and slowly dry it in the oven (if it wasn't so humid today I'd cover it and put it on the table outside the dry). It then goes into the little food mill to be chopped into little chips of tomato skin and seeds, and it smells and tastes wonderful sprinkled on things. I keep it in the freezer till I'm ready to fill the shaker I keep it in for the table.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 13 Jul 21 - 06:14 PM

I managed to let dad fall today. He's been walking so well and I guess I got to casual about things and was standing to his side rather than behind him when it happened... Perhaps I did mange to slow the fall and he wasn't injured but we were still left with the problem of getting him up...

...An ambulance call. The crew wanted to (and did) take him into hospital for tests. We've had a call back from the hospital saying all is ok but I don't know when dad will be back. He missed his tea and mum and I have just said that we have a Wiltshire Farms (microwave meal) or a cheese salad sandwich or a cup a soup on offer if he want's something before bed.

In the meanwhile, I've put an Alexa Flex in the kitchen. It might help with the occasional blip we have with the automation there. At least saying "Alexa, turn the kitchen light on" is easier than walking to the switch... And maybe it will find other uses.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Jul 21 - 08:05 PM

The switch for the light over the kitchen dining area is poorly place, around a corner so I have to lean around the wall to turn it on or walk over there. I put a smart bulb in that fixture over the table and Alexa turns it on and off, and when family members fuss about the bulb, turns it down to 50% brightness. I have a lamp with another smart bulb that I've been meaning to set up somewhere, just haven't figured the best place. I'm clearly not someone who has Alexa do all sorts of household tasks. So far no cameras or smart major appliances, etc.

Clearing out more in the fridge - I froze chicken stock made recently and I can use that 3-quart bowl for tomatoes. On the kitchen waste end of things it is time again to excavate a cavity in the compost pile and pour in the bucket contents from the two five-gallon buckets next to the kitchen door. This is always a bit of a job (they're heavy and stinky and I always resolve to empty them before they're full but that rarely happens. I should find smaller buckets.)

One of the two air conditioning heat pump units isn't always turning on when the indoor part turns on, so I need to call the company that tends to these for me. It looks like July is going to be a major hit on the pocketbook, with the vet bills and now a possible AC repair (though he always services with a standard call first and sometimes that is enough. It's good when you have a reliable repairman you've known for 20 years.)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: JennieG
Date: 13 Jul 21 - 10:15 PM

A question: "three flats of very ripe tomatoes" - what's a 'flat' in that context?

In Oz a 'flat' is what you would call an apartment, although 'apartment' is becoming more and more used.


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