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DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024

Stilly River Sage 11 Feb 24 - 05:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Feb 24 - 11:55 PM
Charmion 12 Feb 24 - 08:54 AM
Charmion 13 Feb 24 - 10:20 AM
Stilly River Sage 13 Feb 24 - 10:51 AM
Stilly River Sage 14 Feb 24 - 06:08 PM
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
Stilly River Sage 15 Feb 24 - 01:22 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Feb 24 - 09:28 AM
Mrrzy 16 Feb 24 - 04:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Feb 24 - 12:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Feb 24 - 11:37 AM
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
Donuel 19 Feb 24 - 08:01 AM
Donuel 19 Feb 24 - 08:12 AM
Charmion 19 Feb 24 - 10:19 AM
Charmion 19 Feb 24 - 10:32 AM
Stilly River Sage 19 Feb 24 - 12:22 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Feb 24 - 06:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Feb 24 - 06:49 PM
keberoxu 20 Feb 24 - 08:59 PM
Charmion 21 Feb 24 - 03:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 Feb 24 - 08:58 PM
Charmion 22 Feb 24 - 11:35 AM
Donuel 22 Feb 24 - 04:29 PM
Charmion 22 Feb 24 - 05:05 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Feb 24 - 10:34 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Feb 24 - 12:34 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Feb 24 - 10:58 AM
Sandra in Sydney 25 Feb 24 - 05:24 PM
Stilly River Sage 26 Feb 24 - 12:15 AM
Stilly River Sage 26 Feb 24 - 04:07 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 Feb 24 - 11:23 AM
Charmion 27 Feb 24 - 11:46 AM
Stilly River Sage 28 Feb 24 - 10:54 AM
Stilly River Sage 28 Feb 24 - 12:24 PM
Charmion 28 Feb 24 - 01:36 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Feb 24 - 11:38 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Mar 24 - 09:11 AM
Charmion 01 Mar 24 - 11:23 AM
Donuel 01 Mar 24 - 03:07 PM
Mrrzy 01 Mar 24 - 03:10 PM
Donuel 01 Mar 24 - 03:26 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Mar 24 - 05:22 PM
Thompson 02 Mar 24 - 04:23 AM
Stilly River Sage 02 Mar 24 - 12:30 PM
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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 doing 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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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Mar 24 - 11:23 AM

The cats have gone off their very expensive canned meat. Dammit. And Isobel (small, intelligent, suspicious and unscrupulous) has a vet appointment this afternoon at three o'clock, which means that every door in the house is closed to ensure that she doesn't take refuge in an inconvenient spot such as under the cellar stairs. Watson's date with the vet is next week, but he is no trouble -- putting him into the carrier is a matter of scoop and drop.

Tuesday's blast of winter has ended, leaving a layer of new snow that is rapidly vanishing in bright sunshine. On the whole, a sheepish entry to the month of March.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Donuel
Date: 01 Mar 24 - 03:07 PM

Our big cat started meowing constantly yesterday.
Today the CO alarm went off. A giant lint clog fell down the chimney and opened a joint in the furnace flu.
We dodged a fatal bullet with our CO alarm which continued to go off 2 hours after all windows and doors were opened.
The gas company came within 15 minutes but the furnace people are not here yet after 2 hours. Yeah, I felt a definite brain fog.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Mar 24 - 03:10 PM

Yikes!

I have a day off. Am planning on -not actually doing, mind you, yet- putting all my clean laundry away. It's been weeks. There are multiple piles.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Donuel
Date: 01 Mar 24 - 03:26 PM

Reminder: carbon monoxide is toxic, dirty laundry is fetid but not fatal.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Mar 24 - 05:22 PM

Clean laundry is good, even if you dress straight from the dryer, but best if it is back in the closet and dresser.

I dodged a laundry issue today. I showered when I got home this morning to wash the sticky oily goo and washable marker ink off of my scalp and hair. I was away overnight for a sleep study and they get you up at 5am - right when you're finally getting your best sleep. Duh. Anyway, after the sensors are removed one touch revealed the sticky stuff and there's no way I want that on my own pillow so I didn't go back to bed, I fed the dogs, drank decaf tea, then got into the shower. (You'd think that a medical person who spends their evenings measuring and marking heads before attaching sensors would know exactly what I was talking about when I asked her about her modern phrenology work. I had to explain about the early 1800s pseudo-science.)

This week I've made progress on the current jigsaw puzzle, promised to friends after I finish it, and I'd like to hand it over while they still remember the offer!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Thompson
Date: 02 Mar 24 - 04:23 AM

Yikes, glad you're ok, Donuel.

Stilly, I used to have a method, and am creeping back to it, where I made a table of all inevitable weekly and monthly and annual expenses, worked out how much each was per week, and transferred all direct debits into a separate bank account, with money automatically transferred into that account every week. It means that if a sudden €500 bill comes up, there'll be money there to cover it.
And the great beauty of the method is that if the money to cover these expenses is gone out of your main account, you don't really consider it yours any more. It's incredibly calming to do this. Even if you can't manage to put the whole amount aside every week, you can put in a basic amount, then throw in a bit extra when you have a "win" - an extra payment for something you do. It takes away that sub-panic of trying to have the money in your main account when a payment is due to trigger, and worrying that it'll accidentally spend itself!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Mar 24 - 12:30 PM

Thompson, my Mom had a rule for herself that she instilled in us: to have a base amount in the checking account that you simply didn't go below. You teach yourself to unsee that amount. College years were hard on my checking account but once I was working regularly I've made it my policy. (Credit unions have a base amount in Savings accounts you're not supposed to go below - a puny $5 - but when using programs like Quicken I notice the difference between what Quicken shows and what the CU shows on that balance.) At one time the commercial bank I used had an arrangement so you could have a second checking account to use in the way you describe (I think the plan was to protect your main checking and savings account from being hit by hackers or fraudulent checks). But commercial banks charge fees for everything and it was annoying to watch them nickel and dime my accounts monthly. Once the kids were grown and on their own (they used to have accounts linked to mine so I could move money for or to them if needed) I cut ties and moved to the credit union. Another thing that needs periodic examination is the way bills are paid, which is why I noticed the gouging going on.

My electric company merged with another company early this year and the bills have shot up, but I have a contract for a relatively low rate, so I have to pull up records and see what is going on. It's always something.

Lovely weather today so there will be yard work.


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