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De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021

Stilly River Sage 28 Dec 20 - 06:43 PM
Donuel 28 Dec 20 - 07:31 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Dec 20 - 07:56 PM
Sandra in Sydney 28 Dec 20 - 08:19 PM
Raggytash 28 Dec 20 - 08:19 PM
Dorothy Parshall 28 Dec 20 - 10:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Dec 20 - 12:14 AM
Charmion 29 Dec 20 - 07:34 AM
Charmion 29 Dec 20 - 10:18 AM
Stilly River Sage 29 Dec 20 - 11:29 AM
Donuel 29 Dec 20 - 06:27 PM
Raggytash 29 Dec 20 - 07:08 PM
pattyClink 29 Dec 20 - 09:37 PM
Donuel 30 Dec 20 - 12:29 PM
Charmion 30 Dec 20 - 07:45 PM
pattyClink 30 Dec 20 - 08:49 PM
Stilly River Sage 31 Dec 20 - 12:00 AM
pattyClink 31 Dec 20 - 11:11 AM
Stilly River Sage 31 Dec 20 - 11:36 AM
Stilly River Sage 31 Dec 20 - 02:11 PM
Dorothy Parshall 01 Jan 21 - 12:47 PM
Charmion 01 Jan 21 - 04:45 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Jan 21 - 07:55 PM
Dorothy Parshall 02 Jan 21 - 01:22 PM
Charmion 03 Jan 21 - 10:43 AM
keberoxu 03 Jan 21 - 01:01 PM
Charmion 03 Jan 21 - 01:39 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 Jan 21 - 04:33 PM
Jon Freeman 04 Jan 21 - 02:15 AM
Dorothy Parshall 04 Jan 21 - 10:01 AM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jan 21 - 12:41 PM
Charmion 04 Jan 21 - 04:50 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jan 21 - 06:48 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Jan 21 - 11:39 AM
Charmion 06 Jan 21 - 09:14 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jan 21 - 11:56 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jan 21 - 01:27 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 Jan 21 - 11:41 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jan 21 - 12:36 AM
Charmion 11 Jan 21 - 11:20 AM
Stilly River Sage 12 Jan 21 - 12:51 PM
Steve Shaw 12 Jan 21 - 08:27 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jan 21 - 01:00 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jan 21 - 03:25 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Jan 21 - 05:18 PM
Charmion 15 Jan 21 - 11:16 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jan 21 - 12:16 PM
Charmion 15 Jan 21 - 12:31 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 16 Jan 21 - 09:50 AM
Donuel 16 Jan 21 - 10:19 AM
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Subject: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Dec 20 - 06:43 PM

This thread is being started in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and for that reason there is simply no comparison to any other thread. The previous one ran from December 2018 to December 2020, so the last 10 months of the thread are steeped in reports of life in self-isolation or lockdown during a pandemic.

The declutter and fitness threads serve as a place for Mudcatters who need more exercise and who have homes filled with interesting furniture, materials, books, music-related items, work stations with the accompanying accoutrement, and a lot more – it adds up to too many things, and we are going through the process of organizing, discarding, or re-purposing this stuff. Much of the exercise we get is in pursuit of household organization.

There is a core of active participants and there are probably more people who lurk, and several previously active Mudcatters who are unable to post now or are completely gone and still on our minds. Some of those past members have shifted to Facebook.

I'm not going to tell other people's stories, but there is a lot to read if you want to catch up. Previous years threads are linked at the beginning of each one when it was new. https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=165433 is the most recent before this.

A non-medical mental health component weaves though these threads for this disconnected community, where we share ideas and praise helpful to those who benefit from the continuity of conversation and encouragement in the accomplishment of all of our projects. And consolation when things don't go so well, and shoulders to cry on when they're downright awful. We share stories of recovery.

2020 has been awful for so many people that I hate to hang our hopes for recovery on 2021 alone, it will probably take longer than that to help families and rebuild businesses after the pandemic winds down, and to repair essential services in the US after the presidency of 45. I expect to get a vaccine in March or April here in Texas, based upon my age and how the line is forming. What we know now versus what we learn on January 21, 2021, may change that.

I hope those who lurk will step up and share news of how they are, and maybe we can bring in a few new regular participants. I'm always amazed at occasional lurkers who've read the various posted tips, done the work at their homes, then drop in to tell us about what work they did – and then they're gone again. Most of us are doing a slow-motion type of decluttering. This year I hope we'll all pay more attention to the exercise component of this thread – we need to shed the pandemic torpor.

These threads were started by the late great Katlaughing, who in particular enjoyed the vicarious activity as her health was failing. Her nephew was frequently a topic of discussion and for a number of years we were all adopted aunties. She's always in the back of my mind when I start one of these - Here's to you, Kat! Skoal!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 28 Dec 20 - 07:31 PM

Damn the torpor full speed ahead.
My arms have gotten smaller and my waist larger. The answer is obvious, its just about choosing an unwaivering time for push ups and the discipline to begin a half portion regime.
To start spring cleaning 3 months early I will devote 1 day a week to start.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Dec 20 - 07:56 PM

Good beginning, Don! Damn the torpor, indeed!

Michelle (Lilyfestre) posted a thing on Facebook a couple of years ago that I printed and put on my fridge. It's supposed to be the 12 days of cleaning before xmas, but you can use it as a guide for any particular 12 days you want to get through all of the cleaning chores in just under two weeks. It's from a blog called "The Thrifty Couple" and here is the PDF of the chart. If you don't want to go straight to downloading here is the blog page with a link to the chart (scroll way down to get to the link to the printable chart). I don't think I've made it completely through all 12 days, but I have worked several in a row and cherry picked the ones that really need doing.

I started a very light yoga routine a couple of weeks ago that so far is a combination of my stretches from a book and then a few minutes of some of her moves. It's a really slow start. And for diet, I have in mind an "advent" period until the inauguration, during which I eat healthier and arrive at the new presidency in a little better shape. Some of this involves things like not eating after 7pm, and trying to keep my eating within a 10 hour period. That means you're less likely to lay down new layers of fat as you sleep.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 28 Dec 20 - 08:19 PM

I've been lurking & very slowly downsizing - a trolley load of books here, & a trolley load of craft stuff there, my 1975 Royal Doulton dinner set which I only used once or twice when it was new (plates are too big!) finally went to my favourite charity shop where it sits in a locked cupboard with price tag of $180. Why did I buy an 8-person set, when I have always lived with a 4-person table in 1-bedroom apartments. Well, it was duty free & it was 1975 & I was on my first proper (non-family) holiday, we partied & shopped!!!

Recently I took what was left of my jigsaw collection (a full trolley load + a carry bag), to my favourite charity shop, puzzles I bought in the 70s, as well as others I'd bought in recent decades, usually in charity shops. All I have left are 2 from the 50s that belonged to my grandmother & 2 other very old puzzles, 1942 & 1950s)

Sometimes I've just given one item to someone who would appreciate it.

Recently I went looking for a camera memory in a little plastic case, it wasn't with the other camera memories & USBs - oops. Said memory contains scans of 30 years of minutes of Australia's oldest folk club, & I'm hoping it fell into one of the boxes of club archives I have cluttering up my floor. I can ask for another copy, but ...

Good thing I rarely vacuum.

sandra eyeing the clutter


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Raggytash
Date: 28 Dec 20 - 08:19 PM

I started this last year.

So far I have had the ceiling in one bedroom reboarded the walls replastered and the room rewired and then redecorated. Add new a new carpet, curtains and mattress.

We have also redecorated the dining room with new carpet and curtains and just before Christmas we redecorated the living room again with new carpet and curtains.

After the new year the kitchen will be redecorated and another bedroom reboarded and rewired and then decorated.

IF I have any money left I am thinking of putting plastic "grass" down in the back garden.

I tell myself this IS getting me fitter!!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 28 Dec 20 - 10:20 PM

Beaver:

We made it! Peaceful here. clearing snow and bringing in wood. Taking more small items to the Carriagehouse. R fixing a sign so it, hopefully, will not blow over with every passing vehicle! Recovering from trip. Woke up to 6 inches of snow this morning. Cleared most of deck, R cleared car and went for a drive while Steve plowed the drive. And READING..... Invited 77 "friends" to "like" the Carriagehouse page. Still eating the cooked food we brought with us and a large batch of turkey soup. Hovering around freezing point. Would be nice to see some sun!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Dec 20 - 12:14 AM

I moved Dorothy's most recent post over here; I think she didn't notice the new thread. This will let the other one drop down the page.

Raggy, that sounds like a lot of work and a big investment.

I need to put a few things up on the walls in my repaired office (ceiling replaced and walls textured summer of 2019), but I can't reach the wall very easily with the computer desk in front of it. I suspect it will involve moving the one on wheels enough so I can squeeze in and put in a robust nail and hook for at least my last diploma - it's a nice reminder of that work. Some of those advertised sticky tapes that pull off without leaving a mark are a tempting purchase to make some other things easier to put up with the help of a long pair of kitchen tongs.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Dec 20 - 07:34 AM

Stilly, those tapes that « pull off without leaving a mark » do so only if pulled off quite soon after application. As the adhesive ages, it bonds with the paint on the wall until it finally behaves like all the other kinds of tape.

The house is tidy and relatively clean, so I have to find another source of divertissement. The even more contagious form of COVID-19 has come to Ontario and flouting the lockdown is an even worse idea than before, so my entertainment must be solitary. Go for a walk? I’d love to, but, y’know, winter — it snowed heavily, then it rained, and last night another light sprinkle of snow treacherously covered the lumpy ice left by the rain on the streets and sidewalks.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Dec 20 - 10:18 AM

Raggy, how big is your back garden? Have you considered building a patio?

Even the best fake grass, such as Astroturf, suffers from exposure to the UV in sunlight, and all of it is expensive. A patio of manageable size -- think big enough for a barbecue and a picnic table -- would probably cost less, and would be an attractive addition to the property.

Two summers ago, we replaced our enormous back deck with a modest patio made of compressed concrete pavers. Everyone who sees it goes Oooh and Aaaah, it's far less of a maintenance challenge; and I can trust it not to catch fire from the barbecue.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Dec 20 - 11:29 AM

I've been meaning to pull out the DVD with the basic belly dance class steps for exercise, and I have a tube of the topical pain cream that is widely advertised on TV (and the PA at my knee surgeon's office recommended it) along with some stretches to do to keep the hip bursitis from flaring up. This year after getting vaccinated, and when the coast is clear, I hope to return to dance class in the studio, assuming the studio survives the pandemic. In the last few months I've rearranged furniture to clear a space in front of the TV in the den large enough to practice those steps and to even dance along with some of the Hafla videos I accumulated over the couple of years I was going to the studio before the knee became such a painful problem. My brain still knows the steps even if my body has to work to get back into shape to dance them. :)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 29 Dec 20 - 06:27 PM

We are blessed to be insulated from financial ruin from the pandemic but many are not.

I haven't noticed any degredation of artficial grass by the North front door and carport over the last 3 years. Thick soft and mud free was what I wanted. I used gorilla glue where it joined a sidewalk and drive way.
3-4 hundred will buy 20 by 25 ft of superior artificial turf.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Raggytash
Date: 29 Dec 20 - 07:08 PM

The back garden is quite small, about 35ft x 25ft approx. However I am not as able as I once was and strimming and mowing is proofing to be harder each year. (I am not in the best of health)

Because of this and the fact we spend a considerable amount of time in Ireland this chore has fallen more and more to my son.

However he has just become a father for the first time (Beautiful baby boy!) and is obviously besotted with the little chap and has little time to spend on his aging parents!!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: pattyClink
Date: 29 Dec 20 - 09:37 PM

Checking in, wishing all well with 2021 projects! Life on the road has gotten trickier, obtaining repairs even more so. Being out in the open air surrounded by wonders is a great consolation.

Clutter mostly tamed, but an expected handoff of many rocks to a colleague did not happen, so have to organize, cull, and dispose of many in other ways. While not collecting new ones, which is hard. Trying to switch to tiny micromounts and thumbnail fluorescents. Which is nature's cue to offer me big showy cabinet specimens on every hike.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Dec 20 - 12:29 PM

Hi patty, My Grandma was a rock hound. There is a flouresent called Hakmanite. Ever seen one? She even found an Eohippus. I like showey opalized petrified wood.

In lockdown I have been posting vociferously below the line which is like watching the cartoon animation 'South Park'. Although South Park is very funny there is only so much one can "watch", even though it involves real trending and interesting issues. Secret - (Steve is Cartman) I don't think they have South Park in the UK.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Dec 20 - 07:45 PM

The latest rehabbed piece of antique furniture came home today looking absolutely gorgeous. It’s a very large walnut chest of drawers, previously property of my Dad, and his parents before him, and his mother’s parents before them. It holds every stitch of clothing I own that doesn’t hang in the closet.

It occurred to me today that I’m repeating a program my father went through after my mother died: having as many furnishings as possible cleaned, repaired, refinished or whatever. We had several of the most beat-up pieces rehabbed when we moved here, but now I’m working through the items that were battered but functional in 2017. Dad’s chest of drawers was Edmund’s for 22 years, and for most of that time he would habitually roll up his Army-issue belt with its sharp-edged brass buckle and chuck it onto the dresser with some force, taking a bite out of the finish with each impact. Both sides and the top had split, thanks to winter-dry air, and two bits of moulding had fallen off the drawer faces.

Repair and refinishing cost a bomb, but this is the one time in my life when I can afford it. A cat-scratched Victorian ottoman and a late Georgian wing-back chair with a wobbly arm are next, when the rehab guy has cleared some big projects out of his shop.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: pattyClink
Date: 30 Dec 20 - 08:49 PM

Hi Donuel. Have not seen a hakmanite. But I do get a huge kick out of seeing a mineral that's new to me. Or fluorescence just as a surprise, sometimes a brown rock will go purple after dark from fluorite etc. Eohippus, cool! I got to help dig up a Basilosaurus once, big thrill.

But today was all about faulty waste valves, missing propane caps, and a fell-off closet door. Drat.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 12:00 AM

Our holiday is a slow-motion moving target that was postponed due to bad weather today. There will be an outdoor handoff of wrapped gifts that will go back to various households to be opened, but it didn't happen today because it involved travelling a rainy highway that has nasty construction zones and the rain was the bridge too far. But as far as the house is concerned, a lot of stuff has been cleared off of the dining table and the container with rolls of wrapping paper is stashed back in a closet. I bought some large rolls at Sam's Club years ago and don't think I'll ever use it all.

I have rocks and minerals all over the house on the edges of shelves, on the mantle, on the hearth, on the kitchen windowsill. I worked in a geology lab in college for a couple of years and have picked up rocks on hikes and climbs and drives (road cuts are wonderful for mineral samples). The worst part of of it is having to dust them. Crystals were purchased a couple of times from small quartz mine owners in Arkansas, most of the rest were picked up by me. I haven't dug up any dino fossils, but I have a few coprolites that a friend of my father's gave him as a joke. She explained what they were when we were working on his estate. Now they're mine. :)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: pattyClink
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 11:11 AM

Sometimes, as with glass and china stuff, it can be good to gather the rocks on a tray and take them to the kitchen sink for a rinse. I've been washing new finds with just water and toothbrush, dry in the sun. But the water is so bad that anything with tiny crystals then needs a squirt of distilled or i get an alkaline haze.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 11:36 AM

That's a good idea Patty - do a room a week and by the time I get back to the first room full of rocks they'll need cleaning off again! :) I have a few very special ones in an antique glass front Mission oak bookcase. Most of them are little treasures I found while digging around in the "rocks by the pound" section at the quartz mine. Phantom quartz and double-ended crystals are in there along with some small American Indian pots and baskets and carved fetishes purchased in my travels. (I buy the tourist trade fetishes, lovely and made for looks, not for special potency. No cultural appropriation intended.)

The guy at one mine in Mt. Ida, Arkansas, I visited a couple of times had a kids digging area where they could be occupied while parents shopped, so I had time to come up with a couple of fist-sized clumps of muddy rock on the discount uncleaned rock table; they were clearly double ended clusters. He honored the sale, but his eyebrows rose and telegraphed his disappointment at having missed those. I took them home to soak and clean with a toothbrush then soak in Iron Out or one of the other heavy duty stain removers to take the iron mineralization off of them.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 02:11 PM

The indexing has caught up with the listings and an eBay search for "Fort Worth 3D handmade face masks" will show you some of the masks I've listed (for Patty, in particular). I can be contacted via PM and offer a lower price and greater variety, but eBay takes a cut so it's a couple of dollars higher there.

On Facebook I've noticed people remarking about setting up their new bullet journals for the year - I like the style of calendar/notebook but don't do anything special. I usually use 3 or 4 pages a month and in cases where there are blanks (I start the month on a left page, leaving blanks before them sometimes) I assign them other things (like lists and passwords and such) then add them to the contents list in the front. I have a another book ready to shift to in March 2021. Both of these bound blank books with lined pages were free or gifts, but places like Half Price Books carry lots of them and less expensive than in Barnes and Noble or art shops, etc.

The next year's calendars are behind this year's in three rooms, and though I bought one pretty calendar the rest were sent from places where I have donated (or from places that want me to donate). I ended up with a couple of extra this year, something I can donate.

I've placed a grocery order via Instacart that should arrive in a couple of hours, at which time I'll separate the few things I got for myself from the larger number of items I got for the community fridge and will take them up to restock. With the lag in unemployment checks (a week without due to political wrangling means a lot of families are hungry this week coming up) and the time of the year, the food banks and the other donation places are leaned on heavily. The fridge I stock is in a "food desert" four miles north of me. I plan to give the driver an extra tip and a couple of masks as well, to help them start the new year well.

Have a safe New Year's Eve and Day, and sign up for a vaccination if you haven't already been so lucky as to receive one. I heard from a friend yesterday who is at home recovering from COVID, and so far I don't know many people who have been hit, but that won't continue to be the case if January shows the results of holiday super-spreader events. Stay safe and wear your face masks!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 01 Jan 21 - 12:47 PM

Beaver:

OK, using the "stick" (expensive), I brought up Mudcat and then turned off stick, thinking to post later, which I did - much later. Thank you for the shift, Maggie. I knew you would, when I saw my mis-move. And thank you for the preface to our new year. May we all have a good one, not lose any dear ones and ... no broken bones or such! I did trip over the wood splitter a couple weeks ago and am still healing but can still walk around with no trouble. Happy to be at Beaver where I can move wood into the house - good exercise. We can grocery shop and R found things at dollar store to re-do the under the sink warming system - for when I am away. He has installed a "new" sink with cabinet, from yard sale, to replace an almost identical one that looked bad. So nice to have a clean sink in Bathroom! I have re-organized areas, sorted out another cabinet here and readied things for the Shop and for the thrift shop when it re-opens. The thrift shops may be overwhelmed with what folks have been clearing out.

The shop is actually selling pottery!! We went up yesterday to deliver a sign that R rigged so it does not blow over every time an 18 wheeler flies by - at twice the stipulated speed. Pat was delighted to announce she had sold to more yesterday - to another vendor. We are officially on lockdown.

Looked at another GLOOMY day this am and thought of the song Stormy Weather. I would not mind a stormy day about now to break the monotony. A few Square inches of blue in the sky is exciting!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Jan 21 - 04:45 PM

It’s sleeting in Stratford. Hell’s bells.

I made soup from the last of the Christmas goose and will freeze most of it, in small containers as it’s a bit rich and strange. And that’s about it for today!

Weather like this is good for nothing but watching TV and reading, not that there’s much else to do under lockdown. Fortunately, the cats are eager to assist.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Jan 21 - 07:55 PM

Yours is the second account I've read in the last couple of minutes that your goose soup was both "rich" and "strange." I don't think I've ever eaten goose.

I've tried all day to remind myself that today is Friday because I have things to do for the weekend with my part-time job. Two of these odd weeks in a row has seriously messed up my internal calendar. I've turned on the PBS Newshour and that is followed by Washington Week in Review (I think it's just called "Washington Week" now, but when my kids were little we watched Wall Street Week then Washington Week in Review so this program was shortened by them to "Week Week." And stuck. :)

Tomorrow the mail will go out and I have several envelopes to hand over to the mail carrier. If not shipping with online-paid Priority envelopes I use stamps so I don't need to go to the indoor post office counter; online you can by the full price 1 ounce stamps in rolls, books, etc and the "extra postage" is where the rest of the stamps are on the USPS site.

COVID-19 is getting closer. A friend and her husband are at home with it, and my next door neighbors went to church on xmas even and learned later their pastor was infected. They're staying home and hoping to get lucky. Everything I'm doing here is with radio or television going in the house to make it seem less isolated. I had food delivered yesterday that I in turn delivered to the community fridge a few miles from here; I wore a mask and gloves as I loaded food into the fridge and pantry beside it. People are still hungry even as the community retreats into homes for the time being. The art of sewing is a life-saver. Creative outlets and sharing masks that help people stay safe are my larger donation right now. I have lots of scraps and am planning to make a small crazy lap quilt of the pieces and maybe I'll use some of the metallic thread and fancy stitches to ornament it.

Stay safe, everyone. Stay home - it may not feel heroic, but if you're not out there catching COVID-19 and infecting others, you're doing the best you can do right now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 02 Jan 21 - 01:22 PM

Beaver:
Today is Saturday and we are still here! Murmur of "we need to leave soon" this am as we were doing groceries - about 11 am with few others. The sound of Steve doing Jim's drive, about 10:30, had me jump out of bed, "We have to move the car so Steve can plow! We may as well go do groceries." R cleared car, I cleared walk and we drove over and gave Steve money, hi to Jim, and away. Waved to Larry as he did his drive. Almost empty store. Perogies and 10% yogurt for brunch. (still no sour cream.)

Another 4-5 inches of fluff. Well, that's it for today. R is back to sleep and I have been reading about the early 60s... Contemplating... Maybe I can do more organizing today. We HAD SUN but it has clouded over. Darn! Was sure nice while it lasted. Sue may stop by briefly, carefully.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 03 Jan 21 - 10:43 AM

It’s been snowing on and off since about noon on New Year’s Day, so I assume that the European-style winter we’ve had so far is over, and we’re now back to Canadian standard. Sunday in lockdown is utterly silent; nobody going anywhere, nothing doing.

Yesterday, I finally cracked Edmund’s external hard drive and found his Innocence Canada files, which I copied to a data key. Then I finished packing the box of Innocence Canada-related papers and notebooks (Edmund did much of his thinking in longhand in hard-bound notebooks), wrote a letter to the Case Review Committee and put it in the box, taped it up and put it in the car. On Monday, it goes to Toronto by registered mail.

Downstairs in the laundry room, I then tackled the mess of cleaning products and other noxious materials that I had been studiously ignoring for weeks. There were at least five spray bottles of Fantastik cleanser, of which three were down to the last inch, and an untouched bottle of toilet cleaner hiding blushfully behind a bin of clean rags. Many travel-size containers of laundry detergent and stain-remover cluttered the shelves. An entire box of compact fluorescent lightbulbs took up space I would rather use for anything else.

And then there was Edmund’s stash of boot- and shoe-cleaning tackle, including what must be at least ten years’ accumulation of tins of Kiwi wax polish, all partly used and some nearly petrified with age, many little daubing brushes caked with greasy gunk, and wads of blackened polishing cloths. It all reeks fiercely of solvent, and must therefore go to the town dump when they hold their next collection of household hazardous waste. The three gallon cans of paint left over from the 2018 redecoration campaign should go, too, and the rusty tin of camping fuel stashed in the tool shed.

That was the last anarchic mess in the house, so I’m enjoying a feeling of accomplishment. But I have to admit that I finally got around to it because I was embarrassed when Kathleen, my cleaner, had to dig around in it.

For my next trick, I’ll turn out the refrigerator. But not today.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Jan 21 - 01:01 PM

That was a funny one, Charmion:
"I wash embarrassed ... " chortle chortle


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 03 Jan 21 - 01:39 PM

Har, har, keb. You’re easily amused today.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jan 21 - 04:33 PM

I went in and fixed it before seeing the next two posts. Oh, well. :)

Today three vehicles converged on the parking lot of the Panda Express at Hwy 114 at I-35W (about 30 minutes drive for all of us from 3 directions) to have lunch (in our cars - no dine in at any of these places, but we walked through to see the buffet and have them fill our take-out containers). When first planned last week there was a forecast of rain and we had initially thought we'd hand gifts over and go home to open, but today in the sunshine we simply opened our gifts in the parking lot (we parked our cars in a row and I stepped back and forth between them handing out stuff). I brought along a couple of trash bags for wrappings in case that was the outcome.

I'd talked to my daughter about giving the old Commodore computer as a gift to her roommate, but she needs to retrieve the data from it before they do more with it (they have "joint custody.") When dad died in 1997 I packed it up and it hasn't been out of the box since. Three of them drove down in a tiny car but putting the unoccupied back seat down allowed them to slide in the main CPU, the huge CRT monitor, large attachments of keyboard and memory, bags of boxes of software, books, floppy disks, a hand-held scanner. Dad was intent on entering music into the computer and outputting music sheets (I think). My daughter didn't mention it to Jeremy so it was a surprise (though she's the one who told me ages ago that he'd love a computer like that) and his response when he unwrapped it was classic: "Wow! That's amazing!" and then "Is what's in this box what the box says is in it?" - disbelief that the computer is still around.

This was a major source of decluttering. It completely emptied the top shelf in the office closet, removed the stuff under my pantry shelves, and a bunch of stuff that was in the front room book shelves. And I may still find things that go with it. When Dad (a college reference librarian) started on a project like that he made sure he had all of the appropriate equipment. And maybe someday I'll get the music he put in it. As a way to keep the music karma flowing I'll start scanning and OCRing the files in a large file box that I also brought back at the same time. Maybe by the time the data is out of it, I'll know what to do with it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 02:15 AM

Following a chat, brother in oz got me a very nice pair of lightweight waterproof walking boots for Christmas. I'm not planning on long hikes but these will be great for my short strolls where I can have wet grass and mud.

I had a walk down the footpath opposite us today. It's a very quiet one. The path is kept clear and you see that others do use it but in the 100s of times I've been down there, I think I've only met another person twice.

I've lit the woodburner for the past few days. I aim to keep up with this now as it does make the room (parent's living room) more cosy and I think is cheaper than the combined electric heater and some element of central heating.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 10:01 AM

Dupont:

Sitting here in a not so warm house without enough energy to start the fire in the den. Back about 5 pm yesterday, I brought in one small load of essentials (freezables), left the rest to R, who slept while I drove, and put things in frig. Went to bed. Almost 10 am on 4 Jan, R is in the tub and I am right here! Too tired to think BF! but I did water ALL the plants and may not have lost any. Even the tiny seedling pear tree is fine! About 6 inches of snow - guess there was some left over after it hit Charmion's area! I just plowed into the driveway. R cleared the steps, after I got into the house.

Left Beaver in good shape, making sure the new winterizing system was in place, lots of wood inside for when I return, and the nice "new" sink/cabinet looking shiny and clean!

Charmion! ext cords are dangerous but so are greasy rags! Set my bro's house on fire 60 years ago - and he was giving lectures on fire safety! Talk about embarrassed!! House was fine only thanks to the 2 inch workbench that burned enough to create smoke enough to waken him before it got to the 200 year old pine first floor boards! On the other hand, your computer abilities...! Congrats on what you have accommplished.

When I waken enough, I will endeavour to scan the 1940 plans my father drew in pencil on graph paper for the house we lived in for 18 years. He was an upscale carpenter with many friends; it was a lovely little Cape Cod. At 4, Someone grabbed me before I fell down the hole for the stairway!

My #1 son is working towards a new home on Whidbey - on a hill, looking west across the Sound, adjacent to the State Park! Thought I'd share what GF did! (Sometimes those OLD papers have intrinsic value.)

Oh yeah, The heat was fine when we arrived- and this morning - No heat! And no fire in wood stove because I am TOO tired.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 12:41 PM

Dorothy, it sounds like your son will have a lovely view of the Olympics!

This morning I woke at dawn and I fed the dogs, then back to sleep for a while. And when I finally got up I decided I need to work on something I've been putting off ages, replacing the annoying burned-out florescent bulbs in the bathroom and dressing room. I will eventually replace those fixtures, they're a pain as far as removing the lens and putting them back up (you have to disassemble whole thing to put it back up each time.) One bulb replaced, and a note to order two more (curbside pickup). At this point it's lunacy to go inside any public building for more than a few minutes. I have standard base LED bulbs for replacing around the house, but need the stick halogen ones for the bright motion-activated fixture on the side porch (also curbside pickup - the last ones from online cost less but were junk & fell apart quickly.)

Those fireplaces and wood burning stoves sound inviting. I'd love to have an insert in my fireplace, but I really do need to rebuild the hearth so wouldn't do anything until the whole problem of the fireplace is dealt with.

I'm reading about Charmion's good work on the computer stuff, and having assigned my daughter the task of retrieving data, makes it feel all the more imperative to begin my scanning project. And I am thinking of Art Thieme, who over the years Mudcat members supported in his research work by crowd-sourcing the funds to replace his computers. He scanned and converted tons of tapes and turned the whole thing over to the Smithsonian Folkways folks when he completed it.

Out in the yard, an early task this year is assembling another dog-proof compost bin. The last one was defeated by the puppy contortionist. I need to dig one bed and plant potatoes. The broccoli is growing, but went in very late (I saw photos of a friend's cauliflower picked this weekend - they got a timely start on their winter garden, probably planting in August, not November).

It's the toughest time of year as far as the big family holidays being behind us, but since they were pretty messed up and the dark winter days are ahead, I'm hoping everyone knows to reach out for help if they're feeling really down. And look into the lights that help with SAD if you think that could help. (I wonder if they have special lights for Susan in her nursing home? We haven't heard from her in ages now.)

Take care, have a good week. Counting the days until the inauguration, the advent calendar that really counts these days. I anticipate a big boost to my mood right there.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 04:50 PM

You bet, Dorothy, which is why they’re sequestered in the tool shed until the next hazardous waste day at the dump.

Today, I bought a bedside table on Kijiji for fifty-five bucks, took the espresso machine to be cleaned and pressed in preparation for finding it a new home, and shipped Edmund’s case notes to Innocence Canada in Toronto. I feel quite ... relieved.

With the Innocence Canada material off my hands, I can now take Edmund’s computer to be sanitized. I think I have a nephew who can use it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 06:48 PM

Charmion, if he ordered things and had accounts like Facebook, Amazon, etc. you may want to visit those sites with his computer and search for the devices used to access his accounts - phone, computer, tablet, etc., and remove those as approved devices for the accounts. And close the accounts. It's one more way to avoid identity theft later if anything happens to that computer after it leaves your home (regardless of if it is wiped of data, those other sites still think it's an okay machine.)

It's a good idea to do that for your accounts as well. I've gone into Facebook and seen that old phones, long gone, are still authorized to connect to my account. Same with Amazon.

I mailed three of my envelopes of the now-belated holiday letters with masks, and have a few more to do. I hope to finish mailing those by the end of the week, but I ran out of the size masks I think the next round of recipients would wear, so I'll be sewing.

I changed some lightbulbs around the house today. I woke up and decided that as the first "work day" of the year I ought to do something today that I'd been putting off, just to get it out of the way. There are several more to do, but the more urgent ones were taken care of. They involve using the stepladder.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Jan 21 - 11:39 AM

The high temperature here is forecast to be 66o today, so I will be doing some yard work today and assessing the state of projects queued up for work in the garage. I'm visualizing a new design of the next compost pile. And if I'm really ambitious one of these days (after a session of stretching, so I'm fairly limber) there are a couple of projects up in the attic. Not something that is performed in the hot months around here. Need a sauna? Don't buy one, just go upstairs for a few minutes.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 06 Jan 21 - 09:14 AM

Edmund's espresso machine will join the household of his niece Cate, who just happens to be married to an Italian engineer. I'm told his eyes lit up when he heard my voicemail message. They can have half a dozen espresso cups as well.

I think I have found a good coffee solution, as they say these days, with a gadget (trademark Zevro) that brews about 14 fluid ounces -- just right for a certain type of Wedgwood beer mug of which I have several. It's essentially a large cup with a lid on top and a wire filter and a clever wee valve in the bottom. When it sits on its feet on the table, the valve closes and the coffee steeps; when it's ready, you set it on top of the drinking vessel and the valve opens and the coffee streams out. The coffee is excellent, with no bitterness at all and a fine robust flavour. The gadget is made of plastic, however, so I know that eventually a critical component will break. I'll be as gentle with it as I can and put that day off as long as possible.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jan 21 - 11:56 AM

I looked that up - interesting. I inherited a glass French press from my dad, and pull it out for coffee drinkers when I don't feel like moving stuff around in the hall pantry to get the big electric coffee maker. It's in storage because I'm a tea drinker. I can see that one of your devices would be a little easier to clean (because I sometimes use the French press for tea, I have to work to get the bitter coffee taste out of it first).

I've assembled a list of things to get curbside from Home Depot - they carry the wood stain that does the best job on my cedar fence pickets (I have a photo for Instagram that compares the Valspar vs Olympic - the Olympic wins by a mile). The goal is to avoid the inevitability of catching COVID-19 in the surge in cases that is happening now after the holidays. If everyone had just STAYED HOME we wouldn't be in as much of a fix. I'm on two waiting lists, one from my pharmacy, one from the county, and whoever calls me first, I'll get the vaccination and cancel the other one. There are so many things that I signed up for as a volunteer after I retired and feel like a slouch in not going to do any of the activities during most of last year and for the foreseeable future. Instead of doing my part as a volunteer I'm doing my part by staying home.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Jan 21 - 01:27 AM

Well. That was a day. I lost track of time as the drama played out on MSNBC (good thing the dogs were here to remind me about dinner time) and spent the evening sewing.

We really need to declutter ourselves of this "president" as soon as is humanly possible.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jan 21 - 11:41 PM

I had an Amazon gift card and decided I'd better order something before my subscriptions ate it up (such things as tooth paste, dog treats, etc.) I got practical things that were on my wish list that weren't picked up by family members. Useful items that won't become clutter.

I was watching the news this evening and Susan Page was wearing a pretty necklace that looks like freshwater pearls. Sometimes I've bought findings or small earrings, etc on Amazon (mostly on eBay) but I haven't lately because it's hard to imagine when I'll next have the opportunity to go out anywhere that I can wear jewelry. Where I might dress in something other than jeans and a t-shirt.

More bulbs replaced today, and I fear my outdoor motion-detector fixture has died. Those new bulbs aren't working. Time to shop for a new fixture.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jan 21 - 12:36 AM

The greenhouse is ready for a couple of days of cold. We may get a little snow tomorrow, so I'll be interested to see how the puppy and Pepper (the middle dog) respond to it. I don't think we've had any in several years. (Years ago when my two dogs were Cinnamon and Poppy and they had dog houses and bedding in the garage, I saw them come out of their dog door and onto their little porch - they stood and barked at the snow before stepping into it.) The old Labrador retriever has had several encounters with snow.

My porch light bulb replacement showed me that the fixture itself seems to have died. I'll take the new bulbs out, keep the previous ones, and return the unopened package. I don't think I'll be able to find another fixture that uses the same kind of bulbs. I like how bright they are on that side of the house, but now those bright lights operate with LEDs. I can probably sell the other lights on eBay (opened package put back together) as used because there will be other people with these kinds of bulbs. Time to replace that fixture with an LED motion detector light.

Here's an NPR story about changing habits that might be of interest to people.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 11 Jan 21 - 11:20 AM

Kathleen came to clean bathrooms on Saturday afternoon, while I vacuumed.

I have now been on my own for three months, and I think I'm getting the hang of it. I don't actually *have* to clean all that often, but I'm far more likely to do it if I have company, and doing it weekly builds the habit and keeps the house in presentable condition.

Kathleen does the stuff I hate doing, all of which seems to involve stinky chemical cleaners and kneeling on the floor, and I do the stuff she says she's less fond of and not all that good at, especially dusting. This improving program usually takes place on Saturday. She charges me $20 per hour, and I pick her up and take her home again because I don't like the thought of her hiking up the hill into the teeth of the prevailing wind. She's not fast, but she's very diligent and gets in all the corners.

Good deal, in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Jan 21 - 12:51 PM

This was one of those days when I realized every surface is again covered with paper and kitchen clutter. To start clearing I went to the laundry room for an old washcloth rag for dusting and realized that area on top of the dryer (where the trash can sits to keep dogs out of it) was so piled up that it was ground zero for cleaning dust and stuff. Putting away paper bags, plastic bags, and tossing things that need repair that I'll never actually get around to helped. That room is restored and now to turn to the kitchen and small dining table.

I had someone who used to come in for a few hours every two weeks, and it was wonderful, but she fell ill and I never got around to finding someone else.

Out in the yard I need to scoop leaves at the curb, spread them on the lawn and mulch them in with the mower. And in the back I need to scoop the dog droppings and establish a new compost pile. The puppy is again eating poop, making her canine non grata around the house right now. Policing the yard helps, and while the dry grass isn't tall back there, running the mower over it would mulch some leaves and might make scooping easier.

Still waiting on the COVID-19 stimulus check - for some reason they didn't do direct deposit this time, they put a check in the dysfunctional US Postal system (De Joy should go straight to jail when he leaves the Postmaster General position) so who knows where it is.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Jan 21 - 08:27 PM

I've replaced all four outside light bulbs with dusk-to-dawn LED bulbs or fittings. They come on at dusk and go off at dawn (duh) via a little light sensor. You can buy light fittings with a built-in sensor or you just buy sensor bulbs. We have a mixture. Buying four that actually work properly was a real job, but I only bought them from shops that would cheerfully replace them. They use very little power, something like four watts each (I think), and we never switch them off. We live at least four miles from the nearest street lights. When we moved here from an urban area 34 years ago it took me months to be not terrified by the total blackness, but I got used to it and now I love walking up the long farm lane in total darkness. It's a bonus when the stars are out (and after all this time I know what's underfoot!). The outside lights give us a nice welcome home on dark evenings and they light up the shrubs and flower pots at the front with a cosy glow.

We were very slack about allowing unlimited tourists to visit Cornwall right through the autumn when cases were shooting up in the areas they came from. Over Christmas there was much illegal visiting too, and, after consistent low infection numbers since March, Cornwall is now paying a heavy price. I wouldn't say that Mrs Steve and I are exactly scared, but we are staying home and we have adhered exactly to all the rules as they came along. That meant not much of a Christmas and far too much food for two poor souls to get through. We're not bad at it,though. :-) She should get her first jab in about four weeks but I'll have to wait a few weeks longer.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Jan 21 - 01:00 PM

This will be the third fixture on this part of the porch since I moved in and remodeled this side of the house (in 2002). The first light, put up by my contractor, worked for a while, but when it died I did the wiring and put up the one that has now died. It looks like they have a life of 8 or 9 years. I'll be getting a new light and putting it up soon. There is a regular on/off light on the other side of the door and I'm turning it on in the evening (if I remember) until I replace the defunct one that used to turn on when cars go by in the street or anyone walks up the driveway. I have several LED fixtures in the house, and lots of LED bulbs.

I'm sitting here at home waiting for everything - the stimulus cash wasn't direct deposited like last time, it was apparently mailed a week ago. No sign of it. And I've got myself on two vaccine waiting lists and while I'm reading about friends getting vaccinated I've heard nothing.

We never manage to do xmas on the actual date, and my son hasn't sent his box of gifts to family here because there was one more thing that he was planning to "go downtown" to get. I told him that there is nothing downtown that is worth him risking his life, that we can no-doubt get it via mail order eventually, and described how to mail parcels by paying online, printing the label, and having the shipping company pick it up next time they pass by doing their deliveries.

Staying home due to COVID-19 is hard enough; the surreal scene of rioters taking over the Capitol, and the urgent necessity to prohibit Trump from participating in the political life of the United States of America is behind this resulting last-minute impeachment. If I were still at work I would be sitting hunkered at a computer with headphones on to listen to the debate and commentary. Now I can listen around the house on various devices as I work. The last time another human being was in my house was in early April when the Sears repair guy came to look at my refrigerator; family hasn't been here since March. When my family can finally come in they will see lots of changes, things that have been moved around as I fill my days with household chores and projects dreamed up to fill the time. With my last employer, for 16 years I was able to telecommute, saving myself time and gas of the daily commute, and the house was in pretty good order. The last five years were (ironically) forced to work in the building because the boss didn't trust people to really work from home (now she has no choice and I hope has learned the error of her bias). At that time I was wishing for time at home to work on all of my projects, but not under these circumstances.

Two thoughts: 1.) be careful what you wish for, and 2.) the reminder that the saying "may you live in interesting times" is not a good wish. It's a curse.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Jan 21 - 03:25 PM

Note to self: February has to be a No-Spend month just to give my accounts a chance to recover from the holidays. I wasn't keeping track. Oy. And there's enough stuff around here to draw down for the next six months.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Jan 21 - 05:18 PM

Last night I cleaned and oiled the big black rotary sewing machine, and today I'm tackling a project intended for the new rotary machine that has the zigzag stitch and the walking foot. I organized my bobbins, got another short gauge for measuring hems and such (as I assemble masks I am always going back and forth between the sewing machine and ironing board with the ancient one I had, and they're cheap, so I bought a new one and now both places are set.)

All of this is in preparation for putting more stuff in the mail. My dining table is usable and the kitchen table is looking much better now that I've sorted and tossed a lot of paper that was built up. The stuff for the mail is arranged on the dining table right now, along with shipping supplies. I'm thinking about rearranging the den (still/or again, however you look at what I've already done in there.) So I need to finish this up first.

Recycling is in the car, and the cooking oil that I never got around to taking over when the village was collecting oil is in the trash (there wasn't very much - a pint?) in an old milk carton sealed so it wouldn't leak into the can and wherever.

The laundry room is looking much better, and there is a bag of stuff that has been sitting on top of the dryer that is needing to be returned to Home Depot. Now it's sitting on the tall work table in the kitchen (in plain sight) to be taken over the next really early morning I can force myself out of bed to get to the store at 6am and avoid the crowds.

Our hospitals are full, the surge from after the holidays is upon us. I'm not going anywhere until the vaccine is available, and I think because I didn't list any extra factors (heart, lung, etc. problems) they didn't put me at the front of this particular over-65 line. I'm seeing reports of friends getting their first vaccine, but most of them have those health problems also. Still, it is frustrating to have to wait.

Stay healthy, everyone! Our UK participants, has it gotten any easier to get that first shot now that they supposedly aren't holding onto half to do the second shot right away? I'm hearing more and more places adopting that policy here as well.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Jan 21 - 11:16 AM

On the immunization front, the Ontario Ministry of Health website now has a "vaccination tracker" that forecasts your date with the needle according to which vulnerable groups you belong to. I might get my jab for my birthday. In September.

Meanwhile, as of yesterday, Ontario has entered into an even tighter lockdown in which we are forbidden to leave our homes unless we absolutely have to, and the police are ordered to ticket or arrest scoff-laws. Like most of my neighbours, I wonder how this differs from what we have been doing since Christmas.

Today's excursion is an expedition to the bank to make an affidavit stating that I never received, let alone cashed, a cheque in the amount of $220.51 that was the credit standing in our joint MasterCard account when the Bank of Montreal cancelled it on Edmund's death. While I'm off the chain, I might pop into Sobey's for some fresh veg and coffee cream.

This is what I'm reduced to: eagerly anticipating a visit to the bank!

The bank business is one result of yesterday's hours and hours of telephone time invested in chasing money owed to me.The first debtor is LL Bean, which uncharacteristically has never reimbursed me for two pairs of trousers I returned because they did not fit. LL Bean does business in Canada through a forwarding company called Borderfree that employs arrogant young Asian men to answer their telephones, and it took half the morning to learn, first of all, which precise string of 16 characters Borderfree needs to identify a transaction, and then to launch an inquiry into what happened to Cdn$153.35 that disappeared somewhere between LL Bean and me. The odds on getting my money back have improved, but (I suspect) only slightly.

The second debtor is MasterCard, to the tune of $220.51 (see bank visit, above). First, I spent more than an hour on the phone with MasterCard, where the matter was escalated FIVE TIMES before I found myself talking to someone who could plumb the depths of the computer to locate the data in question: whether a refund was ever made and, if so, how. (At every level of the telephone tree, I had to explain that the appearance of a line item on my MasterCard statement proved only that someone had entered the transaction on my account, not that I had received the payment.) Sure enough, a cheque had been mailed, and never landed in my mailbox. I know this because neither the household chequing account nor Edmund's estate account has received a deposit in the amount of $220.51 -- WHICH THE BANK STAFF CAN EASILY SEE FOR THEMSELVES! I also wonder why the bean-counters at MasterCard apparently can't either find the cashed cheque or, in its absence, simply stop payment on it and issue another.

Finally, at half past five in the late afternoon, I received a telephone call from a mealy-mouthed functionary of the Government of Canada Pension Centre. She was responding to a rather ferocious letter of 22 December in which I demanded to know why they had yet to pay out Edmund's Supplementary Death Benefit, a stonking sum of money that had gone unmentioned over ten weeks of correspondence, and informed them that their telephone system (the only other way to contact them) stinks out loud. The functionary allowed as how they had sent for Edmund's file and would soon "verify" the claim. I replied to the effect that Edmund died three months ago, and what have they been doing all this time? How long would they have sat on it -- a sum amounting to two years' worth of a good salary -- if I had not rattled their cage? The functionary could offer only platitudes and empty consolations. If one more bureaucrat tells me (instead of answering a Yes Or No question), "First of all, may I say how sorry we are for your loss?", I shall do something truly unpleasant.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Jan 21 - 12:16 PM

"Sorry for your loss" is so ubiquitous as to be meaningless lip service. I remember letters and phone calls when I was managing my father's estate. I'm glad you don't have a sociopath brother in this mix (it made my job harder and last about a year longer than it should have).

Another windy day here as I make notes about the places I would like to go (drop off masks and belated holiday gifts for friends), and then decide on the ones that are essential (dog food, post office). We aren't under a shutdown (this is Texas, after all), but anyone who doesn't behave as if we are takes their life in their hands.

You have to wait until September for your shot? That's nuts! I hope they do something to speed the process. All eyes are on Biden's plan to get things moving here.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Jan 21 - 12:31 PM

Nuts, indeed. Every day, the papers have headlines about how the federal government is scrounging for millions of doses. That said, it's worth noting that the highest priority, after health-care workers and residents of long-term care homes, is Aboriginal folks living in isolated communities, where COVID works like the Black Death.

With respect to relatives, I am truly blessed. All my siblings, both natural-born and in-law, are sane, generous, interesting people who are a pleasure to know, let alone be related to and therefore stuck with.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 16 Jan 21 - 09:50 AM

Why thank you, Charmion. I feel likewise.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Jan 21 - 10:19 AM

Its good that good people see the light at long last.
I'm staying on top of infrastructure ahead of problems like hot water heater and yet another toilet replacement. This one is a one piece that is practicly like a sculpture. Amazon now takes pictures of deliveries so it was the first time I ever posed next to toilet.


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