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DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024

Charmion's brother Andrew 30 Apr 24 - 06:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 Apr 24 - 06:37 PM
pattyClink 01 May 24 - 08:52 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 May 24 - 10:24 AM
Stilly River Sage 02 May 24 - 12:35 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 May 24 - 09:43 PM
Charmion 04 May 24 - 08:54 AM
Stilly River Sage 04 May 24 - 07:10 PM
pattyClink 04 May 24 - 09:51 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 May 24 - 11:45 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 May 24 - 01:29 PM
pattyClink 05 May 24 - 01:32 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 May 24 - 03:33 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 May 24 - 02:07 PM
Sandra in Sydney 06 May 24 - 05:27 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 May 24 - 10:54 AM
Charmion 07 May 24 - 11:07 AM
Sandra in Sydney 07 May 24 - 11:15 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 May 24 - 11:50 AM
Charmion 07 May 24 - 01:20 PM
Charmion 08 May 24 - 12:41 PM
pattyClink 08 May 24 - 09:27 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 May 24 - 09:30 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 May 24 - 09:49 PM
pattyClink 08 May 24 - 10:18 PM
Charmion 09 May 24 - 01:55 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 May 24 - 05:17 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 May 24 - 12:06 AM
pattyClink 10 May 24 - 10:37 AM
Stilly River Sage 10 May 24 - 11:01 AM
Stilly River Sage 10 May 24 - 02:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 May 24 - 05:54 PM
pattyClink 10 May 24 - 09:35 PM
keberoxu 11 May 24 - 09:48 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 May 24 - 12:45 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 May 24 - 10:49 AM
pattyClink 12 May 24 - 11:03 AM
Charmion 12 May 24 - 03:07 PM
Charmion 12 May 24 - 06:07 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 May 24 - 06:40 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 May 24 - 01:25 AM
Sandra in Sydney 13 May 24 - 09:31 AM
pattyClink 13 May 24 - 11:15 AM
Stilly River Sage 13 May 24 - 12:13 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 May 24 - 11:48 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 May 24 - 10:59 AM
Charmion 14 May 24 - 12:55 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 May 24 - 04:29 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 May 24 - 11:41 AM
Charmion 15 May 24 - 03:46 PM
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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 30 Apr 24 - 06:20 PM

Any idea whose gongs they might have been, Charmion?


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Apr 24 - 06:37 PM

You certainly hit the jackpot for unusual objects today, Charmion! I have some exotic objects that my parents collected in their younger days that would have been in a box like that here, if I had one (instead they're all over the house). Every so often I photograph one of those obscure items then use Google image search to identify what it is and decide if I want to sell it or send it to someone in the family.

I had RSVPed to go to an event this afternoon celebrating volunteers in a local garden program but I've gone so rarely lately I felt guilty about going and ended up staying home and listing eBay stuff. Now to make a run to my local garden center and get the gas for the tiller. I can make something productive out of this day. (I might save money going to a big box store for bagged gravel, but I don't have to lug it around at the corner nursery, they'll do the work for me once I point out what I want. That's worth paying a bit more, since trying to get Home Depot staff to do the same thing is possible but takes a lot longer.)

May Day tomorrow. We always used to make woven paper baskets and pick a couple of the gorgeous rhodys in the yard to place in them, then hang them on the doorknob, ring the bell, and hide when Mom answered the door. She was always so surprised (good acting?) I have no idea how we got started doing that, and my children never learned the routine.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: pattyClink
Date: 01 May 24 - 08:52 AM

Brainstorming what to do with the treasure trove? Well, there are people who collect the obsolete drawing instruments, so those might go to Ebay.

A local history museum curator might be interested in the journal, and help you get a readable print of the contents.

The little bits might do well in a shadow box display. (Tape notes on the back as to who owned what when).


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 May 24 - 10:24 AM

Nice! eBay is a good place for those people who collect ephemera and more from their particular field of work. Years ago I sold some family artifacts such as a lovely but very large bakelite case hearing aid, bought by a guy who works with the modern equipment but wanted to display the historic items. I'll put a couple of photos of the hearing aid on the FB page.

This morning I need to harvest a bunch of the oregano down by the curb that must be trimmed back from the street (and I've run out of dried oregano in the kitchen). It's perfect now, good leaf growth and hasn't flowered yet. It dries in just a few days then I'll store it in a vacuum sealed jar (my trick of putting the jar and lid inside the FoodSaver vacuum canister and drawing out the air - it seals the jar inside. Repeat.)

The gravel and gas were both retrieved yesterday so I can mix the small can for the tiller and run that this morning. I no longer till the whole garden area, I make a path through the part of the bed I want to plant, rake out the weed roots, plant, and once my crops are tall enough I pay less attention to trimming back the surrounding weeds. I have to move some cannas to their intended bed (and should till on that side of the house also).

It's time to make a recycling run; I now take over glass, cardboard, paper, and metal but trash the plastic. No one is recycling it so I might as well save them a step of sorting it out.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 May 24 - 12:35 PM

Two generous handfuls of oregano stems are hanging to dry in the kitchen and as they wilt down I'll pick a couple more and pace myself so I don't have to use a lot of space for drying or move the operation to the greenhouse. What I harvested so far is from the far front of the yard, but I have a pot and another patch (in with the garlic and onions). After herb harvest the front yard was mowed and I mowed next door after checking with them. He had cataract surgery last week and isn't supposed to do much lifting or pushing for a couple of more weeks (second eye gets done on Monday). This is paying forward all of the mows that have happened on the north side of my driveway when the neighbor on my other side mows their front yard.

Earlier this week I listed the tree bole segments on our Freecycle group. There was an email this morning asking for all three and we have discussed an evening pickup (after work). He's bringing a pickup, good choice. I have a stiff muscle in my back, I think yesterday's mowing is the reason (I was shifting the mower around and pulled a lot of clinging vines off of shrubs as I passed by). I'll let the guy pick up the log chunks on his own.

No response yet to the dog continuity stuff, so I'll list it on FB also.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 May 24 - 09:43 PM

The stump pieces are still in the driveway, the guy who asked for them never came over. It didn't help that there was a spam attack on that site, where bots somehow joined a whole bunch of groups and posted phishing crap. I'll put the rest of the stuff on the FB page.

The big freezer is looking good these days as I manage to draw down the contents. It doesn't need to be empty, but it needs space as the time comes to freeze some of the garden produce. I added two ice cube trays of fresh guacamole to the side-by-side freezer this evening (made from a bag of six avocados from Costco - it helps that they ripen simultaneously).

Last night I got to the gym and the knees feel better today. I have to return to a more frequent schedule. The drive isn't too bad if I have a couple of things to do while I'm out. And the drive is even nicer now that the SUV is paid off; the title arrived in the mail today.

Dog appointments in the near future, as they get annual checkups and shots. I have a couple of appointments to make for myself also.

Thunder is moving in now so time to save and turn off the computer.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 04 May 24 - 08:54 AM

Paying off debt is the best declutter ever.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 May 24 - 07:10 PM

A run to the discount grocery today resulted in lots of good veggies for the upcoming week. I got more of the lower-carb items I've wanted (though I did splurge and buy one chocolate bar).

Part of the day was spent doing deep cleaning in the kitchen, the kind that involves moving things that usually stay in one place on the counter to clean under and behind. I'll work my way around from the kitchen to the dining area as I begin the preparations for guests next week.

Did you decide to do anything with the parental items in that box, Charmion? Or is it packed and put away until later?

More rain tonight. The weeds are growing fast and large. The daylilies are now blooming but I need to pull the tall grass away so they can be seen. The snail seed vines are climbing everything. Ugg.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: pattyClink
Date: 04 May 24 - 09:51 PM

A big day, and it turned out to be really hot and sweaty. Packed 1000 pounds of stuff in the little cargo trailer. Hot, sunny, humid, first over-90 degree weather of the season. I almost slid through the whole project with good spring weather, but it got me on my last day . I know it's just another day gardening in the subtropics to SRS, but I'm not used to this stuff any more; when I'm outdoors it's usually in drier cooler places and on my own timetable.

There was more than enough room for lots more boxes, but, the weight limit intervened. So had to leave the densest boxes for the second run, gather up all the light stuff I could, and try to get it full enough to not slide around; even put in some empty bins. Lots of panicky moments; one of those things you can't stop and finish tomorrow--once you start, you're in it for good; dripping sweat and anxiety or not.

Made it to a mega gas station to rehydrate with a giant drink and large slurpee, then on to a pull through in Vicksburg for tonight; got in a swim, not sure I have ever appreciated an unheated little pool more!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 May 24 - 11:45 PM

Stay safe out there, Patty! You'll sleep well tonight! Heavy weather is going over the top of us right now so it may reach you by dawn. I'm assuming you piled the heaviest stuff at the tongue end of the trailer and over the axles, but even that won't save you in a windstorm, so have a leisurely breakfast if the storm is there when you get up. Good luck with a stable load for your entire drive!

Two items spoken for on the FB page tonight, messages sent and hopefully two bags of dog supplies will leave the front porch tomorrow. The stumps have me stumped for now, sitting on the side of the driveway.

One unhappy blue heeler is panting a puddle of slobber on the floor behind my computer chair as this storm goes overhead. I've stopped trying to put the ThunderShirt on, it really needs to go on ahead of the storm to be effective.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 May 24 - 01:29 PM

Last night it rained hard and long with lots of thunder and another puddle in the den in one corner. I'm not sure how it gets in, following some chink in the bricks.

It was forecast to rain all night, so after other recent rains I took precautions at bedtime. My handbag usually rests on a bar stool in the kitchen - force of habit so I always know where it is - but last night I brought it into the bedroom to grab if needed. And I slept in enough clothes that if I had to slip into shoes and head out of the house I could. The dog leashes were nearby. Since I was prepared water didn't even flow out of the creek banks (unlike earlier in the week when I slept through a small flood over the bridge and up into the lower end of the back yard). The cumulative rainfall is the problem; the ground is saturated. During the week a crew from the village cut the branches out of the bridge rails and hauled some of the debris up from the concrete supports so there was less likelihood of an inadvertent dam.

The first porch pickup of dog gear is soon, the second later in the day. With that arrangement I don't need to watch for anyone (my doorbell doesn't work) or avoid making noise so I don't hear a knock. And I don't need to struggle past the dogs to open the door. I'm going to be mopping (more muddy footprints!) and vacuuming ahead of a guest here soon.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: pattyClink
Date: 05 May 24 - 01:32 PM

Yes, awful weather through Louisiana and east Texas today,might as well stay off the road til tomorrow! I planned the route and stops but did not lock in which days, for this very reason.

Yes, the heavy stuff is in the front and center. It was difficult fitting little stuff into the v-front. Had I known I had extra space to work with, I could have just ignored filling that in. Oh well.

This is my first time towing a trailer with no brake controller or sway bars, so I am taking it easy. Luckily I can see the trailer with my high rear camera, which is a big help. So far no sway, and the front did not go down after loading, which means I don't have too much weight on the tongue. Bless the good hitch mechanic who got me ready to go, he even adjusted the latches so they weren't too difficult to operate.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 May 24 - 03:33 PM

Patty, having extra room in the trailer means everything is low, so not top-heavy. Better for driving. No trailer brakes? That does make for a different kind of drive. I just looked at the weather map, it looks like Vicksburg is getting the last of this storm right now.

One parcel picked up, the other delayed since the recipient has apparently injured her ankle and is heading to the ER for an X-ray. There isn't a rush, she can pick it up during the week.

A few eBay items revised (price). The goal is to sell them without giving them away so I start with what seems the the higher end of the prices I'm seeing in sold items. Dropping it a couple of dollars from there is often all it takes to get them to move.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 May 24 - 02:07 PM

I pulled a leather handbag out of the closet to list on eBay; it still has the tags and is one I got on clearance at DSW. I think I'm mostly past my leather-handbag-phase, though they are lovely. I have a few for special occasions (lately for everyday use I'm using a tough green $20 messenger bag I bought on 14th Street in Manhattan years ago when I was in town and hadn't packed the size bag I needed.)

The woman with the ankle injury is in a boot and using a knee roller. She lives nearby in an apartment location I've always wondered about (on top of a bluff on the west side of town) so I'll drop off the dog pads tomorrow and step over to the viewpoint she described next to her building and take a look.

Plans are in place for the 90-year-old house guest. She will arrive on Mother's Day and stay three nights (always subject to change). The following Sunday is a birthday brunch on the far northeast side of Dallas to which my ex and I will carpool. I've already calculated a route that will let me avoid driving through town. I have this week to finish clearing surfaces, dust, mop, make the bed in the guest room and get my sewing room set up with a guest chair because she has a project she's bringing along.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 06 May 24 - 05:27 PM

I'm going to have an odd day today. In a bit over an hour our electricity goes out - from 8am - 6pm - a lovely electrician who I met last week when he was doing preliminary work is upgrading our switchboards. They were state of the art in 1978/79 when this building went from rentals to sale.

Residents who go out to work will hardly notice, those of us who spend more time at home will be trying to do stuff in daylight rather than inadequate ceiling lights & desk lamps will be heading out. I do have a good strong torch I can use for a while, maybe even all day. Unfortunately the Library does not open till 10, I don't have a smart phone so can only text or call friends, especially the one who I have some stuff for, I do hope she will will be home.

No computer, I could try to clean up (shock! horror!!) but will call a few friends & take my current craft projects & my current book & head out asap.

eek, I just noticed the time, almost 7.30 & I need my shower!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 May 24 - 10:54 AM

Sandra, I hope you got your shower before the lights went out!

Yesterday I made a large batch of a squash (zucchini type - calabash or calabacita) casserole with lots of tomato, onion and bell pepper, all good lower-carb veggies. Also a handful of rotini pasta, but it isn't a very large proportion of the dish (it's nice for the shape and color). I have cooked beets in the fridge also, and fresh broccoli and cabbage for later in the week. The brain health folks seem to like the darker color veggies, berries, and fatty fish. I can work with all of this. It looks like if I simply get more fruit and vegetables and fewer bread and pasta dishes I'll accomplish my lower-carb goals.

I've taken a look at the sewing machine table I want to convert for using with a different machine and cut a cardboard template to work with as I plan. It looks like before I'm finished the router will get unpacked (and will make many trial runs before I actually touch the wood of the table). I have to countersink a hinge on one side and extend the support piece on the other. Glue and screws will also come into play, along with sanding and stain. I may at some point as myself if it is worth all the work.

This month I have re-joined a couple of good groups like the League of Women Voters and Southern Poverty Law Center and made donations as we head into a political year. I need to put a box for junk mail beside the front door because it is going to start pouring in. Even the good groups sell their donor lists.

It's still humid and the ground is soggy after last week's rain, making it too soon to till. Maybe tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 07 May 24 - 11:07 AM

DSW? Is that a vendor of high-end clothing and accessories that are no longer quite the latest thing? For me, yet another business to avoid.

My monthly expenses have taken a nose-dive since I stopped eating in restaurants (except my weekly bacon fix at the diner), and impulsively shopping for clothes and household stuff. Deleting the Ebay application from my iPad has probably saved me several hundred bucks by now, and I sure don't miss restaurant staff who address all patrons as "guys" and can't pronounce the French and Italian names of dishes on their menus.

I'm no minimalist, God knows, but these days some aspects of my lifestyle have a distinctly stripped-down look.

One area where I am not cutting back is music and things with which to make it. The other day, I swapped a five-string banjo I don't play for a mandolin that I will play when it has had a bit of TLC from a luthier. Now I have to find a luthier who won't mind working on a mandolin -- the guy who did my last instrument rehab job has gone and moved across the province to a tiny village in the Ottawa Valley, between Algonquin Park and the Petawawa military reserve.

The ancestral doohickeys are still spread out on the basement work table and most of them will almost certainly end up in another box. There's an interesting Victorian container that once held hair-dressing based on bear grease that could probably attract some antiquarian interest: it's a glass bottle in a tight-fitting case made of steam-bent wood. And the drawing instruments could probably find new homes, if and when I get around to marketing them. But the rest? No clue.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 07 May 24 - 11:15 AM

yes!

& I also did a bit of cleaning up (well done, me!) & read for a while using my torch. My ceiling light is an old family flycatcher light of frosted glass & even with a strong bulb is never enough light for reading or sewing. My bedroom faces north & gets some lovely sun mid morning, but I can't work or read there. I also spent a few hours in the library selecting books, & embroidering until my neighbour texted the lights were back on at 5.30


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 May 24 - 11:50 AM

No, DSW is a normal new name brand shoe store but they do have a great clearance section. And they sell handbags, belts, socks, the usual shoe store stuff. I've spent less time there since COVID, and my personal policy of only buying new shoes when one of the current pair is beyond wearing in polite company still leaves me with a good array of shoes, most aren't worn much. When they send coupons I often use them for socks for women in larger size (daughter wears size 10 shoes so women's "one size fits all" are way stretched out. There are a few brands of larger women's socks and finding mens socks that have interesting colors or designs is another approach.) She's accustomed to getting socks for xmas as a family tradition and it seems that she uses them or she'd tell me she has enough.

Regarding your note about eliminating the eBay app, an interesting read this morning from The New Yorker called The British Museum’s Blockbuster Scandals
While facing renewed accusations of cultural theft, the institution announced that it had been the victim of actual theft—from someone on the inside.
There is a paywall but they usually give you four free articles a month if you don't subscribe. As far as I've read so far, there was insider theft going on in uncataloged collections of ancient carved glass cameos and intaglios that were undersold on eBay (probably to attract less attention and make it appear that the seller was unaware of what they had, to keep buyers coming back for more bargains from an apparently inept heir of a former collector's estate).


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 07 May 24 - 01:20 PM

I read that article yesterday — I’m a subscriber. (Digital subscriptions don’t result in stacks of half-read magazines!

Museum and library staff are typically underpaid, and not all have the fortitude to keep their hands off the valuables when they believe that they’ll never get caught.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 08 May 24 - 12:41 PM

A load of glassware has left the building, gone to Goodwill. Eight German hock glasses, eight or nine (I forget) dram glasses, six sherbet dishes, two stemless claret glasses, several shot glasses, some snifters ... You get the idea. Enough to fill a wine box (two per slot) and an old file box.

A set of Bohemian crystal wine glasses inherited from my Dad have been packed up in the basement since ... um ... summer 2017. To the question "Am I ready to dispose of these?" the honest answer was No, so something else had to go. In the end, easy-peasy.

As of this morning, I have lost 4.6 Kg since 7 April, which is a hair over 10 pounds in 30 days. My space-age scale tells me that the proportion of fat to other, um, components of my body is slowly decreasing, which is much to be desired.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: pattyClink
Date: 08 May 24 - 09:27 PM

Well done on the weight loss Charmion!!

Only one day's drive left on my hauling journey. It has gone fairly well, found a decent new campground near Tyler, good host who decided to pursue clean leaving running an RV park instead of a sports bar.

Undeserving, I have been spared all the waves of stormy weather; either they pass to the north or clip me with a few overnight sprinkles. Some tough driving and detours, but can't complain too much. Enjoyed the 'wide open spaces' of western Texas, and now in New Mexico near Carlsbad. Snagged the last pull-through at Brantley Lake State Park. My site features a lovely ramada with a small tree with pink blossoms, seems to be a desert willow. Fun to see flowers I don't normally see when visiting the SW in winter.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 May 24 - 09:30 PM

Good work on the glasses, Charmion! I have to move forward on eBay with the glass stuff I have here or maybe do a garage sale. A friend of mine needs to sell some stuff, so if I plan one I'll let him know and he can join me in the driveway.

The process of turning off the computer and other screens an hour or two before bedtime seems to be helping both my sleep and mood. And I'm reading more books now (reading a book on paper at bedtime in addition to audiobooks at the gym.) Win/win.

Today was a big push to clear out brush in the back yard. The kennel hadn't been trimmed for ages and was full of tall grass and hackberry seedlings, and I trimmed around the yard edges before mowing. I need to order a replacement for the housing for the line spool on my gas trimmer, it has a couple of loose parts I'm tired of putting back every time I refill it. And note to self - less is more when it comes to the line. Overfill the spool and it's harder to operate.

I also cleared out grass in the bricks next to the patio and moved the last two pieces of the tree taken out last year. They're on the patio and may later be moved elsewhere for pots to sit on. Tomorrow I'll mow the front.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 May 24 - 09:49 PM

I agree with Patty - congratulations on the weight, Charmion! Patty, if you were in Tyler you may have passed within about three blocks of my house on your way west. Did you take I-20 west or did you veer north or south on state highways at Tyler to avoid the metroplex? (I've had to drive through the area with trailers a couple of times, getting up before dawn to get through town when everyone else is sleeping.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: pattyClink
Date: 08 May 24 - 10:18 PM

I can't handle I-20 through DFW, I go WAY around that whole metro.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 09 May 24 - 01:55 PM

To the dentist today. Usually an irritating experience, something like being nibbled to death by ducks, the cleaning phase this time was painless and took only about ten minutes, including all the faffing about. Apparently the chronic mild gingivitis I have endured for 20 years has up and gone — yet another benefit of the very-low-carb lifestyle. Likewise, it’s been weeks since I last felt so much as a twinge from my lower gut, which is behaving impeccably.

I’m not quite at the stage of shopping for smaller trousers, but it won’t be long.

Towing a heavy trailer through Texas is the sort of activity that features in my occasional nightmares. Patty is whole hell of a lot braver than I’ll ever be.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 May 24 - 05:17 PM

I felt great yesterday but today am feeling the effects of allergies. The yardwork kicked up a lot of dust with the trimmer and I should have worn a mask to keep the pollen out. A meeting happening right now is being recorded, so I'll listen to that later and catch up for some museum work. Acetaminophen is finally kicking in (and I could use a nap). It looks like stormy weather on the way tonight (high humidity and heavy dark overcast this afternoon).

One more item listed today on eBay and next I'll pick out a different category (probably a vintage VHS player). I should also look at some of the collectible glass (Depression glass) but send photos to the kids and sibs first to see if they want any of it.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 May 24 - 12:06 AM

We were under a tornado watch this afternoon and it got quite dark as storms moved past a bit to the south. Humidity was extreme for a few hours. I'll be able to mow tomorrow since it didn't rain today (I was going to mow this morning but got sidetracked). The threat was enough to remind me that I really need to replace the dead Radio Shack weather radio, so I chose one that combines the old NOAA announcements with something new (S.A.M.E.) that can be programmed for various events and locations (since our bad weather typically comes from the SW, I would add in a couple of counties to the SW in the range of alerts it gives me).


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: pattyClink
Date: 10 May 24 - 10:37 AM

Hope the allergies calm down soon for you, SRS. I know that feeling where your sinuses are just so inflamed you have to use naprosyn or something just to get them to calm down, never mind the other symptoms.

Made it to destination after a bit of gear-grinding over a few mountain ranges. Glad that was on the back end after getting used to towing the caboose. Enjoying standing still now, but lots of washing and cleaning awaits.

And, how lovely to have cool pleasant evenings to walk or sit outside; in winters it's nippy here after dark, and back in the South it's still humid and buggy all night. I'm in a fool's paradise til the summer sun starts blazing, but meanwhile it's looking good!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 May 24 - 11:01 AM

The new weather radio arrived overnight. It came with a several page booklet of instructions so I'll familiarize myself with the basics then adjust to add extra counties to the southwest if it seems necessary. NOAA takes into account direction of travel and usually mentions the adjacent county weather activity.

The yard. Where to start. Throwing pulled weeds from the garden beds onto the turf means they can be mulched in when I mow. Free woody mulch from the city helps keep the weeds down once the beds are cleared. I use contractor heavy-mil bags that are robust enough to handle the dense mulch (and be refilled several times). I overfill them making them hard to move. Do I have the discipline to not do that so they are more movable, or should I look for smaller heavy duty bags to prevent myself from overfilling the bigger bags? It doesn't hurt if I end up with more bags. (At the mulch bunker I fill each bag part way before loading them onto a tarp in the SUV, then I use a 15-gallon tub to carry more to top off each bag.) It was easier when I had a truck. I did bring home several smaller bags of gravel last week and could reuse those.

Meanwhile, there are metal"eyelet" type things in the heavy duty composite head piece that the trimmer strings feed through on the gas trimmer. They keep popping out of place. Before I order a new head piece for the stringer line I'll use some Gorilla glue and see if that will keep the eyelets where they belong for a while longer.

All of this, of course, because I should really be indoors dusting, mopping, and more for a house guest arriving on Sunday.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 May 24 - 02:20 PM

Patty, are you at a higher elevation in New Mexico for the summer? I've challenged my truck and SUV brakes on several occasions in that state - such as driving down from Bandolier, where there is one pass that smells like burned rubber near the bottom if you're following folks who are riding their brakes. (Years ago I worked in the Great Smoky Mountains where we talked to people about how to drive over the pass from Sugarlands to Clingman's Dome and down into North Carolina, suggesting they downshift the automatic to LOW to avoid some of that). I would not want to make any of those drives without separate brakes on the trailer! Like Charmion says, that is a thing of nightmares.

Last night I practiced another of the techniques I've been exploring for "crumb quilting," and have concluded that while some folks say "don't trim the crumbs, use them as they are," the offcuts from mask making have a couple of unusual angles that don't lend themselves well to piecing. I'll set up the rotary cutter and ruler and straighten some of these and see if I can't get a broader mix of colors in my test samples.

I thought I'd get smart and see if the public library has any DVDs of some of the PBS programs (Best of Sewing with Nancy, Love of Quilting by Fons and Porter), etc. that I want to use for techniques and ideas, but mostly they have print books. (Go figure!) One has an e-magazine that I could check out on the tablet to use in the sewing room. When I narrow the search to electronic results it shows murder mysteries with sewing and quilting in the title. There are quite a few! I'm trying to get out of the magazines on paper routine, there is too much paper around here already.

The time has come to start researching Internet providers. The two-year discount I'd forgotten I set up with Spectrum is running out in June and the bill will jump. Considering the improvement in speed and the advent of fiber optic in the neighborhood (and they say they won't raise the price) I may have to reconsider AT&T. Ugg.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 May 24 - 05:54 PM

After about 90 minutes of weeding and trimming there is a lot of stuff lying on the turf to wilt down overnight before I mow tomorrow. I rolled the three stump pieces closer to the curb and will take them off of the pages where I offered them. Starting this evening anyone driving by who wants them may take them (or they'll go in the trash on Monday).

A couple of prescriptions are ready this afternoon but I'll get them tomorrow morning. My pharmacy is in an Albertson's, and depending on the neighborhood the stores have different offerings. This is a small store an a well-heeled neighborhood and they usually have a good selection of high end steaks in the 50% off bin, but not this late in the day. I load up then use the FoodSaver to seal and freeze them.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: pattyClink
Date: 10 May 24 - 09:35 PM

I'm on flat land but at 4000' elevation, in the Basin and Range where the mountains are discrete units you can avoid unless you want to go explore them. But, one does not get here without going through a few remnants of the Rockies. I do plan carefully to avoid twisty roads with too-high grades, such as the road through Cloudcroft. The nearby one that goes through Ruidoso is a much better bet. I don't recall the Bandelier one, but Flaming Gorge is one route I'll not take willingly again.

My vehicle can quickly be switched to manual gearing, 6 of them, so it's a little more work to go through mountains but works fine. As far as braking, I studied up on that. One starts a downgrade at 45 mph no matter how angry those behind get, then stay in the right gear for your speed, and 'surge brake'; firmly but briefly brake now and then to keep your speed down, then coast a while, then surge brake again. Never just ride the brakes. When people have to do that they are either hauling too much weight for their engine, transmission and brakes, or they started the grade at or over the speed limit, and then quickly get out of control.

Honestly, I love driving the open road, though not crazy about mountain driving. To me, nightmare driving is anywhere that I am in city or construction gridlock or have to sit through the same light 4 times in a row. I just want to crawl through the windshield and get out of there.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 May 24 - 09:48 AM

pattyClink, I lived in New Mexico for over ten years.
I visited the Bandelier National Monument a few times.
It is near Los Alamos, if you ever passed that way.

Right now my apartment is basically a very expensive form of storage.
I am going slowly with the decluttering.
I even signed a new lease with an increase in rent,
just so I would not have to rush to get the decluttering done.

A lot of stuff in the apartment has to go,
I probably can't keep it where I will end up next.
So I am looking at ways to donate it instead.
Then there are all the papers headed for the trash.
That one takes time as the papers have to be sorted first.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 May 24 - 12:45 PM

Patty, I haven't nailed it down precisely, but there is a large roadcut on NM Highway 4 between Jemez and Bandolier, in the Valles Caldera area, right before a picnic area, where I stop to pick up chunks of obsidian when I'm on my way through. It's on public land, at one time it was National Forest but since then I think the land was added to the Valles Caldera National Preserve. I found a 2021 article about the general distribution of obsidian in the Jemez area. Rhyolite and obsidian are the focus of this map and article. Here's an NPS report about the Valles Grandes history that might be a long evening of reading. When I drove through in the past it was still the Santa Fe National Forest, now it's the new NPS site. Still, picking up rocks on the highway would probably go unnoticed. This account from a blogger who went collecting in the caldera (from 2012). NPS rules - look, don't keep. But they aren't searching cars or people, is my guess. It's not like Petrified Forest where they do sometimes search vehicles. Anyway, as large as the Jemez obsidian range is, you should be able to find USFS or other land where you can pick up some. This document from the American Geophysical Union website says
Obsidian is pretty common in the Jemez Mountains, particularly in the Banco Bonito rhyolite. Once you leave the Valles Caldera (a National Preserve), you’re in the Santa Fe National Forest; casual rock collecting is allowed, as long as you’re not carting off massive amounts of material (no more than a bucket per day). The best place to find bits you can legally collect is in the East Fork of the Jemez River, which you can get to using the Las Conchas trail.

(I should also say "stop me if you've heard this before" - I know we've talked about rocks and places to pick them up.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 May 24 - 10:49 AM

The morning is heavily overcast. Mother's Day is a sodden one for any folks with plans to brunch on restaurant patios. I need to do more garden work but not till after lunch; I put off some of the cleaning until this morning and am going so far as to move furniture before using that squeegee thing for pet hair on tile floors then mopping as I prepare for my houseguest who arrives after dinner with her grandkids.

The amount of hair and dirt has diminished remarkably since March when the old Labrador retriever passed and I'm still realizing (and remarking on) how much of the mud and dirt and HAIR was his alone.

Other chores for today - boxes need to be flattened in the sunroom hall and a bench I'm going to put back where I first kept it (beside the door for changing shoes or setting packages upon entering). And I need to decide about the glider swing that is indoors now but should probably go out on a covered porch. The little dog has adopted it as her own and I'm sure she'll follow and use it wherever it ends up.

Cooking. I'll make some muffins or bread as a welcome, and plan to not eat many of them as I continue the low-carb diet. My yeast dinner rolls with a slice of fried sausage are awfully hard to resist, but would be a great quick breakfast.

Mother's Day is another greeting card holiday but we use it for the excuse to call or go out for a meal (in close proximity to the actual Sunday if not on the day). Have a good one, all of you who celebrate it! (The gardening I put off is to pick up a few bedding plants - there might be a Mom Day sale at the neighborhood nursery so I'll go over when I finish the floors.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: pattyClink
Date: 12 May 24 - 11:03 AM

keb, I sympathize, it is so time consuming to fish through paper stuff and get it purged. Sometimes it's straightforward shredding, sometimes it's a long trip down memory lane, it's tough. I'm still glad I was never a 'just throw every thing away, immediately' person. There are treasures to me in some of these boxes of stuff.

As we age, a lot of these 'keepers' need to be ditched or passed on. Photographing and scanning helps me to keep the image or the words and lose the poundage.

Thanks both of you for the info on Bandelier area. Those are good papers and they are bookmarked for next trip up that way.   I'm not really looking to collect rocks in general. I'm more targeting microcrystals which usually grow in vugs in rocks, usually in old mines or tailings piles.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 12 May 24 - 03:07 PM

I have had more than my life’s share of sorting and purging papers, starting with my mother’s, then my Dad’s, and finally my husband’s. All three of them were terrible packrats, hanging onto letters and photographs, legal documents dating back to the dawn of time, and every manner of brochure, pamphlet, guidebook, catalogue — if it was ephemeral, they stashed it lovingly.

Me, not so much.

After Edmund died, I had to empty his office and dispose appropriately of his client files and work notes. It was the depth of winter and the shank of the pandemic, before the first vaccines, so I was stuck in the house anyway. I eventually burned, shredded, or scrapped (depending on sensitivity) the entire contents of four full filing cabinets. I don’t miss any of it.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 12 May 24 - 06:07 PM

The entire afternoon has been given over to cleaning upstairs — the music room and my bedroom. The bedroom needed the whole route march, bed yanked across the floor, rug tossed out, and bales of cat hair rounded up with the silicone broom before I could damp-mop the hardwood floor and dust the baseboards. I probably missed a spiderweb on the ceiling, but I’m done for the day. Plus, my back hurts.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 May 24 - 06:40 PM

Ah, yes! Squeegee thing = Silicon broom. It got a workout today. No text warning yet but we're at the "any time now" arrival of my friend. The guest room is ready, the hall bathroom is clean with an extra glass for dentures, etc. A batch of bread pudding is cooling (for dessert or a decadent breakfast) and rolls are rising. This is the carbs for guests menu. If she is true to form, there will be a restaurant to-go container with part of her dinner to stash in the fridge.

Much of the afternoon has been pouring rain and my new weather radar radio did a loud squawk, announced possible small creek flooding, then turned off. Exactly what I wanted. Looking out front at the green wet yard with a burst of orange daylilies inches from the office window. Since I've been mopping the heat pump is cooling low (for me - 72!) to pull moisture off the floors before I adjust it up again. The hall outside the office is clearer with a bench moved and boxes flattened. Having guests helps you see the house through others' eyes. I see a house the needs a lot of work, but it will do for now.

The dogs tell me it is dinner time but they are 22 minutes early and their bowls are in the running dishwasher.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 May 24 - 01:25 AM

You know all of that time and work I spent mopping and scrubbing the floor in the den today? Cookie undid it in a matter of seconds Sunday night by getting skunked then running into the house to try to roll or rub it off. On rugs and dog beds and drooled everywhere (it sprayed her right in the mouth.)

God damned dog.

The skunk is still in the garage. I left the door a few inches after moving the SUV out. I blocked the dog door into the back end of the garage (after Cookie pushed through the defective dog door cover I put in place and got herself trapped in there again with the skunk.) I have a hose with hard spraying nozzle that I'll deploy tomorrow if need be. I had to do this once before, in about 2006, when Cinnamon and Poppy cornered a skunk in the garage.

I have a house guest who may want to leave first thing in the morning.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 13 May 24 - 09:31 AM

let us all sing 'when will they ever learn' to Cookie!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: pattyClink
Date: 13 May 24 - 11:15 AM

Oh no, a skunk invasion and undone floor cleaning! Yikes what a day. Hope your guest has a great sense of humor.

I ventured out to drive by a couple of homes for sale yesterday. I was prepared for them to be weird. The first one was actually shockingly serene with great views, though burdened by a second dwelling that 'needs a lot of work'. But, a mile on gravel roads in and out every time you leave the house? Maybe if I already had a jeep, but not when my daily driver is a motorhome. Wish I had grown up in the country, it might seem more do-able.

The second one also had an enviable set of views and ready access to the Florida Mtns, the Tres Hermanas Mtns, and Mexico. I walked the fence line, discovering the property has a big concrete billboard advertising a hot springs 50 miles north of there; I'm guessing it's 70 years old. The reverse advertises a pet B&B with an arrow pointing to the property. Which has a series of dog pictures woven into the gate. Along with a hidden statue of a dog on a post. So, is the weird gutted nature of the house because it was used as a kennel, for heaven's sake??? Did the people who put in the nice Spanish door give up their renovation because the floors permanently stink?

But wait, there's more. HUGE piles of poo on the driveway and in a little grove of trampled tall reeds, almost like a standing nest. For wild burros? Roaming horses? There are barbed wire fences everywhere but this stuff is inside the house's fences. So if I moved in and spent months trying to get it livable, would I also be dealing with irate burros determined to keep their home in my yard? Have you ever heard these things hee-haw at your window at night? Talk about nightmares!

Just when you think the househunt has showed you every kind of weirdness imaginable, it gets weirder!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 May 24 - 12:13 PM

Patty, I think I would slowly back away from both of those houses, keeping your eye on them until you're in the vehicle with the doors locked. And check the backseat for any murderous stowaways.

It seems my house guest and my ex both have fairly impaired senses of smell. Neither of them finds the burned rubber acrid spots around the house to be a problem. Here I was thinking the only thing that could fix it is to burn the house down.

Last night I sprayed skunk odor remover on the floors, then when I couldn't sleep at about 3am and realized the dog had been coughing and snorting skunk stink out of her mouth as she moved through the house I needed to aim the enzyme spray at everything from about three feet down that she would have broadcast to. So I got up and walked through the house and did another spray. It did help, but we're a long way from good and I don't know if the skunk is out of the garage yet. I had the ex come over to pick up the friend, but she still wants to stay here until Thursday so they're out for the day while I get more supplies and a new mop (the old one died and no more "automatic" replacements heads for the self-wringing mop are available).

A plus for today is we set up a Zenni account for my friend and got her measurements and prescription entered with a pair of glasses she likes. She's comparing one place today in town then will decide to get those or order online. A pair of high-end progressive lenses in a light titanium frame for $175 - the in-person place would have to work really hard to beat that! (By the way, did you know that on your glasses Rx the OD is "Oculus dexter" for the right eye and "Oculus sinister" for the left? I get the left/sinister part. Dexter is apparently latin for "right." And here I thought it was just a good name for a dog.) :-/


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 May 24 - 11:48 PM

Poor Pepper - she was also skunked, but wasn't so obvious about it (was hit face and neck, not in the mouth like Cookie, about 10% of the hit by order of magnitude). This evening I've been spritzing her with the enzyme and checking back as it dries to see if she needs more. That answers part of the mystery of the moving skunk smell. Both of them had rabies and name tags on rolled leather collars that are now in the trash and will be replaced. I'll also drill new holes in flat nylon collars for the Invisible Fence devices (they wear those in the yard but are removed when we go for walks so they can cross the Invisible Fence boundary). And I have a couple of more beds to wash tomorrow, foam pad and all. The cover of one of the newest beds is out on the patio and still stinks to high heavens, even after a trip through the laundry and Odor Remover spray. I'll keep spraying it until the smell subsides. I'm sending a couple of sets of my clothes through the laundry after spraying them with the enzyme to knock out anything I picked up from the dogs. Before fixing dinner this evening I sprayed my hands front and back and let the enzyme dry, removing the smell there that kept surprising me if I touched my face, etc.

So far it has been an expensive week. Between picking up dog supplies all over town I picked up two 90-day prescriptions. Maybe Tuesday will be better.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 May 24 - 10:59 AM

The house is now a bunch of skunk hot-spots, as the general stench clears and the sources reveal themselves. New rolled collars arriving tomorrow and today I'll prepare the new flat collars to put on the Invisible Fence devices. (I have to drill two holes then use a match or lighter to singe the nylon edges to keep them from fraying.)

My friend is conducting business at the kitchen table, on hold with the manufacturer of her portable oxygen machine. It is over 10-years-old and finally stopped working and from what I hear she's having a new one shipped to my house overnight. Something tells me I'll start getting junk mail from a whole new set of sources after this. (In her late 70s she bought this thing with a lifetime warranty, and at 90 is replacing it, something the company probably doesn't have to do a lot of.)

Not much work getting done this week, and it has been a carb fest. We haven't pulled up Netflix to watch a movie yet, but have watched some of the Trump trial reporting. But wait! My friend's daughter and grandson called and are coming over to pick her up for the day, so I have a few things I can get done.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 14 May 24 - 12:55 PM

So much sympathy for the skunk situation! I imagine a major flea infestation, or perhaps a flood, might be worse, but not much else would do that much damage without taking down the entire house.

Keto continues to go well, with a surprising reduction in my grocery bill. The various things I eat tend to be expensive, but the range is not great and does not include any compulsion purchases (looking at you, ice cream) or restaurant meals.

I would not, however, recommend this regimen to anyone whose family life and/or social circle includes dining for pleasure. When I imagine Edmund's reaction to what constitutes supper for me these days, I know I would fall off the wagon immediately. "Is that really what you're having for lunch?"


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 May 24 - 04:29 PM

Thanks! In the world of household annoyances, I think bed bugs would be worse. A friend in New York City has occasional episodes in his apartment building and it sounds dreadful. I'll take skunk over that.

Pepper (Australian cattle dog/blue heeler) has a dense coat and apparent robust reserves of skunk in the area under the left side of her face and neck. Each time I massage in enzyme spray on her I have to soak my hands and let the spray dry or I smell it on me if I touch my face.

A box of the French cobalt Luminarc glasses sold and was handed over to the mail carrier this morning. eBay tells me that my 90-day sales total is ~$275. I bet I can push that higher.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 May 24 - 11:41 AM

We have a lunch appointment but before we leave the UPS driver has to bring a new oxygen machine and the box must be opened to receive the new device and the defective machine sent back in it. I think the driver has orders to that effect. We have a backup plan if the driver isn't timely (I'll stay and wait for the box and my ex will take the friend to lunch with our daughter). Hopefully by having a backup plan we won't need to deploy it (our inoculation against Murphy's Law).

I was ready to make the last big push but with guests and skunk cleaning this week there has been no chance to get caught up in the garden. I despair having good crops if it gets so hot again as last year.

On a different front, while sorting eBay electronics I pulled out a dual cassette player (a Sony big one - found at Goodwill a while back) to set up in my office next to the computer to start transferring my Dad's taped recordings into files in the computer. I'll test the player today. I have one that was his but one of the compartments doesn't open (it was forced open or shut and killed that mechanism). It's way past time to work on all of this, but I have the whole array - reel-to-reel, cassette, turntable and CD players here with a receiver if I need that to power any of them.

I'm here at the front of the house and nothing has come by but my friend just got a text that they attempted delivery. Not at this house they didn't. Great.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024
From: Charmion
Date: 15 May 24 - 03:46 PM

The Ministry of Health informed me today that there's a new COVID variant about and it's time to get needled again. Sigh.

Last summer's go-to pants are a bit big, and I have taken in my belt by another notch.

One of the niblings whose post-secondary education I've been subsidizing will graduate on 3 June. I must find something particularly flamboyant to wear for maximum embarrassment value when I leap to my feet to clap and cheer when he crosses the stage. His sister still has two years to go ...


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