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De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021

Dorothy Parshall 02 Mar 21 - 02:22 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Mar 21 - 12:59 PM
Charmion 02 Mar 21 - 10:11 AM
Dorothy Parshall 01 Mar 21 - 07:35 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 01 Mar 21 - 11:59 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Mar 21 - 11:39 AM
Dorothy Parshall 01 Mar 21 - 10:37 AM
Jon Freeman 01 Mar 21 - 10:14 AM
Jon Freeman 01 Mar 21 - 09:23 AM
Charmion 01 Mar 21 - 08:11 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Mar 21 - 01:04 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Mar 21 - 01:02 AM
Dorothy Parshall 28 Feb 21 - 01:00 PM
Charmion 28 Feb 21 - 12:37 PM
Charmion 27 Feb 21 - 06:25 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 Feb 21 - 05:41 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 Feb 21 - 11:27 AM
Dorothy Parshall 27 Feb 21 - 09:13 AM
Dorothy Parshall 26 Feb 21 - 05:48 PM
Jon Freeman 26 Feb 21 - 03:28 PM
Jon Freeman 26 Feb 21 - 01:39 PM
Stilly River Sage 26 Feb 21 - 10:38 AM
Charmion 26 Feb 21 - 09:08 AM
Jon Freeman 26 Feb 21 - 05:40 AM
Stilly River Sage 25 Feb 21 - 10:26 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Feb 21 - 07:03 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Feb 21 - 10:19 AM
Charmion 24 Feb 21 - 08:56 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Feb 21 - 10:53 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Feb 21 - 12:41 PM
Charmion 22 Feb 21 - 11:35 AM
Jon Freeman 22 Feb 21 - 10:59 AM
Jon Freeman 22 Feb 21 - 10:43 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Feb 21 - 10:30 AM
Mrrzy 22 Feb 21 - 08:46 AM
Jon Freeman 22 Feb 21 - 08:21 AM
Jon Freeman 22 Feb 21 - 05:48 AM
Stilly River Sage 21 Feb 21 - 11:02 PM
Dorothy Parshall 21 Feb 21 - 01:40 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 Feb 21 - 12:13 PM
Charmion 21 Feb 21 - 11:08 AM
Stilly River Sage 21 Feb 21 - 10:27 AM
Mrrzy 21 Feb 21 - 09:44 AM
Charmion 21 Feb 21 - 07:30 AM
Charmion's brother Andrew 21 Feb 21 - 05:55 AM
Stilly River Sage 20 Feb 21 - 11:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Feb 21 - 01:15 PM
Charmion 20 Feb 21 - 09:46 AM
Jon Freeman 20 Feb 21 - 06:32 AM
Stilly River Sage 20 Feb 21 - 12:50 AM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 02 Mar 21 - 02:22 PM

Beaver:
Beautiful sunny day - but cold! Today's crisis: could not open door to studio. Three buckets of hot water - no effect. Kicking the bottom ... Now that the day is warmer (2pm) and the sun is pouring in the big window, concerned for pots needing trimming not getting TOO dry... I tried prying the bottom... Finally, saw in the tool shed a rubber mallet!!!! YAY! So after a break, and change to work clothes, I can get those trimmed and then... Probably a break til tomorrow. It just occurred to me that AOK could mean "All is OK"?

Yesterday's fury re lack of info re vaccines was passed on to Pat whom, I thought was on top of everything. She actually phoned the #$%^& health unit and was told toward the end of this month and the info would be "broadcast"???? Why in the name of... they cannot put info at the top of their pitiful website... OR even answer a question on their FB page intelligently... I told Pat: I depend on her for info as "broadcast" is meaningless. radio? have none. Local paper? Their website is a nightmare. Pat - I can trust.

Montreal is a hot spot and is giving vaccine en masse to over 70. By appointment.

End of rant. End of break. Beautiful day! SRS reminds me of need to ensure I have paid ALL the bills. Next stint on web.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Mar 21 - 12:59 PM

The bills impacted by the Big Freeze will be coming in soon: the water bill usually by the 5th, and the new power company should be reading the meter within the next week. The phone bill (using data because the WiFi was out for 4 days) wasn't too bad, usually it's about $33 and it was $39. The electric bill should reflect no usage for those days but there may be something the delivery company (ONCOR) tacks on that is out of control of my electric company. The water bill is a simple meter reading and I expect it won't be quite as bad as the month when I discovered a broken water line out in the front yard.

I've worked with the newly-purchased technical manual for repairing sewing machines and addressed the settings of the tension on my White Rotary series 77. After adjusting the tension it isn't fixed, the gobs of thread (from the top spool) wadding underneath apparently mean that the timing is off. This machine is old but was so commonplace in its time, and the White company made the same kinds of machines for Dressmaker and Kenmore and Domestic (and a couple of others) that there is a lot of machine repair and maintenance information out there. Including YouTube videos.

There is a hook on the shuttle that needs to be within a paper's width of the needle at the lowest point of the stitch process, and when these are too far apart, this extra thread looping problem happens. I've found notes on a couple of different ways to adjust this, so I'll be propping the machine on end or upside down and trying both. I'm getting behind in my sewing and I really enjoy it so need to get past this repair. (I do have a shirt to make that will be sewn on my other machine, and I should do that this week.) Yes, I spent more on the books than I would on the repair in a shop at this point, but I'm just stubborn enough that I'm pleased with myself that I'm figuring out how to do the repair myself. And I should manage the repair well before the time a shop would be ready to return the machine to me.

I wonder if I should bring in the little Black and Decker workbench for this? It might save me having to prop up boxes and pillows to steady the machine.

I'm going out today, to lunch and then the eye doctor for an exam that was skipped last year at this time because of the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. I was also still not doing much driving and would have needed a ride after the knee surgery. In the last year I have had only one passenger in my SUV, and that was an emergency pickup of a friend whose car was totalled. The kind of request one doesn't refuse, but figures out the best way to accommodate. There is a tight-knit group of friends (former university) who are now trying to get him to go in for the vaccine. Yes, he's 60, not 65, but we all know that COVID would kill him. His injuries range from repaired birth defect (cleft palate) to deaf in one ear, a glass eye, and half a brain after a traumatic injury in a car accident. He tells people that his dental checkups are so important because his head is held together with a bit of soft tissue. Face this with intubation and I fear he wouldn't survive the procedure. Okay, I'm way off track here . . . but there are so many people out there for whom the COVID experience would be deadly.

Stay safe, everyone. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but that tunnel is strewn with obstacles that the light doesn't reveal.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Mar 21 - 10:11 AM

Moose Tracks is bonzer stuff, even if you're not a chocolate addict. Its fat content is extreme, however, so my digestion doesn't love it either.

Blue sky today and a bit colder, so the streets are dry and the sidewalk puddles are frozen. A good day to suit up for a trot around the neighbourhood.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 07:35 PM

Beaver:

Using internet too much! When using the "stick" it costs per page, or something like that. Anyway, just tried to find out about getting vaccine in Ontario. No one seems to be willing to give out that info!

Got my energy back about 3 and went to tackle the new snow pile. The SUN came out and I cleared a safe path and brought in an armload and decided that I have enough. THEN the sky opened and a whirlwind of snow blew around for about 15 minutes. In some areas these "flurries" have caused whiteouts and serious accidents today. Was beautiful to watch from inside a warm house!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 11:59 AM

"I am entirely okay with that. I can hardly believe it, after a lifetime of blindly accepting every opportunity that came my way, but I don't need the money and, consequently, I can spare myself the drudgery and the aggravation." That, Dear Sister, is the ringing of "the bell of freedom."


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 11:39 AM

I added a link to the SilverFast in that post. The description I posted is regarding the highest end scanning for archival work. You can look at different scanners in the consumer range and find a variety of them come with specialized software. And I didn't mention that I did all of the corrections in Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. Another hit on the pocketbook. But the software with the scanners usually includes some variety of software that will let you crop and adjust scans.

I am still considering rearranging the office for the slide scanner I bought, and it's much smaller than those flatbed scanners.

My personal document scanner is a small Canon A4-size that cost less than 100, and it has a small slide holder and can scan slides, but at very low resolution; the quality is so low it isn't really worth the effort.

Yesterday I made a quick trip to Kroger—I haven't been in a Kroger since last March when I was filling a prescription following the knee replacement. There are still considerable bare patches on the shelves as they build up the supply a week out from the freeze. They don't have any Mason jar canning lids, unless you buy a box with the rings and lids. The ice cream selection was small but I got vanilla to go with an apple pie, and I picked up a pint of my favorite chocolate "Moose tracks extreme." Just one of the things I've done without over the COVID quarantine, though truth be told, that one sometimes upsets the GI system on the way through so I shouldn't eat it often anyway.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 10:37 AM

Beaver:

10 am and I'm ready to go back to bed. Snowing lightly - not in forecast! Spent some time on internet, had BF and sitting reading, contemplating another shoveling stint - the west roof dumped another load on the path to the woodshed. The heating cable is hanging down; I hope enough that I can disconnect... but no! It is all connected to the one on the east roof and it may still be working???

But the ice and snow on the east has already pulled out three sets of screws holding up the eaves trough; when it comes down, it will bring that 10 foot section down completely. It WAS feeding a rain barrel - emptied for the winter. This will not be redone! The barrel can go elsewhere.

I will wait for a burst of energy to clear that path to bring in more wood. Still at 33F right now but going down to minus 15F tonight so more wood is a good idea. And shovelling before the temp goes down. At least it is still clear to the studio so I will check on yesterday's pots and MAYBE get the energy to trim them.

Intelligent decision made last eve: stop trying to wedge used clay and focus, put energy into, the new in the bag clay which is so much easier. Some potters actually throw away or give away used clay. Friends en route have a pug mill but I cannot guarantee the purity of my used clay. Jeff does not like specks! I have mixed the plain white and the speckled white.I don't mind specks!

BUT nothing here has the slightest comparison to what SRS and the folks in Texas went through. I have warmth and lights and books to read. Right now reading a life story by an almost local man born in 1904. What a different way of life! I know the places, lived near some, and many of the family names.

BUT that was the way life was back then - nine flat tires to go 30 mile or so and get home broke after numerous repairs to the car and not being able to use it again until the family had enough money for new tires! That was acceptable.

I'll bet there were country folks in Texas who managed just fine. Not many but a few who had not lost the old ways. I was appalled to find that people near here, when the electric came in 1956, gave up their wood stoves and their good wells with hand pumps... Living in the bush
I did not worry if there was electric, I had what I needed.

What I need now is to rest up! So I shall.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 10:14 AM

Yesterday was a lovely day here. Mum decided she would like to sit outside round the back. She’s had more problems with her already painful legs and we both had doubts about whether she would manage getting across the chippings and over the uneven grass but we decided to give it a go. I got the wheeled walker from the shed and adjusted it for her height (I’d been the last user of it) and off she went. The walking went well and although I stayed with her this time, she’s said she feels confident enough to walk her on own from now on.

I didn’t spend a lot of time outside but in between doing other things, I had a look at the rhubarb and found one of the plants is starting to grow leaves. I got two varieties, one a later version than the other so I assume the other plant will start soon.

I noticed the pennyroyal that was planted last year had died off and looks a mess. Apparently, it should come back from there though. I hope so. There always was a problem corner, just as you go in through the gate to the field. Various things have been planted there over the years but the only things happy there were nettles and other weeds. Pennyroyal at least seemed to offer a solution.

I got the petrol mower out and cut the bit of grass between the gate and the barn (our “lawn” part). The grass is growing a bit but the job didn’t really need doing. It was more a matter of seeing how I got on with it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 09:23 AM

Those scanners are out of my league!

I don’t often use my Cannon 9000F Mk2 but there are a load of photographs that I feel I should scan one day…

I usually use my own scanner software (which uses a version of jfreesane I modified sightly to do duplex [both sides of a page at once] to do the hard work that would be beyond me) as I generally prefer it to the common free Linux options I’ve found.

One thing I put into it was the ability to run scripts. There may be better ways on more advanced software but I used something like this when I scanned our 4 boxes of 127 film slides, taken with a Brownie 44A.

int slides = scanner.getInt("Slides to scan (1-4)", 1, 4);
    scanner.setResolution(1200);
    scanner.setSource("Transparency Unit");
    for (int i=0; i        int top = i * 56 + 31;
       int btm = top + 38;
       scanner.setRect(89, top, 127, btm);
       scanner.scan();
    }


That scans each portion in the slide holder and gives a separate file for each. It also allows saving settings to make a “preset” and setting programs to use with “scan to”.

The reason for the duplex was for another scanner I have that I must have had some idea of use for but I’ve forgotten what and have never used other than for testing. That’s a Canon imageFORMULA P-208ii


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 08:11 AM

Eye-watering prices, Stilly. Thanks for the info, and the advice.

If I buy a scanner like one of those, everything in the study will have to move. Bugger.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 01:04 AM

Dorothy, a friend of mine in Illinois was out shoveling part of her driveway when the across-the-street neighbor came over and volunteered her husband to clear it for her - he had a new snow-clearing shovel for a small tractor he'd just bought. Neighbors with toys they want to use is a great way to keep the driveway clear in winter!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 01:02 AM

Charmion, Epson makes the flatbed scanners that are used in many special collections - they were present in both the university library and the art museum where I was volunteering to scan. They are very high-end, but if you're working on historic and/or archival scans, the Epson Expression 12000XL PH (photo) flatbed scanner is the top of the line. The software that comes with it is used at the museum where I was scanning; the university library used this scanner with the very difficult to learn but eminently superior SilverFast software. The work goes slow - having a second lighter project to do on the side while you wait for scans is a good idea. Or streaming NetFlix (a popular distraction for scanners at the university library). Have an extra hard drive to store this on and back that up periodically. Scan them as large as you can (600dpi is fairly small these days - 1200dpi is much better) and save them as TIF files. No JPGs, they're lossy.

Considerably less expensive but still eye-watering, the Epson Perfection V850 looks like the next best of the various flatbed scanners (many in between are made for print positives and graphic art uses). Again, you can use SilverFast or the software that comes with it.

I have three scanning projects to do with slides and with documents and have different scanners for them - and will have an Access database for each project. Sort your photos first (and don't discard the faded ones, set them aside - there are remarkable things that can happen with restoration these days). Give the folders a name and number and as you work resolve to use a pencil and clearly print the name and number of the item for the folder and database on a clear FRONT edge of each photo and document. Your printing needs to be in the scan - trust me - if you don't keep track of this it will drive you crazy. And give your database enough fields so you can add topics later if needed. This way if you come across things that should have gone in an earlier folder and group of photos, it will show up in the database where to find it (or show you where to put it).

If you write a set of rules for yourself to follow that will also help anyone else who later is viewing or using these scans. Document your naming and numbering system, for example.

I just gave a longer version of this advice to a friend who is taking on the scanning of historic family documents going back to the late 1800s and that deal with a large court case that wound through most of the 1970s and into the 1980s (against Great Northern RR - lots of maps and documents to go with it.) She's going to need a photographer with a good full-sensor digital camera to photograph some of the maps too large for the legal-size scanner she's using.

I'll take my library/archival hat off now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 28 Feb 21 - 01:00 PM

Beaver:

What I needed to do after I got here was expected. Did I ever mention the 15 years I lived off the grid? This is a piece of cake, thankfully! Last year when I came and could not get in the front door because the screen door opened out and was frozen - that was a pain. NO screen door this year, on either door! And next year I hope to have a roof over the walkway so the snow off the roof of the studio does not land there! Will have to move the composter this summer to a spot where it is not buried under snow; cannot even see it now! And 3 years ago I could not access the wood pile when I arrived and had to call for HELP! The new (2 yr old) woodshed is terrific. And it was I who insisted on installing the wood stove in Quebec, and paid for it. And ordered wood! So when the heat went off... Edmond was right!

I have already ordered QC wood for September. I expect Ryan will be calling to see how much I want for here. AND I am going to ensure there is adequate cover for the wood in QC. Right now about half a cord is sitting under two feet of snow (covered with plastic).

A lovely thawing day but cloudy - 3 degrees above freezing and dripping madly. Glad I do not hear it in the house! Two feet of ice hanging off much of the west and east roofs. I hear an occasional Thunk. I left the electric heating roof thingy plugged in the last 3 weeks; not sure it is functional anymore as several feet are hanging down on the west side. Spring will come...

But Steve came a bit ago to clear the drive, esp the two ends where the snowplow contributed barricades. He says rain and then more snow so he felt this needed to be done. Spring is NOT here yet!

So I managed to throw a few pots this morning. And noted that I have maintained my 15 pound loss of excess weight. "My" doctor discourages losses more; "older women need to have some weight." OK - as long as I stay down. I still feel as though carrying extra 20 pounds is not a great idea.

Well, I got the bright idea of knocking down some of the ice and snow on the west. Then shoveled a path to the wood shed! Again! That is where it landed but I am glad it is down. The SUN came out while I was out and is still out. Blue sky!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Feb 21 - 12:37 PM

The book project I was awaiting has collapsed. Heigh-ho.

It wasn't me -- the project manager had only enthusiastically good things to say about my work, and the author, who rarely praises anyone but himself, admitted he would prefer me to any other editor. But the buck of project ownership has been passed yet again, and the new possessor disapproved of the gimmicky deal under which I was hired. So now it's going out to tender in a bidding process that specifically excludes me -- I am not a company with a standing offer, and I don't intend to become one.

I am entirely okay with that. I can hardly believe it, after a lifetime of blindly accepting every opportunity that came my way, but I don't need the money and, consequently, I can spare myself the drudgery and the aggravation. I have other things to do.

Stashed in the basement, along with dozens and hundreds of CDs, I had boxes and boxes of photos and negatives going back to my far-distant youth, and more boxes of negatives from my parents and my grandfather. Some of the oldest negatives are three-by-four glass plates. So, for my next trick, I shall sort out the contents of the boxes, probably ditch most of the fading colour prints, and scan and organize the negatives. Today I made room in the study closet for the boxes and hauled them upstairs, and tomorrow I start looking for the most suitable equipment for scanning negatives of many different sizes.

The tune session will also take time and effort, because now I must actually practise; I can't rely on my memory the way I used to, or take for granted the strength and condition of my hands. The rest of me also needs exercise, although my wonky foot wants another cortisone shot. The Y has re-opened and pool class is back on, so I must buy a new bathing suit (a task I dread) and get with the program.

The weather is wet and mild, with temperatures hovering just above and below freezing; completely normal for the drab end of February. I look on my winter boots with loathing, but it's too early to leave home without them; most of the sidewalks in town are half under water thanks to melting snowbanks and iced-over sewer grates.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 27 Feb 21 - 06:25 PM

Edmund liked to say, “There is no bad weather; there’s just inadequate gear.”


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Feb 21 - 05:41 PM

Recycling was deposited at the city bins and more stuff is added to the donation bin in the laundry room to drop off at the neighborhood Goodwill. While there I have a one-item list to look for; I've been on the hunt for a certain-sized Pyrex bowl for a friend (it's the one recommended for a no-knead bread he makes - he gave me a loaf a few weeks ago and it was marvelous). He's using a not-quite-perfect fit bowl but the vintage ones online are fairly pricey. I know I've seen them for a couple of dollars at Goodwill.

I have to start listing more eBay items, they're out of sight in the front room but still taking up space. I've put a moratorium on my purchase of items to sell until the ones in the house start moving out the door to the post office.

There are no visits here at the house in sight, after quizzing a group of friends about their vaccine status. They're not ready yet. At least once it's warm enough to work in the yard there will be the opportunity to talk to passers-by. I find myself counting the number of people I get to speak with when out walking the dogs (and of course I'm talking to the dogs while we're out walking). Those "weak ties" are an important part of our everyday lives that have been missing for most of the last year. The Pandemic Has Erased Entire Categories of Friendship: There’s a reason you miss the people you didn’t even know that well. From The Atlantic.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Feb 21 - 11:27 AM

Being acclimated to the cold weather and having enough resources to stay warm (pellets, wood, electricity, gas) make winter not so dreadful as Texas's week after Valentine's Day. I'm reading Dorothy's account of a week and wondering why we complained so much - it's the doing it without power that made it horrible for people totally unprepared. I now have a propane stove (arrived via Amazon on Wednesday) and I'll go buy a couple of tanks early next week (I've gotten the vaccine but still am very careful about going out, preferring times when the stores are almost empty).

I have only been to one grocery store since the Big Freeze, when I had to clear out the side-by-side freezer and fridge of a lot of thawed produce from my garden. I still have a supply in the big upright freezer, and instead of buying anything new I'm working on moving stuff. I try to use the fridge freezer for my everyday stuff and open the big one only on occasion. I tossed things in jars that weren't preserved by brine or salt or vinegar (so I kept olives and pickles and such, but tossed the mayonnaise).

As I've continued to fiddle with it the big sewing machine tension is now all out of whack. I cleaned and oiled the machine again. There was a video on YouTube of a guy taking off and adjusting the upper tension on a machine almost identical to mine. The video moves at a snail's pace but I'll watch it through to see if I can't try that adjustment now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 27 Feb 21 - 09:13 AM

Beaver!

Couple inches of snow by 9 am. Charmion will love this!! Glad I did errands yesterday. This is a heavy steady straight down snow! Guess I will read today. About 4 degrees below freezing. So much for yesterday's thaw.

Another 12 hours mostly sleeping and I feel like doing something... May venture the 20 feet to studio later. Not much room in ther4e for outer clothes. An umbrella would be good; it's in the car which is rapidly disappearing!

However, keeping a log of temps in studio has given me the clue I needed to where to set the heater.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 26 Feb 21 - 05:48 PM

Beaver!

Gor off in good time on thurs and arrived just after 3 with full sun but about minus 2 C. NO driveway and I have to wallow throw knee high snow to the front door. To the essential! as I sat, I texted Steve - "no driveway" and bt the time I had shoveled a path to the car, he arrived and cleared enough for me to get the car off the road. With a promise to return and finish the job- which he did very nicely today.

Hut then I backed the car in and when I thought to do a better job, it was stuck so I shoveled a path to the wood shed and part way to the studio - as far as I could manage. Had supper, talked to R, and was in bed about 7.

This am, after light bf, I carried numerous buckets of hot water out to melt the icy snow toward the studio until I managed to open the door enough to squeeze in and turn the cube heater down; it has cost me having it turned to high but better that than frozen clay.

Wanting to get errands done, I used sand and the metal ice thingy and got unstuck. Hit the bank to get a US draft to donate to Clayart discussion forum, an interesting and often helpful group of seasoned potters. Hardware store hoping for a supply of 4 inch pots but found them too expensive for almost give-away plants. Seed display was in full swing so I got a very few packets of seeds for spring, lest everything gets sold. Then frozen organic chicken breasts, and 3 stamps for USA at post office, thinking I might even write a couple notes to folks!

Home, parking carefully, had a good BF and Steve finished the drive very nicely. Started to take a nap -- after my 12 hours of not great sleep last night - but remembered I needed to bring in wood - went to minus 15C or so last night and getting the cold house up to snuff took a lot of wood. So, I jumped up and did wood, washed my hair and trimmed it for first time in weeks? maybe months.

So then, I turned on internet connection and did a rough go through of emails. Now this and maybe later I will do some fine tuning. I save to file many of the clayart posts, sign petitions, and and scam email addresses to the anti scam list.

Later for that. Now for a nice supper. The wonderful sun has dropped behind the hill; our gorgeous above freezing,by a couple degrees, day is ending. Tomorrow I hope for enough energy to get to work in the studio! It may snow a bit tonight! And tomorrow and the next day! The composter only has its very top visible!

My indoor/outdoor thermometer (outdoor is the studio) indicates the studio is getting too warm again... Someday I would like a real heater with a real thermostat! Shall I go turn it down again??? Probably. After I start cooking.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 26 Feb 21 - 03:28 PM

On the cameras btw. I think I started it after dad lost some token coins. We’ve got them in the living room, kitchen and study inside and the front and back outside. Here’s a view of the back a couple of weeks ago.

Another use for one came in after dad, who was then walking unsupervised with a frame, had a fall. The ambulance crew asked what happened and I was able to show them exactly what happened.

It was quite a “lucky” (are falls lucky?) fall. He tried to take too big a stride, lost his balance and went flying, avoiding cracking his head on the oak table by inches on the way down. He landed heavily but, it turned out, quite shaken but physically unscathed.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 26 Feb 21 - 01:39 PM

I remember a pair of mum's glasses turning up in a compost heap a year or so after they were lost...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Feb 21 - 10:38 AM

I've put in orders to add three books to my collection; I started researching technical repair books for sewing machines and found one pre-1980 and two much more modern. My sewing machine is acting up and its either the tension or a timing problem that so far I haven't resolved myself. Since I've been interested in refurbishing machines I find at Goodwill it's time to make this move. Meanwhile I'm losing ground on my mask making as I fidget with the big machine. Today I'll do a full cleaning, needle replacement, etc. just because.

The all-electric stove in my kitchen was new a few years ago (four burners or hobs and and oven). I don't know that there will ever be a higher-end stove in there. This is lightweight compared to the previous model and I have a bracket I was supposed to attach to the wall to push this onto, to prevent tipping (resting something on the oven door might do it, I suppose). I should go ahead and install that.

We're at the messy time of year here, when mud is churned up with every rain and when the yard is bedraggled after the hard freeze. Jon, I have to work on my compost setup again; the one with wire over the top now only serves to keep me out since the smallest dog figured out a way to wiggle in through the layers. I have found utensils in the garden or compost on occasion that got into the scrap bowl or gray-water bucket. I lost a pair of scissors for a while that turned up when I dug the next year, and it was a video of a sweet potato operation (my ex videoing our daughter digging potatoes that revealed where a trowel was buried.) It makes me wonder at the everyday things we choose to record. :)

Charmion, I love that you can bring a few people into the house. My small group that usually meets here is still too leery about getting together indoors, so our first lunch of 2021 won't happen until either everyone gets vaccinated or we have nice weather for an outdoors picnic.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 26 Feb 21 - 09:08 AM

We had a tune session here yesterday, and it was just great. Serena the Fiddle brought a pupil, Lauren who is "almost" 14, so with me and and Mary Anne the Guitar, we are now four. We're beginning to sound like a ceilidh band, and I couldn't be more chuffed. We have started learning a new jig set.

If I move the library furniture around a bit, we could fit in one or two more at six-foot spacing, but I think we've a way to go before we contemplate that. Maybe a bodhran, or Lauren's dad on guitar, but if we added a guitar we would need another melody instrument, flute or fiddle, mandolin or banjo. I can play both the bodhran and the guitar, but the others would rather have the mandolin and I think they're right.

I look forward to the day -- this year, next year? -- when we can sit at elbows-not-quite-bumping range and really dig in.

I'm sorry for your cooker troubles, Jon. Especially when you share a kitchen with loved ones who have their minds made up about the technology they are prepared to accept, it's an huge challenge to replace such a critical component of your home. And the cost! I hope I never have to buy another new cooker; I'll coddle the one I have as long as I can.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 26 Feb 21 - 05:40 AM

It’s not the first time I’ve used one of the IP cameras for this sort of thing but the kitchen one came in useful yesterday. Mum had complained that one of her plastic dessert spoons (there’s a green one and a yellow one) she and dad use for breakfast. I knew I’d used it when weighing out the flour she wanted for an apple pie and that seemed to be the last seen of it. So, check back on the recordings, I see myself putting it in the washing up bowl. I also put mums favourite (I hate it but) utility knife in there. Wind forward a bit later when I was tidying up in a hurry and I tip the washing up bowl full of apple peel into the kitchen waste bin. I’d emptied the waste bin into the outside wheelie bin before this so I retrieved the black bin bag from there, opened it up and sure enough, there amongst the apple peelings were the 2 utensils.

Staying with the kitchen, I think we need a new cooker. The bottom oven on the current one went a few months ago but we didn’t want to get a repair person in with the Covid situation. The top oven on has always seemed to be a bit under temperature (a contrast to the bottom one that always seemed over even with an allowance for it being fan assisted) but, things seem to be getting worse and I had to use extended times for the last lot of sultana buns I did… And the top right hob plate is tripping the main RCD, knocking all the power in the house off when you turn it on.

I wish that when mum had the kitchen done when she moved here over 20 years ago, that the space for the cooker had been made to take 60cm models rather than the 50cm slot we have (and it would be too big a job to change). It’s not a matter of capacity but one of choice. Now I’m doing the main cooking and with a need for a new cooker, I’d try to talk mum into getting one with induction hobs but I can’t find that in the smaller size.

We differ in what we prefer, if we lived somewhere with mains gas, I’d probably opt for a duel fuel (gas hobs, electric oven) cooker and like quick reaction. Mum prefers the slow sealed plate hobs.

Back to my printing side comments, I’ve slapped some paint on my traction engine attempt and we’ve decided it could do with a twin which, needless to say round here (Norwich City FC colours) will have the green parts in the photo done in yellow. At the moment, I don’t think I’m going to put motors and electronics in this one.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Feb 21 - 10:26 AM

I'm sweeping again today to remove more lava sand from outside the doors and to pick up the sand tracked through the house. I bought a new rubber mat for inside the side door (and a dog bed that Cookie shredded within an hour of entering the house - BAD dog!) The sand melted snow because it's dark and solar gain meant it became warm in the sun, but oh, is it sharp edged on the floor now. The floor around here is a little crunchy.

Volunteer activities these days start out with virtual training so I'm beginning a series of Zoom lectures before I start working at a local museum later this year. So many things may again resume later this year. Here's hoping the vaccines are able to stay ahead of the current and new COVID-19 variants.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Feb 21 - 07:03 PM

It's looking like nice weather for a few days and warming (it is almost March, and gardens get started here this time of year) so I'll shift my attention to clearing some things out of the garage that need to go into the yard. I have fence stuff and a gate to work on also. It is a little difficult to wrap my head around this work when last week we were in the midst of such a horrible arctic blast. But life moves on. So much stuff got clobbered that I'm going to be out cutting back a lot of shrubs and hope they come back from the roots later.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Feb 21 - 10:19 AM

If those comb bindings are intact you can bag them and donate to a print shop where they can be reused. The bindings can also be recycled.

Last night I made several thicknesses of scrap fabric and worked back and forth to get the bobbin settings adjusted. It was my stupid mistake to begin with, accidentally winding a bobbin too tight and then not realizing it was the bobbin and not the bobbin tension that was the problem. Now I'm sewing with black thread on top and white on the bottom so I can see how it is adjusting. (I wasted a lot of the color thread I was working with before I remembered the "how to adjust your tension" video used two colors.) This after I called a sewing machine repair shop (after trying several that seem to have gone out of business) and being told they would charge me $50 to clean it (I do that myself) and run a stitching strip to see how the tension is (and I'll try with different thicknesses). I think I simply need to fiddle with it until I get it reset where it was before. I have a better use for that $50.

Knee checkup today, a year out from that surgery. But what a strange year it has been!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Feb 21 - 08:56 AM

I vacuumed the library yesterday and disassembled a great stack of Cerlox-bound proceedings of the National Criminal Law Program for recycling. The blue box is brimming again and almost too heavy to move, and the kitchen trash is bristling with plastic Cerlox thingies.

The Bubble is going out for lunch today! I shall wear a clean shirt and snazzy earrings to celebrate.

While we’re at it, it’s time to start planning a joint garage sale. I can’t think of a better way to disencumber myself of Edmund’s collection of rucksacks in many sizes — I think there are eight — and the clutter of kitchen gadgets I will never use again.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 10:53 PM

A trip to the post office and Aldi today were nice after more than a week at home. The store shelves were sparsely populated with groceries (plenty of spices and condiments and such, but low on meats, bread, no eggs, not much milk, a lot of dairy gone, little cheese, etc.) I got a half-gallon of 1% milk, one I don't normally buy, but I didn't want a gallon of whole milk and I want milk on my morning oatmeal. Beggars can't be choosers. The store had to throw out a lot of what is missing, it isn't just that customers swooped in and took it. They, like thousands of stores across the state, are waiting for distribution from unaffected warehouses.

It took me about 30 minutes to clear up the sleeping pads and sleeping bags from last week; they were propped up airing on the side of my bedroom. One or more of the bags for the pads had coated nylon and the coating peeled off and sprinkled all over the rug, so that had to be vacuumed before I deflated the mats and stored them again. The room is looking good.

I delivered two one-pint containers of soup to my ex this afternoon and he had it for dinner, as did I, at my house. It has been so long since anyone was in here to share a meal with me—the situation for so many people. He hasn't gotten any calls about the vaccine yet, but maybe once he gets the jab we can try being a pod. In comparing notes it's interesting - he is also experiencing the exhaustion I still seem to be feeling. I crash pretty early in the evening (early for me - I'm headed to bed in a couple of minutes.) I suspect that much of the state is feeling that way. I did the math - 90 hours. And consider: so many places in the world have people living in tents in refugee settings for long periods of time, and places where people are so poor that this is a normal circumstance, so we have nothing to complain about compared to that. But it gives us a glimmer of that kind of life and hopefully empathy. All along the Texas border with Mexico power was also out and it was sub-freezing there. Refugees still waiting to come into the US after Trump made them all wait in Mexico. Tent cities, dilapidated encampments, harsh conditions. I wonder if the deaths and injuries there will ever be counted. I heard that the count so far in Texas after those four days is 20.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 12:41 PM

The LCD bulbs in those faceplates are extremely low power and give off no heat.

Jon, I poked around the UK Amazon site and couldn't find anything similar. This looks a little more flush to the wall than the one you shared earlier.

Any time I bring up the Amazon page (the US version) I get the message that shipping is slower in my region. I don't know what Amazon's warehouses look like at the moment, but know that the post office is still messed up because the postmaster general's office is still full of Trump appointees. And then there's the weather thing—the post office is backed up with several days worth of stuff. And I'm willing to bet there are lots of new orders happening because of last week, putting more pressure on those various delivery systems.

I have to remember that I'm doing a "frugal February," but the emergency stuff I ordered is beyond the scope of that goal, I think. I've gotten started researching the replacement items and will await information from a couple of friends before more purchases, so it won't be till March that those happen.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 11:35 AM

It’s snowing and blowing in Stratford, but not particularly cold. We’re having yet another lake-effect day, complete with sharply dropping air pressure. Consequently, there’s rain the forecast and my feet hurt.

I like that night-light gadget but, in the gloom of my upstairs hall, it would be on all the time. That bugged me with a plug-in light, but maybe it would matter less with the built-in LED bulb.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 10:59 AM

SRS, that face plate looks really good. I’d not seen one of those or a UK equivalent before. I think I stick with a plug in type here though.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 10:43 AM

Mrrzy, My desk needs a good clear out/tidy up. At best, I've got an area that would comfortably take an A4 (similar to your letter size) pad and room for a calculator and ruler, etc. to my left (I'm left handed - at least for writing, my musical attempts are right handed) and if I move the wireless keyboard I've got an area where I can try to play with things like the Arduino or solder something and power things with a power supply that lives to the right of monitor.

The old oak table in the living room is a better option for a larger area. It's mostly shared (a side each) with me and dad who has his lap top there and is currently attempting a 1000 piece jigsaw there. And at least if it's warm, I've got a workbench in my shed I tidied up last year.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 10:30 AM

Jon, a couple of years ago my neighbor gave me two of these replacement faceplate night lights that turn off when there's light an on when not. One of them isn't working now and it may be a simple matter of checking to see how I installed it, but I may get myself a couple more. These are one-gang, you'll have to hunt to see if they come wider.

I have two UPS units; the computer one is larger and I replaced the batteries in it last year. The one in the hall closet probably needs the batteries replaced also. I don't think it adds much life to the router and modem at this point.

Sorry about the gas/petrol mixup. My Coleman stove runs on white gasoline (a petrol form) and my little Optimus also. I have a fuel can out there that is ancient so needs to be disposed of properly and replaced. They still make the stuff. If the power is out in the summer, that is entirely usable outside.

I need to refurbish my LP gas grill, the last time I used it the gas barely trickled in and I think it's because wasps have clogged up the lines. Mud daubers get into tiny crevices and the garage walls are also covered with the gobs of mud for their larger nests.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Mrrzy
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 08:46 AM

Thanks for that info on piles! And who actually has a free 18"x18" on their desks? I got about 4x6.

(What do you call vodka, oj and Preparation H? A pile-driver...)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 08:21 AM

And I might do a small power off job in the next couple of days. An annoying and costly problem has been (at least I’m pretty sure it must be) carers for dad or dad with them bang into things in the narrow corridor when they wheel him about. I’m not sure of the why’s and wherefores on the moving part as I’m willing to try all but am now just doing the putting to bed move.

We’ve had to replace one radiator valve controller and two night lights for reasons that I can only see as being caused by collisions and I’m certain it’s not me bumping in to things. I can’t go around accusing others or telling them to be more careful though.

I think the radiator valve one has been made safer by turning it round so you can’t see the lcd panel. That cut’s down on the protrusion and I don’t think anyone bent down to look at the display anyway.

The light is more difficult. Moving the socket which is in an akward place would be best but there’s not an easy and sightly way I could manage that. The nightlight I got this time is slimmer though and I think that coupled with using a 25mm/1” back box (I’m not sure why the current one is so deep) will cut the amount sticking out there by 50mm/2” which will reduce the chance of it getting knocked.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 05:48 AM

I turn my PC off after 5 minutes of a power cut. I do that to try and keep the router and the base station for the Dect landline phones alive for as long as I can. I’ve no idea how long it does last but I think it would be hours rather than days.

Thinking phones and batteries, I got a new mobile phone last week as I was fed up with the battery life with the one I had which had gone down to barely lasting a day just idling and changing a battery on that phone looked quite a task. Having got the new one, I decided to have a play with the old one which I wiped, put Lineage OS 17.1 on and set up with the apps I wanted.

It’s just sat on my desk for the last 24 hrs and the battery is still showing a good 90%+ charge. I’m wondering now, whether the new custom ROM can really be that much better than the stock WileyFox one – I can’t see that? What update or change may have occurred to make the battery life so bad – I’d not made any changes around the time things started to deteriorate. Or whether I’ll start to see what looks like battery problems in a couple of days time.   As I stands though I seem to have a pretty decent back up phone for my needs.

While on the phones, I also put the battery in my first smart phone, a Galaxy Ace 2 and found it still works well. I’d put a new (replaceable by design) battery in that one and set it up as a phone for mum after I’d finished with it but it turned out that she was far better off with a basic (non smart) Nokia so the Ace 2 has just been stowed away.

Btw, SRS, your English had me a bit confused for a while when you said your stoves couldn’t be used as they run on gas – so does ours (on Butane), a 2 ring and grill Camping Gaz one that lives in the BBQ shed but could be brought to the house if needed. I think… There are CO detectors in both the living room (for woodburner) and kitchen (historical really but the central heating boiler used to be located there).

I’ve never used a petrol stove (although a brother had one that burned quite fiercely) but still have a paraffin/kerosene Optimus one - somewhere...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Feb 21 - 11:02 PM

We've gone from ice to mud very quickly here. This evening I finished mopping the muddy footprints from across the den floor and took a broom out to start pushing the lava sand onto the lawn. It works to prevent slipping on ice but it is terribly gritty and tracks in easily.

I'm also looking at battery packs for the house. My sister recommended one and I have an electrical engineer friend out in West Texas who is set for anything. I'll run this question past him. My computer UPS isn't meant to run for a long time, just a few minutes. These other power supplies are meant for running a lamp, charging phones and equipment, over time.

The last of the big protein packages from the freezer is finished. The pollock was frosty still but definitely thawing when the power came back on. I moved it and two packages of beef into the fridge and I cooked the beef over the last two nights (a lot goes back into the freezer now). This evening the fish went into a large batch of Whiting Stew and I'll share some of this tomorrow.

Yesterday I talked to a couple of friends about their camp stoves and then decided to get the Coleman two-burner propane or butane fuel camp stove. It's meant for emergencies here and it can be used indoors. That's the trouble with my old camp stoves, they run on gas and would have to be used outside. When it's zero degrees I'm not going to go outside to cook.

I finished emptying the stock pots and tubs that were holding water for several days in case we had to start boiling water. I feel bad pouring it out because lots of people are still boiling and still getting bottled water, but no one is coming over here to get stock pots full of water. Pots put away give me more room again and the house is continuing to improve after the disruption last week.

The best way to view it from the dogs' standpoint is that we went on a four-day three-night camping trip in my closet. I think they enjoyed themselves and though I knew (in particular) that Cookie was cold, she had a jacket she wore for four days straight and never bothered it.

It isn't funny yet, no one is telling stories of humorous things that happened, though I'm sure some did. Everyone is winding down from the stress of it, and many people are working with local mutual aid projects to help provide food and water and blankets and such. I'll be shopping tomorrow and taking food up to the fridge (I started doing that several months ago.) I'm still working at wrapping my brain around my usual daytime activities—I keep forgetting to do stuff that I always did every day before this. Getting back into that old routine is not coming as easily as one might expect.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 21 Feb 21 - 01:40 PM

Dupont:

Glad Maggie's ordeal is over. I'm sure the dogs helped! And glad to see plans being made for the just in case...

As I look forward to spring arriving someday - End of May! But continue to nurture the various tomato shoots and mature plants that are producing more cuttings and a couple "dead" pepper plants that are sending out new life! One that just gave me a small yellow pepper has stayed healthy and looks to be starting a new bud! These small signs of new and continuing life are helpful to the mental health.

For a cool climate: I was delighted to break up my sorrel plant into a dozen last fall and look forward to having fresh greens before the snow is off the ground at Beaver. I gave up growing garlic as I never use it but it grew prolifically through Ontario winters. I would dig it, give most of it away and plant another few. When I sold the farm in 99, there was some planted...

I have been coasting this last week, doing very little but finding I need to do SOMETHING out of the chair every hour or so! This am I even dusted the never used DR table! I had planned to go back to Beaver today but the sporadic gut thing is back and the idea of keeping a daily record so I would get a handle on the cause... Well, that never seems to work for me.

A new bathroom sink is in our future. The main bath has one with ridges in it - attractive I guess but a pain to clean. Several hours on the web last night, I finally bit the bullet - Wayfair turned out to be the ONLY source for a "drop in, no faucet holes sink". Home Depot in Niagara Falls has them; that is in the USA they are easily available but Home Depot - after two "chats" - in Canada does NOT. Nor any other - after googling two pages... THEN R wondered if he could get the old one out and decided he might have to break it but that's ok. After he left this am, I took an unwanted table knife and small hammer to it. The old sink is loose and the new one ordered!

Building on that success maybe I will get the cauliflower soup and a veggie stew made for the next week's planned overs. And spend a few minutes on the front steps in the sun a couple short stints of fresh air.

As for filing: I have a nice OLD oak filing cabinet which was beside my desk in many abodes and things got filed forthwith. Now, it is at the Mill along with a lot of other unmoved stuff. But I have spots for important papers both here and at Beaver. They are almost filed. And I find that lots of what I once filed away to look at later, well... It is all on the web anyway. And most bills are paid on-line.

Hope the daffodils survived, SRS!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Feb 21 - 12:13 PM

I wouldn't say that everything goes in the stack. And really important things that can't stand to get versions mixed up live in their own folders or files.

That said, going back through the stacks is a sort of archeological dig. Sometimes there is treasure in there!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Feb 21 - 11:08 AM

It’s tempting to believe that people with messy desks are more productive or creative than neatniks, but that’s just not so. After training as an archivist and then working many years as an editor, I am phobic about piles of paper for fear of mixing up versions of a manuscript. I’m also afraid of losing bills so they don’t get paid, or misplacing tax-related documents so I end up filing late.

Okay, I admit it — I’m compulsive. It’s thirty years since I missed a bill payment or a tax deadline. But I consider that compulsion more of a solution than a problem.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Feb 21 - 10:27 AM

Mrrzy, back in 2002 The New Yorker published a review by Malcolm Gladwell called "The Social Life of Paper: Looking for method in the mess." From that article:


Paper enables a certain kind of thinking. Picture, for instance, the top of your desk. Chances are that you have a keyboard and a computer screen off to one side, and a clear space roughly eighteen inches square in front of your chair. What covers the rest of the desktop is probably piles—piles of papers, journals, magazines, binders, postcards, videotapes, and all the other artifacts of the knowledge economy. The piles look like a mess, but they aren't. When a group at Apple Computer studied piling behavior several years ago, they found that even the most disorderly piles usually make perfect sense to the piler, and that office workers could hold forth in great detail about the precise history and meaning of their piles. The pile closest to the cleared, eighteen-inch-square working area, for example, generally represents the most urgent business, and within that pile the most important document of all is likely to be at the top. Piles are living, breathing archives. Over time, they get broken down and resorted, sometimes chronologically and sometimes thematically and sometimes chronologically and thematically; clues about certain documents may be physically embedded in the file by, say, stacking a certain piece of paper at an angle or inserting dividers into the stack.

But why do we pile documents instead of filing them? Because piles represent the process of active, ongoing thinking. The psychologist Alison Kidd, whose research Sellen and Harper refer to extensively, argues that "knowledge workers" use the physical space of the desktop to hold "ideas which they cannot yet categorize or even decide how they might use." The messy desk is not necessarily a sign of disorganization. It may be a sign of complexity: those who deal with many unresolved ideas simultaneously cannot sort and file the papers on their desks, because they haven't yet sorted and filed the ideas in their head. Kidd writes that many of the people she talked to use the papers on their desks as contextual cues to "recover a complex set of threads without difficulty and delay" when they come in on a Monday morning, or after their work has been interrupted by a phone call. What we see when we look at the piles on our desks is, in a sense, the contents of our brains.


I still lose track of things in the piles if a pile gets moved sometimes I have to go hunting. And periodically I do file and shred. But there is often something to the "I know it's in here somewhere" instinct that lets you dig around and find what you need. "Situation awareness" is the concept.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Feb 21 - 09:44 AM

Good on yer, Charmion.

One of my adult kids asked for their birth certificate, prompting the excavation of my big corner cabinet's bottom half where I'd been randomly stuffing papers since we moved oh, 8 years ago now. It yielded a large pile of things to shred, a larger pile of things to recycle, and an unfortunately largest pile of things to keep, which I now need to go back through and sort.

And I did have the birth certificates. In a folder, even.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Feb 21 - 07:30 AM

I have decided to dispose of Edmund’s beer fridge, which lives in the garage. It was in this house when we moved in, and several of its interior fittings are cracked or broken so I don’t think I can sell it. It’s old enough that I’m sure it’s a power hog.

Most of Edmund’s hoard of beer went to his brother and I drank the Perrier, so now the beer fridge is empty except for containers of soup stock in the freezer compartment. Those can go in the chest freezer.

It snowed again yesterday, but now the sky is clear and a thaw is coming. Some of the downtown restaurants have reopened, so I may take a little stroll downtown for coffee. Not that I need other people’s coffee, but a destination is always nice.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 21 Feb 21 - 05:55 AM

Charmion, you might remember that, during the ice storm, hydro workers resented the military work ethic. Rather than approaching their tasks with the effort that would meet expectations, the soldiers revived the expeditionary work ethic of two world wars: "Let's get this done so we can go home." Sappers get s*** done, and get it done even faster if they have pioneers and Herbies to do the grunt work.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Feb 21 - 11:44 PM

Last Sunday it was beginning, the snow was on the ground at dawn, power went out later that night overnight. Tomorrow it's supposed to be sunny and 60o. And when I listen to my local organic gardening radio show we will all commiserate about the plants in our gardens that have died and need removal and possible replacement.

I've found most of the things that got moved around during the week (there was one charging cable that I finally found next to the UPS - if I'd had the wit to turn off everything attached to it it wouldn't have run down and turned off and I could have charged the phone and tablet on it all week easily.) My small power backup I use for the phone died this week and I've ordered a new one and also ordered a propane stove that will be here for emergencies. I'll have to go to a store to buy the metal propane bottles, those don't ship. Sterno was a lifesaver and I still have some, but it would be a lot faster cooking with propane and is safe to burn indoors. Some of the other camp stoves need to be used outside and that simply wouldn't have happened as cold as this week was.

I am pleased to report that the new freezer came through this episode like a champ. The old one (it was 50 years old) would not have done such a good job (from past experience). I didn't open the upright freezer at all and after being without power for three days I plugged it into the neighbor's generator and let it run all night. When I did finally open it I could see that the berries in their bags were still perfectly shaped separate pieces - they didn't get soft and become a blob that refroze. The ultimate test.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Feb 21 - 01:15 PM

I'm not sure what the Governor did, but FEMA has been busy around the state. There is a community fridge project in town that has three locations (so far) and I've been a regular contributor, but haven't gotten out for over a week. I can have Amazon deliver things from their "Wish list" directly to their location, but when I looked in this morning stuff won't arrive for another week. I have some things here I can take up in a day or two once getting out is possible and the place I where want to pick up more is open.

I have things in the garden that usually over-winter and I continue to use each year, like onion plants. I cut a few of the green onions and use them regularly, sometimes digging up the bulb (when left like this they're more like leeks), but I think they finally froze so hard to have died. I'll be digging up or plowing in everything out there. And I fear nurseries will have been hit hard as far as bedding plants. I'm sure stuff will be transported in from Florida, but I think I'll set up the small pots and start a lot of stuff by seed to be ready for planting in the next six to eight weeks. If the garlic was killed I have a lot of corms that I can plant, though there won't be any kind of a crop this year, they should be planted in the fall. My bay tree will have been killed this year, and everything in pots.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 20r
From: Charmion
Date: 20 Feb 21 - 09:46 AM

Reading about the travails of Texas, I’m gobsmacked by how much more awful conditions were made by the state government’s policy of avoiding federal intervention at apparently any cost.

When eastern Canada was hit by a giant ice storm in 1998, federal intervention helped the provincial and municipal governments immeasurably — not least by calling out the armed forces, both regular and reserves, to help the police, utility companies, public health authorities and social service agencies. The massive maple tree that blocked one end of my street in Ottawa was cut up and hauled away by soldiers from Petawawa, and the streets of blacked-out Montreal were patrolled by soldiers from Valcartier while the police searched the high-rise apartment buildings for trapped residents. Combat and construction engineers from all over the country deployed to help power workers rebuild crushed and tumbled hydro towers.

Did the governor of Texas at least mobilize the National Guard?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 20 Feb 21 - 06:32 AM

Sorry to read you've had a rough time, SRS, but good to see you back on line.

Leenia, we have grown ordinary peas some years with varying degrees of success but not those. They could be started now but I’m not really a fan of the mangetout types.

I’m trying to think what we will be growing… The potatoes will take up one of our 2 remaining squares. I’ll want to put leeks (which I think are the most reliable veg going) in the long thin bed later in the year. There is another bit where we’ll put a row of French climbing beans. We’ll probably put spinach and/or chard along 2 sides of the other square and I guess the rest of it can be for brassica. I really need to make sure we get varieties with good club root resistance this year…

Then there are the tubs. Two had rhubarb planted in them last year so I’m hoping that comes up ok. I’ve got a few of a new potato that I’m going to try in another couple of tubs. Yet another two or three will have courgettes in. That leaves me with four or five to put I don’t know what yet in.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Feb 21 - 12:50 AM

It's not actually a good idea to do that. https://www.dallasnews.com/food/2021/02/15/do-not-store-your-food-outside-if-you-lose-power-heres-why/

Snow isn't a substitute for the freezer and food that is in sunlight can start to thaw because of solar gain. If you can't open that article, they link to the USDA Winter Weather Food Safety article.


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