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De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021

Stilly River Sage 20 Feb 21 - 12:50 AM
mg 19 Feb 21 - 09:45 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Feb 21 - 09:54 AM
Stilly River Sage 18 Feb 21 - 10:50 PM
leeneia 18 Feb 21 - 12:38 PM
Jon Freeman 17 Feb 21 - 08:33 AM
Charmion 15 Feb 21 - 07:30 PM
Dorothy Parshall 15 Feb 21 - 02:08 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Feb 21 - 08:40 PM
Charmion 14 Feb 21 - 10:53 AM
Stilly River Sage 13 Feb 21 - 11:31 AM
Stilly River Sage 12 Feb 21 - 11:37 PM
Dorothy Parshall 12 Feb 21 - 08:28 PM
Charmion 12 Feb 21 - 01:35 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Feb 21 - 11:10 AM
Jon Freeman 12 Feb 21 - 09:36 AM
Charmion 12 Feb 21 - 09:31 AM
Jon Freeman 12 Feb 21 - 09:21 AM
Charmion 12 Feb 21 - 09:11 AM
Jon Freeman 12 Feb 21 - 05:22 AM
Mrrzy 11 Feb 21 - 06:50 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 11 Feb 21 - 05:34 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Feb 21 - 11:31 AM
Charmion 11 Feb 21 - 10:45 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Feb 21 - 08:38 AM
Dorothy Parshall 11 Feb 21 - 08:03 AM
Stilly River Sage 10 Feb 21 - 09:14 PM
Dorothy Parshall 10 Feb 21 - 05:50 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Feb 21 - 01:22 AM
Stilly River Sage 09 Feb 21 - 12:38 PM
Charmion 09 Feb 21 - 09:44 AM
Jon Freeman 09 Feb 21 - 07:16 AM
mg 09 Feb 21 - 02:17 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 Feb 21 - 05:29 PM
mg 08 Feb 21 - 04:32 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Feb 21 - 03:39 PM
Charmion 08 Feb 21 - 11:43 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 Feb 21 - 12:20 AM
Charmion's brother Andrew 07 Feb 21 - 02:56 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Feb 21 - 11:35 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Feb 21 - 12:00 AM
Charmion 05 Feb 21 - 11:02 PM
Dorothy Parshall 05 Feb 21 - 08:21 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Feb 21 - 11:53 AM
Charmion 05 Feb 21 - 08:53 AM
Stilly River Sage 05 Feb 21 - 12:42 AM
Stilly River Sage 04 Feb 21 - 11:10 AM
Donuel 03 Feb 21 - 04:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 Feb 21 - 12:45 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Feb 21 - 11:01 AM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Feb 21 - 12:50 AM

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

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


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

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


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

Oh gawd, where to begin.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Dupont:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Dupont:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

This is the best Bob Dylan song...


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Pourvu que ça dure.


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

Wow, Charmion!

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

If I can help, let me know.


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

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

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

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

Time to make a loaf of banana bread.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

Beaver:

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Beaver:

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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


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

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


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Feb 21 - 05:29 PM

It's the dollars that are holding back the work on the windows! (Lack of!) If I ever get a chance, I'll put in a window screened in porch back there and turn it into a greenhouse. But that's on a wish list long from being fulfilled.

I've tracked down my vaccine information for this week and confirmed that Wednesday is the day I am due to get the second dose, and they'll send a text with the time and place. I'm trying to not be a pest, I looked it up, didn't call. They're getting so many calls these days that if I can avoid doing that I will.

The congressman from the next district over in this county died yesterday from COVID-19. Ron Wright was the first sitting member of congress to die of it. He's one of the individuals who was present on the day of the attempted coup at the Capitol, one of those GOP members who refused to wear a face mask when they were all clustered in together in one room. See how well that worked out.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: mg
Date: 08 Feb 21 - 04:32 PM

i vote for the windows. Sounds great.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Feb 21 - 03:39 PM

Charmion, do you have any of the services available to you like Instacart? When filling out the list you see the price total on the side of the page so it helps with some of the impulse loading of things in the cart. I do prefer to pick out my own produce but have it delivered sometimes (the last time I asked for a bag of onions several of them were rotting. I guess she didn't look at it, just grabbed the bag.)

The stuff you moved out to the curb in that big trash bag - is that stuff you brought with you from your other house a few years ago? I've done that with a move - figuring it's easier to pack everything and sort and toss later, but it is an eyeopener to then look at what you brought along, isn't it?

I have the ugliest fireplace in creating, surrounded by a wall of varnished irregular limestone rocks- I can't hang anything on it (I'd have to afix hangers into the mortar somehow, or glue to a rock face). I'd love to take this entire thing down and tile the wall, or get rid of the fireplace entirely and put in floor-to-ceiling windows.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 08 Feb 21 - 11:43 AM

I have just dragged a huge contractor-type garbage bag full of cracked, broken, rusty and otherwise non-serviceable clag -- about one third dead cookware and the rest office stuff -- out to the curb, thus freeing up substantial space in the Glory Hole.

I also extracted some pictures from the Grand Art Stash to go in the library and my bedroom. Thanks to my talented ancestors, Edmund's painter sister, and my father the art collector, I have literally dozens of works packed away in the basement. The library is a huge room, so it needs at least one really large picture; unfortunately, the one that should be there -- an enormous Canadian high-realist watercolour -- is currently over the fireplace, covering a large, ugly panel of satellite television connectors. Before I turn 70, I would like to see that gone, a proper mantelpiece installed, and a less-domineering painting on the chimney breast. An oil, so there's no need for protective glass that the electric light bounces off so you can't see the picture.

I'm out of eggs, milk, green veg, fresh fruit and all-purpose flour, so it's time for grocery shopping, which used to be kinda fun. Not now ...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Feb 21 - 12:20 AM

Good suggestion, C.'s brother. Push them on down the road.

I moved stuff and am thinking about shoe-horning a small end table into the office as a place to set the new slide scanner. I may not have to use that—once the scanner is out of the box if it isn't too large there may be room on the second computer's desktop (I moved some stuff to clear the spot, and as far as I can tell no cables came unplugged in the process so it appears to have worked.)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 07 Feb 21 - 02:56 PM

Charmion, are your degree and any "certificates suitable for framing" on walls or in a portfolio? If the latter, I would put Edmund's with those, and leave it to your heirs and assigns to sort out.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Feb 21 - 11:35 PM

I need to make a point of putting on a mask when I sweep around here. I did the entire house today, and gave myself a sinus headache from the dust.

I ironed the most recent yardage I brought home for masks, along with the flannel for a shirt I'll be making. For mask making I need to unroll three layers on top of each other, so in preparation I roll it into a long sausage instead of folding it. Today I brought in a very long aluminum ruler (no idea where it came from, I've had it for years) and used that to roll the fabric around and it goes much faster than my doing it free-hand. I picked up more of the black cloth with bright notes (I bought the rest of the bolt, probably 4 yards) and found a pink girly print that has been requested a couple of times. I've been buying plain light-colored flannel but it's narrower than the rest of the fabric I'm using, so next time I'll look at some of the print flannel and see if there's a light one that's a little wider. That will make for less waste.

I'm keeping an eye on my daffodils; the leaves are up and the buds are just beginning to look like they're forming. I say this after hearing about snow in the north and a snow storm racing up the east coast from Washington, D.C. up to New England. It's supposed to be a fast one, but still will leave some of you with about 8" of the white stuff. I had at least 24" of sunshine this afternoon. :-)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Feb 21 - 12:00 AM

There are televisions all over the house. Like radios, I guess. Because when I get working on something in one room I often will turn on TV or Netflix for company or entertainment and don't want to relocate what I'm doing into one or two rooms with a TV. There were some really good sales over the years that I jumped on.

At one time the old computer used to be a TV, it has a receiver built in, but that computer doesn't talk to the Internet any more so I can't update the broadcast schedule that makes it work. So if I want to watch something that is actually on TV while in this room, I need to have a TV here. It has a Fire Stick on it so I can watch lots of different services on it as well. I could also watch many of those on the computer, but I tend to prefer it on a different screen and not tying up bandwidth if I'm doing something that requires a lot of computing power and screen space. (Adobe products are real processor hogs).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 05 Feb 21 - 11:02 PM

Stilly, with a computer in your study, what do you need a television for?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 05 Feb 21 - 08:21 PM

BEAVER!!

Beautiful sunny day yesterday for a long drive, or anything else! Arrived about 3 with the sun still high enough to perk me up to: turn on electric blanket, fire in stove, clear paths on the deck and make a stab at clearing the studio door - Dan could find no one. The snow was not frozen like that at Dupont. The studio door budged a tich but I needed buckets of hot water - today. And now I can get in! Sitting looking out at that area, I got a monumental idea: An extension of the studio roof over the walkway would solve the whole problem! DUHHH! So I messaged Dan; he will look at it in the spring!

I was high on getting here, finally. The air is so different here. It was just delicious yesterday in the sunshine. I also love the quiet. No traffic - I went out and waved at the snowplow driver and he waved back cheerfully. Home!

Like Charmion, we had another few inches of snow today, but not the big winds. It was just at freezing when I cleared the door, but dropping tonight for the next few days. I was delighted to find the drive beautifully cleared, and Steve did it again late this am, and I could pay him.

I may yet try to melt away the 6-8 inches of packed snow from the roof so the walkway is safer/easier. Tomorrow. And bring in a good bunch of wood. Mostly resting today and a welcome visit with Larry, masked, and dog!.

All the tech stuff SRS does and I cannot even get my phone to talk to my computer. Telus says it is the computer and I cannot get it to connect to the phone or find out why. Admit: afraid of making things worse! When I get back to Dupont, I will try apple help.

This may be out of chrono- order.


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

And here I've been thinking about how to move a desk to reach the spot where I want to put my MA diploma on the wall after the ceiling restoration. I wonder if they would be of interest to his siblings? Nieces and nephews? Agencies he worked with? You could take them out of the frames and store them in a roll until you figure if anyone needs them. Or shred them.

Since I had to organize some papers to do the taxes I've kept moving along those lines and sorted, filed, and shredded more papers, including a basket of mail in the kitchen. Underneath were spare phone chargers and I will never ever need this many old slow chargers. To the Goodwill bin. I'd break even on eBay where they sell for about .50 each but the sellers all offer free shipping.

My office desktop is finally looking better (the cables are all in view now that papers have been moved off of them.) Time for a measuring tape to see if turning one desk to face the wall is doable (in order to fit in a new scanner). It would mean moving other things; as it is there is a television on the bookshelves beside me but a move would put it behind me, so I'd have to move it to a different bookcase or on top of the stand where the printer also sits. There are cables involved, and plugs.

We're still at very high risk for COVID here in my county, but I am looking into the future to find ways to volunteer to help, in a masked and socially distanced way, to get more people vaccinated. It makes sense that the otherwise fit and healthy over-65 recipients of the earliest doses of the vaccines now turn our considerable energy and time to helping everyone else get the vaccine. There's a county website for volunteering, so I'll plan to do that at the end of the month, when my second vaccine (due next week) has had time to fully take effect.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 05 Feb 21 - 08:53 AM

It's snowing like billy-be-damned in southwestern Ontario, and the wind is shaking the trees and howling in the chimney. A good day to do little and go nowhere. Television may well be watched.

I can't start on the 2020 taxes until Revenue Canada coughs up its statements of our employment and pension income, and deductions made at source. Since COVID is invoked so consistently for torpid and/or opaque government performance, I assume these documents won't appear until the penultimate minute, and the resulting frenzy to file on time will break the Internet.

Question for the Hive Mind: What does one do with framed diplomas when the need to impress/reassure clients has passed? Edmund's collection of credentials -- four university diplomas, two law licences & his Army commission -- covers rather a lot of wall where I would rather put something else.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Feb 21 - 12:42 AM

The taxes are calculated, but I find that the Free Fillable Forms won't be opened for use until next week on Friday. I don't use the various free tax services available from the irs.gov site, I use the free forms out there for anyone. Fill it in with the information from my penciled in forms and every so often hit the "do the math" button. Save, print, send.

Tomorrow morning I take my sewing shears in to be sharpened. I may load up a few other pairs of scissors and if the price isn't too extreme, get them all a little TLC.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Feb 21 - 11:10 AM

At one time I thought having a screen and a good quality WiFi-type projector was the way to go - just as well they were so expensive that I never got around to buying one. The TVs on the market these days cost less than the projectors and the quality is excellent. I have TVs around the house, the only time I'll buy any more is as replacement, and one day I'll get a larger one for the den (and move that one in there now to the bedroom to use for Yoga exercises streaming - the one in there now is small to see from across the room).

Dusting pretty much finished in a couple of rooms, more sweeping now that the dust has settled on the floor. And I may need to rearrange my computer desk if I'm going to set up the new scanner. It arrived in a large box with a wad of newspaper on top but no padding. A box with the classic symbol of the cracked wineglass to suggest it's fragile. I need to test it soon to be sure it survived the journey.

Last week I played with the Google Fit app on my phone; usually when I walk the dogs it figures out I'm walking and tracks the route and tells me the time and distance, but it cuts corners and usually misses part of the route. Through experimentation I realized that I can tell it when I'm starting out and it will track my route very accurately and record the distance with a lovely little map. It doesn't really matter except the exact route and distance is a nice incentive to keep using it and see where all I'm walking. I'll plan to continue using it the way it was intended to work.

The CDC is still sending out queries about how I'm feeling after the first vaccine. I'm curious to see if it knows when I get the second shot or if I have to tell it. And then I guess we'll repeat the process, daily check-ins for the first week, then weekly. I'm happy to be part of the information gathering system. I'd be happy to be part of a contact tracing app, telling me if I've been near anyone with COVID, but Texas doesn't seem interested in that kind of data.

Today comes the first stab at doing my income taxes. I have a friend who some years ago learned that her refund was claimed by an imposter who stole her identity, and we all realized that the best way to avoid that is to file ASAP. I say the "first stab" because I usually discover some new form or worksheet I need to fill out or use to calculate my percentage of discount, etc. This year in the US there is a line for charitable donation credit, even if you don't itemize. One more set of papers to dig out since I stopped saving them a couple of years ago when these new tax forms came out and you couldn't take that credit if you didn't itemize. I think Trump was trying to depress charitable giving to organizations he didn't like by removing the tax benefits for most people. Someone appears to have snuck it back into the forms, if only on a small scale.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 03 Feb 21 - 04:58 PM

Today I converted a high quality movie screen and stand for projection TV.
I was able to lose 30 lbs of needless weight. The screen, not mine.
now it hangs by one screw.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Feb 21 - 12:45 PM

I have started, but not completed those tasks. I used a mop to remove the dogs' muddy path across the den (I have a steam cleaner that might work on the crevices in the tiles but haven't tried that yet); it looks so much better now. In the office I can get into the closet and have more space on one side. It is time for the burning barrel for what will amount to an inches-deep stack of paper once I really get going in there. I cleared out a basket on the kitchen bookshelves and found the information about the tiles I'd like to put down in the hall bathroom. Inexpensive (relatively) but hard porcelain so they're less likely to crack, and with a surface that will be non-skid. So many things to work on.

UPS sent an update about a parcel wending it's way to the house, so it looks like the shipping for the designed fabric swatches is correct after all (it appeared to be reversed when I placed the order - I don't like having to wait on line at the post office anyway, but especially now.) Last night I worked on a small video about making masks, but the camera batteries kept running low and stopping. I've charged everything overnight so will try again later today. With a fixed camera on a tripod I have to be sure all of the action is captured but is close enough so viewers can see what I'm trying to illustrate. I drew down my fabric stash when all of this started, but am now back up to a robust collection. The video is destined for YouTube and a link to my blog.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Feb 21 - 11:01 AM

Despite how often I appear to be on various platforms, I find that sometimes a day or a weekend away has a calming effect. It doesn't always mean the radio or TV is off, sometimes I just turn on a classical or blues channel on broadcast or Sirius, or set streaming TV on the America Test Kitchen channel, or watch a day or two of This Old House or police procedurals. I wish Pluto had a Nancy Ziemann Sewing With Nancy channel. I've saved up a few PBS programs to go in and watch several at a time, and I have some audiobooks but I haven't listened for a while. Those are ideas!

Charmion, your letters and calls worked. Good luck in managing the income. My savings credit union savings gets about 0.01% interest these days but my Vanguard (no load) account is in funds that get between 10 and 15% a year. Not a lot of money in there, but I'm working on it.

Congratulations on the dinner; that's a doubly nice occasion when you have good company and a great meal. I had lunch last week with my daughter and we were back in her work parking garage and it was a little chilly. Our autumn picnics were nice. Often it's too hot or too cold around here to sit outside for long.

Dusting the office and cutting out a pattern for a flannel shirt today.


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