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FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux

Stilly River Sage 31 Dec 21 - 06:02 PM
Stilly River Sage 31 Dec 21 - 10:36 PM
Charmion 01 Jan 22 - 09:57 AM
Mrrzy 01 Jan 22 - 11:17 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Jan 22 - 01:19 PM
Dorothy Parshall 01 Jan 22 - 06:57 PM
keberoxu 01 Jan 22 - 08:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Jan 22 - 10:11 PM
Charmion 02 Jan 22 - 08:36 AM
Dorothy Parshall 02 Jan 22 - 10:25 AM
Stilly River Sage 02 Jan 22 - 03:42 PM
Sandra in Sydney 03 Jan 22 - 07:08 AM
pattyClink 03 Jan 22 - 12:12 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 Jan 22 - 12:23 PM
Charmion 03 Jan 22 - 03:32 PM
Sandra in Sydney 03 Jan 22 - 04:26 PM
pattyClink 03 Jan 22 - 04:45 PM
JennieG 03 Jan 22 - 08:07 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 Jan 22 - 09:15 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jan 22 - 12:29 PM
Donuel 04 Jan 22 - 12:53 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jan 22 - 02:20 PM
Donuel 04 Jan 22 - 05:05 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jan 22 - 09:52 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Jan 22 - 11:42 AM
Mrrzy 05 Jan 22 - 01:04 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Jan 22 - 03:12 PM
Donuel 05 Jan 22 - 06:31 PM
Jon Freeman 06 Jan 22 - 08:45 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jan 22 - 12:56 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jan 22 - 11:58 AM
Charmion 07 Jan 22 - 01:05 PM
Steve Shaw 07 Jan 22 - 01:25 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jan 22 - 02:46 PM
keberoxu 07 Jan 22 - 04:33 PM
Sandra in Sydney 07 Jan 22 - 05:24 PM
Charmion 07 Jan 22 - 06:42 PM
Donuel 07 Jan 22 - 07:09 PM
JennieG 07 Jan 22 - 07:09 PM
Steve Shaw 08 Jan 22 - 09:07 AM
Charmion 08 Jan 22 - 11:17 AM
pattyClink 08 Jan 22 - 11:24 AM
Steve Shaw 08 Jan 22 - 11:35 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 Jan 22 - 12:29 PM
Donuel 08 Jan 22 - 12:43 PM
Jon Freeman 08 Jan 22 - 01:17 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Jan 22 - 11:10 AM
Charmion 09 Jan 22 - 05:45 PM
JennieG 09 Jan 22 - 06:43 PM
Steve Shaw 09 Jan 22 - 07:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Jan 22 - 09:42 PM
Sandra in Sydney 10 Jan 22 - 04:09 AM
Steve Shaw 10 Jan 22 - 05:22 AM
Charmion 10 Jan 22 - 10:23 AM
Steve Shaw 10 Jan 22 - 11:44 AM
Charmion 10 Jan 22 - 11:51 AM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jan 22 - 12:21 PM
keberoxu 10 Jan 22 - 12:30 PM
Charmion 10 Jan 22 - 12:49 PM
Steve Shaw 10 Jan 22 - 01:16 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jan 22 - 03:30 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Jan 22 - 11:32 AM
Dorothy Parshall 11 Jan 22 - 04:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Jan 22 - 08:32 PM
Charmion 11 Jan 22 - 10:04 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Jan 22 - 12:35 AM
Steve Shaw 12 Jan 22 - 06:04 AM
Charmion 12 Jan 22 - 09:52 AM
Charmion's brother Andrew 12 Jan 22 - 10:42 AM
Stilly River Sage 12 Jan 22 - 01:16 PM
Dorothy Parshall 12 Jan 22 - 07:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Jan 22 - 10:18 PM
Dorothy Parshall 13 Jan 22 - 05:26 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jan 22 - 10:07 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Jan 22 - 02:22 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Jan 22 - 11:54 PM
Charmion 15 Jan 22 - 07:59 AM
Donuel 15 Jan 22 - 11:41 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jan 22 - 12:22 PM
Dorothy Parshall 15 Jan 22 - 01:29 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jan 22 - 02:13 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jan 22 - 11:08 PM
Charmion 16 Jan 22 - 08:47 AM
Dorothy Parshall 16 Jan 22 - 09:20 AM
Dorothy Parshall 16 Jan 22 - 09:48 AM
Dorothy Parshall 16 Jan 22 - 10:44 AM
Stilly River Sage 16 Jan 22 - 02:06 PM
Thompson 17 Jan 22 - 04:33 AM
Thompson 17 Jan 22 - 04:43 AM
Charmion 17 Jan 22 - 09:12 AM
Stilly River Sage 17 Jan 22 - 12:39 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Jan 22 - 09:12 PM
Charmion 17 Jan 22 - 09:18 PM
Dorothy Parshall 17 Jan 22 - 11:55 PM
Sandra in Sydney 18 Jan 22 - 03:53 AM
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Subject: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Dec 21 - 06:02 PM

I ended the last thread with a screed about 2021. Rather than start this new year with all of that negative energy, I split the post between these two threads. Here is the last thread, coded to appear in descending order.

Fitness in the title comes first this year, and it needs to come first this year for me. Over the course of the pandemic I've become much better at exercising at home now, using the Hinge Health app (paid for by insurance), and with this development I may go ahead and add the Silver Sneakers exercises as well. I started the Hinge program during the summer and they have you step up the exercises for the first few months. I am up to their full 15 minutes a day routine. I enjoy going to the gym, but COVID has made that feel like a reckless move, and while 15 minutes a day doesn't sound like a lot, it's a lot better than not doing anything.

I'm not good at setting resolutions and following through; in fact, setting a resolution pretty much confirms that I won't do it just because of what it is. So I'm not an expert at inspiring others in this; I am inspired when people who have been lurking drop in to share their news of making a decision to clear out the extra and then go ahead and do it. They don't spend time telling us about it, just report at the end. I know that for Katlaughing, who was the originator of these threads, it started out as a process for her, but as her health failed, she stuck around for the camaraderie. It's a mix of that for most of the regulars here, and we are always happy to have new stories and descriptions of challenges come along.

For many people, 2021 was huge self-inflicted wound. Many of the problems we are seeing now, the stresses on the health care system, are the result of that lack of care (and lack of sharing resources) for the world around. Hospitalized cases of COVID are about 90% unvaccinated. People who are fully vaccinated and boosted are also getting sick, though generally not as bad. What to do this new year?

For now - I will stay home. 2022 will probably be best served by each of us making a list, a serious list heavily-weighted toward things that we want to accomplish in our homes that require little or no shopping or outside assistance. Finish old projects. Everyone needs to hunker down in place for a few weeks and avoid Omicron. What projects will you do? Mine will be two-fold - to start listing lots of items on eBay, and to do more sewing. I now have two holiday gifts and a bunch of masks to make. On nice days I'll finally start digging the hole and setting the post for the gate I want to install next to the garage. I have the posts, the concrete and the gate, and can order the hardware online and have it shipped.

Stay healthy and be happy this year. More than ever this will be a personal project we each have to map out for ourselves. I look forward to reading each of your plans for this venture.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Dec 21 - 10:36 PM

The new year comes in with a bang (fireworks outside, never mind they're not legal) and a minor cooking miscalculation leading to a smoky house—I'm going to do my exercises, close the doors, and head to bed. Pepper is wearing her thunder shirt and has been hunkered down in the hall outside the bedrooms.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Jan 22 - 09:57 AM

The big-ass microwave left the building yesterday; straining every muscle and sinew, I hauled it up the basement stairs and out to the car. At Habitat for Humanity, it was greeted with glad cries and eager hands, and I drove away feeling substantially relieved.

I weighed myself this morning and found that — despite all the booze and sweeties I could consume without making myself sick — I gained less than a kilo over Christmas.

New Year’s Eve was spent cooking, and this morning I put two litres of jellied beef stock and four litres of ham-and-bean soup in the freezer.

It’s grey and damp today in Stratford, with very little snow on the ground and none in the forecast. Everything is closed except the emergency pharmacy and one gas station. I think I’ll clean the bathroom and spend the rest of the day reading.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Jan 22 - 11:17 AM

I somehow lost another 3 kg since August. I am not looking for them.

I am, however, looking for the purple leather glove I dropped. I still have its mate... stole the pair from my mom in my college years. Google is not helping me replace them.

Bought some presents but kept most of'm for me. Sevetal stuffed animals originally intended for various babies, notably.

Oh, wait, *de*clutter. Oops!


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Jan 22 - 01:19 PM

I need to put a new battery in my electronic scale, I haven't used it in quite a while. The news won't be good if I do, but I have been making a diet shift in the last couple of months that should eventually show up. I'm making a concerted effort to have different colors of vegetables and fruits in my diet; not just green salads or broccoli, but red beets, oranges, yellow squash, etc. Broccoli is a good green, but so are asparagus and zucchini, etc. - getting different plant families in there. This has been suggested in the health notes part of my Hinge exercise program, and also turns up in places like the little Consumer Reports health book they send out to subscribers.

Making this a personal goal was capped off after hearing a local NPR radio interview program with a science writer for Harvard and other places of note. Mark Schatzker's book is The End of Craving: Recovering the Lost Wisdom of Eating Well, in which "craving" was a good thing - it was your body telling you it needed something. Processed food, with so many vitamins added (a long-standing practice in things like milk and breakfast cereal, going back to before WWII) it short-circuits our own sense of what we might really need. I've taken several of the supplements out of my daily routine, so when shopping and the asparagus or the onions really appeal to me, I buy them to use. Spinach is something I'm eating more of because it really appeals to me. This process also means that getting off of sugar addiction, off of daily alcohol, etc., is important, because they become part of our routine and can be an unhealthy craving.

Michael Pollan has been writing about this for years, and there are other authors out there who have been whistling in the wilderness. It took realizing that dietary supplements were a culprit to help me shift my practices. I took a core of basic supplements, C, A, E, etc., but would never touch a product like those "Balance of Nature" things advertised on AM radio that are "a full day's supply of fruits and vegetables" in their doses (those are probably are going to kill people.) I'm surprised the FDA hasn't shut them down by now.

This isn't something that is a new year resolution, I've been working on this for several months and plan to continue with it.

Good job with the microwave donation, Charmion! They will find a good home (and perhaps on a counter or rolling cart so moving it won't continue to be an Olympic event)! The box I took to UPS yesterday was 16 pounds, it had a cast iron pot and lid. It cleared a couple of square feet of space in the front room, and now that my dining table is emptied (I put away the ornament boxes) I can use it to stage a few more items to list this week. The photo cube is in the front room but I can put the boxes and packing material in the den. Especially for the first couple of weeks when I'll isolate here to avoid Omicron, there will be no social occasion requiring a large table top. (A good note - so far my elderly friend and her son who were exposed to the daughter/sister's COVID have tested negative.)


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 01 Jan 22 - 06:57 PM

Dupont:

Grey and damp here today also. And was lightly drizzling when R went out after BF to de-clutter the back yard of the fallen tree. Now, the den is cluttered with several large piles of damp wood! (NOT on the wood floor!) At least a week's supply. And he enjoyed doing it!

Pineapple buckwheat cakes for BF were great - unlike the pumpkin buckwheat ones yesterday which I shall snack on until they are gone! A new veggie stew is going well and we have almost finished the turkey! I have put off the pork roast until tomorrow when the planned overs are down to a lower roar.

I seem to be improving; it does help that R was home parts of a couple days and in a better state, making a serious effort to help me find a way to cope with "no life at all!" The days are getting longer. I am concluding that omicron is probably here to stay and I will have to deal with it. But I will never be safe. The chronic cough which I thought I was controlling chose today to become incessant - though it has stopped for a little while.

My #1 son finally phoned yesterday - instead of a little kid crying because mom was gone too long, mom was on the verge of crying because "you always phone on Christmas". They had a great Christmas with family in WA and I missed it/miss family. They are visiting friends who are like family in BC next week and I could not even bother going to the Ile today on such a drismal day - maybe tomorrow... Work is commencing on their new home and my #2 GD is visiting soon with #3 GGD and #4 (in the oven). The anti-vax GD is also an angry woman so a therapeutic environment is planned.

I spent a long time today looking for a "tempo" sort of shed for the back deck - the right size was daunting but I found two possibilities; we have to wait until the stores open on Monday to see if one is actually available. The goal is to put the wood in it and still be able to walk from back door to back steps (12 feet) but not block the window and not be where the ice came crashing down last year.

That's the way the world goes round, up one day, the next your down....

The plants are my therapy; each tiny blossom is greeted with delight. That I have some blue lobelia blooming in a geranium pot gives me joy.

I looked longingly at an older G. Pyrenees on line. Too many hoops! Just as well. I guess that is a clutter of the nth degree! ...


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Jan 22 - 08:38 PM

In the week between Christmas and New Year's,
the de-cluttering which I had put off for a long time,
meant I had to book round-trip plane flights
for the first time since before the lockdown
(heck, it might have been 2019 the last time I got on a plane).

Believe me, the airlines are between a rock and a hard place.
The airport terminals are understaffed.
Such flights, as are not cancelled, have got enough staff per flight,
but of course everybody dreads being crammed close together in a tin can!
When the departing flight starts the instructions to the passengers,
along with all the other details about flotation devices and oxygen masks,
they instruct you, when you eat a snack or a drink or a meal,
to take the extra precaution of slapping the facemask back onto
your nose and mouth IN BETWEEN bites and sips.

Being after Christmas, there was no way to social-distance onboard
as those flights were booked to capacity.
I was very very careful indeed. Feeling well enough now.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Jan 22 - 10:11 PM

Dorothy, I moved several plants into the greenhouse this evening after setting up the heater. There were a few plants out there since late November that were protected enough just by being indoors, until tonight. Those put in now might not make it through a 21o night. This has been a strange winter - the last couple of weeks have had days topping out at about 80o.

This evening one of my homemade pizza crusts was thawed, cut in half, and I made a great holiday dinner of sausage pizza (with onions and peppers) and asparagus on the side. The dogs have a good nose for vegetables that they get to share, so were there beside the table waiting patiently for the bottom parts of the asparagus (I break them before I drop the tops and bottoms into boiling water, then I eat the tender tops and let the dogs have the tougher bottoms of each stalk). Usually the night after the holiday is kind of noisy, as the neighborhood hoodlums use up the rest of their fireworks, but tonight it's really cold out there so said hoodlums are indoors for now, making it a pleasant holiday for us. Last night was incredibly noisy and completely miserable for Pepper.

This afternoon I watched cheesy old Japanese monster films (Raymond Burr narrating a story of Godzilla, etc.) and did some picking up and laundry. The kitchen is looking better. The xmas lights that were out front were taken down, two strings rolled onto a holder, one string into the e-waste recycle bag (with a big chunk of lights burned out and no real way to fix them). I have boxes of unused lights I've bought on sale that I can use next year. But will I remember before I buy more light strings? I've bought lights two years in a row that I didn't use, so I probably will remember next December.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Jan 22 - 08:36 AM

Snowing in Stratford, and finally cold enough for it to hang around a while.

Around here, people leave their holiday lights up most of the winter; it’s just too miserable a job to take them down when the wind chill is doing minus lots and lots. I have two measly strands wound around my stupid little mulberry tree, so I’ll just take in the extension cord and tuck the proximal end of the lowest strand out of harm’s way until we have another snow-clearing thaw.

The cats murdered another mouse in the small hours of the night and left the corpus delicti in the middle of the bedroom rug, a Kirman that provides excellent camouflage. Having narrowly avoided stepping on it, I consigned it to the organic waste bin with a decision that, on the whole, the cats are earning their keep.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 02 Jan 22 - 10:25 AM

Dupont:

Beautiful snow falling! About 6 inches so far; -8C - not too bad. We may go to the Ile later if I feel the roads are ok. Told R I will not make BF until he chooses to appear. (Already 10am) Having a muffin for my BF but will need more soon. I love watching the snow fall. The back deck, of course, is lacking that "tent" we are hoping to acquire and R did not remove the wicker chair to the garage... He will later. It sat on deck all last winter but he seems to be taking more of an interest in home things. Fire in wood stove. Cosy.

Last eve we watched old episodes of Dragon's Den - all eve! Fri, we watched several episodes of Escape to the Country. Whatever this is that #2 son installed for me when he was here (2 years ago), has been a great help, when I am far enough out of the doldrums to remember to use it.

Popcorn as a pre-bedtime "snack" continues to be terrific - no nocturnal visits and less coughing in the night.

No snowplow yet.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Jan 22 - 03:42 PM

A favorite zipper fleece jacket is wearing out fast, but much of the problem is just that it needs new elastic. I think if I replace it in the bottom hem and the sleeves, it'll have a lot more life in it, even if it's just for wearing around the house like today. And it's great for taking a nap - if I lie on the recliner I can pull the over-size black fleece-lined hood down over my eyes and it's perfect. Into the sewing room it goes. Better this, because chances are good that if I bought a new fleece zipper hoodie, I'd have two of them, not being able to toss this one yet.

Sunny but cold, and I see I have to replace the batteries in my outside sensors for a couple of thermometers (both were gifts, and were deployed in different ways around the yard and garage.) And another battery needs checking soon - the SUV. One reason for backing into the garage is that if it needs work, just open the garage door and pop the hood, its facing the correct direction. Over the years I've had a number of AAA service calls for a dead battery in cold weather. Though I actually back in here mostly because I live at a 3-way intersection and exiting is easier this way, it's also easier for a service tech to jump the battery and then for me to drive to (used to be Sears, now it's Costco or the Nissan dealer) to get a new battery. I'm hoping to get another year on this battery before that happens.

Dorothy, understood about the plants! I didn't pick one last crop yesterday and looked out on the garden spot to see my Swiss chard drooping. But since it hadn't thawed yet I took scissors out to cut it all, then trimmed and popped it into a pot with a steamer basket. You can freeze chard before cooking (though usually you would blanch it first), so I figure this is ok. I wouldn't wait until the day got warmer and do that, there was a very narrow window of opportunity to save this (and it's a pretty red stem - another color in my vegetable rainbow diet!)


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 03 Jan 22 - 07:08 AM

Stilly - re the lights, try making a Note to Self on your Nov/December calendar to remind you about your surplus of lights.

I was visiting my neighbour who has a lot more space than me, not just by having 2 bedrooms to my one, but by not having collections, sigh, or mess - another sigh ...


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: pattyClink
Date: 03 Jan 22 - 12:12 PM

SRS, good thoughts on getting our nutritional house in order. It is a good time to take stock and set new plans in motion, in all aspects of life. I don't have them clarified yet.

But I have had great success in the past with striving for the 5-10 servings of fruit and veg in a day.

I saw an infographic that divided them into color 'families': reds, blue/purples, greens, whites, yellow/orange. If you try to get 1-2 of each group in a day, you're getting a wide range of micronutrients.   If I do that, I feel better and have much less trouble getting weight off. And it's more fun to focus on what to eat, letting the bad stuff get crowded off the board, rather than focusing on no-nos.

I routinely just stand in the produce area and look at the colors I am collecting, to be sure I have the right stuff on hand to try to get in 5 different colors in a day. Sometimes that spurs you to try different things and work with the seasons. And it helps to not be shy about just buying one or two of something, or pulling one small bunch of grapes out of those giant sacks they want you to buy. Of course SRS has a pantry of home-grown stuff to lean on, but I am stuck with what is in stores and fruit stands.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jan 22 - 12:23 PM

Good tip, Sandra!

Patty, if you're still in the RV that's quite a challenge to buy just enough so you have a couple of meals out but don't have more than will fit in the fridge. Do you keep an extra cooler handy for overflow?

I have a mix of frozen stuff (I buy strawberries and blueberries in bulk at one grocery and freeze them), fresh (lots of greens, yellows, and a couple of reds), and the pantry is mostly red and green (tomatoes, relish, pickles, okra, etc.) I started this exercise a couple of months ago, so it isn't a resolution that I would tire of quickly.

Somehow (dog managed, I think) a painted Mexican carved fish that I've had for 40 years was dislodged from a low shelf, landed on the floor and said dog chewed off much of the upper caudal fin. Now what to do with it? Toss it, or find some use that doesn't show the wounded tail? (Said dog got a scold when I found it!) Declutter by dog - another method in my toolkit.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Charmion
Date: 03 Jan 22 - 03:32 PM

Today I am learning to schedule and host meetings on Zoom. I did not want to learn any more about Zoom than I knew already, but now things are different and I have to.

Why are things different? Because the Omicron variant is surging in Ontario, and we're back in modified lockdown, that's why. As of midnight Tuesday, restaurants are limited to take-out again, gyms and schools are closed, and all kinds of other things are so inconvenient that one feels better off just doing without.

Crap.

I think I'll make myself a nice cup of tea.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 03 Jan 22 - 04:26 PM

Omicron is surging here, too & with right wing pro-business National & state governments, we are in a mess. Our Prime Minister is famous for saying he "doesn't hold a hose, mate" in the middle of our 2019/20 bushfire season when he took his family to Hawaii for a promised holiday (he lied about his destination & was forced to come back early!) Cartoonists & satirists have added to the list of things he doesn't hold - including timely vaccine supplies, leading to the 2021 Word of the Year - Strollout. Rapid antigen tests will continue to be paid for even tho he made an off the cuff remark that some people can't afford them - but businesses have to be protected - even tho some are selling individual tests for far more than the kit price, Jan 3 cartoon

In my state 20,794 new cases were reported yesterday from 96,765 official tests - a positivity rate of more than 21 per cent. Health workers are burnt out but the Premier says "our state is standing strong".

Festivals have been cancelled, & fans & businesses are voting with their feet at a large regional Country music festival - accommodation bookings are cancelled, venues cancel live music, but the Festival goes on ... My fingers are crossed for festivals later in the year.   

sandra (masked, socially distanced & sanitised) - my new signature


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: pattyClink
Date: 03 Jan 22 - 04:45 PM

The chewed fish might make a cute addition to a Beware Of Dog sign!

I've got a fairly huge (6 cubic feet) fridge. I just am determined to not waste food, so try to get just what I will use.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: JennieG
Date: 03 Jan 22 - 08:07 PM

Would the chewed fish work as an ornamental addition to a potted plant?

The large regional country music festival is in my town, and we will miss the music. It's not all "Yee-har!"; some music appeals to us and some doesn't, so we pick and choose which concerts to attend.

I am noticing, however, a certain note of paranoia creeping into news reports, which is why I don't read or watch them. We're not actively trying to get sick - heaven forbid - but we're certainly not wiping down and sanitising everything we own or touch, and we're not throwing up our hands in horror at the number of cases either. After all.....what is done, cannot be undone.

Himself does the shopping, I stay home and sew and play music. I am having a lovely time in my sewing room.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jan 22 - 09:15 PM

Today I talked my ex into getting a COVID test - he has complained about sinuses and congestion for a couple of weeks now, and if he's not going to treat his allergies with things like a 24-hour tablet (I use Zyrtec) because he "doesn't like long-lasting pills" then he needs to use some other way to determine if his stuffiness is from allergies or COVID. The symptoms of COVID (Omicron) for those who are vaccinated and boosted are milder, with some of his symptoms as part of it. He drove by and I handed out a box with two rapid tests and he has the PCR test scheduled on the weekend. I have another box of tests arriving any day now (but they don't come as fast as other Amazon sales - the vendors seem to have a backlog, not surprisingly).

I'm not washing things that come into the house any more, but any time I go into a store, the post office, etc., I use hand sanitizer when I return to the car. I wear the mask. And for now, I'm not going into any businesses if I can avoid it. I need to get some dog food later in the week so I'll order online and do curbside pickup.

It's a tough week here as we some up to the 1-year anniversary of the attempted overthrow of the U.S. Capitol. Politics and Pandemic are keeping our attention. It's time to escape into some good movies or an audiobook.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jan 22 - 12:29 PM

The calendar alert for my normal scanning appointment went off this morning, and while I'll leave those alerts in place to remind me of what day of the week it is, I'm not going anywhere with other people. I need to walk the dogs and this afternoon is forecast to be nice.

Staying home for now means I have no excuse for not getting a few things finished that are on my list. Researching my prescription insurance, sewing projects, some work in the yard. Listing on eBay. They're all staring me in the face this week.

U.S. reports over 1 million new daily Covid cases as omicron surges

  • The U.S. has reported a record single-day number of daily Covid cases, with more than 1 million new infections.

  • A total of 1,082,549 new coronavirus cases were reported Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, as the highly infectious omicron variant continues to spread throughout the country and beyond.

  • The U.S. also has the highest seven-day average of daily new cases in any country tracked by Johns Hopkins.

Unlike 2020, when there was a curfew and there were rules about masks and going into public places, there is an opaque "Declaration of Local Disaster due to Public Health Emergency" in my county. No idea what it's about. This is apparently the ninth iteration of the document.

One of the "Whereas's" includes "These measures include isolation, surveillance, quarantine, or placement of persons under public health observation, including the provision of temporary housing or emergency shelters for persons misplaced or evacuated."

I'm not hearing about any of that happening now, but the county health officials have been putting out as many testing and vaccination stations as they can. That latest declaration is in effect until March 1 of this year. Hopefully by then Omicron will have subsided (but will it be replaced by something?)

So I'm at home.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Jan 22 - 12:53 PM

To prepare for possible power outage I made 2 gallons of vegetable beef soup that turned out great. Generators are on standby, devices charged but the unknowns are more clever than me.
I watched a comic drama called 'Don't look up' on Netflix which is very timely.
While many are without food fuel water and very frightened, we are in good shape. As for books I am finishing Mel Brooks latest lunch money submission on kindle.
I am organizing an ebay sale of collectable toys called micro machines that made over a grand last time and should clear several grand for these 30 year old factory sealed toys. I knew the Gallob licensing executive in Florida and now even have the original wholesale catalogs that are the holy grail among collectors. Because several people are trying to corner the mico market, a sale is assured. The heavy 1:18 scale collection is not as desired. I don't know about the 'Cars' collection that includes all the signatures of the voice over actors at the original cast party like Jay Leno, Sharon Stone, James Taylor... Why toy collections? They are more fun than Widget Stocks. I hope to turn toys into a custom made cello from String Works in the USA. They are very accomodating with luthiers who are flexible and open minded.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jan 22 - 02:20 PM

Over the years I've read (often here at Mudcat) about the solid quality of some of the older receivers compared to what is produced today. And in general, they go for a nice price on eBay if they work or if you sell them "for parts or repair." Finding them is the trick, and getting them into the hands of those who do the repairs means some profit for me and probably a lot more profit for them (after they add the value of the repair). I find (online) and include the owners manual and usually find the remote control, if there was one (they're all sold on eBay).

There are other smaller things also. You have to stick with what you know there is a market for. The beauty of smart phones is that while in a thrift store or at an estate sale you can look up and item and find if there is a reasonable market for it.

I was watching one of those cable house remodeling programs this weekend and cringed when they took a nice antique brass chandelier and painted it chartreuse. Yuck. But someone probably sold it to them and made some money doing it.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Jan 22 - 05:05 PM

Take a toy out of the original packaging and it can lose 90% of its value. wierd
A Mississippi couple have a show my wife watches about their house makeovers. She watches it like I watch old STNG. My handyman skills pale in comparison but I can grout. In fact "I am groot."


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jan 22 - 09:52 PM

Yes, that's probably the same program, set in Laurel, Mississippi. They're a cute couple who work well together. That town, like Waco, TX, with the Magnolia folks, is getting a house-by-house makeover.

With the new year I'm trying to put some things into use around here. Case in point, a smart bulb that was free with something else I bought but never added to the network. I already have one smart bulb in the kitchen, this one is in the den, but I'm having trouble naming it so that Alexa can find it. I can use my phone to turn them on and off, but Alexa is easier.

In the last week there were too many things sitting out on the kitchen peninsula, resulting in accidentally leaving a couple of containers with food out overnight that had to be tossed into the compost. So I've cleared off the counter. An ongoing task, clearing horizontal surfaces.

Running the dishwasher and the laundry, ok for now, and waiting for Amazon to deliver the foaming root killer that I need to run down the drain every couple of months to prevent another backup like I had last month.

I've seen that image but never actually heard of a "groot." Lots of views on that clip, so apparently I'm in the minority.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Jan 22 - 11:42 AM

Today is our last sunny day before a sequence of cold descends from the upper Midwest, so I'll go scoop the leaves from the street gutter and drop them onto the lawn to mulch in. There will be more leaves, this is the first of two or three such operations during the winter.

Hospitals in regions of Texas are at 100% capacity in their ICU units; the next step is triage. Day five of the New Year and of staying home is involving phone calls to friends for a social boost each day. My radio plays public radio, and right now the administrator (the Tarrant County Court at Law Judge who is elected and who isn't really a judge) of my county is on the radio saying that the governor has taken away the county's ability to act, the governor is calling the shots (and he doesn't believe in closing down or restricting activity for COVID, etc.) so the judge can't close businesses, call a curfew, curtail school activities, etc. "Trust your physicians, quit reading some of this crap on the Internet" he says. 34% of COVID tests in Texas are coming back positive during this Omicron surge. That is HUGE.

I need an excuse to turn on and drive the SUV to keep things running, so I can take some recycling over to the village bins (outdoors, not monitored) and take a drive past the outdoor donation spot for Goodwill (set the bag into the canvas collection rolling hamper thing with no contact). The last time I left it parked for days on end I ended up with wasps nests underneath making it sound odd until the mud dropped off. No mud daubers this time of year, but still, it needs to run about once a week.

Did I mention the set of jersey (t-shirt) sheets that I've decided to donate? I don't use them often, they feel good when first put on the bed, but they're so stretchy that it's almost impossible to get in and out of bed without a struggle and the blankets bunch up too much. These sheets stay in the linen cupboard until I decide to give them another try, and am reminded again why I don't really like them. They've been laundered and to Goodwill they go, with some twine around the set and a note indicating the size. Good luck in their next home.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Jan 22 - 01:04 PM

Well, day 3 of outage means I am going to deepclean my fridge when the power comes back on!


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Jan 22 - 03:12 PM

I had to do that last year. I tried not to open the freezer so at least things were still very cold and could be cooked and used. Is your outage weather related?


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Jan 22 - 06:31 PM

The heaviest snow in 7 years.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 08:45 AM

"Take a toy out of the original packaging and it can lose 90% of its value. wierd"

Seems a shame to me and I don't see the point in a toy you can't play with. I got a couple of steam engines (Mammod traction engine and Wilesco steam roller) a few years back and I read of collectors having them never used but the fun to me is that you can (even if only occasionally in my case) fire them up and see them working.

I got one of my brothers a toy for Christmas btw. Some Fishertechnik - this tractor kit. It's great stuff. Tim, who had a set or two back in the 70s, said it was a great "blast from the past", was reminded of how he enjoyed playing with it and that he had fun making the models this Christmas.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 12:56 PM

Nostalgia has a price, and it's much higher if the toy you want to buy has never actually been played with! Toy sellers probably make a killing with all of the toys bought and put on a shelf to collect dust. My kids had Beanie Babies and kept the tags and played gently with them; good thing they enjoyed them as toys because the bottom eventually fell out of that artificial collecting marketplace.

When selling family antiques on eBay it's clear that there are target audiences for some things. I had an interesting bulky Bakelite-case hearing aid (with the box and the instructions and the advertising brochure) that was purchased by a physician who probably did audiology for a living. I still have stuff around here that my kids probably need to revisit to see if there is anything they'd like now that they're adults. My home isn't a museum, so I'm glad to look closely at most of this then pass it along to someone's collection.

Breakfast this morning looked more like a lunch or dinner, but it's part of my healthier eating program I started last fall. A Bartlett pear, a medallion of sweet potato, and two homemade rolls with a small patty of sausage each. The colors of the plant part and the protein of the meat part with a bit of a bread. No dairy this time, but most of these have some calcium in the nutrient list. We're into cold weather now so I'll start setting up the little crock pot for my overnight oatmeal (with dates). Then I'll eat that with milk and fruit on the side. Since I reduced the amount of supplements in my diet I was sometimes getting leg cramps when exercising, but by paying more attention to the variety of colors in the foods in my diet that is clearing up.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 11:58 AM

My sister is a fan of the stretch/exercise program called Essentrics by Canadian ballerina and fitness guru Miranda Esmonde-White. I found it on one of the second string PBS stations this week, various broadcast times, and catching it again last night realize they play the same episode all week. That said, this is the first time in ages I've wished for a DVR to catch these programs and build up a backlog. (I have a virtual DVR on Sling TV, but they don't broadcast any of the PBS channels that I could record.) Each year's set of exercise broadcasts comes in just north of $50, a monthly subscription is about $16 with access to all broadcasts ("cheaper than a gym" says my sister). She doesn't know that the gym I go to is paid for by Silver Sneakers (it's a big full-service gym, so that is a nice benefit). #Frugal

I have lots of options - Silver Sneakers is the big one, offered through my insurance. Hinge Health I've used for months, it's a phone app. For now I'm cobbling together routines that are free (broadcast TV, insurance, retiree benefits, etc.). The gym isn't a safe choice for now, but walking and gardening are a usual routine.

Another freeze overnight, followed by a sparkling bright day. There's a little hyacinth bulb on my kitchen windowsill to perk up the new year mornings (it's only a couple of inches tall so far, no sign of what color the flowers will be.) There are daffodils sprouting in the front yard (also just leaves, no sign of the flowers yet). The daytime temperatures will be in the 60s most of the week. I had a bowl of hot oatmeal from my little 1-quart crockpot - when it cooks overnight it's super creamy and the dates are soft and caramelized (this pot makes enough for four breakfasts that reheat in the microwave). Welcome to winter in Texas.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Charmion
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 01:05 PM

Crisp and cold in Stratford, with bright sunshine today. Normal winter weather for southwestern Ontario. One of the cardinals resident in my hedge gave me a rousing performance of his slide-whistle impression this morning, so I know all is well in his little world.

Not so much for me. On Tuesday, I had a car accident in which I T-boned a perfectly innocent Ford in broad daylight, the result of failing to stop at a red light. In something like 45 years of driving, I have never done anything like that before; in fact, I’ve never had so much as a speeding ticket.

I hit the Ford on the passenger side and I was in third gear, doing about 45 kph, so the poor driver was flung against the door. She was properly belted in, and suffered only bruising. The passenger side of her car was all stove in. My car is probably a write-off because its air-bags deployed, and I spent several hours in the emergency room being investigated for a lot of things it never occurred to me to worry about. The air-bag hit my hands, so they look as if I had punched somebody’s lights out. Apart from that, I’m physically fine. Mentally, I’m still badly rattled.

The police constable was downright sweet to me, which I did not expect and remain very grateful for. I guess it helped that I accepted responsibility and expressed remorse as soon as she told me what I had done. She gave me a ticket for running the light but did not charge me with anything else. The insurance people are efficient and kind, as well. I have a rental car until they decide whether my poor VW is toast. Doing without a car is not an option as long as I live in this house; the nearest supermarket is four kilometres away.

So life goes on, as it does. I need milk and veg, so I have to crawl out of my hole whether I want to or not.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 01:25 PM

Sometimes it's just plain your fault and denial is useless. This end, even if you're bang to rights, insurance companies don't like it if they hear that you've admitted liability on the spot. I got into hot water on one occasion when I'd done just that. It was OK in the end, thankfully. I can't remember now which of my rather numerous accidents it was, but they've all been minor, thank goodness! It's always a nasty thing to happen, so keep yer pecker up and take it easy for a bit. I find that evening access to a corkscrew can help...


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 02:46 PM

I'm so sorry! Your great little VW!

Several years ago I missed taking my turn properly at an intersection that was broken and was blinking red all directions. I was t-boned, rear seat on my side, low speed, but being out of turn, it was on me. I don't think I said anything at the time, just took photos, exchanged information, and a police officer made notes and had the other car towed. No ticket. I got a new (to me) vehicle shortly after learning my unibody SUV was totaled. The difference in how you're treated can be in the insurance company you have - I use a very polite insurance company. They raised my rates for several years, but I am back in good standing with them.

You might want to have those groceries delivered. Every muscle is going to be stiff for a few days, and getting into a car (rental or other) and driving may be difficult at first. You'll revisit the accident - wondering how you missed that light? Don't beat yourself up - accidents happen. There were probably factors involved that you can conclude contributed to missing the light. Was the sun in your eyes? Did you look at the radio for a moment? These are things that can be corrected. I had a passenger and turned my head just long enough to not realize I was following another vehicle when I should have stopped. I try to be all the more careful, and taking the defensive driving course really again helped. Understanding that you did a great job in the past (and will again) also does help.

The worst of 2022 is over. The rest of the year will be much better! I queried Google about actuarial figures on driving accidents and came up with this from Quora:
So if you got your license at age 16, the odds are quite good that you’ll experience some kind of crash by the time you’re 34, at the latest. Over the course of a typical long, driving lifetime, you should have a total of three to four accidents.

Chances are these crashes won’t be deadly. There are about 10 million accidents of all kinds each year, from parking lot scrapes to multi-car pileups, according to the National Safety Council; in 2009, just three of every 1,000 of those accidents involved fatalities.

You've already beat the odds on your first accident, so you'll do fine for the rest of your driving life.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: keberoxu
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 04:33 PM

When I was in the accident that totaled my car years ago,
I was not at all at fault.
It still scares the bejeebers out of you,
AND one hates losing one's car.
I still mourn for that car, I was partial to it.
And they don't make 'em like that model any more either.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 05:24 PM

I got my licence late as I was a nervous driver & only drove for 3 years, short trips only as driving also tired me. I (slightly) bumped into the car in front in my first week! Repair cost $50 & I was only earning $25 a week.

My father was a mechanic & got my 15 year old car from a friend in the trade ($150), & did repairs for wholesale cost of parts, so when he retired I happily sold it for $100, bought a shopping trolley & have used trolleys & public transport ever since.

Speaking of exercise programs, a friend in her mid 80s was using the stretching exercises of one of Britain's major ballet companies, & is now using Lucy Wyndham-Read's Fitness exercises Yes, Lucy in Martyn's daughter, & my friend used to sing with him in the early 60s when he lived in Australia. videos- 7 to 15 min. home workouts My friend has lost weight, gained muscle tone & altho she (sensibly) still uses a stick to guard against falls, is very happy with the program.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Charmion
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 06:42 PM

I ran four unavoidable errands today without damage to anything except my wallet, so I guess I’m on the mend.

Every time I approached a traffic signal, I took care to note how visible it was to me behind the wheel. With the sun visor down, they vanish from sight when I’m still anywhere up to 150 metres back from the intersection.

Tuesday was bright and sunny, and I had the sun visor folded down. That’s why I didn’t see that the light had changed.

I guess I had better get a good set of sunglasses and stop using the visor.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 07:09 PM

Blue blocker (orange beige colored) polorized glasses work well for me . They enhance color, minimize glare and add contrast. Sometimes there is no avoiding sun blindness. 2 days ago someone almost T boned me because they could not see the traffic light due to afternoon sun low in sky this winter season and chose not to stop but they did slow down honking as if they had the right of way on red.
I drive defensively and imagine every tenth driver is intoxicated or challenged.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: JennieG
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 07:09 PM

Oh, Charmion! So long as you are O.K. Pity about your car, but cars can be fixed or replaced. Main thing is that you are all right.

I have only ever had one accident, over 30 years ago. I was all set to make a right hand turn into a side street when a motor cyclist came straight at me from ahead. I slammed on the brakes but we still collided. Fortunately neither of us was hurt, the car had fixable minor damage and so did his bike.

To this day I don't know how it happened. The sun wasn't in my eyes, but there were parked cars and a pedestrian crossing to watch out for.....I just didn't see him.

A decent pair of sunnies would be a Good Thing.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Jan 22 - 09:07 AM

All over Christmas I've had a sore foot, now healing nicely, that's stopped me from going for walks. The weather has conspired too, and, as ever, I've stuffed me face (we're back on healthy food such as veggie pasta dishes and fishy things now). The upshot is, er, several extra pounds around the middle. I'll be taking steps...


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Charmion
Date: 08 Jan 22 - 11:17 AM

Steve, I think most of us feel a bit porky after any festal season, but especially Christmas. And those who live in northern climes, like you and me, have good reason to limit our time outside.

Sorry about your wonky foot — I have one myself. My arthritic foot has a certain daily number of pain-free flexions in it, depending on footwear, so I try to keep my winter excursions limited to hikes (with stick) to the bank or pharmacy. Snow boots are heavier and stiffer than the sneakers I usually wear, so they reduce my range. Besides, every footpath (sidewalk) in town has at least a skim coat of ice, if not jeezly great lumps of the stuff.

One of the pleasures of life in this part of Canada is access to niche products from the Niagara wine region. This year, several vintners are selling “orange” wines — that is, white wines that are fermented on the grape skins. I cracked one last night with my humble supper (chicken cutlet and green beans), and it was … interesting. More body than the same grapes would have yielded in a more traditional vintage, but not enough fruit flavour to balance it quite the way I like for quaffing without food. One glass was fine, but the rest is in the fridge under a vacuum cork for future reference.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: pattyClink
Date: 08 Jan 22 - 11:24 AM

Similar here Steve, a joint bugging me. Yesterday I ventured out and found an aquatic center with a great pool. Got in a great workout, no weight-bearing. But, can't do that every day, so now outside I go to get in a few moves with the weight bar before too many people wake up and are available to stare.   

There is a lot to be said for a 'don't-break-the-chain' approach where you just determine to do Something every day, regardless of how little or how odd it might be. Yes, there should be a 'day of rest' but that can translate down to 'ambling scenic walk' instead of something more focused.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Jan 22 - 11:35 AM

There's nothing worse than opening a bottle to find that you've got disappointing wine. As it's usually my fault for buying it, I end up punishing myself by finishing the bottle and giving Mrs Steve something nice instead. It's the kind of guy I am... ;-)

My foot issue was a split in the skin under the ball of my foot. I try to keep the skin thin but there must be something in the way I walk that keeps making it go thicker and liable to split. Sorry, too much info there! Anyway, I can go for a walk now. Oh, except that we have driving rain and a gale-force wind...

I use two hiking poles now for all except short walks. The ones I bought are Black Diamond brand, pretty expensive but really good (I've had adverse experience of cheapos). No shock-absorbers for me, and I use rubber tips on hard surfaces so it doesn't sound as if Blind Pugh is around... They're great for keeping an upright posture and I don't have to keep stopping on account of my dodgy back.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jan 22 - 12:29 PM

The Nissan Pathfinder I drive has a huge windshield and I usually have the visor in the down position versus having the seat in a higher position. And I have wrap-around sunglasses that I always wear when I'm driving, even on cloudy days, because of the glare. But that visor - managing to keep sun from coming through the gap by the mirror, etc., does offer up a distraction.

Thank you, JennieG, for saying what we all should have: "So long as you are o.k."

Allergy symptoms are going full-tilt this morning, sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes. Except for itchy eyes, this could be describing some of the Omicron symptoms. This is why I'm staying home. (I was at the grocery store briefly on the 5th; I made a note now for my own "contact tracing." I went in because the parking lot was almost empty and I was out after about 10 minutes. In this day and age, that is living dangerously.)

Before Xmas I bought a large bag (8 pounds) of navel oranges; I've given oranges away, over Xmas family was here and we ate a few, and today when I ate yet another I see I have three more to go. This has seemed like an almost bottomless bag of oranges. It serves as a reminder to me that I'm trying to eat fruit and vegetables in lots of colors. The Swiss chard in the fridge is the variety with a red stem; there are asparagus spears and a yellow bent-neck squash along with broccoli and cauliflower. Beets. So much of what I eat is in the cruciferous or tobacco families so I'm making a point of getting other plant families.

Yesterday I used up some tag ends of things (three varieties of cheese, diced ham, some sliced hard salami) in a batch of macaroni and cheese. The pasta was a rice-based gluten free one that I've had around for a while (it keeps). I added turmeric to give it a bright yellow color and a grind of black pepper and some thyme to give it a nice herbal bite and it was amazing. I haven't tried to lose weight in a while, but I'm enjoying managing to eat healthier.

Finally, yesterday I admitted defeat on the 750-piece holiday puzzle I had set up in mid-December. The dog demolished the corner I had assembled and I could never get up the interest to work on it much. I had a few edges and a couple of larger more charismatic features put together, but I wasn't going to finish this till Michaelmas at this rate. Before I set out another puzzle I need to set up some kind of barrier that will cover the puzzle when I'm not working on it, to keep that pup from destroying another one. For the time being I had propped things around the edges so I could see if it was disturbed, but the goal is to prevent her having access at all.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Donuel
Date: 08 Jan 22 - 12:43 PM

There are more speeding accidents on these pandemic roads, watch out.
Also there is more drinking.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 08 Jan 22 - 01:17 PM

Jigsaws... I got some thick A3 card before Christmas and (the one he's doing now aside as that is a new one I got him for Christmas) I'm asking dad to do his 250 piece Wentworth jigsaws on this stuff. The idea is that I can stack any (and hope no one clumsy knocks them) that have missing pieces in their nearly completed states and hope to finish them if the missing bits turn up.

One bit of good news is that the missing piece from the church one I had custom made has turned up. I've also been able to box a couple of others up as checked and complete.

Other than that, so far we have. One jigsaw with a missing piece, 3 pieces waiting to find the jigsaw(s) they belong to and one box and its bag without any pieces. The last of these might be interesting if dad has put the pieces for two puzzles in another one of the bags.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Jan 22 - 11:10 AM

I'm going to poke around to see if I have a sheet of that clear acrylic sheeting that I used to put on the wooden table tops to prevent spills on the wood (sometimes I put a table cloth over it, sometimes I put it over the table cloth). Chances are I have a piece I can trim to fit this table, and then clamp it down on the sides, and remove one side and roll it back when I want to work the puzzle. I think I might simply use a couple of those extra-large binder clips for this. The mid-century table top I use for puzzles has a beveled edge, no trim to make the edge too thick for this.

Jon, I am curious if those puzzles were commingled by your father. The only way to sort them is to work them side by side to sort the pieces. A lot more complicated than a game of double solitaire, etc.

By default, January ends up being a "no spend" month—as the bills from the holidays come in the resolve to do better is typically at the top of my To Do list. I see that UPS stocks are listed on the NY Stock Exchange, and I certainly contributed to this year's profits. Sigh.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Charmion
Date: 09 Jan 22 - 05:45 PM

Well, the « orange » wine turned iut to need aeration, like a red. I guzzled the rest today, and it was just fine.

And my phone has reverted to French. Whatever.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: JennieG
Date: 09 Jan 22 - 06:43 PM

Peu importe.......


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Jan 22 - 07:38 PM

I've often found that the rocket-fuel wine, earlier regarded as unpalatable, isn't half bad...as long as you've had a glass or three of the good stuff first...


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Jan 22 - 09:42 PM

Lately I've run a small experiment to see if there are acceptable wines that come with the Stelvin screw cap, and there are. I've found a couple of under $10 merlot, pinot noir, and others that are actual varieties, not just "California red" and other low-end blends. Costco has several. I've kept up the varied colors of vegetables and fruits, and it helps reduce the snacking; by the time I've finished a fruit and a vegetable with the main, there is less room for dessert. Sometimes a glass of wine with the meal is the dessert.

Another quiet week ahead as Omicron roars through the state. I have a list of things that need doing, and keeping track of what is the day of the week it is part of that list. On the 17th I'll look at the COVID-19 numbers and decide if it is prudent to try going out in a limited way.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 10 Jan 22 - 04:09 AM

speaking of co-mingled jigsaw puzzles, I once found 2 sticky-taped boxes of the same vintage 500 piece puzzle in a charity shop. 1 box was heavy, the other very light, indicating they just might be co-mingled, so I bought them both.

One contained all the edge pieces, good thing I didn't just buy one box, sigh, so I pulled out every piece & put them on my plywood & perspex boards, & made one, then the other. All pieces were present & the 2 puzzles were re-sealed & went to different charity shops.

sandra


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Jan 22 - 05:22 AM

Well I guess I've been a wine drinker for a half-century. Two or three decades ago, cork taint was a massive issue, and I lost count of the number of times I returned corked bottles for a refund. For a while, fake corks made of a dense plastic were all the rage (they still exist). I hate them for several reasons, not least because they can be leaky and allow air to get in and spoil the wine, and because they are hard to re-insert in the half-full bottle. Screw caps are very popular here and are no longer seen as toppings for inferior wine. Real corks are still used by traditional wineries, and good quality control has meant that cork taint is quite rare these days. The wine cork industry in southern Europe is ancient and traditional and I'd hate to see it disappear. The metal collar below the screw cap (as well as the screw cap itself) is environmentally incredibly unfriendly unfortunately. I love using a corkscrew but the only type I'll countenance is the waiter's friend, which, if you avoid poor-quality ones, never fails to get the cork out cleanly and will last a lifetime.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Charmion
Date: 10 Jan 22 - 10:23 AM

What do you have against other kinds of corkscrew, Steve?

I use a waiter’s friend myself, but I can see the day coming when my hands are too rickety for it. So I’m not doctrinaire.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Jan 22 - 11:44 AM

Failure rate, Charmion.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Charmion
Date: 10 Jan 22 - 11:51 AM

Do you mean failure to extract the cork cleanly, or material failure in the corkscrew itself?


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jan 22 - 12:21 PM

I prefer a Cork puller, it avoids the cork bits that the corkscrew sometimes causes. On very rare occasions if I meet a cork that won't let the puller slide into place for removal I resort to the winged corkscrew.

I'd never heard of a cork puller before I brought home a bunch of kitchen gadgets from my dad's house after clearing out his estate. I have over the years figured out what most of them were for. This one was not difficult.

I missed the trash pickup this morning, but when I looked up the street realized that they hadn't run past the houses up the rest of my street (they turned at the corner opposite my house and went up the hill instead of continuing on my street. I live at a "T" intersection.) So I carried my small bag of trash next door and called that neighbor (moved in a few months ago) and explained that I'd left my trash at his curb, so don't be alarmed if they notice an extra bag. In our little corner of the village we have been known to spread out trash among several houses when someone has a lot to go out but it isn't our month for bulky waste pickup. Everyone instead gets a little more than usual. We're a cooperative little ant hill here. :)

Looking back at the earliest posts in this thread I see that Keberoxu was on a plane over the holidays. I hope that has panned out well and no ill effects resulted from such close proximity to others. Did you take any rapid or PCR tests after?


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: keberoxu
Date: 10 Jan 22 - 12:30 PM

How thoughtful of you, Stilly, to ask after my well-being. Thank you so much.

Yes, I got on that airplane two weeks ago today.
The next morning, at that other location,
I was in the airport trying to get onto an airplane back.
So it was all over on Tuesday December 28 when I returned.

As I am in congregate housing now, with COVID-19 testing every week,
I have since been tested at least three times,
and the results are always negative.

Yes, being crammed in a series of tin cans with wings on them
with a bunch of other people ... is anxiety-provoking.
Everybody, I mean everybody, had face-masks on.
And the airplane stewardess instructions to passengers now include
the suggestion that when drinks or snacks are served in-flight,
that each passenger, in between sips/swallows or bites/chews,
should slap that facemask back over their nose and mouth.
No more specific instruction than that,
and you can still see the point of it --
it's easy, when drinking or eating,
to just leave the facemask off even if
you are done swallowing/chewing, and just sit there breathing.
With everybody packed in next to you.

Well, I can't speak for the other passengers, all of whom were strangers,
but I seem to have got through the errand I was running, and the traveling,
none the worse for wear.

Being on the plane, all that said, isn't so bad.
Being in the airport terminal is far far worse,
because the airlines are woefully understaffed.
And I was traveling right after Christmas so you know that
there were far too many passengers all traveling at once ...
with their small children AND their pet dogs ...


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Charmion
Date: 10 Jan 22 - 12:49 PM

You're braver than I am, Keb. I don't know what it would take to get me on a plane these days, but it would probably involve shackles.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Jan 22 - 01:16 PM

The worry about planes has caused us to shelve travel plans (to Europe anyway) for now.

I've never heard of those cork pullers! The winged corkscrews are my biggest culprits for wrecking corks. I bought two good-quality waiter's friends many years ago after a cheaper one broke, thinking that a spare was a wise-virgin purchase, but up to now it's still lashed to its packaging.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jan 22 - 03:30 PM

I had no idea those cork pullers are so expensive! I had three, one broke after years of use, and I can't remember who I gave the other one to. Probably family or a very close friend.

I haven't been to the greenhouse in a few days and my two pots of bat-faced cuphea dried up. I'll continue to water because I don't know if they died of dry or cold (the heater should be working back there). It may come back from the roots if they're ok.

This time of year I drink more tea - my limit on black tea is two "normal" sized cups (~ 10 oz) in the morning, but I had a cup of midday green tea, and from now on it's decaff or herbal so I can get to sleep at night. I need to remember to drink more water also; I sometimes get leg cramps when I do my exercises if I don't hydrate well enough during the day.

It looks like a nice week coming up, so some outdoor chores may be completed. Thank goodness for a bright sunny day - it helps the mood considerably.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Jan 22 - 11:32 AM

Yesterday I dug around the depths of the kitchen cabinet where I keep various table cloths, party serving trays, and a couple of folded clear acrylic sheets that I put over the table tops to protect the wood from spills. Essential when the kids were small, now optional. I was going to sacrifice a table cover to the cause of trimming down to cover the top of my puzzle table in the sunroom but I found an L-shaped large scrap piece that I was able to trim and run under the sewing machine (the walking foot was perfect for this because this stuff is kind of sticky to work with) and cobble together a top. Frankenstein's clear quilted table cover.

I wanted to use the large black spring binder clips to hold it in place and had one of them from here in my office. I poked around the kitchen junk drawer and den library table drawer searching for more. This morning I remembered the drawer in the antique secretary/bookshelf in my bedroom and found three more. Perfect! They slide over the edge of the table and hold the plastic in place; I'll only need to remove them on one side and lift the cover. I may decide to use some tissue paper between the puzzle and the cover if pieces try to stick to it.

All of this because the puppy figured out that the puzzle pieces are apparently edible and stands on her back feet to graze the pieces at the edge of the table. I caught her one time. That first puzzle was used and a few pieces kind of crusty so I think they smelled like food, and that's all it took. She tasted the next puzzle (my holiday one) and demolished a completed portion (one of the few larger charismatic parts of the puzzle to work from). Now she's blocked from access to that tabletop, but I can see the puzzle through the acrylic.

These puzzles have become a wonderful mental exercise; studying each piece, learning the image used for the puzzle, detecting shifts in color to put together large swaths that appear to be the same color (sky and water and forests, in particular). I place a few pieces at a time then return to whatever else I was working on. I've missed doing the puzzles for a few weeks because I knew pieces were missing so was bound to be disappointed if I finished it. This last one (holiday) was an inexpensive used one, but I also realized that the artist cheated in the perspective - the people and buildings in the distance weren't as small as they should have been, making it quite difficult to sort pieces. All of this added up to a puzzle that was trashed and I'm starting fresh today with a new sealed puzzle (that I got on deep discount at Thursday Morning, a discount store with stuff from high end department stores.) The delay in tossing the holiday puzzle and starting a fresh one represents the "invention" period, during which I was mulling the possible answers to the problem.

/jigsaw puzzle rant off/


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 11 Jan 22 - 04:44 PM

Dupont:

A quick post as I lose the last of the sunlight in my new sitting space in front of the Double South windows. Posts on Clayart the last few days encouraged me to go in the wanna-be studio/was gonna be bathroom and look at what needed to be done to make it more enticing.

I told R what I wanted to go in the front hall but --- in one ear... This am I asked for help to get a beautiful antique daybed from the "studio" into the second floor hall. Now comfy with cushions! Love it! Of course the ugly, uncomfortable antique stuff he had put there... 2 chairs and a love seat need homes... One in the back corner and the love seat... half blocking the door to a room. BUT I have a lovely spot. AND more room in the "studio".

When we were first moving here, I bought a sofa I just love for this space but it ended up in the LR - until the Victorian one gets moved here. I got tired of waiting. What will we do with the day bed later? For now, I really do not care. This has cheered me up! And my Georgia O'Keefe print on the wall next to me!


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Jan 22 - 08:32 PM

That room sounds lovely, Dorothy! I have two rooms here that I reworked during the first year of the pandemic (three actually - I swapped contents between the sun room and the front room, and the sewing studio was organized.) Every time I walk into the sewing studio it's just so inviting and is very bright in the afternoon.

This afternoon I made the holiday batch of arroz con gandules for my ex (if you look it up you'll see this listed as the "national dish of Puerto Rico"). It came out pretty good; this time I used smoked chicken because he didn't want ham or bacon (though fat back or bacon are traditional sources of oil and flavor). I smoked the chicken breasts last month and froze several to use for seasoning like this. The rice was made today because before now he had too much stuff in his fridge and freezer. Consumable gifts don't need to be decluttered later.

It is sounding more like I'm going to have to take the entire month of January away from my volunteer work; Omicron is pushing the numbers so high that the graphs have an almost straight line up. Today I went into the house at my ex's because both of us have been away from people for several days and both recently tested with negative results. There are so few instances like that. I was wearing a mask when I handed a gift over to my next door neighbor this afternoon (on her porch)—she's the one who had COVID last month, and the reason I was recently tested. She looked like she's feeling much better. That's good. Now I hope she gets the vaccine when enough time from the illness has passed. I will encourage her to do so.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Charmion
Date: 11 Jan 22 - 10:04 PM

I just learned that the pater familias across the street, aged 44 with two little kids, died of COVID just before Christmas. Not vaccinated, none of his family vaccinated.

Bloody hell.

I’m getting my booster shot on Saturday. Can’t wait.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Jan 22 - 12:35 AM

There are way too many of those stories around. A local GOP politician who made a big deal of protesting the vaccines died of COVID on Monday. The story went something like "The local GOP office reported her death. Several of her Facebook posts were removed. Spokeswoman says this is 'no time to fight about vaccines.'" Wrong characterization - not "fight." Teach. This is exactly the time to make the point that she could have saved her own life and her friends and family that grief.

Meanwhile, today it was reported that some immunocompromised people will be able to get a fourth shot soon. Starting later this week, some at-risk Americans become eligible for a 4th shot.
Some people are born with absent or faulty immune systems, and in others, treatments for some diseases like cancer diminish the potency of immune defenses. The C.D.C. estimates there are about seven million immunocompromised individuals in the country.

The last time something like this (a booster) was suggested, it didn't take long before we were all getting them. Meanwhile, much of the world still hasn't had the access to any vaccines. (There was another vaccine developed, this one by Texas researchers using older vaccine forms, that they will give away. A plant in India is making it now. A new coronavirus vaccine heading to India was developed by a small team in Texas. It expects nothing in return. Good for them. We need more selfless acts, fewer corporations making billions while a big chunk of the population ignores common sense.

Time to take a day or two off from the news.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Jan 22 - 06:04 AM

Just briefly to follow that (wrong thread, I know...). One facet of a strategy to persuade the vaccine-hesitant (to call them by a too-kind name) would be to give far more publicity to the fact that it's the unvaccinated who now constitute not only the lion's share of seriously ill people, but who are also the people clogging up intensive care units in hospitals, to the detriment of patients who need urgent care through far less fault of their own. Sorry, a bit heavy...


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Jan 22 - 09:52 AM

No, Steve, not too heavy. This topic has been well-chewed on this thread since the first vaccines were announced.

In the news this morning, from Québec City, Premier Legault has announced his intention to introduce a health tax to be levied from the unvaccinated to help off-set the pressure they are putting on the health-care system in particular and society in general. The pundits are saying that it will hurt more than it helps, and I rather agree; the unvaxxed will only wallow more deeply in their grievances while the revenue can’t undo the decades of under-funding that underlie the capacity problems that most bedevil hospitals and their staff.

Today I must take the Chevy cracker-box on the highway for the first time to practise for tomorrow’s unavoidable trip to the allergist in Kichener. Its lack of snow tires (not required by law and therefore not provided by the rental agency) puts a shiver in my bones; it’s a tiny car, and a sideways skid in the wrong place at the wrong time could be Really Bad.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 12 Jan 22 - 10:42 AM

Oh, Charmion, what a damned fool! It will stand as an unfortunate example of how our ill-advised decisions can have catastrophic effects on others who have no agency.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Jan 22 - 01:16 PM

There was a story on Marketplace (public radio) yesterday that doesn't seem to be linked from their homepage yet. I'll share instead this one from last month, a similar story: Car dealerships short on cars, going big on prices

My second coherent thought after reading Charmion's account of totalling her relatively new car was "where will the next car come from?" They're hard to find and getting so expensive. There are strategies, and they discussed it on the program (hence trying to find the link) - such as going way out of town to smaller communities where there perhaps isn't as much turnover in the car dealerships.

I have a few disposable surgical masks here at the house, and will be double-masking if I have to go out. I've ordered more (nothing comes "tomorrow" from Amazon any more, Saturday is as soon as they can manage, but I'm ok until then.) I was thinking about heading over to a favorite grocery store during their quietest hours, but even that is too much right now. Any store's checkout counter is likely to be a vector for Omicron. And I think my ex and I are back to shopping for each other, taking turns so we both aren't exposed as often. At this point his is the only house I feel comfortable walking into because I know he hasn't been out anywhere for days. (Yesterday I delivered the delayed holiday meal of his favorite Puerto Rican arroz con gandules dish.)

The difference between the extreme risk of Omicron versus original COVID almost two years ago is that most of us have paid attention and learned a lot and know which risks are worth taking and how to mitigate those risks. It sounds like one reason prices are inflated now is that a lot of people stuck at home are shopping to relieve their boredom. Instead of drilling down and working on existing projects, they're bringing in new devices to entertain. I'm trying to do the opposite and making my list (I've done it before) of projects here at the house that I can do without having to go out for parts (or very little shopping involved.) As of yesterday, the top of my list is organizing the garage; last night when I drove the SUV I admired how good the corner of the garage looked since I swept it up last week. That pile of swept debris needs adding to and then picking up. I can drive in and out easily, but the sides need organization and I get such a boost from looking at it when everything is easy to find. Then I can work on the new gate that goes beside the garage because I have all of those parts also.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 12 Jan 22 - 07:20 PM

Dupont:

No sun today and still COLD! Up to minus 9C right now. I have not cleared the back deck nor brought in more wood as I do not want to let cold air in! In fact, I seem to be in one of my do nothing phases - nothing but internet, that is. Made cauliflower cheddar soup yesterday and burned it! But not too badly; it is still good.

Went for groceries on Monday and had to have help x2. The yogurt was on the top shelf - way back there! - so I watched for someone taller to fetch it down for me - all 3 large ones while we were at it; it was on sale. Looking for the milk I wanted, I must have looked at sea, a youngish woman asked if I needed help; She shouted at the person on the other side of the cooler (in French) and I managed to get 2% but also found a glass bottle!! of unhomogenized 3.8% from a farm in Riviere du Loup and a one qt of 3%. Then she asked, what else? Eggs! I had not found the brown eggs - but she did! Boy, did I ever feel OLD! She was so kind!

I checked the farm on the internet today and found it really interesting; will look for their milk again. Hope I can take the bottle back!

Cleared out the "studio" some more but have not gotten down to work yet. I do believe the weather affects me even though I am in a wam house; I know the atmospheric pressure does and today was another heavy, snowing lightly day.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Jan 22 - 10:18 PM

I have no idea what time the trash guys will come past in the morning, but I'm ready! Bags are at the curb in the can (to keep coyotes and raccoons out of it). Twice in one week!

My garage got a good sweep out and there are a couple of bags (including the torn up foam rubber from a dog bed that Cookie demolished and spread around). I moved a few large things to get the worst of it. Tomorrow I'll rearrange some of those large objects. I wore a mask for this work since there are a lot of mouse droppings (we don't have hantavirus here, but I keep that in mind with this work). If I clear up the area enough I can leave the stall gate open and let the dogs chase mice overnight. That would keep them entertained. My old Catahoula Poppy used to chase mice in there regularly, knocking over things in the process.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 13 Jan 22 - 05:26 PM

Dupont:
I know I am in bad shape when I cannot tell glass from plastic. The nice farm milk is in a plastic bottle so I do not have to think about taking it back! Just try to find more uses for it!

Today, I woke up alive for a change. Made humus,applesauce, cooked more black beans - have found they go well with beets! Also potatoes and cauliflower to have on hand. Cleared a couple things from frig to make room for new.

Kept trying to get on internet and, finally, decided to phone provider which, wisely, offered a nice message telling us there is a problem; I could stop thinking about it and tried to use apple TV which must also be internet dependent. OK. Cleared back deck, brought in as much wood as space and have found it already dry enough to use!! Nice fire in stove. Feels good on a grey day at -9C again. Also unearthed the bin of smaller wood and made it accessible but no room in house for it yet.

Did not get to the pottery yet; probably not today but hopeful for tomorrow. Feel good about feeling good and getting some things done without feeling I was dragging my tail behind me.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Jan 22 - 10:07 PM

There is more progress in the garage with the left side now cleared (after sweeping out the center yesterday). Flattened boxes went to the village recycle bins, a portable table that I've never managed to set up properly has gone to Goodwill (it was given by a friend who probably had the same problem). The busiest area is at the back by the work bench, so I'll leave that for last. Some stuff moved out to the greenhouse, and some stuff was put into use. For example, I had two unused metal hose caddies collecting dust that have now been attached to the back side of the new fence that faces the street. This 10' stretch of fence hides trash cans and yard equipment, and now it will hold some of the short segments of hose that I rely on for my garden irrigation each year.

Another set of friends have been knocked off their feet by COVID. They were running medical-type errands today, looking for an xray for her injured ankle; her ankle will be ok, but when he asked if they had a COVID test (because he needs it before his medical appointment tomorrow) bad news - he came up positive. They are both vaccinated and boosted but with other health issues, and have headed home to quarantine and hope to dodge this bullet.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Jan 22 - 02:22 PM

A sewing project has arisen: one of the friends mentioned in the last post has to do in-person teaching in his community college classroom, so has asked if I can make a mask that includes a clear panel in the center of it so students can see his mouth moving when he talks. There are students whose first language is not English and they need all the help they can get to understand the lecture. This will be an interesting challenge and I'll take it up this weekend.

Today is our last warm day before a string of very cold days (we're at the bottom edge of what the Weather Channel has dubbed Winter Storm "Izzy.") So I'll finish some of the outdoors work today and start on the mask tomorrow.

Yesterday I drove four miles in a perfect square as I did my cardboard/Goodwill run. I'll double that distance today when, way after busy hours, I head over to the 24-hour grocery for some fresh produce and dairy for myself and my ex. Double-masked. He'll pick up groceries here tomorrow when he returns a pot that I delivered his xmas present in (mentioned earlier).

Two boxes of rapid tests finally arrived. I read that insurance companies aren't going to be set for customers to just ring up tests at the pharmacy and have it covered by tomorrow (Biden's date for doing this. Insurance companies usually deal with medical codes, not barcodes). I don't know if I'll bother to try to get reimbursed, but the article said to keep both the receipts and the boxes in case they are required for reimbursement.

According to recent research the BinaxNOW rapid test from Abbott Laboratories is the most effective at catching Omicron variant, but as soon as that was posted they probably sold out everywhere. Here is a helpful article from the New York Times: Which Covid Test Should I Get? When Should I Test? What If I Can’t Find One? Answers About Testing and Omicron
Facing long lines and shortages of home test kits during the latest surge, people are searching for answers about Covid tests.

My jigsaw puzzle cover is working as I hoped. The new puzzle is 500 pieces and seems easy except that all of the pieces are exactly the same shape so you can mistakenly pair the wrong pieces. So that's why the puzzles with individually shaped pieces make a big deal about it on the box. I've had those so far and didn't realize this other sort was available. The puzzle cover is made of previously unused acrylic and there is a several inch wide extra flap on it; I'll cut that off and use it for the masks mentioned above. I just hadn't gotten around to trimming it yet, but I have a need for it now.

Stay safe, everyone! Omicron seems to be roaring through communities for the next couple of weeks.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Jan 22 - 11:54 PM

The double mask setup was ok, not uncomfortable, but it certainly was a lot of layers. Three in the cloth mask, three in the surgical mask. The cloth mask keeps the surgical one right up against your face.

Wind gusts overnight and through tomorrow; I picked up a couple of things I should have brought in and I think a couple of light trash bags have left the yard. I'll look in the morning.

The oddest thing at the grocery store - they are completely out of onions. Not a one in sight. It seems this is happening around town in other grocery stores as well. I need a couple more, I'll have to see if I can do curbside pickup at one of the grocery stores that has them still.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Jan 22 - 07:59 AM

Today I get my booster shot.

It’s almost Ottawa cold, however, which means lined jeans and the down-filled coat as well as wool socks and a fleece sweater. Peeling off three layers of bulky clothing in the cramped space of the clinic without losing mitts, muffler and hat will be the social challenge of the weekend.

The car saga continues to unfold. Indeed, the choice of replacement vehicles has been so drastically restricted by supply problems that I consider myself very lucky to have found a gently used 2021 VW Golf GTI that will cost a mere Cdn$10,000 more than the plain-Jane Golf that died in the collision. I have top-of-the-line insurance with depreciation protection, too, so the settlement will be generous. I have been saving for years, so I can pay the difference without going into debt.

Oh yeah, I also need a new set of snow tires, and of course the GTI won’t take the alloy rims I have in storage with the Golf’s three-season radials. That means buying a very expensive second set of GTI alloy rims. Each new expense feels like another air-bag going off in my face.

On the fitness front, gyms are still closed in Ontario. I hiked downtown to the post office yesterday despite the deep cold and the ice underfoot, and it definitely felt good to stretch my legs for a change. The now-obligatory mask protects the face from the biting wind, too.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Jan 22 - 11:41 AM

Not a single piece of fresh chicken in the stores.
No cat food either.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Jan 22 - 12:22 PM

I'll trade you a Winco bag of two 5 lb chickens for a 5 lb bag of onions. I think next time I get onions I'll dice and freeze some of them. I've done that in the past as a convenience move (scoop out how much I need to add to the skillet while cooking), and they'll keep better than fresh sitting on the counter. They don't seem to store for as long as they used to. (It occurs to me that the small cash-and-carry restaurant supply store a few blocks from here might have onions.)

Charmion, you probably wouldn't salvage the tires off of the totaled car to put on the new one, but if you have any spare lightly-used tires set aside maybe you can sell to defray the cost of the next car's tires. Or negotiate a trade with the tire supplier? I pulled up reviews of the car you name on Car and Driver, and it sounds like the replacement you're getting will be fun to drive. "It's one of the best in the business and makes every drive an engaging experience." You could do a lot worse! I'd love to drive a manual transmission vehicle again, and it sounds like VW is the only company that makes one that's nice to drive. Standards are an afterthought with other manufacturers and they haven't worked to improve the shifting experience.

I didn't have as many layers to go through for my COVID vaccines early last year, but I was aware that January and February shots in a large public room (a gymnasium) meant having to dress so it was modest and so the person with the needle didn't need to wait for me to go through too many layers. A short sleeved t-shirt under the long sleeved sweater and jacket accomplished that. The booster was in warm weather in a grocery store pharmacy when the short-sleeved t-shirt was standard apparel.

The wind is gusting today, rattling things around the outside of the house. A good day to work on indoors projects.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 15 Jan 22 - 01:29 PM

Dupont:

Exciting news: The old K sink is coming out! It may be a reaction to a death in the "family" - my gardening friend of 60 years (95) died peacefully in her sleep yesterday morning. Her eldest son phoned me and we chatted briefly about the importance of this relationship in his mother's and my lives. I have, of course, known him for most of his life. After talking with him, I was fragile and phoned R and asked that he come home before 10 pm! He came home about 7 and we had a light supper and watched TV. With me reeling with dry sobs over this huge hole in my life; so many memories.

In trying to get the computer to attach to the TV, I messed up big time. In the midst of watching Canadian Dragon's Den on Gem,. it suddenly switched to US programming - I guess. Nothing we did remedied the situation. We could still watch ordinary TV. I will phone HELP when I feel better.

THEN, today, I got "Freshy" when opening a new tab; I managed to find help to get rid of that. YAY for me! I also got rid of that ISSU thing!! Later will see if anything helped Gem.

The kitchen sink: R finally decided to look seriously at it this am after I said I would settle for the new faucet - the old one has been leaking into a bowl - a very good bowl! - and does not work well. SO, the sink seemed irreversibly attached to the counter and the counter desperately attached to the cabinets... He started cutting the sink with a hacksaw - two small cuts at the rim about an inch apart. Nothing seemed to slide between sink and counter...

While his back was turned, I took hammer and an old kitchen knife and ... voila! I bent the small piece back and he could see the glue... OH! OK. He, now, seemed to see a way forward. I am hiding out in the TV room while he goes at it. HOPE! My dear friend always said the best thing we can give someone is hope...

Sunny day and -24C! A good day to sit in my new space listening to music, as I did yesterday as I began processing this big change. Her son told me: Someone wondered out loud if she was still lucid. "I AM VERY LUCID!" and that was the last word(s)! This grief is going to take a while. Yes, her being is within me and I can still "talk with her" but it ain't the same!


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Jan 22 - 02:13 PM

Awww, Dorothy. I'm so sorry!

The last time I saw one of my oldest friends I was in 2013, driving my son around the little town where I had worked for several years. We hadn't spoken in a couple of years when I stopped by her house unannounced, where her grown grandson was now living with her. She was glad to see me, I introduced my now-grown son, and then she asked how the kids are. All faces in the room froze with realization. I miss all of our long conversations from over the years and haven't heard back from her son to know if she is even living now. You're very lucky to have had "lucid" right up to the end! And that new sink will always remind you of her. Instead of Shirley Valentine talking to "Wall," you can talk to "Sink." {{Hugs}}


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Jan 22 - 11:08 PM

The trifecta of Saturday cleaning accomplished: I ran the washer, the dryer, and the dishwasher in sequence (they add a nice heartbeat hum to an otherwise very quiet house). The sheets are changed. In the kitchen the fridge has been cleaned and a few things have been cooked for meals this week.

I went shopping yesterday and discovered the large grocery store was completely out of onions. The stocking clerk said they haven't been able to get any for three weeks, and he has heard that other stores are having similar order shortages. I mulled this: was I going to try another grocery store? Last night's trip was calculated to find an empty 24-hour store (it was). I don't want to go indoors around people much with Omicron in the air. Get curbside pickup and hope someone else could find a good bag of onions? And would they do curbside for a single item? Then it dawned on me that the restaurant supply cash-and-carry little hole-in-the-wall store near me has a few produce offerings. I headed over, there was no one else in there, and found and brought home six large onions. I'll be dicing a couple of them to freeze and bag (I do this anyway when I have extras). I'll be cooking with a couple. A couple are spare and hopefully onions will again appear in the stores by the time I need more.

In another pandemic-avoidance move (after reading up on disposable masks) two boxes of surgical facemasks arrived today (thanks, Amazon!) For the last two years I've worn the homemade cloth masks; the ones I've made since summer of 2020 are the three-layer 3-D style that are still quite safe. The older more fitted ones are t-shirt jersey or other lighter fabric and are only two layers: those need to be set aside. And even with the 3-D masks, it makes sense now to double mask. That's why I have all of these disposable surgical ones. I've tested it a couple of times now, it is ok. The cloth mask keeps the surgical mask underneath right against your face so you really do get a good filter. Those I sent to the NE and other contingents of Mudcatters (I've lost track, I sent out a lot of these) just double up and you'll be fine.

In cold weather it's layers time so I got out my favorite sweatshirt (an oversized green one that says "Aun Aprendo: I'm still learning.") It's really old, so I spent time zigzag stitching on patches and tacking things back together. It's still pretty ratty, but I should be able to wear it for one more winter.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Charmion
Date: 16 Jan 22 - 08:47 AM

I’m still sorry I scrapped a camo-pattern sweatshirt that said “You can’t see me”.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 16 Jan 22 - 09:20 AM

Dupont:

Now there is no sink at all!! And the stores that sell parts are closed today! There is the bathtub... Trying to think of things to cook that require little mess. Need a wash basin... Waiting for the next exciting episode! I did get to see how wonderful the Stainless steel sink will look!!!

R then went off to supper at his cousin's wearing good clothes. I did a laundry, including the was-once-red Jacket; it is sort of red now.

minus 24C and beautiful sun, clear sky - which is why it is so cold- no cloud cover to keep the heat down here! I need to bring in more wood- hate to open the door!


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 16 Jan 22 - 09:48 AM

Dupont:

And I phoned Applehelp last night and a wonderful woman guided me out of the AppleTV mess. I am still not clear about how it happened but it is fine now AND she told me how to connect computer to TV for that larger screen! I wrote it down. So I can console myself with programs I like rather than sports and other stuff of no interest to me. And I did not have to wait overly long for help, and had the choice of silence rather than someone else's choice of Music.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 16 Jan 22 - 10:44 AM

Not all here this am: meant to share this possibly helpful info:
Can you clean N95 masks?

A timely study, conducted by Dr. Pascal Juang and published in April of 2020, determined the following about mask cleaning:

Rotate between three to four masks, wearing one per day and then letting it rest for three to four days.
N95 masks can be heated to 70 C (158 F) for 60 minutes.
Boiling N95 masks for five minutes
Steam cleaning N95 masks at 125 C (257 F) for five minutes


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Jan 22 - 02:06 PM

Another friend down with COVID, the most vulnerable person I know, she's 87 and has COPD. She has been vaccinated and boosted.

Dorothy, I remember reading articles about reusing the N95 masks, and hospitals ran them through autoclaves. I wonder if something like an air convection oven would work? They might blow around, but would get warm enough long enough. Or put silverware in with them through the loops to hold them in place on the bottom rack. Mine is a large glass bowl with the heating element and fan on top, and the temperature can be pretty precise (and I could use an oven thermometer in the bowl.)

The water of COVID is circling the drain, picking up everyone. We need to stop the magical thinking that we won't catch it and just stay home away from people. My friend, mentioned above, lives with her son. Who is on his way to the airport tomorrow after today visiting with all of his siblings in this DFW area (he lives 4 hours drive west of here). My friend tested positive this morning (after testing negative yesterday and thinking she just has allergies). The son plans to get on a flight from DFW to Hawaii tomorrow - those plans need to abruptly change, for everyone's sake.

I texted the kids to give the friend a call to "cheer her up." Code for "say goodbye." I hope for the best and fear the worst.

Meanwhile, the fellow I do contract work for was commenting on his allergies on his gardening radio show today. I work from home, never come into contact, but the business is basically a three or four person operation. [slaps forehead]


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Thompson
Date: 17 Jan 22 - 04:33 AM

I see warnings online *not* to use a convection oven for this (what is a convection oven?)


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Thompson
Date: 17 Jan 22 - 04:43 AM

Oh, a fan oven. OK.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Charmion
Date: 17 Jan 22 - 09:12 AM

It’s snowing to beat the band all across Ontario today and I must go out — no veg or fruit in the house, and a date with the physiotherapist. I don’t look forward to surfing the Chevy cracker-box over the drifts.

I’m very gradually getting thinner. Yesterday, I noticed that my lined jeans are flapping around my legs and the waistband is all bunched up under my belt. I think I have another pair a size smaller …

Last night’s supper was mostly cauliflower, with garlic butter and freshly ground black pepper. Delicious!


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Jan 22 - 12:39 PM

Charmion, shifting into a smaller pair of jeans is a nice bit of progress in an a world otherwise stuck in place. I, on the other hand, ripped out the seat of a really really old pair of thin PJ pants and went against my "no-spend" policy this month and ordered a replacement flannel pair. Larger (alas).

I've researched the sites for monoclonal antibody infusions and have forwarded the information to my friend with COVID and to the most responsible of her grown children. I just heard that her son got on that plane to Hawaii. I am so disappointed in him right now. I have contacted my doctor's office and asked for Rx refills for now and go in for annual bloodwork when it's safer to go out. I don't want to go sit in that tiny lab room that has butts in the chair all day long (and compare that to the insanity of sitting in a jet for 8 hours).

Thompson, I was thinking out loud when I remarked about convection ovens, but this morning I found a study that looks into it. Skimming it and skipping to the bottom, it looks like the ovens had a liquid source for higher humidity and that the tests had a lot to do with how well the masks fit after being treated in a convection oven. A scalable method of applying heat and humidity for decontamination of N95 respirators during the COVID-19 crisis. From June 2020, so ages ago.

This article (from November, 2020) says dry heat can be used to decontaminate: FDA allows dry heat treatment for single-user mask reuse

So maybe just putting the mask away for a few days? Here is one that is quite bizarre - putting the mask in a paper bag inside a pressure cooker (with liquid? with the weight on top?) in the oven. How to Disinfect Your Mask: A Step-by-Step Guide is from June 2020.

And it sounds like some of them can be washed in water - a combination of treatments may turn up in a scholarly journal if I keep looking. I need to share this over on the COVID thread also. Give people something to dig their teeth into to complain about. :-/

No mail, no banks open today for MLK Day. One holiday isn't enough to bring virus spread to a halt if everyone stays home, so I'm going to postpone returning to my volunteer work by a couple of more weeks.

My jigsaw puzzle is coming along, though I swear there aren't enough edge pieces. Along the area where the dog usually attacked past puzzles, but I've kept it covered. In the end it usually means the size of the puzzle is smaller than I thought (it starts out spread out widely across the table top and compresses with its being solved.)

It's that time of year when a bulb of hyacinth or amaryllis is in a special clear pot (roots in water) to bloom on the kitchen windowsill. This year's purple hyacinth is open - and the smell is strong and sickly sweet. It's the worst of cheap motel soap smells, and I think this plant is going to go into dirt and out to the greenhouse really soon.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Jan 22 - 09:12 PM

Phone calls today to renew prescriptions and to switch from using the GoodRX coupons to actually using my insurance plan. A couple of months ago I revisited the setup with Medicare and our state insurance - to see if I was using those most efficiently. I was (and now I know why). Next, a call to the phone company to decide if the plan I'm grandfathered into is best for me. I think the time has come to tweak it.

Contact has been made with the family of the COVID friend and I am relieved that they have a plan if she needs more help and learned that there are local folks who are checking up on her.

I had groceries delivered to get more veggies and dairy (it was a modest order). The forest floor in the den was swept up, dishes emptied out of the kitchen sink. I did a little digging around in one garden bed, pulling weeds where I'll poke in some sprouting garlic soon. There are still some cluttered kitchen surfaces to organize. I made a big batch of my nacho beef and black beans filling and froze several pound-sized pieces of beef. I'll be freezing some of the cooked mix as well. Tomorrow I'll dice and freeze onions.

Contact with the outside world is digital.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Charmion
Date: 17 Jan 22 - 09:18 PM

I had a gin sour and a protein bar for supper.

Dimly, I recognize that this is somehow wrong.


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 17 Jan 22 - 11:55 PM

Dupont:

Charmion: on a day like today - anything is ok!

The K sink is slowly getting completed - perhaps yet tonight. Slow and not very steady but he is getting there. It is beautiful!!!!!!! But I have stayed out of the K and upstairs all day so eating - well not so great! Needless to say, the counter is awash with tools and parts! R commented: "maybe he sold the house because of the plumbing!" But the prev owner was here over 20 years so I suspect the crappy plumbing was his doing. When R finishes, it will be like Mary Poppins - practically perfect! Why it takes so long!

For R, I took out myriad containers of food and let him choose and nuke what he wanted. Then put them away. I finished the cauliflower soup and have been sitting here eating peanut butter and crackers to get through the night. Cannot even make popcorn. But, OH! how wonderful it will be when complete.

I did manage to do some sorting and putting away on the second floor. Some welcome progress - two empty boxes! And kept the fire going in the wood stove.

And a surprise call from a friend we met thru music - she has the voice of an angel - definitely! - I had tried a couple times to connect but she only answers the phone if she knows who it is. So now she knows - I left a message- and we had a good chat; she lives nearby and would feel comfortable visiting in this large empty house - after her first grandchild arrives - imminently! Something to which I can look forward!

Not keen on going back to Beaver. We got a bunch of snow; they got a bigger bunch. And the temp is dropping again!


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Subject: RE: FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 18 Jan 22 - 03:53 AM

speaking of MLK Day 2022


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Mudcat time: 18 January 5:54 AM EST

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