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De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021

Stilly River Sage 19 Dec 21 - 03:23 PM
Thompson 19 Dec 21 - 01:00 PM
Dorothy Parshall 19 Dec 21 - 12:57 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Dec 21 - 10:52 PM
Thompson 18 Dec 21 - 12:24 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Dec 21 - 11:45 AM
Thompson 18 Dec 21 - 04:34 AM
Stilly River Sage 17 Dec 21 - 11:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Dec 21 - 01:16 PM
Donuel 16 Dec 21 - 02:01 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Dec 21 - 01:14 PM
Thompson 16 Dec 21 - 04:58 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Dec 21 - 11:45 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Dec 21 - 04:49 PM
Thompson 15 Dec 21 - 12:08 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Dec 21 - 10:37 AM
Thompson 14 Dec 21 - 01:11 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Dec 21 - 10:09 AM
Charmion 14 Dec 21 - 09:21 AM
Thompson 14 Dec 21 - 03:34 AM
Stilly River Sage 13 Dec 21 - 08:06 PM
Thompson 13 Dec 21 - 03:05 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Dec 21 - 02:54 PM
Charmion 13 Dec 21 - 02:46 PM
Thompson 13 Dec 21 - 01:35 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Dec 21 - 01:08 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Dec 21 - 09:50 AM
Dorothy Parshall 11 Dec 21 - 03:51 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Dec 21 - 02:57 PM
Dorothy Parshall 10 Dec 21 - 09:00 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Dec 21 - 12:01 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Dec 21 - 12:12 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 Dec 21 - 11:16 PM
Dorothy Parshall 07 Dec 21 - 04:54 PM
Dorothy Parshall 07 Dec 21 - 11:22 AM
Thompson 07 Dec 21 - 08:41 AM
Thompson 06 Dec 21 - 04:52 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Dec 21 - 03:10 PM
Thompson 06 Dec 21 - 02:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Dec 21 - 12:28 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Dec 21 - 11:34 AM
Thompson 06 Dec 21 - 10:39 AM
Dorothy Parshall 06 Dec 21 - 08:10 AM
Stilly River Sage 05 Dec 21 - 11:53 AM
Stilly River Sage 04 Dec 21 - 10:31 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Dec 21 - 04:08 PM
Dorothy Parshall 04 Dec 21 - 02:18 PM
Dorothy Parshall 04 Dec 21 - 02:12 PM
Charmion 04 Dec 21 - 12:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Dec 21 - 12:07 PM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Dec 21 - 03:23 PM

I was talking with my ex this morning and we both were observing that it is just the weirdest xmas ever. It doesn't feel like it, and I think the COVID extension/morphing is part of it. My next door neighbor brought it as close to home as I hope it ever lands, but with this Omicron being so transmissible, I think even a mask indoors is a risk. I may double mask for some things, and cut back on other activities entirely. I just haven't been able to get into the holiday mood. And I pity the poor counselors out there, swamped with clients. They're dealing with all of this themselves on top of their client lists.

When there are gradual changes, like the emergence of your brother's cancer, he may have just chalked it up to other things, like his age, or how he slept, etc. But I hope you get a clear answer, Dorothy! It took me ages to finally realize that there was something more than just aging going on when I developed the PMR, and then darned if it didn't do the same again a few years later when the thyroid shut down.

I just heard a strange "thud" in the street, and when trying to get to the door had to shuffle through and literally push back the scrum of dogs (two of the three). There is a heavy metal mesh security door on the front and side and they want to rush right up to it. I have a squirt bottle handy, and in this case the motorcyclist who wiped out going around the corner out front was going slow so I didn't need to go out to help him, but he heard the dogs barking and called out that he was ok. I think I'm going to have to use the shock collar on the girls and do some door exercises. This isn't acceptable.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Thompson
Date: 19 Dec 21 - 01:00 PM

Oh, lord, Dorothy, that's tough. Sending you some loving silence.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 19 Dec 21 - 12:57 PM

Dupont:

Not sure I have done much of anything - in a fog of grief in addition to the exhaustion of getting here. Bill Staines, although I did not know him well, was a part of my life since about 1967 and was part of some special memories. I was beginning to feel somewhat better but still walking around humming his tunes when my bro (80) phoned yesterday.

He has cancer of some sort. He muddled around so much getting to the point of his call and all his physical pluses and minuses that I lost track of the actual cause or name for it. Something about lymph nodes swollen and "tumors" on his throat that make it hard to eat... I suspect that the doctors are so used to him being exceedingly healthy - "for a 50 year old" - they did not pay adequate attention. Big stand out for me was that he had been really tired --- gee whiz! When someone checked his BP it was 80/? Lack of attention; his meds for high BP! His vehicle is fitted out for emergency medical. HE never thought to check HIS BP! He had to give up his weight lifting regime but plans to get back to it... Starts chemo on Tuesday. I will message his daughter - a top notch nurse - and see if she is willing to make a time to talk with R so we have a clue. She is included in all his med appointments via tech supports! I am floored. R is supportive. Does anything matter?

And my SIL considers Omicron "just like a cold".

It snowed about 6 inches last night. R had to go off to the Laurentians to do a repair between guests at their BNB. The roads up there... I will watch Home Alone and any other mindless TV available. R promised to text me at times to re-assure me.

Picking up a made-on-line grocery order at 5 today. Cleared car and back deck.

Bro is a Mennonite. I would have a hard time sitting through most sermons, regardless of topic. My Quaker upbringing stuck with me.

So, I am eating choc chip cookies to ease my pain.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Dec 21 - 10:52 PM

I've been making three-layer cloth masks with flannel in the middle and they fit very well. If it comes to it, I can double mask with one of the commercial ones underneath.

What a busy day of computer work. My holiday letters are finished and I'm starting the printing. I still need to mail a box. I have a lot of homework for a course I've been taking. I'm checking off things on my list, but this list seems to be written on a Mobius strip. :-/


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Thompson
Date: 18 Dec 21 - 12:24 PM

Get FFP3 masks if you can - around €4 if you order from a good medical place online. You can wear one, leave it aside for a few days, wear again, so you can cycle a few. Not sure how many times you can do this, because I don't go out much.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Dec 21 - 11:45 AM

I've made the mistake between baking soda and washing soda - I sent the mistaken batch (I was making my own washing detergent) to Linn (Bat Goddess) who added the right kind of soda and used it. (I realized the Naptha soap I grated into it was a coconut base, and I'm allergic to coconut).

I just logged onto the CVS site and see that my test results are negative. !!! (There is the usual proviso - you could be very early in your infection . . . but I think not, in this instance.) My exposure, as it was, was outside several feet from the sufferer.

I'll be all the more careful to wear my mask everywhere I go and stay socially distant. It's almost feeling like time to start ordering groceries again. But I'll go get my baking powder first.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Thompson
Date: 18 Dec 21 - 04:34 AM

Hah, if you'd said that he'd have got washing soda!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Dec 21 - 11:58 PM

I offered some fresh blueberry muffins to my ex, who usually goes shopping on Friday afternoon after work, if he'd pick up something for me. I need some bulk baking powder, and I know they have a bin at the Winco where he usually goes (it's between our houses). He brought in a bag - I asked if he was sure it was baking powder? He looked at the receipt - baking soda. I have about 10 pounds of that here, so I sent the little bag home with him, along with the muffins, and told him to put a tablespoon in with each load of laundry. I'll get my baking powder after I get my test results tomorrow. (It's time to start making cookies and I'm about out. Most of them don't take much leavening, but there will be some required and I have only a tablespoon or two left in the bottom of the can.)

I knew I should have said "be careful not to get baking soda," but I thought no, he'll figure it out.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Dec 21 - 01:16 PM

I have been in a down mood, blame the season, the lack of seeing either kid (or much of anyone else) lately, and having a lot to do all at once. I slept in today and that helped some - I must have had some busy REM sleep processing all of this.

Working on the holiday letter hasn't helped, there doesn't seem to be much to report in this quiet year. I decided I would pull some of the material from the four days of journaling I did during our February deep freeze with no power. The account of sleeping in the closet with the dogs and making food for myself over candles and a Sterno stove will hopefully make for interesting reading. It comes with art (photos taken during the days).

I may not have results on the COVID test until tomorrow, but I'm 99.99% sure it will be negative, so I'll go ahead and start some of the cookie baking so I can hand them out early next week. I have a lot of hot peppers on the counter that need slicing and freezing and once they're out of the way I'll start krumkaka and Snickerdoodles (not necessarily a holiday cookie, but they're my favorite, so I make them.) Spritz and other cookies that come out of the cookie press are on the list.

Those of you doing the holidays mostly alone, what are you doing to give yourselves a boost? Is there some smell, some music, some holiday movie, that really sets the stage for you? And is there something the rest of us can do to help?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Dec 21 - 02:01 PM

It took 3 hours to mail 100 lbs of disaster blankets.
The covid antiviral pill works better than infusion but ya gotta be quick.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Dec 21 - 01:14 PM

I have heard about those pills, but I don't think any are approved for use here, or I'd recommend those to her.

The test is uncomfortable (you have to push the swab into your nose at the back) but quick. Now we wait. I let a couple of other folks know that I'm taking the test because we've spoken since I last talked to my neighbor.

The house can use some attention, so I'll be picking up and dusting today. I watered a bit in the side yard and this afternoon I'll go put some iris rhizomes back in the bed where I want them to grow. I thinned a while back and just left the rest sitting off to the side. If I don't plant them pretty soon they'll start growing there. It's an unusually warm day here, and rain is forecast later. This is officially weird weather (it felt like this the same day that the tornadoes hit northeast of here in Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, etc. last week.)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Thompson
Date: 16 Dec 21 - 04:58 AM

Over the fence sounds safe enough - fingers crossed for you, Stilly. It's in enclosed places that the nasty little bugs can do their thing most efficiently.
Pfizer has new drugs that sound better than remdesevir, apparently. From an Irish Times piece last month:

Pfizer’s preliminary results from its clinical trial of the drug combination Lopinavir/ ritonavir showed a reduction of between 85 and 89 per cent in the combined rate of hospitalisation and death among those who got the drug, compared to those who got a placebo pill. For patients who started taking the drug within three days of the onset of symptoms, the hospitalisation rate was 89 per cent lower.
The reduction in hospitalisation was slightly less (85 per cent) among those who took the pills a day or two later (but within five days of symptoms developing). Lopinavir is a protease inhibitor and is from the same family of drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. It works by blocking an enzyme that the virus needs to multiply. The new medication is taken with an older protease inhibitor called ritonavir, which boosts the level of lopinavir in the body.
Molnupiravir, MSD’s new medication, reduced the rate of hospitalisation by 50 per cent among recipients, compared to those who got a placebo pill. That was among patients who started taking the medication within five days of symptoms beginning.
The new antiviral medication was approved for use by regulators in the UK earlier this month, who said molnupiravir (Lagevrio) is safe and effective at reducing the risk of hospitalisation and death in people with mild to moderate Covid-19 symptoms, who have at least one risk factor for developing serious illness.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Dec 21 - 11:45 PM

My next door neighbor just texted to say she tested positive for COVID. She hasn't been vaccinated (taking supplements only). Her husband has. I was last talking to her over the back fence a few days ago when she was commenting on the cold she had. I've scheduled a test for the morning. My seasonal allergies are at their usual level now, but I've been around other people. This is the "abundance of caution" that people talk about. I suggested she ask about the remdesivir (reminding her that Trump got it when he was sick). I hope she asks about it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Dec 21 - 04:49 PM

I'm skipping a potluck party this evening—if you've ever heard of or felt the term "impostor syndrome," this group is one to engender it. It's a lot of rich white retired folks who volunteer at the museum and who on their own travel together a fair amount. I couldn't touch their lifestyle, and I probably telegraph that when I walk in the door. (I volunteer my time to help the museum because I don't have the spare cash to donate money.) But as the holidays approach my mood is slipping and I need to find some constructive things to do to bring it back up (neither kid can be here this year, is a big part of it). I think it's time to go dig that fence post hole and put up the gate I've been planning since over a year ago. Every time I look at a finished project like that it's a boost, so it's time. And I must walk the dogs some more. Also start some more sewing projects. Exercise and creative outlets are helpful.

Tonight's decision isn't just because of being the part of the "out crowd." I was listening to a COVID specialist doctor interviewed today and it seems that even when there are breakthrough infections for vaccinated people, there can also be cases of long COVID associated with those cases; for whatever percentage of the unvaccinated who experience it, it's about half that rate in the breakthrough cases. So, another reason for not going to a party tonight. There is still some serious pandemic shit going on out there.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Thompson
Date: 15 Dec 21 - 12:08 PM

I had some serious weightlifting today by bringing two sturdy dogs to the park half an hour or so away, with one straining at the leash and the other learning the bad habit from her. I have muscles on my muscles now!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Dec 21 - 10:37 AM

The whole function of the steam juicer is the produce a clear pure liquid for making jelly, as a juice (my tomato juice comes out as light as apple juice), etc. Disturbing the steamed and deflated contents of the colander part is going to defeat part of the purpose of steam juicing.

I need to steam juice and film that so I can illustrate the parts of the operation. I use a camera on a tripod focused on the work area, so I'm out of the picture mostly. I just looked through my photos to find some jars of tomato juice made with a setup that is much like what you bought (I was borrowing it every summer a few days at a time). I'll see if I can put something up to link to for you.

I found a pattern yesterday for a handbag I'm going to make out of pieced together blue jeans denim and add a purple lining. That's for a local recipient. Everything else has to go in the mail this week, though when we plan to open everything is up in the air. It will probably involve Zoom.

I was driving yesterday thinking back to these posts and found myself chuckling at the image of Charmion's new fitness routine of dead-lifting a hefty microwave. Under that rubric there are many non-traditional things around our houses we could use to exercise with.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Thompson
Date: 14 Dec 21 - 01:11 PM

Thanks, I'll take your advice, Stilly (though I've never found that giving the fruit a wee squeeze in the jelly-bag method produced the threatened cloudiness!
I made some quince cheese (dulce de membrillo) with the leftover quince last time; I might do the same again this time, and maybe try some mostarda too. I've now washed the whole pot, and we are looking at each other out of the corners of our eyes.


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

NO! Don't change a thing about how you make your jelly. Less sugar means it won't set. The operations are completely separate. Use the juice like any other juice you would for jelly.

The big thing to resist is to "mash it down" to make more juice. Don't touch the contents of the top until you've decanted out all of the juice. The clear juice will muddy with particulates if you try to wring more out. You can probably use the quince pulp for jam or baking something (I use the cranberry pulp in a recipe for cranberry bars).

Charmion, on Friday the weather here was unseasonably warm. My ex was over to pick up a couple of things and we agreed that it was "weird." It turns out we were feeling the warm moist engine that worked northward to scour parts of six states (before coasting into your area.) Usually we have tornadoes dropping around here. We just got lucky this time it didn't stretch this far.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 14 Dec 21 - 09:21 AM

A fine, clear day, much too mild for December. At the end of last week, the northern fringes of the storm that smashed half Kentucky reached southern Ontario, giving me angst for my roof and bringing a warm air mass that did away with the snow and has yet to dissipate.

I did not make any preserves this year, for the first time since 1995, when a bad bout of tendinitis made my right hand and arm unreliable. Not even marmalade or chutney. This leaves me with little in the way of low-stress Christmas presents and eventually I'll have to do what most of the rest of the world does and buy marmalade at the supermarket. Not chutney; everybody else's chutney is too sweet, so I'll do without.

The tune group is coming over this afternoon, so I have to dust the stairs and the most obvious surfaces in the music room. I really must hire a cleaner; I hate dusting and hauling the vacuum around.

I acquired an oil-filled space heater last week for the music room, so the temperature in there is finally up to 20C, like the rest of the house, so our fingers will not turn blue. The cats approve; Watson is sacked out in the wicker armchair and Isobel is tightly curled on the settee.

On Sunday, we will "play out" for the first time, doing carols for the Mennonites. (I hope they don't know that "The Holly and the Ivy" is pagan with a little early-modern Christianity spread on top). Singing is still discouraged in Ontario, and that particular congregation has no piano or organ since they recently moved out of a Lutheran church to space in a re-purposed factory, so we're it for Christmas music. Serena the fiddle and Mary Anne the guitar were a bit worried that I would resist sitting through a Mennonite sermon, but I reassured them that I am sufficiently house-broken to resist doing anything rude, such as rolling my eyes. Unlike the Catholics, the Mennonites are unlikely to talk about abortion so we're probably safe.

An obvious prezzie arrived yesterday from one of my sisters-in-law, testing my deferment-of-gratification muscle. Back in the day, my grandmother came in for a fair amount of family criticism for opening prezzies early, but I get it now: why wait? Who's to be offended if I don't? I think I'll leave it on the coffee table anyway.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Thompson
Date: 14 Dec 21 - 03:34 AM

Wild grapes! Envy!
There's a bunch of YouTube videos of steam juicers, often by gimlet-eyed preppers that you'd imagine reading Bible verses as they gather their fruit, some just housewifey, most of them useful.
The Ribelli says it's dishwasher-safe, but it's much too huge to fit more than one part in the dishwasher. I've put the water-holder in, and will wash the rest in hot water before trying it.
Got some quinces in my current favourite shop, and will try juicing them today and tomorrow. My plan is the same - quince jelly as presents; I'll make it with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom; orange and lemon juice and zest, and Demerara sugar. In the instructions it says you need to use less sugar for jelly with this method of juicing, but not how much less…


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Dec 21 - 08:06 PM

I was poking around in the old computer looking for a video of the steam juicer, but I didn't find it. I took a look in the old blog (where most of the photo links were broken when Photobucket imploded) and don't find it there either. I'll keep looking. It was fund to poke around in the old videos (I found one for bread pudding that I never posted.)

I'm going to be making jelly to put in pint jars as gifts this year, and I made the grape juice by steam juicing wild grapes that grow across the street in the woods. I froze it for now because I still have plenty of jelly that I made for myself last year at this time. The fresh batch will be for giving away so it can sit on their shelves for a while before use (if needed - most recipients open it right away - this is a favorite, made with Mustang Grapes.)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Thompson
Date: 13 Dec 21 - 03:05 PM

Thanks, Stilly, that's a great method! I'll be racing down to Tiger tomorrow to get marbles.
Here's the one I bought: Ribelli steam juicer, cheap as chips. I'm just surprised that the water pot is so light compared to the water pot on my Lidl steamer, which has a heavy bottom. Makes me feel like it's a little lightweight, in both senses.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Dec 21 - 02:54 PM

Thompson, you'll be filling it to near the top, giving it a lot of weight. A friend taught me a trick about monitoring the water level. Get a handful of clear marbles and keep them with the pot. When you use it put the marbles in the bottom and you'll hear them rattling when it's steaming and there is enough water. If the rattle starts to diminish, check and add water. If you're steaming something for 40 minutes to an hour, you'll have plenty of water, but if you add to the top and it goes longer, you'll need to know about the water level (and as it gets lower it evaporates faster.)

Do you have a way to post a photo of it, or a link to the sale? I'd love to see what you found!

Charmion, I read that as long as the silver doesn't touch any other metal it can go in the dishwasher. I have a system so I always put the silicone scrapers in the next to the corner slot of the flatware container in the dishwasher, so the silver goes in the corner that is protected by a non-metal. So far, so good. But this is plate that isn't worth a king's fortune. It does keep the tarnish away.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 13 Dec 21 - 02:46 PM

Another adaptation from Edmund’s way (bigger is always better) to something more suitable for aging me: The big-ass microwave will leave the building asap.

I hauled it off its special extended shelf yesterday to clean four years’ worth of kitchen crud off the top, back and sides, and the effort damned near killed me. My arms aren’t long enough to hold it safely in its normal orientation, and lifting it from eye level to bench level takes more upper-body strength than I can typically muster.

And I so don’t need a 2.2-cubic-foot microwave. Something half that size will do me just fine.

So today I went back to Canadian Tire and bought a 0.9-cubic-foot Panasonic that I can lift over my head if I have to — I did a clean and jerk with it to be sure. It’s powerful enough to scald a pint of milk or reheat soup, which is what I use a microwave for.

I toted the Huge Guy down to the basement very, very carefully, and there it will stay until I find somebody who needs a big-ass microwave. It works very well, so somebody will want it.

Along the same line, I think I’m ready to sell the Wedgwood. It’s eight to 12 place settings of fine English-made bone china that I can’t put in the microwave and shouldn’t put in the dishwasher, and there are dealers out there advertising for people like me to call up and book a house call.

But I’m nowhere near ready to sell the silver, even though that doesn’t go in the dishwasher either.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Thompson
Date: 13 Dec 21 - 01:35 PM

The steam juicer has arrived; one question - the base that the boiling water goes in is a lot lighter than the base of my ordinary steamer. Is this normal? Stilly?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Dec 21 - 01:08 PM

Over the weekend I pulled two relatively new dog beds out of the front room and cobbled together covers out of a retired large quilted piece of fabric meant to protect the sofa from dog hair, dirt, etc. I've stopped trying to make the sofa dog-proof.

The beds were purchased last year, but set aside after Cookie started trying to tear them up. Neither of the new covers from the old cover is pretty to look at now, but they envelope the beds, and Cookie was leaving that fabric alone (hence this use). So on Saturday I finished the big bed cover (it has an orthopedic eggcrate mattress in it - meant for the big old Lab) and on Sunday I finished mending and covering the small one (with high enough sides to keep the short-haired pup warm). So this morning I walk in and the 75 pound lab is curled up in the little dog bed and the 30 pound dog is sprawled on the big dog bed. [slaps forehead]

Dishwasher running, laundry comes next. I did some dusting and will mop the den floor soon (it involves using a scrub brush over a few squares at a time, then mopping the area to pick up the dirt that got into the pattern of the tile.) And I have to wrap some strings of lights around the juniper and set them on the dusk-to-dawn timer. Better late than never.

We had a cold enough freeze over the weekend that I can now lop off the other plants in the garden as well as the canna lilies at the side of the house and tote all of that back to the compost.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Dec 21 - 09:50 AM

We had a heavy frost overnight that was quite beautiful in the sunshine this morning. I covered my peppers, not the eggplant because there weren't any fruits, but now there won't be any leaves. I think in the next couple of weeks I need to go ahead and finish harvesting the peppers and be finished with that part of the garden. But who knows - maybe I can keep the plants alive and have a huge head start come spring. (This is only if we don't have a deep deep freeze like last winter.)

I think Cookie is a culprit when it comes to missing puzzle pieces. An assembled piece on the newest puzzle disappeared overnight two nights ago, so I'm going to make a fabric cover that tucks in at the top of the table and has a piece of 1x2 wood stapled at the bottom. Or maybe a large piece of cardboard. Something that won't cause static to pick up pieces and disarrange them. I hesitate to finish this current puzzle with a chunk missing. Damn. Dog.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 11 Dec 21 - 03:51 PM

Dupont:

Started out with freezing rain and R saying he was going to northern NYS!!! I managed to get him to eat BF which gave the weather time to hit the plus 1C; I was watching the ice on cars melt. He just phoned to tell me he is NOT going to NYS YAY!!! And he does have the parts to finish the sink which is half installed. The heat is doing OK but needs to be completed. I told him I am sick of half finished projects!! "I am too." but he has far too many and I only care about our HOME! And my son has still not called to let us know when/if he is coming. He was here 2 years ago and the furnace was not working and the sink also!

Still recovering from trip, and from Bill Staines, still tearful - a much cared for acquaintance of 55 years. And a connection to many other dear friends. But I did wash the dishes and hope to get a decent lunch soon.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Dec 21 - 02:57 PM

Yesterday was eerily balmy, and I realized this morning that the humidity and warmth we felt was the power that drove the storms to the north and east of us that clobbered Arkansas and Kentucky. Dozens of people died in the resulting tornadoes. We keep our fingers crossed that the storms don't touch down, not much point in hoping they won't arrive, this is Tornado Alley.

The programs on National Public Radio this morning have been interesting, and one of them set the stage perfectly for where I am with that course I've been talking about. One program subject started with a story about people who did everything right, but still ended up with negative outcomes. It inspires me to not be so discreet, saying nothing out the tour outcome. It was awful, from beginning to end, but it wasn't really my fault.

I did everything right in researching and planning and practicing my tour, but in the end, I ran into a situation I couldn't get past. The instructor has a strong passive/aggressive streak and neglected to tell people about my tour until the morning of - so no one turned up for the tour and it was impossible to pretend that the two people who were there (my mentor and a volunteer, who have been docents for years) were the general public and do my presentation. I instead worried that all three of the people there were (including the instructor) were barely ambulatory, one was quite deaf, and I had a route planned that covered way more territory than I was comfortable dragging this group. Who at one point spent 10 minutes stuck in a lift between the Mezzanine and the second floor (they didn't read instructions and the gallery assistant finally got them out of it after repeatedly telling them "don't touch the door, it will reset itself!") Try to pick up your train of thought after that.

I'm going to do the demonstration tour again in a couple of weeks, this time with friends I invite so I have people there who aren't in the museum all of the time, who can actually give realistic feedback to my remarks and ask good questions. I don't want anyone to give me a pass if I don't do a good job, but they'll be happy to participate and the energy makes a huge difference.

The takeaway: roll over the top of passive aggressive folks. I retired from the library three years ago because recent management changes made it an awful workplace. It was the practice to send out a note congratulating the retiree and summarizing their time in the library a couple of weeks in advance of when people retired, and I kept waiting for the dean or one of her proxies to send it for me (I sent them the information). Nothing. So the in the last week I sent an "All" message and announced that I was retiring and gave the blurb myself. When the library HR person was asked why he or one of the others didn't send something, the questioner was told "we couldn't verify everything she said she did." Huh? Many library people were there for decades and knew, I was just summarizing. So I did it myself. Now at the museum, I'll send a message and I'll announce the date once the instructor agrees to it, and take it out of her hands. I want this over with this year; I've been working on it for 11 months, and just because the instructor doesn't seem to like me I'm not going to throw in the towel. She's retiring at the end of the month, I don't plan to be her last casualty. I want witnesses.   

In the meantime, I'm playing catchup around the house. I've let that course suck away my available time (not starting on big projects that take away from research and writing tour stops). More baking today (zucchini bread), work on my holiday cards, and start wrapping gifts and finding what boxes some of them will have to ship in and send those out ASAP. Binge watching the new CSI: Vegas (I really liked the original, and they've done a nice job of picking up the story threads). Still exercising, and adding another set of stretches to my routine. I haven't lost weight, but I'm more fit now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 10 Dec 21 - 09:00 PM

Dupont:

I checked the weather reports so carefully>>>> "snow flurries" did not seem too bad. Wet roads at minus4C did; so I slowly made my way south, thinking it would get better. It usually does... It got worse and the worst shock was getting on the 401 and finding it going about 35kmh in thick slush, everyone keeping VERY safe distances apart. I got off at the earliest opp and found the secondary road clear and safe and traffic free!

Now, the westbound traffic had been moving right along so I thought - not very clearly! - that maybe there was an accident. Got back on after a number of miles and it was just fine...for a while. Then it was back to horrible and I was wondering how long... And where might I spend the night... Then the road and traffic cleared and was fine the rest of the way. The 5 hour trip took 6 and a half hours. Today I am still recovering.

Walked into a cold house. Put a fire in the wood stove and used the oven to bake some good food, mainly to add heat! Went to bed cold, with my clothes on. Sent R a text Thurs am: if the heat is not working by Sunday night I am phoning a repair company. Same for sink in bathroom.

Dan came in a few hours and heat is partly working; he needs to come back to complete job. Sink is almost done! I am wondering what the next threat will be! Will it work for the kitchen sink??

Need to find a road conditions site! Going back to bed shortly. Hoe tomorrow I will be back to normal (for me!).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Dec 21 - 12:01 PM

There was a day when I had a set of studded snow tires (not legal in all 50 states, but ok in the Pacific NW) and chains for the car. Now I don't even own a set of chains. I wonder if my son does now that he's up there? Or do you simply use a wider deep tread radial, no chains?

Baking today, as I've given away the last of my holiday bread from the freezer. I'll make cookies soon also, but people do really like those breads (banana, pumpkin, zucchini, etc.). I have a couple of zucchini in the fridge, I could make some of that, but the bananas are black in the fridge so they come first.

Last week the PT from the Hinge Health program I'm doing sent me a sheet of knee exercises and I find a couple of those are really good to do when seated or in front of the computer desk. They also help prevent stiffness if I've been sitting working for a while. Seated, a simple lift one leg out straight and count to three 10 times, and standing, bend the knee up (90o behind) and count the same way. Switch and repeat. Something I can do while cooking, etc. The program I'm doing (for the hips) has the broadest range of motion but I'm glad to add some of their other body-part stretches or moves along the way. I may need to ask about lower back stretches next.

Two weeks and counting: What is everyone doing in preparation for the upcoming holiday season? Decluttering, dusting, rearranging, getting out the special china or flatware? I enjoy getting out crystal/glass pieces that usually are tucked away and adding ornaments to them for display around the house.


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

I have to do more work on the tour to finish the course, but for now am setting it aside and getting on with so many things that need doing this time of year. The second round tour will be in three weeks.

I have a list on the kitchen counter that will now get some serious attention, starting with mowing the lawn tomorrow. And working on the gardens. The holiday letter can wait until evening.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Dec 21 - 11:16 PM

Stay safe, Dorothy (and everyone!)

My week is focused on finishing up the work in the docent course I've been taking, and fortunately it's just cool, no need to go to extreme measures to come and go. There won't be a demonstration tour with cold soggy feet, etc. I do need to finish getting ready for the holidays early enough to ship things, and that will happen after the final exam for the course.

I have a haircut tomorrow, I only go in every other month, and since I'm not doing the highlight color any more I'm wondering about how to get more bang for my buck. I don't really want to do a new style, I like pulling it back out of my way and having it long enough to braid. I used to wear it quite short, something I'm not returning to any time soon. I could stay closer to home and spend less, but I like my hairdresser.

I'm looking at doing some modest entertaining here this month, so need to finish the decorating and dusting.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 07 Dec 21 - 04:54 PM

Beaver:

Well, Lesley came yesterday and took away a whole bunch more stuff!! Today, I managed to fill a bin with stuff and push it across the frozen snow to the car using it to stabilize me! And even got it in into the car. Then I could not see a safe way back to the house! Looking for a stick, a support of some sort, the neighbour walking his dog.... Found the in car snow shovel - in the car!!! and used it as the cane I needed to get safely back into house. WHEW! Tomorrow, whatever fits in one bin will go to car and into car and I will go into car. And leave whatever else until another trip. No broken or bruised bones so far! And I hope to keep it that way.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 07 Dec 21 - 11:22 AM

Beaver: Weather has given me a real kick. That nice light snow, then got rain, and I managed to get the car out onto the road knowing if that stuff freezes ... Unfortunately, it did freeze and it is life threatening to navigate. I used the shovel as a cane to get the snow tires out and, a few feet at a time, to the Kitchen and then through the house onto the back deck. Then very carefully brought in wood. Now wondering how creatively I can get stuff into the car to take back to QC. Resting up. Tires will get into tool shed later. No thaw for a few days and I am leaving tomorrow; the goodies are ordered! Rest and read, shlep a little, repeat ... Not precipitating and, hopefully, will not!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Thompson
Date: 07 Dec 21 - 08:41 AM

Ah.
Turns out that for the Norpro steam juicer, apart from the price ($135), and the price of shipping ($45), there'd be about $50 in import duty. I've decided to forget that one and go for the Ribelli one on Amazon, fingers crossed for its quality.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Thompson
Date: 06 Dec 21 - 04:52 PM

Hm, good thinking, Robin!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Dec 21 - 03:10 PM

They originated in Finland, so some of those brands might be out there if you figure out to search for them on their brand name.

Pro tip: I find on eBay that when I'm looking for things if I don't use the exact name of the thing I'm looking for I can find the products that people didn't know what to call them. They're out there, orphans waiting to be discovered. Don't search on "Steam juicer," search on some of the product names instead. Or even things like "Pot with hose," etc.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Thompson
Date: 06 Dec 21 - 02:14 PM

The steam juicers seem to have their own individual geographic range. Bit in the preppier parts of the US; big in the Baltic countries, but across most of the rest of Europe, not so much!
There's one called Ribelli for €60 on amazon UK; cheapest Norpro would be €160 by the time I got it here… On the other hand, the Norpro gets very good reviews, whereas I haven't found any of the Ribelli.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Dec 21 - 12:28 PM

Thompson, thanks for coming back - I need to check in my old computer to see if I already have a video to edit for steam juicers. Thing is, once you have one of these you'll find ways to use it. (I see a huge price difference between sites for the Norpro 619 - Amazon is about $60 less than Target.) And don't forget there is a marketplace with used. Read the reviews also - Amazon has several competing brands. The gauge of the pan is probably a factor here, and the volume. And the hose isn't rubber, it is going to be silicone. I have the Mehu_Maija aluminum one that actually came here from Finland at some point. I see the used ones are getting pretty high prices, and there is shipping included. So probably new is best (especially if the new ones can come with free shipping.)

On eBay I see a vintage Mahu_Maija used one with an old rubber hose. This is my model (I got it for $40 on Etsy 2 or 3 years ago), it works great, but I updated mine with the replacement silicone hose, and they cost anywhere from 3 to 7 dollars. Get the one with a metal fitting on the end and if you don't have the hose clamp, get that also.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Dec 21 - 11:34 AM

After 10 days any remaining parts of the Thanksgiving turkey that haven't gone in the freezer are too old to use. Good thing it's trash day. Too bad we didn't have more people here to eat turkey when this marvelous bird was roasted. I also need to finish trimming the datura plant and send it away in today's trash. So far I've added one more limb of it (cut into pieces and bagged for the trash; this doesn't go into the compost because if it sprouts in the back yard the dogs can get sick from nibbling it.)

All of the talk of snow reminds me of the freezing weather chapter that can be described in this year's holiday letter (that I need to finish soon). We're inches deep in sunshine here right now. And in scanning back over the last few posts I see I didn't even last a week after mentioning my slowing sewer to when I had to roto-rooter it. Hexed myself! (No, I don't believe that, but it sure feels true! In fact, I should have acted earlier, is all.) It's a good thing it was a nice day when I had to spend a couple of hours out in the yard working on that. Today we have a brisk cold breeze despite the sunshine.

I'm close to finishing a woefully-incomplete used jigsaw puzzle. I'm finishing just because, but this one will not go back into circulation once I finish as much as I can. It has been my most challenging to date, with all of these little Italian houses on Cinque Terre and their watery surroundings.

Coming off such a hectic weekend when I pampered myself by picking up more takeout than usual, this morning I finished the combination lo mein for breakfast. That's probably a full-day's worth of calories right there. I have a lot of vegetables to finish also, so the rest of the day might be more bulk than calories. I need to do more baking so I have to pull cooked, mashed pumpkin and sweet potatoes from the freezer. Lots of food activity today. I've already given away a couple of those frozen pumpkin/sweet potato loaves, they are a neighborhood favorite. Baking is restful compared to the yard work, so it's a good activity to switch to.

Lots of big peppers in the garden, way more than I can use, so I'll make a run to the community fridge to donate some. Other chores - more laundry today, and on my fridge I still have that list of the 12-days of cleaning for the holidays that Lily Festre shared several years ago. I find that helpful when trying to make a big push to clean everything everywhere.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Thompson
Date: 06 Dec 21 - 10:39 AM

I've been looking at steam juicers online ever since; the Norpro one is very enticing, except for its price, which isn't enticing at all. Apparently you can distil with them, in an… er… emergency.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 06 Dec 21 - 08:10 AM

Beaver:

About 6 inches of snow so light it slid between the cracks in the deck! I will be clearing snow today; more expected. And grieving Bill Staines and writing to friends re same. And, gearing down here and up to going back to QC - put an order in to the bakery for muffins and scones to pick up en route - when I ascertain a safe day to travel. Snow tires will stay in car as I missed my window of opportunity to get them safely the distance to the back shed.

Beautiful out there and just about freezing mark; not a day to travel anywhere!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Dec 21 - 11:53 AM

Playing catchup today, and for most of the week. It's time to get the holiday lights up out-of-doors (just a couple of strings on the porch and the usual three that wrap around the juniper).

The forest floor is deep in the den. The dogs have been running that part of the house this week. I think this is the week to finish up the mowing for now (and get started on mulching - the leaves have piled up at the curb over the last couple of days, so I'll sweep some onto the lawn and mulch them into the turf). And finish the iris thinning. That came to a halt with other projects but can be finished now.

Laundry will go in again today, this time without a biology project washing up into the hall tub. Yuck.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Dec 21 - 10:31 PM

Long afternoon followed by takeout dinner and a beer. The drain rooter device was harder to use this time, the block seemed to be bigger, and it kept getting snagged. I finally rocked it enough to get through, but the cable had a twist in it in the mechanism from whoever used it last and I couldn't get it to clear out any further than the initial blockage. The blade came out broken, half had broken off somewhere in the process, so who knows how good that cleanout was.

And I couldn't get the machine up into the SUV by myself so my friend came over and we ended up pulling an old door from the garage (stacked to the side, it used to be an outside door on the house but was dented during the 2005 burglary). We made it into a ramp and pushed the machine into the back of the SUV. Whew!

Time to go wash the tub and have a good hot soak.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Dec 21 - 04:08 PM

I was feeling virtuous having put in a load of laundry after reading Charmion's remarks (who correctly sussed the name of the FB Jail commenter) - and I walked into the bathroom and saw water in the tub. Damn. The roots have finally completely clogged the sewer line. I'm just back from picking up the electric snake thing with the tree root attachment. A quick lunch and check-in, then out to the yard to run this thing. And then to actually do something about the roots this time around. Lovely way to kill an afternoon, but the alternative is not flushing or using much water until I go get this machine tomorrow.

The stuff I have stacked up behind the SUV in order to get it out should do the trick - getting it back in will involve incremental lifts and then cardboard to slide it on sideways (they put it in wheels down so it tried to roll around as I drove home.) Or call the friend who took the heavy-duty fence posts off of my hands and suggest he could help me instead of paying for the posts. :)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 04 Dec 21 - 02:18 PM

BEAVER: NOW the sun is full out; scattered clouds!! Guess I'll clear the next half inch!!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 04 Dec 21 - 02:12 PM

Beaver:

Came to post this hilarious occurrence: Feeling loggy, I thought some fresh air might help - it did. I went out to clear the inch or so of fresh snow off the back deck. It was not snowing a bit while I did it... I finished and came inside, well pleased, and when I turned around to look west----- the deck was covered with a fresh coating - just that fast! It's really coming down! Well, at least the first inch is gone! And I ain't goin' nowhere! It's beautiful out there!

Picked up a clip on light fixture and LED floodlight for the studio but this seems to be a do nothing day (mostly). Guess I'll just read and watch the snowfall. And clear it the next time it takes a break. Got those snow tires on JUST IN TIME!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 04 Dec 21 - 12:58 PM

Would that be our famous gnu? He ran afoul of a bot that didn’t like his vocabulary.

My brother Andrew has also done time in Facebook jail, probably for being provocative. He’s good at that.

I have tried FB Messenger for video chat, and I’m not a fan. It was buggy and slow, with irritating lags, and I’ve never seen myself look worse.

The washer just chimed, indicating a load of wet underwear ready for the airer, and I’ve shovelled the leaves off the patio and onto the back flower bed. The wind is kicking up and huge gun-metal grey clouds are looming to windward, so this bit of fair weather is just about over.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Dec 21 - 12:07 PM

It seems to be going around. With all of the canning and gardening I do you'd think I could last at least 24-hours in a FB canning group, but apparently if what you're calling things isn't what they call things that's all it takes to find yourself erased before they bother to find out what you were REALLY talking about. What book were you reading that brought things to such an impasse? There's another Mudcat member (not a participant in these threads) who regularly finds himself in "Facebook jail." I keep my fingers crossed on that topic. (I wonder what a Mudcat book club would look like?)

The thing I forget about is that so many of us are connected on Facebook also and can use the Messenger app to do video chat. Perhaps it's time to pick up the smart phone or pull the covers off of our webcams and chat on occasion. And certainly, use that as one way to reach out of the sound of another voice and a friendly face is what you really need at the moment!

I've been feeling unproductive lately because I'm trying to complete one task (not very efficiently) and leaving all other chores till after I finish. Hence the list in the kitchen where I can cross off small things completed. The leaves here are just getting started, but that job needs to be added to my list. They pile up in the street at the curb (not my trees) and I scoop them onto the lawn and mulch them in with the mower. If I do a pass now I'll need to go back at least once more, possibly twice as the cold season progresses.

The fence across the street is a lovely sight to behold. I predict my friend will get more commissions in the village after that job because it's right there at the bottom of the hill since we're at one of the major entry points into the village.


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