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DECLUTTER *hoards *bad habits *toxic stuff - 2024

Stilly River Sage 06 May 24 - 02:07 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 May 24 - 03:33 PM
pattyClink 05 May 24 - 01:32 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 May 24 - 01:29 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 May 24 - 11:45 PM
pattyClink 04 May 24 - 09:51 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 May 24 - 07:10 PM
Charmion 04 May 24 - 08:54 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 May 24 - 09:43 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 May 24 - 12:35 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 May 24 - 10:24 AM
pattyClink 01 May 24 - 08:52 AM
Stilly River Sage 30 Apr 24 - 06:37 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 30 Apr 24 - 06:20 PM
Charmion 30 Apr 24 - 02:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Apr 24 - 06:46 PM
Charmion 29 Apr 24 - 02:42 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Apr 24 - 11:47 AM
Stilly River Sage 28 Apr 24 - 10:08 PM
Bat Goddess 28 Apr 24 - 02:51 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Apr 24 - 01:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Apr 24 - 11:00 AM
Sandra in Sydney 27 Apr 24 - 07:10 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 Apr 24 - 07:07 PM
Charmion 27 Apr 24 - 01:47 PM
Donuel 26 Apr 24 - 05:16 PM
Charmion 26 Apr 24 - 03:24 PM
Stilly River Sage 26 Apr 24 - 11:37 AM
pattyClink 26 Apr 24 - 09:14 AM
pattyClink 26 Apr 24 - 09:04 AM
Stilly River Sage 25 Apr 24 - 06:13 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Apr 24 - 08:41 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Apr 24 - 01:54 PM
Charmion 24 Apr 24 - 12:16 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Apr 24 - 11:46 AM
Charmion 23 Apr 24 - 10:59 AM
pattyClink 23 Apr 24 - 09:53 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Apr 24 - 04:43 PM
Charmion 22 Apr 24 - 02:48 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Apr 24 - 11:08 AM
pattyClink 22 Apr 24 - 10:44 AM
pattyClink 22 Apr 24 - 09:59 AM
Charmion 22 Apr 24 - 07:40 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Apr 24 - 12:12 AM
Charmion 21 Apr 24 - 08:41 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 Apr 24 - 05:52 PM
keberoxu 21 Apr 24 - 03:57 PM
keberoxu 21 Apr 24 - 03:56 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Apr 24 - 09:03 PM
Sandra in Sydney 20 Apr 24 - 08:26 PM
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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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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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: 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 - 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 20 Apr 24 - 08:26 PM

or do you have very old & decrepit power lines?


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