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De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020

Stilly River Sage 05 Jun 20 - 05:04 PM
Donuel 05 Jun 20 - 04:59 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Jun 20 - 03:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jun 20 - 01:32 AM
Charmion 01 Jun 20 - 08:26 AM
Stilly River Sage 31 May 20 - 11:44 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 May 20 - 11:31 AM
Stilly River Sage 28 May 20 - 10:35 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 May 20 - 12:20 AM
LilyFestre 26 May 20 - 08:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 26 May 20 - 12:54 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 May 20 - 12:58 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 May 20 - 02:27 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 May 20 - 11:50 AM
Jon Freeman 21 May 20 - 06:39 AM
Stilly River Sage 20 May 20 - 12:36 PM
Dorothy Parshall 19 May 20 - 09:55 PM
Jon Freeman 19 May 20 - 01:19 AM
Stilly River Sage 17 May 20 - 08:55 PM
Charmion 17 May 20 - 10:28 AM
Donuel 16 May 20 - 01:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 May 20 - 01:10 PM
Stilly River Sage 15 May 20 - 12:09 PM
Charmion 15 May 20 - 10:32 AM
Jon Freeman 15 May 20 - 08:04 AM
Stilly River Sage 14 May 20 - 11:47 PM
Dorothy Parshall 14 May 20 - 04:02 PM
Jon Freeman 14 May 20 - 07:14 AM
Donuel 13 May 20 - 08:44 PM
Dorothy Parshall 13 May 20 - 08:22 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 May 20 - 12:44 PM
Charmion 13 May 20 - 12:19 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 May 20 - 04:10 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 May 20 - 12:27 PM
Dorothy Parshall 07 May 20 - 06:06 PM
Charmion 06 May 20 - 07:12 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 May 20 - 12:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 May 20 - 10:03 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 May 20 - 05:42 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 Apr 20 - 02:48 PM
LilyFestre 29 Apr 20 - 09:46 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Apr 20 - 07:18 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 29 Apr 20 - 06:23 PM
Charmion 29 Apr 20 - 02:01 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Apr 20 - 12:24 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Apr 20 - 09:36 AM
Charmion 28 Apr 20 - 09:18 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Apr 20 - 06:47 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 Apr 20 - 02:59 PM
Charmion 26 Apr 20 - 09:25 PM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Jun 20 - 05:04 PM

I'm not sure who that was aimed at or what exactly it was about. The nature of these threads is to discuss things we're doing ourselves. Where do you envision professionals who would see something we would miss?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Jun 20 - 04:59 PM

If you're changing things up why not consider a total makeover with professional help who might know things you could not.
You might save time and $. One can get lost in the little things and miss the big picture.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Jun 20 - 03:44 PM

Today's declutter is dog hair. I got tired of the crunchy feel of hair and dirt and yard detritus they've dragged in, so got that spiffy new silicon floor sweeper and dislodged a lot of it. I'll mop next, and then proceed to the other side of the house. A wad about the size of a soccer ball was tipped into the trash can from that first pass through.

It was 96o (36C) the last time I looked at the thermometer, so I'll work inside until evening, when I will be able to do some puttering in the yard. At last count I have nine masks finished or almost ready to go, and several others in pieces ready to assemble. I'll be doing another mailing soon, since this hot weather is a great excuse to work on those.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jun 20 - 01:32 AM

I found a couple of interesting fat quarters tucked into the sewing room stash that are now in the dryer, along with a 90" wide large piece of muslin. I think I bought it on sale from the remainder table, I didn't buy it because I was making a quilt. So I'll trim off a piece and use it in the masks that are still underway. Most recent request came from one of our former student assistants at the library; we're friends on Facebook and she has seen the masks. Since she wears a headscarf I sent a photo of one I thought would work best and she agreed. It'll go over the whole scarf, not behind her ears (having to adjust the scarf every time she shifts the mask).

My craft room table has two sewing machines set up; the oldest one has no zigzag but it sews over anything and is fast—I'd forgotten how powerful this old rotary machine is. The newer machine has a different color thread and is the one that does zigzag and is a better motor than my original machine. I'll probably sell that one on eBay.

The garden is progressing and soon it's time to use the little tiller to put in the next beds for plants that were started from seed a few weeks ago.

There is protesting and damage and arrests here in Fort Worth; my village doesn't have any restrictions but Fort Worth has a 7pm curfew through at least tonight, so there has been no evening driving around unless you're headed to work, or doing something essential. We are staying home and out of everyone's way, but in past years I've attended rallies (the local Women's marches and other political responses). This one, in the time of COVID-19, is more than I'm willing to take on right now. I fear the result of all of this unmasked commingling for the last week will undo all of the quarantine of the last three months. I'd better keep making masks.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 08:26 AM

Thatís an interesting essay, Stilly, and more or less summarizes my far less organized thinking on the subject.

I never wore make-up (hate the constant twiddling, and the sticky sensation on my face) and the only thing I ever do with my hair (beyond brushing it ) is a haircut ever six weeks or so. I stopped needing ďprofessionalĒ clothes in 2013, when I quit my last job. But the urge to blow money on personal things somehow never goes away.

Moving house is a great excuse to throw discretion to the winds, and itís very difficult to draw the line and say, Enough. There always seems to be a project that requires substantial purchases of stuff ó we spent $600 on rain barrels, hose and hose-management equipment in May ó and when a project is finished the urge to acquire does not subside, but must be suppressed.

The big difference wrought by the virus is that Iím not pushing a huge cart casually through Canadian Tire or Sobeyís on any given day, and I donít stroll down the main drag gazing into artfully arranged shop windows, so the lust for novelty does not get much spark. I donít watch commercial television, either, and I am training myself to scroll briskly past the algorithm-cued advertising on the Internet.

But we still have a credit-card bill fit to choke a Clydesdale every month.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 May 20 - 11:44 PM

Today I dismantled part of a cotton-blend red Hawaiian shirt to use for brightly colored masks. I sent a photo to my 5'10" daughter who wore that when she was several inches shorter and probably didn't have a bosom - "Awww! That's my Hawaiian shirt - and I want a mask from it!" Good compromise. She admits that she could probably fit only one boob in that blouse at this point. :) (And you'd think "bosom" would have two S's - took me a while to get it right).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 May 20 - 11:31 AM

From BuzzFeed:

I Don't Feel Like Buying Stuff Anymore

Our economy is built on Americans of all class levels buying things. What happens when the ability ó and desire ó to do so goes away?

I didnít even realize Iíd lost my desire to shop until one day, about six weeks into isolation, I absentmindedly clicked on a Madewell email offering an additional sale on a sale. I donít even have anywhere to wear the jumpsuits I already own, let alone one that would require heels. Every work trip, every speaking gig, every quick vacation had already been canceled, even as my calendar still had reminders of the life I had planned in advance, on a different timeline, for myself. But in a matter of weeks, those, too, would be gone. I feel very lucky to spend my days walking my dog on the same loop I always take. But that walk, for the foreseeable future, requires no new purchases.

I donít need new makeup, because Iíve stopped wearing it. I have Zoom calls with my friends after theyíve put their kids to bed, and everyoneís hair is just as wild, their faces just as makeup-less, as mine. Iím still lucky enough to be working. Others have been furloughed or laid off. Those changes may shape the tenor of our shared but separate isolation, but not its fundamental character. The aperture of my world feels very small, its rhythms incredibly repetitive. Sometimes, itís almost calming. Other times, itís incredibly claustrophobic. Either way, there are only so many pairs of leggings I need to navigate this new life.

Not wanting to buy things feels as bizarre as not wanting to sleep or not wanting to eat. Itís been ingrained in us, as Americans, as an unspoken component of residency. Before the coronavirus pandemic, Iíd find myself clicking on the emails that overflowed the Promotions tab in Gmail, seemingly from every store Iíd ever patronized. Iíd online shop while I was traveling for work, while stressed, while avoiding a seemingly insurmountable number of other emails in my inbox. Buying things, especially things on sale, provided a momentary sense of comfort: I was fixing some problem, completing some task, simply by clicking ďBuy Now.Ē

Weíre trained to buy often, buy cheap, and buy a lot. And Iím not just talking about food, which everyone has to acquire in some capacity, or clothes. I mean all the other small purchases of daily life: a new face lotion, a houseplant holder, a wine glass name trinket, an office supply organizer, a vegetable spiralizer, a cute set of hand towels, a pair of nicer sunglasses, a pair of sports sunglasses, a pair of throwaway sunglasses. The stuff, in other words, that you donít even know that you want until it somehow finds its way to your cart at Target or T.J. Maxx.

In postĖWorld War II America, the vast majority of things we buy are often not what we actually need. But theyíre indisputably things we want: manifestations of personal and collective abundance. We buy because weíre bored, or because planned obsolescence forces us to replace items we canít fix. We buy to accumulate objects meant to communicate our class and what sort of person we are. We buy because we want to feel something or change something, and purchasing something is the quickest way to do so. When that doesnít work, we buy ďan experience,Ē whether itís a night at Color Me Mine or a weekend bachelorette trip to Nashville. We buy because, from the Great Depression onward, how we consume has become deeply intertwined with how we think of ourselves as citizens.

The US didnít become a nation of consumers because everyone has ample amounts of discretionary cash. Before the pandemic, income inequality had reached its highest levels since the Depression. Most Americansí wages, when adjusted for inflation and purchasing power, have barely risen in four decades. In 2018, with the economy at its most robust in years, 61% of Americans said they could not cover a surprise expense of $400. In 2019, a study by the AARP found that 53% of American households did not have an emergency savings account ó including a quarter of those who earn more than $150,000 a year.

So how do Americans buy so much when we have so little discretionary money? Massive amounts of credit. Payday loans, credit cards, quick and easy car loans, and the newly common ďAfterpayĒ function in online checkouts incentivize spending beyond our means. The average American has a startling $6,194 in credit card debt, with an average interest rate of 16.88%. Over the last decade, auto debt has gone up 40%, and the average auto loan for a new car is a whopping $32,199. In April 2019, Americans reported borrowing $88 billion over the previous year just to cover medical costs. The middle class is going deeper and deeper into debt to maintain the expenditures of middle-class identity. The working class has done the same ó borrowing for cars, for tuition, for everyday expenditures ó only often at much higher interest rates.

And yet we keep spending: As of 2018, the average household expenditure was $61,224. That's rent and groceries, but also nonessential items: entertainment, vacation, clothes, plus all that other random stuff that ends up in your shopping cart.


It's a long read, so this is just the beginning of it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 May 20 - 10:35 PM

Garlic was harvested the other day and today I trimmed off the stalks, knocked off dirt, and collected the corms to use for later or to give away. There are always a few that fall off when I dig it so I usually don't have to put any more corms into the ground for next year.

Cleanup today was setting the scene for putting in more garden beds. There are seedlings that will soon be ready to go in the ground.

Since I've been clearing out the guest/craft room I got rid of a lot of my childhood craft things that were still floating around—I never use them and they're not suitable to donate. I visualize my children discovering this stuff as part of my estate and realizing they can't use it and feeling bad about throwing it out because I had scratched or scribbled my name on them. Time for a little spring Swedish death cleaning.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 May 20 - 12:20 AM

When I had a 30-yard dumpster across the road from my dad's house during the estate work every so often there would be a knock at the door.

"I have a toilet that I'd like to get rid of - can I put it in the dumpster?"

"I have some screen doors I need to get rid of . . . "

The answer was always yes, because they asked. It's nice to be able to do people a favor.

What are you deconstructing before you construct, Michelle? Will you take before and after photos?

The sewing room is much improved; I'm testing using my now-main sewing machine in the classic sewing machine table it came in. I'll probably just put it on the big table where my other sewing machine is so I can position the ironing board closer to where I'm working. My dining table in the den is now cleared.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: LilyFestre
Date: 26 May 20 - 08:38 PM

Hi Everybody,

   Today I ordered a dumpster to be delivered....getting rid of LOTS of STUFF and construction debris.

    Hope all is well with everyone!

Michelle


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 May 20 - 12:54 PM

Me again. I have two bags and a box ready to go to Goodwill after my first pass through the old garments (daughter's outgrown teen-years shirts, mostly) and school supplies in the craft room (was her bedroom). I think I have my sewing machine working - was it *really* so simple as turning the wheel the backwards way to pull the bobbin thread through the plate? I also found a long straight edge in there, intended to be used with the Olfa rotary cutter. A final gift from my Mom's stash?

I have a hair appointment on Friday, but upon looking up the COVID-19 test results and number of cases in this area, the numbers are still going up, so I shall pass, and try again next month. It's one thing to go to a doctor's office, it's another thing to go into a narrow rabbit-warren of a salon building, clear to the very back, and hope that every person who is in or who was in that building within the last few hours hasn't been breathing novel coronavirus particles into the air.

On a personal note: my new office glasses arrived, and I realized I picked the exact same frames for these that I have for my everyday glasses. I'll never be able to tell them apart, so I dabbed on a little nail polish on the inside of the bridge. Now to get the pads to the right point and then adjusted (since one ear is a little higher than the other).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 May 20 - 12:58 AM

I finished piecing together three similar samples of upholstery tapestry to cover the seat cushion, all of it except that last seam on the sewing machine. The last bit was by hand and went pretty quickly. Anything new that appears becomes a target of opportunity for the destructive puppy, so the pillow will slowly make it's way down to the seat level on that chair. Now comes the dusting and vacuuming.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 May 20 - 02:27 PM

I've begun the repair of a seat cushion that goes on the big reclining lounger. The leather is old, I didn't do anything to keep it in good shape, and when the puppy arrived she decided a small tear was an invitation to raid the stuffing. I put it up quickly and today dusted it off and started a rudimentary stitching to pull the gap together. I'll probably use a glue and fabric to reinforce this, then I'll make an upholstery cover to put over the entire seat cushion. I'll find something that looks good with the rest of the leather. I want to put this back into service for me.

This is the first of the things I need to do as far as moving around room contents from the sun room to the front room. This will go in the den and I don't want to move stuff in there that can't be used, hence the repair. It's so large that once it's out of the way I'll get started moving other large objects (trunks, but also a desk, a book case, and a Victrola) and empty the room for carpet cleaning.

I'm watching one of the old "Sell This House" programs on the little HD local stations with really cheap old programming - the homeowner has two of the heavy old CRT TVs in the house being renovated for sale, and Roger tells her "You only need one television." I hate to think of how many duplicate televisions and various players are around this house. The light weight and low cost has made a huge difference in how television viewing happens in this house.

Onto the chair. . .


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 May 20 - 11:50 AM

That link landed on a Google shopping search but was probably tied to my account somehow. The term is "Fiskars Pruning Stik Tree Pruner, 1.25"" Not sure what the 1.25 is, maybe the length of the blade?

I am pleased with myself this morning that the trash went to the curb on time; the trash guys shifted to their earlier schedule (they do every spring when it gets hot out) and I missed them two times in a row. It's not like there's a lot, but there are some fish wrappers in there.

I put a new battery in the collar that I've had the lab Zeke wearing for a couple of days. I was trying to get him to stay back from the fence, but this morning I kept hearing something while I was scooping droppings for the compost - and realize the deaf old dog was prowling the fence line looking for tender grass. He can't hear the beep and his coat is thick enough I guess he wasn't feeling the static shock. The puppy's collar has a bigger clout but won't fit on him, so for now I simply put a new battery in the one he was wearing. I need to get a couple of collars and drench them with the "Yuck" stuff and have them available for swapping out those collar units on the different dogs. The two younger dogs usually wear them all of the time.

The puppy recently noticed the window blind was up in my office and was on her hind legs looking out at the yard. I need to discourage that; it's a nice insulating blind and I don't need a dog destroying it. Since the office is at the front of the house I don't want a view into the room with computer equipment. When I had cats they were really hard on the mini-blinds. As it is she's really hard on dog stuff (I stitched together a hole in a dog bed that she keeps revisiting in order to pull through the comforter inside to pull out the stuffing. Same hole, not tearing a new one. Odd.)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 21 May 20 - 06:39 AM

That link doesnít work, SRS but Iíve tried to look it up. I donít think weíd have a use for one of those but I like your use.

We do have some of our own grapes in one of the pigsty bays that we call the vinery. I suppose it looks nice but thereís never a crop of grapes you can do much with.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 May 20 - 12:36 PM

Today is incredibly humid, so while it is a good temperature for mowing the front yard, it will be a sweaty job by end. It's time to get out the little gas tiller the neighbor gave me and I had tuned up; seeds are sprouting and I need to work over the area where I'll put in a raised bed (trying to kill off some of the stuff that is on the spot before I put down the edges and fill in with some soil from the surrounding garden area).

Later this afternoon looks like a good time to work indoors. Pushing myself to start one of these large projects is what I need to do.

Jon, I have a 6' long Fiskar's pruning "stik" that is great for reaching over my head to trim trees, though I originally bought it to pick grapes in the tree across the road. Lay down a plastic tarp then drop the small bunches on plastic so they can be found again; extra points if they land directly in the bucket. I don't think there will be any grapes this year.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 19 May 20 - 09:55 PM

Dupont:

Very little by very little, I am getting seeds and plants into the soil. Bending over is uncomfortable so I pull a few weeds and move on a few steps before bending over again.

WE went down to the mill on Saturday and I collected a couple small boxes of kitchenie stuffs which have been re-homed here. Moved R's collection of jams and jellies to a less accessible cabinet since they are rarely used; there are 2 or 3 in the frig... I have no interest in them.

R is making progress on garage project. The back yard is a clutter of stuff left from previous owner but a good bit is being trashed! He is being good about minding the bricks protecting the blue/white violets
which I am trying to move to a circle in the front, around the peonies where I am also putting a few roots of dwarf purple iris and creeping Jennie - from the mill. There is tons more but there was no shovel so I need to remember to take one the next time. He picked up four bags of soil for a bare spot in the back yard. I planted wax beans and will fill the remainder with lettuce. The rooted tomato slips are in Dahlia soil in 10 inch pots - 3 to a pot. The 4 tomatoes (2 yellow cherry; 2 red pear shaped) produced in the house were pronounced delicious so I hope they do well outdoors in good soil. And egg shells and mag sulfate. (Dahlia soil: bought a bale of it a few years ago not realizing how much it was! I will be using it for quite a few years! Although I bought it from a dahlia grower, I guess it is not exclusive.)

The house is in moderate state of clean. Meals get cooked and dishes washed at fair intervals. The rain was good but no more in sight for a while. I have marked out the clematis already coming up and R found some items for them to climb.

My energy level is in get out and push mode.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 19 May 20 - 01:19 AM

I bought a pair of telescopic shears the other day. Their only purpose is to keep the likes of Clematis from obscuring the 2 outside cameras and they have achieved what I wanted, ie. I only need to go up a couple of steps on the step ladder now and no stretching that I donít think Iíd manage safely.

As for me and a previous post on health. I got as far as a pre-op med. That was OK until the results of blood tests came back. I wasnít just the mildly anaemic we knew about, this time I was at a point where they wanted to give me blood transfusions and I had to attend the ďAcute Medical UnitĒ clinic a couple of times.

Then they had to put a camera down both ends of me, the results of which were reported to be OK. Then they wanted to rerun the big end, then they wanted a stools test to justify the re run, and they want to do some fibrescan (liver) test. Then, along comes Corona Virus and everything is on hold.

Whatever, Iím actually feeling a fair bit better in myself than I was a month or so back. Iím wanting to try to do things and, at my plodding pace, Iím achieving bits outside. Hereís a bit of the farm track Ė looks like potatoes in the field this year - I like to keep down. A lot of growth was over 1ft but strimmed then a rough mow on Sunday. I canít eg. weed or other things at ground level but some things donít trouble me.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 May 20 - 08:55 PM

This afternoon I finished pulling out the last fence post and chipping off the last concrete footer. The holes have all been filled and the posts stacked neatly next to the garage. I dumped the extra blocks of concrete down by the back fence and will probably eventually spread them around on the other side. It only took 14 months to finish that project.

I think I've managed to mute most of the notifications that everything on the new phone would like to send. A battery wouldn't stand a chance, let along peace of mind, with the blinking and racket of nonsense notifications.

The old phone is not going to be terribly functional as a telephone after the end of the year, but it still is a good camera, all of the Internet stuff works via WiFi, and I have it paired with a pair of Bluetooth headphones for listening to audiobooks. The new phone will do all of these things also, but if the old one isn't easy to sell on eBay, then I could probably give it a dedicated task around the house. No point in tossing it into the eWaste bin.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 17 May 20 - 10:28 AM

Yesterday we went to the garden centre to buy perennials, and today we are digging holes.

Or, more to the point, Himself is digging holes. He rather enjoys making large messes, but after the adventure of the cubic yard of clay he dug out of the side border a couple of years ago, he will be more restrained this time.

The objective is to plant a rosebush, two Monarda (bee balm), two foxgloves and three hellebores. Let us hope we do not end up with a heap of spoil on the lawn and a hole to China.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Donuel
Date: 16 May 20 - 01:38 PM

Just cuttin bamboo


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 May 20 - 01:10 PM

Thinking big: I'm in the house by myself. Is everything in the best place it can be, or have I simply left things where they are because I'm accustomed to it? It's time to engineer a room reorganization, starting with the deep cleaning of the only carpet in the house, in the front room. That room has a wall of books, a wall with a huge upright grand piano, and a lot of trunks. The wall of books will stay, all else is negotiable. There is an antique lawyer's bookcase (glass front) and a small secretary (serpentine front faux-Chippendale desk). It reminds me again of how much extra stuff there is in the house. BUT - if I move everything out of the sunroom and move the dining table and chairs from the den and a row of trunks to along the wall in the sunroom, I could put other stuff in the den as a conversation/TV media area that is better than where it is now kind of in the middle of the room.

Wheels are turning. And I think the COVID-19 quarantine episode has reached another stage - reimagining my space. Moving furniture is always a great way to generate endorphins, in case anyone is wondering why despite the hard work it feels so good to move stuff around like this.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 May 20 - 12:09 PM

Jon, I understand the difficulty in pricing things. I sell on eBay all of the time and look to see what others are charging for the same or similar items, and it's more or less the law of averages (and if you know you have something in demand and rare you can ask a bit more.) But in the neighborhood - well, you could look at neighborhood websites and see if others are for sale.

Out walking the dogs this morning I spoke with a neighbor who lives a block up the street—we've visited in passing over the years and when I had extra okra I'd take some up to her. We spoke from opposite sides of the street. Now she's using disposable masks, and would like some washable ones, so I'll make a few and drop them off. "How much are you charging?" - that's the question but I haven't sold any yet, I've spent evenings watching TV and sewing and when I had a few I sent them to friends or family who need them. I suppose I put in crimp in the market of those selling masks for a living. I suppose I could list a few on eBay or Etsy. Right now I'm thinking about making a very fancy little princess mask for my hairdresser's daughter; one intended for play, not for going out (one that would be harder to sterilize because it will have some bling on it.) It's nice to get creative at times to create joy for four-year-old girls.

I heard a little radio essay on the BBC News Hour (this episode from May 13, morning) and if you push to about 50 minutes into the program they talk about a virtual exhibit at the Victoria and Albert museum. The director talked about how as COVID-19 started everyone was getting out 3D printers to make respirator parts, but then attention turned to PPE and old technology - the sewing machine (that has been around for about 150 years) was dusted off. "Thousands, or hundreds of thousands" started making masks, gowns, and other surgical garments. And how the sewing machine will be a part of the story of COVID. It makes me think that would be a great photo subject for a Instagram series.

There's always something to do around here if you set your mind to finding it!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 15 May 20 - 10:32 AM

Work on the Afghanistan book has slowed to a crawl. It's dense and depressing. But the money's good! And the project manager likes my work, which is a relief. Author hasn't seen it yet, however.

Himself is heading out to the fancy organic food shop for peanut butter and flour, for which they charge twice as much as the supermarket so they still have some. I can hear him rummaging for a mask. The big grocery chains in Ontario are leaning toward requiring all shoppers to wear masks -- although I note their staff don't.

Ontario is taking its first tottery steps toward what everyone is now calling "opening up the economy". This weekend, I shall go to the garden centre and try to buy some perennials -- Monarda is what Himself wants -- and a rosebush, and some herbs. Well, parsley. We also want a rain barrel, but that might be more difficult. I'm not sure whether Canadian Tire is quite ready for that kind of business yet. I foresee a great deal of dodging and weaving in our attempts to get what we want without invading others' personal space.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 May 20 - 08:04 AM

Iíve revised my ideas with strimmers and want to get rid of 2.

I couldnít see myself starting a petrol strimmer, at least for a long while so I bought a better battery one. I got a Ryobi one, which uses the same batteries as a mower, my drills, a garden sprayerÖ and wish Iíd have done that in the first instance. It will still enable me to cut up to the chicken wire for example without damage (somethings I canít manage with the petrol one but gardening brother says you do develop a touchÖ) , it can cope with a fair amount that would have had to be the petrol strimmer before and I have longer runtimes.

As for the 25cc Husqvarna strimmer, Iíve found I can start that easily if I say put it on a garden bench rather than try from ground level and I might yet try to get further up the field back under control this year so that remains a keeper.

But itís really time I made an effort to get rid of the 52cc Stiga that gets in the way in one of the sheds. It was another mistake of mine Ė I probably should had hired a toolÖ I had a very heavy patch to clear 2-3 years ago and felt I needed something stronger but as long as things are kept reasonably clear, I donít see myself wanting to use it again and thatís assuming Iíd even be able to handle itÖ

So thatís 2 to give away if anyone wants to just take them away.

If it does still run (Iím pretty sure it will), the Stiga might be a good one for someone else. Itís had under 15 hours use. Mum reckons I should ask for something for it but I hate that.

And Iím not even sure that is me being charitable. I really struggle with setting prices and donít cope either way with haggling,.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 May 20 - 11:47 PM

I dropped off recycling at the city hall dumpsters; I had ripe bananas so made a double batch of banana bread, baked in small pans that I distributed to neighbors and my ex. And I went by the city compost site and picked up a contractor's bag full of prime mulch.

Yesterday I started clearing out the garden around the garlic that I will soon harvest and then I can plant that area. The mulch will go in that area to start with. And, I drove by a friend's house and delivered some homemade masks. The one she bought from a neighbor was too tight on her ears. This whole exchange of stuff between friends is still complicated. I sat about 8 feet away on her front porch while we visited, and held up the different styles and fabrics of masks from a box I took with me, then put three in a plastic bag on the table, weighed down with a pair of pruning sheers sitting there. And when I left she took the bag and masks to drop in the sink and give everything a good soapy wash.

I've been watching television with an eye to backgrounds (rooms at home where journalists set up their computers, tablets, phones, or cameras) and looking to see how their hair is doing. There are several who don't look changed at all, maybe they have access to network makeup and hair staff. Right now there's a reporter with a long rather interesting gelled hair style that I think means he really needs a hair cut–it's quite a flowing mane. I trimmed my own bangs, but the rest of it continues to grow and as long as I can braid it, I'm fine.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 14 May 20 - 04:02 PM

Dupont:

Tired but managed a bit of planting and weeding this am. Try more later. But getting less supple as the day wears on. Well, need to get things in the ground so they can be rained in tomorrow!

The garage project is clearing up from previous owner - stuff! And 20 years of neglect? So,repairing the garage door, then maybe jacking it up to level and strengthen it, then maybe a paint job! R seems motivated.

The rest of the mowing will have to wait til the next dry spell. And the myriad tomato cuttings too.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 14 May 20 - 07:14 AM

Today I didn't get up till nearly nine -- I haven't done that since I can't remember when.

I donít usually plan on getting up much before 10am. Thatís the time I see dad go from his bedroom to the bathroom. He walks with his zimmer but has had supervision after 3 falls in 3 months starting at the tail end of last year. Iíd like to think he could go back to being independent with this but he can walk well for a few days and then weíll have an outing where he just doesnít seem safeÖ

Itís a nice gentle start for me. I get the papers in, and do a couple of other bits and then see dad to the living room. I then do a few puzzles and try to work out what I might want to achieve (by plodding) during the day.

Yesterday I did a bit of mowing and strimming and spent a few hours in the field round the back with mum. She is really struggling with mobility at the moment but managed this trip with the help of the wheeled walker. She even got into the pig sty we call the BBQ shed and we made a cup of tea on the stove in there.

It might lead to another little job for me. A few well placed grab rails outside on the house and/or pig sty walls might make some access easier. Iíve ordered a couple and mum (who was a physiotherapist who worked a lot in elderly rehab and care) should be able to advise me as to the best places to fit them.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Donuel
Date: 13 May 20 - 08:44 PM

It was a quick small thing to do but I replaced 2 shower heads which has turned showers into a 5 star spa experience. The ergonomics are engineering perfection.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 13 May 20 - 08:22 PM

Dupont:

At last, some fine weather. R has completely cleaned out the garage which meant a very messy yard but only for one day as the grass still needed mowing. He also found an outdoor electric outlet under the deck! and fitted it with a cord that comes out into the yard. With the super long one connected I can mow almost anywhere and today I did most of the back and side, carefully missing dandelions and violets. Braved a local hardware store for some seeds and veg plants. Today I mowed, tomorrow I plant - if I can move! Found and marked the clematis on edge of woods. And have designated a strip on east side of garage for planting. I believe it also has some clematis. I need to create a climbing place for them - climbing places!

A neighbour walking dog - big black one!- greeted me yesterday and we exchanged names. I have seen them walking often. My first Anglophone neighbour. He admired the front garden! The flowers have come beautifully and only one seems dead. The ones in the front of the house are also peaking through - a couple not seeming to make it.

Managing pretty well with groceries delivered but I still want to get produce at the produce store - at 6:30 am... We rarely get up before 8 because we stay up to 11 or 12. We have heavy drapes to keep out the street lights. I would love to see the morning arrive.

A couple dozen seagulls gave us an incredible show the other day! Suddenly they were swooping and swirling over the yard next door - down to the ground and up and around and around. We were watching from the second floor window. It was amazing. I never before appreciated those clumsy birds. In the air they were magical! I realized how da Vinci must have watched, and designed flying machines.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 May 20 - 12:44 PM

I'm back to finally sleeping through the night; it only took about 10 weeks to reach that point after the knee surgery.

Since I was retired at the time the COVID-19 #StayHome suggestions came into play, I already had a fairly robust routine of stuff. I am not going to volunteer at the museum 8 hours a week, and I miss that, but I still have a lot of other stuff keeping me occupied. I took another run at my old White machine, and even discovered that an even older one I found at Goodwill (before the surgery) uses the same bobbin case. I didn't need to buy a new one to find out that it isn't the bobbin, it's something in the shuttle that isn't working. More to study, I want to get this working. (The Goodwill machine has the most amazing old non-directional plug, but it works!)

Mailing more masks to a friend today.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 13 May 20 - 12:19 PM

Himself has taken to washing the kitchen floor after he finishes the breakfast dishes. This is a side of him I have never seen before.

Anyone out there sleeping more? Today I didn't get up till nearly nine -- I haven't done that since I can't remember when.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 May 20 - 04:10 PM

Heading to the post office soon with envelopes of masks for friends. These are the more fitted ones with a wire across the nose (replaceable with a plastic-coated twist tie) and loops for the the ears that are adjustable (but not elastic). I'm still making the accordion ones also, but I cut out a bunch of the denim at one time so I'm finishing those before I go back to the accordion style.

I'm slowly picking up around the house after cycling through having more stuff than need-be spread out on horizontal surfaces. This whole process of considering re-arranging the contents of rooms will make that worse before it gets better, but if I do it, it will keep me busy. I'm also working on plant starts by seed for the garden, though once the pots are filled and seeds in, it'll be a wait of several weeks before I do anything more.

Health-wise, I am taking myself off of a sugar habit that restarted a couple of weeks ago after I picked up some bulk peanut m&ms at my favorite discount grocery. I regulate myself well with dark chocolate bars, those sweet chocolate and peanut nuggets do me in. Time to nip this in the bud.

I've started restoration work on the next sewing machine. These are charming projects, though I does involve having to shift them around (the cast iron ones are really heavy) and bring in really good task lighting.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 May 20 - 12:27 PM

I'm thinking it's time for a foray into a room I rarely use, mostly because of the way it's set up and because the dogs have claimed it as a place to sleep (three black or dark brown dogs in a dark room on a dark carpet are the classic recipe for tripping hazard!)

My piano gets little attention but I still do enjoy playing, despite it's out-of-tune status and one high C hammer having fallen off. It is from about 1885 and has been in the family since it was new. I'd love someday to restore it when I have such a thing as disposable cash.

There are several trunks, book cases, and a wall of books that could use dusting, and there is stuff in there I intend to sell on eBay that is out of sight so not organized or listed. There is a large reclining lounger chair that needs the seat cushion restored with an upholstery cover (the leather one ripped). I have the materials, so there isn't anything keeping me from working on that now that I have the sewing machine set up (and it is a machine designed for use with thick layers of fabric.) Perhaps a special Mother's Day project since there isn't any chance I'll see the kids this year. A gift for myself.

That said, I'll be careful with the lifting; I pulled a muscle yesterday hefting a large bag of dog food.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 07 May 20 - 06:06 PM

Dupont:

I manage to get bits accomplished: one upper inside window that was really yucky for some reason - washed, two bathroom sinks scrubbed, a few weeds pulled for a few minutes a couple times a day - all the bending over I can do. My hope for today was to mow at least a part of the back yard BEFORE the dandelions get big enough to be cut. By the time I figured out where I might plug in the mower, I ran out of energy.

LONG phone call with youngish musician friend who is trying to feel where her life is going. But she is putting last touches on a new CD and people are buying on line!!

Mudcat solved a puzzle for me: Who wrote Go Down Dancing. It was really bugging me. Then I could look on line - but no youtube. Next trip to the mill, maybe I will find my LPs.

Our dryer also MUST be closed properly! And I am glad to not have cat or dog hairs - except then I would HAVE to clean the floors better! The rads were warm this am for the first time in a while - OR maybe we gave up noticing! R: but I wanted it NOT working for someone to come see!!! It is warm enough now that it was no longer a problem. If I found it too cool, fire in stove!

R finally removed a useless, large "piece of furniture", so the den looks better - room for the brass wood holder and box of kindling
and the double doors can open properly. He also cleaned up back yard and started sorting junk left behind in garage.

My dinosaur grave/front yard is nicely sprinkled with flowers and more to come. Monday it may be safe to plant the tomato, pepper and squash plants. I hope to have the guts to look at Botanix for seeds and a few veggie plants. I have gotten good at obtaining groceries by delivery!! I would like to wear an astronaut suit when I go out there.

Not wanting to purchase any old maple syrup at the grocery, I emailed a friend who has an orchard in southern Quebec and a home in Toronto.
Was he going back and forth?; could he drop off syrup in Chateauguay? Return email: Tomorrow! So I met him at a gas station where he could get off and back on the highway. We exchanged a few sentences but NO hug! I cried driving home. But glad that he and wife are being super careful, like us.

After spending a lot of time at home for a few weeks, R has started going to work - 12 hour days. But no contact with people except bro and Dan - both hyper careful. He no longer complains about washing!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 06 May 20 - 07:12 PM

Weíre eating the last jar of the chutney I made in 2018. Geez, I hope Iíll be able to get all the ingredients for another batch, come the fall ó that recipe takes five kinds of fruit.

But itís SO FRICKINí GOOD!

The house is grubby but fairly neat, and both of us are getting fat ó me faster than Himself. I washed the ground-floor windows the other day, and thatís enough Advanced Class house-keeping for this week.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 May 20 - 12:06 PM

Ironing the form-fitting masks is difficult on a regular ironing board and the craft stores are closed, so I made a small stuffed "ham" out of a bit of jeans leg denim and stuffed with scraps of fabric. Much easier and the price was right. Must be careful to keep it off the floor or the dogs will discover and demolish it. I think I prefer making the rectangular pleated masks, but I cut out a few of these for a change and to see if I can streamline the process. Figuring out what pieces to sew in what order makes a difference in finishing time.

Elsewhere around the property, I'm to the last post needing removal in the back yard; a couple of nights ago I dragged the hose over and soaked each hole and did more digging yesterday. We're due some rain so I'll leave the last excavation till when the digging is easier.

I made my first batch of jelly this year yesterday, though the juice came from the freezer. Had the landowner across the street left the grape-covered tree alone I would be harvesting in June or July, but I think they chopped the grapes and left the poison ivy. Idiots! I'll pick up more Sure-Jell and make a couple of more batches soon. I have a lot of frozen juice from the last three years.

The last of the ordered sewing machine bits arrived yesterday and I pronounce my $10 White Rotary from Goodwill a total success. I'm keeping this and using it now as my main machine. (It was $35 but I had a big discount based on redeemed shopping points). I have a couple of other machines here, really old cast iron bound for eBay, that I need to start working on. It's a rather pleasant activity, and a lot less messy than rebuilding automobile engines or restoring old tractors. ;-)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 May 20 - 10:03 PM

All of this mask making had me thinking about other sewing tasks around here, so this afternoon I pulled a pile of mending from the craft room and reassembled four canvas grocery bags that the puppy destroyed handles on and several other garments needing holes zigzagged together. It clears a spot on that table and gave me a little break from mask making.

I've cut out some form-fitting masks in a light denim; I'll zigzag around the edges before making masks to keep them from ravelling.

I finished a cat-sitting project after a week of a friend being away (and we were careful - I wore a mask in the house for three days after she left, then I wore a mask in the house for the three days before she arrived back home. No one else has been in her house for the last month or more.) It really comes down to close-friends and trust for this to happen; her parents are elderly (she's my age, and my parents both died more than 20 years ago) and have been isolated for a couple of months now.

I'll check my post office box tomorrow; I saw in "Informed Delivery" that there is a letter from Pennsylvania. Looking forward to that!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 May 20 - 05:42 PM

I have remembered what I did about the fence post footers. I dug them out on one side then took the 2-pound hammer and a concrete chisel and knocked off enough of the base until I could lift it out of the hole. Two down, two to do. I started digging around them this afternoon but it was getting hot, so I changed course and got the battery-operated reciprocating saw and trimmed some of the privet that needs to be removed from the back of the yard. I stashed it on the creek-side of the fence until next month when we get another bulky waste pickup.

A friend in the next state over wrote and asked if I would sell her face masks, since her sewing machine isn't working. I talked her through how to clean the bobbin case and shuttle and then to go ahead and clean and lubricate the machine and see if it will work again. I'll send her masks if she still needs them, but I think she'll enjoy the victory of reconditioning the sewing machine herself and starting to make her own masks. I expect to hear soon if it worked or not.

Reheated Mexican restaurant take-out this evening. It took a couple of tries to figure out the system (order online, wait in one of the numbered parking spaces, call and let them know you're out there.) Usually someone is standing in the parking lot and just goes and gets your order. Whatever works.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Apr 20 - 02:48 PM

I have a friend who, with her husband, thinks they had COVID-19, but she hasn't been able to schedule the antibody test until June 1. They stayed at home and I hope that's the end of it. She was pretty sick for several weeks, but didn't go to the hospital. That said, I hope no one else in your building has caught it, but please, if you feel bad go to the hospital if you feel you need to and don't wait till the last minute.

I'm working on the old fence posts again; last year I think I set up a pulley to help pull them out but I can't remember what I did now. There's no driving back there to pull it up with the SUV and a rope. I'll have to keep working on a ramp-like hole and eventually pull and roll it out.

Right now it's a good temperature. I wish our summers would stay this way. (It's more like summer in Seattle right now). Summer in Texas is nothing to pine for.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: LilyFestre
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 09:46 PM

Update: Someone in my building at work has tested positive for COVID 19. The agency has closed all three locations and we are not allowed back into the building until at least May 11, 2020. We have been told to work from home the best we can.....

I am feeling a lot of nothing.....

Very strange.

Carry on.

Michelle


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 07:18 PM

I have to admit that yesterday, given the opportunity to pick up a year's worth of pork, I bought a half-dozen pork tenderloins that had just appeared in the freezer of my local gourmet/discount/bulk grocer. They hadn't frozen yet and I imagine most of them were snagged before they had time to freeze in the store. Unrelated, a sausage-making meat-packing company in the next county over closed this week after two of their employees died of COVID-19. It's happening everywhere, and it's going to have a huge impact on feed lots and farmers, if they can't move their livestock through the regular production channels.

Stay healthy out there, everyone!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 06:23 PM

Going into some stores of late has reminded me of intelligence briefings we used to get about life in the Soviet Union: desolate grocery stores with little of anything that anybody wants, but without babushkas queuing to buy what they do not want.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 02:01 PM

We are seeing the same trend here, Stilly. Himself went to town today to recover our espresso machine, which went in for routine maintenance just before the lockdown, and came home with rather too many packets of biscuits (cookies to you) from a shopkeeper who caters to British ex-pats. Maybe our greed will keep him afloat for just a little while longer.

I made a vat of minestrone yesterday, so there are lunches for another week. I hope to snaffle a ham hock on the weekend ... Oh, the things I used to take for granted!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 12:24 PM

It turns out that a few of my favorite places need help, so I'll be ordering or buying (prudently) as time allows. Tonight I'll pickup an order from my favorite Mexican restaurant, and next time I'm in the next town over to the east I'll visit a couple of the International markets. With my mask and gloves, and knowing that I can move around in the areas with lots of space.

I had a teleconference appointment today, and I realized that this and the fridge repair were the only appointments all month that could be kept. Knee doctor, hairdresser, volunteering, everything else is pushed way into the future. Next week my dog goes to the vet. Whoo hoo! I'll hand him over and wait outside in the fresh air. (I trimmed my bangs again because they were in my eyes - and even as long as I tried to make them they still came out a little short. Oh, well. They're not in my eyes now.)


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Apr 20 - 09:36 AM

The old freezer was 50 years old, but it was a beautiful avocado green and the insides gleamed, so it was like removing a work of art from the kitchen. :-)

Turns out the repair guy is the one who lives a block up from me on the other side of the street (Sears doesn't usually have repair people work their own neighborhoods). His wife is a friend who helped me refinance the house the last time. And he was wearing a dark blue cloth mask made from a piece of fabric that had the company logo printed on it; he'd made it by hand after the company sent the pattern and cloth. When he saw my mask he asked if I sewed, and explained that he had hand-stitched it because he doesn't know how to use a sewing machine. Would I make another one? - he has a friend who liked his and said she'd send him the cloth. Certainly! He said "charge me!" - it would be nominal if I charged a neighbor anything, but it does give me the idea that they would like more. He said he has a box of the N95 masks in his truck but when he has used it during the day and it gets dirty it makes customers nervous. So they would like the dark blue masks that they can line with a filter or wear over the N95. And it has the company name in a bright orange print. I haven't sewn any of that pattern yet but I have it here and have been meaning to try it. My seamstress friend in Hawaii makes a lot of them this shape, but they take longer. (He needs more than one and it needs to be more than one layer of cloth or it is not really an effective mask.)

I sent my bias tie masks to my New York friend only to discover that his frozen shoulder means they're difficult to tie behind his head. I've suggested tying a loop on one side, loop it over his ear, then figure out how big a loop he needs on the other side and tie it or fasten it with a rubber band. Elastic is worth it's weight in gold right now. You can't get into craft stores (though some should open on Friday - I could try curbside pickup?) They'll be cleaned out within 5 minutes of opening.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Apr 20 - 09:18 AM

I am quite terrified at the very idea of rolling out the fridge to vacuum in its space.

I think we all have at least one housekeeping fail to confess. For months, I could not figure out why the dryer was so temperamental. I would load it, close the door and push all the right buttons, but quick as a flash nothing would happen. Or the thing would start, and conk out five minutes later for no discernible reason. Randomly.

I spent $150 on a visit by A+ Appliance Repair, only to learn that (a) it worked just fine for the technician and (b) he could not explain its erratic behaviour either.

Roll the calendar forward an embarrassingly long time, and I notice that the door does not always latch quite right. Lo and behold, when I give the door an extra-hard shove, it starts up reliably every time.

A few weeks later, when the beer fridge came down with cancer of the thermostat, the same technician visited to perform the transplant. "Didn't you have trouble with your dryer?" he asked (small town). I confessed to the door latch issue, and he commiserated politely. "At least you figured it out before it cost you the price of a new dryer."


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Apr 20 - 06:47 PM

Housekeeping Fail: The problem with the fridge was the compressor underneath was clogged with dog hair. Who knows, maybe that was the only problem with the old freezer last fall? I can't remember the last time I thought to vacuum under there. (It still is reassuring to have the newer appliance). The fridge is cooling now so I haven't put everything back yet.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Apr 20 - 02:59 PM

Papers and dry-erase boards on the fridge front have been removed, perishable contents left in there (with several large tubs of ice) have been removed to a cooler. The darned thing is like the pet you take to the vet, now acting just fine, though sick as a dog last night. :-( I'll ask the repair person to check the thermostat and replace the fan.

Today I flattened a dozen or more boxes that had stacked up near the side door in my sunroom. The way mail gets checked now, nothing is opened immediately; envelopes, magazines, and boxes just sit for a while before opening, and then boxes just sit out of the way.

Over the weekend I planted more of my garden and got out some seeds to start plants for transplanting later in the season. I still have beds to work on, but the first basic one is in. The "kitchen garden," right under the kitchen window.

My thrift store donation bin is gradually filling up; no thrift stores open right now. I imagine there will be a pent up supply when they do, and I imagine people needing things will descend on them as soon as they do open. That's a busy part of the economy that could probably have been categorized as "essential," considering the number of people who shop there for clothes, to repair or replace dead appliances, etc.

I have confirmation of delivery of a care package to a friend in NYC; more of the gloves like I sent to Michelle, and a couple of masks, and a variety of other things. My sister also received her masks. I also sent a packet of needles to another friend; when poking through Mom's sewing stash I found a gazillion sewing machine needles and had the size she needed.

Just had a call from the Sears service tech - Umberrrrto - he rolls his r's. He's working in the area and expects to be here in a couple of hours. Looking forward to having that fixed soon.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 26 Apr 20 - 09:25 PM

All well here in Stratford. Itís still a bit cold and wet, but looking up.

We put the porch chairs out on Saturday and had a cocktail outside for the first time this year, along with a natter with Jane across the street who was sunning herself on her driveway. Weíre all starved for conversation, but following The Rules.

Iím really impressed with our neighbours. Everybody is trying really hard to do the right thing, and the low rate of reported infection in Perth County shows itís working.

Himself is writing a ďcase commentĒ ó thatís a short paper lawyers write about current issues ó and learning how to do Zoom conferencing. Me, Iím still struggling through the war in Afghanistan. Weíre both sincerely grateful to have useful work to do and comfortable quarters in which to do it.


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