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De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021

Dorothy Parshall 10 Aug 21 - 10:51 AM
Charmion 10 Aug 21 - 10:45 AM
Stilly River Sage 10 Aug 21 - 09:58 AM
Stilly River Sage 09 Aug 21 - 10:38 PM
Dorothy Parshall 09 Aug 21 - 09:57 PM
Charmion 09 Aug 21 - 08:47 PM
pattyClink 09 Aug 21 - 08:08 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Aug 21 - 07:45 PM
Donuel 09 Aug 21 - 12:25 PM
Dorothy Parshall 09 Aug 21 - 11:59 AM
Dorothy Parshall 09 Aug 21 - 11:58 AM
Stilly River Sage 09 Aug 21 - 10:50 AM
Donuel 09 Aug 21 - 09:08 AM
Charmion 09 Aug 21 - 08:41 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 Aug 21 - 06:42 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Aug 21 - 11:09 PM
Charmion 07 Aug 21 - 07:11 PM
Charmion 07 Aug 21 - 07:01 PM
Jon Freeman 07 Aug 21 - 06:20 PM
Jon Freeman 07 Aug 21 - 06:09 PM
Charmion 07 Aug 21 - 05:45 PM
Charmion 07 Aug 21 - 01:57 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Aug 21 - 10:53 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 Aug 21 - 08:53 PM
Dorothy Parshall 06 Aug 21 - 02:18 PM
Jon Freeman 05 Aug 21 - 11:59 AM
Stilly River Sage 05 Aug 21 - 10:56 AM
Charmion 05 Aug 21 - 08:49 AM
Jon Freeman 04 Aug 21 - 09:16 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Aug 21 - 07:24 PM
Donuel 04 Aug 21 - 06:07 PM
Jon Freeman 04 Aug 21 - 04:46 PM
Dorothy Parshall 03 Aug 21 - 09:35 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 Aug 21 - 07:35 PM
Donuel 03 Aug 21 - 04:35 PM
Charmion 03 Aug 21 - 11:35 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 Aug 21 - 10:05 AM
Stilly River Sage 02 Aug 21 - 11:21 AM
Jon Freeman 02 Aug 21 - 07:45 AM
Stilly River Sage 02 Aug 21 - 12:58 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Aug 21 - 05:46 PM
Charmion 31 Jul 21 - 04:52 PM
Stilly River Sage 31 Jul 21 - 09:57 AM
Stilly River Sage 30 Jul 21 - 10:47 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 Jul 21 - 01:47 PM
Jon Freeman 30 Jul 21 - 12:06 PM
Jon Freeman 30 Jul 21 - 11:45 AM
Charmion 30 Jul 21 - 11:44 AM
Stilly River Sage 30 Jul 21 - 11:42 AM
Jon Freeman 30 Jul 21 - 11:02 AM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 10 Aug 21 - 10:51 AM

Dupont:

I also have a bunch of cash in my wallet! I always pay cash in small stores near Beaver but only card elsewhere.

R stayed in town last night so I got up at 7 and took advantage of a cooler hour to put fertilizer on cherry trees, and water that eggshells were soaking in on tomatoes. Then put more water on the eggshells and decanted the remainder of the manure from rotting plastic bag into a bucket. I had not looked at the cherries since spring when we saw they had been nibbled. They have actually burgeoned and look wonderful! The well seasoned manure can make them happier. I watered the front - potted - plants also.

Then sat down with green tea with the dregs of the maple syrup pitcher and ICE. And the two left over buckwheat cakes from yesterday, enhanced with unsweetened apple butter. Need to look for more of that product or equivalent.

Looked for childhood friend whom my bro said was looking for me - a few months ago...a lot of months ago? Traced to an unexpected place but phone disconnected. "Other residents" - there was a different number for one and I was able to leave a message. I suspect I am too late. He would be 88. Playmates at the ages of 4 and 8! I will look some more - for an obit... sad.

A/C on in BR so I can go there when I cease to function. It cooled enough by midnight that I could turn it off and sleep with the slight breeze from the window. Possibility of rain tonight!!!!!!


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

The only people I routinely pay in cash are the kid who mows my lawn and the vendors at the farmers' market. I go to the bank machine about once every six weeks or so.

I took delivery of my new car on 2 December 2020. Since that date, I have filled the tank exactly five times. No, its not amazingly fuel-efficient; I just don't hardly go anywhere. The odometer stands at only 3,695 km right now.

In fact, I still don't have a clear idea of its long-distance performance. I have yet to take a trip long enough to run the engine in top gear all day, as one does when driving clear across Ontario on Highway 401.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Aug 21 - 09:58 AM

As far as I can remember, the last time I went to the credit union ATM to withdraw cash was in February 2020. I paid my hairdresser with cash right before the knee surgery, and back then (before I started my "COVID-hair project") I was doing the more expensive cut and highlights.

COVID-19 came along and I was ordering things online and not needing cash, and on rare occasions I was shopping for myself and my ex and he paid me back in cash. So for all of this time, I haven't had to go to an ATM. His groceries went on my card, he paid me back with cash. We're mostly doing our own shopping now and I've been figuring the no-ATM run was about to end. My hairdresser appointment is tomorrow, and even though it's only the haircut and not color, it's still cash. BUT! My next door neighbors are going out of town for 10 days and she was trying to set up a watering system in the yard for some of her houseplants and it wasn't working, so she insisted in paying cash for my watering the plants (now placed on her shady front porch).

It doesn't make a difference if I go to the CU or not, it's just something I've noticed and wondered how long it would last. 18 months so far.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Aug 21 - 10:38 PM

Patty, it looks like you can walk into a CVS pharmacy and request a Johnson & Johnson vaccine. And if you decide you want to trek through Texas you're always welcome to spend a few days here in the driveway.

Charmion and Dorothy, I got the low-VOC paint when I did the walls and ceiling in the office. It made a big difference in how the rest of the house smelled (not).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 09 Aug 21 - 09:57 PM

Dupont:

Charmion: There is low VOC paint!! I would have to move out if I were going to be subjected to paint toxins!

I know many Canadians who do not want the invasion from the south; I am one of them! And would certainly not consider going down there.

A/C going in the BR in hopes of a night's sleep. Watered the back garden, the beans were looking desperate. Bit the bullet and cooked a quick meal on the stove; the exhaust fan seems to do a stellar job. I have no idea where the air goes but I do hear it when I am outside the very back of house to turn the water on and off. Maybe near where the dryer exhausts - Somewhere down there!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 09 Aug 21 - 08:47 PM

According to the signs on the approaches to the Ambassador Bridge at Windsor, connecting to Detroit, Canadians are still strongly discouraged from crossing the U.S. border. “Essential travel only!” they say in large letters. I took that to mean “Turn around and go home, you idiot”.

Rick the painter has done the hard part of fixing up the ugly bedroom: removing more than a dozen hooks, nails and screws; patching a myriad of scrapes, holes and dings in the plaster; caulking and painting all the trim; and priming and painting the ceiling. It looks like a bombed-out bordello in there, and the whiff of the primer sealant has permeated the house. Every window with a fly screen is wide open.

Tomorrow we’ll see completion: two coats of nice, restful, green paint on the walls.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: pattyClink
Date: 09 Aug 21 - 08:08 PM

Howdy, SRS!   

Maybe I need to get out of the West before Howdy and Reckon become part of my everyday speech??!!

Have been lurking here and there, and admiring the strides the declutterers make to master their households and serve their communities. I continue to 'throw things over the side', tough sometimes to throw away old wornout things, things from another life, things DH gave me. But, one goes on.   And I have dropped another 10 pounds, but, that renders me more wrinkly, which hardly seems fair!

Mostly, have been a thoroughly irresponsible flake, enjoying the amazing countryside and people. Since I RV alone, I can easily isolate, and since I choose to stay away from crowds and metro areas whenever possible, I have been lucky to avoid the ravages of Covid.    I do socialize from time to time with other solos and travelers, but it is outdoors and distanced.

I do worry as I head from the Southwest into the Midwest in the teeth of the Delta wave. My objective this week therefore is to obtain a J&J one-shot in Iowa if I can. (Many of the SW states have made shots a cumbersome process, and I'm not crazy about the effectiveness of them so far).

Then on to a little touring in rural Nebraska and a family mini-reunion in Illinois. Lord knows what the fall will hold.

Had an amazing year, after a low point in January, when I considered packing it in, it was very difficult to travel among the maskless and clueless.   But got with a few friends out on the desert and passed a great winter in the circle of a tiny 'tribe', and then got to enjoy the pools and the saguaro bloom of Arizona and explore Nevada a bit.

The summer's highlight was rafting Cataract Canyon on the Colorado. Learned from trying to squeeze a week's needs into 2 'dry bags' that I can indeed get along with less stuff than usual.   It was a difficult but glorious experience.    Also had a blast in Wyoming, a place I had never spent any time.   It is lightly populated and still very much tuned into the land and the animals, and crawling with mountains and fossils.   

And, got to join in the festivities at many Mudcat Worldwide Singarounds, something I had been needing for oh, 40 years?   What a blessing that has been.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Aug 21 - 07:45 PM

Dorothy, I'm glad you got your Hoosier kitchen finally! I'd been looking for a while also, then this one dropped into my lap at a family estate back in the late 1980s.

The ex came over this afternoon to pick up some extra flat bread brought to yesterday's lunch, along with more of the fresh salsa and some tomatoes and peppers. I've spent the last hour trimming and slicing hot peppers to put on a baking sheet in the freezer. When I get these bagged I have one more batch to trim and slice, then I'll start bagging some of these to take up to the community fridge food donation location near me.

This morning's laundry was retrieved from the line and folded, and for the next load tomorrow I'll set the washer on the timer to run in the wee hours when power is in less demand, then hang it out early.

I hear that fully-vaccinated Americans are being allowed to drive into Canada starting today. I imagine there is quite a line at the border. Is the converse true - are Canadians being allowed into the US, or were they already?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 09 Aug 21 - 12:25 PM

re: things get worse
Jeeze louise I am lucky after all the planes, trains, buses, automobiles, elevators and baseball games. It looks like lockdown rules until xmas.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 09 Aug 21 - 11:59 AM

YAY!!! I DID IT!!!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 09 Aug 21 - 11:58 AM

Dupont:

Certainly agree that train for this event is far preferable! I know all those routes and ... Plus the event itself! Good to take care of your own energy at a time like that.

The Kitchen cabinet, called a "hoosier" in the midwest, and, I am sure, many other names. Ours at Beaver is a Knechtel; at least that is what the metal label says. It is similar to but perhaps smaller than the pic by SRS. The pull out counter had ugly and modernish tiles on it when I bought it. I took them off and had a local person replace it with a colour coordinated piece of formica - more attractive, easier to clean and to pull out. I have wanted one for 60 years - since my MIL had one; when we gave her money to redo her K, I was hoping for the cabinet but too shy to ask ahead. "Oh that piece of junk! I gave it away!" Finally got this one at a yard sale in rural Quebec after we bought Beaver. Fits perfectly!

Did two stints of weed eating yesterday and was fine after. None will be done today as the humidity was already debilitating by 10 am. Did watering. Even the weeds are wilting. It did "rain" last night; what I refer to as the excess humidity falling out of the air. Not even a millimeter!

Realize I have made grave technical errors in my planting. Big clay pots give the water away really fast! If everything were in the ground, I could use a soaker hose, of which I have a few still in packages! This would solve the tomatoes but not the geraniums and the one elegant ornamental pot of vines and flowers. If we get a cooler day (than 30C) I may find the energy to remedy this as much as possible. R is enjoying the tomatoes as they ripen - a couple every couple days. Reality is that I must stay and water - not go to Beaver and pot - or lose the plants. The heat plus the covid have me at a point of wondering what matters.

A recent article in the Baltimore Sun by an epidemiologist:

things get worse

Maybe I did not do that correctly!

I am going to read, play on computer, drink lots of water and maybe turn on air in BR so I do it all in a cooler place.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Aug 21 - 10:50 AM

It does sound like a lovely service, with the traditions expected in a military situation. And after poking around on Google maps it looks like not driving to Ottawa is a good decision.

I have the WeatherUnderground app on my phone, and I pay $2 a year to keep it ad free. It includes a feature where you can ask it to display when the perfect conditions for walking will exist in a day—the temperature, wind, precipitation (not!), and during daylight. My app is showing only the earliest morning hours as suitable right now, so I'm getting up earlier and taking the dogs for their walk. The good thing about it also is that when I check the weather in the morning I see that green bar and remember that I SHOULD take a walk today. I'm not to the swimming pool exercises stage yet so it'll have to be walking for now.

The dryer is working after my repair, but I'm going to keep hanging laundry on the line outside; it's a tiny gesture, but with fires raging and oceans rising I don't need to run a box of hot air to dry my clothes when the solar dryer works fine for free. And I think instead of sending paper shreds to the landfill I'll just dump them in the garden or the compost. I see people dumping paper shreds in the recycle bin but suspect they go straight to the trash. The butterfly effect, starting here in Fort Worth, Texas.


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

It sounds like a perfectly wonderful service to remember.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 09 Aug 21 - 08:41 AM

Rick the Painter is due at nine this morning to start work on the ugly bedroom. At nine-thirty, I’m out the door to the Y for pool class at ten.

Planning is now under way for the ceremonial interment of Edmund’s ashes at Beechwood in Ottawa, where the National Military Cemetery is located. It will be done on 9 October, the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. I have booked the padre, poked the JAG Old Boys’ Net, and bought a return train ticket; two solo road trips to and from Ottawa in one season is a lot more than I feel equal to. And I booked a cat-minder. The padre, a musician himself, will engage a piper and a bugler to provide the traditional calls.

I have no idea yet what to do about the equally traditional drinks and lunch after, but I’m sure there’s a mess somewhere that will be open — perhaps even the Army Officers’ Mess where Edmund was a member for the better part of 25 years.

I will be soooo glad when this is done and dusted.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Aug 21 - 06:42 PM

The house is tidied after company left, the dishwasher is full, and I get to enjoy a couple of days of a completely tidy main part of the house (before things start creeping onto horizontal surfaces again . . . ) I kind of overdid yesterday with the trimmer in the front yard - reaching forward and holding the weight in front of me tends to pull stomach muscles, and they were complaining this morning. Other than that, the day went well.

Since we'd talked ahead of time about whether everyone was vaccinated I ordered some inexpensive silicon bracelets that say in contrasting color "I got my COVID-19 vaccine" as a sort of party favor.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Aug 21 - 11:09 PM

I think the kitchen queen came from a day when kitchens were radically different. No storage. It is a compact yet generous amount of space - they had flour storage and a crank sifter (this one didn't, it was removed before I got it) and a bread box bin (still here) and some metal drawer sliders and wooden drawer sliders. The lower large cupboard has a piece of wood in the bottom that is in tracks and can actually be pulled out to access anything sitting on it in the cupboard. There is a bread board tucked in under the moving enamel counter. The roll-top part works (it took work with a box cutter to remove the paint holding the slats together). The tall cabinet door on the right is actually a pie safe with wire racks for putting hot baked goods on to cool or protect.

The flour sifter side was one tall open space until I put in some pegs and shelves (I took plywood and ironed on oak veneer on the sides so they look finished) and used to keep cookbooks in there, but now it's all dried beans and pasta and rice in that ex-sifter space. In the lower cabinet (with the pull-out base) I keep party stuff - plastic plates, extra table cloths, and there is another wire rack shelf part way up in the back that could be used for storing large food items. I leave cookie canisters and such in there for the holidays. The bottom drawer on the right is the old bread box and is where I keep spare kitchen stuff from my Dad's house (and every so often send something out of there home with the kids). The next couple of drawers are for batteries and the battery tester and some spare pads of paper. It's a very efficient piece. At one point I thought to use it as a bar with the fancy glasses in there and such but I just don't entertain that much and rarely with drinks to make it an efficient use.

Oh, there is a wide and shallow drawer with separate compartments right under the enamel top that is for silverwear. I keep lots of spare stuff from Dad's house along with more antique kitchen gadgets from family estates.

Kitchen queens stand on hard little iron casters and each leg has a little metal fitting around the castor that my great aunt told me was for something like a layer of Vaseline to keep ants from climbing onto and into the cabinet. They really thought of everything.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 07 Aug 21 - 07:11 PM

Jon, the difference between a Welsh dresser and an American “kitchen queen” is that a Welsh dresser is strictly for storage and display of ready-use crockery, while a kitchen queen integrates a food-preparation surface, typically made of enamelled steel.

When I lived in Germany, the furnished apartment I rented in a village near the base had a “schrank” (floor-to-ceiling cabinet) that strongly resembled a kitchen queen, having the same base and hutch design with a marble slab work surface as the top of the base, and two pull-out cutting boards. The house was hundreds of years old, and the kitchen schrank probably dated from the 1890s.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 07 Aug 21 - 07:01 PM

Yes, Jon, you’re right. Newton, not Boyle.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 07 Aug 21 - 06:20 PM

Interesting bit of furniture, srs. I'd not heard of them. I'm not sure I like the white bit but I guess it gives a good durable work surface. I can imagine yours would look better in wood than paint but I'd not have the patience for a task like that.

A similar (I think) bit of furniture I think can look good in a kitchen is the Welsh dresser (according to Wikipeda, called a china hutch in the US). At least if you have a kitchen that would take one.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 07 Aug 21 - 06:09 PM

I think that should be Newton above, charmion? I remember a Boyle's law from physics at school and that was pressure x volume = a constant.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 07 Aug 21 - 05:45 PM

Most of my basement is now clear of excess stuff looking for new homes. I can see a lot of wall previously covered with bookcases, which reminds me — ugly baby-shit brown colour scheme! Also, amateurishly installed baseboards and window frames.

In good time, I intend to clear the storage shelving of bins and boxes, and then clear the basement of said storage shelving.

Trouble is, some of the stuff in the storage shelving has been hiding in my basement — if not this actual basement, one of its predecessors — since 1992, when my Dad died. Puts me in mind of Boyle’s First Law of Motion: “Bodies at rest tend to remain at rest.”


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 07 Aug 21 - 01:57 PM

Today’s adventure is another trip to Goodwill, followed by a visit to Habitat for Humanity. Leaving the building are: two ugly end tables, Edmund’s 30-year accumulation of rucksacks, and a large box (3 cubic feet) of excess crockery and kitchen gadgets.

Then I’ll buy some groceries.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Aug 21 - 10:53 AM

Two very heavy bags of magazines loaded into the SUV to recycle later today. There is a lot to do around here in addition to clearing out recycling—I have to mow this morning before it gets much hotter. I slept late and it's a bit too hot for the dogs out there now (at least for the oldest one). Instead of getting up earlier I had a weird dream - I'd moved to Tennessee and was living in a stacked "tiny house" mobile home (out of a shipping container?) near a friend (who in fact lives in San Diego) and was trying to figure out how to transfer my prescriptions down there when I woke. That was enough to get me up out of bed!

Last night's clearing also got rid of magazines and catalogs that were stacked on the kitchen queen. (My cabinet has several layers of paint I'd like to remove, but is otherwise in excellent condition. It came from my great aunt's home and was probably bought new in the family.) Now that enamel worktop can be extended and set up as a serving area for lunch tomorrow.

Looking around the house, it's on the cusp of being ready. I've done a lot of the small scrubbing stuff, now to do the big sweep and vacuum dog hair and dust and get tables set. Make a loaf of bread, and be ready to make BLTs and have various kinds of salsa and dip around tomorrow.

If we decide to move outside (COVID-19 Delta is back, even though we're all vaccinated) I may set up chairs under the vitex tree out front. The dogs run the back yard and I still haven't fixed the patio cover, so it's less inviting. There are two bird baths under that tree, and I'm seeing feathers in them, telling me the local song birds have taken to those water sources. I'll keep filling them a couple of times a day and tomorrow they may have company.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Aug 21 - 08:53 PM

I try to water deeply and infrequently in the garden, but the pots need daily attention. And even "infrequently" ends up being at least twice a week this time of year.

While shopping I picked up some brown paper bags and am about to pull the covers off of a bunch of New Yorker magazines and pulp the insides in these bags. I read it online, the paper version usually sits until it goes in a stack somewhere. I finally switched to an online-only subscription this year. These bags will be easy to pitch into the village recycle bins; I try not to put intact boxes in, they end up taking up too much space. Anyway, clearing out the magazines will give me a couple of cubic space in a set of shelves in the kitchen.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 06 Aug 21 - 02:18 PM

Dupont:

Still in recuperation: watering outside potted plants - no rain and they take several gallons each day. I don't know if they will survive if I leave - for even a few days. R is not dependable; he does not live for plants alone!

Yesterday was the installation of the amazing gates. I went to city for the purpose, about noon and was back about 4. Four hours in the open air, hot but shady and breezy - but still HOT! I took lots of pics and tried the video but no idea what I was doing so scrapped those. It really looks monumental! Just observing 4 competent people working together was a treat - with large tractor/front loader... and two large trucks and the forklift. IT is such a de-clutter in R's life he came home last night, "Now what do I do...?"

Now he is faced with the political/bureaucratic logistics of the project; he has been in avoidance and leaving them to E but still hours on the phone and meetings. I hope I live long enough to see this project come to fruition - and that is is not torpedoed by "big money" hand in glove with paid off bureaucrats.

And All I do is water plants! I hope I get enough energy back to drive to Beaver in a few days. In my arena: dishes, laundry and K mostly in order. NO grass/weeds are cut. I open and close windows and drapes according to the weather and use fans when it gets too hot for me. Thankfully, it has cooled enough each night to live without noisy A/C. Then, just now!, I realize I could cool the BR with A/C for a while before we go to bed, even while I take a 1-2 hour nap. Would cool the bed and furniture.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 05 Aug 21 - 11:59 AM

Mum tidied out the study a couple of weeks back and unearthed an old Meopta microscope (I think it had been a student model from a department in the UEA where a friend had worked so maybe once was good enough for science undergraduates) we were given years back. It came without a mirror and I had tried to work out a LED light for it but that got lost and my attempt wasn't that good. I debated whether to scrap it but found a Chinese sold mirror on ebay for £5 and thought it worth a try. It came today and is a perfect fit. I'm not sure what use it will get but I've ordered a cheap objective lens to replace one that isn't too good and, with luck, we'll have a reasonable microscope if we ever want one. Either way, it can stay on a living room table from now on.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Aug 21 - 10:56 AM

I'm upping my activity level and went for another dog walk this morning. We go about a mile, uphill half way, then downhill the second half. We left a little before 9am; I need to get myself out of bed and go earlier next time. We were okay but they were panting up a storm when we got home. I spoke with my rheumatologist this week about the bursitis and she said that the main change she's seen that works to remedy it is weight loss. So to help an old dog and an owner of a certain age we will make a point of taking more walks.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 05 Aug 21 - 08:49 AM

Decluttering continues at my house: Edmund's espresso machine has gone to Niece No 1 (and her Italian husband) in Windsor, along with half a dozen Le Creuset espresso cups. A lovely framed photo of Edmund went to Sister No 2, and his Welsh rugby fan gear is now in the custody of Sister No 2's sport-mad husband.

Now for the beer steins from Germany ...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 04 Aug 21 - 09:16 PM

We have a small pebble pond with a mushroom head that you can see from the hall window. Once in a while, it can be nice to stand there for a couple of minutes and watch a little bird appearing to have fun with the water. My favourite sight that I sometimes see there is a wren.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Aug 21 - 07:24 PM

I finally put a few seedlings into the garden, Swiss chard and a couple of very late squash plants. They're still small but they're not dead so come the cooler weather they may have growth spurts.

The leaffooted bugs are increasing in size and number, and along with my spray to knock off nymphs, I carry the flyswatter with me when I go to the garden and I simply knock off any adults I see. They can fly and respond to threats but they aren't fast enough for a targeted flyswatter. I used to have a couple of paint stir sticks that I would slap them with above and below the leaf they were resting on, but the swatter is easier.

Still pushing toward the tidy house for next weekend's visit. I've done a couple of loads of laundry and will do maybe one more to throw in the small table cloths I use (under the acrylic clear plastic I keep on each table top). I suppose this is the equivalent of plastic furniture covers for the tables, but this way the table cloths are in view and I don't need to wash them all of the time, I just wipe off the plastic (that is cut to fit right to the edge of each table).

I decided to up the wildlife game in the yard and instead of fussing about that damned rat, I scrubbed out the bird baths and filled them. I'd much rather enjoy birds than worry about rodents.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Aug 21 - 06:07 PM

Canada remains safe for now since despite vaccination, the Niagara border was closed to us so we walked to Goat Island instead. If you travel expect hotels to be more problematic than airlines.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 04 Aug 21 - 04:46 PM

Well they harvested the wheat on one side of the field (the field is divided by the track and our patch) today and I guess the other side (the larger part which we look out on from the pigsties) will follow soon. Another sign of the changing season is our rowan tree which now has ripe berries. I spent a couple of minutes standing under the tree and watching a female blackbird, who wasn’t bothered by my presence, tucking in to the berries.

The walking stick clips for mum’s trolley have worked fairly well but I noticed the first one I’d printed (with PTEG, I used the more durable nylon for the other one) had started to split so I printed off two more nylon ones (one as a spare) before sealing the filament reel up. I can’t remember if I mentioned this before but when I was pondering longer term storage of filament, I bought one of those food vacuum bag sealers. It seems to work well (and the full width bag roll the machine came with turned out to be just the right width for a reel) and may be better than a zip lock bag although I put the sealed reel in a zip lock bag.

The machine was intended to (possibly) be dual purpose. I also got some bags for it and may get to try it out with some food later this week. I picked our small aubergines yesterday, not a lot but I think I’ll get 3 or 4 meals for the 3 of us out of them and there should be 1 smaller picking later. I just want some courgettes to go with them and then I’ll stew them up. The ones I thought I had were rotted at the ends and stunted. I did add some last night for our grocery delivery today but (as can happen with these online orders) they were out of stock when my delivery was picked. I’ll try Chris, one of our neighbours tomorrow. He always comes round on a Thursday to ask if there is any item we need when he goes into town to do his own shopping. I’ve actually got two chances with him because as well as a supermarket possibility, he also grows his own and might have a few spare.

Staying with the garden, I bought some spinach in this grocer order. I’ll have to use that first but the next time after that when I want something on those lines, I’ll use our Swiss Chard. Not all my plants survived but the ones that did are growing well now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 03 Aug 21 - 09:35 PM

Dupont:

R finally got his provisional license today. He may only drive for business until 17 Sept. Then he can take a written test and regain a full license. I'm so happy I could cry! and nearly did. I would rather drive 3 hours on the 401 than the trip to the west island and - OOPS! cannot get anything done here; need an appointment. So he managed to sit in car and make an appointment for noon in the north end of the city - back the way we came and then on a dreaded highway and many blocks in the wrong direction and back in the correct direction and -THANKS to my having been there before many years ago, we did not have to go around in circles trying to find the entrance. Then back down town on said dreadful highway - about 3 hours traveling in total.

It took less than half an hour for his appointment - which we just made! Boy! Have I read a few books in the last couple weeks! Then we went to a nice little cafe for lunch and I took him to where I thought I would be freed! He was loathe to go into the building and sat in the car for an hour making calls and responding to texts or emails. I read. THEN, I came home and started to recover. Ate some food and took a long nap. Finished washing the dishes - after two days - and did up sauteed pears because they needed it!

I could go to Beaver tomorrow but now I want to be here to see the big gates go on the building - one beautiful 1800 30 inch thick stone wall actually, on Mill Street, next to the bike/walking path along the Lachine Canal.

Maybe tomorrow I will have the energy to phone Apple Help to find out why my phone and computer are not speaking - so I can post pics of this Gate - and others. The gate should go in place by Friday.

Need to make appointment to have car serviced and go to library for more books. And WATER plants ...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Aug 21 - 07:35 PM

A few grocery items I can't use were sitting near the side door for ages, so I loaded them and ran a couple of other errands then stopped by to drop them off at the community fridge. Since it wasn't a lot I stopped at the Supermercado nearby and picked up a few additional non-perishable items (and some freshly made tortillas - they can sit in the pantry area for a few minutes until someone grabs them up. The corn tortillas were still hot!) I discovered that site last year when I had lots of extra hot peppers; this year I'll be bagging extra peppers and taking them over also. Until the weather cools the refrigerator at that site can't keep up with the heat (it's a southern exposure).

I also stopped by Home Depot and picked up a couple of supposedly heavy duty spray bottles. I'll put them to the test with the organic foliar feeding and pest control mix I need to put out. The leaffooted bugs (stinkbug family) are back, and since I saw nymphs out there today, I know I can knock most of those off with the spray. Now if that rat under the tomatoes would just snack on the bugs on the tomato plants, I'd be set.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 03 Aug 21 - 04:35 PM

I gave up walking from Government center to Fenway but subsequent treks got easier. Between three flights and 700 miles of driving we covered alot of ground.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 03 Aug 21 - 11:35 AM

Home again, after a visit to Edmund's sisters and their families. It took me a fair while to process the adrenaline rush from seeing so many relatives for the first time since Christmas 2018, not to speak of three hours of Highway 401. A great deal of family business got done quickly and efficiently, for which much thanks.

Today I have a long list of phone calls to make and some necessary shopping -- cat litter! Then I'll dust the study and the bedroom.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Aug 21 - 10:05 AM

This very humid morning the dogs and I went for a walk around a few blocks, a little over a mile. Plenty for the old lab, who I think is starting to either have an odd effect to being deaf, or has early dementia. In the evenings he starts barking. He'll do it outside, he'll do it inside if I cover the dog door. I can usually distract him a couple of times to get him to stop, but it's annoying to have it happen every night. So now the TLC for the old guy has to kick in, and one thing the advice site that seems a good one says is more exercise. We have been lax during the summer heat, but I got up earlier this morning to take them out before I fed them.

The other reason is that the alternate day fasting isn't very effective if I'm not getting more exercise, especially on the fasting days, so the walk is good for me also.

The house is looking better, the kitchen counters have less clutter, as I prepare for houseguests.


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

I'm still kicking myself that I wasn't more careful about making sure the trap stayed closed when submerged at an angle. Last night I released a toad that got itself caught.

This week the goal is the bring the house into some kind of order for house guests next weekend. So of course after a rainy night the dogs have tracked a whole bunch of new muddy footprints along the length of the den floor. I have to get another mat to put by the door; one isn't enough, two just about catches most of the mud by the time they get to the far edge of it. I tossed an old one (it's at the curb as I type, waiting for today's trash pickup) and the one I'm using now was a good price at the Dollar Store. Must get another.

I have a tall table in the middle of the kitchen that is where a lot of standing prep happens because it's a good work height. I have a stool that I've used for canning when I need something to set the jar on for steam juicing (decanting the juice from the pot to the jar means it needs to be a little lower than the stove.) Usually it hides in a corner behind the kitchen queen, but I've left it standing under that table. It looks good, but I *think* it isn't one to sit on, I may have had to tighten a joint on one of the legs? I must check that out before someone tries to sit on it and takes a tumble. In which case I have a different tall stool that can live there. It just never pays to keep boobytrap furniture around the house.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 07:45 AM

Rats are clever and able creatures. We’ve spent on trying to make the property more secure but I think they would still find a way in… I don’t like it but once you have a rat problem, I think the only sure way is extermination.

I’m not sure I ever mentioned my favourite sighting of a brown rat? In my earlier days here, mum and I sometimes used to like to go down to the BBQ shed for a night time drink. The shed was set up well with (still there) 4 paraffin hurricane lamps and a Camping Gaz stove and (gone) a Calor gas heater. It was quite cosy even in cooler weather. One time, a rat just walked across the lintel over the door and between that and the corrugated roof. It must have known we were only feet away but it was so casual about it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 12:58 AM

The tomato supply in the fridge (those no longer stable enough to stay on the counter) has been drawn down considerably with the production of a gallon of fresh zesty salsa. This won't be canned, the tomatoes weren't in good enough condition for processing, but they're the "ugly fruit" that is perfectly good to eat. Four quart jars are cooling to be used and given to friends this week. I reversed the amount of peppers in the recipe, putting more hot peppers in to make this batch hotter, as was requested by a couple of family members.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Aug 21 - 05:46 PM

That rat is a tough story to follow. I have the trap set up again, but it'll have to be a different rat that falls for it.

Friends are coming over for lunch next weekend, and when I sent a note saying lets set the date for sure (we had a range to see who could come when) it didn't feel like it was happening. After that note I suddenly felt inspired to pick up, to cook, to have the house ready for a long congenial visit. We meet for lunch and are sometimes still here at dinner time.

In particular this group got started because one member needed extra encouragement to keep moving forward; it's difficult enough to be laid off when you're older, but when they do it to a disabled person it is even more of a blow. We know how this got started, and we all gain so much support from the group that it is a regular thing.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 31 Jul 21 - 04:52 PM

That’s one tough rat, Stilly.

In a previous life, maybe he was an action movie star.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Jul 21 - 09:57 AM

I had a big fat rat in the havaheart cage but when I dropped it in the full bucket the support holding the top door in place slid down, so after I walked away the rat pushed it's way out of the trap and the bucket. Chances are good that rat will now avoid the trap, but will it avoid my garden?

Laundry day, so some will go on the line (sheets) while some will go into the newly-repaired dryer. My towels can stand up by themselves if they dry on the line and are as rough as sandpaper.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Jul 21 - 10:47 PM

Two pint jars of pickled okra processed, a huge tomato handed over to the next door neighbor (who mowed the side yard again today), and a lot of picking up around the house. My next week's doctor's appointment is virtual so I faxed my bloodwork report to her office. I was looking forward to driving over and having lunch and doing some shopping after the appointment, until the scheduler left a message about the appointment being a remote one. I'll have to plan my own little road trip next week.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Jul 21 - 01:47 PM

I see what you're talking about - you had to get around a device that wanted to be wired in a place where you didn't have the port.

I have a similar sprayer but it's just a pump, not battery operated.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 30 Jul 21 - 12:06 PM

I think this one I had gave a different problem though, SRS (and my 2 AP towards either end of the wired part covers most well). The camera is a wired only POE one so it needs to plug into a wired port. I didn't want the hassle of running a cable into the bedroom so I took this route as I had an access point that would do it.

The access point in this client mode connects to the wi-fi in the same way as a computer or mobile device would do. Instead of its port connecting to the LAN, it becomes a sort of wired extension of the wi-fi which I can plug my wired only camera into (well in this case, indirectly as I also need to inject poe). Maybe there are other ways but it's one way of getting a wired only device online where there is only wireless available.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 30 Jul 21 - 11:45 AM

Oh, and on other things, I'm puzzling over dying grass round the back. Grass can struggle here in hot dry spells where the affected areas die and grow back when conditions are better but we've not had weather like that and it's not rallu like that anyway. It looks more like someone has sprayed a path about a yard wide from the gate to the wendy house shed (say 30+ yards) and alongside the concrete path with a weedkiller.

On sprayers btw, SRS, I use one of these rather than the pump up things. At 3.5L, it's not a great capacity but it does for the occasional bit I want to spray and fits in with my other Ryobi stuff.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Jul 21 - 11:44 AM

Y’know, Jon, it is possible to play in a pub session without drinking anything alcoholic. In fact, it’s easier to stay off the grog if you’re playing — you can’t hold a beer and a fiddle (mandolin, concertina, whistle) at the same time.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Jul 21 - 11:42 AM

Jon, I bought a Netgear wireless extender that I have plugged into the most distant wired Internet connection in the house so it sits on the mantle in the den at the back of the house and serves the two back bedrooms and the patio outside. I originally wired the house for telephone, but that soon became unnecessary so I converted the wiring and the wall plates for computer router ports. I have a router in the closet outside my office and a seven-port extension box on the wall under the router, so most of the rooms in the house are wired.

Charmion, enjoy your trip and I hope the roads are clear and the views are lovely!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 30 Jul 21 - 11:02 AM

Drs appointments here (at least with my GP's practice) are hard to get. You can get held in a phone queue for ages and then will probably have to go through the practice nurses before agreeing its a GP you want. Covid has made things more difficult but I think there is a basic problem that they are overloaded...

With my history of drink problems, music hasn't always produced a positive response for me. I don't get out now but an answer to "what do you enjoy" being "I like going to the pub to play in an Irish session" can take a bit of reasoning! Sidetracking a bit, I've hardly picked up an instrument in the last couple of months.

More tech babble: But it's still wet and I’ve been playing with openwrt. I’m not sure I’m right but think I’ve turned an unused rasp pi2 and a spare wi-fi dongle to work like access point I have running in client mode (to connect the wired only camera in dad's bed room where I don’t have or want to run the wired LAN) and a TP Link wifi-router into a multi SSID vlan supporting AP (it’s own firmware was more limited) which could serve as a spare for the wireless network here. It took me ages (the hardest part was finding that relayd provided the solution I wanted for the pi) but gave me something to think (and get confused…) about and I don’t suppose potential drop in replacements like this are bad things to have from idle objects.


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