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De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021

Dorothy Parshall 30 Sep 21 - 08:09 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 21 - 06:31 PM
Jon Freeman 30 Sep 21 - 06:22 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 21 - 06:11 PM
Jon Freeman 30 Sep 21 - 05:45 PM
Charmion 30 Sep 21 - 05:45 PM
Jon Freeman 30 Sep 21 - 05:43 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 21 - 05:35 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 21 - 01:25 PM
Jon Freeman 30 Sep 21 - 01:06 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 21 - 12:34 PM
Charmion 30 Sep 21 - 12:24 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 21 - 11:53 AM
Charmion 30 Sep 21 - 11:15 AM
Stilly River Sage 30 Sep 21 - 11:13 AM
Jon Freeman 30 Sep 21 - 10:45 AM
Charmion 30 Sep 21 - 10:37 AM
Bat Goddess 30 Sep 21 - 09:44 AM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 21 - 09:15 AM
Jon Freeman 29 Sep 21 - 08:41 PM
Charmion 29 Sep 21 - 08:03 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Sep 21 - 07:52 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Sep 21 - 07:15 PM
JennieG 29 Sep 21 - 06:53 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Sep 21 - 06:52 PM
Donuel 29 Sep 21 - 06:47 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Sep 21 - 06:34 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Sep 21 - 03:18 PM
Bat Goddess 29 Sep 21 - 02:35 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Sep 21 - 12:00 PM
Jon Freeman 29 Sep 21 - 09:16 AM
Charmion 29 Sep 21 - 08:28 AM
JennieG 29 Sep 21 - 01:03 AM
Stilly River Sage 28 Sep 21 - 08:26 PM
Charmion 28 Sep 21 - 03:18 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 Sep 21 - 01:34 PM
Dorothy Parshall 26 Sep 21 - 03:29 PM
Stilly River Sage 26 Sep 21 - 10:26 AM
Stilly River Sage 25 Sep 21 - 11:14 AM
Charmion's brother Andrew 25 Sep 21 - 10:50 AM
Charmion 25 Sep 21 - 10:44 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Sep 21 - 11:46 PM
Charmion 24 Sep 21 - 05:13 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Sep 21 - 10:19 AM
Charmion 24 Sep 21 - 10:02 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Sep 21 - 12:49 AM
Dorothy Parshall 23 Sep 21 - 06:01 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Sep 21 - 02:22 PM
Bat Goddess 23 Sep 21 - 10:25 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Sep 21 - 02:23 PM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 08:09 PM

Beaver:

Here six years last April: Have no keys for either front or back door. Have a motion sensitive front light for coming home at night. The heavy rain turned it on recently! I have an onyz box on the end of the K counter nearest the door; if someone needs to get paid for work: "I'll put it in the box." Good neighbours!

Hydro at Dupont: only the main part of house was disconnected so R ran extension from the other side for frig and freezer. He has only been home about one day in three; working night and day to get stuff done before winter! He waters plants and picks lots of tomatoes! We have agreed it is better for me to stay here so he is free to not come home! I am happy to be here.

Got some pots thrown on Tuesday - finally! Low energy level may be due to heavy weather, concern for 90 year old friend - now resolved! - and the amount of time and energy it took to get house tidier for company! I also pulled an essential muscle and am spending much time on heating pad. Love my new-to-me duvet - light and cozy! Wood stove is working well and is needed - but not greatly. Unloaded two boxes of beautiful red cedar lumber scraps on a member of the Stewardship Council who thought he could find a group that would use it for bird houses. He kindly came and picked it up.

Still considering most effective ways to move on fabric pieces of various sorts that I have clearly decided are no longer "needed". Lawnmower is still in K waiting for pick-up. And the back yard is still waiting for Steve "this week". As much as I love nature, it has become overwhelming; I need space and want to be able to see the burbling brook!

Today I met a neighbour I did not know existed! She stopped to talk with Jim and dog; I thought it was Sue's truck but not; she lives on a track just past Sue. Jim says she lives in a tiny trailer without hydro, back in the bush and gives occasional workshops on mushrooms and other stuff. I invited her to stop in for a cup of tea but forgot to ask if she is "double vaxed". I will ask if she stops by. I hope so because I would love to chat with her.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 06:31 PM

My gas barbecue connects to an old-fashioned screw-in regulator, which has a left-hand thread. I only have to change it once every few months, long enough for me to forget how to attach it. I have a mare every time...but I need the burgers and sausages...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 06:22 PM

Totally agree there, while you can see when the part is detached, it's always something tight that causes the problem. In practice wondering whether something has a left hand thread is something I might just ask myself. I think the rule of thumb there is that if it's something static, it won't be but on something like my strimmer head which rotates, it could be.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 06:11 PM

Yebbut Jon, when a screw is tight in, you can't see the thread!

Can you get hold of Atora shredded suet or similar your end, Charmion?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 05:45 PM

(not sure where I got light bulb from above...)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 05:45 PM

I could use a dependable recipe for suet dumplings, Steve, so … um … hurry up? Don’t forget, now!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 05:43 PM

You may well know this already and a light bulb isn't one of them but, in case, threads have their own handedness. If you see a bolt, you can see by looking at one vertically. A left hand thread slopes down to the right. I've a feeling the spool unit for my petrol strimmer is one example of where a left hand thread is used.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 05:35 PM

Well, despite my chaotic handling of the recipe, the veg stew was very nice. The sweet potato chunks were a bit too soft but that was not a hassle. The dumplings (the only aspect of the recipe I'd followed slavishly) almost disappeared, but I suppose they added to the overall flavour. I'll do my usual, dependable suet dumplings in future. I might put the recipe on the recipe thread...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 01:25 PM

I'm another southpaw, Jon. I struggle with scissors and with trying to work out which way to try to turn a tight screw to undo it...

I stopped buying Napolina tomatoes a couple of years ago. I've found Waitrose Essential plum tomatoes to be far superior and consistently cheaper. They are far more saucy, less likely to possess bits of skin and they're easy enough to snip up in the can. I think they're better than Cirio too. A scant half-teaspoon of sugar per can of tomatoes works absolute wonders in any dish... I won't buy canned tomatoes that contain anything other than tomatoes. No herbs, garlic or salt for me.

The ring pulls on cans of Morrisons mackerel fillets in olive oil routinely break. Grr.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 01:06 PM

I some problems with a pack of 4 Napolina chopped tomatoes some months back. The ring pull snapped on every can and I had to resort to a tin opener.

I usually use a hand held electric tin opener but, otherwise, I do have a couple of (smaller, I don't like the really thick ones with 100s of blades) Swiss Army knives and can use the tin openers on them if I need. I don't think my left handedness helps me in working out which hand or orientation I want to attack the can with but, that solved/re-remebered, I find them quite useable.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 12:34 PM

I'm still a dab hand with a tin opener...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 12:24 PM

Steve, I'm shocked. All this time, I believed you were infallible in the kitchen.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 11:53 AM

I've made a big pan of vegetable stew this afternoon. I got the recipe online but I misread it: the stew is now completely cooked but the dumplings should have gone in with the sweet potatoes. As it is, they are sitting there raw on a plate. If I reheat the stew and give the dumplings the prescribed 25 minutes, the rest of the stew will be mush. The rescue act will consist of boiling up the dumplings in some of the liquid fished out of the stew before everything gets put back together. Isn't life droll.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 11:15 AM

Rats in the roof! Yikes! We have grey squirrels — cuter but just as destructive.

When I commented on the money and effort my neighbour invested in cutting back the silver maple boughs overhanging his house, he quickly replied that it was a whole lot easier and cheaper than getting an exterminator in to evict squirrels from his attic, and an electrician in to repair the damage they would inevitably do.

Burglar alarm technology has come a long way over the last 25 years. I’m wireless now myself.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 11:13 AM

I guess I'd be worrying about a kid in the dark on the road waiting for a friend. Any way to offer him a spot to wait safely?

Jon, ladders left in place without supervision disappear quickly around here.

We're close to finally getting some rain here so I didn't water the garden yesterday, but if it doesn't happen today I'll surreptitiously run the hose and sprinkler over after dark (my watering days are Wednesday and Saturday) and give them a drink.

My distracting myself from wanting a glass of wine for a couple of evenings usually involves chocolate, and then I spent a couple of more days distracting myself from chocolate (it's all sugar). I've pulled out my decaff Market Spice Tea (I order it from them in Seattle, the listings on Amazon are way overpriced - this a cinnamon/orange tea with or without caffeine, and it is the only really good decaff I've ever found) and will be drinking a cup in the evenings.

Time to sweep the forest floor in the den and be ready for muddy footprints. I need to get a couple of extra large mats to put by the door, heavy enough that Cookie doesn't try to drag them out through the dog door. The one mat I have is situated so Zeke doesn't slip around on the tile while he stands and eats.

Laundry is running, and I'm to the point where I drew down most of the liquid (Arm & Hammer) detergent and have started using the sheets of detergent that come in an envelope—it's a half-sheet for a small load, full sheet for large, etc. I bought the unscented, but I may try the scented one also and mix the two to keep it to a small amount of fragrance. (Same thing I do with the liquid soap). I'm also going to later set the washer to fill for the largest load and add several cups of vinegar because I haven't done that in forever and it probably needs some of the calcium scale cleared out.

The guest room sheets are in the laundry hamper and I'll cover the mattress and pillows with a blanket till the next visitor arrives. This keeps the sheets on the bed from getting dusty if there is a long space of time between visitors. I see in the laundry that one of my new t-shirts accidentally settled over the agitator through the neck hole - that didn't do it any good. Note to self: the next washer won't have an agitator. They are more trouble than they're worth.

Okra is picked (production is slowing down) and I pulled a few more of the basil plants, rinsed and hung them to dry in the laundry room. It's time to put some cilantro seed into a couple of pots (around here it's a cool-season herb).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 10:45 AM

Rats in the roof destroyed (and caused a few false alarms) the burglar alarm mum had fitted when she moved here. I replaced that with a wireless one which hasn't been armed in a long while. There is always someone at home and possible night time movements these days are such that the only thing I might reasonably be able to arm the alarm for at night is the main entrance via the kitchen.

I think we've had two possible thefts in the say 20+ years we've lived here.

With the first, dad feels sure a few token coins were taken when he was in hospital. It's an awkward one. I suspect he is right but his memory isn't 100% reliable and we can get a number of visitors (all trusted but I suppose you never know) who could casually pick something up. We didn't report the suspected incident or start a trail of questioning people but it did start me on the trail of installing cameras.

The second may have been an accident, I don't know. I'd left my step ladder outside my shed and it disappeared. I had (most of) the cameras then and there was a recording of someone who had done a couple of jobs here picking it up walking off with it. Mum dealt with it from there. I think she phoned and got the wife who she asked "did your husband mistakenly pick up our step ladder" to which she got a reply like "he's mentioned that and intends returning it tomorrow". The ladder came back and that was that.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 10:37 AM

The piano has landed, and the excess chest of drawers has migrated to the garage. My choir friend’s son, the newlywed chef, gratefully accepted a Bodum coffee pot and promised to ask his wife if she would like to peruse the contents of the Glory Hole.

And the last crate of wine arrived yesterday, pushing the cellar to 150 bottles. Some of the whites are getting old, so I need to ask people over to help me drink it.

Rose, another fiddler, is coming over for a visit after supper. I hope she likes Gewurtztraminer; it’s from 2013 and might even have gone off. We’ll see; it’s in the fridge.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 09:44 AM

I live "in the middle of the woods" — I can see the road up my long uphill driveway, but I'm tucked away. I can see my up the hill neighbor's roof when the leaves are off the trees and my downhill neighbor's back in the winter and if I really look for it.

A couple years ago I came home around 9 p.m. after a friend's gig at a pub in a seacoast town. As I came slowly down the driveway, I met a kid walking his bicycle up from the vicinity of my house. We made eye contact, but I didn't stop and question him.

I had barely made it into the house when the phone rang. It was my across the road neighbor wanting to tell me he'd seen a kid on a bicycle duck down my driveway. I called the local police just to alert them to keep a watch for a suspicious person on a bike (and because I'm an older woman living alone in the middle of the woods), but I didn't find anything amiss. An officer called me back for more information and again later after noting a couple bicyclists several roads away and checking out the trail head in the woods further down my road (behind the soccer field).

My neighbor called me again — the kid on the bike was on the road in front of his house, just sitting there. So Dennis went out to question him. He said he was waiting for a friend. (By this time it was close to 10 p.m. Not many people on the streets of Nottingham in the dark.)

I feel better knowing Dennis is on the alert — he's the only neighbor who can at least see the head of my driveway. And I know the Nottingham police, while a very small force, do patrol the neighborhood — especially because the back way to the school's soccer field is just down the road.

Tom and I had two break ins back in the 1980s. (And he had one before we met.) But then my then up the hill neighbor took in a state cop as a boarder and he parked his car out front. No more problems!

Linn


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 09:15 AM

They are lovely spuds, aren't they. Not the best for mashing, but with Nicola I don't want to waste anything by peeling. They make great jacket spuds (I just wash them and rub them with salt, no oil, thanks!) and oven chips which I make with groundnut oil. The unpeeled chips need a good ten minutes of parboiling in salty water, then drained, roughed up and added to a few tablespoons of preheated oil in a tray. Then into a really hot oven for about 25 minutes. Grand!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 29 Sep 21 - 08:41 PM

On the veg front. I used the last of our Nicola yesterday. The 2kg bag of seed potatoes did us 2 x 3 portions a week from around my post in the food thread and I'm happy with that. I don't look for the greatest possible yields but want something tasty and feeling worthwhile. These have been excellent throughout and have never needed more than a mild scrubbing. They will be my first choice for our main small bed of spuds from now on so thanks Steve.

Overall I don't think it's been the best of years for my few small attempts but I don't think the weather helped. After a promising early start, May started off cold and turned very wet and, apart from the odd fine day, it wasn't until September that we saw anything resembling a summer. Grey and damp was the norm much of the time.

Still, although late starting, I at least kept ourselves in tomatoes until last week. Lettuce have been good, I managed as well as using some to freeze a bit of Swiss Chard, French beans and some aubergines and courgette I boiled up with some tinned chopped tomatoes. And I try to view everything we do get as a bonus.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Sep 21 - 08:03 PM

I lived in the downest of downtown Ottawa (major capital city, population now about a million) for almost 30 years without a burglary. We had to move to lovely, leafy Stratford (population 32,000) to get our back door kicked in.

Unfortunately, security lights won’t help, as the east end of the house, including the back door, is screened by a seven-foot hedge. So I have a burglar alarm AND USE IT, I replaced the crappy basement windows, and I encourage my neighbour across the street to watch the house in the hope she will stop apologizing for snooping.

Of the various safeguards in place, I have the most confidence in Jane.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Sep 21 - 07:52 PM

I'm currently harvesting raspberries, potatoes, lettuce, rocket, courgettes, tenderstem broccoli, cherry tomatoes, lovely eating and cooking apples and several herbs in abundance. My freezer is full of blanched broad beans and flat-leaf parsley. It looks like I might be picking a late crop of french beans soon, an experiment this year. I haven't got the stamina to be anything like self-sufficient in anything, but we enjoy the utter superiority of organic home-grown stuff. By. Christmas I'll have some purple sprouting broccoli and some fantastic parsnips. Maybe even a spud or two!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Sep 21 - 07:15 PM

I'm not keen on those floodlights that are motion-sensitive and we have yet to invest in cameras. These things might come one day, but we are so chilled about living where we do (and it is the lowest-crime area in England) that we would rather not psych ourselves up too much by focusing on such measures. As we get older, I admit that the thought does occur to us every now and again. We do have windows and doors that all have modern, secure locks. But that's because we simply had to replace the damn wooden things that were rotting away!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: JennieG
Date: 29 Sep 21 - 06:53 PM

Actually, Charmion - I think there might be something for January, or it could be February. School here close a week or so before Christmas and start up again in late January, many families have holidays in that time. Ozzies don't have Thanksgiving; our holiday season starts on Christmas Eve and continues until New Year. Australia Day is 26th January, and anyone who hasn't already done so is back at work the next day.

If my memory doesn't play me false there is a similar sobriety thing happening in February - taking a break from the comsumption of alcohol and the partying of the previous several weeks, and all that stuff.

Not being much of a drinker means I don't take any notice when these events roll around.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Sep 21 - 06:52 PM

Steve, I've lived in places as remote and quiet, but a long time ago. They've probably changed. This afternoon I picked up the fixture and will take the stepladder out in a few minutes to swap the old for the new. This is a homeowner activity - I've changed several fixtures over the years. Nothing so fancy as some of the setups that Jon gets up to, though I'm thinking harder and longer about putting up a camera on the corner of the house overlooking the driveway and the street.

I use timers in the house, one is still set up from before I retired. It turns on a light in the sunroom next to the driveway and gives a warm welcoming lived-in glow to that side of the house (and turns off at around 11, mimicking bedtime). There is one smart bulb in the house that I can turn on here with the Alexa Echo Dot or use my phone app from somewhere else. If I'm leaving I set up a couple of more timers with lights and a radio.

I picked up a few vegetables this afternoon. My personal rules for a no-spend month allow for the prescription and the security fixture, but I could have waited for the veggies so I took those out of pocket money.

There are a couple of projects near to completion but I'll share them after. No point in jinxing anything.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 29 Sep 21 - 06:47 PM

I do hope all the ladies of perpetual respondsibility stay safe.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Sep 21 - 06:34 PM

We've lived in the absolute middle of nowhere for 34 years. We have no neighbours within a quarter of a mile. Until last year we were very blasé about locking up, and we never bothered to lock our cars. Then, on Easter Sunday morning 2020, in the early hours, a druggie rifled through our car glove boxes and stole my little stash of car-park change. Not only that, he "borrowed" Mrs Steve's pushbike for his "getaway" (we found it unharmed a few hundred yards away). The chap did a slightly more serious break-in at the neighbouring farm. Currently, he's in jail hundreds of miles away. It's a shame, but we now feel the need to lock up everything all the time. We've always had dusk-to-dawn lights at four points around our house, all very low wattage LED bulbs. On the rare occasions we're away, I have similar things all over the house indoors too, as well as timers working several lights in the house. The lane down to our house is a dead end, and the farmer would ensure that any intruder would be rapidly trapped by a lane-blocking tractor!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Sep 21 - 03:18 PM

A savory bread pudding - surely a good start to that would be to add some kind of sharp cheese? And herbs. Mushrooms. Mmmm. Sounds like a bread quiche. It has me thinking. And don't you just love it when that energy kicks in and you can see progress on household projects?

Today I realized my concrete birdbath had been knocked off of its concrete stand in front of the office window. It appears I had an attempted peeper there after dark. So - top of my shopping list is the replacement of the old motion-detector light fixture with a new motion detector-light fixture. Last spring the old one finally died and I put a dusk-to-dawn bulb in the light on the other side of the door. There is a motion detector on the front porch and the only way anyone approached the house without turning on that light is from the driveway side where the old motion detector did a good job. This morning was nice for walking so I ended up speaking with several neighbors while I was outside and they know this happened. We'll all check on our lighting setups. I have a printout somewhere of the light I wanted, I just never picked it up last spring.

I'm changing how I store some of my produce. For a long time I've used plastic bins on upper shelves but I'm starting to go back to the drawers below, though I found a vented box (Rubbermaid "Freshvent Technology") meant for lettuce and it did a great job with the last head of iceberg. I need to organize all of the small jars of infrequently used sauces (I kept them in one of the bin drawers for a while.)

A small chef's salad for lunch. I need to make more of my granola, it's a nice breakfast and a batch lasts for a couple of weeks. Food is getting more attention now that it has cooled some.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 29 Sep 21 - 02:35 PM

Went down cellar yesterday (three times, actually) for the first time in a long time. I avoid the cellar stairs because they're especially hard on my knees — only something to hold on to about half way down — no place to put a handrail on either side without causing other complications). Had to open the door down back for the furnace cleaning guy. (Yes, that's one more thing checked off the annual list.)

Took some empty storage boxes down while I was at it — and brought up a couple boxes to cut up and dispose of. Also found some other miscellaneous items to put in the "to sell" pile. (Sigh. One of these days I'll get around to actually selling some more of it!) But I need to go down again (soon) and cull some more boxes, etc.

But the treks down and back (along with spotting where a couple things are stored) have inspired a re-do of both the pantry shelving in the cellarway (I no longer feel steady enough or safe to store canned goods there, but larger containers of staples should work) and, when I bring up a wire basket dealie and clean out the left hand lower shelves in the built-in hutch in the kitchen to store canned goods, etc. there. Sometimes half of the solution to a nagging problem (or conglomeration of inconveniences) is just figuring out how, exactly, to fix it.

I've been at a gallop for the past month or longer, and today I didn't have to go anywhere or do much of anything besides shower and hairwash and some usual daily tasks. I woke up with no energy or ambition to speak of but something happened. After the shower I scrubbed the tub — something I SHOULD do every time but never do until it becomes desperate. That must have set me on a roll because when I came downstairs to brew coffee, I decided to do something about the electric stove burner coil that is visibly deteriorating. Initially tried to swap it with the back burner of the same size that I never use, but that one proved recalcitrant. So I pulled the front used most heavily burner out anyway and discovered the pan underneath was almost entirely rusted out. (I'm one of the world's lousiest housekeepers.) Fortunately I keep a supply of those, so replaced it. And discovered I've got at least 2 that are too small for any of the burners so put them in the donation box. Then I went and ordered a new set of four burner coils. Only the one is visibly deteriorating, but they're all old, so it's as good a time as any to replace them.

In between doing all this, I made notes for a couple sections of my memoir of the Press Room sessions (which I've been really focusing on writing lately) and found time to read the thick booklet (almost too big to be called a booklet — I'm counting it as a book on my annual books read list) that came with the Smithsonian Folkways double CD set of "The Village Out West: The Lost Tapes of Alan Oakes".

Oh, and I planned a venison stew (which I need to get a start on) using a bunch of stuff that needs to be used RIGHT NOW as well as the roasted venison from the freezer and a few other things that should be "churned". Now I need to research a recipe for savory bread pudding so I can use leftovers from a couples loaves of rye.

Have yet to start reading this morning's papers (digital all-access subscription), but I've checked off a couple emails/messages as accomplished.

Onward!
Linn


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Sep 21 - 12:00 PM

My Weber upright has a rosewood veneer. I see they have come down in value since I last looked, but they're still worth a lot more than the restoration cost. For now. I think the only way to interest one of the other family piano players in this is to have it restored.

I'll be at some friends' home for First Friday this week and will start Sober October (good name - thanks Jennie!) because I simply don't drink if I'm going to be driving. After one of my early visits to their home (they've been doing this for several years) when I arrived with a case of sparkling water, they always make a point to have a stock of it on hand. Many years have passed since a box of wine lived in my fridge and a couple of years ago I stopped tossing my wine corks into a box (because it is something people buy on eBay - amazing what you can sell there!) because my consumption has reduced over the years, not enough to sell. Choosing a sober month means I am more creative in my evening beverages (decaff tea, sparkling water, etc.) and it means I'm saving a few dollars a week (I tend to buy the least expensive bottles of specific varieties in the stores that have a good variety of nice inexpensive wine - Aldi, Trader Joe's, Costco—Pinot Noir, Merlot, Temperanillo, Malbec, Chianti, etc. Mostly reds.) Mostly because it feels good to set aside what becomes a habit in exchange for healthier habits.

Strange dream last night about cutting brush and needing to move more sticks to the curb - I think in the dream one of the dogs hauled a long stick through the dog door. When I fed them this morning I found myself wondering where the big stick came from, then realized it was just the dream. Heh. I still need to sweep - we had rain yesterday so it is a combination of muddy footprints and sticks they chewed earlier in the week.

The only other purchases needed this month are a prescription and gas; I'll coast into October without needing to buy anything else.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 29 Sep 21 - 09:16 AM

Not much achieved here lately but I did fit a new lock to the porch door yesterday. Mum’s wanted to go back to enable services to enter the house via keys kept in a key safe outside. A problem there has been mum finds getting down to lock/unlock the bottom sash lock difficult and we’ve just been pushing a bolt across instead. Of course the bolt can’t be undone from the outside… I had a look on Amazon and decided this door/gate lock met our needs best.

One thing I didn’t notice in the pictures is that the fully retracted side of the bolt (either way) sticks out by more than an inch from the casing. I was aiming to fit the casing to a piece of wood barely wider than the case and, to avoid having the bolt sticking out so people could catch themselves on it, I had to get the hacksaw out and cut the bolt down to size. Fortunately, the bolt seemed to be a plain mild steel and it wasn’t that hard to get through but I cut it a fraction too short and the bolt could get caught on the metal casing as a spring in the casing pushed the bolt up.

Printer to the rescue there. It was easy enough to do make a bit of plastic to fit inside and keep the bolt aligned so that it runs smoothly. I also found the trim ring that goes the keyed side was too wide for the space I had so wound up drawing and printing a trim that would fit. All done now. Nothing too hard but what I’d expected to take me about 20 minutes wound up taking me a couple of hours.

I’ve just unpacked our weekly groceries and have a couple of nice looking cauliflowers so I’ll be making cauliflower cheese for tea tonight.

On pianos, mum has a Kemble Minx which I think (although some others don't like them...) is a very nice sounding compact upright. I wondered a couple of times whether mum would have been better of with a Yamaha Clavinova but she never wanted to go electronic. Unfortunately, mum doesn't have the arm movement to play now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Sep 21 - 08:28 AM

Sober October — what a good idea! And I guess Dry July is the Aussie version of Dry January, although Christmas and New Year’s Eve happen at the same time all over the world regardless of the sun’s location … so, is there a social movement to go on the wagon in January, too? Or is that too much to ask in high summer?

This inquiring mind would like to know!

As for the piano, I see no reason to use headphones as long as there’s no one in the house to complain about the noise — which will often include me singing, and headphones won’t fix that. If the cats don’t like it, they’ll come and yell at me, and I’ll just punt them into the hall and shut the library door.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: JennieG
Date: 29 Sep 21 - 01:03 AM

Maggie, here in Oz we have "Sober October"and also "Dry July" where folk sign up (it's a charity find-raising thing, usually - I think - run by the Cancer Council) to see if they can last a whole month without alcohol. Perhaps you could have your own "Sober October" and keep the money!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Sep 21 - 08:26 PM

Charmion, will you play the piano with headphones or the regular speaker sounding like a regular piano? Mine upright grand needs to be restored and I've thought many times about using an electronic keyboard instead. I look forward to hearing about your adoption of this instrument.

Overcast here today and a downpour when I was in Costco. I was careful - looked at several things but only picked up one item, but while in the checkout line the heavens opened and a 1o minute shower. I've never eaten there before, but a $2 slice of pizza was actually quite good and took care of lunch. By the time I finished the sun was out again.

This is the end of a modestly successful no-spend month, where I was generally able to ask myself "do I need that thing today?" and delay a purchase or decide later it was unnecessary. I'm going to do a no-alcohol month for October. A few years ago (when I was still working full-time for an awful boss and my job sucked and then Trump came into office) it seemed like a couple of drinks in the evening were necessary to take the edge off. Many things have changed and I'm finding other ways to take that edge off (walking, exercise, focused activities like sewing and gardening and cooking).

Dorothy, I hope the power being off didn't spoil the contents of the fridge and freezer. Was it restored soon enough that everything stayed frozen or cold?

I'm wondering where our wandering Patty Clink is now that autumn is here? Is it time to head south again soon, or will you enjoy the fall colors and cool temperatures of the Midwest before heading to the desert?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Sep 21 - 03:18 PM

I spent the whole morning on the phone doing choir stuff, and then the diddly tunes group arrived. It’s now three o’clock and I can finally do my own thing.

It’s a beautiful day in Stratford, sunny, clear and warm, but there’s just the slightest chill in the breeze that says Summer is gone, gone, gonzo. When I have recombobulated, I’ll take myself out for a good walk.

I’m doing well on the diet front, with no relapses or attacks of mad craving. Preparations for the interment ceremony in Ottawa are on track. I won’t relax properly until that’s over.

My elder brother (age 68, and myopic and cross-eyed like me) called on Sunday night to ask about visual effects that indicate retinal damage — oh, boy. He spent most of yesterday in the emergency room, where they confirmed that something’s definitely awry but found no tears *at present*, so now he’s waiting for an ophthalmologist to find time to see him ASAP. It’s never anything simple … or minor.

I think I have a new home for the excess chest of drawers, which is a Good Thing on general principles but a bit urgent at present because I need that space in the library for the electronic piano that’s coming on Thursday. No, I did not buy it — yet; it belongs to a choir friend who has a real piano and a husband who wants the basement cleared of stuff they don’t use. If it does what I need it to do, I’ll eventually convince Chris to part with it permanently (for a price); I don’t think she’ll resist.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Sep 21 - 01:34 PM

It's almost October - amazing how fast this year has flown past. I've set up my next Bullet Journal set of pages, transferring in notes about appointments. I still don't have a lot, but I do see my hairdresser every other month now, and a few places where there is a comfort level with or without masks. Friends resumed "First Friday" at their house this month and the next one is Friday. Those invited are vaccinated (this week we'll probably be outdoors - and that reminds me, I told her I'd dig up a salvia variety I have here that is kind of unusual. Last month she sent me home with an agave to replace the ones lost in our February freeze.) Dorothy's concert attendance reminds me that there are a few precious occasions to meet and talk with people, though I'm still keeping notes about where and when I'm going out for my own informal contact tracing effort.

I have planks for a new fence panel in the garage and need to go ahead and work on the next section. That won't happen until I make a decision about the gate, so that goes to the top of my "to do" list for October. I need to resume some of the mask making (a few to list on eBay) and that means finishing the work on the sewing machine. Finishing work on the fence will clear space on the floor of my garage, and fixing the machine will let me finish a lot of masks that were started when the timing went pear-shaped.

It's also getting to the season when the dogs need their beds out on the floor - several newer ones that the puppy started to tear up were put in the front room out of reach. I mended them but now I need to work on the covers for those (made from pieces from the sofa cover thing that I don't plan to deploy any more). Another sewing project.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 26 Sep 21 - 03:29 PM

BEAVER:

I have not mentioned the lack of Hydro at Dupont due to someone's lack of attention to the bills... It is of so little concern to R that, although he did plug in the frig and freezer in the extension - which was still ok - and did get around to the bill but, in order to get the hydro back on he must be there. On weds, I suggested I would like to know before I left... So I went to my friends' music event - in upscale cottage country 2 hours away - with the intention of either going forward (3 hours) or coming back (2 hours). Still no word from R and &*() if I was going to ask again! I was prepared to do either.

About 2:30 Sat aft, in middle of the lawn concert... So I came back here! The music was worth the trip. It was interesting to see the area, and my friends. Glad to be back here.

Checked with a gardening friend re "lawn". She suggested white... clover which only grows to about 3 or 4 inches, stays green through a drought and the seed can be bought locally. Also the birdsfoot trefoil, yellow flowers which I have seen in Montreal on lawns. It is probably still warm enough there to plant this fall. I had frost on the windshield once last week.

Some of the alder was cut but the real need is what is on the edge of the beaver pond. The water made it more difficult and Stu suggested cutting after freeze up will be easier. Of course! He cleared some before he gave up. Semi-de-clutter!

Leslie talked about lawn mower problems so I was going to give them my almost new electric since I am not going to do that anymore. But she says other friends need it more so I texted Tammie that it is "in the kitchen". I brought it in from the back shed so it could dry off before getting in a car! I hope they come soon! Other stuff is in limbo as I try to figure out where it can best go.


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

I have received a first photo on the Madrid layover from my daughter; they have several hours so ventured out of the airport for a meal of paella. Next stop, Italy, chosen as a destination because it has a higher vaccination rate than some other countries in the region. Italy has 67% of adults fully vaccinated. I wonder how many more cases of immunity exist after having been ill? It sounded like a plague year in early to mid-2020.

For walking around on this trip she bought a pair of zip-up ankle boots, recommended for their extreme comfort (ECCO). I attended a museum event last night wearing a pair of laced shoes I bought this year for it's extreme comfort (Propet TravelActiv) and they worked as I hoped (I bought a pair last year because I needed yard shoes - and have wished I kept them for regular walking around instead). It's a rare occasion when I would put on a brand-new pair of shoes and wear them with no break-in period, but I got away with it. At the end of the day, comfortable shoes can make or break your day or week.

My shoe situation is pretty good now, and the shoe area of the closet is organized. I recently threw out a yard pair (those that are battered enough they get worn only into the yard are at the end stage for any use) and donated a pair of sandals to Goodwill. To reach this good order it took culling some pairs that I found for a good price (DSW) but never wore because they weren't comfortable. My attention should next turn to sweaters. I have too many of some types (for example, the really heavy ones I wore instead of a jacket, back in the days I was going to work.) I love sweaters, I keep my house cool in the winter months and wear sweaters, but there are a number of them that are never the ones I reach for. I need to either start wearing them or donate them.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Sep 21 - 11:14 AM

I follow Martha Stewart via several of her Instagram accounts, and yesterday watched one of the Martha Bakes videos as she went through the steps for pound cake. Last week she did a bourbon soaked cake, and that's a bit rich, and I'm not going to make fruit cake (though I printed out Charmion's recipe for consideration, and in years past made the Norwegian light fruitcake called Yulekaka). But this double loaf batch of pound cake would make for nice gifts if I used my smaller loaf pans. I usually make pumpkin/sweet potato bread and banana bread, simple soda breads. The pound cake ups the ante with lots and lots of eggs and butter. Learning something new is, as Martha frequently states, "a good thing."

The new piece of rolling luggage has made its way into the bedroom, and I think it will live below the clothes hanging in the closet, next to the small chair and step-stool. I'll have to move it out if I ever decide to sleep in there again, but that's the least of my worries under those cold weather conditions. Most of my luggage-type items are hanging or on the shelves in my office closet, and the old suitcase was kept in the corner, but it was a major excavation to get it out. The rolled-up backpacking sleeping pads used to be in the way in there, though they are still in the bedroom since the closet habitation. I think if I have to do that again I'll move into the hall bathroom; it's larger and won't warm up as much, but I would be able to actually stretch out to sleep and still let the dogs be right there also. #ClimateChange in the world.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 25 Sep 21 - 10:50 AM

Charmion, you should not have been counting. That's the job of the person taking the minutes, and you cannot do that if you're reporting or presenting to the committee.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 25 Sep 21 - 10:44 AM

Hmmm. Maybe Great-Niece could use a suitcase -- or three ... !

Now that the choir's annual general meeting is over, I am vastly relieved despite awareness that I am now responsible for herding that clowder of opinionated cats. The executive consensus is that the very existence of a plan -- any plan -- would have kept them quiet, but to know that we have a good plan made them wildly happy. They sure clapped loudly enough, and they voted for it with a majority. It might have been unanimous, but I wasn't counting. Perhaps I should have been?

On Monday we inspect our new rehearsal space, yet another church hall. In the post-Christian world that people keep telling me we're in, will there be such spaces for choirs to rehearse in?

Post-Christian, my foot. As soon as the servers started trucking out the soup course (we offered lunch as bait to get the largest attendance possible), the inevitable Protestant pastor leapt to his feet and launched into a prolonged prayer. Took me by surprise ... But I should not be surprised any more; I've lived here four years! Lutheran is default setting of Perth County and, in true white-people fashion, it's assumed that everyone in the room is okay with that.

Well, in future I shall take the initiative and do it myself. "For what we are about to receive, thank God", often truncated to "Thank God", is the traditional form in military messes, and it doesn't take much imagination to make that multi-cultural. (That's Canadian for "one size fits most".)

I finally cleaned the cat hair off the bathroom floor and dusted the library. Yay me.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Sep 21 - 11:46 PM

The replacement luggage arrived today; it isn't as well-made as the one I donated to Goodwill, but all of its parts work, and it has wheels on four corners, not just two. It will work for now or in a pinch, better than the one that jolted along on gear-shaped wheels.

The evening was spent finishing a batch of what I call "nacho mix," with seasoned hamburger and black beans. Put it in burritos, make nachos or tacos. It isn't completely cool enough for cooking weather, but in a week or more when this mix has been used up I'll make something else for meals for a week and it'll be cooler. I'm nowhere near stew or pot roast weather.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Sep 21 - 05:13 PM

The bicycle is spoken for, Stilly — it fits Nephew 3, so it’s his. Now, if only he would come and get it out of my garage!

The backpacks went to Goodwill back in the summer. There’s a nice big empty spot on the shelf in the garage where that big bin bag used to be.

Great-Niece 1 will be a student for quite a few years yet, so she’s not likely to lighten my load of stuff — unless she decides psychology isn’t for her after all and she’d rather read history. But that won’t happen … I think. (I hope.) Heaven knows, the world needs psychologists a whole lot more than historians.


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

Charmion, will you have an assortment of parting gifts for when the visit ends? Bicycles or backpacks come to mind. :)

Today's challenge is to send the houseguest on the road with all of the gear that is now in the fridge and freezer. I inherited a nice large sealed ice pack from Amos when he left it behind on his cross-country relocation a few years ago. (That has since been sent on it's way with another traveler.) I have a postit note in plain sight to help toward this goal.

The front yard looks lovely, and as the weather cools I can now tolerate the work to dig and weed and do some transplanting. Rather than just a front yard with turf and two trees, my goal is to give it a park-like feel out there.

Onward to the weekend!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Sep 21 - 10:02 AM

It's still raining in Stratford, and chilly with it. Just like that, Summer is over.

The choir's annual general meeting is today at noon. I have to give the most important presentation, on the big plan for re-starting the choir, and everyone on the board is counting on me to persuade the whole choir that it's a Good Thing. I'm not sure that I have it in me, but I'll give it my best shot.

Great-Niece Number 1 has announced that she intends to visit me tomorrow, so I have a fair amount of cat hair removal to do when I get home.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Sep 21 - 12:49 AM

Dorothy, such good news about your friend! I hope that transition is an easy one for all of the family. And you can rest easy, that you did what you could and it helped.

I mowed my lawn today before I got a note from the village, but it was getting that tall in a few spots. Now to sweep the pine needles out of the gutter. Again. I did it last week and you couldn't tell now.

Houseguest has arrived, we went out for dinner at a little Lebanese restaurant that several Mudcatters have visited over the years. Word of mouth via Mudcat! The dogs are adoring this visit because they are getting tons of attention and ear scratches.

I donated more of my organic garden produce to the mutual aid pantry north of my house. It's a few quarts at a time, but it means two or three really nice meals with fresh okra or hot peppers.

The cooler weather is such a wonderful break—I suspect we broke heat records for most of September. Soon it will be time for a second layer, even if it is only a light cotton blouse over a t-shirt. Baby steps.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 23 Sep 21 - 06:01 PM

Beaver:

No pottery made since I have been here - so no clutter of work in process! - to look at the positive side. I can feel positive today as:1: my house guests were wonderful; the attic/sleeping loft was swept by them and they used the K wonderfully well with no input from me; Rita commented "you are SO organized!"; They had two days to see the sights and back to QC. And, of course, I did a great deal of sorting and clearing before they came!

2: my depression over the plight of my 90 year old friend started to pass when I found out the family was going to let her go to a nice seniors residence instead of her Grand daughters basement! Talking it over with my guests helped greatly as I came to think maybe what I emailed the son could have made a difference: "I could not have helped you all those years ago if I had not listened to you. You need to listen to your mother. ... I am SO disappointed in you." I have not heard a word from him since but another family member apprised me of the change of plans and I am SO happy. Listening to the other is essential.

3: Today, Dan came and put up much needed, utilitarian, shelves in the studio! What a treat to be able to get things better organized! THAT is a major de-clutter!! Made a good start on it.

Dan is finding a dearth of building materials and exorbitant prices, still. He used shelving he had bought for a future project. We hope prices drop before he gets around to his project!

4:Tomorrow, if it dries out enough, Stu is coming to cut the Alders which have gotten so tall I no longer have a view of the west hill.I am afraid I feel as though Nature is overwhelming me. We can just leave them where they fall - for the animals, and to go back to the soil. I rather hate to do it - environmentally - but it will be done.

Still waiting for Steve to de-clutter the back yard of waist high "weeds".

5:Gave a huge box of yarn to Leslie for her hats and scarves, and a foot high stack of slacks; I am clearly not going to lose the necessary 20 more pounds.

6:Now working on the best way to rid myself of re-usable fabrics. Then I will start on the never used lengths. "best way"= most helpful to the community - Who can/will use it effectively? I realize I no longer want to make a beautiful piece of fabric into clothing for myself. I have enough nice clothes that I do not wear! Mostly wear T's or sweatshirts, sweatpants or cut-offs. More clothes will be leaving.

So, no pots made but lots done, in spite of low energy/depression. If it is not raining on Saturday, I plan to go back to QC via a small town festival where some friends are playing at 1 pm. If it is raining, I will skip the side trip.

Notice from the town re Dupont: cut the grass. I am considering getting someone to plow the whole "lawn" and plant something that does not need cutting. Grass is an environmental crime, one step above asphalt, and I not only hate cutting it, I do not have the energy. I also consider it an infringement on our rights.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Sep 21 - 02:22 PM

Linn, does your dropping in hint at fall clearing ahead? I know you've sold a lot of items around the house. More of that, or are you donating or dumpstering next? It's great to see you here - maybe a few of our lurkers will step forward and tell us what they have in store for the upcoming season?

The front lawn is looking better, though I see places where I've let it get a bit too dry. I'll run the big oscillating sprinkler to the far side of the house after dark. No point in watering in daytime when a) more of it evaporates and b) it isn't my day to water and it'll be out of sight. It's an ozone action day today so I didn't mow early (that contributes to the problem by adding hydrocarbons to the air as it warms).

I'm slowly drying the basil growing in a big tub beside the kitchen door. I used some of it fresh, and in the past I have put it in the freezer in bags, but dry is fine and is a way I frequently use it, so it's time for a fresh batch. I bring in a few at a time, gently wash them with the sink squirter hose, then rubberband them to a hanger and put it up in the laundry room until they're ready to strip off the stems and store. This and the canning contribute a sense of well-being during the rest of the year, when I pull out my home grown foods and cook with them.

I have a quick errand to run before a houseguest arrives: I realized that last spring I tossed the old rubber bath mat and never replaced it. Good thing the Dollar General a few blocks from here usually has that kind of stuff. No need for Amazon or heading clear over to Target, etc. Now the dog footprints in the tub - I can't do much about that. I'll rinse them out, but I'm always surprised how often those goofballs hop in and out of the tub during the day. It's just a thing they do.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 23 Sep 21 - 10:25 AM

I've been away from this group too long!Sure, I see some of you at Facebook, but here is where the real conversation and community is.

Alas, I don't have time to get caught up right now — meeting some friends for lunch and then at least one of them and I are going to see a film at Portsmouth Library — first one in a year and a half.

But my morning's resolution is to dive back in here.

I've missed everyone!

Linn


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Sep 21 - 02:23 PM

Before heading out to mow I checked messages on my phone and learned of the death of the guitar teacher my son studied with all through high school. I called to tell him, then forwarded the announcement. And told the rest of the family, all who met this fellow several times over the years. Unrelated to the loss of a friend and mentor to my son is the realization that he was two years younger than me almost to the day. This is the wrong kind of decluttering, a name crossed off of the contacts list.

The ex-son-in-law of a friend died last year and his grown children never did much about the house or his estate. An attorney neighbor of their mother's offered to help with probate, but nothing happened and the house went back to the bank. The front door lock was changed but not the back, so apparently family go in and out to look for stuff. He was four years younger than me, and he was a hoarder, part of the reason there was little interest in taking on the project, and he had financed the house to the hilt to support living beyond his means, so there wasn't going to be much cash coming out of it (though with the price of real estate now, I still think that was a foolish move. Hire a huge dumpster and start hauling out the garage door - in effect tip the house on end to empty it, then sell it broom clean and they'd have made some money.) He had lost the respect of just about any one who knew him with his sociopathic passive-aggressive approach to parenting and partnering. There was no funeral, no donations suggested. No obituary.

The teacher who died ran a guitar studio and one of his oldest students has promised to step up and keep the institution running. They were involved with community concerts every year and running a guitar program in one of the middle or high schools on the north side of town. They did a lot of giving back to the community.

How you live your life can make a big difference in how you're treated once you're gone. It isn't about the stuff, it's about the people (and if the stuff became more important than people.)


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