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De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021

Stilly River Sage 20 May 21 - 01:12 PM
Jon Freeman 20 May 21 - 08:38 AM
Jon Freeman 20 May 21 - 06:47 AM
Charmion 19 May 21 - 02:48 PM
Jon Freeman 19 May 21 - 02:06 AM
Stilly River Sage 18 May 21 - 06:50 PM
Charmion 18 May 21 - 04:24 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 May 21 - 12:27 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 May 21 - 07:41 PM
Charmion 17 May 21 - 10:41 AM
Stilly River Sage 16 May 21 - 12:37 PM
Charmion 16 May 21 - 09:41 AM
Jon Freeman 16 May 21 - 08:36 AM
Jon Freeman 16 May 21 - 06:07 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 May 21 - 01:53 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 May 21 - 10:36 PM
Charmion 13 May 21 - 12:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 May 21 - 11:15 AM
Charmion 12 May 21 - 08:58 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 May 21 - 11:34 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 11 May 21 - 09:34 PM
Charmion 11 May 21 - 06:49 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 May 21 - 10:46 AM
Charmion 11 May 21 - 10:07 AM
Dorothy Parshall 11 May 21 - 09:48 AM
Stilly River Sage 10 May 21 - 09:01 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 May 21 - 03:35 PM
Charmion 10 May 21 - 09:46 AM
Charmion 09 May 21 - 08:45 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 May 21 - 07:49 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 May 21 - 03:07 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 May 21 - 05:19 PM
Donuel 08 May 21 - 08:46 AM
Charmion 08 May 21 - 08:09 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 May 21 - 11:24 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 07 May 21 - 05:54 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 May 21 - 11:42 AM
Jon Freeman 07 May 21 - 10:27 AM
Charmion 07 May 21 - 09:48 AM
Jon Freeman 07 May 21 - 08:14 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 May 21 - 10:06 PM
Jon Freeman 06 May 21 - 09:48 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 May 21 - 09:25 AM
Jon Freeman 06 May 21 - 08:37 AM
Charmion 05 May 21 - 10:03 AM
Stilly River Sage 04 May 21 - 10:56 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 May 21 - 10:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 May 21 - 11:38 AM
Jon Freeman 03 May 21 - 09:53 AM
Jon Freeman 03 May 21 - 08:47 AM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 May 21 - 01:12 PM

I was careful to plant Swiss chard in small pots with just one or two seeds spaced out in the pots, but clusters of seedlings are emerging (making me think each knobby pod thing I planted has more than one seed inside). They're too small to transplant yet, but I should reach a sweet spot with those so I can tease those seedings apart and put them in their own pots to grow a little larger before planting in the garden. Or I could just pinch off the extras (but why waste them if I can separate them?)

Jon, the hardware storage unit I've favored has a couple of sizes of little drawers for small packets of brads, the connectors for the coaxial cables, picture hooks, screws, bolts, nuts, wire connector caps, sheetrock thingies for hanging stuff, etc. Small tools like the little pipe cutter (tighten the nut and run it around and around, tightening till it cuts through copper pipes), the rolls of Teflon tape, etc. There are a couple of tins and a large pickle jar that hold the leftover attachment parts from ceiling fans and curtain rods, etc. Some things are just set in front of that little cabinet until I get out the stepstool and address filing them in the proper tin or drawer.

I've begun negotiating the "reader" glasses world. And my ophthalmologist tells me I can buy glasses with different strength reading lenses top and bottom online from Amazon. What to call them and how to figure out what works? I'm sitting closer than usual and using a pair that she said are probably a little stronger than what I need right now, so I'll buy a handful of different correction levels (Dollar Tree) and go from there.

The IRS revised my income tax and today the letter explaining the revisions arrived, so I've wasted time this morning pulling out papers - they tell me I can't take an adjustment to income for alimony paid since 2018. I don't know whose return they were looking at but 20+ years ago when I was divorced no one paid or received any alimony. The annoying thing is they tell me to call about the problem. Call the IRS? Seriously? That's a huge waste of time. I'll look for an appropriate address and write them a letter and send it certified mail.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 20 May 21 - 08:38 AM

...And by chard has arrived in the post. The forecast for this afternoon is foul (strong winds and rain) and the wind is already getting up so I won't be planting them today but they will be ok kept inside for a couple of days while I wait for the weather to improve.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 20 May 21 - 06:47 AM

It would make quite a pile, charmion.

I’ve just thought of a couple more things I have on the fastener line. A staple gun and staples bought when mum and I were doing some chicken wire fencing. A pop rivet gun and rivets bought when I wanted to fasten some aluminium strips to some box section pieces when I made the sails for my outdoor “windmill”. I’ve not used it much since but did use it a few weeks back to reattach the hinges for a box holding a tap and die set.

Back to the fencing. I took some up and some boards for a raised bed up the other day to shrink the veg plot. One end had a bed with the Victoria plum tree in it. It was never that good a bed for growing other things in and I was never going to keep it weeded and looking tidy. I also removed the wires and some fencing from where the raspberry canes were (and where I broke the battery strimmer). It can all become a grassed over area for me to strim now. The gardener is going to fence the open side on Monday.

I revisited the woodburner and surrounding area a couple of days ago. The varnish had worn off parts of the woodwork that goes round the floor tiles and, whereas the rest was looking quite good, this looked tatty. I sanded it down, applied some wood stain and then put some varnish on. What I’ve done is far from perfect as there are gaps where the pieces of wood should join but it still looks a whole lot better than it did.

I’ve got my outside tomatoes planted at last and next up will be 3 courgette plants which I’ve got in pots inside. I’ve also got a couple of cucumber plants that will be ready to move to the greenhouses soon. The Swiss chard I ordered is overdue but that might arrive in the post in the next few days.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 19 May 21 - 02:48 PM

My 30-year accumulation of screws, nails, cup hooks, picture-hangers, wall anchors, mis-matched nuts and bolts, and other assorted langrage would do well in any international competition, and I’m not even the handy type. I hate to think what Jon and Maggie would bring to that party!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 19 May 21 - 02:06 AM

I think the screws for sockets and light switches in the UK are a bit of an odd size, or at least I can’t think I’ve anything else using an M3.5 thread.

Overall, I think I’m pretty well set up for screws. Built up over the years, I’ve got 4 of these boxes in my shed. One holds most of my wood screws and wall plugs. One has machine screws up to 6mm together with nuts and washers. Another has larger versions up to 12mm. The last box has cup hooks and other oddments.

I don’t really use that many fasteners and perhaps OTT but on the other hand, knowing you are in with a chance of having suitable stuff when you have a job to do is a nice place to be.

Oh, and inside and since trying to do the occasional thing with the printer, I’ve got a few of this sort of selection box, grub screws, countersunk screws, etc. , some heat inserts, small springs, etc.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 May 21 - 06:50 PM

I bought an electrical wall switch (under $2) the other day at Home Depot, and when talking to the guy in that department as he helped me find the correct one, I mentioned that in my experience, if a fixture isn't working the first thing I'll replace is the switch. He looked skeptical, but I think it was on this very place over the sink the last time I put up a new fixture only to realize the switch was out. I like this fixture much better than the first one and don't want to replace it. After a 10 minute job (including going out to the breaker box to flip the one for this part of the kitchen) the light is on again. And I'm so pleased with myself to have done the job for $2 and not $42 or $52. And definitely not call an electrician (the guy I use has a service charge so it would have just been that, but that's still about $79, last time I called him.)

Okay, I put two of the screws from the switch into the jar in the laundry room where spare screws go but the rest of it is in the trash. It never pays to toss screws, you're eventually going to go looking for some.

Before surgery they ask you if you have any cuts or open wounds on your skin - not wanting a source of infection. I was startled this afternoon to see what looked like a substantial scab above my wrist, but realized I'd splashed myself when I used the Kitchenaid grinder to make hamburger for a bean recipe this afternoon and it dried in place. Whew!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 18 May 21 - 04:24 PM

I have been a digital-only subscriber to the New Yorker for years. I read three or four newspapers every day, but only the Toronto Star comes in print form. I need it for wrapping the gleanings from the cats’ litterbox.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 May 21 - 12:27 PM

It's a good thing that my garden beds are slightly raised, because even that way they'll have wet feet this week. Rain every day so far and the rest of the week is forecast for more. One thing about being a retiree is that if the volunteer work doesn't affect anyone else's wellbeing (I'm scanning, not directing traffic), I can email and postpone my work till next week because of the wretched weather.

Major pickup and declutter today in preparation for the second family visit (you have to go to great lengths to get the kids to visit - scheduling cataract surgery because you want to see them only works twice.)

Major declutter today: I renewed The New Yorker for digital only. I have stacks of them around here, waiting for me to pull the covers off and recycle the rest. Or clip cartoons. Time to stop that nonsense and just read them online. I get my newspapers that way, and a couple of other magazines.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 May 21 - 07:41 PM

A friend of mine made soap a few times, but not with ashes. The sort she made included lye - she quipped that it was "worth a few second-degree burns to get some nice bars of soap."

I need to do what I did two weeks ago and clear the kitchen table and counters so the house has the appearance of being tidy. At least that part of it. Overnight stay number two coming up, and I'm considering what I might make ahead that we can heat up for ourselves instead of running around for takeout. Many of the family favorites involve a fairly messy kitchen at the end of preparation.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 17 May 21 - 10:41 AM

The clematis and thyme are planted, but the foxgloves and parsley are still in pots on the patio. I ran out of gas yesterday after cleaning the barbecue and shovelling a year's worth of ash out of the firepit.

When COVID-19 is a distant memory, I will still keep a few masks for messy jobs like sweeping the garage and anything involving wood ash. I coughed for hours when last I cleaned the fireplace without a mask, but last night I slept as if drugged despite having spent what felt like half the afternoon in a cloud of fine grey dust.

Pity I don't know anybody who makes soap from scratchy-scratch.

It seems like just yesterday that Sunday was the Sabbath, observed with church, brunch, something fun in the afternoon, and a nice dinner. Now it's just another Groundhog Day. Of all the changes wrought by COVID, that might be the one I resent most consistently, if not the most bitterly.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 May 21 - 12:37 PM

Today is a recovery day after mowing both front and back yards on Saturday. I usually stagger the job to different days, but there was rain in the forecast, and it arrived with a whoosh this morning.

Charmion, I had plants that needed pruning out after the freeze killed the tree or shrub, but some of it I didn't get to, and now I have an interesting (read "odd") growth pattern in the stuff down at the curb in front. I still need to clear out trees coming up through salvia (from squirrel-planted acorns and pecans) and to trim more dead branches as I shape what is left, but there is life out there three months after evergreen shrubs looked completely dead.

This morning I had a sink full of dishes so did my "fill the dishwasher in the time it takes the tea to brew" exercise to force myself to address that clutter. I need to stop doing that - we're into ant season and you never know what might suddenly attract them to swarm the dishes overnight. Some go for sugar, others go for savory. And the sink needs clearing before approaching the switch work.

The switch that needs changing out is by the sink, but the breaker box is outside on the back wall and with this rain will be a sodden walk out and back - twice. This job will wait until the yard dries a bit. Like Jon's tomatoes, the weather dictates when some chores are performed.

And a note for long-time participants in these declutter/fitness threads: This week I spotted Susan (W Y S I W Y G) posts on Facebook, apparently Susan's thoughts transcribed by a daughter-in-law who visits the facility where she lives. That's a good sign. Susan is watching the news.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 16 May 21 - 09:41 AM

We may have seen our last frost in Stratford. The Hudson’s Bay blanket came off the bed yesterday.

I have never been much of a gardener, but I think it’s growing on me. As long as I lived with Edmund, he always led all decisions about the garden and my input was limited to pointing out how his latest brainstorm was not feasible — usually not enough sun or not enough space. It’s my responsibility now, however, and I have come to realize that I have no one to please except myself — and the neighbours, whose main concern is neatness. Much to my surprise, I rather enjoy digging out dandelions that dare to invade the flower beds, and I’m rather good at pruning shrubs.

I think the game-changer was accepting the notion of hiring people for tasks that I either can’t (or shouldn’t) do myself or profoundly dislike, such as anything that requires power tools. I’m not lazy; I just hate the noise.

So today I’m off to the garden centre to buy clematis and some trellis, some foxgloves, and some parsley. (Next year, I’ll start the parsley myself under grow lights in the basement.) There’s a patch on the west side of the house that I think would do for a small bed of thyme, but I’ll have to do some digging first.

The mint I planted last year is coming up all over the place, as is its wont, so julep season is well provided for.

On Friday, I recruited the BIL to help me dispose of another box-and-a-half of practice files, so he spent the afternoon in a lawn chair beside the fire pit, drinking beer and feeding hunks of paper to the flames, while I smoked ribs and chicken, baked corn bread, and whomped up two kinds of salad. His wife and their lodger — the rest of the bubble — spent a vigorous afternoon gardening at their house, and came over for supper when they had worked themselves to a frazzle.

Then we all spent Saturday recovering.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 May 21 - 08:36 AM

Well, we've had a hail storm since my last post. I won't be putting the tomatoes outside today. I wish this weather would warm up a touch and settle down a bit...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 May 21 - 06:07 AM

I tidied the woodburner for the end of season yesterday – cleaned the glass, blackened the metal and put some stuff on the tiled floor. It looks quite good now but mustn't be used now until say late autumn.

Back to medical aids… I had a thought while watching mum carrying her walking sticks on the trolley the other day. Some sort of clips that would clip to the tubing on the trolley one side and would clip to a walking stick the other side could be handy (or might be a waste of time but…) I couldn’t find such thing on a quick search at Amazon so I’ve decided to see what I can do with the 3d printer. I’ve got a different type of filament (PETG) on order (should be here tomorrow) to try for this as I think the PLA I’ve used for everything so far would be too brittle. I suppose nylon would be a better choice but it has the reputation of being difficult to print and very hygroscopic.

I might put the hanging basket tomatoes out today when there is a break in the rain.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 May 21 - 01:53 PM

New bags of dog food are in position to fill the food bins (almost empty now) before the next cataract surgery (and week prohibition on lifting). Mowing today. Some digging. I'm going to get out the little tiller and give it a run at one of the front beds, before raking out weeds. It's good to get started to have a goal once I can be more active again.

The air conditioners are on in both parts of the house now. Hoses are ready front and back. Quilt is off of the bed, just a light blanket. I need a couple of more fly swatters, I have to keep going into another room for the one I have then the critter that needs swatting has moved out of sight (for the time being.) It is officially summer weather - the day lilies have opened today.

A friend is getting ready to move back here from a house she bought in Arizona about 15 years ago. And she spent much of COVID home time packing and storing or discarding so she's ready. It doesn't help that she tells me my has house way too much stuff. I know that.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 May 21 - 10:36 PM

Until next week's repeat of the eye surgery I can now bend, lift, mow, and weed. My routine is still noted on the kitchen counter where I have a tally sheet to cross off the tapering of the steroid eye drops. For a week it is three times a day, the next week it is two, then one. Meanwhile I'll be starting a new routine of this in the left eye.

I have specialized fabric for making masks for people, but with the CDC lifting much of the mask regulations for vaccinated adults, I'll be making some specialty ones for friends who need them for travel (airplanes, mass transit) and for those who simply don't want to be exposed to others in public places. My friend who lives in NYC, he'll need them for the subway or busses, etc.

I need to figure out what my next sewing project will be. I have a shirt to make, but after that, I suspect it will be specialty masks for people who still want them. A number of friends have compromised immune systems and while they got the vaccine, they don't want to catch other stuff and plan to mask in public.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 13 May 21 - 12:14 PM

As if in rebuke for my discouraging remarks of 11 May, today's lead editorial in the Toronto Star asserts that COVID numbers are gradually dropping across Canada. In the same paper, however, I saw five stories about surges in Alberta, the greater Toronto area, and Newfoundland.

The death toll in Huron-Perth is now 54, a picayune number by American standards but nevertheless disturbing because more than half of all new positives in this area are caused by "variants of concern".

The US news is full of photos of people loading many jerrycans of fuel into their vehicles at considerable risk to themselves. Nothing like that is happening around here, although the price of gasoline has surged to heights not seen in Ontario since before Christmas 2019. Since I tank up the car about once a month, if that, it's just one more thing I can't control and maybe it will get better, or not.

Today I shall plant a bleeding heart (Laprocampnos spectabilis) and a new hellebore, both gifts from my sister-in-law. Then I shall take the cover off the barbecue for the first time since last Thanksgiving and fire it up. Tomorrow I'm cooking chicken and ribs for the bubble. Also cornbread, and probably a green bean salad if I can't find my favourite kind of lettuce.

If it's warm enough tomorrow, we'll burn another box of Edmund's client files and toast marshmallows. What larks!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 May 21 - 11:15 AM

It's a day of running errands, including a trip to the gas station. I hope Texas isn't so stricken as Maryland and Washington, D.C. (via a report in a different thread). Texas is the bottom end of that messed up pipeline.

The fixture that hangs low over my kitchen sink is not working and I am now on the diagnosis trail. I've learned in the past that if replacing the lightbulb doesn't work that the next step ISN'T to replace the fixture, it is to replace the switch. Only if that doesn't work will I take down the fixture and look for the problem. It is suspended on a down rod and hangs in such a way that it lights the sink but is in front of my face so it doesn't glare in my eyes. I'll have to consider the options of going back to the top or another pendant light if the fixture must go. It's a brushed nickel light that looks great in there.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 12 May 21 - 08:58 AM

Slip across the border? Now? In my humble Golf instead of a jeezly great lumber truck? The chance would be a fine thing.


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

Thanks for that link - I hadn't tracked it down yet, but that video is very helpful. And they're a good price.

I don't suppose there is an easy way to slip across the US/Canadian border to get a vaccine in one of the large US cities? Travel still blocked for the most part? Considering all of the Americans who in the past went north for less expensive (or less restricted) Canadian medications, tit for tat.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 11 May 21 - 09:34 PM

Stilly, have you tried a ThunderShirt on Pepper? I have heard that more dog owners swear by them than at them.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 11 May 21 - 06:49 PM

The Ontario vaccination campaign is creeping when it should be charging, Stilly. Nobody under the age of 75 is fully vaccinated unless they are health-care workers or first responders. In Huron-Perth, the youngest eligible age cohort is folks born in 1964. The BIL and SIL (my bubble mates) were needled today.

The case counts are still racking up in the greater Toronto area, especially in the industrial suburbs. Public health officers are invading warehouses, factories and packing plants and supplying employers in essential services with fast-result COVID test kits for daily sampling, but things don't look any better than they did a month ago. In fact, worse, because people are increasingly exasperated with the provincial authorities, who can't seem to get their stories straight.

The big issue is that, as long as travel of any kind is permitted, the disease will continue to circulate, and its mortality rate is not high enough (i.e., it's not Ebola) to justify literally halting all traffic, including shipments of food and fuel, to stamp it out. But that means imposing restrictions higgledy-piggledy in the hope of "crushing the curve" (as we said last year at this time). People know more about COVID-19 now, so there's a lot more push-back against irrational orders such as the closure of golf courses. Every irrational policy makes the necessary measures harder to enforce.

So, buggery. I have no idea when I or my bubble-mates will get our second injections -- by the way, Canada is the only country where public health authorities say it's okay to wait four months between needles -- and the news media don't have one single good-news story to report from the COVID front.

It's still okay to weed your garden, however. House-proud Stratford is gardening like crazy.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 May 21 - 10:46 AM

Essential news delivered via Mudcat! Good to know, Charmion. Are they having any more luck getting people vaccinated now or is that still at a trickle? This is absolutely the time when those vaccine patents need to be shared widely. To say nothing of the embarrassment of the company in Maryland that the federal government has funded for years to be ready for this kind of work - discarding millions of J&J vaccines because they were contaminated. The place isn't clean and it's poorly run. Someone step in and clear out that mess and supervise the way they should be. That is an international disgrace. Heads should roll and jobs definitely terminated, someone was getting rich without putting in the work.

Thunderstorm last night brought out the worst in Pepper, she literally peed all over the house. The question is - voluntary or involuntary? I'm going to call the vet to ask about a valium of some sort for her, and I'll shop the pet store for big dog diapers. I've been meaning to wash all of the floors in the house anyway.

In the office I have rearranged some of the wall shelf contents (moved speakers up two shelves) in order to position a new record player next to the old computer and to test this USB player I found at Goodwill. It has never been unpacked out of the box, but it is several years old. The thing comes with it's own software and recommends using Audacity to make MP3s from your LPs, but I'm more interested in larger durable files so will use Nero to capture the files and save them as something more robust. I need to try that soon because there is a 2 week window at Goodwill to return electronics if they don't work. I'd get my $8.99 back.

In February 2020 I had the knee replacement and took a few weeks off from a volunteer project at a local museum, intending to return in March 2020. In May 2021 I am finally returning to the project. What a year + it has been! We'll all be wearing masks and social distancing, but everyone has been vaccinated.

Dorothy, I hope you can get back to Beaver sooner rather than later, but don't get yourself all turned around if that trip comes with too many complications. Stay safe, that's what we all want to see for you and R!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 11 May 21 - 10:07 AM

Dorothy, in case you don’t see Ontario news in Châteauguay — the provincial stay-home order has just been extended to 2 June, so you may find that highway amenities are closed and the police somewhat unwelcoming if you travel before then.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 11 May 21 - 09:48 AM

Dupont:

One of the things I have needed to try to come to terms with on FB and on here is that my world view is not in step with most people. Once in a while I am really hit with it. Learning curve! The mention of mirrors... I don't hate them but need to be careful - think Mother's home where every turn I took, I was looking at myself! Disconcerting to me. They do, however, seem to increase the light in a room, or the sense of light.

R looked around the house recently and commented that we have not really moved in. MY fav mirror has not find a spot and is stuck away. Wall decorations have been put up wherever a nail or screw happened to be. "Scruffy", a rather poor painting of a raccoon whom we have become quite used to, is on the mantle. And yesterday R dragged in a box of cooking pots and two wood dinner table type chairs he had found by the side of a street - he hoped the people were not coming back for them! I sorted through the box and determined they can go elsewhere. The chairs I quite like but they need to be refinished - not likely to happen...

I managed to get the recycling out today! I have finally gotten the remainder of the firewood off the grass to the porch. R needs to split some; it's covered. He is not home much but we did manage a walk on the Isle on Sunday early while there were still a few parking places. The city is instituting a free shuttle bus for weekends. Visitors to the park get frustrated by the lack of parking - lots of it but more cars! - and have been parking on people's lawns,etc. At 9 am, there were a few spots left, at 10 almost none. When I tried to take son and family there - Father's Day! - all the roadsides were parked all the way out to the main road. We did not stop. I guess the rest of them could have walked back - only about a half mile - but not I. Anyway. R and I had a ice walk up to the woods and stood on a bluff above the river listening to the rattle of the rocks, then back through the just starting to bloom apple orchards.

The 3 little cherry trees are not recovering well from feeding some critters this winter. We will protect them next winter! I am a bit sad about it. They are barely surviving, and I was rather hoping to see a few cherries in this lifetime.

Ah well, the house in in pretty good shape, some pots are dried and packed - in lots of bubble wrap - to go to Beaver. Since cousin made it from ON into QC this week, we agree that I can go to Beaver soon. First, I need to get all the various plants into places and pots so R can easily water them. I am chancing a counter on the back porch for most. I finally got the tires changed - and bought some pansies and lobelia, sold some more pottery and did a shopping - last Weds (I had to stop and figure out when that was!) So plant potting and moving - lots of trips on the stairs to bring them down, lots of energy and great care with heavier ones. And getting them organized. I have done a couple groupings in BIG pots for front steps: lobelia around a geranium, and around a pepper plant in bloom and starting to produce. Lots more to go!

Also watering - LOTS!- the iris and poppy that I dug out of the "garden" at the mill. They are not happy but look as though they will survive - the iris... and possibly the poppy. Lots of parsley coming up and lavender and oregano from Beaver are flourishing. Three packets of nasturtium that I planted a month ago are either frozen or eaten, or both! I really need to cut back on plants.

Long phone calls on Sunday with sons: one gave advice on my non-blooming orchid, the other told me how to connect my computer to the TV and how to charge the remote for AppleTV. After a great deal of searching, I finally found the charging cord he said I should have - in the fancy notebook dedicated to all those necessary words and letters for the TV and computer. Oh! I wondered what that was!

Beautiful day - about 12C and sunny, and breezy. Laundry to start. Dishes are washed. Water bottles to fill for watering - add fertilizer. See how much I can get done today. I feel better believing I can go to Beaver for a while and be able to return. So, ...


.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 May 21 - 09:01 PM

I talked with a friend today, sharing news of my low thyroid. As I described symptoms my friend did one of those "OMG!" reactions and it seems he has been dealing with the same things (perhaps further along than I) and wondering what is happening. So my cataract surgery may result in two of us feeling much better. (He has an exam scheduled in a couple of weeks and he'll now be sure to request a thyroid check with it.)

Thunderstorms are moving through the area tonight, resulting in the cancelation of a photo shoot I had planned for tomorrow. One thing I have to tackle as an indoor job is replacing the luggage wheels. They seem to be held on by some kind of pressure-fitted rivets so I'll now research how to remove and replace those. I see the replaceable ones online have posts and rivets, so I suppose an Allen wrench and a hammer will be the correct tools. Tomorrow will see me prying a wheel off and mending a cut in the lining I made to take a look at the inside of the wheel area. I imagine that will look suspicious to any TSA person, but whatever. Maybe I should install a zipper on that point so they can just open it to look and not tear up the insides.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 May 21 - 03:35 PM

Every so often I crank up one the the HGTV or Discovery Channel channels that offers hours of house renovations and restorations. It's a good binge in the background while I'm working on something on the computer or sewing. There is one out of Laurel, Mississippi called Home Town that is particularly charming. Yesterday on one of the episodes the woman (Erin) was looking for mirrors to mount along a stairway wall. She mentioned to the woman helping her that "mirrors are to decorating what the little black dress is to fashion." Noteworthy.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 10 May 21 - 09:46 AM

The sun is shining in Stratford, so I feel inclined to go outside and walk as long as my wonky foot will let me. I have a new pair of shoes and the last cortisone shot seems to have clobbered the plantar ligament issue, but the foot is still twisted so metatarsal joint pain is still a thing. So I guess I'll just do it till I need an icepack.

Today I must change the strings on my mandolin. It's a fiddly job that I really dislike, but one of the A strings sounds quite dead. Apart from that, my dance card is clear. Yawn.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 09 May 21 - 08:45 PM

Oh, yeah. I have an excuse, however; Monday is garbage day, and I put it out at eight o’clock to deprive the raccoons.

Of course, until last Thanksgiving, Monday was First Appearances day in Provincial Court and Edmund was up at five-thirty and out the door with his briefcase by nine.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 May 21 - 07:49 PM

I've been retired over two years and I still seem to treat Sunday like a school or work night. It does help keep track of what day it is but otherwise, there is little need to do so. Anyone else?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 May 21 - 03:07 PM

Last time I watered I accidentally pulled apart a repaired place in part of the hose; todayI restored the hose repair piece and replaced a few gaskets and the hose and nozzle are working better. There are a few juicy weeds popping up that I had to resist bending over to pull. All repair materials were already here, no purchase needed. I do have a buffer, a store credit at Home Depot (intended for a hose, but can be used another way if needed).

I've been out driving (yesterday), no problem with that, but mostly I'm sticking around the house where I have plenty of things on my list of stuff to do. Following our discussion above of various medical things around the house I looked up prescription bottles and see that they are recyclable so that's one container full of containers that will go to the village recycle bin next trip to city hall.

I have things here that I don't use but are perfectly good except for one part. For example, the wheels on a piece of luggage are old and have cracked. I'm going to take one off and see if I can find replacements (eBay). I'd like to keep the case in use but don't want to carry it instead of rolling it. I could also use one of the foldable carts that attaches luggage with bungies - I'll have to see if I can find any of those (I used to have a couple but may have given one to one of the kids to use and never got it back.) Those carts are a bit of a pain but do the job if needed.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 May 21 - 05:19 PM

The reason for the goggles is the keep the cold air from flowing behind my glasses and across my eyes, making them so watery. I could wear the driving glasses, though, to see if they help. They completely wrap around my regular eyeglasses and have a wide temple next to the hinge that could block the breeze. That's worth trying before I go for goggles.

I'm not getting the replacement lens that gives near and far vision, so I'll still need some kind of reading lens, and I need something that will let me see things close to me when I drive but also see clearly through the rest of the lens. I'm sure millions of people have figured this out ahead of me, so I'll see what people say as I finish up the surgery process.

Don, that sounds like a difficult situation for the eye surgery. I'm sorry about that.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 08 May 21 - 08:46 AM

In my case I called it quits after the first cataract lense replacement. Due to complication from Fuchs syndrome and the miniscule increase in brightness, it gave me no advantage. Most people have immediate improvement but in my case sensitive corneas with micro bubbles, it took me 90 days to see nearly as well as I used to. For those who have an advantage I am told it is great.


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

Stilly, do you think you will need much of a prescription when your cataract surgery is complete? If not, you might consider aviator-style sunglasses with a light tint.

I have a pair of Ray-Ban aviators that does the job perfectly and would not attract the kind of attention bicycle goggles on a pedestrian would get.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 May 21 - 11:24 PM

I've thought long and hard about getting prescription lenses in a pair of bicycle goggles because when I'm out walking on windy days my eyes are so watery I can hardly stand it. Once I get the new lenses the eyeballs will still water in the wind so maybe I should finally get those glasses.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 07 May 21 - 05:54 PM

Charmion, it should be easy for a dispensing optician to replace the lenses in the respirator glasses with your current prescription.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 May 21 - 11:42 AM

Starting down the medical gear path, I have things left from the knee surgery that could be donated or some even sold. The pressure cuffs in particular I've seen for sale used and new on eBay. Other things make the rounds at Goodwill and garage sales (the walker and the gait belt, for starters). While these things are often sent home routinely after various types of surgery, I remember one garage sale where we had some medical things of that sort (left over from a friend's estate) and three young men drove up hunting for various other walking and bathroom and shower seat devices because their father had a need and no supply source (and I'm guessing no insurance). I'd seen some of what they were asking about at another garage sale in my neighborhood so sent them up the hill to see if any of it was still there. The secondary market for this stuff is probably robust. Crutches and various types of canes also come to mind.

Every so often I pull out my old glasses frames and take a few to the donation bin at the optometrist office. The last time I asked about having a favorite pair of frames re-used for a new set of lenses I was told they had to be mailed back to the company that now does the work (it used to be in office) and they would say whether they could be reused or not. Bummer. These are some favorite really light weight titanium frames I paid dearly for and haven't gone out of style. There are more here to be donated soon.

This morning I watered my garden, but every hose connection is leaking so I'll take out a handful of new gaskets and replace them before the next watering venture. And I pulled apart a connection on a hose end repair, something easily restored with the hose clamp tightened better this time.

Jon, I need to have gutters put on my house (they were removed when I replaced the roof and never put back.) I'll aim those downspouts at collection barrels.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 07 May 21 - 10:27 AM

Yes, these are large, self adhesive, absorbent dressings, mostly Biatain Super. All sealed and in boxes. I've just looked at the dates on a few boxes and the earliest expiry date on any was Sept 2021, others run well in to 2022.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 07 May 21 - 09:48 AM

One of the file boxes stashed in my study contains about two dozen pairs of spectacles that Edmund and I accumulated over more than thirty years. The range of styles and types includes his ‘n’ hers respirator glasses, made to fit inside the Cold War-era gas mask issued to the Canadian Forces, Edmund’s “ballistic eyewear” from the Afghanistan period, and a pair of owlish sunglasses in a military-issue frame so sturdy that I wore them from 1975 to about 2010. Come to think of it, with new nose pads and plastic ear-pieces, I could wear them now. They are the very definition of fashion-proof, as well as bomb-proof.

I wonder if I could get new lenses for my respirator glasses? They’re held on with loops that fit around the ears, so they’re great for swimming.

Jon Freeman, you’re right about finding a charity to give your unneeded supply of dressings to. I assume they’re sterile? If so, they won’t stay that way indefinitely, so they should go to someone who will use them before they’re out of date and assumed to be contaminated.

As for the bathroom, your mum is right. A generously sized shower stall, with grab-bars, a seat, and a hand-holdable shower head, is much better than a cramped bath-tub on general principles, but especially for people with mobility problems. The locker room at the Y where I go to swim has one shower stall fitted that way, and every time I look at it I remember risking my neck to get into and out of the bath with first one leg, then the other, in plaster.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 07 May 21 - 08:14 AM

Looks like there is a lot of very heavy rain due for Saturday so I think I’ll be doing the greenhouse plants on Sunday.

There are a couple of things I perhaps ought to do outside one of these rainy days though. In heavier rain, water has been over spilling at the end of a gutter section near a down pipe for years. I finally got round to altering the angle of the end section and run of down pipe last week but have yet to check how successful the change has been.

I could also do with checking on how well water is running into the butts. They don’t seem to be filling as well as they used to so I think there may be a problem either with that or a with leak in the pipe that runs 30m from the house to the “Wendy House” shed. My clearing behind the pigsties last year has made most of the pipe accessible again and I didn’t spot a problem but there is still a short buried bit I may need to look at.

A related task (especially as I’ve seen water coming over a gutter over the sliding door) is to get the gutters cleaned. We’ll have to get someone in to do that as, although it’s only a bungalow, there are bits I can’t access. Someone did point out that a tile is out of place on the roof so perhaps we can get someone to do both jobs.

Moving on to the question about medical things, I think the only bottle here is a plastic one for the vitamin capsules I’m prescribed. I think the only medicines around (apart from some paracetamol and a couple of other over the counter things in the bathroom cupboard) are current prescription ones.

But there is at least one cardboard box of dressings that were destined for use on my back at different times before surgery around. I think we should find a charity to accept them (and we used to have people who would take things like that) and they are too good to “throw away”.

Then you could trip over walking frames here. Dad’s is still needed but I need to work out how to get mine back to the Norwich Hospital. Mum has two but uses neither. There is the one in a shed that she bought after her hip op and one she accepted as OT recommended she should have one. Quite why she took it when a) she already had one and b) finds her best indoor wheeled walking aid is a trolley with two shelves is beyond me.

Thinking of another aid brings me to another thought. The bath chair could probably be collected and taken away. Neither parent use it any more and I'm not sure its presence helps me. Mum has talked about having the bathroom revised after Covid and getting people indoors to do work is easier. She would like the bath removed and replaced with a shower. I’m not sure how it would work out in the small bathroom but agree that it would be worth getting people in to advise on what can be done and providing estimates on cost.


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

In preparation for the cataract surgery I ordered two more pairs of the over-the glasses sunglasses for pocketbook and gardening stash (I have one pair the car). So of course at the doctor's morning follow-up check I received a kit with another pair of the same type of glasses.

This leads me to think about working on family members' estates, where the medical paraphernalia and old medicine bottles and such is remarkable. I wonder if it's even possible to end up with an estate that isn't full of the bread crumb trail of medical stuff telling one part of the story of your life?

My daughter carried the watering can out to the garden last night to water some transplanted okra plants; in the morning I'll carefully pull the hose (already mostly in position) to the garden, turn it in (so I'm not dragging it when it's full of water) and water safely. No pulling weeds. I tend to lead a fairly active life as far as lugging stuff around and have caught myself several times today almost doing what I'm not supposed to. So I'll go sew for the rest of the evening.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 06 May 21 - 09:48 AM

That sounds good, SRS, and I hope you get the benefits from the first op soon.

My two recent ops were different btw.

For the first and long one, I was put into the pre op place where they used gas. I (as planned and as a precaution) was put in the high dependency unit for several hours before being transferred to a ward.

For the second much shorter grafting op a few weeks later, I was wheeled straight into the theatre where they used injections. I had a short stop in a recovery place after before being returned to the ward.

I was really impressed by the theatre lighting btw. Bright but I've never seen lighting so clear. I guess that's the standard surgeons need.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 May 21 - 09:25 AM

The hellebores I planted last year look great, but I need more foxgloves.

I read that and hear Christopher Walken suggest "more cowbell" :-)

I'm a day out from the first eye surgery. It is weird, that "twilight sleep" they accomplish to knock you out without your eyes rolling back up into your head. The distracting part of wearing the clear plastic eye cover patch after is that I can't rest my glasses on the bridge of my nose to use the other eye. And it really is a quick surgery. Unlike any other, instead of putting you into a gown and all of that they simply encapsulate your street clothes, covering with blankets and tucking in your arms, shoes into blue booties, a shower cap thing over your hair, phone or anything small into a bag under the bed, and roll you into the surgery theater.

The eye patch comes off this morning.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 06 May 21 - 08:37 AM

It’s peeing down again and last night the temperature dropped to 2C. I think I made the right choice in holding back on the greenhouse plants. Warmer nights are forecast from Saturday.

Lavender. We lost an old bush round the front over winter but the two plants I bought for tubs round the back are doing fine as is the clematis I bought.

Herbs. I think mum needs to more or less start again from scratch this year if she wishes. I thought I’d got things in a better state last year with some new staging and re-doing the irrigation for her pots but things haven’t worked out. Mind you, I think she could help herself a bit better. She got a seemingly random selection of small pots, most of which lost their labels and I hadn’t much clue as to what was what or which were annuals and I think she would be better with fewer plants and some in larger containers. I’ll help of course but it’s for her to have another think about what she wants to achieve in the area.

Foxgloves. I don’t think we’ve ever planted them but there are often self set ones that mum chooses to leave around.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 05 May 21 - 10:03 AM

The lawyer called yesterday to say that the probate certificate has already been granted — a land-speed record even for Perth County. Next comes a consultation with Jeff the Baltic accountant (he has an extensive Lithuanian surname) to figure out how to move Edmund’s Registered Retirement Savings Plan funds into my possession without incurring a shedload of tax liability. The adventure continues, hurrah.

It’s been raining off and on for days and my wonky foot is hurting again, in a new place this time, so I have been out the door only as far as the mailbox, and a daily turn around the property to see how the garden grows. The tarragon seems not to have survived the winter, but mint, oregano, parsley and sage are sprouting eagerly. The hellebores I planted last year look great, but I need more foxgloves. The lavender is doing so well that I shall plant more, a task that will require me to extirpate a leggy dwarf lilac that I never liked much.

Neil-across-the-street allowed as how he could use my rotating composter. I hope I have convinced him to accept it for free, but there’s a good chance that he hasn’t quite given up the compulsion to pay me for it.

It’s time to resume the triage and destruction of office papers. By the end of the summer, I would like to reduce the files to stuff related to taxes and the house. That means chugging through about a dozen archive boxes currently stacked on the floor of the study closet. My first objective is to dispense with the four-drawer filing cabinet looming in one corner of my very small study, and replace it with a two-drawer lateral model that will fit under the window. The cats like to sit in that window to watch birds, and the top of a filing cabinet will be more comfortable than the narrow console table they have now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 May 21 - 10:56 AM

I'm setting up activities for myself for a week of "no lifting" and putting stuff away so the clutter isn't so apparent. This includes weeding out some of the eBay stuff that I don't think will sell easily—off to the thrift store it goes.

Since we had rain last night getting one last batch of mulch from the city site is probably not a worthwhile chore - it's so heavy when it's wet that it's a lot more work. My garden needs to be set so it can go a week without my bending over to pull or tweak anything, and more mulch would help with that. We'll see how this afternoon looks. I have one more run to a friend's house to feed her cats and could swing by to pick up mulch on the way back.

Next week is the art glass sale on the campus where I retired, and due to social distancing it is required to have an appointment, so I've secured my time. I'm not planning to bring home more large glass to collect dust (though some of it is incredibly appealing), my goal is to find a pair or two of small glass earrings and pendants. I figure the glass I should get now is what I take out in public and show off. Assuming we reach a point where dressing up and going out in public becomes a "thing" again.

I made that glass sale appointment last month, and I have medical expenses this month, but because of the enforced quiet activity I've decided to do another no-spend month (only the essentials - groceries, dog food, mostly draw down the freezer).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 May 21 - 10:58 PM

I both trimmed and mowed the front yard, but I didn't sweep up the trimmings in front of the curb. Turns out we have a heavy-duty band of thunderstorms passing through the area that saved me the effort and any grass racing down the Trinity River by now. And excellent timing on my part because mowing tomorrow would be difficult. It took me a couple of rest breaks to finish the job; here's hoping energy levels increase soon.

Tomorrow is sweeping, mopping, dusting, and more putting away.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 May 21 - 11:38 AM

One of the questions on the surgery form I filled out recently was "do I have a history of falls." Well, no, I have a history of being taken out by a dog who insists she must scoot through the space I'm starting to traverse. She's gotten quite a scold on the way down, and when I think of it I make a point of lifting my foot (bending the leg at the knee so the foot lifts behind me) to claim that air space. Once or twice I made contact with her, it isn't a kick at all, it's a "this is my space and you stay out of it" gesture that she seems to finally be paying attention to.

That's good news about your father having interest in walking again. And good timing on rescuing mum from the downpour!

Out to mow the front today. It's supposed to get quite hot so I'll do it before noon.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 May 21 - 09:53 AM

I guess this can go here...

Just had a weird one with dad who lost his ability to walk at all with the frame while I was in hospital last year. I've recently taken over the mid day toilet moving and today when I lined him up to move from wheelchair to commode (needed to navigate the narrow bathroom door) via the walking frame, he set off on the walking frame.

My first reaction was to (internally) panic but that thought quickly changed to letting him go with it and following behind with the commode chair. Not having walked in months, he was tired, but he made it and most of (I wheeled him out of the bathroom) the way back.

On a questioning after, he says he is starting to feel more confident. I don't think we'll ever get back to a point where he doesn't need someone with him (that stopped after 3 fall is in 3 months) over a year ago. But I want to give it a go as even supervised walking vs being wheeled is more independence for him.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 May 21 - 08:47 AM

I cut some grass yesterday and was about to ask mum if she would like her tea outside when I noticed some dark clouds. I took the washing in first and then said to mum “I think you’d better come in now”. The timing was perfect. She just got through the porch door when the heavens opened.

More rain and strong winds forecast for today and looming now so I won’t be doing anything outside. I might make a chocolate sponge cake later. I’ve got a mild veg curry ready to heat up for tea this evening (and for the day after - they do work well two days in a row and used them a few times when on my own).

Apart from that, I might resume an Alexa web cam related play I started last night. Or might not… Another skill has this covered (but is slow to connect and might become pay for in future) and I’m not sure it’s needed anyway. The only “useful” camera on Alexa is probably the one on a different system which allows mum to look in on dad in the bedroom..

I bought a Raspberry Pi (a pi 4 this time), with this sort of occasional play, and possibility of others (all probably going nowhere but it's not a bad thing to have) in mind a month ago.


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