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De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021

Jon Freeman 22 Feb 21 - 10:43 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Feb 21 - 10:30 AM
Mrrzy 22 Feb 21 - 08:46 AM
Jon Freeman 22 Feb 21 - 08:21 AM
Jon Freeman 22 Feb 21 - 05:48 AM
Stilly River Sage 21 Feb 21 - 11:02 PM
Dorothy Parshall 21 Feb 21 - 01:40 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 Feb 21 - 12:13 PM
Charmion 21 Feb 21 - 11:08 AM
Stilly River Sage 21 Feb 21 - 10:27 AM
Mrrzy 21 Feb 21 - 09:44 AM
Charmion 21 Feb 21 - 07:30 AM
Charmion's brother Andrew 21 Feb 21 - 05:55 AM
Stilly River Sage 20 Feb 21 - 11:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Feb 21 - 01:15 PM
Charmion 20 Feb 21 - 09:46 AM
Jon Freeman 20 Feb 21 - 06:32 AM
Stilly River Sage 20 Feb 21 - 12:50 AM
mg 19 Feb 21 - 09:45 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Feb 21 - 09:54 AM
Stilly River Sage 18 Feb 21 - 10:50 PM
leeneia 18 Feb 21 - 12:38 PM
Jon Freeman 17 Feb 21 - 08:33 AM
Charmion 15 Feb 21 - 07:30 PM
Dorothy Parshall 15 Feb 21 - 02:08 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Feb 21 - 08:40 PM
Charmion 14 Feb 21 - 10:53 AM
Stilly River Sage 13 Feb 21 - 11:31 AM
Stilly River Sage 12 Feb 21 - 11:37 PM
Dorothy Parshall 12 Feb 21 - 08:28 PM
Charmion 12 Feb 21 - 01:35 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Feb 21 - 11:10 AM
Jon Freeman 12 Feb 21 - 09:36 AM
Charmion 12 Feb 21 - 09:31 AM
Jon Freeman 12 Feb 21 - 09:21 AM
Charmion 12 Feb 21 - 09:11 AM
Jon Freeman 12 Feb 21 - 05:22 AM
Mrrzy 11 Feb 21 - 06:50 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 11 Feb 21 - 05:34 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Feb 21 - 11:31 AM
Charmion 11 Feb 21 - 10:45 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Feb 21 - 08:38 AM
Dorothy Parshall 11 Feb 21 - 08:03 AM
Stilly River Sage 10 Feb 21 - 09:14 PM
Dorothy Parshall 10 Feb 21 - 05:50 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Feb 21 - 01:22 AM
Stilly River Sage 09 Feb 21 - 12:38 PM
Charmion 09 Feb 21 - 09:44 AM
Jon Freeman 09 Feb 21 - 07:16 AM
mg 09 Feb 21 - 02:17 AM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 10:43 AM

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Dupont:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope the daffodils survived, SRS!


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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

Good on yer, Charmion.

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: mg
Date: 19 Feb 21 - 09:45 PM

did people just put their frozen food out in the snow and ice?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Feb 21 - 09:54 AM

Oh gawd, where to begin.

I moved so much stuff around during the days of trying to keep us all warm and now it's all staring me in the face. I'll assemble my closet first, returning all of the clothes on one side and a cabinet for shoes and accessories. Last night the dogs were all ready to pile in again, but I'd pulled out the my pallet so they wouldn't mangle my down bag or step on the inflatable pads with those nails of theirs. There are three chew toys in there I'll return to circulation in the living room and pick up the rest of the bedding they used.

We're being cautious about power; the thermostats are pushed down to the low-60s. I am doing only one discretionary large appliance chore today: dishwasher. When you have bowls used for eating, bowls used for washing faces, when lots of spoiled fridge stuff was tossed and those containers need cleaning, all of that needs a trip through the dishwasher. Tomorrow I'll run the washer (it's supposed to warm up after today's low of 17o).

I fear as it thaws my yard will reveal the damage. Even well-adapted plants will be impacted by this. I'm hoping my big trees survived. I fear I will have lost a lot of shrubs and all of the succulents. That's a job come spring-time weather.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Feb 21 - 10:50 PM

Power is back after being off for four days. Despite going to bed early last night and getting a good night's sleep, I'm exhausted. The business of staying warm enough to stay alive is exhausting. Here is a set of remarks I wrote for a few friends (vie email):

The power is finally back on, as of 5:30 this evening (Thursday). It went out at 2:30am on Monday morning. What a long week those four days were. It turns out we had a double-whammy in the neighborhood, not just was the power out for the region, but there was a popped circuit feeding into this neighborhood. So while across the street got power on Tuesday night, ours never came back, and the power companies wouldn't know what was broken until they started turning on the power to see what wasn't up yet. I feel like I was in the control group for a natural experiment.

The dogs are probably confused; this was a very intense period and we were all sleeping in the same space for warmth, after I moved bedding into my closet. After the first night they settled right in, and I suspect if I took them camping now they'd be great with spending the night in a tent.

I've begun dismantling my heating stations of candles and terracotta pots, but everything is still in the house in case the power goes off for another extended period. The next door neighbors asked if I had a long power cord and they plugged it into an unused power bank on the generator and I stretched it to my back door. I got the freezer plugged in in time to save the contents (I never opened it at all during that period). My fridge had a lot of stuff to go, and in the freezer all of the frozen veggies are gone. I need to do something fast with a bunch of blueberries and strawberries. Maybe make syrup. Some of the meat I can cook and refreeze in prepared dishes, or eat fast this week. Some stuff (like the shrimp) is supposed to stay frozen until used, so it's going out in the trash in the morning.

Stores are going to be empty for a while because they lost power and will be tossing all of the defrosted and warm food; everyone who has food left in their houses needs to keep eating it for a while until the marketplace catches up with the demand of millions of households that had to throw out a lot of food all at once.

Meanwhile, stuff got moved all around this week. My closet was emptied of all of the clothes on one side and a cabinet on the other, so I could set up a stack of inflated backpacking pads for me and a pallet for the dogs, and we spent three nights sleeping in there. It was so much warmer than anywhere else would have been. I spent the last several days devising ways to stay warm and retrieved things from the garage and moved stuff from one room to the next. Some of the house is neat, some is a jumble. And I need a shower. We are asked not to run a lot of appliances now, to keep power use modest because the system is still recovering. The laundry can wait, but once the tank is hot I think a bath is in order.

I have a lot of catching up to do, and have my fingers crossed we're not in the middle of a sequence of rolling blackouts.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: leeneia
Date: 18 Feb 21 - 12:38 PM

Hello, Jon. Have you ever grown snow peas or sugar peas? It sounds like now would be a good time for you to start them.

They are one of the few vegetables I have managed to grow successfully, mostly because the local critters don't seem to know they can be eaten.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 17 Feb 21 - 08:33 AM

This morning, we’ve been thinking a little on things to grow to eat. Following a recommendation in the food thread, I now have some Nicola seed potatoes on order. I’ve also ordered some tomato, aubergine, sweet pepper, cucumber and courgette seeds. A related task is to repair the greenhouse which lost a couple of its front panels in the winds. I’ll measure up and get some cut to size acrylic sheet ordered soon.

Our cold snap is over and temperatures are now up to 10C daytime. There is still bits of snow in parts sheltered from the sun but for the most part, you wouldn’t know the whole ground had been white last week. That’s probably it for the year except, gardening wise, I don’t think of ourselves being free from the possibilities of heavy frosts until May 1st and, heating wise, I have lit the woodburner for the evening as late as June in at least one past year. Coming back to outside now, I noticed some nice patches of snowdrops with some in bloom this morning.

I toyed with getting a new computer (or parts of) for my desktop the other day as problems with USB seemed to be getting worse and I suspected both motherboard and the front ports on the case… Most of the problems however seem to have come down to one faulty lead so the computer can stay as it is for a while longer.

Having started with something on the computer that’s needed looking at for a while… I also finally got round to having a bit of a tidy up and deleted loads of files. I even got round to backing up onto a portable USB drive I have! rsync's a handy tool when I remember what to do and get round to using it...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Feb 21 - 07:30 PM

The lockdown in Huron and Perth counties ends tonight at midnight, and tomorrow I’m getting a haircut. Appointment confirmed and everything. I can hardly wait.

While I’m at it, I’ll hit the pet shop for a bag of cat litter, the drug store for probiotics to help my poor abused guts, and the supermarket for coffee cream. What larks!

We will be an Orange zone again, but we won’t be going back to the rules we had last fall; the Ministry of Health has imposed more restrictions on restaurants and small shops. I almost don’t care if I have to wear a respirator and a HAZMAT suit — I’m going out for dinner as soon as I can book a table!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 15 Feb 21 - 02:08 PM

Dupont:

OF course when there is an accident we immediately think of those for whom we care personally. Every person counts and every one of these brings thoughts of the families of those lost. I do think that, in the midst of this pandemic, when hundreds are dying daily, I am overwhelmed. 89 more in Quebec yesterday and I have no idea whether I knew any of them, or their families. It becomes overwhelming. Grief is ingrained and we must keep our heads above water.

A story in Atlantic about reactions to second shot is very concerning. I worried out loud about getting a shot in Ontario and being at Beaver alone; Robin said firmly that he would go with me when my turn comes up. I almost wept out loud.

Charmion's flood of PAPER causes me to think about what I might be able to part with sooner rather than later. Narrow it down to paper the heirs might find interesting. Meanwhile, the pile of sewing projects has not yet been touched! Maybe today??

Everything that needs doing in the house is done and I found a plastic bin that was being used for "fire starters" could be, and is emptied to be used for the indoor garden project, now ready to begin. I already emptied the first pot into it. These are the pots in which plants have succumbed. But not to worry, I have numerous cuttings of the various tomatoes, coming right along. And spring!! For tomatoes- the end of May up here!

R kept the plants alive while I was away - some just barely. A little more instruction. Today he actually carried the watering jugs upstairs! The upstairs faucet is only low so I fill gallons in the K and set them on the steps until next trip up. Throw the empties down! Energy savings - my own.

Another 5 inches expected - Charmion too. Already over two feet on back deck.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Feb 21 - 08:40 PM

I finally found a way to use PayPal to print USPS shipping for first class, surface, and media mail. The post office won't let me print anything but Priority or Express. I just bought a whole bunch of stamps to use on light first class parcels because I don't want to go into the post office, but one of them came back covered with postal stickers saying it can't be thicker than a half-inch, blah blah blah. They don't like the stamps, I could have printed the postage and it would have been fine. What nonsense. I make sure they're lighter than 7 ounces and that should be sufficient (more than that and they'll be returned if mailed in a box. Over 7 ounces must be handed to a postal worker so they see the human shipping it.) So now I'll gradually use up the stamps, and use the PayPal shipping. Debra Cowan put a note on my Instagram account after another friend put a note on my Instagram account. It took a lot of looking to find the service. You'd think they wouldn't hide it.

The now is lovely, quiet, but not very deep. It's really cold (for here) so it isn't going anywhere. Only a few vehicles have driven past all day. I'll pull out my heavy boots for tomorrow and see about going out with the camera. I wonder if I can catch any bird activity in the woods across the road?

I'm still trying to diagnose the problem with the Whilte sewing machine. It throws birdsnest wads of thread usually when I change direction, often in the middle of a line of stitching. Something is slipping, not holding up it's end of the operation. I don't thing there is a clutch inside the directional part, but that's the best way to describe it, the clutch is slipping. As it happens there is a sewing machine repair place a half-mile from here and they have good reviews. I've been there a time or two in the last 20 years. I'll give them a call. This machine is old, but very commonplace. White built all of the Kenmore machines for decades, and several other brand names. I'm not headed over until the snow clears, though.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 14 Feb 21 - 10:53 AM

I have started working my way through Edmund's mountainous backlog of papers. Yesterday, I went through two huge three-ring binders of song lyrics, an indexed print-out of the Cannabis Act in another huge three-ring binder, and literally stacks of trial transcripts, scholarly papers and JAG publications. Much of the stuff in the binders was carefully preserved in plastic page-protectors, so now I have an enormous quantity of plastic page-protectors looking for a new home ... Freecycle, obviously.

The next target is a stack of great, fat, Cerlox-bound volumes of reference materials from the National Criminal Law Program, which usually runs concurrently with the annual conference of the Canadian Bar Association. At first, I thought I should find a lawyer to give them to, but then I realized that all that stuff is available for download from the CBA website. Edmund hated using references in electronic form that he could not scrawl or stick Post-its on, or bedizen with yellow highlighter ink, hence the great proliferation of three-ring binders bulging with tattered pages.

I won't start ripping apart the Cerlox for another week, however; the blue box is already almost full, and another day's gleanings will make it too heavy for me to haul out to the curb.

The more I read about Stilly's efforts to keep her dogs happy, the gladder I am to be a cat person. Mind you, I like dogs just fine, but I am delighted not to have to share a house with even one, let alone three. The next time Watson follows me around the house yelling to be picked up and carried, or Isobel chucks up her breakfast in the middle of the kitchen floor, I must remember to thank them for providing comparatively low-maintenance companionship.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Feb 21 - 11:31 AM

The Free Fillable Forms on the irs.gov site are for anyone to use, you don't need to have high income to be eligible (and I never use the free tax services on the low income side of the screen). It took me a few tries to get every line and form filled and added, and I had a math error (got about $40 more back than I thought I would). The free file forms were the bugger - the eFile document asks you to sort while the tax form asks you to lump. I am guessing it's to confirm you have the correct forms, but anyway, it finally went through to the IRS and I'll get an email in a couple of days saying whether the IRS accepted it or not. If they don't they'll tell me where the error is.

Getting that out of the way now is nice because last year I took a long time to get around to it since I knew I'd owe money. I have it set so I have enough withheld to cover the contractor income. Last time it took a chunk of the stimulus check (the feds gave with one hand and took with the other). Probably too much information, but it shows that just because one is retired it doesn't mean your taxes are any easier. And I curse Ronald Reagan for deciding to start collecting income tax on Social Security.

We won't be above freezing until next week on Friday, so the days coming up will be interesting. I've thought about either dragging in the big plastic dog houses from the garage or setting up a couple of larger boxes on their side and sliding in dog beds to give the dogs more sheltered places to sleep than just in the open air on beds on the floor. They don't sleep on my bed (then I couldn't sleep in my bed.) Or I could put flattened cardboard boxes around the kennel that one and often two dogs at a time sleep in, and slide one of the dog beds back into the closet in my office. The puppy outgrew her "jacket" and I'm sure the pet supply stores are out by now. I can make an adjustment and put it on her, but I fear she'll just pull it off and tear it up. She has such a thin coat but she moves fast, so maybe she'll just burn energy in the yard and be okay. They come and go as they want through a dog door.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 11:37 PM

Dorothy, I'm grateful my daughter wasn't in it. She drives that route a couple of times a week, though not usually that early and I think she takes an exit just north of where the accident happened. And doesn't take the express lanes. But still. Everyone who was hurt or died have people who love them and are in shock right now. I have enjoyed driving that route a few times, the construction took forever but it's an efficient way to miss traffic - I imagine that after the accident has been completely investigated, that section of road will be full of shards of glass and metal and need to be repaved. 133 vehicles is the final number I read last night.

I have the second sample of fabric I have been trying to design from Joann's Fabrics. The first sample came with the colors reversed in a couple of the pattern parts. The second one was better but the pattern was too large. They seem to be haphazard in how they produce these. I tried compensating for the first error and it didn't work. I've sent in another one this evening. I'd like to get this for a project I started working on about six weeks ago. Each sample has the design ID and I see an email address also, so next time I'll send an email if they can't get it the way I want and see if that helps.

Time to file the taxes. That's always nice to cross off of my list of things to do.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 08:28 PM

Dupont:

Dishes and laundry done. Car unloaded and stuff put away. Roast in oven. Oops- new scones are in freezer but need to be bagged and put in "big" freezer. Emails dealt. Long one written in response to post by dear musician friend seeking her "pronouns". Told her whatever her pronouns are, we won't remember, and we love her whoever she chooses to be. Or he.

We have plenty of CDs from various local musician friends. They are around somewhere. We seem to prefer silence at home and really have no way to play them! Ghetto blaster cannot be found. Sometimes listen to some on computer. A couple terrific virtual events recently. Usually, I miss them.

I have a spice cabinet my bro was throwing away about 40 years ago, with a door. It sits on a ledge in the K.The bottles used to be alphabetical but unfortunately it only holds those spice sized bottles and my herbs are mostly in larger jars. I end up looking through both it and the cupboards, forgetting where I put what. I even forget the basil and oregano are right there on the counter in nice pots I made years ago.

Fire in stove! Cold out there! That "accident" near SRS was major on Canadian news! Glad you were not in it!

Like Charmion, I stay home but for the need for groceries. I never seem to have a handle on what the rules are either here or Beaver. The area around Beaver lifted the stay home order; I have no idea what meaning that has. I only went to those two shops and the Credit Union which was also vacant. And the bakery on the way for the new supply of muffins and scones. Also vacant! And very well organized. My order was bagged when I arrived and I had only to pay Chelsea and chat briefly from a distance. Staying safe is all that matters.

I will continue to be a home body. Or keep good distance; tomorrow we go to see a house for Rob's cousin. Separate vehicles. I may try the rural hardware for indoor gardening needs. And nasturtium seeds while there are some.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 01:35 PM

My galley kitchen has absolutely no room for cookbooks, so they are now in the shelving closest to the library door. I’ll pass them on the way to and from the bathroom, and might even flip a few pages for new supper ideas.

Tho’ there’s only so much you can do with a grilled chicken breast and green beans.

Jon, I love that Eric Bogle song. Thanks for posting the link.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 11:10 AM

My mother collected cookbooks, and I have managed to put them all in the kitchen for now, though with no guests visiting they aren't their usual conversation starter selves. Some of them are a bit on the odd side and are a great novelty act. I'm willing to bet those odd ones were never subjected to a test kitchen.

That sounds like an impressive CD collection. I don't play CDs often, just an occasional splurge to fill the five-disc tray and give them a listen. My huge collection was a $20 windfall at a garage sale with the remnants of an estate sale. A large bin with a note on top "All Classical" that dismissed the contents as irrelevant to modern living. The woman running the sale said no one would buy those, she'd give the lot to me for $20. I scrambled to a nearby convenience store and got a $20 and they helped me carry the heavy bin to the truck. Over 300 discs from an apparent academic who compared versions of various pieces for students (is my guess). And some marvelous works that I never would have found on my own. Big name publishers, and something I've enjoyed over the years, but with so much coming from the radio and streaming, gradually getting less attention.

I'm past the worst of the vaccine side effects. The ache is 95% gone and a little Tylenol will chase off the rest of it, but I'll still stay close to home for a while. Our weather is even colder today, in the low-20s, so there is no going out if I can avoid it. I imagine the heater in the greenhouse has popped a circuit breaker and the avocado tree is probably history.

I have a cupboard full of spices, with two of the shelves having small Rubbermaid type lazy Susan plates to turn to find things. The stuff in the middle of each round is used less but stuff is grouped logically so I can find what I need; mine are arranged for main-dish seasoning on the bottom and baking and dessert type seasoning on the next shelf up. The top shelf holds the canning, pickling, preservation related stuff. I have a three-shelf wire rolling cart that has all in the top basket and a bin full of overflow tea packages on the middle shelf. The rest of it is pans and cooking implements (stick blender and attachments, pizza stone, etc.) It sits at the end of the peninsula counter most of the time. I move it out of the way when we have some big family cooking project going.

Oh, look, the forecast says the cold will continue and we're due snow on the weekend. I'm joining my Canadian and New England friends in the deep freeze.

I'll go play some CDs now. It seems like a good day for Thomas Tallis and Berlioz. :)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 09:36 AM

This is the best Bob Dylan song...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 09:31 AM

I'm moving books around again, this time to haul the last stragglers into the library and finally achieve consolidation. The cookbooks and Edmund's law books were still in the basement, where the cookbooks were too easy to not see, so I always eat the same things, and it's too dark to photograph the law books, which I must do if I'm to find them a new home. Occupying almost 2.5 metres of bookshelf, the law books are space hogs that I will never read. Though maybe I'll hang onto the most recent edition of Martin's Criminal Code ... You never know; it might come in handy.

A bit of pruning in the British history section is in order, too, especially to unload most of the many volumes by and about Sir Winston Churchill. I'm counting on the end of lockdown to unleash the power of the second-hand book market, such as it is these days.

Then I'll tackle the dozens and hundreds of CDs stored in ever-so-special plastic boxes. Edmund would never let me part with even one, but I find myself unwilling to give houseroom to the entire accumulation. I actively dislike Bob Dylan and can take only a little John Prine at any given time, but Edmund had the complete works; he also loved Wilson Pickett, whose oeuvre leaves me cold. The Brother-In-Law is a music nerd with a fetish for recording artists of the 70s and 80s, so he can be counted on to take some off my hands -- he asked me the other day if I had "any Dylan" to spare. He should be careful about wishing.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 09:21 AM

Sure, Charmion, and I think your way is the more usual...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 09:11 AM

I like those spice racks, Jon, but I would never put one on the outside of a kitchen cupboard door. I would put it *inside*, where kitchen pollution (especially flying fat) won't reach it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 05:22 AM

I screwed one of these spice racks to the outside of a cupboard door a couple of years ago.

I think it looks quite good there although it holds more spices than I really use (but we had [and still have] more than enough jars to fill the spaces when I bought the rack).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Feb 21 - 06:50 PM

Went through my spice cabinet because I could not find my marjoram.

Apparently I bought new whenever I lost something in there. I found 3 cumins, for example.

Things are now separated into sweet (nutmeg etc) and salts and peppers on one shelf, the rest on the bottom ... Wait for it... Alphabetized.

Pourvu que ça dure.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 11 Feb 21 - 05:34 PM

Wow, Charmion!

Almost all the archivists and other silly serpents are reachable through their office numbers and e-mail addresses on GEDS while they continue to work from home. (The archives used to name the archivists in the catalogue with the fonds for which they were responsible, but no more.)

If I can help, let me know.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Feb 21 - 11:31 AM

What a treasure trove - and the former-library-worker-with-a-lot-of-time-in-Special-Collections in me is itching to put a few of those papers on a scanner and run them through an OCR and make them public. And to scan the images and negatives. It sounds like a huge project, but what a find!

I'll set up the slide scanner today and the first thing I need to do before scanning is set up two Access databases because I'll be scanning my own slides and the print documents from a box of my dad's that has, like your historic documents, been moved from house to house for over 20 years.

This morning the north-south freeway in town, I-35W, apparently had a chain collision of at least 50 vehicles north of downtown because of ice on roads and bridges. Some of the COVID testing has been postponed, and some of the shot clinics have been delayed, others not. This side of town is dry, but it's in the mid-20os so a line out the door is going to be a miserable place to stand for the 20-30 minutes it takes to get in the door.

Time to make a loaf of banana bread.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 11 Feb 21 - 10:45 AM

Stratford is still locked down, so I consider myself still under house arrest. It's still a bit too chilly to tempt me outside for more than a trot to the mailbox.

The portfolio project resulted in a discovery that I have somehow avoided making for more than twenty-five years, and now I have to buy more portfolios, preferably of archival quality.

My father came from one of those Fine Old Families so called because they got off an earlier boat than most. Their disembarkation point was Quebec, and they started arriving with General Wolfe. They suffered most of the normal vicissitudes of 18th- and 19th-century life, but were particularly fortunate in that they were hit by only one major house fire, in the early 1870s. Consequently, they left lots of stuff, especially papers.

One of the long-unopened portfolios stacked on top of the bookcases in my library contained an overlooked trove of copies of the Quebec Mercury from the 1830s, when my great-great grandfather was a member of the colonial Legislative Assembly, and the Montreal Daily Star from the 1880s, when it was running history articles and anniversary anecdotes about the Patriote movement of 50 years previous. These newspapers were kept because they contained stories about members of the family. There was also a letter-book of business correspondence from the 1840s, rather a lot of photographic negatives (some of them glass) from the 19-teens, twenties and thirties, and a file of letters about my father's efforts to get into the war at its very beginning rather than wait for conscription as the British government preferred.

Notably, Dad wrote to Ottawa seeking a commission in the Royal Canadian Navy but was rejected on the grounds that he was not ... um ... Canadian. For the record, he was born in Montreal, and the family moved to England in 1924 when Granddad was hired for a major engineering project. In 1939, the difference with respect to citizenship between a Canadian and any other British subject born in Canada had yet to be established in law, but the Chief of Naval Operations was not taking any chances.

I have been moving these portfolios around since 1992, when my father died.

Under Dad's will, the (large) accumulation of family papers and photographs in his custody at the time of his death went to the Chaplin-Gugy Fonds at the National Archives of Canada. The portfolios were too big to fit into any of the several places where Dad kept papers, so they were missed in the Big Sweep. Now I have to contact the responsible archivist for a follow-up donation.

These days, civil servants such as archivists are working at home and therefore out of the reach of ordinary mortals such as I. So everything goes back where it was until the lockdown is over and people start trickling back to their offices and workshops. Whenever that will be.

Apart from that, I hung some pictures. Things look better already.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Feb 21 - 08:38 AM

This morning is like a blast from the past - PMR in all of it's achiness. I'll be alternating Motrin and Tylenol today. And maybe go back to bed for a while.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 11 Feb 21 - 08:03 AM

Beaver:

Right as rain this am and getting ready to go back to Dupont - colder weather - furnace beckons! Nice day to travel.

SRS: my friend on Whidbey described feverish etc after second shot - for a day or so.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Feb 21 - 09:14 PM

Our line stood out in the sub-freezing weather long enough to end up with chapped faces, but nothing like Dorothy describes for this week. I got dog food yesterday and that was the only thing I needed grocery-wise, so the rest of the week I plan to stay in and stay warm.

I'm headed to bed early. I suspect my tiredness now is part of the effect of the vaccine. I've had a lot of water to drink and will take the Motrin alternated with Tylenol cocktail that was recommended by one of the medical staff. I'm participating in the CDC follow up with texts sent to me checking on how things are going. A text today asked if I'd gotten the second vaccine, had me set up the information, then asked how I felt. I expect a daily text for a week, then one a week for a couple of more weeks.

I have stuff to do this week, but won't push myself for a couple of days.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 10 Feb 21 - 05:50 PM

Beaver:

Chains! a facet of the good old days I am glad to be rid of!!!!

So, I managed to work 3 or 4 hours a day quite productively, since Friday. Content with production but still have lots to do... No crisis but I was feeling so excited about getting to the real stuff. But I was slow starting this am and after doing some essentials and some clearing up, realized I felt poorly.

So I have been in the house, wondering why and what to do about it. I have been careful to stay warm and eat well and take my vitamins, wore my mask in studio -for dust! No prediction of snow in the offing but it feels heavy. I have not been in public since Friday and only two very safe venues - the only customer both times. Anyway, the Health Unit for our county has lifted the stay home order, whatever that means. Well, it means we have no new cases, I guess. I just do not trust this sneaky thing. Nasty article on NPR about the incredible manner in which it is mutating.

Going to be very cold tonight and colder tomorrow and Friday: -24C(below 0F). Brought in lots of wood before I quit today. Cleared a bunch of old emails, read some things I had been putting off. Now, I will reconnect to the expensive internet for a bit to send this. Then I may just succumb to bed rest and hope for tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Feb 21 - 01:22 AM

I am hoping that tomorrow's trip to get my second shot doesn't become an expedition like Dorothy makes onto her porch to get firewood, or pry the door open to get into the potting area. We're due really cold precipitation starting tomorrow, and I have a 10am appointment with the Pfizer vaccine that I am determined to attend.

I decided to put the down comforter on the bed for the next week or so. It isn't needed very often, but it does the trick when this kind of weather comes along. I made a duvet for it a couple of years ago that is a little too big, but keeps it in place better.

I'm drawing down stuff in the freezer as I make a series of pizzas on quarters of a large tandoori bread (a flat Iraqi bread made in a tandoori oven). A quarter of the bread makes about three slices and I'm defrosting peppers and mushrooms, Italian sausage, finishing up olives in the fridge, leftover pasta sauce. I found some Alfredo sauce in the freezer today so will switch to that for a few days (I have another couple of tandoori loaves in the freezer and lots of veggies that are great toppings). Every winter I start drawing down frozen stuff to make room for whatever I end up with in the garden this year. And this is a good way to stay frugal for February.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Feb 21 - 12:38 PM

Long gone are the days when I had chains in the trunk, studded snow tires in the garage and radial tires for the rest of the year. We are also due a deep-freeze for a few days later this week (16o is very cold for us, and a challenge for my greenhouse heater).

I see on my Facebook page a friend in New York who is sporting a new cast over a compound fracture of the radius after a slip on the ice on Sunday. Stay safe out there as winter makes another pass over the continent!

Good luck with sorting that shed, Jon. You have a hard job ahead of you. That little steam engine you've made looks good - and is a rewarding distraction! I would try chair yoga exercises with your parents to see if you can't help with that dexterity and ability to shift spaces more easily.

My ex is trying to sort out the county COVID instructions; it looks like he was due for a vaccine today but they sent the email earlier this morning and say they'll send him an email with more instructions about his appointment. Even rational smart people are having to think twice about the conflicting information that comes out of these agencies trying to vaccinate several million people. Apparently Texas has managed to vaccinate three million people so far.

I had the devil of a time sorting out what was going on with my old White Rotary sewing machine yesterday. Lots of "birdsnest" tangles where the bobbin tension was messed up. I finally realized that this was happening after I'd tried a new technique for winding the bobbins to put more thread on them. I was winding them too tight and messed up the tension. I adjusted the bobbin tension (a screw on the case) before I realized what was up, so now I need to get the bobbin case tension back where it belongs. After a year of sewing on these masks I made one small change and it rippled out into the machine. On the bright side, when I took off the bobbin housing to see if there was a buildup of lint I spotted a screw that normally holds the feed dog faceplate down. There were originally three screws on the plate but I've only ever had two. And one was lost a couple of cleanings back. It had rolled inside the space near the feed dogs and it was a bugger to pick up but it's out and in its hole on the faceplate again.

Charmion, I also have a lot of art around here that isn't on the walls. I'd like to put up some of it, and arrange a few rooms to have a better look. I've been lazy about moving furniture and not moving the art to match the new placement.


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

Grocery delivery is available in Stratford, Stilly, but at a price that I am not yet willing to pay. Also, I am not ready to delegate the selection of fruit and veg to anyone less critical than a four-star chef or a Chinese granny.

Yes, the stuff I hauled out to the curb was moved from Ottawa. I did a hell of a lot of disencumbrance before packing started, but hesitated to purge stuff that belonged to Edmund before we got married, such as his accumulation of cake pans, and office stuff that he would just go out and buy more of, such as three-ring binders and boxes for file cards. Of course, he went out and bought more three-ring binders anyway, but that was how he rolled.

Part of the family legacy I found myself stuck with after my father's death is a group of large portfolios containing lots and lots of stuff that I haven't looked at in at least fifteen years. Today, I'm wondering whether I can consolidate the contents sufficiently to free up a portfolio for our accumulation of credentials, diplomas and "certificates suitable for framing". Then I'll get out my hand-drill and screwdriver and hang some pictures.

Stratford is having real Canadian winter this week, with lots of snow, daytime highs well below freezing, and enough windchill to get the radio announcers all excited about frostbite. This area is notorious for snow squalls, one result of the "lake effect", so the town is well equipped with plows and snow-blowers. Even a really substantial dump -- by which I mean more than eight inches -- does not slow Stratford down for long. The most important hazards are snow drifting across the roads, and slick ice under the drifted snow, which cause more collisions and ditchings than practically anything but stupidity and drunkenness. Snow tires are now required by law, but there are days when I would really like chains, or even the studded tires that were banned because they literally tore the asphalt off the highway. Now, when conditions are like that, I just stay home, and thank my lucky stars that I can.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 09 Feb 21 - 07:16 AM

The delivery for our grocery order was cancelled because of the weather last night. They’ve rescheduled for tonight but I’m not sure that things are any better – there is a bit more snow in our garden. Wiltshire Farms (frozen ready made meals) did deliver in the morning and between that an a few other items, we are reasonably well stocked with things to eat so we’re OK for a few more days by which time, this cold snap should be over with.

The two organisations (one morning and afternoon and another night time) that move dad (who can now only transfer himself between chairs, bed, etc. but not walk safely) to/fro bed and toilet have both cancelled. I’d debated trying to take this on for a while and wanted to start by taking on the lunchtime duty but the lot (which involves pushing him around on the commode chair – the wheelchair won’t get through the bathroom door or between my parent’s beds) has fallen on me now. So far so good.

I’d don’t suppose we have that much snow by the standards of other countries but I don’t suppose we are as well prepared either. I also imagine that the councils will be hit by staff shortages because of Covid. I’m still sometimes a little puzzled when there are difficulties reaching our house. Most of my time in N Wales was uphill and to a village of about 40 houses spread out over a mile. You expect to be low priority* and for little snow to make transport difficult then but Norfolk is flat and I’m on the main trunk route between Cromer and Norwich.

I’m on my last day of logs near the house. I’m not sure if I’m going to go down the field to get more or whether we will rely on electricity for the next couple of days. I’ll have to see how I feel tomorrow. The job’s been made a bit more difficult because (on top of the snow) the chap who was supposed to stack the new load of logs we got called off on Sunday (maybe too windy, no snow then or maybe some other reason – he’s very useful and works hard for his, in normal times here, hour a week but he’s quite prone to cancelling and his autism type problems mean he either needs supervision or careful instruction for a new job to him). I’ll have to move a little bit of the pile to get a barrow to the second shed – probably not that bad really…

I’ve just been on Amazon and ordered more bedding for dad. Which really brings me on to something else. We really must get round to sorting out the green shed, which is where we have to keep some of this stuff, this summer. It’s piled up with stuff that’s no longer needed and it can be very difficult to find what you do want in there. I had suggested that they (I’ve got my own sorted) start from scratch with bedding and maybe these purchases have just brought that a bit forward a little. Seems the easiest way out of a couple of accidents and difficulties drying things quickly here atm anyway.

In the meanwhile I’ve played a bit more with an attempt at designing and making an RC traction engine.



*There was the occasion when they had a good 4 snow ploughs working up there. It was believed that Mr Johnson, who was quite high up in the council, had played merry hell that he couldn’t get out of his house and Llandudno’s fleet of vehicles got redirected to Pydew!

**I used to love that first time round as a kid. The slightest bit of snow would stop the bus and meant a day of school.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: mg
Date: 09 Feb 21 - 02:17 AM

they should have been shoved out of the room and left to face whatever in the halls.


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