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De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021

Stilly River Sage 28 Dec 21 - 05:22 PM
Charmion 28 Dec 21 - 07:27 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Dec 21 - 11:34 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Dec 21 - 11:18 AM
Dorothy Parshall 29 Dec 21 - 11:52 AM
Stilly River Sage 30 Dec 21 - 11:48 AM
Stilly River Sage 31 Dec 21 - 10:24 AM
Jon Freeman 31 Dec 21 - 10:35 AM
Jon Freeman 31 Dec 21 - 12:32 PM
Charmion 31 Dec 21 - 12:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 31 Dec 21 - 06:02 PM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Dec 21 - 05:22 PM

Dorothy, you're tuned into the grim reality of this holiday season. A lot of people can get sick and spread COVID, and make a lot of other people even sicker. We're all isolated and having a physical response to the emotional turmoil. I'm to the point where I'm going to write some journal entries as if I'm talking with the woman who I've seen as a counselor (on occasion) for the last few years. She has health issues (Lupus) so is probably talking to her clients via video calls about now, and I'll set up some sessions through university EAP (I can still use it as a retiree). But for the time being, I have always found it helpful to think about what I would say if the counselor is here right now, or about what I'll say in an appointment this week. Saying what is the problem, acknowledging the depression, is helpful.

Also, there really is something to the saying that having a good friend to talk to about things is as helpful as having a therapist. I'm thinking it's time to call an old friend out in California, who, every time we talk, it's like the conversation picks up from the last moment we talked. Nurture those relationships and help both of you feel better.

I'm pleased to read that R is working on small projects. I have some of those to do here, and they help me feel better. I've been fixing things around here lately for just that reason (and trying to remember to look at the To-Do list I posted for myself in the kitchen.)

What can we each do to help someone else feel better, and what can each of us do to help ourselves feel better? I had a conversation today with a woman who has a knack for delivering zingers that hurt. And if I were to share her "advice," it would hurt someone else as well. She's retiring at the end of the year, I won't see her after Thursday. And after that I'll consider how to neutralize her venom. (Hence the journal entry to my absent counselor, who I know would have questions that would help me sort it out. What questions would she ask? I'll consider it and answer them. It helps already that I've worked out a way to deflect the harm that individual was trying to do.)

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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Dec 21 - 07:27 PM

I’m back from Windsor, safe and sound, and now ensconced in the comfy chair with both cats sprawled on my lap and extended legs. They obviously missed me.

The two days with Edmund’s next-elder sister was spent in long hours of simple nattering, which both of us have missed. Her husband has become very deaf, changing their conversational dynamic profoundly, and I of course normally talk to the cats. So we spent our waking hours just running our mouths. It was nice.

The great-nieces and great-nephews are growing up while my back is turned, and even the youngest is now toilet-trained and the next-youngest is starting to talk to grown-ups in complete sentences. How time flies.

Now that I have completed my family visits for this holiday season, I shall concentrate on getting rid of the minor bug that is again — or still? — making my throat and ears sore. I thought I had it whipped, but it was merely lurking.

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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Dec 21 - 11:34 PM

The "Mountain cedar" - a juniper shrub that grows through Central Texas - has pollen that is blown around the state this time of year. In particular, it blows to the NE, over the metroplex. Everyone who is trying to not sound like they have COVID is trying to keep those allergies under control.

The friend who was going to come over tomorrow is no longer coming over - the daughter she has been staying with has tested positive for COVID. I drop my chin onto my chest as I hear this account of yet another friend too close to COVID for comfort. Her daughter is a teacher, and probably caught this at school. My friend was in a hotel until yesterday morning, when she moved into the daughter's guest room for a couple of nights. Now everyone is going to get tested and go into isolation.

Omicron is everywhere.

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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Dec 21 - 11:18 AM

My brother texted to say he has COVID. Fully vaccinated and boosted, but still, he has to lie low for a few days. So, the choice is for every single one of us to hunker down at home for a while, or risk catching this easily transmissible variant. It makes me rethink my typical morning aches and pains, are they stiff muscles or minor symptoms?

I open this entire thread and searched on "Atlantic" (it seems Dorothy and I alternately refer to articles we read there) to find this article from only 2 weeks ago. When I search the site, their articles about Omicron go back less than one month, but the arch of news - from talking about this milder version, to discussion of this version we're not ready for, to the soft-shutdown that it is enforcing - the science is moving rapidly and the human response is now a bit more adroit. Except it isn't, because there are enough of us who have the full vaccine regimen are still getting it and passing it on that shows we're not being as careful as we were before. Social distancing and being in large open or outdoor spaces - that is what will be required. Continuing to wear masks. Staying home.

It also had me thinking - of the huge amount of work it would be for my daughter if I suddenly succumbed to COVID, etc. I have cleared out a lot - 20 years ago this house was stuffed full of furniture that I no longer own. But it's time to get serious about moving out the more recent clutter, and do it more quickly. It's about not bringing in more "eBay items" just because I find them. Out with the old is going to be my big goal in 2022. I will raise my New Year's glass in the wish that a few people are still alive to buy some of this stuff on eBay.

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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 29 Dec 21 - 11:52 AM


Just said to R (realized) I feel as though we have been cheated out of our week at Beaver; he claims not to feel it but we have done it each year for 5 or 6 years... Anyhow, recognizing the problem helps. And the not so great delivery of groceries made me see that I really could go to the produce store; In fact, as we seem to be finding the Omicron not going into the lungs - my biggest fear- AND as the veggies sent in my order were definitely sub-par, I see this as a clear message to go get my own veggies - at a "less busy" time. As for talking to folks on the phone - I need to try harder to get over my not-wanting-to-bother problem and call ... But at this time of year...

I have kept the plants alive. And found some more creative meals. And the days are getting longer. And remembered to ask R to bring the vacuum downstairs to I can clean someday soon; the upstairs got its clean up. The huge fern from the neighbour drops leaves in piles!

R kindly brought the Canna in before frost but put it in a large pot which somehow has sat in the den for two months; the old leaves turned brown and new shoots are now a foot tall! I moved it into the hall where a glass door gives good South light and hope to keep it healthy until May!!

The little pear tree(about 8 inches), also brought inside, lost all its leaves and now has healthy new ones. Hopefully we can plant it outdoors next spring. I saved seeds from recent batch of pears and will refrain from planting them, and any more seeds until February! One pepper plant is flourishing in an east window and the other, on the K table, got a bug so I washed it in the sink yesterday and gave it a new location.

All the basil plants somehow disappeared as well as some geraniums - a mystery. I cannot imagine anyone came to the back deck and took them... I can start more geraniums from the remaining ones and have plenty of dried basil. Last year's poinsettia is still perking along and has splashes of red on two leaves; maybe I will follow directions for getting the red next year.

The big potted tomato plants did not make it but I have some seeds and one cutting that needs to be potted. Hoping we still have some of each of the ones "George" gave R as George died a few weeks ago (not covid)and we want them as memories.

Sounds as though the plants are my best friends! I will try harder.

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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Dec 21 - 11:48 AM

I am so ready for this year to be over. Every time I hear from people it seems to be a report that someone has been exposed to (or caught) COVID*. The speculation in medical circles is that the rapid spread of Omicron will lead to a peak of infections within a few weeks, and then it will subside. It's time to turn to the home projects and stay out of public places for a while. (*In much of Texas we're under influence of "Mountain Cedar," the Ashe juniper that spews pollen this time of year. It causes lots of sinus infections, and people are being careful to treat allergies and not have to wonder if it is sinusitis or COVID.)

A pleasant reminder of those home projects came in my email last night, when eBay sent notification that it's time to ship an item that has been listed for forever. Last year I found an oversized enamel skillet (Lodge - known for their double handles) and a matching (colorwise) Le Creuset lid. I "married" and listed them ages ago. Maybe last year? I dug out the box and will run it to the post office.

I have a downloaded mystery in my phone to listen to while I work around the house, and I need to resume some of my sewing projects. I have a couple of late holiday letters and thank you notes to send. The weather has been unusually warm but the weekend we're getting a hard freeze so I must dig out the Styrofoam faucet covers for outside front and back to avoid broken pipes. That cold arrives on Sunday so I have Friday and Saturday to take down the xmas lights in the front of the house, rake leaves out of the street to mulch into the lawn, and in general pull my gardening projects into the greenhouse (I have lots of plant projects in pots, like Dorothy does, though I won't itemize them now). And set up the heater in the greenhouse.

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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Dec 21 - 10:24 AM

An end of the year eBay sale has reminded me that I have to turn my attention to emptying the front room of contents I intend to sell. This year I'll make a push to be more businesslike in how I manage eBay. It can add substantial income each month and in the US you can earn up to $40,000 before you have to declare it as income.

The item that sold was listed forever; now that they don't make you relist every seven or 10 days, things can sit there forever. Or in the case of this one, many months. I just wish the payment system was easier; now they're promoting all sorts of payment options, not just PayPal, and PayPal is the one that works and I'm accustomed to.

Jon, there is a device that I'm thinking about picking up that you might find useful (if it is for sale in the UK) for cold weather use. It's a system that detects freezing weather and keeps faucets from freezing and pipes from breaking. Freeze Miser is a device you screw onto the faucet and turn the tap on (it won't flow under non-freezing temperatures). If it gets cold, this thing starts dripping and keeps the water moving. They aren't cheap, however.

Warm days through Saturday, then I have to be sure my faucets are covered and a few things put in the greenhouse. I'm through with that museum course for now - the instructor retired as of yesterday. I'll do one more tour sometime in January and be certified (and it should be much easier once this woman is gone - the people she doesn't like have much more difficulty in getting certified, hence my doing one last demo tour. I'll finish this and do the volunteer work just to spite her. Normally she ends up facing down the folks she doesn't like and they drop the course. Must have bugged her no end that I didn't.)

Stay safe everyone!

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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 31 Dec 21 - 10:35 AM

It's an interesting idea, SRS. We don't get many freezing days but I can find myself having to make repairs to outside pipe work where compression joints have pushed apart. Having the taps drip when needed would probably solve that. The Amazon UK (the only site where I found them) is out of the question. A pair is listed at £149.47 plus £21.20 delivery!

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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 31 Dec 21 - 12:32 PM

"Do we want to continue this thread into the next year, or start a new one?"

I'd meant to reply to this before. It's no big deal but my preference is to have these threads as sort of annual diaries so I'd opt for a new one.

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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 31 Dec 21 - 12:58 PM

I’m another vote for a new thread.

Thanks for asking, Stilly.

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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Dec 21 - 06:02 PM

2021 ground on for many of us unlike any year in recent memory. All of the memes about how awful 2020 was, when COVID-19 settled in like a Bad Penny, were blown away by regular COVID then Delta COVID and now Omicron COVID. But where 2020 was more dramatic, 2021 was insidious. There are worldwide nearly 5.5 million dead from this pandemic.

And as if that wasn't bad enough, as if everyone we know seems to have had a close call or been exposed to COVID, and we're counting down the hours to the end of 2021 hoping to turn a significant corner, 2021 outdoes itself by offering an emotional blow with the death of Betty White, on the brink of her 100th birthday. (She was going to participate in a big program to celebrate that date - I hope they still hold the event, to celebrate her legacy).

Without jinxing what is to come by declaring this the lowest moment ever, you get my drift. Hopefully things will start to improve from here.

This week I haven't slept well, when dreams about loved ones have awakened me. When I learned this week that an 84-year-old friend (COPD and sleeps with an oxygen generator at night) was exposed to COVID, I realized that anyone can get it and be gone. And if that were the case here - oy - the stuff my kids would have to deal with. Not big clunky furniture, but smaller things now, items picked up to sell on eBay, sewing projects, other crafts, all here in the house, garage, and greenhouse. There is no shortage of stuff around here and now is the time to start making a serious push to recycle a lot of it.

Loads of stuff to Goodwill is the last option; I'd like to squeeze some cash out of it, so I'll continue to sell on eBay (though it's getting harder to use and they are clearly double-dealing, when they total your sales price AND the shipping price AND the tax as the total that they take a percentage of.)

It's good to have a clear view of some of the challenges and goals to meet them in the year ahead.

Here is the 2022 thread.

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Mudcat time: 27 May 8:19 PM EDT

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