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DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024

Stilly River Sage 31 Dec 23 - 03:52 PM
Stilly River Sage 31 Dec 23 - 08:37 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Jan 24 - 12:51 PM
Sandra in Sydney 01 Jan 24 - 05:13 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Jan 24 - 12:27 PM
Dorothy Parshall 02 Jan 24 - 08:34 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Jan 24 - 09:11 PM
Sandra in Sydney 03 Jan 24 - 02:57 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 Jan 24 - 11:55 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 Jan 24 - 06:24 PM
Sandra in Sydney 04 Jan 24 - 04:48 PM
Mrrzy 04 Jan 24 - 05:53 PM
Sandra in Sydney 05 Jan 24 - 01:07 AM
Stilly River Sage 05 Jan 24 - 11:14 AM
Sandra in Sydney 05 Jan 24 - 04:33 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jan 24 - 11:54 AM
Charmion 06 Jan 24 - 02:22 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jan 24 - 11:55 AM
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keberoxu 10 Jan 24 - 06:47 PM
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Sandra in Sydney 11 Jan 24 - 06:40 AM
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JennieG 12 Jan 24 - 01:03 AM
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Charmion 15 Jan 24 - 05:53 PM
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Charmion 16 Jan 24 - 04:58 PM
Sandra in Sydney 16 Jan 24 - 08:11 PM
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Dorothy Parshall 17 Jan 24 - 10:39 PM
harpgirl 17 Jan 24 - 11:13 PM
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Sandra in Sydney 18 Jan 24 - 02:32 AM
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Charmion 01 Feb 24 - 11:20 AM
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Charmion 01 Feb 24 - 05:28 PM
Dorothy Parshall 01 Feb 24 - 07:51 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Feb 24 - 12:55 PM
pattyClink 02 Feb 24 - 11:26 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 Feb 24 - 12:14 PM
keberoxu 03 Feb 24 - 08:33 PM
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keberoxu 04 Feb 24 - 07:18 PM
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Stilly River Sage 07 Feb 24 - 07:09 PM
Charmion 07 Feb 24 - 08:32 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Feb 24 - 11:17 PM
Charmion 08 Feb 24 - 09:09 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 Feb 24 - 11:39 AM
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keberoxu 10 Feb 24 - 07:43 PM
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Stilly River Sage 11 Feb 24 - 05:58 PM
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Charmion 12 Feb 24 - 08:54 AM
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Mrrzy 14 Feb 24 - 10:57 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Feb 24 - 01:27 AM
Sandra in Sydney 15 Feb 24 - 07:56 AM
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Stilly River Sage 16 Feb 24 - 09:28 AM
Mrrzy 16 Feb 24 - 04:06 PM
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Sandra in Sydney 18 Feb 24 - 04:39 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Feb 24 - 12:18 AM
Donuel 19 Feb 24 - 06:08 AM
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Charmion 19 Feb 24 - 10:19 AM
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Subject: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Dec 23 - 03:52 PM

Time to start a new one. Housekeeping in public, a little corner of Mudcat where those of us who got here via music are sorting out all of the stuff we have in our houses, apartments, condos, dwellings . . . including the overage of musical materials.

This is going to be a toxic year, because it is a political year like none other in recent history. Do what you need to keep your mental health in good order by consuming healthy amounts of news and social media. Play and sing music, view other forms of art, and by all means make art.

My front room (the eBay stuff room) was crammed full of things moved out of the rest of the house during the holidays and now I need to start unstuffing it. This will be a major project this year, I've been aware of that for a while. As the rest of the house gets more organized, this is is the equivalent of Dorian's portrait in the attic showing the strain of not decluttering as much as I could have (and buying more things for listing on eBay than I've actually gotten around to listing).

Here is the 2023 thread. As always, a nod to Katlaughing who loved these and kept them going for quite a while. We've been here since before Marie Kondo and Swedish Death Cleaning. A nod to Don Aslett's Clutter's Last Stand. Do what works and share your successes or plans. And travels and cat and family news, and some cooking - it is a benign domestic space for 2024.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Dec 23 - 08:37 PM

The other thread is closed to make the transition to this one tidier.

This evening a "ca-ching" noise on my phone was like a harbinger of things to come - an eBay listing sold. I'll mail it on Tuesday when the post office opens again. It is a tablet from Amazon (Fire) that I replaced during the year (Samsung is a regular Android device; anything from Amazon is kind-of Android-lite but difficult to use for non-Amazon purposes). I've trimmed down the number of devices I use by deploying things that are more versatile (the Samsung is more like a laptop and I have a bluetooth keyboard to use with it.)

There's a lot to clear out, so I'll be running the dishwasher to clean limestone from glasses I bought several years ago and other things stacked in that room. I have a lot of sewing projects to plan and deploy, and more. This will be a busy year.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Jan 24 - 12:51 PM

Starting the new year after having had friends and family here during the prior week means that while today is simply Monday following Sunday, it is also a fresh calendar on the wall and point in time handy for measuring current status and planning forward movement. Today day is overcast but not particularly uncomfortable so I can step outside and remove some of the holiday lights, maybe walk two of the dogs, and head over to the gym. Stores are open, only the federal government (post office) and banks are closed. I'll ship a couple of packages tomorrow and put my holiday letters, now New Years letters, in the mail as well.

I dislike the idea of resolutions, for me it is a classic setup for something I will then resist doing. Things I want to do in the new year I was already doing in the old one, and case in point I was at the gym yesterday. I had also reduced the days in a week when I have a glass of wine. "Dry January" has become a thing and I've done them before (plus other months) as a reset, it helps keep snacks and sugar out of the diet. On Dec. 26 last year the Washington Post ran an article about Damp January but I'd already begun such a strategy back in October or November.
Damp January works for many people because it’s not all or nothing. If your goal is to reduce your drinking by 30 percent and you fall a little short, that still counts as a success. If you find even small reductions in your drinking are impossible then that could signal the need for professional help.

A glass of wine has been part of dinner a few times a week because it goes well with food and for mood improvement. Sugar (snacking) also can serve that purpose. But walking and the gym also help with the mood, so it is a combination approach to getting through the shortest darkest days without the SAD effects that come calling. My damp autumn is a pattern to continue with, weather dry or damp with the outcome being less snacking in the evening.

Now if I could just get past the winter allergies ("Mountain cedar" are juniper trees that release pollen this time of year, resulting in "cedar fever" or watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, etc.) It's a low-grade headache and watery eyes for me. I should wear a facemask when I walk the dogs.

In the simple housekeeping category, I've opened a gift given my by my neighbor - she loves the Pyrex food containers that have a sturdy plastic snap on top, and has swapped out most of her all-plastic containers for these. I am glad to have these but need to figure out where they can fit so they're easy enough to stack and reach when needed. There is no place available now, all of my cupboards are well organized, so this requires moving things around.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 01 Jan 24 - 05:13 PM

recently we've had articles saying how bad it is to microwave anything in the containers take-away food comes in! I still need my plastic containers for the freezer.

A couple of days ago I sorted the archival stuff sitting in a large box next to my desk. I've already scanned some (sandra pats self on the back) but instead of one box of archives with other stuff on top, I now have less in the box & more on the floor & desk & - mainly floor (gloom & desolation) Some of the floor stuff is waiting to be scanned, other items are waiting for a proper home. Last week I had a friend visiting, perhaps I need to invite her again as I had to clean up so she had a seat! Not a good idea if stuff just lands on the bed & comes back again.

As my last downsizing left me with 2 empty shelves in my 1920s dresser, I could put some archival material there & walk comfortably on my floor!! Oooh, how revolutionary, putting stuff away ...


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Jan 24 - 12:27 PM

That's a great feeling, Sandra, finding a way to use recently cleared storage space. I'm looking at some heavy duty wire shelves where my bread pans and a few other things live; I might rearrange a couple of Pyrex bowls already on that shelf to make room for these. If they're in sight I'm more likely to use them and if they're at that level I'm less likely to drop anything when retrieving one of them.

That is also a good suggestion about the freezer for the plastic; there are some things I freeze that aren't suited to the FoodSaver plastic bags. The Rubbermaid boxes are translucent so I can see through to the contents.

Two boxes went out in today's mail, one an eBay sale and one a tardy gift to my son and his partner. (I see by Informed Delivery that he is sending two boxes my way today. Hopefully one will contain a commercial cover for my Little Chief smoker that has a crumbling box for now. I sent it to him a couple of years ago with a new smoker but at his new house they have an electronic one he's using instead.)

Cookie (the smallest of my three dogs) decided this morning to start raiding the compost pile (she jumped over the tall plastic side) since I recently emptied the kitchen waste bin out there without letting it rot in a big lidded bucket beside the kitchen door. There are two of those and they're full, so I was lazy and tossed old corn cobs that it seems Cookie loves. Last time I looked the old lab was out there eating one she pulled out. I've covered the compost pile container with chicken wire for now and must do something more durable soon.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 02 Jan 24 - 08:34 PM

Dupont:

Re-organized the hall closet, enabling the clearing of the hall!

Only use (mostly) the anchor-hocking glass containers with plastic lids - keeping an eye out for opps to purchase new lids which do not last forever - but do pretty well. They stack nicely in one pantry closet, with a few of the better recycled plastic containers for taking elsewhere. Only ever use ceramic or glass in microwave.

found a test for my fitness - balance and such - totally in very bad shape!! But I did manage to get back up off the floor this am after I had to get down to unplug modem which apparently needed a break. I was well pleased with myself when I regained a vertical position! Keeping that "test" to work on...

For me "toxic stuff" includes my lack of social life here. I have started going to R's "Saturday BF" and, today, visited cross the street neighbour - first time and at her invitation when she brought us a box of Christmas goodies. Have a couple of social items lined up for next week. Otherwise, other than groceries, I am alone 10-12 hours a day! No snow yet but dank days do not induce going for a walk.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Jan 24 - 09:11 PM

Good advice about the microwave - I try to never put plastic in (though I have a hard plastic lid that goes over plates to keep food on them from splashing when the microwave).

And good to meet the neighbors! I spoke with a woman a couple of weeks ago who hadn't met her next door neighbors and she had been there for several months! I sussed from seeing them working (and the pride flag at the front of the yard) that it is a gay couple. I'm planning to carry a loaf of my holiday bread and give them my card next time I'm out walking the dogs.

I took the 1927 White Rotary machine in today to the sewing center to have it converted from a knee lever operation to a foot operation. It weighs a ton (as far as shipping) but I'll probably sell it on eBay later. It's in clean condition and it came with some attachments.

I hope Charmion arrived home happy and healthy after her train trip and that the cats haven't mounted an insurrection in her absence.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 03 Jan 24 - 02:57 AM

late last century I had a friend who spent his annual holiday overseas (our annual holidays are 4 weeks)

When he was away his cat either lived in their house with the 2 people she loved best after him, or spent the time at their house. When he got home she turned her back & totally ignored him for a month ...

Of course she ate the food he provided, after he moved away.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jan 24 - 11:55 AM

I've just noticed a couple of empty shelves on the small bookcase that now sits under the window in my office. I'll have to figure out what can live there.

For two days I've hunted for the box that holds the strings of C9 bulb holiday lights plus spare bulbs. These are pre-LED large bulbs that give off heat and are very bright. As I started to type that I remembered I took it out to the garage to pry the cover off of the fuse case on the plug of a string that stopped lighting. I got new fuses yesterday so I can fix that one then put the other strings in with it (after replacing burned out bulbs) then put them away for next year.

My house guest last week was talking about how well she likes using collagen and biotin to strengthen her nails. I nudged us onto another topic because it seems like she's never met a supplement she doesn't like. I tried Biotin a few years ago to little effect, and she says the two go together, but I am tired of adding pills to my daily routine. I have it down to a small number of supplements (multivitamin, fish oil, calcium) and a couple of things my doctor told me I should take. But gelatin works so I placed the jar of dry gelatin next to my tea setup to add to my morning tea.

Gelatin doesn't have a taste but it can be sticky and it needs to be moistened in cold water before dissolving in hot water. Meaning it can make my first cup of tea (I brew one cup at a time) a bit cool. I'll soften it in the tea cup with a small amount of water, then dissolve it with a little straight hot water, then I'll pour in some strong tea from a small pot so it can all mix. And my tea strainer that otherwise sits over the cup for a single brew won't get sticky from the gelatin. I used to put gelatin in smoothies, but I haven't had them as often lately.

This seems to be a good time to do some general cleaning and this week I'll change the batteries in the smoke detectors. And make a note somewhere so I can remember that I did it now. Maybe I should write it on one of the detectors themselves as a note to my future self.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jan 24 - 06:24 PM

An aha! moment today, when I was contemplating how to move around furniture in my sewing studio (and to move out the space-hog bed). It dawned on me that if I exert myself to list and sell the stuff in the front room I'll have all of that space to use for whatever - sew in there, dining table in there, extra bed in there. Right now it's an unattractive tangle of stuff (and I can't reach the books on the far wall). I think I've just issued myself marching orders for that space to make other parts of the house flow better later.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 04 Jan 24 - 04:48 PM

Stilly, I write the dates I replaced bulbs on the box, it's always interesting to see how long they lasted. I also write the date on the plant fertiliser container & kept seeing 4th NOVEMBER, & finally gave my poor plants their spring feed in mid-summer, on New Years Day.

All fire alarm batteries in our building are replaced under contract, residents are no longer responsible for their own batteries.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 Jan 24 - 05:53 PM

Actually got my tank tops/shorts/bathing suits piles into the closet with the summer hats, so I have room in the seasonal drawer for the winter leggings I was starting to amass too many of. Now they fit. In the drawer, I mean. Woot.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 05 Jan 24 - 01:07 AM

Some of my other season clothes live in my old suitcase under my dressing table - thermal tops & pants live in my wardrobe but many of my skirts & tops are worn all year. Sydney does not get as cold as the northern hemisphere!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Jan 24 - 11:14 AM

A good interview this week with Chip Colwell on the problems of buying too much. An interesting point early in the program about hoarders: those who collect stuff that they can never seem to get rid of allow us to see the amount of stuff people can buy or collect, but they're not alone. It's just that most people throw out stuff they bought or collected and no longer want—if they kept everything they brought into the house they would also live in rooms with narrow paths through the piles. A fraction of what "normal" consumers buy then get rid of makes it to donation sites and thrift stores. People with clear houses but a big shopping habit are equally problematic as far as (in this example) the clothing ending up in dumps and increasingly in poor countries in Africa or Asia or South America. He also talked about a dump in Denver, CO, where an amazing array of things are visible. Sofas, mattresses, lots of furniture and other household items (there for future archaeologists to examine, once the methane problem has passed.)

You might’ve heard of the “slow food” movement – maybe it’s time to try the “slow buy” movement, too? Chip Colwell, lecturer in anthropology at the University of Colorado, Denver, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the pact he made with his family that they buy no more than five items in a year and what it taught him about consumption in this country. His book is So Much Stuff: How Humans Discovered Tools, Invented Meaning, and Made More of Everything.


The gift of buying less (podcast from KERA in Dallas).


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 05 Jan 24 - 04:33 PM

The Land of Oz has had a lot of wild weather in recent years (see verse 2 of Dorothea McKeller's "My country" - droughts & flooding rain )

It was horrible to see huge piles outside flooded houses - everything was ruined, nothing could be saved - but the company taking them to the tip said they managed to dry out/repair 60%, so not everything went to landfill.

But far too much goes to landfill, I'm no longer amazed at what some of my neighbours put in our recycling bins cos they are too bloody lazy (or Very Important People) to take it to charity shops. Yesterday I gave a charity shop a bag full of fancy paper/cardboard bags from fancy shops that I rescued from the bins They might be paper but all of them had braid or twine handles that were not recyclable. One came from Chanel!! & I like to imagine someone down on their luck (or maybe just a wise shopper) carrying their bargain around the streets looking like they have spent zillions.

I'm always rescuing saleable stuff & we have large posters on the wall giving details of the council's collection services. We also have 4 charity shops within a short stroll.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 11:54 AM

Sandra, it seems that a good way to recycle furniture would be to disassemble it and send metal to recycling, filling to reuse or recycling, cloth to reuse of some sort (paper is made from "linen" which simply means fiber of many types) and wood to reuse, burn, chip, and do something mulch-like with it. Etc. Disassembling furniture would take a lot less time than building it. That said, there is probably no profit from it so an altruistic approach is my recommendation.

I picked up two chandeliers in the neighbor's trash a few years ago. Shiny brass, made in Spain probably in the late 1960s. Most of the prisms were intact. I got replacement prisms (perfect match) and sold the two on eBay, made $250 between them. People really are careless about what goes to the dump.

Declutter of a different sort: yesterday got a call about a cancellation on the calendar at the Gastro's office, so I'm scrambling to prepare for the once-every-five-years colonoscopy next week. It bugs me that they insist you stop eating the things that keep you regular so the prep "works better." All that low-fiber diet does is make the prep worse when it happens. At least it will be over with and I don't have too long to dwell on it.

Meanwhile, I've decided to take a new approach (for me) to cleaning: Dust before it gets so bad that the duster fills quickly and required many trips out. I started this in November before the holidays and have now been dusting every couple of weeks (instead of much longer intervals). Seems to be working. Housekeeping is not my long suit - the thing I do most often around here is sweep up dog hair several times a week.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 02:22 PM

I'm back from Ottawa and more or less on top of the stuff I feel obligated to do. Note that does not include vacuuming the stairs, where cat hair is accumulating like desert sand in a ghost town. Cue the tumbleweeds!

It was a pleasantly low-key visit, free of drama and strife. The only thing I would have liked to change was the weather: truly dreadful, with constant rain and the sky so dark with cloud that I felt like an extra in Ridley Scott's "Bladerunner". I don't think I've ever seen the city look worse.

On the other hand, I got to ride the new light rail system (Tunney's Pasture to the By Ward Market in five minutes) and spend a day at the National Gallery.

More and more, I'm getting the feeling that I should start getting ready to move, most likely back to Ottawa (despite the winters) and into smaller, more manageable digs such as a condo apartment or townhouse. None of us is getting any younger, and I know -- as I know that the sun rises in the east -- that I want to get this done while I'm fit and capable. I shall not wait until something bad happens and I'm pushed.

Looking around the house, I see that more decluttering is called for. I spent Thursday rummaging around the dining room and the kitchen for items I don't use and can bear to part with -- i.e., not the early Victorian teacups that were my granny's favourites, but definitely the Bing & Grondahl coffee set that I acquired in a complex swap with an antique dealer who lusted for a certain occasional table with elephant legs. Rather a lot of the china that should leave is highly collectible Royal Doulton, so I'll be joining Stilly among the vendors on EBay.

The accumulation of CDs must be weeded again, to the benefit of Goodwill or, possibly, the church rummage sale this Spring. I'd like to cut the library back by another bookcase, and that seems the simplest way to do it -- and, besides, nowadays I listen most to satellite radio or Apple Music. Every one of those CDs was ripped to iTunes years ago, so I would be losing only the storage media.

The same goes for DVDs, except I'm morally certain that I'll never part with the complete Rumpole or "Jeeves and Wooster".

More daunting is the challenge of disposing of a perfectly good conventional queen-sized bed and a three-seater futon sofa that unfolds into another queen-sized bed. I cannot disassemble or move either of them by myself, and I don't know anybody who wants or needs them. Time for the freebie sites on Facebook, I guess.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Jan 24 - 11:55 AM

The process of finding another place to settle in crosses my mind also, but there's a big asterisk - the cost of living in the place I'd like to move to is way above the costs where I am now. It requires lining up a whole bunch of ducks; though I'm herding the barnyard fowl I'm not to the point of looking for that new home yet. The wildcard stream of income is eBay and it's also one way to declutter (especially if I don't bring in new stuff for eBay for the time being.)

In this post-pandemic world it occurs to me to test prior to the prep for the gastro visit. No point in torturing myself only to postpone things if I have a silent case. I doubt I have it, but best to be certain.

Some of the holiday lights are down and the last of them will be rounded up today. That lets me pick up a sturdy outdoor power cord on the lawn, giving safe access to the front with the mower. Yes. I'll be mowing the lawn and mulching in leaves in January. Some of this will be caught in the mower bag so I can drop it into the compost bin (on top of the contents of the two kitchen waste bins that are full.) I'll top that enclosure with a piece of chicken wire to keep Cookie out. She raided it last week for some corn cobs, so dog-proofing is back in use.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Jan 24 - 06:05 PM

I use the library's digital materials most often these days, audiobooks and eBooks via Libby, and I do all of my shopping in that city so they get my sales tax, but I don't live in the boundaries so I used my PO Box for years to qualify. Now that is gone so I suspect the next renewal will involve paying a fee to keep using it. I'm ok with that, I looked it up, the cost isn't a deal breaker (in the past the fee was much higher). But I hunted around and have joined the Houston Public Library with an e-card and have added that to my Libby app. This concludes a research project that I started at the end of last year.

Another change from last year is my gym routine, expanding it to add another couple of devices in my gym visits, focusing more on weight-bearing exercise. The recumbent bike is great for my knees but doesn't strengthen my bones. I started using the treadmill, but am looking to stagger it with something else. A search brought up this NIH/National Library of Medicine Surgeon General Report article table with a simple list of gym weight-bearing exercises for adults. I don't need to fool with barbells, I'll add the step machine and go back to dancing. And this brings me back to the library card - the nearest recreation center and the library are in the same city, tied together with a common logon system, and I will have to actually use regular ID at the rec center to start up the dance classes I was taking at a private studio. She lost it during COVID and now teaches at the Rec Center. The change in information at the one place might flag info at the other, but I now have a backup library (and I will be a donor there, as I should be at the local one).   

The last of the outside xmas lights are down but I didn't mow. The grass is still wet from rain yesterday, making for a gloppy job (leaving wheel ruts and it looks like a bad comb-over as the grass lies down instead of getting cut). I will rake and move the leaves from the curb in the street onto the turf, then it looks like Wednesday or Thursday will be dry enough for mulching them into the lawn. This evening I'll pack up the decorations on the mantle and be finished with the holidays.

I have a date with eBay tonight, to start up listings. If I get far enough in the front room I can move the photo cube back in there and clear the dining table for laying out sewing patterns, or possibly using it to eat on.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Jan 24 - 11:39 PM

I've already used my new library card. I'm working my way through the Louise Penny Inspector Gamache novels and there is one novella (6.5) that the local library doesn't have as an audio book, but Houston does. So I've put a hold on that (two weeks - and it is only an hour or so, very short) and then it looks like a three week wait for book #7 from the local library.

Clean bill of health today and thank goodness I can put that behind me. A-hem.

Time to sew a new cover for the small dog bed that was stashed in the front room after the stuffing was ripped out (I replaced and mended it). The extra cover is to try to keep Cookie from tearing it up (the covers on those things are easily shredded). Really cold weather coming this weekend and it will be one more spot for a small dog to hunker down and stay warm. I have an old bedspread from my dad's house (probably mentioned last year) that is essentially a nap-less chenille that is pretty tough.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: keberoxu
Date: 10 Jan 24 - 06:47 PM

Congratulations, Stilly, on the happy outcome of that uncomfortable health procedure.

A rainstorm came through last night, and decluttered the area of most of the recent snow that fell less than a week earlier. Now it looks like "mud season" although it is months too early for it. Not to worry, there are more storms in the west-to-east pipeline, I'm sure, and some of them may have snow in them.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jan 24 - 10:40 PM

Rather a lot of the china that should leave is highly collectible Royal Doulton, so I'll be joining Stilly among the vendors on EBay.

Charmion - do a lot of poking around in the eBay listings before you start. As you search on specific pieces, always look at the left side and click on "sold" for true prices of what things actually go for. The general listing prices are wildly unrepresentational. Sometimes selling individual pieces is fine, other times selling parts of a set or an entire set is the best way to get it out all at once. But before you start all of that, look at Replacements.com. It can serve as a benchmark to consider (if you undercut them a little on your eBay listings you'll sell more) but you can also offer the set to them. They'll offer a wholesale price, but you can pack them all up in boxes inside boxes and get rid of it all at once.

Keberoxu, there is a storm headed your way, after bouncing around the country like a ball in a pinball machine. The outflow boundary wind caused a power outage today (just a couple of hours) that gave me a chance to pull out things I have in place since the 2021 outage, and be sure they work as planned. I tested the propane stove (works great!) and the Stanley battery pack thing. I need to make one more purchase as far as the compact power supplies for in the house. This Stanley one with USB and a cigarette lighter type charger is meant mostly for a car and can jump the auto battery, so it needs to stay in the car for the cold months. I can use it in the house, but not to plug in a radio or lamp, etc. Luckily I have great neighbors with a huge generator on their back porch and they always run a line across the fence so I can do a few things with the microwave, TV, laptop, etc. I also am better situated now with a regular sleeping bag and better bedding setup (I used mummy bags during the 2021 outage for 4 days and they're difficult to get in and out of). If you have to stay indoors but without power, do you have a way to sleep warm and stay connected? A down or low-temp-rated flannel sleeping bag and a smartphone with a battery backup as a bare minimum. Stay safe, friend!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 11 Jan 24 - 06:40 AM

Tomorrow a trolley load of vintage Christmas decorations heads out. A friend who has a very large collection of Christmas decorations could have had them before christmas if members of her family hadn't had health problems. The collection is held in 2 shoe boxes (sneaker boxes not wimpy little fashion shoe boxes!) with extra stuff that probably could have fitted in 2 or 3 more boxes if I had them! They had been sitting on my camping chair (I haven't camped for at least 10 years) but I kept the chair when I sold my gear & kept stuff on it. Don't need to keep stuff on it anymore, so I'll ask around - we're heading to a festival late next week, & someone might like it! It's a very comfortable chair.

Several shoe boxes of small & miniature decorations went to a charity shop a few years ago, & now all I have left is a small box of cross stitch decorations I made yearly from early 90s to a few years back, plus two 6" trees & a new 2 or 3" tree given to me at christmas. Well done me! The trees live permanently on my bookcase. The small box is a piece of nostalgia - the seniors among us might just remember PUNCH CARDS! When I started in the Federal public service in 1973 we had punch card operators & they sent their cards off to "The Computer" in Head Office in these boxes. Of course I long ago covered the box in Christmas paper, & I no longer display them, but it's not easy giving craft stuff away.

I recently went thru a very large box that holds my collection of vintage fancywork & pulled out about a dozen or so pieces I want to keep, the others will slowly go back to the charity shops I bought them from!

For a couple of years I've been working on vintage embroideries, all the "useless" domestic embroideries our mothers & grandmothers decorated their lives with. No surface was undecorated - one of my favourite items are sandwich tray mats - can't put sandwiches on bare china! & I've embroidered lots of doilies & other items like pretty little pockets to put match boxes in, or dainty little handtowels, & I'll be using them to make a summer bed cover, not a quilt. I can only find pics of quilts blocks made from damaged pieces, I want to use my complete embroideries.

sandra


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 11 Jan 24 - 10:02 AM

The pile of garments and household items ready for Goodwill has taken over the box room. It's obviously time to pack it up and move it out. In particular, I'm targeting the my collection of aspirational and relic garments: stuff I bought thinking it would fit in a few months but never has, and stuff I used to wear but doesn't fit well now. Non-clothing items are mostly kitchen duplicates. Why did I have three sets of measuring cups? Five pudding basins of various sizes?

It's finally snowing again in Stratford, though only God knows how long it will last. The news media tell me (and tell me and tell me) that large swaths of eastern Canada and the United States are struggling with the aftereffects of major storm systems, but for once Perth County seems to be exempt. Snow is normal in January. We like normal.

Stilly, I do check eBay prices religiously, and Replacements. I also follow a Facebook group for Doulton collectors that so far seems dominated by figurines and character jugs. I hadn't considered selling to Replacements because of the border thing, but I can at least enquire.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Jan 24 - 11:42 AM

Charmion, at one time I was rounding out my collection of Russel Wright Melamine residential Northern plates and cups (a blue confetti pattern) and had searches set up on eBay for some of the pieces. I'll be reversing that routine one of these days because I ended up with more than I needed of somethings and some that weren't quite the right color.

I think Dorothy has driven to the border to mail things on occasion - I remember her mention of that a couple of years ago. I don't know how practical that would be if you ever find yourself headed that way anyway (and if you have a box packed and customs wants to take a look - oy!). Maybe not such a great plan.

Good work, Sandra! You're finishing crocheting those things? I have a bunch that my great grandmother and great aunts must have worked on, but they're so old fashioned and I'd never find the yarn or thread they used. I learned this week that my son's partner is trying cross-stitch and I pointed my phone at the bin of skeins of 6-strand embroidery thread that if she develops a real habit I can send her way. I'm not ready to part with it yet, I still use them for some things, but I can keep a few and send the rest.

I am considering getting the new tires sooner rather than later, with possible ice coming up. Everyone may have the same idea, but I'll check what's available today. Will declutter one thing off the list that the recent inspection said was coming up soon.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 11 Jan 24 - 02:36 PM

I have crossed the border with a parcel packed and wrapped for mailing only once, in 2008 when Edmund was deployed in Afghanistan with an American formation. Fortunately for me, the border guard I encountered that day was an Army Reservist who had returned from Iraq only a few months before. If he had not accepted my recitation of the contents — coffee, marmalade, evaporated milk, socks, peanut butter and a fruitcake — the parcel would have been confiscated and destroyed. I don’t think I would get such consideration today — not that I have any inclination to drive to Buffalo any time soon. That’s a three-hour trip from Stratford.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 11 Jan 24 - 04:11 PM

Maggie, for me doilies are embroidered items,I was surprised to see wikipedia etc. considered them only crocheted pieces. But lots of people on Etsy etc. know they are (also) embroidered. Amongst my family treasures is an unfinished mat made by my mother. She had run out of tan stranded cotton & did a very small section in a colour that did not quite match - I had a similar problem so didn't finish it off, picky, aren't we? I don't have any of her finished items.

I don't crochet, but I can put a 2 row, 5-chain edging on a small piece of embroidery!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Jan 24 - 12:19 AM

Charmion, encountering sympathetic border personnel is a great experience. I had the SUV loaded with camping gear when I wanted to take my small children to meet a friend in Mexico. The border patrol in Mexico were going to make me unload the Explorer until I told them that I wanted to take my kids to meet Benny at the import store in town (Sonoyta, a border town in Sonora, just south of Arizona). They knew who I was talking about and let us through. Whew! (And the visit with Benny was wonderful!)

Sandra, I should photograph some of the pieces here and see if they appeal to you to embroider. :) From Ireland to Connecticut to Texas to Oz.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: JennieG
Date: 12 Jan 24 - 01:03 AM

Sandra et al, I have some embroidered/crocheted edge doilies made by women in my family over the years, including me.....and some crocheted doilies beautifully made by Himself's maternal grandmother....and some tatting made by my mother's Aunt Laura, including an exquisite tablecloth with a linen centre and a wide tatting border. I do enjoy using some of the pieces, and when I am no more I hope they go to an op shop (thrift store, charity shop, depending where you are in the world) to be bought by someone else who loves them for the women's work they represent.

I recall those embroideries being called "fancy work".


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 12 Jan 24 - 05:40 AM

fancywork it is Jennie.

One of the vintage pieces I'm keeping is the last piece I bought.
It's a willow pattern in fine blue backstitch, I'd never seen anything like it so I had to have it. It wasn't till I scanned it to send the pic to a friend that I noticed every stitch was precisely over one thread. It wasn't handkerchief linen, but it isn't a coarse weave. My friends praise my fine stitching, but only a few of my stitches are over 1 thread, most are bigger, & they are very uneven!   

Maggie I love to get pics of some of your embroideries, & could send you some of mine


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Jan 24 - 09:17 AM

Sandra, I'll put a note to remind myself - much of that is in a trunk in the front room with the eBay stuff. That room is simply a place to store the trunk (I think the family brought it from Ireland in 1855, it's a huge wooden thing with a wrought iron hasp on the front). I have no plans to sell it; it is something I want to keep in the family, so I need to remind my kids what it is. And Jennie will be able to see these also if I put them on FB. We can compare notes on colors and styles.

Yesterday my daughter and I had lunch across the street from the rug shop where my large Persian carpet was cleaned in 2022. The man who runs it is from Iran and has what looks like a hoarder's paradise of rugs in there (piled deep with narrow paths) but he does a lot of business out of that store and knows what he has and where it is. I took her in to introduce them (my ex is friends with this guy and that's how I learned about getting my rug cleaned there). When we walked in he was repairing the edge of an antique tapestry and she noticed - the fact that her museum's next big show is to do with antique tapestries has wheels turning and connections being made. I love it when people meet and there are complex layers to their common interests. But also it means I'm going to take over a Navajo rug that the great aunt who gave it to me said was on the floor in the family house for years, and looks it. I finally remembered to ask him about it and he will see if there is any way to restore it.

I got the new tires - time and money well spent. The old ones were a problem especially when starting through intersections after a full stop at a light or stop sign - I always had to have a very light foot to avoid slithering, a classic sign the tires were at the end of their life. And I didn't reward the Nissan dealer by asking them to match the price of Discount Tire - they've done too much bait and switch lately. They're also a lot farther from the house. And contemplating some of the running I do, I realize I don't mind the idea of driving so far to the gym and such, I really was restricting my own movements because of the tires, so this is way past time.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Jan 24 - 06:36 PM

WHere I am staying, the storm that just passed through
was a rain event with the last warm air we will have for some time.
The rain finished decluttering the snow we got earlier in the week.

Now for a cold snap -- days below freezing . . .


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Jan 24 - 10:17 PM

There has been a rattle for a few days in the SUV engine compartment, coming on suddenly but not triggering any warning lights. Driving back and forth to the cat-sitting gig the last two days had me wondering if I should run by Nissan, but I decided not, to just keep to a few trips until Monday. Then this evening I turned off the A/C (it runs heat and cold) and the noise stopped. It's the fan in that unit and it will need attention, but the vehicle is roadworthy, nothing is going to fall off and leave us at a standstill somewhere in the cold.

Whew.

Heavy weather arriving overnight and lasting through Wednesday, and with sub-freezing overnights through next week on Saturday. I've done as much to set up ahead of it as I can think of, and we'll see how the old Lab does this week. Arthritis and really cold weather don't go together well.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Jan 24 - 12:01 PM

The cat-sitting house is now set up for the cold - water dripping in bathroom and kitchen sinks, under-sink cupboards propped to let air in but knobs with sturdy rubber bands to keep cats from exploring those spaces. She flies back Wednesday from a diving trip in the Caribbean - home will be a stark contrast to that!

I have a stack of hats, scarves, and layers on the barstool at my kitchen bar/counter next to the tall seat where I always stash my handbag, so I can assemble the layers according to the trip. Normally I would leave this stuff in the hall, but that is a narrow passage right now since I haven't moved the extra bench out of the way. Not a problem for walking through, but sometimes the dogs lie down down in that hall and are tripping hazards.

The little dog Cookie is now zipped into her jacket and once in it she's happy (putting it on is a struggle). The other two have heavy coats and are fine on the various dog beds around the living room and one in the closet of my office. That closet is pretty much the year-round sleeping spot for my Blue Heeler.

I'm betting that heading to the museum for a 2pm tour will be a wasted trip; I can't imagine anyone voluntarily museum-hopping this afternoon, but I'm on the calendar so I'll go over. It won't be wasted for me, I can do some Archives scanning while I'm there.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Jan 24 - 11:52 AM

One person arrived for the tour yesterday and it was a pleasant walk-through conversation that hit all of the high points I usually aim for. With groups sometimes they steer things in different directions and you can't stay totally on topic. After that I spent a couple of hours scanning since I don't think I'll be driving over there tomorrow. It isn't supposed to warm until late Wednesday and there may be more snow to deal with. The museum is a lot farther than the cat house.

Snow on the ground today, probably an inch at the most. Effing cold out there, it was 11o when I returned from feeding cats. And as I sat for a few minutes waiting for them to finish eating the smallest guy hopped into my lap for a cuddle. Whether due to affection or a warm lap is anyone's guess.

To avoid icy bridges I drove around the block to avoid the trestle that crosses the federal depot just north of my house, only to encounter the railroad crossing bars stuck down across the road as I got near the cat house. I had to go around, meaning I drove across the huge (several times higher and longer than the federal trestle) old bridge that goes across some switching tracks near the grain silos. That bridge is off the beaten path but near a hospital so it was salted. Another "whew." I stayed long enough to take care of the medication for two visits so don't have to drive back till dinner.

This feels like a good day to bake some bread and make a pot roast or beef stew. Chicken soup. Cold weather comfort food.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Jan 24 - 05:53 PM

Today I made a major clearance in the box room, including garments of Edmund’s that I could not let go before. When I get some packing paper, I can make a similar dent in the basement clutter.

I’m striking for empty shelves.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Jan 24 - 03:39 PM

The sunroom is set up for cleaning of some eBay items and I'll be using my new battery hand-vac. Part of that involved finding the label maker and filling it with a spare cartridge I located (in a logical place but one that had eluded me for a while. The label maker will go into the same place now.) I wanted two small labels with the year two new Ryobi batteries go into service for my various devices. The two old ones still work but don't hold a charge as long. So as you can see, I have been working backwards once I decided I wanted to use the vacuum in there.

Still in the teens temperature-wise today, but it ends after tomorrow. Cat sitting also ends tomorrow. This morning all of the cats dashed out of the bedroom where they usually lurk so I closed the door behind them. They'll stay in the rest of the house today (with water and boxes) because I retrieved a mattress cover draped over the bed pillows and put it into the wash. (There's another one over the mattress and bedding itself, a plastic and cloth combo.) The door will remain closed until it dries and is put back over the pillows, and this is a 3-visit operation. I'll let my friend know that it was washed today and if they spray it tomorrow during the day it's hers to wash. Those boy cats are incorrigible. They started this the day after she left but there was no way I was going to wash this every day. Each time they hit it I spritzed on the enzyme stuff that does a good job of cutting the stain and smell. #FirstWorldProblems

It's a bright cold day today and the two younger dogs are using their heat-seaking instinct: though it's about 20o out, when they lie in front of the greenhouse (a windbreak) they can soak in the rays and nap. Me, I'm staying in the house, and when I do go out, thank dog for remote start on the Nissan so it's warm when I get there.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 16 Jan 24 - 04:58 PM

Today’s run to Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity is completed, and another carload of clag has left the building.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 16 Jan 24 - 08:11 PM

applause, well done -


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Jan 24 - 09:51 PM

Indeed!

After tomorrow I will have more time to address the buildup in the front room, so in addition to pulling a few things to list will again organize boxes saved for shipping. They take up so much less room once they're flattened.

I haven't delivered many things to Goodwill lately, instead offering things through Freecycle and the Buy Nothing page on Facebook, but small things have accumulated in the donation bin that will be dropped off soon.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 17 Jan 24 - 10:39 PM

Dupont:

I have been doing the absolute minimum for ... No sense of time!
3X Saturday BF which have been fun. A couple trips down to see Geri and give support as someone hit her car broadside and we needed to determine whether an 18 year old car is worth repairing. No! but she can still drive it after R got a window closed - permanently! So the rain could not enter! We found a car she could have bought but I backed off and left it for her to do, or not. It was only about 3 blocks away. Also had a short visit with Rita and the bonus of her daughter and grandson arriving before I left.

All the house stuff is just fine - not terrific but fine! I read a couple terrific books. HAd a second visit with the neighbour. Today was too cold to bother going out the door.

Early this aft I was wondering why I felt lousy and kind of sick in a sort of way - and realized this malaise - about a week now - seems to have started with the new green tea from the Japanese market. I reverted to the previous and started feeling better. ????

Almost 11PM and no sign of R! I am hoping for a trip to Beaver this weekend - both of us so short!
Pick up mail! and attend a community social gathering. I can take a bunch of stuff for the "take what you want Table".

Check with Steve re plowing of Driveway - lots of snow up there! And maybe ask Larry to put a fire in stove.

Have to go down to the Little Green Library tomorrow to return books! And a visit with Geri; Rita if she is not busy.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: harpgirl
Date: 17 Jan 24 - 11:13 PM

well SRS and meself still interact quite a bit on Facebuns but here’s today’s story. I found some girls interested in my kayaks so I offered three of them free. I’ve accumulated five over the years. They took a red, a yellow, and a green kayak. The green fishing kayak had a terrible smell. While strapping it to the trailer, they looked into the bow hatch only to find a dead and very smelly squirrel. The yaks had been up against my fence in the backyard for several years. I was very embarrassed but hey, three free kayaks? Just squirt it out! I swear I didn’t know about it!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jan 24 - 01:45 AM

Decluttering kayaks! That's one I haven't heard before! I've considered getting a kayak so I can putter around the pond in the creek in my backyard to grab the plastic trash lodged in roots and branches. It washes downstream every time there is a heavy rain. Why haven't I bought one? Because if I had to roll it over back there I'd hate to end up a body in my own backyard. I'll probably find a portable canoe instead, I grew up with those on the lake where we had a cabin when I was a kid. Anyway - if I'm remembering our FB names correctly, harpgirl does a lot of magnet fishing - and that would also be a great activity for my creek. Seriously. I've picked up some interesting things that have washed downstream on the small beach, but who knows what is under water? I know there are freshwater oysters, I keep finding the shells, but there is probably a lot of metal also.

Dorothy, I'm testing/tasting a half-dozen types of herbal teas (tisanes) sent at xmas by my son. Two of them so far are on my "get more" list, and as I try each I put them in a glass jar (he mailed them in ziplock bags with the name written in Sharpie). Have you ever bought tea from the folks in Seattle at Market Spice? It's one of the first shops you run into if you walk into the Pike Place Market from Pine Street (they are to the left of the big fish market, if things haven't moved in the last 10 years).

Dorothy also mentioned the green library - probably unrelated to the Little Free Library movement over the last 20 years, but I have more books to take to the little library my neighbor keeps in her yard. I just looked at the map - she has her library listed on the site. Maybe I should build one of my own. Related to this, I'm feeling quite rich with the doubling of the online libraries I have access to now. I could add a couple of QR codes to the case to share links to Libby (there are Reddit groups that actually have people sharing their library cards to get books across systems).

This evening has been a bit of a standstill - I visited gnu's Facebook account and did some wallowing, and grabbed a few of the photos he posted. So many times I was tagged in his posts, and now that has come to an end. He died Monday, according to his nephew. Since he was posting last week it looks like whatever killed him was fast. He was in palliative care for such a short time that I hope it was also peaceful. He was two years younger than me, which adds another perspective to his passing.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 18 Jan 24 - 02:32 AM

today I bought an 800 metre reel of Guterman ecru sewing cotton, bloke asked if I wanted the 250M reel. I said I hoped I'd live long enough to use it up, dunno how long I took using up the last reel, tho I do know I run out of the black reel during lockdown but was able to do a click & collect sale as the craft shop was nearby. What is left of these reels will go to the craft charity shop along with all my other stuff!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jan 24 - 11:15 AM

Sandra, my daughter learned lots of sewing tricks in her years of studying costume design and construction. I showed her the tons of old colorful thread from my mother's house, but she unrolled bits of thread from the wooden spools and gave it a quick yank - when they broke easily it meant they were too brittle for sewing. That said, I listed all of those old attractive spools on eBay with the note that they were too old for sewing and someone still bought them. I went through my old thread then and discarded a number of less-charismatic styrofoam and plastic spools.

Yesterday I picked up a bottle of my favorite Scotch and toasted our late friend gnu, but since alcohol was a significant contributor to his health problems, I will acknowledge that by resuming a dry January. I also need to work on a clean January - the house is suffering from too much dog hair and sticks dragged in through the dog door and chewed to pieces. And my own problem of things on most horizontal surfaces.

This morning while searching a couple of my usual storage places for Costco bulk OTC medications (cupboard for small things, pantry for big things) I came across a few really old Rx bottles. I was certain I'd finally tossed the old stuff last year, but nope. These are from when the kids lived here (they're in their 30s now). Those will go in the Rx disposal bin next time I'm at the pharmacy.

The anniversary of moving into this house is Valentines Day, it will be 22 years. Last week we passed Zeke's "gotcha" date (when my friend was injured he moved in with us and never left.) The friend has made a substantial recovery (head injury) over those last 12 years and we've loved having the dog (he was too strong for her so this is a win/win situation). I should get things cleaned up and have her over to celebrate.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 18 Jan 24 - 01:16 PM

dupont:

SRS: a little free library seems a great idea for you. Rarely went to Pikes Market. Green tea is specific to helping me deal with the barometer dropping which used to involve raging headaches. The Little Green Library (LGL), funded by the adjacent municipalities and run by volunteers has a great selection of books (FR/ENG), movies, a children's program and a large room of books for sale. Top notch!

Today: So far I have managed to get out of bed and have porridge for BF, wrote a fairly long "spirit guided" message/poem? to a friend; trying to heal from meltdown resulting from birthday 87 when I was blindsided by the last 60 years of my life - not what I wanted! The Grief group on Monday got the full effect. How do we heal?

So I am in recovery. Which is not much different from the last months of doing nothing.I pat myself on the back each time I do a little something. And cancel that which will not help me feel better. A Louise Penny book would be helpful but I have read them all. MAybe I'll go to the local library. MAybe try St. John's Wort - it usually helps - I just have to think of these things! Too cold and windy for a walk.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jan 24 - 02:38 PM

Dorothy, have you read any of Laura Lippman's mysteries? She is known for the Tess Monaghan series, about a Baltimore private detective (who was a journalist first). The link is to information about her and it does help to read them in sequence. She herself was a journalist for 20 years before changing careers to write mysteries, and it's a family thing—her husband is David Simon who is famous for detective programs like The Wire. (I only saw a bit of that - it seemed to be really hard boiled and violent.)

Puttering so far has resulted in steamed vegetables for the dogs, a batch of Egyptian style lentil soup and much of the paper clutter in the kitchen shredded, recycled, or filed.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Jan 24 - 10:19 AM

Three 1-cu boxes of CDs and DVDs are in the boot of the car, on their way to Goodwill.

While clearing those sections of basement shelf, I found the lace-up Merrell boots that I thought accidentally-maybe-on-purpose donated to Goodwill last winter. I felt a pang of buyer's remorse for the new boots I bought this winter, but recovered quickly when I remembered how chilly the rubber feet of the Merrell boots are. All those Maine hunting shoe clones have the same fault: the leather uppers are great, but the rubber bottoms conduct cold in a way that makes them unsuitable for wear in temperatures below minus 10 Celsius.

My new winter boots (purchased in Ottawa) are leather all the way to the soles, and fully lined with sheepskin. In Stratford's wussy winter I don't need them often, but nothing else will do in that one week, maybe two, when the thermometer takes a deep dive even here in the peach belt.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jan 24 - 11:12 AM

That's always interesting, when you get to review your past decisions like that. Are they headed to the Goodwill again?

I have a pair of my father's neoprene Wellington boots that aren't a bruised or cold-feet problem because they're so large I can literally step into them wearing some of my own lightweight sneakers. I rarely wear them, but when I do they are absolutely the right boot for the job. The next few days are supposed to be cold and sloppy so this is their kind of weather.

More kitchen puttering and now the peninsula counter has only things on it that are supposed to be there; 2 large Sam Scott ceramic bowls for holding fruit, onions, potatoes, etc., and the cutting board. The tray with tea stuff is tucked beside the toaster oven, and a vase holding two bunches of roses ($5 at my discount grocery) is smack in the middle cheering the whole the room.

Vintage colorful Libbey glassware is making a couple of trips through the dishwasher (to remove any limestone scale) before listing on eBay.

It's time to plant potatoes, and I have a bag of the remainder of my last crop in the fridge. It looks like after next week's rain will be the time to work the soil and plant these. It's too damned cold right now. I'll plop the asparagus roots into a bed at the same time (they've lived in my wheelbarrow for several weeks since I dug them out of the front bed, they need to move now or they'll dry up too much to use.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Jan 24 - 02:40 PM

No, the Merrell boots can stay for a while yet. Besides, I wear orthotic insoles in them and their original insoles are long gone.

But I am determined to continue the clearance of stuff that I don't use, an accumulation that includes rather a lot of CDs. True child of the aspiring artistic middle class, I grew up with the assumption that all the best people maintain large libraries of both books and recorded music But the fact is that my reading and listening tastes and habits have changed radically over the last 15 years, and that's okay. Cutting back the bookcases won't cost me my intellectual credentials -- and just might help me fit myself into a two-bedroom condo when I have to.

Recorded music is a particular case in point. I see no virtue in retaining CDs as objects on shelves when I have the entire collection stored on iTunes on my computer and backed up in the cloud. If Apple goes away someday and takes my music library with it, I imagine the world will be sufficiently screwed up that I will have more urgent problems to worry about.

Preparing to decamp from this house is an "eat the elephant" project: I have to do it one bite (or carload) at a time. Today it was three cubic feet of CDs I haven't listened to since the iPod came into my life.

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, my wicker armchair is back from furniture rehab with beautiful new cushions custom-made for it by the upholsterer next door to the vet. That reminds me -- gotta book the cats' needle parade.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jan 24 - 08:05 PM

The books I buy these days are usually discussed on podcasts or radio shows, and sometimes purchases are simply in solidarity with the authors. Occasionally I buy on paper to read, but it takes me a while. I get most books via the library Libby app, and while I occasionally borrow their eBooks to read on a tablet, I most often listen to unabridged audio versions. I've thinned out my bookcases a lot in the last few years. (The ceiling fell in the office back before the pandemic and I moved so many books around before the repairs that I managed to sort and discard a lot.)

I reread your discussion of three cubic feet of CDs. That's a HUGE number of CDs! I bought a 33-gallon bin of CDs a dozen years ago (a story told several times on Mudcat) that might have been about half that amount - it was over 300 discs and took two people to lift into my SUV. (An estate sale bargain - all classical - purchased for $20 for the lot. A true windfall, and I still have most of those.) You bought a lot of music over the years!

Congrats on return of your chair - I have a Mission Oak rocker that needs a reupholstered seat and the back panel; last time I asked was told it would be about $750, so it will wait till another day.

Dorothy, stay warm and comfortable and I hope you find a good book!

Another cold blast is on the way so I made a batch of chicken soup tonight.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Jan 24 - 10:33 AM

An afterthought: three 1' cubes of CDs isn't the same volume as a 3' by 3' by 3' cube. Exponentially the 3' cube is 9X the amount of three 1' cubes.

The dogs have got the hang of these mornings with the dog flap closed until 5am. No impatient barking in the den today and I woke a couple of minutes before the alarm (so I'm also growing accustomed to this early morning date at the fence for a dog treat).

Tons to do today, I have a list, but I'm happy to report one small chronic issue had a simple solution. My desktop computer hums along and the side panel of the case started an annoying vibration last summer. I reach out to touch it and it stops for a while. This week I finally put a 2" piece of Scotch tape across the seam at the top edge of that panel and it stopped. Now it all issues around the house were so easily solved. The rest of my list will take a bit more time and effort.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Jan 24 - 02:23 PM

Indeed, Stilly. Those three one-cubes fit neatly into the car boot with the cargo lid down, leaving room for a load of groceries.

In fact, I have nearly nine shelf-metres of CDs still to cull, in the hope of cutting back to no more than 2.4 shelf-metres (arbitrarily selected quantity). This level of precision is possible because I keep them in two 60-cm IKEA Billy bookcases with inserts on the shelves to double their CD storage capacity.

Yesterday, I also parted with eight chardonnay glasses and six bottles of wine, soon to feature as lots in a silent auction fund-raiser for the concert choir. This week, I will compose another lot with four Danish porcelain demitasses and a Bialetti moka pot.

I’ve had a nibble for Edmund’s enormous futon sofa that has been in the basement since 2017. With any luck, I’ll be rid of that soon.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Jan 24 - 04:33 PM

Cleaning guy skipped this week so so did I...

Luckily I have a mah jongg game. THAT room is clean. Now.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Jan 24 - 11:47 PM

About 10 years ago I got rid of a futon that was well built and had a great full-size mattress - in hindsight, though it was large and in the way, I wish I'd kept it. I could cover it with a tarp and then rough blankets and use it for the dogs. That said, I was tired of stubbing my toes on it.

More eBay glassware is going through the dishwasher; I'll leave it in the top rack and run it a couple of more times to clear up any limestone that might have settled on them in their previous home. Then to list these. I'd used some of my canning jar cases to store them and ended up with no place for some of my canning jars, just in regular flats in the pantry. Perhaps I can streamline those now. Moving these cases from the front room clears the space beside the small table and I may soon be able to set up the photo cube and do some of that listing work in there again. Tomorrow: selecting boxes large enough to safely pack these glasses for shipping. There will probably be a half-dozen listings (I won't sell glasses individually, only in lots.)

I washed small area rugs and mats that have been in the dog crate today; tomorrow will be the covers of dog mats and gently washing the foam orthopedic fillers in the tub. When you have a couple of old dogs, this is a frequent activity.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Jan 24 - 03:59 PM

Today's advance research shows no sales with large numbers of glasses going at once, they tend to be sold in lots of 2, 3, or 4; very few sold individually. The good news is that smaller boxes are easier to pack and ship. eBay gets a discount for sellers regardless of the shipper, and I usually ship USPS, but will keep similar sized un-branded boxes handy in case someone wants to ship UPS. (I offer both on my sales.)

I mentioned buying a bag of flour at the dollar store on xmas eve because I was almost out and would have no other time to shop before my family event; that flour was a help but I didn't use much. Since then baking with it reveals that it's pretty awful. Rolls don't rise as well, it's hard to mix into batter (lumpy) even after sifting. The final straw was a deflated batch of dinner rolls on Saturday—I tossed the rolls then tossed the rest of the flour and have Costco organic flour to make more rolls today. Such a disappointment (but the dogs got lucky and each ate a couple of rolls.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Jan 24 - 10:51 AM

Snowing again — or still? — in Stratford. All the snow that should have fallen between Remembrance Day and New Year’s has arrived late and brought friends.

Another bag of Goodwill-bound clag will leave the house this afternoon, after the nice lad from Nick’s Snow Removal has cleared my driveway.

I swear that’s the best $650.00 I spend in any given year.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: keberoxu
Date: 23 Jan 24 - 07:05 PM

Snow has arrived in southwestern New England as well,
and may turn to freezing rain (ugh)
as the temperatures rise in the next day or two.
At least we have temperatures above freezing now,
for a week or so it had been bitterly cold here.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Jan 24 - 09:48 PM

No snow down here, only rain, so no need for anyone to bail water out of my driveway. Has your cough cleared up completely, Keb?

On Thursday I'm going to restart dance class. The studio I went to before I retired closed during COVID, and I had knee issues so didn't try to find a new place. Last year the instructor moved to the nearby rec center two evenings a week. I've learned that my Silver Sneakers account gets me into the center free (no penalty for living out of the city limits and the class cost is modest). Thursday is when there are a back-to-back classes and I'll choose to either re-do Beginners or get back into the Intermediate group. Since I won't have an annual fee to join the center I put that money into some gear for the class. This center also has fitness rooms so I'll also start going there for the treadmill and recumbent bike. I'll still go to the other gym; it has the pool and a lot of other stuff, plus much longer hours, but I won't go as often.

There was good luck today with eBay research, the discovery that a $5 Goodwill find is a Sheffield silver plate tureen. Those stamped hallmarks are difficult to figure out and I had been looking at it upside down, but I found the exact maker. There is silver plate, and then there is Sheffield silverplate.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: keberoxu
Date: 24 Jan 24 - 08:00 PM

I have yet to declutter myself of the cough.
It has subsided to be a mild annoyance.

I am hoping for the best over the next months;
I have spoken to so many people, a few of them physicians,
who testify to a cough that persists months after the rest of the symptoms clear.
But eventually the cough clears up as well, it just takes a long time.

So I am staying away from inhalers for now,
and nursing the cough with medicated cough drops.
It's worst in the evening,
and best in the morning.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Jan 24 - 10:28 PM

This evening I signed up for a weekly class starting tomorrow evening. This rec center is an easy mile away and I may add a couple of other classes later. After I had signed up I stepped into the back room where a stretching class was going tonight, same instructor, and it was old home week - three friends from the old studio. This is going to be good socially as well as for exercise. (Interestingly, everyone has lost weight since we were last together - we all seem to have been working on our health and fitness despite the setbacks of COVID in recent years.)

The items now on eBay are packed for shipping and stacked on the sideboard in the den; tomorrow I'll get a few more boxes and add listings.

In dog world these days I'm walking out into the backyard two or three times a day, luring them out with peanuts or other treats, though usually they just follow me because that's what they do. The dog door is there but by the time the old guy realizes he needs to head out he doesn't always get outside in time. Yet another accommodation for a really old dog.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Jan 24 - 02:27 PM

Class was . . . interesting. A community recreation center is a well-used space and trying to hold an evening dance class in a room with a clean floor is a challenge. Using the restrooms for changing is a no-go, so dressing for class at home and walking through the parking lot in dance gear is the best bet. And it seems this will only happen for another month or so, then will move to the next town over (where I used to work). The new location is a few miles closer than the university, but it is something to take under consideration (there is a lot of road construction making a detour necessary). It has been several years since I took the classes so I need to do a lot of review. The first class was a nice workout. And even if the classes move out of that facility, the fitness rooms are still there to be used.

Seeing movement on eBay; an item sold and ships today. It's one I revised a little and that was enough to attract interest. More listings going up later today.

Meanwhile, I've been watching the PBS sewing and quilting programs and one program offered an interesting technique for making the quilting part of a project look good, especially for beginners. Calling it "sloppy woppy" they use a backing fabric with an interesting pattern that can be followed (around the edges) using free motion quilting. The result is the bobbin thread ends up on the top and an attractive pattern appears in the quilting. To remember this technique I picked up a couple of yards of fabric that would work for this, and I'll add my note and the episode information. Something to follow up on.

Next door to the fabric shop is the liquor store, and I stepped in to ask about low or non-sulfite wines. They used to have a section of them, but had only one bottle now that has the claim that sulfites are removed. A very helpful staff member reminded me that in the US they add sulfites to wine as a preservative. All wines have some sulfites, but European wines aren't supposed to be adulterated; none are added. I used to know this. I'll look into the comparable levels and see if switching to European wines would solve the allergic reaction I think sulfites are causing. Stopping wine for now seems to help, so if the lower levels are still too much, wine will be infrequent on my menu.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Donuel
Date: 26 Jan 24 - 10:16 PM

Sulfites can cause one to try to breathe but can't. A high dose will kill but low doses resemble mild asthma. Some preservative huh?

I won't be practicing every other day until a finger heals but it may take a long time. The first day of an injury doesn't tell me much except ow.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Jan 24 - 01:22 AM

Aw. Practicing what? What instrument do you play? (I play piano, and hate to try to remember the last time I sat down at the keyboard.) This account of sulfites is another dermatitis reaction; breathing isn't an issue. I'll have to backtrack to see why I was looking into it before, but it may turn out that I was not yet sure that coconut was my primary allergy problem. Sulfites are a sub problem.

NetFlix finally caught up with our family sharing plan today. Because of this I added a family member for $8, and now I can't see his named profile and he can't see mine, but he doesn't lose years worth of lists and viewing history on his profile. (Through high school he streamed various programs as he did his homework in his bedroom, then kept the account through college three states away - I asked NetFlix if this was ok and they said yes - and just for pure stubbornness we kept it up. He is almost 31 and still on my NetFlix account.)

We're nearing the end of January. What are our lurkers doing? Jon, we haven't heard from you in a while - how is your health, how are your parents, and what are you working on? Patty, where are you these days? In Arizona for the winter or some other southern state? Jennie and Maryanne and others - what's up?


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Jan 24 - 11:40 AM

Things are actually pretty organized around here, so of course I spent a loooooong time today and yesterday looking for things.

Today I wanted a particular vest (I have many), and while I haven't been hanging them back in the closet while recovering from that neck surgery, they were almost all missing. Eventually remembered the (neat) pile of vests I'd collected from around the house, but not yet hung up, sitting in the clean laundry basket under other clean laundry folded but not yet put away...

Yesterday, could not find my phone. It had been RIGHT HERE before my shower, after, was nowhere. This is why I have a landline, but my ringer was off from work, earlier, so picture nekkidity in long wet hair (no hat) calling, then running over to sit on the couch, or the bed, or... to see if I could feel them vibrate. Eventually located in the pocket of my bathrobe. Sigh.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Jan 24 - 01:22 PM

Mrrzy, that sounds like a classic senior moment (glad to read you're healing well). Too bad you didn't put on your robe while you made the search, you'd have saved a few steps! When I got rid of the house phone I ported it to a cell phone and then ported it to Google Voice (you can't go directly from landline to Google, they only port from cellular phone companies). I use the desktop or tablet's Chrome browser where Voice turns phone numbers on web pages into links it will call, forwarding it to my cell phone. As long as it is ringing on my phone the call hasn't gone through, so I find it, answer, then hang up immediately before it connects.

Despite it still being January it is time to declutter my bedding of the down comforter. It's too cumbersome, and now that it isn't quite as cold out, I overheat any time the furnace comes on during the night. Back to layers of blankets and the quilt.

It's time to do some planting. Potatoes can go in, and if I get an area cleared near the kitchen door, onion sets. (I usually put onions in the same general area as herbs and garlic. Garlic was planted last fall and there is year-round oregano and thyme in the ground).


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 27 Jan 24 - 02:36 PM

senior moment?? - I had 2 recently - gloom, desolation

I turned up 24 hours early for the first Craft group of the year, & a few days before rushed out for noon lunch - no time to get to the Post Office to post an urgent letter & of course no stamps in my wallet - & arrived 30 mins early. So I went to the Post Office the next day - no letter in my bag!! Finally posted it the following day ...

Sandra - closing in on Three Score & Twelve


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Jan 24 - 10:26 PM

I just noticed my class schedule was a week off from the catalog... going with the catalog.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Jan 24 - 01:04 PM

Income taxes have been calculated, and once again I'm glad my past self went in and increased the withholding on the pension from the ex. The tax refund will be small, but most importantly, I'm not having to pay more out of pocket. I don't always calculate them this early, but with the pension finally landing in the bank in a lump sum I figured I'd better see what the tax damage was.

Today's goal is to clear the various colored drinking glass sets off of my kitchen counter. They need to be photographed. Where I have multiple boxes of identical glassware I'm color-coding the sets with some small plastic keychain things set in the background. Since my photos are part of the description on eBay this helps avoid a box mixup when I ship.

Great night's sleep last night in a bed with just blankets - and I am going to declutter my closet of the down comforter. It's too bulky, and the duvet magnifies the difficulties. I'll offer the comforter to my son in the colder climate, but if he doesn't want it, I'll look at my other options. The duvet is coming off and possibly taken apart (it is two large top sheets stitched around the outside edges.) I have another smaller down comforter in the guest room closet for really cold weather (but I also have down sleeping bags, so perhaps all down comforters should just go away.) Does anyone know how old is too old for down to still be up to the job? I've had these sleeping bags and comforters for decades (they've been cleaned properly on occasion).

I'm noticing pronounced improvement in the dermatitis after eliminating wine from the diet for a few weeks. A thought occurs - I had picked up boxes of wine lately, but I wonder if that storage method has more preservative than bottled? More research ahead.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Jan 24 - 11:38 AM

Mrrzy, what is your class schedule? Taking or teaching? What is your subject?

Decluttered my schedule of a meeting this morning that was going to involve complicated parking and access to the building. This after I realized it was a follow-up lecture to an event that already happened. That opens up the morning for stuff in the sunny yard.

Time to test the new battery-operated rotating scrub brush. After a wet week the floor is caked with muddy footprints by the dog door.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 Jan 24 - 02:26 PM

In this case, teaching, developmental psych, pitched to grandparents. I am glad I didn't book my trip to Europe as originally planned, I'd've missed my own last class!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Jan 24 - 10:34 PM

I keep getting the same error message when I tweak and resubmit my taxes through the IRS Free Fillable Forms site. It is asking me to place numbers where the form won't let me put them. I'll look at it again in the morning then may simply print and mail it. Effing nonsense. There are free versions of TurboTax, but I don't want to use or support those companies that keep things difficult (lobbying the House and Senate and contributing to campaigns to keep the difficulty factor high so people use those services). I only get $60 back, I just want to be finished with this early.

The den floor is a thatch of chewed up sticks. I'm having friends over on the weekend, so I need to tackle dog world in a way to remove the sticks and keep up with washing bedding and rugs so it doesn't start smelling like dog world.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Jan 24 - 12:00 PM

Yesterday may have been a lesson for future tax filings - I have multiple modest revenue streams and all four issue 1099s; this number of documents doesn't align with what the free fillable forms software knows how to work with. I also realized that the social security worksheet in the 1040 book is a bunch of hooey. Instead, look at the 1099 doc that SS mailed out - it has a simple formula - if your other income is less than X, half of your SS is taxable. If you make more than X, then 85% is taxable (thank you Ronald Reagan for that gift. We were already taxed on our earnings once, and here we are again.) Trump supposedly "simplified" tax forms, but all they did was remove deductions for charitable donations, meaning charitable organization incomes went way down. Just what he wanted. And as I mentioned before, the commercial tax preparation companies want taxes to stay complicated so people will turn to them. It's a billion dollar business.

Yesterday's little list had six items on it and only one got done. I'll work today to do stuff on my own behalf, with one small thing already - carrying pruners into the backyard to trim low branches off of the Mexican plum near the porch. The lower twigs tangle in my hair when I walk the dogs out at night. Not ordinarily a problem except that these plums have long sharp thorns.

Still working on switching to a high protein breakfast; it does seem to help control the urge to snack during the day. I don't want to go full keto, but rearranging what I eat when helps. A bowl of cereal for dinner is a better time to get that fiber and carbs.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Jan 24 - 04:54 PM

The weather continues gloomy and damp in Stratford; we’ve had less than five hours of actual sunlight in the last ten days.

I did the laundry — including bed linen and towels — and put it all away. The dishes are done and the groceries bought and stowed. Having achieved that much, however, I have come to a grinding halt despite the continuing presence of cat-hair-enhanced cobwebs garlanding the dining-room curtain rod. I also have choir board meeting minutes to write. But my get-up-and-go has got up and gone.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Jan 24 - 06:49 PM

My get-up-and-go hasn't even gotten up.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Jan 24 - 11:56 PM

My get up and go fluctuates, but this evening my dander is up. For the second time in six months someone at my doctor's office called in the wrong prescription formula to my compounding pharmacy. After many years I switched the format from capsule to a topical cream, but whoever picked up my folder to renew it called in capsules. A 90-day supply will again be destroyed by the pharmacy and they'll compound the cream.

I dug out the doctor's fax number to send a letter with a photo of the label from the current (empty) tube. This way there is no possibility of misunderstood words or numbers in a message or phone call. The refill was ordered 12 days ago. I love these folks, but this is unacceptable.

Two boxes of glasses were listed on eBay this afternoon and another one is packed and ready to list once the photos are processed (download from camera and resize). There are three more sets to photograph and pack of that size glass. Dishes done, a batch of chicken and rice finished for the rest of the week, and the stovetop cleaned (chicken thighs sauteed before adding to the rice cooker splattered).


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 31 Jan 24 - 02:08 PM

I am trying to disembarrass myself of an excess Amazon account. It's not going well.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Jan 24 - 04:04 PM

Grrrr. Twice in a week now I've seen friends or their relatives' obituaries in the hometown newspaper, and both times the estranged sibling has posted remarks in the comments that have nothing to do with the deceased. Most recently was a teacher I really liked in middle school; he piped up to say he knew her daughter in high school. I'd have liked to post and share a photo. A few days ago he was rhapsodic about the long-dead neighbor we all knew who was the aunt of the dearly departed (who none of us ever met.) I wouldn't post there but I was going to share it as a really interesting and detailed obit. Trying to prevent readers there, or in my online places, from making the family connection means I'm biting my tongue. He's toxic.

Gambling is an ugly addiction. A lot of family furnishings and heirlooms went to the pawn shop and last time I checked he lost two houses and a condo because of gambling debts. Again . . . grrrr.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Feb 24 - 11:20 AM

Amazon agony continues.

Yesterday, I tried to have my Audible account "migrated" (as they say) from the US Amazon system to its Canadian analogue. I initiated the process with the American side, not knowing any better, and the agent at the other end of an absolutely terrible connection seemed to have achieved the objective after what felt like hours of twiddling but was actually about 20 minutes.

Today, I have no Canadian Audible account, no credits, and no library. Over more than 15 years of dealing with Audible, Edmund and I accumulated more than 1,000 audiobooks, and they all seem to have vanished into the ether.

The Canadian customer service agent has a magnificent Jamaican accent. His American colleague is a mush-mouthed individual whose accent I can't place, and can barely understand unless he speaks very, very slowly.

I'm very tired of Audible's hold music, about 16 bars of a complicated piano concerto that requires at least another 16 bars to come to some kind of resolution.

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, my bank has stopped communicating with Quicken, the money-tracking software I use.

I am very tired of the 21st century. I would like to go back to, say, 1981 for a nice rest.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Feb 24 - 11:54 AM

I've resisted Audible but I wish you good luck in restoring the account. (Why was the shift needed? Did the company offer or compel the move?) I have a few books on the site I read on Kindle, so I'm not free of those accounts, though I only read my own eBooks on the app or read their free stuff. My library also shares eBooks via Kindle that go away once they are due. I have the idea that I'd like my kids to poke through the physical copies of my books when I'm gone and maybe decide to read a few. The rest will go to Half Price Books. eBooks aren't transferable, but the only ones I have on my tablet are current topical books that will be out of date (hopefully) by the time they would look at them.

The Quicken problem is completely understood. I used Microsoft Money and preferred it, but the death knell came when they stopped supporting it. I get the cheapest Quicken Classic Starter edition every year - it talks to my bank (except when it doesn't - I feel your pain.) My local credit union is usually the one that crashes, and Quicken updates itself all of the time. Between the two I sometimes have to go in and add stuff manually until one or the other gets its mind back.

Here in the world of a credit card expiring in three months comes the first of the nags about updating it. This card is from a credit union that doesn't send it out way early, so I'll be watching the nags for the next probably 2.5 months before I get the next card. Back at the time of knee surgery I decided to set up most of my accounts to autopay, and so far they haven't gone crazy and racked up inappropriate bills. But they do need tending.

Lovely weather this week, meaning it is time to get into the garden. Meanwhile, a friend has sent his recipe for Cranberry Bread and it looks like a good one try this week. It's a small loaf with just 2 cups of flour at the base. Easily doubled to make in a larger pan or two small ones (I like to make a small loaf for now and put one in the freezer.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Donuel
Date: 01 Feb 24 - 01:01 PM

In my private practice I only had two gambling addiction clients and both failed to improve. Today I would replace the dopamine high with Adderal and disincentivize gambling with PHS at trigger points. It has a biochemical component that is tough to break.

I'm cranberry crazy whether it's scones cupcakes or whole soft dried cranberries trail mix. Some like it at Thanksgiving but I like it year round. Since they grow in bogs so they make sodium benzoate to stay fresh.

My finger can already make a fist so I didn't tear ligaments like I thought. It isn't Bach-worthy yet but slow jazz like Natureboy is OK


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Feb 24 - 03:01 PM

Makes sense about the brain chemistry. And sociopath stuff doesn't help. That doesn't seem to be fixable.

The recipe is essentially the same as the one in the New York Times. Cranberry Nut Bread


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Feb 24 - 05:28 PM

Doing business with Amazon and its subsidiaries is easier if you keep it all in one country. When Audible first reached into Canada, one just used the American website and lived with the hassles of doing business internationally. That was back about 2008. When Audible.ca came along, a few years ago, I was too preoccupied with other things to concern myself -- and besides, despite their promises, I was fairly sure the transfer process would not be simple or easy.

But maintaining two Amazon personas became problematic with the advent of two-factor verification -- I have only one telephone number! So I decided to consolidate all my Amazon business on the Canadian side of the border.

And then one thing led to another.

The Amazon experience is designed for Americans. The rest of us may take part, but we have to accept that everything we do is an exception to a system built for the United States.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 01 Feb 24 - 07:51 PM

Dupont:

Ok: So! we did go to Beaver - Left here about 8:30 am on Saturday and I drove. Stopped in Madoc and R begged to go to a thrift shop "I've never been to..." - "Only a few minutes!" Almost an hour, then we took time to stop for a "lunch" at a newish resto in the middle of nowhere. That was OK and I do try to make these quick trips a bit of an adventure for him.

He drove the last hour or so and we got home to a 4C house, thanks to neighbour who got the fire going!We perked it up, turned on the electric blanket!!!! YAY!! And went on to LAke St. Peter for the event which was well worth the trip - conversations, info, connections, chess... R had to be dragged away from the chess so everyone could go home! 8 pm - children and dark night and older folks - from almost newborn to my age or more.

Home was warmer and I popped into warm bed - happy to have seen a bunch of good folks! Quiet Sunday, mostly reading, I cleared part of path to wood and let R bring in enough to fill the bays for next time. BF was some bread bought at lunch stop - apple/cinnamon. "Lupper" at Curry House. R went to grocery for - something to do? and came home with some off-beat veggies and V-8 juice. We left without the veggies but neighbour Sue responded to texts and re-homed the fresh veggies. She was helping with the wood share program and asked someone, "Is there anything else you need?" "YES!- Food!" Community at its best!

R drove first part of trip home - his preferred route which I detest. Then I drove the second part - that he detests. We even managed to pick up some business related items. And got home in good time to a home meal.

HAve done very little since. A trip to bakery, library (LGL) and groceries - and sitting with computer - between emails/news based and FB - also lots of news. Apparently we had a minor earthquake about 9:30 this morning - We didn't notice. I see we are in the middle of the solar eclipse in April. I remember experiencing one in Cape May NJ in my teens. I think we used old negatives to protect our eyes.

The house could be vacuumed - if I felt like it. Otherwise things are OK. Or maybe I have just gotten used to - for example - piles of books everywhere. When I beg the right way, boxes full go to the basement, replaced almost immediately by more!

I am still suffering the travesties of Apple - my phone and computer seem to be different each day. Everytime I go to make a call, it is VERY carefully as things are never the way they were and I really have to struggle not to put my finger in the wrong place and "call" someone I don't even know. Today's fantasy is suing Apple for all the trauma and hours of time it is taking me to find what I really want - Siri be $%^&. I want my life back but that is not going to happen so I just muddle along. I even have to re-find the instructions that I was working my way through until they disappeared. ARGHHHHHH!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Feb 24 - 12:55 PM

Sounds like the drive worked out well, Dorothy, each driving your favorite stretch of road.

I switched over to the beginner class last night, it gives more exercise value because she's going through all of the steps in the repertoire; the intermediate class is meant to use a few of the steps to learn a particular dance. I realized over the course of the week in reviewing our work last Thursday that she was going to have to re-teach me every step. I'd taken that class because I had done the beginner class several times a few years ago and the dance that all of the beginners used to perform is a bit of an earworm. It turns out it is no longer part of the summer Hafla so I don't need to worry about that tune in my head for the next few months. My arms and shoulders are feeling the workout today.

Now is the beginning of clearing and cleaning for another of our university retiree group lunches soon. The horizontal surfaces are my first challenge. I need to move all of the eBay-destined glassware off of the kitchen peninsula.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: pattyClink
Date: 02 Feb 24 - 11:26 PM

Lurker check-in: Doing well this winter. Just concluded a little loop to San Diego County, California, to a mineral conference. Lovely weather (well except for the hurricane winds up on a mountainy mineral hunt), got to drive through some shards of remaining Old California at orange harvest time. Spent time swimming in mineral waters at Agua Caliente county park. Acquired yet another couple of boxes of specimens, and I have just got to get a home base, if only to stop rolling with 200 pounds of rocks.   

Quartzsite was the usual craziness, good to see old friends around campfires. This weekend I'll head east across the Tohono O'odham saguaro country, and on to Deming, New Mexico. Where the home base hunt resumes. I've found a few people I can sing and play with in real life who are living there, and real estate prices are not nuts. So we'll see. Probably in the next three days some corporate landlord will have snapped up what's available.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Feb 24 - 12:14 PM

I understand about the rocks, Patty! When I was in college I worked for the Forest Service and the job took us to interesting areas via logging roads with roadcuts and creek beds that revealed minerals and crystals and formations worthy of taking samples. At one point there were two of us interested in geology and I remember a day when a boss walked up to our crew carrier in the office parking lot, opened the door, and made some disgusted remark about all of the rocks on the floor of the truck. We always took them home at the end of each shift, so it had apparently been a good haul that day. :)

Thunderstorms overnight had the blue heeler drooling and cowering around the house. I mopped up a couple of puddles, and at one point had to go out to the breaker box and restore the switch for my office. I have to get an electrician out to replace that ground fault switch (from when this used to be part of the garage) to a regular breaker. Often times storms have this affect on it. The list of wiring things needing doing is almost long enough to make an appointment.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Feb 24 - 08:33 PM

Yesterday I finally got a COVID-19 booster shot.
After having COVID about six weeks ago,
better to avoid catching it again soon.

No negative reaction to the shot, either.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Feb 24 - 10:40 AM

Good for you, Keb! Are you all caught up on the vaccinations? RSV and pneumonia - I think we are many of us "of an age" when those all can be issues. Stay healthy!

It is early February and I have concluded it is time to mow the weedy grass on both front and back lawns. It's too wet today, but if no rain for a while then later this week. Before that I need to change the mower spark plug, change the oil, and clean the air filter. I promised myself I would do the tuneup before I started mowing again. (I need to figure out if the gap on the spark plug is set properly - I don't want to buy the whole gap tool just for this one. I bought it in the lawn mower section at Home Depot, so I hope so.)

I'm feeding cats for a few days, with two of them needing more medical attention this week. They need a probiotic (to prevent the trots) given without other meds within an hour before or after. I swing by to give it then head over to the gym and 90 minutes later return to feed dinner. It gets me to the gym more often.

Friends are coming over for lunch on the 11th - since none of us watches football it doesn't matter that the stuporbowl is sometime during the day with all of the festivities around it. A week to finish cleaning house.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 Feb 24 - 07:18 PM

As to vaccinations:
I'm caught up on pneumonia.
I still have not had the RSV vaccine,
and I need to take the second dose
of the shingrix vaccine against the shingles.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Feb 24 - 03:12 PM

The Shingrix vaccination is the only one that had a noticeable side effect for me - I was achy for a couple of days.

My next door neighbor mowed his lawn this morning. I've already decided I need to mow soon but it was cold and clammy today. He got it out of the way and set it so everyone else will have to mow or look like slackers. ;-) Not a problem is much of the US this time of year.

On my way back from feeding cats I finally picked up a plank that I'll treat with wood preservative and cut a piece to fit on the front of a bay window that needs the siding repaired. I've put this off way too long. The store had the same material as what is falling off now, but too narrow. For this repair I'm better with one piece treated with preservative and glued and screwed into place than putting two pieces that might have a gap between them. (They could be put on with an overlap like shakes, but that would be the only place on the house with materials like that). I'll caulk the new piece edges then paint.

Have a good Monday, everyone!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Feb 24 - 07:09 PM

This is a busy week with running and calling and mailing and picking up, enough so that it is all down on the calendar to keep track of everything. I'm still planning lunch on Sunday so have to attack the clutter on the table and counter, for starters. Clean the hall bathroom, vacuum dog hair everywhere.

harpgirl, have you found new homes for any other camping equipment? Dorothy, have you found a new home for the extra kiln? The stuff from the mill? Charmion, how is the china redistribution coming along?

I'm still working on clearing glasses this week (for eBay), with an added push to have things photographed and in boxes to clear the counter in time for Sunday lunch.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 07 Feb 24 - 08:32 PM

Edmund’s futon sofa has left the building.

It was heavy and very awkward to move, but long enough for serious napping and remarkably comfy. It has gone to a new family that needs it far more than I do.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Feb 24 - 11:17 PM

It's sad to see a good nap surface leave, I still kind of miss my old futon. But good move finding a family that needs it.

I have the setup in the garage for treating the plank (with wood preservative) for the bay window repair; if I get it started tomorrow I should be able to finish over the weekend.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 08 Feb 24 - 09:09 AM

That futon radiated guilt at me for the last three years. It became excess to requirements as soon as I had moved the television and the books out of the basement after Edmund died, and I should have rehomed it that summer. But there was so much else to do.

When I nap, I tend to do it in the comfy chair.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Feb 24 - 11:39 AM

Ah! The chair is enough to accommodate you and any cat cuddlers. The futon worked if I chose to take a nap in a room where there were dogs - because dogs liked to join me. When I try to nap in the recliner and Cookie joins me it is always a struggle for space and balance - her weight is enough that it tips the chair upright if she's not arranged correctly. If I'm in a mood to let Cookie join me I have to clear the flattened boxes off of the sofa and stretch out there.

Grass is still soggy this morning, maybe I can mow this afternoon.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Feb 24 - 08:56 PM

Success finally in getting a compounded Rx filled and picking it up.

On a The Best of Sewing With Nancy today on PBS they illustrated how people with fancy embroidery sewing machines are using them for quilting - it was fascinating to watch, though I don't want to run out and get one. But what I do want to run out and find are the spools of embroidery thread; I have many skeins of thread for hand sewing but there isn't a good way to spool it for the machine and bobbin.

Wednesday I was in the town where I worked for 20+ years for some shopping. My daughter needed spices so when comparing brands in the Halal market I asked a young woman on the aisle if she was familiar with the brands I was looking at. She said she was shopping for her mother, and she pointed at the brand that is her mother's favorite. There were similar interesting conversations with a Kurdish stocking clerk from Turkey and the checkout clerk from Afghanistan. Incidental conversations such as speaking to strangers in the grocery store are apparently quite healthy for us.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Feb 24 - 12:00 PM

I spent 30 minutes yesterday before it got dark sweeping and scooping leaves out of the street and curb area (the post office vehicle runs over that strip every day so leaves are mashed and mulched and stuck in the spot). Some were hauled to a garden bed, the rest spread around on the lawn where they will be mulched in with the mower. I was going to do that today, but awoke to rain. (Time to leave a couple of the old towels next to the back door for periodic drying of wet dogs.)

The smoker had an ancient cardboard box cover that had been left in place as insulation (a traditional approach for owners of this type of smoker), but I replaced it with a new insulated cover made for the brand. The first test was to smoke a piece of beef sirloin steak, then making a batch of fajitas. The house now smells incredibly smoky from cooking with that meat.

Lunch with friends tomorrow, and chickpeas are simmering for a fresh batch of hummus. It freezes well so I'm making a double batch.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: keberoxu
Date: 10 Feb 24 - 07:43 PM

One day after the shingrix vaccine I find I am very tired:
taking a nap this afternoon felt really really good.
My arm is still sore.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Feb 24 - 09:59 PM

A good nap is a great side effect then!

On a local Buy Nothing group there was a request for a large stock pot. I have an extra one (picked up for soaking linens and I didn't want any possibility of food from one I use for cooking). I decided not to do the soaking so set it aside. Now the person who asked needs to return to the page and see the offer. I guess if she doesn't, I'll list it for everyone. That's another spot on the floor in the front room freed up.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Feb 24 - 05:58 PM

The stock pot will be leaving the porch soon, and it turns out she has the same use I did - to soak fabric in a large non-reactive pot. Sounds just about perfect!

Friends were over for lunch, comfort food today with a big batch of macaroni and cheese with steamed cauliflower as our veggie and banana bread for dessert. I was going to make hummus also but it was taking too long (once you start it's quick, but it was either make everyone wait 20 more minutes or just get on with the mac and cheese.) I'll do hummus tomorrow and then freeze most of it.

We enjoyed looking through old cookbooks from my mother's collection; this is about the only time they ever get looked at, and it is interesting. Recipes from the 1940s and 50s, suggested menus, and some of the frugal cooking of the war years are all there to examine. One friend also searched on a few and found them on eBay. I've already sold quite a few of them, figuring getting them into the hands of collectors who really want them is a good move (less fuss for the kids in the future.)

Laundry this evening will include towels used to dry dogs and several damp mats. This has been a soggy couple of days and the dog door area is covered with muddy prints.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Feb 24 - 11:55 PM

For women who never watch football or championship games, Taylor Swift won the Super Bowl. (My regular show ended so I switched over to CBS and saw the overtime play). I never watch football or the Super Bowl, but I will enjoy seeing the fallout.

More trips to the gym this week because of a week-long cat-sitting gig that puts me halfway to the gym several times a day.

It's about time for another trip to Goodwill. I'll check the donation bin and see if I can fill it up first. With Charmion moving out something as large as a futon that's a lot of square footage to aspire to.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Feb 24 - 08:54 AM

For my next trick: a queen-sized bed. Whoever takes it will have to bring tools as well as a truck and a good buddy.

I also have the six-foot folding table full of pots, pans, pudding basins and other kitchen clobber I will never use again. It’s time to rehome the huge granite-ware preserving kettle and the small canner, as well as the extra-large Instant Pot and all its accessories. Oh, and Edmund’s much-loved 14-inch cast-iron skillet that I need two hands to lift.

I now have one empty shelf in the basement storage area. Going for at least two more by Easter.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 13 Feb 24 - 10:20 AM

Two basement shelves cleared. I can haul another load to Goodwill as soon as I have acquired some fairly large boxes.

Come to think of it, the granite-ware and other light steel items could make the trip in a contractor-grade garbage bag.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Feb 24 - 10:51 AM

Since my dogfood arrives in gigantic boxes (relatively speaking - they aren't for moving a wardrobe but they do well for 20-35 pounds of dry kibble) I periodically offer them up, and I can also use them for Goodwill stuff, though usually the bin contents fit into grocery bags for handing over. I deploy reusable cloth bags when shopping but there is still a backlog of plastic.

When I eventually empty the front room I could move the bed from the sewing studio into there and put up draperies across the upper open area (this room has what my contractor called a "pony wall" along the hallway to the front door). It's the only room in the house with wall-to-wall carpeting, so I keep the dogs out. #FutureProjects.

Bright sunshine today but soggy turf still. Maybe by this afternoon it will dry enough to mow? It's a race to beat the code enforcement guy to the punch.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Feb 24 - 06:08 PM

The front yard is looking green and trim now that I mowed all of the weeds. This time of year the Bermuda and St. Augustine mix are dormant and covered by cool season weed grasses, galium (bedstraw), dandelions, and lots of henbit. Daffodils are opening in beds and there are lots of leaves for later shows of color by iris, spider lilies, daylilies, and other stuff put there intentionally.

Before mowing I replaced the mower spark plug, checked the air filter, and cleared a bunch of dried grass from under the mower deck (I carry a putty knife in my gardening apron for this task) that I should have scraped out after the last mow (probably in December, it hasn't been a very long "winter" period of no mowing here.) I put two cheap spark plug wrenches into the donation bin after realizing those are crap with such a short bar for turning. I used the spark plug socket and handle from my socket tool set (much better leverage). Righty tighty lefty loosey was the mantra before starting that task (and then looking at the threads on the new spark plug, just to be safe).

The backyard will get mowed tomorrow and I'll bag some of that to drop into the location of the 2024 compost pile. Wet grass trimmings are the best way to kickstart new compost.

A long-unused expanding shoe rack has left the front porch, offered via the local FB Buy-Nothing group and claimed in under an hour. I'm still waiting on another note from the woman who wants the stock pot.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Mrrzy
Date: 14 Feb 24 - 10:57 PM

Either my OCD is getting better or my mood is getting worse... I can haz mess again. Luckily (craftily?) people come Weds and Sun so I clean up for them...


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Feb 24 - 01:27 AM

You mean people come to clean and you clean up so they can clean? I know a number of people who do that. :-)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 15 Feb 24 - 07:56 AM

when we were young a neighbour was deserted by her husband, so cleaned for a few other neighbours to get some income. We learnt to put stuff away before she arrived or we'd never find it again! Or find it in some random cupboard.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Feb 24 - 01:22 PM

I experienced that years ago when I had someone come in every other week for half a day. It was a huge help to have someone vacuum, mop, and dust so I could do more of the rest (while in graduate school). We realized that things left out might be put in what seemed logical places to the cleaner but that didn't occur to us.

The rest of this week is busy enough that there won't be much in the way of transporting stuff out of the house, and this morning, a backslide. I drove past a garage sale on my way back from cat feeding and there were antique chairs in the yard, each $5. I picked up a sturdy small one with interesting features and a pretty little inlay on the top of the backrest. There are a couple of places in the house where a small chair would be useful, and once this is surface cleaned and the seat upholstery examined, I'll put it to use. More space will be occupied by the antique sewing machine (wired for a foot controller) that will go on eBay - the shop called, it's ready to pick up. Must list that soon (and will use one of those great big boxes for shipping).


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Feb 24 - 09:28 AM

Two tours coming up today at the museum so I've researched a new installation I didn't know much about. Most of the museum is closed off for renovations this spring so we have about 1/5 the normal amount of material to cover, hence including this. I would have listened to the artist's video describing the assembly of this collection of pieces except the route I typically follow doesn't pass through this area. He calls it "a conversation between the pieces." (This could certainly apply to the assembly of items around my house, though cacophony is more accurate than "conversation"). He named the Nevelson Chapel as a particular influence. I could do this with the leftover materials out in my garage (move things to the walls instead of boxes and piles!)

Next week finally quiets down and I can get to my to-do list, projects where I can play an audiobook as I work and not have to stop and go back for parts I missed.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Mrrzy
Date: 16 Feb 24 - 04:06 PM

The guy who cleans is supposed to do floors, toilet, tub. I don't want him wasting time putting dishes away or folding laundry, so that stuff I do, if not regularly, at least before he appears.

Thu Sunday night mah jongg game requires only an uncluttered kitchen table. They don't roam farther into the house...


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Feb 24 - 12:20 PM

In the "no good deed goes unpunished" department, an acquaintance is moving between subsidized apartments. She barters and buys used, and I'd offered to help her move a washer and dryer when she found a new place; turns out the new apartment comes with them. She found a bed in the next county, and has asked to transfer the offer to the bed, if my friend could help move that instead. Bigger job. We've got it set for next weekend.

The official last day of this cat sitting gig is today, but my friend is driving from Colorado in a snowstorm. I won't be surprised if she stops the night on the way and I do an extra morning run. No snow here, but it is too cold to comfortably mow the lawn or walk the dogs, both I had hoped to do today.

eBay listings it is then, with laundry on the side.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Feb 24 - 11:37 AM

The wait is over - the drain behind the washer overflowed last night, indicating that the roots in the lower end of the sewer line again need to be hit with the roto rooter blade to clear the line. It isn't a total stoppage, water drains through slowly, but there is no point in waiting longer. I've rootered out the line myself the last couple of times (the rental equipment is very heavy but I save a lot of $$). This time I have a home warranty that will participate in the process and a plumber will do the job Monday (no need for a weekend surcharge).

I'm looking forward to not going anywhere today, just puttering here. It's still too cold to enjoy mowing but I've mowed down dust in the bedroom (so far) with the duster and vacuum. The den is in full forest floor mode so sweeping is up first, and the yard is dry so I can scrub the muddy footprints with the new battery-powered scrub brush. Winter mud is the worst because the lawn is dormant and they track in really viscous mud. During the growing season the soil isn't exposed and their feet are cleaner. During the highest heat they track in dead grass and dirt but that can be swept up. It's all the same soil, there are different treatments depending on time of year.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 18 Feb 24 - 04:39 PM

ah! the joys of being owned by dogs!!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Feb 24 - 12:18 AM

Sandra, with dogs we're roomies! With cats we're the staff. :)

Monday is a holiday in the US (Presidents Day); the main effect is no mail, no banks open, and everything else as normal, plus lots of sales of bedding and mattresses. I may finally mow my back lawn (the plumber has to come roto rooter the sewer line, but that won't take long so I can work around his service call).


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Donuel
Date: 19 Feb 24 - 06:08 AM

Mowing in Feb. seems alien to me. I get up at 5AM not because of will power but my staff job for the cats. They trained me by making the maximum amount of noise in ever more creative ways.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Donuel
Date: 19 Feb 24 - 08:01 AM

What is most toxic to seniors are falls. That is because of muscle loss due to low protein intake and a lack of resistance exercise.
Seniors' need for protein goes up every year! Women are slightly more prone to falls than men because muscle mass may be lower to begin with. 9NPR)

So more important than cardio training is resistance exercise. More plant or meat proteins are needed with the increase in age.
Muscles- 'use it or lose it'. We have seen the last incident of catters have been falls or at least more frequent falls.
A simple solution is a 10 minute stair climb program. Impact with the floor is also good for bone density.

It sounds like this post can be ignored by Stilly. The protein thing surprised me.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Donuel
Date: 19 Feb 24 - 08:12 AM

A warning sign- is one leg weaker than the other?
Tighten and release while sitting and do leg lifts in bed.
It takes a month to see a difference. Of course, long walks in the Spring is more fun.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Feb 24 - 10:19 AM

I finally told the concert choir president that I'm leaving Stratford in the near future, and I need to get off the Board of Directors at the end of this season. That's one down.

Today I'm fussing over the sale of a piece of rather nice furniture, a small walnut settee in the Danish Modern style. I posted it on Kijiji and immediately got a bite, but the potential buyer failed to show up at the appointed hour yesterday, and now has emailed me with a proposal for an essentially anonymous transaction by PayPal, with pick-up by a "personal freight" service. In his email, he mentioned a medical crisis with his wife and a doctor's appointment that could only have taken place on a Sunday ... Colour me skeptical.

I wrote back asking for a phone call and more information about him. I said I would do the deal by phone and Interac e-transfer, but not without that personal contact.

I wonder if I'm getting paranoid in my old age.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Feb 24 - 10:32 AM

Donuel, aging women lose muscle mass faster than men because we lack both estrogen and testosterone. The best preventives are resistance and weight-bearing exercise and, yes, a high-ptotein diet, but there is no magic bullet. Sarcopoenia is in everyone's future if we're lucky enough to live that long.

That said, the greater frequency of falls among old women is due mostly to weakness in the core muscles, which are critical to balance -- when you slip, it's your back and belly muscles that do the most to jerk you upright again.

Getting old ain't for sissies.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Feb 24 - 12:22 PM

Charmion, I once had a classic response to a futon sale on Craigslist - an email saying "please take down your ad, I'll send you a check. Would you send me the change" crap. Just to waste his time I pointed out he was emailing from a UK account and he wrote with a different one. I told him to get lost. There has been a delay in my BuyNothing transaction from last week, where the woman who wants my stock pot still hasn't been by. That isn't a problem - no cash is exchanging hands, she seems to have caught a virus, but thinks she'll pick up the pot (still on my porch) this evening, if the bug doesn't kill her. Shit happens, but when there is money involved, trust your gut.

Don, I do eat meat but I usually use it as part of a dish. If I bake a chicken breast I'll use part of it to put on salad, I'll cut some cubes and add them to a bowl of spaghetti or ravioli with sauce, etc. This morning I had scrambled eggs and I have a rotisserie chicken in the fridge so I'll probably use some of it for lunch and dinner. I need to make protein more of each meal if I'm going to use it in smaller amounts. I use a compounded HRT with E2, E3, and methyltestosterone for the reasons Charmion enumerated. Since a hysterectomy (adenocarcinoma) in my mid-40s caused early "surgical menopause" my doctor put me on HRT. I tried a number of commercial versions and was unhappy (they had too much testosterone and not enough estrogen) until we compounded one. That's the Rx I was fussing about for the last few weeks. E1 is most closely linked to breast cancer, hence the choice of the other two.

The gym has a stair climbing thing that I tried recently, mostly I use the recumbent bike (for cardio and get my knees a range of motion) and the treadmill (weight bearing and cardio). I'll add the stairs more often, thanks for that reminder. I'll be mowing the backyard this afternoon, so that counts for weight bearing exercise today.

I pulled up the home warranty plan, it covers stoppages only within the confines of the building. Darn. I know it's tree roots. I just called the plumber, and it seems the service call is less expensive when I can tell them it's the sewer line. No detective work, no ladders, no camera down the line, no digging to find a leak, and easy access to the cleanout.   

Last night I thawed several containers of mashed pumpkin and sweet potato and made a quadruple batch of my favorite pumpkin bread recipe (one time I was short on pumpkin and made up the difference with sweet potato - it was so much better I always make it that way now). One loaf is on the counter, several are in the freezer, and I delivered one next door earlier. She was waiting for her husband to return from blood work and physical before fixing breakfast - and he arrived as we talked. They are having coffee and slices of that bread this morning. Nice!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Feb 24 - 06:44 PM

It turns out the plumbing problem was both inside and out, but mostly within the house, so I called the warranty folks before the job was finished, he told them what the problem was, and they'll pay above the co-pay amount. The plumber didn't write that he also ran the line outside to the street so they wouldn't quibble (since I have to scan the invoice and send it in). Nice of him!

Now to mop the laundry room floor (I ran the washer as he ran the snake and it flooded again before the job was finished). A pro tip for future maintenance - he said run hot water in the kitchen sink for a few minutes then put a big squeeze (~ an ounce) of Dawn dish detergent in and let it run a little longer before turning off and letting it stand in the pipes for a while. The heat and the soap will keep a grease buildup out of the line. (Repeat a few times a year.)

The dogs were in the backyard for this service call, so as the work moved to the side of the house they could see us through the back gate and set up a ruckus. I explained to Randy the plumber that if we said hello they would settle down, otherwise they'd bark the entire time. They were thrilled to meet someone new, he likes dogs so gave a couple of pats through the gate, and they quieted. It's their job to watch the house and yard, so the courtesy of an introduction acknowledges their work and they know I'm safe.

Now I have some laundry to take care of.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Feb 24 - 06:49 PM

The weather is glorious today, in the mid-70s. What my fitness tracker interprets as a whole bunch of steps this afternoon was actually me chopping my way through a raised bed with a mattock clearing weeds to transplant some big gobs of asparagus roots that have languished in the wheelbarrow for about three months. A few of them are sprouting. I've put several large sets in that bed and have a few smaller ones that I'll plant in smart pots. It's a test to see if they can do well in that environment (pots tend to get quite warm and dry out in the summer, but these have handles and can be moved pretty easily).

Last month the tire store mechanic said I should have the wheels aligned, and recommended a place and has a $20 off coupon for the work. I pulled up the shop website and find they do a lot of other work and are a mile from my house. I'll ask what they think about the noisy fan in my air conditioning unit (a repair for another day). It's nice to find a place that isn't the bloated dealership for some of this work.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: keberoxu
Date: 20 Feb 24 - 08:59 PM

Mid-70s?!
We were lucky, up here, to get up to freezing today, brrrr.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Feb 24 - 03:06 PM

In Stratford, we're having Fool's Spring Mk II, with sunny skies and balmy breezes. Any day now we're due for the massive dump of snow that means this is Ontario, dammit, and winter's not over, and we should not even think about changing our tires or taking the snow brush out of the boot of the car.

But I just spotted Ma and Pa Cardinal, residents of my back hedge, hopping around the yard apparently picking up twigs. And the sun is definitely yellower and higher and altogether more springy with every passing day.

Yesterday I told the concert choir president that I want to get off the Executive Committee -- no more board minutes or drafting contracts for this little black duck. I will continue to take care of the music library because, well, because it's a mess and I haven't finished tidying it up yet.

I seem to have spent the better part of the winter in a funk of anxiety over decluttering and moving house. This is not coincidence: whenever light levels get low, I will find something to fret about, and I'm capable of making myself really miserable. This week, I feel markedly better and -- amazing! -- suddenly the house issue is much less pressing and I can even think about something else.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Feb 24 - 08:58 PM

It'll feel good to hand over some of those jobs - you helped them a lot while you were there, and finishing the music organizing sounds like a great final act with the group.

My arms and shoulders are achy after chopping and digging. I did a little work today, refilling the 1 gallon gas can from the 5 gallon can I use to get the non-ethanol gasoline for the gas engines. The big can is too heavy to use directly filling the mower. I started the mowing in the back and have the wheelbarrow and shovel parked beside the compost pile I'll dig out tomorrow. Once there's room in that bin I'll set the mower on Bag and get some green gooshy goodness to put in the bottom of the pile. I don't need a whole backyard's worth of clippings, just a couple of bags full.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Feb 24 - 11:35 AM

My weight-related challenge this week (so far) was refilling the water softener. In these parts, salt comes in 20-kg bags. Twenty kilos is just about the outside edge of my deadlift capabilities in less than ideal conditions such as my laundry room, where I lack the space required to align myself and a bag of salt correctly for a heave in good form.

Nevertheless, I managed to pour 40 kg of salt into the device without doing myself a mischief. Next time, I'll wear my padded leather gloves to reduce the strain on my hands -- always my weakest spot.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Donuel
Date: 22 Feb 24 - 04:29 PM

'it ain't for sissies' is the second time you've posted that. The first time was 10 years ago. I prefer 'nobody dies healthy'.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Feb 24 - 05:05 PM

My opinion on aging has not changed, Donuel. And victims of murder, warfare and accident often die healthy, but broken.

I finally got around to vacuuming the parlour rug and washing all the floors at ground level, leaving the upstairs for another day. I also dusted the walls and changed the furnace filter. I’m not sure what got into me.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Feb 24 - 10:34 PM

I was going to mow but ended up spending the afternoon writing and coding on a tangled part of a website I work on; the mowing will happen tomorrow since nice weather is forecast all week.

The dance class this month is a one-off as far as my participation in that program; the instructor is moving the class 20 miles from here and it would involve a rush hour drive, so I'm not continuing with it. Darn.

Dog beds need washing again, and I suspect dog hair contributed to the clog the plumber cleared out. I usually take rugs and beds outside to shake before washing, and now I'll be sure to.

We haven't heard from Dorothy for a while. I hope the arrival of spring (or faux-spring) isn't complicating projects at her various properties.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Feb 24 - 12:34 PM

Dog beds in the wash, set on ultra hand-wash to not beat up the zipper cover that goes over a big orthopedic foam mattress.

All parties are in touch and arrangements are set for tomorrow's bed retrieval.

Several projects await in the garage in addition to garden work.

It's glorious outside today and this weekend; Monday is forecast to hit 93o. For any day in February that is startlingly high and unwelcome. I'm getting my wheels aligned on Wednesday and at that time I'll get a quote on the fan repair in my SUV cooling system. I'm going to need it sooner than I expected.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Feb 24 - 10:58 AM

Dorothy has spoken over on Facebook.

We followed LilyFestre's pain, lethargy, fear, diagnosis, surgery, follow-up treatments, adoption of Jeremiah, and triumphant return to life and work and everything else as seen in a thread started for her by the late great Katlaughing. This is Dorothy's choice, so I'll only share this link to the first set of remarks she posted yesterday on Facebook. She isn't shy about sharing struggles and progress and the first post makes it clear she's speaking for women her age who are too often rendered invisible or ignored in the health care world.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 25 Feb 24 - 05:24 PM

rendered invisible - Here in the Land of Oz we have a huge housing problem as most are too expensive for poorer tenants, plus many rental properties are now AirB&B + many others are unoccupied. Older women are a substantial part of the people without secure accomodation. Some have cars & live in them - some car sleepers get woken by nasty locals telling them to park elsewhere.

State & Federal Governments are trying to encourage more housing, but lack of tradesmen, & NIMBYism & lack of proper planning (the recent plan to add 13,000 homes to a county town of around 1000 homes not far from Sydney without any infrastructure plans is not a sensible plan)

In 1981 I bought my apartment, I could have travelled overseas like my siblings & friends ...


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Feb 24 - 12:15 AM

More and different dog beds in the washer tonight. Rinse, repeat.

A friend drove by with a pickup and trailer and I rode with him to pick up and deliver a bed for a friend who moved (she bought this through the Facebook Marketplace); I may have mentioned this several days ago, I don't remember. It took a couple of hours because the bed was in the next county, but it was a nice setup with all of the linens and covers she needs. A sad task coming up this week, she can only have two pets but has four cats and has to send two of them to the city shelter. The Humane Society will do more to try to get them adopted, but there is a surrender fee. My dogs are not good citizens around cats even I wanted any; to them cats are just squirrels. I've sent a note to a friend to ask if he's ready for another cat, his died last summer.

This evening I did something I haven't in ages - I ran the dishwasher and the clothes washer simultaneously. No overflow. Exciting times here in North Texas!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Feb 24 - 04:07 PM

I've moved several wheelbarrow loads of compost from an old bin in the backyard to one end of a bed in the front where potatoes will be planted soon. I have to finish chopping out the Bermuda grass roots then spread the compost and run the tiller through the beds. This afternoon the thermometer says 91o so I'll wait till evening to do more, it cools quickly this time of year.

Charmion, did you ever resolve the communication and pickup problem over that walnut settee you were selling? I'm still envious that Canada has use of Kijiji (used to be part of eBay.) I hope it worked out. I've been reading about a furniture transfer problem as a friend tries to extricate family heirlooms from the hospice facility where his mother passed away last week. They were moved there with her when she left a skilled-care part of a facility that she originally moved into when she only needed assisted living. It seems the early-American furniture may be grabbed by staff instead of returned to the son, who lives 1000 miles away and arranged a for company to ship it to him. His townhouse is already quite full, so the arrival of more pieces will make it officially stuffed to the gills.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Feb 24 - 11:23 AM

It's February 27 but just like that! the heavy terry cloth long bathrobe is too warm for wearing even in the morning (after yesterday's high it was 68o this morning). Today's forecast high is 89o. I'm drinking my tea after breakfast then headed into the yard before it gets too warm to work. The robe is going into the laundry and then back into the closet and a lighter flannel robe will move to the foot of the bed. Wednesday and Thursday may be a little cooler (highs ~ 50) then the rest of the week in the 70s and 80s.

A few small items have been dropped into the donation bin, but I need to do more. I rearranged a table and chair in the den and repositioned the dog kennel; many of the items on the tabletop just collect dust so may be candidates (and if the dogs bang the kennel into the table they'll knock things off and break them). I usually offer collectible objects like these to the kids before selling or donating, but it means more clutter in their houses. I should break that cycle.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 27 Feb 24 - 11:46 AM

The first Perth County Particular rainstorm of the year, complete with chain lightning and ferocious thunderclaps, has just rolled out of town. It arrived as I was driving home (due west) from the allergist’s office in Kitchener, so I watched it develop on the horizon — quite the sight, like the “Night on Bald Mountain” segment in Disney’s “Fantasia”.

But the last week of February is at least a month too early for this kind of weather.

Next week, the cats will go to the vet for their annual check-up. Lately, Isobel has been coughing almost as much as I do, and yesterday she was wheezing … These are not good signs in an aging pussycat. Watson seems to be in rude health, if a bit portly.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Feb 24 - 10:54 AM

"Rude health" describes the girls and actually is pretty much the state of the deaf old lab who staggers and bounces more than lopes around the yard (he moves his back legs at once, not one leg in front of the other any more, due to the arthritis).

Getting the wheels aligned today so I'll do a cursory cleanup of the inside of the car since I have to point out the buttons to press to get the fan to make it's broken noise. That diagnosis will be for a near-future repair (hot weather is almost here, the AC needs to be working.) Must take a book along to read while I wait, or maybe listen to my audiobook that I've been trying to finish for ages.

The back yard is looking good, the compost bin was emptied of the old finished compost and is now full of the bagged grass from that first mow of really tall weeds and grass (it will soon shrink down to nothing but it's a great kick start to the process of breaking down the year's weeds and clippings.) The yard always looks lovely when the weeds are still green and they are mowed. Front yard mow is this afternoon.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Feb 24 - 12:24 PM

Wheels aligned; next up, AC fan and brakes, probably next week. It's always something!

Last night I pulled one of the blankets off of the bed because it was too warm after the high temperatures this week. So this morning it was down to 41. Ugg. I needed a jacket this morning and I might as well change into clean jeans because these grass-stained ones from yesterday won't be getting more grass stains today.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Feb 24 - 01:36 PM

The thermometer has dropped some 13 degrees Celsius since supper-time yesterday, and now it's snowing sideways, driven by a truly ferocious wind. Just in case anyone got the idea that spring might be at hand.

The snow brush is still in the car, which is still wearing its winter tires. This is Ontario, dammit, and winter has another month to run.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Feb 24 - 11:38 AM

Bills. They come up every month, and sometimes every six months or year. I happened to glance at the statement for the auto insurance and realized the cost of paying monthly has climbed precipitously. If I pay monthly for five months on a six month policy, the total is $110 more than paying in a lump sum. It used to add $3 a month to pay over time, clearly that changed! Paying it in a lump sum basically saves the amount that I paid for the wheel alignment.

I also went in and cancelled the auto-renewal of a genealogy site that I joined last year (by mistake, I meant to try a month or two, but the fine print I missed meant I was stuck with a year). I'm not closing it so I can still look at the materials. They just offered a 60% off year that I may accept, but it's still steep. I need to finish gathering the information and move onto another hobby. It was my mother who was really engrossed in this, I just wanted to see if the Internet age could update her findings (instead, it seems a lot of people carelessly enter their information and I get several emails a week telling me of discrepancies, mine or someone else's.)

Rainy today and cold, so more indoor work. Recent eBay listings have had some looks but no sales so far; I'll switch to other items that tend to sell quickly. It's a hobby to post listings, but for real motivation they need to bring in cash.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Mar 24 - 09:11 AM

Rainfall yesterday wasn't measureable, but it was enough to generate more muddy footprints in the den. There was some snow and more rain than we got in the Texas Panhandle (400 miles northwest of here) that may have slowed the wildfires but the weather is supposed to warm and get windier through the weekend.

Dog food containers were both needing refilling this week so the large bags are no longer reclining on the couch (for lack of a better place to stack them this time.) Knock wood they leave the bags alone instead of chewing a hole (I seem to remember the cats used to sometimes do that) but I still don't put them on the floor where it is an open invitation for mischief.

The new month in the Bullet Journal shows a robust list of things to do, starting with mowing this afternoon once the grass dries.

I hope we hear from Dorothy soon, and fingers crossed the health outlook is good. Same with Jon, and any other lurkers out there.


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