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De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021

Stilly River Sage 26 Apr 21 - 12:16 PM
Jon Freeman 26 Apr 21 - 01:46 PM
JennieG 27 Apr 21 - 01:20 AM
Charmion 27 Apr 21 - 09:00 AM
Dorothy Parshall 27 Apr 21 - 02:28 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 Apr 21 - 11:38 PM
mg 28 Apr 21 - 01:09 AM
Charmion 28 Apr 21 - 10:07 AM
Dorothy Parshall 28 Apr 21 - 10:51 AM
Stilly River Sage 28 Apr 21 - 01:19 PM
Jon Freeman 29 Apr 21 - 03:33 AM
Stilly River Sage 29 Apr 21 - 11:22 AM
Charmion 29 Apr 21 - 11:34 AM
keberoxu 29 Apr 21 - 12:52 PM
Jon Freeman 29 Apr 21 - 01:19 PM
Mrrzy 29 Apr 21 - 05:14 PM
Jon Freeman 30 Apr 21 - 07:00 AM
Charmion 30 Apr 21 - 09:04 AM
Jon Freeman 30 Apr 21 - 09:27 AM
Dorothy Parshall 30 Apr 21 - 10:59 AM
Charmion 30 Apr 21 - 11:04 AM
Charmion 30 Apr 21 - 12:17 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 Apr 21 - 12:25 PM
Jon Freeman 01 May 21 - 08:54 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 May 21 - 12:53 PM
Dorothy Parshall 01 May 21 - 01:30 PM
Jon Freeman 01 May 21 - 08:11 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 May 21 - 12:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 May 21 - 06:00 PM
Jon Freeman 03 May 21 - 08:47 AM
Jon Freeman 03 May 21 - 09:53 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 May 21 - 11:38 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 May 21 - 10:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 May 21 - 10:56 AM
Charmion 05 May 21 - 10:03 AM
Jon Freeman 06 May 21 - 08:37 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 May 21 - 09:25 AM
Jon Freeman 06 May 21 - 09:48 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 May 21 - 10:06 PM
Jon Freeman 07 May 21 - 08:14 AM
Charmion 07 May 21 - 09:48 AM
Jon Freeman 07 May 21 - 10:27 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 May 21 - 11:42 AM
Charmion's brother Andrew 07 May 21 - 05:54 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 May 21 - 11:24 PM
Charmion 08 May 21 - 08:09 AM
Donuel 08 May 21 - 08:46 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 May 21 - 05:19 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 May 21 - 03:07 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 May 21 - 07:49 PM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Apr 21 - 12:16 PM

Charmion, I'm sorry about that hiccough with the investment firm. In each state in the US you can do your own simple probate and all I needed to do was send the court document that I was the administrator of the estate and the death certificate to get my father's investment account to release the money. (I later had to hire a lawyer and run all of my work through a lawyer-managed probate because one sibling was proving to be very difficult, but that was long after I'd distributed the investment account dollars. I was doing it right, his percentage didn't change, except we all got less because of the attorney's fees.) It might be time to visit Google and name that company in the search and see if a better answer presents itself. The simple fact is they're trying to force you to leave the money where it is.

Jon, you may potter around slowly but you get a lot of very interesting things accomplished around your house! I have some pots ready to put seeds for Swiss chard and squash, and also some okra from a different seed pod than the one I started with in the garden (my backup plants). In case the one I used is a bit old, I'll use one that isn't last year's but it has a date on it. (The good thing about okra seeds, pick the dried pod and use a Sharpie to write the year on the side of it.) The part of the garden where the garlic is growing will be able to be used for cucumbers once the garlic is harvested, probably in late May, and I start those from seed planted directly in the ground.

This morning I stepped outside long enough to lop up the pine branches from yesterday's pruning. The ones that will fit through my chipper are piled beside the garage and the rest of the limbs went into the trash truck a few minutes ago.

My physical to approve going ahead with the cataract surgery is today. It kind of breaks up my day, but for a good cause. I'm hearing from friends who are so glad they did the surgery that I can hardly wait to have this over with.

Dorothy, how many potting setups do you have around the countryside now? Dupont, Beaver, and the Mill?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 26 Apr 21 - 01:46 PM

I think I may have only tried Okra once, SRS. It can be grown here but isn't the easiest and I guess benefits from your heat/climate. I love bhindi bhaji.

On other things sort of raised but this is with the living, I'm looking at a financial thing here.I think we are at a point where power of attorney is needed for dad and that I should be one of the attorneys. He agrees but having the authority with a parent when settled doesn't feel easy. Life gets beyond tee-jus don't it?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: JennieG
Date: 27 Apr 21 - 01:20 AM

Work has started on clearing/cleaning out the pantry after the tin of apricots exploded, some weeks ago. We have been away for a few weeks and arrived home yesterday to find evidence of meeces in the pantry (there has been a mouse plague in our part of the world for months although we hadn't had too many; as we and our geriatric cat were away the mice obviously came out to play), the weather is cooler so it's not as arduous a task as it would have been in summer.

There are, of course, tins and bottle and Stuff which is past its use by dates so there will be much less in the pantry by the time we finish this chore.

It is made easier with John Williams playing guitar in the background, thanks to a classical music station. An unpleasant task can be improved by a decent soundtrack.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 27 Apr 21 - 09:00 AM

Jennie, you’re dead right about musical accompaniment to a tiresome chore. My chief beef against the vacuum cleaner is that the noise it makes effectively stifles all music except heavy metal.

My favourite house-cleaning music is tangos by Astor Piazzola and the first CD from the Buena Vista Social Club.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 27 Apr 21 - 02:28 PM

Dupont:

Well, the income tax with note to "just tell me what to pay and I will" - and other comments!, went out this am after I found a "post office" for a stamp. I resent having to go into a convenience store to buy a stamp. Bancroft has a real PO but Chateauguay ... Checked the internet and tried to go to a different one but the address did not exist. A large apartment complex was under construction! The lengthier than expected trip also sought garden soil and cheese bread. No cheese bread at the only possible and soil - still under consideration. Cannot really plant anything for another couple weeks anyway. Rather frustrating morning.

As for pottery sites. SRS. You nailed it: Mill: one big kick wheel, two kilns and a couple defunct ones and some raw materials and glazes; Dupont: one new wheel and some clay and a few ready-to-fire pots so far; Beaver: the whole enchilado! And I am getting very anxious to get home!

The changing of the tires - next Weds, down near the mill, and an appointment to sell a couple more pots if it is safe. Then consideration of the feasibility of going to Ontario based on whether or not I will be able to come back into Quebec. Dependent on Ontario getting its covid under control.

In the meantime- Oops! clothes in washer (at least I did something useful!). Pots to trim and make more. Sprinkled epsom salt on the front garden and will do more later, before the next rains. I buy it wholesale in 50# bag for hot baths. Have lots for garden - one cup per 100 sf, said the internet. I will dose the houseplants as well. I lost about 10 geraniums to the recent frost; I thought they would endure! But there are many still in the house. A project for another day. I am not up to dealing with frosted geraniums today. I take delight in the charming little pear tree with its bronzey leaves. May start some more from the Bosc pears I used Sunday. Plan to keep this guy potted until it gets too large; would hate it to get nibbled like the cherries!

Clothes to drier!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Apr 21 - 11:38 PM

The rest of the bedding plants are in, and I was hoping for the rain they suggested might fall today, but no such luck. Tomorrow has a higher chance. I still have some seeds to plant in both the raised beds and a few in pots, and any digging or moving I can do in the next week, I'll do, but once they do the first eye surgery I have to be careful about lifting (or shoveling or lugging or and probably pulling weeds).

Any day now I should have a new great niece, and in her husband's immediate family it's quite a big deal because they've gone something like four generations with only sons, no daughters. One of these days it will be safe to travel and I have a baby great niece and toddler great nephew to go meet.

Re: soundtrack to work around the house, I have quite a few songs on thumb drives to plug into the television to dance to; I'm hoping to get back to the dance classes this year after restriction on activity is lifted. The studio was lost during the COVID shutdown (and she had such a great floor and wall of mirrors in there!) but she will be teaching in a city community center starting next month. I hope to start back in June.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: mg
Date: 28 Apr 21 - 01:09 AM

I did not have those restrictions but every doctor has her own rules. one thing I did not do was wash my eyes carefully enough and I got a mild eyelid infection. Our tendency is to protect the area but I overdid it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Apr 21 - 10:07 AM

Entropy strikes again, this time at the heart of my water heater. Dang.

It's one of those new-fangled tankless jobs, and I am ever so grateful that I bugged Rodney the HVAC Guy relentlessly until he found time to get over here for the routine maintenance that unfortunately wasn't nearly routine enough until I came along. When opened up to reveal its innermost workings, it displayed clumps of crud where no crud ought to be. That is the diagnostic sign of an interior leak that will sooner or later become a full-on splat on the floor whenever a hot-water tap is opened anywhere in the house. System death would ensue shortly thereafter.

Trouble is, thanks to the many and varied hurdles, hindrances and pinch-points of the COVID-era supply system, the critical part is out of stock indefinitely in southwestern Ontario, back-ordered since forever with no delivery date in sight. That part, were it available, would cost about Cdn$1,250. The machine was installed in 2009 and is supposed to last about 20 years, although I doubt that the manufacturer ever tested it with anything like the liquid limestone we call water in Stratford. (The crud is lime deposit.)

A brand-new tankless water heater would cost about Cdn$3,250, installed, and can be procured promptly and without hassle from Rodney's favourite supplier.

My military mind briskly sorted the COAs (courses of action, in HQ jargon) and I shocked Rodney to the core by informing him that it would be more cost-effective to replace the thing now. Who knows when the critical part will be available again, or what it will cost on that great and glorious day? And do I really want to face a dead water heater when I'm significantly older and more decrepit than I am now? Sounds of rumination came through the phone while Rodney tried to think like an aging lady who has money for capital improvements now but may not have it later.

We finally agreed that I would keep the current device until it starts dripping, which could take as long as a year, and then replace it. Until then, a large bucket sits under it and I'm hoping it doesn't crap out for good while I'm in the shower.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 28 Apr 21 - 10:51 AM

Dupont:

10:30 and still trying to get my day started! Got dressed and made R BF just after 7; this was too early. He had a good BF and dashed away to get things done. I pulled weeds for a few minutes, only because it was nice out and my brain was not functional. So, having sat here mindlessly on the computer, I finally told myself eating is a priority. Ate. Need more to eat. Will do...

Music in the house: RARELY, unless something special turns up on computer. Mainly prefer quiet. And the wind, if any. Lots of CDs by folks we love but no CD player, cannot find it. Lots of music on computer and once in a while I remember that music is nice! I actually had an epiphany 12 years ago - finding musician friends on MySpace and realizing that I had been missing MUSIC. But I really must make an effort to do it - not as background but to listen. My son Troy only plays music in their home if it will be Listened to! Respect for the musicians! I remember one summer in Nova Scotia we had rented a house so had electric. Troy would play one of our records - Jesse W, etc,- and quiz his bro on "what song comes next?" So... I grew up in that kind of a home. Music is special.

Laundry got done. Dishes are washed. Day is gorgeous. EAT more.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Apr 21 - 01:19 PM

Mary, thanks for surfacing again! I've had your earlier remarks in mind, to ask the doctor about proper care around that part of my face, how to clean or touch enough but not too much. And I've had a couple of PMs from people with other essential tips. This is helpful, thank you all!

Charmion, I live with a hot water tank that was replaced on the day after the Columbia shuttle flamed out entering the atmosphere, in February 2003. I was listening to the sad news and cleaning up water in the hall (it wiped out the parquet floor - a version of "Where were you when. . . "). 18 years is a good long run and I keep my fingers crossed and say nice things to it to keep it going. And I know that "liquid limestone" you describe; it's the reason I use white vinegar to clean things like my electric kettle every few weeks, when I can't stand looking at the buildup inside the glass.

Dorothy, I have the radio on most of the time I'm awake; in the kitchen it is tuned into the gently modulated local NPR talk radio programs, but when I turn on classical (especially during pledge drives; I'm a sustaining member and they get my donation monthly like clockwork) I like having it on in the background, and especially when some charming or favorite piece rises to catch my attention and (if it's new to me) I can look it up and learn more.

I spoke with my sister last night and asked about her spring allergies (mine are active now). She was describing the status of her cat and dust allergy and as I looked around the room I realized I'm not ready for her to visit, the dust levels need attention. And the dogs haven't started their spring shedding yet.

An aside: I was looking at the offers in Freecycle today and a five-piece sectional and loveseat is offered, but it comes from a home with pets and a smoker. Gah. No way I would go near something like that, you can never get the smoke out, let alone deal with the pet odors. It's good to warn people with allergies about those problems, but even people with just plain functioning noses are well warned.

Seeds today in the pots on the bench outside the side door, and I'll be sure the hoses are set so I can water without much dragging or lifting involved. I don't leave them across the driveway to be flattened by the SUV over the top, that wears them out fast. But it'll be nearby for easy extension to the garden. We had a little rain this morning but not enough to do more than dampen the mulch on top.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 29 Apr 21 - 03:33 AM

Fitting an electrolytic limescale inhibitor considerably reduced limescale build up at home.

My sack truck broke into two pieces yesterday. It suffered from corrosion for quite some time so this breakage wasn’t entirely unexpected.

First few leeks are in and the lettuce bed is ready. I’ve started some lettuce off indoors. I had planned on putting the greenhouse plants out on Saturday but I’m wondering whether to delay for a week. Night time temperatures have dropped as low as 3C and the forecast suggests things aren’t going to pick up (to a minimum of about 9C) until mid next week.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Apr 21 - 11:22 AM

I had to Google "sack truck" and have to admit that the term I use will probably be as obscure to you - the term "dolly" is used fairly interchangeably between your "sack truck" and the flat padded wheeled device for moving large objects. Also "hand truck." Furniture dolly.

We finally got more rain overnight and the next couple of days are forecast to be wet. It's humid and overcast, a typical day in a rainy sequence here in Texas. I put seeds in the prepared pots on the workbench beside the side door, and should be able to start planting them in the cataract surgery interim.

I have an external hard drive that is dying and needs to be replaced; it gums up the good functioning of the computer when it's plugged in at startup. I need to move the contents soon. Virtual declutter.

On a personal care note, I have two pairs of "leverback" earrings that I have worn alternately over the last 15 months because the hook closes and they aren't likely to be flicked out of the pierced ear hole and lost when I'm moving my mask on or off. I pampered myself with my Amazon credit card points toward a third pair. For now all of my French hook earrings languish in the box I use for jewelry, a silverware box I found at a garage sale (with the treated silvercloth lining so my earrings, chains, and bracelets don't tarnish since most are sterling silver). The seller brought it home from the department store where she worked but never used it. My gain. This cabinet is one level, but I've seen boxes with a lower drawer in the cabinet that would let me separate items more. These things are expensive new, but they turn up regularly at estate sales and sometimes at Goodwill. I have a couple of old ones from family estates I should look at, maybe bundle the antique silver into a single piece of sliver cloth and bring the box into my dressing room. I enjoy repurposing things like that.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Apr 21 - 11:34 AM

Edmund kept his jewellery and doohickeys in an old oak cutlery box from Henry Birks & Son in Montreal. It has a lower drawer that locks automatically until the lid is raised. The lining is a curry-yellow plush that looks more likely to promote tarnish than prevent it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 Apr 21 - 12:52 PM

Limescale!
Liquid limestone!

Shades of my childhood,
on the southern side of Lake Erie.
Lotsa limestone quarries thereabouts.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 29 Apr 21 - 01:19 PM

I'm not sure how standard my own UK usage is, SRS but to me: Dolly, Platform Truck, Sack Truck


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 Apr 21 - 05:14 PM

Well, *I* did a fun thing today.

I have lost a lot of weight with the keto thing, so today I went through all my many, many Tshirts, and a) got rid of all the big ones I keep to sleep in that I never sleep in, b) moved all the Tshirts I like but are now too big into the Sleep In Them drawer, and c) got rid of all the ones that I just like to own but never wear, like the Juneteenth ones.

Now none of my drawers are completely crammed full to where they are hard to open or close.

I can buy more Tshirts now, bwahaha!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 30 Apr 21 - 07:00 AM

Vehicles (including buses and the school taxi for younger kids) used to turn round in one entrance to a (disused now but I do remember it working) limestone quarry near where I lived in N Wales, K. This may work to show the map I lived in Bryn Pydew and you had to turn round on to Pen Y Bont road for Glanwydden, at least going that way. There was another steeper route and with a couple of bends that I don’t think a bus (rather than mini bus) would make.

I think there was a fair amount of limestone in N Wales but our water was soft. Our supply would have come down from Llyn Duyln, a place I could feel a bit dark and creepy but probably mum;s favourite place anywhere.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Apr 21 - 09:04 AM

Jon, if you had soft water in a limestone region, your water source was probably a river or lake.

The municipal water source here in Stratford is a group of artesian wells. The mineral content is so high that local bylaws on property standards require every plumbed structure to have a water-softener. Some types of soap do not work well here, and hand-washed glassware and cutlery left in the dish drainer are always spotted and streaked. Supermarkets here stock high-acid “cleaning vinegar” that people use to decalcify everything from the washing machine to the tea-kettle. I had never seen cleaning vinegar until we moved here.

In Ottawa, where I lived until 2017, the municipal water source is the Ottawa River. Nobody on mains water in Ottawa needs a water-softener. Over more than 30 years, I never had to run vinegar through a coffee-maker or a dishwasher, and a humidifier wick lasted three years. Here, it’s a good idea to change your humidifier wick half-way through the winter, around the beginning of February.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 30 Apr 21 - 09:27 AM

Sure, Charmion, I guess you missed my link or it didn't work. It was lake water from the Carneddau, a range of mountains in Snowdonia.

The limey stuff we get where I am now in Norfolk does come from aquifers. I'm not sure if there are any UK national or local byelaws to would require the fitting of a limescale inhibitor or water softener to new properties.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 30 Apr 21 - 10:59 AM

Dupont:

I never encountered iffy water in rural PA; a limestone area but our water came from the spring house on the property. It nicely served the old house (1820) and the one we built. I recently "friended" the woman whose family bought the new house (circa 1962); Her Dad still lives there but had a well dug. The people who bought the old house let the spring house fall in! I must ask her if the water is different!

The water at the mill and that area is orange (iron), as is the well water at Beaver. Turns bathtub orange, as did the well at the cabin we rented for a couple years. One hot bath and the tub had to be scrubbed. Hence, distilled water or rain water in the studio! I kept thinking I had made a mistake in mixing a glaze but "clayart discussion forum" assured me orange water was the problem!

Yes, SRS, I realize some people have music or something going all the time. I once had a wonderful flatmate who kept radio tuned to CBC-FM. It was quite tolerable. But silence/nature is generally my preference. My family had a cabin in the woods in central PA. There was a Victrola! I ;put on a record one day (age 17) and quickly realized I could no longer hear the trees moving. That was that.

Big shock! Last week a friend came by and the woman next door came over - on her yard. Rita talked with her (French) and told me they are thinking of selling the lot between our houses. She has wonderful gardens and the chickens! There is a little house that could be a studio. SO, I prevailed upon R to go talk to her this am.

I consider her yard the best part of living here! To be able to look out and see the chickens! "We can't afford it!" She is asking the amount we paid for this house! And told him she has people interested but is in no hurry. I am ready to go to bed and pull the covers over my head. The wonderful cedar hedge along our drive is on their property and the wonderful trees I see from the BR window. Last year the cross-the-road neighbours took out their beautiful cedar hedge; now I look across at a boring house and sheds, and numerous vehicles, sometimes a trailer or an RV.

Well, I still have Beaver. If Ontario ever gets safe enough that I can go back and forth again! At present, I can go there, as a resident, but cannot come back to Quebec because I am not a resident.

I brought in a good bunch of firewood yesterday and have a fire in the stove. The next two weeks are to be cool - highs around 60. I am going to turn the heat up a bit and wallow in TV, and the computer. Make a thermos of herb tea. That's a plan.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Apr 21 - 11:04 AM

I missed the significance of the link. Sorry; didn't read until now.

In southern Ontario, municipal bylaw (as we spell it here) can be very intrusive by the standards of other jurisdictions. The size and condition of your front steps, the nature and quality of your foundation, the state of your roof, your garbage disposal habits -- all are subject to strict regulation. When we moved to Stratford, I was astounded to discover that open burning is allowed in the city and a garden fire-pit is a feature of many residential properties, including ours. In Ottawa, an open fire in a back yard brings out the fire brigade with sirens blaring. But then, Ottawa was once a lumber town with literal mountains of milled planks and shingles stacked all over the place, and great heaps of sawdust just waiting for a stray spark or an inopportune bolt of lightning. Half the city burned down in 1900. I don't think anything like that ever happened to Stratford.

What they're worried about here is assessed property value, which is the basis of the municipal tax system. Houses with plumbing blocked with limescale don't sell well. The other big problem is public liability. After a 2010 flash flood that caused widespread sewer back-ups, the city was sued and found guilty of negligence; consequently, houses built now must be fitted with sump pumps. After 25 years of home-ownership in Ottawa, a city full of small watercourses that flood every year, I would not even look at houses in areas where the sanitary sewers and storm sewers are not separate.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Apr 21 - 12:17 PM

When I consider taking out my cedar hedge to discourage burglars from kicking in my back door again, I normally drop the idea because removal would be expensive and messy, and the hedge accommodates many shy woodland creatures. Of course, it also screens the woodshed and the spot where I dump garden rubbish, so I will henceforth also think of the neighbours' viewing pleasure.

Mind you, they aren't shy about littering their property with recreational rolling stock, or filling their porches and flowerbeds with kitsch. There's a gnome-fancier a few doors down, and the people on the corner have augmented the local squadrons of raccoons and rabbits with slightly-larger-than-life-size resin figures that I find frankly disturbing.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Apr 21 - 12:25 PM

Limestone is a major feature of the landscape in the southern and eastern half of Texas; the further north and west you go the higher elevation and you're into land that wasn't under the Gulf for millions of years. In the limestone region there are lots of areas where the coral beds formed and are more durable than limestone, so the many mesas that are simply less eroded parts of the landscape (and the reason "Hill Country" has hills).

Dorothy, we're lucky when we have neighbors who don't make ugly messes of their property. The wooded lot across from me was "cleaned up" 18 months ago and now it's an open sward that is mowed quarterly. The green has returned, but not all of the wildlife.

Fires are regulated down here as regulated by counties and announced by the weather folks. I have a burning barrel that is used every six months only after we've had a substantial rain (now would be good, if I had anything to discard that I don't want to throw in a public recycle bin or landfill.)

Jon, that cairn where your water comes from looks lovely. I enjoy links to maps and photos of places. When I was a child we had a pump for water from the lake where we had a cabin. That lake is the water supply for the city of Bellingham also. Our original cabin and a couple of neighboring houses were washed away in the 1980s in a mud slide after a neighbor across the road did an illegal logging operation up the hill from our houses. She was a nasty neighbor, and was sued, but I don't know the outcome of that. She built her house by acting as general contractor and subsequently cheated every sub-contractor who did work on her house and they all had liens against her so winning a lawsuit meant you stood in line waiting to be paid. Our property was in a small cluster of little modest cabins on wooded lots along the shore, now it's all high-end expensive homes. They must still get water from the lake but now have septic tanks (we had an outhouse).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 May 21 - 08:54 AM

Thanks, SRS. On water supplies. Mum remembers a time when her village didn't have mains water. She was born 1935 so I guess the village didn't get connected until some point in 1940/50s.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 May 21 - 12:53 PM

Jon, I stumbled across this video about "regrowing" plants from kitchen scraps. I've often times trimmed things in the garden and kept the base producing, but this gives ideas about some of the stuff destined for the compost. And I've bought the rooted butterhead (Boston) lettuce and kept them going and gotten more leaves from them. Have you done any of this in your garden? (I suspect anyone who has had a compost bin has done what I have - had things regrow right there along the side of the bin, or seeds sprout and produce delicious cantaloupe, etc.)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 01 May 21 - 01:30 PM

Dupont:

In southern PA, at my childhood home in an old, middle or working class - mixed, I guess - residential area, we just threw the veg scraps in the woods about 25 feet from the front door. Probably a lot got et. But one spring there were a few peas growing there!

I did, in fact wallow in TV - Grand Design, mainly - yesterday. It was raining, which never helps either mental health or phys energy. By the time R came home, I had come to terms with reality - hoping it won't happen soon. I'm just a country girl!

This am I listened to a friend or 50 years playing a recorded virtual concert while perusing FB. And discovered I could even keep it going on here. Think I will try that again as I missed one last night.

Search as I may, I cannot find any clear info on whether or not I can return to Quebec from Ontario. I really want to go back to Beaver after I get the tires changed on Weds. R is in much better condition now that he has a couple good staff and a "new" big truck that will help greatly in getting rid of stuff.

Laundry, raking, weeding, in small doses, on this beautiful day. Maybe a few other things will get done - pack up dry pots to transport, maybe make some more... And always tending to plants/seedlings.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 May 21 - 08:11 PM

No, I've not done any of that, SRS... Or maybe it's a mostly no - I seem to remember trying to get a pineapple top to grow once and perhaps there have been other things I can't bring to mind.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 May 21 - 12:06 PM

It's an inexpensive hobby, should you be interested in trying. I'll be putting some home-grown sweet potato slips out later today.

All around the house I'm either putting away small things or trashing them. The donation bin will also gain content. A trip to the village recycle bins is in order—all of this because I'm going to have a houseguest this week, the first in 15 months (she stayed the night after the knee surgery). The cataract surgery begins this week.

In a nod to "self-care," I've been looking at the Waterpik devices and found a well-priced electric duo (in one box) at Costco, a regular size one I've put in the master bathroom and a "travel" one that will live in the hall bathroom. I was shopping the devices I can get with points on my credit card but they were battery operated. Nope. This is the process of shopping to update some on-their-last-legs things around here. It goes beyond loose devices on the bathroom counters; two of the three faucets need replacing after years of limestone buildup and corrosion. I've been here 19 years, so it's time for some of this.

Also, coming up this week - scanning.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 May 21 - 06:00 PM

The prospect of having a guest in the house after all of this time is energizing so I made a series of stops on my midday cat-feeding run. To clear off the counter one thing I needed to do was return the stack of unopened stuff to Home Depot from past projects, leaving me with a store credit of $40 that will probably go for a new hose I'll select later on.

It has warmed enough that the back yard is going to get mowed today. I'll wait till Tuesday to mow the front, though I will probably keep working out there on other stuff, like trimming freeze-damaged shrubs.

The guest room top blanket went into the dryer to fluff on air (remove dust) and then I'll remake the bed before dusting the room. And so many chairs around the house have dusty seats because no one has been here to sit on them. Suddenly I can look at my house through someone else's eyes. It's dusty.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 May 21 - 08:47 AM

I cut some grass yesterday and was about to ask mum if she would like her tea outside when I noticed some dark clouds. I took the washing in first and then said to mum “I think you’d better come in now”. The timing was perfect. She just got through the porch door when the heavens opened.

More rain and strong winds forecast for today and looming now so I won’t be doing anything outside. I might make a chocolate sponge cake later. I’ve got a mild veg curry ready to heat up for tea this evening (and for the day after - they do work well two days in a row and used them a few times when on my own).

Apart from that, I might resume an Alexa web cam related play I started last night. Or might not… Another skill has this covered (but is slow to connect and might become pay for in future) and I’m not sure it’s needed anyway. The only “useful” camera on Alexa is probably the one on a different system which allows mum to look in on dad in the bedroom..

I bought a Raspberry Pi (a pi 4 this time), with this sort of occasional play, and possibility of others (all probably going nowhere but it's not a bad thing to have) in mind a month ago.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 May 21 - 09:53 AM

I guess this can go here...

Just had a weird one with dad who lost his ability to walk at all with the frame while I was in hospital last year. I've recently taken over the mid day toilet moving and today when I lined him up to move from wheelchair to commode (needed to navigate the narrow bathroom door) via the walking frame, he set off on the walking frame.

My first reaction was to (internally) panic but that thought quickly changed to letting him go with it and following behind with the commode chair. Not having walked in months, he was tired, but he made it and most of (I wheeled him out of the bathroom) the way back.

On a questioning after, he says he is starting to feel more confident. I don't think we'll ever get back to a point where he doesn't need someone with him (that stopped after 3 fall is in 3 months) over a year ago. But I want to give it a go as even supervised walking vs being wheeled is more independence for him.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 May 21 - 11:38 AM

One of the questions on the surgery form I filled out recently was "do I have a history of falls." Well, no, I have a history of being taken out by a dog who insists she must scoot through the space I'm starting to traverse. She's gotten quite a scold on the way down, and when I think of it I make a point of lifting my foot (bending the leg at the knee so the foot lifts behind me) to claim that air space. Once or twice I made contact with her, it isn't a kick at all, it's a "this is my space and you stay out of it" gesture that she seems to finally be paying attention to.

That's good news about your father having interest in walking again. And good timing on rescuing mum from the downpour!

Out to mow the front today. It's supposed to get quite hot so I'll do it before noon.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 May 21 - 10:58 PM

I both trimmed and mowed the front yard, but I didn't sweep up the trimmings in front of the curb. Turns out we have a heavy-duty band of thunderstorms passing through the area that saved me the effort and any grass racing down the Trinity River by now. And excellent timing on my part because mowing tomorrow would be difficult. It took me a couple of rest breaks to finish the job; here's hoping energy levels increase soon.

Tomorrow is sweeping, mopping, dusting, and more putting away.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 May 21 - 10:56 AM

I'm setting up activities for myself for a week of "no lifting" and putting stuff away so the clutter isn't so apparent. This includes weeding out some of the eBay stuff that I don't think will sell easily—off to the thrift store it goes.

Since we had rain last night getting one last batch of mulch from the city site is probably not a worthwhile chore - it's so heavy when it's wet that it's a lot more work. My garden needs to be set so it can go a week without my bending over to pull or tweak anything, and more mulch would help with that. We'll see how this afternoon looks. I have one more run to a friend's house to feed her cats and could swing by to pick up mulch on the way back.

Next week is the art glass sale on the campus where I retired, and due to social distancing it is required to have an appointment, so I've secured my time. I'm not planning to bring home more large glass to collect dust (though some of it is incredibly appealing), my goal is to find a pair or two of small glass earrings and pendants. I figure the glass I should get now is what I take out in public and show off. Assuming we reach a point where dressing up and going out in public becomes a "thing" again.

I made that glass sale appointment last month, and I have medical expenses this month, but because of the enforced quiet activity I've decided to do another no-spend month (only the essentials - groceries, dog food, mostly draw down the freezer).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 05 May 21 - 10:03 AM

The lawyer called yesterday to say that the probate certificate has already been granted — a land-speed record even for Perth County. Next comes a consultation with Jeff the Baltic accountant (he has an extensive Lithuanian surname) to figure out how to move Edmund’s Registered Retirement Savings Plan funds into my possession without incurring a shedload of tax liability. The adventure continues, hurrah.

It’s been raining off and on for days and my wonky foot is hurting again, in a new place this time, so I have been out the door only as far as the mailbox, and a daily turn around the property to see how the garden grows. The tarragon seems not to have survived the winter, but mint, oregano, parsley and sage are sprouting eagerly. The hellebores I planted last year look great, but I need more foxgloves. The lavender is doing so well that I shall plant more, a task that will require me to extirpate a leggy dwarf lilac that I never liked much.

Neil-across-the-street allowed as how he could use my rotating composter. I hope I have convinced him to accept it for free, but there’s a good chance that he hasn’t quite given up the compulsion to pay me for it.

It’s time to resume the triage and destruction of office papers. By the end of the summer, I would like to reduce the files to stuff related to taxes and the house. That means chugging through about a dozen archive boxes currently stacked on the floor of the study closet. My first objective is to dispense with the four-drawer filing cabinet looming in one corner of my very small study, and replace it with a two-drawer lateral model that will fit under the window. The cats like to sit in that window to watch birds, and the top of a filing cabinet will be more comfortable than the narrow console table they have now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 06 May 21 - 08:37 AM

It’s peeing down again and last night the temperature dropped to 2C. I think I made the right choice in holding back on the greenhouse plants. Warmer nights are forecast from Saturday.

Lavender. We lost an old bush round the front over winter but the two plants I bought for tubs round the back are doing fine as is the clematis I bought.

Herbs. I think mum needs to more or less start again from scratch this year if she wishes. I thought I’d got things in a better state last year with some new staging and re-doing the irrigation for her pots but things haven’t worked out. Mind you, I think she could help herself a bit better. She got a seemingly random selection of small pots, most of which lost their labels and I hadn’t much clue as to what was what or which were annuals and I think she would be better with fewer plants and some in larger containers. I’ll help of course but it’s for her to have another think about what she wants to achieve in the area.

Foxgloves. I don’t think we’ve ever planted them but there are often self set ones that mum chooses to leave around.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 May 21 - 09:25 AM

The hellebores I planted last year look great, but I need more foxgloves.

I read that and hear Christopher Walken suggest "more cowbell" :-)

I'm a day out from the first eye surgery. It is weird, that "twilight sleep" they accomplish to knock you out without your eyes rolling back up into your head. The distracting part of wearing the clear plastic eye cover patch after is that I can't rest my glasses on the bridge of my nose to use the other eye. And it really is a quick surgery. Unlike any other, instead of putting you into a gown and all of that they simply encapsulate your street clothes, covering with blankets and tucking in your arms, shoes into blue booties, a shower cap thing over your hair, phone or anything small into a bag under the bed, and roll you into the surgery theater.

The eye patch comes off this morning.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 06 May 21 - 09:48 AM

That sounds good, SRS, and I hope you get the benefits from the first op soon.

My two recent ops were different btw.

For the first and long one, I was put into the pre op place where they used gas. I (as planned and as a precaution) was put in the high dependency unit for several hours before being transferred to a ward.

For the second much shorter grafting op a few weeks later, I was wheeled straight into the theatre where they used injections. I had a short stop in a recovery place after before being returned to the ward.

I was really impressed by the theatre lighting btw. Bright but I've never seen lighting so clear. I guess that's the standard surgeons need.


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

In preparation for the cataract surgery I ordered two more pairs of the over-the glasses sunglasses for pocketbook and gardening stash (I have one pair the car). So of course at the doctor's morning follow-up check I received a kit with another pair of the same type of glasses.

This leads me to think about working on family members' estates, where the medical paraphernalia and old medicine bottles and such is remarkable. I wonder if it's even possible to end up with an estate that isn't full of the bread crumb trail of medical stuff telling one part of the story of your life?

My daughter carried the watering can out to the garden last night to water some transplanted okra plants; in the morning I'll carefully pull the hose (already mostly in position) to the garden, turn it in (so I'm not dragging it when it's full of water) and water safely. No pulling weeds. I tend to lead a fairly active life as far as lugging stuff around and have caught myself several times today almost doing what I'm not supposed to. So I'll go sew for the rest of the evening.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 07 May 21 - 08:14 AM

Looks like there is a lot of very heavy rain due for Saturday so I think I’ll be doing the greenhouse plants on Sunday.

There are a couple of things I perhaps ought to do outside one of these rainy days though. In heavier rain, water has been over spilling at the end of a gutter section near a down pipe for years. I finally got round to altering the angle of the end section and run of down pipe last week but have yet to check how successful the change has been.

I could also do with checking on how well water is running into the butts. They don’t seem to be filling as well as they used to so I think there may be a problem either with that or a with leak in the pipe that runs 30m from the house to the “Wendy House” shed. My clearing behind the pigsties last year has made most of the pipe accessible again and I didn’t spot a problem but there is still a short buried bit I may need to look at.

A related task (especially as I’ve seen water coming over a gutter over the sliding door) is to get the gutters cleaned. We’ll have to get someone in to do that as, although it’s only a bungalow, there are bits I can’t access. Someone did point out that a tile is out of place on the roof so perhaps we can get someone to do both jobs.

Moving on to the question about medical things, I think the only bottle here is a plastic one for the vitamin capsules I’m prescribed. I think the only medicines around (apart from some paracetamol and a couple of other over the counter things in the bathroom cupboard) are current prescription ones.

But there is at least one cardboard box of dressings that were destined for use on my back at different times before surgery around. I think we should find a charity to accept them (and we used to have people who would take things like that) and they are too good to “throw away”.

Then you could trip over walking frames here. Dad’s is still needed but I need to work out how to get mine back to the Norwich Hospital. Mum has two but uses neither. There is the one in a shed that she bought after her hip op and one she accepted as OT recommended she should have one. Quite why she took it when a) she already had one and b) finds her best indoor wheeled walking aid is a trolley with two shelves is beyond me.

Thinking of another aid brings me to another thought. The bath chair could probably be collected and taken away. Neither parent use it any more and I'm not sure its presence helps me. Mum has talked about having the bathroom revised after Covid and getting people indoors to do work is easier. She would like the bath removed and replaced with a shower. I’m not sure how it would work out in the small bathroom but agree that it would be worth getting people in to advise on what can be done and providing estimates on cost.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 07 May 21 - 09:48 AM

One of the file boxes stashed in my study contains about two dozen pairs of spectacles that Edmund and I accumulated over more than thirty years. The range of styles and types includes his ‘n’ hers respirator glasses, made to fit inside the Cold War-era gas mask issued to the Canadian Forces, Edmund’s “ballistic eyewear” from the Afghanistan period, and a pair of owlish sunglasses in a military-issue frame so sturdy that I wore them from 1975 to about 2010. Come to think of it, with new nose pads and plastic ear-pieces, I could wear them now. They are the very definition of fashion-proof, as well as bomb-proof.

I wonder if I could get new lenses for my respirator glasses? They’re held on with loops that fit around the ears, so they’re great for swimming.

Jon Freeman, you’re right about finding a charity to give your unneeded supply of dressings to. I assume they’re sterile? If so, they won’t stay that way indefinitely, so they should go to someone who will use them before they’re out of date and assumed to be contaminated.

As for the bathroom, your mum is right. A generously sized shower stall, with grab-bars, a seat, and a hand-holdable shower head, is much better than a cramped bath-tub on general principles, but especially for people with mobility problems. The locker room at the Y where I go to swim has one shower stall fitted that way, and every time I look at it I remember risking my neck to get into and out of the bath with first one leg, then the other, in plaster.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 07 May 21 - 10:27 AM

Yes, these are large, self adhesive, absorbent dressings, mostly Biatain Super. All sealed and in boxes. I've just looked at the dates on a few boxes and the earliest expiry date on any was Sept 2021, others run well in to 2022.


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

Starting down the medical gear path, I have things left from the knee surgery that could be donated or some even sold. The pressure cuffs in particular I've seen for sale used and new on eBay. Other things make the rounds at Goodwill and garage sales (the walker and the gait belt, for starters). While these things are often sent home routinely after various types of surgery, I remember one garage sale where we had some medical things of that sort (left over from a friend's estate) and three young men drove up hunting for various other walking and bathroom and shower seat devices because their father had a need and no supply source (and I'm guessing no insurance). I'd seen some of what they were asking about at another garage sale in my neighborhood so sent them up the hill to see if any of it was still there. The secondary market for this stuff is probably robust. Crutches and various types of canes also come to mind.

Every so often I pull out my old glasses frames and take a few to the donation bin at the optometrist office. The last time I asked about having a favorite pair of frames re-used for a new set of lenses I was told they had to be mailed back to the company that now does the work (it used to be in office) and they would say whether they could be reused or not. Bummer. These are some favorite really light weight titanium frames I paid dearly for and haven't gone out of style. There are more here to be donated soon.

This morning I watered my garden, but every hose connection is leaking so I'll take out a handful of new gaskets and replace them before the next watering venture. And I pulled apart a connection on a hose end repair, something easily restored with the hose clamp tightened better this time.

Jon, I need to have gutters put on my house (they were removed when I replaced the roof and never put back.) I'll aim those downspouts at collection barrels.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 07 May 21 - 05:54 PM

Charmion, it should be easy for a dispensing optician to replace the lenses in the respirator glasses with your current prescription.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 May 21 - 11:24 PM

I've thought long and hard about getting prescription lenses in a pair of bicycle goggles because when I'm out walking on windy days my eyes are so watery I can hardly stand it. Once I get the new lenses the eyeballs will still water in the wind so maybe I should finally get those glasses.


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

Stilly, do you think you will need much of a prescription when your cataract surgery is complete? If not, you might consider aviator-style sunglasses with a light tint.

I have a pair of Ray-Ban aviators that does the job perfectly and would not attract the kind of attention bicycle goggles on a pedestrian would get.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 08 May 21 - 08:46 AM

In my case I called it quits after the first cataract lense replacement. Due to complication from Fuchs syndrome and the miniscule increase in brightness, it gave me no advantage. Most people have immediate improvement but in my case sensitive corneas with micro bubbles, it took me 90 days to see nearly as well as I used to. For those who have an advantage I am told it is great.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 May 21 - 05:19 PM

The reason for the goggles is the keep the cold air from flowing behind my glasses and across my eyes, making them so watery. I could wear the driving glasses, though, to see if they help. They completely wrap around my regular eyeglasses and have a wide temple next to the hinge that could block the breeze. That's worth trying before I go for goggles.

I'm not getting the replacement lens that gives near and far vision, so I'll still need some kind of reading lens, and I need something that will let me see things close to me when I drive but also see clearly through the rest of the lens. I'm sure millions of people have figured this out ahead of me, so I'll see what people say as I finish up the surgery process.

Don, that sounds like a difficult situation for the eye surgery. I'm sorry about that.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 May 21 - 03:07 PM

Last time I watered I accidentally pulled apart a repaired place in part of the hose; todayI restored the hose repair piece and replaced a few gaskets and the hose and nozzle are working better. There are a few juicy weeds popping up that I had to resist bending over to pull. All repair materials were already here, no purchase needed. I do have a buffer, a store credit at Home Depot (intended for a hose, but can be used another way if needed).

I've been out driving (yesterday), no problem with that, but mostly I'm sticking around the house where I have plenty of things on my list of stuff to do. Following our discussion above of various medical things around the house I looked up prescription bottles and see that they are recyclable so that's one container full of containers that will go to the village recycle bin next trip to city hall.

I have things here that I don't use but are perfectly good except for one part. For example, the wheels on a piece of luggage are old and have cracked. I'm going to take one off and see if I can find replacements (eBay). I'd like to keep the case in use but don't want to carry it instead of rolling it. I could also use one of the foldable carts that attaches luggage with bungies - I'll have to see if I can find any of those (I used to have a couple but may have given one to one of the kids to use and never got it back.) Those carts are a bit of a pain but do the job if needed.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 May 21 - 07:49 PM

I've been retired over two years and I still seem to treat Sunday like a school or work night. It does help keep track of what day it is but otherwise, there is little need to do so. Anyone else?


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