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De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021

Charmion 31 May 21 - 01:49 PM
Charmion 31 May 21 - 01:40 PM
Stilly River Sage 31 May 21 - 10:39 AM
Stilly River Sage 31 May 21 - 12:18 AM
Stilly River Sage 30 May 21 - 02:39 PM
Charmion 30 May 21 - 11:52 AM
Charmion 30 May 21 - 11:30 AM
Charmion's brother Andrew 30 May 21 - 10:33 AM
Charmion 30 May 21 - 09:25 AM
JennieG 30 May 21 - 01:51 AM
Stilly River Sage 30 May 21 - 12:23 AM
Stilly River Sage 29 May 21 - 10:53 PM
mg 29 May 21 - 10:23 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 May 21 - 01:56 PM
Dorothy Parshall 29 May 21 - 01:11 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 May 21 - 11:33 AM
Charmion 29 May 21 - 09:51 AM
Stilly River Sage 28 May 21 - 06:32 PM
Jon Freeman 28 May 21 - 09:32 AM
Donuel 27 May 21 - 11:23 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 May 21 - 10:47 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 May 21 - 12:00 PM
Charmion 27 May 21 - 11:56 AM
Stilly River Sage 26 May 21 - 10:10 PM
Dorothy Parshall 26 May 21 - 06:43 PM
Charmion 26 May 21 - 01:54 PM
Jon Freeman 26 May 21 - 01:33 PM
Stilly River Sage 26 May 21 - 01:02 PM
Charmion 26 May 21 - 08:40 AM
Stilly River Sage 25 May 21 - 12:35 PM
Jon Freeman 25 May 21 - 07:46 AM
Charmion 25 May 21 - 07:00 AM
Jon Freeman 25 May 21 - 06:52 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 May 21 - 03:48 PM
Charmion 24 May 21 - 03:26 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 May 21 - 02:47 PM
Dorothy Parshall 24 May 21 - 12:48 PM
Charmion 24 May 21 - 11:28 AM
Charmion 24 May 21 - 09:06 AM
Stilly River Sage 23 May 21 - 11:54 PM
Charmion 23 May 21 - 02:42 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 May 21 - 11:08 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 May 21 - 02:35 PM
Charmion 22 May 21 - 08:22 AM
Jon Freeman 22 May 21 - 07:30 AM
Charmion 21 May 21 - 12:40 PM
Dorothy Parshall 21 May 21 - 12:26 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 May 21 - 11:13 PM
Jon Freeman 20 May 21 - 03:46 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 May 21 - 01:12 PM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 31 May 21 - 01:49 PM

Different topic.

I think my cat Watson is developing urinary tract problems. He pissed on the parlour carpet yesterday afternoon, right in front of me, after a prolonged session of padding in small circles, pawing at the nap of the rug, and mewing disconsolately. This is the fourth such incident since about Remembrance Day, and the third that is definitely Watson's doing.

Once is happenstance and twice is circumstance, but three times is enemy action.

So Watson earned himself a trip to the vet today, which could get expensive. X-ray, ultrasound, blood and urine samples -- the beat goes on.

The big green Bokhara carpet is rolled up and stowed in the garage until I can get the carpet cleaners to come and get it. Washing it and giving it the anti-piss treatment will cost a bundle of dough -- probably about $250.

BUGGER!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 31 May 21 - 01:40 PM

I have been shedding electric doohickeys. The Edmund Thomas Memorial Espresso Machine is packed up in its original carton and waiting for the day -- soon, I hope -- when I can hand it over to No 1 Niece and her Italian husband in Windsor. Edmund's ridiculously expensive blender is stashed in the Glory Hole, along with the electric kettle (purchased for the kitchen renovation) and the meat grinder, until I decide what to do with them. The beer fridge left the building weeks ago. The Kitchen-Aid stand mixer and food processor that live in the pantry may also move along to a new home, but not yet.

The only appliances still on the kitchen counter are the cats' water fountain and the toaster oven. The microwave has a purpose-built niche. The Food Saver vacuum-sealer lives in the Glory Hole, but makes frequent visits to the kitchen. A stick blender and a small hand-held electric beater live in a drawer.

Everything is clean and fully operational.

The lawn mower and garden shredder both left the property yesterday with a garrulous young man who rehabs small motor equipment as a side hustle. Both machines are electric -- the lawn mower battery-powered, the shredder a plug-in model -- and both are unreliable. Young Georgia from up the street mows the lawn now, doing a much better job of it than I ever would, and I never saw the point of the shredder, which is ugly-noisy and freakin' dangerous. It also occupied valuable space in the garden shed.

So powered garden equipment has been reduced to a battery-powered Stihl weed-whacker and a rather intimidating hedge trimmer from Canadian Tire. They're clean, and they work.

Plus the hoes, shovels, rakes, axes (three of them!), ice-choppers and other handraulic implements of destruction, and a stable broom to clean up after them. Neil across the street just sharpened my spade and my shovel. That man is earning lots of jewels for his heavenly crown.

When Constable Leslie has a day off with no domestic obligations of higher priority, we'll sort out Edmund's camping gear. She is a demon camper and all her friends and relations are equally fervent about the whole fresh air, sleep on the ground experience, so we should be able to make a substantial clearance of the garage.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 May 21 - 10:39 AM

Darn - I forgot to empty the vacuum cleaner into the trash before putting it out. I got one of the bagless Shark vacuums because there is so much doghair and dog debris that I'd go through bags at a rapid expensive rate with a regular cleaner. I did remember to empty the paper shredders before the trash last week. I emptied a bowl of bacon grease from the fridge into the trash this time. The washer and dryer are empty, the dishwasher has clean dishes and needs emptying. The small fridge (inherited from a friend) has a large tub of organic salad greens I need to remember to use before it becomes a science project. The microwave could stand to be steamed with a bowl of boiling water for a few minutes before a wipe down. The toaster needs crumbs removed, and the toaster oven could use a wipe down inside and out. The new Waterpik machines are doing fine in the bathrooms. The oldest sewing machine needs work, the newer of the old machines is doing okay. The clothes iron, the lamps, even the Amazon Echo, all in good working order.

The bread machine will come out later today to make some dinner rolls and maybe a loaf of bread (I run it on the "manual" setting so it stops before baking in the machine, I prefer my own pans and baking in the oven.) The blender is humming along, as is the vegetable chopper and the Kitchenaid stand mixer. I love my Seal A Meal, though I need to do a little work to clean the insides and replace a gasket. The crock pot for oatmeal does the perfect job; I don't use the larger crock pots very often but they always do the job well. I have an estate sale George Foreman grill that works like a charm.

Lots of devices in the office I won't name by name because I don't want them to hear me and be jinxed. They're all working okay. The scanner did a yeoman's job over the weekend finishing work on an old out-of-print book.

My lawn mower is in good shape after I tuned up most of it earlier this month, the electric trimmer is new and works well but I need to get some extra string holders so I don't need to stop to refill the one it came with each time I run out. The electric branch chipper in the greenhouse will get some use soon since some pine limbs have dried enough to run through it.

I have probably just named the tip of the iceberg of small appliances around here, and most of these I could wait a day or even a few to repair or replace if something happened to them. TVs, radios, various players - so many electronic devices. The one I use most often and rely on is my glass electric kettle. My morning tea, and sometimes water for reheating vegetables in a bowl, or for adding to something I'm cooking. I couldn't go a day without ordering a new one if it went tits up.

You?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 May 21 - 12:18 AM

I'm practically stooped over from standing then leaning over the scanner 200 times, but the book is finished. This will allow me to OCR the text and scan for the parts that fit my repair needs best. Oy my aching back, though!

I seem not to be the only one unmotivated to work in the yard today. I didn't hear a single lawnmower all day, but the weather was fine for mowing. Maybe tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 May 21 - 02:39 PM

I looked up your bellflower - pretty - there is an invasive weed here called Mexican petunia that next door planted on purpose that now crawls through my back yard lawn.

The casserole smells great but boiled over and now there is a sticky brown puddle in the bottom of the oven. Do I want to soak it off or just go ahead and do the whole hot long oven cleaning thing?

Sunday afternoon on the holiday weekend and I'm not finding much energy to go outside and do all of the garden things that need doing. Once I get started I keep going, it's the getting out the door to start with (I suspect the cloudy overcast that is partly to blame). That said, I am sitting here at the computer and working my way through the book, a quarter of the way so far. I'm reading along on parts as I go and can see how some of these repairs are handled.

Part of my attitude toward holidays (I stay away from the noisy crowded activities) comes from years as a park ranger when we were usually the destination of a lot of people with the days off. There were no days off for us on public holidays, it was overtime or holiday pay, but the public aren't famous for being bright and thoughtful; especially during these nice-weather holidays there is a lot of drinking and driving or boat operation, campfires out of control, fights break out. Noise. Long lines at attractions.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 30 May 21 - 11:52 AM

I just spent a vigorous hour in the garden pulling up great clumps of clustered bellflower (Campanula glomerata). It's a handsome plant that came to Ontario as a garden ornament, but it's as invasive as the Golden Horde with a strong tendency to crush everything in its path. So ... now the compost bin is full of it. For the rest of the summer, I shall pull up every flower spike I see before it can start spewing seeds around my tiny corner of the landscape.

I also have bugleweed and lily-of-the-valley, both equally invasive and difficult to expunge, but I like bugleweed and lily-of-the-valley, so that's okay. I'll cop to the hypocrisy.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 30 May 21 - 11:30 AM

Unfortunately, dear bro, Staples' line of basic office equipment doesn't include cabinets equipped with a locking bar, or I'd have one. As for the S&G, the house is no place for documents classified or designated at Level II or higher. That's what a bank box is for.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 30 May 21 - 10:33 AM

Wot? No locking bar and Sargent & Greenleaf lock?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 30 May 21 - 09:25 AM

In the top drawer of the One Filing Cabinet, at the right-hand end (it’s a lateral). When I leave town and entrust the house and its resident cats to the care of someone else, I lock the cabinet. Easy.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: JennieG
Date: 30 May 21 - 01:51 AM

We have a "bottom drawer book". Passwords are in it, as is other information such as where wills and personal papers are kept, name of solicitor, funeral director, etc. The aim is to have information at the fingertips of whoever is left - there are only the two of us in this house; one son lives 720 kms away and the other is on the far side of the world. They wouldn't know where to lay hands on such information bit by bit, so it's all in one book. A "one stop shop", as it were.

There's nothing like being prepared, is there.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 May 21 - 12:23 AM

The onion (the only one I had) for this evening's cooking had spoiled, so I borrowed two medium sized onions from my next door neighbor and will replace them tomorrow. I was in the middle of sauteing stuff and didn't want to turn it all off and run to the store. But the casserole is now finished (dripped on the oven floor, darn it. Time to clean that again.) I'll be using it for meals this week and was glad to use homegrown eggplant and tomatoes in the dish.

The dogs and I went for a walk this evening, with me wearing wrap-around sunglasses since I don't have regular glasses to wear now and feel a bit naked without them. The new ones I ordered are photo sensitive so will respond to the bright light (hopefully they'll arrive in a couple of weeks.) After our walk I picked some grass seed out of their coats, and when I take off my shoes tonight I know there will be a few that poked through the cloth of the uppers and need to be tossed in the trash. Something about that wild grass that really knows how to spread itself around.

Mowing tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 May 21 - 10:53 PM

I use a 3" three-ring binder. Any time I set up an account I print out the page with the logo on it (or write it on the top) and the logon and password info. Make note of any challenge questions and answers. I print it, punch it with a hole-punch, and alphabetize it, so any time I have to change a password I go to that page to cross out the old one and note the new one. There are actually two notebooks. One is for commercial accounts (places where I make purchases or have paid subscriptions) and one for connections via email, and other free logon sites.

I use too many browsers and too many devices to trust one password management account. This works, and has worked for over 20 years. They are very big books.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: mg
Date: 29 May 21 - 10:23 PM

i am going crazy with password changes. i can't keep up. got a whiteboard to write them on and still can't. does anyone use one of those one password things where master password remembers all? Also, while I am at it, I got one of those chargers you lay your phone on. it does not seem to charge. i also got one of those flash drives that takes the pictures off your phone. nothing seems to plug in anywhere. i think they might have given me one for an iphone with different plug. i think i will send it back.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 May 21 - 01:56 PM

That's sad about the house and the window - my aunt in Calgary had a similar situation happen on a long narrow piece of property they owned for years. The old house was at the far back of the lot, and as they prepared to build a new house further forward before tearing down the old, the next door neighbor messed up their plans by putting up a tall house in front of where the new one would go. So they moved downtown to a new condo with a great view overlooking the Bow River and no chance of it being blocked and sold the original property.

The garden needs tending - as I work my way through each bed I'll weed, sprinkle some dried chicken manure fertilizer, then top with more mulch to slow the return of weeds. And mow the front yard. And walk the dogs. I need to make up for a lot of lost time after surgery and with all of the rain.

I'm finally scanning the repair manual, ancient as it is, to figure out how to restore the timing on my oldest sewing machine. I wish the overhead scanner had been working correctly, it would have saved me a lot of trouble. (It kept cutting off the outer edges of the pages.) This most recent timing issue compels me to solve it once and for all.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 29 May 21 - 01:11 PM

Dupont:

Set Tuesday as departure for Beaver and its unpolluted (almost) air. Taking a box of greenware that will need to wait til next bisque. I hope I can make a full load, esp plates for Erica, to bisque and glaze in the two weeks I can be there. Plan to be back for R's 2nd shot, paying heed to my son's admonition not to plan anything for the next day.

Mine is not until 27 July unless they decide to shorten the wait. However, things in ON are so bad I wonder how they decide anything. I hope R can take a couple days to go with me on that trip. I could just tough it out but am concerned that I only have cell service if I am able to sit at the window; I could sit in the car all day! We'll see.

Here, I am still finding the energy to finish the garden - plant seeds in the remaining space. I end up pulling weeds until I need a break. But rain is predicted for tomorrow and Monday so the time is today! Most of the frosted-last-month geraniums are coming back from the bottom. I potted a bunch of rooted Kalanchoe shoots this am and one from the nice coleus; now I have 3 from the cutting I swiped a couple years ago. The tiny pear tree just produced new growth! and I saved 5 seeds from the Bosc pears I sauteed for R yesterday. Wisdom is to not try to start them until I get back. There is more than enough for R to care for while I am away. OH, darn! I still have to use the pansies and lobelia which are languishing in their tiny pots. They look very pretty on the front steps but need room to grow. Next energy spurt...


Interesting to hear about SRS' neighbour's apt. Beaver is 600sf. Exc kitchen, neither too big nor too small -for me, small BR and bath, LR is fine for a few people, dining area is for 2. Big difference is propinquity to out of doors: back deck, studio, tool/kiln room and the two sheds and beautiful screened room in the "back 40". Plenty of room - to breath, to do things.

The next door neighbour hailed me for a chat yesterday - just as I was preparing to plant seeds. She does this in the decent weather and it is hard work for me as I struggle to find some French words for her, I guess for her also but perhaps she is lonely. I sensed a certain sadness as she pointed out the various trees she has planted in her 40 years here- large oaks and lindens.

I doubt I am projecting; I know how I would feel/have felt selling a property into which I/she has put so much energy and now she no longer has the energy to keep doing it. She will be moving the chickens to the other end when it becomes necessary. Then I shall miss them. And her shed with a canopy of grape vines. I try to not think about it but... If the new owner pulls out the cedar hedge... My dog walking neighbour designed and had built a lovely house with picture window looking at the river then a house was built next door and they look at a brick wall. I shall continue to not dwell on it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 May 21 - 11:33 AM

Has the rate of vaccinations increased at all? Down here the vaccine has been distributed to local drug stores so pharmacists have hours when they give the shots. The big vaccine centers are generally winding down or closing entirely. There is still a long way to go here, but now it is more a matter of persuasion than access.

I pulled a pork tenderloin from the freezer and have calculated that I have enough other ingredients in there to make my pork/tomato/eggplant casserole. The tomatoes are canned, the eggplant frozen (after lightly sautéing).

Last night one of the dogs (most likely Pepper) dragged a big ass branch of rosemary in (the one that grew for 15 years beside the driveway until the big freeze) and chewed it on the dog bed in the den. I tossed it into the trash to keep them from retrieving it from the back yard again, but there is bark and the soft wood everywhere. It looks like a good day to sweep and mop. We have a couple of days before more rain is forecast.

The older sewing machine is messing up again - the timing is off so it's dropping stitches. I need to get under the hood again.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 29 May 21 - 09:51 AM

Yesterday was frigid in southern Ontario. The forecast high for the day was 7C but the thermometer never crawled above 4C; snow fell only a little bit north of Stratford; and I had to turn the furnace on. It rained heavily for hours.

Today is clear and sunny but still chilly, so I guess a good walk is in order. I really don’t have anything else to do now that the study is hoed out and squared away. Except practise the mandolin, of course, and weed the garden. I guess that should be enough to get me through to suppertime.

The current lockdown is supposed to relax somewhat on Wednesday, but we have yet to hear where we can go and what we will be allowed to do.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 May 21 - 06:32 PM

Jon, I hope your father perked up as the day progressed. Here we had a lovely morning and I sat down to knock off my usual Friday morning employment tasks - by the time I finished it was raining again. Kind of blew my mood! You're lucky your brother visits with the aim of doing something helpful while he's there, and that would boost my spirits!

I did get over to Joann fabrics, they have a good sale going this weekend, but I don't need much now. Mask making is winding down, or more accurately, shifting to the specialty prints for occasions and those made for friends with health issues who are glad to have masks to wear. I picked up more fabric for the inside lining of my masks and thread was on sale (buy 3/get 3 free). It was quiet because of the rain so the woman at the cutting counter had a little time to visit. She is still making a lot of masks also, and said the store has gotten in some knit fabrics now because a lot of people who took up sewing for making PPE are now looking for other projects. The fabric store is predicting that making clothes like t-shirt tops will become popular. This young woman has done some of her sewing on a treadle machine - now that's diehard! (She also bought a Brother because the electric machine works faster and more reliably.) Even as things start to open up, I still find those conversations with total strangers can be very interesting and fill my need for face-to-face society.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 28 May 21 - 09:32 AM

My brother Paul cleaned some gutters and put the roof tile back in place yesterday. He doesn't visit often but when he does, he always comes with some work clothes and asks if there is a job needing doing. As far as I know, mum had already phoned someone who agreed to do the job but didn't turn up...

I think, this time we are finally in for a warmer sunny spell. It was lovely yesterday evening and I went out after tea and did some mowing, filled the bird feeders round the back and a little bit of tidying up.

I've, at last, put the 3 courgette plants outside into tubs. I'll plant some marigolds and some lettuce later and probably do more grass cutting but I am waiting for a ups delivery at the moment.

Dad's on poor form at the moment and I've reverted to wheeling him for the toilet in the day time but I think that's probably caused by the stress of having visitors for the past two days (they set off for home this morning) and hope things pick up again. I say stress but both parents enjoy and want to see other members of the family. It's just trying to be at your best can cause some anxiety.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 27 May 21 - 11:23 PM

Don't forget the suana.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 May 21 - 10:47 PM

I'm good to go with regular activities now, and I asked a few questions before ordering a pair of glasses from Zenni. My favorite titanium frames, but this time no correction on top, just the bifocal correction on the bottom. These will be my walking around glasses, and I can keep using the readers at the computer and piano.

I worked out where some of the papers that are still here can be stored (with related subject matter) and clear out two file boxes on the closet floor. I have a small stack of documents for the burning barrel but will wait till the stack is larger before setting up the paper pyre. There are old bills to discard, I'll be ready to burn after the next bout of rain passes (due here tomorrow).

This afternoon I visited the modest apartment of a friend in a 1929 building that has many of the historic features still in place. Tiny kitchen, small living/dining area, modest bedroom, one bath. 550 sf with plenty of space because he doesn't have it filled furniture, books, and stuff. I couldn't pack all of my stuff in there even stacking it and using a shoehorn. (He has a cat, that I will be caring for while he is on vacation.) During COVID he offloaded extra stuff (eBay), and I need to do more of that now. It was an interesting glance at a frugal household, but there wasn't the array of things to do that I have here - the entertainment is built in at this house! Sewing/craft room, greenhouse, office, storage, guest rooms - all good for comfort, but not necessary.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 May 21 - 12:00 PM

Good call on the letters, Charmion.

My calendar was crammed full for the day but lunch was rescheduled so my first trip of the day will be over to the recycle bins, to deposit household stuff and a 9" stack of paper from graduate school. It's the tip of that iceberg, but it's a start. I've compressed the contents of two boxes into one, and next will move onto file drawers.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 27 May 21 - 11:56 AM

I'm thinking more and more of what I want my heirs and assigns to see when I pop my clogs. I was about to toss all Edmund's old letters into the Burn Now box when it occurred to me that only a couple of them were ... um ... rather too interesting, and most of the rest were written by the nieces' and nephews' grandparents, and they might want to read them on those grounds alone. So I did what a good censor does and kiboshed only the material that would embarrass /me/ if it appeared on the front page of the Globe & Mail. The remainder fills only one file folder -- manageable.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 May 21 - 10:10 PM

I got out the burning barrel, then attacked one of the file boxes in the closet. I put the barrel away again when I realized it was a waste of energy to burn the stuff I've dug out so far. I shredded the front pages of a few of the papers but the rest are piling up in a box for the recycle bin. And I will get a bigger box, this one is filled up to the top. If I dive into one of files of old bills then I'll put those in the burning barrel.

Jon, I have a very similar barrel to yours. I set bricks in the bottom to provide more air space for circulation when burning with it. Then I take out the bricks, empty the ash into the compost, and store it back inside the greenhouse. It would rust if it was out in the weather. I hadn't thought about paint, but that is another possibility.

It felt good to pull out those papers. I held onto some that tie in with the paper I'd still like to write, and I kept a few that I remember were such a huge trouble to get my hands on. I'll put them in their own special file and maybe scan them one of these days. I'll pull some more this evening and when I head out to run errands in the morning I'll drop them at the city bins.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 26 May 21 - 06:43 PM

Dupont:

Ok, so yard by yard I have managed to clear enough tall grass to get a garden - 20 more bags of black earth unloaded this aft during a windy spell. The ashes and compost from the garbage can are underneath. Tomatoes and squash mostly planted. Tomorrow it is said to be cooler. I will plant some yellow bean seeds and corn - more for fun as there is not that much room. And maybe some other things, space and whatever seeds I already have...

Front yard is roughly cut. Back still needs some, but there are little white flowers !! So... And the yarrow... Neighbour just did her huge yard for second or third time; I could feel the vibration of her machine in the house. She did not cut the Dandies so she had higher grass than usual for her! Ah! Rain coming down!!!

Waiting for R to determine when his next shot will be, then I will plan trip to Beaver. Pat has been keeping the Coach House as open as possible, carefully minding restrictions. Even so, I have enough not to have to e-send the rent! I have that load in the kiln to bisque and glaze and fire when I get there. Will consult with Pat re colours! Ontario is still driving people nuts with its inability to organize shots. Mine is not until July but I was hoping for earlier...HO HO HO...

We went to the local library this am - I finally realized it is open! But I seem to have lost the card so R arranged a new one and I picked up one new book. Hundreds of books in the house but none tickled my fancy.

The air is so much nicer at Beaver - cleaner! De-cluttered of pollution.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 26 May 21 - 01:54 PM

The new filing cabinet arrived this morning and is now in place, thanks to Leslie the cop who lives across the street. She was on her verandah with a power drill and a rickety kitchen drawer when the Staples delivery crew did their dump-and-dash, so she came over to volunteer for heavy manual labour. Nice.

Everything in the study is now stowed where it will stay, and locked up if it needs to be locked up. Just the way I like it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 26 May 21 - 01:33 PM

We've got an incinerator bin with a chimney in the lid that I sometimes use. A problem I've found with them is that you get them burning too hot, the galvanised coating breaks down and they soon rust away. I sprayed our current one with heat resistant black paint when that started to happen. That seems to have prolonged its life a bit but it could do with more paint on now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 May 21 - 01:02 PM

The reason I bought the burn barrel is to keep that paper ash waste from blowing around. It has a few holes in the lid to let out smoke and heat but keeps ash inside. But it think being amenable to your friend's suggestion is a good idea. Here it's a sunny day after 2+ weeks of rain so I'll get my Behren's barrel out and give some of the scholarly editing a go. (It says use for composting or burning - I think composting would rot this thing out in no time.) I can recycle copies of articles and such, but the personal papers go in the fire.

This is the last day of lots of eyedrops; tomorrow I start tapering just one type, a tedious but essential reminder of the recent procedures. I am mindful of the not lifting/bending, though I did pull a few weeds this morning to give a struggling small okra plant some room in the garden. Later this week the whole thing will get a good going over and more mulch added.

My household recycling usually sits in a plastic kitchen trash bin, and paper recycling goes in a cardboard box to be transported to the bins behind City Hall. If I'm going to start recycling academic papers I'm going to need a bigger box.

P.S. We have been discussing cat fountains here at Mudcat and I'm in a Chrome browser most times, sometimes Firefox. And now my phone's Instagram feed is offering Amazon ads for large capacity pet fountains. They seem to have done the math and realized I have dogs when it comes to reading my posts and making suggestions.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 26 May 21 - 08:40 AM

The old four-drawer filing cabinet has left the building in the back of a Perth County Cadillac (aging Ford pick-up) after 10 hours on Facebook Marketplace. Its two-drawer lateral successor is supposed to arrive today, but who knows? It’s raining stair-rods in Stratford.

Yesterday was another day of sorting and condemning papers, and now I have the “classified waste” separated and ready to go: one box of post-2018 practice files to the basement to marinate for another couple of years, and one box of personal and financial stuff for immediate destruction.

At suppertime, a fiddle-playing friend arrived on her bike for a porch visit. A member of a large local family of Dutch farmers, she suggested that we take the “burn now” box out to their home place and spend a jolly evening around the fire with beers and wienies. I think that would be a great idea, as paper ash tends to blow around the neighbourhood in a way that attracts more attention than I like.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 May 21 - 12:35 PM

Jon, I share plants with neighbors - sometimes things I've dug up, other times extras from seed. Next door neighbor visited friends in Atlanta, GA a few weeks ago and asked if she could take some of the yellow iris from my yard because that friend had asked about yellow iris. I gave her two colors of yellow (the neighbor knew I was going to be thinning all of them.)

Two weeks ago I went to volunteer at the museum and my daughter and I went for our first lunch in over a year at the campus dining hall across the street. It was raining so hard on the way back that the river of water against the curb was too wide and I landed smack in it with my left foot, wet up to the ankle. Last week we passed on lunch because it was still raining. And today as well - it's a torrent out there. All of this rain has my lawn growing tall and lush and it will be wretched to mow it next time, sometime after Thursday when I get the "all clear" from the ophthalmologist. I have a putty knife in my gardening apron so I can stop the mower and scoop out the lawn-pesto underneath. And my raised beds are looking okay but the soil will be so compacted from all of the water it'll need some aeration with the spade fork once it dries. There is no fruit, just all foliage so far on seven tomato plants out there.

We had this kind of rainy spell last year also and several years in the past. It seems to be a new feature of our springtime weather.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 25 May 21 - 07:46 AM

And on giving plants away. I put a few excess tomatoes and aubergines out for a family friend (who btw also takes some newspapers from us as litter for her rabbits and guinea pigs) yesterday. I placed the pots in a ("heavy duty", not the thin plastic) windowsill plant tray with some water in with come carrier bags nearby to put transfer the plants to for collection. I didn't expect her to see the windowsill tray as part of the deal. We will get it back but grrrr...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 25 May 21 - 07:00 AM

No howling at the kitchen sink today. Dare I hope for success?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 25 May 21 - 06:52 AM

I planted the Swiss chard (well 11 of the 22 plug plants I got, I’ll give the others away) and some leeks out yesterday. I did that in one of the few dry and sunny spells yesterday. The weather is still very mixed here but I think we are over the past few days of strong cold winds which have not done my few outdoor tomatoes any favours.

We are due a visit from a brother and his partner tomorrow. This (except for a one day call starting the night before I went into hospital to see parents were OK) will be the first time we’ve seen a relative since, I guess, Christmas/New Year 2019/20. No special preparations needed and they will be stopping and eating their main meal in town but I might do some cheese scones later. I did a porter cake yesterday evening.

I had a change of mind with the clip for mum’s trolley. I made them bolt on (so we have this) and use two rather than one for stability. The angle of the tubing makes the cane stick out a bit at the bottom but I don’t think that’s a problem. I’ll just see how they last IF mum continues to use them and finds them helpful now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 May 21 - 03:48 PM

It's still raining or I'd set up the burn barrel and get started while the impulse is strong. And I should remind myself that there are computer copies of these around, somewhere.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 24 May 21 - 03:26 PM

Three cheers for Maggie! And a tiger!

Way to go.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 May 21 - 02:47 PM

You two have touched on a tender spot re the content in my file cabinets - all of the work I did in graduate school that I thought I might modify and publish later. So far it hasn't happened. There is one article I'd like to write but it requires mostly new research, so if I kept the main related paper and shredded the all of the rest I'd be up on drawer space.

That said, my second desk in the office is two two-drawer file cabinets sitting about 18" apart topped with a lovely clear piece of birch plywood (I ironed on oak veneer around the edge to give it a polished look). That's where a lot of the scholarship lives. So even if I empty the contents, I would use the space to store something else because I don't want to lose that desk. The file with more business stuff is also two-drawer and it sits on a welded wheeled base a friend made and wasn't using so gave to me. I can move the cabinet away from the corner it faces when I need to get into it. And the everyday file is the equivalent of a 1-drawer file, it's a heavy plastic bin with lids that fold down to the side. Hanging files are inside and if I had to grab one box to take out of the house for current records, that would be it. (That's why I set it up this way.)

This requires the letting go of the work I enjoyed and was passionate about but that I'm not going to use again and acknowledging that no university is going to want "my papers" at some point. I have the published copies of things, the rest can go into the burn barrel.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 24 May 21 - 12:48 PM

Dupont:

As usual, I glean reminders from here! My old 4 drawer is at the mill and the papers well mouse eaten. One of these trips, I can box all it and leave the carcass for R. IT will provide considerable fire starting material after I quickly check for the vague possibility of anything worth saving. Then I will need no filing cabinet at all. A bookshelf and file folders will suffice.

I need to get down there and rescue anything I treasure because R is making noises about re-arranging to make room for... He has totally disregarded my numerous please not to put stuff in the way of my things: lost the box of books I treasure; I have searched and searched to no avail! So, I had better be pro-active before I lose everything special.... If it is special, why is it down there? Still trying to sort this house out ... that's why.

Anyway of this beautiful day - cool, sunny, and breezy - I have been early to the store for 20 bags of black earth to plant the tomato and squash plants, et al, on top of the clay in the back yard. Also did groceries in a near empty grocer. This weather gives me energy.

My weed eater is charging; I already did a stint that almost completed the clearing of the front yard. Now I want to clear a path to the garden area, rather than flatten the 18 inch "grass" by driving across. The 15 minute stints/twice a day are do-able and not having a cord to fight with is a relief for shoulders. I am trying to leave the yarrow and anything else that looks interesting!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 24 May 21 - 11:28 AM

Big step forward today: I just ordered a two-drawer filing cabinet from Staples.

The four-drawer cabinet currently looming in the study will slow-march down the stairs and out to the garage as soon as I can convince someone large and muscly to help me.

For many years, I have preached the gospel of Only One Filing Cabinet. Now that I'm retired and widowed, that One Filing Cabinet should be half the size of the one I shared with Edmund. With that decision made, it's easier than I thought to let go of stuff I've been sitting on for decades like a bureaucratic Smaug. I'm not competing for editorial projects any more, so I don't need to keep the better part of a drawerful of samples. The people in my life who thought it important to keep old letters are now dead, so I can dispose of lots and lots of blackmail material without a qualm -- except that I might not get it all burned or shredded before I'm hit by a bus.

When I have dealt with the papers, I can face the task of sorting out boxes and boxes of photographs. Next winter, when it's sleeting and I'll do anything to avoid going outside.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 24 May 21 - 09:06 AM

An important element of cat-training is to resist the urge to react to behaviour you wish to extinguish. It’s hard to ignore a cat howling into your face when you’re trying to fill the kettle for coffee, but I am here to tell you that everybody survives the experience.

Watson is beginning to have difficulty jumping, so I must eventually find a safe spot on the floor for the fountain. This house has an unfortunate lack of cat-sized niches located near power points.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 May 21 - 11:54 PM

I have a box of slacks sitting on the bench in the sunroom, awaiting my next trip to Goodwill. And I need to empty the contents of the donation bin into a large bag and take it along.

Charmion, a cat-sitting job is coming up in June, for a friend who has a cat who has a fountain that sounds much like the one you have adopted. He was interested when I mentioned that you were having good results (his is also fairly new to the routine). His cat would demand water dripping from the kitchen faucet or a small drip from the showerhead. (Well, I didn't say "a woman in Canada who I've never actually met says her cats like the fountain." I just said "a friend reports. . . ")

I've done more clearing of counters in the kitchen and it's a nice look. Less is more.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 23 May 21 - 02:42 PM

I turned out my collection of trousers that don’t fit and found that a pair of straight-legged Lee jeans that was a size too small last summer now fits just fine. While I was at it, I consigned three pairs of skinny jeans to the donation box. Two pairs are the pull-on stretchy kind, bought with a gift card and a terrible disappointment because they skid down my flat butt every time I bend over so I’m forever hauling them up again.

While I was at it, I sorted out some big-ticket items I don’t wear any more, notably a lush alpaca sweater that is too warm for Stratford. They can go to the niece who moved to chilly Ottawa.

I recently managed to get the BIL to accept some of Edmund’s rugby shirts, but I have yet to figure out what to do with his large accumulation of fancy haberdashery. This morning, I moved the accessories that go with his three (count ‘em! Three!) kinds of evening wear into a moth-proof barrack box, freeing up more accessible storage for items for which I have identified a recipient. Now to ensure that I remember to take those items with me when I can finally travel again ...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 May 21 - 11:08 AM

This morning I did a brief survey of the kitchen counters. A bottle of hand lotion that I have had for at least 10 years and never use ("but I might some day") is now in the trash, too old to give to someone else (it moved in and out of a cupboard as I considered starting to use it, but always washed it off as soon as it was on my hands). And several other items that were routinely out but could just as easily live in a cupboard or be tossed have been stored away or put in the trash or recycle bin. I had a couple of acrylic jars with silicone seals and wire clamp-style closures that I keep figs and dates in, but they're empty, so got washed and put away (the current box of dates I'm using is in the fridge).

I should go take a look in the pantry.

This afternoon there is a vet clinic at the feed store where I buy dog food, and I need to take the little one over to get her nails clipped. I won't do more than one dog at a time, it's too much trouble, so the other dog who tolerates the trimming can go in a couple of weeks. That's a very helpful declutter! I don't need to lift that dog at all so no problem with the "no lifting or bending" rule for this week. (The third dog won't have anything to do with the vet and the nail clippers. I don't put her through it.)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 May 21 - 02:35 PM

Jon, I knew the concept, but not the name "Parkinson’s Law." Good to know! My kitchen counters do need a bit of a clear out. The items that aren't refrigerated (dispenser of olive oil, jar of ghee, etc.) and a few other things probably could live in a cupboard. I keep the Kitchenaid stand mixer on the counter because it is so much work to move it if it is stored elsewhere. The toaster oven is where it won't light anything on fire or melt adjacent stuff. The tray of tea stuff. There is a bowl on a stand where I let fruit ripen. If I never bought tea again I'd have a supply of various flavors that would last me for several years.

We've had a lot of rain since I planted the first part of the vegetable garden so the tomatoes have a lot of foliage but not much fruit. One tomato in view so far, and a few buds of eggplants. Flowers on the pepper plants. I can't do much stooping to examine the plants for pests, but I have a mix of compost tea, spinosad, a little Murphy Oil soap, and water in a squirt bottle to try to stop whatever is chomping the okra leaves. When it's still small it's vulnerable.

Looking at photos of the garden in past years reminds me of how pretty potted plants can be alongside the house on the driveway area. I need to pay more attention to those, especially since several had contents killed by the big freeze and need new plantings or they'll fill with weeds.

Charmion, the dogs gang up every so often to tell me that they require a treat, regardless of the time of day. They do it every now and then, and I'm not sure what their decision making process involves. They are always very clear in their meaning.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 22 May 21 - 08:22 AM

Watson (large, bossy tomcat) still sits in front of the kitchen sink and howls at me to open the tap, but after a few minutes of insisting he drinks from the fountain. Isobel, his sister, sussed out my intent right away and has ceased to bother. She still bounces up onto the counter when she hears water running, but clearly does not expect me to reinstate the previous standard of service.

So the tap issue is essentially political, and Watson has yet to give up on bending me to his will. Pragmatic Isobel saves her energy for more important projects, such as her daily drive to push treat time from 1700 hours to 1630.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 22 May 21 - 07:30 AM

There is a slicer I used to use for bread in one of the cupboards, SRS, that I don’t know if I’ll use again but that’s maybe it in the cupboards.

I had a major revision of pots and pans a couple of years back and one big clearout of foodstuffs last year and I think we are, overall, in a state that I might describe as sorted as reasonably as I can for what we do really want to have there in the space available.

The worktops and a small table are cluttered with food processor, food mixer, bread maker, multi cooker as well as the microwave, kettle, as well as things including the bread bin but I think we are around the most reasonable compromise we’ll get for what is used at (least sometimes). A bigger kitchen would probably improve things, although, even if possible, it would probably come with a variant of Parkinson’s Law...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 21 May 21 - 12:40 PM

After months of clearing surfaces and rehoming kitchen items, I have added something to the countertop — an electric water fountain for the cats.

Ever since we moved here, the cats have insisted on drinking from the kitchen tap at least twice each day. They never demanded this service in Ottawa, where I kept their water and kibble dishes on opposite sides of the very large kitchen, and I belatedly began to wonder if they preferred the tap here because we had put the water and kibble dishes side by side in one corner of the dining room.

The water fountain makes no noise except a slight splashing sound. Both of them are using it. I hope this works.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 21 May 21 - 12:26 PM

Dupont:

Recovering from a 3-day marathon trip last weekend! R needed to go to ON for business. We drove to Beaver on Saturday, taking time for some wonderful back-roading. There were police at the border but they did not stop us - Ontario plates; they were stopping some vehicles.

Stopped at bakery, picked up mail. It is awkward getting mail so far away! As long as I can get there once a month...On arrival, I set in to do as much weeding as possible and went to bed.

Sunday: more weeding and loaded the kiln but did not fire. Drove 2 hours to get to R's needed visit. A couple hours sitting in car or walking around in the field, watching the horses eat dandelions! So tired I got comfie in the back of the car!

This huge quonset gave new meaning to clutter! About 40 by 80 feet, it was almost impassible. I took one look and went back to the field. There is antique machinery and odds and sods - the smaller pieces, that R is purchasing, weigh 200#. It needs to be emptied by the end of May!!!! R is rather overwhelmed by the logistics. He talks of two trucks and himself and Joe! There is no room to get a forklift in to move things!! Stay tuned!! Moral: don't bring it home if you cannot carry it out.

At some point in the last 50 years, I did jettison anything I could not carry alone. ... Oh well. I sometimes remember the Bill Staines line, "all my possessions fit the back seat of my car"...

Drove back to Beaver via more back roads. Went to bed. Monday: BF, weeding, packing, stopped at empty bank to deposit, quick trip into almost empty grocery for Blackberry yogurt, and back to Dupont. No problem at the QC border though several police cars were evident.

Managing some household basics and bought myself a battery powered weed eater at a fairly empty Canadian Tire, 10 minutes away. The rationale being that the electric cord maneuvering is hard on my shoulders. The grass is almost two feet in places! The dandies are mostly finished. Since it takes 5 hours to charge, I trim 'til it quits, twice a day. Not today - too hot.

Also bringing tomato plants from second floor to back deck. And any other plant that can go outside is getting there - as energy allows. R thought he was going to bring me soil but he is too busy so a trip for bags of soil - maybe today; it is a safely arranged store. Today I looked for a chance to do some groceries but the stores were too busy.

My life revolves around weeding! and trimming grass! And keeping the house as cool as possible in the 80-90 degree heat! R opened the attic hatch to let heat go out the vent in the roof and I close and open drapes according to the sun. And do not go outside in the afternoon.

Did go out to say bye to R and, of course, started weeding! Then neighbour walking young Aussie and a border collie stopped to chat. Even the Aussie was subdued!

Doing laundry today. ... Maybe some trimming in the shade...?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 May 21 - 11:13 PM

We've addressed medical paraphernalia, have dipped a toe into the vast pool of household hardware and tools - now - what do you have in those kitchen drawers and in the back of the pantry? I try to put all of those extra appliances on eBay where they usually sell (though I've slacked off in my sales while doing all of the sewing - I'll have to see if the market has shifted.) There are lots of gadgets that fill several drawers around the kitchen and though I've given a lot to the kids as they set up their own homes, I still have duplicates of both small things and larger appliances. I think Charmion has beat the rest of us to clearing the kitchen out, though sad for the reason for getting rid of fancy coffee makers, fridges, and such.

Twenty-four hours and more after the second surgery and the vision is feeling clearer. Clear. Distance vision is crisp - something I've missed for a long time. Now to work out the type of reading glasses to use. The test will be reading the computer screen and reading sheet music at the piano. Looking ahead of me about 24" and focusing on those surfaces will be addressed with glasses.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 20 May 21 - 03:46 PM

I've got one similar to that, SRS. Mine hangs on the wall above my bed and under the shelving. It holds electronic and electrical bits and pieces. The "selection boxes" go on a bit of the shelving above it. I've got 2 pipe cutters (15mm and 22mm - UK domestic plumbing commonly uses both these sizes of copper pipe) a different type to yours though. They live in the top section of the toolbox in my shed. PTFE (teflon) tape lives on one of the shelves in there with other tapes.

I must get round to tidying up my desk and the top of the unit in the middle of my floor soon. Both are littered with things but other than that, I've managed so far to stay quite organised since doing my shed last year and some sorting in my room early this year. I know where to find most things.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 May 21 - 01:12 PM

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

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

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

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


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