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De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021

Stilly River Sage 21 Jul 21 - 02:37 PM
Charmion 21 Jul 21 - 02:11 PM
Donuel 21 Jul 21 - 12:29 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Jul 21 - 11:05 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Jul 21 - 11:51 AM
Charmion 19 Jul 21 - 10:51 AM
Donuel 19 Jul 21 - 07:01 AM
Stilly River Sage 17 Jul 21 - 11:32 AM
Stilly River Sage 16 Jul 21 - 05:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Jul 21 - 11:27 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jul 21 - 11:15 PM
Dorothy Parshall 15 Jul 21 - 04:11 PM
Jon Freeman 15 Jul 21 - 11:30 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jul 21 - 10:58 AM
Jon Freeman 15 Jul 21 - 10:42 AM
Donuel 15 Jul 21 - 10:42 AM
Charmion 15 Jul 21 - 10:03 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jul 21 - 12:23 AM
Jon Freeman 14 Jul 21 - 06:01 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Jul 21 - 04:52 PM
Jon Freeman 14 Jul 21 - 01:57 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Jul 21 - 11:25 AM
Jon Freeman 14 Jul 21 - 06:39 AM
JennieG 14 Jul 21 - 02:24 AM
mg 14 Jul 21 - 12:59 AM
Stilly River Sage 14 Jul 21 - 12:20 AM
JennieG 13 Jul 21 - 10:15 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jul 21 - 08:05 PM
Jon Freeman 13 Jul 21 - 06:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jul 21 - 03:54 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Jul 21 - 12:38 PM
Charmion 12 Jul 21 - 10:13 AM
Jon Freeman 12 Jul 21 - 08:12 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Jul 21 - 06:11 PM
Charmion 11 Jul 21 - 01:48 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Jul 21 - 12:23 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jul 21 - 08:07 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jul 21 - 01:13 AM
Charmion's brother Andrew 09 Jul 21 - 06:50 PM
Dorothy Parshall 09 Jul 21 - 06:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Jul 21 - 03:05 PM
Charmion 09 Jul 21 - 01:37 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Jul 21 - 11:49 AM
Sandra in Sydney 08 Jul 21 - 06:16 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jul 21 - 04:16 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jul 21 - 11:42 AM
Sandra in Sydney 07 Jul 21 - 11:00 AM
Charmion 07 Jul 21 - 10:18 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jul 21 - 06:16 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jul 21 - 10:50 AM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Jul 21 - 02:37 PM

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Life is finding a new normal. Hurrah for that.


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

The house smells great!


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

BEAVER:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

Now to tackle the compost.


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

I really really like green......


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

i use stainless steel pots for compost.


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jul 21 - 08:07 PM

The pants had a rather involved construction but were straight-legged, so we managed to remove 7 inches and make them work for my 5' tall friend. (She said the regular size cost about $30, the petite were closer to $90, hence the adjustments.) And we picked tomatoes before she left, and spotted some deep in the thicket that were overripe and fermenting. Whoosh - I later got those out and tossed into the compost because I don't want to attract pests.

I did more small (single pint) batch canning this afternoon with ripe tomatoes. It doesn't take up nearly as much space and the water heats very quickly. I held back a couple of perfect ripe ones to go in a salad tonight with basil, mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar. Summertime dinner!

I managed to spill a drink of iced tea on my friend and since she had an extra pair of pants (that also needed pinning up) she wore those. Oops. Usually it's the dogs who get in there and cause chaos.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jul 21 - 01:13 AM

Three large very ripe tomatoes were blanched, diced, brought to a simmer, then hot packed and are now a pint and a half of diced tomatoes. Yes, they were that large. I had some in the fridge that had parts trimmed off (attacked in the garden) that were blanched and went into a batch of marinara sauce (my tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and oregano are in it, along with Italian sausage, onion, red wine and sliced mushrooms from the freezer, and tomato paste). And still have have two large flats full of ripening tomatoes, a bowl full of really ripe tomatoes, and a bunch on the windowsill. There are a lot more in the garden also, and I picked more peppers and okra today.

Tomorrow I'm going to slice, bread, and fry some eggplant to take to my neighbor across the street who loves it but doesn't cook any more. With COPD she doesn't do much of anything any more. I have a friend coming in the afternoon who needs help shortening her rain pants for a trip to Iceland next month (my friend is very short and doesn't want to fall over into one of Iceland's many waterfalls because she tripped over the cuffs of her pants.) She offered any price to help - but I don't want my friend in that waterfall either, so of course there isn't a charge for this kind of sewing work. I wonder if I should point her in Skarpi's direction? Wouldn't that give a wonderful twist to the vacation?

So, salsa yesterday, tomatoes and Marinara sauce today. The house smells great, the pantry is going to start filling up, and I've spent a lot of time washing out pots and I'm running the dishwasher two days in a row. I have yet to get down the steam juicer, the real star of the food processing kitchen. I could steam tomatoes and make sauce and juice, could steam grapes for jelly, or even put a chicken in it and come up with some kind of non-boiled boiled chicken. At this point in time I could choose to dice and can all of the tomatoes and have them to use for the next couple of years, but I still have some left from last year, so it's more prudent to spread them around in different products of the kitchen. And we aren't to pickle or jelly season yet so I need to think about keeping some shelf space available.

I do love my garden, but it keeps me busy thinking of creative ways to use everything that comes out of it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 09 Jul 21 - 06:50 PM

Wow, Charmion! Thank you for that.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 09 Jul 21 - 06:14 PM

Dupont:

Still waiting for R to do something about his Drivers license so I can go back to beaver. Missing the berry season and the turtle nesting season. Really want to go home!

Plants are in good order here; green tomatoes, lots of basil. Bought manure for the front garden as even the oregano was doing poorly. Added a few more ornamentals which I could not resist. I hope it rains enough to keep outdoor plants watered while I am away. Have organized indoor ones in very large saucers (12 inches or so) holding multiple small plants so less fiddly for R. He might even think to check tomatoes and wax beans?

Cooler weather has been wonderful, and rain. Hall closet well organized so I can just remove things to take to Beaver, some of which will leave there for thrift shops or for Pat to make into something - an old down quilt if she wants to... Very helpful to have that triage area.

Cleared out some boxes deemed disposable. And moved some to a distant cabinet, making more room in pantry. R removed some things to cellar! We might even move into this house - pics on wall that are not just placed wherever there happens to be a nail in the wall already, for example.

When it was hot I did nothing other than a bit of cooking. When it cooled I did the outdoor work. No pots have been made. Hope I will have more energy for that when I get back to Beaver - lots to glaze and fire. And Pat is pushing for more "$10 pieces"; they, of course sell well and she has the shop open according to the rules, still carefully. Quebec is excited about being "green" now; I am not impressed; may never feel safe without a mask!

R and I discussed the possibility of refurbishing the garage into a studio for me. I need to find a competent carpenter. No Dan here!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Jul 21 - 03:05 PM

That's a great use of the extra flour - it has probably already been converted into loaves at that Food Centre. The local fridge for the "food dessert" on the Near Southside of town is closed during the summer because it was situated in a box-like shelter outdoors facing south and couldn't stay cold enough in the summer heat. Normally they take things needing refrigeration (dairy, etc.) but no meat because at any time of year they can't guarantee that the meat was handled properly and that the fridge will stay cold enough until someone claims it. They're taking pantry items only there right now, so I can drop off freshly picked vegetables (they don't do well in a fridge anyway). I'm about to that point, especially with the eggplant. I left a bag of them at the doctor's office this morning when I went in for the blood draw.

This summer I'm going to resume the very small batch processing of the tomatoes because there are a few that are ripe and need using now, they can't wait for the whole couple of flats-full to ripen. This will be using the asparagus steamer I bought last summer. This is the same steamer that when I opened it just now smelled like the perfume of candle wax because it was a lifesaver during the February freeze and power outage here (a candle inside and a rack across the top for a small pan to keep water hot). I'm also going to cook (bread, pan fry) some eggplant for the neighbor across the street. She loves that but doesn't cook any more.

Company's coming tomorrow so I need to pick up around here and make a run to Goodwill to drop off donation items in the way now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 09 Jul 21 - 01:37 PM

Today, I decluttered the pantry of five pounds of whole wheat flour, five pounds of rye flour, and an untouched jar of instant yeast. Then I decluttered the freezer of five striploin steaks, a large quantity of active dry yeast in a half-litre Mason jar, and an entire brisket, trimmed and ready for the smoker. The frozen meat was all vacuum-sealed with my FoodSaver.

All of it went to the Local Community Food Centre, a non-profit agency that promotes food security in small towns like Stratford. They have an allotment garden and a greenhouse, they teach people to cook, and they make meals for people whose incomes fall short of their needs. My favourite charity, right up there with the Lung Association.

I was afraid that the Local could not accept donations of foods that were not commercially sealed, but the nice lady in charge of logistics said that the frozen meat is packaged as well as anything from Sobey’s, and the flour (delivered in airtight plastic canisters) will go right into their kitchen, along with the yeast.

So that’s off my conscience. It took me all winter to work my way through Edmund’s five pounds of hamburger, which I had frozen in six-ounce patties, and cooking the brisket would require a heroic effort and a large party of diners — unlikely in the foreseeable future. I haven’t made bread since Edmund died, and it took me till Easter to eat the loaves I had stashed in the fridge freezer.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jul 21 - 11:49 AM

I feel like I did ten rounds with Ali after all of that slow motion back and forth for two or three hours of making salsa. This morning I let the kettle start heating water for tea while I washed, dried, and replaced the big stuff used in the process. There is simply no room in a kitchen for all of those big pots and the food processor to air dry.

The food processor was on my xmas list a couple of years ago and has come in very handy. I had one before, but it was too small. This one has a motor that can dispatch a bowl full of peppers or onions in seconds. It comes up with very creamy hummus, and the biggest factor for getting this model, it can process a full recipe of falafel.

Anyway, the recipe is a classic from the Blue Ball Book and I now have canned salsa to last for a while. The tomatoes, bell and poblano peppers, and garlic were from my garden. I bought onions and cilantro (though in the past I have grown them also, but this isn't the best season for onions and cilantro is a cool season herb around here.) The house smells heavenly - that combination of apple cider vinegar, onions, peppers, and garlic is hanging in the air.

All of that walking didn't show up on my fitness tracker because that operates by my swinging my arm as I walk. I should have turned on the Google Fit and left my phone in my pocket. Anyway, this morning I was greeted by cool jars and a sink full, but now I've had my cuppa tea, the sink is empty, some is in the dishwasher, two cases of canning jars are out of the dishwasher and ready for the next adventures.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 08 Jul 21 - 06:16 AM

Stilly, I've always been a late bird.

I started work in 1970 & 5 years later the Federal Public Service went to Flexi time - start between 7 & 10, finish between 3 & 7, do at least the proper number of hours over a fortnight, &/or save time for a day off.

Some weird colleagues, those who wake before the birds, jumped at the chance to work 7-3 (sandra shakes head in amazement!) I chose to work 10-7 & retired in 2007.

last night's bedtime was 2am, & I get up around 9.

sandra


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Jul 21 - 04:16 PM

I dispute the refund the IRS revised way downward for last year's taxes, and spent a couple of hours finishing the letter and assembling the bits of my return process, plus pointing out the glaring human error on their end about something they say I can't claim that I in fact didn't and have never claimed. I assembled it and then took a shot at "calling the IRS" - something one does not do lightly. After entering lots of numbers and listening to recordings and making choices - it seems this line is too busy on that topic and I have to call back on another business day. No. Way. This has been printed and is in a Priority envelope, heading to the post office right now.

Whew. This was something I put off for a long time, it wasn't pleasant, but I am not going to redo my math when the error is theirs, not mine (they say I can't reduce my income by the amount I paid in alimony last year. Huh?)

Now to empty the dishwasher and load it with canning jars. And I need to walk over and take a look at the grape vines. It has been a wet and cool year so I'm guessing if there are grapes they'll be ready in a week or two. (Who knows - maybe they are all now dried raisins because I missed the season. Will report back.)

Thyroid recheck later this week and I'm looking forward to getting results back. Hopefully we'll hit the sweet spot in the dosage after this.


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

Sandra, I have some "blue blocker" glasses I try to remember to use in the evening on the computer or Kindle reader (these are "readers" I picked up after the cataract surgery because I need help with close vision now). I'm terrible about getting to bed before midnight. Do you have a trick?

I've cleaned the stovetop, done a load of dishes, and am now pulling out the big pots for canning. It's time for salsa first, then we'll see about canning tomatoes, or maybe this time making sauce and juice and leave diced for later. I have at least a case of whole (very small) or diced from last year still to use, but no homemade sauce right now. And I love having the juice (I usually freeze that). With all of this, it's time to move the Kitchen Queen/Hoosier Kitchen that sits at an angle across the corner of the kitchen and is where I stash a stool and an oscillating fan on a stand that get used during canning. The stool is the right height to hold jars for decanting juices from the steam juicer at the stove, and the fan keeps the kitchen livable with all of the hot water going for blanching, cooking, and processing.

I have so many things I need to do in addition to this, but the tomatoes and peppers are ripe now and can't wait.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 07 Jul 21 - 11:00 AM

Tonight I finally rang my cousin. I've been meaning to for weeks (months?) & put it off several times this week - after dinner, too late now, tomorrow, can't be bothered, all excuses!

She is next in line for some family stuff as my sister is not a collector/accumulator - she lives a very sparse life, probably something to do with 15 moves in the 17 years she lived as an expat, tho they didn't have a lot of extraneous stuff before they went overseas!

I haven't seen my cousin since her wedding in the 80s (we weren't close to our cousins) & we had a lovely chat & will get together at some stage, & she was pleased to be offered the the family stuff. I emailed her the list. Sydney is in a short lockdown at the moment (3 weeks, 1 to go, hopefully not to be extended as my folk club meets the following week, fingers crossed.)

Now I only have 10 items on my list. Another pat on the back
Action - bed time in 5 mins so I've started an email to one acquaintance re an unwanted collection & will fill it in in the morning.

Can't find the correspondence about another collection, & haven't got time to look further now.

now it's 1 min to shutting down

TO BE CONTINUED


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Charmion
Date: 07 Jul 21 - 10:18 AM

This summer is officially wet: I found a patch of slime mould on the mulch in my back flowerbed. It looks like vomit, but it's harmless and good for the soil. And I don't have to look at it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jul 21 - 06:16 PM

The front mowing is finished but I didn't trim. And we're getting another welcome little rain shower in the late afternoon (it sounds wonderful on the window). Trouble is, with the rain that makes the garden happy comes the humidity that makes all meat creatures unhappy.

Dog ears need attention, says the vet. Drops and head shaking for the next couple of weeks for the Lab, then I'll take him back and do blood work also. It seems, based upon observation, that he may have a thyroid shutting down - a major clue is that he hasn't finished blowing his winter coat yet. The last two weeks have been a major veterinary hit on the pocketbook - I can't wait until the airlines have regular postal runs going across the Atlantic again, the cost of these American heartworm medications is huge. I pay 1/3 to 1/2 of the US price by buying abroad. I could have ordered the ear drop liquid somewhere else, the temp vet didn't have a problem, but the staff member holding the bottle looked so sad when I was looking it up online on my phone. They get you with those puppy-dog looks.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jul 21 - 10:50 AM

Yesterday evening I was actually doing that mowing I've intended for weeks, and was on the second of three sections of the yard when the heavens opened in an unexpected and lovely heavy thunderstorm. I was on the next door neighbor's side of a strip we share in mowing and had to dodge under their eaves for a few minutes before it slowed. I got in one more row and "whoosh!" came the rest of it. I guess this works as a rain dance. I was out this morning spraying a foliar feeding mix (with Spinosad to try to knock out the leaffooted bugs) and the lawn is still too wet with dew. I need to run errands, but when I'm back and it should be mowable.


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Mudcat time: 16 October 10:28 PM EDT

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