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DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023

Stilly River Sage 31 Dec 22 - 11:01 AM
Charmion 31 Dec 22 - 02:23 PM
Sandra in Sydney 31 Dec 22 - 07:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Jan 23 - 12:52 AM
Charmion 01 Jan 23 - 08:35 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Jan 23 - 11:49 AM
Stilly River Sage 02 Jan 23 - 11:07 AM
Charmion 02 Jan 23 - 01:28 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Jan 23 - 01:54 PM
Charmion 02 Jan 23 - 05:13 PM
JennieG 02 Jan 23 - 10:34 PM
Charmion 03 Jan 23 - 08:30 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 Jan 23 - 09:23 AM
Charmion's brother Andrew 03 Jan 23 - 10:37 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 Jan 23 - 06:19 PM
JennieG 03 Jan 23 - 07:59 PM
Donuel 04 Jan 23 - 01:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jan 23 - 08:56 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jan 23 - 11:08 AM
Charmion 06 Jan 23 - 12:52 PM
Dorothy Parshall 06 Jan 23 - 01:13 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jan 23 - 11:04 AM
Charmion 07 Jan 23 - 12:41 PM
Dorothy Parshall 07 Jan 23 - 01:54 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Jan 23 - 11:14 AM
pattyClink 08 Jan 23 - 02:13 PM
Backwoodsman 08 Jan 23 - 03:10 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Jan 23 - 03:58 PM
Backwoodsman 08 Jan 23 - 04:37 PM
Donuel 08 Jan 23 - 05:57 PM
Steve Shaw 08 Jan 23 - 06:05 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Jan 23 - 07:31 PM
Senoufou 09 Jan 23 - 06:08 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Jan 23 - 06:39 AM
Charmion 09 Jan 23 - 09:43 AM
pattyClink 09 Jan 23 - 11:03 AM
Stilly River Sage 09 Jan 23 - 11:21 AM
keberoxu 09 Jan 23 - 12:34 PM
Steve Shaw 09 Jan 23 - 12:56 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Jan 23 - 01:24 PM
Charmion 09 Jan 23 - 03:34 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Jan 23 - 11:55 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jan 23 - 07:47 PM
Sandra in Sydney 10 Jan 23 - 10:22 PM
Donuel 10 Jan 23 - 10:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Jan 23 - 12:11 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Jan 23 - 04:00 AM
Mrrzy 11 Jan 23 - 10:20 AM
Senoufou 11 Jan 23 - 11:51 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Jan 23 - 12:07 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Jan 23 - 01:08 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Jan 23 - 03:58 PM
Mrrzy 11 Jan 23 - 04:01 PM
Charmion 11 Jan 23 - 04:28 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Jan 23 - 04:53 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Jan 23 - 05:28 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Jan 23 - 06:04 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Jan 23 - 06:21 PM
keberoxu 11 Jan 23 - 06:53 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Jan 23 - 11:20 AM
Charmion 12 Jan 23 - 07:17 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Jan 23 - 10:30 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jan 23 - 11:43 AM
pattyClink 13 Jan 23 - 12:07 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Jan 23 - 12:32 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jan 23 - 10:51 PM
Mrrzy 14 Jan 23 - 06:55 PM
Charmion 15 Jan 23 - 07:58 AM
Donuel 15 Jan 23 - 10:15 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jan 23 - 11:01 AM
Mrrzy 15 Jan 23 - 12:24 PM
keberoxu 15 Jan 23 - 12:49 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jan 23 - 01:02 PM
Donuel 15 Jan 23 - 01:51 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jan 23 - 06:04 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Jan 23 - 11:42 AM
Mrrzy 16 Jan 23 - 01:44 PM
Sandra in Sydney 16 Jan 23 - 09:55 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Jan 23 - 10:38 PM
Mrrzy 17 Jan 23 - 07:39 AM
Charmion 18 Jan 23 - 12:07 AM
Senoufou 18 Jan 23 - 02:26 AM
Stilly River Sage 18 Jan 23 - 11:00 AM
Charmion 18 Jan 23 - 12:12 PM
Steve Shaw 18 Jan 23 - 01:47 PM
Charmion 18 Jan 23 - 04:28 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Jan 23 - 05:33 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Jan 23 - 08:59 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Jan 23 - 03:14 PM
Donuel 19 Jan 23 - 04:52 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Jan 23 - 05:54 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Jan 23 - 03:20 PM
Charmion 20 Jan 23 - 05:23 PM
Dorothy Parshall 20 Jan 23 - 06:25 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Jan 23 - 10:18 PM
Senoufou 21 Jan 23 - 03:12 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Jan 23 - 10:00 AM
keberoxu 22 Jan 23 - 06:29 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Jan 23 - 09:06 PM
Charmion 22 Jan 23 - 10:05 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Jan 23 - 10:58 PM
Charmion 23 Jan 23 - 10:12 AM
Charmion 23 Jan 23 - 10:26 AM
Stilly River Sage 23 Jan 23 - 11:15 AM
Dorothy Parshall 23 Jan 23 - 10:21 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Jan 23 - 11:13 PM
Senoufou 24 Jan 23 - 02:16 AM
Charmion 24 Jan 23 - 02:14 PM
Dorothy Parshall 24 Jan 23 - 06:32 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Jan 23 - 03:43 PM
Sandra in Sydney 25 Jan 23 - 08:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 26 Jan 23 - 11:59 AM
Dorothy Parshall 26 Jan 23 - 01:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 26 Jan 23 - 02:53 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 Jan 23 - 02:36 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Jan 23 - 09:37 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Jan 23 - 09:53 AM
Donuel 29 Jan 23 - 11:27 AM
Dorothy Parshall 29 Jan 23 - 12:42 PM
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Charmion 29 Jan 23 - 08:22 PM
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Stilly River Sage 01 Feb 23 - 01:46 PM
Charmion 01 Feb 23 - 04:56 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Feb 23 - 10:55 AM
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Subject: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Dec 22 - 11:01 AM

2022 Declutter thread, Pandemic edition year 3

Our habits shift over time, tilting more toward environmentally sound practices. Organic gardening, recycling, buying products in containers that are recyclable (glass and metal and corrugated cardboard are most likely to be recycled; plastic and mixed paper less so), and looking at our closets and thrift stores for slow fashion. Gardening because it's good for us and good for the planet; when the carbon footprint of your meal is nil because you carried that eggplant or tomato 25 feet from the garden. Growing from seed. Driving prudently and making several stops in one trip instead of single task trips. Walking more, driving less, or even moving to a place where everything is nearby and transit is efficient so a car is unnecessary – that's more difficult, but might be a goal we need to shoot for in our lifetimes.

It has been many years since Katlaughing started these declutter and fitness threads, and now it is quite a few years since we lost Kat La France who went by that moniker. Other members have drifted away and drop in occasionally with updates (we love those!) We lost Alice Flynn in early December; at one time she was quite active on these threads (and in the Facebook cognate). They were interested in all of these things we're still talking about, an aspect of these threads unlikely to change, and chances are these conversations will lure in a few new participants.

COVID is still here, with its recent companions RSV and the Plague Influenza. Planetary scientists are looking at the super storms racing around the planet (we just finished a horrible long freeze that hit the lower 48 US states, when on Christmas day they were all simultaneously frozen at least somewhere.)
We need to continue using our spaces as efficiently as possible including the making of compost to fertilize the garden, buying clothes to last, mending clothing, remaking existing clothing, learning food preservation, learning to trade or barter, etc. I've been reducing the amount of turf that needs mowing every year, though I still have gas-powered equipment along with the electric tools. I don't know if I'd ever use a push mower on this half-acre, but that is a possibility at some point. I have planted and will continue to plant various sized trees, while leaving myself a sunny area to garden.

I don't make resolutions – though late in 2022 I decided a few things that I have already started on, like weeding out the email I never read (unsubscribe) and make a bigger effort to sell things in the house now that I know the kids aren't interested in. Redistribution of resources to declutter and avoid the need to manufacture new is a task to refine. If you use the Japanese or the Swedish approaches to household inventory, or other trends that come along, please share.

National Wildlife Federation: Gardening for Climate Change


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Subject: RE: Declutter * Health * Climate Change * 2023
From: Charmion
Date: 31 Dec 22 - 02:23 PM

Thanks for the new thread, Stilly.

I joined this group-within-a-group comparatively late, in 2020, after my husband died and I found myself neck deep in clothing, books, papers, furniture, housewares and other assets -- even an extra car -- that I did not need and either could not or would not use. Over two years, I have shed most of the excess and reorganized the house to suit myself on my own. Only the library remains to be reduced to manageable size, and I have actually started work on it with the transfer of all remaining children's books to the youngest cohort of the family. That's the declutter part.

Health? I'm still here, and functioning remarkably well for an aging asthmatic recovering from COVID-19. I have an ugly cough and at present I sing better than I talk -- don't know why. I can still drive on high-speed autoroutes, even at night, although these days I need a break every 150 km or so. I'm a frequent flyer at the YM/YWCA swimming pool and I still walk well. The doctor doesn't see much of me; in fact, I doubt if she could pick me out of a police line-up.

As for climate change, I've probably lightened my carbon footprint about as much as I can without selling the house. Thanks to the inadequacy of Stratford's public transit, I will need a car as long as I live here, and I'm nowhere near ready to move. I travel very little these days and not at all by air; in future, I will probably take the train to destinations more than two hours away by road. But Canadians have good reasons to be heavy consumers of energy, and that won't change as long as we have cold winters and high housing costs leading to long commutes to work. Of course, I don't have to commute any more (hurrah!), so at least I don't contribute to that problem.

I find myself returning to the abstemious habits I learned from my parents, who lived through the depression and the war, and raised three children on not nearly enough money. It's oddly comforting to decide that entire classes of consumption are simply off the menu, out of the question, not for me. Avoiding advertising is a big help; what the eye doesn't see the heart doesn't yearn for.

By the way, the foot and a half of snow that fell over Christmas is now gone. I woke this morning to rain on the roof and today's forecast high is 8 degrees Celsius; yesterday it went up to 12C, and we won't see freezing temperatures again until sometime next Wednesday.

New Year's Eve is a good time to settle debts and count blessings. In that spirit, I shall clear my MasterCard bill, vacuum the upstairs (I'm so lucky to have an upstairs!), and phone my sister-in-law to thank her for hosting the family hordes. Then I shall make myself a toddy (three people gave me whisky for Christmas!) and settle down with the cats for a nice evening of reading and television.

Life is good.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health * Climate Change * 2023
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 31 Dec 22 - 07:44 PM

Charmion - singing & talking come from different centres of the brain, which is why a past colleague of mine could barely be understood with a severe stutter, but sang like an angel. I've also read something somewhere about people recovering from strokes who can barely speak, but if they use a sing-song voice are understandable.

Declutter - hmmmm

Thoughtful distribution of unwanted stuff. Before covid I used to visit a huge community centre (ex-WW1 & 2 Army base) weekly. One of the community groups there was a composting organisation with huge bins so I used to take all kitchen scraps. During covid I couldn't go that far so took selected scraps to a friend's worm farm (worms are fussy!) & have been throwing out unwanted stuff. I know there's a local facebook group for contacting individuals with compost heaps who welcome contributions, so JUST need to ask friends on facebook to check it out for me. A few months back our small soft plastic recycling industry collapsed - one company lost their premises to fire, another had stockpiled plastic cos they couldn't use it fast enough! Not good, & stockpiles are a fire risk, so we all need to toss it out at the moment ... more waste.

I recently took several long term bags of unwanted (& very much in the way) stuff to charity shops! small YAH! but there is more to go.

A friend's teenage granddaughter is visiting & they have been going thru small family treasures & other ornaments etc. The charity shop pile is slowly growing. I suggested several anonymous family treasures (eg. small unmarked painting by an ancestor) be marked so her sons & granddaughters know what they are looking at if she suddenly pops off the twig. My cousin who has 2 daughters is looking forward to my smallish collection of family treasures so they can continue to be passed down in the female line.

But I have so much other stuff that needs sorting, including some that is already supported & was forgotten ...

Charity shops re-open next week, but many are overwhelmed by donations at this time of the year.

sandra (ignoring floor that needs vacuuming cos various craft projects & books are filed on the floor


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health * Climate Change * 2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Jan 23 - 12:52 AM

A friend left today after visiting for most of the week, during which time she visited with her grandchildren and their child and seems to have caught a nasty cold from them. So I'm hoping it doesn't land on me in a day or two. I was going to go out to the gym but decided to keep my germs to myself for a few days, just in case. I don't need to offload a cold (or who knows, RSV?) onto other people.

It's warm here and in the next couple of days I'll finally finish some of the garden work - the tough, woody okra plants need to come down and get tossed into my woods over the back fence. The old sweet potato vines break down easily and can go on the compost, and I'll even dig to see if there are potatoes in there. I'm going to visit one of the big box stores and see if they have any leftover rosemary xmas trees - I have to replace at least one plant that died last week when it got down to 9o. I'll keep them in the greenhouse for a few weeks until the last freeze date has passed.

I'm recycling old t-shirts of mine by putting them on my blue heeler, to keep her for scratching at her surgical spot on her stomach. It takes more than just a cone to protect the area; she can lift her back foot and scratch, not just lick. It has been suggested in other venues (Facebook pages, I think) that really old towels and such can be donated to animal shelters, and I have some that I think it's time to send in that direction. Even then I'll have plenty here left for me to use. I should ask if they also use general clothing rags or just old towels.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health * Climate Change * 2023
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Jan 23 - 08:35 AM

When I had to buy a car last year, I had a hell of a time convincing the sales staff at the Volkswagen dealership that I really did want the smallest, fuel-stingiest vehicle they could find. Wasn’t I afraid of being crushed in a collision? Didn’t I want to impress people with a brawny ride? Well, yes, in fact I am kinda scared of being crushed in an accident, but I know that’s actually more likely in a boxy, top-heavy truck-type vehicle with stiff steering and awkward sight-lines. The Golf I bought impresses with its ease of extraction from snowbanks.

In re: dog licences — Whaddaya mean, “reimpose” the dog licence? You don’t have to tag your dog in Britain? Since when?


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Jan 23 - 11:49 AM

This thread isn't about Greta and that kind of political topic. I transferred those two off-topic posts to the Good news re: . . . environment thread, where they fit perfectly. Climate change may be too broad a subject in the title, I will adjust it to keep it pretty tightly on topic here; we touch on lots of things, for example, some recipes, in passing, but not multiple-post discourse; we generally stick to local references to aspects of national topics that impact the participants in the thread.

The dog reference that was transferred leaves Charmion's remark hanging; sorry about that. We still have ongoing pet discussions here (and licenses are required). My dog has a new rabies tag after her surgery, when they caught her up on her immunizations, but because she is now wearing a reinforced cone (I literally put a new cone on behind the vet's harder plastic and now cracked cone) I won't expose either of us to the possible ridicule a walk could initiate.

Now that I'm thinking about donating towels I've starting a box in the laundry room (where my regular donation bin also lives) and will add towels and some of the really old bedding (I imagine washable old blankets are also used at the Humane Society, but I'll ask before I drop them off). I have some really old bed pillows that need to come out of the closet; it looks like if I run them through the washer and dryer, I could then upcycle them into other uses, by taking the fiber out of the covers and stuffing new cases. One site has several new case suggestions, but there is also an image of a long narrow device to block the cold air from coming under the door. That would be helpful in a couple of areas and they could be made of some really sturdy corduroy or sail cloth. Would they survive dog attention? They'd be washable.

I unsubscribed a half-dozen email sources so far, and many more ahead.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Jan 23 - 11:07 AM

One more dive into the closet rack to pull out some really big t-shirts that were favorites but that I've passed by for many weeks now when choosing a t-shirt for the day. They are too big to use for the dogs also (Pepper is wearing size medium or large that aren't humongous.) And a few of my long-sleeved shirts that are too baggy or worn out to look good, though I still have several larger blouses that I will typically wear over the top of a contrasting color shirt and roll up the sleeves when I want another layer. For the last several years the loose outer blouse was worn to hide the "love handles" from where my snug t-shirt under it revealed the muffin top above my jeans waist.

My organizing system is to put the shirts with a messages or art on hangers along the upper rod in the closet; there are shelves in a narrow cabinet built in the back and I keep a large wire basket in there to stack my folded (I used to roll them) shirts on, arranged by color. No art - they're the tops I wore to work or to dressier events when I'm not a walking billboard for a philosophical statement or cause or some silliness. Ever since I worked on my Dad's estate and realized he hung his t-shirts arranged by color I started that - it's easier to find what I'm looking for. I have a few blouses and slacks, but they are a thing of my distant working past for the most part, with one or two nicer fabric/higher cost to mix and match for occasions like weddings or funerals.

As days pass my fingers are crossed that what my houseguest last week experienced was a bad allergy attack and not a cold. She coughed and sneezed all over the house on Friday and Saturday so I'm three days out and still ok. I really don't want to catch a cold or RSV or whatever it is going around now. I keep my allergies tamped down to avoid getting sinus infections - until I admitted that I had allergies I used to end up with horrible sinus stuff. A head cold isn't going to respond to the allergy medication and not so well to the decongestant.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Jan 23 - 01:28 PM

Today is the statutory holiday for New Year’s Day, so the town is quiet. The Y was open, however, so I went to pool class, where I saw several unfamiliar people. The long-term frequent fliers call these folks “Resolutionists”, and expect them to vanish by February.

I weighed myself yesterday and found that I had gained half a pound over the month since I came down with COVID, including Christmas. I ate whatever was handy and palatable when I was sick and accepted every delicacy that came my way during the festivities, so I expected to be considerably fatter. I wonder if my body has right-sized itself and I should focus less on calories and more on eating what I need and what I like.

Tomorrow, I intend to visit the LCBO and get as many boxes as will fit in the car. It’s time to start packing up novels that I know I won’t read again. Goodwill Industries has a bookstore in London, so that’s where I’ll take them, one carload at a time.

I still feel compelled to continue shedding stuff, and I’m not quite sure why. No one is pushing me to sell the house and move, and I know lots of people who just let their families’ accumulated possessions pile up around them without so much as a second thought. I’ll have to think about it …


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Jan 23 - 01:54 PM

When I remember what a job it was to go through the separate houses of both parents (divorced many years earlier) and how rough it was on the rest of the family, I would like to avoid that in this generation. It's a lot better than it used to be, but I have a lot left to do, though I *think* it isn't as bad as my parents' homes.

LCBO? Liquor boxes, maybe? Trying to figure out that acronym. In Washington State they had way-expensive state liquor stores (until Costco sued and got the right for itself and other retailers to also sell hard liquor) and we used to go get boxes for moving. The theory was they were strong for bottles and not too heavy to lift when they were packed.

This afternoon I pulled out six long-dead okra plants to be hauled out back, and I dug around and found a few small sweet potatoes. The trouble with growing those is the vines sprawl all over and you have no way of knowing where the potatoes end up under all of the vines. I got a few small ones and broke a piece off of a larger potato but couldn't find the rest of that potato. Odd. It'll sprout next year and we'll have more sweet potatoes in that area. I still need to finish tightening the gate hinge, something I'll head out to do in a few minutes. It's warm and very humid right now, getting ready to rain.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Jan 23 - 05:13 PM

Liquor Control Board of Ontario, Stilly.

Boozetería.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: JennieG
Date: 02 Jan 23 - 10:34 PM

From which one can buy (and has indeed bought) Sortilege Maple Whisky.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 03 Jan 23 - 08:30 AM

Sortilège is one of those things that, if liked at all, are typically liked a lot, a class of article that also includes poutine, butter tarts, and ketchup. It’s all yuck to me, and sometimes I wonder if my Canadian birth certificate would be revoked if the government ever found out.

It’s still grey, wet, and too warm for January in Stratford; I continue to feel washed-out and wobbly, presumably from COVID after-effects; and the cats are fighting again for no apparent reason. Things really have to improve.

What if I were to wash the kitchen floor? Or would that be too drastic?


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jan 23 - 09:23 AM

That might do it. Or look around that bathroom you want updated and decide to start a project on your own without beefy craftsmen to do the heavy lifting. That lets you view everything else from a new perspective.

Yesterday was dreadful here; I thought about posting or sharing via email to a friend and finally posted a jeremiad to a small private group - this morning [most of] the things I complained about had reversed themselves and were fine. Whew.

The SUV gets an oil change and tire rotation today. I have an overdue library book that I'll read while I wait then return it on the way home. I've just ironed a handful of my 3-layer 3D COVID face masks to wear as we enter the fourth year of COVID. Knock wood the threat of a head cold seems to have passed, but the mask would help keep my germs to myself if it was still a question of coming down with something.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 03 Jan 23 - 10:37 AM

Stilly, the LCBO was and may still be the largest single purchaser of alcoholic beverages on the planet. It maintained (and may yet maintain) a leading quality-assurance laboratory from which many other booze vendors have benefited; in the early 1980s, it (along with the West Germans) detected ethylene glycol in Austrian wines. The scandal nearly ruined the Austrians' export market. The history section of the LCBO's Wikipedia article is worth reading, if only for a reminder of what things were like in a nanny state with no laws to protect one's privacy.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jan 23 - 06:19 PM

Andrew, that's quite a rabbit hole to descend.

The blue laws in Texas and Kentucky and Louisiana that I have experienced over the years impacted Sunday purchases of alcohol along with odd things. Clothing, automobiles, personal things like pantyhose, no rhyme or reason to a lot of it. Most of those have been removed (though in Texas auto dealers have the choice of which weekend day they are closed, they can only be open six days a week.) I just looked up my home state of Washington's liquor control board and find they seem to be largely about cannabis now.

The holidays have an impact on diet - so much sugar. I'm off of the various breads and cookies, along with the wine and Scotch that were here over the last month, now just to finish off the last of the dark chocolate caramels and go cold turkey. I'm hoping that if the dog cone and stitches are resolved tomorrow that I can finally go back to using the dog door and spend more time away from the house. I know people go to work and leave their dogs indoors for nine or 10 hours at a time, but these guys aren't used to it and the Lab can't handle it. I'll go to the gym tomorrow afternoon and make more progress on my audio book. I've missed that. (I typically don't just go to the gym, as far away as it is I combine that activity with volunteer activities and am usually away from the house 4 to 6 hours.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: JennieG
Date: 03 Jan 23 - 07:59 PM

Charmion, I'm also quite partial to butter tarts and Nanaimo bars - my friend in B.C. makes delicious bars - but we don't have them here in Oz, they have been treats on visits to Canada. Ditto poutine. Your ketchup is different to our tomato sauce, it's much sweeter, something our Canaussian son remarked on when he was first in Canada. According to Doug a meat pie was not a meat pie without lashings of tomato sauce....or dead horse, as oldies sometimes still call it. He has learned to use ketchup but still hankers for Ozzie tomato sauce.

The Chrissy decorations, such as they are this year, will be put away soon. They are being gathered in one spot to make for easier putting-away-of. It has turned quite hot here but the next few days are set to be cooler, so better weather for doing household Stuff.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Jan 23 - 01:58 PM

I have had my moments of art by pen, clay, oil, digital, wood, stone and now will begin my acrylic age. In the meantime I have one mixed media space portrait to finish composed of translucent silk layers and LCD-illuminated stone stars, planets and UV glowing nebulas. Sadly its depth is impervious to photography and its final effectiveness is as of yet unknown.
Ecologic innovations? I wish I had some. Minimal Jeff Goldblum Xmas decorations on the second floor basement will stay until the super bowl.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jan 23 - 08:56 PM

I have a bag of towels and an old blanket to donate to the Humane Society, but they were closed by the time I got there today. I picked up Pepper, still a bit loopy after sedation, but no more in a cone or t-shirt. The Humane Society is across the street from my vet, so in a couple of weeks for a recheck I'll take the towels over. And by then I may have rounded up a few more bedding pieces that can go to them.

The dogs cornered a cat in the back yard this evening; their Invisible Fence collars prevented them from reaching it, but that wild thing wasn't interested in my help (I got scratched) so I dropped my hoodie over the top of it and tossed the cat over onto the creek side of the fence. I expect coyotes will find that guy just like my dogs did; feral cats don't last long out there.

What a day. Today's exam showed that Pepper's scar tissue is unusual and so we went ahead and sent in the tissue for pathology. Should this be treatable in a reasonable way, ok, but I suspect it's going to be a rough year for losing pets.

At least I got my overdue library book turned in this evening. They don't charge fines now, but they were emailing me about it.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jan 23 - 11:08 AM

It still feels good that the holidays are over - they were rough this year. And after a couple of days back using the dog door it still feels luxurious to have my time to myself now that they come and go as they wish. I have to puff a dry medication onto Pepper's tummy daily, where one wound is still healing, but that's it.

A few days ago I took pliers and level and a pry bar and a couple of bricks to the side gate installed last summer and I raised the height (it was dragging) and tapped the hinge into place then tightened it completely. A determined burglar could bring a pliers and dismantle the gate latch and come through; these kinds of gates keep the dogs in and honest people out. Now that the gate is working well I need to take the wheelbarrow through it and finish moving the last of the dead garden vines and plants to the backyard compost.

The knee surgery six-month follow-up shows good progress. I went from there to the gym, but it was late afternoon and the place had more people than usual (with their resolutions to get in shape). I spent only 30 minutes this time, getting back to the routine, but left before the after-work crowd arrived for the fitness classes. I wear a mask and make a point to use machines that are fairly isolated in the rooms. They finally finished the work in the wet area so it's time to get a suit and add laps to my routine. We'll see if Charmion's description of "bingo flaps" or such (the upper arm wattle) in the pool is very noticable. I expect to just swim, not wave my arms around in the air. ;-)

I hope Dorothy locates this new thread pretty soon. She had a lot of moving around planned and keeping up with it is always interesting.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 06 Jan 23 - 12:52 PM

Bingo wings, Stilly.

I've been to pool class and I'm tired and a bit wobbly; apparently, this is the new normal, at least for now.

The mouldy bathroom really is urgent, and well beyond my limited skill with tools, so I contacted one of Stratford's main building firms for a quote. Their website said I would have to wait for an estimator, but within a few hours an email rolled in proposing a visit next Thursday. I accepted with enthusiasm.

If I tried to tackle that job on my own, I would make a mess and probably hurt myself. Even the destruction phase requires tools I don't have and don't know how to use, not to speak of the mould itself, a major threat to asthmatic ol' me. Classic example of a task for a properly equipped master carpenter.

Damp spots have been appearing on the bedroom rug lately, and I suspect Watson (who spends his days on the bed) although I have not noticed so much as a whiff of cat pee. This cannot continue, however, so I rolled up the rug and told the cat, "This is why we can't have nice things." He just showed me his belly and purred.

Today is Epiphany, or Little Christmas, and neighbour Neil across the street is taking the tastefully restrained festive lights off his roof. I bet the people on the corner will leave the gigantic inflatable (but only half-inflated) Santa on their lawn until at least half-way through Lent.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 06 Jan 23 - 01:13 PM

Dupont:
Here am I! Back, on Monday, from a week at Beaver. R's mid-winter break but not nearly long enough. I wish we could have sent him far away for a month. He drove the whole way there but I was still exhausted as tho I had done it myself. I believe I was not well for a long time before we went and, finally, felt better after a few days there. I sent him off in my car to enjoy as much as there was - thrift shops mostly closed but he explored what he could and finally went off on Sunday to play chess with our 90 year old Estonian friend. This made R remember how much he enjoys playing chess. Arne Roosman is a highly regarded artist (you can google), a highly intelligent person, and much loved locally. So it was a good break for R. Maybe someday I can acquire one of his paintings.

I just mainly hung out at Beaver and considered doing something... The snow was rather overwhelming. When we arrived on the Monday, R had to plow through thigh-high drifts to get to the house - and the shovel! He cleared a path for me and I texted our snow-clearance guy, knowing he had been up to his eyeballs! He came early on Tues. We could park on the road as there are only 4 or 5 neighours beyond us.

The most interesting aspect was that the wind had come from a different direction and put snow into the front of the wood shed. The back deck was also thigh-deep! R did lots of shoveling! I was too tired - unusually.

The trip back was ... I had hoped to meet a friend in Tweed, thinking his driveway would be impassable but... He did not understand my texts and invited us for tea (the drive was clear) but by then, R had gone off to consult re business so I thanked my friend. Rather than go back 15 minutes to his place, we headed south to the 401 ... The dentist phoned with an opening for my tooth cleaning... So we went back 30 minutes and got a bite to eat and R had fun exploring Madoc while I got clean teeth. Now it was getting late and R's driving was driving me crazy so I ended up driving the remaining 3 hours, as it got dark - home to Dupont at 7:15 pm. And felt OK the next day, unusual.

We did de-clutter stuff in ON. Now I look at what is here and... I need to sort through piles of fabrics and see what more I can easily part with then invite a friend, who sews, to choose whatever she wants. The rest will go back to Beaver for the Thrift shops there.

I have slightly de-cluttered bank accounts with donations re animal rehabs and a burned down house. Deciding how much I can give to local group that is dedicated to helping people in need - housing, food, drug rehab... This group is making a BIG difference for a lot of people and encouraging political action/complaining/pushing re the severe lack of affordable housing. I consider them worthy of whatever I believe I can afford, with some left for ...

Hoping we make it to the monthly old time music event tonight; our social event here. We managed to attend an open mike event when we were at Beaver.

And a new cord for the computer arrived by Fed-ex this am; I ordered it a couple days ago in desperation; the old one died completely late last night! And, as I was watching R leave this am, a neighbour walked over and said he would clear our drive - no charge! We have not needed it as we just push though it! But it was nice to meet him - from New Zealand and now I realize the older couple who offered help a while back are his parents - a Canadian and a Belgian. They all speak English! I look forward to seeing them again. I only know one other Anglophone neighbour and he is so busy- teaching classical music (choir I think) that we rarely get a chance to chat. My only social life is going to the grocery store and the library (did that on Tuesday).


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Jan 23 - 11:04 AM

A significant declutter that over a hundred people in this area are thrilled about is the departure of a Really Really bad boss. She arrived at our institution in 2012 and proceeded to break it so badly that about 75% of the people working there at the time found new jobs, quit outright, or retired. (I was in the latter group). She's moving on to break another institution's library in the far north, but the odds favor her being fired there within the six month probationary period. When we learned of this job consideration we kept her incompetence quiet, so the other institution wouldn't learn of it—because this local one needs her to move out so it can heal. (Honestly, we think this is how our institution ended up with her - someone here didn't do their due diligence on the projects she did at her last university - where they undid her big changes as soon as she left.) So - once she leaves, the new employer will be given the information they need to be on their guard for her evil personnel management techniques and general level of incompetence. There is new top management at our institution, president and provost, who, we think, don't suffer fools gladly and told her to find a new job and leave on her own or she's out. And now that she's announced that she is leaving and has given an end date, there are no do-overs if she finds the next place changes their mind. So much interesting information has come in through the back channels lately regarding these personnel matters.

Here on the home front eBay stuff is beginning to move again. One box delivered to the post office yesterday and a couple of more listings nearly ready to put up. This is good work for chilly evenings. Since today's high temperature will be in the mid-60s I can go out for a little while and finish cleaning out the freeze-damaged contents of the pots out front and at the side of the house. It's a day for puttering inside and out.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 07 Jan 23 - 12:41 PM

Puttering indeed.

I'm procrasti-cleaning, putting off writing the minutes of the latest choir board meeting. While I'm at it, I moved a small bookcase from the study to the bedroom and dusted all the baseboards (how to tell you're not just cleaning, but actively avoiding another task).

With no rug in the bedroom, thanks to Watson, I have to be even more punctilious about keeping the floor dusted in there. That task is easier with more room around the bed for bending over and swashing the dustmop or the vacuum cleaner underneath. To that end, the enormous chest of drawers moved across the room and the considerably less enormous bookcase took its place.

And now I want to move the pictures, and put up the new one my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas. But I really have to write those minutes, and the choir newsletter -- the deadline is coming at me like the noon freight.

One final note: I envy Dorothy her outings to old-time music and open-mike events. I finally got to play a few tunes on Thursday with my fiddler friend, who has finally quit her draining classroom teaching job, but that's about the sum and total of my non-family social life that isn't choir practice.

Grocery shopping doesn't count, Dorothy!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 07 Jan 23 - 01:54 PM

Dupont:

Charmion would get more out of the "Brysonville School revisited" than I.It is a bilingual group and only a couple that I talk with. A few songs last night in French sounded delightful. Of course, even when they are in English, I usually have no idea of the words due to my Auditory Processing problem, unless "You are my Sunshine" and the like! It is a rare voice that is comprehensible to me. Enunciation is not taught in school.

R's is getting worse - or my problem is - or both! My current comment is, "Just make sure if the house is on fire, I understand you." There are people I understand with ease. "Grocery shopping" - I usually understand staff. So, twice a month I have something akin to social time.

Yesterday, a cross-the-street neighbour caught me outside - as I watched to make sure R put on his safety belt, which I do every morning. This short visit was an event: Jay is from NZ, offered to plow our drive free of charge. I found out his parents (also over there) are Canadian and Belgian. SO! 3 possible social connections. The dog walker down the street has become a friend but with very little time; he did come in for a bit a couple weeks ago.

Now, I shall brave the frosty weather and go socialize at the vitamin shop! And the produce store. Then try to see if I can re-configure the kitchen - like that pic circulating on FB - sans chat!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jan 23 - 11:14 AM

At xmas my kids gave me a specialty bidet commode seat. The Cadillac of bidets with a warmed seat and warm water, etc. I set the box to the side for a couple of weeks because I had company and frankly didn't want advice or to have to fuss with someone else wanting to try it before I figure it out myself. (This last holiday season got on my last nerve something fierce - it started with the dog in a cone for three weeks, add to it an elderly visitor who coughed and hacked and blew her nose much of the time she was here over five long days . . . ) I've had time to calm down and read the installation instructions.

Today Amazon should be delivering an indoor/outdoor power strip that will be plugged into the GFCI plug on the far end of the sink counter. The extra water protection may not be necessary because of the GFCI plug, but whatever. With an 8' cord it will reach along the wall and be attached to the wall next to the mirror so the bidet power cord can be plugged in. I have checked with the stud finder and should be able to make this power strip pretty stable where I want to place it.

2023 may turn out to be a perfectly fine year, but the start to it has had a number of puzzles and annoyances that have me on edge. I still have a really old dog and the middle dog may have cancer but on the plus side my ex retired so my income will increase one of these days.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: pattyClink
Date: 08 Jan 23 - 02:13 PM

Been trying hard to get-things-done at the start of the year, and making headway, after some goof-off time at Camp Harmony. But honestly it seems I get 2 things off the list and 2 new ones crop up.

One thing was a large ordering binge while I am stationary for a few weeks. Ebay turned out to be wonderful for ordering odd-size clothes, bless the people who gather these things up and make them available. Land's End, on the other hand, still hasn't actually shipped anything but has sent 3 promotional emails. They are moving at the speed of Sears Roebuck in 1962. Minimizing my Amazon buys, and will send back the mis-sized item they speedily sent.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 08 Jan 23 - 03:10 PM

Charmion asked, ”In re: dog licences — Whaddaya mean, “reimpose” the dog licence? You don’t have to tag your dog in Britain? Since when?”

In the UK, Dog Licences were abolished in 1987. The old dog licence was a bit of a joke costing, as it did, the princely sum of 37 pence (slightly less than one US dollar). A promise by the then government to introduce a formal dog registration scheme never came to fruition, although it is a requirement that dogs must have a collar with owners’ details when in public this rule is widely ignored.

Personally, I would change the law to require a licence costing at least £50 p.a. for every dog, but I suspect that such a move would result in huge numbers of abandoned dogs in our streets, and rescue centres would be totally overcome.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jan 23 - 03:58 PM

When my kids were growing fast and I discovered eBay I used to pack together like-sized clothes in good condition for kids and sell them as a "lot." Pants and shirts, generally aimed at school-age kids. I sell estate sale handbags and shoes there, and specific types of garments like vintage things from my mom's closet or really old things out of the trunks from my great aunt's house. And thrift store finds like types of jeans that sell well.

I had a couple of lemons I peeled the rind from to use in baking last month but never squeezed the juice; they were stored in the fridge in sealed containers. I finally decided to squeeze them and today have been looking for a recipe or two for lemon juice. There's a nice yogurt lemon pound cake that I'm going to try (I love lemon meringue pie, but if I'm here by myself I'll eat the whole thing.) The cake sounds like something that would freeze.

Yesterday I used things from the fridge and freezer and made what I will call an unusual batch of kidney beans; I added several of my roasted Hatch chilis and a smoked chicken breast that had been in the freezer for a while. It's odd but edible. Like Hatch chili stew with beans added. It used some frozen garden tomatoes and used up a small container of sofrito from a batch of Puerto Rican arroz con gandules we made last week. The goal was to empty several containers, and I did that.

My power strip has arrived, but I ordered an 8' cord and this is 6'. Damn. Either change plans or return it.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 08 Jan 23 - 04:37 PM

”I love lemon meringue pie, but if I'm here by myself I'll eat the whole thing”

And the problem there is….what, precisely? ;-) :-)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Donuel
Date: 08 Jan 23 - 05:57 PM

10 steps to reduce extinctions https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2022/12/19/cop15-biodiversity-wildlife-extinction/



Texas could do alot more to protect the ocelot population as well


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Jan 23 - 06:05 PM

If you have spare bits of lemon, just stick them in your freezer. Next time you're peeling apples, carrots or parsnips, put them in a pan of not too much water with your piece of lemon. It stops them from going brown and means you can peel them in advance. Voila!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jan 23 - 07:31 PM

This week has been one in which things feel like they're flying in all directions. One of the few areas where I have maintained some control is keeping to the weight I'm at after working for 6 months to get here, and a lemon meringue pie is hard to resist. I have figured out how to make some of these things in smaller versions, and that is one possibility. I'll throw out the lemon juice before I make the whole pie and do that to myself.

The really terrible boss who impacted a lot of people and most of my friends, since most of my friends here were co-workers, has announced she's leaving, after 11 years of misery and the diaspora of those friends. I retired before she could fire me ("we're not extending your contract" they told many of the others); the writing was on the wall. A lot of old memories have churned up. Add to this the recent family diagnosis of ADHD and the realization that there is a direct line from my father, through me, to that child, and I'm hit with the realization that my scattered way of doing everything was possibly treatable decades ago. There is great potential in view - I think the best way to look at all of this - but great change is part of it.

I have rescinded the intention to do a dry January, though I'm keeping it to most days of the week. Self-medication with a glass of wine and streaming a video is a socially acceptable and non-destructive way of coping. Now that the dog is out of the cone I can get back to the world for hours at a time and stop by the gym. That is a huge help but I just wish it wasn't so full of people starting out their new year's resolutions right now - I try to go when the place is sparsely in use. I went out in the sun this afternoon to let it shine on my forehead; I always find that improves my mood. I've also been doing some sewing; it seems that multitasking has been my standard operating system and sewing and watching TV at the same time works. That, or sewing and listening to an audiobook.

This is more than I usually share, but it has needed to come out.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Senoufou
Date: 09 Jan 23 - 06:08 AM

Husband is moving back in with me in two weeks, and he's having a sort-out of all his surplus clothes which are clogging up his flat in a nearby town. We've been to the supermarket where they have large containers for unwanted clothing (Salvation Army etc) and popped lots of stuff in there. Also took some small pieces of his furniture to our local tip, where they have a big shed for 'still useful' items.
I've lost tons of weight (from size 20 to size 10!!) so all my fat lady's clothes have gone too.
But he wants to keep his 20 pairs of sporty trainers and dozens of football shirts. (Why not eh? If it keeps him happy!)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Jan 23 - 06:39 AM

I'm terrible with clothes. All my shirts are cheap and cheerful short-sleeve ones, generally from Asda George and Mountain Warehouse, and half of them are falling to bits. I wear cheap sandals only and have just a single pair of shoes, in black, for weddings and funerals only, that I've had for over thirty years. I don't wear socks. I have one pair of half-decent trousers, one white short-sleeve shirt and an ancient sports jacket for emergencies and I wear cheap nylon shorts all year round. I will put on a tie only at gunpoint. I never wear wool or anything with long sleeves. I've just bought a cheap winter coat for twenty quid (I haven't had one for years, but that December cold snap and my advancing years gave me a wake-up call), of the Rab type that everyone seems to wear, but their genuine Rabs cost upward of £150. I can buy seven or eight of mine for that money. I don't get it. I hate paying full price for anything but I really have to do some shopping. My size is XL, the first size of everything to sell out in the sales. I'm the kind of bloke that could put on a sharp £300 suit and immediately make it look like I've picked it up for a fiver in the Scouts' jumble sale.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 09 Jan 23 - 09:43 AM

Now almost ten years past leaving my last government job, I have pared my wardrobe to seasonal variations on shirt + trousers + sweater. (Canadian weather ranges from tropical heat to polar cold, so we need those variations.) I can't remember when I last wore pantyhose, but the hassle of keeping them hauled up is fresh in my mind. Make-up makes my skin crawl, and then break out in a rash. Giving up dressing up is probably my most important decluttering decision ever.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: pattyClink
Date: 09 Jan 23 - 11:03 AM

Steve, this might be a good time to stroll through some local thrift shops (not jumble sales) and see what turns up. You might find better-looking and better-made things for a fraction of what you've been investing. You're right, the XL sizes can be hard to find, but, you might find great things on the hunt. I understand you're not a fashion plate, but, a couple of nice new things can give one a lift of spirit, especially if the results of a successful bargain hunt.

Stilly, the upside to finding out ADHD is a thing in the family is, you didn't blindly get put on strong/wrong drugs for years.You have the advantage of perspective and the results of society's large scale experiment with them, and other methods of coping.

We join with you to toast the departure of the wicked witch of the workplace, glad she won't be able to do your coworkers or the institution further harm.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Jan 23 - 11:21 AM

Thanks, Patty!

Cosmetics make my eyes water and don't do my skin any good. I think it's the coconut products in it, same is in many soaps, shampoos, and lotions. On rare occasion I've used a waxy wand thing like a mascara tube to force my eyebrows to appear on my face, though I think wearing a pair of half-rim glasses with a dark upper rim tends to achieve the same effect. I mail order glasses through Zenni.com these days.

My wardrobe for volunteering is usually good jeans, attractive walking shoes and a knit shirt with no message (unless we're asked to wear one identifying us as volunteers). The closet also holds black slacks and a couple of mid-calf skirts, a couple of suit jackets, and for special occasions a long cashmere kilt I bought about 50 years ago. There was a lovely sweater to pair with it but moths devoured that; the kilt is packed in an air-tight bin.

It is astonishing the quality of clothing that turns up in thrift stores, especially things from the last 30 years or so—there are some things that are truly out of style, but garments like mid-rise or high-waist jeans (the latter I prefer) and simple strait sweaters or knit tops are fairly timeless. The current lightweight "fast fashion" also turns up there to be left on the rack.

I buy new shoes starting in the clearance rack at DSW. I grew up going to Nordstrom's in Seattle with my mother, starting at their clearance rack. That's when Nordstrom's was JUST shoes and just one store in downtown Seattle. Decades ago they merged with Best's Apparel and for a few years were called Nordstrom Best's until they went back to the single name, keeping the nice clothes.

When my father died I filled a large U-Haul box (the next size down from the wardrobe box) with shoes, mostly running or walking sneakers (called "trainers" in the UK). I think I estimated the value at $50 a pair (most of them barely if ever worn) and with donations like that to the local Saint Vincent DePaul was able to wipe out the estate's income tax bill (and they were THRILLED with the shoes that mostly went to homeless men.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: keberoxu
Date: 09 Jan 23 - 12:34 PM

My decision to join an amateur vocal chorus means I have had
to add to my wardrobe, what are called "concert blacks".
Black blouse, full-length black skirt, black shoes.

My big de-clutter is high heels: no more, never again.
Sure, I have some shoes/boots with one-inch heels, but that's not high.
And the black shoes have to be decorous-looking onstage,
so they have to be nice shoes;
but they can still have lower heels and be acceptable.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Jan 23 - 12:56 PM

I haven't used deodorant for over thirty years (I do shower twice a day!) and I never use body sprays or any soap or cream that contains perfume. I've had to give in when it comes to shampoo because I need something that keeps dandruff at bay, though a small bottle will last me a year. I have far less hair these days. Our washing machine does not rinse my clothes and towels anywhere near well enough and I react badly to any residues thereon, so I do a huge amount of rinsing, typically in cold water in the sink. Gosh, what a delicate thing I am.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Jan 23 - 01:24 PM

I haven't used deodorant since high school; it isn't good for you. That said, I have gotten to where my hair needs to be washed usually about once a week in the shower and I take baths every couple of days. It takes a while to adjust to this, and washing spots is perfectly acceptable in the interim. I rarely use soap on my face. The soap I do use is usually Mediterranean or African, made with olive oil or shea butter. I use that on my hair also.

When I finally learned that I was allergic to coconut about 15 years ago that answered a nagging question about skin breaking out. It's internal - eat coconut (the shredded product, the juice, the oil, etc.) and external (soaps, shampoos, lotions, etc.). https://www.livingbeyondallergies.com/coconut-allergy/

Jump to the "Hidden names of coconut" that I've learned most of through researching any products I buy new (and revisiting what is in regular products in case the formula changes). Some of the most common lathering agents in soap and shampoo are Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, just about anything with "Lauryl" or "Cocoate" in the label, and a lot more.

Keb, after having bunion surgery on my right foot I stopped wearing heels, and that has kept me from needing any further foot surgery. I have a couple of pair of boots with 1" heels, for special events.

I have to empty the donation bin contents into a bag and take them to Goodwill, and make a pass by the city forestry department where they have free mulch. Tomorrow is supposed to be a high of 82o and I can get some work done in the yard in the afternoon after running errands.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 09 Jan 23 - 03:34 PM

I, too, have "concert blacks", Keb. That's my last skirt, a Christmas present from Edmund in 1998, and I wear it with a long-sleeved black tee shirt, black silk long-johns from LL Bean, black socks, and a pair of black sneakers. My spot in the choir is the back of the Alto section, so nobody sees my feet!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Jan 23 - 11:55 PM

Finally! I finished the jigsaw puzzle I started early last year. It languished in the sun room for many months of heat when there was no AC in that part of the house. I'm ready to box it up and move on, and offer it (via Facebook, or here) to anyone interested (first come, first served). Not all of these puzzles interest people, though I'm mailed a couple of them to collectors. This was so tough it seems someone drawn to the challenge might want it. I thought a piece was missing, but there it was, right on top of the rest of the puzzle when I had everything else in place.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jan 23 - 07:47 PM

My volunteer gig this morning went long so I didn't have time for the gym, but had time to kill before a doctor's appointment, so stopped in The Container Store for inspiration. They didn't fail me: in the drawer organizer section there was a two-level junk drawer organizer (think silverware organizers for drawers, but with an upper sliding layer and lots of odd little compartments). I have a bunch of round restaurant take-out plastic containers in my junk drawer and over time they all get mashed toward the back of the drawer. For $12 this may be a more reasonable and transparent way to sort the stuff that doesn't have anywhere else to live but is deemed necessary to keep. And there's still room for the other Rubbermaid silverware holder that actually houses screw drivers, pliers, kitchen scissors, pencils, can openers, etc. And room at the front of that for my rubber kitchen mallet, because doesn't everyone need a mallet in the kitchen?

I'm going to break down and pack up the completed puzzle and choose something completely different in look and complexity for my next outing. I took up jigsaws during COVID and it's something I want to continue, but that last one was nearly the end of me.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 10 Jan 23 - 10:22 PM

I've been doing jigsaws for many decades. Before my grandmother died she gave me two 1950s puzzles which will go to my cousin along with other family treasures. I sent all my jigsaws to charity shops a few year ago (many of them came from charity shops!) Unlike my jigsawing friends, I only have one table in my apartment so it needed to be cleared to puzzle, & bending over did my back no good.
So now-a-days I do oonline jigsaws I only kept 2 puzzles, one is a cheaply made war time puzzle of General Macarthur & Battle of the Coral Sea (probably a fundraiser), the other is a good quality puzzle from 1954 of Queen Elizabeth's coronation.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Donuel
Date: 10 Jan 23 - 10:38 PM

ecologic innovation trends feature composting cadavers.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Jan 23 - 12:11 AM

New York State recently authorized human composting. I'll stick to kitchen waste and garden refuse for now.

The new drawer organizer worked well and I was inspired to toss some of the redundant stuff that doesn't merit donating. Old paper clips and safety pins, zip ties and whatnot. The plastic containers are in the sink but will probably head for the recycle bin; they've been in the drawer long enough chances are they're too brittle to put back into use storing food.

There are tons of keys in there, some of them I know what they're for, others I should have tossed when the locks they went to went away. Lots of key rings, holders, and more. They've never all been in one place like this before. I'll take time to sort and thin those out later.

Thanks for the puzzle suggestion, though I have to say that I do too many things online already; the idea of online puzzles is interesting but I'll stick to the analog boxes of pieces I have here for now. You've mentioned it before and that may be a link that someone else (one of our lurkers?) can deploy.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jan 23 - 04:00 AM

I'm very cautious about composting kitchen waste (in my case, I have so much garden refuse that kitchen waste wouldn't add much in any case). There's the risk of attracting rodents via the shells of raw eggs, and I've bought onions in the past that were infected with the dreaded white rot. Then there's the issue of pesticide residues from bought produce getting into my compost. I go to some lengths to avoid virus diseases of potatoes and club root of brassicas and I'm not about to risk introducing them via shop-bought potato and brassica peelings. My own home-grown stuff is fine.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Jan 23 - 10:20 AM

Senoufou, tu lui donnera un grand coup de pied de ma part.

Funny how things work out.

Since becoming an ex-hoarder I have to keep my clothing amount down, so I have rules, like no more tshirts than fit in my actual dresser drawers. I have a heavy tallboy.

When I got back from my back surgery, the drawers in that tallboy were too heavy to move, so I had a friend pull them out stepping-stone-wise, so I could get to their contents. Which meant things were spilling out of the drawers but at least I could get to my clothes.

Now I can open the drawers myself and have discovered that somehow I don't fit in them any more. I can't *close* them again.

So time to declutter... But do I?

Well...

Yesterday I locked my keys in my car, which isn't supposed to be possible but anyway, I called my kid, who has a key to my house, to fetch my extra key from my top drawer...

An he couldn't find it. I had put it somewhere else. But I came home to the contents of that top drawer dumped out on my bed! Perfect first step! Thank you, kid! [It was my request not to put anything back.]

So I now have in that drawer neat piles of socks in pairs, long-sleeved shirts with and without hoods separately, got rid of the big shirts from the sleep pile that I don't like to sleep in [old hoarder habit, moving the too-big shirts to the sleep pile] because of their material...

Only 3 more drawers to go!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Senoufou
Date: 11 Jan 23 - 11:51 AM

Mrrzy, tu as raison, je vais le faire s'il ne se comporte bien une fois réinstallé ici. Comment va ton dos mon ami? J'espere tu vas tres bien. Bonne Année!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Jan 23 - 12:07 PM

Steve, you are perpetuating old wives' tales as far as the reluctance to put stuff in the compost. If the compost is breaking down as it should (it does so faster if you turn it occasionally and water it if you don't get much rainfall) then the microorganisms in the compost itself will do that work for you - including destroying any residue from pesticides on the onions, etc. You can also drop in, contrary to those same old wives' or more likely old bachelor farmers, dog or cat droppings. It breaks down. That whole "no predator poop" nonsense is just that - nonsense. Things like cow or horse manure must be composted before using, and should probably be composted separately before adding to the household compost. Same with chicken. Rabbit droppings can go directly on the garden. (Literally - I do this gardening advice for a living - I know what I'm talking about.)

Over here in the US there are products like Milorganite that are the composted highly processed solids from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin sewage treatment plants.

Good job on starting the dresser reorganization, Mrrzy. I still occasionally find some drawer or rack with clothes I've forgotten about. Last week in my closet I realized the hanging plastic bag with strings at each corner to support shelves of sweaters had been overlooked as I shopped my closet for things to wear this year now that I'm lighter. There were sweaters I haven't worn because they were too snug but now they're perfect, and I donated a couple of them that were a) too big and b) a mistake to buy in the first place, I never wore them.

The jigsaw puzzle is put away and I have several now to choose from. The boxes are on the table I use for puzzles and I'll wait until the impulse hits, which one appeals. Right now I'm kind of puzzled out. :-/

Don, please stop dropping in random statements with no context or participation. That may work on some of the other threads, but we prefer that you share more information about what you're actually doing, not random brain droppings.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jan 23 - 01:08 PM

I compost all types of animal manure when I can get it, Maggie. That's not what I was saying. It's the potential for spreading plant diseases that bugs me. When I started my veg garden here 35 years ago I had no onion white rot. Somehow it got into my soil and I haven't been able to grow onions, shallots, leeks or garlic without losing a half to two-thirds of my crop. The black spores can lie dormant for 20 years. Unlike most UK gardeners I've managed to keep brassica clubroot at bay. I had that when I had an allotment just outside London and it devastated my crops every year. So nothing from any bought cauliflower, cabbage, kale, sprouts or broccoli goes into my heaps. The counsel of perfection is to put suspect material into the middle of fresh heaps where the heat will kill any spores, but in practice that in unachievable for most of the heap, especially the stuff nearer to the outsides. I generate so much compost from my home-grown crops, weeds and grass clippings that I should think that shop-bought trimmings would contribute less that one per cent of the bulk. My blighted potato tops go in the heaps as the spores can't survive the winter unless they're in "volunteer" potatoes, and I never worry about weeds that have seeded. As for pesticide residues, to register as an organic farmer in the UK you mustn't have used the chemicals banned for organic for at least two years. That rule is there for a reason. Many shop-bought products, including oranges, tangerines, lemons and peppers are dusted with fungicide before sale. There no definitive evidence that mere rinsing gets rid of it all.

My view on fresh chicken and rabbit droppings is that they should go on the compost heap, not straight into the soil. Small amounts of rabbit won't do any harm, but chicken is a "hot" manure which will do wonders for your heaps but not a lot for crops, and in large amounts it will do damage. The only fertiliser I ever buy is chicken manure pellets, which have already been composted. Not saying you're wrong, but I've been gardening organically for 45 years...


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Jan 23 - 03:58 PM

Black onion rot is a fungal disease - you have a couple of options. If you're starting with onion sets, then I'd give a good sprinkle of corn gluten meal on the ground where you're going to plant them, stir it into the surface a bit, then put in the sets. You can't use the corn gluten meal when planting seeds because it tends to prevent germination. That's why it's a good one to apply to prevent winter weeds, and to put down when putting on the soil around bedding plants to slow weed growth around them as the season starts.

Hydrogen peroxide (the store strength 3% variety) is a good fungicide, but even at that strength it will burn the plants. You might want to spray it on the soil the day before you plant onion sets and see if that helps, then add a little to a mix so it's dilute if you ever do foliar feeding in the garden. And you could continue to sprinkle corn meal (cheaper) or corn gluten meal around your onion bed every so often as they grow. Or put corn meal in water to soak for a while then spray the "tea" directly on the plants. You might even want to try spritzing the seeds with a mix of compost tea and hydrogen peroxide before you plant (place them in the ground still moist).

Another anti-fungal treatment is potassium bicarbonate or even baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), a couple of tablespoons dissolved in a gallon of water with whatever else you're putting on the garden - compost tea, liquid organic fertilizer, etc.

It sounds like you could treat the soil ahead, treat the soil at planting and during the growth season.

The only things I don't put in my compost are plants with seeds that I absolutely don't want sprouting as volunteers around the edge. So I get rid of the datura from the front yard flower bed into the trash, the seeds can scatter everywhere and if the dogs eat them it will make them sick.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Jan 23 - 04:01 PM

I really, really should compost.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 11 Jan 23 - 04:28 PM

It's mid-January, when Ontario is usually very cold and knee-deep in snow, but Perth County has temperatures hovering above freezing, consistent rain, and no snow at all. This has been going on since New Year's Day. I think we got the winter that should have been delivered to southern Germany.

On the other hand, I'm not eager to wear the big coat and heavy boots that are normal January kit, or to put up with chilblained fingers.

Tomorrow I have a date with a builder's estimator to talk about my bathroom. I've had a lot of asthma this winter, probably initiated by the bout of COVID I had but surely made worse by the presence of a major mould infestation to which I am very allergic. Pumping myself full of steroids and bronchodilators keeps the worst of it under control, but the drugs make me feel wobbly and tired.

I'm not doing anything interesting with compost, and the house remains full of books that need new homes. The box-seeking visit to the LCBO (liquor store) hasn't happened yet. I must admit, however, that I'm looking forward to getting shot of the works of Sir Winston Churchill -- not only his history of the Great War (four volumes) and the Second World War (six volumes), but also his biography of the Duke of Marlborough (four volumes) and his memoir about youthful adventures in South Africa. That's a lot of shelf space to devote to an ... um ... "unreliable" narrator, as they say in literary circles.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jan 23 - 04:53 PM

What you're calling black rot is what we call neck rot, I think, which is caused by a Botrytis. White rot is completely different. It attacks the base of the plant with a soft-rot white fungal growth which soon produces the typical black spores that can persist for many years in the soil. Check out Stromatinia cepivora (syn. Sclerotium cepivorum).


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jan 23 - 05:28 PM

Hmm. Having just checked, I think that our neck rot is not your black rot! Neck rot is a botrytis infection whereas black rot is an Aspergillus infection. Neither of them is connected to the white rot I mentioned.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Jan 23 - 06:04 PM

I pulled up my browser history to find the fungus I was discussing: Black rot of onions (Aspergillus niger).

Here is a starting place about corn gluten meal and you can use the Library Topics link to bring up the alphabetical list for things like Hydrogen Peroxide and Compost Tea.

I've just returned from several trips to the back of the back yard with a tarp filled with the pruned Salvia greggii from around the front yard. I took it down completely in three places and left it standing in two others, where it is a good barrier. The cut branches are dropped over an area that was becoming a path along the back - it's private property so we don't need it looking like a path into the woods along the creek. It's 84o right now, but supposed to cool considerably overnight, so this was a good time to do the job.

I had a call from the vet while I was working–it is good news for Pepper. That mass was a mastitis tumor that flared badly but it wasn't cancerous. If I'd gone in to have her teeth cleaned last year in the spring (they knock them out and do any other small things or trim nails at the same time) and had it removed, this wouldn't have happened, so this is on me. At the time he thought it was just a fatty tumor, but either way, it wouldn't have become this big messy expensive surgery had I acted promptly.

Hindsight is 20/20.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jan 23 - 06:21 PM

I could be wrong but I'm not aware that the aspergillus infection is a serious issue here.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 Jan 23 - 06:53 PM

Thank goodness for good news about Pepper, Stilly.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Jan 23 - 11:20 AM

Trash is picked up twice a week here and my contribution is usually small because I keep recyclables in a separate bin and take it down to the collection dumpsters at city hall every week or so.

My donation bin is next to the recycle bin and it's filling up, so I think over the weekend I'll be emptying both.

My methods to get more stuff out of here are to sell it, donate it, or throw it away. The eBay activity is started up again and it will feed itself once a few things start selling. Success breeds success.

I've managed to follow-up on some ideas and appointments that were written on bright yellow post-it notes stuck on my computer monitor. I'm leaving in a few minutes for one of those appointments and have only one note left to tend to. It's a new year that had a rocky beginning but I think I can turn it around. Now, to get a mask, put on my earrings (with closing hooks so I don't fling them off accidentally with my mask) and grab my shopping list.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Jan 23 - 07:17 PM

The builder’s estimator came, and this time I just might get my bathroom squared away.

It won’t be cheap … but good service rarely is.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Jan 23 - 10:30 PM

Charmion, will they have to build a plastic barrier between the bathroom and the rest of the house, to keep the mold out of the general air circulation? Will it involve connecting with the framework of the house, not just pulling out tile and sheet rock and redoing it? What will be the extent of that remodel?

This weekend a friend is coming over with some aluminum crutches, needing help trimming them down. She has Osteoporosis Imperfecta (brittle bone disease) and needs her crutches to be adult strength (versus lightweight child size) but very short. Her husband is deep into a form of dementia and is no longer able to help her, as he used to do. I'm glad she knows I'm here to help; I have my coping saw and my drill handy. She has remarked several times that it astonishes her that at this point in her life that she is considered the "able-bodied" of the two of them.

This is a friend who retired from the university, though she wasn't a victim of the awful dean as were many of us (she worked in the next building over from me). When I look at the array of friends both inside and outside my old workplace, clearly most of my friends now were met at work. I throw up my hands when the subject of where your friends should be made comes up (work or outside work); ages ago I understood that those people you met outside of work were organically the best friends (why?), but it has been my experience in an educational institution with thousands of employees that you meet people with whom you "click" because of your fields or because of similar interests. I see packs of librarians traveling and partying together; they met at work. If I return to the part of the country where I grew up, the people I know there are adults who were kids I went to high school with. Very few adults from my working life. Does this make sense? I'm questioning the validity of suggesting our friends should come from a particular part of our lives. I'm curious where each of us situates our friends in relation to our jobs or workplaces.

By way of explanation, I know why this has come up. It's in the front of my thoughts because of the departure of the almost-former dean. A psychologist friend today stated adamantly that I (all of us) need to leave the anger at her behavior behind. "Burn her in effigy. Buy a piñata in her shape and destroy it!" Good advice!

Lunch with my daughter and a trip to the gym tomorrow. Pleasant company and then a workout listening to an interesting book. That sounds like a good day.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Jan 23 - 11:43 AM

Rounding up dishes and running the dishwasher today after the messy process of making a loaf of lemon poppyseed pound cake last night. So much work and splatter to beat all of that butter with everything slowly added. I like it, though I think next time leave out the poppyseeds. They go straight for the gumline, don't they? I followed the instructions in the cookbook the first time and nearly burned out the motor of my ancient handheld egg beater. Another time, use the Kitchenaid stand mixer.

I think I have that out of my system - it was something I wanted to make over the holidays that kept getting postponed. After sampling a slice the rest is in the freezer and will be a lovely dessert when friends come over for lunch.

Also trying to get coconut out of my system. I think something came into the house with the term "natural flavorings" that was actually coconut, I can't figure out where else, but I've had my classic skin breakout after coconut this week. I've gone through the packages of things here and tossed a couple where contents were vague.

Rereading my riff on where we manage to make friends, at work or outside work, I want to add that what I'm always pleased to read here are all of the people over the countryside in two provinces who Dorothy seems to know when she describes her travels. She sets an example of how to be friendly and a good friend and (most importantly) enrich both herself and those people in the process of their conversations, however long, short, or involved it might be. Taking note of the people we meet and the in-person conversations, those are so good for us.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: pattyClink
Date: 13 Jan 23 - 12:07 PM

Friendships seem to develop with people you spend a lot of time with, work being a big one of those, or have common interests/pursuits which bring you into regular contact. Of course these situations vary throughout life; you don't stay in the PTA group for your entire lifespan, though you might keep in touch with a few of them.

All I really know is it is easier to pursue friendships in retirement because people have more time for it. The modern middle-ager is locked into work, housework, yardwork, child care, extended family, maybe religion, and usually youth sports. Who can be surprised if their only new friends in adulthood are work friends?


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Jan 23 - 12:32 PM

Well... We moved from London to Cornwall 36 years ago when we had two small children. I had a teaching job in a nearby small town and our children went to the local primary school. Those were our two fast routes into making a new circle of friends. On the other hand, there are lots of stories of retirees buying up cheap homes or chalets in the south of Spain where they'd go for a few months every year (or even to live permanently) to escape the British winter. Many of them find themselves mixing with similar ageing Brit expats only and can feel lonely. There's the language barrier for many and the fact that many locals don't take kindly to incomers who are not Spanish. What's more, many of the lovely summer holiday honeypots almost completely shut down in winter. I always felt that moving to a different area to work may go down a lot better. Careful choices to be made, eh?


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Jan 23 - 10:51 PM

I weeded a bunch of old calendars out of a shelf in the office closet - I mentioned them to my ex - that it was time to let these go. He suggests taking photos of the pages before recycling. It's all of the appointments the kids had, guitar lessons, field trips, doctor's appointments. I suppose that will work and they won't take up any more space. There are other papers around here to scan or photograph, I could spend a fair amount of time working on all of that.

Papers are coming out of that closet also, and I probably don't need as many file folders as are up there. After the next rain I'll set out the burn barrel to burn old bills and receipts. I bundle them a year at a time; it's time to set up this year's accordion folder and start putting the January printouts and bills in it. They're piling up on top of the printer right now.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Mrrzy
Date: 14 Jan 23 - 06:55 PM

Made it through the rest of the drawers but moved things amongst piles and did not get rid of anything.

But they close, now.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Jan 23 - 07:58 AM

Drawers that close! And open again without jamming!

The true basis of household order.

I have decided to rehome the large cooking gear that I never use any more. The giant Instant Pot, the roasting pan big enough for a young emu, the cast-iron skillet that I can barely lift — it’s time to let them go. Must canvass the family …

In other news, we have snow again, but not even enough to sweep off the porch let alone bring out the town plows. If this goes on, we’ll have a drought come spring.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Jan 23 - 10:15 AM

innovation
While Dal-le AI software can create art of every painting description and 3D printer cad cam can carve marble sculptures similar to Bellini it Michaelangelo, I am still creating art that AI can not create.
It is because I am combining sculpture and painting using unusual materials.
The AI database is over 800 million images and is headed way past a billion.
Today we can type a brief description and create a Van Gogh or Rembrandt painting or even animation. Easy come easy go. It may make true handmade art more valuable but diminish the need for graphic artists when good enough is all that is needed.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Jan 23 - 11:01 AM

Don, how much art do you make, and is this for your personal use or for sale? My art these days still is largely the sewing of masks (I gave two new ones to a friend who was here yesterday - she still wears them religiously in public buildings, as do I.) The art in this case was choosing a new fabric color and pattern and combining the t-shirt yarn ties and a couple of colored hard acrylic beads for the adjustable ear loops.

Yesterday my mask friend from above came over with a stack of old aluminum crutches picked up at Goodwill; she has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), is 4'3", and children's crutches aren't robust enough. Her husband used to cut down adult crutches for her, but he has a form of dementia making that work impossible, so she explained her requirements and we attacked the spare crutches (one of the current ones has a broken plastic underarm piece). We got one cobbled together by shortening an adjustable part and it involved the reciprocating saw, but that isn't easy and doesn't cut completely straight. Also that tube was molded in an oblong shape, but she had a couple of other crutches that have round adjustable tubes and it dawned on my last night to get out the little pipe cutter I've used on copper pipes. I'll be making another pair of crutches for her this week for backup and replacement crutches will become a feature of my Goodwill shopping. #ItTakesAVillage

At Goodwill last week I examined a Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) battery backup unit that was probably donated because the batteries inside need replacing. For $15 and $50 in batteries I would have a working unit and I considered buying it to use as a backup in the main part of the house for power outages (for phones and tablets and a small light). But until I replace the batteries in the hall UPS that keeps the router and modem running during a power outage there is no point in buying another. Fix what I already have first.

Time to make a list of house and garden goals for this year; I noticed the last list on the fridge didn't have things crossed off during the year but I'd managed quite a few.

Today is a fasting day and will feature a trip to the gym. The sugar from the holidays kicked in the addictive sugar-craving that adds weight, and I've about got it out of my routine again. I wonder if I could think of a few bacon-based gifts to give out next year? Or beef jerky treats with a holiday bow in a bright red gift bag? And keep that kind of snack at the house. Trouble is, I enjoy the holiday baking. :-/


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Jan 23 - 12:24 PM

Oh, I didn't say they opened again...


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: keberoxu
Date: 15 Jan 23 - 12:49 PM

I've lost a key. Wish I could declutter it. Looked everywhere for it.
My room has a lockbox for prescription medications.
That's the key that has gone missing, an old-fashioned metal key.
The nurses' station managed to get my locked meds box opened,
and now I have to leave it unlocked.
And I will probably have to pay to have a new key cut,
as I really don't know where that key went to.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Jan 23 - 01:02 PM

Keb, the easiest way to solve that mystery is to have the new key made. When you go to put it in a safe place, that's where the other one will be. It works *every* time - buy the replacement and the absentee item turns up.

So Mrrzy's drawers don't close? Then the job isn't finished. Did you consider hanging any of the drawer items in the closet? If you're not going to thin them out (do you really wear every one of those garments? Aren't there a few you pass by every time you look in the drawer?)

My hall closet is better these days; it used to be that I could open the door, stuff something straight into the dense collection of jackets, and it would stay there without a hanger, not falling to the floor. Try to remove something and the garments on either side also exited the closet. A while back I cleared out a few things that I wanted to keep but I don't personally wear. They're the extra jackets and sweaters kept in case a visitor to the house needs one. That has happened enough times that I keep these spares, but they are now in the guest room closet.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Jan 23 - 01:51 PM

I started as a kid making landscapes that changed color every 5 degrees of motorized rotation. It was Paintings and sculptures until 20 years ago I prolifically decorated violins and cellos. Since then I went digital, ink cartoons and now stone. I have only kept about a dozen odds and ends and have never had any support or marketing since its a personal hobby. If its different its worth doing for me. My ancestors were probably cave painters.

Took down the tree and decorations today. This marks no more carbs till May. Also marks the start of Spring cleaning.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Jan 23 - 06:04 PM

I used a long orange heavy duty extension cord in the master bath to calculate the length of a needed extension cord, routing it along the path from the wall plug to near the new bidet. I'll get a 15' black one to run down the wall, along under the sink cabinet, and back up the other side next to the commode. I settled on a simple black extension 3-prong cord that will be plugged into the plug on the far wall and won't need a surge protector because of the GFCI wall plug. When I get to the point of having the electrician in for my growing list of electrical projects, I'll have him run a line to put a plug in beside the commode.

I could stand to have both bathrooms updated with new cabinets and flooring, but they work as they are so will stay this way for now. I look forward to hearing about the work on Charmion's bathroom.

Dorothy, did you and R sell that house you had for years in Montreal? It sounded like it was in a great neighborhood (I think you posted a link to the Zillow page for it once) but it had floors that were ready to fall through and needed a lot of work and cleanup.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Jan 23 - 11:42 AM

My list of seasonal chores is growing. One regular thing I didn't do today is put out the trash because there simply wasn't enough to bother with, but I hope by Thursday to have a bag full of items discarded from the greenhouse workbench. One of the signs of spring is when local people share on Instagram their pots of soil for planting from seed; it's too early to plant outside for at least two months, but I can start a seeds-in-pots planting station. There is a garden cart in the sunroom, right now heaped with plastic containers and oddball things I should have sorted or discarded. To have space to work on the bench I first need to finish wrapping up the holiday lights . . . this is the "work backwards until you can do what you set out to do" method.

Before planting bedding plants it will be time to plant potatoes (late January) so I'll finish hauling away the pile of dead stuff from last year's garden. Okra makes quite a large pile if dry thick stems and potatoes tend to do well in the corner where I've stacked that stuff. I'm glad I finally fixed the gate next to the garden making the moving of it all easier.

Today is a bank and post office holiday in the US, but most businesses will operate normal hours. I ended up not going to the gym yesterday because I didn't have any other places I needed to go; today I have a short list that will satisfy my eco-goal to make each trip efficient. Go early enough and it might not be full with the new January members.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Mrrzy
Date: 16 Jan 23 - 01:44 PM

Definitely not finished, agreed!

My closet is limited to its hangers. I got rid of all the extra hangers so now I can't hang anything up without culling. This was on purpose.

There are a lot more clothes in the closet that I never wear than are in my dresser. I got rid of most of the dresser never-wear clothes the last time I decluttered.

So good idea. I could go through the closet, cull, then move some drawer-contents to the closet...

However several piles of things I moved from shelves I was decluttering to my desk area for later decluttering, now that I have decluttered my desk, have moved back to the shelves... but in nice neat piles, sorted.

So um, maybe moving things around is not a long-term solution...


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 16 Jan 23 - 09:55 PM

I solved my clothing storage problem some years ago. I'm lucky enough to have my grandparents 1920's dressing table & wardrobe (this style - note comment about modern coathangers) & 20-odd modern padded coathangers took up too much room, so I bought five 4-tier padded metal hangers meant for shirts, which are also good for dresses. My 3 summer skirts & 2 winter skirts take up the rest of the rail in the wardrobe.

My grandparents managed with the wardrobe plus the dressing table with 5 drawers, but I also have off season clothes in an old suitcase. I have one summer 1970s midi-flared skirt I can no longer wear (shrunk in the wardrobe as a friend said when she gave me 2 winter velvet hippie skirts some years back!) which I can almost wear again. I won't get rid of it as I made what was supposed to be a 6-10" braid when I was learning bobbin lace back in the early 80s, but kept going for several metres & put it around the hem!

Of course there are a lot of other stuff I have, especially embroideries & craft items I've made over the years. I've given away bits & pieces but there re still too many items, as well as too much craft material & lots of other stuff that needs new homes. Stuff has slowly dripped out, but that doesn't really empty the dam, good thing I live in a 4-room apartment, & not a 4 bedroom house!

My cousin has 2 daughters & is taking family stuff, including items made by our Great Grandmother & Great Aunt, but I can't give her all my embroideries & other craft, unless one of her daughters turns out to be a crafty maid! fingers crossed

sandra (who has been very slowly downsizing for at least 5 years without visible effect)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Jan 23 - 10:38 PM

Sandra, we should all compare notes and do a summertime "secret santa" and send garments that might be worn but other Mudcatters. It would involve measurements since sizes don't mean much these days. I have a couple of skirts like the one you mention, lovely, and it would be nice if someone could wear them.

I have a covered bin in the laundry room that I drop things into as I decide they need to go. Last year there was a long gap in donations and in late 2022 I realized that a couple of the things in the donation for the last six months bin now fit. Everything else left the house.

The gym was getting crowded today so I stayed only 45 minutes; I'm switching from just recumbent bike to half bike, half treadmill. I also let the treadmill run on a slight incline and I can feel it in my hips this evening. I was able to make the trip efficient by picking up free mulch at the city park mulch bunker before the gym and on the way home stopped to pick up the 15' extension cord I need.

The dogs have created a forest floor again in the den, with lots of chewed up tree branches; fortunately, that mess is confined to that room. Now that Pepper is past the oozing part of her surgery recovery I can put my nice Persian rug down in my bedroom. I've missed it now that it's winter with cold tile floors.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Jan 23 - 07:39 AM

I have what I impolitely call my Ethnic pile.

It has all the things that should go back to where they came from.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 18 Jan 23 - 12:07 AM

My mother had a Mobile Muddle. It was the heap of homeless stuff that migrated from room to room, waxing and waning but never quite getting tidied away. I would come home on leave and make a move to deal with it, and Mum would shut me down as soon as she realized what I was up to. Much as she complained about it, she liked the muddle or perhaps just preferred not to live without it.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Senoufou
Date: 18 Jan 23 - 02:26 AM

Husband is moving back in with me in three days' time (whoopee!) and he's been coming round with stacks of stuff. Yesterday it was two large bags of washing. I had no idea he owned so many sets of underwear, socks, shirts etc. but I set to work after he left and it's now all washed, dried and neatly folded on his bed.
Personally, I hate 'stuff' and like a simple, uncluttered environment. But everyone is different, and I'm determined to 'grit my teeth' and let him fill our bungalow to the ceilings if that's what he wants.
He's bringing his absolutely massive TV over on Saturday when he moves in. It's like a cinema screen (I hate it) but he's going to mount it on the wall of his study, so I can watch my little TV in the sitting room.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jan 23 - 11:00 AM

Senoufou, my ex lives in a house that I never liked but was the only one he would accept when we moved to town years ago (he was the one with the income - who said "any house you want" except it wasn't). Upon divorce I moved out and let him keep the house (versus selling and splitting the income) because I wanted my kids to have their neighborhood network in place when they stayed with him. The house is spotless and almost empty, but you should see the garage: that's the Dorian Gray portrait that shows the accumulation and clutter, stacked and piled in boxes. A few years ago he cleared it enough down the middle so he could park his car in there, but other than that, it still needs a lot of work.

It seems to be a season for changing out batteries. My outside thermometer was blinking red desperately, the television remotes are unhappy, and (shhhh!) I should have changed out the smoke detectors with the most recent time change (here they suggest doing it annually on one of those changes to or from Standard Time, but I lose track of which one I used as my reminder. Must leave a note on one of the detectors.) I also ordered a couple of boxes basic batteries from Amazon. I also have some rechargeable ones that I put in devices where I'm sure I'll notice it's rechargeable and not accidentally throw them away. The next battery to tackle is ordering replacement insides for the hall UPS that supports the router and modem.

I've unfurled the new long extension cord to let it relax before I take hammer and nails into the bathroom to tack it into position under the built-in cabinet along the kick board area.

Today is another unusually overcast day with a slight drizzle that should clear within the hour. I'll step out into the yard to do some more cleanup (dead plants in pots, moving plastic containers into the greenhouse, etc.). This morning I listened to a news story about a man in Canada who has to use his personal snowplow 4 times in a season to get a return on his investment (I'm guessing to make the payments equal to what he paid someone else for snow cleanup). That will never be the case down here with equipment like lawn mowers; they get used about 11 months of the year - my next mow will be to mulch leaves that I'll rake onto the turf from the curb.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 18 Jan 23 - 12:12 PM

Two dozen bottles from Edmund’s accumulation of wine have gone to become prizes at a choir fund-raiser. I don’t drink nearly enough — and neither do my friends — to work my way through it before some of the white varietals get too old to be fully palatable, and I was pleased to wave bye-bye to it.

Unfortunately, my lower back is punishing me for picking up a box of a dozen bottles, and the toothache has returned to my right sacro-iliac joint.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Jan 23 - 01:47 PM

I've always found that wine can last a lot longer than the back labels sometimes suggest. I found a four-year-old bottle of Prosecco (i.e., I bought it four years ago) last weekend that had accidentally been overlooked and it was lovely. At only 11% it should have been well off, and the label said to drink it within a year of purchase. Never give up!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 18 Jan 23 - 04:28 PM

Six dozen bottles are still collecting spiderwebs down below, Steve. Plenty for everyone. Come to think of it …

One of those bottles is a 2018 Moscati at only 7 percent abv. I’ll pop that in the fridge.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jan 23 - 05:33 PM

I'm impressed that you two 1) read the labels (beyond the basics of brand, variety, and % alcohol) and 2) keep them long enough to worry about their going bad. The only one here that I think might be old is the marsala I bought for cooking because I forget it's there and usually put in a dollop of whatever is handy when I'm cooking (I do pay attention to red or white before adding, but otherwise, it all works pretty well for cooking).

This afternoon I've finished dragging the last summer's okra plants from next to the driveway back to toss over the back fence. This is to make the back look less inviting—it isn't a public path even if it looked like it.

I've also started on a project for the front yard, the disassembly of a really old rusty wheelbarrow. I'll put the barrow part on a stack of concrete blocks, fill it with potting soil, and plant something in it. This afternoon I assessed what else needs to be done. With a couple of wrenches I'll be able to hold the bolts in place and screw off the rusted nuts. The carriage underneath needs to be removed before it will sit properly in place. Two nuts and bolts down today.

I hauled out my Dad's old crock pot and set it up with a batch of beets; ever since I burned a batch in the pressure cooker I've been gun shy about cooking that way again, as fast as it is. It took ages to clean out the pressure cooker, but the crock pot bowl is removable and easily washed.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jan 23 - 08:59 PM

I have unsubscribed a regional newspaper that I used to get because it was tied into some contract work I do; since they severed that tie last year I've left it in place, but I don't read it often. The unsubscribe routine is typical: if you want to cancel a subscription you have to call and they connect you to the sales department who talk you into a lower rate, etc. I wasn't interested so cut to the chase: "I know this is the sales department and I don't want to negotiate a price, I want to unsubscribe." So he set it up to conclude after this month's payment ends - but he did give me a helpful tip: Subscribe to various email newsletters now and I'll be able to read this stuff after the subscription ends. I did that today and built in a filter in my email to send it all to one folder. I need to now subscribe to the newspaper in the city where I live. (I used to get a physical paper every day, who knows, maybe I'll be back to that for a while.)

Each year when I call to unsubscribe from SiriusXM I know the routine - it's the sales folks, and they'll offer me an extension of the introductory offer. I listen to SiriusXM a lot more than I read this local newspaper, so I go with that $7 a month offer. I offer this up only as a tip for everyone else - there is usually a less expensive price to be found if you are willing to beard the sales staff.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jan 23 - 03:14 PM

With the weather relatively warm these days I'm going to make a run to the lumber store and get pickets and supports for another fence panel, and bring home a couple of 2" thick boards in treated lumber to continue the work of reinforcing the sides of raised beds. While the weeds and grass are dead I might have a good shot at digging up those areas and putting down a thick layer of mulch beside the beds.

The replacement UPS battery was delivered quickly and this afternoon I'll work on that battery backup and, in the same closet, run a CAT-5 cable that is already wired to my office and change out the ends to use for data instead of a phone line. The newest lines to support blazing fast Internet are CAT-6 that go up to 1000 whatever, but I don't have that service. Though my service is faster than 100 that the line is rated for now. Hmmm. Maybe I should think about pulling some new cable one of these days.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Donuel
Date: 19 Jan 23 - 04:52 PM

If it wasn't for visiting friends or family we wouldn't see museumland the same as new Yorkers don't go to the Statue of Liberty on their own.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jan 23 - 05:54 PM

When I worked out at Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty we heard that a lot from people - they had never been to the islands but they had out of town company who wanted to visit.

I have had an "a-ha!" moment - I'm paying for all of this fancy speed from Spectrum but running Cat5 cable in the house. It's time to update the line to the computer, to start with, and it happens Spectrum wanted an appointment next week to address some service issue. I'll ask if it's CAT7 from the point on the house to the modem, and if not, have them replace it. And I'll then use the existing cable to pull some Cat7 to serve the computer. And replace the cable from the wall to the computer. I can always think of complicated or expensive renovations to do. Good thing most of the lines are in already, I can use the existing ones to pull the new ones through and not have to spend a lot of time in the attic. It requires new jacks also.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Jan 23 - 03:20 PM

The speed test available from various sites shows that the speed is considerably higher than the 100mbs rated on the existing line, but changing out the line to the computer to the higher grade may make some small difference. And if it does, I may run new line to a couple of other rooms as well. If I ever plan to sell the house the odd mix of wiring in my hall closet now might be daunting. If I cleaned it up and speeded it up, that would be helpful to all. The new battery is in the UPS and is charging for a while before I plug anything into it again.

Two boxes ready to ship later today, and one other I'd like to send, but probably not till tomorrow. This is a bonafide declutter, ceramic pieces I kept from my Dad's house that are going to another family member who has a little and would like some more.

Harking back to earlier in the week's wine topics, I found a nice inexpensive Spanish Grenache at Costco, it even has a twist top. Bottlers are finally catching on that screw tops aren't repulsive to wine drinkers. At least, not to this wine drinker. Is the cork industry suffering? Are cork oaks prospering more now that they might be left in peace?


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 20 Jan 23 - 05:23 PM

What cork they don’t put in the necks of wine bottles ends up in Birkenstocks and kitchen flooring, Stilly. I’m drinking my over-age 7% Moscato right now, and it’s delicious. It has a screw cap, a technology whose time has come.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 20 Jan 23 - 06:25 PM

Dupont:

Have gone back to read the last couple weeks. Wonder where I have been! I had to find where I left off and see what folks have been thinking/doing.

Charmion: PLEASE be sure your builder uses non-toxic materials and keeps you safe!!!

SRS: Dogs are great but… Well do you know it! Just one notch down from our children - or half a notch! I have had a bunch in my life. Each one a member of the family; each loss a heartache. But worth it in any case. Now I have two stuffies - no walking, no fur to clean up, no sweet kisses… I gave the last two away to good homes when I left Whidbey. I miss having one but the mere thought of walking a dog on icy Quebec/Ontario roads…! Also, the thought of leaving one behind; I had been adopting Senior dogs for about 15 years so they would not outlive me.

Friends: Mine are scattered across NA, many so scattered I have no idea where. Going through the archives, I found a postcard from 1984! Found him on line and on FB and PMed him. Delighted to find he is still writing, taken up art and involved in Plowshares! My first playmate just turned 90, in Hanover, NH, where my father and I took him for his first year at Dartmouth - all those years ago! He helped develop the Appalachian Trail. My newest dear friend - songwriter/poet/musician - has me thinking, contemplating, a uniquely spiritual connectedness. A gift.

That darned house! R says he is selling it; it is "for sale”. So are a number of other buildings he and bro own. Nothing ever seems to move forward. Once in a while I ask… At least I don’t have to go there and see the mess made of the yard I planted with care: Clematis. Hardy hibiscus, day Lillies… GONE! And I have started over again - with less energy. HE says he moved everything out (not all the furniture) but I feel some things are missing - but cannot bear to go there.

Just got to Mrzzy’s “Ethnic pile”!!! That sounds interesting! But prob not what I would think - like the folk dance skirt which our leader once referred to as a bedspread -“How many of you had a bedspread like that?!!” I love it! One of the things I rehomed last spring in PA was a dress we bought from an Indian booth in Old Montreal in 1970. The friend we stayed with in PA loved it!

Senoufou’s massive TV reminds me of a wonderful article my DIL wrote, “When the Black Satan Came to Our House”. She had never had a TV until my son moved in to her life!

UH OH! I am dangerously … Just smelled something …??? OH yeah!! I put ribs in oven for a long slow heat. Not sure how long or what. Using fresh ones instead of frozen ready to heat and eat… I hope this works. At least it smells enough that I shan’t forget them…. Hopefully!… They look good but I have no idea when I put them in or how much longer they need. Guess I could have sought advice… They are not burning.!! yet! ...

Caught up! Busy folks! I found enough energy to throw some pots a week or so ago. YAY!!! 8 bowls from 10 kilos of clay!!! The next morning, I barely made it out of bed. A hot bath helped but it still was a few days before I could trim 3; the other 5 are still on hold.

My goal had been to go back to Beaver this past Monday. HO!!! HO!!! I was still walking with difficulty and the pots were not ready! And now it is snowing and snowing.... Beautiful all day today! The bridge from Montreal was SLOW at 10 pm last night! Not sure if R will make it home tonight! I am thinking the trip will wait until February - after the First Friday music.

We visited friends!!!!! Last Sat we celebrated my BD (86), which R had totally forgotten! When I pointed this out to him, "What would You like to do!" The roads were not too bad so we drove down to southern QC to Chez Alain, a small neighbourhood restaurant with good food and a great staff; the kind of place you can chat with the folks at the next table, which we did! I hoped some friend might be there, but not.

Then we went to see Joe and Jessie and Theo (10). My ginger plants?? "Oh, they need LOTS of heat and light. Just keep them damp until warm weather." So I've moved them to the upstairs South window above a rad. Spring will be here ....

Theo played Ragtime on the keyboard, between playing with a neighbour and eating fresh chicken soup. They raise the chickens, grow the ginger for the tea, and the nuts - "here, try these." Theo, "home" schooled, is fluent in French and English (parents are one of each), a friend is teaching him Russian and he has picked up some Spanish from the Latins in the area. Joe and Theo are going to Colombia this summer to work on a building project. Last year they helped build something for an Inuit group north of the Arctic Circle, and learned some Inuit. This is home schooling! And he beat R at chess!

Both parents near died of Lyme disease a few years ago, due to lack of knowledgeable healthcare. Joe passed out in the ER waiting for care. (He was dying.) Jess (about 40) had a stroke, and a pocket of blood in her brain was giving her seizures - amongst others she would hear recorded music when there was NO music playing. She is still recovering from a 6 hour brain operation. I mention this to underline the need to pay heed to the ticks and to insisting on adequate health care. I had no idea the effects could be this dreadful.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Jan 23 - 10:18 PM

Wow, Dorothy. That last paragraph describes a tough time. And there are ticks in the woods here; I put the expensive tick collars on the dogs for that reason, and I don't walk in the woods when the trees are in leaf.

I hope R is able to sell those properties one of these days. Lowering the price is not the favorite approach but usually works. Just to get rid of them, at this point. Think of the relief at having them off of his hands.

I've also tracked down a few friends over Facebook and Googling names in communities. I have mentally planned a "dream dinner" going back decades, that would be to have all of these people come in from different corners of the US and even the World, to meet and see if there is more in common than just being my friend. I would hope so. And all of you would be there - I'd love to meet this group in person.

On another subject, I've just sent a friend information about how to get access to the Word files she has created via her previous work software but apparently can't reach since she retired late last month. Clearly she hasn't figured out the system. I still use the software from the university where I retired four years ago, but since last year I also pay for Microsoft storage space, and it has the perk of MS Office on the side. $70 a year isn't bad for a Terabyte of storage for all of my photos from my phone. It's cheaper than paying for Dropbox ($120 a year). Dropbox offers 3T for their price, but I don't need that much space. I don't know if anyone else in our group uses their phones for work and other photos, but it is nice to have a backup.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Senoufou
Date: 21 Jan 23 - 03:12 AM

We have Lyme disease here in Norfolk UK, due to the large population of deer which carry the ticks. Many of our village dog-owners have had to remove ticks from their pooches. Rather worrying, because Lyme disease can have lasting symptoms which are difficult to treat.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Jan 23 - 10:00 AM

I concur with Dorothy about the building materials in Charmion's soon-to-be-updated bathroom. Use healthier materials where possible, even simple stuff like paint, where the off-gas as it dries can be strong for a while. The low-smell paint should become standard. And for everything else, just collecting dust as they work is a help.

Another healthy week ahead, when cat sitting trips will mean I get to the gym more often because I'll already be half-way there. I hope also for a good gardening opportunity in this upcoming week, when we have a day with a 100% chance of rain. If it rains on Tuesday then Friday when it warms will still be moist enough to dig out weeds along the edge of the garden and put down a thick layer of mulch. I happened to see and track down today a photo of a garden that shows this - it happens to be Meghan Markle's garden in California, but don't worry about that - just look at the planks around the raised beds and the heavy mulch path between. Over the years I've wanted to have something like that here. Why do I think I can finally achieve that now? It took digging out the whole side bed last fall in time for the heat pump installation to realize I could actually achieve that (the bed beside the house now is all mulch.) It means digging things out deeply and keeping new weeds down with a strong vinegar spray. Putting in the work to dig it out then walking on the mulch so it weaves together and helps keep out the weeds.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: keberoxu
Date: 22 Jan 23 - 06:29 PM

Monsieur Senoufou must have returned by now.
Is he still out of a job, Senoufou?


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Jan 23 - 09:06 PM

Keb, when you use the entire name it can turn up in an Internet search. We've had a couple of Mudcatters essentially doxing other participants lately. If people don't use their own full names, please don't add it here. (WYSIWYG thought she was being clever by picking up a really unusual name from an obit and dropping the middle initial then using it as a character in the Mudcat Tavern adventures, or something along those lines. Imagine our chagrin when the family of that late professor did a search and found her prancing around Mudcat as a make-believe character.)

Yesterday I finished a handmade gift for a friend; it has taken a while to complete because it involved finding a pattern, printing it the right size, transferring to fabric, then doing a lot of close work to turn under the edges and finally stitch it onto a larger piece. A one-of-a-kind apron for a friend who originally sent some aprons that he wasn't able to use for printing. I sew on them then send them on. Into the mail tomorrow.

I'm still making masks, because I have friends who (like me) are still wearing them, and their collections need refreshing. I have three cut out this evening to work on later.

I have a busy week coming up, with volunteer activities and feeding a friend's cats. Just because one is retired doesn't mean life slows down.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Jan 23 - 10:05 PM

The unscented laundry detergent I used for years disappeared from the supermarket, so I bought another brand.

Alas, it stinks, and apparently has the persistence of skunk juice.

I laundered all my singing masks yesterday. Today I sang way too much — regular eucharist in the morning and the installation of our new rector in the afternoon — and the whole time I had my nose covered with a nice, clean mask that reeks of Persil.

I would ditch the damnable detergent, but that stuff costs the earth these days.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Jan 23 - 10:58 PM

In 2021 I made the switch to buying envelopes with sheets of laundry detergent that come in modestly-sized paper envelopes in brown wrapper shipping envelopes and every speck of it is recyclable.

Earth Breeze

The scented variety is so subtle that's what I use most of the time but I also got some unscented that is truly no scent at all. I bought a multi-pack of it in early 2021 and I'm still using them (it was a number of packages sent at once). I just looked, and see I have one envelope of unscented (60 loads) left. I'll be ordering the scented next time because it is incredibly mild but enough that I can tell the laundry has been washed with something. I have a couple of partial bottles of the old regular detergent that I am using up, and these days only use when washing things like rugs or dog beds. Because they're dog beds and can use some scent masking. Except for the fact that I use these for dog beds and rugs I'd donate what is left to the Humane Society.

The Earth Breeze folks are very helpful - if you want to tweak your order you can email or call and they'll take care of it for you. I wanted to compare the two types of detergent but the original order was just one or the other. They swapped out some so I got to try both. (I just placed an order, 1 envelope every three months for $12 plus .99 tax.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Jan 23 - 10:12 AM

Earth Breeze is apparently unavailable in Canada, Stilly.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Jan 23 - 10:26 AM

I didn’t look far enough — Earth Breeze is available on Amazon.ca, but only in massive quantity. Three packets of 60 loads’-worth each can be had for a variety of prices ranging from Cdn$114.71 to Cdn$120.00, which is a lot to sink into laundry all at once.

My underwear drawer contains a miasma of Persil whiff. This cannot go on!

If I keep the packets dry, it won’t go bad …


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Jan 23 - 11:15 AM

I ended up ordering it for a lot less than the price you found - we could discuss this via back channel - I ended up getting them for about $9.25 each (60 loads). I could mail a couple to you a lot cheaper than they can, apparently. (Since my ex is using this now also I figured I'd let him have a couple of them rather than his also going through the hoop jumping - I normally wouldn't buy this much just all for me.)

This week will be more working off of a checklist of things that have come up or that annually occur. Like putting my file box in order and updating for this year (this is where the most active accounts live - if I had to grab one box of records and flee the house, this would be that large box.) There are several aspects to that. Along with diddly stuff like changing out the battery in my SUV key fob before I get locked out. It seems those batteries go pretty quickly, so I finally put a spare in my handbag and I'll put a couple of spare in the center console as well. (I recently spoke to a poor guy who had locked his running car outside a Burger King restaurant on a quick lunch stop. His fob died and he was overdue returning to work and was trying to pry open a window.)

Decluttering is on that checklist; I have boxes spread all over the place lately so they need to be flattened to recycle or set aside for eBay shipping. And I'm getting close to the stage after various sewing projects in which I can offer a robust bag of "crumbs" - those small pieces of fabric that can be assembled into blocks for crazy quilts - to whatever lucky quilt-maker happens to be a member of our local Freecycle or FB Buy Nothing group.

The den again looks like a forest floor, and I notice a buildup of dog hair around the house in general. Same ol' same ol'.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 23 Jan 23 - 10:21 PM

Dupont:

There may be "scents" that are non-toxic. I only use Tide Free and Clear. It may not be the best environmentally but I do not have to deal with a stench - in fact, I would give anything that smelled at all to someone capable and willing to accept it.

R cooked himself a BF Saturday that stank so that we had to open the doors - at below freezing temps. He did not smell it - NOW I find out he has had almost sense of smell for years! (I've known him for 55!) And mine is hyper-sensitive! It may have had to do with adding the left over tzaziki (?) to his eggs in the frying pan. It was puke-quality stench for me!

Here, the ticks are in the grass. I picked up a couple from walking through tall grass a few years ago. The only ones I have encountered here. But our friends are outdoors much of the time; Jess runs a coop farm/CLSC.

On the homefront: bare essentials - minimal cleaning, plant care, keeping the woodstove going, sometimes even clearing some snow, finally getting some energy back; my back has only just stopped hurting from my pot throwing. I will not do THAT again! We have a fair amount of snow. A neighbour cleared the drive a week or so ago, though we generally manage to get in and out OK. And some has melted and then more arrived and freezing a thawing...! Yesterday, R got stuck and the cross the street neighbour cleared us out very well with his snow blower. There was a conversation about the fact that R has one... He has not succeeded in getting it working! And we may have 10 inches more in the next couple days...

No thoughts of traveling!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Jan 23 - 11:13 PM

Dorothy, we may also get snow tomorrow, but no accumulation. I hope R gets the blower operating - otherwise it's just a paperweight. Mostly just rain tomorrow, predicting an accumulation a bit over an inch. It will be helpful.

I go through some days planning to finish projects or fix things, and seem to have entered that kind phase. I've worked on several projects around the house lately. On Wednesday I'll have some answers about work I may end up doing here (speeding up the Internet reception to the computer). I have to redo some garden areas, and in the process work on several things that are in the garage and the greenhouse.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Senoufou
Date: 24 Jan 23 - 02:16 AM

Our village hall is now asking for jigsaws and bookshelves, to add to their collection of unwanted books people have donated. I think this is a very good idea, as they offer a 'warm spot' for villagers to sit and chat while keeping warm. I might sort out some more unwanted books to take down there.
Husband has settled in once more, and our bungalow is rather full of 'stuff', but I'm very happy and can't complain. He's filled all our kitchen cupboards with bowls, dishes, cutlery, pots and pans which he's brought over from his flat. His bedroom is crammed with mountains of clothes and trainers. However, he got a ladder and put all his suitcases in the loft. He brought over a super little vacuum cleaner which is very easy to handle, so I hoovered every inch of our home yesterday while he was at work.
He's also made a collection of many of his unwanted clothes to take over to Ivory Coast next summer for all his family to have. They'll be fighting over them all!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Jan 23 - 02:14 PM

My Mennonite friends came by this morning for some tunes. It snowed last night, at last. The world is all tattered and torn, but the sun is shining in Stratford and I feel fine.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 24 Jan 23 - 06:32 PM

Dupont:

I doubt the snow blower will get repaired in the near future. We shall just keep muddling along. R manages to hae too much on his plate ALL the time and when I think/hope he is staying home to "get something done" - what gets done is another book read or hours - literally - spent looking at news on his phone. Sometimes there are even work-related emails or texts.... His library downstairs is "fine" and I hear he is getting a workshop together... I don't go to the cellar(workshop) or the basement (library) due to air quality. The snow blower is too large to bring in the house and he does not do well with the cold. He has had at least 3 summers ... There is also a brand new generator that needs ???? and ... Oh Well. If I can only help him maintain a semblance of getting the absolute essentials done. Time goes by and Well, the taxes got paid a few days before they sold the house for unpaid taxes... Yeah, all this is hard to deal with so I just keep reading books and, come to think of it, he just keeps reading books... But I am not letting anyone down. Some days, it is scary.

But I have an out: Beaver and enough money to live there alone if it comes to that. I would have failed to be the support person I had hoped to be. The job seems to be beyond my ability. There! I have said it. We will just keep muddling... I will keep my nose above water and hope he does also.

A storm is coming; I need more green tea!

Also, I want Charmion to know that Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) has considerable info on healthy houses, building supplies, etc. Our friend Oliver Drerup built the first low-cost healthy house complex, near Ottawa and then lectured on the subject internationally. It all started when a family convinced him (a tough job!) that their brand new dream home was making them sick. He built them a healthy house... and went on from there. He should be retired now (maybe) but there are books on the subject and the website was comprehensive last time I looked.

This morning was spent writing an email to a friend re the traumas that can mess up our lives, starting in utero. I have spent a good chunk of every day for several weeks, contemplating this and considering how to approach a subject that is clearly unresolved for him. For most of my life I have wished for a way to send my thoughts through the ether, so to speak. We do hear of people having this kind of connection at times. Anyway, the primary message has been sent. I would be more comfortable face to face in a peaceful environment.

That, I hope, is the most important thing I have done in these weeks. Never mind the particulars of everyday life. Now to continue to trying to figure out how to get a stubborn Scot to recognize how he is shooting himself in the foot - daily. This could be one of the most important things I do with my life - or the biggest failure.

My #2 son has still not called re my birthday - almost two weeks ago. And my bro's cancer is turning nasty. But there is food cooked and teh sink is not full of soiled dishes, the sheets are clean and the house is looking good enough if anyone should happen to visit....

Visit??? What's that? Phoned a friend today and got her dear husband and we talked about visiting in the summer! And I have a great idea for warmer weather - to put a few chairs under the trees in the front yard and sit out there to read so I can talk to people out walking their dogs or just walking by. No front porch! But I will fake one. I suppose I shall have to tack the chairs down but that is possible. I will watch for folding chairs at the thrift shops.

Lots of snow on its way. I need to go back to the library in the am! We spent Sunday aft there but 3 of 5 of the books I brought home were already read! I will re-read the James Lee Burke just for his beautiful way of writing.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Jan 23 - 03:43 PM

Spectrum (Internet/cable) messaged me that there was something that needed fixing on my line and needed to come check it out so I went ahead and set up the appointment; I'm not playing blazing-fast online games so I would never have noticed. What I did notice was that the appointment for 10am stretched out and out and out and at 1pm I had to tell him that I had things to do and they needed to wrap it up and if something else needed working on, we'll do it on a day when I don't have errands and a deadline looming. And it took another hour to get it over with. Four hours pretty much blew my plans for the day out of the water.

I'm onto plan B, no gym today but a shorter trip to the discount grocery, and since I couldn't be online during that time I picked up around here, puttered, and made a batch of dinner rolls. A friend will be over shortly to go along.

Dorothy, your observations about R and his methods of operating aren't a surprise; I'm gaining new insight as I move closer to getting tested and a possible diagnosis that has been a long time coming. The level of disorganization you describe is worse than here or what I've seen in most instances, but now that a family member is getting treatment for ADHD and is feeling relieved, a die has been cast, and think a couple more of us need to follow that example. It's time for me to attend to the level of distraction and impulsiveness that make it more work to get anything done (at work or hobby-wise.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 25 Jan 23 - 08:58 PM

The one change that didn’t work: I decluttered my house – then began buying back my belongings

I've always been suspicious of Marie Kondo even tho I love Japanese design & art & crafts. One collection I've successfully downsized was my Japanese dolls collection (approx. 6 shelves) - I helped a younger collector stagger out with 10 Green bags full of dolls & decorative items. All I kept were 2 modern Japanese teenage dolls I dressed in kimono - Jenny in white religious ceremony kimono ($205 for the used book, OMG!!!! maybe I should sell my copy, or did I give it away?) she also has a gold with red lining wedding kimono displayed on a hanger. Traditional Japanese brides wear their (family) red/gold kimono for the rest of the festivities.

Green bags? they are reusable grocery bags made from recycled plastics & themselves are recyclable when no longer needed or useful, for those who don't know them under that name. Not all of them are dyed green, but most are!

One collection down, a zillion others to go ...


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Jan 23 - 11:59 AM

My endeavor to continue eating down the over-stocked supplies in the pantry and freezer has progressed. When shopping yesterday I picked up fresh produce and some dairy but managed to stay away from prepared foods (I don't buy too many of those anyway) and frozen meat, etc. There are plenty of protein sources around here to last for ages.

I'm eating more protein for breakfast, on the recommendation of a counselor who advises "brain food" in the morning. Not that it is just protein, but that there is a good portion along with whatever fruit or vegetable I'm also having. Unless it was something like ham and eggs, I never usually ate protein for breakfast. Now I'm trying to avoid breads at breakfast, though I'll include oatmeal or raisin bran as long as it's on the side. It isn't easy, developing new habits, and right now I'm in the evaluation stage, to see if it is worth the trouble.

It's sunny and cold here, no need for a blower to move the errant sunbeams off of the driveway before leaving the house. I hope everyone else is comfortable and has good access to places they need to go.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 26 Jan 23 - 01:58 PM

Dupont:

A lot of snow blankets us this am. R went out to clear the car- at least his - and found that noise I heard in the wee hours was the neighbour's snow blower - his large parking area and our very small one!

R cleared part of the front steps - including totally unnecessary places. I wonder if ADHD includes this - to me - highly annoying bit. I am all for efficiency, doing what is needed. From the bottom of the steps, one must, then, wallow through about a foot of snow to the cars - but the edges of the steps - where no one ever need walk - are clear!

As a result of this and something SRS said, I went googling and found Frank and Lillian Gilbreth - oft cited by my father when things needed to be done efficiently - as did everything!

"What is Lillian Moller Gilbreth most known for?
"Gilbreth became a pioneer in what is now known as industrial and organizational psychology. She helped industrial engineers recognize the importance of the psychological dimensions of work. In addition, she became the first American engineer ever to create a synthesis of psychology and scientific management."

Time and motion studies amongst others.

She is worth a look see. It was their theories that impressed my dad and their dedication to efficiency which makes me hard to live with! "A place for everything and everything in its place" was oft heard. Father never acquired more than could fit that motto. I have, and, hence...

Every once in a while, largely thanks to this thread, I remember to attempt to clear more of the decks, organize a bit better - though my organized kitchen is sacrosanct; easy for anyone to find things ... if THEY put it back in its place!

I add almond flour (2gm protein per tablespoon) to my porridge (one cup oat flakes) as well as a handful of dried cranberries (organic, sweetened with apple or orange juice - I forget), a diced apple and a couple T of ground flax seed. This has been very helpful; leftover is good for BF or lunch or snacks for me. I also add almond flour and flax to my buckwheat pancakes. One batch is good for BF for both of us and planned-overs for me whenever. They also include a couple cups of frozen fruit (could be fresh in season) per batch (1 c flour...).

I got so into looking at odds and sods on line, I forgot this post!

Maybe today I will make beet/black bean "burgers" from a simple recipe I found. The beets and beans are ready, just process and cook in oven - think I'll use the toaster oven. But it is cold enough out to justify the large one - if I add in a couple squash!

Did grocery run yesterday "before the storm". The snowflakes were just arriving as I was getting into car from last stop!

Recognizing that I might be spending more time here, I knuckle under to the need to make it more palatable. Now that Covid is less of a monster, though still needing attention, I am looking at finding people to invite -- when the weather is conducive!! Talked with a friend a couple days ago and he is game to come out from Montreal in good weather - with family. We could have a pot luck out back; I have chairs and tables...

A post on FB about the paucity of front porches triggered: No front porch on this 1902 house but I could put some chairs out under the trees in the front yard - from thrift shops! and read out there. People walk dogs and just themselves even in this weather, of course. But if I were handy, someone might stop to chat.

In addition, our trip a couple weeks ago to southern Quebec taught me that our friends down there are actually delighted to have us drop in! And they are a total delight to visit. We are grandparent age for them! And there are a few others down there whom we met through music that I can connect with, even if R is "too busy". We even risked our lives attending a CD launch at Jim's - a terrific, and unique, venue. There will be more... I may be a hermit but total isolation does not work! I shall be watching the weather for a trip to Beaver in mid Feb.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Jan 23 - 02:53 PM

Dorothy, I am just learning about how focus, hyperfocus, distraction, and impulsive behavior dove-tail together. Everyone has these things, it's just that for some people it's an everyday minefield of trying to stay on task, etc. (I tend to climb one side or the other of the stairs and use a rail, maybe that was a factor on the snow-blowing?)

I think the best way to describe this process is the analogy of the fish that doesn't see the water it swims in. Once you can see the water (the behaviors and the coping mechanisms) then you can't unsee it and it's time to look into how to address the issues present.

You'll have to let us know about your beets and black beans dish results. I can't say it sounds like an appealing combination, but I like both of them on their own.

There are a lot of music venues over in Dallas, but I hate driving in Dallas so I never go to music over there. I fear pretty much everything else around here is rock or country. I'm glad you're able to get out to music events in the provincial areas you visit.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Jan 23 - 02:36 PM

When I don't recognize calls coming in I don't answer them. Today after waiting for a return call for an appointment and instead getting a woman huckster asking me to sell her the house at my ex-husband's address, I changed my message. It usually just gives my number and says to leave a message but I changed it slightly. Now I state that if I don't recognize their number I don't answer so they have to leave a message. So even the calls I'm waiting for will have to go through my voicemail and we'll play phone tag. So. Much. Spam.

A friend had a particularly bad COPD attack this week, and though he literally lives next door to a hospital ER, when he asked the doorman to help him walk the half-block, the doorman wisely declined and called an ambulance. It might seem silly for such a short distance, but it wasn't worth his job, considering the liability issues with that request. That said, the story of the stay in the ER and then overnight at the hospital was priceless. I bet he spent his whole time there taking notes in order to write the report he emailed to friends today. My knee surgeries have never been particularly interesting (can you hype an account of a really dry grilled cheese sandwich into a comedy routine? I think not.)

Even for retired people the looming weekend is welcome. For some reason, the days feel different. Have a good one, everyone!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Jan 23 - 09:37 PM

Some weeks ago I described helping my ex move an incredibly heavy latex queen-sized mattress out of his guest room and into the SUV, in order to drive it to the dump. He had three of these, and one of them ended up here. It is so heavy that in order to move the mattress position I have to rotate the entire bed frame (the classic and inexpensive angle-iron frame on wheels that holds the box spring and mattress.) It took some doing, but this evening before changing the sheets I moved stuff out of the way and turned the bed so the foot is now at the top and I'll sleep on the side that doesn't have a depression. This maneuver also gave access to some dust puppies under the bed. I'll wait till I have help before I try to flip it over months from now when another change is due.

Tomorrow I have plans to do some digging of gardens in the front yard, more of a full-body workout than I've been getting lately. And celebrating having finished the 3x a day cat-sitting. I've been to the gym several times this week because I was so close when I was at her house; there will be one more trip tomorrow or Monday since she forgot to leave the usual cash; I'll pick that up then head over for a workout. (Because of the knees, for ages I just used the recumbent bike, but I've started using the treadmill also - walking is a weight bearing exercise good for your bones. The digging will give the upper body more exercise.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Jan 23 - 09:53 AM

Well, darn! After a warm day yesterday then next six days are forecast to be a lot colder, freezing overnight, and rain much of the week. The yard needs it but I won't be out in it digging new garden beds. Instead, the weeds will grow, unmolested.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Donuel
Date: 29 Jan 23 - 11:27 AM

Having always been impulsive I see the timeless zone of hyperfocus as the joy of creating and distraction as a rest from it all. Getting set up for hyperfocus has more procrastination than I like but I don't have work or the ambition to work at great sacrifice of money. I'm like a playful otter compared to the hard working ant. Coping with migrain pain sapped most of my time in the past but now its just non stop time with the typical age pain de jours before the great grand pause. Yep I enjoy being lazy. Its good that I can reach deep sleep in a short time. Many small sleeps keeps me in touch with my unconscious self and dream states.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 29 Jan 23 - 12:42 PM

Dupont:

SRS: our steps only have a rail on one side and rubber mats start at that side, the end of each a clear line - "stop here!" But cleaning around the log that keeps the door from swinging too far, the pot of plants that are just sitting there until I get around to deciding where to move them... 3 feet of clear steps with rubber mats is quite sufficient... I am concerned.

The "burger" concoction was declared "no taste at all"; I could have improved them with onions, herbs, something! My heart was not in it. I think "burgers" are not necessary to our diet! The texture is fine.

WE spent yesterday aft at the local library again, a pleasant place and I watched the sun go down, a treat - there was sun! And I got to see it set. That library has no more books by the author I was seeking. The super nice staff person offered to order something for me but I prefer not to put them to the trouble. I just checked the times for the library in southern QC that I used a lot when we were down there. It had an amazing collection of books. Strictly volunteer run and with the municipalities paying all their other expenses, they must focus on books! And I do go that way at times - Plan! Planning to make life in QC more palatable. Maybe if I have some fun, I can get a few projects moved on out of the sewing room. Nothing beats an improved state of mind?

So pots trimmed from the 8 bowls that wrecked my back. And then I threw 2 more - just 2! Maybe I can get some strength into my back if I don't overdo it! Just a little bit at a time.

SRS: ADHD never occurred to me. Now I am wondering where are the excellent books I had on the subject when I was working... Daniel Amen did incredible work on ADHD. Did I give them away? Quite possibly! Oops!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Jan 23 - 01:50 PM

Dorothy, ILL (Interlibrary Loan) is a standard offering from libraries, they probably subscribe to a system in order to do it. I think you should accept the offer to get your books locally, and support that service.

I've read some of Dr. Amen's stuff; he's very popular and I don't know how reliable on all subjects. I'll look at the book I have here to see what he says.

There are online tests - very sketchy - that probably catch the most pronounced cases. They don't necessarily snag the three main features of inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive, or any combination of the three. As one would expect, there are different aspects of this to consider. Time management, interruptions, unfinished projects, wasted workdays, distractions, and more fuel the kinds of questions that might get to the heart of the matter more quickly. But everyone does those things, so it's a matter of intensity. And it seems that the medications give the brain the stimulation that it is seeking with all of the revolving search for stimuli.

Heading out for a while, and one thing I plan to do today is stop by one of the little restaurants along the busy street that runs into my part of town. It had lines around the block to their drive-thru during COVID and is still popular. I've looked up the menu. It's a Mexican taco place, more takeout than inside seating (because it's small) and I'll pick it up on my way back home. I live near all of these really interesting little places but there's only one I go to with any regularity. I suppose you could call this a New Year's resolution, to try some of these places. I've planned it for ages, now I need to do it.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Jan 23 - 08:22 PM

I’ve been hunkered down at home since noon Friday, avoiding people and frowsting. I should have gone to church this morning but didn’t; instead, I read the New York Times and dealt with the aftermath of a major cat-fight.

I have no idea what set them off this time. The first bout erupted around 0400 hours with lots of screeching, swatting and slamming about, and they kept it up episodically all day. One of them — can’t tell yet which — suffered an injury and bled on the parlour floor, and by the time I came downstairs there were bloody smears and paw-prints all over the place.

Hmmm. Come to think if it, of course I didn’t go to church. When the rest of the choir was getting stuck into the introit hymn, I was down on my marrowbones wiping drops of gore off the dining room wall to the accompaniment of feline growls. The kitchen, hall, dining room and sitting room all needed floors scrubbed,

After a day of Mexican stand-offs, I’m watching telly with Isobel curled up on my lap and Watson has retreated to the bedroom. With any luck, tomorrow they will have forgotten their tiff and I’ll come home from pool class to find them intertwined in the comfy chair.

Silver lining in the cloud? The kitchen floor is cleaner than it’s been in weeks, and I even raked the crud out from under the stove.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Jan 23 - 11:12 PM

The two younger dogs here do that periodic power struggle or fighting also, usually the bigger one drawing blood and the smaller one usually starting it. It illustrates the adage of they can't live with each other and can't live without each other.

Fort Worth is famous for its nearly month-long stock show and rodeo that starts mid-January. And it's also famous for "stock show weather." This week we're entering that phase of cold wet and possibly icy weather to make the folks walking between the livestock barns at the convention center miserable. (I have been the the stock show exactly one time, when my kids were small, in over 30 years of living here.) The weather means I have a harder time motivating myself to go to the gym to dress in lighter workout clothes to exercise, but I did it today and survived. Between their keeping the gym warm enough and my starting a new activity (using the incline on the treadmill) I worked up a sweat. I still haven't gotten out a swimsuit to start swimming laps yet. The pool is usually around 82o, I should be able to manage that. :)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Jan 23 - 03:51 PM

Not just "Stock Show" weather, but a full-fledged winter storm coming over the top of us. Fingers crossed the power stays on—I am better prepared than in February 2021 after those 4 sub-zero days with no power, but I wouldn't look forward to it.

This is "Soup stock" weather. Turkey stock is defrosting, carrots are roasting. Looking for healthy foods for this next few days when I don't plan to go out to volunteer or for other appointments. There are too many tall freeway bridges between here and most places I drive and the surface route would take three times as long.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Feb 23 - 01:46 PM

I've just taken the coaxial cable faceplate off of the bedroom wall only to find that there is no junction box there, just a nickel-sized hole for the cable to pass through. I happen to have one of the J-boxes they make for this situation - I must cut the precise hole for the box, slide it in, and there are small wings on the top and the bottom that swing out from the box and tighten against the sheet rock. An electrical engineer friend taught me how to run cables and do the J-box.

This will be a data port, and there is a similar cover on the other side of the room for an ancient phone line. On either or both I could also run coaxial for a TV antenna or future cable account (this is the "after I sell the house" kind of account). All of this has me thinking about if it is time to rearrange the room, since I do that every so often. Whatever new arrangement, it will still include the fitness space. Meanwhile, as cold as it is right now, I'm not going to climb into the attic to pull the lines, I'll just update the outlets in the room.

I have devices charging, including the backup battery I keep in my purse for the phone or tablet. There is more ice coming this way and the fear seems to be it will take down branches and power lines.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Feb 23 - 04:56 PM

Cold and sunny in Stratford.

I'm sorting the library, and it's taking longer than I expected -- not because I can't decide what to let go, but because my first cut hardly filled a single six-shelf Billy bookcase. I know I would regret it if I were to dump the lot, so I have to resist the nihilistic urge and go through the process more thoughtfully.

There's a lot of specialized military history on those shelves, and that I definitely don't want to keep. But what about the books about Victorian tourism, the development of rugby, the spread of Calvinism in France, and the foreign policy decisions that got Britain into the Seven Years' War? Right now, I still have the attention span of a cat and congratulate myself when I finish one of the New Yorker's longer articles, but surely that won't last. In another year, or maybe two, things will be different and I'll be ready for a biography of William the Marshall or "The Age of Scandal" by T.H. White.

Nobody's pushing me to sell up and move so down-sizing isn't a priority, but I confess that I'll be relieved to have fewer books to dust.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Feb 23 - 10:55 AM

There has been some virtual decluttering this week; the expansion drive inside the new Dell was in the red zone, and I realized I had a duplicate set of video files there that was also on an external drive, so removed that. Those take a lot of space. And the same on the old HP where I have the newer software but not connected to the Internet - lots of duplicates to remove. Meanwhile, I took some not-so-great photos of the silver thaw around here today - documenting it. I didn't spend long out there and I should have used the flash more, but what I have now is fine.

The yard is a slick icy crust and it requires very slow walking. I am hoping this melts quickly today, though the resulting mud will be intense. (What is it about the viscosity of the mud after a freeze? There must be a scientific term, it isn't just anecdotal.) That mud will be tracked through the den and into the far corners of the house in the next few days. My hypothesis is that the particles align to become stickier.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Feb 23 - 08:37 PM

I’m making progress on the library project.

What really strikes me is how much my interests have changed over the ten years since I quit my civil service job. Nowadays, I’m not willing to give houseroom to detailed official military histories of the first and second world wars. Neither do I wish to keep shelf-feet of military memoirs and accounts of derring-do.

Edmund accumulated books to an extraordinary degree. What strikes me now is how important it was to him to collect and keep books about the official British view of, especially, the Second World War, but also the expansion and eventual collapse of the British empire. Okay, I’m good with shedding those volumes.

I guess I’m still engaged in the painful business of extracting myself from my 25-year relationship with Edmund. Sorting the books is like having an extended debate with him about everything we were both brought up to hold dear.

It’s a good thing I’m not doing this on deadline.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 02 Feb 23 - 08:46 PM

Dupont:

Hunkered down for the cold snap; fire in the wood stove; thankful for the heater working! Turned up the baseboard heat in the hallway between den and Bath so the den stays warmer. The rest of the house is comfortable -so far; I don't need it too warm.R likes the den warm when he gets home and I had let it go out for a few days as we are running out of wood. Hard to replenish the supply when the available wood to purchase is under a foot of snow! and we can no longer get to the back yard and shall have to pile it in front and ... I did find a FB group for this area where people ask who does this or that and a fellow who does snow removal put his phone number - maybe if we can get some wood, he can help move it for me; that has been a concern.

I brought in most of what is left today enough for a few days. I have the idea that the brick chimney and fireplace collect a great deal of heat and radiate it. The BR above the den has a warm wall as a result. A bit like a Kachelofen.

R is busy trying to freeze proof buildings - could have been done in September? ... We might not make the music tomorrow night but I can still go the the Farmer's Market on Sunday - without him if need be! If the roads are OK. Tonight is predicted to go to -25C (about -6F?) And windy! White outs reported in Central Ontario and wind predicted for here tonight.

There is a possibility!!!! that the son of one of R's best friends may want to buy the city house!!!!! And the son of my friend Hannah may want some bowls so I photographed what I have and sent pics to her. Also suggested she could give him some of the zillion she has - a 40 year collection! So I have thrown more - only two a day, and not every day, to be sure I stay mobile!

Charmion: R would love some of those books; too bad you are far away. And I think of our friend who owns The Word bookstore in Montreal... An article in the McGill news about Adrian recently. But you seem to have pretty good handle on how to dispose of them.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Feb 23 - 09:40 PM

Canada Post works, Dorothy. Or you and R could make a road trip and come visit — with a car boot full of boxes.

No kidding. PM me.


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