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De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021

Jon Freeman 24 Jul 21 - 04:27 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Jul 21 - 03:32 PM
Dorothy Parshall 24 Jul 21 - 01:48 PM
Jon Freeman 24 Jul 21 - 12:31 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Jul 21 - 11:27 AM
Stilly River Sage 23 Jul 21 - 07:24 PM
Dorothy Parshall 23 Jul 21 - 05:07 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Jul 21 - 10:20 AM
Charmion 22 Jul 21 - 07:04 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Jul 21 - 01:28 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Jul 21 - 12:14 PM
Charmion 22 Jul 21 - 10:33 AM
Charmion 22 Jul 21 - 10:25 AM
Donuel 21 Jul 21 - 04:35 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 Jul 21 - 02:37 PM
Charmion 21 Jul 21 - 02:11 PM
Donuel 21 Jul 21 - 12:29 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Jul 21 - 11:05 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Jul 21 - 11:51 AM
Charmion 19 Jul 21 - 10:51 AM
Donuel 19 Jul 21 - 07:01 AM
Stilly River Sage 17 Jul 21 - 11:32 AM
Stilly River Sage 16 Jul 21 - 05:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Jul 21 - 11:27 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jul 21 - 11:15 PM
Dorothy Parshall 15 Jul 21 - 04:11 PM
Jon Freeman 15 Jul 21 - 11:30 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jul 21 - 10:58 AM
Jon Freeman 15 Jul 21 - 10:42 AM
Donuel 15 Jul 21 - 10:42 AM
Charmion 15 Jul 21 - 10:03 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jul 21 - 12:23 AM
Jon Freeman 14 Jul 21 - 06:01 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Jul 21 - 04:52 PM
Jon Freeman 14 Jul 21 - 01:57 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Jul 21 - 11:25 AM
Jon Freeman 14 Jul 21 - 06:39 AM
JennieG 14 Jul 21 - 02:24 AM
mg 14 Jul 21 - 12:59 AM
Stilly River Sage 14 Jul 21 - 12:20 AM
JennieG 13 Jul 21 - 10:15 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jul 21 - 08:05 PM
Jon Freeman 13 Jul 21 - 06:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jul 21 - 03:54 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Jul 21 - 12:38 PM
Charmion 12 Jul 21 - 10:13 AM
Jon Freeman 12 Jul 21 - 08:12 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Jul 21 - 06:11 PM
Charmion 11 Jul 21 - 01:48 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Jul 21 - 12:23 PM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 24 Jul 21 - 04:27 PM

It's Thorpe Market Church Only 10 minutes drive from here but a nasty main road walk either way I might approach it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Jul 21 - 03:32 PM

Dorothy, you could dice a few slices and bake them slowly to make croutons for salads. Stored in a ziplock bag they'll keep for a while. Some of those could be pulverized for bread crumbs. Bread pudding is always good for dessert or breakfast here. Those are ways I use "extra" or older bread.

Jon, that custom puzzle place looks interesting! You were really picking on anyone who was going to do that church puzzle with all of that grass! My newest one is spread out, pieces right side up, corners located, and I'm starting on one conspicuous structure in the puzzle to work around. There are lots of the same colored flowers all over, so it may be fewer pieces but it will still make me work. It's funny, I picked all of the pieces apart (after the family worked it they put it back in the box in completed chunks) and stirred it around, when I found a few that fit I'm thinking "did I mix this up well enough?" I find a few minutes of bending over the table, then moving to the other side to repeat, is a nice change of pace from whatever I've been doing. I have to be careful because if I stand still for too long Cookie curls up right beside my foot, just because. She is at times a tripping hazard.

BLT for a late lunch today. I'm going to blanch and dice and freeze a few more tomatoes that aren't in good enough condition to be canned. Then it's out into the yard with the electric trimmer to tackle the front lawn. Next week will be considerably hotter, so I'd best do it now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 24 Jul 21 - 01:48 PM

Dupont

BREAD: I did manage to freeze it all! Kept four loaves out to remind me - sitting on top of the chest freezer. Then a friend called this am to stop by and give R a ride to town!! They love this bread--- and I FORGOT to ask them if they could take some!! The last few will actually fit in but I want to be reminded and consider possible uses: french toast? ... The thin slices would not do that. What was I thinking? I was not!!! Just wanted to get a variety and the options were 10 of some, 6 of others, 4 of one. Five different sorts! One box was so heavy I had to roll it end over end to get it into the house! I will be working my way though bread for a year or more! R will use the soft pumpernickel for sandwiches and maybe the Monastery Rye and Black Forest Rye... That leaves 20 loaves of thin-sliced ... I need a stroke of creativity! And all this in a household where I keep all the bread in the freezer because we use so little!

Made yummy hummous yesterday. Mixed the less sweet rhubarb with the too sweet this am and it worked fine.

The good news is that, this am, R moved LOTS of books to his library in the cellar which enabled me to get to the Christmas bin and put stuff back in it and R found a space in a closet for it. This clears the area over the back stairs - covered with plywood and a carpet because it was a frightening hole to walk past - ... Now he can fill it with books again??? We can now look at the books on the shelves on one side, and not look at a dreadful clutter as we go to the washroom. I even thought to remove "Christmas" from the entry and replace it with a nice Af Violet in a nifty pot, and a copper angel, under the Manatee "Welcome" sign. The south facing glass front door gives plenty of light, even with a white drape to keep the heat out.

He managed all this before friends arrived - but not the bathroom sink which he was going to get at... Or the weeds he was going to cut...

I watered the back tomato bed with the hose and picked enough wax beans for a meal! Even with all the rain we had, the tomatoes were wilty looking. Those plants are producing nicely - only 3 ripe but a bunch coming along. The ones in pots need almost a gallon a day, each! This does not bode well for me leaving. Need to google for a LARGE plastic trough for all of them so R can fill it and leave it for 3 days. Too hot today - for me. Maybe I will go find a way to eat a slice of bread


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 24 Jul 21 - 12:31 PM

40 loaves of bread is an incredible amount! I’ll usually get 3 medium loafs in the freezer space here.

I took a photo of a jigsaw yesterday just to show it had been completed. I did a bit of the top when he was getting frustrated but it was mostly dad’s effort. I like him doing jigsaws as I think they do help a bit in keeping both the (limited dexterity) hands and mind working.

Well, I usually like… He can be prone to loosing bits and still feel a touch upset (although not angry about) with this pic of a local church. We (while mum was still driving) went out to take the pic, I got it made as Wentworth custom puzzle and after 2 attempts at it, there is a piece missing…

Other things, I’ve chopped the tops off our remaining 2 small rows of potatoes because of late blight and am worried about the tomatoes (which would be nowhere near as many as SRS deals with) . The conditions we had (humidity over 90% and temps dropping around 10C at night) a couple of weeks back are good for it so it’s no surprise but annoying… Still, with gardening, I guess you have to shrug your shoulders and hope for better next year...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Jul 21 - 11:27 AM

As comfortable as the house is this morning, I'm realizing that the outside fan must have been on the fritz for a while, perhaps weeks. It is so much better now that the inside fan isn't running forever, unable to lower the temperature.

I've dropped a few pounds this week with the alternate day fasting; it seems there is excess water in the system that goes first. With my trying to cut down on carbs I'm thinking those 40 loaves of bread Dorothy ordered would defeat any diet. I hope you got them all into the freezer! I made a batch of bread this week and split it into two pans, so two pieces off of a half-size loaf is like one regular slice. It's easier to make a small sandwich with slices that have crust all around than cutting a large slice in half.

The exercise program is ongoing (using two sensors that go on my right leg then connect to the app in the phone) and I'm avoiding all sideways moves to help the bursitis heal. I've also stopped the Voltaren gel, it isn't as effective on the pain as are two Ibuprofen by mouth.

Yesterday on my way home from an errand I took a route through the village that passed two garage sales, and at the second they had one 300-piece jigsaw puzzle. $1 well spent. It was nice to visit for a minute, and they said that they'd gotten this during the COVID lockdown of last year to do something together as a family, so this one comes with particularly good vibrations. Before leaving I pulled up the Facebook site I use to find local estate sales, and I didn't see any puzzles. What I did see was houses crammed full of stuff that one family couldn't possibly use. It is possible that the estate sale folks brought in contents from other houses to try to move, but mostly it seemed to be the organic clutter over decades in one house. I found myself sending a couple of photos to my daughter with the suggestion that if I ever got so bad, or didn't keep unloading the stuff I have here, to just shoot me.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Jul 21 - 07:24 PM

Forty loaves of bread! Dorothy! What were you thinking? I'd have no room for even 10 of them with all of the tomatoes and peppers filling the freezer. That'll make a great story, though.

The air conditioner jumped the line and got fixed this afternoon. The fan in the small unit needed replacing and I used a lot of my fence building mad money for that. Still waiting on the next part for the dryer. It does remind me that I need to finish the fence (next thing I need to get is the sturdier concrete for setting the corner post that will hold the gate.)

More sheets dried on the clothes line this morning so those will smell wonderful next time I make the bed. I've been picking up around here, putting away some of the canning stuff I won't need again for a while. I still tomatoes, but they aren't so overwhelming, and I'm eating them every day. For my "fasting" day tiny meals I've been using a whole tomato as my vegetable - 20 calories and deliciousness. Tonight it'll be a small plate of mozzarella and tomatoes and basil with balsamic vinegar.

The lawn needs mowing. Maybe first thing in the morning because I wouldn't finish tonight before the mosquitoes attack. Dusk is dinner time for those monsters, and it has been a bad year for them with so much rain this spring.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 23 Jul 21 - 05:07 PM

Dupont:

WEll, I really did it! Never counted how many loaves of bread I was ordering from Dimpflmeiers. The shipping cost was the same regardless and I thought is would be great to try out different types. So came home from town this am to find two huge boxes of bread on the doorstep. Now trying to freeze as many as I can manage at a time, having taken a quantity of stuff out of the frig freezer - into an insulated box.   FORTY loaves of bread take up a lot of space! I might up my bread intake to TWO slices/day! Hmmm! Maybe go buy another small freezer??? But where to put it and find enough electric for it.... Hoping it will all freeze - in freezer and frig freezer before the things in the box thaw! WE GOT BREAD!

Otherwise: I came back to QC on Friday to attend the opening of a pocket park near one of R's buildings. He donated two OLD machines - this is in an area which has been industrial for a couple hundred years. Across from the historic Lachine Canal which has beautiful bike/walking paths, grass, trees... As people gathered for the opening, bikes were soon affixed to the bizarre "bike racks" - free form metal tubing that went creatively from one machine to the other. We had a nice conversation with the Parks Canada staff in charge of historic Montreal canals. We need him on "our side" as much as possible for the R's project on another part of this canal.

Fifty years ago, this canal was a dumping place. Not being able to find my car one day, we had the police to the house. "Why would anyone take MY car!" "Ah, these people, they like to take cars, drive them in the canal and watch them make glug glug." Sometimes things do improve!

So I am back to spending 2 hours, or more, each day driving R. And getting little else done. At least another week before he gets his license...

It has cooled a bit but still too warm in the afternoon to pot. Pat sold four mugs at the shop today and I am feeling ... Oh well. We had smoke in the air from the fires in northern Ontario! Really unpleasant for a while. Not bad now. That is a pleasant de-clutter!

My big de-clutter last week was telling Ephraim, in no uncertain terms, to stop pushing R to do more than he can manage. R is calmer.

We have had a couple striped tomatoes from the garden. There will be quite a few more, eventually. And some wax beans. Lots of basil and parsley and some oregano.

I put too much sugar in the rhubarb I brought from Beaver so bought more at the famous Atwater Market today and cooked it with less sugar. Also picked up some cheeses and decent whipping cream. First time to Market in LONG time! Bought Chicken Masala at M&M last week; it tasted great and R LOVED it but I felt lousy the next day so today I picked up jars of sauces without toxic additives so I can do it myself. I also looked up recipes and bookmarked them but sometimes I do not have the mental energy to even find the myriad ingredients.

I have not used an aluminum pot of any sort since we trashed all ours after the doctor suggested it was unhealthy to use.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Jul 21 - 10:20 AM

Weight-bearing exercises for women of a certain age helps prevent osteoporosis.

I put in the order for the next part of the dryer (the thing the glide strips attach to isn't very expensive, but it does come with more pieces to install). I was planning to wait till the dryer is fixed before calling the AC guy, but the house is just darned uncomfortable without the second unit running. I have called the man. (I've had the same guy work on this since 2002 when I moved in here and he and his father's crew installed it. His father passed away so he's running the business.)

Another load of laundry is running now, to be hung on the clothes line later this morning. I always like the sheets dried outside so this is as much a treat for myself as well as a chore keeping up with the laundry. With the dryer taken apart I have a few things in the way in the hall that the AC guy will have to move past so I guess I'd better move stuff.

I finished the jigsaw puzzle I was working on and have a new one, but it's a holiday theme so I'll look for another one to do in the meantime. I tossed the old one, after quizzing a few folks on Facebook - then someone came along and mentioned simply putting a black X on the box photo where each of the five pieces is missing. Maybe next time. It is a nice way to clear my head of thought and focus on the puzzle, then move on to the next thing I plan to do. I don't sit and work on the puzzle all day. Cleansing my mental palate.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Jul 21 - 07:04 PM

I keep my house “just so” because a tidy home with everything stowed correctly preserves my sanity. Clutter generates stress, stress promotes anxiety, and over time anxiety makes me crazy. It’s that simple.

Exercise has a similar effect. I don’t think my current regimen will help me lose weight — except that I can’t eat in the pool — and at my age building muscle ain’t gonna happen, but it keeps all my joints moving and makes me feel, um, competent. I’ve booked myself in for an aquafit class tomorrow and something called Zumba on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, next week is cluttered with appointments that conflict with the Y schedule, but the week after I will make sure I nab a slot as each class I want to do hits the booking website.

Before COVID, of course, one just walked in, no need to book … The past is a different country where they do things differently.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Jul 21 - 01:28 PM

Dryer slide pieces arrived and I realize now that the part they attach to (the dryer drum front support bearing) is missing pieces to hook to. Second order in, should arrive next Tuesday.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Jul 21 - 12:14 PM

Charmion - Excellent choice - I hope you have some pads to put under it, or cushions you can move to a warm spot should the need arise. In reviewing the possible need for a future small warm sleeping place, the craft room/studio closet is the longest, but is stuffed full of my daughter's bedroom stuff and the length of it is along an exterior wall. I could give myself more sleeping room if I cleared out my office closet (not gonna happen) or work out some kind of insulating situation in the front room (a blanket fort or tent?).

Pro tip: Never run aluminum through the dishwasher, not even the coated pieces (that look kind of chrome-like). I learned that the hard way. Same with pewter-style pieces.

I started the alternate day fasting yesterday, I'm going to weigh myself every day, and I just have to not go crazy on the "feed" days. If you treat it all like a diet you hit plateaus. Normal (not crazy with the carbs) then the lower calorie (500-600/day) fasting works.

Now why do calorie and cookie get the "ie" and not spell as calory and cooky?

As a realization during COVID for months with so little human contact for so long, I've finally this summer formally started making a point of pampering myself by doing things ahead. It helps with my state of mind and forward movement on projects. Not that I didn't know this, I just didn't bother. But clearing the kitchen counter and having the tea things ready for morning, not leaving the sink piled with dishes, giving myself room on the kitchen dining table to eat and not just perch on the edge of a cluttered horizontal surface, keeping the house less dusty, improves my mood. Gifts for my future self. Yesterday I read for at least 20 minutes while I soaked my feet and gave them a good scrub then used the pumice and trimmed nails - no pedicure as with nail polish, but just a chance to pamper them. After all of the standing and walking of canning, these feet needed some love! I also spent a considerable amount of time walking around DSW until I found a really comfortable pair of sandals that have the arch in the right place and enough cushion to feel great standing or walking in. I settled on a pair by Teva - from the clearance section they still cost more than a lot of other more decorative styles, but the way the straps are set up they're easy to adjust all the way from the toes to the ankles.

It's the same with the bursitis PT stretches. I've put it off for ages, if the hip didn't hurt, I didn't fool with the stretches. But if I do the stretches as a regular thing, I might be able to get back to the dance classes I enjoy. Pamper myself by doing the stretches. (It is possible to get steroid injections, or have the bursa removed arthroscopically, but I suspect that can lead to other issues.)

The bread is rising - I made a one loaf batch in two smaller pans. There aren't enough people here to eat it all while it's fresh, so freezing half and having smaller sandwiches has been routine for a while.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Jul 21 - 10:33 AM

Stilly, it was your account of the big freeze in Texas that made me keep Edmund's down-filled sleeping bag.

The camping percolator was not improved by its trip through the dishwasher, so I slow-marched it to the trash. After at least fifty years of hard use, I don't think it owes me a thing, and it's aluminum. I'm not a fan of aluminum cookware. The grill is as clean as it's going to be, and a lot better than it was, so it has found a spot on the wall rack where the skillets live.

The clearance in the garage is remarkable, almost palpable. When the large collection of rucksacks has left the building -- probably tomorrow -- many of the shelves will be empty.

Go me.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Jul 21 - 10:25 AM

Today the furniture moves again. I drafted the Brother-In-Law to help me haul the sofa back downstairs from the library to the parlour.

The choir executive needs to meet in person, in a place where we won't get rained on or have to compete with road noise. So it's the library at my house, the only space we have that's big enough, and sufficiently ventilated, to accommodate up to eight people under the current public health rules. This is the meeting when we tell the conductor that we can't afford the 12-month contract he has always had, and that he must either accept a month-to-month arrangement -- that is, he works (and we pay him) only when we can rehearse in person -- or he resigns. It will be ugly.

So the library has to have separate seats for eight people. Therefore, the sofa shall move. Fortunately, it's not a great hulking overstuffed thing or, God forbid, a hide-a-bed; it's a teak-framed Danish Modern job. But it's no featherweight, and it's long, so a bit of skilled manipulation is required to get it through the library door and around the corner to the stairs.

Widening that door is one of the objectives of the bathroom renovation I would like to do before I get much older.


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

My backdoor hydranges are called Nikko Blue and are naturally blue without manipulation.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Jul 21 - 02:37 PM

Don, if you have hydrangeas then changing the acid level in the soil is what changes their color, something pretty easily done. I'll be curious to see if the food color affects the blossoms you treated - have you done this before?

Charmion, I have a lot of camping gear here also. Who knew I'd end up using as much as I did during that February freeze and my three nights in the closet. And I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to collecting packs and some of that gear. That reminds me - I haven't found a battery pack for the house yet, something my sister said has come in very handy for her in the last couple of years during outages. Enough to run a small lamp, a radio, etc.

I finally planted several small potted plants I started from seed a while ago. They may have been so rootbound they won't do much, but I set them free in the soil of the garden. The basil is tall enough to start thinning so there will be tomato and mozzarella and balsamic vinegar on a plate with a few leaves later today.


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

My neighbour Constable Leslie, the mad fan of camping, has departed with Edmund’s 40-year accumulation of outdoorsy gear, thus relieving me of half the contents of the garage shelving, including several fire hazards. I kept our large ponchos and Edmund’s down-filled sleeping bag, and let all the rest of it go — except the soot-covered camping coffee pot and a handy-sized cooking grill that was never washed after the last time it was used. Both those items are in the dishwasher in the hope that they can be returned to household service.

So now I have no tents, no camp stoves, no air mattresses, no pumps for air mattresses, no fold-up cookware, and only one sleeping bag. And I’m just fine with that. Next, I’ll dispose of the accumulation of rucksacks … Goodwill, I think.

The Stratford Y is open again, and pool class has resumed. Today I flung myself into the water for the first time in months, and booked myself in for two more sessions this week. I should hurry up and book next week before all the slots are taken.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 21 Jul 21 - 12:29 PM

Today I used a great hedger to sculpt a prolific 15x12 foot forsythia into a SUV/TRUCK with the aid of a special ladder with railing.
In late fall I will add 2 gallons of concentrated red food coloring to the soil and 2 more late winter. I am expecting a profusion of ORANGE &
RED blossoms in the spring. The entire property is now hedged and mowed to 1 inch. The tires/cab windows were done with a black plastic spray (not paint). It looks more rad than the mazes I used to mow in the grass.

The other white blossoming trees will get blue food coloring. The pink azaleas will get the yellow coloring and left overs. I have no idea how they will look.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Jul 21 - 11:05 PM

I'm trying to pace myself, working on one major appliance at a time, but the outside unit of the smaller heat pump is making odd noises and not turning on all of the time. It comes next, and it isn't on much for now. If I can just push this one to next month . . . the dryer glides are on order and my postal account (I can look up what is coming to my address using "Informed Delivery:" it says they've been shipped by the company but not received by the post office yet.)

A quart of tomatoes processed this evening; tomatoes that were ready to be used and not enough for a big batch, so I'm back to the asparagus cooker and one jar at a time. I also put another pint tub in the freezer so there is a gallon frozen in there and two gallons of tomato juice. Whew!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jul 21 - 11:51 AM

For all of us who have received the vaccination, we can't just let down our guard. I still wear masks in public spaces, in grocery stores, the post office, etc. By way of illustration, five of the 50+ lawmakers (all vaccinated) who fled Texas a week ago have tested positive for COVID-19. They were vaccinated, but they were somewhere with an infected person and now have to maintain quarantine while in Washington, D.C. They won't die of it, but like anyone with the vaccine, it is still possible to get sick and to spread it. Plan to keep the facemasks around and actively in use for the meantime.

Charmain, your drive routes sound interesting. Here in Texas I live within a few blocks of the intersection of two Interstate highways (I hear the tires on the road most in winter when the wind is from the north and there aren't many leaves on trees to buffer it). But I prefer the state routes, and there are some lovely roads parallel to the Interstates that are popular for road trips around here. If you want to investigate future drives in Texas Hill Country (please stop to see me when you're here), any of you might want to look at the north-south routes of state highway 16 (from Wichita Falls down to San Antonio) or 281 (from Stephenville to San Antonio - 281 runs one tier of counties east of Hwy 16 through more small towns). One feature of that kind of drive is that the highways go through all of the county seats so you get to visit lovely county courthouses along the way. There are also some lovely routes that involve connecting up various smaller highways that are parallel to the interstate, close enough to connect up on occasion, but still very pretty and rural.

Well, you'd think that with four posts in a row I'd have covered the really big project, but it seems not. Yesterday I took a pot scrubber (Dobie pad) out with some Pine Sol and water and gave the plastic-covered nylon clothes lines a good clean up, used the pruning stick to take down the Hackberry branches dangling into the lines, and sorted through clothespins, tossing all of those with rusted hinges. And hung two loads of laundry. Only one load got rained on, in the afternoon briefly, and by sunset it was close enough to dry to bring in and suspend on hangers to finish the job.

This because I have decided it's time to fix the dryer. I need to clear stuff out of the laundry room blocking access, then remove the two screws that hold the top and front onto the sides and back. It's a box of air with a few places around the sides for repairs (rather like a desktop computer). There is a gasket that needs replacing; as it is the broken piece keeps snagging laundry and subjecting it to the rubbing edge of the turning barrel. The loud thumps lately tell me it's time to stop ignoring the problem and fix it.

There is a case (12 pints per case) of canned diced tomatoes after yesterday and another six pints in "poor man's Tupperware" restaurant plastic containers in the freezer. I have the big processing pot soaking with vinegar in the water - the limestone encrustation is really heavy this year. There's always some of it, but I reused the water in this pot for three batches so it really had time to crust onto the pot. Time to make room in the pantry shelves for these cases of jars.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Jul 21 - 10:51 AM

As a doubly jabbed citizen of Ontario, I am now free to travel, within reason. For me, that means driving (not gettin' on no plane if I can help it), and visiting inoculated relatives. I have just booked the services of Georgia and Max, the kids down the street, to take care of my house and the cats when I'm away.

Over the last 25 years, I have made very few solo road trips -- right now I can recall only two -- requiring more than three hours on the road by myself. The last time was in August 2017, when I had to go back to Ottawa from Stratford to complete the trade-in deal on our cheatin' diesel Volkswagen, and I swore when I returned that I would never do that on my own again. Consider those words eaten.

Rather than beat my brains out on the autoroute (Highway 401), which can be dangerously crowded with transport trucks, I might take the old King's Highway 7 across the province a little north of Toronto to the Trans-Canada Highway a tick upriver from Ottawa. Like the curate's egg, parts of it are excellent and other parts emphatically are not, but at least there's more to look at than asphalt and the arse end of an 18-wheeler.

The other trip, southwest to Windsor, will have to be on the 401. But that's only three hours, with a diversion on the way at Chatham, and I can do that on a cup of coffee and a cheese sandwich.

My bedroom floor is unacceptably dusty, so house cleaning is on the agenda this week. The choir executive wants to meet again tomorrow, so that afternoon is shot, but the rest of the week is clear. Today I must buy groceries for both felines and humans, and make soup. I shall also renew my membership at the Y and book myself in for pool class.

Life is finding a new normal. Hurrah for that.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 19 Jul 21 - 07:01 AM

Writ large is the phrase thats writ large today. Everyone's getting infected with the Delta variant writ large. Delta is more contagious writ large. But anti vaxers are blind to whats writ large. The most absurd little big lies are writ large for them. Olympic money makers will not attend the olympics. Facebook executives are in quarantine. Politicians get vaccine in secret. Writ large are the evil of yesterday lies that discourage common sense today. 99% of all the new tomb stones from Delta Covid are of the cult of the antivaxers. The USA has an embarrassment of riches that greedily bought all the vaccines so the world has very little for a priviledged few. Now the cure goes to waste while the crazies wait. People die as the world waits. Waiting for the gullible to grow wise lasts as long as death.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Jul 21 - 11:32 AM

I have weighed the ingredients (again) for salsa and am going to wade into that project this morning. I'll try to use fewer pans (or at least smaller pans) and will clean the kitchen before I start (almost finished that while I waited for my tea to brew.) After that, I'll use the processing kettle and dice and can tomatoes by themselves.

The garden got a good deep soak last night, using a smaller sprinkler stuffed in under plants and running for 30 minutes per zone. Much more thorough than the big oscillating sprinkler hitting the whole area for 30 minutes. The tomatoes, okra, and peppers look refreshed this morning.

Sweeping yesterday, dusting begins today. With a mask because it is a sneezy chore.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Jul 21 - 05:14 PM

It took about an hour to work my way through the entire house with the broom (moving things, picking up stuff, etc.) and I can feel it in my back (still suffering after stepping in a hole a few nights ago.) The kitchen is a mess, lots of projects passing by each other on the countertops and tables.

I made brine for pickled okra and processed one jar this afternoon (pickles are very forgiving - easy brine, stuff everything in a clean jar, top with brine then process for 10 minutes. The trick is to let it sit for a couple of months before you open it to eat.) This way I can make a jar every time I have enough okra, not wait until I have a couple of pounds collected over several days for a large batch.

The house smells great!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Jul 21 - 11:27 AM

Dorothy, I hope R sorts out his driver's license soon. I'm looking at driving stuff now myself - if I take a defensive driving course every three years I can get a good discount on my insurance. It's that year again and I've paid for the online course, now I just have to take it.

Today looks like a sweep-and-dust day. It has been a while. I works to do a deep-dusting in a room a day, but I need to start by sweeping all of the floors to clear the dog hair and dust kittens.


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

It has been my observation that a three-to-four-day trip can be really refreshing - if you can get the travelling done on the first and last days that you have two full days in the place and enough of the other days to make it feel longer. Arrive in daylight the first day so there's time to do something, leave on the last day after some activity but so you're not struggling to get home (if you have to work the next day, etc.).

Long social day today, followed by work here at the house tomorrow. Canning tomatoes should clear up the kitchen peninsula of boxes. It's nice to alternate on the activities, appreciating being with people, and enjoying time at home. And having a choice now that a fair number of people have been vaccinated. I still take a mask with me, I made the 3D masks with a neck loop so I wear it like a necklace and put it on when I'm going into stores, places with people and low circulation, etc. I have a stack in the sewing room to iron (I figure that gives them an extra level of protection, having been heated up by the iron after washing.)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 15 Jul 21 - 04:11 PM

BEAVER:

Got out of bed on Tuesday knowing I had to come home! R could fend for himself. I was becoming depressed by missing being here. So I made BF, packed up stuff to bring; he helped put it in car, agreeing this was a good move. I drove him to town, took time to look at the gates he designed for "Mill Street" which are being fabricated by his staff. They are incredible. If I could get my phone to talk to my computer, I would post a pic on FB. And was here by 3:30 - SO happy to be here. No strawberries. There may have been some... The yard needs to be cut but I want to pick the purple clover blossoms first. They make a nice herb tea. Maybe this aft if it does not rain again.

Major glitch thanks to R's failure to communicate: On Monday he showed me a pocket park near one of his buildings, to which he donated two OLD machines; it was in process of being groomed for an opening "next Friday". Designed for the cyclists, and workers nearby, it will have tables... However, on the way to town on Tuesday, I realized "next Friday was really "this Friday" - tomorrow. So, yesterday I rested and stirred glazes and rested... Today I glazed and the kiln is firing. Early tomorrow, I will unload kiln, sticker pots for shop and pick out a few for Quebec clients, and get back to Montreal by 2 pm for the opening of the park at 3. Monday was the first time he even mentioned it!

Next trick is finding out when he is installing these monumental gates on the historic building (remains). That will determine when I will come back to Beaver.

Needless to say, I have not done much else here! There is a huge brown-eyed Susan clump in one of the raised beds. After it is finished blooming, I will dig it up and take it to Chateauguay for the front garden. Next trip, perhaps.

The tomatoes in QC were coming along and I am grateful that it has been raining enough for the outdoor plants. R does not even have a hearing re his license until 28 July! Since he failed to address the issue for 3 weeks after he found out about it - when he finally checked the mail... Spending two hours a day taking R to the city was becoming infuriating. The heat did not help; by the time I got back to the house, it was too hot to do any pottery, or much else, even cooking dinner...

WE did spend last weekend on the House - R decided to put up pictures and we collaborated on some and some he just did; they can always be moved but at least they are no longer stacked in the spare room. He also re-arranged the spare room and it looks much more friendly. And put a screen in the back door and in the room I am using for pottery until something better... Letting in the cool night air is important to me.   

I am sufficiently rested to make the trip back. And restored by being here! Realizing how much I need to be in the country. Spending two hours a day taking R to the city was becoming infuriating.

So I just picked a good batch of rhubarb and a few heads of clover. Starting to sprinkle again and not so hot!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Jul 21 - 11:30 AM

Thanks for asking SRS. He got home around midnight the day of the fall. He got a clean bill of health but I'm a touch concerned about his mental state. He remembers nothing of the incident or going to hospital and I had another sort of near miss last night. I say sort of as the only place he was going to land was safely on his bed.


As for cameras, I went for an EZVIZ one. The reason for the choice is that one provides an rtsp stream (as do all our current cameras). That provides a standard most security software can work with. Even VLC can use it with a URL on this sort of lines: rtsp://username:password@mycamerasLANIP/mystream. It fits in easily with the xeoma software I use.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Jul 21 - 10:58 AM

They are losing people being picked off by the Taliban, according to last night's story. 70,000 people to be moved and they wait till the last minute. The Toronto Star link wasn't working but I've looked it up (it maybe be because of my location). The photos - not a good idea right now.
______________________

I have back-to-back meetings today so the tomatoes will wait for processing tomorrow. Just as well, gives me a breather. It's a pleasant aspect out the back door (if you ignore the messed-up patio cover) after I mowed the back and dumped the compost (and it's in an area the dogs can navigate, so no rats back there).

Jon, you may yet inspire me to put up a camera. They're coming down in price and there are so many ways to store images. (And I hope your father is home and feeling better.)

My bloodwork is back and everything is where it should be now, and to continue as I am. So the answer to thyroid weight is "you have to work it off yourself." It doesn't magically vanish. Darn.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Jul 21 - 10:42 AM

We've still got 3 jars of black and red currant jam from 2018 to use up. The rest (9 jars?) are Victoria plum and damson I made last year. The Victoria plum tree is quite laden with fruit so I hope to make more jam from it later in the year. I've not noticed what's happening with the other plums but greengage and damson are possibilities.

I don't eat a lot of jam but mum and dad often have a jam sandwich as part of their mid day meal and, despite there being the old jars left, it does get used at a reasonable rate. The old jars may be part my fault anyway. The jam and marmalade jars are stored on a cupboard shelf that is beyond mum's reach. She asks me to reach a jar down for her which then goes on a lower shelf she can reach until it's used up.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Jul 21 - 10:42 AM

Steven Miller was the one who wrote the rules for Afgan translator visas.
What has resulted is a fraction of the destructive legacy of Trumpism.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Jul 21 - 10:03 AM

If I do any preserving at all this year, it will be chutney in September, and most of it will be Christmas presents. I have at least three years' worth of jam in the pantry, and my range of home cooking just gets plainer and simpler as the days roll by.

This morning, the Globe and Mail published a major editorial on Canada's debt to the Afghans who worked for our military task forces and civilian representatives in Afghanistan. In its typically folksy way, the Toronto Star is publishing human-interest stories to tweak the heart-strings of policy wonks and politicians. But, as Stilly says, it's a totally uncalled-for mess for which our federal government is entirely responsible.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Jul 21 - 12:23 AM

I have confessed before that I am a sucker for gadgets. Not everything that comes along (my father had a fair number of gadgets at his house when I worked on his estate - I know this is passed down genetically), but the ones that seem to have a chance of actually working. I looked this little thing up - it looks like Walmart has carried it and Amazon has the same thing with a different brand on it. It's a little AA-powered fan-operated desk vacuum. And it works. I was at DSW (because I was nearby and sometimes I just stop in for a little recreational browsing) and this was in the clearance section. With the red tag and a $5 credit, it cost me all of $1.61. The dust that builds up on my desk is usually food crumbs, occasional dog hair, and the usual dander that accumulates on a workspace. It's an attractive little black box with an on/off switch on front and it sits off to the side beyond the phone charger. (A search on "mini desk vacuum" comes up with a variety of incredibly cute shapes as vacuums).

The dishwasher is running, the washer is set to run in the morning (it has a timer, which is a good thing to use in a place where the power grid doesn't need heavy draw devices running during daytime hours. It's set to run at 5am.) The kitchen is cleared of extra pots and canning devices, but tomorrow evening I'll likely have some of them out. Or maybe on Friday.

The garden is always a source of drama, sometimes slow moving, but today I set a Hav-a-heart trap with a piece of watermelon attached to the bait tray with a twist tie and nailed a rat that has been taking wanton bites out of my tomatoes. Some on the ground, some reached by climbing the vines and biting on top. I use that trap so if I nail a lizard or toad I can let them go, but rats go, trap and all, into a tall bucket of water. Chances are that where there is one rat there are other rats, so the trap is again set, with more watermelon, on the side of the garden. I'm a lot more forgiving of huge caterpillars than I am of rats.
____________________

I'm listening to MSNBC talk about trying to get translators out of Afghanistan. This is a mess, and is totally uncalled for. They could have done this before, even in the Biden administration. #Fail


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 14 Jul 21 - 06:01 PM

I'm still a while off getting ripe tomatoes but do have some fruit forming on the greenhouse ones. I don't know yet if we will be processing any but, if they come to anything and if I can find the recipes, the Roma plum ones do make a nice ketchup and (perhaps unusually for me as I wouldn't normally go for one) a very nice tomato soup.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Jul 21 - 04:52 PM

Five more half-pints, so I'm up to just over a half-gallon of sauce (that sounds like more than nine half-pints) and two gallons of juice. More skin and seeds to process. Kitchen cleaned up after that session, and tonight I may start the canned diced tomatoes in pint jars. I used my colander stainless set to process these tomatoes but I need a bigger pot for pint jars. I'm going to pour some white vinegar into the colander pot and let it remove the lime that lines these after a long time simmering, then put it away (or I could use this water one more time and blanch the tomatoes in it).

Now to tackle the compost.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 14 Jul 21 - 01:57 PM

Yes, ours looked very vulnerable, SRS, and I'll admit to loosing the one tiny screw meant to secure the camera. It's not pretty and still not very secure but I drew and printed off a cage to go over ours.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Jul 21 - 11:25 AM

What a pretty yard, Jon! I've thought about the doorbell, but they're as likely to be stolen as they are to be left alone these days. I would put a camera on the NE corner of the house to catch street traffic if I were to put one up; that's where all of the action seems to happen (the sheriff will sometimes ask my next door neighbor about his street view at certain times because of something that happened in the village. His angle catches vehicles but not license plates.)

I must mow and do the compost. Mary, I won't use stainless for it, but I will look into smaller buckets today to make this job easier. Today at least when I get it to the compost pile there's enough stuff in there to bury this without much fuss. I need to trim the lemon balm (it's taken over outside the back door) and so low-hanging limbs (would be a good idea to do this BEFORE I mow.) Indoors I must make more sauce and can some of these tomatoes. Busy day.

Funny thing - I went to the doctor's office last week for a blood draw and left a bag of eggplants. This morning I called to ask about the results and when she had my name she said "I remember you! You left the eggplants!" and when prompted, she said they disappeared in a hurry. I should take them some more. :) I've tried to take them to my across the street/corner neighbor, but no one seems to be home these days. I fear for the worse, that the matriarch may have passed away. (I just did an online search - nothing shows up, but I found her husband's notice from 2015.) She's always happy to get fresh produce; her daughter lives with her and they cook together so I think they'll still get used. Maybe they're just on vacation.

I made another dent in the fridge contents yesterday so I'll have room for a container of brine for pickling okra.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 14 Jul 21 - 06:39 AM

"So far no cameras or smart major appliances, etc."

Oh, and I've just added another camera and really must make this our lot! The front outside camera covers a reasonable area but looses sight of people as they get close to the porch door. I've fitted a doorbell camera to close that gap.

Doing that also caused me to re-arrange the wi-fi my end of the house and I now have an AP the other side of my room and the wi-fi on my router which is behind my PC turned off.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: JennieG
Date: 14 Jul 21 - 02:24 AM

Ah, okay......that's pretty much what I had thought. We would probably say a box, or perhaps a carton if the sides were deeper.

Back to my sewing room now that my coffee is drunk. I have 77 more 2-1/2 in squares of green fabric to be cut, decluttering some of my greens as I go, for a quilt. I have a lot of green fabric.

I really really like green......


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: mg
Date: 14 Jul 21 - 12:59 AM

i use stainless steel pots for compost.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Jul 21 - 12:20 AM

If you buy a case of canned goods often they're in a box that is only a couple of inches tall around the sides, with plastic over it to hold everything in place. I buy sparkling water from Costco in 35-can cases. Those are the size boxes I'm putting tomatoes in; when you buy produce in boxes like that they generally refer to it as a flat; bigger boxes are half-bushel or bushels. The Costco boxes are 19" x 13", and there is one case from Topo Chico (a Mexican sparkling water) that is 15" x 13". Tomorrow a lot of tomatoes will go into jars one way or another, they're all very ripe. And part of that may be more sauce, though I'll have to think about what to do with all of that juice. So far I'm freezing it, but it does take up space in a hurry. It doesn't last as long canned, but I could can it in quart jars and just plan to use that first.

I made a quart of tomato sauce today (four half-pint jars) from the tomatoes I steam-juiced last night. Not very much, but this is from the same fruit that yielded close to a gallon of juice. The skins and seeds are in the oven slowly drying.

I'm puttering along, keeping the garden alive, scattering in some dry organic fertilizer tonight, turning on the sprinkler - and nearly killed myself, wrenched my back stepping in a hole the dogs dug. I'm going to have to take a wheelbarrow of soil around and fill a bunch of these and see if they'll stay filled, at least for a while.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: JennieG
Date: 13 Jul 21 - 10:15 PM

A question: "three flats of very ripe tomatoes" - what's a 'flat' in that context?

In Oz a 'flat' is what you would call an apartment, although 'apartment' is becoming more and more used.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Jul 21 - 08:05 PM

The switch for the light over the kitchen dining area is poorly place, around a corner so I have to lean around the wall to turn it on or walk over there. I put a smart bulb in that fixture over the table and Alexa turns it on and off, and when family members fuss about the bulb, turns it down to 50% brightness. I have a lamp with another smart bulb that I've been meaning to set up somewhere, just haven't figured the best place. I'm clearly not someone who has Alexa do all sorts of household tasks. So far no cameras or smart major appliances, etc.

Clearing out more in the fridge - I froze chicken stock made recently and I can use that 3-quart bowl for tomatoes. On the kitchen waste end of things it is time again to excavate a cavity in the compost pile and pour in the bucket contents from the two five-gallon buckets next to the kitchen door. This is always a bit of a job (they're heavy and stinky and I always resolve to empty them before they're full but that rarely happens. I should find smaller buckets.)

One of the two air conditioning heat pump units isn't always turning on when the indoor part turns on, so I need to call the company that tends to these for me. It looks like July is going to be a major hit on the pocketbook, with the vet bills and now a possible AC repair (though he always services with a standard call first and sometimes that is enough. It's good when you have a reliable repairman you've known for 20 years.)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 13 Jul 21 - 06:14 PM

I managed to let dad fall today. He's been walking so well and I guess I got to casual about things and was standing to his side rather than behind him when it happened... Perhaps I did mange to slow the fall and he wasn't injured but we were still left with the problem of getting him up...

...An ambulance call. The crew wanted to (and did) take him into hospital for tests. We've had a call back from the hospital saying all is ok but I don't know when dad will be back. He missed his tea and mum and I have just said that we have a Wiltshire Farms (microwave meal) or a cheese salad sandwich or a cup a soup on offer if he want's something before bed.

In the meanwhile, I've put an Alexa Flex in the kitchen. It might help with the occasional blip we have with the automation there. At least saying "Alexa, turn the kitchen light on" is easier than walking to the switch... And maybe it will find other uses.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Jul 21 - 03:54 PM

I heard back from the local NPR station. The episode this week was a repeat (I think there will be a new season in the fall) that this one is You, But Better.
Think about the resolutions you made this year: to quit smoking, eat better, or get more exercise. If you’re like most people, you probably abandoned those resolutions within a few weeks. That’s because change is hard. Behavioral scientist Katy Milkman explains how we can use our minds to do what’s good for us.

I made tomato sauce last night but need to cook it down a bit then jar and process it. There is about a quart of sauce and there are three quarts of spectacularly clear and tasty tomato juice in the freezer (and another pint in the fridge.) And after I used all of those tomatoes (about 8 pounds) and then put the tomatoes from the windowsill into the box, and a few I'd picked late in the day, it was full up again. So I have three flats of very ripe tomatoes to use this week. I cleaned the kitchen before I went to bed, because you can only leave it a mess overnight so often before you realize you're just beating up on your morning self. (And this ties back to that Hidden Brain episode.)

The leftover skin and seeds is a great source of flavor and lycopene, so I'll spread it out on a baking sheet and slowly dry it in the oven (if it wasn't so humid today I'd cover it and put it on the table outside the dry). It then goes into the little food mill to be chopped into little chips of tomato skin and seeds, and it smells and tastes wonderful sprinkled on things. I keep it in the freezer till I'm ready to fill the shaker I keep it in for the table.


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

The trouble with all of this last minute relocation of drivers and translators from Afghanistan is that they're telegraphing their plans to the whole world. Makes it easier to pick off moving families. The press need-to-know versus the government's need to act quickly and quietly—this should already have been sorted out, not wait till the press makes a fuss about it to act. I would like a quiet report one day soon that says "we moved them all out already and they're safe." Dream on?

I have three flats of tomatoes on the kitchen counter, as well as a bowl, and I see big canning operations in the cards this week. We're past the small batch stage. Now I have to decide how much of it goes into sauce versus how much is diced.

Yesterday the recycling was dropped at the village bins and the long now-tightly-wrapped-in-plastic window blinds are dropped at Goodwill. I was listening to an interesting episode of Hidden Brain while making that run, and I can't find the episode now. It tied in with doing things now versus things like saving for the future - present bias versus future bias stuff. I sent an email to the station asking because the schedule takes me to the website, not the episode. During that search I found another episode that is a classic for Mudcat so started a new thread. A search didn't show anything about his past, I'm curious to see if anyone steps up with more information. He was a grifter, so who knows if there is any truth to his work on the master book of American folk.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Jul 21 - 10:13 AM

Very bummed out today from reading the newspapers: Afghanistan is again falling under Taliban control. Every Afghan who worked for the Canadian Embassy, Task Force Kandahar or the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team is in deadly danger, from the interpreters and "cultural advisors" who were intimately involved in operations and policy decisions to the lowliest sweepers and kitchen hands. The Canadian government has yet to show much interest in their plight, let alone do anything useful, such as rescue them. This situation has been coming for years, and more than 800 Afghans who worked for Canada have already been settled here, so it's not as if we don't know what to do.

But all that is way out of my range of influence, let alone control, so I should focus my attention on things I can change. Such as the choir's determination to over-think the return to group singing. Some members of the executive committee apparently want to review all the science, as if we could understand it in context, or take any action that varies from public health advice, guidance and directive.

I'm bidden to yet another meeting this afternoon. I'm so not a fan.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Jul 21 - 08:12 AM

Well the weather yesterday was fine enough for mum and I to have our tea outside for what seems the first time in a few weeks but we’re back to rain for this afternoon.

The grass continues to enjoy this seasons weather though… That said, yesterday, I finished my most complete cut this year. I took the petrol trimmer all the way up the track to trim the sides back and also did the bit behind the pigsties. These bits only need doing occasionally.

I got a new plastic “salad box” (don’t know what happened to the last one) for the fridge yesterday. Of our own stuff, there is only lettuce to go in a the moment but I should have our own sweet peppers, tomatoes, and cucumber to go in later. A little bit of ready prepared salad in the fridge to go on sandwiches works quite well for us.

I really need to try to push myself (and my motivation is about zero with some things) to get going and achieve at least one of a couple of projects I ought to do but don’t really want to do (back to the book of common prayer there charmion?) although I’d need the weather on my side for both…

The green shed (I think mentioned a while a go) really does need me to be able to spread things outside to sort and the long threatened (but probably never mentioned here and forgotten about when I couldn’t do a job at ground level) cementing between the porch tiles and then painting the floor needs a couple of fine clear days where the sliding doors to the living room could be used as the main entrance.

Then there is outdoor furniture that could do with its annual coat of whatever...


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

I pulled out a small stack of recipes to attend to this weekend, and made progress. There is now a lovely small tub of homemade tartar sauce awaiting some fish I plan to thaw this week. The ingredients for a batch of cranberry bars are thawing. I cleared out space in the fridge when I emptied a container of store brand "fresh" pickles that never tasted very good and weren't going to improve with age. The jar of mayonnaise is now out of there, emptied, partly to the tartar sauce and the rest spooned into the plastic squirt bottle that is my favorite dispenser for mayo. And more things along those lines. Do I really need four flavors of mustard? Not necessarily, but I know which of the four was going to go best in the tartar sauce, and it isn't the same as one I might use for salad dressing. They're staying.

Cookie and I took a wonderful refreshing mid-afternoon nap together on the sofa. She really is a very good nap dog.

I read an interesting article about Jackie Collins in The Atlantic. I can't say I read any of her novels, but I read a few other popular women authors at the time. In the topic paragraph of the article are these lines:

If I close my eyes, I can see the jacket photo on the glossy hardcovers in my childhood bedroom: Collins, standing in front of a blandly wealthy backdrop, her hair as rich as chocolate and her shoulders padded past the point of no return. These conspicuous displays of accomplishment read to me now as karmic winks at all the critics who disdained her. Carry on with your carping, suckers, she seems to say with her eyes, the light glinting off her abundant jewelry. This pool is paid for.

That description of shoulder pads and the pool pulled me into the rest of the article.

More huge tomatoes picked today, and one ripe one picked with a bite taken out of it very recently (it was still dripping). I sent it home with the picker, telling him to cut off that part. Now to get the bag of dog hair (collected using the "furminator" brush thing) I've collected for this time of year - and the long kitchen tongs. I'll go stuff large gobs of the hair under the garden plants to hopefully scare of the squirrel or other rodent that has decided to chomp my ripe tomatoes.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 11 Jul 21 - 01:48 PM

It's raining again in Stratford, and Environment Canada is predicting the same for the better part of next week. I imagine that this means I should expect more slime mould in the garden.

The provincial government has announced that we will move to Step 3 -- gyms open, restaurants feeding people indoors, higher capacity caps on retail businesses -- on Friday, 16 July, a week earlier than previously announced. This means I can resume pool class and eat at a restaurant even when it's raining. Most of Stratford seems to be interpreting the change of date as a vote of confidence, assuming we're all on the way back to "normal".

I received Shot 2 yesterday afternoon, and my arm is a bit sore today. Otherwise, I feel fine.

The next household improvement project is almost under way: a nice young man in painting clothes came the other day to quote on bringing the ugly bedroom up to snuff. He's a friend of Tony the carpenter and a likely sub-contractor on the two-bathrooms project, so I also showed him that project area. He agreed that eggplant purple is a dreadful colour for a bathroom, and noted that the woodwork in the ugly bedroom has suffered way too much damage -- he offered to "give it some love", which I gather means caulking the cracks, tacking down the sprung molding, and giving it all a nice, bright coat of semi-gloss white enamel. His name is Rick, his parents live down the street, and he drives an aging Jaguar saloon (!). I guess he's a Class A mechanic in his copious free time.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Jul 21 - 12:23 PM

I woke early to rain on the roof - perfect timing - the yard has dried out.

There's hardly room to prepare my meals this weekend - my kitchen counter is full of boxes of jars, empty and recently filled, and boxes of ripening tomatoes and of peppers awaiting freezing. I'm going to make a batch of brine for pickled okra and have it handy for quick single jars - they process very quickly. The goal is to use all of this before it gets too old or soft to use as I want.

The old Lab still needs medication squirted in his ears, and he has figured out that there is a treat involved so isn't running off like last week. Old dogs do learn new tricks!

I picked a couple of tomatoes this morning, but a friend is coming over so I left several pink ones on the plants - it's a great entertainment, picking softball-sized tomatoes.


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Mudcat time: 24 July 9:55 PM EDT

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