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De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021

Stilly River Sage 29 Sep 21 - 03:18 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Sep 21 - 06:34 PM
Donuel 29 Sep 21 - 06:47 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Sep 21 - 06:52 PM
JennieG 29 Sep 21 - 06:53 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Sep 21 - 07:15 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Sep 21 - 07:52 PM
Charmion 29 Sep 21 - 08:03 PM
Jon Freeman 29 Sep 21 - 08:41 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 21 - 09:15 AM
Bat Goddess 30 Sep 21 - 09:44 AM
Charmion 30 Sep 21 - 10:37 AM
Jon Freeman 30 Sep 21 - 10:45 AM
Stilly River Sage 30 Sep 21 - 11:13 AM
Charmion 30 Sep 21 - 11:15 AM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 21 - 11:53 AM
Charmion 30 Sep 21 - 12:24 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 21 - 12:34 PM
Jon Freeman 30 Sep 21 - 01:06 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 21 - 01:25 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 21 - 05:35 PM
Jon Freeman 30 Sep 21 - 05:43 PM
Charmion 30 Sep 21 - 05:45 PM
Jon Freeman 30 Sep 21 - 05:45 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 21 - 06:11 PM
Jon Freeman 30 Sep 21 - 06:22 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 21 - 06:31 PM
Dorothy Parshall 30 Sep 21 - 08:09 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 Sep 21 - 09:39 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Oct 21 - 11:54 AM
Charmion 01 Oct 21 - 01:16 PM
Dorothy Parshall 01 Oct 21 - 01:41 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Oct 21 - 01:10 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Oct 21 - 07:25 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Oct 21 - 07:59 PM
Charmion 03 Oct 21 - 08:33 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 Oct 21 - 10:34 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 Oct 21 - 03:42 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Oct 21 - 01:00 PM
Dorothy Parshall 04 Oct 21 - 02:06 PM
Charmion 04 Oct 21 - 02:50 PM
Dorothy Parshall 04 Oct 21 - 07:28 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Oct 21 - 12:22 AM
Donuel 05 Oct 21 - 07:38 AM
Donuel 05 Oct 21 - 08:27 AM
Charmion 05 Oct 21 - 08:33 AM
Stilly River Sage 05 Oct 21 - 10:47 AM
Dorothy Parshall 05 Oct 21 - 03:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Oct 21 - 03:46 PM
Steve Shaw 05 Oct 21 - 04:27 PM
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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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 - 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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 - 05:45 PM

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


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: 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 - 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 - 06:31 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: 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: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Sep 21 - 09:39 PM

We seem to have a convergence of threads going - the Other Recipe Thread is too long thread is where I asked Steve about food in Naples - and we got a migration of food back over here (though to be honest, we do talk about food a lot.) Just an observation. (And my daughter posted a photo of a lovely-looking pizza that I'll share to the other thread.)

Yesterday I put up the new motion-detector light and it came on as I backed up the driveway into the garage this evening. It didn't seem to have a dusk to dawn setting, just the range sensitivity and duration of the lights being on when there is movement. I'll go out during the day to be sure it isn't coming on in daylight.

Pepper is in her Thundershirt tonight as a storm slowly moves over the area. Not much in the way of rain, just noise and lightning. The dishwasher is running to help mask the external noise, though I don't think she's fooled by that maneuver.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Oct 21 - 11:54 AM

What a noisy storm - we like the inch of rain, but we didn't need the racket. After listening to Pepper fussing in the hall I finally opened the door to my bedroom and she headed for my closet. I picked up the row of boots from the floor, moved a couple of other pairs of shoes (because Cookie followed Pepper, and Cookie has been known to carry shoes around). Cookie finally gave up on my room after being told she wasn't allowed on the bed, and Pepper settled in peacefully under the large hanging plastic garment bag that is full of plastic sagging shelves of sweaters. She couldn't see flashes or hear the thunder in there and slept through the night (as it appeared to me when I peeked in during a bathroom run in the wee hours.) They all have a favorable opinion about my closet since our February campout.

Another batch of granola is in the oven. I bagged several servings to add to a birthday box to a friend, but it normally lasts two to three weeks if I eat a half cup most mornings. There are six cups of stuff (3 of oatmeal, one of hulled sunflower seeds, one of almond slivers, and one of raisins added at the end) plus the oil and honey. Now that I've made it a few times I'll have to do the math, but I'm sure it's less expensive than the store bought, and it tastes a lot better. Because it's a bit clumped the measurements after baking mean you're getting some air pockets in the measure.

I have a writing project to work on so I shouldn't distract myself with decluttering projects. Lets see if I can stick to that. :)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Oct 21 - 01:16 PM

Shredded suet is to be had even in this benighted outpost of Empire, Steve. Canadians ADORE dumplings and steamed pud; it’s a miracle we don’t all wear size XXXL.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 01 Oct 21 - 01:41 PM

Beaver:

Woke up bright and early to a glorious Fall day as the sun hit the top of the west hill and highlighted the shades of green and yellow with touches of red (maples here and there!). AND I realized: it was morning and I had slept the night without any nocturnal trips! And I felt good! And my sinuses were clear and I did not cough in the night... Assessing what I may have been doing correctly or am I just incredibly weather sensitive.

Did a couple errands in town, decided to put some sorrel in lunch veggies and ended up weeding a good bit in that bed and a strawberry bed and around the rhubarb. Turned on a burner to start lunch and ...... NO! So went out to the propane tank and carefully disconnected the empty one, went and found a small patio stone to put under the full one, wondering why there was none under the used tank, and carefully connected the full tank. And, voila! lunch is cooking! Thankful that the propane ran out on a glorious day, not when we are under two feet of snow!

Hoping - fervently! - that Steve will come today to clear the back yard "weeds". Rain predicted for the next 6 days or more!

Lunch and more garden work! OH DARN, new email that supplements have been "delivered": trip to post box and possibly to the toxic "Shoppers Drug Mart" to which parcels are directed. We have a perfectly good post office!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Oct 21 - 01:10 PM

I escorted September out with a snack and a glass of chilled white wine, my last for at least a month, and since I'd eaten a sandwich for an early dinner I kept the food simple - a sliced apple and several slices of the sharp blond Coastal Rough cheddar (Costco). That was a remarkably nice snack. I have three more apples that are beginning to get soft so have found a recipe I haven't tried before in my Fanny Farmer cookbook - a "Dutch Apple Cake" that involves using one of several quick bread/cake batters and cutting the apples into slices (10-12 per apple) and submerging them sharp side of the wedge down into the batter. There is some cinnamon sugar and can be a streusel topping involved, and if this turns out good I'll take a few slices to the neighbors (ala the days of early-COVID when I took weekly offerings to the neighbors and to my ex.)

I still have never found the exact recipe my mother used for an apple coffee cake that is a fond memory from childhood. She'd make them every so often on those winter days when we were all indoors and fussy, there was nothing like a mid-afternoon snack of that warm cake and a glass of milk (I would drink tea now). That recipe, and her recipe for salmon croquettes are two that I would love to find. Does anyone else have long-sought-after recipes from childhood you're still looking for? It can't be just me. :)

The fridge has been cleared more and I'm going to empty and wash the shelves this weekend. I have less okra now because last night when I went to my friends' First Friday event I took three quart bags of fresh okra, along with two jars of my pickled okra. These are the first jars opened since I started canning back in July. The jars and bags were received with enthusiasm and though I'm getting tired of okra, I'm glad to continue to find happy recipients. The woman next door (whose husband boils okra for himself) kind of rolls her eyes when the topic comes up, akin to those who have found too many zucchini left on their front porch when no one was looking. However - he tells me that she loves pickled okra but without the hot peppers, so I made several jars like that. The eye rolling should cease soon.

This summer I started a fitness program aimed at hip health, and while it has made my bursitis more of a problem, in recent weeks I've figured out how to exclude the moves that make that happen and am trying to do the routine every day. It changes after three or four sessions, and we're getting into some more vigorous moves, but they are helpful. COVID is still a big problem in North Texas so I'm not going to the gym for the time being. I only started back in mid-summer and then I stopped after a few visits.) Walking and exercises and I should get out the DVDs my sister recommended, from a Canadian stretching guru.

I took at look at the front room with the eBay stuff - the cardboard is out of control again. I need to flatten and store some of them in the greenhouse, because I use them to put down and mulch over the top for paths in the garden. Right now you can't see the paths because the crops spread right over the top of them, but they're still there. And maybe this is the year to make more paths and clear beds in the front yard.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Oct 21 - 07:25 PM

Well,Charmion, the recipe for suet dumplings (for six or eight dumplings) is 100g self-raising flour, 50g of shredded suet, a pinch of salt and water. Now the water is the tricky bit. Put everything into a bowl then add water slowly. The dough should end up sticky, thick and pliable but not sloppy. It's an experience thing. Divide into about eight lumps and add to your bubbling stew. They need 20 minutes.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Oct 21 - 07:59 PM

I should have weighed the entire batch of granola when it finished, something I'll do next time to finish my calculations, but for now I have a breakdown on the cost of my homemade granola. I bought sliced almonds, unsalted raw sunflower seeds, bulk raisins, a bottle of Texas honey, and I calculated the weight of three cups of old fashioned rolled oats. I don't have a cost for the olive oil because I buy that in 3 litre bottles and always have it on hand, so I won't bother to figure that. A 14 ounce bag of Aldi's Millville oat, honey, almond, and raisin granola costs $2.14. I can't eat that because it has some coconut oil in it, I buy their little more expensive higher protein variety instead.

My homemade batch, that lasts probably three times as long as the Millville bag, comes out $4.35 a batch. So it isn't necessarily a huge savings but it doesn't cost more, and it tastes so much better. It's something I'm going to keep doing.

I made progress toward the gate and fence work - I picked up two bags of the stronger concrete (originally I was looking for the 80 pound bag, but came across the 60 pound bags first. They're all cheap and these I can lift by myself). Next - dig a hole.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 03 Oct 21 - 08:33 AM

Thanks, Steve. That will come in handy this winter (stew season), I’m sure.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Oct 21 - 10:34 AM

The morning debate: I want to take a shower and my hair really needs to be washed, but I'm going to work in the yard today. Drinking my tea, eating a 1/2 cup of granola with 3/4 cup of whole milk (trying out the trick Charmion mentioned a while back) then heading into the garden. Rain this week is a small help toward conditioning the soil so I can work it. I have some iris to thin and lilies to transplant, and to make room for another couple of plants that are getting big in pots that need to go in the ground.

I'll set the gate and the posts out on the ground and see what hardware I have already (I took apart the fence posts from the stockade fence in the back yard, but some of the gear on the posts is the same as is used for chain link fencing and chain link gates). I may buy a second gate to make it a double gate if I'm sure I can get good hardware to keep it solidly closed when it's locked.

Tomorrow is trash day so it's time to cut down another of the huge native sunflower plants—the whole plant completely fills the tough Rubbermaid trashcan. They're like a small tree at the end of the season. I toss some of these in the back behind the fence, they break down into the duff back there, but as I remove the privet what I need to do is get some better types of trees established and they don't need to be shaded out by sunflowers. While touring the garden of my friends on Friday she remarked that they have some yaupon holly to dig out, pointing at some 12-18" sprouts in the underbrush. I have dibs on them and will go over later in the fall (after the first frost) and dig up several to transplant here. I'll directly transplant most of them but put a couple in pots to keep as backup. Buying trees at the nursery is an expensive move when putting them in an area where I intend to neglect them.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Oct 21 - 03:42 PM

The little tiller was handy this afternoon to break up one of the old mounds that was a compost pile (note to self - take the tiller in for work, it's leaking fuel). A bunch of lovely compost is in the wheelbarrow next to the front bed where I watered enough to loosen it. Last year at this time I worked the bed and put down mulch, so it's coming out easily, and there is a growing mound of daffodil bulbs beside the bed. (Last year at this time I planted a redbud, an American beautyberry, and a blue salvia out front. The salvia was in this bed and was killed in that hard freeze).

Once the bed is dug I'll spread compost then move over to the other part of the bed I watered and dig up the pink crinum lilies (they came along accidentally with some iris bulbs, and have expanded their area of the garden, but they don't get enough sun to bloom much). The bed they're going into gets lots of sun, unlike where they are now. The friend with the yaupon hollys I'm going to dig has offered some of her dark pink crinums after thinning, so I'll add some of those. And offer some of my pink crinums once I finish. They're growing in at least three different places around the yard. The leaves are lovely so it hasn't been a problem that they didn't bloom.

I'm in cooling down - pacing oneself until it cools about 10 degrees more than our afternoons now is important. While I'm working some stuff is thawing for making soup this evening. Beef (I'll grind) and vegetables and some pasta. I accidentally opened a jar of unseasoned tomato sauce so want to use it - hence the decision to make soup. :)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Oct 21 - 01:00 PM

On Friday I called the pharmacy to learn when my favorite pharmacist will be in, and was given the wrong information. I've returned home and have a few things to do here before trying again later - this includes rounding up produce to donate in the mutual aid fridge a few miles north of me. I can't use all of the okra and peppers, but others will.

I missed the trash pickup (they were early) so I'll toss the current batch of sunflower (Helianthus annuus) cuttings into the back of the back yard. Yesterday's weeding in the front contributed to the compost pile, but sunflowers are too tough and woody to add to it. I need to turn the compost, but not while I'm dressed to go out. That's work for the ratty jeans and oldest yard shoes.

On Facebook I've had some tips for granola-making from fellow Mudcatter Jenn Brooks. She makes a batch more than double the size of mine (there are two of them to eat it) and has simplified it by baking it in a steel bowl. I await the restored Facebook (crashed earlier today) to learn the details of how that works. Parchment? It might be a sticky job otherwise.

Fall cleaning is going to involve seasonal adjustments like getting out the extra blankets for cooler weather. I washed them in the spring so they're ready to go now. And I have to turn my attention to the dog beds - Cookie-proofing them so she doesn't tear the stuffing out. Again. I'm going to repurpose the fabric from the old sofa-pet-thing to cover them and hopefully make them less attractive to destroy.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 04 Oct 21 - 02:06 PM

Beaver:

Back yard still not done! Steve missed the one dry day but maybe tomorrow. I really NEED this! Staying here until mid month. R is still overwhelmed with work... I phoned this am: "I slept all day yesterday". Too many irons in the fire and too little organization.

I have done very little during this last rainy time. Starting to put things aside my son might want. GD still being rapid anti-vax on FB; could not go to (step) sister's wedding on Sat because she would have had to be tested. Really hurting her Dad et al.

Good chuckle: Watching Jim and the Akita taking a walk and the dog sees/hears something in the woods. Then Jim is trying to see what ... I had to go out and thank him for the chuckle.

Maybe today I will finish the mugs I threw last week. Sent some short emails -overdue and wrote a letter and printed it for mailing -also
overdue. And managed to find an email address for a dear person; old emails seem to have been lost in the new computer somewhere - the one to which I really wanted to respond- GONE! OH, and FB does not come up! After several tries...

Time for a healthy lunch.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 04 Oct 21 - 02:50 PM

It's nearly half past two and I have eaten precisely one orange today, on top of the pint (Imperial) of coffee that is my normal breakfast. I have been sorting out printer problems and doing admin crap that ran overdue because the printer was having problems.

I cannot for the life of me figure out why the printer just stopped communicating wirelessly with the desktop computer, which is a perfectly sound and healthy Mac. I could do AirPrint with both the phone and the iPad, but the computer was shut out completely. Consequently, I ended up moving half the contents of the study so the printer could hook up to the computer by Ethernet cable without tripping people. Then I had to check all the printer- and scanner-related software ... Yikes!

The house is a little less filthy than it was yesterday at this time since I got out the vacuum cleaner and tackled the rugs. The kitchen floor needs washing before Thursday, when my in-laws from Windsor will see it, but it's not urgent yet. The countdown to train time on Friday has begun. I have already packed the funerary urn and the documents I need for the cemetery in a sturdy gym bag, along with Edmund's cap and medals. The Order of Service booklet is out for layout and printing. The new cat-sitter is lined up.

The diet is going surprisingly well. I have not had any episodes of mad craving or collapsed exhaustion lately, suggesting that I'm getting more of something I needed more of. The missing link is probably protein, closely followed by fats, since the biggest changes are the shift to whole milk (and drinking lots of it), and deliberately increasing the amount of meat (usually chicken), eggs and fish I eat. Another pound or two and I'll be into a smaller size in trousers.

An 11-year-old bottle of Chilean chardonnay turned up in the cellar the other day, and I was surprised to find that it was very drinkable despite being almost twice as old as chardonnay really should get. It had a screw-cap instead of a cork, which is probably why. A not-quite-so-elderly gewurtztraminer located in the same sweep had lost much of its charm when I popped the cork; I really should have poured it down the sink instead of feeding it to my friend Rose, but I could not quite bring myself to do it. So now I'm going through the racks of whites to find the oldest bottles and schedule them for immediate drinking.

Yeah, I know. This isn't just a First World problem; it's a Fat-Cat problem.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 04 Oct 21 - 07:28 PM

Beaver:

Managed to do almost nothing more today but find out that FB is down internationally!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Oct 21 - 12:22 AM

My den is back to full-on forest floor, but tomorrow is soon enough to sweep. Or not. I got my COVID booster shot today; with the second shot I was a little flu-like the next day and that's what I expect to be the case this time also. The pharmacist said no one has called back to report anything unusual with two weeks of issuing them so far.

A late afternoon nap was enough to give me back the energy to do some cooking. I made a batch of pizza dough and turned out four small pizza crusts. Three went into the freezer, one was turned into a small (12") pizza for dinner tonight and leftovers for a couple of more meals. It was up to 90o today so not exactly fall cooking weather, but I'm letting the shorter days and changing leaves be my guide and think also that last month's no-spend practice has me doing more cooking (this evening as an example - making pizza crusts when I often buy flat bread and tortillas as a shortcut). I've managed to clear more fridge leftovers and recognize the "less is more" effect of being able to see everything that is in there now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Oct 21 - 07:38 AM

One of the believed lies about Facebook is that the origins of Facebook was to bring people together. I remind you that it was originally designed to post which girls on campus were f-able and if they were hot or not. I suppose you can say it brought people together in an exploitive way but division and hate are even more prominent motivators than sex. The true origins of Facebook is still present today. They are in deeper trouble than you might think right now.
It turns out that international counter intelligence programs and misinformation required more than six people to moderate.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Oct 21 - 08:27 AM

Besides misleading and lying to investors, users and Congress, - lawsuits against Facebook include;
8 S.E.C. complaints
Changing algorithms to allow hate speech a week before Jan 6
Anti Trust action by the FTC
Facebook covered up after the Cambridge analytical scandel.
It was followed up by overpaying a 4.5 billion dollar fine like a bribe
to save Zuckerberg's kin. Decluttering Facebook sounds good for individuals but not some companies.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 05 Oct 21 - 08:33 AM

Gee, Donuel, tell us something we don't know. Anyone with a brain can tell that the original purpose of Facebook was to make money, and that core mission has not changed.

The Facebook users with the most anodyne motives are probably the old soldiers who get on the platform to find other old soldiers they dimly remember from recruit school and decades-ago deployments. The users who generate the most revenue are selling crap from China. And the users who will eventually get them in the most trouble are the one-tenth-of-one-percent who are on the platform solely to tell lies and f*** up the world for others.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Oct 21 - 10:47 AM

I had the sneaking suspicion that yesterday's total outage was to remind us how addicted we are to the Facebook/Instagram et al environment. I tested sending a text to my daughter in Italy using Google Voice since she has a Google phone, and it worked. But it's Google - even bigger . . .

Meanwhile, I'm going back to bed in a couple of minutes. I ate a little cereal so I wouldn't be taking Tylenol on an empty stomach, and in a couple of hours I'll take Motrin, and see if staggering the two helps. The morning after my Pfizer booster I feel like I was run over by a Mack Truck. This hit harder than the other two shots.

It's still worth getting it, but clear your calendar for a day or two before you get the booster.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 05 Oct 21 - 03:20 PM

Beaver:

SRS: thank you for the heads up; we are no where near boosters yet.

I feel back to my good self today - for some reason! Was up at 5 am, BF, checked on studio, did a couple errands, trimmed a few pots - shoulder ached badly with certain moves so I came back in house for lunch, glucosamine sulfate and computer. Soon a couple more errands. And try pottery again.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Oct 21 - 03:46 PM

Staggering Tylenol and Motrin worked pretty well. There's still a bit of fog, but most of the body aches (except the arm) have dissipated.

I don't have ambitious plans for the day, but to boost my mood I picked up in the kitchen since I figured doing something quiet with visible results would help. Sweeping will help to that end also. Later I'm going to dig a couple of lilies and move them just because I want to see that newly dug bed put to use. I can work in the shade (and the shade has been the problem for the lilies - they need sun). I've thought of a second area where I can plant the rest of those lilies, so I'll set up the sprinkler to water and soften the soil to a workable consistency.

Dorothy, I love the idea of your getting up early and starting early and seeing dawn and such - I have to start getting myself to bed earlier if I ever want to approach being a morning person. Easier said than done!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Oct 21 - 04:27 PM

That's unlucky. Both my jabs were Pfizer and not only did I have no side-effects, I didn't even feel the needle. I'm no doc and don't think we should ever dole out medical advice, but tylenol (paracetamol this end) shouldn't upset your stomach. I don't like taking it, but I've had a rotten cold for days now and the paracetamol is great for that horrible, headachey, bunged-up feeling...


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