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FITNESS & Declutter 2022 - Pandemic redux

Sandra in Sydney 18 Jan 22 - 03:53 AM
Dorothy Parshall 17 Jan 22 - 11:55 PM
Charmion 17 Jan 22 - 09:18 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Jan 22 - 09:12 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Jan 22 - 12:39 PM
Charmion 17 Jan 22 - 09:12 AM
Thompson 17 Jan 22 - 04:43 AM
Thompson 17 Jan 22 - 04:33 AM
Stilly River Sage 16 Jan 22 - 02:06 PM
Dorothy Parshall 16 Jan 22 - 10:44 AM
Dorothy Parshall 16 Jan 22 - 09:48 AM
Dorothy Parshall 16 Jan 22 - 09:20 AM
Charmion 16 Jan 22 - 08:47 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jan 22 - 11:08 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jan 22 - 02:13 PM
Dorothy Parshall 15 Jan 22 - 01:29 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jan 22 - 12:22 PM
Donuel 15 Jan 22 - 11:41 AM
Charmion 15 Jan 22 - 07:59 AM
Stilly River Sage 14 Jan 22 - 11:54 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Jan 22 - 02:22 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jan 22 - 10:07 PM
Dorothy Parshall 13 Jan 22 - 05:26 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Jan 22 - 10:18 PM
Dorothy Parshall 12 Jan 22 - 07:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Jan 22 - 01:16 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 12 Jan 22 - 10:42 AM
Charmion 12 Jan 22 - 09:52 AM
Steve Shaw 12 Jan 22 - 06:04 AM
Stilly River Sage 12 Jan 22 - 12:35 AM
Charmion 11 Jan 22 - 10:04 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Jan 22 - 08:32 PM
Dorothy Parshall 11 Jan 22 - 04:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Jan 22 - 11:32 AM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jan 22 - 03:30 PM
Steve Shaw 10 Jan 22 - 01:16 PM
Charmion 10 Jan 22 - 12:49 PM
keberoxu 10 Jan 22 - 12:30 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jan 22 - 12:21 PM
Charmion 10 Jan 22 - 11:51 AM
Steve Shaw 10 Jan 22 - 11:44 AM
Charmion 10 Jan 22 - 10:23 AM
Steve Shaw 10 Jan 22 - 05:22 AM
Sandra in Sydney 10 Jan 22 - 04:09 AM
Stilly River Sage 09 Jan 22 - 09:42 PM
Steve Shaw 09 Jan 22 - 07:38 PM
JennieG 09 Jan 22 - 06:43 PM
Charmion 09 Jan 22 - 05:45 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Jan 22 - 11:10 AM
Jon Freeman 08 Jan 22 - 01:17 PM
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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: JennieG
Date: 09 Jan 22 - 06:43 PM

Peu importe.......


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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: 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: 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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