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DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024

Stilly River Sage 26 Mar 24 - 11:44 PM
pattyClink 26 Mar 24 - 09:53 PM
Sandra in Sydney 26 Mar 24 - 05:29 PM
Stilly River Sage 26 Mar 24 - 11:25 AM
Stilly River Sage 25 Mar 24 - 08:35 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 25 Mar 24 - 07:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Mar 24 - 03:07 PM
Charmion 25 Mar 24 - 11:08 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Mar 24 - 09:18 PM
pattyClink 24 Mar 24 - 06:19 PM
Charmion 24 Mar 24 - 07:49 AM
Stilly River Sage 23 Mar 24 - 11:01 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Mar 24 - 07:09 PM
keberoxu 22 Mar 24 - 06:43 PM
Charmion 22 Mar 24 - 04:05 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Mar 24 - 10:53 AM
Stilly River Sage 21 Mar 24 - 01:32 PM
Mrrzy 21 Mar 24 - 12:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Mar 24 - 02:24 PM
Bat Goddess 20 Mar 24 - 01:11 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Mar 24 - 11:13 AM
Bat Goddess 20 Mar 24 - 09:48 AM
Stilly River Sage 19 Mar 24 - 09:38 PM
Charmion 19 Mar 24 - 12:10 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Mar 24 - 10:50 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Mar 24 - 11:31 AM
Stilly River Sage 17 Mar 24 - 06:56 PM
keberoxu 17 Mar 24 - 05:03 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Mar 24 - 07:01 PM
Charmion 16 Mar 24 - 09:49 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Mar 24 - 10:18 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 Mar 24 - 01:38 PM
Donuel 15 Mar 24 - 07:34 AM
JennieG 15 Mar 24 - 12:38 AM
Stilly River Sage 14 Mar 24 - 09:05 PM
keberoxu 14 Mar 24 - 07:36 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Mar 24 - 05:42 PM
Charmion 14 Mar 24 - 04:56 PM
Sandra in Sydney 14 Mar 24 - 03:55 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Mar 24 - 12:27 PM
Donuel 14 Mar 24 - 12:18 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Mar 24 - 11:36 AM
Charmion 13 Mar 24 - 11:13 AM
Stilly River Sage 13 Mar 24 - 10:35 AM
Stilly River Sage 12 Mar 24 - 01:07 PM
Charmion 12 Mar 24 - 10:20 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Mar 24 - 01:12 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Mar 24 - 10:33 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Mar 24 - 11:25 AM
Charmion 09 Mar 24 - 10:24 AM
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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Mar 24 - 11:44 PM

Patty, you've discovered what my mom always suggested to friends and family who were moving - liquor boxes are heavy duty, made to protect glass, but in order to be something people can lift they can't be too large. That pretty much assures that even if you pack them full you can still lift them. (Back in the day, the Washington State liquor store employees always used box cutters to slice open the tops of boxes on three sides, letting the fourth side be the hinge. It made them easy to pack and to close.) Like all members of our family, Mom had lots of books, and her interest in those boxes was that when filled with books they could still be carried easily. I could say the same thing for my brother and my rocks picked up in the field. You could still carry one of those boxes full of rocks (assuming they had some packaging, etc.)

I have a couple of friends with stories of literally living in their storage units for at least weeks. It usually had to do with the poverty of graduate school and having units where they would pull in their cars, but then sleeping in the car (and this was years ago - who knows how many of them have people in them now?) Good luck with sorting your stuff and contracting back down to one unit.

Two more days left on my cat-sitting gig. The cash is nice, but it's also nice to finish and have more time to myself.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: pattyClink
Date: 26 Mar 24 - 09:53 PM

Thanks, SRS. Nothing earth-shaking to post, but let's try it again and see what happens.

Spent a rare weekend working hard on clutter, endeavoring to get my stored stuff organized for transport. Miraculously, there was a vacant storage unit 2 doors away from mine, so for a couple of months and not much money, I have obtained elbow room to work in the main unit. Mental room too, I can see what I'm up against and what I'm doing, can start to see solutions. Literally sit in my one remaining chair, stare at the stuff, and start to see what to do. A lot to be said for just sitting and pondering.

Then, began purging and shredding some old paper files. Haven't wiped them all out, some are going to need more thoughtful treatment and scanning before purging. But still, condensed 3 R-Kive boxes to 2, and the empty one will be handy to donate books in. A good start on wrestling the monster to the ground.

Melancholy, yep, hard to look at the paper debris of a life and not get yanked down memory lanes too much.

Today, stocked up at a local wine shop, and requested a box or two. Was shown where the hidden stash of boxes were. Got some and was told to slip back in whenever I need to. Yay! Nothing like the smaller liquor boxes for books, rocks, etc.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 26 Mar 24 - 05:29 PM

Maggie, way back in the 70s I has 2 jigsaws - one was a tiny little earth in the blackness of space, the other showed the Saturn rocket starting to launch against deep blue, the gases were cropped out, but I can't find the image. Each had more background than colour, & I only made them once - it took forever to fit in each black piece (they were all the same shape) as the black was a lot more than 30%, however the rocket was "only" a third of that puzzle!!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Mar 24 - 11:25 AM

Since Zeke departed I have been sharing his food with the girls, but am rethinking that decision: Cookie is sitting on the floor behind me at this very moment and has just delivered two loud farts. The specialized food the girls get helps with gas; the senior food they've had a share of generates more gastric churn. There will always be some, but with the wrong food they are more frequent and stinkier. I could go to some of the other flavors of food now that my no-wheat and no-chicken dog is gone, but the gas would return with the change.

There was something I planned to share this morning, an organizational shift here, but I've forgotten what it was. The ADHD brain moves on once something has been solved, then just TRY to remember what you were going to say. [sigh] It will come around again and maybe I'll grab hold and make note of the idea then.

I finished a jigsaw puzzle last night and happily all of the pieces were present. This was one I bought full-price; so often I pick them up at thrift stores or in the clearance section of places like Tuesday Morning (the late lamented store where I bought sheets and good pans and nice area rugs over the years). This puzzle was a venture into a new product by the artist and promoted during COVID and I bought two of his works. I'll search for what else he has out there, they were well-designed and nuanced. (I have a couple given me by friends and family that are about 30% black sky in outer space or bright blue sky behind a bright Japanese temple; those will be killers if and when I start them.)

Charmion, I hope your visit goes well today. And Dorothy, I hope you're doing will with your treatments and will drop in with an update on your travels and organizing activities soon. I visualize you staying away from any public places with germs that could make things more difficult (viruses), but I can't imagine you sitting quietly and reading a book all day long; have you been working with your pots lately?

Linn, do you have power and have you made progress in sorting or donating?


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Mar 24 - 08:35 PM

Andrew, a good recommendation, but she should be home in time for the doctor's appointment tomorrow.

The newly recommended auto repair shop has been visited and an appointment made for a brake job next week. While it's in the shop the mechanic will take a look at the AC and tell me what repairs are needed on the fan. I can book that repair later (I try to schedule so I can wait and not have to be picked up and dropped off - both jobs at once would take too long). The close-by shop that does alignments and repairs would charge me $189 just to diagnose the problem (and not take that fee off of the repair, as one might expect). It's worth driving 10 minutes up the road for the savings. The close place can do the cheap simple stuff.

So much stuff around here to pick up and put away. I did some dusting this morning and realized I'll have to combine putting away with dusting this week. This is the beginning of spring cleaning.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 25 Mar 24 - 07:14 PM

Go with the sea. There are fewer allergens out there.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Mar 24 - 03:07 PM

The SUV needs work on the fan, needs a brake job (now, while it is simple to just replace pads), and the state inspection. I've had a new place recommended so will compare their answers (can they do any or all of this work?) with the other new repair place (they have a diagnostic charge that hits the pocketbook before any work begins). I'm getting a recording when I call so I'll stop by later because the cat sitting gig is nearby.

The process of setting a timer seems to be helping my mood and productivity in the office. Instead of a task expanding to fill the available time, I'm finishing and moving on. It means the items on my little list are more likely to be all completed.

Heavy rain overnight, so gardening and mowing is deferred until mid-week.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 25 Mar 24 - 11:08 AM

Still sick. Choir issues continue. Would very much like to run away to sea, or perhaps with the circus.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Mar 24 - 09:18 PM

No, (I really want to know what you were going to share!) but sometimes you have to refresh (F5 on my Windows machine) the screen. Always select and copy what you've written before hitting "submit message" so it doesn't get lost. (We haven't had the missing messages problems like we did in the past for quite a while, but I did get an error when I first logged on tonight - F5 fixed it.)

Today saw a quiet morning but this afternoon I got to the gym for an hour spread between the recumbent bike, the stair climber thing, and the treadmill. This is a pattern I need to continue, because the climbing and walking are weight bearing exercise while the bike is flexibility and cardio.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: pattyClink
Date: 24 Mar 24 - 06:19 PM

Got an error message when posting, is there a word limit on posts going through properly?


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Mar 24 - 07:49 AM

The nasty cough has developed into bronchitis. I haven’t been so sick since COVID, and even that was less problematic — bronchitis calls for medical intervention.

Last night’s concert unfolded without me, and Palm Sunday at church will go likewise. I have my regular monthly date with the allergy doc on Tuesday, so maybe I’ll be able to sing by Thursday — or not.

Hack, kaff. Drat.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Mar 24 - 11:01 AM

Oak tassels will be littering the ground for a while and the pollen from lots of other stuff seems to be settling in my nose. The seasonal allergy constant tickle of an almost-sneeze is here and will get the full treatment - daily allergy stuff (Zyrtec), overnight Benadryl to boost the daytime medication, and the neti pot as needed. I have another tour today so will do the neti pot before I head out to reduce throat clearing (I got clobbered by it on last week's tour) and I'll have a cough drop in my pocket for last resort. This isn't as drastic as the situation Charmion is looking ahead to, but in a public performance space, having control of one's voice is essential.

We had drizzle for a couple of days but today is sunny so later this afternoon I'll be able to attack the weeds and start planting things that would have benefitted from planting last month, but will be ok now. In fact, I had a better potato crop than usual last year when they were planted late. I'll wear a face mask to filter pollen that will have settled on some of the taller weeds. Apparently not all pollen is created equal and some particles are larger than can be absorbed or whatever, but it must all be treated with caution.

Did anyone else see Dante: Inferno to Paradise last week? It was fascinating. I liked part 1 better than 2, but I plan to rewatch the whole thing (I stumbled upon it a few minutes into the part 1 so want to watch it all in one sitting from the very beginning.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Mar 24 - 07:09 PM

I know several people who like the way their voice sounds as they're on the end of the recovery from a cold (my Dad was one of those), but having had a cold or bronchitis probably means the stamina is less (and the strain is more?) Good luck working your way through that schedule!

Last night I set up the kitchen radio so the alarm goes off at 4:45am and will play the radio (no buzzer to swat). That way I won't hear it on my side of the house but the dogs might develop their own sense of what time it is (as mentioned before, Zeke seems to have been our chief "watch" dog for things to do with food). The next door neighbor tells me that both dogs were at the fence this morning. He's usually up and listening for them by about 4:30.

I wrote the other day about selling Linn's VHS tapes on eBay, but I haven't spelled out my system for listing things. It starts with photos, and I have the photo cube in the den on the dining table, and a LED light on each side that are intended to shine through the cloth to diffuse the light. This removes the need for a flash on the camera, because the flash usually reflects on the surface of whatever is being photographed and makes it harder to see. Some things get the side lights and the flash if I need to illustrate different aspects. I choose the packaging for what I'm selling, the padding if needed, and put it together to weigh and measure. That is noted on a small slip of paper I keep next to the photo cube. Once I drop those photos into Photoshop and crop then choose a few I have a notepad (text) file for composing the listing. I have boilerplate stuff about it being sold as-is, not returnable unless the wrong thing is sent, etc. and though this may sound like a lot of work it's not so bad. I reuse old listings, changing the description at the top and reusing the boilerplate. I have an old version of Frontpage (2003!) that works as an html editor and I copy the code. For your code to look the way you want in the eBay form you have to use a <div> tag to start and a </div> tag to close it (I made those with html so they show here). I prefer to have it all worked out on my computer so I can copy and paste into the eBay listing, I don't want to sit there composing in the eBay site itself.

When the listing goes up I know the dimensions and weight of the package so set up a couple of shipping methods in eBay, and always note that eBay calculates the shipping. There are still some sellers out there who gouge on the shipping to compensate for what looks like a lower price on the thing they're selling.

Before I post I look through eBay listings to see if I've missed any important feature on my listing, and I look at the SOLD listings to be sure the price I choose is right for my item (I use "Buy it now," rarely ever auction, though eBay by default wants you to do an auction and wants you to accept offers. I don't do that either.) And it's much easier to get started by finding the item that best matches yours and how you want to sell and choose the "sell an item like this" button somewhere on the page. You have to remove their details, and check the boxes they may have filled it, but you don't have to choose a category and go through the early settings that way.

Make sure you have as many keywords in the title as possible (up to 80 characters) and you can avoid some obvious ones - if I'm listing a LG G8 ThinQ phone, I don't need to say "smartphone" in the header; better to have the amount of memory or "unlocked" in the title, etc. With selling china, Charmion will have lots of things like exact measurements, photos front and back, is there crazing or are there chips, etc. Always do new photos for every listing and make clear that they are part of the description. And if something is returned use those photos to compare the item to be sure someone hasn't switched it out or damaged it. That is fraud, and you can make the case so eBay won't penalize you. eBay still forces sellers to accept returns, and they will issue a refund whether you like it or not, but you can make it less likely by charging shipping, having the buyer pay return shipping, etc. and making it clear a refund is minus the shipping costs.

If something turns out not to be described accurately, it's a judgement call. I sold a handbag one time, leather, and it looked in good shape, but I hadn't moved it around a lot to see the cracking on some of the tags and realized when the buyer complained that it did have issues (I could see them in my photo when I enlarged them). In that instance, since I don't want it back because I'm not going to sell it again, I offer to split the difference - give a partial refund so I don't lose money on the shipping to them, and tell them to keep the item so they don't have to pay to ship to me to get the rest of the refund, when we both lose. And chances are they might still use the thing they bought because the problem is slight and is cosmetic, I don't sell stuff that isn't in good shape. (Antiques are different - they can be expected to show signs of age, but you need full disclosure.)

eBay 101.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: keberoxu
Date: 22 Mar 24 - 06:43 PM

Oh, Charmion! What a drag, and just in time for the Holy Week marathon. What a shame.

Meanwhile, I hope Senoufou/Eliza won't have to suffer with her gall bladder troubles much longer.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Mar 24 - 04:05 PM

I have been coughing all winter, hacking like a cat with a hairball, and it is now obvious that I have bronchitis. So I’m back on Zenhaile, the combination steroid and bronchodilator, and as usual I feel crappy while I get used to it again.

Unfortunately, I have a dress rehearsal tonight and a concert tomorrow, and Holy Week beginning Sunday and heading for a four-day musical marathon from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday. I can sing okay, but I can’t stop the loud, disgusting cough once it starts.

For the concert, I’ll try to put myself on the end of the alto line so I can duck off-stage when I start to cough. Dunno about church; I’m cantor on Maundy Thursday and at the Easter vigil service. Maybe I’ll be coughing less by then.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Mar 24 - 10:53 AM

It seems that the grown children don't always appreciate suggestions from parental units, but they will accept gifts. So after a photo tip was ignored in a post where one of the partners expressed frustration on making a photo look the way they wanted, I'm making a small diffusion light (an LED in a translucent plastic gallon jug with a big cutout for the light) to hand over at lunch today. And that's an extra light out of the house. Setting the bright light to the side and turning off all other sources will make the gold ink shine the way she wants. And it only took one day to find that extra light (logically tucked into the bottom of the bag that holds all of my photo cube gear.) win/win

I have friends with old dogs so have started asking around and am sharing the extra meds (no sales - that isn't kosher). So far one of the two bottles has a new home. This is more of a share-the-wealth situation than declutter. The training pads that I tried using can go to my friend whose cats I sit - she uses them in spots where the male cats are likely to spray to reduce the amount of washing or laundry that needs doing. The size doesn't matter. Dog diapers will find a home one of these days to a friend or via Freecycle (that site is set up in many countries, not just the US, if anyone is interested).


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Mar 24 - 01:32 PM

Mrrzy, what do you think you ought to be doing? And how are you feeling these days?

This morning I retrieved a steel pot from the greenhouse; it was my favorite pan for steaming until I accidentally put it on the stove with no water and warped it. With the three dogs I had a large steel bucket on the floor in the kitchen (3-4 gallons) but it was heavy to pick up full so it didn't get changed more than a couple of times a week. That is gone and a pot that used to sit outside is cleaned and on the floor (a Dutch oven I found in the creek bed during a visit by Mudcatter Marion - she laughed and said "you're not going to use that to cook in!") - no, but it has been used for dog water and is where the toads always take a soak each summer. With that old creek pan indoors I put the smaller steaming one on the porch. Since it is a little shallower the toads will still have easy access for their summertime spa.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Mar 24 - 12:38 PM

I am not doing things I oughta so am enjoying reading your progress reports...


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Mar 24 - 02:24 PM

You can sell them individually on eBay; for example, I searched for one that for a long time was not available as DVD and it's still out there as VHS: Tampopo. What I have always thought worth consideration is making a digital copy (a DVD) and offering it free with the VHS for sale, never offered by itself. There's a gray area, but if you look at the ads for many of the older films they will say "digital copy" suggesting that it's an old film in a digital form (put out by the studio or copied by a reseller?) You're allowed to make personal copies of films you buy, to put them on a device to play. If you offered that copy at the same time they receive the VHS tape - you'd be ripping VHS tapes to the computer and offering them as a pair, but selling only the tape. For some of the really in demand films people will make their own personal copies, they just want to get their hands on the VHS, but the work already done will broaden the possible buyer pool. (At the U Library we had to explore the legal aspects of ripping files for streaming on campus when the new online teaching formats such as Blackboard and Canvas. English, film, history, various classes had films in their syllabi.) Or you could just sell the high-dollar cassettes alone and package the rest to sell in lots.

Take a look at the SOLD stats for VHS films, they talk about digital copies. Figure out how to make that work for you. I have old VHS players here and a Canopus device for digitizing the files that load on the computer, then I use Nero to burn the files. Ripping the tapes happens in real time so it's something you would have to set up and be able to walk away from for a while, but even doing one a day or one a week, you could have a number of these listed at a time. It is work, but for the treasures you have in your collection there, I think you'll find buyers. You could start out offering just the tapes, and if there aren't nibbles at the price you want, try adding a digital file.

Unrelated, back to Zeke for a moment - it seems that he was our main meal timekeeper. The girls used to come in to get me but it was once he indicated that it was time. Several times lately I've realized it's late and they didn't fuss at me. They're going to have to develop their own sense of time (I need to ask if they're on time at the back fence with Cecil - Zeke often was the leader in that activity also.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 20 Mar 24 - 01:11 PM

Never sold DVDs, Stilly. Cinematheque was pre-DVD — VHS only. I've still got a bunch of those — lots of foreign films and classic Is there a market anyplace for those?

Sold a lot of my vinyl (NOT Tom's wonderful English-Scots-Irish-Maritime collection), but it's time for me to cull some more and the person who pays top dollar is right up the road.

If I get some stuff consolidated (and the stuff for Goodwill out of here) I'll call Bjorn to see if he wants to buy an accumulation of smaller antique-ish stuff — none of it individually worth serious bucks, but I don't want to take to Goodwill; I'd like to get SOMETHING for it.

I got four books (to two people) deaccessioned over the past couple days. And there's a huge pile of books that go at the bottom of the stairs. Some are earmarked for a couple friends (I need to schedule getting together with them, one local and one who will soon be making her migration back to the Seacoast for summer.) The rest go to the Nottingham library sale.

Linn


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Mar 24 - 11:13 AM

Linn, I'm experimenting with the sonnet form (there are several renderings, such as abab cdcd efef gg or abba abba efefgg, but the result is 14 lines generally in iambic pentameter). I need to choose targeted keywords to weave in establishing the premise.

What are you planning to move out of the house? I remember you selling DVDs from your shop (do you have any left?) and you had some antiques (do you use eBay?) A lot of what we describe of our puttering seems to maintain the status quo, something we all do. Replacing existing stuff with newer working items keeps our households efficient, and keeping ourselves healthy is essential and is a feature of these threads.

What every one of us has realized is that while we were doing such a good job collecting valuable antiques, their cache was slipping away and they now need to be redistributed to people who want them but who aren't going to pay what we thought they were worth. Antiques are no longer an investment. My goal now is to declutter the things I bought at thrift stores to sell on eBay - if I can actually list and move out this stuff I will give myself a lot of room. It takes time to do it right (to stay in the 100% seller ranking). After that I need to clear out the estate items from my great aunts (stored in trunks under the eBay stuff) that is never going to get used by me or my family, but has novelty value, especially for people who focus on certain period pieces or art activities. I keep in mind how Charmion has a good system of attacking parts of rooms at a time, selling or giving large pieces and the rest loaded in her car and hauled off to a thrift store or donating to her church tag sales. (Is the china being listed now on eBay?) To make a system like that work the front room needs my focus first. I think your basement has a lot of good stuff like that?

Spring cleaning - a good time for each of us to make a declutter list that has a reasonable goal.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 20 Mar 24 - 09:48 AM

Hit the ground running this morning after a tightly choreographed weekend and Monday and yesterday’s R&R with a friend (and her Cairn terrier MacTavish) in Brunswick, Maine. (Multitasked on the way home by dropping off two books — decluttered!) with Ranger1 in Freeport.)

Medicated Rufus’s ears (and gave him treats) and then went downstairs to organize coffee and boot the computer. (And throw a sheet in the dryer — it’s been lingering in the washer too long.) Also got a good start on the dishes in the sink while waiting for both the computer and the coffee.

Started to take said coffee upstairs but decided to traipse out to the car in my nightshirt (it’s a few degrees above freezing but going above 50°F by afternoon) to retrieve my Monday’s purchases from Big Lots — two new pillows and miscellaneous snackage.

I don’t have anything that HAS to be done today, but a whole bunch o’ stuff I’d like to get checked off the list. One of the first is to email my mechanic — my “Check Engine” light came on right after I backed out of my friend’s driveway. Another friend gave me a code reader last summer — now all I have to do is suss out where I put it.

Everything needs to be renewed this year — my passport, my handicapped placard, my driver’s license… Today I’m going to get a care package/housewarming box of treats to a friend in Louisville into the mail and, while I’m at the post office, find out if I can make an appointment there for a new passport photo.

Post office is first stop before heading to Market Basket to pick up some necessities of life — the list has been at hand for a couple weeks. Then home to maybe accomplish a few more things, including a lot of emails — broadcast thank you to the musicians and singers who helped make the St. Patrick’s Day session-style performance at Mr. Sippy’s BBQ a delightful success, and longer catch up and lunch date-making emails.

I read some really good advice on writing a couple weeks ago and desperately need to put it into action on the memoir of the Press Room sessions and the musical community that Tom (Mudcat’s Curmudgeon) congregated. In the interview with the author in the back of the novel The Dictionary of Lost Words Pip Williams was asked about her writing routine. She said she’d tried many variations on a regular routine, but the daily demand for her that worked best was to write one word a day. To only demand of herself one word a day. It’s much too insignificant to engender procrastination. But…if that one word gets written, well, look at this — a sentence is likely to result, or maybe even a whole paragraph or chapter.

I’m gonna try it!

Linn


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Mar 24 - 09:38 PM

This evening I made a dinner for myself that represents one of my son's favorite dishes (homemade chicken breast strips, breaded and fried in oil and butter). Since he is half a country away, I can't fix a birthday dinner for him but making it for myself is a nice reminder of his birthday (two weeks ago). I've made it three times this month (it is also a favorite of mine!)

After 22 years in this house with increasing mortgage payments every year, I had the pleasant surprise of reviewing the annual mortgage documents and seeing a decrease in the required escrow amount. Last year the state legislature passed laws to lower taxes for homeowners and it seems to have worked. The monthly payment will stay the same for the next year. (I could put the refund toward the payment and lower the bill each month, but at this point I'm not trying to hurry along the final payment, I have to get my ducks lined up for that first.)

My day has been achy, with a slight flu-like feeling after yesterday's vaccination. I took it easy, only pulling some large weeds and dropping them in place; tomorrow they'll be mulched in when I mow. Past side-effects were brief, so I expect tomorrow to be back to normal. I've also moved some of clutter in the front room and there's almost enough space in there to set up the photo cube and lights for eBay listings, letting me clear eBay stuff off the dining table in the den. Then I'll have that tabletop to put out my cloth cutting board for projects that can't be cut in the sewing studio.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Mar 24 - 12:10 PM

I haven't heard anything about new COVID boosters in Ontario. Time to look at the Ministry of Health website, I guess.

Today is Edmund's birthday, so I'm feeling a bit strange. I should be making a bang-up dinner to go with prezzies, but the fridge is empty (it's just another Tuesday) and my agenda is full of choir-related problems. It's also snowing -- perfectly normal for the March equinox but not cheery; the sky is leaden grey and the street is messy with slush. Roll on Spring.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Mar 24 - 10:50 PM

Last week my pharmacy sent a text saying CDC is recommending another booter for COVID; I asked today when I was there and they said anyone over 65 can get another vaccination if it's more than four months since the last one. So I got it.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Mar 24 - 11:31 AM

I'm revising my little list routine; it's something I mentioned reading about last fall, a list of up to six items for the day, numbered in order of importance, crossed off when completed, transfer uncompleted items to the next day. When I remember to make the list it has been helpful, but some tasks need more discipline than just being noted and numbered. I've replaced the battery in a timer to leave in my office for some of the things that often take way longer than they should.

One of the dog items out in the Monday trash is a 4' scrap square of carpet. It was under a large dog bed, but as Zeke grew leakier it was hit many times and was never going to be truly clean even with the steam clean machine. (I sprayed it often with an enzyme solution meant to break down pet smells.) It was a surface that offered traction so he could roll over and stand.

It's gorgeous today, but the ground is too wet to work yet. It might be dry enough to mow the front this afternoon. After 2+ inches of rain we're verging on weeds tall enough for the code enforcement guy to get out his warning tags, so it's a race to beat him to it.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Mar 24 - 06:56 PM

There is a sense of relief also when the thing you dread finally happens and you can move on. That old dog was a lot of work; the routine has suddenly simplified. I was shopping for fruit and veggies for three dogs (on top of their dry food), but with the big one gone I need half as much food because proportate to dog size, he got as much as the other two combined. When I tell them to eat I can step aside and sit on the arm of the sofa again; for months I've been propping up the back end of the old Lab so he didn't topple and knock over the contents of his bowl. (Oh my aching back!)

A goodbye lunch with a former colleague today; he's moving to Indiana to be near family and admittedly as a climate change escapee. He figures the summers in Texas aren't getting any cooler so he's moving while he can. After giving a tour at the museum I ran into another old coworker from the university who now works at a local public library. So much catching up with him and his partner; I hope to soon hear from a mutual friend of ours who I lost track of. So many stories from all of us. And the recommendation of a good auto repair shop and a couple of good restaurants.

I feel inspired to get moving with the eBay listings - my lunch friend did a lot of sales during COVID to clear out many useful but unneeded items. We concur that antiques aren't the valuable property now that they were when we were growing up or as younger adults doing our own collecting. Family heirlooms are harder to hand down to the kids.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: keberoxu
Date: 17 Mar 24 - 05:03 PM

Good on you, Stilly:
your two dogs will still do the job you trained them to do,
and now they get to be closer to you at the same time.
Thinking of you as all of you grieve your loss.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Mar 24 - 07:01 PM

I've looked at Bose - I could never persuade myself to spend that much for the various devices I've shopped. And it is remarkable the stuff that turns up at Goodwill - I have a high-end JVC receiver from the time when all of the surround speakers were popular and DVD at its height (it also has buttons for VHS and stereo turntable) - for about $25. I still have my father's really good speakers and a couple of others connected for TV viewing. I added a Bluetooth adapter so the Echo dot lives on top of the receiver and communicates audio content via the adapter. It sounds great to my ears.

Two days after losing the Lab and someone has already asked if I'm looking to expand the pack to three again and they have a friend with a dog that needs a new home. Nope. She apparently tripped on a dog toy and broke her wrist. (The answer may be as simple as to get rid of the dog toys, they don't need them.) No point in setting up her hopes; no more dogs for a while, at the very least, and if one is adopted, we make a connection on our own (even if it is at the shelter.) Right now we need to examine the hole left in our household and live with it for a while.

For spring I'm working on a list of projects that need to be finished. That'll keep me busy (the list and the projects) because there seem to be quite a few things around here lately that require the last step or two before I can put away the materials.

Dorothy, if you're reading along, I hope you're feeling better and R is still being a great help. And if Susan (WYSIWYG) still checks in have someone update us on your progress.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 16 Mar 24 - 09:49 AM

I see that Donuel has made the leap to 21st-century audio with a Bose sound bar.

We bought a spectacularly expensive Bose “sound touch” wifi-equipped music player seven years ago, when we moved from Ottawa. I would never have considered such an expense if we had not been flush with cash from the sale of our previous house. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to retool (as it were), replacing our dust-collecting space hog of a 1980s-vintage stereo with a much smaller device that combines a CD player with conventional and internet radio, streaming services, and Bluetooth capability.

My aging ears do not perceive any loss of sound quality, and the machine sits neatly on a corner of the sideboard — a huge declutter in itself. I strongly recommend Bose equipment to anyone who has their recorded music collection stored in iTunes (Apple Music), and a not-insignificant lump of available money.

Right now, I’m listening to a Vivaldi mandolin concerto on SiriusXM. Aaaaahhh … delightful.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Mar 24 - 10:18 PM

When I packed the wire kennel flat and set it aside the girls seemed disturbed that it wasn't there, so after sweeping the whole area I put it back up. The newest beds have been put out again after the covers were washed and I'll stack surplus beds in one place and decide what to do with them. Some of them are stored now, others live in places where the dogs like to hang out around the house.

I have a small stack of finished jigsaw puzzles to donate back to the thrift store where I usually buy them. A new one was emptied onto the sunroom table this evening (1000 pieces) that is going to take at least a few weeks to assemble. The one I finished today was a 300-piece colorful view of a garden at the edge of a forest and was a good quick palate cleanser between larger puzzles.

Tomorrow is forecast to be another rainy day so I'll continue working in the house, but I need to get a lot of stuff ready to plant soon. My neighbor always prescribes to wait and plant tomatoes after Easter; that's two weeks away. I can keep putting seeds into pots for now. My squash Tatume seeds arrive this week.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Mar 24 - 01:38 PM

You're correct about that, Donuel! He was a great thermal source that week! It's going to take a while for the mental map of the house to shift - I'd swear I saw him walking down a dark hall this morning, but Pepper emerged into the light. I've moved my tea cart back to its original position next to the kitchen peninsula and now have to return some things to it that moved to the peninsula for ease of use. Next decision: leave the wire crate out or not. I bought it to keep Cookie out of trouble overnight as a puppy but Zeke gradually moved in and spent most nights sleeping in there. The door is rarely closed. Also, there are too many dog beds here, but those that were repaired aren't very attractive. I should offer a few the cleaned ones (sent through the wash) on Freecycle. That would free up space on the floor in the front room where the eBay stuff lives and give me easier access to the piano (I haven't played in a long time and I miss it.)

More thunderstorms this afternoon, so this might be a good time to do something not dependent upon the Internet or electricity. Perhaps time to visit the piano.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Mar 24 - 07:34 AM

I think of Zeke as top senior dog during the closet heat emergency.

My parents had a saying during below zero nights, "throw another dog on".
'



'


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: JennieG
Date: 15 Mar 24 - 12:38 AM

Sorry to hear about Zeke, Stilly. Even when you know it's the right thing to do, you can't help having a pang or two.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Mar 24 - 09:05 PM

Thanks, Keb. It was odd at dinner - I always shook hands with Zeke before putting down his bowl, then I get a kiss from Pepper and set her bowl, and get a kiss from Cookie. Then they eat. Tonight they looked around, like "how do we do this now?" Decluttering a dog is a sad episode in the household, but now that the source of the lion's share of mess has departed, we can settle into a simpler routine, one that will start with more walks with the girls. That kind of activity will reknit our little pack.

Thunderstorms are passing through tonight, so my clean den will soon be muddy, but I'll be able to get it up easier now that underlying grime from the last few weeks was removed.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: keberoxu
Date: 14 Mar 24 - 07:36 PM

Condolences to you over the loss of Zeke, Stilly,
and thinking also of the two "girls",
especially when you have said that Cookie adored Zeke.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Mar 24 - 05:42 PM

Thanks, all. The vet bill is eye-watering also, but so much better for the dog there than at the low-cost Humane Society, and it was with people he knew.

My Ryobi scrubber brush is making quick work of the den tiles, as I do a section at a time then dump water. When that's dry I move to the next spot. Two batches of dog beds and floor mats have gone through the laundry so far.

Here we have the opposite of Charmion's cold weather, the humidity is 76% and the temperature is 76o. Uncomfortable, with storms tonight. But didn't you get a new furnace in this house? Or am I remembering either your last house or someone else's furnace replacement?

Bummer of a day and I'm stalled on the New York Times Connections puzzle. I've solved the yellow and green colors and am clueless about the rest. I suspect clues from modern movies or television programs I have never watched. (At least Wordle was only 4 guesses).


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 14 Mar 24 - 04:56 PM

So sorry about Zeke, Stilly. Hard day for you.

Today, I have been preoccupied with an ailing furnace. I got up to a chilly house this morning, and by the time the nice technician arrived the thermometer was down to 16°C — too cold for typing, so the choir newsletter is still to do. The furnace is suffering from a common design problem that will eventually prove fatal, the only question is when. Oh, well.

True sign of Spring in Stratford: the Dairy Queen has opened.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 14 Mar 24 - 03:55 PM

I'm remembering a friend's story of taking her deaf/blind/incontintent cat to the vet with her 16-year old twins when it no longer wanted to be cuddled ... I had tears in my eyes then & do now.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Mar 24 - 12:27 PM

I realized this morning before dawn when I had to get up to help Zeke off of the floor (he was doing his unhappy bark) to go outside that he wasn't his old happy self, and hasn't been for a while, so I made the call and took him to the vet this morning to euthanize. I let the next door neighbors know and they came over to say goodbye.

The universe spoke, in a way: as we drove off Beethoven's Ninth was just starting and was our accompaniment for the drive. I stayed with him till the end but wasn't there long, and when I left the Ode to Joy was just starting. Joy defined his life for almost the entirety of it.

Now to wash beds and rugs and floors and put the den into order. I can put furniture back where it used to go before I had a dark dog struggling through narrow passages (or sleeping in them - a tripping hazard of the first order). That harness I put on him yesterday was a huge help, we were able to move him through the clinic with some dignity and more comfortable for him. The rest of the recent purchases can be donated, and his senior dog food as well (the other dogs don't like it as well as their own.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Donuel
Date: 14 Mar 24 - 12:18 PM

A Bose soundbar has replaced my stereo, giant speakers, and obsolete F connector plugs. I will only retain the tuner and turn table elsewhere just in case I ever play a record again.
The sound controls are now done with my phone.
I won't miss the earthquake deep subwoofers.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Mar 24 - 11:36 AM

Counter surfing was always a problem with my old cats though they usually didn't flaunt it in front of me. The Lab retriever was a classic sneaky counter surfer in his prime; turn your back and the roll you intended to eat went missing and he was back in the exact same position across the room looking innocent when you turned around again.

My friend with the cats gives them glucosamine in their food every day to slow arthritis, she gets it in capsules as Cosequin. Cats won't eat capsules but pulling them apart and emptying the dry contents onto the food and mixing it well works. My two older dogs get tablets of glucosamine that is beef flavored and they scarf it down with the rest of the food in their bowls. I don't know if it works, though a lot of people also use it. My mother was taking one of the forms of it and thought it was helpful.

I should mow today before the rains arrive overnight. The tree shredding guy is back at work this morning so I'll wait till after he leaves to go get mulch.

Allergies are making themselves felt.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 13 Mar 24 - 11:13 AM

It's a beautiful spring day in Stratford, but more snow is coming next week -- our usual equinoctial lake-effect storm. My daffodils will be in bloom by then, but they won't care. Daffs are tough.

Watson (cat) had his annual date with the vet last week. She prodded and poked him, remarked on his fine condition, winning personality and general air of confidence, but pointed out the nubbles on his lower spine that indicate encroaching arthritis -- "Is he jumping less?" Of course, the answer is yes. He still levitates with apparent ease to the kitchen counter, but not as often as he did in his younger days, and I can't remember the last time he flung himself straight up from the floor and into my arms.

Like many domestic cats, both Watson and Isobel have lost teeth to resorption disease, though they still have the full set of four fangs each. They are littermates nearly 11 years old, but Watson is showing more signs of age than Isobel does.

I have choir stuff to do -- the weekly email newsletter -- and the refrigerator is empty again. Heigh-ho, life goes on.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Mar 24 - 10:35 AM

It is 3:0 so far - three nights trying to put the band on the Lab and three nights he managed to walk out of it. Today's Amazon delivery should provide some assistance. I've realized that the new chest harness won't just help with stabilizing the band, it will make it easier to help him up and down, because pulling on his collar can put a lot of pressure on his throat so will be better even if I never keep another diaper on him. This is that expensive end stage in a beloved pet's life, when you can accommodate problems but they get more complicated quickly. (I fear this is the same stage for my friend with the three cats in my cat sitting side gig. The littlest guy is struggling.)

Heavy weather headed this way so I took the new heavy duty stapler out and attached a contractor-size trash bag onto the side of the house where the repair needs to happen. Why didn't I think of this before? I forgot the new stapler was here.

This week there has been a lot of racket from a guy clearing deadwood on the lot across the road from me. It turns out he's hauling those trees in pieces and chipping them on this side of the road on another wooded lot, and I can take my wheelbarrow around and fill it with mulch. The fastest way to get it into my yard is to follow the fenceline to the back gate and dump it in the compost pile area. If I piled it behind the fence it might wash away should the creek rise. The fence here and next door were put in about 20 feet above the creek bank to avoid washing out, but now it looks like we may need to move them closer to our houses. If I do that I may install a low concrete wall like the neighbor on the other side put in.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Mar 24 - 01:07 PM

That is nice! I rescued a woman at Costco a while ago, with the unfortunate "forgot my phone in my son's car and he was supposed to pick me up when I called" story. Like you say, it's easier in small towns to offer rides to strangers, but makes for good conversations when it happens.

Today I am solving the puzzle of diapering an escape artist Labrador retriever. He needs a band to collect pee when he's in the house, but two attempts of diapering him so far haven't worked. Last night he seems to have crawled out of it; I have mopped the spot on the tile where he slept. Reading Amazon reviews is helpful - I've decided to put a shoulder leash harness on him and will use a bungee or a band or something I make out of velcro to run from that to the top side of the band, and I've ordered a cloth diaper that I'll use as a cover over a disposable band. It seems the suspenders they sell for dogs are easily defeated by dogs. The dogs are spending another day in the yard and I got the sliding door track cleaned and moving smoothly since I have to be quick slipping through to leave them out there.

Amazon and Google aren't very discreet about shopping searches - my Instagram feed is already pushing out ads for doggie diapers and I only started looking yesterday.

Heading out soon, but forms came in from the sleep study place that must be completed first; it seems the wait is weeks to see the doctor in person so I'll do a telemedicine visit this week. These folks had me measuring my neck and head circumference a couple of times; the tape measure is out from measuring the Lab for his gear, so I'm set to also measure me if they ask. I've given it a quick rinse to remove any residual dog urine.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Mar 24 - 10:20 AM

When I go to the supermarket, I sometimes see a frail and/or heavily laden person waiting in the entrance area, presumably for a ride. If that person is still waiting when I have checked out and I’m headed to the parking lot, I will usually ask if I can help — nothing in Stratford is more than 10 minutes away. Old folks waiting for the bus (this town has lousy public transit) or an AWOL taxi will usually accept; I’m female and obviously not young myself, so I’m safe. My plan, of course, is to reap karma points when it’s my turn to dodder.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Mar 24 - 01:12 PM

Well, that didn't work. The old lab slept on a different bed and left a large puddle in the middle of it. Decluttering the house of dog pee this morning, the bed and rugs are in the dryer now and I'll mop next. At this point I plan to split the difference. The dogs are in the yard today with the dog door flap covered and I've ordered disposable male XL wraps (he has a 28" waist) for nighttime. The diaper wrap will go on for overnight and nothing during the day when they'll stay in the yard, to avoid getting a rash from constantly wearing the wrap. Part of his problem is a fat mass in his belly putting pressure on his bladder when he is recumbent. A 15-year-old Lab doesn't survive any kind of surgery and despite the deafness and difficulty walking he is a happy dog. Inconvenience (the word I did intend to use) is not a good reason to euthanize an animal. We'll be there soon enough, appetite loss will signal that it's time.

On the upside a couple of eBay items sold over the weekend. More are ready to list today. The mail carrier picked up a box and asked if I had a bottle of water, he had forgotten his today (I keep a couple on a shelf by the door.) Glad to help! I find that small things can help my mood - the water today; yesterday in Lowe's I was pushing a cart but only had an empty bucket in it so asked a young man struggling with a 5-gallon bucket of paint if he'd like it. He and his father were pleased to accept. It's not like you can go looking for goodie-two-shoes things to do during the day, but small gestures of consideration that arise benefit both parties. It's part of why going out regularly is good for retirees who live alone.

In the muddling-along part of my routine it works for me to eat a high protein breakfast to reduce the impulse to snack later in the day, so I've flipped the meal plan and have dinner-type foods for breakfast and carbs in the evening. Charmion once speculated that whole milk might also have that effect, but it didn't work when I tried it (and the MyFitnessPal app kept scolding about the amount of fat). Lean lamb this morning with a cara cara orange on the side was a nice meal.


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

Knocked off a few small chores today and managed to stuff some clutter into the trash for tomorrow's pickup. Recycling was also dropped off (including some my daughter brought me that she hasn't found a way to recycle in her rural area.)

I've set up a new bed in the kennel and am trying an arrangement of large dog training pad tucked around it to see if I can figure out how much the Labrador retriever is leaking, and where. It isn't all of the time, but it's enough that I'm washing that bedding regularly. Perhaps the pads will reduce the amount of laundry. The first one was put down and soon torn up by Cookie; so the next one was sprayed with a bitter apple spray that didn't work well when she was a pup but seems to have the desired effect now. (I spritzed on my fingers and let her lick to see her reaction - even after washing it's durable and I've gotten it in my mouth also. Yuck!)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Mar 24 - 11:25 AM

Good luck with those photos, Charmion. That is another of my big chores for the near future.

I detest the switch to daylight saving time. I've already started changing clocks as I go through rooms, save myself the scramble this evening. My watch and my phone make the change on their own, those are the two that matter the most.

The weather forecast shifted from "nice weekend" to "cool and overcast weekend." I'm back in my heavy terry cloth bathrobe and last week the bed started the spring phase, looking like a sandwich cut on the diagonal. There is a green wool blanket over the top of the quilt that some nights is tossed back so when I rise I see the quilt diagonal half I slept under and the green wool half over the rest of the bed but still anchored at my side foot. Spring is official when the wool blanket is aired and packed away in the zipper storage under the bed. (It is summer when the quilt is stored on the closet shelf and I use a light cotton cover to stay comfortable when the AC is on.)

Running around again today, and quiet tomorrow - alas, I was to be at the beck and call of three tiny kitties for a few days but one has become ill with a furball that seems unwilling to pass. When the last of my cats passed away I put in a flap for the dogs. Living next to the woods my cats were totally indoor creatures, but they would be able exit a dog door the way it is now. Too many coyotes, bobcats, and hawks for cats outside, so I get my dose of cat cuddles with those three.

The extra rain we had pushed tilling the garden back several days, but I can still do some decluttering in the greenhouse and set up pots and start some seeds that I would have planted directly in the soil. And there is plenty of decluttering to do in the garage and the sun room.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 09 Mar 24 - 10:24 AM

My 50-year accumulation of photos and negatives is the last stash of stuff in the house that remains so far untouched. Whenever I consider getting started on it, my heart sinks and I close the study closet for another stretch of months. I’m making real inroads on the basement storage areas — who knows, maybe this summer I will be able to get rid of an entire three-bay shelving unit— but the contents of the study closet feel inviolable for a while yet.


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