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De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021

Donuel 06 Sep 21 - 01:46 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Sep 21 - 11:10 AM
Dorothy Parshall 05 Sep 21 - 12:56 PM
Charmion 05 Sep 21 - 10:31 AM
Stilly River Sage 04 Sep 21 - 10:09 PM
Dorothy Parshall 04 Sep 21 - 07:29 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Sep 21 - 11:42 AM
Donuel 04 Sep 21 - 09:49 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 Sep 21 - 11:19 PM
Donuel 03 Sep 21 - 01:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 Sep 21 - 01:03 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 Sep 21 - 11:49 AM
Charmion 02 Sep 21 - 04:54 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Sep 21 - 10:58 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Sep 21 - 10:17 AM
Donuel 01 Sep 21 - 08:48 AM
Jon Freeman 01 Sep 21 - 08:40 AM
Charmion 01 Sep 21 - 08:06 AM
Stilly River Sage 31 Aug 21 - 10:48 PM
Dorothy Parshall 31 Aug 21 - 08:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 31 Aug 21 - 08:09 PM
Charmion 31 Aug 21 - 07:07 PM
Stilly River Sage 31 Aug 21 - 04:50 PM
Donuel 31 Aug 21 - 12:46 PM
Dorothy Parshall 30 Aug 21 - 08:06 PM
Jon Freeman 30 Aug 21 - 12:19 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 Aug 21 - 11:31 AM
Donuel 30 Aug 21 - 07:16 AM
Stilly River Sage 29 Aug 21 - 10:29 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 Aug 21 - 09:10 PM
Donuel 27 Aug 21 - 06:48 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 Aug 21 - 10:24 AM
Stilly River Sage 26 Aug 21 - 09:47 AM
Stilly River Sage 25 Aug 21 - 09:43 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Aug 21 - 10:14 PM
Dorothy Parshall 24 Aug 21 - 10:10 PM
Charmion 24 Aug 21 - 11:41 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Aug 21 - 09:52 AM
Charmion 24 Aug 21 - 09:31 AM
Dorothy Parshall 23 Aug 21 - 03:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Aug 21 - 11:19 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Aug 21 - 05:28 PM
Charmion 22 Aug 21 - 05:09 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Aug 21 - 12:56 PM
Dorothy Parshall 21 Aug 21 - 10:07 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 Aug 21 - 09:12 PM
Jon Freeman 21 Aug 21 - 11:41 AM
Stilly River Sage 21 Aug 21 - 10:35 AM
Jon Freeman 21 Aug 21 - 05:30 AM
Stilly River Sage 20 Aug 21 - 10:42 PM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 06 Sep 21 - 01:46 PM

The news is particularly grim and depressing today.
Fox weather channel should cheer people up with fair weather stories 24/7


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Sep 21 - 11:10 AM

A friend here shared a house with her grandchildren for several years - she is about 80 now, though, still ambulatory and drives some. It isn't an easy choice. Most recently she moved back in with her daughter. She tried a retirement apartment but during the 2020 portion of COVID she was so lonely she couldn't stand it.

The lovely thing about the preparations for having guests here is that for the next few days the house tidier than usual. I wash the dishes as I work leading up to the meal, so the stand mixer and cake pan were washed and put away before I got out the food processor to make the falafel, and that was put away before the small deep fryer came out. The sink wasn't heaped with cooking stuff and everything that was in the sink went into the dishwasher last night.

We had a good visit, the friend who is most susceptible to being knocked over by the dogs wasn't able to attend so at the point when they started fussing in the back yard because it started raining, three wet dogs came in and enjoyed visiting. (They were just damp and I toweled them dry.) One of these friends is so in love with the dogs I think he'd come over to see them even if I wasn't home. :)

And speaking of guests and going out, I'm back to my personal contact-tracing notes for each occasion I'm indoors with people, and we talked about the types of COVID-19 tests out there. One of the guests here still teaches in person so the couple have decided to set up a voluntary twice-monthly rapid COVID test. It's done by a company that sends nurses out to do the tests at your home and is funded by the federal government. I think that might be a wise move for me if I'm going to be volunteering at the museum twice a week.

This morning I've had to turn off the public radio station in favor of classical music. I need a news-free day today, and I need a no-spend month this month. As Dorothy mentioned, it's part of a self-care strategy.

I'm going to make more granola this afternoon, somewhat modifying the recipe I used (adding more seeds and nuts). More self-care - my future self will say "thank you for the breakfast!"


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 05 Sep 21 - 12:56 PM

Dupont:

She could but she won't. 90 years of doing what she is told. She told me, with hope, what she would like to try doing - to stay near home and then, sadly ... "the family wants me..." The son had left the premises after the first while and did not return. But before I had left, he had phoned someone and told her the "plan". I suppose he was phoning and planning while D and I were talking. This plan was not even mentioned while he was with us. We talked about her sharing a duplex with her not-yet-30 GS! or with him, which he clearly did not want. I can not imagine a GS wanting to share his home with his 90 year old GM!

The social workers/ health care workers have done testing. Now that the family knows she might be on the beginning of Alzheimers, what she thinks or wants is irrelevant to the family.

I fear they do not want to spend their inheritance. The son is executor, yet told me she could "not afford" a seniors residence. And did not say a word when I pointed out that Bill said she could - easily and plenty left over.

On Tuesday, I will vent to my trustworthy, caring, knowledgeable friend up there. Her weekend is full of family. I need to let this go but I am 100% tearful with a sense of caring and failing. Bill and Terry have been through it and done their best and can do no more.They are sad but are doing self care. I thought I had more respect from the son, more credibility. OMG! A basement apartment -from living in a home on top of a cliff overlooking a large lake. Cruelty!

Still managed two more loads of laundry - that's all of it! And I finally managed to cook a good meal - a few days worth - and ate last night. After snacks all day. So a good lunch - slightly burned - awaits me.

Now, practical - I need to find a helper to move the firewood. And I am going to have to contact persons I barely know to see if anyone has any one. I just wish I could crawl in a hole and pull the hole in after me. But I shall just muddle along.

Sorry, guys: this is a safe place to vent! TY!! I need to figure out how to get to making pots; it might cheer me a bit.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 05 Sep 21 - 10:31 AM

Dorothy’s friend could/should give power of attorney for personal care to Bill and his wife. That would cut the son out of the loop.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Sep 21 - 10:09 PM

Dorothy, that sounds horrible for your friend, and it sounds like it's time for some agency social worker to step in, if there is such a thing up there.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 04 Sep 21 - 07:29 PM

Dupont:

Three loads of laundry later! I am gratified by the indication that R did change clothes regularly - at least the socks and underwear! apparently I had stayed away the longest possible time! Two more to go! But his drawers are re-filled and the sheets are clean!

The visit with my friend turned into an emotional upheaval. I realized she had reached out to me in hopes I could speak for her. She told me clearly what she wants for the remainder of her life and what she does not want.

I visited with her nephew on my way back to QC, serendipitously en route! His wife has been handling the finances. Doris had no idea what her financial state is and was distraught at having to stay with her granddaughter again this winter. She is in terrible health as well as depressed from death of husband and the living situation during the winter, down to 110 pounds - after spending the winter in the home of a nurse.

Bill assured that she could afford a good quality seniors residence for ten years and have money left over. I visited with Bill for 3 hours - talking must be a family trait! Arrived at Dupont about 6 pm exhausted. Went for take out to feed both of us - and a lunch for me.

Thurs, I phoned the son (60), whom I have known for 36 years, and tried to tell him what his mom wants. The family had already made up their mind - a granny flat in the basement. How awful for her! He asserted that she cannot afford a residence and I told him what Bill said; he made no response at all. I fear the family is protecting their inheritance instead of Doris.

Sent him an email this am, reiterating my feelings and referring to the disregard of his mother's wishes - "considered elder abuse". ... He is adamant and Bill, his wife and I have given up - a sad de-clutter - "know when to walk away". But I have two new friends: as soon as I heard a dozen words from Bill, I knew; and his wife, as she drove home - before she even was out of the car! Hey, a retired librarian! We will grieve together. We did our best. The more I think about it... definitely abuse but they do not see it that way. "She agreed" - just as she has felt constrained to agree to whatever for 90 years! I have failed her.

I managed to care for plants while waiting for firewood - all afternoon - and it is dumped in a difficult place. I really need to find a helper to move it. And a helper to fix up the garage so I can use it for a studio. Looking at sheds again yesterday: the cost of a shed would repair the garage and that seems a better deal! But I need to find help. If I wait for R, I could die waiting. 6 months and he has not finished the bathroom sink. I desperately need a Dan here.

Well, I had better pull myself together and get a good supper.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Sep 21 - 11:42 AM

I've picked up two or three recipe books on the recommendation of Mudcatters over the years - I don't think I have that one but I must look at the bookshelves, because I know I have at least one that features freezing. I just pulled one called Heaven's Banquet: The Maharishi Ayur-Veda Cookbook that a Mudcatter (all I remember is his name is Steve) talked about on a food thread because the author is his sister. It's a vegetarian book, and when I looked at it online I saw some very nice recipes, most of which are things that never would be cooked with meat anyway. (I'd much rather have recipes that are standards on their own than recipes that struggle to replace some "missing" ingredient like meat.)

The heat continues here; the humidity is what really knocks it out of the park. This morning when I went to pick another quart of okra my next door neighbor was out (I'd texted her yesterday with the offer of more okra) so I took the new stuff into the house and brought out a couple of bags of yesterday's pods (already washed and ready to go) and poured them into a flat box - she ended up taking all of them and is planning to do fried okra for her extended family for a dinner this weekend. Good use!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Sep 21 - 09:49 AM

Here is the new hot/cold cookbook 'Its always freezing
season'


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Sep 21 - 11:19 PM

Keeping track of my activity these days from a contract tracing aspect; I visited with friends indoors without masks this evening. We have all been vaccinated, but it still could be considered living dangerously.

Dr. Fauci is speaking out for children these days, but still, 1,000 people a day are dying of COVID-19. Most of them are adults who weren't vaccinated.

Having a few friends over for lunch on Sunday sounds like living dangerously in this time and place. One of those friends has already had the booster (third vaccination shot) and the rest will be eligible soon.

Such times we live in.

My Middle-Eastern recipe book refers to okra as "lady fingers" or I'd think you were talking about cookies. :)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 03 Sep 21 - 01:44 PM

Those lady fingers have a source of potassium that is 3/4 of bananas


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Sep 21 - 01:03 PM

I just packed the last six jars of pickled okra into the case and will now switch to plan B with the okra crop: Give more of it away, eat more of it now, and freeze the rest.

The neighbors on both sides and across the street all eat okra. They're going to be getting more this month. And it's so incredibly fresh instead of what you see in the grocery store so it's a real treat for people who love okra.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Sep 21 - 11:49 AM

Picking up pita bread at the Halal bakery today for lunch with friends on Sunday; for that occasion I'll make falafel and while the oil is hot maybe a batch of fried okra. This afternoon and tomorrow will be busy picking up and dusting in advance of the event.

This evening Friends are doing a garden party (it'll be a warm one as we will all be in the yard): a stop to make after the shopping. This is the first "First Friday" since I think November 2019. The winter holidays interfere (this is a couple who teach at the university where I retired) so they hold these during the academic year. The first one in 2020 would have been February, but COVID was a thing by then.

I have sweaters and vests in the hall closet here that have on occasion been loaned to visitors who found themselves without adequate warm apparel. Hopefully someone loaned you a sweater or a zip hoodie to tide you over. And as I was just telling my daughter as she plans for a fall trip to Italy - if she doesn't pack enough warm clothing, they sell clothes in Italy that are just normal-person garments. It isn't all Gucci.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Sep 21 - 04:54 PM

I wanna go home.

Everyone is very nice to me and I’m achieving all the objectives set for this trip, but I miss Stratford’s peace and quiet, the neatness of my own house, and the cats.

The weather turned cool and, of course, I brought only hot-weather outfits — it was blistering when I left.

As I rattled over the potholes on Crichton Street and struggled with the rush-hour crush on the Queensway autoroute (as usual under construction),I swore never to complain about Perth County roads ever again.

Finally, the in-laws changed their plans and forgot to tell me, so now I’m double-booked on Sunday afternoon.

On the other hand, I’m missing another chapter of the on-going choir crisis. No cloud without a silver lining, right?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Sep 21 - 10:58 AM

I am gobsmacked by the flooding in New York City as Ida remnants pass over the region. This will end up being as destructive as Hurricane Sandy a few years ago, a huge setback to a city that has struggled with infrastructure since Sept. 11. There are some businesses that have been so hampered by all of the security requirements that they never recovered. A particular old friend there is like so many New Yorkers - many side gigs to try to pull together the rent every month.

But my mood isn't down just because of New York. The state of things in Texas has also suddenly turned grim, and there isn't a simple remedy of picking up and moving away. That would leave family members here still facing the political fallout of Trump and Abbott. So it's time to assess the volunteer activities for now and become more politically active. Donate more to the causes that caught my eye the day after Trump was elected (Nov. 9, 2016 was a really awful day).

Finally resuming work on clearing out the eBay stuff will serve two purposes - give me more income for donations, and clear out stuff for the long chance that I do decide it's time to move. I live in a state now where anyone can be sued by total strangers if they think you supported someone's abortion actions, and if they win, they get cash and their legal fees paid, but if you win, you still pay all of your legal fees. That is the part of this new "law," the preordained outcomes, that I think will be what get this taken off of the books, but apparently not any time soon. Heaven help the court system in Texas, there will be lots of random lawsuits by opportunists.

Add to all of this the heat and still-high humidity and it's a pretty miserable place right now.

In a funk in Texas. Time to roll up the sleeves and get to work.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Sep 21 - 10:17 AM

I'm doing an exercise app that has a double set of squats and my hip has been more sore, I think they're the reason. I should shift my position to a less broad base to avoid that (I'm guessing). I'm getting closer to the idea of calling the doctor and setting up a steroid shot in the bursa. This really gets old.

We're into what I hope is the last really torturous week of summer, highs near 100, and mornings would be walkable if the humidity wasn't so damned high. Walking really is the best exercise for what ails me these days.

Last year I made a lot of jelly, but I'll be sending some of it to family and friends soon. I do need to keep buying new jelly jars when I mail them away. I often put a couple of tablespoons in a custard cup and microwave it to pour over pancakes or French toast, but I don't eat those often enough to go through a lot of jelly myself. Jelly on toast is good, but again, not a frequent breakfast.

I'm still making some pickled okra and giving more of it away. Once this last heat wave passes the plants should slow production.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 01 Sep 21 - 08:48 AM

After a week of epic walking my hip suddenly and dramatically stopped hurting also.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Sep 21 - 08:40 AM

I've got some more jam making lined up. Our Victoria plum didn't do as well as I thought it would. Only one part of the tree had fruited well and I'd failed to notice brow rot setting in. Still, I got 7lbs of jam which, given there is still plum jam over from last year, is enough and I have a small quantity to stew and freeze.

The gauges and the damson failed but, as damson jam is mum's favourite, we bought (came today and are now in the freezer) some frozen damsons to try. While at it, we also got some frozen raspberries.

With luck, I should wind up with 6-8 lb jars of jam of of each of these and I think that should leave us reasonably set until next year.

I also need to make some more marmalade for which I'll use mamade. I find you get a very nice Seville Orange marmalade for little effort with this. It's funny as both brands (Robertons and Hartleys) that Mamade has been sold under do have off the shelf ready made marmalades but this comes out so much better.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Sep 21 - 08:06 AM

I had hampers full of stuff to deliver to The Brothers and to Edmund’s nephew Patrick, so this is a road trip, Stilly. When I come back at Thanksgiving for the interment, it’ll be by train.

My hip joints have finally stopped hurting.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Aug 21 - 10:48 PM

Those visits with elderly friends and relatives are so important, and carry more weight, than visits of 25 or 50 years ago. On the occasions when I've been able to visit with very elderly friends and relatives every word is precious - there are so few visitors as people get older. The last time I saw my 94-year-old aunt in Connecticut (she lived very near Jerry Rasmussen, who knows many of the same places where he used to perform - small world!) I arrived at her nursing home kind of late because I'd been driving all day. She was finishing an evening bath when I arrived, and she told the attendants "This is my great niece, who has driven here from Kentucky!" (where I was living and working at the time) and it was clear that she would visit exactly as long as she wanted, no visitors hours were going to shut us down. And it was a nice long visit. You learn to take your opportunities to visit and let people know how important they are to you with each occasion. Funny, I don't remember much at all of the rest of that day, or even where I spent the night, but I remember that visit with Josephine.

There is an open invitation to any of you who are regular declutterers (so many have gone, since Katlaughing, and I fear WYSIWYG) who should ever find yourselves in North Texas - please stop by and plan for a couple of days at least for a good long visit. And in particular there are friends who are living in a conversion van and for the time being are in New England, and there is #PattyClink who is somewhere north of me now (Nebraska?) who are always welcome to spend time here parked in the driveway, a calm port in the storm of travels.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 31 Aug 21 - 08:44 PM

Beaver:

I was also hoping Charmion could take the train but, of course, there are so few these days. LONG drive. And a long and stressful event, I might think. Thinking of you as I drive the 402 tomorrow to QC trying to beat the long weekend traffic!

Visit with friend lasted 5 hours and it was a lesson in what it can be like to be 90 and lacking independence, wanting to do what seems right for herself but the family wanting her to do otherwise. A great deal of repetition as she forgot what we had already addressed and it all changed between repetitions. Bottom line might be, "I just want to die" but there is depression and the lack of autonomy, loss of husband, and what the family is pushing without, apparently, offering any realistic solutions.

I am tired.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Aug 21 - 08:09 PM

You told us about your arrangements a while back - did you take the train to Ottawa? Will there be music at the pub lunch (impromptu or planned?)

I pulled up Google maps and found the military cemetery in Ottawa and was able to do a street view tour. What a beautiful place. I see copper beeches there - such lovely trees - along with a nice mix of deciduous and evergreen, meaning in winter it will have the green to sustain moods (so important in cold seasons, the reason I planted pines and junipers here). There are lots of another of my favorites, spruce. I see people walking in there—is it considered appropriate to ride bikes through this park setting? Would Edmund and his bike might have enjoyed this area? I don't want to make any assumptions, not having been around that many cemeteries beyond the ones were family members are buried (small church yards not large enough for much more than walking among the headstones). Here's wishing you the best as you navigate this ceremonial goodbye. ❤ ❤ ❤


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 31 Aug 21 - 07:07 PM

I’m in Ottawa.

The drive was just as exhausting as I expected, and today I ran around doing funeral organizing stuff, not least buying a suitable dress — not something I could do on line. On Thursday, I shall go to the National Military Cemetery with the priest (a retired army chaplain) to do a site recce. I will also book space in a downtown pub for lunch after.

Apart from that, I have some more visiting to do and then I can go home.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Aug 21 - 04:50 PM

It was the right call a couple of weeks ago to put the non-convection toaster oven into the pantry; this afternoon at lunch with my daughter I told her about the oven for her father and my new one and she announced "our old one died. We need to get a new one," so I offered my nice little pantry one. Accepted and text sent to roommates about the new oven, to be taken to volunteer with me on Thursday for the handoff. Done and dusted!

I had been puzzled by the need for the oven by my ex - he talked about setting his bagels on top of his toaster to heat them. He was here visiting the other day (and to give me cash for the oven) and said the thing is he wants to heat the whole bagel so the outside is crisp, then cut it open and the inside is hot and softer, not toasted. Now it makes sense! You can take the boy out of New York City, but you can't take the New York City bagel-eater out of the boy.

I'll go put the oven in the SUV now before I forget.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 31 Aug 21 - 12:46 PM

Dean helped with the painting and the epoxy is hard enouth to take on the remnants of the Tropical storm. Next week touch ups with black and tileing should be done in time to cover for the winter.
Last year felt like procrastination was justified but not anymore.
The difference is obviously the miraculous vaccine.
For now my attention can return to some decorating projects, interior decluttering and disposal.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 30 Aug 21 - 08:06 PM

Beaver:

Taking a break after several days of stretching and bending exercising! - putting things on floor, picking things up, moving trays of pottery in progress from shelf to shelf as it progressed from bisque to glaze ready to glazed to fired to LR to label and pack for shop. I am feeling more limber - after I manage to get out of bed and get moving in increments...

I took the last boxes to the Shop yesterday just in time to find a customer liking a teal/white bowl and was able to show her the new ones "hot out of the kiln". She bought several! And Pat gave me my $$$ for the last while. This is working so well! People come in to see pots "They really like your pottery!" and the shop is full of a huge variety of stuff! And I can enjoy making pots without them filling my home! Labour Day weekend should be good as cottagers and travelers are heading home.

And I have 8 beautiful mugs to take to my customers in QC! Improved tech skill: photos with name of colour written on pic! Text to person! Plan to do more pics like that! Also figured out - finally!!! how to move pics from phone to computer! After two years of frustration!

Did a last bit of trimming today, an hour or so and a bit more organizing of clays and studio and QUIT! Have a plan to organize studio better but next trip! A couple errands in town, including finding 3 more books at thrift shop, then home and resting up.

Cooler, less humid and the next few days are looking good. Hope to be able to throw some mugs in QC.

An hour drive tomorrow - each way - to visit a 90 year old friend and her son, friends of 38 years - 38 years of visiting her and husband on Elephant Lake! With the thought that this could be the last time; she is moving back to winter quarters, farther away. Almost a year since husband died... She is so fortunate to have family to care for her! She says she is "confused" all the time. Covid or not, I shall be giving her a big hug.

Then back to QC on Weds. Starting to pack the car -after I get back tomorrow; most is stashed in a corner of the LR, ready. Wonder what I might forget this time!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 30 Aug 21 - 12:19 PM

Covid really started for us in March 2019. The group of people from Strabane Northern Ireland were over and mum and I (who already were not getting out much and mum, the only qualified driver of the pair was on the verge of stopping driving) debated whether or not it made sense to taxi to and fro (actually, the way things worked our, Sean, the landlord ran us back). It was nice meeting up again and playing some music but that’s the last musical contact we had.

It might seem odd but we were already sort of winding down before Covid. One point along that line could be the weekly grocery shop. We’d long used Tesco but, at one point, found it impossible to book slots with them (so much for caring for long standing customers and 80+ year old account holder…) and someone else who seemed better than us at reserving slots from 2 or 3 possible choices helped us out a few times until things settled down again.

I suppose another thing I could mention was experiencing a 7 week hospital stay. If I’ve got my colours right I was on a blue ward. I think that meant it was believed to be Covid free. No family visits were allowed and other people (in my case, that would include a weekly visit from a chaplain to have a chat with (as well as one of them getting me a puzzle book) as well as the physio (not that I got out to walk much) and other medics like OT and dietician) had to visit my ward (Or I guess another blue ward if there were any) first. They weren’t allowed to enter my ward after visiting other wards.

A North Wales (some mix of a brother (I’ve 3 brothers), his wife and their 2 adult offspring – I’m not sure, apart from my brother, who’s coming) is due to visit 6th Sept and I think that will be the first time we’ve seen any of them since Covid.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Aug 21 - 11:31 AM

Adding dates to the bullet journal for September 2021 and again, as with each month we've been under the influence of COVID-19, I enter "COVID-19" atop the calendar page as a reminder to myself when I look back in the future. I started in February of 2020 when I jotted down "Begin COVID-19 precautions" and as I look through those next few months there isn't much activity except notes about shopping for my ex, grocery deliveries, the few appointments I had, and mostly cancelled appointments. Lots of notes about shipping masks to people. Lots of household tasks taken on as something to do (rearranging furniture from one room to the next, furniture repair, reupholstery, etc.)

My few trips out are also noted in there. We were living dangerously when I cared for a friend's cats (after her father died) even though she was isolating and getting tested before going to stay with her elderly mother and I was wearing a mask the whole time I was in her house. Notes about meeting friends in carports (bring your own cloth folding chair), notes about meeting my daughter for lunch in her parking garage. Some days were very hot, others quite chilly, but I did curbside pickup and took it along for our precious meetings. The complicated plans we went through for our delayed xmas when we did a trial run, then all met later at a drive-through restaurant and did our gift exchange outside between the cars after eating our takeout meals.

So many things have changed since 2019. I see an appointment for taking one of the dogs to the vet for her annual exam. They used to accept a few walk-in appointments, but when COVID came along it was appointments only, and they're not going back to accepting walk-ins - it was just too hard on the vets and their days were very long. There are a few parking spaces outside of all sorts of businesses for Curbside pickup, and they're keeping it. Just as well since we're into a COVID-Delta surge and back to wearing masks indoors all of the time at places where I still cautiously go for volunteering.

There are notes about when I had groceries delivered, my delayed appointments, and later in the year finally going in to the dentist and for an eye exam (setting in motion the cataract surgery during a time when COVID seemed to be lifting, we had vaccinations, and Delta hadn't arrived yet.) Notes of when stores had senior hours are for shopping. I went 15 months between haircuts, only trimming my own bangs when they began to drive me nuts.

This is easy stuff, relatively. It's a compressed life to save a life. I realize it was a luxury to be able to stay home, have things delivered, postponed, altered, then eventually shop carefully, mask up at the doctor's, so many Zoom meetings, etc. Those "essential workers" who had to work, and people like Charmion and my friend Ann who had to deal with catastrophic events, will have a lot more written down in their diaries or calendars.

Just thinking out loud as another month passes (as we enter a new season that seems to bring out introspection.) What does the last 18 months look like in your lives?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Aug 21 - 07:16 AM

I finished mowing and have to epoxy paint before the remants of Ida arrives and finish up next week.
My blintzes were crap except for one, consistancy requires experience.
I need to apply for SSI , return cable equipment and re register the car. Covid allowences are falling away from gov and utilities so I need to be more vigilent. Whenever my wife meets up with her sisters at weddings, funerals and births I face all the sister's concerns when she returns. Last time it was dementia and death. Its always different but inlaw relations were always cursed by their mom, now its a tradition..


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

Last November I rented a snake/roto rooter device to clean out the tree roots at the bottom of my sewer line. Yesterday when the washer ran it backed up into the tubs and I fear it is time again for the device. At some point I need to have the bottom few feet of the sewer line replaced by a plumber who is insured in case they hit a gas line. Most of the line was replaced a couple of years ago down to that point, but since the friend who did it is a public works employee and he couldn't find the gas line so they stopped short of finishing the whole job. I may run a simple snake down there now just to open things up a bit. I did put some Liquid Plumr down the line in case there is a grease buildup impacting things. A human plumber is going to cost me a couple grand for the rest of the job as far as replacing the end of the sewer line to the city connection.

There is a hurricane in the neighborhood - we won't get the wind or rain, but we are getting the overcast and the humidity. This morning it was 89%. Once it moves on it should be more comfortable again and I'll walk the dogs again.

Sunday night noir movies this evening feature Humphrey Bogart, in the background as I work my way through a defensive driving online course.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Aug 21 - 09:10 PM

Blueberries and fish - I will be making blueberry muffins this evening, and my late dinner is haddock. :)


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Subject: RE: Food is medicine
From: Donuel
Date: 27 Aug 21 - 06:48 PM

I'm back to eating blueberries and walnuts with fish for dinner.
I feel great for having a cardiac event which tells me no damage was done. BLT's are to die for.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Aug 21 - 10:24 AM

We did walk today, it wasn't quite as humid, but we needed to get out to walk so we suffered through it. This was after I went out to pick to okra that I last picked yesterday morning. Once a day isn't enough, they get too large. (A gardener's nightmare is waking up and realizing the last time they picked okra was the day before yesterday!)

One of the Invisible Fence collars has failed and yesterday Pepper was charging right up to the fence to bark at the next door dogs. I called around and think I'll be able to get the warrantied replacement today, but to stop the fence charging for now I put Cookie's collar on Pepper before I left for the afternoon. That way, the next time Pepper approached the fence she got the shock, and Cookie's is set stronger than Pepper's, so she probably got quite a shock. And if Cookie was out there (they're always together) and saw it, then all she needs to know is that staying back from the fence is still the right thing to do. Good thing dogs are superstitious.

This weekend is one for finishing two online courses. It's hot so staying in isn't the problem, it's sitting too long and having my hip hurt when I stand up. I'll set a timer and move around every 30 minutes or so.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Aug 21 - 09:47 AM

This morning the walk didn't happen - the temperature was 77o but the humidity is 89%, meaning the walk would be a sweaty slog. I picked okra for 10 minutes and nearly came down with a case of prickly heat (I had to wash my hands and arms and rub them roughly with a dish towel to get the itchiness to go away.)

Fitness stuff is sometimes baby steps; the walk is good general body movement, but also good is the online exercise program that focuses on hips and uses sensors for one leg to monitor my progress, and this week and next it is supposed to have some extra stretches after the workout, but I'm not finding them. Since I didn't get the walk this morning I'll take time and poke around more to see if I can track down the stretches.

Note finished, franked, and ready to go out in the mail today. It helps put the baggage of what evolved into a really awful workplace behind me.

If the humidity drops later this morning I can go mow the front lawn to get some walking around. A lot of that front yard work is in and out of the shade of my various trees so isn't too bad. I'd rather have the heat than the humidity.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Aug 21 - 09:43 PM

The shower was nice, but today was another really hot day and there may be a repeat this evening. We managed a morning walk and I've started the oldest dog on a 2x a day veterinary aspirin to help with some of his arthritis discomfort. He is always the slowest on our walks.

I'm reminded by the Courier thread that when it gets this hot I usually put an ice-filled cooler on the porch with bottled water, so I'll set that up for tomorrow. The rest of the week is supposed to be a scorcher (100o each day).

I have a list of stuff to do, but it was a kind of lazy day. Some reading, a nap, and picking up a little bit around the house. I have a couple of online courses to take that I'd like to finish by the weekend and I have some research to do for some docent work I'm planning to start in the fall at a local art museum. Today I found myself working on a note of congratulations for a former co-worker who was in the worst possible situation work-wise, such that I didn't even try to make friends, but I always felt like there could have been a friendship under different circumstances. She landed in the middle of a toxic administrative office, and I warned her before I left that if she didn't get out she'd be forever tainted by the other two in her administrative triad. I'm glad to know that she landed on her feet at the top post of the library in the institution she has moved to. This is the kind of note that says "I'm sorry we were never friends but I'm really glad you've moved out and I hope you make new friends." It isn't easy to write, but at the same time, I'm glad to be able to write it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Aug 21 - 10:14 PM

Whichever of us makes it first must report back. It sounds like it's a savory soup - the only sweetness comes from grenadine, which I never use but when I look it up is both sweet and tart. This is the kind of recipe that brings ingredients into the house that don't get used for anything else, so I hope this is a good soup and I make it more than once. :)

The patio shower is ready for a rinse before bedtime. It's still 90o out right now (it was at least 100o today) and it will feel wonderful.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 24 Aug 21 - 10:10 PM

Beaver:

A bit less hot or lower humidity made for a glorious day. I finished a bunch of pots and hope there is a kiln load but will fire regardless, hopefully tomorrow as all is outside in the woodshed (open all four sides) so breeze can do its work. Managed to get up a bit early this am and have BF done by about 9; worked diligently, pushing a bit towards the end.

snack, then off to "get things done": A form to renew health card initiated a trip to Service Ontario without high expectations. The sing on the door stated firmly "by appointment only" but there was no one there but staff who kindly did both driver's license and health card, with alacrity! Saved me going to the post office for a stamp to mail the thing! That has de-cluttered my mind of those two biggies.

Hardware store to find Iron OUT for cleaner toilet; got home and found there was some - right where I put it so this one will go to QC. Also a masonry bit to drill larger holes in flat ceramic bells made many years ago and now due for ribbons to become decorative - for the shop.That is a de-clutter! And clear Gorilla glue to fix sandels before I trip over myself. And a nice chat with friend of 40 years who works there - Nah! He cannot be that old!

Grocery store: frozen fish to do up in toaster over, a la Charmion! I usually like sweet potato fries with it - in same pan - but again there were none of the Alexis seasoned ones - yummy! So I put in a 3 perogies -- slept for an hour or so! Was nice to bump into neighbour/friend of 40 years/ reeve of Twnshp for a chat! It is wonderful to talk to someone(s) other than store employees! Cheered me up! THAT is a major de-clutter!

I also do very little heat producing - cooking. Realized the bathroom is warm from water heater and freezer so I am keeping the door shut. I have a good fan in small K window to exhaust heat if I cook anything. The buckwheat cakes make me feel better so I am back to making them each am. After I cooked chick peas for hummous I put the pan outside to cool. I run the distiller at night when it is cooler. Of course, this house is so small (600sf) that with the two doors and two large windows open, I have whatever cooling is possible. The house in QC is more difficult. Without the a/c in BR it would be hopeless even though I spend my life opening and closing doors and windows!

De-cluttering the heat is paramount. As soon as the sun goes behind the west hill, it starts to cool outside and I can open the curtains and then the doors and windows. Lovely now! (10 pm) Looking forward to the gorgeous -waning- full moon again tonight. A FB friend in the UK posted a pic a few days ago and I rushed outside to have a look! Yep! Same silvery moon!

I am thinking of getting ready for winter!! This next week will be our warning as the temp drops to a more reasonable level. I need to get more wood here and prepare for the delivery in QC. A big financial de-clutter!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Aug 21 - 11:41 AM

That raspberry soup looks like a good substitute for an entre-mets sorbet. Fruity, not sweet … Hmmm.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Aug 21 - 09:52 AM

Well, then (I didn't know this is a thing), how about Raspberry soup from Epicurius. I always find their recipes to be very good. "Chilled Raspberry Soup is an extraordinary dish with incredible flavors. The tangy taste of raspberries is complemented by sherry and softened with sour cream." Don't drive after you have a bowl of this soup. :)

I filled another three pint jars with okra pickles last night (making one of them with bell instead of hot peppers) so I now have a second full case, and counting. There is another neighbor in the next block up the street from me who I've given okra to, so I'll probably make a run by her house today or tomorrow.

I have some organic chicken manure granules to sprinkle into the garden today and then it will get watered in tomorrow when it'll be time again to water. Speaking of water, down at the end of the street I could see water gushing from the street into the creek, it looks like a broken water main on the Fort Worth side of the street. I have water - this reminds me that I always need to keep bottles of water handy. There are bottles of water ready to pour on the potted plants outside beside the side door, but I'll fill a couple more to keep inside. When it stays hot for a long time the asphaltic concrete can shift and crack, taking pipes underneath with it.

Back to the first topic, I have some frozen raspberries, and am going to print out that recipe and think about making a batch. I have a friend's yard party on my calendar for early September and this might be the perfect contribution to take along.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Aug 21 - 09:31 AM

A litre is too much mashed raspberries for any batch of buckwheat cakes I would make, Dorothy, assuming I would make any, which I almost certainly won't. It's way too hot to light the stove today, and likely to remain so for the rest of the week.

I do very little real cooking these days, and no baking. If I'm feeding only myself, steamed veg and frozen fish (cooked on a tray in the toaster-oven) seems to be about my limit. Bread is flat whole-grain buns that I freeze. Protein is eggs, cheese ranging from cottage to aged Cheddar, soup with beans in it ...

Soup. That's real cooking, but I don't do it often. Every soup recipe I know makes a big batch, which I freeze in litre containers.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 23 Aug 21 - 03:58 PM

Beaver:

78 in the house at the moment and I am fine unless I move - even typing is causing discomfort. I shall soon go back to reading and a wet cloth on my neck. I feel as though I can barely breathe. This is the way my body is and always has been. Get used to it? ...

Woke up this morning (a good beginning!) and thought: I had a good sleep, I could jump up and get some work done before it gets too hot... But no. Needed a bit more bed rest, then needed BF so made buckwheat cakes with 2 cups of thawed field berries and fresh maple syrup and green tea x2... By now I was wondering if I should just give up the day, call the health clinic to find out if I were going to live. Yep, did all that and still felt super useless. Then remembering I had no unsweetened choc yesterday at all; a couple small pieces and everything cleared - I kid you not!! Buckwheat cakes also make me feel good. Maple syrup, also. I will eat the left overs for snacks today - instead of less healthy stuff.

Went out to the studio and threw 35 small (half pound/$10 pots) and one butterdish lid with what was left over. With fan blowing on me and door open. Very happily! I was productive! (for 2 hours.) Then it was lunch time.

Convinced myself a salad was a good idea: a large soup bowl of greens with crumbled blue cheese and oil and vinegar, (all I had on hand) then some already cooked pork, apples and broccoli. Then it was really hot. And getting worse. A bit more choc. settles my gut and just seems to help. Just a few grams. 28 gms = 1 oz so maybe 6-8 gms. Maybe I could weigh it into "doses" - out of curiosity. It has killed my cough and reduced mucous almost totally....

I would put the raspberries into a batch of buckwheat cakes! When we have a pineapple, I puree it and use it in the BW cakes, but usually I use the frozen field berries - thawed!

Bought buckwheat seeds at the farm supply to try them out on the yard here, and in QC - bees love it. I would not try to harvest as I have no way of hulling the seeds. But the critters will! I won't dig, just broadcast it and hope. Waiting for rain!! At worst, the little critters will eat it. Good for the soil also.

FB informs an apartment house fire in downtown (within the hour) so skipping the errands.

Back to book...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Aug 21 - 11:19 AM

I'm three jars shy of two cases of pints of pickled okra. For my friends and neighbors this will be a very good year (they will be ready to open by October or November). I eat some of it, but the locals really gobble up this stuff.

While I've spent time in the yard and the kitchen writing chores have piled up. It's time to thin that list a bit. They won't declutter anything or result in less paper on my desk, but they'll move me nearer to cool-weather projects.

I'll make another batch of babaghanouj today and I need to freeze a lot more peppers. All week it is supposed to be scorching weather, most days topping out at 100o. I overslept this morning and it was several degrees too warm to walk the dogs, so I'll make a point of getting up earlier tomorrow.

I haven't made a final canned tomato count, because while the height of the ripe tomato season has passed, fall brings the green tomatoes that are picked before the first frost. One year I made nearly two cases of green tomato relish. I'll do the same this year if the crop allows - I love that stuff but it does also make a great gift. If I start putting some of the pickled okra in quart jars I can save the remaining pint jars for relish.

Time to go pick okra then clean and fill the bird baths.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Aug 21 - 05:28 PM

Melba sauce. I have two recipes from my old Fanny Farmer Cookbook

Melba Sauce I is the one I make:

The simplest version
Crush 1 cup canned, frozen, or fresh raspberries. Strain to remove the seeds. Add 1/4 cup sugar and cook slowly for 10 minutes.

Melba Sauce II has more ingredients. It's also the one I'm finding online, so I'll post a link.
Food.com melba sauce has a good layout.

The first time I made this it was because, like you, I found myself with a container of frozen raspberries on hand. I had made a bread pudding to take to one of my small seminar classes that day and thought the raspberry would make it more special. It blew me away how good that raspberry sauce was over the pudding.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Aug 21 - 05:09 PM

I have spent two solid days listening to an audiobook, “The Great Influenza” by James M. Barry. Fine popular history — by that, I mean the kind written to tell a fascinating story about something important that really happened — and uncomfortably prescient in its concluding chapter, the obligatory “So what?” part of the book. It was published about 15 years ago.

A point the author consistently makes is that troop movements and concentrations of military personnel and industrial workers vastly magnified the impact of the 1918 pandemic, which makes me feel a lot better about the lockdowns and travel bans we have had since March 2020.

On the home front, the chest freezer is now stripped down to rather a lot of soup stock in litre containers, one litre of mashed raspberries for which I have no plans although they date from July 2020, and one litre of Marcella Hazan’s delicious tomato sauce for pasta. I think the last time I bought meat was something like six or seven weeks ago, when I got a large chicken to feed the in-laws. Nowadays I eat mostly fish or vegetarian meals.

What would you do with a litre of mashed raspberries? Not jam — I have enough raspberry jam to last me the rest of my life.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Aug 21 - 12:56 PM

Dorothy, right now the lowest temperature of the day here is around 77o, at about 7am. That's when I try to walk the dogs so they don't overheat (the pavement isn't too hot for their feet yet).

I'm processing pickled okra every couple of days; I had to pick up another gallon of apple cider vinegar to make the next batch of brine.

I've watered this morning and am now going out for a few minutes at a time to trim more limbs off of the huge native sunflowers. They're dropping branches as they dry out and the seed heads get heavy. All of that will go behind the back fence. While I'm back there emptying the sunflower carcasses I'll start cutting down some of the privet. I should get some more steps on my fitness tracker today.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 21 Aug 21 - 10:07 PM

Beaver:

Another deadly day. Instead of trying to get up and get to work, I merely accepted this was not going to happen, had a leisurely BF and drove up to the Farmers' Market where I chatted with only one person, happy with the heat! She is cold all the time; I was glad to see her out and about with her needlework for sale. Then to the Shop and a more thorough study of what sells/what our public likes. I still have a bunch to glaze and will follow these suggestions! My public is spoiled rotten with the variety I offer, a variety which drives me bonkers as I try to decide what to do with "These pots". Major de-clutter would be if I made enough/often enough to do a whole batch in "This", then the next batch in "That"!

Looks like yet another week of TOO HOT! So I shall just muddle along. Rather nice outside tonight; I read on back deck for awhile. It was still too hot to DO anything! Still 77f in the house at 10 pm, with two fans pulling in "cooler" air. Feels fine as long as I don't move!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Aug 21 - 09:12 PM

Jon, you inspired me to do something about my network here - the WiFi viewing network that uses Amazon Fire sticks. I've seen information lately about local television broadcasts over WiFi, so today I researched it and added the Local Broadcast "Locast" app to the Fire sticks in two rooms. I had to go through and select my favorite channels and once it was set on one television I just had to download and activate the app on the next set. I'll have to repeat that on each set with a fire stick (they're all through the house.) It's free to use but the site asks for donations, so I'll send in a modest account. I think it is a setup that can stream broadcast channels in certain communities. The thing about this is that in a couple of rooms in the house the outside HD antenna doesn't pick up one of the major networks, but I'll be able to stream it through the WiFi, so the most practical application of this is to get that last local channel to play in those rooms.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 21 Aug 21 - 11:41 AM

Sane is the standard on Linux, SRS and it can "just work". There would be no reason for you to want it. The most complicated part of my set is, believe it or not, is getting the buttons to work. Than needs something called scanbd Between that and Sane itself, I got myself in a mess where I couldn't see what was blocking what... (mostly permission problems in more that one place).


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

Jon, when I clicked on your SANE link I see that it is compatible with my devices, but I have my scanner set up the way I want and don't need external connections. I suspect you're doing all of these setups around the house just to prove you can! :)

I know what you mean about hit or miss in the garden. I'm waiting to see if cooler weather gives the chard a boost, right now it's small and not doing much. The tomatoes are about done (they may revive in the fall) and the okra has exploded with pods, but the ants are moving in and I need to knock them down a bit. I'll spray a mix of spinosad and orange oil onto all of the plant stems on the inside of the jungle, and sprinkle in some ant bait in case any of these are fire ants.

I canned four jars of pickled okra yesterday and have about as many to do again today. The case of jars from the pantry has gone through the dishwasher and is ready for the next batch. Tomatoes need blanching, dicing, and freezing again today. I may be sending friends and family home with pints of frozen tomatoes this fall.

The dog walk was different this morning; I took the two younger dogs on their own walk around the neighborhood, and upon returning to the house grabbed the old guy and walked him up one side of the street and backdown the other, about a 1/4 mile total for him. I wanted to see how he was doing on his own; I think lately we've been dragging him along more than he likes, and he is getting pretty old and arthritic. The other benefit of this second walk is that my mileage went up on the Google Fit (it does a very good job now of tracking my walk, but it does draw down the battery fast if you leave it on all day.) I've ordered a 12-hour chewable aspirin for him, to see if that helps (I'll call the vet to see what they say about using this.) Also ordered dog food (over $50 and I get free shipping) and if I order at least a week out from when I need it that seems to be about right. I like the products from Tractor Supply but around here there are a lot of non-masked shoppers in the store who occasionally smirk when I walk in with a mask in place. It was a love-hate relationship with management and masks all during 2020, when I did a lot of curbside pickup, and if they are willing to ship 60 pounds of dog food for free, that's no skin off of my nose!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 21 Aug 21 - 05:30 AM

Scanners have occupied my last two days. It started with the decision to get rid of mum’s scanner in the study. That led me to revising/restoring the set up for the scanner in my room. I decided to move the USB only scanner to a Raspberry Pi so it could be shared without the need for my desktop PC on and it took me ages to get the settings right.

Anyway, I got where I wanted to be with that. The scanner is shared on the network via Sane. My Androids can use it via Sane Droid, amongst other options, my scanner (Java) program will work with it on Linux and even Windows if I wanted it. I’ve arranged the scanner buttons so that I have, Colour jpeg, colour and mono pdf, colour and mono print to my photo printer and colour and mono print to the study laser printer – all at resolutions, etc. suitable for quick general use.

I might have finished there but in trying to establish what was working where, I noticed that xsane was producing better scans than my attempt and even better was VueScan I’d downloaded to try. Particularly intriguing was its 64bit RGBI format. I get the idea (and the no Linux version available silverfast has something similar called HRDI) and can get an infra red scan with transparencies but piecing that together with a regular scan to eliminate marks is way beyond me… I’ve made a compromise instead. I’ve got a USB switch coming today and the scanner will be switchable between the pi for normal sharing and work and my desktop where in can be used with the (now purchased) VueScan if there is ever a need for “best quality” scans.

It’s probably all a bit silly considering the small amount of use a scanner usually gets here but, for now, I’ll consider it a job well done.

Elsewhere, I’ve still got good few meals of the Nicola salad potatoes (which have stayed good despite the tops I cut off showing the signs of blight) to come. We’ve had a couple of meals with the aubergines, I’ve got one bag of them stewed up with courgettes in the freezer and more ready to pick. The Swiss Chard has been delicious, lettuce are abundant (think well have to try a soup). A surprise was a free packet of carrot seed (which I think came with Gardeners World magazine) I just threw in a tub. Not thinned out and of course a lot were very small but I picked out one meal’s worth of useable ones and I (and mum does likewise) reckon their the sweetest carrots I’ve ever tasted. I should get another 2 pickings from the tub.

Some disappointments too. Outside the odd stray one, I’ve yet to pick ripe tomatoes and am not going to get a “cooking quantity”. French climbing beans struggled, my brassica doesn’t look too happy, rhubarb never came to anything worth picking… But at least we’ve had and are getting something to enjoy and I don’t think it’s been the best of growing years in this area.

I’ve left the porch floor till next year and I’m almost certain to defer the green shed clear out too now. I feel I should have done better than I have so far this year but lack of motivation for some jobs, the weather and getting distracted by other things have all been factors.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Aug 21 - 10:42 PM

Cheese blintzes! Don, you remind me that I really enjoyed making crepes a couple of years ago (it was for a dessert when family were here - so not during 2020!)

Dorothy, your Dan is my Antonio. I haven't seen him for a while and I'm sure he's busy mowing and putting up fences and such; when I need something done I give him a call and because I've recommended him so often he makes a point of trying to come by fairly soon after the request goes in. We know who our friends are. :) I have a couple of trees that aren't near the power lines that he can take care of (I need to hire a company insured for working near power lines for the others.)

My neighbors on both sides are very happy to receive generous quantities of fresh okra from the garden. I canned a half-gallon of okra (pickles) today and gave away another half-gallon fresh and still have that much in the fridge to use tomorrow. I should fry some and take them over to the across-the-street neighbor with COPD - I know she loves fried okra, but she doesn't cook much now. There are three in that household, so maybe I should get out the deep fryer.

I was looking at my potted plants this evening—I have some trimmings given me by a friend that are growing nicely outside in pots and now need a place in the yard. Everything he suggests and offers samples of seem to grow well, and it means I need to work on the beds some more. As fall approaches it's time to thin some iris and I may put some of my friends plants in those beds.

Our yards and houses reflect our interests and our friends' gifts - this is as it should be!


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Mudcat time: 26 October 4:35 PM EDT

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