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De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021

keberoxu 07 Apr 21 - 08:04 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Apr 21 - 11:48 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Apr 21 - 03:37 PM
Charmion 08 Apr 21 - 07:17 PM
Donuel 08 Apr 21 - 07:33 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Apr 21 - 12:12 AM
Jon Freeman 09 Apr 21 - 06:50 AM
Stilly River Sage 09 Apr 21 - 11:28 AM
Charmion 09 Apr 21 - 04:47 PM
Mrrzy 09 Apr 21 - 05:30 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Apr 21 - 05:52 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Apr 21 - 11:40 PM
Jon Freeman 10 Apr 21 - 04:32 AM
Charmion 10 Apr 21 - 09:04 AM
Stilly River Sage 10 Apr 21 - 12:19 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Apr 21 - 02:32 PM
Jon Freeman 11 Apr 21 - 06:09 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Apr 21 - 11:27 PM
Charmion 12 Apr 21 - 09:05 AM
Stilly River Sage 12 Apr 21 - 03:18 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Apr 21 - 08:59 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Apr 21 - 02:18 PM
Jon Freeman 14 Apr 21 - 06:31 AM
Stilly River Sage 14 Apr 21 - 11:49 AM
Dorothy Parshall 14 Apr 21 - 06:34 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Apr 21 - 06:54 PM
Donuel 14 Apr 21 - 09:24 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Apr 21 - 04:34 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Apr 21 - 11:05 AM
Jon Freeman 17 Apr 21 - 05:44 AM
Stilly River Sage 17 Apr 21 - 12:50 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Apr 21 - 01:18 AM
Charmion 19 Apr 21 - 10:46 AM
Stilly River Sage 19 Apr 21 - 11:43 AM
Jon Freeman 19 Apr 21 - 07:21 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Apr 21 - 10:13 PM
Charmion 20 Apr 21 - 08:12 AM
Stilly River Sage 21 Apr 21 - 10:18 AM
Dorothy Parshall 21 Apr 21 - 10:01 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Apr 21 - 11:53 AM
Dorothy Parshall 22 Apr 21 - 12:29 PM
Charmion 23 Apr 21 - 10:42 AM
Stilly River Sage 23 Apr 21 - 11:22 AM
Dorothy Parshall 24 Apr 21 - 12:55 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Apr 21 - 02:09 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Apr 21 - 02:44 PM
Dorothy Parshall 25 Apr 21 - 09:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Apr 21 - 11:36 PM
Jon Freeman 26 Apr 21 - 07:00 AM
Charmion 26 Apr 21 - 10:34 AM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: keberoxu
Date: 07 Apr 21 - 08:04 PM

I had my first colonoscopy this morning,
does that count as de-clutter??

The gastroenterologist detected one mild bit of diverticulosis, otherwise a clean bill of health.
Says my next colonoscopy ought to be in ten years' time.

It's nice to eat solid food again. All the warnings received about the bowel prep were right on target.
At this point I just need OTC painkillers until my rear end stops hurting.

As to Stilly and the dogs:
at least while they are spending hours watching the squirrels in the tree,
that is one block of time when they are not
trying to take apart your compost station ...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Apr 21 - 11:48 PM

True about the dogs. And true about the colonoscopy prep. It is wretched. Waiting 10 years is a long time to not worry about the prep, but remembering the prep will keep you on your fiber capsules if they've been recommended. Good luck keeping the diverticulosis under control and healing.

The mower this evening had an oil change and the air filter cleaned (it needed it) and next time I'm at the big box store with spark plugs I'll get a new one. And ask the clerk if they have one of those gap measuring things (with lots of metal tabs of different thickness) because I don't want to buy that tool to use once every two years for the mower spark plug. The front lawn was then mowed so in the morning I can go out with the big camera and take photos of my lovely irises with the trim green turf background.

The heavy lifting of the day tomorrow will be shifting soil in the tilled bed (to contour the edge where there used to be a board and the dirt was piled up against it) and to start moving the compost from the old piles in the back to the new beds in the front.

Silly me, this evening I slipped off my shoes and socks while I was working in my office. This is a throwback to years ago before Cookie arrived. I now have one destroyed sock (found in the yard) in the trash, and a spare sock in the laundry. I have several single socks - maybe I'll turn them into odd pairs for heavy yard work.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Apr 21 - 03:37 PM

So today while I was buying taller stakes to keep Cookie out of the compost, I discovered planter wall blocks that can be put in place in the garden, then boards run between them. Perfect for raised beds. I have lots of types of planks around here to use with them.

Two of the fence stakes are for the compost and two are for T-post sprinkler heads that will go in the garden. Soon after she arrived here the puppy destroyed the wires on the timer device I was using so I either have to rewire it or find a new one, but even just setting this up to sprinkle when I can set a timer to turn it off will be a good start. (Cookie also chewed up several hoses, so I have to repair the ends or replace them, depending on if she just attacked the ends or the length of them.)

Time to break out the pots and start a lot of things from seed. A few will be bedding plants, but this year I'll try to do a lot more with seeds. And I'll stagger the crops; last year the cucumbers in the fall did much better than cucumbers do in the high summer heat. But if I don't start the okra soon, there won't be much to harvest, it really loves the heat of a Mediterranean climate.

This is the time of year when I have to pace myself to get any of the indoor stuff done at all. The garden is just too inviting.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 08 Apr 21 - 07:17 PM

I am sitting on my porch with the heel of a bottle of rather nice Languedoc red. It’s a delicious evening in Stratford, air like wine. Sorta goes with the bottle.

My daffs are out, the hyacinths are sprouting, and the forsythia bush is in bloom. The lawn is spangled with tiny blue flowers that I had nothing to do with — they just showed up last year, and this year there are more. The clematis I planted last summer seems not to have survived, probably a victim of Judy-next-door’s fence-replacement project, but the rose of Sharon look okay. And the rose bush is still with us.

It’s gonna rain tomorrow, so I’m luxuriating while I can.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 08 Apr 21 - 07:33 PM

Plaintive cello melodies makes for a good existential pamdemic elegy that slowly transforms to Polvestian dances makes for nice blooming backyard music. Ending with Curb Your Enthusiams theme lends a note of normalcy. I got the second shot today with no side effects again. Not as elated as I thought I might be. Time to cut bamboo shoots and mow the violet yard with tufts of garlic. No sign of the ciccadas.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Apr 21 - 12:12 AM

The cicadas will arrive soon enough, probably next month. I was just reading about them (again.)

Another bottle of wine here, a rarity, and this time a white wine. I'm mostly off of alcohol these days just on general principles, so this is nice.

I've used the mattock to chop out part of the remaining edge of the tilled garden area where there is a firm lip where the plank edge of the raised bed used to run. When I moved in that part was contoured on a slope for drainage and easy mowing between yards; I built the garden and kept it there for several years, and now I'm removing that edge for easy mowing again, and putting in a smaller area of raised beds. There will be cardboard and mulch down for paths between the beds.

Tomorrow is going to be a total garden day until I have to stop for rain. Next week has a higher chance of rain so I want to have the garden in place to take advantage of it. Lots of mulch will be down by next Monday.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 09 Apr 21 - 06:50 AM

We had temperatures around 20C last week but it dropped to maybe an average of about 5 this week. We even had a little bit of white stuff one day. There has still been some nice sunny spells but overall, the garden has not been as inviting this week.

The acrylic sheet for the greenhouses has come and I should have some mini trunking needed to finish off the cabling to the kitchen camera and another camera I added has also arrived. That gives me 2 outside jobs but I don’t feel inclined to start today. I had an odd day on Wednesday, one where I don’t really seem to have done much (a few loads of washing, make the evening meal and ????) but somehow was on the go from 10am to 9pm and feeling hassled. I didn’t find yesterday that much better and I just want to relax today.

I’ve potted all the tomatoes on and I now have about 40 tomato, 8 aubergine and 8 sweet pepper in trays located on my windowsill, the study one and the porch. That’s rather more than I want but I’ll try to give some plants away later in the month.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Apr 21 - 11:28 AM

Jon, your discussion of work around the house inspired me to research the polycarbonate translucent corrugated sheets that I can use to replace the 60/40 cloth over my patio cover. The whole thing needs a bit of a pick-me-up, but that would stabilize it and offer a nice shelter that the cloth didn't any time it rained.

Web work, then yard work. It's overcast with a chance of rain, and I'm headed outside though I'm a bit bruised after missing the step up into the dining area this morning. I put on a pair of thick-soled clogs this morning and am reminded that I didn't pick up my foot far enough to clear the ledge in those shoes. I either need to remember to pick up my feet more or stop wearing that kind of shoe.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 09 Apr 21 - 04:47 PM

Our 2020 taxes are done: filed and paid. The Revenue Canada website would not let the accountant e-file Edmund's "harmonized" sales tax (i.e., provincial and GST), so we did it the old-fashioned way, by snail mail with a cheque. How very 1975.

And I've off-loaded another unneeded IKEA bookcase.

But my coffee-dripper has died of material failure -- the little plastic knob on top of the filter broke off, leaving a hole that would allow a stream of sludge into the mug. Heigh-ho; I knew this would happen, or something very like it. All the on-line reviews of the gadget say the same thing: it makes great coffee, but don't expect it to last more than six months. In fact, mine lasted *exactly* six months in daily use.

So it's a good thing I have yet to declutter Edmund's substantial selection of coffee-making technology. Today, I tried a French press pot made by a company called Espro that claims great things for its product, although I can't see how it differs from a Bodum. Edmund bought it about three years ago and most of it is made of stainless steel, so it should last at least a year or two. We'll see.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Apr 21 - 05:30 PM

Colonoscopies totally count as decluttering.

Also, this.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Apr 21 - 05:52 PM

Reviews are helpful, and I usually start research by reading the negative ones. When I look at the number of reviews at each star-level, I generally decide against purchase if it doesn't have a large number of positive reviews. If all of the four-star and below are close to half of the reviews, I move to the next product.

I try to remember to do a search and click on Google shopping before shopping Amazon. I compare local offerings vs online. A couple of times a month I end up placing an order through the website of a local big box store then have it delivered to the store for pickup. Amazon doesn't beat all prices and doesn't carry all brands. I'm getting around to replacing my dead motion-detector porch light and will probably pick the new one up locally.

I saw a great looking coffee maker at Goodwill last week, but I don't drink coffee and I have a modest one that does the job when guests come to stay. (It was free from Gevalia years ago when they were doing the free coffeemaker offers). I sometimes buy things that are just too good to pass up, but only if it is something that I might actually end up using or can sell on eBay. Or give to one of the kids.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Apr 21 - 11:40 PM

I split the job into a couple of evenings' work, but finished chopping out that hard edge of the garden and have raked it to a slope to resemble the original contour of that part of the yard. Now to build the raised beds.

No rain today, but it is predicted next week, so having these in place and planted and ready for precipitation is the best way to let a garden get established. Rainfall is always more beneficial than a sprinkler.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 10 Apr 21 - 04:32 AM

Sounds as if the roof project could turn out nice, SRS.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 10 Apr 21 - 09:04 AM

Second day of the plunge coffee pot. I miss the dripper, but this will do.

Until its plastic filter busts, as it inevitably must. Two cheers for technology.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Apr 21 - 12:19 PM

Today the mini-tiller comes out and starts breaking up the old compost piles. I'm looking forward to a cleared out area back there. The contents of each pile will be moved to the long garden beside the driveway. I'll also use the little tiller in the small garden on the other side of the driveway.

On a sunny spring-cleaning weekend the village bins will probably be full so I have to wait till Tuesday evening, but I have a bunch of stuff to deposit down there. I do hope that some of this is recycled and not just hauled to the landfill.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Apr 21 - 02:32 PM

I tackled the first of at least five old compost heaps with the tiller and ended up so far with two full wheelbarrows of material to dump in to the zone for the new garden beds. Now I have to figure out how I want to arrange those beds. I'll be dragging out planks and picking up a few more planter wall blocks (on sale this week for $2.50 each).

There's a door I need to replace into the garage that I've ignored, but will probably have to have someone come install (since it involves placing the hardware correctly). It's an interior door that I put in an exterior position. I now need to find or have made an outside door the right size. It's on my list level with working on the patio cover.

Jon, you've inspired (or shamed?) me into addressing some of the wonky lighting issues outside. I have two fixtures that one I leave on all of the time and the other I leave off all of the time. Neither works well in the motion-detector setting because the plastic covers have been in the sun too long. I've picked up three LED bulbs with built in (on both sides of the bulb - excellent!) sensors and set the first one in the garage door fixture in the back yard. I am going to test if the dusk-to-dawn bulb with the motion-detector setting works any better. There is one on the patio that is usually always on because it is shaded and thinks it's always dusk, but I'm hoping the bulb will pick up better than the cracked plastic cover on the fixture. This three-bulb pack arrived on the porch this morning via Amazon.

I also ordered two of the 1-gang electric plug faceplates that have a small array of LED beams on the bottom that come on in the dark only and are enough to find your way to the hall bathroom (when it works - that one needs replacing, or jiggling). There is one in another hall that is great for moving to and from the office to kitchen without tripping on a dark dog camped out in the hall.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 11 Apr 21 - 06:09 PM

I don't know about that SRS, and I've not got round to the things I'd mentioned yet.

Today wouldn't have been a good day for outside things though. I put some washing out in bright sunshine late morning. 10 minutes later, things went dark and we had hailstones. That was the pattern for the rest of the day, periods of sunshine with wintery showers in between.


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

One of those bulbs beside the house is okay lighting up the driveway; the one in the back beside the garage door glares brightly into the kitchen. I'll remove that and place it in the fixture on the patio that won't glare into any windows.

I'm still working on the garden design, moving slowly forward and thinking about the possible positions of planks. More compost has been moved, and one large pot has fresh soil and a new plant out front. There are still a few bedding plants getting watered every day; they always do much better in the soil so that must happen this week.

Drainage is a concern out there—if it's a really large bed, will water pool? Maybe have a couple of narrow paths between smaller beds instead of the one large bed I seem to be working toward right now. However the layout happens, this will be good for clearing out some of the garage. There's a lot more space alongside the SUV on the driver's side where the lumber used to be stacked.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Apr 21 - 09:05 AM

Digging out the composter was one of Edmund’s jobs — he had the strength and energy, and he took delight in any activity that required a spade and heavy boots.

Me, not so much.

I can’t appeal to Neil-across-the-street this time. He’s recovering from a blot clot in his leg and his wife will skelp me if I lure him into doing anything more physically demanding than walking the dog. Maybe I can tempt Judy-next-door or my sister-in-law, who are both keen gardeners.

My hellebores are blooming nicely in their dark little patch beside the garage, and the yellow primula is in vigorous flower.

Yesterday, I took the big loppers to a burning bush that looked quite dead last summer; it’ll sprout in May if there’s any life in the roots, and if it doesn’t I’ll dig out the rest of it in June. When it stops raining, I’ll do the same with a moribund-looking spirea next to the gas meter ... Or maybe just scotch it and be done. I’m not fond of spirea.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Apr 21 - 03:18 PM

I should have emptied a few things out of the SUV before heading to Lowe's today; I had to struggle to get four 10-foot planks (flooring) into the vehicle diagonally. But they fit, and I went back in for a stack of the planter wall blocks that fit around the lumber on top of the tarp I keep handy for hauling stuff. I figure the boards don't need to be the full size of the opening (it would fit a 2x4", meaning it's about 1 3/4" wide) so I bought some 6" wide 1" deep and 10' long decking pieces for less than some of the other lumber. Wood is wood. I drove home via the highway frontage road and city surface streets because I didn't want to find myself at highway speed with planks that could fly through the windshield if I had to stop suddenly. And all of those concrete blocks behind me - oy!

That was today's workout—those blocks are heavy. I was very careful to lift them properly. Part two of the exercise is coming when I go empty the SUV. I have another trip today if the rain holds off; I'll empty the back and leave the tarp for when I go get free mulch.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Apr 21 - 08:59 PM

It hasn't started raining, but it's terribly humid and on the verge. I set my tools under a porch overhang and distributed mulch over some flattened cardboard around the three (of four) beds I've assembled so far. I'm hoping the rain will weigh the mulch and soak the cardboard to hold it all in place. I made a trip over to the free-mulch bunker and got my usual 3 contractor bags and the bucket I use to fill them to use around the rest of the edges and after planting. (Had a nice conversation with another gardener at the bunker, he had a sedan and a few buckets and a bin; I gave him an extra bag—a bit tattered, but will take one more load. Gives him a lot more mulch for the trip.) It's such a precious thing, nice conversations with strangers. They're more frequent than they used to be, but still something I really enjoy.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Apr 21 - 02:18 PM

I took a bath this morning and realized my feet were pretty grimy from dirt and dust that filtered through my shoes and socks. That's how tired I was when I went to bed last night.

We got a little rain. Now to make a big push to plant before the rest of the rain sets in.

There is a lot to do in the house, and its turn will come once the garden is planted. And I have two digital books to finish before they're due, so at least the audio book is best consumed when I'm sewing. The eBook needs just old-fashioned reading.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 14 Apr 21 - 06:31 AM

I got round to doing my little bit of trunking and the 3 perspex sheets for the small greenhouses yesterday.

SRS’s comments persuaded me I ought to a look at our outside lights (all sealed LED flood lights with stand alone PIR sensors wired in parallel so one sensor triggered lights the whole section) too. They are:

Front and side of house leading to path. 2 x 50W for the front, 1 x 20W for the side, 3 PIR sensors to pick up returning from the field, approaching house from gate and from leaving house and one time switch in the porch. They started triggering a lot in daylight recently. I may have solved that by adjusting one of the sensors.

Path to field. 3 x 20W on path, 1 x 30W towards field, PIR each end and PIR in the middle. One light has needed replacing (flashing a lot) for a long while. I fitted the replacement I’d bought over a year ago...

We’ve not used the motion sensors on that section since the new central heating boiler was located outside over 2 years ago as it’s plume triggers at least one of the sensors. I’ve got a microwave sensor to replace one of the PIRs coming tomorrow which might solve this. I don’t think an alternative solution of extending the flue above the level of the sensors would be worth while as the flue pipe extension is expensive so I think it’s this or just having the lights working manually.

I also did a bit of mowing and strimming and broke the Ryobi battery trimmer. It got tangled up with a bit of thick plastic coated wire that had been used when we had a row of raspberry canes and I didn’t spot – a proper booby trap.... I couldn’t see how to remove the spool holder but on a closer look, noticed the casing in that area had been damaged. A replacement trimmer should be with me today. Fortunately, the tool itself is not terribly expensive (£60, actually less than one of the genuine Ryobi batteries I power this and other things with) but we could do without things like this.

My aubergine and pepper plants are growing their real leaves and I’ve noticed something. The plant’s I’ve labelled pepper are looking like aubergines and visa versa. Bloody mum… When I planted them, I used the seed packets to mark which was which (and I wasn’t going to remember) but I came to them one day and the packets had been taken out, apparently as mum wanted to show someone what was growing. She assured me she remembered how they were…. Oh well, this one is simple to sort, things weren’t as clear the year she mixed my hanging basket, greenhouse salad and plum tomatoes up. Luck was on my side that time though and I did correctly guess which were the small variety for the baskets.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Apr 21 - 11:49 AM

I mix up the seeds all by myself, no need to have someone else do it for me, though last year I bought a box of wax pencils that I've used in the past to write the name on the black plastic holder where the pots are set. As long as the pots aren't moved around I'm fine. I went out on the patio this morning and poked a few portulaca seeds into the pot that has some growing back from last year (they'll most likely be orange) and with a newly-filled hanging basket after getting a new cocofibre lining.

And I made the last lightbulb tweak for a while, swapping out two in the back. I'll leave a bulb in the fixture beside the door into the garage, but not leave it on. That's the one that glares into the kitchen window. I took the sensor bulb I'd put in there and swapped it to the fixture on the back of the house on the patio wall that will light the yard but not blind inhabitants of the house. And that sensor at night does detect motion so it will stay dim most of the time and only brighten when a dog runs past or I walk out.

I saw on the Freecycle offerings someone has two cattle panels up for pickup; they're huge and even rolled I don't think would fit in my SUV, I'd have to have a friend pick them up. They're great for vines but right now I don't have a place to put them. I should probably be prudent and not respond.

Getting more excited about the eye surgery; I've heard two more recent accounts of people who had it and are very happy with their now clear vision.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 14 Apr 21 - 06:34 PM

Dupont:

Busy day on Saturday: Pat picked up pots for shop at 8:40, just as I was getting into car to take a couple pots to Joanne at Foodland on her break time; She picked two and asked for a couple mugs. Then I headed south to the highway with a stop for a dozen carrot muffins at the Hidden Goldmine. Ate two before getting to the hghwy! Yummy de-clutter!

Drove and noted more tired than usual. I was up before 7. So drove with hyper awareness the 5 hours to here! Unloaded vehicle, put food in frig and freezer. Took a rest.

Now, the pottery for Erica is still in car as well as summer tires as I need to find a place to get them changed. Have cooked a bit, not much, planted lettuce and nasturtium seeds outside, potted tomato cuttings, cut back leggy plants and put tips in water to root. Started basil and squash. Will do some more sorts tomorrow.

Put a few plants outside on front steps. My "dinosaur grave" garden was looking nice with lots of yellow crocus and now lots of daffies! Nice to see what has survived the winter: a number of parsley seedlings from last years plants, a good oregano, the lavender looking very healthy! Tulips getting ready to bloom in a few days. Each day...

I cooked a large batch of kidney and Romano beans and put them in a big stainless steel bowl with the thawing HOT chili. By the time R got home, they were blended and good! Tonight I am prepared (energy) to make a veg/chicken stew, adding the carrot soup I made a few days ago; it was not very filling but will add a nice flavour to the stew.

Spent the better part of two hours, today, placing a huge order at a grocery store I will not go into; I like their products but so do too many other people. I can pick it up tomorrow. I may still go to the usual store for a few things when it is "less busy".

Friday, meeting a friend at the Mill to lend her a spare pottery wheel. That will, at least get it out of the mill - if they can get it in vehicle! And I will bring some more stuff from there to here. Tired of being all over the map! Then I need to bring the pottery inside for Erica to view on Saturday. What she does not choose will go to back to Beaver for the shop, where things are actually selling! Summer could be terrific, located where folks heading for Algonquin Park slow down to turn left for the Park! I will go back to Beaver in a couple weeks to make more and to watch for turtles nesting.   


Have spent some time "helping" R sort out business affairs in his head - de-clutter the brain? He was "afraid" to tell me he is thinking of buying yet another building. This is sad - that he held this for 3 weeks of worry. That is serious clutter! Of course he is also afraid to tell E who wants him to focus on only one specific goal. I may need to send a gentle email to E to explain that there are other aspects that must be carried out, simultaneously. I told R to explain that gently but firmly. Without apology but with re-assurance that E's fav project is top priority.

When we talk about de-clutter (on this thread): R has several thousand square feet of floor space and outdoor space FULL of machines and other objects that cannot just be left sitting around for ... WHO to deal with! He is trying to get out of the machinery business FINALLY!!!! And I will give him all the support he can manage! IF buying yet another building gives him a pathway, I can support that. I may not live long enough to see all this transpire ... but I might. I see glimmers of hope in his real desire to get the clutter gone.   

Nice to have above freezing weather!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Apr 21 - 06:54 PM

I have a few square feet of machinery here that have been used today. The tiller ground up the last of a second old compost heap and I've made several trips to the front with the shoveled up debris. And the mower - I knocked down the weeds in the smaller of the two vegetable gardens, up to the area where the garlic is growing. I'm waiting for another rain, then I'll use the small tiller in there and get it ready for more of the garden. My cucumbers did really well over there last fall. I'm planning for a larger variety of crops than I had last year. I need to keep at this and will eventually have the garden I'm hoping for.

Dorothy, good job on having the grocery store prepare your order for pickup. I still do that occasionally. It is possible to catch COVID after the vaccine and even if it doesn't kill you it can make you sick and you can spread it. Did you get your first vaccine dose yet? I read an account today of a 73-year-old who had gotten the vaccine. She came down with the symptoms (no smell or taste) and was ill for 10 days. Two women in her church weren't so lucky, they hadn't been vaccinated and both passed away.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 14 Apr 21 - 09:24 PM

In short my E-GO electric mower, hedger, trimmer and blower poop out after an hour always giving me an appreciated break to recharge.
A tiller will have to be gas.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Apr 21 - 04:34 PM

I have spare batteries for the various Ryobi products here (drill, power driver, reciprocating saw). It means I can keep going and let the first one recharge.

Counting Coups: I was at Goodwill and spotted a 12-quart stock pot/steamer set (four pieces - the pot, the deep colander, a shallow colander, and the lid) from Cuisinart brand new, label still on it. $17. I realized if I left it there to think about it it would be gone when I came back. I left it in the SUV and when I had lunch with my daughter today I pulled it out of the box in the back and her eyes widened. A couple of photos and rapid texts back and forth to a roommate and it was quickly moved from my vehicle into hers. They're not just very useful, they're very pretty. Cuisinart 77-412 Chef's Classic

We're finally getting some rain this afternoon. I arrived home to see two wet dogs sitting under the baldcypress and as I, a large creature, moved into the yard, the squirrel up the tree decided this was one-too-many threats and made the prudent choice to run down the trunk and across the lawn, not launch itself off a limb like the last one did. The dogs were hot on its heels, but it made it to the big pine and out of reach.

Life in the back yard is so exciting sometimes.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Apr 21 - 11:05 AM

Careful what you wish for - there has been more than enough rain already, but we have more in the forecast. So today is one for the indoor work. I needed to start with the cooking gear in the sink, after leaving it piled high last night. I made lentil soup, and though it has only a few ingredients I shredded the onion in the food processor and left all of those parts in the sink.

This feels like a good day to make bread or rolls. And when there is a break in the rain I'll take out some seeds and poke them into the prepared pots sitting beside the driveway door.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 17 Apr 21 - 05:44 AM

It was lovely here yesterday. I went for a walk along the footpath and met a Rhode Island Red (we once kept a few of these so I think I recognise that breed) chicken along the way. I think she would have wandered in from the property opposite the other end of the path.

I spent most of the rest of the afternoon/early evening just pottering in the garden. One thing I did do was connect up the tap timers (except that Amazon offering looks to be one for the US market and a gotcha is we use 3/4BSP and US 3/4NPT hose fittings, similar but not compatible without an adaptor) so that bit's set for the year.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Apr 21 - 12:50 PM

I have one of those but the puppy mangled the wires before I took it down for the winter the year she first arrived. I need to either rewire it or replace it.

We had almost 3 inches of rain so now I wait a couple of days for it to drain away and then I can work the garden. Right now it would be a sticky mess.

Yesterday on a whim I pulled up the websites for a couple of local estate sales. I had received a box in the mail with a Pyrex bowl that I thought was the size a friend is looking for, but in my hands I realized it was too small. Most vintage Pyrex online is expensive, but everyone has Pyrex, so why not try an estate sale? I piled that 750ml bowl into the box and headed over to the sale, and sure enough, found a 1 1/2 quart bowl, the next size up from the mailed one, for $5. I visited my friend and gave him both - he makes some amazing yeast no-knead bread that is supposed to be just perfect in the right size vintage Pyrex but he couldn't find the right bowl. He'd given me a loaf last time I was over, so I figured I'd put my Thrift store skills to use to help him out. Not finding any bowls in the stores, I got a the small one cheap on eBay. After our visit (and a handful of starts from his garden) I came home with another loaf of bread and my friend has exactly the right sized bowl (though the not-quite exact one he has been using has been pretty good).

The improvement in my office is that I finally made myself put the MA diploma back up on the wall. Ages ago I had set it on the table in the sunroom, but I have a use for that table now—jigsaw puzzles. At the same sale where I found the bowl I picked up two used puzzles. I've wanted to return to working puzzles since that table is in the open and the room is meant to be welcoming.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Apr 21 - 01:18 AM

Jon, bless you! You got me thinking about the irrigation system. I poked around at Amazon and for a modest price I can replace parts of it with shredded wires and the rest works just fine. That's a relief because a new system is pricey. If I replace the two I had with new wired pieces I can fiddle with the two chewed ones I have here - if I fix them, the irrigation unit will run up to four stations and I could expand the setup.

Sewing today, and I've been thinking about my friend's house - he set up a studio in the largest back bedroom and it's a lovely, dynamic room. It reminded me (energy-wise) of my sewing room - that is every bit as much a studio, for a different art form, as the one where he paints with watercolors. It gives me a new appreciation for the creative aspects of how we have coped during this COVID pandemic.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Apr 21 - 10:46 AM

I invited the BIL and family to supper, so today I must vacuum the parlour rug, acquire some fresh green veg, and cook. Mushroom soup and a spatchcocked chicken are on the menu; until I see what's on offer, I don't know about the rest.

The contents of the chest freezer make more sense after a major rummage on Saturday. I put on my heaviest winter mittens and hauled everything out, then restacked it so the items least likely to be eaten anytime soon are on the bottom. There's a whole brisket down there, purchased only a few days before Edmund died. (He saw it in the "deal of the day" section of Sobey's meat department and carolled, "Oh, look! We could have that for Thanksgiving!") Now I think I might turn it into pastrami to share with the neighbours.

I found about six litres of soup stock, plus enough chicken carcasses and beef bones to supply the pot for months yet. There's also a ham hock that will go into the pressure cooker with a pound of beans before the end of the week.

Cooking still feels like way too much trouble most of the time. I get the urge about once a week, so I now use those occasions to make something like ham-and-bean stew that will provide several meals. Inviting my bubble-mates to dinner is the only reliable way to make myself cook at a predictable time, so I do that as often as they will tolerate. The alternative is Lean Cuisine, which is better than nothing but not much.

A dinner invitation is also a great way to make myself vacuum the parlour rug. Let's hear it for bourgeois pride!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Apr 21 - 11:43 AM

Charmion, even without the incredible loss of a spouse, you're describing how many of us who live alone cook. There are seasons that make cooking more inviting, but the ratio of dirty pots and bowls to the number of meals and people to eat them is something to calculate, even if you do it subconsciously most of the time. And there's almost no point in cooking if you're not going to make a few meals out of it. I make oatmeal with cut up dates overnight in the 1 quart crockpot and save the extra for usually three more breakfasts.

Yesterday for lunch I made a batch of chicken teriyaki with a thawed pack of six boneless skinless thighs, and set up the rice cooker to do two cups (dry). That was lunch. For dinner I cooked a package of four pork sirloin chop portions that I'd also thawed recently, and ate one with rice. That will add up to several meals. I have salad fixings and I need to use it before they turn into a compost project, so I'm cutting and spinning dry enough lettuce for two or three salads at a time. There are some meals when it's all ready ahead for me. This works if you're someone who doesn't mind eating the same meal several days in a week. I tend to steam vegetables a pan at a time as well (though the dogs get some of that on their food so it doesn't last me as long).

Once the garden gets going, it changes, but there is also the gardener's pride in the crop to urge me to process it promptly so it is in good shape when it is next seen (frozen or canned).

Jon, another gardening topic: I have a sieve I made years ago out of pieces of 2x4 cedar planks and 1/2" hardware cloth. I set it on top of the wheelbarrow and scoop compost into it, then shove the dirt around to knock out sticks and weeds. Last week I made myself a more flexible sieve with two pieces of 1x2" wood and more hardware cloth stapled around each piece of wood. I can shovel onto this then pick it up completely, or just one end, and wiggle it around to filter out the soil and leave in the grassy rhizomes. So I told a friend about this - he grew up in New Hampshire and his family had a large garden. He told me about how his father made something like that but it was the size of a door! He put the hardware cloth across the open middle of the frame and would prop one end up on a stand or posts and shovel dirt onto it, and the kids would work it to send the soil through and toss the weeds.

Have you ever made yourself something like this? I suppose I should Google it - there must be a million designs for these homemade things to filter out weeds.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 19 Apr 21 - 07:21 PM

No, I’ve not made anything like that, SRS. I’ve never had much to do with digging and soil preparation either. Mum used to do all the gardening and I only took on some bits as she became less able. There are still 3 beds for veg and I have input in terms of what gets planted but I leave the hard work to the hour a week paid help.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Apr 21 - 10:13 PM

I had paid help - a friend and his wife and their tiller spent 2-3 hours working on it. I pay generously and tip because it is so much easier to have them to it for me (and he'd just purchased a new tiller so he's paying on that right now).

Tomorrow I need to pick up another load of mulch and get this garden planted. A lot of it will be with seeds, but there will be some bedding plants also.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 20 Apr 21 - 08:12 AM

The mushroom soup was boffo, and my bubble-mates discovered Pernod. It got a little drunk out last night.

People who like liquorice are well out-numbered by those who don’t and go on at great lengths on the subject of how awful the stuff is. But the liquorice-favouring minority soldiers on, swigging pastis and anisette a bit defensively while aware, with some relief, that there’s no one else around who’s likely to mess with their tipple.

That is, until by chance another member of that freemasonry crosses the doorstep.

Edmund would not touch any foodstuff with even a whisper of liquorice flavour, so it came as a big surprise to me that his brother loves it as much as I do. So does Judy, their lodger, who is English and therefore biased. But neither Judy nor the BIL had met Pernod before, which surprised me as we are all well-travelled old farts.

This would not be a problem if Pernod were reliably available in Stratford but, to obtain the current bottle, I had to go all the way to Tavistock. Now, Tavistock is basically a crossroads with a post office and a branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, so the presence of nine bottles of Pernod in stock at the LCBO (across the street from the Legion, of course), leads me to suspect a local cabal of sophisticates. In Tavistock. Who knew?

Today, I have to go to Kitchener to get the car serviced. On the way back, I just might take a detour through Tavistock and buy another bottle of Pernod. Household strategic reserve, as it were.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Apr 21 - 10:18 AM

I like the licorice flavor I get in some herbal teas, but haven't explored it in liquor.

Last night a few bedding plants spent the overnight hours on the top of the washer in the laundry room since frost was in the forecast, and I dropped boxes over the top of plants in heavy pots out front that I don't want to lug onto the porch for shelter. I think I pulled a couple of muscles bringing in the bag of dogfood yesterday; I don't want to reinjure myself (I know how to avoid that particular injury, just wasn't paying attention.)

I have a telescoping microfiber duster that I put somewhere safe and now I can't find it. Typical. I want to dust the blades on all of the ceiling fans (seven total around the house). Now if I bought a new one, where would I keep it? That's the path to travel this morning.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 21 Apr 21 - 10:01 PM

Dupont:

I did have my first shot in ON. Second one in July!

Here I shall remain, in QC, until I can be certain I can go to Ontario and come back to Quebec for R. As both Premiers are incapable of making clear and appropriate decisions re lockdown, no lockdown, curfew, travel... As much as I was hoping to go home to ON next week... I find indications that R suffered a lack of support in my month away. Only because he seems unusually happy to have me back.

SO, feeling bluer than a night sky at the idea of being stuck here with TV, computer, plants to water ... OK! No pottery wheel!! So yesterday I called the supplier in Montreal and placed an order for a new wheel and 8 boxes of clay and some basic tools. HAPPY! I set off with my phone giving me directions - first time ever! IT was patient with me - when I missed a turn it said Ok, then turn at THIS street! I got there and picked up order from a fellow bemoaning that he cannot even walk the dog after 8 pm! In ON we have no curfew and can go for walks.

I bought the portable wheel - have one like it in ON - so I wrestled it out of the car into the house and de-boxed it on the sofa, then got it upstairs to the small room we agreed upon. I brought in one box of clay - one 10kg loaf at a time. This am R brought in the rest - heavy!

I almost have my potting space organized but the snowy day meant stores were not busy so I dashed off to do shopping at each grocery, came home heavily laden and managed to fill the frig, organize the freezer a bit and decide that was enough of a day's work! Actually, I need R to carry an awkward chair up for me. THEN I can get the rest organized and throw pots!

In the meantime, I have done laundry and cleaned up wherever I see dust or cobwebs, and sweeping up leaves from the plants and watering plants and re-potting and my seedlings are ready to pot - yogurt containers, I guess. My little pear tree seedling is about 6 inches tall, handsome with almost bronzy leaves. Daffies are blooming and the one patch of tulips will open when the sun comes out again! And keeping a fire in the wood stove, and managed to bring wood up to the porch, and armloads into the house as I have turned the heat down.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Apr 21 - 11:53 AM

Dorothy, I finally had to get out a map last night to figure out your comings and goings! I know how to find the Dupont area (I remember when that was still a real estate listing). What is the nearest named town to Beaver?

I finally weighed myself this morning. Not a pretty sight. The scale says I'm not quite 3 pounds heavier than the last time I weighed myself, but I think the scale is trying to not make me feel bad, I'm sure it's more. Ironic thing is, it was worse; my pants aren't as tight as they were last month when I realized I needed to reverse the upward trend. I'm going to start dance class again, in June after all of the eye surgery is over. The studio was closed and lost due to COVID but the instructor is moving to teach at the neighborhood recreation center. I will make a concerted effort this summer to declutter myself of about 30 pounds for the fitness portion of this thread.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 22 Apr 21 - 12:29 PM

Dupont:

SRS: If you found Dupont, you can also see the wonderful Ile St. Bernard and the confluence of the Chateauguay and St. Lawrence Rivers, and our lovely house at 17 Ouest! Beaver is 288 Gaebel Rd, Bancroft, K0L 1C0, close to the York River but we only have the little stream running along one side of our yard - 12 feet wide in the spring thaw! It flows from the beaver pond at the west to the River down on the east side of the main road. Gaebel is a dead end! Very minimal traffic!

But I am here for now and the new pottery wheel is ready to go. enough space cleared for essentials. R found the outlet in a far corner - oops another ext. cord!I have a long counter and a book case for work in progress. He took an awkward chair upstairs - I was afraid I would trip over it. After lunch...

Keeping the fire going although I turned up the heat some. R minds the cold more than I. I managed to bring in a couple arms of wood just now and have it drying around the stove; it was covered but still... The outdoor geraniums are minding it more than I expected; if they succumb, there are a number more still inside. The tulips were lying flat this morning. Just maybe they will recover tomorrow, she says hopefully! Squash and zuke seedlings ready to pot; basil still tiny.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Apr 21 - 10:42 AM

Today I get my first jab. The sun is shining for the first time in a week; good omen.

I've been moving furniture around again; it's clearly a thing with me. Back in late October, I moved the television and its peripherals from the (always chilly) basement to the ground-floor sitting room, where it stayed until I had moved all the bookcases and their contents into the upstairs library, previously an oversized bedroom. Then I hauled the TV upstairs, quite an evolution, and set it up.

But it just didn't work there. The room is huge, and I never found a spot to put the TV where the power cord was not a hazard to navigation, it was close enough that I could see everything on the screen clearly, and my eyes would not be stressed by light from the enormous south-facing windows. So the other day I hauled the entire kit back downstairs to the parlour, where it sits against the wall and out of the gangway, at a good distance from the comfy chair, and sheltered from the windows.

But there's something in me that disapproves of television in the most public room in the house. It's my inner snobby bourgeoise at work: "Everything on television is crap and I have better things to do." But the fact is that, these days, I really don't have better things to do, especially in the evenings, and there's some really good stuff on that -- for a fee -- I can watch without being constantly badgered by commercials. So it's time to check my pretensions.

Also, my eyes are undeniably weaker now; after too much time staring at a book or the iPad, I have trouble adjusting to other focal distances. The television presents larger images on the other side of the room, and requires more eye movement.

And the cats like it. As soon as I turn on the box and put up my feet, Isobel assumes the doughnut position on my lap and Watson settles at full stretch on my shins facing the screen. I have no idea what he gets out of John Oliver's weekly rant or BBC dramas, but this behaviour is very consistent.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Apr 21 - 11:22 AM

Charmion, welcome to the world of visual "accommodation." The reason we all wear bifocals after a while. My phone gets a morning news alert from the New York Times but I have to remember to put on my glasses before I read anything on the phone or I can't focus clearly on distance for a while.

Moving the TV here (the large one in the den - I am embarrassed to admit how many are scattered around the house) is a big job. That one that is connected to the Internet by cable, and the only option would be to move it to the other side of the den where there is another port (years ago the kids' computer sat in that place, a public room for doing homework until the youngest was here by himself and up so late doing AP homework that I wired his room and moved the computer in there so he wouldn't wake me.) I have the TV running through the receiver that has lots of other stuff connected to it. Moving the whole lot (and running speaker wires again) is just too much to contemplate. I move the small TVs around regularly.

Dorothy, I enjoyed a Google Earth tour of the Beaver region with all of the left behind lakes from the glacial era.

I still haven't found the telescoping microfiber duster, but it's time to dust entire rooms again, not just the ceiling fans, so as I work my way through rooms (wearing a mask to avoid a sinus headache) I'll keep my eyes open for the no doubt hiding-in-plain-sight duster.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 24 Apr 21 - 12:55 PM

Dupont:

Found my duster stashed under the love seat!

Happy to have a separate TV/sewing room - still no sewing even though it is all around me! No TV at Beaver; R took one up to the sleeping loft to see if he could get a signal. No dice;it is still there! He has not had time to go back. He is working 10-12 hour days, 7 days. But progress is being made as things go to scrap yard, a larger truck coming soon will increase that. It is going to be a long haul. I asked that he try to get home earlier tomorrow for a birthday supper (74); a pork roast is on the menu, with veggies and choc cake. Going to rain so a good time for a shorter day.


Did a few minutes weeding this beautiful morning. A little at a time is good to keep body from complaining. Geraniums did not recoup from cold night but there are many more still in the house. Happy to see a few special perennials poking out! Threw a few pots yesterday - enough to feel I had done something toward recouping the cost of the wheel!

Keep watching the news to keep track of Covid. Someone who was in R's "office" a few days ago has it; I have encouraged testing! Her business partner tested neg. But still... R and I each have first shot but still being very careful as we are warned to be.

Opened tax packet just now. Hope to find the brain power to complete it today. Or at least reach that point where, for two years, I have sent it with a note: "If someone with a M.Ed from McGill cannot figure out, it needs fixing. Just tell me what I owe and I'll pay it. I'm tired of sending you money and then getting it all back!" It has worked so far!

Trimming those pots is essential and handles on two jugs and one lonely mug.

WOW! the CBC news just showed a segment of an artist/doctor who has gifted families with marvelous paintings in memory of their deceased! Wonderful! Capturing essence of the person in birds, flowers... Beautifully done! Her name??? Well, I did not catch that. Maybe tonight.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Apr 21 - 02:09 PM

Dorothy, I found my duster on top of the piano in the front room. I've been sweeping this morning and will dust later, but I must get into the yard for a while. The lawn and garden are sodden from lots of rain over a 24-hour period, but I can start sifting the area on one end of the largest raised bed to plant okra seeds and in the smallest bed I'm going to put in squash seeds. And keep a map to what I plant. I picked up mulch before the rain started (it was relatively dry; if you get it right after a rain it is kind of steaming and a lot heavier and harder to move.) I finished assembling a flexible wooden handled hardware wire sieve to filter out some of the grass rhizomes as I work.

I've been listening to This American Life as I finished lunch and this particular episode was called "The Herd." It broadcast here on April 24, 2021. I'm giving this information because link to the current episode may not be a durable link yet. It's a fascinating look at how communities respond to COVID-19 shutdowns (scary stuff) and how a meeting with Trump supporter sceptics managed to get through the propaganda and actually change minds. A story told by former NJ governor Chris Christie made a big difference to those listening to the presentations. It can be listened to online or downloaded after 7pm Central Time on Sunday (April 25).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Apr 21 - 02:44 PM

I have cleared up stuff that was piled up behind the side door or leaning against the potting bench that was piled with things more or less related to gardening. On the bench I have a plastic sock organizer that works well to organize seed packets and I metaphorically pulled up my socks and finally discarded about 2/3 of the oldest envelopes. Speaking with a guy at the garden center yesterday gave me an idea - he puts a flat folded piece of paper towel into a plastic sandwich bag, moistens it, then empties in the seeds from the old packet, and if they start to sprout then he removes them and plants fragments of the paper they're stuck to. Much of my seed purchasing has been aspirational, but maybe this year I'll plant a few more flowers.   

There are a number of tools (weed popper, extension lopper, etc.) that really should be in the greenhouse, but I'll walk through the yard with each one first and see if it can be used now before putting it back where it belongs. This includes the reciprocating saw on the kitchen tall table that I will use to trim down a nandina and dwarf yaupon that I've tried to get rid of for ages. Then the battery can charge and the great thrift store saw goes back up on the laundry room shelf.

Tomato cages are being put in place, and I've cut some plastic milk and yogurt containers into 3" rings that will go into the soil around bedding plants to keep the cutworms from travelling along at soil level and demolishing the tender plants. I have some old cans of salmon and mackerel that are a slurry in Tupperware to be spooned into each hole where a plant will be placed. Why throw it out when it can go in the garden?

The messy potting table is beside the doorway into the sunroom, so organizing this will make the entire area look even better than it has since I emptied that room and put back just a few well-considered pieces.

A batch of dough is rising to make dinner rolls. The house smells wonderful! I may make an apple pie this evening.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 25 Apr 21 - 09:58 PM

Dupont:

FB driving me to fury by not allowing me to "like" etc any primary posts. I have to type in a Comment ... MY mother used to say, "You can get used to anything, even hanging if you hang long enough!" This usually in response to father lightly telling her, "You'll get used to it." Not used to it yet.

Emptied an old bag of well seasoned manure on the 3 cherry trees - well chewed by something during the winter - to my dismay! They are less than two feet tall and the damage is above the snow line... I think they might have been taller before they were brunch!

Put the remainder of the manure on the small circle we planted last year - the old fire pit with bags of soil added. I managed to enlarge it to almost 6 feet Diameter and added egg shells on top of the manure. Will get some more soil tomorrow for on top of it. Plant sprouting potatoes around the edge to break up some more of the clay. And other things, undetermined, on the rest. Not sure what I am going to do with the many tomato plants - Maybe large pots.

I cannot dig this clay and do not feel like hiring someone, even if I can find someone! Squash can also go around the edge of the cicle and the front garden. Lettuce and carrots in the front G, and wax beans in the middle of the circle. Several varieties are sprouting and getting potted. Lots of parsley sprouted from last summers seeds.
Oregano and lavender are healthy. And the lovely patches of purple and white violets are beautiful. The purple ones have faded away. These guys need to be moved to better spots! Maybe around the peony and next to the clematis and young bleeding heart. The original Bleeding Heart consumes about a square yard of space!

Did roast pork with potatoes, carrots and one lone onion, made cauliflower soup and sauteed pears. With wax beans added, R had a nice B-day supper. But I forgot to make applesauce! And Wonder of wonders, he came home about 7:30 for it. Now he is entranced by his gift - a 40 year old book about copper mining in the NW territories. (From a thrift shop! It was $8!) He had another good day of getting a property cleared of tons (literally) of debris - rotten wood, concrete, trash from irresponsible public. He is elated! Each load that leaves is a load lifted from him.

No potting today, the gardening was primary - before it rained. The weeds/grass need to be cut. I dread it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Apr 21 - 11:36 PM

Dorothy, you're not the first to mention that problem. FB seems to be have been glitchy for a couple of weeks.

More of the garden is planted and several of the gardening tools are put back in the greenhouse. Tomorrow I have to shovel leaves from the gutter into the lawn and mulch them in. Mowing will be easier since I took down the lowest whorls on the two pine trees—not the best time of year (probably the worst) but I was tired of banging into them (my ballcap obscures the oncoming slightly-overhead branches). Ten days to finish the heavy lifting portions of putting in the garden.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 26 Apr 21 - 07:00 AM

I had to attend a hospital appointment in Norwich on Friday. The Plastics consultant is happy with things and said my next appointment with him will be in 12 months time.

--
I’ve removed some spent compost from the greenhouse tubs and replaced with fresh stuff. I need a bit more compost to finish off and have 6 bags due to be delivered today (I only need one but it’s more economical buying this way from the local nursery). The greenhouse plants are looking good and I’ll be in good time for my target of May 1st for planting out.

My first set of leek plants have come and I’ll plant them some time this week. I’ve just had an email saying my Swiss chard plants are due 10th May. I’ve got more leeks, a club root resistant brassica collection and climbing French beans on order with the company supplying the chard to come as and when.

I’ve got some lettuce seeds to plant and need to sort out out the area where they will be grown.

I’m not sure how the year will go but, so far, overall, I think we are off to the best start we’ve had in the past 4 or 5 with garden. Maybe I’ll have to consider doing a bit more of digging and/or take on something else that’s not in my area now though…

The thing is I spent a lot more time outside the garden last year that I’d done before. Some of the motivation was that I was getting on edge each time the phone rang (is it going to be like the anaemia thing where a blood test led them to phone me up to want me to attend a clinic and a transfusion the next day, or something to do with the proposed operation, etc. I suppose loads of people handle these things and more but I can get quite worked up over things medical) but I also thoroughly enjoyed my pottering around. A lot of the hours (at my slow pace) were spent cutting back/clearing/reclaiming bits but of course, now that’s done, there is only the little bits of maintenance needed.

On other things, I should have another play with the 3d printer next month as I want to make another “football” for a brother’s birthday. It’s probably been over a month since I last looked at that. One part of that is I’ve run out of ideas but another for some is financial. I’ll use the RC “traction engine” as an example. First there was the filaments, then I (already having a suitable transmitter), needed an RC receiver, then it involved 2 motors plus a servo motor for the steering, then bits needed to go between a receiver and a motor and then fasteners… before you know it, you’ve run away with your budget…


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 26 Apr 21 - 10:34 AM

It's a fine sunny day in Stratford with a forecast high of 13C, so garden work is on the agenda. I have hardly poked my nose out the door since getting needled on Friday, and I'm feeling a bit cabin-feverish.

There's about ten litres of really nice product in Edmund's rolling secondary composter (a barrel that rotates horizontally on an aluminum stand), so I'll shovel that onto the least prosperous-looking flowerbed. Then I'll hose out the container and take some pictures to post on Facebook Marketplace. I'm sure there's an avid gardener out there who needs a rolling composter far more than I do, and doesn't begrudge the space it takes. It's currently sitting in a sunny spot on the patio that I would like to use for something more sociable, when socializing is possible again.

The primary composter (the upright barrel-with-bottom-access type) needs digging out and a good stir. If I have enough energy I might tackle that job, too, with one of the more lethal-looking pole-arms among the garden tools.

It's also time to sweep the winter's accumulation of dried mud and road grit out of the garage, and round up the wine bottles and beer cans for a trip to the Brewers' Retail, which is responsible for recycling them in Ontario. The other major source of garage clutter is packing material, exponentially more copious now that most shopping happens on line, but that's not a problem since the big clearance I did during the pre-Easter warm spell.

I think that's enough grunt work for this week.

Six months after Edmund's death, it is now clear that the investment company holding his registered retirement and tax-free savings accounts will not budge on its demand that I put his completely unambiguous will into probate. Between them, the probate fee (a percentage of the estate) and legal costs will wipe out the tax-free savings account, but the alternative is a lawsuit that would cost a hell of a lot more and take years. While shaking his head and muttering, my lawyer admits that changing my investment arrangements would also be very expensive, and could well generate new hurdles that would be more difficult to overcome.

Being a bourgeois capitalist is more complicated than I expected.


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