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

LilyFestre 16 Aug 20 - 11:35 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Aug 20 - 04:19 PM
Jon Freeman 16 Aug 20 - 12:30 PM
Charmion 16 Aug 20 - 11:45 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Aug 20 - 11:22 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Aug 20 - 05:01 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Aug 20 - 10:26 AM
Charmion 14 Aug 20 - 09:43 AM
Stilly River Sage 14 Aug 20 - 09:15 AM
Donuel 13 Aug 20 - 06:54 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Aug 20 - 05:04 PM
Dorothy Parshall 13 Aug 20 - 03:01 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Aug 20 - 02:53 PM
Donuel 13 Aug 20 - 05:18 AM
Jon Freeman 12 Aug 20 - 06:52 PM
Charmion 12 Aug 20 - 12:21 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Aug 20 - 09:51 AM
Jon Freeman 12 Aug 20 - 05:45 AM
mg 12 Aug 20 - 02:57 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Aug 20 - 12:02 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Aug 20 - 08:17 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Aug 20 - 07:24 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Aug 20 - 03:38 PM
Charmion 05 Aug 20 - 07:32 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Aug 20 - 07:16 PM
Charmion 05 Aug 20 - 09:41 AM
Stilly River Sage 04 Aug 20 - 08:09 PM
Dorothy Parshall 03 Aug 20 - 07:48 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Aug 20 - 04:13 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Aug 20 - 01:05 PM
Dorothy Parshall 01 Aug 20 - 12:49 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Jul 20 - 10:28 AM
Stilly River Sage 26 Jul 20 - 04:25 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Jul 20 - 10:07 AM
Dorothy Parshall 24 Jul 20 - 12:41 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Jul 20 - 09:28 PM
Charmion 23 Jul 20 - 09:48 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Jul 20 - 12:33 PM
Dorothy Parshall 21 Jul 20 - 12:44 PM
Charmion 21 Jul 20 - 09:16 AM
Stilly River Sage 20 Jul 20 - 11:21 AM
Jon Freeman 20 Jul 20 - 10:08 AM
Charmion 20 Jul 20 - 09:40 AM
Jon Freeman 20 Jul 20 - 07:29 AM
Stilly River Sage 19 Jul 20 - 07:28 PM
Jeri 19 Jul 20 - 04:52 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Jul 20 - 12:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Jul 20 - 03:46 PM
LilyFestre 18 Jul 20 - 03:18 PM
Charmion 18 Jul 20 - 09:49 AM
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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: LilyFestre
Date: 16 Aug 20 - 11:35 PM

I'm pretty basic when it comes to clothes. I tend to find a few things that I love and buy them in multiple colors. Black slacks for work and a short sleeved ribbed mock turtleneck keeps me going all fall and winter. Spring is off white or khaki capris and a cotton top...easy care, lots of colors. I order my clothes from online...keeps it simple.

School will be starting soon here which means I will be working at home more than I will be in the office. Typically I enjoy being in the office but there seems to be a lot of drama there lately so I'm just as happy to work from home.

Pete begins his 6 month testing for his thyroid cancer. It's quite the process and will take place over several days. I am thankful for FMLA so I can take these days off to be with him.

I have taken up target shooting. We had an unwelcome visitor at the house that thankfully our dog scared away but it was a wake up call for me. I am getting very familiar and good with my 9mm and I added a Glock 44 22LR (pistol) to the mix this weekend.

Jeremiah continues to grow at an incredible rate.....I am going to be in trouble as soon as he decides he likes the girls!! He's a handsome young man if I do say so myself!

I hope all is well with everyone and that you are staying healthy and safe!

Love to all,

Michelle


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Aug 20 - 04:19 PM

Jon, I suspect that once the room is in shape you'll be drawn into it and think of things you want to work on there.

Charmion, the garden transformation sounds amazing. Right now keeping things alive in the extreme dry heat is a big challenge. One tree lost some leaves after getting to dry, but this is what they do and I think it will recover (it's in a pot, awaiting transplant in the fall). I've been spraying aphids off of the okra and today I took some metal fence posts, a roll of chicken wire, and a piece of wire edge fencing and built a kind of support for the various cucumber plants that are just now putting out the climbing tendrils and starting to grow flowers. Those are the plants I'm holding out hopes for this autumn.

I'm finishing up some of the fitted design masks; I saw a video this morning that is the first one that I found to be a bad example of construction and technique. I looked at the remarks and am pretty sure that any critical remarks have been removed; no experienced person doing this much sewing would use some of her techniques. (No iron, for starters). I didn't leave remarks to test my theory, but know that there are a lot of crappy two-layer poor-fabric-choice masks out there thanks to this woman. Too bad.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Aug 20 - 12:30 PM

I’ve been glad of the rain (in North Norfolk, UK) today too. We had several hours of very heavy rain and I think we could do with more of the same. It’s mostly been hot and dry here for months and when we have had the cooler days with rain forecast, the rain hasn’t really amounted to much – a few light showers when I’ve felt the ground needs a good soaking.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 16 Aug 20 - 11:45 AM

It is raining in Stratford, praise be to whoever.

Helena the Garden Goddess — tall, robust, tanned and Dutch — descended on us on Thursday with two cubic metres of mulch, a truckload of Tri-Mix soil amendment, and a crew of well-trained high-school girls, each with her own pick and shovel, who almost literally whipped the property into shape in three hours flat. They double-dug and raked, weeded and planted, and then laid a thick coat of mulch over the whole achievement. We now have a low hedge of box, rather a lot of hydrangeas, three Roses of Sharon, a flowering dogwood and something called a weeping pine, plus at least a dozen heucherae and three dwarf cypresses, where before was wreckage and bald dirt.

Now all I have to do is keep it all hydrated until the autumnal rains set in. Since the Garden Nymphs drove off in a cloud of sweat and diesel exhaust, I have been hauling hoses and lawn sprinklers about, and I badly need a day off.

I hope it rains all week.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Aug 20 - 11:22 AM

We were shopping entirely online before the lockdown. The difficulty we experienced came largely as a result of an increase in people doing their grocery shopping online. We struggled and often failed to manage to book on line delivery slots for the first 2 – 3 months but neighbours helped us out. This situation has not returned to normal but has eased somewhat and I expect to be able to book a slot from one or other of two supermarkets each week.

As for clothing, I’m simple. For the main items, I have 6 fleece jackets (for cooler weather than it has been for most of the past few months), 8 t shirts and 6 pairs of trousers. All of each item is the same make and style but the colours vary. 2 of each item are kept back for “best wear” and the rest is “general wear”. I think I need to replace 2 pairs of trousers (same again will do) fairly soon but everything else on that list should be good for at least another 12 months.

Back to my shed. I noticed the board my tool chest stands on was badly warped and has to be replaced. I used the same cheap industrial shelving units for the lathe and the tool chest and I see all the boards/shelves have warped to some degree but the others can stay as they are. They are not as badly distorted and don’t carry the same sort of weight (my mini lathe would be 90+ lbs and the tool chest around 70lbs before adding tools) . I think the 18mm water resistant mdf board I’ve used/have on order should do better that what was there before for the tops.

There have been a few unplanned expenses in this project although the others I hope are just improvements. I’m adding 4 shelves (should be with me Monday). I’ve done some electrical work – I still need to use an extension cable to get power out there but I can now just plug in at a central point and the lighting is better. And I’ve replaced some of the crates which allowed smaller things to fall through with storage boxes – I initially ordered 5 but figured I could double that and hope that doing so may help towards relieving some clutter in my bed/living room. There are things that could go out / perhaps even belong there if I can make the space.

All this for an 8x10 workspace which I don’t anticipate getting an awful lot of use… but I think/hope it will be worth it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Aug 20 - 05:01 PM

As hot as it is, I have been tired of having just two pair of Capri-length or knee-length pants, and finally dove into the closet looking for the pair of Gloria Vanderbilt capri pants I've worn for several summers. Nowhere in sight, but I did find a dressier pair that I had for wearing to work. Well, now they're summer around-the-house pants. Summer pants inventory just increased by 50%. Though I really do wonder where I put that other pair? I looked in another closet, in the linen cupboard, in case I might have decided to store clothes in there. It will turn up eventually (probably November) and then I'll hang them in the closet with the rest of my trousers.

I don't order clothes online, I usually poke around the thrift store, to start, but I haven't been out to those places for ages. I like Academy for this kind of thing, and Kohl's has some nice discounted stuff, but I haven't been into Kohl's often (just a couple of times to return Amazon packages, since they have some kind of arrangement). The goal is to keep these clothes going until it gets to be safer to shop. My being tired of two pairs of pants really doesn't matter since it isn't like I'm going to the office in the same clothes every day. I have enough fabric, I suppose I could use one of these pair as a pattern to make more.

How are all of you handling the reduced access to shopping?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Aug 20 - 10:26 AM

My dad's estate required a 30-yard dumpster to organize. I knew why he kept a lot of things, but it never dawned on him that it wasn't necessary. Some things, like boxes to electronic equipment in the house (including the packing materials) ended up being handy, but a lot of it wasn't and into the dumpster it went.

Pepper just shot through the house, taking a corner too close to the case of Topo Chico and sent a bottle breaking across the dining room floor. As much as I've mopped, swept, and peered into corners with a flashlight, there will be shards remaining. Another box is now on top of the bottles. Also regarding Pepper, her training collar must be charged every other day. It wasn't working this morning when it really should have, to keep her from incessantly barking for treats at the neighbor early in the morning. It is getting better, but isn't resolved yet. We'd hate to have to go cold turkey on any treats for any of the dogs, they do enjoy the once a day encounter over the back fence.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 14 Aug 20 - 09:43 AM

I don't put any paper on my desk unless I have to do something with it -- pay a bill, for example. Otherwise, it goes into the trash or the filing cabinet. Addresses and phone numbers are added to the contacts list on the phone, which works because I share an Apple account (and its cloud storage) with Himself. We stopped losing contact information in 2014, when the iPhone came into our lives.

Himself occasionally dumps paper on my desk, usually because he can't be arsed to file it. I have decided that this behaviour is tolerable because it could be worse: at least he's not tossing tax bills.

Donuel's futility room sounds familiar, from the yellow paint on cinder block to the dog-poop brown linoleum and the lighting by Jerry Rig Inc. My Dad's basement was like that, including the clutter; his included 30 years' worth of LPs in mildewed cardboard boxes and a stash of bayonets under the workbench. I ended up hiring a dumpster and clearing it like a disaster zone, starting at the stairs in front and ruthlessly plowing to the coal-hole door at the back. That was a formative experience.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Aug 20 - 09:15 AM

You sound like a candidate for the "one thing at a time" approach, even if it is just one thing a day. Pick it up and do whatever needs done. Trash, donate, repair, or put away somewhere else.

I find paper has encroached on my office desktop again so it is all in a stack and when I leave the room I'll take it with me and put it were it belongs, whether shredded, filed, or into the recycle bin. Some things need first to be noted in the spiral notebook that lives under the printer (like new addresses).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Aug 20 - 06:54 PM

Futility: a definition - What chu gonna do about it. You can't stop this clutter ^uck. You couldn't stop me with Muller, you can't stop me with impeachment, you couldn't stop me in the courts, I still keep spic kids behind barb wire, I still haven't given you my tax returns- you ain't gonna get those either, I released my criminal pals from jail, I won't allow the post office to deliver voting by mail, so whATCHU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?

The futility room has a water heater, tub sink, exposed ducts and sewer pipe, folding long table and two closets. Besides art supplies there are the things no one is to see. Racist electric skeletons singing dixie, Halloween stand up Trump, fire suit with helmet and visor, stuff that stopped working and piled on the table 3 feet high ranging from rock slicers to violin varnish. Blocking entry to the closet of infamous flammables is an electric folding bike. The floor bears evidence of a previous flood on dog poop brown colored linoleum and the walls are a canary yellow painted cinder block.
The flouresent lighting was engineered by Jerry Rig with extension cords. The futility begins with the question of where to start.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Aug 20 - 05:04 PM

Whew! I need a nap after reading all of that, Dorothy!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 13 Aug 20 - 03:01 PM

Dupont:

Went alone to Beaver due to crisis #2345673456... Left on Thurs and picked up goodies at the Hidden Gold Mine Bakery. Had a nice few days of good clean air - it is qualitatively different - delicious! Had social distance visits with two - separate- neighbours! And visited one of the art galleries. Sorted papers and trashed some, organized a lot. Went through fabrics and picked a pile to bring back. Found things! WEEDED the raised beds until I could do no more. Cleared around the raspberries, blueberries and Good King Henry. The strawberry beds need to be cleaned out and re-started; they ARE that bad and one has a wasp nest in it so...!!! Stopped at the farm store and bought some fertilizer for the potted plants here; the tomats are looking forlorn, worn out from producing fruit!

Texted the fellow who kept the drive open last winter, "I really want to pay you!" He came by and was duly paid, and contracted to cut the field around the house; some of the greenery is taller than I! I had trouble walking around for fear of being caught and tripped! Hopefully when I go back it will be walkable. I had wanted to collect comfrey to feed the plants. Sue, next door, was excited about Steve cutting the field; she wants the green stuff for her compost. She will rake it up - at least some of it! I will make sure she gets comfrey when I get back. It is prolific!

Left on Monday; Brought home frozen muffins (peach/cinnamon) and scones in cooler; added a frozen chicken and 2 liter jug of apple cider. Put the cooler on the floor in the front to get max cool air. When I unloaded everything was still frozen! Put the cider back in freezer, and the goodies, and thawed the chicken which I roasted last evening, with carrots and potatoes. - to be ready when R came home; He phoned about 11 to tell me he was not coming home and might not tonight either. I was so fed up, I watched episodes of Heartland until 3 am - and ate chips and humus.

Considered going back to beaver and just staying. SO tired of these crises. But - I am a maid to all these house plants! R gets tired of being janitor when I am at Beaver. And the garden here is producing - not much, but some. One nice zuke went into the latest stew. The long drought really kept progress from being made.   

Woke up feeling like.... Day 52 and I messed up "diet". Very late BF of toast/tahini and a poached egg, on top, did not help. Now it is mid aft and a salad is on my mind. Went to the produce store last night just before closing; almost no one in the place so I refilled the fridge. And there is a lovely pepper on the plant on back deck. Lots of small ones on the seedlings. And a fair number of tomatoes on the six pots of patio tomatoes - Italian or "peach". R is enjoying them.

Going to the store, there was a nice round patio table and four chairs on the curb. I hoped for R to come home with the truck... Oh well. I could have collected the chairs but not the table. We have no such and it would have been nice. People really are de-cluttering. They may have upgraded...

The heat is not as bad and I have managed a few small tasks and feel hopeful of getting more accomplished with the sewing stuffs I brought back. Super negative side, I seem to have left my list of passwords at Beaver! ALL of them, except for the Apple TV, which is in a notebook. I thought the list was in there also and cannot visualize where I might have left it - at Beaver for sure - but have not totally ransacked the car yet. I need to think of it before the sun hits that area. Two small boxes of pottery in there also, dif from any I had here. Need to bring it in and wash it as it sat in the screen house for a year!

Fall is on the way and while many mourn the end of summer, fall is my fav time of year.

No new sign of bedbugs!!!!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Aug 20 - 02:53 PM

Please! Tell us about the "futility room."


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Aug 20 - 05:18 AM

The family media room is done except for some wiring and hanging a 10 mirror.
That leaves the futility room, basement and spare office to go.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Aug 20 - 06:52 PM

Thanks SRS. I think I'll start enjoying it when I start to see things taking shape.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Aug 20 - 12:21 PM

While tidying the Glory Hole (basement storage area) yesterday, I saw that we have been accumulating not nearly useful enough kitchen gadgets again.

Some items are the result of an on-line order I made with a company that I thought -- from the name and address -- was Quebecois, but turned out to be Chinese, and not quite clear on the concept of shipping precisely what was ordered, no more and no less. Consequently, I ended up with nineteen (count 'em -- 19!) pairs of silicone-tipped tongs that slightly less than six inches long -- probably designed for serving from a buffet, but utterly useless for cooking. Deluded into believing that the tongs were 15 inches long, I had ordered two pairs, plus a few other items that I doubt that I will ever see.

But -- 19 pairs of useless tongs. Plus a plastic egg separator I have never used, a balloon whisk (gift of a relative) that won't fit into the drawer that already accommodates the whisk I have been using since 1995, three oyster knives (flat-end screwdriver works better), several novelty tea infusers, many water-bottles and take-away coffee cups, and a cutlery organizer that does not fit any drawer in this house.

Geez. It never ends.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Aug 20 - 09:51 AM

Jon, yes! Organizing what you have so you can use it when you need to is rewarding and is a good reason for self-congratulation. I hope you enjoy the process! I occasionally have to rearrange the stuff on my garage workbench for the same reason.

Mary, I have a stack of soap slivers on a soap dish in the bathroom and I occasionally stick them to each other to form one larger more usable chunk. And sometimes I give up and toss them all. Good for you for actually using them!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Aug 20 - 05:45 AM

My attention has turned to my shed which has been a mess for a few years. I’ve made sure the mini lathe, bench drill and bench grinder are all working and cleaned up a few rusty items. I’ve also changed the board the lathe rests on on the bench as the old one had warped quite badly.

I’ve got 4 shelves on order which I can fit 2 by the work bench and drill and 2 by the lathe and will hold tools and other bits relevant to these machines/areas and should make more space for the main shelving to hold the rest – I think items to store have increased since the shed was last tidied up.

I’m also waiting for 2 led light panels which should improve things in there. I think I’ll leave the main clearing up and sorting until these other 2 bits are done.

I did consider trying to fit a small vertical mill in there, something which (I could get one in) would involve a complete revision of the left side of the small amount of space I have to play with but I decided I can’t justify or afford that and that it would be going far beyond the scope of the project.

The shed is unlikely to get much use but I’d like it fit for use as/if required. It used to be that I could quickly lay my hands on anything kept in there and the shed was pretty much “ready to go” if anything cropped up. As it stands about the only things I’d find easily are fasteners and even that involved wading over junk on the floor. And say using the vice or drill would involve moving one pile of things to another spot….


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: mg
Date: 12 Aug 20 - 02:57 AM

I am using up my extensive sliver of soap collection. Using them to wash out clothes in the sink mainly.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Aug 20 - 12:02 PM

The once every six weeks or so Costco run is (apparently) for the heaviest objects I could find in the grocery section of the store. Cases of sparkling water, bags of flour and baking soda, and I needed mayo so ended up with a larger-than-life jar of Hellmann's. I can't go to the gym, I might as well go to Costco. Senior shopping is until 10am.

I've been reading about lots of people decluttering. It's ironic that our houses are looking better than ever and we can't have anyone over to enjoy the improved space. People can look through the doorway to see the sunroom, but that's about it. How is everyone else doing in this endeavor? Have you made any big changes to what room things are arranged in, etc? Taken up any old hobbies and pulled out those materials, or put away any current projects as not necessary at this time?

Any lurkers out there want to check in? We'd love to hear from you!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Aug 20 - 08:17 PM

I spent the afternoon aligning four sheets of pages printed from a PDF into two parts of a 3-D mask, and it comes with concentric lines for seven different sizes. I selected four of the sizes so far and taped and cut out pieces then made cardboard templates from each of them. This is the next phase of mask making, for people who have a larger nose and dislike the way standard masks fit. I'll make one in my size this evening, step by step with the video from the woman who designed the mask. She doesn't have print instructions, and while the general routine is understood, there are still steps that can't be neglected, so I'll follow along and write them out myself.

She has a great tip about using "pony beads," plastic or acrylic children's beads with a large hole to allow adjustable ear pieces and. Lots of good stuff in this video. The masks are evolving as people figure out ways to make them easier to wear and in some instances, easier to sew.

Trash day tomorrow so time to round up everything. Also to put more recycling stuff in the car to drop off. I'm trying to not let there be spillover from the front room and I don't need to save any more packing materials so when boxes or padded envelopes come now they are filed in trash or recycling. Small stuff, but it adds up quickly.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Aug 20 - 07:24 PM

I pulled up some of the photos I have of things to list on eBay, but I haven't found where I stacked all of those things (now somewhere in the front room). So I'll shoot some new photos for the things that are near the top and go from there. I have new eBay listings and am aiming at one a day this month.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Aug 20 - 03:38 PM

One step forward, two steps back this week.

I got the replacement bulbs for the bathroom fixture, then realized that while I did want to switch to LED, I needed T8 not T12. Back to the store where people aren't good about wearing their masks. I'll go early this time.

Dogs. One seems to have a sting on her nose, I'm watching that spot, and one may have anal gland issues. Which to the vet first? I need more heartworm meds. I'll take care of that stuff next week.

I ordered groceries to be delivered to save one trip into a store, but there's always something you can't get that requires a trip or a different order (and to meet a minimum purchase). This staying home isn't always an easy process. And it's a lot more expensive. Since I'm headed to a grocery store pharmacy next week for my singles shot, I'll pick up the missing items then. When I'm there early during senior shopping.

The groceries arrive this afternoon and I'll put the dogs in the yard before that happens. The scrum at the door isn't pretty when things are delivered.

In the garden this morning I decluttered the okra of a whole bunch of aphids under the leaves. They've been growing way slower than normal, and I finally realized why. I headed out with a plastic container with soapy water and a paper towel and gave the big leaves a once-under and with each pass it came back green and buggy. I'll use the soapy spray every three days and see if that helps now.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 05 Aug 20 - 07:32 PM

After the move, I became quite savage about accumulation, and that attitude is our new normal. Muddle is not allowed, and everything must have a home. The comparative lack of storage here is a feature, not a bug.

Except for books. We still accumulate books — but none of them are stacked on the floor. That’s forbidden.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Aug 20 - 07:16 PM

From the Washington Post

The great decluttering of 2020: The pandemic has inspired a cleanout of American homes

“People are feeling their spaces right now,” says Gretchen Rubin, author of nine books, including “Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness.” “Some people feel like nesting and just want to paint everything. Others feel claustrophobic. Many have figured out they need more elbow room. Some are thinking, ‘I don’t want to waste something I’m not using. I want to put it back out in the world.’?”

“Think of how many people created home offices out of a room they had used for storage,” says Michael Frohm, chief operating officer for Goodwill of Greater Washington, which saw donations rise by 20 percent over last year and rented three temporary warehouses to store them. “They didn’t want all that stuff in back of them during a Zoom call. They were forced to clear it out.”

And this, from the same article: The temptation continues, because "On a recent Saturday at Goodwill’s Glebe Road location in Arlington, there were 600 drop-offs from overflowing cars and trucks. For thrift shoppers, Frohm says, it’s a gold mine: “The quality of stuff right now is amazing.”"


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 05 Aug 20 - 09:41 AM

I am plugging through the copy-edit of the rewritten chapters of the Afghanbistan book, which I am now shipping off to Author. Consequently, the house is dusty and cat-hairy, and I don't care.

We have had a couple of days of torrential rain, so the garden looks perkier. But next year I really must plant something -- besides the mint and the oregano -- that blooms in mid- to late summer.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Aug 20 - 08:09 PM

This afternoon I settled down in the newly-cleared sunroom for a power nap in the recliner. The classical station was playing Resphigi's Airs and Dances and I woke 20 minutes later to one of Brahms' Hungarian Dances. I think I've found a good reason to leave that current setup in place. It's also lovely to tend the plants with no difficulty in reaching them (lots of boxes and furniture used to be in the way of that wide deep window).

The struggle these days is in the garden, to keep the aphids and ants off of the okra and other crops. I've sprayed with soap and orange oil a couple of times, which helped a lot, but now I'm down to using Diatomaceous Earth and a veggie wash product (they sell it to use in the house to wash vegetables before cooking or eating, but it also does the trick on bugs in the garden and is very gentle on the plants).

I'm ready for the next stage of mask making, with a new set of fabric and to work out larger and smaller versions of the standard ones I've been making so far. The dining table is clear.

Still working on clearing other tables and kitchen counters. I spent time dusting shelves and realize that this house is going to continue to be a box of dust that gets rearranged unless I do something serious like vacuum up a lot and control the dog hair. Get it out, don't just dust a little here and there with a rag.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 03 Aug 20 - 07:48 PM

Dupont:

Never made it to a nap because when I went upstairs there was no bedding! Oops, it was in the washer. So I moved it to the dryer and perked up as I got a bunch of little things done.

The woman who bought the pottery, emailed that her daughter is coming with a friend who wants some so it will stay where it is a while longer. I can also give dghtr the excess cash Mom had given me - this darn slimy money sticks together. This morning, my brain was good enough to figure out the finances! And a couple other things. Wonderful, as I could not do it last week.

R and I have agreed that I will go to Beaver on Thursday and he will drive part way on Friday and the short part on Saturday so he can finish the septic. Here's hoping!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Aug 20 - 04:13 PM

The first eBay box contents are photographed and ready to go. I have to go between the two computers to use the newer version of Bridge and Photoshop to process photos. I did find some photos I'd forgotten about in the camera. Nice bonus.

Ants seem to be the plague of the garden right now, I've been out spritzing diatomaceous earth on my pepper plants. I'll go out later with vinyl gloves and give the plants a good once over to rub off some of the aphids or other pest eggs that are turning up on the leaves. It doesn't help that we're only allowed to water two days a week and I have to be sneaky to water on the days I actually want to water. Too much or too little is hard on the plants.

I hope you're enjoying your pool, Don. I was reading about the heat wave on the east coast. I hope Jeri got her air conditioner finally (a Facebook conversation brought over here).


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Aug 20 - 01:05 PM

Wow, Dorothy! Computer nightmares there. And that's funny that R thought it was Saturday - his brain perhaps unconsciously telling him to take it easy for a little while. He can rest up; anesthesia takes time to get over and out of your system.

August is here, this is usually when the "dog days of summer" set in, but this year we got an early start on them. It isn't the hottest year, but it has been long and muggy and we're all stuck at home.

I am restarting the eBay activity, and the first things to list are simply what comes to hand as I clear off my dining table. One of the 30-gallon plastic self-lidded bins that I emptied in the old sun room is now organized with mask-making fabrics that were spread over the table. Boxes my sister sent are broken down and the items are either ready to be donated or sold. None of it was stuff I wanted to keep.

I managed to clear the pile-up on the kitchen table (instead of eating in one little clear spot I can now spread out). Battling the tyranny of horizontal surfaces - logical but not organized landing pads for stuff.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 01 Aug 20 - 12:49 PM

Dupont:

R was a long time getting over the effects of epidural but Doug brought him home about 5or 6 pm and we had supper together. Then, as soon as Doug left, bed!

Yesterday/Friday, I was waiting for R to leave for work. After two hours on phone with Tech support I went and found him watching TV??? He thought it was Saturday!

Most of this week was spent working on the problems deriving from a major computer hack. A major nightmare! 12 hours with Ephraim on Weds as he worked on computer and, talked to Whidbey tech support and then a trip to Apple Genius about 30 minutes away - lucky to get an appointment at 6 pm! Only one available in the area. The nice "Genius" worked on it for an hour trying to get rid of anything unnecessary and/or offensive. Then back here and E continued to consult with techies and work on computer, leaving about 11:30; R took him back to the Metro.

Thurs: spent hours trying to come to terms with what had been changed. while getting rid of the accumulation of emails. A couple more calls to tech. I could receive but not send. Tues eve there had been no new emails, my first call to tech!

Friday, having found that I had to put in the new - rocket science - password every time I left the computer for a few minutes...techie Jodie spent almost two hours helping me reset up email so I could understand it and find and click a box so I did not need to re-do every 10 minutes! Imagine, I go to stir the stew and come back and... ARGHHH! Someone also helped me change the password to access email to something more human.

Sent an email of thanks to Whidbey Telecom re Blaise, Adam, Thomas, Jodie ... Eph was also impressed by them.

Exhaustion from Weds precluded me going to Beaver on Thurs. Also the need to get bank accounts revived, trip to get new access card (complicated by my ID being Ontario and this is Quebec and a long wait due to social distancing which they were doing quite well), phone calls...

Now, I seem to have lost all previous emails, the important ones that were in "smart mailboxes" so they could be easily accessed and that have info I would like to or need to access. I do not have the energy left for another call to Techs. Maybe tomorrow.

Weds, I ate almost nothing. I have been good about not "making up for it" and on Day 40... I am still exhausted but there is a fresh pot of stew ready for a good meal, or four! Now, at 12:30, I am ready to go back to bed. A lovely, Hot, day. The lawn is still not mowed. R is still not 100%. Ephraim has moved into the city house from his tiny apt, a good thing not to have it empty. Also more convenient to the office. (He works with/for R and bro. He is worth more than his weight in gold, even if he gave me passwords worthy of Fort Knox!)


Prior to the hacking: On Tues, a mother and daughter came and chose 37 pots from the display in DR! Terrific De-clutter!!! We are trying to decide where to move them so they are still accessible but not taking up the entire DR! The first floor actually got vacuumed before they arrived! No more sign of bedbugs!! We've had rain so I don't need to water outdoor plants and those in the ground are starting to grow!

I still have a bureau in the back of my car, from Beaver to undecided so it just stays! I can hardly hold my head up. TV or bed...


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

I went to Walmart today at 6:30am and found the aisles as empty as my neighbor described. I loaded up on their store-brand cold and cough medications since what is in my cupboard is incredibly out of date. Happily I have avoided colds for a while, but when the need arrives, it's nice to have the basics on hand. The old stuff will go into the trash or to the Rx recycling receptacle at the Walgreens down the street. So this isn't so much decluttering as simply updating.

While I'm thinking about medical stuff I need to find out about getting my shingles vaccine and when to get this fall's flu shot. These need to be spaced out.

Tuesdays the city hall recycle bins are emptied so this evening I have a run to make with more cardboard and various kitchen things to contribute. I'm trying to corral the cardboard. Some of the books my sister sent have no sentimental value or commercial value so they'll also go in that bin.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Jul 20 - 04:25 PM

After yesterday's post I mowed the front lawn and trimmed the area beside the garage where I hide the trash cans from the street. The humidity make the work exhausting and I seem to have gotten enough dust and grass up my nose to cause a sinus headache today.

The two front yard bird baths got a quick scrub with a tough nylon brush and clean water added, and there is now a small solar fountain thing floating in the birdbath close to the office window. It splashes enough water out of the birdbath that I have a gallon of water on the ground next to it to fill it during the day. This isn't a sustainable plan, so the little solar thing will come in for periods of time (it isn't supposed to be allowed to run for long if the water dries up). It really needs a deeper basin of water to be left untended, but if I tried (for example) to float it in the trough the dog water is in the puppy would fish it out and destroy it. This was a gift from a friend.

We aren't getting hurricane weather, but walk outside for a few minutes and you're dripping with sweat. Take a look at Windy and you see the storm clobbering Monterrey, Mexico and the humidity gushing across all of Texas. There were boxes of books in the garage I brought in and emptied and the flattened boxes are now ready for the recycle bin. I don't like storing books in the garage or attic here, because of the humidity.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Jul 20 - 10:07 AM

Sudafed - I can take one and have an effective antihistamine effect; take two and I'm climbing the walls.

This morning I sat up straight in bed thinking it was Sunday and I'd forgotten a regular Saturday night post I always put up for a site I work on. As I scrambled to turn on the computer and bring up the software a little time passed and I realized it was Saturday morning, not Sunday. I can't say that happens very often any more, since retirement.

I hope R's kidney stone procedure went well. My next door neighbor had three different attempts to get a particularly large stone last year, and he's much more comfortable now.

It's overcast today, but the not-quite-tropical-storm that was headed for the coast hasn't reached this area with it's bands of storm clouds. I suspect this cloud cover is the result of the regular SE directional weather stalling in the face of that front pushing to the NW. It is hurricane season, though it usually means rain here at the most, not the heavy weather since we're several hundred miles NW of the Gulf of Mexico. We're in that time of year when just keeping the garden alive is the goal, it won't be producing much until fall. Keeping a patch of turf green in the back yard for the dogs, and occasionally watering out front to keep the encroaching St. Augustine grass alive (because it's better than the weeds I did have growing here). The cucumbers are seedlings now, the okra are perking up and growing larger. The tomatoes are almost completely dormant and I think I pushed back the encroaching leaffooted bug nymphs that will suck plants and crops dry if not treated. I'm hoping for homemade pickles this fall, cucumber and okra.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 24 Jul 20 - 12:41 PM

Dupont:

I went with R this am as he drove my car to hospital for his kidney stone op. His cousin will bring him home - soon, I hope. We were at the hospital before 7 and I turned around and came home for a pit stop and headed to the produce store where I was the only customer at 7:45! The staff all had masks and were busy stocking everything on this lovely Friday.

I stocked up on fruits and veggies, and eggs and frozen chick and a pork tenderloin. I wish they had a roast of pork as we enjoyed the one I cooked last week - in the frying pan on stove top, with veggies. I only buy this local protein from southern QC. It is so much better than the usual. The roast, from a Bancroft store ("free From" brand), had been in freezer at Beaver and I used it as "ice" in the cooler on the way back here.

Getting home from the store at the time we usually get up, I have managed to do a number of useful small things and some weeding, froze 4 pints of Quebec blueberries. Feeling happy to have this renewed energy, esp with the cooler weather. Doing stuff made me hungry before my appointed lunchtime so I ate some blueberries and a piece of cheddar. Two pints of blueberries and two of QC raspberries still available for munching.

This is Day 32 of my "diet". As I write it in the book each day, I am encouraged to hang in. four very small treats in 32 days is very good. Feeling healthier is also encouraging.

Yesterday, R helped me move the tomato plants to a better spot on the back deck, where, if a fruit falls, it can be seen rather than lost in the profusion of plants below the railing. I will bring in the best three pots in the fall to start new ones for next. Learning the ways of tomato plants and how they grow is interesting.

Charmion: I too cannot take anything related to ephedrine. For antihistamine I have been using, for about 25 years, chlorpheniramine maleate, recommended to me by the wonderful pharmacist in Bancroft, who now has her own pharmacy. My bro also uses it and finds it works as well as the Benadryl he had been taking. It comes in a small bottle in a small box- about one inch by one inch by about 4 inches tall. I always have to ask for it but it is 100 in a bottle so I only need to find them every few years. Under $10 last time.

The bug bites are almost gone and no new ones! We are hoping we have won this round but are prepared. That old couch, the cause, was very heavy and R needed someone to help move it. I am assured it is now gone. In the 2-3 years since Linda got bit, I have asked him a few times and "What! It's still there!!" He has a lot on his mind. I have also asked him, for 10 years, "Take your work clothes off when you get home..." Now he does. He also drinks water, now that he is aware the lack thereof could have caused the stones. I begged... He also takes his supplements - whatever I give him. And it only took 10 years!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Jul 20 - 09:28 PM

Over the years my sister has sent boxes of books from my mom's house. This it was week three boxes of books, and I recently relocated one box lost for ages in the sunroom that was full of stuff from travel to Japan decades ago. The books are WWII era, and I'm thinking that I have a set of stuff (videos and books) that may do well as donations to my former university's special collections to their veterans materials. Mom was in the Women's Army Corps stationed in Japan. Anyway, my daughter and I had a social distance lunch today and I took an assortment of boxes for her to poke through. (There we were in the parking garage with boxes on the ground behind my SUV.) #ChristmasInJuly

It looks like one of my long-term eBay sales items was finally purchased. My new phone didn't make the lovely "ca-ching" sound of a cash register that alerts me to a sale, so I'll have to figure out how to set it up. And list some more stuff.

I took out a couple of NY strip steaks to thaw and use on Saturday. With COVID-19 the way it is in Texas no one is coming into the house, but this time of year I can set up the little terracotta grill beside the patio and have a friend over for dinner in the driveway.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Jul 20 - 09:48 AM

I know darn well that I have no contagious diseases, COVID-19 or anything else, but from the beginning of the pandemic I have always worn a mask when out of the house because the frequent coughing that goes with asthma is so unnerving to other people. I had a hacking attack in the park one day back in April, and it quite hurt my feelings to see a woman veer widely off the path and around a tree to avoid me, her eyes (above her mask) wide with what really looked like fear.

I just wish I could use Sudafed, or anything that resembles it, but the pseudo-epinephrin that is its active ingredient interacts badly with the bronchodilators that keep asthma under close arrest. Sudafed and its clones are still the most effective of the non-drowsy antihistamines.

Meanwhile, in culinary news, Himself has decided to try cooking a whole chicken in a Dutch oven in the fire-pit. Not sure how this will turn out ... If we come down with ptomaine, I'll know why.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Jul 20 - 12:33 PM

The back yard is finally tamed and I played fetch with the dogs last night since their toys weren't disappearing in tall grass. Next for the front and digging up the keyhole garden beside the driveway to plant some late sweet potatoes. I have cucumbers coming up from seed and the okra finally got transplanted from pots to the ground last week (and I ate a couple of fried okra with dinner last night, the first two of the season). Tomatoes have stopped for now but I may put in new plants for fall soon. I got 1 1/3 cases of tomatoes canned so far this year.

The big news down here is that on Tuesday mornings at 6am the Walmart stores are open for seniors and my next door neighbor said that this week the closest store was quite empty. I didn't know they had these hours still, and I have a couple of things that take me to Walmart maybe twice a year, so next week I'll get up early and head over. Our COVID-19 numbers are increasing in Texas so taking advantage of special hours when the stores actually relatively free of people is a good thing. Next to Sam's Club, Walmart has the cheapest Sudafed knockoff in town. This year I've been more careful about taking it before I go out to keep my allergy sneezes under control. YMMV in your state or province, but it's worth checking out.

Dog baths this week. Once a year whether they need it or not. The water is so warm coming out of the hose that I use a lead to keep each one in place and hose and shampoo then rinse. It doesn't mean there will be less dog hair, it will just be cleaner dog hair. :-/

Good luck with the heat applications, Dorothy. That's what I've heard is pretty effective. Shame on R for being so lazy about that sofa at work!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 21 Jul 20 - 12:44 PM

Dupont:

!!!! First: Wonderful to hear news from Michelle - GOOD news! I do hope you find way to keep J home from school! You are resourceful!

Today, I actually put on clothes for the first time in a week. I was down to undies and one of R's dress shirts (lots of old ones here). How often I realize the joy of large windows but not where anyone can look in without an effort. Over 50 bites last week took a terrific toll, plus the heat; majorly stressed x4, with covid and R's kidney stones - which have not bothered him but also have not left so we are looking toward a op on Friday. Today is cooler and I went out front to water and deadhead the geraniums and pulled weeds on the "dragon grave" where things are finally growing. thanks to some rain. There will be green peppers from the dozen seedlings, squash from the bought plants, lettuce from seed and the 'sturtiums are finally starting to bloom. Flowers are blooming, prize of which is a hybrid daylily in shades of pale yellow; may it increase greatly! I had to come back inside due to mosquitoes - now a couple dif bites! Earlier, I watered the potted tomato plants, and one pepper, on the back deck railing while it was still shady. Lots of tomatoes coming along and 3 healthy peppers on the one plant, mother of those in the front garden.

AS for the bedbugs: R has them in the city house a couple years ago, while I was, thankfully, at Beaver. We knew from a friend who stayed in one of his loft spaces (a dif building) that a sofa had bugs, but he sat on it. OH WELL! I suggested vehemently that the sofa should go. And NOW it has. But, I am sure, and he admits, that is where this new crop originated. He comes home from work, sits on futon to watch TV THEN stretches out and falls asleep. I calmly noted how many years I have been asking him to take work clothes off when he gets home...

So, he came home with DE and put each leg of futon frame and bed in a plastic container with DE. I washed everything washable, including the futon cover, in HOT water. Since, I have been putting things in the dryer daily,including our day's clothes, on HOT. AND put things on the porch rail in the very HOT sun (Donuel!). No bites in a couple days. IF we experience another hatch, he will cover things with heavy plastic and use a special "safe" heater to cook the critters - 130 degrees does it. We are so fortunate that the original instruction booklets came with the beautiful washer and dryer set we bought at auction. Otherwise we could not figure out how to get HOT (degrees stipulated). We may not be totally out of the woods but we are not currently being bitten. Some of my bites still itch but not to the whimpering stage.

In the heat and all, I only managed a good veggie stew and a roast pork with veggies, done in frying pan on stove top to avoid excess heat. Yummie. And kept on top of dishes. R did some vacuuming in TV room and "his" chair in Den re bugs. Now, the vacuum is sitting here looking at me... Maybe I can do the LR...

Day 29 of my "diet". I have done pretty well with only a couple small treats (1/3 of a raspberry/oat square) in the time. Feeling better and more able bodied. The other day I tried to do a leg lift while lying on bed. Could not manage an inch! I was lying there, "I think I should be able to do this??" This morning, several inches twice! Yes, I am supposed to be able to do this! I'll try more later. Made R blueberry buckwheat cakes for BF; did not eat any, only my usual 2 eggs scrambled. Routine helps. I am planning a bw cake for lunch, with almond butter.

Thanks for all the ideas about the bedbugs. I did find an excellent website that covered every question one might have quite well. And R's prior exp. And a scientist friend is examining the little critters I found on the futon for positive ID.

May we all avoid the covid, and practice stress reduction!


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Jul 20 - 09:16 AM

I have spent several days at my desk, grinding through the chapters I have finished editing to ensure they're ready to go to the author. If I do say so myself, I have actually made the book readable; when I got the manuscript, it was incomprehensible.

Author says he thinks at some point it was fed through some kind of text-management software and then revised by a French-speaking person who knew nothing about the Canadian Army. Knowing what I do about some government employees and their regard for the quality of written English, I think he may well be right. He's not even looking at the version I was given to work from but just reading my rewrite and adjusting for what he knows that I don't.

I'm beginning to wonder if I should be looking for more than a production credit on this job.

Himself went back to the gym for the first time since the lockdowns began in March. Users have to book their time, so the place does not get crowded, and the showers and saunas are closed, but at least the weights and cardio equipment are available. I think I should follow his example; the pool at the Y remains closed with no forecast for re-opening, and I'm getting fat and even creakier than previously. The stationary bike is less than ideal, but at least it will not add to the embuggeration of my poor feet.


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

The grape vines that covered the hackberry tree across the road (that I've harvested every July for more than a dozen years) were struck a near-fatal blow last fall when the property owner "cleared" the land and the little man who came in after to pick up trash cut all of the vines around the tree base that the bulldozer missed. I haven't walked over to look because anything in the tree is too high to reach; we can only hope that benign neglect creeps into their maintenance plan and the grape vines again droop down from above. I'll walk over with the loppers and cut any poison ivy vines that try to commingle with the grapes as they did in the past.

For the third week in a row I took my large trash can to the juniper adjacent to the driveway and continued my project of trimming off the long sprigs growing out from it. Once I have a can full of branches I drop my bag of weekly trash on top and drag it all to the curb. I nearly cut the entire evergreen shrub down two years ago, but at the last minute saw an interesting shape it the central part that hadn't been removed, so left it. Since it is a mature root system it can grow quickly so I have routinely trim it back. I don't want that thing reaching the size of a motorhome again, encroaching on the driveway and the yard. Right now it's about the size of a small Prius.

The dog training collar arrived and I'm reading the booklet before embarking on a no-barking plan for my blue heeler. There are particular times of day when she isn't doing her normal alert on the mail truck or the trash truck, but barks at the neighbors hoping for a treat.

Stay cool, everyone. A friend of mine from New York City has an overnight trip planned out to Fire Island during this heat advisory. I hope it isn't so hot that he can't get out and enjoy the sea breeze. Maybe it's time for me to plan a drive out to an area lake just to get out of the house. The dogs would enjoy a walk on the beach.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 20 Jul 20 - 10:08 AM

Yes, that's the one (or apparently family), Charmion. It's known by both "rowan" and "mountain ash" in the UK.

This is ours which set itself in one of the pigsty bays. I'm not sure if it was there when mum and a brother did the initial sorting of the land or whether it appeared in her time here but it's grown a bit in the say 20 years I've known it.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 20 Jul 20 - 09:40 AM

John Freeman, what you call a rowan tree -- does it look like this? Around here (southern Ontario), that tree is often called a mountain ash. Hardier souls than I make jelly from its berries, but I have always left them for the birds; by February, the non-migrating species are glad to get them.

I used to live in a house with a Montmorency cherry tree of considerable size and beauty, and I don't think I ever got enough fruit off it for more than one pie and one batch of jam. As the cherries ripened in summer, the birds flocking to it in the morning made enough noise to rouse me from a sound sleep.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 20 Jul 20 - 07:29 AM

Well I had a look at our blackcurrants yesterday afternoon and something (probably a blackbird) has beaten me to them. I don’t think there is a quantiy that would be worth making a jam with now.

Staying with berries, the rowan tree round the back is looking really good, particularly in the early evening sunlight. The berries are orange at the moment but will turn to red and of course will be welcomed by the birds later in the year.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jul 20 - 07:28 PM

That's what I've been thinking about the sunroom. I'd have to put my yoga mat up every time or the puppy will destroy it, but with the sunshine and plants it's a welcoming room for that. Is that your new TV you put in there? Is it on the wall or on a cabinet of some sort?


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Jeri
Date: 19 Jul 20 - 04:52 PM

I've been making some progress organizing/shoveling out the house. Got one room emptied out enough to do yoga in it, then stuck a TV in. I think there's still room for yoga, but it's too hot to move.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jul 20 - 12:38 PM

Tending the garden now in hopes of a fall crop of okra and cucumbers. I'll prune back the dried tomato branches and see if the roots grow a new set of branches. Bush beans are in a big pot and I see a few, but I may have to race against bugs to get any. I've had to start the organic pesticides and glue traps to try to get rid of a batch of stink bugs that are tormenting the eggplant.

This is a no-spend month, though as usually happens, the struggle is in trying to keep it to a low-spend month. I've had to do a couple of repairs or replacement of existing items around the house, but am resisting buying new stuff; I'll stick with the research for future projects without buying materials.

I'm looking through my almost-full Bullet Journal book. It has been an incredibly useful exercise (started in March 2017). I have the next book to use when this is full, and this will stay by my desk as a valuable reference. I taped a little list in the front of it, probably something that turned up in a Pinterest post, and I'll print another copy and tape it into the next one also. It's something I need to look at more often:

Start by doing 1 push up.
Start by drinking 1 cup of water.
Start by paying toward 1 debt.
Start by reading 1 page.
Start by making 1 sale.
Start by deleting 1 old contact.
Start by walking 1 lap.
Start by attending 1 event.
Start by writing 1 paragraph.
Start today. Repeat tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jul 20 - 03:46 PM

Michelle, I think you're correct - the latest series of stories hitting the top of the Twitter feed have to do with over-worked and under-supplied janitorial staff in many industries and locations. If they are relying on an almost invisible staff (working nights or weekends when no one else is there) who have to struggle to meet or exceed standards with inadequate staffing or supplies - it's tough.

That's great about your tumor markers, and good wishes to Pete for his upcoming checkup.

Dorothy, short of burning down the house, have you and R managed to work out a plan to eliminate the active and hidden bedbugs? They're one of those things that happen without warning and you just have to grit your teeth and work hard to get past it. I have a friend in NY City who had had a couple of brushes with them, but they have an app for city bedbug outbreaks that at least helps a little bit to steer clear of them.

I've moved more furniture around today and am nearly finished reorganizing the two rooms where I swapped contents, and have what is now a very tidy and functional craft room. I still sometimes set things on the bed until I find a place for them but it isn't like the bed is piled with a mishmash of stuff any more.

Under normal circumstances a social outing wouldn't be anything to report, but I enjoyed visiting with two friends last night. We sat about 10 feet apart in a triangle under a friend's breezy carport. These kinds of locations are precious now; I'm going to trim a few lower branches on a pine in my front yard where I have a suitably spaced conversation area - years ago I built a stone wall facing the street and on each end is a capstone that is perfect seating for a couple of people visiting under the trees.


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: LilyFestre
Date: 18 Jul 20 - 03:18 PM

Hello from North Central Pennsylvania,

    I took the day off yesterday and Jeremiah and I started in one corner of the kitchen and started going through cupboards, wiping things down, getting rid of expired items and reorganizing. It felt wonderful!!! I suppose I could spend a good solid week doing as such before it would be complete but we did make a noticeable difference! Today I am focusing on the counter top I use most and putting away appliances that we aren't using much right now like the bread maker and Panini maker. Those tend to get used more when the temperatures are cooler. Right now, the counter is often filled with bowls of fresh eggs and produce from the garden. :)

    We also had use of a large dumpster for 3 weeks and made good use of it! It was a a little pricey but worth it in my opinion to be able to throw things in and let someone else haul it all away!

    Life here is going as well as can be expected. I continue to work full time and Pete is now back at work full time too since the university has partially opened. I had a tumor marker check done this week and am thrilled to share that my numbers are the lowest they have been in years. Pete heads to the doctor next week for his 6 month check up which is pretty involved.

Day 1: Ultrasound and bloodwork
Day 2: Injection
Day 3   Injection
Day 4: Small dosage of radiation
Day 6: Hour long body scan

    Jeremiah is growing like crazy, it won't be too much longer and he will be taller than I am. Right now, he is one shoe size smaller than me!!! He loves to read, ride his bike, swim, play basketball, garden, play with the animals, build with Legos and of course, play on his computer (which is extremely limited in our house....he is lucky if he plays for an hour 3 times a week). There is a plan for school in our district where the children in his grade will go to school 2 days a week and have 3 days of remote learning, however, the Governor is already alluding to possible complete closures given the rate of COVID's second time through. It's challenging for households like ours, with two working parents to figure things out when there is no set plan. Pete has NO flexibility in his schedule so I have worked out 4 viable options for me to continue working full time and managing homeschooling/remote learning, as needed. Truth be told, I'm leaning towards keeping him home despite the school schedule as I'm not feeling confident about the plan the school has in place. I'm lucky to have a job where I have a lot of flexibility and a supervisor who is willing to work with me and explore various options so they can keep me on staff. What a crazy world we are living in.

So...that's my update for now. I hope you are all well and staying safe.

Much love,

Michelle


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Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness: House, job, life 2019 - 2020
From: Charmion
Date: 18 Jul 20 - 09:49 AM

Donuel, I find the climate of northwest Europe quite comfortable, especially near the coast. Not too hot, not too cold, not too much snow in winter. Guess where my ancestors came from?

I don’t live there because said ancestors had very good reasons to leave (revolutions, cholera, financial collapse) and fixable physical discomfort is not a good enough reason to go back. Canada has its drawbacks, God knows — too hot, too cold, too much snow in winter—but here the neo-Nazis are still the frazzled edge of the lunatic fringe and fatal diseases don’t usually leave families bankrupt as well as bereft.

The summer heat of Ontario doesn’t last long by American standards, but it’s quite stunning. My Dad, who spent much of the war in east African waters, said the only place he found hotter than Ottawa in July was Aden.


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