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DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024

Stilly River Sage 17 Apr 24 - 11:38 AM
Charmion 17 Apr 24 - 02:17 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Apr 24 - 04:30 PM
Mrrzy 17 Apr 24 - 05:08 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Apr 24 - 09:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Apr 24 - 01:58 PM
Charmion 18 Apr 24 - 09:08 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Apr 24 - 09:38 PM
Charmion 19 Apr 24 - 08:48 AM
Stilly River Sage 19 Apr 24 - 11:56 AM
pattyClink 20 Apr 24 - 09:40 AM
Charmion 20 Apr 24 - 09:46 AM
Stilly River Sage 20 Apr 24 - 03:24 PM
Charmion 20 Apr 24 - 04:58 PM
Sandra in Sydney 20 Apr 24 - 08:26 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Apr 24 - 09:03 PM
keberoxu 21 Apr 24 - 03:56 PM
keberoxu 21 Apr 24 - 03:57 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 Apr 24 - 05:52 PM
Charmion 21 Apr 24 - 08:41 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Apr 24 - 12:12 AM
Charmion 22 Apr 24 - 07:40 AM
pattyClink 22 Apr 24 - 09:59 AM
pattyClink 22 Apr 24 - 10:44 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Apr 24 - 11:08 AM
Charmion 22 Apr 24 - 02:48 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Apr 24 - 04:43 PM
pattyClink 23 Apr 24 - 09:53 AM
Charmion 23 Apr 24 - 10:59 AM
Stilly River Sage 23 Apr 24 - 11:46 AM
Charmion 24 Apr 24 - 12:16 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Apr 24 - 01:54 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Apr 24 - 08:41 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Apr 24 - 06:13 PM
pattyClink 26 Apr 24 - 09:04 AM
pattyClink 26 Apr 24 - 09:14 AM
Stilly River Sage 26 Apr 24 - 11:37 AM
Charmion 26 Apr 24 - 03:24 PM
Donuel 26 Apr 24 - 05:16 PM
Charmion 27 Apr 24 - 01:47 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 Apr 24 - 07:07 PM
Sandra in Sydney 27 Apr 24 - 07:10 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Apr 24 - 11:00 AM
Stilly River Sage 28 Apr 24 - 01:44 PM
Bat Goddess 28 Apr 24 - 02:51 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Apr 24 - 10:08 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Apr 24 - 11:47 AM
Charmion 29 Apr 24 - 02:42 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Apr 24 - 06:46 PM
Charmion 30 Apr 24 - 02:06 PM
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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Apr 24 - 11:38 AM

More items present themselves for the garage sale on Saturday. Bird feeders, beer glasses, and I might make some mustang grape jelly to sell (since I have a lot of juice in the freezer). Several years ago the state laws changed so you can sell food items made in a home kitchen.

Continuing to undo some of the behaviors from when there was a Labrador retriever in the house. I've put one of the trash cans in the master bath on the floor to see if the other two leave it alone (they're rarely in there). And a damp washcloth is drying on the side of the tub; the Lab ate underwear, socks, dish towels, wash clothes, you name it. He was the only dog I've ever had who so consistently raided small textile objects. And soap.

An observation about shifting to a low-carb diet - it is easier to stay under my daily calorie limit (I set MyFitnessPal to 1200). On one visit to my GP I showed her the tracking I do in the app (primarily calcium and sodium) and she flipped over to the macros - "you sure like your carbs!" - something that has always been fairly high in my diet. So we shall see if intentionally reducing flour and sugar works. Losing 5 pounds is the goal; seeing if fewer carbs affect my mood is another consideration. I'm reading about the relationship between sugar and ADHD and brain health these days (in the latest book from Dr. Amen). I'm not jumping on his bandwagon beyond the book - anyone who sells their own brands of supplements must be considered to some degree suspect (in my opinion.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 17 Apr 24 - 02:17 PM

I think the problem with sugar is that it's a staple of our diet when it should be a very occasional treat, like honey before beekeeping equipment. When you have to risk the wrath of an entire hive of bees in order to sate your sweet tooth, you find it easier to tell yourself Not A Good Idea and move on.

My experience with weight-loss diets that restrict fats even harder than carbs is that, while following such a regimen, it's next to impossible to put food out of mind even for an instant. For a person with even a touch of ADHD, that must be downright disabling.

I think I'm through the carbohydrate-withdrawal phase some people call "keto flu" (it's a little hard to tell, as I still have some lingering effects of the Easter lung misery), and I'm struck by how unbothered I am by the munchies. There's teacakes in the freezer, and I'm not thinking about how much I would love to pop a couple in the toaster.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Apr 24 - 04:30 PM

The trouble high fat and protein foods in general is the amount of sodium. I'm limiting that also (my blood pressure is just fine unless I eat too much salt). It looks like Keto diets say to aim at 30 grams of carbs while back in the day (decades ago) 60 grams of carbohydrate was the goal of low-carb diets. Before phone apps we kept track of carbohydrates with books that listed foods and various nutrient levels. Some foods I don't want to give up, but I will keep the amounts moderate (potatoes, for example, and oranges). I'll split the difference and aim at 45 grams per day. I'm learning about ADHD, but it does explain some of the sugar binges and the love of caffeine. I hope the focus on protein will short circuit the craving for sweets, I think that is something Dr. Amen says can happen (I heard it in the lecture on PBS but haven't read the details in the book yet).


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Apr 24 - 05:08 PM

Got down to only the laundry chair. Am putting that off till I go through the suitcase closet, to figure out what I'm packing *in* - then, figure out what to pack. A lot of what's on the laundry chair has been set out to be thought about.

Then probably put about a third back out.

Then probably put a quarter of *that* back in ...

I used to overpack, but then again, there used to be porters.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Apr 24 - 09:14 PM

I know - I always overpack, the best intentions to do otherwise never seem to win. Are you making a trip, Mrrzy?

Two bird feeders delivered to my daughter today for her partner who has been putting some up around the property. They hang from cup hooks in the ceiling joists in my garage, so I sent photos and took the ones she wants with me to my museum gig today (next door to where my daughter works). We had a short visit (got a couple of hugs - the best part; how, during COVID, did we survive no physical contact?) That leaves 3 for the garage sale, or two and one maybe to put up in the front yard occasionally.

Charmion, it seems that Scotch doesn't have carbs. It does have calories, so you have to count those, but compared to beer (high in carbs) or a dry wine (lower, but for me it has the sulphites I'm trying to avoid) it is ok on the Keto diet. :-) You're welcome!

Tomorrow I will spend the morning in the garden. My museum visit today resulted in scanning because the tour group was half the predicted size (four docents were scheduled). The other docents could handle the group so I headed to the archives. Thursday is normally a museum day, but this week I have a telemedicine appointment instead. Before that, the garden.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Apr 24 - 01:58 PM

Garage sale item accumulation continues. I'll empty the SUV (of boxes of useful stuff I rarely need to use) and put down the middle row seats and try to fill it up. This would rid the house of a couple of cubic yards of surplus.

The seasonal bedding shift is underway. Layers were removed this week as the humidity and temperatures rise. I don't keep the house super cool at night because I don't like the air conditioner blowing directly on me. At least it is still blowing, for now - the heat pump on the bedroom side of the house is 22 years old and will fail one of these days, making sleep on that side of the house very difficult until it is replaced. I'm racing to pay off the one installed in 2022 before that happens.

Pork sirloin is on sale this week so I got several packages to freeze. I buy them at a store that sells pork without the additives that became popular a dozen years ago or more. It's too salty and the meat is slippery. A butcher told me one time that it is supposed to keep the pork tender if people overcook it, but it also makes it so slick he said that butchers are more likely to cut themselves working with it. Ugg.

I need to pull out my tartar sauce recipe and figure out the nutritional stuff; catsup on my pan-fried potatoes adds carbs, the mayo in the sauce might not add as much. I like something with them versus eating them dry.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 18 Apr 24 - 09:08 PM

Yes, Maggie, I have indeed discovered the carb-free nature of whisky — which is why I’m sipping Glen Breton while watching history videos on YouTube. Much to my delight, I have identified several more carb-free delights, including aioli and the very best kind of mayonnaise. I am so grateful for those nutrition content labels!

Three one-cubic-foot boxes went to the church rummage sale today, stuffed with music CDs, movies on DVD, and novels. The kitchen traps will go on Saturday morning.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Apr 24 - 09:38 PM

Tell me, please, what is the mayonnaise you've discovered? I suppose I could make my own, I understand it is pretty easy if the day's humidity is at a good level (not to be made when thunderstorms are in the neighborhood). I always use the "real" variety versus the lite stuff, so chances are what is in the fridge is just fine.

Some weeds were pulled this afternoon as I determined the soil moisture in the garden; it's perfect right now for digging, weeding, and tilling. Tomorrow is the day to knock off the weeds and get things planted.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Apr 24 - 08:48 AM

The mayonnaise comes from La Maison Orphée, a company based in Québec City. If it’s available in Texas I would be both shocked and pleased.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Apr 24 - 11:56 AM

That brand is sold fresh but is also out of stock on the website. It appears to be sold in supermarket chains in that area (in the cooler section); it confirms my thought that I should be making my own mayo. Their ingredients are all easily available:
Ingredients: Oils (oleic sunflower, extra virgin olive), water, pasteurized whole egg, pasteurized egg yolk, lemon juice, organic cider vinegar, sea salt, mustard seeds.

The nutrition facts say no carbs. So homemade or carefully selected down here should meet that standard without much difficulty. My recipe for tartar sauce includes pickles and capers and I think a little finely chopped onion, and for the acid, pickle juice and lemon juice.

I have a list on the fridge of the steps for cleaning the whole house in one day. I've never tried to do the whole thing at once but I'm thinking of giving it a try. My major goals are to tackle dust and clutter. Before that I can remove some clutter by adding to the garage sale stash and I need to look at my recent original purchase prices on a couple of items and for the rest see what the going price is at eBay. Garage sales are not meant to sell high-ticket items, they're good to clear out usable things that you don't need and price modestly. And for me, the things that are more work than I want to fool with on eBay. I've debated about things like the beer glasses - all nine could go as a set, but what are the chances someone will want just a few? Sell them in sets of 3?

Oh - and I have to go to the bank to get some small bills. A necessity, then not letting people clean out your change stash early in the morning. I even wonder about getting one of the marker pens to test 10s and 20s. Office Depot and Staples have them and other local retailers.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: pattyClink
Date: 20 Apr 24 - 09:40 AM

I had a to-the-walls house/garage sale when the house was sold, having already sold a lot of the good stuff on ebay, and made lots of donation runs. As you say, good for getting things people really need into a new home, especially bulky stuff. You get some chiselers and vultures, but it all works out.   One handy thing was; you can sell partial stuff that would be a no-no to donate. That shampoo you just didn't like, the too-big-a-box of bandaids you only used a few of, the extra 2 jars of cinnamon. In the garage I gathered all the small paints and stains and thinners and glues and marked them 'anything 50c' (might be a buck now with inflation!), great for the crafters who know what the markup is now on this stuff 'new'.

Made a big step yesterday, bought the covered cargo trailer which will be in next week. Also weighed another large batch of boxes. Definitely have enough to make up the first load while staying under the weight limit. I am in Mississippi and have had mostly outstanding weather to work in. Though lines of storms come through this weekend. Will spend a rainy day scanning and shredding, and looking for 'pull-through' sites at campgrounds heading west.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 20 Apr 24 - 09:46 AM

Four 1.5 cu boxes packed with plain and fancy kitchenware have gone to the church, along with Edmund’s huge down-filled sleeping bag and Thermarest air mattress. I have no clue why I didn’t rehome those last items long ago. The six-foot work table in the basement is now bare.

For my next trick, I shall clear the storage shelving of large plastic food-storage containers. They can go to Goodwill in a bin-liner bag.

I’m closing in on “core stuff” — family-associated items that I have winced away from in every previous purge. Not sure how to tackle them. I guess they can continue to wait — for now.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Apr 24 - 03:24 PM

I applaud both of you! Patty, those storms headed your way are here now and my power has been out since mid-morning. I just paired a portable Bluetooth keyboard with my phone to check in here since the Wifi and Internet are out. Data for a little while this afternoon won't hurt my phone bill.

Charmion, I did wince a little but walked away from one of those "core pieces" this afternoon; I loaded stuff in the SUV and after disconnecting the motor on the garage door was able to open it manually and leave for a few hours. I've parked in the driveway for now but may reverse that move and park indoors in case any hail is headed here. Anyway, I had a wooden antique-ish sewing cabinet from my Mom's house. My brother delivered it or sister mailed it, I don't remember for sure, but it has bounced around here as something from my mom to my daughter. Except she doesn't need it and it stinks like my Mom's house. All of these years later still smells like stale cigarette smoke (I'm pretty sure I wiped it down with a disenfectant when it came into the house). Her house was also mildew musty, and there is a bouquet of that as well. This rain drove off most garage sale folks so upon returning home I stopped Goodwill and gave them a few things I didn't want to take back into the house or ever bother with on Freecycle. So the Goodwill has a bonafide antique for a little while.

I still have my down bags and thermarest pads; I put a stack of the pads in my closet 3 years ago during our 4 day sub-freezing outage and slept in the down bag. Now I have a cotton sleeping bag that my daughter doesn't need (that I took to a commercial laundromat last fall) to use if such an even happens again. Down was ok but the mummy bags are harder to get in and out of and in the house the dacron bag is sufficient.

I made $7 at the sale today and came home with some stuff my friend had set aside for me, so I guess I came out ahead. My feet are still wet and without power I had a bowl of cereal for lunch and put the milk back in the fridge quickly. The neighbors went out for lunch but when they get back home they'll run a line across the fence from their generator. The power company predicts repairs by 8pm.

There is a tinny-sounding transistor radio playing the classical station (Mendelssohn) and I have a Stanley power pack to run a small lamp for now. So many electronic things like the phone, tablet (I would use the phone as the hot spot for it) and keyboard let me have a little connectivity. I have a couple of battery packs for charging if necessary and regular D-cell batteries for a boombox if I want to fool with it. I tested the little Sterno stove this morning (a robust steel frame from Coghlan's that is far better to the little aluminum ring that fit on a can that I used during the big outage.) I'll run my electric Kettle on the Stanley battery and brew some tea. I have a good butane Coleman stove now and lots of flashlights around the house. The laptop in the kitchen could work on the phone Hotspot. I can go sit in the car and do all sorts of electronic things, or go to a friend's house where the power is on. When the generator is set up I think I'll move the sewing machine into the kitchen and do some quilt blocks from the crumb basket.

The generator just started up so I tossed the male end of the line over the back fence and ran the female end in here. I also muscled the garage door open and parked the SUV inside. Looks like a quiet afternoon except for the dull roar of the gas generator.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 20 Apr 24 - 04:58 PM

I just listed the Instant Pot and its accessories on Facebook Marketplace. The three-section IKEA shelving unit in the basement main space is now half empty, and I have moved the stuff I intend to keep into the Glory Hole shelving cleared since Christmas. I would like to dispose of the three-bay unit, but it’s the only thing long enough to hold a rolled-up 9- by 11-foot Bokhara carpet that I mos’ def’ do not wish to part with, so I guess its tenancy is extended.

Maggie, I can’t believe how much trouble you have with electricity supply. Isn’t your house in a suburb of a big city?


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 20 Apr 24 - 08:26 PM

or do you have very old & decrepit power lines?


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Apr 24 - 09:03 PM

My 2013 Sony laptop computer is now running on a mobile hotspot on my phone (eating up the data mb quick!) and I put a halogen lamp in the kitchen to light the whole room. The phone is charging on the battery pack I usually carry in my handbag. Yes, I live in an urban area but am near a creek with lots of big trees and the power lines run along the right-of-way over the back of the lots and under said trees. Another one must have fallen. There is also a breaker that trips at the end of the line (my nextdoor neighbor can see when it has tripped on the pole just beyond the end of her driveway and she tells me it is in the tripped position now.)

I'm trying to reproduce work on my laptop that I already took care of in the desktop; some of that work is in Instagram but it isn't letting me logon without 2-factor authentication and isn't sending the code as requested. I may have to see if the UPS has enough juice to turn on the desktop, load the files I need into a thumb drive, then move them to the kitchen. I have a job and one night a week I absolutely need internet connectivity, and this is the night.

I have a couple of lights set to turn on when the power resumes and we're close to when it should resume (meaning they usually would have it up by now, they try to beat those projected times). The price I pay to live in an urban area that feels rural. Today has been a real soaker that would have been a lovely day to work on things in the house if only I'd had power.

My friend did have success mid-afternoon, when a guy came by and bought a couple of the bigger items she's set out in the carport. But it was so cool and clammy and traffic so slow it wasn't worth hanging out longer to see if anyone came by. Goodwill was the winner today.

Maybe I'll unplug the lamp and plug in the TV. Watch something on PBS (I already missed the mystery I enjoy that they restarted a couple of weeks ago. Darn!)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: keberoxu
Date: 21 Apr 24 - 03:56 PM

I was thinking of Eliza/Senoufou and her gall bladder.

Has anyone else heard about the pulp in unfiltered apple juice?
The pulp contains pectin, which contains malic acid.
What I have learned is that these things
have a softening effect on the hardened deposits within a gall bladder.
They do NOT expel the deposits -- that's olive oil --
but pectin/malic acid make the deposits less painful.

Anyone else heard of this?


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: keberoxu
Date: 21 Apr 24 - 03:57 PM

I got some more de-cluttering done at my apartment.
And under a great heap of papers, I finally located
the title to my automobile.
Big relief.
Still more work to do -- several rooms of it.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Apr 24 - 05:52 PM

I haven't heard that, but pectin is one of those wonderful natural ingredients that is an aid in jelly-making, though if you're really good at it you can achieve the exact state of firmness by cooking carefully (I am told). Pectin is used in a lot of foods where I don't want it (like yogurt - I prefer it to be cultured to the proper consistency, not thickened).

Congratulations on your apartment declutter! I paid off the SUV and am awaiting my title from the credit union where I hope they had it neatly filed and not buried under stuff. ;-)

We got between four and five inches of rain in the 24-hour period that concluded before dawn. It was a noisy night with more thunder (so an upset dog occasionally turned up outside my bedroom door). My emergency setup is pretty good but I need to add small food items that can be opened and eaten alone without having to open the fridge for some element (the cereal is on the counter but the milk is in the fridge, etc.) And can be eaten without cooking (though the small stove does work). I have cans of tuna, so maybe packets of mayonnaise and relish to mix small batches to eat on crackers. Shelf stable but not ultra processed foods. Tuna, sardines, olives, pickles, mayo, crackers, canned fruit . . . I'll start a list. Suggestions?

The mats by the back door need repositioning so the dogs spend longer on them; they've been tracking mud further into the house than usual. Lots of mopping ahead. There is an area near the house that doesn't drain well and in the middle of it a small tree suffering from the extra water so a small Y-shaped French drain needs to go in, extending about 12'. I'll pick up some bags of gravel this week and as the soil becomes workable I'll start a small trench, filling in with gravel to aid the drainage. The removed soil will be combined with compost and go in Smart Pots and one of the existing beds. Grass will grow over the gravel but water will still drain. I'd rather use my own yard soil than buy bags of topsoil that can be iffy and have pests and weed seeds.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Apr 24 - 08:41 PM

The Instant Pot (with extra liner and glass lid) has left the building, sold for fifty bucks to a blended family with five children and an elderly mum as well as the parents.

I feel better now.


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

An eBay listing sold this afternoon so will go in the mail tomorrow. I have several more of the same items to list now that I know there is interest in them.

Tonight I dumped several inches of water out of the trash can before putting my bags in for tomorrow's pickup. Bags alone can go at the curb in the morning, but if I want to be sure it's out early enough I put it in the can at the curb overnight to keep critters out of the bag contents. This week I made eye-contact with a local coyote as I drove by the woods across the street; he's just waiting for unattended bags for a good meal.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Apr 24 - 07:40 AM

Glendon Road has raccoons and crows — lots of crows! — but I have seen coyote tracks here only once in nearly seven years. I keep my garbage in the garage until after breakfast because the crows are relentless, ripping into trash bags all up and down the street, and the raccoons like to tip bins over for easy access to the contents.

The other day, the cats and I were treated to an extended visit from a pair of raccoons conducting a detailed reconnaissance of the patio, quite unconcerned by our close attention. Stratford raccoons are fine, fat creatures swaggering through life with enviable insouciance. If reincarnation is a thing, I wouldn’t mind returning to this world as a Perth County raccoon.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: pattyClink
Date: 22 Apr 24 - 09:59 AM

Shelf-stable 'emergency' foods: I'm going with peanut butter, perhaps with a dab of honey; Pop-tarts (I know they are nutritionally useless, but very comforting on a powerless morning), pickled or sliced beets, canned milk or creamer thingies for coffee, and I keep some of the pre-seasoned ranch or whatever tuna packets around so I don't have to mess around with mayonnaise. Dried fruits. And remember to draw gallons of clean water to use in case power is lost to the city pumps.

We were told the whole weekend would be stormy. So I hunkered down, only to realize I could have been out and about all day Saturday. All the rain was at night. By Sunday late morning, the show was over, and I got a brilliant cool clear afternoon to work with stored goods. Got in a lot of good work, but now I'm down to clothing, bedding, and the 'problem boxes', grouped in an area away from the 'ready to ship' ones. These boxes are 'get this out of the rig' ones, a jumble of stuff. I am tempted to leave them a mess, call them 'junk drawer #1' etc. but I'm sure it'll be worth the time spent to get them more coherent.

Ran across some old boxes of forgotten files that should be culled, but honestly, that would be so time consuming it will not be worth doing before the move. I have hit my stay limit on the state parks for this month, and when my cost per night to camp doubles, it clarifies my thinking about hanging around town purging stuff.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: pattyClink
Date: 22 Apr 24 - 10:44 AM

Experiment to see if this image link will work.

regarding raccoons


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Apr 24 - 11:08 AM

Patty, there is peanut butter and honey around here, and I suppose I could allow myself one early trip into the fridge to put ice in a cooler and grab milk, eggs, cheese, a little bit more. Lots of bottles and jugs of water (and one of those straw-like filters if I have to resort to getting water from my creek).

Asking yourself if the remaining sorting is worth the extra expense of camping fees is a great way to evaluate the task at hand! I don't suppose you'll pass through North Texas on your resettlement trip, will you? There is a standing invitation to stop by and room on the street for a vehicle and trailer.

It sounds like Charmion's pot will get a lot of use in its new home! Our terribly rainy Saturday probably kept my re-homed grill tucked away, but maybe it had a chance to cook a dinner on Sunday.

I walked one more small bag of trash out to the can and realized a nearby juniper has undergone a growth spurt. This is one of those "do it when you notice or you'll never get back to it" chores. The trash can had space so with a pair of bypass pruning shears (secateurs) I lopped the spikey areas that extend beyond the footprint I want the shrub to have. At one time it was huge and I almost took the whole thing out (smashed in a heavy ice storm then infested by bugs attracted by the damage). What saved it was stopping for the night and realizing the part that was left was healthy and attractively sculptural. I keep it that size now. The yard is still soggy so that's the extent of gardening today.

I should probably sweep and dust. And mop.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Apr 24 - 02:48 PM

The large plastic food storage containers have gone to Goodwill. Work table half-cleared again.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Apr 24 - 04:43 PM

My university Earth Day celebration has always included a place to drop off electronics (and the secure disposal of old hard drives and other digital media). I've looked at their listed events and it isn't mentioned for this year. I tried calling and the department phone is disconnected. The campus operator can't put me through to anyone in the department, just that dead number. I found other numbers and they go straight to voicemail. Perhaps they're busy getting ready for tomorrow. I won't drive over with dead electronics because I don't want to waste a trip if the collection isn't happening.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: pattyClink
Date: 23 Apr 24 - 09:53 AM

Yes, one strategic grab in the fridge/freezer will help when the power goes out. During the long Katrina outage, I grabbed heads of leaf lettuce and celery and green onions, stationed them in containers with water. Room temp was fine as long as they had a little water to work with.

I would love to meet up in Texas, but this trip will have to be about cannonballing the shortest/best distance between carefully selected campgrounds with 'pull-through' sites, and gas stations with room to maneuver. Adding the cargo trailer will make the driving much more of a headache, but it will be worth it.   

Forayed into shopping yesterday, hoping to score an old set of double sheets. How many have I donated over the years? But the two major thrifts decide it's good to close on Mondays (the days when people want to bring things they purged over the weekend? really?). The others have no sheets. Discount stores are pushing those horrible microfiber tragedies. Finally found one set of sheets, overpriced, but in dim grim colors. Seized the remaining one set of white.

On the upside, found 1/2 a set of corelle ware for a dollar. Ideal to get me going without having to move all my few dishes in from the rv before I'm done using it. Kind lady packed them with newspaper separators, yay!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Apr 24 - 10:59 AM

It's been a while since I could find any nice cotton percale sheets in non-grim colours at all, let alone at an acceptable price. Since when was grey a good colour for sheets? Reminds me of the lifestyle of sad bachelors who have given up civilized life.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Apr 24 - 11:46 AM

I bought a large roll of good elastic during COVID and I still need to get to the project of replacing the elastic around the fitted part of two sheet sets that are good except the stretchiness is shot. And I was considering that project yesterday as one to do soon. Great minds think alike! There are a couple of thrift stores I would direct you to, Patty, but they're not in your path of travel. I have a friend who wanted to buy some sheets from the estate as I disposed of my Dad's household contents because he had a double-sized bed, but that didn't work after all because they found percale to be too scratchy. I'd never thought about the texture until then.

Do you head for truck stops when driving the RV as far as maneuvering space and headroom? Pulling a trailer isn't fun, I agree making the trip as direct as possible to get it over with. Will you be storing the new trailer somewhere part of the year then making another storage unit run, or will you go back and forth until you finish with the storage locker this year?

Odd occurence in the yard yesterday. I opened the front door to see if any Amazon parcels had been delivered and saw a man striding down the middle of the lawn next door then continue his walk down the middle of my front yard. He wasn't a mail carrier making a shortcut between houses and he wasn't a city worker or someone delivering the dreaded political pamphlets. Just a guy with a walking stick, pack, jeans and flannel shirt and boots (also a goatee beard and a hat, about 5'10", sandy hair, 40s - noted in case I need to describe him again). So I stepped out through the security door and asked what he was doing in the yard? "The grass is softer than the street." Really? "Please leave the yard and keep your walk to the street." He paused and started to argue, standing there in the middle of the lawn under the baldcypress. I repeated two or three more times to get out of the yard and walk in the street. Obviously there's a mental issue going on here, and I'm thinking I need to retreat to the house and get his photo. The dogs arrived and started barking at him and he turned and left. They were behind me inside the house, never approaching him, but that is exactly why I have dogs - to bark at people who don't belong in the yard. Good girls! And I need to go ahead and that that Ring doorbell installed.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Apr 24 - 12:16 PM

Maggie, you missed a great opportunity to say, loudly and with gestures, "Get offa my land!"


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

I think that's what Cookie and Pepper were transmitting. (Thanks for not asking "why did you go outside when there was a strange man in the yard with a stick in his hands?") These days I take them so for granted, as part of the yard landscape I forget about why I originally decided it was time to have a dog (after a burglary). My nextdoor neighbor suggested he could also be someone looking for delivery parcels on porches. An excellent reason to set up the doorbell camera.

Another outgoing eBay parcel is wending its way to a lucky purchaser and more need listing. With the sorting for the garage sale last week I identified a few additional items that are easy to list and to ship.

For the "bad habits" part of the thread's mission, this week I have revisited several old projects to resume and others to learn more about. These are becoming my evening activities. The sleep study was instructive; physically things are fine but I must conclude I am a victim of my late night computer habits. The effects of the light itself or the stimulation from what I'm watching or reading, affects production of brain hormones. A search brings up lots of studies of teen brains, but this general article was helpful: Screens and Your Sleep: The Impact of Nighttime Use:
“The timing of sleep and wakefulness is controlled by two areas in the brain. One is highly sensitive to light and wakefulness. The other, called the pineal gland, secretes the sleep hormone melatonin when the light dims in the evening,” Dr. Cooper says.

Device screens produce blue light, Dr. Cooper says, which is the part of the light spectrum most active in our sleep cycle. Stimulation of this part of the brain suppresses production of melatonin, making it difficult for many people to “turn off” their brains and fall asleep.

It takes work to break old habits but I'm making a point of stopping screen time a couple of hours before bedtime and looking at other things (where I don't need peak attention to detail) that I can do when I'm winding down for the day. The bedtime routine has been simplified also since I can floss and do medications earlier in the evening.

For daytime alertness the sleep PA said I need more sunshine, and need it earlier, so I should start going out to weed first thing in the morning. There will always be enough of that to keep me busy.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Apr 24 - 08:41 PM

The mental list of things to do is so long and I've done such a good job of beating myself up for not doing any of this stuff that I just did the first thing to hand today - I unzipped the covers on the various dog cushions and gave them a wash. A couple of the foam mats were soaked in dog shampoo in the tub and I think one is going to exit in the trash tomorrow because it is so degraded. That cover can stay for spare parts and the better cover and pad will be put together this evening once the pad has dried. Two other big ones are hanging on the line on the patio, no dryer for them. I vacuumed a lot of dog hair and did a fast onceover to get the worst of the muddy footprints. The floor needs a deeper cleaning soon.

I also got out the gas trimmer and it started - that was my test to see whether the beds would get weeds trimmed today or not. Tomorrow morning I'll mix a fresh batch of gas for the season (it's a two-stroke engine needing a mix of gas and oil). The best thing you can do to keep your gas powered equipment running is to never use gas with ethanol. Since I learned about it being available I've driven to the next county for it but learned recently that the Walmart gas station on this side of town has it.

Trimming is the easy part. Next I need to dig and plant and mulch.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Apr 24 - 06:13 PM

The dog beds are now clean and reassembled (covers put back on foam inserts), one of the new ones has a zipper pulling away from the corner seam that needs a few stitches. Some of these are going to be set aside for now. The girls continue to inhabit the wire kennel every day, so it stays in place. We continue to work on the new trick; since they saw Zeke "shake" every day at meal time I've been teaching the girls. Pepper is just about there - actually more willing to do it at other times than waiting for a meal. Cookie - who can say what is going through that head?

Day two of floor scrubbing - I have a sponge mop to follow along as I use the rotating brush to clean the crevices in the patterned den tile. The house will be muggy for a while.

Today I reviewed more sewing tutorials and one of the sites I subscribe to put up a post about freezer paper (referring to the huge roll of paper I scored recently). Most of the techniques she shows are for things I don't plan to do, but you can see the versatility (especially regarding how to run it through the printer with other paper or with fabric).


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: pattyClink
Date: 26 Apr 24 - 09:04 AM

I don't have a yard for strange men to wander into, but I did have a shock, coming 'home' to my lakeside campsite to find a big 5th-wheel and truck occupying it. Middle aged fellow and 2 females, claiming 'someone' removed the post tag I vividly remember putting up. This is in a gated-at-all-times state park loop (because it's in a city center). Claimed they 'sometimes arrive after dark and just grab a site'. That's not how this works, sites are assigned and prepaid. You can't just declare a park first-come-first-serve, try an old gate code, and slip in.

Was tired, hangry, waited for them to clear off, dined and watched Finding Your Roots as planned instead of trying to find a ranger. Let it go, partly in the interests of mercy for the two females. Turns out they just slid down and took another choice site. They did get themselves busted in the morning but I don't know at what cost.

So, in addition to slob campers and an epidemic of thoughtless no-shows, we now have grifters sliding in late and night and hoping to slip out in the morning fee-free. Camping has been a part of life mostly free from crime and creeps, but like everything else, it's starting to get 'crapified'.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: pattyClink
Date: 26 Apr 24 - 09:14 AM

Progress continues, yesterday held another box run, and re-packed damaged or not-full-enough-to-ship boxes. Was delighted to find some little forgotten treasures, and look forward to using my few bits of stemware again. Perhaps by Labor Day they will be in use for margaritas? Measured the long narrow table so I can work it into the packing plan.

So, now there's a unit half full of neat, organized stuff-to-ship, and re-packing operations have shifted to the 'elbow-room-for-working' unit.

SRS, some people like to use truck stops, but I've spent a couple nights trying to sleep while reefers run their motors all night, not restful. And don't usually use them for gas either, the room-for-trucks lanes usually only have diesel. The big travel centers are favorites with some RVers, but they are crowded, and I've had a couple close scrapes trying to maneuver in them. I'd rather find an older station that just has a big lot, and preferably pumps that parallel the store (rather than 10 pumps perpendicular to it).


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Apr 24 - 11:37 AM

Ah, Patty, you remind me of my national park days as a seasonal ranger of giving guided walks and evening programs, guarding campgrounds, cleaning bathrooms, putting up signs in bulletin boards (ranger programs, snake identification, and more). Usually the protection rangers dealt with the scofflaws, and we all at some point had someone roll through the entrance station and say their friend behind them was paying for the campsites. Nope. Pay for your own, we've seen that trick before.

One of those campers who tried our patience in an Arizona national monument was a stringy old guy in his VW camper van. The two week limit passed but he had excuses and somehow managed to move into the overflow area for a few days more. He would get to the visitor center at 4:55 and loaf around looking at all of the books and postcards (we were told not to chase people out at 5, let them finish shopping). We got pretty good at corralling him. A few months later I landed in Tennessee in the Great Smokys. One day in the Sugarlands visitor center a familiar face walked in and I stepped out from behind the counter and walked up, calling him by name. I thought he was going to have a heart attack. So many stories are coming back to me . . .

I mowed the back last night and emptied the big gas can into the regular mower gas can, but don't have enough to mix the 2-stroke can yet. Maybe today I'll go get 3 or 4 gallons in the big can. For now I can hear the tap of raindrops hitting my office window, so the gas may be prepared but no more trimming or mowing will happen today. There's plenty to do indoors. But wait! With rain comes mud. Perhaps I should postpone the den tile deep scrub.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 26 Apr 24 - 03:24 PM

Sunshine today, thunderstorms tomorrow.

I’ll do my taxes tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Donuel
Date: 26 Apr 24 - 05:16 PM

I'd read Confessions of a Park Ranger by Maggie.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 27 Apr 24 - 01:47 PM

Taxes done and filed.

As usual, I feel more than somewhat ripped off by the Intuit company, which makes the Turbo Tax software I use to calculate and file my income tax. Half-way through the data-entry phase, the user interface diverts to a screen that "offers" a premium upgrade (!) that adds "expert advice" to the services included in the basic package I always sign up for. I could find no way to evade or escape from this screen without either agreeing to the "upgrade" or abandoning the website altogether.

I do not need "expert advice" to file my income tax. My affairs are simple, my papers are in order, and I'm quite good at reading instructions.

When Turbo Tax had finished picking my pocket and the file was successfully uploaded, I received an "express" assessment from Revenue Canada that asserts that I owe $3.58 in "interest on arrears". I have yet to incur any arrears. The deadline is Tuesday.

Bah, humbug.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Apr 24 - 07:07 PM

Turbo Tax and H&R Block and others pay a lot of money to US politicians to keep the taxes difficult to do here, giving them a more willing user base. I never use those applications. Maybe next year I'll get to test the new simple free tax setup the IRS rolled out late this spring.

Listing eBay items this afternoon. I was going to go run errands but today is quite windy; between possibly dodging downed limbs in the neighborhood and wobbling 18-wheelers on the highway or staying home and measuring and weighing boxes, it's an easy choice. I'll wait till tomorrow (when it's just raining). There is one small trip I might make after sunset when it usually gets quieter. (Patty, you've probably already found a safe place to wait out the wind if you're on the road!)

The fruit fly (or fungus gnats) population has exploded, so in addition to a bowl of cider water under plastic in the kitchen I've put up a piece of double-sided sticky trap paper and will go through all of the house plants and scoop out the top 1/4" of soil then spritz on some Bt (it works mostly on mosquitoes but also on gnats). Or I could do a little soapy water. And most important, empty the kitchen waste bucket every day instead of letting it fill first.

I have fixings in the fridge to make some marinara sauce this evening (stuff that needs to be used soon). I have some baked chicken and fresh mozzarella that I can cobble into a simple chicken parmesan (without breading or frying the chicken - so fewer carbs).


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 27 Apr 24 - 07:10 PM

& how are you supposed to pay your debt? do you give them your password???? a pound of flesh?? your firstborn???


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Apr 24 - 11:00 AM

Sounds like she needs to give TurboTax a dope slap, withdraw the form, and refigure the categories TT added to her account.

Storms overnight and flash flood and tornado warnings in the wee hours before I awoke. The conditions seem to have resulted in Pepper peeing near the back door (she holds it so long she leaks if the weather is bad) and the power went out long enough that it tripped the breaker for the office. I reset the stove and microwave clocks and got my slippers wet going out back to the breaker box.

My previous smartphone was listed on eBay and sold yesterday, but the buyer wrote to say she moved and realized she hadn't updated her shipping address. It needs editing when I print the shipping label (she said forwarding is still in place with the USPS, but in my experience USPS takes about two weeks for forwarding. Faster shipping = happy customer.) It was a great phone so I'm glad to pass it along to a new user.

I've been practicing with the new sewing machine by making more crumb square quilt blocks. I'm thinking of turning some of them into a tote bag, giving me a chance to play with complementary/contrasting colors, use up more scraps, and see how long it takes. Practice makes for better, if not perfect. My goal for myself is two-fold: sell enough of the eBay stuff that is in the front room so I can move another piece of furniture from the sewing studio into the front room. It will go faster if I keep listing the eBay sales, so yesterday's boxes of fancy cobalt tumblers was a good start.

I've chosen a new author for my audiobooks and the hold I had with the Houston library came through this week. Now to finish the one I'm listening to and then start on that. Sewing when it's kind of mindless repetition is perfect for listening to books. Don Winslow has a dozen or more books, some of them in series, others freestanding. I don't remember what the trigger was to add him to my Good Reads page, but we shall see how this one goes. (I use the British Fantastic Fiction site to keep track of the order of books in series, etc.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Apr 24 - 01:44 PM

A note about selling used devices: periodically I go through Google and see what devices are still connected to my account. Though they're not logged on, they are still in the list and that can be alarming when it has gone to a new home. This morning I looked in Amazon to see what was still connected and the old phone and a couple of long-gone Fire tablets still showed up (no activity). Amazon has several categories of offerings that can have your devices (books, films, shopping app, etc.)

I was able to use my PayPal account to generate the shipping label for the phone purchaser with her new address, then eBay let me add that outside purchase tracking number to the sale. That's handy - that option wasn't there last time I shipped something without using the eBay shipping center (it has been a while). The PayPal/ShipStation link works if you have a PayPal account and gives you a good discount, comparable to what eBay does. Much cheaper to use this (choose create new label, it won't have a list of things from your business, the way it's set up) than paying online to ship USPS or UPS. (I have that link bookmarked because I can never actually find it on the PayPal site itself. I stumbled upon it in a discussion somewhere and have carefully kept track of and have it saved several places.)

We have an overcast day today and more forecast with a mid-week arrival of rain. Indoor activities ahead, starting with making the next batch of granola. This time I am modifying the recipe to have less old fashioned dry oats in proportion to the nuts and seeds (the keto versions out there look pretty awful, so I'll go low-carb still, not no-carb). Another recipe to add to the MyFitnessPal list (and I learned ages ago to name the recipe in such a way so I know which version and how much is a portion, because it doesn't show up when you log it later unless it is in the name itself.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 28 Apr 24 - 02:51 PM

Since the start of the pandemic I've been using FreeTaxUSA to do my very simple and straightforward taxes. Technically I don't even need to file (my only actual income is Social Security and a wee bit of interest on bank accounts), but I need the return to file for Low to Moderate Income Property Tax Refund, fuel assistance, and electric assistance.

My tax prep online takes less than ten minutes. It takes longer for me to find the documentation that I put in a safe place (but which safe place was it?).

They, of course, have various levels of service, but all I need is the free one.

TurboTax is obnoxious. I looked around the website once and now they bombard me with emails in the runup to tax time.

Linn


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Apr 24 - 10:08 PM

The dogs and I went for a walk before dinner to examine the flotsam that lodged in the bridge rails when the creek flowed across the bridge and up the street during last night's storms (that I slept through). The creek out of its banks in my back yard left a high tide mark on the grass and the weeds were laid low and it finally took out the tree at the back of the back yard. It is still attached to the bank but now trails limbs into the creek and is full of trash it filtered out of the water. The girls loved sniffing around out there while I snapped a few photos.

Several boxes in good sizes arrived this week so the best use of them is to find suitable eBay items to list (and hopefully ship soon). I've promised a couple of items to friends who need devices that are probably stashed in the front room, and I think tomorrow is time to put on a dust mask and wade in to organize the contents.

In the bedroom I'm still working with layers (adding and removing) as the weather changes. The kitchen is freshly stocked with avocados ("good fats") and fruit (not keto, but I'll count the carbs carefully and try to keep them to fruit, not grains) after a trip to Costco. The sewing room is about to get a refresh; the horizontal surfaces need clearing and I think storage containers can be rearranged.

Tonight, before I step away from the blue light of the computer monitor and other screens, one more item gets listed on eBay. I have the perfect box for it.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Apr 24 - 11:47 AM

The security gate (a generally vertical pattern with glass panels inside) is locked but the front door is open with a small eBay parcel in view on the sill to hand over to the mail carrier when he comes by. With the door ajar the dogs noticed my oddball walking guy neighbor headed down the road (in the street this time) and they dutifully barked at him. Their message was "and STAY there!" (though I swear I heard Pepper bark "and your little dog, too!")

USPS just came by and the box is handed over. I can average $100-200 a month with eBay, good for paying a couple of bills, so I need to remind myself of that to keep going.

The dog paraphernalia (huge training pads, wraps for large male dogs) needs to be offered on Freecycle to clear them from the den coffee table that sits in front of the big TV. Next month my regular elderly house guest (who turns 90 in a couple of weeks) will be here and we use that table (that came from her house about 18 years ago when she moved to Arizona) to put our feet on it if we watch NetFlix (which is a part of our routine). The big (to me) TV is 42" - some of the sets I see at Costco these days are almost double that. But this plasma screen is good and has tons of ports for plugging in my devices. My friend moved back to Texas just before COVID and lives with her oldest son, figuring staying here makes it easier on all of them as old as she is now.

We have been on the edge of the storm fronts moving through the lower midwest; it's humid and overcast today and Amazon's Alexa told me (after the fact, as usual) that heavy fog was in this morning's forecast. Tomorrow looks like a whopper of a rain event headed this way.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Apr 24 - 02:42 PM

The kid next door is mowing my grass. Spring is definitely here to stay.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Apr 24 - 06:46 PM

I'm not there yet, but one of these days I'll have a friend start mowing at least the front maybe every other week. I haven't made it easy with the way things are planted, there is no clear path/pattern around the yard, so if I hire someone I may have to simplify the landscaping a bit.

The answer to the gnats is - drumroll - a bag of potatoes that was going bad in a kitchen storage bin. Not enough to have a smell (that I detected, at any rate) but that was a breeding environment for the flies. They're in the trash can at the moment but when I get time I'll dig into the compost and bury them there. A couple might go into a bed to grow more potatoes. I have one bed, but could stand a couple more that would be harvested later.

I've rolled two of five log segments from where we left them last year when the big hackberry was cut down. I'm thinking one by the front door as a seat and to add to the blocks that conceal parcels delivered there. Maybe one for a pot by the side door, and the other three can be donated if someone is into the rustic seating look. They may need a winch or to wear a truss to lift the things; even after a year of "drying" they're still incredibly heavy.

Despite the forecast it has turned into a lovely sunny afternoon. And in the end of April it is 90o.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 30 Apr 24 - 02:06 PM

I have just finished unpacking a small but heavy plastic box that, since August 2017, has rested untouched on the bottom shelf of the main basement storage unit. My guess is that it was packed in 1998, when Edmund and I got married. I have *no* (repeat, no) idea of what to do with the contents.

Said contents? The debris of my father's study, and his father's before him.

No fewer than five sets of professional drawing instruments of the sort made obsolete by CAD technology. A Japanese pen case containing an opium pipe. A miniature boxed set of the Book of Common Prayer and Hymns Ancient and Modern dating from the reign of Queen Victoria, inscribed to my father's uncle Alfred. A box that once contained Laura Secord chocolates, now stuffed with loose Canadian medals from the Second World War and miscellaneous military and military-adjacent junk jewellery. A Victorian photo album from which the carte-de-visite-type photos have been removed. A tiny pocket diary dated 1842, the year my great-great-grandfather arrived in Montreal from London, with notes I can't read without strong light and a magnifier. The stamp with which *his* father sealed the port he imported to England from Portugal. A pair of Edwardian opera glasses in a sharkskin case, as good today as a century ago. The carved blocks of wood from which Granddad made a series of art prints of English scenes, using a Japanese technique. And so on.

Now what do I do? I am strongly tempted to pack them right back up again!


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